Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prayers to End a Relationship

Once again, there have been a lot of changes in my life. Some of them have been positive changes and some have been negative, no. I suppose they've all been good. Let me rephrase that. Some of them have been easy changes and others have been...very difficult.
I've continued writing for our local newspaper. I've written articles that I loved, articles that were okay, and I've written articles that will probably never be published even though those are my favorite ones. Apparently I'm too opinionated sometimes.
My sister and I have moved (mostly) into our apartment and are taking all of our clothes (which we have yet to pack) and moving down for good later this week.
That crazy boy that I've been dating took some family pictures for us and my sister and edited them and I quite like them if I do say so myself. (You can see a couple of them at my sister's blog over here along with part of an article that I wrote a few weeks ago.) Goodness I love my family. Ok, family pictures aren't really a change in my life but they were great.
Perhaps the biggest, most difficult change of all, though, was sending my boyfriend back to Arizona. It all started when we went on our first date and then we went to Californiawe became best friends and we started to fall in love, we continued dating and finally became exclusive. He loved me more than I have ever been loved. Every moment I spent with him felt like the lyrics to a summer love song. Did we have our struggles? You bet we did. It was one of the hardest relationships I've ever been in, not because he was such a hard guy to date but simply because we all have pasts and make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are difficult to grasp, a struggle to get past. But we did. He loved me despite and for and with my past mistakes and I loved him despite his. And we grew closer. And we built a relationship based on complete honesty and a solid friendship. Some days he drove me crazy and sometimes we'd fight but we'd always come to some sort of agreement and finished knowing that we loved one another and that it was okay to disagree. We had a full relationship in which we felt every emotion on the spectrum. He came to Nebraska with me and, though we both loved having him here, we both prayed about it and decided that the best thing for each of us was for him to go back to Arizona at the end of the summer. So...on Saturday I woke up, realized that it was my last day with him, and began to cry. On Sunday I drove him to the airport and watched as his plane took off. I cried most of that day as well. I could literally feel my heartbreaking but, you see, sometimes doing what's right isn't easy at all. You all know that already, but I don't think it really hits home until you have to act on a decision that you've prayed about...and it's not what you wanted or had in mind at all. But you do it anyway.  I'm so grateful for previous experiences of acting on faith that have prepared me to make this decision which I'm sure is simply another stepping stone preparing me to make an even greater leap of faith. I'm grateful that Tanner prayed about it as well and felt the same. It really helped having someone else who had received the prompting so I knew that I was making the right decision.
During our relationship I kept a lot of things pretty private and didn't share many of the details because, well, that was our business. I still won't share most of those things but I suppose I can offer some pictures so you can at least see what he looks like.

Since he's been back in Arizona we have Skyped twice until we both fell asleep and it's amazing how much it helped to lift my spirits. I love this boy. Maybe it was the timing. Maybe after our missions things will work out. But maybe they won't. Maybe I have yet to meet my future husband and that's okay. The first two days Tanner was gone were awful but I prayed to be comforted and reassured that I was making the right decision and you know what? I'm feeling better already. I still miss him, but I know that this is how things should be, at least for the time being. After that? Who knows.
Here's a thought: Maybe I should stop falling in love with guys who have yet to serve their missions. That would save me a lot of heartache. If there were anything else I could at least fight to make the relationship work but, when this is the cause, I cannot be so selfish. Just something for me to keep in mind for the future...since apparently I have a problem with that.
Also, thank you all so much for your support over the last few days. Your messages have really helped me to feel better about everything and to remember that I've made the right choice. You guys are the best!

Friday, July 27, 2012

You Know Who I Miss?

My little girls. And by miss I mean I that just thinking about them makes my heart ache, yet smile at the same time because I love them so much.
Yesterday I was able to Skype them and it was amazing! I loved being able to see those crazy kids bouncing off of the wall and listen to them laughing like maniacs. Crazy kids...I love them with all my heart. It's amazing how happy I was just to see their blurry images and hear their broken audio.
When it was time to go Isalyn, the three year old, started crying. I told her that I'd see her again soon but that didn't seem to make her feel much better and the tears continued to flow. So, in an attempt to cheer her up, I gave her a secret mission. (We always went on adventures and treasure hunts and such when I was nannying them.) I told her that, in order to complete her mission, she would have to draw me a beautiful picture of a flower with pink and purple petals. She immediately jumped off the couch and began on her picture for me. After assuring them that I would see them again and telling them I loved them, I ended the call. And then I cried.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Wish...

That I could go on a mission...and get married at the same time.
I don't necessarily want to get married right this second, but I don't know that I want to wait two, three years to even start to work towards it either. I mean, I guess I do. I am still choosing to serve a mission. But still. I want to fall in love. Head over heels, let's make this last for eternity love. I want to have adventures and make memories that last and that I will always be able to look back on with my husband. I want to have a family. Or at least I want the possibility that it could happen. That today I could meet the man I'm going to marry. That he may love me.
And then there are other days when I wonder, will I ever marry? Am I too ridiculously picky or will I, someday, find someone who I really want to spend an eternity with? Will I ever be a part of a relationship where I couldn't see myself with anyone else? A relationship where I don't occasionally wonder: Is this all there is? It's not that I've never been in love. I have. I have had quite a few wonderful relationships as well as way too many not-so-good ones. I have thought about marriage, talked about marriage, even looked at rings with a couple of really special guys. In the end though, I always get the feeling that this isn't "the one" for me. That something else is coming.
Maybe that's because I know I have yet to serve a mission?
Or maybe it's because I'm a hopeless romantic waiting to be swept off of my feet.
And I wonder if I'm asking for too much. If I'm even good enough to attract the type of person that I have in mind. I wonder if I'll ever love someone as much as they love me. I want to. Yet, I can't seem to make that happen. And I think that's because I already know that I'm leaving soon and that I won't be back for 18 months and that my focus will be somewhere much more important than planning a wedding. But I still wonder...I can't help it.
Is it bad to be so picky?
Is it bad that I'm even thinking about all of this as I prepare for my mission?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Family Vacation&A Strengthened Testimony

Last week was amazing. My family went on a vacation across the country to: 1)Kirtland, Ohio, 2) Niagra Falls, 3) Palmyra, New York, and 4) Nauvoo, Illinois. We spent a lot of time at church history sites and I loved the spirit that I was able to feel on the trip. 
As we were all going into the sacred grove I hung back behind everyone so that I would be able to be alone and feel the spirit a little more. As soon as I stepped into the grove I felt overwhelmed with the spirit. It was such a special place. I went off into a little section by myself and, though there were many people walking along the paths around me, as soon as I began praying to my Heavenly Father the paths became vacant and I seemed to be all alone in the peaceful grove just talking to God. I sat there and just prayed for about thirty minutes and I know that my Heavenly Father was there with me as I expressed my concerns about serving a mission, wondering whether I was worthy enough, whether I was capable and talented and strong enough to serve and to teach others. It was very clear to me that He would make it more. As I sat in that grove with tears streaming down my face I thought of Joseph Smith, of the humble prayer that he said in between those trees. I though of the time he spent in Liberty Jail and I thought of his question, "Oh God, Where art thou and how long wilt thou hand be stayed?" I immediately felt a very strong feeling that I knew where God was. He was right there and I needn't ever question that or wonder if I was alone.
In the Palmyra temple later that day I picked up the scriptures and let them fall open and I had a very similar experience to one which I previously had in the Mesa temple. The pages turned to D&C 39 (last time it was section 112) and, once again, I felt impressed that the words were just for me. Just like the last time I attended the temple with a question about my mission in mind, I read of how God told His servants, told me, that, though they had made mistakes and had seen sorrow because of those mistakes, He knew their hearts and loved them. He knew that they were ready and desired for them to go on missions and spread the gospel to others. It seems pretty clear to me what He would have me do. 
On our way home my family stopped at the Nauvoo Pageant. It was amazing. The actor for Joseph Smith was incredible and was everything I had imagined the prophet to be. As we were driving to our hotel that night I felt a feeling, stronger than ever, that I knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I always believed it and I knew the Book of Mormon to be true so it only made sense that Joseph Smith was a true prophet yet my heart went out to him for the trials he went through, I was grateful for his part in restoring the gospel, and I knew that he was a prophet. 
On that same drive mom told us of how a President Johnson had called our home a couple of weeks ago. She told us of how, when he was an Elder Johnson and served his mission here in Nebraska he had baptized my grandparents and my dad and, after doing so, he had said, "Someday there will be a President Norman Sillivan in this area." I'm sure he thought that he was speaking of my grandpa but, little did he know my dad would soon be called as the first branch president here and open up a new branch in which I grew up. President Johnson was just recently called as a branch president up in Washington somewhere and, receiving a book full of other branch presidents, he curiously flipped back to the old area where he'd served. What a surprise it must have been to see a Broken Bow Branch and to see, as the branch president, Norman Sillivan. He had prophesied of that coming to pass and he had been an instrument in the creating of this branch, in the creating of my family and the gospel being in our lives. Little did he know what a huge impact he would have. My heart was full of gratitude then and it is again now as I think of that elder so long ago. I cannot wait to someday meet him, shake his hand, and tell him, "Thank you. Thank you so much for all you have done for my family, for me." He will never know how much he affected my life but he did, he blessed it in a very big way. I am more determined than ever to do the same for others, even if it's only one family. I want to be able to do for others what that elder did for me. God has given me so much. I am so excited to give a sliver of that back.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Insomnia, Shortened Dreams, and Lifetime Roles

Pt. 1-Insomnia
You know those nights when it's late. And you're super tired. And you want to fall asleep. But you just can't? Yeah. Last night was one of those. I lay in bed at 3AM and just stared at the ceiling. Actually, that's not true. I stared at my pillow because I was sorta laying on my face. Comfy.
Regardless, I couldn't fall asleep? I had far too much on my mind. But nothing at the same time? It's as if I had a million thoughts racing through my mind but I wasn't really focusing on any of them. Am I spouting out nonsense here? Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Probably not. 
Anyway, the things that were passing through my synapse (geek to the max) were mostly good things to be kept awake by, if there is such a thing. 
I thought of my mission. I thought of what articles I was going to send today (an editor for a nearby newspaper wanted to see some of my writings. Yay!). I thought of finally getting rid of the hiccups I'd had all day. I thought of the family trip that we will be leaving for tomorrow. I thought of many things but, eventually, I fell asleep.

Pt. 2-Shortened Dreams
At some point early this morning I began to dream a marvelous dream. Then I woke up before I was able to finish the awesomeness that it was. Why? Because I felt like I needed to blow my nose. Blow my freakin nose! Not even a worthy cause. I tried to will myself back into a slumber in which I finished the dream. But that didn't happen. Unfortunate.

Pt. 3-Lifetime Roles
I was reading over at The Dirt Life and I found a woman of mine own understanding. What I feel, what I want in this life? She gets it.
I want to travel this world. I want to write about it and take pictures of the different types of beauties. I want to get married and have my husband travel with me. I want to live different places while we're still young, experience different atmospheres. And then, when it's time to start a family, I want to get a little place in the country and I want to become a mom. I want to stay at home with my children, writing and taking photos whenever I can, taking photos of them. Writing of them. I want to put all of my heart and soul into things that I love, my pen, my camera, my family. I don't care about becoming a career woman but, when I say that, many get offended as if I am backhanding every woman's right activist that ever lived. Forgive me, that's not how I mean it at all. This is the way I am though. I was cut from a different cloth than you.
I am confident that my role in this life is to be a wife and a mother and I am excited to, someday, be able to focus on that. First, though, I need to thank my Heavenly Father for offering me that opportunity and give 18 months to him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Casket Far Too Small

This morning I attended a funeral. At the front sat a casket which was far too small. Inside lay a ten year old boy, the little brother of friends. He was an adorable boy and, though I didn't see him often, he was constantly smiling when I did see him. I couldn't help but think what a cute boy he was going to be, what a cute boy he was.
I know his sister. I was her leader at church camps for many years and she is one of the sweetest young women I have ever had the chance to be around.
I know his brother. He is such a cute guy and an incredibly fun dance partner. A couple of summers ago we had a whole Grease cast chosen and we planned on recording our own version of the classic. We have yet to do that. Like his little brother, my friend is always smiling, even today. As his sister told me though, she didn't really know what else to do.
 They all smiled. They are such a strong family. I'm so grateful to know where their strength comes from: the knowledge that they will be able to see their brother/son again. I'm so thankful for the knowledge that families can be together, not just for this life, but for eternity. Forever.
Throughout the service I was blessed with the chance to feel and learn more of the personality of this special boy.  As I sat there I thought, "He truly was an incredible child." Almost immediately after another thought crossed my mind, "Of course he is. He is the child of our Heavenly Father. All children are special."
How humbling that was. I deal with children on a daily basis and I love them with all of my heart. I am so blessed to be able to hold our Father's choice spirits. What an amazing opportunity it will be to someday be able to be the permanent guardian of some of His children.
I am so grateful for the tender mercies I am blessed with daily: prayer, songs, scriptures, others' kindness, hugs, smiles, family, children. '

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today I decided to channel my inner creativity.

A few years ago I found an old wooden schooldesk that used to sit in a one-room country schoolhouse outside of my hometown. I sanded down a few layers of the thick, black-green varnishing, became busy, and promptly forgot about the chair/desk. The old chair sat in storage for three more years and, finally, this afternoon, I decided to get that chair back out again. I sanded for hours. This afternoon I finally decided exactly what I wanted to do with this desk. I figured out what I wanted to create. The finished product is going to sit in the loft of the apartment my sister and I are moving into next month. And it's going to be awesome. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

They Had Mountains

What else is new?
Well, I've started taking engagement and family pictures. I'm still very new and unexperienced but I love it and, so far, everyone has come out happy. Thank goodness. My first shoot was this lovely couple that asked me to take their engagements. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be good and that they wouldn't like them that I did everything for free and actually prayed (multiple times) that they would like the pictures I presented them with. Thankfully, they loved them. That couple opened the floodgates and since then I've had multiple people ask me to take photos for them. I will always be grateful to my awesome friends for taking a chance on me, for opening that door.
I have published another article, so that's exciting. It was a small article in a very small local newspaper but still, it's something to add to the resume. I was talking to the editor about what she would like me to write about. At first she asked me to write about myself and all of my "adventures and accomplishments." I don't feel like I've been on any real adventures yet and I certainly don't consider myself very accomplished so I asked if there was anything else she would like me to write on. She asked me to write on the weather...which was ok. Boring. But ok. As I went to write though, I didn't feel a bit of passion for the weather. I can write without passion, but those are never pieces of which I am proud. So I went out on a limb and wrote about my hometown. Why? Because I think, all too often, people of my community take our beautiful utopia for granted. I'm sure that can be said for every community, but we are so blessed here in my safe little town, my little piece of paradise. 
Luckily the editor loved it and she published it for me even though it certainly wasn't the weather. I suppose that's another blessing of living in a small town and writing for a small paper: people are a little more flexible.

Here's what I wrote:

A home to come home to. That phrase never made much sense to me...until I moved to Lincoln for college two years ago. Lincoln quickly became a second home. On this last New Year's Eve I moved to Phoenix, AZ and lived there for six months, taking online classes and working as a live-in nanny. At first I was worried that a small town girl from Nebraska wouldn't ft in with those from a valley of eight million but I quickly found my niche and, once again, it became another home. Yet, Arcadia remained my hometown. I was proud to be a Nebraskan, an Arcadian; I still am.
I loved living in Arizona. I loved the mountains, the silhouetted sunsets, and the myriad of cultures. I loved being near the ocean and taking weekend beach trips, having swimming pools in almost every backyard and viewing the city lights after a night hike. I loved that there were so many friends to be made: friends my same age with my same interests and standards. As much as I enjoyed the past six months, though, there were things that I'd grown up with that weren't present. There were things that I missed.
Where they had mountains we had rolling hills in shades of green, a color that the desert lacked. While they had beautiful silhouettes we had breathtaking sunsets that seemed to stretch across the whole state, dying everything in sight a hue of pink or purple and quilting the sky with colored cumulus. They had swimming pools but we had rivers and lakes and fresh water that we could safely drink. We had rain that smelled fresh like rain should. Instead of fluorescent signs that lit up the night we had fireflies that made the fields glitter and stars that weren't drowned in light pollution. There I had a lot of friends, here I had family. I missed my privacy, a peaceful seclusion that can't be simulated with a "privacy wall." I missed the safety in being able to drive home alone at night and fill up my own gas without being approached by strange men. I missed the laid-back approach to life. I missed wildflowers. Animals. New life. As much as I was intrigued by the industrial jungle the city had to offer, I missed my home. 
I'm not saying that Arcadia is better than the rest of the world. I have loved every "home" that I have had thus far and I'm sure I will love everywhere I have yet to live. I am the type of person that could be happy anywhere and I have a lot of places I have yet to see, things I have yet to do. What I have come to realize, however, is that, to me, Arcadia is where my heart, my loyalty is rooted. There's something about the people. Something about the land, the animals, surprisingly enough there's even something about the unpredictable weather. There's something about this simple life that makes it easier to see what really matters, makes it easier to serve, to love. God created this incredible earth full of different types of beauties and I intend to see and appreciate them all. No matter where I go, though, there's something that will always pull me back home. 

Hello Again

I'm sorry I've been gone so in Arizona was...awesome. I loved it there. However, since I only lived there for six months, I wanted to live every moment that I wasn't working, even the moments when I was working. Not that I don't love writing and posting on here, but I figured that I would probably make more memories when I was actually out doing something rather than sitting inside writing on my blog. That's also a plus about not advertising on your blog, you can take a little break every once in a while and no one minds. Now that I'm finally home in Nebraska (I flew in last week) I'll be able to post again. 
So much has changed. So. Much. 
I now have these two beautiful little girls that I have nannied since January and I love them. I love them so much that, sometimes, I feel like I may burst from holding too much emotion in my 5'4" body. I can't even imagine having my own children. How will I ever be able to handle even more love? As of now they are in Nebraska staying with their grandma for a week and a half and I have been able to see them every couple of days. I'm dreading Sunday when they have to go back home to Arizona. I'll probably cry like a baby saying goodbye to them. I'm about to start crying now. *Deep breath.* The hardest part is that they probably won't remember me in a few months, especially after I don't see them for probably two years.
I have a boyfriend now, a decision that I made after a lot of thought and prayer. (Remember that great guy I posted about...quite awhile ago? Yep. That's him.) It was a decision that I will never regret: we have each learned so much from one another. We have been dating for four months now and he's an amazing person that I have been able to watch change and grow since I first met him. When I moved back to Nebraska he made the decision to follow me here. As excited as I was to spend more time with him, it made me a little nervous having someone move across the country for me. That's a lot of pressure. I've never had someone who would do something like that for me. It's flattering, it's exciting, it's a little scary. Before he moved we talked about it and decided that, once we got here, we would pray about it and see how long he should stay in Nebraska. Now that we've been here a few weeks, we've come to the conclusion that it would be best for him to return home at the end of the summer. Being here together has been great, but I don't think it's necessarily the best decision for either of us at the moment. As much as I truly do love and care about him, he's not the one for me. Not right now; no one is. The timing isn't right.
Which leads me to the biggest change, I'm preparing to serve a mission. I have most of my paperwork done and I'll send them in in August. I cannot wait to find out where I'm going. It's still pretty surreal, but I'm excited and I know that this is what I'm supposed to do. This is the one time in my life that I have received a distinct, "Yes. That's the right decision, go ahead with it." And I've received it twice. How could I possibly deny that? I seriously thought about waiting for Seth to come home from his mission before I left for mine...I would really like to see him again...but I know that that would make it much harder for me to leave. And I know I need to.
So that's where I'm at right now. That's what is going on in my life. I'll fill you in on more later.

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Past Year...

A year ago today I said goodbye to a missionary. Many of you already know that, but a lot of you don't. It was a big deal for me. So, even though this blog isn't focused on that aspect of my life, I feel like it is blog worthy.
Things are very different now than they were a year ago and it really makes me wonder, where did the last 365 days go? I'm not complainin'...I'm just sayin'. It honestly flew by. So this is the time where most girls start planning their weddings and becoming sure of the fact that they will be married in a year and a half. I'm not there.
I would like to be able to say that I know exactly where I'll be in one year. I would like to be able to say that I even have a clue. But I can't. Because I don't.
I love it here in Arizona. I do. I love how many members there are out here. I love it. I love it. I love it. There are people who want me to stay here and not go back to Nebraska when summer rolls around. And there are others who want me back in Nebraska right now. There are people who want me to continue waiting, and there are those who don't. I obviously can't please everyone, nor should I try. The problem is this: I hate letting people down. I hate being the one to disappoint and, therefore, saying no is really difficult for me. But I'm getting there. I am learning to do things for me and I'm working on relying on my Heavenly Father to do so. It's this amazing new ability that I have: saying no. I'm not great at it yet, but I'm progressing. You'd think that being able to do things for myself would make life easier, less complicated. False: I'm only 20 years old. I have no idea what I want yet (I stole a page out of old Dwight Schrute's book). How does one figure that out? Everyone's advice? Do what makes you happy. But I'm a very happy person so that's a pretty large spectrum. I could be happy getting married. I could be happy finishing up school first. I could be happy studying abroad. I could be happy going on a mission. I could be happy going home to Nebraska. I could be happy staying here in Arizona. Heck, I've even thought about transferring out to BYU-Idaho and I could be happy there. The thing is, I am one of those people that is happy anywhere, and I'm grateful for that. But it doesn't make my decision making any easier. 
Anyway, I'm just rambling. Allow me to condense: I'm confused about every aspect of my life right now. So where I'll be in one year is a mystery. 
Today, being the milestone that it is, has caused me to reflect on the last year. A lot.

This past year I have grown more than the other 19 years of my life combined. This past year I have gone through every emotion on the scale. This past year I had my first apartment. I moved out of Nebraska for the first time. I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my education. I became a published writer. I cried and laughed and danced and screamed. I gained weight, I lost weight. I turned into a bit of a hippie (although let's be honest, I've always been that way). This past year offered me the opportunity to figure out who I was, even if who I am has no idea what she's doing. I discovered my passions, weaknesses, my strengths. I discovered that I love being spontaneous, traveling without plans and trying everything once. I love documenting every detail with my camera, my notepad, my memory. This past year I have gained confidence that I never knew I was capable of and I've learned to love others more fully. I've enjoyed what very well may be my favorite thing in the world: driving with my windows down, sun streaming in, hair flying loose and becoming tangled, radio turned all the way up, and singing at the top of my lungs. I have truly grown to appreciate being young and I don't want to throw away one single minute or wish for it to pass any faster than it already is. I learned to live and love life more than I ever have before. This past year...was incredible.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Like Disney, Dreams Do Come True

Yesterday the bridal magazine Engaged went to print.
 And both of my articles were in it. 
I am now published, folks. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Feel Like You Should Know...

about this boy that I've been dating.
He's funny. He's freakin' smart. He's a compulsive movie-quoter. He's a great dancer. He longboards. He knows how to dress. He doesn't take himself too seriously. He drives a 40 minute round trip just to bring me soup and orange juice when I'm sick. He wants to be with me even when I'm doing homework and refuse to talk to him so that I can finish. He opens my door every. single. time. He knows the mistakes that I've made, the big ones, and respects me just the same. He takes me places where I can see the stars, places where I can read books that I read growing up, places that look like Nebraska; he takes me places that remind me of home. This boy is helping me check items off of my bucket list. He's the first to say, "Let's read scriptures whenever we're together." In two months, he already knows me better than almost anyone. Because he listens. And he pays attention. To every detail. He knows all of my different laughs and smiles and exactly what they mean. He notices things about me that I never even noticed about myself. He makes me feel intelligent. He makes me feel more confident than I ever have. He lets me be biased in thinking that I am from the best place in the world, that I have the best family, that I actually can be the best at something. Because everything isn't a competition. He is happy to just support me. He is so good to me, better than I ever thought I deserved. Probably better than I do deserve. He is patient with me. And even though I have told him that I don't love him, (because I don't believe that you can really love someone in that short period of time),this crazy boy still thinks that he wants to marry me. And when I tell him that I want to continue to date other people because, well, I just don't know what I want, he understands. He knows all about Seth, and he respects me for wanting to see him again before I make any decisions. And despite it all, he is willing to take that chance on me.
The truth is, I don't know what's going to happen. The truth is, I'm afraid of letting myself get too attached. The truth is, I'm leaving in a few months so if we're playing it safe, we've already become too close. The truth is, even though nothing may come of this relationship (or whatever you'd like to call it), I'm glad I have dated this boy. I know now how I want to be treated.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Am Alive.

Sorry I've dropped off the face of the earth...I suppose that I've been too busy living life to stop and write about it. And by living life I mean going to bed way too late and waking up way too early. Oh the joys of being young. Too busy living. That's a pretty good problem to have if you ask me.
I'll give you a small update on how life has been: crazy.
I have deadlines almost every night and so I stress and stress to meet those...and by that point it's somewhere between 10:59pm and midnight. But then I usually end up hanging out with friends anyway for a couple more hours. And then I wake up at 7 and watch the girls and do it all over again day after day. That has been my life as of late. Some days I feel a little exhausted, but I'm keeping up pretty well. And it's worth it. I didn't just come to work and take online classes, I came here for the experience. So I'm going to get it.
Some of those deadlines, though, I don't mind. At all. I mentioned earlier that I had an internship writing for a bridal magazine, yes? Well after turning in my first piece, the editor said that she loved it so much she wanted me to write another article for her spring issue as well as the summer issue. So I hustled my butt off and wrote a second article. And now two of my pieces are going to be published within the next month. Am I ecstatic? Why yes. Yes I am. My foot is in the door. Thank you, Heavenly Father. Thank you.
Something else. I have this amazing friend here. He became my best friend right away and he already knows me better than most people I've known my entire life. Because he pays attention. I mention once that I'd like to do something, and he makes it happen; next month we're going skydiving. Just because I've always wanted to. Amazing? Um. Yeah.
So that's my life right now. It's pretty crazy, but it's pretty great. I am so glad I came. Because, even though I'm running on little sleep, rushing to meet deadlines and keep my grades up as well as keeping up with a baby and a two-year-old, I am happy. And I am very much alive.

Monday, February 6, 2012

"That awkward moment when a Samoan pees on your foot."

Dance parties in the car.
Mentos gum.
Midnight swimming.
The ocean.
Man from the capitol.
Beach front hotel.
Sushi rolls.
(food poisoning)
Salt water.
Volkswagen buses.
Street art.
Sand castles.
Hidden bakery.
San Diego temple.
Late night talks.
Sunset on the beach.
Walks on the pier.
Sand in the hair.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shut it, pizza. I'm doin' this for me.

Something you should know about me? I love food. A lot. I also love to work out.Sometimes, though, finding the time and energy and actually getting started is the hardest part. Hence the last 6 months.
I have never had to make myself work out. Ever. All the way through high school I was in sports every month of the year: volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, softball, and track. I had a reason to work. (Besides just looking good of course. Psh. Who wants that?)
It's not as if I haven't worked out at all, no I've done yoga and I've gone running and I've done sit ups; I'm way too conscious of the way my body feels if I don't. If I don't work out, the next day I just feel sick. Same thing if I eat greasy food. Their taste may be heavenly but the consequences aren't worth it. It's like my body is telling me that it hates me for being so dang lazy and stupid the day before. I have had that feeling way too often since this school year started. I haven't done enough. I haven't been consistent.
 The truth of the matter is, I'm not afraid of others thinking I eat too much. Not at all, I can eat some pretty massive portions and I'm not ashamed to win an eating contest. I'm way too competitive for something like that. The problem is, I'm afraid of people thinking that I'm trying too hard. I hate being around the people who are tall and can eat whatever and stay super thin because, honestly, I can't. I'm 5'4". I've got big boobs and an even bigger butt. Yes. I've got curves. And I'm not ashamed of those either. But,odd as it may sound, I want others to think that I am the type who can eat whatever and stay thin. For some reason I want people to believe that looking good is effortless for me. Well guess what? It's not. I need to work out. Luckily, I like working out.
What I can't stand, though, is when I actually try to eat healthier and squeeze time in to exercise and people tell me, "Girl, you don't need to do that! Don't be self-conscious. You look great! Here have a slice of pizza! Actually, we know you. Have two or three!" So I eat a slice of pizza. Because I don't want anyone to think that my confidence is lacking. I don't want anyone to think that Sierra is losing her spark and going into a depression over her weight. No, that thought I can't stand. I know their intentions are good and that they are trying to help boost my confidence, which is awesome, but I'm a pretty confident person. I don't always need that. Sometimes I just need someone who says, "Oh you're trying to eat healthier? That's great! I totally respect that!" That's what I really need. Something to tell me that staying motivated isn't crazy, that eating healthy is smart not a lack of confidence to do otherwise.
I have gained 20 pounds in the last three years and I am not okay with it. So far I've lost 4 of those, but that's not very much. I still have 16 more to go. I'm not trying to lose that weight because I think I'm fat, because I don't. I just know that I am definitely not where I should be. I know what it feels like to be in great shape and to feel like I can do anything and run forever...and I miss that. So if you really want me to be happy, next time you see me trying to eat healthier, next time I say "no thank you," listen to me. I am happy eating healthy. Leave me be. I'm doing this for me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

This Weekend.

Urban Outfitters (and their ridiculous prices).
Logo designing.
P.F. Changs.
Girls wearing way too little.
Tempe Town Lake.
Tribal bracelets. 
Mustache band-aids. 
Hot showers. 
Yard House.
"Marry solely based on levels of attractiveness."
Golf course star gazing.
Failed paint fights.
RV shows.
Photo booths.
Chinese handcuffs.
Windows down.
Radio up.
Singing under the stars.
Long-winded speakers.
Nerf gun wars.
Skype sessions.
Angry security guards.
Procrastinated homework. 

I stole this style of posting from the lovely Brissa. Because I like it that much.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hot Air Balloons&Such

So a couple of weekend ago I went to Glendale Glitters with the family I'm living with. Basically there were a ton of hot air balloons lit up and just floating around. It was actually really cool and I loved just being able to walk around and look at them and take pictures. It was magical. Also, I thought it was kinda neat how you weren't able to see the moon at all that night since it was so cloudy but, with a super slow shutter speed and no flash, I was able to pick up its light in some of the pictures.

(Am I the only one that thinks this balloon totally should have been on Tangled?)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Future Husband,

If by some slim chance you are reading this...
Can you please do something similar to this at our wedding reception?
I promise that I will love you even more. 
Thanks, babe.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fresh New Face

So I've changed a few things on my blog recently. In case you didn't notice. 
Honest opinions, love it or hate it? Better than the last or no? Do you have any suggestions as to how I can improve my blog? If so, I'd love to hear them! 

In other news, I went hiking this weekend. It was pretty rad. 
(Yes I just used the word "rad.") 
How were your weekends?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Warning: This is a bit of a vent post

The other day Sequoia called me and said "Sierra, when are you coming home? I miss you." "Not until May, honey. I'll be back for Sapphire's graduation." "What?? May?? But.....Why?" And then she started bawling. "I miss you so much already!  Can't you come home now?" Apparently she didn't realize that I was actually moving here. I thought she had...I almost cried too because I felt so bad. But I didn't, that's the point. 
Tonight I did though. And I didn't even have a good reason I just have so stinkin much on my plate I feel like I'm gonna buckle. I absolutely love these little girls. I'm still glad I took the job. But...gosh. Nannying 12 hours a day and then being a full time student in the evening and trying to keep some sort of social life is a lot to juggle. I spent 8 hours on my biotechnology assignment alone the other day. And today I took the girls to the children's museum...and Isalyn was having so much fun she didn't come tell me that she had to go potty, and she peed in one of the tunnels. I felt so bad I apologized to the workers over and over but they were really understanding and nice about it. (Thank goodness for kind people. I love them.) And then when I tried to take her potty a couple of hours later, after we were home, she bawled for like an hour for absolutely no reason. And dad was admitted into the hospital last night. And yesterday I took Isalyn to preschool and forgot to grab her a jacket until we got all the way there and then I felt like the worst nanny ever. And I had a quiz due last night and a discussion due today, neither of which I could do because my dang textbooks still haven't got here. And it's just...gosh. It's just been one of those days. And none of that stuff is even that big of a deal I guess I just feel like so much is depending on me right now. 
But, despite all of the frustration and stress, I'm grateful to be here. I love the girls. And they love me too. Isalyn always wants to be with me and yesterday Misty told me, "She adores you. You know that right?" She calls me mom a lot, and I have to correct her because I don't think Misty would appreciate that little habit if she found out.
Yesterday Isalyn cried when I had to take her to preschool so it was a bit of a struggle to get her ready since she put up a fight. So, we were running a few minutes late. We're usually early and I always check to make sure I have enough gas. Well yesterday morning I was in such a rush getting the girls out the door and trying to get Isalyn there in time, there's only a 15 minute window where you can drop them off. And it's kinda a long drive to the preschool so I couldn't just bring her home no big deal if I missed the window. Anyway, we get all the way to the freeway and I look down and notice I have no gas. And there's nowhere I can stop to get it on the way and we still have like 20 minutes to go and then we hit crazy traffic. Like the stop and go kind that is terrible on gas mileage. So then I started to panic a little because you don't want to run out of gas in that sorta traffic on the freeway in Phoenix. So, I prayed. Really hard that we'd be able to make it. And somehow, the needle didn't move one bit the whole way. We made it all the way there and in plenty of time at that, which was a miracle in itself. And then Amaya and I made it over to a gas station and everything was fine. It's the little miracles that remind me that He's always there. 
Well, that's all. I feel better about life now. 

In Case You Missed Them...Oh. And an Internship

So there you have it folks! The poems I wrote about each of my family members. Hope you liked reading them! If you missed any of 'em, I have compiled a little list for you to go back and read them all easily. 
You're welcome.
(I fit in right here, but obviously I didn't write myself a poem. That'd be dumb.)
(Aren't my parents just the best for giving their kids names like Sapphire and Steele? Seriously. If I was a boy, I would want to be named Steele. How B.A. and by that I mean bad attitude.)
L to R: Sapphire, Me, Dad, Mom, Steele, and in front there's Sequoia and Shylo
Forgive me for the poor quality of the's a phone picture but the most recent one that we have together.

Anyway, for some more exciting news on my life...I just got an internship writing for a bridal magazine! I'm actually interviewing people and having my articles published and everything! How blessed am I?! Most people have to start making copies and getting the coffee or whatever but I get to jump straight to the writing. Dreams do come true. Thank you thank you thank you, Heavenly Father! I'm gonna be a real live journalist after all! (Which is good because I hear being one of the dead ones isn't that great.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Evolving Wealth

I found a treasure in an old shoebox today
Worn edges and faded color,
The snapshot was like gold in my hands
Taking me back and making me rich…

Pink satin heels
Five sizes too big
Cover my tiny feet
As we dance across the hardwood floor

They make no sound
For daddy lets me stand on his boots
Spinning us both in rhythm
To the silence of our kitchen

His calloused hands hold mine
He smells of concrete and dirt
And his sun-beaten face smiles down at me

Mom comes down the stairs to find
I’m borrowing her shoes
And her dance partner
But she doesn’t mind

She smiles as she grabs the old Kodak
And the flash captures this moment in time

Life is simple when you’re five
How was I to know how long his day had been
Or how exhausted he already was
As he picked me up
And gave me butterfly kisses?

Those heels silently taught me
That dad would always let me stand on his boots
Carrying me when I didn’t know the steps
And guiding me when I clumsily got off beat
It’s now that I see,
I found a treasure hiding in mom’s closet that day

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday the 13th

As you know, today was Friday the 13th. Well, technically it was yesterday but we're gonna continue calling it today anyhow. In honor of this occasion a large group of us from the singles ward decided to watch a scary movie. It was a terrible terrible idea. I actually don't like scary movies all that much. I like them while they're on with a group but as soon as it's over and I'm alone, they leave me with a very eery feeling and I am not a fan. Now it's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep. So here I lay, a temporary insomniac, who is thoroughly creeped out and giving a warning unto all...don't watch a scary movie when you have to go home alone that night. It's not a good plan. I will now try to trick myself with happy thoughts. Goodnight, all.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Hand in hand

She glances over at me
And her eyes smile
Tires swallow asphalt
As we sing our hearts out
Like old friends
And we are

I’m four years old
Crying at the door
When she has to leave
Donning her shirt
I lay in her bed
Closing my eyes
And breathing in
Her scent
While I wait for
Her return

I’m ten and
I can’t seem to
Stay awake
To finish my paper on
The Boston Tea Party
In the morning
The last few sentences
Are in place
But they aren’t my words

I’m a whole seventeen
And my heart was
Just broken for the first time
She strokes my ratted hair
The curly mess
Which we share
Without so much as
“I told you so”

I’m twenty and
Living in my own apartment
She comes to visit and
We both can see
How much I have grown
As we share stories
Late into the night
We are now equals
She respects my
Opinions and advice
As I do hers

The only friend
I’ve always had
She’s helped me transition
From Barbies
To books
To boyfriends
And now
To becoming an adult

No matter how many
Years pass
I will never be too old
Or too busy
To tell her secrets
And take her hand

She has never been too busy
To take mine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


So I clearly couldn't pick one picture. We have a lot pictures together and I love them way too much to not include them in this post! But seriously, look at the one of her by herself. Isn't she just gorgeous?
(Check out her cute self over here!)

Warning: This poem may or may not, but most certainly does, contain many inside jokes.

Gnomes That *Thump*
I have never had my own room.
Except for once.
After a fight.
I moved to the basement
For ten minutes.

I have never had my own room
So when my world seemed to be ending
I had someone to talk to
Someone who hugged me tight
And rubbed my back
Until I fell asleep.

I have never had my own room
So if an interested boy placed a phone call
He had to be prepared for a conversation
With the both of us.

I have never had my own room
So I never got much sleep
Sharing laughter and inside jokes
Of *thumps*
And gnomes in the wall
Until the early morning.

I have never had my own room
And I suppose that accounts
For who I am today.
Because I have had
My best friend
My sister
Beside me the whole way.

I have not always appreciated
The fact that
I have never had my own room.
I do now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Little Brother
When you were younger
You used to say
That you wanted to
Marry me
I thought you strange
But according to mom
That’s what little kids say
When they admire someone

We grew older and
You had no other brother so
I filled the role
Football, basketball, baseball,
And a “Wanna wrestle?”
When I came home

A handwritten letter
I wrote
Still tacked onto your wall
I never realized
Just how much
It meant

Now that you’re in high school
And I’ve moved away
There’s something
You should know:
I respect and admire you too,
More and more
Each passing day

I no longer have to
Dress you and
Teach you how to act
You seem to have
A feel for it
And the girls sure noticed fast

I almost wish
I hadn’t taught you
How to be so cool
For, in my eyes,
No one will ever be
Good enough for
My little brother

I guess “my little brother”
Is not so little anymore
You outgrew me long ago
But I will always,
Be protective of the boy
I love so much

A great athlete
You now dominate in sports
And with a name like “Steele”
Others are intimidated
But I know better

I know
You really wanted
To be named “Trixy”
For the longest time
And I know,
Though mature for your age,
You still manage to
Slip away to
A magical land of

I know
That you have
A heart of gold
I’ve seen you
Play with children
And I’ve watched you become
The greatest brother
I have ever known

I admire you,
“Little brother,”
And all the potential
 That you have
I look up to you,
“Little brother,”
Quite literally now

I wouldn’t change you,
“Little brother,”
Not one little thing
And I cannot
Wait to see
The man you’re
Meant to be