Sunday, February 22, 2009

Life's a Circus

Alright, yesterday was our third lesson of cake decorating, and what a fantastic time we had! This time we learned a whole bunch of new techniques, like the shell border, figure piping, star flowers, twist flowers, and of course, clowns! At first I thought the clowns were a bit creepy, but they're starting to grow on me--plus, they are mighty tasty, so that's always a plus. I personally thought our cake turned out pretty darn cute. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009


Today I wore my True Love rock shirt, complete with gold glitter that shed all over the place all day. It was lovely--I felt like Tinkerbell. I left a sparkly trail wherever I went. Whoever gets to sit at the back computer at work on Monday gets experience some dazzling typing action. Wouldn't it be fun to be a fairy? A pink one of course--pink and black, with skulls, and maybe an electric guitar--gotta rock and roll you know.

Speaking of glitter, if you don't already read Cjane, or if you do, remember this post? It is definitely one of my all time favorites:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feelin' the Love

Well, mom and I made our first cake for class this week. In Lesson 2 we learned how to make stars, dots, and write with frosting. Not gonna lie, I am quite proud of it myself. Isn't it cute?? And tasty too... Yum!

Becoming Submissive

"As one's will is increasingly submissive to the will of God, he can receive inspiration and revelation so much needed to help meet the trials of life. In the trying and very defining Isaac episode, faithful Abraham 'staggered not . . . through unbelief' (Rom. 4:20). Of that episode John Taylor observed that 'nothing but the spirit of revelation could have given him this confidence, and . . . sustained him under these peculiar circumstances' (in Journal of Discourses, 14:361). Will we, too, trust the Lord amid a perplexing trial for which we have no easy explanation? Do we understand—really comprehend—that Jesus knows and understands when we are stressed and perplexed? The complete consecration which effected the Atonement ensured Jesus' perfect empathy; He felt our very pains and afflictions before we did and knows how to succor us (see Alma 7:11–12; 2 Ne. 9:21). Since the Most Innocent suffered the most, our own cries of 'Why?' cannot match His. But we can utter the same submissive word 'nevertheless . . .' (Matt. 26:39)."

--Neal A. Maxwell, "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 23–24

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Remains the Same

Well, it's official: I'm up and moved out of my beautiful apartment at dear old Carriage Cove. Thanks to my chiari and all the lovely unfortunate occurrences that it brings, I must say goodbye. As I was packing up, the radio decided to play to the occasion:

1. "Don't Go Away" by Buck Cherry--Please don't go away, you're making a mistake...
"Gone Forever" by Three Days Grace--I feel so much better now that you're gone forever...
3. "
Gone" by Daughtry---You said you never would be gone, But you are...

Yes, they all played one after another, in order, and the list goes on.... Seriously? As if it wasn't hard enough for me to leave. Was I doing the right thing?

After days of this cruel joke that the radio stations were playing on me, it finally came to Friday: check out day. I turned in my keys--my last tie to my apartment--and slowly drove to my new/old home. As I drove I chanced turning on the radio--maybe it would run out of these terrible songs. Gavin Rossdale was singing: "Everything will change, but love remains the same..."

Life is all about change. Life IS change, change is life--the two can never be separated. But change doesn't have to be a bad thing. Everything will change, it's inevitable. As my mother loves to tell me, and in the immortal words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE. I would add to this great phrase, but I can't; I could never do it justice. As Elder Holland says, "To all such of every generation I call out, "Remember Lot's wife." Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ is the "high priest of good things to come." I pray you will have a wonderful semester, a wonderful year, a wonderful life all filled with faith and hope and charity. Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant, and live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, trust and divine love transform your life today, tomorrow and forever. That is a New Year's resolution I ask you to keep and leave a blessing on you to be able to do, in the name of Him who makes it all possible, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

Remember Lot's wife. The past is past. It was good while it last, but it's time to look to the future. Everything WILL change--but in the end, love will always be there.

Becoming Whole From Within

"The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses. Consequently, he knows how to carry our sorrows and relieve our burdens that we might be healed from within, made whole persons, and receive everlasting joy in his kingdom. May our faith in the Father and the Son help each of us to become whole."

--Merrill J. Bateman, "The Power to Heal from Within," Ensign, May 1995, 14

"In the private sanctuary of one's own conscience lies that spirit, that determination to cast off the old person and to measure up to the stature of true potential. In this spirit, we again issue that heartfelt invitation: Come back. We reach out to you in the pure love of Christ and express our desire to assist you and to welcome you into full fellowship. To those who are wounded in spirit or who are struggling and fearful, we say, Let us lift you and cheer you and calm your fears. Take literally the Lord's invitation, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matthew 11:28, 30)."

--Thomas S. Monson, "Looking Back and Moving Forward," Ensign, May 2008, 90

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just Smile and Let it Come

I'm not happy today, I'll just throw that one out there for you. I'm moving out of my beloved apartment, away from my dear roommates and wonderful ward, and while I know it's the right thing to do, it doesn't make it any easier. The memories cling to me like little monsters, eating away at my soul--I want to stay, and yet I want to go. Ugh.

Why? Will they miss me? Will they know that I'm gone? Will they remember, will they still be my friends; will we still play together like old times, and laugh and live life like we used to? Will my family put up with me?

Stupid brain. Stupid genetics. Stupid being sick. Stupid sensitivity.

But you know, that's what life is--it was never meant to be a fairytale. It's a test--the prize isn't now, that comes at the end if we pass. For now, we just do our best with what we have.

As a good friend recently told me: "Just smile and let it come. :) It's actually very good to know that Heavenly Father can put you through things - trusting that you can make it through on top."

Heavenly Father must really trust me--I'd better not let Him down.

Now that's love. If He can do all that just for me, He must truly love me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cross-Country Skiing

When I was in junior high, the 2002 Olympic games came to Utah. I had the privilege of attending the women's cross-country skiing event. I found it to be cold, blinding, and not entirely exciting, not to mention that America was terrible at the sport. However, I am an adventurous person and I am always up for trying something new, so when I heard that for Humanities Council we were going cross-country skiing for our winter retreat, I was somewhat interested. It still didn't look all too exciting, but everything is worth trying at least once. Turns out, it's a blast! It looks dull and a lot of work for nothing, but there is something about it that is just fantastic! You have to work so much harder, or at least it feels like it, so the adrenaline gets pumping and when the mixes with the cool night air you get a sense of something raw and real--the moon was bright, the snow was sparkling, and I wasn't crashing--it was wonderful. I wish I had pictures to truly show how great it was, but you'll just have to use your imagination for now with the pictures from the lodge; I haven't quite mastered my camera in the dark.

If you haven't ever gone cross-country skiing, I highly encourage you to give it a try! It is only $5 at Aspen Grove in the evenings, and it's definitely worth the experience--can you really put a price on a little adventure here and there?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cake Decorating 101

I'm no Martha Stewart, but I have always found joy in the world of arts and crafts--this time, I have decided to try something I have never tried before: Today I had my first lesson in Wilton Cake Decorating. I am so beyond excited! Each week we will be making our own cakes and practicing different techniques--next week Mom and I plan to make a beautiful Valentine's Day cake--just you wait, it is going to be amazing! I can't wait!

Continuing in the monthly theme of love--it's prominence in my life every day--every time life throws another curve ball at me, God reminds me of His love for me:

The Reality and Love of God

"I rejoice that for the balance of my life I shall be able continually to offer Christ, to offer the good news of Christ in all the world. I bear witness of the reality and love of God, our Heavenly Father, to whom Jesus gave all glory. I love and bear witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Through his personal association with the Lord, his translation and publication of the Book of Mormon, and the sealing of his testimony with his martyr's blood, Joseph has become the preeminent revelator of Jesus Christ in His true character as divine Redeemer. Jesus has had no greater witness nor more devoted friend than Joseph Smith. I declare my testimony of the calling of President Thomas S. Monson as prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ in this time and pledge my loyalty to him and his counselors in their sacred roles."

D. Todd Christofferson, "Born Again," Ensign, May 2008, 78-79

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Lessons from Dogs

Matters of the heart, taught by our canine counterparts, according to Harrison Forbes, professional dog trainer and author of Heart of a Dog: What Challenging Dogs Have Taught Me About Love, Trust and Second Chances:

1. The reassurance of forgiveness

In order to have a successful partnership, letting bygones be bygones is crucial. An inability to get over issues and move ahead is a key roadblock to happiness. Dogs, Forbes notes, are always in the moment and therefore don't hold grudges or hang onto resentment. "Dogs wipe the slate clean many times a day," he explains. "If you are grumpy and yell at your dog, but then wait a minute and act like you never did, he will forgive you — many times over. If humans could let the little things go as easily as dogs do, their relationships would be better for it."

2. The security of unconditional love
Forbes says that as a rule, when a dog loves his owner, that bond is lasting and real. "It's interesting to note that celebrities are over-the-top pet lovers," he says. "This is because their dogs really love them for who they are, not their A-list status; a dog will always treat you the same. Dogs offer truly substantive relationships in a way most people don't," he notes. When it comes to romantic relationships, humans should strive to emulate a dog's focus on what a person really offers in terms of love, kindness and warmth, he advises.

3. The comfort of consistency
In a romantic relationship, consistency can be quite comforting. What's not to love about a partner who is never moody or capricious? "We as humans understand there are different types of behavior, yet we crave consistency," Forbes says. "With dogs, regardless of your animal's personality, you pretty much get the same behavior unless he's ill. A lot of people take comfort in that aspect of pet ownership, so you can only imagine how much similar behavior could add to a romantic relationship."

4. The need to be playful
Forbes notes that most dogs want to have a good time, keeping things light and not so serious all of the time. "The easiest way to burn out a working dog is to work him all the time — that pretty much goes for relationships as well," he says. In police-dog training, Forbes explains, training is balanced with play and fun. "The harder you go at it in a training phase, the more you have to counterbalance it," he says. "It's the same with a relationship — you have to relieve the pressure through play and good times."

5. The importance of effective communication
While communicating with your partner is important in a relationship, it's not merely the act of communicating that will ensure your relationship's success, but finding the way to do so that best matches your partner's needs. This is a skill that you can easily learn from working with dogs, Forbes says. "The different ways in which I communicate with my three dogs are suited to what works best for them … and for me with them," he explains. You have to be willing to experiment and find the best way to communicate with dogs, and the same goes for your romantic interests, he says: "Just as a hot-tempered dog won't respond to yelling and lots of commands, neither will a hot-tempered person. At the same time, some more sensitive types may need a gentler approach. Essentially, no one person or dog communicates the same way — each individual has a unique style, and taking the time to learn about your partner's needs is the key to a strong bond."


Monday, February 2, 2009

A Month of Love!

If you haven't picked up on the theme already, here you go: Welcome to a month of love! While I tend to hate the icky weather, February can be such a lovely time, because we have an entire holiday dedicated to hearts, cupids, pink, and most importantly, LOVE! I'm pretty excited, can you tell? There is just so much love in my life, my heart is bursting with it! Where would we be without love? Love is what makes the world go round, so let's celebrate it! If you have a nice thought, say it! Tell someone that you love them. Fill your heart with love and share it with all you encounter. What can love do? Ha, what can it NOT do? Love can do so much more than it is given credit for--it is a heavenly gift--it is God's love, filled with power beyond that which we could ever imagine:

"When filled with God's love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us."
John H. Groberg, "The Power of God's Love," Ensign, Nov. 2004, 11

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Parents Who Love

“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.”
--Thomas S. Monson, “Abundantly Blessed,” Ensign, May 2008, 112

My parents have always made sure I knew that they loved me. Even as an adult, they continue to tell me every day. When I talk to them on the phone, we never say goodbye without saying "I love you" first. I have never doubted their love for me. I am eternally grateful to them. Life is full of twists and turns, and I have never been able to fully count on anyone--except for my dear parents; they have never wavered, and I know that they never will. Now more than ever, I need help, love and support, and they are with me every step of the way--they put up with me, even on my bad days when I certainly wouldn't put up with myself, yet they love me unconditionally, and aren't afraid to say it and show it. I love them with all of my heart. Mom and Dad, thank you for EVERYTHING!!!! I owe my life to you.