God’s hand

I was talking to Mom a few weeks ago after my first real-life-in person-date with Richard. (We had had a few date nights over skype but this was our first actual date!!) I was just going on and on before it hit me. I had a huge epiphany that I HAD to talk to Brad about! I texted him and told him that I had a crazy realization that I wanted to talk to him about…

Part 1- Remember the trip to Idaho that Brad, Ash, and I took really randomly about two months ago? Yeah, the one where Brad’s car broke down?! So, like I had explained in that post, our original plan was to just stop at my parent’s house for about an hourish. Well, because our transportation quite working, we had to stay overnight. When I was talking to my mom, I realized that I wouldn’t have matched with Richard if we hadn’t had to stay in Pocatello that night! (Okay time line real quick… This adventure took place a few days after Brad had set up my Mutual account and I was kind of obsessed. It’s a pretty fun “game.” Anyway, my little distance setting doesn’t reach up to Pocatello… Okay, carry on.) If the car hadn’t have had called it quits, I wouldn’t have played on Match that night before falling asleep, and I wouldn’t have swiped up on him! And because I had swiped up on him, and was in Idaho Falls the next day, the distance thing reached to Pocatello, he was able to swipe up on me! What?!

Part 2- So, when we were getting ready for the trip, Brad kept saying that he needed to go to Idaho but didn’t know why and that we were supposed to go with him. Shortly after we came back from Idaho, I was pretty sad. Brad noticed and asked if I wanted to go for what I call a “walk-n-talk.” (We do “walk-n-talks” quite often. It’s become a staple in our friendship!) On our walk, I expressed what was going on in my head, he listened and spoke when I was done. He gave me some reassurance about what had been bothering me.  He also admitted something I wasn’t expecting. During our talk that night, he told me that the reason we had to go to Idaho was for me. He had no clue why, but I was supposed to be with him on that trip. While we were in Idaho, he realized that I was the reason he had to go to Idaho. Okay?

Part 3- That next Sunday, I was talking to Gillian, Sariah, and Jen about what I had realized. Brad was standing in our group too, laughing at my explication. After I was done talking, he said, “And what she doesn’t know is that I had been praying to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand a few days before our trip!” The answer to his prayer unfortunately cost him his car, but hey, I got a guy out of it! Brad told me that when Richard and I get married, we owe him a car.

Obviously there are many more things that have happened throughout my life but these three have definitely helped me realize that Heavenly Father loves me. He knows who I am. He knows what I need. He has a plan for me and He knows exactly how to help me achieve that plan. He places people, trials, and blessings in my life to encourage me to become the best Sarah I can be. I know with a surety that I am who I am right now because of My Father. He has helped guide me to this wonderful man that I’m head over heels for.

Heavenly Father is involved with every aspect of my life. I’ve seen it! I’ve felt His love. I’ve experienced his hand in my life so many times. He has been there for me during my transplant journey, my first love/heartbreak, my schooling, my family…everything! I mean, why wouldn’t He be? I’m His daughter. When I think about how much my earthly dad loves me, I get overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. Dad has done so much for me in my life. It’s the same for my Heavenly Father. He loves me just as much, if not more than my dad here.

Mormon 5:23 says, “Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?” If that’s correct, then  Heavenly Father cares about me. He loves me. He wants me to be happy. I know with all that I am that He is very much involved with me meeting and falling in love with Richard.

Richard Jay

Toward the beginning of the September, Brad convinced me to get a Mutual account (basically Tinder for Mormons). He set it up for me and he did a fabulous job, might I add. About two weeks went by and I was getting messages from some really great guys. They all were super sweet and I really liked talking to them…but it was all virtual. I didn’t know who these guys really were.

One afternoon, I got a “Hi Sarah. How are you?” in my inbox on this app. I replied, “Hey Richard! I’m amazing. How are you,” totally thinking not much of it. Well, this guy pretty much immediately messaged back…every time I replied. It was weird but I really liked it. Haha. So we spent a few days constantly talking on this app. Soon, we were friends on social media and using FB Messenger as means of communication. We did that for a couple days before he asked me for my phone number. We texted on our personal numbers that day. Right as I was getting ready for bed that night, I get a text from this guy asking if I’d be okay with a phone call. Obviously, I was an anxious nervous mess. I was so excited. I told him yes and took a deep breath. A few minutes later, his phone call came through and I answered. We were on the phone for THREE HOURS that night…. After about a week of talking on the phone every night, we started doing video chat! (Since then, we’ve talked or video chatted at least every night before bed!!! Plus, obviously, constantly texting each other throughout the day. It’s been crazy!)

As we talked, I found so many similarities between us. I’ll tell you about when we met later in this post but after he met my friends I asked what they thought. My friends say that he’s a creepy clone of me. I asked if that was a good thing. Gillian said, “Well, we love you…and he’s basically you? So of course we like him!! He’s perfect for you!!” Like he’s literally me but a boy. It’s pretty funny.

Throughout our numerous conversations, the topic about what “we” were doing came up. I mean, that’s going to come up eventually. We both expressed that we really liked the other person and even though we were video chatting and seeing our faces it was all virtual. We needed to actually meet and make sure that the feelings we were having were real and not just twitterpation or the anticipation of potential feelings. A few days after that conversation he told me he was going to be in Utah for family stuff and wanted to know what my schedule was. I had class the Friday he was going to be here but I was going to be done after 11. We planned to meet up about noonish. Oh my gosh. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I was just way too excited.

Friday came and I couldn’t concentrate in class. I needed 12 to come faster!!! When it finally came around, he called me. The plan was for him to come get me and then we’d park at the school because I get parking for free! Yay for student perks!! Anyway, I got a call from him. He was lost… He had been right where he needed to be but didn’t think it was the right place so he left. It was pretty funny. I got him back on track and waited. I got a text telling me he was here so I headed downstairs. As I was walking out of the elevator, this tall guy walked in the door. He had a huge grin on his face as he hugged me. Guys, he gives THE best hugs!!

We walked over to City Creek for lunch and window shopping. Oh! The day before our date, he had asked if I would be okay if he held my hand. I admitted that I was hoping we would. Hehe. So, as I expected, he took a hold of my hand as we were walking. I don’t think we let go of each other’s hand all day…unless we absolutely had too. We wandered into the Disney store and he surprised me with buying a little Piglet zum-zum. He lives on my bookshelf where I can see him every time I walk into my bedroom. We then walked over to temple square where we walked around and talked. We touched the temple and took pictures too.

We made our way over to the school to meet up with some friends for dinner. One of the things Richard wanted to do is make dinner for me. Well, because he doesn’t live here and I don’t have a kitchen he’s allowed to be in, we asked Ashley if we could come invade hers. Obviously she said yes. In return, we decided to feed her too. Then we thought it would be fun to have more friends so Ben, Ashley, and Brad all tagged along to the store with us. After that adventure, we went over to Ashley’s house! Richard made dinner while I helped…when he let me. We talked and laughed. At one point, Ashley asked if we were “official” yet. Richard and I looked at each other and he grinned. “I’d be okay with that. Sarah, would you like to be my girlfriend?” “Yes!!” There were hugs and giggles. Ben and Brad returned from what they were doing and knew exactly what had happened while they were gone. It was pretty funny. We ate dinner and headed over to the dance that the ward was having. There we danced, laughed, I saved him from accidentally drinking pineapple punch (he’s really super allergic!), and met more friends. After we got bored with the dance, we gathered a bunch of friends and went back over to Ashely’s house for games! There we also met up with Sam, Jacob, and Warren. About 11ish, people started to trickle home. About midnight we said our goodbyes to friends and left. We still had a little bit before he had to leave. So we went back to my home and sat in the commons and talked. We talked about what our favorite parts of the day were and how happy we were.

It was such a wonderful day. The whole day was weird though…but definitely a good weird. It was weird because it wasn’t like I had just “met” him. It felt like I was reuniting with my best friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It wasn’t awkward, ever! Any silence we had had during the day was full of peace and comfort. The whole day while I was with him seemed perfect. Just everything about it seemed natural and normal!

We’ve only “dated” for about two weeks and only “known” each other for twoish months. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that short of a time. It feels soo much longer. Plus we just kind of automatically clicked from the very beginning!? We were talking about that the other night. I don’t think any of it is a coincidence… I’m pretty sure we knew each other before we came to earth. I know Heavenly Father helped me find Richard. The things that have happened in my life have helped me prepare to be the woman that I needed to be in order to deserve this wonderful man. There have been wayyyy too many tender mercies and divine interventions that could make me deny it. He’s special and I’m so glad he’s mine! I just love you, Richard Jay!!

Beach Time

Oh, goodness. I love my friends. On Monday we took a really spur of the moment trip to the Salt Lake. It was kind of an extension of the night before’s adventure actually… Let me start from the beginning.

Sunday night we all went to the girls’ apartment common room to just hang. It was Ashley, Gillian, Brad, Sam, Ben, and Warren. About 9ish, I excused myself from the fun so I could go video chat with Richard (I’ll blog about him later!!). I said goodnight and left. About 4:30 that morning I rolled over and woke up to a few missed calls and a rapid banging on my door. I tried to ignore the knocking but then it got louder. I grumpily got out of bed and answered the door. Gillian and Ashley were standing there laughing. “Can I crash on your couch…?” asked Ashley. “Sure,” I said. “Is everything okay?” After I was assured it was, I invited them in and went back to bed.

A few hours later, I woke up and left to go to school for lunch and homework…with Ashley still zonked out on the couch. After a bit of being by myself, Gillian showed up. I asked her what the heck happened the night before. I guess they all hung out for a while after I left, then Gillian took Brad and Ash home. After they dropped Brad off, the girls just went driving… They drove over to the Salt Lake. While they were there, they had seen a big cross in the distance and got really creeped out so they left. After that, they went over to Brad’s house and hung out with the boys until 4. Eventually they left…which brings us to when they showed up at my house wanting to sleep.

Brad joined us shortly after the story was over. He looked exhausted!!! They both did… The three of us decided to go back, during daylight, and check out the creepy cross and the lake. We called Ashley to let her know that we where heading back to the apartment to come get her. We ran, picked her up, and headed out.  We searched for the cross and could only find a little one by the side of the road. We were a little disappointed but thought it was hilarious.

We walked along the beach down to the water. It smelled like salt! Imagine that!? There were places that the salt had made the sand all crunchy and other places where there were big flat plates of salt. It was pretty cool. We made our way down to the water. I took my shoes off, rolled up my jeans, and jumped in! It wasn’t nearly as cold as I thought it was going to be. Eventually everyone followed suite. Soon we were all skipping rocks, sinking in the sand as the waves rolled in, running around, and giggling. We’re planning on going back soon. It was a fun afternoon that I wish had lasted longer. I am so glad my friends enjoy spontaneous adventures as much as I do.

General Conference

Three weeks!? It’s been that long since I’ve blogged!? Wow… I’m so sorry, but not because that I haven’t blogged but because that means I haven’t had ten minutes to sit! I’ve been so crazy busy with life – total college/adult life! I’m busy with my RA job, school, my church calling, friends, and life in general. That’s a good thing though, right?

I just wanted to take a quick minute (okay maybe like an hour) to write down my adventures, thoughts, inspirations I had during General Conference last week. Twice a year, members of the church (LDS) gather together to listen to the teachings and testimonies of our leaders. It’s probably one of my favorite times of the year. I’m so grateful that it happens twice! General Conference has a very special place in my heart. I walk away from the weekend feeling refreshed, loved, and kind of on a spiritual high!

This was the first conference a bunch of us weren’t going to be with our families so Brad had invited a bunch of people over to his new ghetto house for breakfast and a place to watch General Conference. I wanted to go, so the next morning I jumped on the Trax. He had told me that I needed to get on the green line for six stops and he would be there to take me the rest of the way.

Me: On the green line! Hopefully I don’t get lost!!

Him: Just hop off at the stop right before the airport. Make sure it’s heading over the bridge. If it’s going toward the temple, it’s the wrong direction.

M: Well, I’m at the courthouse. Definitely the wrong direction. Getting off and getting on the RIGHT one.

(No reply)

M: DUDE! There are two green lines. Next time specify which direction the line goes! Haha! I’ll be there in like 15 minutes.  

I met him and Jacob at the stop to go to their house. It’s actually super cute. I was impressed. We had breakfast, watched Conference, and laughed. Halfway through the first session, a bunch more friends showed up. After it was over, we met more friends for a picnic lunch. We listened to part of the second session outside on our picnic but we ended up getting rained out so we went back to the boys’ house for the last bit.

After the second session was over, we played games, ate food, and laughed. It was great fun. About 5, we discussed what the girls were going to do while the boys watched the Priesthood session – the options were: go home but come back later, stay there and either watch it too or figure out something to do while they watched it. Some people had to leave so it was me, Gillian, Liahona, Brad, and Jacob left. When six o’clock rolled around, the girls banished the boys to the living room. We had been in the middle of Catan, so we swapped out Brad’s pieces for ours and distributed them evenly. After the game, Gillian, Liahona, and I took a Walmart run. While we were there, we also picked up some supplies for Jacob to make donuts the next day.

When the boys got done, Liahona went home after a some laughs. With those of us who remained, we all piled on the couches and watched a movie. I thought it was funny that we watched Warm Bodies right after a wonderfully spiritual day of watching General Conference. After it was over, Gillian and I went home.

The next morning, Brad came over to our apartment. There were a whole bunch of us gathered in the common room. It was great! Lots of food, friends, and spiritualness. (I know that’s not a word but I just made it one.) When the first session was over, we decided that we wanted to try and get “standby” tickets. Gillian and I were hesitant…but we ended up going. I ran upstairs to change my clothes and we went! Brad and Liahona had met up with some other friends and were way ahead of us in line, Jen and Sariah had gotten tickets so they were already in their seats. Sadly, the other four of us didn’t get in but we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to watch it instead. It was pretty cool! After that, we went back over to Brad’s house for games and the donuts that Jacob had promised. I thought they were yummy but Jacob was mad about they turned out… He’s promised more with his family recipe next time.

I am so grateful for how much my Heavenly Father loves me. I’m so blessed to have the friends I have and how they have become my family away from home. I love them so much. I am also so happy to have the influence of the gospel in my life. I know I’d be so lost without it.

Living alone!!

Today as I was doing my dishes from dinner prep for after class, I thought to myself, “I’m really rocking this living on my own thing!!” I love my cute little apartment!!!

 

 

Of course, I miss having roommates but I also really love being on my won. I don’t have to worry about being super quiet when I’m doing something at three int eh morning. I’m a quiet person…until I have to be quiet. (Just ask previous roommates I’ve had. Haha!) I can watch movies or listen to music without headphones. I can dance awkwardly around the kitchen with no one around to judge me.

I think moving out, going to school, and having roommates that aren’t your family is a big step to becoming an adult. I also thing everyone should take the chance to live alone. It’s helped me appreciate having others around. I have also learned a lot about myself and how I work without someone constantly there.

Cheers to living alone!!

The Spontaneous Trip

My friends and I took a random trip to Idaho this weekend. So many things happened, it would’ve made a really great movie! A story about three co-dependent best friends setting out on a journey, looking forward to the impulsive adventure that lay ahead of them. Little did they know what kind of experience it was going to be…. <— That would be the tagline!

(Discloser: I really slacked in the picture department this go-round. I mean, there are one or two…but not as much as I would like, so this post is just going to be a butt-load of words… Sorry!!!)

Brad, Ashley, and I were hanging out together Thursday night doing homework when we started making plans for the weekend. Brad said that he wouldn’t be able to do anything because he was going to visit family for the day. His plan was to leave sometime Friday night after class and come back Saturday morning. He didn’t want to go alone, so he invited us to come tag along with him. With my new job, it’s a little tricky to take last minute trips. I quickly texted my other RA and both my supervisors. A few hours later, all three had said yes. I was in the clear! Hooray! Thursday night, my friends and I said goodnight with unknown solid plans but for sure going to Idaho the next day.

Friday I had morning classes so I was up, gone, and back from class when Brad started wanting to make plans. Ashley had a class in the early afternoon, so while she was doing that, Brad and I ran some errands. We ran to the bank, the store, and the school. Ashley got done with class and met us for lunch. We all ate and goofed off for a while before we all climbed into Brad’s car to go do things to get ready for our trip to Idaho that night. (Oh! Brad had also checked out his car to make sure she would make it on the trip. That’s important to remember.)

We finally hit the road about 5:30. It was Friday night but traffic wasn’t too shabby surprisingly. So I think I’ve mentioned this before but Brad is from Idaho Falls. We had about a threeish hour drive ahead of us. My parents still live in Pocatello and because Poky is on the way to Idaho Falls, we planned on stopping by for a potty break and hugs. The first two hours were fairly uneventful. Brad drove, we ate snacks, we rocked out to music between conversation, Ashley watched a movie, I was freezing…totally normal trip. As we came up on Plymouth, Carolina (his car) was making a really soft clicking noise. I turned off the music and we listened. It stopped for a second and then switched over to the other side. After a little bit of that, the RPM’s shot way high and that’s when we knew something was wrong. Brad pulled over and popped the hood.  While he was checking stuff out, Brad noticed a little puddle up black stuff but didn’t want to worry. He checked the oil – it was fine. Perfect level. He then checked the transmission fluid – there was NOTHING on the stick!It was getting dark so I climbed out and shined a flashlight on the engine so he could see what he was doing. He called his parents to ask if he was missing something or just doing something wrong. We took pictures of what we were looking at, talked about what happened and where we were.

We got off the phone and decided to push the car further off to the side. I climbed into the driver’s seat so he could push the car. After we were safe again, we noticed that there was a pretty little trail of that shiny black goo that followed the car off the road to where we had just parked. We sent a picture to his parents. His dad called us back, I answered, and trying not to laugh he said, “that’s either the cleanest oil I’ve ever seen OR that is all your transmission fluid on the road.” 

That news was pretty exciting. With that information, and the fact that the stick where you check that fluid was clean, we knew exactly what the problem was… We weren’t going anywhere. It was starting to get cold, so Brad and I climbed back in the car. I called my dad (who was only an hour away) to explain the situation and ask if he could come get us. While I was doing that, Brad explained to Ashley was was going on and what the plan was now. We had stopped at the gas station before we left so we had plenty of fluids to drink, Ashley had claimed a blanket that was Brad’s. and I got to cuddle up into his coat to stay warm. We sat in the dark and cold, analyzing the situation. What was going to happen now, where the car would go, how far away Dad was.. We eventually were able to laugh about everything. I know my laughter was out of exhaustion, Brad’s was most likely out of frustration, and Ashley’s was probably out of confusion.

One hour later, Dad showed up. I gave hugs and made introductions. Mom has met both Brad and Ashley before, Dad had not. Quite the first meeting, huh? Hehe. We all hopped into the Suburban and finished the last leg of the trip. Brad almost imediatly zonked out, Ashley finished her movie, and I chatted with my dad about the classes I’m taking this semester. (Side note: Holy crap! This semester is going to be amazing. I have some really awesome classes that I’m already in love with!!)

Dad pulled up and we went into the house. Because 1. it was so late 2. we didn’t have car 3. we were all really tired, we decided to stay in Pocatello for the night. We’d figure out a way to go up to Idaho Falls in the morning. Mom had set up the bunk bed in my old room a while ago when I had moved out so it was already planned that Ash and I would sleep there. Josh is a sweetheart and gave up his bed for the couch so Brad could have a real bed for the night. We said goodnight to the boys but stayed up talking and laughing for a while longer. None of us were tired at all! I guess it was all the adrenaline with what had happened.

We eventually made our way down to Josh’s room to hang out. It was cold in the room, so Ash had climbed into the covers of the double bed for a bit, just to warm up. I eventually did the same. We laughed about not actually sleeping in “his” room. “Girls…What are you doing?!” “We’ll move!” “We’re just warming it up for you!” About an hour after that, I started getting really giggly and weird. (That’s what happens when I’m really sleepy.) Brad or Ash would say something and I’d die of laughter. That’s when Brad decided to call it a night. He grabbed his stuff from the end of the bed and started heading across the hall. “Wait,” I whisper yelled! “My stuff is in there. Ash and I will move. Get back in here!” “Sarah…you’re half asleep and Ashley is already comfortable and tucked in. I’ll just take this room.” “But that’s a girl room. *laughter* We can move.” “Nah, it’s fine.” “Ugh….okay, let me just get my stuff.” I jumped out of bed, ran passed him to grab my pillow and backpack. “Goodnight girls…” “Goodnight Brad!!!”

After we had said goodnight, Ash and I got really wide awake and hyper again. We started talking and giggling. We talked about lots of things. We ended up finding a book on the bookshelf and decided to read it. It was a big book about fish. There were lots of pictures of the different kinds so I came up with the brilliant idea of figuring out backstories and voices for them. Oh, man! My belly still hurts from laughing so hard. Eventually we both crashed. The next morning, Brad made arrangements for his car, Ashley slept, and I made breakfast. (The night before, the boys had asked if we could have rolled up pancakes and Dad told them yes…if Sarah made them. I wanted rolled up pancakes, and my friends had never had them the way my family eats them so that’s how i got roped into making breakfast on my vacation.) After breakfast, Josh, Nathan, Brad, Ashley, and I went downstairs. The boys and I played Mario Kart for a while. Lots of laughter and teasing were involved. Brad and I wandered upstairs and he taught me how to play a different game. (I’m not a gamer… He thinks it’s hilarious to teach me how to play First Person Shooter games because I scream and freak out.) Anyway, we tag teamed on that for a bit before we asked Dad if he had time to run us to Brad’s house in IF. About 6, we said goodbye to the boys and headed to our original destination.

We pulled up into the Coleman’s driveway and got out of the car. Brad’s dad met us outside when we got there. As the five of us stood there talking, kiddos started to shyly wander over to see their bother. I just need to say, this family is adorable and I love them so much!! Dad left after hugs and handshakes and we all went back into the house for proper introductions. We had come right after a night of making marshmallow catapults at scouts, so the kids showed us how to make them. After our projects were complete we sat on the couch and shot mallows into the kid’s mouths. It was so much fun! There were piggy backs, a soccer game, stories, hugs, giggles, cookie dough, attempt at a movie, gathering in Mom and Dad Coleman’s room for family prayer, saying goodnight to the little ones, and then talking with the adults.

The next morning, I came downstairs and all the boys were conked out in the living room.  The two youngers were sprawled out on the floor, Brad was on one end of the couch with a brother on the other end. I really regret not snapping a picture. I found an empty spot on the floor by a window and started reading. About three paragraphs in, I started hearing little girl voices. When they discovered I was awake, I didn’t get much reading done. We all quietly sat on the window seat, watching and counting the birds outside. Each time a boy would move, we’d all shush each other and then start giggling. One by one, the boys started waking up.

Most of the family was sick and the three visitors (Brad, Ash, and I) didn’t have church clothes, so after a big family discussion, it was decided that we weren’t going to do church. We had family prayer and went to our separate Sunday appropriate activities. Some kids read their scriptures while others took the littles to play legos.

We ate a really yummy lunch together (made by Dad Coleman and some of the kids) around the table with the whole family. We cleaned up and Brad, Ashley, and I took the youngest one outside for a walk around the property. We played with the kittens, said hi to the dog and chickens, went over and petted the horse.

Brad’s dad called him into the house so he ran back inside but Ash and I kept following the baby around…just going where he wanted to go. As we wandered around, a few more kids had joined us on the walk. The girls showed us the garden, we played on the swing set, we heard stories about the animals, and we even ran away from some yellow jackets.

We eventually all went inside. Ashley went upstairs and got to talking to Mom Coleman, while I was in the living room. I was playing with the kids when Brad and Dad Coleman came in. Dad Coleman and I talked about what I was going to school for, what my plans were.. Just general get to know you stuff.

Brad had bought bus tickets the night before so the three of us could get back to Utah for school this morning. We had to start getting ready to leave… You know getting dressed, packed back up, all that fun stuff. At one point, one of Brad’s little sisters grabbed my hand and told me not to leave. I wanted to cry! I told her that I had to but I would definitely be back to visit I guess that was a good answer because she grinned and gave me a hug before running away to play again. I then looked up and said to anyone who was listening, “I probably will come to visit regardless if Brad is with me or not!” That got lots of kiddo giggles.

About 2:00 the final goodbyes came. It was so sad! The whole family was out on the porch waving as the three of us rode away to the bus station. This family had been so welcoming. In the short time I had known them, they felt like I had immediately become part of their happy family. We got on the bus and settled in for a 5ish hour drive. I slept on and off the whole way. We got back home to Utah safe, tired, and full of wonderful memories!

This spontaneous less than 24 hour trip turned into a three day much needed break. Oh, as sad as it is that Brad’s car is out of commission, I wouldn’t trade this weekend for anything! Although….next time Brad invites me to go anywhere, I might have to reconsider. Haha! 😉

 

Labor Day Weekend Adventures

The (real) last fun weekend right before school starts was Labor Day weekend. Back in July, my friends and I had planned a trip to go visit family in Idaho. Brad and I are both from Idaho while Heidi hadn’t really ever been, so, we had a whole weekend planned. It was going to be SO fun. Unfortunately, life happened and things got crazy stressful for my friends. I actually ended up going by myself. It was fun to spend the weekend with my family but I definitely missed my other “family” not being there with me.

I’m a planner. I love having a plan. So, about a week before the “Idaho weekend trip,” I kept bugging Brad to know what the plan was. I felt really bad but I WANTED TO KNOW THE PLAN! Haha. (Heidi had something come up so she had to back out shortly after we had started making plans.) Long story short, he was trying to finalize his new apartment and things weren’t going the way he had expected. He apologetically told me that he wouldn’t be able to make it this weekend. So, at 11:30 Thursday night, I booked a bus ticket home. As excited as I was for the adventures we would’ve had if my friends could come, I was even more excited with the fact that I didn’t have to share my family…or even leave the house if I didn’t want to.

Friday morning, I finished packing and made the short walk over to the bus stop. On the bus, I sat next to a wonderful grandma-aged woman who told me stories of the exotic trips she had gone on with her husband during their marriage before he had died two years ago and showed me pictures of her cute little grand-kids. She asked about my life and gave me so amazing general life advice that I didn’t know I needed to hear until I heard it. It’s pretty cool how Heavenly Father works through others, isn’t it?

Four hours later and a new friend later, I was home! Because Mom was at work and Dad was in Idaho Falls, Grandma and Grandpa had come to pick me up. It was so fun to see them! I chatted with them on the way home. I had a headache so I ended up falling asleep on the couch…and then later went down to my bed. It’s crazy how much I missed that bed. It’s so comfortable.

While I was at home, I got to play Mario Kart with my brothers. They only have three remotes and there were five of us (Nate had a friend over). The way we play is that the first and second place people gets to keep their remote but the looser has to give it to someone that didn’t get to play. It was absolute madness…but then again, that game usually is when I play. I didn’t get to keep my remote for very long. Haha.

Saturday, Mom and Dad took us to go see Cars 3. It’s a cute movie. During the movie, one of the first earthquakes in Soda Springs hit. I thought it was the bass of the movie…or someone shaking their leg really aggressively. After the movie Dad asked if we had felt the earthquake. I got really excited to find out that I wasn’t crazy. Dad also surprised us with ice cream for dinner. So fun.

(Oh my gosh! I have a story to tell you…completely unrelated to what this post is about but it’s still funny. I was walking home from hanging out with “my boys” aka Brad, Ben, Sam, and RJ last week and I dropped my phone. I have a case and a screen protector so I wasn’t too worried. I picked it up and saw the camera had several little cracked in it. Litterally the only place that didn’t have protection was the place that cracked! Like, really?! So now all my pictures are fuzzy and/or have a weird glare on them. At the moment, I wanted to cry. Now it’s hilarious. Okay… Now back to what this post was about: Labor Day Weekend!)

I had texted Arie earlier that morning, using a meme (that is our form of communication, tbh) to let her know I was home for the weekend. She got super pumped I was in town and we made plans to go on a hike later that night. So, after I had gotten home from the movie, we headed out. We drove up to Red Hill up on ISU campus. We started making our way down the path and had a wonderful conversation about everything. Man, I miss this girl so much! About 20 minutes into our “hike” it seemed like we were getting further and further away from where we were supposed to be going. We laughed and continued walking. It was sooo pretty! There were sunflowers everywhere!!! Eventually we came to a dead end. We had totally missed the turn off to go UP the mountain! We decided that it was okay because we had natured, gotten together, and still had fun. We turned around and walked back up the path to the car.

  Sunday, I got to go play in the nursery with Mom. I really miss that calling. I miss my little babies. It was fun to see them again. Most of them remembered me… There was one that took a few minutes to warm up to me and realize who I was. I was honestly a little offended but he made up for it in huge hugs when he left.

After church, Rachel came over for dinner. It was really fun to be there with the WHOLE family. No one was missing. After dinner was cleaned up we played games. I love games, specifically with my family. We played Telestrations and Apples to Apples. There were lots of laughs.

Later that night, I texted Daminica. We made plans to go get breakfast together the next morning. We went to 5th Street and got yummy bagels. It was so fun to catch up with her too. It’s amazing that in the 13(?) years we’ve known each other, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, we always manage to pick up where we left off. I mean, we are constantly texting but it’s different in person.

Monday morning after I got back from breakfast, Dad helped me pack up the car and brought me back to Utah. It was really nice to have that two hours with just him. We had a very good discussion about several things. When I was home and settled again, Brad and Heidi texted me telling me that we needed to do something. They came and got me (with Ben and Sariah in the car too). We went to Heidi’s house for pizza, and then we climbed back into the car to go get ice cream. Heidi bought us all $0.59 cones and herself a McFlurry. We laughed really hard at that.

Even though I LOVED being home with my actual family, there’s something about the family you make when you’re on your own. I have said this before, but my friends have become my family. I have a really unhealthy co-dependency thing with a few of them. And I say this as a total joke but there actually may be some separation anxiety there too. Haha!! Love you group of dorks soooo flippin’ much!

New Job and No Cancer

So many things have happened since last time I wrote…a week and half ago. Haha. Where to start? Mmmmm…. My days have all kind of mixed together. Wish me luck!A few weeks ago, I noticed a sign in the student elevator in the building live in. It said that the PRI office was hiring a new RA. I thought, “huh, that would be fun” and then went along with my day. I was hanging out with my friends that night and someone mentioned that they had seen the housing office was hiring…and “Sarah! You’d be sooo great at that job. You should apply!!” There were several “mms” and “yeahs” in agreement. I told them I’d think about it. A few days later, I was talking to Mom (and Dad a different time) about the possibility of being an RA. I told them that I had been praying about if I should even apply. Being the amazing parents they are, they were both very supportive in my decision, whatever it may be. I went and picked up an application…and continued to pray. I hadn’t gotten a “no” from Heavenly Father, so I filled out the application. When I turned it in, Veronica stopped me before I left the room. “Hey! Can you come in for an interview on Tuesday?” “Yeah, sure!” “Great. Thanks! You saved me from having to call you in about an hour to ask the same question. Haha!”

Tuesday came and the interview went soooo great! I was professional, confident, and really relaxed. One of the questions Judy asked the dreaded question about what my weakness was. My answer was kind of an out of body experience. I didn’t want to say something that everyone says. I sat and thought for a second and opened my mouth. I said that I’m really enthusiastic, probably to a fault. It was crazy!! What was I even saying?! I went on to explain that I put my whole heart and soul into everything. I sometimes will get so focused on something that other aspects of my life get ignored…a little. I gave an example when I was able to use my enthusiasm during a situation and how I was continually learning how to balance my enthusiasm. It was a pretty cool answer. The girls interviewing me were impressed with my all of my other answers too. They were both really excited at the possibility of having me on their team. 

Several days went by and I hadn’t heard anything. I was getting anxious! Sunday rolled around and I ran into Veronica. She asked me if I was busy the next day and then informed me that I had a second interview with her, Judy, and Mr. Workman (the big head hauncho). I was super excited. This interview went wonderfully too! It was about an hour long. The first 15ish minutes, Mr. Workman gave me different situations and asked me how I would handle them. Some were pretty low key while others were big deal issues I might come across. After he had finished his portion, he turned to Judy and Veronica. “I have no worries here. She seems like a wonderful candidate. I would be happy to recommend her for the job.” After we said goodbye, he left. Judy and Veronica asked me some more questions, gave me some more in depth information with what the job would entail, what I would get for being a RA, and some other things like that. The more I talked with them, the more excited I got about maybe getting this job!

Fast forward to the next day. I’m at lunch with my Dad. I had a doctor appointment for following up on something. (No, not dermatology. That comes later. Don’t worry. I’ll touch on this appointment too. Patience.) Anyway, I get a text from Veronica asking if I could com down to her office at noon the next day. Of course, I said yes. I didn’t know why she wanted to meet with me but I was secretly hoping that it was to offer me the job. Haha. I got up the next morning and got ready for my day faster than I had thought it would take. It was a good thing too because as soon as I finished, I got another text from Veronica asking if I could come at 11 instead. That was in about ten minutes but I was ready to be there…early in fact! Yay! As I was finishing brushing my teeth, it dawned on me that Wednesdays at 11 is when the RA’s (both the girl’s RAs and the boy’s RA) with Veronica and Judy. I got even more excited. Did that mean I got the job?!

I went to Veronica’s office and ran into my friend Miguel. It turned out that he had interviewed for Ben’s position. (Ben was moving and wouldn’t be the RA anymore.) We stood there talking for a second before Veronica called us both in her office. We had some small talk before Judy came in with some paperwork. She closed the door and officially offered me and Miguel the RA positions!! Hooray! I got a name tag and master keys. (I actually got the keys today…but it’s fine!) I feel very official and powerful when I have them. After we had signed our contracts, we were invited to sit in and listen/watch the meeting with the current RA’s.

Holy crap!! It’s definitely going to take some time to get the hang of everything… I’m so grateful that I have another RA here to help me. (There’s two RA’s for the girls and one for the boys. I’m really glad that I’m not the RA there!) I’m excited to work with this team and get to know them better!! I had my official training at today’s meeting. There was so much information it was like trying to drink out of a fire hose. (I love that phrase! It makes perfect sense and gives a wonderful visualization!) I can’t think straight. I know it’ll take some times to get everything down but I’m looking forward to this job so much!!

It’s been kind of a surreal experience. During this whole process, I never felt nervous, scared, worried…nothing! I felt peace and confidence. It was weird. Usually when I interview for a job, especially one that I really want, I get nervous and can’t sit still. That wasn’t the case this time. Even though I really wanted this job, I was totally fine at the possibility of not getting it. I know that Heavenly Father was keeping an eye on me and that’s why I’ve been calm during the last couple of weeks.

Speaking of Heavenly Father keeping an eye on me, I had a doctor appointment to follow up some concerning results to a test. (Oh my gosh. Be patient!! It wasn’t the dermatologist appointment!!) At my annual biopsies, I have to collect a stool sample. Gross, I know, but that’s my life! Those results came back with traces of blood in it. Totally not normal! So I had to come do it again. I did… This time, the results had MORE traces in it. What?! I hadn’t talked to my heart team about it yet, but my liver doctor was totally on top of it! …It probably helped that I was in for a clinic visit to her when she showed me the results. Before my transplant, I had some really sketchy veins in my esophagus called Varicose Veins. They were swollen and they were at risk for being rubbed wrong and popping, causing internal bleeding. Because 1. it’d been a while since we checked out those veins and 2. I had blood in my stool, she ordered a endoscopy and colonoscopy. That’s what I was doing at the doctor on the Tuesday that Veronica had texted me. Dad came down and I got to spend the day with him. Things went really well. The prep was just lovely… *insert eye roll* It was obvious that the doctor who would be doing the procedure didn’t know my personality because he he asked me how the prep went. Being me, I said, “Oh it was my favorite thing! I should do that kind of cleaning out more often!!” The nurses laughed but he just looked at me with a blank and very confused stare. I just laughed and told him that it went just fine. We talked a little and then the put me to sleep. Oh my goodness, I wish I could have that kind of help sleeping all the time! Haha.

Recovery went really smoothly too. I was awake and ready to leave within maybe a half an hour after the scope had been in me. Before I could leave, the doctor came in to talk to me and Dad. “So, before you went to sleep, do you remember me asking if you ever get heartburn?” “Yep.” “Do you ever lay down and just hurt?” No…?” “Oh, so you’re one of THOSE people! You have acid reflux…” “Yeah, I’ve had that since before transplant.” “Okay. Sometimes it can be so internal, people don’t feel it. You’re one of those people. You have ulcers all over your esophagus. Take 40mg of omeprizole twice a day, or something like it that works with your other meds. Talk to your transplant team, take what they say…and then come see me again in three months.” “Oh…okay.” “Also, the varicose veins are gone. I didn’t see anything!” I thanked him, we said goodbye, and Dad took me to lunch! It was a pretty good day.

Okay… Finally. The moment you’ve been waiting for!! It’s time. I’ll now tell the tale of visiting my dermatologist. My appointment was Monday afternoon, so we came down Sunday night. (Oh yeah, I was in Idaho for the weekend. That was fun.) Shannon and Jesse have a baby!!! She is the cutest!! She’s perfect and so tiny! Mom says that she’s the same size I was when I was born.

She wears premie diapers. They are literally the size of my hand!! I changed her diaper and started crying… It was great! So, the reason I told you that they have a baby is because that’s part of the reason we came back to Utah Sunday night. They live in Provo so it was easy to go say hi and give loves for a bit. After the visit, we went back to my apartment and slept.

The next day, we got up and ready for our day. Rachel wanted to come to this appointment too but had plans Sunday night, so she was going to drive down in the morning. Oh, it was so fun to have Mom AND Rach here for this appointment. We decided that we needed to go to lunch before the doctor.

Rachel needed somewhere to park her car…because she didn’t want to drive alone everywhere and that doesn’t really make sense so I texted Ben. He was the RA at the Lodge and I’m great friends with him so I figured that he’d let Rach park there for the day.

Our conversation went like this:

Me: Heyy! So…my sister is coming down for the day and I was wondering if it would be okay if she could park at the lodge while she’s here? (That way she wouldn’t have to pay for parking… Haha). If it helps sway your answer, I’d be glad to bribe you with cookies.

Him: Sound good.

So with that taken care of, we decided to meet her at the lodge and just all ride in Mom’s car. While we were waiting for her to get here, I got to talk to Brad on the phone about my doctor appointment, the day’s plans, and I invited him to come to lunch with us. He wasn’t sure he would be able to make it but wanted to meet up with us before we left so he could meet Mom and Rachel, and give me a hug. We made plans and hung up. We invited Charlotte to come to lunch too! She got shoes on and we all got into the car. We got there and Brad was there…in his car “sleeping.” I got out and ran over to bang on his window. He got out, gave hugs, and I made introductions between him and Mom. We all waited for a little bit longer for Rachel…and she called Mom completely lost. She got there eventually, and I ran over and we almost tipped over because we hugged each other so hard. She hugged Mom, I made introductions again. I convinced Brad to come to lunch and we all climbed into Mom’s car and drove to Zupas!! It’s probably one of my favorite places. We ate lunch, talked, laughed, and had a great time. After lunch, we dropped Charlotte and Brad off and went to my appointment. (I’m such a slacker… I don’t have a picture of us at lunch. I’m sorry!!!)

I hadn’t been very worried about this appointment…until now. I hadn’t given myself a chance to really think about what was going on regarding my face. When I had initially gone to see him, he gave me some ointment to make the sores go away…but took a biopsy of one of the spots, too, just in case. The sores went away so I almost kind of forgot that I had cancer. It’s weird. Anyway, I hadn’t processed the diagnosis or something so on the way to the appointment, it really hit me what was happening. I’m so grateful that my mom and sister where there.

I got called back and the three of us filed into the room. I was there for an ED&C. It’s a super simple procedure that took like ten minutes! They numbed the area and electrically burned the spot. Crazy easy. The site itches because it’s healing but it hasn’t really actually hurt so that’s nice. I mean, it did when the Novocain started wearing off but that’s about all. 

Sorry, before the procedure happened, the doctor said that the carcinoma was only in one spot! What?! So, all the other sores on my face was actually impetigo like he thought!!  Children…and people with weak immune systems can have a reaction that is a mix of staff and strep on their skin, called impetigo. It’s temporary and shouldn’t come back again. I don’t do anything easy…or just once, so we’ll keep an eye on that. Because it went away with the stuff that he gave me, the only spot with carcinoma was the spot that he had biopsied. It was one of the newest spots…and it looked slightly different enough from everything else. That’s why he chose that spot to test. What a tender mercy!!

Now I am happy to say that I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR! Yeah…that feels wrong. I mean I did have cancer but only a little bit. I feel like I should just stick to saying “cancer free.” I still feel cool but not “HA HA LOOK AT ME!” So, after we were done with that appointment, Mom dropped Rachel and I off at my apartment. We said goodbye to her and she left back home. I got to hang out with Rachel for a little longer. We had a wonderful conversation. I have sure missed her!! She eventually had to leave… Brad and I were wanting to go celebrate but he was busy for the rest of the night so we made plans for the next day to go get celebratory ice cream.

I got a text from Ben when he got off work that night:

Ben: Just got off work. Where’s my cookies?

Me: Oh you wanted them tonight?! Well..I might have to come over and use your kitchen…or you’ll just have to be patient until I move and have mine. 

Ben: Haha, you don’t need to make me cookies but…I couldn’t say no if you do.

Me: Hahaha! I mean, I’m probably going to make cookies eventually anyway… I might as well make some to share too. 

 

The next morning, Brad (and Sam and RJ) came to pick me up and we went to get celebratory frosties! We passed KFC on our way so after frosties, we circled back around for chicken.

On the way, Sam asked me what kind of cake I liked. Obviously I said chocolate. It’s usually the best bet to get chocolate anything if you’re getting something for me. Haha! So we order our lunch and sit down. Sam gets called up for his order and he comes back with two cakes. One for RJ’s birthday and one for me for being cancer free! It’s been a really fun and yummy treat to have around.

Once again, I remembered how lucky I am for such amazing friends. They are so supportive and loving. I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them!

 

 

 

Today, after I said goodbye to my friends for the night, I didn’t want to go home. I wandered over to Temple Square. I’m so grateful that I live so close to that beautiful place. I slowly made my way to the reflection pool. Along the way, I people watched. There are so many different kinds of people on this earth, but we are all children of God. He loves us all so much! I found a comfy spot on the side kind of out of the way of everything. I just sat and stared at the temple. After a few minutes, I pulled my scriptures up on my phone. (Technology is amazing!!) I didn’t read anything in particular but it was fun to be looking at the temple while I was reading the word of God. After reading for a while, I said a little prayer and zoned out looking at the temple again. Usually when I “zone out” I’m in really deep thought. I pondered over everything that has happened this last year…or even just four months. I don’t even recognize myself sometimes! I’ve grown so much. I’ve built a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’ve become more confident in life. I’ve become stronger. I’ve become more outgoing and friendlier. I’ve become a different Sarah. Of course, it’s the good kind of different but definitely not who I used to be. I have been so blessed! Heavenly Father loves me!!! As I was thinking, it started raining. Not a light sprinkle, it pored! It was soooo pretty! It was almost like Heavenly Father wanted to tell me, “Hey Sarah. Life is pretty great. Don’t give up. I’m so proud of you. Don’t forget that I love you so much!” With tears in my eyes and sloshy shoes, I made my way home. Little reminders of my Father’s love for me like that make me feel so special.

It may not feel like it sometimes, but Heavenly Father loves you too! You are His beloved child. He wants the very best for you. Don’t be afraid to turn to Him. He’s there waiting with wide open arms, waiting for you!

Story time, guys!

Hi everyone! Life has been absolute craziness lately. I finished the semester with strong grades, great friends, and a very tired brain. School is hard but sooo worth it! I’ve already signed up for my next semester classes. I’m pretty excited for my classes. I’m finally done with all the basics so now I only have design classes! Hooray and bring on the stress!
I’ve also been really busy with my friends. We’re always doing something together! It’s been fun. I love them all so much. I’ve posted several of our adventures on my Instagram but I figured I should do a baby (okay…maybe not so baby) photo dump here. I know…photo dumps are your favoritest thing ever! Haha! As always, I’ll post pictures, the caption, and maybe a little background on what’s going on in the picture. Ready? Let’s go!!
JULY 23, 2017
Oh the joys of living in Downtown Salt Lake….
Heidi was driving us home this morning at 1ish but we had to drop off Eli. We pulled into the parking lot at the lodge (boys student housing) and saw a dead body. Ashley started freaking, Heidi and I both lost it to laughter, and Eli said to drop him off on the other end of the complex. We called Ben to take care of it…and Heidi turned the van around so we could take pictures of this event.Ben peaked out of his room and calmly took care of the situation. Then he walked over to the van and climbed in. We are still chatting away… Now it’s almost 2 in the morning.
Thanks. Mr. Hobo for the extra bonding time with friends. 😘❤

Edit: It wasn’t an actual dead body. He was just sleepy… Apparently the sidewalk at the lodge is a comfy place.
JULY 27, 2017

Last night I unintentionally crashed on Heidi’s couch…literally. I woke up about 2ish this morning, sat up, and started laughing. I really wanted Taco Bell!!! I looked around, still really groggy and noticed the lights were off. Heidi was in her bed and Ashley was asleep on the other side of the couch – both dead to the world. I layed back down on my “spot” of the couch and went back to sleep.

Flash toward to later today. “Guys, I want Taco Bell. I dreamed about it and now I have to go eat it.” We went to Walmart to replace our Oreos and Lemonade we ate a few days ago. (Brad bought them last weekend but we ate them and I promised I’d buy new ones.) So, after that adventure we went to Taco Bell! My dreams have been satisfied and my tummy is mad. Hooray for good friends!

 

AUGUST 29, 2017

“All you need is someone who joins in on your weirdness.” – Unknown. Adventures, shenanigans, and laughter never ends with these girls!

Sometime yesterday, Ashley dumped some laundry soap into the laundry basket. Heidi asked how we’re going to get it out. “We’re going to sift it through the holes in the side!” says Ash. So, there we were, sifting it back into the box! Dispite the mess on the floor, I’m honestly suprized how well it worked!

A few hours later, Ashley somehow manages to lock the bathroom door….from the outside! I really have to pee, so I’m in the corner doing a dance and laughing hysterically. Heidi grabs her cute little tool kit and takes the latching thing off of the door. “Meh, I’ll put it back together tomorrow.” Now we have a rule that if the door is shut, we cant go in because that means someone is in there. Haha!!

These girls mean the world to me! I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them. They make me laugh, forget my sorrows, and make me feel loved! Sure love you Hyds and Ash!

AUGUST 29, 2017 
Oh what a marvelous day. Brad’s home!!! He’s done with EFY for the summer. Man, I’ve missed him! Heidi and I surprised him at his apartment with “welcome home” signs – like a missionary. I couldn’t tell if he was embarrassed or flattered…. Maybe a bit of both.
Heidi and Angela have birthdays about a weekish apart so Brad and I planned a fun party for them. I made the cakes last night so when Brad got home, they’d be cool enough to frost. We worked on that, Angela made pizzas, and the other boys worked on decorations.Once again, I managed to swim in my street clothes. I had brought my swimming suit and had already been done with the water for the night. Obviously I was wrong because about 10 minutes before it closed, Brad (who had claimed to be done swimming too), Heidi, and I all jumped in. It was cold and I didn’t want to face the air outside of the pool. Totally worth it though.
There were lots of laughs, meaningful talks, friendships strengthened, and memories made. I say this a lot, but I am so grateful for my friends. If be so lost without them!!

JULY 30, 2017
This one is pretty easy to explain. We came home from church and all kind of just piled onto Heidi’s couch doing our own things. Super simple but so memorable.
I just love the fact that Heidi is under everything and just cheesing it up while Ben, Brad, and I are totally ignoring the world. Haha.
AUGUST 3, 2017

Tonight’s adventures gave me lots of fun memories!
Brad got me an EFY shirt and we accidentally twinned today, so that was fun. Then I helped him sign up for classes and job search. He asked me to help him with his resume and cover letter tomorrow! (Well, technically, I volunteered myself…) I feel super smart, guys!!

Eli came to join us and we watched a move. As usual, I fell asleep. I woke up and we all started talking. It was past curfew for me to be at the boys apartment, so we headed back to my house to take me home. We got there and realized that we didn’t want to call it yet so we waited for Ashley to come downstairs so we could go wash Brad’s car…at 1 in the morning.
After we did that, the four of us (Brad, me, Ashley, and Eli) dropped off the car and walked to temple square. We sat down and talked about life. It’s. So nice to be able to have deep, spiritual conversations with my friends in a regular basis. Ben and Jacob met us over at the reflecting pool after a little bit.

We stood there all talking about different things for a while longer before someone mentioned being hungry. That comment set everyone off. We didn’t realize how hungry we all were. We walked back to the lodge. After a long, indecisive discussion we all piled into Jacob’s car and headed to Denny’s!!! Milkshakes, smoothies, burgers, and nachos… Yummy!!

Now it’s 5. I’m in bed, slowly crashing from my nap and sugar high. I’m so glad I have friends that love me!!

AUGUST 4, 2017
We often all go on errands together. We call it “going on an adventure.” It makes things sound a lot cooler than they really are. Haha. This picture was taken at Walmart. Right when you walk in, there’s this little kiddie ride. We walked past it and Ben yelled that we needed a picture. Brad climbed in and I took some really silly pictures. This one was everyone’s favorite.
AUGUST 5, 2017
We planned to go hike Ensign Peak probably right after I had met these friends…so since the end of June. Brad was always busy with EFY so it had to wait until after the summer was over. Only three of us showed up, but it was super fun! I got to know Tyler a little better, hang out with the boys, enjoy the sunshine, and hang out with my friends. It was my first time EVER to make it all the way to the top!! I’ve gone and tried so many times. I usually make it about half way before I have to call it quits. Hooray for healthy hearts and great friends!!

 

 

 

AUGUST 8, 2017

This has been my view today. I love being with these boys…even if that means I’m stuck doing homework while they’re playing games. I have decided that I’d rather be with them doing nothing instead of doing something fun all alone.

(Explanation time! These boys are wonderful. I love them so much. Brad had called me and invited me to come over and hang out with him and Ben. I really didn’t have time. I explained to him how much homework I to do – projects, papers, assignments… You know, normal things that stress me out because the semester was ending. He laughed and told me to take a deep breath. I obeyed, not really feeling any better. He told me that I should gather all of everything I needed to get it all done and come over. I spent the day…and the next day stressing about everything with friends. It was really nice to have them there to talk me down when I started getting too overwhelmed.)

 

AUGUST 12, 2017

Meet Tina the alpaca. She is Ben’s new best friend. Last night, he commandeered my phone and downloaded the most random game. It’s basically Pokemon but with alpacas!! It’s the dumbest thing ever. 

Today we all had breakfast before adult responsibilities had to get done. I turn around and there’s Ben just sitting there playing this game!! “Ben…why don’t you just download it on your phone?” “It’s on your phone so I’m not on it all the time. It’ll only be when you’re around!” Thanks friend…

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 15, 2017

It’s so great that I have a picture with all three of us… I love all my friends so much but there’s something different with my friendship with Ashley and my friendship with Brad. There’s almost a codependency thing happening with these guys.

I was talking to Ashley the other day about it. Like, with our friendship we physically can’t go a whole day without at least talking to each other!! She was gone last weekend and we were literally texting each other THE WHOLE 36 hours she was gone. It’s like we can’t even function without the other person around. As for Brad… He’s become my “adventure” buddy. When I’m with him, everything turns into something fun, no matter how boring the job is. He comes with me for blood draws, I go with him for chiropractor appointments, we go grocery shopping, watch movies, play games, do homework, get slushies, go to the bookstore, or just sit there doing nothing. We are ALWAYS together and it’s ALWAYS an adventure!

It’s crazy how attached to these people I am. Yeah, I have other friends I enjoy spending my time with but if Ashley or Brad or BOTH aren’t around, I feel lost. That’s not very healthy, is it?

Anyway, look at the dates on the screenshot of these texts. These are the “hey, here’s my number” text you always feel obligated to send when you meet new people. I’m surprised that I haven’t had to delete them given how much I text Brad and Ashley!! Guess I have more storage on my phone than I thought. Haha.

The people in these pictures are my favorite people in the world!! They have become my family. I really don’t know what I’d without their love, support, and influences in my life. I have been truly blessed. ❤ 

 

Peace and Obedience

I love that I have the opportunity each week to take the sacrament and receive those blessings. I love the Gospel. I love knowing who I am. I love Fast Sundays. I feel so close to the Lord while I’m fasting. There are wards that when the bishop turns the time over for testimonies, you might have people get up to speak but then have fifteen minutes of dead air between each one. In my ward, it’s not a concern as to if there’ll be people who will get up. No, it’s a matter of how long past the cut off time do we go? Will we have to cut anyone off? It’s so great! I know I’ve said this many times before and I’ll never stop saying it but I LOVE MY WARD!!

Today I was again witness to God’s love among His children. As soon as Bishop Morgan turned the time over to us, there was maybe ten seconds (which is a long time in my ward) before people stood up and walked to the pulpit. I listened to friends poor out their love for Heavenly Father, faith, following the spirit, patience, etc. Halfway though a testimony, I was prompted to go up. I didn’t know what I was going to talk about but I walked up there. I patiently waited my turn and tried really hard not to cry during other personal stories of strength.

After a little while, it was my turn. I stood up, took a deep breath, and just let the words flow. It’s incredible what you can teach when you’re relying on the Holy Ghost. I said something like this, “Trials can be tough. It’s okay though. I had something really hard recently popped up in my life. It hasn’t affected me the way I thought it should. Emotionally, I’m doing pretty good. I was talking to my mom the other day about what was happening. She had asked me how I was dealing. I kind of laughed and said, ‘You know, I think there’s something wrong with me. I should be having a mental breakdown. I should be loosing it. Any normal person would loose it but I’m fine! What’s wrong with me?’ She was quite for a moment before responding in a way only a mother could respond, ‘Sarah, there’s nothing wrong with you. Think about it. What are you doing?’ ‘Well, I’m going to school, studying hard, being with fri…’ ‘That’s not what I mean. What are you doing, spiritually?’ Obviously I gave the normal seminary answers like saying my prayers, taking the sacraments, going to church, reading/studying my scriptures and patriarchal blessing… ‘Exactly. You’re obeying the commandments. Your life is aligned with Heavenly Father’s path for you. You are close to the spirit. Why wouldn’t He bless you with peace?’ That really hit me. I had always known that there was a correlation between obedience and having the spirit but I guess I didn’t fully understand it. I know that when we do the things Heavenly Father has asked of us, He will bless us. Sometimes, it’s in ways you wouldn’t expect, but He will bless us. For example, I’ve been praying for this particular trail to go away. Heavenly Father has different ideas but because I’m living righteously, instead of being taken away, I have been blessed with peace.”  

Google says peace is  “freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility.” I definitely feel free from disturbance. My normally over anxious brain should be going a million miles an hour in every direction but I’m not feeling that way at all. As I was walking home from church today, a scripture reference came into my mind. I didn’t know it by heart so I had to look it up but it fit perfectly!! Doctrine and Covenants 59:23 says, “…he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” I know that to be true. Our lives can get hectic, turned upside down, and absolutely mad but it doesn’t matter. We just need to remember to do the things He has asked, and we will be blessed. There’s blessings all around us..all we have to do is look! In this particular time in my life, my blessing for being righteous is peace.