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.

Scary words.

There are lots of scary words in this world: death, divorce, unemployed, miscarriage, infertility, chronic, sick, rejection… The list goes on and on. I heard a few scary words yesterday that applied to me: Biopsy. Carcinoma. Procedure. I guess I should back up to the beginning of the story. *There are pictures in this post that aren’t the most appealing to the eyes. You have been warned!*

A few weeks ago, a weird rash broke out on my face. Because life is stressful, I kinda just blamed it on stress. One night, it got itchy and I scratched it in my sleep. I woke up and it was about 10x worse. I didn’t really think much of it. I was planning on giving it about a week before I called my doctor – just in case it was actually just stress related. Almost a week went by and it was actually spreading. I had new spots on my face and down my neck. I couldn’t put make up on to cover it up without making it look worse. I was really self-conscious about it. I didn’t want to go anywhere because I looked the way I did. It was rough.

I had spent the weekend with my mom (I’ll do a separate post about that trip) and she was asking what my plans were for my face. I told her Wednesday would be a week and then I was going to call my dermatologist. We took pictures to send to my uncle who’s a doctor. He “diagnosed” me through the pictures but suggested that I actually go in and get it checked.

I called the next day (Monday) to set up an appointment. The next day, I went in. The nurse looked at my face, sent in the med student who looked, then in came the doctor. We discussed what was happening and then he left the room for a few minutes. When he came back, I just started laughing. I knew exactly what he was going to say. He kinda smiled at my spontaneous laughter before he said, “I have no clue! There are spots that look like impetigo it’s too isolated to be that. You have no other symptoms so it’s not staff or anything. It’s all really weird.” I just laughed some more and replied, “Story of my life. Either I don’t do things easy or no one has any idea what’s wrong!” We joked about that for a second before he asked me if I’d be willing to let him take a biopsy of one of the spots for future reference if anyone comes in with this again. Obviously, I said yes. I love helping progress the medical world. Haha! He did that and told me his office would call me when the results came back. He also gave me a cream to put on the sores to help heal them right up.

Two days after using the cream, it looked sooo much better. The doctor had told me that I could continue with my regular routine…so that meant makeup again!! Yay! I hadn’t worn make up for about four days to help not irritate it more.

Here’s pictures a week and a half after that (this morning to be specific).  I did have a little foundation on but not much.

So, yesterday I got the call I had been waiting for….and to be honest, kind of had forgotten about. Being a transplant recipient means being on lots of inmunosupresant meds for the rest of my life. I’m on them so my body doesn’t reject my heart. Further out you are from transplant, the less you worry about rejection and more about cancer. The biopsy from a few weeks ago came back with traces of carcinoma. Carcinoma is skin cancer. Although I’m overly cautious with sunscreen, I’m still at risk because my immune system is not really there. It’s sounds really easy to treat though. I’ve got an appointment later this month to do an ED&C. It’s a 20ish minute procedure that he’ll do in the clinic. I’ll keep you all updated on how things go!

I woke this morning with the prompting to ask Brad for a blessing. He immediately responded with eagerness. While I waited, I read my patriarchal blessing and said a prayer. I’m scared… Cancer is a scary word. I’m okay though. I’ve got a great support from family and my friends are amazing too. I miss my family and would love to be with them but all my friends have become my family.  I’m okay with being in Utah during all of this because of them. Heavenly Father loves me and has a plan. I’ve made it through all my heart stuff, a broken heart, moving away and going to school (twice)… I can make it through this too!

Burning Buildings, Weakness, and Faith. Oh my!

Given how much I see His hand in my life I know it shouldn’t but it surprises me sometimes how involved Heavenly Father is with my life. It seems whenever I’m struggling with something or even just having a conversation with someone, the next several days everything I read or see has to do with the topic! Sometimes I’ll go looking for gospel material related to the topic but most of the time it just pops up. My friend told me a few weeks ago that, “no matter how insignificant our worries/trials may be, He is still involved down to the last little thing.” It’s totally true too. We are His sons and daughters and He cares about us!! I just love knowing it!! This was the latest  reoccurring topic.

A few weeks ago, I went to Provo with Heidi and Brad to drop Brad off at EFY…again. We got there a little early so we went to the temple and sat on the grass and talked. (I just have to say how much I love my friends! I don’t know what I’d do without them.) Heidi, Brad, and I are all about the same age so we are all going through the same things…relatively. We had an awesome discussion about our Father’s love, faith, and relying on Him in everything. We all shared some really personal things and encouraging stories to help the other realize just how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  Brad texted us later to tell us that his staff meeting that night was “literally all about how God loves each of us….”

The next day in English, we read a BYU devotional called For when I Am Weak, Then Am I Strong given by Gerald Causse. Heavenly Father loves us. He knows us and because of that, he also knows our potential. We sometimes  know how much we mean to Him and think highly of ourselves. There are also times where we are in a pit of “not being good enough.: Either way, Heavenly Father will send a trial our way to test us. Through my experiences, I have learned that’s the best time to remember to rely on the Lord. He loves me. He loves you. We need to constantly remember that we are sons and daughters of God. When we remember that Heavenly Father has the grand eternal perspective of things, it becomes easier to know just how special and amazing we are. I texted Heidi and Brad the article, because it just flowed PERFECTLY into our conversation from the previous day. Of course they responded with gratitude and more insight.

That night, in my scripture study, I read President Eyring’s talk entitled Mountains to Climb from April 2012 General Conference. “Trouble itself can be your way to strengthened and finally gain unshakable faith.” I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what kind of trouble. A heart transplant and/or rejection, loosing a loved one, moving away from home, heartbreak, loneliness, stress… It doesn’t matter. Whatever bad thing happens, that’s when faith is the most crucial.

Okay, now fast forward about a week. I was talking to a friend the other day about just life in general. She told me this amazing analogy her mom had told her recently.

Yes. This really cute baby is me.

“Look at this picture of a baby, you’re probably thinking it’s really cute. 

Now what if I told you that the parents of this baby tossed it out the window of a 2 story building… I can imagine the horror on your face right now. You’re probably thinking “these are terrible parents!”

Now let me add in some crucial details to this situation. The parents tossed this baby out the window to land on a trampoline below, the house was on fire and they were trying save their baby. Now what do you think about these parents?”

Sometimes don’t want to be thrown out the window. We are comfortable in the situation we’re in, or maybe we are hesitant for change that could be coming.  Other times we are certain that the flames will just calm down in time and that we’ll be fine. There are also the times where we don’t even know the building we’re in is on fire until it’s too late. I have experienced all of those things. As I have grown up I’ve learned that being chucked out of a burning building is usually the best way to go.

The next morning, I ran across this scripture in my studying: Doctrine and Covenants 58:3 &4 says, “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day commeth that ye shall be crowned with much glory’ the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.” Obviously we don’t know what is going to happen. One moment we’re perfectly happy and the next, the building is on fire and we have to get out.

And the a day or two after that, I read a talk from April 2017 General Conference called Confide in God Unwaveringly. In his talk, Elder Ullisses Soares explains that no matter what happens in life, we must look to God in all things. He knows the grand plan and the reasoning behind why things may happen. We must exercise the faith in Him to be able to understand and move on. “Without faith, we will end up losing the capacity to appreciate those designs of our God regarding the things that will happen later in our life.”

Last night’s study took me to Alma 32:6. It says, “…their afflictions had truly humbled the, and that they were in preparation to hear the word.” That cross-reverenced to several other scriptures. Ether 12:27. “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Jacob 4:7 says, “Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by His grace, and His great condensations unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.” And then Doctrine and Covenants 1:29, “And insasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.” Sometimes we have to go through really hard things in order to become humble so we may learn to listen to the Spirit and become better.

See? It all connects. We must have faith in our Father in everything. We must have faith that if the “building” we are in catches on fire, that we’ll be safely chucked out the window. We must have faith that after we are removed from the burning building, everything will be okay. I say this a lot, but I know it’s true: Heavenly Father has a plan. We do have our agency but ultimately, we need to follow Him. With our mortal imperfections we sometimes get off the path He has laid out. That’s okay though. Through recognition, humility, repentance, and faith we are able to find that plan again.  I am so grateful for the blessing of faith. Life is hard. Some days are better than others but there are times I feel like I won’t make it. If I rely on my Father in faith with all I have, He will help me to overcome anything!!

 

So. Many. Pictures.

Guys! It’s July and I’m actually doing pretty good with keeping my “new year, new me” thingy. I’m taking tons pictures of EVERYTHING! I’m amazed that I still have friends that like me. Haha.

Wow. That was a good segue. 😉 Ready for a ginormous photo blast?! Obviously, I’ll give little snippets of what’s going on but it’s mostly going to be pictures!


 

BIRTHDAY:

I love birthdays, especially mine. I encouraged all my friends to love it just as much. I had a whole week of birthday celebrations. I got sung to in class a few times. I had dinner with friends, went shopping, walked around Temple Square, and watched Dr. Strange in our jammies. On my actual birthday, I got a group of friends together and we went to the zoo! It was so fun. That night, Mom and Dad drove down and took me to dinner. Before dinner they took me down to a used bookstore. I was instantly in love. I was so excited to see them. Sunday, I found out that my friend Rohini shares a birthday. Obviously we took a picture. After church, I went over to my friend’s house for games and cake. We had an epic jam session. There was a violin, a few guitars, cups at one point, and lots of singing and laughing.

 

BOOKSTORE:

Okay, if you know me, you know I am a HUGE book worm. I feel naked if I go anywhere without a book in my hand. Not even a week after my birthday I wanted to go to the bookstore again. I had to run up to the hospital to drop something off so I thought I might go on my way home. I met up with friends for lunch that day. We were talking about our day so far… People had classes or work. I had to run those errands. My friend Brad perked up at the possibility of going to a bookstore. He volunteered to come with me to the hospital so he could come to the bookstore too. We only got to be at the store for about half an hour because the hospital adventure took longer than I thought. We litterally had to drag each other out of the store! We decided to go again the next day… How dare you question that we actually did! Well, WE DID!! It was fantastic! Four hours after being there, our friends that tagged along came up to us and asked us when we could leave. Hahaha!! We’ve got plans to go again when he’s done with EFY.

 

BASEBALL:

For Family Home Evening one week, my ward went to the Bee’s game! It was my first real life baseball game. After it was over, Lydia and I walked home. We got lost trying to find the trax so we just walked. It was so fun!

 

MARSHMALLOW TEMPLES:

A few weeks ago, we talked about temples and then built temples made out of marshmallows!! It was sticky and I went home with a very full tummy from eating so many! After FHE, a group of us went to help Rachel pack so she would be ready to move. We all started getting hungry about 2ish in the morning. We walked down the street and bought food. I’ve never seen a burrito that big!!

 

 

MESSY TWISTER:

My ward is amazing. We have so many fun activities. Another FHE was nachos and messy twister. Katie totally killed it…and got covered. Chen had lost and was covered in paint. Naturally, he chased Caleb around to try and give him a hug. Caleb ran and slipped. Daniel yelled at them, which grabbed my attention. Chen caught up with him and did this cool little roll thing right where I had been. I almost died you guys!!! Caleb and Chen almost squished me! I also ate several cookies and got to know Daniel a little better!

 

90’S DANCE AND SWIMMING:

Seriously, my ward is the greatest! Last week, we had a 90’s dance. It’s a weird party theme I think… I mean, I actually remember the 90’s! It was an excuse to dress up and hang out with friends so I’m not complaining! It was super fun.

Somewhere along the line, the dance got morphed into a pool party too. I had made myself look really cute and I didn’t want to change. I had decided that I wasn’t going to swim. I tried to help Pedro get Daniel into the pool (with jeans and everything on). I was put in charge of keeping phones and wallets safe. After some hiding, I finally just said, “I’ll do it if you do it.” So, after more coaxing and lots of laughing, we got a huge group to all jump in even if they didn’t have a suit. It was fabulous….until it was time to go home. Haha! Luckily, Daniel loves me and drove me home.

 

 

ROAD TRIP:

At church on Sunday, I got invited to go on an adventure with some friends all the way to Provo! Hooray!! Brad is an EFY counselor this summer and has sessions the next two weeks there. Heidi was taking him and we just made a big ol’ party of it! We stopped at the temple for pictures…that obviously turned goofy real quick. Then drove around campus for a bit to avoid why we were there, I guess. Stopped at a gas station to go to the bathroom and instantly wished it wasn’t Sunday so we could get slushies. Finally, we got to where Brad needed to be. We piled out of Heidi’s van, gave hugs, and said goodbye. What a fun day full of silly memories.

AUTOCAD: 

School is going great too. It’s keeping me super busy. Lots of projects and homework but not so much that I don’t have time for friends.

I’m in AutoCAD this semester. I had a hard time with it but that’s because I didn’t know how to use it… Now that I’m more comfortable with it, I’ve gotten faster and actually love it!! I’m in the middle of a project for my Space Planning class and I actually said, “I’ll do it in AutoCAD. It’ll be faster than hand drawing it.” I felt insanely proud!

   


Life has gotten back to “normal.” Of course, I don’t think that word describes me very well.  I guess that’s why it’s in quotes. Things are going great. My friends make life bearable. They are my family here in Salt Lake. School is tricky and life gets stinky. If I didn’t have any one of my friends, I wouldn’t know how to handle anything. I am so grateful for ALL of them. The ones that I go to church with. The ones that are in my classes. The ones that go on adventures with me. The ones that fit in a multiple of those categories. The ones that I have back home in Idaho. Oh goodness! I am so blessed to have so many!