Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Website

Our Wedding Website

Refer to our new website until we make our own combined blog

It's a blog as well and will be updated by the both of us a few times a week at least.
So enjoy that until we convert over to one blog! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Proposal

Steven and I are engaged! :)
Happy Day!

I know lots of you are dying to know about the proposal!

So this is how it went down. Let me preface it with what happened before.
I was on my way home from work talking to Annie and she asked me when I was going to get a ring on my finger..and I was like IDK!!!!! Little did I know that an hour later I would have one!

So I was hungry. Starving actually. And if you know me, that means Gabzilla is out ready to be grouchy and probably mean. So that's what I was when I first got to Steven's. The plan was to go Rappelling of Dixie Rock that night and then go to the Hurricane Football game. So I waited in my truck for him to get home, because he was late. But really he was just setting up, but I didn't know that. And so I made some mac and cheese to tide us over. And we headed out to Dixie Rock. We hiked up, and got all strapped in, and they told me when we get half way to stop on this ledge, and smile for a picture..

So I get ready to go. I was a little nervous. Considering I have done so many other more scary things, I was nervous and it was weird. But nevertheless I did it! And got to the ledge, and turned around for a picture, but then his parents were there! Then I knew. Steven started saying nice things, and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He pulled out a Tissue Box, and inside of that was a ring box...dundundun and I said yes. Then we finished rappelling down Dixie Rock.

That was that. Apparently there was a rumor going around, which I never heard, that he was going to propose on my birthday. Steven started it on purpose, but it never got around to me. Haha.

So I'm getting married..

The Month of September

Autumn! I think I'm having more fun than she is

Okay. I'm the worst updater now! I'm terrible at it!
Quick review of this past month

School It's kicking my butt! That's what's up! I have so much homework, and reading, and projects all the time! I can't wait for it to be done, and be graduated. Hoping that I can find myself a job that it! I am in a Kindergarten class at Washington Elementary school, which is 2 blocks away from my house, and I absolutely love it!! It's the best part of my week I think. I come home weekly with stories that make my days. Like this week a girl peed her pants, and was almost in tears. Another little boy gave me a pet lizard. And one of the little girls took a pink marker and used it for "lipstick" I bet her mom loved that!

Institute Council AMAZING!! We just had our first back to school dance. Thanks to a great Council, it was success. The best success we've ever seen at a dance in years!! We did a Karaoke theme, and so half of the time we had some great singers, and some of the time..not so much, and then they played music we could all dance to as well. It was perfect! Now we are planning our next dance which is going to be girls choice, and square dancing it's going to be awesome!! I can't wait!

Gotta love Kamy!
Work also great. I love my job still. I now spend the night once a week with the family, and have a room all to myself. It works out perfect for doing homework and studying. The family is beyond good to me. It's odd being spoiled by people you work for needless to say! I won't complain though that's for sure. Then my second job- the box office is always fun. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like we are working

YSA Conference We had the privilege of attending a YSA conference for the two YSA stakes this month. Where John Bytheway spoke, and Elder Oaks and his wife, along with Elder Rassband. It was a great experience. We learned a lot about the temple, and finances. At least those were the classes that we decided to attend. After EFY it was a great refresher to be better.

Dove Center As many of you may know, I volunteer at the Dove Center. It's a center and shelter for women who have been abused. It's becoming apart of me. I am only there once a week, but this past month I helped out with a presentation to a Young Women's group at church for 12-18 year olds. Volunteering at the center is awesome because you get to see the good side of things, people are so generous with donations. Like today we had a Bishop come in with 200 quilts that they made, 6000 diapers, about 150 sets of sheets, and tears came to my eyes. The shelter was overwhelmed with the donations. Then to see it from the Shelter's side of things, and the women who are there. It helps me to see the bright side. That I need to be more grateful for love, and that I don't have a fear of men, and haven't ever been hurt so bad that I had to leave a situation, or been hurt that it tears me apart. We really are lucky.

Bryce Canyon!

Steven and I
 Labor day weekend we went up to Bryce canyon. It was fun. We took the motorcycle up and it was freezing!!  We go to the library all the time, and every weekend we make time to go to DI and we usually find some good deals! We went up to Provo this last weekend for Alayna Grahams farewell, which she did a fabulous job on! And we came back quick!

Short and sweet and to the point...Now read the above for the great news.
Both of our backpacks 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School has begun. It will never end.

School is awesome, stressful, not a joke, amazing, tiring and fulfilling. Can you believe that's even possible? Well it is.

It just keeps getting piled up and I think I may need a regular massage to keep my stress down. But I love what I'm doing. I am learning so much. I have 6 classes completely dedicated to Education..Now if I can just fast forward life and teach- that would be great. All I want to do is to be in the classroom! The good thing is, I have a kindergarten class now! It's so fun. I will be there every Wednesday until December, then I will get a new class to do my practicum in. But I'm excited, and and thrilled to see what I'm in for. Besides reality checks up the wazzoo, and learning experiences that I can take with me into my career.

Work is fun as always. The girls are awesome. Autumn started Kindergarten! She loves it! And is ahead on what they are working on in class. Which from a teachers perspective makes things a lot easier in some ways. Then Kamy..still 3 years old. Some days she loves me. Some days she doesn't. No big right? We went and fed the ducks at this little pond out in Kayenta this week which was fun for them. The ducks were all the way on the opposite side, and so we started quaking like ducks..and believe it or not it worked! They came to us and got our bread crumbs! The girls thought that they could talk to Ducks..I can only imagine what animal we will be conversing with next. Autumn is so close to reading! I can't wait for the day when I read to her at bed time, and she will say "Can I read it this time?" And I'll fall right asleep as she does! Ha!

Institute council keeps us all busy- Enough said.

The Dove Center- Tender mercies all the time. I love it. It's so fun to volunteer and do it because I want to, not because someone asked me to. I love it. Soon I'll be going around to the high schools talking to High School girls about healthy dating! I can't wait to do that! It's going to be a ton of fun! :)

Steven and I are doing great too in case you were wondering..You can just assume that. Our time spent together now is in silence as we study in the library..or while I am updating my blog and he does math and chemistry homework. Cute right? Barf. But hey it's all good.

Anyway life is good. The church is true. I'm home sick and miss my mom.
I want it to rain. P.S My Birthday is in 33 days! SAY WHAT??!(*&#$*&!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick Post.

Quick update:

Steven and I went to the Washington County Fair. Which was tons of fun. Until we both started feeling sick due to pigs and the blankets and the rides. But needless to say it was a ton of fun. I almost died listening to the concert that was being held. Some hardcare led Zepplin wannabe's. I was pounding my head just for them to stop. Then they would say okay last one...but then they would keep going!!! So we left. 

From August 13- 17th I went to Vegas for Work. The family I nanny for went on a family vacation and took me with them! It really was so much fun! We went and saw The Lion King at Mandalay Bay which was stellar.  I drove my truck and the first half was with Autumn the 5 year old, and she fell asleep the first 10 minutes of the drive and then the second half was with Kamy the 3 year old. And she was up for the first 20 minutes then she passed out too. It was hilarious. While we were there, Autumn finally learned how to swim!! It was so exciting! Considering she is scared of everything. It was quite the accomplishment! 

We went to the Nevada State Railroad train ride in Boulder City. That was a lot of fun. We ate lunch at the Paris Hotel. We went to the M&M world (so not worth it)  The girls got to see their mom (they don't live with their mom if I haven't mentioned that.)  We went on a boat cruise on Lake mead which was fun, and to the Ethel M Factory where chocolates are made! We went to this really good mexican restaurant! Which was delicious! They paid for me to get a massage which turned into a deep tissue massage which was very much needed after piggy back rides superman attempts and flying. I love my job. 

I came back and Steven's mom got the whole family tickets to go see the Little Mermaid up at Tuacahn! It was awesome! The costumes were pretty cool, and Ariel did a fantastic job!
And so the chaotic semester begins! Institute council meetings and freshman day for all the newbees! That was a lot of fun. I got to meet a ton of the freshman and of course be with council. There is never a dull moment. Steven and I played Tennis early one morning before it got super hot, went to the temple, and had a good last weekend together. 

We had our Institute Council Fireside last night! Which was a success. I had the chance to speak. And I talked about The Lion King and relating it to never falling away from the gospel. It was perfect. Institute it going to be amazing this year- and I'm not just saying that either. 

I started volunteering at the Dove Center! I love it! It's amazing to hear these stories about some of the women and children, and to be involved in such a good cause. It's a tender mercy in my life. The women  inspire me, and are so strong! 

So my Schedule this semester goes a little something like this

Monday: Dove center 9-12 Institute work and run errands day plus FHE
Tuesday- Institute meetings at 7 Class 7:30- 1:10 work at 2:30-9
Wednesday- I'm at an elementary school all day long. Then institute with Steven right after and then the temple with him :)
Thursday- Institute meeting at 7 same as Tuesday
Friday- work 9-2 Institute stuff. And Date night with Steven! :)

Lame and quick post. But life is back to it's crazy busy lifestyle and I love it! This semester is going to be awesome I can feel it!

I'll post tomorrow about my orientation for the ELEM ED program. It's just the beginning of the rest of my life at Dixie!! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mom's Stay and the Flu

Seriously though- it was great having my mom here for a few days. To see my new place, and meet Steven, and spend some time with her. I’m always sad to see her go, but it’s always that much more fun when we get to spend quality time together. We did some shopping, and went to dinner with the family a few times. I just love my family. When we went to take my mom back to Vegas, we got all turned around with Papa driving, and he was going super fast, and went over a speed bump that started everyone in the car, except I kinda laughed, which made Papa laugh, and my mom and Nana didn’t think it was that funny. But it was! But after we dropped my mom off, we stopped at a ghetto gas station, and I had a feeling that I should just bring my debit card, and not my whole wallet. So what did I do? I brought my whole wallet. Well I get up to the sliding glass entrance doors, and there’s a guy sitting on his suitcase and said, “Ma’am do you have fiddy one cent?” and in my mind I was like crap! Should have just brought my card and not my wallet! I go “ No sir sorry I dont carry change.” So that was the first weird thing. Then I go to the bathroom and I didn’t think that they had these kind of bathrooms anymore, but on the door it said- “GET KEY FROM CHECK OUT.” I was like you have got to be kidding me! So I walk up get the stupid key that’s attached to a PVC pipe (ghetto right) and finally do my business. Then it gets better! I’m going to get a drink and this guy turn to me and goes “asldkjfhwieruy” and I was like “Excuse me?” and he goes “adkfjhweriualkdjfh” as he is stuffing his face with a hot dog (it’s only 10am by the way). I said “I can’t understand you with you stuffing your face.” And he looks at me and goes “DO they have a microwave here?” HOW THE HECK WOULD I KNOW? I said, “Doesn’t look like it.” And I was so sketched out! Then I go buy my drink and road snacks to get back home. (If I make it out of the ghetto gas station) Then the same guy who was stuffing his face gets everyones attention and asks if he can trade his hot dog for a hamburger..everyone was so confused. The guy behind the counter was like yeah sure. And the hot dog man was like “So we are even right? That’s fair that I do that? I don’t want to get in no mo’ trouble.” I look at the guy behind the register and said “ This is the most gas station ever.” Stepped out with keys in my hand ready to stab if needed and hopped right in the car to never see that sketchy, creepy, ghetto gas station again! Funny though right?
Back to reality for real now. No more vacations. No more visits from friends. No more EFY. Just work for the next 2 weeks, and than school starts again! 
Work is great. I can’t tell you how much I love my job. I did have a day this past week where I was like ahhhhhh!!! I don’t want kids- they are evil- and I dont know what to do. But kids are kids, and they have bad days just like us adults do. And we all just deal with them differently. 
Steven moved! He lives 6 minutes away from me now! Which has come in handy more than once already. I forgot my tooth brush and he brought it back to me! It’s the little things I know. lol 
Friday I worked all day long, and afterwards I went out to dinner with the Institute council! :) Love them so much. We got some stuff organized and ready for the training and meetings the following Saturday. After that we went to Brick Oven and had good times, and laughs. I’m sad that Andy, Jordanne and Annie are leaving us though. Andy and Jordanne are getting married so that’s cool and all. But Annie is going back up North to UVU and I will miss her!! 
This is where it gets better - Depending on your perspective
I woke up at 4:30 Saturday morning feeling yucky. But turned over and went back to sleep. I had to work at 8:30 so I got up and still felt really gross. Than I got a call from Judy (woman I woke for) and she said that the girls were throwing up and not to come I was like hey! I think I’m about to do the same thing! And about an hour later I finally threw up. Now I must point this out to the world. Never in my life have I EVER thrown up  after more than one sitting. If that makes sense. I throw up once, and I am good to go and a happy camper again! But not this time. So have some pity on me please. So in my mind I’m like yay! I’m good I can go about my day...WRONG! Steven came over right away and spent all day with me. I threw up 3 more times that day and finally felt better around 11pm! What a day it was though. We called my Home Teacher to come over and give me a blessing, and my Bishop came too..what a lovely moment right as they walk in and Steven leaves me I am hugging the toiled again. (Kinda funny) And I thought I was done! NOPE!! But I got a blessing, and today I feel so much better. Steven and I watched 4 movies in 24 hours. I went outside once to go get a smoothie at orange peel (I thought I was done being sick- but no worries it didn't stay down) I took a shower once again because I thought I was done..but nope felt nauseous in the shower and hugged the toiled again. That was probably the most humorous part of the day. But I’m all better now! Thank goodness. 
How grateful I am for my health too! I never get sick and I’m good never being that sick ever again in my life! 
And thanks to Steven for just staying by me all day long when I looked gross, and smelled gross. And probably he was grossed out to even be there by me, but I’m grateful I had him there to help me and to give me a blessing. And watch movies all day and look like a dead person lol. I just hope he doesn’t become deathly ill now. 
Today was Fast and Testimony meeting at church and Steven and I went to a new Ward today. And both got up to bear our testimonies and when he got up I couldn’t help but just smile because he’s just that awesome :) But this new ward...ehhh it was okay. I think we will stick with the Washington YSA ward. 
Side note: I miss Florida & all that comes with the state. 
Life is good :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I love EFY

Okay fail again it’s been three weeks since I posted last.
First and foremost- Steven got back from his Hill Cumorah trip in New York. 18 Days later I was back to a happy camper again. I went down to Vegas with my roommate Melissa/ Steven’s cousin, and stayed with her dad and surprised Steven at the airport. It felt like forever waiting for him to land, and get to baggage claim! I was even a bit nervous too, as if I was a little giddy nervous girl waiting to hear back from a boy that might like her or something! Ha! But it was a great reunion I won’t lie. I missed him like crazy. Poor guy was so tired. Steven said that he didn’t expect anything less than me to surprise him, so he kinda expected it. (See if I ever try anything cool again right?) 
Okay so Steven’s back, and I finish up my last week of school! Tennis was awesome! I love tennis. And math was wrapped up nicely, and inside of me I wanted to scream for joy when I turned my final exam in! What a relief that was off of my shoulders. My last math class ever in college. Officially done and now onto the Elementary Education program starting in January. 4 more Semesters to go! I can’t believe it! I also can’t wait to start the program! 
Stands for Especially for Youth. A program that as a youth I went to and it changed my life. It helped me to gain a strong testimony of the gospel and set principles in my life that have gotten me to where I am at today. This past week I had the opportunity to be a councilor at EFY. When I was a youth, I looked up to these councilors, and now I can say that I did it. I was one. It was on my bucket list. Now that I’ve done it, I would do it again in a heart beat. I think it’s the closest I will ever get to serving a full time mission. At least all the good parts of serving. 
I am filled with so much love and compassion right now. I feel so at peace with life right too, even when things are tough. What a great reminder this whole week has been. This world is full of so many bad things that are covering up all the good things. And this week I got to know 17 kids personally and I believe that we are in good hands. Those kids that I had under my wings taught me so much, they are so smart, and know what they believe. I saw them from Monday when they were a little timid, and shy, and still confused about what they believed, to now when they have no doubt in their mind that they have a Savior who loves them, that they have a divine destiny to fulfill, and that they have a Heavenly Father who knows them individually. These kids grew so much in 5 days. They have countenances that shine brighter than I’ve ever seen in 14 and 15 year olds. 
With that being said, I will go into a little bit of my experience being a councilor. 
Sunday morning I left good ole St. George and popped in my old EFY CD’s that I have from way back when, and was on my way to Provo, Utah. Brigham Young University. Mormon Capital of the world. I was in fact entering the “bubble” for a week. Scary right? (Just kidding- but not really). I was just outside of Nephi when a Chevy Silverado from the opposite side of the freeway somehow lost control of the truck, and flipped, veering off the side of the road, and flying up in the sky. And flipping right before my eyes, and my truck. Immediately I pulled over as soon as I could, and so did everyone else, a bunch of us were trying to call 911, but no one could get through for a while, but finally someone did, and it just so happened that an ambulance was just driving on the road and saw the accident. The truck ended up in smithereens and upside down. My first thought was “I hope there aren’t any kids in there.” Luckily there weren’t. Only an older man, but it was a miracle- he was alive and okay. A few of us who witnessed the accident stayed, and talked to the highway patrol guys, and wrote an accident witness report, and then I got back in my truck- and at this point I’m pretty sure I had no feeling in my legs, and that I was emotionally grateful that I was alive and that the other Truck didn’t smash me too. Went on my merry way to arrive in none other than BYU’s campus. Checked into my room unpacked, and went to training. This it where it all begins.
After a thorough training session, we gathered with all the councilors and had a fireside and got to know our session directors, who are great by the way. Then we split off into our “BC” groups, and got to know each other well, and off to meet all the other coucilors in our session. We got the list of who we would be over for the next week. I looked at my list- I had 4 Ashley’s an Ashlyn, 2 Jamie’s, a Lulu and a Kate Lyn and an Emma. I thought Sweet! This is awesome I saw “Ash” and half my girls will respond! (joke) Anyway Sunday night we prepped a little bit for the week. 
I was stoked when I got up Monday morning. We learned the EFY dance. Which is hilarious. We went and got set up for registration and welcoming the kiddos to EFY. There’s probably about 800 kids here for it. with 4 Different sessions. We did the traditional countdown 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and the doors opened, and the week had begun! Little did I know that the names of the girls mentioned above would help me to understand the principle of love deeper than I could have imagined. I met my girls at 1:15 and had a get to know you pow wow. Can be awkward if you make it. I think they thought I was crazy, but it broke the ice a little bit. A little shy, and so cute, but they would blossom by the end of the week. Afterwards we went to meet the boys in our group. Who are the best group of guys I have ever encountered. So incredibly obedient, good looking, kind, pure, and funny. What more could you ask for in a group of guys? Once again though introductions can be a little awkward, and they were, but by the end of the night they were laughing and getting to know each other really well. We went to a fireside, had dinner, and Family Home Evening where we played a bunch of fun games. It was great. We debriefed after each game, and talked about how we could relate them to the gospel. They thought of some clever ways too I was impressed. Every night I would teach a lesson to my girls. One of my girls ended up going home that night right after the devotional. It was a sad situation, but it was the best thing for her to do. I had an incredible experience about being prompted and told exactly what to do by the Spirit. I’m not going to tell exactly what happened, just that there are times in our lives when the spirit whispers things to us and what we should do, and sometimes the Spirit yells it. I was put in a situation where I had to make a decision fast and didn’t know what to do. But through the impression so the Spirit I was able to keep calm, and do exactly what the Lord wanted me to do. 
Every morning there was 6:40 meeting. 7:00am morning devotional that the girls give, and than we eat breakfast and go to our group gospel study where me or Sean my Co- would teach the kids a principle in the gospel. The Theme this year came from the 13th article of faith. Which says We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed way may say that we follow the admonition of Pail - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things.- So this whole week we have been dissecting and studying about the admonition of Paul. It’s been great. The kids went to class and us councilors were usually on Duty guarding halls, or studying our scriptures. I even ran into Brother Romney who I know from St. George that was teaching classes for our session! That night we had a dance! But because it rained, we joined with everyone, and had a hugemongus dance underneath the stadium at BYU. It was nuts! The kids went crazy! I loved it. Dancing with them was great, because these kids some how think you are cool so no matter how you dance they love that you are just dancing and can have fun! So I went crazy- probably an understatement. But about 20 minutes before the dance ended one of my girls collapsed on the ground. Literally. Sean and a bunch of people yelled my name, and I see the Health Councilors carrying one of my girls away! Talk about panic. I can imagine that feeling I had was how a mother feels when she doesn’t know what’s happened to her child. The rushed her to the hospital for what we all thought was appendicitis. But it ended up being abdominal migraines...she came back safe and sound and everything was fine and dandy. A little scare though that’s for sure. 
Same routine as Tuesday. But Tuesday was game night! Talk about an adventure!! We walked about 3/4 of a mile up hill in the rain, which ended up turning into hail! Not anything like Texas, but about pea sized hail. I let some of my kids go play- why not? I would have wanted to at their age too! I don’t blame them! But we walked all that way just to walk back for a change of plans. The storm was pretty intense. Thunder and lightening. It felt like I was back home again! I was a little sketched out though just because of the lightening, but no one got hurt, and we were all safe. So we got back to our original starting point. Where we began to make up our cheer and skit. For our group, our scripture was the fishers of men scripture found in Jeremiah. At first my kids weren’t making any sense while they were plotting there skit which was intended to go along with our theme of Jeremiah. So after I read them the scripture and reminded them of what it was about, they took it and ran with it! They did such a fabulous job! I was so proud of them! The skit went smoothly when we showed it off, and so did our cheer it was perfect! The kids were a little scared of their competition, but seriously they had no chance again my kids! (I’m not prejudice or anything though ;)) We ended the night with what is popularly known as Pizza night, but what I love to call “Girls night.” We order Pizza and just party like girls. I had a blast. This was the night that I realized I loved these girls. I loved them from the first day, but this was an unconditional love, that I had never felt before. My girls become apart of me. I thought about them all the time, I prayed for them all the time, and sincerely cared about them. Teaching them every day was such a blessing for me. They taught me so much just in their actions, and deeds on an hourly basis. 
Thursday is known as the best day at EFY. The day that the guys get in their nice shirts and ties, and the girls get all dolled up in their sunday dress, and we have a day of incredible change, and climax to the week. We went to classes, and learned more about the gospel. We went to a snow cone place across from campus with our group, and played soccer! It was so much fun. Talk about bonding. Not only bonding. But a perfect example of how Zion would be like. We are constantly with each other- never annoyed or bugged by one another, and always thinking of one another. Doing things for others, and serving our neighbor. We are united in a cause of righteousness, and strengthening not only ourselves, or our testimonies. That afternoon we had the variety show where many of the kids that come to EFY show off there talents. We had so great talent! A few piano players, dancers, singers, a few group skits and what not. It was so fun to see these kids and how they shared their talents with us so confidently and strong. It’s great to know and see that these kids have the capability to bless the lives of others through their talents. Then we move into the musical program. Which is where the tears come, where the change of heart often takes places, and the emotions are poured because of all the amazing things that the kids have learned, and the goals that they have individually set to be better. We went and had a testimony meeting- which for those who don’t know- is a time where we share what we know and believe with others. It was amazing to see the light that these kids had in their eyes, and how they literally were shining. Whenever one of my kids would get up and tell us about their experiences and what they knew to be true, I could help but smile. In less than a week these kids had changed for the good, and knew exactly what they needed to do in life to stay happy, and all they wanted to do was just share it with others. I could feel love for them even more than I had previously. I have a feeling that it’s just a smidgen of what the Saviors love is for us. It’s an amazing feeling. Afterwards we split again as usual and I had a strong impression on what to teach my girls that night. I kinda jumped around between the Spirit, the Book of Mormon, and then ending with the Footprints in the sand poem. Followed by telling the girls how much I loved them. There are just no words. Except for that there is power in simplicity. It’s so true. 

The last day. Bittersweet, more bitter than sweet. It went by too fast! I don’t want it to end. Neither do the kids! Friday’s a fun day. A dance, and a service project! It’s great to see the kids serving, and getting excited about doing things for others. We made thank you cards for BYU and things around Provo from EFY as a whole. In the spare time the kids made thank you cards for them to give to people. A few of my kids gave me thank you cards, and if any of you know me, you know that such a simple thing can make my month, even my year. It’s small gestures that go down

 in my memory and don’t ever leave. I will keep those cute letters forever. One of them had my name drawn on the front and in little words “insert Straw here!” Absolutely loved it!! I had the opportunity to teach 3 times. Once in the morning actually twice, and then a Fort Strength of Youth activity where I taught about our physical health, and how important it is for us to keep our bodies clean and healthy. And then at night after our last fireside where Sean and I taught on using our time wisely. we said our good byes for one last time before the morning when we separated. Lock Down had begun. Us counselors has to stay up until an hour after the last sound was heard from the bedrooms. I was impressed at how quickly it got quiet. Amanda and I stayed at one end of the hallway and creeped. I got my Caffeine (which is not allowed on BYU’s mom was proud) and I crawled and looked under the cracks to make sure lights were out, and that I couldn’t hear a thing when I put my ear up to the doors. It was hilarious. We finally got to bed about 1:30 I think. Not too bad considering. 
As a whole, this experience has blessed my life so much. I haven’t had this kind of an experience in years. I met people that I hope will continue to be in my life. The 17 kids that I was blessed to have, will always be in my hearts. Teaching them and growing with them was such a wonderful testimony builder for me. 

I have truly seen the Lord’s hand in my life and in others. I have been an instrument for Him for those kids as well as they have been an instrument for me to know the Savior just that much more than I knew before coming to EFY.
This past week will forever remain in my memory, and heart for the rest of my life. I truly cannot put into words how amazing it has been, and how great the youth of these later-days truly are.  I learned of a different kind of love than I have ever felt before. I think I experienced a smidgen of what the Savior’s love is like. Just a smidgen though. I instantly had a love that grew for those kids faster than any kind of love I have ever felt. I don’t think that we can ever truly comprehend love, and that the english language doesn't have a word to describe this kind of love, but the point is- I loved those kids with a passion, and all I want for them is to be happy, and stay strong, they have so much potential, and I care about them mucho mucho!
So that’s that. Amazing right? Everyone should do it. 
I drove back to St. George on Saturday afternoon, after a trip with Tiffany and Stefanie to University Mall, where I ran into an old friends from Florida! She was in my stake! Good ole Ashley Peterson! We went to EFY together as kids, and girls camp etc. We hadn’t seen each other in about 3 or 4 years! I got to Toquerville, and Steven showed up shortly after which was great to see him again!! We are finally done with leaving for long periods of time! Thank goodness. I would never wish that upon anyone! We went to the temple, and to Pasta Factory for dinner :) 
Then it was time!! My mother was on her way to Utah!! And I headed down to Vegas on Sunday morning! I got lost for the first time..There was another car accident- this time, a car was flipped upside down. Scary! Yet again I think I’m prone to seeing car accident’s lately. I don’t know what I’m suppose to learn from it except maybe to be careful...And the week began! We drove back to Toquerville, and we had family over Sally and Shane and their kids. Who we havent seen in about 15 years! It was great to see them again! They were driving up to Salt Lake to drop their kids off at EFY too! So I gave them the low down on what to expect. Steven came over later, and finally got to meet my mom, and all we really did was talk, and started a movie at 9:30! Everyone fell asleep during it too! Typical right? Especially on a Sunday night. But Steven fits right into the family. He got to see a different side of my grandparents- the obsessed and passionate about math side of my papa, and the funnier side of my nana I think. And to meet my mom was great! :) 
Monday I finally got to sleep in for the first time since...I couldn’t tell you, but my mom and I went and ran a few errands, got a nice pedicure! I got purple and she got red, and we went to Old Navy, and I showed her a few things around campus at Dixie that are new, and then we met up with my Nana and Papa and Steven in Hurricane to eat dinner, and go see 17 Miracles. It’s a movie about the Pioneers coming out to Utah. Throughout the movie 17 miracles happen. One of my favorites was a women was trying to get away from her abusive husband, and she said a prayer that she was be kept from harm after he threatened to kill her. And he came to find her, made direct eye contact with her and her two children, and didn’t recognize her and kept moving to look for his wife! Crazy right?! Another one that brought tears to my eyes was a family who had a daughter that froze to death in the winter time, and has the left her body, the mother remembered that if they stayed faithful and didn’t give up hope, that ALL of their family would make it to Zion. So the mother turned around and her family followed soon after, and they began to make a fire, and warm up the daughter’s body, and she soon woke up, and survived. In the end- the whole family made it through that hard winter to the Salt Lake Valley! It’s incredible to think of the faith that those early members of the church had. They were strong, courageous, and devoted.
With all that being said. Life is full of miracles. Just look around and you can see so many of the Tender Mercies that the Lord places in front of everyone of us. You just need to open your eyes and look. Be grateful for the little things, and the bad things don’t seem so bad. The Church is TRUE! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I love this time of year!

I don't know where to begin! There's lots to write about this time. 

Lake Powell
So much fun! Now I don't get homesick easily, but I can say that that trip made me more sick for home in a long time. Being on the water (no equivalence to the ocean) and doing all the things I use to do back home. But the worry of sting rays, sharks, and alligators doesn't exist! So nice! Sunday night we left about midnight and go to Lake Powell around 2:30am and camped out in the parking lot. Steven got to see my delirious side. Singing, and getting annoyed with no radio stations and the constant tune of static! It was pretty funny. On Monday at the crack of down my eyes could sense the sun, and my head just berried itself underneath my sleeping bag to shade myself. I loved it though. We got ready to head out and find a spot on the lake as son as we all got up and ready. We found our quaint spot, set up camp, and got going. We went out on the wave runners, and I can say proudly that I flipped Steven off (I fell too, only because he pulled me off)! Another time we almost fell off again, but me and my strong muscles pulled steven back up! :) Steven's mom did such a good job with the food. Easy, and yummy! Then the winds came. No bueno for me and my sensitive eyes. That night we went to bed out on the sand, and this is where it gets funny. I was drenched in bug spray. So was Steven. The rest of the family was on the boat and the flashlight was not leaving my hand in case of the boogy man. At the beginning of the night we were on top of the sleeping bags, but by the end we were definitely tucked in tight. Steven felt something on his leg, so he just brushed it off, and then felt it again, so I quickly turned on the flashlight, and it was a bat, but I can't see crap because I"m blind so I grab my glasses, and there is in fact a bat the size of my palm on Steven's sleeping bag. It was the ugliest creature I have ever seen. It flung it off by prying his hand under his sleeping bag and tapping it, but that didn't work until he smacked the dang thing. Then it decided to leave and fly onto my arm where I squished it! And flung it off because I was startled it would even dare touch me! Haha. Then he flew under our beds, and crawled on my side. So I creep on to Steven's bed, while steven tries to capture it. Then he loses it...Where does it go!?! My backpack!!! Steven gets a shovel and tries to just pry it off of my bag, and it makes the disgusting, and creepishly hissing sound.  (By the way, the whole lake probably thought something died because of my screaming as this is all happening). Steven eventually just picked up my bag, and moved it outside of the canopy we were sleeping under. At that point we moved under our sleeping bags, and were up for a bit to calm our nerves. But it was so funny. The next morning we went out on the wave runners again, and saw some pretty canyons, and I tried to wakeboard for the millionth time, and failed for the millionth time, even with Steven's patience, and help. Steven taught Roger, and he was ten times better than me. Pretty much got up his second try. The winds picked up again shortly there after, and we decided to eat lunch and pack up early and go home instead of stay another day. So we packed up camp pretty quick, and headed back. Half way through the know wake zone, the Wave Runner that Roger was using gave out on us, so Steven towed it on the back. We stopped at an ice cream shop in Kanab, and got back home, got dinner, and played cards which was fun! I love playing cards. Then we voted on what we would do the following day, and so Wednesday we went up into Zion and went hiking, and saw some petroglyphs. So that was Lake Powell in a quick summary. Felt like you were there don't you?

Side note: Tyler Stout got home from his mission! I went to the airport with Danny Blake to see him, which was exciting, and their new adopted sister who was eight days old at the time. :)

School is going really great. Better than I would think. I only have two more weeks left! Then It's off to EFY and my mom comes to visit for a few days!

Steven is in New York with Becky for 12 more days now, he's been gone for 6 already. I'm a third of the way there! I may have mentioned this before, but they are there doing the Hill Cumorah pageant. Steven got the part of wilderness Nephi (a character in the Book of Mormon), and Becky is a dancer! Steven got to finally shave his beard and get a hair cut! I can't wait! But they are having a good time. Super busy and tired at the end of the day. In the meantime I'm just working and going to school. Trying to keep busy, but it's not working out as well as I'd like to. 

I still love my job. Kamy and Audi are such a fun handful to be with, sometimes I want to pull my hair out, but they make up for it 5 minutes later. We went to the Rodeo in Gunlock last weekend which was fun for them. They loved the little caves that the little kids got to ride. And the chicken run. Which I personally think is just gross, but hey some people grow up on that stuff and can stand it..not me. I get home made dinners sometimes from the family. I even got some clothes that Judy never wore yesterday! 5 new pairs of pants! She was just like here you go they are your size, and I wont ever be able to get back to that so they are yours! I am telling you, I have the best job in the world. 

Our washer broke down at our place. Pretty funny. It's back and running now, but it was funny ringing out Britt's clothes and having people come look at it in the middle of the night. 

July 4th was fun. I had a couple of things I could have done but I decided to go spend some time with my Nana and Papa. I cleaned a few things out, and made some shorts with my Nana, and Picked some Apricots with my Papa. We went and looked for a new mattress for me because the one I had been sleeping on was like the Grand Canyon and I couldnt sleep at night, and woke up every day with a back ache. So we went out and got a good deal on one and bought it, and then went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner! Always one of my favorite places. I came back to St George and went to the Temple to watch the fireworks with Britt. 

I discovered a sizzling noise from a drip in my truck, and so I took it into the mechanic because I worry about those things for as much as I use my truck. He told me nothing was wrong. It's all normal drippage!! What a happy day that was! 

It's been a good two weeks. My mom is coming on July 31st! I'm so excited to see her. We are going to go see Grease at Tuacahn when she comes. Probably up to Zion and get pedicures :) I can't wait. I miss her more in the summer time it seems.

Life is good though. I am so blessed and grateful for all the things in my life. It's the little things that keep me going. And those little things become the big things when something goes wrong. 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

It finally feels like Summer

We hit 100 degrees this week! It's about time that's all I have to say. You wont hear me complaining about it either. I guarantee that. I will take this heat in before it's cold again.

So the latest is that school is going well. At least I'd like to think so. I love my tennis class. I finally don't have to wear a sweater to class now because it's warmer.  And my math class has turned into a joke I'm not going to lie. My professor just goes on tangents. Sometimes it's about math, but more often than not it's about something completely off topic and ridiculous. It's humorous sometimes. Other times when I could be doing something more productive I wish I was elsewhere.

Have I mentioned that I love my job yet? Because I do. Every day is an adventure that's for sure. Audi (short for autumn) is working on her alphabet with the school she will be attending for Kindergarten and we are on the letter H I think  now, and apparently she's making great progress. We went to swimming lessons this past week. And boy oh boy was that interesting. Have you ever been in the pool and had to get out because someone took a crap?! Well I had to claim a child who did that. Kamy. Oh what a joy that was. So funny! Poor chica had diarrhea. Evacuation from the pool- most def. I love those girls, and that family. I went to church with them for father's day. Which was so much better than going anywhere else for it. Sometimes they give me treats like Orange Rolls, or homemade bread. Who wouldn't like my job?! I drive their cars, and get paid to play with two of the cutest little girls. I couldn't have a better set up if I thought of it myself.

Steven and I end up seeing each other about 3 times a week maybe 4 or 5 if we are lucky right now. But Sunday we leave to go to Lake Powell with his family! I'm pretty excited! It's going to be such a blast. he taught me how to work the backhoe. City girl in a tractor... It was pretty cool though.  We are going to run a 5k in October, or a half marathon we haven't decided it all depends on what we do for fall break because that's when it is. Either way I'm excited to do it with him! We are going to start donating plasma when he gets back from New York too. Oh which I can't wait for you know why?!! Because he wont have his beard!! We had a campfire date with two other couples from institute council last weekend which was fun. It was out in Diamond Valley by a lake/pond (pond if you're from FL Lake if your from UT). We had a blast. Steven got the food ready in tinfoil, we put it in the fire, and then baam it was good! :)

Side note: I love the girls I live with. I can count on one hand when we have all been home at the same time, but regardless Connie, Mel and Brit are the greatest. There's always laughter and then we can have our serious convos.. hardly without a giggle. We have a neighborhood cat that left us a present..a dead decapitated cat. So gross.

I got a new phone finally. My Blackberry was dying, and then coming back to life. I would talk on the phone for 5 minutes when it was fully charged, and then it would die! So I went and got a new one. iPhone bandwagon. Oh yes. Never thought I would do it. But I did. Steven got one last week too. I have to say I'm in love, and those who have one know what I am talking about. It's a different world out there now No joke!

I feel like I have so much more I could write about but it's not coming to my mind to remember it all! That's okay I'm going to give myself a pat on the back just for keeping it up to post on here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

School. Work & Play

So the last post I mentioned that I would be totally cool with NEVER hiking Angels Landing again right? Okay so Steven's best friend Tommy texted him and was like, "Hey I've got a date to hike Angels Landing do you and Gabbi want to come?" So of course I say yes, one because it's a double date, two because it's a hike outside, and three why not hike angels landing twice in one week? So we did it, and it was fun. Took us longer than we both expected, but it was fun. We even got to see two Owls! I've never seen an owl in the wild before. I'm not going to lie though, one of them wasn't that cute.

Work is going really well. I love my job. I couldn't have a more fun, easier, flexible job if I made it up myself. The girls are getting used to me. It's the little things like holding hands when we cross the street, saying please and thank you's that is a struggle for them to get used to. But the girls are starting to catch on. Every time I go out there, I get super close to running over either a stupid roadrunner, or a rabbit. Stupid animals. Kamy (the 3 yr old) wants to have a sleepover soon, and go

for a ride in my truck. Sometimes we will have one on one days where Grandma will take one, and I'll take the other. I taught the girls a song that my aunt used to sing to me when I would take a bath when I was really little. It's a song from South Pacific called "I'm going to wash that man right outta my hair." And they remember it, and now we sing it every time they take a bath! The one thing that is a struggle for me is getting them to sleep. They have so much energy! My age is starting to show! Needless to say, I love my job.

School is good too. My tennis class is fun. I woke up an hour late last week, because my phone was acting weird, and so my alarm went off an hour later than usual, and so when I got to class I was so confused as to why everyone was already playing. And then it was made known that class had been going for an hour. Silly me. Math is good too, but I'm not going to lie, sometimes I just browse the web like last week it was photographers. Not sure what this week will bring yet, but I'll figure something out that's for sure.

Now for Steven and I. We are doing great! :)  Couldn't ask for a better guy. We played tennis which was hilarious! I'm not good at all lets just say that much. We spent all day Friday together and ran errands went to the temple, and I had an Institute Activity to help with, and he willingly came with me to help with a bunch of set up for it, and was such a big help. We went and saw Water For Elephants which was so good, but def liked the book more. Then we headed back up to Springdale for our Angels Landing hike the next morning. This next week, we both work a ton and are busy with stuff, and so we wont get to spend much time together, but it's just prep for when he leaves for 17 days to go to New York in July. He leaves in 17 days! Crazy! We are going to Lake Powell right before he leaves! I've never been there, so I'm excited! So things are moving right along. Barf as you may, but I used to be the girl who did everything by herself, totally fine going grocery shopping alone, running errands, getting lunch stuff like that, but now I'd much rather do it all with him.

Oh Institute! So fun! I love my calling. I love the people on council with me. We just have this great bond. I've never worked with such a dedicated and fun group of people. We all share something so special, and bring it together and things run smoothly, and I love it.

I'm missing home a little bit more than usually. I think it's just because I'm not nearly as busy as I usually am, which gives me more thinking time of home. But my mom may come to visit in August. I'm crossing my fingers, because that would be so much fun!! I think I'm still used to the concept of when I'm bored I would just go to the beach..I don't have that option here. Still hasn't sunk in after two years apparently.

So life is great. I count my blessings more and more every day. I can honestly say that when you look at the big picture - at all the great things that are in your life - those things that make you upset, annoyed, and confused seem so much smaller. I read something the other day that made me think. If you complain about spoiled milk, be grateful that you have milk to be spoiled. Or if you're friends are mad at you- be grateful that you have friends. And when you fail a test, be grateful that you have the opportunity to get an education. Just shed a different light on complaining, and the perspective of being a little more grateful for what we have. Definitely something that I can work on.

Steven and I are reading the New Testament right now, and we just got to Luke, and it's not my first time reading through it, but every time I read something over again, I love how I gain something new that I didn't notice before. I love learning about Christ and his ministry. The many miracles that he performed. And what a testimony it is to me, to see him still working miracles in our lives today. When you read the stories of those who were healed by Him, you can feel that love that He had for others. It's all so incredible to me. He lives. It's as simple as that. I love Him and all that he does for me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to the Red

After slacking yet again, I'm back to Utah. 21 days gone and I think I caught up to my tan, and spent time with my favorite girls back home, went kayaking with my mom, and did lots of fun stuff while I was home.  Needless to say, I'm glad to be back and in my productive, proactive, busy self again. 

But first things first, the day I flew into Vegas, I sat next to a guy who had never seen mountains before! So he was beyond fascinated by them, and kinda gave me a reality check on yet again having the best of both worlds. Beach in florida, and then mountains here in Utah. He was quite the talker, made a friend though! lol Once I got to Vegas, I saw Steven! :) Did I mention he's growing a beard? He has to for the Palmyra Pageant in New York that he is going to be in with his sister in July. Anyway, anticipated getting my bags off the vault, everyone knows that's the worst feeling not knowing if your bags made it or not, but they did thankfully.  We got back to his car, and he had flowers for me :) We went to The Venetian and walked around for a little back, and then headed back to St. George. Where we got about 10 minutes from home, and we got pulled over because of a headlight that's out. But it was good to get back that's for sure. 

Spend the weekend up in Springdale and went to church up there which is always fun for me. We made cakebites! Which ended up turning out better than I thought they would. Then we went on a motorcycle trip to  Leman Caves, Nevada with Steven's parents. Which was really neat. Oh and freezing! I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, a windbreaker, and my North Face ski jacket. And it was almost June. On the way back is when the funny part comes in to play. I fell asleep on the back of the motorcycle, and didn't wake up. Apparently I was at a 90 degree angle. It's not wonder that my neck hurt afterwards. Steven had to hold on to me--for my life, and his life's sakes. But I woke up eventually.

School started last Tuesday, and it's not so bad after all. I actually like my math class. I say that now, and may change my mind next week. And I love my tennis class. I made a friend, and her name is June and she's from China! Her english is pretty good, and she's actually good at tennis which makes me look awful! lol But I bet by the end we will be going to the pros!

Thursday night Steven and I were suppose to go to see The Little Mermaid, but it got cancelled due to technical difficulties, so instead, we went mini golfing and we are both not so good at it, so it was hilarious! I almost peed my pants. Then we went to Pasta Factory for dinner. I miss the food, but that's about it. Friday we went and hiked Angels Landing again! According to Steven he'd say that I was power walking it up to the top. Which I kinda was bookin it up there, but I wanted us to get back to dinner to eat with the Sister missionaries, and when someone says I doubt you can do it, just makes me want to do it that much faster! So we did make it back just in time for dinner. But while we were hiking, we ran into Sister Allred, who is the First Councilor in the General Relief Society of the church. She's from El Salvador, and I heard her accent and mentioned to Steven that it had to be her, and he was like "No it's not! It can't be!" yadda yadda. Well on our way back down from the top, we saw her and her husband resting under the tree and Steven said Hi, and I asked where they were from, and then I asked if it was here and it was!! Baam! Then we saw a guy who was hiking in flip flops! Crazy person! And then two lizards crazy fighting. Like biting each others heads! Overall it was a good hike up and back, but I think I'm good now. I don't want to go through that again any time soon. 

Sunday I got to go to my new ward, and it was a million times better than I thought it was going to be! I met a guy who served in the Tampa, Florida Mission! Knew a few of the Elders that I knew there! So that was pretty cool, and it seems as though everyone is united. Which is something I was worried about.  But no need to fret! It's all good!  Afterwards I went over to Toquerville, and my grandparents and I were invited over to the Young's (more of Steven's family) for dinner. Everyone was in town for a baby blessing. So we enjoyed a nice dutch over dinner over there, and then went back up to Springdale. Oh! Funny story! There a was a biker (road bike) who lost his hearing aid device, and needed a way back to Hurricane which is about 20 minutes away from Springdale. So Steven and I were his chaufer's to get to Hurricane, and we got his whole life story, and all about his latest travels! It was fun! I love getting to know new people, especially the old ones because they always seem to give the best advice. After that we went to a park until I got cold. 

Great weekend! I am counting my blessings that's for sure. It all goes back to the little things that count, and when you look back they become to the big things. I love my life :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My favorite: Tan lines on my face

The numbers are getting smaller for the days that I have left here in Florida. But it's been a ton of fun. Since I last posted, Thursday I had an Eye Appt & I went to the beach with the beautiful Anna Mckeon and Bride - To - Be Mary Gundel soon to be Mckeon! It was so much fun. I feel like all we talked about was Mary's wedding, but it was great! She's going to be a beautiful bride no doubt about it. We caught up a bit on our lives. 
As far as the Eye Dr. went- I have been having major issues with light sensitivity lately,  and my mom said that maybe it was stress induced because it was around the end of the semester. Or maybe that because it had been raining so much in St. George and cloudy that my eyes just needed to get used to the sun again. But when I was in Hawaii it was pretty bad, and here it was too especially since I lost my sunglasses again! Not the ones that I lost at graduation, but I lost a pair on the plane ride to Florida. Good thing they are only like 10 bucks. Anyway so I have this problem with my eyes. I go to the doctor, and he looks all around my eyes, does the puff machine, and the computer that tells you what your vision should be, and puts dye in my eye to see cool stuff. Then he told me that I have developed scar tissue on my eye. He says it's probably from infections in the past, but I couldn't tell you the last time that I had an infection. Probably since high school at least. Which could be attributed to my sensitivity to light. Anyway, I think you get the gist of it all. Then on top of that, my eye sight has generally been 3.75 or 4. Well my left eye- the one with the scarring- looks as though its a 4.25. Basically I'm going blind.

 But Doctors Orders are to wear my glasses as much as possible for the next long while, and see what happens. So glasses are out, and on. I am proud to say that I look super fly with my newly found raccoon eye tan line due to my sick sunglasses. I'm the coolest of cools now!

So after all of that, and the beach, I went to go see Dominic and Wyatt the twin boys that I used to nanny, and they are getting so big! I couldn't believe my eyes! They hardly remembered me, but I think they kinda did after a few minutes. So- it was girls night, but then turned into girls night plus Ryan and Eric and then Ryan left us. But we went and got my favorite: Chick-fil-a the girls asked what Utah didn't have I automatically responded Chick-fil-a. We went to a frozen yogurt place that is just like Krave in St. G, and to a movie. It was a perfect girls night out + Eric Poor guy always stuck with us lol.

I have managed to clean out everything in my room. I know have hardly anything left to spare here. Sad, but nice too have more space and all.  Yesterday (Friday) I rode my mom's bike out to the causeway for a few hours by myself, which was really nice and then later that night, I went to the YMCA (where I used to work before college) and said Hi to my old boss, and little did I know that it was a party that they were putting on for her daughter. So I got to see a ton of the mom's that I used to work with and catch up with everyone. It was so  great to see everyone again. It amazes me how much the kids have grown up! 
They are so big!

Now for today- Saturday- Long bike ride- 20 Miles round trip- to Clearwater Beach. Up and over the bridge and back. It was fun- I went with my parents. & We had a good time. We tried to leave earlier, but good thing we didn't leave any later, because it was starting to get toasty outside. But the sea breeze was nice today. Can't say that I will ever volunteer to do it again, but I'm proud to say that I did for now. 
Pinellas Trail >>>

So 6 more days left in Pinellas county, and I am missing St. George a bit more than I expected. I've got a few more people to see, and a little more brown to get, a kayaking trip with my mom, but then I believe I will be good to go.

 I have the best of both worlds. East and West. Family & Family. Friends & Friends. I hate leaving, but I love going back, and I can say that about both places. Connie and I have plans to go play racquetball. I'm breaking out my baking skills when I get back. Dusty as they may be, I'm determined to get back in the act. And perfect a Banana bread recipe! And make Cakebites from scratch. Steven and I have plenty of things to do when I get back, and I can't wait. Speaking of, he may have a job in St. George starting in August as a TA at one of the high school's. I hope he gets it, because that would be awesome!!