Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scream World

Last night I went with a few friends to Scream World here in Houston. It wasn't the most terrifying haunted house around, but it was scary enough. I really wanted to be scared, so I psyched myself out and got really jumpy.

It has been a few years since I went to my last haunted house and I loved it. I'm finally starting to feel like it is October. I'm thinking of wearing an orange shirt tomorrow to work, as well as bringing in bite-sized candy. I'm thinking that might help me get into the spirit of things. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10 Songs

So my friend Morgan had a blog where she put her I-Pod on shuffle and the first 10 songs to play she wrote a little about. I'm thinking that's a pretty good idea.

The first song to come up was the Dixie Chicks, Sin Wagon. The Dixie Chicks are one of my pre-mission favs. Now I'm not always in the mood to listen, but some days they are all I want to hear/sing to as loudly as I can.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite by the Beatles was song number 2. Not one of my favorite Beatles songs, but I do love me some Beatles. They are one of those bands that will forever be in my I-Tunes, no matter how old I get. I'm sure my children will know them well.

You Can't Stop The Beat from the movie Hairspray came next, and I was surprised to see Hairspray on my I-Pod, but then I remembered that I put it on there for our trip to hike the Narrows to try and please Kami, Caitlin and Alex. What a funny choice - and great memory of the Narrows.

Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble reminds me of little Rick Roper. He was in love with this song and the music video last winter semester. I loved coming home to an excited roommate ready to play me a music video, even though he'd already shown me two or three times previous.

Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts put a smile on my face just thinking about Cars (although I've never seen it) and roadtrips. I love roadtrips and am highly anticipating viewing Cars for the first time, although it may be a few years as much as I've been procrastonating it.

The next song was First Love by Adele. What can I say about Adele? She may just be one of my favorite singers of all time. I've overplayed her album on my I-Tunes and I-Pod and am anxiously awaiting her next album, although I don't know when that will be. My advice to you, if you're ever having a bad day, listen to Adele's album and life will be better. Guaranteed.

How Great Thou Art by Susan Boyle snuck it's way onto my I-Pod. I originally bought the Susan Boyle CD because she looks like Ryan Bruce, but after listening to it I fell in love with her manly looks and beautiful voice. Worth a listen.

Girl from Across the Universe came next. I'm a sucker for musicals, and when I heard they were doing a musical with Beatles music I was sold. The musical itself doesn't make any sense unless you know the Beatles and their story. And I don't know if it's one I would watch again, but the soundtrack is amazing.

Glee! I love it. I can honestly say that I'm obsessed. In this rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, Idina Menzel and Lea Michele sing perfectly. One of my all time favorite Glee numbers.

Faithfully by Journey is another overly played songs on my I-Pod. I love running to Journey's Greatest Hits and imagining listening to it as if it were new. It makes me wonder if I would've been friends with my dad back in the day (probably not) or if I would've even loved Journey as much as I do had he not played it excessively when I was younger.

So that is my list of 10 songs on shuffle from my I-Pod. Gives quite the variety of music, and that is how my I-Pod kind of is, completely random and amazingly good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


How do you deal with disappointment? I like to think I am just like this girl: In for a world of disappointment.

I hate when things are out of your control. I hate when things don't go as you planned. I hate when people lie to you, and talk you up, when really it's a facade. I would just for once like to be told that I stink at everyone and should curl up in a ball and die. I know it sounds ridiculous, but when people are always sugar coating things you can never really reach your full potential.

Why I Hate the City

I realized today something about the city - I hate it. I am fascinated with the architecture, the night life, the abundance of culture, parks and people. But I most definitely hate who I am in the city. I have stopped trusting people, I judge them based off their race, clothing and the way that they walk. It is actually quite sad. I passed these two guys today on my way to work, they had a flat tire - and I didn't even think about stopping. In an instant I judged them as someone who would probably steal my car if I pulled over on the side of the road to help them. This assumption probably wasn't accurate, but it's shocking what the city will do to you.

I don't leave my car unlocked, even for 5 minutes while I run inside. Everything valuable is out of my car every time I leave it. I run with only one headphone in so I can hear if anyone is approaching me. I try to avoid dark streets or bushes. It is really quite sad. In Rexburg I lived a peaceful, trusting life. I've changed so much. Even today when I'm sitting at home I dead bolt the door. Oh Houston, what have you done to me?

Maybe these will help show the difference:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time Doesn't Stop

As I sit here pondering life I keep thinking about time. Time wasted, time gone by, how time flies, etc. And I came to the realization that time doesn't stop, even when you need a break. You can't get it back, you can't slow it down, and you can't stretch it out. Time always leaves it's imprint too.

This got me thinking about my first FHE group.

What an amazing group of young college students. I'm sure we didn't know what lied ahead of us, or where we would be two years from then. Shane and Hannah are married. Jake is married with a little one on the way. David is married and on an internship in Salt Lake. Brady is out in Virginia. Stu is teaching seminary in Ririe and one class shy of graduation. Kimberly just submitted her mission papers, Danna is at BYU-Hawaii, Jenna is teaching school in Utah. Whitney is an ultra amazing accountant. Shelby is healthy and happy at BYU-I. Kendra is married. Ashley is a nurse in California. Alexis is a super talented interior design major. Natalie is in Utah doing social work. Kylie is studying at BYU-Provo. Kelley will graduate in December and become a nurse. And Melissa is patiently waiting for her missionary to get home and is a junior!

Life is crazy. Why do we have to grow up?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I really love making lists, and I've made the following before, but here is my current list of things I love:

Every Monday I play volleyball with my ward. It is fun to have that social interaction, plus I just love playing the sport. It is the highlight of my Mondays.

I am on an oatmeal kick. I don't eat it for breakfast, but I've been eating it for lunch. My most recent favorite is Apple Chai. It is delicious. Everyone should eat oatmeal, it is tasty goodness.


I am so excited for Halloween. I think about it and get happy. I have no plans really, have no idea what I'm going to be. No plans for haunted houses nor have I watched a single scary movie. But just knowing that it's all accessable brings joy to my heart.


Glee is one of the nerdiest trends I've ever been a part of, but I don't care. I love the music and some of the show. Mainly I just love watching to see what they are going to do with the music they sing. I like it mainly when they recreate songs. Like when they sang Toxic by Britney Spears. It was great because it was different. Love it!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I have loved all of the Harry Potter books (you can see from my previous blogs) but this one was the best, and the movie comes out next month. I'm really excited to see it over the Thanksgiving holiday. Should be an amazing time.

The People of Houston

Being able to live in Houston has given me the opportunity to visit with those that I met and loved from my mission. Here are a few pictures of some of the most amazing people you could ever get to know.

Juanita, Aleika, Chariz, Bertha, and Monce.

La familia Burns

La Hermana Contreras, sus hijos y la familia Benitez

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Morning

Why have I not been watching this every day when I get ready in the morning?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amazingly Blessed

I just found this video as I was avoiding homework on Facebook. I am truly blessed with amazing people in my life. Seriously, how can one person be so lucky?

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By the way, my good friend/sister Natalie Rae Gillenwater made this video for me. Seriously, such great friends.

On The Radio

I always hate it when people post song lyrics in their blogs. I just think, "come on guys, just post the song so we can listen to it, no need to read 15 blog entries on your favorite song lyrics." But I am always a hypocrite, and just wanted to post some of my favorite lyrics from the song On The Radio by Regina Spektor.

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

These lyrics make life so simple. Things happen, or they don’t and you don’t really have control over them. I wish I had more control over my life. I don’t know who I am, where I’m going in life, or what I even want to do.

This is a big problem.

Why can’t I figure things out? Even when I feel like I am at the top of my game, what I really want (which I still have no idea what that is) is just out of my grasp. But what is the point of worrying, or sulking around? Life isn’t going to be perfect, but it is always amazing. At least that is what I tell anyone I talk to while I’m here in Houston.

Life is amazing.

What does that even mean? Does it mean I am making lemonade out of the lemons I get on a daily basis? Does it mean that I am enjoying every minute of every day? I think not. I think that it is easier though to pretend to be happy all the time then to explain the reasons behind sadness or discouragement. I normally only tell one person my real discouraging news.

They don’t like hearing it anymore.

So now I’m here enjoying life despite the fact that I can’t truly express myself to anyone because I don’t really have any truly deep relationships with anyone down here. I have to be positive and live that amazing life I tell everyone I am.

But just remember,
This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I received the following e-mail today:

Dear Student,

Based on your number of earned credits, you have been identified as one who may be approaching completion of your BYU-Idaho degree requirements.
Ha! Do they really think that I am close to being done? Even though at the end of this semester I will have 130 credits, I still have two semesters left. I hope they don't get angry. :) Life in Rexburg is way too good to give up, so I think I'll stick around for a while. Graduation in July seems splendid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cute Little Bear Cub Shapes?

Have you ever seen such an amazing Teddy Graham? I have to say, these little bad boys are my new favorite. I'm partial to the cinnamon ones, but they were having a killer sale the other day at Krogers, so I bought two boxes of plain (they were the only ones left) and I'm loving them as well.
In case you were wondering, I devoured this bad boy as soon as the picture was taken. So good!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

D&C Assignment

The following is an assignment for my Doctrine & Covenants class this semester.

Doctrine and Covenants 97:14 teaches us that the temple is a place where we “may be perfected in the understandings of [our] ministry, in theory, in principle and in doctrine, in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Temples are such miraculous places; they are the house of the Lord.

The Bible Dictionary says, "A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."

Through revelation Joseph Smith understood the importance of building a temple and performing ordinances essential to the progression of the Saints toward eternal life. But did they always understand it? In D&C 95, it seems as if they were hesitant to build a temple, hesitant because maybe they were afraid of being uprooted and having to abandon a temple they had worked so hard on. Maybe they felt like they didn’t have enough time, money or other resources to assist them in the edification of such a grand edifice.

In a personal revelation in December 1832 (D&C 88) Joseph Smith was commanded to build the first temple, and in June 1833 the Lord revealed to the First Presidency the manner in which the temple should be built (The First 100 Temples). From what I read, the Saints labored diligently to bring forth the erection of the temple. According to the History of the Church volume one, “Great preparations were making to commence a house of the Lord; and notwithstanding the church was poor, yet our unity, harmony and charity abounded to strengthen us to do the commandments of God. The building of the house of the Lord in Kirtland was a matter that continued to increase in its interest in the hearts of the brethren.”

From what I read, there weren’t any who opposed building a temple, but there were some who didn’t think it was their duty to do so. That is where the chastisement in D&C 95 comes from. But did this lack of desire to build a temple stem from a lack of knowledge about temples?

I was able to talk to my boss a little bit about temples this week, and I was surprised that she had never passed by the Houston temple (of course it is very much out of the way, but still!). This got me thinking: since we have 134 temples in operation, and today there were new temples announced in Portugal, the Philippines, Mexico, Indiana, and Connecticut, how come more people don’t know about them and revere them as houses of the Lord?

What I’ve decided is that Latter-day Saints today do not value, use and teach about the temple as they should. How on earth would my boss know about the temple in Spring without first being introduced to a member of the church that could teach her? It is my testimony that we must teach those we love about the temple, and show in our behavior, the love we have for Christ and the sacred work performed within the walls of the temple. I think it is also highly important that we attend the temple as frequently as we can.

Howard W. Hunter said regarding temple attendance, “Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the House of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing.” ( “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises, ” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8.)

Please go to the temple. Do your own work, and the work for your ancestors. Teach those you know about the vital work we perform as members of the church. And if you’re reading this and are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ask me more and I would be glad to teach you all about our temples.