Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Count Downs

It's that time of year to start my count downs!!! YAY!

7 days to decide what classes to take next semester
7 days until I can play Christmas music
31 days until Thanksgiving
33 days until my four-year heart anniversary
54 days until "official" end of finals
58 days until I go back home
62 days until CHRISTMAS!
72 days until winter semester

1 day until I need to take my psychology, physical science, and Book of Mormon tests. joy. I wish these other days came first...

Parents Weekend was this past weekend. It was kind of hard to see all the students with their parents visiting. So instead I went to the canyon with some friends. And watched a movie with some friends. And played games with friends. I'm glad I have so many incredible friends here.

So here are some incredible pictures from the trip up to Canyon Glen Park:

Trying to remember to stay positive and happy this upcoming week with several tests, lots of projects due, and attempting to recruit volunteers for my advertising committee. So much to do, so little time. A quote to help this week:
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place, or drop out of our lives." President Ezra Taft Benson
Here's to a great upcoming week! Remember to smile!
Oh, and make sure to watch Vocal Point's performance this past week on "The Sing Off" - it was incredible!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


My good friend posted this on Facebook the other day as a little optimism boost for our upcoming week of tests...

Wouldn't it be great if we could all have this attitude every day? Especially on a Monday morning...or any morning for that matter. But especially Monday. And Wednesday, the hump day.

As my cousin always says, Remember to SMILE!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


There's just something about those gigantic landforms sticking up out of the earth. They're incredible, majestic, beautiful, and at this time of year they are on FIRE! I LOVE IT!!!

Saturday was my canyon day. After an early-morning blood draw, I drove up into Provo Canyon and stopped at Canyon Glen Park. Stood on the bridge for a few minutes and just listened. And remembered when I used to do this with my family when we still lived in West Jordan. I have really missed this time of year in the mountains!!!! It's so picturesque, and just taking the time to sit (well, stand) still, listen to the rushing water and the sound of the wind through the trees and the rustle of the crisp leaves on the ground...it truly is an incredible experience. You feel so close to nature and more fully appreciate the beauty and grandeur of this world that we live in.

Later (waaay later) we had a birthday bonfire for one of my friends at the same place. Which was so much fun!!!! I love my BYU ward (see picture below) :) The canyon looked different in the dark - you couldn't see the fiery leaves and the tree-covered mountains - but the rush of the water was still there and standing on that bridge you could see the stars. I mean REALLY see the stars. I haven't seen stars that bright in forever!! It was kind of fun to find those constellations that I learned about in astronomy last semester (which reminds me, I should dig out those notes and review). I love looking up into the night sky, at all the mysteries it holds. Once again, you feel the wonder of this world and overwhelming gratitude for such a beautiful place.

The mountains are really a special place. You can remove yourself from the world, take time to slow down and listen, and feel near to the Spirit. I know there are hundreds of analogies with mountains, but they really are true. I love the Lonestar song (I'm a country music geek) "Mountains." The chorus says, "The good Lord gave us mountains so we could learn how to climb." It's SO true. And once you get to the top and see the view...wow. Everything it took to get there is completely worth it.

I'm going again. Very soon. I'm going to crunch through leaves and throw rocks in the river like I'm six again. I love every minute of it.

PS I will be taking pictures of the colorful mountains tomorrow. Simply didn't have time today but wanted to share this for sure!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

That's Life

From Monday:
Sinus infection turned cold turned to swollen nose bridge that requires a doctor visit and CT scan. Which means I missed my three classes today and need to get enough sleep tonight to make it to psych and physical science. yay.
From Tuesday:
Which of course didn't happen. At least physical science didn't mainly because I decided to come back from psych and take a nap and didn't wake up until seven which was an hour into physical science. It felt amazing to sleep that long :) I love naps...

So now it's Friday. My nose is even more swollen than before and it's just on the right side so the ENT doctor I saw on Wednesday wanted to see me again today but of course the only appointment they had available was during my writing class. ugh. So I haven't been to writing at all this week so I have a TON of homework and catch up to do this weekend. Plus I've been really homesick the past several days mostly because my mommy isn't here to take care of me, but also just because it's finally starting to sink in that I've actually moved out. For the longest time, BYU has really felt like an extended-stay EFY...

I love my siblings...Can you find Nathan?? :)

Next problem: What should my major be??? or at least What classes should I take next semester?? Because registration is in two and a half weeks. yikes! I have my list of the 180 or so majors at BYU and have slowly been narrowing them down. And then there's the classes dilemma... *deep sigh* I guess that's part of growing up.

Growing up really isn't all it's made up to be.

On the bright side:

my good friend Kaitlyn came to visit me!!! We grew up together in West Jordan. It was soooo much fun to catch up with her - thanks for coming Kaitlyn :)

which made me really excited for when I get to see her, Deanna, and Danielle (my best friends when I lived in Utah) in two weekends!!!! woo hoo!!

Stake Conference is this weekend which means I don't have to teach!! I mean, I love teaching Sunday School but it's kind of nice to get a break. But the next lesson is on Ephesians which includes the Armor of God which is pretty much my favorite lesson ever :) I love the New Testament :)

You know life would be a lot simpler if there was a religious studies major...my mind would be made up by now.

I get to have home-cooked food on Sunday night!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love the Cannon Center, but I still need something that's a little healthier and, well, homemade. I'm excited :)

So those are some things I try to think about as I get homesick or my nose starts to throb...before I go to put on a warm compress, let me just say one more thing.

Vocal Point. If you haven't heard about the BYU a capella group, now you have. They are competing on the NBC a capella competition "The Sing Off" and they are AWESOME!!! I look forward to watching that every other weekend right now as I don't have time on Monday night and don't really have time until Thursday or Friday night. They perform again this Monday night!! and I'm really excited :) haha just youtube their songs from "The Sing Off" and you'll see why....

Photo courtesy of NBC "The Sing Off"

Good bye, good night. Off to another warm compress, to finish laundry, and to write some letters!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Of Science and Songs

Never again. Never. Three hours of physical science just about finishes me. And I have a test this Friday for that class. So how do I manage to stay awake during my least favorite subject for three hours?
Here is last week's productive three hours (yes I did still take notes, but my professor tends to go off on long tangents about economics, fantasies, childhood stories, and other unrelated subjects):

Yes. I am an obsessive compulsive doodler. I do need some new doodling subjects - my psych notebook is also covered in fish and awkward triangle-chin people. Any ideas??

Tonight I took my computer with me and managed to get some of my essay written that's due tomorrow. And I still took down some good notes from the night. Now to study for that test...

On another note...
country music is amazing, but not as awesome as Christmas music. I couldn't stand the wait any longer and broke out into my Christmas playlists tonight while working on my leadership blog post (see the links on the sidebar). Among my favorites:

Amy Grant - Grown Up Christmas List
Mannheim Steamroller - Deck the Halls
Rockapella - Little Mary Snowflake
Michael McLean - Homeless (from The Forgotten Carols)

So go crank up those Christmas carols and start getting in the spirit! I'm not totally out of my mind - it will start snowing in the mountains by next week. And I needed a little pick-me-up tonight. Getting a little homesick.

Back to homework and updating my tutoring availability. And then bed. Sleep would be good...maybe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's still unreal...

I am 1400 miles away from my family and feeling rather home sick. I can't believe it's been a month since I came out to Utah! It still feels like I'm at an extended-stay EFY (Especially For Youth) because that seriously is what BYU is. well, minus the hours and hours of homework. But other than that it's pretty much the same thing.

So I need to stop using Facebook so much (especially after being told so in General Conference) so here I am finally updating my blog. Hopefully this will become a more regular habit...

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!! Everyone is so incredibly kind and friendly; the Church plays into every single subject (my writing homework this weekend is to analyze the rhetorical strategies of the conference speakers); people openly talk about testimonies, missions, and getting ready for church lessons; we have a Family Home Evening group; I can attend the temple every single week; and so on. The guys here are amazing. I'll leave it at that for now :) And no I am NOT planning on getting married this semester, nor next semester, nor for several more years even if I am at BYU. 

So here are just a few of the activities I've been up to since being away from home.

Football. Yes I am learning to enjoy the games. Of course the only one I've been to so far is the University of Utah game in which our Cougars pretty much got run over, but it was still fun :) By the way Cody Hoffman is in my Book of Mormon class - there's my claim to fame.
My amazing friend Alyssa - we were EFY roomies last year and got our football tickets together.
Below is the view of the halftime show from my aunt and uncle's box seats. We were actually sitting on the very far left edge of the bleachers in the background.

I have been to a choir concert (incredible!), a Jimmer All-Stars Event (got lots of pictures for Megan), and to Target (a big exciting adventure for us college students who have our own little world here on campus). I went to Rascal Flatts with my aunt Carly - so much fun!!!! 
I have been to several devotionals, attended the General Relief Society Meeting with my aunts, go to Ward Prayer each week, and look forward to Family Home Evening as the highlight of my Monday. Seriously, it's the only reason I get through my Mondays. 
I have heard 2 apostles speak at BYU - Elder Oaks at a CES Fireside and Elder Andersen for a devotional. I have the incredible opportunity to attend the temple each week and go with some of the people from my ward. Picture will be taken SOON :)
Yes, I had front row seats to the Jimmer All-Stars game. I sat with my uncle and it was awesome!! Anyways, this is probably the best picture I got of Jimmer actually smiling that night :)
Rascal Flatts is amazing! What more can I say? This was them performing "I Won't Let Go," one of my favorites!! :)
And this is my FHE group - they are AWESOME!!! I love these guys :) We went bowling and I actually got a strike for once in my life!!! The rest of the game was pretty awful but I started out with a strike!! I was pretty excited :) Anyways, this is me, Annie, Logan, James, Alec, Angela, Newel, Andy, Austin, and Kyle in front.

So yeah. That's pretty much my exciting life. I have mountains of homework to do and it's a hard realization to see that everyone here is just as smart as I am so I have to now work three times as hard to get the grades I had in high school. My last test was a bit of a wake-up call...haha I've also realized procrastination equals late nights. I do not like late nights therefore my procrastination levels are going down. sort of. It's a work in progress. I also need to start taking more pictures of my amazing adventures at BYU.

By the way, General Conference was amazing!!!! Even though I was away from my family for the first time ever and missed going through 72 hour kit snacks (though I did not miss eating the MRE's or made ready to eat meals that we've had for six years now), it was an awesome weekend of listening to the prophet and apostles and other general authorities speak. 
My team-teacher and I will be having a kind of conference review activity in our Gospel Doctrine class on Sunday - I'm excited :) Did I mention I love conference??? Oh yeah, I was called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in my ward. LOVE that calling - I learn so much about the New Testament and teaching everyone and getting to know the people in my ward is just such an awesome experience!

Just to show how busy I've been...here's my calendar from last month. It's NOTHING compared to this month.
And yes that does say "Fon't Dorget" on the far side. It's a joke that Rachel (my sister) tells and it makes me laugh and therefore helps me remember.

I LOVE this Church and I love being here at BYU!!! Go Cougars!!!

And remember to smile :)