"Are you a real firefighter?"

This morning I was awoken by a text from my mom. I always act like I am wide awake when she calls and texts me early in the morning like that. This morning I planned on responding and then passing back out, but what she texted me sent my mind racing. I couldn't go back to sleep with all the thoughts and memories bouncing around in my mind, so here I am; I am posting them here as my outlet. I should write it all down but I don't even have a journal. I'll just print it out at some point. 

The text read, "Are you watching the Today Show (sure am not mom, I only ever watch it when I'm with you or when Justin Bieber is doing a Christmas special.. jk... bs)? They are doing a special on the Bastrop Fire, and doing things for the firefighters who lost their homes. I was sobbing." 


I have been a firefighter for five years. That really isn't a lot of  time in the grand scheme of life. There are many people out there who serve for years and years and dedicate their lives to that work. I don't claim to be one of those, I don't even claim to know a ton about fire. Every single fire I fought I learned something new. I know there was so much more I could come to know. But, in five years, I did see A LOT. I saw different fire activity, different situations, I was afraid at times, confident at times, sometimes I knew exactly what we needed to do, sometimes I had no idea. This fire particularly left me feeling all of those things, yet it didn't compare to any other experience in the slightest. It was the most mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted I had ever been. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the most of those things I'll ever feel again.

I know that this job doesn't compare to many others in legitimacy. I know that rarely are lives lost; rarely do we see tragedies that are traumatizing. It happens, don't get me wrong, but it's not as common as police jobs and structure jobs. I know that as far as natural disasters go, there have been floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and endless unthinkable tragedies that have left people homeless, familyless, and absolutely devastated. Compared to a war time situation, this isn't even on the scale of trauma. But it was my trauma. My fire. My experience. And therefore, it was all those things to me. 

A couple of months ago I was in Texas to fight fire. There was severe drought; every firefighter that was available in the country was sent to Texas. We had been getting bored sitting around every day waiting for fires to start, so when we got the call to go to Bastrop we were ready for it. It makes me sick to think I was happy, excited even, that there was a fire. Something to do. An escape from monotony. How naive I was about how unhappy the experience would be. I was completely blind to the fact that people were losing their homes, some their lives. I had no idea, I just wanted to fight some fire. 

We got the call at about 11 at night, we were told to be ready to head out at 0600 the next morning. We did so, and were in Austin at about 1400 that day (it was a long road trip with few bathroom breaks which is no bueno for me). Bastrop is just south of there. As we are driving in the general direction, I see not only one, but two columns of smoke. Then a third. Fire everywhere. The worst part was that I didn't see forest anywhere. I saw fire and city. It was bizarre. Most fires are fought in the middle of nowhere with little town in between. I didn't understand why.

This is what I saw.

Once we were given  directions, checked in at ICP (incident command post), and headed to the main fire camp (located at an army camp) it was about 1530. We were told we would be working night shift and that it started at 1800. My thoughts were, "great, we have three hours to drive to camp, sleep, get up, eat dinner, and drive back to ICP before 1800." We all knew we weren't getting any sleep before that night shift started. We were right, none of us slept a wink. We ate some sandwiches about 1700 (camp wasn't fully set up yet so the food choices were limited). We got fuel and a Monster (no judgement there, we were headed in to an all night shift after having already worked 12 hours, thanks), and headed back to ICP for instructions. That was when it started to hit me just how insane this night was going to be.

The bosses headed in to a briefing and left us little seasonals outside to wait. As I sat there waiting (and feeling incredibly helpless as I watched the column growing bigger and bigger with every passing minute), countless people came up to me asking questions. People were telling me stories, "I was out on my boat fishing and saw the column, I didn't make it back to my house in time to get anything, all I have are the clothes on my back." And, "Have you seen my friends? They look like (fill in with very not descriptive description of what could be just about anybody).. they don't have a vehicle, I hope they got out in time." And the worst, "I was walking home, the police turned me around, I didn't have time to get anything, I have no insurance. Everything I have in life is in my house that just burned to the ground."

I was in tears before we ever even left to start work.

I was with a bunch of dudes who are unfeeling robots in times like these (that is not a hit at the guys, I wish I were that way, that is why it's always an interesting dynamic to throw females in to typical male jobs, but that's a story for another time) so I tried to hide my emotion. Our instructions were clear as mud, none of us had any idea what exactly we were headed in to do. We didn't care, we just wanted away from the public, and to feel like we were actually contributing. Structure protection, that was all they told us. We headed in to a subdivision that was sketchy already because there was only one way in. Our task force leader basically sent us to divide and conquer. Go find houses about to burn and save them, basically. Leave the ones already burning. I mean, we are not structure firefighters, we have no training or experience, not even enough water on our trucks, to save a home already burning. So prep work, got it. Let's do some work boys.

We take off down a random street and see some fire behind a home. The adrenaline was pumping at this time and we were fired up (pun so intended). We jumped out and ran to the house. We started with the hoses and line digging. We put in fire line all around the home and sprayed out the flames on the fire's edge. We threw all the lawn furniture away from the house, cut down hazardous trees, sprayed the two feet thick pine needles on the roof. We did all we knew how to do, then headed down the street to the next one. Saved it. Feeling great at this point. As we pull up to the next house, the fence is on fire. People jump out without putting on all their gear (packs, hard hats, gloves, etc) and just spray down the fence. Got it. Saved that one. We added more fire line and did similar things as the first houses. We did this several times, several houses. 

We completed several homes in several areas on that road. "We are doing a great thing here," I thought. Then we got a call on the radio. "Come over to such and such road and help so and so engine." We pack up and head over there. As we drive, I see the situation on the other side of the road is completely different. We are driving to the location of the other engines and there is fire everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It is not a line of fire progressing in a particular direction. It is everywhere. I can't tell where the column is, which direction the fire is moving, which way is up basically. That is when it all turned in to a blur of confusion, fear. I can remember it all, every detail, and yet the chain of events all runs together in to one big feeling of being traumatized. 

It was like a movie. It was like I was standing outside myself watching everything happen. The homes were burning. They looked like scary cartoon characters with faces, laughing at how defenseless we were against them. It almost felt like they were mocking our helplessness. We would work so hard spraying down a home, putting in a fire line, and suddenly the roof is on fire and the house is burning down from the inside. So we head to the neighbors to try to stop that one, but something explodes in the first one sending flames and embers everywhere. Now both are burning, and we are watching. Every move we made was one step behind. We would give it our all, only to be left watching the flames envelope our efforts seconds later. 

At one point I was spraying the flames out in a random back yard and a police officer comes to ask me a question.
 "What about that house over there?" 
"That house up the road, what about it?"
"I'm sorry, sir, I have no idea. I'm just spraying."
He heads up the hill where a fellow firefighter, Aaron, was standing. He asks Aaron what I assume was the same question he asked me. They both point the general direction and then take off toward it. They come back a few minutes later, looking distraught. All the while I am spraying and spraying and my face is melting off from the heat, I am completely oblivious to what is happening. He walks past me and gets back in his cop car. Aaron stands by me, silent for a minute. He then goes on to tell me that it was the officer's house. He had been asking me about his own house. He was asking if we had gotten there in time. I was so one-track minded, I hadn't had put it together. We didn't make it in time, his house was in flames when they had seen it. The officer watched his own house burn to the ground. He hadn't had a chance to go inside and take anything out because, since the start of the fire, he was helping other people escape. I stood, dumbfounded. Embarrassed at my ignorance. 

I know there could have been worse situations. There could have been lives lost, families lost. But in that moment, watching that officer drive away, I thought of his family pictures. I thought maybe he has a son, a daughter, both. Maybe their baby pictures are in a pretty photo album sitting on a shelf inside that house, catching fire as I stood there. Maybe there were family heirlooms, books, birth certificates, college degrees, fingerpaintings, kindergarten art projects, a daddy daughter photo taken from a fishing trip. He'll never get those things back. Most things can be replaced, true, but not everything. The life he built was just destroyed while he watched. While I watched.

It was Labor Day weekend so everyone was out of town. Nobody got the chance to go in and grab their valuables. They had no warning. A total of 1,386 home were lost during the duration of that fire. 1,386 families lost everything.

The night pressed on. We continued on in our haste to save and yet too many times we failed. I was getting discouraged. It felt like a war zone. There was fire everywhere. There were explosions. Loud loud explosions. It hurt my ears. Fire explosions. Fire was running in all directions. At one point they pulled us out of the subdivision because the head of the fire was running at us (wherever the head was, it was all just fire to me) and there was no escape. We pulled out, watched the 200 foot flame front pass while we sprayed out the spot fires it started, then headed back in. It was then that I realized it was about 3 am. I had a headache. My hands had burns on them from forgetting my gloves in my haste. My hair was singed. I was hungry. I was exhausted. But we kept moving. We worked on and on. As the time passed people became aggravated. We were getting on each other's nerves. Yet, we still had each other's backs. The boys, bless their hearts, were so good. So good to me, so good to each other. I really grew to love them that night. Watching as they worked relentlessly, never quitting no matter how discouraging it was. Making sure I was okay constantly. Helping each other, lessening each other's burdens.

We waited for our relief to come. The next shift was supposed to take over at 0600, ending our 24 hour shift. 0600 came and went, and still no relief. The sun came up. We still worked. We kept digging, kept cutting, kept initiating burn out operations and putting out fire. At 10 am I made a stupid comment, "goodness I'm hungry, I can't believe they expect us to work this way without having eaten since last night (going that hard all night with no food for fuel and energy was getting to me)." Aaron simply said, "get over it, Misty, eat an MRE if you have to." Ouch. It was then I realized what a selfish brat I was being. He just wanted to work until he fell over dead trying to save these people's homes, all I could think about was feeding myself. Talk about moment of sad self realization.

In that instant I did this thing I often do where I take a moment to step back and look at the situation I am in from the outside. Sometimes when I do this I wonder how in the heck I got to where I am. This time, I realized it was going on 28 hours of work. Not just 'being on call' kind of work, but hard and exhausting work. We hadn't eaten in 17 hours. We had probably saved 10 out of 350 houses we attempted to save. We were wildland firefighters trying to be structure people. We had no idea what we were doing. We hadn't slept in well over 30 hours.

I also realized there was no where in the world I would rather be.

I have always had this passion and desire within me to help. Every time I see or hear of a tragedy, all I want to do is use what I have been blessed with to help. I have a healthy body, a strong mind, able hands. So many people don't even have so much as those three things. I want to use them for the betterment of people. For the helping of the sick, the afflicted, those affected by tragedy. And there I was, doing just that. I had this overwhelming desire to write to the US Department of Agriculture and ask them not to pay me for the work I was doing. I wanted to just serve and serve until I couldn't stand. I felt so empowered, so re-energized. I was ready for another 30 hours if they would have let me. With this new found desire I pushed myself to the limit. I continued to work but with stronger vigor. My heart was bigger and therefore so was my will. We saved a house. Then two, then three. We saved a total of five in that neighborhood that morning after we were supposed to have been long gone. Staying and saving those homes made all the losses from the night before feel more than worth the effort we had put in, to no avail. I was on top of the world. Relief finally came at about 11:30 that morning. We headed out, back to ICP. They sent us in to Austin to sleep for the day, telling us to be back at 1800 that night. So we did. By the time we went to sleep in Austin it was about 1330. 31 and a half hours. I was too tired to eat, almost too tired to sleep. Stupid tired. The kind where everything is funny and you do things like look for your cell phone while you're talking on it. I passed out, woke up and headed back a few short hours later. Another Monster. Finally some food.

A little girl came up to me, she was about 10 years old.
"Mam, I baked some cupcakes for ya'll at the church, would you like one?"
"No thank you, sweetheart. I appreciate it though."
"Mam, please. This is all I can do to help. Please make me feel better and take my cupcake."
I stare like an idiot in disbelief and take a cupcake.
"Thank you so much for your service, mam."

This little girl just lost everything she has in life. Material things, yes, but at that age material things are some of the most important things. And yet there she was, thanking ME, thanking me for my service, baking me cupcakes. Thinking only of others, never of herself. Oh how I wish I could go back in time (and slap myself for being so ignorant) and thank that little girl for her perfect example of love and charity. Thank her for being such an example of kindness. Thank her for changing my life with her cupcakes of thanks. All I wanted to do was bake every flipping baked good I could ever imagine and give them away to all these humble people.

Everywhere we went it was, "thank you for your service... thank you for what you are doing... let me buy your lunch... let me buy you a Coke to say thanks... you guys are our heroes."

No, Bastrop Texas, you guys are MY heroes.

The next few night shifts were filled with us travelling from burned down house to burned down house putting out any sign of heat and fire we ran in to. That is when the situation hit me like a brick in the stomach. I saw the damage. It was a ghost town of debris and rubble. Only fire places standing with everything in ashes around it. There would be little signs of these people's livelihoods. Pictures frames with the pictures burned out of them, statues, silverware, china. Proof that these people had lives they built for themselves that now lay in ash all over the unforgiving mother earth. The guys that were there with me that night went back to AZ, I was extending and staying for 30 days so another crew came in. The new guys only saw what was left. They were in absolute disbelief of the damage. I tried and failed to describe to them the horror from that night. What it was like to watch the destruction happen while trying and failing to stop it. What it felt like to watch the cop drive away. How I felt talking to the man with no insurance. My words could never do justice to what really happened that night. The pain and sadness hung like a tangible thing in the air. It was so powerful to see the aftermath. It was then I realized how traumatizing the whole thing was. How affected I really was.

I know there are so many worse situations to be in. I know that war doesn't compare. That natural disasters with thousands of lives lost doesn't compare. But this is all I have to compare them to, and it was intense to say the very least. I have never seen anything like it and doubt I will again. My heart goes out to those who lost everything. My hat is tipped to those countless volunteer firefighters who go to work from 9 to 5 at a desk job, and then volunteer doing what I get paid to do just out of the goodness of their hearts. Bless the hearts and lives of those men and women who worked countless hours to do what little they could. Bless the hearts of everyone who works every day in situations like these. The soldiers, firefighters, police, any one in a service position. I thank you for all you do. This one experience changed me forever, and they deal with it all the time.

I am a different person after having been in Bastrop, Texas. I feel blessed to have had the experience. Few people have the chance to see what I saw. I feel humbled and thankful to my Father in Heaven for all that I have, for keeping us safe, for giving me the opportunity to be there and help. It was, above all, a testament of the power and mercy of my Heavenly Father. I know there is a plan. I know He loves us and protects us. I know He was there with me that night and that it was through Him alone that I had the strength to continue on. Countless prayers of family members, community members, and we firefighters are what gave us the ability to do what we did. The experience is one I hold dear to my heart, and one I will never forget. 


I'm an addict for dramatics, I confuse the two for love.

"Secret love, my escape.
Take me far far away.
Secret love, are you there?
Will you answer my prayer?
Please take me anywhere but here."

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. Those little girls are the loves of my life. My escape. They are the answers to my prayers. They take me away from the worries of life and bring joy and happiness to everything they touch. 

At one point Jaycee (the beautiful blondie) gave me a big hug and said, "Misty! I am so glad that you came skiing wif us today, I just love you sooooo much!"

Are you kidding me? My heart melted then and there. Not sure I could possibly love any thing or person more than I love those two little angels.

Whenever I need to be anywhere but here, I find refuge in those girls. You know what they say... "Thank heaven for little girls." You bet your boots that I do. Every day I thank my Father in Heaven for placing them in my life. They are, without and beyond a shadow of a doubt, two of my greatest blessings.  


Who gon stop me?

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."
-James 1:19

I think, in general, that most people are, "swift to ignore (while adding perfectly placed, "hmm's" and "yeah's" to make it seem like we're paying attention), quick to speak (about only the things pertinent to ourselves), and instant to wrath (easy to irritate and easier to annoy)." I know that I especially need to work on taking the advice of James, the spiritual giant. I need to give people the attention they deserve. I must quit interrupting while they speak. I need to value what they have to say the way I would hope they would value my opinions. I need to think before I speak. Use eloquence in my words (starting with adding the word eloquent to my vocab). I need to not get irritated so easily, or even at all. Love. Happiness. Let's have some more of that this week :]

Ps. If you don't watch SNL... first of all shame on you. Second, watch this. I know it's a little sacrilegious, but honestly it killed me.


50 things to smile about.

Before I get to the point of what I want to talk about here, I'm going to throw it out there that Keni (the roomie/cousin/baller) and I are on day 8 of 25 Days of Elf. Still going strong. We are picking up on things I never even paid attention to before. I think I am going to come up with a quiz that people can only pass if they watch the movie 25 days in a row. 
What is the step-mom's name?
What is Buddy sitting on in the corner of Walter's office?
What song is playing in the background when Buddy asks Jovie out for the first time?
Who asks Buddy where he has been for the last 30 years?
It's getting ridiculous. I can tell you that the little girl sitting at the Dr.'s office is named Carolyn. Buddy tuned the piano. Walter has a copy of The Sea King on display by his desk. I even have a new favorite part of the movie that I never noticed until now.. When Walter bails Buddy out of jail and they are walking out the door- Buddy tries to hold Walter's hand- and Walter slaps it away. Cracks me up every time.

That's a shhhhton of Elf watching.

Anywho. The thought behind this post was inspired by a shirt I saw at Forever 21 the other day. The top of the shirt read, "50 things to smile about". Literally a shirt with 50 things listed on it. They all made me smile, and I didn't even write the list. Magical. Not the Harry Potter kind of magic where it forces you to be happy because some out of your control force takes over your emotions, but the Disney kind where happiness just comes from thinking of how lovely all those things really are (that was not a hit at HP, I love HP. Just trying to describe what I mean). I wanted to make a list (I l-o-v-e making lists) of 50 things I smile about. Where better to do it than here.

Before I start the list (I do this in case you get bored with the list and want to bail out on reading this and decide to hit the magic red X in the top right, then I will have gotten my point across.. muahaha) I want to make a point that every one should have a list of reasons to smile. Whether you take the time to write them down, put them on a blog, print them on a shirt, or just think of them from time to time- a list of this nature could just change your whole life. 

How many times do we sit around and just feel sorry for ourselves? No matter how lovely of a person you are, we are human. Every one has those times when they feel like there is nothing good around them. Every one feels like their life is miserable at some point or another. During these times we need a slap in the face of reality to bring us back down to earth. 

Back in the day (like when dinosaurs roamed the earth) there was a woman in my life who used to always sing us a song that has the same concept as this 'smile list'. When you're a kid (and sometimes where you're an adult) you feel like every little thing that happens is the end of the world. We would be all "I just got in trouble for hitting my sister, my life stinks, woe is me...."ing, and this woman would sing this song. It always made us feel better. The lyrics were as follows:

"I love little baby ducks,
old pickup trucks
slow moving trains
and rain
and I love you too.
I love coffee in a cup
little fuzzy pups,
bourbon in a glass,
and grass
And I love you too.
I love winners when they cry,
losers when they try,
music when it's good
and life
and I love you too."

I thought she made it up because it was a pretty random list of things to love, but as it turns out it is a song by Tom T. Hall called "I Love". It, in a way, is a list of things to smile about. The same concept can be held in the song from the Sound of Music, "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.."

The lyrics in this song are brilliant (pronounced BEE-RILL-LEE-ANT). Seriously, bro. Hold on to your hats for this concept....


Pshh.. the power of the lovely Julie Andrews to throw some perspective in my face. It's a pretty easy concept, really. I'll put it in an equation for you math nerds (like myself):

feeling sad + remember favorite things = don't feel so bad
sad + smile list = not sad
I think so.

The best part of it all is when she says, "I SIMPLY remember". Like, duh. Simply. Just do it. Am I making a point? Probably not. I just want to make it obvious that there is always a little something, no matter how small, to brighten up a day. If you keep that list somewhere close then you can refer to it whenever you are feeling down; you'll be back on top in no time. And let's face it, who doesn't want to be on top (TWSS)? We're at the top of the world, you and I...

Man do I tend to ramble. Ok, here goes nothing, 50 things to smile about:

 1. Snow
2. Hoodies
3. The word 'babydoll' (not the toy, but the cutsie/corny nickname for a lover)
4. Campfires
5. Ice Cream
6. Pictures of my friends
7. Summer BBQ's
8. Air kisses
9. High fives
10. Holding hands
11. Disney movies
12. Laughing until it hurts
13. Roller coasters
14. Sleeping in
15. Homemade cookies
16. That moment on a long run when it actually feels good (runners high- GET AT ME)
17. The phrase 'like a boss'
18. Getting something for free
21. Leaves turning in the fall
22. The monsoons
23. Stories about historical events told my grandparents
24. Dancing in your skivvies (we all do it)
25. A text that says, "I miss you."
26. Singing at the top of your lungs
27. The color purple
28. Boys playing guitars
29. Crossing something off a 'to-do' list
30. The ocean
31. Clock towers
32. Deep conversations until the wee hours of the morning
33. Knowing someone has your back in all things
34. A cold Coke
35. Waterfalls
36. High school year books
37. Watching someone play piano
38. Songs that speak to your heart
39. Reading a book to a kid 
40. That moment you've waited your whole life for (read more about that HERE, an old post I stumbled upon last night)
41. The way you feel after giving service
42. Inside jokes
43. Jim and Pam 
44. Sunsets
45. Puppies
46. Butterflies in your stomach
47. Road Trips
48. Your best friend
49. Bike rides
50. The temple at night

Hope some of these make you smile, too. You- make a list of reasons to smile. I doubt you'll regret it.


One Eighty by Winter

"Go on just say it, you need me like a bad habit.
One that leaves you defenseless, dependent, and alone.
Live up to your first impression.
My best side was your worst invention.
Why can't you live without the attention?
I'll just say it.. I need you defenseless, dependent, and alone."
-Taking Back Sunday

I just went running in a tank top and booty shorts in December and was still sweating. Eat your heart out, Flagstaffians. Maybe next time you'll think before your rub the glorious snow in my face.

In other news, I can't wait to put this hat to use. When I told my parents that I don't start work until January 17th, they BOTH replied, "good, gives you time to fit in some snowboarding." Dear Sender of the Snow, please bless my pretty white mountains with the lovely fluffy stuff they were named for. Mommy already promised me a trip as soon as Sunrise opens it's pretty little doors.

And the song quote was just the song I was jamming when I started to write this, so you got a taste of it. I once (very hesitantly) said it was my favorite TBS song. I won't say it again, it's too sacred of a claim. Just know, it must be up there for those words to have come out of my mouth (even in a moment of weakness). 


"It came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time"

Right now I'm on day 5 of "25 Days of Elf". It isn't old yet. I still laugh out loud every time. Not just an occasional chuckle.. but still literal outbursts of cracking up laughter. Such a classic movie. 

Anyway. I just wanted to write a little thank you note to the universe for being so good to me. I am so blessed in so many more ways than I deserve. I am not sure why, but I know I am thankful for it. I know the Lord's hand is in every aspect of my life. I know it is through Him that all things are possible. So many prayers have been answered today, this week, this month, this year. I have learned so much. I just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude toward my Heavenly Father, I can't contain it. I had to write it down somewhere. I have been challenged in ways that have brought me to places I never thought I would be. I was so confused as to why, and now lately I am seeing the blessings that have come from it. The Lord knows what we need, if only we will trust Him. He knows how to help us, if only we will allow Him to do so. 

I am so thankful for that knowledge. I am so thankful for His tender mercies. I am so thankful that He is willing to let us hurt in order to help us. I am so thankful for the Atonement and its healing power. I am so thankful Christ was willing to lay down his life and to suffer more than we can possibly imagine on our behalf. I am just so thankful. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It is a beautiful feeling.
Last night I was reading in Alma about receiving His image in our countenance. I'm not sure if I have done that, but it hit me just how hard I need to strive to achieve it. Especially this Christmas season. Now is the time to reach out to Him, to let Him know just how thankful you are for all He has done for you. If you think you aren't blessed, just start noticing the people around you. Look at the challenges they are struggling with. Watch the news. We are so blessed.

"Have you received His image in your countenance?
Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes?
Will He know you when He comes again because you will be like Him?
When He sees you will the Father know His child?" 

...just think about it.


Remember, you can catch a lot of flies with honey..

..but you can catch more honies being fly. 

I know I already posted that on facebook, but seriously it never gets old. 
Hiiiiiiii friends! I know you miss reading my rantings. No worries, I haven't stopped watching Fantasy Factory and being inspired to write because of it, I have just been lazy. All is well. 

A few things before I get to the point I am trying to make.
1. Seriously the Hunger Games trailer, am I right?! I'm freaking out.
2. The Cards won today, the Wolves won yesterday, the Heat are back on. The sports fan inside of me is tickled to death. 
3. I bought a new stereo for my car. Ballin. Finally out of 2005 with my FM transmitter and caught up on the times of actually being able to use my iphone for what it's made for (besides making me the happiest girl to ever have an iphone).
4. If you aren't watching New Girl faithfully at this point, you're no friend of mine.
5. Everyone pray for snow.
6. Freaking Christmas right now. Best.time.of.year. There is a song they always played when I worked at Disney that said, "IT'S THE GREATEST TIME OF YEAR, AND IT'S HERE, COME AND CELEBRATE IT!" That's how I feel about Christmas right now. Let the watching of Elf & the Grinch on the daily commence.

So the other day I was watching Jay Leno (as I often do when I am hanging out with my mother (he's no Jimmy Fallon but he makes me giggle)) . Two of the guests on the show were an old man and his son. They told a story of how the father had gotten in an accident a while back. He flipped his car in to some swamp (or something? I wasn't paying close attention, the details are really irrelevant to the point) and disappeared for about a week. He was injured and starving, he had resorted to eating ants and spiders by the time they found him. The family had put together a search party and found him themselves. It was a really special story and they were both very emotional. The point, though, that was the real kicker, was when Jay asked the man what he learned from the event. 

His response:

"I learned to not wait for a holiday to have dinner and spend time with my family."

That hit me like a punch in the face. Think about it..

How often do we get so caught up in our lives, our jobs, whatever we think is important in this life, that we don't take the time necessary to connect with our families? How many people only visit home when Easter, the 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas come around? Don't get me wrong, those holidays are important and nothing compares to that family time. However, I know we all have things we can cut out of our schedules that are less important than a Sunday dinner with those closest to us. It always seems to take some outside force to encourage most people to spend time with their loved ones. Holidays, tragedies, weddings, etc. Why not just visit for the pure joy of seeing family? Nothing is more important in this life. 

Walt Disney once said, "A man should never neglect his family for business." I agree, but I would like to rephrase it to, "Nobody should neglect their family for any reason." Family is one of the few things we take with us after we are done here. It's one of the only relationships that will stand by our side our whole life. I think we all can agree on it's importance, but do we back this belief with our actions? Does it take a holiday to bring us together, or do we make a constant effort to spend time with those who mean the most? 

I just wanted to share the incredible insight that man had. What a way to look at the horrible situation he was in. I guarantee he'll never take that time for granted again, and I hope I don't either. 

I hope everyone had an incredible Thanksgiving and was able to see some family. Any time with them is good times. I know that's true for me. My family is a bunch of ballers. I love every one of those kids. This week has been bliss with them.
I didn't draw that, but it seemed to say it all.

Peace up, A-town down.  

Ps. Look at this picture I found while googling the word "family"
You- laugh at my picture. 


young & reckless

Luvers & fransss.

It’s been too long, how lovely to see you. As I mentioned in a previous post, I neglect blogger way more than I should. I wanted a mini reunion, so here I am.

By the way, I think if I had a dollar for every post that I referenced Fantasy Factory & I put those dollars in an interest bearing account, I could retire on Tuesday.

A few housekeeping matters:

1. I am back in Texas, so there may be many more of these to come. I tend to get bored and want to write when I am stuck in a hotel room 12 hours a day for 2 weeks.

2. I wish I could delete the words ‘epic’ and ‘legit’ from the English language, unless of course they are used at the appropriate time (nobody seems to know when that is).

3. Ryan Gosling is…. go watch Crazy, Stupid, Love; I think you’ll get what I mean.

4. I am still so happy Melanie won So You Think You Can Dance.

5. I think that’s it.

There are two reasons I am here. First, today I was stuck in the car allllllllll day driving through ‘the land of enchantment' (how DID New Mexico get that nickname? #questionsiwillneverknowtheanswerto), so I was asking the dudes I was with random questions (does that surprise anyone coming from me?). One of the questions was this: “If you were stuck on an island and could only listen to one band/singer for the rest of your life, who would it be?” I was expecting Disturbed, AC/DC, some metal core band I had never heard of…..

“Bob Marley.”

Really, bro? That’s awesome. Not what I was expecting at all. It made me really question who mine would be. The very first instinct was Taking Back Sunday. I never get sick of them. They are my favorite. Easy choice. This guy’s surprising answer made me think again… It needs to be someone with variety. Soft, hard, bitter, sweet, happy, depressing, something that fits any mood. Who would you pick?! It’s not that easy. I am still having trouble deciding (maybe Mayday?). I’ll get back to you on that.

Second, I want to talk about something I discovered in the last two weeks. Being a seasonal firefighter, I really don’t have a summer. Most people go on vacation, play at the lake, soak up the sun, eat ice cream, beach, lemonade, whatever. We all know what summer includes. I haven’t had one in five years. I miss the 4th of July, I miss family vacations to San Diego, I miss friend vacations to Disneyland. I know, boo-hoo woe is me… that isn’t what I mean. I love my job and am very thankful for it. I just mean that everything I packed in these last two weeks made it finally feel like summer time for the first time in years. It was glorious.

In the last two weeks I went to the creek, I went hiking (not to a fire), I ate ice cream, I sat by the pool all day (twice), I got a little color on my skin, I walked around the city at night without a jacket & in a skirt (that never happened living in Flags, I was only there for the winter), I rode my bike with my sister, I went to the temple, I went to lunch with my mom, I went to a concert, I got a pedicure with my sister, I went on a date, I jumped in the lake at night in the rain.

Incredible right? So much to fit into two blissful weeks!

The important thing that I learned about it, though, was how simply reckless it all was. Not reckless in the irresponsible way (like maxing out a credit card, or quitting the only job I had so I could be more social). I was reckless in the way that I did everything I wanted when I wanted to. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t worry about what it would mean for the future. I didn’t stress in my mind about the consequences of the actions I took. It. Was. Amazing.

I am not saying we should all start making senseless decisions where we don’t contemplate the consequences of our choices… I am saying we should not sweat the small stuff. Life changing decisions, right and wrong decisions, decisions that affect other people… those ones need serious time and contemplation.

Deciding, however, to spend the money for a concert you will never forget, eating food you know calories could kill you with, taking the day off to lay by the beach pool with your nieces… none of those need serious thought! Just. Do. It. Thinking too hard about the affects hold us back. I always worry to the point of near insanity about every tiny decision I make.

“Should I text this boy? Maybe he will think I am crazy…”

“Should I drive all the way to Winslow? I really need to clean my room…”

“Should I spend this money on this show? Maybe I should save it for later…”

Behold, I say unto you: stop it with the stress. Text him! Who cares what he thinks? Maybe it will lead to something good. Go! Your room can be cleaned any time; you can’t go see your mom any time. Spend it! You work hard, rewards are deserved at times.

See what I mean? Reckless… maybe. Or maybe this is just how normal people are, and I am guarded for no reason. Either way, I learned something.

Have you ever seen the movie ‘Yes, Man’? That movie pretty much sums up my point. Saying no to things closes so many doors. I don’t think we should say yes to absolutely everything, but I do think we should stop saying no all the time. Yes brings opportunity. No puts you at home alone on Saturday night. Yes brings memories. No brings regrets. (Disclaimer: we all know there are MANY times we should say no, especially when the world would have us say yes. But the little things, like standing in a fountain, say yes once in a while.) Be open to things.

"The world is a playground. We know that when we're kids, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets."

It’s what we are, what we should be.

Put your feet in the fountain as you walk by it. Lay down in the middle of the street if you want to. Kiss a boy. Jump in a lake fully clothed. None of these have negative lasting impressions.. rather, they leave you with unforgettable memories. Being reckless keeps us young. Stay young… go dancing.

Think about it.


Make your own luck.

I have been terrible about updating this little dear lately. I converted to the dark side and started a tumblr account and basically abandoned blogger. If you would like to see it (assuming you haven't done so already when it clogged up your news feed by automatically updating itself to my news feed on facebook) click [here] to do so. You may be converted as well. I will probably use it exclusively pretty soon, but for now I am still here.

One of my recent posts on there had to do with things I have learned so far this summer. One of them reads as follows:

"Being hit in the stomach with a frisbee during ultimate is probably equivalent to being hit in the stomach with a piece of rebar during a gang fight."

I know what you are thinking- 'how would you know what either of those painful sensations feels like?' Well friends, I have no idea what it feels like to be hit with rebar, and sadly I have never been in a gang fight (but you can imagine what it would be like if I had). I just thought it was the most descriptive way to explain how I felt after being an accidental target during ultimate frisbee at work yesterday.
(don't mind the icky tummy veins, the settings I used for the picture to accentuate the bruise made them look bolder than they normally are)

Maybe it doesn't look so bad, but I can assure you it isn't the most comfortable bruise. It feels like a rib was possibly broken in the process, or something like that.

As far as fun summer activites are concerned, I did get to spend some time in Cali last week. I. Love. California. The point of the trip was to help my little brother get over his fear of roller coasters via a surprise trip to Six Flags (mission accomplished). While there we also crossed another Hard Rock Cafe off my list (Athens, Rome, DC, NYC, Orlando, Vegas, now Hollywood.. hollaaaa). We didn't take many pictures at Six Flags because we were busy, you know, riding roller coasters. Being beasts. No big.

We did, however, take time to make memories at Santa Monica Pier.

It may be my very favorite place in the world. I haven't been everywhere, but I have been blessed to see a lot of places; for some reason this one just holds a special place in my heart. I am a beach lover. I am a city lover. I am a sunset lover. All these things are represented in this little piece of sketchy-and-scary-after-dark bliss.

We also saw a different side of Hollywood thanks to a few Flagstaff friends who happened to be there as well.
Hollywood city lights- feelin' like a boss.
I started out with a point to this post... I spent (wasted) half my day today watching the Fantasy Factory Marathon on mtv. I took a few things away from this pointless experience, some of which I will be happy to share:

1. If you rock at skateboarding and act on every crazy idea you have you can live the dream.
2. Live your brand. (this applies to almost nobody, but I still learned it)
3. Make your own luck.
Honorable mention: I still want an english bulldog.

Numero tres was the one I wanted to talk about. Make your own luck. What does that mean, exactly? Well, I like to think that although you can't predict everything in life and sometimes life throws you curves you aren't expecting that change your situation beyond your control, you can still- in many ways- decide your fate. Often, people see those around them who are successful as 'lucky'. They often think those peole were just handed a good lot in life and that everything they have is due to some out of their control force that chooses who gets good and who gets bad. Not. true.

There are things out there that you can't control, do not focus on those things. Focus on what you can control and what some people view as 'luck' will follow. I've heard it said that:
"The harder I work, the luckier I get."
-Samuel Goldwyn

True. So true. If you just take everything life hands you and do nothing with it, you will be 'unlucky'. If, on the other hand, you take everything life hands you and work on it, with a goal in mind, toward what you want, you will be 'lucky'. Make sense?

do nothing = unlucky
work hard = lucky

Therefore, if you work hard, stay driven, think positively, keep moving forward, and always have a goal in mind, you can make your own (good) luck. If you do just the opposite (take what life hands you and do nothing, avoid making goals, and think negatively) you also make your own (bad) luck.

I think I am a pretty lucky girl. I have seen much of the world, I have a degree, I have a job. Granted, life has handed many good things that are out of my control. I was blessed with my health, a good family, raised with the gospel in my home- all things that are for the most part out of my control. But I have not been without my share of struggles. My parents were divorced when I was young, I have memories of things I witnessed that no child should have memory of, and many more that I choose not to focus on. Taking those bad experiences that I could not control and focusing on them would have not lead me to the luck I have now. Taking the good things in my life, however, that were out of my control and applying them to my goals have lead me to be a pretty lucky girl.

I am now at a crossroads in my life. I have many choices ahead of me. I have the oppotunity to make what I want with what I have. There are things out of my control that effect the choice I will make including the current economy, the fact that I am not married, etc. I can take these things and do nothing with them, or I can take them and 'get lucky' by working hard to achieve the goals I have. In essence, I plan on making my own luck.

I hope that all makes sense, and I hope we all make it a goal to make our own luck.
Ignore the creepy bunny.
Having the life option to make your own luck and choose what is next is stressful. I have a few options in mind, we will see what works out. I am heavily considering going to Ecuador for three months, to work in an orphanage. My good friend Stormy did it, and I feel like 'why not'? I am young, not tied down or overly committed to anything? I am also looking in to jobs somewhere beyond the borders of Arizona. As much as I love this state, a new chapter in another place is calling my name. I mentioned my love for California earlier, don't think that isn't on the list. Maybe I will follow the dream I always had of New York City, or London... or maybe a mission. Only time will tell, I guess. For now, I am loving the time I have been blessed with to spend with my family. I love those kids more than words can describe. Also, one last season as a seasonal firefighter suits me just fine.

Now get out there, kids, and make yourself some luck.


Be informed.

Warning: This post is wordy. There are no pictures. Sorry.

Dear whoever is reading:

After the past few days of keeping updated on the comments and speculations people have made via social networking mediums such as facebook and twitter, I have a few things I would like to say as well. I guess there is no place better to do it than here; it's somewhere I can state my opinion without the fear of someone interrupting and/or disagreeing. As you may have guessed, I would like to discuss the capture of Osama Bin Laden (I know, everyone has something to say about that).

Although the topic is still very sensitive and people have much to say about it, I am not here to state my opinion on the events that took place. I am not here to place on judgement on those who cried, "ding dong, Osama's dead" in the streets, or those arguing "Jesus said love everyone" (with those very discriminatory and slightly immature descriptions I do not mean to offend anyone, I was just trying to sum up both arguments in a fairly short and slightly humorous way). I believe both sides have valid arguments, and I do not want to state my opinion on such topics at this point. I have one (doesn't everyone), and would love to talk about it with anyone who cares to know, but this is not the time or place for that. 

(Although, as a side note, I would like to pass a little judgement on those people who made horrific "jokes" about the event by tweeting the following:
1. Saddam Hussein
2. Osama Bin Laden
Next: Justin Bieber
I do not care how annoying you think he is, it is never funny or acceptable to compare a harmless 17 year old boy to two power hungry, relentless, mass murderers. If you RT'd this, or even found it funny.. SHAME. ON. YOU. Pathetic and ignorant.)

I would, however, like to state my opininon on some of the reactions that I read on facebook soon after the news was reported. As I was reading through my news feed I noticed a status that read, "already sick of the Osama updates", and another that said, "most redundant news feed ever." Oh, I am sorry, did we interrupt your normal news feed to discuss a major event in history? We will let you get back to reading about what people had for lunch and how well they did on their biology exam.. Grow up.

At times I am ashamed at the way people in my generation view politics, disasters,and current events in general. The majority of them are more interested in what version of Portal is coming out next than the fact that the entire state of Alabama is now homeless because of natural disasters. This was reflected perfectly the other night when I was watching Jay Leno. Jay sent a man to spring break in Cancun to ask college age students their opinions on the US economy.

"How do you believe we can solve the housing crisis?"
"What housing crisis?"
"What do you think will bring peace to the Middle East?"
"Why isn't there peace there?"


Maybe it's the history minor I received during my studies at NAU, or maybe it's my passionate and patriotic mother. Whatever it is, I can not help but be disgusted with people who care more about what happened on this week's episode of Teen Mom than what is happening with the Nuclear melt-down in Japan. They say ignorance is bliss, I say ignorance is ignorant. I don't mean to imply that if you watch mindless tv that you don't care about what is happening in the world. If that were the case, I would be mocking myself; I catch up on plenty of mindless tv. I am, however, saying if you care more about the conviction of Lindsay Lohan than what the President has to say about the capture of the most wanted terrorist currently living, there is a problem. One day your grandchildren may ask you about the war against terrorism. Will you respond with, "sorry kids, I don't know anything about that, while President Obama was speaking I was busy watching 16 & Pregnant"?

My generation is the future leaders of America. How will we lead if we do not take the time to learn from our predecessors? Maybe we don't agree with everything the Government is doing.. that is fine, as long as you learn enough about what they are doing to form an opinion about it. Learn to think for yourself people, please.

As I mentioned earlier, many opinions are being thrown around about the event that took place yesterday, some of which are very passionate and heated. I love that they have an opinion because having an opinion means they care. Caring is a beautiful thing. No matter how you feel about the news you hear, be sure you hear it. Be informed. Watch the news. Listen to the radio. Read the paper. If the President makes a speech, listen to him. Do not shrug off something that will be written in the history books because you were eager to get back to the usual clutter of monotonous status updates pasted all over your facebook wall.

With these statements I in no way mean to offend. I simply hope to bring some small motivation to be involved in the world around you. I am sitting in my nice bed, in a warm house, wearing clothing, with a stomache that is not hungry. If you do not realize how many people in the world are nowhere near being able to say the same, you are exactly who I am talking to. It is nice to be in the ignorance bubble, but it is more important to understand all that is happening around you. Form whatever opinion you like... just care. That is all, please just care.


Rebecca Black should stop singing asap.


Now that we have established that fact, moving on..

First, I just want to tell anybody who calls me that if I don't answer your phone call, I don't hate you. I simply hate talking on the phone. It isn't that I don't love to hear from my friends. Trust me, if you care enough about me to take the time to call me, you are my buddy for life. I just am not one to sit and chat via telephone. Maybe it's because I am impatient, maybe I am lazy, maybe I'm a jerk.. I don't really know. I just know that I often times never return the call of someone I love and they think I don't care about our friendship. I do, so much! I just don't feel the need to talk every day to feel close to you. I don't care any less about you when we go a while without talking. Hope that didn't come off the wrong way, I just wanted to explain. 

Also, I LOVE RUNNING. Just thought I would let you know.

And, I found this little 'note' thing on facebook from ions ago. I thought to myself, "what the heal is a note?" ..facebook has some pointless features. Anyway.. I was going to delete it, but I thought instead of getting rid of it completely I would post it on here in case I ever care to remember it some day. It was one of those annoying fb games when you get tagged and then have to write 25 facts about yourself? Something like that. So, alas, 25 random things you don't care to know (if anyone is still even here at this point.. many of you have probably already aborted the mission of trying to make it through this entire post):

1. I love texting, I will always choose texting over a phone call if it is possible; for some reason talking on the phone freaks me out. (Haha ironic, I just talked about that)

2. I am addicted to adventure. (still true) 

3. I love semi-colons; I know, I'm a freak. (also still true; I love them)

4. I love flamingos. I first started liking them because of my cousin, who was someone I idolized. Now I just love them because they rock.

5. Secretly my dream is to be a Broadway performer, but my lack of vocal talent kind of limits me.

6. I am a gross girl. I don't shave my legs and never pluck my eyebrows. My fingernails are always short like a boy because they bug me when they are long, and they probably still have the paint on them from four months ago. Basically I am nasty! Haha don't tell anyone. (I am better about this now, my sister is a cosmo girl, she keeps me in line)

7. I have a book full of music lyrics that have either affected me or I loved throughout my life.

8. More times than not I am listening to John Bytheway if I have my iPod in.

9. If I ever say anything funny or witty it usually is a movie quote.
10. I always had a dream to go to Rome, now that I fulfilled that, I want to go to Paris.
11. I am terrified of first kisses... To the point of embarrassing. Just ask the few people who have had to endure that experience with me...  (hahahaha yep)
12. The one thing I want most in life is something I can not do for myself.
13. Sometimes I find it hard to breathe when I am learning history, it gets me so excited... especially if it has to do with the Constitution or the Founding Fathers. I know right? I am a little weirdo.
14. I hate animals. I am not a hateful person at all, but for some reason I just am not a fan of anything furry or smelly that leaves hair everywhere. (not still true, something has changed within me, and I love animals... most of them)
15. I love love and being in love and everything that has to do with the emotion.
16. I deal with people younger than me better than I deal with older people.
17. I hate using LOL in texts, and I hate abbreviating words. I don't mind when other people do it, I just don't like it for myself. And I hate one word reply texts.
18. If there is a group of women in a room talking and a group of men in the other room watching a game or sporting event, chances are I will be watching the game with the guys. I know, very lady like and very classy.

19. I love when guys sing, it melts my heart.
20. My favorite song is "I Believe in Christ" when the MoTab sings it.
21. I love music with intelligent and clever lyrics. I HATE music with stupid lyrics.... Ex. stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, ella, ella ella. Who wrote that down and thought- now that is a good song?
22. I judge movies by their titles. Flicka? Knew it would be terrible simply because of the name.
23. I love BBQ sauce.
24. I love the Geico gecko.

25. I can not spell worth my life.

I decided to add a few more random facts, just to help cure the boredom:

26. Since I read the Hunger Games I have this crazy desire to rock at shooting a bow and arrow. I also read books about edible plants.

27. Modern Family is my favorite show on tv, and pretty much the only thing I watch except for Fantasy Factory (love me some Rob, Drama, and Big Cat).

28. I love rap music. I used to HATEEEEE it. Nope, love it. Gangsta.

29. I love when guys wear V-neck shirts. There is this ridiculous stereotype that only gay guys wear them. Well, straight guys, look around. Gay guys are stylish. I am a girl, and I am telling you I love a man in a V-neck (not the deep V, those are for tools (sorry deep V wearers, I automatically assume you are a tool when you wear that shirt)).

30. I want to adopt and asian baby. I have a weird infatuation with asians, I think they are awesome. I have an asian sister. I want an asian child.

I am just going to wrap this up since it was and is still going nowhere. Hope your week is awesome. Tomorrow is Friday! Friday! Friday! I am headed to the valley after work for the Pat Tillman Run on Saturday.. it's gonna be pretty cool.

Ps. Just so you don't feel like this was a COMPLETE waste of your time... here are two things I am determined to make people love. I have already posted them on facebook so if you have seen them, you are free to go. If not... you, watch my videos.

This first one is my future husband, Tyler Ward, I was talking about the other day. This is one of my favorite's of his songs. I love this song anyway, but this version just rockssss.

Also, Taylor Swift always writes her songs about dudes in her life, you know? Well, I had heard that she wrote "Enchanted" about meeting Adam Young, aka Owl City (I love you Owl City). That happens to be not only my favorite song of Taylor's, but is also in my top 5 favorite songs ever. Yesterday, while searching through youtube for no reason, I stumbled upon this little version of it. Adam Young's response to the song Taylor wrote about him. If you are still reading you clearly have time on your hands (because I am boring even myself), so watch it all the way through. The best part are the last few lines!

I want them to get in love! Their babies would be freakishly talented little lyric prodigies.

Ps. If you know where I can find a version of this song, not illegally, let me know?! Thanks. And thanks for making it clear to the end. You deserve a cookie :)


I'll be seeing you.

I am watching the Notebook. Favorite. Movie. Ev. This little part is so appropriate for my life right now, I thought it necessary to share..

"My Dearest Allie:

I couldn't sleep last night because I know that it's over between us. I'm not bitter anymore, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I'll smile at you with joy and remember how we spent the summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever. I love you. I'll be seeing you.



True life: I'm addicted to acoustic covers.

I live and breath for acoustic cover songs. Not sure why, but they are always (ALWAYS) better than the original to me. I can't even tell you how they make me feel.. pure happiness. The guitar and the piano have always been my weaknesses, some people can attest to that. That is possibly why I am addcited to Tyler Ward right now. That is all he does. He makes sick covers of amazing songs. Man. Of. My. Dreams. Youtube him. You will love him if you love covers (and hate him if you hate them, like my sister does).

Life is a funny thing. It is just a huge roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Lately I have kind of been wondering the purpose of life. I feel like every day I just wake up and go to work to make money to pay my bills so I can live to go to work to make money to pay my bills so I can live to go to work to make money to pay my bills... see where this is going? What is the purpose? I am living but not alive. Just being. It's awful.

I have been really caught up on this thought. Like... what is the point?! Hello monotony.

But then today I had this conversation with a girl at work. She was talking about how she doesn't care much about religion. She said she doesn't believe in a higher power and that it is not important to her to understand those important questions in life. I thought to myself... what is the point?! If there is no higher power, why are we here? We are born, life is full of struggles, and then we die? Hello monotony.

See what my epiphany was?

THAT is the point of life. I am not just waking up every day to go to work to make money to pay my bills so I can live to go to work to make money... you know where I am going with that. There is SO MUCH more purpose to my life than that. I am here to gain a body. I am here to learn and grow. I am here to make covenants. I am here to find an eternal companion. I am here to raise a family to have faith in my Heavenly Father. I am here to prove my worthiness so I can return to Him. I have so much knowledge to the point of life, and I take is so for granted! I know what the purpose is, I feel awful for having forgotten it for one small moment. Life is beautiful. Life is a time to learn and grow and become better.

I have had many struggles, as has everyone. This last year has nearly done me in. For a while, I was not sure how much more my little heart could take. But then there was a talk in General Conference that referenced a plant (or a tree? or something... people who watched it help me out..). Either way, in the story there was a gardener who had to hurt the plant in order to save it. I am butchering this story to death... the point being sometimes we have to go through hard times in order to become who we are meant to be. It does not mean the Lord does not love us and is not aware of us, it means He does.

These are all random thoughts that have nothing to do with my obsession with acoustic cover songs, but if you have ever read a post on this blog before you know that these random thoughts are how I roll. Sorry if the random change of subject drives you crazy.

I'll end it with a quote that is currently my fb status, because it came in to my mind so clearly today when I needed it most... literally an answered prayer.


There's no glory in the downhill.

This post really has nothing to do with that, although that is a fabulous point. In the Forest Service they always used to say that to us. When we were hiking for pt's (physical training), there were always those people who would be dying on the uphill. They would be lagging behind while everyone else had to wait for them. Everyone would be carrying their tools and helping them because they couldn't make it up the hill. Yet, on the downhill, they would kick it in to high gear. They would get way ahead of the group like they were the fastest or something. Annoying. The guys who were braver than me and spoke their mind would always shout at them, "there is no glory in the downhill!"

Really, there isn't in the Forest Service and there isn't in life. Furreal. Who gets any real credit for rocking the easiest parts of life? It's when we are struggling, when life is the hardest, when you have to push yourself to survive whatever is ahead of you that you earn glory. No glory in the downhill, lots of glory in the uphill. Remember that. I can't say I never went faster down the hills, but I can say I wasn't the one giving up on the uphill either. Think about that.

The reason I have this topic on my mind is because I have been making a point to go hiking after work. I only go maybe once a week, but I love it! It feels so good! And, it's gorgeous. I am in love with Flagstaff during times like these...
And when I get down the mountain I see this..
Amazing. I love the forest.

Also, I wanted to brag on my sister for a minute. She is my personal hair stylist, and is so patient with me, it's ridiculous. I have a very tender head, not to mention we both get irritable during the 3 1/2 hours it takes to color my hair. And, she rocks at her job. Anyway, my hair is kinda confused on what color it is, but I like it. It's very dark, but growing on me...
We were just going to do it the same as the last time, but I picked a little bit darker color. Turns out it made me more of a brunette than a blonde! Oh well. I color it every six weeks (sometimes less when I get restless). I'll be blonde again soon enough. As for now, I am doing the brunette thing.

I also wanted to say I am so excited because... one of my very best friends of all time asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding!! So excited. So excited for her and her hubby to be. So excited to be a part of it. Love you Crich!

Random thought, Midnight Milky Way are the best candy there is.

Another thing, I am almost 23. My sister once told me that if I weren't married by 23 I was officially old maid status. Well, unless I meet, date, and marry a man in the next 5 weeks, old maid status here I come. And proud of it!

Single girl swaggg.

Only 19 more days of tax season. Counting down.

One last thing... April General Conference. This weekend. Favorite weekend of the year. It's my favorite holiday. The springtime is the most amazing time of year, so many new and beautiful things coming about. The weather is finally coming around. Everything is wonderful. April is my favorite month. April Conference just sums up everything happy in life. Everyone tune in for a weekend of bliss!

That's it. This was random. Enjoy!

Ps. Watching 27 Dresses and they are singing Bennie and the Jets. Possibly one of my favorite movie moments ever! MMmmmMMmmm James Marsden.