Saturday, November 20, 2010

A child takes your hand

Tonight I got to look after a little girl for a few minutes to give her mom a break while we waited for our husbands to finish cleaning up the BYU football stadium. I looked up for a second and next thing I know little Ashlynn's hand is sliding into mine. I look down and my heart melts when I realize she's voluntarily taken my hand and wants help up the stairs. Oh man, I love little people!

And, since I don't have a picture of Ashlynn,
here's a picture of M and I right before we bungee jumped on our honeymoon :)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making stuff

I made this headband yesterday with the help of Brittany D. Thanks! It was so fun and I got to make it just how I wanted...for freeee!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bye bye birdie...

Or, bye bye sadness!
I think I'm back to normal. Haha, just yesterday I thought my world was crashing down on me. Humph. Now I know it's not, and it wasn't.

I've GOT to write some of the things down that happen at the school I'm working at.

Today one of my favorite kids said this in his South Korean accent.
"I hate this class. I must destroy this class."
So, he's this scrawny 13-year-old with glasses and kind of mutters this. I was cracking up inside. I would say that one of my biggest challenges sometimes is staying on task because the kids are so fun and funny!

A couple weeks ago I was helping Antonio (names have been changed) in his Spanish class, I turned around for 1 minute and next thing I know he's gagging because he swallowed his lollipop- stick and all! What the heck was he thinking?! It was so funny after the fact, when we realized he'd be fine.

Stuff like this happens all the time. I love those kids. It makes me wonder if I'd like being a teacher, I don't know. It seems like most of the teachers are so serious and stressed out- except for the one I am an aide for, she is an exceptional teacher.

If being a teacher meant I couldn't laugh and have fun with the kids every once in a while then, No, I wouldn't like to be a teacher. But, I don't think it means that. I'd need to go back to school though... hmm.

Anyways, for now, I LOVE my job. I just wish I could work more than the district allotted time of 15 hours a week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Here it is again

Yep, just when everything is going perfectly... BAM! I'm sad again. Wah wah. I know, you might not want to hear my complaints, but, maybe it'll help me get over these feelings quicker... I don't know.

I don't know- those words are often repeated when I am depressed. Very interesting. Hmmm. Depression is a trial and we thank God in our trials (or we'd be better off if we did!). So, thanks! Thank you for these horribly confusing, heart-wrenching and mind-blowing feelings and thoughts.

So sad I can't go hide in a cupboard for the time it takes for me to not be depressed. Why do I think that? Because right now almost nobody can make me happy- not even myself! Michael's sweetness goes under-appreciated (isn't that spelled peculiarly?) and everyone's jokes go un-laughed-at. All I can think is "I'm sad and you're not helping."

YUCK! What a selfish way to think, huh? Well, at least I know it's not my normal thinking and I can try to change those thoughts and look forward to the day my automatic positive/loving/happy thoughts come back.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

But, when you think about it, that's what others who are battling other more apparent more life-threatening situations are told, they're told to wait.

What am I waiting (patiently) for?

When smiling comes easily.

When laughter is second-nature.

When I don't fear seeing people I know because they'll see how stupid/lazy/messed-up I am.

When I don't think about myself and my own thoughts way too much.

When cooking sounds fun again.

When working doesn't seem impossible and unbearable.

When crawling into my bed and passing the hours asleep doesn't sound like the best option.

When everything everyone does doesn't annoy me.

Here's a favor I ask of you, pray. Pray for me to get over this and especially for my husband to always remember the better me when I'm down like this.

Here are some "good things..."

Good thing marriage is eternal if we want it to be.

Good thing my worth does not depend on how I'm feeling right now.

Good thing my family loves me no matter what.

Good thing I know I'll get over this like I have maybe a hundred times before.

Good thing not everyone is like this (and at the same time!) or we could have some major global problems!

Good thing the Gospel of Jesus Christ remains true/perfect/eternal/there for all of us all the time.

Good thing God exists and knows the purpose of our bummer times.

Good thing God made me who I am....even though I'm crazy sometimes, I'm happy with who I am.

Good thing God and Jesus Christ love all of us - no matter how we feel about ourselves.

Good thing the struggles we go through in this life will be all worth it in the end.

Good thing there are Temples to feel God's love in and participate in the most holy work there is.

Good thing I have friends that love me and stand by me.

Good thing not many people read this blog.

Haha.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

My mission

A topic I bring up all the time, and maybe annoy people with. But there are many legitimate reasons.
My heart was touched in ways it never had been.
God lead me to people that I thought I would help and then they ended up making my life sweeter than I could have ever imagined.

Mirza was one of those people.

We were teaching another family that lived in the same apartment and she stood in the background and listened. When we returned to see if they had read and prayed, Mirza came up and told us that after overhearing our lesson she read from The Book of Mormon and prayed. We started teaching her, her husband and her son. Her son was baptized quickly, he was 10 years-old. Mirza and her husband had to wait to be baptized because they were still not married. We taught them a couple times a week and with each lesson they wanted to be baptized more and more.

Mirza got sick and we spent hours in the hospital with her. When she couldn't be in the hospital she was in her bed. We would come with lessons of comfort and inspiration (since we had taught her everything she needed to know to be baptized). We would sit on the side of the bed. Because all three in her family shared that one room , it was usually pretty crowded, but we loved it. My companion and I would cry when we talked about her and prayed for her. Then, I moved areas and soon after that learned she was life-flighted from St. George to Salt Lake City because they found a brain tumor.

I finished my mission while she was still in the Salt Lake Huntsman Center for Cancer Research and patients. I got to take my mom and my sister to visit her. I'll never forget the sweet smile she had on her face. She was our angel. But she always called us her angels. She told me that her last wish before she passes was to be baptized. I told her I hoped it would come true and that I would always love her and pray for her.

I returned back to Seattle after my mission and thought about her sometimes.
After returning to school I got the news that she passed away. But the sister missionary that told me she had passed also told me that before she died she was able to marry her husband and be baptized. She described the baptism to me. Mirza could not walk by then because the cancer had affected her body so badly. Four men had to be in the baptismal font with her, helping her in and then helping her go under the water all the way to be baptized. The pictures of her were beautiful! She was so happy. So happy.

She died a few weeks later.

Now she really is my angel.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Click the link to see me anchor :)

BYU NewsNet - Flash Version of Daily News for May 21, 2008
This was fun. I got to be an anchor on BYU TV a little over 2 years ago.

Quiet Time



I like it.

I appreciate it.

There is already enough going on in my mind to have extra noise streaming from a TV/Radio/phone.

I realize that me enjoying quiet time is me enjoying me. I like who I am and am content being with myself.

This will pay off when Michael is gone for a month at summer training or when he's deployed in the future.

And when we have children some day it will be ever more important I make time for my own quiet time.

It seems like quiet time is part of having a balanced life. Just like there are times to sing and talk and be entertained by streaming noises, there is a time to be quiet.

I'm so grateful I grew up with a "quiet time" at church every week. While the sacrament is passed at Church, everyone is quiet. There are faint sounds from the occasional whispers, people shifting in their seats, the deacons walking with up an down the isle with their trays, but for the most part, it's quiet. This 10-12 minutes of quiet time is time to think about the one we're all there to worship; Jesus Christ. We think about His sacrifice, His teachings, His perfect example and the blessings of repentance and starting anew after taking the sacrament (like a re-baptism). I never noticed until now, but that quiet time taught me that quiet time is important. If we could have some quiet time every day, maybe we'd be more prepared for the more formal quiet times when we're expected to honor someone or something. Maybe it would come more natural to sit and clear our minds of worldly tasks and hobbies and focus on what's really important.

President Hinckley (15th Latter-day Prophet) said,

"The Lord’s way is quiet, it is a way of peace..."







Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Grateful for



Good friends. Thank you for listening and not judging and giving hope. Thank you for understanding things that nobody else can understand. Thank you for keeping the faith and helping me to keep it too.
Thank you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

If I was who I am now, then. But first some background.



I studied abroad in Spain for 3 months last winter. While I was there, I had 2 major (and a few small) emotional breakdowns, episodes, whatever you call it when all of the sudden everything is crazy in your mind and body and you can't mentally or physically handle it. After a lot of discussing we came to the conclusion that the cause of these breakdowns was a mixture of a few things:

1. Extreme Jet Lag (1 day of traveling through 8 time zones)

2. Change of medication dosage (who would do that while they're in a far away country with nobody they know?? I must say, in my defense, my doctor did suggest it. Just saying.)

3. Extreme change of habitat. I went from sweet loving roommates who shared the same faith to a family still grieving from losing their father and who had recently apostatized from the faith i still thought was true.

These episodes were the lowest points but there were weeks of intense insecurity, self-doubt, doubt about everything I ever believed in, excruciating loneliness, frivolous spending (which I'm convinced affects our health-mental at least), and even anger at God- that is if I believed He existed. I was not the me I had been all my life. Every foundation I had built my identity on was rocked and threatened to crumble into nothing.

(In a future post I'll tell you how I got out of that shaky place. I'll tell you one thing though, during my first "episode" all that I could say or think while I was on the bathroom floor on the verge of ripping all my clothes off (weird effect the episode had on me) was "I love you Heavenly Father and I know you're with me." And I did, then.)

So, with that background information, the post I wanted to write will now make sense;

(In an email I wrote to my Study Abroad director/instructor/friend/counselor/psychiatrist/doctor/mother after our Spain Study Abroad reunion)

"Thanks so much for a fun reunion! The food you made was great and a sweet reminder of Spain. And the memories everyone shared literally made my heart ache to be there in the Study Abroad again.

Isn't it funny how much more we see and understand after an experience. I definitely enjoyed it while I was there (minus the emotional episodes) but now I wish I could go back and get to know EVERYONE more, rather than the few I really bonded with.

Without intending, I think I allowed myself to be somewhat introverted and only opened up to a few people (you being one of them.) I think that happened because I was less sure of myself than I think I ever was in my whole life. Now, I would be happy and even anxious to open up to and learn about EVERYONE in the group, but I just was not in the state of mind to do that then... too bad. But, it's OK, because I've learned from that and that's what life's about, right?"


Little pic of me smelling a flower in Spain. Yes, this was staged, by me.

Us studious students getting some work done in a foreign land.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

finishing up my university experience

I graduate from BYU in April. I took a "Senior Survey" and wanted to share some things i wrote to illustrate just how valuable my university experience has been...

Survey question:
Think of a non-religion course that profoundly influenced you both intellectually and spiritually. What was it about the course (including the instructor) that was so significant for you? Please be as specific as you can.

My response:
Dr. Nate Kramer taught my Humanities 202 course. I took the class to fulfill my last civilization requirement. He was so good at introducing how to think and discuss art and its reflection of history in an analytical way. It was only after a couple classes that i felt comfortable contributing to discussion and expressing my personal reflections about the topic at hand. He was always very charismatic about listening to and expounding upon or just accepting every comment made in class- this created a comfortable setting for all of us students where we felt safe in exploring new ideas and concepts that may have been unfamiliar to us.

He applied spirituality in a very practical way. I remember learning about a poet who wrote about the almost "prophet-like" characteristics poets have in that they understand things more and are just above the normal human and can communicate with God, almost. This poet lived around the same time as Joseph Smith. Dr. Kramer explained that Joseph Smith was described to have these characteristics of a prophet-like poet by intellectuals not of the Mormon faith. My testimony was strengthened to hear about how others not of the Mormon faith that had met Joseph, recognized his spiritual connectedness and ability to prophesy and commune with God directly.

Throughout the course Dr. Kramer would challenge our thinking. When we'd study art pieces that seemed "weird" or irreverent he would ask why they were weird or irreverent. I learned that while I have my own values and experiences, others have different values and experiences. This helped me learn about God's love for all of His children. We read a book about a small African tribe that practiced rituals that seemed to go against all things normal and right to most of us in the class. But, as I read it, I realized that these people were doing what they felt was right and best for their families. I am grateful to have a knowledge of the Gospel and for how it shapes my habits and priorities, but there are many without that knowledge and it would be unfair to judge their worth or character based upon their actions when they know no different. Dr. Kramer helped me learn that.

At the end of the course he summed up what he had been trying to do all semester. He taught that learning about art/customs/history is a way of becoming more like Christ. As we learn more about how someone feels/thinks and how that is expressed through art/poetry/literature, we do not have to agree with or accept ideas that go against our spiritual knowledge but we can instead try to understand them as children of God with their own experiences that have shaped who they are.

My love for people of different races/religions/backgrounds/etc. grew immensely throughout this course. I will live the rest of my life with a greater appreciation for the diversity of God's creations because of this course.

Friday, March 26, 2010

ok, i'll post.

Boyd K. Packer said:

"Our marital relationship is too important for us to clutter our minds and hearts with resentment that is created by dwelling on the faults and weaknesses or our spouse. We need to forgive and move on."

This is key.

someone else's post

I don't have the motivation to write.... sorry, I don't get paid for this, so I only do it when I want to.
BUT.. Cjane wrote a post I really like.

Click here to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

can't read, sleep, write... can type

Husband is doing homework. I want to go to bed. Need to read school books. Want to be in bed. Don't like to read academic books in bed. Tried reading pleasure book in bed. Couldn't concentrate.
So, here I am.
I'm behind in school. But I'm behind for good reason... this time. For a couple months instead of doing things for my internship I would clean the house so it looked good for my husband (I like the house clean too) and do laundry and vacuum and do dishes. Now that I'm hours behind on my hours for my internship I realize I can't do that anymore.

What will I keep doing?
Laundry, but at night with husband's help.
Dishes, with husband's help.
Vacuuming, with husband's help.

What will I start doing more?
Ask for husband's help.
Work on internship.
Cook meals at home... why? It's healthier and better for our family in general.
Watch less TV. Narrow the 5 shows we watch to 2... hopefully.
Read Scriptures in the AM (inspired by husband.)
I feel good about that.

Trip Home... Sweet Home

Grandma's 80th

Celebrating mom's birthday

Auntie + mom and dad Keller

Billy and Lily

Father and Son

Maddie


Melissa with precious Mary

Beautiful Lily

Real Estate Mama

Popcorn Outside

Sleeping Alex

Monday, March 1, 2010

Defining yourself and Happiness


Don't let people define you by your weaknesses,
define yourself based upon your strengths.

What are YOUR strengths?

We have all been given strengths.
Comparing our strengths gets us into trouble because our strengths are all different.

Something that takes away happiness also is if we define others by their weaknesses. I believe we'd have stronger relationships and friendships more built on trust if we defined each other based upon our strengths.

What are some of the strengths of your FRIENDS and FAMILY?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Joy from being a future Mother

I was reading the Ensign this morning and came to an article entitled "What Mother's Can Learn from the Savior". Click here to read it.

Here's a quote from Elder Ballard in it that I loved especially:

"A mother's nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence."

Isn't that incredible?!
Our love can be that powerful as to
remind a child of the love they felt
when they lived with God and Jesus Christ and felt thier love first hand.

I believe it. Not only because I feel such strong love for children already, but
because the love I felt and still feel from my mother is one of the
strongest reminders of God's love for me.

I'm so happy to be a woman... to be a future mother!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

tv and happiness

I strongly believe that our media choices
affect our
mood and ability to love each other.
Here's a talk that
addresses the
concern of TV viewing choices and
how they affect us.



Good families face very significant challenges in controlling the use of television and videotapes in their homes. I agree with Dr. Victor B. Cline when he said, “I am convinced by a vast amount of research that the images, fantasies, and models which we are repeatedly exposed to in advertisements, entertainment, novels, motion pictures, and other works of art can and do … affect the self-image and, later, the behavior of nearly all young people and adults too.”

We must not take lightly the confession of a recently executed killer on the impact pornography and violence in media had on his life. The Apostle Paul warned that men can become “past feeling … [giving] themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Eph. 4:19.) In Proverbs we read, “As [a man] thinketh … , so is he.” (Prov. 23:7.) A mind exposed to violence and immorality cannot escape the negative impact of such exposure.

Perhaps the proper response to outrageous behavior is outrage, or, more to the point, the proper response to outrageous television is outrage. I express my own and this Church’s disappointment, disagreement, and even outrage with television that turns our attention and sometimes our inclinations toward violence, self-serving greed, profanity, disrespect for traditional values, sexual promiscuity, and deviance.

We should strive to change the corrupt and immoral tendencies in television and in society by keeping things that offend and debase out of our homes. In spite of all of the wickedness in the world,

Interesting point here:

and in spite of all the opposition to good that we find on every hand, we should not try to take ourselves or our children out of the world. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,” or yeast. (Matt. 13:33.) We are to lift the world and help all to rise above the wickedness that surrounds us. The Savior prayed to the Father:

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John 17:15.) - a prayer of so many wives and mothers!

Elder Ballard quoted this poem:

All the water in the world
No matter how it tried
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it got inside.
All the evil of the world
And every kind of sin
Could never damn a human soul
Unless we let it in.

(no author mentioned)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

happiness by loving family

Nothing is more critically connected to happiness -- both our own and that of our children -- than how well we love and support one another within the family.
in a talk by M. Russell Ballard

Monday, February 15, 2010

joy from creating

joy from knowing

With your own testimony of God, you will be able to bless your family, your posterity, your friends, your own life—all those you love. Your personal knowledge of God is not only the greatest gift you will ever give, but it will bring you the greatest joy you will ever have.

Elder Robert D. Hales (an Apostle of Jesus Christ)

When I am depressed, knowing that there is a God helps a lot. Making someone else happy is a good treatment for depression and Elder Hales says that our knowledge of God is the best gift to someone. So, I'm going to share it with YOU in hopes I make you happy and in turn treat my depression. (yes, I have ulterior motives to sharing my testimony, but that's the best I can do right now!) God does love us and is a perfected human. He sees us and hears us. He is even with us. He is a perfect Father; forgiving, compliment-giving, loving, confident in you, happy when you succeed, sad when you're down, encouraging, won't give up on you, won't let you down, makes promises He will definitely keep, is working to prepare a place for YOU in Heaven for when it's your time, helps you, thinks you're funny, thinks you're good at what you try to do (dance, sing, speak, write, draw, imagine, dream), and more.

God is all these things to me and I believe He is that and more to all of us in the whole world. So, try it out, talk to Him and then ask Him to show you what He is to you. It can help someone that is depressed and someone who isn't.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Roses


Why do we like roses on Valentine's Day?


They smell good.

They mean someone loves you.

They are pretty.

They make (me) feel pretty.

They cost money- so that means you're worth something.


What's the big deal? I can smell good things, know someone loves me, see pretty things, feel pretty and know I'm worth something without flowers too.


So.


In conclusion, we like roses on Valentine's Day just...



because.



And, that's good enough reason.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love and Depression

When I'm depressed, I have less energy, little confidence in myself and others and I'm usually desperate for support from others and inspiration to keep trying (to work, exercise, get out of bed, do homework, buy groceries... you know, the normal stuff). My Mother loved me through my depressed years as a teenager and then my friends became a tangible supplement to her love when I went to college. Most of all, God's love helps me. And I think it comes through others, but sometimes it comes all by itself, when I'm praying for help or just praying because I wish I didn't feel like I do. This is a great quote about the power of Love when someone is depressed.
There is nothing as
energizing, as
confidence-building, as
sustaining
as the
power of love.
Love has the power to overcome
fear,
worry and
discouragement.
Gordon B. Hinckley in his book, Standing for Something
Gordon B. Hinckley was one of the now 16 Prophets of the LDS faith, starting with Joseph Smith.

Monday, February 8, 2010

oh, man!

Have you ever done something you thought was best at the time, didn't realize its implications and now regret it?



me too.



About a year ago I threw away a bunch of documents from my mission and from my Spain study abroad, because I figured they weren't important enough to take up the small box load of space they took up.



It didn't take long for me to realize the mistake I had made. And even worse, it's often that I think of something I want to remember and realize I trashed it! Voluntarily!



I was trying to impress my fiance by not being a pack-rat. Now I know that decisions like throwing away important documents should be made by me alone, excluding all other outside influences (he didn't TELL me to throw them away, but I interpreted the look on his face when he saw how much stuff I had to mean I needed to toss some things... and so I chose those things...bummer).



Also, I realize that pack-ratting is someone who hoards useless items. At the time, I thought they'd be useless. I even told myself, "Well, if it's really important you have this information in a year, God will help you find it some other way." Silly me! Of course God can and would help me with something I needed, if He approved, but I believe He expects us to be responsible and resourceful. But NO! I had to throw away those resources and will forever regret it.

Maybe not forever.

There's a chance that in heaven we'll be able to find things we lost. Or we'll be able to get back things we thought we should throw away and then realized too late that we will need it later!

Oh...I hope...



Impulsiveness is not limited to the diagnosed depressed... but can be a habit of those who are also depressed. I will be aware of this in the future and take TIME to decide what to throw away and what to keep.

Friday, February 5, 2010

on my mirror

I read this usually while I'm brushing my teeth every night.


Make Peace with Imperfection

I’ve yet to meet an absolute perfectionist whose life was filled with inner peace. The need for perfection and the desire for tranquility conflict with each other. When ever we are attached to having something a certain way, better than it already is, we are, almost by definition, engaged in a losing battle. Rather than being content and grateful for what we have, we are focused on what’s wrong with something and our need to fix it. When we are zeroed in on what’s wrong, it implies that we are dissatisfied, discontent.

Whether it’s related to ourselves – disorganized closet, a scratch on the car, an imperfect accomplishment, a few pounds we would like to lost – or someone else’s “imperfections”- the way someone looks, behaves, or lives their life- the very act of focusing on imperfection pulls us away from our goal of being kind and gentle. This strategy has nothing to do with ceasing to do your very best but with being overly attached and focused on what’s wrong with life. It’s about realizing that while there’s always a better way to do something, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.

The solution here is to catch yourself when you fall into your habit of insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fin. As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you’ll begin to discover the perfection in life itself.

-Richard Carlson

Thursday, February 4, 2010

words of wisdom

In a text conversation I told my mother-in-law
It's hard not to get frustrated with myself when I'm depressed because I'm usually a lot less productive than usual.
Her response was very helpful,
I like to think of those slumps as good time to be introspective.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gratitude Post

I'm grateful for my mission. For me, my time as a missionary is
evidence there is a heaven.
Because of the joy I felt then, I know I will feel it again, just like that, some day- probably not until Jesus comes, but some day.

That's me...second from the left, with short hair. These are some of the girls I served with at the St. George Temple Visitors' Center.[mission+pic.jpg]