Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Good Night's Rest

It's amazing what a good night's rest can do for you.

A good night's rest will make you smile;
will make you feel as though you could run a mile!
After sleeping well, I want to jump for joy!
This poem is lame, oh boy!

I'm not on my rhyming A-game but I did sleep well last night! Hooray! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo Overload

Ok, I am FINALLY getting around to updating our lives! These pictures date back to April went I went to Tulsa for a conference for work, my birthday, hiking, our trip to Montana to watch my sister-in-law graduate high school (that same weekend my parents visited and I didn't get any pictures! boo.), and last weekend when we celebrated being married for 9 months!

Tulsa had a ton of amazing murals on all the walls!

everything was covered in amazing colors and cool architecture!

out on a walk I saw this man. What was he doing?
painting THIS!!

There was a little hidden chocolate shop in downtown and they made the most beautifully decorated chocolates I've ever seen! I got some toffee and ate it immediately. I meant to bring it home to share with Riker but that clearly was never going to happen....

We live in the most beautiful place on earth.

Spring time: some of the dead leaves were still hanging on. 
I turned 23! I didn't get any pictures of Riker's birthday because I'm a slacker. Look at this cake though! Riker made it and frosted it all by himself! 

He surprised me with it right out of the shower so nevermindIlookdisgusting. But check out the background! We have a cute little house.

We went hiking! And got a warning from the Forest Service for parking somewhere we shouldn't have. (And our car was still registered under my dad's name apparently because that's who they wrote it out to. And this will be the first he is hearing this. Sorry, dad!)

We teach primary and these are some of our kiddos. We absolutely adore them.

There are no words.

Nope, nothing.

Angelyln! My youngest sister-in-law. I just love her. We bought her that yellow stuff for her birthday...She picked it out. And then we had so much fun playing with it!

yeah, gross.

Amanda graduated!

she really really did!

I couldn't resist this one because of Riker's face...

driving through Montana

We went to the temple to celebrate having been married for...

9 months! This nice lady took some pictures of us but she wasn't the best with a camera and so....they didn't turn out like I wanted but at least we have some!

The temple always has the most gorgeous flowers!

I don't know why but I just really liked this one. 

Vernal, Utah LDS temple. Learn more about temples here

seriously. We live in such a beautiful place.

I made this. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I am a Patriot

1.  A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2.  A person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
1590–1600; < Middle French patriote < Late Latin patriōta < Greek patriṓtēs fellow-countryman, lineage member

I define myself as a patriot. I love, support, and will defend this great country. 
I believe in the individual rights that our forefathers fought for. 
I have very strong opinions, values, and views. 
Much of this is in part to how and where I was raised, 
but I also know that I have developed these values through my own personal compass of right and wrong; 
it has come from figuring out who I am and what aligns with how I feel. 

Today, I felt my heart bursting with patriotism. As we drive into work every day, we are at a high enough elevation that not only do we have a gorgeous view, but we can tune into a radio station from Colorado. On days when I am too sick to get out of bed, Riker drives to work alone and a LOT earlier than when he has to wait for me so he already knew this little secret, but that radio station plays the National Anthem EVERY SINGLE MORNING. This morning it was sung by LeAnn Rimes. I have to say, though, I don't care who sings it, it brings me such joy to hear. What made it especially wonderful today was the drive.

I can't describe what it felt like to see the passing open fields with their wheel lines going, cows grazing, horses running, and the sun rising over the beautiful red rock that surrounds our little basin. I believe in this country. I believe in our military, in the Constitution, in standing up for what is right, in God, in our Freedom. I honor those that fought for us to be free, for those that are still fighting and for those that will come after whose duty it is to uphold what has been fought hard for and earned. 

I may not agree with a lot of people but that is their right and I would be a hypocrite if I didn't say I support their rights, too. We may all have different opinions, but one thing we should agree on is this country. It is great, it is strong, it is freedom. We all have a duty to hold those who represent us to a higher standard because that is what this country was founded on. Higher standards. 

I am proud to be American. I am proud of my husband who will one day serve, to my grandfathers, great grandfathers, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, and foes who have or are serving. It is my hope that one day I will be able to instill in my children the love and respect I feel for the military and for this country. I do not agree with many of the things that our current administration has done, is doing, or plans to do. I do however support our government system. It was set up by inspired men and it is in each of us to be able to continue this great tradition.

Now, let me climb off my soapbox and just have you look at some pictures and think of the wonderful place this is. (photos are all mine) 

Provo, Utah

Lakeview, Oregon

Lakeview (Westside), Oregon

Near the Oregon/Nevada border

Overlooking Lakeview, Oregon

Neola, Utah

Neola, Utah

Neola, Utah

We are lucky, lucky people.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Georgia on my mind

Only, it isn't Georgia on my mind so much as forgiveness. For the last, well, forever, I have been thinking about that word.


I read a blog article today that made me contemplate once again this...word which is so much more than a word. I actually read the entire blog. I won't specify where because I don't want this individual to feel as though I am judging them. I'm not. Not even a little bit because like I said, I struggle with forgiveness as well. In this particular blog, I could feel the weight that this individual, this family, carries around for the wrongs against them. The losses they have experienced overshadow their entire existence and it makes my heart ache in an unbelievable way. Their path to forgiveness is so different than mine and yet they both start with that same word. 


There once was a time I was hurt by someone I trusted. My gut would twist every time I thought about the experience and I would literally become sick to my stomach every time I even thought about the individual that had hurt me. The thought of seeing them was more than I could endure; my head would begin to ache, I would start to sweat, and nearly hyperventilate. And I would cry. And cry and cry and cry. I was so confused. I knew that through what I have been taught that I needed to forgive. There it was again, that word. 


But how? How do you forgive someone who you had trusted, loved? I couldn't find the answer. I searched and searched and some days I still search. This experience had rocked me. I had never felt anything like this; I had never felt so much hurt. It was more than the hurt though, it was anger. Anger coursed through my veins like a snake slithering through me and wrapping around my heart. Being raised the way I was, my natural reaction was to turn to prayer and scriptures to move past this hurt. I read every story about forgiveness I could find. And yet...I couldn't do it. I read the definition of it, I googled the crap out of it and yet none of that helped. I talked about it to no end with all of my close friends and family. I tried to see the other person's point of view and took a walk in their shoes and still, nothing. 

It haunted me. I wanted so much to move past this. I was angry with them but worse, I was angry with myself. How could I not move past these words. If I were to take them apart and dissect them they would mean absolutely nothing. Strung together they were like a bullet through my heart. I was angry that I let someone else affect the way I see myself. That I would allow someone to define me. And then one day, I read a quote. 

"Keep a place in your heart for forgiveness, and when it comes, welcome it in."

I have that place. It's there, I can feel it. Some days, I feel it filling up almost all the way to the top and on others it's empty. On certain days it feels as though this anger and hurt is a rock in my stomach; the extra weight of it that I carry makes me feel off balance and sick. Other days, it is simply a cloud passing in the sky; weightless but present. I've always heard the saying, "Forgive and Forget." I have to say that I disagree. Perhaps I am wrong in thinking this way but I don't think you should ever forget all of it. The pain, the hurt, the tears? Yes, don't hold onto those feelings, they'll eat you alive. But don't you dare forget that this happened to you.

I hate feeling like I have no control. I have agency. I choose. I choose what to wear, how to do my hair, when to shower, what to eat, what to listen to, and how I will react to something. I choose how I will react to the feelings I feel in my gut and my heart. I'm choosing to leave that spot in my heart for forgiveness.

And you know what? Today, it's pretty dang full.