Friday, March 27, 2015

I Like My Hair

Being in a fast-track dental hygiene program with 57 high-strung girls has been difficult and challenging to say the least. There is a lot expected of us and many of us could be considered "perfectionists" so when these don't quite go our way or our plates get too full, negativity and frustration set in. There have been so many days when you could literally cut the tension in our white-walled classroom with a knife. There are negative feelings towards professors, test questions, patients that cancel, quiz scores, and our forever growing "to-do" lists. I am more than guilty for adding to these comments and having these feelings but the negativity has been overly abundant lately and I'm about to pull my hair out! 

Winston Churchill said: 
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; 
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

I love that quote because I feel like it teaches us that we have the choice in a potentially crappy situation to make the most of it and have a good attitude. I feel like my class could use a little more optimism and a little less pessimism, me certainly included.

I have a lot to work on and one of my dearest friends Brittany has taught me that making a goal is one of the best ways to break a habit. You have to start somewhere! So I've made a goal to kill these girls with kindness and with a happy attitude starting now! Oh I think they'll hate it, but maybe it can rub off on some of them and I won't lost any hair. I do like my hair. 

Happy Friday, folks. Aren't we glad it's the weekend?!

Friday, March 20, 2015


One of the biggest blessings that came from our year in North Ogden was the opportunity I had to work for Dr. Cam Quayle. He is a pediatric dentist in Pleasant View, UT who has a passion for his family, the gospel, and serving & spreading goodness all around the world.  I absolutely loved working for him and had such a hard time leaving his practice to go to Hygiene school.

Last February, he took all of his full time staff to the Dominican Republic as a reward for a goal they had set the year before. I hadn't been with the office for that year so I was going to be home, without work, for a week while they were gone. We got talking one day during a procedure about who was going to watch their kids while they were gone and how his wife was trying to juggle 10 different babysitters making sure the kids had someone with them at all times. I went out on a total limb and said "If Mandee wants someone more consistent, Steve and I would be more than happy to watch your kids!" 

And the rest is history.

We watched their kids for the 8 days while they were gone in February, and again in June, and then August, and then December, and now March! We quickly fell in love with their kids and get more and more attached to them every time we babysit. I usually find myself with the little boys at Target at least one of the days we watch them to find a new toy car in the $1 section, and every time, someone calls me "mom" or mentions how darling "my little boys" are and I never correct them.  Once the person has walked away Jack, the 4 year old, will tug on my shirt and giggle as he whispers "they think you're my mom!" I would claim them any day of the week.

Cam and Mandee just went on a 2 week service trip to Guatemala.  They go down every other year to offer free dental work to children and people with special needs.  They came back with the most incredible stories of the children they helped and the lives they changed.  They are toying with the idea of going down with their whole family to live there for an extended period to provide dental services to those in need.  I cannot wait to go down with them one of these times and assist and clean teeth!

For now, I'll be content with staying home with the cute kiddos.

^^ Obligatory post-swig photo shoot in the 
Target parking lot with my little dudes. 

^^ Steven at it again building yet another EPIC fort.  
He never ceases to amaze me..or the kids! From the second they 
get home from school it's "When's Steve getting home? 
How many more minutes? Why is he taking so long?" 
They adore him. So do I.

^^ While the boys built the fort, we had some girl time play 
"nail salon." Best 20 minutes of my life.

 ^^ And one of that squishy baby because..look at him.

^^ 7:00 AM carpool glam shot. 
(PS. Their mom is super woman)

^^ This is called "church is a joke. 
welcome to the foyer" feat. Cannon

^^ We had the most beautiful weather all weekend long! 
Cannon ball and I were outside all day every day. 
He is so mild an observant. He sat like this for 
a solid 45 minutes watching some older 
neighborhood kids play baseball.  

^^ I wish I had gotten more pics, but we went to the 
Museum of Natural History and it was SO great! 
My mom came with us and we all had a blast. 

^^ They begged us to have "late nights" every night and 
we totally gave in.  Every night. 
Kate looks drunk, Charly is slap happy, 
and check out those bags underneath my eyes.

^^ We watched them two weekends in a row and 
had to go back to real life of school and work in-between. 
Come Tuesday, we were both in denial and just 
wanted to cancel real life and go back to Farmington and play.

^^Cam & Mandee brought the kids (and us!) some cool 
Guatemalan treasures! These earrings are my favorite gift.  
They look like simple beads, but it is actually newspaper rolled up 
in a bead shape, painted, and made into jewelry. They purchased 
them from a school of special needs children who make jewelry 
and decorations out of paper. They are thee most beautiful thing! 
Cam & Mandee and their good hearts bought bags and bags full 
of the jewelry and are going to be selling it at the dental office 
and sending all the money they make off of it back to the school. 

I am grateful for cute kids and good friends that trust Steve and I to watch them! I can't wait to have a house full of my own. Until now, pseudo mom & dad will do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Have Courage & Be Kind

On my way home from work tonight, I stopped at WalMart to get some laundry detergent and apples. In the check-out line, I stood behind a young couple with a baby who did not look more than 2 weeks old. She was so beautiful and wide eyed, staring up at her dad who was hunched over her, making cooing noises and telling her how pretty she was.  At two weeks old, so fresh from heaven, she clearly couldn’t understand the words her dad was saying, but I’m sure she felt the love oozing out of his voice and eyes.

As I left the store and got in my car, I day dreamed of the day that I have my own little on in the carseat on top of the shopping cart with an adoring Steven towering over him or her. My heart leaped at the thought.

I took a right off State Street onto 100 East in American Fork. As I neared the base of the hill leading up to the rec center and cemetery, I noticed on the sidewalk to my right two couples. They were walking very slowly. The first couple looked as if they were in their 40’s or 50’s, and the second couple looked significantly older. The younger man and women, had the elderly woman hoisted up, supporting her on each side. She was shuffling along the sidewalk, slowly, but consistently. Following behind was the elderly man holding on to her wheelchair just inches behind her heels as if he were ready to catch her at any second. I don’t know if the woman had a fall or if old age had just gotten to her joints and legs, but it was encouraging to see her with her perhaps son and daughter, hoisting her up and allowing her to walk.

As I came up the hill and began passing the cemetery on my left, I saw a small family gathered around a tombstone with fresh flowers on it. There were 2 teenage boys with their parents. Dad had his arm around moms shoulder, and mom was holding one of the boys hands. I passed just as the dad leaned over and kissed the mom on the head and watched her wipe tears off her cheeks. I don’t know who they were mourning for, maybe a son or daughter, or a grandparent or friend, but my heart ached as I watched them. Their hands clasped together as if holding onto each other for support or maybe even survival.

I couldn’t get these images out of my head the rest of the way home. First the dad cooing over his brand new baby daughter, the couple hoisting their aged mother or friend with her husband following closely behind, and the family mourning the loss of a loved one. My heart burst at the dad cooing to his daughter, it cheered on the woman to take another step, and ached for the mother wiping her tears.

Shortly after getting home, I went and picked up Steven and we went to see Cinderella.  It was not only the PERFECT movie but it left a huge impression on me as it taught one lesson throughout the show. Ella’s mother tells her as a child to always “Have Courage and Be Kind.”  Life is too short to be anything else! For the tiny little baby, her journey has just begun; for the woman walking with the support of 3 others, hers was winding down; and for the person being mourned, theirs may have ended too soon.  

Hold the ones you love close. Cherish each moment with them. Let go of grudges. Have courageous and be kind. Because “when there is goodness, there is magic.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Choice is Yours

Life has been absolutely crazy and I feel like I've been running at a million miles an hour all the time for months and months and months .

And I strangely love it.

I've finally gotten to the point where I've accepted that this is what this time of life is for and it's about time I embrace every second of it. There is so much to be enjoyed about the working, schooling, late nights, and never-seeing-your-husband-ing time of life. That's what being 22 is for. It's the time when your body can run on little sleep, your mind is sharp enough to take in a million lectures a week, and there's only two of you to do laundry for so it's totally okay if it piles up for a solid week.

I posted a quote from a Conference talk a few weeks back on my Instagram from President Uchdorft. It struck a chord and it's been on my mind ever since. He says 

"His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings. 

We need to accept that the commandments of God aren't just a long list of good ideas. They aren't "life hacks" from an Internet blog or motivational quotes from a Pinterest board. They are diving counsel, based on eternal truths, given to bring "peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come."

So we have a choice. On the one hand, there is the opinion of the world with its ever-changing theories and questionable motives. On the other hand, there is God's word to His children -- His Eternal wisdom, His certain promises, and His loving instructions for returning to His presence in glory, love, and majesty.
The choice is yours!"

Number one, I love when General Authorities talk about anything social media because it makes them sound so hip and cool, but also it makes them sound human. And thank heavens that they are, right? 

And number two, HELLO! If you choose God, things will work out. Haven't we all heard that since primary and young men young womens and every Singles Ward Relief Society lesson since the beginning of forever?  God is always always always on our side and it's always always always best to choose Him. 

In the 9th grade I was on student council which meant I got to do the morning announcements. A couple of us were filmed as we read the announcements about things no one really cared about. At the end of every announcement series, though, one of us would read off the infamous line "Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!" I always thought it was cheesy and corny, but looking back, I wish I had taken it more seriously. Especially as a junior high girl where everything was the biggest deal in the whole world (sorry Mom!). If I had taken that to heart and really remembered that the choice was mine to make every day a good one, I probably would had lots of better days.

Choose Him. Choose the gospel. Choose to be happy no matter the circumstances. Get on your knees each night and thank your maker for all that he has given you. Something Steven has taught me in these 2 years of marriage is that everything has has a place in your prayers - even the clean sheets on your bed and new pants you found on sale today at J Crew. 

So read the blogs, look at the photos on Instagram, and pin pin pin away. BUT. Remember that you are in control and you decide who you want to be and how you want to live. God doesn't give us life hacks, He gives us divine counsel. Listen to His counsel and choose to be happy. 

The choice is yours. Make it a good one.