I was going to write a post about how much I love High School Musical, but that one will have to wait for a little bit.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I was going to write a post about how much I love High School Musical, but that one will have to wait for a little bit.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sometimes when I feel like life has thrown me into a washing machine the only thing I want to do is WRITE. It’s at these times I wish I had my friend Marcie’s ability to put my thoughts into words.
It’s Christmas Eve. Caleb and I will be up at to open our presents. I’m grateful Caleb still gets excited to wake up early. I would be embarrassed if at 21 years old I was the only one still excited about it.
Tonight we gathered at my grandma and grandpa Porter’s home to eat and do our traditional white elephant exchange. My nephew Luke was upset after it all because he wanted a different present or another present or something like that. My sister Hannah turned to me and said it is so hard to teach little kids to be grateful for what they have. They just always want more or better, and can’t understand being content with what they are given.
Yesterday I watched my sister Betsy’s kids for a few hours. Porter all of a sudden started whining that he wanted his mom. If you know Betsy’s kids you know that is unusual. They are the most easy going kids I know and rarely ever ask for their mom when someone else is babysitting. Anyway, I told Porter that she would be home later, but he kept crying and saying “I want her now.” I tried to explain that I know he WANTS her now, but there is no way she could come home at the moment and he was just going to have to wait.
Jesus Christ often counsels us to become as little children. Observing these two experiences with my 3 and 4 year old nephews I realized I’m a lot like a little child. I often want more and better without being grateful for what I already have. I also have a hard time being patient: when I want something, I want it
We read accounts in the scriptures of Jesus weeping. He wept as he visited the Lamanites and Nephites as a resurrected being in 3 Nephi. He wept over
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Do you have a mission statement? I've come to realize that most organizations do, but most individuals don't. It's probably true that most individuals have no idea what any organization's mission statement is, and they probably don't really care to know either--most likely they care less about developing their own mission statement. I know BYU's mission statement is "enter to date go forth to mate".....just kidding. That is what my non-LDS roommates religion teacher told the class of non-LDS students to make them laugh. I thought it was a funny joke. Anyway, BYU's real mission statement is "Enter to Learn go forth to Serve". In the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey (yes I read the one for Teens because we were supposed to read it when I worked at the high school--but I think what I'm about to say is also in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) it talks about the importance of individuals having a mission statement. I decided I'd like to have one.
My mission statement is "Believe. Learn. Do." I created this to help me face the challenges that came up as I worked at Merit (the charter high school). I wanted to believe in myself and my own abilities, but most importantly I wanted to let the kids know I believed in them and their abilities. I wanted to learn everything I could about how to help parents, faculty and students and how to do my job efficiently. I wanted to not be afraid to DO and I wanted to help the students not be afraid to DO. Sometimes that's the hardest part right? You can find out a way to believe in yourself, and then learn what you need to do, but when it comes to the actual doing part it gets a little harder. It turns out my mission statement is really applicable to every aspect of my life, and I have placed it in the title of my blog to help me remember. It gives me a little extra courage. When my life is over I want everyone to know that I was a believer in my self and others, that I learned every chance I got, and that I wasn't afraid to do what I knew and learned. In General Conference Elder Bednar said rather than just continuing to know more stuff we should make sure we are also doing more of what we know is right.
Advice from the 7 Habits book: there is no right way to write a mission statement. It can be long or short, it can be a quote someone else already said, it can be a poem or just 2 simple words. Once you write it, put it in a place where you'll see it often.
Monday, November 30, 2009
The other week I was on a date and the boy said "tell me your favorite thing in life, ready...go." I felt pressured because I had to respond so quickly. He was not going to give me any time to think about it. I shouted out, "running!" Then I said, I mean, "my family...or wait, the Church?" I was thinking one of the last two should have been what initially came to my mind, but I was under so much pressure. Maybe my mind was thinking the first two were a given so I actually blurted out number 3 on my list of favorite things in life. Number 4 would be honey (the creamed kind from New Zealand, or 2nd best from Trader Joes). For some reason the apostrophe on my keyboard is not working at the moment, so please excuse me for not including apostrophes in their proper places.
One thing you will NEVER find on my list of favorite things is money. I hate money. I often wonder why it has to exist. If everyone agreed to work for free and if no one in the world charged money for machinery, materials or the final product, we would never have to spend money. The familiar phrase "I can't afford it" (hey! the apostrophe worked!)would cease to exist. The charger for my laptop stopped working (after 2 years it was about time). I went to Best Buy to get a new one: $80. Lucky for me it was only $70 at Wal Mart. Not like I can afford to spend $70--I'm jobless for crying out loud. For me, a computer is an absolute necessity though, so I spent the money and I'm trying to forget about it. I also bought a new cord for my camera so I can finally put pictures on the computer. Once again it was much cheaper at Wal Mart than anywhere else. Wal Mart is the bomb. Yay for pictures.
This is my roommate Kaylee. She is SO cool. We were playing around with the setting on my camera that automatically takes 3 pictures in a row. We didn't know when they would take so it caught us at our best.
Halloween. I was a Gold Digger :). My dress is a table cloth and my gold tights are..well, gold tights. I love having gold tights in my possession.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
It has been almost a month since my last blog....I can feel the pressure from all my readers. If I don't post soon I'll lose your interest and may have to shut down my blog. I've been waiting because I lost the cord that connects my camera to the computer. I have some fairweather readers who will not read a blog unless it contains pictures. Sorry to give you a pictureless blog.
The other day I was standing all day putting leather leaf and boxwood into a centerpiece. (Leather leaf and boxwood are names of greenery used in floral design). I spent 8 hours doing it and the centerpieces, turkeys, and cornucopia's seemed they would never end. I was working with a handful of other women, most of whom were married. One girl (not married but with a boyfriend) said after a long day, "who is going to go home and have their significant other give them a back rub?" I was the only person at the table without a significant other. I thought about it for a minute then I commented, "nah, I think I'll just go to Costco." Have you ever sat in the massage chairs at Costco? They massage better than any human being ever could. Who needs a boyfriend when you've got a Costco membership?
I've started to realize that my instant reaction to a boys shoes may be hindering my ability to get to know the real man. As hard as it will be for me to overlook his shoes, I will try. Maybe I'll move on to things like, what are his skills? Does he play in a band? Does he run really fast? Can he sing? Does he have a black belt in karate? Is he an artist? Will he look good in our engagement picture? These are all important, wouldn't you say?
Okay, okay, all kidding aside, I have been seriously contemplating how I am ruling out or in certain boys. The Lord says to Samuel, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." The Lord doesn't look on the shoes or whether or not he plays the guitar--He sees straight to the heart. I'm grateful the Lord exercises this type of righteous judgment on me; for without it, my life full of mistakes would not allow me to measure up.
I have a determination to avert my eyes from the shoes. I refuse to look at them. I promise to give every boy an equal chance, whether he has amazing nun chuck skills or not.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
My sweet roommate called to see if I wanted to go to the devotional at BYU with her. Seeing as how I am now jobless and have always enjoyed BYU forums and devotionals, I said yes. I got ready in 10 minutes flat and ran up to campus. It was a man named Greg Mortenson, author of the Best-selling book, "Three Cups of Tea: One man's mission to promote peace...One school at a time." He talked about the importance of educating the young people in impoverished countries. Especially, he says, young girls. He shared the African Proverb that if you educate a boy you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a community. Brigham Young (the 2nd prophet of the LDS church) changed that a little when he said if you educate a woman, you educate a generation. I had a strong confirmation during Mr. Mortenson's speech that the opportunity a woman has to educate her children...or any children around her... is priceless.
I have a roommate from China. Her name is Jing and she is SUCH a light and joy in my life. She is not a member of the LDS church, yet she attends school at BYU: a private LDS university. She is taking the discussions from the missionaries assigned to Asian investigators in Provo. She comes from zero religious background and is having a hard time knowing if she even believes there is a God. She doesn't know how to recognize the spirit if she is feeling it. Last week we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in Relief Society. Jing turned around at the end of the song and asked me and her visiting teacher what the song was called. Her visiting teacher said "you liked it didn't you?" Jing said she loved it! Her visiting teacher asked her how it made her feel and Jing said, "happy!" We told her that was the spirit. I was so happy. One of her missionaries is going home this week at the end of his 2 years. She cried and cried and couldn't really understand why. This girl is as pure as they come and I'm so grateful for her in my life.
I used to say I never wanted to go to China or Japan or Korea...I just wasn't that interested in the Asian culture. I think someone is trying to teach me a lesson by filling my life with Asians. They are bringing out my inner Asian. Maybe I'd like to go to China and Japan after all.
I was really in the mood the other week to entertain people, so we had a caramel apple party at my apartment. It was a huge success.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I think I've told this story before. Oh well. When I was in New Zealand I attended a funeral of one of our friends from the branch, Brother Bennett. Sister Kawe-Small, the Relief Society president, bought a lot of helium balloons for us to write messages to Brother Bennett on. After his grave was dedicated and the service was over, sister Kawe-Small (who is Maori) delivered a Maori chant as we let go of our balloons and watched them float to heaven. It was an awesome experience. Well, yesterday my roommate Kaylee and I, in an attempt to find something fun to do, purchased helium balloons. We wrote messages to the world on them and took them to the park to release them. We didn't do a Maori chant but the experience was a fun one anyway. It was cool for me to think back on the experience with Sister Kawe-Small at Brother Bennett's grave. Kaylee and I had good time taking pictures and trying really hard to get good jumping pictures. We really struggled :).
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I couldn’t sleep the night before. I woke up almost every hour from on. Finally it was and time to get ready. I slept in my running clothes and set out everything I would need before I went to sleep. Betsy (who also didn’t sleep, just for me) and Hannah drove me to the park where I caught the bus. I drove what must have been 30 minutes or so and chatted with the nice woman next to me. This was her third marathon. I was trying to take my mind off how long we were driving, because I knew I would be running the entire way back.
The bus stopped and I ran to the longest row of port-a-potties ever. Even though there were around 40 or 50, the line for each one was about 15 people long. I waited and tried to warm my freezing limbs. I was trying not to think about how gross it was not only that I was going to pee in a port-a-potty but that I could see how many people had gone in before me to use the same pot. As I was trying to take my mind off my upcoming run, I began humming “tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag” from Mary Poppins. Talk about motivating. Then, inspired by a story Hannah told me on the way to the bus, I started saying in my mind: I’m a runner, a
The race started and I practically flew down the canyon. I started out way too fast because my legs already hurt by mile 10. I finished 13 miles in 2 hours 3 minutes. My family was waiting for me at mile 17 where they took pictures and wrote my name in chalk on the sidewalk. When I hit mile 18 I started to struggle. I whipped out my ipod and sang at the top of my lungs. Also weird, but who cares, I was running 26.2 miles. I continued to repeat my motivator: I’m a RUNNER….my legs are STRONG. After barely surviving until mile 23, I finally started to feel the finish. I sped up and continued telling my self: MY LEGS
Mile 25 I went even faster and kept saying: I’M A MARATHON RUNNER..MY LEGS
Thursday, September 17, 2009
In exactly 24 hours from now, I will be 9.5 hours from embarking on what may be the hardest physical event I've ever participated in. Many have done it before, many will do it with me for the first time, and many will do it many more times to come. I am going to attempt to run 26.2 miles in under 4 hours without stopping. Under 4 hours isn't a fast pace by any means--my main goal is to finish without stopping. This being my first marathon I'm not really concerned about how fast I go. By 'not really concerned' I mean I'm trying REALLY HARD not to care. I don't like to get passed by other runners, so I'm working on some major brain tricks to control my ego to allow some people to pass me. Some people come out of a marathon swearing to never run again (like my dad for example). Dad says that after every marathon but he has run 7 or 8 in his life time. When I ran 20 miles I was loving it afterwards. I wonder if the extra 6.2 miles will make me swear to never run again.
For those of you who won't be there in person cheering me on, at around 11:00 am just let out a little cheer wherever you are....I'll hear it. If you really feel bad about not being there in person, you could let out a big cheer instead of a little one. That would suffice.
To be continued....
Monday, September 14, 2009
I drove home, raced to put my running clothes on and started my run. I hoped it would start raining on me, and it did. I lengthened my run about 10 minutes just so I could stay in the rain a little longer. I passed a boy on a scooter and he laughed at me and made some comment about being soaked.
I finished my run, stretched, talked to Jenny on the phone and then helped myself to a d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s piece of bread covered with peanut butter and honey. Is there anything better? MMMMmmmm.
At the end of the night I went to Sonic to get a lemon berry real fruit slush. Do you know how many of those I've had in my life? Probably a million or more. I never get sick of them. Or maybe I just never get sick of driving to Sonic and being served by people on roller blades. The last 2 boys I dated made the comment that they had been to Sonic more times with me than they had been in their whole lives. I also made an appearance at my favorite grocery store, Macey's. I didn't buy anything I just walked around. I LOVE MACEY's (Kendall, that was for you).
Now I sit on the floor in my bedroom, listening to my newly chosen blog playlist and writing about my day. I'm also thinking about all the little good things in my life. I don't love my job, but that's only part of who I am. There are a million or more wonderful things about everyday living and I'm so grateful for that!
Oh darn, I can't find my running socks...I guess I'll have to go buy more.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The other day my doorbell rang 2times in a row. With each new ring came a very interesting surprise.
Ring #1: I open the door and this boy holding a 1/2 full bottle of LA Looks gel pushes his way into the house. "I'm in dyer need" he says. He had just put 1/2 a bottle of gel in his hair and needed to borrow a blow dryer to make it stay slicked back. He was wearing pants that came up past his belly button and his shirt was tucked in. Apparently he was trying out for the ballroom team and needed to get his hair to stay slicked back. I grabbed my blow dryer and he used the living room mirror to get his hair in order.
Ring #2: This time I opened the door to a girl. She said "i just noticed that you were growing things" as she pointed to our garden in the front yard. Lauren and Suzanne worked hard to plant our little garden and we harvest zucchini and tomatoes like crazy. I nodded my head and then the girl said, "i was just wondering if you're going to pick those things." Um, duh. I very happily said "Yes!" and she looked a little disappointed. She was scheming to get our vegetables. So I went into the kitchen and gave her a zucchini we picked like 2 weeks ago and sent her on her way. It made me wonder how many people are so kind as to pick our vegetables for us, without us ever knowing.
Last night I walked the Gallery Stroll, sampled Latino food and did a little Latino dancing at the Latino Americano festival, did some more dancing at the Penny Royal cafe, and then went to sleep. I woke up at 5:10 AM to head up Diamond Fork Canyon for a 10-12 mile trail run. My favorite part of the run was dodging the mine field of cow pies, and then dodging the mine field of cows. Here are some pictures of Fiji.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is fire. I went to a bonfire last night. It was fun. I made new friends and roasted starbursts.
This is me being weird and my new roommate Erika (notice the fire behind us, we worked hard for that).
So we look like dead people, but the funny part of this picture is the stranger in the background who is absolutely LOVING her chip.
This is what Jenny and I look like after running 20 MILES and eating french toast & egg sandwiches and Kneaders.
These are my new running shoes. Brooks Ravenna. The guy at Runner's Corner who sold them to me was real excited about them (they're a new shoe and he thinks they're awesome). So I may have left the store with a slight crush on him. Jenny said she has to go to Runner's Corner sometime this week to buy socks---needless to say, I'll be going with her :).
Monday, August 24, 2009
Having a career is kind of hard. It's taking me some time to get used to the longer than 9 hour work days with no lunch break. I love being busy and I love having a job. I really love getting to know the students and their parents and making our high school run smoothly. Teachers will send students to the front office for something, like a visitor pass, or a tardy slip and we don't already have those things in place, so right then and there I get to make something up. I created our visitor passes, mail system, tardy/check-out slips, payment contracts, and our student planners. That's pretty cool.
After feeling completely wasted at each day's end for the past 2 weeks, I have realized a couple things I need to change.
1. Stop complaining. This morning I woke up with a new attitude. I didn't care how long I had to stay at work--I was going to be happy about it. And I was.
2. My number one priority should always be my relationship with God. I can't allow myself to suffer spiritually because I'm tired or exhausted. I believe that if I will make a dedicated effort to continue studying my scriptures, serving, attending the temple and praying, that God will help everything else fall in to place. Spiritual things come first, then everything else.
When I tried these things out today I was surprised at how much time I had to spare. I was able to go running, go to the store, fix dinner, read a little bit of a book and catch up on the blogs--and I even stayed an hour late at work. I made sure to drink lots of water at work and I ate a real lunch as well. It's amazing how much of a difference those small things make.
The cool thing about my job is that when I no longer work at Merit Academy, what I have created will remain. They will always remember the first secretary they had who helped them get on their feet. I am creating a lasting legacy.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sometimes I sit up at night and rack my brain for something to blog about. That's when I know either I'm not having enough fun or I'm not bringing my camera around enough. I feel like I've been doing a lot of fun things lately, so it must be the latter.
Saturday I went on a date with my friend Adam to the Spanish Fork Rodeo. I made us dinner before and my sweet best friend Jenny picked a few things up from the store for me for our dinner because I was at a family reunion. When I came home I found that she had also set the table for me! She included a vase of pink and red roses, floating candles and rose pedals all over the table, wine glasses and a Lego candy heart. What a good friend wouldn't you say?
Unfortunately it is a little too early to be having a romantic dinner with my friend Adam, so I laughed and then quickly re-arranged our table setting, switched the cups, moved the roses and destroyed the Lego heart. My roommate Mikayla came home and saw the table setting before I had and she told me she was thinking "oh no Abby, that's TOO much you can't do that!" She was glad to hear it wasn't me after all.
Here are some incredibly attractive pictures of Jenny and I at my b-day celebration a few weeks ago:
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This year for the 4th of July I decided to celebrate my freedom by running a 10k. I didn't feel like it would really be much of a celebration unless I got some kind of prize at the end. So I went ahead and came in 2nd place out of 97 women in my age division. They gave me a sweet crystal with an eagle and American flag inside of it. Actually, I didn't plan on placing, I was just running so fast that it kind of happened. In reality it wasn't THAT fast but fast enough compared to everyone else running in my age division. I made a patriotic tutu which you can see in the pictures below. I swear that is what made me run so fast. Will I ever place again in a race? Probably not, but heck at least I did it once in my life right?
Also to celebrate the 4th I watched 10 people take an oath of citizenship and finally become citizens of the United States of America. It was so patriotic.
Here is my tutu and the shirt we got for running the race. I'm trying to have a really patriotic face in this picture.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I got to spend a whole day with my nephew Brigg in Logan. This is what we did:
I AM PECULIAR (this is a permanent post. If you have already read it, scroll down to see my latest)
I know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of you will know me as a “Mormon” although that is just a nickname. The word ‘Saint’ just means ‘member’ in this context. I believe in God the Eternal Father, that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me and wants me to be happy. I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life, atoned for my sins, died and was resurrected all that I might enjoy the blessing of being forgiven of my sins, and having my body and spirit reunited after death. I know that just as God called prophets in the Old and New Testament times that He has in fact called a prophet to lead and guide us today. I believe that families can live together for eternity; death does not have to be the end of our relationships with the ones we love. Some of you may wonder how on earth I can know these things. As I learn more and more from the Bible and other scriptures and actually live what I learn I see the promises the Lord has made being fulfilled in my life, and I feel the Holy Spirit bear witness that these things are true.
I know, I’m peculiar, but thankfully there are over 13 million other peculiar members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and with each year that number grows. I feel so much joy and happiness in my life because of this knowledge. If you want to know more depth about anything I have said that makes me peculiar, visit www.mormon.org. This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.