Saturday, January 31, 2009

Meet Brett

I realized that because I don't have facebook anymore, some of my siblings have probably heard nothing about my current relationship status (which is no longer single), so I wanted to introduce everyone to Brett David Noble. He's from Muncie, Indiana, served his mission in Brazil and his b-day is July 11---the day after mine. (We have the same zodiac sign!) He has been in my ward and FHE group since the beginning of last semester. I started liking him in the middle of November-ish and he finally caught on and decided I'm not so bad myself.....but only AFTER I flat out told him that I like him. I'm impatient and sometimes it makes me do crazy brave things. We tried really hard to get a good picture of us last night, but I kept having a hard time being normal. (Is that surprising?). My favorite kind of pictures are the one's where everyone kind of looks funny---like the picture below where my eyes are closed and he looks drunk. Some people like to keep quiet when they're dating someone especially when it's so new, but I decided Brett is so great that I want people to know--so now you all know.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peace Out

I have been reading the last two days about Peace. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the LDS church said that "Peace is the very essence of happiness below, and bliss above." As I was reading I was trying to decide when I've felt that peace in my own life. Immediately, thoughts of my experiences in New Zealand came to mind. I remember one Saturday morning I set off on my bike to volunteer at a horse-riding place for disabled children. It was a long bike ride and I was never able to find the place. I decided since I was already late, that I would just keep riding my bike. I rode on a small gravel road through a few farm-like neighborhoods. Then I made my way over to the beach, about 8 miles from home. I locked my bike to a tree and just walked along the sand. It was early and kind of cold, so there were only a few people there walking their dogs. I found a log and sat down to watch the waves. It was peaceful. I kind of felt like I was the only person in the world and I knew that God was completely aware of me. You know, God gave us the Holy Spirit to help guide and protect us through life. Everyone can at times feel a prompting from that Spirit--whether it be a warning to stay out of danger or a thought to help someone else. I've found that when I listen to those feelings I get, which I believe come from the Spirit, I feel the same peace as I did that day on the beach in Invercargill, New Zealand. I feel the same closeness to God--probably because I am doing what He would have me do.

My friend Sandi's mom had a magnet on her refrigerator when we were in 7th or 8th grade. It said something like, 'Peace is not the absence of noise and chaos, it's the ability to remain calm in your heart when there is chaos all around.' I really liked that, and although I can't remember the exact wording the concept has always stayed with me.

Enjoy some pictures of my beautiful New Zealand.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


In case anyone is really worried about what they are going to do to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day—I have an idea.

To commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, BYU students, faculty and community members are invited to participate in a Walk of Life candlelight procession. The walk from the Carillon Bell Tower to the Wilkinson Student Center will be followed by a special program. And guess what….I’m singing in the Gospel Choir that will be performing during the special program. They usually have about 1,000 people come and it’s supposed to be a really good program. Our little Gospel Choir is small but we’ve got soul. We have been learning our song the true Gospel choir way…without music. Our instructor sings our part and we sing it back. It’s amazing how quickly we’re able to learn and memorize the song. Anyway, come if you’re bored and want a cultural experience.

Monday, January 19th 2009

5:30 PM Carilon Bell Tower (the one that sings Come Come Ye Saints every hour) for the candelight walk, or the program starts at 6:00 in the Wilkinson Center ballroom.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Abby The.......

Today in my History 202 class we talked about a few emperors in Chinese history who were known as Emperor Shulyeman the Great, or Emperor Kimchi the Magnificent...or whatev. So our teacher says, take a minute to talk to your neighbor about what word you would choose to be known as. One girl said "the friendly"...ahh precious, right? Other guys said "the righteous", "the wise" and my personal favorite, "the chill". Then my professor said too bad none of us will ever get to go by these names because we'll never be significant enough in history. That was kind of sad. I thought long and hard about what I would choose, even though my dreams of ever being known by it were crushed. Here's what I decided: Abby the Determined.

I make goals and I like to reach them. My sister Hannah might put it, Abby the Stubborn, but that's not really inspiring. Guess what? Did you know that determined is another word for stubborn for real? It's listed in the Thesaurus as a synonym for stubborn. Great.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Magic of 1000 Paper Cranes

I've really had a lot of things I have wanted to blog about lately so you might get a few in a row pretty quick.

First one: Oh and everyone should know that my camera is out of batteries so I haven't been taking pictures. All I need to do is plug in my battery but I keep forgetting to. Actually, before I finish I'm going to go do that right now. Okay, done. I also plugged in my ipod which I've been needing to do as well.

Now that I'm all plugged in and charging I'll continue. Today I had the opportunity to participate in something great with a group of people who are really going to change the world. There is an adjunct professor in the Romney Institute (where I work: we are the main center for the Master of Public Administration students) named Kimball Young. He's probably in his 60's and has three different types of cancer. The MPA students took a class from him last semester and apparently really liked it and him. He is one of those entrepreneur's who started out writing obituaries but ended up making a lot of money starting businesses, and has a lot of really inspiring things to say about business and life. Anyway, the students really wanted to do something for him.

Have you ever heard the story about the little Japanese girl Sadako Sasaki who had leukemia, was really sad and lonely, and her classmates or friends or somebody decided to fold 1000 paper cranes to give her as a gift? An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane has sort of become a symbol of world peace because of the story of "Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes". The MPA students decided to give this peace, and wish to professor Young. Out of the goodness of their hearts they organized a time and place that the students could fold paper cranes. I got to help because they needed extra help and invited the non-MPA student workers. It was so much fun. I had never made a paper crane before, but now I have mad paper crane making skills. It was just really neat to see how the students are so capable, and so good. These are our future state and local government leaders, and CEO's of Non-profit organiziations. Like I said, people who can really change the world. Maybe it shouldn't have been such a touching experience, but it was for me. On so many levels, I was inspired by it. Can you imagine how professor Young will feel when he gets 1000 paper cranes strung as 25 strands of 40 delivered to his home? It's magical.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Precipitation in the Form of Ice Crystals

Okay, I swear it snowed non-stop for two days in a row. Maybe it stopped while I was sleeping but I will never know. What I do know is that there is snow EVERYWHERE. Let me share with you all a few funny things that have happened in accordance with the snow the past 2-ish days.

1. I was walking home at about 6:00 pm through the streets of Provo. I came to a place where I had to cross the street but the cars didn't have a stop sign so I had to wait for them. There were 2 stranger girls in front of me (stranger as in I didn't know them, not as in stranger than me or someone I know). One of these girls said, "oh, don't mind us we're just out here in the freezing cold." I thought it was funny because it's true--the people driving their cars were nice and warm yet they wouldn't stop for the freezing pedestrians.

2. Yesterday while I was walking to school I heard a boy comment to the girl he was walking with: "I wish I could punch every snowflake in the face."

3. Today I walked up the stairs to campus and all along the stairs someone had built snowmen in strange forms. It was like they were art sculptures. One of them was of a snowman couple hugging--or most likely kissing. There was one built all around the railing, another looked like a giant monster fighting with the smaller monster across the way. Whoever the artists were, obviously had a lot of fun and I wish I could have been with them. They also left a note in the snow only visible from the top of the staircase. I couldn't see all the letters but I thought that was cool too. It must have been the aliens.

4. Of course I've witnessed about 4 complete slip-and-falls because of the snow. Those are always funny.

A lot of cool things happen as I walk to and from school. I decided that was because I do it at least twice a day and sometimes up to 6 times a day, and there is no other activity I repeat more than that in a day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

El Cabino

I just spent 3 days up in Cascade Idaho at my grandma’s cabin with my ENTIRE family. That means: Mom, Dad, their 7 kids, 5 kids-in-law, 17 grandchildren and, grandma of course. I think that adds up to 32.

There’s not much water pressure at the cabin so the rule is: if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown…flush it down. And we’re serious about that rule. There are only enough rooms for one per family (I have 5 married siblings with their own families) so no one slept very well (except mom, dad, and grandma who checked into a hotel).

We built the two best snow forts in the history of snow forts. Picture the music: da da da da da..duh duh duh (you know, the music they play for a cowboy duel?) It’s the Porter’s against the Non-Porters, and it’s a battle to see who can knock down the other team’s fort. Overnight it rained and then froze so we are dealing with practically cement forts here. First round, everyone throws an ice ball to try to cause some damage. Next round we use our bodies (some of us bruised shoulders, almost broke ribs, and had the wind knocked out of us) then the final round we hack away with shovels and axes. They both finally fell, but the

Non-Porters won (to our great shame).

It was loud and crazy and incredibly FUN…because even though we were miles and hours away from where we live, we were Home, because we were with our family.

My entire family minus 1 or 2 sleeping babies and 2 unborn babies. This is the Non-Porter fort that held up strong through the demolition.

Sitting on the couch at the cabin.

My nephew Jeston and a beautiful view of the lake and mountains in front of the cabin.

Me and Grandma! (I had a big red zit in the middle of my forehead the whole time we were up it's also there in EVERY picture.)

The Porter fort, complete with crenelation and even a window (which you can't see). This is my dad and my oldest sister Sarah.

I AM PECULIAR (this is a permanent post. If you have already read it, scroll down to see my latest)

Those of you who read my blog could probably make a list of all the reasons that you think I am a bit peculiar. No worries, I would be the first to shout an amen to everything you could think of. I know I’m peculiar; but let me tell you the number one thing on my list that I think makes me a peculiar person.

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 This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.