I love clouds. The way they shift, move. Sometimes they are thin and whispy, letting the sunlight through. Sometimes they are dark and heavy, promising a storm. Sometimes they are big and fluffy, providing shade from the summer sun.
I suppose that we can learn from clouds. Sometimes we bring happiness and optimism to others. Sometimes we provide much needed nourishment, through our words and deeds. Sometimes we provide a shelter for those that need a break from the heat of the world.
Clouds change constantly, driven by the wind and weather patterns. We can learn to change, to go with the flow of life, to become better.
Sometimes, we can release the control we think we have, and give ourselves over to the Maker's hands.
"Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: 'I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].'20
"My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. As we approach this holy week—Passover Thursday with its Paschal Lamb, atoning Friday with its cross, Resurrection Sunday with its empty tomb—may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,”21 for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that because of his Atoning sacrifice, I will never truly be alone or comfortless. I am so grateful for these truths, and for the reason why I celebrate Easter (and the reason I keep living the way I do, every day). I love my Savior, and I know that He loves me.
Today I decided to share a couple of stories illustrating my amazing skills at injuring myself.
When I was in high school, I worked nights at a local restaurant, and got home after everyone else was in bed. This meant that the lights were all off. Usually, this wasn't a problem, since I know my way around my own house. However, one night, my mother had left her exercise trampoline in the middle of my walk-way. I unlocked the side door of the house, which opened right into the family room. I made my way towards the kitchen, only to be stopped when my ankles hit the low trampoline, and I lost all sense of control, landing sprawled on top of it. So gracious. It's just a shame no one saw it.
One morning, in college, I was in a rush to get to class (as usual) and was running down the stairs in my apartment wearing socks. Carpeted stairs + socks = no bueno. I slipped on a step towards the top of the stairs, flew into the air, landed hard on my backside, and slid down to the landing. It was so loud that all of my roommates came out of their rooms to see what was wrong.
Last night, I was putting away our luggage. We have this random cupboard above our closet, which is where we store our luggage. As I was standing on a kitchen chair to put it away, I lost my balance and fell backwards, practically onto the dresser. I still don't know how I didn't knock anything over. No bruises, just a scratch on my arm. I did feel old when I woke up stiff this morning, though....
A couple of other randoms: Once, I tripped myself. Sitting down. I bruise easily. I have bruises that I can't remember getting. I've walked into low tree branches, doors, poles....numerous times.
Basically, I'm just talented at falling with style.
A super cute cardigan (my favorite) for less than $10. I love the pretty details and spring-ish color.
Score! Cardigans are usually $20+ full-price at Target.
Pretty earrings for less than $5 a pair!
A pretty good haul I'd say! Target has fabulous clearances in all of their departments. I have to be careful that I don't go too crazy when I'm in there. Oh, and here's a *tip* for you. I heard that Target usually marks things down on clearance on Tuesdays. Happy shopping!
Hello bloggers! Sorry I've been MIA for a while. Truth is (while I did lose my camera cord), I just haven't felt much like blogging. Sometimes, I just get in a rut. But I'm back, with some exciting news.
TJ got a motorcycle.
Now, before you call us crazy, hear me out. I'm not as nervous as some wives because I've pretty much grown up on motorcycles. My dad has had them pretty much constantly my whole life. TJ's also grown up riding dirt bikes and quads (which I know are different, but not so different that it's completely new). Also, can you say 90 miles per gallon? Hello savings on gas. Plus, I'm a huge believer in living your dreams. TJ's always wanted a motorcycle. And, he looks dang hot on it.
This was his face when my dad called to tell him they'd found and picked one up for a great price. How could I say no to a face like this?
I mean, he was so excited he could barely keep his eyes open!
The deal included two helmets and a riding jacket. Perfect! It's a Ninja 250, which is plenty of bike for him. And, its color will not be ignored anytime soon. That's a plus when nobody sees motorcycles! It also has a really loud exhaust, which we were going to change, but decided it will be better because if people hear him, they'll look out for him. I won't lie and say that I don't worry, but I trust him not to do anything stupid, and I know he'll be just fine.
He's still getting comfortable with it, but when he does, you bet I'll be riding on back. I'm so excited for him and that we've been blessed to let him do something he loves. So if you see him riding around town, wave and please tell everyone you know to watch for motorcycles! (And regular bikes, because we know my track record with those....)
PS. The title of this post comes from my cousin, who called motorcycles "momos" when he was little.
"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are."
I had an interesting dream last night. All of my dreams are weird, and sometimes they're so weird that I wake up feeling weird.
But last night, I dreamed that I had a baby. Of course, some things were a little off, because my dreams are never like reality. But he was a beautiful baby boy. He had bright eyes, and curly hair the same color as mine. And we loved him.
This is a little late getting on the blog, but as you can see from the volume of pictures, it was quite an effort to get it on here.
Thursday night, Hannah came and spent the night with Kyndra. They had fun laughing at TJ's antics, while I attempted to sleep. The next morning, we headed out on a special getaway.
On the way from Flagstaff to Sedona, in Oak Creek Canyon, there's a freshwater spring that they've piped. It's delicious and cold water and we all enjoyed our taste.
But Sedona was not our destination today. No, we were headed to one of Arizona's little known treasures: a mining town called Jerome.
The sky was beautiful and gave me some gorgeous landscapes to photograph.
I don't normally like a lot of antique edits to photos, but it just suited this antique town and all of the old buildings. Jerome is built in the hills, and is literally falling off the hill in some areas.
I love cherry blossoms and textures.
It's all in the details.
That little shack I'm standing in front of? It's evil. Kyndra and TJ got a picture in front of it without incident. I stand in front of it and lose by balance, thereby gaining about 10 splinters in the palm of my left hand. Also, please note my amazing bangs blowing in the wind. Classy.
This popcorn was completely incredible. Pricy, yes. But uh-mazing. Caramel corn with marshmallows, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and walnuts. Holy cow. And the shop we bought it in smelled wonderful.
After we'd spent a couple of hours in Jerome, we drove another hour or so to Prescott, where we were meeting my parents to get Kyndra home.
Not too shabby for out-the-window-of-a-moving-vehicle photos.
TJ and I had decided to use this as an excuse to have a mini-vacation, and booked a hotel room at the Holiday Inn. We checked into the hotel, waited for my parents to get there, and then waited to go to dinner with them since it was still a little early.
After looking for a couple of places, we ended up eating at the Adirondack Cafe, located on Whiskey Row. The owner came out to talk to us and was really nice. The food turned out to be really good! The wait was a little bit long, because the owner is also the only cook, but it was well worth the wait. We shared some garlic bread and the chicken quesadilla. Good stuff.
We then walked around downtown Prescott a little. We went into a western store (isn't my cowboy hot??), and a little popcorn/ice cream shop called Young's Farm. I remember going to the actual farm when I was younger, but it's since been closed down and now they have this little shop. The best part? Free samples of everything. Flavored popcorn. Ice cream. Different types of brittle and fudge. They'll let you try anything!
Another fun story....the picture on the bottom left. There was a man near the courthouse, who noticed my camera. He came up to us and asked if we'd like to see Emily, his pet owl that he'd had to set free when he got to the US from Austria. We were somewhat taken aback by his forwardness, but obliged him. I think the shot turned out pretty cool. Then he asked if I had a permit to take pictures of the courthouse. Ummm.....no. I just said, "No, but I'm not going to sell them." He laughed it off, and we weren't really sure if he was crazy or not.
Afterwards, my parents headed home and we decided to do a bit more exploring. We went to Red Robin later because we were hungry again (we'd skipped breakfast and lunch), and also to Wal-Mart because I'd forgotten to pack deodorant for TJ. The next morning we ate the hotel's continental breakfast, and enjoyed a little time in the indoor spa and pool. We went downtown one last time to see what we could see, and we saw some legit cowboys walkin' down Sheldon St (which happens to be my brother's name).
All in all, it was a really fun weekend and the perfect end to Spring Break. We got to create some great memories with each other, and with family. I love my family so much!
I'm scared. I'm scared that my efforts over the past three years will not be enough. I'm afraid that I haven't put forth my best, that maybe I'm not cut out for this. I'm scared I won't be a good teacher.
I've spent the last three years of my life learning what it takes to be a good teacher, and I'm afraid that I don't have it. I've never felt more unprepared for this career than I do now, in my last semester before student teaching. I'm to the point that I'm not sure it's really what I want to do.
I love children. I love teaching.
I don't love lesson planning, assessment making and administering, grade-giving, standard-achieving, problem-managing, parent-pleasing, and who knows what else I'll encounter in a public school classroom.
I am grateful for the opportunity to get a college education. I am grateful that I have been able to work hard towards this accomplishment. I am honored to have learned so much from so many great teachers. I would never trade my experiences, because they've made me stronger, they've changed me.
I know whatever happens, and wherever the Lord directs my path, that it will end up being for the best. I know that I'll be OK, and I'll be happiest if I follow my heart, and ask for the Lord's help.