i've been working at the store over christmas break to earn some more money.  (money, money, money -- ick.)  i was really tired and had been there all day long, standing.  my feet hurt, my back hurt, my shoulders hurt, i was hungry, and really wanted to go home.

the next customer in line was a man who never, EVER smiles.  he was a regular.  i'd seen him many, many times before.  and not once, in all the times i've asked, "how are you today?" or "did you find everything alright?" or "your total is ___." or "have a nice day!" i have never once seen the man smile.

i thought:  great.  a grumpy guy to make my day even worse.

but of course, i pasted on a smile.  "how are you today, sir?"  i asked.  i got a grunt and a "fine." the usual response from this man.  i then asked, "did you have a merry christmas?"  expecting him to grunt and nod, or perhaps say, "yep."

this man raised his head and looked me in the eyes.  and then -- he smiled.

"i did have a merry christmas!  how bout you?"

i was shocked.  i had never seen this man smile before! ever!  i was suddenly filled with love and compassion for him.  i had no idea what went on in his life.  maybe he was lonely.  maybe he had health problems, or financial problems.  there were a million reasons why he never smiled.  but this christmas had caused him to smile.  what a miracle.

i smiled back, and the rest of our short conversation was as happy and cheerful as any.  he walked away, and i felt renewed.  it absolutely made my day.  and i was amazed that a smile from this usually grumpy stranger had affected me so much.

smile!  you never know whose day will be made.

"a smile is a crooked line that sets things straight."  :)



christmas time!

i'm sitting here at my grandparents' house in idaho, surrounded by so many loved ones.  tonight, we got here and there were hugs and kisses from EVERYONE.  i was attacked by my little cousins, wrestled by my uncles, and squeezed by aunts.  grandma and grandpa surveyed their huge family with love.  we sat down to delicious food (as always) and i was overcome with how grateful i was to be a part of this crazy, amazing, loving, spiritual family.

after dinner, we all went downstairs to have a christmas eve family home evening.  we all piled on top of each other, laying on couches, slouched in armchairs, or sprawled on the floor.  singing christmas carols, i again looked at my waddoups family.  it was right then and there that i decided there was nowhere on earth i'd rather be.

grandpa talked to us about the reason for the season:  Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer.  this year i have a new appreciation for the atonement, and why Christ came to earth.  He atoned for me, and for my sins, and for the sins of my loved ones, so that we can all repent and go back to live with Him again.  what an amazing blessing the atonement is.  even my littlest cousins seemed to recognize the spirit in the room.  tears were shed.  hearts were full.

and you know what?

christmas could be over right now, and i would be perfectly happy.  this is christmas.  it isn't about the gifts, or the treats, or the toys.  it's about love, and family, and our savior, Jesus Christ, born in a stable so many years ago.  birthed by the humble mary.  praised by the angels.  worshipped by the shepherds.  given gifts by the wise men.  what a beautiful, wonderful, perfect christmas eve.

merry christmas everyone!



two things i absolutely LOVE the most, right here in this post.

my brother.

jon schmidt's song, "all of me."

put both of them together? i can barely even handle it.

so, the video isn't perfect. park doesn't play perfectly (but he comes pretty darn close), the sound isn't that great, and he only gives you a little sample of this amazing, spectacular, wonderfully fabulous song.

but i still want to either cry or smile so big i might start laughing every time i see this awesome sight.  see for yourself.



today i had a nice little reality check. a slap in the face.

there are so many horrible things going on in the world. and it seems that everyone is being affected by satan in some way or another. and amidst all this sin -- i am just NOT being my best. i am not living up to the shaylee k wilcox that i know i am capable of being. i see myself falling into the same "worldly" trap that has captured so many of my friends and loved ones. and i am heartbroken and discouraged about it. i want to live the way my Savior would have me live. i want Him to be proud of me.

the other day, i heard some really sad news about some of my friends from high school. i started bawling. (of course, it was finals week too, but still. . . ) i couldn't believe that they had been sucked into some of the things that scare me the most. it broke my heart for them. i wanted to call them up and beg them to start living how they know they should.

warning:  i am about to be very blunt.

your choices don't just affect you. they just don't. you have no idea how people will react to the things that you're doing. and don't make the same mistake i did -- don't think that just because no one sees what you're doing, they'll never find out. people can see it in your face if you're not living the way Christ would want you to live. they can tell by your spirit. don't think for one second that your choices are solely yours. they will have an enormous effect on people that love and care about you. think twice before doing something you KNOW you'll regret.

because, if you're reading this, i love you. and i don't want you to be spiritually hurt.




finals! they're upon me!

i figured that i needed a quick break from studying, and so instead of killing myself, or getting on facebook (where i would most likely spend an hour), or making myself food (i just had lunch at 2:00), or reading a book (where i would probably get so into it, i wouldn't study for the rest of the week), or taking a nap (where i would be asleep until 7:00 tonight). . .

i am going to write a blog post.

everyone always told me what a terror finals week is. five tests in one week? any sane person will go insane by the end of the week. and i see myself on that path now.

just today, i have wanted to:
  • tear my hair out
  • scream
  • die
  • go home
  • throw up
  • never read anything about american history EVER again
  • never see another rock, volcano, or tectonic plate boundary as long as i live
  • never write another paper
  • never visit another art museum
  • burn all my textbooks
  • never carry a backpack around again (my shoulders are KILLING me!)
  • cry
  • never take another test
  • drop out of college
  • set up a tent in the library
  • at least set up a bed in the library (some of these benches are SO uncomfortable)
  • hire a massage therapist to follow me wherever i go and give me massages on demand
  • call everyone i know that went to college and ask them how in the world they survived finals week multiple times
you know what? i think maybe i am going insane. . .



  1. free your heart from hatred
  2. free your mind from worries
  3. live simply
  4. give more
  5. expect less



as a high school teenager, i never thought i would ever admit this. like every high schooler, i had the mentality of "my parents are old fogeys. they have no clue what they're talking about. they don't know anything! life is so different now."

okay... i was wrong. (wow, i admitted it.)

of course, i don't pretend to be some old wise one now, but i'm really starting to realize just how smart my parents were. the things they taught me were valuable. their testimonies are strong. the rules and boundaries they set were solely to protect me from the evils of the world.

mom and dad, thank you. no, those words aren't even enough. i must also include i'm sorry. i'm sorry for not listening to your council as much as i should have. i'm sorry for disobeying the rules and making life harder than it needed to be. thank you for being "strict." (never thought i would say that, did ya?) as i look back on the mistakes i made in high school, i can see that your strict rules helped me from making some even dumber mistakes. thank you for loving me enough to enforce these rules and lead me out of danger. i could have avoided more heartache if i had realized this earlier.

to whitney, parker, and jaren: please listen to mom and dad. they know best. they really do! they can see what our immature eyes cannot. they have lived life and made their own mistakes, and the rules they set are to help you from making some of your own. i promise they are only doing it because they love you immensely. as the oldest of the family, i just want to challenge you to not break their rules. it will save you a lot of grief. i love you and want you to be as happy as you possibly can be. and i've learned for myself that happiness comes from living the gospel and doing what's right.

as brigham young said, "true independence and freedom can only exist in doing what's right."



it was a cold friday night. we heard there was a dance party for chemistry majors at the benson building.

boo yah! let's crash it!

my friends are so amazing. at college, where your friends literally become your family, i've been richly blessed with some of the best. i couldn't say thank you enough for the things that i've learned and gained from these friends. julia, dana, melina, haley, morgan, daniel, riley, cameron -- I LOVE YOU!



here at apartment #300, the christmas season is in full swing! hot chocolate? check. christmas music? big check! (been listening to it basically since november started!)

snowflake tablecloth? check. (97 cents at wal mart, by the way people. exciting stuff!)

wreath on the door? check.

downstairs in melina and haley's apartment, they've gone all out! see the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling? and the lights on the windows?

we gotta do something like that in our apartment.
but for now, we'll just enjoy their decorations. and our wreath and tablecloth.
merry december!



i didn't even know these had been taken until just now. love you, family.


thanksgiving morning dawned bright and early this year. 8 am, we were all out of bed, getting ready to go run the turkey trot in midway. there were grumblings, and complaints, and sour attitudes from just about everyone, but in the end, everyone had such a good time! being able to run with my family is one of my favorite things :)

highlights from the race:

probably the cutest 11 year old on the planet

the cutest momma on the planet

park and i, pushing it to the end

dad looks thrilled to be nearing the finish (hahaha)

3.1 miles! we did it! together!

so whit might have finished before me.. here's the proof. also take note of my real cute color coordination. purple and orange? yum.

thanksgiving break was the best yet this year. i was 50x more thankful for everything. living on my own has given me an appreciation for my family that i didn't have before. i love them so much! it was so fun to spend time with them. now i've just got to make it through the next 3 weeks (and finals -- yikes!) and i get to go home for christmas!



yes, that's right, we're in college and we had a pajama party. the best part of this pajama party is the actual pajamas. take note.

nightgowns. footies. and silkies. wonderful! not your typical college pjs. am i right? well, each pair of pajamas in this situation has a story.

story #1: the yellow nightgown (melina is wearing it)
once upon a time, shaylee had a great-grandma named grandma schwartz. she was an awesome lady. when she died, shaylee was somehow lucky enough to inherit this yellow nightgown. and she loves it. she wears it all the time. even though nightgowns aren't exactly "in." who cares? nightgowns are way more comfortable than anything else. the end.

story #2: the pink nightgown (i'm wearing it)
once upon a time, shaylee's mother noticed how much shaylee loved her yellow nightgown. and so she bought a lovely pink one so that shaylee could have two nightgowns. and shaylee was soo happy! the end.

story #3: the green silkies (morgan is wearing them)
once upon a time, shaylee had a great-grandpa (on the other side of the family). she called him papa. he was a great man, who always enjoyed listening to shaylee and her siblings and cousins play the piano. well, when he died, shaylee inherited his silky pajamas. she loves them equally as much as her nightgowns! even though the pants are a little short. papa was a short little guy. the end.

i treasure these things i've been handed down from my great-grandparents. truly, they were both remarkable people and i feel blessed to have a little piece of them :)


thankful today

turkey day is just 4 days away! what does that mean to me? going home TOMORROW, making thankful turkeys, good food, being thankful for so many things, spending time with the fam (extended family too!), good food, running the turkey trot on thanksgiving morning, counting my blessings, snow football, good food, christmas music, thanksgiving decorations, movies, and more good food. i'm so excited! and so thankful for all of these things. let today and tomorrow go by quickly!


it's a wonderful life

my troubles get pushed to the back of my mind when i remember how great my life is. here are a few things that make up my life right now (besides studying, studying, studying and working, working, working):

dollar movies and good friends

smiles and hugs

walmart shopping trips

bunkbed couch! stadium seating for movies :)

making kool aid in celebration of *someone's* first kiss!!

and also... the fact that i get to go home on TUESDAY for thanksgiving break! it can't come fast enough, i want to go home to see my family. i miss them. happy friday everyone!


wicked kick!

let's be honest -- who doesn't love the play wicked? okay, i've never actually seen it. but the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. it describes how i'm feeling right now so well! my roommates and i have been on a wicked kick the past couple days. we rocked out to defying gravity, cried together on the bed listening to for good, and screamed defying gravity once again.

a few of the lines hit me so hard in this trial i'm going through. they give me such a boost!

"but i don't want it. . . no. . . i can't want it anymore."

"something has changed within me. something is not the same. i'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep. it's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes: and leap!"

"and you can't pull me down!"

"i'm through accepting limits, cause someone says they're so. some things i cannot change, but till i try i'll never know! too long i've been afraid of losing love i guess i've lost. well, if that's love it comes at much too high a cost!"

"and if i'm flying solo, at least i'm flying free!"

"and just to clear the air, i ask forgiveness for the things i've done you blame me for."

"everyone deserves the chance to fly!"

"and nobody is ever gonna bring me down!"

i want all of you to go listen to these two songs right now. hurry. type them in on youtube. they're wonderful songs. they even made me feel better! and that's definitely saying something -- at least, right now.


turning over a new leaf

life is incredibly hard sometimes.

and sometimes, we just have to learn to let go. i'm working today to let go completely of the past. things happened. and now what's ahead of me is my future. it's up to me to make my future bright. i choose.

this trial is harder than anything i've ever dealt with. but it's times like these that i'm grateful for:
  • my support. i have SO much! it's amazing to me how many people are reaching out toward me in my time of need. many have no idea that i need their support, and i am so grateful. if you're reading this, know that i love you. i am so grateful for your impact on my life. you have touched me in ways that you don't even realize. thank you so much for your continued love and support for me. i appreciate it -- and always will.
  • my savior. jesus christ knows EVERYTHING that i'm going through. he can help me through this. i don't have to do it alone. what an incredible blessing that is! i feel so blessed -- although this monstrous trial seems overbearing, i know it's not. i am strong enough to do this.
  • my scriptures. it seems that they were written for me, especially tonight. i will forever be grateful for the way they are helping me in my life. i feel guided by their words and their correct principles.
i'm ready for a fresh start. it will be the hardest thing i've ever endured. but worth it in the end. keep calm, and carry on. carry on, carry on, carry on!


dedicated to my roommates and my best friend julia. love all you girls.

i've heard it said
that people come into our lives
for a reason
bringing something we must learn
and we are led
to those who help us most to grow
if we let them
and we help them in return
well, i don't know if i believe that's true
but i know i'm who i am today
because i knew you

like a comet pulled from orbit
as it passes a sun
like a stream that meets a boulder
halfway through the wood
who can say if i've been changed for the better?
but because i knew you
i have been changed for good

it well may be
that we will never meet again
in this lifetime
so let me say before we part
so much of me
is made of what i learned from you
you'll be with me
like a handprint on my heart
and now whatever way our stories end
i know you have re-written mine
by being my friend. . .

like a ship blown from its mooring
by a wind off the sea
like a seed dropped by a skybird
in a distant wood
who can say if i've been changed for the better?
but because i knew you
i have been changed for good

and just to clear the air
i ask forgiveness
for the thing i've done you blame me for
but then, i guess we know
there's blame to share
and none of it seems to matter anymore

who can say if i've been changed
for the better?
i do believe i have been
changed for the better

and because i knew you. . .
because i knew you. . .

i have been changed for good.



i see this little saying all over lately. 'keep calm and carry on.' i never really gave much thought to it. . . until today. with everything going on in my life lately, to keep calm and carry on seems like a pretty dang good idea. freaking out about the little things in life won't help me in school, work, or in my relationships with others.

psalms 46:10 says, "be still and know that i am god." i should probably remember that more often. i need to take a break from my crazy life and be still, remembering that i have a heavenly father who loves me more than i can comprehend and a savior, jesus christ, who atoned for my sins. what a blessing.

keep calm. be still. i'll work on it.



feeling the need for an escape, four of my friends and i planned a road trip down to st george. we wanted to surprise our friend that lives down there, spencer, and stay for the weekend. we planned to stay at some people i knew from high school's dorms. (saving money, see?)

starting off our adventure/the almost 4 hour drive! haley, melina, me

baptisms at the st george temple :) riley, haley, me, melina

feeding the ducks! me, melina, haley

going through "the crack!" so much fun! me, haley, riley

we visited the temple visitors' center and watched a movie on families. i cried - i love my family. melina, spencer, me, riley, haley, daniel

we met up with some old friends!! melina, spencer, jorden, me, jalen, larissa

top of the dixie rock! me, haley, jorden, melina

exhausted after our amazing weekend (with absolutely no sleep whatsoever!)

i loved this road trip because of all the things we did. we went to the temple and did baptisms, we studied for a few hours at barnes and noble, we visited my great-grandma, we fed the ducks, we went to the temple visitors' center, we played in the rocks and the dixie red cliffs, we laughed, we cried, we had fun. such a great weekend together with my friends, both new and old!



my blog is like a little piece of my mind. i write on it my happiest times and my worst times. i am so addicted to blogging that i feel like this stress is leaking right out onto this post in the form of words.

i want to go back to being a kid. in the words of taylor swift, "i wish i'd never grown up." college is great for a while, but then real life sets in and i have to remember all the crappy parts about being a new adult. money is probably the worst part of it all. i have none. and i probably won't for a really long time. and the fact that i have to earn $2000 before the end of december has me completely frazzled. literally. i feel like my life is coming apart at the seams and what can i do to prevent it? nothing. adulthood is upon me.

let's take a trip back, shall we? back to the good ol' days of being a kid. drool, who cares? dirt on your face, bring it on. you don't have to do your hair or worry about boys. or money. in fact, money was probably the least of my worries! what i was going to eat for dinner and whether or not i got a popsicle from the bag in the freezer was higher up there on the priority list than paying for tuition and figuring out how many hours a week i need to work. mommy and daddy were always there to kiss the skinned knees better and wipe away the tears. sitting in my apartment by myself crying my eyes out is not exactly what i pictured when i pictured the life of a mature adult.

can i be 8 again? instead of 18?



i love byu. have i mentioned that before? i absolutely love going to school where i get to associate with people that have the same standards and beliefs I do. it is truly an amazing place. i wish everybody had the great opportunity to be here!!

yesterday, we heard that president monson was coming to speak at the weekly devotional. we were so excited!! melina, haley, and i decided that we would go early and save seats for dana, ben, riley, and daniel. devotional starts at 11:00 am. we decided to leave at 9:00 am. plenty of time to get the good seats, right?

wrong. people actually camped out -- in TENTS! -- all night to get the best seats. so when we showed up at the marriott center (in the pouring rain, i might add, with one umbrella for the three of us), there was a gigantic line. they weren't opening the doors to the marriott center yet. great! well, we got in line, huddled under one umbrella, me in a skirt, freezing to death. we wore our backpacks on our fronts so that our computers inside wouldn't get wet. smart, right?

me, melina, haley wearing our frontpacks! :)

we finally got into the marriott center at about 9:40. when president monson finally came at 11:00, i was so excited i could barely stand it. i felt an overpowering feeling of love and gratitude for my heavenly father that i could be here, listening to the prophet, at a moment when i desperately needed it in my life. how grateful i am for the inspiration the prophet had to come speak to us here at byu. he said some truly inspired things, things i felt were meant just for me. here were a few of my favorite quotes:
  • what we do or don't do is of utmost importance
  • take advantage of the power of the atonement and our sins and shortcomings will be forgiven and forgotten
  • be thou an example of the believers!
  • faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other
  • set aside time every day to find out for yourselves if the book of mormon is true
  • when you choose to follow christ, you choose to be changed
  • our opportunities to shine are limitless!
  • "look inside yourself. you are more than what you have become. remember who you are. remember." --the lion king
when president monson challenged us to read the book of mormon, our friend riley sent a text down our row to all of us: "hey guys, today is november 1st. let's finish the book of mormon by the end of the month. 17 pages a day." i was totally and completely impressed by this, and felt another sense of immense gratitude for having the friends i do. friends that encourage you to do better? ... now that's a true friend.

thank you, heavenly father, for blessing me in such abundance. today has been another fantastic day. many more to come!!



i absolutely LOVE dance parties. and dance parties where you get to dress up? does life get much better than that? i think not!

i've decided that i was meant to be an 80's girl. what a fantastic decade. great music: journey, cheap trick, guns and roses, cyndi lauper, bon jovi, abba, bryan adams, billy joel. . . it's so much better than music today. and their style?! love it. crazy hair, tons of makeup, bright colors, sweatshirts, vans, leg warmers. why was i born in the 90's? i should have been a teenager in the 80's. i wish.

anyway. we all went to the wyview halloween party as girls from different decades. (we missed haley, she was working the basketball game. sad day.) dana was a 20's flapper girl. elyse was a 40's girl -- like the notebook! melina was a cute 50's girl in her poodle skirt and high ponytail. jewels and i rocked the 80's look. it was such a fun night! i love dressing up! and i love halloween!!

jewels and i decided the shower curtain would be a great picture backdrop. haha!

my best friends! dana, melina, elyse, me, julia :)




this week, i've been thinking a lot about my life. i know it isn't the new year quite yet, but i figure i'll make some resolutions prior to 2012:
  • be the best shaylee wilcox i can be! this means that when i meet new people, i'm going to show them exactly who i am. i'm not going to mess around, pretending to be someone i'm not. i want people to walk away, feeling happy they were able to meet me.
  • be nice to everyone. i don't know what walk of life everyone is coming from. i don't know every circumstance. but i am going to give everyone a chance.
  • be willing to show the lord that i am his. i need to remember to do everything the lord asks of me, big or small. i am his daughter and i intend to be an obedient daughter. i want him to be proud of me. jesus christ atoned for my sins, and i am so grateful for the gift of the atonement. it really is an amazing blessing in my life.
  • be prepared to face the future. the past is behind me. i have had a good life, and have been blessed in countless ways, and i need to remember that i have a bright future! d&c 45:62 says, "for verily i say unto you, that great things await you." (thank you, dana, for showing me that amazing scripture!) it is so true -- there are so many things i have to look forward to, if i am striving to always choose the right.
  • be standing in holy places at all times. i want to have the spirit with me always!
  • be optimistic! life is so wonderful. . . nothing is worth complaining about.
  • be more grateful. i have so much to be grateful for!
making a list always solidifies these things in my head. working toward a better me, that's what i'm trying to do every day!


M. O. M.

this is my mom -- one of my best friends. yesterday, she came to provo to go to the temple and she and i went shopping together at costco and target. we had such a good time!

i miss her.

i miss every night, sitting on her bed, talking. i miss laughing with her. i miss confiding in her. she is one of the greatest women i know. everything she does, she does for her family. she sacrifices so much for each of us! she's a wonderful cook, seamstress, cleaner, and referee. she is full of compassion and love. i love that we have the friendship that we do. one of the things i miss the most about high school is being with my mom.

i love you, mom.



this tribute is to the sun.

i love the sun. i love walking on campus and feeling the sun on my face. it brightens the whole world when it comes up in the morning. part of the reason for my optimistic attitude lately has been the sun. it brings a warm happiness to my heart, and each day that the sun comes up again in the clear blue sky with the red leaves on the trees. . . i feel ecstatic! :)

winter is coming. i can feel it in the chilly early mornings and the cool evenings. (and the fact i can see my breath when i'm walking to school. boo.)

winter, stay away. fall, stay awhile.



spotify is such a beautiful thing. oh, you don't know what that is? it's like this... thing. not really a website. what would you call it then? an app? i don't know, i'm not really tech savvy. but it's really cool. you type in the name of an artist and it comes up with all their songs. right now i'm in a missy higgins mood. earlier it was journey. it changes regularly. tonight for dinner i had a mexican casserole. it was pretty delicious. melina made it. also at ward prayer, these guys in our ward had a really awesome talent. they danced to "i want it that way" by the backstreet boys. man, i really like the backstreet boys. those were the good old days. now it seems like life is just rap and techno. eww.. techno. i'm not really that big of a fan. tomorrow school starts again. the weekend just wasn't long enough! but on the plus side - this week is looking up! there's a relief society scavenger hunt on tuesday. interview with the bishop on wednesday. halloween party on saturday. i'm excited. today i skyped my family. they are so awesome. i find myself being more and more thankful for them every day. i think college has made me a more thankful person in general. i am so thankful for little things, like the leaves on the trees and the food on my plate and the fact that my legs work so i can walk to and from school. life is really wonderful. nothing to complain about. i have good friends, good family, and a good song just came on. where i stood. missy higgins. listen to it.



i think almost everything i post says something about being happy. well, i guess that's me! why would you waste time being grumpy? days are too precious to do that, and life is just too awesome to NOT be happy. i have so much to be thankful for! and so do each of you, i know it. when i feel myself being engulfed by unhappiness, or overwhelmed, i remember this recipe for happiness:
  • walking home on this beautiful day! it's warm, but not too warm, and the breeze carries the promise of fall. the leaves on the mountains are stunning: brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds. but there's also snow on timpanogos! this could make me upset, because i'm not ready for winter, but instead i enjoy the sheer beauty of this place that i am lucky enough to live in.
  • good music. i know, i'm weird, and i'm not super into the modern rap crap. here's what i love... 80's music. it's so good! and it can turn my whole day around. another few songs that i recently bought that i'm borderline obsessed with right now: ultimate by lindsay lohan (remember this great song? it comes right at the end of the movie freaky friday. it just makes me want to rock out. and i'm sitting in the middle of the library haha). the tarzan soundtrack is also working its way up to my favorites right about now. there are actually some really good, deep lyrics to these songs. my favorite quote from the soundtrack? "raise your head up! lift high the load! take strength from those that need you." if that doesn't scream BE POSITIVE! then i don't know what does :)
  • putting a smile on. today, right when i opened my eyes, i smiled. it actually made a huge difference in my day. i think another thing that helped was that i made a conscious decision to make today a good one. it's all up to me to make it good, and so if i decide it, it'll be a fantastic day!
  • working out. exercise always boosts my mood. it makes me feel good to be doing something that's hard and good for me.
  • remembering words from our loving prophet, thomas s. monson: "rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future."
here's to a lovely day! hope your day is just as great! :)



before college, i hated to cook. i mean, hated it so much that i would do ANYTHING to get out of cooking. i remember days when my mom would look at me, roll her eyes, and say, "how do you expect to live in college?!"

every time, my response would be: "just you wait, my culinary abilities are going to come out when i move away!"

i have made many things in the kitchen. here are two examples of my latest:

the other morning, i made german pancakes. they puffed up huge in the oven. they were DELICIOUS.

last night for dinner, i made chicken divan. rice, chicken, cheese, broccoli. . . it was awesome. i didn't get a picture until we'd already started eating it, but here's a little preview:

i rest my case. i can be a cook! i still don't really enjoy it, but it's not the dreaded task it once was. so there mom! :)



(so, we had to take a tour of the library for our honors writing 150 class. professor goldberg told us that he would give us extra credit if we dressed up as tourists and took pictures. it turned out that us dressing up as tourists and taking pictures turned into a story, so here it goes.)

once upon a time, there lived two friends, laura and shaylee.

they wanted to take a tour of the harold b. lee library on byu campus, but they had heard rumors about a creepy guy roaming the halls of the library: skyler the taliban man. they weren't sure if these rumors were true, but just in case, they hired a body guard for their library tour. his name was robby.

the three of them started off on their adventure, getting mp3 players and headphones from the library to complete their audio tour.

they made their way through the library, learning where to find which books and what floor was used for what. as they got down to the third floor, suddenly out jumped skyler the taliban man, grabbing laura's leg! robby tackled him to the ground.

robby had to protect laura and shaylee. he wrestled skyler out to the balcony of the second floor. . .

. . .and pushed him off.

well, soon after this, skyler begged for forgiveness. it turned out that skyler was actually a pretty nice guy. so robby and shaylee and laura decided to let him join them for the remainder of the tour. they had a really good time.

the end.



you know those days when life is overwhelming? you feel like no one cares, no one understands, no one loves you, and you just don't understand anything. school is overwhelming, people are overwhelming, and drama is just tooooooo much.

days like that, i just have to remember these three people: three of my favorite people on earth.

parker, me, jaren, whitney

i love them. they keep me going. they are funny, fun, caring, understanding, and they love me unconditionally. how grateful i am for my siblings!



(sung to the tune of this song from the sound of music)

waffles this morning
a braid in my hair
vans on my feet
and nobody to care
working on campus
i make my own hours!
these are a few of my favorite things. . .

golden nail polish
working out with my roommate
whipped cream competitions
and staying up late
sun in the sky,
it's warm on my face
these are a few of my favorite things!

when the cold comes
when my nose runs
when i'm feeling sad
i simply remember my favorite things
and then i don't feel so bad!



my mother bought me some yams when i went off to school. despite my incredible culinary abilities, i did not find any recipe in which i could use these yams. and so, i put them under the sink with the rest of the potatoes. and. . .

i forgot about them.

tonight, as morgan and i were doing the dishes, i saw some rather disgusting brown juice on the kitchen floor under the sink. "okay, what is that?!"

morgan opened the kitchen cupboard. . . .

as soon as we saw this, all 5 of us started screaming. and when i say screaming, i mean SCREAMING. we all ran from the kitchen to the living room and jumped onto the couch, on top of each other, gripping each other's arms and screeching our little hearts out. "oh my gosh! sick! sick!" "AGHHHH!!!!" "that is sooo gross! somebody do something!" "help! help! help!" "EWWWW!!!" i got so into it that i fell off the couch straight onto my back. ouch.

needless to say, it took us a while to get it cleaned up. we had to stop laughing first. :) oh how i love college!