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!