through blog stalking (admit it.. you do it too) i found this oober cute blog by this fabulously cute girl. she's mormon! and doing an AMAZING job, in my opinion, about being open about her faith. and she has about a bajillion followers. sharing the gospel through blogging -- how awesome.
this blog post made my day. read it, and then read all the comments. so interesting.
the gospel life is a wonderful life!
so i have two friends on missions right now: one in brazil (where the letters take about 3 1/2 weeks to get here) and one in pennsylvania (where they take about 3 days). i had been waiting for a letter since january from both of them.
disclaimer: i know that missionaries aren't supposed to be thinking about writing me. and i don't expect that! they're focused on their missions and i am SO proud of both of them. in any case. . .
i was starting to get so impatient when going to get the mail that melina decided to start filming every time i went so that when a letter did come, she could get my reaction on film. (i know, it's a little bit pathetic. okay, so it's a lot pathetic. but i figure if i can't laugh at myself then what can i laugh at?)
enjoy the progression. these are hilarious.
this last one is embarrassing. i know, i know. don't judge me.
embarrassing: i am addicted to blogging.
it seems i always just have so much to say! so much to put out on the blogosphere, for everyone to read, whether they're interested in my life or not.
also. what is up with every attractive male at byu being married?
i see a cute guy. we get closer. i smile, he smiles. my eyes travel down broad shoulders and defined biceps to his left hand. and. . .
there's a ring.
or. i'm sitting in the library, surrounded by guys. i see some possibilities. i do the ring check. yep, there it is. a ring. signifying that some other lucky girl has already snatched him up.
what is going on here?!
another thought: my ecstatic attitude toward cooking has fizzled out. yesterday, i was starving. i didn't feel like cooking anything. so i went to my cupboard and took out a can of chili and a can of peaches. and that's what i had for dinner.
starving student? that's me.
i love these people more than anything. i got to go home over presidents' day weekend and spend some time with them, and it wasn't long enough at all! they mean the world to me. here is a tidbit about each of them:
this is my dad. he's a goofball, but one of the best men i have ever met. he's a spiritual giant. i am seriously so thankful that he leads our family in righteousness. i love my papa so much! he loves movies, reading, football, the gospel, and his family.
parker is my younger brother. he's 14 and growing up fast. i think he looks older every time i go home. he just got his braces off and is loving his straight teeth! he's such a stud. he plays the piano like a champ. check him out! he loves running, football, reading, movies, piano, hanging with his buds, teasing all of us, and talking. love this kid so, so much.
my mama. she is the most amazing lady in the world. she's hilarious and my best friend. she teaches music at the elementary school and does a fabulous job. she loves running, quilting, cooking, teaching her family how to eat healthy, and the gospel. she has an amazing testimony and is such an example to me. love you mom!
yeah, this is me. you already know me, but i'm 19. i'm attending byu and absolutely loving it. i love running SO MUCH, reading, being goofy, singing, playing the piano, and hanging with my friends. i love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart and every day, i learn something new about it. i am so blessed.
the sweetest kid you'll ever meet. right here. jaren is 11. love him to death. he loves reading and is super duper smart. he also loves video games, being outside, playing with his friends, and making cookies. he makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever. he's pretty shy around people he doesn't know, but he's got a fabulous sense of humor that surprises me. love you jare bear.
whit twit. my sister and very best friend. whitney is 16 and such a beauty. seriously, she is drop dead gorgeous. she and i have been best friends since she was born, from playing barbies and house to making up dances to talking about boys and sharing clothes. she loves boys (haha whit, i'm joking), her friends, watching movies, doing hair and nails (she's way better at that than i am), running, and crafts. i love when i get a text or call from her -- it brightens my whole day. she makes me laugh and is such a support to me when i need it. i love her soooo much!
tender mercies. a term that i feel like i never really understood.
yesterday, amidst my own hardships and feeling bad for myself and being oh-so-lonely, i got a text from an old coworker of mine. she's older than me and is raising her daughter alone. i haven't talked to her since christmas break.
the text said, "hey shaylee, it's tess. for some reason i've really been thinking about you for the past couple weeks. . . is everything going okay?"
i about started bawling in the middle of the cougar-eat.
an overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me. some people may say, "that's just a coincidence." ...but i don't think it was. that was the Lord's hand in my life, knowing that i needed someone to show me a little love and remind me that i have so many people who love and care about me. tess may not ever know how much that little text meant to me. she may not know why she was prompted to text me. she probably doesn't even recognize it as a prompting. but that text?
that was a tender mercy.
this morning, my roommates and i went running. waking up early (haha okay, it was 9:30, but still!) and going outside when it's cold didn't sound so fun to me. but of course i went.
we walked outside, the sun shining brightly over the snow-capped mountains. it was a beautiful day. when we started running, i put my ipod on shuffle. the song that came on was "somebody like you" by keith urban. the lyrics were so awesome!
"i'm lettin' go of all my lonely yesterdays, i'm forgivin' myself for the mistakes i've made. . . i wanna feel the sunshine, shinin' down on me and you. . . when you put your arms around me, oh baby there ain't nothin' in this world i can't do. sometimes it's hard for me to understand, but you're teachin' me to be a better man. i don't want to take this life granted like i used to do."
that was another tender mercy.
this week i've been so silly. when the Lord wraps his loving arms around me and reminds me with his tender mercies that everything's going to be just fine, there isn't anything in this world that i can't do. with my Father in Heaven as my guide, i will be successful in becoming better. it'll take some work, of course. but so did running 5.6 miles this morning.
elder david a. bednar said, "i testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. often, the Lord's timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them." (i wanted to copy his whole talk and write it here but it was way too long. you should definitely read it though. go here.)
this week has been an interesting one. to say the least.
these things called hormones that make us moody. . . yeah, they're not so great. this week i've been crying, angry, upset, emotional, depressed, happy, excited, positive, and negative. all of those different emotions since tuesday. i think we'd all agree, some days are harder than others.
so i've been doing a lot of writing in my journal, a lot of time on my knees, and a lot of time turning the pages of my scriptures. it's been a self-evaluating week for me.
here's my thing: i want to be well-liked. i know, i know, DUH. everyone does! but really. i want to be able to be myself and have people like who i am. do they like who i am? i want to be known as really happy, really nice, and really easy to be around. is that how people view me? i really hope so. i want to be a better friend. i want to be a better student. i want to be a better version of myself.
on wednesday i was feeling really down about myself. i was home alone, working and studying, and feeling like a terrible person. (satan pulling me down. what a jerk.) i sat there, feeling bad about myself, when i had the thought: hello! stop thinking about yourself! think about somebody else!
right then and there, i pulled out my cards. i wrote a card to my grandma. i wrote a letter to a missionary. i wrote cards to both of the girls i visit teach. then i delivered all of these things.
i felt a little bit better.
moral of the story? we're all going to have some times when we feel bad. that's just part of being human. we make mistakes, we dwell on them. but we have to be able to find a way to feel better about ourselves. on wednesday, my way to feel better was to think about someone else. it worked for me.
i'm still not feeling 100% about myself. but hey, i guess that's okay. it was a hard week.
next week will be better.
our saturday night consisted of:
- homemade pizza and breadsticks
- orange julius
- chick flicks: something borrowed and dear john
- staying up WAY too late
- talking about boys
- laughing WAY too hard
the weekends are the best days of the week!
i'm not even sure if this video will amuse anyone else the way it amused us last night. . . but i think it's sooo funny, so i decided to put it on here.
some background: morgan was talking about how she hates when people walk so slow on campus, because even she (with her gimp foot from her bunion surgery) can pass people on the sidewalk. that discussion turned into this:
the gimp shall pass the athlete. sounds kinda like a beattitude to me :)
one saturday my parents paid me a visit. they were nice enough to bring groceries i needed, candy for me to hand out in sunday school (yes, i bribe people to come to my class), and some other necessities.
one of these other "necessities" was a GIANT carrot.
now, i'm talking giant. it was so huge and weird looking and crazy -- i had absolutely no idea what i would use it for. apparently my mom had gotten a bunch of these abnormally gigantic carrots from bountiful baskets, a food co-op. she thought it'd be funny to bring one to me.
my roommates and i thought it'd be funny to pass it along to someone else.
so, we made a sign. and gave it to these boys in our ward who will remain nameless. we're not sure if they'll pass it on. but we thought it was hilarious and clever.
i guess when you're in college, studying your guts out until late at night, anything is funny.
"imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. at first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. but presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. what on earth is He up to? the explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. you thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace."
-- C.S. Lewis
where did i get this quote? human development, of course. my absolute favorite class of all time.
it really made me stop and think. so many times i question the things that i go through. why did this happen? why did i have to go through this, only to feel pain and confusion? why did these people come into my life, only to leave? why did i have to suffer through something so hard?
the answer is clear now: the Lord's plan for me is so different than my plan for myself.
and so why should i question Him?
i would much rather be made into a palace than a cottage.
shout out to everyone who made my birthday spectacular for so many reasons!!
jewels: my #1 lady and my very best friend. i love you so much! thanks for the cute shirt, the awesome card (that i still laugh at when i look at it), for calling me at midnight, for taking me to school so i didn't have to ride the bus, and for everything through the years. and for posting this blog post. you are such a wonderful friend. i love you!
dad: thanks so much for lunch! i love having some daddy/daughter time and yesterday was so good to chat and catch up. thanks for buying me conditioner and taking me to the bank. thanks for always looking out for me and caring for me and loving me. i love you!
mom: thanks for the texts and phone calls and little signs of love you showed me yesterday and every day. you are an amazing woman with so many qualities that i want to develop. i hope one day to be just like you. i love you!
whit twit and abbs: thanks for the... ahem... lovely birthday song. i miss and love you both!
dana, melina, morgan, margarita, haley: thank you SO MUCH for everything you did to make my day special! living away from my family, i thought my birthday would kind of be a bummer but it turned out to be one of the best birthdays ever! thank you for dinner, such nice cards, presents, kind words, and the love that i feel from you all constantly. i couldn't have been blessed with better friends or roommates! i love you all!
ben: thanks so much for taking me to get ice cream! you are a wonderful friend :)
taylor put-salt-on-your-toe: you are one good friend! this blog post made me almost cry. i am so thankful for you as a friend through the years, and for all the great memories we have had together. thanks for all the nice things you said about me. i love you!
my centerville-ites: thanks for the birthday song! and kell bell, thanks for texting me. it brightened my day so much! kaden, thank you for the chinese birthday song! you are awesome bud -- keep that up! i love you guys!
the katz: thanks for thinking of me and calling me! you guys are awesome. thank you thank you. i love you!
grandma and grandpa wilcox: thank you for the card!! and the money. i'm excited to spend it. thank you for everything you do for me. i love you guys tons!
grandma and grandpa waddoups: thank you for calling me as well! you have never failed to think about me and call me on my birthday and i am very very thankful. i love you guys!
for anyone i left out, thank you for the texts, phone calls, cards, thoughts, and well-wishes. know how much i love and appreciate you. i have been blessed by each of you in my life in some way, and i feel so loved to have been remembered by you on my birthday. i couldn't express my thanks for everything that i have been blessed with. . . largely because of you. thank you! much love to all!