Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Thought I'd Share

      Jesus Christ lived so that we would be able to keep our baptismal covenants. Through the example of his life, he paved the way on how we should live it, which is by serving our fellow men. Through the reality of his death, he created the way so that we can return to Him, which is through repentance.

     When we are baptized, we take upon us Christ's name, so that every day we strive to live the life he led, and enter into the kingdom of God. In John 18:36, Jesus teaches us that "his kingdom is not of this world." Ultimately, we are promising Heavenly Father that, starting at the age of accountability, we will "be in the world, but not of the world." Jesus himself, who didn't need baptism, shows us that the only way to live this lifestyle, which is His lifestyle, is by beginning with baptism. He is the perfect example that this part of the plan, and this part of our life, is crucial. Matthew 3:13-17 reads:

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

"But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

"And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for this it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

     Heavenly Father is pleased with all of us after we are baptized. This is the reason why we are confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is our Father's spirit, which is God's promise to us: if we keep the covenants we made during baptism, his spirit will always continue to be with us. Mosiah 18:8-10 reads:

". . . And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;

"yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God. . .

"Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"

     In a conference talk, Elder Hales teaches us, "When we understand our baptismal covenant[s] and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God. When temptations come our way, if we listen, the Holy Ghost will remind us that we have promised to remember our savior and obey the commandments of God."

     The Atonement was done for us so that we can repent and return to our Heavenly Father eternally, and also so that we can return to our cleansed, baptized state temporally. The sacrament is the time that we renew all of our baptismal covenants. Through the sacrament, we should be thinking about what we can do throughout our weeks and throughout our lives to better ourselves and become more like Christ; to "establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God." We should be thinking and trying to understand our covenants, and by doing so, we will allow our Father in heaven keep his promise by sending us his spirit to direct us in our lives, our thoughts, and our actions.

     I know all of this to be absolutely true. In all honesty, I had trouble with this topic; to know what to say, and how to say it. When I turned eight, baptism was just something that happened, and I was too young to comprehend or have the desire to want to comprehend the covenants I was making. Having this experience to really read in the scriptures and read the council from the general authorities, I've come to an understanding that baptism and the covenants made weren't just something to do because my parents told me to. They are crucial; they are the foundation to my faith and to my obedience. I know that Christ atoned for my sins so that I can repent and again strive to be like Him; to live the life he led, and to one day enter into the kingdom of God. I know that my father in heaven loves me. I know that the prophets are true; that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith, and that it truly is the word of God.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for the Thankful Day

Thanksgiving was a success this year. I always is, but each year I'm (am I wrong to say everybody?) always reminded just how fantastic the day is. You're eating to your heart's content and there's nobody to stop you- what's to complain about?

This year we had the party at our house. Luckily it was the small side of the family, so the crowded-ness that usually accompanies our tiny house, wasn't too bad.

 My favorite is my dad wearing my Christmas apron that is even too small for me. Yes, there are ruffles at the bottom. :) Anyway, the entire day was fantastic and delicious and happy. . . . 

. . . .  And we were all stuffed to the brims. It's totally worth it!

 This last picture is probably my favorite just because it sums everybody up perfectly. Family time is the best, and needless to say, I have a pretty cool family. Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

I didn't go Black Friday shopping. I feel as if that little thing is overrated. Maybe that's just because I've never gone- I cherish my sleep too much and my healthy bones. I just know that if I go, I'll get pummeled and every single bone in my body will be broken. It did start move the Holiday season nicely into Christmas, though. You can now listen to 100.3 without shame. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

R.I.P to you Jeans

School breaks are fantastic. I slept in until 10:00 this morning, and spent my day at the mall and playing with friends. The latter brought adventure (also embarrassment) to my life. It goes as follows:

Caleb, Clara, Mia and I decided to go on a walk. We were walking down, down the street. At first we were just talking; you know, being normal. And then Mia whipped out her dancing. And then she whipped out her leaps. I love leaps, so, naturally, I started doing them as well. Bad news. As I jumped in the air, I heard a loud and clear RIIIIPPP, and when I landed I felt that cold air right in between my legs. I looked up to see Clara looking at me,

"Did your pants rip?!" she asked.

My face answered all, and she burst into laughter. So did Mia. Yes, nice big belly laughs. I did too after I came to terms with what had happened. Caleb on the other hand. . . we made him as uncomfortable as uncomfortable gets for a boy. Poor guy.

As you can see, the rip is bad. Completely unfixable, which is sad because they were good pants. It's also sad because they weren't my pants. Ashley, this is confession time. I'm sorry I ripped your pants. I promise I'll buy you new ones. At least be happy it's not your car this time? Still love me, please.

Needless to say it was funny and weird and crazy and sad all at the same time. I've never had my pants rip on me before, so I guess it goes into the experience meets embarrassment book. :)

P.S. I came home to this:
Sorry it's on its side; I don't know how to fix that
Spiders normally don't scare me, but this one gave me the geebeez!

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Low as the Laughter of the Cricket, Loud, as the Thunder's Tongue-"

I'm thankful for days like today. I woke up early, early to go to Seminary. I pulled on my layered outfit: oxford shirt, V-neck sweater, fall; fitted jacket, jeans and boots, and as I walked outside into the falling rain and cold air, I was toasty warm. Not even one goose bump was raised on my arm.

I received delicious cookies from Alec. She's the best, honestly. If everyone was like her, the world wouldn't be blighted. :) Plus, I ate those delicious cookies while doing research and listening to lots of music today during Study Skills. Granted I really gorged on the cookies and ate all of them, but that was mainly out of nervousness and done subconsciously. 

I received full credit on a quiz I should have failed, and didn't have to turn my lab in that we did last class period in Chemistry. Mr. Adamson said it was for practice. I looked up to the heavens and sang hallelujah. Also, our lab consisted of different colors and the need to describe them. Our group got super excited and tried to go as far out as we possibly could. Seeing as the most creative we got was "Bacon grease" and "Sunny D Yellow," we aren't the most creative. It was fun, though, and it brought color into the gray class. (haha :))

We watched Finding Nemo in French today. I have this obsession with soundtracks of movies. Nemo is in one of my tops; seriously! Go look it up right now. I promise you'll love it. Not even to mention the actual talking sounds better in french too. It was nice. I also have this strong urge to watch Series of Unfortunate Events. Mainly because it's soundtrack is awesome too. Actually, Nemo and Lemony Snicket's soundtracks are quite similar.

Basically, I think I find lots of joy in music. I wish I was musically talented, but seeing as I'm not, and never will be, I spend my time listening and listening and fawning over soundtracks, new songs, and grooveshark. I think you should also go back and listen to The Lime Tree song again. I'm obsessed- completely. I also find lots of joy in laughter. This post is bringing me laughter, actually, which makes it all that much better. I'm going to now apologize in the middle of it for the scatter-brain-mess.

Also, If you ever get the chance, spend your day at the Library. It's a good place for serenity. It's quiet and relaxing and makes you want to soak up anything you can learn. That is, if it isn't math. I gave up well into my second minute of being there. I went to look for some Emily Dickinson, but seeing as the American Fork library has a very, very sad selection of books, they didn't have anything. So, instead, I grabbed the complete works of Shelley, Keats, and Byron. Poetry is fascinating, and one day I'll be able to understand it.

And to end this good day? I ate Cafe Rio for dinner, Tomorrow is technically Friday, and I get to sleep into it with an early bed time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Love

This song simply makes me smile. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Lauren and I were sitting at the kitchen table with her pop bottle rocket in front of us. I thought helping out with the making of this object was much more important than my Chemistry homework, so I worked as a bottle holder while the pieces were being put together. I was holding the rocket with one hand, and I was laying over my other arm. My eyes were closed, and my mind was drifting in between my la, la land and my. . . dream land? That sounds so stupid to say. Anyway, as I was just thinking, my phone vibrated. (it was extra loud since it was right next to my ear) I startled awake and looked at the message. It was from my neighbor Rod two doors down.

"Do you still have the wii remotes?" he asked.

Interjection: I had borrowed their wii remotes for the day date on Saturday, and I had yet to return them.

"Oh, they're still in my basement!" was my reply
"Is it okay if you brought them over; Kimberly and I just want to watch Netflix," he said
"Sure, I'll be there in 5 minutes."

Needless to say, I was slow, and it was a little longer than five minutes, but I ran over with the remotes in hand and knocked on the door. Rod answered it and asked me if the house felt extra warm. I stepped inside, and my face was completely covered in a loving warmth, and I nodded and smiled. He led me over to their fireplace, which is an old wood burning stove, and had me stand in front of it. I sat in front of it instead and just absorbed as much of it as I could.

Rod opened the door to the stove and we admired the almost perfect orange light coming from the burning wood.
"Get me a marshmallow" was my joking reply
"Do you want one?" he asked

So, Rod went and got me a marshmallow to roast, and made a little stick out of a hanger. As I sat there looking at the burning fire inside the stove, I couldn't help feeling disappointed that I didn't have a camera. I thought how some of the best things happen when no camera is around. How I wished that people could just see right into my head; see exactly what I see when I tell the story. When Rod brought the marshmallows, I turned them over and over again, letting the flames absorb them until they were golden. They set perfectly on the paper towel, oozed when I dug into them, and  melted in my mouth. Happiness.

Rod then offered me a cup of hot chocolate, which I gladly received. When I wrapped my sticky fingers around the mug, they were almost burned from the heat. Taking a sip, I was reminded of the delicious hot cocoa from the beloved Starbucks, and from my face to my hands to my feet, I was completely warm- completely content, and it felt nice. I didn't want to leave that spot.

Luckily, Rod sat there and talked to me. I told him about Preference- he told me about some dates he had gone on. I told him about school- he told me about The Shop. Life was good for that moment, and it still is good. Chemistry never goes away, and I guess it's something that I am just going to have to get used to. It's also nice to slow down, be able to sit and savor the moments that are only meant for the eyes and mind; for thought and insight- no cameras needed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello Winter and Germs

Preference ended well. It was awkward and fun and crazy all at the same time! The story on that one will come later, though. When I get pictures.

I don't know whether it was the stuffy gym filled with bacteria just itching to get into people's bodies or my crazy dancing, but my body has decided to punish me. I woke up completely congested yesterday morning. My throat burned and my voice sounded like a mix between a man and a woman hippie: super slow and low. It still does, (minus the super slow; that was from my tiredness from the night before, and adding in the occasional crack since it's starting to go away) but my throat is not hurting, thank goodness! My nose decided to take it's place, though, and it's been running all day. I'd take a runny nose over a sore throat and cough any day, though, so I'm not complaining. My neck is completely kinked; however, that's not from the coming on cold. The hair whipping song came on at the dance and basically. . . it's my favorite.

Have you ever looked on Pinterest? It's lovely and I could spend hours and hours looking at it. You should look it up? Yes, I think so. :) A few of my favorites:

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Your Life Little Girl is an Empty Page That Men Will Want to Write On. . . You are 16 Going on 17 Fellows Will Fall in Line Eager Young Lads And Grueways and Cads Will Offer You Fruit and Wine"

This week just might have been, or will be one of the biggest weeks of my life. Besides the fact that I turned 16 yesterday, I also go on my first date tomorrow.

16 feels nice, but yet exactly the same and dramatically different all at the same time. Let's just say my brain is jumping around and is in no place to stop or even to make sense of anything that I'm feeling. When asked, "How does being 16 feel?" My reply is, "I don't know whether I should break down in tears or jump for joy!" Seriously, the fact that this age that I've been hoping and wishing for for basically my entire childhood is actually here. . . it's mind boggling, and a little frightening. I remember being 11, watching my older sister Ashley being 16, and doing so many fun things. I remember saying to my mom, "Mom, I just want to be Ashley's age- that would be the perfect age!" Boy was I naive! Just kidding. :) Now, I am that 16 year old, the responsibility that was basically placed right in my hands, doesn't know what to do with itself.

I've had a few epiphanys in the last two days, though. One being while sitting at lunch yesterday. Me and my friend Brandan were talking about my favorite topic: Cafe Rio. I told him how much I loved Cafe Rio, and if he ever wanted to just get me a random present, let's just say a birthday present, Cafe Rio would be a fantastic choice. (my hint was a joke of course, but it did have a hint of truthfulness to it. . . Yes, I'm good! :)) He then replied, "Well, if I had a car, I would take you there." My initial thought was dang! I can't go. . . and then my second thought was (and I spoke this one out loud; not particularly on purpose) Oh, yeah, I can date now! I can date. I CAN DATE NOW!!!!!!!!!

Which brings me to my next event.

Remember Preference? Remember my embarrassing story? Well, the big day is tomorrow. The big awkward day. I called him today to just make sure he was remembering about it. As soon as he picked up the phone, my voice started shaking and moving a million miles an hour. You know how when you give a talk in sacrament meeting your practiced slowed speech no longer applies, and you just look down at the paper in your hand- which is crumbling because you're holding it so tight? That's basically what happened. (Replace the paper with a phone and my audience with Emmy who was picking out books to take home, and you're golden) I just rambled the information off, and then said bye. The entire conversation lasted 57 seconds. I looked on my phone after. Heaven help us tomorrow when we actually have to socialize. In all honesty, though, I'm sure that we'll have a good time. I mean, we're playing games, a.k.a. Just Dance, for our day date. We'll warm up to each other and everybody else. It will be fun; I'm determined of it.

I made the same wish at 11:11. The first time better make it work, seeing as I was in room 11 at 11:11 on 11/11/11. The fact that I was in chemistry might make the chance go down, but that's what the second time was for. I won't tell you what I wished for, but you can probably guess. Don't say it out loud- I need it to come true! In fact, pretend it's 11:11 right now, and hurry and wish my same wish.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

High Time For Some Adventure

Welcome to dream land. My dream land, that is.
For me, it's something adventurous. 
It would be nice if the rain was involved and Cafe Rio was at the end of the rainbow, too.
In any case, let the songs do the talking- just listen. 
Then do whatever they make you feel like doing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mondays and Cups of Cocoa

Last week's weather turned frigid cold, and so, I made the proposition on Monday to my good friend Dani, who takes me home, that we should go get some hot chocolate. I had heard that Starbucks makes some of the best, so I proposed that place specifically. Long story short, we did get our hot chocolate. . . and man, it was amazing. Carmel hot chocolate is probably one of the best inventions ever; not even to mention their pumpkin bread and scones. Heaven, people, heaven!

On top of the deliciousness entering into our stomachs, you've got the smell of coffee, which is equally heaven, and also the fun city feeling. Each time we've gone into the small shop, there are always people talking quietly on their cell phones, to each other, or even, people sitting at the small tables working on their laptop, on homework, or personally my favorite, having business meetings (there was a group of people having a business meeting when we walked in today, and I just smiled to myself). Everyone is in their own little world, which allows you to look at them, and make up their story based on what you observe. It's such an independent feeling to me, and it feels good! 

We decided, though, it's probably not very smart to go every single day of the week. Bummer, I know. Our solution was to make the dreary day of Monday into something fantastic! Starbucks is that solution, and it's a delicious one at that!