Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Break Plans

Have I ever mentioned how much I appreciate LOVE paid holidays (& also paid vacations)? Well, I do. I LOVE it. I remember the first time I had a paid holiday time was Thanksgiving and the Day After Thanksgiving a few years ago. I took a trip to Disneyland with my roommates.  I remember thinking, "I'm at Disneyland and I'm getting paid for it!"...honestly, I'm pretty sure that I said that out loud...at least once. It was the coolest.

Well, I still love paid time off. And I get 2 days this week!  I'm so excited!  Here are things I plan on doing:

Wednesday night 
  • Homemade Pizza/Movie party for my mom. Her birthday was Monday, but Drake doesn't come home until today, so we decided to really celebrate tomorrow (make sense?)

Thursday (Thanksgiving)
  • Pick up Paper (to get the ads to look through!)
  • Turkey Trot - a 5K that I will likely have to walk for a good chunk of b/c I have not been a good runner for the past year...I was planning on building up over the last week and I thought I could do a pretty good job...then I got the Cold of Death last week...so, really, I'm just lucky to be alive now.  I'll try my best though
  • Watch the Parade (until the games start for my dad to watch)
  • Make Food
  • Eat Food/Spend time with family
  • Nap
  • Be lazy
  • Read
  • Plan for Friday Shopping
  • SHOPPING! - I plan on doing most of my Christmas shopping this day. I know some people like to avoid Black Friday shopping, but I find it thrilling. LOVE IT.  I'm not yet sure when I'll start...will I stay up for the midnight openings?  Will I get up at 3? 4? 5?  That's what the planning is for (see Thursday's list)
  • Nap
  • Read
  • Spend time with Familia
  • Maybe go to Del Oro High School Playoff Game to support my Alma Mater? Go Golden Eagles!
  • Maybe I'll even brave the YSA dance? So many possibilities
  • General laziness...although maybe I'll get around to cleaning my car...which I have been putting off for WAY too long
Anyway, I'm leaving a lot of room for options that may arise and to general do what I feel...but, this is going to be a GREAT weekend. I can feel it in my bones!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful 14-20

Let the fun continue. I have to say, I am liking this idea so much that I've decided to write down something I am thankful for each day in my journal. I plan on some things repeating themselves, but I want to stop and think back on each day I live and find at least one thing to be thankful for. But, for the blog...I'm going to continue like this for now:

14. Health. I've been sick this week, but still I am thankful for good health. I have a minor disease that is unpleasant at times, but nothing that can't be tolerated and treated. I am so grateful that that is the worst I can say about my health. I am so grateful that I have generally good health. Very, very grateful.

15. An ability to speak another language. I speak Portuguese, and I LOVE it! I also speak Spanish fairly well. I am just so grateful for the opportunities I've had to learn other languages and to use them in my life. Today we had a new girl at church who is from Brazil!  She'll be in our ward for a year.  I am excited to spend time with her and get to practice my Portuguese. Yay!  I think it also helped her feel a little more like home in that someone could speak her native language with her...even though she does speak good English.

16. Friends. Oh am I so grateful for my friends. I have so many, many good friends, and I am grateful for each of them. I am especially thankful for my "Utah friends". There is a special group of girls (you know who you are) that continue to be such good friends to me even when we live all over the country now (and even one in Hungary). They are always there to hear my complaints, to give me comfort when I need it, and to celebrate my joys. I have made good friends since, but those girls and I share something special. I'll be forever grateful for them in my life and that Heavenly Father lead us to each other.

17. Brazilian Food. Random? Maybe. Delicious? No doubt. We had a ward party on Friday where people brought food from all over the world. It was amazing, but I have to admit that mostly I just wanted to eat my Brazilian food...I was craving it all week. I made Feijoada (a bean stew - the national dish) with rice and bananas, Brigadeiros (kind of like a little chocolate truffle...amazing), and Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread Rolls). All. Delicious. LOVE

18. Technology. Not only does the existence of technology mean I have a job, but it just makes my life easier. I recently purchased my first iPhone. I'm loving it. My favorite part is that I have the scriptures and other gospel resources on my phone. I love to read a little in the scriptures, or a conference talk, or something on my lunch break. It is a great part of my day. It is also handy to have when I'm studying my scriptures at night and I want to do a search on lds.org on whatever I'm studying, but I don't want to pull out my computer. Perfect.

19. Chocolate. I love chocolate. Possibly love it too much. In fact, I'm going to avoid treats twice a week from now on...but that's another post for another day. Chocolate does bring me happiness though. I really am grateful for it's healing powers.

20. The United States of America. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have been born in this country. I know it was a blessing from the Lord and I am grateful for it. A part of me is Brazilian, but really, I can never deny how American I am. And I am glad. We are more blessed here than we often recognize. I am so grateful for my life here.

Thankful 7-13

Well, I didn't post last week, so it's catchup time.  This week I've been sick, along with everyone else in the family. I'm starting to feel better finally, and I'm hoping I can make it back to the gym tomorrow.  Anyway, that was this week, and here is my thankful list I should have posted last Sunday:

7. My parents. In case you didn't already know, my parents are awesome.  They have always been there for me and have always helped me so much. It makes me teary-eyed when I think about all they have done for me. I really am so grateful for them. Love you Mom & Dad!

8. My brothers. In case you didn't already know, my brothers are awesome. I have three brothers by birth: Bohdan, Zachary & Drake. And one by marriage: Josh.  They are all great. Fun to be around and great examples of hard work and great hearts. I love spending times with all of them. I never laugh as hard as when my brothers are around.

9. My sisters. In case you didn't already know, my sisters are awesome. I have three sisters: Candie, Sierra & Abigail. I LOVE spending time with them. We are a lot the same and a lot different at the same time. Candie and I have done pretty much everything together our whole lives since we are so close in age. Sierra & Abbie are a lot younger than us, but they've always been fun to be around...and I love now that they are older too that we can spend time as adults together (Abs is practically an adult now)

10. Eden & Ezra. In case you didn't already know, my niece and nephew are awesome. Seriously. They make me laugh whenever they are around. They are hilarious. Almost 2 years old and so fun to be around! They are beautiful and wonderful. I am so thankful that I live close to them so I can see them as often as I do....and that Candie & Josh share them with us. :)

11. Words of the Living Prophets and Apostles. There have been a lot of times lately that I have felt like I needed some direction and somehow I've been led to just the write talks by our living prophets and apostles that have been exactly what I needed. I am so grateful for these men in my life and how they bring the words of Christ into my life.

12. The Scriptures. Like the words of the living prophets, I love the words recorded by ancient prophets. I am so grateful for the direction I receive as I read the scriptures. Over the years, there are many scriptures that I have been able to memorize. I have been blessed so many times as I've had those scriptures in my mind at the exact moment I have needed them.

13. Right now, I'm really loving Michael Buble's new Christmas Album, so I'm going to list that right now as something I am grateful for. It is bringing a lot of joy into my life. I am especially in love with this song right now:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Time for Thanksgiving

Its probably not hard to see that I just may be the worst blogger ever. I have been pretty bad about writing in my journal too, which is weird.  I wrote every day for 5 years or so during and after my mission, but the last couple years haven't been so easy. I need to fix that. But, just like I always say I'm going to be better at blogging, it doesn't really seem to happen.

I've pondered why. I think it is in large part because my life seems to be constant. There doesn't seem to be much different from month to month or year to year, let alone day to day.  Whenever people ask me what is new in my life, I've got nothing. I work, I do church stuff, I spend time with my family. The same, always. I don't have a new husband, or even a new boyfriend. I don't have kids that are constantly changing and growing. I really think my trial right now in life is that life is the same. I've been in singles wards for WAY too long. I've been serving in a Relief Society Presidency either as a counselor or a president since 2005 (minus a few months in there that I was a ward missionary). I've been at the same job for 2 1/2 years. Life is constant. And, that is hard for me. Some people like that, and in some ways I do like it. But, I crave change. I need a new challenge, I need to grow in a different way.  For that, I'm actually really excited to turn 31 in a few months. At least then I'll get new opportunities in a family ward.

But, it also scares me. Where in the world am I going to find someone to marry once I leave the singles ward?  I mean, I haven't even been able to find one here.  Sigh.  Through it all, one this is sure: God loves me. He knows me. I trust Him. He has never let me down before. In fact, life really is good.

Which brings me to my point. Gratitude. Sometimes I fail to be as grateful as I should be. It's easy to see how I'd like my life to be different, but in reality, my life is beautiful in its own way, and it always has been.

In sacrament meeting today, a lady stood up to bear her testimony.  She was just visiting because she had a friend that is not a member of our church that wanted to come to church, so she brought her to the singles ward. This woman, herself, is married and has 4 children.  She said she wanted to bear her testimony because she was so impressed by the testimonies that had been shared. It was obvious to her that everyone had a strong personal relationship to the Savior. That got me thinking. I think we are all so close to the Savior because we are single. Not that I don't think married people, and especially parents aren't close to the Savior. But, as singles, we often only have the Savior. We have family and friends, but there is something missing when you're single. You don't have a spouse to talk to about things, so we turn to the Lord. At least that's my experience. I think I am closer to the Savior because I've been single for so long. That's what I needed in my life. I know the Lord knows what's going on and what we each need, and I needed to be single for longer because I needed to develop a deeper relationship with him. I'm sure other people find that elsewhere, but I needed my singlehood to do that.  So, I am grateful for that woman who shared her testimony with us today.

So, for the month of November, I am setting a goal to write down something I am thankful for for each day of the month. I know this isn't something new. I also know that I will not do it every day. So, I've decided to type it all up on Sunday nights for the previous week. Things won't be in order and some may seem silly, but I need this right now. So, let's begin:

I am thankful for:

  1. My Savior. I love Him. I am so grateful for Him and all that He has done for me in my life. He is with me everyday. I am grateful to feel him in my life. I am especially grateful for the Atonement so that I can be forgiven of so many failures.
  2. My family. A lot of people love their families, but I love mine the most. :)  My family is amazing. I know we were meant to be together. I learn so much from them, and continue to do so. I'm so grateful that they are so patient with me. I become a better person with each passing year with their help.
  3. My job. I seriously am so grateful that I have work, and that it is a good job. I have awesome co-workers. We do amazing work together. Especially in this economy where it is so hard to find employment, I am grateful for my job.
  4. My membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know the church is true. It brings me peace and joy and happiness. It gives me direction and support and purpose. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father to giving us an organized Church to help us in this life.
  5. Rain. Even though it has been FREEZING the last few days, I am so grateful for the rain. I love the way it cleans and renews everything. In California, this is the green time of year. It NEVER rains during the summer. Ever. So, this is the time of year we get all our moisture. I am so grateful for it.
  6. My calling. Even though I look forward to having new opportunities, I really do LOVE my calling. I have seen so much growth in myself during these years. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity and responsibility. I hope I am a help to someone.

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Is it just me?

Yes, I know I have been EXTREMELY negligent of my blogging...and I know I say that all the time.  I really do have a desire to start being more diligent.  But, I've got to start somewhere....this has been on my mind.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find that things seem so much worse in the middle of the night?  I have a bad habit of waking up multiple times during the night (not that I do it on purpose).  Usually, I can go right back to sleep and it's not that big of a deal (seriously, I wake up 5-6 times per night on average, I'd guess).

Anyway, if I'm not careful, I will start thinking about things in life like, "I really need to email/call so and so", or "I forgot to email the bishop the list of suggestions for Teachings for our Times and new callings", or "How can I pay off my car sooner?"  Sometimes I think that maybe its the best time for the Spirit to remind me of things because there aren't other things battling for my attention.  But, whatever the reason, when it happens everything seems like a HUGE deal, and I end up being wide awake stressed about it.  I'll finally get back to sleep (usually) and then when daylight dawns and I think about it...it doesn't seem quite so dramatic.  Sigh.  I've found myself lately being able to think, "it won't seem so bad in the morning".  And, usually that's true.

Does this happen to anyone else?  Or am I just crazy?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter is inspiring

I love Easter.  I'm sure you all do too.  I'm so grateful for my Savior, who would die for someone like me.  I feel inspired today to be better.  I've had time this morning to ponder and study...time I don't always have on a Sunday, but meetings were cancelled today, so I did in the end...

A friend posted this on facebook today.  I don't think it was a coincidence.  It speaks so much the desire of my heart.  I want so much to grow into a better disciple.  I'm so grateful that I can see my faults, so that, through the Lord, I can become better.

Here is the text in case you don't want to watch the actual video:

I want to share with you a vehicle, an instrument, that I developed some time ago for myself and for my family. It can assist us to reach our focus as we read the suggested vision of true discipleship as a Latter-day Saint. It helps when, from time to time, we ponder and seek identification with the following thoughts:

Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks. The covenant with God to which you are true enables you to become enlightened by him, and nothing is impossible for you.

When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts away from yourself and direct them, in gratitude and love, toward God.

In your life there have to be challenges. They will either bring you closer to God and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision of which road you take.

First and foremost, you are a spirit child of God. If you neglect to feed your spirit, you will reap unhappiness. Don't permit anything to detract you from this awareness.

You cannot communicate with God unless you have first sacrificed your self-oriented natural man and have brought yourself into the lower levels of meekness, to become acceptable for the Light of Christ.

Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings into the perspective of your eternal hope. Light will flow into your soul.

Pause to ponder the suffering Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the awareness of the depth of gratitude for him, you appreciate every opportunity to show your love for him by diligently serving in his Church.

God knows that you are not perfect. As you suffer about your imperfections, he will give you comfort and suggestions of where to improve.

God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us--everything will fall into its place.

Avoid any fear like your worst enemy, but magnify your fear about the consequences of sin.

When you cannot love someone, look into that person's eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him.

Never judge anyone. When you accept this, you will be freed. In the case of your own children or subordinates, where you have the responsibility to judge, help them to become their own judges.

If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again.

Avoid at all cost any pessimistic, negative, or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm. On the road toward salvation, let questions arise but never doubts. If something is wrong, God will give you clarity but never doubts.

Avoid rush and haste and uncontrolled words. Divine light develops in places of peace and quiet. Be aware of that as you enter places of worship.

Be not so much concerned about what you do, but do what you do with all your heart, might, and strength. In thoroughness is satisfaction.

You want to be good and to do good. That is commendable. But the greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost. Then he will teach us what is really good and necessary to do.

The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it.

Be grateful for every opportunity to serve. It helps you more than those you serve.

And finally, when you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better.

 - Elder F. Enzio Busche, BYU Devotional May, 1996

Friday, March 4, 2011

Final Countdown

This month is a special one this year.  Most people who read my blog know one of the reasons.  
Exhibit A:
This fun brother of mine comes home from his mission in just 3 weeks from yesterday.  It's hard, and yet easy, to believe that it's been 2 years already!  I'm excited to see him and spend time with him.

But, there is also another reason that this month is special...its my last month in my 20's!  AH!  I'm not really sad about turning 30, but it's weird.  AND, I feel like I should do something special this last month, but I also feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water with work and church, etc.  Anyway, I still want to do something to take advantage of my last month of this decade.  Any ideas??

Friday, February 25, 2011

I know, I know

I've been neglectful...maybe even more than usual.  Things have just been busy, and I'd often rather spend my little bit of extra time reading or watching some tv.  By the way, have any of you seen Who Do You Think You Are?

It is, quite possibly, my favorite show right now.  I often watch it Saturday morning on the DVR, but it is actually on Friday nights.  It makes me happy every time.  Family is great, and knowing our history helps us understand who we are.  It's amazing to see.

But, I digress.  Anyway, life has been...life.  Busy, busy, busy.  Like, right now, for example, I should actually be studying for the Google exams I need to take for work within the next few days.  But, I'm too tired to think clearly (maybe b/c I worked overtime most of this week), so I'm procrastinating (and it'll probably end up being tomorrow before I get to it...just like the gym). Man, I need to get back on track with some things.  I really need to just set aside some time for certain things and not let anything get in the way.

Yep, rambling again.  So, I'm going to try to figure out a way for me to be better about posting on this here blog.  I mean, what's the point of having it if I don't keep you all (all = +/-3 here) up to date on my eventful life? :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This has been on my mind lately...

‎"Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, nevertheless, they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe, and then it's gone."
-Joan of Arc

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I love the beginning of a new year.  It's like the beginning of a new journal, or a new school year with new school supplies.  I just have this feeling of so many possibilities.  ANYTHING can happen.  I love thinking about what my life will be like at this time next year.  Where will I be?  What will have changed?  I hope I'm a better person.  I hope I become more like Christ.

I always like to set resolutions.  I'm fairly good at keeping them, at least a few at a time.  Maybe I shouldn't make so many, but I'm ok with making a lot and then keeping up with some.  I still have that feeling of accomplishment, and I've learned to let go of the ones that taper off and be ok with it.  I always make some resolutions in January and then often make some more/change some in April when I have my birthday.  But, here are a few of the ones I've decided on for this year (the ones I can remember off the top of my head b/c I don't really feel like getting up and going in my room to find my whole list).

  • Study the Articles of Faith and the principles they teach, including really memorizing them
  • Attend the temple every month
  • Go to the gym 4 times a week
  • Clean out my car once a week
  • Wash my car inside and out once a month
  • Write in my journal every night (I was really good at this for 6+ years, but have slacked off lately...it's time to get back to it)
  • Be a better visiting teacher (I need to decide how to measure this one)
  • Lose 20 pounds
I think I can do it. :)  I hope every one of you also have a beautiful new year.  I can't wait to see what it brings!