March

March has been a great month.  Learned so much. I love making progress in my life.

We kicked of the month with the Les Femmes concert at the Velour.  Luna Lune killed it as usual.  Chris is now obsessed with the Blue Aces.

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Idaho Visits

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One of my favorite things that has happened this month is Chris’ flag football team.  My brothers, Adam and Zeke, and my Cousins, Devan and Mckay, and family friend, Casey Taylor, all played on a intramural flag football team at the U.  It was so fun for me to go watch them play every Thursday night.  Not to mention they won the championship game.  Chris pulled his hamstring that game and has a ginormous bruise to prove it.  Such a fun thing to do with family and friends!

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Chris’ company, Struck, does advertisements for Ski Utah, so this year we didn’t even need to buy a pass but got free passes to several ski resorts.  It was so fun to take our sister-in-law, Asia, skiing for her FIRST time! She was awesome! Gotta love spring skiing.

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Partied in St. George over my spring break with the dance studio I teach for, Razz & Rhythm Dance Academy.  Our little dancers did so awesome!
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March is also the best time of year for us because it’s when we met!!! Our first date was March 21, 2013.  Man time flies.

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My mom’s side of the family always has a family reunion in March.  The Cook family reunion this year was probably one of my favorites ever.  Each of us found a story about our Grandma and Grandpa Cook to share form someone who knew them.  We also got to listen to darling Aunt Miriam tell stories and it was amazing to hear about how beloved my grandparents were.

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At the beginning of March I had the best idea for Chris’ 28th birthday.  Chris’ fave thing in the world to do is laser tag.  Soooo… I planned a surprise partay at laser quest.  He had no idea! So fun. Love my twelve year old hearted boy.11130148_10153166162736250_1684115100146470868_n

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The most important thing I learned this month, is that God has a plan.  My older brother, who we call Baby Egan, was a stillborn.  My mom was only about 24 weeks pregnant when she went into labor on March 29, 1993.  Chris was born March 29, 1987.  This gives me some sort of comforting feeling that I can’t quite describe that they have the same birthdays.  It is so precious that we get to celebrate both Chris and Baby Egan on the same day. Pretty crazy the plans Heavenly Father has.  If Baby Egan would have lived I wouldn’t be here.  So grateful that I do get to be here, with the man I love, and that I can be with my brother and whole family again.  I love eternal families!!!

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The other fun thing I did this month…  I helped my cousin make her family theme for 2015.  Every year she has a different theme and frames them.  I loved the idea so Chris and I talked about what we wanted to focus on this year.  We decided that we needed to be more supportive, more kind, and more loving to each other and everyone else.  Loved how both turned out.jentheme familytheme2015

Fight The New Drug

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With Valentine’s Day tomorrow I thought I’d share how love changed my life and others around me. In my own life, YES ME… a female, I have felt the unhappiness that comes with pornography.

To anyone who is fighting a battle with pornography remember you’re not the only one, even though it may seem that way. Let others help you. As a child of God you deserve love. The atonement is there for YOU and your personal experiences, no matter how bad or difficult they may seem. Heavenly Father’s love for us is infinite.

To anyone who has a loved one fighting with pornography love them, love them, love them and do your best to be understanding and supportive. Let them draw nearer to you. Don’t push them away.

In some ways I feel uncomfortable sharing this with the world because of the society we live in and the shame that comes with sexual sins. However, we have come to this earth to experience and to share what we have learned.

I have learned that Love is a powerful thing. We must use it to heal others. But more importantly to heal yourself. Let’s create a society that accepts and loves, not one that judges and hurts. I’m making Valentine’s Day and everyday about loving others not just loving others when they’re “perfect.”

@fightthenewdrug is an amazing organization that is helping educate our society on the harmful effects of porn. The most helpful thing for me was talking about this issue. So get talking people! Have the conversation with your kids, spouse, and parents. | ‪#‎pornkillslove‬ ‪#‎letstalk‬ ‪#‎celebratelove‬

L A anniversary

LAsignChris and I spent our First Anniversary in Los Angeles, California.  We had so much fun planning it together.  In my opinion, I wish we would have done something a lot smaller for our honeymoon and saved that money for this trip.  I had more fun on this trip because we were so much more comfortable with each other as a married couple.  Plus I wasn’t freaking exhausted from all the wedding hoopla. So happy to have Chris in my life and I am so grateful we could have an awesome trip together.

Thursday:  

Landed at LAX. Drove to the apartment we stayed at in West Hollywood (We used our favorite service Airbnb, obviously) We rented a darling little studio that had a kitchen and was in a great area close to tons of stuff, best part is it was cheaper than a hotel.  Took a big Nap.  Headed to Shin Ramen for dinner.  Pantages Theatre for WICKED! (Chris has never seen Wicked and it is my all time favorite musical… I wish I was Glinda.)

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Friday:

DISNEYLAND! (need I say more…)

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the toy story game is the biggest conflict in our marriage.  TOO COMPETITIVE.
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Saturday: 

Our Anniversary! Went to Breakfast at Zabies with Chris’ friends who live in LA. Headed to the LA Temple and did Sealings, we even brought some names I found on my Egan side.  Went to the beach at Santa Monica.  Headed to Plan Check for some delicious Burgers.  Next, American Sniper at The Chinese Theatre. Walking the walk of fame in Hollywood.

These Pancakes were whole wheaet and had strawberries cooked into them.  The southwest hash was also to die for.
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Doing Sealings on our Anniversary is my new favorite tradition.  Such a good way to remember what our marriage is based on.LALA-4

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Didn’t mind the 75 degrees.lALA

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Sunday: 

Went to the UCLA student ward.  Explored Downtown.

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Looking out over Angel’s Knoll (Tom’s Spot in 500 days of Summer)LALA-35

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Monday:

Finished off our bag of cuties and headed to the airport home sadly.  We did have a blast on the plane ride home talking to the gentleman sitting next to us.  He was heading to Sundance and owns a cool film company.  We had a really cool conversation about the gospel.  Love those opportunities… Helped me realize I need to be looking and praying for them more.  As well as studying the gospel and understanding it better so that I can help others understand.

Year One: Lessons Learned

Chris & I just celebrated our ONE year anniversary.  TIME FLIES.  We definitely can’t call ourselves seasoned marriage pros, but we have learned so much in this year. As much as marriage is fun it takes a lot of effort and work.  Here are some of the things i’ve noticed and learned in that year that helped…

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In no particular order of importance… Here they are…

1.  Selflessness and service towards your spouse is KEY!

2.  Set realistic dinner goals and try to sit down and eat together.

3.  People fart.  Just give fair warning. (mostly husbands)

4.  Netflix cheating is real, DON’T DO IT.

5.  Not putting the toothpaste cap on or forgetting to put the toilet seat down can be lethal.

6.  Laundry never ends. Come up with a system to get it done in a timely manner. We are just figuring out one that works. (what am I gonna do when we have kids???)

7.  Have a specific place for important things like mail, keys, etc.

8.  Play games everywhere you go together.  (Our favorites are would you rather, heads up, and guess the movie quote.) Play games at home too. (some other favorites include nerts, cards against humanity, and ticket to ride.)

9.  The times you do FHE are worth it. (we’ve done it specifically about four times… whoops. But I was grateful when we did.)

10.  Take every opportunity to hang out with other couples.  Make married friends.

11.  Put the phone down. Just do it.

12.  The best times together are always spontaneous. (Go on a drive, get a red box, or visit a friend)

13.  Visit and hang out with your families.

14.  Plan parties and get togethers.

15.  Share each other’s burdens. (Continually communicate with your spouse with what is troubling you.  Then when they are in need of comfort you listen with genuine intent.

16.  Go on super cheap dates. (Our favorite, a maverick f’real and a round or two of Big Buck Hunter.)

17.  Attend all your church meetings and fulfill church callings. (Cannot stress this one enough.)

18.  Let your spouse have alone time.  (Hardest one for me.  I don’t generally love being alone so it is always hard for me to let Chris have time to himself, for him to think, get work done, and just have space. Yet, it’s necessary for a healthy marriage.)

19.  Read And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage Through Sexual Fulfillment.  (This book helped me leaps and bounds)

20.  Go get late night snacks. (personal fave, using the Wendy’s frosty keychain)

21. Talk kindly about your spouse and to your spouse.

22.  Go to sleep when you’re angry.

23.  Take time to clean your house together, it’s crazy rewarding.

24.  Keep the sabbath day holy,

25. Take the 5 love languages test. (Most helpful thing in someways.  Teaches you how to communicate love in a way your spouse resonates with

26.  Stay up late and laugh.

27.  Scripture study together, read talks etc. (Chris and I like to do the Companionship Inventory each week that is in the Preach My Gospel manual. It helps you as a couple to complete goals and just gives a set time each week that you can always talk about your relationship.)

28.  Read your patriarchal blessing to each other.

29.  Hold hands lots and Cuddle lots too.

30.  Constantly forgive.

31. Go on road trips.

32.  Eat really good food on occasion.

33. Go to the temple. Regularly. (Nothing helps my marriage more than going to the temple.  It reminds you of the blessings your relationship can receive and it helps you recognize and show gratitude for the blessings that have already been given by honoring your marital covenant.

34. Give the benefit of the doubt to your spouse.

35. Always kiss each other goodnight.

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Winter Break

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First up on our winter break, Sun Valley, Idaho with the Georges!

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Sun Valley-9The Konditorei Restaurant serves delicious Austrian food and Pastries, while we were eating there a group of Carolers came and sang the cutest Christmas songs.

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It isn’t a stay at Sun Valley Resort if you don’t walk around all the shops, the toy store and candy store are my favorite.

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This kid has got perfect taste in candy. I appreciate that.

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Jelly Beans!  We bought the jelly belly beanboozled pack and played it as a game in our hotel room.  It is the funnest and worst thing all at the same time.  It has a bunch of colors of jelly beans each color has a good flavor and a bad flavor like, caramel corn or rotten egg, black licorice or stinky skunk.  The bad ones literally make your tongue want to fall off.

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Richie is all about the Chocolate Foundry.

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These kids first time eating my favorite candy, Zots.Sun Valley-23

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It was so cold walking around so we had to stop at starbucks for some hot cocoa. #basicwhitegirl

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We found the funnest store.  Full of trinkets and gifts.

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We wanted to eat at the Pioneer Saloon but the wait was about 3 hours longs so we just voted for a picture.

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Wanted to play Big Buck Hunter in this bar, too bad i’m underaged.

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Richie taught a couple of us who didn’t know how to play poker how to play.  We didn’t have chips so we used cheerios. With our brand new Idaho animal cards too.Sun Valley-33

Most of the trip consisted of skiing! Baldy and Dollar Mountain are a blast.  Plus it’s nice being about five seconds away from your hotel room.10917395_10152935424351250_6039725846999948160_n

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We had a blast!Sun Valley-8

 

 

Next up, Pocatello, Idaho for Christmas Eve.

Nate & Kate had an amazing breakfast for dinner.  Kate also had some hilarious and fun kid games ready like the rudolph nose game.  She applied vaseline to the kids noses and they had to try and get the pom pom onto their noses.  It was darling!

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Next game, Reindeer antlers.  Blow up balloons and put them in nylons.  First one to get it on their head won.

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Wrapping Paper Christmas tree.  Had to balance 12 ornaments on the tree made of wrapping paper and a ruler.Sun Valley-42

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WINNERS!Sun Valley-44

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We even had a Red Solo Cup (you’re probably singing the song right now huh?) Tree making race.
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Hay Hay singing the NO L song. (To the tune of The First Noel)

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To spell Santa’s name is easy to do
You write S A N T and another A, too
But no L, no L, Santa’s name has no L
And he won’t be too pleased if you don’t learn to spell

Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch water from a well
But when neither one could find it, Jill started to yell
No well, no well, can’t believe there’s no well
We walked all the way here and I’m mad, can’t you tell?

Captain Ahab took his crew, his harpoon and set sail
And he called out to ships, ‘Have you seen the white whale?’
No whale, no whale, we ain’t seen no whale
Saw a couple of dolphins, and a big yellow tail

If you’ve listened to this tune, then you probably can tell
That you’ve heard it before, it’s a song you know well
Know well, know well, it’s a song you know well
And we’ve ruined it completely, so we all say ‘Oh well’

Oh well, oh well, We’ll just say ‘Fare thee well’
Merry Christmas to you, and a Joyous Noel

 

What is a family party without Jeopardy?  If you wanna play next year, here are the categories and questions I used for this year’s game. I do just a basic trivia game it’s called jeopardy just for fun, you don’t have to answer with a question.  In between every four questions I do a Challenge to kind of keep the game exciting. Hope you enjoy.

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Away in a Manger- Religious Christmas Trivia

100 In what city was Jesus born? Bethlehem

200 Where did Mary & Joseph try and stay before going to the stable. Inn

300 What does the Wreath symbolize? Everlasting Life

400 What are the assumed names of the 3 wisemen? Gaspar Balthasar &

Melchior

Quizmas- Holiday Christmas Trivia

100 Name one other name for Santa Claus Saint Nicholas Kris Kringle etc.

200 What English author wrote A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

300 Name one of the two states that has a town called Christmas. AL FL

400 What country gives England it’s Christmas tree each year since the end of WWII

as a token of their gratitude Norway

Merry Movies- Christmas Movie Trivia

100 According to Buddy the Elf what is the best way to spread Christmas cheer

Singing loud for all to hear

200 What did Kevin McCallister steal from the store in Home Alone Toothbrush

300 The Grinch stole the last can of _______ in the Grinch who stole Christmas ******

400 Name one of the names that the children thought to name Frosty the Snowman

Oatmeal, Bruce, Christopher Columbus

Name that Jingle- Christmas Song Trivia

100 What is this song?

200 Fill in the Blank… On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me__ 9

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300 what Christmas classic is this line from? Dolls that will talk and go for a walk

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ********

400 What are the first two lines of the third verse of White Christmas I’m

dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write.

Is that a challenge 250 points

1. Scattegories… Christmas themed.. Each team has one minute to right as many Christmas words that start with whatever letter you choose.  If each team has the same word it gets crossed off.  Whichever team has the most words at the end wins.

2. Get ready for that christmas partay…  Each team sends up two volunteers.  One of the volunteers from each team is blindfolded and has one minute to get their team member ready for a Christmas party.  They put on a hat, sweater, scarf, lipstick, make up etc.

3. Charades-  Have a bowl of Christmas Charades ready.  Each team chooses one person to be their designated Charade actor.  Each team has one minute to get through as many charades as possible.  Whichever team gets the most wins.

4. Dance off- Choose a song that each team must dance to.  Each team gets five minutes to prepare a choreographed dance using all their team members.  This year we did All I want for Christmas is You.

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Each team sends one volunteer up for ever question.  Whomever raises their hand first gets to answer the question.  If they cannot answer the question it goes to the opponent.  If the opponent cannot answer it goes back to the other person and they can answer as a team.Sun Valley-55

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The dance off!Sun Valley-58

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Next, Rigby, Idaho for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning we started off at 11 am doing Insanity… which was yes, insane.  Then an amazing breakfast made by Sally.

Sally got Richard this darling paperweight in SV.
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We saw Unbroken Christmas day… I have to say the book is about 1000000000000000x better.  If you have not read it go read it NOW.Sun Valley-70

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Four wheeler sledding with the Nieces.Sun Valley-72

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We then headed home to Salt Lake City to hang with the Egans.

The Egan Fam Christmas Partay was a blast as usual.  Full of Pizza and Dodgeball.  *side note* Chris hit me in the face with a dodgeball so hard my Jaw is still messed up.10882205_10152935428686250_5781784258739976906_n

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The traditional Cousin sleepover followed with Karaoke, Sev Run, and Cheetah Girls 2.

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New Years Eve was spent up at my Parent’s cabin in Midway.  We drank sodas, watched football, played nerts and old school nintendo.  Solid Night.

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Also there was an absurd amount of deer as we were leaving.

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does 2014 have to end?

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Cheers to the funnest, hardest, most rewarding year of my life so far.  2014.

Here are some of the highlights. . .

 

January – Married my sweetheart, Christopher Ryan George

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February – Had a paragraph written about us in TIME Magazine!

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March – Chris turned 27!

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April – We spent April exploring the our Downtown Neighborhood.

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May – Road tripped to Island Park with the George Family.

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June –  I finally turned 20!!! And in Lake Powell of all places!

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July – Oceanside with the Egans, Obviously.

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August – Asia & Zeke’s Wedding

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September – Assisting for Tessa Barton at some weddings was awesome!

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October – Moving to the compound.

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November –  Thanksgiving at the Georges & the Turkey Bowl.

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December – Sun Valley with the George Fam

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What an amazing year it has been. CANNOT wait to see what 2015 holds.

let your lamp BURN

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf…  My old Young Women president, Cristie Carter, texted me this quote on a Sunday morning.  Cristie is always so thoughtful and is constantly thinking of how she can help others.  I didn’t think much of the quote, in fact I didn’t even read the whole thing until after sacrament meeting.

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The speaker in sacrament meeting posed the question: “how are we supposed to be grateful when life sucks?” In my head I started thinking “I have no idea dude.”  The young man went on to discuss why we are here on Earth.  We aren’t here on Earth to have the best clothes, the biggest house, or the most followers.  We are here on Earth to PREPARE.  Sorry to quote Uchtdorf again (He’s the MAN) but during this past Women’s Conference he said “God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.”  We as human beings cannot comprehend what our Heavenly Father has in store for his children.  God knows All things.  So yes, that means he knows things we don’t.

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In several of my recent church meetings the parable of the ten virgins has been brought up mostly because of  Linda K. Burton’s analysis of it during women’s conference.  Here is a link to her talk in case you missed it.

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The parable comes from Matthew 25

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. …

“[They that were] wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

“Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.”

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When I heard this parable as a kid I can remember thinking to myself “why didn’t the others share their oil?” and “why did they have to have a lamp?”  This parable really confused me so, like many things I don’t understand, I shrugged it off.  However, I was happy to learn I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed by this story. Sister Burton helped me understand it so much better.  She likens the story to temple preparation.  She said ‘consider the words of a latter-day prophet who taught that “the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.” President Spencer W. Kimball.’  It is up to YOU as an individual to prepare yourself drop by drop.

So that begs the question… “How can we better prepare ourselves drop by drop?”  I leave that question open ended, because we can prepare for many things whether it be for the temple, marriage, baptism, eternal life, a mission, etc.  Anyway, back to the point.  How can we better prepare ourselves?  You guessed it the basic primary answers we have been saying for years.

– Church Attendance – Fasting – Tithing – Personal & Family Prayer – Scripture Study – Service – Family Home Evening – Following the Commandments – ETC.

Nobody can do this for you.  Nor can you do it for anyone else.  Often times I think I wonder if I can just ride on Chris’ coattails to the celestial kingdom.  No one is gonna make sure you are actually paying attention to the sacrament.  Nobody is going to check if you made it all the way to dinner to break your fast.  It is up to you to determine your own salvation.

My goal is to be like Moroni in my preparation. Alma 49:8 ” they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known…

But, here is the kicker… Remember what feels like forever ago when I mentioned Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s quote.. Let’s revisit it.

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.”

How easy is it to be grateful and do the right thing when life seems to be going our way?  EASY AS PIE. Okay, maybe not that easy, but it comes more natural that’s for sure. So what happens when your life gets thrown a curve ball?  Do we head in the other direction and let our light grow dim?  NO! FILL THOSE LANTERNS TILL THEY ARE OVERFLOWING!

First, we MUST take a step back and have faith in the fact that Heavenly Father is a loving and all knowing God, he has a plan.

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Second, we MUST fall back on and become more diligent in what we have been doing to prepare for this curve ball. Do all those basic primary things. Turn towards your scriptures not away! Fall on your knees not your pillow!

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Third, be grateful for a loving family! Spend time with them, serve them, and let them serve you.

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Fourth, attend the Temple, in any capacity that you are able.  Whether it be baptisms, an Endowment session, or just being outside and near a Temple.  The temple is where I have the best spiritual insights and where I can go to feel calm.

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Fifth, (last the best of all the game) use the atonement and your Savior as much as you can.  Jesus Christ atoned for our sins but He also has felt everything you PERSONALLY have ever felt.  Christ is there for you in everything…The happy easy times and the curve ball, life sucks times.

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God has given us this recipe for happiness in both the hard times and the good times.  The instructions are there for us and we must make the choice. Life is hard but it can be oh so joyful if we take the time to spiritually prepare ourselves for life’s surprises.  Fill up your Lamp with oil drop by drop and let it BURN!


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the purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls. . .

I loved tagging along with Tessa Barton on this shoot with these gorgeous red heads.

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Baby be the class clown
I’ll be the beauty queen in tears
It’s a new art form showing people how little we care.
We’re so happy, even when we’re smilin’ out of fear
Let’s go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah.

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Helped my friend Haley out with a school project.  She’s a babe.FinalLightroom-10 FinalLightroom-11

5 Days

Chris was in LA for 5 days at Nickelodeon for work.  It is torture when your spouse gets to go somewhere cool WITHOUT YOU.  It brought back the sentimental yet horrible memories of Chris living in Chicago for 5 MONTHS while I was here in Salt Lake.  The hours spent face timing was incalculable and the amount of time we spent together during those months can basically be added up to barely two weeks.  Chris and I haven’t spent too much time apart since we’ve been married…  Which was a much needed break after the long distance dating.  I missed Chris the whole week while I went to school, cleaned, played words with friends, ate chick fil a, watched netflix, played casino with grandma, taught dance, edited. (watched more netflix.) I was super productive hahahaha. FINALLY, Chris came home Friday with Flowers from Jolley’s in hand and said “Can I take you out tonight?” Love that kid.

We got drinks at shivers. YUM. Then Chris decided he really wanted to go bowling.  I agreed and we headed to Olympus Hills Bowling Alley.  The reason we go to Oly hills besides the fact it is a great time is because they have our favorite arcade game: Big Buck Hunter SAFARI.  We arrive at the bowling alley excited to start the night with Big Buck Hunter.  WE LOOK EVERYWHERE.  They got rid of it.  Holding back tears Chris decided we would go to a different bowling alley.  This time we head to Sue & Rich’s.  Guess What? The coolest, most ghetto, cheap bowling alley is CLOSED. CLOOOOOSED for good! *wipes away tear* On to the next alley.  Fat Cats on 900 E. It is always packed on the weekends but the plus side… It has tons of arcade games.  We waited in line to buy a round of bowling and get our shoes for about 15 minutes.  When we got to the front of the line we both looked at each other and Chris said “Do we really wanna bowl?”  Got right out of line and headed to the arcade.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Safari version of Big Buck Hunter but the regular one did just fine.  We played a couple of games and headed home.  Quite the date night right?  I love that I can do anything with Chris and still laugh and have a good time.  That’s what your spouse should be for you.  A safe place, someone who can make any situation better.  Chris is that and more for me.

At least we got some good pictures.  Chris had my camera all week in LA and I had been craving it!!!! Here is what we got!


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