Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thought Bubble

I start camp tomorrow morning.
I am:
Under prepared,
Excited beyond belief,
& Tired
All at the same time. Is this normal?
Best 10 weeks of my life.... here I come.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Favorite Place on Earth


From the driveway I walked hundreds of times after getting off the bus....

To the tree house we built with my dad...

To the sweet bird setup of my dad's that we watched for hours from the kitchen window...
To the amazing view from my front porch...
Ask where my favorite place on earth is, I'll always say home.

You're very welcome :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little happinesses

In case you didn't already know... I'm in UTAH!!!!! I've been living here for the past couple of weeks getting ready to start work for an LDS girls' camp for the summer. I'm stoked. While walking around campus today I suddenly saw movement on the grass not 2 feet from my feet. It was this little guy. There are ducks randomly all around campus. It makes my heart happy.

In other news... have you ever felt the prayers of other people for you? You don't hear them but you can feel their power working in your life and you know others have been praying for you. To any of you that might have been praying for me over the last couple weeks as I've settled and had a little difficulty adjusting, thanks. I felt them. Majorly.

And FINALLY! Yesterday, I finally had my moment. Since I got here I haven't really settled in. I've been going from one thing to the next trying to get ready for camp, finish my online classes and sneak a little fun in. I've questioned whether I am where I'm supposed to be even though I already had that confirmation before I left home. But, finally, yesterday, as I drove back to my apartment and looked across the mountains and contemplated where my life has taken me, I had my moment. I know I'm right where I need to be doing just what I need to be doing. It's a great feeling.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Final Goodbye

My last full day in Portsmouth, Ohio at Shawnee State University, Andrea (one of my very best friends who I met in that very town at that very school) and I walked around Portsmouth reminiscing about our years there. I can't believe that phase of my life is over. It came and went so quick. So to celebrate/mourn my movin' on, here are some of the things I loved/made me smile in Portsmouth.
Springtime on campus,

Winter's snowfalls/SNOW DAYS!!

Living next to the Ohio River/bridge,
The amazing flood wall covered in murals,

The class of the local folk,



Epic basketball games,

Multiple costume parties,

Cookie Paluza Extravaganzas,

My best friend getting married,

And my last day with this wonderful girl who I will sorely miss while I'm in Utah.

There you have it. My Portsmouth experience in a very large nutshell. As much as I disliked parts of Portsmouth, I have to say, I will miss it. I learned a ton in my two short years there. I loved my professors, my classmates, and all the people that let me experience a little of the Appalachian area. A little piece of my heart will always be in that town at that school.

A word to the wise, don't let one day of any part of your life pass unlived to the fullest. Before you know it, you'll be in a new place, doing new things and your memories will be just that... memories. Make those memories everything you dream and more :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The One Who Birthed Me

Happy Mother's Day!!! In celebration of this divine day I wanted to tell you all a little about my mom and 15 reasons I am blessed to have her in my life. Warning: The first two reasons are pretty graphic so be fore-warned.

1. She brought me here. She was willing to give up occupant space for 10 months and do something really difficult so I could be in my family and be ALIVE. What a great mom.

2. PUKE! Gross I know but, all growing up whenever we were sick and threw up or other things in random places she always cleaned it up. I never fully grasped this until a couple of years ago when I had to clean up a friend's throw up. It. Was. Disgusting. I now know that my mom didn't have to do that. I know plenty of moms who didn't. And she never complained or anything. She just did it.

3. Going along with number 2, she always let me sleep with her when I was sick. To those of you who have ever been deathly ill, hopefully you know there is nothing like a mother's care and being able to be close to her when you're sick. Having her next to me always made me feel better and taken care of. Even when I WHINED for HOURS about how bad my stomach hurt, she endured and allowed my germy, complaining self into her room.

4. The best happy dance ever. When my mom gets really excited her little legs get going and she sort of jumps up and down and does half way between a squeal and a giggle. If you've ever seen this, you know what I'm talking about. Her happy dance, as I like to call it, has always brought a smile to my face, even if my eyes were rolling as a snotty "mature" teenager.

5. Her glasses face. My mom recently got glasses and sometimes they fall down on her nose slightly. Instead of pushing them up, she'll bend her head backward to be able to look through them. That look with her tilted head and magnified eyes (because the glasses are farther from her face) makes me smile.

6. Her hands. My mom has very distinct and unique hands. They are strong and worn from years of service to her family, children, church, and anyone else she could help. They are worn but still going strong. I remember them often smelling like bleach or onions which shows her continuous service to her family.

7. The pool. Every summer of my entire life we had a refreshing, fun, clean pool to swim in because of my mom. She wore herself out every summer taking care of the pool. Some of my greatest childhood memories are in that pool so how grateful I am for that blessing.

8. Her harmony. My mom is an awesome alto. I loved listening to her harmonize to hymns in church or songs on the radio or tunes I played on the piano. I love that about my mom.

9. Her hair. I love that my mom doesn't have "mom hair." Not that there's anything wrong with mom hair, but I always loved my moms longer locks which she let me play with for hours upon hours my entire childhood. And often still does.

10. Summer cookin'. Every summer I remember coming in from playing outside or watching my dad garden to my mom standing next to the stove cooking dinner for us. It was one of those consistent things that I knew when came inside, that's where she'd be.

11. Canning. My mom took weeks out of her summer every year to make sure we had yummy veggies to eat throughout the year. I still think my family's green beans and sweet corn are the best.

12. I can talk to her. I pretty much tell my mom everything. Sometimes I'll call her about 10 times a day to tell her what going on or about things that got me excited. Sometimes she answers and says "What is it this time?" when I'm calling for the fourth time in one hour. But she always answers. And I know she will always be willing to lend an ear to listen to my random stories, my heartaches, and my joys. Because she's my mom.

13. Her patience. My mom has put up with a lot in raising her family. Especially from me. I am not the most patient person and I know I have done and said hurtful things to my mom throughout my life. But she goes on loving me. She keeps giving all she has physically, emotionally, spiritually, and temporally to her kids and husband no matter how bad we make her feel by our thoughtless or blatantly unkind words and actions. She rarely got angry or said much back. How she held her tongue, I'll never know. I think that is a real talent.

14. How much I'm like her. I think out of all my siblings, most would agree I am most like my mom. I think we have a lot of the same mannerisms and habits. Hopefully this will continue and I'll be as great of a mom as she has been.

15. Her "just do it" attitude and lifestyle. Growing up, my mom would bear spontaneous testimony of the things she is grateful for her life. But, the way I knew of my mom's testimony most was by watching and seeing more than listening. There are lots of things that she just does because she knows its right. She does complain or even really think about it, she just does it. When I was little I always knew that I would go to church because that's just the way it was. As I got older and realized just because we, as a family, "do that" doesn't mean we have to. But, seeing my mom and her dedication I knew she would never put so much time and energy into something that wasn't true or didn't benefit her life in some way. She has a deep love for the gospel and the Savior and I always knew that even since I was young. I often walked in on my mom on her knees in her bedroom praying to her Father in Heaven and that taught me a great lesson. I knew she had a relationship with Him, so I could too. A mother's testimony is essential to the development of her children's testimonies and my mom had one of the largest roles in shaping mine. I'm so grateful she didn't slack off. If she did I know wouldn't be as happy as I am today.

So to all you moms out there: happy mother's day. You have no idea the influence you are having in the lives of those around you. Especially your children. And to my mom: thanks. You did a great job. I mean, just look at how awesome your youngest daughter is. You must have done something right :)
I love you mom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why yes! I Would Love a Diploma!

When you get your doctorate you are then a doctor. I guess that makes me a BACHELOR!!! Woot Woot! Saturday was my college graduation!

As the Shawnee State University graduates of 2010 proceeded down the steps, we began to feel sprinkles and by the time we filed in front of our seats it was raining. The graduates remained standing for the prayer and pledge of allegiance (At this point I'm laughing at how awesome it is going to be to graduate and walk the stage in the rain). While we are still standing, the President of Shawnee stands and says something to the likes of this:

As you may have noticed it is raining. There is a change of plans so listen closely. By the authority vested in me, I now confer upon you your degrees. Congratulations. You are dismissed.

Yep. That was it. We didn't even sit down and it was over. Lame? Yes. Funny? Either that or devastating. Might as well laugh. My college commencement lasted approximately 3 minutes and 26 seconds. Give or take. Pretty sweet. I was disappointed that I didn't get to walk the stage, but it is what it is.

We did manage to get some pictures luckily.

So there you have it.
3 years
2 summers
58 textbooks
17,748 pages
over 100 pages worth of papers
1 semester interning with juvenile court
25 pounds
countless hours of studying, reading, and stressing
and a 3 minute ceremony later....

I have a bachelors in Psychology from Shawnee State University!

Now... on to grad school!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Last weekend I was able to take a break from finals studying to go to Pittsburgh for Time Out for Women with my sisters, mom, and some great friends who lived in Wilmington back in the day. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter, great messages, good company, and more laughter. It was the perfect way to lead into my last week of undergrad. And Pittsburgh..... I must say, I like it.

I only wish Mal Mal could have been there too.