Sunday, November 22, 2009

I am a pathetic blogger. Sorry:( I'll try to be better and put it on my list of things to improve on which includes exercising, reading the scriptures more, doing service, asking boys on dates, and cleaning my room.

I always tell Meg that I never know what to write on my blog and she always tells me to write about things that are going on. So here is what has been going on:

I still work for Flourishing Families except now I am a student leader - a great opportunity...I am learning SO much! Just recently me and my two co-leaders just picked our new team of 18 research assistants out of the 75 that we interviewed. I have NEVER done that before and boy was it challenging. How do you eliminate people when they are all qualified?? So now we are preparing to train them next semester. I am really excited for this part.These are my co-workers Jessie and Rachel at a Murder Mystery Dinner in September. I love these girls, they are my co-workers and my best friends.

I also just started teaching the Dating & Courtship class in my ward. This is not a usual Sunday school class...In fact this is only the 2nd ward I have been in that has this class and the Sunday school president said he was a little skeptical and cautious at first because usually these classes end up being a place where people talk about how sucky it is to be single. My class is different though!! I have a co-teacher and we are both making the focus of this class to be preparing these people to have strong relationships through personal growth and preparation. My first lesson (and the talk that I gave preceding the lesson to introduce the class and try to get people excited in coming - which was successful...the class was packed) were about how to be more Christ-like in our dating. I focused on following the example of Jesus Christ...even in dating. I talked about being humble, grateful, prayerful, and positive. Both the talk and lesson went very well. Thanks Mom and Allen for coming and supporting me:)

The funny thing is that this week, I discovered that I needed that talk and lesson more than anyone else. You know how you think you have mastered something only to be rudely awakened to the fact that you have SO much more to learn. Yeah Hi I'm only 21, but for some reason I think I'm like 35. So my faith and patience are definitely being tried right now. Meaning I thought I knew how my life would go from here, but I really don't. For the first time in my life! I am discouraged about dating. (this is blasphemy coming from me really, i am the like the dating fairy always making sure that people are positive about dating and relationships no matter how difficult they are) I am not freaking out about getting married (don't jump to conclusions) I just feel like I should be having more dating know like a boyfriend maybe...but apparently this is not the time. And there must be some other things I need to focus on (not that I am writing dating off, if you remember one of the things I am working on is how to ask guys out, really its not as easy as it sounds).

So honestly the only things going on right now are school and work. Probably the most exciting thing that happened this last week is that I discovered the Baja Chalupa at Taco delicious. I have become a Taco Bell connoisseur because I eat on campus every night and my options include Taco Bell, hamburgers, pizza, pasta, wraps, rice bowls or sandwiches. Seems like a good variety but it gets old fast.

For those of you who don't live in Utah, here are some picks of the beautiful leaves around here this time of year (well more like Sept Oct). I can't take credit for these pictures, but they are of BYU.

And I made up a joke! What does the tree do when the wind insults it? It leaves! hahaha okay okay lame joke, but its the first joke I've ever made up:)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Prevention and Preparation

So I'm a Marriage and Family Studies major, right? Right. Except every time people ask me what I want to do with that I have to tell them honestly I have no idea. I feel like my three options are : research, teaching, or counseling. Out of the three I want to do teaching, but I have no idea where or how or what. I've thought about teaching community courses...but I'm not sure how one goes about acquiring a job like that. I've also thought (only a little bit) about getting a masters and such to teach at a university or something. Overall I don't know what exactly I would teach...just stuff about Marriage and Family I guess...(real specific, I know). Just the other day though, we were talking to one of the ladies we interviewed and she asked us what we wanted to do with our majors. And as we were talking I had two realizations.
First, in whatever capacity I teach, one of my main focuses I want to be Prevention/Preparation. Instead of solving problems I want to prevent them by preparing people for being married and having a family. I had already been thinking about this because I finally started reading a book Karen and Merrill had given me "First Comes Love" (which I love by the way...Thank You Kar and Mer!). There is a story in it which I found surprisingly poignant.

There is a man standing on the side of a river. He sees a family floating down the river on a raft. They are about to go around a bend and encounter some rapids. The man on the side of the river can see that, and he can also see that the family cannot see what is coming. He watches as they round the bend. When they hit the rapids everyone flies off the raft. The two adults swim to the land, but the two little boys are pulled under the current and are drowned.

What a simple, but terrible story! The book relates this to marriages and families. I think it is so true. People don't anticipate disaster or crisis to strike their family at anytime, but they do and if you are not prepared people fall off the boat and sadly people drowned...emotionally. It is heartbreaking. This is happening all around us. A lot of the families I visit are either single parents or some are even in the thick of divorce, and I often think "How could this have been prevented?" So much hurt and confusion and despair. And what repercussions! I just look at the kids and feel for them, for the relationship struggles they will have as a result of what they are going through.

Which brings me to my next realization. The woman we were talking to asked me who I wanted to students, adults, children? Honestly I had never even considered teaching children about having strong marriages and families. But as I thought about it I realized that that isn't such a bad idea. Why not start early? Shape an image of how to make marriages and families last amidst the efforts to break them down. I even joked with Jessie that maybe I should teach sex ed. (Could you see me as a sex ed teacher? That would be fun!). I was talking to another girl in my internship and she was like..."You should start up a program!" You know like DARE, but with marriages and families. Like Preparing For Our Futures or something like that. I don't know. It is just something I was thinking about. People might think that it is a weird idea...getting married and having a family is just something that happens right? Why study it and "prepare" for it? Ummmm....because they are probably THE most important aspect of our lives. Marriages and Families can cause the most joy and also the most sorrow in our lives. I, personally, am all about intentionality. Being aware of the things that I can do to make my marriage and family stronger and more resistant to deterioration and doing them!

Interview Blunders

My research partner and I have a really good time going out on interviews. We sometimes get distracted talking about boys on the car ride over and forget to look for the right house. But here are a couple of our most memorable blunders:
One time I forgot all the documents that we are supposed to have with us, so Jessie had to drive back and forth to the house 3 times!!

Just the other day we did an interview at a house right on the lake, we were sitting on the dock and some of our paperwork flew into the water :0 I had to retrieve it with a stick...very exciting and embarrassing.

In between the video tasks we leave the room (which often means we go sit on the front porch) as Jessie was closing the front door, one of the cue cards got stuck in the door, but we didn't want to disturb them family by opening the door, so she left it sticking out of the door. (We think the family saw it happen...)

Today as we were leaving the interview, I felt some weird pricking on my tummy, so i lifted up my shirt to find a little black bug crawling on my belly. I screamed and so did Jessie. Except Jessie kept screaming and saying "oh my gosh oh my gosh". I got two little bites on my was quite exciting.

Okay so the stories aren't that funny, but when they happened they usually provided at least a minute of serious laughing fits for me and Jessie:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Too old for my age, too young for my own good

This is what I have been noticing about myself lately. I often do things that are typical 20 year old things to do (like be totally obsessed with my social life and flirting with boys), but then lecture myself and set goals about how i should not do those things so much (moderation in all things) because there are much more important things to be doing. Like instead of focusing only on getting to know guys i should be getting to know the girls in my ward, etc. Pretty much all of my guilty fun is ruined because it is that...guilty. It is ok though, i would rather be aware of my weaknesses than have no idea. At least if I know about them i can try to work on them...and boys are definitely one of my weakness!!

This weekend was crazily social! I went camping at Deception Pass State Park, then had a mini pool party equipped with pizza, went to a birthday party (there was a hot tub:), then left early to go to a dance and topped the weekend off by attending a Sunday evening get together! There are a lot of single adults here in Seattle, it is a lot of fun! But very distracting, I have to remember that i am here to work!

Camping though was awesome. It was on the Puget Sound and there was lots of really pretty mist. It smelled so good too! We didn't really DO anything, just sat around the fire talking and eating and then went to the beach once, but it was still really fun. We even had a tooth-brushing party (i love those). And we looked at the stars (which i also love).
Here is me and Jessie (my partner) at Deception Pass.

Gotta love the mist!!!

Work has been going good too. I love my research partner, i can't say that enough. We get along so well and are always together. We have similar views of social-ness and are both really social. She has more guys flirting with her than me! We are less of work partners and more of friends.

One thing I am learning about (partly because Meg and I talk about it frequently and partly because i just finished this book "Keeping the Love you Find" by Harville Hendrix which talks about it) is being self-aware. Recognizing what you do, why you do it and evaluating if it is effective and if it isn't, changing. It is kind of a hard thing, to look at yourself objectively and honestly. Making no excuses, only seeking to understand yourself. It has really helped me in my life though to see what I am doing in certain situations and understanding why. I think this is a big thing that could help relationships, I mean how can you expect to understand someone else, if you don't even understand yourself. Along with this whole self-awareness comes being aware of what your needs are and how you go about trying to get them met. Often times people try to get their needs met in an ineffective way, which causes a lot of strife in marriages. Needs are met best when they are known. Identifying and talking about needs can be difficult because it is very personal and requires that we identify an area of vulnerability (meaning a need that we cannot meet ourselves and therefore need someone else to fill it for us). I don't know about you, but sometimes i like to tell myself that i don't really need anyone else...this is the biggest lie you can tell yourself. We were not created to be alone, we were created to have relationships.

I figured i better live up to my blog there were some "musings" for you:)

Monday, May 18, 2009

AND....if you go to you see all about my internship and a "snappy" photo of me in my outfit:)

Life as Usual

Things are getting into a groove now. I have the most amazing research partner, her name is Jessie. We have a lot of fun:) We go to our interviews which last anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours. Sometimes we get lost on the way, but my partner Jessie has a GPS...which helps a lot, and we have a Thomas Guide.

Being in Seattle is a huge switch for me though; coming from BYU where practically everyone is LDS to here where not a lot of people are LDS. It is neat though to meet lots of different kinds of people. One of my goals while I am here is to become more comfortable talking to people I do not know.

Things with the singles ward are going great!! There are a ton of really nice people:) Me and my flirty self have already gotten into a little trouble, but nothing i haven't had to deal with before...yet. haha don't worry. there are a lot of fun activities to go to and there are a lot of intelligent and talented people here. There are like 5 colleges in the area I swear! Just last night there was a musical fireside with a violin, cello, piano and vocalist performing hymns. It was amazing!!!

Work is keeping me pretty busy...I worked over 40 hours last week (that may be a 1st for in my life), yet i feel more able to do things that are important to me than ever before. I've been going to the gym, writing missionary letters, making cookies, doing the dishes. The only thing i haven't been doing is calling my family...sorry:( that's what this blog is for right? I'll still try to be better. So i made up a new cookie recipe, we named them Mollys (short for Molly Mormons...meaning Mormon girls in general). The cookies are called this because they are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut cookies. Like mormon girls these cookies are essential (oatmeal), sweet (chocolate chips), pure (coconut) and sassy (dried cherries). :)

Anyway, a word about this movie "fireproof". I'm sorry i watched it without you Meg, but I will buy it and then we can watch it together later...but you should watch it with Kar and Mom. The acting isn't super amazing and it's kind of cheesy, but the message is priceless! There is a song that plays during the credits that has been stuck in my head for the last week. It is like my new theme song. It is called "Worth Fighting For" by Warren Barfield. The lyrics are:
Love is not a place
to come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
Work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

To some love is a word
that they can fall into.
But when they're falling out
keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
but demand we give our all

Love is a shelter
in a raging storm
Love is peace
in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave;
May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight
but its something worth fighting for.

Cause I Will Fight For You
Would You Fight For Me
It's Worth Fighting For.

It's pretty much an amazing song and movie...go rent it tonight!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A quick update

Well I am in the thick of it now. I have started my interviews with the families. I have already done seven! 43 more to go:) These next couple days are going to be crazy though, me and my partner have 8 scheduled for the next three days!! It's kinda fun. You never know what to expect when people open the door.

This is a random plug, but if you have never seen "Fireproof" (its a movie with Kirk Cameron in it), you really should!!! It is about marriage and it rocks. I'll write more about it later:)

Monday, May 4, 2009

And so it begins...

Today we started work...meaning we started calling the families. It was hecka scary and I made my partner call first. We called in the middle of the day though so only like 1/3 of the people actually answered, but miraculously we scheduled 9 interviews!!!! All together in all the partnerships we scheduled over 40 interviews within one day!!! Our bosses were impressed...I am ecstatic. No one even mentioned the swine flu. My first interview is on Wednesday!!! Yikes. That is the next hurdle!

Also we have started mingling with the singles in the area. We had stake conference this weekend so we didn't get to meet too many people, but we met some. There are tons of people here doing internships like us and ironically I have met a lot of people here who know people I know. Like I met a guy who knows my step-cousins the Andersons and tons of people who know people from my ward in Orem.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Two lips...uh I mean Tulips

I went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival! and it was amazing:) Tulips everywhere of every kind of color. It was way fun. I'm not sure what else to say and pictures are worth a million words so here's some pics.

We did make up an awesome pick up line. Here it is:
"Do you like tulips? How would you like my two lips pressed against your two lips?"

Swine Flu:(

Don't freak out...I don't have the swine flu...yet. Apparently it came up from Mexico and all of Mexico city is closed and the US is thinking about closing the borders and 6 schools in Seattle have closed down because some of their students have it. We are worried because this could seriously inhibit the study. I mean really, these families probably won't want us, strangers, coming into their homes. Plus if we get it... We are just trying to be safe, staying out of really public places and carrying hand sanitizer with us everywhere!! Anyway so we haven't started contacting the families yet because of this crazy epidemic. Other than that...I am going to the tulip festival tody:) So i'll post pictures about that later.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh yeah and I checked my grades for this last semester...straight A's !!! whew. I did get an A- in French, but that's because that class kicked my butt. Megan said she's never seen me do so much HW.
I AM HERE!!!! Seattle is beautiful. Everyone told me it would be, but as we drove in through the mountains covered with dark green trees and dark gray rocks with mist all around and a little bit of snow and it smelled so wonderful...i'm sold. I live in a cool apt complex, except it smells nasty! Some girls said it must be something illegal...I don't know. I have one roommate who randomly used to be in Ryann and Darren's singles ward in Fair Oaks! Her name is Lisa. We are having a great time setting up our apartment:) We bought a shower curtain and rugs the other day. Yeah! I've only been here two days so I haven't done much "work" yet. Yesterday was a "settling in day" and today we set up the office. Maybe tomorrow we will get our partnership cell phones and have to start calling the families...the scariest part. Its just a time of adjustment. Getting used to living in the city and the apartment complex and the people i'm with. They are awsome. Yesterday we went to institute and today we went to eat lunch at Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon!!! It was pretty good:) I'll try to post pictures soon... This is the best part though. Tuesday and today (and tomorrow) we have to meet at 9:30am. So Tuesday I didn't shower but was totally on time. and today I got up AN HOUR AND A HALF EARLY!!! I took a shower, ate breakfast, read my scriptures, got dressed, put make-up on, did my hair AND was on time..... That NEVER happens...and it was awesome. Talk about a self-esteem boost...I just hope I can keep it up:) Anyway I'm not sure how long these "posts" are supposed to be...being new to this blogging thing...but hopefully I'll get some pics up as soon as I find the camera cord.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Journey Begins....

Packed up and on my way out! Seattle here I come! It is the eve of my departure and Megan has helped me make a blog so my family can check up on my adventures in the land of rain.