welcome to the roaring ’20s

first things first—I’m feelin’ so grateful right now. let me tell you why.

on Saturday I celebrated my 20th birthday with my sweet husband, and it could not have been more perfect! I got to sleep in until around 11 am, which was much needed after being at work on Friday at 7 am. never underestimate the magic of a good night’s rest.

after that, we got ready and headed to Provo’s favorite Korean BBQ joint, Cup Bop. anyone who knows my family can attest that we don’t really adventure with our foods (at least my mom doesn’t 😉) so it was fun branching out and eating some yummy Korean food! I discovered I love Korean noodles—yay for trying new things! (let’s be real though, what kind of noodle do I not love??)

(ignore my poor chopstick etiquette.)

following our food adventure, we rushed to the Provo City Center temple to do a session. I feel so blessed to live so close to so many temples! I am amazed by the Spirit that permeates the temple. it was only my second time doing an endowment session since receiving my own endowment, so I was a little nervous still. but let me tell y’all, there is such peace in the temple! even though it’s all a little new to me, I felt so much peace and Heavenly Father’s love for me while there.  even better than just being in the temple, was being there with Cardon. I sure do love that man! so grateful I married a priesthood holder who can accompany me to the temple. so grateful to know of the restored gospel. so grateful for the eternal nature of temple ordinances!

(s/o to lds.org for this photo because I forgot to take some 😭)

at this point, I didn’t think the day could get any better, but surprise surprise, Cardon is the best, and the day got better! if you know me, you know I love puppies. Cardon drove us up to the Puppy Barn in American Fork for some puppy lovin’. (now, I know the Puppy Barn is problematic, but that’s an issue for another day, and sometimes you just need some puppy snuggles, you feel?)

honestly, felt like I died and went to heaven. puppies. everywhere. from boxadors to mini aussies to yorkie poos to english mastiffs, there were so many cutie litters! I was seriously so happy. one of my favorite puppies we held was the runt of the golden doodle litter. s/he was so cute and cuddly.

but the real joy of the Puppy Barn was Theo, a precious and inquisitive catahoula texas heeler with one blue eye and one brown eye who we absolutely fell in love with. he was so smart and cuddly and feisty too. we had such a nice time playing with him, so much so that we almost took him home with us! unfortunately our apartment doesn’t allow for pets, except for service animals, so we’ll have to wait until we move to add a lil pupper to our lives. if that wasn’t the case though, we would have adopted him on the spot!

we ended the night with some yummy dinner at Tucanos, a Brazilian Steakhouse in Provo. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much food in my life. between the pão de queijo, all the delicious meats, and the grilled pineapple, I couldn’t eat fast enough! it was so yummy. I’m so lucky to have Cardon and the way he treats me like a queen! hashtag blessed.

there you have it—why I’m feelin’ grateful today. I love celebrating every day with Cardon and I love our little family!

the one whom my soul loves

it’s been a while, friends…

in the time I’ve been gone, I got accepted to the public relations program at BYU, finished my second year of college and best of all…

I MARRIED MY BEST FRIEND!

on july 8, Cardon and I entered the Provo City Center Temple as fiancé’s and left as husband and wife, sealed together for all of time and eternity. best. day. ever!

despite the 100°+ heat, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. from getting ready with my mom in the bride’s room, to waiting with Cardon in the celestial room while our family and friends arrived, to listening to the sealer testify of the sacredness and reality of temples—everything was absolutely perfect.

after having pictures and video footage taken by the amazing Taynee Miller and Kaylor, we headed to our reception venue for a quick bite to eat and toasts by our families. then the fun began! we danced, ate cake and partied with our friends and family. what a night; an exhausting, crazy and perfect night.

since then, we’ve cruised to Key West and Cozumel, partied with our friends in Tallahassee and settled into our apartment in Provo. here’s to one month of marriage! I love you always and forever, Cardon.

 

seasons

monday was a gloomy fall day. no sunshine all day with a constant sprinkling of rain—your standard bummer of a monday. as I walked on campus though I couldn’t help but feel so much joy at the beauty of fall!

being the daughter of an english major and prone to finding metaphors, I pondered how fall relates to my life and the gospel. changing colors, falling leaves, crisper air…what could I learn from this?

during the fall, everything begins to break down in preparation for winter. the leaves turn from greens to vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds, then finally to brown, where they then die and drift to the ground. the trees, bare and thin, stand tall and strong through the brutal winter winds and snow. months later, the sun breaks through the clouds and life blooms everywhere.

we too have experience our own falls and winters and springs, often times involuntary. however, as I gloried in the beauty of fall on monday, I realized that sometimes choosing to  go through a season of deconstructing and evaluating yourself can be healthy too.

what I mean by this, is taking time to really analyze who you are–what you believe, what your goals are, who you want to be become, etc. for me, this meant evaluating the current state of my testimony and spiritual growth, and deciding where I wanted it to be in order to be the person and disciple of God I knew I could be.

after this introspection, I realized to get from where I am to where I want to be I will need to work. I need to begin routines that can become healthy habits, like reading my scriptures, writing in my journal, and saying my prayers every night before bed. I have to take the time to start over, letting my old self die like the leaves around me, so a better me can bloom with time.

by nature of, well, nature, what follows this period of personal fall is a winter of standing tall and strong, despite the whirlwinds around you. as we try to better ourselves, especially in efforts to be closer to God, the adversary will do everything he can to pull you back to your old ways. don’t give up hope! change is possible, I promise.

as we mimic the trees and stand tall in spite of the storms around us, we will see the light of the sun (and the light of the Son) breaking through the clouds of trial, and a beautiful spring will bloom within us. we will be better and feel better than we did when we     started—which makes the winter time worth it.

in the overly quoted words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” I invite you to take the opportunity to enjoy the season of beginnings and restart your life and see the joy that comes as a result. it is hard, but it is worth it.

the update of all updates

it’s been a quick minute, huh? 6 months have flown by!

life is a crazy, wonderful, and busy ​thing. assignments, work, a boyfriend, and being social seem to all require attention at the same time (nothing wrong with that, and I’ll gladly give them attention), but it leaves little time for me-time.

so here I am, taking me-time and doing something that soothes me and calms my mind: writing. this is no deep and profound post spouting wisdom to make life easier—although when I figure it out for myself I will definitely share it with y’all. rather, this is simply an update for my own sake of where my life is and where I want it to go. probably boring for you, but enjoy anyway.

6 months ago, when I last posted on here, my first winter semester at BYU was coming to a close. now, my second fall semester is well underway and just as challenging, if not more so, than it was then. thankfully I’ve learned a few things in the past year and it’s much easier to cope with college life.

6 months ago, I thought I had figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life–wrong. I have again changed my major, and I’m for real about this one. I apply to the Public Relations program at BYU in January and I am thrilled! (prayers that I actually get accepted, please and thank you.) this semester, I’ve been taking the prerequisite courses for PR and they’ve confirmed to me that this is something I love and am passionate about.

6 months ago, I intended on doing classes during spring and summer, and then doing fall and winter again. I began spring term, then quickly dropped by summer classes, and then withdrew from spring. life lesson learned: know your limits and don’t push them.

6 months ago, most of my friends left for summer break and I felt alone. but God is good, and led Cardon into my life, who makes every day better and life an adventure. not only that, but I understood the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. my girl friends are all back and we’re closer than ever, and that truly is a blessing. (plus my beautiful friends from Florida are always just a text away, and that makes my heart happy.)

in the past 6 months, my testimony has wavered significantly. (what’s life without a few thousand trials of faith, amiright?) I’m grateful this happened at a time where I’m surrounded by the gospel everywhere and have so many sources of strength to look to when that happens.

honestly, having that period of uncertainty really sucked. I wish I could say that now that I’ve had it, it will never happen again, but of course that’s not how life works. losing that light and confidence in the Church and in God was rough, but it has had its underlying blessings. now I know that without that light, I truly am missing something. I have no reason to stray from something that brings me happiness.

life is weird. but it’s a beautiful kind of weird, the kind that despite everything, you wouldn’t trade for the world. and I, for one, am glad I’m here to enjoy it

endings

it’s funny how you can want something so badly but when it finally arrives, you can’t help but wish it wasn’t time yet.

this semester has been the craziest, busiest, most difficult and trying semester I have experienced. the stress of homework, the insecurity that comes from being at such an incredible university, the heartache of being away from family, the desire to be better but not knowing how…I can’t count the amount of times I cried and begged for it to be made easier— or better yet, for it just to end.

in the past two days I got approximately 5 hours of sleep total, took 4 finals, and studied for more hours than I ever want to for a long time. I stressed and cried more than I care to admit. I pleaded with my Father in Heaven to just end it right now because I could not go on. I wanted nothing more than to just fast forward to a different part of my life—or even just to august so I could see my family again. anything seemed better than how I felt. (disclaimer: looking back this seems very melodramatic, but man, finals are rough.)

and now, here I am, my classes over and finals all done, on the last sunday of the semester. and I cried. again. not tears of frustration or anger, but bitter-sweet tears. this semester (and really fall semester too) has been such a blessing to me. I have never learned so much about myself, how to live with other people, how to balance a job and classes, the world, and the gospel. I learned what I want to do with my life. I learned what kind of person I want to be, and who I want to associate with. but most of all, this semester I deepened my relationship with my Jesus. my brother. my best friend. my Savior. 

in summary: this semester has sucked. a lot. but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can’t express how much I’m going to miss the laughs with my roommates because it’s 2 in the morning and everything is funny, the crying sessions because life is hard, the good-clean-fun with the amazing people in my ward, the last-minute study sessions because crap there was a test today?, the ice cream runs because why not, and most of all the love I have felt from everyone around me this semester.

endings are hard. but that’s because we are not made for endings. we are “made of the stuff of eternity”. inherently, we know there is more to life than the right now, the immediate. “endings are not our destiny.

“…for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders.”

26 speakers. 8 hours. 4 sessions. 2 days. 1 general conference.

last weekend I was able to drive up to SLC to watch general conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the conference center and the tabernacle. side note about that: if you had told me a year ago I’d be watching conference in the conference center, I would have laughed at you because there’s no way I would be so lucky. fast forward to this year, and I was able to watch 3 of the 4 sessions in the conference center. #blessed.

I’ll tell you what, nothing but the gospel and feeling God’s love for two days straight is incredible. it’s amazing how these speakers prepare these talks with the whole Church (15 million+ people) in mind, and yet every single talk has something in it for me specifically. the Lord definitely is in the details.

that being said, here’s a list of some of my favorite points from this conference. (i’d highly encourage you to read or watch the talks, regardless of if you’re Mormon or not, Christian or not, or even religious or not, because I promise there is something in every talk for you.)

you can have what you want, or you can have something better.
“go forward with faith.”
forgive.”
“persevere through the valley of humility to reach exaltation.”
“the Savior has been nearby all along.”
“come unto Christ—come home.”
“reach out with love.”
​choose the harder right, not the easier wrong.
“stand ye in holy places.”
“set your hope in God.”
“be committed to the Savior always.”
“there’s nothing good unless you do it.”
“life is meant to be viewed backwards, but must be lived forward.”
“God hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but the Spirit of power and love.”
good, ​better, best.
“the temple is home.”
“have faith and follow Him.”
“God loves us with all His heart, might, mind, and strength.”
the great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying—even if we don’t always succeed.

so blessed to know that God still speaks to us through modern prophets and apostles, as well as through scripture. this is how I know He loves me! He wants me to be successful and happy, and because of Him, I am.

blessings on blessings on blessings

what a beautiful life I have.

recently I’ve noticed some tender mercies (or “personal and individualized blessings” from
the Lord) in my life. from things like extended deadlines (thank you polisci and nutrition and mission prep) to getting an amazing new job right when I needed it to finally deciding on a major that fits to…the list goes on.

these seemingly ordinary and unexciting events impacted me in a not-so-ordinary way. they are a reminder to me that God is mindful of me. He knows me. He loves me. He cares about me and my needs and desires. He wants what is best for me. how amazing is that?? the almighty and all-powerful God of the universe is mindful of me. lauren elizabeth. an 18 year old girl from Florida who has made no real impact on society (yet) and is still trying to figure out this whole “life” thing. mehow wonderful!

the blessings keep piling up and I’m grateful they haven’t stopped.