Sunday, September 13, 2009


So my goal, my one and only summer goal, was to hike to the top of Timp. Utah Valley is so near and dear to my heart and what better way to see and appreciate it than to look down at it from the towering face of Mount Timpanogos. It didn't seem like it would be that difficult to accomplish, arrangement wise, because both my ward and work were planning to hike it. Great! Well, then I got sick and the weather decided to misbehave so both those options got axed. Fine, I'll hike it myself, I said. Little did I know what a journey it would be....
First off, I didn't know where to go to even start on the trail that leads to the top. I heard there was a trail head up Sundance Canyon and the other was Timpanooke up American Fork Canyon. P.S I did not hike it "myself." I brought my sister along. She's a good sport. You'll find out why later. Our first attempt took us up Provo Canyon. We didn't start hiking until 1:30 pm or so. Many encouraging people told us we would not make it there before dark. But I am a stubborn red-head so I didn't listen. It didn't matter because, due to the economic crisis, America cannot afford enough signs to direct novice hikers as to what trail leads to what destination. Therefore, we wasted 2 hours of precious daylight hiking to Stewart Falls. Yeah, it's pretty, blah, blah, blah. IT AIN'T THE TOP OF TIMP people and I've got goals to accomplish!!!
No, but seriously, why would a logical person think "oh, I must park in this parking lot then walk back to the ROAD to get on the correct trail?" And why can't there be a FREAKING SIGN in the parking lot to tell you that?! Hence the "mad face" pictured to the left. Which wasn't actually mad because I was laughing at the same time. At my sister, not the situation. That was not a laughing matter. Anyway, it really was a nice hike, just disappointing. And it gave little sis a taste of what was to come. Sort of. She still didn't know.
When we got back we ate at Zupas. I had heard about Zupas, but I thought it was a bunch of hype. It's just a soup, salad, or sandwhich people. Come on! Especially soup! Is that even a meal? But they were right! It was amazing. Of course food always does taste better after coming out of the wilderness. But I'll definately go there again. Dinky sandwiches, BTW...


The next week we tried again. This time we took the Timpanooke trail. However, once again, I didn't have a clue where we were going. But how hard could it be? They've got to have SIGNS right? Again, I was sadly disappointed. COME ON rangers!!! Not everyone hikes Timp everyday! A few signs would help a sista out! And your map sucks. Can't you add "Timpanooke trail head" to your "Timpanooke campground" sign?!

After driving around for half an hour we finally went back and found someone to ask. Then the fun began. Well, kind of. We (by "we" I mean "I") began merrily hiking along, chattering away about how lucky we were to be hiking in the shade, and how beautiful the surroundings were, and how lucky we were to have healthy bodies and clean air in our lungs. My sister trudged along in silent agreement. Soon we headed up a trail with rocks placed across it. Hm, strange. OH, maybe that was a sign I was headed up the wrong way!Hence the sad face since I had to crawl hands and feet up a sheer shale rock mountainside. Good thing I left little sis behind! Going back down that thing was not fun. It was downright dangerous! My sister got a butt shot of me coming down, but I chose not to post that one. ;)

Most of the trail was quite fantastic. I was impressed by my endurance and realized I am in as good a shape as I thought! I seriously had no idea how long that trail was and I kept encouraging my sister that the sign had to be "just around the corner." (We were informed there was an actual sign that would direct us to the trail that lead to the summit. FINALLY!!!) I am so proud of my sister. She was such a little trooper! I knew she wasn't in the best of moods from having to hike all that way so I would just stay ahead hoping to come upon the sign and alert her we were "almost there!" Yeah, "almost there" my butt! When we finally got to the sign and could see the saddle I was excited! She was like "we have to go all the way up there?!" Little did I know how right she was. At this point I was singing pioneer songs to keep myself going. "And should we die, before our journey's through" felt mighty appropriate at that time! So much for thinking we'd make it there and back in 8 hours. There was a rock in the middle of the trail just before you start the steep parts. That's where my sister gave out. Almost. She was just going to stay there and nap. "You can't!" I told her. "You're so close! You'll regret it if you don't make it when you've come this far!" I tried to encourage her. "It's not MY GOAL to make it to the top! This is far enough!" Well, I couldn't argue with her on that, but I couldn't leave her there to get eaten by mountain goats either. Although she thought that'd be quite the "way to go."

We rested and ate some of the wonderful snacks I packed. They must have held magical powers cause when we were done I asked if she was sure she wasn't coming and she said she would. Hooray! So off we went. Well, the day just took a real down hill direction (mentally. certainly
not physically)
for me at that point. We had been hiking for HOURS, it was getting more hot, though there was a lovely cool breeze blowing, and my sister was losing steam. The pioneer songs were just not cuttin' it. In fact, I swung over to the opposite spectrum and felt provoked to curse under by breath. That helped a little. This is my "are you freaking kidding me face" that I had on the way to the saddle.

We did eventually make it to the saddle. Hence, the joyous picture at the beginning. When my sister finally arrived we called our dad so he could be proud of us and I texted some of my friends. But I didn't have much time to waste because I had to make it to the shed at the very top. It was so close right? Wrong.

I left my pack behind and just took my camera to prove that I had been to the top. I was making good time. Until I realized I had taken the wrong trail. What is with taking the wrong freakin' trails on this journey?! So I turned back. There were three elderly people that we would continually meet up with off and on throughout the treck that I met up with again and they found the steep, crazy, switchback trail up the mountain. I don't mean to sound like a party pooper, but as I climbed and climbed and climbed some more I had repeated thoughts of "what is [H-E-double hockey sticks] am I doing up here? Just go back. It's not even worth it." Stupid goals. Because of them I couldn't stop. I was so close! Yet so far away.

I did eventually make it to the top. I signed the register "first, and probably last, time." I snapped a few pics, but by that time I was ticked off enough that I didn't even care to look around. Here is my "was this seriously worth it?" face. Note the swollen lips. They went nicely with the sausages I once called fingers.

I would post more pictures, but blogger is being difficult so be sure to check out my facebook. I realize there are not many "happy" faces. Don't be mistaken. Of course I am glad I made it, and am only one quarter joking about how horrid the last two miles were. Of course I enjoyed the journey! It is a major accomplishment! Oh, and coming down was certainly faster and my sister and I got to talk all the way down. I was the driving force to the top and she was the driving force to the bottom :) So thank you Erica, thank you body, and thank you to all you crazy kooks out there who drove me to desire to hike it in the first place. It truly was an Extraordinary day in the life of Carrie.

Playing A Little Catch-up

Hello Blogger world (aka people at work and my sister)! I know it's been a while. The truth is...not much happens in my life that is noteworthy. I know. Lame. But there have been a couple TOTALLY EPIC moments in the last couple of months that we'll review. Hang onto your hats peeps!

In July, we held the annual celebration of my birth. I went to good ol' Roosevelt to see my family and have my totally bodacious party. I love having traditional birthday parties with party hats and bright colors and birthday cakes with toys on them and such. Actually, I hate my birthday, but these things make it a little better. This year we didn't have a toy cake. We had a "death by chocolate" cake, which is an acceptable substitute. And we did not have cone-like party hats, we wore old fashioned hats. Which is also acceptable and what you can expect at my bridal shower (NO, I'm not getting married yet! Don't rub it in. I'm a planner remember?) Anywho, we also had a flower fight, played "Ninja," "the screaming game," dodgeball, and...I don't remember what else. I don't think I have pictures of us after the flour fight, but you can see it in the ninja pictures. Good times.

Twenty-six year old Carrie. That's right, I said 26! Not too much different than twenty five really.

Niiiiiiin-JA!!!! That's how you say it. In the game, I mean.

I had a video of this, but I didn't put it on because it wasn't very good. I'm still photo/cinematograpy handicapped. I'm working on it.

In August, I participated in a singer/songwriter workshop sponsored by Jenny Phillips and Tyler Castleton. If you don't know who they are then you don't listen to church music enough :) Hillary Weeks and Mindy Gledhill were also there. If you don't know who they are then...all I can say is I'm sad for you. I'll explain the workshop in one word: AWESOME. But if you let me choose other words I would choose informative, encouraging, fun, scary, overwhelming, and exciting. Tyler Castleton is an incredible songwriter and arranger. He does a lot of the EFY music. He just might be my LDS idol. (Hey, that's a good idea for a contest in Utah...probably already is....) I enjoy so much of (note I did not say ALL of) Hillary and Mindy's music. They write and sing their own stuff, which is what I'm trying to do. PLUS, be mom's at the same time!!! (I am not trying to do that, at this time.) Anyway, it was a very good investment. I learned a lot about the LDS music industry and I was inspired to get writing, writing, writing! I met some nice girls. One of whom I later recognized on a website as a swim-suit model. Interesting. And certainly not one of my options as a back-up career. You go girl!
There was also a song writing competition. I was planning on entering a song to be critiqued by Tyler Castleton and I had my melody and some chords, but that was about it. As time passed, I just kind of neglected it. A week before the deadline I got an email reminding me that it was due in a week. I was like "shoot, I better get on that!" then I thought "nah, it's too late." Well, I happened to have two or three days off in a row during that week and so I decided to give it a shot and see what I could accomplish in that time. Basically, I finished writing and recording it in 16 hours. The recording was horrid. Number one, I recorded it using a digital recorder placed at the side of my piano. Which means crappy, crappy quality. But they said it didn't have to be good quality so I wasn't worried about that part. Number two, I had JUST BARELY finished writing it so I didn't even know how to play it well! Let alone sing along. I am not great at singing and playing at the same time. Depends on the song, I guess. Anyway, I gave a little disclaimer at the beginning warning him it would be a little "choppy" and slower than it is meant to be. Needless to say, I didn't win. HOWEVER, I received a CD with Tyler's critique recorded on it. It was so awesome!!! And so encouraging! He really liked it, though he acknowledged it was a little difficult to get the true feel because it was so broken up. He only gave me a few suggestions of how to fix it and otherwise thought it was a great song!! YAY ME!!!!
THEN, I participated in the singing competition. Tyler and Jenny wrote a song that is going to be featured on her upcoming album. Long story short, I went to the recording studio and met up with Tyler and their sound guy, Scott. It was SO INCREDIBLE to be in an actual recording studio. I felt so cool, like a real live singer or something!!! I was in the little sound booth singing into that microphone with the round thing in front of it and wearing the headphones with only one side on (just like the professionals. Actually that's how you're supposed to do it.) I sang it through a couple times and then they burned a CD for me so I can have a copy of me singing. Tyler was so encouraging! He asked me what my goals were and I told him I just wanted to write music in my spare time as a full time mom and put an album together whenever I had a collection of good songs and he said he totally thought I'd be able to do that. This is after we had talked about my voice and my song that I had submitted. He remembered it and again told me what a great song he thought it was. He couldn't believe I wrote it in such a short amount of time, or that it was my first song every with lyrics! He said that if I just fixed the things he suggested I fix that he thought it'd be good enough to pitch-meaning get it recorded! YAY! So I was totally excited and encouraged and inspired. But then I didn't win. I didn't even make top twenty! So then I got disappointed, and angry, and accused Tyler of being a liar-face (just kidding...kind of. only in my head. And maybe to one person) I'm still working through it, but I don't really think they would have been so encouraging if they didn't think I had SOME talent. One of the big emphasis' at the workshop was that it's okay to be told "no" and you just have to keep working at it. So that's what I'm going to try to do. I tried to post the song to this blog so you could hear it, but I haven't found a way to do so. So just imagine the most awesome thing you've ever heard and that's what it sounds like :)
So this has been a really long post so I'll post the other TOTALLY EPIC events in another post! PEACE!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Random Thoughts....

So I have a lot of thoughts. All the time. Constantly going. We all do, right? Well, I've thought about blogging them, but I haven't because...I'm lazy. And I'm being lazy right now and avoiding doing other things I think I should be doing (like laundry....crap, I'm almost out of scrubs!) and so I will blog because that seems a lot more fun than the other stuff and I don't want to go to bed because that would be a waste of time ;)

Pardon the randomness. I'm sure there is a common thread in here somewhere....

#1 The Internet has a lot of really great information on it. Sometimes too much and it's overwhelming and is like finding a needle in a haystack. A lot of information is nice and stuff, but you know what I really want to find?....MY FUTURE! Yes, that may sound ridiculous, but a lot of times I feel like I'm just waiting around for what I really want my life to be like. I wish the internet could show me what I really want to know like: who I'll marry, what my kids will look like, what I'll look like, etc. But alas, the internet has no such information. So then facebook sucks me in and I waste another bunch of time...but even that can't hold my attention for too long. You know....the internet is kind of boring.

#2 Dr McCann brought donuts in for us today. That was so nice of him. I have really been wanting a donut lately. I work in such a wonderful place with the most wonderful people. SUCH a blessing!

#3 I waste a lot of time (stupid facebook). Well, yes and no. There are a lot of things I feel I should be doing, but sometimes I just can't get myself to do it. Like piano and singing! I should be practicing my guts out but I don't because: a. sometimes it's pretty darn boring b. sometimes I'm not very good and it frustrates me c.'s boring. Well, I guess that's mostly the reason! If I was better at the piano I would probably have more fun at it. The reason it's frustrating is because sometimes I can hear songs that I want to write (why I am learning the piano in the first place) but I can't get them out/form them into notes to be heard by others. VERY frustrating. But it will come along. Most the songs I've written haven't come because I sat down and thought "I am going to write a song right now." And yes, to those of you who didn't know, I write music. But only one is really great and no you can't hear it. Not yet. I need to practice....

#3+ And I should be going to the gym!!! I shouldn't waste time by not exercising! I don't want to be pudgy anymore! I've come a long way (yeah! I think I have) and I don't want to stop now!

#4 Maybe I do want to be pudgy. Today I read the blog of a girl I knew growing up. She is 2 years younger than me, has two children, and looks like she should be graduating high school at the end of this month. Her body is tiny. The fact that she is younger than me and is married with children and living in a beautiful home is enough of a blow to the self-esteem department, but she looks so good too! That's a lot of additional and very unnecessary pressure on me, because we don't have even CLOSE to the same body structure and for me to even THINK of being as thin and she is just ridiculous. That is Satan talking and I don't want to listen because I hate that guy. I want to be healthy. But I don't need the additional weight of feeling like I need to look like a swimsuit model is order to feel like I'm healthy and attractive. I have enough to worry about. Besides, I like my men a little soft around the middle, if you will, and so I think it should be okay that I'm a little soft around the middle too.

And speaking of weight issues, I seriously have these thoughts:

#5 I am looking good! I really have lost weight! Yay me! I am strong! (And as my trainer calls me..) I am a MACHINE!!!!

an hour or two later...

#6 I am chubby! Maybe I haven't lost that much weight! Man I have a long way to go! This is hard!

(Isn't that ridiculous?! Being a wishy-washy woman sucks sometimes)

#7 Life is wonderful. No seriously. With all the ups and downs we can feel in the space of 18 waking hours life really is good. And I am so grateful that I feel this way, cause I haven't for a long time. I am so grateful to live in the most beautiful valley EVER, I am so grateful for the sky and how Heavenly Father changes it and grants me such peace and happiness just by looking at it, and I am so grateful for the people in my life that make me feel good and help me be a better person! I am grateful for the talents I have (even though we already know I do not practice that much!) and that I think I know what I am supposed to do with them. I am grateful for second chances and the chance to change and for hope and faith and the FUTURE! I am excited to see what's going to happen in my life! (I still wish the internet would show me though)

Well, there are just a few of my random thoughts. There are more where they came from so stay tuned! Until then this is Carrie Adams, signing off, on another extraordinary day

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I love men!!!!!

And that is pretty much all I have to say about that! :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The WORST nightmare EVER!!!

Lately I've been having some pretty crazy dreams that leave me with a strange feeling when I wake up and sometimes it lingers all day. I wake up feeling dark and uneasy yet I can't remember specifically what happens in these dreams. But last night I remembered exactly what happened and it was the worst thing that could happen ever! Well, for me anyway ;)
Those who know me really well know I am a planner. I plan EVERYTHING. My hobbies, my house, my activites, the kind of wife and mother I want to be, the kind of husband I want, my children's names, their personalities, the baby accessories I'll buy, activities I want to do with the family I'll create someday, my funeral....the list goes on and on. But most of all I plan my WEDDING!
If I wasn't a nurse I'd probably be a wedding planner. Who knows? Maybe I'll "retire" to this profession someday. We'll see (the plans are in the making). I love weddings! But contrary to what people may think (Corey) I am not marriage obsessed. My love for weddings is not so much about my own, but just weddings in general. I could talk about weddings all day with anyone and be just fine. I am always looking for new ideas! I have several different scenarios to choose from depending on when I actually get married. And since I do not plan on having the good fortune of living out each and every one of these glorious ideas on my own weddings I must pick my favorites and then gently yet forcefully live out the rest through my younger sisters. Just kidding.
Anywho, needless to say, I have much of my plans picked out. Venue, photographer, hairdo, dress, decorations, caterer/food...and this is why I don't understand my dream! Okay, we're going into dream mode. Ready? okay
In my dream I wake up in the temple. Now I understand that the temple is not a hotel, alright? I get that. At least I was on the right track, okay? I woke up in a nice room with dark minty green walls, dark wood furniture, mirrors and white linens. I recognized it was my wedding day, but then I realized
"wait, it's my wedding day?! I don't even have a photographer! And what time is it? Who's going to do my hair?!"
So obviously I have to start getting ready, but like I said, there's no one arranged to do my hair so I'm going to have to come up with something on my own. Good thing I have curly hair! I started planning ways to manipulate my hair with bobby pins to create the hairdo I have in mind. Then my mom arrives.
"Mom, I don't even have a photographer! (I don't know why this was such a big deal to me) Wait, did we go get our marriage license? I arranged for the temple today right?! I told you I was getting married TODAY right?!"
At this point I didn't even know where my husband-to-be was, let alone who he was. I guess, because I am a planner, and a flexible one at that, I start taking action to fix what I could in the little amount of time I have left.
"Dad, go to Costco and buy Erica the Nikon i-1050 (yes I made up some random camera model) that comes with two lenses. She can take the pictures."
My sister, in real life thank heavens, is like a born photographer so in my dream I decided to utilize her in my time of need and buy her an expensive camera because at this point staying "on budget" is out the window. Obviously I hadn't spent any of my "wedding budget" anyway since nothing was planned!!! I started directing people to go to Roberts crafts and buy ribbons and flowers to make sashes to hang on the backs of the chairs since it was obviously too late to rent them! (However I failed to plan on how I was going to get all those chairs in the first place) I had my mom make some last minute phone calls to a park manager to reserve the park since it was the least likely out of all the other venues in mind that would be booked on a weekend! My frenzied mind then went on to how on earth am I going to feed the guests?!?!?! It all must have been too much for me cause at this point I woke up in a panic.
I just don't get it! I have so much "planned" already why didn't I just make some freaking phone calls?! The meaning of the dream: Maybe I am not ready to get married. Or maybe I was marrying the wrong guy. Or maybe I need to attend a bridal fair so that I can be even MORE prepared! YES!!!! I think that's it. Da-da-da-dah!!! Bridal fair at Provo High on April 18th. I'm there! Thanks dream! It never hurts to be prepared! :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I WON!!!!

My friend Shelly posted this on her blog and I was a first responder so I WON!!! I think this is a really fun idea and I promise to make cute stuff!

The Rules

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me - something crafty or yummy, who knows?!

2. Winners must post this challenge on their blog, meaning that they will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on their post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!

4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate pictures and comments!

If you are not one of the Top Three Commenters on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same!SO, REMEMBER…Pay it forward!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Life is like a Diet

It is truly amazing to me, as I continue to change my eating habits to fit one of a healthy lifestyle, how similar a "diet" relates to life! I have been doing so well at eating better and getting regular exercise and people say it's starting to show (plus I feel better). By eating a healthy diet I exercise willpower, stay focused on my goals, and build confidence in myself. So me and the people around me see positive changes. Just like in life! When we are exercising our willpower to do the things we need to do instead of want to do, achieving the goals we set for ourselves, and choosing to do what's right over what's easy we start to feel a greater confidence in ourselves and other people start to feel that way towards us too! I really feel like if I start to lose control of my diet I start to lose control of my life. And visa versa. Sad, huh?

Take today for example. I had all my food planned out as usual and had packed it all the bring with me to work. It wasn't much but I was going to fill my growling belly with water and chew gum (gum is quickly becoming my new best weight-loss friend). I was doing pretty well. About mid-day some joker brings in raspberry and blueberry sweet rolls and all the skinny chicks with the metabolisms like burning fiery furnaces from hell are in the back room enjoying themselves (love you guys!) without any risk of consequences. I told myself "No, Carrie, you do not need to have one. You can be strong. Now chew your gum....HURRY STICK A PIECE IN YOUR MOUTH NOW!!!" Instead of stuffing my face with soft delicious smorsels of sweet dough smothered in raspberry and vanilla frosting I got to choke down some chicken and veggies! Just kidding! Well about the choking down part, anyway. I did in fact choose to eat my lunch instead of the sweet roll. And I actually make a delicious teriyaki chicken stirfry (I even got to add some margarine because, according to my calculations my fat intake "was" a little low today). Well, the skinny people did not eat all the rolls on account of their stomachs being the size of a walnut, so everytime I went into the back room the sweet rolls continued to taunt me. At one point my brain even shut off and I was about to mindlessly cut one and "just eat half"......BUT I RESISTED! Yay me. "For now!" warns the rolls in a deep devilish voice. WHERE IS MY GUM?!?!?! About an hour before my shift was to end I was feeling munchy again. I swear my body was screaming for carbs today. SO....I ate a little package of graham crackers. Harmless, really, in comparison to a sweet roll! More water, okay everything is good. But those graham crackers taste so good sometimes and this was one of those times so I had another small package. "It's okay! I'm going to the gym tonight. I'll burn it off!" Surprise! Your cousin got married today and your family is coming to town to attend the reception and you must attend also! I knew there would be cake there, but I was strong, right? I had resisted a sweet roll for heaven's sake! So I logged the stupid graham crackers into my handy dandy nutrition tracker and proceded to prepare tonight's preplanned meal. It was delicious, by the way, and I really believed I would not eat anything at the reception. Two chocolate covered strawberries, two mini chocolate covered rice crispie treats, a handful of pineapple, a piece of cake, and a chicken salad croissant-wich later my best intentions were straight down the pooper. Oh! make that two pieces of cake and two chicken salad croissant-wiches later; I was feelin' fine and fancy free so bring on the seconds!!!! So much for the "estimated" low fat intake!

So I was feeling pretty bad after I left. I knew I wasn't going to make it to the gym tonight. And there is NO WAY I'm logging all that crap onto my food log. Well, okay I might. But I was really feeling like my body needed something and that's why it was craving things. I tried to stay strong, not just because it would be the right thing to do, but also because I am planning on eating at Cheesecake Factory tomorrow. :( like that's going to be good for my weight loss goals.

But do not despair fair readers! The EXTRAORDINARY thing about life, and diets I guess, is that every day is a new day. If we fall off the wagon one day we can jump right back on the next. But, if you are like me, you have to realize that mistakes are going to happen, forgive yourself, and remain confident that you will get back on track the next day! Life throws us many challenges and "tests" at times and many times it is not so much as whether we pass the test or not but what we do after our fall. I certainly don't want to be the kind of person who quits trying! So in the words of someone much wiser than me: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." -Henry Ford

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Did You See the Sky Today?

It didn't exactly look like this, but close ( and please disregard the "proofing" mark in the center). I loved it. I went to the Lake-Utah Lake State Park- and spent some time sky gazing. It was amazing. And quiet. Normally I don't like it quiet, but today it was so peaceful and relaxing. I could hear the lake melting. Seriously. Awesome. I had to leave cause I had to meet my trainer at 5:00. After that was done I needed to do some more cardio. The sky was still beautiful and I thought it a shame to have my back to all the splendor so I moved the stair machine so I could look outside. It was wonderful. And it got me thinking.....

Today was somewhat of a struggle for me. There are just things I struggle with repeatedly that I don't know why! And it is totally holding me back! I don't know how to fix it, I don't know things that I used to know, I don't know what's going to happen, I don't know....ANYTHING! (I know you're probably lost right now, just bear with me while I vent). I just feel really alone on this journey I'm on. The people who are supposed to be there for me don't seem to be there or say the things I need to hear. They don't have the answers I'm looking for. So I've been praying a lot and trying to be open to the spirit. I think that's why the quiet and the sky was so good today. When I am at the lake and there are beautiful clouds in the sky I can feel my Heavenly Father close; it's almost like an embrace. Since I sometimes question my standing with Him, and especially today, I looked at the sky and I felt good; I felt hope and peace. But then I thought, "that's not for you. That's for someone else, but there's only one sky so you just happen to see it too." And then the epiphany...Heavenly Father loves EVERYONE and it is not coincidence that everyone can see the beauty of the the earth and sky as evidence! There are so many people in this world with weaknesses, trials, heartache, sins, and other problems, but Heavenly Father loves us regardless and He is always showing us signs that He is there for us waiting to come to Him. We just have to look for them and BELIEVE them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Afterlife...

The other day I was driving down the road and, as they often are, my thoughts were wandering and I began thinking about the life we'll live after we leave this one. Looking back, I wish I could remember what got me thinking about it. It is so interesting to trace my thought processes sometimes. For instance, the other day I was thinking about singing, then how singers don't sing "old" anymore like the classic vocalists like Judy Garland, then I thought of the girl that sang in "Elf" and then I played "Elf" in my head the whole time I was doing my hair and make-up! I don't even really like that movie! Anywho, my thoughts on our afterlife....
When I was younger and would think about my life in heaven, it always began like something of a joke. You know, where you die and then you're at the "pearly gates" with St. Peter waiting behind a podium to give you a pop quiz and if you pass you get to go through. Well, that's not necessarily what I believe, but that's how I saw it beginning. As I've gotten older and learned more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on earth I have learned that "He employs no servant there" and that it will indeed be our Savior that greets us at the other side. And we don't just hang out, catch up with our previously deceased relatives, travel the world as a spirit, or learn to play the harp. Life does indeed go on. Often times I have not fully realized that it isn't even our final judgement! (I am leaving out certain parts of this doctrine, of course) Depending on when we die we may have to wait for a short time until Christ returns again to the earth to regain our physical bodies, and if we happen to live and die during the Millenium, we shall be "changed in the twinkling of eye," but either way we will inhabit our perfected physical bodies during the Millenia.

Do you ever think about what you will do when you get to Heaven? Brad Paisley's going to fly around, run his fingers through a lion's mane, and taste the milky way ;) I've thought about those things too, okay just the flying part cause I don't particularly like animals and I have never believed you could taste the milky way (come on Brad!). I'm sure some people look forward to seeing their deceased loved ones. That would be nice. But what I'm really looking forward to is having a little sit down with God and asking him a whole bunch of unanswered questions! Like: where did my favorite mocha lipgloss disappear to (along with socks and papers and other things I've lost), why I didn't get to marry the person I was convinced I was supposed to marry, why was I put on a road that caused me to make the mistakes I made, and why did He trust me enough to let me make them? I'm sure there will be many more questions as the years come, but I look forward to having that personal priesthood interview and celebrating the triumphs, crying at the remembrance of the heartaches, and discussing all the things about my life I still won't understand. Yes, it's that important to me. Sometimes I think to myself "I'll have to ask Heavenly Father about that when I get to the other side." I should start a list. So, back to my imaginations of my life-after-death....after I arrive and am ushered into Heaven (by the Savior), whisked through a cheering group of dead relatives and a few forgotten friends from my pre-existence [Oh, Hey! Eliza! I remember you! Great job on surving your pioneer trek! I was cheering for you the whole time! We've gotta catch up!], and then have my PPI with Heavenly Father I've never really thought about what would happen. I mean to me personally. I know the doctrine, but I've never applied it to myself. I guess I figured I'd spend some time in some kind of "Heaven School" cause Lord knows I have a LOT to learn in order to become the Goddess I am destined to be! But this is where my thought the other day has shed some new light on the matter.....

We are told all the time that this life is the time to prepare to meet God. This is the time in which we learn things that help us to become like Him. This is the time we must repent and cleanse ourselves from the sins of the world and "put off the natural man" so that we can be clean, even spotless, before God so that we can dwell in His presence. This life is the opportunity we've been given to prove ourselves worthy for the reward of gaining exaltation! Be good+repent=gain exaltation. But then what? What does that mean? Am I only here on earth to learn how hard it is to be human and prove that I can overcome the flesh just to sit around in Heaven enjoying my reward in luxury and ease?

I began thinking about what we work for in life; what our purpose day to day is. For most of us it's a hearty portion of go to work (or get an education to be able to work) to earn money to buy stuff to support a family and enjoy a little slice of life on the side. Since we are religious people we throw a little of that in there cause we hear it's important. It appeared to me that the bulk of our life is spent working to earn THINGS that are necessary to support life and, if we're lucky, to enjoy it. We really get excited when we can travel and go on a vacation; then we're really livin' the dream. No work, no responsibilities, pure enjoyment. Then I thought "What are we going to work for in Heaven? Isn't Heaven going to be a little bit like a vacation?" Then I realized, we will be working for SOULS. We will be working for OTHER PEOPLE. On earth we work for ourselves and our family, for STUFF. Some work to see their numbers grow, their house expand, their car get newer, a new place to explore. What are those people going to think about Heaven? Sometimes I drive around one of the nice neighborhoods near my house and I dream of the kind of home I would like. Yes, I would like a nice house. Yes, I want a nice car. Yes, I would like to have plenty of money in the bank. Yes, I want to be able to provide my children with nice things they need. But none of this stuff is the real measure of who we are! That is why I am so grateful to have the knowledge of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not only does it teach me what I need to do to get the Heaven, and how to repent when I don't do those things, it PREPARES me to LIVE in Heaven! So much of what we do in within the church is service for others. The really really important stuff being temple work. First we do our work, then every other time we attend the temple it is so someone else can have what we have. Truly the work and the glory of God is to bring to pass the immortality of man and that is what He is trying to teach us also. During the Millenia, life will go on. But I doubt it will include going to work and then doing some geneology in our spare time. No, all of our time will be spent trying to make it so that EVERY PERSON who has ever lived will have the chance to return to live with our Father in Heaven for all eternity.

So to summarize the point of my wandering thoughts: If I don't enjoy missionary work, and temple work, and sharing my testimony and rejoice in the salvation of others now, then I probably won't enjoy Heaven very much. Luckily I do enjoy these things and I am so hoping that I make it so that I am able to be a part of such a wonderful time! Not only will we be free from Satan's power, enjoy the beauty of a perfected earth, and raise our children in a worry free environment, but we will be able to help others do the same.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Starting the year off right

So I erased all my previous posts to start over. And I wanted to start my blogging off my documenting something fun. So here I am a month and a half later. But there are a lot of things I want to post about so I gotta get caught up. So!.....
The day after New Year's I headed down to St. George to meet my good friend Andra for a little fun in the sun in Vegas. Well, that's what I thought. Apparently, unbeknownst to nieve Carrie, Vegas is cold in the winter also. Bummer. But they had better shopping and FOOD than anywhere around here, aka H&M and Cheesecake Factory. Yes, I know there is a Cheesecake Factory at Southtowne or whatever, but it's easier to get in when you're in Vegas. We stayed in the most WICKED hotel room I have ever been in in my LIFE!!!! I didn't know matresses like that existed in hotels! I am kind of sad we were out so late cause we didn't get to spend as much time sleeping in that bed! Yes, Andra and I shared the bed. And even though she thought I was her boyfriend for a quick second we quickly regrouped and stuck to our separate sides of the king size bed. I do feel such a closer bond to her now ;)

Here is a picture of our wonderfully luxurious hotel room. I look forward to staying there again (wink, wink). There was also a GINORMOUS jetted bathtub that I HAD to take advantage of before we left. It probably took 20 minutes to fill and I only got to take a 10 minute bath. Still, SO worth it. I am hooked on nice hotel rooms now. I don't think it's very practical to have a huge jetted tub in a home bath so I'll have to enjoy them on vay-cays. That's what makes it more fun right? There was something about being in Vegas that made me feel beautiful and important and very cosmo. Don't know why, but it was fun!

We walked around Cesar's palace since that's where we were headed for Cheesecake Factory. They seriously have the best food EVER. I always have to get the Navajo Sandwich and Andra introduced me to Vanilla Bean Cheesecake. SOOOO good. Of course.

We got some fun pictures taken. The woman that took this seemed a little confused...which I don't really understand cuz everybody has at least had some kind of exposure to a digital camera, right? Anyway, I think it turned out okay. Andra looked better than me in all our pictures cause she's so darn cute without even trying. I did of course post the best pictures of me :) Interesting side note...I also spent some time in Victoria Secret cause I was interested to find out what all the hype is about. Turns out, TOTALLY worth it!!! I think I gained about an inch of my waist back! Thank heavens cuz I don't have much of one anyway. Just had to share cause it really was a highlight! Another highlight was H&M. I didn't end up buying much but the things I did get I love! And good prices too! Which was kind of the whole point of going. I spent a whole lot of money that weekend, but I deserve to spend some money on myself every once in a while right?

I then spent the rest of the weekend in St. George and I got to spend some time with an old friend Cliff. Being back in Cedar was not a really great experience. I am so glad to be out of that place! Anywho, you know, I'm just a single girl trying to add some excitement to an otherwise mundane life of work, piano, voice, and the gym. It's nice to get out and do something different once in a while. That's one of the extraordinary things about being single. In theory, I have the freedom, the funds, and the time to go wherever, whenever I want! But what I really want is to go somewhere with someone that means more to me than anyone else in the world. I want to share places, adventures, and memories with a family. MY family. I better "live it up" now cause someday I'll be drowning in laundry, barely have time to read a good book, have greater financial responsibilities and (hopefully) a LOT more people to look out for than just myself. Perhaps I'll look back on these days with envy and regret for not enjoying them more. But I'll remind myself that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that I wouldn't have it any other way!