I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little bit

Day 181


There were happy moments.


And "break-throughs" at work.

And conversations with venting, laughing, crying, and more.

And the last 1/2 of my cake.

If I just had something greasy, I could count the day as pretty good! :-)

No, really--I believe that even with all of the changes out of my control and my extreme exhaustion, the roller coaster is at least pulling up to an even level.

(Perhaps the holiday weekend's plans will send us on a high!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Some Days

Day 180

It's one of the rare happy spots.
But, oh, what a gloriously happy spot.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maybe Far Away, Or Maybe Real Nearby

Day 179

It's the hard-knock life for us.

Some things are just...hard.

It's the hard-knock life for us.

And I feel guilty.

'Stead of treated, we get tricked.

'Cause I know there is so much to be happy and grateful for.

'Stead of kisses, we get kicked

And we just had a weekend of Stake Conference where the theme was "Never was there a happier people."

It's the hard-knock life.

But one thing I need to remember:

Don't it feel like the wind is always howlin'?

We all have our days.

Don't it seem like there's never any light?

And though like Gracie from "Return to Me" where "I don't feel like I should have days,"

Once a day, don't you wanna throw the towel in?

I will still have them.

It's easier than puttin' up a fight.

Then it is a matter of how I handle them.

No one's there when your dreams at night get creepy!

Today, I think I handled it well.

No one cares if you grow...of if you shrink!

Indeed, it probably was more drained energy than low spirits--

No one dries when your eyes get wet an' weepy!

And the low spirits enflamed because of the drained energy.

From all the cryin' you would think this place's a sink!

Still, I am extremely grateful that

The sun'll come out--tomorrow!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sabbath Time

Day 178

An entire afternoon and evening on a Sunday. Do you have any idea how much stuff--reverent, Sabbath-keeping stuff--can be done?! Oh. Sometimes I do miss having church meetings in the morning. I get a lot of scripture and lesson study done on Sunday mornings. But somehow it just doesn't feel the same as what I was able to do today.

So wonderful to have Sabbath things to do--and time for them as well.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Expectations?

Day 177

Another storytime which surpassed expectations. I knew we could get a lot--being the first craft storytime of the summer. But you never know. I tried not to disappoint myself, so I leaned toward expecting on the lower end. We had 4 times as much as I expected.

Looking back on this week with its programs (including huge turn-outs for all 6 storytimes), I would say our first week of storytime was hugely successful--which means fathoms to me!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Day 176

An utterly lazy day. Well, OK. I did make me visit to my friend. And I ran a couple of errands. And I got some indexing done while watching movies, backing up videos, and uploading photos to work on my digital scrapbooking. But best of all, I had a nap. A real, honest-to-goodness, in the middle of the day nap. Gloriousness.

I love being able to just laze around and do "nothing."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beyond Expectation

Day 175

We have tried over and over to get a school-age storytime to work out. We'd moved around times. We called it different things. But we still never got more than 5. Usually our average was, um, 1.

So when 32 kids (and 11 adults) showed up yesterday for our first school-age storytime of the summer, I was floored. I honestly lost my concentration for the first few minutes as my mind raced through if I could handle all that I had planned with 6 times more than I had expected.

And I did handle. And they looked like they enjoyed themselves. And I enjoyed myself. And I really, really hope they'll keep coming!

What a joy that comes from something which exceeds hopes and expectations! (Don't you think the celestial kingdom will provide such a joy?)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking Good and Feeling Great

Day 174

I will admit it. I like old fashioned swimsuits. Not that I think they are oh-so-flattering. They can be a bit dowdy. But true modesty is flattering. For the last 10 years, I had two suits. One--it had an attached skirt and I wore a tank top over it--lasted me 8 years. I didn't go swimming all that often. It got most of its use in my water aerobics class in my undergraduate years. And the extreme chlorine did a number on it! By the time my roommate was teaching me to dive in the apartment complex pool during my grad years, I had to knot and tie the tank top because it was so loose and stretched out.

When I moved to beach country (even though I'm not really a beach goer) and my new apartment had a pool, I had to get a new swimsuit. I found a business that specifically designed suits and were wonderfully modest--up to the neck, cap sleeves, and shorts down to the knees. It was such a comfortable suit over the last two years. Rarely did I have to worry about showing what I did not want and what should not be shown.

But I've been losing weight and inches in the last 6 months. And while the suit still covers, it's a little loose and bulgy in some places now. Perhaps my wonderful sister guessed that. I don't know. But a week ago, she alerted me to another business that makes slimming suits. And on a general look, many of them are fairly modest, too. Now, there weren't any cap sleeves in the bunch. And nothing all the way up to the neck. But a couple did look nice and modest (for swimsuits. And to find that I fit in a size less than I thought I was....well, I had difficulty just passing up the website.

Yeah. I bought a new swimsuit. It came today.

And for the first time in my life, I actually look really nice (and still modest!) in a swimsuit.

Is that vanity to an extreme? Hmm.... Well, I know that it makes me feel good. So, thanks, sis!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's in a Storytime?

Day 173

Ah, storytimes. I missed you so. I was worried about getting back into the swing of things. And a couple of spots were rough, what with a brand new opening song being introduced.

But you--and all the wonderful children--came right back to being one of the bright spots to my job.
You made the kids laugh.
You made me laugh.

You helped the kids qualm their social inhibitions.
You helped me qualm mine.

You allowed crazy voices, silly songs, and funny books.

You brought about learning.
You brought about smiles.
You brought about joy.

For the children.

And for me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun at Work--Can't Beat That!

Day 172

I made it. I made it through the first day of the busiest season of the year. (At work.)

I had added to that busyness by having a kick-off teen program. And it was my first official teen program--planned and executed from scratch all by me (and my amazing co-workers).

And it wasn't a failure! We've had so many teen programs that were no-shows. I had hoped for 5, and I got 8 (not counting the two really young relations who also stayed). So not only were our numbers pretty good for our slowly growing YA program, but we all had a blast!! Teens who I'm pretty sure did not know each other at the beginning, were chattering like they were old friends by the end! They didn't have problem talking with we 3 adult librarians, either. They enjoyed the games, but were always excited to try the next. They loved earning points. They loved the prizes offered. They loved the refreshments (the "Dog Chow"). And though none of them really came in costume, they loved the librarians' costumes!

I love it when months of work and planning not only come to a successful fruition, but to an enjoyable one, too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Never Ceasing: Spiritual Uplifts and Answers to Prayers

Day 171

All the stress (minus moving) from before vacation came rushing back today.

It had been rearing it's head throughout the week, but I was too busy to glance at it. Then I made myself have a fabulous day off.

But today, so much flooded in.

And I couldn't let the tears flood out until all meetings and stake choir were over.
Tears as I was attacked by sorrow from:
*missing my family (trips to see family do that)
*knowing my closest relatives will be gone be even further from me in 2 weeks
*realizing that being away from my family--the people who have always meant the most to me--is truly draining me in many ways
*feeling alone
*wondering how in the world I am going to handle this summer (all chaos breaking loose tomorrow)
*doubting (as occasionally happens until I mentally slap myself for being silly and worrying over silly things) my attractiveness and desirability

Of course, that's not to say that I didn't have some great things to the day that kept trying to buoy me up:
*good scripture study
*great talks about the Priesthood from recent General Conference to read in preparation for Relief Society
*feeling really pretty with my In-Honor-of-My-Awesome-Father outfit (Chinese dress, Jade Necklace from Dad, and the Daddy Sandals), good make-up job, and the straight hair (only one comment, so I guess it's no big thing to most church members, but 2 hours and being able to run my fingers through my hair over and over is huge to me!)
*succeeding in only half slaughtering the insane song I'm playing for branch choir
*very good talks in Church with lessons the Lord specifically wanted me to hear
*singing beautiful music in stake choir where I always feel the Spirit
*beans, corn on the cob, and mini chocolate frosted donuts awaiting me at home

But the best thing came after that. After the crying. During the music listening and the food eating (because the lack of protein was making me even more upset than usual). After another plea to heaven. I heard from a friend whom I thought I had greatly hurt and offended, and just didn't know what to do any more concerning our friendship after attempts with no response. And for a worry that had been plaguing me all week, it sure left quickly. Thank you.

I'm so grateful for the Savior's understanding and calming, for Heavenly Father answering our prayers, and for people who follow the Spirit to help answer those prayers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just [Sing] while you work

Day 170

After this week, I very much needed today! It was marvelous!

I was able to sleep in to when I wanted and not care about alarms.

And then I went about and did whatever I wanted, however I wanted.

*scripture study
*nostalgic visits via YouTube
*a 4-hour deep clean of the apartment (particularly the bathroom--it took half the time!)
*a 4-hour time span of singing along with My Top Rated playlist at the very top of my lungs
*a 4-hour workout that was productive in many ways
*an inclusion in the deep clean of organizing various places, which makes me heart rest more happily
*the ~once-a-year 2-hour process of straightening my hair (while watching a movie)
*my first real grocery trip where I bought to build up my kitchen staples--and it was so nice to not only have a full grocery cart once more, but to pay $50 less than what I had expected and budgeted for!

What a day. I never got to the work I brought home with me. But I suppose it's not the biggest detriment that I didn't. There's always Monday morning.

Besides, I didn't need anything to mess up this perfect "restful" day--the pent up stress needed it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

"You've Got a Friend"

Day 169

It's nice to have a roommate again. A good roommate. One who knows me well enough to leave me alone when I need my alone times. But who also won't let me stay in the sad rut for too long without letting me know I'm loved.

It's nice not to be totally alone and not understood any more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Let Me Cry

Day 168

I woke this morning, and for the first in a long time, I had to play my "I Need to Cry" iPod playlist.

Now I'm going to bed before 9pm.

That should give you an inkling of the emotional state I'm in. I just want to get away from everything. And sleep seems like the best option. (Especially as I lost so much on vacation!)

But I am grateful that in spite of some emotions and thoughts that are weighing down on me, I managed a workout, crossing off most of today's work To Do list, watched the ever wonderful Wall-E (because it always brightens things up no matter what), caught up with everything non-work and non-Church related, and continually interacted with co-workers...

...all with a smile.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Run. Because.

Day 167

Today's running--brought to you by Needing-to-Get-It-All-Out.

Some days I run to run.

Some days I run to be in nature.

Some days I run to feel like I accomplished something.

Some days I run because I know I need the exercise.

But some days I run to push out all of the stress and anxiety that has built up in only one day.

It is so good to have so many reasons to run, and to be able to follow through.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lessons from the Dead

Day 166

A dead car battery.

It added a scare and lots of stress to my day.

But the Lord had a few lessons in store for me.

And I'm grateful I eventually listened, and was blessed all along the way.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Day 165

He’s done it. He’s graduated from high school and seminary. He’s an adult and just a few months from going out on his own. From beginning the rest of his life. And my little brother is so amazingly awesome, I have no doubt that he will do amazingly awesome as he keeps on with his life.

So, if he is so amazingly awesome, does that mean it runs in the family and I can claim some for myself? :-)

I am so proud of how much he has grown.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Music-A Great & Glorious Gift

Day 164

It's always interesting that my sister and I can have such different singing voices. And yet when we sing together, it is some of the most beautiful and perfect harmony. Our voices work together so amazingly well.

It's kind of how we should be in so many aspects of life. Marriage. Family. Church. Employment. Neighborhood. Citizenship. No matter our differences with others, we should work together in harmony so that all is well and beautiful.

I love every chance I get to sing with my sister, for the lessons it brings, the Spirit I feel, and the true joy of making something beautiful with the best sister out there.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

When the Family Gets Together

Day 163

We managed it. All 8 kids managed to come together. It may have been for less than 24 hours. But we were together. All I need say is that we are a riot—and no one beats how fabulous and awesome my family is.

I love my family and I love how I see love abound within my family.

Extra note: Thanks for acknowledging the importance of affection, Mona. I couldn't agree more! It has made the greatest difference in my life as a daughter to see my parents show affection for each other. I hope my husband and I will always have affection in our marriage.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I’ll Take One of Those and Two of Those, and...On Second That, I’d Better Take Them All

Day 162

Have I mentioned my grandmother is Chinese? Well, she is. And she makes some amazing food. Chinese and otherwise. I have always loved her cooking. It has been so many years since I’ve had her food. She came for my brother’s graduation. Tonight was his “party” I suppose. He invited a few of his friends over. And he asked Grandma to cook a bunch of Chinese food.

Oh my. It was sooooooo good. So. Good. I had some of everything. But, as should have been expected, there were only so many wontons to go among so many people. I managed 4. * sigh * At least this time it wasn’t me spending hours making them. :-) Such great food. It could have ended there. But it didn’t.

Add to the fabulous food the playing of games and the laughing hysterically with my family and my brother’s awesome friends, and it made the party one fabulous evening.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Day 161

Seeing some of the beautiful creations of my Savior, under direction of our Father?

Breathtaking and awe-inspiring.

Serving in the temple?

Humbling, rejuvenating, calming, and uplifting.

Doing these with my mother and sister? A pearl beyond price.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"I Wanna Be Loved By You"

Day 160

Woken up at 5:30 am because they're anxious to see you.

Surrounded on a deflating air mattress reading books and watching home videos before morning routines begin. (Sorry, about the disruption!)

Scramblings for holding your hand on the walk to school.

Endless hugs when they see you later in the day.

Arguments over who gets to sit next to you at the table.

It is a singular joy in itself for a young single adult woman who longs for her own children to be completely loved and adored by her nieces and nephews.

(And to have something in common with Sheri Dew? Wow.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tell Me, Where is the Road

(6/16/10: Go out of town with limited Internet connectivity, and daily writing gets to be hard. But I made sure to jot down little things of joy and gratitude so I could catch up here.)

Day 159

Did you ever have a home that changed while you were living away from it? When I was in high school, I saw it happen to most of my away-at-college and serving-a-mission siblings when we moved to a new state, a new house. A new home. It was a change, true, but not one like it was for my siblings.

My parents stayed kept this home all throughout my college years. Both colleges, in fact. And then, just as I was relocating for a job, just a few hours from my home and permanent residence, my parents changed that permanent residence. They moved thousands of miles away.

I’ve never been able to call that place home. While I’d visited it once before, it was very brief and a few years before my parents were there. I could not claim that place as my home. For the last 2+ years, I have felt so misplaced. I live where I do, but it hasn’t been home. Especially considering that I’ve just completed my 3rd move within this place. I feel no permanency here, and just can’t find the ability to put down any roots. But I have no place to claim as my own. All of my childhood homes were there in building, but not in spirit.

I have finally been able to take a vacation to the house my parents live in. It meant so much to talk around the house I’d only seen in pictures. I could envision what their life has been for the last 2+ years. I began to see the things that marked my growing up, and this strange house started to become my home. There were the children’s books I’d read when I was young. There were the cascades of movies we watched often as a family. There were the stacks of games only our family could love to play so much. There was the old dining room table, at least twice my age that has put on as many miles if not more as my car. But mostly, I felt the same love and spirit in that home as had been in all the other homes my parents had created for me and my siblings.

A little piece of me began to feel a little less misplaced.

In the evening, I was able to attend my brother’s last high school concert. (I always knew he was a great singer! So glad he finally made his way into the singing world.) The program listed the last song as “The Road Home.” I sang a song of that title. The BYU (audition) choirs sang it together my junior year. That was the year we 4 choirs had songs recorded for a CD. Every song had some tie-in to the theme of home. Indeed, the CD title is “The Road Home.”

I thought it would be too ironic that my brother’s last song in his concert would be this song that I have so many memories and connections with. But as soon as the director played the chords for the a cappella piece, I knew it was “my song.” I mouthed along with the words. I cried from the memories I had of what that song meant to me as a young college student living far from home. I cried from what I knew it was like to be a young single adult living far away from any kind of home.

But I also cried as I knew that home is where the heart is. And I’ve been reassured that part of my heart still rests with my family—even in this house I never lived in.

And I am so grateful I found my road home.

The Road Home

Tell me, where is the road
I can call my own,
That I left, that I lost
So long ago?
All these years I have wandered,
Oh when will I know
There’s a way, there’s a road
That will lead me home?

After wind, after rain,
When the dark is done,
As I wake from a dream
In the gold of day,
Through the air there’s a calling
From far away,
There’s a voice I can hear
That will lead me home.

Rise up, follow me,
Come away, is the call,
With the love in your heart
As the only song;
There is no such beauty
As where you belong;
Rise up, follow me,
I will lead you home.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wait for it. Wait for it....!

Day 158

I enjoy anticipation. Typically. With most things.

Perhaps it's because I love the build-up to whatever it is I'm anticipating. And the closer I get to that whatever, I know I am closer to enjoying that whatever.

And so it is now.

I have been anticipating this vacation for months. Maybe even a year. I might even be able to say longer.

But the anticipation is nearly over as I board a plane early tomorrow morning and head off to be with my family.

Ah, yes. Worthwhile anticipation that I'm so excited to be almost over!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Little Boy

Day 157

(Yes. Another post devoted to he of the little brother status.)

He turned 18 today. 18! Where did the time go?! I've been so nostalgic about it all. This coming week will certainly be interesting in that regard. I spent the morning reading my journal entries of his birthdays from the first 8 years of his life. As is typical, they made me laugh.

Then I got to talk on the phone with the "little" (6 feet of little) guy. So involved. So busy. Great potential being reached right before me. It's fun to look back over those 18 years and see that growth and progress. And it's fun to be nostalgic and reflect on all the memories I have of my little brother.

I was blessed with the best younger sibling ever!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Read. Read. Read.

Day 156

I finished my first Book Challenge for the year. I'm involved in a decent amount (considering last year was my first to do any!), and with how busy I've been, I was worried how well I would actually do with these. But it hasn't been that bad. I'm around the halfway point for most of them. I'm relieved that one is done, though.

And I feel quite proud of myself. Yay me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Still Going

Day 155

I "found" a new place for running that is just ideal!

Around a lake.

-Can't get lost
-Easy to track distance
-Lots of others to pass by and nod or say hello to
-Open and easy
-Some shade
-No traffic (at least, no cars that I have to worry about running over me unless one sails off the interstate that goes by)
-Safer than many other places to run

It was just...fun. I went around twice. I do believe I could have made it a 3rd time, only the cloudless, sunny sky with ~90 degree weather and ~60% humidity. I got glorious sun, and sweated three times as much as I would have in cooler weather. But it just made me feel like I worked the harder. And it was awesome.

When I finally learned the true distance that I ran, I learned that though I felt I was going slower, I'm still going my same pace. If I can just keep that up with only a little bit of slowing up, then a half marathon is completely doable in the time frame they've set. Whether my lungs and knees can handle it is the big question.

But, wow, do I feel absolutely amazing, physically, at the end of this week. Absolutely amazing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I Do Crazy Things

Day 154

Today I added on my Turbo Jam workouts. I'm testing myself on how active I can be and how well I can handle it.


Because I'm about 90% sure that I'm going to try and run a Half Marathon in November!


Because this is my life. And I want to live my life.


And the Lord helps me every day prove to myself that I'm more capable and able than I give myself credit for.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Change of Scenery

Day 153

I thought of this plan about a month ago. Today I put it into fruition. See, I can't really run in my new neighborhood. At least, I'm not comfortable doing that, yet. But the neighborhood where I work? I take walks there all the time. So, I thought why not do some running there. And there is plenty of time after most workdays that I could just go when I finish there.

Thus, today after work, I went for a run. A small thing. For some reason my iPod wasn't working. And I'd forgotten a scrunchie, which left my hair flying everywhere (which has its positive points here and there!). But I managed a mile run--and in less time than I typically run a mile. I surprised myself on that. It was fun to see my walking route go by so quickly, and fun to take my walking route at a run. Fun to join in with other runners that I'm always seeing along those streets. And fun to see the clouds rolling in with the lightning bolts beginning.

It was a change from so many things, and I loved it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Working!

Day 152

My first official trip to the grocery store. Well, I mean, since moving back "on my own." (My landlords included food in the living situation, and I only bought things when I specifically wanted a certain food.) Of course, I only got a few things here and there to last for the week. No baking supplies or any such thing. But it felt so good to look at the whole oats, brown rice, and fresh fruit in my cart. Yep. Me. Didn't even flinch at the idea that it cost 2 or 3 times more for that than the typical "poor person's" fare. Because my health is worth it.

And I'm so glad to see that the last few months really have produced a lifestyle change. One that makes me so happy!