Monday, December 28, 2009

One year down

2009 is almost over. My, it was a year. With the much excitement it brought it also drug up a lot of hardness, which is supposedly making me stronger. But as I sat in my kitchen--wait, that's a lie. I was standing. As I stood in my kitchen, admiring my collection of plastic bags sitting in my kitchen chairs full of groceries, I couldn't help but think that this year was rather boring aside from one particularly big event. So I racked my little brain and dug through my journal to remember exactly what I've been through in the last year and what I learned.
  • I celebrated the beginning of 2009 with my fiance. Sitting on the couch in my parents living room I thought about how the next New Years I'd be married to that man who sat next to me holding up my dozing head.
  • I won a smile make-over from Utah Valley Magazine that helped me have a beautiful smile on my wedding day. (Thank you, Katie!)
  • I moved out and lived on my own for the first time.
  • I completed my third semester at BYU with the highest GPA I've ever had in college.
  • I got married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple to the love of my life.
  • I went to Disneyland with someone I really like for my honeymoon. Last time I went to Disneyland I was with another person I really like. (Hi, Kass!) Coincidence? Disneyland must be full of likable people.
  • I finally got old enough to not be considered a teenager.
  • I. . . started this blog?
  • I started learning about being young, married, and poor. I walked to work all summer in holey shoes, and I learned ziplock bags and wax paper and window blinds and TV and hot water are luxury items.
  • I learned that just because you can doesn't mean you should, and sometimes what you should do you just can't.
  • I met a guy named 'Patience'. We are not friends yet.
  • I felt real homesickness.
  • I sat and watched my academic aspirations fly away with my lack of tuition money. I mourned for loss of some old dreams like being a high school teacher or finishing college before I'm dead.
  • I experienced God's grace when I was called to teach 16-17 year old Sunday school. I realized he knew my sorrows-- He still loved me and wanted me to know that I will be a teacher, though I might not be teaching English and it might not be in a school.
  • I found that the fastest way to mend a broken heart is to be held by a man that so completely loves you while you pray for strength to choose happiness
  • I struggled with depression for the first time in my life. And I rose out of it too, thanks to lower-dosed hormones. . .
  • I began my career in baking cakes and quickly ended that career after seeing what my two hands were/weren't capable of.
  • I washed 284 loads of dishes by hand.
  • I threw away 12 leftover dishes of moldy food concoctions that no one could eat. (Like beef ground turkey stew.)
  • I celebrated my first married Christmas with my family and then Paul's. It was a heap of fun. I plan on doing it again some time.
  • I realized just how blessed I really am by having amazing people around me who have been the means to a lot of answered prayers.
Hopefully next years list includes a pregnancy. . . Just kidding, Mom. Don't look at me like that.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


There are so many things I want to write about. Last week as I sat down to write I had a specific topic I was addressing, I knew where I wanted to take the reader, and I knew how I would end. My mind felt sharp, which is a bonus. However, as I typed and typed all the wrong words seemed to appear on the monitor so I didn't post at all. It reminded me of high school ballroom class. I knew the name and theory behind the steps, but my little feet could not do what I so desperately wanted them to. This week I have no specific topic to write about and NO mental clarity. I just know I need to write something.

I guess the trouble is trying to avoid the topic of babies. It is the greatest desire for most female newlyweds. Once allowed to use procreative abilities couples have to decide the who, what, when, where, and how of family planning. And while many couples agree to a "waiting period" wives still long for the time when a little life stirs in their womb. Working with several newlywed women at my job I have noticed the most frequently visited topic is children. And why not? We are only surrounded by expecting mothers buying ginger tea for morning sickness, prenatal vitamins, and plenty of folic acid. Just delivered mothers venture out with their newborn strapped in a car seat to buy lactation-support tea, stretch mark cream, and colic-soothing formulas. Little toddlers squeal with delight as they recklessly push the miniature black shopping carts we provide. As young married girls we watch and smile and secretly desire to be in their shoes.

But in these moments, I remind myself that Paul and I are waiting and to be patient. I hate waiting. I understand I am ultimately the master of my thoughts so I'm trying to choose not to think about it. I'm trying to enjoy life as just the two of us, which is hard when everything brings me back to babies. For instance, two weeks ago I was at the store buying hand soap for my bathroom. I buy a different scent every time. I guess it's my way of branching out from the scents familiar in my parent's home while I try to establish some for my own. This last trip I stumbled across a lavender and chamomile flavor. The initial smell reminded me of my sister's possessed vehicle, which made me smile. I felt that smiling every time I washed my hands was a good thing. What I overlooked was when combined with the hot hand-washing water the soap mostly smells like a naked baby pulled from the tub, wrapped in a towel for prime snuggling.

I now cry every time I wash my hands.

Okay, maybe I don't physically cry, but I have to try hard to control my rogue baby thoughts and keep my focus on the decision Paul and I have made. I know I will go completely insane if I don't. Hopefully, the more I practice the easier it will get. Or I could give up and have a baby. Only time will really tell.

Saturday, December 5, 2009





But in a good way. It's the kind of tired you get when you spend a week putting everything you've got into work for little return, but continue to do so because self-discipline is never a bad quality to develop. It's the tired after decorating for Christmas and finally being able to sit in the simple but festive living room, savoring the sounds of ice skating on NBC while homemade soup simmers on the stove. Tired that comes from corralling young teens at a birthday party, and then spending the afternoon walking around Wal-Mart with two of my favorite people. I wouldn't trade the exhaustion caused by living for anything.

This week a regular stopped by my work. Because of his frequent visits to the store for produce, water, and small bulk treats we address each other by our first names. As he came through my line at the first register I asked him how life was. He told me that it was good because he was focusing on the good. Then he added, "Your focus becomes your reality." I can't get that out of my head.

For Young Women introductions as a Beehive or for Relief Society spotlights my mom use to relate stories of my strong will and various times where I'd make a goal and stop at nothing until I witnessed it's fruition. This has come back to bite me. While blessings whirled around me this Thanksgiving I found myself in a rut, wondering where my life was going and feeling a ridiculous amount of self-pity. It felt like I was skidding off a cliff as I witnessed bank account numbers slowly descend. As dishes piled in the sink I felt like a slave to chores. I was feeling that choosing to be a good wife and future mother was not enough.

Thankfully, I was not on verge of bankruptcy or about to die from a highly contagious bout of vacuumingitis. I was just out of focus. I was so intent on focusing on all the imperfect aspects of my life that I failed to truly appreciate the friends and family that surrounded me. I didn't seem to take as much notice of the sweet little things my husband did for me. The blessings of the gospel seemed lost in a haze of confusion and misery. I only saw dishes and dust and poverty.

Photographers use focus to draw the onlookers eye to a single spot by blurring everything else out. That doesn't erase every looming or supportive backstage character. It just makes them harder to see. I think Satan knows a lot about photography, or at least about focus. He knows if he can get us to see only one thing (addictions), or focus only on the negative (pessimism), we won't be able to see the many incredible blessings God has given. Lack of gratitude leads to lack of faith, which can create a rift in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Satan knows a lot about rifts too.

I'm going to try to focus on my blessings this week. While my trials will still be in the background, I'll have faith and let my Father guide me. With Him, anything is possible.