sara and kylie (and alissa if she were here!)

April 30, 2012

I had three sleepovers in a row (which would explain my bloodshot eyes this Monday morning,) and somewhere between the muddy buddy chex mix, listing the pros and cons of attending our five year high school reunion, and using the paper towels to dry our eyes with; I realized how grateful I am for friends who make life a whole lot better when life is great,

and a whole lot easier, when life isn't so easy.

i will read this once a year.

April 22, 2012

I finished The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell this weekend, and before I had even ended it, I had already committed myself to reading this book at least once a year for the rest of my life.
I don't know why I'm even bothering to try and write about my feelings and reaction to this book, because it would be nearly impossible to convey the way I felt and what I learned. My favorite books are the books that make me think long after I've finished reading the last page. That was this book. The parables and lessons and inspiration you feel while reading Rick and Carol's story are presented in a way that make you really think about what you assume you already know -- but in an entirely different way and from an entirely different angle.

What makes this book the most special to me, though, was the way the Atonement is discussed. The way it made me feel even closer to my Savior, and in a way that I can't entirely explain, made me feel better understood by my Savior. I felt both spiritually and physically a love that my Heavenly Father and Savior have for me, and a renewed commitment to living my life closer to them; to love myself and my Father in Heaven and Savior as completely as I can, by unconditionally loving those around me.

I can't explain why or how this book inspired me in the way that it did, but I can promise to those of who read it, you will end up reading the last page feeling so renewed and humbled and grateful and loved. It's purpose (or at least from what I gathered) was strengthening its readers desire to do what is right; to love people, to love past circumstance, flaws, failings and mistreatment. But most of all, to recognize a love that our Savior has for us that we can't even begin to fully understand. A love that loves past our flaws, our failings, and our mistreatment toward others - yet His love is always there for us. It would not, and could not, and never will be any other way.

This book was what I needed to read. It had lessons that I needed to learn, and I felt things that I needed to feel. But most importantly, it taught me more than ever before that I was and always will be loved  (no matter my own weaknesses) by a Father in Heaven whose love is perfect. And today, and every other day, that is what matters the most to me.

image "Beside Still Waters" by Greg Olsen


April 20, 2012

One's not half of two;
two are halves of one.
ee Cummings

He's my fav.

it's time.

April 17, 2012

I could listen to the song below over and over and over and over again. I remember listening to it on the last day of school one year ago, driving away from campus with my windows rolled down. It's the best kind of song, and one of my newest old favorites.

With the end of this semester though, I feel a little different. This was my last semester at BYU. With only a few online classes left to take, I'll never again step back into the classroom, (at least that's what I'm telling myself for now :). But truthfully, I'll miss school. I feel like BYU was a huge chapter in my life. And it was. A whole five years.

I look back and am surprised at my own experiences; what I learned, and even what I'd do over again. In a very small, small way of saying things: I feel so grateful to have learned so much. It was in my first college writing class that I first read ee Cummings, "not even the rain has such small hands." It was then I knew I loved him. I remember as a sophomore sitting in my first Sociology course realizing how profoundly proud I was of my country, even if my Professor didn't seem to be.

Everything from reading Dante's Divine Comedy to reporting for KBYU Eleven News, it's almost ironic that some of my favorite memories were in some of my most difficult classes. So today I feel like I'm not only taking the past three months with me, but the last five years -- so much stretching and shaping and changing and growing and learning and really, so many wonderful, wonderful things.

I could go on and on about my experience at college; what I would recommend and what I wouldn't. What I'd change and what I'd keep the same. But for now, I just plan on listening to this song once again on my drive home this last day of the semester. I'll forget for just a moment that this chapter is ending.

And then I'll let myself feel really, really grateful.

two reasons why this monday aint so bad.

April 16, 2012

my 7up lunchbox (1)
a love note (2)

and a bag full of quarters that i will use to wash my car.

my fiancé is hotter than beyoncé.

April 11, 2012

Thank you all so much for your kind words and support and love! Whether it be via blog, Facebook, email, text message, phone call, Instagram (totally my new obsession) -- I personally felt so much love and gratitude to be surrounded by so many people so genuinely happy and excited for (as Max would say it) "the first and last time" I'll ever be engaged!

Max and I celebrated (again) last night by going on a mini picnic, and half the time we talked about how grateful we were to be surrounded by so many good people and such amazing families. My mom is definitely someone who you want around to plan your next wedding. She even has a special dance number that she'll perform after we have something else crossed off the wedding to-do list :) Really, thank you all!

I'll get around to writing about the proposal one day, but as for the big day, it will be June 21st! We honestly can't even wait!

six years.

April 10, 2012

Six years after I asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance...

He asked me to marry him!

I've never been so happy in all my life.
And now I'm engaged to my very best friend.

puzzles and shirley temples.

April 3, 2012

I have so much fun just sitting next to Max, not even having to say a word. This past weekend I had to work relentlessly on a small family project, so Max sat next to me content (for most of the time) watching conference, and trying (read: failing) to teach himself how to braid my hair.

A few weekends ago we drank shirley temples and I tried guacamole for the first time. We held hands as we walked through the grocery store, picking out a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, a Snickers Egg, a Butterfinger egg, and a plastic orange egg filled with Sour Patch Kids. We held hands on the drive home and talked about what we'd do tomorrow.

We sometimes just sit at McDonalds, swinging our feet underneath the stools. He knows what to order me without asking, and he laughs when my eyes water after I take my first drink of a diet coke. Afterward, we'll work on our (never-ending) puzzle. I don't like that part of the night as much, but I think Max does.

Life with Max amidst school and work sometimes can be really simple, but it's the most special thing I've had (in so many ways) the last 22 years of my life. When we hold hands on long drives, and I answer his questions about what I would do if zombies took over the world (for the tenth time), and he watches Titanic with me (for the tenth time), deep down I always catch myself thinking: I am in love with the best of friend I've ever had. And I wouldn't trade that for anything else, not even if it meant I'd never have to work on a puzzle ever again.

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