Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness aka GOOO COUGARS!!!!!!

I love college sports and March Madness and the NCAA basketball tournament are definitely high on the list of reasons why I love collegiate sports!

Last night BYU played in the First Four round of the tournament and pulled out the most ridiculously amazing win ever!! They played Iona College (who I had never even heard of) and in the first 15 minutes of the game Iona scored 55 points (wow! ridiculous.) and were running the Cougs ragged. It was sad and pathetic and humiliating. At one point they were down by 25 points, but gratefully at halftime it was only a 15 point lead. Still not okay. I was afraid that this was going to be a blowout and we were going to be pummeled and laughed out of the arena.

Boy was I wrong. The Cougs (led by my hero, Noah Hartsock, and hottie Brandon Davies) rallied back and whittled away the score to end up winning.
Final score 78-72.

Oh my heart was racing and I was screaming with excitement, along with a room full of friends. It was intense and amazing! Come to find out, this was the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history. I'm so glad that I didn't decide to leave early (it is against my religion to leave any BYU sporting event early) and that I stuck with the guys in blue and watched an incredible game.
I feel like it was almost impossible to not be a huge Cougar fan when you grow up with my dad. We grew up going to our Stake Center in California on Saturdays to watch BYU games on the satellite and we have had season tickets since we moved back to Utah. Watching this incredible game last night brought back memories of some of the fun times I have had watching BYU sports. Here is a quick look at two of the greatest games/places I have been to support the Cougs...
This is a picture of me and my friends Mary, Sherstin, and Ashley at the Mountain West Conference tournament in March 2011. This was the game where Jimmer Fredette scored 52 points to take BYU to the championship game. It was awesome! So cool to have been there for that historical moment!!
This is a picture of Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame University. In October 2005 my dad and I traveled to South Bend, Indiana to attend a BYU vs. Notre Dame football game. It was so cool! Notre Dame is the mecca of college football and I loved being there. The campus is gorgeous and is packed with people, vendors, and tailgates on game day. Unfortunately I got really sick while we were there, but it is still a great memory.

Wish I could travel to Louisville to watch the Cougs play Marquette in the 2nd round of the tournament tomorrow, but since I can't I will be tuning in and cheering them on from the comforts of my couch.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Piano Guys

I really need to play my piano more.

I am absolutely obsessed with The Piano Guys and this arrangement plus the fact that it was filmed in Hawaii make me incredibly happy. I have seriously watched and/or listened to this song about 25 times in the last couple days. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Right Place, Right Time

Is a year and half a long enough time to avoid the blog? Well, I hope that I can start being better at posting for my own benefit, a kind of journal since I am also horrible at writing in my actual journal. Here is what is currently on my mind and going on in my life...

Life is not perfect, but I have recently had one of those moments that confirmed to me I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Let me explain.

Two weeks ago I received one of the most amazing emails I have ever gotten in my life. The opening sentence of this email read like this:

"Dear Jennifer, I am pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to Brigham Young University as a graduate student."

What???!!! Me, a graduate student?! And at BYU?!! Oh wow. I didn't even believe it at first and made the guy in my research group who was next to me read it to make sure I was actually reading it correctly. And then I cried. And then I felt the most incredible peace. I had a very distinct and strong impression that this is exactly what I should be doing in my life right now. As much as I want to be a wife and mother, receiving my Masters in Social Work is where Heavenly Father wants me to be. Needs me to be. What an amazing feeling!

I never in a million years envisioned my life would look like it currently does. Who knew that at 30 years old I would still be a student, working at a job I don't love, unsuccessfully trying to navigate the dating world, loving being an aunt (but craving kids of my own), getting to travel around the world, enjoying incredible friends, having a wonderful but busy church calling, and honestly, loving life!

A couple months ago I am not sure I could have said that I loved my life, but when you know you are on the right path, there is no other way to feel. Even through the difficult parts. I am so excited for this path and am so grateful for the knowledge I have that this is the right place, and the right time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New favorite scripture...

Life can get crazy. I know mine is. And when it does, it is easy to let the important things slide. I have not been very good at my scripture study the last few months, but have been trying extra hard to make it a priority every single day this week. It is amazing the immediate impact it has on my life. I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and that it will lead us back to our Heavenly Father. In my study this week I have found a new favorite (I have lots of favorites, but this is my current favorite) passage of scripture. It is found in Alma, chapter 37, verses 35-47.

35 O, remember, my son, and alearn bwisdom in thy cyouth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
36 Yea, and acry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy bdoings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy cthoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 aCounsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for bgood; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the cmorning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it aLiahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.
40 And it did work for them according to their afaith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by asmall means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were bslothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did anot travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.
43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a ashadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.
44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the aword of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.
45 And now I say, is there not a atype in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
46 O my son, do not let us be aslothful because of the beasiness of the cway; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would dlook they might elive; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
47 And now, my son, see that ye take acare of these sacred things, yea, see that ye blook to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

I just wanted to share what has touched my heart this week and hope that we all can learn to follow the Lord and be lead to the things we each are to do in our lives.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


The last couple days have been insanely busy! It amazes me sometime how days can fill up with so much stuff. It has all been wonderful stuff though, so I can't complain. I will post about a couple things individually in the next couple days, but the one thing I wanted to share right now is something that happened today.

We had Stake Conference and it was a big deal today. I have a Stake calling, so I knew about a lot of the changes that would be made today, but the way it has impacted me is not something I was expecting. The gist of the changes was that they took my ward and split a portion of it off to make and entirely new ward and took another chunk and put it in a different ward. Even though I knew what was coming, I was so sad today to look around and know that I wouldn't see a lot of these people as much anymore. It is a really good thing (my ward was about 300 people and is now down to 140) and will be much more manageable, but I am going to miss those who aren't there anymore. Even though we all live relatively close to one another it means I have to make more of an effort to see them regularly and that we will have to be friends outside of church. :)

The first counselor in my Stake is President Wilson (he happens to also have been my stake president when I was a kid in California...small world!). His talk in Stake Conference today really struck me and I just want to share a thought from it. He talked about how we should thank the Lord for every experience that we have. Every single one. Good or bad. Hard or happy. There is something to be learned in each and every experience that we are given and we should be kneeling to thank the Lord for them.

It hit me really hard that I don't thank the Lord for all the experiences He gives me. A lot of times I am ornery about changes, but they are given me to teach me and help me become better. This is something I am really going to work on and hope to better understand and appreciate the experiences I am given.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Wonderful Weekend!

Wasn't this weekend amazing?!? I absolutely love General Conference weekend and when it falls on the same weekend as Easter, it's even better!! It is always so incredible how prayers are answered, testimonies are strengthened and souls are edified as we listen to the words of the Lord through His servants on the earth today. Conference was wonderful!

Besides being General Conference and Easter yesterday, it also happened to be my baby brother's 22nd birthday! He's getting so old! (which of course, just makes me feel older ;) I literally remember the day that he was born and going to visit my mom in the hospital. Also, because I was the only child in school at the time, I got a whole week of just me and baby Kyle while the other kids went to Utah with my grandparents. He was so stinking cute and had tons of dark hair and big blue eyes. He has become such a great man and I am so proud of him. He served an honorable mission and is going to school to become a chef. He is so kind and considerate of those around him and he has a pretty cute girlfriend too. I don't just look up to Ky because he is so much taller than me, but because of the man he has become in the last few years. Thanks for being such a great example to me and to all those you come in contact with Ky! Love you bro!!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Guate! Guate! Guate!

In between conference sessions today there was a special on humanitarian work in Guatemala. I watched it and got a little teary eyed because I miss those people and that incredibly beautiful country. They showed some people in a mountain village and I couldn't help but think of the amazing people that I love in my Guatemalan mountain village - Patzicia. It has been 7 years since Michelle and I left for Guatemala and it amazes me how much I still miss it. I really need to find a way to get back there soon!

This picture is of 5 sisters who lived down the street from us. They were in our ward and their dad was the handy-man at the school. Their family also owned the tienda (store) in our neighborhood where we would go every day to get eggs, bread and mentas! A couple of years ago, their mom Rosa passed away, leaving Pedro to raise his 5 daughters. I think of this family a lot and how good they were to us. Hopefully soon I will be able to return to Patzi and see how these amazing girls have grown!
I would also love to see what has happened to these kids. They also lived in our neighborhood and would come over to our house all the time wanting to color and play games and get stickers. Their mom was our laundry lady and tried so hard to provide for her family. A funny time the littlest boy (in the very back) was sitting on Michelle's lap and he totally peed on her. Their mom used to always ask us how much it would cost for her to bring her family to the United States. It made me so sad. But they were such sweet kids and I hope that they have been able to get an education and help make a better life for themselves.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Day 2

Wow, 2 days in a row, must be some kind of record. ;)

Can I just say how done I am with this week. It has been such a crazy couple weeks (more so than usual) and I am so ready for a nice relaxing weekend. I have a huge to do list and hope to be able to accomplish it, as well as get some much needed sleep!

Here is a little taste of my to-do list...

1) Laundry!!!!! It is coming out my ears! Seriously, I don't know if I have ever had so much laundry to do. I probably have 5 loads to do. Now I know this isn't much to you moms, but to a single person, that is a ton!

2) Clean my bedroom in general. Remember the bomb? Yeah, it needs to be cleared out. I thought about posting a picture, but that is just too embarrassing. You'll just have to take my word for it. Or talk to my sister who saw it the other night. Not pretty.

3) Listen to general conference. (I guess this really should be #1...but #3 will be accomplished while doing #1 so it evens out...)

4) Write a research paper. Gratefully most of the research part is done, but the putting together of the information is not. I have to put this high on the list to that I don't procrastinate it too much...

5) Finalize all the music for Stake Conference next weekend, hold a rehearsal for the Stake Choir and another rehearsal for the special musical numbers.

6) Math homework. Lots of math homework. Oh and study for the test that is on Tuesday.

7) Spend time with the fam. Definitely another thing that should be higher on the list...

8) Register for my ward blind date. Yes, this is just one of the many exciting things that come out of being in a singles ward. I'm not so sure how I feel about this blind date activity, it is and that makes me a little nervous. Basically we all put in the 7 people of the opposite sex that we would like to get to know better and some of our interests and a computer system matches us up. Now do you understand my nervousness???

9) Stay awake during all sessions of conference and enjoy Easter.

10) Clean my bathroom. I'm sure that will help me stay awake.

etc., etc., etc...

You get the point. Let's hope that a blessing of listening to or watching all sessions of conference will be the ability to get all of these things done!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I'm alive...

So it is 11:55 p.m. but I have decided to make an April goal of blogging every day, just to throw the universe off. :)

This collage is just a little snippet of my crazy life right now. Between working full-time (still at the court), going to school full-time, have a really intense church calling and trying to have a social life I don't have much time for anything really exciting, but hopefully this goal will help me to notice the small things in life and enjoy them more!

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cali Catch Up

It has been almost two months since my family went to California, but it's never too late for a little catch up, right?!? Here's a little run down of our amazing family vacation...

First Stop: LAS VEGAS!Michelle and I and our cousins Ruthanne and Cammy left a day earlier than the rest of the family and spent a fun day in Vegas with our friends Devin and Andrew. We went to the Bodies Exhibit at the Luxor which was amazing! Andrew works there so he got us in for free, which made it even better! :) After going to Bodies we went to a tepanyaki restaurant and enjoyed some yummy Japanese food. I'm so proud of Cammy and Ruthanne for trying sushi for the first time! Devin works as a masseuse at the Encore hotel (the new sister hotel to the Winn) so he gave us a tour of the Encore and specifically the spa after dinner. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Someday I want to have a spa day in that amazing place. First I need to have lots of money!!The next day (which was Easter) was spent with the rest of the family. Mom, Dad, Landon, Haley and the kids drove down Sunday morning and we had a fun Easter egg hunt at the hotel for Easton and then went to the strip. We saw the lions at MGM (which Easton loved, of course!), went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and spent an hour just watching the fountains at the Bellagio. Fun day.

Up Next: Orange and Huntington Beach, CaliforniaThe next day we finished the drive to California. It wasn't a bad drive at all. We checked into our hotel and then got ready for the beach! It was so fun to take the kids to the beach for the first time. Huntington is my favorite, but unfortunately it was pretty cold that day. The cold sure didn't stop Landon, Easton and Grandpa from playing in the water though. The girls just enjoyed hanging out and playing with Averie. :)

Then: 3 days at Disneyland!I don't really have very many good pictures of Disneyland (I let Mom take most of the pictures) but we had a blast! We went on pretty much every ride and Easton even went on almost all of them. The only ones that he wasn't tall enough for were California Screamin' and Indiana Jones. He was so brave and went on every ride that he could big and small. He loved Buzz Lightyear, Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Carribbean. The only ride that he said he didn't like was Space Mountain. He also loved seeing all the characters and being able to be one of the kids chosen for the Jedi Training show. It is so much fun to go with kids! Also: Dad's 50th Birthday!!
I need to get the pictures from Mom of Dad's birthday and all the festivities. On his actual birthday, April 15th, we left the kids with Ruthanne and Cammy and the six of us went to The Price is Right! It ended up being a really long day and wait to get into the show, but we had a blast. Mom made these bright yellow (as in glow-in-the-dark yellow) t-shirts for all of us to wear and everyone knew who we were. We had lots of fans. :) Unfortunately, none of us were called to contestants row, but we had a great time being there together. When we got back to Orange, we went to an amazing restaurant with everyone and really missed Kyle because the food was so incredible and beautiful. I'm assuming they don't get many babies in that restaurant because all of the waiters were totally smitten with Averie. But then again, who isn't?? We went back to our hotel and had cake and ice cream and went swimming to end a great day.

Finally: Going home :(
We spent our last day in California at the beach trying to wear the kids out before we started the long drive back home. The beach was much nicer that day and none of us wanted to leave. The drive home was LOOOONNNGG! We drove all night and were doing ok until we got just north of St. George when one of the tires blew on the van. Not fun. We did eventually all make it home safely and were so ready to be out of the cars.

It was so great to spend a whole uninterrupted week with the family! Of course we missed Kyle, but we will definitely go on a fun family vaca when he gets home!! Thanks Mom & Dad for spoiling us rotten!