Saturday, December 31, 2011

Understanding the simplicity

I find it odd and a little bit sad that I don't give enough time to contemplate how great my life is in general. Of course there are days when my life would suggest otherwise, but in the "big picture", the life retrospect, my life is really good. It has been a ground for self growth, new developing self worth, and a place where I am becoming who I want to be and who the Lord wants me to be.

I have been blessed with an amazing man in my life. A man who makes me feel utterly fantastic about myself on a daily basis. He brings along with his 80's inspired hair, handsome smile, and light sense of humor a consistent feeling of love inside my heart. He has the magic of making me feel like I could conquer the world, I could pass any test, and I could move on from anything that may be a determent in my life or holding me back from my full potential. Call it rose colored glasses or the phase of engagement...but I think that even after 2 years of dating, and still feeling like this more than not, I'm putting my foot down and saying that's a good thing and something we will never lose. I believe, but quite actually know I have found true love and it's amazing that it will be able to last throughout eternity, starting April 28, 2012 after 10 am!

Another thing, my family is great. My dad is one of my best friends, a confidant, and just an amazing man who has bounced back from a lot of things in life, hard things, that continues to have a positive outlook and always looking for ways to serve those around him. My stepmom Xan is a gem also. I'll be honest that at first we may not have gotten along, I was a whole version of the Lindsey Lohan's "Parent Trap" and I feel terrible for being such a brat when I was younger to her. She genuinely cares about me, my brother, and of course, my father and is a dear friend to me now and will continue to be so as our lives gain in number. My brother is a teenager looking for some responsibility, but is sometimes too lazy to reach up his hand and grab it. He is the most intelligent guy I know but on occasion doesn't see it that way and give himself the short end of the stick. He teaches me things every time I see him, and he is always aware of my feelings and is constantly asking whether I am ok with him going somewhere with his friend which will leave me alone for awhile...he asks more than twice sometimes, just to make sure. My mother the sweetheart, is the closest to heaven I can get on this earth, besides going to the temple. She is very in tune with the spirit of a child. She is very naive in nature (descriptive in a good way) she sees the world through the eyes of child with no real prejudices against others, or people in general.

I have reason to believe that I am beautiful, inside and out, just by looking in the mirror. I hope that doesn't sound conceited but I have a right to believe I am beautiful. I love my hair when it works for me, and I love the different colors within it. I love my smile and even the scrunching of my nose when I'm smiling for real or laughing really hard. I love my toes and the abilities they have from being double jointed, along with my fingers still being able to play the piano after taking a beating from a few accidents resulting in a few ER visits. I love my voice, I believe I have been blessed with that talent and have been given numerous occasions and opportunities to share it with people. I feel that is one way that I can contribute to the work of the Lord, through my voice. If I am in the right spirit than the spirit will be in my voice. I learned that in Nauvoo. I love my eyes and I love that Matt has deemed them as Starburst eyes. I love that I have a healthy body, love healthy food, and can read!! I love to read and learn things about the world and I am thankful that I have been blessed with a body and sound mind that is able to do so.

I guess this blog post turned into a small thankfulness to God and for this wonderful year where I have learned so much about myself. I know that 2012 is going to bring hard times, trying times, growing times, happy times, lovely times, loving times, joyous times, and times that will enable me to continue to become closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are the reasons for the immense blessings that I have in my life, of which I have only spoke small of. They have blessed me more than I could ever comprehend.

If we only take a moment and contemplate everything good we have in our lives, we gain a new understanding of the simplicity in the moments that take our lives, which condense them down into building blocks for a better future and a continuing adventure aided by friends and family.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Learning. Love. It

I find it interesting how different people live their lives. The differences in religion, daily rituals, eating, cooking, cleaning, and spending their time when they are off of work. I watched a documentary called, "A day in the life" which has countless numbers of videos shot by people all around the world on one day, July 24, 2010. It shows what different people do, during the same hours that I now typing on this blog.
I learned this about people, the way they live is much different from the way I live.
My usual day is as follows (apart from visiting my dad in Colorado at this time):

Wake up between the hours of 7:00am - 9:00am
Get ready for the day and breakfast usually takes 30 mins
Go and workout at Planet Fitness for 1 hr
Come home and wash my body
Text people and see what they are doing
Lounge, blog, facebook, movies
See Matt hopefully in the day
Go to bed

These people in this documentary showed me that I am ignorant about what goes on in the world. There are people up at 3 in the morning doing things I never would have thought of. I like documentaries, I love learning about the world, I love learning.
I would be a happy woman if I could be a student for the rest of my days, audit all the classes, and just learn!
That was the underlying reason I wrote this post, not incredibly exciting by any means but I love to read, and learn about things in the world. Love it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How is it...

-That the sun consistently stays up in the universe providing heat continually
-That coffee and tea are bad for you, but good for you at the same time
-That nicotine has such a hold on a person who is addicted
-That Sherlock Holmes is so attractive because of how smart he is
-That taking the time to play COD: Black ops with your father, it becomes fun
-That air drying your hair brings a feeling of being free
-That I can miss one person so much even when they are only less than 500 miles away...sigh

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Year in Review

Before the whole Christmas and New Years celebrations take over my life, in a good way, I would like to take a look back at my year or at least the things I remember in this year. Sadly I don't have many pictures to accompany what has happened but we will make do with what I have and for extensive purposes this is for me to look at what I've done and accomplished this year and be proud of it.

If you'd like to read, do it. :)

January - Happily Matt and I got back together after a two month hiatus with our relationship and I couldn't have been more happy. That January was when I knew I wanted to marry him and there was no one else for me in this world that could create the amount of happiness he gives me. I'm glad we came back to each other.

February - A plethora of events happened as does all February's brin
gs. Especially surrounding loved ones, chocolate, and girls "feel good about yourself" parties.

Two years in a row I have asked Matt to the Institute date dance in February which is a dinner and dancing to a live 20 pieces Jazz band. We were dancing up the floor and make up our own steps as we went, stealing a couple kisses here and there and just enjoying the company of two crazy people, crazy enough to fall in love with each other.

The hunger banquet where the lowest class, (Matt and I) got fed more than the upper class which was pizza and soft drink. I'll go with the tortilla and rice if you don't mind. Very eye opening though.

Valentine's Day this year I had to work, all day, my boss hated me anyway so I was expecting it. Matt was trying to be super suave and and have flowers delivered to my house before I set out to go. The flowers didn't end up showing till 8:30 at night, so a little disgruntled Matt brought them to my work (the sweetheart) and waited for me while I finished cleaning up. What both of us learned this day, if you want it done right, do it yourself.

A "feel good about yourself" night with the girls. We had facials, watched "Bride Wars", painted nails, got dolled up took more than our fair share of pictures, and just enjoyed being girls. I seriously don't know what I would do without these girls. They are the cream of the crop and know the "weird" me.

March - Every year during Spring Break I usually head to my Dad's in Colorado which is always a blast, plus the Festival of Colors which is only truly fun the first time.

Here is the burger, I made up myself. It was delectable, tasty, different, and yes that is Peanut Butter.

Festival of Colors, of course, colorful. Purples snot for 2 days, best part.

April- I turned 22, the end of the semester, April fools game/prank, Backyard camping and preparing for serving a mission in Nauvoo, Illinois as a performing missionary.

Ashleigh warned me, then stole my car (I used to have a problem with leaving the keys to my car in the door, not anymore) which started a 4 hour prank-a-thon which ended up in both cars covered in either window chalk or....

....selophane wrap and boxes included (this was my revenge for her stealing my car, if you want the full post which includes the ins and outs of the daily prankage you can click HERE)

Here is Matt and I at our best...oh shoot that's the wrong picture! Oh you can see can be...odd. This is at my 22nd sushi birthday dinner with Matt, Laurie and her boy, Paul and his girl at the time (I hope they get back together, *hint hint*), we indulged in fried sushi, and amazing, can I say fantastic? chocolate, chocolate cake. Plus we manage to take super duper picture than I now cherish (the one above I might add)

Whoever said you couldn't go camping outside the woodland area? If anyone did, they were crazy!
As you can see here our humble backyardigan abode'

Here is the bums
(From left to right) Rauni, Shelby, Ashleigh
These bums and I stayed up till 3am playing clue, screaming at dogs rubbing up against the tent and talking about who knows what, whilst keeping our bums warm.

May - August ...Seeing as so many things happened between the months of May and August in the same place, I will smoosh them all together in one mass 4 month picture explosion, be wary I warned you. My 4 months of the summer were spent in the best place I had yet to spend my life; Nauvoo, Illinois where I had the opportunity to perform as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a blast that changed my life forever, it changed the way I look at myself, how I look at life, and more importantly how I can help those around me to see the beauty inside themselves.

The beginning of the best summer of my life

Before we knew each other, who knew by the end of the summer we would be sisters in word, deed, and heart

My first companion; such a doll, talented as anyone will ever get out

After Carthage, all eyes red, swollen, spirits lifted

Dinosaur hair day

The cutest girls to cross through Nauvoo, followed us everywhere
so naturally I needed a picture with them

Reaction to lightning storm, a HTBT (Had-to-be-there) moment for sure

Nauvoo beauties

My second companion, deary me we were so alike it was scary, but made for so much fun!
I love her bunches and she changed my life in more ways than she'll ever know
I am eternally grateful for her, her testimony, and the parents who raised her so well

The night the rest of the world saw the 7th and final installation of Harry Potter
We correlated it to the gospel instead, while fighting on our kitchen table,
while keeping our dignity

The Nauvoo Pageant

Just Plain Anna Amanda, hmmm I miss it

The prettiest temple this side of the Salt Lake "bookend" temple

On the band wagon looking tired and was the end of the summer

A Cast of JPAA (Just Plain Anna Amanda) I learned more about myself playing this part of a young girl, than I could in a thousand years of schooling.

Most beautiful and talented lady I have ever had the opportunity to meet in this life

My companion was and is the bomb, I love her dearly

Signing our names in the house we love so dearly

As we were about to walk towards our families after a long day of traveling longer to be missionaries

September - Lots of Hiking.

Grrr....I'm a bear!!! Not really

We thought this was the lake everyone was talking about, turned out not to be...but it gave an awesome field shot as you can see here

Matt and I at the top of Mt. Timpanogus loving life

All four of us at the top of Mt. Timpanogus
From the left: (Andrew, Matt, Myself, Ashleigh)

October - Halloween Fun (only one picture)

Matt was a type of steampunk futuristic pirate, I was a red crayon

November - This is the month where I got engaged to the love of my life and the sweetheart that I love dearly.

Here are some pictures of when he proposed to me and if you would like to read the whole HERE
But here's a little "spoiler:

I got out of my Intro to Elementary Education class early and texted Matt that he could meet me at my house anytime. He was there before I got home and once I did we headed inside to chill for a bit before heading to the dance. We were talking, kissing, and saying “I love you” on the couch for about 20 mins ....."

"...I start walking up towards him and knew what was coming then and there. He said, “ Brianna, I have loved the time we have had to spend with each other and the time we have gotten to know each other, I know now ..."The beautiful ring, dang he spoils me

December - Wedding Dress shopping, Christmas Caroling...and the end of the year which hasn't happened yet.

NOT the dress I'm getting, but tried on

Going to see Matt as Young Ebenezer Scrooge at HCTO! He did frankly, amazing

If you made it this far you are definitely my friend and I love you, thanks for being apart of my life

Here's to a wonderful year that I experienced with so many people, so many experiences and the happiness that 2011 was a year of growth, sadness, happiness, joy and love. 2012 can only bring more happiness and joy and growth, plus a new husband!!! I cannot wait for this coming year to bring new experiences and wonders. Love this life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The First Noel: my favorite

I hope to one day be apart of this amazing choir, but now I will but listen and enjoy the spirit that fills my home when I do listen to them.
Close your eyes, and just let the music fill your soul with joy for the birth of the man who has always carried our sorrows, who is a friend, our brother and the one man who was born in the humblest of circumstances, but brought about the most good in human history.
I'm grateful for the fact that I have this knowledge and to some degree know him personally. I hope that through the years of my life that relationship will blossom into one just like brother and sister, friend and confidant.

Merry Christmas
and thank God everyday for Music

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My mind is odd. My mind is weird.

My dreams are filled with worries that I didn't know I was worried about, or are filled with things I thought I was done worrying about but if they are sticky enough to fill my dreams then it seems they haven't been dealt with properly or needing to be dealt with in the form of an out-of-the-ordinary dream or nightmare.

My dreams could be box office hits, if only I remembered every detail

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moments that Matter Most

I'll be honest I can never get through this video without bawling like a little kid who's scraped their knee. It touches me somewhere deep inside every time I watch it. So whenever you're having a bad day, a feeling of unfulfilled day, a hard day, a challenging time, remember the moments that matter most.

Your First Kiss
Your First Crush
Your First (able to remember) Birthday
How it feels to cry things out
Your love for your friends
Your love for you family
The falling snow
The ability to worship as we please
Healthy Foods
Thanksgiving Dinner with Family
Laughing till your stomach aches
A baby's smile
A hug from a long lost friend
Doing what is right
Eating donuts while setting up the Christmas Tree
...are but a few of my Matter Mosts...

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes and focus on the things that truly matter most. Strength comes not from frantic activity, but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light..."

" comes from paying attention to the Divine things That Matter Most..."

"Diligently doing the things that Matter Most will lead us to the Savior of the World."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sometimes the hard is what makes us grow

I've had a realization, well actually it's been a thought that i've been thinking about quite frequently these past couple months. My thought is this: Why does God give such hardships, temptations, trials to those who are keeping the gospel commandments as best they can. Those who are stalwart members of the church and even if the person isn't a member of my faith they are hit with very real and hard situations that sometimes seem so overwhelming that only brings one to tears or to their knees.

Why would a God let that happen. I have come up with an answer.

We have these moments, these trials where we feel like we can't keep going but we tend to forget there is something around the bend that will either bless us emotionally, physically, or spiritually. There is always a lesson to be learned when we experience the "growing pains" of mortal life. We have these moments where everything seems to be falling at our feet because we have yet to fall to the Savior's.

Through these recent months I hadn't come to terms with that thought: We literally can't do anything, fix anything, or accomplish anything to the fullest without a Savior. That's why he died! He died for me, he died for you. His death is the fundamental reason I know I am Child of God and have the ability to get past any trial if I but my trust in Him and never look back. Only refer to the past to learn from not to live in. That's been my block, my wall, not trusting in the Lord by relying on my own merits and abilities to get me past mistakes, down moments, failings, and wantings. He was only waiting for me to take a step of faith towards Him and let Him use the atonement in my life.
The Atonement is amazing, real, and the most fantastic thing that has happened in recent history. If it can be in the history books I consider it recent. :)

I'm grateful for my Savior and for the month long ability to think of and ponder about His birth, His mission, His life, His death, and His resurrection.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am grateful...

for Matt Call, and the love he has for me
He is amazing and I'm so lucky to to have him in my life
So, so very lucky. I don't know how I got to be this lucky,
life will be amazing, hard times, but growing with him will be easier than growing alone,
holy josephat!!! I love that guy :)
for LDC, the people within, the music sung and the spirit that is felt everyday
for my mother and her sweet heart for those all around her and the smile she keeps
for my friends, even ones where our paths haven't crossed for an amount of time, we still come back together as though nothing happened, we unknowingly pick up where we left off
for frozen yogurt, can I say mmmm
for the Christmas season and my journal for writing down thoughts
for love, for food, for happiness, for everything I've been blessed with
for getting a knock in the head from my heavenly father every once in awhile, reminding how blessed I actually am
for life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

sometimes I forget....

"I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me, I have faith in His eternal plan, which centers on Jesus Christ My Savior, who gave his life for me"
In life...that is all that matters. To live is to love, to love is to live.