Monday, December 29, 2008

carpe diem

"Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Be Believing

I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.”10 And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”11 The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenant.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What we link pain to and what we link pleasure to is what shapes our destiny

I watched this and it is so touching. It is motivation to work on my personal integrity.

video from Tony Robbins

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The grass is greener wherever we go

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.

Robert Fulghum

Christian Courage: Discipleship of Christ

Elder Robert D. Hales gave this amazing inspired conference talk and as I was reading it this morning, I was truly inspired to reevaluate the way I live in my quest to be a disciple of Christ. I also felt that I could liken this talk to recent events that have happened with the church's stand on marriage and how we respond to those that oppose it.

This talk is written to respond to a question. Recently a group of bright, faithful young Latter-day Saints wrote down some of the most pressing questions on their minds. One sister asked, “Why doesn’t the Church defend itself more actively when accusations are made against it?”

To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.

The Prophet Joseph Smith demonstrated this courage throughout his life. Though he “suffer[ed] severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious” (Joseph Smith—History 1:27), he did not retaliate or give in to hatred. Like all true disciples of Christ, he stood with the Savior by loving others in a tolerant and compassionate way. That is Christian courage.

When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return. That is not weakness. That is Christian courage.

Through the years we learn that challenges to our faith are not new, and they aren’t likely to disappear soon. But true disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.

As we respond to others, each circumstance will be different. Fortunately, the Lord knows the hearts of our accusers and how we can most effectively respond to them. As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter. And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord. Paul reminded the Corinthians that his preaching was “not with the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Because that power resides in the Spirit of the Lord, we must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith. As almost every missionary learns, Bible bashing always drives the Spirit away. The Savior has said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me” (3 Nephi 11:29). More regrettable than the Church being accused of not being Christian is when Church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way! May our conversations with others always be marked by the fruits of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). To be meek, as defined in Webster’s Dictionary, is “manifesting patience and longsuffering: enduring injury without resentment.”2 Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage.

Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened—and the devil laughs—when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.

Yet even as we feel to speak the word of God with boldness, we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29, 31). We should never confuse boldness with Satan’s counterfeit: overbearance (see Alma 38:12). True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.

As true disciples, our primary concern must be others’ welfare, not personal vindication. Questions and criticisms give us an opportunity to reach out to others and demonstrate that they matter to our Heavenly Father and to us. Our aim should be to help them understand the truth, not defend our egos or score points in a theological debate. Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers. And such testimonies can only be born in love and meekness. We should be like Edward Partridge, of whom the Lord said, “His heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathanael of old, in whom there is no guile” (D&C 41:11). To be guileless is to have a childlike innocence, to be slow to take offense and quick to forgive.

As President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Let us learn respect for others. . . . None of us lives alone—in our city, our nation, or our world.”3

By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. It’s where we see the first light of morning and the last light in the evening. It is the safe ground. It is true and where knowledge is. Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love.

To my inquiring sister and all who seek to know how we should respond to our accusers, I reply, we love them. Whatever their race, creed, religion, or political persuasion, if we follow Christ and show forth His courage, we must love them. We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ.

Only through Him can we and all our brothers and sisters inherit the greatest gift we can receive—eternal life and eternal happiness. To help them, to be an example for them, is not for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for you and me, Latter-day Saints who pay the price of discipleship by answering our accusers with Christian courage.

“Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life” (3 Nephi 5:13).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home for Thanksgiving!

I spent Thanksgiving in Show Low, Arizona with my mom and little sister. We saw Twilight twice, went out to eat at Pizza Factory, drove up to the ski resort (sunrise) for a scenic drive. I got to meet her awesome Hair dresser, enjoyed just staying home in her beautiful new home, watched August Rush. Went shopping at her Eyebrow salon that had silver jeans on sale for 75 percent off! Show Low is a pretty Town, but I could never live here, it is nice to visit, but i think that I would go mad with no shopping around except Walmart :( Glad to see my family and I will surely miss them, when I go!

Quotes that I like

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value."

Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunny San Diego

I was fortunate enough to be able to take some time off work for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I decided to add some time on to my vacation by taking a trip to San Diego. I was able to visit quite a few beaches while there, saw some very gorgeous sunsets, shop, and breath in the ocean air. I would love to move there one day!

Sunset Cliffs

Cardiff Beach

Encinitas Beach

Balboa Park

Coronado Island/ Hotel Del Coronado/ Bridge to Coronado/ Ferry to Coronado

Ocean Beach

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Big Star Sweet Stretch Jean

I am obsessed with posting all my new purchases lately, lol! Here is a pair of Jeans that I just bought.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friends and Family savings at the Gap

I bought this skirt the boots and the top. I am getting back in to 80's mode. I was wearing these styles in 5th grade :) sad but true

Friends and Family savings at the Gap

This dress is too short for garments, but I bought tights so when they come in the mail, i'll wear it! :)

Gotta love new jeans!

I went down a size in jeans! Yeah! I can't wait to wear my new Big Star Maddies !!!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eggnog Cream Pie (my contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner this year!!!!!!!!!)

Eggnog cream pie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled, divided
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus additional for garnish
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons rum, brandy or whiskey (optional)

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Add the chilled cubed butter. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are slightly smaller than a pea and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water and gently stir the mixture together with your hands or a fork just until the mixture is moist but not sticky. If the mixture is too dry, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Alternatively, in a food processor combine 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Pulse to mix. Add the chilled cubed butter and pulse until the butter pieces are slightly smaller than a pea and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water and pulse until the mixture is moist but not sticky. If the mixture is too dry, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the dough onto it. Push the dough together to form a ball and wrap well in the plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Heat the oven to 400 F.
Lightly dust the counter with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/8 -inch thickness. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate and press it gently into the plate.
Trim the overhanging dough to about 1 inch all around the edge. Fold the overhang under itself so that it rests on the lip of the pie plate and decorate the edges as desired.
Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pie crust several times. Line the crust with a piece of foil large enough to hang over the edges. Fill the shell with enough baking weights or dried beans to cover the bottom and go halfway up the sides.
Bake the crust until pale golden brown, about 15 minutes, then remove the foil and baking weights and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the pie shell to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
To make the filling
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, eggnog and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. When the milk and eggnog mixture is at a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
While whisking, slowly pour about 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Then pour the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining milk and eggnog.
Return the pan to a medium heat. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the mixture until it thickens to consistency of a heavy pudding, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell and place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top, gently pressing so it touches the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Before serving the pie, whip the cream and liquor (if using) together until the cream holds stiff peaks. Remove the plastic wrap from the surface of the pie and evenly spread the whipped cream over the surface. If desired, lightly dust the top of the pie with cinnamon and nutmeg. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I love my Doggie Woggies!

I started Christmas shopping last night, you know when you find that perfect gift, when you are not even looking for one and there it is, you have to buy it! I decided to model my precious dogs in my find. They were not happy about it, but I thought it was so cute to see them as they frustratingly waited for the torture to be over. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The influence of the Holy Ghost is spirit speaking to spirit, and the indelible impression in one that brings conversion and conviction to the soul

When one has received the Holy Ghost he has a companion who will constantly warn and teach and inspire him. (Moroni 10:5) If not driven away through uncleanness or other persistent wickedness the Holy Ghost will always bear increasing witness to gospel truth. The potency of his influence is emphasized in this explanation by President Joseph Fielding Smith:

The reason blasphemy against the Son of God may be forgiven, even if the Son be made manifest in a vision or a dream, is that such manifestation does not impress the soul as deeply as does the testimony of the Holy Ghost. The influence of the Holy Ghost is spirit speaking to spirit, and the indelible impression in one that brings conversion and conviction to the soul as no other influence can. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth with a positiveness wherein there is no doubt and therefore is far more impressive than a vision given to the eye.

Miracle of Forgiveness
Spencer W. Kimball
page 122

Elder Parley P. Pratt also described the effects of the Holy Ghost:

“[His influence] quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being”

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snow Canyon 1/2 Marathon

Today my sister and I were crazy enough to run a 1/2 marathon in Saint George, down Snow Canyon. The trail route was so beautiful and a fall day, it was really a perfect setting.

I have run 3 of these crazy things in the past, but it has been 5 years since my last 1/2 marathon, so I was really not in shape to run it, but I did it anyway. Rachel has been training for the last 16 weeks, something that I was too lazy to do. It takes a lot of time to train for these things.

She did marvelous and I did terrible, but that is the price that I pay for doing it last minute. I am glad that I was able to do it, cause it was really fun to drive to Saint George and get out of Utah Valley. We went with Danielle and Holly and we had a fun time chatting and hot tubbing and eating at Cracker Barell afterwards. A road trip is always refreshing and mixes things up. Rachel and I got to see Amy Broadbent, our friend from high school, she lives in Saint George now, she brought her darling little 3 year old daughter to lunch and we had a fun time.

Now, I need to get back in shape, so that next time this comes up, I wont be sooooooooo sore. I can hardly walk now :( , but on the way to getting my runner's legs back.!!

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