A Letter For The Struggling Soul

Disclaimer *This is a letter to a dear friend of mine who has recently gone through a very tragic loss, and is struggling. And for all the times when our souls struggle.*

Dear You,

Things are hard right now. You’ve been beaten up, you’ve been beaten down. You’ve been pushed, pulled, dropped, dragged, and more. You’re done fighting. You just want to give up, give in, and give yourself an out. Sometimes it’s easier to sink, sit, stay.

Nobody understands why you’re making the choices you’re making.

Nobody knows what it feels like.

They don’t get it.

They don’t, won’t, can’t, and never, ever will.

You have to make the choices you’re making. The good ones and the bad ones. You know better. But you don’t really have a choice.

You didn’t want to end up here. You weren’t supposed to. You had plans, dreams, goals.

You didn’t get to choose what brought you here.

Life happened.

And now they judge. And they don’t get it.

It’s pain of loss. Loneliness. Uncertainty. Anxiety. Despair. Fear.

It eats you up. And you are done fighting it off.

But there is light. There is hope. There is a future. A tomorrow. A perfect ending.

And today, there is someone who understands.Who knows every thought, every shard of your heart, every piece of your struggling soul.

You are in your own personal Hell. Your own dark Gethsemane.

And Jesus Christ walked through that very spot. To save you.

He knows what it looks like, feels like, sounds like. He knows the consuming emptiness and fear.

Jesus Christ can, and will carry you through. He will fix you. He will heal you.

Jesus Christ chose to live, so that He could understand what you are feeling.

He knows that pain. Familiarly. Closely. Perfectly.

He does know how it feels. He’s the only one who could. Who can. Who does.

So don’t quit. Just reach out. Just ask. Just pray.

You will know, that He knows.


Someone who has had to reach for Jesus too

Weekend Recap

So after a great day of birthday celebrations, we entered into birthday weekend! Unfortunately like a fool, I forgot to take ANY pictures of the weekend. #ashamed

If you saw my Snap story you saw Randy jamming out and having a great time. Too bad I didn’t snap any ACTUAL pictures or videos. i know, I’m the worst. So here’s a picture of Randy cuz he’s a cutie.

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Friday after work, Randy got to grab some In N Out for dinner, and then all of our friends came over for games, cake, chips, and Alexon brought some wings that were TO DIE FOR. We talked and played and laughed until 2 AM, #whitesquad style. It was such a blast and I love love love our friends.

Saturday was full of sleeping in and then a little bit of homework :/ but then we went to Chili’s and Guitar Center with Caleb and Nanette and Randy got to play every single instrument (because he’s that talented) to his heart’s content. It blows me away how he can sit down at literally every guitar, bass, piano, drum set, and even the DJ equipment, and make it sound amazing. He’s truly gifted and I love getting to see that side of him regularly.

Saturday evening we watched Casino Royale which is one of Randy’s favorite movies.

Sunday we went to church which is always fun, and then went to Kaysville for a roast beef dinner with my family, also one of Randy’s favorite meals. We played games and planted Easter grass (another Easter tradition for another post) and had a great time.

All in all, I think it was a really successful birthday weekend.

Also, what do you think of our new header, and the About Us page? Comment below if you can’t read it, if you like it, love it, think my explanation of who Randy and I are is good…all the things.


Happy Tuesday everyone!

What Are You Looking For?

In memory of the wonderfully talented Harper Lee. The thoughts she shared have truly changed me.

When I found out about the passing of Harper Lee, this quote immediately came to my mind. It’s one of my very favorites from To Kill A Mockingbird. And funnily enough, it had been running through my mind quite a lot as of late, for a few reasons.

Let me start this out by saying I’m not angry, upset, frustrated, or feeling any ill will towards anyone. I think people need to make their own decisions and do what is best for them. I think religion especially is a personal journey and finding God is a personal endeavor.

That all being sad, I have had many friends, neighbors, etc. recently decide to distance or disassociate themselves from the LDS Church. The reasons why vary from person to person, but generally people inform me their motivations stem from disbelief in either policy, or doctrines, or both.

 I have been thinking about this a lot. Searching my own feelings and understandings and testimony. And what I have come to is this quote.

People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

If you are looking to be upset, offended, and if you are looking for the Church NOT to be true, chances are you’ll find it.

If you’re looking to understand, gain God’s perspective, and if you’re looking for ways to strengthen your testimony of the Church, chances are you’ll find it.

It has made me pause and ask myself what I am looking for, and listening for, in regards to my religious beliefs and my testimony. What am I actively searching for? Who am I listening to? Am I opening my ears to hear the still small voice, or am I wanting to hear the words of the world around me about how our Church is wrong? Am I listening to the voice of the men chosen by God to lead this Church, or am I listening to the voice of people who say those men don’t know what they are doing?

I want to look and listen for God. And I know that He directs this Church.

He’s Feeling 22

Happiest of birthdays to my darling Randy.

Today was spent with Randy’s favorite things including french toast and bacon for breakfast, new running shoes and dress shoes, running clothes, some movies, and a book with all his mission emails…then we had to work. BUT then after work we went to lunch at Eva’s, spent some time wandering City Creek, and spending time with my family, and then an amazing steak dinner with Randy’s family! Randy also insisted he didn’t want me to make or get him a birthday cake, but instead he wanted birthday macaroons. A man after my own heart there.

Here he is with one of his birthday macaroons, with candles stuck in it. It couldn’t stand up on its own, so he had to hold it.

Randy is an absolutely amazing person. I would be totally lost without him and I am so lucky that he was born! And honestly, so is everyone else! Randy is so kind and loving and everyone around him just loves him. 

So for his 22nd birthday, here are 22 wonderful things about Randy that I love and am so grateful for.
1. Randy is so smart. He especially is amazing at math which is something that is SO hard for me to get!
2. Randy has such a strong testimony. He helps me be stronger, and makes our family strong.
3. He has such a kind and loving heart. He’s the type of person to stop and help someone on the side of the road when they have a flat tire.
4. He is SO humble. He always blushes and covers his face whenever he gets compliments, and he always wants others to shine more than himself.
5. Randy is so patient with me and with people around him.
6. Randy is SO goofy and funny. He makes me and others laugh REGULARLY and he always has a clever pun or joke ready.
7. He has intelligent opinions and he makes other people think, which I love.
8. The Gospel comes first to him.
9. He is amazing at the guitar, drums, piano, and singing! He is SO musically talented and it melts my heart!
10. Randy is so handsome!
11. Randy makes the people around him want to be better.
12. Randy is SO good to my family, and treats my little sisters like his own little sisters. I just love how much he loves them and how sweet he is to them.
13. Randy is SO wonderful to his own family! 
14. Randy sings in the car and it is SO awesome!
15. Randy is so supportive of people and their dreams. Especially me!
16. Randy is the ultimate story teller. He loves to tell stories and he’s good at it!
17. People feel totally comfortable around Randy, he really lets people be themselves! 
18. Randy is such a happy person, he has such a light and people are drawn to his positive attitude.
19. Randy is all about quality time, he makes such an effort to make time for the people that matter to him.
20. Randy is an incredibly hard worker. He dedicates time and effort to excel at work and at school and at our marriage. 
21. Randy is so loyal. He always stands up for people and things that he cares about, and he is always completely loyal to me and our marriage. 
22. Randy makes me feel so loved, and he makes the people around him feel so special and important. It’s something that I truly adore about him.

Happy birthday my love! I hope 22 is the best year yet:) #idontknowaboutyou #feeling22 #breakfastatmidnight #dressuplikehipsters #makefunofourexes 

Instant Happy Journal

I started the Instant Happy Journal at the very start of 2016. It was a part of my whole “new year, new me” mantra. I’ll be honest, there were days that I forgot to journal (I have never been really good at the whole journaling thing. This blog is sort of my journal, and you’ll notice I don’t post every day and sometimes miss details.) 
I have to say though, I really loved this book. It got me more in the habit of spending a few minutes each night reflecting on my day. It changed my sometimes sour mood into peaceful, reflective, and content. Sometimes things that day hadn’t really gone my way, and there were even sections of the journal that asked me to reflect on the bad things, and how they were really good things in disguise. Sometimes this was hard, but really the whole idea is so wonderful. If you’re looking to do some more reflecting, introspection, journaling, and filling your days with more gratitude and joy, I would 100% recommend this book. It’s inexpensive, but so rewarding. It really helped me look at my life in a new way, and I have enjoyed every second.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Valentine Staycation Weekend 2016

This Valentine’s Weekend was absolutely perfect. It was our first one as a married couple and it honestly was an absolute dream come true.

We spent Friday night with some of our best friends, watching movies and eating pho (which is always delightful).

We started Saturday off by sleeping in a bit, then packing our bags and off to brunch! We ate at Mimi’s and it was DELICIOUS. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, hot chocolate, croissants, and more. It was seriously awesome.

We then shopped at the Outlets in Lehi for hours. Randy and I love to shop, especially together. It was so fun to wander the stores, find things with awesome specials for the holiday, and just be together.

Randy and I then headed up to Provo where we saw one of my best friends, drove around and saw some of our favorite places, and Randy took me to my favorite nail place to get my nails done! Is he not the sweetest? We then got to go see my sister which was a blast.

Then it was off to dinner where we had great food, and only OK service. The waitress wasn’t super great, which was frustrating. But it ended in us getting free dessert so I was OK with it!

Back to our hotel for hot tubbing and then the Food Network and candy. Randy and I got each other watches (it’s kind of becoming a Valentine’s Day tradition) and he also got me some more jewelry, because he spoils me absolutely rotten.

We slept in on Sunday and had breakfast in bed. We then were off to our good friend Kristen’s mission homecoming with my family which was awesome. Valentine’s Day night was just full of relaxing and reading.

It was seriously probably the best Valentine’s Day we have ever had, and a perfect mini getaway that we needed.

I am so incredibly lucky to love Randy, and even more lucky that for some crazy reason, he loves me back.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and got to celebrate with the people that you love.

Happy Monday and Happy President’s Day!

Love Day 14 – Why My Love Is An Accomplishment

Love is an accomplishment. 

Recently I read an article on the Huffington Post detailing how love, and marriage specifically, isn’t an accomplishment. The author’s argument is summed in this paragraph from her article:

“In my opinion, getting married should never be put in a higher regard than the academic and professional successes that women work hard to attain. You don’t have to have a brain, drive or special skill set to get married. You just have to have a willing partner. However, getting into X school, graduating with Y degree, and landing Z job does require actual hard work.”

Reading this article made me a little sad, because I couldn’t disagree more. 

I am so proud of getting my Bachelor’s Degree in just three years, graduating Magna Cum Laude, landing a job that I love and excelling at it, doing freelance work on the side, and more. These are accomplishments that I am proud of, and worked very hard for.

But if I’m going to be 100% honest, my love and my marriage with Randy mean just as much, if not more to me than them all combined.

Unfortunately, the importance of marriage and love has been diminished in the world today. I fully understand that not everyone will marry in this life, that others will go through painful marriages or lose their loved ones too soon. My thoughts on this in no way diminishes their situation and their accomplishments. My point is this. That in the world today we are placing less value on marriages and families, and couldn’t that in some way be contributing to more and more of them falling apart? If marriage and love and creating a family isn’t an accomplishment, then why would anybody do it?

Marriages and families are the cornerstone of our society. Without them, there isn’t a structure. There isn’t stability, a place to begin teaching children, a place of nurture and love. The love of a family that leads to the stability of society, starts with the love of a couple, their engagement, and their marriage. 

Marriage is incredibly hard work, and so is the decision to marry when it’s taken seriously. Which it should be every time. It DOES take work to be in a relationship. To get to know someone. To love them, and to let them love you. It takes so much hard work to get on the same page enough to where you decide to commit to each other for life, and beyond. 

I think that if more people think of engagement, marriages, and love as an accomplishment, there might be more people fighting to stay together, or fighting to start a life together instead of waiting for it to be easy. 

I think we should be placing more emphasis on education, career changes, etc. We should be valuing those accomplishments. But that doesn’t mean we should value the accomplishment of falling in love and choosing to spend every day working for a marriage, any less.

On top of the worldly reasons that marriages and families and love should be valued, I have an additional reason. We don’t take our degree to Heaven. We don’t take the money that our big career promotion earned us to Heaven. We take our family. So the person that you marry, is the most important person in the world. It’s the most important decision and accomplishment you will make. It will set the course for your career and how you choose to proceed, your family and how they are raised, where you live, what you learn, and how you grow. 

Love, engagements, and marriages are accomplishments. Huge ones. And I am so proud of the work and effort I put into my marriage every day. 

day 12-13

You guys. This weekend just got away from me and the planned posts did not go up as planned!

day 12 and 13

Day 12 – So this Friday we had our friends Caleb and Nanette come over for dinner and games. It’s always so fun to get to hang out with our friends, and it really got me thinking about friendly love. I loved Randy like a friend before I ever fell hard for him. Finding good friends who make you want to be better, who will help you through the tough times, and will be there for you when you need it most, that’s the dream. Having family that’s also your best friends, and a spouse who is the ultimate BFF is also part of that dream. Loving friends remind us that we aren’t alone in this crazy life, and I’m so blessed to have the best friends, family members, and ultimate BFF.

Day 13 – Love is selfless. Love means giving them the last bite of chocolate cake, spending hours doing an activity they love, listening to their music in the car, cooking their favorite dinner even if it’s not your favorite, wandering the aisles of Target, and so much more. It means truly seeing that person as Christ sees them, and doing anything you can to give them what they want and need.

Stay tuned – the last day of love is coming today!

love day 11

Love is undeniable (Randy post)

Hey folks! Randy here. 🙂 I don’t blog very often. I’m not a very good writer, but I thought I’d say a little something about this “love month” stuff. 

I don’t like to get very sappy, so I’ll do my best not to. Just hang in there.

Love is undeniable.

Even when you don’t want to be in love. I’ll tell you a quick little story. I didn’t want to be in love. I grew up my whole life thinking that I wouldn’t even think of falling in love until after my mission. All of my primary teachers would ask us if we would be willing to give up a car or a girlfriend or an education to go on a mission. At the time, I thought, “I don’t have any of those things now……so it should be pretty easy!” I was very wrong.

Going on a mission was very difficult for me. I would tell myself all the time that I wasn’t falling in love with Maddy. If you’ve heard the story, you know that I kept telling myself that for some time. Eventually, I couldn’t suppress my feelings any longer. I told her how I felt and was a lot more honest with the people around me. It felt good! However, I also had a burning desire to serve a mission. I love this gospel more than anything. There was just a lot of this love business going on during that emotional time of my life. It almost felt like I was choosing Maddy or The Lord.

 I made the decision to leave on a mission even if it meant not spending my life with Maddy. I knew that I would be blessed for serving a mission. Especially if I gave everything I had. However, I still couldn’t deny that I loved Maddy and hoped she’d be around when I got home. I got a lot of grief for choosing to write Maddy while serving a mission, but I’m grateful I made the choices I made.

Love hurts sometimes. That was one of the most painful times of my life, and it felt like it would have been easier to stop loving Maddy or stop loving The Church. You can’t do it though. If you really love something, you can’t just stop. I had to let go of Maddy for two years, but there wasn’t a day that I didn’t love her while I was gone.

Anyway, I didn’t want to be sappy and I unfortunately fell in the trap. Another side story: after I got married, I started crying in movies all the time. I guess I’m a sap now. Oh darn!

[love day 10] – the love of a hometown and the love of our Heavenly Father

The last week has been difficult for my hometown. Our high school lost two beautiful girls within just a few days of each other.

I knew Jazmyn fairly well, worked with her, laughed with her, loved her.

I didn’t know Sadie very well, she was in one of Randy’s seminary classes and I remember passing her through the halls, and seeing her cheer at football games.

It is devestating that they were taken so soon, and my love and prayers go to their families.

I feel so blessed to have even interacted with these girls a handful of times. They were both a light to those around them, and were examples of Jesus Christ.

It’s been truly wonderful to watch all different kinds of people from the same small hometown, rally together. Express love, sorrow, concern, and hope.

I can’t even express how much I love scrolling through my social media feeds and seeing the many testimonies of the Plan of Salvation, of Jesus Christ, and of eternal families. Through the sorrow, many people reach for Christ and rely on their testimony of Him and His plan. It has strengthened mine to see so many people confident, sure, and thankful for the knowledge they have of where these two sweet girls are.

Love from God is the opportunity to have eternal families, to see our loved ones again, and the chance that we have to have an absolute knowledge of that here in this life. I am 100% positive that there is life after death. I am 100% positive that Jesus Christ perfectly understands the sorrow that death brings, and can help us get through it because of the Atonement. He can help. He can heal.

I’m so grateful for that love from God and Jesus Christ, and the love of a hometown where people are caring, kind, and so willing to share their testimony.