Winding Down

Friends. So many things are happening so fast! Every day people ask me how I feel about graduating, my new job, planning a wedding, and let me tell you, it’s all crazy!! But so, so good. I wouldn’t trade it for a thing! Here’s a quick catch up, and look for some posts about my BYU/undergrad experience coming up!
First off, last Wednesday was my last day as a BYU Eleven News Anchor. Gosh it was sad. I’ve learned so much, had so many laughs and even a few tears (from laughing too hard). It’s been quite the adventure and I wouldn’t have survived without these great friends here. My program rocks!
Randy and I took a big step…and adopted this lil guy! Meet Sir Gerald Bartelby the Fifth. 
Randy had never gone to Build-A-Bear, so naturally we had to. We take Gerry with us to a lot of place where you probably shouldn’t take a stuffed dog. But it’s cool.
Just a glimpse into the great people I work with. Aren’t they so sweet? I came to work my second week, and they’d made this and put it on my screen. Seriously, they’re awesome.
And lastly. I just finished up my last class for my undergrad at BYU a few hours ago. It’s the craziest feeling. Bittersweet. But I’m excited about the things ahead. Again, look for some posts about college, BYU, etc, coming up.
It’s crazy how fast life is passing by. I feel like college went by in a blink. 
So happy last few weeks of school everyone, happy Monday, and happy no more college classes for me!

Knowing He’s The One

Randy and I are going to get married when we are both 21. Randy will have been home from his mission for almost 6 months when we get married. Randy will have an absurd amount of school left when we get married.

Some people think we’re too young. Some people think it’s too soon. Some people think we’re crazy, stupid, immature, naive. Not ready. Not sure.

People quote the divorce rate, statistics, rules about how long after a mission is appropriate to start thinking about marriage, personal stories about their best friend’s cousin’s uncle’s co-worker who made a bad choice regarding marriage.

So here’s a quick thought about why I am doing this. Getting married. At such a young age, to someone just home from their mission.

Because he’s the one.

And how do I know he’s the one? I’ve thought about this a lot. I could list off the reasons, from his patient and loving heart, to his taste in music, to his consistency in buying me chocolate, not to mention how good looking he is! (see picture above).

But the most important reason that Randy’s the one, is because HE is the one.

Let me explain.

God is the one in charge here. God knows my heart. He knows Randy’s heart. He knows my flaws, and Randy’s flaws. He knows what we will fight about, what we will struggle with, and how we will fit together, and build each other up.

I know Randy’s the one because God’s the one that has the plan. And I know Randy’s the one, because I’m listening, and following, and trying to obey.

And as long as Randy and I both keep following Heavenly Father, we will stay THE ONE for each other.

We didn’t make this decision lightly. It’s something I’ve personally been praying about for 3 and a half years now.

And I’m more sure about this decision than any other decision I’ve made.

So I’m going to be less judgmental about people getting engaged fast, young, to someone in particular, all of it. They have their own relationship with Heavenly Father – and I need to respect that.

Now to quote my good friend Cory Matthews:

Sorry Cory. That’s me and Randy.
Happy Sunday friends:)

What I Heard In Church Today That Broke My Heart


I heard something at Church today, that made me a little sad. It’s something I hear said far, far, far too often. And I’d like to get it corrected as soon as possible.

Today, a wife of one of our Bishopbric members was teaching Marriage Prep. Randy and I went together, all ready to learn.

The first thing she said when she got up was, “I’m a little intimidated to teach. I’ve heard many of you teach, and there are so many returned missionaries here who know how to teach. I never went on a mission, I just got married and had babies. So hopefully I can still teach you something today.”

Those are honestly, her near exact words.

My heart broke.

It left me, and I’m sure several other people in that room who hadn’t served missions, with the impression that if we didn’t serve, we weren’t adequate teachers. And because this amazing woman hadn’t served, she wasn’t a qualified teacher.

This attitude isn’t right.

As members of the Church, as lovers of this Gospel, we are qualified to study, learn, and teach.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new convert, or a seasoned scriptorian.

Everyone has something to offer in this Church.

Whether you served a mission, served as a nursery leader, served as a Relief Society President, served as a visiting teacher, served as a devoted wife, loving father, helpful daughter or son.

We ALL have something to give.

I want my daughters to know they will be amazing leaders, teachers, wives, and mothers, no matter what they decide about serving a mission.

I want my sons to know that their wife is a righteous woman, a great partner for him, and a daughter of God with an incredible mission, whether or not she wore a name-tag.

I want everyone reading this to know it doesn’t matter what they’ve done or haven’t done, it doesn’t matter if they left the church, if they don’t know if they believe. There is a place for you in this Gospel. 

And I want everyone to understand that the path that Heavenly Father directed them to is a good one, the right one. And it doesn’t make them anything less, or more, than anybody else.

 Happy Sunday everyone!

Engagement preview and documentary time

What a week! I am so busy I don’t know what to do with myself. I would go into all the details, but that’s boring. Unfortunately, because I’m engaged and graduating, it’s hard for me to focus at school! Instead of paying attention…I’m kind of just staring at pictures like these….
Our photographer is incredible. Seriously. I can’t get enough of her. Elisha Braithwaite. Check her out.
Elisha gave us two separate engagement sessions to make sure we had everything we wanted. She made us comfortable, had fun with us, and as you can see, she’s incredible at what she does. I can’t wait for more!

Let the invitation stuffing begin! Our invitation lady was also INCREDIBLE and sooooo easy to work with. Also check out Annette Ward, she’s awesome.

And. Move over Dateline and 20/20. We’re coming. Ok not really, but still. Working on a documentary about suicide prevention in Utah for our capstone project has been absolutely incredible. I am loving every interview, all the time spent logging tape, meeting amazing people and sharing their stories. 

Randy and I also manage to have a little date every once and a while, with the ducks. Feeding the ducks is one of my favorite things for some reason. 

Stopped by the mall the other day, and THIS is what I see. It’s made of LEGOS. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.  And now, it was this amazing mother of mine’s birthday this week! She’s the cutest and I am so lucky to have her as my mom. She’s so caring, kind, and truly amazing. I love you mom!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Lovey-Dovey Day

I’ve been hearing it all week…”I hate Valentine’s Day.”

People are entitled to their opinion. But…

I love this holiday!

And you should too!

What better chance do we have to tell all the people in our lives, just how much they mean to us.

I’ll be honest, Valentine’s Day was hard when Randy was on his mission. I wanted someone to send me flowers and take me out to dinner and hold my hand. But it also taught me that all kinds of love are important, and people need to know that you matter to them!

So I have so many people that I should shout-out to and tell them how much they mean to me. I don’t have time to do that, and you don’t have time to read it, so here’s my love letter to all of my dear friends on this lovey-dovey day.

To my lovely friends,

Thank you for supporting me, loving me, letting me be crazy and random and emotional. Thank you for showing me what friendship means. As you get older, it’s easy for friendships to fall apart, and it becomes obvious very quickly who your true friends are. Thank you for being there as I’ve figured out who will stick around. You mean the world to me.

To my family,

I lucked out, and got the best family known to man. Thank you for supporting me as I’m planning a wedding, loving me when I’m a pain, and always being ready to talk and listen. You all inspire me and make me want to be better. I am so happy I get to spend eternity playing Boggle and eating caramel corn with you all!

And to the love of my life,
Randy, every little girl wants to marry the prince and live happily ever after. Thank you for making every fairy tale, real. It’s a different type of fairy tale, neither of us are perfect and there are times we seriously drive each other crazy, but the best part of the fairy tale is that in spite of all of that, we stay together. You once said to me, “I love you for a million reasons, but I know I want to marry you because I love your ugly. I love the parts of you that nobody else gets to see, the vulnerable and sad, hurt, and upset parts.” Thank you for showing me what love really is.

Now enough sap, excuse me as I finish my work day looking at my new watch, and getting ready for date night in the city!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Spread the love.

To do once you get engaged:

Buy a Feyonce t-shirt. Obviously. 

Get the girls who will help you pick out every little detail, make you laugh, help you fix your hair, and everything in between. 

Spend lots of quality time with your fiance and his guitar. 

Keep studying, working, and anchoring even though all you want to do is pin.
And on the subject of pinning, I’m so sorry to all my Pinterest followers. All I do is pin wedding stuff and everyone is probably so sick of it!
More more more is coming!
Happy Thursday everyone! 

The one where I chime in about leggings

I didn’t even want to honor this topic with a post, but as I was listening to conference talks this morning, this one came on. I couldn’t not share.

Lord, Is It I?

Here’s to being a little less judgmental and a little more understanding, kind, and loving.

There are so many bigger problems than leggings. Like members feeling left out, looked down on, and inadequate.

I have opinions about modesty. But to me, modesty is about the way you live your life. And living a modest life includes respecting yourself and those around you, but most importantly, loving your Heavenly Father.

You shouldn’t choose your clothes based on who might be looking at you, but based on your desire to prove to God, every single day, that you love him and you’ll do what he asks you to do.

That also means you shouldn’t tell other people what to wear because you know best. Everyone has a very personal relationship with God. Let them talk to him about what to wear.

Instead, we should all focus on ourselves, and on showing others that God loves them.

When others feel the love of God, they’re more likely to listen to his guidance and counsel, right?

So let’s be done with the posts that are pulling people down, let’s be done arguing over what not to wear.

On Remember To Breathe

 January is proving to be one of those months. 
You know what I mean, right?
One of those months where the time ticks by slowly, but you look back and aren’t sure where the days went. And you look ahead and see so many things coming, and you’re not quite sure how to prep yourself. 
Don’t get me wrong, January has been loads of fun. There’s just so much coming with graduation and having to be a real-life adult. 
And then I bumped into this tonight. What a perfect reminder. 
So here’s to enjoying the bumps and unexpected turns, to embracing all the crazy months ahead, and walking fearlessly into the unknown. 
Happy Saturday dear friends.

Go to college they said…it will be fun they said…

For most schools, finals are long gone. Even here at BYU, quite a few people have already powered through their finals and are on their way home. But no matter if you have finals or not, if college is way behind you or way in the future, the stress of taking multiple really important tests in one week along with a dating life, work, and family, is pretty crazy. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Having a missionary come home means you suddenly don’t really care about anything else. Randy got home and WHAM all I wanted to do was spend time with him and talk to him since we didn’t have a two-week delay anymore. Boy, did that throw my motivation for school for a loop!

2. Professors aren’t always as mean as people say. A lot of my professors actually understand that I have 14 other credits that I’m trying to get through, and wanted to help lighten the load. This isn’t always the case, but I loved that unexpected little delight.

3. Being an adult means biting your tongue. There were lots of things I wanted to say, times I really wanted to give people a load of my mind. But that’s what kids do. So as an adult you decide that being right isn’t as important as the relationship, and move on.

4. Never underestimate the power of hot chocolate. For real. I can’t count how many cups of hot cocoa I’ve guzzled in the past month, but it seems to have this magical ability to make everything better.

5. Good friends and family will make all the difference. Whether it’s keeping a good surprise from you, sitting up at 2 AM to chat, having a dance party, quizzing you before a test, or watching your favorite Christmas movie with you, my friends have gotten me through lots of hard times.

6. Pep-talks are essential. Mine usually start “Maddy, I’m sick and tired of everybody talking about the Soviets!” (name that movie!)

7. Candles. Holiday Wishes is currently burning in my apartment, and can I just say that I’m obsessed. It was pumpkin spice for all of October and November, now Christmas Tree and Sugar Plums and Gingerbread and deliciousness this month. Invest. I’m telling you, you’ll be happy you did.

8. Christmas shopping is 1000000 times more fun with a boyfriend. But really. Especially when he has no clothes and you get to help pick them out.

9. Set aside time to do a lot of studying. If you say, oh I’ll study tonight, it won’t happen. Set times. That’s the only way it will work!

10. Never forget what’s the most important. Take time for the things that really matter, like Church and family. Prioritize and things will work out.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

The Past Two Years, My Best Two Years

This is another one of those posts that I’ve been writing in my head for a long time. I can’t believe I’m just one short week away from seeing Elder Low again! It doesn’t feel real, but I’m beyond ready. He’s been an incredible missionary, he’s changed lives with his testimony, grown so much stronger in the Gospel, and been an example to everyone, especially me.

For a lot of people, the best two years comes while serving a mission. For me, this wasn’t the plan. I’m glad Heavenly Father knows what he’s doing and was able to point me in the right direction. I learned and grew so much by listening, following, even though I didn’t always understand.

So here’s a quick look at what I’ve been up to for the past two years, what I’ve learned, who I’ve become, and why I wouldn’t change a thing.

1. I traveled. From places like Saint George and Park City, to Idaho, to Arizona (and crossed the Grand Canyon off my bucket list) to Disneyland and Dodger Stadium, to Boston, Cambridge and Concord. I had some pretty amazing adventures and loved seeing new places, meeting new people, learning and having fun.

View of Boston
Louisa May Alcott’s House in Concord

The Grand Canyon!

I also fished, a lot!

2. I had some incredible work opportunities. I started working for BYU Radio, and was able to do some fun work on national radio there. I then got an internship at KSL where again, I met some amazing people and learned so much about my career path. Then I got hired at KSL (twice), learned even more about working in a newsroom, and found a place to stick around for a while.

BYU Radio–The Matt Townsend Team

3. I powered through my freshman, sophomore/junior, and half of my senior year of college. I worked hard and got good grades, had some classes I absolutely loved and some that I tolerated, and just overall had a great time going to school.

And a cutie roommate of mine got married! 

4. I worked for BYU Student Alumni. I ran the communications for the BYU Food Drive for two years in a row, and ran communications for the Traditions Ball last April. The friends I made at Alumni will be people I cherish forever. I loved serving my university and having fun while doing it!

5. I made some amazing friends. Friends that will last me for a lifetime. And beyond. I figured out who was really going to be there for me when the going got tough, and I feel so lucky that I was able to meet those people.

6. I dated. Some of these guys were not so good. Others were part of a larger plan to help me learn and grow. I don’t regret that for a second. I was able to learn so much about myself, become a better version of myself, and make friends that will never, ever let me down. That’s pretty lucky if you ask me.

7. I became more confident and comfortable with myself. I can honestly say I have never been so comfortable in my own skin. I love that over these past two years I figured out how to stop caring so much what other people think of me, and really focus on what I think of myself, and what my Heavenly Father thinks of me.

8. I spent much needed time with my family. It’s been amazing to go home and chat with my parents, go on fun outings with my sisters, and we’ve grown closer together over the past months as we’ve all grown up.

9. I wrote to Elder Low every single week. And I wrote other missionary friends often. It was awesome to get to learn and grow with them.

10. My testimony grew exponentially. I had experiences that I’m sure I needed to have, that were planned and placed so I could learn, and become stronger in this gospel. I had missionary moments, service opportunities, church callings, and was able to go from knowing about my Savior, to knowing him so personally. I learned how my Heavenly Father speaks to me individually. And I learned how to be a better instrument in his hands by obeying what he asks me to do.

And that’s all folks.
Happy Thursday everyone!