Here’s to the #LastWeekOfSummer

School starts on Monday.

Please enjoy this lovely picture of me, taken by my friend Hannah, that accurately displays my feelings about the above statement.

School approached me way too fast. It was like I was so caught up in very exciting things of summer and was then startled with the harsh reality that those very exciting things get scared away when the mean and ugly back to school sneaks up behind you. I guess I’m coping. 
But on a happier note, this summer has been nothing but non-stop fun! And this week has been A-MAZ-ING.
My week started off in St. George, Utah with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Monday. Please enjoy this video of the lovely Amanda dumping a pot of ice water on my head.

And to follow that my week brought two different trips to the movie theater. Once to see The Giver, which was incredible and I highly recommend it, and If I Stay, which was good, but consisted of too many swear words and sketchy scenes for my liking. If you are choosing between the two then I’d say go with The Giver. It will save you the effort of having to cover your little sisters eyes.

Thursday brought the opportunity to go see the ever fantastic Thompson Square with my best friend Hannah thanks to my awesome grandparents who got us free tickets. Thanks again grandma and grandpa for the tickets!!! Thompson Square was so good and so much fun!

Yesterday I got to see one of my favorite team mates for the first time since he’s been home from his mission in Rome. Teriyaki, Sterfry and I (WhiteRice) went to the Ogden temple open house and then to IHOP and then finished off our day with a trip to get Teri’s car window chip fixed. Because that’s what normal people do when they hang out right?!?! It was so much fun to see Sterling and we are so happy to have him back in the country!

Today brought an exciting tumbling camp complete with potato sack races and cookies the size of my face. And this afternoon I had a wonderful time riding horses with Raegan and Rachel, as well as taking photographs of Rachel and her beautiful horses for her horse riding lessons. To see more about Rachel’s riding lessons check out her Facebook page HERE! Thanks so much for inviting us to come play Rachel!!

Aaaaand…. the funniest part of the day was when I ripped my pants getting off the horse. Life is awesome!

So I’d say it was a pretty successful summer. Bring on Sr. Year.

feel my sunlight

p.s. My inner cowgirl is in bliss right now. Also, I finished the first 7 seasons of Heartland (Yes, I do realize you can only get 1-5 in the U.S. Don’t ask me how I’ve seen 6 & 7. It’s a secret) and I can’t wait for season 8 to come out this fall!!! I’m so excited I can’t even stand it!

I made it. {dancing into the sunset}

Well I made it.

Today is my first day of summer. I am officially done with Junior year and I am oh so pleased to be able to type that. They told me junior year was the hardest year and boy did it kick my butt, but I made it through and that right there is a reason for rejoicing.

So I know you are all dying to know what I did to celebrate (because that was obviously what you were thinking). Well, I’ll tell you.

Yesterday following the assembly we were released into a hot smelly cafeteria to write notes to everyone we know in expensive books. We did that until 4ish and following that what did I do? I spent the evening with some of my new absolute favorite people.

No, not my high school friends.

My new young women leaders! (and Lauren and Raegan)

I just want to give a shout out to my new leaders because I absolutely adore them. Even though I don’t know them very well yet I love them all dearly. As I enter this summer I enter my final year in the young womens program. This is the final stretch and I am so glad I get to spend it with these wonderful leaders. This final year is going to be FANTASTIC!

Now I need to shift this post to a new topic. That topic is tumbling. I wrote last month about how I took the silver medal at state championships, thus qualifying me to compete at my fourth national championships in Louisville, Kentucky. I have competed at the last three national championships in San Antonio, Texas; Long Beach, California; and Kansas City, Missouri. I have had such a great opportunity handed to me and I am so thankful for each of these opportunities to compete. They were all truly wonderful.

Now, it breaks my heart and tears come to my eyes as I write this, but I will not be competing in Louisville, Kentucky this summer.

Although I am hitting a high point in my tumbling and am finally at the level I want to be, I feel my heart pulling in a different direction. My heart is being pulled to Palmyra, New York for EFY. I feel that this is the experience I need to have this summer. And because I am saving for a mission and for college I don’t have the funds to do both trips.

I realize that this was most likely my final chance to compete at a National Championships due to the fact that the next time Nationals comes around I will be about two months from a mission, and because I do not plan on returning to compete in this sport when I come home. My heart breaks to think that I will not be a part of the Flipside nationals team this year, but I would like to say that I am SO proud of my team mates who will be a part of it in years to come.

And with that I need to thank my coaches. My wonderful, amazing, fantastic coaches; Stephanie in particular. I hit a point last year where I didn’t know how long I wanted to continue in this sport. I have been at the same level for 4 years and was starting to lose my drive. Nobody knew about this except for my teammate Teri and we only discussed it a few times when nobody else was around. However, Stephanie was the one person who pulled me through it. Stephanie was the only person who could motivate me to try when all of my own motivation was gone. With this new found motivation I was able to work harder than I ever had before.

At State when I came to talk go my coaches following the awards ceremony Stephanie gave me one of the biggest hug I have ever gotten from one of my coaches. It was a hug of congratulations. Something I am not used to getting. And the words that my other coach, Jill said to me are still ringing in my head, that “I finally pulled through when mattered most”. This was something I have been trying to do for years. I finally did it.

Now, hearing this you would think that I would be all for competing at Nationals, however, like I said, my heart (and my money) is being pulled to Palmyra and I am oh so happy about it. I seriously can’t handle how excited I am for this experience. It is going to be amazing.

Now by resigning my spot on the Flipside Nationals team I am in no way quitting tumbling. I promise to continue to work just as hard as I was before. I also promise to support those who will be competing with the best of my ability. After all, I am still on the team and I still call them team mates. I know you will all do fantastic and I will be the first one to text you after they compete to see how you did.

With the fact that I am no longer competing at Nationals I am now free to work other things besides passes, thus giving me the opportunity to work towards moving up to the next level. I have competed four long years of level 8 and now, for the first time, I have the opportunity to work towards moving up to level 9. This is the new goal. I can’t wait to work at it.

So with that my heart is open to the future. I like the way my life is headed and I can’t wait for these new opportunities. I can’t wait for EFY with the magnificent Raegan, and I can’t wait for this last year as a power tumbler. I also can’t wait for this last year as a high schooler.

The future is bright and I can’t wait to dance into the sunset.

This song is exactly how I feel right now. I love it.

feel my sunlight

p.s. That was seriously one of the hardest posts I have ever had to write. I love my team so much.

p.s.s. Even though I am not going to Nationals I am still going to be doing fundraisers for EFY. My New York Trip will actually cost more than my Nationals trip would have so Ill need any help I can get. And I am doing a little bit of a different fundraiser this year. Instead of fat boys and pizza cards I will be selling up cycled furniture and other home decor stuff. More on that to come. 

p.s.s.s. Shout out to all my friends who graduate today! You guys rock!

Hope in hard. Hope in Him.

It’s been two weeks since I last posted.

Two weeks since I totaled my car.

I have learned so much in the last two weeks and and can honestly say I am better for it.

Now, while I can’t say it’s all been good the last few weeks, I can say that it has all been worth it. I have had my fair share of fights with my pal Satan that I am not proud of, but on the other hand I have also had some incredible bonding moments with my Brother Jesus, The man I call my Savior.

Now, this blog is a sunny place. So here is some good that happened the last two weeks.

My tumbling team hosted the largest tumbling competition in Utah history last weekend. (A contributing factor to me not blogging.) I had not trained all week due to the car accident and on Friday I decided I was competing. Friday night was a long night of setting up equipment and I competed Saturday morning. After I competed I worked all day helping run the meet. I finished the competition presently surprised with a bronze medal. It was an overall good meet.

In the last two weeks I’ve also..

-cleaned my room (this is a weird and beautiful thing people.)
-filmed a movie in sign language.
-worn capris. (It was 50 degrees and sunny yesterday…we had a short taunting hale storm earlier today…and back to blue skies now!)
-taught Sunday school. all. by. myself.
-paid a big fat ticket of $120. There goes all the money I made for the tumbling competition.

So, live has been hard, but things are turning around for the better.

When you are pushed up between a rock and a hard place the best place to go is up. I’ve been trying to look up the last few days and let me tell you, it has made all the difference.

I’m not one that particularly likes hanging out under the clouds. (I mean, my blog is called feel my sunlight.) And with the sunshine peeking through the clouds the last few days It has proved as a reminder that attitude is all my choice. Sure, circumstances may sway my choice for a minute, but in reality, the choice is still mine. My choice is hope.

Hope in my Savior.
Hope that he will lift me.
Hope that he will get me out.
Hope that I will be okay.
Hope that everything else will be too.
Hope that I will be enough.
Hope that I will not fail.
Hope that I will not fear.
Hope that I will be better.
Hope that he will help.
Hope in sunlight.

Now, I’d like to shift the topic from me, to my friends who are having a hard time. Life isn’t easy. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life brings dark clouds. Life brings multiple feet of snow, Life brings harsh winds. Life brings gloomy rain. Life brings hale storms that will beat you down until you don’t think you can get up again, but I promise you, YOU CAN GET UP AGAIN. no matter your circumstances. 
I don’t know your circumstances and I have no right to say I do, however, I do know someone who does. I know someone who knows exactly what you have been through and who knows exactly how to get you to the other side. Although you may feel like you are alone in your suffering, our Savior, YOUR savior, is there for you. I know this because he was there for me. He sees your potential and he sees what you are capable of. He sees greatness in you. He wants to pull you up and help you out. His arms are ever outreached towards you. All you have to do is grasp his hand and hold on tight.
This is a talk that got me through one of my lowest moments last week. It now rests in the archives of “strength for difficult times.” I promise it is worth 16 minutes and 3 seconds.

“Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions.” 

The Savior gives hope. Have hope in Him.

feel my sunlight

p.s. funny quote of the week: “teacher, I want my eyelids to look like your eyelids.” 

I hope you enjoy Holland

Dear blog, I’m sorry I’ve neglected you the last couple of days. I wish I had some great extravagant excuse like I was riding Elephants in India or something, but the reality is I was lazy and that’s that.

I just finished a long, well procrastinated assignment that took much longer than any single assignment ever should. So naturally I am rewarding myself with blogging. At midnight.

It has been a good Sunday. It has been an awakening day, or at the very least it has shaken me out the trance I have been in the last couple of days. Not that I was doing anything wrong, but I feel like the last couple of days I have been hypnotized by the things of the world. I think this is a regular occurrence for all of us and sometimes it is good to be reminded to snap out of it, because it feels so much better on the outside.

There was an awesome talk given by a sister in my ward today that really hit me. She talked a little bit about finding joy in adversity and she told a story that her friend sent to her that I loved and imediatly knew I had to share it with you. I am retelling from memory and hope I can tell it as well as she did.
{picture via. Google. view original image here.}

You have dreamed of traveling to Italy for your entire life and you have finally planned your trip. You board the plane and you can feel the excitement among the passengers who, just like you, are so excited to land in Italy. When your plane lands you hear a voice come on over the intercom “Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Holland.” Holland?! Holland?! You where supposed to land in Italy. You have dreamed your whole life of going to Italy and now you are stuck in Holland. How terrible! Now, there are two ways you could approach this, you could either walk off the plane and soon find the true beauty of Holland and enjoy your experience, because after all, Holland is an incredibly beautiful place, or you could spend the rest of your life wishing your plane had landed in Italy and spend the rest of your life moping about the fact that you are not where you had planned to end up.
I think this is what we often do in our lives. Sometimes we have the perfect idea of what is supposed to happen, and when that doesn’t workout we don’t realize that maybe we were put somewhere for a reason and sometimes we don’t realize that where God puts us is much better than the place we dreamed of.
I hope you enjoy Holland.

I think too often we get caught up in how perfect our lives are not, and we forget too often how much our lives are actually worth. This same sister that spoke in my ward today said

        “you may not be seen as
 by the rest of the world,          
         but you are seen as 
     perfect by him.”          

Remember who you are and remember that you are perfect in the eyes of your creator. He knows whats best for you even better than you do. That is why he creates the maps for your life, not you. Follow his map and don’t ever stray from the path he has drawn because if you follow his path he will lead you to the “X that marks the spot” and he will lead you to eternal life.
I know that if we strive to follow him we will one day return to live with him and I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Feel my Sunlight
p.s. Happy comments are the greatest. They bring me lots of joy.

eternally changed

Well my friends, I survived schoooool!! (The first week at least). And I am so glad it’s Friday.

It’s hard to keep up a blog with Honors, AP, and CE classes. Especially when I don’t have any classes where I just sit at a computer the whole period like I did last year. That is, except for CE digital media, where we actually made blogs for class. That was kinda fun. CE digital media is kinda the best class ever, I mean, we made blogs for crying out loud!!!

So I am sitting here at the sunny yellow computer desk at 10:36 at night planning on writing a blog post. Lets see how this turns out.

This week has been crazy. And by crazy I mean stressfully phenomenal, dreadfully stupendous, hopefully wonderful, excitingly tiring, newly tedious, and strangely not that bad. I actually love most of my classes and I got some pretty dang good teachers this year. I am predicting it is going to be a fantastic year and I can’t wait.

I learned something this morning while I was reading my scriptures. (5:30 am scripture study is where it’s at! Brown Sugaring it up! By far the sweetest part of the day.)

In 1st Nephi 3:29-31 Laman and Lemuel are visited by an angel, and immidiatly following the angels diparture they begin to go back to complaining and begin to revert to their old ways.

I sometimes wonder how many times we do this in our own lives. How many times do we have a very spiritual experience that seems to change us, but then immediately revert back to our old ways when trial comes? How many EFY sessions, treks, girls camps, and youth conferences experiences have “changed our lives” but, in the end leave us unchanged? How many times do get home from church and begin to block out everything we felt that day?

I think this is something we could all work on a little. There is always room to change, but we must remember to remain changed when the wave hits. We must be able to not just remember what we felt, but to feel it again and again as the rocks begin to crumble. If we strive to hold on, how much easier it will be to hold our ground in this crazy war of life.

I often joke that I wish I could just go to EFY all year long instead of school because I love the atmosphere and everything about EFY while I’m there. But I think we can create that same kind of atmosphere in our daily lives if we are doing whats right.

I was once told that I should make the week after EFY the greatest week of my life because that’s when I get to apply what I learned. If you have ever been to EFY you know that the week after is always the hardest week because that is when you are thrown back into the world of immodest clothing, bad language, idleness, and temptation. When you are thrown back into a world where the less virtuous choices are easiest and sin surrounds you. But I truly believe that we can see an angel, and be forever changed by it.

I decided to make this my goal for the next week. (and forever hopefully) To always be remembering and having spiritual experiences and not sitting and waiting for next years EFY to have another one. When I was baptized I was given the gift to have the constant companion of the Holy Ghost. Why on earth would I want to only use this gift every once and a while?

I have a testimony of this gospel and it’s changing powers. I know that it is the only true church and that it can change lives. I know that if we strive to live what’s right, we will be forever changed.

On an entirely different note, please take a second to look at this picture. These girls are from all over the nation. They are all from different teams, and they are supposed to be rivals. But regardless of all of that they still support one another and have peptalks before competition. I think the world needs a little bit more of this kind of awesome.

Jr Elite Girls at the Stars and Stripes Cup today

Feel my Sunlight

p.s. This blog post from NieNie just about sums up what I think about TV. And people wonder why I don’t watch TV.

p.s.s. I went to the football game tonight and we lost sadly. But I got a cookie dough shake so I’m happy.

forsaken week, and the first day of school

 I’m sorry I’ve forsaken you this week, I really am! This last week was crazy fun and jam packed with awesome. I could blame my lack of posts on that, but in reality, I was just lazy when it came to posts. Sorry.

So this last week I did a few things in my final attempts at living it up in my last days of summer. I mean, I went to the temple! I know that’s not most peoples idea of “living it up” but it’s sure mine! It was the highlight of my week just as it always is.

It was also my cool sister Danielle’s 15th birthday on Sunday. Here is a picture of her with a fry that looks like a hat from her birthday dinner. Happy birthday beautiful sister of mine!

happy birthday Danielle!!!

I also had the opportunity to run The Color Run 5K in Salt Lake City with my dad and one of my best friends Lauren. That was so much fun! They aren’t kidding when they say it is the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”.

…After…. (sorta)
…The REAL after!
race swag
color color color
CTR remains clean!
Be happy
Be really happy

We got covered in colorful cornstarch and my hair (as well as my armpits, and pretty much everywhere else on my body) turned an awesome sickly color of green. I washed my hair 3 times before realizing my hair was going to need special treatment. When talking to Amberleigh (one of my super amazing EFY counselors, whom I love lots and lots.) days before going to school I realized that there was a large chance I would be going to school on Monday with green hair, I also realized that the situation wasn’t going to change, but the way I looked at the situation would determine what I made of it. I thought of a quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley…

             The only way to get through life is to               
          laugh your way through it.             
                         You either have to laugh or cry.          
         I prefer to laugh as      
crying gives me a headache.      
                         -Marjorie Hinckley

While I wanted nothing more than to go to school not looking like I had dip dyed my hair in pureed green beens, I knew that I needed to have a positive attitude, or I would ultimately have a terrible first day of school. I decided then and there that I would laugh about it. 

Now, I tried everything. Lemon juice, baby oil, hot oil treatment, 8 time shampooing and conditioning my hair, and lotion. Oh, and a few prayers. The lotion and the prayers helped the most and I was so blessed to go to school this morning with BLOND HAIR! I was more than pleased. So if you ever get green cornstarch in your hair that dyes it green, put lotion in it and start to pray. Ha
Me, in the truck, about to drive myself to my first day of Junior year. Crazy stuff.
 So like I said, today was the first day of school. It was surprisingly one of my better first days of school that I’ve ever had. I was not happy about ending my summer of fun, but I think it will be a pretty good year this year. (I mean, when you have a volunteer from an outlying district, that’s something you can’t ignore. #namethatmovie) But it really was a darn good day. I mean, I had TWO missionary experiences at school today and it was only the first day of school. Life is good. team mates make things fun. School is good. I hope tomorrow brings the same amount of joy as today did. Go read your scriptures, say your prayers, remember who you are, and so on, and so forth, and whatnot, and what have you. I love you all!
Feel my Sunlight 
p.s. I love people. Like a whole lot. And if you are reading this, you are one of those people I love a whole lot.

I have learned

I’m not sure where this post is going to go so I guess we will just flow with it and see where it ends up. It has been a nonstop party for the last three days and I have had a lot to think about. Last night I had a talk with an old friend. I had had a talk with this same friend exactly a year before, the subject the same, but the circumstances very different. We learned this year that the world hits us and it hits hard. We learned that things aren’t always what we think and that we are stronger than we previously thought.
I learned over this last year that my world doesn’t float on a cloud and that that cloud thought I was floating on wasn’t a cloud at all, but a deceiving mist that would soon bring a reality check. I learned that boys aren’t needed to be happy, in fact, they sometimes make you very unhappy. I learned to ignore the taunting about being a part of the VLs and never have been on a date. I learned to accept the fact that the world doesn’t always bring a piece of cake; sometimes it brings a table spoon of “grape” flavored medicine. While this medicine may not taste remotely of grapes, but the tears of small children, it is the only thing that will make you better.  It is the only thing that will make you stronger, and we could all use a little more strength to face the world. I learned that sometimes people are put into your lives for a reason, and sometimes they are taken out of our lives for another reason. I learned that having fewer friends makes you appreciate the ones you do have much more. I learned that sometimes the greatest friendships only last a week, yet still last a lifetime. I learned that there is a lot more to life than the pictures you post on Facebook and that the things people pin on Pinterest are both unrealistic and unattainable, and that they certainly don’t matter in the long run. Because the things that actually matter in life aren’t things that you pin. They are things that you feel. I learned this year that you don’t go to parties to be more popular, you go to parties to strengthen your relationships with the people in your life. I learned that a party can be 5 girls in pajamas in the morning. I learned that people aren’t always who you think they are and sometimes their actions will surprise you. I learned that sometimes people are kind and sometimes the world is good, and that sometimes people are EXTREMELY kind and sometimes the world is EXTREMELY good. I learned that blogging is a very good way to get things off my chest. I learned that while I may not be the greatest singer, and that nobody would ever want to buy my album, I should sing anyways. I learned that guitars can be the most comforting when used correctly. I learned that country music and sunshine make everything feel all right. I learned that fake isn’t fun and that rude isn’t respectable.  I learned to accept the fact that not everyone feels the same as I do and that it isn’t worth it to try to impress everyone. I learned that the things I want the most are things the world would laugh at. I have had my worst days, and I have had my greatest days. While I learned many things this year, the thing I learned about the most is that the greatest work we could do is the work of our Father in Heaven. We have a great responsibility. Let’s get to work.
Feel my Sunlight
p.s. Sorry it has been a few days, like I said, I have been partying hard. Have a fantastic summer!

p.s.s Notice how nothing In this post has anything to do with Columbus or radical numbers? Just saying.

p.s.s.s. I am in a fantastic mood, and have been for three days. Please don’t rain on my parade.