Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dancing with Fire

I've been waiting for it to hit...  For it to finally click that I am engaged.  Engaged to my very favorite person on the planet.  But a week later it still feels so surreal.  Considering the amount of times I am glancing down at my left hand everyday you would think I would have realized.  But I still wake up every morning feeling as surprised and giddy as ever that there is a shiny perfect ring staring back at me.

We had picked it out over a month ago.  A month of secret keeping.  A month of not-so-patiently waiting.  A month of begging.  Begging to see it.  Begging for clues.  The only clue I got was "snow."  He said it had to be snowing.  I naively believed.  I accepted the fact that I probably wouldn't be engaged until Christmas break.  I got excited about how magical a Christmas engagement could be.  And I completely let my guard down.  Silly silly girl.  Smart smart boy.

Now before I tell the rest of our story we have to rewind.  Rewind to April.  A few weeks before our first date.  We were all at Andrew's house sitting around a fire roasting marshmallows and chatting.  Somehow the fact that Andrew could fire knife came up and of course we begged him to show us.  I had never seen fire knifing before and to say the least I was very impressed.  As I sat completely mesmerized watching him toss and spin the burning knife, one of my very best friends, Jane, leaned over and whispered, "oh my gosh Beth you should go for him." I quickly replied no, no he was totally off limits.  He was one of my best friend's older brothers.  But nonetheless the boy who could make fire dance had caught my eye.  And when he called a few weeks later asking me on our first date I was hardly excited.

Now fast forward.  Back to November 30th.  (my now favorite day of the year)  We were sitting on the porch waiting for my family so that we could go down to the  beach for a little fire spinning show.  It was nothing out of the normal.  He had done it once before for my family and my mom was determined to get it on film this time.  As we waited, he practiced and I watched.  And without a clue of what would happen next I reminded him that "his first fire spinning show was what caught my eye."  He just smiled.  Probably stoked out of his mind about how perfectly my comment fell into the plans for the night.

He did his show on the beach.  Not only was my family watching but a crowd of bystanders had gathered to watch on the boardwalk.  As he spun I was completely preoccupied trying to get a good picture that I had been insisting he should instagram.  He ended and still clueless I became worried that his one-knee ending had gotten him stuck.  When he called me over I went over with every intention of helping him get up without scorching his legs off.  But instead out came a little black box.  My mind went b l a n k.  I was taken completely off guard.  As usual NOT what I had planned.  "Elisabeth, will you marry me?"  The world seemed to slow down and speed up at the same time.  Instant tears, a "yes," more tears, a few screams, and even more screams.

And now I am engaged.  To my very best friend… the boy who made fire dance.

To watch a video of our proposal click the following link…


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rock Around the Clock

This weekend we got to shower one of my very best friends, Anna Winterton… soon to be Hansen.   

She is a stunner and I cannot wait to see how amazingly fabulous she will look on her wedding day.  Love love this lovely lady.  

We decided to throw Anna an "Around the Clock" shower and it turned out darling.  We began by assigning each girl that was invited a time.  Each girl was then supposed to buy a gift that coordinated with the time they were assigned.  Now let's by honest... not very many of us stuck to our times but assigning times definitely inspired some gift creativity and I loved hearing how each girl justified that their gift fit with their time.  

I was in charge of invitations, decorations, and the video.  One of my other very best friends, the lovely Taylor Watts, was in charge of party gifts and food.  The gifts were witty and the food was to DIE FOR.  Thank you Mama Watts.  Taylor also added a final touch that made the entire shower twenty times better… a board of awkward photos from Anna's awkward days.  Nothing but laughs and some much needed reminiscing on our Jr. High days.

The invitations… that I was far too proud of…     

Clocks on clocks on clocks

The most darling party gifts.

 My banner… another proud moment… 

A menu consisting of fresh fruit, HOMEMADE rolls, a fabulous gluten free salad, and brownies galore.  YUM YUM YUM

Our lovely party guests. 

21 fabulous girls who came to celebrate Anna Banana's decision to get married.  

And last but not least… my favorite shot of the night.  The hosts with the lovely soon-to-be bride.  We love you Anna Bear.



Thursday, November 7, 2013


Six months ago today Andrew kissed me for the first time on top of a jeeping trail called Hell's Revenge in Moab.  I know that sounds a tad redneck but it was honestly the most perfect kiss to ever exist.  It was what I like to call a "movie moment."  

We jeeped up to the peak of the trail and climbed up to sit on top of the roof of his jeep to watch a lightning storm out in the distance lighting up the silhouettes of the arches.  It was breathtaking and it left both of us almost speechless.  The world was completely silent and it felt like we were the only two people on planet earth.  I could have sat there for hours.  It was just one of those moments you never want to end.  And then the next thing I knew he looked at me, grabbed my face and kissed me.  Instant 
b u t t e r f l i e s.  

Ever since that first kiss I've been falling for him.  And even though I think each day I am really really in love with him, I am surprised the next day because I end up loving him even a little more than the day before.  

So to celebrate six months of a ridiculously sappy Beth I thought I would be sappy yet again and share SIX things I love about Andrew… 

1.  He's my biggest fan.  He supports me in just about everything I do.  He's the first and probably most faithful reader of this blog.  He is continually encouraging me to do what I love.  To him, the sky is my limit and he will be behind me in whatever I want to do.

2.  He's a hard worker.  He is always working on a project.  And not only is he always working but he is always doing everything he does one hundred percent.  He never does something half way.  It's all or nothing.  

3.  He's willing to make my dreams come true.  I wanted a Harry Potter party.  He built me Hogwarts.  He goes above and beyond to have a good time and to make sure I am happy.  

4.  He's tone deaf.  I love that someone else can sing as off key as I do.  Car rides with us is a real treat and I  love that he is willing to sing just as loud as I do.  

5.  He can make me laugh.  And it's not just dumb humor.  He's witty and clever which I love.  I love clever people.  I also love that he can laugh at his own mistakes and the hilarious things that seem to be always going wrong in our life… aka spills, falls, and just about every other clumsy thing possible.    

6.  He's still a child.  He likes animated movies almost as much as I do.  He is always down for a practical prank.  And he has an equally wild imagination.       

Six things I love, to celebrate six of my very favorite months.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Spooky Sushi

This Halloween we decided to stay in and if I do say so myself, it was one of our better ideas.  We decided to make sushi, deep-fry every possible thing we could find in Spencer's house, and watch the ever famous… Hocus Pocus.  Best night ever.  

If you haven't made sushi I highly recommend you do.  Even if you don't enjoy sushi there is something so liberating about making a perfectly rolled roll that looks just like the sushi chefs' creations.  Although not everyone in the group had faith… (everyone ate before except me… such doubters)… it turned out fabulous and it was fairly easy.     

All you need is…
 >> white rice <<
>> a little bit of vinegar to make the white rice sticky<<
>>bamboo rollers<<
>>seaweed paper<<
(bamboo rollers and seaweed paper can be purchased at any Chinese market)
>>fish, vegetables, mayo, and lots of sriracha sauce<<

First cook the rice.  I recommend doing it in a rice cooker.  Then add just a little bit of vinegar.  Mix it in while the rice is still hot and make sure it covers most of the rice.  After the rice has cooled a bit pack down a thin layer of rice on your bamboo roller.  The rice should be about the size and shape of your seaweed paper.  Make sure it is a THIN layer.  Too thick and it will all fall apart.  If the rice is still really sticky, wet your hands with a little bit of water and continue packing.

Next place the seaweed sheet on top of your rice.  Then place your fish, vegetables, and whatever else you want in your roll near the edge of the seaweed paper.  You probably want to leave about an inch between the edge of the seaweed paper and where you place the filling.  Then roll.  Roll tightly.  After each roll carefully peel off the bamboo roller and continue until completely rolled. Top with a mixture of the mayo and sriracha sauce.  Then cut with a sharp, wet knife.

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The sushi was fabulous but the deep-frying was even better.  Deep fried bananas topped with ice cream and carmel,  deep fried oreos (they may sound gross but they are TO DIE FOR… I am now a firm believer in them and I am looking forward to Sporty's Sweets that will be selling them next summer), and ice cream.  Yes, deep fried ice cream.  Healthy?  No.  Delicious?  HECK YES.  

Fabulous food.  Fabulous people.  Best night ever.   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Colorado Class

Classy: /ˈklasē/ adjective 1. Stylish and sophisticated synonyms: stylish, high-class, superior, exclusive, chic, elegant, smart, sophisticated, upscale, upmarket, high-toned. 

The Menloves have mistakenly given me the label of "classy."  One of the higher compliments I have receieved because honestly... I am not the classiest individual out there... (see example below) 

Yes...  I bought that.  And yes I am the extremely PROUD owner of that.  And yes we will probably wear them to the next University of Utah game... the humans sitting behind us will undoubtedly hate us but I need to get some use out of that well spent eighteen dollars.

     I have these moments in life where I truly do want to be classy.  Or what I consider classy in my head.  The perfectly-messy-hair-jcrew-outfit-clever-comments-little-black-dress kind of classy.  The kind of classy you see in magazines.

However, I also have these moments in life where I realize I should have been born a redneck.  The wanna-drive-a-pick-up-truck-wear-my-awful-oversized-flannel-and-eat-chile-lime-spitz moments.  It probably doesn't help that I am dating an even bigger wanna-be-redneck.

So am I classy?  Or am I redneck?  I can't quite decide.

This fall break I got to spend a few days in Colorado with the Menloves.  And as I like to say it was a real hoot.  (saying the word hoot probably makes me automatically unclassy) But honestly it was a fabulous weekend.  A weekend filled with hikes, gorgeous drives, ghost-town explorations, fabulous food, clothing-optional hot-springs, (no we didn't participate in the nudeness and sadly no I don't have pictures from that little experience but let me tell you it was a tad scarring...some people shouldn't be allowed to be nude... ever) and let's not forget those bison hats.  Pure class if you ask me...  

And that's when it hit me.  I had never thought of "class" as an subjective term.  But the more I thought about it the more subjective it became.  Class is superior, exclusive, and upscale.  And if I consider those fabulous bison hats to be superior, exclusive, and upscale then they are classy to me.

So maybe in a weird round about way being a little bit redneck is classy.  And maybe in a weird round about way I am trying to say... who cares if you are classy compared to the world's standards because you are you and that's classy in and of itself.

And now just a few of my favorite pictures from the classiest of trips with the classiest of families.

How cute is this little thing?  Absolutely fell in love with her and the rest of the Longson family.  We fed her far too much ice cream but how can you resist a face like that?


Monday, October 14, 2013

Quite Like You

I am a people person.  I love people and I love being surrounded by people.  However, I am also a firm  believer in alone time.  In fact I used to thrive on alone time.  I used to demand alone time.  Key word being "used."  

Last year I nannied one of my favorite families for a week while their parents were out of town.  It is one of my very favorite jobs not only because I adore ADORE their family but also because once the kids are at school I get the whole house completely to myself.  Perfect for my coveted alone time.  My time to write.  Think.  Meditate.  Sing at the top of my lungs or dance around the kitchen island.  Just my time.  

This September I once again began a week of my favorite job, however, my first morning I was met with a completely unexpected surprise.  As I sat eating my breakfast in complete silence and solitude I realized I was somehow totally miserable.  An honest outrage because generally an uninterrupted breakfast by myself is one of my very favorite things.  For a few minutes I couldn't put my finger on it.  Why in the world I was so miserable.  And then it hit me...  I was lonely.  A somewhat foreign feeling for the firm-believer-thriver-and-demander-of-at-least-one-hour-of-alone-time-everyday.  But I was lonely and antsy and I could blame it on no one other than Andrew.  

Quite honestly he has turned me into a total fruit.  He's turned me into that sappy girl I used to hate.  The girl I said I would never be.

I used to loathe PDA (public display of affection).  Even holding hands made me feel extremely uncomfortable.  I would carry five different things in both hands just to avoid it.  Now... I seem to be holding Andrew's hand just about everywhere we go.

The worst part is I miss him whenever I am not with him.  In fact, I can't stand being alone these days.  I have to be with him.  From the very second I say goodnight I start missing him.  And when I wake up I am grumpier than ever because once again...
I am  m i s s i n g him
I am missing him all dang day long.  At class.  At work.  While I run errands.  Missing, missing, missing him.  As I said... I have become a TOTAL fruit.

This weekend Andrew went camping and to my horror I realized I was babysitting and wouldn't be able to attend.  Meaning... a WHOLE night without him.  Which is kinda a big deal because I haven't gone a night without him since we started dating.  (Besides two weeks of vacations this summer.)  To say the least I was really really dreading Friday night... Okay I am being a tad dramatic, it honestly wasn't that bad.  I had a grand time with my Cal girl.  But once again, all things aside, I ended the night... missing him.  But this time twice as much as normal because I went a WHOLE ENTIRE day without him.  

This weekend inspired a poem.  The first poem of a new series of shorter poems.  A series I like to call "Between the Rhymes."  A new series from a new Beth.  A hold-his-hand-everywhere-we-go-alone-time-hater-always-want-to-be-with-him-completely-in-love Beth.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Organic Braid

Introducing my very favorite braid... the ORGANIC BRAID.  Not only is it simple to do but it requires no hair elastic, which seems to be the one thing I am always lacking when I really really need my hair up and out of my face. 

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This past summer I went to Disneyland with five of my very best friends.  Luckily one of my friends, Calee, is a Disneyland expert.  And when I say expert, I mean expert.  She knows which rides to get the fast passes for.  Which rides to wait out the line in.  And before we got into the park she pretty much had our entire day mapped out including the best places to grab snacks along the way.  To say the least she was a very valuable asset.  But her obsession with Disneyland was not the only thing that benefited us, her passion for hair also came quite in handy.  

Cal is currently a student at Taylor Andrew's Academy of Hair Design and she is becoming one of the most fabulous hairdressers that Utah has to offer.  Seriously this girl has talent.  Not only have I been the recipient of several fabulous hair-coloring experiments and hair-cuts but I also get my hair styled on a fairly regular basis.  Just one of the perks of being BFF with an aspiring hair dresser.

These skills were especially perfect for the long lines of Disneyland.  Every line was a new hair-do as we very impatiently waited for some of the most popular rides.  And as you can guess my favorite that she taught me was the oh-so-lovely organic braid.  

So without further ado here are a few simple steps. 


This braid works best on messy hair.  Talk about a BONUS.  

1.  Spilt your hair into three sections and begin braiding like you would on a normal braid.  However don't separate the ends.  Let them get kinda tangled.  This takes practice so you may have to try it a couple times.   

2. After you have braided the desired amount flip your hair through the natural loop that appears.  This loop is created because of the knotted ends.  

3. After you loop it through, pull it tight.  And BOOM you have our organic braid.  Perfect for messy hair days or on-the-go-last-minute-hair-dos.  Aka everyday.   

For different braid lengths play with how tangled you let the bottoms get at the beginning.  For a shorter braid let it get tangled faster.  For a longer braid pull the pieces apart the first few times.

For more hair ideas and work done by the lovely Cal visit her blog:

Monday, October 7, 2013


Last Thursday was the famous blackout game.  A university-of-utah-football-fan-favorite where the whole stadium wears black.  This is one game I try to never miss.  However, this year I decided it was best we miss it due to illness and the continually decreasing weather temperatures throughout the day.  With Andrew barely getting over his ridiculously awful cold, I suggested we go up to his grandma's timeshare in Park City.  I figured we could finish fighting off his cold in the hot tub, steam room, and sauna while watching the game from the comfort of a four-star hotel room.  To Carter's dismay Jane was also sick.  I however found this a lovely stroke of luck because that meant that one of our favorite couples could join us.  

The Marriott is one of my very favorite hotels in Park City.  Mainly because of the hot tubs.  There are at least five different hot tubs that each waterfall into one another.  So we spent all night being mischievous and not minding the "PLEASE DON'T CLIMB ON THE ROCKS" signs and "cliff jumping" from hot tub to hot tub.

We watched the game and we were all quite disappointed we lost.  But at least our team looked fabulous in all black.  I couldn't seem to get over our matte black helmets.  Classy if you ask me.  

After the game we decided we needed to head home.  When we left the hotel I was completely shocked to find that it was snowing.  Snowing during the first week of October.  Upset was an understatement seeing as fall is my very favorite season.  Andrew was ecstatic because he lives for skiing.  And the earlier it snows the happier he is.

The snow was all great and dandy until we started actually driving home.  It was one of those snowstorms where the headlights and the falling snow combine to make the view out of the windshield look psychedelic.  Or as Jane described it... like the stars in Star Wars when they are traveling through space at light speed.  It was kind of sickening if you concentrated too hard on it and ultimately blinding.  It was nearly impossible to see anything, including the lines on the road.

The longer we drove the more psychedelic the snow became.  And soon we couldn't decide if we preferred the whiteout that occurred with the headlights on or the less dizzying blackout that occurred with the headlights off.  The darkness was our best bet until we got really deep into Parley's.    Then lights became necessary as canyon walls and drop off's became a concern.  It not only got darker the deeper we got but it got colder... meaning more snow and higher winds.  

As the snow became even more wild I became more worried until I saw it...  a construction cone.  One of the those big, fat, orange, barrel cones.  I was filled with immediate relief.  Because those cones became a bright and easily seen guide down the rest of the canyon.  One every few feet made navigating the canyon a million times easier and I silently thanked Heavenly Father for those hideous construction cones.

As my mind became less consumed with worry it wandered to my gratitude for those construction cones.  I realized that it was the first time in my life I had ever been grateful for road construction.  Most of the time hitting construction results in me cursing under my breath.  I HATE CONSTRUCTION.  Slows my whole life down.  And it seems like there is continuously construction somewhere on a road I need to be taking.  But for once I was really grateful for the construction.  And I began to relate that to my own life...

How often am I grateful for the construction and reconstruction in my life?  For those moments when I feel like I am being torn apart and being built all over again.  Not very often.  Generally not until the newly-built-stronger-me has to deal with my next life blackout... or in other words the next life trial that leaves me feeling totally alone or helpless.  Most of the time I can't appreciate the construction until much later.  And most of time I waste time and energy complaining and whining about it instead of just putting on a smile and realizing it is for my own good...  And that is when I made my newest resolution...  to no longer curse the construction and those lovely construction workers.  Both the literal construction and the figurative construction in my life. Because the construction only makes the blackouts that much easier.  


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Homemade Orange Rolls

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A couple weeks ago one of my mom's good friends, Kathrine Perry, taught us how to make orange rolls.  If you know Kathrine Perry then you already know that these rolls are to die for.  If you don't know Kathrine it will suffice to say that the first time I made them I ate three... within the first half hour that they were out of the oven... SOS

This weekend is one of my very favorite weekends of the year.  General Conference weekend.  And the fall session is my very favorite one.  Solely because fall is my favorite season and Conference gives me even more of an excuse to cuddle up in a blanket.  Conference weekend always means good food and so this morning we of course made one of our new favorites... orange rolls.  

This recipe makes two dozen... There are now only two left.  So clearly they are a HUGE hit.  And they are surprisingly not as hard to make as I thought.  Below is the recipe and some tips from Kathrine that made them all the better.  

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup margarine (Kathrine recommends Western Family)
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. salt
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages of yeast
4 1/2 - 5 cups of flour 

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Dissolve sugar, salt and margarine with hot water.  Stir in 2 cups of flour.  Beat eggs well and add to mixture.  Add yeast and stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Refrigerate two hours OR let raise one hour, stir down and refrigerate overnight.  Three hours before serving divide dough into three parts.  Roll on floured board.  Roll dough into a large rectangle.  Spread with 1/3 of the orange filling.  Cut into eight slices. Roll like a jelly roll.  Place in greased muffin tin and let raise a couple hours.  Bake at 350 for ten minutes.  Turn pan and bake until they are light brown on top.  (About eight more minutes)  Immediately frost with glaze.  Remove from pan and let cool on rack.

1 cup sugar
scant cube margarine
grated rind of 1 large orange

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons juice from orange
1 tablespoon butter 
Tips from Kathrine: 

1.  The biggest issue with homemade rolls is too much FLOUR.  Too much flour on the kneading surface.  All that extra flour on your hands.  Just too much flour.  So be careful with the flour.  Lots of flour means dry flaky rolls.  No thank you.  

2.  Yeast keeps best in the freezer.  Storing it in the freezer ensures that you will never have a dough that doesn't rise.

3.  When it says grease your pan.  GREASE your pan.  They tend to get really stuck in there especially if the filling oozes through.

4.  When your rolls are rising instead of placing a towel over them place a piece of greased plastic wrap.

5.  Before frosting them you may want to push down some of the rolls with a fork.  Sometimes they get a little big and outta shape in the oven. 

6.  After frosting your rolls pop them out of the tin ASAP.  If you let them sit the frosting gets hard and they get hard to pry out. 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Red Kites and Blueberry Pop-tarts

If you haven't watched We Bought a Zoo I highly HIGHLY recommend you do.  It is one of my very favorite movies of all time.  And coming from a movie junkie obviously that means it must be really quite amazing.  It is one of those movies that just makes you feel good.  Really good.  Meaning... it made me cry.  It also has the most phenomenal soundtrack.  So really what more can you ask for?

One of my very favorite parts of the movie is one that is probably not memorable for most people.  And the quote I love most isn't one of the quotes you will find floating around Pinterest.    

"She loved red kites and blueberry pop-tarts." -Benjamin Mee       

It seems like a completely pointless line until you put it into context.  This quote comes from the part where Benjamin Mee, the main character, is describing his wife who recently passed away...  "I thought if I came out here it would stop.  Back home everything reminded me of her... the air in August and May because those were the months that her favorite bushes grew flowers all over our neighborhood... And seriously I am avoiding half the isles.  Condiments.  Pastries, forget about it.  She loved red kites and blueberry pop-tarts.  I mean, who doesn't, right?"  

I love the details in life.  I am all about the details in fact.  The details just make life so much richer.  So much better.  And when you notice the details in life it just gives you that many more things to fall in love with.  

Ever since I was a little girl I have noticed the details.  Sometimes I will buy an article of clothing just because of the maroon stitching or a really intricate zipper.  I love a certain word in a certain sentence in a book.  I love the little things about people.  I love their habits.  The things that just make them tick.  I love their funny little obsessions.  The way the eyelashes curve or the way their eyes look when they are concentrating.  I love those kind of little things.  And ever since I was a little girl I have wanted someone to love those things about me.  To notice the red kites and blueberry pop-tarts about me.  

That is why I love that quote.  With one sentence Benjamin Mee describes the incredible amount of love he has for his wife.  He knew her.  He knew the little things that made her her.  He knew her details.  And he loved them.  

I am, as I am sure you will find out, a hopeless-romantic.  I mean who isn't???  (Note:  For all you people who claim you are not hopeless-romantics I really do promise this blog won't be totally sappy all the time.) But in all honesty we all want a crazy deep love.  And the detailed kind of love... that is what I've always wanted.  And somehow I've gotten lucky and scored. 

People seem to ask me constantly... What is your favorite thing about Andrew?  Or what do you love most about Andrew?  A completely ridiculous question because I love about a million things.  But as of late one of my favorite things about him is... the way he loves me for my details.  

He loves the way I LOATHE waking up early.  He loves how small my fingers seem to be compared to his.  He loves how excited I get to decorate for Halloween.  He loves the details I don't even notice about myself.  The details and habits he points out and somehow finds fabulous.

And I find myself feeling like the luckiest girl in the world because I somehow stumbled upon everything I've ever wanted... The red kites and blueberry pop-tart kind of love.            

Monday, September 23, 2013

Confessions of a Planner

I am a planner.  I would like to think I am spontaneous.  Or spur of the moment.  But in all honesty I am a planner.  And like any planner does... I make plans.  Lots of them.  Plans for this blog.  Plans for the day.  Plans for the week.  Plans for my life...  The funny thing is you would think I would be good at making plans seeing as I make so many of them.  But that's where you are absolutely wrong.  Because when it comes down to life plans I seem to... well... fail.  

Let's take a minute to review my last "failed" life plan...  

I had this brilliant plan of going on a mission.  A perfectly great and righteous plan right?  Right.  And it became even more of a brilliant plan when I got called to serve in none other than Wellington, New Zealand.  Say hello to the DREAM MISSION.

Leaving August 27th.  I WAS STOKED.  Stoked was probably an understatement.  I was ecstatic. Initially I was actually a little disappointed with the date.  I received my call March 27th.  Giving me five whole months to wait.  And when I wanted to do nothing else but serve, five months seemed like an e t e r n i t y.  But as time went on five months began to fit perfectly into my plans.  

A whole summer to play.  A whole summer to NOT work because for once I didn't need money for school.  No job. No school.  No homework.  No worries.  A whole summer to do just about anything I had ever wanted to do.  Sky-diving included.  But sky-diving was about the time when my life plan really started going south.

Cue Andrew Menlove.  Exactly one month after I received my call, April 27th, this boy asked me on our first date.  And after our four-wheeling-double-date-gone-wrong I came home just a tad worried.  But as a determined planner I knew nothing could ruin my plan.  

June 7th we went sky-diving.  And a few hours later I heard the fatal words "I love you."  I don't know which was a bigger adrenaline rush, jumping out of a plane or hearing those words.

We dated.  Went to Powell a few times.  And around mid-July, after much prayer, fasting, and countless temple trips, I decided New Zealand was going to have to wait.   

And I have never been 
h a p p i e r. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am still my usual stress case.  Back in school.  Broker than broke.  With no real job.  But through all of this I have learned something very important...  Plans, really rigid life plans are no good.  Because we can never really see the whole picture.  There's only one person who can actually see that.  But in order for Him to guide us in that direction we have to be willing.  Really willing.  

I thought I was willing.  I mean I had a mission call.  In my mind I was as willing as they come.  But I wasn't really willing.  It was all about what I wanted.  Luckily the Lord is super smart and knows what we need.  Not what we want.  What we need.  A mission call.  Perhaps not a mission.  But instead just a mission call.  A chance to prepare.  An eye opener.  And one of the most humbling experiences I have yet encountered.  

“The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. The many other things we 'give' are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.” -Neal Maxwell

I thought I was about to give so much.  Eighteen months.  What I didn't realize was those eighteen months were never mine to give.  The only thing that has ever really been mine to give is my will.  And finally I think I am starting to do that.  Finally.  But the craziest part is I am still in debt to him... because by giving him my will I have been blessed immensely. 

And I have never been
h a p p i e r.