Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Goals.

 Now that January is almost over, I think I finally have my list of New Years Goals finalized. It's not that I haven't been thinking about it all this month... I just haven't been able to DECIDE which goals I should specifically work on this year. I have so many things I could be better at, but if I don't choose just a few goals to focus on at one time, then I never end up accomplishing anything. It's better to be specific and selective rather than to attempt a large handful of vague goals all at once.

Anyway, on the first Sunday of the New Year I had this great lesson in Relief Society about dividing up your goals into four different categories: Physical, Mental, Social, and Spiritual.

I thought this was a great idea! Not only does it help me to make my goals more specific, but setting a goal in each category will make me a more well-rounded person. This little method helps me strive to be better in many different areas of my life!

So here it is: My goals for 2013 (better late than never, right?)

Physical
1. Eat only three desserts a week. The only exception will be for American Holidays.

2. Drink a bottle of water every day. Most people would think this is an EASY goal, because most people naturally drink more than a bottle of water every day. I'm lucky if I get a full glass in every day. Not good.

3. Be in bed before midnight. I rehearse until 10 every night, so while Will Rogers is in progress, Midnight it is. Once I master this time though, I can slowly move my bedtime forward.

Mental
NO MORE PROCRASTINATION. I'm a lot better at this than I used to be, but I still have a lot of room to improve. This poor habit results in a major lack of sleep, and a major lack of prioritizing skills. To help me accomplish this goal I have three simple steps.

1. No homework on Sundays.

2. Only twenty minutes of Facebook every day.

3. No blogging until AFTER my homework/housework is complete.

Social
1. Write missionary letters/emails once a week. Let's just say I haven't been very good at writing my best friend on her mission lately. Plus, my brother leaves on his mission in less than two months, and he deserves a weekly letter from me. Best be getting into that good habit now.

2. Pray for opportunities to serve others every day. Sometimes I think service is underrated. I know that I forget about it all the time. Or sometimes I think, "I should help out with that, but I'm just so busy today." What a shame to think that way.  I want to be more aware of opportunities to serve others.

3. Give someone a sincere compliment every day. I think I can always be better at verbalizing my admiration towards others. Sometimes we let our pride, fear, or judgement keep us from giving someone an honest compliment. And yet, I LOVE it when someone gives me an honest compliment. It feel so good when someone takes the time to tell you that you are succeeding at something.

Spiritual
1. Personal prayer and scripture study EVERY night. I need to actively study the scriptures every night instead of merely sitting on my bed reading them because "I'm too tired to write it down."

2. Temple visits twice a month. I need to be more spiritually in-tune and shake off my worldly stresses and cares. Plus, going to the temple makes me so happy. I need to have that happiness in my life more often.

3. Write in my journal once a week. There are so many life lessons and daily adventures that I'm not writing down. What a shame that will be in the years to come. It's time to start documenting my life, feelings, and adventures more regularly.

So there we have it. Twelve simple little goals. Maybe twelve doesn't seem like much to you. Or maybe some of you are thinking twelve goals is too ambitious. But I think that a lot of these goals are interrelated. If I start going to bed earlier, I won't be too tired to study my scriptures more effectively. If I cut down my Facebook time, I won't be up late in the first place. If I don't do homework on Sundays, I will have more time for writing missionaries and writing in my journal. See? It all ties together.

I'm excited to tackle these goals! Here's a little poem to wrap it up.
Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!


This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!


I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!


~ William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lucky.

*Lucky because when I forgot to hang my WSU parking pass in my car today I didn't even get a ticket.

*Lucky because I surprisingly got to see somebody today who just makes me smile a whole lot. :)
(even if only for a few short minutes)

*Lucky because every day I get to sing and dance and do what I love.

*Lucky because I got a phone call from a good friend who I haven't heard from in forever.

*Lucky because I have an adorable new roommate who listens to me ramble and chats with me late at night and bakes delicious cookies all the time.

*Lucky because I haven't caught any of the yucky viruses that are going around.

*Lucky because I get front row parking at school every day
(the upside to having 7:30am classes)

*Lucky because there are only four days of classes this week.

*Lucky because there are two temples less than an hour away from where I live.

*Lucky because I have some incredibly supportive friends who are coming to see Will Rogers.
(And that means the world to me!)

*Lucky because I have the best family in the entire world.

... I don't know if I pulled the long end of the wishbone, or if I got the rabbit's foot, or if I picked up a penny off the walk, or if I ripped off the knot in the straw wrapper, but I am one LUCKY girl. (If you couldn't already tell.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Day on the Ice.

We took advantage of our holiday today and went ice skating! 

Kyle and I met friends Katie and Colby Shock in Liberty this afternoon. We went ice skating on a pretty little pond that had frozen over. The sun was shining and the skies were blue. It was such a blast! After skating, we walked through the deep snow to this adorable little cabin that was set back in the trees. We roasted marshmallows there and enjoyed the warmth of the cozy little fire.

Oh, and the drive back into Ogden was beautiful! All of the sparkly snow reflecting off the mountainside as we drove through the canyon. And the sunset was absolutely gorgeous.

It was the perfect ending to my three day weekend!
What fun times :)





But it's back to the grind tomorrow.
Classes are in full swing, and The Will Rogers Follies opens in less than three weeks!

Life is so good to me. Much love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fact.

1. There are only sixty four days until my best friend gets home from her mission. I cannot WAIT to call her, skype her, message her, and basically talk her EAR off. I miss her so much, words don't even suffice. I need my best friend back in the O-Town. I can't wait.

2. I love the temple. That place is just so peaceful and beautiful and pure. I went there today, and my mind was swept clean from it's worries throughout my entire visit. So Liberating. After I was finished performing the work, I just sat in the baptistry lobby for a while. Truly, it was bliss. 

3. My life is crazy. I feel like I'm living this huge balancing act. 18 credit hours, Will Rogers Follies, AAT, Folk Dance, Choralaires, Choralaires committee, relief society presidency, 90 practicum scholarship hours, and an attempt at a social life. But you know, that's how we roll. I love everything that I'm doing. It's just taking some time to adjust to the new schedule.

4. Sometimes I think too much. Like, way too much. And sometimes I think all of that thinking gets the best of me.

5. I'm on a random healthy kick. I've cut back on the sweets and I've started eating more fruits and veggies. I have also started carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go. It's amazing how much better I feel! I even turned down a batch of chocolate peanut butter bars at rehearsal tonight. Yes- chocolate peanut butter bars. And it wasn't even that hard to say no.

6. Last night I got an entire eight-and-a-half hours of sleep. (Praises!) 

7. Last night I got an entire eight-and-a-half hours of sleep, but for the past week or so I've been having these awful nightmares. I usually don't remember my dreams very often... so what's the deal? I dunno what my brain is doing these days, but it stinks.

8. I am so excited to be in a ballet class again. Sometimes I find it difficult to drag myself out of bed in the morning, but once I get there, I'm in my Dancer's Heaven. Walking out of a class with sore muscles is one of the best feelings EVER.

9. I made french toast with my banana bread today. It was divine. (If I do say so myself.)

10. In this crazy life, I have two constants: My family and the gospel. That's what gets me through the stressful moments. That's what keeps a smile on my face. I seriously don't know what I would do without the support of my amazing family and the love of my incredible Father in Heaven. I just thought I would throw that out there. Because it's so, so true. 

...And I'd wager that this is the most important fact of them all. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pinterest Inspiration.




 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Snowstorm, and My Weekend Adventures.

With my snow boots fitting snug around my cold ankles, and my scarf bundled up around my frozen face, I stepped onto the snow-covered walk and embraced the cold weather. I clutched the window scraper in my hand, listening to the awful sound of plastic chipping at the solid ice which clung to my windshield.  The world was a glass globe, shaken up by the storm that was quickly blowing it's way into town. The snow flurries swirled about madly in the frosty air. I clambered into the front seat of my little car, heaving out a puff of white frost as I listened to the comforting sound of the trusty heater whirring about the carriage of my safe haven from the snow.

I slowly accelerated up the gradual hill that separated me from my semi-annual mandatory department meeting with the college. Very important. Very. I glanced down at the clock on my dash, calculating twenty minutes for me to make it up that busy, snowy hill. White knuckles gripped the wheel as I steadied my car on the long-lost pavement that was buried deep beneath the grey slush.

All of a sudden my imagination started to get the better of me; images of cars sliding down icy slopes and memories of swerving uncontrollably across black ice were uprooted from the back of my mind. I gulped loudly, forcing the scary thoughts to be swallowed away, only to realize that now the thoughts were nested in the pit of my stomach. There, they flitted about, much like the snow flurries which were now dashing frantically across my windshield.

I took a deep breath to ease the feeling inside my stomach and continued upward, only to be filled with more unease instead. I witnessed car after car (after car) flip their hazards on while their tires spun endlessly around and around (and around); stuck in place.
 
But I had to make it to this Very Important Meeting. So up I went, slowly accelerating the whole way. And I made it to the last stretch of the treacherous hill. My face lit up with hope as I spotted the stoplight that marked the top of the hill up ahead. Then, as I shifted my gaze back to the car in front of me, I saw his brake lights flash red. My eyes widened in despair, for I knew that the moment I hit my breaks on this icy incline I would be doomed. Without any more room to accelerate forward, I rested my foot on the brake pedal while the car in front of me ever-so-graciously let someone turn onto the street before him.

And then, just as I had witnessed so many times before, I watched his hazard lights flicker on in front of me; the evidence of his clearly failed attempt to accelerate on the ice. I'm fairly certain that the words "Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot..." were on replay as I watched him try to escape the icy trap he had gotten the both of us into. I still hoped that once Idiot Car was freed, I would (by some miracle) continue to ease my way forward without a problem.

But when Idiot Car finally pulled away after several minutes of struggle, my tires spun hopelessly into the ground in an effort to follow him. (Cue hazard lights.) I tried all of the tricks I had been taught by my dad for situations such as these, and to no avail. I started to become frantic as cars impatiently piled up behind me. I called my mom in a frantic panic, begging for advice. She suggested I phone a friend to push me out of the snow.

I searched the index of my phone with trembling fingers and found the number of someone who lived close by. I waited anxiously as each ring sounded in my ear, only to hear the robotic tones of a droning voice machine answering me after what seemed like an eternity of ringing. I tried calling a second person, and was shattered to discover that He was at work, and therefore unable to assist me. Finally, on the third phone call, I reached someone who was able to help. Dalen Ellsworth was coming to the rescue!

I desperately waited for Dalen to arrive, still attempting to free my car from the unforgiving slush and ice. Meanwhile, several cars around me had also found themselves stuck, resulting in a mass of vehicles slipping around the road, our tail-ends facing every which way.
 
The snow was quickly accumulating atop my back window. The falling snow was working faster than my defrost system, and soon I couldn't see anything save what my windshield wipers swept away from my front window. I rolled down my passenger window so I could see behind me and I continued my efforts in escaping.
 
"Where is Dalen?" I thought to myself, several minutes after I had ended my hurried phone call with Him.  Just then, my phone rang. I was filled with relief and happiness when I answered the phone. I heard Dalen's voice laughing on the other end of the line;

"Bailee, you're not going to believe this, but my car is stuck in the snow."

My heart sank. I listened to the cars spinning and honking around me. I felt the bitter air whipping against my cheek through the open car window. I watched the snowflakes rush into the car and settle onto the steering wheel. I glanced at the clock; I was missing my Very Important Meeting. Suddenly, the corners of my eyes welled up with hot, salty, tears. And then I started to laugh. I felt completely ridiculous and hopeless and silly! And then at that moment, my fuel light came on. And I laughed even harder.
 
********
 
Needless to say, Dalen did get himself unstuck, but He never reached me. After an hour of being on 42nd Street in the insane snowstorm, I too, somehow got myself unstuck. I finally got turned around to where I could drive back down the hill before running out of gas. I never got up the hill and I never made it to my Very Important Meeting.
 
Dalen couldn't drive back to his place in the storm, so we returned to my apartment where we sheltered ourselves from the snow. One by one, all of my roommates (and a couple of others who were unable to make it to their own home) came to our apartment where we drank hot cocoa and stayed warm. Jessica Love (one of the snowstorm captives), Dalen, and I braved the storm and walked (emphasis on walked) over to the nearly-deserted Pizza Parlor for dinner. 
 
After dinner, the storm let up slightly. Jessica and Dalen slowly drove back home. I phoned my professors and explained my situation with the weather. They advised me to stay home for the night.

The next morning, school classes were cancelled because of the weather. After 20 years of living in Utah, it was my first official Snow Day! I was happy to spend the day off with Kyle DeYoung. We made french toast for breakfast and watched movies and stayed warm. We only left the house to run a couple of errands close-by, and to enjoy some dinner at Zupas.

Little did I know that on Thursday I went driving into what was the beginning of a huge, two-day snowstorm. That snowstorm resulted in about twenty inches of snow in O-Town!
 
That crazy driving adventure turned into a lovely three-day weekend, and thank goodness too. I'm just glad that everyone I know got home safe and sound.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy Little Nothings

I confess: it was a long day. And on days like today, I really ought to think about my Happy Little Nothings. Because despite the crazy classes and the busy schedules and the overwhelming stress, I've had a whole lot of lovely in my day that I ought to be happy about. So here it goes...

1. Hot cocoa and warm gooey cookies at the institute. Every time I walk over to that little building across the street from campus I automatically become a little bit happier. I automatically have a little more spring to my step. I automatically have a big smile on my face. Gosh, I just love that place.

2. Pillow Talk with my roommate. Kierstin is probably one of my favorite roommates I've had, and we've only roomed together for a couple of weeks. I love our "Happy Moments" and our roommate prayers and our late night chats about boys and other sappy things. Also, she's a great cook. That's not a deal-breaker or anything... (Just an added bonus. For the win.)

3. Peanut butter and chocolate chips. Okay, so it's about the unhealthiest snack on the face of the planet; but it's my comfort food and I was craving it like crazy today. It's sticky and chocolatey and delicious. (Only when chased down by a tall glass of cold milk.) Ah. So much for eating healthy during rehearsals...

4. Phone calls. It's amazing how one simple phone call changed my entire attitude and perspective. After a long day of classes and rehearsals and stressful thinking, that phone call was exactly what I needed. I just couldn't help but smile when I heard that voice on the other end of the line.

5. Pajamas and hot cinnamon milk. I finally wriggled out of those dance clothes that I had been wearing all day long and I hopped into my comfiest pajamas. And now, it's time for a large mug of cinnamon milk before bedtime.

The Not Happiest Little Nothing? My 7:30 class tomorrow morning.
(And it's eleven fifty. Sheesh. I guess that's my cue to check out for the night.)
But really, despite the first-week-of-classes-and-I'm-still-adjusting stress,
It's been a pretty good day.

Nighty night, dear readers. Much love.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

[advice]

I first read this post on this cute new blog, and I absolutely loved it. 
It's pretty inspirational. Thanks for posting, Kaitlyn!
I think my roommates and I are going to hang this on our fridge for the year.
"45 Life Lessons" written by Regina Brett, of Cleveland, Ohio.


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step..

3. Life is too short - enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7... Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9.. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11... Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never blinks.

16... Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don't forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38.. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pep Talk.

It's the last official day of the Winter Break. After today I have one more weekend and then it's time for Spring Semester. The break has been unbelievably lovely... and I'm not quite sure I'm ready to go back to school.

I'm starting to realize how tough this semester is actually going to be, and sometimes it scares me. I tell myself that I know I'm capable of doing everything. I tell myself that everything will work out... but sometimes I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure.

I have to constantly remind myself that this is not true. I've been this busy before. 

Fall of 2011 was one of my busiest semesters, and it was also one of my absolute favorite semesters. There were times when I wanted to pull my hair out, and there were times when I didn't want to get out of bed to face the day ahead of me. Each time I felt this way, I put on my clothes and my smile and I came out on top. The good days far outweighed the tough days. I loved Fall 2011. And I know that despite the challenges, I'm going to love Spring 2013

Things that scare me the most about the upcoming semester:
-18 credit hours
-Taking an early class at 7:30 in the morning (I'm not an early morning gal)
-Balancing Folk Dance with Will Rogers Follies
-Fulfilling my practicum hours
-The AAT Awards Show
-Earthquakes and Volcanoes (I heard there's math involved)
-Planning for the summer (whatever those plans may be)

Things that I'm looking forward to this semester:
-Will Rogers Follies (I can't adequately express my excitement)
-Singing with The Choralaires
-Taking Spanish Two from a great teacher (hence the 7:30 class)
-Having more opportunities to dance (Ballet, FD, and the musical!)
-Getting to know my new roommate
-Being more involved with my ward
-Taking more private vocal lessons at school

This semester will just require extra self-discipline and motivation. Luckily, I enjoy doing most of the things I'm involved with this semester. Hopefully the staying up late for rehearsals and waking up early for classes will not be unbearable because I will be happy.

And happiness is a choice.

That's one of the biggest lessons I learned for myself last year. Whenever I have a down day this semester, or a busy day, or a long day... I need to remind myself of my own advice. Happiness is a choice. It doesn't matter if I'm tired or if I have too much homework or if I feel overwhelmed. I can still choose to be happy. Because really, being so busy this semester is a BLESSING. Look at all of the incredible things I get to be a part of.

So I'm gonna gear up, buckle down, and embrace every moment. I'm coming out on top this semester, and I'm going to love every moment along the way.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year.

At the end of every year, I write one of those cliche New Years posts, giving a recap of what I've done in the past 365 days. And while I don't think anyone else thoroughly enjoys reading what I've done, I've discovered that I really love looking back on the past year. Writing about it helps me recognize the challenges I've had, the accomplishments I've made, and all of the growth that comes along with the experiences I've lived. So here it goes... The Life and Times of Bailee: 2012 edition.

In January I started my fourth semester at Weber State University. I wasn't in any department shows that semester, but I was excited to be involved in the department in other ways. I continued to serve as the Treasurer for Associated Actors and Technicians. During the semester I also worked on some stage crews, and enjoyed taking classes from my amazing professors.

In February I auditioned for The Playmill Theatre. I wanted more than anything to perform with them over the summer. I was anxious to hear the results of our auditions. On Valentines Day I got a special phone call from The Playmill. I was going to be cast in their 2012 summer season! I couldn't be more ecstatic. I was going to perform in West Yellowstone all summer, and I was getting paid to do what I love.

Last winter I thought I was going to fall in love. I was spending time with a pretty awesome person. At the time I thought he was the Cat's Pajamas, and he could do no wrong in my book. Then I experienced one of the most unique challenges in my nineteen little years of livin'. It was an eye-opening, heartbreaking experience and I am immensely grateful for everything I learned. Even though that relationship didn't work out, I had a newfound respect and friendship towards this person, and I learned a lot from him. I am so glad he continues to be my friend even though we've been through some pretty rough times. I discovered a whole lot about myself last winter, and even though it was difficult... I know it all happened for a reason, and I can clearly see those reasons in hindsight.

At the end of spring semester I performed in the Institute Spring Show with my folk dancers.  I love and cherish the time I got to spend with the Folk Dancers during the past school year. I was sad that my first year with the team was over, but I was excited to embark on my summer journey to West Yellowstone.

In May I left for West Yellowstone, farther than I have ever lived without my family. I distinctly remember driving into that quaint town for the first time. (It was still snowing!) Little did I know on that first day of the memories, challenges, hardships, and adventures I would face while I lived there. The Playmill was the experience of a lifetime, and in a very different way than I expected. The seven other girls and ten guys who were cast became my family for the summer. We rehearsed from morning until night, we performed three fantastic shows, and we had an absolute blast building friendships and creating memories together.

While The Playmill was one of the most exciting summers of my life, it was also one of the hardest. Trust and friendships were tested, but I grew a whole lot from the emotional hardships that I experienced. Over the summer I learned an innumerable amount of valuable lessons. I could go on and on about the growth I made while at Playmill, but two of the lessons I grew from the most were these:

While working in West, I learned that happiness is a choice. I cannot stress the truth of that statement enough. It took time for me to learn that truth, but once I chose to let go of the emotional baggage and negativity that other people carried, I learned that I could focus on being happy. Things weren't perfect, but I was happy. And it was such a liberating feeling to finally let go of the unhealthy emotion that really wasn't even mine to carry in the first place.

I also learned that Yes, I am talented. And it doesn't make me prideful or conceited to recognize those talents, especially if I remember that it is through Heavenly Father that I am given these talents to share with other people. Without him, I couldn't reach these new heights and stretch myself in this capacity. Being surrounded by eighteen incredibly talented people was challenging. I learned how to hold my own. I learned to stop comparing myself with others. I learned that Bailee Paxman has something to offer that nobody else can offer because nobody else can be me. I sang in front of people every day, and I wasn't afraid. I had a breakthrough. I still have a lot to work on... but I do have something to give; and I loved being able to give and share my passion all summer long. I loved bringing happiness and joy to people. Because that's really what performing is all about.

I couldn't thank the Merrill family enough. I love them and I'm grateful for the patience, love, and acceptance they showed me so that I could grow and experience the most incredible summer of my life.

In the fall, I started my Junior year at Weber State. Long story short, I found myself homeless at the start of the fall semester. I lived with my Aunt Melanie while I desperately searched for an apartment. Finally, a friend referred me to the little house on Adams... and I couldn't be more grateful for the way things worked out. I love where I live and I love my roommates.

I auditioned for the Folk Dance Team again. Being on the team is very different this year, and it took time for me to accept the differences, but I love the team. I also auditioned for institute Choralaires, and the choir has been a tremendous blessing in my life. The friendships I have cultivated in just one semester alone have been amazing, and I wouldn't trade Choralaires Sundays for anything. What an incredible experience it has been to be so involved with the institute.

I continued to date during the fall semester, and from my dating experiences I learned how important it is to emotionally invest in the relationships that are valuable to you. Relationships and dating take work and effort. You should always stand firm in your values, but you should also be open-minded and accepting of others. I also learned to never let Fear rule your Faith. Trust in Heavenly Father, choose the right, and he'll take care of the rest. Everything happens for a reason. And thank goodness Heavenly Father knows what he's doing...  I couldn't be happier right now. 

Fall semester meant lots of classes, working as Social Co-Chair for AAT, serving as Publicity for the Folk Dance Presidency, Folk Dance, Choralaires, and my usual practicum hours. At the end of fall semester I auditioned for The Will Rogers Follies at WSU and I was ecstatic to be cast as a Follies Girl. This is my first department show since my freshman year. Rehearsals start next week, and I can't wait!

I also received a new church calling last month to be the second counselor in the Relief Society Presidency. I can't wait to get to know these girls in the 15th ward and serve with Charlotte, Bri, and Natalie in the presidency.

In December I performed my second Institute Christmas Show with the Folk Dancers AND the Choralaires. I was so busy, running around performing with both groups. But I still managed to have SO much fun. After the semester ended, my family took a vacation to California for 10 glorious days in the sun. I love my family. They are the one constant in my crazy life. I couldn't be more grateful for them and the time we got to spend together on our trip. After California, Christmas came and went... and now I've just really been enjoying my Christmas Break. 

This year was about patience. Whether it was patience finding a new house, patience working through relationships, or patience developing my talents. I discovered I had to exercise patience in my relationships with people. I had to exercise patience in my Heavenly Father's timing. I had to exercise patience with myself. I learned that if I work hard and have patience, everything will be all right. Sometimes things just take longer than you want them to. But if you have patience, everything will work out sooner or later. 

2012 I also learned exactly how important the little things are. It's cliche, but it's so true. Reading your scriptures, praying every day, going to church, fulfilling your calling, fasting, bearing your testimony... these are the x's and y's in the formula for happiness. Without those little things, you can't solve the big equation. Life. Without those necessary components it's hard to solve the problems we encounter on this crazy journey. It's easy to get distracted or feel confused when we stop doing the basics.

So it was a great year. Not even close to perfect, and full of hills and valleys, but still great. And of course it was, because I have Heavenly Father on my side. I also have an amazing family, an awesome education, and a thousand other blessings always appearing in my life. So I couldn't possibly expect anything less than spectacular. And so there you have it. Hellllloooo 2013.

So what now? 

Because of my busy schedule next semester, I resigned from my position as publicity for the Folk Dance Team. I'm very blessed though, because the FD team is making some exceptions and working with me so I can be involved with the team and still be in the musical. It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks while the musical is happening, but I'm glad that I get to be involved in both activities and I'm determined to succeed.

So between Will Rogers Follies, Folk Dance, Choralaires, Relief Society, AAT and our big awards show I'm heading up, 18 credit hours, and 90 practicum hours for my scholarship... I'm going to be one busy girl. But what else is new? It's a good kind of busy, and I love it.

I have a lot of big decisions weighing over me in 2013. I'm seriously considering auditioning for The Playmill again this year, but I'm trying to decide if I'm willing to leave Ogden for four months this summer. We'll see what happens. If I don't do The Playmill, I might get a job here in Ogden and maybe audition for a show in Utah. Summer plans are TBD.

I also want to continue my education at Weber State. I'm more than halfway done! Crazy! It's time to seriously start thinking about what I want to do after I graduate. 

Yep. Big decisions.

But I have some goals and resolutions set out for myself. I've quit drinking caffeine (Goodbye Dr. Pepper!), I want to get my right and left splits back, I want to be more diligent writing in my journal once a week, and I want to attend the temple at least once a month.

More than anything I want to love more, grow more, and live more. I want to work hard in school, develop my talents, and strengthen my testimony. I want to stop bad habits and create good habits. I want to embrace friendships and relationships and I want to live life to the fullest.

I have a good feeling about this year.
Clean slate. A new year, to do with whatever we may please. 
Let it be lovely, grand, and nothing short of wonderful.