Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday.

I am so immensely grateful for the knowledge of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that I have been given this knowledge, because without it, I am sure I would be lost. After having made so many mistakes (and am bound to make many more) I am comforted to know that because of my elder brother, I can be forgiven of my sins.

But it goes so much further than that. Not only can I be forgiven of my shortcomings each and every day; but I am also continuously lifted up, protected, comforted, and at peace. The succoring power of the atonement is an incredible blessing. Any negative feelings of doubt, inadequacy, pride, hopelessness, and solitude can be disposed of when I remember Christ and his divine light and love.

I am infinitely thankful for Christ's Atonement. Without it, I don't know where I would be today. I am grateful for the unconditional love that God and Jesus Christ have for me and for the world. I am grateful for God's unfailing patience and understanding.

This life is a challenging journey. But it's definitely an enjoyable journey, too. It's been made enjoyable because of the knowledge that I have of my Savior and Heavenly Father. This journey is full of hope and happiness because I know that I am a daughter of a loving God. I know that I am of infinite worth. I know that I have incomprehensible potential. I know that there is something indescribably beautiful and glorious after this life.

And when I look at it this way - when I remember the most important things - everything else is put into perspective and nothing else matters. The moment I remember this knowledge and hope of the atonement and the great plan, that's the moment when I can clearly see God and the Savior finely woven into all of the details of my wonderful life.

Goodness. God grants me so much more than I deserve. I could never be humbled enough; I could never be grateful enough. I love Him and my Savior so much.

I hope that everyone is having the loveliest Easter Sunday today. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, I've got my new Easter dress on, and I get to spend the day with the people I love the most. Not to mention, I have God and The Savior standing right by my side.

I simply couldn't ask for more. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Little Nothings.

*A cancelled 7:30am Spanish class this Friday.
*Only green lights on the way to school when I was running late.
*A Chocolate Reese's Heath shake.
*Running into Kyle between classes.
*Voice lessons ending early (longer lunch break!)
*Driving home with the windows rolled down.
*Easter Sunday, just around the corner.
*Getting into a normal exercise routine.
*The way my ring sparkles in the sunshine.
*Catching up with Matt Baxter. (He's coming back to the O-Town!)
*A stranger holding the door open for me when my arms were full.
*Eating an artichoke for the first time.
*Eating grapefruit for the first time.
*New dresses.
*A quiz cancelled in class.
*The sound my cowboy boots make when I walk on the pavement.
*Getting caught up in my journal.
*Breakthroughs and discoveries in voice lessons.
*Leaving my winter coat at home.
*New bottle of mascara.
*Having milk in the fridge.
*Greeting people at the door with Sam Howe.
*Realizing there are only 29 days of school left.
*Getting a letter from the temple.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Treasure.

Meagan Desmond Beesley, Ashley Berg, and Myself. Preschool days.

Meagan just posted this little gem to Facebook today.
I couldn't help myself. I had to repost.
I mean seriously. Just look at all of the love in that photo.
So. Stinkin'. Adorable.
Meagan specifically pointed out the floral pants and the top buns. 
Apparently, we were way ahead of our time with the fashions. ;)

Ahh... life was so easy.
The biggest problems we ever had 
Were only about who got to color with the sparkly crayons
Or who got to sit in the different-colored chair during class.

Good times. :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mama.

Thank you for raising me.

Thank you for loving me.

Thank you for picking up the phone, always.

Thank you for supporting me.

Thank you for your advice.

Thank you for laughing with me.

Thank you for crying with me.

Thank you for teaching me.

Thank you for protecting me.

Thank you for making our house a home.

Thank you for feeding me.

Thank you for your sacrifces.

Thank you for driving up to Ogden to see me.

Thank you for caring.

Thank you for being my best friend.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you so much. You are my best friend, my mentor, and my superhero. I couldn't possibly ask for a better mother. I hope you've had the sweetest of birthdays, even though I know you didn't do much celebrating because you were just too busy being the amazing mother that you are.

I love you always.
-Your Bailee Boo.

Tunes.

Just some new song discoveries that I've had on replay for the past few days.
Mm. Love my music.




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Miss Elise [My Best Friend]

Guess who comes home from her mission today??
...I know, I can't even believe it!

At first, it feels like 18 months has flown by.
But then I think about everything that has happened since I last saw Elise.

And then I think about the last time I did see her.
Wow, that was forever ago.

A year-and-a-half is a long time to go without seeing your best friend.
I have missed this amazing girl SO much.


-BEST FRIENDS-


Look at all of the great memories we've had!
We sure did have fun together.

Hopefully, there will be many more memories to come!

Ahhhh!!!! I can't believe that she will be back home today!
Only ten hours away! It seems so surreal :)

I love you Miss Elise!
I CAN'T WAIT to hear from you!!!
Thanks for being my best friend.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sweetest are Sundays.

Every week, I look forward to Sunday.

Yesterday was my very last Choralaires Sunday. One Sunday out of every month, the Institute Choir travels to a couple of different ward services and provides the program for the sacrament meeting. We fill the chapel with beautiful songs, talks, and testimonies. After we visit the wards, we have our very own Sunday School and dinner together. 

Being involved in this monthly choir tradition has been a beautiful blessing in my life. I love singing music with my incredibly talented friends. The friendships in Choralaires are so strong, and the spirit in Choralaries is even stronger.

We had two really wonderful meetings yesterday. I even had the privilege to speak in the first one. But one of my favorite parts during our program is when we sing "I Am a Child of God". 

During the song, we have multiple choir members who are returned missionaries sing solos in the language of their mission (Mr. DeYoung gets to sing a solo in Hmong. Pretty neat, huh?) Then, during the last chorus, we invite all of the returned missionaries in the congregation to stand and sing in the language of their mission.

The spirit is so strong when all of those returned missionaries stand! I have never seen that particular moment go by in a Choralaires Sunday without a couple of tears from the congregation. I seriously get chills every time.

Anyway, the meetings were as beautiful as always.

I'm the Social Chair for Choralaires, so it's my job to prepare dinner every time we have one of these "Choralaires Sundays". Yesterday we did Taco Salad. Everything went so smoothly! We had plenty of food. It's always a worry of mine that I'm going to run out of food. It's intimidating when you have 80 starving college students in the kitchen! I owe a special thanks to Kyle, Tyler Rushforth, and Joe Favero. They are ALWAYS right by my side, ready to help with dinner. You guys are the best. Seriously.

After dinner, Kyle and I spent the rest of Sunday evening with Kyle's sweet family. Sundays with Kyle and his family are always a highlight. I adore being able spend time with his parents, siblings, and who could forget darling little Connor and McKenna? They are the so fun. 

Yesterday Jana made the cutest St. Patricks Day Dinner. Everything was green, and I absolutely loved it! She is so festive. :) After dinner, Kyle and I sat at the piano for a while. (Definitely a happy moment of the day. I love watching him play the piano, and I love being able to just sing at the piano for fun.) 

We just relaxed at home after a busy day with the choir. Kyle showed me a bunch of mission pictures too, and it was fun to hear him talk about his mission (especially because my very own brother just left on his mission this past week!).

After spending some time at Kyle's house, we visited the grandparents and extended family. Even though it makes me miss my family sometimes, I love visiting with everyone on Sunday evenings! :) 

Most of all though, I love being able to have some quality time with Mr. DeYoung. Between both of our busy schedules, that doesn't happen very often these days.

Yesterday was just such a nice day. So spiritual and refreshing and enjoyable. 
I absolutely loved every minute of it.
Days like yesterday help me make it through the rest of the crazy week.

Thank goodness for Sundays :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Philosophy


I just love quotes. I always have.
Here are a few that I've seen recently
On Pinterest.
Much love to everyone:)







Elder Paxman.


Last night my little brother was set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Even though I'm sad to say goodbye for two years, I am SO excited for him. This is one proud sister. :)

Benjamin is going to serve in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Speaking Spanish!) I know that Ben is going to be a fantastic missionary. When he bore his testimony to us yesterday I thought, "Who is this kid?! What happened to my goofy baby brother?"

He truly has grown so much. I can't wait to hear about all of his missionary experiences!

He leaves to the MTC today at 1:45. I sure will miss him! Benjamin is less than two years younger than I, and so we have been pretty close growing up! He is one of my very best friends. :)



See you in two years, bud!! Wishing you the VERY best. Go out there and do the work! Love you! 
(If you want to read about Ben's missionary adventures, Mama is blogging about it here.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Color Love.

Yes, you will probably be seeing a whole lot of wedding posts coming in the next few months.
Apologies in advance :)

Ever since the day Kyle and I were engaged, we have been asked a lot of questions.

"When is the big day?"
"Where are you getting married?"
"Where is the reception?"
"What are your colors?"
"Where is the honeymoon?"
"What refreshments will you serve?"
"Where are you going to  live?"
"What flowers do you want?"
"Who is your photographer?"
"What is the wedding party going to wear?"

And the list goes on. For the first week, I was merely excited to be engaged! I was just living in the moment, soaking it all in. I didn't know the answers to more than half of these questions! :) 

I admired everyone's excitement for us, but I was still just celebrating
The fact that I get to marry my best friend.

Now it's finally starting to sink in. I'm planning my wedding - the day I've been dreaming of my whole life. How exciting! After a week of questions and suggestions being tossed in my direction, I finally settled down today for a little "me time" so that I could form my own opinions, ideas, and answers.

First thing on my list: reserve the temple.
Kyle and I called in and reserved a space in the Salt Lake Temple last Saturday.
I cannot wait to be in the temple. Especially with my Mr. DeYoung.

Second item on my list: choose the wedding colors.
This is what I focused on today.
I found a color pallet on Pinterest a while ago and fell in love, 
But then I started to second guess myself. 

After a lot of searching (and some truly beautiful color ideas)
Yesterday we officially decided on the original idea.
Blackberry/plum and a soft peach.
We want blacks and grays in there, too.

This is the collage that inspired us.



I think Mr. DeYoung likes it, which makes me so very glad.
His opinion matters most to me.

So anyway,

Today I searched the web for a couple of hours. 
(Let's not mind the homework that is sitting on my desk for now.) 
I wanted to explore ideas on my own.
You know, to get a taste for my likes and dislikes.

After some quality time on Google and Pinterest, 
I made some of my own collages.
These inspiration boards are mostly just for color ideas

First, we have the blackberry.
On the original board we found,
The color pallet was listed as "Blackberry and Peach"
But I've also researched "Plum" and "Deep Purple."
Call it what you will.
There are some light shades of purple shown,
But I want to stay away from those.
We're keepin' it dark and rich :)


Second, is the peach. (My favorite board, actually.)



And there you have it. The planning begins. I'm obsessed.
At first, even though I loved the idea, I was hesitant about the colors.
It is pretty unique, after all.
But after talking to Kyle... I started to embrace it.
Now after a little online research, I'm beginning to like it even more.

As for any other plans so far? I've got nothin' yet.
We have 4 months to go though, so let's just say "To Be Continued."

Huzzah for wedding planning :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Happiest.

It's true. The news is out and the excitement is here!
I am officially engaged!!!

It's amazing and exciting and surreal and joyful and incredible all at the same time! I couldn't possibly be happier. And of course, who would I be if I didn't write down the story? I have to preface the whole thing by saying that any words I try to write will not suffice, because everything was so perfect. But here it is!

*******

Last Saturday, Kyle took me to the cutest little cabin for a date night. To get to the cabin, we made a short trek through the trees and the snow. It was beautiful outside. The weather was warmer than it had been in a long time, and the snow glistened all around us while the sun was setting. The cabin is absolutely adorable. It's set back in the trees near a small stream. There are a couple of other small buildings near the cabin, and a footbridge that crosses the stream. So darling.

When we arrived at the cabin we made some delicious mini-pizzas in the oven. While waiting for the pizzas to bake, I taught Kyle how to play Scrabble! He had never played before, and Scrabble had always been a favorite of mine growing up. Kyle definitely beat me, even though it was only his first time playing the game! (We all know it was probably just beginner's luck though.)

After Kyle and I ate dinner we decided to roast marshmallows. The original plan was to light the fireplace, but we both quickly decided that lighting a fire was too much work. Instead, we opened the oven and roasted our marshmallows! It was perfect. There wasn't any danger of lighting your marshmallow on fire, resulting in the "golden brown all the way around" perfection of a treat. They were some of the tastiest marshmallows I have ever eaten.

After we finished eating, Kyle decided to take me outside for a surprise. "Do you want to see something cool?" He asked. So we laced up our boots and bundled up in our coats and stepped outside. Now I was curious. What could possibly be outside?

And goodness, was I in for the most beautiful surprise.

As I rounded the corner, I saw that all of the trees surrounding the cabin had been strung with white lights. The lights on the trees made the snow sparkle and glisten. It was absolutely stunning. The footbridge that crossed the stream nearby was also lit, and the ice had melted just enough so that you could hear the water flowing past the snowy banks. I took in the view with a breath of surprise. It was so gorgeous!! There, in the middle of all the trees, was a small bench. Kyle took my hand and guided me to the bench. With each step I remember thinking, "Is this really happening??"

It seemed almost too perfect to be real.

I sat down on the bench while Kyle set up a tripod and camera, mentioning something about wanting to take some pictures. My mind was racing with excitement, but I remember smiling for the camera while Kyle set the timer and took a couple of snapshots.

After the pictures, Kyle took my hand once more and led me to the footbridge. I remember thinking how quaint and pretty that little bridge was, with all of those white lights reflecting on the water's surface below. I glanced up and saw thousands of stars. I was absolutely captivated by how beautiful everything looked and how perfect it all was and how happy I felt. Once we reached the middle of the foot bridge, Kyle got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

It was the moment that every little girl dreams about her whole life.
And it was better than anything I could have ever imagined.

Everything he said was so sweet, and the effort he made into planning it all made it so special. It was beautiful, it was magical, it was classy, it was elegant. It was the happiest moment of my life up to this point in time, and it was nothing short of perfect. And while the cabin and the lights and the ring and the beautiful mountains were all such a wonderful part of this story, the reason it was perfect was because of Kyle.

Oh, how I love him so. :)

The rest, as they say, is history. After he popped the question, we had fun taking lots of pictures. Then, we went home and shared the news with family and friends. We have loved everyone's congratulations and excitement for us, and we are extremely excited too!!
I am so excited. I remember the night after he proposed I woke up every three hours because my mind was so full of excitement. I would wake up in the middle of the night, look at that precious ring box on my dresser, smile to myself, and then try my darndest to fall back asleep! Even still, almost a week later, I sometimes get distracted thinking about all of it! I'm just so happy.

So the plan right now is to be married August 16th, soon after Kyle's sister arrives home from her mission and before the fall semester begins. Until then, let the happiness and the wedding planning ensue! I can't wait!