Monday, June 30, 2014

Healing Old Wounds

I went back through old posts and added some labels.  Apparently, this was a draft I never published. I think this was originally written a little over a year ago...

Since I accidentally published it 10 minutes ago, no use in deleting it now.

Lately I've been studying a lot about repentance and forgiveness, and it has brought up a lot of feelings from the past.

I was bullied for most of my school life.  I was bullied in elementary school, by my "friends." People who I trusted, would one day turn on me and hate me, without any warning.  Then they'd all get together and would all be "against me."  They would shout horrible things at me at recess, and I had to spend recess alone, usually trying to hide. In junior high, I got more of the same, even though I had moved to a new city.  Junior high was worse because the bulling went online. Being online, it felt like it never went away.  Going home from school didn't stop the agony, in fact, it made it worse at times. At my darkest point, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to go "home", meaning heaven.

Frenemies.  Either I attract them, or I create them.

I don't think young girls, myself included, realize that if you're upset with someone, ignoring them and pretending they don't exist one day, and then making fun of them, and saying mean things to them the next day isn't going to solve any problems.

Learning more about my Type 4 energy has made me realize that I could have said something critical to someone and they could have taken offense, even though I never meant offense, nor did I even realize it could be taken offensively.  Also, my "bold stillness" could have often been interpreted as sadness. My sense of humor is very literal, or dry. Sarcasm.  My first reaction is always, always to be sarcastic, which can be considered rude or condescending.

I can't change the past.  I cannot mend the broken relationships, or change other people, but I can change myself. I can mend the way I view those people.  I can try to be better.  I have made numerous mistakes in my life and I understand what means to have sins "as red as scarlet."  Some points in my life, I feel like they were beyond scarlet, and perhaps pure black. I also know what it means to have them be restored and once more be "as white as wool".

I am nothing without my Savior.  He is everything to me.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Will You Allow Him to Forgive?

I couldn't sleep last night.

It was Friday, the only night I can go to bed as early as my heart desires, and my brain would not shut off.

I thought about Primary, about my lesson this Sunday, about my previous lessons.  Am I doing a good job? Am I failing these kids?  This whole month I've been teaching about the temple - have I inspired a desire to go to the temple in any of them?

You guys, I guard my deep emotions. I am afraid of them. This is why I have only born my testimony in testimony meeting once in my life. I do not want to cry. I don't like opening myself up to people. That's when people can hurt you. And rejection after you've truly opened up to someone is extremely painful.

I prayed, I read scriptures for an hour, I got on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Then I shut my phone off at 1:30am.

I tossed and turned and tossed and turned.  Then, I got sick of trying to sleep so I turned my phone back on. 3:00am, it said.

I opened up my notes app and I started writing.  Just writing, writing whatever came to my mind.  This is what it ended up.  I hope it helps someone.  Maybe it will help you.

Having been through the church discipline system myself, more times than I care to admit, I want to share just a smidge of my experience.

I've had to have unfortunate conversations with four different bishops in my life.  Each bishop had a different personality, different occupations, different quirks. Each was at a different stage in their life - young, middle aged, old. They each had a different way they liked to run things, or organize things.  They were all identical in a few key ways:

1. They told me I had worth.
2. They told me they loved me
and most importantly
3. They each told me that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. No matter what.

Each bishop has given me excellent advice and council, that I know was inspired of the Lord.  In my younger years, I ignored that advice and council, thinking I knew a better way. Or I knew myself better, so I know what's best for me.  How could they know what's best for me when they don't even truly know me?

Looking back, I wished I had listened.  It took me a few tries to actually listen, and you know, the craziest thing happened once I did listen.  This stranger, who didn't even know my name before I sulked into their office, knew exactly what I needed to hear and do to get better. To be better. To be the best version of myself.

My favorite bit of council was this: "The Lord is quick to forgive."

I know that is true. I pushed my Savior and his spirit away from me for years. I fought against the spirit. I pretended I was fine. I pretended nothing was wrong. I pretended to be a good-standing member of the church who had no misdeeds.

Yet when the weight of my sins came crashing down on me, my Savior was still there to help me, strengthen me, and guide me.  I, quite literally, believe he carried me.  He carried my steps in the direction I needed to take them.

He is quick to forgive.  We just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to receive that forgiveness.  This required humility.  This requires listening to people who might not even know our names.

Each bishop I worked with prayed for me, and how to handle my unique, individual situation. It was never: you did this, so your punishment is that.  There was, is, and always will be more that goes into it.

I feel the Savior is the same way. He knows me, my situation, my weaknesses and my strengths. He is fair and just.  And he communicates the proper information to those who are in a position to help us.

Church discipline is always for the benefit of the individual. It is never to embarrass or belittle the person being disciplined.  It is designed to help you become a better person. Part of becoming better is to feel Godly sorrow for what you have done.

I have felt Godly sorrow. God weeps for the sins of the world. He has wept for me.

Isaiah 1:18 says: "...though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I thought my sins were black. They were beyond red.  They were so dark, there was no possible way to make them white again.  But they are white.  I am clean.  It wasn't easy.

I had to let go of pride.

My most recent experience was the most difficult.  It is difficult to retell it here and now, without knowing how it will be taken.

I was mostly inactive at church.  I had a calling as a primary teacher, and that was very difficult for me to fulfill.  I never wanted to go.  I never went to Sacrament meeting.  I didn't make any effort to meet people in the ward.  I wanted to be invisible.  I loved the children I taught, and I wanted them to be better than I was.  I did the best I could, but with the weight of my transgressions, it was really difficult.

I rarely prayed. And even then, it was only at family gatherings, when other people would see.

One day I decided I wanted to change.  Lily was young, and I started reading her the scriptures.  And then I started praying with her in the mornings.  And then I started saying bed time prayers.

Baby steps.

And then the guilt of my past bubbled up.  It had before.  I knew this was coming.  I felt the sorrow for what I had done.  My first reaction was to stop everything. Stop praying, stop reading scriptures.  This is what was causing those feelings, right?  This will make it stop!

And then I got a message, so to speak.  It was very clear. "Do you believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true?"

"Um.. well... yes..." I thought.

"Then act like it."

Four words changed my life.

"Then act like it."

I became quite ill at this point.  Not with the flu or a cold.  But I was very nauseous.  I was dizzy. I had a head ache.  I knew what needed to be done to feel better. To get rid of the guilt for good.  I emailed the ward executive secretary asking for an appointment with the bishop.  As soon as the appointment was confirmed, my nausea went away.

Those days leading up to the appointment were very difficult.  Fight or flight, is how I would describe it.  On one side you have a feeling of hope, and encouragement. "You can do this!" You are going to be so happy!"  "You are doing the right thing." And on the other, "What is everyone going to think when they see you not taking the sacrament?" "You are going to be excommunicated.  You know you are. You've been through this before, and your previous bishop said it would happen." "No one will come to your re-baptism because they will be so ashamed of you."

I wanted to run away and hide at every turn.  But one message played in my head that trumped them all, "I care not about what the world thinks of me. I care only what my Father in heaven thinks of me."  I think it was my own version of quote I read out of The Miracle of Forgiveness.   Either way, it's my motto for how I live my life now.

The appointment was on my 25th birthday. Sunday, April 14, 2013. I honestly am amazed that I made it to the appointment. Even sitting in the chair outside the bishops office, I had feelings to run and hide. "I care only what Heavenly Father thinks of me." I said in my mind, over and over again.

That bishop was so good to me.  I was sobbing, and I told him I couldn't be helped.  He told me I could be helped. He told me everything I stated above - My savior loves me. My savior wants to forgive me. That bishop didn't know my name before that appointment, but he told me he loved me.  And I believed, and to this day, still believe him.

He told me he needed to council with the Lord about what to do with my situation, and we made an appointment to meet again in a few days. Tuesday.

The follow up appointment was easier.  The confession was done. I had nothing to hide.  I still thought I could be excommunicated.

I wasn't.  I'm still surprised I wasn't.

He outlined what I needed to do to be in good standing in the Church again.

And then, he got released a month later.

My heart broke.  And I once again started to fear men.  "Now ANOTHER person will know my humiliating story."

Meeting with a new bishop was difficult.  But I could tell I had made spiritual progress.  And the importance of "I care only what my Father in heaven thinks of me." was growing, quickly.

At that point I moved.  And had to meet with another bishop.  I received more excellent advice and council.

It was soon after this that I was in good standing in the church again.

I had to do things that were extremely uncomfortable.

I had to say things that were extremely uncomfortable. And I had to say them more than once.

I realize each step, each event, was for my benefit.  Each thing I went through helped me. It has made me stronger. And it reinforced my ability to not care about what people think of me, but to care only about what Heavenly Father thinks of me.

Heavenly Father wants to forgive. He's waiting for us, with his arms wide open.

If I could go back eight years, I would tell younger me: Go to Him!  Pour out your heart. Tell him your true feelings, good and bad.  He already knows the real you, don't try to hide anything.

The Lord is quick to forgive.

If the Lord can forgive my eight years of being a wolf in sheep's clothing in a matter of 5 months, what else can he forgive?  What will you allow him to forgive?

I have a testimony of the atonement.  I know that Jesus suffered for me. I know that He loves me, and that He has forgiven me. And I know He will forgive you too, if you let him.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Last 5!

I haven't worked out in a while.  I feel terrible. I really enjoy working out.  I've just been working extremely late, and being awake during the day is difficult enough without trying to make plans to do anything other than one fun thing with Lily.

Which, lately, the "one fun thing" has been going on simple walks around our complex, because it has been raining every day.

The rain storms here are different. They are sudden, and they are extreme.

Right now it is partly cloudy, bright, sunny, and hot. 92 degrees, 46% humidity. "RealFeel" is 99 degrees.  But I think there is a storm brewing because of the increase in humidity.  It will probably hit around 5:00.  And...I just checked my phone. According to my phone it will hit at 4pm and again at 8pm.

I suppose I could take Lily to the park anyway, but I worry about the slide being wet from the previous day's storm.

And swimming? Well. With how terrifying the lightning is here, I'm too scared to take her swimming unless there is no rain in the forecast.

By the way, on Monday, we got hit with lightning again.  Last time it just made the fire alarm go off.  This time it set off the fire alarm and made our TV turn off.  Well, the TV didn't turn off, but it stopped playing from the cable box.  And yeah, it doesn't work anymore.  We can't watch TV, we can't play movies via the PS3.  Lance seems to think the lightning blew the motherboard.

So a new TV is in our future.

You guys, I've completely gone far, far away from the whole point I was blogging today.

I must be lonely.  I feel like I can gab to just about anyone because I never get to talk to anyone.  Still not the point though...

I weighed myself!   I am officially less than 5lbs away from my pre-pregnancy and goal weight!  I was in SUCH good shape before Lily was born.  I'm super excited!

How did this happen when I stopped working out?   Well, you see, when I work really late, I choose sleep over food.  It's sad, but it's true.  I've been having 1 meal a day and then a snack later at night while I'm working.

I'm not starving myself.  If I'm hungry enough to pick my butt off the couch or out of bed I'll eat something. I just haven't been hungry enough.  Maybe that tells you a little bit about how tired I've been.

Several nights I've gone to bed just as Lance was leaving for work.

Good times.  Good times.

Good times ahead, for sure.  Maybe this cycle I'll get down to my pre-wedding weight! :)  That's about 14 lbs away... I doubt that will happen, but you never know!

Anyway, I'm going to go take a nap now.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


If you wanna be my lover, ya gotta get with my tweets.

Actually, I already have a lover.  But I feel like my Twitter feed deserves a blog post of its own.  There are lots of stories there that I would share individually on here if I had the motivation.

But, a tweet is quicker, and sometimes funnier. So, enjoy these blurbs instead!

Tater is my nickname for my dog, Layla

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ipsy - An Entire Year!

The May Ipsy bag marked my 12th received. After completing one full year of my Ipsy subscription, I wanted to go back through the products I received and give a quick rundown of what I think or thought about them.

Since there are so many products, I'm separating them into categories: Love, Like, Given Away, Hate, and Indifferent.  I won't be providing detailed thoughts on anything, because that would take forever.

♥♥ Products I've Loved! ♥♥

These are products I've used a lot, purchased more of, or will purchase more of once I'm out.
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray Conditioning and Texturizing Spray 
  • Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo 
  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick
  • Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask
  • Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
  • Zoya Nail Polish (Mason and Odette)
  • EM Michelle Phan Lip Gallery Creamy Color Sheer Lipstick in Violaceous
  • Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched
  • NuMe Intense Renewal Mask
  • bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready
  • Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Shadow in Champagne
  • Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm

Products I've Liked ♥

I used these up, or currently use these products often. They are great, but they aren't my favorites.
  • Cailyn Line-Fix Gel Eyeliner in Iron
  • Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy
  • NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Boho Chic 
  • Coola Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer 
  • Elizabeth Mott It's so B!G Mascara
  • H2O Plus Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment 
  • Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail
  • Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst
  • NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick 
  • Yaby Foundation
  • Coastal Scents foundation brush
  • Pop Beauty Plump Pout Mini in Peony Petal
  • City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon
  • Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with soothing cornflower
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On-Eye Pencil
  • St. Tropez Gradual Tan for Face
  • Hang 10 Classic Sport SPF 50 sunscreen            
  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion

Products I've Given Away or Traded

  • Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush
  • MicaBeauty Eyeshadow in Bronze
  • NYX Eyeshadow in Hollywood
  • Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian
  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly
  • be Delectable Hand Cream in Strawberries & Cream
  • Be a Bombshell The One Stick
  • Starrily Nail Polish
  • Nicole by OPI Roughles nail polish in On What Grounds
  • Eva NYC Hair Mask
  • Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo
  • Derma E Microdermabrasion scrub
    • I actually really wanted to keep the Eva NYC hair mask, the Pacifica eyeshadow and the Derma E microdermabrasion, but I knew my friend Sierra would love those items so I gave them to her along with her birthday gift.
  • Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One in Spiced Rum 
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample  
  • BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow  
  • Pop Beauty Eyeshadow Trio  
    • I also wanted to keep the BH Cosmetics, and Pop Beauty eyeshadows, but I ran out of room in my storage bins, and I hardly ever used them, so I ended up giving them to my sisters.

These suck
  • Sparkling Cream Palette in Suzie
  • Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black
  • Absolute Makeup Cleansing Cloths
  • Mary Kay at Play Jelly Lip Gloss in Berry Me

  • Nailtini Straight Up Nail Lacquer in Mai Tai
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  • Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple
  • Sexy Hair Blow Dry Gel
  • Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn
  • Nourish Organic  Face Lotion
  • Mica Beauty tinted lip balm
  • Be a Bombshell Bora Bora Eyeshadow Quad
  • Andrea Strip Lash

This was probably more fun for me than anyone who reads it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I was given this organizer a few months ago in a giant beauty swap that I did.  I finally got around to hanging it up.

I love it!  It's so much easier to pick things to wear when it's all in your face.

I know it looks crooked, but it IS straight, my phone wasn't straight when I took the picture. Sorry to any OCPD friends out there. Just don't look at the picture for long, you'll be fine.

My favorite pair of earrings got lost though.  Well, one out of the pair.  I took the dogs out, and when I came back in one of my earrings was gone.  I'm really sad.  I never got a single compliment while wearing those earrings, but they were just so perfect. Lance said they looked like hockey sticks.  But, I loved them. That's really what matters. I don't need anyone's approval.

Now I'm just rambling.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Comfortable Gods

I had to look up this quote again, because parts of it were playing in my mind today.  I needed to be reminded of this, and it has given me peace today.

"Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.11

Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and this seems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of “comfortable” God. Really? He who said not only should we not break commandments, but we should not even think about breaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have already broken them in our heart. Does that sound like “comfortable” doctrine, easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in?"
-The Cost - and Blessings of Discipleship - Jeffrey R Holland - April 2014 Conference

I'm thankful that I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm thankful that instead of being comfortable with the weaknesses I've been born with, I search for, pray for, and in return am given strength to overcome them.  Only a "comfortable God" would allow you to remain a "natural man."

D&C 67:12
Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Mosiah 3:19
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wait, What?


San Diego parents reveal story of transgender son who became boy at 5

So, let me get this straight.

Gender stereotypes are forced upon us.  Girls don't necessarily have to play with dolls, like wearing dresses, or want to be a mom when they grow up. Boys don't have to like trucks, be blunt and upfront about their feelings, and like wearing pants.

However, if your toddler is a girl who likes trucks, wearing suits, and playing with other boys, she might be transgendered.  And therefore, it is completely acceptable to surgically change her gender to make her a boy. You will be praised and awarded and called "inspirational."

Is anyone else confused?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Focus T25 - Week 10 (First Week of Gamma Round!)

Day 72 - Monday | Speed 3.0

Let me start by saying this is my least favorite "Speed" video. It's in the same format as Speed 1.0 and Speed 2.0, but it's not nearly as fun. It is very hard to follow, and the moves are pretty difficult.  I didn't do much of this workout.

And there were no modified moves. I'm going to die if the rest of the Gamma videos don't have modified moves..

Day 73 - Tuesday | Rip't Up

At several points during this video, I thought, "What.the.<expletive that is also a place>?!"

I have never yelled, screamed, or cried out in pain so much in any workout in my life.

I have never heard of or seen people lift weights in the ways I was just supposed to.

I am still using the 5lb dumbbells, and I do wish I had heavier ones, however, I also wish I had lighter ones.  They all switch to lighter ones to hold during superman and whatnot.  If the buff guys are using 2lb dumbbells, maybe I should get .5 lb dumbbells. Or maybe those weighted gloves?  I wonder how light those come...

Today I did just that move without dumbbells, and it was still hard.

Oh my gosh, I just went to scratch my head, and I could barely lift my arm high enough.  What is going on?

Rip't up indeed!

Day 74 - Wednesday | Extreme Circuit

Um, another, "What the heck?" day.  Apparently I know nothing about lifting weights, because everything was pretty new to me!

After yesterday's workout, my entire body was sore before I was even done working.  When I woke up, it was about the same.  I didn't really want to work out today, but once I warmed up, the soreness went away, and I was able to do more strange moves.  And now I'm more sore.  Mostly my arms, chest, back and obliques.

I'm really enjoying this so far!

Day 75 - Thursday | The Pyramid

I have no idea what "The Pyramid" entails, but it sounds terrifying.  Like doing a burpee and 1 squat, then 2 burpees and 2 squats, then three, then four... and keep going up and up for 25 minutes.

I'm sure there's more than just 2 moves, but, still, terrifying.

But anyway, I didn't do The Pyramid (booming voice) today. I took Lily swimming.  The Pyramid will have to wait for tomorrow.

Day 76 - Friday | Speed 3.0

Ok, so I didn't do The Pyramid or Speed 3.0.  Whatevs.

I should probably get motivated and hit it hard next week.

I've been working until 3 or 4 or 5 am every night for the past month.  I'm a little burnt out, so I'm proud of the (little) I did make this week...

Day 77 - STATurday

I didn't weigh myself.  I know, the suspense is killing you, isn't it?  Did I gain weight after taking practically a month off?  Will I ever get down to my goal weight?  (I'm being sarcastic, dudes.)

Day 78 - Stretch

I worked an extra day, since we've been busy and people are out of town.  S'cool.  I'll hit it hard tomorrow. Maybe.

Sweetest Thing

My little nugget's new thing to do is to shout at the top of her lungs, "WE'RE HOOOME!" as soon as we turn onto our street.

I'm not sure what she recognizes, but gosh, it sure is cute!

Today at dinner, she kept leaning in to me and hugging me, and rubbing my arm. Just like what I do to her all day.  I honestly can't stay away from her, she's just so adorable I have to hug her and kiss her all the time.

Tonight was her turn to say the family prayer.  When it's her turn I whisper one word at a time for her to repeat.  She started off just fine, and then she decided she wanted to suck her thumb, so I leaned in closer, and she hugged me, and said, "I love you!"

It was the sweetest thing ever.

Sometimes she likes to apply her condiments as if they are lotion. This is ranch dressing lotion!

She likes to put her glasses on and say, "Mama!" to make me look at her. I absolutely love it.
And then she sees me taking pictures, and asks for my phone.
And then she says, "Mama! Dadda!" to make us look as she pretends to take our picture. But really it ends up like this picture.

Or this.

I let her use my lip balm, but she found a tinted one... She came up to me still rubbing it all over her face saying, "Pretty!"  Oh yes Lily, you look gorgeous.

Sometimes she'll sit still so I can take a nice picture.

Other times she gets upset and makes mean faces.