Monday, September 26, 2011

Moments That Matter Most

There is nothing quite like the inspiration that comes from the Holy Ghost. Or better yet, nothing like following that inspiration. Sometimes, in our busy lives, it's extremely important to stop and do the "silly, little" things that we could, and probably should, do later. I've learned this one through experience. For example: Does it make sense to stop and write a friend a letter in the middle of the school day when you have TONS of homework? No. Is that letter important to that struggling friend? Absolutely. Or, it's pretty dumb to heart attack someone in the middle of the afternoon, when it's still totally light outside, and his parents are sitting outside, right? Yeah. Am I glad we did it anyway? It is one of my favorite memories.

Sometimes, raising your hand in Young Women's with a comment that will touch someone else's heart is an act of service that we don't know we are performing. We may never know it. But they will. I have been on the receiving side of this before. Sometimes a random hug will make someone's day (or week, in some cases.) Shouting "Hey *insert name here*! I LOVE YOU!" and meaning it. Listening to someone for a while. Smiling. Mourning with those who mourn. It's what counts.

Are we then to forget about the big things, like school or noble service project?? No! We are to learn how to balance it. A challenge, but indeed a noble endeavor Below is one of my favorite videos in the whole world. (It makes me tear up every time.) The words spoken and shown in this video are far more eloquent than mine, and the images paint a beautiful picture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Summer Fades Away...

Well, it's over. Summer 2011 is OFFICIALLY complete. School started today. ("FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!") I'm super excited to be doing something productive again, to use my brain, to soak in new knowledge, to see my friends, to start working on the musical, etc. I can't complain that summer was over too quickly - I had 120+ days of summer vacation. I got out in mid-May and just started in late-September. (Sweet.) That's a third of a year! A lot happens in a third of a year! I just want to do a little retrospective on my summer experiences. So, buckle your seat belts, folks, because you're in for a wild ride!

-LDSEHE: Ok, so it was the last week of school, but it really was the beginning of my summer. The Latter Day Saint Eastern Home Educators' youth conference (LDSEHE) was in VA beach this year. So, I got to chill by the ocean, listen to great speakers, and hang out with awesome people.

-Learner's Permit: I became a permitted learner! Yay! Getting my parents to take me driving, now, there's the hard part...

-Audition drama: Long story short- I was in a dance troupe last year that ROCKED, and I didn't make it this year. This was a total shock for me, and was super painful for a while. I'm over it now, but I will miss that group terribly this school year.

-Woodstock: I went to Woodstock!! ...Virginia. The HST Thespian Honor Society went there for their induction retreat. Wooo!!! It was amazing. We really had a great time.

-Girls' Camp: Always a hit, this year was B.O.O.T. Camp, and I was a spirit leader. Bethany and I had WAAAY too much fun leading the Army girls. We won everything. Yup. Gold star. Not to mention the filming of Die Hard 4 with Madeline and our stake camp director. I was the hostage/cameraman. Win. As well as Special Op: FBO. That's all I'm going to say about that, but it was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.

-EFY: I can't begin to describe how fantastic EFY was. I got to meet so many people, hang out with old friends, go to classes, and feel the Spirit SOOOOO much. I loved it. Best year.

-Theatre Camp: It's the tried and true summer camp. A blast every year. I met even more amazing people this year. I got a lead, I got to tap dance pretty much 24/7, I got to room with Bethany and Maddie, be swank with Karl and Garrett, shop for school supplies with Connor, giggle with Abbey, be in a group with Tanner for the 3rd year in a row, and basically love everyone. It was at TC that my pleurisy attacks happened. Ouch. Good thing I have such amazing friends. Karl, Maddie, and Bethany saved me more than a few times. Also, Tanner and I literally saved a girl that fell down the stairs in the HFAC and passed out - awesome for us, stinks for her. Anyway, I LOVE TC.

-Owl City Concert: Yes. I'm weird. My music is weird. I'm even too strange to be a hipster. I'm a neo-hipster. I'm down with it. The Owl City concert was one of the GREATEST nights Of. My. Life.

-Proms: I went to both HST prom and Mo Pro (Mormon Prom) this year with dates, (Oo la la). They were both super fun dances, and my dates were both super awesome guys. I had a fantastic time at each of them.

I had a memorable summer with just these events, not to mention my Dad being released as bishop after 8 years of service AND getting a new job, moving part time to NYC, having my first REALLY bad pleurisy attacks, waterballoon fights, trampoline sleepovers, going to see every Disney movie that came out, going Tubing with my youth group, going away, and coming home again. I loved this summer, and I'm sad to see it go, but I'm looking forward to what the school year has to offer!

Peace from the East,
(WOW. Sorry that was a mile long...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made...


Well, New York was an adventure. I should've known living on the corner of 5th Ave. would be. But hey, it's awesome. We took my Dad up there this past week. New York City is great, but visiting normally, you'd never think of the realities of living there, like, finding a grocery store. Then once you've found one, planning what to buy, because you'll have to carry it all home. For example: you don't want to buy 3 2-liter bottles of soda, a gallon of ice cream, a watermelon, and a box of cereal, especially if you live 10 or 11 blocks away. Planning is VERY important.

Also, living there doesn't mean you have to follow the crowd. Literally. Every time you're at a crosswalk, you have to make a decision: do I follow everyone else and cross the street, even though the light is red, or do I wait and look like a total tourist? A word of advice: obey the law. I witnessed cars bulldoze through crowds even when the pedestrians had the right-of-way.

If you are ever looking for an apartment in the city, particularly in the midtown area, check the street your building is on. If there are bars under almost every building on the street (such is our case), be sure your apartment is on at least the 5th level. We are fortunate enough to be on the 11th floor of our building, but the noise still reaches us. Be aware of this. But the patrons of "The Ginger Man" and the "Home of the Kilted Bartenders" are kind enough to take Monday through Wednesday off from partying to rest at work.

Another part of living there, smoking is a normal part of life for about 85% of the residents there. (the other 15% are children and Mormons.) Sorry that it stinks. Sorry that it makes your eyes water. Sorry that you are trying to live a clean life according to the Word of Wisdom. Sorry that it makes you cough. Sorry that you have a lung condition that makes it hurt to breathe. Don't move here next time.

Take advantage of the resources. See the shows. Visit the temple. Go to the stores. Make a bear at the Build-a-Bear on 5th Ave., which is only the BIGGEST BUILD-A-BEAR IN THE WHOLE WORLD. No big deal. I'm chill with it.

I love New York. I really do. I really enjoyed my time there. I'm looking forward to spending more time there. My favorite things we did in NYC were watching Hawaii 5-O with my family in the apartment, going to the Lion King on Broadway with AMAZING seats, eating at Pret A Manger, stuffing my face with heavenly cheesecake at Junior's. But my most memorable moment was when we went to the top of the Empire State building at night on my brother's birthday. We could see everything and some. Being able to look down a city I just met, and to feel so at home was amazing. The lights were beautiful, the energy was amazing. I love New York City. Still, I was excited to get back on the train headed for Washington, D.C. I love it here. I have found room in my heart for both of my homes - two of the most amazing cities on earth.

I'm so blessed to be a Washing-Yorker.

"Act Well Thy Part"

In my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, there is quote that is shared often: "What e'er thou art, act well thy part." I love this quote, and have been thinking about what my part is, and how I can best fulfill that part. I am a daughter, sister, friend, cousin, youth leader in church, and a believer of my faith. I am a homeschooler, an actor, a dancer, a singer, a pianist, a teenager, a student. I have roles to play in this, the grand stage of life. I am striving to act them well. This blog is just a place for me to share triumphs, and probably some failures. I hope that they are enjoyable to read, and that I can share the things I learn with you.

Thanks so much for reading!