Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cedar City Utah Temple | 02.18.17

temple #8 of 17 on our utah temple tour was the Cedar City Utah Temple on Saturday, February 18th, 2017! (:

i've never been to this temple before - it's currently under construction & will be dedicated this december! :)

this temple was a part of our overnight trip to st. george (temples = two for one!)

those in attendance this day (from L-->R, as though we were standing in a single row): Mary Riker, Kara Wigginton, Luke Mangum, Mackenzie Swapp, Debbie Smith, Keaton Olsen, me, Shelby Luke, & Lexi Rich (Trent Dahlin was with us in St. George but he was feeling sick, so he headed home between St. George & before we went to this temple).

i don't think i mentioned this in my st. george post, so for the quick run-down of who came on this trip:

mary, kara, luke, mackenzie, keaton, & lexi are all friends from my singles ward in provo.
debbie is my bff from when we lived at sky view apartments for two years in a row before we left on our missions in 2013. :)
shelby is a friend from my byu theatre major days - when we both worked on byu's production of peter pan way too long ago ;) she was the costume designer (i believe) & i was one of the dressers for the show (aka i mostly just helped people get the right costumes and made sure they checked them in each night!).
trent dahlin = shelby's male friend who came along :) both of them live in the cedar city area!

so so so pretty on the outside - i love the blue details on this temple!!

#ilovepanoranicphotos - click on it below to see it bigger!

#templeselfies :)

after our quick stop by this temple to snap a dozen or so photos, we headed to (nearby) shelby's home, as shown below (isn't it/she so cute!? love that red door!):

she was awesome & let us all change into more comfy clothes (kind of like clowns coming out of a clown car by the way we all jumped in & out of the bedrooms/bathroom that were available to us to change in! haha) to prep for our loooOOoOOOong 3-ish hour trip back up north (thankfully a little shorter since cedar city is already farther north than st. george).

shelby showed us some of the pretty artwork that she has done while we waited & we had a good ol' time. she draws some seriously gorgeous temple art!! check out her etsy shop by clicking HERE. her etsy shop name is "BelbCorinne" :)

love love love catching up with old friends! ps aren't her dress & hairstyle so pretty!? and shelby in general is just gorgeous, too, obviously. :)

& per usual, happy goofy photo for the day with my lovely deb!

so there you have it! we did it. temple 8/17. before heading on our lOoOoong trip back up north! 2 temples in 24 hours is now a personal best, i think ;)

& per usual, our final insta-worthy photo of the day:

Friday, April 21, 2017

St. George Utah Temple | 02.18.17

temple #7 of 17 on our utah temple tour was the St. George Utah Temple on Saturday, February 18th, 2017! (:

those in attendance this day (from L-->R): Back row: Shelby Luke, Trent Dahlin, Luke Mangum, Keaton Olsen, Mackenzie Swapp, Lexi Rich. Front row: Debbie Smith, me, Mary Riker, & Kara Wigginton.


quick story before i get into this particular trip (with some old photos):

i have been to this temple before - for baptisms, with Micae, where i had a really special spiritual experience (you can see photos from our trip in 2011 HERE).

i had already told my family that i was planning on going on a mission, and had finished pretty much everything except for my final stake president interview - which was scheduled for just a few days after this trip. while i was inside the baptistry, i had a distinct impression that i should wait a year before going on my mission...this was in the fall of 2011.

so...i went home at the end of that weekend, cancelled my stake president interview, told my bishop & parents & everyone else that i was postponing my mission for another year. ((i'm pretty sure they all thought i was just not going to go on a mission at all).

fast forward to the following fall, october 2012, when i climbed a mountain and camped overnight in a canyon above Y mountain with some friends. i had always heard "go into general conference with a question in mind" but had never really done it...but while climbing this mountain, i remembered that it had been just about a year since i had felt that i should wait a year to go on a mission. i went with the question in mind - is now the right time for me to go on a mission? 

we listened to the saturday morning session of the october 2012 general conference via radio broadcast, when president monson (the prophet of the lds church) announced the age change for full-time missionaries (sisters could now go at age 19 instead of 21; elders could now go at age 18 instead of 19). although i would already be 22 by the time i entered the MTC, i had another distinct impression: i wrote in my journal that morning, "now is the time to go on a mission." and i re-started my papers (aka started all over again since i think they are only valid for like a couple of months!), submitted them in february 2013, got my call in march, & left in july (still in 2013). one of my best decisions to date. God is good & definitely answers prayers. i am so glad that i left when i did! :)


okay, back to the present(-ish). basically, we drove down to st. george lateish on friday night in two separate cars (we met shelby - a friend from my byu theatre days - & her male friend, trent the next morning @ the st. george temple since they live close by). we arrived in st. george around 10-11pm & spent the night at mary's (great?) aunt's home. they were awesome & even fed us yummy breakfast in the morning! so so awesome. then we packed our bags & headed over to the temple! 
it was a rainy day, but beautiful nonetheless!

extra special (i keep having these unexpected #smallworldmoment experiences on my temple tour, haha!) was running into ellen brotherson in the locker room inside! she was my second co-sister training leader when we were in the MTC (here's another throwback picture from september 2013 in the MTC for you because we didn't snap a photo inside the temple since that's not allowed :) -

totally awesome. love those small world moments! :)

k back to the "present":

we had a great session (even though i was kinda stressed out during the session, to be honest, because i was trying to plan out in my mind the driving/other arrangements while i was in the session and this ultimately led to my putting my multi-friend temple trips on a temporary *hold* hahaha #toomuchstress. i want to be able to enjoy my time in the temple & this trip/session inside the temple helped me to remember that for sure. so hopefully everyone else had a less-stressful session  :)

this was my attempt at a group selfie since it was pouring rain & i didn't want to make anyone else stand outside in the rain to take our photo hahaha:

SUCH a pretty temple - even in the rain!!

panoramic photos of the temple & visitor's center to the left for the win (click to make them bigger):

we went out to eat lunch after our temple session & rainy photoshoot outside, and while the food was okay, it was a loooOooOoooong wait for seating & also for the food, so we spent a liiiittle more time in st. george than we had originally intended, haha. but all is well! everyone was a pretty good sport about it, & after we ate, we headed to see the cedar city temple (stay tuned for the next post about that!) & eventually to change into more comfy clothes & head home! one big highlight for me on this trip = at lunch i got an email stating that my final exam grade for my LAST INDEPENDENT CLASS EVER was posted....the one i was so crazy worried about failing, hahaha. but i passed! B- isn't the best grade, but with how terribly i thought i did on the exam, i was pretty content with that (especially since it meant passing the course with an A-!). wahooo! :)

so! like i said, we headed to another temple (to stop by - since the cedar city temple isn't dedicated yet!) after this one, but lo & behold, we visited temple 7/17 this day. & per usual, our final insta-worthy photo of the day:


Monday, April 17, 2017

what i've been up to for the past month & 10 days (!)

has it really been over a month since i last blogged!? life has been moving at 1000000 mph this entire year so far (2017, i love you, but you've been a wild ride so far, for sure!), & i'm grateful for a couple of weeks before graduation to sit down & reflect before my life takes off at full-speed ahead, again! here's what i've been up to since basically the last time i blogged (in no particular order):

LOTS & LOTS OF (STUDENT) TEACHING. designing bulletin boards (aka helping my teacher staple up the ones she designed ;), staying late after school grading essays, eating lots of yummy food (chipotle when i was settling in for a long night in...also grading essays, haha, & olive garden foods thanks to the PTA on the night of parent-teacher conferences, & a fair amount of celebratory donuts ;), standing on tall things (like my favorite stool) to write on the board, going into full-on ninja mode on the day that we had an (unbeknownst to me) lockdown DRILL (i love my students and will do ANYTHING to keep them safe!), finishing my observation hours & saying goodbye to my byu supervisor (annette), buying books to use for found poetry, taking a mini photo shoot with my mentor teacher, carli, on our last day together - my last day of student teaching (this past friday!!), & documenting the beautiful work that my students did on (one wall) bio poems & (the other wall) found poems! moral of the story...I LOVE TEACHING. SOSO MUCH. :)

LOTS OF TRACK & FIELD COACHING. becoming an official coach, cheering on my mighty dons, traveling around central utah for meets, enjoying the beautiful scenery everywhere we go, learning how to work events like the shot put, discus, high jump, & long jump, & sporting my new SFHS track & field gear (thanks for the sweatshirt gift, coach cable!).

TRYING TO LEARN HOW TO BE A REAL ADULT. by doing things like preparing for graduation (buying my tassel!!!!!!!!!), attending the BYU teacher fair, & interviewing for/waiting on hearing back from potential job/other opportunities (HEFY & EFY counseling, teaching jobs) like crazy!

FINDING WAYS TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT. aka have fun & unwind mostly, doing things like bowling with my Brazilian friends who came to visit from Recife (finally joining the turkey club!! aka THREE STRIKES IN A ROW! *high fives*), running sparingly, & sadly i dropped my weight training class (because i wanted to have time to coach after school). but i did fall in love with weight training in general, so i'm sure i'll start back up eventually!

CONTINUING MY #UTAHTEMPLETOUR2017 WITH SOME AWESOME FRIENDS. st. george, cedar city, salt lake city, monticello, & provo (that last one = a repeat, but still great :). i love love love to see the temples!

CONTINUING TO - & FINISHING - BEING A BYU STUDENT FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE! including exciting hallmarks like finishing my last independent study class (forever, hahaha), & my last BYU class --> my student teaching seminar class! love this group of english teaching crazies! photos include: all of us who did student teaching this semester; my practicum group from last semester; byu professor chris crowe & english teaching advisor dixie archibald (LOVE them!); & yours truly CELEBRATING! #bYugrad (almost)!

ENJOYING MY FIRST SPRING BREAK POST-HIGH SCHOOL. now that i'll be going back to high school (lol - as a teacher!), that means i get exciting things like spring break again (BYU doesn't have spring break). so student teaching = an opportunity to celebrate having spring break again! exciting highlights from my spring break included: watching LDS general conference, celebrating liana's bday, teaching myself some ukulele, watching (& discussing) the new book-to-netflix series thirteen reasons why (i had read the book over the summer and LOVED it!), face timing some people i love, road tripping to the monticello temple with a future roommate (& running into some friends in moab on our way back), having a combined RS/EQ activity (laser tagging to the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy -- AWESOME), & celebrating liana's bday again at her party at the end of the week with kyle (& friends)! it was a crazy but awesome week!

FACETIMING LOTS OF LOVED ONES (& SPENDING SOME FACE-TO-FACE TIME WITH OTHERS). i definitely am grateful for technology & the opportunity to talk with my family on the regular, as well as for my awesome friends in & around provo who are always so willing to spend time with me doing things like staying up late chatting, seeing theatre shows, getting massages, going to church, celebrating the birthday of relief society, eating indian/american/mexican food (i really really like food, hahaha), & going rollerskating! (:

DOING LOTS OF OTHER RANDOM THINGS. mostly insignificant items, but significant to me! such as: throwing out two of my favorite pairs of shoes/sandals ever (seriously such a sad moment in my life), eating more yummy food (hahaha seriously food is like, my #1 love language) like sweet potato waffle fries & girl scout cookies (SAMOAS & THIN MINTS 4EVER <3), getting crazy sick (and huge shout out to sharron for bringing me my favorite OJ & a yogurtland gift card that -combined with watching castaway for the first time & sleeping a ton - helped me feel better after like tow weeks, haha), going to FHE (& playing a fun game like "church jeopardy"), celebrating big sis/famous reporter anna getting a new job (@ WTHR in indiana!!), getting at realizing how much my hair has grown since i cut it all off when i got back from my mission two years ago (#neveragain haha), laughing at some funny things  - including funny Facebook posts & the fact that my march madness bracket actually did pretty well (LOL), among other things.

at the end of it all...I HEADED BACK HOME TO OHIO TO CELEBRATE! i had my awesome roommate, angelica, drop me off at the provo trax train station (did you guys know that they have parking spots that are specifically labeled "kiss & ride?!" haha #cutestthingever) & went to the SLC airport ---> met up with ruth & drew in denver ---> finally arrived in ohio late this past saturday night!

it has been a wild ride these past couple of months. SO excited to be home & spend some time relaxing before jumping back into the craziness of my life back in utah! :) next stop when i get back to utah at the end of the month ---> BYU GRADUATION! eek!!!! :D
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