The Tender Mercies of a Cupcake

I want to describe to you a spiritual impression I had a few days ago during the Saturday sessions of general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just minutes before the afternoon session came to a close, Aaron and I left our apartment to drive an hour and a half to Logan, Utah to be with his family for the evening. My cute sister-in-law was celebrating her birthday, so we stopped at the cupcake shop across the street to grab her a sweet little birthday treat. However, minutes before we left, I experienced a moment where I felt like God was not hearing my pleas, and sometimes, tearful prayers. Have you ever experienced that? The feeling that you don’t deserve heaven’s blessings? If not, I offer my sincere “good for you!” exclamation with a warm-and-cozy side hug, because that means you have a lot of faith and a heck of a lot more confidence than I do! However, if my experience makes sense to you, then you probably have felt those exact same “I-don’t-amount-to-anything” feelings. But let me tell you a tiny secret: These feelings are LIES. All lies. They are perpetuated by society,

The Fit Girl’s Guide to The Best Protein Powders

Many of my close friends, family members, and likely some of my readers now, know that I am an eating disorder survivor. Without going into major detail about that part of my life (I could write about it for hours), I have spent years with trial and error trying to come up with a fitness and diet routine that works best for me. I’ve experimented with everything under the sun from weight lifting, yoga classes, at-home workout videos, and hours upon hours of kicking my butt on any & every cardio machine. I’ve dieted to dangerous extremes; eating only fruits & veggies for a week straight, the “military diet”, the “Egg Diet”, and everything else you can find on Pinterest or in Women’s Health Magazine. As women, I think we can all agree that it takes a little practice and a lot of sweat (might I add tears) to get to the level where we feel comfortable and confident & we are constantly looking for ways to enhance our endurance, improve our strength, and perk up that booty. Thankfully, I have finally learned after all this time that it’s important to treat my body kindly– to give it exercise

Two Years Later: 15 Things I Love About Our Marriage

It’s not like me to be without the right words, but it’s taken me a few days to type this one out. You see, I feel like I don’t have endless advice to offer about marriage and I can’t articulate how it has changed me over the last 2 years for the better. I have given my experiences I’ve shared with Aaron much thought but as I sit at my laptop in our two bedroom apartment listening to the clanking of our dryer down the hall, these are the things I think as I contemplate our marriage… I’ll never forget how I drove to the Salt Lake temple two years ago on a snowy morning only to realize…I FORGOT MY WEDDING DRESS!!! Poor Aaron, the first time he saw me on our wedding day I was crying, so I can only imagine the thoughts that were going through his mind! I told him the situation and he simply hugged me & held my hand through my tears until the problem was solved. I love…love love love my new last name. I’ve finally learned how to write it cute, too. We are rarely happier when we’re curled up on the

The Best Gift You Could Ever Give To Your Parents

I’m sure there’s been several moments when my parents have said to themselves as they raised me, “Some day she’ll thank me for that!” Their parents probably had the same experience! So here’s my question: have I thanked them for that? Have I thanked them for teaching me humility? For allowing me to make mistakes but always holding my hand through the process of mending them? For pushing me in school (and paying for it)? Have I thanked them for always answering the phone when I call? For always providing me with new school clothes, a cute childhood bedroom, and yearly tours with my dance team? The list of what I need to thank them for is incredibly long, and as I have grown into adulthood, I have truly been able to acknowledge the love and sacrifices they continue to make for me day by day. But one I have felt so strongly about lately is to thank them for the gift of allowing my grandparents to be part of my life. That’s not a typical thought you’d have to thank your parents for, right? The last few years though I’ve had the strongest yearning to build a deeper relationship

It’ll Be Tough to Say Goodbye to You, 2017

Just this year, I launched my blog and spent many weeks traveling to Puerto Rico, New York, Portland, San Diego, St. George, and Michigan. I moved 3 times, welcomed 2 baby nieces, ran 3 half marathons, and watched my husband earn his Master’s degree. But every December I find myself wondering how the new year could possibly be any more exciting?! I thought that in 2015 when I got married, and again in 2016 when I graduated college. These accomplishments were hard to put behind me because I was scared of not knowing what was next. The one thing I do know about the future though is this: typically, our worst fears rarely come true. Most of us worry ourselves over things that are most likely never going to happen, and if they do, we learn how to survive them. In 2009, I survived a life-threatening battle with Anorexia Nervosa. In 2010, I survived being grounded from running my car into a mail box and asking a boy to the Sweethearts dance. In 2011, I survived a knee injury that placed me out of my dance team’s Winter Showcase. In 2012, I survived my first year of college (although, **DISCLAIMER**

I Read My Husband’s Journal and I Wasn’t Prepared For What It Told Me

Aaron called me this morning with the bad news that he had to replace the battery in our brand new car. He wanted to tell me so I would be aware of the money that would be coming out of our bank account but instead of thanking him for taking the time out of his day to get it fixed, I did what any loving and thankful wife would do: I got mad and hung up. And now after sitting on it for a while, I am feeling extremely guilty. Guilty that the blur of life and all its responsibilities makes it difficult for me to see the good in my spouse. And since I love my husband, I sat down and wrote in my journal the reasons why I adore and appreciate him. The list is unending, but simply thinking about Aaron made me miss him so, of course, I pulled out his journal just to get a breath of fresh air. However, I wasn’t prepared for what it told me. It told me that Aaron is a wonderful poet.   Poetry By Aaron Bennett People who write poetry are a little strange Maybe even a little deranged You have

Blondes: Do They, Like, Really Have More Brains?

Today’s word is “Blonde Moment.” Wait, that’s two words. Anyway, a blonde moment: Noun, Often Facetious. A brief mental lapse, as of judgement or memory: I must be having a blonde moment. An insult to a blonde-haired woman who is perceived as being attractive but unintelligent; someone did something really, really ditzy; a reputation women have for being “blonde”: A guy was driving in a car with a blonde. He told her to stick her head out the window and see if the blinker worked. She looked out and said, “Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes…”                                               So my name is Marlee. I have blonde hair and I have dumb blonde moments. No, I have blonde hair and I have “Marlee Moments.” I have blonde hair and I have mental lapses? No. I just have blonde hair. Blonde hair is light in color because it lacks a pigment called eumelanin. Blonde hair has also become associated with the lack of another component — intelligence. Blonde jokes pose the eumelanin deficient as dumb, stupid, silly, or weak-minded. Why do blondes have TGIF written on their shoes? Toes Go In First. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard them all. I have blonde hair yet I

If We Loved The Savior More

I don’t thank my Savior enough. Even though it isn’t the popular thing to do on the internet, it is necessary for me today, and especially during this special time of each year. Yesterday was my Grandpa Ray’s 93rd birthday and I love him with every ounce of my being. But sometimes I worry about him. I worry about his health. I worry that he might still carry emotional pain from serving in World War 2. I worry that he is lonely. As I listened to my Grandpa Ray’s cute, squeaky voice over the telephone, I was reminded of this story by Robert D. Hales from October 2016: “Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel was in the hospital recovering from open-heart surgery when he was visited by his five-year-old grandson. As the little boy looked into his grandfather’s eyes, he saw his pain. “Grandpa,” he asked, “if I loved you more, would you hurt less?” Today I ask a similar question of each of us: “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?” -Robert D. Hales I wondered the same question; if I loved my Grandpa more…if I called him more, sent him post cards more, prayed for him more…would

Why I Quit My Day Job to be a Nanny

Today I’m going to share a huge portion of my life — being a nanny. To be honest, I’m totally shocked I haven’t once blogged about this before! When I am asked what I do by new people I meet, I avoid the question because sometimes I feel embarrassed that it’s not a “career” job which most college graduates attain, say…. a nurse, a teacher, a hairstylist, or even an author. It’s plain, old, just a nanny. But little did I know, this “job” would soon become one of the best decisions in my life and I’d fall in love with every part of it. Being a nanny is so much more than just turning on the TV and ignoring the kids. I have changed more diapers than most adults my age who don’t have children. I’ve dealt with level 10 tantrums, sibling wars, nonstop whining and tattle telling. I have cooked hundreds of meals and fed hungry stomachs. I have folded mountains of laundry. I have prepared bottles and snacks. I have played the role of “Taxi Mom” to soccer practice, baseball games, piano lessons, and late night’s at friend’s houses. I have helped with homework and school