7 Insights I Learned While Earning My $40,000 Piece of Paper

Perspective is one of the most valuable insights I have gained in the last four years as an undergraduate student at Utah State University. I received my share of embarrassing exam grades, worked lousy jobs, lived with roommates who never did their dishes, and experienced really rough break-ups but as I think back to it, these have all been opportunities for my benefit. My years as an Aggie have been the most influential of my life and I would like to share my 7 insights for anyone seeking to make college (and life) a valuable experience: What you do matters. There are always consequences for what we do and the choices we makes each day but what I mean is in the way of long term consequences. During my first year of college, my classes were much more difficult than I anticipated them to be but I often skipped them to hang out on the quad with my friends instead. I stayed up past 2 a.m. almost every school night with my roommates and the boys across the hall rather than studying for my human anatomy exam, and I went to basketball games instead of my 7:30 p.m. study groups. If you

“Voices of early-returned LDS Missionaries: The Daily Universe”

“Overtime, I learned that I served exactly the time I needed to serve and taught the people I needed to teach.” When I was thirteen years old, I attended an EFY (Especially for Youth) the summer before eighth grade and my counselor had asked us on the first day to think of questions we wanted answers to. They could be gospel related, familial, or academic – anything we wanted – and she promised us by the end of the week, if we sought for answers from the scriptures and prayer, we would receive an answer. The question I wrote was: am I meant to serve a mission? I had watched my older brothers prepare and serve and I felt that experience was something I wanted. During the week, I read a particular scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that influenced my decision. The spirit was so overwhelming in that moment that I knew I had my answer. From then on, I tried to live my life in a way that was preparatory for a mission and read that scripture on a daily basis. I served in the Illinois, Chicago mission for exactly seven months. I entered the MTC on July

Easter Is a Time for Quiet Moments Where We Can Focus on Him

This morning I was able to share a precious moment with a 6-year-old little girl. Aaron and I are here tending for a cute family of three kids while mom & dad are taking a little TLC in Costa Rica and I woke up this morning to this sweet little thing who had a bad dream. I cuddled with her on the couch and pulled out my phone. My mom had messaged me the link to the LDS church’s Easter videos and I asked her, “Navy, do you want to watch these videos with me?” She kindly smiled as we tucked ourselves underneath the white, velvety blanket. I loved teaching her new vocabulary words like “tragedy,” “gratitude,” “sculptor,” “hostile,” and “perspective” throughout and after each two minute video, I wrote down a few of my thoughts in my blue journal. Navy looked at me and said, “I have a journal!” I excitedly responded, “Do you write in it often?” “I mostly just draw pictures,” she told me. After watching Jon’s video about gratitude, I wrote down his words: “I have so much to be grateful for that I’d be disrespecting God if I wasn’t happy.” Navy wrote, “I love

Our Last Day in Sunny San Diego: Old Town Trolley

Hey, guys! We’re back in Utah even though it took me three potty stops during the drive (sorry, Aaron) and a 40 minute detour because we missed an exit (again, sorry Aaron. I’m not the best navigator). We still love each other anyways! Before I get too carried away with life and its responsibilities, I want to tell you the last few activities we did while in sunny San Diego. Mainly because I’m suffering from vacation withdrawals and also because some of you might find it fascinating. Wednesday was our last day there so we woke up bright and early to catch the Old Town trolley in no other place than Old Town, San Diego. We bought our tickets on our first day at a ticket booth in Seaport Village but there are other booths around the city and you can also purchase them online. Plus, the tickets are good for any weekday and they never expire. Isn’t that cool? Throughout the trolley tour, you are taken through the city to seven different “ports” that are narrated along the way. Your guide tells you about the historical landscapes, why San Diego is called “America’s Finest City”, and see the

My SoCal’ed Life: Good Morning from San Diego!

We are loving it here in sunny San Diego! After spending a few rainy days in Washington State and the weekend in cold little Logan, Utah, it’s nice to be in a place of palm trees. Sunday after the morning session of General Conference, Aaron and I drove straight from Logan to Draper to say a quick hello to my parents and switch out our rain jackets for swimming suits & sandals. We nibbled on some left over Olive Garden (have you tried the Steak Gorgonzola?! It’s delectable) then off we went. Sunday night we boarded at the Virgin River Hotel & Casino which was actually nicer than where we stayed at for our first year anniversary — haha! We’re cheap. Monday morning began bright and early with our remaining excursion to California. Our original plan was Las Vegas but it didn’t take much flirting for me to convince Aaron to spend six more long hours in the car to come to…yes, SEA WORLD!! But before I get to that, we are huge fans of airbnb, anyone else? We use it on all of our trips and we are staying in thee coolest spot! It’s like our own little oasis here in

Then Cometh Jesus Unto A Place Called Gethsemane: Why He Asks Us to Be His Hands

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we often discuss what it means to be “His hands on earth.” It means we serve those around us as He would serve them and we love those around us as He would love them. Sometimes we may feel, though, “Why does He ask me?”, when we know He is fully capable of doing it on His own and that He would (more than likely) do a better job than we ever would. Note, though, that our Father is Heaven asks us. He doesn’t demand us, threaten us, or quite frankly, need us. All it is is a simple asking, an invitation. If we do as He asks, we show Him that we sustain Him. We choose to stand with Him and His counsel in a darkening world. Everything He asks us to do is important, and when we do as we are asked, we are blessed. Recently, God has asked me to serve a lot. And not just me; He has asked my mom, my brother Eric, my sister-in-law Siera and my husband Aaron to serve as well. You see, my healthy, happy, go-big-or-go-home father found out on Tuesday after weeks of absolute unbearable pain,

GIVEAWAY!!!!! Increase Your Everyday Confidence with My All-Time Favorite Pep-Talk

Who (besides me) LOVES to read? If you do, let us please start a weekly book club. If you don’t, this book will change that entirely. I pinkie promise. It’s a quick, easy read and you’ll experience laughter, tears, an increasing amount of faith in Him and recognize His faith in you, and you will be encouraged to ponder your purpose as His daughter. I was introduced to this book by my adorable mom and it’s called “Does this insecurity make me look fat?” The title alone! How can you not laugh?! As women we have days where our faults, weaknesses, disappointments, and our insecurities dog-pile on us and weigh us down. Those are the exact moments we (I) dig out the Dove Chocolates from my kitchen candy cupboard and indulge in one big fat pity-party but the truth is: we are not, and will never be, perfect in this life. We know we’ve made mistakes but we also know is that Heavenly Father loves us exactly as we are. He loves us and He needs us. He is directing a great work and He hurts when we don’t see ourselves or others through His eyes. Through reading this book, I’ve

Hot Showers, Repentance, And An Eternal Perspecitve: Our Everyday Essentials

Have you ever taken a shower so hot that it sets off the smoke detector? I have, several times! And it happened again this morning. Hot showers are one of my everyday essentials because it relaxes me in an instant. BOOM. Problems, be gone. I’m talking about problems like the thousands of dirt particles that lodge their sneaky little selves under my skin and embed there throughout the day that result in many terrible, terrible things: acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Luckily, the steam from my shower water gives all the gunk that I collected throughout the day the chance to wash away. Although life’s “real” problems still await me after my hot shower, I enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water. Sound good? Of course it does. And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either! A hot shower is an idyllic beginning to a wonderful day; a day where we “devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness” and give all we can to God. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

That They Might Have Joy

Hello to my family & friends, both old and new. My heart is pounding with joy and gratitude right this very second for a few reasons: 1) I have officially launched my blog, , which has been an act of courage and has required months of long, hard hours of learning 2) My Father in Heaven has provided me with His strength to pursue my writing dreams 3) You are taking a moment out of your day to hear about mine. I express my love to you for supporting me. Thank you. Happiness has been on my mind lately. This is one of those moments in life when, well, I am extremely happy. Lucky me. A scripture in the Book of Mormon says, “Men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and as I grew up, I thought that scripture was teaching us that the purpose of this mortal life is to be happy, and therefore, if you are not generally happy then you’re surely doing something wrong. However, the more I have learned about our Savior and about the blessing of mortality, I realize that to achieve joy in the long-term, sometimes we must sacrifice happiness in the