anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Be You

When I was a kid, I was kind of a misfit (I know, you're all REALLY surprised). I wasn't in the popular crowd at my elementary school, and I especially wasn't when we moved to a new school when I was 9. I had about 1 friend, and when that friend left, I turned to my next door neighbor. Then she moved away. I didn't fit in with my ward. I thought that maybe if I was different, then I'd have some more friends. 
In 9th grade I finally got the friends that I wanted. But, not all of my new social group liked me the way that I was. I didn't change to gain their approval, not because I didn't want to, but because I'm a horrible actress. I couldn't act like I thought they wanted me to without slipping up and letting the real me through. 
If I've learned one thing, I've learned that's ok. 
I am not like the popular crowd. I don't go out all the time. I don't really dress up often (I usually wear a t shirt and sweats, jeans if I'm going to work.) I don't usually wear make up. I don't make friends easily.
But the friends I make, I stick by. And I like who I am. If there's one thing that my Mom taught me and taught me well, it's that my own opinion of me matters more than others' opinions of me.
The reason that I don't dress up all the time, or wear make up might surprise you. It is partially because I'm lazy and it's a whole lot easier to do nothing, but that isn't the main reason. The main reason is because I don't want that to define me. I love clothes, but that doesn't really make me any different than if I were wearing sweats. I don't wear make up because I don't want to feel like I need make up to be beautiful.
I won't lie, it hasn't been an easy road. I don't always have a ton of friends, and people don't just embrace me because I am me. But the people that have stuck by me are worth having. My best boyfriend that I ever had didn't care if I didn't wear any make up, he thought that I was beautiful anyway. He would show me off like I was a beauty queen even when I wore sweats.
Those are the kind of people you want in your life, not the people that only think you're awesome if you're all made up. Or, if you have the nicest clothes.
Whatever you like. Whoever you are. However you are.
You're not alone. There are people who will like you just the way you are. You don't have to please anyone but you! Not that you shouldn't care about other people's feelings, you should, but you shouldn't necessarily care what they think of you. Because someone out there thinks you're awesome. If all the groups of nerds out there don't prove that you can be anything you want and still have people that think that rocks (Proud nerd, right here), then I don't know what will prove my point.
So don't change, be you. Change only what you want to, and not because someone else thinks that you need to change, or you think that they would like you better. People can see through facades in a second, be authentic! It's wonderful. You're wonderful. Believe it. 
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Days of the Swiss

Do you ever find yourself saying things the way that your friends say them? I had "Swiss Days" as the post title and I thought 'hey, that's a little boring. How can I spice this up?' Automatically my friend's voice popped into my head. And thus you have it.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about, this is a post about Swiss days!

 Swiss days is one of our family traditions (which I do not know the origin of, we are in no way Swiss... that I know of). We go every year, usually on the Saturday, but this year, because of the Potter Run today, we went on Friday. We always go really early before it gets too hot and too crowded. I'm telling you, the Free Shuttle is the way to go. 

THIS is the original reason for my attending Swiss days. It never seemed worth it to me to get up that early on a Saturday and drive out to midway to walk around a bunch of booths... which I had no money to spend at. I'm telling you, if you buy nothing else, the scones are worth it. You could eat them plain and it would be worth it, but with a little cinnamon and sugar or the jam.... AMAZING. 
This year I spent more than I have ever spent at Swiss days (easily done since last year was the first year I bought anything ;) ), but guys... The clothes! There were so many cute things! If you are into clothes, or decor, or jewelry, or art, or books, or blankets... or awesomeness, I'm telling you that you need to go to Swiss days next year! 

What are your family traditions (non-holiday or holiday, either one!)? What did you do this weekend?
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's in a name?

Before I made this happy little blog of mine, it was just a dream. And I thought about it a lot! I thought about what to call it, and I googled to see if the names were taken. Well, I googled some of them... 
When "Anchored In Light" hit me though, I knew it was the one.
Here are all the names that I ALMOST named this blog :)

Everyday Adventures: An Awfully Big Adventure
Run Rachael, Run
Bold and Brave
Oceans of Adventure
Fearless: Fashion, Faith, Food, Fun
Making Magic
Drenched in Dreams
Rocky Mountain Roxy
Anchored in Adventure
Anchored in Starlight

As you can see, I was kind of all over the map. I have a lot of big dreams. I really love adventure. I want to be a runner. I wanted this blog to be ALL THE THINGS. Hopefully, if it doesn't right now, someday this blog will be all the things that I wanted it to be. Inspiring for me, and for those who read it. Accomplish my dreams, and make you feel like you can accomplish yours! 

Happy Random Fact Wednesday!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Birthday Hike and Scoot Ride

So for my birthday my dad asked what I wanted. Don't get me wrong, but I hate asking for presents. For the most part I'm happy with what I have, and when I start to think of what I want, I could create lists for days! (and we all know that I'm a lister). It makes me feel selfish and greedy and honestly, stuff isn't all that important. 

So I told him that he didn't have to get me anything. That if he saw something I might like, then that would be fine, but not to worry about it. 

Instead of a present, he got me a memory :)

 We got really lost, and by really lost I mean I think we ended up on another mountain... Some not all together guy gave us directions into the wilderness to find our way back to Silver Lake.
We ended up in the wild, following this deer that didn't realize that we were almost 10-15 feet away from. She got all confused that we kept following her, like she was thinking "What do you think I am? A Patronus??" 
Then later we found these beauties :) two baby fawns and their mother. They didn't really like posing :)
 When we made it to the road were over a mile away from the parking lot down the road from the scooter. 
 We made it back to the scooter and then to the lodge! I wouldn't trade getting lost for anything! We took a lot of random trails and met some pro-disk golfers (I didn't even know that was a thing... did you know that was a thing?) But it was an awesome day and it was beautiful! The scenery, the day, all of it was awesome!

What is your idea of a perfect birthday gift? What adventures have you gone on recently?
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Hair today, gone tomorrow

No, I didn't cut off any more of my hair, but I did finally send off my hair! To be honest, I almost got my hair cut at a salon (rather than my normal neighborhood lady), just so they could send if off for me. 
Charissa cut hers off years ago and never mailed it.
But we got it done!
Enjoy the pictures, don't judge my thin hair, my family just has crazy thick hair. Other than me that is!

 Charissa's hair from about 6 years ago.
 Her hair from this year!
 My hair from this year!

It took a lot of stamps...

Thanks for reading everyone!

Have you ever chopped your hair off? 
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Short Hair Shoot! :)

Remember how once upon a time I chopped off all my hair and so did my sister? I intended to do a "short hair shoot" right after so that we could show off our hair... but it just didn't really happen. But guess what?? It happened last week! So here are the pictures for our short hair!

I am by no means a professional photographer, so when we decided to do this shoot, I looked up what the best time for lighting was (we tend to end up going when the sun is harshest and hardest to work with). We learned (from the one article I read) that the best time for portraits was an hour and a half after sunrise. Guess what? It is REALLY bright at that time. So if you were wondering why I look so determined in all of these pictures, it's because I haven't yet learned how to control my "This is really bright" face yet. 

Also, can I just say how much I love this girl here? I'm so glad that I have a little sister that will be my partner in crime and come do random things with me! She took all of the photos of me and I took all the photos of her :)

Well there you have it! Our short, but grown out for three months, hair :)
Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! 
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dead Poets Society and Life Lessons

We all know it happened. Robin Williams Died. We're all thinking about it, talking about it. At least I'm thinking about it, I'm talking about it. We've read the buzzfeed articles, the lists of all the things he's taught us, because even though we claim it otherwise, the lessons never really make it all the way to our hearts until we lament that there will be no more lessons. 

It was while reading one of these articles that I came across Dead Poet's Society. It seemed like a lot of the lessons in the article were from this movie. I'd heard of it before, but I'd never seen it. And it was only rated PG (I had some irrational fear that it was going to be rated R). So my little sister and I watched it. 

I was pretty impressed. If you know me at all, then you know that I love poetry. I loved the way that the poetry was woven in, but what I liked more was the message. The message that we are never too young to be free thinkers. We are never too young to stand up for what we believe in. 

Seriously, the scene at the end gave me chills! "Oh captain, my captain!"

It also reminded me a lot of Mona Lisa smile. Except with boys and poetry, instead of girls and paintings. Both movies teach that message though. To be your own person. To be it in spite of what anyone else tells you that you have to be. I like that.

Robin Williams will be missed, but hopefully, he has taught us one more lesson (Non-movie related). Perhaps he has taught us to be a little more empathetic. To be a little more giving. If the stories of him that I've read have shown me anything, it was that Robin Williams cared about people. He did what he could to cheer them up, to be there for people, both friends and strangers. I hope that someday I can be that kind of person. 
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Shark Week!

So once upon a time, I love Shark week. I never really got to watch it until about 6 years ago when we were on vacation and it just happened to be during Shark Week. You better believe that we were watching it every chance we got. In fact, I'm pretty sure that once my family chose watching shark week over going to Sea World on that trip...
Anyway, I have a friend who refuses to go into the ocean because he's so afraid of sharks. I was on a mission to change this, because let's be honest, I LOVE the ocean. I figured that he was just afraid of sharks because he didn't understand them. So I bought a book about sharks and decided that I would send him a new fact about sharks every day, in order to change all that. 
I did that for a while, I don't really think that he was convinced (he's about as stubborn as I am. Maybe more in fact.) But watching Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine on Sunday with my little sister. I think I get the fear of sharks now. We were literally screaming at one point (not figuratively, literally). I mean seriously, how does a shark that big even exist? And the way it pushed that man out to sea? (Although I still don't understand why they didn't even try to take a boat out to him...) SCARY. 
But I still love Shark week. And I will still go in the ocean, but I might just believe in Rogue sharks now. 
Are you watching Shark Week? Will you go in the ocean again? 

P.S. That picture was taken about...4 years ago. Apparently I have no good pictures of sharks. My bad!
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Being an Example

A few months ago I watched my friend’s house and children for her while she attended a wedding. This was big. I knew this was big, because she had 4 girls.

I remember when I was about 12, one of my distant cousins came and stayed with us for a few days and after she left, I wanted to be just like her. I’m sure that she didn’t know that I was watching her. I’m sure that she doesn’t know to this day the impact that she had on me.
So going to watch these girls, maybe I wouldn’t have a large impact on them, maybe they wouldn’t watch me, but what if they did? I knew that I needed to be the kind of person that it would be good for them to emulate. This was a time when I knew that there was a good chance that at least 4 people would be watching me.

And so I did my best to be someone that I thought they would want to be like. Kind, patient, fun (while still following the rules of course). The best part was that I didn’t really have to try too hard, because guess what? Someone is always watching.

When I was younger someone told me that. They told me to live my life like someone was always watching me, and while I have been far from perfect, that has never left me. I have always tried to live as though someone might be watching me. Might be taking note. Not because of some divine tally system, but because someone might be watching me. It might be fine for me to ruin my own life, but as John Donne said, “No man is an island.” We all have an effect on others whether we know it, for good or bad. And after all, I don’t believe in a divine tally system, I believe in becoming.

I made some mistakes when I was younger and I thought, If only I can live my life perfectly for the rest of my life, God isn’t going to look back at the one mistake and say, Nope, she doesn’t get to go to Heaven. And I don’t think that He will. He will look at what we have become, what we are on our way to becoming, and judge us based on that.

So become who you want to be. Become what you think is best. And remember, there is always someone watching. Someone maybe making their own “becoming” plans based on your actions. 

This is our it's 6 in the morning and we're cold and we're EXCITED faces.
We were volunteering at our Mom's Goldilock's ride.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Birthday Recap

My birthday happened.

My birthday was a weird thing for me this year. In fact, I really really really didn't want it to even happen this year. Why? Because birthdays are a big deal to me. It's the one day of the year where everything gets to be about you. It's your special day. Every other day of the year may be sad and you may be unimportant, but on your birthday, that changes.

At least, that's how it should be (not the sad every other day of the year, but the you're extra special on your birthday thing). And this year I was sure that it wasn't going to happen. Because it hasn't happened in years. 

To be quite honest, unless I've had a boyfriend on my birthday to make it special, the past several birthdays have been the worst. 

I made plans to run away this year. Just so while people were ignoring my special day, I wouldn't have to be around them while they were ignoring it. However, plans to run away fell through. My dearest wish was to skip right to this week. If I could have magically gone from Thursday to Saturday, I would have done it. 

But people stepped up this year, and, probably more importantly, I expected nothing from anyone. No gifts, no one to make my day special but me. I made plans for the entire day, all that I could do solo. 

Boy was I surprised when my best friend showed up in my room at 1 in the morning. She woke me up and threw a blanket over my head and (after letting me get dressed) she drove me away from my house. I had no idea where I was going, I just hoped that the drive wouldn't be long because I don't do well in cars when I can't see. She made me keep my eyes closed when we got there, but thankfully took the blanket off my head. We went inside some establishment and when I opened my eyes, my family was all there. Right inside McDonalds :) My sister and her boyfriend, My mom and her husband, my little sister, and my friend Kyle, plus my best friend of course. 

I can't really explain how I felt looking at all of them. I have wanted a surprise party... forever. Like literally as far back as I can remember. I love surprises :) I've thrown surprise parties for other people, but no one has ever thrown one for me. It was a perfect way to start off my birthday. McDonald's fries and hot mustard sauce :)

After that my birthday went pretty much as planned, except that I didn't have to fly solo. I made myself crepes when I woke up, got ready for the day and then went to lunch, courtesy of my little sister. We watched my nephew for a few hours and then later that night we went to Wingers with my mom and her husband. And the only thing I had to pay for all day was some dresses that I picked out after lunch. 

It was a low key birthday, and I'm glad that I had low expectations, but I'm so much gladder that the people that I love didn't let this birthday fall through the cracks. I'm so grateful that I didn't have to spend it alone. And I was amazed at the number of people that wished me a happy birthday, even though they didn't spend it with me. 

So thank you to everyone who made an effort for me this birthday, it meant a lot! 

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

I Never Thought to Ask

I've been taking an institute class this summer, and I won't lie, it has been awhile since I've taken an institute class. Anyway, I've been having all these little epiphanies about life and about church. It seems like every time I go to class, some new thing occurs to me. 
Well, to be completely honest, they're mostly things that I've thought of before, maybe even "known", but they're things that haven't touched me.

The other day when I was in class, learning about Isaiah, someone was talking about something that they read in the scriptures. They knew the reference, they knew the story... and I just thought, man, I have always wanted to be able to do that. I have always wanted to be able to quote things: books, scriptures... But I've never been any good at it.

I remember once I was writing one of my novels for NaNoWriMo and I texted all of my returned missionary friends to ask them for some missionary names. I wanted one of my characters to kind of be like a missionary for his cause and I wanted his name to have meaning. My best friend called me back with an answer, but also a question, "Don't you already know all this?"

And yeah, I kind of do. But not really. Even though I'm pretty good to read my scriptures every day and have been for years, I couldn't tell you where I read a story, or quote that scripture.

So while I was sitting in institute, it hit me. I never asked for that. It is something that I've always wanted to be able to do, something that could potentially help others, and I never thought to pray for it. 

Then I just kind of sat there, thinking about how silly I'd been to never think of that. I have prayed for all sorts of things in the past that were important to me. Things that I wanted. I have prayed for my hair (to grow, to be healthy), I have prayed for my teeth (mostly when I think I'm getting a cavity), but I never thought to pray for the ability to remember what I read. I just kind of accepted that I wasn't any good at it, and probably never would be.

No, praying for it doesn't guarantee that I'll magically be able to remember everything like a scriptorian or a scholar, but it's kind of like winning, you can't win if you don't play, or, in this case, you can't receive that help if you don't pray for it.

I fully believe that God is just waiting to bless us, to help us, to give us both the things that we need and that we want, if they are going to be good for us and those around us. Just remember, if it's important to you, then it's important to him. Any goal you're working on, anything that you're working toward, He can help. Just remember to Ask. 
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