anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Friday, October 31, 2014

El Dia De Los Muertos

Happy Halloween! I kind of love Halloween, possibly because I've never really grown up and it's a great excuse to dress up. I bet you never would have guessed from all my pictures that I like to dress up...

My Mom never liked Halloween. She always said that she didn't like the idea of us going around begging for candy, but that isn't even my favorite part! I love passing out the candy and seeing all the cute little kids. Plus, tutus, sparkles, tiaras... this is one of the few times a year that it's socially acceptable to wear these things. 

Not that I went that route this year... although I did dress up as a ballerina for dancing on Tuesday!

 Charissa did my make up and put on the jewels for me. I was VERY glittery... that was 3 days ago and there's STILL glitter in my hair. Pretty sure that it's tattooed on, which I'm not actually sad about. :)

This was after dancing, I'm actually surprised that I didn't lose more jewels!

Charissa came up with the idea for us to do El Dia De Los Muertos and I really liked it. Mainly because it's awesome, but also because I've got a little latina blood running in my veins ;) 

It may or may not have taken three hours for us to do each other's make up...But it was good sister time. We had to run to the dollar store to get our flowers and we got some pretty interesting looks. I kind of liked it. 

Hope you all have a fantastic Halloween! What are you dressing up as?
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Best Friend Merr

You ever meet someone and know instantly that you are going to be friends? That was kind of Merr and I. Honestly, I remember seeing her walk the halls in 7th grade with her binder and I thought to myself, "Someday, we're going to be friends." Which is actually really weird because I didn't know her at all. We didn't go to the same elementary school, we didn't have any friends in common, we didn't even have any classes together. But somehow I knew we'd someday make it to friends status.

Also I guess I should tell you that we didn't make it to friend status until 8th grade. And then we were just in the same friend group. I didn't really know that we were friends until Merr called me crying one day to come over. Then I knew that we were buddies if she didn't care that I saw her like that, and that she trusted me enough to comfort her in that kind of state. 

Today is her birthday! My best friend is 25 :) 
I love this girl! I love that we have been friends 10 years. I love that even though we've had a couple fights where I thought we wouldn't be able to move past it, we always have. 
She is smart, she is kind, she shows up for me. That is a mark of a good friend for me. We definitely DO NOT agree on everything, but I always know that I can count on her. I know that I can say anything that's on my mind and she'll listen. 
She's amazing and I'm so grateful that I got to have a best friend like her. I love that when I was up at college she used to chill with my little sister. She is family to me. 
I am definitely not a perfect best friend, but she keeps me around. 
Also, I love that she and I are awesome enough to buy best friend lockets even when both of us are old enough that one of us is graduated from college and the other is home from a mission.
I love that we can get hot chocolate and drive to our spot and spill everything. But seriously, hot chocolate heals all wounds.

P.S. We took these up Millcreek Canyon at the same place that we listened to General Conference and it was GORGEOUS. Seriously, next year you need to get up there when the leaves are changing. It was breathtaking. 

Going up to conference we got in a car accident (if you follow me on facebook you know that Sunday afternoons are not a good time for me to be in a car) and Merr was driving. I was so impressed, she didn't get mad! She handled it all with grace and understanding. She is an amazing human being, I would have been a puddle of tears. 

We're a little weird, but in an awesome way. Promise.

We may or may not have broken the law to take this picture... I'm not really sure. I regret nothing.

Thanks for reading about my awesome best friend! She really is fantastic! I won't even hate you if you borrow our hot chocolate date idea for you and your best friend. Seriously, that's where the secrets come out. In a good way :) 

Also, shout out to my other favorite red head, my little sister who took and edited these photos for me! :)

How did you meet your best friend? How long have you been friends? 
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is where I say something clever...

You know, coming up with blog titles may be the hardest part of blogging for me. Guaranteed I usually think of a better title roughly 20 minutes after I publish a post. Almost without fail. So even if I schedule it to post in a few days, after it finally goes live I'm like, "hey, you know what would be a good title? Not what I named it!" 

Anyway, enough rambling (I seem to be doing a lot of that the last day or two). Guess who just hit 100 posts?? Yup! Me! I will definitely be celebrating today, in between all the other things in my life :)

This last weekend:

Thursday: Middle Picture
I had a hot chocolate date! With my mom. We went to The Chocolate and she let me ramble on about my recent drama. P.S. if you've never been to the chocolate, you should go. Their hot chocolate is AMAZING.
Also, hung out with the Captain! We went to an institute class together and had general good times, which were going to include Netflix, but actually just included a lot of talking.

Friday: Top row
Literally almost the entire day was spent getting ready for a photoshoot and party. But it was kind of awesome. The shoot, not the party so much. You'll get to see all the pretty pictures on Halloween! :)

Saturday: Middle Left and Right
One of my dear roommates from the TreeHouse got married! And I got to see Dizzle. In case you were wondering, that's Diz in the pics. She's pretty much fantastic. Also she's my pen pal which gets her bonus points.

Sunday: Bottom Row
Ok, this was amazing. Steven Sharp Nelson from the Piano Guys came and played. I loved watching him play! We got really good seats so we could see all of his expressions and the way his hands played each note. One of my favorite things was being close enough that you could hear him suck in a quick breath while he was playing. He played with such beautiful emotion, and being such an amazing musician, it was a privilege to watch. Even if my back is still kind of angry from sitting for 3 hours. Worth it. 

This week:
-Dancing (for real this week)
-Party Wednesday?? 
-Merr's birthday!!!
-Halloween party with the EFY crew

-Figure out what I'm writing for NaNoWriMo
-Write one poem 

What are you guys doing for Halloween? Got your costume yet? Are you doing NaNo? :)
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Screwtape Letters

Truly I read this book about a month ago... and I was going to post a review of it, but then it was conference, plus I was talking about The Book Thief at the time. Then I got lazy...
Suffice it to say I've been meaning to post this for awhile. 

The Screwtape Letters

Anyway, I don't know if you have read The Screwtape Letters, but you should! It is amazing! Here are some of my favorite quotes from it. 

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality."

I like this one because I have always wanted to be brave. Don't ask why. Probably because I believed that being brave was a part of being strong and I've always felt that I had to be strong. 

"For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity."

I like the reminder here that the present, is really all we have. I always need this reminder when I'm feeling angry or sad, this moment is all I have. 

"When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever."

I have always been afraid that once I was really doing all that I was supposed to, then I wouldn't be me anymore. I never wanted to be a carbon copy. But I recently came to look at it a different way. Think about the temples, even if you've only ever seen the outside of them. Yes, they are all similar, but none of them are the same. The landscaping is different, the design is different, they're all different. But, they are all perfect. The all function for the same purpose, but they are still unique. That's kind of how I think we'll all turn out. 

"By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the the impossible."

This one was a hard one for me to learn, but this explains it perfectly. Poor self talk doesn't equal humility. We can still acknowledge truths about ourselves as long as we remember that these truths make us no better than anyone else, you can still be humble. 

This was my second time reading The Screwtape Letters and I love that I get new things from it each time. So even if you have read it, you should definitely read it again. Plus, C.S. Lewis, he's pretty much amazing. 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Heart. Part 2

Dear Heart,

Well we've gone and done it again. We got a little stomped on.

I know, I know. I told you it would be ok to take off a little of that shell. Lower the fences a bit. Then a bit more. 

It all seemed like such a good idea at the time. Even though things were totally confusing.

We thought that maybe this time we'd be ok. We thought maybe all those stories like this one would be in the past. 

Guess we needed another one for the list. 

What were all those feelings of, "I've got you." Or, "This is going to be ok"? Maybe we should learn to listen a little bit better. 

But guess what Heart? I think, and don't quote me on this, I think we will be ok. Even if we can't jump straight back into "Happily Singleland" right away. It's kind of nice to feel sometimes. Even if what we're feeling is unpleasant. Ok, even if it really sucks. And let's not lie. This really sucks. 

So I'm sorry I thought things would work out. I'm sorry we're bruised down to the center of us today. But thanks for listening to me. For opening up when I know that it would have been easier to stay closed. Hey, maybe someday we really will make the leap from "Happily Singleland" to "Happily ever after". We've just got to work on our jumping skills. 


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sore bodies, hearts and healing

Do you ever get the feeling you should get back in shape? Then, after getting that feeling, do you do way too many things in one day?
That was my Thursday. Picture #2 up there, was the basketball hoop we shot hoops at at the end of day of learning two new dances, doing a zumba class, kettle bell swings, planks and stretching. 
I'm only now getting over the soreness.
I can still feel it in my legs and for some inexplicable reason my arms are sore today. 

Friday was my nephew's first birthday party! Also, I had to pick my mom up from the airport. She left us for a few days to go party with her cousin. Yes, we were all jealous.

Saturday was... busy. Picture 3 was the sunrise at the temple. I got to do family names for one of the temple workers. 
Then we were going to go do Just Dance for a ward activity. Which is actually THIS Saturday. So we swung by Hatred's and had cupcakes at her yard sale. She wasn't actually there though, so we went to Merr's to hang out. Fast forward 2 and half hours later of chatting and I went to lunch with a friend from college. We'll call him... Billiards. Bill or Billy for short. Since I caught up with Captain a few weeks ago I've decided to be a better friend to the people I've lost touch with. Hence lunch with Billy. 
Then after lunch with Billy I went home, showered, and left for St. Vincent De Paul with my ward. This was my second time going and it was a lot of fun! Although I will admit, serving in the kitchen was less fun than serving in the cafeteria like I did last time. Mostly because I didn't really get to see the people we were serving. I saw a lot of the people from my ward, but not really those who were being helped. I won't lie, homeless people make me feel uncomfortable, and I'm slightly afraid of them. But I've been trying this year to see them more as people, not just as something I want to avoid. I've been trying to look them in the eye and smile or say hello when I pass them on the street. And I have been terrified almost every time. But it isn't necessarily their fault that they don't have some place to stay. If I were them, I would at least want people to see me as human. 
So that was Saturday.

Sunday was a homecoming in American Fork. 
Then Captain and I drove up the canyon for a bit. We listened to Sunday music and talked about life. I keep thinking we're going to run out of things that we think the same way on, but when it comes to matters of the heart, the deep stuff, we think pretty much the same way. Then we watched Meet the Robinsons and showed each other some of our favorite church songs. 
A couple of my favorites are:
6' 2" by Marie Miller

I Am by Nicole Nordeman

Sometimes I just need that reminder. I can't count the number of conversations I've had in the car, speaking out loud, praying out loud. 

Also, this song:

So that was Sunday. A little more heart healing, just by the fact that we both are broken. Good friends just save me really. I'm so grateful that they let me rant, they listen to my stories, and they let me be broken and love me anyway. 

It was a good weekend. Not long enough, I woke up SO tired Monday morning. But good none the less. 

This week:
-A dance fight? (Don't worry. I will fill you in after it happens)
-Roommate wedding! I get to go see her married with Dizzle!
-Hot Chocolate date with my mom (see? I will totally take you on a hot chocolate date! You just have to ask!)
-Institute class with the Captain

-Run. I seriously need a good run.
-Start planning my NaNoWriMo novel
-Finish reading at least 2 books.
-Practice Spanish every day

In case you were wondering, I am currently reading
A Heart Like His by Virginia Pearce
Fractured Truth by Rachel McClellan
Meet Your Match by Stephanie Fowers

So far I would recommend all of them :)

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Spider Slayers Extraordinaire

Today feels like a weird day. Like I feel a little sad today, but for no reason. Does that ever happen to you? You just kind of wake up in a weird mood?

Well anyway, instead of dwelling on things that I have no idea how to fix, we will instead discuss my amazing spider killing abilities!
But seriously though, there have been a lot of spiders in the house this year! I think I've killed 3 big ones in the past few weeks.
Now, you may not know this, but spiders actually really freak me out. If I have to kill a spider when I'm all alone in the house, it will probably take me 5 to 10 minutes. That's 5 to 10 minutes of me saying, "You can do this, you've got this, just kill him. One two three... four five six seven. I hate spiders!"
But I have this weird thing where if other people are afraid, then I'm brave. I'm not even scared when I kill that sucker if I know you're freaking out about it. 
That didn't really work the other day though.

So I was getting into my bed, ready to go to sleep, when I look up. I have mesh netting around my bed, and there was something black in the netting. I calmly (I hope) told my little sister to turn on the light because there was something in my room. 
She turns on the light, and who should be chilling in my netting? Just a teenage wolf spider. No big deal. Right above my head where I sleep every night.
So I pulled the pillows off the bed, because if I attempted to kill him and he fell, I did NOT want him falling into little crevices where I would never find him. After deciding to remove all the bedding from my bed I told Charissa to get me a cup.
I had no idea what I was going to do with the cup. I had some vague idea that I would trap him in the cup and then flush him down the toilet, but it was risky. After all, he'd just claimed my canopy as his new web and he wasn't exactly in a good position for me to just smash him or trap him to the wall.
I was trying not to freak out while complaining to Charissa that I had no idea how to do this. 
To which she replied, "I just had this vision of me spraying him with Listerine so that he fell into the cup."
Which actually was not a bad idea. 

A little lesson in spider anatomy. Spiders breathe through their skin. So, if you can cover them completely in something, they suffocate. Water isn't really good for this since air can be trapped by their little hairs, but as we learned not that long ago, Listerine is PERFECT. Instant death. Literally.

She didn't have a spray bottle but she did have a little plastic syringe that you use to give little kids liquid medicine. She filled that with Listerine and I had her squirt it into the bottom of the cup. Then she filled it again.
Meanwhile the spider was just chilling. 
I even moved the netting so that Charissa could stand on the bed, on the outside to spray him as he fell into the cup.
In a coordinated effort, we won!
She squirted, he fell into instant death! And then we flushed him away. Because that's how we know that they won't come back for us, even if they aren't dead. 

And thus we slayed that little sucker! 
So there, spiders of the world, you should probably stay away because we have a lot of mouth wash.

Anybody else slay some spiders lately? Or, conquered some fear?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dating By Numbers

So on Monday I had officially been in the dating world for 8 years... That is really weird to think about! I guess technically I had been in it since I turned 16, but since my first date didn't happen until a few months later, I kinda think that's where things really began.

I thought it would be fun to give you a few facts about my dating, in numbers :)

This was taken about two weeks after my first date. In case you were wondering what I looked like when I was 16... :)

I've been dating for 8 years
I've been on dates with 37 different boys.
I've had 5 boyfriends
I've kissed 6 boys
The oldest I've gone on a date with was 10 years older than me.
The youngest I've gone on a date with was 1 year and half younger than me.
Of the boyfriends: 3 blonds, 2 brunettes
The most dates I've gone on in the shortest amount of time would be 3 within 24 hours.
The longest I've gone between dates...6 months without any dates
I've been asked for my number once. In the temple no less.
Someone has given me their number once.
I've been on 4 blind dates.
I've been broken up with by 3 boyfriends, I've broken up with 2
The tallest I've dated (and by dated I mean, been on a date with) was 6' 5" maybe a little taller.
The shortest I've dated was 5' 3"
My first date was miniature golfing.
My last date was for Indian food. (We'll pretend that first and last are numbers ok? :) )
I went to 4 formal dances in high school. 
I've been tricked into 1 date. Well, technically more, but the other ones I wanted to be dating them, so I was ok with it. 
I've been stood up once.
I've been cancelled on once.
I have been late for 1 date.
I've straight up rejected only 1 guy for a date.
The longest date I've been on was probably about 12 hours.
The shortest about an hour.

There's dating by numbers for you!
When was your first date? Any random dating by numbers you'd like to share? 

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

25 hours, ASL, Best Friends, and Gilmore Girls

What a weekend! Mostly because most of it was packed into one day, but still! If you read my "Sometimes you Stay Out All Night" post, then you know I pulled my first all nighter Thursday night. 
Apparently it doesn't mess up my sleep to stay up 24 hours. Seriously though, I spent 25 hours awake, and then, in the next 24 hours I spent 12 of them sleeping and then it was like I'd never pulled the all nighter. You'd think that after taking 2, 2 hour naps I wouldn't have slept that night, but I went to bed just fine! 
I did notice that I become a little irrational when sleep deprived though. I showered after I got home and my shampoo has been weird lately (I just switched kinds). I was sitting there, feeling my hair (which felt kind of sticky from this new shampoo) and getting so mad that I was straightening my legs like a 5 year old and almost crying. Rationally I knew it wasn't a big deal. I'd just need to switch shampoos again. But in that moment I just wanted to scream. So maybe skipping sleep isn't a good idea... ha ha. 

Anyway, after nap #2 I went to a Deaf Activity with my little sister. I was so scared! I have never been to a deaf activity before. Never spoken (or signed as the case may be) to a deaf person before. Never taken ASL... Everything I know, I know from my little sister teaching me. I about had a panic attack every time she was calling someone over and introduced me to them. Luckily they all pretty much ignored me after they saw my poor signing of "Nice to meet you". 
It was really cool though, to see everyone signing. It was for an elementary school for Deaf Children so there were a lot of families there. I loved seeing the children signing to each other and to their parents. I was also amazed by how much I understood of the conversations going on around me. Obviously I didn't get everything, but I kind of got the gist! 

Saturday I did a photo shoot with my best friend Merr. It was so much fun! We took pictures at 3 different places. The first may have been my favorite though because it wasn't really a staged thing, it was something that we do all the time, that's iconic of our friendship :) And that's all you get till I post the photos in a few weeks! :)

Also Saturday I went to the Draper Temple before the shoot. I just love it there. I love the way I feel when I'm in the temple. Seriously, I feel prettier there. No make up. Wearing an oversized jumpsuit because I have to get large for the length. Hair back in a pony and occasionally dripping wet and I just feel beautiful. And everyone looks beautiful. It's just an amazing feeling. 

After the photo shoot we proceeded to watch Gilmore Girls almost the whole rest of the day, with one break to go get Rumbi, sort of watching our nephew, and making dinner. Don't judge ha ha. It was kind of nice to do nothing for awhile. 

Sunday we got to go to church without our nephew for the first time in about 2 months. I love that little man more than I can say, but it was SO nice to be able to just focus on what was being said and learning. 

There's my weekend! What did you do with yours?

This Week:
-Jazz Game
-Institute Class
-Hanging with the Captain
-Hot Chocolate with Smiles

-Read a new book
-Practice Spanish every day
-New poem
-Start 40 days and 40 nights challenge
-Visiting teaching :)
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Monday, October 13, 2014

So I have a theory...

Hot Chocolate dates.

Seriously though, can someone please explain to me why the rest of the world goes on nice casual little dates for drinks or Coffee and yet we people, who drink neither of those things, don't go on Hot Chocolate dates?

I feel like so many boys feel like it has to be this big thing to ask a girl out on a date. Then because boys so rarely ask girls out unless they're really interested, girls sometimes act like it's a big commitment to even go out once.

So I propose Hot Chocolate dates. No pressure. You can just get to know someone. Seriously, 7-eleven hot chocolate is one of the best things ever. If you want to get fancy you could go to The Chocolate or something. 

This way, it's all casual. You don't have to feel like you're proposing marriage just because you want to take someone out. Of course, you should probably let the girl know that it's a Hot Chocolate Date. I can't tell you the number of times I ate because I thought I wasn't being fed, or the number of times I starved because I thought we were going to dinner. 

Not only is it casual, but it's not really expensive either. 

I'm just saying, the world would be a better place if Hot Chocolate dates were a thing. 

P.S. I love Hot Chocolate. Also, Naked Juice. That could also be a good date. Although, probably don't ask her by saying, "Hey, want to go get Naked sometime?" Unless you know her really well, and she knows what you mean. 
You should probably say, "Would you like to go get some fruit juice some time?" Or something better than that. I couldn't think a way of saying that without it sounding really bad. 
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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sometimes You Stay Out All Night

You should all be very proud of me. Like really really proud. I pulled an all nighter! That's right, Rachael history has been made.

Not that I planned to pull an all nighter...

I hadn't seen Captain in a year. Possibly more than a year. 

Captain and I drove aimlessly around, well semi-aimlessly. We were looking for an ice cream place and ended up at Coldstone. In case you were wondering, it's already too late to eat ice cream outside. We probably sat outside telling stories and both pretending we weren't freezing to death for an hour before we left. 

Then Captain and I headed back to his house and watched Arrow on Netflix. He hadn't seen any of it before and we started in the second season. I was trying to explain everything, which didn't really happen because it has been awhile since I saw season one... so we ended up making fun of the show and naming every single girl on the show some form of Penelope (emo-penelope, penelope 1.5, penelope 2.0).

It was probably around 2 or 3 that we started watching Return to Me. Which we mostly talked through. And when THAT was over, we listened to music, watched Studio C, watched music videos.

Since Captain drove me over I just kind of expected us to run out of things to talk about and then he'd take me home. But I wasn't tired, so I didn't worry about it. And we never ran out of things to say.

All of the sudden it's 4:30 in the morning. 

I told Captain I was hungry, we were kind of waiting for places to open for breakfast, so more music, more spilling of hearts, and more chatting about randomness.

On the way to breakfast at 5 something in the morning we decided it might be fun to explore some apartment buildings that were under construction. Don't worry, I don't think the cop saw us. Not that we may have been seen by a cop, or that we hurried to the car and took a way that the cop wouldn't see us in case he was about to come track us down...

We went to breakfast at The Belgian Waffle and Omlete Inn. Did you know that you get really great service at 6 in the morning? You do and the plates are the size of my torso. It's a lot of food!

We were almost to my house, talking about how I love the color blue of the sky when the sun is just about to come up when we decided that we might as well watch the sun rise. So we drove up Big Cottonwood to watch the sunrise. It took FOREVER, but it was totally worth it! The trees were gorgeous and the sun came up after like 45 minutes in the cold. 

Then I'd officially been up for 24 hours.
And my little sister thought I was dead in a ditch and almost called the cops. 

I learned that I don't need caffeine to stay up for 24 hours.
It is in fact physically possible. 
I really can stay up until I tell myself to fall asleep. 
You stay up long enough and the world starts to seem different. (I would pay money to record my thoughts as I was falling asleep. They were both profound and made no sense.)
ANYTHING is funny after about 20 hours awake.
My body moves a lot slower when I'm that tired, even if I don't feel like sleeping. 
I do not look good after watching movies all night and staying up for 24 hours. (I think the window of attractiveness ends at like 18 hours awake)
At 20 hours of being awake, I no longer care how I look. 

 So that's the end of the story. We had an epic time, and hopefully it won't take another year before we catch up again. But hey, we're past the 7 year mark, so Captain and I will be friends for life, right? If we only hang out once a year until we both die that's like at least 30 more epic nights, right?

Have you ever pulled an all nighter? How did you do it? What was the epicness that occurred? 
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Conference, Car Crash, Canyon

So basically, this weekend was the greatest. 

Friday Charissa and I went to the Library. As you can see... I didn't make it out of the library very well. I try to get out of there when my book bag can no longer hold books. I didn't get out in time this time...
I did get a book to teach me latin, Catching Fire in Spanish, A Heart Like His, and The Remarkable Soul of a Woman. If you have any other suggestions on books, I will take them!
I also got to attend the temple on Friday. It was a different time than I usually go, but I got to meet two other girls, both that had come by themselves. I didn't even really get their names, but it was nice to sit with them. To know that we were all there for the same reason. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent watching conference! I REALLY loved it this year. I think I prepared better for conference than I ever have before. I reread The Screwtape Letters and I read The Remarkable Soul of a Woman and started reading A Heart Like His. Plus I reread my favorite talks from last conference and really dove into my scriptures. I just felt like I got more out of each talk than I ever have before. 
Sunday morning I got to have a "Meeting" with one of my favorite people on the planet. Sometimes I just need to tell her everything and I always feel better about life.
What was really wonderful as well was going up Millcreek Canyon on Sunday afternoon to enjoy nature and listen to the talks. We sat against the car and listened. That view of the sky up there was my view for most of that session. I loved when it was the rest hymn and we were all singing Count Your Many Blessings together, Charissa and Merr taking the harmonies. 
That song was especially applicable because on our way up to the canyon we got in a car accident. It wasn't too bad, just a fender bender. My back hurts today and Charissa's neck hurts, but we're all ok. Merr was amazing. She smiled after she got hit. She was gracious and calm when I know that if I were the driver, I would be bawling. She is an amazing best friend and an amazing human being. 

Fantastic weekend!

This Week:
-Hanging out with an old EFY buddy
-Best Friend Photo shoot on Friday (we've been friends for over 10 years... this is long overdue!)
-Temple on Saturday

-Continue with Violin
-Run! At least once
-Read a new book

How was your weekend?? What are you looking forward to?
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Monday, October 6, 2014

40 Days and 40 Nights Challenge

I don't know if you got a chance to watch General Conference this weekend, but I did, and I loved it! Two best weekends of the year! I love the way that I always feel better watching conference. It doesn't matter what else is going on in my life, Conference refocuses me and gives me hope for my life. 

Ones that really hit me were Pres. Uchtdorf's, Elder Oaks, Jorg Klebingat's, Elder Holland's, Elder Godoy's. :)

After finishing General Conference at the beginning of this year, I took the 40 days and 40 nights challenge. It's a challenge set up so that you can read (or listen to) all the talks in 40 days (and 40 nights... :) ). 

I really loved this challenge. I usually re-read all of the talks, but I don't usually start right after conference is over, and I don't usually do all of the talks in order. Or every day.

I'll admit, sometimes it was hard. Sometimes I was glad that the talk for that day was really short because I'd been busy and I was tired, but it was amazing! Having all the talks fresh in your mind from conference and then going through them again made them stick more securely in my mind. It's STILL easier for me to remember them 6 months later. 

I especially loved the way that I got new things out of the talks that I didn't get the first time that I heard them. 

This 40 days and 40 nights challenge starts next Monday!

So, will you take the challenge?

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Book Thief

The Book Thief
Do you ever decide to be hipster and not get into something because EVERYONE and their dog is into it? That was kind of me and the Book Thief. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, seen WAY too many quotes from it on Pinterest (man I haven't been on Pinterest in forever!), and I decided to wait until everyone got over it to read it. 
Although I did buy it, and consciously did not read it.

Well guys, I gave in, and I read it. I loved it! It was amazing and it's one that I will probably re-read eventually. I loved the way things were described, it was all very poetic. I love when prose is not only functional, but beautiful. I bawled at the end of it. Even though I'd seen the movie, I knew it was coming! I didn't cry when I saw the movie, but that book... it got me. Maybe I just needed a good cry, but either way, I was still sniffing twenty minutes after I finished the book. 

In other news, do you know how much you can accomplish when you don't watch any TV? In college I never watched TV, partly because I didn't have much time for it, and also because I was trying to live my life intentionally. Not just wasting it away in front of the TV or computer. 
On Monday I didn't watch hardly any TV. Instead I played my violin for awhile (been months since I've touched it), I read The Book Thief, I practiced my spanish, I did Zumba... it was a wonderful day! So I think I'm going to cut my TV way back. Which is a little hard because that's how I spend time with my little sister. Not that we don't do other things as well, but we do watch TV together. But, I just love my life, myself so much better when I'm not watching TV all the time. I want to live my life more intentionally (thanks for the idea Merr :) ) 

What are you reading? Any suggestions for me? I really need another good book to read and it's going to be hard to follow The Book Thief! If you've read it, what did you think?
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

I am enough.

I was watching a vlogbrother's video the other day. The one that... well, this one.
And it got to the part when he's saying that girls don't exist for boys to like them. Or to find them attractive. 
Which is very true, but it's also one of those things that we both know to be true and believe to be false. 
Because obviously the number of boys that are chasing me equals my self worth right? Think about it for just a minute. How many times in your life have you based your self worth on whether or not a boy/girl liked you? Or whether or not someone wanted to date you?
I don't know about you, but I am completely guilty of this. After every breakup, or disappointment in finding out that someone doesn't actually want to date me, I have a little conversation with myself that goes like this.
"Again. Really? Again. I don't know if I can do this again! How could this happen? What did I do wrong? Was I not pretty enough? Not smart enough? Not funny enough? Where am I falling short? I need to be better, or I'll never get anyone, because after all, who would want me? I'm just Rachael. I'm not anything special. If I were, this wouldn't have happened."
All of these are real conversations inside my head. I know that I'm pretty, I know that I'm smart, I know that I'm funny and spiritual and all the good things that I want to be, definitely far short of perfect in these things, but overall I like who I am. But the moment a boy comes into the picture, suddenly I'm measuring everything based on whether or not it was enough for him, rather than, is it enough for me?
I have just as many insecurities as the next person, possibly because I'm pretty. I worry that that's all the boys are interested in, and then once they get to know me, my personality isn't enough to keep them interested. Or, conversely, that I'm just a novelty attraction, fun to flirt with, but not someone to keep.
But, even though I believe in families and I want to be married someday, it all comes back to one thing. That whether or not a boy likes me is just a small part of my life. I am so much more than whether or not I have a date on Friday night. I am more than the number of boys who tell me I'm pretty or ask for my number. 
I am more. I am more than enough. 
And that is exactly what I'm going to keep reminding myself, because I'll probably have another one of those conversations with myself again. 
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sleepy, I am sleepy

So as I was thinking of random things about myself that I might share today, I decided that since I'm very tired, I would share one on sleeping :)

Anyone ever notice how weird the word sleep is? It seems really weird to me all of the sudden... 

1. I can only recall accidentally falling asleep once or twice in my life. Every other time I make a conscious decision to go to sleep. Doesn't really matter how tired I am, unless I decide to sleep, I will stay awake. In fact, most times, I don't even get super tired until I decide to fall asleep.

2. I have never pulled an all nighter. 
I tried once in high school at a sleep over, but I fell asleep around midnight for about 20 minutes...

3. I'm a back sleeper and I don't really move in my sleep.
I've had people tell me, "You only think you don't move because you're sleeping"... no, no, my family tells me I don't move. People I've shared a bed with tell me I don't move.

4. In fact I sleep kind of like a mummy. 
I sleep on my back with my arms across my chest because yes, I still sleep with a teddy bear. Don't know that I'll really truly break that habit till I get married someday!

5. I sleep with a fan on and window open almost every night. Although oddly, I did neither of these things in college and slept fine... but in my own room, I need it.

6. I have dreamt of being chased and then killed almost every night for as long as I can remember, but only since I started college have I dreamt that I could actually fight back (it is awesome being the hero!)

There you have it! Now I might go climb back into bed... Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!
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