anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Moments

With some luck this will actually go up before midnight. 

These flowers in the first panel totally make me think of Dr. Seuss. I mean really, I think somehow they leapt off the page! Then of course, Mother Nature decided to play a little hot and cold with me. But hey, at least she's still bringing me flowers! :)

 I did not like this book, but I did love these Tim Tams. Wouldn't you know that Care Bear showed up with them on Monday of last week and made my whole life. She found them for me and bought them just because she's that awesome.

 The Captain and I decided we needed some ice cream. Which was actually frozen yogurt. These kinds of things are pretty much wasted on me as a purest, but I never can turn down Mother's cookies, and color changing sugar? I mean, do you even need to ask?

All of these pictures are from Date night last week. Apparently we don't know how to date on the weekends, because we always seem to end up going on dates on Wednesday night. Anyway, I planned this date, which I pretty much never do, so I was kind of proud of myself. I figured that since our camping plans never work out and it decided to blizzard outside, we'd camp inside. After eating at Zupas we went and got hot chocolate for Tim Tam Slams and then watched a movie from inside my tent (it was the first time I'd ever used it!) and of course we had to set it up by the fire :)

Another foray into Cafe Wave. I was pretty proud of myself for ordering something different. Generally I order the same thing forever if I liked what I got the first time. But I was trying to be brave and it was pretty good! Seriously, if you get a chance, try them out! :)

This was apparently the only picture that I took from the Adventure Expo that we went to on Saturday. But I want you all to know that it was awesome. And I won a pillow, so that was pretty sweet, even if I did almost kill myself trying to ride a bike. Apparently I don't do well on ramps...

And finally, this is what it looks like when you try to take naps from my nephew. He takes them anyway. Also that rocker is from my childhood and that little guy loves it and it warms my heart. Just sayin'

Woot! 8 Minutes to spare! Happy Monday! I hope that you all had some awesome moments this last week! I'd love to hear about them! :)
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

20 minutes of Scripture

So I have not always been the best at scripture study. When I was younger (Pre-EFY days) I didn't ever study my scriptures on my own. I am so grateful for EFY for so many reasons, but one of them was the fact that it got me studying my scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) on my own. 
After EFY I went years without missing a day. I would usually study one chapter, no matter the length. I remember cursing the chapters that were pages on end and blessing the days when I was tired and the chapter was only a few verses long. Some days I would only read a verse and call it good. I can remember vividly the first day that I missed reading. I generally read at night and I had been at a sleep over (ironically it was with a girl that I met at EFY). I remember laying awake, unable to sleep because I knew that I hadn't read, but I didn't get up. I didn't go read. I laid there and forced myself asleep. 
I credit that night with the beginning of cutting myself slack. Letting myself miss a day or two here and there. From going to a chapter a day to just something before I fell asleep.
And then I got a little older. Went to EFY another time, and went off to college. 
Now that I'm graduated, I've gotten pretty good to read a whole chapter. Then after that I got good at studying a whole chapter. But I still cursed the long chapters. I still blessed the days that I only had to read five verses.
It was earlier this year when I was at a family dinner and I was talking about how I was almost finished reading the Book of Mormon again. I was so proud of myself. I was still studying, not just reading. But a comment was made that truly converted people had a set amount of time that they read.
I felt weird. That's the best way to describe it. I started over the Book of Mormon, and this time I decided to go off of time, rather than amount. So I started studying for 20 minutes every day. It has been one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do. I swear the moment I start studying someone will start talking to me, someone will need help, my little Soleil will have to go outside. It's been just as hard (if not harder) than trying to go to all 3 hours of church (a struggle once again today). 
It has been hard, but it has been worth it. 
Without the chapter amount to choose how long I'm studying, I feel like I can get more in depth into the Scriptures. I feel like I can take the whole time on just a few verses if that's what I need that day, or I can get through a few chapters. Either way, I know that I'll be there for twenty minutes, so it doesn't matter. Especially since I switched Marking strategies yesterday and it has taken me a long time to get through just a few verses. 
It really has changed the way I study the scriptures and the way that I study. I'm so grateful for 20 minutes of Scripture Study.

How do you study? How have you gotten into Scripture Study? What works best for you? 

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday Moments

I know it's Tuesday, but hey, that's a whole day ahead of last week! 

Actually got back to my journal, and what better way than with a Ginty egg (Saving Mr. Banks reference right there...). I am determined to finish this journal if it's the last thing that I do! (We won't mention the long list of half finished journals I have kicking around).

Tried my hand at a little hand lettering. It's something that I've always wanted to get into, inspired not in small part by Elise's Pieces with whom I share #SamePersonStatus
Also I made that envelope. I know it's just an envelope, but I'm pretty proud of it. Just sayin'

So normally every year Hatred and I go hiking every week in order to get in shape to tackle Mount Olympus (which has yet to happen. I think this is going to be year three of training for said hike), and we always kick off our hiking with Ensign Peak. I went on Saturday as part of what I thought was going to be a double date but turned out to be the Captain and I and one of his friends. Regardless, it kicked both of our trashes. It is way steep! I thought that all the other years when we'd done it that it was really hard because we were really out of shape. No Hatred, we were not, Ensign Peak is actually just kind of hard. 

I just can't help myself...

Sunday was a day of ALL the animals. I held a puppy, a baby chicken and practically hugged that horse. Yup, it was a good day. I'm starting to become a pretty bid fan of Sunday night walks. Mostly because then I get to take lots of pictures of flowers and the Captain doesn't judge me for it. Also, yes, I wear sweats 90% of the time after church on Sundays. The other 10% of the time I wear PJs. Yup, it's a thing. 

Anyway, this last week was pretty great! I hope that you all had a great one! Share a moment or two in the comments or drop me a line in an email!
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Visiting Teaching Example

I don't know about you guys, but I am not the best at Visiting Teaching. It sounds like such an easy idea. You have a companion, you have a few girls (3-4 if you have a lot), and you just visit them once a month. 
Well, it should be easy. 
I should preface by saying that I am the visiting teaching coordinator for my ward. Which means that everyone reports whether or not they've done their visiting teaching to my supervisors and then they report to me. as the visiting teaching coordinator, I should be really good at visiting teaching, right? Right. Am I? 
But I wanted to talk today about my little sister. She is one of my supervisors and she is an amazing example to me of good visiting teaching. She is one of those, we visit every month and bring you a little something most times, and if we don't make it to visit you, we have tried pretty hard and we'll still probably drop something off. Holy run on sentence. 
She really cares about her girls, just like you should for visiting teaching. Not to mention that any time I've been down a companion, she has been willing to go with me. I am so grateful for the example that she has set for me. It makes me want to be a better visiting teacher. 
It makes me want to be a better friend overall. My little sister is one of the most fiercely loyal people I know. She shows true love for those she visits and her friends. It's the kind of example you hope to find, but not one you'd necessarily expect to find in your little sister. She's so amazing and I'm so grateful for her and that she shows me how to be better, especially when it comes to loving people.

Who's an example to you?
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Kindness: A Ramble about a Book, a Movie and Glass Slippers.

I don't know if you all remember, but I made a fair number of goals for this year, but one of the main things that I wanted to focus on was Kindness. It seems that no matter how hard I try, this is not a virtue that I have been great at accomplishing. 
And perhaps because it is kind of my word for the year, it seems to be cropping up everywhere.

And so we come to Cinderella and Wonder.

First thing that you need to know about me, I have always wanted to be a princess. I don't remember a time when I didn't love reading fairytales about princesses (or writing them for that matter). I have cast myself as Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, Pocahontas (still can never spell that one right on the first try). I made my very own princess dress in high school for prom and it was no coincidence that I've had boyfriends call me princess, and ask me to date them through stories about how I was a princess and they were my knight. In fact, one of my favorite compliments of all time was when I was out dancing once and a complete stranger told me that I looked like a princess. I said thank you and told her that I had always wanted to be one. She told me to consider it done. I felt almost like my fairy godmother had decended in that moment and granted me my glass slippers (I totally intend to wear clear heels on my wedding day). 

At first I wasn't sure that I wanted to see Cinderella. I was worried that Disney was just jumping on the remake bandwagon and that they were going to ruin it.

I could not have been more wrong. 

The closer that the movie came to coming out, the more excited that I got for it. Obviously I ended up dressing up for the movie (I recommend it. Everyone deserves to feel like a princess.). 

It was beautiful. I loved it and not just because it was about a princess, but because of what the movie taught.

"Have courage and be kind"

Kindness can go a long way in the world. I think that it has a much greater effect than most people imagine. I loved the way that Cinderella kept a good attitude and never let the things that were happening beyond her control turn her into someone different than she was inside. She never let her issues keep her from being kind to others. That is something that I personally hope to be some day. 

As I mentioned this last week, one of my mantras in life has been, "Be Bold, Be Brave." But I think that having courage and being kind is something that would be better to strive for. 

I love the way that the family is portrayed in the beginning of the movie. It didn't matter that Cinderella wasn't royalty, she was royalty to her family and that's what really counts. 

I love the way that Cinderella doesn't sweep under the rug that she has problems, but she doesn't complain about them either. She stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and that is one of the bravest things that a person can do.

I love that the prince doesn't care that she is "common". I love that he sees her when she is common and when she is all done up, and he loves her just the same, for who she is. Yes, she's beautiful, but more importantly, her heart is beautiful. It isn't about the glass slippers and the dress, it's about the way she shines from inside. 

One of my favorite things about fairytales (and I'm well aware that this doesn't always happen in real life) is that the good people get their happy ending. I love that no matter what happens along the way, things turn out in the end. That's not to say that there are never problems ever again, but things work out.  

So in short (or long, I didn't intend to ramble this much), I loved Cinderella and I would highly recommend it.

Next, Wonder.
This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a long time. I've seen the cover of the book more times than I can count and to be honest I had no idea what the book was about when I bought it. 
It was completely different than what I expected but that didn't make it any less amazing. 
It ended up, in many ways to be about kindness as well. 

"Maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds."

This book isn't about a fairytale. It isn't about things being perfect or even things being perfect in the end. There is no "magic" in this book, but the kind that we can each supply to the world around us. Being good, and kind even when the consequences are bad.
In the end it quotes a book that I haven't read, but that I want to read now. The Little White Bird by J.M. Barrie (yup, he wrote Peter Pan. You should read that one.)

"Shall we make a new rule of life... always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary."

That hit me pretty hard. I try to be kind, but it isn't often that I try to be kinder than necessary. If all the world tried just a little harder to be kinder than necessary, then honestly, I can't think of how much better this world could be. 

So, if a movie and a book can teach us anything, let's let it teach us that kindness is important. That beauty is more than skin deep. And that things don't have to be perfect for us to find happiness or for us to have hope for the future and in humanity itself. Let's try to all be just a little kinder than is necessary, and see what happens. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday Moments

Yup, it's Wednesday again and I haven't gotten this up... Oh well! That's life right?

They decided that we would like some mini earth quakes for days and a giant pile of dirt behind our house. I decided that they're cruel.

I had the opportunity to get to the Temple with my Mom last Friday. In addition to the beautiful flowers and the time spent in the temple, I got to meet a sweet little Spanish lady who thought I might speak Spanish. We couldn't speak much of each other's language, but I still felt like we connected. 

Also on Friday, Captain and I hit three months. Whoa. Where did the time go! We celebrated by going to Noodles and Company, which was actually better than I expected. Plus they have that cool soda machine. I'm a fan. 

Made Captain's favorite breakfast for conference! Baked Apples... it was quite the adventure, with help from my mom and his mom via text we got it done though!

Conference weekend was so great! So good to be with family. So much delicious food. And so many amazing messages in conference!

How was your Easter? Did you watch conference? What are your conference traditions?
Let me know in the comments, or drop me a line through email. For seriously guys, I want to know!
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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Divergent Quiz

I don't know how many of you have seen Divergent, or read the book (read the book if you're going one way or the other. Just sayin' books rule the world.), but I read it a few years ago. At the end of the book is a quiz to tell you which faction you would belong to. So naturally I made my entire family take the quiz (Except my scottish twin. On that note: get on that ;)  ). I read them the quiz out of the back of the book and mixed up the order of the options (seriously, why do they do this whole mostly "A"s, mostly "B"s thing? I am that person that would choose differently because I knew what it was leading my toward).
And after all was said and done, it was actually very enlightening. My mom and my brother are Candor. So much explained right there, from what my mom has said to me over the years to why the two of them get along so well. My little sister was Abnegation, which surprised me because it fits, but I wouldn't have picked that one out for her. 
And I was dauntless. 
Which I was glad about. It made sense to me. Back in the old days when you put your mantra for life on Facebook, mine was "Be Bold, Be Brave", which was kind of adapted from one of my favorite books of all time The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Not that I always follow that. 

Anyway, I kind of make everyone I know take the quiz now, it helps me figure them out. My best friend is Abnegation like my little sister. 

Which faction are you? Let me know in the comments! Also, let me know how you liked the book/movie!

(That's my favorite of the quizes, seems most accurate, but here are a few more!)
Buzzfeed Quiz
Playbuzz Quiz
Divergent The Movie Site

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