UA-114812973-16 Well Rounded: 2014

Peace Out 2014

2014 you did a number on me. 

I felt the feelings of missing someone so much that it hurt.
I felt extreme joy and happiness.
I felt pure heartbreak.
I felt physical pain.
I laughed so hard it hurt.
I met so many new people.
I had experiences I never thought I'd have.
I grew in ways I didn't know I could grow.
I learned lessons I've been trying to learn for years. 
My love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ grew even more. 
I learned to love deeper then I ever have.
I learned to let go and let God.
I learned how to just be myself no matter who I am with.
I learned to be happy no matter what life throws at me.
And.....I laughed some more!

Thank you 2014!

My favorite city. Seattle - January 2014

Crystal Mountain - January 2014

Yoga with the nephews - February 2014

Sounders Game - April 2014

Mariners Game - May 2014

Annual Golf Classic - June 2014

South Sound BBQ Festival - July 2014

Sounders Game - September 2014

Halloween 2014

 Grand Opening for Work - October 2014

USO Dinner & Auction - November 2014

Mission Reunion - Utah November 2014

Utah Thanksgiving 2014 - Mecham 

Thanksgiving 2014 - Me, Mother, Grandma. 

Christmas Tree Hunting - December 2014

Gingerbread Cookie Making - December 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Peace out 2014, bring it on 2015!

#thankfultuesday - Gratitude = Joy

I don't even feel the need to write about this quote because I think it says it all. You want more joy in your life, be more grateful. The end. 

I'm grateful for.....

1. The wonderful weekend I got to spend with my family. My brother and his family were here from Utah, and my sister and her family were here from Oregon. Saturday was full of Christmas festivities and just pure laughter.

2. Siblings who will still act like kids with me.

3. A wonderful Church meeting on Sunday where it was all about Christ and full of music.

4. Getting to watch and laugh really hard  at Home Alone last night with a new friend. I hadn't seen it in forever!

5. All the new friends I'm making.

6. Getting to make Gingerbread Cookies on Friday night. 

7. That I get to have two days off this week to really celebrate Christmas with my family and friends!

8. I think I say something about my mother every week, but clearly she is awesome. 

9. For my sister who lives with me who always makes sure I'm doing good.

10. For my family. Guys I have the best family. We are far from perfect, but I wouldn't trade them for ANYTHING!

What are you grateful for this Christmas week?

"You Can Have My Room!"

Last night as a family we were doing our daily Christmas Nativity Advent Calendar that we've done for as long as I can remember. My dad said, "Sierra you read this long story" and I gladly obliged. As I started the story I didn't remember it, but slowly it started coming back and as it reached the end I could feel myself getting emotional. As I sat and thought about this simple but amazing story I thought to myself, "Would I do the same thing". Here is that story:

Wally was nine years old and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind, but well-liked by the other children in class, all of whom were smaller than he.
At times the boys did have trouble hiding their irritation when the uncoordinated Wally would ask to play ball with them. He would stand by, not sulking but hoping. Always a helpful boy, willing, and smiling, the natural protector of any child he felt was being mistreated.
As Christmas time approached, plans were made for the annual school pageant. Children were being assigned their parts: angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, and Joseph. Wally stood by expectantly then suddenly his joy knew no bounds; for he heard the teacher say, "Wally, I want you to be the Innkeeper." (Not many lines to learn, she reasoned and his size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.) Little did that teacher dream the lesson that such a tender-hearted boy would teach to all who would attend that program.
Then came the rehearsals with the manger, beards, crowns, and a stage full of squeaky voices. Most caught up in the magic of the night was Wally. He would stand in the wings, watching the performance with fascination. His teacher had to make sure he did not wander on-stage before his cue.
Then came the long-awaited night and Wally stood holding a lantern by the door of the Inn, watching as the children who portrayed Mary and Joseph came near him.
"What do you want?" Wally asked with a brusque gesture.
"We seek lodging."
"Seek it elsewhere. The inn is filled."
"Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary."
"There is no room in this inn for you." Wally looked properly stern.
"Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired."
Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause and the audience became a bit tense.
"No! Be gone!" the prompter whispered from the wing of the stage.
"No! Be gone!" Wally repeated automatically.
Joseph sadly placed his arms around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband's shoulder, and the two of them started to move away. The Innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however.
Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.
And suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all others.

"Don't go, Joseph," Wally called out. "Bring Mary back." And Wally's face grew into a bright smile. "You can have my room!"
A burst of laughter then silence, then tears flowed freely as the message came through to the listeners. Wally, the boy considered 'slow' had made room for Jesus. 

I really felt strongly about sharing this today. Whether it is so I always have this story saved somewhere, or because it is a reminder all of us, including me, need this Christmas season. Admits the hustle and bustle of Christmas and all its festivities I think Christ gets forgotten and it makes me sad. Two years ago while on my mission I experienced a Christmas that was all about Christ.That Christmas changed the way I celebrated Christmas, and I promised myself I'd never forget it. I promised I'd metaphorically give up my room to Him. While I love the lights, the treats, the decorations, and all the traditions, I am reminded we wouldn't have any of that without Christ. The greatest gift we have ever been given. He truly is "the reason for the season".

Merry Christmas! #sharethegift 

Saturday in Seattle

I had such a fun day on Saturday. I was in Seattle/Bellevue from 9:30 am - 9:30 pm. I couldn't pick a better way to spend my day then in my favorite city with some of my favorite people. 

The day started off at the Seattle Temple. Idauana was going through the temple for the first time. I felt so blessed to be able to be there with her for this big step in her life. Sadly I had to leave right afterwords so I didn't get any pictures with her. At some point Karyny and I will just Photoshop her into the ones we got :). 

Next I headed into Seattle to have "Lady Times" with some wonderful women. We laughed, told stories, got caught up, saw some amazing "Gingerbread Houses", and ate a lot of food.

Not a great picture, but I show this because a friend and I are going to attempt to make this next week. If we succeed you'll see pictures of it on here soon. Wish us luck, we (and when I say we I mean me) need it!

Lady Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made an appearance.

                                            Yeah we are pretty cool. Fun times in H&M. 

All in all a great day. It got me even more into the Christmas spirit, reminded me how much I love all of these women and how much I love Seattle. 

#thankfultuesday - Happiness Meet Gratitude

Man what a quote. Frederick got it right when he connected gratitude with happiness. We live in a world where everyone is searching for true happiness. Some people go on life long journeys for it. But what is amazing that it is right in front of us all along, we just need to learn that instead of going to search for what will make us happy, we need to be thankful for what is right in front of us. End of story.

I'm grateful for....

1. The opportunity I had to be in the Temple on Saturday with one of my favorite Brazilians as she went through for the first time. What a joyful experience!

2. The opportunity I had to spend the other part of my Saturday with a group of girl friends that I don't get to see very often. We got to experience a little bit of Christmas in Seattle!

3. My strong personality. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but other times I'm grateful for it. It helps me stick to what I know to be right for me.

4. My wonderful young women that I get to work with every single week. I love just sitting and talking with them. 

5. My hilarious parents.

6. Christmas and the opportunity to give to others.

7. Technology and the people it connects me with.

8. Sunday family dinners. Usually I'm not home for them, but this last Sunday I got to be and it was great!

9. The three hours of Church I get to attend each week. I love the opportunity it gives me to be rejuvenated and to learn more about the Doctrine of Christ. 

10. Lunch hour with my book.

What are you grateful for this week? 


Watching: Gilmore Girls with my mother. Thank you Netflix for giving us all of the seasons, and thank you Dean for not being as big of a jerk as Jess. 

Loving: That my home is slowly turning into a magical Christmas land of lights, candy canes & colors.

Anticipating: 2015. This year went much different than I had planned, I'm excited to see what next year will hold. 

Listening to: It is December which only means one Christmas Jams playlist on Spotify!

Thinking about: How I can be more loving and accepting and less judgmental of those around me. 

Feeling thankful for: The Christmas season and opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. And even though its only one day we really celebrate it for a whole month!

Enjoying: Long phone calls where I can't stop smiling. 

Wondering: If we will actually get snow this Christmas. I'm normally not a snow lover but this year I just feel like we need it.

Wearing: Boots! If you know me you know I never wear boots, and now I can't stop wearing them.

Feeling: Happy and overwhelmed with this desire to give. Seriously I keep buying more presents for people I've already got presents for, I just can't help it. I need to stay away from stores, and the computer. Basically I just need to stay in my room with a book. 

#thankfultuesday - Gratitude & Christmas

It is that time of year where people are telling Santa what they want for Christmas. We get stuck in feeling of just thinking about what we want and what we "need". It is such an easy place to get sucked into. Which is why I think it is even more important time than ever to be grateful. As we are grateful for what we already have we won't get sucked into asking for everything, and anything. We will forget about what we need/want and we will start seeing who around us are in need. 

A few years back I stopped really caring about what I got for Christmas and tried making Christmas more about what I was giving, and decided to be extra grateful for what I was given, whether I liked the gift or not. I'm so grateful that I decided to make that change. Christmas has begun to mean even more to me then it ever has, and it has helped me learn to focus on the true gift of Christmas, our Savior Jesus Christ.

I'm grateful for.....

1. The fun Friday night I had with my friends just laughing and having good clean fun.

2. A Saturday that was full of Christmas activities with my family. Christmas tree, decorating the house, gingerbread cookies and The Grinch. 

3. That I could be a part of "The Festival of Choirs" at my church. It was exactly what I needed to really kick-off the Christmas spirit as we sung hymns about the birth of Jesus Christ.

4. The gratitude that my boss and president at work showed me last week for my hard work.

5. The opportunity I had to participate in a night full of women sharing their testimonies of Personal Progress (a program for young women in my church) and how it will bring them closer to Jesus Christ.

6. Unplanned naps by a warm fire.

7. The opportunity I got to go Christmas shopping for a family in need with my family, and getting to see how willing my nephews were to give of their money so their friends could have a Christmas.

8. The times where I get to blast music with my mom and nephews and we can sing and dance as much as we want.

9. The love my nephews show me even after I've been bossy or short with them.

10. A mother who despite how it may affect her always cares about what is going on in my life and is always 100% supportive and encouraging.

What are you grateful for?

Give Them A Break

Found here.

This picture is how I feel most of us see teenagers these days. We talk about how we feel that they act like they are entitled, don't know how to interact face to face, are all about immediate gratification, and are lazy. While I've made my fair share of comments saying the exact same things about youth I think it is time to start seeing what amazing things they do, and are capable of. 

I'm lucky enough to be the leader to about 40 youth in the Lacey, Washington area. I've been in a leadership position with the youth for almost two years. I've been in many different situations with them and I've gotten to know them very well. I've also been a counselor at a youth camp and I worked with 40 youth from all over the country. 

While being their leader I've seen them on their phones, I've seen them work through ridiculous drama, I've seen them being immature and make stupid decisions. 

But none of that is as important as what else I've seen. 

I've seen them lift up those around them. I've seen them reach out to the one who seem to be alone. I've seen them jump to the opportunity to serve others. I've seen them shine!

I've seen them teach of Christ, I've seen them bear testimony of their love for Him. I've seen them stand up and take charge over a group of peers. I've seen them speak of their desire to be better! I've seen them study so hard, and do their best to get a good education. I've seen them work so hard to grow and learn. 

I hear too often about how self-centered and uncaring that they are. But I've personally had them reach out to me when they know I'm going through a rough patch. I've had them come up to me to give me a hug or just say hey "I love you". 

Now in no way am I saying that this generation is perfect, but what I am saying is we need to give them a break. When we only focus on their negative qualities we in turn miss their many positive qualities. And when all they hear is the negative qualities they start to believe they can't change.

 We want our country to be in good hands and we want our future to be in good hands? Then lets start treating this generation in a way that will help them see their potential and will help them rise to it. 

 EFY July 2013
 EFY July 2013
 EFY July 2013
 Virtue Run with 1000+ Girls August 2013

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