UA-114812973-16 Well Rounded: June 2014

Stop. Breath. Live.

Life is crazy right now....

Next Saturday is the South Sound BBQ Festival in Lacey, WA.

I'm the Event Coordinator in charge of it and this is my first year doing it and we are expecting 15,000 people. So as you can imagine work has been non-stop for the past few weeks. Man I'm excited, but I'm a little bit more excited for the day afterwords.

Last Saturday my parents and I took a day trip down to Portland to see my sister and her family. It was only a day but it was fantastic! Hung out in her backyard, soaked up some much needed sun and then went blueberry picking.

Don't mind my face. I'm obviously not very photogenic, but the whole purpose of this picture was to show you my amazing multi-tasking skills. I mean look at me, holding a baby and picking blueberries. I'm living the dream.

Monday I got to go to one of my favorite places in Seattle with one of my favorite families. This is Sydney's family minus his dad (he is taking the picture). They are so great to include me in family outings even though Sydney is gone. 
 Safeco Field to watch the Mariners vs. Red Sox. So much fun. And since I'm a fan of both teams I knew I'd leave happy either way. And guess what the Mariners won, 12-3 so I was extra happy.
David Ortiz doing his thing. So much fun to watch.

The rest of my out of work time has been filled with helping my mother at her fantastic DoTerra classes, hanging out with my new Brazilian friends, re-arranging my room, mission call openings, and church. I get to go out with the Sister missionaries tonight. I always love going out with them because it is an opportunity for me to really forget myself and help others feel the joy and happiness that I feel.

My goal right now is to start becoming more productive with my time outside of work. Usually I get off work and I'm so tired I don't want to do anything. But after writing about confidence last week I realized this is probably why I've been struggling lately. I'm not doing anything for me or even for others. I'm not living!

I want to work on making my room a clean, peaceful, inspiring place for me. Get back to my music side. I haven't practiced piano or violin in ages! Not to mention the only singing I do is in the car and shower. Oh and I really want to learn to play the guitar. I also want to up my exercise. Ideally I want to start exercising in the morning but I really have a hard time getting up earlier then I need to. Any tips? I'm all ears!

Here is to life and to living it, instead of letting it live you. Who wants to join me?!

How Do We Get Confidence?

Growing up I was always taught how important it was to have confidence and believe in myself. I never thought I had any confidence problems. In fact I specifically remember my dad saying, "Sierra the Prophet (the main leader of our church) taught us to raise our kids with confidence. You, have too much." I think this was after I told him he could not wear Crocs out in public. All in jest of course but he was partly right.

See, confidence was not in short supply in high school. 

Now this isn't to say I never have my low self-confidence moments. I just didn't really have them in high school. But about three years ago was when I realized how important confidence is in all that we do. I specifically remember the day. It was as chance in counter at my current job with a girl who wouldn't make eye contact with me, while near by was a group of cheerleaders. 

This girl had acne, a little heavier, I think even braces, but still a cute girl. I tried so hard to interact with her. Ask her how she was doing etc but she'd just mumble responses. I could tell from watching she felt uncomfortable near those girls. Now these girls were your normal cheerleaders. Small and peppy. But they weren't drop dead gorgeous by any means. But you could tell they were confident by the way they carried themselves.

This experience may seem small to you but to me, three years later it has not left my mind. And I will tell you why...

There are many things in life that can help us build confidence but I believe one of the many things is having a talent or skill. Having something that you know you're good at and with that having someone who believes in you.

 I had a best friend in high school who was a little bigger but was one of the most popular girls in school. She had a voice that was amazing, and a personality that made others want to be around her. She could have easily thought less of herself because of her size but because she had friends and family who loved her for who she was, and she had things she knew she was good at, she never let it bring her down. It was amazing to me. 

I have recently found this principle to be true for myself. When I am not growing my talents or I'm not surrounded by those who support me and build me up I don't think very highly of myself. So I've found that as I pick a new hobby to learn or start a project, something that shows progression, and as I get better at it my confidence increases. It is amazing. And yes, much of our confidence must come from the inside. We must believe in ourselves. We can help build that inner confidence by working on ourselves as a whole.

Now many people do not have a great support system, or have a support system at all. I can't even imagine what that would be like. Which is why we should all reach out to each other, love each other and support each other in our activities and dreams. We have all heard the quote by Plato,

So today I'm going to find something new to learn, or work on something I've left forgotten and I'm going to find someone who is in need of support in their choices, activities and dreams. What will you do to help increase your confidence and the confidence in others around you?


Comfort Zones

We all have our comfort zones. The place in our lives where we are most comfortable and things are easy. I have been taught my whole life and also learned from personal experience how much growth occurs for me when I take a step outside of my comfort zone. It isn't an easy step, but an important one nonetheless.

Today I had an epiphany, indulge me for a second. I love adventure, but would you believe I also hate it. Most people would never guess this about me. I come across as someone who loves spontaneity and excitement. And while they aren't completely wrong, I have this other side of me who is terrified of change and the unknown. I go searching for adventures and new experiences but most of the time I don't follow through.

Recently I have be presented with an adventure of a lifetime. One I've dreamed of for years. Everything about this adventure was/is perfect and I even have the perfect partner in crime who would embark on this adventure with me. But then I froze. At first I thought it was just because it wasn't the right thing for me. Then I considered maybe I was just scared of the change. I was sure hoping it wasn't that because I wanted to get over my fear of change and new things. But then this was when the epiphany hit...wait for it. What if the reason I was feeling hesitant was because where I am at right now may seem like a "comfort zone" from the casual look, but as one examines it closer it is far from my comfort zone.

You're now thinking I'm completely crazy but don't abandon me just yet. I might be way off base here but at the same time I think I've struck gold. If where I'm at right now was my so called comfort zone then why do I struggle with it so badly. Why am I searching for a way out? Maybe that is why I feel the need to stay here, because here is where my growth is occurring. I'm learning how to live a whole different life then I'm accustomed to.

So my point. Maybe sometimes we go looking for these big, grand adventures so that we can grow and learn, so we can get away from the certain situation that we are in. Maybe we think we are stuck in our comfort zone. But have you ever thought maybe you hate said "comfort zone" so much just because it is testing you and forcing you to grow?

I don't know if this makes any sense, I mean I only figured this out this week. And I'm not even sure how to exactly explain it, except that sometimes we think we need to run or get out of our comfort zone because it is dull and boring but I think we are wrong. At least I've been wrong.

For me I'm trying to examine what I think is my comfort zone and as I do I realize it I've been far off. And I know that because I have really hard days that stretch me and force me to grow. But I've thought all along that I was in a comfort zone because I was free from the trials I would normally experience. It isn't crazy different, in some new location that I've never been, surrounded be people I don't know. In fact I'm surrounded by my family. But sometimes stepping out of our said comfort zone isn't exactly what we need. Sometimes it is where the most growing occurs.

Students Teach the Teacher.

I mentioned a while back about how when I came home from my mission for my church I was asked to start a class for all 16-19 year olds who wanted to prepare to serve a mission in our area. When I started it I had no idea how much it would change me, nor did I know that I would get to know some kids who would become my best friends.

This weekend another one of those kids left for her mission. I don't know if I can count how many students I've sent out on missions now but I can say that each good bye doesn't get easier. And that is because each one that I've sent out has taught me something new. What I've learned the most from them is that when it comes to friendship age doesn't mean a thing. These kids are quite a few years younger yet I've become very close with quite of few of them. They have shown me love that others never have, they have taught me what it looked like to serve and love everyone, what it meant to be be selfless, I could go on and on. Here I thought I had been asked to be their teacher and as I said goodbye to Jenna yesterday I realized how they all had been my teacher.

These three were my first missionaries to go out that were actually regulars in my class. Spencer (Paucha Mexico Mission), David (Anaheim California ASL Mission) and Julie (Washington D.C. Mission). We were quite the foursome. 

Yes we are twins, not triplets.

Tanner Risk (Marshall Islands Mission) and Julie again.  

I even got lucky enough to have Sydney (Mexico City East Mission) in my class!           
Jennifer Hochstrasser (Nashville Tennessee Mission) and Jenna Lythgoe (Scottsdale Arizona Mission).

Jenna Lythgoe is quite the extraordinary woman.  

Jenna Bell (Las Vegas Mission)...what a woman! I've seen her grow up from a little one. 

I have students in states all over the country and countries all over the world. 

When I came home I was in limbo and felt like I had no purpose, these kids gave me a purpose. They gave me the opportunity to share with them something I love so much. They loved me and included me. Everyone always says I helped them, but I know the truth. They helped me and they taught me. I was called to teach, but little did I know I was really the student.

Each and everyone of them are amazing. They are so strong and I know the world is going to be a better place because of them. I am still teaching this class and I'm excited to see where the next group goes. 

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