UA-114812973-16 Well Rounded: 2015

Book Review: My Story - Elizabeth Smart

I don't think I've written a review on here in a long time, but I also haven't read a book that impacted me so much in a long time. 

If you aren't familiar with who Elizabeth Smart is I'll do a brief summary:

Elizabeth was a fourteen-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her home by a religious fanatic in June 2002. Him and his wife kidnapped her all in the name of God. She was abused, rapped, and threatened on a daily basis. 

Read the full review here over at, Sisters, What!

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Better Than Christmas

Twice a year my Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holds a worldwide conference in Salt Lake City and then broadcast it throughout the whole world. It is two days long consisting of five sessions each two hours. It is my favorite time of the year. We get to spend two days being uplifted, inspired, taught and sometimes even rebuked (in a loving manner of course) by Prophet's and Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'll be sharing some amazing quotes from it here soon.

Usually I just watch it from my home in Washington but this year I got  the chance to meet Blake in Utah to attend Conference. We drove so much allll weekend. Let me tell you how it went.

I flew in Friday afternoon, Blake picked me up and we drove to Logan to see my newest niece, Evelyn. We were only there for about two hours then left to drive to Provo. By the time we reach Provo we had driven a total of about 4.5 hours since I had landed. Then on Saturday we drove to Salt Lake. Spent the next 24 hours there, then on Sunday we drove to Vegas. So probably a good 10 hours in the car over the weekend. Good thing Blake and I get along ;). But let me tell you about the actual weekend!!

Do you see these cool kids below? They are my favorites. They were some of my first students in my Missionary Preparation Class and now a couple years later they are all grown up, RM's and in college. I got to spend a good chunk of the weekend with them and it was wonderful. We laughed, sang, Spencer moved his hips a lot and none of us really slept. Needless to say we had a good time!

Like I mentioned before I got to spend Friday night with my brother David and his cute family, and then on Sunday I was with Daniel and his family. I love my brothers. Seriously, I'm lucky to have such loving older brothers!

Unintentional matching. We must be kindred spirits. 

I'm a huge fan of this guy. 

Another paparazzi picture for the books.

Story time: During the men's session of conference someone thought it was a good idea to leave Julie and I alone together, while we waited to meet up with some other awesome ladies....bad idea or should I say BEST IDEA EVER! We found these unicorn outfits at H&M and needless to say we had to try them on. We may or may not be considering actually purchasing them. Guys they were the most comfortable unicorn suits ever! As they say, "Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then be a unicorn."

Blake did a lot of sleeping during Conference and everyone had to get a snap of him. He can't stay awake if he is holding still. It is pretty impossible.

It is safe to say the weekend was wonderful. I got to spend the whole thing with my favorite guy, see my brothers and their families, and listen to Conference. Little sleep was had but I don't even care.

Stay awesome!

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"The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go"

Blake came back in town a few weeks ago and I had to show him more of the Washington beauty, so of course I took him to Mt. Rainier. It was cloudy so he didn't actually get to see the mountain but it was still very beautiful.

We had so much fun. My knee started hurting about halfway up the hike, I injured it playing soccer back in July, so we didn't get to finish it so we drove around and explored some other parts of Mt. Rainier.

I think it is safe to say he got a lot of embarrassing pictures of me, so ignore me and just check out the beautiful views!

Blake got me modeling my bagel....lucky me.  

How did I get so lucky!?


Mt. Rainier - Pinnacle Peak

If you've never adventured around Mt. Rainier, do it! What a beautiful place!

Stay awesome.

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A Place of Peace

The first few days of this week were extremely stressful. If you're just tuning in I should back up. On June 16th I became the Interim Executive Director for the Lacey South Sound Chamber and on August 27th I was offered the permanent position as Executive Director. So it is safe the say the past three months have been pretty intense, an extremely steep learning curve. But for whatever reason the first few days of this week were long, busy and exhausting. 

Tuesday night I was able to take the time to go to the Seattle Temple. For those not of my faith the Temple is a place we go and serve. Not just everyone can enter, you must live your life at a higher standard in order to enter and partake of the blessings available there. It is in fact a House of the Lord. I went knowing I had to be up early the next morning for a Board meeting but I went anyway. Best decision I could have made. While there for two hours I was washed over by peace and joy. Even though I got less sleep then I needed that night and I had six hours of meetings the next day I felt rejuvenated in a way that no bit of caffeine, exercise or pep talk could have done for me. 

I don't know how through words to explain to you what I feel when I'm in the Temple. I'm not sure how to express that my stress and worries always leave me when I walk through the doors. Or how I feel more fulfilled inside those walls then anywhere else in the world. Did I mention that when I'm there I feel that what I'm doing and participating in is more important then anything else I could be doing. I feel closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ then anywhere else on the earth, and I feel like I'm home. 

"Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord!"
- Boyd K. Packer

Seattle LDS Temple

I don't know who actually reads my blog, but if you're of the LDS faith and you are not a worthy recommend holder I invite you to become worthy. There is a peace and stillness that you cannot find anywhere else, and don't even get me started on the blessings you'll receive. For those of you not of the LDS faith ask me about Temples.

"Within the sound of my voice are many young women, young men, and children. I plead with you to be worthy, to be steadfast, and to look forward with great anticipation to the day you will receive the ordinances and blessings of the temple."

"Within the sound of my voice are individuals who have received the ordinances of the temple and for various reasons have not returned to the house of the Lord in quite some time. Please repent, prepare, and do whatever needs to be done so you can again worship in the temple and more fully remember and honor your sacred covenants."
- Elder David A. Bednar

I am not an elequent writer, I probably make grammatical mistakes, but I hope I am clear when I say I love the Temple. This place has change my life, and I'd love for it to change yours. 

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No Laboring Occurred

Yes, yes I know I'm a little late on posting the Labor Day Weekend festivities but I'd be letting you all down if I actually posted something on time. To say the weekend was great would be an understatement. Blake came up to spend the weekend with my family in Portland. Three and a half full days together. It was wonderful. 

I guess I should mention...Blake lives in Las Vegas while I'm up here in Washington so we only see each other every few weeks. I'd be lying if I said it was no biggy but we are grateful for how often we do get to see each other. If anyone has some great tips on long distance I'd LOVE to hear it!

Friday night we went to Olympia Harbor Days and we were having so much fun sadly we only got this one picture. Ignore the crazy hair. After Harbor Days we headed down to Portland. 

Saturday we went to the beach with both of my sisters and their families. It was the perfect day. We flew kites, went on walks and played the greatest game of football.  

Sunday was another perfect day. Blake and I cooked dinner for everyone. Our first time cooking together and we both came out alive. 

The pillow between us is because my dad said we were only friends and we didn't want to sit close...if you know my dad you'll appreciate this comment. 

Monday we went to the Nike Employee Store! My brother-in-law works for Nike so this was kind of a dream come true for me. 

I'm pretty sure I'm the serious one in this relationship and that is saying something.....

After the Nike Store we met up with the rest of my family at this mini-train park. I don't know how else to describe it. Basically we rode mini trains for an hour or two. Way fun with all of my nephews!

We couldn't get away from the dang paparazzi. It is hard being famous. (Please tell me you thought the same thing when you saw this picture!)

I think it is safe to say it was the perfect weekend. It was super hard dropping him off at the airport but he will be back again Friday night and soon you'll see even more pictures of our adventures. 

And now I'm going to mentally prepare myself for the really long work week I have coming up...being Executive Director is not as glamorous as it sounds. 

Stay awesome!

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From Brazil to Washington - Bringing Back Modesty

Let me just take a moment to tell you about one of my favorite women ever. She has been seen on this blog many times before in pictures from our many adventures. You may remember that she is from Brazil. Sadly, she is back in Brazil now and I'm missing her like crazy. This girl is a great example of light and goodness. 

She has this great blog which has started a campaign all about modesty called "Bringing Modesty Back", you need to check it out. (Her blog is in Portuguese so make sure you use Google Translate) So many people think if we are going to be modest we have to sacrifice being stylish but Karyny is one of the most stylish women I know. She has inspired me to along with her to share a modest, yet stylish outfit that I've worn recently. Go here for more pictures. 

But enough from me, ladies and gentlemen.....Karyny!

Hello my American friends! I believe that my super duper friend Sierra has already introduced me here, so I'll just give you a brief introduction about what I'm doing on my blog.
After reading some church talks and also living some personal experiences related to modest ,I felt inspired to create a campaign on my blog. I need to be really honest with you guys, I feel really frustrated when I go to the mall or any other clothing store and I CAN'T find a modest outfit! It's countless the times that I went to a store and tried to find a dress that fitted me well and it was properly modest. But I can also say to you that this didn't stop me from choosing to dress modestly! I love fashion just like any other girl, but I also want to send the right message about myself and about who I'm representing.
So, base on that I created the campaign "Bringing Modesty Back". Through this campaign I want to show the world that we, as members of the church, can dress modestly and also be attractive and beautiful. I want to prove that it is possible to be fashionable without dressing inappropriate! I believe that the way that we dress shows what's in our mind and heart! So let's choose modest together!
If you want to join my campaign you can send me a picture of you in a modest outfit and I will share it on my blog, you can also share your testimony!!! My email is
"Share light, choose modest!"

 Isn't she amazing?! And I just want to say I'm so grateful for technology. We live thousands of miles a part yet together we can take a stand on an issue that is so very important to us. So don't be shy, get in contact with Karyny and help share the light!

Stay awesome!

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Fear is a Funny Thing

Fear. It is just a feeling. It isn't a physical object or a person. Yet somehow this feeling can completely debilitate us. It can leave us unable to function, move forward or make decisions.

I don't know about you but I kind of hate that it has so much power over me. For years I've struggled with the fear of decision making. I've seen it completely leave me unable to make a decision and/or move forward. As my mom calls it, I end up in fetal position.

I get this idea into my head that the decisions I make could ruin my entire life and I've never trusted that I have the ability, when guided by the Spirit, to make the right decision. So you can imagine that pivotal moments in my life are a little harder then for most.

I've been striving to get over this fear for a long time. On Sunday in a moment of fear I was examining every worst case scenario and not being logical in the process, my wonderful mother pointed out that I was coming at this decision from a point of fear and not faith and reminded me of a great talk. I knew she was right. So I decided to examine this point further.

"Faith and hope invite into our lives the sweet peace of conscience for which we all yearn."

AMEN! I mean come on, who doesn't "yearn" for sweet peace. The path to getting it is so simple, yet so hard.

Today, it has been a big week for me in the fear/decision making category, I had to make a presentation to my Board of Directors on basically why they should make me the permanent Executive Director. If there is one thing I don't like it is talking about myself. Not to mention I took a huge blow to my confidence when something big happened at work this morning. Needless to say all the confidence I was feeling leading up to this presentation was gone.

My boyfriend called about 30 minutes before my presentation to see how I was doing and asked me how many times I had prayed that day and if it was enough to stop a flood. I said I can't even count how many times not to mention faith has never been my strong suit. But after I got off the phone what he said triggered something in me and I said another prayer. I asked for my faith to be strengthened as I looked to my Savior, Jesus Christ for guidance and peace.

I wish I could tell you what "sweet peace" I felt. My anxiety left and I was able to really focus on my presentation.

My presentation is over now and I feel like I hit it out of the park! But I'd be ridiculous to think that it was all me. It wasn't. I had been praying all morning, but it wasn't until I focused on faith and looked to Jesus Christ that I was calmed.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." - John 14:27

That peace is so real, and it only comes in and through Jesus Christ. We live in a loud and scary world, but I can say without a doubt I can be at peace and quiet because of Him. Because of the peace He offers me as I keep my eye on Him. Don't take my word for it though, try it out for yourself.

If you were hoping for some big miraculous experience I don't have one for you. I don't know yet if I have the permanent position and I don't even know if they think I did well. But that being said I'm grateful for the two experiences I've had this week that have helped me recognize that it is through faith, hope and my sights on Jesus Christ that I felt that "sweet peace".

I'd love to hear how you go about calming your fears?

Stay awesome!

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Introducing Kyle & Anjuli Martin

I know I'm only two months late posting this, but I'm posting this and that is all that matters! 

What a happy day this was. My sister Anjuli was remarried to Kyle Martin. I've seen her go through a lot in the past seven years since she has been divorced. Raising three kids on her own with the help of my parents, getting her bachelors degree and then working full-time. She was a rock star through it all and was so blessed to be able to find Kyle. Kyle you'll never really know how grateful our family is that you came into Anjuli's life and made her really truly smile again, and gave the boys a father who would always be there for them and be a good example. Love you guys! 

Now for picture overload!!

The whole Burton clan minus Joy's husband and kids who couldn't make it. We missed you guys!

Did I mention I have the coolest siblings?! This is a statement of fact, not opinion. 

Story behind this picture: Joy, Havalah and I have always loved taking ridiculous Charlie's Angel's pictures, Anjuli has not. So of course we had to take one at the wedding for memory sake. 

Did I mention my niece and nephews have moves?!

It was a hot day but all in all an extremely happy one. I can't tell you the feelings that I had as we sat in the Temple together and watched my sister be sealed to Kyle for time and all eternity. Being there with my whole family and seeing her so happy was more then I could ever ask for. And now as my Dad so kindly reminded me right before the ceremony, it is my turn. 

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