UA-114812973-16 Well Rounded: January 2015

I Can Do Hard Things

I don't normally just write posts to vent, brag, or just cause. Most of my posts are topics that have been on my mind, or updates on my life. But today I just had to write this out because it feels so good.

Just a quick disclaimer, I in no way think that I have "arrived". I know I have a long way to go but it just feels so good to have gotten as far as I have.

Okay, now I'm back. In January I wrote about my New Years "resolutions" here. Guys I think I'm actually doing them. I've been working so hard the past few weeks to do these things and man I think I am.

No, I'm not even close to 100% there. The list I made is a life long journey. But as we are approaching February it feels so good to be able to say I haven't given up and that I can feel the growth.

It feels so good to feel growth occur. I can't tell you how many moments I've wanted to just give up, and break down. Actually, I did break down once. But I used it as a turning point. But each time I've almost given up but didn't I've felt myself get stronger.

Guys life is so hard. Just when you think you've got something figured out, something else happens. But at the same time life is so beautiful. The ability we are given through Christ to change and become stronger is amazing. I find myself getting better at things I never thought I could, and I know it is because I'm not doing it alone.

And it isn't just my soul, my spirit, that is getting stronger. So is my body. I've had a few bad headaches the past few weeks. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. But I haven't even had to take anything for them because it is getting easier each day to push through them. Not to mention I've started running again and I've been able to push myself harder then ever.

Life is amazing! And I know I only feel that way because I'm doing it along side my best friend who is Christ. Through Him I can do hard things. I finally believe it, because I'm finally seeing myself really grow.
Ocean crashing against rocks

So don't give up. If I can grow and become stronger, anyone can. Just keep trucking along and even though you don't feel like any growth is occurring I promise it is. Just keep going and you'll look back one day and see it. You'll be so glad you didn't give up.

You can do hard things!

#thankfultuesday - Never too grateful

What a cute, but very true line from Winnie the Pooh. Our heart can never be too full of gratitude. In fact I firmly believe our hearts will grow, and our ability to love will increase as we express gratitude more often. We will begin to love our lives more, love the people in our life more and see the good in the world.

I'm grateful....

1. The relaxing Friday night I got to just read my book and bake some treats.

2. That I was able to go on a run on Saturday and ran without stopping, which for me is a big deal.

3. That I was able to hear a story that reminded me of the Lord's tender mercies.

4. For the opportunity I had to go to a LDS Young Single Adult Fireside with a group of wonderful young ladies and to hear words that rang true in my heart.

5. For the great turnout I had in my class on Sunday, and for all the great comments from the students.

6. For this beautiful and warm January weather.

7. That I could walk to lunch yesterday. In a skirt. With no coat or tights on. It was that nice!

8. For the fun/successful event I had last week at work.

9. For the trials I'm going through that are helping strengthen my faith.

10. For friends who text me randomly, just to see how I'm doing.

What are you grateful for this week?

Dance Like No One Is Watching

Friday night I experienced what it felt like to "dance like no one is watching". I have to say it is quite the exhilarating experience. I don't think I've ever just let loose like that before, at least not when people were in the same room as me.

There is something to be said about people who dance like that all the time. They are full of so much more life, and probably joy. Just fully letting loose and being your complete self, whether you're good at dancing or not, me being the later. It really feels good!

I think back on what has held me back from really letting go like that and it has always been my confidence in my dance skills and worrying that people would judge me. But who cares! If they want to judge me that is there choice right?? When I compare the night where I've danced and just didn't care to the nights where I've danced but still worried about what others were thinking about me, I realize I had way more fun when I just let go.

I mentioned to my wise mother how I just danced as crazy as I wanted because I knew I wasn't going to see most of the people ever again, she responded the right way. She said, "Why does it matter if you're going to see them again? You should always just be yourself". AMEN! Mom you nailed it, and thanks for reminding me.

Last year I talked about remembering who we are here. I think knowing who we are is very closely linked with being ourselves. I know my confidence comes from that knowledge. 

So here is to more nights of awesome, awkward, and crazy dance moves. To just 100% being myself no matter what anyone around me is thinking. 

Who cares if my moves don't look like Beyonce's, there mine and I'll keep them :). 

#thankfultuesday - Always Something To Be Thankful For

No matter how hard life gets, there is always something to be thankful for. Sometimes life gets really hard and its the small things that keep us going, the small things that normally we wouldn't see as blessings. But the moment we start looking for them we start appreciating them, and we see that they truly are tender mercies.

This week I'm grateful for the small things....

1. I'm grateful for the 45 minutes I got on Sunday to just sit and talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with two young women at my church.

2. I'm grateful for my mom walking into my room right during a low, stressful moment.

3. I'm grateful for the scene in Into The Woods, where the two princes sang "Agony" and I got to laugh so hard.

4. I'm grateful that I got to stay in sweats/workout pants all day yesterday.

5. I'm grateful that my car heated up super fast when it got cold last night.

6. I'm grateful for the McDonald's ice cream cone run I had with my friends at 11:30 pm on Friday night.

7. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to sit in a room with six young women and listen to them bear testimony to one another of how grateful they are for a loving Heavenly Father.

8. I'm grateful for my dad who traded me duties and washed the dishes for me on Sunday.

9. I'm grateful that my family lets me sit by my mom at dinner time.

10. I'm grateful after two years I was finally able to get pictures up on my wall. 

What small things are you grateful for this week?

Trials 101

It is no mystery that we all go through trials. All of our trials are different. What might be hard for me could be the easiest thing for you and vice versa, but it is still a trial. Life is all about learning how to cope and get through the storms that are thrown at us without totally throwing our hands up and saying "I'm done".

The last two years have been some of the hardest, craziest, happiest years of my life. I grew more then any other specific time in my life. I probably also cried more and laughed more then I ever have.

Now if you saw the title and thought "FINALLY, the solution to all my trials", I hate to disappoint you and say I don't have all the answers. I am just here to offer what I've learned on how to best deal with the hard moments, come out on top and still be smiling. Now at first read you think, "Well this sounds so simple, what's the big deal Sierra?!" Let me tell you what the big deal is, these may be simple steps, but man they aren't the easiest to execute. But I promise if you do, it will be worth it!

Trials 101:

What Questions Should We Ask? And Prayer!

When a trial hits our first reaction is to ask "why?". But I'm here to tell you that there are much better questions to ask. Elder Richard G. Scott teaches in his talk "Trust in the Lord" that we should ask the following questions:

"What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father."

When the first thing that you do is get down on your knees immediately and pray to God you are already setting a foundation for how this trial will go. You are showing your Heavenly Father that you cannot do it without him, you are humbling yourself before him. And then you ask him the questions listed above. He will guide you through this. 

I have one recent experience that comes to my mind. I had been feeling a good amount of stress and anxiety about my life. I have a good job but I knew I wouldn't be here forever, but I had no idea what I even wanted to do. Nothing seemed to feel right. After listening to a very humbling talk about decision making I realized I need to let go of my pride or I was never going to progress in the way the Lord had planned for me. I immediately, in the middle of my living room, starting praying. Through tears I just prayed my heart out to my Heavenly Father to help me let go of my pride and for His guidance. I felt the biggest weight lifted from my shoulders. I'm not saying I have all the answers now and that my pride is gone but what I did receive from this experience was strength and peace. I know because the first step I took was turning to my Heavenly Father and asking for His help and guidance I would be able to get through this. 

How Do We See the Good?

Gratitude. It all starts with being grateful. The moment you start to be grateful for your trial or your circumstances you start to see the positive. In the beginning you might not always be grateful for what you're going through but if you just fake it till you make it you'll get there. Remember when I talked about being grateful no matter what? Well President Dieter F. Uchtdorf says it 100% better then I do:

"We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace."

What an amazing promise. I always thought it was crazy talk that you could experience "peace in the midst of tribulation", but I'm here to tell you that you can. I have experienced it myself and it all started with gratitude. 

A few months ago I started to use my gratitude journal more often. Wow, what an amazing experience. When I started doing this I was in the middle of a huge storm in my life, but I didn't feel like I was because I was seeing how I was being blessed instead of just focusing on how hard life was. I was looking for God's hand.

Forget Yourself:

A little while ago I wrote about J.O.Y.. I talked about how important it is to put ourselves last. Whether or not you've read the Book of Mormon I think anyone who believes in God believes this: 

As we forget ourselves and serve God our shoulders will be given strength to carry our burdens. They won't necessarily be taken away from us but we will be given the ability to keep pushing forward. Not to mention we are always happier when we are helping others, and in the process we may be the answer to someone's prayers.  

Now I know there are many more things that can be done to help us through trials, but I 100% believe these are some of the top things that have helped me over the past two years. They have helped me feel peace in the middle of storms and strength midst very low moments in my life. They are lessons that I will continue to apply for the rest of my life. 

I don't know what adversity will occur in my life, but I do know that I want to always react in a way that will help me grow and become a better person. In a way that will help create the greatest story I can. I am so grateful for all that I've experienced, they have made me who I am today. 

What are things that you do to stay a float and happy during the hard moments?

Shenanigans in Seattle

You're probably starting to get sick of all my posts of Seattle. But you better get use to them because they aren't going anywhere. Shoot I could probably make a series about my Seattle adventures, maybe someday. I just love this city way too much.

Can't stop, won't stop. 

This trip started off at the temple with my two favorite Brazilians. Really was the best way to start the day. Anytime I start my Saturday with the temple I always know the rest of the day, no matter the activities, is going to be great! And once again I was proved right.

The rest of the day was an adventure. We went to Alki beach to see the amazing view only to be greeted by so much fog that you couldn't even see the outline of the city.

The city is right behind us. But you'd never know that if I didn't tell you. We found the real 50 shades of grey.

We ended the day with the greatest game of laser tag where I placed 3rd out of 21. I take my laser tagging very seriously ;). I actually can't go laser tagging without thinking of Barney from How I Met Your Mother, "A few final thoughts. Don't get married 'til you're 30. Play laser tag at least once a week." Minus the don't get married part I completely agree with this advice. It helps keep you stay young at heart. Okay back on topic. After the laser tag game we went up to the Pacific Science Show for a MGMT Laser Show. 

 Seattle you'll always have my heart. I'll be back soon. 

#thankfultuesday - Find Happiness

This quote is exactly why I started #thankfultuesday. I had a simple experience where I felt real happiness when I was truly grateful. I wanted to feel that way all the time, so I decided I needed to express gratitude regularly. 

I've found from doing this series that I look for opportunities to be grateful, and in the process I have become happier than I've ever been. I find happiness and joy even admits the hard days. 

That is why I challenge each of you to start taking the opportunity at least once a week to write down what you were grateful for that week. I promise you'll be happier. If you're not, I owe you dinner. 

I'm grateful....

1. For the chance I got Friday night with a friend to make cookies and deliver it to people anonymously. 

2. For the uplifting words I heard at church on Sunday, even though I was exhausted.

3. For the faith one of my friends, all the way from Brazil, has in me.

4. For my mother who takes every single one of my calls and helps me through so much even when she is out of town.

5. For my father who will listen to me complain and complain and never walks away.

6. For a relaxing night where I get to watch the NCAA National Championship, even if my team isn't winning.

7. For a fun Saturday with friends. Watching football, playing laser tag, singing our hearts out and watching laser shows.

8. For the friend who reminded me to watch a talk from a Church leader last night. The talk helped me make a change I've been needing to make for a long time.

9. To be able to go to the temple on Saturday. To be able to just forget about my problems and just feel peace.

10. That I got 3rd place out of 21 players in laser tag. I love laser tag. 

What are you grateful for?

WildCard Scramble

Saturday was my first event of the year, the WildCard Scramble. We went to different restaurants and sports bars to watch the NFL WildCard games. Each location provided us with appetizers, we just bought our own drinks. We had three different buses full of the attendees and we just rotated locations. I don't drink so I was a little out of my element but I made sure to get myself some hot chocolate :).   

The event was a huge success. Everyone was happy, I made some new friends, we raised more money then last year and the whole event ran smoothly.

 Bus Selfie!

Kelli won this Seahawks chair. I have to say I couldn't have been happier that she was the winner, she had talked about that chair all day long and was so excited!

The whole group at the end of the night. 

Dancing Into 2015

Did I mention New Year's Eve was fabulous?! We got all dressed up, went out to eat, and then danced our hearts out! When I say we, I mean Tyler, Belana, the Brazilians and I. Best group ever!

Funny story: Fun fact about Sierra is she doesn't really know how to do makeup past the very very basics. Usually my mom has to help me when I'm getting ready for big events where I need to dress up. But on this night my mom wasn't feeling very good so she was asleep. So Karyny helped me out with my eye shadow. The one thing I always wear is mascara, I feel it helps me actually look my age. Well I got so caught up in the sparkly eye shadow and red lipstick that I completely forgot mascara and didn't realize it till we were at the restaurant in Tacoma. We all had a pretty good laugh. 

We met some friends for dinner in Tacoma at Harmon's Brewery and Eatery. While the atmosphere was a little loud for my taste, the food was delicious and we had a great time.

The dance was at the Tacoma Art Museum. Honestly I didn't see any art while I was there, I was too busy busting some moves. I wish I had pictures with all of our friends but it was hard enough getting good pictures of just our group. But I hope you can see how much fun we had!

Yeah we are special, but we are completely okay with it.

I hope everyone had as much fun as we did on New Year's Eve. I couldn't have picked a better group to ring in 2015 with!

#thankfultuesday - Thorn Bushes

I'm pretty sure it is a lifelong goal of mine to be able to see life the way Abraham Lincoln is talking about in this quote. The ability to see the positive in a negative situation, to be grateful for what is there instead of complaining about it.

Today's gratitude list is going to be compiled of just that, the roses I've found among the thorn bushes. 

I'm grateful for....

1. I'm grateful for the overtime pay I was able to get for working on Saturday.

2. I'm grateful for how much better my day was on Sunday because church was first thing, instead of waiting until 1 to go.

3. I'm grateful for the beauty that comes from these sunny days, even if it makes it colder outside.

4. I'm grateful for the benefit my body receives when I exercise, even if I hate running.

5. I'm grateful for the new friends I made even though I had to work on a Saturday.

6. I'm grateful for a mother who helps me see the fun in dating, instead of just the stress.

7. I'm grateful for wonderful nephews who live with me and always are happy to see me even though sometimes they are a little loud ;).

8. I'm grateful to have a heater that works in my car, even though it cost a lot to fix it.

9. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to give at Christmas, even if it left me semi-broke ;).

10. I'm grateful for all the wonderful opportunities I have to serve in my church, even if it leaves me without very much time for myself.

What roses among the thorn bushes are you grateful for?


In the recent years I've given up on New Years resolutions. Not because I'm opposed to goal setting, in fact I'm all for it. But because I hate how every year I set new goals just because everyone says its the time of year to do it and then I don't keep 80% of them.

But with all that being said it is hard not to think about the new year and all that it has in store. I'm a firm believer in God having a plan for all of us, but I also believe he expects us to not just sit around waiting for Him to bless us. He blesses us as we move forward in faith and in serving Him.

This year I have a few things I really want to have happen. Some are in my control, some are not. Which is why this year I've decided to do a few things that will help with both what I can control and what I can't.

So 2015...

I want to be more productive. 

I want to be more organized. 

I want to serve more.

I want to be fearless.

I want to be full of hope.

I want to be more understanding and patient.

I want to be more me.

I want to focus on the important things and let go of the not so important things.

I want to draw closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ.

It may be a small list, and it may not seem like resolutions to you but to me I see me getting closer to the person I want to be in 2015.

How are you approaching your resolutions this year?

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