I finally have a moment to sit down. It has been a crazy morning! Super fun, but crazy. I have been pushing my body to its limit with all the dancing and exercise I am forcing it to do. While it feels good to push myself hard again, I am sure beat. For once I am thankful that it is nap time and I can rest for just a bit. While I have been dancing I started to think about the dance "Brave" that I am choreographing. My train of thought went quickly to how I have to talk to all the youth in a few weeks and get them excited for the big Dance Festival. As I pondered what words I might say to them, my thoughts went back in time to when I was in High School. It seems like it was just yesterday and granted it wasn't that long ago. Just over five years ago I walked the halls of my High School that was full of wonderful, stressful, difficult, exciting challenges. Part of me wishes that I can go back and talk some sense into my stubborn self. But the lessons that I learned then helped shape me into who I am today. So I decided what I want to help the youth to see and know is what I would tell own high school self, if I could go back in time five years ago. Which is this:
I know that you are strong. While you may doubt that for a time, I know that you are strong. This is the time when you will figure out who you are and where you stand. It is so easy to let the pressures of fellow students get to you and turn you into someone that you may not want to be. There will come a time when you will have to choose if you want to be who your Heavenly Father wants you to be or who your friends want you to be. I hope that you choose to be what God wants you to be. I faced that same decision during my sophomore year. So many friends were trying to get me to do things that I wasn't comfortable with. One time many of my "friends" enclosed me in a circle and tried to get me to say the F word. Now I don't cuss, not only does our church council us against it but it was against my own standards that I had set for myself as well. My friends knew that, but that didn't stop them from trying to change me. The kept pressuring me and repeating the F word over and over. I hate to admit it, but I almost said it. I could feel the word at the tip of my tongue. I just wanted them to stop. But then one friend stepped up and told them to leave me alone and then she looked at me and told me to never do what I don't want to do. That one friend was the only one who stood up for me. While her and I were never extremely close, I respected her and trusted her. I learned something from her that day. I learned that I need to be brave and stand up for who I am. Junior year I made several new friends and hung out with different people. Those people who were constantly trying to change me stopped. They learned that I am strong and I am brave and they can not change who I want to become.
I know that you are amazing. Too often we only focus on our flaws. But each and everyone of us are amazing inside and out. Once you realize that, you will be stronger and achieve more then you ever thought imaginable. Do not compare yourself to others. What you see is only one side of the story. You do not see the tears, the frustrations, the doubts, the heartache that every single person feels. Chances are people are watching you and are wishing they were more like you. Embrace who you are and the wonderful talents you have been given. Life would be boring if we were all the same so be happy being you.
Never give up and keep smiling. Always look for the good in situations and in people. And most importantly build people up and do not tear them down. There was a lady that I knew growing up who never said a bad word about anyone. She was amazing and so fun to be around. I knew that I wanted to be like her, always seeing the good in whatever life deals you and always building people up. It has been my goal ever since I was a young girl. I must say it has helped me forgive easier and to ask forgiveness quicker.
Last and most importantly, always know that you are loved and that you are never alone. You have a loving Heavenly Father who loves you so much. He wants the best for you and he is always there to help you. If you ever feel that no one will understand what you are going through just remember our Savior felt and experienced everything you are going through. He will help you through. If you just pray sincerely for help, you will feel light even in the darkest of times.
So be Brave. Be Strong. Be Amazing. Be Happy. And be YouSo many scattered thoughts, but nap time is just about up which means... Play Time! So excited to play with my little girl soon. I am sure that we will have some awesome adventures. I wonder what we will do....
This year our Church is putting on a Dance Festival during youth conference. (Youth Conference is for youth 14-18 years old) Not only does it involve the youth from Woodland, but also Vacaville and Fairfield. So many amazing youth that are going to be taking the next several months to prepare for the big event. And guess who is going to be one of the Choreographers?... Me! I am so excited to be a part of this Dance Festival. It is going be the perfect time for the youth to gain new talents and grow spiritually as well. The Youth Conference Theme this year is:
I love this theme. This really is what we are all trying to do while we are here on earth. We are trying our best to follow our Saviors example and become like him. In a Dance meeting we decided we wanted another theme that would be separate and just for the Dance Festival. Something that the community could relate to and something that would stand out to the kids. We brainstormed a lot and left the meeting undecided. I couldn't stop thinking about what the theme should be. I come up with of tons of different ideas, but nothing seem to fit. Then I heard a song on the radio and I knew what I wanted the theme to be, and lucky for me everyone else agreed and loved the idea as well. So for the Dance festival the theme will be
I am so excited for this idea and to start working with the youth. Our opening number is going to be Brave by Sara Bareilles. It is going to be a blast. Ah! I can't wait to start teaching the dance. It is going to be full of surprises and the youth will really have to work hard be brave to pull it off. It is going to be a lot of fun though. We have the first part of February to Choreograph all of our dances and then practices will start. I am so excited, if you couldn't tell! I truly believe that the theme Brave is perfect for the youth today. Each day they have to stand up for what they believe in and it is not always easy to stand out from the crowd. It is especially hard when it is your best friends that you have to stand up to. Not only do they need to be brave when they are standing up for what is right, but they also need to be brave in admitting when they do something wrong. I do know that if they are Brave and be the type of people that I know they can be, then they will be blessed and so happy!
I will definitely keep you up to date how the practices are going and all the funny stories that come with it. Wish me luck in teaching over 300 youth a dance!
For the past year and a half I have been a nanny for three cute little kids. A little girl who is now turning three and two little boys who are a year and a half. Emma has become best friends with these three munchkins. She starts giggling as soon as she sees their house and always runs and gives hugs to the little girl. And the two boys love my Emma so much that they are always trying to give her kisses on the cheeks. It is super cute! I have had a lot of fun with them and seeing all of them grow and learn. But now times are changing and it is time that I am just called Mom. Wednesday was my last day with this little family. It was bitter sweet. We will miss them, but I am so excited to be a stay-at-home Mom with Emma. I have so many ideas and schemes that I am thinking up, that I am so exited to have extra time with Emma. To start off this new adventure we went to the Library... twice! Emma absolutely loves it there. And I love the programs that they have for children. She loves wandering around the aisles and aisles of book, picking just the right one, and bringing it to me to read. While we are there, we have been able to go to our library's story time that is just for Emma's age. Emma loves it! She gets to sing, dance, and read. All of her favorite things in one place. Now I am on the hunt to find all the other cool things that we can do here in Davis. So many adventures are waiting to happen! Becoming a official sty-at-home mom is not the only exciting thing that has been going on around here. There have been so many exciting changes! It is amazing what a difference a month can make. Here are just a few awesome things that happened...
- Jake got a job!!!!!!!!! He is now a Financial Annalist for Allstate and he loves it.
- We got a new car... Well new to us :)
- I am helping choreograph for a Tri-Stake Dance Festival
- I am choreographing and performing in a dance number for a Stake Relief Society event.
- I am going to start teaching piano
- We have changed our eating/exercise habits for the better
- Emma is talking more and more and I can pretty much have a little conversation with her. (Granted I probably speak Emma more then most ;)
I love fall and all that goes with it. In fact I count down until the cooler weather hits. Then I have an excused to cook all the soups that I want. Well yesterday was the perfect fall weather. The air was nice and crisp with just a slight breeze... well at first it was just a breeze until the crazy wind started happening. The trees around us were going crazy with the amount of wind whipping through the air. It was fun to watch the wind show from inside our cozy apartment. All the wind made me crave my one of my all time favorite fall dinners. Stuff Pepper soup, Grilled Ham and cheese sandwich, with apple cider. YUM! It seriously is the perfect fall dinner. Luckily today I am going to share the amazingness with you. It is a must try in your homes this fall!
The Perfect Fall Dinner:
Stuff Pepper Soup:2 boxes (each 4.4 ounces) Long Grain Wild Rice 1 pound Ground Beef 1 large green pepper 1 medium size onion 1 jar, 26 ounce, chunky vegetable pasta sauce (Pretty much any pasta sauce will work, this one is just my favorite) 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes 1 can beef broth Here is what you do: Start cooking the rice as is directed on the box. While the rice is cooking cook the beef, green pepper, and onions until the meat is fully cooked. Mix in Pasta sauce, tomatoes, broth and cooked rice. Heat through and salt/ pepper to taste
Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich:4 slices of ham lunch meat two slices of bread (we used white but sourdough would be amazing!) Cheese slices Butter Mustard Ranch sauce (1 part mustard to 2 parts ranch mixed together. Its so good on sandwiches it just might change your life) Here is what you do: Fry up the ham in a pan. Once it is heated through and starts to crisp on the edges take out of pan and put it aside. Take the pieces of bread and butter both sides. Then place one layer of cheese in between to two pieces of bread. Put on pan and grill until the bottom piece of bread is golden brown. Then Flip As soon as you flip take the top piece of bread off throw on the ham and Mustard Ranch sauce. Close back up the sandwich and cook until the bottom piece of bread is golden brown. Now it is read to serve. This soup and sandwich combo is the Perfect Fall dinner that you have to try. I already can't wait to have it again. One of the best things is that the soup makes a lot... which means leftovers for our little family, yum!
As you may know I nanny for a wonderful family that has three little kids. The little girl is two and a half and the twin boys are about fifteen months. Add Emma to the mix and it is quiet a houseful. We love to have fun though and some of my favorite things to do with the kids is experiment with art projects. Our latest adventure involved a lot of goop fun. The best part about it was that it was mess free. And when you are trying to take care of four children under the age of three, you can't ask for anything more. Here is what we did. (sorry about the low quality pictures. I was taking them super quick with my I Phone)
- 1 cup cornstartch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups cold water
- Ziploc bags (I used 1 quart size bag and 3 sandwich bags for my kids but you can use gallon size bag if you like.)
- tape (duct tape, painters tape, any kind of tape to completely seal the bag)