Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

It was so good to be home for Christmas this year. It truly was such a wonderful Christmas. I may have had to work all day on Christmas Eve and was unable to help in all the food preparation and such that I was so looking forward to, but it was okay. I really do enjoy my job, and there was still food to make when i got home.

After two years of being gone on Christmas and just having a short time to talk to my family on the phone it was really nice to be with them and celebrate with them. We had our usual Christmas Eve program and the 4 of us kids slept on the floor under the tree. It was the worst night's sleep I've had in a long time. I was so uncomfortable. And it was...different. I remember every year before my mission the anticipation of the next morning and Christmas. This year as I went to sleep, my thoughts were on the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. I was so grateful that we had church on Sunday that we were able to go and celebrate His birth in the morning. Kesha and I were asked to sing in a small group for one of the musical numbers. That was nice.

I really enjoyed being able to keep my mind more focused on the Savior throughout the day. And I really enjoyed being with my family. It has been a good break at home, regardless of working pretty much every day. And there's only a couple more days of that, because I move to Utah on Saturday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Home for the Holidays

"I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents 'neath the tree."

Well, it's Christmas time. There's presents under the tree. The mistletoe didn't get put up this year...but it's fake anyway so that's okay. And besides...I don't have anyone to kiss under the mistletoe anyway. And...there's no snow. I keep hoping, but the forecast isn't looking promising. I haven't had snow for 2 Christmases in a year already...but the past 2 years were understandable. I'm in IDAHO this year, for crying out loud! There should be snow! And I am most definitely home for Christmas. I loved Christmas in the mission. It was probably one of my favorite times (or two of my favorite times because I was one of the "lucky" sisters to have 2 Christmases in the mission field). And I will miss Christmas in the mission. But it is good being back with the family. It's good participating in all of the traditions we have as a family for Christmas. I mean...really, who knows where I'll be a year from now. So I'm really soaking it in as much as possible.

But it is different being home. I have said "goodbye" to Rexburg. That's weird. I've always gone back to Rexburg after Christmas break. This year I'm moving to Utah right after Christmas. That's kind of scary. I am excited, but it will have its challenges, I'm sure. Packing up Friday afternoon was really emotional for me. I had a hard time keeping back the tears. There were times that I just broke down. We went to Carlee's graduation party that her parents threw for her and I totally lost it there as her guys sang a song they wrote for her. Boy, oh boy. I tried real hard to hold back the tears, but it just didn't work. I got a little choked up as I drove out of Rexburg for the last time Friday night. I think the anticipation of being able to spend a Christmas home with my family for the first time in a few years helped me hold it together. We'll see how things continue to go. At least I haven't graduated...that would have totally torn me apart, I think. I'm not ready to be done yet, even though I pretty much am done. It just hasn't hit me yet.

Anyway, I'm excited to be able to spend this Christmas with my family. I'll be busy the whole break before i move working and organizing my stuff and trying to figure out where to put it, now that I don't have a room at home. Well, I do. It's just the smallest room in the house. Kesha basically kicked me out of the room. But I'm really okay with that because now, after 23 years, I finally have my own room. And I'm not going to be here much. I'll just use Kesha's room as a storage room for my stuff that I don't need down in Utah. I've already said that I'm not going to move home again. It's time that I get my own space.

But for now, I'm just going to enjoy the time I have to spend with my family. I'm not going to take it for granted. And I'm super excited for the Christmas program in Sacrament Meeting next Sunday. It will help keep us focused on the real reason of the season. Kesha and I are going to sing with the ward choir. The choir director wants us to do a duet, so we're going to do that. One of the songs we're singing is "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's Messiah. I'm singing soprano for the choir...something I've never really done before. I kinda struggled with that song because I've sung it before, and was one of the strong altos in the choir. But I'll get it. I brought the music home and will practice this week.

I'm looking forward to this week, and being home for the holidays :0)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Packing up the Memories...

Five and a half years ago I think I knew that this day would come, but I don't think I realized how quickly it would come. And then a little over 2 1/2 years ago when I packed up to leave Rexburg for a couple years while I went on my mission...I think that gave me a little taste of what it would be like when the time came for me to leave forever. But now as I sit in my room surrounded with the mess that comes along with packing, with some of my stuff loaded in the car and some more of my stuff already hauled home...I don't know how I feel. I have so many memories made as I have been here in Rexburg for the 8 semesters of my college career. My time here in Rexburg has helped to shape me into the person I am today. I have met people who have changed me; changed me for the better. I have had so many great opportunities here. I've broken out of my shyness bubble. I have discovered my crazy side. Really...I think that I have truly become the person I always knew I was deep down inside. Now that I am getting ready to leave Rexburg for good tomorrow and am reflecting on the things I have learned, I am thinking about the things that I can apply into my life and carry over into my time down in Utah. I know that I'll meet new people, make new friends. I know that my life will continue to be shaped. But it is weird leaving the place that has become home to me and all the people who have become more than just friends. I will always remember Rexburg as the place that helped shape my life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We had our roommate Christmas tonight. This is really the last time that the 5 of us will be together...and that just breaks my heart. We've had so many good times this year. I've had several good apartments. This year has definitely been a good way for me to go out, a good way for me to end my time here at BYU-Idaho. Kesha wrote a song for us about all of the good times that we've had this year. She had me in tears. I have loved being here. But I do feel that it is time for me to move on...

The Last Days

I am just a few short days from the end of my time here at BYU-Idaho. It is a bitter-sweet feeling. Really, I don't know exactly how I feel about this. Yesterday was my last day of church here. I did okay...probably mostly due to the fact that I haven't gotten super attached to many people in the ward. I was really attached to the Bishopric, but I got those tears out last week when they were released. It hit me that this is the end at ward prayer. I started bawling. I tried to hide it...but don't know how good of a job I did.

Tonight, we had our last FHE. I've loved my FHE sisters, and really didn't want to say goodbye to them tonight. Who knows when I'll see them again. Sure, Rexburg and IF aren't that far apart anymore, but it's not going to be the same. And one of them leaves on her mission in 3 weeks. We decorated Christmas cookies and took them around to a few apartments in our ward. It was fun to talk and laugh with them. After we were done with that, we took one more DQ run. That was our last roommate outing. Gosh...we've had some good times. I could have made an entire facebook album on our DQ runs alone! Yeah...we tend to get a little bit crazy. And never go without a camera. That would be purely ridiculous with the way that we are when we get a little bit of a Blizzard into our systems.

Last night, I went to Spanish Stadium Singing one last time. I hadn't been much this semester because we've always been doing things on Sunday nights. But this time I couldn't miss it...it was my last chance. I FROZE!! I had my PJs on under my jeans, 2 pair of socks, 2 pair of gloves (which, btw, makes turning pages a tad difficult...), a hoodie and a coat, and my earmuffs...and was still frozen solid by the end of the 1/2 hour. It was worth it though.

Wednesday night I went country dancing one last time. It was actually not a bad night. I danced several times, and just overall had a good time. I'll miss it, but I'm sure that I'll find other places to go dancing when I get down to Utah.

I'm pretty much done with my classes now. I really just have one more day of classes. Actually, tomorrow...er...today, I don't really have anything to do. Hence the reason I'm not in bed yet. Well, that and I didn't get this week's episode of Hawaii 5-O watched A) because we were at DQ and B) because our TV isn't hooked up to cable. So I'm catching it online. I'll be honest though, I'm ready to be done with my classes. I gave the final presentation for my Linguistics class on Friday. I just have to show up to listen to all of the other presentations now. I took the final for my Assessments class this morning. I had the Exit Interview for my Practicum this afternoon. The only test I have left is my Prep for Eternal Marriage class. Other than that, it's just a matter of packing up and heading home.

That's all I have left of my time in Rexburg. And, I do say, it's been good.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Time of Change

Well, here I sit at the end of another semester at BYU-Idaho. But not only that, with the end of this semester comes the end of another chapter in my life. In less than two weeks I will be packing up and moving out of Rexburg for the last time. I can't believe how quickly the past five years have gone, or how much has changed in my life in those five years. My eight semesters here at BYU-Idaho have been a wonderful experience. I have learned so much, and grown in ways that I never would have dreamed of. I have met so many wonderful people. I have seen two bishoprics who I have come to love dearly be released (the second of those happening just this morning). I have sat through countless hours of class and learned hundreds of new things. I have met many wonderful people. I've seen many changes take place on campus, and just around town in general. And I kind of feel like I've been here forever. So I guess it really is time for a change, in that respect.

At the end of this month, I will be moving to Utah. Utah...where all my friends are, but where I will be in a place where I won't know anyone. At least not at first. That thought kind of made me nervous when I realized it. But then again, I thought, that it could actually be a good thing for the very fact that I won't know anyone. Now is my chance to take that leap out of my comfort zone and be outgoing and make new friends and be the person that I've always wanted to be. Not that I'm unhappy with who I am, because I'm not. I've just always wished I could be a little more outgoing, and now's my chance to make that happen. And I may or may not be (meaning I am) looking for a new hairstyle to go along with the change of location and outgoing-ness. Any suggestions?

My next semester living in Utah is going to be a time of a lot of new experiences. I got my student teaching placement this week, and it makes me a little nervous. I will be in a 6th grade classroom. I will be teaching 32 students. Half of them are learning English as their Second Language. A couple of them just got to the states and don't speak any English--or any language even remotely similar to English. This may be my endorsement, but I am super nervous to be in charge of the education of these children. I realize that it will be a good learning experience for me, but that doesn't make it any easier to jump right into it.

I am excited for this new time of change though. I realize that it will be good for me. It will help me grow. It will stretch me to do things I didn't realize were possible. And it will allow me to meet new people who will be able to influence my life, and hopefully who I will be able to influence.

Just in closing, I want to share a thought that President Mendenhall, our Stake President shared with us today as they released Bishop Rossiter and his counselors, Brother Burton and Brother Larsen. "Change is good, eventhough it sometimes brings pain and discouragement." This is something I want to remember, especially as I go through this season of change in my life.