Sunday, March 31

He Lives, All Glory to His Name

I know He lives. He saved us and I want to be like Him. I love Him and am grateful for His love for me despite my endless imperfections. I know He is our advocate with the Father. We can be forgiven because of His sacrifice for all mankind. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. 

Happy Easter! Do not forget the true reason for this day--Jesus Christ's love for us. Because of Him we can all live again. 

How do you remind yourself of the true meaning of Easter? 

Friday, March 29


Sometimes I think, "What is the point of having a blog?" It takes up a lot of time, adds a little bit of stress to my life when I can't think of something to say or when I realize I haven't posted in forever, and truthfully--not that many people read it (it tells me that...embarrassing!).

But sometimes I genuinely enjoy writing about a topic that I want to discuss. I want people to know how I feel on certain issues because that's just how I was raised. I'm somewhat outspoken and I like to share what I think. It doesn't bother me if people know a little too much about my life--I just want to be honest. I want everyone to know that I am okay with being "weird" or "different" (which comes naturally when you're a Latter-day Saint I think...). 

One of my friend's dads in high school told me that he thought I was so great because I am "so down to earth." I seriously did not even fully understand what that meant until I got older, but I assumed it was a compliment. Now I see what he means. I am pretty down to earth. I try to be positive and happy (and for the most part I am), but I have also matured enough that I can be realistic and recognize that I probably will not make a difference in more than a few people's lives. I am aware of the impact I had in high school as one of very few Latter-day Saints (less than ten throughout my four years there) and remember being told, "Olivia, you are so happy." Another asked me, "Olivia, why are you so happy all the time? And why are you so nice to everyone?" I don't know if they knew why there was such a noticeable difference in me then, but I know now that it was the light that is in everyone who knows and tries to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is truly amazing that we can see the happiness in others just by the light they emit from their eyes. 

I love this quote by Elder Eyring in our church, who explains what that light is:

"Every child of Heavenly Father born in the world is given at birth, as a free gift, the Light of Christ. You have felt that. It is the sense of what is right and what is wrong and what is true and what is false. That has been with you since your journey in life began." 
~Henry B. Eyring

I also love this one by Roald Dahl, (who is not LDS) as he recognizes that kindness and goodness make a person attractive more than anything else:

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

~Roald Dahl

I believe it is important that we be the type of people that radiate light. No matter what you believe, if you are standing for something that you instinctually know is inherently good, then go for it. I know my daughter will be a light in my life and I hope that I, as her mother, can teach her to recognize good from evil as she is raised in a world that is so much more wicked than the one in which I was born.

So I guess, my thought for today is shine the light. Everyone has a light. Channel yours and brighten it.

Also! I dare you to watch this quick video...and I dare you not to cry (it's a happy cry):

Pay attention to how you feel.

Thursday, March 28

This post is just because

Why are there always seagulls at Burger King? It's like Burger King imports them...they probably do clean up all the spilled fries outside. I just thought of that today when I was getting breakfast there (don't worry, I went to my spin class after and burned all the calories anyway). We're nowhere near the ocean so why are they here??

Also, my pregnant belly has done it again. I tried on my new maternity shirt last night (it's from Target and I really love it) for Dalin, then I just went to the stove for a second to check the food and my dang stomach rubbed against something oily. So then I had a nice spot right on the front of the shirt. Quickly I soaked it in warm water and rubbed some Goo Gone on the spot (and some splatters that made their way onto the shirt from the frying pan), then I hung it to dry on our shower rod under our heater. So then, the next morning I do the same thing and when I come back from class in the morning, it is almost dry--there are only a few spots left. So I put the shirt on and head to work and what the heck--the spots never dry. Apparently they were grease spots from the Goo Gone because they never dried. And they look worse. Ahh!! Luckily the shirt has a bow I have been trying to hide them with.

Anyway, it's been beautiful here in Provo today. I seriously can't think of anything to complain about for once. I am no fan of Utah, but I will say that if the weather was always like it was today, I probably wouldn't hate it. Also, at work we had a barbecue and lots of people signed contracts with me, so that was a plus.

I installed a car seat in our car today. One, because someone wonderful gave it to us yesterday and I wanted to see if I could get it hooked up correctly, two, because we don't really have room for it in our apartment, and three, because I am just so excited to have a baby and I am already wishing she was here!!!!

I'm not sure what else to belly and back are aching from the weight of my belly which is annoying and a tad worrisome since I'm just over halfway through. I cannot even imagine getting bigger than I am. I will probably need a wheelchair. Oh, and I just remembered that I am still mad that Target had NO maternity pants for a small person. Umm...sorry I'm the size of a teenager, but what am I supposed to wear for pants??? I've been wearing yoga pants like every day and those feel fine, but I want to wear jeans so bad! Target only had size 2 and XS, both of which were wayyy too baggy. I am not kidding. They looked like Aladdin pants on me. I sent a picture to my mom because they looked so stupid. I really do not want to spend very much money but it looks like I have no choice. I'll just buy one good pair and call it good. I did buy a belly band at Target, but I have yet to use it. I feel like it would be uncomfortable to just have unbuttoned pants on underneath that thing all day.

Before my belly grew, I went to Motherhood Maternity one time and tried on like four pairs of pants. Naturally, the only ones that fit me in width and length (I have short legs so pretty much all the pants are way too long) were the most expensive. I may just have to suck it up and spend the money on them though because I am running out of pants!!!!!!

Well, I need to go get things done around the house but if you have any ideas or suggestions for acquiring small maternity pants, I would appreciate it! I think I will probably just resort to dresses and yoga pants for now. I guess I had better get some laundry done...sigh

I hope everyone had a nice Thursday! 

Wednesday, March 27

My Little Stand for the Family

Well you all know me and how very conservative the majority of my views are. This time around, I will admit, I was intending to stay completely clear of the recent discussions on marriage--not because I do not have a valid opinion to defend, but because I wanted to preserve the peace. But something about marriage just causes my heart to burn with emotion and I feel so strongly that it needs to be defended. Maybe it's because as a Latter-day Saint (or, Mormon), my beliefs are frequently mocked and trodden on. Maybe it's because I am stubborn and have to get a word in when I feel passionately about something. Either way, here I am, putting my "two cents" in. I will boldly say though, that I know the following things are worth so much more eternally than a mere two pennies.

The words I want to share are not my own, but I felt they were written so beautifully and articulately that I wanted to quote them. Because the first woman's comments are in response to words of others, there may be a little confusion which I will clear up if necessary.

I have never met these women and do not know anything about either of them except that we share the same views in regards to marriage. Disagree with us if you would like, but I will simply (and as politely as I can) reply with a defense of our belief that marriage is sacred, and ordained of God for one man and one woman. 

Written by Aly R. Taylor:

I do believe my entire world and life will change if gay marriage passes and that within 20 years our entire society will look more different than imaginable. I also know that it will affect my children and their children, for the worse...I also believe that divorce rates will go up if people do not appreciate the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is an important institution that makes our society better for many reasons, including an increase in stability which is better for the economy, and raising good children. Take a look at this article for an interesting opinion from someone who is a libertarian and not pro/against marriage but describes that in all likelihood it will make a change our life as we know it: 

[This is a very interesting read if you have the time to get through it]

Divorce rates would easily go up to 80% plus within 10 years if we keep ignoring the importance and sanctity of marriage, and our society will be worse off. From my experience divorce often creates unhappy or bitter people and broken families. That is but one of my 100 concerns with gay marriage.

It saddens me that very few people think of consequences to their actions nowadays. But you are right -----, it is a choice and hopefully my children will have such a burning desire and love for God that they will choose to follow him over any carnal desire.

Everyone is so concerned with making "history" that they don't think through the actual impact and the eternal perspective. I believe in eternity, and don't understand individuals who can say they follow Christ and go directly against his Word. To love Christ is to follow him. I love my fellow man, but that love for them and for God is what drives me to help his cause. It's like if you knew someone was about to commit murder, wouldn't you do what you can to stop them from committing this sin? Why would you not help your fellow man and do what you can to help them find eternal happiness versus worldly temporary happiness?

Written by Annie Z. Edwards: 

It doesn't have anything to do with sin or feelings. I have no problem with gays having a union and any and all tax or whatever benefits heterosexual couples have. But the sacrament of marriage is partially for pro-creation which physically can only be done one way. I feel there should be equal and separate benefits for gay couples and their unions but disagree with changing the definition if marriage. And having my own opinion on the subject while respecting your right to have yours does not make me intolerant. 

This link conveys the reasoning behind my belief that children thrive best in a home with one faithful father and mother. It is so worth your time! It was created by Erika Bahr. 

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” ~Rachel Jankovic
If you are wondering what we as Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) believe in, this article called "The Divine Institution of Marriage" is put out by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and leaves no question as to what members of the Church believe in. 

Here is a video about it if you prefer that:

This beautiful document, entitled "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," additionally conveys my personal belief in the sanctity of marriage and the family order:
There is more to say and more things I could express, but for now, I would like to leave this post as it is and ask you to respectfully keep your differing beliefs to yourself unless you have a question or comment that in no way needs to be censored. Otherwise, I thankfully still have the right to monitor what is said here and I will utilize that right. 

I appreciate your tolerance of (and patience with) my beliefs. Once you have read everything on this page, I invite you to share your beliefs--but only once you fully understand where I come from. 

If you desire, here is a link from a Christian woman whom I am not acquainted with, but I appreciated her thoughts on children and the family, shared here:

"The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home."

"The family is the first essential cell of human society."
~Pope John XXIII

"Science has established two facts meaningful for human welfare: first, the foundation of the structure of human personality is laid down in early childhood; and second, the chief engineer in charge of this construction is the family."
~Meyer Francis Nimkoff

"The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest--schools, playgrounds, public assistance, and private concern--will never be enough."
~Lyndon B. Johnson 

"The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together--and that's the backbone of our whole business, catering to families--that's what we hope to do."
~Walt Disney

"If a country is to be corruption-free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the Teacher."
~Abdul Kalam

Tuesday, March 26

Food Blog (if only I had the time...)

I am seriously thinking about beginning a food blog. I do not profess to be an amazing chef--or even a "chef" at all, but thanks to Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, and Ratatouille, I think I am well on my way.

My cooking has improved significantly over this past year and no one is more surprised than me. I have always wanted to be a great cook like my Nana French and my mother, but I never quite got an opportunity to learn. For example, in high school, they shut down the cooking class the semester before I was going to take it. Despite this, the advice of my grandmother and mother (as well as the Food Network) has proved extremely useful in teaching me to cook. I must say, though, that what I've learned most from Chopped is basically that anything can be mixed with anything and somehow make a good meal. Don't quote me on that, but seriously, that's what they pretty much do every episode. 

So my thoughts are that I ought to create a little cookbook for married couples with very little cooking experience. It won't include anything too complex or too grand, just basic recipes that are really delicious and super easy to follow. Who knows? Maybe someday it will benefit our future kids when they (like us) have no idea what to make on any given weeknight.

If anyone has some good and easy recipes to share, I would really appreciate it.

The ones I have are mostly dishes like how to make meat and veggies, spaghetti with special sauce, a variety of breakfast dishes, and desserts. I'll compile them and eventually (one day...) put something together to help newly married (or newly on their own) students have a semi-decent dinner. 

What are your thoughts? 

Sunday, March 24

March Madness (Sorry, this is not about basketball ;)

This past fortnight (haha, I was going to be a normal person and say two weeks then I decided I never get to use "fortnight" so I did here) has been the craziest of 2013 so far.

To give you all a little recap, the craziness began last Tuesday (February 26th) when my mom and Donovan flew in from New Hampshire for a visit (which I had been anticipating since least).

I love, love, love having my family stay with us. My mom always is so helpful and our apartment always looks significantly cleaner when she's around. Donovan is seriously such a light in my life--he makes me laugh so much and he just has a fun, innocent attitude that makes everyone love being around him. I was so excited for him to be able to experience Utah, mostly because I knew he would like it here much more than I do and I was looking forward to seeing his reaction to the snow and mountains.

I still had to work while they visited, but it worked out well because while I was busy, they spent a day in Park City so Donovan could go skiing. While there, Donny not only met his favorite pro-skier (I can't say I knew him, but apparently he's famous), Tom Wallisch, but he also got him to autograph a picture Donny had painted of him (and conveniently had with him...), AND they skied the slopes together several times. To me, it sounds like Wallisch is a really decent guy to go skiing with a 13-year old more than just once and take several pictures with him. He has no idea how much that made Donovan's trip. My respect for the guy went up a few points for that.

Another day, we went to Hang Time gym and Dalin and Donny jumped around for a few hours while Mom and I went shopping together. I love those two boys so much! Donovan thinks Dalin is so cool but he acts all chill when he's around him. We got Krispy Kreme donuts and hot chocolate after Hang Time (yum!).

On March 1st, Dalin and I had the opportunity to go to the Provo temple and watch as his sister received her own endowment. It was very special, and so exciting to be there for her on such an important day. I love the blessings of the temple! They bring so much happiness to our lives! That night, we drove to Manti and stayed in a little motel right next to the Manti temple. We saw like infinity deer on the way there. Also, random note, it was like the best night's sleep I've had since being pregnant. My back really liked that motel bed. 

The following day, we got up early and dressed for the temple. The Manti temple is amazing! It is so beautiful and surprisingly colorful inside. I loved it so much. The sealing was wonderful. I was doing my best to remember the things that the sealer was saying to Shaina and Layton so that I could write it down later. Nearly everyone was in tears. Including Dalin, whom I have never seen cry before! When I told him that, he informed me that he cries at night when I'm asleep (ha ha). He also said that he was too happy to cry on our wedding day; he couldn't stop smiling. That made me feel good. It was wonderful being in there with my mom and all of Dalin's family members, including his grandparents and lots of his aunts from Arizona! It was a big family reunion.

The reception was back in Lehi and it was beautiful! There were so many different delicious types of cake available. We took lots of pictures and had a great time. But by the time we left, we were exhausted and happy to go home.

Two mornings later, we went to our doctor's appointment with Dr. Pace at Orem Family Medicine and he let us do a little bedside ultrasound for fun so my mom and Dalin's parents could see the baby. Jensen and Donovan got to see the baby, too, which was neat. As fun as it was, we weren't able to determine the baby's gender. We did get to watch the baby move a whole lot and even suck his/her thumb though (dang cute!), so it was worth it. Still, eager to find out the gender (especially after we had thought we'd be able to tell at the bedside), Dalin's mom and dad brought me to a fetal photo clinic at the mall to find out! I really liked the ultrasound tech there--he wasn't as rough as some others I've had and he did a good job at getting pictures of the baby. This was where he told us he was 100% sure that we are having a baby......


I couldn't believe it! I still can't sometimes! I am so excited and so surprised! Dalin and our dads called it. The moms thought it was a boy. I wasn't sure. But I am thrilled! When we found out, I had my mom and Dalin on the phone (Mom was in Park City with Donovan again, and Dalin had to be at work) and they were both so excited of course. I really wish Dalin could have seen our little girl on the screen in person though...she was sitting upside down and kicking and punching around the whole time. She is so active! The ultrasound tech poked my belly and on the screen we could see as he pushed the wall of my uterus against our little girl's bum (since she was upside down). It was so cute to see her wiggle away.

That same day (much later), we moved apartments within Wymount! We just moved from apartment 300 (3rd floor of building 5C) to 268 in 5B (2nd floor!). It took a really long time. We were blessed to have lots of help from Dalin's friends, Anthony, Jason, Daniel & Rachel, Isaac, and of course, Dalin, my mom and Donovan. (Well, and myself, though I couldn't lift a whole lot). It definitely was a huge project, especially the night before Mom and Donovan were leaving for New Hampshire :/ but I'm so glad they were there to help. My mom helped me clean a lot and she also helped organize our new kitchen before bed (which was really all we had time to do). Even filled with boxes, I love the new apartment. It is going to take a LOT of work to unpack everything though...especially with me working so much. Bringing Mom and Donovan to the airport the next day was really hard for me, but I didn't let myself think about it too much. I know I'll see her soon...probably when the baby is born.

I was happy, however that my mom made it home in time for her and Donovan to have one last night with Grandpa French before he passed away early Wednesday morning at 3:06am on 3/6 (at 36 Larch Drive I might add). He was surrounded by love and I'm just so grateful that he went peacefully. And that we knew it was coming. It would have been so much harder if he had died suddenly from a heart-attack or something where we would not have had the time to prepare. As you may already know from my other posts, I love my Grandpa French very much and although it makes me sad that he is gone from this earth, I am grateful that I had my 21+ years with him. I am also grateful to know that families are forever and I will see him again. As hard as it is, I am glad he is back to his old self and no longer so weak and uncomfortable where he is now. And he is with his parents and fraternal twin sister who died at birth, which I am sure was a wonderful reunion. I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing that we can be together again because of Him.

The next weekend, Thursday night, we left on our annual trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. It was definitely not the same as last year for a few reasons--one, I'm pregnant meaning I can't ice skate or go in the hot-tub (or even the heated pool really); two, JeNeale couldn't come because of her job and she had some preparations for the Boise reception; and three, I came down with a terrible cough and head cold right before we left and it only worsened while there. We still had fun going to all the shops we go to every year, but it was not so fun feeling so congested and gross. My cold and sore throat got so bad that we made plans to visit a doctor in Boise on our way there. Apparently I have strep and sinusitis. The reception, as beautiful as it was, was not so fun for me. Particularly because I lost my voice. But it was awesome to see Dalin's family and meet his friend, Connor. Plus JeNeale made the reception GORGEOUS. I loved the vintage furniture and the mint-themed foods. So awesome.

Anyway, with all visits, trips, moving, weddings, the passing of my grandpa, sicknesses, work, and being pregnant, you can see how our March has been a little overwhelming so far. Let's just say I am really looking forward to April and hoping it will be a little more tranquil ;)


Also, everyone keeps asking--yes we have a name for the baby that we're pretty set on, but we probably won't announce it publicly so if you really want to know, you can message me and I'll tell you that way. Otherwise, you'll just have to wait and see! ;)