Monday, July 30, 2012

Girl's Camp, and other thoughts

This past week I was able to go to Girl's Camp. And it was a blast.

We had a blast at skit night - and oh, the stake leaders. Those women are hilarious and such good examples. Their skit was absolutely the funniest thing I have ever seen. And the girls.... Oh, the girls. So cute, so innocent, so fun. I had a blast crafting with Ellie (a Beehive in our ward) one afternoon. Camp crafts are the best. The food was excellent. There were showers (!!! what? you don't have showers at camp) - and no, I did not shower. I was not even prepared for there to be one! Ha! The spiritual program the last night that was put together by the stake leaders and the 6th year girls was wonderful, as was the message shared by our lovely stake president.

Our theme was Shine On! in tandem with the mutual them this year - "Verily I say unto you all, arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations". (D&C 115:5) and I thought it was a great one.

Being at Girl's Camp is always great, but is a completely different experience as a leader. I still don't feel old enough to be a leader! But it was still a good time.

I camped with the stake leaders and the 6th year girls, who were just the best girls ever. So in tune with the Spirit (both groups). And it made me reminisce on my own camp leader year - I was technically a 5th year - but the same age as these 6th year girls - about to enter my senior year. My YCL year was my most memorable at camp. It was so amazing, and wonderful. That summer was one of my favorite summers. (Although the summer before my junior year was equally as amazing - but that is a story for another time.) That summer, I was 16, almost 17. I was a YCL at Girl's Camp and had a fantastic time spending time with the other YCL's and leaders, getting to know them, planning camp activities, etc. I also went to EFY that summer, which was another amazing experience. That was the summer that my testimony that I was (am) a daughter of God and that He knows and loves me was really solidified.
During the testimony meeting that last night of Girl's Camp this year, I bore my testimony to those 6th year girls, and told them about the summer I had when I was their age, and how wonderful it was, and how happy and excited I am for them to continue growing and learning. I bore my testimony of what I learned that summer, and how the YW program has helped me in my life.

I do know, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father knows us personally, by name, and that He loves us individually. I am grateful for the YW program, for the values it teaches. I love this Gospel.

Our stake president spoke to us, like I mentioned before. He spoke about how our decision don't just affect us, they affect all those around us. The same thing is with our gifts that we receive - they are not to bless our life, they are given to us to bless others' lives. He told us that we are partners with God. He ended his remarks by giving the girls a blessing, by the authority he has as a set apart stake president. He blessed them with strength and power, and gifts/promptings. It was a really special message.

In closing, here are our two camps songs.
Shine On, found in the LDS Children's Songbook.
And then Pass It On, by Kurt Kaiser. (Enjoy the images and folksy sounding tune.) I love this song.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Today Pocatello celebrated Pioneer Day. K and I went to the parade, which was fun.... But really hot. I also forgot my camera, but we did see some cool stuff. Some huge horses, some of the Indians from the Sho-Ban tribe (I assume...) and then a bunch of stakes and wards did floats. I can't believe how much candy is thrown out at these things. The kids in front of us had huge bags of candy - it's pretty much like Halloween in July.

I will admit, I was a bit grumpy because it was hot, I was hungry, and I wasn't feeling too well.... But we still had a good time. We were amazed by how many people came out to watch it.

In other news, last night we went and saw The Dark Knight Rises, and it was SO GOOD. I expected it to be good, but I wasn't sure exactly what to expect plot wise.... and let me tell you, I was blown away. I know a lot of people (especially critics) haven't loved it. But I don't care. It was a masterpiece in my mind. I cried multiple times, as well. (I love Alfred with all my heart.) The ending was perfect, in my opinion. Usually Kyle likes to leave as soon as the credits start rolling, but we had to stay in our seats so I could get my composure because I was basically sobbing because it had just been so sad, and then so happy, and then the ending was perfect, and this was the end of the trilogy so I was sad. Guys. I love my HP as you know, but I love Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy just as much, or just about. Amazing. Go see it.

Nothing else is really going on.... This past week was a regular one of work, and church stuff for us. This coming week is girl's camp for me, woohoo! Out of the next 3 week, or 21 days, I work 7 days. (Technically 6 full days and 2 half days...). Pretty good deal. In TWO WEEKS we will be in California. YAY. I am so excited :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happiness 101

We had a great time in Yellowstone in case you couldn't tell by the pictures! I love spending time with Britt and I love Yellowstone so obviously it was great.

So I don't write very often on here, but I might try and write a little more often because believe it or not, I do actually have some things to say. Actually I have quite a bit to say but I'm a really private person and I don't share my opinion unless I think people will value it. I'm trying to share what I think more often because I think my beliefs have merit. I'm trying to make a concerted effort to stand up for what I believe in (or maybe that should be Who I believe in) regardless of what other people think so I guess writing some of what I think on this blog will be a small part of that. Mostly my posts will probably be things I think about in regards to counseling and working with other people. So here it goes (if you just read this blog because you love Britt and would really rather not read what I write, I apologize in advance).

Isn't it strange we spend so much time talking about things that matter very little to us and so little time talking about thing that matter a great deal to us? Like talking about the weather or sports instead of how we really feel about things.... You know what I mean?

Anyhow today I want to share a little bit about what I have learned about happiness in my 26 years on this Earth. It is incredibly easy to look to the future and say I will be happy when _______.  I first became aware of this as a missionary although I'm certain I have been doing it for longer than that. In high school it was probably something like  I'll be happy when I'm on the basketball team, or when I have a girlfriend. As a missionary it was I'll be happy when I speak the language or I am the senior companion. Yet it seems like when those things happened I always replaced them with something else in the future and I was never really happy being where I was!

Now, I often catch myself thinking, I'll be happy when I have a job with a salary and benefits, or when I own a house and feel secure, or when I'm a dad or..... you get the picture. The point is I'm still trying to learn to be happy where I am right now! In graduate school, in debt, living in a basement apartment...Why is it so easy to think of all the reasons not to be happy when I have far more reasons to be happy?

I have a fabulous life and really most of us do. I hear some pretty horrible things on a pretty regular basis. People do some really heinous things to each other, but I believe happiness is a choice that no one can take away from us. No matter where we are and what has happened to us we can all choose to be happy. We can find joy in the journey.

It doesn't mean that we're going to be happy all the time. If you are happy all the time you are fake and if I was your counselor I'd probably do my best to make you cry. Nothing helps me to be happy like a good cry every once in a while. Life is full of ups and downs, you just have to love it for what it is. Anyhow, I want to do better at choosing to be happy and I hope as a counselor and as a human being I can help others to do the same. Stay classy and thanks for stopping by!

Oh and good luck on your quest to find happiness. Take time to make sure you are looking in the right places.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Yellowstone 2012

K and I took a little vacay this past weekend, and went to Yellowstone! We both took Friday off, and we were able to leave on Thursday night. We stayed at a campground in Island Park that night, then drove up to Yellowstone Friday morning. We spent Friday and Saturday nights there, then drove home Sunday, taking a few pit stops in the Tetons on the way. 

We had a great time - and it was especially nice to spend so much time together! We also learned that our $20 tent from BB&B is not so waterproof, and we will mostly likely be investing in a better one in the near future. However, we survived to tell the tale. we also (re)learned that Brittanny is very allergic to bug bites and should always be doused in bug spray.

And now, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (with the help of captions). 

Big Springs in Island Park

Us at Big Springs

Artist Paint Pots - Kyle's favorite.

Old Faithful

Me with Old Faithful

Kyle with Plume Geyser

After eating delicious ice cream at the Old Faithful Yellowstone General Store


Hanging out in the car during a thunderstorm.

We were busting out Adele, Cee Lo, etc.

Bald eagle right by the road.

The Dragon Mouth... Cauldron... thing. Love it.

Beautiful view!

Tower Falls

K at the Brink of the Lower Falls

Lower Falls.

Upper Falls.

K after hiking down Uncle Tom's Trail.

Favorite view.

Me and my favorite view. 

He's handsome.

Our buffalo friend.

The picture you've all been waiting for.... My swollen knee and calf.

Me at Abyss Pool.

Kyle wanted a picture in the mist.

Another cool pool. They go so deep!

Me and my other favorite view - Yellowstone Lake!

Other  pretty little falls.

Jackson Lake.

Me at Jenny Lake.

 K and I at Jenny Lake.

So pretty.

We're silly.

One more pretty shot for the road.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Death is Not the End

This weekend has borne some bad news. On Friday I found out that an old friend of mine from Lehi passed away on the 1st from heart failure. I haven't seen Robbie since 10th grade, and I haven't talked to him for a few years, but I know he will be missed. He had a contagious smile, and was the first boy to ever hold my hand. Then today I got the news that a friend of mine from high school, David, died early this morning in a motorcycle accident. David was always smiling, always cheerful, and will be missed by everyone who ever came in contact with him. We were in multiple extracurricular activities together, and it was always a great time when David was involved because of his contagious, happy spirit. Both were 23 when they died.

My heart and prayers goes out to both of their families. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that there is life after death, and that we can all be together again after this life. I'm grateful for the Gospel in my life, that has taught me these truths, so that while death is still sad, and those who pass on will be missed, I know that death is not the end.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our Fourth of July

We had a really fun Fourth of July this year! Kyle started the day off nice and early by getting up to help the Scouts put out flags. I was able to sleep in a little longer. After I woke up we went over to our church for the stake pancake breakfast, yum! Our stake president, President Bernt, was cooking up pancakes while wearing an apron that said, "I specialize in Bernt cooking." We found it hilarious.

After the breakfast we went back home, and set up our chairs in front of our house for the parade. We felt pretty lucky that our house was right where the parade passes by. I'm so used to the parade in Provo that I found it so strange there weren't people crammed up and down the street 2 hours+ before the parade started. But it was nice, and not as stressful. While waiting for the parade we just got to enjoy the nice weather and each other. The parade wasn't anything special, pretty small town, and I loved it. No fancy floats here.

My handsome man and me waiting for the parade to start.

Oh, just me.
The flag!
Cool patriotic truck.
One of my favorite sayings.
Gotta love this "float"...
Yes, that is Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty.
My favorite float - McKee's!
Old fire truck.

Pink car!

Old streetcar.
Fire truck!
After the parade we had lunch - hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, Mountain Dew, and jello poke cake. Then we did some cleaning, took a nap, and then watched Glory and The Patriot on AMC. I hadn't seen Glory before.... It was good, but sad, of course. And I love The Patriot. So much. 

After some dinner, we drove up to a park and watched the Pocatello City fireworks. It was so nice to lay out on a blanket, with music playing, chatting with Kyle, and watching fireworks.

I love the Fourth of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


It's July? What? How did this happen?

.... We've lived in Pocatello for almost a year, and I've worked at SOH for 6 months. Kyle is half way done with his masters program. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?

I've been a terrible blogger lately, again.

BUT, the next month has some very exciting plans so I will have exciting things to blog about soon. Also, because of said exciting plans, I only have one full 5 day work week in the next 6 weeks. Yeah, buddy.

This week: tomorrow is the 4th. No work. Play time for K and I. Excitement.
Next week: Yellowstone Thursday night - Saturday.
Week of the 16th: my full work week.
The next week: Girl's Camp! That entails having half of Wednesday off, driving to camp, spending two nights up there, and transporting girls home Friday morning. Yes.
The week after that: we leave for California on Friday. And then will be in California until the next Saturday.

Holy cow, I am so excited for this month/the beginning of August. My life basically rocks.

On a more serious note, I am blown away by  how many fires there have been lately. In Utah, in Colorado, and here in Pocatello. We had a fire last week in south-east Pocatello, up in the foothill subdivisions. The fire destroyed and/or damaged 66 houses. Over 1,000 were evacuated. Here, in little Pocatello. It makes me even more immensely grateful for our home. And the things we fill it with. Keep those affected by the fire in your prayers. (I hope I used the right affected....?)

Also, being in Young Women's is the greatest thing to happen, ever. (Except meeting and dating and marrying and living with Kyle.) I learn so much from these young women, and I learn so much preparing lessons, and activities for them. I learn so much as I learn how to be a good role model and example for them. The values and principles that we teach in YW are really so important. The decisions they make now really will effect their future. (Again, effect? .... that is one thing I never learned.) Even though I have only been out of YW a mere 5 years, I can see what a difference those things I learned in YW have made in my life. I am so blessed to be a part of that organization, again. I am working on earning my leader Personal Progress award... And again, the projects and activities they have the girls do are so inspired. My testimony continues to strengthen as I learn side by side the girls and other leaders, and as I work on the things they are also working on. I love them.

Now, it's time to wrap up this blog post, my lunch break is over.