Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Welp. I think I am legitimately crazy. I just set my alarm for 5:30am. Why? To get up to go running with Mariss at 6. Yes, I do want to commit myself.

I'm not sure if it's in the water... all I know is that I've gone crazy.

No picture for this one. I can only imagine what a 6am run looks like.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reflection: Letter to a Girl with a Missionary

A friend of mine just sent off a missionary. She asked me how it has been... which was a wonderful opportunity for me to sit and reflect on the past 23 months [today is the one month mark!!!]. I decided that I would write this blog the way I have written Will for the past two years. In a letter form. It's generic so hopefully some girl somewhere will benefit from my words.

Dear Girl,

It really hasn’t been easy. It is an emotional rollercoaster but it has been totally worth it! It's the best thing and the hardest thing all at the same time. It's wonderfully hard.

The first 6 months for me were long. They DRAGGED. He left in June and so the rest of the summer was painful. But, once I hit the 6 month mark time flew. The last 6 months have been pretty tough as well. They say that the second year goes faster than the first but; I have found it was that middle year that I lost track of.

Some tips… lose yourself in LIVING. Your biggest regret will be looking back on the 2 years and saying “I wish I had…” even if you do end up with Elder [Name]. You will regret all the times you didn’t do anything UNLESS, of course, you enjoy that. I want to make that clear. Do what makes you happy. He is not sitting on his butt and I guarantee he doesn’t expect you to be either. Take chances and travel. I went to Ecuador and did a service trip. I was able to get a glimpse at the 100% lifestyle that William was living. I fell in love with the country, the people and I have such a stronger desire, love and testimony of service.

Go out on dates. It can be hard. Dating can be hard. Go when you are ready. If you are ready after 2 months go. If it takes you 6 months, a year, or never that’s fine too. Your relationship is between the two of you. Don’t let other people tell you what is right or wrong. Just be happy! If you know that what you are doing right, who can tell you any differently?
 But, don’t tell him about them. You may say you won’t date but, don’t be afraid of a first date. Some of them are really fun. Be upfront. Some boys will hear missionary and turn and run while others will try and “win you over.” Always be honest with the ones who stay. If they have no chance let them know. But, do it kindly. It doesn’t always end badly. I know that from experience. Make friends. When you go into a new ward don’t broadcast you have a “missionary.” For me, I kept it on the DL for the general public. Most people just treat and look at you differently. A lot of guys aren’t interested in even trying to be friends. So, just reserve it for the people who mean the most to you. It’s tough.

One day you’re on top of the world and the next you’re missing him so bad you just want to crawl under your bed and stay there. That’s normal. Some weeks you’ll live letter to letter. Try to keep him focused. As much as you think you are a distraction you aren’t. Tell him about your thoughts, feelings and hopes! He will do the same. Ask him about his experiences and thoughts. As you get to know him better the letters will become that much better. Just because they aren’t always 100% gospel oriented doesn’t mean he isn’t “focused.” What William and I said from the get go was that we were excited to get to know each other on a whole different level. This was without any social or physical interaction. I would not trade the feeling I get when I see his handwriting on an envelope for really anything. I love it. I feel like I have gotten to really know HIM. And not just what kind of music or movies he likes. But, the real intent of his heart. It’s wonderful.

Packages can get expensive! Anything you put in the package will likely cost less than the actual cost of postage. William is in South America. They worship the Virgin Mary. So, apparently putting her picture on the outside of the box will keep people from opening it. He teases me for doing that… but, they have all made it there thus far! Also, they love socks. They walk a lot and there is nothing that can be said for a nice, comfortable pair of socks. Food. Non-perishable and candy is ALWAYS a good idea. Let’s see… I did a couple of different package ideas. For Christmas I mailed him a box with 12 like Christmas themed paper bags with a note card on the outside. On each notecard I wrote “On the __ day of Christmas…” I made them rhyme and they all had to do with things he could use there, little toys (P-days can get boring) and just random things. The dollar store becomes a good hang out spot. Most of what you send him should be small if it is meant to be kept. He has all of his clothes and belongings to bring from area to area and limited bag space. So, most of the little “knick-knacks” I sent, I said enjoy these and then give to a little kid who has nothing to do, needs to focus in church, did good in a lesson or is alone in the street. For Valentine’s Day I sent him chocolate, socks, and a deck of cards and on each I put 1 thing I loved about him. So, he had 52 things I loved about him. I tried to keep them cute, sweet and nothing super mushy. Um, pictures. They love pictures. On the back of pictures I always write a cute little something or a summary. He does the same. For his one year mark I decorated a box (this one is extensive!) Ha. So, I took a white box and decorated it. Then I wrote 52 letters. They weren’t like 4 pages each. Most started with a quote and had some sort of theme. So like Love- with a quote. Or Hope with a quote. And then I just put how I felt about each of those things and of course ended with how great he was or how I loved what he was doing and how proud of him I was etc… I sealed each of them and wrote the Monday to be opened on the front. So, this upcoming Monday he has a letter that is for 5/20/13. It was just a fun subconscious way for him to count down. He started with 52 and after this Monday he will have 4 left. The last letter is to be opened on the plane ride home. It just talks about how excited I am to see him, how great he is, how proud of him I am and how I really am so glad he valiantly dedicated an entire two years of his life to such a noble cause.

A big thing that we both have stressed is obedience. Obedience brings blessings but, strict obedience brings miracles. And so, for that reason I have always expected him to keep the mission rules as best he can especially where I am concerned!

Oh! Tell your friends how much you miss him. Not him. It is ok to say miss you but, don’t go into too much detail. There have been many times I have gone on a long drive just to cry or think. But, I haven’t told William about those. It would make it harder on him if he knew that it was hard for me! That is also a common misconception. It is ten times harder for the girl than it is for the missionary. They have a distraction. They have something to channel their mind, soul and energy into. We have nothing. We have school and the day to day activities. Work on finding things to occupy your time. I was very blessed to find good girl friends that enjoyed just goofing off. None of us were looking for marriage and so we all just had a blast.

A strength for me has been his family. As I have gotten to know them, I have become closer to him. They are some of the most important people in his life and they have become some of the most important in mine. They make it easier. They are going through just what you are. Rely on them. They can be a great comfort and so kind. I can and will always love his family.

Again, find opportunities to serve. Don’t get caught up in the fact that he is gone. Don’t dwell on it. It won’t change anything. Through all the heartache, William (and Elder [Name]) are exactly where we want them to be. LIVE YOUR LIFE. Travel. Learn. Grow. Make relationships. Throw yourself into your callings. Get involved at school. Make good friends. Make memories. I have gone on dates. I have made amazing friends. I have become a better person. I have strengthened my testimony. I have traveled. I have served. Even though for 2 years at BYU I didn’t have a “boyfriend” I never felt like I wasted my time. I spent the two years finding out more about myself. Who I am. What I need. What I enjoy. You really get a good opportunity to stop being ‘you’ and boyfriend and just be ‘you’. It is so great to discover that everything you want in life, your happiness and your success is, has and always will be in your hands.

I can’t stress enough improving yourself. Rely on the Lord. Pray. It’s what he is doing. You want him to come back different. You want to be different when he comes back. While he is gone he is improving himself. Make sure you are doing the same.

You can do it. It’s hard. But, it will be so worth it. Even if you don’t end up together. And you find someone else. Because the time you spent while Elder [Name] was gone you were bettering yourself. So ultimately either way you will be a stronger, smarter person! I won't try to paint it easier than it was. It was difficult. There are a lot of hard days. A lot of days. And by a lot I really do mean a lot. Sometimes when you are missing him like crazy the hardest part is to just get up and appear happy. But, there is a reason to be happy in every day. Some days you have to work hard to find it. But, if you look hard enough you'll find it. It's tough. It's tough. It's tough. Well, for me it was. Just ask my mom. 

You will always be grateful you took the time to improve. I have one month left. I have had a lot of time to reflect. I am so excited to see him. I have this incredibly strong feeling deep in my heart that we will end up together. But, on the VERY off chance we don’t I don’t regret anything about these two years. William always refers to his mission as “the best two years FOR his life.” I have tried to make it the best two years for mine as well. 

Love you girl. You can do this.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Up and Running...

While the title of this post might allude that I have started exercising sadly (and happily!), it does not. Instead it refers to the total makeover of my once antiquated and unkempt blog.

I am proud to introduce the new look. All thanks to one of my bestys: Emma. 
You can check out her blog too:

Anyway, this is kinda monumental. It's second only to my birthday. Anyway, I love it. And I love her. Welcome back to 2013 blog. 

Emma is the one next to me in red. Love her. Love them.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Joy: The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good. 

Everyone defines happiness differently. A paycheck on Friday. Long bike ride with a friend. Winning their basketball game. Getting a good grade on a hard test. Having a baby. Receiving a present.

Today I couldn't be happier. Today, for me, joy came in the form of a skype phone call. Today, I owe it all to this guy right here:

37 days folks.