Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Life isn't ever quite like you expect.

At least mine hasn't been. My mom just passed away last month. I still at times don't feel like it's real. It was a sudden death, heart-attack. I think this one is going to take me some time. At least with this death unlike the death of my dad... I have the support and tools to grieve properly. I am better able to understand and analyze my emotions and feelings. I have a wonderful counselor/therapist who I visit with, I have a wonderful family, and a fabulous ward and bishop, all of which have helped me, and I'm sure will continue to do so. 
This is crazy. I can't believe I'm blogging about my mom! 
I am so very grateful for all I have learned and grown in this past month. I have felt the spirit so much more intensely than I ever have before. I thought I knew angels existed before... Now I really do know! I have been uplifted and guided. I have been led to the very people I needed to help me with the difficult and confusing things I now have to face... And I have been overwhelmed by all of the love and power/protection I have felt from prayers offered in my behalf. I would hear others bear testimony of that power, and how they feel it, and I always kinda scoffed at that... Thinking they were just saying what sounds good. Now I know better. I immediately after receiving a blessing after my mom's passing felt that protection, and out pouring of love and strength... I couldn't have made it through those first few days without it. God literally was answering prayers, and giving me additional strength. I felt it. I know sounds crazy to some... But it was one of the most powerful things I've ever felt. 
So, I thank you. I thank each and every person who prayed for me and my family. I thank you for your prayers on the behalf of so many others. We may not be in-tune, or as sensitive to that added strength or power, whatever it may be according to our needs... But that power is real! Very real! And I know that God hears! He answers! And He loves all of his children. 
So even in all of the hurt, sorrow, and pain... I am grateful for what I have felt, and what I have learned.... I am a better person because of it. 
I won't complain... In the end it will all be sorted... And It will all make sense. 
I am okay, and I will grieve as long as it takes... And you know what? That is just fine... It is okay to feel things! I will cry, I will laugh, I will get angry, and I won't feel bad for doing so. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Surprise!!!! I'm meant to be with these little people! I was called today and set apart as a nursery worker. As long as I can be surrounded by innocence and sweet souls I'm gonna be fine.
I have been so blessed to be in this ward among so many beautiful souls. I feel so loved and valued. I have a hard time thinking I'd ever have to leave. My God has blessed me.
I have a fabulous job where I have gotten to know some fabulous people.
I have an incredible family that are close by.
I have been blessed with talents, a testimony, and a love for others.
I am never alone, and when I fall, I have angels that help me get back up. Life is good!

Oh my little blog....

Last week I was surprisingly released, or as I've joked, 'fired' from primary. I definitely cried over that. I love my little sunbeams and would be happy having that calling forever. The unconditional love, excitement for life, and innocence, lifted me up and gave me extra incentive to make it to church. Especially on those days I really didn't want to go.
Maybe this is one of those times where God is pushing me out of my comfort zone into a new challenge so I can learn and grow. Bleck!!! Sometimes that's just no fun.
Whatever happens, I know God's hand is in it, and everything will turn out alright, whether I deserve it or not!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer's End... Angels come in all shapes and sizes...

I have had quite the eventful summer. It has been full of fun, family & friends, cooking/baking, weddings, and strengthening relationships, and learning.

I have been in my ward now for almost a year. I absolutely love my ward, and am so grateful that I ended up here, and that Elyse and I decided that we would go to separate wards. Not because we needed space... but we needed space! We both thought it would be good to separate our identities a little, and give a chance for others to get to know each of us as individuals. I was leaning a bit to heavily upon her for my social existence... I still kind of do, but not as much as before. Now that I am not able to comfortably lean upon her to get to know people, it is all up to me to reach out to others in my own ward and social sphere... maybe sign up for institute again!?

Luckily for me I was called to be a sunbeam teacher. This has been the sweetest most uplifting calling I have had. I get to spend time with little rambunctious 3-4 year olds, full of personality, who also have so much love and goodness about them that they give freely. Every week I am blessed by their love and absolute acceptance of me. It lifts me up and helps me get through my week. This calling has been one of the Lord's tender mercies for me. He really does care, and helps me. Angels come in all shapes and sizes!

Cutest sunbeam class ever!
My sunbeams goofing off during our lesson!

In July I had the opportunity to be one of the Leaders at girls camp. I was in charge of the food. (Of course!) As we were working together to make the camp experience memorable, fun and spiritual, I was able to make some really wonderful/remarkable friendships. My definition of who I can be friends with has changed in part because of this. Each leader is at a different place in life, and have experienced so many different things. As I got closer to these amazing women I felt strengthened and inspired. They made me want to rise up and be better... to stand in holy places and be not moved! I am grateful for them and the lessons they taught me and love the shared. During camp I also was able to spend some time with the girls, making crafts, helping with the faith walk, playing with marshmallow guns, and hearing their testimonies in their actions as well as in word. I had a hard time remembering names. I really wanted to know each of the girls by name, and as I prayed about it I knew somehow I would be able to learn them all. I was able to help the girls come up with one of their cheers for  devotional, and during that time I was able to write down their names and associate faces with names.... I got it down, and was able to call each girl by name by the end of camp. Even in small and simple things, the Lord is aware of us and willing to help us when we ask. I am so grateful I did ask, and that he answered.

A few other things happened in July. Among them I had a birthday. I turned 29. The oldest I have ever been!!! haha! Cheesy... yes, I know! But I did determine that I wanted to make this last year of my 20's the best year ever. (so far so good!) I want to get everything organized and figured out... mentally, spiritually, and physically. I've made some goals, and I am working on accomplishing them. They are of a more personal nature, and there are a lot of them, so I won't share them all. But some of the goals I do have are to be more socially active, aware of others, and to make some new friends.
That's a good start right!!!

Me at 29! I hardly look it right?!
Another July happening, or happenings, are that I was able to work on and decorate some incredible wedding cakes, for some incredible people. I made a cake for Reyna, my new cousin-in-law.... I don't know how that works exactly, but she's incredible, funny, and cute. We'll keep her! Her cake was simple white tiered cake with purple ribbon. Another cake I did was for my Beautiful cousin Annemarie. Her cake is my favorite of all time....(that I've done) It was elegant, classy, and so much fun to do. My best one so far! It was incredibly awesome to be able to be a part of their special day's and to put some of my baking/decorating skills to good use. I want to be able to do more of this... I love and miss baking.

Reyna and Joseph's Wedding cake!

Wedding cake at the Provo Library
Reception hall

My Favorite Wedding Cake so Far

Close up of the back

Reflection of cake

More of my favorite cake

The whole enchilada 

Early August my family us "Odd Todd's" we had a shindig- or our very first family reunion. There was some swimming involved, good food, (duh!) a few bees, some sun, a few roller-coasters, a soon to be sister-in-law Jenifer, (congrats Michael!) a cute belly bump, (my nephew to be) and a whole bunch of laughs and giggles.... Hopefully not to many tears! haha! I know I had a good time, and I am so glad that we all could get together and spend time with one-another. I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!

Michael and Jenifer
ELYSE! Need I say more?
Kyra and My mom, being silly at Lagoon

Taylor and Kyra on a ride at Lagoon

Amber taking me to the BEST burger Place EVER!
The end of August, and the end of my summer I was able to hop a plane (which isn't my favorite thing at all!) to Maryland to spend some time with my BEST FRIEND Amber before she got married. She is my favorite person ever... well one of them... :) She took me to this awesome burger place that had the most awesomest of awesome burgers EVER! Okay, so at first it didn't really sound super great, but after the first bite I was hooked, LINE and SINKER!! Even before I was done with it I was craving it! And CURSE it all, this was her plan all along, I know it!, I can only get that burger in Maryland.... boooo! sad face! The best I can do is try to recreate it. So there will be a burger making extravaganza in the near future... 'cuz I'm STILL craving that burger. She also took me to a few cupcake shops, some bakeries, and an incredible chocolatier/truffle place. Those chocolates were amazing, shiny, beautiful, decadent, and oh soooo good! The cupcakes were tasty too! I also got to spend some time (like 5 hrs) in  Wegman's where she works. What an INCREDIBLE grocery store!

Angel Cake's
These cupcakes were soooooo good!

The Perfect Truffle
(and they were!)

I really had the time of my life during this vacation! I was able to help her with a lot (more than I thought I would) I'm so glad I was there. I am so grateful that I sucked it up and made it to my best friend's wedding. I was able to get to know her parents, Eric (her Hubby), and Madison (My new friend that I'm stealing from Amber), so much better. I've officially yet unofficially been adopted into Amber's family... I'm okay with that, cuz she's the same with my family! BEST beginning of my vacation ever!!

DC Temple
Amber and Eric
Amber, her Grandma, Eric
(I love her Grandma!)

After all the wedding shenanigans, I was dropped of at the bus to New York. (Thanks Madison!) In New York, I was picked up by my good friend and former bishop, Stephen Weber. (who I think in another life was a race-car driver!) He really liked driving in New York.... crazy I know! I spent the rest of my awesome vacation with him and his wife Evelyn. (Who I adore!) They took me to the institute/church building for Yale campus where he works. They also took me to Boston. I was able to see some incredible history sites, and yummy bakeries! I loved spending time with them, and cooking with Evelyn. We made a beautiful tasty paella, and a Watermelon salad. It was perfect! I think Paella is one dish that gets better every time I make it. Thank you Evelyn and Steve for making my time out east so special and memorable!

(That I made with Evelyn)
View of Boston From the Harbor

I had a really wonderful and memory-making filled summer. I've made good friends, strengthened family and friendships, and have so much more to be grateful for. It's been a great Summer... now onto a fantastic fall!

Lemon cupcakes

Elyse's Birthday Cake
Butter Lemon Raspberry Filled cake

Wedding Cake I made for a client: Emelia

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bondage: Addictions

Mosiah 24:14
   And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

God loves all of his children, and only desires our true lasting happiness. I have felt at times as if I were in bondage, burdened by the weight of sin and guilt... also by my own human desires and lack of will. I still do at times, but I have also felt the joy and freedom that only comes when applying the blood of Christ in my life, and by striving day by day, sometimes minute by minute to always remember him and not give up hope. I pray that I can be strengthened in my weaknesses and temptations; be a witness of him, and know Him and know with that surety that He is always with me.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hope for all the blessings of exaltation.

"A lady came into our office the other day and asked to see me on a private matter. She informed me that she felt very badly, because her opportunities for getting a husband had not been favorable. … She wanted to know what her condition would be in the other life, if she did not succeed getting a husband in this life. I suppose this question arises in the hearts of our young people. … I desire to give a little explanation for the comfort and consolation of parties in this condition. There is no Latter-day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive. … People who have no opportunity of marrying in this life, if they die in the Lord, will have means furnished them by which they can secure all the blessings necessary for persons in the married condition. The Lord is merciful and kind, and He is not unjust. There is no injustice in Him; yet we could scarcely look upon it as being just when a woman or a man dies without having had the opportunity of marrying if it could not be remedied in the other life. There would be injustice in that, and we know that the Lord is not an unjust being. My sister Eliza R. Snow, I believe, was just as good a woman as any Latter-day Saint woman that ever lived, and she lived in an unmarried state until she was beyond the condition of raising a family. … I cannot for one moment imagine that she will lose a single thing on that account. It will be made up to her in the other life, and she will have just as great a kingdom as she would have had if she had had the opportunity in this life of raising a family." http://lds.org/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-lorenzo-snow/chapter-9-sacred-family-relationships.p14,p15?lang=eng

Excerpt from Lorenzo Snow church manuel

Don't get me wrong. In posting this it is in no way showing that I don't think I will marry in this life. Quite the opposite. I believe I will get married sometime in this life. I have a brightness of hope. Even still I find it marvelous that ALL opportunities to receive All blessings will be given to ALL the children of God. All that is required of us is to live worthy and do all we can to come close to the father. He is a just merciful and fantastic God. I take comfort in that knowledge of his goodness.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I'm so happy to be a primary teacher. I am so much in love with my ward and my callings.
I had an experience with a couple of the three year olds as I was teaching. I was talking about the resurrection and trying to help them understand that if somebody we loves dies we will be able to see the again, and be with them again because of the resurrection. I shared with them in some simple terms about my dad dying, and that I knew I would see him again and be able to hug him again because of the resurrection. A couple of them (the ones paying attention) got quiet, and came over to me and wrapped their little arms around me. It was one of the sweetest tenderest moments I have experienced. I am so very grateful for my knowledge of the gospel, and for a loving heavenly father who puts me exactly where I need to be so I can gain the experiences and tender mercies necessary to make it back to him. I'm so grateful for all that I am learning. And I seem to be in need of learning...cuz it just keeps coming.