Monday, November 10, 2014


We all have holes inside of us. Emotional wounds that have yet to heal. Some are there because of something someone else did, and many are the result of our own actions. Either way, they're there, and I'm here to tell you that we can't afford to waste anymore energy thinking about the why or who's fault it is.

First let me say this:
I do believe it's important to understand where our holes come from and why, but that can only get you so far--and it's not very far, trust me. I know this because I've spent the last year looking at why I have holes only to look back and see that its gotten me nowhere. I'm still here, and the holes are still there--gapping. So now? Now it's time to stop focusing on the WHY. Why? Because the energy we posses is so, so valuable and unfortunately it's not unlimited. We can only give our energy to so many things and the WHY of our wounds should no longer be a recipient. It's time we invest more into WHAT we are going to do about it and HOW. 

So now that you're done with the why (because you are...right??), you have 2 options. Choose wisely. 

1. Walk around life like a wounded bird. 
2. Fill those holes with light and let it help you guide others

*HINT: Pick the 2nd option

I think light comes from God. So essentially I'm telling you to fill yourself with God, but I realize that seems daunting or unrealistic for some of you. To be honest, when I think of it like that, it seems like too big of a task for me too. I feel like I'm too far away and too unworthy to be filled with God's light.  But then I realize I'm looking at it all wrong. I may not feel worth of God right now but I can and should feel worthy to DO Godly things. Once you start doing more of these things, you realize you're a lot closer to Him than you thought, and his light will flood your wounded soul pretty quickly. Here are a few ways to do this: 

Love everyone--and I mean EVERYONE. Not just the nice people and not just those who are easy to love. Yep, you gotta love the annoying people too. 

Serve others. Service doesn't have to be manual labor. Service can be as simple as writing a note to someone who is going through a hard time. 

Be full of gratitude. Actively seek for things throughout your day that you are grateful for. Even something as small as someone holding the door open for you. Write a few of these things down each night. Or simply say a prayer thanking God for these things. 

Love yourself in the NOW. We have to stop saving our self-love for our future, more perfect, more fit, more organized, more successful selves. We must love who we are right now or we won't have a reason to heal and improve. 

Forgive all people.  Just remember, forgiveness is a heavy task, but its lighter than holding a grudge. 

And the last idea I'm going to give seems strange but I can almost feel light flooding my soul when I do it...

SMILE MORE! Especially at strangers. It seems weird, but I can't tell you how many times my day was brightened when a stranger simply smiled at me. It's such an easy way to let God's light shine through you. 

These are just a few ways we can fill ourself with light, but I know there are more! If you have other ideas, I would love it if you left it in a comment below!

This is a picture I took over the weekend in Southern Utah. Its actually what inspired this post. Thanks for reading it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

So much more than a bracelet

I have this amazing friend. Her name is Shayli. I met about two years ago. Not long after becoming friends, I learned that she had an older sister named Chelsi (about 3 years older than us). You could tell by that way Shayli spoke of her that she truly looked up to her sister. Although I had never met Chelsi before, I was already sure of a few things. CHELSI WAS DETERMINED. If she wanted to accomplish something, she accomplished it. An example that came to mind is her determination as a track and field athlete. In high school she was determined to be the best. That hard work is shown through the many high school track records she set and finally by her making the BYU track team. CHELSI WAS A MOTIVATOR. She is one of those people that you meet, and from then on you are instantly motivated to become a better person. Not only does she care about her own goals and success, but she also cares deeply about the success of the people around her. One specific phrase that Shayli associates with her sister is "NEVER GIVE UP". She told me that's always Chelsi's advice to anyone. Something else I was able to understand about Chelsi through the words of Shayli is that CHELSI WAS SOMEONE YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE. You meet her, and from then on you gotta have her around. Just from hearing Shayli talk about her sister, I knew how amazing she was, and I hadn't even met her yet.

Unfortunately, my chance to meet her is never going to come.
(at least not on Earth)
Chelsi had just finished up her first season on the BYU track and field team (not to mention a successful season for her). Instead of going back to her St. George home, she was staying in Provo for the summer to continue training to become even stronger and faster than she already was. However, that ambition was cut short. On Friday, June 6, 2008, Chelsi was killed in a car accident that would forever change the lives of anyone who was lucky enough to come in contact with her.  (a link to the news report is at the bottom of this post)

Although I never got the chance to meet Chelsi, I consider myself so lucky to have her sister and whole family in my life. They exemplify everything that Chelsi was. They are one of the strongest families I know. Being surrounded by their families strength has been such a blessing in my life. If you meet them, you would never guess that they have been through the loss of a daughter/sister. I know one thing that keeps them going is the fact that they have the gospel in their lives.

They know that if they live righteously, they will be with her in heaven again as a whole family.

In honor of Chelsi, we wear these bracelets on our wrist. On the bracelet is her favorite advice to anyone, "NEVER GIVE UP"

I have had this band for about 2 years now, and it wasn't until a few days ago that I found more meaning for it. I was sitting at work, and I happen to glance down at my wrist and saw the bracelet. Then it really hit me that tomorrow is never promised to us. I have heard people say that before, but it never really crossed my mind that today could be my last day. Chelsi had no clue that the night she got in that car would be her last night here on earth with her family and friends. 

So I encourage you all (myself included) to try and remember the people who lose their lives everyday and what they wish they might have done or said before they died. I would never want to leave anyone hurt, so I'm working on focusing the way I treat and talk to people. Sometimes I might say something rude or upset someone I care about, but I just tell myself "I'll make it right..later" what happens when later never comes?? and that's my point.

live in such a way that will be satisfying when no more days lay ahead of you. 



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: The Good Stuff.

to see 2013 walk out the door.
 Notice that the word bitter is really tiny and the word sweet is huge. 
That more accurately describes to what extent I'm feeling each of them. 
Yep, just a little bit bitter and a lot a bit sweet, because honestly, 2013 was a roller coaster that I was well ready to get off of. 
Then again, every year seems to be a roller coaster and I really think thats how it's supposed to be, so I guess what I really mean is that I'm ready for a different roller coaster now. 

Anyway, I was looking through my pictures from the past year, and it made me realize that mixed in with all the hard stuff that happened, there was a lot of good stuff meshed in with it. So in memory of twenty thirteen, I'm going to share some of the good stuff. 

I learned to mountain bike.
Guys! It is SO fun.
If you've never tried it, I highly recommend it.
Cruising down a mountain on a bike, and not knowing if you'll actually stay on the bike or if your body is going to not-so-gently kiss the ground sounds scary, but its actually......okay yeah, it is scary. It's fun though!! 
One of the most exhilarating experiences I've ever had. 

And my mountain biking experiences wouldn't have been possible without this guy. One of the greatest human beings I have ever had the privilege of being around.

I went to Moab, Utah for the very first time. 
                                Which also included seeing Arches National park for the first time. 
                                      How have I lived in this state my whole life and never
                                                            been here before now? 
     I'm so lucy to live here! Everyone bashes Utah for its lack of cultural diversity, and I'll agree    with that, but the diversity you can find in our landscapes make up for it :)   

3 of my greatest friends asked me to be apart of 
one of the greatest days of their lives. Pretty soon, the 27 dresses movie will be my reality though. Kinda sad.  

Although it was a shameful experience to say goodbye to my team and my schooling, mid-semester, so that I could get help with my eating disorder, it was this experience that taught me what being apart of this team really means. Not only does this team root for all of the sports teams at BYU, but this team also roots for each other. I wouldn't have made it through this year with out these amazing people on my side cheering for me. There were times that I hit rock bottom and planned to just stay there, but then one of these amazing girls (or boys) would say just the right thing to pick me back up.  

In treatment I had the opportunity (a.k.a. I was FORCED) to do art on a daily basis. Prior to this, I hated art. I claimed it just wasn't my thing. But once I let go of the expectation that my art had to look professional, I secretly had a lot of fun doing it. There is something meditative about creating something that's exclusively your own.   

I discovered that even when you can't go inside the temple, there is still a very unique peace that can be found by simply being in the presence of a temple. Until the weather got awful, I liked to go and just sit on the temple grounds and write in my journal, or read. I always found the serenity that I was looking for. I encourage anyone that needs a little comfort, but can't go in the temple, to just go and sit out side of it. Here are a few of my favorite pictures I took this year at the Provo, Utah Temple. 

This year, I gained a passion for reading. I was never much of a reader before, but I decided to give it a shot.  
Had I been missing out or what?? 
reading >>>movies 

My mom was pleased to hear about my new found interest in reading because she, too, loves to read. One of my favorite memories with my mom this year was going up the Provo canyon and just reading with her by the river. Not many words were said between us, but I felt that it was the most connected I had felt to my mom in a long time.  

Originally, my plan was to get out of treatment and just work for a few months and then apply to nursing school. 
Too bad life never really follows my directions.
 I'm really glad it didn't though because instead, I got the chance to go back to BYU, graduate, and cheer for one more year. The way I had originally left BYU and my cheer team was anything but ideal, so now I get to finish the right way and I'm so incredibly thankful.

Being with a group of people who share not only my love for cheerleading but also my love for the Gospel was something I hadn't fully appreciated until this year. 
I got to travel to Notre Dame. No bid deal ;) Coolest campus I've ever seen!!

OH! But before I decided to go back and cheer, I was able to attend my first BYU football game AS A FAN! In all my years at BYU, I had never watched a game from the stands so I had to take this picture. It's very different from being on the sidelines, but enjoyable in its own way.  

The last and most recent experience I had was moving out of my moms house. 
(It's about time Tay.)
I don't have pics yet, but I'll post about it soon. For now, I'll just say that its been one of the best decisions I've made this year. I love my family to death, but there are things I have learned by moving out that I never would have learned otherwise. 
*post coming soon*

I can honestly say that I'm proud of myself and where I'm at in life right now. I have a looooong way to go and lots to learn, but I'm content with who I am and where I'm headed. I haven't felt this type of motivation and optimism about my life in years. I never would have thought that I would be ending the year with the biggest grin on my face. won't be missed but I do thank you for everything you taught me.