Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Power of Love is the Sweetest Thing

Alice & Marion Gleason

So normally I do not post personal family things on my blog, but this really touched me. Today I had the opportunity to visit my Grandma (my dad's mom) in the ICU in Orlando. While undergoing chemo, she suffered a heart attack which resulted in a stroke and left her unable to speak.

When I entered the hospital with my family, we met up with my Grandfather who updated us on her recovery progress. He informed us that she was beginning to say Marion (my grandfather's name), Mark (my dad's name) and Mike (one of his brothers). Then, his eyes filled with tears as he added she was also saying 'I love you'.

I got to spend time, stroking my grandma's arm and watching her observe everyone while remaining silent  (a rare state for Gleasons to be in). I could tell by the way she looked at my dad, my sister and I, my mom and my Aunt Melonie that she was exceedingly joyful. I also could see the amount tof love and respect that my Grandparents shared for one another. I always knew they loved each other, but I never really saw it until I saw my Grandfather look at his dear wife today. My heart was touched.

He told us about the prayers he said when he figured out what was going wrong, and about all of the care he's been giving my grandmother since she was diagnosed with cancer just a short time ago. The spirit of love was in that room today, and I know that it's what's keeping my Grandma going. Just today, being surrounded by some of her children and grandchildren helped her gain a little bit more strength. She was almost completing a few sentences by the time we left!

The power of love, true love, for family and friends is really amazing, and after today, I believe it can work miracles. I sure love my family, and I am so grateful that they're mine! Nothing beats getting to see them and laugh with them, or even just sit in the same room with them! Both sides of my family have brought me mass amounts of joy and blessings and I am truly grateful for the Lord's plan which will keep us together for all eternity!

I hope all of you who read this are really enjoying your holidays! Life is fragile, but it's also beautiful! Don't spend a moment forgetting to smile! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home Cookin'

I don't care what anyone says. I'm a southerner.

On a side note: 50 posts! Woo-hoo!

One Day

Go figure I fall in love with a song I had no idea was in that stupid movie until I watch the music video. Aside from the fact that it will now forever be linked to Twilight (gag), this song pulls on all the right heart strings for me. My favorite line (aside from the chorus) :

I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath,
Every hour,
Has come to this.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Life's Lessons

Recently a good friend of mine got engaged to the love of her life. I got to sit and listen to her gush about his cute proposal, the beautiful ring, finding ‘the dress’, and the excitement she has to spend the rest of her life- no eternity- with her best friend. While I couldn’t be happier for her (don't get me wrong, I am super freaking happy for her), sometimes I find myself resenting others because they have the one thing I want- true (true true true) love.

Most people who read this blog know me and know what a “hopeless romantic” I am. My heart skips beats when Taylor Swift belts out “He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said ‘Marry me Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone, I love you and that’s all I really know’” in Love Story. I melt at the sight of a man, particularly one I fancy, holding flowers for me. I practically survive off chick flicks. I swoon at the thought that one day I will see it in his eyes that no matter how dorky I can be (and let me tell you… I can be dorky), how angry I might make him, how ridiculous my overreactions get, he will always, always love me. ME. (Let's face it, I love love!)

For some reason though, I’m struggling finding him- that one guys who is supposed to feel the same, who is supposed to want to be with me all of the time. Want to hold me. Want to dance with me in the rain. Want to look at me the way Jim looks at Pam, the way Michael looks at Holly, the way Beast looks at Belle, the way Mr. Darcy looks at Elizabeth the way my dad looks at my mom (but not the way Edward looks at Bella. I’m good, thanks).

This is where the point I’m going to make comes in. No matter how much I seek after this, dwell on it, hope for it, day dream about it, I’ve come to face the fact that can’t actually have it until I’m ready- and this is where I pose the question: am I? I sure would like to think I am, I mean heck, I was engaged not too long ago! My problem seems to be that I keep leaving out the key factor in this all: the Lord.

The Lord loves me, as he loves all of his children; however, he has a special way of loving me. That’s called ‘Bailey is super stubborn, so I’m going to teach her a little something called ‘patience’ because she can’t seem to wrap her thick head around the concept’. Now, I’m sure he thinks that in a much… kinder, more loving manner, but he thinks it none-the-less.

Sunday was a great day. One girl in my ward stood and bore a beautiful testimony in which she said (something along the lines of) patience shows the Lord you are willing to follow his will and accept the fact that he knows best. It’s a sign that you trust him and are willing to let things happen at a time when he knows is best for you.

Man did that hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that I spend so much of my time worrying and wanting and fretting that I lose myself in my daydreams and I forget the more important things in life. I rush headfirst into things, not thinking twice about the consequences my decisions can bring. Look where that lands me- single, unhappy, and learning a really hard lesson for the umpteenth time.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. I do it because I know that I am not alone in this. While I do have my own unique problems, trusting in the Lord is something a lot of people (I think) struggle with. I figured that by sharing my epiphany, I could help anyone out there who might be facing something similar. I plan on changing, like I said I would before; but this time I mean it.

I’ve found happiness within me, within the Lord, and within his plan. I’m turning myself over to his love and trusting that at the right time, when I am ready, I will find the man I am supposed to ‘walk hand in hand through life’ with.  Yeah, someone out there is going to love me, and while I cannot wait for that day- just the thought of it fills my heart with inexplicable joy- I know that I need to learn to. It will come when I am ready and when he is ready. Let’s just hope that he enjoys holding hands, laughing and kissing in the rain as much as I do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

For Thanksgiving this year, I went up to Kaysville, UT to visit Bubba and Linda. Bubba is one of my dad's brothers, and then one of their sister's, Franny, and her husband and son came out here as well. Kirk just got back from a two year mission for the Latter-day Saint church in Wisconsin and will be attending BYU in the winter with me (!) so they moved him into his new apartment on Saturday.

It was so good to get out of town and spend time focusing on something other than school. It was almost like I was removed from my life for 3 days and I was able to laugh and reminisce and just really enjoy myself. It was a great remedy for the homesick blues I've been struggling with lately (16 more days!).

On Thanksgiving, we played around with my uncle's new camera, enjoyed a delicious meal made by my Aunt Linda, and then went and saw 'Puss in Boots' for our annuel T-day movie. It was actually really really funny! Kirk, Zach, and I were laughing so hard in the theater.

Favorite quote from the movie: "I was always there...."

I just love my extended family so much. Whenever we're all together we forget our inside voices and spend most of the time cracking jokes, teasing and laughing. I got a great work out just being under the same roof. While I did miss my family, I was glad I got time to see my extended family, and now that Kirk is out here, I'll have family close by more often.

Such a good Turkey Day :)

On Friday, we went and saw the lights at temple square before getting some dinner.

 Claire drove up later that night and we watched 'Breaking Dawn'. Can I just say... worst movie ever. It was ridiculous. We laughed the whole movie- there was not a thing in there we didn't make fun of, really. My favorite movie quote is when K-Stew asks Pattinson "Can't you tell I'm inexplicably happy?"

I don't know, K-stew. Let's see:









What do you think?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Braids and Bands

So this last Saturday, I accomplished two things:

1. Mastered a hairstyle I previously could not get
2. Went to my first 'Battle of the Bands' concert

It seems that I'm going through this phase of braids and headbands and wearing my hair back and out of my face. It's weird, because I've always hated putting too much effort into my hair, and these take some effort (sometimes). 
This hairstyle was exceedingly difficult for me for some reason (the first time took me 3 tries and a good 40 minutes), but now that I got the hang of it, it's like I wear it all the time. I hope that isn't too embarrassing it took me so long. You can find the tutorial for it here.

 This is what I wore to the Battle of the Bands. I know, super rocker, right? Haha. I really had a lot of fun at the concert. There were some amazing bands there. I found out that if you want to be def by age 26, attend these kinds of shows as often as you can. Here's the one picture I got of the concert. I need to be more proactive with my camera:

Some of the bands I liked:
The Brocks (The Winners)

You know I liked them because I remembered names... that or these are the ones who's names I heard (Or the first two were 1st and 2nd place and I know someone in the third band...) either way, these ones were really good! There were other really good ones, but I can't remember their names (ahhh) and it was freaking hard to hear things in that room. 

Either way, hopefully this wont be my last concert.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Going Once! Going Twice! SOLD!

So, tonight my ward had a fundraiser for a girl in my ward who is currently in a coma after a terrible car accident. We auctioned off deserts, and then did raffle dates for $1.00 a ticket. The deserts went for as low as $15 to $100! I made 2 batches of containers of 'Puppy Chow' or 'Muddy Buddies', sold separately, which earned a combined 90$! Crazy! We raised so much money! I even walked away with a pie- FOR FREE! I was in a bidding war, but dropped out at $20 and the girl who won gave it to me! It was delicious.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No (insert action/noun here) November

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
-Willie Nelson

You know how people try giving up something in November, and then put 'No' infront of that thing and tack 'November' onto the end, well I'm giving up ungratefulness, because I have way to much to be thankful for to go around ignoring it. Unfortunately 'No Ungratefulness November' doesn't sound as catchy as say 'No Sweets November' or 'No Spend November' (although that last one could do me some good), so I decided to leave my action/noun empty and let you fill in the blank (maybe with what you're giving up this month!).

This month, I jumped on the bandwagon with these 'I'm grateful for' statuses on my Facebook, and I am so glad I did. Each day, it makes me realize how much I am blessed and how constant it is throughout the day. I've upgraded to updating my status multiply times a day because I don't want to leave anything out.

I decided to list on my blog my status updates (I'll be updating this post frequently, so check back!) and somethings I wrote down in my little black book while contemplating my blessings. In lieu of certain events, my eyes have been opened to the great and tender mercies of the Lord and the things he blesses me with each day to help me, as Rascal Flatts put it, 'Stand' (my goodness I am obsessed with that song right now!).  This blog does partly serve as a journal for me (since I'm much better at updating it than my actual journal(s)- and if you think my updating on here is bad...) so I thought it would be good to record these things so I never forget, and hopefully inspire some of my readers to search for the blessings in their life. So here they are:

I'm grateful for sleeping in and warm blankets.

I'm grateful for Advil and small prayers (they help make it through the night).

I'm grateful for long hugs and good cries (especially when they're put together).

I'm grateful for dance teachers who encourage us to explore out emotions through movement.

I'm grateful for weird dreams... they keep me on my toes (and I have had some weird dreams).

I'm grateful for talks at work about it being China's 'Nation Single Awareness Day'. 

I'm grateful for late nights with good friends who know just what to say.

I'm grateful for meeting new people.

I'm grateful for dogs (for they truly are man's best friends).

I'm grateful for hope (it reminds me to never give up).

I'm grateful for songs that make my heart flutter. They let me know I still love love.

I'm grateful for sleep after an exhausting week.

I'm grateful for hymns for the still my soul and remind me that I am ever so loved.

I'm grateful for watching Criminal Minds instead of doing my paper (stress release!).

I am grateful for my friends. Every last single one of them, old and new.

I am grateful for jam sessions alone in my room (because inside, we're all wannabe rockstars).

I'm grateful for a dryer that actually dies my clothing (because the last one didn't...)

I'm grateful for the beautiful girls that are in my dance. They make the choreography come to life.

I'm grateful for humor in class (PowerPoint slide title: Postcolonial Movement in British Literature: “The Empire Writes Back”).

I'm grateful for dance classes and study groups (I think I passed!).

I'm grateful for good deals on books.

I'm grateful for books (they give me a career).

I'm grateful for kind people and a stranger's smile.

I'm grateful for phones.

I'm grateful for mommies (not moms, not mothers... mommies).

I'm grateful that they call you in the wee hours of the morning to make sure you're okay.

I'm grateful for awkward conversations (they make us appreciate the normal ones).

I'm grateful for cold weather (because it helps me appreciate the warm weather).

I'm grateful for warm scarves.

I'm grateful for hot showers (and solving life's mysteries during them).

I'm grateful for crunchy leaves.

I'm grateful for cars (and their headlights).

I'm grateful for music.

I'm grateful for jokes (and those that tell them).

I'm grateful for the movement that is dance.

I'm grateful for the beautiful fall colors.

I'm grateful for erasable pens (because I make a lot of mistakes).

I'm grateful for soft pillows.

I'm grateful for computer screen savers.

I'm grateful for little siblings (they remind me that I have an example to set).

I'm grateful for nail polish (because where would we be without a little color).

I'm grateful for colored pencils (see above).

I'm grateful for soda.

I'm grateful for sweets.

I'm grateful for gyms.

I'm grateful for the beautiful stars that litter the night sky.

I'm grateful for planes (they make family seem so much closer).

I'm grateful for pretty jewelry. 

I'm grateful for long sleeved shirts (and short sleeved shirts too!).

I'm grateful for hot tubs.

I'm grateful for cursive writing (because I still use it!).

I'm grateful for little memories (they help me never forget).

I'm grateful for free wi-fi.

I'm grateful for funny youtube videos (and the bonding that comes from watching them... Kellee)

I'm grateful for Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

Believe it or not, I'm grateful for Michael Jackson.

I'm grateful for glasses.

I'm grateful for shoes and hats.

I'm grateful for plants.

I'm grateful for my family and the endless amount of love and support (even when I'm being exceeding irrational and difficult).

I'm grateful for oranges.

I'm grateful for names I can pronounce.

I'm grateful for my job.

I'm grateful for the amazing creation that is my body.

I am grateful for missionaries.

I'm grateful for letters and packages (coughcough)

I am grateful for paint.

I am grateful for a home.

I am grateful for the beach.

I am grateful for eternal marriage (and one day for the love of my life- wherever he is).

I am grateful for vacations.

I am grateful for little surprises.

I am grateful to be a daughter of God who helps me stand when I fall to my knees.

I'm grateful for the magnificent houses of the Lord that dot the Earth (temples).

I'm grateful for righteousness and obedience to his word (it saves a lot of heartache).

I'm grateful for Jesus Christ- the Son of God- and the sacrifice he gave to save me.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So I've decided to mess around with a sketch book I purchased a while back to use as a notebook. I have trouble reading at work since I lose my place whenever I answer the phone, so I decided to try drawing instead. It works much better. This is what I've drawn so far:

Photo inspired by Utah's beautiful fall foliage and my good friend Samara Shevlin.

This photo was drawn by my new work friend Mac (maybe Matt....?) and I! We traded it off a few times while we were makin' calls and stuff. I drew some trees, he drew some mountains.... I made the moon, he colored the sky.... I made it look like snow... and graphite shading... haha. I sat by him for 4 hours and I never asked him his name. I took a guess at Mac or Matt since that's how he introduced himself on the phone and both just sound so similar.......... he even gave me a ride home. I am a horrible person. 

I call it 'Provo, Utah'

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thriller-ific, Spook-tacular, Halloweenie!

Okay, so how many lame riffs on words do I have in this title. Sometimes, I'm just so punny ;) This Halloween was so much fun! I spent most of the weekend dance party hoping with Marie, Kellee, Andrew, and other friends! I got to see Blake and Kendl and just really enjoy myself (now back to the books!). I decided to go as Miley Cyrus (how original) since everyone and their mother likes to remind me that I bare resemblance to the pop star. It was fun- I borrowed a cute dress from Marie, wore some tights, fun 'punk/rock-star' jewelry and made me hair curly/wavy. Most people didn't get it right off the bat, but once I told them who I was every on was like 'OH MYGOSH I SEE IT'.

By far, my favorite activity of the weekend was my contemporary 243 dance class. My teacher had told us to dress up and asked in advance what we wanted to do to celebrate the holiday. Hands down, unanimous vote: learn the Thriller.

Oh yeah. 

We started off class with this ridiculous warm-up that riffed off 80s aerobics videos since my teacher was an 80s girl. I think we got more of a work out laughing at her mock enthusiasm and yelling at us to 'move those hips' and 'burn those buns' than doing the actual warm-up.

We proceeded to learn the world famous dance and then got to perform it for a fellow class of dancers after they did this awesome chance dance with strobe light/fog machine effects. Here's our final video. Silly me got off the timing a bit- I just get so excited doing that monster walk.

I sure love these girls.


So good!

Last Wednesday, Kellee and I decided to make some truffles. I found this recipe on Recipe Girl that contains no egg in the cookies dough (for all of you weary cookie dough eaters). Once we rolled the cookie dough up, we dipped it in melted chocolate and decorated by pouring the rest into ziplock baggies and cutting a little off the tip. The whole process took us five hours, but we mostly screwed around and caught up. It should probably take only 2 hours because you do have to chill the dough before you dip it. It was a lot of fun to make them with her and they turned out great. Every time I turn around someone's eating them. I will definitely be making them again in the future!

"Winning" shots of the night:

Kellee looking super excited (har har)
Dipping the dough
Eating the chocolate

Because I can't cook without getting it on me.

All of our truffles!

Happy Jack-o-Lantern!

Every batch has its rejects!
Ghostly Pumpkins!

Happy Halloween!