Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's the hardest tea to swallow?

On Monday I went ice skating. At 20 years old (or almost-twenty-one as I like to call it) I have never been in my life. Not once. It may have to do with the fact that I live in Florida, although I just found out my little brother went ice skating four days prior, so it's probably really because, let's be frank here, I never really cared to. What was ice skating to a girl who lived her who life in paradise on the beach? I'll tell you: pointless. 

I was quick to find out that out here in Utah, it's kind of a big deal. When you tell people you've never been skating in your whole life, they tend to give you reactions similar to the one I'd imagen Paula Deen would give you if you told her you didn't eat butter.

Shout out to Chelsea for that one.
Thus FHE ice skating was born. And I went, like a lamb to the slaughter. I kid you not, from the moment I walked in those doors to the moment I walked right back out them, I was shaking like I had shot myself up with pure caffeine. I couldn't even tie my own boots it was so bad. I had to get one of my friends to do it for me.

The thing about it was that I wasn't even sure what I was expecting to happen once I stepped on the ice. For most of the night I continuously convinced myself that I didn't have to worry because certainly any man that caught wind of a beautiful damsel in distress would drop everything to rescue her. It worked so well that by the time I stepped on the ice, I was flabbergasted that they instead chose to laugh at me through the lenses of their iPhon cameras as they videoed me clinging to the side of the rink. I guess I was just hoping that a man would take me by the hands and we would just glide off into the sunset. Instead I spent my first few times around the rink death gripping my roommate's hand as well as her boyfriend's. I felt like Jenna Fisher in Blades of Glory whenever she's with Will Arnett and Amy Poehler.

Things did change when I managed to find someone to teach me the basics and guide me through it. It ened up being a blast and really I find it quite sad I didn't try it sooner. I mean, I only fell twice, and I managed to keep up with most people who were skating. After that night, I really see skating in my future. Maybe I should drop-out and become a figure skater. You hear those crazy 'didn't-start-doing-such-and-such-sport-until-he-was-nineteen' miracles all the time in pro sports, so why couldn't I be one of them? Probably because I lack coordination 95% of the time (I have two bruises on the same arm, and three on my leg all from running into various, stationary objects).

Overall, the experience made me think about things, and by things I mean the fact that I am single because, let's face it, that's all I think about. I went over to this guy's house a few nights ago, and I was actually looking forward to it. There was... a little bit of interest, newly found, hanging around deep inside of me, and I was quite curious to see if there was anything present on his side. I don't exactly know what I was expecting. A date? A confession? A proposal (haha)? That he'd a least give me one shred of genuine attention? Obviously too much, because I left feeling... odd. Unsatisfied? Let down? Bummed? And then I remember a quote from a movie I recently watched:
"And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space!"*
I was that girl. I was the one always letting things get to my head. I was the Michael Scott of my relationships. I always imagined them greater than they actually were. And it's not that my relationships and flings weren't great, because mostly they were, it's just that in my head I made them out to be more than they actually were in reality. And why do I do this? Because I just want to be married so badly. Why? I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE.

I ask myself this on a constant basis. Why do I, at twenty, want to badly to be married? Why don't I want what pretty much every other twenty something on the face of the plant wants: to finish college, start a stable career, and party on the side.

So I thought about it. I pondered, and mused, and questioned myself, and I think I came up with an answer. It's just how I was raised. You see, in the Latter-day Saint culture, marriage is incredibly important and incredibly sacred (and that's sacred not secret. get yo facts straight). The family is the foundation of our religion, the reason we believe we were placed on this earth in the first place. Our ultimate goal is to raise a loving family in the best way we can.

Now, at the same time, education is strongly encouraged for both men AND women. How can you raise a family in this day and age without money? It's hard, and education is essential. The LDS faith also strongly encourages gaining knowledge on all front. President Gordon B. Hinckley, one of the great leaders of our church for a time, said:
"It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you. It is worth sacrificing for. It is worth working at, and if you educate your mind and your hands, you will be able to make a great contribution to the society of which you are a part, and you will be able to reflect honorable on the Church of which you are a member. My dear young brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives". 
However, we do place a great value on marriage between a man and a women, and the joy that is brought about with the inclusion of children into that sacred bond. For whatever reason, a great desire for that very thing is present within me. And those desires very from person to person. There are tons of LDS young adults who aren't looking to get married any time soon (although the leaders do strongly encourage dating and marriage).

It's a bit of a struggle learning how to balance social life and school, especially when I'd much rather be out with people than writing a 10 page paper (like I should be doing now). Sometimes it results in really hard lessons I have to learn, but in the end, I always come out on top. I know that both my education and my constant desire to have a family are worthy goals to work towards, it's just a matter of disciplining myself in the art of patience. Maybe if I get that down, I can look into not only marriage, but also becoming a professional figure skater like I mentioned earlier. Who knows, maybe one day you'll see me in the Olympics.

*+10 to anyone who can name that movie. Also, for those of you who didn't catch on to the title of my post, the answer is 'reality'. Ha. Hahahaha.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day 2012

This is my third Thanksgiving away from my family, and surprisingly, it gets harder each time. This semester has been filled with absurd amounts of homesickness and handling things I didn't ever think I'd have to handle this early in life. Last Thursday I attended the Women in Business semi-annual dinner where successful business woman Lisa Bearnson spoke to us about 'raindrops' being blessings in disguise. She shared with us this song:

She didn't get all the way through it, but far enough to put me in a fit of tears. The chorus of the song had the most impact on me.
"What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near? What if trials in this life are your mercies in disguise?"
I couldn't help but reflect back over some of the more difficult trials in my life and ask myself those very questions. And the more I dug, the more I found truth in those words. A little over a year ago I faced one of the hardest trials of my life, one I wouldn't wish on even the worst of my enemies. Without going into too much detail, it was a trial that brought me to my knees every night, crying with great power unto my Savior for forgiveness. I wanted so badly to be home with my family, away from the harsh reality of adulthood. Until that time came, I tried to find happiness in the little things. Turns out  I found it in the rain. It reminded me of home, especially when the clouds hung low enough to cut off the mountain tops a they twisted through the canyon. For a small moment in time, I was back in Florida, watching the rain pittle-paddle on the rooftops from my porch.

Nothing's changed.
Thanksgiving came around and I was able to escape to Kaysville for a mini vacation. It may not have been my mommie and daddie and bubbie and loafer, or even my own dog, but it was close enough to satisfy my homesickness for a short amount of time. I still cried, but it was through crying that I came to heal, just like it said in the song. Through the tears and the trials, I came to know and love myself so much more than I ever had before, and I came to know my Savior just as well, if not better. I came to and understanding of my own suffering and my own trials I was facing at the time, and I experienced exponential growth not only spiritually, but mentally and emotionally as well. Slowly I began to rebuild my faith, and I was able to forgive myself for my mistakes, as well as those who had hurt me. 

Later in her talk, Lisa mentioned how she has kept a gratitude journal to help her always remember that there are blessings to find even in the worst of times. She then challenges us to keep a gratitude journal, and see how it affects our lives. Normally I would think it was a good idea and then push it from my mind, but there was something about this challenge, pair with the lyrics of the song she shared, that really resonated within me and sparked a desire to achieve the same level of knowing as Lisa. So that very night I went home and started my very own gratitude journal (that's where the first picture came from). 

My results were immediate. I could feel my own happiness increase, as well as an increase in the Lord's love for me. It wasn't that suddenly he loved me more, he always loved me unconditionally, but rather now that I was acknowledging his love, it was becoming more and more apparent to me that it even existed.

Not too long ago I was talking to my roommate about a small relapse into depression that I was experiencing. It wasn't that I didn't know my Father in Heaven loved me, but rather that I didn't think the people around me loved me. I had a hard time connecting with the people in my ward and classes, and I felt incredibly displaced in the world. Dating was (and still is, honestly) a mess. I didn't know who to trust or who to let myself have any sort of attachment to, because the minute I did, they were gone. My friends consisted of two people (or at least I thought that), and my family was 2,451 miles away. 

At the end of each day, I decided I would go through my day and write down things I was grateful for. It started out with things like 'I'm grateful Tanner willingly covered my shift today' or 'I'm grateful class was canceled', but then I started to notice the smaller things during the day, like the little boy that smiled and waved at me as I was taking a break after a particularly stressful shift. It wasn't anything big, just a small smile and wave, but at the time it meant the world to me. It was so sweet and so innocent and just full of that little boy's love for the world. I began to feel the love of those around me!

I grew in happiness because I was actively seeking it in a healthy manner. During the day I would notice little blessings, like the guy who held the door open for me, or the parking attendant who let us go for free instead of paying 10 dollars, and those little things would begin to lift my spirits. Now, after a week of writing, I've found an overall increase in joy in my life. 

Lisa shared with us a quote by French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette: 
"What a wonderful life I've had, if only I had realized it sooner."
I want to share with you the challenge to keep a daily gratitude journal. It doesn't have to be a novel each night, sometimes it's just a list of five things, sometimes it's longer. It takes a total of five minutes a night, and I promise to you that you will feel happier. It doesn't matter if you're a believer of God or not! For me it was a recognition of the Lord's love for me, but for you it might be a recognition that you're life isn't as bad as you thought, or that people aren't as awful as you believed. 

Either way, I'd like to leave you with a talk by one of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's presidency members, Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Again, you don't have to believe in God to take something away from this magnificent message. 

I am thankful for:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I wrote again.

For the first time in years (not a joke) I wrote... really wrote. I just sat down and let it rip until my fingers numbed from slamming against the keyboard. Then I sat back and examined my work, and I realized something: I am a depressing person... at least tonight I am. I would like to think it was worth it though, because I was able to just get myself onto the paper... or document I guess.

It was interesting too because my reason excuse for refraining from writing as of late is a lack of inspiration, but after tonight I realized I was just looking in the wrong place. Someone inadvertently inspired me tonight, and for that I thank them. Reading their work made my heart flutter the way it does when I listen to Taylor Swift's 'Love Story'. They weren't being romantic or anything, it was just that my response to the words they used gave me miniature hart palpitations. It was beautiful and raw and slightly depressing, and I fell in love with writing all over again. Suddenly I was overcome with the desire to write like I haven't written since I was sixteen. I wanted everything I was feeling to be reflected in my work, wether it was happy, sad, frustrating, or even, heaven forbid, SEXUAL (haha).

SO I DID IT. I wrote. And I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote (that one's for Mitchell). And at the end, I smiled because I felt this incredible release of emotion. Sure it turned out incredible depressing, BUT I DON'T CARE BEAUSE I LIKE IT. I do. Of course, I'm incredibly inexperienced, therefore it could use some a lot of work, but overall I'm happy with it because it's real.

Not sure if I want to share it with you guys yet, and it's not because it's inappropriate or anything, but rather, I'm afraid of how you will take it. I'm afraid you'll think I'm someone who sits in bed and sobs day after day eating bon bons and watching the six hour remake of Pride and Prejudice (oh wait...). I'll think about it. MAYBE, just maybe it'll be my next post.

In the meantime, word to yo mother.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sometimes, it's like

I honestly don't know why I'm so bad at blogging. It's especially ridiculous since I now get a grade for it and will most likely fail due to my inability to maintain consistency in really anything in my life. 

Anyways, I guess I'm supposed to be writing for 8 minutes for my assignment. I think I just have a hard time coming up with a subject and feeling like what I say is of any importance to you people. I was reading my friend's blog, and I found myself becoming increasingly envious of his ability to write about  various stories in his life and just... stuff. I'm not good at writing about stuff. I'm also not good at writing about specific topics (why am I an English major again?). 

May it's not that I'm not good. Maybe it's just that I'm insecure. I think that's what it is because sometimes I can write the crap out of stuff. When I get in the zone it's like I'm set to auto pilot with no destination. I just keep going —and I have to wonder if I'm rambling and how many of you stop reading at points like this. I'm guilty of it, so I know you all do it. 

The whole point of this I guess, is to share with you some ideas I have, and more specifically a project I'm working on. 

I need some feedback. Please. I'm not asking, I'm begging. I want to know what my readers like and don't like about my writing. I want critique and maybe even a little praise. 

Secondly, I have an idea to start a blog specifically about my dating life. Okay, okay, before you get all weird about this, let me explain.

I've dated. A lot. I've been engaged, I've been in love, I've been heartbroken more times than I care to list (10+). I fel like I have some stuff to share here. What do you think? Some of you know my past dating life. Is this a good idea? I think I might try it soon... experiment. I'll keep you posted. 
(For those of you reading who may have participated in my romantic past, don't fret dear children, I will  change your names)

I think that's it for the night. It's been 8 minutes I do believe (this probably isn't the kind of writing you wanted Ann Dee... sorry). I'll keep you updated with any news on new ventures. For now, go read that other blog and tell me what you think so I can quit whining about it.


Saturday, November 10, 2012


This is not a depressing post despite what this picture may imply.

I am failing at keeping my blog updated (what's new). You know that moment when everything you've been balancing so well in life finally catches on to gravity and topples over? That's what the last couple of months weeks have been like. I've juggled a few term papers, a calling, part time job, exam or two, an awkward almost-but-not-really relationship with a seemingly uninterested man, and being away from my family (and that's just to name a few). It's come to the point where I feel like that guy at the circus who balances on metal cylinders stack on top of each other while perched on the edge of a three foot wide rickety table, and everyone watching is holding their breath waiting to see what will happen. Will Bailey be able to balance it until December 16th, when she can escape it all underneath the palm trees of her beachfront home town, or will she crack and give into the desire to drop out of school and become a mountain-dwelling hermit. Probably the latter.

This blog post was not meant to depress, but rather explore the manner in which I've been handling and escaping my stress: jumping. I jump into things. Not like walls and buildings and people, but things like projects, relationships (both romantic and unromantic), papers, service, activities, etc. I want to share with you one of the project that I recently engulfed myself with to escape the worry of writing a 7 page research paper I would later get a C+ on because I forgot the MLA formatting for ellipsis.

The LDS church believes in setting aside one night a week for the enrichment of the family. It is known as Family Home Evening, or FHE. Usually families will gather together (typically on a Monday night) and edify one another both spiritually and emotionally. One person will give a lesson on something like faith, charity, or service, and everyone will participate in an open family discussion. This is followed by some kind of activity/board game/recreational sporty thing and a treat. For example, around Christmas time, my family would focus on the life of Christ and then we would bake cookies and take them to our neighbors or go and look at christmas lights and sing song in the car together.

Out here at BYU, where many aren't able to see their immediate family more than once a year, let alone once a week, they implement FHE on Monday nights through groups of apartments that become a sort of mock family. Some people think it's weird, some people love it. I use to think it was weird. I mean, these people don't know me, so why should I dedicate my Monday nights to them? Then I was called as an FHE mom (a 'calling' is a position in the church that members will fill for free. For example being a bishop, or an activities planner, or a seminary teacher. My mom currently wakes up every morning to teach the high school aged children in our congregation about the Old Testament. It's known as early morning seminary and is optional, but highly encouraged. I did 4 years of it in high school and I loved it). Now I love it, and look forward to seeing these people every Monday. Some of them have become dear friends of mine.

As an 'FHE mom', along with the 'FHE dad', I hold the responsibility of planning and preparing spiritually edifying lessons and enjoyable activities for the apartments assigned to my 'family'. We do various things, like play night games, paint twister, bake cookies, etc., but every once in awhile we do something grand. This last week, it was a Harry Potter themed Halloween party. All of the FHE 'families' were assigned to Hogwarts houses and the FHE 'parents' were in charge of helping to organize some way for each house to show their spirit.

Naturally, I got stuck with the Hufflepuff house. At first I was afraid (I was petrified. ha) because I knew that my group wouldn't get really involved with such a lame house, but then I really jumped into this project, and it turned out to be one of the best nights of my life (I'm not even joking right now. totally serious). Here's what we did:

We became the Hufflepuff Hipsters.

We attended classes and competed for house points... and won.
(sort of)


With Professor Snape

Defense Against the Dark Arts

 With Gilderoy Lockheart

He signs arms

Broom Races

With Madame Hooch

& Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid

Announcing the Winners

And we even made desserts! In the end, Hufflepuff came in second place, losing only by 10 house points (beat out by Ravenclaw who only won because they were really good at drinking chocolate milk and mixing drinks). So, overall Hufflepuff proved that they were just as good as the rest of the houses, especially when it came to making desserts ;)


Pictures thanks to Clint Calder, Natalie McChesney and Myself! Haha!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some of My Favorites

On Saturday we all went to the parade to support Zona Marie who was doing a beautiful job at dancing for the Folk Dance Team! Yaaay Marie! I was so excited when she came dancing by that I jumped up from the curb to cheer and totally forgot to use my camera and take a picture of her. To make up for it, I decided to just take pictures of the people I was with. I think each picture accurately describes my relationship with said person.

Sweet Britton stopped eating his food to take this picture with me. 
He's always so darling.

It took me three tries to get one where Nick wasn't being a butt munch. 
If he wasn't so darn cute I'd smack him.

Beautiful Janine.... and Britton.

Tim took two tries, and was much easier to handle than Nick. 

I think all of these accurately describe Janine and I.

I dearly love all of my friends in this ward. I think I finally found a place to stay... permanently.


Friday, October 12, 2012


As much as I love my new ward,

Sometimes I miss my old one.