Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dearest blog readers, breaking news: I am in Hawaii.

I know, right? Life changes so fast.

I arrived last Tuesday and have been busy busy busy the past week trying to figure out housing, jobs, the best beaches, and all the ins-and-outs of my new life. I live on Maui, in a little touristy town on the west side called Lahaina. I love it! It is hot and humid and beautiful and I feel so good about being here. I still haven't found a place to live permanently, but I'm currently staying with some friends and surviving alright. I love the ward, the diversity, and the laid back atmostphere that prohibits me from getting upset, even when everyone drives 20 mph and things take forty minutes longer than anticipated, on average, to complete. I have had some things work out with jobs and I will hopefully be starting next week at one job part-time that will go full-time at the end of the year. I'm still looking for something else to supplement that and take up some more of my time though, because at this rate I am on track for being nothing but really really brown and really really good at spotting sea turtles (an important skill, to be sure, but not quite my aspiration).

Oh look, there's one right there!

And another one!

As you can imagine, I really am enjoying this restful period of my life. I have a new family here too, who has adopted me. We do something together every day, which makes my days very fun and fulfilling.

Here is a picture of my new sisters Tefa (on the right-9 yrs old) and Nia (left-8) when we were watching turtles at the beach:

And here is a picture of my other new best friend, purchased today:

Yes it has a basket AND a surf board rack. Sweet, right? Now I just have to buy a board. :)

So, life really is wonderful. It has its stresses and frustrations and moments of uncertainty, for sure, but in all the waves crashing against the rocks of our shore, I hope that all of us will take a moment and lift our eyes up to do what a dear friend of mine advised me in an email the other day: "fall back on what you knew was right when you knew it was right. ...[a]nd watch lots and lots and lots of sunsets."

I have been. You should too. I highly reccommed it. Life is a great reason to rejoice.

peace. love,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomorrow is a big day!

The 9th of September. Lots of important things happened on that day. Can you guess which event in particular I am referring to?

(okay, yes Mom and Kaley, it IS my birthday, and now, yes, I admit that I am officially OLD, but that's not really what I'm talking about)

drumroll please.....

Three years ago tomorrow I landed as a scared, excited, and wide-eyed BYU study abroad student in Vienna, Austria. Over the course of three and one half months, what I experienced there and in surrounding countries opened my eyes, enlarged my vision, softened my heart, and strengthened my testimony that we are ALL children of a loving heavenly Father who has a plan for each of our lives. Vienna was, for me, a precious gift given by God, scholarship/grant donors, and wonderful other people. It is a gift and package of experiences that are sacred to me and honestly changed the course of my life. I met and interacted with angelic people. I saw and did amazing things. I was blessed beyond measure to travel to beautiful places I still can't believe I've been to. It was there that I learned to have confidence in myself as a person, as a German-speaker (millions of failures have to bring some success, right?), and as a contributor in the building of the Kingdom of God. Those I shared those experiences with, the 37-odd individuals I have tucked into photo albums and journal entries and precious, precious memories, are still some of my best friends. It was one of the greatest privledges of my life to represent my home, my family, my University, my country, my religion, and my personal convictions during that wonderful fall 2008. Truly, with such blessings strewn along the path of our lives, we really do have great reason to rejoice!


Monday, September 5, 2011


This weekend the fam and I took a day trip to my old hometown to visit the state fair. Best. Fair. As we walked the thoroughfare, I was bombarded with memories from the past. These little nostalgia-triggers were particularly thick around the livestock sheds where my sister and I spent many September days as both Cloverbuds and full-fledged 4-Hers showing sheep, cows, and goats.

As a family we enjoyed huckleberry ice cream from the Dairy Queen barn,  the fried cinnamon-sugary goodness of the Teton Council's "Tiger Ears," and watching an hour long Kitchencraft presentation in one of the vendor sheds. LOVED hearing country music blasting from the speakers of my favorite radio station's booth (I listened to Paul and Mike EVERY morning, 3rd grade-10th), and by the time we left, we all felt we'd had our fun and will probably last at least another year, 'till the fair comes 'round again. Yay for hometowns, yay for family, yay for roots.