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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hahaha, alright, it's finally here, for those of you that have been waiting to see this...

So I got all four of my impacted wisdom teeth pulled on the 15th, and I gotta tell you, what a day it was for me. Haha, and to think that I was all excited about getting them pulled out because of the effects to come up for me after the procedure (;
Anyways, so I woke up at 7 in the morning without eating breakfast, put on my BYU shirt and my favorite sweatpants, and then knelt down and prayed that all would go well for today. As we drove up to the office that morning, I tried to calm and prepare myself before going inside because honestly, I was almost scared just enough to not go in. But I felt strong and confident, knowing that I would be watched over and cared for during this whole event, so I went in with a smile.
As they seated me in my chair, I was hooked up to a machine with an IV in my arm and they put sunglasses and a blanket on me. As the doctor came in, he gave me the anesthesia (which knocked me out within a matter of minutes) and he let me know that I was in good hands. It was relieving to hear that, and the last thing I remember was listening to "Good People" by Jack Johnson on the radio and hearing the doctor say, "Alright, everybody, let's get to work..." After that, blackness.

I honestly could not remember any of the car trip back home or passing out on the couch once it was in my sight. When I woke up from my nap, I felt as if my whole memory was blank, and I wondered what had happened to this girl looking at me through the mirror with chipmunk cheeks and a bloody mouth filled with gauze. Haha, but then, my sister offered to show me what had happened before I passed out, and this is what follows... (I edited some of the videos and mixed them together to make this.)

(In case you're wondering, I used Island In The Sun as the background music for this because, to put it this way, it was definitely a vacation for me in whatever world I was currently in at this time.)

Thankfully, the swelling went down in just a few days, and the medicine I had really helped me. I'm also really grateful for my family and friends being able to help me through this whole situation and restore my sanity. Thank you so much, and I love you! <3

Sunday, June 12, 2011


So, there's a part of me that says I shouldn't be posting this because it's about a great kid that I only got to know for about two months out of the whole year he spent here in Mesa... sad.
Well, this is for our dear friend, Antonio, who just flew back toVenezuela yesterday. And there's no doubt that we all miss him.
Luckily, he was able to hold a good-bye party, so it was loads of fun to be able to hangout with Antonio for the last time. As a little piece of the party, me and my friend Abbeney had "secretly" practiced a song that we wanted to perform for Antonio at this event. The song that we sang for him was "Rhythm of Love" by Plain White T's (great song, I must say,) and it was awesome to get everyone to sing along to it, also.
"We may only have tonight, but till the morning sun, you're mine, all mine;
Play the music low, and sway to the rhythm of love..."

It was a bittersweet tribute to our friend Antonio, and we're glad that he was able to enjoy it just as much as everybody else. And, I have to add, I'm very pleased I got to sing with Abbeney; it was great (:

The rest of the night was awesome; we all got to do karaoke to all kinds of songs (from Johnny Cash to Mika; from Alicia Keys to Regina Spektor) as well as have a legitimate jam session, which was the highlight of my night. The family that held the party at their house were all very musical, which is definitely MY kind of family! I loved singing different songs with them, along with my friends Bryson and Nathan that played ukuleles; but what made it so great was singing with everybody in the room, and it just brought such an incredible feeling into there which really touched my heart (: That, my friends, is why I absolutely love the power of music, and I'm especially grateful for those that Heavenly Father has blessed with great musical talents to share with one another and create something beautiful... There's nothing like it. <3

After the jam session, I had to leave, but not without saying my final goodbye to Antonio! It was sad to drive away and know that he'd be leaving back for his country the next day, but I'm glad I got to at least get to know him for his last two months in the US...
Know that you will be greatly missed, my Venezuelan friend.

...Oh, and I almost forgot! Hallie was so kind enough to tape both the song that Abbeney and I sang as well as Antonio's goodbye speech, and I felt obliged to mix them together and put them up here! I hope you guys enjoy it! (Haha, apologies for the shaky quality of the video, says Hallie...) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So, it all started out after I came home from Youth Conference... I walked into Hallie's house wearing a red FAST PITCH T-shirt, baggy sweatpants, electric blue headband wound around a loose bun at the top of my head, and of course, a smile. Nathan, Bryson, Alicia, and Antonio were already helping make the cake (gluten-free, definitely a plus!) and were starting to put delicious frosting on top. However, we tried to find the perfect platter for your cake, and all we could suit with was the bowl sitting in the middle of Hallie's kitchen, originally filled with clear marbles and some other stuff. My biggest problem was that when they placed the cake inside the bowl, it was off-centered... Now, me and my OCD-ness nearly went crazy, and Antonio tried to back me off because I kept trying to center the cake just a little bit more. Honestly, if he had just let me pass through, everybody would've been happy, especially me. But no, I just sat in the kitchen, signing a "Happy Birthday Natalie!" poster with all my love and listened to Bryson play the guitar. It actually calmed me down a bit...
Then, we all jumped into Nathan's truck, although we took it as a challenge trying to fit 7 people into it...
This would only be 4 out of 7 people in the truck...
(Bryson is somewhere behind Alicia's head, and Nathan and Ivy are on the other side of Hallie.)

After minutes of driving, we finally decided that we needed to take two trips over to your house, Natalie. So first, Alicia, Ivy, and myself were all dropped off at Ivy's house, and while we waited for Nathan to return and pick us up, we did what any bored person would do... take pictures.
Hahaha, Ivy's camera and mine were both on self-timer, so we had to race them at the same time in order to get in the picture...
 ...This was our best attempt at beating the self-timers. GO US. (:

Finally, Nathan had returned, but because we got so carried away with taking pictures, we decided to hop onto his truck and take a few more. This one's my favorite one out of the rest that we took, and most of them are actually on Ivy's camera...

Then, we finally made our way down to the gated communities, and then we went over to a nearby playground near the back of the neighborhood. There, we decided to take a group picture before we went and surprised you with all our "Happy Birthday" goodies and stuff.
 ...At this point, we were all pumped up to come see you and say "Happy Birthday!"

However, after walking up to two different houses (luckily, with nobody home), we had realized that we were in the WRONG neighborhood!
 Hahaha, oh gosh, you could imagine how embarrassed we were! So, we called up Angela on the phone, asked her where the actual house was, and then found our way to your gated community. It was then we walked through the gates, felt bad because we had been in the wrong place the entire time, but soon got over it because we had finally reached your house and saw your beautiful, darling, 16-YEAR-OLD self (;
Oh how we love you, dear Natalie.
And all the trouble we went through just to see you have a happy birthday. <3


It's 9 AM in the morning on June 2nd. There's many kids gathered together at the stake building on Brown Road with pillows, ukuleles, suitcases, air mattresses, and swimsuits. Why all this stuff?
Three words: Stake Youth Conference.
Heck yeah. They all hop in their vans and take the 45 minute trip over to Superior, AZ. They are welcomed graciously at the steps of the old Superior High School building by their soon-to-be Youth Counselors from the Singles Ward. (The building was actually closed down back in 2000, but somebody bought the place years later for who-knows-what-reason.) After being placed on different teams, they get to work on their banners and cheers for certain competitions to be held later on in the week. I, myself, was a part of the Blue Team with two awesome counselors(:

...Making our team banner!
(Alex Baird Photography)

And this was also our cheer as we threw one of our teammates, Adam, back and forth: 
(Loyal and True; Royal Team Blue!)
Too bad it didn't get us first place, but we still had team spirit...

We did, however, get to do lots of games and work together as we competed against the other teams. I mean, come on, it's YOUTH CONFERENCE. What is it without playing games all day, really? Well, we definitely worked our hardest on each challenge, but in the long run, it was really fun to get to know everybody on Royal Team Blue and work with each other as well. As part of the challenges, each team was given fifteen minutes to build a boat out of cardboard, Duct Tape, and noodles (the swimming kind.) These boats would be used for the races that would be held at the city pool later that week, so our strategy was to cover the entire thing with Duct Tape.
We ended up using about 5 rolls for this baby.

Hahaha, sad to say, our boat was the first to go down. Although, I gotta admit, it was quite hilarious watching it sink and break apart so quickly, literally within the first twenty seconds of the race. 
...The aftermath of Royal Team Blue's boat.

Besides all the games that everybody did, we were able to put together a variety show for the youth. I was lucky enough to be in it, but not so lucky when I realized I had to go after many INCREDIBLE acts. One of them, I had to name, was a medley of different songs done by Brock (a crazy-good drummer) and Kylar (an amazing pianist). Another one was a man who danced to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" by Michael Jackson, and he did an awesome job, too! And then... there was me. Sitting on the chair, singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on my ukulele, and I can't tell you how much I did NOT wanna be on stage. But I figured I might as well relax and enjoy the time I had up there, and so that's what I did. As I kept singing, I felt more peaceful within myself and just began to let loose with what I had to offer the youth. Luckily, they enjoyed it, which I was really happy about, and I was so glad I could be a part of an amazing show like this...

On the breaks that we got, I liked to spend a lot of time with my wonderful 61st Ward girls:

...Sportin' our awesome Otter Pops! 
(We practically lived off of them during Youth Conference.)

...Gettin' hyped up for the dance!
(Party animals, oh yeahhhh.)

(Alex Baird Photography)

We also had a bunch of great workshops that we took part in, but I'd like to briefly share my two favorites. The first one I went to was called "We Can't Do Hard Things... Alone," taught by Daniel Walker; it was very moving and definitely brought the spirit in. He talked to us about his son with Downs' Syndrome and showed us a video of him right after he had gotten surgery because of his heart problems. During the video, as the sweet little boy was crying because he had trouble walking, the man's wife commentated in the background, "Yeah, I know, buddy. We all have to do things that we don't wanna do..." And at that point, I was in tears. I'm so grateful to know that Heavenly Father will never let us down and is always willing to help us every step of the way. And I truly know that He gives us trials and tribulations to make us even stronger than we realize, all because He loves us.
The second workshop I really enjoyed was "Eternal Roles For Men And Women," taught by Cory Ellsworth, the man who wrote the play 1856. I loved his testimony of how men should treat women and how women should support men. He explained specifically how young men could obtain the priesthood and remain worthy of holding it throughout their lives, and he also told them how they ought to see women as angels. He then directed his attention towards us, the young women, and stated that we must remain worthy to go to the temple and also help support the young men in serving missions. He bore his testimony of spending eternity with his family, and he talked to us about how he had lost two of his boys from different accidents that occurred, but because he was sealed previously to his family in the temple, he knew that he would see his two sons again someday. I know that this is exactly the type of family I want someday; an eternal family. And I hope I can do everything I can at this point to prepare myself for the temple and the blessings that come from within it....

It was sad (yet somewhat of a relief) to return home on Saturday, June 4th later that afternoon.We were done with the air mattresses that kept deflating and the moths that would randomly appear in our room. The food, however, was very good and satisfying to us all. The testimony meeting ended Youth Conference with a very spiritual and meaningful feeling. It's hard to doubt that I thoroughly enjoyed it all.
 It was a great experience that I'll never forget, and I cannot wait to go next year; except this time, I won't be wearing my capris and T-shirts all day and playing my ukulele.

Instead, I'll be pushing a handcart over a few miles everyday and sweatin' in my awesome pioneer clothes...(;

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


 Everyone loves the day that summer break starts. 
You find yourself waking up at 11 o'clock in the morning, grabbing a bowl and mixing up all sorts of breakfast cereals, placing yourself on the couch in your pajamas and watching your favorite Disney movies... & yet, you didn't think it could get any better than this.
But dang it; you just found out you still have all that homework that you've been saving the entire year in case of extra night-time studying for finals. Luckily, the school year's over, so now you're free to do what you wish with it... in many cases, especially in my group of friends, we felt the need to BURN it. All those dreadful assignments we had, some that only got us a mere B+, deserve more than a visit to the paper shredder in the corner of the office. So that's why our great & wonderful friend, Bryson, held a special bonfire at his house for us all to do so, & with great pleasure...
...& so, we all threw in those mounds of paper that tortured us throughout the year & watched them burn. It was quite a sight, indeed. The best part of it all was everybody chanting, "summer... summer... summer, summer, SUMMER, SUMMER!" & singing/dancing along to "Love Drunk."
Oh, & Bryson doing the Haka also... Too bad nobody got a video of it, hahaha.

When it comes to food fights, it's a well-known fact that you go in clean & come out dirty. That's just the way it naturally is. For our food fight, everyone brought in a little something; from pans of pudding & apple sauce to bottles of relish & food coloring, it turned out to be pretty messy. But I made the mistake of actually bringing my own concoction of grossness all around: a container full of salsa, corn meal, apple sauce, vinegarette salad dressing, etc. (My mom was clearing out our refrigerator, anyways.) Hahaha, so people got pretty disgusted when they found out what was being thrown at them by me and my companion Natalie. Still, it turned out to be hilariously intense. & we were lucky enough to take before-and-after pictures of the epic battle...

It took us about twenty minutes for all of us to rinse off, & after we did, we jumped in the pool.

Great, great memories indeed. Such an awesome way to start off the summer.
And it's a good reminder to me that this is only the beginning... (:

Saturday, May 28, 2011


"Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there." 
-Bo Jackson

I figured if I have 75 days of summer to do lots of things, I might as well throw in some goals that I've had in mind since the beginning of this year. Maybe from this, I might actually get to finish some things up without having to procrastinate them, haha. (These are in no particular order, just to let you know.)
  • Read Harry Potter series
  • Get more in shape
  • Learn how to finger pick more songs
  • Read Book of Mormon
  • Finish up song requests as of 2010
  • Attend the temple at least three times a month
  • Hangout with friends every single week
  • Finish at least two hymn arrangements
  • Apply for some type of job
  • Keep working on Personal Progress
  • Finish up first semester of online schooling
  • PARTY everyday, no matter what
I know it might not sound like much to you, but I do plan on trying to reach each and every one of these goals.  Hopefully, I can commit myself to each of these things until they're done and completed. Luckily, I have a good amount of time to work on each goal before this summer comes to a close. But I know, without a single doubt, that this summer is going to be very productive, very industrious yet very enjoyable, very memorable (: