Unto You is Born This Day

I've been thinking....and I am one lucky girl.


I hope you've all had an amazing day, whether or not you were celebrating Christmas.

I'm kinda loving everyone and everything right now - this is the Christmas spirit {the spirit of Christ} that I need to keep around me all year long!

P.S. And just when I thought life couldn't get any better...I'm going 
to be falling asleep to the sound of rain on my window tonight. Life is good.


Me, Myself, & I ... numero cinq

Merry Christmas Eve!
As an early present, you get to hear me talk about myself!
'Tis the season... (;

#1) What was your favorite gift given to you as a child?
Considering the amount of thought that must have gone into the gifts I received as a child, I should probably remember them better...but that was an awfully long time ago! One year my grandparents got me this huge toy horse. I immediately named it Vanilla. I was usually pretty ecstatic when I got books, too.

#2) Christmas is almost here, what is that one Christmas song you could listen to on repeat?
Josh Groban's O Holy Night.
Every day, at least once a day, since Thanksgiving.
Just a wee bit obsessed...

#3) What are a few of the items on your Christmas list this year?
I've gotten rather fond of clothing....
A mustard infinity scarf, boot socks, oxford pumps, an eyelash curler, and a
Norwegian sweater, just to name a few.

#4) Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions? Explain.
Each year we pick a sibling {drawn out of a hat} to be a secret Santa for...even though by Christmas we've usually figured out who everyone has. The gifts are lovingly handmade, with tons of thought put into them. They're always a joy to open on Christmas morning!

#5) Which do you prefer: wrapping paper or gift bags? Why?
Wrapping paper all the way! First of all, there are so many fun ways you can do it - a bag is always a bag. But wrapping paper can be the newspaper or a Trader Joe's bag or some stenciled butcher paper...
And second - who doesn't love tearing through wrapping paper?

Merry almost-Christmas, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying this time with loved ones.
Drink lots of cider for me!

Christmas is a necessity.
There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that 
we're here for something else besides ourselves.

all images from my Pinterest boards


In the Midst of Celebration

I know I'm a bit late with posting about this, but I wanted to say something.
Losing a small child is a pretty personal issue for me, but I still can't imagine what the families 
in Newtown are feeling right now.

I was caroling with my church group on Wednesday night, and we were singing 
"Away in a Manger" at an elderly couple's house. When we got to the third verse, I 
couldn't help but tear up, thinking of those children...

Be near me, Lord Jesus; 
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray!
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven 
To live with Thee there.

I know they were welcomed with open arms. Those families are strong, incredible. 
They have felt every prayer, every wish for hope and peace sent their way.
I still believe in the innate goodness of people - if anything, this has strengthened that belief. One man hurt thousands, but those thousands have held each other up, helping one other heal.


And I think that is what Christmas is about.


Dear Boys,

You know what I realized a while ago? If any of the guys I write about were to read one of these posts, they would totally know which letter was for them....

Dear Term Paper,

It'd be oh so nice if you would write yourself...would you mind terribly?
I'd love you forever if you did...


Dear B-Face,

I've made a decision. It's not going to be awkward. We're going to have fun. And then it will never happen again.

You're welcome,

Dear 12,

It'd be nice if you'd make it official as to whether or not you're not in the game anymore....

Just wondering,
Probably not Katniss anymore

Dear Ewok,

That was embarrassing. I reeeally hope they never talk to you about it...
But if they do, recall that you started it.

Love you too,

Dear Prep,

I feel like quite the over-achiever on that goal.
By the way, I am thoroughly impressed with how thoroughly unspoiled you are.

You had fun, too, right?

Dear Troll,

You are heelarious. But you knew that.


Dear Duck,

A thousand smiles and then a few more!


Dear Michelangelo,

I'm liking this arrangement. It's definitely not awkward - thank you for that. :)


Dear Stripling Warrior,

You should be glad I'm going through all this stress now...I'll get my act together and be nothing but pleasant when we're married. At least, I was thinking it'd be nice if that's how it turned out.

All my love and then some,
Your Virtuous Woman ... in training

Dear Hendrix,

I don't think I've ever cared so much about someone I don't really know. I can't wait to meet you someday...even if it's in heaven.
No child should ever have to go through what you have, but from what I hear, you've been a trooper.
You're amazing, kid!

Merry Christmas & lots of love,
All of us


Believing in Something


I noticed a lot of these posts floating around the bloggy world a while ago, and
I've finally decided to make my own. Kudos to whoever did the original one!

I believe....

+ that socks are always a good gift
+ in second chances
+ in a loving Heavenly Father
+ that I am His daughter
+ in lots of whipped cream
+ that rolling down the windows and playing
 loud music makes a minivan cool
+ in working hard
+ in taking breaks
+ perfection is attainable...some day
+ my best is good enough until then
+ people are placed in my life for a reason
+ trials are blessings
+ chocolate and mint were a match made in heaven
+ in living prophets
+ baby hedgehogs are pretty much the cutest things ever
+ somewhere out there, I've got a Stripling Warrior waiting for me
+ in staying up all night to finish a good book
+ popcorn is better with cheese
+everything is better with cayenne pepper
+ in answered prayers
+ that no is still an answer
+ not yet is an answer, too
+ Christmas is amazing
+ Josh Groban was one of the lead singers in
the choir of angels in heaven...as was David Archuleta
+ in running
+ that I can share my testimony through music and the way I live my life
 better than I ever could with words
+ in singing and dancing around the house
+ that love can conquer all
+ in a Taylor Swift song for every situation
+sweet pickles are NASTAY
+ adding a scarf automatically makes any outfit super-cute
+ that people are innately good
+ in getting stuck on the Ellen DeGeneres channel on Youtube
+ hugs and kisses can fix anything
+ in dressing up
+in breakfast for dinner
+ that I can still be a princess and a ballerina...childhood
fantasies never really expire
+ in the Law of Compensation: tears of sorrow will be
 repaid a hundredfold with tears of joy in the end
+ in an infinite Atonement that will make all things
right and fair in the end

Happy Monday!
What do you believe in? If you write up one of these
posts {or have already done so}, let me know - I'd love to see it!

Covered in Grace


{This is How November Went}

It didn't.
Not Happiness Project-Wise, anyway.
But really, that depends on how you look at it.

A little before half-way though November, I dropped all of my November Attitude goals. I still tried to keep up with the daily prayer and scripture study, but I let all the others go for a new, broader goal:

I needed to stop being so hard on myself.

It's really become an issue.
Well, it's been an issue for forever, but it's never affected me to this degree before. I've been in a funk for the past who-knows-how-long, and self-criticism really isn't helping.

I go to Church every Sunday...and the lessons make me miserable. The teachers ask for examples, and people give them, and all I'm thinking is "I'm not like that. That's how I'm supposed to be." They read the quotes for the lesson, and all I'm thinking is how far I feel from whatever the right thing to be is. I used to participate in class - I was the one giving examples. But I haven't been saying much lately. I have nothing to say.

I do school work, and I don't understand it, and I think of when everything was easy for me. When I didn't have to put much effort into anything to get it right.

I'm comparing myself to others, but not nearly as much as I'm comparing myself to a better me.


I've kinda let this take over, and everything else just...falls out of place.
I'm casual about my work ethic. School work is HARD, so I work slowly, trying to get it, and give up easily, resulting in all-night-ers to get everything done on time. I'm always exhausted.
I'm casual about serving others, or even really thinking of them at all. I'm focused on ME-pitiful little ol' me.
I'm casual about my prayers. Truly sincere prayers where I feel that closeness with my Father have been few and far between.
I'm casual about my scripture study. I can't remember the last time I sat down and had a legit study session, where I felt the Spirit while I was reading.

Obviously those last two are the root of my problem.
Ever since this funk started, I've been putting extra effort into looking nice every day. My reasoning is that since I feel so awful, it'll only make it worse if I look awful, too. If I look cute, I'll just feel the normal level of awful. If I had taken that time to instead put extra effort into praying and reading my scriptures, how much better off would I have been?

Everybody can tell, too. I hate pity. But I get it anyway, because I have a face incapable of hiding emotion. When I'm miserable, everyone knows. I can smile and say that I'm fine...but this face of mine. Frustrating.

And the worst part is, I've had to hit this low before finally addressing the problem and making a conscious effort to fit it.

Thus, my December goals:
Study like a boss. I'm pulling out the old scripture journal. It's getting written in EVERY. DAY. Dusting off my patriarchal blessing. Spending 30 minutes every Sunday with Preach My Gospel. Getting some Personal Progress done. Finishing the Book of Mormon by the new year.
Pray like Enos. If you don't know the story, simple version here. My prayers are important, and I need to treat them so. I need to dedicate entire prayers to simply giving thanks, frequently.

I've got this.

Lord, help me overcome myself.


Hullo, Lovelies...

It's been a while. 
Remember when I used to post a lot?
Those were the days...

But never fear! Finals will be over in another week or so {minor freakout...}, and then things'll get back to normal! And maybe then I'll get back to working hard and caring about my work quality and not procrastinating. 
It never hurts to be positive!


So, all you college students, how are YOUR finals/prepping for finals going?
And non-students...how glad are you that you don't have finals anymore? The rest of us are jealous.

Chin up, chickadees - life is good!


In Case There Was Any Confusion:

I'm not getting married any time soon
{as much as I'd love to be, even if it's just so I can wear one of these for real...}
 I promise to actually bring up the man in my life on this here bloggy before I announce my wedding.

So now that the joke's over {haha...aren't I funny?}, here's the story-

I spent a night at a local bridal/formal boutique trying on wedding and formal dresses. 
No particular reason -who needs a reason to play dress-up?

The boutique is called "Celestial Bridal & Prom", and it's pretty much the cutest thing ever. The best part is, 
every. single. dress.
was completely modest!

What I learned:
+ my dress size is, like, nonexistent. I will need to have every dress I ever
buy altered - I'm not busty or waist-y enough for anything that fits my hips!
Every dress I tried on had to be clipped up in the back to make it fit.
+ large quantities of modest dresses in a single place DO exist
+ they make high-low hem wedding dresses! 
+ all that I really care about in a wedding dress:
train and veil.
Preferably when both are lacy
+ if left to my own devices when posing, I will do the same weird
thing with one of my feet every time:

Celestial was the cutest little place, with great intimate settings, and the owner, Shelby Coleman, was super sweet and helpful, even though we were just there for fun. And I swear she has this gift for being able to sense what people will like - I'd come out of the changing room to take pictures, and she'd have another dress picked out that she thought would be perfect for me, and I loved all of them!

This was the most fun night I've had in a while - and I felt like a princess the whole time!

What are your favorite dress styles - wedding or otherwise?
Anyone else as crazy about the trains and veils as I am?


Guess What....??? {a sneak peak}

P.S. I'm part of a giveaway over on Rushing for Bagels!
You can get more details on her blog, but I'll be hosting the Rafflecopter here, too!


Getting Excited...

 Today I'm guest posting on Brittany's blog!


 Check it out here - I'm talking about my favorite holiday traditions.
Speaking of which, I forgot to write about one of my absolute favorite holiday traditions - putting up the Christmas tree the Monday after Thanksgiving. THAT'S TONIGHT!
So if anyone needs me, I'll be decking the halls ... and singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs.

Is anyone else as excited as I am for the holidays?
What traditions are you looking forward to???


ME, MYSELF, & I ... numero quatre

It's that time of the month again...
the Me, Myself, & I Link-up!

#1) What are your top 5 favorite movies to watch during the Holidays?
The Miracle on 34th Street,
The Nativity Story,
The Santa Claus {gotta love Tim Allen!}
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town,
& Mr. Kreuger's Christmas {even though I cry every time...}

How to Live
#2) It's the month of giving thanks, what are you most thankful for?
Oh, gee.... at least half a million things! Just to name a few,
+ warm socks
+ technology / electricity
+ God's love
+ autumn leaves
+ my opportunities for education
+ the scriptures
+ prayer
+ a supportive, loving family
+ friends that put up with me
+ books ... and having time to read them
+ this here bloggy and all you wonderful readers :)
+ my church
 + warm food
+ the fact that I am healthy and well
+ my divine potential
+ the Atonement
+ love

How to Live
#3) If there was a quote or a verse to describe your like, what would it be?
"I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions"

#4) Who in your family are you most like?
I think I have my dad's work ethic {except for when I procrastinate...that's purely me}, but personality-wise, I guess I'm most like my mom. My friends who know my mom constantly tell me how something that I said is exactly what my mom would have said. We find the same types of things funny{making fun of each other being on that list}. She's way more outgoing than I am, but I've noticed that the way I talk to new people is pretty similar to the way that she does. Overall, she's a pretty cool person to be like :)

#5) What is your favorite drink order at Starbucks?
As if you haven't been hearing this enough lately...white hot chocolate! When it's not cold, my go-to drink is the Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino, though.

Now go check out everybody else's posts here - and link up your own!
Today's the first day of Thanksgiving Break...finally!

P.S. I'm grateful for
+ Christmas music
+ pecan pie for lunch ... 
+ the opportunity to be grateful. Have you ever 
thought about what a blessing that truly is?


fRiDaY - high fivin' it

#1) Starbucks' White Hot Chocolate is reeeeally good. 'Nuff said.
{thank you for suggesting it, Haunani!}

#2) My race yesterday went really well! I know I said the last race was my last this season, but this one snuck up on me. I wasn't supposed to qualify for it, but one of the qualifiers couldn't go, so I got bumped up a spot. And I'm glad I did - I ended up getting my best time of the season. Today's soreness is 100% worth it!

#3) Listening to and singing along with my Gaelic playlist...

#4) I went to a gun safety course Wednesday night - I'm getting ready to go shooting the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

#5) One Direction's new album this week ... don't lie. You were way excited, too.

How have your weeks been? Anyone else crazy-excited for Thanksgiving next week???

P.S. I'm grateful for
+ the fact that it's Friday
+ that means I have a whole ... uh, one day to 
catch up on all my school work!
+ music that speaks to the soul {MoTab, anyone?}


Dear Boys,

Dear KickPushCoast,

No-shave November looks good on you.


Dear Ewok,

You're a dork. But it's kind of adorable. Ish. :)

Love you too,

Dear Prep,

We've officially talked outside of school! Goal #2 accomplished. You wanna get me 12's number so I can accomplish #1?

Pretty Please?

Dear 12,

Or you could give me your number yourself. Whichever.


My dearest Stripling Warrior,

I really hope you like shooting. Because I think I like shooting. I'll get back to you on that after next Saturday. But how cute would that be? We could go shooting together!

All my love and then some,
Your Virtuous Woman ... in training

Dear Readers,

I think it's about time to bring up the no-reply issue again...
Click on that bright red button on the left to find out about it. Or read this post. If you're not sure whether not you fall under that category, here's an easy way to know - if you've ever commented on my blog and not received a reply, you are one. And if you can't remember, leave a comment on this post and if I don't get back to you, you're a no-reply commenter.

Y'all are the bestest!

P.S. I'm grateful for
+ a healthy body
+ opportunities to challenge myself
+ when said opportunities are over with so
 I can look back and appreciate them


How To...Post Regularly When Life is INSANE

Okay guys, I think I've got it figured out.


One of my goals here was to find a way to post regularly even through school, and  I think I've got a pretty good system going {besides that one week...we're ignoring that one week}. 


Here's how you do it:

+ Still write posts the day of as often as possible
+Whenever you have a thought that you know you could blog about, open a new post, title it, and type up that idea
+As there's time, complete the idea and add pictures

Then, when the need arises, I have an almost complete post waiting for me that I add a sentence to and voila - it's ready to publish. And it's kind of funny, because that's the process that was used for this post ... it's been sitting around for months waiting to be finished. So here's proof that it works!

Having regular weekly/monthly posts {i.e. Dear Boys, High 5 for Friday, Me, Myself & I} is nice, too - one less day to worry about!

But then the problem arises when you've used all of your pre-made posts and are somewhat inspirationless...at least tomorrrow's a Dear Boys day!

P.S. I'm grateful for
+ waking up on time for the first time in a week!
+ eggs on toasted sourdough bread
+ Costco pumpkin streusel muffins...how have I been missing out on these?

Covered in Grace

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