It it NOT - part two


So at the beginning of the month I wrote a post bemoaning the fact that it was August
{see here}
which was followed by a post of all the reason why I love August in an attempt to make me actually love it.
{see here}

And now August is over-whaaat???

Overall, it hasn't been bad.

There was a period of almost three weeks straight where we were in the triple-digits, but I was inside most of that time, anyway.

It turns out that I was totally wrong about school being stress-free during August. Totally, entirely, ridiculously wrong. I must have jinxed myself by assuming that. But I've managed to get through it - and I still have pretty good grades so far!

And then last Tuesday I was told that I would be substituting for the ward organist the following Sunday...meaning that I had to learn all the songs in the three hours I would have to practice.
{Cue hysteria....}
But that went fine, too.


I have a couple of questions for you.

#1) Imagine you are the ward organist. You know that you are going to be out of town this coming Sunday, and you need to find a replacement. You choose:

a) the woman who has been playing for about as long as you (roughly 20-30 years) and is your usual substitute
b) the man who has been playing for between 8 and 10 years and has substituted for you twice before
c) The man who has been playing for around 5 years and had been used as a last resort a couple of times
d) that one chick who's been playing for about a year and gets to practice an hour a week every few weeks

#2) You are planning a funeral, and you need a pianist. You call:

a) the ward organist and choir pianist
b) the ward organist and pianist's regular substitute
c) the Relief Society pianist
d) that one chick with less than half of the experience of all the above choices

Who in their right mind chooses D for both?
I don't understand my ward.



 All in all, I think I successfully managed to make myself enjoy August.
Conquering yourself feels pretty good...even if it's something as simple as this.


Bloggy Goals


I love to-do lists. It's an obsession, actually. I make them all the time - literally every day this past summer. I was busy...and now I'm busier. 

Every time I start something new {i.e. school year, activity, blog...} I come up with a list of goals for whatever it is. Well, I call them goals, but I treat them more like a to-do list. I'm more likely to actually reach them that way.  

Anyhoo, I realized earlier that I never made a list of goals/to-dos for this blog. I know, shocking, right? And so, without further ado, I bring you....

These are the things that I want to have accomplished by the time that my blog has its first birthday this coming April:

#1) Make some bloggy BFFS - 
Back before I was busy with my own blog, when I found a blog that I really liked, I would go back through their archives and read every.single.post. they had ever written. 
Creepy, right?
Needless to say, after that, I totally felt like we were bloggy BFFs in this wierd, one-sided, stalker-ish way, but I never made contact with them, so I'm not sure they really count as bloggy BFFs. Hence the goal to make some bloggy friends that do count. 
If you're interested, I'm taking applications. 
Just kidding. 
But seriously, shoot me an e-mail. 

#2) Find a way to keep posting regularly when classes start - 
School is insane.
 I don't know how people in school continue to post on a regular basis. So if you have any suggestions, or know any college student bloggers who make it work, let me know. You'll be my new best friend - that's how much I need help with this! 

#3) Respond to every comment-
Because I think that'd be cool.

#4) Inspire and be inspired - 
I am inspired literally every day by the blogs I follow...that's why I follow them. It may take longer than a year for me to become a source of inspiration, but I'll take it whenever it comes!

There you have it - my bloggy goals. Nothing too crazy to start off with. These goals are just going to make blogging even more fun than it already is - and it's a blast!


Dear Boys,

Dear Duck,

You finally talked to me!
I've decided to assume that you do not have a girlfriend, which makes your behavior entirely acceptable.


Dear D,

Don't be mad! I take the blame! And stop asking stupid questions!


Dear Louis,

I've gotten warnings about you from two people now...but to be honest, I'm willing to take a chance. So ask me on a date?


Dear Wolfie,

You need to be in my classes! Switch! NOW!
Or at least come and talk to me...I love your voice...German accents are very attractive!

The American

My dearest Spaniard,

I think you need to come visit so that I can keep loving you. Long distance sans communication makes it hard...

La Senorita

My Stripling Warrior,

I'm working and working and working to be good for you! But I know you're doing the same...I'm going to be lucky to have you.

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


The Liebster Award

Now that it's been a week {or something...I'm to lazy to actually check} since Jen gave me the award, here's the post you've been waiting for!
{See here for an explanation of the award}

#1) Who/what inspired you to create your blog?
I was a blog stalker long before I was a blogger. The first blogger that ever made me want to become a blogger was Brittney from A Day in the Life Too.... Her posts always made me laugh, and I loved her style. I was super bummed when she retired from this blog. Something silly about taking care of her newborn baby...pshaw.
{Note: I just found her family blog, A Day in the Life..., which she still blogs at, and will now happily continue stalking her. Took me long enough to find it...I'm such a bad stalker}

#2) How did you come up with your blog name?
Coming up with the blog name was the hardest part. I really wanted to come up with one of those super cute, catchy names, but I was stumped. I decided on Finding the Joys in My Journey because that's what I'm trying to do right now, and I figured that was probably what I'd be blogging about, so it seemed appropriate. To be honest, though, I see a name change some time in the future...

#3) What is your favorite food and/or drink?
I love anything with shrimp in it.

#4) What's your hidden talent?
I don't think I have any! As much as I'd like some of them to be hidden {ahem, piano and organ},I'm pretty sure all my talents are out in the open. Ummm...I can play "Hot Cross Buns" on the trumpet?

#5) If you could choose one vacation spot in the entire world, where would you go and why?
IrelandIrelandIRELAND! I'm madly in love with the language, the culture, the geography...take me there? I already know a bit of Irish Gaelic, but it's a dream of mine to live there for a while and just absorb myself in the language.

#6) What's the weirdest or most exotic thing you've ever eaten?
You have no clue how happy I am that this was one of the questions! I love telling people about this...The weirdest thing I've ever eaten is a  live cricket.
Yes folks, you heard correctly: a live cricket.
Getting it in my mouth was the hardest part - it kept trying to hop away. After that, it was fine...'cause, you know, after you bite down, it's dead. 
There were the really sour guts, but besides that, it wasn't so bad. Except for the fact that back when I did this, I had braces...and I found the remnants of a leg stuck in them later.
Have I grossed you out enough? I swear, I'm not really a disgusting person. I just make strange decisions when I've been camping with a bunch of friends for a week.


#7) Which is the color that best describes you or stands for your personality?
I really didn't know how to answer this, so I turned to some online quizzes. One said blue, another said light yellow, and the rest wanted me to give them my personal information before they sent me the answers. I'm going to go with blue. Personally, I like yellow better, but blue fits my personality with the way it changes and all of its shades.

#8) Would you rather be blind, deaf, or mute?
Mute. 100%, without a doubt, mute. 
I'd be miserable if I couldn't see the world, especially since I'm awful at visualizing things in my head.
I'd rather die {okay, so that's a bit over-dramatic} than never be able to hear music, or a waterfall, or my family's voices again.
I've discovered that I can literally go hours without talking, and there are other ways of communication anyway, so I'd definitely choose being mute.

#9) What's your current outfit?
Ummmm...this is embarrassing.
It's been a tiring enough week {yes, I do realize that it's only Tuesday} that I'm in my pajamas.
A.K.A. A shirt from elementary school that I still fit in {crazy, right?!} and a pair of pretty trashy basketball shorts. And, for the icing on the cake, my hair is wet. A few seconds ago it was wrapped up in a towel.
Isn't that a lovely picture?

And now, the people that I'm giving the award to:

My questions:
#1) If you were given the opportunity to live forever, would you take it?
#2) What is an everyday object that brings back memories?
#3) Would you rather be "dazzlingly clever, angelically good, or divinely beautiful?"
{if you got the reference, kudos to you! say it in your answer!}
#4) What is the most trouble you ever got in as a kid?
#5) Out of all the classes you've ever taken, which was your favorite?
#6) Who's your celebrity look-alike?
#7) You know those jokes that make you laugh every time, regardless of how dumb they are? What's your favorite?
#8) What's your favorite pick-up line? What's the worst?
#9) Quick! Two truths and a lie! {I'll guess...but you have to tell me if I'm right}

If the question could be answered by only a 'yes' or 'no', or something simple like that, still elaborate. I want to get to know you!
Get to it, ladies! When you've done it, leave a link to your post in the comments, or shoot me an e-mail. I can't wait to hear your answers!



I promise I'm working on the Liebster Award post - but I'm having trouble coming up with new questions for the bloggers I award it to! I'll have it soon {tomorrow if school isn't too crazy}, but for now...


So I had this dumb thought the other day:

"I do like change....so long as it doesn't put me out of my comfort zone."

Um, hello - what is change if it's not getting out of your comfort zone?

I've realized that all of the things that I'm not liking about this school year so far are all things that I can change - even if all I can do is change how I feel about them. I need to learn to want to change more than I want to stay in my comfort zone by staying the same.

It's so easy to say that....it's the doing that's going to be a problem. But just watch me!


This Academic Year....

I have only two goals:

#1) Nothing less!
This is officially my personal motto.
This school year, I will give nothing less than my best in my school work, relationships with others, study of the gospel, and becoming the best me I can be. 
I'm not even going to make a goal of maintaining a 4.0+ GPA - just of doing my best.
{Okay, so that's a total lie...I'm never going to not have that goal...}


#2) Live a little
I'm the type of person that is the opposite of "instant gratification". If I didn't have awesome friends and family to convince me to have fun every once in a while, I'd probably work my life away. This year, I want to make time for me, which should keep off at least some of the crazy panic attacks of last year.

What kinds of goals do/did you make for new school years?


Dear Boys,

Dear School,

We are at Day 6 of classes, and I'm already feeling completely overwhelmed by the work and exhausted from minimal hours of sleep. Give me my life back!

Falling asleep as we speak,

Dear 12,

You are handsome, well-dressed, self-centered, arrogant, and you have a potty mouth!
I am o-ficially uninterested.
Feel free to continue being like this, because I would hate to fall for you again.

Thank you much,
Not Katniss

P.S. Okay, so you're not actually that bad. I just don't want to like you. Nothing good can possibly come from it!

Dear Fingers,

You are...I don't know. But tonight was sweet. Thank you.


Dear B-Face,

You're really nice and all.....but you have this tendency of ruining, like, EVERYTHING. Go away, will you?

Respectfully yours,

Dear Duck,

Argh! You're so confusing and frustrating! I thought you had a girlfriend, but now I'm not sure, except for I sort of am, and you were making those faces, and.....blech. You should talk to me.


Dear D,

You're going to LOVE your birthday present! As long as you don't get in a huge fight with your current crush, that is. Doing that would totally ruin the present, and make life really awkward...especially since because I'm so proud of it, I'd give it to you anyway.


Dear Grasshopper,

You are WAY too young.

Sorry darlin',
The One Who Giggles

Dear Doctor,

You are too sweet. Stop it.


Dear Milo,

That was awkward...well, at least it should have been awkward. Now I'm just confused.

Your Bestest Friend

Dear Peewee,

How many times are we going to have to go through our awkward cycle for you to realize that we do not work???

Getting desperate,

Dear Baker,

We've been through this already. And don't you dare listen to a thing my friends say!


Dear Spaniard,

Things are going to be awkward next time we see each other, aren't they?

La Senorita


Well, This Is Cool!

Who's heard of the Liebster Award?

Yeah, me neither. Until now, anyway. So the deal is, when you get it, you pass it around to up to 11 amazing blogs with under 200 followers. I got it from Jen over at whyyyjen (a huge thank you to her!), and I can't wait to spread the love!

I'll be posting my answers to Jen's questions and listing the blogs I'm passing it on to very soon - for now, I'm just going to let the coolness of this sink in...

Have a frabjous Tuesday!



#1) What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
That's a toughie...there are probably half a million things I would do. The first one that comes to mind is running a marathon.

#2) If you only had 6 months to live, what would you do with the time?
run a marathon
go to Europe
try surfing
spend time with my family
forgive without restraint
love with no regrets
speak my mind
buy whatever impractical clothes I like and wear them every day
have my first kiss
dance in the rain
have a paint fight
take a gajillion family pictures
journal like crazy
go on a road trip with my friends
smile every day
never complain
make someone's day
be the best me I can be
live like Christ

#3) If a front page news article was written about you, what would the headline be?
Oldest Woman in the World Shares Her Secrets of Longevity
{I kinda don't like the idea of dying...so I'm gonna stay around for, like, ever. That's the plan, anyway}

#4) What is your biggest pet peeve?
I usually try to avoid answering this question...and if I can't, I answer very carefully. Have you ever noticed that your biggest pet peeves usually end up being something that you do a lot? Maybe that's just me....if I let some of the things I do bug me as much as they do when other people do them, I would never want to be around myself. 
Anyhoo, a safe answer:
My biggest pet peeve is when people change lanes without using their blinker. It drives me crazy - as if driving doesn't scare me enough already, you have to throw in idiots lovely people who don't use their blinkers!
My apologies if you're one of those {ahem} lovely people...no offense intended. Ish.

#5) What is your favorite chick flick movie?
I lovelovelove "Letters to Juliet". That's a chick flick, right? I think it's a chick flick.



I'm addicted to Pinterest, guys.

That alone isn't uncommon, but I never had an account. You know how you had to link it to your Facebook or Twitter account before? Well, I don't have either.

But just a few minutes ago, I went on Pinterest, and I saw "Join Pinterest" at the top instead of "Request an Invite", so I clicked on it............and I saw "link to your e-mail address" as an option.


The world loves me sometimes...
I'm getting a Pinterest!

Because I Looked Amazing

...in person. I'm just the least photogenic person in existence. And I can't pose. There were waaay more pictures...but they were pretty awful.
But if you saw me in person, you'd be like "She looks great!" At least, that's what I was thinking.

Excuse the bare feet. 

//necklace: vintage//shirt: target//skirt: made by me//
belt: hand-me-down//shoes: wet seal//

This red skirt is seriously my favorite thing, like, ever. I would totally wear it every day if that were socially acceptable....

Happy Monday!


Lesson #3: The "Gray Area", or the Lack Thereof

At the beach - I'm the one in the middle

Here's another tid-bit from my trip to the coast a few weeks ago!

So there's this really great quote.

Our second speaker, Brother Johnson, shared it with us and told us that it had always bugged him - life can't really be just black and white, can it?

Then he told us about an image a young woman had received when pondering the quote:


Picture two rooms: one is white and full of light, and the other is black and entirely without light. There is a door in between the two rooms. When you open it, the light goes from the white room into the dark room, creating a gray area. That gray area is on the dark side.

The second we step into that gray area, we give Satan power over us to drag us in even further. There is no such thing as a sin that's "not so bad" - a sin is a sin, and we cannot afford to dwell in a gray area.

{There goes all the justifications I ever give about something not being "that bad"....}

I'm definitely going to be working harder to stay on the Lord's side, keeping His commandments with as much exactness as I can!


It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

...It's my super-awesome reverse-applique Superman t-shirt!

I was going to a superhero themed event, and I didn't own anything remotely superhero related, and I'm too cheap/broke to go out and buy anything, so I whipped up this baby! 

I used the men's tee to a flattering tee tutorial from Cotton & Curls to refashion a men's t-shirt, then reverse appliqued the superman symbol on the chest using leftover black fabric from this project.

You've actually already seen this, because I was wearing it with my red pencil skirt when I took pictures for this tutorial, which was right before I left for the event. 

I love DIY!




one. I love Taylor Swift's new single!I totally can't relate at all, but it's such a fun song!
two. I get more joy than can possibly be normal from this skirt.
three. I'm going ice skating tonight for the first time in...seven years! Wish me luck!
four. Last night I was messaging back and forth with a friend of mine, and he was sending me all of these really great Christian songs. Hillsong Live is a really amazing group...I teared up several times. It was the coolest online conversation I've had in a while.
five. Yesterday, two people whom I love very mucho were finally able to be sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa, Arizona temple! The only thing that could have made it better would have been if I had been there...

Have a great Friday!


Pushing Through

I didn't post yesterday {obv} because I was about to just sit here and rant. The first day of classes is always...stressful for me. And it's not even the work - it's just me. 

When I saw this post from Jessica at Lovely Little Things {whom I love - she's way up there on my list of bloggers that I would totally love to be real-life besties with}, I was ecstatic. I knew that it was perfect for my first day - I would make it amazing by not complaining, and choosing joy.

Throughout the day, I did pretty well with that. Even in the classes where I was {and will continue to be} a clear outcast, I kept a positive attitude.

But then I got home, and everything came crashing down.

People have been telling me for months that I'm crazy for taking the classes that I'm choosing to take - and yesterday, I believed that. I was overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy. The thought I had no clue what I was getting myself into. There's no way I can do this! wouldn't leave my mind. And then on top of that, I started dwelling on the feelings of being an outcast. I was a mess, and I had entirely lost the battle of not complaining, which was just another thing for me to hold against myself. 

But you know what I've realized?

I'm going to be fine.

Yes, the classes are going to be more challenging than any I have ever taken before.
Yes, I am going to feel like an outcast for a while.

But I'm not giving up.

I'll work my butt off doing the work for the classes; whatever it takes to understand what's being taught.
I'll push myself out of my shell little by little and make some friends. 
Most importantly, I'll pray like crazy and trust that my Heavenly Father will get me through this.

And just because I didn't make it yesterday without complaining doesn't mean that I can't start again today. I'm keeping this sticky note with me as a reminder:

Today will be better, because I will make it so.


Lesson #2: Perfection

This also qualifies as a Flashback Tuesday post! Win-win!
I think the prompt for today might've actually been to do something about your childhood....but I want to post this. I was a fabulous, adorable child, just in case you were wondering.

At the camp we were staying at last week, we got to hear some pretty awesome speakers. One of them was this guy I LOVE -  I look up to him so much. His name is Boris, and he is seriously amazing.

He gave this really great message, but there's really only one part that I remember. It really stuck out to me, and I know it was something I really needed to hear...and will definitely need to remember.

Matthew 5: 48 has always bugged me.
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is is heaven is perfect."
What kind of commandment is that?

I've never had any problems with the other commandments - they all seemed reachable. I knew that if I worked hard enough, I could conquer them. But then there was this commandment - "Be ye therefore perfect". How was I supposed to attain perfection?

I've gotten pretty worked up over this multiple times in the past, reducing  myself to a sobbing, sniffling mess over the thought that I will never be good enough.

Enter Boris.

He read this scripture and then referred us to 1 Nephi 3:7.
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
{emphasis added by me}

Duh! I've been hearing this scripture all my life, but I never made the connection between the two.

"Be ye perfect" is a commandment - therefore, I can attain perfection. I know I will not do it in this life, but it will come. Because of Christ's sacrifice, I can become perfect. It's just up to me to make the decision to work hard enough to do so.




Ahhh! Dream come true! Right after I discover Mikarose for the first time, there are not one, but two giveaways from them on blogs I follow!

This is definitely a sign that I'm meant to win one of them.

Check it out at Whispering Sweet Nothings!

But...uh, feel free not to enter to give me a better chance of winning.


Kind of.


Lesson #1: Service

People aren't putting pictures up on Facebook fast enough, so you get to hear more than you ever wanted to about my trip without the pictures of me!


We kicked off the conference with a service project. We went door-to-door collecting canned food and monetary donations for the local food bank.


The group that I was with was assigned a very poor neighborhood of run-down duplexes. These people might have been on support from the food bank themselves, but they just gave and gave...it was crazy in the best way possible. Their kids {ADORABLE kids} would help, and they would bring bags of cans to the door, or dollar bills.
 {fun fact: every dollar was the equivalent of 10 pounds of food}
They were so willing to give of themselves!

After we were done with our neighborhood, we said a prayer of gratitude in the car for their generosity and asked Heavenly Father to bless them for it. I hope that I can develop the same attitude of willing, selfless sacrifice.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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