Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baking Cookies to Fried Potatoes

Baking's not so bad.  

Today I decided to make cookies.  Snickerdoodle cookies!  I don't know why--just in the mood.  Hmmmm...this leads me to wonder what wife-prep is doing to me...

I really like to make cakes, too.  Hopefully this develops and begins to overlap with cooking.  I'm still a miserable cook that can only master hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.  I should get points for trying fried potatoes, though!  Next time I'll remember my mistakes and be sure not to make them again.  

But that's the point, isn't it?  You know, life means making mistakes.  We try our best to correct them at the time, but often we can't.  Sometimes our work isn't even salvageable (or we just eat around the burned parts of the fried potatoes).  But we know better next time!  Eventually we make less and less mistakes and our potatoes are passable!  

I hate to compare frying potatoes to learning from mistakes, but...well...there it is.  I've made a heck of a lot of mistakes.  For those I've hurt, I'm sorry.  For those I haven't, I'll do my best to never do so.  For those who still stick around, I love you and you mean the world to me.  For those who decided that it's better off not to stick around, that's okay...I love you, too, in your own special way.  I don't know how things will turn out in the future, and a long time ago, I didn't know what the present would be like.  Things are different.  Things change along the way.  My potatoes are different than I expected.  I still have fried potatoes, but they're a little bit battered and a little bit crispy.  But they're still good!  I've come to like them that way.  I love my potatoes and I worked hard to make them what they are.  In fact, the end potatoes are better than the anticipated ones because of my experiences in making them.  So let me have my potatoes and don't be hatin' on how I got them to be edible.  I just did.  

You should be content with that.

This actually started off to be about baking/cooking.  Clearly, now it's not.  But to the people that it should be obvious to, I think I made it pretty obvious.

If you're jealous of having fried potatoes, go make your own!

Monday, June 8, 2009


So right now I'm looking at some very big events coming up (and some just occurred) and I'd like to pause a moment and ponder where I was only a short time ago...

Over four years ago (March 2005)...I had my required physical at the doctor's office for tennis season and weighed in at 215 pounds.  How unhealthy I was!  Thank goodness I decided to quit doing the weight gain thing and started to work to slim myself down.  I'm not perfect now, but definitely a lot better off.  I'd be really unhappy with myself if I still looked and felt like I did all that time ago.

About four years ago (June 28, 2005)...I got my first job!  It sucked!  But I still work there.  It was really hard for me because I was physically undisciplined and the work was manual.  I remember my first day coming home and nearly passing out from exhaustion and the smell of eggs.  It was hot and sticky work and I wanted to quit, certain that I couldn't tough it out.  Buuuut...that first paycheck came and changed a whole heck of a lot.  Not too bad, I said to myself.  I was getting better at adapting to a schedule and developing the willpower to want to be there.  I had goals finally, and I met them!  Since then, I've put in a heck of a lot of hours, sometimes more than 100 a week (let's not repeat working 17 hour days ever again), and sometimes only just a few.  It's my last summer there right now because I'm moving to Muncie permanently, and I'll definitely miss the ones I work with.  I've done a few other "jobs" where I've come home and not been physically drained.  To me those aren't real jobs!  What will I do without it?

About three and a half years ago (January 23, 2006)...began dating this guy I was soooooo in love with in high school.  Tom helped me to see that people could really be happy if they set their hearts on it and knew the right way of going about it.  He was a wonderful example, and still continues to be.  It was rocky for us at that time, but he was always there--my friend and mentor.  Without his help and guidance...I can truly say I'd have no idea where I'd be!  Certainly not where I am today!

Almost three years ago (June 22, 2006)...During the period where we were not dating, I let Tom talk me into seeing the missionaries from his church and hear their message.  I took the first discussions with them at his home and learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I remember my first two elders (both of which I am now Facebook friends with) and how kind they were and their confidence in the gospel.  I had no idea that these men were only nineteen years old--two years older than I was.  How could they have known so much?  How could they have been so certain of what they taught?  Did God really listen to us when we prayed?  They taught me about Joseph Smith the first time and then the Plan of Salvation a short time later before my parents started to become skeptic of what I was learning.  They supposed I wanted to learn more to rebel and to please the boy I loved.  I cried when they told me I couldn't see the missionaries anymore.  I didn't know much about the church, but something felt right about it.  I wanted more.  I took more discussions without my parents' knowledge and decided to join whenever I moved away.  It was the most important promise I've ever kept.

Over two years ago (May 20, 2007)...We got back together, and eventually Tom left to go on a mission for his church.  It was a big commitment...two years away from home and only snail mail for us.  Could we keep a relationship like that going?  At the time, I prayed for it to be so.  I had already decided to join, and I promised that I'd wait for him so we could get married after he came home.  For once, I knew what I wanted in my life and it was the most amazing feeling in the world.  I was working toward becoming eternally happy.  I missed him soooo much, though.  I became depressed after he left and didn't get out of that for a long, long time.  I wished day after day that he'd come home and help me, but he remained diligent and stayed where he was called to serve.  I hated that fact at first, but over time, I realized it was probably the best gift anyone's ever given me.  I was allowed the opportunity to grow on my own and develop my own testimony without using someone else's as a crutch.  I was at a making it or breaking it point, and I made it!

Over a year and eight months ago (September 29, 2007)...the biggest day of my life so far...MY BAPTISM!  There are so many, many, many things I could say about that particular day.  I was so nervous that I forgot a towel to dry off with, for one, and had to phone Kim (Horn) Call to bring me one.  The night before I spent a heck of a lot of time on my knees crying for this to be the thing I needed that would change my life.  There was no turning back for me now!  The baptism was pretty simple and quick, but, oh...the feeling after.  The rest of the day was quiet and peaceful, but it was perfect.  It truly was The Best Day.  I got to show everyone that I was a Daughter of God and PROUD OF IT!

Over a year and three months ago (March 2008)...I got my first calling!  I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Young Women's program.  Those girls and the leaders did a lot for me and help me to finally manage to snap out of unhappiness and try for something more.  At that point, baptism wasn't the end of it and I had to exercise my testimony to make it bigger.  The calling was exactly what I needed!  I can't express in words what it's done for me and since being released, I've gotten a new calling (Visiting Teaching Coordinator).  I have a testimony that I'll learn oodles from that as well, but I have no idea what it will be.  I might not know for years down the road, but I know it will come.  Thank goodness for eternal progression!

Over a year and two months ago (April 7, 2008)...I started seeing a new boy.  He was my YSA/Baptism friend (we converted at the same time) and I finally decided to let someone else in instead of trying to do everything myself.  The Lord made other people so that we might rejoice in them and in our love for our brothers and sisters.  I needed to allow others to be a part of my life instead of saving it all for some undetermined time.  Kyle has been so patient with me for a very long time, and he is to be my eternal companion.  He knows me better than any other person in the world, and I feel like Heavenly Father put us together to strengthen each other and help one another reach exaltation.  When I need something, I go to Kyle.  He sometimes feels I still retreat and keep to myself, but how wrong he is.  Kyle is my everything, and he's even more to me because he understands the gospel and what it means to me.  What a lucky girl I am.  I don't know why I didn't agree to marry him sooner.  When I think of what would have happened to me if I had lost him...let's not finish that thought.  He is the one for me.

Over three months ago (March 1, 2009)...Kyle and I agreed to be sealed for time and all eternity.  We decided that we'd love to go to the Nauvoo temple sometime in the winter and have our families there with us before and after our sealing.  We both committed to be part of each other's earthly families and to begin our own eternal family.  I can't wait for the day we are sealed!

Four weeks ago (May 10, 2009) last summer at home began.  This is my last time to live with my mother, father, sister, and brother as a complete family unit.  I love them more than I can say and appreciate them, too.  When I think of my relationship with them a few years ago, I wonder how I've come so far.  The gospel has changed how I look at my family, and even though we are still different, we all know that we love each other.  

Four days from now (June 12, 2009)...Tom comes home.  The day that I'd prayed for so fervently.  How long ago that was!  I'm excited to meet him again to see how he's changed and talk with him about his mission and his experiences in Japan.  Still my friend, I can't wait until I see him again.  That hasn't differed at all over all this time.  I want to tell him in person how much his example has meant to me and how he's changed my life for the better.  Someone once asked me that, seeing how things had changed so much from our original plan, would I have preferred that Thomas stayed home?  NO.  This is where we are supposed to be.  The Lord knows each of our needs and if we are diligent and strive to obey His commandments, He will answer our prayers.  He has answered both of ours in a different way than originally anticipated.  That's okay.  I'm able to walk away from that with a reminder to not be arrogant and suppose that my timetable is more important than the Lord's.  I wouldn't change a thing about my experience and I know Thomas wouldn't either.  These were trials we were meant to encounter, and all we can do is try to overcome them faithfully.

205 days from now (December 30, 2009)...Kyle and I will be sealed for time and all eternity!  Happiness begins, and the trials are different.  I don't know how everything is going to work out financially, but they will.  The Lord will watch over us if we are mindful of Him.  We might argue and fight, but we will love each other eternally and we will both know that not even death could take the other away.  That's the beautiful thing about temple sealings!  I can't wait to take my place in our relationship as Kyle's eternal companion and a wife and mother in Zion.  It can't come quickly enough!

So many changes!  I'm so happy with where my life is going right now, and I know there will be even more changes, but I'm here to meet them!  I'm not backing down, I'm not chickening out, and I'll fight the adversary.  

And with the Lord, I'll win!

'And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.' (Alma 36: 27)