Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Baby Brother

I remember when my parents gave my older sister and I t-shirts that said "I'm going to be a big sister" and "I'm going to be a big sister (again)" to announce to us that my mother was pregnant. I was really excited about it because it had just been my older sister and I for a really long time. My parents didn't find out that they were having a boy so I didn't know that I was FINALLY getting a brother until the day that he was born and I was vising my mother in the hospital. I remember thinking how tiny he was and how happy I was that I would be able to teach him so many things.

Fast forward 16 years to when I was reading this article about all of the things that we as sisters realize when our baby brother grows up. I'll be honest, I teared up about half way through reading it. As my baby brother grew up and as I grew up with him, I started to realize just how great the kid is and just how much I adore him. As he became one of my best friends, I realized these things that the article talks about as well:

1.  He Will Outgrow You: Brother and I would stand up next to each other every time I came to visit during my college years... just to make sure that he wasn't taller than me yet. One particular October my father said, "Come Christmas time, he'll have you beat!" I laughed and said no way.... but I was wrong! He now towers over by at five foot ten inches, I believe!

2. Teenage Boy Sass is a Real Thing: When brother was just entering the teen years, this really wasn't applicable. It was around 14 and 15 that he really started having an attitude! If I had a dollar for every time I said, "Wow! Okay sassy!", I would be a millionaire. He has a very kind heart though so his sass level really isn't even that high.

3. He Will go Through a Phase When He is Too Cool for You: I beg to differ on this one! Brother is 16 years old and he has yet to go through this phase. He lets me hug him in public, says he loves me (when I say it to him first), chooses to ride in the car with me over my parents... Lots of things like that. I have seen him not need me for as many things as he used to but with my brother, I don't think this one even applies!

4. He Will Begin to Form His Own Opinions, and He is Actually Really Smart: It's a little different with brother and myself on this one. I haven't lived at home for 6 years so naturally he was going to get smarter over time and start having his own opinions. I guess I just didn't realize just how quickly he could get so smart. Every time I visit him, he impresses me with something new!

5. No Girl Will Ever be Good Enough for Him: Brother is brand baby new in the dating world since he only turned 16 in August buuuuuut that doesn't mean we aren't used to him and all his little girlfriends! He's had admirers since he was young because, I mean, look at him! He's a doll :) He wanted to introduce one of his friend's to our family this summer when we took a trip to Lagoon. I remember talking with my mother about it and I kept saying, "I don't like her already, I don't like her already!". My mother would have to keep reminding me that I didn't even know her yet and that I needed to be nice to her when she came by. In my head, however, I kept thinking, "I don't care who she is, she's trying to date my brother which means I don't like her." I agree with this one 100%

6. He Has Your Back: I haven't been in a situation, that I can think of anyway, where brother would need to have my back or stand up for me. That being said, just because the situation has never arisen, I know he would have my back through anything I needed him for. He's fiercely loyal and I know I could count on him for anything!

7. People Will Think He is Your Boyfriend and Vice Versa: This literally happened to me yesterday! I got asked if the boy in my profile picture on Facebook (-----> that one over there) was my boyfriend! I chuckled a little bit as this is not the first time I have been asked this. I don't know about his experience but I've definitely had my fair share. For the record, NO! I am not dating him. He is my brother! haha!!

8. Every Year He Turns Another Year Older, You Freak Out Because You Remember How Old You Felt When You Were His Age, and it is Not Possible for Him to be That Old: I never thought about this until about two or three years ago when time literally jumped into warp speed. I often times will talk with my mother about new things that my siblings are doing. Brother, for example, has his license and his own truck. When did he become old enough for that?! He can go on dates and has a curfew and goes out with friends on Friday nights... I see him as my favorite little ten year old... Not this handsome skyscraper that is old enough for friends and high school games and girls and cars!

9. You Are His Biggest Fan: Wherever he chooses to go to college, whatever his career aspirations are, whoever he decides to date then marry...... No matter what decision this boy makes, I'll will be by his side 100% and then some! I will do everything in my power to reach his dreams and if I can't help, I'll be cheering him on the entire time!  

10. He is Your Best Friend: This one is pretty self-explanatory on its own. I consider this kid one of my best friends! I can tell him anything, we have inside jokes and we're both really sarcastic with each other. But we both know that we love each other and at the end of the day, we will always have a best friend!

11. You Will Always Worry About Him: Whenever I call my house, I always ask to talk to my brother (if he's not busy on this phone or with the television). Talking to a 16 year old teenage boy on the phone is not the easiest task and I usually only got one or two word responses out of him, but at least he knows I care about how he is doing and how life is going. I worry about him from my house in Logan because I can't be the "uncool" sister that bugs him all the time.... aaaand if I need any info on him, that's what mom is for!

12. No Matter How Old He Gets, He Will Always be Your Baby Brother: For anyone that knows me, they know I don't call brother by his first name.... ever! I actually said Ashton once when talking with one of my roommates and she had to ask who I was talking about. I told her that my brother's name is Ashton and she says, "I know that... but you never call him by his name. It's always baby brother." And that is still true to this day. He's been called baby brother by me so many times, he's gotten really good at responding to it quickly, just like it's his own name. I will still be calling him baby brother at his Jr. Prom, his wedding, his children's weddings and so on.

I love having a brother and quite honestly, I'm glad he's my only brother. I'm thankful for him in my life. I'm thankful that he's down for adventures or Pokemon hunting anytime of the day. I'm thankful that he has a dry sense of humor like I do. I'm thankful for our friendship and the influence he is in my life. I'm thankful for our multiple FaceTimes where we make the ugliest faces and screen shot each other! I'm thankful for a travel buddy just so we can jam to country music, even if we're only going a few blocks over. I'm thankful that he's willing to take selfies with me multiple times because "that one sucked!". Baby brother, if you've read this far (which I doubt you will), know that I love you immensely and I thank Heavenly Father every day for giving you to me!

Until Next Time, "After a girl is grown, her little brothers-- now her protectors-- seem like big brothers." -- Terri Guillemets

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Wishing Tree

Last week at work, my co-workers and I got to tag along with our girls on one of their exploration trips to the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City. If you haven't had a chance to visit the museum, I highly recommend it! So many hands-on things to do there for little ones and big people alike! My girls had a blast creating with their hands and being able to think outside the box during multiple activities there.

There was one exhibit in particular that really pulled at my heart strings. In one of the corners of the museum was a single tree with lots and lots of things hanging from it. Out of curiosity I walked over to it and saw the sign that said, "The Wishing Tree" on it. I also realized that the things hanging from the tree were little tags with wishes that people had written. Next to the tree was a little table with the tags and pencils and a sign that said, What do you wish for....?". I instantly thought about all the wishes that I assumed were on the tree like, "I wish for a million dollars", "I wish to be skinnier/prettier", or "I wish to have some really nice car". I started reading some of the tags on the tree and boy, was I wrong!

 As I sat and read through all of the wishes on the tree, I was so overcome with emotion. I was so sad for all the people who have such big wishes; safety, loved ones to return home safely, to be reunited with people they've lost.... At the same time, I was so thankful that I myself have never needed any of those to be my wishes. I have been so incredibly blessed in this life to live the life I do, love the people I love and to be apart of the family and friends that I have. I have nothing to complain about and very few things to feel sorry for myself for. The wishing tree had been on my mind for the entire rest of the day and throughout the couple of days that followed. I started to think about what I would wish for if I really did have a wish or multiple. 

- I would wish for a lifetime of happiness for my mother and father. I would wish for them to understand how much my siblings and I really do love and appreciate everything they've done for us because, at most times, it feels like words could never be enough to express what they mean to us. I would wish for them to feel that all of their effort is acknowledged and appreciated. 

- I would wish for another week or even just a couple of days with my sweet Landon Leo. There were so many times during his battle that I wished so badly that I could be with him and help ease his pain if at all possible. To be able to sit with him, hold his hand, to be able to wrap my arms around him, just to be able to talk to him face to face. To be with him and to spend time with him one last time was my only Christmas wish that year. I would wish for his life to be prolonged just a little bit longer so I could've somehow found a way to get out to see him. 

- I would wish for all of the families with members struggling with addiction would be able to feel comfort during such a dark time in their life. I would wish for them to be able to find strength and solace in the love of Christ and the repentance process. I would wish for them to not give up on those members who are struggling to and be able to be strong enough for that member as well as the rest of the family, as hard as that would be. 

- I would wish for couples that are going through a divorce would be able to leave things on happier terms. Sometimes two people fall out of love and filing for a divorce is what's best for them, their children if applicable, and what's best for their emotional and physical well being. I wish for those couples to be able to part ways as friends, if possible. I wish for the children of divorce to never feel sad or like the divorce was their fault. Children can hear it over and over again but can still not believe it. I wish that all of those children who have ever felt  like they were the cause, to know without a shadow of a doubt that these things are not happening because of them and that they are still loved equally by both parents.

-  I would wish that mankind as a whole would have a better understanding and more compassion toward people with mental disorders. Mental disorders are a very real thing and I have seen first hand how they can influence a person's life as well as all of the people around them. I would wish for all of those people suffering with disorders would seek help and the people they went to seek help from would understand and treat them with dignity and respect; from one human being to another. Just because you may not personally be dealing with what another person is, doesn't mean they deserve to be treated any less than human. 

- I would wish for every single one of my girls that I work with to be able to see themselves through my eyes so they could understand just how absolutely beautiful they are inside as well as the outside. I would wish for them to feel what I feel in my heart when they're sharing their successes as well as what I feel when they are crying and confiding in me. I would wish for them to know how much I truly and utterly love each and every one of them regardless of what their past looks like. I would wish for them to know that they mean something to so many people, especially me. I would wish for them to learn how to deal with their emotions and how to not take their anger and frustrations out on their body. I would wish for them to see how strong they are and how far they've come in life. They survived, they're alive and they are getting help that they need. I would wish for them to be able to look in the mirror and honestly be able to say to themselves, "Wow.... I have been through so much in my life, but damn! I am a freaking warrior! Look at where I am at now!"

- I would wish for my siblings to know that I would do absolutely everything in my power to protect them. I would wish for those three people to know that they come before everyone else and that I love them so very dearly. I would wish for them to be able to come to me with anything whether it's a problem, a struggle, a sin or a crime and I will stand by them and help them through whatever the situation may be. 

- And finally, I would wish to be remembered for something great. I would wish to be remembered as someone who was a great volunteer or someone who was trustworthy. I would wish for people to think of all of the good I did when my name is said aloud. I would wish for people to remember me by my loyalty or how I was always there when they needed a friend. I would wish to be remembered by my kindness in my actions. I would wish to be remembered as something great!

Until Next Time, "There's no point having wishes if you don't at least try to do them!" -- Sally Nicholls

Sunday, June 14, 2015


I thought that starting with the theme song and music video from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was the perfect way  to introduce today's post. The video is adorable and I feel like it's something my friends and I would make. The lyrics are also the story of my life: 

You're still in bed at ten and work began at eight
You've burned your breakfast so far things are going great
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these
But she didn't tell you when the world
Has brought you down to your knees that

I'll be there for you
When the rains starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cause you're there for me too!

I know I have said it time and time again but I am completely and utterly head over heels in love with my friends. Each and every single one of them mean the absolute world to me and there isn't anything in the world that I wouldn't do for any of them. I don't know what I did in Heaven or on this Earth to have them by my side because I don't deserve any of them, but I thank my Heavenly Father for them each and every day! I'm feeling rather emotional this Sunday and incredibly humble and thankful for the people I have met recently and I need to express my gratitude for them.

Aaaaaand, this is the point in the post where I spotlight them individually and try to shed a little light on how much they mean to me (if that's even possible to do)

First and foremost, my absolute best friend in the entire world: Mary Brooke Martinos Olsen! She is my person and has been for 9 years. She knows everything about me and probably more than I know about myself. She's my go to for everything. Every secret, every crush, every sin, every success, every hope, every dream, E V E R Y T H I N G ! My world could be shattering around me and she'd be there to make me smile through the tears. I love her more than words can ever express and more than she will ever comprehend! I'm convinced that no one is as lucky as me because they don't have her to call their BFF. I literally could go on for hours about this girl but I'll leave what I have above because she knows it all, already! 

And of course, her hilarious, adorable, wonderful husband who I adore the crap out of for loving her as much as he does (and as much as I do!) There haven't been many guys in her life that I have liked and Jonathan has given me every reason to do the opposite. I love him to pieces and I'm so grateful she has him!  

Our sweet Tara has been by our sides for this crazy journey as well! The Fantastic 4 is what I always thought of the 3 of us and our beloved Jenna. We got in trouble together, did stupid and reckless things together and laughed together until our guts hurt. Tara is one of the most adventurous people I have ever met. She's willing to drop everything in a second whenever a fun opportunity arrives. She has such a free spirit and I've always envied that about her. She's absolutely gorgeous and I am incredibly lucky to call her a best friend. I haven't seen her in so long but I am grateful for her every day of my life, as well! 

Coming to college, I NEVER would've guessed that I would have made some of my absolute best friends and favorite people here. Having been here for 4 years, I am 10000% sure that I have met the best people that this campus has to offer, if not the entire state!
You three have been three of the best things that have happened to me at school! I would call you out individually but I feel like all of our hilarious or memorable moments were when we were all together or it happened with three of us and then we Facetimed or texted to fill the fourth person in! I'm sooooo glad I was friends with Bradley before two years ago so we all could meet. I love staying up way too late laughing about things that aren't even funny but are somehow hilarious with all of us. I love talking endlessly about boys and how much drama we seem to think they cause. I love making up completely inappropriate nicknames and end up sticking and all the inside jokes that we've come across. I cannot wait for you all to be back with Mama Tay this coming school year (Yes, Chas-hole, that means you too! CHOOSE WEBER BABY GIRL!) Love you girls to pieces! Thanks for being my ride or die girls!

These handsome devils below make up my favorite apartment of boys in Pine View; the studs of apartment 38! I've spent many hours in their living room have pillow talks as well as laughing my guts out. Each of these boys have blessed my life more than they know in one way or another. Mr. Spackman: You are one of the most genuine guys that I have ever met in my life. You have an incredibly kind heart and have a knack for making people feel needed and loved. Thank you for all of the awful puns that I think are hilarious anyway as well as all the time we've spent in the car and at the kitchen table surfing through country songs. Thank you for always listening to my rants and giving me the advice that I need to hear and for making me feel good about my cooking skills! I love you Aust!  Dusty Buns: Dust, you too, are one of the kindest people I have ever met. I don't think I've ever heard a foul word or insult escape from your lips about anyone. The example you set for me in that aspect will always be something I admire about you. I loved learning about all the instruments you know how to play throughout the year as well as listening to you sing with your angel voice. I'm glad we got to be twins for a night and loved that we could not make a straight face in a single picture for a solid ten minutes. Thanks for always making me feel good about myself with all the compliments. I love you Dust! Brycee Babe: Never have I ever met a bigger flirt than you or someone who is so fun to flirt with! I remember the first day I met you, after we got back from Taste of Logan, I thought to myself, "Well that was fun.... hope we can be friends with this kid past today!" and look at us now! I love being able to say just about anything to you and you not taking my crap; you're super quick with your comebacks with me! Thanks for always being ready and willing to jump at any chance to help me when I need you. Thanks for making me laugh after I had passed out on my kitchen floor... made recuperation much easier! I love you Bryce! Dill Picks: Dillon, Dillon, Dillon.... You're a punk! And you know it! You can make me laugh harder than just about anyone I know! Some of my favorite memories from this last school year involve you playing your guitar and all our peeps just sitting around and singing together. Thanks for randomly showing up to our apartment to talk for five minutes and never calling before showing up to Home Teach me! I know I could always get hugs from you followed by the tough love that I needed to hear! Thanks for sharing your twerking skills with me! I can't wait to see you again when we come out to California in August! Miss you and love you so much Dill! Mitchellina: I feel like you were hardly ever home and when you were, you were home for a few minutes and then you were leaving again for something on campus or at the church. Some of my favorite memories of you are when we'd all be awake WAY too late and the random things that would come out of your mouth... They were all SO freaking funny! I also loved going to Beto's with you at 3:30 in the morning.... seriously, who thought that was a good idea? Thanks for always making me feel loved and for hugging me every time I came into the room! You're the best Mitchell, I love you! Phteven: Phteven, the Almighty Little Hand... that's what your name is in my phone and I feel like it absolutely perfect! I remember hearing ALL about you before you even lived in PineView! The boys talked about you non stop and made us all really excited for you to finally show up and move in! I remember thinking how nice you were and how funny you were! Thanks for always chatting with me whenever I came into the room and letting me be apart of yours and SJ's engagement party! I wish you two all the very best in the world; you deserve it! I love you Steve!


These beautiful ladies adopted me at semester break when my MK moved to China and Whip was always studying for classes! I would always wander into their apartment and they were always doing something fun and would invite me in. Thanks for always making me laugh and for letting me vent to you about all of my problems, especially work! I wanna wish luck to all the girls going on missions and for the ones who aren't, I really hope to see you soon! Thank you for everything gorgeous gals! 

Have to give a shout out to my second family here in Logan as well!  Thank you Chase, Mason, Tay, Emma girl and Jaden for being apart of my life and Karen and Val for sharing your kids with me! I love them and you both like crazy!!

I love this girl to pieces and I miss being her roommate! I love driving around the entire valley with her and her cute family, late night talks when we should be sleeping and all of our various inside jokes! I love you so much Sarah Burton! Miss you like crazy baby girl!

 Aaaaaand last but not least, these handsome fellas here! I'm so thankful to have met them a few years back and that we've remained friends since! You boys are the absolute best and I thank you for all the memories and GREAT times! 

I have been far too blessed in my lifetime and this isn't even close to the entire list of people I am thankful for, it only scratches the surface! If you are in my life and not mentioned here, just know that I adore the crap out of you and thank you for your influence in my life!

Until Next Time, "The people who influence you are the people who believe in you." -- Henry Drummond