Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Job

It's been a hard journey getting to where we are with our family, having children. But I don't regret it for one day. It's not always easy, especially in the middle of the night when they cry and cry. There is always a smile, a hug, or something that makes it worthwhile though. 

I don't know why some of the best people aren't able to have children. I don't know why some of the worst people have children. I don't know why I lost one child and kept the other.

I do know that I cherish my children and don't take them for granted. The opportunity to have a child in your life, whether it's your own or someone else's is something to love and enjoy.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quiet Honesty


I've thought this before! Sometimes we really shouldn't say something because it will help keep the peace. Sometimes peace is better than saying what's on your mind. Not all the time, of course, but you need to pick your battles.

Some people say, "I'm just being honest." You can be honest and keep your mouth shut too, you don't have to give your opinion on everything, especially if it's not asked for. 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.'

Friday, April 26, 2013

One Person, That's All - Take Two

As I mentioned before, I recently watched The Giant Mechanical Man. There's a part in the movie where a side character says something that defined another thing I've been thinking about. She said something to the effect of: 'It only takes just one person to make you feel special and valid, like you belong.'

I have known people who made me feel comfortable instantly when I met them. I felt like they accepted me and wanted to be my friend. Hopefully you've known at least one person like this. These types of people are especially great to meet when you are feeling uncomfortable at a gathering or social event when you don't really have anyone to talk to. They make you feel included, even if they hardly know you. They see your clothes, your hair, and your posture, but they don't care because mostly they see a fellow human being. The make you feel valid and special, like you belong.

From Wikipedia's different types of love: Xenia, hospitality. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude.

Acient Greece- a person takes a stranger into their home and provides for them, to be repaid with gratitude. That does not happen how, but the same principle can be applied in a social situation. You can bring a stranger into your life for the evening, treat them as a friend, and you will be repaid with gratitude for your kindness.

I've had people in my life that turned into friends, or that I may have only ever met them the one night, but they pulled me into a group conversation, or sat by me when I was the new girl. They saw someone alone and made them feel comfortable.

I try to be the person who sits by someone new, someone not new but alone, or who tells the person alone to come join the group. I know what it's like to be the loner in a social situation. You act like you don't care, but inside you keep hoping someone will come talk to you, sit by you. It can be hard to break into a group conversation, or sit by someone new.

Several years ago I decided to go to a group event in college even though I had no one to go with. I arrived just a couple minutes before it started (so I could scout out the seats after everyone had sat down) and saw an empty seat on the aisle next to some girls who liked nice. I took a deep breath and walked over, bent down and asked if I could sit there. The girls said, "No, we're saving that seat for our roommate." There was no, 'We could scoot over and make an extra seat' or 'Why don't you pull up another chair next to us' just 'No'.

My face must have turned bright red as I headed for some empty seats at the back. I sat by myself. I headed home right after the speaker was done. It was totally understandable that they were saving a seat for their roommate, but as a young adult trying to make friends, it was a bit of a blow.

The opposite has happened to me also. I've had people pull me in and make me feel part of the group. The gesture showed that they noticed me and thought I was worth the effort it took reach out to me. I can remember them and the situation still.

If you can talk to the person alone, sit by someone new, invite a stranger to join your group of friends, you will be the one person who makes them feel special and valid, like they belong. You will make a big difference in their life. Even if you never meet them again, they will remember you.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One Person, That's All - Take One

Recently I watched The Giant Mechanical Man on recommendation from my Mom, and I really liked it. There's a part in the movie where a side character says something that defined what I've been thinking about. She said something to the effect of: 'It only takes just one person to make you feel special and valid, like you belong.'

She was talking about her husband, and I feel the same way about my husband. Why do two people meet and after knowing each other for such a short time comparatively, decide to get married?

Think of all the people you know, especially those you've known for years. Why did you not marry them? Why did you choose your spouse? What made your spouse stand out so much from any other person?

Most people can list of the wonderful attributes of their spouse: nice, fun, smart, funny, hard worker, friendly, good looking, etc... but that list can be applied to so many people.

The reason we chose our spouse over all the others is because besides all the other general characteristics, there was a special sense of emotional intimacy that is unique to the relationship. That one person makes you feel special and valid, like you belong with them. It's a wonderful feeling called love.

From Wikipedia on different types of love: -Agape means love in modern-day Greek. It generally refers to a "pure," ideal type of love, rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. It has also been translated as "love of the soul." -Eros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person.

I think that spouse love is a mix of agape and eros. There's a special eros love with just the one person that combines with the agape to create a beautiful marriage. It makes you stop and stare in wonder at your spouse and think just how lucky you are to have them. It makes your heart beat faster when you know you are going to see your spouse after a long day. It's the comfort of being in each other's arms. It's what Rascal Flatts calls 'Everyday Love', and I just can't get enough of it.

My husband is my best friend, my spouse, my other half that makes me whole, the one who I belong with, and I love him.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Give and Take

Sometimes it can be hard to give a sincere compliment, but to give a sincere thanks can be harder for some people.

If someone gives you a compliment, then take it! Say, "Thank you!" with a smile. :) A compliment is a gift of words. It says the person noticed and appreciated what you did, whether it was helping them or taking the time to look nice. It affirms they admire, approve, and/or respect you.

If you derail their compliment by playing down yourself, then they will be less likely to compliment you in the future. If you graciously accept their compliment, you are validating their opinion and your relationship. They will be more likely to compliment you again in the future.

When you give a compliment, make sure it is sincere. It doesn't have to mean you would wear the shirt, or do the activity, but you can appreciate that the shirt looks good on them, or that they did well in their work.

A compliment will inspire someone to good far more than a criticism. It is adding a precious stone in the relationship path between two people. To accept a compliment is to add another precious stone.

So change your responses from, "It was nothing." (It was something.) "No worries." (Would it cause worry another time?) "This old thing?" (You know you picked that outfit with great care.) to "Thank you!" "Thanks!" "I appreciate you telling me that!" "Thank you for letting me know you liked it!" "Thank you, I worked hard on it!" "Thanks, I love it too!"

Give a little positive and make someone's day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fruit Salad and Veggie Trays

I have a story on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JEPCreations, and I just added these new items!
They are PDFs that you can print out. You could use them for flashcards to help learn the English or Spanish names of fruit and vegetables. 

Or you can do what I did- print them out and put magnets on the back for my fridge (or use magnet paper). It's happened too many times that we have fruit or veggies in the fridge, we forget about them, then later we find moldy produce that we have to throw away. It's always sad. 

So I drew these pictures and put the pictures up of the fruit and veggies that we buy. When we eat them, the picture goes to the side, and I have an instant shopping list.

I just love how happy and colorful they are, and so does my daughter. She loves to play with them- rearrange them, throw them on the floor, then put them back on the fridge. 

I had fun drawing them, and it's even funner to have a cute colorful fridge!


Here's some produce FYI- Bananas and tomatoes go on the counter. Potatoes and onions in a cool dark place like the pantry or under the sink.

If you wash your produce ahead of time, it can start going bad faster, so wash it closer to when you will eat it.

If you do prewash it, put it in a ziploc bag with a paper towel in the fridge to help absorb the moisture and keep the produce fresh.

Putting produce in paper bags will help it ripen faster, and bananas will help even more.

Some fruits emit gasses that ripen fruit quickly (like bananas), so keep fruit and veggies separate.

Here's a great website: http://www.yourproduceguy.com/.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hold On

(song starts about one minute in)

What you've got to do is
Finish what you have begun,
I don't know just how,
But it's not over 'til you've won!

When you see the storm is coming,
See the lightning part the skies,
It's too late to run-
There's terror in your eyes!
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say:
"It's the storm, not you,
That's bound to blow away."

Hold on,
Hold on to someone standing by.
Hold on.
Don't even ask how long or why!
Child, hold on to what you know is true,
Hold on 'til you get through.
Child, oh child!
Hold on!

When you feel your heart is poundin',
Fear a devil's at your door.
There's no place to hide-
You're frozen to the floor!
What you do then is you force yourself
To wake up, and you say:
"It's this dream, not me,
that's bound to go away."

Hold on,
Hold on, the night will soon be by.
Hold on,
Until there's nothing left to try.
Child, hold on, There's angels on their way!
Hold on and hear them say,
"Child, oh child!"

And it doesn't even matter
If the danger and the doom
Come from up above or down below,
Or just come flying
At you from across the room!

When you see a man who's raging,
And he's jealous and he fears
That you've walked through walls
He's hid behind for years.
What you do then is you tell yourself to wait it out
And say it's this day, not me,
That's bound to go away.

Child, oh hold on.
It's this day, not you,
That's bound to go away!

I had a cd that has the second link song on it, and I loved it from the first time I heard it. Then a friend told me that the song was actually from The Secret Garden musical. So I found the original version (first link) and I love it also.

If you are scared, tired, stressed, or getting burned out, play this song, and it gives you courage. My favorite line is, "It's this day, not you, that's bound to go away!"

Whatever your trouble is, you'll make it through or endure it if you can just Hold On.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Love The Ones You're With

Don't put artificial relationships before real relationships. Be in the moment with the people you are next to. Engage in conversation face to face. Step away from the tv, phone, and computer for an hour. Use things as a means to help you love people.

Friday, April 19, 2013


What does being lovely mean to me?

L- Being Likable. There are some people that are so friendly and kind that you like they automatically when you meet them. Be that person!
O- Being Open and Optimistic. Keep yourself open to new experiences and new friends. Be optimistic that life is generally good.
V- Knowing the true Value of yourself and others. We devalue ourselves and other so often with excuses and criticisms. You are worth every pound you weigh! Show yourself and others the true value of each person.
E- Having Empathy. Give others a break. We've all been there before and we know it's hard, so cut others (and yourself) some slack for when they aren't at their best.
L- Laughter. Learn to laugh at yourself and to laugh with others. Laughter is great medicine and kind brighten any day.
Y- Being Young in heart. It doesn't matter how old you are on the outside, but how old you are on the inside. Many people in their eighties say they are really a twenty year old soul stuck in an eighty year old body. Children are great examples- they are care free, happy, love to play and have fun, and they love people unconditionally. We should be child-like and young in heart, and lovely.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Legen... Wait For It....


Barney Stinson (from the show How I Met Your Mother) has a self confidence that is, for lack of a better word, legendary. He just knows he's awesome.
Then there is Captain Awesome (from the show Chuck). He just is awesome at almost everything he does because he knows he's awesome.
What do these two fictional characters have in common? They both believe they are awesome, so they act like it. They both have great self confidence; they believe in themselves. 
While I don't agree with Barney's lifestyle, I admire his confidence and constant optimism. Barney is likable because he is fun, happy, and wants others to be awesome like he is. He suits up and dresses confidently because he knows that how you dress affects how you act and how others treat you. 
Captain Awesome, aka Devon, believes he is good at everything, and so he is good at everything most of the time. He takes good care of his health by exercising and eating good food.
Confidence lessons to learn from these two characters:
1. If you want to feel better, than look better. Exercise, eat healthy, do your hair, wear nice clothes.
2. Believe in yourself. It's hard for others to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.
3. Don't let failure stop you. Barney doesn't get most of the girls he wants, but he doesn't let it stop him, he keeps going until he gets what he wants.
4. Family and friends matter. Surround yourself with your family, friends, and other awesome people.
5. You have to work hard to be awesome. These guys seem naturally awesome, but they take care in their appearance and work hard at what they do.
6. Let others be awesome too. They both know their awesome, but they want others to be awesome too. They are sure of themselves, so if there are other awesome people, they know it won't take away from, but only add to their awesomeness.
Some last words from Barney:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tears Fall Like Rain

I'm like Gus in Psych, we're both sympathetic criers. If we see someone crying, we cry too.

This happened to me recently. I was leading the music in church and saw someone in the audience sobbing quietly over the song I had chosen. I had been having similar thoughts about the song, so when I saw her crying, my eyes teared up also. I looked down to read the next line and couldn't make out the words. I made it through the song without tears coming out, but then I talked to the organist after and told her what happened and started crying. (It didn't help that I hadn't slept well the last two nights due to baby waking up.) Then I had three people ask me if I was okay because they saw I'd been crying so I told them the story which made me cry again.

When I am tired, sad, sick, happy, mad, stressed, or emotional, I cry. Sometimes when I get beyond tired, I don't cry, but my eyes still leak a little. When something touches me emotionally, I tear up. When I watch movies and something sad happens, the tears come.

My parents like to tell the story of when I was little, my brother and I were watching Lassie in a room by ourselves. They heard me crying and my brother got in trouble until they asked me what was wrong, and I told them I was crying because Lassie fell in a hole.

When Lion King came out I cried every time Mufasa died in the ravine. I don't watch Fox and the Hound because it's too sad. I really liked the movie Miss Potter, but it's so sad, it is hard to watch.

I'll wrap this up with some advice for the non-criers: “When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them.” -Lemony Snicket

Monday, April 15, 2013

Good Health

My daughter is sick with a stomach flu, possibly the norovirus. The poor thing has been throwing up a lot and can't keep anything down for long. The doctor said it should pass in the next day hopefully as long as we're careful not to feed her the wrong foods and to not feed her too much at a time. It's been hard watching her be sick, trying to make her feel better but knowing time will just have to do its work. My husband stayed with her all night so I could get some sleep to take care of her during the day. I was so tired and stressed last night I just crashed.

When we are healthy and sickness free, we usually take it for granted. Then we get sick and realize how good we had it the day before. It's hard to remember to be thankful for not being sick, but we really should be thankful every day that we can get up and go about our day.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Music to My Soul

Many times I have sat down at the piano, played the music I loved, and healed my soul. Music has a cathartic quality. I've cried for ten minutes straight while playing songs from Les Miserables. I've played other songs loud and fast to get out some anger. Mostly I play songs for the pure joy they bring.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Pinterest says, 'When travelling, put your money in an empty pad wrapper to keep it safe. No man, nor woman probably, will ever touch it.'
Pinterest says, "To keep your lunch safe from the sneaky hands at work, store it in an empty tampon box.' FYI- don't stick the tampon box in the fridge, bring an ice pack.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

There is a phrase 'the straw that broke the camel's back' referring to the one small thing that pushed too far too many times.

From Wikipedia: "The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back is from an Arabic proverb about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. This is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw. This also gives rise to the phrase "the last/final straw", used when something is deemed to be the last in a line of unacceptable occurrences. [In] Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son, where he says "As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back", meaning that there is a limit to everyone's endurance, or everyone has his breaking point."

I bring up this phrase because there are a few people that have reached that point with me. They have put too many straws in our relationship. Now when there are seemingly inconsequential things that shouldn't be that big a deal, they are a big deal- the point is that there are too many.

It gets to the point that a comment or gesture they do, that from anyone else would be fine, is too much from them. It's easy to take what they say and do the wrong way because they've been wrong so many times.

Another expression that goes with this thought- 'fool  me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me'.

When you have to deal with someone on a consistent basis, you have to find a way to deal well with them. But where is the line between you feeling uncomfortable verses you telling them something is wrong and them feeling uncomfortable?

Something I've been thinking about with one person in my life in particular is to readjust my attitude towards that person. I need to try and not read too much into what the person says or does. Yes, they have pushed it too far. Do they realize? Maybe, maybe not. Do they care? Probably. But are they willing to change? No.

Some people are like a wind tunnel, you say something to them and it floats in one ear and straight out the other without sticking. It feels like hitting your head with a hammer when trying to teach them something that would help.

It's really, really hard to do, but anger management is a powerful tool. When someone gets you riled up, especially in person, if you can take ten seconds to breathe deep and get your control back before you speak, then you will be the better off for it.

"Before you say an angry word, remember you'll regret it, for once it's said the harm is done, and some folks won't forget it." -Marilyn Adams

It helps to have someone to vent to. I have a couple people that are very close to me that I can vent to. They don't judge me because they understand what I'm going through, usually because they are going through the same thing with the same person. These people are safe people for me.

Next time the breaking straw is placed, take ten seconds and breathe, then vent to your safe person.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Your Niche?

The more different kinds of people I meet, the more I realize they aren't alone. There is a niche for everyone and everything. There are books, websites, blogs, pod casts, movies, and groups for pretty much everything on the planet.

If you are worried that you are different in a way that isn't accepted, do an internet search and you should find somewhere that you fit in, your niche. If you really can't find anything for you, then start a group and spread the word. Soon enough you will find others like you that are happy to join you.

In school, I remember multiple people saying, "If you have a question, don't be afraid, just ask. Chances are that at least one other person was wondering the same thing and didn't have the courage to ask."

If you have something to ask, something to say, something to be and you think you're alone, then start searching and find your niche and your niche people.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

True Value

This picture is a Mother-Daughter bracelet set I made.
I like to do crafty things. I like having extra money. I like being staying at home with my daughter. So to combine all these things I like, I thought I would sell some crafts I made. I did two craft fairs, and started an Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jepcreations.

I also like to read, so I checked out about ten different books on starting a business and selling crafts. Most of the books were very similar, and one thing that was in each book was pricing. They said that you need to price your craft appropriately so you are compensated fairly for your time, effort, and materials. You also need to factor in how much of a profit you want. Another factor is your overall financial goal. Decide how much you want to profit in a year, how much you can produce in a year, then do some simple math to see how much you should price items.

One book took some time to go a little deeper and focus on not devaluing your handmade crafts, which leads to the devaluing of other people's crafts.

We live in a world where everyone wants the lowest possible price on clearance with a coupon. Big box stores can give a lower price because everything is mass produced in a factory by machines or child labor. The non-monetary value of these items is low, where as a handmade item (meaning made with lots of love and effort) has a lot of non-monetary value, which requires a higher monetary price.

If I price my items too low in the hopes that I will just hopefully sell something, then I have devalued myself and my craft. There is something special about a homemade item because of the time, attention, care, and love put into the making of each item. It has an intrinsic value that can't be mass produced. When you devalue your items, it devalues the items of others because you aren't owning up to the time and effort it takes to make a homemade item special.

If you make a craft, be proud of it, take ownership, don't downplay your work. If someone compliments you, tell them "Thank you!" not "It was nothing..." because it was something! If you show others the value of homemade crafts, they will understand and apply that value to the crafts of others.

You are making a homemade craft every day- that craft is you! Don't devalue yourself. If someone thanks you for what you have done, say "You're welcome!" Don't tell them it was nothing, because it was something, it is something.

You tell people your value in the way you dress, the way you stand, the way you talk, the way you interact with others. If you don't value yourself, other people won't value you either. Be a unique homemade craft of great value, not a mass produced item.

In valuing yourself highly, you set a standard for valuing others. You show others what you are worth and that others are worth the same. Keep your value high!

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's a Free Country, Isn't It?

I worked in a Jr. High school for almost a year. It's a hard time for those young teens. They are transitioning between being children and teenagers. Wanting respect and freedom.
One girl in particular was having trouble finding the line between right and wrong. She hit another student in the class. I had a little talk with her about what she could and couldn't do.
I told her she couldn't hit people. Her response was, "It's a free country, isn't it? I can do whatever I want!" There wasn't the time, nor was her brain ready for what I wish I could have told her then. So instead I'll tell you now.
Primitive man lived in a tough but simple time. You kill the saber-tooth tiger or it kills you. You find shelter, warmth, food, and water or you die. You procreate or your species goes extinct.
As time went on, brain's developed, skills developed, more inventions were made. Man decided that survival would be easier if it wasn't each man for himself, but that life would be easier and better if they worked together. It started out with men going out in hunting groups, women gathering plants and child rearing.
This worked until man had fights about who was in charge. Who owned what property. Who would get the best meat. Who gets to mate with whom. There was a need for leadership and rules or chaos would break out.
As man organized and refined themselves and their society more, there was the ability for unique skills and a trade based economy. One person farmed, one person hunted, one person made clothes and shoes, etc.... They bartered goods and services, and this went on until the time we have now where the are very specialized jobs because we have a system of money and value.
None of this could exist without rules and laws. For man to work together, live together, exist together, there has to be definite rights and wrongs that are decided as a society and culture. When man started working together they had to lay down some ground rules.
Man said you can't kill someone and stay in our group, it leads to anger and revenge. Man said you can't take other people's property and stay in our group. Man said we need to decide on these rules together, not everyone will be happy with all the rules, but we'll find a compromise where we can all live together in safety and peace. Man said there needs to be consequences for breaking the rules so people will follow them. Man said there needs to be someone to decide the rules and enforce the laws. Man decided a communal vote would be the best way, let the group decide.
Man said you are free to live in our group if you follow these rules and laws. If everyone does what's right then we can all live together peacefully enough. If you break the rules, you can't be part of this group anymore.
This is a basic version of how our society works. Each country, culture, religion, society, and village has their own group with their own rules and laws. If you break the law, then you have to recieve the consequences of your actions. If we didn't have this order, there would be chaos, and we would return to primitive times.
The United States of America has rules and laws, but they aren't as severe in certain areas as other countries. We elect our local leaders, and they help the national government rule the states to maintain peace in our country.
Yes, it is a free country in the respect that we have many liberties that other country's citizens do not have. We can make our lives what we want them to be as long as we do not infringe on other's rights. Yes, you are free to hit the boy next to you, but since that breaks one of society's rules, there are negative consequences. If you want to be part of the group, you have to follow the rules.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Looking Good

A couple days ago I got a decent amount of sleep, ate a good breakfast, and exercised in the sun and fresh air. This picture describes how I felt afterwards. It feels good to make healthy choices!

I read a quote that said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!" I'm changing it to, "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!"

I also read, "If it took more than a day to put it on, it will take more than a day to take it off." It's hard not to want the weight to just fall off, but I need to be realistic and realize it will take a long time. But the good thing is, I don't have to be skinny to feel I am healthy. Healthy eating and exercising is what feels good, even if I haven't reached my weight goal.

Something that I try to remember to do is engage my abs. I'm not talking about sucking in my stomach for a picture, but engaging the stomach muscles so they are proactive not loose and flabby.

If you raise your arms a little, you can feel the arm muscles are engaged, but it's not too tiring to hold for a while. If you raise your arms over your head, you can feel your stomach muscles engaging. Engage them while sitting or standing, but make sure you can still breathe normally. Breathe through your nose, so that you stomach expands, not your chest. It takes some practice to get it down, but once you do, your stomach will feel better and look better. It's not something you can do constantly, but if you do it occasionally, your body will appreciate the effort.

Another quick 'weight loss' tip is to stand and sit with good posture. Slumping pushes the stomach out and rounds the shoulders making you look bigger and awkward. Stand up straight and you'll look taller and leaner immediately, you will also feel better about yourself.

Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Hilary Weeks sings a song with the lyrics, "For the roads I've never traveled, for the pain I never knew, for the places that ... [I was] kept ... from, ... for the days that were not wasted, for the years not spent in vain, I'm grateful for the stories that remain unwritten."

My husband and I had both been engaged for a short time and broken it off before we met each other. We've talked about how life would have been different if we had married the other people, and we both agree it would not have been good.

When my husband was deciding where to go for college, his mom encouraged him to go UVSC, now UVU. He decided to go to another school instead, but looking back, it is interesting she suggested that because that is where I went, and we would have been there at the same time for a couple years. We probably would have never met though, being in completely different degrees, and with him being a little ahead of me. Also, he wouldn't have wanted to date me because I would have been too young for him, just graduated from high school. The older people get, the less difference a few years makes.

Growing up where I did, every once excepted me to go to BYU because it's just what you do. My parents met at BYU and both graduated from there. I also expected I would go to BYU up through part of my senior year of high school. Someone suggested I should apply to UVSC as a back up. I wasn't worried about getting into BYU because I had good qualifications. I started my application to BYU, then halfway through I took a break and decided to look at UVSC's website. I filled out the application and at the end it said I'd been accepted to UVSC. I thought that was awesome, so I filled out the scholarship application and ended up getting one. I never finished my application to BYU, and I never regretted it. All my friends went to BYU, and several with similar qualifications got scholarships, so I probably could have too, but I didn't want to. Attending UVSC was a great experience for me. I learned more things, and different things than I would have at BYU.

These were major life change for me, and I am very glad I went down the paths I did, and very glad that I did not choose the other options.

There are many other things I'm glad have not happened to me, more serious things, like rape, abuse, war, loss of limbs, death, disease, serious sickness and pain, poverty, etc....

We all have our own personal demons from our own personal hells. I will always have to deal with my troubles, as will everyone else. I'm just grateful that I don't have the hells that others do. My life could be so much worse, and I'm grateful that it's not.

I know many people that can hardly think about what it would be like to have my personal hell. I think the same of others too. We deal with what we are given. Some days we deal better than others, but life moves on and so we have to also.

Many people say, count your blessings when you are feeling sad. Here's another suggestion- think of the places you were kept from. The paths you did not take. The days that were not wasted. The pain you never felt.

This is not to make your burden less real, less painful, or less important. It is to give you a perspective of what your life could be like. To help you realize that everyone is hurting, and in ways you would never want. To help you realize that you're not alone when you lie awake at two in the morning. Be grateful for the stories in your life that remain unwritten.