Thursday, April 10, 2014

Toot Sweets.

I've given up on sweets.

Not permanently, don't fret. This is a temporary 6-week jaunt. I simply decided that I had eaten WAY too many Cadbury eggs and Lindor truffles in recent months. Also ice cream, lots of ice cream. And so I gave up sweets. I guess technically it's for Lent, because I am indeed following the Lent schedule but since I'm not Catholic and don't actually observe Lent, it's more for health purposes than for religious ones. And it has been an interesting experience. Guys, I get to eat sweets again on April 19th and I AM SO EXCITED.

For the first week or two, I was really struggling. I'm pretty convinced that chocolate is addictive and that I was having withdrawals. I wanted chocolate all of the time. Luckily I had started this endeavor of no sweets with my roommate and she bailed on the second day, so I had some solid motivation to keep on with it so that I could rub my success in her face. Yes, I realize that this is not the best way to motivate myself, but that's what happened and I'm not going to sugar coat it (obviously, because I'm not eating sugar-coated things).
Then the strawberry cake happened. There's a couple of back stories that need to be told to have this all make sense:
1) I just don't like cake. Never real have. I just that in general think it's too dry.
2) I woke my roommate up from a nap and she deliriously rejected all my Friday night fun ideas and wouldn't stop talking about strawberry cake. It was hilarious. So the next day she bought some.
3) Smiths makes a surprisingly delicious looking strawberry shortcake.
So... we had this cake in our kitchen and I was drooling. I justified to myself that with real Lent, the Sabbath is a day without fasting from whatever you've given up, and it was so late on Saturday night that it was practically Sunday. So I did it. I took a bite and it totally wasn't worth it. Honestly, it wasn't even that great of a cake, even as far as cakes go. And I decided to not take any more Sabbaths off from my sweet fast.
It's been an interesting road, and especially difficult the week my pre-ordered girl scout cookies showed up at work the second week of lent. That was real rough, and still is since they are still sitting in my drawer waiting for the week after Easter.

I've learned a lot about my own self control these last weeks and I've learned that some days are way better than others. In general, I haven't eaten sweets, but I've learned that I do way better saying no to other people than I am at saying no to myself. So that's a thing that I should work on.

I can't wait to eat all my Easter candy. It's going to be so much more satisfying now that I've been deprived of sweets for so long.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Good job...s

I've received an array of complaints about the fact that I've never actually said what I'm doing for my job. In THIS post I said that I got a job and then intentionally ended the post without giving details because I thought it was hilarious. But let me just lay it our for you because I actually have 2 jobs, surprise!

I work in the Library on campus. I keep track of budgets and statistics and other various assignments/projects that are deemed necessary for my department. It's a great job and I've learned so much in the 6.5 months I've been there.

And additionally, two months after beginning at the library, I began working at a residential treatment center for teenage girls with emotional and behavioral struggles. This is the best job I could possibly have gotten at this point in my life. I don't even know what to say about how much I love this job and this program and the girls that I work with. I have been inspired to know for sure that eventually becoming a social worker is what I want to be doing with my life.
Basically my job is to help keep the girls in my house safe, make them feel loved, and implement the interventions from their therapists. There's about 15 girls in the house I work in and I have the amazing opportunity to build relationships with each of them and help them process through problems that come up in that moment. There are many different reasons these girls are in residential treatment including: anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, drug abuse, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, personality disorders, and a lot more. It's been wonderful and eye opening to learn that each person has slightly different issues and needs to be treated differently. I've also had the realization that everyone has problems that they need to work through, whether or not they're in treatment, and these girls are often so much stronger than I am in dealing with their demons. I seriously didn't know I could grow to love people as much as I love my coworkers and the girls I work with. I am so excited to have this affirmation that this really is what I want to do with my life. Maybe I won't always be working in this treatment center, but being a social worker and helping people who just need some extra support in their lives.

For those interested, here's a link to the New Haven blog: http://www.newhavenrtc.com/blog/talking-through-a-crisis/

I know I had far more to say about my treatment job, but let's be serious, that's way more exciting than sitting at a computer in a library for 6 hours a day. But in all reality I love both of my jobs. They have each been a blessing to me in different ways and I have need each of them at this point in my life.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So much love.

So I'm a bit late with these pictures, but they need to be posted regardless, because I love these people and I love love. A large number of my best friends got married within 4 months of each other (Kaylee back in September, if you remember), and it has been so much fun!
Apparently I'm all about the celebrity couple names, because we did it with Shenna as well. Shawn and Jenna, those cheesy beyond belief lovebirds. They got married back at the end of December and it was beautiful. look at them:





And then if that much love and marriage wasn't enough, two weeks later, we had the marriage of these two crazy kids:


Joel and Andee (no, I never called them Jandee). These two are my best friends. I love them so much. Apparently I was having so much fun on their wedding day that I literally only took one picture, So the last two I stole from Andee's FB (Stephanie Sunderland Photography).
This is my adorable date that I got to look after outside the temple.
This was the most triumphant moment ever. I wanted that bouquet so badly.

Friday, January 3, 2014

And then suddenly 2013 was gone.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Why yes, I did just quote Ferris Bueller.

Despite the palm licking, borrowing Ferrari's, jumping atop a float and convincing people to let him lip-sync Twist and Shout, and making the whole community think he is dying, Ferris Bueller is actually a pretty smart guy and has a handle on this whole "life" thing. These last 2 months, I have been so caught up in the minute details of my busy schedule and the little things I have to get done each day, and I have forgotten to stop and look around. I've missed the importance of LIFE and the small details that make it exciting and joyous. Let's take a moment to look at another important, and probably more reliable, quote:

"Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life."
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf - find the brilliant talk HERE.

I do this, folks. I unintentionally let my busyness define me and I let it become the focus of my life and my conversation. I rattle off lists of everything I have to do and I sometimes even try to one-up others when they say they are busy. This is not okay! Who is to say that my busy life is any more or less busy than yours? And what makes my busyness something to boast about? Instead of letting it weigh down on me and be the focus of my life, I need to look at the bigger picture and understand WHY I am doing everything I am doing. Being busy is fine, as long as that busyness is for the purpose of helping others or bettering myself or other various positive goals - not just to be busy and impress others or make them feel bad for me.

Okay, Hi. I'm being incredibly reflective and that's boring, you don't need to hear the intricate quirks of my thoughts. But in sum: 2013 was a beautiful year. I learned an unfathomable amount about myself and about the world and about the truth of the Gospel. Some points have been struggles and I've felt kind of lost, but this year I realized that I am 100% capable of just moving on. I've grasped my own independence and gained confidence in moving forward in life.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Calm down. Breathe. Appreciate the beauty around you, even if it's just the wall of your bedroom - there is beauty in that too. Don't miss life.
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