In Which my Family Prints Out my Face

Remember that time I told you all about our porch swing and how much we love it and how on major holidays we enjoy taking pictures in front of said swing? Well, this last Mother’s Day, I got on Facebook after my Sunday nap to find this.

Isn’t it just terrible??

This is quite possibly the best family picture that has ever been taken, and guess what??

THEY ARE MISSING THEIR TOTALLY ROCKIN’ OLDEST SISTER.

Words could not express my disappointment at the fact I was left out of the greatest photo of the Carling family in the world. But that didn’t stop me from trying:

Notice my family’s unsuccessful attempts to relieve my suffering.
And so for a month I did nothing but lay in my bed, languishing at the thought that I was unable to be in this perfect family photo. That I had been cast to the side like the crust of a PB&J. And I swore I would take my revenge on the people who called themselves my family.
Or I just went on as usual. Same thing.
I had almost forgotten the event when Haley texted me about a month later and told me look on Facebook. Now, I had remembered it was Father’s Day (having sent my Dad an especially personalized gift, thankyouverymuch) but I was completely surprised to see this on my Facebook wall.

My beautiful family with my beautiful face included!

After laughing for about 5 minutes and showing everybody within 5 miles, I texted Haley back, thanking her for being considerate enough to include me in family pictures this time. And especially for choosing the picture where I have the best hair ever.

I love my family 🙂

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Wanderlust

Most days, I love this time of my life. I love my classes, I love my ward, I love my friends, and I love being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. (I know this sounds like I do sketch things, but I only ever want to have clean Mormon fun, so we’re all good there, friends.)
Sometimes, though, I just want to be done.
I want to be done with school. I want to be done with dating. I want to have a job and move somewhere cool where I can make a difference in someone’s life. Even on good days where I’m content with life (which is pretty much every day), I still feel like I want to get out of this awkward in-between stage and start some sort of new life.

For the remainder of this post, I will refer to this I-Want-Out syndrome as Wanderlust.

Because this has been on my mind lately, I’ve talked to my mom about it a few times. One night when I was feeling particularly wanderlustful, she sent me this scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 123:17
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us acheerfully bdo all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the csalvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
Don’t you just love that?
My dad once had the thought–If you could ask God anything about what was going to happen in the future, what would you ask? My dad’s answer: nothing.
Personally, I can think of several things I’d like to know. But after listening to my dad’s reasoning, I began to understand–I don’t need to know what the future holds for me. It won’t change anything I’m currently doing, because I know that I am living my life in a way that the Lord wants me to live. And I have enough faith to know the Lord will give me what’s best for me. Although sometimes in these Wanderlust states I wish I could  know His plan for me, I know that if I cheerfully do all things that lie in my power, God’s arm will be revealed. No question.

I generally try to avoid posts I deem “cheesy” on this bloggy blog of mine, but this is my declaration of faith and knowledge–the Lord has a plan for each one of us, and if we stand still with the utmost assurance and faith, the salvation of God will become evident in our lives through the power of His Son’s enabling atonement. Although I may go through these periods of Wanderlust, I’m never far from where I need to be if I’m striving to live my life close to the Lord.

Things I’ve Learned From Watching Home Movies

My mom surprised me by driving up yesterday (more on that later) and she brought some old home movies on an external hard drive for me to download. Naturally, I spent much of my evening watching myself as a two year old. It was quite entertaining, and I learned a lot about my family and myself.
  • Apparently I was the spoiled child. But can you really blame me for that? I have some parents and grandparents that were all too willing to do it…
  • Being an only child is the way to go.
  • My development was stunted. My cousin who’s only 2 months older than me could sing the ABC’s. I could raise my hand and say “Me!” when my parents asked who the cutest girl in the whole world was. Behind the curve, much?
  • The way I dance hasn’t changed much in 18 years. Oh, baby, I knew how to boogie!
  • My mom looked great with that perm. Let’s start a petition to bring it back.
To be continued…

Teaching: No Greater Call

I was pretty pumped for the new ward last semester. I had really enjoyed being the ward choir accompanist in my last ward, but I was ready to try something new. I will admit I was a tad disappointed when the ward organists were called (Dang you, Jason Afton Crofts!) but then I was called to teach Relief Society. I had only had a few experiences teaching Relief Society before (one of which was the Law of Chastity lesson–joy of joys), so I accepted with nervous excitement.

Over the next few months, I learned how important comments were and how asking inspired questions was vital to good lessons. More than anything, I learned that I can only provide an environment for discussion–the Spirit is the one that is going to do the teaching. I learned a little bit more each time each time I taught, and gradually became fairly comfortable with the whole process. It was today, though, as I introduced the new George Albert Smith manual, that I really felt like I got it. I felt the Spirit bear witness to me that what I was teaching was true and that I had done it right. I felt like I had finally gotten the hang of teaching and was so grateful I got to teach for the rest of the year.
But, as we all know, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
In the next hour, I was called out of Sunday School to speak with the new second counselor and receive a new calling. While I still am excited to work on the activities committee, I was quite disappointed when I found out I would be released as a teacher. Just when it had finally clicked for me, the Lord pulled me out of there and put me where I was needed somewhere else. However sad I may be, though, I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to teach Relief Society, even if it was just for a short time. I know that the Lord puts us where we can grow, and I’m so happy I was able to grow as a teacher and realize its importance.

Nagging texts and happy birthdays

I received a text earlier this night from my dear sister Haley (who is actually listed in my phone as Haley Dearest…long story). Anyway, she was getting on my case for not blogging recently. I admit–there have been several events, including wisdom teeth removal, moving into a new apartment with limited internet access, and a flurry of boy drama, that have kept me from blogging. But fear not, Haley. This a blog post for you. Quite literally.

You see, it was 18 years ago tomorrow that I lost the title of Only Child. 18 years ago, some martian baby with big blue eyes entered my life and stole all my parents’ love and affection. 18 years ago, a little girl was born who would truly become one of my best friends.

One of my very favorite parts of calling home is getting to talk to Haley. I mean, yeah, talking to everyone else is cool, too, but getting to talk to Haley means I get to spend a half an hour being goofy with one of my favorite people in the world. I tell her all about my crazy life, and she tells me all about her crazy life, and then we talk about how great it will be when our crazy lives meet and we can party up at BYU together next year.

I really value my time with Haley and am so unbelievably grateful for her. I miss her lots and lots. I miss our backrubs during late night movies. I miss our sing-alongs in the car. Usually to Justin Bieiber. Obvs. I miss the eye-roll I would probably get for saying obvs. I miss purposely making lame jokes at the dinner table to make Mom’s eyes roll. I miss knowing that she and her cute friends will probably make fun of me at some point during their time at our house. But most of all, I miss being friends with her.

And so, Haley Carling, here is a Happy Birthday tribute to you. I hope that 18 is all you expected it to be and more.

I love you 🙂 🙂 🙂 ❤

All was Well.

Like about half of the world, I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II last night at midnight. And, at the risk of sounding like the cheesiest person alive, I decided to blog about it.
It was fantastic. I loved it. I may have cried. More than once. And I may have shed a tear or two at the very end when I realized it was, indeed, the end. I spent the last 12 years of my life looking forward to the next thing Harry Potter–the 4th book to arrive from Amazon, waking up to a surprise midnight showing of the first movie, waiting in crazy, wizard-filled lines to receive my copy of the newest book…basically I feel like I’ll never have an excuse to stay up until past midnight ever again (disregarding procrastinated papers coming this fall term).
I’ve realized that this whole “saying goodbye to Harry” goes beyond my sadness that there will never be more Harry. It was an end of an era. This fact was further reinforced to me as I drove home and “Beautiful Day” by U2 came on the radio. It felt oddly appropriate to be on the radio on this fateful night–it was the song that played on the Highland High football field the moment I threw my graduation cap in the air and knew I was done there forever. While it was semi-sad, I knew that not only was I moving on the bigger and better–I would be able to look back on all the good times I had in high school and remember them fondly. And I do. I remember the great times I had in seminary, the amazing time I spent in choir and orchestra, the teachers and lessons that influenced me the most, and the great friends that helped me get through it all.
And so while I am still a little bit devastated about the lack of future Harry Potter novels-slash-movies, I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to look back at all the fun times it provided me and realize that while I am sure there are even greater things to look forward to, I can always read the series for a 19th time and relive my childhood once more. After all, as Harry says at the conclusion of the first movie as he leaves to join the real world once again–I’m not going home. Not really. 🙂