happy, & thankful, & full

Time has always been a good teacher.

It teaches you how to walk, and it teaches you how to do algebra, and it even teaches your aching heart how to heal sometimes.  It teaches you who you can call when it’s eight o’clock on a Sunday, and you run out of gas.  It teaches you the quickest way to the nearest Taco Bell and how to be patient sometimes. 

But the greatest thing 20 years ever taught me is the difference between being happy and being full.

Happiness is simple.  Happiness can be faked, and you can buy it too.  Happiness is people who make you laugh and five new pairs of shoes.

But I don’t want just happy.

I want to wake up in the morning saying thank you, and I want to feel the cold air all the way down to my bones.  I want late-night talks and to look at the stars because I have to believe that they were just a big dream too once.

I want so much more than happiness.  

I want to feel full.  Full of love, and full of faith, and full of that cold air outside my window.  

You know those days you wake up saying thank you?  And you sing all the way to school even though it’s snowing?  And you look at the trees, and you think about your Savior, and life is all okay and pretty and not perfect, but you love it that way anyway?

That’s the kind of happy I want to be today and always. 

When I think about that little basement apartment and the hammocks outside their window or the way this fall almost had me convinced that the only thing that should ever fall from the sky is leaves or  Park City or that floral couch and late-night talks by the fire..

My heart is happy, & thankful, & full.

It’s more than just “happy.”

And that’s the kind of happy I hope we’ll be today and always. 


own it.

You know, I've always been in love with words. I write down the things you say in testimony meeting, and I actually liked reading the American Crisis last semester.  I take notes on every book, I save every letter, and I've never loved a painting you didn't talk about first.

You know, I've always been in love with words, but I wasn't always brave enough to say that.  I remember being in Junior High, sitting in eighth-grade english, too nervous to even open a notebook.  I wanted to write everything, but I didn't want you to know that.  

See, I was that little girl who always had something to say but was too afraid to write it.  Mostly because I was afraid of what they would think.

And I never wanted you to see because it's not cool to be passionate when you're in the eighth grade.  You're not supposed to care about math or art or words.

Thankfully, I'm not in the eighth grade anymore, and maybe it's just part of growing up, but I don't feel that way anymore either.  

I am nineteen though, and your tears made me think that maybe learning to be yourself isn't as simple as just growing older.  Maybe, sometimes, it takes some help too.

When I was in tenth grade, I met my best friend.  She loved biology and the teacher who taught it.  She loved goat milk and had two goats that gave it to her.  She still loves old-people candy like Good 'n Plenty and Raisinets even though I tell her not to every day.

Biology and goat milk and Raisinets are not and never will be "cool", but that's what I've always admired about her.  She never listened to what she was supposed to think.  She just loved what she loved, and she loved that she loved it.  

And that is the greatest gift that she could have ever given me because it allowed me to do the same.  It was okay to fill notebooks with words about the American Revolution.  It was okay to love that old truck even if the handles always fell off, and the roof leaked sometimes. And it was okay to pray when we were scared, and it was okay to be good at dancing badly, and it was okay to cry happy tears even though they're usually unnecessary.

Thankfully, I'm not in the eighth grade anymore, but sometimes I think that things haven't really changed that much since then.  There are still people who'll tell you what to think and who'll tell you how to act and who'll tell you what to love and what not to love. 

But someday you'll realize none of their voices really matter.  There isn't a right thing or a right way or a right time.  

and it's amazing how much power came when I realized that.  It was okay to love everything that I always have.  and it was okay to be passionate.  It was okay to be excited about semicolons.  It was okay to cry during "What Would You Do?".  It was okay to be really honest, and it was okay to really care.  

Passion really is everything.  Find the thing that you love, and own it.  Commit to it.  Be excited about it.  Tell the world that you're excited about it.  It's okay to be that crazy girl who loves going to real-estate conferences or that weird boy who's really into technology and reads up on apple news every morning.

And it's okay because our hearts don't beat the same, but all that means is that that passion inside you is yours.

And that's something to be proud of.  



college real life

March 23, 2013

"It's late again, and we've been talking all night.  

And this exact moment is why I love this little room here on the third floor.  It's the times you're so tired that you can't do anything but dream.  And you close your eyes, but you can't sleep because you find too many pretty thoughts there.  

And it's just another night.

We talk about books and we talk about faith and we try and figure out what we're supposed to do with forever.  

And we'll stay up some nights just because we're excited for tomorrow, and we'll stay up other nights just because we're scared.

And you know, late night talks have always been the best ones."

college is a good place, you guys.  




I took Katie home with me last Sunday.  I drove her all around.  We sat in your driveway and we talked on his stools and I showed her the intersection of 100 East and Center Street.  

Because I wanted her to see where everything happened.  

I wanted her to see where we road bikes and looked at Christmas lights and milked goats in your back yard.  I wanted her to see the roof we wished on and the deck where we played cards.  I wanted her to see the G and hill park and my little, one-step porch.

I wanted her to see the places where my heart grew. 


One day, you'll trade your little basement bedroom for a window on the third floor, and you'll give up your early morning classes for late night runs.  And you'll see faces you don't recognize, and you'll learn stories you've never heard.   

But, you know, something funny happens when you come to college.

Sunday night dance parties and fires in the canyon change faces you didn't recognize into people you don't want to forget.  

And you'll stay up late telling stories, because no one really sleeps here, and you'll start to realize why she smiles that way.  And you'll hear about past love and happy days and all those times they went to In and Out at midnight.

And she'll listen to you too.  

And it's like, all of a sudden, you'll start to see all of the moments and people and love that made you.  And you'll kiss your thumb after every pinky promise, and fortune cookies will make you sentimental.  

And you'll go to sleep smiling because everything usually works out.  


I fell in love with the mountains on rainy mornings, and the way the stars shine brighter when it's warm outside.  

And we all see things a little differently, and nobody's love is exactly the same.

My heart needed that street lamp and hers got that that pretty wooden bench.

And we all see things a little differently, but I guess that's just because hearts don't grow the same.



Happy Sunday.

We talked about Christ today, and she asked me to say all of the things that we've been saying for the past two weeks.  And she asked me to tell about all of the thoughts and words and stories we've found ourselves telling at three in the morning.

So, I thought for a minute, and this is probably what I should have said:

You know, I want to be brave, and I want to be kind, and I really want to be good.  They're little words, but they're big things, and I think about them a lot.  And I walk some days, and I whisper, I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.  Not because I always do, but because I want to have a heart that follows.

But there are days when I'm not kind and I'm not brave.  I don't always listen, and sometimes I forget to call.  Sometimes, I don't look for the good in people, and somedays it's easier just not to try.  

And you know, my heart isn't perfect, and neither is my love.  

But I want it to be.  

I want my words to be sincere.  I want my heart to be kind and my voice to be gentle.  I want to see the good in others, even though I don't all of the time.

Mostly, I want to look at the world and see things the way my Savior does.  I want to see the hurt that he saw, and I want to see the faith.  I want to find the joy and the love and the talents that I don't always take the time to look for.

I don't ever want to be too tired, or too hungry, or too busy to help.  Because He never was.

And I'm not even close to there yet.  I haven't even left, and somedays that just doesn't feel like enough. 

But I think about my Savior.  I think about His hands and His voice and His heart.  I think about all the days He's protected me and all of the times He's watched. 

And I know that He saw me keep walking because I was too afraid to stop.  And He saw bite my tongue, even after he had given me the words.  And I know that He knows that my love isn't quite enough yet.  

He knows my trials and my desires and the things that make me scared.  

I know He knows my heart.

And sometimes I think that maybe that's enough for now.  Maybe it's enough that I want to be kind, and I want to brave, and I really want to be good.

Maybe it's enough that I try to see the good in people and that I follow the best that I can.  Maybe it's not about keeping score.

And maybe life's not about being perfect right now.  

Maybe, just telling Him that you want to be is enough.



Sentimental Hearts

I've been thinking about the mountains lately.  I've been thinking about all the nights I've spent there.  

That's something that I remembered a lot when I first came to school.  Hiking the G at midnight.  We didn't really want to, but somehow we found ourselves together there.

I remember the whispers as we walked, and I remember the lights we saw once we got there.  I remember the leaves and the dark the warm air.

Mostly, though, I remember that we didn't have any words.  Mostly because we didn't need them.  That night was about the clouds and the sky and realizing that this really was our home-- at least for a little while.  

And I remember saying thank you, with every part of my heart.  And I remember wondering if, quietly, you were saying thank you too.

*     *     *

I have this dream that one day, long after I've gone, you'll come back to this place just to see if it really was as beautiful as I always promised.

And when you do, I hope you'll open your eyes and find all of the love and thanks and life here that we did.



the view from upstairs

Did I mention there’s a window here?
There’s a window and a tree.  

And it really is the most wonderful thing.  

Sometimes I lie with an open window late into the night.  I turn out the lights, and I look up at the sky.  It’s dark, and it’s wonderful, and it even feels like home sometimes.  Mostly because God’s there.  

Sometimes I talk to Him too.  I ask Him to say all of the things that I can’t right now.  I ask Him to listen.  Mostly I try and say thank you, though, and that’s mostly because He loves me.  And I’m thankful for that.

Sometimes I look up through my tree just to find the moon.  I always do, and I always smile.  Mostly because life really is the most wonderful thing, and the moon has always reminded me of that.