Monday, November 29, 2010


Lately I have had an ongoing topic of thought and tonight I finally decided that it was time to write about it a little bit. It's a combination of things that have been going on lately, and ESPECIALLY Jacqui's farewell talk from Sunday [of which she did amazing.]

I read my scriptures tonight for the first time in I don't even know how long. It took me about 15 minutes to even figure out where they were. For some reason I felt like I really needed to read them. Once I found and opened them, I saw a long paper sticking out through the middle, so I figured why not flip it open to that section and see what it was I had marked. The section was Hebrews chapter 11. The very first part of the chapter heading says "By faith we understand the word and work of God..." I instantly understood why I felt promped the way I did.

I ended up marking every time that it says something specific/an example of somebody that demonstrated great faith. I now have a marking at the start of almost every single one of those 40 verses.

You know how sometimes in the scriptures people make the Lord so upset that he either appears to them or speaks to them directly? I'm pretty sure there have been multiple times where I was borderline on His list for that. He had to sit back and give me just a few more days to pull out of things, before He would be forced to come give me a little humbling talk. But He always knows when I will eventually work through whatever trial, hardship or burden has been thrown my way. After reading this chapter, I feel incredibly humbled and a little ridiculous for my "impossible" trials I have had [and definetly complained about] in my life:

If Christ or Heavenly Father ever did decide that I needed a direct talk, I'm pretty sure it would go a little something like this: "So you feel as though you were alone when you first moved to St. George? Perhaps you would rather be hiding in a wilderness completely alone while angry kings or rulers were after you for doing my work? You don't think it was fair to send sickness to your family? Would you prefer that there be a plague that wipes out most of them while you watch them slowly suffer and die, then go on in life alone? You had a hard time with the deaths of those near to you? Would life be easier if you had been the one chosen to be thrown into the lion's den? You've had some struggles with friends? Remember how YOU are the one that chose them and put yourself in bad situations, despite the fact that you knew it was wrong? At least I didn't put you up on a wall to have people throw stones and say harsh things and shoot arrows at you. I think you got the better deal on that one. Would you had rather been a pioneer? Leaving your home and friends and forced to bury loved ones in snowy planes along the way? Have you ever had to offer up your only son as a sacrifice? Have I asked you to build an ark despite the fact that you have no idea what you're doing, people are going to ridicule you and you have no idea why? My dear Chantel....despite what you may think sometimes, I have given you a great life!"

So of course that sounds a little dramatic, but I honestly believe that it is true. I have this picture in a large frame on one of my bookshelf. Brother Brayton gave it to me when I graduated high school and I LOVE it! He wrote me a card about how life can get hard sometimes and with all the changes coming up, to not forget that the Savior is always there for me. I guess I forgot to take note on that last part because I have definetly let myself get down in some life's latest challenges. I am the first to admit that sometimes I can be pretty quick to turn away from the Lord when times get tough whether out of bitterness, anger or just feeling the need to try and solve things on my own.

My own definition of faith is that no matter how bad things may get, they will always, always get better! Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the rest of the staircase. It is hard and scary but it is SO worth it! I have to remind myself a lot, but I'm actually really grateful for the trials and hardships that life has for me, because I am able to realize now that it truly is only to make me better and stronger.

I love this picture because it teaches me a lot about Heavenly Father. It shows that I truly am His daughter. It reminds me that I'm never alone. It is a clear picture of how He is always close by and ready to help me, just as soon as I'll let Him. It shows that when I am close to Him, I am happy. It show how He is protecting. It shows that He is loving and nuturing. He shows He is gentle and compassionate. It shows that He is not only close, but also completely aware of what is going on in my life. I need to keep working on remembering this on a more regulare basis.

If you look at it for awhile and think about what it means to you personally, I think you too will understand why the picture is appropriatly named "I Will Not Fail Thee."

Hope everyone had a great Monday, and happy Tuesday :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks..Giving 2010

Thankgiving break has been a great one! Right now as I sit in the recliner, with the snow outside and surrounded by Christmas through our house while watching our old family home videos, I DO NOT want to go back to school! at all. And even less do I want to get up and go finish my monsterous pile of math assignments, laundry and cleaning my room. Blahhh.

Watching these videos has always been a favorite of our family. Re-living the boys wrestling and fighting, riding horses, old Christmas programs, piano recitals, Taylor learning how to wash dishes, dress up days at school, volleyball and basketball games and the Light parades. I talked to one of my friends this week that's having a hard time with a lot of stuff right now and a lot of it has stemmed from childhood stuff. Makes me INCREDIBLY happy that my parents gave me such a good childhood with so much fun and so many good memories.

Christmas season is now in full swing and I L.O.V.E. it! If you haven't been down Center Street lately, take a drive down there because it is all kinds of lit up and decorated. I bought 2 new Christmas CD's that are quickly becoming favorites. The tree is up and lit and presents are already quickly piling up under there. Lights on the banister and the tree in the corner. Wreaths and poinsettas and navitiy and snowmans also have gathered in our front room. Not to mention the REAL snow outside that puts the icing on the cake for Christmas time.

Like I said, the break has been great! This year was the first time I've had to work the morning of Thanksgiving and it made me so happy for the overall health my family has been blessed with and my functional body that lets me do whatever I tell it to do. I worked until 11 (which ended up being 12) and then ran home to change and head down to grandma's. By my lonesome. It was fun though and it gave me a lot of time to think about everything and everyone I have in my life that I love. With my family eating at 12 I was definetly eating alone by the time I got there but it was fun to see everybody and play our HOURS of games after. It was definetly a little bit odd to not have Eric and his family there. Having Tanner ride with me on the way back had me laughing really hard and reminded me again just how much I love that kid.

Lots of food. Lots of pie. Helping cook a 25 pound turkey. Time with family. Games with family. A few flurrys of snow. Laughing at "THE BLIZZARD OF 2010" that barely even dusted over our lawn. Brittany coming home. Black Friday shopping at Park City Outlets with Kirk at the last minute. F.R.E.E.Z.I.N.G. to death outside running from place to place and praying the car heater wouild finally kick in. Getting my hair re-done a new color again. Unexpected phone calls from good friends. Unexpected texts from my lovely math boy. Late night hot tubbing run in the "blizzard." Sleepovers at J. Farns. WAYYYYYY too much shopping. Working with people I love. Christmas music and movies. Lots of snow. Jaqui and Lizi's joined farewell. UVU basketball game. Coldstone runs. Found MY NEW APARTMENT! :) Finally got to talk and catch up with dear Nicoley Sue. Harry Potter 7 on the first day. And THANKFULLY no more "fun" loratab texts or calls.

Maybe after Sunday dinner I'll consider doing some homework...or maybe not ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Tis the Season of Giving and Thanks

Last year, I was in China for Thanksgiving. I have never been more thankful for sooooo many things in my life. It was a HUGE eye opener to just how much I truly am blessed with aside from the typical, no brainer things that I usually think of first. This year I have once again found myself surrounded with an incredible abundance of blessings and good in life.

I am thankful for my job. Even on the days that I have to remind myself of that over and over and over again. I am thankful for Taylor and his amazing example. I am thankful for my car. Even on the days that there is an inch of frost on the INSIDE of my window, the nights it doesn't reverse, the mornings I find it full of water, the darkness every night as the lights refuse to work and my horn that sticks as I drive all the way down state street. I am thankful for Dominique Uata for MANY MANY things that she has taught me and the endless times that she has been there for me. Most abundantly right now, I am thankful for her example as she is getting ready to be married in the temple next week. I am thankful for my warm warm house. I have never been colder in my life than what I was at this time last year, so it makes me incredibly grateful to be able to come home at night and actually get warm. I am thankful for my dear old dad. For the times that I call him crying to move me home with 2 days notice, for sacrificing anything and everything for others, for never thinking of himself, for working harder than anyone that I know and for loving me no matter how many times I screw up and make things difficult for him. I am thankful for Hilary Searle for being one of the greatest friends that I have ever had! She always calls right as I need her, encourages me, makes me laugh and is a huge example to me in every way. I am thankful for Jonny Lingo for sending me the "divine inspiration" and belly laughs on almost a weekly basis. I am thankful that I am FINALLY learning the importance of school and education. I am thankful for the amazing trips that I've been able to take. I have seen breathtaking places, had eye opening experinces and some reallllllllllly fun times! I am thankful for Dr. Holmes knowing me like the back of his hand, his humor and of course his medical knowledge. I am thankful for P. Mosh and for the HILARIOUS times we have no matter what we're doing. Even when we're running [literally] to get scan trans for our finals. I am thankful for J. Farns who not only said "I'm here whenever you need me" but meaning it also. I am thankful for hard times that teach me a lot. Even in those moments that I just want to curl up and die, I still know that there's a lesson in it and that no matter how bad things get, they will ALWAYS ALWAYS get better!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I wish boys still had cooties

Does he like children? he good with children?....WOULD HE BE ABLE TO SUPPORT ME? he a guy that has a good job? he a good family guy?....COULD I TRUST HIM?..why does he swear so much?....does he still struggle with that stuff?....I wonder how he interacts with his mom and sisters?...does he make me laugh?...DOES HE HAVE A STRONG TESTIMONY?....does he make me want to be a better person?...would he get along with my dad and grandpa?...would he try flirting with my roommates?...DOES HE HAVE MY FRIENDS APPROVAL?....does he keep his commitments?...I wonder if he always tells me the truth?...WOULD I TRUST HIM WITH KEZNEE?...I don't care much about his past, but does he still have any ongoing issues? ..WOULD HE BE TEMPLE WORTHY?....does HE want to get married in the temple?
These are the constanttttttt voices in my head! I honestly am not to the point where I even want to THINK about marriage, but that doesn't help shut the voices up at all. This is part of the reason that I don't even want to be going on dates right now. Not. Appealing. I have had too much of a guy overload in the last 8 months. Too much drama. Too many secrets. Too little sleep. Too much ego. Too much pride. Too many hurt feelings. So to all the people curious about "the boy" in my life....that's exactly what he is! A 16 year old boy!

My little brother Tanner is currently my FAVORITE boy! It get's even better because even with my guy friends, they have roommates or other guy friends that they want me to go out with or meet or whatever. After leaving I get texts like "So what did you think of...." "...could I give him your number?" " should go out with him!" or other crap. Tanner is fun! We go hiking, play volleyball or basketball, homework quizes, make brownies etc. Today I picked him up from school and we went to lunch at the beloved Pier 49 while we laughed about the "cool" football players that never change and bad administrators. The only "relationship" talk we ever have is laughing at the boys that text me when we're hanging out or ones from the past that I've told Tanner about. And he always cracks me up with his straightforward, too honest answers of what I should reply to some of these boys. Friday we're going to Harry Potter 7 and then next Friday we're going to the JAZZ vs. LAKERS game! I freakin love this kid!
"Sooo...youd rather go with youre brother instead?" Yes Brock I sure would! :) He is a lot more fun and he doesn't make me sick. And it's the chill hangout that I love instead of you trying to make me feel stupid for wearing sweats or wanting to go do something random. And for the record, it's you'd and your. Try to spell before you try to start a relationship.

Did I mention that ONE MONTH FROM TODAY another great boy comes home?!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas Song Lovin'

Christmas has always been a pretty big deal to our family. It's "our holiday" for sure! When we were little, I remember my mom playing Christmas music for us once the holiday season started rolling around. One of the songs that was fun to listen to was I'll be Home for Christmas. I don't know if it was off a movie or just my imagination, but I picture this girl headed on a plane, so excited to be going home for Christmas and I loved it. My family has always been living pretty close to each other, with everybody there each year, so it was a fun idea for somebody to be coming home for my favorite time of year.

Last year, that girl on a plane, so excited to be going home for Christmas was me! 4 months in China was coming to an end and it was the perfect timing to be going home just 3 days before Christmas. In our weeks before coming, I'll be Home for Christmas was frequently blasted through Allie and I's room. Coming down those escalators and seeing most of my family standing there, knowing that we were right in the middle of the Christmas season, was the best feeling I have ever had! I wrote in my journal that ".....home for Christmas was the best! I stayed up after everybody was asleep and just cried listening to I'll be Home for Christmas because it was so true! China was AMAZIMG but with coming home, I am so happy right now that I can't even explain it!"

For as great as it was last year, this year it is so much better! Take the "happiest feeling ever" and multiply it by 10 and you have 2010. Last year, we were kinda skeptical that it would be our last Christmas together for a few years. However, that will be THIS year. This year will be the last year that our whole family can say I'll be Home for Christmas. Britt will be coming up from Cedar for almost a whole month. Her semester will be over and about to be starting her last in the nursing program but hopefully they'll give her enough of a break that we'll have lots of play time. Jake will be coming home for 2 weeks of leave from Iraq! I'm pretty sure I can already sum up how his trip will go with: overwhelmed and exhausted. Everybody is so excited for him to come! Not to mention his cute little baby that will also be gracing us with their presense :) And one of the best is that Taylor will have his last Christmas at home before he leaves for his 2 year mission. There's a chance that him and Tanner could overlap, so it'll be the last time for maybe 4 years that everyone is here.

I've already been excited for this but yesterday at Wal-Mart (of course) it finally hit me! And so my dear family, please hurry home! People at the Olsen home for Christmas 2010?....
Nurse McAlmost Nurse
Yo Momma!

G.I. Jake

Uhhh...NurseMcAlmost Nurse again haha
Da Booted Queen
Booted 5 times from August 11th to October 30th...ridiculous
Favorite FM (future missionary)

Shakin Mr. Yoplait

Santa's Favorite!

"...I'm dreaming tonight, of a place I love. Even more than I usually's a long road back. I promise youuuu, I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me."
42 days!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

my life no longer a statistic

Britt came and stayed with me quite a bit last semester. She'd stay whenever she had to be at the hospital early for clinicals. During these visits, it was almost a 100% guarantee that we would exchange music with each other for whatever new songs we'd found in the 2 weeks since she last came down. I LOOOOOOVE Lady A! Especially when Brittany "introduced" me to one of their songs that is the story of my life and says exactly how I feel about what I want to do in life. The song: I Was Here.

"You will notice me. I'll be leaving my mark like intials carved in an old oak tree. You wait and see....I know in my heart I want to do something that matters. Say something different...I want to do something better with the time I've been given. And I want to try, to touch a few hearts in this life. Leave nothing less than something that says I was here..." With having listened to this song a lot lately and having an interesting conversation with someone this week (you're a jerk by the way-I know you're reading this), it's made me realize that I am a statistic. I am also part of many "groups", which really just makes me more of a statistic. Everyone is really, whether you realize it at first or not.

I am 1 of Becky's 5 children.I fall into the 61% of women that won't report a rape. As of April 2009 I was 1 of 13,824,854 members of the LDS church. I was the 466th person to walk of our 468, 2008 graduating class. I was 1 of 18 people to open up the ILP program in Weihai China. I am a part of the 26% increase of people attending college. With so many "groups" and "statistics" around to label us all the time, it can be easy for people to get the wrong idea about who we are as individuals. In honor of my 21st birthday being 1 week and 1 day ago, here are 21 interesting/random facts that you may (most likely may not) have known about who I am and what has made me the way that I am:

1..I can run on 2-0 hours of sleep but I love sleep more anything. If I'm sleeping, I recommend you not try to wake me up. Or touch me. Or even breath on me. Cause when I got woken up, you will find yourself facing a beast. 2..the day of my baptism I was suddenly so scared/nervous for some reason that I seriously considered calling it off. In fact, I went to the bathroom while Bishop Callahan spoke RIGHT before the actual thing and I started crying. To this day I'm not sure why. 3..My first time away from home on my own was to stay at Eric and Joni's. I'm pretty sure not a single person in the world has ever been more homesick than I was those 5 days! My family could easily back me up on that. I called home at least 3 times a day. 4...Not only did I use to want 6 children, I wanted them to be 2 sets of triplets. And they had to be a set of girls and a set of boys: Briley, Kiley and Riley/Braden, Kaden and Jaden. I think this was when I first discovered how fun words could be and they way they rhymed and fit together. 5...When I went to New York, I wanted to live there so bad that I even wrote in my journal that I would be a stripper if that's what it took for me to get there. 6..I wanted to play college volleyball more than anything in the world. In a preseason game my senior year, I played harder and better than I've ever played before. That was the game where everything changed and suddenly I was too scared.. 7..I still cry everytime I have to get a shot. Everytime. 8..I am terrified of snakes. Like, deathly terrified! Just looking at one makes me cry, and talking about them makes me pull my legs up because I'm scared they'll be in areas surrounding me. 9..I LOVE the takeoff on planes! I look forward to the little "tummy topple" or flip thing it does once the plane first leaves the ground. 10..I have an odd way of "bonding" with my stuff to where I feel attached to it and will never want to get rid of it. Sentimental things especially but even silly things like my shoes or purses. 11..I have 24 real teeth, 2 fake and 1 MIA. and Catherine once had a HUGE crush on this guy so we did the typical girl thing of calling his house and then once he answered we would sit there and not say anything until he hung up. Then we'd laugh hysterically and call back again 20 minutes later. In our defense this was a LOOOOONG time ago. 13..when I moved to St. George for college, I cried the whole way down and my whole first night. I was so desperate for Jess and my new roommates not to hear me that night that I bit my tongue so hard that I had a literal bruise on it for almost 2 weeks after. 14..I slept with dolls until I was about 12. I had TONS of them and felt like I had to give all of them equal attention so I made up a sleeping schedule thing where I rotated them through. 15..I have not only been to The Great Wall, I have fully experienced it: I ran onto it, I skipped across it singing Mulan songs, I peed on it, I bought a shirt on it, I terrified myself of falling while hiking up it's 100 degree inclined steps, walked 10 miles on it and I ziplined off of it. first day of college I pooped my pants by the fountain on campus. An EXTREMLY complex [and actually hilarious]story! 17..One day I went to school and my friend showed me a huuuuge butcher knife in her backpack and was crying, telling me how she wanted to kill her mom. I was so scared that my whole body was shaking all day that my teachers kept asking me if something was wrong. When I went home I gave my mom a huge hug and for the first time said how much I loved her "Just cause." 18...running for Senior Class President was the scariest thing I have ever done. Speaking at graduation was the second. 19..I once tried to quit drinking Mt. Dew. It lasted 4 days and the day I broke we had a football game at Mt. View and I had 23 that night alone. 20..I use to lie about why things made me cry or sad or whatever because I was embarrased. Clearly that is no longer an issue since I now tend to throw all of my embarrasing and personal stories on this blog for whoever to read. :) (Brit...Thank God for Kids falls into this category) 21..I've had some VERY hard times in my life but I think I've turned out pretty great to be honest. I am happy and confident and secure in knowing who I am and not caring about what other people think!

Everyone's a statistic and that can't be helped. But don't let people label you. I want people to be able to say that I loved life! I want them to say that they laughed and had fun when they were around me. I want to be a person that can brighten somebody's day! Be comfortable in who you are and LOVE it! If you don't like something change it or try to look at it differently. Leave your own impact on the world whether it's great or small. Do what YOU want to do and do it for YOU. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and laugh at yourself because that's when you end up with the best stories. So many of my friends get so caught up in being exactly what guys want, or the perfect marriage material or the girl that everyone loves but seriously....WHY?! They get the perfect grades, they look the perfect way, they say just the right things, they're spiritual and motiviated, the cook amazing things, they never mess up, they never do embarrasing things......Who even cares? Have fun and live your life for you and not anybody else. That's when the real fun starts :)

"...and I know that I will do more than just pass through this life. I'll leave nothing less of something that says I was here."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Bunch me! Bunch me SOFTLY!"

It is under the craziest and most bizarre circumstances that we become closest to those that we love in life. Exhibit A: Allie Hinckley. Dear sweet Allie was the first girl I met that I was going to China with! To say that China was a bizarre and crazy circumstance is an understatement :) Therefore, she falls into the super close/love category. Allie was the first one that added me on facebook. She was the second person I actually met at the airport. She also soon became my roommate. There are many great and wonderful things that could be said of this girl but in order to keep this blog under control moderately I will try to sum it up. One word: laughter!

We laughed as she broke not only the shower but also the fan AND the bathroom light...all within 20 minutes of each other. We laughed as we danced down the streets of China while belting out Mulan songs. We laughed as we danced through the cafeteria singing Disturbia. We laughed at some of the other girls in our group (sad but...true.) We laughed as we continually heard girls eating and at the mighty tissue tumble. We laughed at the funny accents the Chinese have as they try to speak english. We laughed as Allie chased 2 of her students outside around the builiding, trying to get them to come back in. We laughed over peanut butter and oreos.

We laughed as we ziplined off The Great Wall. We laughed as Lou creeped on us at the mud caves. We laughed as Jack showed up at our room drunk at 3 am, to tell Allie he had been thinking about her :) We laughed as we had Jamie [also drunk] propped up in our doorway and none too excited to move too quickly. We laughed at countless nights of karaoke. We laughed when we ended up in strange places on the days we hopped on buses to see where we ended up. We laughed at how many movies we watched. We laughed when Shelley always walked in on the dirtiest parts of Grey's Anatomy. We laughed at "The Tissue Tumble." We laughed as we tried to figure our just how Ruth got into our room in Beijing. We laughed as Allie creeped on people through the walls of the hostel. We laughed as it took Allie 2 months to pee in a squatter. We laughed as we ran clear up to the dorms from the teaching building covered in cake and FREEZING. We laughed as we ran down the hall to make our secret treats. We laughed to read emails out loud from people back at home. We laughed to think of how weird "real life" was going to be when China time came to an end.

We laughed as "WHY ARE WE ALWAYS RUNNING?!" soon became the stories of our lives. We laughed as Allie got locked onto the patio. Okay..I laughed. Allie didn't. We laughed when Allie thought she'd won our nightly fight, then proceeded to go heat her noodles and found herself locked in the hallway while I showered. We laughed at running through the POURING rain to get to our precious KFC. We laughed as Allie fell off the top bunk, straight to the ground on the train. We laughed when Eric got stressed learning new card games "DO NOT SHOUT AT ME!" :) We laughed when "it would be funny if he didn't turn and just kept going.....WAIT he didn't turn!" We laughed when the old old lady literally chased Allie on her bike for just 5 yuan. We laughed when Allie had her first experience driving scooters and pinned my leg between the 2. We laughed making music videos at the top of Weihai Capital, ho-downs for assemblies and at the Olympic sites, and "Farmer and the Cowman" on the top of Mt. Taishan.

We laughed when we [frequently] embarrased Ruth and made scenes out in public. We laughed at Chinese filth. We laughed when we couldn't understand what taxi drivers said to us. We laughed when we heard awful re-mixed American music. We laughed as we used my yellow knife for everything from cutting fruit, cutting cardboard to even cutting down our Christmas tree. We laughed during boardtalk as we talked about stupid guys and bad dates. We laughed about "the misunderstanding." We laughed at hiding Ruth and Shelley's stuff and writing them funny ransom notes. We laughed as we BLASTED "Only in America" and "It's America" while we packed and cleaned our room and soon found ourself in tears. We laughed as our pranking with Melba got more and more intense. We laughed as Ruth always had great timing for talking to head teachers. We laughed as I repacked and repacked and repacked my bags, trying to fit everything in to make the journey home. We laughed at pretty much everything!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear Allie aka Alabama aka Alba. You are honestly a HUGE influence in my life and I love you to death! I can not imagine how China would have gone without you and all the amazing times we had. Happy 21st! Wo ai [you]!