3.29.2010

I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor His name.
I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light.
His truth I will proclaim. (:

ah, primary days. back when i was eight years old and the highlight of my week was going to church on sunday and getting to hold the 'be reverent!' sign in primary or sing primary songs (: those days seem so far away.. that was over a decade ago for me. 

but here i am, eleven years later, still singing the same songs. because when you're going through primary, your top priorities tend to be winning the sharing time games or getting to conduct the music with one of sister nielsen's many 'wands.' but when you're an adult.. you can look back and still sing those same songs, but now you're able to focus less on memorizing the words for the next primary program and more on the actual words being sung.

i guess the sparknotes version of what i'm trying to say overall is just.. i love my church. i love this gospel. i love the happiness and peace and joy it gives to me daily.. whether i'm reading my scriptures or saying my prayers or just going about any other aspect of my life.. just knowing that i have this amazing gift in my life is a blessing in and of itself. i lovelovelove it (:

and more specifically, i love the comfort and peace that comes from knowing that when i'm stressed or feeling sick or any combination of the two (as i was), i can ask for a blessing (as i did) from any worthy priesthood holder and i know i will feel better with that alone (as i do). it's seriously amazing! now not to say that i didn't need to still get my head back on straight and drink more fluids + get plenty of sleep.. but a priesthood blessing has never failed to give me peace and comfort and the faith that i know i will get better in time. and it also never fails to reassure me of the incredible love that my Heavenly Father has for me (: 

i love being a mormon (: i love being happy all the time. i love feeling at peace. i love knowing that i can and will be reunited with my family again after this life. i love being out here at byu/in utah in general and being surrounded by people who believe the same things i do + have the same standards as me + i can tell are noticeably happier than anywhere else i've ever been. and i know why. because they know the same things i do (: and you can know them too! anyone and everyone can. now i'm not saying that everyone needs to be a mormon; i understand that everyone has their own beliefs and such and such. but if you're doubting any aspect of your life or if you're feeling that your God doesn't love you.. think again! because i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves me, and you, and everyone! regardless of what mistakes we've made or how far we've strayed.. He's always willing and happy to take us back with open arms (:

now i know to anyone reading this that isn't mormon might be a little confused by all this.. so i've put links on certain words in case you're curious or something and want to check it out (: no need to dedicate yourself to being a mormon or anything rash; just click on the words "priesthood," or "Heavenly Father," above, or "plan of happiness (:," "basic beliefs," or "the book of mormon" below to learn more!


p.s. a lot of the stuff you find on the internet about mormons is incredibly false.. but if you want some legit church sites, check out mormon.org (where i got the links above from) or lds.org (for more in-depth topics).

aaaaaand just as a side note, there's no need to get upset if you don't agree with what i'm saying or with the mormon church in general. if you have questions, feel free to ask. but this is my blog and i'm practicing my right to freedom of speech in talking about something that i'm passionate about so please try to respect that (: thanks!

besides, even if you don't agree with the beliefs of the mormon church..
i'll find it hard to believe if you say you don't think that the mormon temples are simply gorgeous (:


salt lake city, temple
[sarah nichols photography]

3.25.2010

dear español, te quiero tanto.

lately, my life's been spanish-filled to the maximum.
..or at least as much as you can get when 99% of the people you interact with on a daily basis speak english with minimal (if any) spanish.. and they prefer to keep it that way.

AS A PREFACE (hi sarawhitacre hahaha) yesterday i was talking to my mom on the phone on my way to spanish class and when she asked if i was there yet (somehow she can always tell like the moment i get to class.. it's crazy! you're a mind-reader, mama (: ), i replied yes and she told me to have fun and we'd talk later, since class was starting already. i simply said, "don't worry mama, i always have fun in this class!" and it sparked a bit of a side conversation..

she told me how much she loves how much i'm enjoying spanish and how it reminds her of when she was in high school back in chile and she always got so happy and felt so excited learning about english and at the time she didn't quite understand why.. but now she can look back and realize that it made her so happy because of where she's at right now: she married my papa and came to america + learned english.. and has been living her own personal happily ever after, ever since! how cool is that?!

her story just got me that much more excited about my love for spanish (not that that's difficult.. my love for it has been basically multiplying with each day that passes)! not because it means i'm going to marry someone who's spanish or anything like that (!) but just because whenever i think about it.. the language, the culture, practically ANYTHING spanish-related, i get hardcore butterflies. like those crazy ohmygoodnessi'minlove kinda butterflies. how insane does that sound to you, especially if you happen to be among those who took high school spanish 1-3 just to be able to graduate and now have a distaste for the language.. shame on you.. ?! i'm in love with a language. hahahahaha. i'm even smiling like an idiot right now just thinking about it and typing all this up and guess what? i don't even care (: i'm a proud (half!) chilena. and i've got my mama to thank for just that! thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! (:

it's seriously insane.. like when you have a premonition (i think i'm using that right?) about something like it's what's supposed to happen/be happening, or it's something that just feels right.. like i may not know or fully understand it right now.. but there's a reason behind my passion for the language and my heritage behind it.. i know it. and i can't wait til i get to that point like my mama did.. when i find that connection and everything is going to 'click' and make sense and fall into place.. 

fjdkalsfjkasdlfjlasdkfj;
it's an incredible feeling. (: can you tell?!

i only wish i could share it with everyone. which i guess is why i've decided undoubtedly to become a spanish teacher (minoring in english teaching for those of you who are curious; i think i just have a thing for languages). that way i can share this amazing feeling that i have with new students every year.. and help them develop their own love for it as well (!), i want to make learning the language at least enjoyable for others.. rather than depress the students that are simply trying to learn it just to 'get the grade.' i don't care/won't judge you if you don't have a similar passion for the language.. but i want you to learn and be exposed to how beautiful it is, nonetheless (:

in the past WEEK (give or take), the following has happened:
1. i made a new friend (!) who speaks spanish.
2. i've had spanish conversations with my parents via telephone.
3. i've caught myself starting to naturally talk in spanish to people around me/when i call someone on the phone after class (and the befuddled reactions i get never cease to make my day just that much better!)
4. i've developed a love for spanish cinema.
5. i've also developed a love for spanish music.
6. looking at notes for classes, i've realized that when i'm writing fast, some of my words are in spanish and the rest are in english.. which means i'm subconsciously thinking in spanish ((((:
7. i've been going to a spanish class everyday (mon-fri) + therefore speaking spanish daily, even if it is only for an hour (:

+ just in the past DAY, this has happened:
1. i watched the 2.5 hour-long movie 'i am cuba' in spanish at international cinema.. and the only reason i was upset was because there was a russian voice-over half of the time so i couldn't hear the spanish.
2. the movie was amazing.
3. one of my good friends got his mission call to guatemala, spanish speaking!! (:
4. i went to my spanish conversation lab and passed with flying colors (!)
5. i did all of my online spanish homework in two hours straight and loved every minute. even when i got the questions wrong (:
6. i decided that i want to travel to a spanish-speaking country (preferably mexico or somewhere in south america, if possible) within the next year, either on a service mission or study abroad.. or something. anything.
7. i became addicted to the song "obsesión (no es amor)" by frankie j.. because we listened to the spanish version in class (: hahaha. click here! to listen to it.

i feel like theeeeee ultimate nerd right now.. but i'm completely lovestruck. i am so passionate about the spanish language.. the culture.. the music (!!).. everything. it makes me so unbelievably happy just thinking/talking/blogging about it.. if you couldn't tell by the mass amounts of smilies in this one post. (: haaaaaa.

es posible que esta es un obsesión.. pero no me importa. (: 
¡te quiero tanto, español!

y p.s. HOLA NICOLAS BOWLES (:

3.20.2010

the clock's TIKing.

if you're in need of a pick-me-up
or
love little kids
or
just happen have two minutes to spare
then


guaranteed to make your day.

3.19.2010

twentyfive days.

until my life begins again.

with a little bit of this:

a dash of this:

a side of this:

a helping of this:

a smidge of this:

a touch of this:

aaaaaaaaaaand one final serving of this:

it's perfect. it's got all those lovely household ideals and family values..
well, it's fun to watch anyway (:

 it's coming this april. that's twenty-five days from now.
it's glee!


fjdsklafjlskafjsasfdkjal;
i'm just a tad bit excited (:

3.16.2010

never have i ever..

met someone who has never ever tried chocolate milk before in their life.

until TODAY.

i walked into my 4pm spanish class, same as i do every other monday-friday. i was early (that's a shocker) and there was a casual conversation.. (randomly) going on about chocolate milk. when the girl who usually sits behind me (her name's sarah as well!) confesses to never having tried chocolate milk. when we all looked at her in complete shock + awe asking why in the world she hasn't, she simply responded "i don't hate it or anything.. i've just never really felt like trying it."

holy wow. no doubt my excessive shock was due in part to the fact that i grew up in a household where chocolate was it's own food group.. but still. really? 19+ years of your life and you've never even had the inkling to try chocolate milk? it's not like it's terrible for you like alcohol or drugs.. and it's just as common in your everyday american grocery store aisle as a dozen eggs or a loaf of white bread.

anyways, i ran out of the room to the nearest vending machine, swiped my card, and spent a buck + a quarter, rushing right back into the room with a jug of byu creamery chocolate milk in hand.

unless you happen to be the like, one other person in the world who's never tried chocolate milk, i'm sure you can guess what happened next. she LOVED it. duh. and half the jug was consumed by the end of class. she was clearly pacing herself and enjoying every sip (:


so.. if you haven't tried chocolate milk.. come see me. asap. i'll run away + return quickly with a chocolate milk in one hand and slap you in the face with the other.. kidding! but i can guarantee i'll probably stare right at you as you take your first heavenly sip of the thick, cold + smooth deliciousness that is chocolate milk. you can even ask sarah, the whole class was watching (:

moral of the story: chocolate milk makes your stomach smile.
get some! (:

3.15.2010

concussed.

oh hi again.
so this one time.. i got a severe concussion.
and then two weeks later..
i may or may not have gotten another one (: bahah.

nownow, i know head injuries are no joking matter..
but all my life, i've pretty much been prone to having at least one a year. seriously! since.. freshman year in high school with the whole quarter-cookie argument with swhit at lunch when i fell backwards and messed up my neck and had to get my brand new white cheer sweatshirt cut off of me and was rushed to the emergency room and had to wear a neck brace for weeks.. yeeeeeeeeesh.

like i said, head injuries follow me around like it's their job.

so here's the latest story, reader's digest version:

two weeks ago..ish. tuesday night. mace + i are hanging out in the dorms circa one am and i lean back in my chair (our desk chairs at byu are like.. rocking chairs almost. you lean back too far..) and proceed to fall all the way backwards, hitting my head on my metal bed frame, the mini fridge underneath, and the floor, respectively. i only blacked out for like a second.. mace brought over a pillow, and i just lay down on the floor until the dizziness passed. nbd, yeah? little did i know..

less than 24 hours later, wednesday night. circa.. 9pm. after hours in the canc. i ask mike swindle for a piggy back ride to the creamery to get some ice cream (go figure!). as we walk outside.. greg walks up and gets in this whole big deal about a three-person piggyback ride and how he's done it before and how great it is.. and basically (being the little tiny girl that gets shot-putted around on a daily basis,) i am dubbed to be the top tier. so mike jumps on greg's back and i get my running start and jump up on mike's back.. and slip right off. this will never work, right? riiiiiight. or so i thought.. until i heard good ole mike swindle say those fateful words, "don't worry sarah, i'll grab you and make sure you stay on." so me, being my little trusting shot-putted self, agree. i get an extra big running start.. jump super high into the sky and onto greg's back.. halfway.

now i know what you're thinking.. how do you jump halfway onto someone's back? oh no worries. keep paying attention. i'll tell you how (:

i jumped on his back.. and mike (of course) locks a death grip around my legs to keep me on. good intentions, right? little did we know that according to physics and all that, just because half of my body's secured, doesn't mean the other half won't fall straight backwards..

so i fall back, and the momentum (+ my massive poundage, i'm sure) becomes too much for mike, and he lets go of my legs.. but by this point, i'm approximately onehundredeighty degrees vertical.. upsidedown. so i land head-first, from about a three-foot drop.. onto the concrete floor outside of the creamery.

ouch.

after being a bit out of it and laying outside with an overly large bag of ice on my head, compliments of the creamery, my dizzy + half-conscious state caused me to simply want to go back to my dorm and lay down and go to bed.. so of course, greg and mike (what smart boys!) told me to do just that. (we all would later realize that sleeping is the last thing that you should let a person with a head injury do.. but i lived! so it's okay! keep reading (: )

i proceeded to sleep for the next fifteen hours.

so now here's the quick (!) part.. because i have pictures (:

i woke up the next morning/afternoonish.. in pain from essentially the top of my head to the top of my legs. after a quick call to papa explaining what happened.. he basically told me i needed to get checked out and i was an idiot for not getting checked out right away.. in slightly nicer words. love you papa (:

so i walked to the health center and answered a number of questions.. all of which, after answering, i was essentially told i was an idiot by the nurses + doctors. let me spell it out for you:

"okay, what happened?"
"i fell like three feet off of the top of a three-person piggyback ride onto my head.. onto concrete."
"alright, there's mistake number one. have you taken any medication or anything for the pain?"
"yes, i took some ibuprofen this morning."
"okay.. there's mistake number two. ibuprofen can make your brain swell if you've got any internal head injuries. don't do that again. now, do you have a friend here that drove you?"
"no.. i walked here.."
"alright.. that's mistake number three. let's get you some x-rays before you can do any more damage, okay?"

..then she smiled at me. haha (: so i got my xrayz!:


quite a lot actually. and i had to put on this weird suit thingamajig.. not anything like your run-of-the-mill doctor smock things.. i took a picture of the "easy" how-to-put-this-on picture that was on display:


notice how unhappy and confused this little man is in the first two pictures? that was the story of my life as my head was pounding and i was straining to get this on.. somewhat correctly. then i got more than a dozen different xrays.. insane.

but then i got to look at them before the doc came into the room. check out how cute my insides are!:


but nothing was broken (phew!) and i was able to go home (with a nice little note excusing me from class the for the next few days!), as long as i had a friend come to pick me up so they could be read all sorts of instructions on how to keep me alive over the next 48 hours (including the need for her to wake me upevery two hours whenever i sleep to ensure that i'm still breathing .. grosssss) and we could go on our way. and hannah even got to park in the ambulance lane, with permission from the health center staff, of course (:


i proceeded to get much worse as the day/night went on.. so we ended up (on the insisting of my parents + fellow roommates) taking a nice visit to the emergency room to get my head fully checked out with a ct scan (as the health center staff kindly suggested if my pain got any worse) thursday night.. i was so happy to be there!


or at least i was so happy that all my friends (hannah, micae, mace, hay, + andrew) accompanied me.. on a school night! what pros.. and they even made some friends in the waiting room.. i have such grand friends (:

the following 48 hours or so are somewhat of a blurred mix of me being overly thankful to everyone around me, sleeping and drinking water and taking plenty of tylenol (not ibuprofen), and then just mostly just keeping to myself til i was fully recovered.

happy to say there aren't (or haven't yet been) any noticeable major negative repercussions from this event.. no persistent headaches after a week or so after.. and minus a mini wrestling match with haylee this past weekend (i lost.. and hit my head again, of course), i've been keeping myself (and my head!) out of trouble. for the most part anyway (:

so maybe it's just coincidence.
or maybe i'm just ridiculously accident prone?
regardless, papa's already promised to send me out a bright purple helmet to wear 24/7.
however, i'm thinking wrapping myself in caution tape might be a tad more effective. or at least make me a bit more fun to look at as i'm falling all over the place (:

3.11.2010

guess what?

IT'S OPENING DAY.

guess what else..?

I CAN'T EVEN GO TO THE FIRST GAME.

fdjkalsfjads;lfdsalfjsadlkfadsf;sadlfsaf;asdf;a
and if you can't tell, i'm not all too pleased.

for whatever reason, byu has decided to win my love by finaaaaaaaaally having a home byu baseball game.. yet, somehow they managed to make me also incredibly infuriated with them simultaneously, because there is no way i can attend today's game. and here's why:

1. the opener starts at 3pm today. fact.
2. baseball games usually can go circa 2-3 hoursish long. making the end of the game somewhere around 6pm at latest. fact.
3. only on thursdays i have class from exactly 3pm-6pm. fact.
4. today is a thursday. FACT.

now i know what you're thinking. if i'm such a manic byu baseball fan, why don't i just skip class? good question. the answer: was already planning on it (sorry mama + daddy!). buuttttttttttttttt, byu just doesn't want me going to this game. for whatever reason. meaning reasons. hm, i can think of at least three that come to mind..:

3a. i have book of mormon from 3-3:50pm, and it's mostly attendance based (we don't have quizzes or papers or anything for that class minus a one-page article summary we did in like the third week of the term) and i missed class on tuesday to go find out the gender of ruth's baby BOOOOOY. (: i don't regret that one little bit. but that means i NEED to go to that class today.

3b. i have spanish from 4-4:50pm, and i have an in-class quiz in that class. pretty self-explanatory.. i kinda can't miss that.

3c. i have my physical science lab JUST on thursdays, from 5:-5:50pm. i know i can go to another lab, since all we do is work on the homework all together, right? wrooooong. in the one extra time slot i could find that really fit with my schedule, i run up to campus after gymnastics class this morning (i had to walk up 112 stairs in total.. i counted) and am still almost 5 minutes late to the 11am lab. needless to say, the ta was speaking gibberish and then told us to 'get to work' on our worksheets in groups.. i knew no one there, i had no idea what the worksheet even said, and i presumed to walk right out of the classroom less than ten minutes later. i know this probably makes me sound dumb or something.. but i guess i'm just used to the way my ta works.. where we have our little five-person class (yes, that's including our lovely ta, adam) and we go through the worksheet together each week, step-by-step. needless to say, i have to go to that lab today.

in retrospect, i realize that i've wanted nothing more this past week than to simply go to each of the games this weekend. everyone around here knows how crazy stoked i've been getting. but i guess i'll just have to pray that my cougars do well today without me there.. and i'll look forward to enjoying my ballpark hotdog at the second opener game, tomorrow at 3pm, when i don't have anything else standing in my way.

second is supposedly the best anyway, right? (:

3.08.2010

take me out to the balllllllllllgaaaaaaame..!

i don't recall the last time i was so excited to get 
an e-mail..

OH WAIT. TODAY.
byu baseball starts at home THIS THURSDAY!
i will be at evvvery game (: go cougar blue!

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