Friday, September 2, 2011

We're Moving!

This blog, that is.

I've moved my blog to . From now on, I'll be blogging over there.

I'll still leave this blog up, but all of the old posts have been transferred to my wordpress blog as well.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to more adventures with you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back from California!

Wow, I feel like it's been forever since I blogged! We visited my family in San Diego last week, and are now back in Provo getting ready for the school year. It's hard to believe that it is my last one, and I will be graduating around April! 

Usually when we go to San Diego, we try to get a lot of sightseeing in. But on this trip, I was too tired to do much. I was a little worried that my slower pace would take some of the fun out of our vacation, but I think it actually made the trip better. Instead of focusing on things to do, we focused on being with one another. Some of my favorite memories from the trip are doing puzzles with my dad, having heart-to-hearts with my mom and sister, and the way James would crawl into bed with us for some morning snuggles. I feel so blessed to be part of a family that is so kind and loving. 

Doing origami with friends while camping

We made rockets for Phineas and Ferb Friday!

We love doing crafts after dinner, but this one made me a little frustrated...

The temple is way more gorgeous in person

Jumping over the waves!

Snuggle time!

With our cute friends, the Mitchells

Our wonderful family at Lake Gregory

I'm so grateful that my family is eternal!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Overheard at the Moons': Jump in the Shower

Brandon: "Okay, I'm going to go jump in the shower."
Me: "Honey, you don't have to jump. You can just walk."
Brandon: "No, it's really much better if I jump."

He then proceeds to hop all the way to the bathroom and into the shower.

This is why I absolutely adore that man.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Something Old, Something New

3 years ago today, I started working at Jamba Juice. In four days, I will work my last shift and start a new era in my life. 

I know it's time to do something different. With my illness I can't keep up with the demands of this fast-paced job. I find myself getting more irritated with customers; let's face it, being asked "What's good?" for three years gets pretty old. The truth is, I am burnt out. And there are many other people who can do this job better than I can. It's time for them to get a chance.

But at the same time, it's bittersweet. 

Jamba Juice has been a part of my life for the past three years of my life. My co-workers have been comforts, supports, comic relief, a source of joy, and my best friends. I have grown up in this job. And in fact, it is through my friends at Jamba that I met my sweet husband. Working at Jamba has changed my life. 

It's funny how something that was wrong for me a year ago can be right now. 

In the fall, I will start working as a TA in the art history department. I am excited to have a less-demanding job in my field, to develop new skills and make new friends. But I am also nervous, for I am leaving something that I know and love to step into the unknown. 

I will miss the good food. I will miss dancing around to fun music after closing.  I will miss training sweet little freshmen. I will miss our wild Jamba parties. And most of all, I will miss all of my sweet, wonderful co-workers who make me laugh every time I work. 

I am grateful for this experience and all that it has taught me. But I have to move forward. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Miracle of Forgiveness

Brian Kershisnik, But Ruth Clave Unto Her, 2006, Found here

It's been a rough week. As I wrote earlier, I've been struggling with forgiving someone who has rejected my efforts of kindness and hurt me badly. Ephesians 6:12 kept popping into my mind, for I have been wrestling with the forces of darkness.

I spent several days engulfed in these dark feelings, nursing my wounds at the bottom of that pit and fighting to let go of my pain. I felt justified in my anger, and wanted everyone to know how I had been wronged. But at the same time, I knew that revenge would only continue the cycle of unkindness; it would not make anything better. I also knew that I wanted to escape from these angry feelings and feel the peace of God again.

I found hope in Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place, an account of her experiences helping Jews in World War II and, as a result, being sent to a concentration camp. She also discusses the way God helped her to forgive and show love during that cold, dark time. My favorite story in the book occurs after the war when Corrie was speaking of her experiences across Europe. At one event, she was approached by a guard she had known in the concentration camp; he recognized her and asked for her forgiveness. She writes,
I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happpened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand, a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
So many times I have uttered that same prayer - Lord, I can't forgive this person. Give me Your forgiveness. And like Corrie, I have been aided by my Father in Heaven. The more I feel His compassion for my offender, the more my heart softens and is able to love. But it is His charity and forgiveness, not mine, that has made the difference.

My husband has been a great help as well. He has listened to me rant and complain and cry. He has even sympathized with the person who hurt me and helped me to understand their point of view. He has helped me connect to God when I was too hurt to reach Him on my own.

"You have tried so hard honey," Brandon said as he stroked my hair. "You did nothing wrong." It was at that moment that I began to sob because that was what I had wanted to hear all along - that someone acknowledged my sorrow and my efforts to do the right thing.

It was at that moment that I began to heal. God surely knew what He was doing when He asked us to "mourn with those that mourn." (See Mosiah 18:8-10)

We often speak of "the miracle of forgiveness" in the context of the Atonement, of Christ forgiving us for the vilest of our transgressions. After my struggle to forgive one person of a small offense, I am amazed at the Savior's ability to forgive me so readily, and even more so at the fact that I can someday become like Him.

But this experience has also taught me about another miracle of forgiveness - the freedom and healing we receive as we let go of our anger and let Jesus teach us how to forgive. I was in bondage, and none could deliver me but the Lord my God. (See Mosiah 24:21) He has made my burden light.

I still feel hurt when I think of what my offender did, and I suspect that the pain will always be there. I know that my journey is not over, for forgiveness is not a single event but a lifelong decision. But I know I have the help of my Father in Heaven, and that with Him, I can be victorious. 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:35, 37-39

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Annie Henrie, Streams of Mercy, 2010, Found here

I am learning a lesson in forgiveness right now, a lesson that is oh, so hard. As a child, I thought I had mastered this skill because I could easily get over playground drama and childish arguments. But when you've given your best to someone and they don't even try to see past your shortcomings - that is when forgiveness becomes so much harder.

This journey feels like a roller coaster. I descend as I worry and stew and grow angry over the wrongs that have been done to me. At rock bottom, I realize that I need to do better, and ask for God's help. I've been amazed at how He helps me, lifts me higher, fills my heart with His understanding and His love.

But inevitably, I grow angry again. I used to think forgiveness was a one-time thing, but now I am discovering that it is a long and tiring struggle.

In those moments when I am down and weary, here are three things I turn to for the inspiration to turn my heart to God and try again to forgive.

1. This video

2. Rudyard Kipling's "If"
"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools"
3. The words of Corrie Ten Boom
"It is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."

 I hope that these can help you on your journeys of forgiveness as well as mine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Faith Rooted in Optimism and Tears

Brian Kershisnik, Thorn and Sparrows, Found here

Last night, I filled up my old journal. Tonight I will begin a new one. 

After writing my final words in that volume, I flipped back through and reminisced about the last 9 months of my life - my worries when having to decide between my missionary and Brandon, how I decided that he was the one, our engagement, our wedding, our first 5 months of marriage.

I've been sick for the past 6 weeks, and I'm not sure why. (And to nip any rumors in the bud, no, I'm definitely not pregnant.) Although I get enough sleep and take my multi-vitamins, I'm tired all the time. I often have dizziness, migraines, and difficulty concentrating. We've been to the doctor and found out that I'm not anemic, diabetic, or a victim of thyroid problems. He prescribed some medication about a week ago, and it's been helping, but I'm certainly not back to normal yet. 

As I read through my old journal entries, I missed my old self. I missed the girl who was able to handle 12-hour school days with a smile on her face. I missed the girl who was so happy and bubbly all the time. I missed the girl who found everything about life to be so exciting. My body has forced me to slow down, and in some ways, I've lost a part of myself. 

In my prayers tonight, I asked God to help me bring back the old, energetic me. Instead, He answered, You don't have to be her. 

Yes, my body has forced me to slow down, and my spirit has slowed down with it. I've lost a lot of my energy and enthusiasm, but I've gained something in return. 

I'm more content with my place in the world. I find more satisfaction in my relationships. I cherish the temple more. I'm driven to my knees more often. I talk to my mother more frequently. I think more deeply and creatively. I'm more content to observe than to join in the action. I have a more eternal perspective. 

I have a better relationship with my husband. I have a better relationship with my family. I have a better relationship with myself. I have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

This trial has been painful, both physically and emotionally - but I am better for it. I feel like it is helping me to grow up. 

As Melissa Young wrote,  "I’m finding that my faith is rooted in both optimism and tears."

Monday, July 18, 2011

I finally feel like an aunt.

When we first got engaged, one of the things I was excited about was becoming an aunt. As the oldest kid in my family, I had no nieces or nephews, and when I married Brandon I suddenly got 10 1/2 (the eleventh was born about a month after our wedding day). It's been a bit of a challenge learning how to relate to that many kids and how to show them love. For the most part, I've felt like I've just been pretending, but this weekend at our family reunion, I finally felt like an aunt.

We had a blast driving up with Benson, Adi, and their dad Nephi. When we pulled up in the driveway, they were all ready with their backpacks, sleeping bags, water bottles, and aviators. "Bwandon and Dasha! We going camping!" Benson cried. They were pretty excited.

Who can resist Bensie?

Our reunion was in gorgeous Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton Girls' Camp, which has been run by the LDS church for 90 years. I love going up into the mountains and being surrounded my streams, trees, rocks, and dirt. Something about it awakens a part of my soul that is left dormant by suburban life. When I'm in the mountains, I feel like I'm truly myself.

From our hike around Silver Lake

But my favorite part of the reunion was seeing the love everyone had for each other. I didn't know the extended family very well, but they all treated me with such kindness and welcomed me with open arms. There were no cliques, no fighting, no put-downs, nobody left out. Everyone took care of each other, from the grandparents right down to the little kids. It was heaven on earth.

I had so much fun making bracelets, tie-dying t-shirts, hiking, and sitting around the campfire with my sweet nieces and nephews. I loved getting to help the kids with their crafts and the conversations we had as we worked side by side. Something about working together really helps you bond. Even little Ezra, who has always been shy around me before, opened up as we painted rocks together. I feel like I know the temperament of each child in the family now - Lauryn is bubbly and outgoing, Adri is graceful and introverted, Benson and Adi are sweet and easygoing. I feel like I am finding my place in the family, and that I really belong. I feel loved and accepted - and isn't that what family is all about?

Little Pierce, or "Baby Bierce" as he's been dubbed by Benson

Adri's face when Brandon claimed the bunk next to mine

Benson putting on sunscreen

My new favorite photo of us

I'm so glad that I found sweet Brandon who added me to this sweet family who loves me as much as my own. I feel so blessed to belong to 3 wonderful families - mine, my husband's and the one we will create together. I don't think that I could be any luckier. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


I'm not easily provoked, but when somebody hurts a family member of mine, I get pretty mad. Introverts are fiercely loyal, and I am no exception.

Well, someone has recently disappointed and been unkind to someone who I dearly love, and I am less than  happy about it. There are so many things I wish I could say to them, but I know that they are better left unsaid. This song helps me feel better when those angry thoughts come to mind.

I love this song because it helps me remember that this incident isn't the end of the world. This person's rudeness doesn't change my family member's sweet, glorious, brilliant spirit. Meanness hurts, but we don't have to let it stop us.

I'll be less upset in a day or two, but for now I'm letting T-Swift help me get out my anger. Banjo music is some good stuff.