Sunday, February 3, 2013

Has It Really Been Two Years?!?!

So you guys. You guys, you guys, you guys. I know I haven't posted on here in WAY too long and I'm sure everyone figured I had died or left on my mission already or got married or...something. Well none of that is true.
I suppose it's just been easier not to write because I have felt so confused as to what I was doing with my life. Can I just tell you how incredible my life has been recently though? I mean everything hasn't been perfect but I've learned more about my Savior. I've learned more about sacrifice. I've learned more about the power of the Atonement. I've learned more about my Heavenly Father's plan for me. I've learned more about scriptures. I've just learned...more. Sacrificing something good for something better seems to do that to ya'...
And as I've been growing, struggling to figure things out, and preparing for a mission...time has passed. Seth will be home in...27 days. What?!? What?! I can't quite wrap my head around this. Is it really happening?! Have two years really passed and the time has actually come?? Apparently.

We haven't really communicated one on one (I have send him short updates on my life here and there and have just received his family emails) for the last eight months or so. I have dated other guys since he has been gone. I have, however, stayed true to the agreement we made before he left: "I want you to date and be happy while I'm gone...just please don't be married when I get home." Psh. Please. I'm as far from married as I'll ever be. I have been praying about a mission on and off over the last year and have been preparing for that. In other words, I have not been the typical, faithfully-writing-every-week missionary girlfriend. I'm not even sure if you could call me a missionary girlfriend anymore at all. I don't even call myself that.
But I do have a missionary that I pray for every day. There is a young man halfway across the world that, amongst all of the changes and experiences I've undergone, has never really left my mind.There's a relationship on which I've never given up. There's a best friend that I've never completely let go of and that I'm excited to get back.
And he's coming home soon.

I'm scared. I'm giddy. I'm all sorts of emotions.
We have both changed so much that I feel like we barely know each other now. Will things pick up where they left off? Or will we be like two strangers? I just don't know what to expect. What to feel. What to think.
All I know is that, the closer it gets, the less nervous I become and the more excitement takes over. I'm excited to get to know who he has become.
The day after I see him for the first time, though, I drive back to Lincoln to begin my mission interviews. What a strange turn of events...we never thought that this would be our situation upon his return. But here it is. And it's beautiful. And it's exciting. And it's great. I have no doubt that there's a plan. For each of us. We just have to figure out what our plans entail and act upon that discovery, even if it's one week, one day at a time.
No matter what may happen, I cannot wait to see him again. And I'm ready for this.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Where I'm At

I'm sorry I've been gone so long...living in Arizona was...awesome. I loved it there. However, since I only lived there for six months, I wanted to live every moment that I wasn't working, even the moments when I was working. Not that I don't love writing and posting on here, but I figured that I would probably make more memories when I was actually out doing something rather than sitting inside writing on my blog. That's also a plus about not advertising on your blog, you can take a little break every once in a while and no one minds. Now that I'm finally home in Nebraska (I flew in last week) I'll be able to post again. 
So much has changed. So. Much. I have a boyfriend now, a decision that I made after a lot of thought and prayer. We have been dating for four months now and he's an amazing person that I have been able to watch change and grow since I first met him. 
I now have these two beautiful little girls that I have nannied since January and I love them. I love them so much that, sometimes, I feel like I may burst from holding too much emotion in my 5'4" body. I can't even imagine having my own children. How will I ever be able to handle even more love? As of now they are in Nebraska staying with their grandma for a week and a half and I have been able to see them every couple of days. I'm dreading Sunday when they have to go back home to Arizona. I'll probably cry like a baby saying goodbye to them. I'm about to start crying now. *Deep breath.* The hardest part is that they probably won't remember me in a few months, especially after I don't see them for probably two years.
Which leads me to the biggest change, I'm preparing to serve a mission. I have most of my paperwork done and I'll send them in in August. I cannot wait to find out where I'm going. It's still pretty surreal, but I'm excited and I know that this is what I'm supposed to do. This is the one time in my life that I have received a distinct, "Yes. That's the right decision, go ahead with it." And I've received it twice. How could I possibly deny that? I seriously thought about waiting for Seth to come home from his mission before I left for mine...I would really like to see him again...but I know that that would make it much harder for me to leave. And I know I need to.
So that's where I'm at right now. That's what is going on in my life. I'll fill you in on more later.

Friday, March 2, 2012

365

Well, folks. It's been one year. That's right, we're halfway through. Where did the last 365 days go? I'm not complainin'...I'm just sayin'. It honestly flew by. So this is the time where most girls start planning their weddings and becoming sure of the fact that they will marry their missionaries. I'm not there yet. I'm super excited that we made it this far, believe me, I am! But when the next year rolls around will we be getting married for eternity? I don't know. It would be the fairytale ending, but I don't know.
I would like to be able to say that I know exactly where I'll be in one year. I would like to be able to say that I even have a clue. But I can't.
I love it here in Arizona. I do. I love how many members there are out here. I love it. I love it. I love it. There are people who want me to stay here and not go back to Nebraska when summer rolls around. And there are others who want me back in Nebraska right now. There are people who want me to continue waiting, and there are those who don't. I obviously can't please everyone, nor should I try. The problem is this: I hate letting people down. I hate being the one to disappoint and, therefore, saying no is really difficult for me. But I'm getting there. I am learning to do things for me and I'm working on relying on my Heavenly Father to do so. It's this amazing new ability that I have: saying no. I'm not great at it yet, but I'm progressing. You'd think that being able to do things for myself would make life easier, less complicated. False: I'm only 20 years old. I have no idea what I want yet (I stole a page out of old Dwight Schrute's book). How does one figure that out? Everyone's advice? Do what makes you happy. But I'm a very happy person so that's a pretty large spectrum. I could be happy getting married. I could be happy finishing up school first. I could be happy studying abroad. I could be happy going on a mission. I could be happy going home to Nebraska. I could be happy staying here in Arizona. Heck, I've even thought about transferring out to BYU-Idaho and I could be happy there. The thing is, I am one of those people that are happy anywhere, and I'm grateful for that. But it doesn't make my decision making any easier. 
Anyway, I'm just rambling. Allow me to condense: I'm confused about every aspect of my life right now. So where I'll be in one year is a mystery. But one year has passed and I'm still here so if I could make a prediction? I'd say that I'll still be around after the next 365 days. 
This past year I have grown more than the other 19 years of my life combined. This past year I have gone through every emotion on the scale. This past year I had my first apartment. I moved out of Nebraska for the first time. I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my education. I became a published writer. I cried and laughed and danced and screamed. I gained weight, I lost weight. I turned into a bit of a hippie (although let's be honest, I've always been that way). This past year, though I missed Seth, I'm glad that I was "alone." It offered me the opportunity to figure out who I was, even if who I am has no idea what she's doing. I discovered my passions, weaknesses, my strengths. I discovered that I love being spontaneous, traveling without plans and trying everything once. I love documenting every detail with my camera, my notepad, my memory. This past year I have gained confidence that I never knew I was capable of and I've learned to love others more fully. I've enjoyed what very well may be my favorite thing in the world: driving with my windows down, sun streaming in, hair flying loose and becoming tangled, radio turned all the way up and singing at the top of my lungs. I have truly grown to appreciate being young and I don't want to throw away one single minute or wish for it to pass any faster than it already is. I learned to live and love life more than I ever have before. This past year...was incredible. 
Year two? Bring it on.

Monday, February 6, 2012

California&"The" Talk

I really need to be doing my homework right now...I put it off all weekend and went on a trip to California with a group of people from the singles ward. Seriously, so much fun! That was the first time I'd ever seen the ocean! The first time I'd ever had sushi rolls. The first time I'd ever rode a tandem bike. The first time I'd ever seen the San Diego temple. The first time I'd ever attempted to surf. The first time I'd ever just decided to go on a trip without consulting my parents first. I'm a big girl now! Long story short? It was amazing. 
The absolute best part was seeing the temple. That has been my favorite temple for as long as I can remember and I've always wanted to get married there, yet I'd never seen it in person. If you want to know the truth, as soon as we came around the corner and saw the temple at the top of the hill, I began to cry. It was pretty late at night so the temple was already closed (I was really bummed about not being able to go earlier.) but just being there the spirit was so strong. I have never wanted to go inside, or at least just be inside the gate on the temple grounds, so bad. As I stood there pressing my face up against the fence I just thought, "Wow. That's Heavenly Father's house. He's in there." And then I had a very distinct thought, or an impression if you will, "He's here too, Sierra." Needless to say, it was an incredible night and there's more to that story that made it even better but that's a little personal for everyone involved and so I'm not going to share it on here. 
Anyway, one of the friends who went along on this trip was guy #1 from my last post (I don't remember what geeky name I gave him before). We get along really well and I feel like I can tell him anything. In fact, I have. After we got back from California last night we just sat there and talked for hours about a lot of really deep, important things. Towards the end I told him that, even though I really love spending time with him, I thought it was best if we just kept things as good friends, maybe even best friends, but not a relationship. And he was really understanding and very cool about it. He said that, even though it would be hard for him, he completely understand thought it was fair. And that is why he's already one of my closest friends here. I really appreciate the maturity that most guys in the church have. I feel like, as I grow up, I'm having this talk much more often, but at the same time the guys aren't acting out as upset boys anymore, now they respond to me with respect and they handle it as men. It's a bit of a strange transition, but it's one that i definitely like. 
I'm so grateful for him and others who have treated me with respect even though they don't necessarily like my decisions. I'm grateful for the perspective that the gospel gives. I'm grateful for good people and good friends. I'm grateful for the confidence that I have to stand up for myself and say no, this isn't what I want for myself; I didn't always have that. In fact, I didn't have that until recently. I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, so I would let things slide much longer than they should have on multiple occasions. In the end, it always ended up hurting them even more and me as well. I'm grateful that I have finally learned my lesson.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bad Decision Making & Ugly names.

So here's the thing. I date other people. Y'all know that. I like dating! A lot.
This weekend I went on a couple of dates and they were great! Fun guys? Check. Unique activities? Check. Good food? Double check. (And, let's be honest, that's the only part that really matters.)
So I had a great time on both dates.
But here's the thing: neither prospect has a future. Specimen A, we'll call him Rupert*, is a great guy. However, he's not someone who could take me to the temple. (Not that it's even like that. At all.) And that's kinda a big deal. If I said he was a "flirt to convert" case, I'd be lying. Because he's already a member. And I actually enjoy spending time with him. But hey, helping to bring him back to church is a definite plus.

Specimen B, Albert*, is a super awesome dude. Do the words dude and Albert really belong in the same sentence? I feel like they don't. Anyway, I digress. He's actually someone who I could see myself going on more than a couple of dates with...and not getting sick of. And that's saying something. But...he's a convert so he wasn't able to go on a mission at age 19, so he's going on one now. Which is amazing! I'm so impressed by people who do that! But I can't help but think, really? Another soon to be missionary? I can really pick 'em, eh?

Also I have an awesome new friend. She'll be given the name *Wompel. (Or Blanch. Or Frambruka. I can't decide. The list is just so good!) She's Canadian and the other day she asked me a question and said "Eh?" at the end. It sorta made my life complete.

*Names have been changed, and to pretty terrible options I might add. Do you really think I know someone named Wompel? Ew. No offense if that's your name. But you should probably consider a name change. And fast.


Ugly names. Let's talk about that some more. Hogarth. Is that a boy or a girl name? I feel like it's not even suited for a dog. And what about Melvin and Gertrude? Quasimodo. Archibald. Eugene. Olga.  Humphrey. Bertha. Myrtle. Buford. Opal. Dorkus. (Seriously, it's a name. Read Darcy's Song.) Edith. Eunice. Beaulah. Bartholomew. Ingebord. Also, every single Sesame Street character. Why must they have such awful names? The world will never know.
One of my friends wanted to name his future daughter Hildegarth. 
Hopefully he marries someone who isn't a crack-addict so she can talk him out of that one. 
Poor kid.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, ELDER RAMSAY!!!

(I realize that this is backwards. Dumb move on my part but you still get the point.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

so i guess i'm pretty spoiled...

because today I received, not one, but 2 cartas! We don't write as often anymore so when I do get a letter it's a huge surprise, sorta like a mini-Christmas. And in each of those envelopes there were multiple letters, one of which was written on 3 pass-along cards because he didn't have paper with him. I immediately sat down and read through those things as if I were losing my sight in a few minutes.

Omygoodness, omygoodness.
I love that boy.
And you know what? 
He loves me too. =) 
He is excited about marrying me! Me! Can you believe it?! I sure can't. I have definitely made my fair share of dumb mistakes and he knows all about them and yet...he still wants...me? How can this be? 
I am so blessed. 

In one of his letters he said "I was talking to a guy named Beto...the other day we got on the subject of families and whether or not we had girlfriends. I showed him a picture of you and he approves. But then he said something I wasn't expecting that was really nice. He told me, 'It doesn't matter how many guys she meets or goes out with. She is never going to find someone as good as you.' Made me feel really good. =)"
Well, Beto, you were right. I'll be honest, I like dating now that the time is right.
I like the lack of pressure that comes with casual dates.
I like the reassurance that comes after those dates telling me, they are great guys, but they aren't Seth.
I just don't get excited about anyone else like I got excited about him.
Like I still get when I get a letter or an email from his family.
So you're right, Beto. It doesn't matter how many guys I go on dates with during this next year, none of them will take his place.

Which reminds me: AZ boys are much more....aggressive than NE boys. It took Seth 2 years to come say hi to me. I was asked on 2 dates within the first 24 hours of moving to Arizona. Granted, Seth was younger and probably much less desperate for an eternal spouse. I'm just sayin'. 
Bringing me to another point...
Last night I got asked on another date.
I was actually driving behind him trying to leave the parking lot when he stopped the car, hopped out, and headed toward me. So, I rolled down my window. 
"Yes?"
"I know I don't know you very well yet...but I want to. What are you doing in 5 days? Would you want to go on a double date with me? You might have heard that I'm leaving on my mission soon but I wouldn't expect you to wait for me or anything." 
I can't tell you how tempted I was to say, "Good because I wouldn't anyway. I'm already waiting for someone else."
But I didn't want to be rude.
So instead I just smiled.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

300's!!! Holla!

Omygosh. Omygosh. Omygosh. 
In one week I'll be in the 300's! Can you believe it?!?!?!?!
I cannot!! 

400's, you've been oh so good to me. 
So much kinder than the 500's.
Way more sensitive and loving than the horrible 600's. 
And heaven only knows you were night and day in comparison with the 700's. 
(They were real jerks. I don't even want to go there.)

The 400's and I have shared an incredible spiritual growth. We have completely changed the way I view this whole waiting game, we have moved my life to another state and we have reconsidered and prayed about the course of my life. We have faced some really challenging times, but mostly we have faced some really awesome times. The 400's were greeted with open, longing arms. 

So then why am I so excited to say goodbye to them?

Because these next 100 are going to be even better.
300's, here I come. Let's get well acquainted, my friends. You have a lot to live up to.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sometimes I Torture Myself...

by going and looking at old pictures and watching videos that we took together.
 I wish we would have taken more videos...

And then I watch temple wedding videos and missionary homecomings. 

On good nights it makes me excited for our future.
On bad nights it makes me cry.

Because I'm kinda pathetic like that.

The thing is, I know I'm going to miss him even more after watching these videos but truthfully...I'm afraid of not watching them. Because then I'll forget his voice. And why I'm doing all of this in the first place. Because it's been so long that, honestly, sometimes I can't remember on my own.