Friday, April 6, 2012

friends gettin' hitched!

 so last friday we had a shower for the beautiful Christie Iba! not only is she ABSOLUTELY stunning on the outside with beauty, but she is just as tender hearted and gorgeous on the inside! it isn't often that you find two characteristics that coincide with each other!

critter and i have been friends since 1st grade, and still to this day there has not been a time where i am laughing my head off around her! she is such an amazing example to all of our friends of what true beauty is! we wish her the best of luck, and hope she remembers us if her husband goes pro in the NFL! (talk about cutest NFL wife ever, right!?)

 ciara burningham, madeline simmons, and myself were in charge of putting the shower together, and it was such an intimate feel, and such a fun time getting together again with the girls!

 ciara's mom made these cupcakes herself!!! can you believe it!?

 congrats critter!!! we love you so much and support you on this new journey you are about to embark on!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cliff's Notes Conference

did anybody else feel a different vibe this conference? It was even more powerful, even more uplifting, even more inspiring than it normally is... which i am completely fine with. the Brethren laid down of what are undeniably the most important aspects of the gospel which are:

1. Eternal Families
2. The love our Heavenly Father has for each one of us individually.
3. Repentance
4. Unconditional love to not only others around us, but for ourselves. (Not judging others)
5. The power of the Gospel in our lives

this conference actually made me extremely excited and anxious to bring children into this world and raise a family, rather than nervous and afraid. not to mention who i will be starting a family with... probably had a huge reason of why i am so excited.

this was mine and christian's first conference together. back in the first week of october, we both knew we loved each other, but we didn't know if the other loved us back... so it was at that awkward moment of asking each other if we wanted to watch conference together... but even then i knew i wanted him in comfy clothes next to me on the couch listening to the Prophet and His Apostles. which reminds me of a hilarious/adorable story that set our conference weekend off to an amazing start!

So thursday night-
Me: "C... does your family watch conference in their church clothes?"
C: "Yeah, why?"
Me: thinking he was joking... "No but serious... do you guys wear church clothes?"
C: "we really do!"

so saturday rolls along and i wake up to get ready for conference. i wake up to a text from christian saying "hey don't worry about church clothes!" so in my head i'm thinking... ok... either he really was joking yesterday... or he is just telling me this because he doesn't want me to feel obligated to wear church clothes just because his family does. so i put on my skirt anyway... being safer than sorry-er. :/

when i get to christian's house the first thing i hear from christian's brother, "christian are you serious!? why didn't you tell her you were joking!" Every single person in the family was in their comfiest of comfy clothes. normally people would be embarrassed or feel stupid... but i could only laugh. christian sat trying to defend himself saying that he told me not to wear church clothes, and in his defense he did! i just over-thought it. christian left the room... and i made myself cozy next to my future-sister-in-law ready to listen. the song was sung... the opening prayer given... and before the first speaker addressed us... my fiance walked back into the room, changed from his lacrosse shorts and t-shirt, wearing the nicest shirt and pants he could find... so that i wouldn't be the only person in church clothes. it is simple acts like this that make me fall in love with him all over again! he is so selfless, so thoughtful, and so concerned for my well-being that he would never want me to feel out of place, or alone in any situation. call me cheesy... but the moment i saw him in his light blue collared church shirt... i couldn't help but feel so lucky to be his... and to have him forever! 

conference weekend gave me that "spiritual high" that i felt all last summer doing efy. it is just so incredible to be a part of something where leaders are just as concerned as our well-being as we are. to be a part of a church that if we simply work hard, obey, and show gratitude to our Heavenly Father, we are blessed beyond measure. and even at times in our life when we are struggling even when we are doing the right things, the gospel seems to always have all of the right answers to lift us up and help us to endure. if you are one reading this blog with any doubt in your mind about yourself, your family, your future, your God, or life in general... i challenge you to take time out of the next few days of yours, and listen to the talks of general conference found here! i promise you will not regret it, and you will feel of the light i have talked about! 

here are some of the thoughts i wrote down.. most are just directly from talks, the ones *starred* are thoughts that came to me as i listened! my intent is NOT to preach... or to boast...or any other form of priestcraft... my intention in sharing my thoughts is to give hope to the hopeless reader, inspire someone who may need it in any form, and to shed light on the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the center of everything in my life, and the reason i live... and what i live for. i included the direct links to each talk if you are interested in watching/listening! thanks for reading. =)

-happiness in the home=protected by the principles of the gospel.

-family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected.

-*as i live the gospel and i obey the commandments, i will be protected.

-*the gospel is the plan of happiness for the family!

-*the Spirit is Heavenly Father's way of letting me know He is aware of my circumstance, and telling me He loves me.

-when we understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel... it is revealed in our every day actions.

-how do lost sheep return?
   -1. deepen understanding of diety
   -2. focus on ordinances and covenants-discipline to obey
   -3.unite the gospel with the church- *focus on the gospel and what it brings, rather than imperfect members and leaders in a perfect church.

-temple attendance gives us the visions and feelings of heavenly Father's love.

-*"sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven."

-great challenges=giant opportunities-"all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good."

-*my ground must be carefully prepared... to provide a foundation of faith... a solid holy ground that will uphold and withstand the storms and the floods that will prevail against me... and seek to destroy the grounds that i have worked so hard to build. by building my foundation on Christ, i am capable of overcoming all things. (Heleman 5:12)

-having faith in Christ makes the hardest and easiest of times our greatest blessings and triumphs.

-envy is a universal sin

-*Lauren, stop comparing yourself to others.

-we are not in a race against each other. the only race we are in, is the race against sin.


-it is not possible for you to sink lower than the power and light of the atonement!

and then Elder Holland said something so powerful and thought provoking... i will never forget.

"Do not delay... It is getting Late."

-crave the joy that comes from service.
-"his father had not forgotten him... his father was there waiting"

-if you stay on the Lord's side... you are under His influence.

-do good continually!

-*one of my greatest desires is to raise my children in truth and righteousness.

-replace judgemental thoughts with a heart full of love.

-"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." -bumper sticker he saw

-haven't we all been beggars at the mercy seat?

-do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good!

-*be thankful for a healthy working, beautiful body
-*be thankful for spiritual gifts.

-a perfect body is not required to reach divine destiny.

-*lessons i have learned from the Book of Mormon: i am delivered from my sins, the Lord hears my cries, the Lord delivers me from mental, physical, and emotional bondage, i am guided by obeying the commandments of the Lord, confidence comes through a relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.

-the Book of Mormon teaches us the power of the Lord's deliverance.

-*the most important cause of my life is Christian's and my future family.

-remove any fear with faith.

-to be fulfilled we must naturally and normally share the Gospel with others who are less familiar.

-give priority to the sacred... not the secular.
   -secular: of or relating to the worldly or temporal

-*when we abandoned just one sacred thing, our mind is darkened a little bit.

-what thinks Christ of me?

-the Lord blesses us with customized direction through the Holy Ghost.

-ponder the truths that you've heard and may you become better than you already were.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Live Simply

the day after new years this year i sat and pondered on new years solutions:

-forget myself 
-quit not being fit
-do better
-live happier
-call more
-look more
-do more
-wish more
-read more
-play more
-say more

which all of this "shoulding" on myself naturally put me into a state of "more"-ning. 

i wasn't doing enough.
i didn't have enough.
i wasn't.... enough.

it was then that i realized that i had forgot what it meant to


to breath.
to create.
to engulf.
to enjoy.
to learn.
to wait.
to imagine.
and most importantly.....
to LOVE.

to love without any expectations, without limits, and without telling myself that i didn't deserve it. 

instead of acting i became the victim who was being acted upon.

this state of mind was familiar to me, and i feel is a reoccuring theme for all of us. truth and reality is:

we are at war.

with a being who is so focused, so determined, and so craving for us to fail... to covet... to doubt... and to fear. if the adversary can get us to act any of these... he feels he has succeeded... and we then feel defeated.

what a comfort and all-consuming peace it is to me... that i am on the same side of the battlefield with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ... fighting His war... for His cause. 

It is He who makes up the difference, picks up my slack, and without fail... 

and qualifies me to 


it is in simplicity that we find the most joy. for me as of late... my simplys are patterned with the good morning beautifuls, birds in the sunlight, six strings, vocal chords, baby niece face giggles, temple visits, best friend Lingo talks, spring colors, new music, new direction, my view through a lens, good news, support, and new family members added stationed in Bountiful and Provo. all of these and many more are what pushes the "shoulds" and the "mores" out of my head.

this past year... March 2011-March 2012, have provided and given me some of the hardest, happiest, most doubting, most spiritual, most trying,

but the absolute most refining experiences i have had all throughout my entire existence.

personal battles.
family triumphs.
family heartaches.
new friends.
mission papers.
mission call.

and the most refining: meeting my life-long, as well as, eternally perfect companion that i could not be any more grateful for. 

he has been, and is, the answer to so many questions i have had.

i'm healthy.
i'm happy.
i'm blessed.
i'm creating.
i'm imagining.
i'm learning.
i'm loving... oh how i'm loving!

and to put it simply...

i am living. and have never been so lucky and blessed to do so.