Saturday, November 29, 2014

Belated thanks

eh isn't being sick the greatest thing?! *Sarcasm intended*

It looks like I'm overdue for a Thanksgiving post so I guess we'll pound one out right now!

Despite the fact that half of my family is sick with the stomach flu, I am still in awe at how many incredible things I have in my life to be thankful for! Upon reflection I've realized that my very favorite things in life are the people that surround me, so here is a non-inclusive list of a few of my favorites.

My family!
I love my family so much! It's on a regular basis that you can find me on all fours and crying because I am laughing so hard because of my family. There is never a dull moment when it comes to Reid family time. I am so thankful that I have such a good relationship with both my parents, as well as with all my siblings. I know so many people who have family feuds with members of their family, but I am so blessed to live in a family where love is spoken and where small arguments remain small. My sister and I are asked all the time if we ever get in fights. The answer is that our fights are seldom and far apart. I can honestly say that the members of my family are my very best friends. I'm thankful for a sister that shares sibling telepathy with me and who is capable of making painful situations bearable, and enjoyable situations even greater. I'm thankful for a little brother who will go to every extent to make me laugh and who finds joy in hanging out with his big sister. I'm thankful for a little sister who is my very best friend and who tells me her secrets and follows me around at the gym. I'm so glad I get to keep them for eternity!

I am also so thankful for my awesome extended families. I have defiantly been blessed with the best when it comes to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am blessed to see some of them on a weekly basis, and others the reunions are more rare, but I love them all the same. I'm thankful for crazy uncles that provided the most painful tickle attacks as a kid, and who never cease to make me laugh. I'm thankful for the little cousins that greet me with running hugs, and for the older ones that always make me laugh. I'm thankful for grandparents that read all my posts, and who provide never ending love. Again, I'm so glad I get to keep them for eternity.

Seminary Council!
It is almost on a daily basis that I have to refrain from talking about how much I love them because I don't want other people to feel jealous. I am going to put that worry aside for a second because I need to express just how much I enjoy this wonderful group of people. I cannot express it in words how much I enjoy being on seminary council with these people. The members of this council have some of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. I always look forward to our lunch meetings and they never last long enough. I wonder everyday how I was blessed to be able to work with such incredible people. Each of them have touched my life in ways they will never know. They have taught me so much and they have truly changed my life for the better. I don't have any idea how I am going to say goodbye to them at the end of the year... but we won't talk about that because it will make me cry. Let's just say this song represents my feelings about seminary council and that I cry every time I hear it because it reminds me that I have to say goodbye to them at the end of the year. I love you guys!

This includes new friends and counselors alike. I first realized I had a testimony at my first EFY as a fourteen year old. My counselor, Kjarinda, challenged us to pray for ourselves to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints was true, and oh-boy! The prayer I said that night altered the entire course of the rest of my life more than any other single experience ever has. My testimony has grown so much since then, but I will forever be grateful for Kjarinda's righteous example in my life. EFY has also brought me many many other "blessings". I have been blessed with, in my opinion, the very best counselors and friends. I am thankful that I have been able to attend five different sessions since I was fourteen and that one of those was a trip to Palmyra, New York where I was able to visit the sights and places where the Church was first restored.

My gym!
I started tumbling when I was seven, but I have been with my gym since I was a timid eleven year old. In the early years we tumbled in a match-box sized room with only a few mats and a very small trampoline. I was blessed to be on my gym's very first competition team that consisted of only fourteen competitors. We have grown so much since then. Tumbling on the team has allowed me to travel to places I would never have been, and to meet and become friends with some of the most incredible and influential names in the sport as well as in my life. I remained on the competition team up until August of this year when I traded my spot on the team, for a spot as a competition coach. I am so thankful for my boss/coach, Jill, who has become my second mother in the sense that she watched me grow up. I am thankful she hired me to start assistant teaching classes when I was thirteen, and for providing me with the very best job for the last five years. I have been able to teach hundreds of children in that time and I have been touched so much by each child that has ever called me "teacher". I'm thankful for all the teammates I have had since I was eleven. I love you all so stinkin much. I also need to give a huge thanks to all my coaches that have touched my life. Thank you thank you thank you Steph for going beyond your job as my coach and for becoming one of my very best friends and mentors. I always know I can trust you to help me with anything. You always give the best advice when it comes to tumbling or life. And thank you to Nicole, Riane, Jake, Ashley, and Lance for everything you have ever done for me. And thank you to Justen and Sandy for being my "coaches from another team". I don't have any idea what my life would be like if I had never walked into that little gym when I was eleven, but I do know it has blessed my life for the better.

I have SO MANY other people in my life that I want to thank including the Daniels, school friends, teachers, church friends, and blog friends, and the random kid down the street that eats nothing but saltines and mayo. (that's a Psych reference, in case you were wondering) but unfortunately, this whole "stomach flu" thing is making me tired. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate your presence in my life. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for the people I have associated with for the last eighteenth years. Thank you for everything.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Well, now that I've finally caught up on Thanksgiving... BRING IT ON CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

happy things

Today was the most beautiful day and I don't even know why. Everything just feels right.
Isn't the Ogden temple just gorgeous?

I had an awesome opportunity to speak at stake conference on Sunday. My talk was about family history work. It went well and It was such an awesome experience. When I was talking to one of my friends about speaking at the tabernacle I said "IT SEATS LIKE A THOUSAND PEOPLE...."  and she said "That's okay because you're short so only 100 will be able to see you." And then when I got up to the pulpit I was so short that I couldn't even see the front three rows unless I stood on my tippy toes. So I shared that joke and got the loudest laugh of the entire conference. And my talk went really well and I know the spirit was the actual speaker of that meeting because that was defiantly not me talking.

I need you all to go read this post right now. It's not long and it will only take you two seconds. It is one of the happiest things I have read in a while. Marie-Rose is the author of the blog Hope Always and Pray Constantly and we have become blog friends over the last year. She is a convert to the LDS church and her blog is her conversion story and her life as a convert to the church. This is my very favorite post of hers because it announces that SHE WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY and I am so excited for her. Congrats girl! Welcome to the single thing that has brought me the most happiness to my life. I hope it brings you the same joy. I have such a strong testimony of this gospel and I know that Jesus Christ loves me so much and that he loves Marie-Rose, and that he also loves every single person reading this. He loves you. Congrats again girl!!

This month our seminary council has had the seminary students send gratitude grams to their friends to let them know that they are thankful for them. I don't know if it is because I spent several hours sorting them today, or the fact that Thanksgiving is next week, but gratitude is in the air and I think I've come down with the grateful-flu. Here are some of my happy things.

Like I said, I spent several hours in the seminary building today. Sometimes it feels like I live there. Which is a happy thing because it is one of my very favorite places to be. I just need to say that I am so very grateful for the opportunity I've been given to serve on seminary council with such incredible people. I cannot express how much I love each person on the council. I am humbled everyday at how much good comes from the people in that building. You bring me so much joy and there is never a boring moment when I am with anyone from the council. Thank you for your greatness. I love you all so much! ahhh so many feels. Dearest, Adam, Kami, Haden, SaBree, Fletcher, Alli, Matt, and Ginny... you rock my socks. If you want to know what it is like to be on sem council with you, imagine a midget at an amusement park where none of the rides have height restrictions. Also, the food is free.

I also had a kick-butt workout with Emily today. Shout out to Emily and Mckenna for being the very best gym friends! I always have so much fun and I always enjoy working out with you two. You always motivate me to do my best and I also love that the conversations with you two are always clean and positive. You are both so very awesome.

I am so extremely grateful for my job as a tumbling coach. I taught a class yesterday where five girls learned how to do their back handsprings alone for the first time. I also taught a class of two-four year olds where I got attacked with hugs, and I also had a little girl tell me she loved me and that she loves coming to tumbling. I seriously am so grateful that I have been blessed with this opportunity to teach such amazing angels. If I'm ever having a bad day or I feel like I'm not good enough my children always make me feel better.

I also need to express my sincerest gratitude for Raegan and Kenley who are two of my very favorite people. They are always able to make me laugh so hard and I always seem to end up singing when I'm around them. They are always so happy and they make me happy. Tonight for Young Men/Young Womens we quilted blankets for the church's humanitarian effort and Raegan and Kenley were the greatest entertainment. I love you guys!

Today was such a good reminder that things are actually good in the world. That even though sometimes life happens, and sometimes we still have to do math homework, I can chose to be happy. And I'm thankful for that.

feel my sunlight

p.s. What makes you grateful?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gratitude Grams

mmm... The world has left me breathless lately.

The way the seasons change is enchanting and I love it, even if it does mean I do have to double and triple layer all my clothes.

I've reticently created a new portfolio site, which is still in the works, but if you feel so inclined you can CLICK HERE to check it out!

Yesterday we had a party at one of my young women leaders house and one of the leaders, Sister Hartvigsen, walked in with a plastic grocery sack. When we inquired about the contents she replied, "I brought my favorite treat..." Being sure to leave dramatic suspense she then added, "MEN!!!" As she pulled out an assortment of ken dolls in scout uniforms. We died. Each of us now have a new bæ and I couldn't be happier about it.

Aren't they the cutest?!
And in other exciting news, shout out to Briana and Allison who are both turning 18 today!!! I hope you guys had the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! :)

This week has been awesome and I'm finishing it off with speaking at STAKE CONFERENCE tomorrow. TOMORROW! I'm freaking out, but it all the best ways.

On an unrelated note, my life has been centered around gratitude lately. Gratitude grams that is. I am on the seminary council at my school and for the month of November we've been having the student body write gratitude grams, which are little slips of paper that students write notes to their friends to tell them how grateful they are for them.

We had a lunch activity this week where everyone came and ate graham crackers (see what we did there?!) and wrote gratitude grams. It was a blast and I must say that I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve on seminary council. I absolutely love the people I work with and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Here are some cute pictures I took at the lunch activity.

So in spirit of the month of the month of thanks I want to challenge everyone at my school to keep sending gratitude grams, and I want to challenge everyone else to send a text or leave a note for someone you are thankful for, because they need to know.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Go read this blog. Exciting things are happening over there.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Future Sister Missionaries, Al Fox, and BYU Vocal Point

DISCLAIMER: This was the coolest day ever!

I am a part of a Facebook group called Many are called.... but few are sisters and this group is specifically for future sister missionaries and RMs and it is full of some of the coolest people I've ever met. Everything regarding serving as a sister is talked about in this group and I have learned so much from the comments and testimonies of these lovely sisters.

Every once and a while they have a meet-up at temple square. Where they get together and take pictures and sing songs and share excitement about serving missions.

I attended the meet-up today and it was a BLAST! I have never been with so many people that were so excited to serve the Lord. You could just feel the excitement in the air and I can honestly say that I fell in love with each of these girls even though I didn't know most of them. They are truly God's army and Satan had better hide because these girls are mighty! Here are a few pictures from the meet-up courtesy of the awesome photographers that came to take pictures of the group!

Kaitlyn and her cute flag

But wait! The excitement doesn't stop there!

After the meet up a few of us were walking around temple square when I recognized a familiar face. {Spoiler: This face can be found at the bottom of my left column!} In case you are too lazy to scroll down that far we saw AL FOX CARRAWAY!!!  With her husband Ben, and their cute baby girl Gracie.

It took us a second to register that it was actually them and then as soon as it hit that it was ACTUALLY AL FOX we flipped out. For those of you who don't know who Al Fox is you should really read her blog. She is my very favorite blogger, and my very very very favorite speaker. (remember when I went to a fireside she spoke at HERE?) She is seriously the kind of person I want to be when I grow up and she is a HUGE inspiration for my motivation to be a blogger.

So naturally when one sees one of their biggest idols they begin to panic and freak out. As did I and the cute girls I was with. And by the time we had contained ourselves enough to be able to go say hi she was gone...


I tweeted her and this conversation followed...

So we ran as fast as we could over to H&M and found her in the men's section. I went up to her and was like "Hey, I'm the one tweeting you!" and she was super cool and talked to us for a little while and then took a picture with us. She is seriously so fun and I am so grateful I was able to meet her and talk to her today!

But wait! The excitement doesn't stop there!

When I got home my family notified me that we were going to go see BYU Vocal Point! They were incredible and I loved every second of their concert! If you've never heard their music click HERE!

So I'd say it was a successful day! Went to a future sister missionary meet-up, met my idol Al Fox, and went to see BYU Vocal Point in concert! I'm on cloud 9.

feel my sunlight


p.s.s. Okay... Watch this video. <3

Friday, November 7, 2014

Letters from Heaven


Sometimes you just need days like today to remind you that the world is okay and that pieces of it are rather magnificent. Yup. That about sums up my day.

We were sitting in second period today when we received word that school would get out at 11:15 thanks to broken water pipes. WAHOO! 

There are beautiful things happening people.

And before I get into my post I have a few birthday shutouts, because apparently the next few days are popular days for awesome people to be born.

S/O to Makena who is turning 19 TODAY! I am so happy I was able to meet you last year at EFY! You are one of the funnest people I have ever met and you were a fantastic roommate. Thank you for your strong testimony and for being so fun! I miss you bunches and I hope you had the grandest day ever! 

S/O to Adam who is turning 18 on Sunday! You are seriously one of the very coolest people I know. You are a fantastic Seminary council president and I am so happy I am able to serve on council with you. You are such a great example to me and the rest of the school. I hope you know that people look up to you. Thank you for your testimony and for being my friend. I hope you have the greatest birthday ever!

S/O to Raegan who is turning 17 on Monday! I love you so much Raeg! I couldn't have asked for a better friend to fly to New York with me! New York with you was seriously one of the very best weeks of my life and I will never forget it! You always brighten the room with your happy outlook on life. Thank you for being such a great friend to me for all these years. I love you so much girl! Have the happiest of birthdays!
Since I can't think of an efficient transition from birthdays to what I wanted to post about I will just jump right into it.

I've been busy. And by busy I mean I have such a long list of things to do that I probably shouldn't be blogging right now. I have three callings, all of which have provided me with many many great things to do, I am teaching a leadership training lesson to the seminary class presidents next week, and next Sunday I am speaking at stake conference. I also teach 9 tumbling classes (which I love!) which also require intensive lesson planning outside of work. And all of that in addition to school and homework have provided me with quite the "to do" list, and while I absolutely LOVE everything I am doing and wouldn't change it for anything, I was feeling a little overwhelmed.

I was sitting in my seminary class the other day when we came upon a verse of scripture that hit me really hard. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. So I replaced the name written in it to say "Whitney".

"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Whitney, 
I have looked upon thee and thy works. 
I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work. 
Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things."
-Doctrine & Covenants 35:3-4

The part that hit me the very most was phrase "I have heard thy prayers."

I see it like this:

I am sitting here on earth writing "letters" (aka saying prayers) to God about the things that are happening in my life. And I am then tossing them towards the ceiling in hopes that they somehow make it to heaven. However, sometimes It seems that these letters just hit the ceiling and fall back down. Because obviously paper can't fly through ceilings. 

However, the contrary is actually true. Not only do your prayers make it past your ceiling, but they actually make it the God's office. It would be efficient for God to have a secretary read all the letters and respond to them, but instead I believe he has his heavenly secretaries deliver the letters right to his office and he reads each one individually, and he responds to each one individually.

He reads your letters.

My most resent letter to him was that I was stressed with everything to do and I didn't feel that I was good enough to get it all done with the kind of quality that he expects. So he sent me a letter back to let me know that he has looked at the work I have done, and he has read my letter. He reassured me by letting me know that I was prepared for all the things I am doing, and he also let me know that I will do great things.

I'm grateful for letters sent from Heaven.

feel my sunlight

p.s. I just want to live on a cute farm with lots of trees and have a horse named Starlight and listen to country music and wear cowboy boots and go to hoedowns and marry a cute cowboy like in the movies.   #WhitneyThoughts