August 17, 2012

150 or so posts later, it is time to retire this blog. I've been using this one since sophomore year! My new blog for college adventures and whatnot can be found at sarahkalacrandall.blogspot.com.

LOVES.

June 15, 2012

It hasn't been a perfect fairy tale the past couple of weeks, but a few things give me hope:

1. The cute song you wrote for me before leaving for high adventure. (It's hanging in my room.)

2. The way you encourage me to keep running when we go to the gym even though my legs feel like jelly. I'm  not in the least athletic, but you've been so patient with me. I can't wait until we run my first 5k in two weeks!

3. Today while babysitting your niece and nephew, I saw that your boutonniere from Prom 2011 was on your dresser. It was shriveled up and dead, but still there. I first noticed it there the day you came home from the ER three months ago. It's a nice reminder. It means a lot to me that you've kept it.

I miss you and look forward to spending time with you for my birthday.


June 12, 2012

I just realized that in my last two posts, I wrote about how crazy everything is. I guess that explains it adequately. I also miscounted the days left until my birthday. As of right now, I have 5 days until I turn 18! Here's an exciting piece of news:

I'm starting classes at BYU next week!

I had received an extra scholarship to start in the summer, even though I was accepted for Fall 2012. I at first declined the scholarship, thinking I'd be busy with work and other things. After the job disaster I outlined in my last post, I knew I needed to change my plans. I knew there was something better planned for me! I spent all day yesterday getting my admission status changed to Summer 2012, registering for the already picked over classes, and un-declining my scholarship. Everything has worked out perfectly! I am so blessed:)

Anyway, I've been thoroughly cleaning my room. I started last week and have been working through mini projects. On Sunday, the RS lesson was about personal revelation. We talked about how having a clean and orderly home invites the Holy Spirit. How inspiring and timely! I have this folder of neat papers/poems I've written in different English classes throughout high school. I'd love to be able to throw this folder away without losing everything. Sooooo, I'm going to begin posting them more often!

The first one is a found poem (only words from the section can be used) based off of a scene from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre." (MY FAVORITE BOOK!) I was pretty pleased with it:)

I looked into my heart
With a strict hand.
There were wishes I had been cherishing,
And indulging.
But reason devoured the ideal.
I pronounced judgment:
You?
Of importance to him in anyway?
Blindness!
Senselessness!
Madness!
Be ashamed of your secret love:
Unreturned, unknown, and devouring.

June 8, 2012

summer has been crazy thus far...

I have a feeling that my entire life will be this way. I will constantly be running from one thing to the next! Not even summer will give me a break. Luckily, being busy makes it a little easier to be happy.

The main story is this: I started a job at an office last week and ended up quitting this week.

Red flag #1: I found the job offer on craigslist.

Red flag #2: I could not get hold of the person that was supposed to interview me. He finally called me and had me meet up with him at a park.

Red flag #3: I was told I'd be working with customers, and was instead put into a lonely room to make phone calls...I was a telemarketer (it was miserable!!)

Red flag #4: I was never given any legal paperwork to fill out, even after I asked for it.

Red flag #5: It was super difficult to get a hold of my boss.

So I finally quit. As it ends up, the office was not yet licensed to hire anyone or withhold taxes from employees. I am now searching for a job again...

Besides that, I've been doing lots of work for the party and the Christy Kane campaign, I got a pass of all passes, I'm looking into purchasing a car, I turn 18 in 11 days, and I'm preparing for TSA Nationals in Tennessee!:)

LOVES!

May 27, 2012

Just some graduation thoughts...

Hi people, May is always crazy. I feel like I say this about every month...so basically, my entire life is crazy. Here's something that I've been thinking about the past couple weeks that has been made very clear to me during certain senior events (retro skate, evening of excellence, and dinner/dance):

There's this group of seniors that I've always felt like I should have been a part of. They have the same values as me, they're all pretty intelligent, and I've had many classes with them. During 8th and 9th grade, I tried very hard to align myself with this group. I'd write birthday cards to them or ask the boys to dance at the school dances. I sat by them in classes and tried to talk with them.

None of this ever worked. I'm not really sure why, but I could never get myself to fit in with them. Maybe I was too forward, or maybe I just wasn't pretty or popular enough (which is what I've always felt). Part of it might have been because one of the girls in the group used to bully me. Another boy in the group I had a crush on for a while, so that might have made things weird. I don't really know why, but they excluded me.

Throughout high school, things were always weird with them. They talked loudly and openly about their social lives, but never invited anyone but themselves. They probably never noticed me or cared about me. Well, not probably. They didn't notice me and they didn't care. I moved on. (And don't get me wrong, they are very nice people. If they weren't I wouldn't have wanted to be a part of the group in the first place.)

During the senior events this past month, I've kind of been reminded why I wish I was in this group. Yes, I'm super happy that I have my best friend Lonso. I couldn't have survived high school with out him. Things would just be different if I fit in. I wouldn't spend Friday and Saturday nights alone when Lonso has work. However, I don't regret anything. Rather than focusing on parties and fun, I dedicated myself to school and now I have the scholarship I wanted.

Here's the point: once I was talking with my dad about some challenges I was having with people. He said, "it might not be your 1 year reunion, or even your 5 year reunion...but by your 10 year reunion, your classmates will regret not befriending you in high school."

It's not that I want them to feel remorse and sadness. My thoughts have been wrapped around the idea that I want to be the kind of person that people will wish they had befriended. I want to be successful. 10 years from now, I want things to be really good.

Sorry my thoughts are super jumbled...I hope I got my point across adequately. I love you all, and you can expect more posts this summer!

May 1, 2012

During the past month, I've had three experiences of rejection that were turned around. First was at a state competition. The judge told my partner and me that we had lost the round. Later we found out that though we had lost the round, we still won 1st place based on skill. Next, I was told that I was not a part of the 2012 class top twenty because they had used an unweighted GPA. I was heartbroken. The next day, I was informed that some teachers felt the list was inconclusive so they added four more names, including mine. Finally, I tried out to speak at graduation. I received a call saying that I was not selected. The following day, they told me I was. The top four speakers were so close that they decided to have all four of us speak.

From these three experiences, I've learned three things:

1. Change your attitude before your circumstances change. I was fortunate enough to have done this. If I hadn't, then I would have been ashamed of my feelings. I mourned each rejection, and then was in the acceptance stage by the time the circumstances changed to my favor.

2. God is mindful of me.

3. I have been prepared for real rejection. At some point in the future, I'm going to get rejected, or something bad will happen, and things will not turn around for me. I will have to be accepting of the circumstance without any expectation of a change in nature.

As for number three, I've been anxious to find out what the rejection will be. Last night, it happened. And it sucks. Being told that I'm not strong enough has only made me feel weaker. It's time to box up and store my memories for a time when they won't hurt me anymore. I need to pick up the broken pieces and start over again.
Loneliness.

April 5, 2012

Poem by Colette Bryce (and yes the title really is "+").


+

Through the cabin window's haze
we watch the black shadow of our plane
free itself from the underarriage,
separate, then fall away.

With it falls the sunlit runway,
grids of crops and reservoirs, then all
the scattered glitter of a city
falls, the tattered coastline of a country

plunges out of view.
And just when you might expect to see
the globe in brilliant clarity,
cloud fills the tiny screen

and we, who haven't taken off
at all, wait, seatbelts on,
for the world to turn and return to us
as it always does, sooner or later,

to fix itself to the craft again
at a point marked with the shadow of a plane,
pencilled now on a runway, growing
larger under Irish rain.

---

If you like poetry (Miranda), I'd really suggest looking into some of her stuff...I like what I've found so far!

April 1, 2012

This is written by a guest writer - my bestest friend Alonso:)

Every teenager worries about looking good. Some are better at it than others. Those who are lucky, have parents who supply them with very good genes or pockets full of cash. These few find that getting the right look comes much easier than it does to all others.

Looks are a big part of today's teenage society. Those who wear the right amount of make-up, have good enough skin, choose the right clothes, and keep their hair clean and “unique” fit in this social trend which matters more and more each day. This rising amount of people trying to look good is making it easier for those of us who want our trend to be spread from sea to shiny, gellin’ sea. Too many of us teenagers allow others to live outside of this social circle. There are those out there who do not fit in with us, and that is unacceptable.

If everyone just fit in to this social trend, then places like school and dances, where we gather for the purpose of socializing, would be a lot more comfortable for us. There is great peace in knowing that everywhere you turn there will be attractive young people who think just like you do. Because of this incredible truth, I propose that we begin the hazing of all those who do not care enough about their appearance. We need to force others to conform into our logical ideology - looks are more important than absolutely anything and everything.

To accomplish this goal, a great amount of effort will need to be put into this work. Exclusion shall be our first strike. To make life a more fashionable and lovely place, we must to shun out all the others. If any of them try at all to make contact with you, give them a smirk look and walk away! Act as if their existence is meaningless unless they conform to our trends!

For girls, we can't go wrong with rumors and jokes made directly towards the female anarchists. The natural oversensitive emotions found in teenage girls are key to obtaining our goal! Do not falter in making them feel so low that they will have no choice but to finally go buy the expensive perfume, clothes, and makeup to join us.
            
To all our guys out there, you must harass the other guys who have not chosen to join our stigmas. Bully them physically by shoving them around in the halls, taking their food, and breaking their thick glasses! Let it be known to them that this is how life will be unless they choose to finally stop wasting their time on homework, and focus more on getting girls, and being pretty and “babe-a-licious.”

Our generation may not accomplish many things. We may not get very far. But as long as we look good, it's ok. Understand that appearances will soon be the only thing that matters on this earth. It is our duty to quicken this process in any way we can. By our continuous efforts, we can turn our young society into the most glamorous, and unprepared generation this world has ever seen.

Hopefully by now you've figured out that it's supposed to be a satire...and hopefully it made you think! Let's all be nice, kay?:)

Love you all.

My Self Affirmations:)

Whenever I think I'm done writing about this, it pops back up again. It's such a big part of my life, that I think it's worth mentioning another time. Between 5th and 8th grade, I was bullied. I had zero friends and I was extremely depressed. I found my way into a group of friends. They ditched me in 9th grade. I found another group, and they ditched me in 10th grade. I felt completely alone...then I met Alonso. He makes me want to be better! He gives me reasons to smile every day. He helped me have respect and love for myself. I will forever love him for bringing happiness back into my life. 

Yet still, I feel an inkling of sadness. Whenever I think about the horrible things those girls said to me so long ago, it brings me down. When I see them in the halls at school, I avert my eyes. I sometimes get jealous of the nice clothes they have, or their large group of friends. I've never known what it's like to have a group of friends to spend friday nights with...usually Alonso and I watch the news together and play scrabble. Don't get me wrong, I love the time I can spend with him! But sometimes I get caught up with wanting a real circle of friends.

The reason I'm writing this is the talk President Uchtdorf gave today. STOP IT. I need to tell myself to STOP IT!! Why am I letting things from the past into my life now? Why should I let fake, rude, and mean people tell me who I need to be? I am going to stop it.

Wanna know how?????:)

My dad reads self affirmations to himself in the mirror every morning... things like "I am awesome!" He swears by the practice and says that it has really made him feel better about himself. I wrote my own self affirmations, but rather than just saying nice things about myself, I tried to make it a little more motivational. Here it is:


Today I will be stronger than yesterday. I will smile more. I will be charitable, gracious, and classy. Today I will be more beautiful. I will try harder, and I will be more intelligent. I will work toward my goals. I will learn something new. I will have more meaningful relationships. Today I will be closer to Christ and have a greater testimony of His restored Gospel. Through Him, I will overcome my challenges.

Today I will do and be all of these things because I say I will, and because I am not alone.

That's it! Every morning, I am going to read this out loud to myself in the mirror. I firmly believe that saying something about yourself makes it true. If I repeat to myself "I am depressed" everyday, then of course I'm depressed...but if I say "I am happy," then I'll be happy. 

Any thoughts? If you try this too please let me know how it turns out!!:)

PS- General Conference notes will be coming...

March 25, 2012

The last one for today, I hope!

I've just had so much on my mind that I've wanted to tell you! Rather than put it all into one super long post, I separated it. Anyway, this last one is just for all the other little things that have been going on.

1 - Alonso is out of the hospital and healing from his surgery! I've been able to push him in a wheelchair around school, which is neat. He's still cute and he's still saying nice things to me, so that's a pretty good sign:)

2 - Alonso and I were partners at the State TSA Competition last Friday, and, for the second year in a row, we took first! The state and school district are sending us to TSA Nationals (for free) again! This year it's at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Yes I am stoked. A few kids from Lehi Jr. High are coming with us! Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The following picture would be from the inside (yes, the inside) of the hotel!


3 - As mentioned in the previous post, I'm a county delegate! I attended my caucus meeting, my Dad nominated me, I gave a speech, and I was voted in! So cool! I had my first training yesterday where I got to meet most of the candidates. I was given three books! YAY! I love this.

4 - My lesson in YWs today was on the use of media. I've made a few goals that I'd like to share with you! I want to use my blog to share the Gospel more (see post below about YWs conference). I'm going to spend less time on social networking sites (facebook). I'm going to delete any Pinterest board that makes me feel dissatisfied with myself (only keep DIY or quote boards). 

Well...those are probably my biggest announcements right now. I've had a great week and I felt like sharing all of those lovely things with you. I hope that your week has been just as stellar! 

If not, then change something!

I made the decision:)

Yes people, if you know anything about me, you know that I've been slaving over this decision for a while. I've been really confused as to what I want to study when I go to college. I knew it would be social science related, but I couldn't pick just one. But now I have...

(drum roll please:)

I want to double major in psychology and business with a minor in political science! (Then go on to a masters in psych.)

When I grow up, which is coming pretty soon fyi, I want to be an industrial organizational psychologist.  The median pay is $90,000 a year and the field is exploding! In this career, I will help businesses be more effective in their organization of management and team members. I'll also do a lot of leadership training and human resource type of work. I really like this career path because it's business oriented and I'll be able to interact with a lot of people. I also like the idea of doing something different every day. Finally, if it doesn't work out, a masters in psych can easily put me into clinical work and a degree in business is helpful in every field. I'm so excited!!:) As for the minor in political science, I'm a county delegate for my precinct, and I intend to become a state delegate in the future. Eventually, I will be running for Lehi City Council, which is cool. (I'd appreciate your vote.)

Love you all:)

Here's the one I promised...

I said yesterday that I was going to write about people in my life who inspire me and make me want to be better.

First, my Mommy

My Mom is beautiful. She is the most patient and selfless person I know. I can't even begin to list everything she has done for me. Of course there's the obvious financial contributions she has made to my life. Next, she received a Masters in psych and has used her education to make me a better person. She also has gone on to receive an EDS, education specialist degree, and is now working too. She emphasizes service, love, and hard work. She is an inspiration to me, and I'm grateful to be part of her family.

My Grandmas
Donna Jean Kelsey is extremely hard working. (That must be where my Mama got it from!) Even though she has the shakes and she's slowing down, she refuses to let that stop her. She tirelessly cooks and cleans for our family. I love asking her stories about her upbringing because she has so much wisdom and experience. My Grandma took in her mom once her dad had died. My Grandma showed the utmost patience, respect, and love. Not to mention, she's a member of Jean's Golden Girls, which is super cool. My other Grandma is Gwendolyn Ku'ulei Felisa Arce. She was born and raised in poverty in Kihei, Maui. She worked hard enough in school to become an RN and forever changed my circumstances. She also eloped with my Grandpa which is another story for another time:) I love her for her example of hard work in school and determination in love.

Other ladies in my ward/neighborhood
I am so blessed to be where I am. I got to thinking one day...why are girls so quick to idolize people like Snooki and the Kardashians? They are people who have had everything handed to them in life. Instead, I have respect and admiration for every mom out there. I used to struggle with the thought of being a mom (I'm terrible with kids) but then I thought about how I've been blessed with this sacred duty and privilege. It doesn't make me any less than a man. In fact, it makes me better. I have the opportunity to bear and raise children. That doesn't take away my opportunity to have a good career too! I get to do both! Anyone who thinks otherwise is narrow minded. My mom does both, and half the ladies in my ward do both. I will do both. 

Elaine S. Dalton (I will name a daughter after her) said that "if you want to make a difference in the world, then you must be different from the world." These people I look up to didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize, didn't cure cancer, and don't have a lot of fame. These are beautiful women who are modest, kind, charitable, and all around good people. They are different from the world. They arise and shine forth because of their adherence to Gospel standards. I want to be like them.

2012 General Young Women Meeting notes

Hello people! It's been a good week. I have plenty of things to say, so I'm going to put them in a few different posts to keep them organized. Enjoy this first one:)

This is my favorite meeting of the year. I will watch it until the day I die:)

Here are some notes I took from each of the speakers:

Ann M. Dibb, 2nd Counselor
I need to diligently arise from my bed with a purpose. I need to arise from my knees with the spirit. To "arise and shine forth" is to confidently follow the commandments of God. I need to read the new FOR the strength of YOUth pamphlet. The most important commandment of God is whichever one I'm struggling with. I need to spend more time on lds.org. When I have a challenge, I shouldn't look down on the world...I need to look upward at Heaven.

Mary N. Cook, 1st Counselor
I have an individual responsibility to seek learning about the Gospel. I need to read the "education" section in the for the Strength of Youth book and "knowledge" in the Personal Progress book. I need to be willing to sacrifice a lot to get a good education. Make goals. Surround myself with exemplary women who I can learn from. "A mother's education level has a profound effect on her children's educational choices." I need to get an education for myself and for my children. I need to be like the five virgins who were spiritually prepared to meet the bridegroom.

Elaine S. Dalton, President
Read for the Strength of Youth standards. She wishes that I would understand that beauty comes from an adherence to the standards and purity. I don't need make up or nice clothes to be beautiful. I get my light from the Lord. If I desire to make a difference in the world, then I must be different from the world. Repent every day. Stay focused on the temple. Be a clean, clear, and pure crystal that reflects the light of Christ.

Thomas S. Monson, Prophet
Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. Believe that I am a daughter of God. Gain a testimony of the restored gospel. Obey the commandments. Take advantage of Seminary. Have a good attitude and a desire to learn. Our decisions determine our destiny. Ask myself, "what does this action do to me, or do for me?" Open my heart to the Holy Ghost. Don't worry about what other people think of me. Be more concerned about what I think of myself and what God thinks of me. "Life by the yard is hard...but an inch is a cinch!"

Beautiful, virtuous, and strong women I want to live like!

March 24, 2012

:)

I decided to delete my previous post because that's not the kind of tone I would like to have on my blog. Yes, I have been very frustrated with this teacher and her rude comments...but writing about it on my blog solves nothing but my desire to vent. I've decided that I need to be a better example. Thank you for everyone who commented on the post! No one urged me to delete it but myself (and my future political career;)

ANYWAY, I instead would like to write about the people who are good examples to me...

But right now I'm going to Alonso's to watch the second episode of Wuthering Heights. So more to come in the future:)

If you missed the YW's General Conference Broadcast, you can view it here.

Thank you everyone for sticking with me even when I'm ornery and annoying. I love and appreciate all of you!

March 11, 2012

Videos from STATE DEBATE:)

Starting with.... Some weird spew.
It wasn't very fast, and was kind of whispered.












This last one...well.......don't judge.




March 9, 2012

I hate seeing Alonso in pain. I hate knowing that there's nothing I can do to make it go away. I hate feeling like I haven't actually talked to him since monday because he's had to take so much medication.

But today, after getting a shot of morphine for his ouchies, he told me that he thinks I'm a keeper:) He told me that I'm beautiful, inside and out. He said that the only time he'll ever leave me is when he's serving God for two years. Call me young, stupid, naïve, whatever...but I love Alonso with all my heart and with everything I am, and I sincerely believe that he loves me back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0pbW-fUWLI

As an update, Alonso's back in the hospital again. His lung isn't quite healing like the doctor wanted it to. They're going to monitor his progress until Monday. The doctor will then decide whether or not he'll perform surgery. The surgery would entail cutting open Alonso :( and almost scraping or sanding the edge of his lung. The inflammation will help it to scar over and heal the hole faster. It seems kind of weird, but I guess that's how they do it. Oh well. I just hope that it doesn't get that far.

Love you, Lonso.

March 6, 2012

an update on Lonso-poo:)

Alonso is the most selfless person I know. He continually puts others above his own interests. I admire that quality in him so much!!

This morning I was able to visit him in the ER again and bring him flowers. He had surgery at 2 am last night, which is right about the time I was still trying to fall asleep. They inserted a tube into his chest that's attached to a vacuum like capsule. It slowly removes excess oxygen that's trapped in the cavity of his chest, thus allowing his lung to inflate again. He was shortly discharged from the hospital and I met him at his home. I then spent six hours with him to keep him company. 

Alonso's been really down about a lot of things. Because of this emergency, he can't participate in track for a few weeks, play guitar for jazz band or drumline, and compete in state debate this weekend. Unfortunately, because he's my partner, that means that I can't compete either. I understand, though, that he had absolutely no control over this, and he really needs some positive support right now. 

Hopefully Alonso will be back at school by next Monday. In the mean time, he super appreciates visitors, prayers, and love.


March 5, 2012

My best friend has never meant more to me.

I was on the phone chatting with him and he said that he was planning to stay the night at a friend's. I was a little annoyed because I had wanted to stay up late on the phone, but I said goodnight and told him to have fun. 

Fifteen minutes later his sister called me, bawling, and explained that he was in pain and the ambulance was going to be there soon. I went into panic mode and started crying like crazy. I told my parents and then prayed. I made myself calm down (let's be real - with the help of the Spirit). His other sister called me and gave me some more info. My dad drove me to the hospital, where I sat anxiously in the waiting room for twenty or so minutes. Members of his family cycled in and out, but I couldn't go in yet. 

Finally, I was able to go in and see him. He was a little weird, considering all the medication he was on, but he recognized me and was happy to see me! That made me feel so much better. I feel so relieved now that I've seen him. He's going to be okay <3

Now I'm home and we've received the results for his tests. He has pneumothorax, which is spontaneous collapsed lung. It's supposed to be extremely painful, and gets worse with every breath. That makes me hurt for him. I'm not really sure how they're going to treat it, but I look forward to him being at home, happy, and healthy again. It's still a little surreal, but I have a firm testimony that not only does perfect love cast out fear, but faith does as well.

Love you, Lonso!! We'll make it through this together:) because I say so:)

Well here's try number three:)

I learned something this past month: the way I write about and explain my life affects the way I perceive it. Easy enough, right? For example, to be very blunt, this past month was bad. I've relapsed into depression (seven years in a row, but who's counting?) and I had an anxiety attack last week. I wrote two miserable and horribly depressing blog posts, but I never published them.

I am SO glad.

Whenever I write about how bad life is, life gets worse.

Life is all about perception. Forces act on us, and circumstances can often be unpredictable. Different situations can alter us physiologically, thus creating emotions - heavy breathing, pins and needles, or a depressed mood. Yet we still have agency in the way we respond to the biological response of emotion. We can control our thoughts and actions. 2 Nephi 2 talks about this. We have the agency to ACT, regardless of all the "acting upon" that happens to us. This makes me super grateful for the fall of Adam and Eve. Because of Adam, I might have joy, contingent on my obedience and decision to pursue righteous happiness.

Other things I'm grateful for include:

Alonso Sebastian Lopez surprising me for Valentine's Day:) aaaand asking me to prom. That cutie:)






 I'm grateful for all the friends I've made through debate! Can you believe I only have one tournament left??? The culmination of three years work...in 5 days! Ahh!:)


My little sister Millie, who I love so dearly! (And she accepts my white skin/short hair-ness)



CALIFORNIA for being the number one best state in the world.


Brigham Young University for having super cheap tuition and for accepting me:D by the way, I'm touring the campus tomorrow!!! <3 :)


Mmmmmkay. That's enough for today.

LOVE YOU ALL. (Individually and unconditionally, fyi.)

Smile today, okay? Talk about your life in a happy way and then try and tell me that it doesn't make a difference. (It just did for me!!)

February 26, 2012

February has characteristically been my least favorite month.

Though it's the shortest, I swear it lasts longer than any other of the twelve.

Yesterday was region debate!! My last one. Each year this tournament has been so different. As a sophomore, I didn't understand how it was any more important than the other tournaments. When we won, I recognized that it was kind of a big deal. Junior year, we prepared long and hard for region, determined to take first...which we did. This year, as a newly 5A school, it seemed that we were doing whatever we could to not lose. We finished third of four schools. I'm not disappointed, but I've just been worried that my coach is. I did what I could to be ready. (I spent two hours preparing blocks!) But I know that other teams or competitors didn't work as hard.

Oh well! There's nothing I can do about it! I'm pleased with my third place medal for public forum. I've realized that in the past, it was important for the team to do well. This year, it was important for individual teams to do well, given that they wanted to qualify for state.

Debate, I will dearly miss you next year.

Before debate, I was shy and awkward. I didn't know what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to be. I had no confidence. In fact, I rather disliked myself. I remember that as a child I always wanted to have trophies or awards for something - I just didn't know what. Now, I have debate. I've put a lot of effort into it, and I've seen the rewards for it...not just medals and trophies, but self esteem and intelligence. (Trust me, I know lots about lots.) Thank you debate for always being there for me <3


NOW,

onto my other love...or past love.

Because I'm quarter Asian, and my grandma was born and raised in Maui, my family's always been involved with Polynesian culture. I hula danced a bit as a child and then started dancing seriously at the end of 8th grade. Almost a year ago, I was really struggling with my halau. I felt like we weren't progressing at all. We always talked about going to a serious hula competition, but never got to it. Instead, all of the moms would suggest we do local competitions that are open to all types of dance.

Towards the end of 2010, we finally took the leap to go to competition the next July. By January, everyone had decided to drop out. One girl, who especially bothered me, had been dancing with my teacher for longer. The teacher really favored her despite the fact that she wasn't very good, never practiced, and was rarely on time, given that she actually showed up. She had been to a hula competition before and said that "we weren't ready for one." She said that we had to have experience. 

Ahem, HOW DO YOU GET EXPERIENCE WITHOUT EXPERIENCING SOMETHING?

So dumb.

They instead picked three local competitions to do. All three were on dates that I had debate or AP tests or play practice or something. 

I tried to stick with the class, but they were focusing on the same pieces that were going to be done at competition, so I wasn't learning anything new. On top of that, I was getting really busy with Titanic the Musical.

So I quit.

I thought it was going to be a temporary thing, but I started dreading going back altogether. I never did go back.

I miss hula so much. I felt so natural and beautiful doing it. It made me feel so happy! I really want to get back into it, but I don't want to return to my old halau. So....I'm going to start looking for a new one:)

Well, those are my thoughts for today. 

Love you cuties:)

February 13, 2012

I know, I know...

It's a year and a half away...but I've been thinking a lot about what life's going to be like when Alonso goes on his mission. I remember on his 17th birthday last September, I was thinking about how there were only two years until he left. Now it's been almost six months. That's crazy. All I know is that he's going to be a great missionary:)


February 11, 2012

Thank you Alonso for helping me to not be so dumb:)

I've been stuck in this thinking rut lately: If I don't become a scientist or doctor, I can't achieve anything great in the world. This has become a real struggle for me, because I feel compelled to succeed in science. Science has always been my most difficult subject in school. I'm taking AP Biology right now and it's kicking my butt! If I can't even handle this, then how am I going to manage four biology, four chemistry, and three physics classes in college? And those are just the prerequisites before I can start studying neuroscience...

Public thanks to Alonso Sebastian Lopez for making this so clear to me.

He asked me why I wanted to study neuroscience.

"Because I want to make a difference. I want to make something of myself. Maybe I'll cure multiple sclerosis or something..."

"Who cured polio?"

"Umm.....I don't know."

"Who's your favorite author?"

"Jane Austen."

Then I broke down crying.

"Who has made a bigger difference in your life?"

It all makes so much sense now. My mommy has an Ed.S. in psychology. She might not make a difference in the world, but she makes a difference in the individual lives of those she helps...I'm sure her students think the same of her that I think of Jane Austen.

Why should I force myself into something I don't understand or care for? The only aspect of neuroscience I really liked was cognition anyway. Why am I letting other people, or social stigmas, tell me what I have to be when I grow up?

I want a Bachelor of Arts.

I'm not sure what I'm going to study yet, but it's going to be great. I really like psychology, anthropology, social work, history, English, political science...that sounds a lot more like me than science ever did. Alonso (and my mom) said that I don't have to pick right away. I just need to prepare myself so that I'm ready to pick when the opportunity appears. I need to keep being a good leader, studying hard in all of my classes, and relying on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm going to make a difference because I say I will.

February 3, 2012

Need some scripture study help?

I found this awesome lady online who teaches seminary. Her website is here.

She uploads a lot of neat insights and tools to help you study the scriptures! My favorite style of hers is writing a title on the top of every page that summarizes the story or lesson. She has a title for every page in the Book of Mormon!! I will now post them for your benefit:) Check it out, please?:)

1 Nephi

2 Nephi

Jacob - Mosiah

Alma

Helaman - 4 Nephi

Mormon - Moroni

She also started posting a few from the Old Testament:

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

And...that's as far as she's gotten! I can't wait to add these to my seminary scriptures!:)

I hope these help!
Love you all <3

Sarah

February 1, 2012

If you haven't met this turtle yet, you're missing out.

David and Goliath

I LOVE Seminary. 

Yesterday we talked about 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath. Brother Butler asked us to read a few verses and then find a phrase that stood out to us. We were also supposed to turn the story into an allegory of our own lives.

Here's what I came up with:

David ---> ME

Goliath ---> my depression, negative feelings, and low self esteem

Philistines ---> people who make me feel insecure/bullies

Smooth stones ---> debate, school, friends, family, service

Sling shot ---> my Savior Jesus Christ

In 2 Nephi 32:9, it says:

But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

When I am involved with things like debate or school work, I need to do everything in Christ's name. It's important to be constantly remembering Him and having a prayer in my heart.  Whenever I'm being torn down by depression or harmful thoughts, or whenever a bully is making me feel less than I am, I can use my smooth stones as weapons. My five smooth stones are things that make me happy. As long as everything I do is through the Savior, as long as I'm holding onto my testimony, then I will have perfect aim every time when taking down adversity.

You are David. Who or what is your Goliath? Who are the Philistines that try and discourage you? What are the five stones you use to fight against your trials? Is Christ your slingshot?

Oh, and if you're wondering, the power phrase that I chose is "the battle is the Lord's" from 1 Samuel 17:47. It's my responsibility to do my best in life. However, it's the expectation that I'll make mistake. The battle for my salvation and everlasting happiness is truly the Lord's, and I am eternally grateful for that.

January 17, 2012

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” -Abraham Lincoln

A few weeks ago in student council, something happened that I did not think was morally right. I fretted over it for a while, and finally decided that I should say something. When I did, there was an uproar. I almost anticipated this, knowing how the people on student council dislike being told they are wrong. They dislike thinking about how the majority of the school population dislikes them because they're popular.

Anyway, I got burned really bad for it. You know how someone will give a lecture to the whole group, but you know it's directed at you? Yeah. The adviser did that. TWICE. A girl took special offense to my comment and decided to call me and tell me.

I already have felt on the outside with student council, given that I'm not a blonde cheerleader, but now I feel more alienated than ever. I dread going to class and I dread having to work with any of them.

At the beginning of the school year, everyone submitted a goal that they wanted to accomplish through student council. A lot of them said warm and fuzzy things like "make everyone feel included" and "help get more students involved." If I felt like one of these goals was being threatened, do I not have a responsibility to speak up???

Oh, and guess what! Nothing got done about the problem, and someone's feelings were hurt.

January 16, 2012

Random thoughts from Sarah as she attempts to finish her Sterling Scholar portfolio but keeps getting distracted.

Look at my legs in this picture:




NOW, look at my legs in this picture:



There's about a 30 lb. difference. 

The scale has kept going down, but I've never really felt like I've weighed less. It was until I saw the older picture that I realized how much I've changed over the past few years.

Yay for weight loss:)!!!!

January 9, 2012

Working on debate?

Funnier when silent. I think so:)

January 7, 2012

Don't pretend like these aren't the cutest faces I've ever made:)

I am so creepy:)

Zoe Cooper

Zoe Cooper is travelling to Greece and Italy this summer. I am SUPER jealous.

It all started as a junior, when my teacher was taking a tour to France and England. I begged my mom, but she said we couldn't afford it. Then, that following June, I almost won a free trip to DC at Girls' State. Senior year rolled along, and the same teacher was offering a tour to Greece and Italy. Again, my family can't afford it. In November, I competed in a scholarship competition to win a free trip to DC. It eluded me once again.

LAST NIGHT, I found out that my parents have been planning a trip to DC for me. My dad has a business trip there with a free hotel, and we have racked up enough air miles to fly two more people there and back. I was going to go to DC with my parents as a graduation gift!! A whole week!

But guess which week it is! AP testing week #2. I'm planning on taking four or five tests this year. Three of which I have classes for, and then one or two self-studied. I'd be willing to miss the self-studied tests for DC, but all three of my classes' tests land on monday, tuesday, and wednesday of the week.

For the third time in a year, I've narrowly missed a trip to Washington DC. I cried.

I am so desperate to travel. I feel like the more I know about the world, the more I want to see it. And I know lots about the world. I see so many people going to all of these cool places, but they can't fully appreciate the place without knowing what happened there. (Not at all saying Zoe Cooper is doing this. To be honest, I don't know much about her academic life?)

Someday, when I'm a super rich research scientist, and I'm married to a lawyer, we will travel the world.

January 2, 2012

Yes, I have been on a blogging craze lately. Why? Because I have an AP Stats assignment I should be doing.

The First Presidency released an official new year's message that I absolutely adore!!

Here's my two cents before I introduce the topic: The self-help industry probably makes billions of dollars a year because individuals believe they have to buy some book or hear some motivational speaker to make themselves happy or successful. In reality, modern day prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ deliver messages straight from God on many of the same topics! It's ridiculous how the Gospel can teach a principle, but until Oprah Winfrey or Michael Phelps says it again, some people choose to ignore it. Messages from President Monson, or anyone else carrying the full priesthood keys, are GUARANTEED BY GOD. It doesn't get any better than that.

Anyway,

The title of it is "Living the Abundant Life." An abundant life is defined as full of success, goodness, and blessings. You want those things? He gives the 'ABCs' of how to achieve them. Here are a few snippets:

A - Attitude

"We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude."

B - Believing in oneself

"Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities."

C - Courage

"Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required."

And that sums it up! I'd definitely suggest reading the entire article HERE. It's not even very long.

What stands out most to me about the three things, is that they are all choices! So often we think (or at least I do) that we have to wait for happiness, or that it's impossible to be happy in our circumstances. WRONG. I had depression for about six or seven years. Why? Because I was holding onto a grudge. I couldn't let go of my past. I've learned that you can't move on if you're stuck in reverse. I can choose to have a good attitude. I can choose to believe in myself. I can choose to have courage in difficult situations. 

I have a testimony that prophets communicate with God and bring us His messages. Because I have that faith, I know that these simple 'ABCs' will help you live an abundant life. I seal these words in my Savior's name.

I LOVE YOU! (fyi)

Sarah

He likes Jane Austen:)