Monday, December 8, 2014


That one time Kristin and Risa decided to bring this home with them...

...also happens to be the one time I opted out of studying for finals to join them.

Don't go thinking I'm a complete slacker though. I did manage to write a nutrition paper, make some taco seasoning, a batch of hummus, some banana muffins and deseed a pomegranate beforehand. That counts for something, right?

Anyways, this movie is one of those things that will forever remind me of the Philippines. That is also probably why I couldn't pass up the chance to watch it again. The first time I saw it was in Cebu with Arturo as we were trying to figure out how on earth we were going to get our new passports. The second time was just days after Robinson's, a mall in Tacloban reopened. For months Chris, one of our country directors, just wanted to go to the movies so when Robinson's opened back up that was exactly what we did. These memories associated with this movie go a lot deeper than that though. Just rewind with me a tiny bit and you'll see. 

I went to Cebu quite a few times over the summer. Arturo and I went twice to figure out passports, which could be and should be, an entire series of posts all on its own. 

Exactly six weeks later I was in Cebu again, this time alone, but with my passport finally in hand. 

Little did I know that just one week later I would be on my way back, this time with, Stephen, Amber, and Ian, Dalyn, and Clark Carel.  No passport drama, just a day at the temple dedicated to making this family eternal. 

Thought my time in Cebu I felt guilt but also acceptance. I felt frustration but also achievement. I felt unsure but hopeful. But more than anything in Cebu, I felt inspiration and love. Cebu brought some of the most incredible experiences. While I was there I learned so much from the people around me, and the people I met while I was there. I developed a trust in myself that I didn't have before, and reaffirmed to me that God's hand really is in all things. Cebu was the trip I never intended to make, but the exact trip I needed each and every time. 

To me, the reopening of Robinson's seemed to be a symbol of just how far Tacloban had come since Yolanda. Robinson's had everything. It was a place where people could get the things they need, such as groceries, clothes, or prescriptions. It was a place where they could get things they wanted such as construction materials for a project, or accessories for a phone. It was a place they could go to escape the struggles of everyday life; like at the arcade or the theatre. For at least seven months that wasn't available. The day Robinson's opened was a day of major accomplishment for Tacloban. 

Leave it to me to turn a night watching The Amazing Spiderman 2 with my roommates into a trip down memory lane. Hopefully, it doesn't bother you. If it does you probably stopped reading a long time ago. But for me having those memories to look back on is something that I will treasure forever because some of those moments are what inspire me to be better each and every day. 

Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) Update: From what I've heard from people in Tacloban, everyone there was kept safe throughout the duration of the typhoon. Samar is another story, and I am still waiting to hear from people assessing damages there, but there is no doubt in my mind that because of Yolanda in 2013, more lives were spared when Ruby came knocking in 2014. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Haiyan and Hagupit. For me there is one extreme difference. I don't remember hearing much about Haiyan until it had already made landfall. The damage was already done. I read every article, and watched every report. I talked to people that I knew in the Philippines to find out how Haiyan had effected their city. I wanted to be a part of every fundraiser, and every group that went over to help. I wanted to do something for the people that had done so much for me over the last year and a half. 

Hagupit has been almost exactly the same. I have watched every report and read every article, only this time I am getting updates from people in Tacloban. I am getting updates from my friends.

Over the summer these people became some of my closest friends. When I would have a bad day they would be right there cheering me up. They were the only people that never failed to bring a smile to my face. I watched them give when they had nothing to give. They are some of the most hardworking people I know. They made my experience in Tacloban. 

For the last three days I have talked to them as they've prepared for Hagupit to make landfall. I saw the Facebook post telling the members that the church in Tacloban were once again open for evacuation. They've told me of their fears for parents who were far away. I have worried as they have returned home to make sure they can get their family together before returning to the evacuation centers. 

Even amongst the fear they have been able to keep their spirits high. They have done their best to distract each other. After hearing the stories that followed Haiyan, I know that the chapels are the safest places they could possibly be.  My heart aches knowing that they have to go through this again. Heaven only knows that I would give anything to be there with them right now. I've never met a more faithful group of people and I am so very grateful for their examples in my life. I add my prayers and faith to theirs, that Hagupit with pass quickly and that they will be blessed with the safety and supplies they need to make it through. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Every Tuesday for the last 15 weeks my day has gone a just like this:

9 AM to 1:45 PM HELP Internship
2 PM to 10:20 PM - Shift @ Aspen

Usually the first thing people say is 
"Wow, that is such a long day."
Maybe it is, but to tell you the truth I love it that way.
I made it that way.  

There is something about 

There is something about 

There is something about 

There is something about 

When you can spend an entire day with people who build you up, make you laugh, and motivate you to be your best self then there is no such thing as a long day. If anything it is way to short. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014


If there is one thing that I could tell every person I come in contact with it is this:


I've been on both sides. The side where you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life, and the other side where you are so passionate about something that it is all you want to do. At times I thought I wanted to be a nurse, a photographer, or even an ultrasonographer. I got certifications that would allow me to work in the medical field. I took classes; so many in fact that I was one class away from applying for the nursing program. I worked, and still do work in the medical field. I love it, and for so long I thought it was my passion. I started college with a medical mind, switched out of it for two years and took other classes to explore other options. Where did I end up after that? Right back on the medical track. For three years thats where I stayed. I liked what I was learning, but that passion for it just wasn't there. That's when I decided that I needed to take some time away from school to figure out what I wanted to do. 

Taking time off of school was both the greatest and more difficult things I could have done.During those two years I didn't take any classes. I didn't go on a mission. I was constantly worrying that people thought I was wasting my time. I as 25, had been working on my bachelors since I graduated with my associates at 18, and had absolutely nothing to show for it, or so I thought. Whether I liked the job I had at the time or not, I worked to earn money. Because I wasn't in school often times held two, sometimes three jobs, just to make sure I wasn't wasting my time. Much to my surprise it wasn't the work experience that led me to something I was passionate. My work experience led me to a bunch of things I realized that I wouldn't want to do forever. It was my free time that made the biggest led me to where I wanted to go. In my free time I would immerse myself in things that made me feel like I was making a difference. I didn't do it thinking that it would turn into anything special, or in hopes that it would give me experience in the field. I honestly didn't even know the field existed. I did it because I loved it. I did it because, paid or not, it was something that I was passionate about.  

I'm now back in school, and yesterday in my speech com class we watched a speech online that was given by a man named Patrick Combs. I had never heard of him before that, but I swear he used my life as an example when putting the material together. I know what it's like to do something with no passion. To do something because it's "just a degree." Don't settle for something you don't love though. And don't be afraid to take some time to figure it out. The trick is to never stop learning. Never stop learning about the world around you, and never stop learning about yourself.

"The only way you do great work is if you love what you do." 


"You don't have to be a celebrity to live your passion." 

"Don't let fear stop you from doing what you really want to do. "

"Fear threatens to hold you back from what you are really good at."

"It does take courage for you to go for that think that you actually want love to be. That thing that makes you come alive. That thing you do for fun. That thing that would really start to put the pieces of your dream life in to place."

"The bizarre thing about college is that they only advertise about five jobs. They always publish the entry level salary."

"You have to manufacture and create your dream job."

"What if your dream job, maybe a job you haven't even discovered yet, pays decent." 

"Maybe the money will take care itself if you follow your passion."

"If you're great at what you do you are rewarded handsomely for it. If your good at what you do you are probably going to get laid off soon."

"I'm hoping that you don't go in to something that you feel mediocre about because you'll be mediocre at it. I'm hoping that you do into something that you feel excited and great about because then you'll be excited and great at it."

"It doesn't matter where you go to college. It's not your grades. It's what you do in college." 

"Learn to work with your mind."

"The most important homework you are ever going to do is never going to be assigned."

1. Do three internships.
2. Run a student organization.
3. Study abroad.
4. Join 1-3 professional associations in your field.
5. Get a mentor.

"The unassigned homework makes the difference."

"If you can do in college what it takes to be standing at the end of the game you will be ahead of 99% of every one else."

"This university experience is not designed to teach you about your career."

"You just don't know what you don't know, but somebody else does."

"48% of graduating high school seniors reported they wanted to go overseas in college. 1% actually go."

"You do not have to know how to get to your dream job. Nobody who is starting off to go towards their dream job knows how to get to their dream job. Your responsibility should you want a passionate life, is to just be committed to a passionate life. And when you think you've spotted a job that you might like to have just start taking steps in that direction without knowing how it is going to come true." 

"When you are bold mighty forces come to your rescue."

"When you engage with your passion, your passion knows how to get you there."

"Is this who you truly are? Does this make you come alive? If not, say no."

Take a risk. 

"Fear is the only thing that can stop a person from reaching their dreams."

Decide it is time to attack that fear.

"I did not know I loved the water for 36 years of my life. That is what fear will do. Fear will kill you over and over again."

"Your fears lie to you all the time to keep you small. When you dare to live your dream job you acer going to feel that."

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I'm not one to get stressed out often, but I will tell you what, on days like yesterday I am so grateful for my mom. School I'm good with. Work I'm good with. Interning I'm good with. Major diet changes...those I'm not so good with. Ever since I got back from the Philippines I've been trying to eat a little healthier. I switched to whole grain bread. I didn't buy anything that had high amounts of sugar in them. As a matter of fact the only thing I did buy that had some sugar in it was granola bars. Granted, I'd let myself slide when I was out with friends or things like that, but compared to pre-Philippines I was doing a million times better. Then this happened.

One day. That was about how much I was losing in one day. It got to the point where I was afraid to wash my hair because that is when I would loose the most. I would wear my hair up in an extremely loose side pony so that I wouldn't have to worry about it falling out throughout the day. I had already cut back on blow drying and straightening my hair, but at that point I just quit all together. Nothing helped. 

I told a few people that I am close to. Usually their first reaction was stress. My schedule was crazy busy, but I really liked it that way. School wasn't getting to me. Work wasn't getting to me. My internship wasn't getting to me. In fact I loved it all; classes, my patients, the people in the office I intern with. Other than the fact that I was terrified of being bald in two months, I could only think of one thing that stressed me out. Even that I was only having to deal with a couple times a week. The only other thing I could think of was that it was a delayed reaction from dengue. The more I looked into it the lease likely it seemed that dengue was the problem.

At that point I decided to go in to the doctor to get my blood tested. When the test came back it showed that I had hypothyroidism. I got put on a thyroid medication and all I knew was that I would have to go back in six weeks. Naturally the first thing I did was jump online to figure out what it was. The symptoms made sense, but the causes didn't sense at all. 

I still don't know what caused it, but I do know that there is something in all sorts of foods that makes it worse. Goitrogens. I won't bore you with the list, but I knew that if I wanted to stay on top of it I was going to have to completely revamp my pantry. Paleo websites became my new best friend. Looking at the recipes I was going to have to modify them somewhat, but I found quite a few that looked good. I even found some cupcakes :) So yesterday after looking up enough recipes to get me through the next couple days my ever-so-patient mother went with me to restock my pantry. Overwhelmed is the only word that comes to mind when I think of how that experience was. My mom definitely made it a million times better though. 

So here's to a new lifestyle. It's not going to be easy, but if this past year has taught me anything it is that these are the times when I really get to learn, and I am so grateful that a loving Heavenly Father that knows what I am capable of. I'm still the same me. I'm still loving school. I'm still loving work. I'm still loving my internship. I have great friends, and and incredible family. What more could I possibly ask for? :)

PS. I apologize in advance if this blog all of a sudden has a million recipes on it.