Sunday, June 14, 2015

Red Rock Land

There is one special advantage for dating Bronson--he has family everywhere, and so it just makes traveling 100x easier.

His grandpa and his wife Judy live in St. George, so we took advantage of the Memorial Day weekend to go, and visit them. That was my first time in St. George--and so I've made these two conclusions. First, St. George made me so excited for retirement, but secondly, it also made me fear getting old.

We left Friday afternoon after work, and it went something like this. I met Bronson at the car with all my stuff, and promptly asked, "Did you bring this...?" I replied, "no." So i ran to my apartment, grabbed the necessities, and returned. He asked if I had something else, I said no, and went back again. I did this a total of five times. Oh poor Bronson! I'm more like a child than a mother! He just slapped his hand over his face, uttering, "How did you mom live with you!?" I explained she had a very detailed list of exactly how many pairs of socks and underwear was to be packed, and how many shirts and pants. I don't have my mom or that list with me, but I am beginning to think I should.

We arrived late Friday night, said hello and went to bed. I slept in the guest house, seperate of the home (how cool!). We got up early that morning to run, and Grandpa Moss made delicious pop-up pancakes. I love when other families love that breakfast as much as I do, it makes me feel at home.

Grandpa Moss and Judy have become expert tour guides of St. George, they showed us all the really new expensive houses (can you blame me that i'm excited for retirement!? ;), then we went to Snow Canyon--a beautiful drive of lots of red rock! Bronson and I jumped out of the car to do a hike, it wasn't super streneous, because after all, I was wearing gold-studded sandals. We found these lava caves you can climb through, oh how i wish we had more time and better clothing, we've already made trips to go back. The view was spectacular, hiking in southern utah has a beautiful but much different scenery than the pacific northwest, but both are equally beautiful.

After Snow Canyon, we ate delicious pizza, and they couldn't pass by getting ice-cream at the red barn across the street. We went home where we receieved a concert by Judy & Grandpa Moss. Judy played the accordian and Grandpa Moss played the drums. They are talented, and it was SO fun to watch and listen. Judy left to serve in the temple, and we went swimming at their community pool. Grandpa Moss took us to the St. George temple and visitor center, it was beautiful! I was instantly flooded with memories from my Idaho Falls Visitor Center mission. Grandpa Moss shared story after story of his ancestors and what they had done to build the St. George temple. Apparently, at the time they were building it, they ordered paint, and when it arrived, it was this light mint green instead of white, so they sold it to the paint store nearby (and they had plenty of it), so everyone bought the green paint, because it was so cheap, and painted their houses. If you drive around the neighborhoods of the temple, you'll see one house left that is the original green paint.

After a nice beautiful drive through St. George, we came home for dinner. We sat around and talked for the next few hours with them, he showed us a scrapbook Grandma Moss made before she passed away--it was beautiful, and had everything you could want to have to represent your life. Even a few drawings from when you were three years old. I should probably mention, Grandpa Moss is a painter, and is wonderful. Many of his paintings have hung in churches in Provo, and he's been commissioned quite a bit. He is very skilled and talented.

It just so happens that my aunt dantzelle and uncle brad live in the same ward as Grandpa Moss and Judy. So, we went to visit them--although they had just arrived 1 hour earlier from their trip to Georgia. Bless their hearts for letting us come and visit--they were jet lagged and exhausted, but you wouldn't have known, they are just so positive and energetic.

We finished the night by watching Apollo 13--its interesting to go back and watch the movies you did when you were younger--but you didn't understand everything like you do now.

St. George was a sweet trip for us, especially driving in the car and talking. Its always fun to be with Bronson!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Currently Right now

i'm sporting an anne of green gables top knot bun. it makes me old fashioned, but i don't mind.
i've got some weird back pain that makes feel like i'm pregnant, but that's obviously not the case.
i'm wearing shoes a half size too big, but they matched my outfit.
i scored REALLY high on my stats score *cough* like higher than my two previous scores combined. but then realized i forgot to put on deodorant. #fail
my hands turned blue, from sticking them in my jean pockets. their new, so it only makes sense. last time this happened, i almost scheduled a doctors appt i thought i was having some weird blood condition (bahaha).
i ate a big piece of chocolate for lunch. and it was so worth it.
last night bronson and I watched the NCAA track and field championships on the big screen tv, in a study room (yay for modern buildings on campus!), and i thought i almost jeaporized my stats grade because of it, but it would've also been worth it.
there's only a couple more days of school--hallelujah. and best of all...
only 2 more months until I marry Bronson (still can't believe it!).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

almost done

i consider it a sin that i have been inside for the last three hours, trying to force myself to study for a Stats test that just really is foreign material to me. Its a beautiful, beautiful, really beautiful day outside, and i'm inside. and most days, i'm inside working at a computer, but at least i'm making money, so it makes up for it.

there are two things that have always frustrated me in life, and that is math--any kind of it, and secondly, when things just don't make sense (lack of answers to questions, math--again, not understanding something). i just hate getting frustrated. its really helped to juxtapose the gospel with that, because it just makes sense, things have worked out, and i feel no frustration about the gospel, so at least that brings me alot of peace.

i've really just been frustrated with this class, and thats about all i'm going to say about that.

i wanted to record this for history, but Bronson has just made everything lately, impossible to not laugh about, its ridiculous.

we'll will be walking, and I'll say, "i'm mad at you!" (with a smile of course), and quickly turns and says, "madly in love with me!". or this morning, i was trying to persuade him about something, and he wouldn't budge, so i just said, "oh you are so difficult!" and  he said, "so difficult to resist, uh huh!" i can't ever keep a straight face--and that is definitely okay.

i'm just so glad Bronson exists, he's making me such a better person, and i love him for it.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

remembering an elect lady : Celecta Moss

At the beginning of May, Bronson's aunt, Celecta Dixon Moss passed away in Provo, UT on Sunday May 3rd, 2015, at the age of 50, after years of heart complications. 

Here is her obituary: She was born January 16th, 1965 to Julia and Neal Dixon in Logan, UT. She was the fifth of seven children including three brothers, Dan, Jim, and Mike, and three sisters, JuNeal, Donita, and Sabrina. Celecta grew up in Redding, CA before moving to Provo for college. She met her husband and eternal companion, Ed Moss, early in her college career at Brigham Young University and they were sealed in the Jordan River Temple on August 25th, 1984. She graduated with a degree in Physics with two sons and a daughter on the way. They moved their family to San Diego, CA after graduation, adding another son and daughter to their family in the process. After a short stay in Southern California, they moved back to Orem, UT where they had three more daughters, and finished raising their family. 
She is survived by her husband (Ed), seven children and their spouses (Patrick - Whitney, Devin - Mercedes, Celecta - Ryan, Tyler - Brandie, Camille, Elaine, Megan), father (Neal Dixon), and ten grandchildren. She is joining her mother (Julia Dixon) and brother (Mike Dixon) in the next stage of life.
Celecta was a mother first and foremost. She loved gardening, music, sewing, books, babies, and family history. She was devoted to the service of others, serving as a foster mother, faithfully fulfilling church callings and selflessly putting the needs of others before her own. She loved going on walks which included smelling flowers, crunching leaves, and stomping through the snow. She was adored by ten grandchildren who loved reading books, playing toys and doing puzzles with her.
Honoring her wishes, there will be no viewing. Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 9th in the chapel at 450 S. 100 W. in Orem, UT. Immediately following the services there will be an opportunity to meet and greet the family in the cultural hall. 

I just felt impressed to write down my feelings about this funeral. 
I never met Celecta, but yet, cried, and mourned as if she was my very own aunt. As I sat through her memorial service, hearing talks by her children, musical numbers by her daughters, and seeing the number of guests to honor and remember her, it was very evident what an elect lady she was. 

The funeral was especially hard for me, not because I necessary missed her, but, because my heart hurt for what her family will now experience. I can not even begin to fathom. Their youngest daughter is leaving for her mission, the same month that Ed and Celecta were to serve theirs. The second youngest, still remains in college for the next couple of years, and then third youngest just finished college. I have been through similar stages of these girls life--and I don't think I could have done it without my mother. 

What was made evident to me, was each other their childrens deep embedded testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone talks about believing God's eternal plan for His children, but it never becomes more real then at a time like this--when its what you have to remember every day to keep going. 

I've been inspired by attending Celecta's memorial service, even though it was nearly a month ago. I still remember the way I felt--wanting to serve a little more, smile even more, and be a peacemaker (I really need to work on that). 

Even though the circumstance was awful, sad, and heart breaking--it was beautiful to see the uniting of families, bringing support and encouragement. I guess, its really true. God really did give us families for a reason. To help us love, and live, be inspired and supported, but also to lift each other up--when your family is altered and changed just for the time being on earth. 

I know now even more that families are eternal. And I am so grateful Christ died to make that possible. 

back to April

Lets rewind until pre-engagement! Bronson and I have plenty to talk about before then.

[Finished Winter Semester -- Trip to Oregon]  

Be prepared for a bunch of selfies...after all its just the two of us. 

This semester we took New Testament together, from Professor Griffin--who i actually work for. We made sure we didn't sit by each other, but we finished together. We won't say who did better ;)

When we made it to Oregon, the next day we went to Seaside. I've actually never been to seaside before, it was too rainy, cold, and windy to actually play on the beach, but later that week we went to Sunset Beach with Logan and got our fill of beach play. We went to pig-n-pancakes (a first time as well), and spent too many hours shopping. One thing I've learned about becoming a Gardner is the need to love Eddie Bauer. Needless to say, I always walk out with some thing bought. 

Best Older Brother! He'll play scrabble with him, take him to Taco Bell, and play on the beach with him. Just a side note: Logan is alittle more than half our age, but kicks our butt at Scrabble, and this throwing game. For real though. 

[Being with Friends in Portland] 

The cool thing is when I go home I still have friends that want to see me. [Julie and Allie.] This is about a every 6 month occurance. But these two are the most solid individuals I still know in Gresham. I love everything about them. They are eager to listen (definitely not my forte), and so freely give advice.
They teach me about everything : pop culture, relationships, love of God, and where to find really yummy places to eat in portland. they also will be my bridesmaids which just makes me so thrilled.

This was probably 1,000 calorie piece of cake, but SO beyond worth it. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

future Mrs. Gardner

Bronson Gardner and I are engaged to be married! Just typing that makes me smile.

It was Friday afternoon, and because of the constant down pour of rain that week I asked him last minute to pick me up from work. He could've said no, but he didn't. We came home to do homework--and I'm surprised at how at ease I was (considering I knew we were going to get engaged that night!), and we watched some EPSN documentaries--probably for Bronson's nerves.

I loved everything about the proposal day--because it was low key, sweet, and just us! I asked him what we were doing that night, just to be funny, and he said, "Well, at some point I am going to propose to you so I can relax for the rest of the night."

Around 6:30pm, he picked me up from my apartment, and we went driving around Provo, as to not let me assume where we were going, he would drive to one place, park the car, then say, "nah, not here," we laughed the entire time in the car, because I was convinced he had nothing planned out and would just end up proposing in front of someone's houses. After a few failed guesses of where we were going, Bronson did in fact park in front of someone's house. But we walked across the street to the Provo Temple. We walked around and talked. I was nervous but excited. We were both grinning. We decided to walk behind the temple, he told me to sit down on the bench, and instantly he was on one knee. I didn't have to think about what my answer would be, of course it was YES. Yes again and again. I just didn't answer right away because it was just such a sweet moment--it was beautiful.

I said yes, and then hurried and kissed him. I think that startled him because the ring almost fell. We hugged and talked, and I forgot about the ring until he said something!

After he finally asked, he then spent time expressing his feelings, and just everything that has happened during our courtship. Of course I cried a lot at everything he said, and how I felt. It was just surreal and lovely.

If anyone knows our story, it hasn't been easy for us. We've worked through a lot of hard patches together, and experienced more fun than I have ever had.

How I met Bronson might be for another blog post--because there is just so much to share, but I didn't realize how much my life would turn and change because I met him. He instantly made me want to be a better person. I give credit to HIM for all my grades, for my running successes, for my changed attitudes, he influences everything about me for the better. I so love him. I love him for who he has helped me to become. And I love him even more, because he loves helping me reach my potential. I've always heard people talking about "reaching their potential" before, but it finally makes sense to me, after being with Bronson.

Over time I have grown to love Bronson more and more for just who he is--and why he is the way he is. (he's so cute). Yet, there was a point in our relationship that I realized I could lose him for forever.  That made the greatest turning point in my life, and I realized then how much I really want to be with him forever. I never want to face that reality again. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that allows families to be made eternal through promises we make with Him. It makes me tear up every time I think about the fact that I get to be with Bronson for forever.

 At the Temple, where he proposed! Now going to the Provo temple becomes sweeter and sweeter!
And look at that ring--it was out of his price range and budget, but he knew its what I loved and wanted, and he wanted to get that for me. (Its my 17-cow wife ring! and I LOVE wearing it every day!)

After we sat on the Temple bench and talked, we both looked at each other and said, "i'm starving." He took me to The Old Spaghetti factory--a family favorite of his--and it was a very special occasion so it was fitting. I had never been there before, but after a few bites understood why it was so so so busy. We got there around 8, and was told it'd be a 40 minute wait. It was only ten and worth it. Periodically throughout dinner, we'd look up at each other with this stare of "what just happened!" but super exciting at the same time.

It was pretty hard to avoid attention that night--from my future cousin jumping up and down and squealing, and roommates awing at the ring, and talking to my future aunt before my own mother! But it was so fun to spend time like that with everyone.

After things calmed down, we watched Charly, and I bawled through the last hour of it. I told him he can't get cancer.

Looking back, it was a tender mercy that it stopped raining that day. It had been raining all week previous, and now all week after. It was Friday with clear blue skies, even though predicted thunderstorms and rain. I believe Heavenly Father has had in His hands in our relationship from the very beginning--otherwise I wouldn't have met Bronson.

Choosing him was and is my favorite choice I've made in life so far!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

the magic bullet

there are two things i love : sweets and meats. i blame the first on growing up with my grandma lewis's blood, who never lived a day without chocolate. only make sense right? and then i blame the latter on serving a mission in argentina, where i ate meat at every meal.

the beautiful part of being in a sisterhood is the participation of a mix of recipe sharing, mothering ideas, house tips and most of all counsel.

lately, the biggest trend for my sisters have been paleo-diets. which is really just a fancy word for saying they cut out everything I enjoy most from my food consumption--so i've yet to join their healthy endevors but i so commend them for it.

however, i might've been slightly persuaded to rethink my eating habits because of some vegan & gluten free cookies she made. thats because they were that good. and then later that night another sister made meatless meatballs, which originally, I thought was a sin, but it was actually....gulp....realllly good.

So tonight, in honor of completing my first day of work at my new job, i made homemade vegan gluten free cookies---and the best part---i made it in a magic bullet! no college student would even think of having a bosch, and it appeared that not a single resident in my complex had a hand mixer, and because i am far to lazy to beat by hand, i used the magic bullet. you could almost say it was magic that it worked.

my cookies don't look nearly as appetizing as the ones from the recipe, so i'll spare you--but they were : delicious. ask my roommates.

i really took this picture for two reasons. i made it successfully through a day at my new job--and didn't even quit! secondly, provo was just really beautiful today--and that was a mood booster.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

slices of home

there were only three very important things that my dad was looking for in a wife.
1. a current temple recommend holder
2. a desire to be a mother
3. always made homemade bread

frankly, my dad could care less about her waist size or shoe size, the color of her hair, or the number of freckles embellished on her face. he just wanted a woman a temple worthy, mother-wanting, homemade bread baking woman. my mother qualified for all three. and exceeded in all other categories.

this morning, by 8am my mother had baked 5 loaves of bread. by 8am, i was barely blinking an eyelid. I asked her how often she made bread now that everyone is out of the house--she said just when she could, but i think she was being modest. when we were growing up, she made nearly 8 loaves every saturday afternoon. the wheat grinder was loud enough for the entire neighborhood to know she was making bread. she placed each one proportionally on the cooling rack.

"i do it because it keeps my husband happy."

my mom always said that all a husband wants is a happy wife, and that serving him is the key to a successful marriage. i also thought handfuls of chocolate was the key to making anything successful. maybe thats why i've already had 4 handfuls of chocolate covered acai and blueberries.

my mom was driving to meet Elder Holland just a few minutes ago and asked me to place the loaves of bread in recycled bags to be cut up later. i thought i'd cut them up for her as a small payback of the perpetual generosity mom gives me.

as i was cutting i remembered when i was (embarrassed to say how old i was!) ten years old, and my mom had 7 freshly baked bread loaves sitting on the counter, with the butter melting on top of them, so perfectly glazed, and steamy. She made  a few of them for our new neighbors next door as a kind gesture towards them. But I couldn't help it. when she left the kitchen, i leaned forward to take the biggest bite of bread I could muster, just like a baby's first experience with birthday cake. I bit off the end of loaf with my mouth--I thought I would finally mark my territory on entire loaf of bread. I was satisfied, but with eight older siblings musing around the house, one of them, of course caught me and ratted me out. I don't remember my mother being angry, just disappointed, which in reality is much much worse.

slices of bread are such interesting things. secondly, i was reminded of how elder d. todd christofferson, an apostle of Jesus Christ, made bread every thursday as a little boy. His mother had a severe arm disability that prevented her from making bread every week for the family. Todd, felt so bad for his mother who tried so hard to do the daily household tasks, decided he would learn for himself in order to help the family. His father also made a great sacrifice. Every day for a year, his wife--who couldn't make him much of a lunch, would hand him 75 cents to buy a lunch at work. Every day, he skipped eating lunch, and saved the money, in order to buy his wife an iron arm that would be used to do all the ironing for their family. Isn't that love?

anyways, slices of bread make slices of home. and i am grateful homemade bread has become a slice of my home.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


guys, i'm experiencing a dream right now.

let me explain. for the first time this semester, i can do whatever i want right now. i just completed my last 300-level final. remember how i said all three were schedule back to back. well its done and over now. just 2 easy ones to go. the world is rocking right now.

along with that, BYU mens volleyball beat the #1 team in the nation last night, Hawaii. And i was there. Bronson was too.

after that, he wanted to celebrate the end of the semester (and that I actually got really good grades), he said i could pick between olive garden and mooyahs (texan style burgers, fries, and shakes). So naturally i picked mooyahs. it was so good. realllllly good. but with our budget, we probably won't ever eat there again. bronson spoils me too well.

^^ do you believe me now? ^^

i just want to say this one thing, so i can always remember Bronson's kindness to me. it was the day of the snowstorm, and our first day of no classes, but he took the time that morning to take me to the store to get some medication, and then took me to my job interview, i told him to leave, but he insisted on waiting for me, so i wouldn't have to walk in the snow, in a skirt. what we thought would be a ten minute interview really become a 50 minute interview, and he waited the entire time. well, it took so long because i got the job on the spot. needless to say, he's treated me so well, and I am grateful for him.

and 99.7% of the time, Bronson is guaranteed to make me laugh. it rocks.

in just a few short days i'll be able to go back to Oregon - and then begin Spring term. (ahh..)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

flash update

LDS General Conference 

there are two weekends of the year I love most and neither are my birthday or Christmas. 
I love that for the past several years I've been able to attend two sessions each year, this is how I will always remember general conference. One day Bronson and I walked to school and shared with each other our favorite Conference memories we have. I remember when I was 10, my parents made an exception to take me instead of when I was 12, and I remember where we were sitting, what I was wearing, and the most defining feeling, when President Hinckley walked through those wooden doors. I instantly knew that He was a prophet of God. And I feel that overtime about President Monson. I love it more each time I go. This year, I got to sit with the Gardner Family and spend Saturday with them! They fed me so well, let me intrude on family time, and shop with Michelle and Jessica. Sunday, Bronson and I enjoyed an Easter dinner by the Johns Family (how do they always make the best food?) and an Easter program. Weekends like these, shouldn't ever end. 

Mom's 63rd Birthday! 

Another great part of April Conferences, is we always get to celebrate mom's birthday, and it is a day to be celebrated. Mom would never selfishly seek attention of her own--but she is a stalwart lady. 
Despite her several physical/health challenges, she serves dad faithfully as a Stake presidents wife, a weekly Temple worker, and weekly temple patron, mother of 9, grandmother to 23, and sister to everyone. One of the cool things about my mom is that she makes being a "mom" her full-time job. Theres a lot of things my mom can't do, and couldn't do growing up, but that never hindered us from having a strong relationship. It was dad we played basketball with, but it was mom who read to us, cuddled with us, and made dinner for us (oh and so much more). 

I'm still working on my mom's birthday card, but I would tell her : thank you for every single day. Every email she wrote me on my mission. Every breakfast, sack lunch, and dinner. For attending every violin lesson, and orchestra rehearsal, for driving me to every piano lesson. For ignoring my messy room, and unmade bed, and still doing my laundry. Its impossible not to love my mother for all she's done. "I love her, because she first loved us." 

I am more excited for the Resurrection for my mother, than I am for myself. I can't wait for my mother to experience one day without pain. For this reason and more, I am grateful for God's perfect plan for His children. 

Other Really Unimportant Events: 

 Someone's boyfriend (clarification: not mine), decided to put dish soap in the dishwater instead of detergent. #icleaneditup #men

Secondly, one day, Bronson and I matched, unintentionally of course. Obviously, need to work on my sefie skills.

There was the one time where I spent more time with my roommates in one week than I had all semester, and it was so fun. I realized I need to spend more time with them, not for them, but for me! They made me feel so much happier this week. #reallygoodfriends

And then way back in February, Bronson and I attended the "Second Chance Dance." Luckily, we got to go together instead of find each other there. Costa Vida was catered, and I ate to my hearts-but-not-stomachs-content. (imagine: I felt so full, as if i was pregnant, that Bronson and I had to walk around the building a few times, I couldn't handle it!) Luckily, Jessica was there to help us with our rusty dance moves--considering it was my first dance post-mission.

thats it folks.
I have 2 days left of classes. And only my 3 hardest finals are scheduled within a 24 hour period, on the FIRST days of finals. whoever did final scheduling really failed in that category.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

complete rather than compete

i don't know why no one has told me i have the most self-intersted and self-centered blog header in history. "just emily." it makes me cringe for two reasons.
One, I'm currently overcoming my big weakness of YCS (youngest child syndrome), and two, theres a country song that I use to always sing by Toby Keith, "I wanna talk about me." And considering that I officially hate country, self-centeredness just really rubs me wrong in all ways.

 I guess if i ever fulfill my dream of getting married someday, i'll replace my title with a more appropriate blog header.

i don't know why that was necessary to tell you all that, but i did.

What you really should know--I'm only going to touch on, because, well, thats what weekends are for, to blog, not school nights.

But some reallly important things happened recently and I just want to remember them.

LDS General Conference   |     Easter 2015    |    Mom's 63rd Birthday    

 I am grateful that with Bronson, I learn about completing one another, rather than competing. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

repentance - my short thoughts

I remember kneeling down for family prayers--and when I was the only child left at home--thats when my parents and I talked the most. I remember it was the evening after having a Young Women's lesson on repentance. I was alittle frustrated. I couldn't figure out exactly why I needed to repent so much and to do so every day. I never robbed, broke the law of chastity, swore, abused anyone, had addictions. Nothing. So what was I to repent for?

I asked my dad. And I actually don't remember what he said.

Luckily, Heavenly Father's been teaching me through various experiences over a few years.

I remember my mission president during one leadership conference ask us first, "How we knew that God loves us," and secondly, "How does God know that we love Him." I felt deep in my heart a desire to repent -- therefore change, change my heart, my desires, my actions, my attitude, entirely towards the will of God. This became the most powerful, personal, and sacred experience of my life. I finally felt the Atonement rush into my life from that moment. God let me feel that, and my testimony of the Atonement has only increased.

But let me explain. Repentance--is not only for sinners. Even Christ repented--yet he was perfect and committed no sins. We first need to understand what Repentance means. According to the Bible Dictionary and the etymology from the Greek Translation, it means to align our will with Gods (Not God's will to our will!).

Christ while suffering in the Garden said, "Father, if it be thy will, remove this bitter cup from me, NEVERTHELESS, not my will, but thine be done." This is just one example of when Christ perfectly aligned His will with the Fathers (isn't that was repentance is!).

I guess my understanding of repentance is change. Elder Holland said that repentance is as quick as someone says, "i'll change" and actually mean it. So, how does this apply to you and me? Well. Tonight, rather than saying a quick, repeated prayer to our Heavenly Father, and instead pray with real intent, that is repentance--because it is change. Just like the man who puts down a bottle of beer, and begins to change. He is repenting too. Repentance is changing who we are--and for the better.

So, like President Hinckley said, "lets try alittle harder to be alittle better." We can be repenting the entire day long. And you know what, I'm convinced that is the greatest plan for happiness.

i remember reading this quote when i particularly struggled my freshman year of college. so i'll share with you now.

"In times of trouble, I hope a covenant 
person is within reach." - Mary Ellen Edmunds

Are you that covenant person? When others are struggling, are you the one to set aside your personal duties and help another? I hope I can be that covenant person one day....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

on this day of joy and gladness

my nose got sunburnt. does that mean we are finally in the thick of spring, and out of the woods of winter. hooorray.

meanwhile, we did celebrate beautiful weather on sunday. my sweet roommate decided she wanted to take advantage of a) the sun b) a new camera lens c) our beautiful faces.

i always thought it was the camera that made someone look beautiful, but i was wrong, its definitely the photographer. doesn't she do magic? check out
in the mean time, that realllllllllllllly awful week where your four classes for your major had everything due in the exact same week became insanity. but its over now. we recuperated this weekend, by still studying, watching "We Bought A Zoo," (highly recommend it), and doing temple baptisms with Jessica for my family names (that was a first!).

in other sorts of life, i've always had this dream of being a runner--but just never had the help to start. Bronson is a runner, therefore, i've slowly evolved into becoming one too. he's the best running buddy! its been so therapeutic. i've love pounding out problems on pavement. i'm ready to write a book about how its more effective than ice-cream. but i'm sure 50 already exist.

sadder news though, byu basketball lost last night--and therefore lost their ticket into playing in the NCAA tournament. bronson and i are both bummed, but relieved, since it won't be such a strain on homework time. now what sports events are we going to go to now?

have i mentioned how much i love living life with bronson? well, i just said it again in case we forgot.

fun fact : jocelyn williams was born. on march 9th. she is perfect height and weight, and has the optimum kissing checks. sadly, she'll probably be grown up by the time i meet her, just like her brother Hudson, who was born days after I entered the MTC.

and while i'm at it, avoiding my homework, i might as well post a few more pictures:
bronson said his lips were sore after we took this picture, well, no wonder.
and then he treated me to a shamrock shake on st. patricks day. #lucky

meet the newborns : 

baby jocelyn | march 9 | meredith & bryan  

baby gwendolyn | february 8 | dallin & janelle 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

this young man

put your hands together for the cutest boy ever. 
i know this isn't his ideal form of attention. but you have to know a few things about Bronson. 
(oh gosh, I still can't get over how cute he was...and still is! #cheesybutdon'tcare)

-- He got a solid A on his Poli Sci test. 
-- He got a tuition scholarship!
-- He's so nice - he's walking to the gym after work so I won't have to work out alone
-- He came to the library to study with me 
-- Every run, I plea mid way through to shorten the run, and he's good about making me keep going
-- He'll make dinner when I am behind on school and work, he manages to do 100% home teaching, when he scratches my back he'll read ESPN updates, he shares his mom's homemade jam with me, share all his food with me, comes by my apt every morning to walk to school, he'll be just as happy or more when i do well on a test, he's very mindful to help me stick to a budget, he's answered every computer question I have, he cares a lot about his sister Jessica, he beats me a lot at scrabble, he makes every potential sad moment into a laughing one, he gives complements when I don't expect them, he lives to have fun. 
- Oh but he does so much more than this. One of the reasons I love Bronson most is for the person he's helped me to grow and be. I feel much more "more". Much more confident in myself, much more happy about life, much more diligent about my school and work, much more daring to be athletic, much more punctual, much more spiritually sensitive, much more everything. 
He's helped me to be more of everything I can be. 
Isn't that so wonderful that people in our lives can motivate us to do so much more good?

Friday, February 27, 2015

almost finished

in approximately nine hours, my weekend will begin.

over the course of this week i've felt my spine curl forwards, barely able to stand up straight with the stress and deadlines.

you probably rolled your eyes already. and i should probably stop now because blog posts aren't really suppose to be a comparisons of 'who's lifer is harder than mine,' type of show.

this week has been opposite than last. and Bronson is on his last thread too.
i had midterms on Tuesday and Thursday, with a major research project due Wednesday for my work professors, and the intensity of homework never lightened up this week either.

Bronson took a three midterms in a row, and worked, and did homework, and still did more than me I am sure. #naturalhardworker

our exhaustion level has reached an all time low!
and i can prove it : i stood at the automatic towel dispenser, waving my hand back and forth at least ten times, until i finally realized it was just empty. or another time when i went to wash my hands, i placed my hands in the sink, waiting for the automatic water - it never came - oh, right, these are manual sinks. or when i mentioned something to Bronson and he completely agreed with me and i didn't even seem to care or notice (probably along the lines that i was fat and ugly), we were both incoherent for anything to affect us.  this reminds me when i was SO tired on my mission, my companion and i had conducted back to back exchanges with some sisters - 1 exchange can be enough of an emotional roller coaster - but two - especially this one, i already felt exhausted before i got there, because I knew the situation I was going in to. anyways, moral of the story, we were in the taxi, and riding to our next destination. he was a big man who liked to talk, we asked him questions and got to know him. I went to ask him, "how long have you been a taxi driver?" and instead of saying that, i said very tiredly, " long have you been inactive from the church?" That woke me up, but either i spoke so bad, or he was deaf, and he just kept talking like no big deal. my companion and i looked at each and doubled over with laughter.

in other news, i got a free almond milk at the store, and it snowed yesterday. and my roommate got engaged (oh no...bridezilla, here we come). and Bronson and I took the same midterm at the same time, and got the same score (or just about anyways..). so people, there are things to be excited about in this world!

okay, i've completely exhausted any ideas about anything interesting to write about.

basically, moral of the story : i so need the weekend/break. amen.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

daily dose

I 've had every intention of writing.
I sit down, and then immediately remember something else i should do.
Well, its that case again, but instead i'm ignoring it.

tonight, bronson and i went to the last BYU basketball home game. i'm quite a different fan. Freshman year, I went to the occasional football game, but never stepped foot in the marriot center for basketball, i was too shy. Now, i can say i went to every football, basketball, and volleyball, or the except of one for each sport. #boyfriends

i'll shut up, because pictures are more fun to look at anyways. (warning: lots of love alert)

Feb - 19 - 2015 : Last home basketball game. We held the tinder sign. If you are older than 30 you "tinder" means nothing to you, but basically its some nifty app for you to find singles in your area, and go on dates with them. Luckily, BYU sports helped us fall in love, rather than tinder. 

Feb - 18 - 2015

Jessica's (Bronson's sister) ward had a tubbing activity at Soliders Hallow. We obviously didn't pass it up. Even if it does mean we are running on a substantial less amount of sleep.
I should probably also mention, we got a second refridgerator, and a fair-weather-roommate moved out, got one of the highest test scores in the class, got new shoes. whats not to be happy about?

Feb - 14 - 2015 

Valentines Day with Bronson. 
He has a pure heart. 
He painted my nails--with new polish he bought, a white rose, and chocolates (He really knows me)
Not to mention, he ate crepes with me before his test, allowed sporadic visits for talking, took his sister out for fro-yo, took me to the basketball game, firehouse subs, AND Big Hero 6. 
We could've done everything or nothing, its just spending time with HIM. 
Okay, i'm off the sap train. 

Mission companions, are also life companions. Hermana Murray surprised me 
with DELICIOUS cookies. 

Feb - 7 - 2015 

Date with Jessica, Cecily, and Clayton to eat yummmmmmy nachos and watch Divine Comedy.

Feb - 8 - 2015

And of course, the picture that made us famous and win : BYUs cutest couple. 
Thanks for being a champion and voting for us. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015


i wrote this really long detail monologue of how difficult it was for me to make and eat breakfast this morning. but after reading it, i just became more depressed myself. so i'm sparing you.

but it went something like this : no clean utensils, broken dishwasher, no clean bowls, no usable-dishes because of a roommate that hates us so she contrabands her dishes, cups, bowls, pots everything. so... i'm left with a dirty knife and every last remaining seed of my raspberry jam. 

in order words. i'm on the easy end of school right now, i just finished two major tests, and Bronson is in the thick of two tests. 

Some GOOD things that have happened, unlike my breakfast this morning. (post note: I just realized this is a very detailed un-exciting post of a minute-by-minute replay of my weekend, feel free to read if you're completely bored)

+ Friday night : we went to subway (thanks to Grandma Gardner's perpetual gift cards), the mens volleyball game - apparently had major screen time and we didn't even know it. ran into Jessica and her date, then went to the dollar theatre and cold stone (because of sweet coupons). we've vowed never to eat at Coldstone again. Its just too rich, unless we split a baby cone -- which they don't have. 

+ Saturday : we spent more time in silence together than talking (i think...). We sat in the library in the same place from 10am-5pm. Somehow we left still feeling unproductive with life - because we hadn't been outside at all. Then we walked around Shopko's going out of business sale, and then went to get Nacho's -- but i mean NACHO's at El Azteco. We got front row seats at Divine Comedy. It was fun to go with Jessica (she's really the coolest 5th wheel--and thats hard to do), Clayton and Cecily. 

+ Sunday : We went to dinner at Clayton's house -- we were fed the best Cafe Rio -- and then came home and indexed.. nothing too different there. 

+ Monday : I went into high stress mode with my Theory/Philosophy Test. That stuff just isn't my cup of tea--but I feel with more engagement in the material I could actually like it. 
I was in charge of FHE and did "minute-to-win-it." #superfun. 

+ Tuesday : I tried cooking at Bronson's apt. and made the fire alarm go off. I'm still learning. We listened to a fantastic devotional -- actually my favorite of this school year so far. Check it out. And we ran 4.02 miles. Thats the farthest I've ran ever in my life, is that so embarrassing to say. 

+ Wednesday : well, was wednesday, and i'm glad its over. 

+ Thursday : yet to be determined. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

completely fine by me

i'm sliding off my revolving chair in the library because i can't stay awake so i'll pause mid-work and write something just to wake me up.

to be quick, Bronson and I have done so many fun things lately, i just a) stop taking pictures b) forget what day everything happens because it all mushed together.

sigh, its hard guys, to be the world's coolest couple, *hair flip*.

 + we went to a basketball game, and I almost won an instagram contest, but DID win a free t-shirts. it was like one of the right times, right place, kinda moments. I guess my ripping bouquets out of peoples hands at weddings skills really paid off ;). it was kinda like that.

+ we went to Cafe Rio (its always a good date when we go to the cafe), and we ran into Scott and Cathy Hansen and Elise (my sister in law, Janelle's family), Elise is my childhood best friend, so it was so cool to see all of them, and the Hansen's before they entered the MTC. We are really good about having this tender mercy restaurant moments. i'm not complaining. See here for other.
then we made a quick run later that night to Cold Stone, because our double date fell through.

+ Saturday we were finally able to do a session. it was beautiful, and i was reminded of all the reasons why I love God and the temple. Bronson humored me and took me to the Provo Bakery--i had heard too many reviews about it, I was itching to try it. We almost went into cardiac arrest but--totally worth it.

Later that day we had a Ward Sports Day - super fun - until Bronson gave me a black eye - sorta. That night we got pizza with my roommates and I stayed home and did homework and he had a bro-sista-date with Jessica at the game. We went apt hunting for the a usable hot-tub. We were trespassers, but it was fun anyways.

+ Fast Sunday : besides Break the Fast, we honed the indexing skills and watched segments of the Super Bowl here and there (okay, the last 3 minutes), and made some delicious 88 cent pumpkin bars. Its been Bronson's best purchase thus far.

+ After the weekend, everything becomes a little more routine. School. Studying. Grocery shopping. Dinners. More studying. Finding free food at sporting events. We even made it to a mid-week date to the Nickel Arcade that our ward put on. Even though I was dying for this test I had this morning, we couldn't pass up free admission and nickels. Can you blame us? My justification was that I wasn't going to be on my death bed wishing I got a better grade on this test.

+ Okay, I think I'm awake now, and fully content that I've updated my life for the past week. Just so I don't forget in 5 years  next week. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

a cup of em

if you highly sensitive to sappy things, you might want to click out of your browser now.

i really don't have a major reason to write this, no birthday, valentines day, special anniversary, nope, and thats okay, I don't have to.

its just a necessary blog post about someone special.

i just want to remember how fun life has been as a 21-22 year old with my best buddy, Bronson.
 See what i mean?

and believe me this is not idol worshipping here, I just feel the need to do some public appreciation for this guy, something i've failed to do. and besides, he is the only one that reads this blog anyways...

1. Bronson's making me a better person. In a lot of ways. He encouraged me this week to start working more hours, and then has asked me about my accountability every single day. He's helped me do it! He stayed late with me on campus on wednesday and made me dinner on thursday after he worked knowing I needed more time to get things done. He's also been my knuckle-cracking patrol officer, he stops me immediately--I need to break this habit! He's helped me to exercise. Every time we run, I can tell he is itching to go faster and farther, and I tell him to, but he won't. He's a pretty good coach. And... he's being my role model for doing hw and getting good grades. I do so much better studying with him, because otherwise I have tendency to just talk to my roommates. Doesn't he rock or what?

2. Something Bronson is really good at it listening and talking. I lack on the listening and make up for in the talking...well...which isn't always a good thing. If I had to choose activities to do with bronson, I would choose talking over all of them. He talks to me a lot and about a lot of things. One thing in particular is, whenever we've had some disagreements or issues, he never (wait, emphasis on never) raises his voice, or becomes irritable, he is super (emphasis on super), logical about everything. Everything always makes sense afterwards. 

3. I'm learning to appreciate one of Bronson's greater attributes. Doing things slowly, but correctly. 
And that goes for everything. Every homework assignment, test, decision, products he's buying on line, and even how much air he pumps in the tires. I generally like to do something quickly and be done, he's teaching me about patience and doing things right--even if it takes longer. 

3. Lastly, he is just a cute fun goofy guy. He loves to have fun--i think thats his big life motto, and he wants others to have fun too. I remember seeing him teach Sunday School and think, "dang it, i have to get to know him," but felt there was no way he would even bat an eye at me. He loves sports and knows more facts about them and athletes then....maybe 7 brains put together. He loves music, technology, and food. And did I mention he's a better cook than me? 

Bronson really isn't the average guy. First and foremost, because he's stayed with me for this long! (applause). He really is consistent in all he does. And he works so hard at doing all that is right. He likes to be right, but is quick to apologize when necessary. He loves the gospel and is so good about always have a dedicated scripture study before school each day. So, whats not to love about Bronson?
Not much.  I sure like this guy. a lot. Muah. 

hurrah for israel

this happened. two years ago i left started my mission to Argentina / Idaho. 
now looking back, i think, how could i and how could i not get on that plane to leave everything that was familiar, easy, and good, especially my family to be so far, distant, and separated but doing that which is the most important work of all-- missionary work. 

i'm so glad the spirit prompted me one day to make a decision that affected me eternally. 

this was the one picture i have on my desktop so it will suffice for now, since i don't really have time to unearth the 800+ photos. You can just know that there is a black cat in my bag, it ran inside the church as we were walking out...don't worry, I got him out.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

as of lately

 On MLK day, Bronson and I were able to participate in a Community Outreach Day, where BYU teamed up with UVU and helped tons of service projects on and off campus. I signed up for making coloring books for kids, but then we found the booth for making dog toys, so you can probably guess what we ended up doing. It was so much more fun than I expected (isn't that how service always is), and we both felt we should carve out more time in our lives to participate in service organizations, especially because of the influence of his cousin, Ashleigh, and my grandma Lewis, both who have passed away, but who's live were filled with constant service.

I have no idea why we looked so air-brush, thats weird. But mini-golfing was super fun, because, it was so cold that some of the tubes and passage ways for the balls were frozen so the golf balls got stuck to often and Bronson was a gent to get them out (oh wait that was me). 

It was a fun way to celebrate "dating" for 4 months! When we went to the desk to redeem my Pass of all Passes, so we could golf and do other activities for free, they offered to give us the married discount...until we told them that wasn't the case. 

Oh...and Bronson is on this Cake-kick. He averages 2 per week. I still don't know why...but okay. 

 I've had too many funny conversations with Bronson lately, and I am ashamed I haven't written them down. But after 120ish days together, we still laugh. a lot.

B: "I was going to make a turkey sandwich but I realized my mayonnaise expired."
E: "when did it expire?"
B: "two days ago."
E: Put hands in face, "haha, its still fine to eat."
B: "Yeah, i'll have to ask my mom."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Remember Grandma

I wrote this just because a few months ago before her health severely declined, and I just wanted to post it, for my history's sake. I wanted to remember anything and everything I can about Grandma.

Her delicate frame fell into the chair, her legs slowly lifted as she mechanically reclined the sofa, she reached for a sip of water, adjusted her glasses, and was peacefully settled.

I had been with my grandma for nearly 15 seconds, but that had given me enough time to identify her incredibility. Her pen and paper were placed on the first nightstand with in hands reach. The pages were falling back into their position under the spiral bound--I knew that it had been recently used. Grandma always taught us to write down each and every spiritual impression and tender mercy. She was still a faithful recorder keeper, after all these years. She never wearied of doing the most important things. Thats why her scriptures were perched securely on her dresser, free of sticky grandchildren fingers, water bottle spills, or being covered up by mounds of newspapers.

Adjacent to her 99 cent-precious-notebook sat a white box with a plentiful stash of her life dependency substance--a bar of chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Grandma always said, "if its not chocolate, its not dessert!" Its just what i've learned best from Grandma. Some may say chocolate is her achilles tendon, but her great love for it is what makes her a specialty.

I'm confident that my encounters with Grandma and Grandpa Lewis are plentiful, however, I seem to remember only a handful. Even though I was the 63rd grandchild, they treated and loved me as if I was their only one. I knew that by the way I felt.

I grew up nearly 800 miles from my grandparents. I think I came to know them more through the stories of my father, the emails I read, and the photos I occasionally saw. My siblings retell stories of Grandma and Grandpa becoming their second set of parents, as they lived adjacent to my parent's first home. I wonder what that would have been like? An unlimited supply of chocolate milk, kisses, or stuffed animals?

Now, in my 21 year old state, I relish every moment with Grandma. Returning home from my 18 month mission I was able to spend two uninterrupted hours with Grandma. I listened. I wanted her to teach me everything. 94 years of lived experience and trials, she is the wisest. It was impossible to flip through the whole Rolodex of experiences with Grandma.

She said to me, "Emily, keep being a missionary. And secondly, marry a missionary." Being with grandma in August inspired me to do four things:
1. Read my Scriptures better. She talked about the scriptures as part of her every day conversation. She knew them. She loved them. She used them.
2. Treat others better-- be kinder, do my Visiting Teaching, forgive easily and quickly (more stories on that), interact with people with the purpose to edify, inspire, and uplift.
3. Keep a record of my life-- She has 8 large volumes of history. What a legacy to reap from.
4. "Laugh more, because then you'll spend too much time crying in life." Laugh more without offending the Spirit.

I'll always remember the feel of the tough rope sliding through my small hands as I followed the "iron rod" through the corners of the church building leading me to a perfectly dressed in white, Grandma and Grandpa who waited to greet each grandchild with a tight gripped hug. I felt her squeeze me again as she presented the Young Woman Medallion Statue after my 14th birthday. I remember her cane waving furiously as she sat on the front row of my middle school basketball game. And if I ever wondered where Grandma was, I would find her on the couch doing cross-stitch with a thimble balancing on her thumb.

I filed my memories away in a cabinet of my heart, and tuned back into her stream of words-- teaching me something. Always in the midst of some life story she taught me a gospel principle because thats who Grandma is.

She is a faithful liver and lover of the Gospel.

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Maira Gall