5 Years Ago this month..

My baby sister graduated from high school a few weeks ago and just talking to her has totally taken me back to when I was a senior in high school. I cannot even believe I graduated High School 5 years a PHEW! I am so glad I am out of that stage of my life. However.. I am not ashamed to admit that I absolutely loved my time in high school and have the greatest memories and friends because of that special time of life. I was thumbing through some pics of my Senior year.. holy smokes.. I remember feeling like it was the end of the world as i knew it when i graduated. I was so excited for soccer and moving away, but I hated the thought of leaving what was comfortable and easy. I had the best group of friends that I didn't want to lose, and I was worried about change. I am so glad that the majority of those people are still dear friends that I keep in close contact with!
Unfortunately my best [girl] friends in high school were all a year younger than me..
These girls are still some of by bff's! LOVE THEM. 
Bestie and me getting ready for prom
The day I signed to play soccer at Dixie State.

Getting ready to speak at graduation
Brayden. Haley. Carson. Sage. Jason. Anna.
The Senior Girls at Senior Dinner Dance
haley. elle. bre. karin. kylee. jess. lyndi. sage. anna.


Basically I am an idiot people. I randomly decided to sign up for my first half marathon and... then I signed up for the St. George Marathon. What the crap was I thinking. Well my half is in july and the full is in october... I have mostly been focusing on my half but to be honest I have not be training that well. I REALLY hate running and I thought that by this point in my training I might actually enjoy it. Not happening. Really the only thing that makes me look forward to my running is when I have new running clothes to wear. Obviously that gets expensive.

Mostly my frustration comes from not being good at running from the start. I like being good at things when I first try them out.. well running has not come that easily for me. But who am i kidding? When I was 12 years old my mom had to come and run the timed mile with me at soccer practice because I was crying my way through the whole thing. SERIOUSLY? Pathetic. 

When I first started training I had all these time goals and things I wanted to accomplish. Now I am to the point that I will be sooo proud of myself if I just finish. I still hate running.. training has been hard... and I really don't enjoy it at all! BUT I am really excited for July 13th when I will officially finish my first half marathon. I don't have a timed goal in mind anymore... and I seriously could careless about my time. I just cant wait for it to be over! 

Have any of you done a half? What are your suggestions and methods or running? Also what do you suggest wearing? I just bought these cute shorts and I am in LOVE. (yes they are shorts.. not a skirt)

The Big 2-3

I am officially 23. HOLY Crap. when did that happen?! Since I was on trek for my birthday Ammon and I celebrated early. Back in December we bought Tay Swift tickets knowing that it would be the most perfect birthday celebration.

Before heading to the concert we went to my most favorite restaurant in the world.. Settebello's in SLC.   [if you haven't been... GO!! and get the margarita pizza] Of course I got the typical Diet Coke and the famous Margarita pizza. SOOO YUMM. Honestly this is the closest thing I have found to real Italian pizza since I fell in love back in 2011 in Napoli. :) Gelato for dessert was a must.. and then it was off to the concert.

Even though we didn't have the most amazing seats, I had a blast! I LOVE Tay and I am not ashamed to admit it. Her vocals have gotten better over the years and her concerts have only gotten more crazy. We had a blast and it was the perfect Birthday Kick Off Celebration.

Ammon was a sweetheart and before we left for trek he surprised me with... a new NIXON watch. I am obsessed with Nixon anything and I have had my eye on this watch for what feels like forever. I was so shocked and absolutely ecstatic when he handed me that little white box. Next he handed me the first season of New Girl.... okay second best present ever! I love that show and seriously have been wanting it forever! I was also so spoiled by my parents and in-laws, grandparents, and extended family. I felt so loved and I was so grateful for the best birthday ever! :)
IN LOVE. [and the cutest bracelet from my mom]

Trek 2013

Despite being insecure and a little overwhelmed by our Trek calling, it was one of the most humbling and amazing experiences Ammon and I have shared together.
Fresh and clean to start the journey!

I will be the first to admit it was reallyyy awkward standing in front of all the youth reading off our family names. I had no idea what to say and I am not a 'hugger'.. so the awkward standing and waiting for the picture began. I gathered everyone together and the picture was taken. Then off we went to play 'Get to Know You' games (THE WORST.. get to know you games are just awkward and lame).. and pack up the cart. It was then that my kids mentioned they had no idea I was their 'Ma' and they thought they were doomed with the most annoying sister when I was herding them together for the picture. HA! We got a good laugh out of that one. We were blessed with 5 boys (one of which was a foreign exchange student from Ukraine, and not a member of the church) and 5 girls..  all of which ranged from 14-18 years old. The fam came up with the mottos "We like to party" (Really??? Umm okay we aren't naive, but we went with it anyway)... and our main motto was "We go Hard"... haha ammon and I laughed and the next thing we knew the motto was written on the flag!
The fam!
The first day was rough. Uphill for a good 7 miles with very little stopping. The boys refused to let the girls push the cart because "they have to save their energy for the woman's pull". I felt bad for our foreign exchange student the whole day.. just imagine having no connection to the pioneers, no connection to the LDS faith, and having to dress up in weird clothes and hike through the wilderness for 3 days straight. Yeah.. not fun. He complained in his cute little accent and looked miserable. He didn't really connect with any of the people in the family and I could tell he was just so unhappy! I felt so bad for him. That night we watched 17 Miracles on a projector screen in the middle of a huge field. It was one of the most emotional experiences I have had in my life. If you have not seen the movie.. you need to! It gave me even more respect for my amazingly faithful pioneer ancestors, and it seemed a lot more real after experiencing the things we had experienced earlier that day.
The Girls of the familly.
Madi. Calysta. Athena. Haley. Jainee. Jeanette.
That night I laid awake (freezing my A off might I add) listening to one of my sons, Clay have a chat with Andy (our non member foreign son) about life, religion, and standards. I will admit at points in the conversation I was nervous and felt like I should tell the boys to stop and go to bed, but decided to just let it go and went to sleep. The next day (my birthday) I awoke with anxiety and a bad attitude for the upcoming day. (Whoops Ma is not supposed to be like that!) We spent the morning playing pioneer games and running around in the fields. The boys in our family almost got bit by a rattlesnake.. it was the freakiest thing hearing that thing rattle and hiss! The family motto was in full force and the boys kept chanting "We go Hard!" .... I laugh every time I think about it.
The boys playing stick pull... Competing for the "Golden Child award".

The next morning was spent playing pioneer games. Our family motto was chanted loud and clear numerous times... "we go hard".. and every time I rolled my eyes and laughed. Our family wasn't too successful at the trek games and we always came in second (first loser).. except when it was a competition for the ma's and pa's. (*brag* am and I kicked butt). Our boys in the fam had a close call with a rattle snake and it was soo freaky hearing that creepy rattling noise and hiss from a far. Scared the crap outta me.
The trial Trail
The afternoon was a day filled with trials. Along the trail we had leaders stop us and read us an intimate story about different pioneer's stories. One included the story of a 7 year old boy who was responsible to carry his four year old brother across the plains. He ended up passing away from exhaustion and his brother safely made the rest of the journey. My kids were then asked to carry each other until the next trial came about. It was heartbreaking to see my kids struggle trying to carry each other.. until I saw Clay and Andy. Andy was on Clay's back.. and they were having a rap battle! haha! Hilarious. There were laughing together and Andy looked happy (partially because he didn't have to walk anymore). When it came time for them to switch, Andy complained, but I soon saw Clay (who was way bigger than Andy) jumping up onto Andy's back. It was so heartwarming to see Andy actually connecting and enjoying himself. The next trial came along and the leaders told a story about how some of the pioneer's had to walk without shoes. The next thing I knew.. I was walking down the trail barefoot. The sand was freaking hot, and I literally was running down the trail from shade spot to shade spot. I already had blisters on my feet and the burning hot sand did not help. I was pissed and swear words were flying through my head (mother of the year). I thought for sure Andy would not participate.. but as i looked up ahead.. I saw him and Clay sprinting down the trail together. Somehow Clay had talked him into doing the barefoot walk with him. I will admit I was the tearing up when I saw them together. The trial ended and we were soon at our camp.
The kids
There was absolutely no shade in sight, and I curled up in a ball and fell asleep for an hour or so. I woke up to a flower on my shoulder!..Ammon explained that one of the boys had ran over a mile to find me a desert flower for my birthday. Okay seriously how sweet! I tell you we had the sweetest kids in our family. That night Am and I square danced our little hearts out! Man! My husby has got moves. [he even admitted to enjoying dancing more than he expected *yes*]
Missing Boston!.
Ammon. Clay. Parker. Andy. Benjamin.
Later that night we had a great fhe with our family where each child shared Highs and Lows of the trip. We laughed and we cried.. and Ammon and I had the amazing confirmation that we were exactly where we needed to be. We had done just what we had hoped and our kids had had a fun and spiritual experience. I slept like a baby that night!
Benjamin and our baby Elizabeth with Pa Ammon.
The next morning we trekked into the city where we had family and stake members welcoming us with cheers and signs. I cried at the thought of "This is the place".. and felt so relieved our journey was over. I actually saw Andy smile (a smile that showed he had a good experience), and I forced him to give me a hug.
Trekking along.
I learned so much about myself during trek. When leaders of the church say "the youth of the church are amazing".. I know exactly what they mean. I realized that one person can impact a group of individuals and change experiences for all who are involved. I learned that I can do hard things. I learned that even though I was not called to trek across the country, I have battles of my own that I have been called to bare. My trials may not be physical trials, but I have trials that are equally as challenging. I know my ancestors are proud of who I am becoming, and I am soo grateful for their examples and strength. I am grateful for the sweet kids in our family and what they brought to my experience! I love them all so much (which is weird to say), and can't wait for our reunion!
Our first family picture. :) Love these kids.

Trek on!

So Ammon and I got asked to be ma and pa's at our stake trek this week. We have been excited and anxious for the past few months... and well here we are.. tomorrow we leave, and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed!

Am and I went to the meeting for trek back at the beginning of March. It was really basic, and not too detail oriented. OH! and did I mention that I got asked if I was one of the young women in the stake? ha! Now that was an awkward question to answer. Besides the other couple called from our ward, we were by far the youngest couple there.. I am talking like by at least 20 years. Intimidating to say the least! I am still trying to figure out how to draw the line between my teenage years and adult years.. how am I supposed to actually be in charge of these crazy kids when I still feel like I belong out there with them!?

Anyway, the house is a mess, our gunny sacks are [sort of] packed, and ammon has an all-nighter worth of homework ahead of him. I am anxious and worried that I am way under qualified for this calling, and overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility I feel to help my kids have an awesome experience. It will be interesting, but I am excited to get trekking! :)

Oh! And did i mention i will be celebrating my 23rd birthday somewhere in the middle of nowhere in my cutest pioneer clothes?! hahahaha! Just what I wanted to be doing on my birthday! ha! ;)