March 29, 2014

Worldwide Sisterhood

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I'm watching the Worldwide Women's Conference right now.... (I know... Who blogs during Women's Conference?!) But my heart is just so full, and I just really want to be good!

Sister Bonnie Oscarson is speaking, and we just finished singing I am a Child of God together. My heart is full, and I've already cried more than I'd like to admit. My heart is full, because I know and feel how significant, how POWERFUL this gathering is. To think that LDS sisters -- women and girls ages 8 and older -- ALL across the world are gathered TOGETHER to hear guidance from the Lord through our Church leaders is overwhelming. I'm watching the broadcast from my laptop at home, but I feel united with the sisters throughout the world in a way I never have before. I know as women who know who we are (daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us), who are trying as best as we can to be forces for good in the world, we are capable of SO much!

Can you even imagine what Lucifer must be thinking right now? How worried he must be to see such an incredible gathering of righteous women?

I am grateful -- oh, so grateful! -- for the knowledge I have of who I really am. I say it often, but knowing that I am a child of God is truly the most important thing I could ever understand. In the grand scheme of things, the degrees I earn, the job titles I get, the money I may (or may not -- ha!) make won't matter one bit. What will matter is how I treated others and what I did to share my knowledge of eternal truths with them. It will matter what I did to develop Christlike attributes; that others may recognize me as a follower of Christ...

I hereby recommit myself to doing that.

March 27, 2014

How I Got Rid of My Angry Feelings

Tonight I came home with some resentful/angry feelings towards a particular person. I was feeling like such a hater, and while I was really tempted to call someone up to vent about it (and in the interest of complete honesty, I may have vented just a tad...), I knew that wasn't the right thing to do.

Wanting to dissipate my foul mood as quickly as possible, I turned to the Mormon Channel and watched this powerful video:



While I don't feel I was on the verge of bullying this person, I knew my feelings weren't coming from a good place. Watching the video, I remembered that I need to always be kind to others. I don't know this person's particular situation, and I should give the benefit of the doubt. My feelings of anger and resentment lifted, I was able to see the situation more clearly, and I concluded with a vow to be kind, no matter what.

I was thankful today that the Mormon Channel was there to lift me up in my time of need.

March 26, 2014

Lately

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VL team before NCL Capital Awards. Photo courtesy of Jimmy's GoPro camera

Lately, I've been really busy with work.

March 31st is around the corner, and since I work on Health for my org, we've been busy making sure folks know they need to get health insurance by March 31st! (Ask me about this if you have any Q's.)

We launched a new campaign at work to register Latino Millennial voters.

I got to participate at a presidential town hall about the Affordable Care Act. (I wasn't on stage with POTUS, but it was still pretty dang cool to have my name in the same press release as the President!)

We also have a conference we're hosting in NYC next month for which I'm managing communications.

Oh, and we hosted the DC red carpet premiere for Cesar Chavez (It's really good and opens in theaters this weekend! More on that later...).

I've also tried to squeeze in a few other things. You know, important things like... working on my callings (OK, that one really is important), joining Snapchat (who'da thought?), wondering every night whether there will be snow or sun the next morning, etc. And even some fun things like...

Playing the violin for Tory's baptism (& coordinating a string quartet to accompany our church choir)!

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Yay, Tory!

Seeing friends sometimes (and sometimes, their babies!) -- though not as often as I'd like!

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I was friends with Matt & Kara at the U before my mission. It was so fun to catch up & meet their sweet Baby E!
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At a Jazz-Wizards game!
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Celebrating Steph's birthday!
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A Winter's Tale = worst. movie. ever.
Of course, there's always cooking, baking, and eating:

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And I even managed to sneak away to ward temple night.

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I sure love this temple!

So, basically, I've been busy with life. :)

March 25, 2014

5 years

I've been home from my mission for five years today.

FIVE YEARS!!

You know what that means? It means I'm officially eligible to go on a second mission. Eeeeeep!! (No, that's not an announcement... Eeesh!) How time has gone by so fast is beyond me.

On a related note, this made me cry last night. It's the letter we received from our VC Directors at the end of our missions.

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Oakland, you'll always be in my heart!

March 18, 2014

Cell Phones, Social Media, & Dating

Have you ever been asked on a date via text message? Or maybe you're the one who's asked someone out through SMS?

Perhaps you've been on a date with someone who is CONSTANTLY checking his/her phone? (Because I know YOU'RE not dopey enough to be that person!)

Ever hesitated before sending (or not sending) a post-date text? Is it better to send it the next day? Or not at all?? What if you want to take pictures on your date??!

Whatever your social media/texting/cell phone/dating conundrums, Forbes has a quick guide for you! I couldn't not share it. :)

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And now you know. Happy 21st century dating!

March 13, 2014

The Moistest Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins EVER!


Before you start asking me, What? Pumpkin muffins in March? Let me counter with, Hey, man. Any time is pumpkin time!

Now that we have that out of the way, you should know these muffins were a total fluke. And that they were really, really good. They even elicited this heartfelt compliment from my friend, David, "I have to say these are really, really good! (Grabs another muffin) And you know I don't like your cookies." Thanks, friend. ;P

Back to the muffins... The story of how I made them starts at 7:17 am on Saturday morning. 

7:17am is the time my alarm is programmed to go off. It wasn't set for Saturday, but my body woke up anyway (also, I heard my roommate opening/closing her door). I remembered it was David's birthday, and I sent him a quick b-day text. (HBD, DBB!)

Then I lay in bed for a while, thinking about whether I should go back to bed or just get up. For some crazy reason, I decided to get up. 

I ran some errands (here's a little tip from me to you: the grocery store is totally EMPTY at 8am on a Saturday. ie- no crazy long lines. SCORE!) and came home to clean our kitchen. As I was cleaning, I noticed our Tupperware was all over the place, so I decided to organize all the cupboards. That led to me basically emptying most of our kitchen shelves, wiping everything down, reorganizing, and giving every item a home. Success!

At some point, I also started cooking, which led to more cleaning, which led to hey, I should bake something to take to David's game night tonight! I was gonna make banana muffins. But then I remembered I still had pumpkin butter from the time I went to an orchard near Harper's Ferry last autumn. And I thought hey! Bananas are squishy, pumpkin butter is squishy... Surely they're interchangeable? (spoiler alert: they ARE!)

I tweaked my favorite banana bread recipe, and these muffins were born!  Here's how I made 'em:

1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c pumpkin butter 
2 eggs
1/2 c sour cream*
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c flour

* I didn't have any sour cream, so I substituted 1/2 c milk + a few squeezes of lime to curdle it + 1.5 tablespoons of extra butter

Mix everything together, pour into greased muffin pans, & bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (keep an eye on them!).

Thanks to the PUMPKIN BUTTER, these are the softest, moistest (I don't think that's a word) pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins I've ever eaten. Enjoy!