“It is a really good thing to be known, it is entirely another to be heard.”
I’m Sierra, and as cheesy as it sounds, all I desire right now is for you to see my heart and love for life. To get a glimpse of my humanness and a dose of who I am proud to be. I am delighted you’re here!
First off, I always make sure people know I was born in Arizona, with high hopes it will explain my cacti obsession. I currently call Florida my home, but let’s face the truth, my heart is anywhere I can count the distance in mountains and hike pretty country in my free time. I am passionate about the outdoors and soaking in every ounce of such a perfect creation. I strive in situations where I must push and challenge myself; whether that be in my career, fitness, creative passions, or relationships.
I am a firm believer that the journey is just as important as the destination, and that we are all here with a purpose. I embrace my humanness, the messy and loud. I strive to have a brave heart and to be brave in loving people.
I have a cocker spaniel/yorkshire terrier pup named Charlie who screams everything I love and believe in. It is the little things that get my heart going and I will always cherish them. I have many dreams, big ones, many more than I have time for, and Mom, maybe I do need a reality check once in a while.
I am not promised tomorrow, so I encourage myself to live in the present day, to rest in full contentment that I am right where I need to be.
I value long and vulnerable conversation, good genuine music, and road-tripping to new places. I believe in quality over quantity, sincerity and authenticity. I want to stoke the world.
These are just my 21 year old thoughts, my 21 year old experiences and yeah, I could do it privately. I could fill hundreds of journals and photo albums. However making it public and putting myself out there is a way for me to connect with likeminded people and maybe, just maybe, inspire someone else out there.
Here I stand, I am humbled to call this, this art of documenting, capturing, and creating tangible moments part of my life. I have met the most incredible humans and life-long friends in my walk this far. I can only be excited for the new opportunities that I know are coming. I was created to create.
Camping in Lakemont, Georgia
September 7, 2021
friday evening i decided to throw a tent, some food, and the boys 🐶 in the car to seek out some elevation change. we drove all night to northern georgia and spent a few nights in the hills. we swam in 2 lakes & hiked to 4 waterfalls. it was a smiling-until-my-face-hurt weekend.
georgia, you’re slept on 😍.
it was about 8 and a half hours from my place in sarasota. i stayed at the river campground on the tallulah river. the owners of the campground were super nice! they have canoes and kayaks that are available to use as well!
i went to tallulah gorge state park, minnehaha falls, chunanee falls, and anna ruby falls.
i was told that minnehaha falls are the most photographed falls in the area.
tallulah gorge is a must do hike. they have a hike around the rim and also one that goes right down to the waterfall. i went on saturday morning and had no issues getting in, but i did hear some people were turned away on sunday because it was too crowded. however, it was labor day weekend, so that could be why. the park also has a swim area with picnic benches etc.
i did not have time to go, but i know amicalola falls are the tallest in georgia. they are about an hour and a half west of lakemont.
i also went to lake rabun & lake burton. lake rabun has a really nice park and swimming area with a dock.
the weather was amazing, 75 during the day and 50’s at night, perfect for a campfire! no humidity! it did sprinkle the last morning i was there for about an hour, but it was very light. i was still able to start a fire with the damp wood that i had left out, so nothing like florida rain 🤪!
i will be back!
Blood, Sweat, & Summer Sales
October 4, 2018
As many of you know, I spent this past summer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Lubbock, Texas doing direct sales door to door. This was my first time “moving out.” I graduated high school and left 3 days later.
After a long and hot summer I will say it is good to be back in Utah, though I will miss everyone I met on my adventure- you know who you are :’((. I don’t know if anyone else can relate, but when I get back home from being away I always slip a sigh of relief.
I always get asked, “how was it?,” and I won’t sugarcoat it, not every day was rainbows and butterflies. It was in my favor that I generally enjoyed the work. Every day was another chance. Every door was a new opportunity. I learned to see it as a game.
A little back story: I remember when I was working in a facility cleaning position for a few months my junior year of high school. One day I came home hating the job. My mom suggested sarcastically that I pretend to be Cinderella. I must clean quickly and thoroughly before my evil stepmother arrives. I rolled my eyes and she laughed, but she had a point.
There are going to be things in life that we HAVE to do, but that we don’t necessarily WANT to do. The key is learning how to have a good attitude in those situations.
I believe selling is 100% mental. If you tell yourself you can do it, you’re going to do it. If you tell yourself you can’t, you will do just that. Your mind wants to prove itself right so bad that your thoughts influence your every action to get that desired result. There are going to be things that happen to you and around you that are out of your control, learning to put those things past you and keep a clear mind and move forward is one of the most powerful skills you can learn.
“Did you enjoy it?”
The answer is yes. I met so many people from so many very different backgrounds that I never could’ve imagined before this summer. I see it this way: I could work a 9-5 job all week and go home at the end of each day feeling unproductive and unsatisfied with my life. OR I could knock doors all day and come home at the end of the day with or without a sale and have talked to a woman who’s husband recently passed, a father who is getting ready to surprise his wife for her birthday, an older couple who had been married for 70 years, and the list only goes on. I love the connection with people that this job brings, whether or not they buy my tv :’). Some people didn’t even care to hear my pitch, they simply wanted someone to talk to. I learned that we all have a story and we all just want to be heard.
I could go on, but I just wanted to share a few thoughts. If anyone is interested in a summer sales type job, feel free to reach out. I will give you you the pros and cons ;) straight up.
Apartments & Doggies
July 30, 2018
Yes, I have two dogs in a one bedroom apartment. Yes, one of them is a Mastiff puppy. No, I am not crazy... not yet.
I have had a lot of questions & comments about how I keep two dogs in an apartment and still get my pet deposit back :’) so I’ve decided to give a few tips as far as puppy training in an apartment.
1. Set him/her up for success
Avoid mistakes before they happen. Take the puppy outside to relieve themselves BEFORE they squat to do it inside. A good rule of thumb: take puppy out after naps, baths, mealtimes, and rough play. If your puppy tends to chew, use a deterrent spray on your couch pillows BEFORE she gets to them (see photo at the end of article).
2. Use positive not negative reinforcement
Getting upset at a puppy does not accomplish anything good. It will result in a loss of trust. Never punish a dog upon finding a mess after the act, the puppy literally doesn’t remember making the mess and will have no idea why you are mad. If you catch the puppy in the act, say “no” in a stern but reasonable manner and quickly pick up the puppy and take him/her outside to finish. ALWAYS praise good behavior, even the smallest things- walking calmly in the hall, playing quietly, etc. Treats work miracles with many breeds, especially food-motivated Mastiffs. Use a small treat when training to keep the dog focused. If you choose to use kibble as a treat, subtract it from the dog’s daily food intake. Keep diet in mind as treats are fatty and can lead to weight gain if not used appropriately.
Dogs, especially puppies, need attention. If they are not receiving positive attention they will do what they can to get attention at all. Often this includes “bad” behavior. If you are leaving the house for multiple hours of the day, make sure the pup has plenty of entertainment while you are gone, especially if your dog is a cheer. A few of Poppy’s favorites are rawhide bones, a Nylabone ring, and stuffed toys.
A few products I have found to be priceless are listed and linked below.
Bitter Cherry Chewing Deterrent
Go Here Potty Attractant
I also use a hanging door bell. The bell hang some on the door knob and when the dogs need to go out the make the bell jingle with their paw, nose, etc. I like it because I don’t have to be in the same room to know they need to go out. The one I have is from Chewy.com as well, but you can find a variety at any pet store.
I hope this helps, feel free to reach out with any other questions! I am happy to help :)
July 15, 2018
i made it to oklahoma safely!
in fact it’s been about a month and a half now...
leaving my friends and family and going to oklahoma city for summer sales was a big move for me, approximately 1,200 miles. i’ll be honest i didn’t know what all was out here. i pictured a lot of ghost towns, dirt, tumble weeds, & ghetto streets. the oklahoma i knew was the one i read about in, “children of the dust bowl,” back in the 7th grade.
obviously oklahoma now is not what it was in the 1930’s.
i have learned a lot about people in these last couple weeks. no one lives the same story, and we all just want to be heard. the choices we make daily affect the life we lead not only now, but especially in the future. i work now for an easier tomorrow. i’ve seen a lot of living conditions out here; i never want my kids to suffer from bed bug infestations, worry about their safety when going outside in the evening, or my babies to crawl on mildewed carpet. i am extremely lucky to have had the home and family life that i did, and i miss that family every day. i have the best parents in the world and i know they recognize the potential in everyone.
to get here, we drove for 12 hours on saturday and spent the night in kansas. woke up sunday morning and we had 5 hours left when we thought we only had 3. my rear was sore from sitting.
the ride here was super green, a lot of open space and fields. it is sad to me how overpopulated some places are when there is so much open space in others. in parts of kansas you can tell where every house is because they are surrounded by trees. there are no mountains and that will take some getting used to. i have no sense of direction without them. armadillos are hit on the roads like raccoons and skunks are back in the valley.
there are two main breeds of dogs here: overfed chihuahuas and underfed chihuahuas.
oh and pit bulls.
the only breed the animal shelter has are pit bulls. when a guy told me that then i checked and he wasn’t lying.
oklahoma is the home of
illegal window tint.
cigarette butts on the porch.
neighborhood dog packs.
lots of trash and littering
there are more squirrels on the power lines than birds.
no highway merge lanes, watch yourself.
the on cues (gas stations) replace maverick.
really though, oklahoma is interesting. it is one of the poorest states in the US. so many people are unemployed and live off of social security and food stamps. all the older lady’s call you “babe” and “baby” or “mama” and their accents are my favorite.
believe it or not, i love the humidity.
that was very scattered, but i miss everyone back home, have a blessed day :’))
“It [life] gets better,” but when?
May 9, 2018
I have been told for so so long that, "life will get better." I don't like giving up, but sometimes I have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I don't think I am alone in my thoughts. I have compiled a list of reasons why life gets better as you get older, even if it is hard to believe and keep trusting sometimes.
We don’t age by years, we age by experience. Yet, we’re largely under the impression that life gets worse as it goes on — the “golden days” we’ve attributed to being our budding adolescence, yet generally speaking, that is the most difficult and uncertain time of life, both biologically and socially.
Research shows that we get better as we age, we become happier as life progresses, and that the loss of “childlike wonder,” or, the magic that makes youth what we want to hold onto, is not a natural occurrence, it’s a learned behavior. That is to say - we can just as easily reclaim it.
Happiness increases as we age because we develop and master the cognitive functions required to sustain happiness, we settle into a sense of who we are, we accomplish a few things, and we evolve past our erratic, emotional adolescent selves. Essentially: life doesn’t get better, we become better equipped to deal with it. Here are all the reasons why you have the rest of your life to look forward to, whether you believe it or not:
1. As you get older, you build the cognitive functions that happiness requires: gratitude, objectivity, problem-solving.
The more you see of the world, and the more you experience yourself within it, you learn that there’s a lot to be grateful for, things exist separate from our perception of them and most issues are resolvable if only you decide you’re committed to resolving them.
2. Science says you’re generally more content after you have a few major life achievements under your belt.
Some research argues that 37 is the happiest age: we’ve done enough that we feel accomplished, settled and as though our identities are validated, but not so much that we don’t have anything to look forward to.
3. As you age your attitude shifts from “What can I do” to “what can I enjoy.”
Your objective is less to prove or establish yourself, and more to enjoy your life and be present within it fully.
4. If life becomes more difficult as time goes on, it indicates you’re not learning, evolving or adapting in some way.
There is not actually a point in time when life gets “easier,” we just become better equipped to deal with things that we didn’t know how to deal with prior. Likewise, people who do not develop those tools do find that life gets more difficult as it goes on, not because circumstances are more challenging necessarily, but because from their perspective, they are unable to handle them well.
5. You’re most emotionally erratic as a young adult.
The brain circuit that processes fear, the amygdala, develops ahead of the prefrontal cortex, which is the center for reasoning and executive control. This means that adolescents have brains wired for an enhanced perception of fear, and underdeveloped ability to calm or reason with themselves.
6. We are taught by experience that nothing external we assume will bring us happiness actually does.
Very often, the goals we choose to pursue as adolescents have some deeper link or connection to believing we’ll be more loved, accepted or admired for having achieved something “great.” It’s only after we have one or two of those things under our belts that we realize we’re not fulfilled in the way we hoped to be. As we age, we learn to separate our desire for emotional fulfillment from our false ideas of how we could achieve it.
7. Bonds you build with people over years cohere into emotional “safety nets.”
This is to say that as time goes on, friendships deepen and relationships evolve, you begin to choose your own family and bond with them in more and more intimate ways. This, of course, translates to us as a feeling of “safety,” and genuine inclusiveness, which is a primitive desire as well as a key component of happiness.
8. You know how to get through things — because you’ve done it before.
You know you’ll survive the death of a loved one because you had to teach yourself how to mourn and move on a few times before. You know you’ll get through a financially sparse month or a difficult breakup, because you’ve done it before. Your past challenges gave you the tools to deal with your current, and present ones.
9. You move from assuming that your time here is a guarantee to seeing it as a gift and an opportunity.
Friend’s parents pass on. Friends pass on. People get ill. Tragedies occur that remind us our time is not a given. Nobody expects that they’ll die young, but they do. You may project your ideal life to carry on until 95, but that will not necessarily make it reality. When we sober up about how delicate and precious life is, we are fully present in it.
10. You learn about who you are, and learn how to create a life that person will enjoy.
The portals of self-discovery are endless and not always obvious, and they don’t end after your mid-20s. As time goes on, you learn your habits, your preferences, what works and what doesn’t, what you want more of and less. That self-knowledge is invaluable, and makes up the building blocks of a life well-lived.
So what about until then? What are you supposed to do on those days in the meantime when you just want to give up and let go?
First of all, IT’S NORMAL.
Some days are light and filled with inspiration. Other days are simply routine.
Some days you may feel like just giving up on:
Your new habit of working out or eating healthier.
Your own small business or blog because you haven’t had the results you expected or wanted.
Truly feeling better about yourself.
Winding up in such situations is a normal part of making positive changes in life. But what you do when you feel like giving up will determine a lot about where your life will go.
I wanna share some habits that might help on "those days".
1. Tap into realistic expectations.
This one has been very important to me.
Tap into realistic expectations not by listening to advertising that promises you quick results. Not by listening to the perfectionism – from the people around you or yourself – that allows no mistakes or failures.
Tap into it by listening to the people who have already gone where you want to go. Listen to the people who know what works and how you will stumble and fail along the way and can tell you how long your journey may take.
You’ll probably not get an exact blueprint. But the things people can tell you in person or via books and blogs can be a great guidance.
2. Remind yourself why you are doing this.
It’s easy to lose the big picture in the busy everyday life. But if you feel like giving up then try reconnecting with why you are doing what you are doing.
Maybe it is to:
Support and keep your family safe.
Live healthier and longer so you get to watch your kids grow up.
See the world and explore new things.
Write your answers down.
Then, whenever you feel like giving up pull out that piece of paper with your most powerful why(s). It often helps.
3. Remember: It’s darkest before the dawn.
This thought has helped me to hold on when things have felt very difficult and I felt like giving up and going home. Because I have found it to be true.
When things seemed to be at the lowest point with my blog and business, with my dating life or with my motivation in life in general something always happened.
Probably quite often because being at that low point forced me to change something in how I did things.
But maybe also because life seems to have some kind of balance if I just keep going. If I just keep taking action instead of giving up and doing nothing then something good always happens.
Seeing this repeat itself strengthened my belief in taking action and to keep going even on rough days or weeks. And it brings some comfort even when things look pretty dark.
4. Reconnect with the basics or change the path.
When I have run into a plateau or a longer rough patch these two things have been helpful:
Simplify and reconnect with the basics. It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the information out there about any change you can make in life. That can lead to confusion and to trying to do too many things at once.
In those situations it has been helpful for me to simplify. To just focus on a few or one of the things I have learned that are the basic fundamentals in this area of life. To improve my social skills those things were for example to keep a positive attitude and to assume rapport.
Learn more and course-correct. Reconnecting with the basics often works well. But sometimes it has been helpful to change my course slightly instead.
To examine how I do things, what results they bring in and to compare it to how people who have gone before me have done things. To be honest with myself and admit that maybe one or two things or small parts of that I am doing are not working so well.
And to replace those things for a while – based on what others have done in the past – and see if that works better. Even if it means that I have to get out of my comfort zone.
5. Tell yourself: Just for today!
Here’s a little phrase I got from Brian Tracy that I often use when I’m having a bad day with a new habit. I say to myself: Just for today I will XX!
Replace XX with what you will do just for today such as getting exercise, getting going with the most important task first thing in the day or eating a healthy lunch.
By telling myself that I only have to do it today I get two big benefits:
I release the mental burden of the past times I did it and future times when I will do it. And so the task becomes much lighter and the inner resistance melts away.
It also reminds me that the period that I am investing in changing a habit is not the rest of my life. After 30 days or so the habit will mostly be automatic so it is not something I have to do on willpower for the next few years or decades.
And guess what, when tomorrow comes I’ll probably have a good day again with less resistance and I will most likely feel like doing the task again.
6. See if it is time to quit and to try something else.
Sometimes it is not time to give up. But it may be time to quit what you are doing and to try something else.
If you feel like giving up or you are bored a lot, if you feel no real passion or excitement or curiosity about a change or your current path then ask yourself these two questions:
Am doing this because I truly want it?
Or am I doing it because someone told me to or because so many people around me seem to have done it or are working on it?
What you want isn’t easy to know before you get started though. You may need to try different paths before you find one that fits you. And just because everyone around you seem to love running doesn’t mean that you have to love it or that you have to give up on the habit of regular exercise.
Try a new way of doing what you want and see if it is a better fit and more enjoyable for you.
full articles can be found here:
March 13, 2018
Since it is my birthday (hello fellow pisces), here’s a thought…
When I was 11, I longed to be 12. When I was 15 years old, I wanted to be 16. I could go on, but you see my point.
We always want what we can’t have. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” I have wanted to be 18 for so long I cannot even remember when the bug started biting.
Time is a funny thing, isn't it? I love how on your birthday, every year, someone asks you "do you feel different?" and every year you feel so NOT different, it's almost frustrating.
Birthdays are exciting. You’re now referred to by a new number, you belong to a new social class, and you are associated with a new group. 18 is a door that opens a whole new room of opportunities.
Age really is just a number. The only thing that changes is the way you tell your stories. Every year your perspective is changed. It is manipulated in some way by your surroundings. Your vocabulary changes and with that, your voice.
Chapter 17 is now sealed up- written and published. Time will go on.
I wouldn’t change this crazy year for anything. I am a little smarter, a little tougher, and a little stronger.
50 Ways to say ILY
February 14, 2018
...without saying, "I love you."
Pull over, let me drive for a while
It reminded me of you
No, no, it's my treat
Come here. Let me fix it
I'll walk you home
Have a good day at work
I had a dream about you last night
Take my seat
I saved a piece for you
I'm sorry for your loss
You can have half
Take my jacket, it's cold
Sorry I'm late
Can I have this dance?
I made your favorite
It's okay. I couldn't sleep anyway
Watch your step
Here, try this. You'll feel better
Can I hold your hand?
You can borrow mine
You might like this
I got it. It's not heavy
Look both ways
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to
Well, what do you want to do?
I'll pick it up after work
It can wait until tomorrow
Cross my heart and hope to die
I'll help you study
I did the dishes
You didn't have to ask
I bought you a ticket
I'll meet you halfway
We can share
I was just thinking about you
I want you to have this
Call me if you need anything
Do you want to come too?
I'll be here when you're ready
Is your seatbelt on?
Happy Valentine's Day
Senioritis & Self Love
February 10, 2018
The last few months have been really gray for me. Nothing I have done really stands out in my mind. Through high school I have always had friends in older grades. Being a senior this year, I no longer have that. Before I got here, I looked forward to my senior year because from what I heard, I thought it would be THEE best. I am here to report that it isn’t all it is talked up to be. At least for me anyways. Going to all the dances, the football games, dating the hottest boys, and simply being involved looses its prime. The cold weather doesn’t help either, I am a child of the sunshine.
I have an older brother who graduated last year, I used to hear him and his friends joke about having “senioritis”. I always thought it was just that, a joke. I have come to understand that whatever you decide to call it, the process of losing motivation your senior year is a real thing. I have always considered myself a pretty motivated person. This year has tested me. My alarm goes off in the morning and I immediately consider the consequences of staying in bed.
I have also realized that quality is better than quantity. I can count my best friends on one hand, and I am okay with that. I have also struggled finding my place socially. Why do I get nervous talking to the “popular” girls? Why do I feel like I have to prove myself to everyone? I don’t. I am learning to be me and to be proud of everything I have to offer. I know so many girls that are “perfect”, yet they post and write about body confidence struggles. I will be honest, I used to roll my eyes and scroll past them. Having gone through my own battle with that, I see it differently now.
I think we all have doubted ourselves at one time or another. I think we have all turned up our noses at the reflections we saw in the mirror. We hold the highest bar for ourselves. We see ourselves so much differently than everyone else around us sees us. We focus on our flaws. We hate on the body that allows us to do so many amazing things and travel so many beautiful places. Body confidence is 100% mental. Self love is so important.
A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or to others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.
Mark Twain said “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
In my experience, three of the most important reasons are:
Life becomes simpler and lighter. When you love yourself more, things simply become lighter and easier. You won’t make as many mountains out of molehills as you used to. Or beat yourself up or drag yourself down over mistakes or temporary setbacks.
You’ll have more inner stability and self-sabotage less. When your opinion of yourself goes up then you’ll stop trying to get so much validation and attention from other people. You become less needy and find an inner stability even when your world might be negative or uncertain at times.
The increasing self-esteem and self-love also makes you feel more deserving of good things in life and so you’ll self-sabotage less and go after what you deep down want with more motivation and focus than ever before.
You’ll be happier. The main reason why value my self-esteem so highly is simply because it has made my own life so much happier and more fun.
Take the leap!
Açaí Bowl Recipe
January 27, 2018
I have always loved pretty food, but who doesn't? It’s all about the pretty packaging, am I right? BUT what is better than pretty food? Healthy, pretty food. Açaí bowls fit that definition for me. The average açaí bowl is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. I have posted a favorite recipe of mine that you can find here:
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups frozen cherries
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 frozen bananas
2 frozen Sambazon Açaí packs
1 fresh strawberry
1 small handful of fresh blueberries
1/2 fresh banana
nonsweetened shredded coconut
BLEND all the frozen ingredients to a smooth consistency. Mixture will be THICK, make sure your blender or food processor can take it!
SCOOP mixture into your serving bowl and smooth the top.
SLICE fresh fruit and place on top.
SPRINKLE coconut and pecan pieces as a finishing touch.
TIP: For a thick açaí mix use little to no liquid and be sure to use frozen ingredients.
12 months. 12 lessons.
January 15, 2018
With the arrival of the new year I have been thinking a lot about the past year. Like each year always does, 2017 had its highs and its lows for me.
In January I probably set goals, ones I don't even remember now. I learned that I need to keep my goals present and in mind if they're ever going to get accomplished.
In February I got Charlie, a Cocker Spaniel/ Yorkshire Terrier puppy, who is the joy of my life. On my bad days my dogs are the reason for my continued existence (not to be dramatic). They have taught me that there is no load that a little laughter cannot lighten.
In March I turned 17 and soon realized how hard of an age it really can be. I learned that as much as I want to think I have it all figured out, in the end I really don't have a clue. This year I learned that taking a parent's advice is not admitting weakness or failure. It is simply vulnerability necessary for growth. Conclusion: I turned 17 and learned that it's not quite 18.
In April I decided I wanted to make my photography more than just a personal hobby, more than just an aesthetic Instagram feed. The opportunities that I have had to meet new people and connect with others are innumerable. My desire and journey to create real and raw emotional imagery is only continuing.
In May I celebrated my dog Willy's 8th birthday on Cinco De Mayo. I also spent some time working in a vet clinic. One afternoon I checked in a Blue Tick Coonhound named Glacier. Her owner was a friendly older man who clearly loved his Coon dog. She was scheduled for a spay and removal of a cancerous tumor on her belly. I monitored her every 5 minutes while the vet worked. When the surgery was complete I bandaged her up and took her to the kennel where I got her blankets and heating pads and sat with her so she would go to sleep and wouldn't try to get up. Two hours later Glacier was gone, at no fault of the staff, the blood from her incision had refused to clot. I held her head while her heart stopped beating. I cut the bandages that I had just previously applied. The call that was made shortly thereafter was one of the hardest in my life. I think there's a certain maturity that comes from experiencing death. And a lesson: I hope you never take anything for granted. You never know when something will take a completely unexpected turn of events. So this month I was reminded of how fast time flies, how important it is to live in every moment, and to thank those you love. As cliche as is it, truly anything can change in the blink of an eye. You don't always know when an, "I love you" is the last.
In June I crossed paths with Zorro, an orphaned baby Raccoon. Though there were many laughs and lots of fun, there were also some lessons he taught me:
Babies refuse to be ignored.
There is instinct in all of us.
Like it or not, we all need a mother figure.
In July I started doing influencer type work on my Instagram. I learned, or rather had it brought to my attention, that times are changing whether we like it or not. The workforce that my grandparents grew up in is not the one that I am learning and working in. You couldn’t connect with people in 1986 the same way you can in 2018. You just couldn’t. There are more opportunities than ever before. Technology is advancing so much every day. Heck, my grandchildren may never have to learn how to drive a car!
In August I spent one of the craziest weekends of my life in Bear Lake. Along with paddle boarding, chocolate covered raspberry eating, and shopping, I enjoyed the company of good friends in warm sunshine. It doesn't get much better than that! I was reminded the importance of taking time to have fun and get away from a few of the stresses of an everyday routine.
In September I was able to attend the 30th year of Rabbitstick, making it my 3rd year in a row. Rabbitstick is one of many international primitive skills gatherings held annually. As in years past, I was able to connect with raw, likeminded people and be reminded of the beauty and influence nature can have on us. For me this gathering has been a life changing experience and is indescribable in many ways.
In October my best friend and older brother left on an LDS 2 year mission to Manchester, New Hampshire. As proud as I am of him, I miss him even more. I also went rock climbing for the first time in a little while. As insignificant as it may seem to most, I hardly have words for the feeling you get while standing on one of the highest rock points of Logan canyon. After a series of, "lets get to that one," "let's go a little higher," etc, until there was no higher place to go. For me it was a type of "object lesson" in which I learned that with realistic smaller "steps," or goals, in the end get you BIG results.
In November, along with dreading the arrival of snow, I really jumped in all the way with my nanny job. I tried harder to love the kids, and see them in a happier light, rather than as an obstacle for my paycheck LOL. I can honestly say I love those kids, I want the best for them both now and in the future. Who knows, maybe I'll attend their weddings some day :')).
In December I participated in a few different "Sub for Santa" groups. Growing up I have always been super blessed to have every thing I need, and most everything that I want. Not everyone in the world is that fortunate. Through an organization called Families Feeding Families, I was able to help provide a 6 year old girl with a Christmas this year. It was a super special experience and I learned that even the small things can make a big difference. You don't have to do something HUGE with a bow on top. Smile. Send a card. Give a hug. Tell that person how much they mean to you. Share a meal. Give a gift.
I will not sugarcoat it, my 2017 was not easy. But I have really taken to heart these words,
If you look for the bad, you'll find it, but if you look for the good, you'll find it there as well.
So let's not just look for the good, focus on it, be the good. I can tell you that I personally have so many big plans and high hopes for 2018 and I hope you do as well. Here's to the new year! <3