Monday, December 13, 2010

Things Learned Fall Semester 2010

This weekend was bittersweet. It was loads of fun but we knew at the end, there would have to be a goodbye. We managed to bowl, travel, sing our hearts out, and even survive a few awkward situations. On Saturday we ventured out to Saint George. First, we caused a little havoc in the Red Robin then one thing lead to another and we ended up in the classy Play and Trade. This is where we found the video game that may change life as we know it. Singstar...80's version. It of course, took up most of our time for the rest of the weekend. It is definitely one of the greatest investments of my life. Here's some pictures of this weekend.

Yesterday after a wonderful Sunday dinner all the girls and I got started talking about things we had learned during this semester. I must say we came up with quite a few excellent life lessons and I wanted to share some of my favorites. It's amazing how much four months of experiences can teach you.

  1. Never judge a person by their outer appearance or their habits whether you agree with them or not.
  2. Everything happens for a reason.
  3. Love, laughter and good advice can heal anything!
  4. Sometimes the things you are searching for are right in front of you and all you really have to do is open your eyes and look for them.
  5. People close to you should accept you for who you are.
  6. As long as you have your people, you can make a home and a family.
  7. You don't need a man to make you feel whole.
  8. You are never alone. People are straegically placed in your life right when you need them and you can always turn to your Heavenly Father if you feel lonely.
As we started discussing each item as a group we realized that college's lessons go so much further than the textbooks and courses. Some of us are still unsure exactly what our major is and a lot of the time we wonder, "What am I putting myself through this torture?" These life lessons are the reason we need to be there. It's not always about the grade, but about how we learn to love, laugh and adapt. I can't wait for another semester of learning. College life goes on in 2011!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When you are considering faking your own death....

The last two weeks of the semester should be illegal. Period. Between final assignments, projects and tests plus the fact that most teachers run out of time and begin to cram most of us are close to tears by the end of every day. As I was walking into class today I sent my sister Alyssa a text. Our conversation went as follows:

Me: Thought. What if I faked my own death...just until after finals?
Alyssa: ha ha fatal car crash together?
Me: I love this idea. Lets get this taken care of tonight.
Alyssa: But my last final is today.

Since I wouldn't have my partner in crime, we decided that faking our own death just to get out of finals wasn't such a good idea. I carried on with my day feeling stressed and overwhelmed with life. After school, work, a visit to my dear friend Jostlyn, and I biology test I couldn't wait to get home. I knew that today could be the day that I would get a letter. I hurried up the highway and stopped by the mailbox to see. I opened it and right on top was a beautifully colored red, white and blue envelope. Now if you have never had the joy of receiving a letter of this sort let me tell you about it. They do not come often. (The last time I received one was 13 weeks ago.) It is always worth the wait! Each one brings new hope and faith for life and usually makes you feel like you can do just about anything. This one was even better than normal. As I read through everything written on the page, my testimony was so incredibly strengthened I couldn't believe it. I had a confirmation that I have a loving Father in heaven who really does have a plan for me and is always willing to help me. We all have things we struggle with and sometimes those things change depending on the day. One of the constants for me is faith. I have a quote on my wall that reads:
"Faith is not believing that God can it is knowing that he will."
After today, I realize this simple truth is so important to remember. We are loved. Our Father is just waiting to help us and all we have to do is ask. After today, I am ready to face finals. So go ahead college education...hit me with your best shot!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

I have officially been scolded for not blogging enough. I know I'm a slacker but life gets in the way. Since I am so not in the homework mood tonight, I think I'll go ahead and let it pile up even more while I blog. There are some things my life that make me smile. Period. I always have little moments that make me realize just how blessed I really am. Things like:

Accomplishing something great! (My graduation in May 2009.)

Learning something new! (Jostlyn and I ice skating New Years Eve 2009.)

Traveling (In Seattle during the Summer of 2008)

Experiencing my first meal living on my own and finally understanding I had a lot to learn.(August 2009)

Old friends who I know that I will love and stay close with forever.

High school memories. Remembering the laughter, the tears, the drama, the lessons and meeting people who you know you will never forget.

Family time. Even thought my family sometimes really puts the FUN into dysfunctional, I don't know where I would be without them.

Exploring new places. (Ciera, Kylee and I hiking during the summer of 2010)

Holiday celebrations.

Weddings. I love to see people find their happily ever after.

Baptisms. There is nothing more powerful than someone accepting the gospel.

Newborn babies. These little lives amaze me.

Knowing no matter what there will always be someone who cares about me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Forgive and Forget

That's what they say. It's good advice, but it's not very practical. We often say we have forgiven but it's hard to just let go of things when others have hurt us or we have hurt ourselves. I was reading through President Boyd K. Packer's conference talk tonight trying to figure out just what was so offensive about it and why the media has gotten so involved when I found something I wasn't expecting. President Packer says,

"Sometimes, even after confession and paying penalties, the most difficult part of repentance is to forgive one's self. You must come to know that forgiveness means forgiveness."

All too often we are too hard on ourselves. We hold our mistakes against ourselves and don't let them go even after others have. To realize how true the statement from President Packer is brings new light into life especially when we make mistakes in our own lives. Forgiveness means forgiveness no matter who wrongs you. I am so grateful for the little things in my life that truly make so much difference. Even something as small as finding a simple quote that helps better my understanding of life and the gospel.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rule #2 of College: Live for the Weekends

I'm sure you have now started to realize that college is pretty legit stuff. There are so many things to think about when you consider college. I am convinced that the only reason any of us can survive college are the weekends. Friday evening through Sunday night are probably the most important times in any college student's life. With the break from school and sometimes even work, we try to accomplish things that have been impossible during the week. Most of us catch up on laundry and homework and errands, try to clean up our mess of a room that looks like a tornado hit it, visit with important people in our lives, socialize, and do all this while laughing hysterically. The laughter may be because we are close to losing all of our sanity but no college student would ever admit to that fact. Here are some things that have helped me keep myself together thus far this semester.

Thirty Seconds to Mars concert trip

Yoga to find ourselves and maintain our balance

College sporting events
(These are always enjoyed more when the team wins!)

Saturday night out

Dance party!

College is an important time. In between our assignments, projects, quizzes, exams, and study sessions we find friends, fun, love, and even sometimes ourselves.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rule #1 of College: Love your parents, love your friends, love yourself.

There are things that are important in life and things that aren't. Over time, we figure out who and what are important to us and what things are worth fighting for. College has a way of really making you realize the things you have always taken for granted.

  • The first is of course your parents. Most of us go through a teenage stage that we don't like recounting. We are simply not nice to our parents during this stage of change in our young immature lives. Usually we are just recovering from this stage as we exit high school and start to figure out exactly what we want to do with the rest of our lives. As we move out and move on to new things, our minds are constantly drawn back to our memories of home and family. As we move into places of our own we start to realize how much of an impact our parents and their habits really had on us. As I moved out into my first apartment, I had many moments where I would step back and think..."Wow, my mom would have done things just like that." or "I never realized why my parents did things this or that way until right now when I am doing them for myself." I gained an insane appreciation for all the sacrifices that I now realize my parents made for me and everything they taught me. I know that I wouldn't be who I am today without them.

  • We have all heard the quote, "Choose your friends wisely because you tend to be like them." Let's be honest...the older you get the more and more you realize how extremely true this is. Friends are life. Friends have a way of helping you get through anything. Girls have a power within them. Girls can share a story, give a hug, tell a joke, wipe away a tear. Women are nurturing by nature. As I look back over my many friends I have had in my life, I realize that each of them came to me at exactly the right time. I know they were all sent to me to help me, teach me, and love me so I could get through the things I needed to at that point. Friends cannot be replaced. Many times we move on and our story book of life turns a page to where the old friends are not found but I believe each of them will always have a special place in my heart.

  • Sometimes we find ourselves at a point in our journey where the only person who can be any real help is the person we hope we know best. OURSELVES. These are the moments where a little something I like to call soul searching comes in to play. To honestly love ourselves we must get to know ourselves just as we would any other person. I read once that every day you should look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of once simple thing. I love you! If each and every day we reaffirm to ourselves our true love for the person we are rather than seeing all the things we wish we could change staring back at us, we as people transform. Remembering to love yourself will bring the self confidence you need to push through the hard times.

These three simple things that make up rule #1 of college can really make a world of difference. During your college years everything begins to move at the speed of light. Things are flying past you. You are trying to learn and keep up with homework. You are trying to work in order to bring home some money to continue to pay the bills. You are meeting new people and getting to know yourself in a whole new way. The only thing to do is hold on tight, take no second for granted, and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Insight from Eat, Pray, Love

I have joined the many readers who are enjoying the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. On page 29 of her book she beings talking about wanting things that conflict with each other. She writes, "The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they wanted most in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taugh." This small point really made me think. What this poet says makes perfect sense. There is no way to love one thing and love something else that goes completely against it. How can you strive for a goal as well as another that leads you further from the first thing you wanted. How can you know if everything you are striving for is what you should be striving for? Occassionally in life we find our wants and needs change...are there things in life that never change. Things that we want with our whole soul that never become any different? These questions all crossed my mind almost instantly as I finished reading these few short lines. How do we know? And once we think we know, how can we be sure that we are striving for the things that we should be?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Four Three

I officially wish I lived in Cedar City. Anyone who knows me realizes how bizarre this sounds coming from me. There are so many reasons that I should hate Cedar. So many things about it that are so opposite of me. Against all odds, I absolutely love Cedar. Let me show you a few of the reasons why.

These girls are my absolute favorite. I cannot believe that I wasn't better friends with them last year. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us. All there is to say is ONE FOUR THREE I LA LA LA LOVE YA!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to the blogging world...

I am at a turning point in life. A point where so many things could happen and there are so many different roads that I could choose to take. Life is about to get interesting for Kiersten Baum. Here are a few highlights from my summer days that went all too fast.

Hiking with Ciera and Kylee

Eclipse with the girls

Fourth of July was spent with Jostlyn, Kent, and Ashlee

Summer went faster than expected and with fall and school starting an entire new chapter of my life has been opened. I am feeling a lot of emotions about this new period. I am feeling excited, scared, nervous. Mostly excited for what the future holds and ready to take on the world! Stay tuned. More updates to come.