Sunday, December 22, 2013

Not sure if it's good or bad...

...that I look so dang cute pregnant!

You see, I've noticed a trend. I look pregnant in more pictures of myself than I am okay with. Thankfully it doesn't hurt my ego at all, because I know it's the angles and the clothes I'm wearing, plus... let's be honest. I look adorable. But I'm just a little concerned that this has happened more than once..

Here's some proof. Let's take a moment to appreciate the fact that I even look married in the last two. *face palm* 

But really this one is a bit ridiculous. I swear it's the coat!!
Soooo......... yep. Happy Holidays!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Polar Opposites

It's incredible to me how so many different things can be going on in the world at the same time.

I was having a nice day, and spent a good hour or so looking at old pictures from high school and reminiscing over happy memories.

And then I saw this link my friend posted on Facebook with blurred out pictures of people beheading each other in Syria.

I have not felt my stomach turn like that in a long time. I just felt sick. Tears came faster than I knew they could.

And then I looked at other posts on Facebook and saw happy things again and my mind was just blown.

It's not like I don't already know that there's good and evil in the world at all times, but when you get that vivid of a reminder... you just can't shake it. All I could do was say a silent prayer of comfort for all those who are suffering.

But something I've learned is that it's still okay to move on with your life and be happy. Do what you can, absolutely. Pray. Donate. Spread the word. Pray some more. But I think we have to go on living, even though we feel so, so guilty. I think Heavenly Father would want as many of his children to be happy as possible.

Anyway. Those are just some thoughts I had. Please, please pray for Syria and everyone suffering everywhere. I promise your prayers are being used to comfort someone somewhere.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Live More Weigh Less

My cousins, aunts, and I are going to participate in Sarah Jenks'

It should be really fun! You should think about signing up for it too!
I'll be posting my pics to Instagram, but may post them on here as well.. not sure yet.

Anyway... LET'S DO IT! Cuz who doesn't want a fun excuse to run in a field or buy fresh flowers? 
I mean really.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Here Comes the Sun

A week ago today, I graduated. FROM COLLEGE.

Don't I look smart?
It's so weird. It's such a different feeling than graduating from high school. MUCH more anti-climactic. College is different because you're never really sure when it's going to end (unless you're one of those super planner students), so when you finally know it's the semester you're going to graduate, you're just like... cool! I did it! And then you go to a mass graduation where you don't know anyone because your school is ginormous, and then you take a few pictures with your family if they're able to make the trip out, and then you're done. (Although, I must say, I was the luckiest girl in the UNIVERSE and got to graduate alongside my soul mate Sadie. Seriously, I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for the small fact that we graduated on the same day with the same degree and therefore got to sit by someone we knew and walk on stage right next to each other have it all feel so so so much more real and special. Not to mention the fact that Sadie WAS my BYU experience. Enough said. It was perfect.)

Aww look we're best friends!

And now... I am on the official hunt for a job. Let's just say I've been glued to my computer all week long. I wish that was an exaggeration. I seriously wake up, get online, and search. All day. And think. And ponder. And search. And search. And search. And tweak my resume. And search.


It's kind of horrible, but kind of fun, but kind of exhausting, but kind of like a treasure hunt. I have put together a range of photos to help describe the range of emotions I go through on a daily basis:


Hey! This is fun! I get to pick a job! Whatever I want! It's like a buffet! The world is at my fingertips! I love life!!


And then we pass the point of no return.
Joking aside, it's been hard, but fun (kind of), and hopefully the hunt will end soon. :)

I want to get back to the title of this post and why I wanted to write this in the first place. I've said (and hoped) for a while (since the last two years of college when it got dang stressful) that I would be a lot happier once I graduated and didn't have to do homework all the time and write research papers and live in the library and decode research articles and memorize millions of terms and lose sleep and with it, some of the magic in life.

I'm happy to say that things are looking up.

I know life is still going to be hard. I know I'm still going to have random sad days. I know challenges will always, always be there (oh these last four years, you taught me so much), but I am really happy to say that something feels different now. I do feel lighter. I'm so much quicker to giggle now. So much quicker to joke, and play. So much quicker to take the time to serve. So much quicker to actually think about having hobbies (the small talk question I hated the most - what do you like to do for fun? I always felt like such an idiot! "Uh... nap... wait no, sit on the couch.. I mean.. crap.. facebook?"). I just wasn't interested in/couldn't see the point in doing a lot of hobby-like things for fun. Because they weren't fun. They were more work and less time and just uninteresting. But they're starting to become fun again. I'm excited again about decorating my room, and doing crafts, and putting special thought into homemade projects or gifts. I'm excited about having the time and means to cook and make a nice meal for myself (and my roommates!) every now and then. I'm seriously just so excited to do work at work, and then do my thing at home, whatever that thing may be. Last night my aunt Amy and I watched the end of North and South while eating Panda Express and I was like, "... THIS IS SO AMAZING AND RELAXING WHAT IS THIS. CAN I DO THIS KIND OF THING NOW? MOVIES? WHAT ARE MOVIES?" hahaha. It was nice.

But the thing I love the most is that I just feel lighter overall. I love getting back to my Jennie self. I love feeling a little more goofy, care free, hyper, fun, loving, and hopeful again. I'm becoming a dreamer again, in a good way. It feels good. It kind of feels like the best part of life is just beginning. The sun is rising, and I'm ready to soak in its waaarrrmm delicious rays. :)

Man. I'm done with college. How??? It just so doesn't feel like it. So different from high school. Can't get over what a different feeling this is.

Anyway. Life is good. It's a little creepily unknown right now, but I know things will work out. And I'm so, so, so thankful for my four years at BYU. It's hard, because I know I have regrets. I'm definitely an overachiever at heart and like to be the best at everything, so it's hard for me to say that I graduated college with so little on my resume and with no solid plans for my future. By my junior year, my goal in college was definitely just to make it through. Seriously, KUDOS to those who had time for all the good extra stuff (internships, research, mentored learning, etc.). It just didn't happen for me. It's also hard because my major (family studies) doesn't exactly lead to any specific jobs. At one point this week I looked in the mirror and said, "Why didn't you just major in accounting???" Hahaha. But... I KNOW family studies was the right major for me. I'm a huge follower of feelings, and I just felt so strongly guided toward that major. I hadn't planned on that major AT ALL. Photography was it for me. But photography felt soooo, sooo wrong once I started. It's so funny to me.

Anyway, my major changed my life. Honestly. It changed everything. It has affected every single part of me. I think so differently about so many things now and I just loved it so, so much. It is just a part of me now. And now it's my job to figure out what the dang heck to do with it. ;) Haha. But I know it was right for me. I have confidence in that. And I'm so thankful for everything I learned. In some ways it was a sacrifice to study what I studied, but the gains in other ways... completely, completely outweigh any monetary sacrifice. Because I know that no matter what I end up doing, I will use what I learned every hour of every day for the rest of my life, in every interaction with every person I come in contact with. And that's a good feeling.

Alright folks. It's been real. Here's some creepy smiling bacon to let you know that everything's going to be okay.

Everything's going to be okay. Wanna hang out sometime?
And here's another happy picture of me graduating so you can get the creepy smiling bacon picture out of your mind.

:) Happy Friday! And Happy Life!

Friday, August 9, 2013

One. Week.

Until I graduate from college.



(hahaha. separating that word was really awkward. roll with it.)

I was talking last night with Sadie and my Amazing Aunt Amy about job searching and how potential employers can search for you on the internet and we talked about how they could come across our blogs. Then Amy kindly reminded me that my most recent post is a picture of a handsy octopus. Woops. :) Thus this morning's thought dump. Hehe. (That octopus is still my favorite thing in the world.)

Okay. So maybe I won't dump too much right now. But I have been formulating thoughts in my mind over the past few weeks about... LIFE. Graduation. BYU. How much I've changed. What remains the same. The positives and negatives of my college experience. How much I learned and how much I have yet to learn. Oh my goodness. So. Many. Thoughts. But life is cool, and I love how much it teaches me. It is so. dang. humbling. I've heard people say that all my life, but man, you don't know until you've experienced it... and then you know. Life teaches you so much.

One of the best things lately is just how much I'm learning about myself, and how much I've been able to reconnect with myself. It's kind of exhilarating when you don't have anything to define what or who you are anymore (aka I'm no longer going to be a STUDENT WHICH IS ALL I'VE EVER BEEN), and so you're kind of forced to discover exactly what or who you really are just by.... living. Oh man. That is another post for another day. But I promise it's one of the most insightful things I've realized lately. And it's actually been really nice. I'll try to make it make sense soon.

Well.. that is my short little itsy bitsy life update that also just happens to conveniently push handsy octopus girl a little out of site... hehe.

Good things to come. Love your faces. ♥

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

No one warned me...

...that Sabbaths would be so difficult,

as in... make me miss Jerusalem so much.

Every time someone mentions Christ in church I'm like, "!!!!!!"

It's like I have no memory of us ever talking about him before Jerusalem. He's just this new guy to me, and I love him a lot a lot a lot. And want to keep learning about him so much!!


And every time I see a painting of Christ in Jerusalem or Galilee, I'm like... "!!!!!!!"

Also, I admittedly have to stop myself from being rude and thinking that others can't possibly know about the real him as much as I do. I feel bad for feeling that way, but I do. I just know too many things now that I didn't before.

So from now on, Sabbaths might be a little hard, but for the same reason they'll also be pretty awesome.

Flowers from Capernaum

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I'm back in the States.

I miss Jerusalem (duh).

Sadie and Spencer picked me up at the airport. They're the reason I went, sooo... it was kind of perfect.

Sadie and I cried when we saw each other. That was kind of a big deal for us.

Bacon came back into my life today in the form of a JCW's BLT and it was DIVINE.

Somehow, our 5 hour flight felt 3 times longer than our 12 hour one. Also, we almost missed our flight because our layover was so short. I ran through the airport without a belt on. It was great!

I'm afraid to make my first Facebook status. I don't want to be back in that way yet.

I'm kind of afraid of my iPhone. I wouldn't turn it on for hours.

My Aunt Amy pulled together the most ADORABLE guest room for me to sleep in the next couple of weeks!

I forgot that I need to eat food. Amy offered me some dinner and I almost refused it, and then realized I needed to accept.. because.. I don't have an all-you-can-eat cafeteria at my fingertips anymore. Awkward.

I haven't taken a nap today. I will not let jet lag win!!

I'm sleeping in my old apartment tonight with my love Bronwyn. ♥

Everyone's telling me I'm tan. Everyone = Sadie and Bronwyn. It's exciting.

I left my laptop charger in Jerusalem. Yyyyyyyyyyyyup.

I just found out that Keith Urban is Australian. How did I not know this?

Me with my acceptance letter in August.
Me with my acceptance letter that I found while packing away my things in Jerusalem. Insert depression here.
While I'm obviously sad, it is good to be back. America is the greatest country on Earth for a reason. (FLUSHING TOILETS, duh!)

I love you Jerusalem. Thank you for everything. ♥ (And brace yourself for Jerusalem references and blog posts for the rest of your life. Okay cool.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

One week.

And I'll be home.

One year since Chloe got baptized :) :) :) On the Sea of Galilee

Scripture pictures (Synagogue at Capernaum)

Beams and motes :)

Saying goodbye to the Mediterranean Sea

Bonfires in Galilee

More mission calls! (My Annie-Anne is going to TOKYO!!)

Easter at the Garden Tomb

Church in Galilee

Hilarious demon marmots

Scripture pictures (Caesarea Philippi)

Friends hiking in Gamla

The Sunset Crew
Floating in the Dead Sea (SO COOL)

Covered in Dead Sea mud (totally bought some)

Hearing our echos at Masada

Watching Conference on the Sea of Galilee ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It's 3 AM.

It's our last night in Galilee.

Been here 10 days.

Been everywhere! Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee (it's kind of in our backyard), and churches that commemorate every thing that ever happened in Galilee, pretty much. GAHHHHHHH. Awesome.

Swam in a ... river? fishing hole? thing? a few days ago where dozens of little fishies gave me a pedicure. IT WAS SO COOL.

I watched a session of general conference on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. So, that's amazing. (!!!!!!!)

We head back to the Jerusalem Center tomorrow, and I'm really excited about it. I miss that place.

2 1/2 weeks guys. 2 1/2 weeks. The desire to not miss anything mixed with the crummy internet here explains my lack of blogging. My apologies!


♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Today I walked where Jesus walked.

Just a few quick pics before I head off to slumber...

We had our Jewish Quarter (of the Old City) field trip today! Inside the Jewish Archaeological Park are steps that lead up to the temple mount and date to the time of Herod... AKA the time of Jesus. In other words, it is super likely that He walked up these steps when going to the temple.

Still mastering the awkward poses, don't worry.

The half arch you see used to be a functioning archway that people walked through to go to the temple. There is a picture of it in the back of your LDS scriptures! :)

Sitting on the original stone slab under the arch... this is the one spot that they can almost be 100% certain Christ stood at at one point. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME SOOOO AWESOME!!! Fun fact: Neil Armstrong stood here, and said in his biography that it meant more to him to stand here than to stand on the moon. HiIloveyouNeilyourock.

That was magical. Is this real life? Yes, yes it is. Less than a month left... it's going to be amazing. Heartbreakingly amazing.

Also, chatting with Sadie on Gmail chat is magical. And the best thing of my life. And distracts me waayyy too much but is so completely worth it. Laughter comes before grades my friends.

Also, I have some good news to share... *drumrolllllllllll* .............. I got hired as a TA for summer term!!! :) Some of you knew I applied to be a TA for a professor I had last semester. I just thought it would be a good thing to do right before I graduate, since I've been planning on graduating in August anyway. Well I GOT IT! I had a phone interview Monday night (afternoon for him) and he e-mailed me the next day with the good news. :) I'm really excited about it and happy to at least have a plan for my life until August! I will be TAing for SFL 335 - Family Adaptation and Resiliency.. AKA probably the most demanding class I ever took in college haha. But I actually loved the content so I'm really excited to learn it again without having to write the research paper. ;) And I LOVE the professor - he taught my capstone class and he's just really great and I'm excited to work with him!

ALSO... me and a bunch of Jeru peeps are doing the Dirty Dash in September. Signed up today. Can you say best reunion ever? I think so.

Yay life! Now I just need to decide where I'm going to live......

Alright. The next 2 days are going to be fun... must hit the hay. Wish I could share more. /: 


Monday, March 25, 2013

First Date

Matt took me on a romantic first date today to donate blood in our gym.

The only down side was that since we donated blood, we weren't allowed to fly for the next 24 hours. 
In other words, he had to cancel the magic carpet ride planned for the evening. Still bitter.

Bucket list item #872: Selfie while donating blood. Check!

(...just kidding... obviously.... hopefully...)

Do you ever wish you could see who gets your blood?? I do!
Is that weird? Maybe. Would it be awesome? OF COURSE!
Especially because I have O+, so my blood could go to aaannyyoonnneeee! ANYONE. EVER.

Okay I'm done.
Blood is great.
I love you all.
Goodnight. :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday


Today was just such an awesome day!!

It was our free day, but we were all encouraged to participate in the huge Palm Sunday walk. I did.. and it was awesome! But it wasn't until the afternoon. In the morning I went with a group of friends to a couple of churches, through the old city, and on top of some rooftops. :) One of the churches was an Episcopalian one and we stayed there for like an hour and a half for their Palm Sunday service! It was really beautiful and I loooooooooooove me some Episcopalians (shout out to Anna and Katie!!). But seriously, the church was gorgeous and if I wasn't Mormon I'd probably be an Episcopalian cuz I just love those guys. ;)

The Palm Sunday walk was soooo cool. There were soo many pilgrims there and just people from every where speaking all different languages and singing their own songs and waving palm branches in the air! It was so cool and so CROWDED. Our little group of JC students belted out hymns for a good 20 minutes, and other Christians joined in on the ones they recognized. There was one point when we started singing "How Great Thou Art" and I could see people all around joining in in their own languages and I just about died. It was so beautiful and precious and adorable and magical and happy and how it should be. It was so neat and I think people really liked hearing our hymns (compared to the marching band style music everywhere else or the little cheerleader girls doing Jesus cheers haha... AWESOME, but different than hymns). I just loved it. So many people gathering together to worship their Savior. It was also just nice to be around so many Christians! Doesn't happy very often. Loved it, loved it, loved it. ♥

So here are some pictures of my awesome day. :)

First church we stopped by... St. Stephen's, I believe. It was beautiful!

Sweet old woman speaking in French to Hannah for about 5 minutes... and apparently not caring that Hannah was just smiling and nodding the whole time and couldn't respond hahaha. So cute.

This cat. So cuddly. So dirty. So cute.

Next stop... the awesome Cathedral Church of St. George!

We first met outside in their courtyard, and they blessed the palm leaves.

After the service, as people are exiting. The service was in Arabic and English.. pretty cool!

Sometimes Spencer likes to be an angel.

The beams of light shining through the windows were soooo pretty!

Group pic in the courtyard.

Quick stop at Lina's... known to have the best hummus in Jerusalem!
... and it was dang good. This one had pine nuts in it. And was uhmazeing.

Walking through the Old City. ♥

On rooftops in the Old City!

Leaving the Old City... rare shot of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock in the same pic!
And then... Palm Sunday walk!

We walked from the top of the Mt. of Olives all the way back down into the Old City through Lion's Gate. It took a few hours because it was so crowded.

People watching as we approach Lion's Gate.

In front of the gate with my Palm leaf.. branch.. thing!


Back to the books tomorrow. And giving blood. Woo!

Happy Palm Sunday!
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