Thursday, November 26, 2009


(This Thanksgiving was just me, my mom and dad. Cute huh?!)

Tonight as I was helping my mom with dishes, I was recounting to her some memories of my China days. Four years ago while living there, I had the rare opportunity to have a Thanksgiving there with some new friends and my cousin Bryce. Bryce and I took a sān lún chē (Chinese pedicab/rickshaw) to Krissie's apartment at her school where she had kindly prepared a Thanksgiving dinner. We had a "make-shift" glazed ham (Turkey wasn't an option there with the Bird Flu in those days), huge shrimp, green mashed potatoes and stuffing. It was delightful. Krissie had invited one of her students and a new friend to join in a tradition all Chinese were curious about. I watched as this student attempted to use a fork for the first time. I watched as her eyes lit up in the amounts of food that were on the table. It was clearly more than she'd ever had before. And she seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself and express her gratitude and blessings with us. That evening as I got back to my apartment I looked around at what I had. I lived in the Physics Preparation Room 1 where I had a type of pig trough as a sink. The "faucet" was a hose that only gave ice cold water certain hours of the day. When I did dishes, I then quickly had to take the hose and attach it to my teeny-tiny washing machine for one load of laundry before the water went out. I didn't have a toilet in my apartment, in fact, it was a hole in the ground outside of my apartment in the "public bathroom" section of the school grounds. I had a little electric stove and a tiny refridgerator PACKED with eggs. The apartment was freezing, had flies, millions of them, crickets, spiders and bugs. Yet I sat there on my bed and was overcome with blessings, and I thought back on a year before that, my senior year, when I was in Brother Hadley's seminary class....

Before that year's Thanksgiving, he did a lesson on gratitude and blessings and had us write on a piece of paper all of our blessings we were grateful for and he gave us ten minutes or so. Of course the usuals appeared on everyone's list: Family, friends, food, water, the Gospel and a home. Some student's had more on their lists, but for the most part that was it. Brother Hadley asked us to share some of them and after we were done he stared at us for a long moment with an almost hurt expression on his face. Then he said these words that forever changed my outlook on things:

"That's it?"

He went on to say, "Of all of the things in the world, that is all you're thankful for?" He asked us why we weren't thankful for modern restrooms. Or a soft bed with a good mattress. The ability to turn on a faucet in our home and have drinking water there. Airplanes to visit around the world. Modern technology to save lives. Hospitals. Doctors. Cars. The education system. He even got down to the little things of even staples, paper clips and things we often look past that other countries consider a luxury. He had us write a new list after that. It was amazing to see the pages and pages of blessings we had after that.

I thought of this lesson as I sat in my cold classroom apartment in China. I had visited some actual homes of my students while I was there and they lived in literal holes in the wall with dirt floors. I had tile at least. They kept food outside buried to keep things cold. I had the fridge. They couldn't afford eggs. I had them stuffed in my fridge because the Chinese wanted to gift us every week. They didn't even have holes outside for restrooms in a room. I had one twenty feet away from my apartment. They cooked over fires. I had the stove. They eat so little, because they have so little. I had just come from a Thanksgiving dinner. I was SO blessed.

So, tonight, as I am here, lucky to be living in the United States, I will list some luxuries and blessings I have. Because I need to recognize the millions and millions of things I have:

  • A home. I live in a mansion compared to what the rest of the world lives in.

  • Having been born in the USA, in Utah, into the Gospel, to parents who still love each other and an eternal family.

  • My ward.

  • My job.

  • The ability I have to make a living for myself.

  • A car (seriously, a HUGE luxury - even if it is my Satan car :) )

  • Having temples everywhere

  • A church in walking distance, instead of a three hour train ride, and and hour taxi to my one hour sacrament meeting in China.

  • A Western toilet (hey, you can only squat for so long :) )

  • Carpet. Seriously, I had NO idea how much this was a blessing, until I missed the soft feel on my feet!

  • Good, um, toiletries. They don't have the same stuff as we do!

  • The ability to afford once in a lifetime experiences of traveling to different countries, when those I've met around the world think it's a luxury to go to the next city or province.

  • Even though I am not in school, we have excellent schools where people work their entire lives to get to and a very select few actually get here.

  • Computers

  • Internet

  • Freedom

  • A piano

  • iPods

  • Freeways (no toll-booths are a HUGE HUGE blessing, I promise!)

  • Being SO close to the headquarters of the Church

  • The extremely rare opportunity to meet our Prophet.

  • Cellphones

  • Heaters and A/C's

And so many more. I could spend hours listing blessings. This year, especially recently, I've found my biggest blessing. The Atonement. I'm so grateful to a loving Savior who atoned for everyone's sins. And to help us forgive and love. I'm grateful it can heal me of a broken heart and even a damaged testimony. What a beautiful thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all ~

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Will Try To...

.... Fix You ....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Random post, but...The other night at dinner, Kendra and I were talking about cheesy love songs and the ultimate love song that our family knows well and {I'll admit it...we, well I, LOVE} is "Masterpiece" by Atlantic Starr. I was about floored when she hadn't even heard of the song! I have taken the liberty to add it to my Playlist Below {along with my parents' song "Nothings Gonna Change"} and I now dedicate it to my dear sister in law.

PS Kendra, to ensure you love it as much as your hopeless romantic sister in law does, pretend Chad dedicated it to you. In the '80s.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dear 2009...

I just thought you should know, I am TOTALLY ready for you to be gone. I guess I could end at that, but no, no, I will explain why I am ready for you to disappear:

  • Breakups - Yeah it was due to come, but WHY did it have to hurt so so bad? And WHY did it have to linger for months? Plus it was a FANTASTIC way to start out 2009. Just sayin..

  • Parasites, Travelers Diarrhea, whatever you wanna call it. I will not go into detail about that one!

  • "Satan" broke down. (aka my car)

  • Taxes. This year my electronic filing didn't go through, so I had to pay a penalty (Ok, not your fault, but why in this year?)

  • IRS Tax Audit - I am young! Why so early?! And why did I have to pay for that???

  • "Satan" broke down. AGAIN.

  • Swine Flu. Whether I've had it or not it still sucks.

  • Robbed at gun point. Not just me, but my entire branch had their lives threatened!

  • Passing kidney stones. Worst. Pain. In. My. Life.

  • The passing of Grandma (blessing in disguise, but still hurts)

  • "Satan" breaking down for the third time now costing over $2K to fix.

  • Siblings in trials.

Now, 2009, you have brought some great things this year and I'd be too negative and completely ungrateful if I didn't recognize them:

  • A beautiful niece born earlier this year who just lights up everyone.

  • A handsome nephew who couldn't have been born at a more perfect time. What a beautiful way to end a horrible day (the day of the robbery..) and he just completes my sister's little family.

  • My wonderful brother faithfully serving the Lord continually and loving every moment of it.

  • A trip of a lifetime to Guatemala. Granted, this resulted in illnesses, earthquakes, slight fears; however, it brought serenity, peace, love, strength, friendship, fireflies, flowers, adventure, laughter and fun to this year. I reflect on a particular moment there every day.

  • My family. I am SO BLESSED to have them every year and to be sealed for eternity, but this year, in it's trials, have brought me SO close to them. My mother is my best friend. She makes me laugh and I trust her with all my heart. My father is my biggest fan and greatest supporter. My siblings. I have so much fun with them. They are my favorite people to hang out with and I'm excited for Casey to return to the fun next year!

  • Finding out another beautiful baby will be coming to our big family!!!!

  • My job. Despite this economy, I have been very fortunate to work where I do and still have a job.

  • The gospel. I haven't been the best at prayer or scripture study or even my callings, but how I love the Lord and this gospel. It has been such a strength.

And now, 2009, I hope to "book-end" this year with a great bang...... Please let it be fantastic!!.....

CANCUN ~ Coming December 6....

(Picture Courtesy of Google)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 12, 2009

September has come and gone...

...and October started with a bang. Not a good bang, but a bang.

October 2, my beloved Grandma Roma passed away (to me, it was rather unexpected - I thought she'd live longer than me) and she's in such a more beautiful place. I miss her more than she could know. Her funeral was beautiful and I'm so proud to be her granddaughter. I had the honor to give her life sketch/eulogy with my sister, Debbra, and I am in awe at her life she had. She was so funny, so determined, so mischevious, giving, and willing. I love her so much.

Earlier that week, I started my new position at the Jordan River Branch. It was a big adjustment, but it's been good. I enjoy the people I work with and the atmosphere of the branch. I just hope I can continue working hard to meet the expectations given to me!

Other news, the son of a gun who robbed us at Murray was caught. I will forever thank whoever the guy is who tipped the cops. Turns out, the same robber robbed a different Credit Union three weeks later and when those pictures came out, I KNEW it was the same guy. I wish he'd understand the stress and emotions he put us all through.

My wonderful baby brother has been out for over a year and is fully enjoying his mission experience. He has been so busy going back and forth between Germany and Austria and loving every minute of it. He's such a fantastic young man and a great missionary. I'm very grateful for him and the blessing he is to our family.

Rho (the sorority) has become a fun thing in my life. After a few awkward weeks, I finally feel like these girls have really become some great friends. We've had some fun activities, fun group dates with some terrific guys and lots of laughs. I'm happy about the decision KayCee and I had in joining and giving it a shot. I recommend it to anyone out there single and adventurous!

I have a feeling my 2009 will be turning around for a GREAT hit for 2010. I have some exciting plans coming up (no I'm not getting married, or pregnant) and I hope to be accomplishing them before the new year comes. We'll see!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dear Sammi,

Today as you were sleeping and resting, I internally watched you. I understand you're not feeling well and that you've had a rough 2009 - particularly the last few weeks, but there are a few things I should remind you of:

First of all, the Lord loves you. You've never doubted that, but it's never a better time to remind you. Remember D&C 84:88.

Second, you have GOT to stop comparing yourself to others. More than likely somebody compares your life to their own. Besides, if we compared apples to apples, you'd probably get some terrible trials you wouldn't want. Leave it be.

Third, you're beautiful. Stop telling yourself otherwise. Yeah you're not who you were in high school, but really, who is? I personally think you've become more beautiful because you've learned so much that the only place to put everything you've learned is in your tummy, bum, face, etc. It's not worth what you've learned and become just to become something else physically.

Fourth, with that said, I'm not disregarding health. You can be healthy. You should try to be healthier - just a thought.

Fifth, remember your personal mottos: Live, Laugh, Love; Laugh Often; and "Life is to be Enjoyed - not endured." Right now, you're only enduring it. Gotta admit, Sam, through 2009's trials, you've had some awesome things happen and some interesting memories, right? Keep living your dreams. Just because you want some dreams now, doesn't mean they'll come now. Sometimes you have to have a different dream come true for the other dreams to follow.

Sixth, count your blessings. Over and over and over. I know you'll never forget what you saw and experienced in both China and Guatemala, so before you feel harsh about life, put your mind there for a minute. That'll humble you. You've got a great life, and you're taking it for granted.

And last but definitely not least, love yourself. For heaven's sake, it shouldn't be too hard. I love you. The Lord loves you. Your family and friends love you. Continue serving, loving others, setting and accomplishing goals and dreams. Make every day, week, month and year count so when you reflect back, you can say, "Dang that was fun." Once you get there, then the rest will come. You know the only way to experience joy is to experience hardship. Put it this way, with the things of 2009, you've got some joy coming!

Remember who you are..



Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tie Mega Tampon

With all of the hustle and bustle of this past week (including an armed robbery and passing of kidney stones), there has been one slight highlight: I have joined a Sorority.

Yes it's true. I never thought in a million years that I, of all people, would join a sorority. But alas, I have - The Lambda Delta Sigma Chapter Rho. I figured my life hasn't gone in any direction I ever thought it would, why not make it fun so my friend KayCee and I decided to do it. Fortunately, this is an LDS Sorority so it's not as creepy or wild. We've still been in the Pledge and "Rushing" stage, but so far we've really enjoyed it! It has definitely pulled us WAY out of our comfort zone and we're still not quite there, but we've met some great, new girl friends, some fabulous Frat boys and had some fun. I'm excited to see how this will pan out!!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Today's test is tomorrow's testimony"

Today as I sit at work and ponder upon the last few days' events, I can't help but post this post. This past Tuesday (September 2, 2009) brought a day of emotions and fear to me due to a terrifying experience I cannot or willnot openly discuss (you can read it on, however in times like this, many blessings come to pass and I have so much gratitude I need to express:

  • I can't imagine experiencing what I did with anybody else but my terrific friends and co-workers.

  • I'm glad the entire security video is not posted for the public

  • I'm so grateful I work for the institution that I do where we share religious beliefs

  • I'm grateful each one of us were in the right places at the right time

  • I'm grateful for our safety

  • I'm grateful it wasn't worse

  • Most of all I'm grateful and humbled at the members we have.

I wonder about the people who wake up in the morning and think to themselves, "Wow, my credit union was robbed yesterday. I should take them a treat." or "I know my teller loves Diet Coke, so I'll bring her one and a fresh lime because she sure needs one." or "It's three days since the robbery, but these two tellers are working so I'll swing back around and give them Sausage McMuffins for breakfast through the drive-through." It just amazes me that they take the time out of their hectic schedules and care for people they hardly know when their own families may be going through more than their tellers are. The robbery opened my eyes to the love of God and the wonderful people who have the desire, not just need, but desire to help others. I will strive to be more like them in every way, and I thank my Heavenly Father to be blessed and influenced by such wonderful people.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wake me up when September ends..

Yes, this month will be a crazy one. As you may notice, I have accepted a new job promotion that will require me to relocate to a new Branch. I am honestly petrified.
I've been at my Murray for so long that'll it'll be hard to leave, BUT this leaves good
opportunities for me, so I've gotta advance forward, right?
No worries on the teeth thing, it's not like I'm missing any or anything crazy like that. I'm just one of those who's willing to let them sedate me and have at it at my teeth. Kill 80 birds with one stone. That has got to be finished. ASAP.
I need a home. Well, I have one, but I need a new one. With my new job, the commute will be a bust so I'm looking for a place to live down south. Any tips and hints would be greatly appreciated!
With all that said, I am B.R.O.K.E. for a while! Pray it all works out!
Peace and love to all~

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What $658.19 will buy you

It's no secret how I feel about my car. The Little Bugger (Bugger not Booger...) and I have been going on for almost 3 years now and it never stops giving me grief. It's a hate relationship, really. In fact, I like to compare my situation of my car with a series of bad blind dates. You know, they make for good stories. Laughs. A topic that never looses its humor. The Little Bugger has really shown it's true colors - black. I've lost two front lights (like the socket and all on the freeway..), transmission, oil leaks, axle rods and a bunch of other blah blah blahs I don't understand. This week was no different.

I knew my registration was coming up the end of October, and knowing my history with the Little Bugger, I decided to get a jump start on things so I'm not procrastinating and spending every last penny I have this fall. I took it up to good ole' Cutrubus (still FANTASTIC) fully aware of work to be done on it. I dropped it off Thursday night and I knew it was bad when I was the first call they made the next morning. My mechanic said, "{Long Sigh}...It's pretty bad Samantha, I'm not going to lie." Crap. He proceeded to explain what was wrong in a language harder to learn than Mandarin Chinese and I just put my trust in him that he'd fix whatever the heck was wrong. Then he said something clear in every language, "That'll come to approximately $1346.00." WHAT?! Are you...are you KIDDING me? Little Bugger had done it again. For the sake of my wallet (not...haha, purse), I worked out a plan to where I fix half the problems now and I'd take it back in next month for the rest. This time I settled on fixing my oil gasket engine leak (whatever) and my left front signal light (Hallelujah!).

Saturday morning I went with my mom to pick up my car. I went in, paid for the work done, a whopping $658.19 and met my loyal and handy mechanic, Troy. He was gracious, sympathetic and helpful as he handed over the key to my car. I walked outside, opened the door, stuck the key in and ignited the engine.....I waited. I listened. No grinding, no airplane engine fact...Is it purring??? It was PURRING. Words cannot describe this feeling. It was like meeting 'The One' after the bad blind dates. I was not embarressed to start my car, I was not embarrassed to accelerate the airplane noises. I about shut my engine off, marched right back into the shop and kissed that Troy man. I was SO impressed with how my car ran on the way back to Bountiful. I kept thinking, "Is this how it feels when people love their car?!"

I know I have much more extensive work to be done, and I've had my thousands of dollars of work done, but whatever this particular problem was, was it. I have a new found respect for my little car...

{Please pray I didn't just jinx myself with this positive car post..}

Thursday, August 20, 2009

True Love

The other night I caught this tender moment... My dad was painting my mom's toenails.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Confession- I'm a Tween

I had an interesting weekend.... Seriously. I haven't had one quite like it! I spent the weekend with KayCee and her cousin (a new friend!) Mallory. We decided to all head over to the Salt Lake County Fair to play that evening. We only went on one ride because Mallory isn't a huge fan of rides and KayCee wasn't a fan of the Scrambler. After, we headed to have some fine fair food (sweet corn, baked potatoes, funnel cake...Yum)! We'd heard about a show the fair was putting on with a hypnotist so we headed that way. Mallory and I were lucky contestants. KayCee was kind enough to take pictures and film our stupid scenes while we look like fools. It was the most interesting experience I've had in a long time. Towards the end of the show, the hypnotist made some interesting points. In addition to the fun, crazy hypnotism, he also teaches hypnotherapy - something I'm so fascinated in. Now, I'm not saying the ridiculous hypnotism stuff works, but I do believe in the power of the mind. I believe people can control their own feelings, thoughts, etc. It's a state of mind. Well, he had us think of something we REALLY wanted and to picture it. I did. Boy did it open a can of worms!!

I spent the rest of the weekend re-evaluating my life and what I feel and what I can do to make myself happy and succeed. I'm still going through a rough patch, and without too many details, it seems like my heart keeps crushing further and further each day. I asked my dad for a father's blessing and he said some powerful things that have enlightened me. I thought I'd been uplifted as much as I could this weekend.

Well. Then it occured. I heard a song at work and I'm ashamed to admit it because I am Not a fan of her, but it has become my theme song...

The Climb - Miley Cyrus

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feelsLost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breakingI may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on'
Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

There you go, laugh and make fun of me all you want.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things..

With life still down, I have been able to recognize the little things in life that make me so darn happy! I'm grateful for little gifts and blessings like these to make my day brighter and a bring a smile to my face!

Planning my next wild vacation with friends * My nieces and nephews..Eva Mae (I see Eva & Kara the most {they live close} and she is the funny, sassy, cute girl who is always there just when I need her 'loves' the most), Emily (her sweet, mature, caring nature that always holds that one special place in my heart as my first niece), Rachel (with her spunk and active, smart nature), Nick (his contagious laugh, mellow 'Everything is alright' attitude), McKay (biggest heart, sweetest child who is just a miracle), and Kara (how her precious little spirit lights up everyone) * My friendship with my parents * Peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies from Mrs Fields (a kind co-worker brought me some when I was sick) * Blog-stalking * KSL Classifieds! * A good Diet Coke * Saving for my mouth makeover * Homemade popcorn with my Dad * My mother's hilariously contagious laugh * Pedicures * Country dancing until I fall down * Laughing uncontrollably * A good movie * Brisk walks listening to my iPod * Meditation time in the mornings on my way to work, and at night, just before falling asleep * Making someones day * Blankets * Cornbread * My friends at work * Tanning * My calling(s) * the Temple * Crushed Ice * the Bubble Game on my phone (passes time on lunches) * Texts from cute boys * Nights with friends * Great advice * Thunderstorms * No more parasite sickness * An accomplished goal * Working on my China scrapblog *

Friday, July 24, 2009

Guatemala Vacation Scrapbook - As promised!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tender Mercies

What an incredible week this has been. I cannot believe how blessed and fortunate I am to have had the experiences I have had. After my last post, I felt I needed to post this one because it is something I never want to forget. This is a part of my letter I just wrote to Casey this evening. (Sorry this is long)

"So I've been feeling really down the last few weeks because I'm completely stuck in a rut. I feel like I don't have a sense of direction to go. I have lots of ideas and hopes, but none of them have fallen into place. I want to move out and hopefully buy a condo - but that hasn't worked out. School is difficult to figure out. I feel lonely and ready for a husband and to start my own life and family but that's hard to figure out too. Anyways, I felt very down this past week and I've learned a great lesson and it bore a new little testimony for me and for that, I'm forever grateful. I'm so touched by how much our Heavenly Father loves us. It's incredible that He's answered some "unasked" prayers of mine. Despite my lack in prayer for help, He STILl chose to reach down through others to make sure I knew I was loved.

This past Thursday (a day after I probably felt my worst), a member came in to me. Her name is Jovita, but we call her Jovi. She is from the Phillipines and the kindest old woman. She doesn't understand finances too much so it's required some "special attention" from me to help her out. Well, her problem only took a second, but we started chatting and she began telling me amazing experiences she doesn't share with many people. She told me when she lived in the Phillipines she was known as a "Healer." She was a massage therapist who helped a lot of people that way, but had a sense to know what the physical needs, mental needs, etc was of those who visited her. At this point I was a little bit wary wondering where this was going to go, but it didn't take long until I felt emotional and had goosebumps on my arms (in the middle of the CU lobby at my desk!). She told me she doesn't know why people came to this assumption that she was a "healer," but she made sure she told everyone that she was not the healer, but that she was a tool in the Lord's hand. She bore testimony to them that God has control - not her - but that she would help them understand that. Through her experiences, brought many others seeking her counsel that she developed experiments to demonstrate this. She then told me how this brought her to the Church. She said she had been a member of seven other churches who would teach her and confirm to her what she already knew that a God lived and that He loved each one of us. She hadn't found an exact one, but had settled on being Baptist. It was then that her sister came to her one day and said, "Jovi, youneed to meet these young men." Jovi told me she literally ran and hid from the missionaries trying to escape them, but ended up bumping into them while trying to run away! She agreed to listen and she said from the moment the Elder started speaking she began weaping and couldn't control the tears. This is what she knew and was looking for. A gospel that testifies that God loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us, and that the Church was restored in Christ's name today. It was sucha beautiful experience and she even welled up with tears re-counting the experience to me. It was then that she said, "I don't know why I feel I needed to tell you all this." I told her I did because I knew God needed me to hear that He loves us and that He has a plan for us - even when we don't see the answer or direction to go. Like her trying to RUN from the missionaries, and ended up getting caught! She then asked me to go get two cups of water. She wanted to show me her experiment. I was a little hesitant obviously, but I did. I watched her after I brought out these cups of water that she had said a prayer for me! I felt she did! She told me to sip out of one cup, then out of the other and see if I tasted a difference. I was a bit embarrassed but did as I was told. Nothing was different. She instructed me to try again. This time I only noticed that one water seemed "softer" but no difference really. I told her, "I guess I don't believe." and she said, "It doesn't matter - it's my faith that matters in this, but it seems to me you are confused in life. You are in need of answers for your life, and that will come Samantha. That is why you tasted no difference in water - you can't decide or tell." She told me that in the past when she'd conduct this "experiment," most people would tell her that the first sip of water tasted "bitter" and the other water "sweet." She would then tell me that yes they were sick or suffering with something, but that it was up to them and the Lord who would help them and heal them if they would believe. For the water is the same in each cup. She then used the water as an analogy and said when things are bitter in our lives, we tend to focus on the bitter and believe it's bitter when its really not. She said that we'd be healed by Heavenly Father and once we know we are, the water will then taste as "sweet" as the last cup does. It was her special way of teaching that it's not her who heals, but the Lord. If we set our minds so much on the world or ourselves, we create a bitter tast when in reality, it can be as sweet as the second cup. The Lord will make it that way.

Then today, I met with the others of the Primary presidency for our stewardship meeting with Pres. Murdock. Towards the end of the meeting, he as Tammy if we were having a meeting as just the presidency. She told him no, but that she would hold one if he felt we needed to. He said no, but that he was curious because he needed to visit with me privately for a few moments and didn't want to take me away from another meeting. We closed our meeting and the others left. Once they left, he asked how I was doing. He said he sensed that I was down and confused. We talked about my dreams, goals, and aspirations and he gave me a lot of advice to consider on. Of course we talked about a mission, but he also talked about school, and student/singles wards, etc. No direct direction was given, but that didn't matter. The only thing he said was, "Just stay close to the Lord and have faith and ask Him where He wants YOU." I felt emotional again and I said, "Thank you for being so in tune to know exactly what I needed to hear. I have sucha testimony now that God loves me because he's provided me with answers to unasked prayers."

I'm amazed little brother! Just amazed! How come I am so blessed in my life to deserve this? To have the life I have and to be complaining that nothing is falling into place?? Yet here comes Heavenly Father still sending people and blessings my way even though I'm complaining that I don't have enough (ansers or direction that is). I regret to tell you this, but I didn't ONCE offer a prayer to Heavenly Father last week asking for help. What a testimony to know He is STILL there and hears our heart of hearts and blesses us."

Thank you to those who prayed for me because your prayers sincerely helped. While I still don't have "direction" to go, I know that the Lord will put me where I need to be!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I am in dire need of change. Seriously. My life is so monotonous lately I am dying of boredom inside. I've gotten to the point that I'm stuck in a rut. I thought I've been in a rut for years, but not this bad. I'm right there at that age, where the majority of my friends are married with a child and I obviously don't fit in there and the other friends I have that aren't married are fulfilling lives. I guess it's partly my fault for not getting completely involved in school or student wards earlier, but hey, can't go back right? Don't get me wrong, I've had some awesome experiences in my life. I've done some things, and gone through some things my friends never have, but it's not where I saw myself being at this age I'm at.

I had hoped that by now I'd had accomplished many things, but the last four years... I've only worked and traveled a little. Most people in my stage of life have graduated college and started their careers. Or they're married. Or even have two kids. I'm no where near that! The other option I get hounded on a LOT is a mission. Believe me, a mission has crossed my mind multiple times the last few years, and I wish so bad I could say it's the right thing for me to do, because then something would be coming of my life other than just working.

I was so ecstatic the beginning of this year to shake things up, but none of my dreams/ambitions have come yet. I've been wanting to buy a house this year and the 'right one' hasn't come along, or things have fallen through. I'm completely ready to start a new ward, but I want to wait until I find a house/condo or even apartment before I make the change. I'm still in the home ward - which isn't bad - but I don't belong there at my age and stage of life. School is still on a high priority, but with me needing to work full-time, it makes going to school really difficult. I've found a great option for school, but I won't have the 'social experience' which I looked forward to. I'm ready for a change and don't know how to begin! I'm open to suggestions, prayers or even a few lucky pennies to shake me out of my rut!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Adventure of Jessye

This past weekend I just returned back from Girl's Camp. I have been going to girl's camp for about 10 years. Minus one year after I graduated and I was living in China during the time. After I returned I got called in as an assistant camp director and I've been at it for three years now! Well this year was a little different. With the two other directors being pregnant and not able to go, I was it. Poor girls. I had to take care of them, make sure everyone certified, was safe, ate, didn't throw up (that seems to be a Barton Creek tradition each year), and had fun. We did pretty good this year as not ONE girl got sick (miracle!), the girls kept busy, I paid all the fees, girls were safe, etc. We enjoyed high-adventure activities like rock-climbing, 200 ft rapelling, COPE (some zip-line and high tasks to accomplish), canoeing, and hiking, but the best part of camp for me? The adventure of Jessye.

Jessye is the coolest girl. Hands down. This girl is like my little sister. I babysat her and her two younger sisters for 7 years and have watched her grow up. She was always adventurous and mischevious. Always getting into trouble and loving it. Well she got hers on June 25, 2009. The day started early and we made it to our campsite safely. After all of my girls had unpacked, we headed to the bowery for our first activity. I was walking down the hill and heard girlish screaming. I thought to myself, "Great. Three days of this." I turn the corner to find the screaming is coming from MY girls! I see Jessye in the dirt with tears streaming down her face in hysterics. She was also laughing uncontrollably. I was confused to her emotions and saw the three other girls only laughing. I asked what had happened and Becca took me to the bathroom where they had come from. I was very hesitant and cautious as Becca led me into a stall to peek over the wall to the other stall. When I stood on the toilet and looked over, I lost all control to laughter. The story is, Jessye used the restroom and when she got up to button her pants, she heard hissing and saw a full-grown bat hanging from the rim between her knees. She obviously screamed and tried to leave the stall, but then got stuck in the stall since the door wouldn't open. The bat continued hissing until she was able to fling the door open. Suprisingly, when I went to look at the toilet a few minutes after the incident, the bat was still in the toilet! We found a staff member and he fished the bat out of the toilet and it eventually died, but poor Jessye's heart took hours to completely calm down. It was a moment like this that made all of the camp work and preparations completely worth my calling. It could not have happened to a more perfect girl than Jessye. I am so glad I was there at the moment she stumbled out the bathroom into the dirt, because this was an expression and sight I didn't want to miss!

Friday, June 12, 2009


I have been meaning to post for so long now but I never get around to doing it! Life is insane, especially the last month, but good! I've enjoyed taking advantage of summer coming now and I've already been four-wheeling, traveling, sun-bathing, etc!

May was my big month I'd been waiting for. The time finally arrived for my Guatemala trip I'd been long waiting for! I am putting together a scrapbook for more details and pictures, but here's a rundown of the week long trip in a nutshell:

  • Survived the most dizzy-ing, sickening and frightening flight and landing in my life, due to Guatemala's mountains and cliffs at the end of the runway..
  • Experienced my first earthquake
  • Killed the biggest spider I've seen in my life - all for a free diet coke :)
  • Zip-lined on the most exhilarating and scary 8 lines over the jungles and volcanoes of Guatemala.
  • Hiked my way around Solola's beautiful volcanoes, jungles and wild-life.
  • Survived my first parasite
  • Survived Guatemala's biggest political quarrel and murder conflict in a while
  • Saw my first firefly
  • Ate some of the freshest, yummiest foods
  • Enjoyed scenic boat rides along the Waters of Mormon (Lake Atitlan)
  • Bought two original, exquisite paintings
  • Listened to a full story in Spanish from a parrott
  • Had the best churro
  • Saw the prettiest places on earth (even over any places in China or Hawaii I've seen)
  • Met and loved a new grandfather figure
  • Made friends
  • Met a celebrity drummer (oh yeah Lidia!)
  • Was able to hang out with Lidia again!
  • Watched KayCee survive a third world country - and without real diet coke

Anyways, there were tons of memories and laughs and definitely an adventure. I came back to hussle and bustle of life and work and illnesses. We've had quite the illnesses spreading around the branch and required quite a bit of extra work and effort. I'm still in the market for my home and my realtor is fantastic at finding me some good places to consider - I'll keep you posted on if anything comes up. I'm still planning on school and I'm really excited to FINALLY getting started! Life is good, life is hectic, life is ready for adventure! Until next time, with a more detailed blog..

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stoopidity Hurts

This will be something I will never live down. This is the latest in Sammi's Daily Adventures, but this sure takes the cake recently.

At work, our HR department promotes healthy lifestyles and therefore implements what we call "Active for Life." We usually do about three rounds of it a year or so, and we just concluded one this last month. As a last hoop-la, they decided to start an annual 5K. I sincerely was thrilled. I wasn't planning on running it, just walking, but I'm good at walking. Walking is something I can easily do, and do for a good long time and I enjoy it - I did three miles a day with Lidia. No problem right?

Anyways. The day of the event arrives. I was in charge of breakfast for the morning meeting and as I was in a hurry to leave my house, I forgot my "walking" shoes. I get to work and the day proceeds, well I get the brilliant idea to still do the 5K without the proper shoes. I don't know what was wrong with my brain that day, but it seemed logical. After all, it was just walking. After work, I drive to the center where we are meeting to begin the meet. Seeing the face of one of the HR managers should have been my clue that wearing HEELS to a 5K event was not the brightest idea, but NO my pride clouded my already dimmed mind and I waved off the warnings and decided to do it.

The event begins. I'm off to a great start. I'm walking and talking with some of my favorite work people and thinking to myself, "This shouldn't be too bad. I wear heels all the time. Besides, my feet function better in heels than flats." We round mile one and all I'm feeling is the blasting sun on my dark brown work pants. Let me tell you, that should have been a sight for the cars driving by - girlwalking in business attire with high heels in a 5K event surrounded by people in their sweats, running shoes and pushing cute running strollers. Oh well. Nothing embarrasses Sammi. I am She-Rah look at me accomplishing a 5K and all - in heels.

Then fate has a wicked sense of humor. Time seemed to slow at this point. I round the corner to Mile 2 and I'm still kicking it and in good time too! Even compared to the runners! Ah, but as luck would have it, I step slightly off and a piece of devil-ish gravel slips into my brown high heel. I take one glorious step and *SOUND OF BANGING DRUMS!* Nature's little rock made a literal imprint on my foot. I immediately stop bear a tough grin to my walking-mates and tell them to keep going and that I need to "clear the gravel from my shoe." I took off my shoe and shook out the rocks - including the one that nearly killed me. West Valley isn't dangerous, the roads are. By this point, I'm in pain from the slice in my foot, but what the hey, I only had a mile left right? WRONG. I blame my next mile's decisions on my blinding pain in my right foot. I decided to keep going and I continued WALKING IN MY HEELS! All that proved to do is rip my skin even further. When I got to the point of only half a mile left, I couldn't take it anymore and I took my heels off. I turned the corner to head back to our Center and I see grass! GLORIOUS grass!!!!! I skip to the grass and let me foot enjoy the damp, cool feeling. *FIREWORKS IN MY EYELIDS!!!* I stumble and look down to notice a pine needle lodged in the wound. What is the matter with me?!?!

Get this...this is my "brightest crayon in the box" moment. A fellow employee passes me at that moment and offers me a ride to the end. What do I do? I DECLINE!!!!! I decide to finish the 5K, because it's not like my foot can get any worse at this point. I could have sawed it off and it would have relieved the pain. I saw the laughter in his eyes as he drove away.

Anyways, I finish the 5K! Yay me! But only after 55 MINUTES! Which is humiliating considering I can usually WALK one in 35-40 minutes! I was in so much excruciating pain that I walked through the finish line and to my car and drove home. Once I got home I stuck my swollen dirty foot into an ice cold tub of water where I notice that I lodged a ROCK under my skin far up from the cut. My wound wasn't done developing yet... Time for some boy-scout surgery...

***** GRAPHIC PICS *****

This is me cutting through my skin to that black PEBBLE lodged in my foot...

And after the surgery....

I may not seem bad, but it does prevent me from walking and it still stings. I cried to my mom about my pain and suffering and all she can do (understandably) is laugh and spread the story.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Inside of me lives a skinny girl dying to get out!

It has been such a long time since I've blogged! But I haven't because nothing too exciting has happened lately in my life! And in all honestly, I've been really down lately. This is normal I've noticed for me whenever seasons change...especially when the weather is bi-polar! Oh well, regardless of how I feel, life is great and I need to pick back up and realize it!

With me being down however, it has had it's rewards...I've had a LOT of time to think and re-analyze my life and what I want to do with it. I'm in a very fragile stage of life where one decision permanently affects my life so I need to be careful, but the only things I can think of decision-wise, are how I feel inside and how my decisions will reflect how I want Sammi to actually be. Like the popular quote I've heard, "Inside of me lives a skinny girl dying to get out..." I have realized I have a few of those!

Haha! Inside of me lives a skinny girl DYING to get out! And she will!

Inside of me lives a successful girl waiting for an opportunity to get out.

Inside of me lives a confident girl waiting to finally accept herself.

Inside of me lives an extremely heart-broken girl waiting for her real chance at love!

Inside of me lives a smart girl wanting to know everything.

Inside of me lives an adventurous girl planning a world-wide vacation.

Inside of me lives a brave girl attempting to conquer her fears.

I want what I desire and yet I haven't figured out a way to actually accomplish them... And I'm impatient so I want it now!

I am grateful, inside, that I am going through this temporary trial, because I already can see it defining me, but I must admit, I am excited to escape life for a bit next month when I head to Guatemala. I need to clear my head and re-focus on what is really important in life. I need to be happy first, and settle my life the best way I want it to be, and the rest will fall into place. I'm so grateful to my supportive friends who have given me encouragement and endless love! Thank you, you'll never know how much I love you!

PS I swear I'm okay! Just stuck in a rut!

Watch out world, because here I come! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Economy's REAL effect on financial institutions...

In this economic turmoil, many are under the impression that financial institutions have been hit only with financial problems. The following is what we do to really serve our members to get through this current recession:

1. We now offer free psychiatric sessions.

Example: A member approached me yesterday requesting a debt consolidation loan. He didn't speak much English (that's not the point..) and his business was, unfortunately struggling. His loan couldn't go through and I told the member this. He then says to me, "I jump cliff now." Let's just say after a few encouraging words, he left a happier and more confident man. Best of luck to you, sir.

2. We are your BFFs.

Example: People seem so uptight these days (understandably), especially women, that it requires a lot of Twilight talk, complimenting their babies and offering free checkbook registers before you can successfully get anywhere and satisfy the member before they leave with our full trust.

3. We now function as a food joint.

Example: One day I happened to work the drive-up window not long ago and a kind lady pulls up in her large Dodge Sprinter and hands me her driver's license. She says, "Hi can you please tell me how much I have in my account?" I proceed to pull up the account and tell her the amount. She then replies the following, "Thank you that's all I need. Oh but do you mind giving out some candy? I have a few kids in the car." I tell her, "Sure!" (Because you can't go to ANY bank or CU and not get candy. I totally agree with this, I do...but...) She then looks in her rear-view mirror and I see her count to herself. She turns to me and says, "Ok..IneedsixSmarties,fourcaramels,eightcinnamonbears,andtwoDumDums." So fast that her children couldn't argue.

4. Free Anger-management Annonymous classes:

Example: Opened an account for a sweet 95 year old man. Two days later he called furious and yelling about a mix-up he had between a "credit card" and a "debit card." He continued to insult me personally and throw himself into a rampage about financial institutions these days and demanded to close his account. After he yelled until his oxygen buzzed in the phone, I calmly said to him, "Sir? I'll be glad to help you. Please tell me what I can help you with." He then calms and starts talking about a minor home issue he'd been facing. There it is. We found the source of anger.

5. My personal new favorite...we are the new and improved payphone.

Example: Like most public places, a courtesy phone can often be found. With that said, and with street smart people around, they come in asking to use the phone. Of course, they use it and I eavesdrop. A recent conversation took place between a mother and someone I'm assuming is her grown child. "Ok dear, so Olive Garden at noon? Definetly. I can do that. Mm...their new shrimp dish looks fabulous."

6. Free Finance for Beginners 101 classes.

Example. I offer a terrific product to a member not long ago and throw in the ever-so-comforting "AND it will still be insured up to the $250,000.00!" She then brushes her hand towards me and says, "Oh I don't care about that. I'm already insured through State Farm." Blink blink. Ok.

I hope everyone can pull through this economy and successfully! Best of luck to everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Here I Come!

I am so excited! Today I made it official that I will be going to Guatemala May 23rd through May 31st!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nielsen's Crew Reunion

About two weeks ago I receive this Facebook Event invite things I always get. Usually I click "Maybe" to make people happy but never go, but this one captured my attention immediately. It is for a "Nielsen's Crew Reunion." Now, I absolutely loved my time at Nielsen's, I really did. It was the best job I could have had in high school and I made so many friends there, but I immediately wanted to take my cursor thing and click "NO!" for once. I have nothing against seeing my old friends, but I am not one to enjoy any type of reunion. I guess I figure once that lifetime has come and gone, I don't want to re-live any of it. I was interested in seeing a select few of those old co-workers, but still wasn't fully into it yet, so I clicked the infamous "Maybe" button.

Well February 7th rolls around and I am feeling guilty for not giving a solid RSVP (I did get a few threatening emails too..) and I even tried to avoid having to go by seeing a double movie with Mariah that day. We went to three different theaters to see if a movie would cover the time I'd have to go but none did! A movie theater! Anyways, so I dropped Mariah off and text my friend Krista (one of the few I wanted to see) and I'm not kidding, TWO minutes later she and her husband are in my drive-way to pick me up. I had told them I didn't want to go, but I had no choice now. I was heading to Nielsen's!

We get there and I was surprised at who showed up! Everyone that could come, did (Mal! I missed you there!!!!!) and it was nice seeing everyone from SEVEN years ago when I first started working there. I was still distant and out of my comfort zone as I am a completely different person (as we all are), but still made it a point to have a good time. We ate at Nielsen's and visited for a couple of hours while people came and went. Finally at about nine, the ten of us or so left, decided to go back to Krista and Brooklyn's house for a movie. I won't expand, but those of you who know me well, know that I have "history" with a few of them and I wanted to act casual and confident...I'd made it pretty gracefully throughout the night until we had to go downstairs for the movie. I felt proud of myself for holding myself together as the more mature, refined woman I am. I am not kidding, I take ONE step down and biff it. Six steps later and my vision returning I realize I had been in the front of everyone when I fell down the stairs. After an awkward short silence, Tad pipes in simply stating, "Sammi, you haven't changed a bit." The ice was officially and finally broken.

The rest of the night went fine. The boys still instisted on sitting "boy girl boy girl" on the couch so we stuffed seven people on the couch to watch Wall E and I spent the rest of my evening smashed between Tad and Zach eating the infamous Dots and Junior Mints.

In hind sight, I'm really glad I went to catch up. I saw a few people there I only worked with for one year when I was fifteen so it was really good to see them. We all seem to be the same friends we've always been and it sorta felt like we all picked up from where we left off.

NFC&D scoopies forever I guess!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Musings as of now..

I have so much to blog about but I don't want to write tons of posts, rather, I am avoiding some altogether, so I'm just going to post my thoughts as of recently..

I'm surprised at the high demand of loans these days! It's ridiculous! I cannot remember a time where I was working on more loans alone now than I have in my entire time being in banking. And I love every minute of it.

I'm typically more conservative and "Republican" if you must label, but I am excited about President Obama in office for history sake and I am very hopeful for him.

My Guatemala trip is finally coming along and I think I have a set date! Details to come!

I'm highly impressed with Primary these days! It's been Ward Conference times in our Stake and has required me visiting all of the wards and speaking at some and the children are outstanding! They are smart, funny, and so happy!

I am still in YW's as the Asst Camp Director and this year will be a blast! I've realized I've been going to Camp since I was 12, minus two years (I had to miss last years, but I was still the leader!). I'm slightly disappointed in the attitude of the girls these days and how it's not "important" or "cool" anymore. Some of my greatest lessons were learned at Girls Camp!

I learned that praying out loud on a long drive home can heal a broken heart.

I am addicted to Wii-Fit Boxing. I can see myself enjoying boxing for the rest of my life!

I am SO grateful Jon and I are still friends who talk everyday. He is so important to me.

I took my "Placement" test at SLCC a few weeks ago and I'm embarrassed to say I scored a 105 in English, a 103 in Reading Comprehension and a 39 in Math. How pathetic!

I am sick and tired of the snow and cold.

My current, favorite past-time is hanging out with my Mom on Monday's eating chocolate ice cream and watching The Bachelor.

I've decided that parents who disrespect people in front of children, teaches them that back talking and insulting is ok and it repeats the process. No wonder society is awful these days.

I will skydive this year. I went indoor skydiving a while back and had so much fun with that, it's time for the real deal.

I work with the BEST people ever. Always have.

I feel like a loner these days!

"I'm 80% happy for them and like.. 20% jealous"

I secretly want to be a mail-woman because they walk all day (love it) and the money is awesome!

I really, really miss my brother, but I'm SO happy he's doing well and we still "talk" every week even if it's via an email.

I'm anxiously waiting for what I'm secretly calling "My Great News!"

Anyways, I'll get around to actually blogging soon enough when life picks back up again, until then...

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Curse of my Veh -...W!!!

I know the most of you who follow my blog know I drive a 2000 VW Passat. Yeah, they're cute right? friends, the are the little minions of the underworld... I'll give the cars some credit, they are cute, and they tend to get good gas mileage. That's where it stops. For me at least.

I bought this car in October of 2006 as a lemon. Terrible. And by some calendar events, I couldn't exchange the car. Fortunately, the dealership I bought it through was FANTASTIC and paid for everything that could and did go wrong. I was really impressed, as I still am. But I have had nothing but problems with it since the very beginning! The first week I had it, there was a leak of radiator fluid in my car. When that was fixed, my electrical of my dashboard went out. When that was fixed, my odometer was reset (it says I only have 30K on it, when really it's now over 100K!). When everything was hunky dory and fixed, I was ecstatic! Then TWO DAYS LATER, my car died in the middle of an intersection exiting I-215. That was fixed by the dealership for free (I think it was transmission??). By then I think my entire car was restored and I didn't have a problem with it until the next year when I needed to register it. Any and all shops weren't able to get an emissions reading on it because the wiring was done wrong from the previous owner! I had to get that fixed just to get a stupid emissions test! Finally it passed and I registered my car.

6 months go by....I'm driving on I-80 West towards Tooele with Shelley and we hear a shattering noise. She immediately asks, "What was that?!" I calmly look in my rearview mirror and see a large object bouning on the freeway breaking with each bounce. I turned to Shelley and said, "My right headlight." Yes, the WHOLE SOCKET OF MY HEADLIGHT! It literally fell out on the freeway! Bulb, reflecters and all. Because it is a VW and any thing wrong messes with the electrical system of the car, my back lights go out and I'm light-less. $192.00 later, it is fixed and I'm great!!!

Ah...this year's registration comes along a few months ago.... My car has squeeks and tweaks and I took it to Cutrubus in Layton (Fabulous! If you drive a VW, take it there! They're great!). My turbo plug was ruined. It cost me over $500.00 to fix that and I still have $400 of work left to do. I had to pay to get my turbo fixed, just to, again, get my car to pass emissions. I then have to buy new tires to pass safety. It finally passes and I'm good to go (until I get the remaining work done!).

Well, my friends, I write this to fill you in on the drama because I had another incident yesterday. I'm on my way to work, minding my own business and singing at the top of my lungs to the radio, when I hit something. I look in my side mirror and see what I've hit. I couldn't tell and it seemed like one of those half ice snow balls you hit on roads, so I pushed the thought away. It wasn't until I exited and put on my left blinker and heard that possessed blinker noise that I realized what it was. I'd lost my RIGHT light now! Same thing. On the freeway, and out it comes. Bulb, reflecter and all.

By now you're probably wondering why in the world I haven't sold this car yet! Well, I'm what lenders call "upside down" in it. With my odometer being off, and the work that still needs to be done, I'd have to sell it for almost $3000.00 less than what I owe! I'd only wished I'd been a loan officer BEFORE I bought this car, so next time you're looking to purchase a car, give me a call to find out if you'll EVER be upside down!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

A wise member told me that the secret to accomplishing New Year's Resolutions is to see them everyday. I figured since he's successful, wealthy, and happy, I should believe him, so I will post them publicly here and strive for them everyday:

1. Go back to school
2. Get back to my high school weight by April/May and keep it off!
3. Take two vacations.... One to Guatemala in six months Lidia!
4. Build a large savings account back up!

There you have it! I have a bunch of smaller ones, but these are the biggies I want to accomplish!!