Monday, November 12, 2012


Jacquie Here.

After weeks of thought, research, and advice from friends and fellow bloggers, I have decided to try out moving my blog to WordPress.

This blog has become outdated. I found WordPress to be much simpler and more modern. The site is very user-friendly and the layouts and themes are all really sleek. There are lots of customizing options too! Blogger has many of these options as well, but after trying it out for a week or so, I found WordPress to have a better flow.

Call me a traitor... But who knows? Maybe after a month or so of trying out the new WordPress blog, I'll decide I miss Blogger and come back. Only time will tell..

In the meantime, this blog will stay here and just sit. I don't want to delete all my past posts (and I have yet to figure out an easy way to import them all to the new blog other than the copy-paste method, which I don't want to do...). So feel free to come back to visit.

And if you want to stay up-to-date....

come on over to the new Jacquie Here!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sweet Sara

Jacquie Here.

Everyone has someone in their life who, when they think of how wonderful that person is, it brings them to tears. Either that, or I cry too much. Cause I have a few people like that in my life. 

Sara is one of them for me (see previous post, “Thoughts onGrown-Ups”).

Me & Sara in St. George

For being only 14-years-old, she sure has it all together. I am constantly amazed at how just plain GOOD she is. I don’t know how she does it. Or where she gets it. And everyone in the family agrees – Sara is an angel! I’m convinced she literally is. She just always wants everyone to be happy and love each other and never complains about ANYTHING. Everyone who comes in contact with her immediately becomes a better person, just by being in her presence. I’m serious.

Here’s the thing about Sara… She has not had an easy life. She’s had to deal with a lot more drama, tragedy, disappointment, and sacrifice than I’m pretty sure any other 14-year-old has had to deal with. She’s had to up and move and leave all her friends multiple times. She’s had to sacrifice a lot of her childhood and youth to being responsible and taking care of our youngest sister, Sofia. While other 14-year-old girls go to the movies and go shopping, she spends more Friday nights at home playing with Sofia than she does out with her friends. And she’s such a great big sister and a positive example to Sofie. She’s been disappointed and had her heart broken by our parents time after time. She’s been fought over and tossed back and forth between homes. But I have never heard her complain ONCE. She doesn’t have many nice material possessions. Life is not always fair for her. Yet anytime I ask her how she is doing, she has nothing but positive things to say, sweet stories about Sofia, nice things to say about Mom, that school is going well… Never have I heard Sara wishing she had it any different.

She in unbreakable. 
She is the strongest woman I know.
Honestly, a 14-year-old girl.

And she is such a good girl. She works hard in school and does really well. She loves her sisters and treats us all so kindly. She’s patient and pleasant to be around. She’s so helpful and always is finding ways to serve others. She surrounds herself with good, positive friends anywhere she goes. She loves the Gospel and is not afraid to share it with people AT ALL. She goes with the flow and never feels sorry for herself. She gives up her social life completely to be there for Sofie and my mom. She knows how to cook and clean and she’s already close to finishing her Personal Progress for Young Women’s.  She’s funny and loves to laugh. She rarely gets to buy new clothes, but never complains about wearing hand-me-downs and still manages to look so cute! She’s beautiful inside and out. She’s always full of compliments for other people. And she is confident and happy. She’s so full of faith and hope. She’s incredibly humble. She has goals and aspirations and intends to achieve them. She knows she can have something better for herself, and she will do whatever it takes to get there. And best of all, she genuinely, sincerely loves everyone, even people who have mistreated her or hurt her.
I have no idea how. Anyone else in that situation would be a broken person. 

So I guess you could say I want to be Sara when I grow up. Even though she’s younger than me by 7 years, I still feel inadequate next to her. In my last post titled, “Thoughts on Grown-Ups”, I said that more important than what we want to be when we grow up is who we want to be. And everything I just described about Sara is exactly the kind of person I want to be. She is exactly the kind of person everyone should want to be when they grow up.
I love you Sara!

Who is somebody who has inspired you to be a better person?

Tell us.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Thoughts on Grown Ups

Jacquie Here.

When was the last time someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? That question seems to fizzle away once you’re a twenty-something. When do we make the switch from adolescence to adulthood? Surely it can’t just happen at a certain age for everyone. It’s not like you wake up on your 18th birthday and say, “I’m a grown up now. I know exactly what I want and where I’m going in life”. It’s got to be different for everyone. It doesn’t come with age, but with years. With experiences. With education, knowledge, wisdom. With trial and error. With nineteen different low-paying part-time jobs. With summer romances and heartbreaks. With tiny apartments. I guess at the ripe age of 21, I could maybe be considered a “grown up”. I’ve had my share of crappy jobs, college semesters, heavy trials with their accompanying errors, one or two good heartbreaks, and definitely a couple cramped apartments. But am I really a grown up? As adults, don’t we sometimes want to still ask that century-old question that daunted us as we set out applying to college after college as high school juniors? Of course! And if we’re being honest, we probably all still ask ourselves that every once in a while.

So then, what do I want to be when I grow up, you ask?

I want to be a college graduate. I want to be a high school Spanish teacher. Maybe own a restaurant. That’s the simple answer.

But I’m starting to think that more important that WHAT we want to be when we grow up is WHO we want to be when we grow up.

I want to be a friend, a wife (check!), a mother, a positive role-model, a smiling face, a woman of God, a shoulder to lean on, a good example, a go-with-the-flow-er, a woman with a strong heart and upbeat attitude… I want to be happy. Basically, I want to be exactly like my sister, Sara when I grow up… And she’s only 14! But she has got to be one of the most grown-up people I know. Proof that grown-up-ness certainly doesn’t come with age.

I have a lot of catching up to do before I’m a real-live grown-up.

Stay tuned, because I have a post all about why the Incredible Sara is my favorite grown-up coming next. You’ll want to be her too. Promise.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Who do you want to be when you grow up?



PS – If you’re still reading, and you happen to be interested in a quick update on what the heck I’ve been doing since the wedding…

Jake and I have been living in Houston, TX for his summer job. We just got back into AZ tonight! Being in Texas was a lot of fun – especially because my sister Josie (also another amazing grown-up!), her husband Brady, and their little girl Kendall, were all out there for the same thing. We got to live RIGHT by them and it was a DREAM. The last time Josie and I got to spend that much time together was when we were pre-teens that hated each other. We’ve since made amends and she is truly one of my best friends. And my neice Kendall – OH. MY. GOSH. I die. She is literally the cutest baby I have ever seen. I swear I’m not just being biased. And she’s got a personality to boot. We’re tight. Anyway, being married is a dream. Jake is a sweet, caring, patient husband and we get to have a slumber party every night. I honestly can’t complain! I’ll take spending all-day, every-day being surrounded by people I love anytime. It was pretty sad to leave everyone, and the new friends I’ve made, but I’m excited to get settled in to our own apartment in Mesa.. And to finally get to open wedding gifts! Haha. I know there’s a bright red KitchenAid in my very near future. Eeee!

K, that’s all. Really.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Two Weeks

Jacquie Here.

Two weeks.

That is how long until I am a married woman.

I'm kinda freaking out here, people. But in a good way. It's like, this is something I have been waiting for and preparing for my ENTIRE life. And now it's only two weeks away. Two weeks until the rest of my life (the best part of my life) begins. Two weeks until forever. And I couldn't be more excited!

WARNING: Mushy, lovey stuff ahead... Can't say I didn't warn you.

Here are some of my thoughts, two weeks before my wedding day. I know someday I will be glad I wrote about this...

I feel so blessed for so many reasons. In two weeks, I get to be married to a wonderful man. A man who I love so incredibly much that it makes me cry happy tears. A man who loves me back more than I thought was humanly possible, more than I deserve. A man who finishes my sentences. I love thinking about all the funny little coincidences and happenstances that brought us together.. How everything just worked out perfectly with timing, how everything fell in to place, how easy it was to be together from the moment we met.. If you know our complete story, you probably can understand how crazy and perfect it was that we found each other (I'll save that story for another time). I can't help but to just KNOW that we were brought together for a very special reason, that we were meant to be, that God knew what He wanted and made it happen, even with all the hoops He had to jump through to do it.. All the random things He had to make happen in order for us to find each other. And He won. And so did we. :) I can't tell you how grateful I feel to have Jake in my life. He really is everything I've ever wanted! He understands me, knows everything about me, is very aware of my faults and shortcomings.. yet he loves me more than anyone else. He knows that I come with some baggage, yet he is anxious to take it off my hands. He knows my family isn't perfect, yet he loves them so much that he wants to be a part of them. He is a constant reminder that life is more than good - It's great! He's so perfect and humble and patient and loving... I really feel inadequate next to him! It truly is a humbling thing to know that an amazing man like him wants to give himself to me for eternity. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I did!

Two weeks, my friends, and this wonderful man will be all mine!

...The man who lets my little sisters hang on him at the dinner table and decorate his head with pink stuff, without even a peep!
He's a keeper for sure.

Oh, and if you ask me...


 ...I think we'll make some pretty cute kids someday.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Best Chicken Quesadilla You Will Ever Make

Jacquie Here.

Tonight was one of those nights when I got home from work and wanted to EAT EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE. I was famished. Sometimes, when I am crazy hungry, I start combining foods that don't even go together just so I can eat everything I want to eat. I love cooking, and sometimes I get overly... creative. Well surprisingly, that worked in my favor tonight. And thus was born, "The Best Chicken Quesadilla You Will Ever Make". Really, it was heavenly. And I'm not just saying that because I was starving and anything would've tasted good.. No, this was gourmet you guys.

I'm going to share the recipe that I made up with you. Because it is very important to me that you get the privilege of tasting this amazing quesadilla for yourself! Plus, it's reallllly easy. You can do it!

The Best Chicken Quesadilla You Will Ever Make
AKA The Cottage Cheese Quesadilla

*Yield: 2 full quesadillas

You will need:
2 frying pans (one small/med, one big enough to fit a "soft taco" sized tortilla flat)
a rubber spatula
a cutting board
a knife

(These are what I used, but you can add or omit whatever you want to make it as complex or simple as you want. This is the medium version...)

1 10 oz can of chicken breast (save about half of the liquid - DO NOT drain it all!)
4 tortillas
1-2 C shredded Mexican cheese (depends on how cheesy you want them)
1 C cottage cheese (This is the secret ingredient! Random, I know, but this is what MAKES it!)
2 sprigs of Cilantro, finely minced
a splash of lemon or lime juice
1/4 C of your favorite salsa
2 Tbsp minced onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
Seasonings to taste: cumin, lemon pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, oregano

- In the smaller frying pan on med/low heat, pour out your canned chicken with half of the liquid you saved and break it up with your spatula.
- Add some olive oil and your spices. It will seem watery, but as it cooks/simmers, it will thicken. Add your lemon/lime juice, salsa, onion and cilantro.
- While that is cooking, lightly coat the bottom of your larger pan with olive oil and heat both sides of your tortillas until they're warm, but not quite toasted-looking.
- In a small bowl, combine your shredded cheese and cottage cheese. Stir together.
- Place one tortilla in your larger pan on med heat. Spread about 1/4 of the cheese mixture onto it, add half of your chicken filling, another layer of your cheese mixture, and another tortilla on top. Once the cheese on the bottom layer is melted enough to hold it together, flip your quesadilla and allow the cheese on the other side to melt. Having cheese on both sides keeps it all together.
- Once both sides are melted and toasty, make the other one, slice them like a pizza, and ENJOY!

Possible variations:
Use fresh minced garlic
Add diced bell peppers
Add olives
Add diced tomatoes
Serve with guacamole

You're welcome.

Let me know if you try the recipe.. I want to hear what you think!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh Love.

Jacquie Here.

Hi. Remember me? Well, in case you are wondering why I haven't posted on my poor little blog in so long, I can only excuse myself with four words:

I fell in love.

And spending every second with him became more important than updating my blog. Hard truth, people.

Anyways... I have some pretty big news!! Gather round...

I can't even tell you how many times I've said/thought/typed/texted that today and I tell you what - it feels pretty amazing. Walking on clouds over here.

And what would a blog post about love and engagements be without the proposal story?? Well...

Every fairytale must begin with...

Once upon a time,

Jake and I were driving around enjoying the desert scenery and talking about all the hikes we wanted to put on our to-do list. And we decided it would be fun to go on a really early hike to watch the sunrise. So it's a plan.

Fast forward a couple days.. We were sitting on my couch last night (Sunday) talking about plans for our hike the next morning and he went over all the specifics with me. "Make sure you get to bed early enough tonight so that you aren't super tired when I pick you up at 5am!" and "I have it allllll mapped out. I'll bring a backpack. Wear layers so you don't get cold!".

I felt a little silly for secretly thinking, "Hmm.. Maybe he's going to propose!.. Haha nah, you're crazy. He just told you he doesn't even have the ring yet, silly!"

Fast forward ten hours and he's at my house knocking on my door. Five A.M. I finish lacing up my shoes, devour a bagel with cream cheese (yum), and we go.

So our hike is lovely, but dark, because the sun hasn't even come up yet. And I'm a liiiitttle paranoid about a creepy animal sound I keep hearing off in the darkness. But I feel safe because Jake's wearing a head lamp to light the way, which I think is awesome. Haha. So we get to a good stopping point where we have a nice view and we just stand there enjoying nature and each other's company.

Then he gets really intense about setting up our cameras on this rock and setting the self-timers, multi-shot, flashes, etc so he can 'get-a-good-picture-of-us-with-the-sunrise'. And I'm like, "Uh, Jake, we're gonna miss the sunrise!". Anyway, he gets the cameras all set up and takes a couple test shots of me.

It's ready. Then he pulls out a single red rose from his backpack and hands it to me and says, "Here, hold this and smile at the camera." And I'm thinking, "What? Why?". Haha. He hits the shutters on the cameras and comes over to me and before I know it, he's on his knee holding the most beautiful, perfect ring I ever saw in a little emerald box. And I'm holding my rose. And he says some very sweet, lovey things to me followed by, "Jacquelyn Michelle Hancock, will you marry me?" showing me his best smile.

At this point, I'm not sure whether I should cry or laugh or ask him to repeat the question. But it didn't take me long to know exactly what to say...


And we kissed and got very excited about living happily ever after.

I'm going to be a wife. I have a fiance, you guys. This is a big deal kind of.


The Future Mrs. Lyman.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good for Something

Jacquie Here.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how easy it is to get wrapped up in the busyness and chaos of life and to, by default, become a little bit selfish. A lot of us don't do it on purpose, but when life gets crazy, it's almost an automatic thing to watch out for yourself and forget about those around you. It's so easy to forget that, while you may have a million things going on in your life, so does everyone else.

Unfortunately, so many of us get so "busy" that we don't make time to do some good. To serve others. To watch out for someone else. To be Good for Something besides ourselves..

Today, I was reading in the fourth chapter of a book by Gordon B. Hinckley called Standing for Something (very good book, I highly recommend it). Near the very end of the chapter, he writes something that impressed me...

" It is not good enough just to be good. We must be good for something. We must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for our presence. And the good that is in us must be spread to others."

Now if that quote doesn't make you want to go out and change the world, I don't know what will!

Think about how easy it is for us to just do something - even the smallest deed - for someone else every single day. And think about how much happier you and those you help can be as a result. Sounds simple right? And yet, sometimes helping others is a great challenge for us.

Story time**.

**I tell this story, not to inflate myself in the eyes of others, but to share a personal experience - because that is what I know.

A couple weeks ago, I didn't have to go into work until noon (very rare occasion for me) so I decided to go pick up lunch for a friend and bring it to him at work. The Asian restaurant I chose didn't open until eleven and I got there a bit early, so I stood outside for a bit waiting for them to open the doors. As I was standing out on the sidewalk in the plaza, I noticed a very rough looking man leaning against the wall a few stores down, propped up on crutches. I observed that whenever anyone walked by him, he would approach them and it was obvious by the head-shaking reaction he got from each person that he was asking them for something. I didn't think much of it. There are a lot of those kinds of people around where I live.
I glanced over in his general direction a couple times, and got a little nervous when he made eye contact with me. I knew what was next so I quickly looked away. The next time I looked up, there he was - the same rough-looking man - an arm's length away from me. He wreaked of alcohol. I have to admit I was a little bit afraid, but being in a fairly busy public place on a sunny afternoon, I wasn't too worried. Once he was so close to me, I also noticed he had only one leg.
He slurred a few words to me that I had a hard time understanding, then he asked me if I had any money. I told him the truth, "I'm sorry, I don't carry cash on me", and looked away as if to blow him off. All I could think in my head was, 'this man is obviously highly intoxicated - he does NOT need my money to go buy more booze'... And I immediately began justifying myself for so coldly - and so easily - denying this man.
I watched him hobble away on his crutches and approach several more people along the sidewalk. Each person either shook their head at him or blatantly ignored him. Guilt swept over me as I watched him struggle from person to person. They were all clearly much better off than he, myself included. When he had no avail with any of the people along the sidewalk, he meandered into the parking lot - targeting anyone who had just pulled in. He went from car to car, asking people probably the exact same thing he asked me. As I continued to watch him, my heart began to be sad for this one-legged man who was clearly in desperate need of help - any help. I began to be disappointed with myself. Why hadn't I helped him? Sure, I didn't have any cash on me, but there had to be something I could do. Watching everyone say no to him, and seeing how bad that made everyone who rejected him look, I though of myself, and how bad my rejecting him might have made me look - not in the eyes of others, but in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. Especially when I knew how perfectly able I was to help this man.
My thoughts suddenly changed from, 'Why should I help him?' to, 'How can I not help him? I mean, even if I don't have a ton of money, I have more than this man who has nothing. I have enough to share. Here I am buying lunch for myself and a friend of mine. All this man needs is some lunch, and I rejected him.' I felt terrible about myself. And suddenly, I found myself walking across the parking lot in his direction. As I got closer, he turned to look at me with a slightly confused expression. "Beef or chicken?" I asked him. He looked lost, so I continued, "I'm buying you lunch." He replied that either would be great, and we both walked back toward the restaurant just as the doors were opening.
He waited by the entrance while I ordered three teriyaki chicken meals. I put two of them in a bag for my friend and I and handed him his on my way out the door. He thanked me and "God bless"ed me several times. I smiled and told him to have a nice day and left. As I was leaving the plaza, two women who had apparently witnessed the whole thing approached me and thanked me for what I had done. I smiled because it felt good to be thanked so much. But more than being thanked by the one-legged man and the two women outside made me feel good was the feeling I got knowing that I had done a selfless act without any expectation of recompense. I just knew that it was the right thing to do. I had done my Good Deed of the Day.

Gordon B. Hinckley also says in his book, "One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served."

How true that is. Maybe, when we serve others, we don't necessarily benefit in the same way - But we benefit in a way that cannot be bought or borrowed. We get to feel the joy of knowing that we helped a fellow human being. We get to feel the joy of knowing that our actions pleased our Heavenly Father. And that is a joy that can only come from a selfless act of service.

As a society, we have so much potential to do good for others, to bring joy to the lives of those around us, and to make someone smile - if only one person.

I would offer this invitation to everyone to make a sincere and valiant effort every single day to forget yourself and help someone - even just the smallest act of service can have a significant result. And I promise you that if you do, you will feel happier and you will have a stronger love toward the people around you.

I like to call it my "Good Deed of the Day" goal. Let's be Good for Something.

Tell us:
What will be your Good Deed of the Day?