Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hi friends. Jacquie Here.

I know, it's been awhile. But like I've said before, I don't like blogging just for the sake of blogging. Who wants to read that stuff? Not me. So, after quite some time of "writer's block", if you will, I'm back!

Let me tell you... the last couple weeks of classes and FINALS kicked my little bum. I was a busy woman. A little crazy too. But grades were posted last week and I am very pleased. Very. I was a bit nervous checking grades before Christmas because I was a liitttttlleeee worried and didn't want them to ruin my weekend. I was weak; I checked them anyway. I was greeted with a pleasant surprise.. I may even go as far as to say it was like an early Christmas gift! A,A,A,B. 3.725. I'm okay with you calling me "Smarty Pants" for the next little bit.. (haha) Anyway, nothing like the satisfaction you feel when you get good grades after MONTHS of really hard work. I probably worked the hardest this semester and it PAID OFF! Yes. I just bragged a little bit.

Aaanyway, that was definitely a tangent from what I came here to say today.

And what I came here to say today is pretty much more unimportant, random stuff. Because lately, I've been thinking about several things and I feel the need to share tid-bits of them.

Like this:
Holidays are so different now. I hate to sound like a downer or a Scrooge.. but they just are. I guess that's just what happens with "age", but I feel like a lot of people my age still get that happy, nostalgic feeling about the holidays and I got kicked out of that ability a little too early. Part of it, of course, is because I am on my own now and don't always have friends and family surrounding me. Or fresh baked holiday goodies constantly popping out of the oven (unless I bake them myself). And a lot of it is because I had a sliiight interruption on my youth due to my parents deciding to split up like the day before I left for college a little over a year ago. And now every time the holidays come around, it's like 'Uhh.. do we even still have traditions? Or are we like supposed to make news ones?' And as much as I try to be "joyful and triumphant", I still can't help but feel lonely, stressed, uncomfortable, and frustrated during the holidays. Yay. It's almost like the holidays are a reminder that things are not the same at "home" anymore.
BUT - I still love the holidays. I still love BLASTING Christmas music in my car everywhere I drive from Black Friday to Christmas Day. I LOVE wrapping gifts. I love snow. I love reading the December Ensign and Luke 2. I love watching Christmas movies without stopping. I love decorating a Christmas tree and hanging a wreath. I love Christmas musical programs and firesides at church. I love drinking hot chocolate with way too many marshmallows. I love wearing long-john jammies. I love the food. I love thinking about and remembering Christ: His birth, His ministry, His amazing life, and His huge sacrifice. And I love that the season just makes people want to reach out and love and serve one another.
So this year, though it is sometimes hard not to pinpoint my thoughts on the negatives as stated above, I tried really hard to focus on the things that I still love about the holidays. And guess what.. Success! I didn't "get through" the holidays, I ENJOYED them. And I'm glad!

Christmas at Apt. 231

And this:
I hate to make this whole post about how much growing up sucks. But something else I have began to notice recently is how easy it is to become distant from your friends. And that is just the saddest thing ever. I hate the feeling that a really close friend and I are growing apart. And I have felt that too much this year. What is it about getting older that makes us worse at keeping in touch and remembering to check up on each other? I know that I, myself, am guilty of all of the above. But why? Is it because we are so busy? Is it because we are very consumed in making something of our grown-up lives? Is it because we are searching for or have found someone to love? Is it because we are naturally a lot more self-centered and self-involved because, like I said, we are deciding what to do and who we are gonna be? Because it sounds to me like all of those things are reasons why we should NEED to have our close friends still be close to us. I just find it very sad. Because in high school and stuff, we always talk with our best friends about how we're gonna live next door to each other forever and our kids are going to marry each other and we will be best friends happily ever after. But then we go to different colleges. And we forget to say hi every once in awhile. Even if we still love and value each other. It's just hard to remind each other of that. But WHY? This is something that I will never understand. And it pains me. I'm sorry if I forget to be a good friend and check up on you every once in awhile.. I still love you. I promise.
New Year's Resolution: Still be my best friends' best friend. Remember to tell them that I love them. Show them I care about the things they are doing with their lives. Make a real effort to get together with them in person more often. And definitely to be more patient with those friends who haven't figured this out yet.

Remember these days? Before we got 'old' and forgot about each other?

And this:
I'm not going to be going back to school for 8 months. EIGHT months, people. After I took my LAST final of the semester, I turned it in and walked out of the classroom kind of in a daze. A friend and I were walking back home from class after that and he asked me, "So, how does it feel to be done with school for 8 whole months?". And it hit me. Weird. That's how it feels. Right now, I still don't know whether I should leap for joy or feel sad.. I've been a student ever since... forever. And suddenly I'm not going to be for 8 months. I wonder.. Will I miss it? Will I see my roommates doing homework or projects and be jealous? Will I be excited to go back in the Fall? Will I get sick of a full-time job? Or will I be relieved that I don't have any assignments that keep me up all night? Will I love working full-time? Will it be hard to go back in the Fall? How will I feel? I don't know. It's kind of a foreign concept. Ask me in 8 months.

Note to self: Don't walk home from night class in the snow without a hat.
Guess I won't have to worry about THAT this semester...

And this:
I feel like I gotta add something that's a little more upbeat than the rest of this post to finish it off. Haha. So last week, I got to bring two of my youngest little sisters, Sara & Sofia, to my apartment for a few days leading up to Christmas. I got to play mommy. It was SO fun to have them here. They are the sweetest little things and I miss them all the time so I was really happy to get to keep them all to myself for a few days. We did so many fun things.. We went hot tubbing, we made big, yummy meals, had a spa day, watched lots of movies, checked out books and movies from the local public library, built the biggest fort I have ever seen in my life in my living room, went out for ice cream, played in the snow, went for walks, had a sleepover in the fort, read lots of books, and just spent lots of quality time together. It's really fun for me to get to watch them growing up, even though I miss a lot of it being away from them. But Sofie is getting so smart! She read the entire book, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss to me. And lots of others. She loves reading. And she KICKS my butt at word searches. And Sara - Sara is such a sweetheart. I swear that girl is an angel. She's really creative too. She wrote a book while she was at my house and seriously, it was better than any book I would've written. I told her she HAS to get it published. She even illustrated it with really detailed, cute drawings. I really loved getting to spend time with those girls and I think it was a really good way for me to get closer to them and let them know how much their big sister loves them and wants them to be happy. :) I also loved getting to act a little bit like a kid again!

These are my little girls on their first day of school last year.
So cute, right? You can see why they make me so happy :)

So that's what has been going on in my head and in my life for the last little bit.

Tell me...
Did you get grades back?
How were the holidays for you?
Do you have any suggestions for staying close to your friends who are far away?
Have you made fun memories with your family this winter?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hey Jude!

Well everyone, it's official... I'M AN AUNT! And I couldn't be MORE thrilled! So what kind of aunt would I be if I didn't blog about it?

Meet my nephew...
(I love saying that)

~Jude Kendall Hancock~

born on December 7th, 2010 at 7:26pm

I love him. I wish I could hold him RIGHT NOW! This is really the BEST early Christmas present I could ever ask for :) I'm one happy little auntie. And he is SO precious, am I right?? And I simply cannot get over how much he looks JUST like his daddy, Shon. I love it!

The below picture is him today, Day 2. Caitlin had a very successful home delivery and everything went great. But unfortunately, little Jude has some "developmental concerns" so they are now in the Children's Hospital with him. Please remember them all in your prayers - especially the very concerned new parents. Pray that surgeries go well and they can all go home and be a happy little family. :)

Dear Jude,
I love you! I can't wait to meet you. You are so sweet and so special to all of us. We are so glad to have you as the VERY FIRST nephew/grandson on our side of the family. Be prepared for a long life with PLENTY of lovin' from all your aunties! Especially me! Be strong and tough, little boy!!
Aunt Jacquie.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Jacquie Here.

Life is funny sometimes.
Making decisions is hard.
Just when you think you have the next 100 years of your life planned out and golden, something changes and you gotta change all those 100 years of plans.
Believe me, I definitely had my whole life planned out. I'm just like that.

Here's what my life plan looked like:
2009-2013: Attend NAU, finishing my Bachelor's in 4 years like a normal person.
(Maybe get married somewhere in there.) Work at the same awesome job the whole time.
2013-2015: Attend Grad-School to get my Master's (preferably at UW, but depending on if I have a husband and where he wants/needs to go)
2015: Start teaching at a high school wherever the man and I decide to settle down.
~ 2016: Start a family. Stop teaching full-time, be a part-time substitute teacher. After all the kiddos are in school, go back to full-time teaching.
Many, Many Years in the Future: Be happy and old.

If you know me, you know that I'm the kind of person who always has to have a plan. I always have some kind of agenda for every minute of every day. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate spontaneity and love to participate in it, but there is a time and a place for that. Disorganization scares me. And uncertainty. As of late, my life has been a big bubble of disorganization and uncertainty. My worst nightmare? I think yes.

But I've learned that sometimes, you just gotta take a leap of faith.
My wise father says,
"Sometimes, you have to get off of the highway of life and take some side streets. Or maybe even stop at a rest stop. If you do that, as hard as it is, you can be better prepared to get back on the highway. Even if it puts you a little bit behind."
Thanks for that metaphor. It's true.

So, that's what I am doing; taking a leap of faith and getting of the "highway" for a bit. Hoping that the side streets will help me slow down, get my ducks in a row, and analyze my situation. One tough life decision I have recently had to make, and it has been a very long internal battle, was that I finally have decided to take a semester off of school.. Yes, that means I did not enroll in classes for the 2010-2011 Spring semester at NAU. Taking a semester off of school was something I have been advised against by several people, and I swore I never would. But WATCH ME! I mean, that was the past, and right now this is what feels right for my life. And as much as getting "behind" totally blows, I feel at peace with this decision. I mean, besides the fact that I had no choice financially, one thing that helped me make this decision and feel good about it was the fact that I am going to be able to work A LOT and make some pretty good money. Which I NEED desperately, in order to dig myself out of this "super fun" financial pit that I am in. And then, come next Fall, I will be able to get back onto the "highway" and get closer to reaching my destination: GRADUATION. So there are ups to this. It's taken awhile, but I can see that now.

And.... I'm okay! That is the best part of this all.
Yes, I have had to make some serious life decisions in the past couple weeks; I have experienced a lot of "the unexpected"; I have had a couple "minor" emotional breakdowns in my academic adviser's office as well as in the arms of one of my best friends... But I AM OKAY. It's all good.

Thanks to all who have been a support to me through this. And to everyone: just know, it's OKAY if your life plans change a little bit. That's life. It was a really hard thing for my structured-self to learn, but I know now.

Proverbs 3:5-6


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Jacquie Here.

A friend of mine, and a very faithful blog follower (probably my only... haha), told me that I haven't posted in awhile and that it is making it difficult for him to adequately blog-stalk me (Sorry, Daniel). So here I am again.

I guess I didn't really have anything significant to blog about. And I didn't want to blog just for the sake of blogging, ya know? Those are never fun to read.. Aaanyway...

Do you realize that Thanksgiving is like.. Tomorrow? And I have definitely not expressed enough gratitude for it to already be Thanksgiving! Eeek.

Call me ungrateful.

Please don't.

So can we have a Gratitude Cram Session right now? Time's a-runnin' out.
-- Oh, PS - these are going to be abstract things. Not the obvious answers (friends, family, music, pretty trees, bla, bla, bla...). Those are a given.

My Grateful list: Ten things in no particular order......

1. I am grateful for the book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver.
It's so much fun to read. I love her sense of humor. And her ideas! It definitely gets me thinking about how NOT hard it would be to live a more sustainable life.. And how much fun it could be! I just gotta move somewhere with more fertile soil, dangit! (Yes, I am a self-proclaimed hippie. Be kind. Peace and Love.)

2. I am grateful for a car that has style and that runs like a champ.
This is something I REFUSE to take for granted because there are SO many people who don't have that. I will admit, I am spoiled with my car. But that's probably the only thing I've been spoiled with in many, many, many years. And because of that, I take VERY good care of him. Nemo is his name. Because he has a "gimpy fin" (don't ask..). He is one of my most prized worldly possessions.

3. I am grateful for people who appreciate me.
Okay, I know this sounds like, feminist and whatnot. But really. I feel like I am the kind of person who loves to do things for people. It makes me happy when I can do little things for people, no matter how small. Like get them a glass of water. Or give them a ride to church. Or write them a little note. Doing those kinds of things makes me BEYOND happy. Kinda weird I know. Don't ask me why. And it always makes me feel BEYOND awful when I do those kinds of things and they are not appreciated. It's not that I want recognition for everything I do. I don't care about that. I just want to know that whoever I did that thing for appreciated it and that it made their day, or something. I guess it's my way of letting people know that I care for them. And I take it as "I don't care for you" when I don't feel appreciated. So, if you have ever appreciated something small I have done for you, I am grateful for you!!

4. I am grateful for V8.
This is my go-to breakfast since my silly tummy does not like to eat until I've been awake for at least 2 hours. Haha. Some people think it's gross, but not me! I think it is SCRUMPTIOUS! I can drink 2 servings of vegetables just like that and it feels like I've eaten a light breakfast! Happy! But let's not talk about the sodium content..

5. I am grateful for color vision.
Haha, really! I had a friend in High School who was colorblind and it was really a tragedy! I would wear light blue shoes to school and he'd compliment me on my dark purple shoes. He thought my RED car was beige at one point. No bueno. So because of him, I realize how amazing it is to be able to see in lots of colors! And to be able to have a favorite color. And to be able to see the fall colors, and the sunset, and rainbows, and produce in the supermarket..

6. I am grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The Gospel = Happiness. I don't know where I would be without it. It is my life. That's all I need to say about that.

7. I am grateful for funny movies.
Sometimes, I just need a good laugh. And something really funny that I can quote with Jordan, my roommate (we rock at that). Comedies are probably my genre of choice. Sometimes I wonder where I would be without some of those funny movies out there (IE - Nacho Libre, A Goofy Movie, Hot Rod, The Emperor's New Groove, the list is endless...). And I will have you know that Jordan just guessed (and agreed) with every single one of my top 4 favorite funniest movies on her first try! Haha. Told you we rock at that.

8. I am grateful for perspective.
Perspective, N: a way of regarding situations and facts; a point of view and the ability to see it; an outlook. I am grateful that I have had a lot of opportunities in my life to gain new perspective on things. And that I have lived in a few very significantly different places in my life. I have experienced a lot of different kinds of cultures and people and because of that, I have been able to break away from the "cookie-cutter" lifestyle (that kind of lifestyle kind of sickens me.. actually). I like that I have a kind of different way of looking at things and people.. to be able to see beyond the surface. It makes for a more interesting life.

9. I am grateful for my neighbors: Jenna, Kerri, and Kenzie.
They are so cute and fun! We don't hang out with them a whole lot, but I WISH we did! They are cool gals, I tell you. It's always fun when we have our random late-night chats when all we need is to borrow a cup of sugar ("Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!" I always think of that when I need to borrow stuff from them for baking purposes. Haha) and it turns into a long talk about something random. I love love love it! They're super funny too. And I love that we can hear each other quoting Baby Mama through the kitchen walls. We definitely lucked out in the neighbor department. We really should hang out more...

10. I am grateful for snow.
Call me crazy. I love that white fluffy stuff! In fact, it is snowing at this very moment as I write this. Why do I love snow, you ask? Because it proves that winter is coming. It gives the song "White Christmas" some real meaning. It is a change of scenery. It's fun! Bring on the sledding and snowmen! It causes school to be canceled occasionally. It's really beautiful to me. Romantic, almost. It's still and silent and peaceful. It gives me an excuse to wear boots and scarves and gloves! I love snow because it's a special treat that only some places in the world get each year. And I live in one of those places. :)

So those are some super random things that I am grateful for. Yay for gratitude! I think we all should try to think more about the things we're grateful for ALL YEAR ROUND and not just during the month of November.. Whaddaya say??

Eat a lot & be thankful for friends, family, food, and everything you've been given in your life!


PS - The neighbors that live on the other side of my bedroom wall are blasting Taylor Swift and I can hear them singing along in their male falsetto voices. Yes, they are all men over there. Haha. I just thought that was funny. Very irrelevant, but funny.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Jacquie Here.

Something I have been wanting to do for quite some time is to write a blog post in Spanish. So if you don't mind, I am going to do that right now. I'll tell you today's gratitute message in Spanish. I hope you don't find this weird.. Haha.

I know all you Spanish-Speaking RM's will love this. ;) Here goes. ** Translation at the bottom.**

Ya sabemos que el mes de noviembre es el mes para pensar en nuestros bendiciones.. Hoy, estaba caminando por el centro estudiantil en campus cuando vi una pared cubierta con servilletas. En cada servilleta, varios estudiantes habían escrito algo por lo que eran agradecidos y las pusieron en la pared. Algunas dijeron (en inglés), "Estoy agradecido por mi familia", o "Estoy agradecido por mi país".. cosas así. Algunos fueron escritos en otra idioma, como árabe o francés. Y pues eso me hizo pensar en otras cosas por lo que estoy agradecida mientras caminaba a mi próxima clase. Y me di cuenta de algo - ¡Que suerte tengo de poder comunicarme en otra lengua!

Hoy, estoy muy agradecida por poder hablar, conocer, y comprender el español. Esta capacidad o habilidad ha sido una gran bendición en mi vida en más de un sentido. Porque conozco el español, he conocido a nuevos amigos, he obtenido buenos trabajos, he ayudado a mucha gente cuando no se pueden comunicar, he tenido mucho éxito en mis estudios. Y también lo uso para diversión a veces con mi papa o con otros amigos que hablan español... ¡Y la cosa maravillosa es que sigo aprendiendo más y más todos los días! Que bendición es el espanol en mi vida. Nunca pasa un día en que no utilizo el español en alguna manera u otra. Y yo sé que no hablo perfectamente. Yo sé que hago muchos errores a veces. Pero esto no me impide. ¡Me encanta el español! Me hace muy feliz. Y me imagino que siempre será una gran bendición para mi. :)

Cuéntame - ¿Qué bendiciones tienes en tu vida hoy?

Jacquie. :)

"We know that the month of November is the month to think about our blessings.. Today I was walking in the Student Union on campus when I saw a wall covered with napkins. On each napkin, several students had written something that they were grateful for and had stuck the napkin on the wall. Some of them said (in English), "I am grateful for my family", or "I am grateful for my country".. Things like that. Some of them had been written in other languages, like Arabic or French. And then that got me thinking about other things I am thankful for while I walked to my next class. And I realized something - How lucky I am to be able to communicate in another language!

Today, I grateful to be able to speak, know, and understand Spanish. This ablility has been such a great blessing in my life in more ways than one. Because I know Spanish, I have made new friends, I have gotten good jobs, I have helped several people when they have a hard time communicating with others, I have had a lot of success in my studies. I also use it sometimes just for fun with my dad or with my other friends who speak Spanish. And the awesome thing is that I continue to learn more and more everyday! What a blessing it is to have Spanish in my life. Not a day goes by that I don't use it in one way or another. I know I don't speak it perfectly. I know that I mess up a lot sometimes. But that doesn't stop me. I love Spanish! It makes me so happy. And I know that it will always be a big blessing for me. :)

Tell me - What are some blessings in your life today?"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life Is Beautiful

Jacquie Here.

Life is beautiful in Flagstaff. And that is where I live.
I am so lucky.

Just LOOK at how beautiful it is.
Does it make you want to come visit me? I bet so!

Note: These photos were taken in August. In real time, these trees are actually in vibrant Fall colors. Such as orange, yellow, and red. And the grass is scattered with crunchy leaves - which are my #1 favorite. 4 seasons. Be jealous..

Ah. To die for, right? Well, lately, I am thankful for this place where I live. It's got everything a girl like me could want. :)

What are you thankful for about the place you live? Share!


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Oak Tree

Jacquie Here.

This is a poem that Elder Ballard read at the CES Fireside last Sunday. My friend Daniel texted me later and told me that this poem reminded him of one of my older posts I wrote about being grateful for trials. I really like this poem, actually. And it really does pretty much sum up that old post. So read it. And thanks, Daniel!!

The Oak Tree

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ode to Sara B

Jacquie Here.

Anyone who knows the least bit about me knows that I. LOVE. MUSIC. I love to listen to it. I love to watch it. I love to read it. I love to play it. I love to sing it. I love to think about it.

If it weren't such a solitary lifestyle, I would totally be a "cave dweller" (as my brother, Shon, calls them) who sat in my basement ALL day and made music. I'm a junkie like that. It's serious. Sometimes when I have a lot going on in my head, I write songs on scratch paper. Then I stick it in my bedside table drawer and do nothing with it. One day, I will pull all those random pages out and do something with them. ONE DAY. This is a subject I could go on and on and on about, really. And I probably will end up doing that right now since I am really great at making these posts a lot more wordy than intended.

Don't you love when you discover an artist and become obsessed with them, then a few years later, people are like, "Hey! Have you heard of this person??" and you're like, "Uh, duh! I knew about them wayyyy long ago and I love them!"
Let's talk about Sara. That's how she was for me.
Yes, we are on first name basis. This is Sara Bareilles. I call her Sara B, cause I can.

Yes, I took this picture. No, it is not zoomed.

Everyone knows that I am obsessed with Sara B. Not in a creepy way. I just LOVE her style and her music and just everything about her. I aspire to be her. You think I'm joking? Ask anyone. I pre-ordered her newest album 3 months in advance and memorized it within a week of its release. At the end of September, I went to her concert in Tempe, AZ. Yes, I drove 2.5 hours, stood in line in the BLISTERING Phoenix heat for 3 hours, then got FRONT & CENTER in the venue. It was UNREAL, I tell you. Worth all the driving and waiting and heat. We made eye contact and she waved at ME. My friends that came with made fun of me cause I almost cried when she walked on stage!

SO ridiculously happy right now. That's HER in the background!

But why do I love Sara B, you ask?
Well, she has an amazing voice, for one. DUH. She's poppy, yet jazzy, yet chill. She has a few really popular trendy songs, but at the same time, she has a lot of "unknowns" (that I know, of course) that are amazing! I recommend you go look for them cause THOSE are what she is really about. She is so good at conveying her feelings in her music. And get this: SHE writes it all! A lost art these days. Gah. And her music is never cliche. She writes in a very creative way that makes me go, "Dang.. I wish I could have thought of that!". She's also super cool. When she would talk to us at her concert, she was so... normal. And funny! I really felt like we were just BFF's having a little chat. Did I mention that this girl is PURE TALENT? Cause she is. She plays the piano, the guitar, the accordion (haha).. you name it. All while she sings. She's a prodigy, I swear it. Also, I really believe that she is a genuinely good person. She doesn't lust toward having all the fame in the world. She's not the kind of person you'll see in the tabloids. She seems like an honest person. She just wants to do what she loves and make people like me happy! She has a sense of humor. And she's REAL. She's not overly perfect, but she's beautiful, nonetheless. She's not fake. She just does what she wants and happens to be very good at it.

And THAT is why I want to be her.
1st Step to Becoming Like Sara B: Buy all of her piano sheet music. DONE.
2nd Step to Becoming Like Sara B: Learn all of her piano sheet music. half DONE.
3rd Step to Becoming Like Sara B: Memorize all of her songs. DONE.
4th Step to Becoming Like Sara B: Find a glittery skirt. Next on my list... haha.
5th Step to Becoming Like Sara B: Sing at an Open Mic or on a street corner. One of the two DONE. Working on the other.

So basically, what I came here to say is this:
If I ever get anywhere with music, I want to be pretty much just like Sara B. (especially her jazziness. I like that.) Also, meeting her would be great too! (See my Top 5 List at the bottom of the blog.)

Sara B., if you're reading this, I love you! I've already told you this before though. Member? At your concert in AZ? "Little" girl in the front wearing a flowery top? Yep, that was me. Can we please sing together? :)

If you haven't heard very much of her stuff, please go look it up now. You will fall in love. I promise. Tell them Jacquie sent you.


PS - Today, I am thankful for good, inspiring music. And Sara B.

Tell me what YOU are thankful for today. Please?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good People

Jacquie Here!

Today, I am thankful for people.
But more specifically, for people in my life who have been good examples to me. There are thousands of people who have made a difference in my life and who have been good influences on me... But today, I have thought of 5 people who, whenever I think of them, I think of how great of people they are and of how good of examples they have been to me. I want to tell you what just a few people's examples have meant to me in my life. And how THANKFUL I am for them. :)

(I'm going to TRY to keep this in consecutive order from when I was much younger to present day..)

Obviously, my mother has been a good example to me in a lot of ways..

Me & Mom in 1991.

As a kid, I was obsessed with being a princess (totally normal for a little girl). One thing my mom told me that, for some reason, I have never forgotten was, "It's very important that you be nice to everyone.. Even if they are not your friend. There's never a good enough reason to be mean to another kid at school. If you want them to vote for you to be Prom Princess when you go to High School in a few years, you need to be nice to them now!". Haha. Now, as a kid, being Prom Princess (following in my mother's footsteps ;]) was a desirable thing. And I knew she was right.. Be nice to people and they will like you. But that is OBVIOUSLY not the only reason to be nice to people. She taught me that it's important to be nice to people just because it's the right thing to do! And so, every time I am confronted with a situation where I could be less-than-nice to someone, I think of those words from my mommy. STILL. Haha. Even though the whole Prom Princess thing is no longer applicable (and I never got nominated in High School anyway! HA!).
Thank You, Mom, for that good example.

My cousin, Chloe, was a good example to me as a kid too.

Me & Chloe at EFY in 2005 (I think?)

We grew up together. Did everything together. We were the closest cousins of our generation.. Only 3 months apart. She's STILL one of my best friends. Even though I was the "older" cousin (and I never let her forget it), she was a good example to me in a few ways. Chloe taught me to not be a sissy. Haha. She was the "tougher" of the two of us (She was the Tom-Boy, I was the Girlie-Girl). I would be such a wimp sometimes. Too scared to try new things. Didn't want to get dirty. It took time, but eventually, I let Chloe teach me that I shouldn't be afraid to have fun! She taught me how to enjoy riding a two-wheel bike down the steepest hill on Mercer Island at full speed. She taught me to enjoy running and jumping off the dock at Groveland Beach Park into the cold, deep water. She taught me that, even though I am not the best at sports, to just give it a try (so she could WHOOP me - She's amazing at sports... It was always a guarantee, haha). I'm glad I learned to be a little more daring and athletic from Chloe.
Thank you, Chloe, for that good example. :)

We all have that certain point in our lives when we have to kind of decide which direction we are going to go with our choices. For me, that was in the summer before 7th grade. And just in the nick of time, when I could have followed my not-so-good friends down the not-so-good path, Lindsay Cook stepped in.

Lindsay & two of her siblings. She is the one in the middle.

This is one of the most significant memories I have of someone who was a good example to me. I don't know if I've ever even shared this with Lindsay before. I had recently moved in right across the street from her. I had a couple friends from my old neighborhood who weren't making the best of choices and I would still hang around them every now and again. But Lindsay started becoming a better friend to me than they were. And she lived right across the street, which made it easy & fun to go "play" with her! She seriously was (and is) one of the best people I know! She taught me to see the best in people. She taught me to avoid, at ALL costs, even the smallest thing that could lead to temptation. She taught me not to gossip. She taught me to honor my parents and all adults. She taught me responsibility. She taught me to LOVE the Young Women's program with all my heart. And just when I almost started putting my testimony in the back seat, Lindsay taught me that having a pure testimony is the single MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life. She taught me how to grow it, how to share it, how to love it, and how to strengthen others' testimonies. SO glad that Lindsay caught me at such a young age and at JUST the right time in my life to be able to teach me these things. She truly was "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" and she continues to be, even though we are far apart and hardly ever speak or see each other.
Thank you, Lindsay, for that good example.

Who would my BEST FRIEND be if she wasn't included in this? Amanda Auwen a has definitely been a good example to me in our 7 years of best-friendship.

Me & Amanda at the Mesa Arts Center in 2007

Oh man. She has taught me SO much.. Too much to even list here. Amanda has taught me a lot about humility, actually. She taught me, in a very nice way, that I am not the center of the world (something we all learn at some point in our lives) and I wouldn't rather have learned that from anyone else. She taught me what it means to be in a loyal, loving friendship. We have been best friends for what feels like FOREVER and I am so happy about that! We are both each others' longest "relationship".. haha. We have more inside jokes than I have with anyone else in the world. We can read each others' minds, even over the phone. And we always joke that we are pretty much the same person - just completely different on the outside. Amanda has set the example for me to not waste money, to befriend the people who need a friend the most, to be patient, to think about decisions and what I say before I do/say it, to be happy with what you have, to love music, to LOVE the gospel even more and to have the desire to share it, to explore new styles and be creative, and to be comfortable in my own skin. You don't have to tell me.. I already know that I am SO lucky to have the BEST best friend in the universe. :) I LOVE YOU MANDA!
Thank you, Amanda, for that good example.

Even though we rarely got along as kids, my older sister Josie Martinez (formerly Hancock), has been one of the best examples to me in my life. Especially in the past 5ish years.

Me & Josie hiking in St. George, UT in 2010.

It's funny because I think back to when we were kids and we would fight about the pettiest things. I never thought then that when she moved out of the house and went off to college, we'd become SO close. But we did. I now consider Josie one of my best friends. I look up to her so much.. Which makes sense since she's my only big sister. Josie taught me to take my education seriously - that being the teacher's pet is actually a good thing and that trying your hardest is all that matters. She taught me not to be judgmental. She taught me how fun it is to cook healthy stuff! She taught me to not be so easily swayed by people who really don't have my best interest in mind. She taught me that taking care of my body is very important because it's the temple that houses my spirit and because it's the only one I get. She taught me how to be happy during the inevitable trials in life. And she taught me to be honest with myself and to not be afraid to let others know when I am uncomfortable with something. Where would I be if I hadn't learned these things??
Thank you, Josie, for that good example.

So the above are 5 people who have been significantly good examples to me in my life. And there are many, MANY more too. (And I just realized they are all women. Haha. Unintentional, I promise. Maybe I will do "Good People II: The Boys" next.. Haha.) And I don't know where I'd be without every single one of them! I'm so grateful to have good people in my life who teach me lessons and who set good examples to me. Thanks to everyone who has been a good example to me in whatever capacity at one point or another in my life.

Answer me this: What are YOU thankful for today? And who has been a good example to you in your life?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Beautiful Lady...


... Is who I was very thankful for this weekend!

Pretty much she is the best date ever. We decided we were looooong overdue for a playdate, so we met up and rode our awesome bikes downtown.

First, we went to the public library. Which is awesome, by the way. If you haven't visited your local city library recently, GO NOW. Really. You're missing out. I am definitely going to take my kids to the library ALL the time when I am a mother.
We went to the video section and found a TON of old movies that were our FAVORITES as little kids (I.E. The Education of Little Tree. Watch it now!). Then, we went to the little kids' area and colored Sesame Street coloring pages. I know, you're jealous.

Then, we just rode around downtown and took pictures of fun and ate ice cream. :)
I am very thankful for our cute little friendship! LOVE YOU, MORIAH!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today I Am Grateful...

... For a healthy body.

A healthy mind that can wake up on its own in the morning. Healthy legs that can ride my bike. Healthy eyes that can see all that there is to see around me. Healthy hands that can type this blog. Healthy arms that can show people my love with hugs. Healthy feet that can walk and run. A healthy mouth that appreciates the nutritious food I put it it (haha). Healthy ears that can hear all the amazing music there is out there. And a healthy heart that just keeps on doin' it's job.

Such an easy thing to take for granted, but it really is a huge blessing! :)

What are YOU grateful for today? Tell.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thank You, Temper Trap

Dear Temper Trap,
Thank you so much for writing my favorite song, Sweet Disposition. That was so thoughtful of you. I drew a picture that symbolizes this song during my Spanish class to express my gratitude. I hope you like it. :)

I know, It's awesome, right? And I always thought I couldn't draw!
I must say, I am quite proud of this work of art.
Maybe I will sell it to them for a shirt design and make big $$, ha. :]

This is my "gratitude" message of the day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Month of Gratitude

Jacquie Here!
It's officially November! And we all know that November is the month of Gratitude. :)

With Thanksgiving hastily approaching, I just keep thinking about what I'm most thankful for this year..

Let's get serious for a minute...

At the beginning of this semester; upon returning back to Flagstaff after spending a wonderful, blissful, and FUN entire Summer in Seattle with friends and family, I was faced with a lot of REALLY difficult experiences, lessons, and trials. I think it's safe to say that the period from August through early-October this year was probably the lowest and most burdensome of my short life yet. Now, I know that sounds dramatic. But I honestly felt like I had such an AMAZING summer, then I came back to nothing but blow after blow after blow of bad stuff. It seemed to all come at once. And just when I thought I had NO breaking point, I broke. Emotional breakdowns were a daily activity for me. Life was just not fair. I didn't know how to handle it because I always thought I was the kind of person who could take anything graciously and not let it affect me to such a point. Oh how wrong I was. I was SO worn out. Just DONE. I was experiencing so much physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, and spiritual strain all at once and I gotta say, it was quite detrimental to my health - in ALL of those aspects. We're talking pain here.

Now my point here is not to get pity from anyone. Just giving you some background.

Anyway, THANK THE HOLY HEAVENS that period of my life is O.V.E.R. I lived. I survived. I overcame. I picked up the broken pieces, thanks to the help of some really awesome people in my life. Like my dad. And my mom. And my siblings. And my roommates. And an amazing best friend. And new friends. And lots of other people.. And I NEVER in ten-trillion years thought I would say this (It's even hard to say it now, actually) .. But I am thankful for that learning period in my life. And now that it's November, the month of Gratitude, I guess I can get myself to admit that. Yes, I struggled and cried and hurt, but more than anything, I LEARNED.

I learned about patience.
I learned that a proper amount of sleep is CRUCIAL.
I learned that I, in fact, DO have a breaking point.
I learned that it's okay to stop pretending like everything is butterflies and rainbows.
I learned how to focus on my school work through all of it.
I learned the importance of setting priorities.
I learned that it IS possible to get out of bed and go to school and church and apply for job after job after job when I'd much rather stay in bed and just die.
I learned to love others in different ways.
I learned not to judge.
I learned that Passion Herbal Tea sweetened with Agave nectar heals.
I learned how to cry in front of people.
I learned that I need to be better at remembering that the Savior went through everything I've gone through and MORE - He understands and He is always there!
And above all.. I learned humility - Not an easy thing to learn. Trust me.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that what I am most thankful for as the year comes to an end is for trials that make me stronger. For the love of the people in my life. And for learning experiences - no matter how tough they may seem at the moment. I'm thankful for LOTS of other things too, but right now, this just sticks out in my mind.

If you are experiencing any extreme lows in your life right now, just know that one day, whether you like it or not, you WILL be thankful for these experiences. You're learning. Just get through it and "come off conqueror" (Doctrine & Covenants 10:5).

Someone gave a talk at church on Sunday and they read this quote.. I just LOVED it and it is so true, so I'm passing it on to YOU!

"There is no comfort in a growing zone & no growing in a comfort zone."

Today, I feel happy. REALLY happy! And it feels great. That's another thing I am grateful for - that I went through those experiences and now am able to appreciate even the smallest amount of happiness! :)

What are you grateful for today??
tell me. :)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Old News

Jacquie Here!
To many of you, this is old news. But nevertheless, old news is exciting! I am going to be an aunt! For the first time in my life. I simply can't wait!

And it's all thanks to these cute people...

Shon & Caitlin Hancock
My brother and his super cute wife

Photos taken by Bonnie Fritz

Don't these pictures just make your day? There's something about babies and pregnant bellies that make girls like me get all choked up. I LOVE THEM! And I can't even tell you how excited I am to be "Aunt Jacquie". Or something like that. Whatever Jude Kendall Hancock decides to call me. And that name - So cute, right? I am proud to say that when the happy couple was listing off the names they were considering, "Jude" was my favorite. And they chose it! WOO! ("Hey Jude... Don't be afraid..." timeless song too!) I know that little Jude is going to be SPOILED ROTTEN by his 7 (Yes, SEVEN) aunts. I mean, of course! He's the first nephew on our side of the family! (First grandchild period, actually) And I can't wait to spoil him and love him and cuddle him and buy him cute jammies and brag about him! He's due on December 3rd, 2010. But obviously, there's no guarantee he'll come when he's supposed to. Haha. Oh, and let's talk about the Beautiful Caitlin for a minute... Is she not the most radiant, naturally beautiful pregnant lady you've ever seen? Really, she is so cute. I was lucky enough to live with them for a couple months over the summer and watched her belly grow and watched her take SUCH amazingly good care of herself and her baby. He is going to be the cutest, healthiest baby around, that's for sure. And he has his Momma to thank for taking such good care of the both of them. She's even doing a home birth, which is both the bravest and BEST decision ever! You can really tell how much she already loves this boy so much by the way she takes into consideration every little thing she does or eats and how it can affect little Jude. It really is amazing. She's already the best mother! And Shon! He is already such a good daddy! He's so excited. When I lived there, he would come home from work, and the first thing he would do when he walked through the door would be to kiss his wife and son. And then he'd press him face against her belly (like in the above photo) and talk to Jude. He couldn't stop saying how much he loved him! Oh my gosh, I'm getting a little choked up just thinking about it. And the whole time, I just watched. And fell in love with Jude too. :) I have dreams about him, seriously. Haha. He's definitely gonna be cute! I mean, just LOOK at those genes he's got going for him? Right?

Anyway, this is just the beginning of my "Auntie Brag Book", I'm sure. These two are going to have many cute little ones. And I have lots of other sisters who will do the same someday! :) But I'll have you know, Jude is always going to have a special place in all of our hearts, I'm sure, for being the first one of his generation on our side of the family. Doesn't mean I'll love the others any less, but... "Jude started it!".


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Sabbath

Hey, Jacquie Here.

On a scale of 1 - AWESOME right now, I think my Sabbath Day was AWESOME and a half! :)

Don't you just love when you go to church and ALL THREE blocks are just so powerful and amazing? And you feel like every talk and every lesson was prepared JUST for you? I know I do. (If you are unfamiliar with the LDS church, check this out)

Well that was today. Some of my favorite things to ask for in my Sunday morning (HA! "Sunday Morning"- One of my favorite songs EVER) prayers are: That I will be able to feel the spirit while I am at church that day, that I will be able to recognize someone in particular's needs and be able to help them in some way, and that I will be able to recognize when a lesson or talk is something that I especially need to hear.

HELLO! All three of those requests were made clear to me today. Love it.

So, even though all three blocks were just wonderful (Great talks in sacrament meeting; learned about covenants in Sunday School), I want to talk about Relief Society today. My lovely, sweet roommate Jordan Walls gave the lesson and I watched her prepare for it all week. She's so great. How cool is it that I have this Spiritual Giant living under the same roof as me? (Gee, I hope it rubs off on me!) Anyway, the lesson was centered around a talk given by Sister Elaine S. Dalton called "Remember Who You Are!" (General Young Women Meeting, April 2010). It was all about our individual worth as women in the church.

-We talked about a lot of the Young Women values (brought back memories) with an emphasis on Divine Nature, Individual Worth, and Virtue.

-Remember this scripture about virtue? It's short and sweet:
Proverbs 31:10 - Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Going along with Virtue, we need to make sure that we are always living virtuous lives so that the Holy Ghost is always welcome in it. Jordan said (I paraphrase), "We may not have complete control over what we look like etc.. But we have complete control over whether or not we have the spirit with us". So true, right? Never really thought of it that way. There are a lot of things we can't control in our lives, but we DO have control over that and THAT is probably the #1 most important thing. And when we have the Spirit with us, others really CAN see it in our countenances. I can't even tell you how many amazing girls I know who are just so beautiful because the Spirit and the Gospel shine through in their countenances. About this, Jordan said (and I love this...), "The Holy Ghost literally makes you more attractive!". Haha. Love it.

-We talked about thinking positive thoughts about ourselves because, as women, a lot of us sometimes struggle with self-worth and giving ourselves credit for things. It's not that we should think selfish or conceited thoughts about ourselves. But it is really important that we remember our good qualities and focus on those while trying to strengthen our not-so-good ones. When we think positive thoughts about ourselves, our success rate goes up. We are able to get closer to reaching our full potential of what Heavenly Father wants us to be! Yes!

- We talked about seeing the good in others. Replace negative thoughts you have about others with three positive things. It will make it SO much easier to see the good in them and actually love them for it. Really, try it. Remember this scripture? Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (emphasis added). It's as simple as this: Pray for the people you have a hard time loving - try to see them through a Heavenly Father's eyes. Here's a quote I found on my "Honest Aid" juice bottle this week that went perfectly with this: "If you look for the bad in people, you will surely find it!" - Abraham Lincoln. How true that is. If bad things are all we are looking for when we look at a person, then bad things are all that we will find. But, try turning this quote around.. "If you look for the good in people, you will surely find it!".. Also true. And so much better! We should all try to look for the good in people more often, instead of making a "snap judgment" as my Visiting Teacher, Carrie, would say. And when you see the good in people, you can't help but LOVE them!

I kid you not, after this lesson, I couldn't help but just look around the room at all of the super cool and cute women in there and just love every single one of them! Try it; you'll like it. Thanks Jordan!

I am so sorry that this turned into like, a never-ending sermon. I tend to ramble. But I just HAD to share it. How appropriate that I just started a blog. :) Now go find your inner awesomeness and love someone!


PS - I promise not all of my posts are going to be like this. I am just on a Sweet Sabbath High right now!

PSS - A few months ago, I posted something really sweet about women on The Roomie Blog. You should read that too. You won't be sorry.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hello There

Hey, Jacquie Here!

Okay, so yes... I'm starting my own blog.


Now I know what you're thinking... 'SO lame.. another one of those blogs that someone started so she could talk about herself and her opinions and make other people think she is cool'. Just so we can be at an understanding, this is not one of those blogs. Oh no. In fact, I've been debating whether or not to start this blog for months on end. Because I was one of those people once. I would find some girl's blog and think, 'Seriously? How pointless. Why do you feel the need to post endless blog postings all about yourself just so random people can read it?'. But then I came across some pretty awesome blogs of people I admire. And I started "following" them faithfully. And fell in love with their ways of thinking. And then I realized something... I think a lot. And I love to write. AND - I feel like I have somethings to say to the world (okay, maybe not the world, but to people who care to hear about said thoughts). So, combining those three things, I brought yet another blog into this world. But before that happened, I had a several-month-long battle with myself that went a little something like this:

Me: I just thought of a cool thing in my head and should write that down where people can read it!

Myself: Start a blog! You are a pretty decent writer....?

Me: Um.. NO! K, seriously, so many people have blogs where they ramble about themselves and that is lame. Not doing it.

Myself: But this doesn't have to be that kind of blog...

Me: Well, people will think it is. Blogs are for people who have an amazing life story.. Or who are married. Not single college kids.

Myself: Come on...

Me: Maybe I will just start one and not tell anyone about it.....?

Myself: Or you could just make one and tell a few people..

Me: Hm... I think I'll wait. Till I am married.

Myself: No, just start one already. You know you want to.

Me: (A few weeks later to present day) Okay. Fine.

So here we sit, Me and Myself... Finally on the same page, and starting a blog.

Now, I know this is getting pretty lengthy, but let me just add that I still am not entirely sure what kind of blog this is going to be. And I know for a fact that there will be times when I am just an awesome blogger on a blogathon, and other times when I won't write for a long period of time. It just means I have nothing to say. Or no time to say it. One or the other. Anyway, that having been said, I hope one of these days you find something you like here. And I hope that I will be able to touch you in some way. Or make you smile. Or make you laugh. Or get you thinking about something you've never really thought of before. THAT is what this is about. Not about what I wore today or about how much I wish I didn't have to study for that mid-term. So, here we go.

That is all. Thank you for being here today!