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?


Friday, June 24, 2011


Jacquie Here.

Kind of gruesome, I know. But it's seriously how i feel sometimes. Sorry if you were disturbed...

Ever since I entered the working world as a teenager, I've always promised myself that I would never let my job become my life.

Turns out avoiding that is more difficult than you'd think, and it's quite an unfortunate predicament to get caught up in.

I'm pretty sure my most commonly used phrase in the last few months of my life has been, "I can't, I have to work". And I'm pretty sure 90% of the people I know have pleaded with me to quit this job that is taking over my life. But people, I can't. And is it so terrible that I like this job?

I mean, I obviously don't like the fact that I never have time for anything or anyone anymore. Or that I am on the schedule to work 8 hour days, but they just happen to turn into 10 or 11 hour days EVERY time. Or that I get a 5 minute "lunch break" on busy Fridays. I don't like that scheduling a dentist appointment is more difficult than trying to regrow an amputated limb. And actually making an appointment is even more difficult. I don't like that I miss out on Wakeboard Wednesday with my friends every single week because by the time I get off, it's over. I don't like that I have to eat out all. the. time now because I have no time to cook anymore. I don't like that I can't feel my feet and my ankles are swollen by the end of the day because I've been standing for 10+ hours. And I don't like being cooped up indoors at work all day when there's an amazing rain storm going on outside - you know, the one I've been waiting for all year because I love rain. Yeah, I don't like that.

But I do like that I get to talk to people all day long. It's amazing the people you meet and the things you learn working at a bank. Because, come on, almost everyone banks - everyone from recently released inmates to church pastors to multi-millionaires who started their own business from the ground up. You meet really interesting people. You encounter the happiest of happy people, to the grumpiest of grumps. And with the grumps, you just have to hope that once you've finished helping them, they can leave happier than when they came. When I ask a customer how he's doing today and he says "Oh, I'm okay..", I say, "Just okay?? Why not great?" and thus commences a conversation about how he had plans to run all kinds of errands today and to have a productive day, but his car blew a tire and now he's waiting for new tires and had to walk down the street to the bank to withdraw money to pay the tire guys and now he's behind on all the things he has to do and he still needs to pick up his kid from school.. You get the idea. But I always tell those customers, "Well, I can tell you this - You are going to have a better day by the time you leave here today", with a smile. And I just hope that they do.

Don't get me wrong. It's inevitable to have to deal with one or two of those unbearably mean and sour customers each day. The ones that make you want to smack them in the face and walk out and say something like, "You know, I don't HAVE to do this for you. This is a SERVICE, Mr. Grump, so you can just...... (insert your own creative insult)." Oh yes, I have had my share of those customers.

But then you have the incredibly delightful and sweet 87-year-old woman, like Mrs. Collins (names have been changed to maintain confidentiality), who slowly walks up to your teller window almost every day with her complimentary cup of coffee and compliments you on how you always look so nice and invites you to her yard sale she is having this weekend and tells you how wonderful you are and thanks you excessively for helping her today. Yes, it's customers like Mrs. Collins that make it all worth it. It's customers like her that make you want to go out of your way to help them. It's customers like her that just make my day.

So I guess you could say I like my job.

I just wish there was a better way to even out my work-life balance that I have worked so hard to maintain all my life.

I wish I had time to sew again. And to play the piano. And to go out when it's still daylight to enjoy the nice weather. And to cook. And to blog (I got today off for my roommates wedding - ONLY reason I have time for this). And to go visit my family. And to enjoy being young, like I'm supposed to.

And sadly enough, when I DO have time for those things, that's when I just want to sit on the couch and put my feet up and do absolutely nothing.

So yes, it's true. I think I can officially be deemed the dreaded label of "Workaholic". Sorry world, playing will have to wait while I make a living over here.

Until my next day off, assuming I have the motivation and energy to sign on to Blogger, my faithful blog followers - I still love you.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Raindrops on Roses

Jacquie Here.

I'm BAAAAAAAACK! Let me begin by offering my apologies for not posting in over a month. I have good excuses, I promise. Such as a new full-time job. And other grown-up things like that. Anyway, I digress...

I know that the title of this post got you singing that song we all know and love from The Sound of Music. Just admit it.

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens..."

... Well, it got me singing it.

Lately, I have had a very uneventful, unexciting life. It's been something to get used to after this past year of craziness in my life, but I learned to really love the simple life that I am now living. And recently, as I have lacked things to be super excited about, I have begun to pick out the simple pleasures in life to be happy about.

Well, turns out I have a lot to be happy about.
Like "brown paper packages tied up with string"

And other things too.. Want me to tell you some of the simple things that I have figured out really make me happy?

Playing the piano.
Little kids giving me hugs.
Hearing a new song that I love.
Random phone calls from friends.
Sewing buttons back on that have fallen off.
Riding my bike to work.
Hearing from someone that they read my blog and liked it.
Coming home to a clean house.
Drawing trees.
Seeing people I know come to my work.
Late night talks with my roomies.
When people say 'Thank You'.
& Strawberry cream cheese.

The simple things.

Just goes to show that I don't need an exciting, action-packed life to have something to be happy about. And now, whenever I am in a bad mood or think I have nothing to be excited about, I just tell myself, "Hey, just think about strawberry cream cheese. Cause it's delicious. And it makes you happy!". Works like a charm.

What makes YOU happy?
Tell us.
Then, whenever you're bored with your life, you can think of the simple things that make you happy. Like raindrops on roses... Or strawberry cream cheese!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

R U 4 RLZ?

Jacquie Here.

Welcome to the 21st Century, my friends, where texting has literally taken over our generation.

Seriously, though.

Think about it.. How many text messages have you sent and received in the last 24 hours? Now look at how many incoming and outgoing phone calls you've had in the last 24 hours. What about the number of people you've actually spoken to face-to-face in the last 24 hours?

Pretty sad, right?

In high school, I wrote an essay about the epidemic that texting has become. I wrote that while the constant advances in technology can be great tools for us in all aspects of life, these "tools" are rather becoming "substitutes", especially in the lives of the forthcoming generation. Young people, especially, are using text messaging, instant messaging, and other social networks as a substitute to face-to-face interaction. Lila Burgos, a writer for the Arizona Daily Wildcat said that "text messaging is a way of avoiding some of the most intimate moments people get to share with each other - and that's a bad thing". It's so true - how many times have you said something over text that you would never say to someone's face? "Hiding behind a text message to confront someone or express something uncomfortable is taking the convenient, and sometimes cowardly, way out." (Source)

Now, I know that I am no exception to this. Not even a little bit. I have often found myself using text messaging as a crutch. It's just lazy, really. But I can honestly say that I have no problem with face-to-face interaction. In fact, I much prefer that over texting. It's just that texting is so much more convenient right? But that's no excuse. Pick up the phone and call them, people. You can get through a conversation much more quickly that way, and intentions are more likely to be interpreted correctly. I don't even want to talk about the number of times that someone has misinterpreted the way I intended something to sound in a text message. Then I have to call them and explain. Ugh. Just because I don't put a million exclamation points and smileys doesn't mean that I am speaking to you grumpily! I'm talking like a normal person, got it?

Here's a funny quote to chew on for a second before we get to the next portion of my rant (Now I know this is more about Facebook than texting, but it's along the same lines):

"If you want to get in touch with your friend, what do you do? You run to Facebook and leave them a message. You don't call them... why would you do that? That's 90s stuff!"
- 'Frank'

Alright, so let's talk about how people use and abuse texting in the dating realm, shall we? (Yay! Dating! Right? Haha.) Can I just say how irritating it is when a guy asks me out via text? SO very irritating. Also such a huge turn off. No thanks. Am I really not worth your time to dial my number (I know, 7 numbers is SO many!) and use your words? I'm cool with a text message a couple days later to confirm plans and whatnot, but if you're asking me out on a date, you sure as heck better get on that phone and call me. Better yet, ask me in person! Also, if you're going to change plans or break a date, a text message will not give you good chances in the future. Just sayin'. And like I said, I am guilty of the aforementioned sins of making/breaking plans via text. Still doesn't mean it's right. I'm human too. And I can be lame sometimes. But I feel that in general, I utilize my people skills to cultivate friendships in person. If more than 10% of your interaction with someone else is virtual, I would have to feel sorry for that relationship!

Now I'm not by any means "anti-text". I like to check-up and be checked-up on by friends every once in a while with a, "Hey, just thinking of you! Hope you're having a good day!" But don't try and get to know me over text or instant messaging; just don't do it. Cause you won't get very far - I don't enjoy playing your games. "So what do you like to do for fun?" is a lame question, but it's much cooler if it's asked face-to-face, right? Something else that is horribly wrong about how often texting is used and abused these days is that people will spend all day texting back and forth, and by the time they are face-to-face, they have nothing to say to each other. Don't get me wrong, texting is a wonderful way to let 10 people at once know that your nephew was finally born, or you passed that test you were worried about. But "Hey, would you like to get dinner with me tomorrow night?" is unacceptable unless you're one of my girlfriends. If it's an official "date" where you pay and all that stuff, you need to do it right. I don't want to go as far as to say that chivalry is dead, because that wouldn't be fair to the handful of guys who still practice it, but it is quite unfortunate that courting has become so virtual these days; saddening, in fact. So word to the wise: texting = Turn off. Calling me = Points. Talking to me in person = Solid.

Also, can we talk about the "post-date-5-minutes-after-dropping-me-off" text?
Exhibit A: "Hey, thanks again for a great night. I had fun!"
Exhibit B: "I forgot to mention how beautiful you looked tonight. I really like you!"

Now, while they are both flattering, Exhibit A is much more preferable. Exhibit B is just weak and cowardly. Really? You couldn't say that to my face before you dropped me off? Next, please.

I am going to compile a brief list of what I think is okay, and what I think is not okay as it concerns texting:
OKAY to do over text:
- Confirming plans that were made earlier
- A long-time friend just checking up on me
- Someone letting me know they're thinking of me
- Jokes and witty comments
- Quick questions that do not necessarily require a phone call
- If you are in a meeting or class but need to tell me something
- Filling me in on recent, but not super significant, events
- A FEW flirtatious comments - but don't go overboard

NOT OKAY to do over text:
- Making plans, like a date
- Giving me lots of compliments
- Letting me know you're waiting outside
- Telling me your feelings
- Serious questions
- Concerns you have
- Touchy subjects
- Trying to get to know me
- Long, drawn-out conversations - Not my style.

(Of course, there are many more things that can be added to both lists, but these are just to say a few)

So how 'bout that last one? Long, drawn-out conversations over text... I strongly dislike those. Only on very rare, and usually very bored, occasions will I participate in a long, drawn-out conversation via text. And sadly, my dislike for full-on conversations through texting has driven away a couple of my friends. I kid you not! I had a friend who ALWAYS wanted to text me all day long about nothing. And when I wouldn't respond, or when I would tell him that we can just talk about it next time we see each other, he would get really upset. Eventually, that friendship dwindled, and we hardly ever speak anymore. Why? Because he wanted to rely solely on constant text messaging as a means of communication in our friendship, while I would much rather wait until we saw each other again to catch up. Whatever, his loss.

To conclude this wordy post, let me please reason with you all to make more of an effort to interact with others on a more personal level. Next time you pick up your phone to send a text message, stop and think for a second whether or not what you are about to say could better be said if you just called them. Not easier, but better. And I'm going to take a wild guess and just say that 9 out of 10 times you do that, you will find that maybe it would just be better to call them! I'm sure they'd appreciate it too. I know that when I get even just a brief phone call from someone, that would normally be a just a text message these days, I feel happy that they made that effort. We need to do better, as a generation, to rebuild our social skills and learn to comfortably communicate face-to-face again.


"...If you are one of those blessed with the gift of hearing and speaking, use it accordingly. Even if it is a two-minute phone call, you acknowledged the fact that whoever it is means enough for you to take a chance." (Source)

What are YOU going to do to break the texting barrier in your life?

What are your thoughts on this?

Can you give some examples of a relationship you have had with someone else that relied way too much on text messaging?

Share with us!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Jacquie Here.

Today, I am 20. I think that is funny. (intentional rhyme)

But really, I do think it's funny. I still get mistaken as a high school freshman at the grocery store. (awesome.. NOT. I hate that more than anything.) I feel like 20 is a pretty big milestone, though. I mean, right? It means I'm officially out of the "teen" years. It means I'm a real-live adult. But I still feel (and AM) so young in comparison to the rest of the world. But I also feel a little bit old.. Twenty years ago, I was born. 2 decades. One more year and I'm "legal", although that means pretty much nothing to me..

This week, as it was my birthday week, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life the past 20 years. What have I accomplished in 20 years? Have I done anything great?

When Bill Gates was 20, he dropped out of Harvard and co-founded Microsoft.

When Taylor Swift was 20, she became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award
(and then was interrupted by Kanye during her acceptance speech and that became kind of a big deal).

When Jane Austen was 20, she wrote
Pride and Prejudice, her second and most famous novel.

When Alexander Graham Bell was 20, he taught a stray Skye Terrier to talk.

I may not have accomplished amazing things like these people; I may not have founded my own company worth trillions of dollars, I may not have a bunch of Billboard hits, I may not have written a best-seller, I may not have taught a stray dog to speak
(hey, you probably haven't either, okay?) ... But I feel happy with what I have done with my life in 20 years.

I have won a Spelling Bee
(made it onto the front page of the newspaper!).

I have traveled to or lived in a lot of the coolest cities in the U.S. (among these: L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle...)

I have completed a year and a half of college.

I have been on TV
(just the local news interviewing my family about water contamination).

I have taught myself piano and guitar.

I have gotten a 4.0 GPA
(in the 9th grade).

I have shot a 223 rifle.

I have learned a lot about myself and about life.

And I think
my greatest accomplishment at the age of 20 is that I have stayed true to who I am for 20 whole years. I have never in my life doubted who I am or who I want to be. That is rare, and I think that it's great, don't you?

proof that I shot a 223.

I am a huge goal-setter. New Year's, the start of a new semester, the beginning of a new week, birthdays, any kind of "New Beginning"... Every opportunity I have to set goals, I do. I keep a notepad on my bedside table and usually jot down some goals I have for the following day before going to sleep. They're usually just small tasks that need to be accomplished: do laundry, write a letter, call so-and-so, paint nails. I feel better when I have a purpose every day. And I think one of the best feelings in the world is when I have accomplished everything I wanted to for that day. It's peaceful. But, like most human beings, I tend to set goals that I never accomplish. That happens a lot more than it should. I wrote a lengthy post in January with my goals for 2011 and I'm pretty sure I've already failed at about half of them. But you know what, at least I'm setting goals, okay? They'll be accomplished someday.

(getting to the point now...) as turning 20 is another New Beginning in my life, I feel it is only appropriate to whip up 20 goals for my 20th year. 20/20, get it? Some of them are the same goals I set for the New Year, but I'm still working on them. I am a firm believer that sharing your goals with others ensures more motivation to accomplish them, so here they are (in no particular order):

20 Goals For My 20th Year
1. Pay off debts
2. Improve musical talents
3. Get back in school and achieve 3.7 GPA or higher
4. Communicate more frequently with those I love (more phone calls, etc..)
5. Write in journal more consistently
6. Exercise regularly to maintain healthy energy level, weight, and overall health
7. Seek opportunities to serve others daily
8. Finish reading the NT all the way through
9. 100% Visiting Teaching
10. Find a stable, well-paying job that I enjoy
11. Don't speak malice of others - Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
12. Be more patient and flexible
13. Be more humble - Put others before self
14. Attend General Conference LIVE (Is this cheating since I already know I'm going next month? haha)
15. Be more sensitive to the Spirit - Omit things from my life that are not conducive to the Spirit
16. Remember deadlines & due dates - Plan ahead & don't procrastinate
17. Pray for guidance when making even small decisions
18. Don't complain about little things
19. Create a $$ savings plan and follow it
20. Be sincere and genuine in my relationships with others

Also, I just want you all to know that you should definitely go to Chili's for your birthday because they bring you the most FANTASTIC chocolate molten cake with ice cream (for free!) and sing you a cheerful song. Here's proof of how much I enjoyed it last night...

Don't worry, I shared it with about 6 other people. And I didn't REALLY get that messy. I intentionally smeared chocolate and ice cream all over my face for a dramatic effect. I mean, it was my last chance to do something immature while I was still a "teen" and it was still acceptable.

That is all.
Happy Birthday to me.
(blowing out 20 candles)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Wierd Things I Do.

Jacquie Here.

I have come to accept that I do weird things on occasion. People tell me I'm weird.. kind of often. And only recently have I come to the realization that they are right. But hey, there's nothing wrong with being "different", right?

Okay, okay. I'm weird. I get it. I like weird things. I do weird things. I have weird friends. I listen to weird music. I eat weird foods. But what does "weird" even mean, really?

Just in case you're weird like me, I really did look up the word "weird" and it means: involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny; fantastic, bizarre. (I like fantastic the most.) source.

I commonly get criticism for my "weird" food combinations.

WHAT is weird about these combinations??






You be the judge. I don't think it's weird. I think it's delicious!
(I do other weird things too)

What weird ism's do you have?

Please don't tell me I'm the only weirdo.


PS - If you're gonna call me weird, please don't misspell it "wierd". Please.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Decisions & Options

Jacquie Here.

Remember when you were a kid, and the "tough" decisions you had to make on a daily basis were trivial things like:
- Scrambled or Sunny-Side-Up?
- Sneakers or Mary Janes?
- Backstreet Boys or 'NSync?
- Hair up or down?
- Shotgun or backseat?
- Nickelodeon or Disney Channel?

Yeah.. Those were the days.

It's funny how much changes when you're older. And the "tough" decisions you have to make each and every day actually ARE tough. Like:
- Where to go to school?
- What kind of career to pursue?
- Who to marry?
- Where to live?
- How many kids to have?

...Etc, etc, etc.. The list of decisions we make every day as adults is very long. And they're usually all pretty critical decisions, too!

And another thing that makes this adult decision-making stuff so difficult is that sometimes, it seems like there are always so many different routes and options we can take, while other times, we feel like we have absolutely ZERO options. Also, sometimes several different options could be right, you just have to CHOOSE. That's the hardest part.

I now realize that in the past few months, I have been limiting myself by failing to see that I have SO many options available to me! I have tended to believe that I only have ONE option and that I must take it. However, with this new-found knowledge that I, in fact, DO have many other options in life, I have suddenly become very ambitious! I have so many different paths and ideas running through my mind now as to what I should do and where I should go. And for the first time in... I think my entire life, I am starting to wonder if maybe where I am and what I am doing with my life are not necessarily where I need to be and what I need to be doing.. Do you follow? (I'm just typing rapidly as these exciting, adventurous ideas enter my head.)

I just have to make a CHOICE.

Now that I know I have options, I feel like I suddenly have this awakening telling me, "EXPLORE them, Jacquie! EXPLORE!". So, off I go to explore my options... Obviously with a little help and counsel from The Man Upstairs. Because there is no such thing as making Big Life Decisions without His help, believe me!

Tell me about a big decision you have made, are currently making, or will have to make in the future. What helped you or will help you make that decision? Did you feel like you had options? Share with us!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Jacquie Here.

If I were an only child, I'd have my education paid for.

If I were smart, I'd be going to school somewhere prestigious.

If I were living in a bigger home, I'd have friends over for dinner parties all the time.

If I were famous, I'd have a cooking show with my sisters called "Six Sisters in the Kitchen".

If I were rich, I'd buy all my clothes at Anthropologie and locally owned boutiques and I'd fix the bumper on my car.

If I were tall, I wouldn't need to wear heels.

If I were old, I'd have lots of happy grandkids.

If I were patient, I'd have already threaded my sewing machine I got for Christmas.

If I were more diligent, I'd have a really great full-time job.

If I were still in high school, I'd already know what I was going to wear to the prom.

If I were married, I'd have a cute, personalized home full of love.

If I were good at being frugal, I'd have a lot more money in my savings account.

If I were done with school forever, I'd move back to Seattle.


I'm not an only child, so my schooling is a little more difficult to fund.

And I'm not THAT smart, so I'm going to NAU - which is still somewhat prestigious, but it's no Harvard.

And I'm not living in a bigger home, so the occasional Sunday Potluck is as close as we get to dinner parties.

And I'm not famous, so I just pretend like I'm hosting a cooking show in my kitchen as I make my dinner.

And I'm not rich, so most of the clothes I have are still from high school (lucky they still fit!).

And I'm not tall, so I own a lot of high heels.

And I'm not old, so instead of having grandkids, I play with the kids at the preschool I work at.

And I'm not very patient, so my sewing machine is still sitting by the bookshelf... threadless.

And I'm not very diligent, so I still just have a part-time job that I love, but don't make enough $ doing.

And I'm not in high school anymore, so I will not buy that dress I really want, but have no reason, nor means, to buy.

And I'm not married, so I have a mostly-cute, semi-personalized little apartment that I share with 4 other great girls.

And I'm not good at being frugal, so my savings account is pathetic.

And I'm not done with school yet, so I'm still here.


And that's all a-okay with me. For now. Because that's the way it's supposed to be.

Who cares if I'm not an only child, smart, living in a bigger home, famous, rich, tall, old, patient, diligent, still in high school, married, frugal, or done with school? I'm happy, nonetheless.

I have learned that the point is being happy with what you have RIGHT NOW. Not what you WISH you had, USED to have, or what you see SOMEONE else have. That will get you nowhere.

All that matters is that you:
- Don't worry about the things you can't control
- Work on improving your best qualities
- Work at obtaining good qualities you would like to have
- Stop focusing on "finding happiness"...

And just be happy RIGHT NOW!

Forget about all the IF's. Seriously.

That's all. Hopefully this will help you sleep better at night.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Unconditional Love

Jacquie Here.

Happy Valentine's Day! I have a message for you that I feel is perfectly appropriate for today's universal theme of L.O.V.E. And that message has to do with Unconditional Love.

Sunday night, I went to a fireside (If you don't know what I'm talking about, a fireside is like a large religious group devotional typically held on Sunday evenings in our church) that was exclusively for the women of the church. Also known as the Relief Society Sisters. The members of the Stake Relief Society Presidency came and spoke to us and it was wonderful and uplifting, as all Relief Society gatherings are. :) One sister (Wish I could remember her name) spoke on Unconditional Love. We're not necessarily talking about romantic love here, we're talking about Unconditional Love between very close friends and loved ones.

Now let's define unconditional love, shall we? Wiki helped me out with this one:

"Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions. The paradigm of unconditional love is a mother's love for her newborn. Unconditional love is often used to describe the love in an idealized romantic relationship. It may sometimes also be used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms, and between others in highly committed relationships."

Unconditional Love is the kind of love that can never be shaken. The kind of love that you can feel for your brother, your child, your spouse, your neighbor, your teacher, your parent... All in the same way. The kind of love that doesn't ever falter, regardless of the choices people make, or the things they say. The kind of love that you feel when you know that you would stand by someone always - no matter what. Unconditional Love can be obtained immediately, or over a long period of time. Unconditional Love never leaves. Once it's there, it's staying there. Unconditional Love is not lustful. It is pure and humble. It is sacred and selfless. It is eternal.

The speaker went on to list people in her life who love her unconditionally. She talked about how when you are in a relationship of Unconditional Love with anyone, you could go days, months, years, decades and not see each other, but that when you are reunited, it's as if you were never apart. Because Unconditional Love never fades. She also pointed out that Unconditional Love is reciprocal (there are few exceptions). She said that everyone on her list of people who love her unconditionally, she has the same Unconditional Love for them. When one person loves someone unconditionally, that someone cannot help but feel the same Unconditional Love in return. The feeling is mutual.

Then she incorporated the spiritual underlining to this all - Whether your list of people who love you unconditionally is long or only has a few special people on it, there is one person who is on all of our lists, even if we don't know it: The Savior. He loves us unconditionally. He has the purest kind of love for us. He loves us so much that He gave His life for us. He loves us whether or not we love Him in return. "He loved [us] even before [we] were created, he loves [us] right now, and he'll love [us] for all eternity." He loves us with all of our faults and shortcomings. He loves us whether we're short, tall, black, or white. He loves us whether we have lots of money, or none. He loves us whether we have many friends and loved ones, or are alone. He has Unconditional Love for us. So much so, that He has promised to be our advocate to the Father at our Judgment. So much so that He knows us all by name and wants us to have all the happiness in the world. And how can we not feel warm and cozy thinking about that?

So I've spent some time pondering on the people who I love and who love me unconditionally and this is what I came up with (In no particular order):
- Jesus Christ
- My family
- Magnolia Romero (the entire Romero family...)
- The Merrill Family
- My roommate Jordan Walls
- Hudson Halm
- Gus Romero
- Kylee Buchanan
- Brad Fox
- Linda Crandall
- Clayton Reidhead
- Amanda Auwen
- Daniel Mellor
- Autumn Dark
And I'm sure there are many, many more. These are just the people who stood out in my mind at the time as people who I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt can look past all of my impurities and love me unconditionally. And I'm a little surprised, actually, at some of the people who made it on the list. Haha. I could tell you why there is Unconditional Love between each individual one of these people and myself, but that would take days. But all of these people, I know, will love me forever and will love me no matter what. All of these people are special to me in one way or another. All of these people I plan to be a part of my life forever. And I, in return, love all of them no matter what and always will. They are my truest true friends. :)

Who do you have Unconditional Love for? Share with us.

Again, Happy Valentine's Day!
I love you.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Life Isn't About Having The Coolest Shoes...

... But if it was, I would win.

($15 at Vans Outlet. No joke!)

Just sayin'...


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Jacquie Here.

So, a few of my friends and I have this thing where we share music. And whenever we hear a new song we love, or discover an awesome new artist/band, we tell each other right away. Because that's what friends do. And this leads to me having a lot of really great (I think) music in my collection.

Well, my faithful blog stalkers/followers, I have a proposal... Can we be music-sharing friends? That would please me.

Okay, I'll start with a few. Tell them Jacquie sent you.
(PS - A lot of these are in my blog playlist found at the bottom of the blog page...)

(Artist name - Album/Song)
1. Coconut Records - Nighttiming

2. Feist - Mushaboom

3. The Shins - (All of it)

4. Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining

5. Adele - Right As Rain

6. Jorge Drexler - Todo Se Transforma (Yes, it's in Spanish - but it's GOLDEN)

7. Belle & Sebastian - Piazza, New York Catcher

I think 7 is good for now.

(leave me comments with super awesome music to share with me. I know there's more out there. And it pains me to know I don't have it in my collection. So share.)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Jacquie Here.

I try to avoid discussing controversial topics in public places, but I've been thinking about this.. And I'm about to say something that may make some of you upset with me...

I love cooking and cleaning.

There. I said it.

For some reason, people in the world today look down upon that. They look down upon women who spend time in the home and cook and clean and do housewifey things. But what is so bad about that? As women, these things are just in our human nature.

Now don't get me wrong.
I am all for getting an education, having a good job, learning to be independent, and all that jazz. Really. I mean, why else would I be kicking my butt in work and in school? I want to do something with my life. I want to learn. I want to teach. I want to have my own income. I want to make wise investments. And I already feel that I've got the independent thing down for sure. But what will always be first and foremost my biggest desire in this life is to be a wife and a mother. And let me tell you this: I will rock at it. That's just my personal opinion.

People always get mad at me for agreeing with the statement that says, "A woman's place is in the home". Now, I don't agree that 'in the home' is the ONLY place that a woman belongs. But I do agree that the woman is the nurturer and the caretaker of the home. She's the one who does the cooking and the cleaning and the taking-care of the family. But - She does all these things with help and support from the male figure and other members of the household. And why, do you ask, is the woman supposed to do all these things? Because - She's good at it!

Think about it.
Note: This is not a man bashing session. I think men are great.
Can you see a man trying to do all the things we women do? Sure some men can cook, but in general, women are the masters in the kitchen. Sure some men can do laundry, but women are pros at making sure the colors and the darks are separate.

And there is n.o.t.h.i.n.g. wrong with that.. Seriously. I don't see why people think it's a negative thing to say that women are good at these things. Hello? It's talent. It's what we're made for. Just like men are made for car-fixing and bug-killing.

So, I'm not saying that women only belong in the home and that all women are sentenced to a life of housewife-slavery. I'm not saying that by any means. I'm just saying... Don't give us grief for doing things we're good at and loving it! And girls, don't be afraid to embrace your womanhood and develop and strengthen your homemaking skills! You can be a businesswoman and a great housewife simultaneously, I'm sure.

Feminists probably hate me right now.

I would say today was a good day.
- I ran errands (being independent)
- I went to an institute class (getting an education)
- I worked (being self-sufficient, being a businesswoman)
- I did 3 loads of laundry (doing my home duties)
- I cleaned the kitchen.. a few times (again, home duties)
- I cooked.. Made a nice big pot of delicious soup (a home duty that I happen to be talented at)
And I loved every minute of it! Because I am good at it. Doing these things makes me feel useful and strong and well-prepared for my not-so-distant future of being a wife and mother - which I can't wait for. And when that comes, I will be glad that I dedicated myself to perfecting the traits and skills that it takes to manage a happy household. :)

So please, friends, don't make snide comments about how every time you come over, Jacquie's in the kitchen cooking or cleaning something. As a matter of fact, I take that as a compliment. So thank you for noticing.

That is all.
I look forward to reading your comments about this. :)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

There Must Be Something in the Water

Jacquie Here.

Quick thought...

Is it just me, or is everyone and their mom getting married/engaged/pregnant lately? At least people my age.

Seriously, every time I sign onto Facebook, another nine-hundred-and-twelve people are announcing they're engaged.

I'm soon to be the only girl of my high school graduating class who's still single.


Oh, but I'm not complaining! I'm still very young... But I'm just wondering what in the world is bringing this all on - Too much, too soon! Haha. There must be something in the water. Please keep that water far away from me for now.

That is all.


Saturday, January 8, 2011


Jacquie Here.

So, me and some friends were having a discussion shortly before 2011 arrived. We were trying to figure out how to shorten it so you didn't have to say "Two-Thousand-Eleven" every time. Remember back in 2009? It was so easy to say "Oh-Nine", right? But that didn't work for 2010 ("Oh-Ten"? No.) nor does it really work for 2011. Or remember back in the 90's? You simply said "Ninety-Five". But you can't just say "Eleven".... Eleven what?

Well I still think it sounds cool to say "Oh-Eleven", so just let me.

Anyway, this being my first post of Oh-Eleven, I am going to share with you some of my New Year's Resolutions (cliche, I know) for the year 2011:

Mind and Body
Maintain weight and healthy tone
Get exercise regularly - attend yoga and/or exercise classes
Make a more routine sleep schedule
Read more books
Cook more often
Write in journal more often - at least weekly
Improve on the guitar; continue to strengthen musical abilities and USE them.
Don't be idle or wasteful with time
Learn new things - Have a healthy mind
Be more consistent
Strengthen talents and develop new ones
Try my best every day
Be more optimistic
Save more $$; Be smarter about spending - Be more frugal.
Find a good full-time job
Pay off all debts
Relationships with others
Find ways to serve others more often
Be a good example to others
Show more sincere interest in the affairs of others
Don't talk bad about others
Be more patient
Vocally point out others' strengths and good qualities - give compliments
Take more pictures to document my life
Keep in touch with old friends better
Read my scriptures more intently and more frequently
Magnify my church calling
Pray more sincerely to become closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior
Bear testimony more often - through words AND deeds
Be humble
Seek out and pray for missionary opportunities
Make sure that everyday, I am progressing in some area if my life in some way

I know, I know.. Yes, just I categorized them. Don't judge.

So yeah, clearly I have a lot to work on for 2011... The thing about New Year's Resolutions though, is that unless you share them with others, you don't really feel motivated to do a lot of them.. Which is why I shared them with all of you. Pressure's on.

And here's another thing: So far in 2011, I have utterly FAILED at pretty much every single one of the above resolutions. :(
So far, I've slept in way too late every day, I haven't exercised once, I've said something about someone else that I probably shouldn't have, I've skipped out on scripture reading, I've been pretty idle, I've been impatient, I've been prideful, I haven't written in my journal once, I haven't been the best example.... The list goes on. I know it's only been a week, but I need to COMMIT. Starting now.

On another note,
New Year's was very fun this year! Here are some sugar cookies I made to prove it. :)

Notice the glittery icing? I was SO beyond excited when I found edible glitter at Michael's!

Tell me, What did you resolve to improve in Oh-Eleven?

Happy New Year, Friends!