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. :)