Sunday, April 10, 2011

March Madness

I know this is a late post but due to computer issues and being super busy I'm just now getting around to this.
The month of March was crazy, so hold on to your hats folks because this is going to be a long post. A lot has changed in my life and a lot has happened, so here's the DL on my life this past month.
So to kick off the month of March anticipation for Spring Break was high. Spring fever was in the air and we were ready for a vacation. At the beginning of the month
Izach came down to visit which was really fun to see him and be able to spend some time with him. March was filled with various dance concerts.

I went to the Step Show, Polynesian Dance Show, and Dancing
with the Stars.This year my dear Jenna DeGering was crowned Dancing with the Stars Queen of SUU! So that was fun to be able to watch her in that. She was amazing!
After a crazy week of trying to get everything turned in and midterms taken, Spring Break was approaching. My birthday fell on the Saturday of Spring Break so I decided this year
that I wanted to spend my birthday with the women who mean most to me in my life, my sisters mom and grandma's. I headed for home the evening of the 10th and had a lot to do over the break before our trip to California. I had planned to go and check out some options for transferring because I knew that I would need to transfer in the near future due to my latest dreams and aspirations as far as a career goes. Like I have mentioned, I have decided to study Speech Pathology and SUU does not provide that program so I knew that transferring was a must if I wanted to follow that path. So the evening of the 10th I received a call from one of the jobs I had applied for, for the summer. It was for the Oakcrest position. I was running when they
called me, but they left a voicemail so I called back to get details. I was planning on going to the temple early the next morning to see if I could receive some inspiration of what I should do in the approaching Summer and Fall. At this point I was just ready for some answers, but I knew that I had to do my part by researching different ideas and praying A LOT about what the lord wanted to me to do so I could figure out what he has in store for me. As I was talking to the girl I asked her if I could have a couple of days to pray about it and to make sure that Oakcrest was the right thing for me. She respected that but asked me if I would let her know by the evening of the 11th. I was scared. That was one day to figure everything out.
But I had faith that I would receive an answer if I attended the temple and that I would have clarity on what to do. I called Kate on my way home from the gym to break the news to her that I was most likely going to be living up in Woodland for the summer and I was curious what her plan was for the summer. So I rushed home from the gym and told my mom the news. She was excited for me but suggested that I attend the temple the next morning, as I was planning to do so, to see how I felt about it. I was so excited about this opportunity, but I had applied for some other jobs that would be equally an amazing experience.
The next morning I attended the temple. I felt so at peace and just genuinely happy to be there. I wanted to be able to sit and ponder in the temple and if you go alone you get in and out pretty quick. So after I was through with baptisms I wanted to find a quiet place where I could just sit, ponder, and pray. There is a little bathroom just out from the dressing rooms that is kind of tucked away that not many people use so I decided I would just go in there and sit in a stall while I studied my scriptures. It was small and a little funny I was just hanging out in a bathroom stall but it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in the temple. I just sat and read my scriptures and pondered about how much my Heavenly Father loves me. I love doing baptisms because I can truly feel those spirits of the people I am doing the work for and it is amazing. I feel like the room of the baptismal font is filled with people who love those I'm doing the work for, and they have just waited so long for these ordinances to be done and I am able to do that work for them. So I was just overwhelmed by love and peace. As I was reading my scriptures the scripture 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" popped into my head. I know this is a random scripture but at that point and as I read on I realized that Oakcrest was what I was supposed to do. I couldn't think of a more amazing opportunity than to spend my summer serving these daughters of god and helping them learn the gospel. An entire summer where I'm focusing on others instead of myself, not mention I could totally avoid worrying about boys for a few months. I was so at peace. The car ride home was pleasant. I felt content and just good about life.
When I got back to my grandma's my mom asked how I was feeling and I simply just said, "I feel so at peace." I left it at that. I was excited to go up and check out the University of Utah that day
too! I was able to connect up with my friend Kathleen and she accompanied me to check it out. On my way to go pick Kathleen up I got the impression to call Oakcrest and accept the job right then. There was a little voice in my head that said, "If you don't do it now, you're not going to do it." So I called and accepted. Kathleen and I pulled up to the U and I was excited. I walked up to the Admissions office and explained what I needed help with. The man at the desk didn't hesitate to direct me to the website and tried to tell me I could find all of this online.
First of all, the University of Utah's website is so confusing and I had a hard time finding ANYTHING on there when I had been on there before, and second of all, I did not drive all the way up to the U to find out that I wasn't going to be able to sit down with someone and just have someone help me. I asked if I could meet with someone, he said no. He took my stuff and gave it to someone who basically told me NOTHING would transfer. I was frustrated. I just wanted to talk to a counselor about my credits and details about my situation. Leaving the U empty handed and disappointed I didn't know what to do. Maybe Utah State was the answer. I felt so good about the U until I had fasted the week before and I got the feeling that I just needed to look into Utah State more. I had been very resistant to this idea because of previous events in my life and I was scared. I knew in the back of my mind that I have always wanted to go to Utah State but I was just so scared. My mind was full of all the what if's and doubts. But I was patient and was planning on checking out Utah State the following Monday.
That night I decided I wanted to go spend the night with my beautiful, wonderful sister Allie and her cute family because I missed them and we hadn't spent time together for a long time (not to mention I get to sleep in a bed when I go visit them too. :) ) So Allie came and picked me up and we had a lovely time. We were catching up and I was telling her my plans and concerns about everything and all of the sudden there was someone at the door. It was pretty late so it was odd that someone was stopping by, but little did I know it was Kate surprising me for my birthday!!!
Kate had returned back to Cedar the night before I was headed up North for my birthday and
wasn't thinking she would be able to swing driving up for my birthday because she was already spending money on gas and putting a lot
of miles on her car for our trip to California for later that week. I was so surprised and I was so excited that my best friend could be with me on my birthday as well. The next morning we woke up and did a little birthday shopping before my Lunch with all my sisters. I was so excited to be able to spend my birthday with just my sisters, mom, grandma's and best friend. It meant so much to me that they all took time out of their busy lives to come celebrate my birthday with me. Not all of my sisters were there but most of them were and it was just fun to be able to have a Girl's Day together and catch up. They are all so amazing and I'm so grateful for each of them in my life. Afterward, Kate went to meet up with her grandparents while I went to go do my long run for the week at the gym. After that, I came home and got ready and my mom had made my birthday dinner with all my favorite things. Following dinner Kate and I wanted to go out, so we went and saw a movie. The next day we woke up early and headed out to Draper to hear my brother Steve and sister Tina speak in church and to sit with the kids. I'm so grateful for them and their examples to me in my life. They did a fantastic job and I'm so glad they are back in Utah and close to home again, we have missed them as they have been away for so long. After church Kate and I went to visit her cousins and uncle and then we made a trip out to Sugar House to visit my favorite Aunt Dawn and Uncle Jon because I hadn't seen them in so long. I was good to be able to catch up with them. The next morning we got up early because Kate was headed back to Cedar to work and I was headed up to Logan to check out Utah State and to get my haircut.
On our way up to Logan I remember being nervous. I was hoping that they would be a better answer than the U and more helpful, but I was scared at the same time because all I could think about was the elephant in the room. I remember thinking, what are you doing Merilee, you know who goes to this school. I was scared but I knew that I was supposed to give it a chance and I just said a prayer in my heart that I would know what to do and that I would receive an answer. As I pulled up to campus I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I finally figured out where I was supposed to be for my appointment with my counselor. As soon as I got in her office I just laid out my questions.
I think that she got a sense for how overwhelmed I was and she calmed me down and started answering my questions one by one. About a half hour later our meeting was over and she was SO helpful. It was nice to have someone to take the time of day to just help answer the questions I had and help me figure out what to do. It was then that I knew. I headed back to my sisters house so she could cut my hair before my tour of the campus. She was telling me that if I decided to go up there that I was more than welcome to live with them and everything just seemed to make sense and just started falling into place. I headed back up to campus for my tour and honestly right when I stepped onto campus I knew that I was in the right place. The tour was pretty boring because I was the only transfer student so a lot of the information was for Freshman and basic knowledge I already knew but I just wanted to see the campus and what there was for me there. It just felt right. It was a lot bigger than I thought so that was relieving to know that I wouldn't run into him all the time. I had a good talk with some of the recruiting staff and basically just said "Sign me up, I love this place!" I was able to meet up with my good friend Chanae' and told her the news that I was planning on transferring this next Fall. After chatting with her for awhile, I headed back for my sister's house and was feeling really confident about my decision. I was scared and I didn't know all the details, but it was okay, I just knew that everything would work out. As soon as I got to my sisters I told Emily and my mom, "I think this is what I'm supposed to do, this is where I need to be next Fall." They were both happy to see me at peace and so confident. My mom and I headed home and that was it. I called Kate and told her the news. She was so supportive and even though we both knew that it was going to be hard, she has supported me no matter what. It has been very bittersweet. Throughout this whole decision process I was been very prayerful and have tried to keep the lord and his plan for me in mind. As I was reading my scriptures one day I came upon the scripture 2 Nephi 28:31 "Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." This scripture has helped me get through everything. All I have to do is trust in the lord and he will make up for the rest. Sometimes situations are scary and you don't have all the answers but if we can just trust in the lord in all things, he will help us. I know that going to Utah State is the right thing. I don't have all the answers but I do know that with the help of the lord, I will be able to open this next chapter of my life with confidence and peace.
The next morning I was headed back to Cedar. As soon as I got home I had to pack up to leave again.
Wednesday morning we pulled out of Cedar and made our way to Vegas. We stopped by St. George and hung out with our friend Dee for awhile and then made our way to Vegas. Thanks to my cute cousin and her cute family, we were able to spend a night in Henderson. Her and Ryan were so nice to let us crash on their couch for a night and it was fun to be able to see them and catch up with them. Thanks so much you guys!! We pulled out of Vegas the next morning and were on our journey to California! We were so excited to just lay out and have nothing to think about, especially when so much had happened in the last few days for me and my future plans. We had a fun, long, drive to Cali and finally pulled up to our hotel around 5. We got settled in and then went and got something to eat and topped it off with a little "fro yo" of course.
mmm mmm good. I had missed all the yummy fro yo shops I used to go to often when I lived in
California. We spent the rest of our first night just hanging out and relaxing. That night I got an email from BYU hiring telling me that I got the EFY job I applied for. I wanted that job so bad but I didn't know what to do. I had already accepted the Oakcrest position. I knew that everything would work out but I was feeling confused again. I just had to keep faith that everything would work out and try and not worry about it too much. We were pretty tired from our trip so we checked out pretty early.

The next day we were able to sleep in a bit and then we were off to the beach. We spent the entire day just laying out and relaxing. It was a little overcast but warm enough to lay out. We beach hopped a bit and then got some yummy Clam Chowder from the famous "The Crab Cooker" to warm up a bit. We had been in touch with some friends that were staying in the same area so we headed back to our hotel to shower and get ready. While Kate and Lys were showering I decided I should probably go running, so I headed down to the small, pretty much ghetto gym our hotel had to offer to get my running done. While I was running I was thinking about my cousin Tess who lives in L.A. and who I haven't seen for a really long time. I didn't know how far L.A. was but I texted her to see if there was anyway possible we could see each other for the short amount of time I would be in California. Well I called her after I went running and it all seemed to work out that she was coming to spend the night with us! So as soon as Tess arrived we headed to the beach for a bonfire with our friends staying in the area. We had a good time hanging with them and hitting up Denny's. It was so good to be able to see Tess. The next morning we woke up and Tess had to head but we decided we were going to go shopping. It was pretty overcast and we just wanted to lay low for the day and got enough of the beach the day before. So we hit up the mall and some shopping centers as well as a really yummy little cafe'. That afternoon we were able to go and see the Newport Temple as well as Balboa Island. The temple was gorgeous and walking up and down the pier at Balboa Island was classic!! That night we decided we were going to celebrate my birthday and Alyssa treated me to the classy Red Robin that we all love so much, our home away from home. It was a good time. We headed back to our hotel room and settled in for the night. Kate and I busted out the Phase 10 and we just laughed and cried the night away between that and the movie The Switch.
The day was already here that we had to head back to The City of Lights. We woke up early and finally made it in time to breakfast. We got ready and headed out. We were sad to see California go but it was nice to finally arrive back safe and sound back in our little home again.

School started up again and the thought of the end of the year was near. I had so much to do and so little time. I applied to Utah State and started taking care of business one step at a time. I just had to keep the faith that everything would fall into place as long as I did my part. I was also stressing about what to do for the summer. I was so excited about Oakcrest but I wanted to do EFY too. Well to throw another option to the mix. I got a phone call that week that the job I applied for out in California, they wanted to hire me too. As flattering as it was to get every job I
applied for, now I had to make a tough decision. I didn't know what to do. Through a lot of prayer and trust in the lord, I finally decided to stick with Oakcrest. I felt like it was right and I know that I am supposed to be there this summer with those girls.

As all of my plans were working out and everything started to seem to fall into place, reality started setting in. I was so excited about the months to come and to see what my future had in store for the next year or so, but I was beginning to realize how different my life would look like in the next semester and year. I realized I'm going to be in a completely new place, with completely new people. I like the thought of meeting so many new people and having new experiences in my life but the reality of leaving behind all the people I love was a hard thought.
I have had such an amazing experience at SUU and it's sad to see that chapter of my life close. I'm mostly sad to have to leave the people in my life behind. I will keep in touch but I'm just going to see them everyday. I'm looking forward to the new chapter in my life but I know it's not going to be easy. But hey, life wasn't meant to be easy right? I know that I'm in the right place and I'm headed in the right direction. The lord is on my side and all I have to do is trust in him. The month of March was crazy. I made a lot of important decisions, but I'm ready. I'm ready for this next adventure to come.

Farewell March 2011, it's been a fun run, now let's live it up April 2011 for after this month my time here is dun. (done, my attempt of a little rhyme. Don't judge me.)

Much love and gratitude for all the people who have loved and supported me,


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