family room makeover

family room makeover

When we were in Malaysia I often dreamed of coming home and redoing my family room to bring lots of color into it, as I felt like it was so dark and gloomy before. That’s when I contacted my really good friend Stacey. Her mind for creativity is off the charts, and she always makes things so beautiful on any budget. So while we were living in Malaysia we would Skype back and forth and send messages to each other about what we wanted for this room. I put a lot of trust into Stacey as I wanted it to be a surprise when I came home.  Surprised I was, I felt like I was walking into a model home and lets just say tears were shed! She did an incredible job at grasping my vision and going for it. She’s literally amazing and I totally recommend her! However I will just let the pictures speak for themselves! Literally I couldn’t be happier with the final result! I still have a long ways to go with my house but this room is a little piece of heaven for...

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back in the USA

back in the USA

I’ve been home officially for a week now, already Malaysia has begun to feel like a dream. How is it that every experience in life feels like this to me? It makes me want to appreciate living in the moments more fully.  The other day I was crying to Matt because I was so afraid I was going to lose who I had become in Malaysia. In Malaysia I wasn’t the same person I use to be. I appreciated life more, my relationship with Matt and Stockton grew and become something so special.  I learned to become more confident and self reliant so coming home has been a process for me. When living in another country you go into, what I like to call, survival mode. You do everything you can to get through the day, focus the positive and constantly push yourself outside your comfort zone. Everyday is a surprise of what its going to happen next. So, when I came home I still wanted to find myself pushing to be a better me, but life here in the USA is so different than the grand picture I had been painting in my mind for the past 10 months. Let me expand… I had this grand picture of the how wonderful life would be once I got into the states, and it has been amazing, don’t get me wrong. However, towards the end of Malaysia I started thinking life was just going to be completely perfect. My standard was high, perhaps too high. Coming home I realized people still have challenges here.  Yes, I could eat all the crappy American food I want to, but in the end that doesn’t really make me happy? I automatically felt the pressure to wear more makeup, get dressed up, and act a certain way for people to accept me. In Malaysia I let my hair dry naturally, wore little makeup, and didn’t care what others thought of me. Why is it, as women, that we feel the urge to go out of our way for others. Why can’t we just focus on loving more fully and developing stronger relationships. It’s not about what we have, things will come and go, but rather about who we have. Towards the beginning of my adventure in Malaysia I was posting pictures like crazy of the things we were doing and of the places that we were going.  As grand of an adventure that was, it was not the most meaningful experience of living in Malaysia. Towards the end I started to change and post more pictures of the people. It’s the people that I loved that mattered. Sometimes we look at social media we see...

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Goodbye Malaysia

Goodbye Malaysia

Well this is our last day in Malaysia. It’s been such a humbling yet incredible adventure. Thank you all so much for the love and support you have given us through out this experience. I’m not sure if I will continue blogging publicly after this but it’s been an amazing outlet for me to meet incredible people from around the world that have shared similar experiences. Just feeling overwhelmed with love and joy from what these past 9 months have brought to us. We love you Malaysia you will always be in our hearts forever. Hope you enjoy this film, I’ve been working on it for a while now, some of the highlights of our adventure from the past 9...

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the missionaries

the missionaries

It was our last time having the missionaries over while being in Malaysia. It was such a fun treat for us when we saw an Elder who had now become AP tag along with the zone leaders to our home. He was here when we were first here and we have some great memories. We felt like we started and ended with him which was pretty special to us. He will be heading home in Novemember and we wish him all the best. Its funny because we always watch the missionaries come and go but were not usually the ones leaving so it was very emotional for me tonight. They brought along an investigator Carmen that has been to our house multiple times and we just adore and love her so much! Her baptismal date is in September. We are so thankful that we got to spend some time with her before heading home. I have also gotten really close to Sister Parcell as she has been here almost the whole entire time we have. She is from Provo so it is not goodbye for us just a see you later. It has been incredible to see the blessings that have outpoured into our home because of having them over. They are all so incredible and we truly love them so much. It just puts a smile on my face knowing how much Stockton adores them. Everytime they would come over he would run into the house excited and yell friends, friends. They really were his best friends and don’t you worry he always put on a good show for them. It will be hard leaving Malaysia and not having the same relationship with the missionaries. Being from Utah you just don’t get the same closeness with them as there are waiting lists to just have them over to eat. Here we needed each other. I have such a strong testimony of the power of missionary work now more than ever. We will miss them, but they will always be in our prayers and hearts....

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Our little KL branch

Our little KL branch

Today was our last Sunday in KL. I knew today was going to be one of the hardest days in the week because we had to say goodbye to our little LDS KL branch. As we walked into our little church building for the last time immediately sadness swept over me, the tears had already begun and I had not even seen anyones face yet. So many fond memories for me in this building as I would look forward to Sunday every week because of the amazing people within the walls, the people I have called good family and friends for the past 9 months. One thing I will miss the most is that as soon as you enter into the church building there is a picture of Christ in the clouds opening His arms as if He is welcoming all to come in. My heart flutters at what happens next, Stockton always has to say hello to Jesus and tell him he loves Him before we can go sit down in the chapel. He literally gets so giddy and excited by this picture every sunday. I will miss his little smile being so excited to see Jesus in that picture. He did that today too for the last time and perhaps that’s why the tears started even before I saw anyone because I knew what little stockton was going to do. We went in and sat down like every other Sunday but this time I just sat there in thought, looking at all the people in the room, thinking do they know how much we love them? Have we served them enough? Have I done all that I came to do? It put into perspective for me of just how much Jesus Christ loves every one of us and I’m sure He asks those same questions, “Do they know how much I love them? Have I served them enough? Have I done all that I can for them?” It felt more quiet than usual as I just let my thoughts run and I almost thought I was going to make it up and give my talk without shedding my tears until I looked over at my sweet husbands face as he gave me the I love you sign as we often do when words are hard to speak. His eyes filled with so much love I knew his thought pattern was the same as mine. After that I just knew I couldn’t keep the tears from coming but they weren’t sad tears at all, but tears of joy, love, and true happiness. After Matt and I gave our talks we sat outside of the chapel with Stockton as...

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looking out windows

looking out windows

Today I found myself staring out my bedroom window like I have so many times before. This time looking out my window in deep contemplation… I remember when I first got here this window was me looking out into a city I feared a city I felt had control on how I lived and how I felt. So many days I spent crying looking out that window wishing I was anywhere but here. Longing for home saying if only I was home I would be more happy. If only… If only… If only. A phrase I’ve used too often and so often regret. Now I find myself looking out this window with a smile of accomplishment that I did this. I did what I thought I could never do and now this is home. How could this be home? The place I so desperately wanted to be free from is now my freedom? It has now become my world. In a way now I fear going home and forgetting this experience that has both humbled me and changed my life forever. Did those words really spill out of my mouth? I’m afraid of going home? Wow this is not the old me. Yes, yes I want to go home but the more I live life the more I realize that any change you are put in can be a difficult one. Some days you may say I’ve got this, and than the second your heading out that door you feel a total setback. I think that’s why it’s so important to take one day at a time. Living in the past or living too much in the future can be frustrating, it can be hard. I have learned that the hard way. That counting down the days until your circumstance will be better will not heal you. In fact, learning to love the circumstance your in little by little everyday will be the only way you find your freedom. I know I sound like I’m rambling, but really this is just my way of saying when life throws you down every now again get up don’t stay down. For any of you who feel like you’re counting down the hours in the night for the sun to rise, or your feeling discouraged or let down. Hope is not lost. Ride it out, take it day by day and eventually your view will change. Mine did, never in a million years did I ever think I would look out my window and take a bow and say thank you Malaysia for making me a better me. Thank you for beating me up so that I can perfect myself more. Thank you...

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