Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest Blog Post!

Guys! Something AMAZING HAPPENED. Brittany wrote a blog post on a blog called Mormons in Minnesota, and I had to share it with you because it is AMAZING!! :) I am posting it below, and you should follow the link and check it out. It's great!

Brittany's Blog Post!


Laters!


Nat

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall is here but it doesn't feel like it!

Right about now I would be going to apple orchards with friends, carving pumpkins and drinking caramel apple spice's from Starbucks. Here in AZ though, it's just another day but just a little cooler. I was able however to carve some pumpkins at FHE which was neat:




Mine is an owl! I like owls.. ;)

Moving out here has proven to be difficult, and it wasn't at all what I expected it to be, which happens sometimes. The upside is things are looking up! :) I attended some costume parties (and will probably attend even more this week) and the first one I went to I dressed up as a Hershey bar with my group of friends who were also dressed up as a marshmallow and a graham cracker. You guessed it! We were s'mores. :)



That's us roasting marshmallows as s'mores. Ironic right?? :) 

On a vintage sidenote, Sunday at church I was matching with my Bishop's wife, so naturally I had to take a picture! 






Happy Halloween!! :)


Nat

Happy Halloween!! Parties and Happy News and Missionary work :)

First of all, I'm going to start out by saying I am so happy!! Two of my new friends here in Arizona are getting baptized in the coming weeks. I am so happy for them and the decision that they have made. Last week, a woman in my singles ward got baptized and it was so amazing.

Alright so besides the fact that it's been a while since I have made a blog post, a lot has been happening. I haven't been able to find work here which STINKS, so I am going to be needing to make some decisions. On a happier note, our stake is participating in Invite-Out October, which is almost over, yes. But our ward and our stake has been doing great with missionary work and inviting others to participate in fun activities even if it isn't actually going to church. I hung out with a mutual friend who just moved here from MN, and Arianne introduced us. Since he didn't know anyone out here we went hiking and it was great. He had just been baptized a few years ago so I think it's good for him (like all new converts) to be surrounded by other members. So I invited him to softball last week and he loved it he said, and will probably come tomorrow as well.

It was hard for me to do. I normally don't like inviting people to church because I feel as if they will judge me or my beliefs. I tend to just not bother. But this was a little different because he was already a member. Even still, I don't know him and that's something I just don't do. 

Friday night though, I went to hastening the work seminar at the Institute where Elder Perkins of The Seventy was presiding and it was all about Missionary Work. We were talking about agency and one of the speakers there shared an amazing quote that I will remember forever "Don't be the person to take away someone's agency to make the choice to come to accept an invitation from you to go to a church sponsored activity."

That quote was a huge slap in the face for me. I know that that's something I need to be working on--humbling myself enough to stop being prideful and invite others to activities. It's so simple yet we make it so difficult. That was my humbling experience for the week! 

On an even happier note all of the many Halloween parties I went to this weekend. Here's pics from the first party I went to with some friends, sponsored by our stake. We went as s'mores: 


Ignore my face.. I'm just ridiculous.

The second party was a blast and I actually danced which I don't normally do. I went as a grease girl and Elizabeth went as a nurse: 


The second one wasn't church sponsored but these were the first dances I've been to since High School and it was super fun. Maybe because I totally let loose and went crazy with my friends (which I never do haha).

I will say this much about life in AZ: there's always something going on.. It's always a party!

Tonight for FHE we are pumpkin carving and I'm super excited for that, I'm ready to get my craft on! More pics to come. 

Also!!! I believe I have found a new blogger! This one is looking promising people. :) 

Laters,

Nat








Saturday, October 12, 2013

{Places}: Thrive Acaí Bowls! Weird but tasty..

So today in Tempe, I had a relaxing day that included having some Acaí bowls with Xazmin one of my AZ/MN friends. The day started out preeeeeety late. Why you may ask? Because Elizabeth and I had a solo karaoke night (as in just us...) during which we sang various 90's songs and danced like maniacs until about 1:45 AM. 

We literally sat on the couch singing/dancing from 11:00 till 1:45 am. It was EPIC. Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, NSYNC, the backstreet boys and MANY MORE made appearances last night.... Ahh... It was hilarious. That's what happens when Marilyn is in Utah for the week. :) just kidding. We so do that every night!


Anyways. I went to be laaaaate so I got up lateeeee. Plus it was Saturday. So I got up all excited to see Xazmin. We made plans to meet at Thrive! Acaí bowls and smoothies. I had never heard of an Acaí bowl.

 It's weird because the people here for the most part are super overweight and obese. But then you get around ASU and there's a whole bunch of healthy stuff and people EVERYWHERE. I mean, I actually had a SALAD for dinner and liked it. And if you know me you know that's like... Not even.. Just no. People here are weird though indeed. 

It was pretty good. What it is is Acaí sorbet blended with protein powder, nut butters, chocolate and/or fruit (so it's a little soupy) and then piled high with a WHOLE LOT of granola and the freshest fruit ever. Like guys I haven't eaten a banana in almost 15 years and I LOVED IT. The banana was so fresh it was white.



I got the chocolate walnut (blended with chocolate and pecan butter) Except I made them turn it into chocolate pecan because I'm difficult and I despise walnuts with a passion. Xazmin got the regular Acaí bowl, which had Acaí sorbet blended with fruit topped with granola and more fruit. She liked mine better and I liked hers better... Mine was too grainy and not fruity enough. 

They are definitely healthier than going and getting frozen yogurt. Even with fruit toppings. They are packed with protein and antioxidants and are super filling!

They run pretty cheap considering how much you get. I got a small and the bowl was HUGE. So big I couldn't finish it. The smalls run about $4.50-$5.25 but I mean they are huge so I would say that's cheap. I could have easily shared it. **CHEAP DATE ALERT!** ;)

Note: they also sell smoothies, I just haven't tried them. Based on how fresh the fruit was though, I would definitely order one up. Here's a menu, hopefully it's big enough that you can read it! If not, it's on their website.



Location: 

NW Corner of Southern and McClintock
1726 E. Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ 85228

Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm

Saturday:9am-5pm

Sunday: CLOSED


NW Corner of Southern and McClintock
1726 E. Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ 85228

(480) 730-3557

Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed Sundays

thrivecornerb1

NW Corner of Southern and McClintock
1726 E. Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ 85228

(480) 730-3557

Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed Sundays

thrivecornerb1
Price: $
Website with menu:
http://www.thriveacaibowls.com 
(just copy/paste the URL)

I will definitely be making another appearance there. It was quite tasty!

Have a good Sunday everyone!!



Nat

Look who I found!! AND good news!!

Well today was interesting!! We woke up to the door bell ringing at 10:30 AM. It was the neighbors letting us know that the puppy had gotten out of the yard and dug under the wooden fence. :0

So they had her and brought her back over. We felt so bad.. It isn't even ours! So we hung out for a little and I tried I contain my excitement because I knew that my dear, dear friend Xazmin was coming up from Tuscon to visit! 


We had fun, ate some acai bowls (?), and we caught up on life and all of it's many issues and joys. That's how I spent my Saturday and it was great :) I also just got a call from another family looking to hire me as a nanny. That makes three jobs now. :) I know that Heavenly Father knows what we need when we need it. I was worried but I knew that he would see me through! So that's my good news for the day :)


I've got a lot to testify of tomorrow during Fast and Testimony meeting :)


Goodnight!


Nat

PS! I will post more details about the Acaí bowls on my other blog: 

http://ramblingsofanorthernbelle.blogspot.com

Yeah, just go ahead and copy/paste that URL because you can't create links from blogger mobile sorry! :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference

How was everyone's first session? Mine was AMAZING obviously. Twitter and Instagram are BLOWING up with #ldsconf and #twitterstake related posts. I found this pic on Instagram so I had to share!  


 am so thankful for the Church and the restored Gospel, for our Prophet and for the Apostles who are on the Earth today. I'm loving the fact that for a while #ldsconf was the top twitter hashtag. WINNING. Anywho. I'm super excited. 

Laters,


Nat

Friday, October 4, 2013

busy bees: temple workers and how they serve

You walk into the temple and hand the kind man your temple recommend. Normally you go get your clothing and head into the changing room to change. Today I handed the kind old man my temple recommend, and with a smile he added: "from Minnesota? Just visiting?"

I replied, "nope I just moved here a few weeks ago." As sad as I have to admit, I hate feeling like the odd one out. As the temple workers began explaining the process to me (not knowing I have been to this particular temple about 5 times in the last 3 weeks) I smiled sweetly realizing they probably thought it was my first time. "Have you done baptisms before?" 

"Yep, last week. Here." I casually replied. I see how this is going to go. Sometimes (and I'm being completely honest here) as nice as they all are I used to feel as though some of the temple workers assume it's my first time to the temple because I'm Black. Every time. I know I shouldn't feel that way because they really do have good intentions! It is also difficult when you go on a different day then normal, and a different temple worker is there to help. When you see the ones you know it's always great :)

 Moving on, I want to touch on the sweet spirit that each and every one of the temple workers possess. They buzz around through the rooms with smiles on their faces always ready to help you or direct you. I can't wait for the day that I can become a temple worker. 

So I ended a sort of crummy week (turned sweet) with my friend and new roommate, Elizabeth at the temple.



 I also got a chance to catch up with a sister missionary I had met the past week. We had a wonderful time and took some great pictures, the light was perfect. 



I can't wait to listen to conference this weekend and get even more wisdom from Heavenly Father about things I need to do in my life. 

Have a great night everyone. I'm off to a soccer game :)


Nat



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

soul searching

I've been doing a lot of soul searching this past week. The slight changes that I have seen within myself are important- I knew that moving out here to Arizona was going to be so beneficial for me, but I didn't really know in what ways until recently. First of all, my relationship with my family has significantly improved- I must not be easy to live with. Because my family and I always butted heads growing up. Now, I will note that my parents are divorced which means there were four women living in one house. Even still, we have had our fair share of disagreements. I can now have a civil conversation with them, any of them, without wanting to rip my hair out.

The value that I place on friendships has increased greatly- I love my friends. When I was gearing up to leave I was nervous about NOTHING except one thing: I'm not going to have any friends. I had a pretty deep discussion with my friend Talise, and she pretty much told me to "get a grip" and I would be fine. Nevertheless I was still so worried about it. When I got here, I began making friends left and right. Some people can just go new places and be okay, and I say this as humbly as I can, but I'm one of those people. I have realized that I am much more of an observer. I like to "people watch". I used to feel out of place when others were enjoying an activity that I just didn't want to be apart of. Now, I have realized that it's because I genuinely love watching people do fun stuff just as much as I enjoy actually doing it. An example? Softball. Our ward softball team is legit. While I love playing softball, I like winning more. I would rather watch our team win than to have to play and accidentally strike out one too many times. Watching is just as exciting for me! I sat in the bleachers Tuesday night and made some new friends just watching my ward dominate on the field.

I like my own sense of style, and I don't care what others think about it- My cousin (who is soon to be 30) and I had a very in depth conversation about my clothing. Don't ask me why. She has a very distinct hippie style. She's a yogi, and lives in yoga pants and halter tanks. Here in AZ, clothin worn is slim to none. I'm from MN, where people like to express themselves in the way they dress regardless of the weather. My dresses are vintage, my sportswear is comfy and my casual wear is classy. She says I dress like an old woman. I was slightly offended when she went through her Mother's closet and was asking if I wanted anything. There's a difference between vintage couture and vintage "thrift". I like my clothes and they like me. That brings me to my next realization. There's nothing wrong with being a little different- Everyone chooses how they want to live their life. It is in no way my place or right to judge them for how they live. The same goes for me. Everyone should be able to be treated with respect and dignity. No matter what. That's all we can do.

My faith in God has tripled- and it was pretty strong before. He continues to bless me even when I don't deserve it! I'm beginning to recognize all of the little blessings that I've encountered here in life and it is so satisfying to be able to say that no, it wasn't "by chance", it was God.

I am incredibly content with my life- I know what I want to do, how I want to do it, and when it should happen. My timeline is insignificant when placed next to Heavenly Father's, but my future is looking very reasonable.

I am recognizing my flaws- we've all got them, but some (me) more than
others. I am extremely stubborn, for one. I like things done my way especially if someone is doing it wrong and I know the right way to do it. I'm a little sassy. I always have been! Jordan says they could make a BBQ sauce out of me.. Let's not try that. I give out what I receive. If I'm getting an attitude from someone I dish it right back. I complain about family stuff too much. Now. These things I am working on as we speak. Obviously, I can't complain about my parents ever again. Ever. After living with my cousin, I would rather live with my mom who I never got along with for 20 more years. Now of course I could do that no problem, because our relationship is changing. I can feel it. I actually talked to her on the phone for an hour yesterday. Baby steps. The act of me continuing to try to become more like Christ is really the only way all of my little flaws wil disappear. I'm not trying to be perfect, I'm trying to be better. 

It's important to take a self inventory every now and then and really find out what you could work on. You aren't hurting anyone but yourself by staying where you are in life and fighting the change that needs to happen for your own personal growth. I am realizing that now and can only imagine what great thinga lie just beyond the corner. Well. that's my spiel for the day. I miss my Minnesota Fall: leaves burning and crunching, trees changing colors, cinnamon hot cider in a mug, pumpkin patch's, cute cardigans. Ahh. I miss home. The upside: general conference is this weekend!!!! I'm so excited. 


Happy Thursday everyone!! 


Nat

21 by 21

I came up with this post courtesy of baby making machine, and I thought it was excellent. It is a list that is comprised of the things that I want to accomplish by the time I am 21. Considering the fact that I am 19 right now, I have 2 years to git er' done. What is on your list? I'd say 2 years is a pretty good amount of time to accomplish a goal! Make your own and link up in the comments below! :)

-Go skinny dipping
-Hit 2,000 blog views (on both blogs)
-Travel to Temple Square, Nauvoo and other church history locations
-Go to a Temple Dedication (I think the Gilbert Temple is going to be dedicated soon!)
-Find a good gluten free bread recipe that actually works
-Get my drivers' license and buy a moped or a...car... :0
-Find the perfect vintage dress
-Get my LMT degree!
-Share my testimony with a stranger*
-Watch a live BYU Vocal Point Preformance
-Become fluent in Spanish and ASL. (and french, and German, and Portuguese and like every other language)
-Reach my goal size.
-Go Canyoneering :0
-Hike a Mountain in Arizona and Utah (not in the same day of course)
-Get a puppy
-See General Conference in the conference center in Salt Lake
-Run a 5k
-Become more like Christ
-Strengthen my relationship with my family
-Get out of the "friend zone" with guys. Not so cool at my age.
-Go backpacking for a week (or longer) and "rough it."

*Something that I do on a pretty regular basis but It's something I want to continue.