Friday, July 22, 2011

In a World of Dance

(I am the yellow shirt to the left, ha)

As many of you know, this past winter semester at BYU, I participated in a dancing company called Kinnect. Last week, before we went to Texas, we had the opportunity to perform at the 100th birthday for the darling Aline Coleman Smith. She is the woman that first brought contemporary dance to BYU. The morning of the day of the performance, I didn't even know the womans name; after our all day rehearsal as a company, I became familiar with her story; by the end of the night, I came to adore the little woman herself. During our performance, she was constantly smiling amongst her friends and family that also attended the party. While we were cleaning up and getting ready to head back home, she spent some precious moments with us in our "dressing room" just visiting and giving us praise for our performance.

I am truly inspired by Aline. At 100 years old, she still does her own laundry, walks with coordination, cooks for herself, and can get by pretty well on her own! Before we even performed, she took it upon herself to make us cookies! What an incredible woman :) I would go on about her history, but if you go to this website, you will be able to read more about her and the experience we, Kinnect, had being with her. (The photos used in this post are from that linked website as well).

The world of dance has so much diversity in it, many areas of legacy, and such a miraculous spirit to it. As Albert Einstein said, "Dancers are the athletes of God". I am so grateful that my parents started me in dance at such a young age so I could experience so much joy while expressing myself through movement! I still find great joy in dancing, and I am touched by the spirits of those that I meet through the means of dance.

(That's me in the yellow shirt back there!)

(That's my head--- bottom center, haha. I promise, I'm dancing;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Within a Week

I spent this last week in Denton, Texas. It was actually a wonderful place! It was very hot in humid, but considering how I have spent most of my summer inside, I was ready to soak up the heat and sun! I went to Texas for a dance conference put on by daCi (dance and the Child international). While at the conference, I got to take a number of technique classes and ethnic dance classes including African and Bharatanatyam (a style of dance from India). I attended the daCi with my dance company from BYU, Kinnect. We had the opportunity to perform a few times while there. Overall, it was a wonderful conference! I learned so much about the organization daCi itself and I also learned about how dance can impact people on a deeper level, particularly children.
It was a very neat week! I met another Rachel Kimball, so that was crazy! She taught classes during the conference and had a piece in one of the performances, so it was weird for me to see "my" name all over in the intinerary, program, and schedule and such for the week. She was pretty cool :) I was also able to get tickets for us to go see Harry Potter our last night in Denton! It was so fun! Some of us used the bedsheets from the dorms at the university to dress up as house elves, and I provided chopsticks for others to use as wands. It was lovely :)
I was deeply touched by the love I felt from each member of the Kinnect company, including Marilyn, our fearless leader. With all of the testimonies being shared in our group and the service being performed, I felt the love of Christ so strongly in our group of dancers. There were a couple people in Kinnect that especially left an impact on me by the end of the week, and I am so grateful to them for their examples.
Below are a few pictures from the week! I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but I hope to recieve copies of the pictures that other Kinnect members took :)
Much love

(Me and the other Rachel Kimball at the conference! She's an actual teacher and choreographer ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rubies, Diamonds, Sapphires

What am I doing right now? Watching the Justin Bieber movie, haha. Who does that?! I guess I do ;) While the movie is inspirational in its own way, I am kind of worried about all of the girls that it keeps showing... they cry a lot.... and I mean A LOT! They seem.... emotionally unstable. Now don't get me wrong-- I cry sometimes, and I have times when my emotions are just over the edge... but it just does not seem healthy in this movie!!!! I am happy that Justin has fans and that he is having a successful career-- I do like his music-- but I just worry about the poor little girls that can't get a grip on things. Bless their little hearts.
But that's not what I'm really wanting to blog about! Haha. But still keeping in mind Justin Bieber, it has been amazing to see how natural his talent is to sing, perform, entertain... He's really quite genuine. Like Justin, we all have our own talents. Some of us have musical, artistic talents that stand out and are easy to identify. For others, the talents don't stand out quite as much, but are just as important.

We all came into this world with our own special talents. These talents are given to us to bless our lives, but also to bless the lives of others. They bring us joy in this life and help give us unique personalities. Sometimes it's easy to compare ourselves to others and say that we are not as talented as another person. But when we are able to put that aside, we are able to see what we really are capable and take the initiative to learn, to progress, and to help our talents grow. To some, certain talents come naturally, but whoever they are, they have other talents that aren't as noticeable that have room for improvement.
I am always impressed by the people that recognize that they have a gift but aren't afraid to improve it. However, I am more impressed by those that recognize that they have the potiential for a gift and they work hard and developing it into something that can truly bless their lives and others. It's beautiful.

I have a friend that sometimes struggles with accepting herself for who she is. It is easy for her to compare herself to others and find her own faults. She's not the only one that does this. It is one of Satan's tactics to try and tell us that we are not as good as other people-- to convince us that we just aren't good enough and that we can't change. This is false! Whoever you are, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! You can change. You have the power to develop and become a better version of yourself. Don't let Satan get the best of you and cause you to tear yourself down.

It is good to recognize our talents. It is unfortunate when someone has a gift but they just don't see it-- they are in denial that it exists because they feel as though it's not big enough to shout about there for it's not "good enough". It is also unfortunate when someone recognizes they have a gift but they let it get to their heads. There is a fine line to balance on. While I am in no way perfect, I find that it is easier to find that ideal place of balancing when focusing on blessing the lives of others with my talents. When I am able to forget about me and what I'm gaining from what I have and turn my focus to others... that's what makes a world of difference.
This has been a kind of random post, but I just felt like I wanted to talk about talents. So what's with the Rubies, Diamonds, and Sapphires in the title? To one it is given a ruby. To another, a diamond. And to another, a sapphire. These are all different, but they are all valuable. If we always saw diamonds as the only jewl in the world, it would lose it's value. Same with the rubies and sapphires. Just because because one has a different talent from another, it doesn't make their talent less valuable. It's the combination of everyones unique talents in this world that make it so diverse and exciting.

Well, my lovelies, it is time for me to get to bed! I will be waking up in the morning to choreograph part of a dance for the dance class I'm teaching this summer. I should have done it tonight... but I was watching Justin Bieber ;) I hope you all have a marvelous night and have sweet dreams. Much love.

Links to pictures:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sun-Kissed Saturdays

There's something about a relaxful day in the sun. Letting your body soak up that vitamin D... feeling carefree as you spend time with family and friends... I don't have these days as often as I wish I did! I see pictures of those people that are blessed with time to be in the sun nearly every day and it appears to me as though they are just so happy and pleased with life!

Earlier this summer, I got to go on a little family trip to Zions National Park. While there, I was able to take my family to a little area where we could play in the water that most people don't know about. As far as I know, the location isn't on any of the maps... but I can't prove that, haha. We spent a lovely afternoon in the sun and playing in the water. Those that know me pretty well know that I do not like fish, and I do not like swimming in water that I don't know what's in it... Now I guess you all know me pretty well ;) My brothers were able to convince me to jump off a little cliff into some dark water.... CREEPY! It was a thrill!!!! And I actually enjoyed it! In order to do this, I needed to clear my mind so I wouldn't think about the potential fish, bugs, and frogs that might be swimming with me. After clearing my mind, I would plunge into the dark hole of water... I can't say that I actually became fully comfortable with this activity, but I did start trying to do little 'tricks' in the air when jumping. It was a good time :)

While I am an adict to the rain and I feel as though I cannot get enough of it, I am also very grateful for the sun. It makes the body feel a certain way that rain doesn't.... I suppose rain does the same thing for the body compared to the sun, ha. I hope to be able to take more days this summer to soak up the sun and just relax and enjoy myself.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:55, I wake-up to my alarm. My warm, comfortable bed immediately begins to try swallowing me in order to prevent me from getting up and starting my day. With the warm sheets snug against my body, and my head resting on my ever so soft feather pillow, I immediately begin little debates in my head about whether it's worth it or not to fall back asleep. It's never worth it.
At approximately 6:15, I find myself sitting on my durable purple yoga mat and I am beginning what will be an hour and a half of yoga practice. There are about 15-20 of us that practice yoga together with one fine yoga master (at least I think she's a master) at the front of the room. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I wonder how in the world these older woman that have been mothers for many years (which is everyone in the room besides me!) are doing everything! Granted, not everyone is at the same level of expertise in our gathering, but it is still impressive to me. I play mind games with myself to help time pass faster so that I won't think about how difficult some of the poses and stretches are. However, despite how much of a challenge going to this early morning yoga practice is, I love it. I love yoga. I love the stretching, the strengthening, the balancing, working the core.... it is wonderful. My favorite part of the whole morning, however, is Savasana.
Savasana is what we do at the end of every yoga practice. We all lay on our yoga mats in the proper Savasana pose, and our teacher goes around the room to give us a little shoulder massage and help us release any tension we may have the the head, neck, and shoulders. It is miraculous.
Side note: At the end of this last winter semester at BYU, two of my dance teachers offered me some wonderful advice when they said that Savasana would be a good practice for me to do every day in order to help me release my upper-body tension.
There is something about the way the soul (body combined with spirit) feels when it is completely relaxed and free of all pressures. I am so grateful for the times that I'm given to just relax and let all of the tension buildup in my body go. As we go through life, we are faced with different challenges and these challenges even come at a variety of levels of difficulty. I believe that it is important for each of us to remember to breathe and take time to relax even during these times of difficulty. As the world around us becomes more and more evil and turns more to the side of the adversary, it is important for us to keep our heads on straight and remain calm in order to keep in mind what's truly important in life.
Yoga isn't the answer to all of life's questions and trials, however I know that I have learned a lot from it. Not only is it an exercise and practice pertaining to the body, but it is also a practice that strengthens the mind and spirit, therefore the whole soul is involved. I encourage each of us to find some sort of daily practice or ritual to make a part of our lives so that we can remain calm and strong during the hard times. Many of us already have daily rituals that we participate in-- personal and family prayer, scripture study, service, going for walks, gardening, cooking, and so on.
Be grateful for the body you have. Treasure it. Protect from the evils in the world today. Challenge yourself with something each day to help protect yourself more and more. Turn off that rotten song on the radio that drives the spirit away. Give up that piece of chocolate when you know that you've already had one too many. Go for a light jog instead of sitting down to watch that pointless T.V. show. Help your mother or other family member with chores around the house when you would rather read a novel.
I am so grateful for the body that I have been given, and while I fail multiple times each day to treat it the best I can, I am continuing to strive to become better day by day. I pray that you all have a marvelous day and at least once today, consider what would be best for your body.

Image link

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Between Sunrise and Sunset

As life goes on, I see more and more sunrises and more and more sunsets. They are stunning. So much can happen in one day. So much more can happen in our lifetime. How sad would it be to reach your own sunset in life and realize that you didn't accomplish many worthwhile things? I hope that we are all doing what we can fill our lives with memories worth treasuring.

I have now been home for school for more than 2 months. This blows my mind! Time flies so fast... I feel like Harry Potter in the 3rd movie when Hermione takes him for a ride through time via the time turner. I cannot list every little thing that has happened since the last time I posted but here are some items worth mentioning:
#1. My older sister got married! It was a long courtship, but I am so happy to welcome by brother-in-law to the family :) They had a lovely wedding ceremony (which I got to attend along with my 2 brothers-- the three of us were endowed the week before she was married. What a special experience.) While she didn't get to have the reception outside due to weather, everything turned out lovely and everyone had a marvelous time! I got to wear new clothes, so that was nice ;)

#2. I got my mission call to the Hungary Budapest Mission! I report to the Provo MTC on October 19th!!! I am very excited about this! This is somewhere that I never even thought of as a possibility of being called to serve, but I full-heartedly accept the call, and I am so excited to go! I have been studying up on the history of the Hungarian people... it is amazing! Perhaps I will share a bit of it at another time :)

#3. I do have a job! I am working at a restaurant near home and it really isn't that bad! I never saw myself as the type to work with food, but I am learning a lot and I'm being given many opportunities to improve my leadership skills. I was hired on as the assistant manager, but since then, my mangaer became no longer a part of the company and I now work as a Floor Manager with one other girl. It is a challenge at times, but it is rewarding in its own ways :) I get to work with a cook that thinks he was once abducted by aliens, talks to me about intense nutritional facts, discusses religious viewpoints, talks about the dentist, and shares insight to music and other random categories-- I do enjoy it :)

#4. I got to spend a lovely day in Zions National Park with my parents and two brothers. It was marvelous! It was the last little trip with my younger brother before he would leave for his mission. My mother ended up hurting her ankle pretty bad on one of the trails (it is still healing-- 3 weeks time and counting...), but we all had a wonderful time experiencing the wonders of nature together and enjoying the company of one another.

#5. One of my bosom friends has returned back to his home-- sad :( However, things are quite well, and he has recieved his mission call as well! I do not know if that is information that I am allowed to post here without permission so I will leave it alone for now. But still-- Very exciting!!! It is more than likely that we will see each other at the MTC, so that will bring many smiles to my face! :) It is always good to see a wonderful kindred spirit after a time of separation, but it is definately more meaningful when seen doing work for the Lord together. (Yes, I did use 2 lines from Anne of Green Gables in this paragraph. I dearly love that series.)

#6. I have been blessed with a few opportunities to spend time with the best of friends! There is a location where we adore getting cupcakes, and we finally made a trip there a couple weeks ago after it had been many moons since our last visit! We have also attended a darling muscial concert on the rooftop of a parking garage, eaten out with mutual friends, and walked along main street to visit different shops. Time together is always priceless.

#7. Yes... my younger brother has now entered the MTC. We miss him dearly, but we are so proud of him and his decision to serve the Lord and fulfill his priesthood responsibility. He has been gone for a few weeks now and it still feels like yesterday that he left. Will time pass? Yes... funny how time passes so fast with some things, yet it passes so slow for others even though they may occur within the same time frame... strange. I have written him more than I probably should have over the past few weeks.... haha. I sent him over 10 letter one week, and I have been told that it's been advised that families send about one letter a week to their missionaries... oops! My bad :/ :) But all said and done, I am very excited for him and his mission! He is going to do marvelous things! (He is going to serve in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission! So cool! Both of my brothers will be speaking Spanish fluently before you know it!)

#8. I attended the Stadium of Fire two days ago!!!! It was outstanding! Definately better than I thought it would be. While I am not a fan of country, I knew that I would be able to have a good time at the show-- and a good time I had! Before heading to the stadium that evening, I was just have a little war in my head about weather or not I was excited to go. Knowing I don't really like country, I was unsure about how I wasn going to handle listening to Brad Paisley for that long. But deep down inside, I knew that time with my parents and little sister was going to be valuable there. I didn't even know what was coming! When we got to the stadium, we sat around for a good hour waiting for things to start. The sun was beating down on us like a cruel person that likes to burn ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass (yes, I actually have done that before in my life, haha... ha) and it seemed as though it was never going to settle behind the mountains across the valley. The show started and the sun still shone brightly in our faces--- however, it wasn't long before I was swept away in an emotional experience with the introduction to the Stadium of Fire. I soon forgot about the sun. It started. The National Anthem. An amazing choir. Lovely dancers. Skydivers. US Soldiers. The US Flag. Jets. My heart was ambushed by an overwhelming presentation of patriotism. Tears filled my eyes as my testimony grew for the reality of how wonderful of a blessing it is to be a US citizen, and to live in a free country-- a country that was preserved and promised for Gods people; a country where there is religious freedom; a country where I can dream big and live to make difference. What a blessing. Yes, David Archuleta was good. Yes, I kind of actually liked Brad Paisley's performance. Yes, the fireworks were remarkable. But the best part of the Stadium Fire... the beginnging--- bar none. I am so grateful for the opportunity my parents blessed me with to attend the Stadium of Fire with them, and for my increased testimony of patriotism and recognition of the Lords hand in the founding of this country.

#9. I bought a romper. Yes, a romper. Haha, I think it's so funny! No, I did not buy one of those silly little short-short ones, but one with long pant legs. (Modest is hottests, truly). I ordered it online and I wasn't sure if I was actually going to keep it. Once it arrived, I immediatley tried it on for size, looked at my reflection in the mirror wearing it... it became mine. I actually do like it :) My mom thinks it's kind of silly and that I shouldn't wear it in public, but she still loves me after I wore it to the Stadium of Fire ;) It is very comfortable! I fine purchase :) Perhaps I will take photos of me wearing it to post in the future.

And that is a fine list of things that have happened :) I am so happy. Period. I am so happy. Life is good to me, and I have so much to be grateful! Trials come and trials go, and there is always something to be grateful for. I am blessed. The little blessings of life enter my life every single day. These tender mercies come to me in many differences shapes and sizes of packages. For example, at work today and little boy came up to me and said, "I am Batman!" I asked him who I was, and he decided I could be Catwoman. He was no more than 3 years old! Not long after that, a little girl (the daughter of my boss from Heritage Halls) came up to me and said, "I'm a princess!" I said, "Yes, you are! You make a lovely princess!" And then she showed me her lovely little princess shoes. She was definately all dolled up for the 4th of July :) So these tender mercies appear in little children. They also show when I find things that once were lost, or when I recieve bits of personal revelation... so many different forms. So yes, I am happy. I am grateful. I am blessed.

I hope that everyone out there is having an outstanding 4th of July! Happy Independence Day :) Much love!