Friday, August 17, 2012

a little lake lovin

i grew up on the lake
lake powell, lake mead, lake mohave, you name it!
our family is a boating family
our houseboat, wake boarding boat & wave runners
has been a summer highlight my entire life.

however, sadly this hasnt been the case for the last two years
ive missed out on multiple lake trips for multiple reasons:
summer semester at BYU, europe trip & study abroad.
ive been missing out and its sorta really stunk but
i finally got my day at the lake!!

madeline, erika, michael, me and my family headed to silverwood lake,
it was a perfect day
perfect weather
perfect company
& perfect snacks (thanks mama!)

we started out wake boarding and i was assuming i was going to struggle...
due to my two year lake leave.
i was a little rough on the edges but i was able to get a feel for it again
i was so happy! i loved it, so so much.
erika & mad got up their first time!
they did awesome!
then michael was totally a natural!
it was so funny watching everyone board!

we took a break and lounged on the beach
talking politics and eating our weight in snacks
the sun was shinning and our skin was taking the effects

tubing time!!
erika was hysterically afraid,
and we were all being so entertained by her.
she made our tubing experience.
we went crazy! papa goes nutso and we were all laughing so hard
i cant even begin to explain the severity of my soreness!

we ate cute sandwiches on the beach
and some of my jichan's (my grandpa's) home grown fruit!
we enjoyed each others company and basked in the beaming sun!

i had the most wonderful day at the lake!
i love my family so much and i had the
best time with my friends too!
i was so happy to finally get out on the lake again,
i was back where my roots are and loved every second of it!
thanks fam for being the coolest family ever
i love you

Monday, August 6, 2012

wedding wonderland!

spark note version of the week... (mind you my family is at Lake Powell)...
Tuesday-i flew from Fiji to LAX and arrived in the afternoon, olivia and madeline picked me up (bless them!), an hour later lily and rach arrived at my house and we settled in.
Wednesday- 10 other girls arrive at my house, move into my family's vacant bedrooms and prepare for the bachelorette party (rach &lily planned the kinkiest but classy party!). more people come over and we played games, ate, swam and died of laughter all night long.
Thursday- last minute shopping and preparation for the wedding, bake 180 cupcakes (thanks to morgies!), and made it to a BBQ ("rehearsal dinner") at the Stapleton's! I think i rode down their massive slide one to many times with B's little sister kenzie...i have scabs on my hip bones! whoops! it was so much fun!
Friday-WEDDING DAY! early rise to prepare for the day, get all fancy, go to the temple, cry, take pictures, cry, decorate their hotel room they would be staying at the night, cry, head to reception and eat, cry a little more, give my maid of honor speech thingy, cry, dance like cray cray and eat my weight in funnel cakes, say goodbye to my soon to be deflowered best friends, head home to have another massive sorority house like sleepover at my house.

I've had quite the week to say the least! adjusting back to life not on an uninhabited island would be one thing but hosting 13 girls at my house, having all the duties as brooke's right hand woman and doing it all with out the help from my mama was a rather intimidating task to come home to.  but it was perfect. everything was perfect! This week was about my sweet Brooke.

Brooke looked like an angel from the heavens on her wedding day.  Seeing hers and Jeffers glowing smiles made as all emotional.  They were honestly just flawless and flawlessly meant for each other.  The entire week was so stress free and Brooke had to be the most calm relax bride there ever was! My slight anxiety I felt on the plane ride home for the week to come was silly! I had nothing to worry about! I was dealing with Brooke (Stapleton) for heavens sake...the most easy going girl ever.

Friday was a beautiful day! The sun was out and the skies were clear and the heavens were cheering for the sealing of Brooke and Jeff! In our church, we believe that if you are worthy, you can enter into the temple and be sealed to your spouse for time and all eternity.  none of "till death do us part crap." We believe in forever families...and those are created by the power of sealing ordinances that Brooke and Jeff made inside the temple.  There was so much happiness being felt on Friday!...Whether it was seeing their faces when they came out of the temple, taking goofy pictures or watching Brooke dance with Jeff and her father, we all felt it.

To my dearest friends, Brooke & Jeff Stapleton, i am in awe by you two.  The way you see each other-your strengths & weakness, funny quirks and the respect you have for each other is undesirable.  We all can see the selfless care and concern you have for each other and its inspiring! I look up to you two more than you'll ever know and look forward to the day that your kids will know me by "aunty avery." I cant wait to continue watching your love grow! Thanks for a perfect week and a perfect friendship!

to the girls that stayed at my house, i had such a blast with you! the house just isnt the same without all your energy! thank you so so much for those who helped me clean as well!
to kim mosman for being (hot) super mom and showing me a perfect example of motherhood
to the mosmans and stapletons for putting on a stellar wedding experience
to rach and lily for doing the bach party and being such wonderful friends 
to the hired dancers at the reception for that comedic relief my emotions needed!

cheers to the freaking weekend & mr. and mrs. jeff stapleton!

advice ill never forget

I feel as though I've grown leaps and bounds within the past few months of traveling.  Not that I've magically transformed into a mature adult or my personality has been altered...its the way i think and see things that have changed.  You always hear people saying "i want to travel the world and find myself." I guess that statement is accurate but its so much more than that. I believe that I "found myself" these past 3 months by not thinking about myself.

I learned a great deal of valuable life lessons while backpacking Europe and i already attempted to post about it in a previous post so this one about my "lessons learned" while on study abroad in the south pacific. 

one the first day of our trip, our instructor was briefing us on the trip, his expectations, yadayadayada...until he wrapped it up with something i needed to hear, something that kinda shook me.  Dr. T, the wise man he is, said something along the lines of, "this trip isnt about you.  sure you paid 8 grand to be here but this isnt about you.  God wont care what you checked off your bucket list but he will care how you effected the people and influenced others while on your journey to check things off.  so, this trip is about others, not you.  serve your fellow friends on the trip, serve the people you meet, be someone who will be remembered...and then you will find yourself more changed than you could have ever imagined." 

This study abroad has been on my "bucket list" for 4 years, since sophomore year in high school! That advice spoke right to me. I believed what he said and sure i was in those efforts already this summer but to have it put into words so perfectly struck me. so, i was to try, day in and day out, my hardest to put aside my needs and look for the needs in others.

With this mentality, my days were the happiest & i genuinely grew to love the people i was associating with.  This allowed me to see people with the kind of love that God does and see them as my heavenly brothers and sisters.  I totally believe that the people I traveled with and the people we met along the way are my brothers and sisters and we all have a Father in Heaven who has created a perfect plan for all His children to return to him one day.  The villagers in Fiji, the Maori people in New Zealand and the aboriginals in Australia, we will meet again.  These people were a tangible example to me of living a Christlike life.  I feel like I was blessed with a small sense of our Savior's love for them by serving them.  Their loud laughter, humility and faith they abundantly possessed have made me sure of a few things: people are innately good, the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter day Saints is the only gospel on the face of the universe that is 100% correct in every little way and that selflessness is the key to happiness.