Thursday, September 30, 2010

Continue in Patience

A friend of mine posted this video this morning and it has stayed with me all day. With what has been going on in my mind today, this is just what I needed. I am so thankful for the words of the First Presidency and the Apostles. They are truly called of God. I am so excited for General Conference this weekend!

"Patience means staying with something until the end."


Did you hear that exclamation of joy this morning? That was me. Why you ask? It's September 30th!
We have survived one whole year! Justin has been Elder Marshall for 365 days.
It has gone by fast in some respects and painfully slow in others, but that's just the way it goes. I am just so happy to know that I have made it this far. I have so much hope for the future.
This year has not been very easy, but all in all it hasn't been that awful either. I feel like I have grown a lot, and have learned so much about myself. It's been a good experience, and I am interested to see what the next year will bring.
I have proved a lot of people wrong. And though that's not what is important to me, it's kind of fun to prove that I can do something when other people don't think I can do it. For example, I have not been on a date since September 20, 2009. I am not married. I still write and e-mail Justin every week. I'm still in love. And I am so looking forward to this time next year!

We're half-way there! Just one more year. Just one more year. Just one more year.

You can read about my experiences throughout the last year as I celebrate each month passing here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


There was big hype about Glee tonight. It was a Britney Spears episode. Frankly, I was unimpressed. I could have done without most of it. Britney Spears' guest appearance was extremely short (thank goodness!) and reaffirmed the fact that that woman has no acting skills in her body whatsoever. Though I did appreciate the appearance of John Stamos. That was wonderful. And I enjoyed the last five minutes, where Rachel sang to Finn ("The Only Exception" by Paramore -- beautiful song). I just hope Glee can step up and deliver like they did last season. Please, I am begging you! I don't want to fall out of love with this one.

Glee cast members Emmy Magazine glam

Monday, September 27, 2010

Missionary update

Just a quick update on our favourite missionary! Transfers were last Monday. Justin is still in Hemet (he has been there for four and a half months), and still with Elder Shaw (his newbie from the transfer before). He is still enjoying his mission very much and is looking forward to his one-year mark on Thursday! He is seeing many little miracles every day with the people he is teaching and learning a lot!

Elder Marshall and Elder Shaw. He looks so tall! I think Elder Shaw must be short, like my height. Photo courtesy of Justin's mom's friend Tanya who happens to live really close to Justin!

You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, But Brilliance Needs a Good Editor

I was supposed to be finishing a paper tonight, but my mind would not rest. I really hate writing papers when I have a tight deadline (like tomorrow), and being so busy with work this weekend and today, tonight was my only chance to sit down and work on it. I am good at writing in my head, and putting down ideas throughout the week, but when I have two hours to write down everything I get really bad anxiety about it. So, I needed to just leave it for the morning. I feel like keeping my sanity is most important right now.
I just re-read my e-mail from my sweet missionary. I can't describe how amazing Justin is. Really. He is sweet, thoughtful, funny, cute, righteous, earnest, optimistic, and a huge spiritual giant! In many ways he is the same guy I fell in love with over two years ago, but in so many other ways, he is so different -- in the best way. I don't know why Heavenly Father blesses me so much. I love being in love and having someone that loves me back. And I am so, so, so excited that I am (pretty much) half way through this whole separation ordeal!
Here's to a restful sleep and a functioning brain come morning!


I love my missionary! (the cutie on the right, in case you don't know by now). 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week in review

I have officially been working the new job for one week. I still love it and am definitely more comfortable than I was on my first or second day. I actually know where to find specific books now, and don't give people the blank stare quite as much anymore. Also, I made my first employee purchase yesterday (Mini-Shopaholic. I love it so far and will be sure to post a review on a my book blog once complete). And I also put my first few "Staff Pick" stickers on my favourites yesterday. I was so excited to do that! Seriously, it's thrilling! Of course I chose A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (my all-time favourite), as well as Little Women, Little House in the Big Woods and Curious George. As the weeks go on, I'll venture out to the rest of the store and mark my other favourites. I love being surrounded by books all day and fun kids toys. I love seeing little kids find books and laugh all day. I don't love it when kids have fits because they have to leave or because they can't reach a toy, but the good outweighs the bad.
I am working so much (thirty-two hours per week) that I am finding it hard to balance it with my school work. I dropped my Psych class to help ease the load (also I didn't need the class, and didn't like it), but I definitely need to sit down and budget my time. I know I will be much happier and less stressed once I do so.
On a happier note, tomorrow is Monday, which means e-mails from the boyfriend. I can't wait! Also, Thursday is our official one-year mark! I can't wait to start counting down the months!
Happy Sabbath, friends. I hope today has been an uplifting one!


I just read that Anderson Cooper (who I believe should replace Regis Phiblin permanently on Live with Regis and Kelly) started getting gray hairs at the age of twenty and was completely gray by thirty-five. I found my first gray hair when I was fourteen years old. What does this mean for me? Anderson Cooper is a silver fox, and it works for him. But I really don't think I'm ready to be completely or even noticeably gray by the time I'm thirty!

Friday, September 24, 2010

White Knuckles

Happy Friday, friends! It is a beautiful and sunny day here in Calgary. I am loving it! Also, I went for a jog today and it was absolutely marvelous! And to add to the joy of Friday, here's a little something from the amazingly talented boys from OK Go. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


After what has felt like years of rain and rain and more rain, we had a full day of sunshine and blue sky today! It was glorious! It was just what I needed to push me to finish this week off. It's been hard figuring out my new routine, and with the yucky weather, my motivation levels had dropped significantly. But, after a little sunshine and "The Office" tonight, I feel rejuvenated. Bring it on! (But not too hard, please!).
And to add a little sunshine to your life, enjoy this little clip from the episode tonight. Smiles all around!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I can touch my toes. Yep, my toes. And just to clarify, I mean while standing. When I bend over and stretch out my fingers, I can touch my toes. Big deal, I know! But, really it is a big deal to me. I am not very flexible, so this is the start of something good, I think.

Next step: palms on the floor!

Monday, September 20, 2010

One year ago

I have a lot of thoughts and emotions going on right now. It's hard to explain. I'm happy and excited, yet sad too. Those aren't the right words, but they'll do for now. 
One year ago today, Justin and I said goodbye for two years so that he could go on his mission. Three-hundred and sixty-five days ago, I gave my love one last kiss and one last hug before I said "see you in two years" (I actually did say that). 
A year. Wow. It's strange to think that a year ago, I was in such physical pain (yes, it was not just emotional) that I didn't think I could survive. I saw no end. I remember the many, many tearful nights and the awful letters that I wrote to Justin those first few weeks. I remember the extreme anxiety I went through that first week. It was horrible. I knew I was doing the right thing, but I had no idea how I would make it another day. But, then I did. Day by day I survived. It was a survival. Even now, after a year of separation, I still feel the pain and the anxiety, but it's not as sharp as it was then. I still miss Justin every single day, and I will for the next year too. 
But, after a year of being apart, I have been able to see immense growth in Justin and in myself as well. We have grown together as a couple in a way that wouldn't be possible if he were living here for the last year. We have grown in the gospel, and I think that has been the most important thing. We have both realized the need to rely on our Heavenly Father and turn to Him in prayer often. We have also each gained a deeper appreciation for the Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. It warms my heart every time Justin tells me about his encounters with the scriptures. 
I've mentioned this many, many times, but it's true that our love has deepened this past year, even while we've been apart. 
In ten days, we will reach the official one year mark of Justin's mission. I am so excited! I am psyched to see this next year fly by! I need it to! For my sanity, and for those that live with me too. 

As Justin reminded me last week, "the best is yet to come!" And I am so excited to see my man again!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Florence + The Machine

During our travels today, David and I treated our ears to the lovely Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine). Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
I thought I'd share.


I believe it's time for a little bit of a catch-up. This past week has been a busy one. A week of beginnings, a week of endings. A week of many thoughts, a week of many memories.
On Tuesday, I had my first day of classes for this fall. Wahoo! Now that I only have classes two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday -- yes, I planned it!), my days at school are packed! Four classes, one day -- it's busy! But, I feel like it is the best fit for me right now.
So far, I love my classes (though it might take another day or so to love my Psych class... still debating whether or not to keep it) and feel like I will be having a pretty good semester -- but busy! Oh, the reading that I have ahead of me these next three months! But, of course, I love it!
Also this week, I had my very last day at Reitmans. It was weird. I was so, so happy to be done, but a little sad too. My last month of work has been a really tough one. I had felt very little motivation to even be at work most of the time and often felt that my efforts were wasted. But, I finished my time and can say that the last four years there (yep, four years!) have definitely helped me grow and will certainly help me in my future careers.
And speaking of future careers. I started my job at Chapters on Friday. Oh, boy! It was a pretty slow day for the most part, and for most of it I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing, but it ended well. I think I am going to like it. I was also pleased by the fact that they didn't want me working today because they didn't want to "overwhelm" me. Thank you for the day off! Because of having the day off I was able to help out my mom and brother-in-law with the Food Bank Food-Drive pick-up and hang out with my big brother.
So yeah, it has been a long week, but a good week. I look forward to the next few months ahead of me and what challenges they will bring.

Goodnight, dear friends.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"It's really corn!"

Last week, as part of the YSA "Welcome Week", we headed out to the Calgary Corn Maze. Previous to this, I had no idea that we had a corn maze! And let me tell you, it was so much fun!
After saying hello to the animals in the petting zoo (not my idea), where Chantelle let a goat loose, and Daniel made a friend with a kitten, and a good time on the teeter-totters (many laughs were had!), we decided to try our luck at the mazes.
Though most of our time in the maze consisted of me saying, "we're going to die in here", Chantelle assuring me I wouldn't, Daniel hiding, and Candi telling us "we already went that way", I enjoyed it. Very much! I did not, however, enjoy nearly losing my shoes in the mud more than once. Hint for next time: corn mazes are muddy! (especially after a day of rain).

Pretty sky.

Chantelle during our fun teeter-totter time. 

Candi and Danny. They didn't enjoy it as much as Chantelle and  though. 

Unfortunately since it was dark when we went through the maze, and my camera does not take pictures in the dark very well, I don't have any to share. Or any from our tricycle races in the dark. Let's just say a good time was had by all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Real Love

I am a hopeless romantic. Always have been, always will be. I believe in true love, and I believe that love truly conquers all. I've seen it.
Part of that comes from just me, but it also comes from the relationships I have witnessed over my twenty-one years -- primarily my parents. On Saturday, my parents celebrated their twenty-eighth anniversary. Twenty-eight years ago, they were sealed in the Cardston temple for time and all eternity. Since that day, they have raised three children and gone through many, many ups and downs. But, through it all, they have put each other first. They have always remained in love, and best friends.
As the rest of the world sinks into deeper cynicism about love and marriage, I believe in it more and more. First of all, I know that marriage is ordained of God. I know that marriage is a commandment and is sacred. And second of all, I have seen proof that it can work (my grandparents are also a good example to me -- married 57 years this December!).
So, now you know why I am so, so, so excited to be the wife of my love. I know that relationships are hard. I know that marriage will be hard. But, I also know that love (though yes, mom it is not the only reason to marry someone) is all you need.

Happy belated anniversary, mom and dad! 
I sure am glad you got married!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nerd Love

I am a nerd. And as a self-proclaimed nerd, I have found the perfect shirt. Perfect. The only problem? They're out of stock! 

nerds need love too tee
Now I have my fingers crossed that they restock soon! 

Monday, September 06, 2010

Still in Love

I feel like I haven't gushed enough about my missionary lately. So, prepare yourself for a mush-fest!
I've been thinking about my missionary a lot lately (as usual). But I am realizing now that my thoughts are different than they used to be. Now that I can actually say "Justin will be home around this time next year", my heart tends to beat a little faster, my smile gets a little wider. I also have a different picture of Justin than I did months ago. Though I still remember what he was like a year ago, and what it was like to be with him, I have gotten to know a different Justin over the last eleven months. With our only communication being weekly letters and e-mails, our relationship has changed. We are still in love, and can't wait to be together again, but I feel that our friendship is what has grown the most over the last eleven months (and one week). Justin is absolutely my best friend. I do have other friends that are very dear to me, but no one comes close to Justin. I know a lot of girls that have boyfriends and husbands plus a best friend, but for me, it comes in one neat package: Justin Marshall.
A year ago I heard the phrase "two years is a long time, people change" a lot. Too much, actually. Most of the time, it was said kindly and in hopes of being a benefit to me, which of course I appreciated. But after nearly a year of this, I do know that people change. Justin has changed. I've changed. But I feel like we're basically the same people. We have changed together, even though we've been apart. I know that some people can't understand my determination to wait for Justin. And I think that most of that has to do with the fact that most people don't understand our relationship. In our thirty-one months of dating (plus five months of friendship prior to that), we have gone through a lot. A lot. We're used to the long-distance thing. We're used to people telling us our relationship last. We're used to people telling us to break up (thank you certain people that will remain nameless). We're used to having moments where we would forget what it was like to be with each other. We had moments where all we could do was write e-mails, text or talk on the phone for five weeks until we could see each other again. We were best friends -- well, he was my best friend-- for all of those 25 months of knowing each other before he left for California, and I don't see why that would change after only two years of not seeing each other. He's still my boyfriend. I am still his girlfriend. We're still best friends. We're still in love.
Anyway, that is how I feel. I love Justin. In my heart, I know that I am taking the best road for me at this point in my life. It's not the easiest. But, to me it makes the most sense, and I know that it will lead me to a very happy ending -- or beginning, I guess.

As Justin's "stubborn Scottish girl", I am far too stubborn to let go of a love like this. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Phase 10

I've mentioned many, many times how much I love my friends. I really love them a lot.
Lately, we have been spending quite a bit of time together -- mostly spending time playing "Phase 10". I love our "Phase 10" parties (though "Pictionary" has become a new favourite). We tend to get very loud, very competitive, and at times a little silly. And because of all of that, we take a really long time to play a game. But, it's all a great, great time. I love it. My abs are now much, much stronger because of that late night laughter.

Phase 10 Card Game

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I'm usually not a big fan of change. I like things to stay where they are. Well, when they are good that is. Though sometimes when things aren't so good, I have been hesitant to make a change because I have been comfortable. But, I'm changing that now. Well, in some ways.
After EFY, I realized that I was really unhappy at work. True, I did like what I did (I work at Reitmans, a woman's clothing store), but I realized that I didn't relate well to my customers or most of my co-workers. For a while I have talked about leaving the store (ask my family), but coming back to work after EFY, I decided to be serious about it. And thankfully that dedication paid off -- followed by a lot of prayer!
After four years, I am leaving Reitmans and will be working at Chapters! It has always been my dream to work there, so I am super, super excited! I will most likely be working in the Indigo Kids department, so that's a bonus! I'm just ready for a change. So, two weeks and I will experiencing a lot of changes! Goody!
I am so thankful for answered prayers. And also for good friends that give great references!