Thursday, December 20, 2012

That One Friend...

Ever have one of those days where your life is flipped upside down? Or maybe a week? A month? A year? One of those times where burdens get so heavy, that is is impossible to stand, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually? One of those times where you are dragged down to your knees, to beg for help and mercy to see you through?

I'm sure you have, because if you are reading this, you have been a participant in this life for a good few years to know at least a little heartache or a few rough patches.

Luckily, there is a Friend I can ask for help. Someone who knows my heart, who hears my cry, who can heal the hurt in my heart, and that is my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He is the only one who knows exactly what I am feeling, and why I am feeling it. I know that He loves me, and though sometimes my burden is not taken away, it is lightened or shared. He is that one friend I can count on, anytime, for any reason.

I am also so deeply grateful for my friend and sister, Jannette. She has the light of Christ, and has been an instrument in His hands tonight, to help my tender and broken heart and spirit. She is that one friend on earth I can call, anytime, for any reason. 

This Christmas Season I urge you to draw closer to Him whose birth you celebrate every year. Mend a friendship, serve a fellow child of God, apologize to a family member, forgive someone you haven't been able to in the past. No matter how hard life can seem, I can promise you you have a best friend in Heaven looking out for you, and people here on earth that are willing to step in and help you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Whoops! Adventures Abroad

So, I've been an EPIC failure as a blogger, especially during the most exciting time of my life. There is a saying that says, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and I feel like that is the most efficient way to catch up! So, here are a few pictures from France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. As far as my time in Britain goes... I'm working on it!

The Eiffel Tower; it happened to be right outside
 my window and sparkle every hour on the hour!

The Bell in Notre Dame

The Catacombs! Yes, that is one of many walls of human bones....

Some of the lovely ladies I am sharing this experience with!
Jane, Dani(elle), me, Anne, and Kami(Kambria)

I. Love. Gelato. And all the other yummy desserts here!

A playground at Da Vinci's Home

High tide at a beach in France!

Mont St. Michel; the castle that the Tangled castle was based on!

At Normany Beaches. Definitely my favorite.

A Windmill Museum in the Netherlands

A square in Brussels (Belgium)
And here are 10 things you may or may not have known about France, Netherlands, and Belgium!
1. There are SO many pastries. Everywhere. And they are ALL good.
2. The milk in France is especially sweet!
3. All the good looking men are in Belgium. It is the world's best kept secret!
4. Castles are huge! And they are filled with spiral staircases.
5. Normandy Beach is a must visit. 
6. Everyone and their dog smokes! It is ridiculous.
7. The borders are open when traveling from France, Netherlands, and Belgium.
8. If you wash your clothes in the tub and hang them to dry, they will NEVER dry.
9. The countryside in France is absolutely gorgeous.
10. The Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour on the the hour for about 5 minutes.

More to come on my adventures in London!
Cheers!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pure Insanity!

Okay guys, this trip has been INSANE! All my flights were delayed, and I should have missed my last flight, because I landed half an hour after it was scheduled to take off! But by some miracle, I made it, and my luggage made it with me! I also made some great friends along the way! And older gentleman named John told me I had beautiful eyes, which was super sweet! A lady with a 4 year old named Ashton kept me company on my 7 hour flight, and a young man with crazy curly hair was fun to chat with as well! Once we arrived at the France Airport (we meaning me and 3 other girls from my group) it was pure insanity! Not one of us speaks french, and the detailed instructions that our directors sent us to get from the airport to our hotel were faulty, because the train we were supposed to take was shut down for maintenance! It took 4 hours to get from the airport to the hotel, and it included a shuttle, a bus ride, a train ride, and a metro ride, and walking a good few blocks. Oh, and did I mention we had to figure it all out in France where we don't speak french!? Yes, this has already proven to be an exciting trip! I've traveled for over 24 hours, but managed to make it into my room finally, and was even able to grocery shop! (Fun fact: the milk is hidden in the grocery store, every cereal has some form  of chocolate in it, and if you want a bag for your groceries you have to pay 3 cents for one!) I have been to the Eiffel Tower, and wandered through the streets of Paris! Life is great!

Oh, and my language on my computer is French now, so I'm not totally sure how to maneuver through my blog, so forgive me if there are any serious mistakes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday Surprises

Yesterday was my last Sunday here in the States until December! I am nervous, excited, anxious, and ready to leave this Friday! I figured yesterday would be just like most other Sundays, and in many ways it was. But there were a few things that happened that were perfect for a last Sunday!


For family home evening, my family and I had a murder mystery party. Ashleigh was in charge, and assigned us all roles. I was the rich lady, Elliot was the host, Dad was the doctor (haha go figure), Mom was the cook, and Ashleigh was the maid. Here are a few pieces of evidence.







Shortly after this extravaganza, Sister Tombs, Mary Beth, and Shayla came over to say goodbye and bring me a little gift for my study abroad! It was such a pleasant surprise, and very kind of them to do! I got to chat with them all, and especially Mary and Shayla as we sat outside playing with the dogs. It was wonderful.

Lastly, I got to Skype with an old friend that returned from his mission a few weeks ago! Missionaries DO come back! He has definitely grown a lot and matured, but at the same time is the same ol' guy! It was nice to see him after a few years, and before I leave the country.


Well folks, I guess my next Sunday blog will be from the other side of the ocean! I leave in 3 days, 22 hours, 56 minutes, and 54 seconds! (But hey, who's counting?) Just finishing up last minute things here, and I'll be off and one of the most exciting adventures of my life! It's been real. Keep in touch. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last Few Days

Well, I am down to the single digits in counting down to my study abroad! I'll be out of this world (okay... out of this country) in 9 days!!! It would be an understatement to say I'm very excited! As my last few days are rolling along, I've been trying to make good use of my time, and I've had quite a few mind expanding experiences, lots of time to contemplate, and I've just been very inspired by the things I have come up with.

First off, I am deeply grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. For the ones I do recognize, as well as the ones that I know pass right over my head! I have such stellar friends! Goodness. The are wonderful. I am here in Texas, while they are all partying in Utah. But, even while I am physically separated from them, phone calls, Skype, Facebook, and many texts have kept them near and dear to my heart. Also, I have had the chance to reconnect with old friends that have fallen out of my life for one reason or another, so it is neat to see how much has changed/stayed the same.

Second, I have really had the chance to spend time and really get to know my family. I've been mostly out of the house for over two years, but being back for over a month, it has really given me some great insight. My family is not perfect, because no family is. But boy are they my biggest blessing and one of my greatest sources of strength! I've had tender moments getting to talk with my mom, laugh with my dad, help Ashleigh with homework, and coach Elliot in tennis. I love the little day to day things and experiences that make us a family. Dance parties, family feud, Sunday dinners, and countless other occasions have drawn me nearer to them, and given me a wider glimpse of eternity.

Lastly, I have gotten to learn more about myself. I have learned that it's so much better to laugh than to cry. Life is funny. It sucks sometimes, but it's funny all the time! That epiphany alone has made a world of difference. I've also learned that you get out of life what you put into it. If I waste my days away on my computer or sleeping or lounging around, then life is not as meaningful as it should/could be. But if I read inspiring books, help my mother clean, take time for my siblings, practice piano, and fill my time with other productive activities, then I feel so much happier and better about life. I've learned that it's always the little things. I've always said that, but it is so true. My time home isn't about the garage sale, or our vacation to Disneyworld, or any other large event that has taken place. The moments I have learned the most from and hold dear to my heart are the UNO games with Elliot and Ashleigh, feeding the dogs with my Mom, pranking with my Dad, and smiling at the smallest of things.

Life is as good as I want it to be. My time home has dragged by, but at the same time I'm shocked it is almost gone. This is probably one of my last extended stays at home, but boy was it worth it! As I wrap up my summer and prepare for my next adventure of life (i.e. Europe!!!), I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me! I wish all my friends and family a wonderful semester, and I can't wait to see y'all in a few months!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thank Goodness.

"How are you?" is such a sneaky question. Sometimes it is asked out of sincere concern for someone and their wellbeing, and other times it is merely a response to someone else asking about them. I am deeply grateful for my relationship with my Savior and Redeemer, as well as my Heavenly Father. They are always there for me, and are always listening and very sincerely concerned about my wellbeing. Thank goodness for the gospel.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beauty

Beauty is a complex word to grasp. Sometimes it is confused with words such as thin, sexy, and hot. Sometimes one feels that their beauty depends on how their makeup looks, how cute their shirt is, their relationship status, or the size of their jeans. That does not determine beauty.

Here are a few examples of ladies in my life that are absolutely gorgeous, regardless of whether they are single or married, the calories they eat, or the clothes they wear. They are a timeless beauty. And I'll tell you why:

Mandie is beautiful because she is so caring. She always puts in large amounts of time and energy into those she loves, or those in need. She is beautiful.

Elizabeth Tombs is beautiful because she is a super mom. She goes to school and is a professor, but still manages to make her family her top priority, teaching them what they need to know. She is beautiful.

Kristen is beautiful for a bajillion reasons, but to save some time, I'll just name a few. She waited for that special someone to marry, and then married him in the temple for time and eternity. She cooks dinners for me, even if I rarely return the favor, and is always willing to spend time with me, whether she had time or not. She is beautiful.

My mom is absolutely beautiful because she is so grateful. There is always something to be grateful for, even in the hardest trials. She always gets up every day and heads her trials with a smile on her face and gratitude in her heart. She is beautiful.

Jannette is beautiful because she is always to the rescue! If you need a ride, dinner, kind words, a hug, she is there to give it! She is beautiful.

Kristin is beautiful because of her positive attitude. She never has a bad day, because she choses to have a good day every day. This is one happy girl! She is beautiful.

Ashleigh is beautiful because she has such a tender heart. She is always aware of the one who is being picked on or left out, and makes an effort to reach out. She is beautiful.

Maddy (left) is beautiful because she is so fun! Whether we are just texting, dying hair, or shopping I am always having a blast with her! She is beautiful.
Nicole (right) is beautiful because she is so forgiving. Even when people wrong her or hurt her, she welcomes them back with open arms. She is beautiful.

Granny is beautiful because she has worked hard her entire life. She has successfully raised 2 wonderful kids, as well as maintained a wonderful marriage, cooked unbelievably delicious dishes for friends and family, and is a very giving lady. She is beautiful.

All of these wonderful ladies have wonderful physical features, whether it be their eyes, their figure, or their hair. And though those are very pretty, they are not the reason why I find these women beautiful. These are the kind of ladies I want to become like. I do not aspire to be a Victoria's Secret model, or the most head turning woman in the town. I want to be beautiful because of who I am. Not because of what I look like. Beauty comes from within, and is something everyone can attain, if they can understand where beauty comes from. It can not be bought, borrowed, or found. It must be developed. Be your own kind of beautiful.





Thursday, August 23, 2012

What A Stud!

Alright ladies, I have found a man worth your time! He is way cute, exceptionally smart, strong, sweet, and funny. The good news is, he's available. The bad news is he is only 15, so it would be a few years until you could claim him as your own.


This is my younger brother, Elliot. Not only does he have a dazzling smile and muscles galore, but he is one of the sweetest guys I know! I have been working on getting ready for a garage sale on Saturday, and it is no easy chore! Today I had to move a dog run, which is no easy chore. Not only is it ridiculously heavy, but ours had sunk into the ground (due to the weight and the rain) and had weeds weaving throughout it rooting it firmly to the ground. Elliot was around, and offered to help. He thought about it for a minute, and then figured out to maneuver it. He successfully unrooted it from the ground, and brought it out by our garage. I was "helping", but seeing as I couldn't even pick up my half, he did 95% of the work.

Other wonderful deeds this guy has done is walk the dogs with me at night so I am not alone, carry many other large items of mine (without being asked), and even when he is dragged shopping by me and my mom, he doesn't get anything, but willingly carries our bags.

Now ladies, that is the kind of man you want! One who can do work around the house, one who is willing to do things with you that you enjoy, even if it doesn't benefit him in any way. A guy who is concerned about your protection always, and one who loves and respects his family and shows it through his loving day to day actions. What a stud! Oh, and did I mention his sense of humor can get everyone in the room breathless from laughing so hard? This guy has so many great stories, jokes, and is easily the most quotable guy I have ever met! I love you broskie, thanks for all your help!

Aaaand for those of you interested in the garage sale, it is Saturday August 25th, from 8am-1pm. :) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

This One's For My Girl!

Almost 2 years ago, I embarked on a new adventure in my life, called college. I traveled states away to claim a coveted spot a BYU in Utah, only knowing one other person in the state whom I could call. But, shortly upon arrival, I met this beautiful girl whom I have had the privilege of living with for almost my entire college career, and today is her special day! Special for many reasons! One, IT'S HER BIRTHDAY!!!! That's exciting all in itself. Second, she is turning 20! She has finally exited her teenage years! Lastly, it is her golden birthday! She is turning 20 on the 20th! And who might this special girl be, you may ask? Well, here are 20 things I love about her, in honor of her big 20!

Meet Jannette

1. She is one of the smartest girls I know, and got into BYU's nursing program on her first try!!!

 2. She is an outside girl! Always down for camping or hiking or anything of that nature! (hahah get it, "nature")

3. She is a good sport about my pranking habits, as well as joins in when she is not the target!

4. Nobody can ever look as good as she does in a plastic bag.

5. She always writes notes of encouragement, and has left them on my food, doors, drawers, etc... (yes, she is a sweetheart!)

6. She makes time for people, even in the middle of finals or other college craziness!

7. She can make me laugh till I can't breathe anymore

video
8. She never gets angry ;)

9. She is one of the best huggers in the world!

10. She stays up with me all hours of the night, talking, laughing, etc...

11. She is a go-getter! She has been dominating half marathons since I met her, and I'm sure I will be going to support her on a full marathon in no time!


video
12. Surprise videos are not uncommon in our friendship

13. She looks good. Always. Even when she is sick. I seriously have NO clue how she does it!!! (Don't believe me? Okay, refer to #11's picture. Yeah. That is after running 13.1 miles. Feel free to be amazed.)

14. Nobody can beat her facial expressions. End of discussion.

15. She was always willing to drive me places, because I didn't have a car! 

16. She parties hard! (Remember Nettie, you're turning 20, not 21 ;) )

17. There isn't one thing I don't enjoy doing with her. 

18. She loves holidays like I do, and gets festive with me before the rest of the world!

video
19. She is the best dancer/singer a girl could ask to live with!

20. (This one is a given) She is GORGEOUS.

And here is one to grow on!
21. She ALWAYS has my back... Okay so you can't tell that from the photo, but seriously, this girl is an angel. She has been with me through the thick and the thin! She has helped me to grow, and has been patient with me when I have not been so willing to grow! I don't think Heavenly Father could have blessed me with a better friend to help me get through (and thoroughly enjoy) college with, and I don't think she will ever be anything less than my best friend and sister. She's brought me ice cream when I'm feeling down, taken me out for my birthday (that always falls in the middle of finals, which is even more stressful for a nursing student!), made me dinner, taken me to the places I've needed to go, come along on little adventures that maybe weren't the most appealing, and given me some of the best advice/support that I don't think anyone else could have supplied! I love you Jannette, and I hope your birthday at home is a blast, and though I won't see you this fall, I can't wait to be reunited with you in January! Enjoy no longer being a teenager! You're the best!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chain Reactions

Chain Reaction- A series of events in which each event is the result of the one preceding and the cause of the one following.

Yesterday, I most definitely experienced a very intense chain reaction. I am leaving for France in less than a month, and there are certain items that I need for the trip, one of which is a raincoat! I have never needed a raincoat, living in West Texas, and so I had to look around to find one. 3 shirts, 2 jackets, 2 skirts, 1 dress and 1 pair of pants later, I found a raincoat! (As well as a pair of shoes.) Yes folks, I am a shopaholic. But in my defense, I do shop sales!

Anyway! I was satisfied with my purchases, and came home to put them away, and I just could not make enough room in my drawers to get the clothes in! So, I started emptying out all my drawers, throwing away anything that I no longer needed/wanted. I was very impressed with myself, and satisfied with the new space in my drawers, that I just had to continue!

One thing led to another, and for the next 9+ hours, I was ripping apart my room, bagging up what was no longer wanted, and neatly putting away what had made the cut. At 4am, I sat in my closet, putting away the last pair of shoes, and was thoroughly impressed with how beautiful and clean I had made my room/closet/bathroom.

In this ambitious endeavor, I discovered 52 tennis balls, 8 pairs of fake teeth, 17 lip glosses, 34 cents, and a very entertaining journal! I am proud to say, this is the cleanest my room has ever been since we moved here in 2006. Here are some pictures to proof it!

Closet

Bedroom

Feel free to be impressed. :) So what have I learned from this experience? Good things come from shopping. (And we will be having a garage sale next week, if you care to see what I have decided to get rid of, as well as other random things no longer needed in the Hanna household!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oh Those Summer Nights

I have been home for almost 3 weeks now, and let me tell you, the Hanna home is the place to be! The latest festivities have included:

1. A picnic at a park where we were entertained by a cop windexing his entire car.

2. Racing in laundry baskets down the stairs.

3. Some pretty hysterical dance parties to some very catchy songs late at night.

4. Training the pugs to play dead.

5. Half of us going to Japan, while the other half stayed and manned the house.

6. Rootbeer floats and smoothies while playing board/card games.

7. Mysteriously missing toothbrushes.

8. Awesome jam sessions with piano, guitars, and loud singing.

9. Quotes by Elliot that have left me doubled over in laughter,

10.Getting chased by cops through backyards and down alleyways because of a misunderstanding!

Oh, and did I mention half of these are false? :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

One Year

Today is August 3rd. To some, it is just another day in the year, another Friday, another day of summer. But today has a bit more meaning to me. It is the year mark, from August 3, 2011.


 It was the day I went from this:


To this:


Yes, my best friend was set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was to leave for Leeds, England the following day. It was quite an adjustment, and sometimes I still feel as if I haven't fully adjusted. But, looking back, I have had quite an eventful past year! Here are some of the highlights:


          
Family Vacations

Kristen got married!


A semester with these 2 wonderful girls
Meeting Kristin!

Quality time with the sis!  
My 20th birthday with close friends
A visit from Miss Maddy!
Fulfilling my dream as in EFY counselor

Meeting Nicole!
 Various shenanigans 

 Another year with Jannette

Oh yeah... and A LOT of this:


Yes, it has been quite the year! Hopefully this next year will bring many more exciting stories, wonderful people, and fun pictures! Elder Tombs, I miss you, that I'm sure you know. But, my life here is going beautifully, and I am ready for one more year! Europe in the fall, returning to BYU in January, a summer of EFY counseling, and then I will see you in August! :)