My Life

So, I've been thinking about how my blog is called "The Life of a Mormon Teen" So, I decided that it makes perfect sense to write about my life! This is where I post about my life. My joys, trials, triumphs, embarrassments, etc.


Life is going great! Our high school symphony had a fantastic rehearsal with guest conductor Sey Ahn last night. It was inspiring, to say the least.

Honor Orchestra of America is happening currently. I can't go this year because I still can't play for that many hours. I have made tremendous progress and recovery since last May, and really since three years ago. I am now playing 3-4 hours a day, which is AMAZING! It's so wonderful and I love it. I really can't play any more than that for at least six months. Honor Orchestra consists of a week of 8+ hour playing days, which my body can't handle at the moment. At first I was jealous and bitter of my friends who have the privilege to attend this year. However, as of today I don't feel that way any more, which is so liberating. I just feel excited and happy for them. And SO STOKED to see their concert on Friday!

I'm really excited for the opportunity to attend some master classes next week with the Assistant Principal Violist of the Chicago Symphony! That's going to be super exciting!

I also have a big speech competition coming up. This competition is through the Rotary club. It's super exciting! Last year I got fourth over all. My goal is to place in the top three this year!

The One and Only Sey Ahn! Love her!
Throwback to Honor Orchestra '13


I played viola at a retirement home last night. That was super cool! A man in my ward lives there and I play for him and the other people who live there sometimes. I brought my friend, Brady, with me who is a fantastic piano player. We happened to play several church songs and the Spirit was definitely there. Many of the people sang along because they knew some of the songs we played. We all sang Battle Hymn of the Republic together, which was awesome. At the very end, I sang I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus while Brady played piano. It was great.

My string quartet got a gold medal at our district competition a few weeks ago, so we have the state competition this coming Saturday. I'm super excited! We are ready, and it's going to be lots of fun! I can't wait! Here's a picture from the competition a few weeks ago:

Gold Medals and Giant Cookies!


I need to post here more regularly, because really, this is getting a little ridiculous! :D
Life is going well. I'm healing up nicely from my musically-induced injuries. I am now able to play for several increments of 45-60 minutes a day!! WOOOHOOO!! What a blessing that is!

I've been really working on developing myself as a public speaker, lately. Our school just formed a speech team. If you're familiar with Speech, I do Original Oratory (For those not familiar with thar term, basically I write a ten minute speech, memorize it, rehearse it, and present it.) I'm doing very well, and it's quite exciting. My topic is  "Where Have All The Young Ladies Gone?". I absolutely love love love my topic! It's about the general decline in behavior and morals of young women in the world today, and how to combat that. I also do an extraneous speech competition here or there outside of the speech team. Right now I'm working on one for the local rotary club. I'm super excited about it!

Here are some winter holiday pictures, if you're interested. My quartet played a concerto, I was in the orchestra pit for the Nutcracker (yes, we did the WHOLE thing! It was so hard, but SO rewarding!), and some other Christmas concerts.


I just came home from a totally awesome fireside. Who knew that one could laugh so hard and be so spiritually uplifted at the same time? Well, not at the exact same moment, of course, but you're picking up what I'm throwing down. Brother Matthew Richardson, Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency came and gave a fireside. I think I'll write a legit post about it in the next few days, because it's almost my bedtime. (I'm one of the cool people who have those! Okay, it's a self-proclaimed bedtime, but hey, I need my beauty sleep.) I was with amazing youth all night. I really felt God's love for me, and I felt really at home. There in that chapel, I felt as though I was inside a warm cocoon of the Spirit and love. It was most definitely a holy place. The Spirit was so very strong in that room. I just felt so at home. That's the only way I can describe that feeling.

Last weekend I volunteered at the Special Olympics. I had the honor of being the MC. I conducted the ceremonies and announced each player's name as they received their medal. That special job filled me with such joy. When I went home that afternoon, my head literally hurt from smiling so much. Here are some pictures.



Life is so good. I love life. Living is awesome. Mortality rocks. Can I say it enough? I don't know why, but I've just been so happy lately. I love it when I'm happy for no reason! It's the best because it just means that life is good. I've been keeping up with my running, which has been awesome! I've been setting and sticking to goals like a madwoman. Woohoo!! I'm on top of school and studying extra in the subjects I love outside of school. Part of this includes practicing my Spanish! I love, love, love Spanish! My goal is to be fluent by graduation. I'm also on the speech team and have been working on that. I'm taking AP Music Theory, and that has been so fun! It has been challenging, but I'm loving it!
 I'm realizing that in life we have opportunities all around us to be better than the day before. How much awesome would we obtain if we became just a little bit better each day? Better at patience. Better at loving. Better at school work. Better at diligence.  Ripple effect, guys! It wouldn't only effect you, but others, too. (This must be a theme for me lately, which you'll realize if you've read my latest post: Small and Simple Example- Great Impact)
I'm super excited because I'm volunteering at the Special Olympics this Saturday! It's going to be a blast! I can't wait! There's also a tristake dance that night. Woohoo!!!


I am notorious (to myself at least) for disliking running. To the point where I almost would feel satisfaction when my runner friends would complain about running injuries or unbearably hot track practices. Okay, that's not actually true, but I had a deep animosity towards running. However much I thought I loathed it though, deep down I really wanted to become a runner. Several times throughout my young life I've tried to get into running with little to no success. I am happy to report, however, that as of yesterday, I am a runner. I started yesterday. And I know it's going to stick this time. I don't know why I know this, but I do. Perhaps it's because I'm much better about setting and sticking to goals. Or maybe it's because I have overcome hard things recently, so I know I can conquer this. And possibly still it's because I've been studying about practicing about how one can be really good at whatever one does (True story. The psychology behind skill is fascinating. I've been studying it in hopes of learning to practice viola more efficiently, but I have learned tons of cool things to make my whole life better. Just try reading The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. You'll understand.). Whatever the case, I'm confident this habit will stick. Even if I'm not the best runner or even a good runner, I don't care. I'll just keep getting better and beating personal records. I may even join a 5k sometime in the future. All I know is that after I conquer this weakness, I will be able to conquer anything! This is something I've dreaded conquering for a long time! I'll be happier and healthier, too. I'm not unhealthy, but running will get me lots more exercise, which I need. I will have more energy and be more confident, too. I'm really excited about this.

This could be me someday...
In other news, I held a parrot this weekend. And got the family van stuck in a ditch.


School started on Wednesday, and it's going great so far! It has been really interesting to see how I react to the new situations I've been in. I can tell I will grow a lot this year, which is good. It probably won't all be a piece of cake, but I'm really excited for the growth and the interesting journey to it, nonetheless.
Today I wanted to practice my icing-writing skills. My aunt gave me a huge and super intense cake-decorating kit, and I made this cake to start practicing. I think it's awesome. (It;s a cake from Harry Potter, if you weren't aware. It's supposed to look messy and have a crack down the middle, because one of the characters sat on it. :D)

"Made it me'self. Words an' all."

" 'fraid I might have sat on it a lit'le..."


I kind of forgot about this section of my blog for a while. *Oops. Life is going really well!! I went to Girls Camp last week, and am going to EFY next week! EFY is pretty much my favorite part of the year! 
Girls' Camp! I'm the one in the gray shirt.
My friend and I are going to play a duet in the EFY variety show next week! We will perform "Titanium". It's a viola/piano duet which I arranged! I can't wait!


Because I have been so busy, yesterday was my first viola lesson in a month! It's so nice to have direction in my practicing! I enjoyed the time with no assignments, however. Now that I don't have any big competitions or recitals coming up, my teacher and I are really cracking down on my music. And it's really exciting!


Due to popular demand, I shall keep the section. Thank you all for your input.
I've been doing TONS of orchestra stuff lately! In just this past month I've had some incredible opportunities! I was in the Honor Orchestra of America, I played a concert in Disney World (which happened to be my first time ever going there), joined a local community symphony (which is in addition to the school symphony I'm in), and... I got to hang out with Jenny Oaks Baker. She is my biggest role model!!! We got the opportunity to pick her up from the airport before her performance at Time Out for Women, where I was able to see her perform. It was one of the best moments of my life. She is amazingly talented. I want to be just like her when I am older.
In this past month, I've grown so much! It's so amazing. I've grown musically, socially- I've gained so many friend and grown closer to my existing friends, and most importantly, I have grown a lot spiritually. I was away from home a lot and had to be independent. I relied even more on the Lord to help me through all that I needed to do.
Backstage at Honor Orchestra. These are some of the coolest girls ever! Some of them are old friends and some are new, but I love all these girls to death!

Violists! I'm the one standing awkwardly with no instrument. I obviously didn't get the memo. Haha.

One of my best friends!

This is when I got to hang with Jenny! She is incredible!

Disney and I.

So, I was pretending to be Belle when in the beginning she's dreamily reading while sitting on a fountain, but then some of my awesome friends decided to photobomb me. I think this pic is hilarious. :D


I don't really know if this "My Life" section is really necessary. I mean, I write about my life in my posts. I don't know. I used to not write about my life as much, which is why I added this page, but a while ago I shifted the focus of my posts and now I feel like this portion of my blog is a bit redundant. So, I want you guys to tell me what you think. Keep this? Rework it to have a different twist/purpose? Trash it? What do you want to see?


Well, I haven't posted here in the "My Life" section of my blog for a long time! Sorry about that! So, school starts for me in two weeks.  And, while I am so very grateful for the opportunity I have to receive an education, I kinda don't want to go back to school. I am actually a bit nervous this year. I am going to have to navigate a new school, which is about fifteen times bigger than my last one, and climb stairs all the time in my back brace. It's hard to walk to classes in my brace because, of course, I have to walk quickly to get there on time, and the brace inhibits my lungs from having enough space to breathe all the way. This is fine when I am just sitting, or when I am walking slowly, but when I am walking at a faster pace, it makes me out of breath. I don't know if you followed all of that, but anyway, it's a challenge,
But, I am super excited for the classes I'm going to take! The ones I'm most looking forward to are Orchestra, Music Theory, and my next Spanish class!


I'm learning that some of the most desperately challenging trials I have give me experience to help others. And, they give me compassion. I have a friend who is dealing with almost the exact same trial as me. We have both battled it for a long time.We are able to relate to one another, and it's really great. Recently, I have been able to help him, I think. I know that he has helped me.When I really need someone to talk to who has been there, I can always talk to him.

Speaking of trials, I found this really cool youtube campaign called Project Overcome. It says it's purpose is, "to spread awareness of depression, and hope to those who suffer from it."

I think this is great, and everyone should watch this video and subscribe to the channel. This campaign is a really good thing. I learned a lot and realized a lot while watching this video. Please share it with people you know to help spread the awareness and hope!


Haha. It's 3/4/12. 3 x 4= 12. :D Okay, so my brace is still no fun.  But, I'm getting used to it. I can't play the viola nearly as much as I initially thought I could. I can only play when I'm on pain medication, and I'm not allowed to be on pain meds every week, so there are some weeks I can't play. However, this is helping me develop my piano and music theory skills because those are things I can do. So, I suppose my circumstances and opportunities go very well with the phrase:

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window."

But now, along with this back business, I might have broken my coccyx, or tailbone. So, I've been in even more pain lately. And of course this along with an ear infection, sinus infection, and cold- all at one time. Although it's hard, I've been trying not to complain. I know that the Lord wants me to learn something(s) through this, and I'm determined to do so. Otherwise, all of this pain and these hardships will be for naught! And in my mind, that would just be pathetic!  I've been in so much pain, I want to learn something from this! So I will. And I think I already have, too. I've been able to strengthen my faith and my relationship with Christ. And, I"m learning to cope with pain without being annoying and complaining to everyone who might listen. To do that, I've realized takes enough self-confidence to know that you don't need injuries to get attention. And trust me- I'm NOT perfect at that. Sometimes I've been so exasperated, tired, and emotional that I would complain to people so that they would feel sorry for me. But, I'm getting better at it. 

I'm excited to see what else I can learn from these trials!


Well, I got a back brace on Thursday. It's really uncomfortable and hard to wear. It goes from my hips to my neck. But, it's also exciting because it is fixing my back! I can finally play viola again! It's just so amazing! When I wear the brace, there is no pain in my shoulder! I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father who is helping me through these physical trials I'm going through. It was also a blessing that my back brace was covered by insurance, otherwise it would have been $4000. Even though it's inconvenient, \uncomfortable, and unattractive, I feel very blessed. There are so many things I could have which would be worse. At least I don't have to get surgery!


Yesterday was ISSMA Contest- A contest for people who play instruments. I have been planning and practicing for this for a VERY long time. However, about two months ago, I decided to drop my solo. I have been having moderate to severe pain in my right shoulder blade and back for the past six-ish months. Long story short, I've had to cut back on playing viola to basically nothing. And I have an orthopedic appointment this week. It was the soonest they could get me in as of December.
So, I decided to drop my solo, but I still played in two quartets, because I committed to play with them, and there were no other violists who had the capabilities to play in these quartets.
And.... Both quartets got gold medals! Yay us!!!


I have a test about molecular genetics on Tuesday. So yesterday I spent all day studying. I'm totally a visual learner, so I made diagrams and pictures on photoshop to help me study, and to learn material that I didn't understand in class. Then, I quickly made the pix  a video for easy studying purposes. Here it is if you're interested in watching it. :)

And, I thought that the pictures I made (and will make in the future) might be able to help other visual learners to study also, so I made a blog for all of my pictures. :)

The blog is just starting out, but I hope that it eventually becomes a great study tool. :)


Today my cousins who live in Bosnia cam e to visit. That was fun. We played cards, and my grandpa ordered a lot of pizza.  This evening, I babysat.  Then, i came home and decided to try using photoshop. This was my first time using photoshop, and here is my product:

I'm really proud of this!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a picture of me. I think I might print it out and show it to my young womens leaders. I'm really proud of the work i did. It took me about three hours.  It probably could've taken a third of that time, except I this was my first time using photoshop. I'm really excited! I could really put this new skill to use for a lot of good!


So we have finals this week. Crazy, right? I mean, we could've had our finals right before Christmas break, like normals schools... but whatever. In any case, we have finals this week. Which means I'm crazy busy, and super stressed about my tests. (So now you're probably asking yourself why I'm blogging... well, I'm not really sure. Partly its because I'm watching my two-year-old sister, so on, so forth, but you probably don't care! :) So, I had a biology final and Spanish final today. Tomorrow I have Language Arts, History, and Spanish again. Thursday I have algebra and Spanish. (Algebra...shudder :) But, yeah.
My health teacher kind of bugs me. He's not very good, well he can't control our class. So everyone talks about all of this perverted stuff, and it's not fun. I don't really know what to do about it, or if I even can do anything about it. Of course, it doesn't help that the chapter we're on is all about drugs. That makes for "interesting" conversations. It's actually pretty sad. People in my class tell jokes about it and stuff, and it really annoys me. I mean, they could really be talking about more uplifting stuff. And my teacher, who has his major in psychology,  injects his opinions into the discussions, and literally tells us that they are facts. It's not a fun situation. But, I only have a couple more days of that class, until like, ummmm... April-ish.
Today during seventh period (last one of the day) I was taking a final, and I was really stressed out and kind of panicked. I knew all of the answers, but for some reason I was panicking that I would get them wrong. Then, I started thinking about all my other finals, some of which I had already taken (and didn't think I was going to get good grades on). I was also thinking about orchestra, my shoulder injury, these kids who were being really rude, and on, and on, and on. My thoughts were going through my head so fast that I could barely recognize them all. You know how that feels? Like where your head is almost spinning because you're thinking too much?  That was me. But then, I felt myself think "Be Still, and Know that I am God." I heard/thought it over and over in my head. I know that that was the Holy Ghost telling me to relax and give my stress to the Lord. After that, my mind stopped over-thinking, and I was able to relax. I'm so grateful for the gospel and for my Savior who loves me. I'm very grateful that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and I know that the Lord has been helping me a lot this week.
Also, I have been wanting to post a video of our evening of excellence from this November (2011). I sing a solo at 2:00, i think. I'm in the turquoise shirt with the really curly hair! There's also a picture of me playing the viola!
I hope lots of people watch this and can be uplifted by it! 


  1. That was a beautiful song. You are an amazing young women. Thank you for sharing this with all who can be touched by the spirit while they listen to it.

  2. totally amazing!


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