2014 in Review

2014 is almost over. Crazy! This year went by SO fast. Here's a little recap in case you were curious... (It's actually mostly just for me to look back on, but enjoy!)

-365 daily journal entries
-52 weekly emails
-33 school credits completed
-21 years old officially
-16 books read
-12 whole months without my best friend
-9 months of braces (7 to go!)
-7 days in Hawaii AKA paradise
-5 trips to Cali
-4 wisdom teeth removed
-2 semesters of institute
-2 graduations
-2 temple open houses
-2 packages to Brazil
-1 new nephew
-1 NFL football game
-1 hike up Camelback
-1 day trip to Flagstaff
-1 crazy/insane flood
-1 trip to the shooting range
+Lots of ice cream, Netflix, tears, laughs, smiles, and great memories!

That's about all I can think of right now! I'm sure I've done more, but overall, it wasn't too crazy of a year, but still a good one. 
I'm SO excited for 2015 and all the happiness it will bring.

Happy New Year friends :) 

Stay safe & have fun! 
I know I will;)




This time of year goes by SO fast. I can't even keep up! Here's a little run down of life as of lately:)

Christmas Eve was lovely. I went over to the Hoopes' house for their annual Swedish meal. SO GOOD. I love that cute family! So many babies, I love it. :) It was so nice to see Hunter's extended family and all of their perfect little children. I slept over at my parents house that night with my little sister. We watched Gilmore Girls and drank soda and ate chips, and felt sick like an hour later. It was fun! Then we stayed up playing Trivia Crack until like midnight (my whole family is addicted to that game...)

Cheesin' with the cutest girl!

Dr. Pepper lovin

Christmas Day was even better! I got to Skype sweet Hunter. He's just great and adorable and I'm super excited to see him in THIRTY THREE DAYS. It's all just insane, and I can't even believe it. The cutest thing happened though! I was in the middle of telling Hunter that his dad liked the card we made him, and he blurted out, "I love you!". I pretty much melted, we both had no idea where it came from, but it was quite adorable! Skype sessions are never long enough, but it really felt like everything was back to normal. I don't think it's a secret that it's been a rough couple of months for us, but things are starting to look up. We shall see what happens when he gets home, but I'm feeling a lot more optimistic. We've always been able to work through anything that has come our way, and I'm hoping this time is no different. We are both extremely excited to see each other again, but we are realistic in the fact that a lot has changed! After Skype, we had even more Swedish food, sooo good. Then I went home and did Christmas gifts and dinner with my family. The holidays go so fast! 
Love this face!

Our mini tree at home! 

Work tree and artificial fire place

21st Birthday was pretty dang good too. A little back story, I pretty much have cried on every birthday since I was 16. I don't know why, but I always end up bawling my eyes out over something. This year, I am happy to report that there were ZERO tears! My awesome coworkers surprised me with a cake and candles. It meant so much to me, I wanted to cry! It was delicious. Here it is: 

Then I got home and this happened... Clumsy Erica. I was SO sad! 

I also got lots of cuddles with this cute baby. I love this boy so much! He is perfect and snuggly and amazing. I love him. :) We went to Red Lobster for dinner and it was amazing. I loveeee seafood. (Asian thing, right?)

A Chargers shot glass! Too funny:)


It was a fabulous week!
 I am officially 21, and it's almost 2015. 
What a crazy adventure this has been! 

Oh and by the way, in case you were wondering, THIRTY THREE more days until Hunt gets home.
Is this even real?! 


It's Official...


My grades were published, and I am one happy camper.
One of my teachers rounded my grade up to a B, instead of a C.
I could cry I'm so excited. 
A's and B's for this girl!
I'm super proud of myself for making it through this semester and doing decent.
I'm definitely only taking 5 classes next semester.

Now I can relax, go Christmas shopping, read a few books, clean up my house, and cuddle with my cute nephew, Clark! 



Letting Go

"To let go isn't to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn't leave feelings of anger, jealously, or regret. Letting go isn't winning, and it isn't losing. It's not about pride, and it's not about how you appear, and it's not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn't blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn't leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It's not giving in or giving up. Letting go isn't about loss and it's not defeat. To let go is to cherish memories, and overcome and move on. It's having an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is accepting. It's learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It's about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will have soon again. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving on. Letting go is growing up. It's realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy. To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path, and to set you free..."


All or Nothing

I can't believe it's already a week and a half into December! Life has been CRAZY lately. School is over, and I couldn't be more grateful. This semester was a good one, but I definitely need a break.  November was just a blur to me. BUT this was the easiest/best finals week of my life!

I had 3 tests, one I didn't have to take because I had an A already, the second one was super simple, and the last one was the most difficult but I studied really hard and it paid off because I GOT AN A ON MY FINAL!!!! (Back story: I did really bad on the first test and paper in my international business class. So bad that I was in danger of Failing with a capital F! I couldn't decide whether I should drop the class with a D and retake it next semester, or stick it out and see if I could bring my grade up. I chose to stay in the class and work really hard, and thankfully I passed! I was 12 points away from a B, but settled for a C+. I couldn't be more grateful that I stuck with it.) Anyways, then I had a super easy group presentation yesterday. I've never been done with finals so early before! But just like that, finals week is over. 

Thank goodness.

Thanks boyfriend;) I did!

Hmm. A LOT has changed in this past few months and I've had some pretty intense realizations that have been difficult to deal with, but I've managed.

The most important thing I've learned in the {almost} 21 years I've been alive is that not making a choice is the worst choice you could make. I've always been the kind of person that likes the middle ground, I hate making decisions and I hate taking sides. Seriously just trying to find a place to eat takes half an hour! Politics is the worst because I like to see things from both points of view...  I'm so indecisive. BUT once I make a decision, I'm set on it. And it's really difficult to change my mind, because I'm stubborn as all heck. So all of my life, NOT making a decision always seemed like a much better choice, until about a month ago. I guess I never realized that not making a choice could hurt much worse than making a choice ever could. I never realized that indecisiveness can be SO hurtful until I was on the other side of things, having to do deal with other people and their "middle-ground". It was awful and I never want to do that again... I learned my lesson about trying to play things "safe". 

All or nothing, baby! 

Life is seriously just a bunch of all or nothing situations being handed to you. I know I run into this daily. For example, for me, if I'm not giving 100% into studying, it's almost pointless for me. When I'm distracted by Facebook and Instagram, I hardly retain anything, even if I'm taking notes! I learned that I seriously just have to sit there with no distractions. I can focus and learn so much better when my attention is not divided. 
All or nothing.

The same can be said about relationships. Everyone always says that relationships should be split 50/50. I completely disagree. Relationships should be 100/100. I've been the one who puts forth all the effort, and I've been the one slackin' off, and it just doesn't work unless you are on the same page. Unless it's a shared give and take, things just get messy and terrible. People get taken advantage of, or end up getting hurt. 100% commitment and 100% effort is so much to ask for, but I think those relationships are the best kind. 
All or nothing.

Of course, I have to reference football too;) Now, don't get me wrong, you can win a game with absolutely no defense and a killer offense, but the best teams, and the bests wins, are the ones where the team is all in. Offense, defense AND special teams. They give all they've got, no matter who is on the field, no matter where they are playing, and no matter who they are going against. Because at the end of the day, you win as a team, or you lose as a team. 
All or nothing.

This is a pretty general post, and yes, not all situations should be all or nothing, but the truth is the middle of the road isn't the "safe" option because you can get hit from either direction. And take it from me, it's not fun... Well, that's all of my random thoughts for today! Good luck to those of you who are still taking finals. You got this! :)


Thankful 22-30

A few days late... Where did this month go? 
Oh well, better late than never.
It's also my favorite month of the year!
Christmas, birthdays, winter break, no school, cold weather and Christmas lights?
YUP, I'm excited! 

Let's finish off 30 days of Gratitude first though!

22. I am thankful for texting. I have a love/hate relationship with texting, but this week I am so grateful for such quick communication. I love getting sweet texts from friends who are just wanting to say hello. It's such a small thing, but really, nothing is sweeter than knowing someone is thinking of you! It's fast and easy, but I do love phone calls too. 

23. I am thankful for goals. There's so much chaos in life, it's so nice having a goal and something to try to obtain. Whether it's education goals, physical goals, or spiritual goals, I just love having something to strive for, something that makes me a better person each and every day. I am extremely goal-oriented, without that direction, I don't know where I'd be. 

24. I am thankful for my car. I love being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I don't have to ask permission or share with anyone. It costs me an arm and a leg, but being able to drive makes me so happy! I do a lot of reflection and thinking while I drive. I also sing obnoxiously and nobody can hear me (although they can see me). I've never been a big fan of driving until I got my own car! 

25. I am thankful pedicures. One thing I absolutely can't stand is feet. They gross me out. I don't like when boys wear sandals, or seeing unpainted toes. I don't like foot massages or having feet anywhere near me. I try to keep my toenail polish looking pretty, but sometimes I get lazy or don't have time. That being said, I LOVE pedicures. 

26. I am thankful for last minute football game wins. Seriously. I spend the whole 2.5 hours getting nervous and being stressed when we're down. There's nothing quite like watching your quarterback, and your team win a game in the last 2 minutes! Seeing the clock wind down to 0:00 and squealing and jumping with joy makes me soo dang happy. It's one of my favorite feelings in the world. Ahh I love football season.

27. I am thankful for family. My family drives me crazy sometimes, but boy do I love them. Life would be so boring without my parents and siblings and cousins and nieces and nephews and everyone! I have lots of siblings and I am so grateful for that. We are all extremely different, but we are one family, and I can't imagine it any other way. The older I get, the more I want to be around them and see them. Family is family and this Thanksgiving I am grateful for them!

28. I am thankful  for my grandma. She passed away a couple years ago, but her birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, and it made me think about her a ton! Without her, my family wouldn't be possible. I sure miss her Thanksgiving meals, and going to her house and always being offered soda. She was sooo active, it was crazy; she could lift and walk more than I could! I miss her so much, and I wish I had spent more time with her and appreciated her more while I could. I will always be grateful for memories and for the fact that she was such an integral piece of creating the family I love. 

29. I am thankful for rain. It's just so wonderful! It's calming, and relaxing. It's fun to walk around in. It makes me so happy! Cloudy days are wonderful. I love snuggling up in my bed and lighting a delicious smelling winter candle. I LOVE RAIN.

30. I am thankful for babies! Nephew #4 was born on November 30th! He is so perfect and I love him so much. It was a tough labor for my sister, her water broke on Friday and ended up having to get a C-Section on Sunday. It was all worth it though to have that beautiful baby come into our lives. I can already tell he's going to be spoiled rotten! My sister and brother-in-law are going to be the best parents. I'll upload pictures later on this week when life calms down a bit. All I can say, is I'm obsessed with that nugget. 

And that's a wrap.
I am so blessed! 
These are just 30 wonderful things I'm grateful for.
It's been a fantastic month.
I can't wait to see all the happiness and blessings December will bring.


Twenty One Months

This month seriously flew by. I can't even believe it.
This month definitely seemed to go by the quickest, but it was also the most difficult. 
Weird, huh?
This month was a month of realizations.
Good, and bad, and scary, and awful.
But it was completely necessary, and I feel a bit more ready for the future.
All I know is that everything works out the way it's meant to.
Sometimes it's not the way we intended or planned, but that's okay.
I know that in the end, I will be happy with whatever comes my way.
Sometimes people come into your life for a reason.
It may not make sense at the time, but the reasoning will hopefully come later.
It's been such an emotionally exhausting month, I'm just happy it's December.

2 months left until Hunter gets home.


Thankful 15-21

Week threeeee: DONE.
Thanksgiving is next week!
5 more days until Cali :)

#15: I am grateful for stars. A couple days ago I was feeling very sad, very alone, and very confused. I walked outside and just stared at the stars. I couldn't help but think about how amazing the world we live in is, and how perfect the one who created it is. There were so many stars, so far away, but still so beautiful. I love that no matter who you are, or where you're at, we all look at the same sky. We see the same stars. They twinkled (literally) and I felt so at peace and calm. I loved it. I am grateful for these subtle reminders that I am never alone.

#16: I am grateful for my brother, Bryan. He can be the biggest turd sometimes, but he is also so thoughtful! He's does things like upgrade my car lights, scrubs my bathtub, and cooks most nights. Sometimes he has a plate of eggs waiting for me and will even bring my lunch for me. I live with him and we work together! I'm sure he gets sick of me, but I sure am grateful for him. He's always down to eat ice cream, and I enjoy watching Jeopardy and screaming out the answers with him. We totally watched High School Musical last night too. :)

#17: I am grateful for football. I just really love this sport. I love my team, I love my quarterback. I love my family and how much fun we have watching football. I love that all the girls in my family are into it, and I love our group texts during the game. I love the Chargers, whether we win or lose. I just love watching the game. I love the spirit of football. Football season is the best, and I'm already dreading the end of it! We're already in week 12, YIKES! (P.S. I may or may not have chosen #17 for this one...)

#18: I am grateful for institute. I have institute twice a week and it really puts things into perspective for me. I always end up hearing something I really need to hear. I feel comforted, and often confused, but I always feel better afterwards. I love learning new things. I love hearing other peoples' perspectives. I love that there is always something to learn!

#19: I am grateful for honesty. I've had a really tough time the past couple of weeks and today I received the most honest letter in my life. It was really hard to read, and I don't know how I feel about it, but I'm just really grateful it was said and that now I know. Honesty always, people.

#20: I am grateful for sales! I got an awesome deal on a tablet/laptop. I love it already! It's small and portable and just what I need for school. It's like 2 pounds and has a keyboard, and I saved $140. It's the best and I'm super happy. Yay for sales and good deals!

#21: I am grateful for silence. There's been a ton on my mind lately, and my brain just never seems to STOP. This week instead of blasting music like I normally do, I turned off the radio and just drove in silence. It was actually extremely comforting and relaxing. I'm definitely going to do it more often! I LOVE music, but sometimes walking to class without my headphones in makes me happy. I notice things that I never did before. I hear things I never heard before. I am just really grateful that in a word of so much chaos, there are times we can be silent. Silently praying, silently listening, silently driving. Try it! Silence is definitely needed and can be super beneficial.

Well,  there ya go! 21 days of gratitude. I seriously can't even believe all the things that I haven't been appreciating. November is an awesome month. It makes me so happy! I also can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with my family. :) I am thankful for them always.


Thankful 8-14

Weeek 2 of November? DONE! Time is FLYING. Thanksgiving and December are right around the corner. Yay! Also, 25 days until school is over. YESSSS.

If you missed post #1, here it is!

#8: I am grateful for my wonderful friend Shannon. This girl is amazing! She's seriously one of my favorite people ever. I love our friendship so much! We can talk for hours about life, love, school, work, religion, etc. Shannon is quite the optimist and gives the best advice. What I love about her is that she isn't afraid to tell me things I don't want to hear. A lot of people will say what they think you want them to say, instead of what they actually think. But Shannon is always honest, even if I don't want her to be;) She has a way of looking at things in a whole new light, and in ways I had never even thought about. She asks me the hard questions that I don't like to think about or answer. I'm so grateful that I drove this (somewhat) stranger home from work one day. My life would definitely not be the same without her! Thanks Shannon for being YOU. P.S. Wedding planning with her is wayyyy fun!

#9: I am grateful for holidays. Veteran's day is awesome. It's a day to celebrate the men and women who served our country, and it's also a (much needed) day off from school. Obviously, one is more important than the other (celebrating the Veterans), but I will take any day off given to me. 

#10: I am grateful for my heating blanket. It's seriously the best thing I've ever purchased. It keeps me warm at night, and it's adjustable so I can change the temperature. I've never loved an object more. I use it every day! It makes me happy because I am always cold. Thank you to my heating blanket for keeping me nice and warm, and NOT sick. 

#11: I am grateful for growth and journaling. I read my old journals last week, and it's amazing to see how much I've changed and grown, just since the beginning of the year. I love being able to remember and relive memories. It's not as fun to remember the tough times I went through, but I am grateful that I have them written down somewhere. I recommend journaling to EVERYONE. I made it my goal to write in my journal every single day this year, and to write down one thing I am grateful for each day, and I LOVE it. Memories are awesome, but a physical recollection of a moment or an event is priceless. It allows me to take a step back and see myself/a situation from a different light. Growth is tough. I don't like it most of the time, but boy, am I grateful for it. Change is really difficult for me, but I'm happy with the way things are and the way things have turned out. Moral of the story? JOURNAL JOURNAL JOURNAL. I promise, you won't regret it.

#12: I am grateful for hoodies. I don't think this needs much explanation. Warm, and cozy is my favorite thing ever. Add a pocket to keep my hands warm? Sold. If it was acceptable to wear a hoodie every day, all year, I would.

#13: I am grateful for food. I feel so blessed to live in a place where food is ALWAYS available. I honestly can't even imagine not having a fridge to go to, a Chipotle to visit, or a grocery store to stop by. I hope that one day I get to volunteer or work somewhere that has those limitations. I wasn't feeling very good this week and didn't eat much, but the fact that I had food to eat is amazing in itself. Food nourishes our bodies, gives us energy, and for me, is a way to socialize and catch up with friends. I am so thankful for food and I hope I can get better at thanking the one who created it before every meal!

#14: I am grateful for prayer. The power of prayer is unbelievable to me. I love it so much and I am soooo thankful that we can pray, any time of the day, and about anything. I'm grateful for the peace that comes after prayer, and the answers that DO come (even if they aren't as quickly as I'd like). Never underestimate prayer!


Thankful 1-7

Seriously... How is it already a week into November? It feels like it was just October 1st! It's insane how fast this year/semester has gone by. Since November is all about Thanksgiving, I thought I would list off one thing I'm thankful for each day of the month. I'll post once a week for the 4 weeks of November. I challenge anyone else reading this to post once a day or once a week or even once every two weeks about something YOU are thankful for :)

#1: I am thankful for school and my education. Even though school can be extremely stressful, I am so grateful that I GET to get to go to school for almost free. I'm grateful for the teachers that try hard to make class interesting/fun, and I'm grateful for the fact that I LOVE what I'm learning about this semester. It makes going to class a much easier decision ;)

#2: I am thankful for Camille & Curt. I love them SO much. They are always supporting me, helping me, offering advice to me, and loving me. No matter what, I know I can go to them with whatever's on my mind! I love long talks with Curt, and cuddling with Camille on the couch. I have the best (hopefully) future in laws ;)

#3: I am thankful for scarf weather! I've seriously worn a scarf 3 out of the past 7 days. It's not even that cold yet, and sometimes it warms up in the afternoon, but I don't care! 70 degrees means scarves for this girl!

#4: I am thankful for the ability to move on and let go. This definitely is a struggle of mine and I'm soooo grateful for friends who support me and help me make the necessary changes in my life. I love people who help me stick with my goals, even when I want to give up.

#5: I am thankful for preparation! I for sure thought I failed an exam, but I ended up getting a B. I am so happy that the studying paid off, and that I was able to prepare myself for a "high to medium" difficult test. Preparation is key, and I'm so happy that we can prepare for most situations in life. (Definitely not all of them, but a good majority!)

#6: I am thankful for Chipotle. I know this one seems a bit silly, but I really love Chipotle! I love that the ingredients are (for the most part) healthy, and that it fills me and my insane appetite! The workers there are always so nice, and the food is always delicious and quick. It's my go-to food. I literally have Chipotle at least once a week...

#7: I am thankful for doctors. I woke up on Monday to an email from Hunter saying he has pnuemonia. That's definitely NOT what I like to hear from my best friend who is 6,000 miles away. He went to the doctor, took some x-rays, and luckily they caught it in time, so he seems to be doing better. I'm just really thankful for people who spend the time, energy, and money to go to school to attend the sick and wounded. I know that personally, I could NEVER be a doctor (I get queasy super easily and I hate needles and hospitals...) but I am so grateful for the people who DO choose to do that.

And there we have it! The first 7 things I'm thankful for this month :) I really love this picture, because it's so true. When I stop and think about it, I have SO much to be grateful for. I had to stop myself from listing more than 7! I find that the more blessings I CHOOSE to see, the more there seems to be. God is good, people. 


Hunt's Birthday Package!

Hunter's birthday was in July... I sent out his package at the end of August, and I am just now posting pictures! I've kind of been failing in the package/letter department. I just wanted to post pictures so I have them for future reference! 

This package was pretty small compared to the others ones I've sent him. I can't wait until we can celebrate birthdays TOGETHER. A package just isn't the same as a super awesome date or fun surprises... My birthday is coming up soon, and then all the rest of our birthdays will be spent together! I'm stoked.

Well here it is! My favorite thing in the world is this glitter tape I got from Target in the dollar section. It's gorgeous and sparkly and I'm in love with it! I also love these thickers (yup, thickers, thick stickers!) from Michael's. I love anything glittery! 

Green and yellow for Brasil! 

Of course, no missionary package would be complete without a tie, and a pun!
 Two of Hunt's favorite things!  (I kill myself someTIEmes...)

He doesn't have too many regular shirts with him, and this was on sale at Target, so I bought it. He's my real life Superman though. ;)

 I know, this package is not very exciting, but hey, I figure we'll just party super hard for his 22nd birthday to make up for birthdays 20 & 21!

If I had more time, and packages didn't cost an arm and a leg, I definitely would send more. Making them is so fun, and Hunter is always so happy when he gets them!


Stop & Smell the Candles

It's only Tuesday and this week has already been HECTIC! 
Work has been stressssssful. 
I've been going crazy!

It's already November, and sometimes I just wish time would slow down so I could take a breather. Well, yesterday I decided that I deserved to relax, so I went out and bought some delicious smelling candles, and bubble bath, and I took a long, hot bath. It was GREAT! I highly recommend this to everyone! I put on some relaxing music and was at peace. I didn't think about school, or life, or stress, I just listened to my music and relaxed. It was grand, and I'm definitely going to make this a weekly ritual. 

Of course, I spilled hot wax on my hand and on my floor, and I burned myself with a lighter, but hey, life can't be perfect, right? ;) 

I'll take what I can get. One hour a week seems like such a small sacrifice for my overall well being and sanity! I could have been doing a million other things, but I'm glad I took that time to gather myself. I definitely just wanted to sleep after that though!

P.S. The idea of a bath kind of disgusts me, but my brother just redid my shower, so it's clean and sparkly!

On a happier note, despite my stressful week, I found out that I got a B on an extremely difficult test I took last week. I had a D in the class, and didn't feel confident after I took the test, so I figured I would have to retake the class, and I'd be behind and I got extremely stressed. Turns out, I did much better than I thought and the hours and hours I spent studying and reading hundreds of pages actually worked!

I'm a happy camper!

Life can be stressful, but sometimes the best thing to do is stop and smell the candles.


The truth will set you free

I definitely should be writing an essay, studying, doing homework, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning, BUT I decided to write a blog post instead... There's just a ton on my mind (like always), but even more so today. So here we go!

The future frightens me. Every part of it. The uncertainty, the potential, the change. I can't stand it, yet I find myself living in the future more often than not. It's a frustrating place to be, especially because I can't see the future and I can't predict what's going to happen. That being said, I've definitely been living in the past lately. It hasn't been entirely healthy, so I've decided that I'm done with it. I've experienced, I've learned, and I've grown, but there's a point in time where you just have to move on! You have to be OPEN to the opportunities that come into your life. You have to be open to the trials and challenges that come along with it. You also have to be open to letting go. That last part gets me. It's SO tough for me to let things go. I analyze and overthink constantly, but I'm slowly learning that it doesn't get you anywhere if you aren't willing to make any changes. So I'm making those necessary changes.

I'm mostly rambling at this point, and I probably don't make sense to anyone but myself, but I just needed to document this moment somewhere. I want to look back on this post 6 months from now and know that I did change, that I did grow, and that I did move on. It's not fair to anyone to live in the past, to live in something that didn't happen. It's been holding me back, it's been stressing me out, it's been stunting my growth, so I'm letting it go. It's hard for me to admit this stuff; I like to be strong, and I don't like being vulnerable or weak in any way. I'm very stubborn, so admitting that I can't handle it is tough for me. Admitting that I care more than I should is almost killing me right now, but it's necessary. 

So here's the truth: I'm struggling. I care WAY too much about how I'm being perceived. I'm letting this affect me in ways that aren't healthy, and I'm holding on to something that isn't there. I'm letting it go now, and I'm GOING to be happy. I'm going to allow myself to love and be loved. I'm going to rely on Christ in all things. I'm going to be the person that I want to be and I'm going to believe in the things that I want to believe in. I am grateful for every single experience that has gotten me to this point in my life, but it's time. 

From this day forward, I am going to be honest with myself. I'm going to allow myself to be weak. I'm going to allow myself to be vulnerable, confused, and lost. I'm going to allow myself to be hurt, without feeling like I have to hold it together. I AM broken. But in Him I can be strengthened. And that is all I need.

Happy November 1st!

Here's to moving on and letting go.


Twenty Months

I can't keep track of what day of the week it is 90% of the time.
Then I look at the calendar, and it's the 27th again, and it's been another month since I've seen my best friend. It's really amazing how fast time flies when you aren't focused on it.

Twenty months.
That seems like forever, even though in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that long. We will be together again in about 3 months, and it's such a strange feeling. We've spent so long apart that thinking of being together again is just odd. Obviously, it's the best kind of odd, but it's really starting to make me anxious and worried. I'm worried about getting used to him being home, about finding time in my busy schedule to hang out with my best friend, worried about balancing work and school and family and friends, worried about how weird or different or awkward it will be, worried about how much we've grown and changed, worried about talking about tough subjects that we've somehow avoided... worried about it all! 

Believe me, I am so excited. I really am, but I'm also more scared than I thought I'd be. Hunter is loving his mission so much. He literally see the Lord blessing lives right in front of him, and it's amazing. I am so proud of him for always having the best attitude even when I know he's struggling. He never loses faith, and I love him for that. I'm just starting to get really scared! And anxious! 

School has been going surprisingly well for me, except for one class. I've aced almost every test I've taken, and I really am loving what I'm learning. I'm managing my time pretty well, and work hasn't been too bad lately. Life is good. Life is crazy, and unexpected, and hard, but life is good.

I truly am blessed. 

I've been trying to focus on the blessings I have in my life, instead of complaining about the trials. It really makes such a huge difference. I feel happier! 

Letting go is so tough for me. I over analyze everything you could think of. (Seriously though, it takes me an hour to pick out shampoo). I try to come up for reasons and explanations, but sometimes there just isn't one. I try to predict the future, even though that's impossible. I have a million and a half scenarios playing in my head at every given moment. (I'm not sure if that's a girl thing or an Erica-thing.) But anyways. The point is I think a lot. I've imagined Hunter coming home every day for the past 20 months. And now, finally, it's something that's close to happening.

I can't even handle it.

Nervous is the best word I can think of to describe how I've been feeling lately. Everybody talks about how wonderful it is when missionaries come back, but nobody ever really talks about the tough stuff. The hard stuff.

3 months left guys.


Heavy Heart

Today my heart just hurts.

Another school shooting. Violence. Hatred. Judgmental attitudes. Political agendas. Missing persons. Murder. War. Disease... The list goes on and on and I just feel so sad.

I feel sad for kids who take out their frustrations and anger out through violent means. I feel sad that they think there are no other options. I feel sad thinking about the things that the world values and teaches. I feel sad thinking about the innocent lives lost. I feel sad thinking about where the world is headed... My heart just feels so heavy today! The world is full of so much bad, so much anger, and so much hate. I just want everyone to know that Christ is there for you. He's there for you even in the darkest times, even after you sin, even after you feel like there is no hope. He will help you. He will never forsake you. He will listen to you always. He will comfort you when needed. He knows your heart, your struggles, and your pain. He LOVES you, and He is there for YOU.

Oh how badly I wish everyone knew this. 
Oh how I wish everyone realized how precious each individual life is. 
Oh how I wish we would just put down the weapons, stop with the hate, and realize how much we are LOVED by our creator.

And that's all I really wanted to say.
My heart hurts.


99 days to go!

I've been waiting for this day for a REALLY long time,
600 to be exact.
We are finally out of the double digits, and I can't even tell you how excited this makes me.

(Technically I won't see Hunter in 99 days because his parents are going to pick him up and visit Brazil for a bit, so it'll be a little while after that, but I still go by the release date until I know exactly when I will be able to see him!)

600 days, guys.
That's a really long time.
I can't even believe it's been that long.
600 days of waking up and not being able to see my best friend.
600 days since I've texted him.
600 days since I've gotten to hug him.
I honestly don't even know where the time went.
I can remember the day Hunter left like it was yesterday.
And in 99ish days, I get to hug him once again.

I haven't been this excited for anything in my whole life. 
My little heart leaps when I think about it.
I get nervous butterflies when I imagine that first embrace!

We've definitely had some rough times though, especially the past 6 months.
A lot happened, and a lot changed, but in the end, Hunter and I came out stronger than ever.
(I'm sensing a pattern here...)
Every time life throws us a curve ball, we still manage to get that home run.
I adore him and can't wait to have my best friend back!
I'm seriously praying for sanity these next couple months.
I'm sure the holidays will make time go by super quick; I'm stoked!

One thing I love about Hunter is his loyalty, commitment, and faith in us.
In 3+ years, he has never had one moment of doubt that things would work out.
Me, on the other hand... Lots of worries, confusions, and doubts along the way.
Shoot, I still have them sometimes!
Life is just so uncertain, and it's scary to me.
But Hunter, he's different.
He's known.
From the day he told me he loved me, he just knew that we were meant for more.
He'd hold me and reassure me all those hard nights before his mission. 
I'd cry and cry until my eyes were blood-shot red.
He'd let my snot and tears get all over his shirt, and wouldn't ever complain.
He'd hug me until I finally pulled away.
He is my rock.
Even from 6,000+ miles away, he sure knows how to calm my fears and doubts.
I have the best, best friend out there.

And guys, I seriously can't wait until he's home.

Hunter Curtis, I love you.
Thanks for being you.
Thank you for your faith in us.
Thank you for serving wholeheartedly.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally.
See you in 99ish days:)

I'll be waiting<3


Too many tissues

I've never been more excited for the weekend.
This has been me ALL week...

Actually, just kidding.
This has been me all week:
(I don't get to lay in bed all day)

But this is a much cuter picture.
(I wish I looked this adorable when I'm sick)

I can't wait to snuggle up in my bed. 
I have to do homework, but hey, it's better than talking on the phones for hours at a time. And coughing my lungs out. And using my entire box of tissues in two days. Oh and it's much better than getting 5 bloody noses this week. Yup, I said 5.

This week has been rough. I just found out I have a D in my international business class. A solid D too, not even a D+. You could say school and I aren't doing so hot right now. 

Anyone wanna tutor me? 

I'm just going to go disappear now.


Baby Shower & Chargers Game

The end of September was a busy month for me, but I loved it! We drove to Cali on Friday the 26th, had a baby shower for my sister Monica on Saturday the 27th, and went to a Chargers football game the 28th. Then we drove home that night and I had to be at school at 7:30AM... It was a rough week, but so much fun and definitely worth it. Here are A LOT of pictures from that weekend. :)

The shower was beautiful and so much fun. Thanks so much to Kathy for throwing it and for making everything so beautiful. I also adore my sister's friends! She has some awesome people in her life and I am so grateful for that!

My beautiful sister Monica! 

We love our little Clark!

Me and my little.

Buddy loves taking pictures with us...

It was a beautiful, but extremely sunny day, but we killed those Jags!

Sisters who watch football together, stay together!

This sums up my parents in a picture.

 I am happy! I love my family, I love my team, and I loveeeee California.