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.