dedicated. determined. disciplined.

can't you tell? we both had one last final to take today, this would be us studying hard...

story of my semester. i maybe should have spent a little less time with this boy, and a little more time with my books.

oh well, hopefully my dad understands. :) and....[i'm finished.]

brasil...here i come! :)


the middle of december

you've got to love this time of year...

million pages of notes. four tests. three three page papers. two weeks away from my family. and one cleaning check.

.......and that's what's been on my mind.

im about sick of getting emails from my classmates that have been "sick" since november 3rd and so they don't have the last month worth of notes. seriously???? if you're going to lie, at least make it believable. but today i got a pretty funny one:
[A few weeks ago, a meteor crashed into my apartment and blew up my computer with all my notes! Could someone send a poor soul the notes from class?]
i sent that guy all the notes i had.

but despite finals and everything else...i'm loving the christmas caroling, wearing cute scarves, hot chocolate everyday, the thought of a 2 week break from school, perfect running weather, plenty of basketball, the warm fireplaces, jamming out to christmas music, the family i nanny's nine foot christmas tree, and lots and lots of treats. :)

......you've got to love this time of year.

me and a few of my bests checkin out the lights @ temple square. :)
**bad picture i know, it came from my phone.


m. and m.

as i type, i am sitting on my couch with three blankets and a rice bag that i heated up for six minutes. oh, and hot chocolate. i may be a pansy, but seriously.....it is TOO cold. to make matters worse, i just got off the phone with my dad. 96 degrees in brasil. december 20th can't come fast enough. i'm ready for some sunshine and the beach. not to mention 10 days with these two.

and that's who i'm thinking about today. they've both had birthdays recently. [morg's is today] and i want them to know i'm thinking about them. they are seriously my favorites. whether it's mal's sassy comments, or morgan's goooofy sense of humor. they usually keep me laughing. the whole time i'm with them. i love you two. [happy birthday morg] :)
{{{love. mace.}}}


"both abundance [and lack of abundance] exists simultaneously in our lives, as parrallel realities. it is always our conscience choice which secret garden we will tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing in our lives but are greatful for the abunance that's present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personl pursuits that bring us happiness-the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth." -president monson

i find myself far too often complaining about things i feel are super hard. for example: how 7 degrees outside makes it faar too cold to go running. or how my teacher in one class is making us take a test every week up until the final exam. or how i don't get to spend thanksiving/birthdays with my parents and sweet little sisters. rough life right??? yeah...i sometimes think so....

BUT...then read a quote like this. or listen to a 6 year old boy give the blessing on our thanksgiving meal and thank heavenly father that we "even have food for thanksgiving." those kinds of things always get you thinking. and in my case got me thinking: you know what? it may be 7 degrees outside, but thank goodnss i have a healthy body and the ABILITY to run at all. and yeah..nobody likes test, but i have the OPPORTUNITY that a lot of people don't have. to go to a university and gain an education. and even though it's hard being away from my family, i'm thankful for the wonderful gandparents and family members i have here, that take good care of me and make these days great regardless of being 4000 miles away from my family.

looks to me like i don't have too much to complain about. happy thanksgiving y'all:)


don't know what i'd do without her...

today is this lady's birthday:
im wishin that i could give my mom a hug on her special day, but i'll just have to wait until jan.
i love everything about my mom and wouldn't change anything about her. these are just a few of my favorite things:

her smile.
she's the best cook i know. (seriously)
her sweet sincere testimony.
her positive attitude.
her work ethic.
her laugh.
her runnin skills.
her example.
her sense of humor.
her long legs.
her faithfulness.
her freckles.
the fact that she never complains.

mom, i hope your day is great. i'll be thinking about you 4000 miles away.
love you.


somethin to think about...

wonder what would happen if we treated our Book of Mormon like we treat our cell phones?

what if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
what if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?
what if we flipped through it several times a day?
what if we used it to receive messages from the text?
what if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
what if we spent an hour or more using it every day?
what if we made sure each of our kids had one and used it?
what if we couldn't go on a trip without it?
what if we used it in case of an emergency?

this hit me pretty hard, because....well, im addicted to my cell phone.


..im back..

i feel like someone should have warned me that it is nearly impossible to keep up a blog while going to school. really. impossible. maybe i would have thought twice about it? but here's the thing: i'm not a quitter...so here i am.

in a nutshell, since that post back in august, life has been great. i'm staying on top of my school work, loving my nannying job, and having too much fun living the college dream. not real sure what else a girl could ask for. here are a few of the highlights:

my cousins/roommate/best friend got married. i'm getting pretty used to the wedding thing. and catching the bouquet is what i do. here's proof. i've been missin this girl as a roommate. she'd throw a pillow at my face in the mornings when my alarm was going off and i couldn't hear it, attend every [byu basketball game] with me, and make me laugh in my grumpiest moods. but i couldn't be happier for her...and the good news? she lives just down the road.

i did it. made it through a whole 26.2 miles. and had such a great experience doing it. (which is all i wanted.) definitely one of the harder things i've done, BUT-just like i'd heard so many times-the training was harder than the marathon, and running across the finish line was definitely worth all the early mornings, blisters, sore muscles, and runs in the pourin rain. i would definitely recommend it.

it's officially fall. my favorite time. i tend to run a lot more when the weather is perfect and it's gorgeous outside. i mean, look at this picture.[i didn't take it, of course] but that's exactly what the provo river trail looks like these days, and i've been lovin it.

i am seriously in shock that november is here. but i'm not complaining. definitely one of my favorite months of the year. so...i'm fine with it. also. this year november means that this boy [elder jones] will be home in 3 MONTHS! and i couldn't be more excited.

happy fall everyone. :)


feelin good.

i ran 20 miles this morning.

wooo hooo. (yep..that's me tooting my own horn.)

it was my 2nd 20 miler and it felt just as good as the first. (surprisingly)

i think i'm ready to run 26 in 3 weeks. maybe.....


it's time...

the last scripture study @ the jones home went something like this:
trae reads a verse in portuguese. melissa in english. davis reads a verse in portuguese. mal in english. drew in portuguese-with a spanish accent. macey in english. etc. (you get the idea)

so THEN yesterday we had a fun conversation @ the dinner table.
drew: "okay..i want to issue a new family goal. from now on lets start speaking to each other 100% in portuguese @ home."

okay...that's my cue...time for me to head out.

at least they were nice enough to wait until it was time for me to leave to make this drastic change. and the good news is i've already accepted the fact that i'll be the only one in my family not speaking the language the next time we are all together. but i'm confidant that they'll still love me...

so..i'm leaving tomorrow. it's definitely going to be bitter/sweet. but i'm ready. mostly i'm ready for: a warm shower every morning. a comfortable bed. my cell phone. driving on normal roads. being able to have a simple conversations with whoever i want (seriously..i even miss small talk with random strangers.) my friends. idaho. my car. walking out of church and feeling like a got something out of it. and a big glass of milk..whenever i want.

don't get me wrong. i've loved being down here. but there sure is no place like home. :)


some recent happenings..

well. here i am. back to the crazy country of brasil for a couple of weeks. i love being with my family, especially since Drew has joined us. we haven't all lived together since, well since before trae moved out. it's an experience, that's for sure. we kind of all forgot how to jive with each other [and doesn't a tiny apartment full of 10 people just speaks for itself?] but we are slowly learning. and we do have fun being all together. sometimes a little too much. as much as i love it here, i am ready to be home. ready to be with my friends. and ready to get back into the school thing. (i know...crazy right? ask me that again after i've been in school for 2 days.) but as ready as i am i know that once i'm home i'll be missing my family like crazy, so i'm trying to enjoy the short time i have left with them.

just a couple of things that have happened since i've been back:

we had the opportunity to go clean out some houses that are completely FULL of mud because of all the rain recife got. (i'll admit i didn't want to go, but am very glad i did.) it was sad to see so many people homeless because their houses and streets are completely full of mud. (we worked for six hours and between about ten of us we only completed about 2 and a half houses) it also made me very grateful to live in America, with proper drainage systems. I was really impressed, of course, with how organized the church is. they see a problem and immediately go in and do what they can to help solve it. it was pretty amazing to see. worth the blisters, sunburn, and muddy clothes. :)

we've had some fun adventures as of late. the reason? visitors. Skye and Fletch came and stayed with us for a couple of days. so we showed them around. these are pictures of us in natal. (my new favorite place in brasil) it was absolutely beautiful.

what else has been going on? this. it probably happens a little too much-not the trae sleeping on me part, that only happens once in a while:) i read 24/7. my average is about 3 books a week. (ugh...and i've run out....with a week left to go) what can i say? summertime is the only time i have to read since during the school year i just feel guilty if i'm not reading my textbook. i've loved it to say the least.

i sure hope everyone's having a pretty great summer. :)


26.2 miles.

i did it.
i just signed up for the top of utah marathon.
september 18 will probably come way too soon.
oh well......im comminted for real now.


what's been going on in Recife?

well..i'll tell you. things have been a little bit crazy lately. we've been getting ready to come home for a three week visit. [which we are very excited about.] other than that we've just mostly been doing our thing. here are a couple things that have happened lately:

.we have all discovered a new love for mcDonalds.
.we didn't see the sun for almost a whole week. (it rained for 6 days straight) crazy.
.along with that rain came flooded streets. i thought we were going to drown, while in our car.
.went shopping in one of the biggest shopping malls in south america. (our only purchase: six chocolate sundays. from mcDonalds. go figure).
.cleaned the whole church the other saturday. (it's a little bit different experience than doing it at home).
.world cup. in brasil. never seen so much green and yellow in my life.
.i have finally decided on a major. big step in my life:).
.a broken laptop. which just so happens to be MINE.
.brasilian pedicures. that consist of the lady doing surgery on your foot without warning you first. (apparently i have a planters wart, but no worries. it's gone now)
.i spoke in church today. yes, in portuguese. scariest thing of my life. but i got through it. :)
.this week was the first time any of us have been "cold" in brasil. the thing is we weren't even cold enough to want to put on a sweater. just goosebumps.
.a single adult fireside with elder neil L andersen. we were sitting on the front row, almost too close to him. AND we got to shake his hand. his talk was amazing.

All in all, life in Recife is still great. sorry for the no picture posts lately. my camera is also not working. (that's what happens when you drop it in the atlantic ocean i guess.)


..Happily Ever After..

I read the most amazing talk out of the ensign the other day that I want to share. It is a talk that was given by Presiden Uchtdorf in the general young womens meeting. Even though it was given to the young women, I think that it applies to all of us. [plus..i'm still a young woman..right??] I love President Uchtdorf, his talks never cease to amaze me.

He talks about everyone's own personal fairy tale, and how we all desire to live "happily ever after." Often times you'll hear people talk about stories that end with a happily ever after, saying things like: "that's unrealistic...there is never a happy ending in real life." I even once heard a lady saying that she doesn't let her kids read fairy tales or love stories that end happily, because happily ever after only happens in books, and she doesn't want them to have unrealistic expectations for life, because they will only be disappointed. I couldn't even believe it. I can't imagine not having hope that I will have a happy life and literally live happily ever after. President Uchtdorf does a great job telling us that the great gift of eternal life that Heavenly Father has offered will be our very own happily ever after, and it can be reached by every single one of us.

"Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

I was doing my thing, highlighting what I liked most about what I was reading, and when I was done the whole talk was pretty much yellow. ha...i love when that happens. so it's a must read. it's pretty great.


"do you like flower?"

The funniest thing happened to me at church this week. i'll give you a play by play:

We had stake conference yesterday. Most of the people in our stake know the "american family" by now, and Brasilians that speak english (or think that they can speak english) love to show you how much they know. It isn't uncommon for a random person to walk up to you and start talking to you...in english, just because they can. (or kind of can) As long as you're an american and they speak even a tiny bit of englsih...they are there. because, well...they love americans.

So yesterday the meeting got over, and of course my dad and mom had to make the rounds and we knew they wouldn't be ready to leave anytime soon. So, since Avery was fast asleep, Lis and I thought we would go out to the car and wait. (because even when Avery is CLEARLY asleep...she is one hot item down here...and they will do ANYTHING they can to see her cute smile..even if it means waking her up from a peaceful sleep...but really, I guess I can't blame them.)

So Lis and I head out the door. And before I know it a guy is walking next to me...that I've never met, or even seen before. Our conversations went about like this:

him: HI
me: um....hi.
him: do you like flower?
me: (after the ten second pause that it took me to realize he wasn't talking about FLOUR.) yes. i love flowers.
that's when he gets a huge smile on his face, opens up his suit coat, pulls out a red rose. and hands it to me.
me: wow...is this for me??
him: yes...yes..just for you.
all the while Melissa is walking next to me laughing her head off. (but trying to keep it muffled.)

He walks with me clear out of the church..rambling on about who knows what. (I couldn't understand his english) something about his mission...how he learned english..and that he knows my little brother davis..and he loves hamburgers. I managed to get in the phrase "what is your name?" (to which he didn't respond too) but that was about all. Other than that I smiled, nodded at all the right places, and stole quick glances at Lis while trying to keep a straight face.

As hard as i tried to "slip away" without him noticing..I couldn't find a break in the conversation. it resulted in him asking me for my email address...and me giving it to him. (hey, I was just grateful he wasn't asking for my phone number, or my hand..)

We got a pretty good laugh later at the email that showed up in my inbox: [it's too funny not to share the whole thing]:

hello, excuse for my English, I studied very in the mission more not yet I am the sufficient, I was very happy and magic in being able to have had the pleasure of knowing to it, today of morning I was inhaled to catch a rose without knowing for which reason, more I listened to the spirit and when I found it he knew the reason of my dreams.

After reading it a few times my family and i decided that he meant to say inspired rather than inhaled. We also decided that the next time we see him we need to inform him of a better online translator that he should probably use. (but who am i to judge..he probably translated it all by himself) We tried not to laugh too hard because we know that's exactly what we sound like when we try to speak Portuguese.

Moral of this story: if you want a boyfriend, love getting roses, and can handle awkward situations. move to brasil. these things tend to happen on a daily basis here.


the best sister in law...

we are pretty sure we have the most awesome sister in law in the world. well...actually we know we do. [in fact i feel bad for the girls that have yet to marry into my family..they've got some stiff competition]. So today Lis turns 24.
happy birthday lis.

24 reason we love this girl:

1. she is the best mom to our favorite niece.
2. she makes cute things..and then teaches us how.
3. she puts up with our dorky brother....
4. we didnt' have to disown her from the family...because yes, she is a baller.
5. sometimes she sides with us when we (the kids) are trying to let our parents know they are being unreasonable.
6. she puts up with all of our quirks. (believe me, there are way too many)
7. she is seriously wise..if you have a question..go to Lis, she'll tell you the right answer.
8. she lets us snuggle, hover, kiss, hold and annoy avery to no end...
9. she's gorgeous....and it makes our family look GOOD. :)
10. with her help we can usually talk our dad into anything...(he likes her alot)
11. she puts up with (and sometimes pitches in with) our running craziness/guitar obsessions/nacho libre corny jokes.
12. she's tall.....
13. she has a strong testimony that is evident in the way she lives.
14. she's doesn't think we're completely crazy..and joined us down in brasil.
15. she fits in so well people often mistake her for an actual sibling.
16. she's not afraid to try out new portuguese words...like franca, which means lesbian, but we're sure she was trying to actually say chicken.:)
17. she loves popcorn as much as we do...
18. she comes from a great family....which hopefully rubs off on us.
19. my mom is grateful for her computer skills and that she's willing to teach them.
20. she likes to snuggle with my brother enough that they fit on a bed just bigger than a twin size.
21.we are grateful for her french fry obsession so we can go to McDonalds (in Recife) occasionally.
22. she is an amazing cook.
23. she keeps us from being too healthy..always has a good idea for a treat. :)
24. lets be honest...she's straight up deez!!!

*this list was compiled with some help from the whole family.

we love you and hope your day is great. [despite the whole being in another country part] :)


working hard..or hardly working?

this is just a regular day at work for my dad. pretty awesome right??

okay..so that's not entirely true. or true at all. he works very hard...at an actual working space..however it's in our apt. my dad and Trae still don't have their own office...they have a nice little setup in our family room....but sometimes (like when they need some peace and quiet for a conference call..and we're in the middle of lunch)...they have to improvise a little bit. we thought the way he improvised today was particularly creative...he's a smart guy.

but the good news of the day is that this little girl said my name......yep...."MESHEE" is what i hear when she's walking around trying to find me...it's the cutest thing.


the place i now call home..

well....here i am...living the dream in Recife, Brasil. seriously...

things i'm loving about this place:
the fruit. i eat pineapple for breakfast lunch AND dinner sometimes. amazing.
the ocean. right out my back door.
the rain. rain in the wintertime instead of snow is much better.
church. i can't understand a word. but just like at home it's a much needed start to my week.
the people. its crazy how i can love these people so much when i can't even speak to them?? go figure.
being with my family...all day everyday.
no school=the bomb.
beans and rice. i could eat them for every meal...not kidding.
walks/runs on the beach..
having an ongoing slumber party with morgan, malorie, and davis. (our rooms are connected).
the Recife Temple.

things i don't love so much:
crazy honking brasilian drivers.
men in speedos.
the lizard that lives in my room.
not understanding portuguese.
getting stared at..blonde hair..blue eyes..brasil=bad combination.
it's hot. (i know i shouldn't be complaining..it's still snowing in idaho).
that i live 4000ish miles away from my friends. thank goodness for skype.
how you are expected to be a soccer player..and be good at it.
i live in a huge city. i'm very much an idaho girl.
it gets dark at 5:30 here...i'm used to summer nights that last until ten.

all in all it has been awesome being here....i think i have it the best out of my family....i get to stay here long enough to have the "brasilian experience", but it's short enough that it's just like an extended vacation. and i'm looking forward to the rest of it...


Orlando Baby!

We had such a great little vacation in Orlando. The family needed to get out of Brasil to apply for their permanent visas, they also wanted to meet me somewhere so i didn't have to fly down there alone, and we ALL needed a little break. So Disneyland was the designated choice.

It was the first time Drew and I had seen them all since January..so pretty exciting. After getting into Orlando at about 11 o clock we waited until 3 to see them. (it was a struggle since i had pulled an all nighter the night before..my only explanation for such a stupid decision: it was finals week) It was a sweet reunion and the couple days we spent in Florida were awesome. I'll let the pictures do all the talking :)

*I think the reason my pictures are so blurry is because i had to copy them off of facebook. All the pictures on my computer mysteriously deleted (i guess thats what happens when your little siblings use your laptop more than you do) anyway i was too lazy to upload them from my camera again. sorry!


it's about time...

well the day i thought would never come is finally here:

the day i end my 2nd year at BYU (yep...and i still don't have a major)
the day i pack up all my stuff and move out of my favorite apt. (seriously. loved that place)
the day of my last final for the semester. boo ya
the day i say bye to my roommates for the whole summer
the day summer starts :)
the day i get to see my family
the day i head off to brazil...

yep..that day is here.

i have very mixed feelings about this whole thing. i obviously cannot wait to spend everyday with my family, go to the beach whenever i want too, and to not be going to school over the summer (for the first time in forever!) but being away from my best friends for four months is a very long time, not to mention i don't speak a lick of portugese, but i got through today's goodbyes-even though it was rough. and i'm excited for this new adventure :)

anyway i'm sorry for another boring post with no pictures (this won't become a habit) but i'm at a hotel in orlando on a ramdom computer-i had to do something to keep me up. it's 2 a.m. and i'm patiently waiting for the drew's phone to ring and my dad to tell us they are here.

one more hour. i can't even wait.


welp. i did it. it might have taken a pros and cons list. but... i have a blog.

I promised myself, too long ago to even remember, that I wouldn't create a blog until I was married, had a family and had something interesting to blog about. But...I already creep on the blogs of everyone I know, I am the worst at keeping a journal, I have a couple roommates who are avid bloggers (and love it), and it would be a good way to share with everyone what goes on down in Brazil...so I'm swallowing my pride...and here I am. This should be interesting...

Please keep in mind that this blog is still very much under construction...and I really have no clue what I am doing.