December 19, 2016

choosing happiness

The last few months I have felt like all we do is wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, hang out and go to bed. It's been that every day slump that we've been stuck in. I'm so grateful for the holidays because it has taken us out of the slump and reminded us that we need to make a stronger effort to get out and enjoy life! We've been so blessed to have time and flexible schedules to hang out with friends and family. I recently changed my schedule at work so that now I am only working in the mornings. That's really opened my schedule up and given me the opportunity to serve in church and have time for others.

As I've mentioned before, living in California is no dream of mine. I enjoy open roads, trees (lots and lots of trees), corn fields and basically, just wide open spaces. Traffic, beaches, the hustle and bustle of California are things that I may never really adjust to. What I've come to realize recently, and yes, it's taken me a little while, is that I cannot control that right now! I have no control over those things that I don't like about living here. However, what I do have control over is my happiness. So, in realizing that, I've decided that I need to focus on the things that I can change and focusing on things that I do enjoy about living here. Can you even imagine how much happier I've been? I know, shocking. 

This weekend was such a blessing for me. I was able to spend some quality time with Ryan as we snuggled and watched Elf with hot cocoa and chocolate coated popcorn by our lit up Christmas tree. It sounds just as cozy as it was! I was able to visit some of the wonderful ladies I've been assigned to meet with once a month in church. It's called Visiting Teaching and it is truly amazing. I love it! We are given a companion, in which mine is a dear friend (and neighbor!) and we are assigned a few women in our congregation to visit with and check on. It's a great program and I feel the blessings from serving in that calling each month. 

I was blessed to have a girls day out with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and my brother-in-law's girlfriend! We started the morning out early with breakfast at Swammi's. We went and got our nails done at a small little salon in Escondido and just talked and laughed and got to know each other better. It's so nice having new family members who are just built-in best friends. I wouldn't even say it's forced because we get along great and I love them so much! 

In the afternoon, Ryan took me to a concert in San Diego. For King & Country was playing at Rock Church and it was AMAZING. They are a Christian Rock Band started by two brothers from Australia. They are extremely talented musicians and have received two grammy awards! The concert was amazing and they were really connected with the audience. The whole band came into the audience to perform two songs and they had a great mix of Christmas songs and their original music. At first, they started by singing four Christmas songs in a row and I was about to freak out if I didn't hear some original music! But they eventually played some and the performance was amazing! 

I kicked off the evening with a ladies-only party held by a friend from church. We did the whole shebang with food, dessert, presents and mingling. It was a lot of fun and really good for me. The whole day was so busy but with all great stuff! 

Anyways... wow. I really went off topic. Basically I had the best weekend I've had in a really long time so it was worth going off topic for! Getting back to choosing happiness and whatnots, I was reading some material from our church website,, and was really touched by the words from our church leaders. President Erying, of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, "It is only through following the Savior that any of us can find peace and serenity in the trials that will come to all of us." 

No matter our circumstance, we can always choose to be happy. My mother-in-law is a beautiful example of this. She is faced with huge trials each day but through it all, she keeps a smile on her face and means it. She makes time to serve others around her and does it with sincerity. I admire her and her devotion to choosing her happiness. She isn't relying on someone to do it for her or her circumstances to define her happiness but rather, simply chooses without conditions, to be happy. 

No one can truly be perfect at choosing happiness. Like everything in life, we try, we fail and what we do from there is what truly defines us. Do we continue to get up and try again or do we stay on the ground and postpone our progression? That is what matters. No one or no thing can define our happiness. Just as President Eyring said, we can only find peace and serenity in the trials we face by following the Savior [and His teachings]. 

I hope each of us, especially as this new year approaches, finds a way to choose happiness everyday.

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