Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mak is Back

I love missionaries. 

I love Makenzie. 

I love returned missionaries. 

I love returned missionary Makenzie. 

I flew out to California to surprise my bestest friend Makenzie and it was the perfect weekend. We enjoyed beautiful California weather, catching up on social media, recapping on life events, and best of all, reminiscing of the "good ol' days" of being roommates. 

Kenzie and I were roommates our freshmen year and then sophomore year until she followed her heart and served a mission and I followed mine and got married. You can bet we had lots to catch up on. We laughed until we cried remembering all our craziness, oh and watching this ridiculous video- 

People say the friends you make in college will be the greatest friends you ever have. 

I believe it. 

Love you Mak :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014


One more week until Josh and I make the move to DC! We are pushing through finals and then we are on our way! Everyday we get more and more excited for this adventure. How great is it that I get to go to the greatest city in the world and do what I love with the person I love most! I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity.

For some reason I have been thinking a lot about my experience in Africa. I keep being reminded of the biggest lesson that I learned while being there, and I've finally figured out why it's been on my mind.

As we traveled around to different places and met new people I would want to help everyone in some way. I didn't always know how to help all of them. So I started to say quick specific prayers. When I saw someone I wanted to help but didn't know how I would pray and ask Heavenly Father to help, protect or give me some idea of how to help them. Those prayers usually went like this: "Heavenly Father, please help that little boy walking home alone from school that he can get home safely" or "bless that young girl who is taking care of her 2 younger siblings." Each time I would get an immediate, almost overwhelming, feeling of peace. I would have a thought come to mind that said, "I've got it" or "I'm on it." I was reassured that Heavenly Father knew everyone single one of His children and knew exactly what they needed. He had a plan for each one.

I realize now why this lesson has been on my mind so much recently. It's because when I'm teaching in DC I will want to help each one of my students but my reach is only so far into their lives. If I am in tune to the Spirit I can receive promptings as to how to help each child individually. And in those moments where I may not be able to help them Heavenly Father is well aware of their specific situation and has a plan. All He needs me to do is my part and the rest is taken care of, whether it be by another servant or by His hand directly.

I am so grateful for this Christmas season that reminds me of the love of my Savior and His ultimate sacrifice that makes it possible for me to do better everyday and not be defined by my mistakes. Without the greatest gift of Christ's life I wouldn't have the hope of the future, or His example to live by as a teacher and just as a human being.

While preparing for this adventure I've been fighting feelings of inadequacy but as I remember that I have a loving Father in Heaven that has given me tools improve my talents, I have gained a sense of peace. I know that as long as I use those tools in my life He will work in me to help me be a successful teacher and role model.

I love this gospel and all the blessings it brings me. I know we all have a loving Father in Heaven who knows us individually and intimately. He cares for us and send us aid when we need it most. We also have a loving Savior who made it possible to progress and make improvements on our life to be the best we can. And that is the greatest gift of the season- Christ's life and Atonement.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Doin' Big Things...

I figure it's time to officially blog about Josh and I's upcoming adventure! We have been so busy preparing that it's been tough to keep up with school, work, and everything else going on in our lives! (Not to mention blogging!) Well anyways, here is our next adventure-

These two lovebirds are flying off to live in DC for 4 months! We are so excited to go back to where we got engaged! (And I'm really excited to move close to home for a couple months!) So what is bringing us to DC you ask? Well, my extremely intelligent and handsome husband applied and got accepted to BYU's Washington Seminar Program where he will have the opportunity to learn about many different career options he has as an Economics major. He is currently still involved in the applying process for the possible internships but so far the prospects are looking good! With the program we got housing right in DC and we are so excited to try city life out. I will be doing my Student Teaching and a coaching internship. I'm still in the process of figuring out which school I'll be at, but somewhere in DC that's for sure! While I'm a little nervous about the prospect of teaching in such an urban school district I am continually gaining enthusiasm for the opportunity ahead. 

After our DC adventure we will come back to Utah for me to finish up one class over the summer and Josh to finish his last semester in the fall. Then who knows where life will take us after that! It's both exciting and a little nerve-racking to have a future open to so many possibilities. But I think both of us have decided to go with exciting

Also I'd just like to mention that Josh and I have almost been married a whole year. I can hardly believe how fast time has flown. It's been the best almost year of my life! (you can count on a mushy anniversary blog come Dec. 21) 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Month of October

Every year when October rolls around I go through an internal struggle. I debate whether or not to blog about my experience with Breast Cancer. When I was 13 my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. My Mom has told me in the past that she has struggled with October meaning everything being pink for a month instead of it meaning the leaves changing color and Fall being in full swing. After she finished Chemo she had to get rid of all the things that reminded her of Chemo, for example her big, comfy blanket she had used in each Chemo visit. I struggle with October because I don't want to give one more reason for my Mom to think back about that incredibly difficult year for her and my family. But I've decided this year it's important for her to know what I think about when I see the color pink take over October.

I think about when my Dad told my sister and me the news. He had tears in his eyes with a look of extreme worry yet strong determination. He promised us that this experience would bring our family closer together. He proved to be absolutely correct. I remember that was one of the first times I remember getting a real glimpse at just how much my Dad loved my Mom. His love continued to manifest as he took her to all the doctors appointments, kept the house and family organized, remained a faithful Bishop, and even gave her daily shots as part of her treatment. He stood strong by her side teaching me how to be a strong and supportive spouse. 

I think about the many friends that rallied together to help my family out in any way they could. When my Mom had to get a mastectomy her friends gave it a positive spin by throwing her a party complete with a Boob cake. They kept the love coming by sending little notes, prayers, and thoughts our way. They helped with dinners, rides, and anything else our family needed. I learned how important it is to be a good friend and to have good friends in return.  

Most importantly I think of my Mom being a fighter. I think of my Mom being incredibly strong throughout the long, hard path. I think of how she has continued to fight for her health. I think of how she admits to her weaknesses but is brave enough to address them and carry on fighting. She taught me that when the going gets tough the tough get going. 

So I'm ok with pink taking over October. While it reminds me of the ugliness that is Breast Cancer, it mostly reminds me of the good things that came because of it. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Had to do the clique title because it describes my summer perfectly- a summer that I loved! Although both Josh and I worked a lot and took classes, we still found time for fun and sun.

We are living in Payson while Josh's grandparents are on a mission and it's been pretty exciting living in the country! We live 15 minutes away from Utah Lake and the Grandparents left us their psychedelic boat and we took full advantage of that awesome perk!

We also had a summer filled with family, which is a recipe for happiness if you ask me! Josh's parents and extended family were able to come to visit pretty often and we got to spend a weekend at Lake Powell in their new boat! We went wake boarding for our first time and I'm very proud to announce that both Josh and I got up our first tries. I was completely shocked I got up that I couldn't stop laughing and I fell fairly quickly but as time went on I began to be able to reduce my giggles but never quite could get rid of my massive grin! We were just having too much fun!

We also got to go the beach house with my family and it was such a fun week. We tried kite boarding and Josh liked it but I was terrified and am fine to never do it again. My dad enjoyed it too! We of course had to go play Bingo and Josh and my Mom got bingo but my Dad and I left big losers. I know it's because my Mom and Josh believed in their good luck charms but my Dad and I were non-believers of such foolishment. We've also been able to spend a good amount of time with my Snow side with baptisms, birthdays, water aerobics, family dinners, and carnivals! And of course I had to go on snow-cone runs with my favorite sister!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

you may say i'm a dreamer...

Marriage has taught me many things. It's been quite the growing experience. One of the biggest things it has taught me, or rather reinforced in me, is that I am a hard core dreamer. My mind is always on the future with lofty goals and well, dreams. I've only been married 7 months but my "head in the clouds" mindset was been quite magnified since being eternally matched with a very logical and rational thinker.

I'm dreaming about what the next couple, or many, years will bring Josh and I. Whether it's using my loved Zillow app to look up extremely expensive houses that make my husband feel pressured or planning our big graduation celebratory trip around the world, I'm always conjuring up extensive and expensive plans that make my husband look and our bank account and worry.

As soon as I realize I've gone maybe a bit too far with the 1.5 million dollar home on the lake we can buy right after we graduate college I have to quickly remind my sweet husband that I'm a dreamer, these aren't expectations.

We would have our own peninsula!
I get so wrapped up in dreaming about taking long trips to the Philippines to see Josh's mission or going back to Uganda for 3 months that I forget things like school and work and money.. Good thing I married a man who can bring me back down to earth with one comment like, "Yea that would be great but, I only get 7 days off in the summer."

Sometimes I'll admit I get a little frustrated thinking, why can't you just dream with me?? Why do you have to burst my bubble? But then I realize it's for my own good. If I were always dreaming of what could be I'll miss what is. It's not that I'm unhappy with my life as it is now, not at all! I'm just a girl with dreams who wants to see the world! I just have to remember that seeing the world costs money and it takes time, money and time we may not have at the moment. And that's ok!

Josh and I have just realized that we are a perfect match. I can dream and he can be realistic, both of which are important. So we are working on Josh allowing himself to dream a little with me and me learning to not get too caught up in my big plans.

I have to mention, that I can attribute my "head in the clouds" syndrome to my Mother. Together we could plan some pretty amazing things that I'm afraid would only worry our husbands.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mom: The Enthusastic, Constant, and Eternal Cheerleader

One of my jobs this summer is Supervising T-ball and Fastpitch baseball for K-2nd graders. Today was my first day and I loved every second of it. My favorite part of the whole day was in the first game. The kids each get 5 tries to hit the ball from the machine. This one boy was swinging to slow and couldn't make contact at all, then his final try came. The whole crowd was cheering for him, both teams, seeing that he was getting discouraged. I just pictured his Mom sitting on the bleachers praying that he could at least get a piece of it on his last try. Not only did he get a piece of it but he had a great hit right along the 3rd base line. He had a moment of shock, then after hearing the whole crowd yell "RUN!" He dropped the bat and took off to 1st base with a huge grin on his face. Once he made it safely to 1st he turned to his Mom on the bleachers and said, "MOM! I did it! I really did it! Did you see my hit?? I can't believe I did it!" He was jumping up and down with his fists in the air and the biggest smile on his face. What a perfect Mother's Day gift to that mom that took no planning, money, or glam. I'll admit I got a little teary-eyed.

That little boys excitement got me thinking about all those moments that I did the same thing to my Mom. I may not have yelled at her from the field but I would look to her after a good play, or even my bad ones, because I knew what I would see. I would see my Mom in the crowd giving me encouraging looks, thumbs-up and reminding me of her support, love, and motto- "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." I can't even begin to guess the number of soccer, swim, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, percussion, viola, piano, choir, games and concerts my Mom has taken me to and supported me at. I could always count on her to be in the crowd wearing her Herndon gear next to my Dad and being my greatest cheerleader in between chatting with the other parents.

Don't mind the gremlin in the bathing suit..
I can still hear her voice in my head when I'm working to accomplish anything, whether it be a tough test (which is any test really), a run, or job interview. She's saying, "Go Annie, Go!' with her eyes exuding intensity, her voice quiet yet forceful, and her hands quenched in a tight fist punching the air.

How lucky I am to have a Mom who has been my greatest cheerleader my whole life in everything that I do. I know that my Mom is proud of me and that even when I miss a shot, don't get an A, or make mistakes she is still cheering me on and always will be. She is my greatest example of how to be encouraging and confidence instilling.

So thank you, Mom. Thanks for coming to all those games, plays, concerts, and recitals. You dealt with my procrastination, forgetfulness, and ridiculousness for many years and continue to everyday. I love you and am so proud to be Laurie Snow Turner's daughter that looks just like her.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Dog or No Dog?

Recently I have been really wanting a dog. Josh and I have been back and forth about it (ok I have been back and forth about it) for a couple months now. My good husband is just supportive and trusts me to make the decision but I'm pretty indecisive. I've been looking up dogs to rescue, taking quizzes online that tell me the best dog for our situation, researching the breeds the quizzes recommended, getting attached to dogs I find online, and even having dreams about those dogs. It's time to just make a decision and be done. My heart can't take getting attached to these dogs anymore!

So the question is, dog or no dog? Our main concerns are finding housing that allows pets while we finish our last year of school, if we are home enough to not have our poor puppy lonely, and what to do with our pup when we travel. I really think that we could figure it all out but it's a big commitment! So I'm opening up this discussion to you loyal blog readers. Any thoughts for a young couple itching for another companion? Do we just go for it or wait until our living situations are a little more stable?

To help you understand how easy it is to get attached to these pups here are a few of the dogs we are considering. How can you not get attached when they could be put down soon if they are not adopted! Look at those faces! These are all supposedly good apartment dogs, that are good with kids (ya know for the future..), and are happy, relatively easy breeds. Are they not the cutest??

 This one's name is Godzilla and is Labrador Retriever puppy. I think we'd change his name, he doesn't look like a big scary gorilla to me.
 This one's name is Hamachi and is a miniature poodle. That's as big as he gets, too cute! Currently our front runner because he doesn't shed and is a good size for our current living situations.
 This is Kiss and she is a Husky mix puppy. Probably too big and sheds too much for what we are looking for but she might not get too big by the time we move out of Provo in a year or so!

This one is Remington and he is a beagle puppy. Remington seems like a perfect name to me for this majestic, brave looking puppy. He is probably my favorite but he might shed a lot which isn't ideal. Doesn't he look so regal though? Maybe I'm crazy and have been pining over his picture for too long.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We Lived After the Manner of Happiness

As many of you know I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This past week I got to hear and attend a worldwide meeting called General Conference where our Prophet, apostles, and other leaders of the church speak. It is a perfect weekend where we can re-evaluate ourselves and make goals to improve. It's a time to hear what the Lord would have us hear. It's truly a remarkable opportunity.

You may also know that I'm big on happiness. During my senior year of high school I became more and more interested with the idea of choosing happiness. I thought it was just a little phase but almost 4 years later I think it's become more of a life mantra. I have come to know that you are the only person who can determine your own happiness.

 I have such strong faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ because it leads to true and lasting happiness. 

I wanted to count how many times the words happiness and joy are found in the scriptures, talks, and other church resources. But that was too lofty of a goal because it is mentioned far too many times. The very plan that Heavenly Father has created for us is called the Plan of Happiness.

I believe in Christ and in His gospel simply because it makes me happy. I have found in my own life that as I am doing what the Lord has asked me to I find true and lasting happiness. Too often we are searching for instant gratification and so we turn to things that are easy and quick options for what we think is happiness. But I would dare to suggest that those things, whatever they may be, do not provide happiness. They provide a terrible substitute of true happiness that is short-lived satisfaction. How quickly after one episode on Netflix do we click to watch the next one? How soon after one piece of chocolate do we wish we had a second? How easily does a quick 20 minute nap turn into a 2 hour slumber? I'll tell you from experience that it is far too quickly.

I have come to rely on the gospel of Jesus Christ when all those other impostures fail me for peace and lasting happiness. When I return to the Savior by studying the scriptures, saying my prayers, looking for opportunities to serve, and so on, the stress and struggles of life are more easily carried. I find true healing and strength through my Savior.

So why do I still turn to Prison Break to try to relax me after tough day? Or why do I get a Diet Coke when I am in search for some happy? Well, because I am not perfect. (And honestly Diet Coke brings me happiness, but that's beside the point.) The point is that we are imperfect beings who make mistakes, but through Christ we can be made whole again and return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families. Christ takes our best efforts and says, "It's ok, I'll spot you the rest." The Atonement is what gives me hope for the future and joy along the way.

I invite you to do something that will bring you true and lasting JOY. There are many things that can do that- scriptures, prayer, reading a talk from a prophet, visiting lds.org, going to the temple, or even more simply- watching this video.


"I know that [Christ] has created a better plan for me and when I follow His plan I am much happier, I am at peace."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mama Knows Best

I don't know how it happened but ever since I get married I have a greater appreciation for my Mom. I find myself wanting to call her more often and get her opinions and advice on everything. She is my go to person when I have any kind of issue I need to work out or solve. And thanks to my Mama, she has given me confidence once again on one particular issue.

In one of my classes our teacher gave us a list of his top ten tips for living on a teacher's salary. Most were pretty good tips that I agree with but some got me worried I wasn't cut out for the wife/mother part. They were things like, "learn to coupon," "cook everything from scratch," and my least favorite, "use cloth diapers." Not to say that any of those things are bad- but I cannot even bring myself to think about using cloth diapers. (Even if he said you would save $4,000 a year, call me high maintenance but that's not enough to compensate for the thousands of times I would throw up.)

I'm betting I'm not alone in this based on all the blogs and such I've seen about it. I guess here are my two cents.

I think maybe it's part of the LDS culture to picture the perfect wives and mothers who stay at home, have their children well-dressed, orderly, and clean and have a perfectly cooked (from scratch) meal waiting for their husbands when they get home from work. During their day they spend hours couponing, quilting, canning, and crafting. I guess when I got married I had this crazy idea that once you were a married woman all these handy skills would just naturally be bestowed upon you. Well, shockingly enough that didn't happen. I know, I know, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now.

I told my mom about these woes and here was her perfect response:

"Don't believe for a minute there is one cookie-cutter kind of wife. Make the decision NOW that you will be you. Period. If something appeals to you and makes sense, do it. If you only feel like you should do it because others do it and there is some silly comparison going on, LOSE IT FAST. That's the quickest, surest road to misery -- trying to be someone you are not just to fit in with a stereotype that others try to conform to. Honestly, make a promise to yourself right now that you will live up to your best, not someone else's. If cloth diapers and coupons aren't your thing, liberate yourself from that expectation and do what feels right for you. The minute you feel yourself trying to be the perfect wife, mother, etc. because of perceived standards set by others, you are headed for trouble. I could go on about this forever. Satan's greatest tool over women is to make us feel "less than" other women. When he succeeds at that, he saps all our power out of us. We start losing our strength trying to become someone we are not and then we are never happy with ourselves."

Can I get an AMEN? Comparison has and will always be one of Satan's greatest tools against us. Who cares that I don't know how to make my own jam or save $100 bucks with coupons every grocery visit. I have other great strengths that I have faith will be perfect for my own family. And for heaven's sake I've been married not even 3 months yet! I've got plenty of time to figure out what skills I think are important for my family and I have confidence that all isn't lost because I don't know how to make my own bread, yet.

I guess I should end this rant before I offend anyone because that was not my intention. I hope you blog readers get that I am seconding my mother and telling you that comparison is a terrible game to get involved in. I am far too guilty of it. If couponing excites you and saves you money and cloth diapers don't make you gag than more power to you!

My mom said it best and I second her plea and extend it to you, "I want you to be the trailblazing wife and mother just like you've been the trailblazing girl in every other way -- cutting your own path, sticking to your standards and doing what you know is right for YOU. Please don't start creating some ideal based on what others are telling you. WE support you no matter what but if you start reading and adhering to all those perfection blogs written by all the couponing, trying to be like everyone else women, I'll drop kick you into next week."

Monday, January 27, 2014

What a Year...

I celebrated my 21st birthday yesterday and it got me reminiscing about how many amazing things have happened to me this past year. I mean truly amazing things. I started a journal last year and in my first entry I wrote, "I have a very strong feeling that this is going to be a great year." Boy was that inspired. Allow me to recap these life-changing events in some pictures.

The mission age was changed and I was heart-set on serving a mission along with my 2 best friends Makenzie and Alex. As you already know that plan quickly changed but Makenzie and Alex held true and are currently serving the Lord in New York and Brazil.

Then I pushed back my mission a couple months in order to fulfill my life-long dream of going to Africa! Although before I left I had already made the decision of not serving a mission and to prepare to for marriage! I spent an incredible month in Uganda learning and loving. 

Before I left Josh and I had made things pretty clear that when I got back we would soon be engaged. So 3 days after I got home from Uganda Josh surprised me in DC and proposed! 

We spent a semester planning and preparing, then were sealed Dec. 21st in the Salt Lake Temple and had 3 amazing receptions to celebrate! 

And now here I am, 21 and married to the perfect man. I want to say that I couldn't be happier but last time I said that I was proven wrong. So I guess I'll say that I am the happiest I have ever been. I can't wait to see what this year brings me. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Wedding Break

I'll admit I've been avoiding my blog. So much has happened these past three weeks I am overwhelmed just thinking about attempting to summarize it all on one blog post. So..I guess I'm not going to. Sorry! 

Just know that Josh and I's weddings #1, 2, and 3 were incredible and I am the happiest girl alive. I am so ridiculously grateful to all who worked so so hard to make everything happen those 2 weeks of wedding craziness. I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and support Josh and I have received during our whole engaged and marriage process. Thank you just does not cut it. 

Married life is fabulous. I still struggle to believe that I'm living real life right now. I didn't know it was possible to be this happy! Josh is a great roommate, best friend, and husband. We are really enjoying married life. We think it's the bee's knees. 

Since I can't summarize the wedding weeks in words I will in pictures. Thanks Griffin Harrington and Kati Ann for capturing everything so beautifully! 

My dress had a big stain from Formals so my mom surprised me and replaced the
panel with the stain the week of the wedding. One of the best gifts I received. Thanks mom! 

Some of my BFFs flew all the way from VA to be there!
We got pedicures with my girls and my fancy flip flop broke while leaving..
Who says it's bad luck to see the bride the night before the wedding?

Getting ready with some of my bridesmaids the morning  of!
Bekah was skyping her brother on a mission and Emily was on a plane rushing over! 

Of course a Snapchat was necessary. 

Just sassin it up with my favorite girls. 
At the Reception my Dad surprised me with a tender video
that made everyone cry. Another perfect gift. 
Then we had the best dance party of my life. Even Grandpa danced all night long! 

Then to DC, so fun to see so many good friends from
high school come out to celebrate with us! 

Such a fun night! 

We finished up our celebrating in Colorado with yet another amazing reception! 
Again thanks to everyone who made all this not only possible but perfect! Josh and I are eternally grateful!