Sunday, June 28, 2015

may you stay forever young

 Oh my gosh people. So many good things! First thing I have to say that is cheesy, but whatever. God loves us! I have felt His love lift me.

I had been trying to pinpoint what has been different about me recently. Why have I been happier over the past few months than I had been for a long time? I figured it out talking to a friend one day. Joy. There is a difference between happiness and joy, and I have recognized that lately my life has been joyful rather than just happy. To me happiness is something that is easily found. I find it in spending time with friends, playing basketball, being with my family etc. Those are all wonderful things, in fact they are some of my favorite things. I have realized, though, that to be truly joyful, and not just happy, you have to live to be joyful. Over the last few years I was "happy", but I wasn't truly joyful. I was doing good things and had fun, but I wasn't doing the best things.  I wasn't living with the purpose of finding lasting happiness and living to the fullest.
Lately I have tried to appreciate the little things. I take notes on my phone of the random things throughout the day that make me happy. One of my favorite things to do when I have some down time is to scroll through my notes and read them. It has made me appreciate how many good things happen every day and how many good people there are in my life.
Another thing that I have tried to do is to make things that maybe aren't as fun more exciting. My chores involve a lot more dancing than they used to, and my phone has more of my favorite songs to sing along to. It is easy to appreciate life when you're making a conscious effort to have more fun.
As has been stated on here 800 times I am an anxious person. In the past it has been hard for me to let go of my fear. It used to control almost every aspect of my life. Combating that fear has been one of the greatest challenges I've had to face, but it is something that has strengthened me more than I could have ever imagined. Over the past little while I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone, trying things that I wouldn't have in the past. I am overcoming fears and have this confidence that I have never experienced. I feel more alive than I have in years.
I feel so blessed to have been able to experience all that I have. I like to think that I am more appreciative of the good things happening for me right now, because I have had to endure the painful times. The joy that I feel makes the challenges that I've had to face completely worth it. For those of you who are struggling, it can get better. There was a time when I didn't believe that. I didn't know how it could. As I have sought out the help that I needed and made critical life changes, I have felt the burdens of anxiety lifted off of me. Have the faith to make the changes and get help.

I was not planning on writing that. Guys, I get so weird on my blog SORRY. I just feel inspired to share things, so I hope that it's helping someone. Otherwise I look like a preachy weirdo.
Let's get to the pictures yeah?

National Donut day! My apologies to my future husband...this is me at 7:00 am

 Top down canyon drive on the way to Ryan's birthday party. I'm the Kate in the front seat, not the back. It's hard to tell because we have the same name, both drive convertibles and both get told we look like Lana Del Rey

street magic

Left the rooftop concert to ride our bikes to the drive thru for some Chick-Fil-A lemonade

why get a tandem bike?

We missed Rachel Wade so we went to Provo's Washington Monument

Vin asked to hold the flowers to give to Jaynie at her dance recital. heart exploded

our beautiful little dancer

Steve stranded Dayna and the kids by taking their keys home early from the recital so Vinny ended up coming to my apartment with me aka DATE NIGHT. Dinner at Slab, dessert at Sodalicious and then...

Puddle jumping after the massive rainstorm 

Impromptu boyfriend dates are my new favorite thing. It's even better when home girl meets up with us.

After we didn't go home and shower (sorry) Em and I decided to have people up to the cabin for a game night. We scurried to Smith's for treats then headed to my favorite place. 

This was one of the best things for me. The Sunday before I went through the temple I was a WRECK. I was crying nonstop. I felt the adversary so much the week leading up to the temple. Emilee came with me to Sunday dinner two days before I received my endowment. She played hymns, and we both sang along for an hour. It brought the peace and comfort I had been missing.

Did he pin the pin on or was he too shy?

love me love me say that you love me

favorite day of the week with my favorite future missionary

party hoppin'

impulsive last minute decisions get me out of my clothes and into Utah Lake as the sun sets

On Tuesday June 9th (5 year anniversary of Josie being sealed to our family) I received my endowment. It was the best day. As mentioned above I felt the adversary so strongly before going to the temple. Once I was in the temple getting dressed all of my anxiety and stress went away. The whole time I was there I felt an overwhelming amount of peace. I feel blessed in how the Lord has directed my path. I have received clarity, and I know that He has a plan for me far greater than any that I could come up with on my own.

I decided to do an earlier session because I knew I would be restless if I had to wait all day long. In the morning I organized my temple bag and sent this giddy/emotional snap to my peeps.

took one last selfie with mom on our way out the door

I was lucky enough to have my family in the temple with me. Sadly, Steve wasn't able to make it, but Lauren came early from Michigan, so she could be there (she left the temple to feed Grace before we could get a picture). 

Mags side

Porter side. Jody came all the way down from Logan and Shanna came a few days early from South Dakota, so that she could be there. I kept crying in the temple as more and more of the people that I love walked in. My people are the best people.

Brittany and her angel mother Tami were both able to make it as well. I don't know what I did to be blessed with such amazing women in my life. These two are some of the most incredible women you will ever meet. It is impossible to come away from spending time with them without feeling edified and inspired.

The process of deciding to go through the temple was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever gone through. I don't feel like I should write all about it on here, but if anyone is wanting to know or is thinking about going through the temple feel free to talk to me about it. I LOVE talking about it.

nap time

Cousins camp was up in Thatcher, Idaho again this year. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from summers visiting and going to cousins camp. Our family has multiplied a TON since then, and it has been so fun to see the younger kids experience the magic of cousins camp.

There was only one downside to cousins camp this year... Lauren found my first WHITE hairs. What is this life??????

at least Max still has his youth

he keeps me young

This started out as just a picture of Josie and Violet

Frank wasn't about the matching hats...

Camp this year for me was all about the babies. 70% of the time I was either holding a baby or laying on the ground next to one. So many Porter babies

Violet or a Happy Tree Friend?

picking up new hobbies at work

Mags chix do summer

PERFECT location for an idp before Em left Provo for a few weeks

D8 night with Jayne

happy birthday Provo bakery thx for the free donut holes

Provo children's festival with Hans and Vi

When I was little I told gramma as she picked me up from piano lessons not to wear this dress to church. She wore it to dinner last Sunday in my honor.

Jayne and I have been checking things off of our summer bucket list. I was most excited about making flower crowns.

best grandma around

I think the adults had more fun with the crowns than the kids

up in the gym just workin' on my fitness
                                            She's my witness ^^^^^

Taryn is going to be a mom! Her baby shower was one of the best I've been to. At the end we all went around and said why she will be a great mom. I think everyone should do that at baby showers. We cried, we laughed and most of all we loved on our favorite mother to be.

Some of Lone Peak's finest. I know I say this all the time but I HAVE THE BEST PEOPLE.

b friend is in town

 so we hammocked before helping with her nieces birthday party

I will one day have a tree house

checkin' off more bucket list items

girl date to Puppy Barn

Took the moody teenagers to Stewart Falls. At least I got Davis to smile

dance with no pants on hollaaaa

I've hiked this dozens of times, and this part never gets old.

cabin swing aka happy place

the beginning of a marvelous sleep over

can't stop loling at Grace

introduced my nieces to the magical world of Green Gables

Happy extras:

-the immediate horror as my cd with Kanye West blasted when I turned on my car to drive an apostle's 6 year old granddaughter.
-crying every time I watch Parenthood. I feel like I'm the 5th Braverman child with how attached I've gotten to their family. If you don't watch it WATCH IT. I legitimately believe that God put Parenthood into my life. It has caused me to compare my previous relationships and set goals for what I want in my future. It's kept me in check. I'm being totally serious, and I don't even care how embarrassing it is to admit. All the people should watch it!
-crying to Emilee (this was one of those days leading up to the temple) then Why Georgia came on the radio at Panda Express.
-getting into the passenger seat of my car, alone, and getting out laughing hoping that nobody witnessed it.
-conducting with Jayne to Fantasia/doing ballet to Tangled with my Vi and Jayne. Aunt life is the best life. 
-dad helping me when my car battery died/me crawling on the floor of Walmart to get a new one
-dinner with Lauren, Crystal, Ashley and Dayna and the hilarious conversations about marriage vs. single life
-snuggling Frank at Jayne's recital as he clapped and cheered after every performance
-Vinny asking to say a prayer on our date at Slab where he blessed us to have a good date. He then informed me that it was a date prayer.
-jamming to Aerosmith with dad in the car
-Caitlin and Michael's wedding dancing with some of my top people/getting to see Rachel Wade
-Getting asked which Sodalicious I work at at a party full of Sodalicious workers. Girl can dream.
-Drives with Adam to chat about life over a cotton candy blizzard
-Random dance party breaking out in W2. We're jocks and dancers
-Getting to see gramps's paintings that I've never seen before because I'm endowed now

A lot more but I'm annoying and will stop

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