Spunky Braided Ponytail


Spunky Braided Ponytail


So! First you are going to make a little poof in the front. Then braid on both sides of the poof, I did a 4-strand braid, but you can really do any kind of braid. I would braid them all the way down and then pull the rest of the hair into a ponytail. That’s really all it is! Then you’re done!! 🙂

kyhair2 kyhair


Life is Short



You don’t have to look very far to know that our world is a messed up place. People are hurting. Suffering is everywhere. It can be really overwhelming. You might wonder why someone isn’t doing something. Where is the help? Or you may think that if you’re going to make a difference, it will be someday … when you’re older, better educated, have more money, or have fewer problems of your own.

Well, this morning when you woke up, there were people around the world and in your own community who were hoping that today might be the day. The day someone stepped in between slaves and their oppressors. The day relief from suffering begins. The day they could feed, clothe and educate their kids. The day someone showed kindness to them, or let them know they had value.

Please. Know this — while you may not be able to do everything — ayou can’t solve all of the problems alone — working together, our generation CAN make a difference.

Don’t wait for someone else. Don’t wait for someday. Because, YOU are the someone and TODAY is the day.


Credit to Zach Hunter.


Transcending Ourselves


So, this is basically the meaning of life. 🙂 Credit to Forward Walking.


Why are we here in this life? The answer is as simple as this: to transcend ourselves.

First, what does it mean to transcend ourselves?

transcend- sm

a.)   To transcend means to rise above, go beyond, overpass, or exceed.

b.)  To transcend ourselves means to act differently in the present moment – in a more positive way –  than we would have in the past.

1)     It is begun when we act in alignment with the truths we have been taught.

2)    It is manifest when we finally overcome that which we have struggled with for so long.

3)    It is realized and finally recognized when we find ourselves teaching others how to overcome the same things which we have passed through.

c.)   To transcend ourselves means that we have finally felt the reality of forgiveness in our lives, that peace can be restored to our souls. This will only occur as we change our lives  and seek forgiveness for the mistakes of our past – from others, from ourselves, and from our God. Teaching others is the culminating virtue of repentance.


Second, how have I learned this?

Several years ago, a friend called and asked if we could talk. He was and is an amazing man, more full of love than anyone I have ever met. As we talked I learned that he was struggling in his relationship with his wife. It troubled him to his core. They’d been married for several years, and had been fighting and arguing more than usual. At this point he began questioning if he had done the right thing by marrying her, or if he was the best person for her to be happy with. His words brought tears to his eyes.

After sharing this, my friend paused and asked me what I was thinking.

I’ve made many bad decisions over the course of my life. I will be the first one to admit that I am not perfect in any way, shape, or form. But it is from some of those bad decisions that I learned the most amazing lessons – lessons that changed my life forever.

So when my friend asked me this, several stories from my life came to mind, and I began to share them with him.  One one of the things I shared, in particular, was what I consider the biggest mistake of my life up to this point.

These stories, plus the time we shared together, were enough to change my friend’s perspective on his marriage. Realizations that came to him caused his tears of pain, fear, and uncertainty to turn into tears of joy, peace, and gratitude. He had heard what he needed to hear, seen what he needed to see, and understood what he needed to understand.

However, in sharing my observations – which I learned by virtue of bad choices made throughout my life – I relived many of the emotions associated with them. The shame, anxiety, regret, and sadness that accompanied the initial bad decisions revisited my heart, and I began to see myself as less than I was. The feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty my friend had felt were now duplicated within me.

forgiven- smBut, being the wise man that he is, my friend looked at me – both of us were now crying – and said something that I will never forget.

“Dan, don’t beat yourself up. When you can finally teach someone else the lessons you learned because of your bad choices, you can know that you’ve finally been forgiven for what you did. What you’ve done here is beautiful. You’ve taught me from your experience. When you can teach someone something like that – something that you’ve learned from the mistakes of your past – then those mistakes no longer have any hold on you. You are free, and you are forgiven. You have transcended the mistakes.”

In the years since that conversation, I have thought much about what my said that day. There I was to comfort him, and in the end he comforted me and helped me find peace again.


We can transcend ourselves. We can find peace. We can rise above the weaknesses of our lives, and soar like the eagles – confidently moving upon the winds which surround us.

The bad news is that we all have weaknesses, and we will sometimes fall. Each of us will make bad choices and will have to live with the resulting consequences.

The silver lining amidst it all is that there is hope. We can feel peace again. We can be made whole and move forward in our lives. We can transcend ourselves and move onward and upward into a brighter day.

When we can help others overcome, pass through, and learn from the things we have experienced, we unlock the key to our own freedom.

When we can teach or help another pass through the lessons we’ve learned from our mistakes, then we will know that we have finally transcended those things. And, in like manner, we transcend ourselves again and again.

Will you commit to transcend yourself today? What will you change? Who will you help?

She Actually…


I adore this article and had to share. Credit to The Messy Life.

“She actually turned out to be pretty…”

A few years after coming out of the awkward i’m-far-too-lazy-to-wake-up-early-and-dress-like-i’m-going-to-Paris-when-i’m-actually-going-to-gym-class stage, these words were said about me.

Casually, someone told me about that conversation when we were in the car leaving Walmart and something about it dug deep into my skin. It had been a conversation between boys who apparently wrote the definition for pretty.

I had always known that braces, curly hair and untamed eyebrows were not a winning combo, but it did something to my core to hear those words actually said out loud (even years later).

“She actually…” 

As if there had been some town council meeting that had convened during the years when flannel wasn’t cool and nobody liked the messy/bed-head hair look. It was as if everyone had gathered to secretly whisper their doubt about me and my future cool status.

“Yeah, that girl? She’ll probably always be awkward, gangly and discombobulated.”

There was a fire that sat in my bones for years. “She actually…” Over and over again those words would follow me around. It took everything in me to keep blow drying my hair, or using any makeup. There was something in me that so desperately wanted to just go back to how I looked at twelve years old. I wanted to prove to them that twelve year old Ashlin? She actually had always been pretty.

Oh, and that she actually knew that people were pretty in their own way. No one person, or group of people, is superior enough to decide a universal definition.

I’ve seen so many gorgeous girls stand in front of a mirror with a look of disgust. Even if I thought them to be absolutely breathtaking, it never mattered, because they couldn’t see it in themselves.

I should have said something like this to them:

Oh, you were always beautiful, babygirl. It was never about your hair. It was never about the tag sewn into your jeans or how much mascara you could coat onto your eyelashes.

Pretty was that fierce way you stood up for truth in the lunchroom. It’s the way you love to make others laugh. It’s the way you choose to stay and hold others when they cry. 


Pretty is when you still cry at movies because you’ve got a heart beating inside of you that knows love is still worth waiting for and not so impossible to find.

You know, the world will say these words are stupid, they will roll their eyes and call this another inspirational speech or ridiculous piece of encouragement for people that I’ve never even seen.

But I hope you don’t really believe that we have to see someone to know if they’re pretty or beautiful. Those words are not lost on blind eyes, but rather on blind hearts. 

Whether we never sit across from one another, I will always believe there’s something breathtakingly beautiful about you.

Because to me, you will never be a number on a scale. You will never be just another face. You are entirely your own kind of wonderful, though some may never see what I do. How sad for them, that they’ve defined their own worth by what they see in a piece of reflective glass in the bathroom.

You were always enough. You actually were always pretty. Even in your awkward middle school years and even when you take your make-up off. You are beautiful because you are intricate and deep, and thousands and thousands of details make up the heart of who you are.

And you are worth untangling. You are pages upon pages of your own kind of story and it’s worth reading. You have value and I hope that’s what you see when you look at yourself. I hope you know that at the end of the day, it will never matter how tan you are or whether or not you ate that second serving.

You deserve to hear that you are incredible. I really know that, I really believe that. There is somebody in your corner who thinks you are worth loving.

But I hope you really believe that about yourself, too. Because no matter how many times I write it for you, it only matters what you see.

As for me, when I stumble into the bathroom to get ready, I see a collage of all the stages of the person I’ve been and the person I am. I laugh at her frumpy ponytail and oversized pajama shirt and I shove the lies from the back of my mind and think about those words said to me on that car ride and I reply,

She actually was born beautiful and lives beautifully and she actually didn’t ever really need anyone else to believe that but herself.

She actually wants the world to see the person behind the hazel eyes and tiny hands. She actually knows that there’s something put inside her that the world can be changed by.

And she actually wants to say thank you. To the girl who told me about that conversation and the two guys who never intended for me to hear that and most likely meant no harm. Because in their twisted compliment, they made me love that girl in a whole new way, the one I am and the one I’ve always been.




Okay, I have not posted in a LONG LONG LOOOOOOOOOOONG time!!! Life has been… Crazy… My homeschool groups just ‘got out’ last week. So no school til January. Which is sad. 😦 but it’s also a nice break. I have read (well, reread) a bunch of books. Which is good! 😀 I don’t know if I have talked about my school groups… Well, if I have, sorry! And if I haven’t… Well, then here ya go!

Vanguard: Okay. Vanguard is amazing!!!!!!!!! Ahh! I can’t even express how much I love it! Last school year, in February, I started a vanguard in Layton (about an hour and a half from my house). And I just L.O.V.E.D. It! And then it ended in May and there was summer! Which is usually a good thing. But, well, I guess it was good. I just didn’t get to see my friends, because they live so far away. And when this school year started, I didn’t get to go back. Because my mom decided that she was going to make a vanguard up here where we live. And that’s a good thing.

But… Yeah… So, I decided that I was going to do the work for BOTH vanguards. Mine and… Well, mine. 😀 And there are three levels in each vanguard. Apprentice, journeyman and masters. Each level (for each vanguard) is supposed to be like 4-6 hours. But I guess I read really fast, and a lot of it was reading. So it doesn’t really take me that long.

But anyways! 😀 I went to my vanguard up here every Monday, and I got to visit my other vanguard three times. But my mom says that I can go for real for the rest of the school year! I thought I was gonna die when she told me that! So yeah. 😀

And there are four classes total. Basically one for each week in the month. There is Leadership Academy, History and Geography, Imaginative Arts and Eureka. And literally, no matter how hard I try, I honestly cannot pick a  favorite!

Shakespeare: Shakespeare is cool too. We did Julius Cesar this semester. I don’t remember what we are doing next semester though… This time we didn’t actually put on a play. Which sucked! :/ But we are doing a REAL play next semester!! Which is good!!! 🙂 We meet on Fridays for Shakespeare, either at my friends house, or a gymnastics studio in Thatcher. It’s fun!


Those are pretty much the school groups… But here are some of the other thingsI we’ve been doing.

Piano Lessons: I recently started piano lessons for the first time ever! 😀 I really like it! I have had six lessons now, and I believe that I have perfected Fur Elise. I’m playing it at a recital on December 28th.

I really like the song Fur Elise. It was composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven after the girl he loved, Elise, turned down his marriage proposal. I don’t remember if the other two girls he proposed to were before or after Elise. But he was really depressed when he composed it. You can definitely hear all of the emotions he was feeling in the music as its played, that’s what I really love about it! I get pretty caught up in the music as I play. But I just love it SOO much!!! 😀

I’m also working on a really pretty arrangement of The First Noel. It’s totally fine on the top hand, but I’m still working out the bottom hand. I like it though! 😀

Church Stuff: Well, there is obviously church on Sundays (which I’m trying to go to :/) And then young woman’s on Wednesday’s. And our ward goes and does baptisms SO OFTEN!!! And Aubree always manages to drag me along. 🙂 I wouldn’t mind it so much, but all the teenage drama drives me insane! Haha! Oh well…


And I would also like to take a space and say something about my friends. My friends are SO FREAKING AWESOME!!! I seriously cannot even BEGIN to express how much I love all of my friends. And how amazing they are. I don’t know what I would be without them. When I’m having a tough time it seems like there is always someone there to help. And that’s been a lifesaver multiple times, literally.


Favorite Piano Guys Songs~


Okay, my ABSOLUTE favorite one is Code Name Vilaldi~


Then I am in love with Mission Impossible where they teamed up with Lindsey Sterling~


And of course Secrets!


Moonlight – Electric Cello


What makes you beautiful is a MUST~


Oh, A Thousand Years~


And, CAROL OF THE BELLS!!!!!!!!!


Okay, maybe I kinda got carried away there… 😀 BUT DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THEM!!!!

Mother Daughter Retreat


This is going to be SSSOOOOOOOOO absolutely amazing!!! (I didn’t want to type this whole thing up and upload pictures, so I stole it from my mom!) 🙂


2013 Mother Daughter Retreat

We are so excited to announce one of the premiere events of the year! The Mothers and Daughters who attend this spectacular weekend will make meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.
This location is a brand new beach resort nestled in a remote gated location within close driving distance of Logan and the Wasatch Front. (We are renting the entire resort!)
When : April 25, 26, 27 2013

Arrival Time : Thursday April 25, 2:00 P.M.

Departure Time : Saturday April 27, 8:00 P.M.

Where : Bear Hollow Lakes Resort, Click here! Only 15 minutes west of Logan or 40 minutes north of Ogden. (Close enough for convenience, far enough away for a retreat!

Who : Home Educated Girls, Ages 8 and up, plus their mothers. Some activities will have an LDS world view but all faiths are invited and encouraged to attend.

Theme : Jenny Phillip’s book, ‘Beautiful’
Click here for more details about Jenny’s products!

Guest Speaker : TBA

Activities Included Are : Free time games, Special guest speaker, All yummy & healthy meals included, Hot tub, Gas Fire pits, Scavenger Hunt, Walk around the lake, Tennis courts (Frisbee Dodgeball), Hands on Cooking Classes, Sewing project, Story time with Jenny Phillips book, Full size theater, Night games, Make new friends and connect with others! Fun for you and your daughter(s) in a safe environment. The ambiance of this beautiful resort is unforgettable!

Outside Of The Lake Lodge
Outside Of The Beach House
The Living Room @ Lake House
The Tiki Theater Room can seat 10 or more! Kids Tunnel Too!
Beautifully Decorated!
Everything is Five Star!
Children’s Room With Loft, Tunnel, Toys, Huge!
They call this room “The Eagles Nest” because of 5 bald eagles that live right outside!!
Privacy for when you need it, 6,500 sq ft!!
Front Entryway & Great Room: Couch seats 22 adults, plus 5 love sacs!
Stunning, Massive Kitchen
Kitchen Two
Manicured Lake Grounds, all for just us in this private, gated resort!
As you can see, this is a 5 star resort! I went for a tour with my daughter today and it took our breath away. These pictures, as beautiful as they are… do NOT do this amazing venue justice.
 (Me again) 🙂 And we just went there again yesterday (making sure everything was alright) and it has a TON of awesome swings, hanging from the trees, swing sets, EVERYTHING!! And then there’ the hot tub, all the BALCONIES!! It’s going to be SOOO cool!!