Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Please Pray for Kelly

Dear Reader,
My sister-in-law, Kelly, the one who just had the baby, is in the hospital again.  Before she delivered she had really high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and so they took the baby a couple of weeks early.  The doctors were hoping that her blood pressure would lower naturally but because it hasn't, she was readmitted to the hospital today.  Things just don't seem to be getting much better.  It is time for a miracle!  Please say a little prayer for her.  I know it will help!  Thanks so much for your love and charity!  I know that through our faith, miracles can happen!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Westland 2nd Ward

There are so many things I have loved about living at home since March.  I have been blessed in so many ways!  One of the greatest blessings has been being a part of my home ward again.  When I returned from my mission I just assumed that I would go to the singles ward in my stake because I thought that is what I was expected to do.  I kept making plans to go but something would always come up...giving a lesson, speaking, helping out in primary.  After some time I really just felt that I needed to stay in my home ward.  I love the members of the Westland 2nd Ward!  I grew up in this ward and have many dear  friends.  I am so thankful for all of the teachers and leaders I have had here throughout my life.  I am so thankful for all of those that I have been able to get to know better this summer as I have been home.  My life has been so enriched and I have learned from so many examples.  I am thankful for their love towards me and making me feel so welcome.  I really am going to miss all of these people...they have become more like family to me over the past 6 months than ever before in my life!
Carli, Hailey, and Megan roasting doughboys...YUM!
Karlene Welker, Terri Coburn, and my fabulous Mom, Janet Sharp
Trevor Coburn, Nate Welker, and Nolan Coburn
Hailey Coburn, Jerry Welker, and Megan Welker
My Dad, Jeff Sharp, Carli Sharp, and Kenya Coburn
Nathan Coburn, me, and Corbin Sharp
For FHE tonight we had two families, the Welkers and the Coburns, in our ward over.  We set up the fire pit in the field and enjoyed hot dogs, salad, watermelon, chips, and doughboys.  After dinner we played Jr. Jots and Tittles...a gospel trivia game.  When we finished it was dark and instead of just calling it a night we played Murderer in the Dark!  I felt like a kid again!  We laughed a lot and had a wonderful time together.  It was sad to see the night come to an end because there was such a feeling of love and friendship.  I am so thankful for the opportunity and blessing I have had to get to know these families better this summer.  I love them so much!  I am thankful that Logan is only an hour and a half away and that I will be able to come back and visit every once in a while!  Thanks Westland 2nd Ward for making my time after my mission that much more special.  You will never know how much you have blessed me!

High School Reunion

Today I got to go to lunch at Simply Thai (fabulous food, by the way) with a couple of my best friends from high school!  It was so much fun to see each other and catch up.  We have known each other since we were 12 and I am so thankful that we are still in touch.  Each one has had a great impact and influence on me...way to go Terrible Ten!  Just a little background about each one (left to right, not including me):

Kaylie: Returned in April from her mission in Brazil.  Dating someone very lucky.  Starting school at SLCC.  Planning on getting a Masters in Social Work.  The kindest and sweetest person ever!

Molly: Served in the San Bernadino Mission.  Working for a law firm.  Home owner. Engaged to her high school sweet heart, Jordan Rogers.  Getting married December 17.  ALWAYS fun to be around!  True friend!

Chelsea: Moving to Vancouver, Canada on Thursday.  Going to become a Librarian.  Lived in Thailand.  Very smart and very driven.  Someone who is really good at listening and giving advice.

Angela:  Hopefully going to school at SLCC (I hope you get your letter soon).  Married to Riley.  Works at Del Sol.  Always makes me laugh!  Makes everyone around her feel happy and welcome.

I love you girls so much!  I wish you the best in all of your endeavors!  We have to get together again soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I do does not make me who I am

Okay, so since this is my journal right now, I just have to take a second to write a few things that have been on my mind.  So I know that I wrote about my test results I got back from the doctor about a month ago...well the doctor is almost positive that I have Lupus.  I just have to wait to go to a specialist in December and he can give an actual diagnosis.  It has changed my life quite a bit.  I am tired all of the time and that requires me to take naps frequently (like daily).  I also get sick A LOT.  It is a different kind of sick every time.  This past week I was up two mornings in a row at about 4 laying on the floor of the bathroom (sick, I know, but when you're not feeling well you don't really care anymore) feeling so weak and faint.  Thanks to my Mom who stayed right by me to help me out!  I don't have an appetite.  I have to start thinking hours before meal time about what I want to eat.  So if we ever eat together, please just pick what we were are going to eat...it doesn't matter to me!  My joints ache, especially at night.  It usually is in my shoulders, fingers, elbows and ankles.  I am pretty restless at night.  Takes a long time to fall asleep even though I am dead tired and wouldn't be able to do anything useful if I was up.  I have to call things off a lot.  I hate to even make plans with anyone anymore because I am scared I am going to have to say last-minute "sorry, but I am sick again today."  Thanks to all of those who don't give up on me.  Your understanding and patience means the world to me!  Okay, so I am not writing this so that you will feel bad for me...definitely NOT my purpose!  Everyone has struggles and trials.  This just happens to be mine.  I am learning a ton through this experience.  I am especially learning about who I am.  I used to think (that is, like a week ago) that what I do makes me who I am.  Now, don't get me wrong, that is somewhat true.  But what I am referring to is who I actually am, that is, a child of Heavenly Father.  There is nothing that I could or couldn't do that would change that.  I will always be His daughter and He will always love me.  I know I learned about this from the time I was born but the experiences that I am going through now are helping me to really understand it.  I think my biggest frustration over the past 7 months is that I feel like I haven't been able to do what I want to, and have felt, at times, worthless.  I am so blessed to have wonderful family and friends and so many other blessings.  I wish I could just spend my time serving others and making them happy!  I came to believe that love was something that I had to earn, so when I couldn't do something for others, they automatically didn't love me anymore.  This became quite devastating for me because I felt the love so strongly for others but I didn't feel like I could show it.  I felt so ungrateful.  My physical health was holding me back.  And then I learned the greatest lesson.  I learned it from my family and friends, but especially from those in the Netherlands.  When I first started to get sick I was in my last area, Den Haag, and had been there for 6 months.  I knew the members and had a great love for them.  When I found out that I was going to be able to stay an extra 3 months on my mission I was so thankful knowing that I would be able to serve the Lord and the Dutch people a little longer.  But it sure didn't turn out the way I expected.  Rather, those people served me.  They loved me and took care of me.  They sacrificed so much to keep missionary work going.  I couldn't understand why they were doing what they did because I wasn't doing anything in return.  And then it hit me....they are true disciples of Jesus Christ.  They had developed charity.  They were living their baptismal covenant by serving others selflessly.  It was hard to be the one served.  It was definitely out of my comfort zone.  I would just plead with Heavenly Father that I would get better so I could fulfill the desires in my heart.  Well, that didn't happen...I am still sick often.  But I have learned that as I follow the Spirit and do my best to do the things Heavenly Father would have me do, I can still be His servant and help others.  It is usually through very small things.  But I am thankful for anything I can do for Him and others to show my gratitude.  I am thankful for this little trial and the lessons I am learning.  I hope that I can become the one who serves and loves as Christ would.  I am so thankful for the gospel and the Atonement.  Always remember who you are...and that can never change!  I love you!

The last big HOORAH of the summer

My Mom and I decided to take a couple of days and have a little vacation.  It's always hard to really relax at home because there are always a billion things to do so we packed up and headed to our condo just past Park City on Jordanelle reservoir.  It was beautiful up there and we had a great time together.  On the way up, we stopped at Red Rock in Park City and enjoyed some halibut.  YUM!  That night my Dad came up for a few hours and enjoyed some time with us.  The next day, after watching a movie and playing a couple of games of Phase 10, Brooke, Linc, and Cart came up to join us.  They sure brightened things up!  We played at the park, colored, and just enjoyed time together.
At about 5:30 we headed into Kamas to eat at one of our favorite little restaurants, The Gateway Grill.  The food was amazing!  It was not only good, but looked beautiful too, so I just had to take some pictures!
After putting the boys down to bed we enjoyed another movie and another couple of games of Phase 10.  We laughed a lot and made some priceless memories.  It was sad to pack up and leave the next morning and we already want to go back soon.  You are all welcome to join!

The Coppermine

Last week Brooke invited me to go on a field trip with her and the boys.  We had such a fun morning at the copper mine.  It made me realize that I need to take advantage of the things that are close by cause there are some pretty cool things.  It was amazing to learn that 17% of the world's copper is produced right here in Utah.  The boys LOVED the big tractors...they just couldn't get enough!  Thanks so much for the invite, Brooke, Linc, and Carter.  I had a blast!

Happy Birthday Jack!

Jack is now 6!  He celebrated his birthday yesterday and asked if I would make his birthday cake.  He wanted an "Angry Birds" cake.  Because I didn't know much about "Angry Birds" I had to spend some time doing a little research on the internet.  Well this is how it turned out!  Happy Birthday Jack!  Love you!

The Newest Addition

Zachary David Sharp was born on August 19th!  We were so excited to welcome him here!  His proud parents are Brandt and Kelly Sharp and he has three brothers that love him very much!
On the way to the hospital at 9:30 pm.  The boys could hardly wait to see their new brother!
He definitely wasn't lacking attention!  There were plenty who wanted to hold and love him!
I was extremely excited for him to come because I had missed the births of a niece and nephew while I was on my mission. He came three weeks early and I was quite pleased...I get to spend a little time with him before going up to Logan!  He weighed 6 lbs 1 oz when he was born and is 18 inches long.  He is absolutely adorable!  Congratulations Brandt and Kelly!  We are so excited to have a new member of the family!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


The past couple of days we have had the Buchanan Family Reunion.  It has been held at our house for the last few years and it really ends up being the highlight of the summer.  But the preparation is a little hefty!  My mom and I have spent every day over the past 2 months getting the yard and house ready for all 70 guests.  Washing blinds and windows, weeding, baseboards, trimming trees...lots of hard work!  At times I was a little tired of doing all of the cleaning and towards the end, as time got closer to all of the guests arriving, I found myself being a little ornery so I tried to catch myself.  I started to look for the blessings in all that I was doing and this is what I found....the place I call home.  My family has lived here for 23 years, so my whole life.  I LOVE this place!  There are so many memories here.  It is a place of love, peace, laughter, happiness, and joy.  As I started to look around at how blessed I am, my attitude automatically changed.  Here are a few of my favorite rooms with a list of little memories that come to mind:
The Entry Way
receiving guests, Christmas garland, coming up on Christmas morning, sliding down the banisters,
The Living Room
playing the piano for hours, reading a book, taking a Sunday nap, Christmas as a child, the Nativity, getting scared
Family Room
FHE, scripture study, time together, playing with toys, having family over, playing games, Just Dance, long chats, movie nights, sleepovers 
Picture Wall
remembering family and special times together
Sitting Room and Desk
doing homework, visiting with grandparents, finishing crafts and projects, the Christmas tree, warm winter nights by the fireplace
The Kitchen and Dining Room
baking and cooking with family, family get-togethers, grocery shopping, doing crafts, eating breakfast and dinner together
My Room
reading the scriptures, taking a nap with the sun shining in, Christmas eve sleepover, late night chats with Carli and Brooke,  having friends spend the night
The Yard
family reunions, jumping on the tramp, BBQs, picnics, popsicles, summer Sunday night dinners, sitting on the swing, playing on the playgrounds, campfires, riding four wheelers, building snowmen, yard work as a family
I have loved so much the past 5 months living at home.  It has been so much fun to spend so much time with my parents and Carli and Corbin, and to be so close to the rest of my family.  I love my home!  I am so thankful for all that my parents have done to make our home so special to me.

When I first moved up to school I would never refer to my apartment as "home".  I didn't want my home to be replaced.  But the longer I was up in Logan, the more it became a "home away from home" for me.  I love Logan and I love Utah State University!  The 3 years I have lived up there were some of the best years of my life and what made it so great were the people I met!  I went back up there a month ago with my Mom and Carli to get things all set up for school this fall and I truly felt like I was "home" again.  I am so excited to be back up there!
Then there is the Netherlands.  That is my "home FAR away from home"!  I remember being in the MTC and talking to one of my teachers, Brother Bond.  I asked him, "Was it hard on your mission to feel at home?  Did you really miss all of your family and friends?"  His reply really struck me and stuck with me.  He said, "The Netherlands will become your home for a few years.  And your family will just grow bigger and your friends increase."  Now I truly understand what he means!  My family was definitely not replaced on my mission but I found my Dutch family and friends who were there for me the whole time.  Coming home to my house and family and friends after my mission was such an amazing experience and it was so wonderful to see everyone and everything again.  But I miss my "home" in the Netherlands!  So....I have already made plans to go back next May after I graduate for a few weeks!

(I had pictures to add but it won't work!  They'll come!)

Anyway, with all of these thoughts about "home" I have come to the conclusion that I don't just have one.  Home is a place where I love others and I feel loved.  It is a place where I can be myself.  It is a place where I am surrounded by family and friends.  It is a place that encourages me to be a better person.  It is a place where I can live the gospel and feel the Spirit.  I am so thankful for the homes I have and the many homes I will have.