Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird

I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird...again. I love this book. It is possibly one of my most favorite books that I have ever read. Why? Because it's beautifully written. I first had to read this book for Junior Honors English and I was expecting another boring required reading list novel. But then I fell in love. I fell in love with it so much that I saw a copy of it at Barnes & Noble and my wonderful mother bought it for me and I found it sitting on my bedside table when I came back from Cedar Badge. If you haven't read it, you really should. It's captivating. It's funny. It's sad. It makes you think. There's so many things to love. Like the character of Scout. She's spunky, sassy, tom-boyish, mischievous, innocently trusting, and you can't help but fall in love with her. The mysteries that surround Boo Radley grows until you get to the climax of the novel. The relationship between Jem and Scout. The descriptions of a childhood summer. The crisis that rocks a small town. I love it all! The back of my copy describes the book as, "Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill a Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior-to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos...Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature." This book is so good. I always get the chills when I read the last few pages because they always catch me. It's so deep and it really makes you think. Harper Lee captures everything in those last few chapters and you'll have an 'Ah-ha' moment. If you've already read this and you hate it, too bad because in my humble opinion you're missing out. But if you haven't? Go read it now. You'll probably thank me later (:

The movie's not bad either. Gregory Peck makes a pretty good Atticus.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shallow Is, As Shallow Does...

We all have a little bit of shallowness in ourselves. I think that women are a more susceptible to it then men are, but we all have it. For me, it's superficial wants. I want things. I don't need them but I want them. It's usually a spur of the moment I've-gotta-have-it-moment that doesn't make sense but all that matters is that I want it. Pretty ridiculous and my wallet usually suffers. I'm getting better at curbing my frivolous appetites and actually going through the "Do I actually really really need this?" thought process instead of the "Doesn't matter. You want it, you need it, buy it now!!". But there are somethings that get me. They usually are at Target because we all know how much I love Target. Like the white watch I bought this weekend. I'd been looking at it for a while but one day I came buy to browse at it again and it was GONE! I was supremely upset. They had it in black, but no white. And I wanted that white. So every trip back to Target, I'd go and check to see if it was there. There were many trips to the store and online and I began to get discouraged. But hallelujah! This weekend it was there and of course, I snapped it up like a dingo snaps up a baby animal in the wild (great analogy I know). But there are still things that I want, not need. Here are a few:
1. Red lipstick. I've been dying (as of this weekend) to buy some red lipstick. I don't ever wear lipstick but I want some red lipstick. I even looked at some today at Target.
2. New clothes. I know that every woman wants new clothes but every time I have an event or a party or a date, I always want a new outfit. And trust me, I have plenty of clothes but I always want more! Typical woman. Take jeans for example. I am unable to resist buying jeans. I have many pairs but I always want a new pair. I really am unable to stop myself from purchasing jeans. Like purses. Don't get me started on purses.
3. Rain boots. I want a pair of rain boots so badly. But I've done so well on this craving! There has been a pair of rain boots at Target for months. Think they'd be on sale by now? Wrong, still the same $24.99. And I'm not paying that. Because they're cheaper online. But I'll try to resist that too.
4. The black watch. Remember my white watch mentioned above? Now I want the black one. Ridiculous.
5. The Le Coeur dress at Shabby Apple. Go to their website right now and look at it. I don't need another dress, really. But I want it...desperately.
We'll see how well I do on curbing my shallow cravings. Because I am only one click away from getting that Shabby Apple dress. One click away is all!


Update: I bought some red lipgloss yesterday...and a new pair of jeans.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Girl's Craft Night

Back to Girl's Night. We had an absolute blast or at least I know that I did! We made fabric flowers that I've been seeing all around town and that I finally decided I wanted to make. They were super simple and with a tutorial from the girls over at Drab to Fab's blog, we made them in a cinch. I've always wanted to do more crafts but I never really made the time to do it. I thought it would be fun to get the girls together and just make crafts. Even though it sounded incredibly cheesy, my friends were great to come and participate. Previously, one of the girls, myself, and one of our guy friends (haha) went to Wal-Mart at about eleven o' clock at night (that's when the cool kids go) to pick out fabric. We'd found fabric that we'd liked but it was five dollars for a five yard bolt! If you need five yards of fabric, that's a deal but we only needed about one. So while Brianne and I were trying to find fabric, Josh made an interesting discovery in the scrap bins (I didn't even know there was such a thing). He found us great fabrics for cheap! Leave it to the male to find a fabric deal. We picked out some plain colors that could be used with different beads, buttons, and feathers.
Tuesday night, the girls all came over and we had a good old girl's night. We ate lots of junk food, talked about boys, who's getting married, who broke up, the usual. We got to know each other better and just laughed and burned ourselves on the glue gun (Chelsie, especially. Gotta love the girl though, she was keeping us laughing all night long). Everyone came up with cool, different ideas and variations for their flowers and I was glad that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was just really nice for some of us to get together and hang out for a while before everything gets crazy with everyone leaving for college. Not all of us are super close friends so it was a good opportunity to mix friendships and get to know one another. Everyone made at least two or three or more flowers and each one was different. We made a very nice craft bouquet. After we got tired of bending over our projects and burning ourselves on the glue guns (my mom had conveniently placed a cup of water on the table in case anyone..cough Chelsie cough..needed to treat their finger in a hurry) we ran around and did crazy things. We sang to the radio and some girls decided to hold someone hostage with a cooled glue gun. It was pretty funny and we got pretty silly. We decided that we wanted to make Girl's Craft Night an weekly event and I think next time we're going to try tie-dyeing which will be very fun.
I'm already loving the flowers that I made and I'll probably end up making more because they're so easy to make. I'd like to find a chain and put three of the cream ones on a necklace. I made the polka dot ribbon flower and the plaid flower for my cousin's two daughters that are coming up this weekend and I thought that they were too cute to not give to them so I'm hoping that they'll like them. And just so my cousin's son wouldn't feel left out I made him a bow tie. It's the first one that I've ever made (I just barely got the idea today and I kinda just made it up as I went along. Don't worry I'm much better at it now) so I don't know how good it looks but if he doesn't like it, she can always use it for a hair bow because it's a clip on. I was at Target today (of course) and there was a little plastic police man's toy set there that was inexpensive so I grabbed that and maybe that'll be cooler than a bow tie to a hunting/fishing/outdoor loving boy. While we're on the topic of Target, my one true love, I'll show you my latest craft use. I found this bag for a dollar! One dollar! Just add that to the very long list of why I love Target. Isn't it cute? I'm in loooooove. It's my new church bag (my church bag consists of my scriptures, a notebook, pens and highlighters,anything else that I need to cram in there like handouts or pieces of paper that seem important, snacks, and toys. Yes, I have snacks and toys. It's like I'm a mother already except minus having my own children). It was looking a little lonely so lo and behold I clipped a flower on it! I'm becoming crafty. And a deal searcher. Aren't you so proud of me? I know that I am. And I can't wait to find another crafting idea on a craft blog. I think I already have one in mind. This is what I'm becoming haha. A crafting/blogging obsessed teenage girl...


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If I Muster Up The Will...

Girls Night was a big hit. We had a blast making those fabric flowers and just being with the girls. I'll do a post with pictures later. If I can muster up the will...you see, I'm very tired today. I didn't get in bed till about midnight (which is usually not a big deal, so I have no idea why I'm so tired) last night because I was cleaning up from girls night and getting ready for bed. And then I was texting someone..and fell asleep on them. Bad texting manners. I woke up today and wanted nothing more than to just stay in my bed. And I know that I've been way more tired before and stayed up way later before, but for some reason its hitting me hard today. You can see by the circles under my eyes and my apparent lack of desire to look presentable today. And I've got work till five, guitar lessons till six, and then institute at seven. So eventually, I'll post about our crafting abilities. Patience.


Monday, July 19, 2010

My Plan...

I had a very beautiful experience yesterday. I was able to recieve my patriarchal blessing. I've had a recommend since last year but it was this year that I actually made the time to get it. All I can say, is that I'm glad that I waited. I'm sure that it could have helped me earlier but I know that some things wouldn't have made sense or made the same impact if I had not waited till this year. Many people asked me, seeming surprised, "You haven't gotten it yet?". I waited till I was sure about my testimony. Till I wasn't depending on other's faith and I was depending on my own. And I knew that it was the right time because I cried all my make-up off almost as soon as I started talking to my stake patriarch. All I can say is that I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. That He knows me, Randi. That He has a plan in store just for me.

"A patriarchal blessing is a very unique and remarkable privilege that can come to the faithful members of the Church having sufficient maturity to understand the nature and the importance of such blessings. These privileged blessings are a powerful witness of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing exaltation to each of us...Patriarchal blessings should be read humbly and prayerfully and frequently. A patriarchal blessing is very personal but may be shared with family members. A patriarchal blessing is a sacred guideline of counsel, promises, and information from the Lord."-James E. Faust

"A blessing you can qualify to receive is your patriarchal blessing. Your parents and your bishop will know when the time is right for you to receive it. A patriarchal blessing contains chapters from your life’s book of possibilities. To you it will be as a lighthouse on a hill, warning of dangers, and directing you to the tranquility of safe harbors. It is a prophetic utterance from the lips of one called and ordained to provide you such a blessing."- Thomas S. Monson

“Patriarchal blessings contemplate an inspired declaration of the lineage of the recipient. A patriarchal blessing also includes an inspired and prophetic statement of the life possibilities and mission of the recipient. It may include such blessings, promises, advice, admonitions, and warnings as the patriarch may be prompted to give. It should always be made clear that the realization of all promised blessings is conditioned upon faithfulness and the Lord’s will.... testify to you that these blessings are inspired and are personal revelations to the recipient. Patriarchal blessings are a guideline or similar to a road map that indicates the paths that may be traveled and destinations that may be reached if we stay within those paths. They may bring comfort and joy and encouragement when we have need to look, to listen, and to feel of the contents of these blessings so that we may go forward on life’s journey, not alone, but with the accompanying Spirit of our Father in Heaven.”-Richard D. Allred


I Have Learned My Lesson...

My leg is gross. Plain and simple. Would you like few adjectives to describe it? Sore. Red. Angry-looking. Hurts. Nasty. Hideous. Grody. Tender. Sweet looking (not sweet as in taste but sweet as in I-look-mildy-tough sweet). I climbed into the shower on Saturday, turned on the water, and then yelled, "FETCH!". Hot water and that didn't mix very well.. So I haven't shaved my legs for a couple days (you wanted to know that) because I have no desire to try to shave around it. I wrapped it up yesterday and a little boy in my dad's primary class asked me if I broke my leg. I have now learned my lesson. I won't pick fashion over comfort next time. Never again will I rollerblade with short socks on. Because now I'm paying for it. But I bet it might turn out to be a cool looking scar.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Date Follow-Up...

I went on that date last night...and it was great. I had a really really good time even though I embarrassed myself pretty good a couple of times. I came home from work and I was of course, still a little nervous. If you read the earlier post about my battle with The Mirror then I'll let you know that it won. I changed my pants (life changing stuff right there..not). Yes, The Mirror got the best of me. So after I was all presentable, I had time. And I hate downtime before dates. Because that just leads for me to think of the "if's". To remedy that, I texted one of my best friends. "Okay. Agh! I'm nervous!" She, of course, like any good friend reassured me and did not tell me how crazy I actually was. 5:50 P.M. Ten minutes...so I sat and talked with my parents and pleaded with my father to not make embarrassing comments. Then my date showed up. And the night was great. We went to the Green Belt and roller-bladed around which was fun but eventful. This comic depicts how I feel about rollerblading most of the time haha. My natural clumsiness came out (of course) and I fell twice right off the bat. I tried not to get embarrassed and laugh it off but inside I was so embarrassed haha. I have no grace and especially not on wheels that don't have breaks. Halfway around the river I could feel my skate rubbing on my ankle but I didn't think it was rubbing too bad. We came back to our shoes that we had stuffed in a tree and I took off my skate to find that it had rubbed my ankle pretty raw. No biggie though. We laughed a lot and I just laughed it off again because I didn't want to get all blushingly embarrassed. Then we went to dinner at Chili's which was good. We just talked some more and laughed a lot. We joked around a lot and he was trying to get me to laugh my outrageously loud laugh. We went slacklining at Freeman Park which as I teased him, slacklining is a 'granola' thing to do. It's basically tying a tow rope between two trees and walking on it. Again, no natural balance. We did it, even with my clumsy nature and had a great time. After we slacklined for a while, we just sat and talked and it was really nice. He's a really nice kid and I laughed alot even though he didn't get my obnoxiously loud laugh out of me. I had a great time with him (even though my behind is a little sore) and I'm glad that it went so well. We'll see if there's a second date (:


Friday, July 16, 2010

First Date Dilemmas

I have a date tonight. A real live, not just-hanging-out, non-dance date. Here's the thing about me: I don't go on dates often. Dating is not just a commonplace thing in my teenage society any more. More often that not, I hear boys complaining about taking a girl out on a date and how it would be much easier and cheaper if they just hung out because not only would they still get to see the girl, but they wouldn't have to pay for anything. Yes, there are boys out there that still take girls out on dates but dating in high school seems to becoming a thing of the past. Ridiculous. Anyways, back to business. I have a date. And I'm a little nervous about that date. Because its a date with someone new. Not someone that's known me since middle school and is used to my peculiarities. It's new territory. First dates with people are usually either a little awkward, totally awful, or they turn out pretty good. At least, that's what I've found in my experience. The boy that I'm going out with tonight seems really nice and I am excited. I mean, he's driving from Rexburg to come pick me up! But I'm also freaking out a little bit. It's all the pre-preparation date stuff that gets me nervous. Like getting ready. Boys must have it so easy. The last time I saw this kid, I had no makeup on, my hair wasn't done, and I was wearing a scout uniform which includes very baggy pants. So that led to a bit of a dilemma as to wardrobe and hair (I hope I'm not the only who cares this much about this type of things but if I am, feel free to laugh at my ridiculous nature). I wanted to look pretty-but-not-trying-hard-because-if-I-glam-up-too-much-you'll-never-recognize-me-because-I-looked-like-a-dirty-twelve-year-old-before (long feeling but it described it perfectly). So I curled my hair and threw some stuff on my face. Then came clothes..oh the choices. Jeans? Shorts? Jacket? I finally picked an outfit but then I looked in The Mirror...dun dun dun duuuuuun. The Mirror is the evil nemesis for getting ready. It tells you that you need to change your outfit and then you're doomed to changing your clothes 123,2939835750000 times. It's true. Today it told me that the pants I was wearing made my behind look well-endowed (in other words, my gluteus maximus was a little too much maximus today). But I was going to be late for work so I chanted "You look fine, you look fine, you look fine" again and again in my head and resisted the ways of The Mirror. So here I am at work, worrying about my pants and my date. My thought process is bouncing back and forth. "Should I change my pants before tonight? I hope he doesn't think I'm a goober. Hopefully, my natural clumsiness will subside just for tonight. What other pants would I wear? Why are you freaking out, it's just a date, you're not going to the courthouse. I have those brown pants I could wear. You're insane." It's a tad pathetic. So cross your fingers for me tonight about my date. Let's hope I don't make a goof out of myself and that The Mirror doesn't get the best of me and my pants. We'll see how it goes. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Please say I'm not the only one! Lie to me if you have to!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living A Mission...

Went to institute last night. Great time. We've been studying the presidents of the church and this week we talked about four prophets, George Albert Smith being one of them. There came a point in the lesson when our teacher, Brother Martin showed us a code of conduct that President Smith wrote and said he would follow. There were eleven great points on this list but one of my favorites was number five:

“I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals but rather love them into doing the thing that is right.”

Wow. That hit me right on because of a realization I had a few months back. A lot of people had began to ask me if I ever wanted to serve a full-time mission (even though that would be four years away) and seemed a little surprised when I answered, "Honestly no, I haven't really thought of it." I have nothing against serving missions and I think that its a wonderful experience. But I've never felt like that's quite the path for me. I'm not saying that I'll never serve a mission but right now that doesn't feel like its right. I didn't really know how to explain that to people without it not sounding how I felt.
A few months ago I had a non-member friend come up to me after school and what he said has stuck with me. We had been talking about religion earlier in class. He told me that in a high school like ours, (which is predominately LDS) he finds it hard to feel like people understand him. But he then told me that he always appreciated the way that I lived and believed in my religion but that I didn't expect it out of others and I was still a good example of my church. He said that I was proud of my religion, I supported and defended it but I didn't push it upon others. It took me by surprise. I never expected anyone to tell me that. I'm far from perfect and I've made a lot of mistakes. Heck, I thought I was just going to school and seminary everyday and getting by, but not standing out to anyone. I've been raised to be very tolerant of others and their beliefs. Not everyone in my family is a member of the church. Many of my friends aren't. It's never really made a difference to me. But for someone to tell me that? It made me feel good. And then I had a "Ah-ha" moment. Maybe my mission in life isn't to go out and serve eighteen months in a foreign place. Maybe my mission is life is to live the very best that I can, to live the gospel, and to teach by love. Because love is a message that anyone can understand. So yes, I accept my call to serve a life of love and service, of giving a helping hand and bearing my testimony through words and actions. It won't be easy. I'm going to mess up a lot and who knows where I'll be going. But it's going to be worth it in the end, because that's how life is.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Friends and Ice Cream...

I have a wonderful group of friends. We can be an odd group of kids but we get along well and we are always having fun wherever we're at. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hang out with some of my friends while we celebrated a fellow friend and classmate's birthday. One of my friends, Chelsie, had tried to get a bunch of us together so we could surprise the birthday girl the night before, but none of us could make it work. It was then decided that we could meet at Coldstone Creamery for ice cream the next night and we would surprise her then as well. We wanted to take some time and get to know this sweet girl and to show her that we love her. In the end, only the girls could make it so you know what that means? GIRLS NIGHT!! (even though Andrew showed up later). We girls waited patiently for Chelsie to bring our other friend (she didn't know we were ambushing her with ice cream and cake). Chelsie and the birthday girl showed up, we yelled surprise, wished her a happy birthday, ate ice cream and cake, laughed and talked loudly, and just had a good time. Later, a couple people came back to my house and we talked and laughed some more. It seemed like just another one of those nights where you hang out with friends and you feel like you're going to be a teenager forever. It came the time where people started to leave and Chelsie and I had the opportunity to just sit and talk. I've know Chelsie for a few years now and it was good to just sit down and talk with her about life in general. We talked about our friends, our church, the future and just about anything and everything. It was one of the best talks I've had for a while. Why was it so good? It was good to be able to sit down with someone and talk about loved ones that aren't involved in the gospel and to have someone understand it. It was good to be able to talk about experiences we've had and how we're the better for it. It was good to be able to talk about things we wish were different. It was good to be able to talk about our church, what it means to us, how it relates to us, and how we've made the decision to live the way we want to live. Chelsie is one of a kind. This girl rocks. She always keeps us laughing (Nacho Libre quotes are a staple in our everyday conversations) but she knows who she lives and she lives it. It was great to just sit down and talk with her about anything and everything. It was great to be able to spend time with friends, eating ice cream, and laughing at the foreign people across the room from us. It was great to be able to get to know a sweet girl and be able to share her birthday with her. And at the end of the night, I knelt down and thanked my Heavenly Father once again for placing these people into my life. All in all, it was a great night.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When I See These Pictures...

My dad sends me emails. Lots of emails, containing jokes (blonde jokes, political jokes, any kind of joke), stories, cartoons, and photographs. Periodically, I like to go through my emails to go back and look at some of the things he's sent me. My favorite ones are usually the photographs. Why? Because the best ones either make me laugh or remind me of things. Photographs are meant to provoke memories or emotions. Often, they surprise us. Take the turtle for example. Who would expect a turtle to make a face like this (except for the ones off Finding Nemo)? Do you think the photographer was snickering into his scuba mask when he took this picture? I for sure would be. Things like this make me laugh. Of course, I laugh easily but wouldn't this just brighten your day? On to the next. This picture reminds me of my little brother. Why? Because he likes to lean on me this exact same way. Sometimes I don't mind it. But sometimes it drives me crazy. I don't know why but sometimes I just have no patience for it (it's a dumb thing to not have patience for, I know). I lean away just like this other giraffe does.
My first thought seeing this picture? Who in the heck made a sweater for this tree? This tree is wearing a sweater (that's the best description I have for this). Honestly, I have no idea what this is. I have no idea why its on a tree. Maybe the tree was cold? Your guess is as good as mine. I think that the colors are pretty cool. But still..whoever made this had alot of time of their hands. A lot a lot a lot of time. And patience. Next, the ocean. Oh how I love you and fear you at the same time. This picture reminds me of vacations to Maui and playing in the water. And the times when the ocean kicked my butt. When did it kick my butt? Like the time I was boogie boarding and I didn't get up quick enough so it dragged me under and I came up clutching my swimsuit top and covered in so much sand that I looked like a crumb covered doughnut. Or the time a HUGE wave hit my brothers and my dad out in the ocean and my mom and I could see them rolling around in the wave? Out came more crumb covered doughnuts. Or the time my dad and I were out snorkling and I was out in the water putting on my gear and my dad yelled my name and I turned around to a huge wave that I narrowly escaped because I dove underneath it. Good times. This next picture just makes me laugh. It just says to me, "Behold, the mighty Praying Mantis! Fear me!" (I'm bizarre, I know). It also makes me think of my special needs seminary partner, Brandon. Brandon was one of the best kids in that class. Brandon has braces on his legs and when he walks, he walks like a praying mantis. It is one of the cutest and most hearwarming things I have ever seen. Your heart would melt just watching him.
This picture makes me think of a leap of faith. Flying towards the unknown and just praying that you make that branch and that you can hold on to it. Leaving one thing behind in order to make it further. To me, it shows that leaving the old takes a lot of courage and strength to jump off that branch but that journey between two branches can be terrifying, crazy, exhilarating, and totally worth it.
Love. True blue moose love. Once upon a time, there were two moose who fell madly in love... Seriously, these photographers deserve some major props because who expects to find these sort of pictures? Not me. I can just hear a conversation going on. "Traffic on the left side of the forest is terrible! Don't be late for dinner tonight, I made grass. And remember, don't get caught by any of those hunters. Oh by the way, don't bother Bob about his antlers. You know how he gets sensitive." Love makes the world go around. Yes, even moose love.
Last picture. Hello, who is there? Eavesdropping statue. Totally chance. Just plain funny. It's as simple as that.


Photographs courtesy of Best National Geographics Pictures email

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cedar Badge 2010: Crew Vespucci

It's time to post about Cedar Badge (: For those who don't know, Cedar Badge is the official National Youth Leadership training program for the Grand Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is youth led by a youth staff with some help from adults and the curriculum is taught by the youth using NYLT. The Venturing Scout program is co-ed and its purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. This was my third year in the program and I loved it. This program is awesome for many many reasons. One of them being that I don't have to care about what I look like for a week and nobody else cares too. Just kidding, I'm only half serious about that. Cedar Badge is awesome and I'm so lucky to have been a part of it this year. I decided to try out for staff this past year (staff are the kids who are in charge of the participants and help to plan and lead the whole trek) and I was expecting to go with a family friend's crew because I'd always gone with him. Merril had been trying to get me on staff since my first year so he told me that all I had to do was show up to interviews and I was on I was on his crew. I went in to interviews and I ended up interviewing at second week even though I wasn't even really planning on going the second week (there are three weeks of Cedar Badge; two in June, one in August). Later that day, I got home and recieved a phone call from Craig Butikofer asking me to be his vice-president of his crew.
Whoa whoa whoa. Hold on. What? Back up there...come again?
I was shocked. I had never been on staff before so I was expecting to just be a extra hand on whatever crew I made it on if I even made it! I told him that I would call him back (I was already thinking of saying no) and I immediatly called my family friend, (Later I found out that right after Craig called me, Merril came into the room and pointed at my picture and said, "She's ours." Craig had to break the news to him that he had just asked me to be his vice president. Oops.) After I talked to Merril for a bit (I was bawling..refer back to the post where I cry about everything) I went into my room and knelt on my knees. Before I even opened my prayer, I was told my answer. I was told, "Randi, yes, yes, yes. You are meant to go there and be his Vice-President. This is right. Don't doubt it and don't you dare say no." Well...who would like to ignore that one? I called Craig back, told him yes, and I've never been so happy that I did. But even though I knew that I was meant to go, I was downright anxious before I left. I had tried to get more friends to come but none could. I wasn't sure if I was even going to be good at being a staff member. I remember packing the Friday night before I went up and thinking to myself, "Can you really do this? I mean, the past few years at Cedar Badge have been fun but can you really do it?". I woke up Saturday morning and Craig and I drove up to Treasure Mountain together in the afternoon for the weekend before the participants get there. Craig and I have been to other Cedar Badge meetings and things before together and had gotten to know each other so I was glad to be riding with him so that we could hash out some final details of the week. And the fact that this kid is hilarious. We had such a good time riding together and it was a great start to the week. We got up to Treasure Mountain, met with the rest of our staff, set up tents, and all that good stuff.
Our staff had three adults leaders, Tad, Leland, and Lorraine and the other youth staffers were Craig, me, Kaitlynn, Trevor, and Donald. Tad is hilarious and was so much fun. I'd trust him with anything. Leland is a softie (: I will love him forever for bringing a portable shower so we could shower after our hike. Lorraine was Mama Vespucci. What a wonderful and amazing woman. Craig is hilarious but such a good leader. I was so honored to be able to work with him and I'm so glad we got along so well. Trevor and I had been at Cedar Badge before as participants and he's such a good kid. Donald is my favorite, as I told him everyday. This kid took care of me like no other. He was like my shadow on the hike (I can hike, I'm just really slow) and he stayed with me pretty much the whole time. Kaitlynn is the best tentmate I could ask for and I'm so happy that she was with me! We got along so well and she's such a sweetheart. She put up with my loud randomness and we laughed a lot together. We ran through the woods like Pocahontas and jumped in the water together. The week only picked up from there. Sunday we went to church in Drigg's in Tad's huge orange suburban. Tad's suburban was one of the best parts of the whole week. That thing is so beastly and so many funny moments happened in that car. (Like when we picked up hitchikers after church on Sunday. I will never forget Kaitlynn's face when the one sat next to her.) That weekend before the partcipants came was the best. We ran around and met everyone else, set everything up, challenged everyone to a string burning contest and won, ate great food and got to know the WOW moms, had inside jokes, and so many things that I can't even put into this blog post because there's not enough room! All I can say, is that I'm so thankful for the staff for Week 2. You helped to make my week great.
The participants showed up on Monday and from then on the week never slowed down. We hiked Big Medicine (a huge waterfall at Treasure Mountin) the first day, did service projects, hiked upper Palisades, hiked our butts off everywhere else, rafted and had an epic waterfight, sang songs all the time, ate even more delicious food, and soon enough strangers became friends, and those friends became family. I have so many favorite memories from that week. Like when Donald sewed a patch on my shirt at breakfast while I was still wearing it. Or making Kaitlynn laugh in the mornings when we woke up. Getting to know the WOW women and getting hugs from them just about every day. Playing the Human Knot game. Eating cobbler and staying up late. Staying up even later laughing with Craig and Kaitlynn. Singing the Titanic song and trying to beat the boys. Sleeping in the Burb. Getting to listen to Glenn Rossen speak at the staff Sunday fireside. Getting in a waterfight on the river with the drunk people. Christina braiding my hair. Laughing at the boys. Singing Disney songs. Praying for the weather. Potty breaks in the woods with Christina and Erica. Wearing socks with my sandals for the first time. Tad singing "The Second Story Window". Getting a Chaco dirt line. Running down the hills with the carts with Kaitlynn. Jumping in the lake for the swimcheck with Kaitlynn and freezing our butts off in the water while everyone laughed at us but later the boys nicely helped us out of the water. Waking up before everyone else and reading the scriptures to Kaitlynn. Getting eaten alive by mosquitos. The boys treating us as ladies even if some of us (me) didn't look like it. Karate chopping everyone. Doing the Trust Fall off the rock so Cody would do it. Laughing with Wade and Brandon about sleeping arrangements, crows, and fat mosquitos. Telling everyone not to sass (including the board of staff). Those wonderful WOW women letting us shower and blow dry our hair so we could feel like girls again and Lorraine telling us we were beautiful without make-up. Laughing at the little Boy Scouts who gawk whenever the girls come into camp. Bribing the boys with hugs. Everyone being friendly and having good manners (like when girls get to get their food first). Trying to cheer louder than everyone else. Getting a love letter from Donald and Spencer. Watching the Flags of Freedom program. The boys trying to scare the girls when we were on potty breaks by yelling "BEARS!" and Tad yelling, "Oh, the horror!!". Watching the Boy Scout skits. Trying to get tan but not burn. Staying up late in the lodge eating cereal and drinking hot chocolate. Earning a 50 miler patch. Doing the date skit with Craig. Eating Mickey Mouse pancakes. Taking a billion silly pictures. Walking around barefoot in the dirt. Looking at the stars. Scratching up my legs. Inside jokes about moose and mountain camels. Salt water taffy at nightly staff meetings. Teasing everyone. Listening to the wind rushing through the pine trees. Retiring a flag. I could go on and on but you've probably already stopped reading this. All I can say is that my week was blessed. Glenn Rossen asked us that Sunday why it was so easy to feel God in nature. I blurted out without thinking, "Well how can you not feel Him here? He created all of this, he's in everything." Heavenly Father is in Treasure Mountain. He is in those mountains and waterfalls. I walked along those paths and I felt my Heavenly Father telling me that I was His child and that He loved me. It's my own personal Sacred Grove up there. I know that I was meant to go to that week of Cedar Badge. I know that I was meant to go with those kids and learn something from them. I only hoped that I could touch someone's life because so many others touched my life. I'll miss Cedar Badge like no other. Leaving Treasure Mountain after graduation on Saturday was so hard because it was like leaving home. I already miss it. I'm homesick for my friends I met there. I'm homesick for my leaders and for the WOW moms. But I'm so thankful. Every year at Cedar Badge just gets better. I was lead to Cedar Badge so that I could learn something. I've learned friendship. I've learned just how much I love my country and the BSA program. I've learned how to be a good leader and how to be a good follower. I've learned how to make friends fast and how to make it last. I've learned how to serve. I've learned how to laugh things off. I've learned that a smile says a whole lot and in order to make others happy, you have to be happy or at least fake it (like when you're waking kids up at five o' clock in the morning). I've learned how to love people quickly. I've learned that being me is good enough. Cedar Badge changed who I am as a person and I'll be eternally grateful for the lessons I learned there.

The Venturing Oath
As a Venturer, I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world.

The Venturing Code
As a Venturer, I believe that America's strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life. I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks the truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world.

What a beautiful life.
Yes, those scout uniforms really are pretty comfortable.