A Thousand Splendid Suns

This is a book about two women in Afghanistan and the struggles they face as the Taliban take over their country, but more than that, it is a story about perseverance, strength, and love.

I had never read a novel about about Afghanistan or it's people, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to relate to the story - but I was wrong. I absolutely love this novel. I stayed up late into the night flipping pages, and finished reading it in two days. I could not put it down. During some moments, the story had my heart breaking apart, and then in other moments it had me close to crying tears of happiness.   

This is synopsis about the novel from Amazon.com:
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

This is a beautiful story about wonderful characters, and one of the things that I enjoyed most about it was the theme of sisterhood. It left me with the thought that, it doesn't matter what part of the world we live in, we each need to work together to eradicate the suffering and suppression of women. After all, we could have easily been in their shoes and suffering through their trials, if we had been born in a different country.

This novel also left me with a respect for the women of Afghanistan, and a deeper understanding of their lives.   

These are some of my favorite quotes:

“You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. 
But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”

“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated...”

“Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.” 

“A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her.” 

Thanks for reading my review. 
If you would like your own copy of this novel then please click below:

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Do you have a favorite book you're reading right now? 

Letting go of Expectations

I'm a planner, a list maker, someone who has 
been know to plan every hour in a day. 

Lists of groceries, list of chores to do, people to call, assignments to complete. Checking each item off with satisfaction, and fretting about the unchecked, unfinished things. 

As a planner, I also have plans of how I think certain things in my life will be. I envision certain moments and I have specific ideas of what kind of life I want and what experiences I want to have - dreams you could call them. Dreams of what kind of atmosphere my home will have, dreams for my future family, dreams of things my husband and I will experience together. 

But sometimes my plans fall through or come crumbling down.
What do I normally do when one of my plans doesn't look like its going to be possible? 

I dig in my heels and I desperately try all that I can do to make it work and then sometimes I have a melt down.

One of the biggest life lessons I've had to learn in the past year is being able to let go of my expectations. I don't know if I'm the only person who struggles with this problem, but when a situation or moment doesn't meet my expectations then I consider it to have been a failure and because of this "black-and-white" type of thinking, I'm missing out on what could be some really beautiful moments and memories.

When do our hopes and dreams become expectations?

What if instead of fighting a situation to make it fit my expectation, I just let the situation unfurl by itself, without worry or regret? What if I just took the situation or the moment for what it was, and enjoyed it? 

What if I let go of my expectations? 

  I'm not letting go of my dreams or goals, but I am going to try and let go of my expectations attached to those dreams. 

"As we act in faith, we often find that the blessing from the Lord are different than we expected but much better than we imagined."
-Elder Neil L Andersen 

I'm not exactly sure how I will let go of my expectations, except to be aware of them, and consciously tell myself that I don't always know what's best for me, but that my Father in Heaven does know.


 If you have any advice for me or any stories you want to share about how letting go of expectations has help you in life, 
then I would love to hear from you!

I could really use some help with this. 

p.s. you might like to read: Three things I wish I knew at 18

October Outfit

Even though I'm not ready for summer to be over, 
I am enjoying the cooler days of fall. 

Plus - fall clothes are my favorite, 
so I decided that this would be the 
perfect time to do my first fashion blog post.   

Our friends invited us to a party for the 
season premier of AMC's The Walking Dead,
and there was a contest so see who could wear 
the best Walking Dead T-shirt. 

I wanted a T-shirt that didn't draw a lot of attention so that I could still wear it on other weekends - and I didn't want anything with blood splattered all over it. 

So when I saw this shirt about my favorite character,
 I knew that it was the perfect one for me. 

(The detail on the back is my favorite part)

I laugh a little bit every time I look at this shirt,
 because the last time I wore a
 shirt about a T.V. character I was five years old. 
(It was a Power Ranger t-shirt that I wore all the time.)

So I guess I still haven't grown up completely -
 but that's alright with me.

As I mentioned before in a previous post about fashion 
I'm still developing my own style, and I'm hoping that this blog will help me to keep moving forward in this area of my life.  

Thanks for reading!

P.S. if you want one of these shirts for yourself then click below.

Other Outfit Details:

Jeans - Buy similar here

Leslie's Family Tree Restaurant

It's that time of year. 
When the leafs start changing and the temperature drops, 
that means it's time to haul hay. 
I love my family and I love my life, but I have a love-hate-relationship with hauling hay.

After loading up 100 bales early one Saturday morning, we were all hungry and wanted to get some breakfast before going home to unload.  Lucky for us, as we drove through Santaquin, my step dad spontaneously chose to stop at Leslie's Family Tree Restaurant.  None of us had ever been there before, so i was excited to try it out, but I was also little self-conscious because 
we were all really sweaty and dirty.

But when we walked in, they made us feel right at home. A redneck place for some reneck people. 

As we were placing our orders, 
I noticed most of their breakfast plates came with a scone. 
Except mine.
The pancakes I ordered didn't come with one, 
and I was feeling a little bit sad about it. 
I imagined everyone else at our table eating their scone
 and me without one. 

Well you can image our faces, 
when the waitress brought out a basket of these! 

The scones here are huge! 
(They are seriously as long as a loaf of french bread.) 
And lucky for me, my family didn't have a problem sharing. Between the five of us we were only able to finish two of these things. 

(sorry the picture is so blurry. I had to hurry and snap this before they got devoured.)

  If you're ever in the Santaquin area, 
you'll have to stop by and get a scone to share. 
Their address is 77 West Main Street in Santaquin Utah. 

Shackletons Way

I'm reading this book called "Shackleton's Way" which is a New York Times Business Best Seller about Sir Ernest Shackleton who's is, "The greatest leader that has ever came on God's earth."

Never heard of him? Don't feel bad, because I hadn't either.

He was a great Antarctic explorer and is famed for his daring exploration, elite leaderships skills, and for being an all around champion. So they wrote this book about Shackleton, to help business leaders pattern their leadership style after him. The book is going well, explaining all of the horrific and completely terrifying excursions Shackleton and his men endured trying to reach the South Pole. It has me imagining Antarctica as a frozen hell on earth, where only the craziest people would purposefully go. The book is pulling me in and I'm starting to get interested when in the last paragraph of the first chapter they quote Shackleton as saying, "All the troubles of the South are nothing to the day after day of business." 

Whaaat? I have to read the quote again. And again. Just so I can let it sink in.

This guy would rather be in a frozen hell then go to work everyday?  

The organization I work for gave me this book to help inspire me to be better and reach higher in my professional career. And I know the author of this book threw that quote in there to feed the egos of all the business men and women who he wrote the book for. I can just see in my-minds-eye some guy reading that quote, shaking his head in agreement, and thinking to himself that he is some sort of warrior because his career in business is more difficult than reaching the South Pole in the 1900s. 

The quote didn't feed my ego, and it certainly wasn't an inspiration. The irony didn't get passed me. They wrote a business book about a guy who hates business. A guy who would rather freeze to death, chasing his dream, than work in business. 

I set the book down after the first chapter. It's an enlightening book, and I will finish reading it someday. But for now it has me wondering that maybe I would find more happiness freezing in Antarctica than spending a lifetime wasting away in a comfortable office doing something I hate.

Maybe I need to find my own Antarctica - my own crazy dream to try and reach for.