December 30, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

Do you ever step back and think about how much happens in one year? There's a lot of events, aren't there? Small moments, big events, vacations, and new experiences all mixed into 365 days. I think that this year has been the most life-changing for me thus far, as I've made one of the most important decisions in my life... serving a mission. Let's take a look back, shall we?

January: Spent time in the Holy Land.
 February: Went on a road trip with my best friends to California.
 March- participated in Jimmermania and in a flash mob.
April- Completed my Sophomore year at BYU
 May- Took a trip to Florida, and to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
June- Started my study abroad in Ireland.

July- Spent time in London, Paris, Wales, and Scotland. Also got to go to the World Premiere of Harry Potter 7 part 2.

 August: Went back to Paris and London, this time with my parents.
 September- Got my mission call to Bahia Blanca, Argentina, and saw my favorite band, Fleet Foxes, in concert in Berkeley, CA.
 October- Spent my birthday with my closest gal pals and was Mr. Green in a group Halloween costume.

 November- Spent Thanksgiving in Lubbock, Texas.
December- Welcomed a friend home from his mission, and had a wonderful Christmas at home.

Phew! What a year! I am so excited to see what 2012 brings.

From Finner by Of Monsters and Men on Grooveshark

December 28, 2011


Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men on Grooveshark
Here's a new music find from Of Monsters of Men. Super great.

December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Traditions

Merry Christmas eve everyone! Before I get caught up in the festivities of tomorrow, I thought I would stop by and share a few of our Christmas Eve traditions.

During the day, we go see a movie. Today, it was Sherlock Holmes (GREAT show, I would definitely recommend it).  We eat Mexican food for dinner, and spend time with family, then we open our Christmas pajamas. Who doesn't get new pj's on Christmas?!

One special thing we do on Christmas Eve is go visit my brother's grave. We light luminaries, listen to the Polar Express (which has been a tradition since I don't know when), and sing a few Christmas songs. This has been a yearly tradition since he passed away in 2003 (well, every year except last year when we were in the Holy Land).

Happy Christmas everyone! (That always reminds me of Harry Potter 1)

White Christmas (Duet with Shania Twain) by Michael Bublé on Grooveshark

December 23, 2011

It's Christmas Time

I can't believe Christmas is already here! I went to Target to get some last minute things, and man, I think I'll get my Christmas shopping done in November next time. TOO CRAZY. I almost had a mental breakdown standing in the never ending line behind screaming toddlers and moms in bedazzled sweat pants.

Hopefully we all remember what Christmas is really about... the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Him and His sacrifice for us!

I hope you and your family/friends have a wonderful Christmas.

Away In A Manger by Sufjan Stevens on Grooveshark

December 21, 2011

Mission Bucket List

- Complete the Harry Potter series (again). Currently on book 4.
- Watch all the Harry Potter movies back to back (maybe not all one day).
- Go tubing.
- Ski.
- Make a snowman.
- Spend as much time with my friends and family.
- See as many new movies as I can, and watch some of my old favorites.
- Go to the temple 22 more times (30 is the goal before the mish).
- Get shirts for all the skirts I have (this is a big must. I have 10 skirts and 2 shirts... see the problem?)
- Go to Mexico (that will take place in January, yay!)
- Complete the Book of Mormon (my challenge was to start over when I got my call, and finish before I enter the MTC).
- Read Preach My Gospel.
- Have one awesome Christmas and New Years.
- Be crafty in some way (this would include actually making something from my pinterest boards).

Goshen by Beirut on Grooveshark

December 19, 2011


Oh my goodness. I just can't even think right now. I'm so happy this boy is home!

The 6 of us arrived at the airport to find that Ty Ty's plane had been delayed. So we bought some snacks and waited.

And waited.

Finally, Ty's brother texted us to let us know they were about ten minutes away from coming through the door. We held up our signs and huddled in the corner to catch the first glimpse of our favorite missionary. He came around the corner, and we all screamed. We didn't cheer... no, we screamed. I don't think we really knew what we were going to do once we saw him, but the look on his face was priceless.

He gave hugs to his brother and sister, then to Ryan and Steven. Us four girls were kinda huddled together, wondering what would be appropriate for us to do. Handshake? Pat on the arm? Back pat? No... that wouldn't do. We were all kinda crouched and ready to pounce then Haddy finally asked Ty if we could hug him. He held out his arms, shrugged his shoulders and said, "sure". We all ran at him and gave him the biggest we-haven't-seen-you-in-two-years-and-we've-missed-our-best-friend hug.

Bah! I kept thinking, "this isn't real life!" the whole time. But it is real! It's REAL! Welcome home to Elder Tyler Madsen! We missed you!

December 18, 2011

I'm Excited

 Why? Because this guy is coming home tomorrow. Tyler (affectionately known as Ty Ty) has been serving a mission for the past two years in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (try and say that) and I have missed his sweet face like crazy!

Ty Ty and I have been friends since high school. We spent many nights at school dances, watching movies, and being crazy high school kids along with the rest of the crew. Ty is so hilarious and such a great friend. I'm so glad I get to see him before I leave on my mission! Unfortunately he is the only one I will get to see out of our group of friends on missions. But, I can't wait to spend time with this kid!

Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time! by Sufjan Stevens on Grooveshark

December 16, 2011

Repin: Snowy Things.

So... where's the snow?

In other news... I am officially done with this hellish (pardon my language, but it's true) week they call 'finals'. Finals stink. You have to stretch your brain back to the beginning of the semester and try and remember every detail just in case you get tested on it. But usually, you get tested on the stuff you don't remember. Sigh.

You know what this means right? All I have to worry about is my mission for this next month and a half. I think I'm going to make myself a mission 'bucket list' (things I want to do before I leave). As of now, my holiday plans consist of moving home, reading Harry Potter, and watching roughly 20 movies. I. Can't. Wait.

Snowfall by Ingrid Michaelson on Grooveshark

December 14, 2011

Oh Fleet Foxes

Watch this. You won't be disappointed. I seriously got chills.

December 11, 2011


A few nights ago, I had a conversation with my friend about change.  We talked about previous expectations and how quickly circumstances can change those expectations. We talked about how we change because of these circumstances. Because of past experiences, good or bad, we are molded into different people than we were before.

This time last year, I was no where near where I am now. Serving a mission was in the farthest corner of my mind. Then bam, things changed. And then things changed again, and again. Before I knew it, I was thinking about serving a mission. Once I made that final decision, I noticed changes within myself. I started relying more and more on God and His plan for me, and my relationship with my Savior. I started to focus on what's more important in this life, and I've noticed that I'm a happier person because of it.

Change can be a good thing if you let it. Sometimes it really stinks, but one day, you'll look back and be grateful for the experiences that changed you and molded you into a better person.

"I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so you can learn how to let go. Things go wrong, so that you appreciate them when they're right. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

December 8, 2011

Hug for Your Ears

I'm loving this song Featherstone by The Paper Kites. I love the music video even more. Who wouldn't want to have a huge pillow fight with colorful feathers?

December 7, 2011

The End is Near

In 2 and 1/2 weeks, I'll be free from school until Fall 2013. What? This semester FLEW by!

In other news, I sold my contract! That is one big load off my shoulder. Now I just have to get through finals. Ugh.

Good luck everyone!

Frank, AB by The Rural Alberta Advantage on Grooveshark

December 1, 2011

To [Holiday] Happiness

- Peppermint and salted caramel hot chocolate.
- Snow, skiing, sledding.
- Being with family.
- Gingerbread.
- The "Christmas Smell".
- Cozying up by the fire.
- Peppermint anything.
- Holiday issues of your favorite catalogues. 
- Brightly wrapped gifts.
- The smell of pine trees.
- Christmas lights.
- Finding the perfect gift for someone.
- The silence that snowfall brings.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens on Grooveshark