The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Forget Me Not

About a week ago, I was in one of my early childhood classes, and my teacher had us read the talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf called "Forget Me Not." We related it to teaching, but I think it can be related to all aspects of our lives.

While most of you are probably pretty familiar with this talk, I think it is a great reminder to us of just how special each and everyone one of us is. This is probably one of the talks that I read the most because of the wonderful Spirit I feel when I read it. I feel happy; I feel like what I am doing is important; I feel that I am never forgotten, even when it seems like no one notices the little things that I do.

I would like to share a few of my favorite parts:

"God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.
In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences."
"In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”
In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket."
"You are not forgotten.
Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!
He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are the daughters of His kingdom."
I just love how President Uchtdorf speaks.
I really love how he talks about our weaknesses becoming strengths. This implies that we need to be patient with ourselves and know that one day we can become perfect, but today or tomorrow or the next day or one day in twenty years is not that day. I have seen in my own life that I am much more patient and "compassionate" (as President Uchtdorf says) with others than I am with myself. I think a lot of us are like this, and it's probably because we know ourselves so well and we know when we didn't reach our potential. But failing and not being perfect is totally normal! I think once we start understanding this, especially when it comes to how we view ourselves, we will be so much more patient.
That story about the golden ticket really hits home to me right now. It is so easy for me to long for the future. I can sit here and think about how much better my life will be in the future: One day I will be done with school; one day, I'll have a house; one day, I'll be able to have little kids of my own; one day, Greg and I won't be so poor; one day, one day, one day..... Just like President Uchtdorf says, the things that we have now seem disappointing and they don't make us happy anymore because we are longing too much for the future. I find myself wishing I wasn't in school anymore, when I should really be happy that I am here at BYU! I mean, come on, it's BYU! My dream since before I can remember. Sometimes I wish I could have a house and live in California, but shouldn't I really be happy that I have a place to live? I live in a cute little apartment with my amazing husband, and we are making memories that will last forever. If we just wish and long for the future and forget the here and now, we probably won't be as happy as we could be.
Now, I love the part where President Uchtdorf talks about the fact that NONE of us are forgotten. Did you read that? Not a single person is forgotten in the sight of God. Haven't you had those moments where you feel like you've done so much work, you've exhausted so much effort on cleaning the house or making dinner for others or whatever it is? And you feel like you've gotten hardly any thanks and no one has even noticed how hard you have worked? Well, I have. It's really hard to keep up motivation to do things for others when they don't seem grateful. But guess what. Heavenly Father always notices. He always sees those little things we do. And I'm sure He is so happy when we do those little things. Just always remember that we have a God who is watching over us, and He will always love us. It's as simple as that. When life seems hard and you feel like you're completely overshadowed by someone else or not even noticed at all, just remember that there is someone that thinks you are invaluable. 
Please, don't forget how important and how special you are. I know life gets hard and it's crazy and you probably feel like giving up sometimes. But just don't! You are worth so much!
The Forget-Me-Not flower

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time Out For Turkey 2013

 We had an awesome Thanksgiving this year. It was so much fun! We ended up staying here in Utah to spend Thanksgiving with Greg's family. BUT my little sister, Ann Marie, came down from Logan to spend the week with us too! It was so great! I missed her so much, and we had some fun times and good laughs. I am very grateful for the families that I have been blessed with.

 Before Thanksgiving, Greg and I went to the Riverwoods to check out the Christmas lights. It was magical.

This is a cute little mail box we saw at the Riverwoods. It was right next to where Santa was taking pictures with everyone.

The Monday right before Thanksgiving, Brooke, Greg's cousin, had a baby shower! I picked Wave up and we headed over to Heather's house to celebrate. Brooke is having a baby boy in March, so it was pretty exciting! I ended up winning "Baby Bingo" and right when I won, Lori (Brooke's mom) said, "You know, whoever wins Baby Bingo is the next person to have a baby!" It was pretty funny.

 Thanksgiving was a ton of fun too. We went over to Grandma Sisco's house (Diane's mom) at about noon and helped put up lights on her house while Diane's sister, Grandma Sisco, and some other adults made the food. Then we started playing soccer in the backyard. There were a ton of siblings and cousins over, so the game was pretty big and chaotic, but it was so great. The dads and uncles even got into it! Then it was time for dinner... IT WAS SO GOOD! I think my favorite food was the yams. They were so sugary and delicious. We also had turkey (obviously), mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, you know, the works. I really appreciate all of the hard work that everyone put into making dinner. It's definitely not an easy task!

Ann Marie, Chris, and Shaun at Grandma Sisco's!

Even the tables looked really nice.

Don't worry, just because I didn't contribute to the meal, I definitely didn't get out of doing the dishes!

 Having fun during the break... Ain't no party like a Martinelli's party.

Since Ann Marie (or Greg and I, for that matter) wouldn't be going home until later in December, we realized that none of us would be able to help put up the Christmas tree at home. So, we decided that we would put ours up at our own apartment while Ann Marie was with us. It was fun!

Glam shot.

I just love these people (even Greg's nose and eye).

Greg and I also even made our own stockings! Pretend there's a fireplace underneath them. That's what we do.

Another glamor shot.

 Sister love.

 More sister love.

Well, this year we did Black Friday. We went with Janet and Martha. It was fun, despite us getting about 4 hours of sleep and waking up at 5am. We actually got some good deals! They took us out to breakfast afterward, which was awesome.

Ann Marie got this really cute jacket at Target. She's adorable.

Yeah, 5am just isn't a good time for us.

Fake sleeping in Macy's. She probably could've fallen asleep if she wasn't laughing.

After we were done shopping on Friday, we went up to Park City to spend some time with Greg's family. We went sledding too, which was way fun!

Lance and Diane


Family love.

And more sister love. On a sled.

I think Ann Marie really liked sledding. She hasn't really been sledding very often, so it was an adventure. 

The next day, we went into town in Park City and visited Main Street and saw the ski resorts.

I love my sis.

 I love my husband.

Park City Main Street.

Saturday night, we left Park City and went down to Salt Lake. We dropped Ann Marie off at the Energy Solutions Arena (where the Utah Jazz play) because she was going with a friend to watch the BYU vs. Utah State basketball game (BYU won, booyah). Greg and I got a couple hours for a date! We went to Temple Square to see the pretty lights and walked around City Creek. It was nice.


Thanksgiving was great! We really had a ton of fun and we got to do so much! Now we are almost on to Christmas!!! Woo hoo! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October Festivities!

October just completely came and went! It flew by! And now we are on to November and Thanksgiving and then being done with school and then CHRISTMAS! Oh my goodness, I am SO excited! That means the holiday season is upon us: hot chocolate, warm blankets, family fun time, Christmas cookies, breaks from school, CHRISTMAS MUSIC, decorations, and so much more. I just love this time of year (except for the FREEZING cold here in Utah, but even that is bearable). While I'm over here being way overly excited about the holiday season, you can take a look at some of the things we have been up to this October!

We got together with Greg's family for his mom's birthday this month. It was fun to be together.

I'm pretty sure I already posted something about Greg's Student Innovator of the Year competition at BYU. He competed with his product called the "Oyster." It's a replacement for a syringe because syringes are pretty dangerous to dispose of, and his product stops this problem. Anyway, he didn't win the competition, but he did make the top 8 out of around 40 teams! He also found out that a retired Vice President of BD Medical wants to mentor him (he was one of the judges and was clearly impressed with Greg's product and ideas!) Plus, another company called ATL Technology, which is a worldwide company but has a building in Springville, is interested in him as well. The CEO of that company emailed Greg expressing interest in his product and basically offered him a job there. Pretty exciting! Here's my awesome husband with his certificate from the competition. He got recognized for "Best Product for Scalability." Awesome, huh?!

On to our yearly pumpkin carving tradition. This year, I basically did the best pumpkin I've ever done in my entire life. I carved the Princess and the Frog. I was pretty impressed with myself.

Greg worked really hard and put a lot of detail into his Darth Vader pumpkin this year. He's such a guy.

I sent these pictures to my mom (she was in Utah at the time) to show her how awesome we did. She was really impressed and was happy we were keeping the tradition alive. My dad texted me a few minutes after I had texted my mom and said, "Hey, just because Mom's in Utah doesn't mean you don't send me pictures of your pumpkin carving results!" I guess he felt a little left out of all of the fun. Haha, I just love my dad so much. And my mom. Anways...

We got to spend some time with my mom in Salt Lake a few weekends ago. She was up in Utah to spend time with both Ann Marie and me (well, and Greg of course). We had so much fun shopping and laughing and enjoying each others' company. I love my mom so much.

We found these earrings at Old Navy while we were shopping. They each weighed about 10 pounds. My ears were pretty much falling off. We thought they just looked hilarious on me.

Me and my babe.

So, I absolutely LOVE Halloween. It's one of my favorite holidays. We didn't dress up or anything, but we did get to go over to Greg's cousin's place to see her and her husband's new baby, Eli! He was about 2 weeks old, and he was an angel. Just completely perfect in every way. They were doing great, even though they seemed a little tired. I don't blame them. We watched Hocus Pocus and ate junk food. It was just great.

I couldn't NOT post these pictures on here. I seriously can't get enough of these two cuties, Savannah and Sterling!

Last weekend, Greg and I went up to Salt Lake with Seth, Kjiersti, and Jake Clark to a haunted house called Nightmare on 13th. It was SUPER fun! It was just hilarious getting freaked out by the monsters and laughing at each other scream. I think Seth was the most scared out of all of us. Kjiersti and Jake were champs. We seriously had so much fun! I love hanging out with these people!

We made some cookies the other night, and I just had to take a picture of this beaut. Can you find someone who is more manly than this? Camo shirt, spatula in hand, and oven mitt. He never wears this shirt, so when I saw that he put it on, I kind of giggled a little bit. Totally not his style. I love this guy.

Happy Halloween! And you better start getting excited for the holidays!!!!