Sierra's View: August 2011

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Current Life Story Song

Oh, Bon Iver, you know exactly how to speak to me.
I sobbed and sobbed while listening to this today.
It is absolutely perfect.
That piano. And those lyrics. chills.

Oh, my heart.

(bon iver- I can't make you love me)

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Summer is over.
It is a rough feeling to say goodbye to it.
This summer, in particular, has been one for the books.
I had experiences that are difficult to put into words.
And most recently, I had the incredible opportunity to be in the delivery room of my newest niece, Holland Kay.
I will spare you all the gross details, but it was one of those "life altering occasions." I found myself pushing alongside my sister! The nurse was laughing at me because I was getting so into it. I wasn't much help, to be honest. But it was still neat. I found it interesting that I could almost feel her pain throughout the delivery. I cried the instant she was born. Maybe she'll like me more than Brizzy does since I was at her birth ;) It was AMAZING. Women are absolutely incredible (especially you, Lex!) The control, strength and pain that is needed for the birth of a child is unimaginable. I have a new found respect for my sister and other women.

I also had the opportunity to spend some time with all of my nieces and nephews. I love those kids so much. I don't have children, so I live vicariously through my sisters.

Here are pictures of my newest niece, my other nieces and nephews, the cabin, and some other recent good times. (You're welcome, Hillary. I'm doing this for you. and please ignore the quality of these pictures. a lot of them are iphone pictures.)

Look at those cheeks!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lessons Learned at Home.

"It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.”
-Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

When I was driving the 11 hours home to Oregon (normally takes 12--all time record right there), I was unaware of all the lessons I'd relearn while coming back to my roots. I've found it fascinating that sometimes life takes it course and quite honestly, I just have to hold on tight. Through the roller coaster of negative and positive experiences, I have found my take, opinion, actions on and about life in general, is different. And that has become even more apparent since I've been home. It's amazing what two weeks in Lake Oswego has done. It has reminded me who I was and who I currently am. Lessons learned recently:

-I don't like flakes. I never have. When someone says they are going to do something, they better be ready to do it. I do not like being disrespected. I am the kindest person you know, unless you do something that goes against my values. I have particular values that I hold dear to me. Loyalty is one of them. These values are usually left unexpressed in my life until they are violated by others. I do, in fact, appreciate abstract feelings such as love, loyalty, and faith.
-I have watched one of my best friends grow up exponentially. I am proud of her strength, her beauty, her personality. She makes a lot of effort in our relationship and I appreciate it more than she knows. We've been friends since 2nd grade, and it definitely has had it's ups and downs, but it's nice to be reminded that there are friends who can sit with you in the car and not say anything. No words are needed, because we know how each other are feeling, without explanation. I can be a mess, and it doesn't matter. Alyson, thank you for teaching me that people do, in fact, change. Best friends are just that: the best.
-It is amazing how much I put my family up on a pedestal when I am away. Do not get me wrong, they are wonderful and I love my family wholeheartedly, but they are not perfect. Yes, my parents do not know how to handle me when I am down. And that's okay. Because it has reminded me that I have gone through this emotional battle in my life, and continue to do so, on my own. Which is why I have become stronger. And wiser ;) I have learned that my future children WILL have issues, and I need to be open and willing to receive the help that is required in order for them to grow. Sometimes, my nieces and nephew say things that make me so happy. My sister, Lexie, is having her second baby girl on Tuesday. I get to be in the delivery room. I am so excited.
-I will always have to deal with immature people, even grown ups. I had an experience last night when dealing with a thirty-something woman. She was rude, manipulative, and unkind. It taught me that I am so grateful I do not deal with people in that manner. And that I don't really know why she responded in the way that she did. I never really know why people respond the way they do, but I need to explain to myself that I should never respond that way. No matter what.
-I have been struggling with a decision about a particular choir. Whether to return or not, what to do this upcoming school year, etc. It's been an extremely personal battle, but I am once again reminded that when I remove yourself from a situation, I see things way clearer. Sitting on my windowsill in my beautiful bedroom brings a lot of answers. A lot of tears, but a lot of good thoughts as well.
-I could travel. All the time. I could go every summer and travel somewhere. There is something inspiring about traveling this world. I learn about myself, about other cultures; I grow. I put myself in difficult situations. I want to live with the people and go through what they are going through. I was looking at pictures of Kenya last night (not a good idea) and it reminded me all of the lessons I learned while being there. I want to go through what I did in Kenya again because its almost like living in a fantasy world. I know that sounds weird but I don't have to be in my world, dealing with MY issues, I get to be in their world. Outside myself. To me, that is ideal. I love learning about people. I love learning about everything they do and believe.
-People's behaviors don't necessarily determine what kind of person they are. Their actions should determine who they are. You should not judge a person by their words, but by their actions. However, just because someone is acting a certain way, doesn't mean that person is actually a bad person. Does that make sense? For example, when I came home from Africa, I felt like my heart was in the right place. I had to deal with this while in Kenya with a particular person, but I thought I had learned from it. But then I started having issues with a girl that I know. I found myself getting frustrated, I just could not be around her. And then i realized: Her behaviors drive me nuts. Yet, it's not that I don't like HER, I just don't like some of the things she does. And I have to be able to differentiate that. It's hard to separate those two things from people. We think that people are annoying or mean, when in reality, those are insecurities that stem from themselves and that is why they are acting that way in public. There is always a reason why that person is acting a certain way. It stems from our insecurities. There are a lot of things about this girl that i really do like, but I have to be able to separate her behaviors with who she really is. Because it's insecurities, our trials, our mistakes and the things we do wrong, that make us act a certain way.
-I HATE saying goodbye. I try everything in my power to avoid it. I don't know if it's just because I don't like change or because I always get emotional. But for some reason, when I have to say goodbye to someone, I try to do it with a nonchalant attitude. I think what it comes down to is that I think it gets emotional. I am extremely sentimental, so when I say goodbye to some places, a part of me wants to hold on and go back. I was driving out of my apartment complex (UAC!), I have lived there for two years. I look back and I start thinking of all the memories. And it kinda makes me sad. But it's a good feeling to know that you are restarting. I don't like saying goodbye; I much rather have them just stick around :)
-There are certain places, no matter what is going on in your life, give you peace of mind. For me, that is my cabin at Crescent Lake.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I guess the problem I’ve always struggled with when I think about you is that I can never figure out if you’re a bad guy wrapped in a good guy costume or the other way around.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I have started to notice something: How little people truly listen to one another. The other day I was watching a couple of friends having a conversation. It was a simple, friendly conversation--nothing too negative or horrific. But I started recognizing that they were all focusing on getting their own point across rather than having a real conversation. You know, when one person speaks, the other one listens and gives feedback, then the other responds with personal experiences. It amazes me that basic communication skills seem to be lacking in our society. Since Kenya, my awareness of listening has been heightened. It is become increasingly more important to me that a person possesses this trait of being a good listener. I have become almost excited when I find that there are other people out there who do include themselves into the "listener" category!
Now, I realize I am at fault here. Do not get me wrong, I am by no means a perfect listener. I was raised in a family where it is more important to be heard out loud, to make your point, than to listen. I love my family, but this act of listening is not a strong suit for us. It's okay, I am working on them :). And although this has been both an asset and a detriment in my life, it is what it is. It has enhanced my ability to provide feedback to others when they need it. It has given me the opportunity to speak my mind when others are too afraid to speak up. However, it has also deterred certain relationships because I get a little too into a conversation and overcompensate by speaking too often. And sometimes, others may back down when this happens. Instead of fighting back, they will go back into their shell and not say anything.
There are always exceptions. And this topic definitely has some. There are certainly times when we, as humans, need to just talk. We need someone to sit there and listen to us whine, complain, vent, or utter irrational, confusing, things in between our sobs. And that is okay. Conversely, there are times when we just don't WANT to talk. We'd rather sit back and listen and not say anything. However, as a general rule, I think we all could do a little better at listening (myself included).
I personally believe that there are three things humans want: to be heard, understood, and loved. One of the most difficult circumstances is when people are hearing what you are saying, but are not reciprocating the need for security or feedback in the conversation. It's sometimes hurtful when they are hearing the words that are coming out of your mouth, but they are not particularly listening to the meaning behind it. All we want (particularly women) is to look at someone while saying "no" but have the other loved one know you really mean, "yes." When that other person knows in the middle of a conversation what you are really trying to say. THAT is what relationships are about. When you reach that point when you know the other person is not only hearing what you are saying, but it is completely understanding, which includes honest listening.
The Savior is an incredible example of a good, well... let me correct myself, perfect listener. Haha. He is always listening to what you have to say. 100% of the time. He is not texting when you talking to Him. He is not pretending to listen while thinking about that person who didn't call him. He is there. He truly cares about what you have to say. He wants to know your thoughts, your trials, your struggles, your opinions, your questions, on everything. And he ALWAYS responds. However, it may not be in the way that we are particularly wanting. But he is responding. And he is responding in a way that is exactly what we need in that moment. Because let's face it, sometimes we are less aware of ourselves--sometimes He knows us better. But just like our every day conversations here on earth, we need to be ready to hear what the other person has to say. If you are going to talk with someone and you want an honest conversation, be ready to hit that curve ball they throw.
So I propose this: let's all work a little more on talking WITH each other rather than TO each other.

Oh, and for psychological purposes (people are more willing to read something if it has a picture than just writing itself) I give you another beautiful picture from Africa. This is of the little girls doing a tribal dance. They wear these congas as skirts.

What do YOU think?

All love,