Joy in the Journey


This post seems like a complete 180 from my last one. That one was a bit of a downer in ways. This one (I feel) is happier. I guess I had my little reminder and “aha” moment. The Lord just knows when you need to hear something again!

Was talking to a new friend briefly about his conversion into the LDS Church. He said his mom (a non member) had mentioned he was happier after joining the church. It automatically made me think of an older conference talk from President Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey. I haven’t even listened to the talk in some time but for some reason his small statement made me think of it and want to share it with him. I listened to it soon after and realized that the talk was meant for me to hear again and probably not my friend. I realized it had the exact answers I have been doubting (see last post) and reminded me that I need to remember and find joy in my journey. It doesn’t matter what I have or haven’t done. Yesterdays don’t matter, tomorrow doesn’t matter. I need to stop wishing for those days and be happy with my life as it is now and what I can do with it now.

In  his talk he says, “This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.” 

What a reminder! “Not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do…” How many times do I plan for a future I don’t know of and forget about what I am doing or need to be doing today? It doesn’t mean planning for the future is wrong. To me I see it as doing everything I can today to make sure that whatever happens in the future I am ready for and that I am happy with what happens NO MATTER WHAT! It really was my answer.


There is also a quote in the talk that I felt fit perfectly as well, “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am already listening to the talk again just because I needed it so much. I love when things like that happen. The Lord really knows! A quote was posted this morning as well on Deseret Book’s Instagram from a book by Robert Reynolds. In it he says, “He doesn’t listen only when we call. He calls; we just need to listen.” Well, I am listening! 🙂


If anyone reads this I hope you find joy in your journey today and have a happy and blessed day.

1st 2 photos on this via Pinterest. Last from Deseret Book Instagram



I’ve been struggling lately with doubts. Mostly doubting things I used to think would happen to me one day. I used to think, “when” now I think “if.” Not that I want to be pessimistic about my life or anything. I just feel I need to be real about it. I’m torn though. Some days when I think that I get mad at myself. Have more faith Elyse! Believe it will happen. And then other days I don’t. The two quotes below are both ones I love and feel they go with this issue. I do need more faith. But I also need to have enough faith to know that whatever happens will be right. 
That doesn’t make it suck any less though. 
If you see this post and know me please don’t think I’m being all sad and depressed and woe is me. It’s just been on my mind lately and I felt I needed to let a little of it out. Maybe someone has insight that may help. Who knows. 



{Edit – since I have to warn people on every post. I am random. I don’t have great grammar. It happens. This is just me spouting off what is running through my mind. Read at your own risk.}

You know those days when your mind just goes and goes? Today has been one of those days. I have been thinking over many things in life. Things friends and family are going through. Things I am going through. Things the world is going through. It can be a bit overwhelming. Those are the times I need to step away before my mind explodes. Trust me, that would not be pretty.

If you know me you already know one way I deal with life. Quotes. I’ve always been into quotes. When I was younger I had a little quote box that I would keep my favorite quotes in. Movie quotes. Book quotes. Religious quotes. You name it. I love them all. [Here is where I apologize to my friend Ty who hates quotes. Thanks for putting up with me sharing them all the time!!]

Today I keep finding quotes I love by one source. It hasn’t even been intentional! I have just been searching for some topics and his name just keeps popping up. Divine intervention or something like that. 🙂 That person? Richard G. Scott who passed away a few months ago. If you are unfamiliar with him you can read more about him here.

Some favorites I found (again) today?

This one —> “To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done.”

And this —> “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.”

Great, right? Since moving back to Utah I have been working so hard on bettering myself. Spiritually, financially, and learning to love myself more. IT IS HARD!! Those quotes remind me that I can do it. I can “keep moving forward”. And this:  

And then I came across this talk. I love all of it! It’s like one giant amazing quote. So do me a favor and READ THE WHOLE TALK! You won’t regret it, I promise. But I will share a few favorites from it.

  • “Please learn that as you wrestle with a challenge and feel sadness because of it, you can simultaneously have peace and rejoicing. Yes, pain, disappointment, frustration, and anguish can be temporary scenes played out on the stage of life. Behind them there can be a background of peace and the positive assurance that a loving Father will keep His promises. You can qualify for those promises by a determination to accept His will, by understanding the plan of happiness, by receiving all of the ordinances, and by keeping the covenants made to assure their fulfillment.”
  • “I testify that when the Lord closes one important door in your life, He shows His continuing love and compassion by opening many other compensating doors through your exercise of faith. He will place in your path packets of spiritual sunlight to brighten your way. They often come after the trial has been the greatest, as evidence of the compassion and love of an all-knowing Father. They point the way to greater happiness, more understanding, and strengthen your determination to accept and be obedient to His will.”
  • And this…and what a blessing! “The Lord’s plan is to exalt you to live with Him and be greatly blessed. The rate at which you qualify is generally set by your capacity to mature, to grow, to love, and to give of yourself. He is preparing you to be a god. You cannot understand fully what that means, yet, He knows. As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth. Your Father in Heaven and His Holy Son know better than you what brings happiness. They have given you the plan of happiness. As you understand and follow it, happiness will be your blessing. As you willingly obey, receive, and honor the ordinances and covenants of that holy plan, you can have the greatest measure of satisfaction in this life. Yes, even times of overpowering happiness. You will prepare yourself for an eternity of glorious life with your loved ones who qualify for that kingdom.”

Amazing right? Trust me, you really do want to read, watch or listen to the whole thing. It was too good not to share.

That’s all. I haven’t posted in forever. You are all probably grateful for that. I just felt the need to ramble on a little tonight. I’ll just leave it at this. Be happy. Be kind. Smile. Even if you are pulling the “fake it til you make it” smile I have found that smiling through that helps immensely and sometimes makes me forget other things that are going on. A smile is magical. Trust me on this.

How Did I Get Here?

**as always a warning, I am NOT a great writer at all! I post whatever comes to my mind, I don’t always go back and proofread it. I just type and go! Please don’t judge me.* 

Ok first, that line reminds me of That Thing You Do! “Skitch, How did we get here?” “I led you here, for I am Spartacus.”

Ok. Now that we have the origin of the title clear. This post isn’t about a movie. It’s a long overdo post about how I got to Illinois “the land of Lincoln!” (Back away from the movie lines Elyse…).

Let me tell you. I was just as shocked about moving out here as everyone else. It happened in a matter of weeks! It was crazy! So…let me tell it to you.

It was the end of May, early July 2013. I was stressed & tired with life. I felt more alone than ever. I knew because of living situations & friends/roommates moving out that I needed to be out of my place by July 31st. Normally I planned better than that but things were happening that I couldn’t fully control and that’s just how the cookie was crumbling. I knew because of what was happening I could get out, finally escape Provo. Now before I have people hating on me let me explain. I lived in Provo for 6 wonderful years. I had amazing experiences, met some of the best people ever, I loved it! But there were many times I wanted and should have escaped but I kept feeling like the time wasn’t right. I always felt like I couldn’t leave my friends, my job, the life I was living. At this moment in my life however I knew, it was time. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This was my time. The only downside was I had no where to go, no job to get to, no idea what direction I should head. I was more lost than ever!

So what did I do? I prayed…and emailed my family. I asked them to pray and fast with me. I needed help, I needed guidance. I needed to know what the heck I should do! I also decided to take a trip up to my parents in Eastern Oregon. It was perfect timing too since many of my siblings were able to come at the same time. During that trip I was out doing stuff on my car with my dad and asking him his thoughts on this life change I knew was coming. He told me, “it isn’t a matter of where you go, just that you go.”  At first I thought, what?! That is my advice? I am lost, I need help! I need directed! But he was right, I knew the Lord wanted me to go, I felt it. I had to put my faith in Him and know that whatever happened would work out.

On my drive home from my parents (a long 10ish hour drive…) my brother Vernon Lee called me. He told me that he and Lisa knew I w as planning on moving somewhere and that if I wanted to go out and visit them for a week just to check out the Chicago area I could. I thought, “Chicago? Illinois?! I haven’t even been east of Denver!!” I thanked him for the offer but kind of laughed it off. I mean, Illinois…really? Ha, that’s funny. Or so I thought. When I got back from my parents I had about 3 weeks before I needed to move out. THREE WEEKS PEOPLE!! I started sending my resume to a few places. I looked in Salt Lake City (hey…at least it wasn’t Provo!) and in Boise. I even thought about heading back to Washington. And just for kicks I sent my resume to my brother who sent it to someone in the church. Next thing I know I am tagged in an email sent to many people in the ward saying that I needed a job and they had it on good authority that I was a hard worker, etc. It was a funny and shocking email. I was impressed! As for the closer options, no one had responded to my resume yet.

The Friday of that week (2 & 1/2 weeks to the end of the month when I would be more of less homeless (still hadn’t found a new place to live) I got a call from a guy who left a message saying he got my resume from someone in the church, that he had a DME company in Illinois and that he was going to be in Utah that next week and wanted me to call him. I did and set up an appointment for that next Monday morning at 7am before I went into my job at the doctor’s office. July 15th, 2013. 7am. I met with a guy at Einstein Bagels in Orem, Utah. He interviewed me and basically offered me the job on the spot but said he would send me an official offer via email. I was pumped. And freaked out. I went into work that day more nervous than anything. I had been working for the two doctors for over 5 years. They were all like family to me. What would they say? What would they do? I worried. But there was still that part of me that knew. This was my time. I needed to stop living my life for everyone else. It was time to be a little selfish. Do what was best for me! The next day, July 16h, I received the email offer.  At that moment I knew. After prayers, fasting, meditation. This was it. Illinois. The place I laughed at when it was first offered to me, was the place I was heading to. I went straight into the doctor’s office and gave my two weeks.  The timing was crazy. Offered a job exactly two weeks out from the end of the month. Two weeks to give to my current employers. Two weeks to wrap up my 6 years of life in Provo. Two weeks…and I would be gone.

It was also perfect timing that my new boss just happened to be in town visiting family. He had his SUV with him since his family had driven out and so he ended up getting a U-Haul and hauling most of my things across country for me a week before I went out. So let’s recap that shall we? My new boss, called me on a Friday after getting my resume, just happened to be in Utah even though he lives in Illinois right at the moment when I needed a job somewhere and could haul my things out for me. Many mighty miracles right? Right.

The last couple weeks in Provo were very hard on me. I was going through a time where I felt like all my friends had just disappeared, that they just didn’t care anymore. I know now that wasn’t the case. There were a lot of circumstances involved. A lot of hurt feelings all around, if I could change some of what happened I would. But I see it all as a blessing. Looking back I honestly believe that the Lord had to make me feel that way in order to get me to leave. Remember what I said before? Other times I thought about leaving Provo it just hadn’t felt right. I felt like people needed me. Not anymore, I felt the lowest of lows, and I needed that. I needed it to start over. To work on myself. To take this chance.  I was lucky to have family close by that helped me. I don’t think they even know what they did for me those last two weeks. I survived them because of their help (Ry & Trish that was all you! Love you guys so so much!).

July 31st, 2013. I got up early with my old 97 Camry packed full and headed out of town. Mt Timp never looked as beautiful as it did as I was driving up Provo canyon and away. I hadn’t said many goodbyes. Partly because I didn’t think some people wanted to say them to me and partly because I knew it would make it so much harder (so if you are mad at me for that…trust me, I am so sorry!).  I took my time on the drive. It was a time of reflection, many tears, some smiles, and a whole lot of singing in my car. Three days later and I was in Illinois. A week later and a tree fell on my car (but that’s another miracle story…).

Now you may wonder how I am doing here. I mean, so many miracles to get me out here must mean my life is perfect, right? Wrong. I still don’t know why I was sent here. I may never know. I just know that it was right. I moved forward in faith and that is what I will keep doing. Life isn’t easy, it never will be. That’s part of the test! But if we trust and have faith we will always move forward. That I know and believe.

To conclude? Utah? I love you. I always will. Illinois? As the Carpenters sang, it’s “only just begung” but I love you already.

Life is hard but wonderful. I laugh. I cry. I sing. I dance (really bad, but I still dance!). I hope. I love. I just hope you all do the same. 🙂 Until next time my friends!

Begin Again

Lately I’ve been thinking I should blog again. I feel like I have so many crazy things going on inside of my head that I should get it all out. Not that any of it will make sense!

Some things I need to write about:
-My move! I had many miracles that happened to get me here, I really should share them!
-Christmas! And what it really means to me. Some people don’t understand my obsession with it. That’s because I haven’t shared the reasons why!
-umm…that’s all I can think of. For now! But hey, it’s a start!

Who thinks I should do it? Yay? Nay? (Before you say “yay” you should read my other posts, you may change your mind) 😉

Blargh. Blog. Blergh.

Ignore the name of this blog post. I just felt like saying blargh. A word that isn’t really a word. 

Just wanted to follow up with my sad post from yesterday. Today was much much better! Although a little odd (speed dating for FHE) in some parts it turned out to be a great day. Work was good. Found out some car repairs will be much less than planned (when does that ever happen!?). Played games with awesome friends and got to chat with an old friend for awhile. All in all a good day. 🙂 

What I Needed Tonight

Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.

My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. – Thomas S. Monson 

Some days you are stronger than others. Tonight is not a strong one for me. But words like this get me through. Sometimes all you can do is keep the faith and hang on. 

Happy thoughts!

Funny…I swear I posted this awhile ago. Apparently not. Its a favorite of mine. 🙂

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
― Roald Dahl, The Twits

Hope (and so much more)

Another random post by…me!  Prepare yourselves…this one is about dating, lack of dating, marriage, etc.
*Please keep in mind I am not a great writer, I am just letting everything in my brain come out (scary, right?!). It won’t be written well & half of it may not make sense. But I feel it should be said.* 

The topic of hope has been a huge one for me over the past year. It has been one thing I have kept in my head, one thing that helps me keep focus in my life. This word can have different meanings for all of us depending on what we are going through at any certain time in our life. Hope for me lately is geared towards my future life. Hope of what it will be. Hope of getting married in the temple, having kids, doing all those things that I know I need to be doing but haven’t had the opportunity to do yet.  I am not one of those girls that just sits around crying because she isn’t dating, isn’t married, etc. I am doing things I love, having fun, living my life. Does this mean it is easy and I don’t care? No. Is it easy to be 29 and watch all your friends and family move on with their lives while you seem to be at a standstill? Heavens no! It’s harder than you know…mainly because most of you have moved on, you have your own families to worry about while I am still here, doing the same old thing.  Sounds kind of sad and pathetic huh? Well, it can be at times. I won’t lie and say I don’t get sad. I won’t lie and say I don’t feel alone. But those times are rare! We all get sad & discouraged at times, we are human, it is normal. I don’t think we would be human if we didn’t have all those emotions! When it comes to this topic I have laughed & joked about it and I have cried about it. Hooray! I am human. That is good! 🙂

A rant –  I always laugh when younger people say they know what it is like to be older and single. And then I find out they are in their early twenties. Umm, hello? Are you crazy? Do you realize who you are talking to? No? Ok, continue while I plaster this smile on my face & nod as if I agree with you. Silly people. AND I know people single and older than me are doing the same thing to me. We all have our different challenges in life, they help make us into who we should be. Hopefully always growing into a stronger version of ourselves. A better version!

If you know someone who is older & going through this. Don’t ask them who they are dating, why they aren’t dating, why they aren’t married, etc. This does not help. And don’t try saying that every one of their opposite sex friends would be good for them. I know we can be picky. Heaven knows I am. That is a problem I have been working on. 🙂 But it also doesn’t mean we have to settle for one person or another just because we are older and single. We appreciate the thought but it doesn’t always help. Usually it just discourages us more. Here is what we need you to do and say. Tell us you are thinking about us, tell us you love us, tell us you are happy with us and what we are doing with our lives! If you are reading this and know me PLEASE do not think that I am upset with anything that has been said or done to me. I have spoken to many friends who are in the same boat as me about all of this so these are just my thoughts based on what we have all said together.


I am trying to live it this way –> “Do not give up hope. And do not give up trying. But do give up being obsessed with it. The chances are that if you forget about it and become anxiously engaged in other activities, the prospects will brighten immeasurably.” Gordon B. Hinckley – Can’t argue with that, right? I am not perfect at living my life this way. I am still learning, I will always be learning!

All of that being said (did I go too far? I may have gone too far…I always go too far) I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me over every little thing in life. My family. My friends. The random people I talk to at work, online, etc. You are all amazing and I am so grateful I know you all in one way or another. You help shape me into who I have become and who I am becoming. Remember that!