Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Throwback

Happy Halloween from these cute kids.  I think I was in Grade 3 for this costume, maybe Grade 4... somewhere around there.  I also laughed out loud when I spotted my dog's muzzled nose in this picture probably wondering what the heck is Kayla doing but it looks like she could have food so I'm gonna get my nose up in this'

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

why I am blogging

I am feeling very proud and accomplished with the work I have made the my blog layout over the past couple of days.  I think I would be more creative if I was actually making this stuff in a scrapbook or something, but then again it might also turn out looking really bad and tacky if I were too.  So it inspired a post of why I was blogging.  I have come to terms with the fact that my readership is low.  I have gotten some comments from some amazing blogger ladies before, and I am glad that they have noticed my blog.  I have to send a big shout out to my sister Laura because her blog is the, but I know it is through her that some of people have found my blog.  I do post it every so often to Facebook though and I have also been surprised to find out random people reading it.  I of course don't mind but sometimes I just do like to know who reads it, so don't be afraid to speak up!  I will love you even more than I already do.  I should state right now however, that this is not just about the readers, the people in my life who read this to keep up with me and my day to day activities and adventures, this is about ME.  It is about my life and the things that I do, places I see and people that I love.  Most importantly, it is for me to keep a record of these years in my life.  My faith has emphasized the importance of record keeping, which includes people, dates, and photos.  I like to include as many memories on here as I can, but I do also keep a journal for very personal things and I have also found that my letters to Haig, and his to me have acted like a journal over this mission journey.  My blog is however one of my main sources of documentation.  I have also been fortunate enough to find time and create blog books.  I made two last winter from 2011 and 2012 and I cherish them very much.  I am starting to get scared to make this year's though because there will be lots to put in.

To make a confession as well, I don't even like the word 'blogging'.  It sounds so silly doesn't it?  Passed tense sounds silly too.  People just give me the weirdest look when I say "Oh yesterday I blogged".  I have really come to find out that it is not very popular among people my age on Prince Edward Island and I am really not surprised.  I live a bit of an American fantasy when it comes to the 'blogging' community because most of the blogs I read are located in the US of A.  But I feel like I have generated some buzz with it.  I like being spunky and I think I live a pretty fun little life and I enjoy when people read my blog, and then I hear about people who have read my blog and I just think it is funny.  Like friends of friends at Universities in different provinces. It is just a funny concept, but I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Because just like I said, I am writing this for Me, because I love my life and I will love remembering it years down the road, and I will love even more when my kids read about it and the things that I did.
xo, Lyssa

Sunday, October 27, 2013

oct 27th

It was one lazy kind of weekend in a way.
I have just gotten over a mountain of school work and assignments and it felt so good.  October was my busiest months but now I do have two more large assignments creeping up as the semester will come to a close at the end of November and one exam on December 13th.  How ridiculous is it that this semester has just gone by so quick.  A little less than 5 weeks of school left.  I have been on campus everyday of the week except for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Most days I take lots of snacks, fully charged iPod and phone, a water bottle and lip chap is a big essential too.  I have found a couple new favorite places this semester too.  One of them is on 4th floor main computer lab.  I don't really like taking my computer to school and I really don't mind typing on desktop computers, I actually quite prefer it.  So some Mondays and Wednesday before my class at 3 pm I'll head to campus and make my way there to type some notes from my readings for sociological theory.  It is usually pretty quiet (except for one day a girl came in and made it pretty obvious that she was going to listen to rap music and take phone calls).  Tuesday and Thursdays have been great days because my class in the afternoon is with my good friend Ellen.  So, we both get out of different classes at 11:15 so we will usually meet up, eat lunch or go out to lunch, do our readings for our course in the library and then head over to class.  Ellen really likes the course because she has more of an anthropology background, but I am glad I am enjoying it too.  I really couldn't do it without here though... I would be so bored without her!  I always enjoy our lunch dates though, it is certainly nice to get off campus in between classes because staying there for a long time makes for a long day.  On Tuesdays and Thursday I will usually drive Kayla down to Holland College in the morning and pick her up when my class is done at 2:15, and it usually ends up being a great part to my day.  [I know she reads this] but I don't care because I keep feeling the need to remind myself of the great relationship we have.  She really is my rock.  As we are both adolescents, living under our parents roof, sharing the same space (even bed; bunk beds!), she has become my rock especially with my best friend being gone.  I can always just rely on her to do things with me when I don't want to do them myself.  Even if she doesn't really want to do them, most of the time she will comply and I love her for it even more.  Heck, we even work together and she is taking a shift for me this Saturday because I took two shifts at after school programs this week, forgetting that I had another job at Reebok... oops.  But she didn't get any hours which she was a little upset about because she too needs to be making money.  Our house has been crazy lately with most of us working.  Sometimes it is crazy to just get dinner on the table and see everyone throughout a day.  There have been a couple of days where I don't see my sister or mom until dinner time or even later.  We are just busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way because it certainly makes time go by faster.

As for some other lovely things going on, I have been able to find a good balance with hanging out with my friends.  This weekend alone I got out a couple of times.  Friday night I went to dinner with my good friend Scott, his girlfriend and her friend.  It was great to eat amazing food at Mavors (Confederation Center of the Arts), meet new people and just talk and catch up.  Saturday night one of my other great friends Amanda Neill had some people over to her family's new home to celebrate her 21st birthday.  Amanda and I have been close friends since Grade 8 and things have changed between us, but one thing that will always stay the same is her ability to make me laugh.  She is one of the funniest people and it is so genuine, she doesn't even have to try to be funny, and when she does try it makes it even funnier to me.  I love her for it!  Her boyfriend took some pictures;;; thanks Jonathan!

One last note to make is that we didn't go to church today because there were some technical difficulties with broadcasting the Stake Conference here and to be honest we have all been pretty exhausted.  Therefore, it has been a no-shower, no-make-up kind of day and a boy just came over to hang out with Kayla (hehe) and I didn't even feel the need to impress her new 'friend', so I didn't.  #sorrynotsorry #yesIjustusedahashtag
feeling good' about the good life'    

heaven is here

I just finished 'Heaven is Here' by Stephanie Nielson.
I have grown to love her and am inspired by her ability to overcome challenges.
She is certainly amazing and she made me believe it is possible to do hard things.
Although I recognize I have not been through many immense trials, I know that I can over come the smallest of things and that miracles do indeed happen, every day at that.
Our Heavenly Father loves us enough that he has provided prayer as a mean of communication to him and if we use it, he will bless and enrich our life.  He WANTS us to pray to him.
With prayer we must also have faith.  We need to continue on in patience for the good things to come.
There is a bright sun waiting to rise on the other side of the mountain.

Christian and Stephanie Nielson, August 2009 after climbing the Y.

Bucket list goal- Hike the 'Y' in Provo, Utah with my best friend, Haig Aaron.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Do you ever just get the feeling that something about you is changing?  Maybe it is your looks, or personality or some of your traits.  You are evolving into some what of a new person through your various experiences, like a metamorphosis.  To put it in a really corny way, a caterpillar making its way to becoming a butterfly.  Well, I have been feeling like that lately in some aspects of my life.  I am very happy and I think it has taken me awhile to find this happiness.  When Haig left last year on his mission it changed my entire year, it changed me.  Now that he has been gone for awhile, I have finally found the adjustment.  Going into my third year of University has also helped a lot.  Knowing that the end is in sight and I just need to keep moving forward, and getting my work done to the best of my capabilities and I will be okay.  I was reassured by this when I spent a lot of time on my sociological theory paper and then my professor calling it an "outstanding work".  This paper was a lot easier than I had made it out to be.  I worked on it for at least three weeks getting the knowledge out of the textbook, trying to understand it and then shaping it into the paper that I wanted it to be.  It was not as much work as my next one will be, but the concepts and theories in the second one will be harder to grasp, but I know I will be okay.  I am changing in other ways too.  I find myself yearning to be married and become a mother.  Sure, I am still young, but I know I will be married in less than two years time, and knowing that makes me prepare for it as much as I can.  I want to be a good wife to a great man.  I know the sacrifice I am making in my life right now is preparing me for it.  I am in school right now so that I can have my education to eventually support myself and my family until I become a mother.  I am excited at my opportunity to graduate from University.  I think it is such a great institution of education.  I am also attending institute which gives me spiritual knowledge and upliftment for my week.  As I go to school and work part-time, I am also thankful to come back home.  Sometimes I do think that it is so silly for me to still be living at home at 21 years old, but because of it I have been able to become closer with my sister than ever before and experience a fun dynamic of our busy working family.  I find myself doing lots of chores and preparing meals and actually really enjoying it (but shhh, don't tell my mom!).  Even though I have been doing some of them for years, finding the enjoyment in them makes me happy.

And let's talk about my favorite boy for a minute.  As I grow, he grows.  This experience for us has been great for us.  It is hard and sometimes I find myself questioning how I am even doing it, but I know it will be for the best.  Someday, I will have him back, and that will be a wonderful day.  But today; I am happy with where we are both at, so I will just keep waiting.
One last note.  My hair has been AWESOME lately.  Which ultimately makes life better.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

this life, I live

Honestly, I can't complain.  I have things pretty good lately.  I am a full time student with two part time jobs.  I've been hanging out lots with my friends and I also do a lot of shopping.  Last night I went on the fall business society pub crawl.  I went with Casey, Cody, Jocelyn, her friend Jelisa and Cody's friend Josh.  We went to the Legion and played Bingo!, we hung out at the Sportspage, danced our touchies off at the Factory and finished the night off at The Globe.  I was of course the sober drive (#Mormon), but I of course always have fun on these social events.  I am thankful for the Word of Wisdom and also my ability to withstand drinking the things that could harm by body.  I really enjoy spending time with my friends and we had such a good night!   School is of course as it, busy and stressful.  As things died down earlier this week, they picked right back up with a new assignment that is due exactly a month from today.  It is a pretty large assignment so having a partner to do it with should help a lot.  I passed in my sociological midterm paper on the 9th and I got it back exactly a week later.  I beamed with pride when I saw the 95% on the last page and my professor's note saying it was an outstanding paper.  I could not believe it.  Just another proof to me that hard work really does pay off.  I had a midterm, test, quiz and oral book report this past week.  Crazy that I had that much to do and now I almost have a new week ahead of me with a writing assignment and quiz.  The next few weeks will be very similar, and I am just can't get over the fact that I will be done of this semester before I know it. Time really does fly.  Like do you ever just sit there and have that moment when you don't know where time is going at all?  Can we just mention how it is almost 2014?  Not too much longer and we will be making those resolutions again and ringing in the new year like it's no big deal.  But for now, it is 10/19 (and right now it is 10:19!) and I could not be happier with how my life is.  I am blessed, and happy and although some things are not perfect I am okay.  I miss my best friend Haig, but that's okay.  The drama that I have dealt with recently is still hard to forget about, but that's okay.  School still makes me scared, but I will be okay!  I've got amazing friends, family and lots of chocolate around to get me by.
this is the life I live

fall sister photoshoot

photos taken by our loving momma ;;;

Monday, October 14, 2013


the most fall photos you will see on one uniquely Alyssa blog...

it has been the most marvelous weekend with my family and friends.  I feel like I have not stopped eating food since 9am Sunday morning until now, 9pm Monday night.  My stomach could not be happier, and neither could me heart.  I am full of thanks for the love and companionship of my family.  I thankful to live in a free country and to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I am thankful to have Elder Pinsent serving his mission in Minnesota.  I am thankful for my education and my work opportunities.  I am thankful for this wonderful fall weather and the splendid afternoon I spent with my momma, dad and sister.
oh happy day, and happy thanksgiving!
Keep Calm and Be Thankful.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

someday, I do want to be a stay at home mom.

article credentials to Matt Walsh @

“You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?”

It’s happened twice in a week, and they were both women. Anyone ought to have more class than this, but women — especially women — should damn well know better.
Last week, I was at the pharmacy and a friendly lady approached me.
“Matt! How are those little ones doing?”
“Great! They’re doing very well, thanks for asking.”
“Good to hear. How ’bout your wife? Is she back at work yet?”
“Well she’s working hard at home, taking care of the kids. But she’s not going back into the workforce, if that’s what you mean.”
“Oh fun! That must be nice!”
“Fun? It’s a lot of hard work. Rewarding, yes. Fun? Not always.”
This one wasn’t in-your-face. It was only quietly presumptuous and subversively condescending.
The next incident occurred today at the coffee shop. It started in similar fashion; a friendly exchange about how things are coming along with the babies. The conversation quickly derailed when the woman hit me with this:
“So is your wife staying at home permanently?”
“Permanently? Well, for the foreseeable future she will be raising the kids full time, yes.”
“Yeah, mine is 14 now. But I’ve had a career the whole time as well. I can’t imagine being a stay at home mom. I would get so antsy. [Giggles] What does she DO all day?”
“Oh, just absolutely everything. What do you do all day?”
“…Me? Ha! I WORK!”
“My wife never stops working. Meanwhile, it’s the middle of the afternoon and we’re both at a coffee shop. I’m sure my wife would love to have time to sit down and drink a coffee. It’s nice to get a break, isn’t it?”
The conversation ended less amicably than it began.
Look, I don’t cast aspersions on women who work outside of the home. I understand that many of them are forced into it because they are single mothers, or because one income simply isn’t enough to meet the financial needs of their family. Or they just choose to work because that’s what they want to do. Fine. I also understand that most “professional” women aren’t rude, pompous and smug, like the two I met recently.
But I don’t want to sing Kumbaya right now. I want to kick our backwards, materialistic society in the shins and say, “GET YOUR FREAKING HEAD ON STRAIGHT, SOCIETY.”
This conversation shouldn’t be necessary. I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s insane for anyone — particularly other women — to have such contempt and hostility for “stay at home” mothers. Are we really so shallow? Are we really so confused? Are we really the first culture in the history of mankind to fail to grasp the glory and seriousness of motherhood? The pagans deified Maternity and turned it into a goddess. We’ve gone the other direction; we treat it like a disease or an obstacle.
The people who completely immerse themselves in the tiring, thankless, profoundly important job of raising children ought to be put on a pedestal. We ought to revere them and admire them like we admire rocket scientists and war heroes. These women are doing something beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential. Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences?
It’s true — being a mom isn’t a “job.” A job is something you do for part of the day and then stop doing. You get a paycheck. You have unions and benefits and break rooms. I’ve had many jobs; it’s nothing spectacular or mystical. I don’t quite understand why we’ve elevated “the workforce” to this hallowed status. Where do we get our idea of it? The Communist Manifesto? Having a job is necessary for some — it is for me — but it isn’t liberating or empowering. Whatever your job is — you are expendable. You are a number. You are a calculation. You are a servant. You can be replaced, and you will be replaced eventually. Am I being harsh? No, I’m being someone who has a job. I’m being real.
If your mother quit her role as mother, entire lives would be turned upside down; society would suffer greatly. The ripples of that tragedy would be felt for generations. If she quit her job as a computer analyst, she’d be replaced in four days and nobody would care. Same goes for you and me. We have freedom and power in the home, not the office. But we are zombies, so we can not see that.
Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.
Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s justthe sun.”
Of course not all women can be at home full time. It’s one thing to acknowledge that; it’s quite another to paint it as the ideal. To call it the ideal, is to claim that children IDEALLY would spend LESS time around their mothers. This is madness. Pure madness. It isn’t ideal, and it isn’t neutral. The more time a mother can spend raising her kids, the better. The better for them, the better for their souls, the better for the community, the better for humanity. Period.
Finally, it’s probably true that stay at home moms have some down time. People who work outside the home have down time, too. In fact, there are many, many jobs that consist primarily of down time, with little spurts of menial activity strewn throughout. In any case, I’m not looking to get into a fight about who is “busier.” We seem to value our time so little, that we find our worth based on how little of it we have. In other words, we’ve idolized “being busy,” and confused it with being “important.” You can be busy but unimportant, just as you can be important but not busy. I don’t know who is busiest, and I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. I think it’s safe to say that none of us are as busy as we think we are; and however busy we actually are, it’s more than we need to be.
We get a lot of things wrong in our culture. But, when all is said and done, and our civilization crumbles into ashes, we are going to most regret the way we treated mothers and children

because I really enjoyed this

article credentials go to Hannah Brencher 

25 things every woman needs to know.

1) Life is a steep, uphill battle but it’s fierce & it’s beautiful & you’ll be sad to see it go if you live it right.

2) New people won’t stop coming into your life and opportunities won’t stop knocking on the door but you need to have the space for them. In all you currently have– be them relationships or obligations– step back and ask yourself “why.” If you can find the answer, hold tighter. If the answer escapes you, it’s time to let something go.

3) You should resolve to be awesome for the rest of your life. Right now. Do it.
4) Leggings, no matter how much we wish, will never one day magically transform into pants. Wearing them with tops that don’t cover your bum is not cute. Please, please, please stock up on pants.

5) Goals are not a January 1st kind of thing. Set them weekly. Set them monthly. Set them so that you are moving forward and always trying to progress. Life can grow stagnant without them… beware.

6) Tuna and barbecue sauce are as unlikely a couple as Sandy and Danny from Grease. However, they go together. They go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong. Don’t gag at the computer, I promise I am not fooling you. Mix the two together with some brown rice and you’ve got a lunch.

7) Confidence is a sexy thing. Guys dig it. Girls dig it. We all dig it.

8) I agree with Bruno Mars and, if I were a good singer, I’d serenade you alongside him in singing how I hope he buys you flowers… and holds your hands… and takes you to parties if you like to dance. You deserve that. Always. Don’t think you should have less than that. You are worthy beyond words, gal.
9) And maybe Bruno Mars should be president because he’s also right to say that you are amazing. Just the way you are. No frill. No big introductions. You’re unlike anyone else and you should lean into that every morning. Every evening. Every hour.
9.5) Knowing your states & geography is a really precious thing. As a recovering “I didn’t pay attention in Geography class and forgot my states one by one so that boys would think I was ditzy & cute, and it was, in fact, ditzy & cute until the day I made the mistake of asking everyone in Missouri how they liked living down south,” I can say firsthand that it’s really wonderful to know that Russia isn’t on top of the US and that Delaware is, in fact, a state. The moral of this bloated story: guys have never wanted us to be stupid. They actually like brain cells. It’s a wonder & a mystery but they really kind of, sort of, definitely like girls with a noggin. ALL HAIL THE LADIES WHO LIKE HTML CODING & UNDERSTAND MARXIST THEORY!! HOLLAAAA!!! WE WINNNN AFTER ALL THESE YEARSSSS!!

10) Your spirit will never benefit from shallow people. You got to cut the toxic out of your life, boo.

11) And if you make mean comments, and you talk about people behind their back without ever trying to love them or see where they are coming from, you MIGHT be the toxic one. Oof. I’m not trying to burn you, just trying to say that relationships are too valuable to muddy them up with what you perceive to be the shortcomings of someone else. Big girls do bigger things than that.

12) So yea, I’ll drive the point home: gossip is shallow and stupid. Hobbies are better. Social good is best ;)

13) Nude pumps. They’re good for the soul. They are a must-have in any serious closet. Buy a pair one day and I can promise your whole entire style statement will benefit from them.
14) Here’s the truth: you are going to waste a lot of hours focusing on who you are not, or who you want to secretly be. But you won’t ever wake up and actually be that person. You’ve got to embrace what you bring to the table. If you don’t like what that is, have the courage to change it.
15) The world does not revolve around us. Turns out that we are just little points of punctuation in a much bigger story glittered with periods & commas & dashes. How are you helping that story to be better? How are you being the best dang point of punctuation that you can be?
16) If you ever find yourself frying Oreos on the stove top (and being an absolute BOSS at it), do not, I REPEAT, do not take the simmering pot of grease straight from the stove and pour it directly into the sink. The thing will straight up explode… And grease will fly everywhere… And you will risk burning your pretty little face off… And then everyone will probably call you “Vat of Grease Face” or “Grease Lightning” (what is with all the Grease references, Hannah?!) for the rest of your life… And, if they do, you can refer them to this blog post and tell them to read point #11. But still, dump the grease outside and keep your face intact.

17) If you want to run a serious business, if you want people to take you seriously, then start your engine and sign out some library books. Business books are proof that God loves us. 

18) No matter how tech savvy we get, there is a need to say things to a person’s face. Please, for the love of lovelier things, have the courage to call someone up and verbalize your thoughts or meet for a coffee.Breaking a heart is hard stuff, stopping a relationship is never fun, but there will never be anything as loud as this statement: You are worth my words. You are worth my presence. You are worth, and will always be worth, more than just letters on a screen and a broken heart jammed in the crooks of an overflowing inbox. Face to face connections are fading faster, please don’t let them get away…

19) First impressions are important. Really. That truth never changes. So refer to point #4. Really meditate on it.

20) No matter what kind of interview you are gearing up for, there are certain standards you should always hold yourself to: wearing something other than jeans, not talking out your phone during the interview, sending a handwritten note afterwards. An interview means you want something but it doesn’t mean they have to give it to you.
21) Regret is a real thing. It’s going to happen. It’s going to come clomp-clomp-clomping into your life at some point. Don’t hold onto things forever but learn from them and let the past go. The past will be a dictator if you let her.
22) You never want to be the COTS (chick on the side). Girls, GIRLS!!!! IF A GUY HAS A GIRLFRIEND AND HE IS STILL TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU IN A “YOU ARE THE ONE THAT I WANT” WAY, DO NOT FALL FOR IT. HE SHOULD MAN UP AND ACTUALLY LET THE OTHER GIRL GO. IF HE DOES NOT THEN WALK AWAY. WALK AWAY. WALK AWAY. You are worth so much more than second string in relationships. And being a COTS is not an endearing title. Be the better lady and hop off his swag; you are breaking the heart of girl you don’t even know without ever really meaning to. (And truthfully: real men aren’t interested in finding another gal, they’re too wrapped up in loving the face off the one they already have.)

23) The women’s section of Old Navy and Target has failed us. If you ever really want to fully embrace to “oversize” look then just frolic over the men’s section. All those flannels you’ve been tugging at, wishing they would actually be “oversize,” are hanging out in the men’s section waiting to kiss your elbows with their flannelish lips. Roll up the sleeves and get going. And then wear them leggings having no shame at all!

24) Facebook is a tricky thing. This is an invitation to step back and ask yourself, should I really post that? In the days of diaries, we never had to worry about this. Now all that we say is a microphone so be very, very careful. 
25) Darling, darling–the victim song is never going to fit you. It will never be good enough for your lungs. It will never be good enough for your time. You are stronger than you know and more graceful than you know. Don’t let the parts of you that want to be a victim live on any longer. You’ve got a voice… you’ve got a story… Do us all a favor and use it. Without any apologies. Without any stepping back. If ever you need a listener, come find me…

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The sheer bliss of completing your first sociological theory paper.  Feels pretty good.  You know what else felt good? Those warm pages when I printed it off, cause I'm done of it, Bam!
Oh and I think I wrote a pretty good paper.  
You ever need to know about Enlightenment philosophical thinkers, just hit me up ;)