Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Temple

After weeks of thought, I have decided to write about one of the most special experiences of my life. The feelings I have from this sacred event are still very fresh and vivid, and very personal. As you read this, if you do, please keep that in mind.

At one point in my life, I really pursued going through the temple. I think I went about it the wrong way. I say this because it just never worked out. I think my bishops sensed that I may not be spiritually mature enough yet for that special experience. Then, several years later, I began thinking about it again, and my significant other encouraged me not to. This puzzled and troubled me. He mentioned that if I did it and then screwed up in any way that I would be under greater duress. When I expressed that maybe I wanted to go through to protect me from such an issue, he shared instances of other women he had known that had made grievous mistakes after going through the temple, and then referenced himself. And for some stupid reason, I listened to him and stayed in a bad, controlling relationship.

After I finally rid myself of the aforementioned relationship, I reconnected with Mike, my fiance. Almost instantly after beginning my journey with him I felt like I should try and get myself to the point that I could go through the temple. Because of my previous experience with my former partner, I was deathly afraid to bring up the subject. I talked it over with a girl friend of mine on our way home from a trip to St. George, and she encouraged me to pursue this because it was a righteous desire. She then shared with me that going through the temple for herself was the greatest decision she had ever made. Sure, she had made mistakes. I don't know what they are but they happened. And she was still a member in good standing. The atonement of Jesus Christ had worked in her life and she felt clean again.

When I got home from that trip, I sat Mike down and asked him what he thought. He told me that he would support me in any righteous desire I had. He told me he would help me get ready. That evening was another confirming moment in our relationship that further convinced me that I needed to stick with this guy. I hadn't had that kind of support in so long.

I immediately began preparing, in true Emily Sorensen fashion. I always hit the ground running in things like this. I began taking the temple prep class during Sunday School (the middle session of the 3 hour block). I learned there that preparing for the temple wasn't going to be as hard as I had thought - so many things taught there were things I had known my whole life and membership in the church. They were just presented in a different light.

During all of this, Mike proposed to me on April 12. We discussed the matter, and his preference (if the bishop was ok with it) was for me to go through the temple before we got married - then we could attend the temple together for date nights and get me more comfortable with everything. My bishop was delighted at the decision we made. We made arrangements for me to receive my endowment on April 30, 2014.

That day, April 30, was incredibly stressful. I was dealing with my old apartment complex (who was screwing me out of hundreds of dollars over stupid things). They were really rude to my roommates and I, and I was just having an awful time. And, I had found out that none of my grandparents were going to be able to be in the temple with me. This was hard for me, because I deeply love my grandparents. As I was walking into the Jordan River temple that night, feeling sad and frustrated, my Grandpa Jones called my mom and said he would be able to make it afterall, with my grandma. But my Grandma Sorensen would still be missing. (Grandpa had passed away previously).

Mike went and did an ordinance called "initiatories" while I prepared for my own. I will have to speak in generalities from here on out, but I think the message will still be there.

At this point in the temple, I worked with only women. This is important. Not a single man was in that room. As I entered one of the little areas, women proceeded to share with me blessings and promises that were mine. My favorite part was when this woman pronounced me clean. I sobbed. I had not felt that I was truly clean in years. From there, more women assisted her in officiating (under the direction of the temple president) in ordinances with me. It was beautiful. And in that moment, an experience happened that proved to me that my grandparents that had passed (both of my dad's biological parents (my Grandma Sorensen that was vacationing in Florida with my aunt is the best step-mom my dad could have ever asked for) were there. Again, I sobbed. My Heavenly Father knew my heart. He knew that I needed more strength and he sent it through people I love. I will never, ever forget that moment and how it felt.

I continued to learn in the temple about covenants and promises that I need to keep. None of these seemed odd, weird, or different than I had ever experienced. Again, they were all just said in a different way. As I have gone back, it has all felt familiar. And, as I have gone back, I have been reminded that as a not-married woman, I still have the priesthood with me always, IF I keep my covenants and wear my garments appropriately. I hope that this will always stay in my memory. And I hope that it touches someone else as well.

Monday, March 10, 2014


The last several weeks, my precious nephews have been weighing on my mind. I hope it is appropriate that I share my thoughts and feelings...

I miss them. I go to events and see people interact with their babies and their nieces and nephews, and I ache. I know that I need to "move on" or "get over it". I know they are no longer a part of my life, and I need to "accept it". I understand that they are physically not here.

But there are some things that I am grateful for.

I am so grateful that nephew R. is living with an incredible, loving family. He is happy, he is healthy, and so adorable. Even though he was only "my nephew" for 3 days, legally, he was meant to grow up with his new family. Do I miss him? Absolutely. But am I grateful for the incredibly mature decision of my sister's to give him his best chance? More than anything.

I am grateful for the knowledge that I have of eternal families. I miss that precious angel so much. But I am glad that he will be with us in the eternities because my brother and sister keep their covenants.

I look forward to more nephews to hopefully come.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

I am close to tears... Tonight was beautiful. I haven't been so happy in, well, years. I don't want to forget any of it.

The evening "started" when I received a frantic knock, then doorbell ring, then another knock at the door. My roommate answered, because I was in the middle of something and couldn't get there. She yelled to me that it was for me - I came out to find someone standing with a red vase with roses and a balloon, waiting for me to sign for them. There was a note with these perfect flowers that said this:

"...Flowers are easy and words are hard, but here goes. You're beautiful, and fun, and you make me so happy to be with you. You make me smile every day. I never have to worry about being me, because you make me feel so comfortable around you. I like you so much I melt a little every time I think of you. You're such a great friend, and an awesome girlfriend. I should have a surprise or two for [later]. I'm so excited to see you. Thank you for being you."

Melted. Right then and there. It was so adorable, and sweet, and wonderful, and just what I needed. He came to my place around 5:30 and we prepped for dinner - he planned the menu (chicken parmesan). We talked and teased while making dinner, and snuggled while things were in the oven.

While we snuggled, he gave me surprise #2 (if we were counting the roses as surprise #1) - a whole bag of chocolatey-caramely treats. We tickled, teased, and chatted some more and listened to music. When dinner was finished, we enjoyed that together with sparkling cider and everything.

After dinner, we got ready for surprise #3 - he wrote me a song. I literally melted. I'll have to post it at a later date, he told me he would send me a copy. But in it he expressed his feelings about how I make him smile and I make him feel complete. When I asked him if he actually wrote it, he said he had - and told me he loved me.

We then went and relaxed in the hot tub at my apartment complex, "enjoying" the company of some random teenagers... haha but they didn't really bother us. Just chatting and holding hands.

Then we went back and he helped me with a lot of the dishes and then we made dessert - smoothies from frozen fruit we had used on a previous date. Watched an episode of one of his favorite TV shows and snuggled on the couch until we fell asleep a little. Then he had to go to work... and it was so hard to let him leave...

I haven't felt like I made anyone feel like this in so long... and no one has made me feel this way in ages.

I can't wait for tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I was speaking with a friend and she mentioned I should be keeping record of the fun and sweet things that have been happening lately... So this is my attempt, since I fail at keeping a real journal...

New Years.
Breakfast - just to catch up.
Phone call.
Sledding with an air mattress.
Ethnic Food Night.
Raising Arizona.
Hand hold.
Kiss on the cheek.
Asking permission to see me the next day.
"Taking" me to the fireside.
Sent me flowers.
Making breakfast.
Phone App.
Indian Food.
Midway Ice Castles.
First Kiss.
Making dessert.
Snuggle bug.
Tickle Fights.
Homemade, illustrated mad lib stories.
Homemade TV screen.

Some sweet little nothings that have meant the world to me.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday, Monday...

Today was not incredibly eventful. I didn't wake up as early as I wanted... which resulted in me looking like a hobo for a, till 1:00 pm. (my bad...) But the few things I did get done were good.

a - I taught a piano lesson today to a cute little girl out in Riverton.
b - I finally picked up part of my mom's Christmas present - pictures. For some dumb reason, they weren't ready on time...
c - I ate appetizers for breakfast, courtesy of my dad.
d - I worked out and read some of my Intro to Music Therapy text book to get ready for school on Monday.
e - I cleaned up my room, bathroom, and kitchen.
f - I hung up a few more pictures.
g - I saved my little brother quite a bit of money on some clothes he needs.

Now, I am home thinking I should go to bed, and not really wanting to. A lot on my mind, I suppose. I think that is where journaling will come in handy - getting things off my mind and in writing.

Anyway... looking forward to lunch with my Becky tomorrow. And have a happy new year and be safe!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rest of the Week

The rest of this week has been pretty uneventful. I have had a lot of time to myself - something that I really needed. I have cleaned out rooms and areas, cooked some of the last of the food in my fridge, took down the tree, and started working on my "Winterim" class on Music Therapy I'll be teaching in the first 3 weeks of the new year. I have been trying to put together some goals and things for the upcoming year and I'm getting excited about the prospects of some things coming to pass.

1 - The plan is for my student loan debt to be COMPLETELY GONE by May, hopefully by April :)
2 - The plan is to exercise for 40 minutes 3 times a week. I know everyone says this every year, but I am serious. I have not liked what has happened to my body since working full time (I know it's not awful, but it's not where I want to be).
3 - I plan to be more conscious and careful of packing lunches ahead of time so I am not as tempted to eat out during school.
4 - It seems I have a proactive visiting teaching partner now. I think with her help, I can plan to be a better visiting teacher.
5 - As of today, I have 2 callings. Which I have done nothing with up until now (I haven't been trained on the first one...ever...). I am excited to actually become a more involved part of my ward.
6 - I, in the last few weeks, have been thinking seriously of working towards living 100% on my own. Not that I don't love my roommates, I do. But I would rather get to a point that I know I could make it on my own without the help of other people. So, once the student debt is gone, the only other debt I will have is some to my parents for college expenses and my car. I want to start working on the Dave Ramsey baby steps.
7 - As I stated earlier in the week, I want to work on journaling more often. I have already thought of ways to do this more effectively and plan to work on that.
8 - The bestie and I made a blog a long time ago to chronicle our foodie adventures. We have made a grand total of two posts... ever. I plan to aid in fixing that.
9 - It was pointed out to me that I don't take enough time to take care of myself. I plan to work on that as well - hopefully one night a week, maybe one night per fortnight. I'll work on it. Whether it's going out and taking pictures (like the one I'm adding to the bottom of the post), getting a massage, going home to take a bath, or whatever I need to do.

Anyway, I'm excited to begin the process of making these goals happen. I plan on taking the next couple of days and mapping out these goals. Thanks for the support you all give me each and every day :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Twas the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house not a tear was dry, especially the boys. The gifts were all given with thought and with care - and every last soul really tried to be fair.

OK, I suck at this rhyming thing. But really, so much of this week has been so beautiful and special.

First - the Sorensen gathering. There were 70 people in attendance - and that's not all of us! I am constantly amazed by the love and support from these people through everything. The Sorensens have had a rough go for the last 2 years. And it has only made our ties stronger. I laughed so hard at the white elephant exchange that I cried. It was perfect.

Second - the Jones gathering. I loved spending time with my grandparents and my Aunt Cathy's family. Most of those cousins are the same age as my siblings, or really close - so all of us have a buddy. I am grateful for my buddy, Ashley. She took great care in finding things to help me relax and take care of myself - since I don't do it enough. ;) We enjoyed each others' company until Santa was flying over Canada - then it was time to get the kiddos home to feed reindeer and all that jazz. AND.... I forgot to take pictures....

Third - Immediate family Christmas "morning". This was a little different than usual, but it was still wonderful, nonetheless.

My dad had to work at 2, which meant he had to leave at 1:15 at the latest to get there on time. We needed to start a bit late, though, because Jacquelle and Kira had family things (missionary phone calls, etc.) in the morning. JJ really tried to be patient, but it just didn't work. Haha.

When everyone got there, we were able to have our traditional waffles - just like Grandmother Lucy used to make. This selection has homemade whip cream, banana butter, crushed strawberries, and happiness.

And then, we had to hurry and open presents before dad had to leave.

I feel like everything was super successful. It was great to have everyone together.

As we grow older, it feels harder to get wonderful gifts for my siblings. They're like me in that they just find what they need and get it - our mom is the "gift person" and loves giving and receiving thoughtful gifts. But I think that even with that constraint there was a lot of thought put into gifts.

Now, it brings me to the after party - Mom and I ended up canning pears. lots and lots of pears. Pear sauce, pear butter - you name it, we did it. It smelled really great, and looked delicious.

And I was lame and cleaned my room. All day. But it was sorely needed. I threw a lot of things out and organized my Pampered Chef stuff. YAY! SO needed.

Then I met a nice guy named Chris for some cocoa. We'll see what happens there. :)