Sunday, November 25, 2012

Motivational Poem

I just love this poem. It has very powerful applications. :)

The Race
- Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face, 
    my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race. 
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well, 
    excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell. 
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race 
    or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place. 
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son, 
    and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire, 
    to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire. 
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd, 
    was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.” 
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip, 
    the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped. 
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace, 
    and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face. 
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now. 
    Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face, 
    which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!” 
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all, 
    and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall. 
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win, 
    his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again. 
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace. 
    “I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face 
    with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!” 
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last. 
    “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!” 
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten... 
    but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again. 
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye. 
    “There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try? 
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.” 
    But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all, 
    for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall. 
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place! 
    You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!” 
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit, 
    and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit. 
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been, 
    still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win. 
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again. 
    Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place, 
    head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace. 
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place, 
    the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race. 
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud, 
    you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd. 
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.” 
    “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face, 
    the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race. 
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all. 
    And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall. 
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face, 
    another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One Sentance: A Changed Life

Yesterday morning, I was driving home from Provo. I was running late, so I had to listen to conference on the radio rather than in the comfort of home.

I have been praying for a really long time for answers. Why isn't swimming working out for me? Why am I struggling so much in school? I feel like I'm working so hard, and I'm giving it everything I've got! Why can't I just do well at something? I'm not an ugly girl.... why can't I ever get asked on a date? Why don't guys like me? Why couldn't I just have gone to Hawaii? I understand that everyone has to struggle. Everyone has to go through a rough patch. But why is mine lasting so long?! What am I supposed to do?! The only good thing going right for me where I am right now is the people around me, my friends, teammates, roommates, etc.

So, in the first minute and a half of conference, this announcement was made by President Monson: the minimum age to serve a mission has been lowered to 18 for all worthy males, and to 19 for females.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!:):)

I've wanted to go on a mission since I was twelve years old. But I'm only nineteen.... no offense to those 21-year-olds, but that seems really old from where I stand!:) Or at least too far away... I've just always watched how the men in my life are changed by their missions. They usually come back with a greater sense of clarity about life, a greater understanding of what's important. And it's not just that; I've always loved to teach. I love commenting during Sunday School class, seminary, etc. In fact, in 9th grade, my teacher pulled me aside and told me that I needed to stop commenting so much because nobody else in the class would comment if I would comment on everything. (First of all, what a buzz kill! I didn't comment for the rest of the year, and the class was totally silent, and I felt stupid and embarrassed... I know it's important for everyone to participate, but don't criticize the one person who does and risk destroying the class for them... just saying...)

Long story short, when that announcement was made, my heart and stomach dropped and it seemed like the whole world just stopped around me. (Which was a little dangerous considering I was on the freeway, but that's not the point.)
It was just a little too perfect. Could it really be that my prayers for months have been answered in the first ninety seconds of General Conference? It just felt so right, and throughout the rest of my drive, it was all I could think about. 

Whenever I've considered my many options, there have always been reservations. For example, when I think about my issues while swimming, I've thought about leaving BYU, and moving back home to the environment where I know I would train the way I know will help me improve; I'd eat right; I'd be in a very familiar and safe environment, and I'd be two miles from school and near everything I already know. But as much sense as that made with my schooling and my swimming training, I just couldn't feel comfortable with the idea. There were nonstop reservations, mostly involving the fact that I finally had a team; friends who I can train with and interact with, and who I love so much. I don't think I could go back to the whole train-by-myself thing, no matter how much I know it will help me. I just couldn't make that decision.

But when I thought of going on a mission, not to run away from anything but to serve the Lord with 100% of myself, there was not a single reservation. NOT ONE. And that is VERY rare for me. I'm sure doubt will come, but all I have to do is remember what I felt like the moment the announcement was first made.

My mom actually called me after it was made. She was crying, because she knows all the struggles I've been having, and how much I've always wanted to serve a mission. It also affects my little brother!!! He turns 18 in November, and if we both turn in our papers in February, we can both be in the MTC at the same time, probably June or July. 

One last thing. My team is in Hawaii this weekend for a meet, and I was pretty much devastated that I couldn't go. At the time, it was one of the final blows to my already unstable mental condition with swimming. But looking back, if I had been in Hawaii, I would have heard ABOUT this announcment, but I wouldn't have heard it. When I first heard it, the Spirit was soooo strong that it was literally tangible. I was warm, I was happy, I was at peace. I haven't been able to stop smiling since, and that hasn't happened for a while. There is a much greater Spirit in hearing something like that when it happens rather than being told about it later. For the first time, I'm GLAD I'm not in Hawaii. :)

Right now, there's an overload of people on Facebook and every other social media of girls who are all like, "Oh my gosh, I'm turning in my papers tomorrow!!" That's not a bad thing, but I know there's skepticism about whether people are just excited, or really meaning this. 

I am not just excited. I am not just idly saying that I'll serve a mission in the heat of the moment. This is real. This is an answer to prayer. I am meant to serve the Lord in this way; I have never been more sure of anything in my life.

I know there will be struggles and doubts as it comes closer. If I do this, I will likely never swim competitively again. I will not be able to have the experiences as far as dating that I've only dreamed of to this point for 2 years. Some of my friends that I know and love now will move on, and I'll never see them again. The world will change. I will change.

All I know is that I know this is true. This is what I'm meant to do. I cannot deny it.

I will never forget what I felt on that busy freeway in Salt Lake City. One sentence has changed my life, and I will strive to make myself someone that the Lord can use in the mission field.
I'm going on a mission.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Daisy

So, I wrote this poem for my creative writing class. It's not the greatest poem in the world, but I was pretty proud of it. :)

The Daisy

A rose attracts the eyes of all,
Its beauty well defined.
And a flower that defines beauty
Seems like it’s the only kind.

But what about that lonely bud
That’s hiding over there?
Much simpler and less profound
And no one seems to care.

The daisy is not “beauty”
It doesn’t have any of those
Gentle, soft petals and swirls
That are what defines the rose.

I look into the mirror
At times unhappy with what I see.
I am no rose, no delicate bloom
And I never will be.

How the world tries to tell me
The rose is really what I should be
If I ever want to be a beauty,
I cannot be “just a daisy”.

But who defines that beauty?
And whose opinion really counts?
I may not be a rose,
But don’t count this daisy out!

My petals are white as snow
I can grow against all odds.
And that flower that grows in adversity
Is beautiful to God.

The world’s eyes do not matter
But the ones that really do
Are always full, no matter what,
Of love for me and you.

I feel loved and beautiful
Whenever I try to see
Myself the way God sees me:
The girl I’m meant to be.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why I'm Glad I'm Crazy

I am crazy. I've accepted that about myself. Honestly, there are a lot of advantages to being crazy. I think that there's a lot in life that I would have missed out on if I weren't insane.

For example, let's take early morning things. 4:30 is a lost time of morning that most normal people don't know exists. (Actually, outside of Utah, it's not very uncommon for swimmers to wake up that early for morning practice. But in Cache Valley, if you're up that early, you're either a dairy farmer or insane!) But for me, it's a time I've become very well acquainted with since 4th grade. My family has used early morning workouts as a way to spend time together and improve ourselves together. To be 100% honest, there have been times where I've wanted to take my watch and chuck it across the room when the alarm goes off in the morning. I've even developed the habit of setting my watch 10 minutes fast, so psychologically I'm not waking up so early. It kinda really stinks...

BUT, when I think about how much I've gained, where others have missed out, it makes it all worth it. 
How many people know what it's like to see the sunrise every morning? Especially in the summer?
How many people understand how it feels to know that you've given 150% of everything you've got?
How many people know what it's like to run while heavy snowflakes are falling, the thick silence nearly tangible before any other footprints or tire tracks have tainted the perfection of the blanket of snow?:)

I am really so blessed. Because of my early mornings, I have gotten as far as I have in swimming. There's no way I would be swimming for my incredible team if I hadn't, and I can't even begin to record all the blessings that have come from it.

All I'm saying is that, even though I love my sleep, I wouldn't trade my early mornings for anything. I'm so grateful for what I've learned and gained from the way I've been raised. The Cache Valley sunrises are truly incredible! And to think that most people sleep right through them... :)

Yay for 4:30!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

iBrag - A LOT!

You know, as a middle child, I believe my sole purpose in life is to brag about how amazing my siblings are. So, I decided to make a record of some recent accomplishments going into the summer of 2012, both because I totally admire my brothers and sisters, and because I'm really bad at journal keeping, so this is for posterity's sake as well. :)

Macinze (the oldest and most spontaneous, 21 years old)

This year, Macinze completed her final season with Weber State Cross Country. She also works at Treehouse Pediatrics as an MA, and brightens every day there with her bubbly red-headed personality. Oh, and she sorta got married too... She's doing a wonderful job at her job and making a home for herself and her new husband. Her secret talent is that she draws the best stick figures in the world. I know that sounds odd, because how can stick figures be different? Well, somehow she manages to make stick figures full of expression and just plain awesome. :) It's true! She's currently going into elementary education, so I'm sure that this skill will help her keep her future students entertained.

This was Halloween at Treehouse; guess whose idea it was to dress up...
Stick Figure Skills :)

Sean (Oldest Boy, 17 years old)

Sean is a crazy stud triathlete. Not to brag or anything (jk, that's totally what I'm doing!), but he competed in the ITU triathlon in San Diego last month (that's like the National race for age group triathletes, and it was the same course as the Olympic Trials!) and... he was the first person out of the water!!! Out of hundreds of triathletes, he was the first coming out of the swim. He ended up in 2nd in his age group, so basically my brother is amazing. Nbd... He also keeps super busy with being smart, and dating and all that fun social stuff that he's really good at too. And, he's also secretly an amazing singer and dancer too.

Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever!

Miranda (The Baby Sister, 15 years old)

So, my baby sister is also multi talented. This year, she not only kicked trash in Cross Country and track (she went a 5:04 mile and a 10:54 2-mile on the track. That's only about two minutes faster than I ever went in either of those races, so nbd...:) AMAZING), BUT she's also an incredible actress and singer. She starred in our stake production of Anne of Green Gables, and she seriously made the play. I guess my opinion there is a little biased because she's my sister, but I still speak the truth! She's also the sweetheart of the family. It's impossible to not love my baby sister!

Anne with an "E"

Spencer (The Real Baby of the Family, 10 years old)

My baby brother is still in the stage where we don't really know what he's going to be yet. He's shown promising talent in both swimming and running so far; this year he made his first state swimming cut, and he also participated in two races for his school, both a mile long. His goal going into it was to go a 7 minute mile, and guess what he finished with?! A 6:59! :) He's also the one who makes our family life interesting, because we never know what he's going to do next: climb a 50 foot pine tree, go fishing in the swamp/pond in our neighbor's yard, put on his Michael Jackson hat and run around brandinshing his guns (sticks) and yell about his own "Mad Hatter World" from which he is defending us in great heroic acts. He's my buddy. :) He's also my only fellow brown-head, so we share a special bond!

Me (2nd Oldest, the Favorite, 18 years old)

Finally, there's me. Of course, I saved the best for last. :) I'm the one who does NOT belong on land. While everyone else runs, I swim, and I'm pretty good at it. But my real claim to fame in my family is that I'm the best reader. So far since I've been home this summer, I've completed at least 7 novels, none of which were less than 300 pages. That is my pride in this life. :) This year I swam for BYU, and I survived an entire year of college level Chemistry. And I passed! Happy day!

This is an example of my sister's superior stick figure skills.:)

So, ya. That's my family. :) I love them so much, and I am so grateful to have each of them in my life. I don't know where I'd be without any of them. I LOVE family!! And I love to brag about them, so thanks for the chance. Well, it's not like you had much of a choice; it's my blog! ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I wish I would have known at the beginning of the year....

My freshman year of college is now coming to a close. I'm super proud of myself, but at the same time, I'm really sad that it's almost over. But looking back on the year, I can see so many things that I went through or observed that were unnecessarily difficult or scary or stressful.... I mean, this year has been a blast, but I decided to make a list of all the things that I wish I would have known at the beginning of the year, and I hope to pass wisdom on to the future college freshmen out there, and provide entertainment for those who have already gone through everything that I'm about to post.

SO... Here goes. :)
  1. R. E. L. A. X. College IS difficult and a little scary, but it is not a completely different world unlike anything you've ever seen or experienced before! All of the guys aren't as mature as you think they'll be, either. ;)
  2. Everything is going to be okay!!! Don't be constantly worrying about everything. You will EXPLODE! Trust me.... (This is a lot like the first one, but really, it's  really important.) 
  3. When a super cute guy talks to you, it's a good idea to smile and answer...instead of just forgetting your name, stuttering oddly, and then running away.
    1. Side note:  Keep in mind that the fact that he's talking to you does NOT necessarily mean that he likes you. Sometimes, the question, "Hey, what did you get on problem 42-a?" really means that he wants to know the answer, not that he's making an excuse to talk to you. Don't read too far into everything, because most of the time, especially for girls, we blow it way out of proportion...
  4.  When your teacher says the words "extra credit", DO IT!!!! No matter how inconvenient it may seem at the time, or how much you don't think you need it, you WILL!!! 
  5. You need to actually study for tests. No matter how much you think you know the material the first time around, you need to study!!! Like not just glance over your notes study...but S.T.U.D.Y.
  6. Cramming doesn't really work... it just deprives you of sleep and makes you irritable. The best strategy is to study along the way. Realistically, we all know that won't happen, but it's a good goal to make. :)
  7. If you're living in the dorms, keep in mind, the dessert table is evil. For a person like me who is prone to addiction, the best strategy is: "Be smart; don't start!"
  8. If you're on the BYU swimming team, and you're from Utah, the first day you walk into practice is an amazing experience. The thing is, the BYU pool is our State Championship pool, so there's a conditioned rush of excitement, increased heartbeat, and speedy swimming that comes automatically when we dive into that pool. SO, if you're from Utah and going to be swimming for BYU, try to CALM DOWN! It's just warm up.... don't run over the girls ahead of you!!!
  9. Also if you're on the team, remember that your older teammates are wonderful fun people, and they are excited to get to know you. There is NO reason to be scared of them, no matter how awesomely fast and amazing they are! :) They genuinely want to get to know you and make you a part of the team. And yes, you DO belong!
  10. Facebook.... It is an incredibly addictive monumental waste of time. You do not need to check it every ten seconds. Whatever comments or likes that might appear at any given point will still be there after class! 
  11. Whenever you have the thought, "I have plenty of time to do this. I'll do it tomorrow," THAT is the sign that you should do it RIGHT THEN! Because guess what? 99.9% of the time you say that, you don't end up doing whatever you needed to do until the night before it's due. Take it from the worst offender...:)
  12. If you don't get an A on your tests, you are not stupid! College is a heck of a lot harder than you think it will be. BUT, that being said, don't let yourself give that excuse every time. It's ok to not beat yourself up over a not-so-good-grade, but if you let yourself off too easy every time, it becomes a habit. Always try to do better, but don't beat yourself up over the lack of perfection.
  13. Don't live like a hermit. The dorm rooms never get more comfortable or exciting the longer you sit in there alone.... Get out! Do some fun things! Make some friends, do things on the weekends. "Life should be enjoyed, not simply endured." -Gordon B. Hinckley. 
  14. Work hard. Have fun. Don't waste your time. Smile lots. Give 100%, and you won't have any regrets. :) It's totally worth it!
Well, that's all I have to say about that.... :) I've loved my first year at BYU! I love the experiences I've had here. I love my friends, my teammates, my LIFE! Even though I made a lot of mistakes, and I didn't do as well in some things as I hoped I would, I am so grateful for everyone who made this one of the most worthwhile experiences of my life! I learned so much, and I can't wait to come back next year and kick some trash, academically and in the pool! Go Cougars! :)

Ultimate Frisbee--Swimmer Style!

Super Hero Party! :)

P.S. It's not over yet. I still have 2 weeks of classes and then finals.... But I figured I'd get this out there for fun! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

O.C.D- O'Very Compulsive Disorder

Ok, so I know that this is two posts in a day.... but honestly, my last one was 1 week overdue and this one is super applicable to right now. :) I'm sure that both of my followers understand!

I know I have a slight problem.... I'm kinda OCD. This stands for Obsessive Compulsion Disorder, but since it pretty much runs in my family, I can fondly refer to it as "O'Very" Compulsion Disorder. Yes, I do believe it's genetic. My grandma's maiden name was Houskeeper, so....ya. ;) I didn't exactly get the super clean gene, but I do have my compulsions...

My thing is color coordination. Just today I was satisfying my post-exam sugar need with some skittles in the SAB, and I naturally start to sort them out like I've always done and I get the inevitable and overused question, "What are you doing, Meghan?" (Honestly I get that every time.... ;) I don't mind, I'm just glad that I'm amusing to people and I hope I don't freak them out too much.)

SO, I decided to explain it all nice and simple for anyone who cares. It's actually pretty funny. :) AND, I do it without even really thinking about it. So, here goes...

With colored food and candy:
We'll use the example of Skittles.

Step 1:

          Separate the colors.

 Step 2:

          Count them out, and make sure each color has the same number of candies. Eliminate the extras. (Either eat them, or act super generous and give them to a friend or a random guy sitting near you who keeps giving you weird looks while watching you sort Skittles in order to get him to stop looking at you weird.)

 Step 3:

          Now that you have the same number of each color, commence in consuming the delicious treat. Take one from each color each time, so that there are always the same number of each color.

Side note: YES I do eat them in a specific order. YES, I have to. YES it's part of my...problem?

Yep. That's my OCD. As far as with colored candy, I do it with ALL colored candy: M&M's, Mike'n'Ikes, anything that has different colors. If you don't believe me, secretly watch me as I consume any colored candy at a random party or while I'm studying or whatever.... I don't really think about it. :)

Yes, I color coordinate almost everything of color that I have control over.

This is my closet
 My closet is a little different because I also organize it for length. So, it goes jackets (darkest--lightest), long-sleeve shirts (darkest--lightest), then short-sleeve (darkest--lightest).

My tank tops/undershirts
If you're on the BYU swim team, you've also seen the kick-boards. Ya, that's me too.... ;)

But honestly, doesn't it look so nice and orderly?!

Our coach John asked me today, "Why don't you do the pull buoys too?"

My reply? "Nah, that'd just be silly!"  :)

Mawwiage.... That Bwessed Awangement...

So.... My sister got married this past week. Her reception was on the 10th of March, and then the ceremony was on the Monday March 12th. Personally, I'm kinda glad that she split it up like this for a few reasons.

a) I got to spend an entire weekend with my family.

b) We used the same desserts for both the reception and the wedding luncheon, so there were less leftovers and therefore less your-sister-is-married-and-it-feels-like-everything's-different-and-now-she's-on-her-honeymoon-which-is-just-WEIRD brownie binging for Meghan. :)

c) I can't really think of another reason.... it just seems that there should always be a c...

I know this is weird to say, but it's still sorta freaking me out that she's MARRIED!!! I mean, she's my big sister and one of my best friends. We've gotten a lot closer this past year, and now suddenly it feels like everything's changing...  AAAANNNDD, she's only two years older than me! It's craziness...

Don't get me wrong. I love my new brother-in-law. :) I'm so happy for them, and I know that they'll have a wonderful life and eternity. 

The reception was almost perfect. The decorations were beautiful, the bride-to-be and groom-to-be looked fantastic, we got to see some long-lost friends and family that we never see anymore, the food was amazing. Her colors were lime green, black, and yellow. It was SO Macinze I thought I was going to die! (In a good way).

The ONLY complaint that I have about it was that I was the one in charge of the transportation of the cake afterwards.... and the layers slid in transit. Did you know that buttercream frosting doesn't come out of black clothing? Ya. My cousin informed me of this as I was sitting in his car wearing my black bridesmaid dress with a huge 20 pound 3 (sliding) layer cake while he tried to navigate through my dear Cache Valley. The only problem here is that no matter how carefully one might be driving, there's NO way to go anywhere in Logan without having to go up a hill. Not a dinky baby hill, either... Like 5% grade, 1/2 mile long monster hills! 

By some miracle, we made it with no white irremovable stains on my dress, and we happily brought the giant cake with the sliding layers inside. That was my adventure for the weekend. ;) (Other than a date I got to go on, but that's a WHOLE different story.)

The day of the wedding was perfectly beautiful and sunny, but windy. When the bride and groom came out, I couldn't think of anything other than how happy my sister looked. I mean, there are fake smiles and real smiles, and I know my sister's real smile. She could not stop "real smiling" from the moment she walked out of the temple to the moment she started bawling when she tried to thank everyone at the end of the luncheon. She absolutely glowed, and I loved it!

At the luncheon afterward, there was delicious food (there always is at an O'Very/Alvey party!) and karaoke, at which my amazingly talented family always excels... I did not receive that particular talent, but I was the designated recorder, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. My favorite part was when we initiated John into our childhood society called J.O.S.H (Junior Olympic Swimming Heroes), and I actually said something that was funny on purpose! :) Usually, I am only funny when I'm not trying to be.... But it was a magical day!

Basically, it was a very wonderful and touching day. I loved seeing how Macinze and John glowed. I think that it comes from being blessed with the opportunity to spend the rest of eternity with your best friend. And that's the most important thing. 

The only downside is that whenever my sister cries, it makes me cry. Unfortunately, when she stops.... I don't. I was bawling for the whole cleanup, the send-the-newlyweds-off, AND during my entire drive back to Provo. (I also cried while I was making up my swim practice, and I've never been so grateful for long pulling sets or an empty pool in my life...)

SO.... this is the longest blog post ever. ;) I just have to close with this.... God bless those who are lucky enough to have each other, not only for a lifetime, but for eternity!

Also, funny story: they took my car on their honeymoon, and we didn't get a chance to wash off all the decorations before they gave it back to me. Just so you know, when you drive through Provo alone in a car that says "Just Married" and "bride" and "groom" all over it, you get some weird looks...especially when you're in a traffic jam and you drive with your left hand and they stare at your ring-less finger, likely wondering if you were abandoned at the church on your wedding day. ;) I should have pulled out a tissue...

The tall redhead one and the tiny one on the
end are my brothers. :)
I'm the one squished in between my two gorgeous redhead sisters. :)

Mr. and Mrs. John and Macinze Coyle!! Together for all eternity!

I also wanted to add a couple of pics from a REALLY long time ago.... Just for good memories. :)

(And, to answer your question, YES I spent my entire childhood in a swim suit. Not much has changed... I know.)

I've always looked up to my sister. :) 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take off the Mask and BE YOURSELF!!!

So, tonight I attended the CES fireside in the Marriott on campus (duh... that's where everything happens! :) ) Anyway, Elder Quinton L. Cook was the speaker, and as he started speaking I settled comfortably back in my hard stadium seat to prepare myself for a long, spiritually uplifting night and the usual "You kids here at BYU are amazing.... the chosen generation... you are so strong..." type of message. Not that I'm complaining in the slightest... I LOVE those messages. They make me feel good about the world. However, while Elder Cook did speak about our being the chosen generation, there is one thing that he spoke about that really hit home for me.

"Whate'r thou art, act well thy part." -Shakespeare.

BAM!!! Basically, this is the 16th century version of "be yourself!" But, come on! I'm still a wee teenage Meghan. I still am going through the adolescent struggle of self identity. How do I be me, when a lot of the time I don't know who me is? I was a late bloomer for this stage in life... in high school, I knew who I was. I was a fast swimmer, a smart girl in all the "hard classes", and people knew who I was. I guess that sounds a little conceited, but honestly, O'Very isn't exactly a common name (and when you think about it, it's pretty easy to remember....but don't think too hard about it ;)), and I have a dad and an older sister who caught the attention of the little Cache Valley early on. I was sort of caught in the wake of high expectations, but I didn't really mind too much. I knew exactly how to define myself.

But, suddenly I'm in an environment of 32 thousand students who were all the "smart" kids in the "hard" classes, and on an incredible team with nationally ranked swimmers and coaches, where everyone is incredible. I felt like a goldfish who was huge in a little tank, but was suddenly thrown into an ocean. I didn't know how to act, how to think. And honestly, I'm still figuring it out. But you know what? I am still the same goldfish. And I should be proud of that goldfish.
However, for some reason this year, I tried to convince myself that I was supposed to be a angel fish. No matter what, a goldfish will not be happy pretending to be an angel fish, no matter how hard it tries to convince itself that it is happy. Because you know what? That is NOT who that goldfish is, and being anything (or anyone) other than yourself can only lead to problems, because you can never be comfortable in anyone else's skin but your own.

I guess I'm not sure where I'm going with this.... Elder Cook asked, "Why we would ever "put on a mask" and try to be a person that is contrary to who we are and what we want to become? " I guess my point is, in his words, "Act in accordance to your true identity."

I know the me I am now isn't the me that I want to be someday. And we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves about that, either! I mean, we're trying to judge ourselves as unfinished works-in-progress in comparison to an image of the perfected being that we want to be someday. I am SO guilty of that.

But I do know this: we are defined by our choices, by our beliefs, by our faith. So be who you are. Be that goldfish, and be happy about the goldfish that you are. :) Take off the mask, and just be YOU!

                                And who knows? That goldfish can adapt to that
                                                     ocean pretty well. :)
                                                        (Can't wait!:))

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chemistry Experiment...

Chemistry..... Gotta love it. :) Actually, I don't really, but sometimes I try to convince myself that I do, because I have the wonderful privilege of being able to do it for the rest of my life, if I stick with my major. For those who know me and are lucky enough to hear my daily rantings about classes, they know how I really feel about this intriguing subject.

So,  I heard somewhere that caffeine helps retain memory. Well, I have a chemistry test this week, so I'm going to test that theory! Don't judge, but I have a healthy obsession with Diet Pepsi. Long story short, if this theory is true, I should pretty much ace my test! :)

Yes, that IS ten 24 oz bottles of Diet Pepsi. Yes, those were consumed within a period of 3 days, and YES, I still have more hidden under my bed. :) Wish me luck!