Saturday, February 12, 2011


I have been awful at keeping up on posts. I've also been thinking about starting a blog with married life things, since it's a new chapter in my life. Micah is big on not having 'everyone know our business' but it's also a nice way to share important, fun and uplifting things with family and friends.
So this is me saying Hi, and possibly starting a new blog. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long time, no post

Wow. It has been a little over 5 months since I've updated!!!! SO MANY things have happened in my life, like:

Graduating from SVU (walking, anyway)
Moving to Charlotte
Adjusting to a new city and new friends and roommates
Meeting the love of my life
Getting engaged
Wedding Planning
... ok, essentially really big stuff.

I must say how grateful I am for personal revelation, and grateful that I was wise enough to heed the Spirit in deciding to move to Charlotte. I knew that I would find the reason why I needed to be there. And I met him my very first Sunday in my new ward :) It took around 4 weeks before he asked me on a date, but everything worked wonderfully and smoothly. Within 2 weeks I knew that that he was the one I wanted (and should) to spend eternity with. It took him a BIT more time than that for him to fully accept that. But now we are getting married and have a date set and everything!!! I am so excited to be married and to start my life with him. Heavenly Father has truly blessed me. It wasn't an easy road to get there, but in the end it was all worth it.

I really don't have too much to add, but thought that I would post something since it's been so long!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The trying of your faith worketh patience

It's so true. Trials are always for our benefit. Of course sometimes it's hard to remember that when there is so much pressure and stress!

Obviously I haven't had time to update anything. The week before Senior show my average bed time was 5am, and the week of Senior Show my average bedtime was 7 am, although I think at least 2 of those nights I only got 2 hours of sleep. Needless to say, my body hated me. A lot.
Looking back, I can honestly say that my senior art show is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. It taxed me in so many ways: spiritually, mentally, artfully, academically and especially physically.
The day of senior show I had only slept for an hour, and all the pressure that I had been feeling clustered together and I broke down twice. Now, those who know me know that it takes a lot for me to break down. This is the first semester it has EVER happened. I've never had so much stress and pressure (and emotions) before. In February alone I had 3 break downs in a week!!! I like to be in control of my negative emotions, so losing it was not a happy feeling.
Although the journey has been extremely difficult, I can say without a doubt that the Lord has been with me all the way. Before I started this semester Dad gave me a blessing, and from it I knew that I would be making a lot of difficult decisions, and I knew that I was going to have a difficult time, but as long as I remembered and kept faith, I would be OK.
I know that the only reason why I got through senior show was because I was promised in a blessing that I would accomplish all that I needed to do. There were miracles the day of senior show. Some of them came through the friends that helped me. I would not have had a display if my friends didn't help me, and my 5th piece would not have been assembled if it weren't for my friends. Heavenly Father is watching out for me.
Yet there was a time at the beginning of April when I knew my faith was wavering. I still hadn't figured out anything to do with moving, my senior show seemed like it would NEVER get done, and I was losing hope. When I felt that hope and faith slipping I just didn't know what to do. There was a moment when I just went for a drive and I sat there and just cried and I told the Lord that I didn't have faith, and that I needed help to have hope and faith again.
It made me think about the man in the New Testament who was asked by the Lord if he had faith that his child would be healed, and he said "help thou my unbelief" and the Lord healed the child. From that story I realized that I at least had faith that the Lord would answer my prayer, and I knew that that was enough. Of course the prayer was answered and I had my friends and professors' help, and I accomplished all that I needed for senior show. But he also blesed me with inspiration on who to ask about housing and to be able to look for jobs that are relevant to my major.

I have just been so blessed this semester. It reminds me of the footprints in the sand poem. It's true that when you're going through difficult times and you just wonder "how did I ever do that?" it's because the Lord was there carrying you through it. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life, and I am so grateful for my friends and family, and for church organization! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The future is as bright as your faith

What a month...
What a semester...

Things sure have been crazy and busy! February was a difficult decision making month filled with a ton of prayer, fasting and tears. But decisions have been made, especially the BIG one. Which, of course, is where I'm moving after graduation. Well, that and what I wanted to do for senior art show.
This month has been pretty crazy. Decisions lead to more decisions, which leads to more decisions.
Decision 1) Move to Charlotte
Decision 2) Where to apply for jobs
Decision 3) Where to live

So with Decision 1 comes 2 and 3. So this month has been full of figuring out where to live and where to work. These things have NOT been figured out. But I'm hoping to move the 1st week in May. We shall see how that goes...

Other occurrences in March:
- Started working on Senior show.
- Stressed over senior show, and everything to go with it
- Forgot about other classes because of my focus on senior show
- SPRING BREAK with KIMBERLY! and lots and lots of driving
- Got extremely sick (probably Mono) and was literally IN bed for about 4 days. Kim got me sick.
- Lost weight due to illness
- Lost senior show time due to illness, which means I am EXTREMELY behind
- Mom and Dad came to visit :)

Looking back at last year and this year, I've realized that the last 2 years have been difficult in regards to making decisions, enduring to the end, and spiritual growth. Even in the last 2 months I've felt that I've learned so much spiritually, and emotionally.
Recently I had a little bit of an epiphany brought on by a very simple comment from a friend. I realized that I needed to sort out my priorities, and that I needed to have a more Christ-centered life and to exercise my faith more. And be more positive, hence the quote by President Monson as my title.

The future is as bright as your faith

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I wish I were at the beach...

Alright so here's the thing. I'm supposed to write in my journal about my art process. Well, whenever it comes time to write in my journal I'm just s tired that I don't WANT to! Which is bad... So, here I am typing and sharing some of my ideas for Senior Show.
So my show started out as having a somewhat vague subject (something and the heavens and earth and how they're all connected etc) that I was having a hard time thinking of depicting. The other dilemma I was faced with is how big to make my prints (to then be turned into books).
Then one day in printmaking class one of the girls saw one of my experiment prints and said that it reminded her of Mythology. Then I went to see Lightning Thief and got a sudden epiphany while trying to sleep at 3am in the morning. Polynesian Mythology!!!!
So here I am FINALLY with a subject that I find really interesting, and I'm excited to do it! I can use the same style I've BEEN doing and expound upon it. So I picked six of the gods/goddesses from Polynesian mythology and I will make prints out of their stories. Not exact depictions, but kind of abstract. Of course I am in a state of "flux" as Crawford states, and this idea could change or evolve further. But here's some pictures to get the creative juices flowing.
The picture on the top is of Maui. He's well known for his hook, and legend says that he pulled the North Island out of the water like a fish. Hence you see a lot of Hooks in Maori culture. And how could I NOT do something from New Zealand?
Then there is Tangaroa, god of the sea. He's very important to all Polynesian cultures (hmmm, I wonder why?)
Tawhiri is god of storms etc. Of course all of these gods are related in some way.
Tane is god of the forest. Tangaroa, Tawhiri and Tane are all connected. Apparently Tangaroa created fish and reptiles, and dislikes Tane because half of his children went to live with him on land (or something like that). And Tawhiri dislikes both Tane and Tangaro for splitting up their parents Rangi and Papa, hence his angry winds.
Pele, goddess for fire, volcanoes etc. I like to think of her as the Hawaii side of the mythology, and how could I not represent Hawaii in some way?
And of course Rangi and Papa, the creators. Apparently their were in a tight embrace and were separated by Tane and some of their other children, this creating the heavens/sky and earth. So in a sense Papa is mother earth.

Another one I am considering is Ta'aroa, who is from Tahitian mythology. Apparently there was chaos, and he created the heavens and earth from a cosmic egg. Sounds funny, I know, but it would be really cool to depict that! :)

So those are the ideas I'm running with at the moment. I start my first print this week!!!! AHHH!!! April 15 is when Senior Show opens, and I have myself scheduled to be done the first week in April. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lead, Kindly Light

Oh what a semester is has been so far! I thought it would be good to have a little bit of an update of fun and cool happenings!

Things that have happened since Spring Semester:
- Got to spend time with Julie who came to visit from WA
- Went to D.C. for two days to go to Ricky and Katie's Wedding!!
- Went to a concert here at school
- Spend lots of time with Saskia and on the phone with Kimberly
- Lot's of school... and art. Art is life.
- it snowed. a LOT a few weeks in a row.
- Went to Raleigh to visit Jeremy for a weekend :)
- Went to the Valentine's Dance with Lyzzie and Bekah. Most of the people there didn't have dates haha!

Here we are in D.C. stuck in traffic. Yeah... I swear I was not driving AND taking pictures!

The happy Couple! YAY!!!! :D

Lots of snow! I was waiting outside for Saskia. It was kind of cold...
Valentine's Dance! Man I am SHORT even in heels :) My face is kinda dorky.

But on to serious life:
Life since my last update has been very interesting. Extremely taxing and challenging. And here I thought that last week was difficult (which it was in its own way). This week it got to the point where it wasn't even school stress bothering me, but life in general(most everything). The feelings of complete helplessness and feeling lost was overpowering this week. Then, at one point, I felt like my support system was failing in one of the biggest areas--- my family.
When you feel like your family isn't supporting you, then where do you go? If your friends just aren't enough, what do you do? When all else seems to fail where do you turn? To Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, of course!
I feel like a trend has happened for the last 2-3 weeks. The week will start pretty good, and eventually it will escalate (or get worse) and by the end of the week things hit the highest peak and when I feel like everything is falling around me and I can't even stand anymore and want to fall apart, the Lord picks me up. Obviously there are some wonderful gospel principles in there. Ex: The Lord will not give us more than we can handle.
This week I hit my peak on Thursday, which was spurred by a conversation/argument with Mom. Thursday was a very horrible day for me. It's like the water works were on and didn't want to turn off. Friday I find out that I get to teach Relief Society. At that point I just couldn't fathom teaching in the emotional, physical and maybe spiritual condition I was in.
I prepared a lesson on Acquiring Spiritual Guidance and Personal Revelation (a mix of two conference talks be Elder Scott and Elder Nelson). Sunday I woke up feeling OK about my lesson, but still feeling blah from the last few days. In Sacrament meeting I wanted to cry all through the meeting because the talks were wonderful (and just what I needed) and I could feel the spirit, but part of me was pleading that I could keep it together enough to teach my lesson. In the opening exercises for R.S. our opening hymn was 'Lead, Kindly Light.' I feel that that song was a tender mercy for me. It made me want to bawl my eyes out because it embodied exactly how I was feeling. But I couldn't cry before my lesson! I pleaded for help and calm, and I pleaded that the lesson would be taken into His hands because I felt so lost and I wanted those girls to learn something and be able to feel the spirit. I couldn't do it alone.
I know that the only reason why I got through this week is because of the Lord, and because of my friends (and family). The lesson went really well. I was completely under control during the whole lesson, and I think that it flowed better than I thought it would. I'm grateful for people who comment in class, and I'm grateful that Heavenly Father answered my prayer in regards to taking over the class.
Teaching that lesson was also a tender mercy. I really needed to rely on the Lord and I know that my trials will pass and that they are for my good. I do have big decisions to make, and I finally feel that I have the ability and the resources to make them. Although some things are still unsure, I need to just have Faith and keep praying and I will receive the answer when I need to.
And now after my really long post, here is some current artwork that I have experimented with for senior art show. I finally have a concept, and I'm going to start working on it this week. EEEE! Wish me luck...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a week!

I have to say that last week was one of the most challenging weeks I have ever had. In Institute this week my teacher talked about being put in 'the press' and how school and life and teachers etc. can press us. I felt VERY pressed. Pressed to the point of tears, more than once.
Last week I decided that taking 18 credits was insane and I was going to withdraw from one of my classes and take it in May. There were a few bumps getting to the point where I could actually go and do it, which caused a lot of distress. Plus my Professor for Sr Art show decided that she wanted us to have our exhibition outline with sketches and plans and examples ready by Tuesday (today). Of course add a ton of reading and other art projects and assignments mixed in with stress and some emotions and you get Alanna freaking out to the point of feeling depressed.

Of course I got through it! It was difficult, but I did. With help. Over the weekend I was still feeling emotionally worn out, tired and depressed. I went to visit my brother who has been going through a very difficult emotional time. So mix the two of us together for the weekend and you have me going a bit crazy.
While I was there trying to support my brother, I was reading my scriptures and felt that I needed to ask myself some questions. First, I asked myself "what is making me feel this way, and is it a rational feeling?" I noticed that some of my feelings were irrational and I knew that I needed to be patient and to think positively, so that helped me to identify the things that were bothering me. Second, I asked myself "What can I learn from these trials?" Some things I came up with were faith, patience, endurance, and relying on the Lord.
Last I asked myself "Have I talked to the Lord about this and asked for comfort?" another question to go with that is "How much have you relied on the Lord?" I realized that although I pray regularly I was not having the faith that I needed, and I wasn't asking for what I really needed. I needed to ask Heavenly Father for his comfort and help. And I did. The peace that came to my mind and heart were indescribable. I was able to think clearly and I was given the peace that I needed. In James 1:3 is says that the trying of our faith worketh patience, and I know that part of life is being patient for the Lord's time and being patient in general. But it also means that sometimes our faith needs to be tried, by going through the press.

I am so grateful for prayer! I know the God loves all of His children and He wants us to be happy! If we communicate with Him, then he is better able to bless us. If we ask for comfort, he shall give it.

Although last week was a nightmare, I know that I can learn a lot of things from it that can and will bless my life. How grateful I am for that knowledge! Now I just need to keep reminding myself :) and keep relying on the Lord! It's always easier to see the blessing from a trial when you're past it, rather than when you're in it. That's why we must Endure to the End! We sure have a lot to endure in this life, but the eternal rewards make up for it ten fold.

I have a lot of decisions to make in my life, and I know that some of those cannot be answered at this time. I have a lot to do and stress and feeling sad do NOT help with the creative process. I am happy, I am blessed and I am SO GRATEFUL for my friends and family who are there for me and support me through everything! You really are wonderful :)