Finding Happiness In The Little Things

by | Lindsey's Musings

February 2017

This February has been absolutely amazing with weather. Although as I sit and write this there is snow melting all around outside, it wasn’t always that case this week. On one particularly sunny day, as I drove home from work I found my thoughts drifting to the little things around me, every day ordinary things that one might not always notice. I noticed the small but steady stream of traffic on my usual route home from work. I noticed the neighbor kids playing soccer because it was finally warm enough for the grass to show and jackets to come out of the closet. As I pulled into my spot in front of the beautiful home I live in, I couldn’t help but marvel at it. I marveled at the unique bricks and the way they stood as both sentinel and foundation, the shiny white fence with the hibernating plants behind it, the elegant features design, all of it seemed to say ‘welcome home’.

 

Getting out of my car I glanced behind me at the majestic mountains that greet me every morning on my way to work, and every evening when I get back home. I took a deep breath of the cool February air, hearing the passing of cars as others hurried on their way home, anxious for loved ones, dinner, and plans to be kept.

 

As I started along the sloped sidewalk and driveway, carefully juggling my purse and the twenty other miscellaneous items from the day, I couldn’t help but realize how incredibly lucky I was. I looked back at the surrounding mountains that I couldn’t wait to explore when the weather was warmer, and I smiled a smile of happiness. I walked into a beautiful home that was filled with good energy and women who genuinely care about me and my well-being, and I smiled a smile of happiness. I went to the kitchen where I had all the food I could ever need, and I smiled a smile of happiness. After dinner I went for a walk with a close friend, and amidst the chatter and laughter I smiled a smile of happiness.

 

I guess what happened that evening was I realized that my happiness wasn’t necessarily all wrapped up in the big thing, although those certainly don’t hurt. No, this time my happiness was a combination, a correlation really, of a bunch of really tiny things and that in and of itself is really quite remarkable.

This I Believe

I could never ever in my life deny that God lives. He lives, he loves us, he knows us, and he is here to help us. It is my belief that when we left our Father in heaven to come to Earth and carry out his plan that he made us a few promises. Of those promises, I believe he promised a great life. He never promised a life with-out trials, but he promised us a great life indeed.
Read Me

For my Savior, my Rock, my Guide

A sense of purpose, strength, an honor divine. With furrowed brow and knowing eyes, Each step of your life carefully thought out. It’s there for you, your destined route.
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Life’s too short to live in fear

August seems like it was half a lifetime ago, but I can clearly remember how fearful my life was. In the last three months things got better, but they didn't necessarily get easier.
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Not Your Mama’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

The gluten-free life isn't always easy, especially when you're craving some serious comfort food. Like Mac n Cheese. Don't worry, I've got you covered!
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Gluten Free Pad Thai

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="27" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] December 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes What You Need:
  • Gluten Free Pad Thai or Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
  • San-J Gluten Free Sweet & Tangy or Orange Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Assorted Veggies (I like to use broccoli slaw, snap peas, water chestnuts and cole slaw)
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • *Protein option: 1 egg
  • 2 cups water
  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0005.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0001.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0004.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] In a large skillet bring the 2 cups water to boil and add your rice noodles, veggies, sesame seeds (to taste), a dash of garlic powder, and drizzle with your sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Don't forget to stir noodles occasionally and add water as needed. When your noodles are soft, cover with a lid and let them cool for 1 minute. Add additional sauce as needed and salt and pepper to taste. *If you wanted the protein option, simply scramble the egg in a separate pan and add in at the end. These are best served hot, but do reheat as leftovers fairly well with the noodles keeping their texture consistently. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
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Gluten Free Poppy Seed Chicken

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="26" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] May 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep/Cook Time: 1 hour Serve about 2 people What You Need:
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (cooked and pulled)
  • 1 Cup Of Cooked Rice
  • 2 cups of milk/water in a small sauce pan
  • ½ cup of Shirley J Cream Soup & Sauce Mix (or a half a cup of any cream based sauce mix you prefer to make)
  • ½ tblspn of poppyseeds
  • ¼ cup of grated cheese
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • Gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1 tspn of gluten free chicken granule
  *I cooked my chicken in a crock pot previously and shredded it. If you’re short on time you could use cubed or canned chicken.*  
  1. Combine your cream based sauce, chicken granule, poppy seeds, and onion powder in a small sauce pan and bring it to a low boil.
 
  1. Serve over cooked rice and sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs above before eating.
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DSC_0021.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DSC_0019.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

Finding Happiness In The Little Things

Discussions on true happiness and how the little things can all add up to one great big thing.
Read Me

Forget the sidewalk, take the risk.

Tonight I want to talk about risks. What is a risk anyway? To me, a risk is straying from the norm, pushing the envelope, and saying adios to your comfort zone.
Read Me

The Blessing Of True Friendship

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="28" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="11" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] November 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve always had an appreciation for really great friendships. I remember my parents sitting down with my when I was younger, usually after some big fight with various childhood friends, and explaining the types of friendships you find in life. It usually went something like this, “Lindsey, you’re going to have many different types of friends in your life. I have many different types of friends in life, and they constantly change. Of all my friendships, I can only count on my fingers how many true friends I have, and best friends on one hand.”   As a child, I had a bit of a hard time grasping this. To me, everyone was a ‘best friend’, a life-long confidant. I learned through many tears, the second lesson my parents taught me. “You’re going to have many acquaintances in life, you’re going to have many friends, but you’ll only have a few true best friends.” Acquaintances? Yeah, try explaining acquaintances to a child, not so easy. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_gallery admin_label="Gallery" gallery_ids="4188,4187,4185,4184,4190" fullwidth="on" show_title_and_caption="on" show_pagination="on" background_layout="light" auto="off" hover_overlay_color="rgba(255,255,255,0.9)" caption_all_caps="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_gallery][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve taken that advice with me as I’ve navigated my life. I’ve found many acquaintances, truly good people that brought sunshine into my life, even if for a moment. I’ve had many friends, people I spent time with, had similarities with, and enjoyed the interactions of our life. Like my parents told me, I can honestly say I now only have a few best friends that I can count on my hands, and they change all the time.   My acquaintances, ah, let me tell you about these people. They’re the nice girls at work, who greet me with a smile in the morning, bring me a Reese’s peanut butter cup because they know I have an obsession, and ask general questions about how my life is going. They’re the people in my ward that gush with me over Gilmore Girls and the fact that we have all have a serious love-hate relationship with Logan Huntsburger. They share in my love of Christmas, and help me spread that cheer to co-workers and beyond. My acquaintances and I interact on a daily, weekly, something monthly basis, but they’re always there. We’re that little boost for each other, the little ray of sunshine that you sometimes need to make it through a somewhat cloudy day.   My friends, now, these people are fun. They’re the people I met in school, in my ward, in my clubs. We’re friends on social media, and some of us still keep in touch, but boy do we have a lot of memories. These were the people that were by my side while I was going through the various stages a college student goes through. They’re those people in High School that I text every month or so to catch up on the little ones, the mission, the new job, the crazy school schedule, the new boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend, and everything in-between. They’re my people, my fan club, my support system, the basis of too many memories to count and shapers of the person I am today.   Now, let’s get to the big ones, the ones I protect the most fiercely and support the strongest. These are my inner circle, my crowd, the keepers of my darkest secrets, my best friends. These people made sure to answer the phone when I called every single day after my mom died, and congratulate me on making it through the first two hours of the day, all the while reassuring me I could make it two more hours until lunch. These people were there when I was shattered--heart, mind, body, and soul. Completely void of the life I thought I would have, a dream and heart shattered everywhere. They were there, turning on the light, holding my hand, supporting me as I lifted myself off the ground and put the pieces of my life back together. They’re there at 12 a.m. when my mind won’t shut up and I have to talk it out before I go insane. They’re the words of encouragement when I’m not sure if I can ever open my heart and soul to love again, reminding me of the knowledge I’ve gained and the potential of my future. Some of them have fought on my team since we were in diapers, and we’ve come in and out of each other’s lives, shifting from friendship level as needed. Bottom line, these are my soul connections, my family, the people I truly believe I’ve known for eternity. They know Lindsey, and then they know Lindsey. They see my soul and I see theirs, and it’s really quite beautiful to have a connection like that.   Now, the last point my parents taught me was the one constant in life, change. This was as equally hard to grasp as the concept of acquaintances, but I think with the years I’ve become a little more used to it. It used to bother me, the concept of losing friends. With some people I felt such an intense connection, I couldn’t fathom how our lives would ever survive without that. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, where one friend is lost another is waiting to be gained. I value the concept of change, because it brings with it the hope that wherever you are at in your life, you will have what you need through current or new friendships. It’s exciting, meeting new people and gaining perspectives and cultures.   Of course, we don’t lose all of our friends, some we may keep most of our lives, but the beauty of change is that it brings hope, perspective, and brightness for the future.   I’ve moved quite a bit since May, I moved home where I needed friends and people to lift me up as I searched for a job, and God happily provided. I moved to Salt Lake, a humongous city that felt like it was going to swallow me whole, and I needed friends to keep the jaws open, and show me the beauty that can be found in dark places—God happily provided. Most recently I moved to Orem, a city I never expected to live in, and I desperately needed friends. I needed people that accepted me as I was, supported me as I struggled to start on the new path my life is in, and help me as I discovered new roads and perspectives I didn’t know I had. God has happily provided.   I guess lately I’ve just been extremely grateful for the friendship and people my life. I look back and recognize the people that helped me on my way, turning around on their own paths to give me a hand and pull me a little farther up the mountain. There are individuals who quite literally saved my life, and although I have tried I can never thank them enough.   My life isn’t anywhere near where I thought it would be, but I do know it’s everything it’s supposed to be. There are some holes here and there, but those holes are filled with countless friendship that I know God put in my life exactly for that reason. No matter which category you think you fall into, know that I truly love and appreciate each and every one of you. You are needed, you are loved, and you are appreciated exactly as you are. 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