Sunday, December 21, 2008


Can I just tell you that when I first saw this I nearly lost it. Tears of joy and loud meg laughter consumed me.. I watched it again and again and even though I knew Brooke was brilliant.. I can now show you how brilliant that she is!

Brooke is the wife of one of the EFY Session Directors Brother John McClay.. the two of them are amazing! They keep me laughing that is for sure. Brooke has more energy and more creativity on one hand than I have in my whole body!

Well here is the wonderful scoop! Brooke entered a cooking contest for Solo foods.. I have no idea what that is since they live in Colorado.. but it was to cook something and be creative in doing so.. this is what she came up with!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Jilly Bean!!

Jill is not a stranger to my blog. You have all read about her in my hero's tribute to her and her 2 daughters Jacqueline and Emily.

Jill is a woman of faith and I have looked up to her and watched her grow into the woman that she is since I was 12 years old... she was 4 years older than me.. but I knew how cool she was in the Student Body and all :)

I never understood how deeply I would really look up to her in the years to come and had no idea how deeply I would love the very children that would call her Mom.

One of the most treasured times of my life would be the months that I was able to help them with their children during Emily's first stay in the hospital. There are few times in my life when I felt so guided by the spirit on how to comfort and help those sweet kids. I am forever endebted to Jill for trusting them with me and allowing me to love them with everything I had to give.

All of you that know Jill and have watched how she has handled these years with her famil, will all agree that she is strong, faithful and thankful through the trials that have been placed before her. She takes each obstycle with grace and is so real about the things that are hard but doesn't give up!

I've been so amazed that admist the constantly changing health of her baby she still takes the time to invest in her calling as a Sunday School teacher. Most people would use the hardships as an excuse but not this woman.. she uses her lessons to strengthen her and give her power to overcome fears and have the faith to get through the trials. I wanna be more like that!

I love this quote by Sister Nadauld.. I think it sums up what a Woman of God is and what Jill shows each of us by her actions:

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough
women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who
are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we
need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need
more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough
vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more

The Joy of Womanhood
Margaret D. NadauldYoung Women General President



DISCLAIMER: I know that I have missed some very important Birthdays.. don't think that you aren't loved by me.. you will see yourself here, just wait and see!***

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Ok.. so for those of you who don't believe in reality shows I am sorry for boring you.. but this is one reality show that I will continue to support. Although working out on a ranch day in and day out for 100 days and then going home for 120 more isn't what most of us would ever experience in reality.. I must say that these contentants win my approval for being hard working.

As many of you know this season has had 3 real hard to love people on and I was over watching this show if one of them won because they were just there to win and not to change their lifestyles!! But integrity prevailed and our sweet MICHELLE won!!!

I actually missed the finale and I am so sad about it but I had a bowing date with me nephews which was more important.. but here is the ending of the show tonight...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursdays: Sealings

The Blackwells
Brandon, Kylie, & Irelyn Est. October 2007
Sealed: Oct 25, 2008
I just wanted to give a shout out to my cousin Kylie, Brandon and baby Irelyn for their sealing in the Manti Temple! They are forever now.

At the Sealing dinner I got Ire to try a lemon... she loved it! She is absolutely ADORABLE!!!The next day they blessed Ire at Jamie and Lukes house. It was an AWESOME weekend!
LOVE YOU BLACKWELL'S! Thank you for letting me be part of your special day

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy 55th Birthday Dad

I have been blessed in my adult life to be able to re-connect with my Dad and I am so glad that we can spend time together and that I have been able to spend holidays with him and the Gazaway side of the family. Almost two years ago we got to spend a straight week with our Dad in Utah with us and had so much fun together. Here is the evidence!

Happy Birthday Dad!
I love you!

Memory Monday:Sleep Study or Discomfort Study...... I don't know!

For years I have struggled with sleep problems. This year it has just increased and gotten really annoying. I went to see a sleep doctor who diagnosed me with night-time anxiety and also ordered an overnight sleep study at a sleep center her in Provo, Utah by Wills pitstop. I was to check in on Saturday night at 8 pm. Also to have dry hair, a clean face with no lotions or cleansers on it and that is about what I knew about it.

What an experience!! You can't go into this sleep clinic and be prepared for what will take place! It was CRAZY yet pretty humorous!
I checked in at 8pm and buzzed the office door bell. A very nice nurse came and introduced herself to me. ( I wish I could for the life of me remember their names.. they rocked!) I noticed that this office was in the same complex as Dr. Pledgers office so jokingly I said to the nurse.. when I go to sleep tonight do you do a 2 for 1 treatment... tummy tuck and sleep study? She laughed and we were instant friends from there on out.
She took me to a bedroom that was so nicely decorated and welcoming. (minus the hospital equipment there) They advised me to switch into my jammies and prepare myself the way I normally do for bed and when I was done to open my door and they would be in to start the process. I folded down my bed and got myself all comfortable and then opened the door and the process began.
The two nurses came in with a cart of computer looking wires. They had glue, sticker type bandages things, colores pencils you name it. One proceeded to mark up my head and measure it in every sort of way. The other started working on my legs, chest and and such. We had a great conversation and started laughing and carrying on. By the time I was done and looked in the mirror I was astounded at how many wires they had hooked up in 1 hour! I told the nurse that I needed to most definately blog this experience! She was so much fun. I was making faces and we were laughing! Then I layed down in one of the most comfortable beds that I have ever slept in and watched Tommy boy on TV. It was good comedy relief. It was getting later and later and although I was relaxed.. I was NOT tired. At 11:10ish there was a knock at my door and the nurse said time for sleepy! She came and added EVEN MORE wires and contraptions. She put something on my finger, a nose tube on my nose and another contraption over my nose that would gage the temperature. For about an hour and half.. I sat there flipping, flopping, figgiting because I was uncomfortable and not tired enough to fall asleep. I even got tangled up in my cords so much that the nurse had to help me get untangled.. we got a good laugh about that.
I was trying so hard to sleep, hello! That was the whole purpose I was there. The nurse came it at that hour and half mark and said, "Megan, you are breaking my heart watching you struggle so much to sleep!" I said welcome to my life every night! She then had me sit up and said here is an Ambien (sleep pill) this should help you right away. She then turned on the air conditioner unit and that is the last thing I remembered. At 6am she came in to wake me up and told me that she got some good results to tell my doctor that would hopefully help me get some answers to my sleep patterns. She had me get dressed, wash my face and go home. Aparently I went home and went right to bed. I woke up at 12:30pm and was in my own bed and wondered how I got there and was not at the sleep clinic (it took me a few hours to remember being woke up and sent home), sleep medicine is SCARY!


My long time EFY friends have Christmas party every year and this year was the first that I was able to attend.. it was themed Ugly Christmas Sweater party! I loved every minute of it and two of my best friends and I took it to a WHOLE new level!
Jen looked SMASHING in the outfit she didn't even have to doctor up!! It was way PRECIOUS!
Stace won the award of the night!! She went over and beyond in he dress up abilities from head to toe.. she jingled ALL the way!I would like to thank KMART for this lovely sweater score! For only 12.99 I was able to pull off this ugly, gotty sweater vest! (I hope no one that reads this has this sweater!)

Kev and Natalie looked great in their sweaters complete with Shoulder pads.

Some fun Dancing went on.. Stace put on her hip hop and Bret went to town!

A close up of my Shirley temple, foam roller hair design!

These next two picture are the white elephant exchange items. This is what I won! And Alissa's was my favorite of the funny ones.. Jen picked this one out... It was complete with a pink poinsetta.

I have the dearest friends!! I am so blessed with friends who like to have GOOD, CLEAN, FUN!


(YPM= Young Popular Mormons... we aren't so young anymore!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Families are Forever... even Elf ones!! :)

My nephews and I had a sleepover tonight... we just had too.. It gave us LOTS of LAUGHS!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


This lady is one of my dearest friends. She took such perfect care of me as a missionary in Englewood/Dayton Ohio. Her home was a safe haven for me in the last 6 months of my mission and her family continues to be such a beloved part of my life still today.
On Prep days on my mission countless times we spent them at her house (she wasn't even home) she let us come in and do our laundry and our email or letter writing to our families. I created many newsletters in her basement for my family and friends. When we would come to our house she also would leave us fresh baked bread to take home with us... she was SOOOO loving and accepting and willing to serve us! We knew that she loved us!
Since being home she has welcomed me into her home on several different occasions even with guests to stay at her home. On my second visit back she even gave me use of her car!!

Alicia has so many awesome talents. She is a great communicator. It is rare that you meet someone so talented as to so naturally have great communication with people that they have never met. We would take her on exchanges with us and the people loved her because she so openly honest and loving to all she meets.

Alicia is also a loyal. If you are in her heart she will do anything for you. She loves her family and friends so deeply and worries about them... not based on what people "may think" but based on true principles and love and concern for their spiritual well being.

She is a woman of faith and many miracles have happened in her life because she never ceased to pray or stop believing in the fact that they could happen.

Most importantly she is a great example of love, charity, devotion and compassion. She is one that I have and always will look up to. She is a mother of wonderful, loving children. A wife of a equally wonderful husband and a friend in all times. I love that in life we can have friends from all different ages and backgrounds and that we can all learn from each other. My life is blessed greatly through the talks that I have with Alicia. The encouragement we give each other and the love and wisdom that she can teach me!
Happy Birthday my sweet Alicia!! I DEFINITELY celebrate you birth! YOU ARE LOVED!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Today is my only sister in laws birthday and I am so glad that I get to tribute her! She definately deserves a shout out! Not only did she marry my brother, but she also is the mother of 3 of the most adorable children EVER!

Andrea married my brother when I was on my mission so I came home to a sister! Andrea is a VERY talented hair stylist and I love getting beautified by her.

I feel bad for people because they don't take the time to get to know her because she is so quiet when she doesn't know you, but when you actually listen to her, she has a lot to add to a conversation. Andrea loves shopping, decorating, spending time with her friends, eating out and date nights with her hubby and bunco.

She is such a great Mom and always has a clean and tidy house with clean and tidy kids. She has patience... this can be shown by her sunbeam calling in primary :)

I am so happy to have Andrea as a 8 yr addition to our family! We love you Andrea thanks for putting up with us!
HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thoughtful Tuesday: A LOT on my mind...

I am sad that I fell behind in my many post entries.. there are birthdays and tributes that I missed and I promise they are coming... just wait and see.. better late than never. I could give many excuses but none are good enough... the ones I love deserve more!
Here is a few things on my mind...

Congrats to my best friend Ry Guy for popping the question to Sherri and getting engaged! It's been a Big year for him... turning 30 and getting engaged all at once! WOWZERS!

For the holidays I went back to work at Supersonic Car wash as a cashier (haven't worked there in 6 years, since I left to watch Jill's kids when Emily was first diagnosed). I have learned great things already from this experience.

  1. I miss being around people and having face to face interaction

  2. I don't like high school-like drama as a 30 yr old

  3. I am dang good at selling pre-paid car wash certificates

  4. It helps pay the bills

  5. I love that half of the employees are my relatives and I get to see them 3 days a week!

I had so much fun helping Megan Parish with her Sadie Hawkins group's dinner and even more fun laughing and sitting on the kitchen floor with Amber making bets of who was going to be a couple one day...YEE HAW!

Val, Mike and Emerson are back in town and it has been fun to spend time at Auntie Kay's again (2 times this week already!)

I am a fan of the Twilight books and don't think that they are evil, however I do believe that they are very adult material. I did go see the movie and loved it. Wasn't a big fan of some that they cast for the movie but by the end I didn't care.. I wish I could watch the second movie NOW!

I love the biggest looser on TV and cry to it every week.. however the last 2 weeks I have wanted to say VERY BAD words at Vickie and Heva and think that they are very evil and wish they would get kicked off... I don't like pot stir-ers on TV series or in real life and people that don't show integrity and are cruel to those who don't deserve it make me FURIOUS! However, I do believe that Amy made her own bed and now has to lie in it. It never pays to not follow your heart and do something out of peer pressure or to make yourself more popular, you will always fall. Would I ever try out for biggest looser is something people ask me a lot? Is that a fat joke? hhahah My answer to that question is... I really don't know if I could bear to "bare myself" in a sports bra on public television every week.. LOL I don't even wear those at the gym or around my own house for that matter!! All I have to say about this show in conclusion.. I think it is absolutely fantastic that they help these groups of people gain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy perspective.. I do however wish Vickie and Heva would gain some weight and be gone for good! Did I just say that out loud?!

The holidays... This year the holidays are feeling a little gloomy for me this is why..

  1. I work all the eves 14 hour shifts and all the days of the actual holidays 10 hour shifts

  2. It always feels a little lonely when you are single and you wonder where you fit in

  3. I will miss all the traditions with my family. Christmas Eve with brothers family and opening Pj's together, breakfast at Grandpa-ma's with table fairy gifts, and lunch/games at Grandpa-ma's with our huge family.

  4. However I will say that with the economy the way it is, I am VERY thankful to have a job.

Christmas decorations. Oh how I love Christmas! How I love to decorate, cook, have smelly candles or cinnamon sticks cooking on the stove. It feels like a home when all these elements are in place. With 6 strangers as roommates sometimes the home element is lost... so glad for holiday times when I can bring the feeling to my house with the wonderful spirit of Christmas present! What a glorious time of year... I CAN'T WAIT!

The most important things on my mind are the people in my life who are going through extra rough challenges. The medical concerns with family and friends, money struggles, spiritual struggles, job worries, loneliness, and stress. Life has a way of sometimes getting the best of us and sometimes making us feel so down trodden! To all of you out there who may be experiencing one or all of the things I am praying for you! Please know that the Lord is aware of you. That trials will be but for a moment but when we endure them well, we will be blessed above anything that we can imagine. My quote of the year that I have sitting right infront of my desk at all times is by one of my hero's President Gordon B. Hinckley,

"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Sometimes in life you need a good laugh... I don't know I thought this was pretty comical and wanted to share! The things that you find on YOU TUBE! I LOVE improv stuff.. hope you agree!! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


What is the likelihood that three of the most IMPORTANT people in your life celebrate the same Birthday!?

Well, the planets aligned three different years in celebration of the births of 3 ALL-STARS!

The first birthday that I am going to tribute today is JEREMY D WHITING (aka Jer Bear) and that is because he is turning the BIG 3-0 TODAY! Jer was a big part of me from age 12 to when I left on my mission. I feel like I pretty much spent most of my life with him. He can make me laugh more than just about anyone. He is loved by all, he has overcome so much adversity in his life and he is most likely the most AMAZING school teacher to ever live.
Next to my Mom and Grandmother I would have to say Jer is my biggest cheerleader, my best friend and someone I love more than life! A big chunk of the happiest, funnest, most memorable times of my life include Jer in them. He is the biggest teddy bear and would do anything for anyone unless someone treated me poorly and then he put on the boxing gloves! He just lives too far away from me now seeing him 1-2 times a year is simply not enough!
As you can see, I DEFINITELY celebrate this boys birth!

The second important reason that today is so great would be none other than my Brother Patrick Neal, Fat Pat Neal, Trick, Patter-rick, whatever you may want to call him!

Pat and I have a love/hate relationship. We love to be on opposing sides of issues. Yet, we have a deep love for each other that shines through in the things that we do for one another. Although growing up Pat and I were like oil and water we have become great friends. I love my brother and really respect how hard he works and how successful he has become. He loves to tease, rough house and do anything that is related to sports. His bark is definitely bigger than his bite.. deep down he is such a SOFTY! He is one of the most Loyal people I know and when you get into his heart.. he will do whatever it takes to help you and support you through any situation.
Pat I love you! I am so glad that you were born! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

And the third great reason today is such a FABULOUS DAY is my AUNT KIMMIE or Kimbadarling! I have so many sweet memories with this woman!! She is the funnest person to hang out with, do crafty things with, shop with (she is the one who taught me to SHOP.. shame on her!)and chat for hours with! My teenage years were so much richer because I had Kimmie in them! She would pick me up and I would just hang with her day in and day out. We loved to go to Hardee's and get mushroom Swiss burgers, she introduced me to CREST drinks, the dollar store, big lots, etc. Kim also has a mother heart and loves to take care of people. She works really hard to be a great friend and is so talented in fashion and decorating. She has tons of fun stories and is so fun to be around. She is always looking for things to get involved in and can do a million things at once. Most importantly, even though I rarely get to see her, when we are together again it is like no time has past! Oh how I love you Kimbadarling!

As you can see, these three are glorious reasons to celebrate today!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Pat, Kim and Jer!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Sampler: Prophetic Vision of Elder Maxwell

A friend of mine shared this with me on Facebook and it touched me how right on to our times it was, although it was spoken in 1979! Oh how I love Elder Maxwell and the truth he taught and the seer that he was. Today as a lot of us are fasting for the many issues going on in our nation and the election at hand, I thought this was powerful and true doctrine to think on.
I hope you learn from it as I did...

Elder Neal A. Maxwell- Apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints


"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.'"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions."Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us,let us not then complain of the heat.“…there is occurring a discounting of religiously based opinions. There may even be a covert and subtle disqualification of some for certain offices in some situations, in an ironic irreligious test for office. If people, however, are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold which grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would we be?“If we let come into being a secular church which is shorn of traditional and divine values, where shall we go for inspiration in the crises of tomorrow? Can we appeal to the rightness of a specific regulation to sustain us in our hour of need? Will we be able to seek shelter under a First Amendment which by then may have been twisted to favor irreligion? Will we be able to rely for counterforce on value education aided in school systems which are increasingly secularized? And if our governments and schools were to fail us, would we be able to fall back upon and rely upon the institution of the family, when so many secular movements seek to shred it?It may well be that as our time comes to “suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41), some of that special stress will grow out of that portion of discipleship which involves citizenship.”
Neal A. Maxwell, “A More Determined Discipleship,” Ensign, Feb 1979, 69–73

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday Alyssa Dear!

This is my sweet, talented and loving cousin Alyssa! Today is her 19th birthday! I wanted to let you know that I definately celebrate her birth. I even came home from my mission so that I would come home on her birthday (she wrote me a letter on my mission asking me to be home for her birthday) because of a plane delay I barely made that wish, but it did happen!

Alyssa has always been so dear to my heart! Alyssa was a very shy child who was very clingy to her mommy in her early ages. I remember a particular time in my life where she was such an answer to my prayers and she was only 2 years old.
I was going through a very hard, challenging part of my life. I was 13 years old and we had just moved from my childhood apartment to a new house. We were in a new neighborhood with all new people. I was feeling very lonely, very displaced, very sad. My Aunt Kay came to pick me up one summer afternoon (as she did often) and brought Alyssa with her. When we got home all the kids dispersed and went about all their activities but I wasn't feeling too well emotionally so I just kind of sat there. Alyssa who usually didn't give me the time a day (yet) came up to me with her blanky and her thumb in her mouth and just crawled up and cuddled on me for 2 hours! I needed that more than a 2 year old could ever know. It is amazing how much little children sense and even more amazing is the effect that it had on me that even 17 yrs later I remember that. Alyssa and I became quick buddies after that!
I loved to fix Lyssa's hair in big poofy curled pigtails with matching bows on either side(she probably hates me for it)! I loved taking her on stroller rides, bike rides, having sleep overs and just being with miss alyss!

Alyssa has always had such a peacemaker disposition and love just shoots out of her ever pour!

This year Alyssa graduated and got married just a few months a part to the man of her dreams Justin Sorenson. Although I told her she was on my poo poo list for not telling me she was engaged and finding out on facebook... I think she knew that I could never hold a grudge at my sweet wyssa!

I love you my lys! Thank you for being such a loving part of our family! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thankful Thursday: 8 years ago today... How is it possible?!

Sister Gazaway, was a beloved name that I went by for 18 months of my life as I lived in Riverside, Ohio. Deleware, Ohio. Westerville, Ohio. Englewood, Ohio. It was a name that defined who I am, what I stood for and who I represented.

I am literally in shock and don't know how it is even possible that 8 years ago today, I was walking off the plane with my Mom in Salt Lake City, returning home from my 18 month sacred grove in Columbus Ohio.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday...

After touring my mission and other areas for about a week, (Kirtland and Palmyra NY) with my Mom and Grandpa and Grandma Schroeppel we had to separate to go on our flights home. I sat in my seat on the airplane grasping my Mom's hand and tears just pouring profusely down my face because I had to leave the land that I loved SOOO much. It really was a good thing that Mom was with me, I am pretty sure I would have run off that plane and stayed a while longer! (at least 6 more months.. that was the first time ever I wanted to be an ELDER)

We had a lay over in Cincinnati, OH and when I found out that our plane would be delayed 4 additional hours I had a nervous breakdown...literally! There I stood with Mom at the ticket counter as they told us this news. I started uncontrollably crying. Mom was so embarrassed with my antics as I had my missionary tag on.. she kept nudging me and saying, "stop it! You are a representative of the Lord!" I couldn't stop! I had so much pent up emotions inside they just came tumbling out of my eyes. The ticket agent didn't know what to do and Mom could tell she felt awkward about my situation that she proceeded to explain to her the reason I was crying that way. She told her that I had been away from my family and friends for 18 months and wasn't able to talk to them or anything so I was very anxious to be reunited. She explained that as missionaries we pay our own ways and in return we focus on what we are there to do and so we aren't able to call home. The agent felt pity for me and I think she really wanted me to stop causing a scene so she sat us FIRST CLASS! (Mom, you can thank me later for embarrassing you! hahhaa)

I was so worried that all the people that made such effort to come would be waiting at the airport for hours that I started to call and cry as I talked to each of them and tell them that I was delayed.

As emotional as I felt there at the Cincinnati Airport I could not expect how much more emotional I could possibly get until I walked off the plane in Salt Lake City to a sea of a hundred waiting at the terminal for me. It was an unforgettable moment. When I started to walk down the ramp into the terminal it was like the herds were unleashed. ALL the kids in my life that I loved so much ran down the hallway (nearly where I got out of the door of the plane) and litter ally tackled me. I was flat on my back with kids dog piled on top of me and I just kept hugging and kissing them and crying. I can't even imagine a better reunion. So many people that I loved and cherished were there. All My Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, The Whiting Crew, Draper Crew, The Goulds and Latus, Friends, Missionary buddies more people than I could count... all there for me! I felt so loved and so special.

I remember my Brother driving home with Mom and I and his new bride and just crying as he told me and showed me all the new things that had been built in Utah while I was gone. I remember that from the point of the mountain back to Orem NOTHING looked the same.. there was NO LAND LEFT! One of the funniest parts was he had to take the long way home so he could show me something amazing! We got off the University exit and there at almost midnight there was a line of cars a mile long trying to get a Krispy Kreme doughnut. He thought they were so amazing and I played along with him but on my mission Krispy Kreme was like how it is now in Utah, you could buy it at every gas station and grocery store and so I didn't understand the fuss, but I played along!

I hid from the Stake President for 3 extra days until Lynn Whiting ratted me out and told him that I was home and I got a call asking me to be released. I didn't want to be released. I didn't want to give up the badge that gave me great honor and courage the last 18 months! I wanted to wear it forever. I was so thankful that President Lloyd never asked me to take the badge off. He just read the letter he had received from my mission president, gave me a blessing and released me as a FT missionary and asked me to stay in my family ward for at least year after.

I went home with lots of tears. Sat on the couch in the front room totally numb as to the fact that I was going to have to surrender that tag and wondering how I was going to do it. Just then a tap at my door and then someone opened it. There stood Richard Kolopeaua (one of my best-est friends since twelve yrs old) he gave me a huge hug, escorted me back to the couch and put his arm around me and I just snuggled up to him and he held me. He asked me for my tag, I handed it to him and told him all about my mission and he told me about his. I don't know how it all came about. I can't remember if I even told him I would be released that night, all I know is it was the BEST way to end the wearing of the tag I could have ever imagined.

Today I don't wear a tag with the name Sister Gazaway over my heart which gave me such power and authority. But just as we learned at conference I can still have Christian Courage to share the gospel and stand up for the right, day and night where ever I may be.

My mission wasn't just the best 18 months OF my life, it was the best 18 months FOR my life! I left a part of me in Ohio that I will never get back, but I came back a stronger, more in tune, more Christ-like, more compassionate and fortified person. How eight years has come and gone since this day recalled, I don't know. But what I do know.....


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


All my BLOGGER friends I need your help and brain power in helping raise some money for the sweet Emily that I have been talking about on my Blog for MONTHS!!

I need some connections to help with her benefit concert that we will be throwing on Monday the 10th or Tuesday the 11th of Novemeber at Payson or Spanish Fork High Schools.

We have a performing group coming in from Mesa Arizona that is called LIGHT (like the BYU Young Embassadors that has Emily's cousin the group) and we need one or two well known people in Utah to put their names on the event and come and perform there as well.

Do you know any of these people that would like to join in such a GREAT cause for a little 6 yr old girl and her family?

Emily's Medicine's alone are so expensive to keep her alive that we are trying everything that we can to help ease that expensive for her family.

If you know a UTAH performer, could you please pass Emily's story along. You can read about her at (click on the label Emily)

I need to know ASAP so that I can get a move on with the advertising. If you or your family would be willing to volunteer to spread the word, bake things for a bake sale, or help at the event, PLEASE let me know!!

I have seen mighty miracles happen when people unite in faith and charity to bring about a good cause. I expect that with all of your help, this could turn out to be just that a miracle.

My email is

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I just have to give a shout out to Wendy Williams Fent!
I love you Wendy! I am so sorry to make this short and sweet but my blogger memory is out!

Wends I have some great memories with you! Our singled out renditions that we would do at The Whitings when you would come up, lots of laughs, and BRICK OVEN! Yummy!

I love your little giggle laugh and your smile... I LOVE your smile. You are a great person and you try so hard all the time. I love reading your blog and watching your life unfold. May this year bring you EXTRA happiness and love! You are loved by many.. including me!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Two of my favorite people, who also happen to be cousins, are getting married 4 days apart! So wedding dress shopping was together this time! It was so fun to see them in all their pretty glory. We went to my Aunt Leslie's bridal shop Veronica Michaels. It was a good time for all! You can judge for yourself.. Aren't Amy (Meemsy) and Lexi (Lou) amazing brides?!

How do you choose when you look good in EVERYTHING?!! This one is a dress that was made for our Meemsy! I love it. Angie and I got all emotional when she came out in this one!! It was so fun because they were the same size so they tries on the same dresses for the most part! Most people don't ever get that opportunity! Here is a TWINNER picture!

Now on to Lexi. She went so far in and out of the things that I didn't get too many detailed pictures of her.. but I did get soe good ones.. this is embarrassing to admit but my blog is telling me that I hit the maximum photo storage... so I can't upload them yet.. I will have to buy more storage and then add them! Sorry Lexi fans!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy 15th Birthday Mac!!

It is one of my best buds birthday today!! We have been buddies since he was a wee little guy! I have had so many fun memories with him!!
We loved going to the China Buffets, Sonic, Panda Express and Fuddruckers together when I would come to Boise to see him. I even learned how to make Crab Ragoon for this stud!
Pretty much there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I wouldn't do for him.
Things I want you to know about my Mac.....

  • He doesn't like speaking badly of anyone

  • He is so good with little kids

  • He is very athletic and wrestles like a champ

  • He loves EFY too

  • Girls love him

  • He always has a funny story to tell me

  • Has turned me into a fan of George Lopez on TV

  • Always tries his best at everything he does

  • Plays the guitar

  • Is full of determination (he can do anything he puts his mind too!)

  • Is a true boy through and through!

Mac you are the BOMB! I love you! I know you know that! Thanks for never being "too big" to give me a hug when you see me and always tell me you love me before bed or when I drop you off at your various activities.. Those three words out of your mouth make me so happy :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Memory Monday: ONE YEAR ALREADY?!

One year ago today two different couples who I adore were married.
The first being my cousin Kylie and Brandon Blackwell
I had already been involved in planning another wedding so I didn't get to come to Kylie's but didn't she look radiant! Can't wait to join her at her sealing this Saturday!
The second: Sam And Sarah Pettit

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Flippin' Birthday Staci Misao Yamada!


Oh how I love this girl!! Stace is a girl after my own heart! She keeps very busy, is a perfectionist and doesn't believe in doing ANYTHING half hearted! See, why I love her?!

Stace is REAL that is something that I adore about her!! We talk so directly and giggle like little school girls!! Suprise, suprise when I tell you that I met Stace at EFY 2002 and we have been friends ever since.. it get's sweeter and sweeter every year!
Stace is a MAJOR planner. She is so talented and has FANTASTIC ideas. She and her sweet Mom have been so supportive of me and have helped me so much with wedding receptions, happily!
Stace has a deep love of family and the gospel. She does anything that is asked of her! People that know her, including me look up to her wisdom and testimony!Oh Stace, I love your giggle! I love our girl chats and our friendship! I hope that you had a FANTASTIC birthday my sweet Stace! We will have to celebrate together soon!