Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

After a long hiatus in the blogging world, I am back at it.

Check out my new blog, Man in the Arena.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Friday!

I love Friday.

This weekend is Parker Days! Free county concert, fair food and carnival vendors... yes please!

It's going to be a great weekend.

But for your viewing pleasure. Have I shared that I'm in band? haha, I don't think I have.

What began as a joke between a few friends turned into a busking adventure downtown. Please enjoy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Storm Chasing

For those of you who aren't aware, Colorado was hit with a major storm last night. It was incredible. I was in Littleton driving home from a friends house so I missed the major hail (and my car thanks me for that).

I wathced lightening spread accross the sky the whole drive home. Luckily I didn't hit any flooded streets. It looks like Colorado Springs got hit really hard. Castle Rock didn't fair to well. The parking lot at my office... looked like a hurricane swept through.

I wanted to share some photos with you, but I take no credit for any of them.

Photos via The Denver Post 

Photo via The Colorado Springs Gazette

Photos via The Weather Channel

Photo's via Facebook friends

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Loving Yourself Day Seven

I don't really believe in coincidences. I think everything happens for a reason, and for some reason this week of loving myself came during an incredibly hard time for me.

It has been a battle to try to be kinder to myself, to love myself, to forgive myself.

I've faced/I'm facing challenges that are beyond my control, and those who know me well know that when things are out of my control, that alone is a challenge for me to accept.

My wise roommate, Jen, reminded me of a story that I shared with her after women's conference. I went to Austin to visit my friend Janessa and while I was there I was able to attend an LDS Women's Conference with Sister Julie B. Beck. At the time Sister Beck was the General Relief Society President for the LDS church.

Sister Beck shared a lesson she learned about trials, and the Lord coming during our hour of need.

She discussed a story found in Matthew 14/Mark 6. After Jesus had fed the five thousand he told his disciples to get into the ship to go to the other side, while he went up to the mountain to pray. Jesus remained alone, but the ship was caught in a storm.

Mark 6:46-51"And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure and wondered.

The Romans divided the night into four watches, the fourth watch takes place between 3 - 6 a.m. The fourth watch is the last watch of the night.

Here are my notes from what Sister Beck said:
- We have a fourth watch God.The Lord will come to us, when we can no longer make it through the night alone.
- The Savior is watching us toiling, we are not alone.
- He will come, sometimes not until the fourth watch, but He will come.
- That time spent toiling will cause our spiritual muscles to grow.

Now, I'm not saying I'm in the fourth watch, I daresay that this could be worse, I could toil more. But just for today, I can't really do it anymore. I can't handle the toiling, my muscles are a bit exhausted. So instead of the miraculous rescue during the fourth watch, this morning I simply prayed for the strength to make it through today.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Loving Yourself Day Six

Last night I sat down and made some SMART goals.

I think setting goals, and working to accomplish them, is incredibly important.

I also had a very real, kinda hard to hear the truth conversation with a good friend of mine. I got some much needed perspective. Thank goodness for true friends, a voice of reason and some sound advice!

Another note on loving yourself, my incredibly talented friend and former colleague Jenny wrote this.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Loving Yourself Weekends Days Three-Five

One post to cover the weekend and Monday.


I find myself apologizing a lot, and for things that I don't really need to apologize for. For instance, I sometimes apologize for only ordering Diet Coke when I'm out with my friend who drink. Like my Diet Coke is offending the server.

Sometimes I apologize for the way I explain things, or for sharing my opinion.

I don't need to apologize for expressing my opinion. I caught myself doing this over the weekend.

I'm all for realizing you need to apologize when it's appropriate. But there is no need to apologize for being who you are.

Side note: I've got a massive headache today. So since I'm loving myself right now, I'm going to take some time off and try to get rid of this.

And for your viewing pleasure Beyonce... she goes hard and I love to watch her perform.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Loving Yourself Day Two

Be Kind.

This is what I've been thinking about today. I stayed up late last night, but I was having a great time. Normally I'd be a little bit mad at myself. Consequently I woke up 30 minutes later than I intended, usually I'd be mad at myself.

Today I was a bit more forgiving.

I hear myself talking to my friends about the way they speak about their bodies or personalities. I feel so sad when I hear how hard they are on themselves, and how they choose to say incredibly damaging things about themselves. They would never say those things to me. They are forgiving of my weaknesses and shortcomings, and shouldn't we be just as kind and forgiving of ourselves.

Hi. My name is Jillian and I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters anyone????

I assure you I can be a lot easier on myself. I don't think there's anything wrong with high expectations, but I need to recognize my own limitations.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loving Yourself Day One

I have some pretty amazing visiting teachers who left me with a very interesting challenge. They challenged me to spend an entire week loving myself. Where my biggest focus is on loving me. I think that we so often spend time trying to think of others and being unkind to ourselves, that we forget the importance of loving yourself.

I wrote myself a little not on my mirror... and that was about it. But I'm trying again. So I'm going to blog about my results of the week of loving myself.

So first things first, Megan told me to write a list of the things that I love about myself. I tried to do it last week and I found that it was really hard. I once listened to a lesson given by an LDS therapist and she pointed out that our brains are incredible. When we tell our brain to think of all the things that are wrong with us, it can keep going and going with lists of what is wrong with us. But we can also ask it to think of all the things we love about ourselves. So, that is what I asked of my brain.

So in completely honesty of my week of loving myself, Day one:

Ability to love
Physical strength
Emotional Strength
My waist
Ability to remind people of who they are
Desire to serve
Stubbornness (yep... I'm weird)
Voice of reason
Dancing like a crazy person
Who I am becoming
Ability to Forgive
Desire to continue even when I fall short
Pixie cut
Cheek bones
My imperfection
Recognition of my faults
Love of Sports
Desire to consumer knowledge
Knowing/sharing random facts
Desire to be better
My measuring stick (occasionally I lose track of the measuring stick I like to use, that of the Lord's, and I get all sorts of confused and start using other people's but I love it when I am using the right one).

Now that you've listened to me dote on myself, what are some things that you love about yourself?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Weekend

I've got an exciting weekend ahead of me. One of my best friends is getting married later today!

I can't wait.

Sunday is Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to spending time with my mom.

I wanted to share this lovely song with you. Calee is a friend from BYU's sister. Of all the things that I knew about Kristina, Calee's sister, I always knew about the wonderful family she came from. The family lost their mother a little while ago. A trial I can't imagine facing right now.

I may have cried a little bit when I first heard this song. If you want to learn a little bit more about the family or Calee's journey writing and record a CD go here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Remember how my Granny and I share a love of The Pioneer Woman? Granny lives a hop, skip and a jump from the Drummond Ranch.

I'm not sure how she did it, but for my birthday she sent me a personalized new Pioneer Woman Cook Book.

I have a love for all things P Dub. This was the most exciting part of turning 26.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Forgiveness Flour

"No matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal."
-- Sarah Kay, If I Should Have A Daughter

posted way back when...

I listened to Sarah Kay perform this again. My mind has been twisting around some thoughts lately... Perhaps I'm thinking a bit too hard, a bit too deep or perhaps I find myself facing a time of change within myself.

Just bear with me because it'll all make sense by the end of this post.

I had a friend in college, and for the sake of this conversation, let's just call her Helen. Helen was a little bit different. She had an abrasive personality, a series of problems that just made you want to shake her and tell her to make smart decisions and get her life in order.

People had a hard time with Helen, but all Helen wanted was to be loved.

One day I was at our neighbors house and our neighbor exclaimed, "Please just tell me something about her that makes up for her behavior. Tell me there is something to justify this."

I explained to our neighbor that Helen grew up as a ward of the state. She spent most of her teenage years living in an all girl's home/school and didn't know her mother well. She has severe health issues stemming from her mother's drinking and drug use when she was pregnant. That she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she was a teenager and had been turning her life around since then.

The neighbor looked at me and said, "Oh. Well that makes sense now."

And something clicked in my 19-year-old brain. Something I probably should have understood long before that time.

The mandate given by the Savior that we love one another.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, they ye also love one another. " John 13:34

The Savior know each one of us intimately. Knows the details that make it unbearable to love and feel compassion and a desire to protect and defend people. So perhaps we should take His word on it and try to feel that love toward everyone.

Last night I was having a conversation with some close friends. They talked about a mutual acquaintance we all share. I chimed in and asked if I could provide a bit of background on this person's life. Background that makes her the behavior understandable.

We ended up talking for a good 30 minutes about why it the behavior is understandable but not excusable. About how our circumstances do not determine who we become. A conclusion I think the three of us could easily agree upon. Our circumstances shape us, but we can grow and change in spite of them. We can't blame all of our problems on our parents, our siblings, our spouses, the weather, etc...

At a certain point, perhaps a certain level of maturity, we choose to grow. To change our circumstances. To rise above.

But not everyone gets there. Not everyone gets there quickly either.

I'd like to think that everyone faces this moment. Everyone has something to rise above.

So I hope that when we witness the struggles of someone else. Someone caught in a trap or cycle set by their circumstances, that we can be quick to forgive. Quick to recognize that we all face the same predicament, and it is a whole heck of a lot easier to make it through by the support of others as opposed to jeers and judgement.

We all have a story. A story that makes us loveable. I'm going to try a lot harder to remember that and to extend the hand of relief and fellowship before I am close enough to someone to figure out what that story is. And I hope that people are willing to do that for me.

Someone read this poem to me a long time ago. It took me a long time to understand it. Last week I got some wonderful advice from a church leader, "Error on the safe side of measuring."

When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
“Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,”
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I
Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin
Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me
“Close.” While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband
Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take
All of it.” And so she had flour enough for many loaves,
While I stood measuring.
--Marguerite Stewart

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dear 16-year-old Me

I know this has been around for a while, but I think it's a great message, one that we should probably hear more often.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Downside of a Pixie

I frequently get quite a bit of blog traffic due to google searches about growing out a pixie. So, for those people I've got a bit of advice for you.

Growing out a pixie is really freaking hard. There's a whole lot of awkwardness that can happen. My current goal is to avoid awkwardness. I had a super short pixie. I've been growing it out since January and I'm about the longest it has been since chopping it off. And it is still looking pretty short.

Here are my tips for you ladies.

1. Headbands - it'll keep you hair back out of your face and makes a great accessory.

2. Braids - I've recently started putting a small braid in my hair where my bangs are. Its just a little different and an alternative to pinning it back.

3. Weight - Have you stylist cut out your excess weight. I'm lucky enough to have a hair stylist for a roommate. We do this every couple of weeks.

4. Trim - Every so often my roommate trims my hair. This keeps me from sprouting s lovely duck tail at the nape of my neck. Our goal has been to keep the length on the top and trim the edges. I have this awkward length on the sides right now that is easily hidden by tucking my hair back behind my ears.

5. Patience. This is the hardest part. I began this process last year and got fed up and chopped it off. Now when the urge to chop off my hair returns, I tell myself I'll wait two weeks and if I still want to I'll cut it. The urge usually passes within a few days.

I'll include some photos here of good options for growing out your pixie.

 My favorite example to look to is Carey Mulligan. Here are a couple of looks of her hair at the growing out process.


This is just part of the reason of why I love baseball.

Last night Jered Weaver threw a no hitter. Spectacular.

Sometimes baseball is just magical.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


How do we define ourselves.

I went through this list with a friend of mine.  In answering No. 29 I laughed, "What do you think people misunderstand most about you?" First impression, that I am way less put together than I let people see. To my close friends and family, that I am way more vulnerable than I let them see.

I think it's very interesting to listen to ways that people define us. The persona that we present to the world isn't always the truest form of ourselves, and in many ways people choose to define us in ways that they can relate to you.

I have many friends who simply see me as the girl who really likes sports. The girl who is intimidating at 5-foot-11 with a serious look on her face. The girl who is compassionate and service oriented. The one that lacks mercy and is too serious.

But I'd like to think that they only thing that really matters is how we choose to define ourselves. And once we determine what that definition is, to live our lives accordingly. At my incredibly knowledgeable 25, almost 26, years (please note a sense of sarcasm) my personal definition has been evolving, growing, being pruned back in places, and I am willing to say that I am perfectly content with who I am and where I'm going.

After listening to Jane Fonda on this show, I got a little sad for my generation.

As young women, or really as all women, we are being asked to define ourselves according to the world's standards. A standard based on unattainable excellence. We must be the most beautiful, sexiest yet wholesome, smartest and most composed women. The standard of beauty is set by truly unrealistic ideals, where even the most beautiful women of the world don't measure up to. We have to be sexual, without being overly sexual. We are asked to be incredibly smart, but still stand second to men in almost every industry. We aren't supposed to be smarter than men. It's a bit of an unfair paradox.

Now, this is not a problem I blame on men or women. It's just a societal issue that I do not feel is fair. It is not fair to women and it is not fair that men are raised to believe these ideals.

I have a fair amount of friends who define themselves based on their relationships to men. Their self-worth, their value and their happiness is defined by the relationships they are in. I've never thought that a relationship should complete you, but should compliment you.

My personal thought on this matter is that if you are in a relationship because you need it to validate you, most likely the relationship will end. 

I have a tendency to see everything as black and white, right and wrong. To me this kind of thinking is wrong. A woman is of worth and value by the divinity within her. By who she is intended to be by her creator. And for that matter, men are exactly the same.

My high school therapist once told me that I describe my life like I'm watching a TV show. I can take myself out of situations and make observations about other people and their interactions (Yes, this leads me to be emotionally disconnected at times something I am aware of and working on). I think this has given me an opportunity to define myself separate from my relationships and interactions with others.

So how do I define myself? As an almost 25-year-old I'm still working on it. I assume through the years my definition will adapt but I hope the core elements stay the same.

I am a daughter of God, a loving and supportive member of a family, I am an imperfect being, saved by grace and mercy, I am a friend, I am a smart, beautiful, inquisitive young woman, I am fiercely loyal.

I'm still working on everything, but I just hope that people will wait a little while to get to know me before they define me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Top of the World

Just feel like throwing a little shout out to the people in my life that have taught me to meet adversity with hard work and a smile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Thoghts

It's been a little while. Mainly because I haven't been in the best of spirits as of late. Just going through one of those times where nothing seems to go your way. No matter how hard I try. I thought about it yesterday and I had to laugh, I should be more upset about it, but I'm surprisingly optimistic about it all.

So... I'm going to focus on the random thoughts swirling through my head.

- Bryce Harper is making his MLB debut Saturday. I love a good MLB debut, but I'm especially excited for this kid. He's 19. So talented. I can't wait to watch his career unfold.

- My B-Day is next weekend. We're having a Cinco De Jillian party (yes, I do realize it doesn't make sense).

-I've been so tired as of late. I can never get enough sleep.

-Church. Most of you know what a big role my religion play in my life. I found this infographic that explains the lay ministry of the church. To understand the positions in the auxiliaries click here.

Also, a lovely entertaining video for you.

Friday, April 20, 2012





I just keep thinking that over and over again. I am 25. In a few weeks I will be 26.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Happiness feels like this, your heart upon your sleeve...

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Quote

...feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where we're holding back. they teach us to lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. they're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. this very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are.

--Pema Chodron

Sometimes I am hard on myself. I sense, what I would call, character flaws and feel shame for the feelings Pema describes here.  I should be a little bit easier on myself. I'm a rolling stone, and slowly but surely those rough edges will fade. The process is beautiful. I'm going to strive to be a bit more forgiving of my weaknesses, and see them as opportunities for growth.



I can't seem to get sleep. No matter how well I plan my evening. Something happens and I get to bed way later than planned.

When I don't get enough sleep I get cranky. It's bad when your boss notices.

I have a really bad week. A really bad week. And then best friends decide to make it better, because they're awesome, and they fly across the country to spend the weekend with you.

Gaining a little perspective helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but walking toward that light still sucks.

People hand out play-doh before meetings. When this happens, awesomeness ensues.

I wake up with a headache. I know that means it's going to be a long day.

I just want to stay in bed all morning.

I find new songs to love.

Worth Wondering by Bronze Radio Return on Grooveshark

All I want is to win a pioneer woman giveaway. Please. Just once.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Hey guys,

I'm having some blogger issues... I'm working on a resolution.

Thanks for you patience



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guys... This happened

Guys... This happened to me yesterday. I got an e-mail on my phone that said Ashley Tisdale repinned my pin. I thought it was a joke.

But no it's for real. I'm pinterest famous Guys.

Check out my pin boards here.