Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tous les Garcons et les Filles

I came across this song tonight, I think it illustrates pretty well where I'm at in my (love) life.  It's in French, but perhaps you'll still like it. 

You can check out the lyrics here, they're in French and English.  

Mostly I feel like my friends are dropping like flies, getting married or in relationships left and right.  And if not my friends, I'm pretty sure there has been an increase in couples all across campus.  

While I am pretty content being single right now, it still makes me wonder if and when that will happen for me.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I love music.  I may not be a music junkie, but I do think it's fair to claim love.  I don't sit on the computer for hours on end searching for new stuff, in fact I'm not a HUGE indie music fan.  The truth?  I am more than happy listening to who I consider the classics.  I love me some Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and when I'm feeling crazy some Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, and Celine Dion.  

But, if I had to listen to only one artist for the rest of my life, I know exactly who I would choose.  

James Taylor.

There is nothing like a James Taylor song to calm me down and put me at ease.  Generally my favorite JT song is Fire and Rain, but in light of this cheery Christmas season, I thought it would be appropriate to link one of his Christmas covers, River. It may not be something you'd carol to the neighbors house with a thermos of wasil and a plate of cinnamon rolls... but I love it just the same.  

Here's to you James, thanks for getting me through! 

Sydnie Juniper

P.S. He'll be on tour in Paris at the same time I'll be there for study abroad... I'll look into it.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Deadlines.  Appointments.  Birthdays.  Anniversaries.  Waiting.  When.  Wishing.  Clocks.  Due Dates.  Calendars.  Sunrise.  Sunset.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Yesterday.  Next Year. 

What are we really measuring though?  

A to-do list?  Love?  Learning?  Friendship?  Achievements?  Making a difference?  
You know something?  Time is a strange concept.  

I think I've been caught up too much in the concept of tomorrow.  And, as a wise traveling salesman once said, "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."  

I originally began this post thinking about how great heaven will be.  Thinking about how God's time is so different from how we define it on earth.  Then I realized that I shouldn't be longing for that right now, because I only get this earthly experience once.  Am I going to waste it longing for something else, or am I going to utilize it to gain knowledge for the next life?  Lately I think I've been more focused on the first. 

I have to chastise myself for that, even though sometimes I wish someone else would do it for me.  All too often people perceive me as having it all together.  I get a lot of people that come to me seeking advice, or just to confide in me.  I don't know why (although I am honored they trust me).  I don't feel like I have a lot to contribute to their situations.  Those people who think I'm composed, they have got it all wrong.  I have never felt so scattered and frazzled in my life.  So pulled in different directions.  And for as many times as I try to pull myself back together, I feel like there is a giant magnet pulling it all apart.  Could it be that Satan is working extra hard on me this semester?  Because that's what it feels like.  Apathy.  it's been on his front line of battle with me and it's time for me to call in the reserves and wipe it out.  Deep down I seriously care about school and succeeding.  However, I'm afraid that it might be a little too late to salvage my grades this semester.  I'll do my best, but I'm going to just have to accept the consequences and just keep moving forward, because backwards is just not an option.  

At least amid all of my uncertainty and instability there is one thing that remains constant.  I have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  I know that God speaks to His children in these latter-days.  I know that with the faith to pray, Heavenly Father will answer my prayers.  He answered a humble 14 year old boys plea for truth, and I know that he is just as aware of plights in our everyday life to do the same for us.  

I am as strong as my testimony, and I will pull through. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Priorities and Tender Mercies

November 1, 2011 already.  Can you believe it?  It's been quite the semester so far.  I've had several great opportunities to grow, and I have made so many new friends.  For the most part life has been treating me pretty well.  My life has consisted of pretty much the following few things: school, PA's, church, work, family, and friends.  Sound pretty normal right?  Well, yeah.  For the most part.  The only problem is how I've been prioritizing them. 

I've been in a funk lately, and I concluded last night the best way to pull myself out is to re-prioritize. 

From top to bottom, I have gone through and decided what needs to come first. 
1.  The Gospel.  I need to focus on being a better disciple of Jesus Christ.  When my spiritual well-being is in order, everything else seems to fall into place.  My scripture study and prayers have been weak lately, and I am going to give them the 100% I need to. 
2.  Family.  I haven't done very well at showing I love them lately.  I am going to start making sure they know. 
3.  School.  Even though, as I type this, I am sitting in Intro to Political Thought, I need to invest some more time in outputting quality school-work.  I've been completely guilty of procrastinating everything to the last minute.  Today I start to be better. 
4.  Presidential Ambassadors.  I don't remember if I ever mentioned it or not, but this year I am the President of the PA's.  It's been such a learning process, and I count my blessings for the opportunity, it's just that because I've been giving so much to the organization, everything else has been waning.  I need to find a better balance, I think it's called delegation... Okay.  I've always stunk at delegating.  But I'm going to get better. 
5.  Friends.  Something that has always been SO important to me.  I just need to take a time-out from being social, and focus on pulling the rest of my life together. 

I know that if I can control myself to follow these priorities, I will get out of my funk sooner than later.

Last night as I sat in the library evaluating this, my roommates Amanda and Shelby came stumbling around the corner.  They had a f'real smoothie in their hands and so graciously bestowed it upon me with the words, "you need brain food."  

Aren't they the sweetest?  What a tender mercy :)
(Yes, I do in fact have black fingernails... I told you I was in a funk.)
Anyhow, I started that post on Tuesday morning, and I'm finishing it now.  You want to know what happened tonight?  I knew you did.  Well, I got a text earlier this afternoon from the ward's executive secretary asking if I could meet with the bishop tonight.  Of course I said yes, despite my fear of loosing my current calling of "ward greeter" (which by the way is THE BEST calling in the history of callings).  I set it up for 7:15.  After PA meeting, and doing task force leader interviews I headed home, ate some mashed potatoes and changed.  I showed up to my appointment two minutes early and the Bishop was waiting for me.  

He invited me into his office and we sat down.  He proceeded to tell me that he just wanted to get to know me a little better.  THANK HEAVENS!  (ward greeter is still in the bag)!   We talked about where I was from, and then got into family.  Of course when family comes up I almost always end up talking about my brother.  I shared with him the readers digest version, and he shared with me a hymn.  "Oh, What Songs of the Heart"  The words are beautiful. 

We moved on to talk about school and my well-being in other areas.  I explained to him my reorganization of priorities and he asked me to share with him.  So I did.  
Words of wisdom given by Bishop Jullian:

1.  Pray and go to the temple.  
2.  Follow even the smallest of promptings.  When you have a fleeting thought of somebody, just pick up the phone and call them.  Just do it, It's amazing how you will be blessed. 
3.  Have a study hour.  A set aside time each day when you just do homework. 
4.  Let ambassadors have their autonomy and agency.  They will take care of themselves and I will develop better leadership skills.   

He then moved onto asking about my future plans, asked about a mission.  I told him the truth, that my whole life I felt as though I would go on a mission, but right now, it's just not feeling right.  He made me feel SO much better about this.  While his response was somewhat generic, it meant a lot.  He told me that there were a million ways to be a missionary, and that I had the opportunity to fulfill them everyday.  He told me to keep the option open though, which I will.  I've got time after all.  

He left me with the counsel to simply pray.  The Lord has placed options in my life, and now I just need help being guided in the right direction.  I left feeling so much of the Savior's love for me.  I have a testimony that he is called of God, and was inspired to call me in.  The Lord knew I needed that.  Again.  What a tender mercy.  

I have every reason in the world to be happy.  So do you.  

Sydnie Juniper

Monday, October 17, 2011


Last week I logged onto my SUU portal and made use of the new program called Degree Works.  I evaluated my remaining credits for my bachelors degree and found out that after this semester I only need 30 more credits.  30.  That is enough to finish in two more semesters.  One semester earlier than I had anticipated.  Cool, right?  Well, I guess so, but graduating early means making some major decisions that could have quite an impact on my future. 
Lately I've been asked by a lot of people if I plan on going on a mission.  I usually plead the fifth.  That is, because I don't know the answer to that question.  I turn 21 in August, but by that time, I might as well wait four months and finish my undergraduate.  But, I don't want to be one of those sister missionaries that went on a mission because they were done with school, weren't dating anybody, and didn't want to get a real job yet.  I feel like that is a very one-sided decision.  The truth is, I LOVE the Gospel, and I will go on a mission if that's what the Lord's plan is for me. I want it to be something we decide on together.  
Another thing that's been on my mind is graduate school.  I plan on going, I definitely want to get a masters degree.  I was talking to some dude who has two masters degrees the other day, and I asked him what his best advice would be to someone wanting to go to grad school.   He told me to never stop.  It is so much harder to go back to school than it is to keep pushing through.  I believe him, which means if I follow his advice, I should be taking a GRE Prep class next semester.  Then I should start being serious about picking out and applying to graduate schools.  Which scares me.  But, not only that, it might be a good idea to pick out a specific program to apply for... but that's only a minor detail, right? :) 
Or maybe I could just get a real job, and selfishly save all of my money to travel around the world.  
Or maybe I will join Peace Corps. 
Or maybe I could invest all my time in studying random facts and try-out until I get on Jeopardy.
Or maybe I can take up golf and start networking with the rich and famous and just become a celebrity groupie and live vicariously through them. 
Or maybe I will just become a nomad and backpack across the world.
The possibilities are endless really. 
I just need to actually choose one... 
Sydnie Juniper

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What if...

I didn't feel any emotion?
I knew exactly what my future held?
I could make a decision and not second guess myself?
I wasn't afraid of being vulnerable?
I always assumed the best in people?

What if?

It's a vicious game I play with myself.  I hate that I do it.  I'm happy.  I promise I really am.  It's just that sometimes I get sucked in, and it takes a while to work my way out of it. 

I just want to be my best.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The following are real life events that have occurred within the past week

I went home last Friday and stayed away until yesterday morning.  
On Saturday I went to the eye doctor for the first time in six years.  Yep.  My eyes have gotten worse.  Dr. McKell informed me that my "good eye" actually isn't that good, and my "bad eye" is still awful.  Had he not been so attractive and single I would have felt a little more anxiety at paying for the contacts he had prescribed me.  At only 8 years older than me, maybe I stand a chance.  After all Jane Austen heroines have been known to marry men more than 15 years older than them. 
Also this weekend, my roommate, Melissa, asked me to feed her fish while she was gone.  But then I left... I came back and Lester, that's the fishes name, wasn't on the counter anymore.  I was petrified I had starved it to death, perhaps it could have died of neglect.  But, no worries... I snooped in her room and found him on her dresser.  
Here's a picture of him, happy as can be.  
Another groundbreaking event that ought to be documented.  Yesterday I needed to buy milk, but I didn't want to buy a whole gallon because I'm moving on Monday and I won't drink it all in time.  So...  I bought the half gallon and as I walked out with my groceries I realized my milk was screaming, 
Why do I feel that way?  Let me explain.  Let's think about it.  Really, only women who have nobody to help them drink their milk, and don't even drink milk... except with late night oreos while living vicariously through yet another romantic comedy, only they buy half gallons. 
Next thing I know, I'll be collecting porcelain cats like my 
 friend Sam, who "is slowly becoming the crazy cat lady down the street, except he is a boy."
But, you know what?  I'm okay with all of that, and the world could probably use a few more porcelain cat collectors, am I right?
Next, I've done a very monumental thing.
  I've had these shoes since the 10th grade.  They've been a faithful companion for 5 years, they've done me proud and got me through several dances, long days at school, walks in dreary winter weather, and vacations all across the country.
Considering I can feel the pavement under my feet when I walk, yesterday I decided it was time to retire them... 
A moment of silence, please. 
 Thank you.  
In other news, today has been a long day.  When I got home from work today I contemplated beginning to pack for the move on Monday.  Just thinking about it made me even more exhausted.  So, I decided to go for a bike ride to the grocery store to buy garbage bags so I could "pack" my clothes.  Once back from Smith's, I gave into the temptation of a nap.  It was about 6:30 PM and I hit the sack.  Approximately two hours later I woke up in a panic, as I checked my clock, it said 8:19 and I lunged from bed running into the kitchen shouting at my roommates, 
I was positive I had slept through the night and it was 8:19 AM.  
Jokes on me.  I felt a little foolish when I realized it was still Thursday night.
Am I experiencing a bit of subconcious anxiety about work and PA's right now?  
So it would seem.   
But I'm okay now.  Nothing a little Barry Manilow can't take care of. 
God Bless Us, Everyone.  

Sydnie Juniper

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Close of a Teenage Dynasty

Here's the thing.  
Today is my birthday. 
But not just any birthday.  I'm now officially 20 years old.
That's cool... I guess.
The idea of being 20 is taking a bit of time to warm up to.  I hear that now that I'm not a teenager I can't get away with doing crazy and random things anymore. 
(Not like that'll stop me, but the taboo is there).
Where's the glamor in getting old?
For Pete's sake!  I had to use "anti-aging" body wash this past weekend.  
What's next? 
The occasional grey hair and wrinkle?
Menopause and MORE hot flashes?
Gosh.  I'm not ready for old age!  I've got a life to live!
Things to learn.  Friends to make.  Boys to kiss.  Tea parties to attend. Talents to develop.  Food to taste.  Forgiveness to ask.  Sites to see.  Goals to achieve.  Barriers to break. 
The list goes on and on.
And I want to soak it all in.
But then I suppose that really is the glamor of it all.  
It's just a matter of perspective. 
We'll all be old in the end, but we'll all take different paths there.
Life in the fast lane?  
Not for me, thanks for the offer anyway though. 
That's all about crossing things off the list, not so much the actual experience.  
I don't want the fast lane. 
How about the scenic byway?
Yeah.  Alright.  That sounds delightful!
Don't get me wrong.  I'm excited for retirement as much as the next person, but until then I won't be dreading getting older.  
Just living my life. 
Happy as a clam.
I may get older, but I'll never grow up. 

Sydnie Juniper

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Well, it's Been a While.

Not just since I last posted.

I'm talking four years here. Four years and two weeks to be exact.

Four years and two weeks ago began the biggest life lesson I have ever learned. Travis, my brother, was killed in a fatal car accident on that day, and I have never been the same since. It isn't something I share with everyone all the time anymore. In fact it tends to shock a lot of people when I do tell them. But really, it's okay. I've had a while to learn how to best cope with it.

A little over two weeks ago I participated in an incredible thing. To summarize it as a ten day leadership camp would be an understatement. The Governor's Honors Academy was ten of the best days I've had in a long time. I won't go into too much detail as that deserves it's own post. Nonetheless, on the second day of the academy my dad showed up, completely unexpected. He was in the proximity of Cedar so he stopped by to surprise me. And trust me, surprise me he did! He went to The Pizza Factory with us, and at dinner we had a really good conversation with Melinda, the GHA Coordinator. As she began asking about our family, I felt it approaching, we were going to end up talking about my brother.

Whenever people ask about family, they ask, "how many siblings do you have?" "Where do you fit?" "How old is your older brother?" "Is he going to school too?" and other questions that lead to what have become scripted answers on my part. I always answer honestly, and try to direct the conversation in a direction that will stay away from being awkward, or embarrassing for the other person. Whenever they ask how old Travis is, I just answer as if we celebrate his birthday every year. He would currently be 22. As we made it past that question she inquired if he was going to school somewhere. When you make it to this point it's harder to dance around, so we ended up telling her the whole story. From the accident, the letters written to our family, the funeral, to the legacy he's left. Virtually the whole package.

We wound up the story, and told her that the coming Saturday would commemorate the four year anniversary of his death. I told her of my plans to give a presentation based upon him to my group, and we discussed ideas to make it even more special. When the conversation was winding down, Melinda thanked us for sharing with her and then excused herself so we could continue chatting. I said goodbye to my dad, and we carried on with our activities for the evening.

The next day I was approached about giving out a daily award at GHA to a student that was being inclusive, enthusiastic, and that helped bring smiles to the other students. The award would be in my brothers honor. Touched by the idea, I consented and we called it the "Deen of the Day" award. I really loved it, and I am especially thankful to Melinda for coming up with it. She has such a good heart.

Four years is a long time. I have grown in so many different facets. My life has been led in new directions, I've had extraordinary experiences, met incredible people, learned to love life so much! While all four years haven't been a cake walk, I can honestly say I am grateful for my trials for they have shaped me to be who I am today.

I have such a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation, I absolutely know I will see Travis again. I know that death is a necessary part of life. We live to die, and die that we might live again, all through our Savior, Jesus Christ. The mercy of the Lord is great, and I am thankful to be a partaker of the love it offers. As my brother would advise:
"find joy in the journey"

Life is good.


Alma 46:39 "And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Not quite as full of rocks as I thought:

Remember that Geology class I took?
I got an A.
Boo-yah, Grandma!

Special Thanks to everyone that encouraged me and/or helped me endure.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Plungers, Papers and Posh

Just because you are good at something does not necessarily mean you should drop everything else to pursue utilizing that talent. But it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't either. The following individuals and talents were MFEO or in other words, Made For Each Other.

Let's be honest,

Celine was made for the microphone

Arnold was made for body building

Dr. Seuss was made for writing children books
And, I guess...

I was made for the plungerThat's right. The plunger and I are MFEO. Last night I plunged the drains in our upstairs bathroom for about an hour. The goal? To take a shower without taking a bath at the same time. It was, in a word... REPULSIVE. But it needed to be done, and as they say, "if you want something done right, do it yourself." So, I took matters into my own hands and worked my magic and this morning I took a shower without a pool of water up to the middle of my legs. So, what do you think? Should I drop out of college and become a plumber?
Well it doesn't really matter what you think, because I have already decided to stay in school and keep plunging as a pastime.

On another note, I am taking an online Geology class and I hate it. Not because I hate Geology, but you see, I hate that I am a procrastinator. For instance, our field trip report was due last night at midnight. Did I submit mine at 11:56 PM? I'll let you answer that. It was poorly written and I will be lucky to get a B on it. But, I'm over it. There is more to life than getting a bad grade on a paper for a class I don't even enjoy.
At least my field trip was fun. Special thanks to Bailey Bowthorpe for going with me!

Now for the final item of business. Victoria Beckham also known as Posh Spice from the Spice Girls, a favorite band from my youth, wore this hat to The Royal Wedding.

I don't think I like it. I would feel like a unicorn wearing that. But, I appreciate her efforts to support the bride in her wishes to have the ladies wearing hats on her special day. In fact, I have always planned on wearing a hat on my wedding day, and think it's an ultra classy thing to do. So, start searching for a good one because I will expect to see some fabulous hats at my reception.

I think that sums it up for now, so until next time.

Sydnie Juniper

Monday, April 18, 2011

Burned. Out.

As I spoke on the telephone with my beloved friend Sarah Juchau this morning I realized that the next three weeks of my life will be defined by:
1. apathy
2. exhaustion
3. allergies

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Life is full of decisions. FULL of them, I'm telling you!
There is an old Rush song that says, "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice" and that is the honest truth. Making choices is unavoidable. For example, right now I'm choosing to write this ridiculous blog rather than working on a French composition or going to the gym.
Every day I choose to get out of bed, I choose what to eat for breakfast, and choose not to stink so I take a shower (virtually every day since the fifth grade maturation program)... I choose what to wear, whether to be happy or grouchy, and further I choose to go to class and to work. The list goes on and on, and sometimes I take for granted the easy decisions in life, like whether to use strawberry or raspberry jam on my pb&j.
I guess what I'm getting at is that sometimes we are faced with decisions that are just a little bit bigger than ourselves. Decisions that involve other people, that could potentially have a big affect on their life. I guess this is where faith comes in. At church I've learned my whole life to involve God in all of my big decisions. I have learned that I must first make what I think is the best call on something, and then take it to my Heavenly Father for approval. I have recently had a lot of experience with this. Sleep has been lost, adrenaline has been pumping, but finally peace has been found.
A special thanks to Enos verses 12, 15, and 17.
I'll probably "shed a little more light on the subject" after the next week is over, and this big decision has been set in stone. But until then, hang on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen!
Sydnie Juniper

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm a Leo

I have a confession to make.
Sometimes I believe in horoscopes and fortune cookies.
Not that I base my faith in them or anything, I just think they are fun and sometimes I hope they are right. They often somehow fit what my current life situation is, and I like it. Call me crazy, but I will still not-so-secretly like them.
Sydnie Juniper

Monday, January 24, 2011


In the last month I have been told on several occasions that I radiate happiness...
What do I have to say about that?
Thank you!
I am flattered to know they think that.
But what is happiness?
To me, it's the fullness of the restored gospel. Nothing makes me happier.
In a world where sometimes I feel lost, unsure, and inadequate it's nice to know that I can rely on the gospel to buoy me up.
I am happy because I know that no matter what happens, I can "be still and know that [He] is God" (Doctrine and Covenants 101:16).
He loves me, and is guiding me, I have no doubt about it. I don't need to see miles down the road, I am happy focusing on one stepping stone at a time.

There is so many more things to be happy about than there are to despair over.
Life is good. Really good.
Sydnie Juniper

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ten in Ten

At the beginning of last year, 2010, my mom set a resolution for herself and invited the rest of the family to join her. Her goal; Ten temples in 2010. Cool goal? Yes. How could I say I didn't want to participate? There is nowhere on earth I'd rather be than in a temple, so naturally I was in. Over the course of the year, we slowly made our way around the state to do baptisms for the dead in ten of Utah's thirteen temples. Although sometimes riding in the car got long and boring, it was well worth it to participate in the Lord's work at the following temples.
(In no particular order):

Oquirrh Mountain


St. George


Salt Lake

We also visited the Draper, Mount Timpanogos, and Jordan River Temples, but I couldn't find the pictures for those.

I have such a strong testimony of temples and the work that is done inside of them. I know that in the temple I am as close to heaven as I can get on earth. Although I only have the opportunity to do baptisms for the dead right now, I know that I am making a difference to a lot of people. Not only those who I am standing proxy for, but also people like my brother, who are serving as missionaries on the other side of the veil. I am sure that at some point in my temple service I will have had the opportunity to be baptized for someone my brother has taught. Isn't that cool to think about? There are opportunities for missionary work everywhere, and I am blessed enough to be a part of them.
I love the temple, I love the gospel, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father. I am not perfect, but the church is and I am proud to be a member of it!

Sydnie Juniper