Friday, December 31, 2010

2010-The year of extreme stress, the year of extreme joy.

What just happened? The year of 2010 sure threw me for a loop! So many ups and downs! Every year has its ups and downs but this years highs were a lot higher and the lows a lot lower. So many life changing events occurred this past year!

January 13: 13 days into the new year I met Steven on a blind date. Funny thing is how much I was dreading the date! Not because of anything to do with Steven himself but just because it was a blind date. But from the moment I opened up the door and saw Steven's smiling face I felt completely at ease. There was never a boring or awkward moment the whole night. I am so grateful that his sister Stefeni chose to set me up with him!

April 23: I graduated from graduate school. Still can't believe I did that!

April 29-May 23: I traveled to Paraguay for 3 weeks with Jarilyn! Feels like a dream.

August: got a new job, moved away from Provo (my comfort zone), and got engaged!

November 12: I married the man of my dreams. I know it sounds super cliche and I am really not the kind of girl who over-idealizes everything but Steven is seriously amazing. I feel so lucky that we found each other. He continues to amaze me every day. He makes me want to be more than I am and I love him so dearly.

As far as the lows go,my father is currently being punished for a crime he did not commit and it has unfortunately created some very difficult situations for me and my family. It has been hard to say the least.

Above all, 2010 was the biggest learning year I have ever had. I am so grateful for the peace that the gospel brings. I have learned to always be mindful of my blessings or I will get lost in my worries and stress. Luckily, I have a tremendous amount of blessings so it isn't too difficult.

Monday, December 20, 2010


This painting was hanging in the Provo Tabernacle when it burnt down on Friday. All of it was burnt except the part where Christ was. Interpret this how you wish, but I think it is amazingly wonderful and beautiful.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Last year, I wrote a new blog post every day in the month of November to tell what I was grateful for. Unfortunately, this year was so insanely busy that I did not even think about it! I was no less grateful though. In fact, I find myself on this Thanksgiving night, filled with so much gratitude that I might explode. Here are a few things that I am grateful for:

My Husband: Steven is so incredibly kind and sweet. He treats me so well. Sometimes I just stare at him and wonder how I got so lucky. How do I deserve such an incredible person? He is also so so so funny and always has me laughing. I feel so blessed to know that we are sealed and that I have him forever.

The Temple: I am so grateful for having the opportunity to go through the temple and to be sealed to Steven. I can't wait to return over and over again with Steven and with my future family. What an amazing blessing that I have so many temples so close!

My Family: Wow. We have been and are going through a lot right now. Timing is a funny thing. My Mom and Dad worked so hard not to let anything get in the way of my wedding day. I love them for it. My siblings are amazing and I hope that they know how dearly I hold them in my heart and mind.

I am also so deeply grateful for my extended family- and Steven's too. A lot of people traveled a long way to be at our wedding and it means so so so much to me. Again, I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing family, on both sides :)

Friends: I can't believe the support my family and I have received in the past few months, especially with my wedding. So many people stepped up to help my Mom with my reception. I was literally blown away by the love and support that i felt from people when I went home for my wedding. Everything was beautiful and perfect and I am just so grateful!!

Everything else: this includes my body, my job, my car, my apartment, my bed, my scriptures, my food, flowers, snow, warm coats, boots, etc. you get the picture.

In sum, I am grateful for my LIFE! <3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A case of the Mondays? Not me!!

Yesterday was no ordinary Monday! As countless school-aged children returned to school after summer break, I was getting engaged! That's right, ENGAGED!

I knew it was coming sometime in the week, but I honestly thought it would happen closer to the end of the week.

Sunday night:

S:" Let's do something tomorrow."
A: "Ok, what time?"
S: "I will pick you up at 6"
A: "6??!! That is too late, I thought we were gonna spend all day together!"
S:"No, 6 am!"
A: "6 A.M.??!!" Why so early??!!"
S: "I dunno, I thought we would go on a hike or something."
A: "Oh, ok, cool"

So I woke up at 5:20 on Monday morning and put on black yoga pants and a maroon sweatshirt. There was no way I was taking a shower that early in the morning so I just threw my hair up in sloppy bun. Luckily I had enough sense to put on a little eyeliner and mascara. Then at 6:00 on the dot, Steven called and said he was outside.
I walked outside and he was waiting for me by the door. He gave me a big hug and took me to the car. He seemed a little nervous, but nothing too weird. I was trying not to think too much about it because I didn't want to get my hopes up too soon. Steven then told me that he thought it would be nice to watch the sunrise together as a great start to this crazy week (I start a new job TOMORROW and he goes back to school next Monday). At this point I was still trying not to get my hopes up and think too much of it because I honestly thought it would be later in the week! So we drove up to the Draper Temple and put a blanket down on the hill behind some abandon castle-house and it was beautiful! The mountains were to our right, the valley to our left, and the Draper Temple directly in front of us. There was even a little field of wild sunflowers! It was perfect. We talked for a little bit and I still noticed that Steven was acting kinda funny, but again- nothing too terribly out of the ordinary. Finally the sun came up over the ridge. Then Steven stood up and pulled me up with him. This is when I knew for sure. We hugged for a little bit. Then he got down on one knee and looked up at me with his beautiful blue eyes that I love so very very much and he whipped out this bad boy (it was just chilling in his pocket the whole time!)

Then he asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course and then started bawling (not entirely unexpected, but a little surprising nonetheless).

We are getting married on November 12 in the Redlands, California temple. I am so excited to start our life together. Steven is my best friend and truly amazing. What else could I ask for?

Thank you all for being so excited for us, I will try to keep my blog updated better than I have the last few months!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"This is all I need...."

That is what Tati said last night at Red Robin where we all gathered for her birthday. She looked around with a content and satisfied smile on her face and said "This is all I need" ( assuming of course that Aubrey was there in Spirit) I have definitely had that feeling before, where I look around and become overwhelmed with gratitude at the people in my life. I am so grateful for amazing friends and family who have made my life so rich and happy. Being with people who we love and who love us can bring us so much happiness and peace. For this I am eternally grateful!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


This is Steven. Isn't he handsome? Let me tell you a little bit about Steven James Cundiff:

* Steven is one of the most athletic people I have ever met! He can do anything! He is an AMAZING runner! He is also amazing at soccer, basketball, AND racquetball! He LOVES being outdoors and being active. He is also really strong :)

* Steven has an enormous amount of hidden talents, including (but not limited to) chopping wood, starting fires, predicting the future, and washing windows.

* Steven loves talking to people and making them laugh.

* Steven has more drive and passion than anyone I know. He will do anything it takes to make his goals happen.

*Steven has his head on straight.

*Steven is very considerate and kind.

*Steven can speak Mandarin (which means he is really smart).

*Steven is a great motivator.

*Steven always calms me down and makes me feel happy, especially when things are really rough.

*Steven has a very good memory.

*Steven is a very good communicator and very understanding.

*Steven is very honest.

*Steven hates olives, just like me!

Anyways, I could go on and on about Steven but this list is sufficient for now :)

I am one lucky girl :)

Monday, June 7, 2010


Once and awhile you get really lucky. This is how I feel about being roommates with Nicole, Brittney, and Brittney. We were freshman roommates at the dorms at BYU-Idaho and we were the best of friends! We had so much fun together. We got together last weekend at Olive Garden and we sat and talked for hours! We are all in very different places in our lives, but we still had a great time! I love these girls and will be forever grateful that I shared the first few years of my adult life with them!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Sometimes when we are feeling under the weather, we get frustrated because we can't do everything that we are supposed, or want, to do. (Like teaching the gospel doctrine lesson at church, or running, or hiking). BUT sometimes this is a good thing because it forces us to slow down and gives us a lot of time to think. (Like laying in bed all day with nothing but myself or going on a really long walk this morning because I couldn't run). As I was walking the route that I normally run, it was so nice to take time to actually see the beautiful things going on around me. I think summer is finally here! I loved seeing tiny dots on the Y and kids running around at Seven Peaks. I loved seeing all the people running or riding their bikes. My mind was immediately taken back to last summer which was by far the best summer of my life. I was very active and I made a lot of amazing friends. I am pretty sure that this summer will be even more amazing than last and I am so excited! Here are some of the other thoughts I had while on my walk:

I love Provo!

I love America!

I am so grateful for all of the people who have sacrificed their lives to make this country what it is today and to preserve our free spirit. I think it is because I just recently returned from out of the country, but I have never been this grateful for America before. We truly have so much. I just went out-by myself- for two hours, walking and sitting on a park bench. That would not happen in a lot of other places in the world. We have so much freedom and I am so grateful.

I wonder when I am going to feel better so I can run?!

I am so excited for this summer and all the adventures that await!!

I am so excited to go home to California with Steven!

I am so grateful for Steven!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I am BACK!! So good to be home!!

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Iguazu. We got a little lost so we didn't have as much time there as we would have liked. The pictures are taken from a catwalk that goes along the river and then ends right in front of the biggest part of the falls called Devil's Throat. We were super close up so the pictures aren't all that great :/ It was a phenomenal experience!

This is actually in the morning when we got to Ciudad el Este. The right side is Argentina and the left is Brazil!

Walking across the river!

Devil's Throat!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Village and sunset

So I am really creative with the titles of my posts. Today we went in to one of the indigenous villages close to the school. It was hard to take pictures there because the people are really suspicious of outsiders coming in. But we got a few thanks to Jarilyn's stealthy camera skills :)

Here is a typical house in the village.

Saeko, me and Jarilyn in the village

We figured they probably would't mind if we took pictures of their cattle

Some of the students playing soccer, they are fanatics here!

Hawaii? Nope, just the jungle of Paraguay :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Farm life in black and white

Sundays are good days for picture taking

Sunshine and extra time do a body good :)

The monkeys were out again! He is giving me a thumbs up!

Straight from the jungle of Paraguay!

This is Chicle. He loves me and follows me around! I try not to touch him though, just in case he has fleas. I feel sad because he is so sweet to follow us around but I never am able to play with him. However, he did enjoy this little photo session :)

It might be really hard to leave this place.

One of these pairs of feet may or may not be mine. Hey, don't judge! Everyone does this here, it gets pretty cold at night and I was not prepared!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today we went in to Asuncion to do some shopping and visit the temple!

Saeko and Jarilyn waiting for the bus!

Asuncion, Paraguay Temple!

The Paraguayan flag

SUPER SEIS! This is the main super market in Paraguay

Jarilyn modeling the weird little rolling baskets in S6

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I absolutely love the people here. Not only the people from Paraguay, but also the people I traveled here with. I am so grateful for them and the amazing examples they are to me. Here are a few photos from the weekend!

On our way to catch the bus to Villa Hayes

Andrea, me and Jeff. Jeff and Andrea are MBA students from BYU. We try not to fight too much :)

Jarilyn, Andrea, Me. We are in Villa Hayes eating some amazing BBQ pork!

Jar and I on our way to church on Sunday morning!

The members of the branch in Benjamin Aceval were so kind! It was so cool to go to church there! Jar played the piano and I lead the music in sacrament meeting!

Sunday was Andrea's birthday!Jose came all the way from Asuncion to bring him that cake! Alfredo and Javier (the two guys on the right) are teachers here at the school and they came over to our little house for dinner!