A Year of Firsts... #anotheryeardown

On the last day of being 31 and reflecting on the past year, I've realized that 31 was full of firsts-- some good, some bad, super high and mega low. Either way, I wouldn't change the lessons I have learned. This is the year that taught me that it's okay to put yourself first once in a while. I went to Disneyland for the first time and found out that my irrational fear of rides and people dressed as animals were just that, irrational! Starting at a new company, being the new girl... not something I am very used to. This year, I came to terms with my anxiety. I learned that you can't always do things on your own and it's okay to ask for, accept, and receive help. The biggest lesson I learned is what inspired this post...

On my drive home from work today, one of my besties from college and I had some time to talk about what we have both have learned from our trials. For years we had both felt that when you reach a certain age or a point in your career, you should feel comfortable in where you are. After the ups and downs that we have both faced, we came to the same conclusion: I don't want to ever be so comfortable that I accept things just as they are. I want to always be reaching for a new goal. Adversity is what makes you stronger and hungrier for more. Complacency is the enemy. The new plan: every time I reach a goal, I will add a new one to the list!

Since last year was full of firsts, I'm looking at 32 as a year for second chances and second beginnings. So long 31! Thank you to my family and friends for your unconditional love and support throughout my life, but most importantly this past year. I know it hasn't been easy, but you all made it feel effortless when I needed you most. You are the heart of my life's story. Thank you!! xoxo


Silver linings... #gethappy

**Hopping up on my soapbox** 

It's been a few months, so I decided that it's time to write a post. Last week I was talking with one of my favorite people on God's green earth about how we have so much to be grateful for. I'm not going to lie-- life isn't  perfect and it's not always easy to find the silver lining, but isn't it so much better when we choose to be happy?! The past 14 months have been full of life altering events and choices; I haven't always been able to see the good. There have been days where I have had to force myself to find a positive thing, but I did it! I kept repeating every day that I could choose to be happy or choose to be mad/sad/annoyed/a wallowing mess, and I chose happiness. A friend took my mantra one step further and told me that I get to be happy. How great is that?! I GET to be happy. So I decided to take this another step further...

Several months ago, my sister Hayley took the 100 Happy Days challenge. She told me about it while she was staying with me when a very dear friend of ours passed away. Even though she was in the middle of this shocking and sad event, she had to find something that made her happy every day. That weekend we created moments of laughter and happiness amidst our tears and sorrow. She told me that the challenge was something I should consider taking. Since then, she and other friends on Instagram have taken and completed the challenge. I have loved seeing the pictures of what one finds happiness in! Sooooo Hayley.... Challenge accepted! 

Today I posted my first #100happydays photo, so only 99 to go :) If you are looking for something to help you find the good things in your life, take the challenge! Every day you can push yourself to find at least one thing that makes you happy. Being grateful for the smallest thing can really change your outlook. 

**Stumbling off my soap box** 

I love you all and hope you get to be happy!


Poetry... Not just for poets! #gettingchurchy

Sorry if My posts have seemed too churchy/preachy lately! I've had a lot of time to reflect on some of the things that happened in my life last year. When I'm processing things, I tend to write. These are two poems that I feel ready to share.

Savior for Me
Deafening silence in chaotic noise,
Missing savored moments of peace and joy.
Heart breaking, soul crushing, feeling all alone.
Wishing I could run, feeling weighed down by stones.
Searching for peace, comfort, and light,
Knowing I have to move forward and fight.
Fight for forgiveness and fight to forgive
Without it, I don't know how to live
Savior of man, Savior for me
Always my rescuer and brother will you be
Wrap me in your loving arms
Keep me safe from further harm
Grant me solace, calm my fears
Make me safe and dry my tears 
I cast on thee my burdens and cares
And unto you my soul I will bare
Your loving grace makes my heart full
Through thy atoning sacrifice I am made whole
I bow my head and close my eyes
With gratitude and light, once again I may rise
Forever changed, a stronger fighter
My burdens will be eternally lighter
Savior, Redeemer, Brother, Friend
Thy love and forgiveness have no end. 

The Light
The light was gone; I didn't know where it went,
I felt so lost and began searching for something Heaven-sent.
I turned to you for guidance and understanding,
You led me to a place of warmth for safe landing.
Through the ups and downs, the laughter and tears,
You made me realize and overcome my fears.
In my lowest of lows, you made me see,
That the light could always shine for me.
The light of joy, of hope, of grace, of love,
Full of forgiveness and peace from above.
May I always walk the path with my head held high,
Remembering that the light may dim, but will never die.
Your support and faith guided me home,
I now know and truly believe that I am never alone.


Forgiveness...is more than saying sorry! #notjustasong

This is not a typical Kortni post y'all... I might get a bit churchy here. Just wanted to give you some fair warning :)

Lately, I have been on this kick about forgiveness. Not just forgiving others, but also forgiving ourselves. I can forgive anyone of virtually anything but when it comes to forgiving myself, I am unrelenting. I punish myself for the smallest mistakes and will tear myself apart. Would I ever say or do those things to someone else? Never! That would be so awful and just hurtful... so why do we treat ourselves any differently?

As you {who read this entirely self-devoted blog} know, I have been on a road to self-awareness and discovery. In taking the time to really work on myself, I have come to realize that we can not beat ourselves up over everything. We cannot change the past, nor can we change things that are done to us by others. What we can do is choose to forgive and learn from what has transpired, using those experiences to make us better people.

Several weeks ago, I was at my friend Hailee's home. While we were talking, she told me about this wonderful book her sister in-law had written. She then handed me a copy and told me that she felt like I could really use it. She had no idea how badly I needed to read this message. The book is called "Christ's Gifts to Women" by Heather B. Moore and Angela Eschler. This book is short, full of beautiful art, and filled with the message of how each of us can be made whole. I have read this book and poured over it multiple times in the past weeks and this one line continually stands out to me, "The future is as bright as your faith." You can apply this in so many ways. For me, I am choosing to apply it to the faith that I have that I will be able to allow myself some of the lenience that I so freely give others. Beating yourself up over not saying or doing the right thing can be exhausting! When I think about the time I have spent making myself feel even worse about things that have happened, it makes me wish I could fit a nap in.

The quote I posted from Dieter F. Uchtdorf may seem misleading, as this is a post about forgiving ourselves. BUT if you read it again and think the things you say to yourself about you, it works. We need to stop it! My sisters and I love to quote movies to each other. I don't know how many times a week one of us will quote Easy A-- "No judgement. All God's children..." Well, am I not one of God's children? Once I started to view myself in a third person sense, I have been able to stop and take a minute to stop myself before I start the self-deprecating tone and words of the past. For the first time, in a long time or maybe ever, I feel an overwhelming sense of confidence. I could say, "Hi I'm Kortni and I'm pretty freaking fabulous!" and actually believe it. My trials and struggles will not define me, but they are most definitely part of who I am. It has taken some time, but I have finally made peace with myself and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Am I a pro at this yet? No...hahahahardly! Moment to moment, I am striving and putting forth the effort to make this second nature.