Hiking & Happiness

I’ve been meaning to put these pictures up for the longest time! Gill and I were able to meet up in southern Alberta a few weeks ago for a few days. We stopped by the temple, hiked, ate ice cream, kayaked, and floated… It was such a fun time and we got some great pictures out of it. (These are only a few!) I’m so thankful I got to have such a fun trip with such an amazing friend!

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Cardston temple

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I can never remember what the names of mountains are… But this picture is my favourite.

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Red Rock Canyon

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At the top of Bear’s Hump

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Kaitlyn

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Memories & Motivation

This past week has truly been a blessing for me. I had the opportunity to spend time camping in southern Alberta with family for 9 days. Being way from home and my normal, boring routine helped me gain a new perspective on my life and motivated me in ways I did not expect! My time there made me want to work harder and be more independent. It taught me to waste less time, and to be constantly learning and growing. I have too many thoughts at the moment to be able to organize them in a way that is at all effective, but I am feeling happy and I am feeling hopeful.

I was able to make some really awesome memories with my family, experience new things, and do old things with new eyes. And it was good.

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We celebrated Canada Day by taking pictures in a canola field and covering ourselves in temporary tattoos.

 

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I got to spend the Tuesday kayaking and exploring Waterton with one of my favourite people of all time,  Gillian, who is working in Montana all summer. The weather was perfect and we had such a fun time!

Kaitlyn

 

A letter to my sixteen-year-old self

Dear sixteen-year-old Kaitlyn,

 

Look how cute and awkward you are!

I come to you from the future with some good news and some bad news. I’ll try not to give you any major spoilers or anything, just some things I wish I’d known so I could prepare myself for the next couple of years.

First, the bad news:

  • You are going to have your heart broken by a boy. And then soon after, again by someone very close to you.
  • These things will leave you with a diagnosis of depression. Some days, you’ll feel like you’re drowning.
  • This will be the loneliest year of your life.

It’s ok. Just breathe. There’s good news too!

  • High school ends! And as soon as it does, life gets infinitely better!
  • You will find real friends, and your relationship with God will grow. The loneliness does not last!
  • You will discover he was not the only boy in the world.
  • You will become a stronger, more compassionate person.
  • And probably the most important piece of good news: your braces will come off!

Please remember to lean on God in all things; He will make you stronger. Remember that your family loves you; they will support you through everything. And remember that life is always worth it.

You’re going to be ok.

 

Nineteen-year-old Kaitlyn

 

Answered prayers

Today, my being at church was a small miracle.

The previous night was a late one and a sad one; I felt so very alone for no good reason. I got on my knees and prayed, tears running down my face, that something would change and that I would be able to feel less helpless.

This morning, the feeling hadn’t left. I was disheartened and tired, and I possessed no desire to leave my bed (like, ever). But then I felt that if I could make it to church and at least take the sacrament, things would look up.

So I made it. I took the sacrament. I didn’t feel too much different. I was sitting by myself, surrounded by couples, battling my emotions… when I felt that I should stay, at least until the end of sacrament meeting.

So I stayed. And after the final prayer was said, one of the sister missionaries came up to me and gave me a note. The note was so encouraging and sweet, and exactly what I needed to hear. Shortly after, my visiting teacher came to me with a plate of treats with a quote attached. That quote, again, was exactly what I needed to hear.

So I stayed until the end. And the lessons? All things I needed to hear. A day that started with feelings of hopelessness ended with feeling of gratitude and worth.

Heavenly Father is so mindful of His children. I know he hears our prayers and answers them when we act on our faith. Today was a testament of that for me, and my heart feels so full.

-Kaitlyn