Sunday, February 26, 2012

My first talk in Sacrament... EVER!!!

I surprisingly did not read my talk word for word, so this 
isn't exactly what i said, but you get the jist of it.
It was a tear jerker :)
INTRODUCTION: I am kind of new to the ward, and haven’t formally introduced myself over the pulpit. In fact I have never spoken in sacrament ever. Leave it to Bentley to volunteer us to speak J
I’ve been living in slo for 3 years now. I moved here to go to Cuesta and complete my Associates degree which I did last year in Liberal studies. I stayed an extra semester after that to take courses in ECE to get my associate teachers permit. After I got that, I taught preschool for a little while, and am about to start my new job, tomorrow actually, Monday will be my first day at CL Smith as a para-educator in a SDClass. Special day, special ed, there a few differences, basically I get to hang with the coolest kids on the playground. I love preschool age, but I am leaning more towards special education as I get closer to obtaining my credential but we shall see, I am open to a lot as far as education goes.
Speaking of school, that is where bent and I met. We met at Cuesta in January 2011 in our Vocal Jazz class, and then again that week in intermediate voice, and then again! At a guitar class at a music academy here in SLO called Modern Music Academy MMA for short. Not to confused with mixed marshal arts J obviously we have similar interests, we are both passionate musicians. To this day we cannot believe that our paths had not crossed before that semester, and then all the sudden it was literally every day of the week. I even joked with him about whether or not he was stalking me…. And the rest is history! I was inactive in this county at that time. I went to church when I was home with my mom in Yosemite and I had called the missionaries here, but couldn’t seem to set up a meeting with them for a bunch of reasons. So there was no way we could have met via church.
 What makes it truly remarkable that we met that month is not only was I inactive at church here, the month before that jan. my dad had fainted while walking down the hallway in my parents house and broke his neck, it was a total freak accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He once was a chiropractor and now he is a very responsive quadriplegic, with an incomplete injury meaning there is A LOT of hope for him to regain mobility in his legs and arms some day. He can move his shoulders bend his ankles but it is definitely not the same, they are followed by intense muscle spasms. He is a full time job for my mom now. I hate to say it like a JOB but there is A TON of little thing you depend on others to do for you when you are in a wheelchair. She stays home with him, dresses, feeds, caths, bed rolls him, and baths him. She was his receptionist at his chiropractic office before the accident so they have always worked in close quarters, but definitely nothing like this. That being said, I almost did not come back to SLO after that December. I was worried about how my family would transition into this new lifestyle we are all still getting used to. However it was my final semester for my Associates Program and my dad insisted that I hit the books, stay concentrated and finish strong. So painfully and with many weekend trips home I did. And here I am now 2 years later, married to an amazingly sweet handsome young man, hard work paid off and I just got into Cal Poly, I am working in the school district, and fortunately today, giving this talk.
I was asked to speak about SERVICE in and out of the church. Service within the church is a great way to express your love and appreciation, give back, keep busy, stay connected and build relationships within the ward but most of all I believe it keeps us active. I mentioned I was inactive well that lasted for about 7 years and the things I missed most were service related projects my family was involved in through the church. I have always been service minded because of how I was raised. It was a life style for my family; nearly every weekend we were doing something outside for the community or my school, family home evenings were normally geared around how we can help our friends and family in and out of the church. Even though we were inactive my mom still upheld the same standards and expectations she always had. Serving with in the church can be as classic as accepting a calling and teaching a class, leading music or taking part in an Eagle Scout project. But I think service amongst members when we don’t know we have done a greater service for someone are the most insightful. I would like to share a few examples of this, I don’t mean to put the following people on the spot, but it’s all in the name of service.
* * For example sister Slade shared her testimony in January. If you were here you heard her share with us that while their family was trying for a very long time to figure out where to start her husbands practice. It was a difficult and trying time for them, so they decided to fast every Sunday until they something worked out, or answers were abundantly upon them. And I cannot explain how great of a service that was for me. Their resolve to fast was the answer I was looking for. The year mark for my dads fall had just passed, and I had been praying so hard for an answer to how I could serve my family from here, in some way, other than prayer and supportive phone calls. Since then Bentley and I have been fasting for him and specifically his mobility every Sunday. The last time I was home my dad almost did a full sit up in bed on his own. The idea to fast had surprisingly not crossed my mind, even after our ward fasts for the families in need during the tough economic times and mission work.
* * And then at stake conference sister Walwork stood up at the Saturday evening session and shared with everyone that she fasted every Wednesday and Sunday for her children that are inactive just reconfirming and solidifying to me again that I can do something to serve my family from here, miles away. We are here to serve each other as family members within our ward. standard canned food drives, helping a member move, relief society service projects, or going to a park clean up are great ways to serve don’t get me wrong but I think the services we don’t know we have to offer are often the most significant and treasured by the individual on the receiving end. When we are simply conversing and spark an interest or uplift someone with a comment or smile. When we listen to each other it’s often not recognized as an act of service, but we all need to be heard. Its not always the easiest thing to do if you feel like someone is rambling, but its not always about us either, and they might genuinely just need to be heard in that moment. Or perhaps it is about ‘us’ and heavenly father is using them as an instrument to get his words to you. We just need to be open minded.
DC 63:1 Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the apeople of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you.
My favorite quote on service is….
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

In high school during my most inactive years in this gospel I attended a Presbyterian, Christian church. My involvement with that church enabled me to go to Guatemala every summer for a few weeks to serve. I worked at a preschool one-year, and a hospital for mentally disabled and handicapped after that. Somehow every year I found myself talking about the book of Mormon with my friends, peers and Guatemalans who had heard my history in this faith and had questions. They mostly questioned my inactivity and I think were hoping for a juicy story. I shared with them what I could for what I knew of this gospel was not much at that time. With out fail, every year I was fascinated how it always came back to this, always back to this gospel. I realized that I seriously needed to read for myself and really find out why I had fallen away from the gospel that I credited my morals and values to. The answer I came to, no matter how long it took me, is hopefully obvious as I stand here in front of you today.
When we serve we really do find ourselves in everyone around us, we are a hand, we are ears, we are loving, caring, and giving and we are as Christ like as it gets on this earth.
John H. Groberg said at general conference in 2004:  “The more we obey God, the more we desire to help others. The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on.”
The more we serve the happier we are, service brings true joy. And that is all heavenly father wants for his children, to be happy and joyful.
Another scripture applicable to service that I really like and think plays a major role in the way we serve is ….                                                                                                                                                DC 59:15  inasmuch as ye do these things with athanksgiving, with bcheerful glad chearts and countenances—
If you do something as an act of service begrudgingly you will not gain the reward or see the fruits from your work whatever that reward may be. Serve with a smile; love what you are doing because you who you are doing it for.
**In close I would like to thank you for listening to my talk this morning and thank you for your acts of service. My testimony of this gospel has done nothing but grow through service in and out of THIS church. I am so thankful to have come back to the basics. I am so thankful to be in such a strong and loving ward full of wonderful examples**
 guatemala 2007?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Presidents Day Last Year. . .

A year ago tomorrow I was having a much different kind of day.
It was still a holiday thanks to presidents day. So Bentley and I decided to take advantage of the time off and put together a BIG group of friends to hike Bishops peak in San Luis Obispo. . . 
here are some of the finest of that hike :P
note the blood on the bridge of my nose!
 This hike has such great views, its not hard but you still get a good work out. 
Especially if you run it!

We love Bishops Peak. When we first met we would hike it about twice a week in the mornings for sunrise and then go to school.

However last year on Presidents Day, on that very familiar hike I was bit in the face by a german shepherd!! I didn't realize what had happened at first. It was so quick and cold outside that i didn't even feel it. It wasn't until my blood ran down and hit my lips that I knew something 'serious' happened.
This was a first in many ways for me...
  • My first dog bite
  • My first 'bloody nose'
  • My first stitches
  • My first hand holding with Bentley :)

Yes I had to get stitches. TEN of them and some super glue.
And yes, Bentley was there to hold my hand the entire time. Looking back on it now, knowing that I will never forget when, where, and why we first held hands is totally worth it.
It's a great story.
Plus I was fortunate to have a great doctor in the ER that holiday who stitched me right up with hardly any scar!
We finished the hike to the top of the peak and ran down since the numbness started to wear off, and I was bleeding pretty badly.

Those three dots under my nose is from the dogs lower jaw clamping on my nose!
He really went for the whole thing!

Tomorrow we will be running around on the North Shore of Oahu :)

Enjoy the last day of the THREE DAY WEEKEND
Stay away from dogs you do not know :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Crazy 24 hours

Bentleys gig last night at SLO Brew was marvelous!
He, and the gentlemen he played with did so well, as always.
Their passion for music is undeniable. On stage their energy oozes out of their smiles.
It is adorable
I will post a live recording of their set from last night very soon, after we edit.

Right after the show Bentley and I left for Castro Valley. 
-We arrived at 3 AM, 
-slept for 2.5 hours, 
-got a ride to BART and made our way to SFO by 7:45
-had an 8:55 flight to catch and ALOT of LONG lines to go through.
***Airport stress***

No big deal we made it with plenty of time to people watch. 

But when President Obama showed up just as our flight was about to ascend, ALL air ways were delayed for 40 minutes.
One plane lands and all others have to stop everything for almost an hour. 

I was sleep deprived and cranky.... to say the least.
But none of that matters now because we are here on the beautiful island of oahu surrounded by friends and alluring foliage. The sun is endearing and the breeze plays with my curls. 
We are so blessed and so thankful. 

I hope you have a wonderful three day weekend. 
Take the time to turn off your brain and relax :) 
Its all a state of mind.
Its all relative.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"To Dye For"

Bentley and I are officially signed up the 5K Color Run in SOCAL this coming April :)
We are SO stoked.
The name of the team we belong to was cleverly made up by my friends mom, "To Dye For"
Now if you are unfamiliar with the color run click HERE!
I have never ran this one before and I am super excited. It looks like a blast, and its only a 5K. Doesn't get much better than that!

I love running, i especially love running short distances, with girl friends.
The girls we are teaming up with I met my freshmen year of college in the most grueling sport I have ever participated in. 
 POWER 10 anyone? 

time for a dip

CHAMPIONSHIP in Tennessee 

light weight 4 plus our coxswain 
don't worry they're not too heavy

I was on the novice Long Beach State Womens' crew team. I spent every morning from 5:30 - 7:30 rowing, running, dry land training, and urging (the machines you see at the gym but have no idea how to use, yup we were all over those bad boys.)
Sweat runs and dieting were no joke since there is a weight requirement for this sport and major pressure to achieve set goals. like wrestling I assume.
I once did a sweat run with 3 sweatshirts and pants in the hot, humid, wet heat in Tennessee and dropped 4.7 lbs in 2.5 miles.
***NEVER again***

Crew got me through the homesickness and loneliness of freshmen year, when it crept in.

  • I got in the best shape of my life.
  • I found my passion for running
  • I changed the way I ate, forever.
  • I went to championship in Tennessee with the 'light weight 4' 
  • But best of all I made some life long friends :)

I can't wait to hang with these girlies again. 
Thats just how we roll, and I wouldnt have it any other way :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine

On this day last year, I was waiting anxiously to meet up with Bentley in Vocal Jazz and sing the afternoon away
(that is the class where our story began) 
He wrote me a poem on parchment and twisted it around a calla lily and tied it with a strip of leather.


This year I am enjoying my million dollar view- him cooking in OUR kitchen by my side. 
How quickly, and sweetly life changes

I could have guessed from the words of his poem last year that I would soon be his Valentine. 
Little did I know the very next year I would not only be his Valentine, but his wife too! 
How did I get so lucky?
May our curls forever be intertwined

Heart shaped pasta will be eaten . . . .

Massive amounts of frozen yogurt will be devoured! ! !
(too much to be photographed, obviously)

Happy Valentines Day 
Love the Missus'

PS- 2 days until Bentley's gig @ SLO Brew
and 3 days until Hawaii!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Retirement ? !

It's official I signed for my new job, my retirement plan options, healthcare, benefits, wage, and everything else "grown up". 
'When did all this happen?' I wondered during my personel meeting. When did I grow up?
I didn't think there would be an exact moment in my life when I literally thought that to myself. I always assumed it would happen in a way that time stretched it out like a Stephen King novel slowly unfolding. 
So here is to my last week at Blue Sky Preschool, a bitter sweet.
Despite how grownup I feel, I will be riding my bike to work now just like the good old days of elementary school and lemonade stands :) 
Best of all I'll be working with children with special needs from here on out!
I am SO excited.
Here is to being young and feeling so grown up. 
I love this season of life.

Another highlight of this month is Bentleys show this coming thursday at SLO Brew (where he purposed to me of all places) He will be opening for the California Honey Drops This band is so awesome! He is so happy to be playing for them, and I cant wait to get my dance on :)

Monday, February 06, 2012

No rhyme or reason for this one. . . . .

If I keep eating as much fruit as I have been this last week I am going to have some serious problems. I am just being honest here, lets be real!
I LOVE fruit if it were humanly possible to eat nothing but fruit for a lifetime I think I could do it. 
Well.  . . .
 thats not entirely true, I just caught a whiff of the chicken and quinoa enchiladas in our oven and immediately felt differently. 


Tonight we are elated, 
Bentley just completed week 1 of his program, only 104 weeks left to go! 
I am already so proud
I officially have my new positions start date  locked in! I can not believe I will get to walk to school aka 'work' pretty soon!:D
I managed to teach my little mandarin speaking two year old preschooler a new word today - SHOES. What girl doesn't need to know that word?! Plus her shirt said "I've got daddy under my spell" 
He is totally asking for it. 
It is supposed to rain tomorrow- FINALLY
Our oven is full, our hearts are warm and minds at rest. 
Only thing missing is a good run, endorphins make every day better!!!

Happy Monday, hope your week has started out pleasantly!
Mrs. Murdock

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Exciting News! ! !

Bentley and I both got the jobs we were being interviewed for! I will soon be working at CL Smith elementary just a few blocks from our apartment. I won't even have to drive to work anymore, I think that is the best part. Traffic isn't even that bad in SLO I would just prefer to walk or bike. Bentley will be at Baywood in Los Osos where he has been filling in another position but still carpooling to work with teachers from SLO. 
Life is good.

I was also called to work in primary at church :) the nursery to be more specific. Just when I thought I was leaving the preschool age of 'big girl panties' aka fancy nancies in my classroom, separation anxiety, and crying. . . . To be honest I was/am a little sad about that. I know I am going to miss my little blue jays. Besides their parents I have been alot of their FIRST teachers. I love that feeling and responsibility. So I will still get my baby fix every week on Sundays.
Bentley was called last Sunday to be the first councilor in the elders quorum, AND he just started his online classes for Full Sail university (I am SO proud). BAchelors in Music Business couldn't be a more suitable major for my handsome man.
We are a busy couple over here.

Even though this all feels too good to be true, there is a catch. The start date CL Smith would like is THE day of our friends wedding. . . in Hawaii. Of course right! So we are still working out some details. But I have confidence all will fall into place.
There is no backing out now, not even with travelers insurance. 

This has been a blessed week!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

one of my favorite salads

Today was a long day.
Not a stressful kinda long day. However it was full of job interview butterflies, FAFSA papers, transcript request forms,  Centergy (yoga and pilates combined), AND preschoolers :)
Nuff' said.
Nothing a fresh spinach salad couldn't fix. Feisty forces tried to persuade me to go to the frozen goodness aisle for a pint of my 2 best friends, Ben and Jerry. *Que internal motivation. 
I keep telling myself "You have this one day to make good choices, and if you mess up you have to wait till tomorrow for a re-do"
So far its been working for me.

This salad is very simple and easy!
Boysenberries (or blue berries)
Blue cheese
green apple
balsamic and olive oil (I sometimes use the italian seasoning dressing packet and substitute the vinegar for balsamic for a very delicious balsamic vinaigrette) 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Workin' Out

Yesterday I went to a live african drum dance class for a little exercise.
 It was interesting.
I have NEVER felt so uncoordinated in my life!!! I use to take ballet, hip hop, and jazz; but african drum. MAN, was I lost. Definitely not for me in the long run,
but it was fun. I am always ready to try something new, thats one more thing to cross off the list.

Next up ZUMBA !

Today I opted out of a gym class and did my own thing. I am truly motivated deep down. 
The hardest step is ALWAYS the first one out the door
However, I LOVE working out and feeling strong. There was a season of my life where I worked out twice a day, averaging 6 - 8 miles a day running, about 5 days a week (including swim workouts)!
There is NOTHING like swimmers high by the way. If you know how good a runners high feels, imagine that times ten, in a beautiful blue, refreshing pool with bubbles all around you, no noticeable sweat, and no noise. 
Not even the beat of an ipod. 
That is a beautiful feeling.

I also found a new class I am really looking forward to going to. I will already know a few girls from church :) Can't wait. The instructor is going to kick my butt, I hope :) 
I hope you go outside tomorrow and get some fresh air!

Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.