Saturday, March 29, 2014

Are you Beautiful?

Something has been on my mind lately.

Perhaps it is the realization that soon I will be close to age 30 and people still think I am 21. Or perhaps it that as I observe the youth today, I see 18 year-olds looking like they are 25, and 13 year-olds looking legal.

Do you remember the days when it was normal for girls to wear jeans and sweatshirts to school and make-up, tans and bracelets were for special occasions?  I do. Dances were a big deal. My girlfriends and I would spend time before the dances plastering glitter on our cheekbones and eyeliner that was way too thick. I'm still sad that no one had the guts to tell us it looked terrible. Fake eyelashes, eye shadows and bronzers weren't items we carried in our make-up bags. Heck, we barely owned a make-up bag!

Maybe it is social media, parents are more excited to see their children grow into adults, or the peer pressure of looking perfect has really got to us all. Whatever it is - I feel like it is a disease overtaking girls.


Gone are the days of being a girl. You go from child to teen to adult in the twinkling of an eye. Where did the rites of passage go? It used to be a big deal to buy the first tube of mascara, shave our legs, or get our ears pierced. Now - we are handing the cosmetic must-haves to our to girls before they reach junior high.

Please don't misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking fabulous! It's great that as woman we want to look nice. The disease I am talking about is taking place in our daughters, our little sisters and our nieces. It is taking place in every home in America and it is the bleeding belief that materialism = beauty.

Women/girls (who can tell the difference anymore?) - we are way too obsessed with what we look like. It doesn't matter where I am, I see make-up, fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake breasts, fake skin color, fake teeth, fake purses. Fake is beginning to be the new beautiful. Women are taught that self esteem is based on the outfit, on the brand name (sunglasses, purses, car, perfume and clothing) and on flawless skin and make-up.

I am talking about the girls that base their worth - their divine nature - on the their physical appearance, and they allow others to set the standard of their worth. I am talking about strong women, fun women, intelligent women, loving and caring women who are being deceived. These woman are people I know, I love and sometimes I feel like these woman are me.

Let me tell you what beauty really is. Close your eyes and think of the sweetest woman you know. Many of you probably are thinking about your grandmother, your mother, your sister. Perhaps a teacher or someone you work with came to mind.  If I would have said, think of the most beautiful woman you know, many of you may have thought of the same person... others would have thought of someone they don't even know, someone in the tabloids, featured on the latest magazine. This is the problem.

Beauty is not about how you look.

Beauty is about WHO you ARE. 

The best way I can define beauty is 1 Corinthians 13:4. It is speaking of love. Surprisingly, beauty and love to me are synonymous.

Insert Beauty where Love is: "Love (Beauty) is patient. Love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, not conceited, not rude. Never selfish. Not quick to take offense. There is nothing Love cannot face, there is not limit to its faith..."

To all the girls out there - no matter your age - know that you are beautiful because of how you speak, how you treat others and how you act when no one is looking. THIS is beauty... and it lasts longer than any tan, lipstick or eyeshadow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


A few months ago, Dane and I traveled to Canada for one week to see my family and have a bit of a vacation from school and work in California. The first thing I can say is that I have become a cold wimp. It was a lot colder in Canada then it was in California! We flew into Montana and had my sister Lindsay pick us up, drove over Logan's pass too fast - which made us have to stop and I threw up - and then we finally made it home. It was great to see my family again and see how big some of the grandkids were! We also made a little two day trip to Banff so Dane could see just how beautiful Canada is. It was beautiful and we lucked out and got a great deal on a mountain view hotel, thanks to Dane's mom's timeshare there!

We went horseback riding, canoeing and went on the gondola up the mountain. It was gorgeous and we even caught a 2 minute snow fall. Dane's favourite part of the trip was when we went horseback riding. The guide brought my horse to me and said, "This is Romeo. You must be Juliette." Without even thinking about it I replied, "No, I'm Hilary!" That was embarrassing. My horse kept going off the path to eat grass so I would pull on him and say, "No Romeo!" By the end of the ride, I had brought a few laughs to our fellow riders and our guide. Here are a few of our pictures!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

One year

One year ago today, Dane and I were back in the United States after a month long adventure in Italy. Like always, it is hard to believe how quickly time has passed and new things have entered our lives. We are now rounding year one here in San Jose, California and it is just starting to feel more like home to us. We love seeing new things and I always am amazed at all the palm trees I see here even though I have been around them for one year already. They make me feel like I am in a tropical paradise - and to some extent, California is!

I just was recently promoted into a new position with the company I work for. Not only did my hours change from working full weekends and Sundays to normal working hours (8 to 5), but I have more vacation time and I got a significant raise. Dane and I were thrilled because we had been actively seeking the change. We get to spend our weekends together now and attend church. I had missed attending all my meetings - you don't realized sometimes what you have until it is gone. 

Now Dane is finishing up his first year in Chiropractic school - has his own table and is looking forward to starting year two. I am amazed that we survived our first year here. We were terrified when we got here and saw the cost of living. We can look back and see how blessed we were and continue to be. I am so proud of him for doing well in school. 

The next adventure we will be taking is to Banff, Alberta, Canada this month. I thought it would be a fun way for Dane to see more of my territory across the fence while mixing in some Anderson family time. I'm counting the days... until then, we will continue to enjoy our views of the Golden Gate and the beaches. If anyone is looking for a break, some sunshine and fun - just saw when! We have lots of room! 

Driving on the Golden Gate Bridge one evening

Pacifica Beach near San Francisco 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

21 Principles

For all you book lovers out there, if you are like me and love reading, Elder Richard G. Scott, and could always use some extra direction in your life, you should definitely read his newest book. I have fallen in love with the simple way he extends advice on how to live close to the Spirit through sharing his own experiences. To see how humble an apostle of the Lord is and to hear his thoughts and feelings about receiving revelation is touching. This short read is a great reminder of who we can be.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Congratulations to my brother Scotty and his

fiancĂ© - Kelsey Scott. 

Kelsey - welcome to the Anderson family! We love you and are excited that Scotty and you are FINALLY beginning your life together. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We are all in good company

I know when we "grow up" we are supposed to know all the answers to life's tough questions. We are supposed to have figured it out through the examples of those who have gone before us - parents, siblings, friends and Church leaders - or at least be figuring it out still. The thing is, no matter how old I get I still want the confirmation from someone older and wiser than me. I want to feel like the choices I make are the right choices and that they will lead me to happiness and progression. 
I remember always thinking that the older I got, the easier it would be to make those "grown up" decisions. The truth is, I don't feel like I am getting any older - I just continually find myself in new situations, unknowns and "firsts" that tell me how inexperienced I really am. Today as I was reading in 2 Nephi I came across a scripture that made me realize it is ok to not have all the answers, because we can trust in someone who does. It doesn't just end there however. We all need tutoring - and we all need to go forward with trust in what our minds and hearts are telling us. 
Whatever it is we need in life - and we all need something - we can find it in the scriptures. I know that sounds really cliche because some things exist in today's world that didn't necessarily exist in the time when Nephi built his ship, or Moses parted the Red Sea, but it's true!  We have so many more things in common with our ancestors and with the examples in the scriptures than we think. Can you think of someone that had a falling out with their family, brother or father? Can you think of someone who had a hard time providing (food) for his family? What about someone who everyone laughed at or ridiculed because of their beliefs? Or what of the numerous accounts of people giving up their possessions, time, talents, sins and even their lives in order to be obedient to the commandments?  
The lesson I learned today - we are in good company. Look to the scriptures and we will never be alone. 

When Mormon was abridging the plates, he was inspired to know what to include - for us. As Mormon said, "I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing..." (Mormon 8:35)
2 Nephi 32:3
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
Exodus 4:15
 "And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth and will teach you what ye shall do."
Alma 31:5
"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just-yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them - therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."
Jeremiah 29:13
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book of Mormon Challenge

It's time for a new challenge!

Dane and I decided that before April general conference we wanted to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover in order to prepare ourselves to be taught, to increase the Spirit in our lives and to deepen our understanding and love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

A few years ago, President Hinckley issued a challenge to the members of the Church and to the world:

"Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."

I remember how much this challenge helped me during my young adult years, so I was really looking forward to trying it again. So far it has been fun to read more than just a chapter a day. The stories and teachings have come alive allowing me to really feel the passion and love from the words of the prophets. It brings to me the desire  to be better and to develop those Christlike attributes I am seeing in the Book of Mormon prophets. I thought it would be fun to use this blog as a way to record my thoughts and feelings of this new challenge - and invite anyone else to join in and share your thoughts, and feelings too!

Start from the beginning or wherever you are and feel free to comment and share!