Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So this is likely going to unnerve a handful of people. Some may think I'm a heathen. Others sacrilegious. But I found my latest homework assignment to be quite the eye-opener.

This Monday in advanced reporting we learned the truth about using clichés in reporting. It's a no-no.

I just dictionary-dot-commed cliché for the sake of it and the very first definition pretty much sums up why...
1. a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.

So, in summary, clichés define ideas of little value and little meaning.

And you want to know what's crazy. My professor (who was a bishop for many, many years...he's not the Antichrist I promise) pointed out thatwhen sharing the one thing that means the most to us...the thing that defines us...the thing that gives us all hope in this life and a sense of meaning and purpose—when sharing our testimonies, we rely very heavily on clichés.

A clichéd testimony isn't without value. We ooo and aww over the adorable Primary children who get up to share their simple testimonies and cookie-cutter prayers because A. it's incredibly sweet and B. it still brings the Spirit. And we feel right at home when we hear similar wordings of our shared ideas and beliefs because, well, they're all the same. They're supposed to be. And that consistency is what makes the doctrine of our Gospel so beautiful.

But as I listened to my teacher, I realized something. When we rely so heavily on clichés, as listeners, we tune out. I know I have in a testimony meeting or two. The most memorable testimonies I've heard (like Elder Holland's of the Book of Mormon last October or that of an investigator at our stake youth conference years back) are memorable because they were unique. They were powerful to me because they shared truths I've heard for a million years in a way I'd never heard them before. And I can appreciate the difference.

Our professor had us write a list of the first 25 clichés we could think of in class and construct a testimony out of them. Then he sent us home to rewrite it. "Make it cliché-free. Tell me what you really believe. What you really know. It might be the most powerful testimony you've ever written."

I kind of laughed. I thought it'd be too easy. But when I sat down to write I didn't know where to start. I didn't know how to be really honest and candid. I wanted to hide behind clichés that sounded right and made sense.

But then I started to write...almost approached it like one of these posts...and just let my fingers flit across the keys without a second thought to how it might sound to someone else. And when I read it back to Parker to see if it passed the cliché-free test, I felt the Spirit...so strong...here in our living room. I even paused a few times so I wouldn't cry. Who cries over homework...really???

So I've decided it works. And I've also decided, the next Sunday I have the chance, that I might (emphasis on might) just try it. I may not sound eloquent, or articulate, or look like the picture of propriety, but I will be honest. And even if it has zero impact on the listening congregation, I know sharing it will strengthen me and my simple testimony.

Here's a peek at part of my assignment. Again...I love the Gospel! I really do. And I'm the queen of clichés...so I can appreciate those too. Just wanted to share my spiritual experience of the day. Enjoy!

Chelsey White DeMille

September 27, 2010

Communications 486

The Gospel Truth: Why it pays to be cliché-free... (i was so excited to include a cliché in my title to make it ironic. I'm such a nerd!)

25 Gospel Clichés

Beyond a shadow of a doubt…

With every fiber of my being…

My family means the world to me.

Words cannot express…

I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t stand and share my testimony today.

In these the latter-days…

A chosen generation…

Obedience brings blessings…

A burning in my bosom…

You all have such a special spirit about you.

Hearing your testimonies truly strengthens my own.

Every member a missionary…

I’ve been spiritually fed today.

Patience is a virtue.

I don’t know where I’d be today without…

I told myself I wouldn’t cry.

Trials only make us stronger…

I’d like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true.

Each and every day…

It truly is a plan of happiness.

Nourish and strengthen our bodies…

Living on borrowed light…

Our forever family…

By the whisperings of the Spirit…

Faith is like a seed.



I don’t remember the last time I stood up here, but I do know that I’d be very ungrateful if I didn’t stand and share my testimony with you today.

I’m so grateful for your words today! Hearing your testimonies truly strengthens my own. You all have such a special spirit about you!

So I’d like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true beyond a shadow of a doubt. I don’t know where I’d be without it. Oh gosh…I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

I love my family. They mean the world to me! And it’s such a comfort knowing that ours is a forever family.

I know that the Lord’s plan truly is a plan of happiness. I’m reminded of that each and every day I spend with our youth. They truly are a chosen generation.

These are perilous times, but I know trials only make us stronger. If we build on a firm foundation and then plant that seed of faith, we’ll never waver. Just remember that patience is a virtue on the road to testimony.

Words cannot express how grateful I am for my Savior. He is the light of the world…a beacon in the night. I count my blessings each and every day for the knowledge that He knows and loves me.

We’re getting short on time, so I’d just like to tell you again how grateful I am for this gospel in these the latter-days. I say these things...


I want to tell you what I know to be true…the Gospel and reality of the blessings that come from living it.

I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He sent me here to learn and I have…not everything, I know…but quite a few things.

I’ve learned what it means to have a family and what a comfort it is to know there are people who will love me unconditionally, like my Heavenly Father does. They’ve given me a taste of the love of God and the love of my Savior Jesus Christ.

It’s so wonderful to know that because of this Gospel—because of the covenants made by me, my husband, my parents, my grandparents and so many other people I love—I’ll be able to live with all of them forever. That is a blessing that’s come from living the Gospel.

I know trials can be blessings and blessings can be trials. When we have it easy and life is so perfect, it’s easy to forget what you learn from sacrifice, struggle, and relying on the Lord completely. I’ve grown and learned more from being poor and married and so overwhelmed with life these last few months than I have in my whole life…truly. And as much as I want to just surrender to the hardships some days by plowing through a row of cones on my I-15 commute or announcing my two weeks’ notice to the umpteenth irrational bank-comer of the day, I don’t…because whether I’ve recognized the lesson or not, there’s one there to learn. And I know I’ll be blessed for figuring it out.

I love my Savior. It’s that simple really. And I feel like when I try my best and try so hard to do what’s right, I’m thanking Him somehow. I only hope He knows it.

I love this Gospel. I know it’s true. And I know living it makes me happy. That’s what I know. And I say these (hopefully cliché-free things) in the name of Jesus Christ…amen.

p.s. My professor's favorite phrase, "We'd like the thank the Aaronic Priesthood for the reverent manner in which they passed the sacrament." In his words, "I can't tell you how many times I purposely omitted this phrase as a bishop and people would come up to me afterwards and say...'You forgot to thank the Aaronic Priesthood!' You'd think it was the capstone to the sacrament prayers. Do you really think the Aaronic Priesthood really feels thanked when they hear this same phrase every. single. week.? That's like the girl who comes up to you every day saying she likes your blouse. After awhile you stop listening because the comment's lost its sincerity." I never thought of it that way...made me giggle :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

stir crazy

Do you ever have those nights where you know there are a million things you could be doing...but nothing you want to tackle just yet? where the walls feel like they're closing in on you and you can't remember how fresh air feels in your lungs or what the sky looks like? where anywhere seems better than here?

Tonight is one of those nights. Parker has three big tests this week back. to. back. which means we've spent our weekend in instead of out.

I completely understand these weekends and I'm quite the advocate for my husband making stellar grades so he can be my dental-savvy-sugar-daddy successful and proud of the investment he's made in his education. I'm happy when he's happy, and I know rocking his O-Chem test will increase our happiness exponentially...

so I support the studying.

What I don't understand, however, is my inability to jump on the productivity bandwagon. I've spent this weekend avoiding progress at all costs. Granted, I'm grateful for what I did accomplishmaking binders for my new Mia Maid presidency, watching my little nephews David & Ethan suit up in full football gear and storm the field like they've been doing it for years, playing with little Tyler and hearing all about his fort and the hole he'd tried to dig to China (with the help of his dad's headlamp...so cute!), finding a pint-sized person outfit for our newest niece Ava (seeing Parker admire the little fleece baby outfit was precious...and I rarely use that word), deciding on names for all five of my future children, doing cardio for over an hour just because I could (a.k.a. had the time), nearly beating Parker at racquetball for the first time ever (a big day considering last time we played he suggested he start playing with his left hand), catching the RS broadcast on BYU-TV (one of the few channels we get...happy day!), hearing all about my sister's 16th birthday party and the mile-long line of boys looking to ask her on her first date, cooking my kitchen sink into a mountain of dishes, etc. etc. I did a bunch. But the part of me that drives the sane me crazy is the part that keeps wondering about what I didn't do...about what more I could have done. And you know what, that part of me is driving me crazy!

So I'm wondering...is this just me? Am I the only person who constantly feels like there's more she can be doing with every millisecond of her time? Am I the only one who wonders when the day will come when I really can and will do it all? Or the only one who worries that day may never come? Life only gets busier as time goes on right? Next I'll be juggling a career (in reporting? dental hygiene? who knows really...), dental school applications, dental school, debt. Then it'll be kids—their school, their sports, their success, their happiness—and maybe teaching...all while trying to be the same social, spunky wife Parker picked to marry. And I'm not really sure where we go from there...a mission maybe, tons of travel, lots of love for grandkids, lots of laughter at our own expense (I think I'll be a crazy old lady), and lots of days trying to stay lucid so I can enjoy every minute of it.

Writing can have a cathartic effect...I've really taken that to heart today. Putting it all down on paper helped me realize that despite my lack of progress in planning my wedding show, studying Sikhism for my world religions course, or planning for an paper that's sure to make my life a nightmare in the next few weeks, I spent my weekend doing what I love to do because it's likely the only weekend this semester when I'll have the time to do it.

I'm grateful that life is busy and that it'll stay that way. It gives the little moments in life so much more meaning...it makes them precious to me. Whether it's Parker coming over to tackle me during a needed study break then holding me in his arms as I rest my head on his chest, marveling at how much love my little heart can manage to feel for this one person...or admiring my little nephew holding his mom's hand and feeling my heart melt as his little hand slips into my own on our trek to the football fields...or hearing my little sister tell me all about her big day and realizing, despite my many doubts during all of our sibling squabbles growing up, that we are and always will be friends...or acknowledging the overwhelming sense of love and appreciation I have for a man I've never met as I listened to our prophet speak during the broadcast Saturday.

Yes I'm stir crazy today. Yes I'm crazy almost every other day. But tonight I'm happy. I am lucky. I am blessed. And I am so grateful to be who I am and where I am right. now.

P.S. a couple more cartoons that made me smile today...
i can"t even count how many times my mom said this to Molly...our chocolate lab who looks and acts like donkey from Shrek. oh how i love her!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Oh boy! I never really appreciated what inactivity can do to your body. I always scoffed at the girls at soccer try-outs who had meltdowns over the announcement that we might be running a mile. I teased my parents for not jumping on the trampoline with me because it hurt their knees (failing to realize that time takes a toll on bodies as well). I rolled my eyes at people who ran...slow. And I wondered why...if I could go out and run 12 miles without training, why couldn't the rest of the world???

Well...if karma is real, it's living with me now. I am the most recent victim of the love chubb (as my sis Ashlee calls it). It's serious! Ok...not serious as in I look like a hippo (yet), but serious as in I feel like a senior citizen.

We had our first intramural soccer game of the season (ok second. but i missed the first one because i was super tired after work and didn't want to commute to Provo one. more. day. bad teammate, I know.). Anyway, I knew I couldn't and shouldn't expect much from myself as A. I hadn't touched a soccer ball in months and B. I hadn't attempted a solid run since school started. I never imagined how much I could regress though.

My mind worked just the same. And I'll be honest...I'm smart (that sounds so pretentious...bear with me though). I play smart (when I have enough oxygen flooding to my brain). I move the ball well (when my touch is on). I make runs (when my lungs work). I have a vision of the field and anticipate plays before they happen (but getting to those plays is a different story). I think a step ahead, and it is my greatest strength as a player.

So my mind...great. awesome. as wonderful as ever. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be each time the ball came to me. But OH MY!!! Could I do it?! Only about 40% of the time...and even those moments weren't my best.

I couldn't execute what I wanted to do. Sure I scored a couple goals...made a few plays...nailed a few passes. But overall, I felt my game was atrocious. And I reminded myself...it all ties back to fitness.

When you have great endurance, you keep your touch, you play smart, and you can get to where you want to be. It makes me sad to think I've lost everything because I've been such a cardio-slacker.

soccer days...way back when. this is when i could do laps up and down a full field for 80 minutes no problem. it was just wonderful.
the lady raiders. I LOVE these girls! every single one. and i still get to play with my dearest conehead buddies (tiff & kayla). who would've guessed we'd still be together after all these years??? It's the best!
haha! I loved the "dreadmill."

So...despite my busy schedule and the temptation to come home and CRASH after my mind is FRIED from work (being nice to people all. day. long. can be a chore. i know that sounds awful, but seriously. try and act like a cheer captain for 6 hours straight and see how you feel. exhausted) I am going to make a renewed effort to be fit.

I might not look it, but my lungs currently function like those of a great-grandma (no offense to any reading...because really, some of you might be in better shape than me at this point. honest.). I plan to dominate. And I will. Because as I told the dental hygiene college board in my interview..."I get what I want...because I work for it. And I will work for this. I promise you that."

The same applies here. So...welcome back Chelsey-the-cardio-junkie. She's here to stay.
The one I found first said, "I've been doing sit-ups." I don't know why but animal cartoons like this crack me up!

Like I said, love the animal cartoons. Here's a few funnies I found while searching for the cow one above that I had to share...hope they get a giggle!
hahaha!!! Ok I'm done...nighty night all!

P.S. Sorry sweet husband for falling asleep on the couch the last two nights and then refusing to come to bed (a sleep-stupor refusal of course. if i were coherent i would move.). I know it makes you sad when I'm not there to snuggle (a.k.a. act like a human barnacle). I realize you miss me, and that's it's lonely, so you should know. With this new program...it could happen again. Just a head's up! Ok? I love you!!!

P.P.S. If I say no when you ask me to come next time, just carry me. I don't bite :) (or punch like you thought I might...crazy boy). Lov-a you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

blast from the past

Can you call something that if it happened just last week? Ha...I'm kidding. Well, kind of.
my beautiful mom! and cute dad of course.

So I call pretty much everyone I know to kill time on my commute to Provo. 99% of the time the only one with the time (a.k.a. patience) to listen to me is my mom...she's the best! If you know her you know why...true? Yes.

The other people I call feel used & abused by the classic Chelsey commute call (a myth which I would like to put to rest right now...I call because I love you, not because there's nothing better to do...most of the time. That goes for you too Parker...J).

So yes, I really enjoy these chats with my mom. I learn so many fun things [today she primed a little pep talk with a story about how she discovered I was smart when I memorized my first primary talk as a Sunbeam...apparently I straight-armed her when she tried to whisper the prompts in my ear and then glared at the Bishop when he told me what a great job I did because I resented the way he acted like it was hard (this is all at age 3 mind you). it sounded more to me like this was a greater testament to my being a snob than an indication of any super-genius, but parents have a way of making everything sound good. so love them!] and I feel like the more we talk, the more I realize what a truly amazing individual my mom is. I knew it before, I just appreciate it more now. I think it's sad it takes kids so long to realize how wonderful their parents really are (note to 15-almost-16-year-old sister: when you're the only kid at home, a little kindness goes a long way...you're coming up on car season haley bailey! be smart J). I could go off on a whole post with this topic, so before I do, I'll just lay it out. I love my Mom. I owe her my life (and my sanity most days). And she's the best example to me of what a woman, leader, wife, mother, and friend should be. The end.

My point in referencing these chats is that this week, during one of these conversations, my Mom mentioned something that caught my attention. I'd called to ask a quick recipe tip and ended up chattering on and on and on about how much fun I'd had over the weekend with friends.

Last Friday we had a chance to visit two entirely different worlds. First stop for the night...my BYU Freshman Ward reunion. I had mixed feelings going into it. There are so many people from that time in my life that I just love. We made a million memories that year and never stopped having fun.

From Vegas vacations...
to Reno road trips...
to BIG asking...
to BIG dances...

to BIG birthdays...hooray 18!!!
to bonfires & camping...
to crazy girls' trips...
to Marriott Center movie nights...
to Operation Spank...
to RB twilight cleaning crews...
to illegal ski jumps off the stairs...
to our 007 skills for sneaking between dorms...
we had a BLAST!

In addition to giving me some of my best and brightest memories of BYU, my Freshman friends gave me an entirely new perspective on friendship. Quantity doesn't always mean quality (unoriginal, I know, but important still). It doesn't take a million years of knowing someone to develop the kind of friendship that will last a lifetime. And we're proof. I will love these friends my whole life long. Even when things change...

And that's when it hit me. Life has changed. I've changed. And no matter how excited I was to see my best boy buddies fresh off their missions or my adorable fun-loving floormates, I couldn't help but feel a little sad that it could never be the same for us. They're all still single...all still living the Provo life...all in a place where I can't, won't, and don't want to go back to. And the girl they all came to see—even though the best parts of her are still here—she's not the person they left. She grew up. She changed. And they did too. Just in different ways.

Don't get me wrong, the reunion was a HIT! We laughed and smiled and chatted and reminisced for hours. And we will stay the best of friends, I promise you that. We just won't be spending every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night together like we used to (we were inseparable...if you couldn't tell).

So yes...it was hard to leave the reunion an watch all my old pals trot off to In-N-Out to pick up where we all left off without me...until I looked at Parker and remembered why I am so incredibly happy to be exactly where I am now.

BUT, just in case that wasn't enough, Heavenly Father blessed me with a very firm reminder that marriage did not kill the socialite in me. segway to..MARRIED FRIENDS!!!
They arrived right on cue. As soon as we left the reception Natalie & Bennett called us to connect and we in turn called Michael & Kayla. And before we knew it we had this entirely new friend dynamic! We bowledtalked about married lifechecked out the Bennetts' new apartmentrevisited our registry shopping spree storiesplayed gamesmused about our futuresate pieteased our sweet little spouses about awkward first kisses.

Imagine that...having discussions about married life that go beyond, "-So how's married life? -It's great! -Oh I bet...(picture thought bubble) this is awkward. I'm going to keep quiet until you decide to ask me about my life or I walk away."

It made my heart so happy! The girls and I chatted in the kitchen for over an hour about everything (no surprise there), and the boys sitting in the living room...they did exactly the same!!! I couldn't believe it! No awkward silence. No wandering into the kitchen to give the wife the exit cue. No anxious looks over in our direction begging for us to come save the conversation. No. They chattered away just as long as we did and loved every minute. Blew me away!

I haven't come away from a night on the town that happy in quite awhile. Parker agreed. We'd forgotten what it meant to have friends! Of course our family are our friends (and amazing ones at that), but we'd missed out on this peer group atmosphere for the entirety of our first four months together...and I can't tell you how eager I am to get back there again. In fact, we're going back tomorrow!!!

My best friend Nicole is dating a cute boy these days and let me sweet talk (a.k.a. bully) her into joining the married clan for a night so I can finally meet him! I've planned for another game night...couple's Olympics. The couple with the highest points (between rounds of Wacky 6, Taboo, Pictionary, and Sequence) will be declared the winners. And then we will all add to our love-chubb with pazookis while we enjoy a midnight movie (a.k.a. redbox...we're poor. none of us do theaters anymore).

The way this all ties back to my convo with my momas I chattered on about the fun I'd had with our best little married friends and all my angst at my reunion, she reminded me how everything in life has its season. It's so simple, I know, which is why I couldn't believe I'd missed it!

My freshman friends were there when I'd needed them to be silly and sassy and spontaneous. They made my first year at BYU unforgettable and will continue to be my BFF's I know...just not in the same way.

Because now that life's changed, and I've changed with it, I'm ready to say hello to this new chapter in life AND the friends that come with it. They are feisty and fun and ready to take on the world...just like I am. It is fabulous.

I am SO happy to be where I am today! Married life is the best...and married friends make it that much better. Happy day...