I Am Not Perfect…Yet

Clare Vaterlaus: Becoming PerfectThere are many times in our lives that we will be happy. Our generation has taught us to capitalize on those moments. When we are happy we plaster our Facebook pages, Instagram, Twitter, and blogs ect with the current event in our life. I am guilty of this, and honestly quite good at it. I feel like most of my time is spent building up my social media (in reality social media is my job, so yes I spend a lot of time on it). I have become part of the crowd who must document everything and share it with the world. I know that is not something that is going to change any time soon, because I enjoy it. What I want to address is, sometimes I am not happy, sometimes I am sad. So many men and women become depressed when they see another person get engaged and they are not yet there in life. A mom who has lost her child may feel depressed when she see’s mothers constantly posting pictures of their overly-dolled up kids on their social media platforms. There are those who post about receiving the best gift a boyfriend/spouse could give, while the cat owners sit and envy you. There are so many things that we post that might make another feel inferior, or that their life means less. As I have thought about this I decided I wanted to break the mold. I wanted to share with you how sometimes my life doesn’t go right and it doesn’t have twists and turns to get it to the spot I want it. Sometimes it just is hard. This isn’t a post to make you feel bad for me, this is a post to let you know I’m human.

I have alluded to in the past that I have had health problems. Most of my health problems are based on trigger foods and stress. I am an extremely stressed person, I tend to stress myself out even when I am unaware of it. I always thought, it will get better it will get better. It has not, and it probably never will. It is something that I will have to live with. I would document it on Instagram but, nobody wants to see that! So sometimes I am in pain, and sometimes it makes me sad and angry. Over the past month I have had a cornucopia of people comment on my recent weight loss, and what my secret is to keep it off…This is my secret, get an undiagnosable, incurable, stomach/intestine problem. Warning: You will find no joy in eating. I am not perfect…yet.

I make mistakes. I am currently living with a majority of my family members. Most of us are adults, we have lived on our own, and have experienced life. What does that mean? We each have a right answer. I have found myself getting upset or responding rudely to my family members in the heat of the moment. I will say something I know is offensive, and after I feel so terrible. I don’t always say the nicest things. I am not perfect…yet.

I can struggle with being humble. I have thoroughly enjoyed living the #adultlife and I know that I flaunt it. It is exciting to make money and to build up a savings account, but I know that not everyone is in a situation that can do that. I am not perfect…yet.

Those are a few of my imperfections. I wanted to share them with you, so you know you are not alone. It is okay to make mistakes in life, you definitely don’t have to blog about them, but have relief that not everyone’s lives are perfect. Even though my life is not perfect, I am still happy, because I know one day I will be perfect. I know that after this life we may become perfect like our Heavenly Father, that is the reason I am happy. Until then, I will continue to try my hardest to become what I need to be, perfect. When we are happy, we are our prettiest, well according to Audrey Hepburn of course…

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Miley’s Newest Song: I Came In Like a Rainbow

Miely Cyrus RAINBOWOkay, I know that I am not always the sharpest tool in the shed, but I do like to think that I am somewhat familiar with pop culture. I have even dedicated more of my time to listening to the radio on my daily commute. I have enjoyed listening to the ridiculous radio show host’s and wonder what they look like, I like to think I might be a winner of one of these Jay-Z concert tickets, and enjoy finishing my day with a little bit of Clarissa Jenkins. Along with the radio banter I hear some of the same songs over and over and over again. One that is constantly played is one of the infamous Miley Cyrus. After her major twerk incident on national television, radio stations were constantly playing her songs so they could talk about her. Early one morning one of her songs came on, and I was like this is the dumbest song in America, “I CAME IN LIKE A RAINBOW?” I thought, Miley has done it now, she had even put a description to how a rainbow makes an entrance. At first I despised the song, and then I had a similar reaction to Emma Stone in Easy A and her card with I’ve Got a Pocket Full of Sunshine. I craved for the song to come onto the radio, because I couldn’t find it online. It perplexed me that she could write a song about how she came in like a rainbow, I contemplated the meaning. Maybe she was referring to her self as a pot of gold, or that her personality included all the colors of the rainbow, or she really only performs well when life is wet, dark, and dreary. It made me question life a little bit… That is when I decided to run this song past my friend Amanda. One day after work I called her and asked if she had heard Miley’s newest song “I came in like a rainbow?” She responded with no, is it any good? I started to sing it for her, and then the she started laughing so hard that I thought she was possibly possessed. Amanda said no Clare, it’s “I came in like a wrecking ball.” Well I can now consider that my most embarrassing moment in 2013… Miley hoodwinked me again, oh that Hannah Montana! But seriously in my defense go listen to the song and see if you hear “I came in like a rainbow”, I bet it’s her next song…

Dear Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

seida_viral_photo-620x412Dear Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-

Today I got on Facebook and saw your letter to the world and I just want to say “Atta Girl!” I know you are now internet famous, but to me it is for a different reason. In my book you are famous for standing up for yourself. I want to publicly apologize for those who said mean things to you, they might have the legal right to say the heinous things they said, but it is not kind. As I read your story, I learned of your health struggles. It isn’t something you can control, I applaud you for exercising and putting up with your aliments. I want to tell you that most people say mean things because they have their own insecurities. When they say it on the internet they are just cowards. I can’t imagine the feelings you have felt since you have gone internet famous, and the things you have heard. So this is what I want you to hear from me…No matter how much you weigh you are still pretty, likeable, and worth something.The fact that you stood up for yourself, shows that you have the self-confidence that the women who are bashing you would die for. You didn’t let the harassment get to you and let it tear you down. You are a good person. I don’t know if you are religious person, or what you believe in, but you should know this… You are a daughter of God and are worth something. No matter the God you believe in, that’s a fact. You keep your head up, and continue to be the female stallion that you are. I hope you don’t mind I used your now infamous picture, but added a few things.

Best wishes,

Clare

A Letter to the True Millennial: What I Wish I Would Have Learned Before College

Clare Vaterlaus A True Millenial during Freshman Year

Dear True Millennial,

First of all I must say congratulations for graduating from High School. There were many people who probably did not think that would happen, and if it did it was because you were entitled to that diploma. Well even if you got it out of sheer luck or a teachers admiration for you, that is all about to change. You are now headed to college (I hope). Growing up, constantly being feed information through the media, the true millennial’s know college to be three things: Party, Opposite Sex,and Party, maybe with some acapella groups intermixed. Those are things I know will interest you, but must not consume you. I was told many times prior to my entrance of the university that do what you want during your freshman year, and use the next few to make up for it. I did this, and I did it well. In consequence my GPA was a 2.5, I was on academic probation about to lose my scholarship,failed math 1050 (real shocker I know), and had seen friends hurt to what seemed to be the point of no repair. I spent the next three years making up for my freshman year, and I wish I hadn’t.

Freshman year is a year of firsts. Most of you leave home, move to a new place, have roommates, cook for yourself, work, and have complete control of your time use. This is where I faltered. During my first semester I spent a lot of time hanging out with people, dating, and even more time on the internet and watching television…because I could (and PINTEREST wasn’t even big yet). I saw that my roommates didn’t always go to class, and that meant I didn’t have to…right? I never once thought about the consequences of skipping class, until I had to retake Math 1050. I treated school as if it was an ongoing vacation.

That is when I decided I needed to take my education into my own hands and be responsible for my life. I set up study schedules, I met with advisors, and even got a job to make myself more productive. I can tell you the year’s I worked in college were the ones I received better grades. I spent every day in the free math tutoring room and finished every assignment. I learned that in college you could not just talk your way out of an assignment, and the consequence of not completing it would be an F. These things became a reality.

Everyone says you will always be best friends with your freshman roommates and you will never lose contact. This is false. I would still consider myself friends with the girls I lived with but haven’t talked to most of them in years. We would see each other occasionally on campus after freshman year, and even then it was a few brief words, we had all found our niches elsewhere. Out of the 6 girls I lived with there is one that I still talk to on a regular basis. The memories are important and I will never forget them. I would advise you to hit up the school events, sneak into the fountains to swim, and stay out late some times…but don’t let that take over the main focus, your education.

It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I started to figure out college. I had declared a major and realized that upper division classes required a lot of time and energy. I learned that not all teachers do want you to succeed, they wanted to weed the weak out. I learned that you must fight for your education. Finally during my final semester during my senior year that I felt like I had mastered college ( at least a little bit). I was taking 19 upper division credits my final semester and was doing an internship. I had to dedicate almost all of my time and effort so I could graduate in four years. The final outcome was straight A’s and I had made it on the Dean’s list with a Bachelors Degree.

I never would have thought I would make the Dean’s list. After freshman year I honestly thought I would never really graduate college, but I did. Use your college years to seek out networking opportunities, learn from your professors who will turn into mentors, and use the time to explore many different classes. I would have never found my passion for computers unless I had taken Cyber Security, which started off as a joke. Join honor societies, clubs, and volunteer. Build yourself up so when you do graduate there is a reason to hire you. My education has prepared me, and now I am working full time in a great job that has everything a fresh college grad could ask for, and more. Now the reality of having a “grown up” job, that’s a whole different letter….

Love,

A True Millennial, BS

Clare Vaterlaus A True Millenial Graduate

Ready Player One

Ready Player One Life of a Clare BearSomething must be wrong with me. I have always described myself as a professional “show watcher.” I am just really good at watching t.v. It is something that I enjoy, and that I would pick over most things, especially reading. This week I did something completely out of the ordinary… I cheated on my beautiful t.v., with a book. I know how dare I do something like that. I had reached the final few chapters of Ready Player One and decided I was intrigued enough to put the remote down and put on my glasses. I laid in bed, with my heaven sent heated blanket, and read for hours. The book was published in 2011 by Ernest Cline from Texas. I realized while on the plane to Texas that it was the Author’s stomping ground, and it only made the read more interesting to me. I would say the book is a mix between Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter. I would only recommend this book to those who lean towards the geeky/nerd side and enjoy media, computers, and video games. The book is full of 80’s references. It is a futuristic book about a world who has become so consumed by technology that they live in an OASIS, a completely computer generated world. The book is about a series of challenges that have to be completed to find the golden egg which in turn gives you billions of dollars. The main character “Z,” journey to find the egg is an exciting one, with everything against him he decides to get the egg or die trying. He falls in love, and experiences the usual teen things, but in a different world. Read it to see what happens!The future is something that I constantly dream about, and so I really enjoy books that can give my mind more fuel for my obsession. This book includes some great twists and turns, and some that I felt were merely added to meet the current cultural trends. It does have swearing and some vulgarity, I did have to skip a few pages. It was interesting to see friends come together only through technology, and to see what incentives can do to people. It was a great read for the geek inside me. As I finished the book I felt a spark of passion for reading. That’s when I decided that maybe something isn’t wrong with me, maybe I could enjoy reading books and becoming fully immersed in the plot and becoming friends with the characters. Now I am not saying I will completely ditch my shows, but I think I can make some room for literature in my life.

San Diego Temple dubbed “Mormon Disneyland”

When I have kids, I want to be able to do things like this. What a great idea, and something so important to teach your kids while they are young. A cute blog about something so important 🙂

Hubbard's Cupboard

My husband had to go to San Diego, California recently for a conference trip. He never likes leaving the family at home so we all went with him. While we were planning the trip, the question came up: “Should we go to Disneyland?” We went back and forth on the decision but we finally decided that we didn’t want to take our kids to Disneyland yet because they are too young (2 years, 3 months). We had planned on driving from Salt Lake City to San Diego; so as an alternative to Disneyland, we decided to stop at every temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) along the way.

Micah, our two year old, loved our temple trip! He said “TEMPLE! TEMPLE!” every time we arrived at one. Traveling with kids can be very stressful, especially when they get restless and start crying. Stopping at…

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It’s All Down Hill From Here…

Clare Vaterlaus Opening her mission call to Tirana AlbaniaI have reached a monumental milestone. I have been home from my mission now for two years. There still is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, or my life is influenced because of my decision to serve. As I look back, I remember when I was contemplating a mission. It was a hard decision. I did not want to go for several reasons. Some were selfish, some were shallow, and some where out of fear and confusion. As I prayed and went back and forth on going, I remember how much I learned to rely on the Lord especially during decision making periods. After I had made the decision to serve I thought it would be downhill from there, well I am an idiot for thinking that. From that point on the Lord began to constantly challenge me. At some points I felt as if it was cruel and unusual punishment, but what I have come to find is that it was to shape and mold me into the person I NEEDED to be for him. At the MTC I started to learn Albanian. Many (especially my sister LVD) would say I still need to master the basics of English, so how was I to learn Albanian? I had never felt so inadequate, unappreciated, and worthless especially while studying with extremely smart elders and sisters. I figured out later that Heavenly Father didn’t necessarily need me to learn the language, but He needed me to learn and think in new ways and not compare myself to others. After about 9 weeks in the MTC and dozens of doctor’s appointments, gross test’s, and medicine it was decided that Albania was not going to be the mission for me. I had to make a decision: to go home or be reassigned. It was another hard decision. I could give up and go home or I could continue with what the Lord needed me to do. I waited for a week and half for my new mission call, while still learning Albanian. I had been reassigned to labor in Sister Clare Vaterlaus Moroni LDS MIssionthe Rochester, New York Mission, and was to serve in the Palmyra Visitor Centers. It was a dream come true for me. In a letter to a dear friend prior to submitting my mission papers I had included this:

“So I have most of the(mission) papers filled out, I am still having doubts but at least I will fill them out and see what happens. My availability date is like December 21! I am hoping that I go to New York Visitor Center…”

This was inspired. I had been having dreams about a grove of trees ever since the idea of serving a mission had made its way into my mind. As hard as it was to abandon the thought of Albania and the love I already felt for the people, I knew it was the place for me. As I said my goodbye’s, and left for New York after 14 week’s in the MTC, I thought this is it, it’s downhill from here. Once again, I am an IDIOT! Once I got to New York, I had a few great months. I was part of the pilot mission of Facebook and Blogging, and I can tell you without any hesitation, that is why I needed to be there. I spent hours blogging and teaching people online. By the time I was done I had had visitors from hundreds of countries and thousands of page views. It was how I was to spread the gospel. I needed to learn that so when I was no longer a missionary with a tag, I could still contribute.

Saying good bye, Sister VaterlausWhen we weren’t tracting(door to door contacting), we were giving tours at the different visitor centers through Palmyra and Fayette. Most of my mission was spent building up members, not finding them. That was something many of the sisters serving in these visitor centers struggled with, not “really” bringing others unto Christ. This was something I LOVED. As someone who had not always had positive views towards church members, or living the gospel enthusiastically this was something I needed to learn to love. I learned that even the strongest member in the church can still be taught, and can still be uplifted. It is a concept that most members undervalue. If we continue to develop the church, we must never forget the people already in it. I was so humbled to have had the opportunity to learn such a valuable lesson early in my life.

When the end of October neared, I was becoming sicker and sicker. It was becoming hard to get up in the morning, and work throughout the day. Every time I ate I would be sick. I had non stop headaches and nausea. I was miserable. It was my Mission President Jack R. Christianson who had mentioned going home and he said I could make a decision, but in the end he would do what was best for me. After praying and reading my scriptures I finally felt at peace. The Lord had assured me that, it was my time and that I had accomplished everything there I needed to. I knew for some reason I needed to go home. Two weeks later, I was on a plane to Boise, Idaho.

Sister Vaterlaus and her Site Book of MormonLife at home hadn’t change, I mean it had only been 11months… My health was still not ideal, but much more manageable. I began school again at Utah State and was back on track to graduate with my class. I started an internship dealing with social media, and continued to learn the ins and outs of the game. I have been able to have great success, and I know I can owe it all to God. I received a great job right out of college and got to jump into the workforce doing what I loved. I never would have discovered my passion for using the internet for good and using it as a career without serving a mission. After going tagless early it was reassuring to know that I could still have an influence on the world always at my finger tips.

Sister Vaterlaus 2 years homeGod teaches us all in different ways, for me it was through serving a mission. I developed an unwavering testimony and learned vital things that will help me throughout the rest of my life. What I love is that the Lord does it differently for everyone and in his time line. As I hit my two year mark I look back and see how everything has fallen into place because I was willing to have a leap of faith in something I was so unsure about. The whole point of us coming to earth it to be tried and tested in ways that will make us grow. The one thing I know is that God never gives us something we can’t handle, He trusts us. I kept this scripture in my mind constantly while serving a mission and still do, Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  I am tempted to say that where I am in life now, “It’s all down hill from here,” but I now know better than that… 🙂

LinkedIn Live- Boise Idaho

LinkedIn Live Boise

On Tuesday November 11, 2013 I attended the beta LinkedIn Live event sponsored by the Idaho Technology Council and the Boise State University School of Business and Economics. The event was in the Stueckle Sky Center, which has the most beautiful view of Boise.The conference had a great turn out and was an opportune time to network with others as you can tell from all my new contacts. The conference had three main workshops. I will share a few things I learned at each of them.

Personal Branding Checklist- 

Personal branding is all about you. The most important thing is to let your profile speak for you. If someone were to search it they would be able to know what kind of person you are from looking at your accomplishments as well as you written endorsements.By putting a face to your name and telling your story you are building up your own personal brand. In your profile, make sure that you have linked to your other social media accounts especially your blog/website. This is a place people will check out your professional skills and also see who you are connected to. Don’t just connect with anyone, but make sure you have had dialogue with them.

Marketing Checklist- 

A major part of marketing is establishing your company presence by creating a company page where you can showcase products and services. Having a LinkedIn Company page allows you to connect all of your web presence and creates another access point for a potential employee or customer. Once your page is set up, it is time to post information and begin engaging with your followers and your colleagues. LinkedIn also allows you to be members of different groups that you can actively participate in. The more you participate the more you will get out of it.

Hiring Checklist-

This workshop focused on Employee Value Proposition- allowing someone else to share your companies story on your LinkedIn. This can be done by allowing a 2nd party to help create and review your profile, as well as asking for written endorsements. You want to build yourself up on your LinkedIn, always be truthful but let the good things shine. The company culture, mission, and working environment should be implemented into a profile. As you build your profile up, the talent will find you.

 

I had a great time at LinkedIn Live and one of my tweets even made it in a storify by Jennifer Quinn. If you have more questions feel free to comment.

*All of this information was from the event as well as the checklists that LinkedIn Live Boise provided.

Sister Smithson: Rochester New York

Sister SmithsonYes obviously I have a deep connection with the Rochester mission and so many of the blogs I share come from missionaries who are serving there. I am a huge believe of doing Missionary Work Online. As one of the first missionaries to participate in the Pilot Program in the New York Rochester Mission, it is something that has directed my life. Most missionaries have success in the field, but most of mine was done online. I encourage missionaries to put time and thought into their posts, because they can change lives. With that in mind, here is another missionary blog to add to my treasure box! While scanning through my Facebook Feed today I saw this one and spent some time going through her posts. I was impressed, she shows authenticity in her posts and seems to be a dedicated Sister Missionary… and an excited one! Take a look at her blog, and spread it around. I am sure she would love comments and questions. Her blog is titled The Call of a Lifetime, she could not have put it any better. Receiving a mission call is truly the call of a lifetime.

The Butler- Serving Kindness

The ButlerSince it is “hunting week” my mother and I went out to see a movie. Our first intention was to see Austenland, however we had missed the movie time. I looked up and saw that The Butler was playing, and we decided it would be a good one and it ended up being a heart wrenching film. It was a great film, I would not recommend it younger teens and children because of some of the vulgarity. I don’t know how to put in words how the movie made me feel, but I will attempt. The movie is about an African-American man who escapes the cotton fields and becomes a butler, and gets to work in a house. He became very proficient at serving and knew how to use his two faces (explained in movie). Cecil Gaines is the butler, who works endlessly to support his family so that his wife and two children do not have to work in the fields. I truly admired his work ethic and his drive to do what was best for his family. It was something that never faltered for him. After working in some classy hotels he was recruited to the White House, and begins a long career serving America’s Presidents. He waited on them constantly and was intrusted to keep is mouth closed with some of the country’s biggest problems. As Cecil served his country his son Lewis was serving in a way that at the time seemed wrong, but is what encouraged the most important cultural shift in my opinion, equality. His son was constantly arrested for doing sit in’s and peacefully protesting for his rights. I didn’t realize that all of these events had happened during a time not so long ago. As I watched Lewis get beat for sitting at a table where anyone should have the right to sit, I felt sadness and anger for him and for everyone who was not being treated equally. It made me so grateful for both the black and white Americans who fought for the equality of all humans. Lewis was louder with his actions and definitely had more impact in the media, but what I realized is sometimes it’s the quiet things that can influence others. Cecil was often asked his opinion by the different presidents, and was even responsible for raising the pay for the African-American staff  in the White House to equal the wage of a white worker in the White House. This movie reminded me how important it is to be kind to everyone, no matter the color of ones skin, height, weight, religion, orientation, gender, or age. We might not all agree on what is “right” or “wrong” in this world, but one thing we can be certain of is we are all human. We all deserve to be treated with kindness.