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Chiang Mai



I didn't initially know what to expect when staying in Chiang Mai. It ended up being one of my favorite places in Thailand and I find myself always daydreaming about going back. It was so beautiful and the people were so generous. I had to document what I loved, what I wouldn't do again, and some tips. I refuse to mark Thailand off my bucket list because I want to go back again and again.

Visit the Local Markets
Local Markets in Chiang Mai are most popular on Sunday. There's a market that's open a few times a week that is underground. My oh my, it is insane. Mr. Schroeder kept saying, over and over again, "How do we go home and even explain this to people? It's THAT crazy!" I concur. The photos don't do justice, so you'll just have to go visit these markets. The food is so fresh and delicious!

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Visit Elephant Sanctuaries (and do your research)
If you haven't heard already, Thailand has been infamous for elephant abuse. Before going to Thailand, I did a crap ton of research on the most reputable companies. There were so many videos going around on Facebook and Twitter explaining that tourists who ride elephants are so selfish because they aren't thinking about what those elephants go through. It's certainly very sad. Most of the sanctuaries won't actually allow you to ride elephants; however, some do! Be sure to do your research to make sure you aren't supporting awful animal abuse. I did some research and have left what I have found below for reference.

1. Thai Elephant Conservation Center
2. Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary
3. Elephant Nature Park

To view information on cost, what's included, location, and more details, click here. 

One thing I didn't even think about when riding an elephant was WHAT TO HANG ON TO. They didn't have anything except their cute little prickly heads to hang onto. You don't realize how high up you are until you're sitting on there looking at the ground, ha! Another thing we got to do was feed the elephants bananas and bathe them. It was a blast!








Visit Bai Orchard and Butterfly Farm
Mr. Schroeder and I aren't really into tours, but one private tour we went on took us to the Bai Orchard and Butterfly Farm. It did not disappoint. Though we only stayed there for a few minutes, the butterfly farm was unreal! Outside of the farm, you can walk around and view some crazy beautiful plants and flowers. I'd highly recommend visiting this, even if it's for 10-15 minutes. We loved it!



Eat Pocky's. Lots of Them. 
The other day,  my mom was like, "What's a pocky?" If you haven't had a Pocky, you can try them out by going to your local WalMart and navigating to the Oriental aisle. Personally, I absolutely love them. Trevor calls them "air food" because he thinks all they are is 'air.' But it's YUMMY air! ha! When we first got to Bangkok, I was completely dying over the selection they had. I wanted to try all of them. Here in Utah, I've only ever seen strawberry and chocolate. If you go to Thailand, please just try some Pocky's. And tell me what you think. I promise they're de-lish, even if they just taste like air! 



Go on a small hike (*cough* walk) to Mok Fa Waterfall
Initially, we were told that the Mok Fa Waterfall was a hard hike,but a short hike. I'm not quite sure what their definition of 'hike' was, but Mok Fa Waterfall is a must-see. As with most things in Thailand, pictures just don't do justice. The water was falling so hard and it was incredibly beautiful! Also, if you happen to bring a GoPro, good luck getting good pictures. Ha! Our GoPro is waterproof, yet still had water marks all over the camera. Must of been that crazy water pressure? 




Ride in a freaking TukTuk
Every piece of advice I read prior to going to Thailand mentioned the absolute need for riding in a TukTuk. We went to a couple of different temples and hired a TukTuk and had thee best time. It was nearly impossible to get a good photo, but this is a MUST! I'll be posting a video in the next few days that will show it better.




Visit Hundreds of Temples (but really..)
One thing that was extremely intriguing to me, even before we arrived in Thailand, was the Buddhist temples. I wanted to make sure to visit quite a few of them because of how gorgeous and interesting they were. One thing I would recommend is to stay in Old City in Chiang Mai! We stayed here and didn't need a taxi pretty much everywhere we went .We were able to walk everywhere and in the span of 2 blocks, you're guaranteed to see like 10-15 temples. It's pretty unreal and awesome! This particular temple below is Doi Suthep. We had quite the experience at this temple. My recommendation? Cover up! I didn't do my research (that was bad of me) and I was referred to the "immodest table" to get a long skirt and something to cover my shoulders and arms. Keep this in mind when visiting temples, as it is considered disrespectful to show a lot of skin.

Another thing that you will probably want to be aware of is that oftentimes, monks will encourage you to worship. Now, Mr. Schroeder and I had absolutely no idea what we were doing. We didn't know if it was a bad idea to worship in the temples and we had no idea how to worship. The monks encouraged us to come in, donate money to them, and pray to Buddha. They flicked water on our heads and tied a yarn around our wrist while chanting. Something I wish I would have done was get the prayer in English so I knew what was going on. It was super comical watching Trevor. He was so uncomfortable. He was super worried that we had become Buddhists without knowing it. Ultimately, I think it was a super great experience, just interesting. And comical, especially if you're traveling with Mr. Schroeder.










Drink Fresh Coconut Water (Well, if you're into that sort of thing)
Everybody told me that drinking fresh coconut water was a must while traveling through Thailand. I'm not a fan, but Mr. Schroeder was excited to try it out. I took the obligatory photo of him with his coconut. Then I happened to snap one to get his reaction. He didn't like it either. BUT. As my mama always says, it's something that everyone must try. So give it a shot! Nobody said you have to buy another one.





Tiger Kingdom
Tiger Kingdom was included in a tour that Mr. Schroeder and I did. When I got there, I instantly couldn't shake the feeling that these tigers certainly seemed like they were drugged or something due to how loopy they were (and, tired, like the little guy in this photo). Let's just say...In my own humble opinion, I don't think this place is entirely ethical. There are so many opinions out there, and while I don't want to cause any controversy, I don't think I'd recommend this place, nor do I think I would go back. As much as these sweet little tigers are the sweetest things to see and pet, it broke my heart more than anything.



And last..but not least...play with your GoPro and take super awkward photos of yourself before lounging at the pool.


If I could force you to do anything, it would be this

Whenever the subject of 'work' and 'careers' get brought up into a discussion, I have found myself constantly prying and digging for answers from people. I ask questions like, "What's a day in the life like for you?" Or... "What is it you do every day at work?" Hearing these responses inspires me for some reason. I ask follow-up questions, and always strive to hear the phrases that exude passion, happiness, and fulfillment. Most of the time, these responses fail to include a twinkle in somebody's eye or an instant massive smile on their  face. 

So...why? Why is it that I'm continuously seeking what people are passionate about? Why is it that I'm so consumed with trying to convince people to quit their job and go elsewhere if they are unhappy? Or to leap 15 steps out of their comfort zone to finally feel and experience that happiness? Well, perhaps it is because I have never really done what I've loved. I have been comfortable. I have been content. I haven't hardly ever been miserable. Yet up until this year, I couldn't ever say that I absolutely loved what I did with my full heart. Hadn't I been forced out of my comfort zone to find a new job, I never would have experienced this type of joy. 

via.

PEOPLE. I'm not an inspiring individual, nor am I a crazy brilliant individual. But if there is one thing I can pound into your head, it is to not waste your time in a job where you aren't doing what you are passionate about. I'd even go a step further to say...Do not step foot in a job where you wouldn't enjoy being challenged and look forward to the Monday's. A job that wants to make you better, to work with you despite all of the life challenges you might be going through, and a job that completely understands that we're all freaking human. Shall I go another step forward? K. I will. Don't work for a company you don't believe in. Say whaaaat? Yep. When the company you work for has values that will shape you to be a better person, daughter, wife, etc...that is huge. And totally possible. 


I sort of doubt that anybody reads my blog anymore, but if you're reading this, I challenge you to take a step back and really ask yourself if what you are doing is because of pure comfort, or if it is because you are inspired. Not many people look forward to Monday's. And I think it's time more people did. 

Class of 2016, baby

I wrote a novel. Then deleted it. Because all that I really need to say is that I DID IT. I graduated college.  

I significantly remember my uncle saying, "Do you really think you're going to graduate? We all know you're only going to school to find your husband and then drop out." This was a statement I constantly remembered when I was about to give up. Not only was it absolutely not true, but it made me want to prove him wrong. But it's not all about my clueless uncle. I also wanted to prove my anxiety and my negative thoughts wrong. 

I feel like I put so much effort into it that my mind has been exhausted for years. I also don't necessarily feel like college is one of the most difficult tasks for most people. But it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. More times than not, I didn't think I'd actually make it. I feel like I could give an hour long speech thanking everyone who helped me through, including my professors, my family, my friends, and my Heavenly Father. 

I did it. I am a college graduate. I am the first person in my family to graduate college. This is something I've wanted since I even knew what college was. And I freaking did it. 

Fist pump.


An almost faith crisis

Write. Erase. Write. Remove a paragraph. Write. Erase the entire novel. Eh, it's been going on for a good hour. Sometime, I'll make some progress with what my mind is trying to say. This is a post that is going to be a little raw, a little emotional (maybe, if I don't delete that part), and perhaps even confusing to people who aren't members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I think everyone goes through their ups and downs, right? It's totally ordinary, and fairly typical. As I've been warned and cautioned a countless amount of times these past few months, this world is under attack. Even more terrifying, marriages and families are under attack. I can't even begin to describe the alarming experiences I have recently had to confirm this.

Where am I going with this post? Ah, right. Just venting it all out. Continue.

The last 5-6 years or so, I've noticed people in my life who were so strong in the LDS church to completely fall away. Not only are they just not a practicing "Mormon" anymore, they are entirely anti-Mormon and maybe even anti-Christian. I have seen this happen to countless people around me. Each time I see or hear about it, my heart breaks a little bit more.

Why was this happening? How could something that is so comforting and beautiful be causing so many people to leave? Not only that, but 100% of the people in my life this happened to were so angry. They were contention-causers. And their Facebook, Snapchat, and blog posts only consisted of endless rants of attacking the Christian people. I could not stop thinking...What. Is. Freaking. Going. On.

As most people usually go through, I got in the awful habit of not praying and not reading my scriptures. I didn't really attend all of my meetings and I was totally just chilling on the teeter totter. Dangerous waters, my friends. 

One day, I walked into my room, I nearly collapsed, and I cried out to God. "Will you tell me if this is true? Why is everyone leaving? People I absolutely love and people who are so smart are leaving. Why is this happening?" You guys, I was totally being a drama queen. I was bawling. I was a blobbery little basket case. Giggling while typing this only because I was soooo dramatic.

But then, the Spirit told me it was true. I felt nothing but peace and comfort. And that was it. 

And then some topic came up within my church that I didn't agree with. It made me angry. Then I prayed about it. And I was like, "Heavenly Father. What the crap! Why?!"

But then, the Spirit told me it was true. I felt nothing but peace and comfort. And that was it.

Then the church released a statement that made me question literally everything. It made me question whether or not I had been brainwashed from the start (that's what all the anti-Mormons say what happens to those who grow up in the gospel). It made me want to give up and be done. Quit. Move. Start over. I remember the whole drive home from one of my friends house, being sooo nervous to talk to Trevor and explain that I wasn't sure what was true anymore. I talked to him. He took me by the hand, and we prayed.

Then, the Spirit told me it was true. I felt nothing but peace and comfort. And that was it. 

Remember when there was an annoying amount of quotes going around from one of the LDS general conferences? Doubt your doubts, guys! Doubt them! I swear that saying was haunting me in my sleep. I thought it was, you know, a fine statement. But everyone was having a cow over how great that statement was. And I didn't understand. Until recently.

We&Serendipity: Doubt your Doubts

Allowing ridiculous and far-fetched ideas into my head, that would eventually allow me to doubt my faith were tearing me apart. They were truly destroying me. I've never felt so depressed. So lost. So utterly hopeless. BUT YOU GUYS. I PRAYED. I prayed to Heavenly Father. And I asked him, genuinely wanting to know. Then, I felt nothing but peace and comfort. And that. was. it.

If you're going through a faith crisis, or about to, I'm not even sure this blog post would make sense to you. Because like I said, I'm doing a fabulous job at blabbering. But there are 4 things that truly made me realize that this is the true church. 4 things I wish everybody would do prior to doubting that unshakable faith of theirs.

1. If you don't want it to be true, it won't be. If you're constantly seeking for excuses, accusations, reasons the Book of Mormon couldn't be true, or other nonsensical nonsense, then you are going to find exactly that. Your mind is a genius, folks. And if you're talking yourself out of something, or telling yourself it isn't true, then voila! That is exactly what you will find.

2. Most people don't deeply understand the definition of faith. They are too caught up in historical and physical proof. People are constantly seeking reasons for it not being true. They lack faith. They can't obtain faith because they are stubborn.

When people are seeking physical proof, this is when you know they lack faith. If we had proof of everything, we would all be perfect humans. There would be no point.

Wondering how to identify, develop, and utilize strong faith? You're in luck! Because I wrote a post about it once. You can find it here. 

Truly, I think we all struggle with faith from time to time. Obviously, I did, otherwise, I wouldn't be jabbering.

3. Pray. This is such a simple task to do. Because if you just read people's "awful experiences with the Mormon church" or other things that may not even be true, you're going to start doubting that awesome faith of yours. Just pray. A man cannot prove to you God is real. God can only reveal to you what is true. So just pray. Sincerely, and ask.

4. Lastly, the attacks from those I love once used to be hurtful. But now, they are just proof to me that what I'm doing is right. The anger some of these people have inside of their hearts is gut-wrenching and unreal.

The truth is going to be attacked.
And it will be attacked more than any other truth out there in the world.
It is part of the test.

Though I used to get offended by these types of 'shares' people were hatefully creating, I get a firm confirmation each time I see something like that. What I'm living is true. What I know is true. And nothing will change that for me, regardless of how many downs I experience.

Why? Well, because the Spirit tells me it's true. And that's it. 

Number 4

Trevor and I celebrated our 4th anniversary on the 11th of February. We ran away to Arizona to spend some much needed time with our family and spend time together. On our anniversary, we got a couples massage, ate some delicious food, went swimming, and just relaxed. It was a perfect day. 

If any Arizona peeps happen to read this little space of the internet of mine, you have got to go to this crepe place. It's called Cupz N' Crepes and it's in Phoenix. I've tried to start a little tradition of eating crepes every time we go out of town or on vacation. I got a sweet crepe (obviously) and Trevor got a savory breakfast crepe. Heaven, I tell you.




We celebrated by going to dinner at Ruth Chris. It's one of our favorite places. In Salt Lake City, the people aren't usually insanely and fancily dressed, but with the restaurant we visited in Snottsdale Scottsdale, we felt a little out of place to say the least. We pulled our Hyundai rental car into the parking lot next to ferraris, tesla's, and other crazy nice cars. We had a good time laughing and teasing. It was certainly a much needed night.