Little Tender Mercies

Sometimes....you get really inspired. And it's a wonderful feeling. 

Then other times you feel pretty down and sad. Which isn't such a great feeling.

But then you remember what inspired you, and the pretty downs turn into pretty ups:

And then you get happiness. :)

These past few days I've seen countless "tender mercies" put in my day. Because let's be honest. It's been a rough week for Mrs. Johnson. The fruit has tasted a little bitter. But I'm a fighter. And Mrs. A.B. Johnson doesn't quit. No siree.

So I've been given a few little things to brighten up my day. And I KNOW for a fact that He knows what I'm going through...and how hard it's been...and so He gives me little gifts that He knows I love. 

Like fall weather. The bursts of color on the mountains were lined with puffy clouds the other morning and it just made my heart melt and smooth over. I was definitely Mrs. Grumpy Gills before but after that, my heart was softened. :)

Like ColdStone. :) Ha. This is sort of Chad Edward and I's little splurge. Well, it's not really a splurge because it's all paid for with gift cards {thank you dear family and friends!}, but it's always our little treat. This past Saturday we went in for our fix and who else was there but the sealer who sealed us on our wedding day! Ah. Seeing him lifted my spirit. We said hello and he got the biggest grin on his face. We met his wife and his grandchildren who were there with him. He's just the most amazing man. I feel like he was my own Grandpa! What a way to celebrate Chad & I's marriage and love for each other. 
Like a movie night with my hubbie to the GREATEST movie ever! The Amazing Spider-Man. It's been such a long long long long time since I've seen a really good film, and Spider-man, you did it for me. :) I couldn't have been more pleased. 

Like a good conversation about SUU. I didn't realize it till we started talking, but I needed that conversation. I needed to remember my sweet and dear times in Cedar City. My colleague and I talked of professors there and I thought of how I missed them so. I remembered late night Walmart runs for chocolate and milk. I remembered when my friend from my singles ward bought me milk because I was low on cash. I remembered waking up 5 minutes before class because I lived across the street from the music building. I remembered my first weekend in college where I stayed up till 4 AM watching scary movies with new friends and eating ice cream in the church parking lot and chatting with a police officer. 
Like finding out you live really close to someone you admire and look up to so very much. I read through the night reading her book this summer. I read her blog everyday. I screamed very very loud for her and her adorable family in the Freedom Parade in provo. I have felt continually inspired by her story and message she gives to all women and families. I have such a great love for her...so whether or not I get the courage to walk a street over and knock on her door with some cookies in hand and tell her how amazing she is...it gives me strength to think one of my role models spirit is so close. 
Like my sweet nephew, Carter. I can't explain what joy and strength it gives me to receive a picture on my phone from my sister of my cool little guy. :) He brings such great happiness on the cloudiest days. 
Like my visiting teacher. She came JUST at the perfect moment. I couldn't have asked for a more exquisite answer to my prayers. Thank you, Kaitlin-and Mandy!
Like the book I'm reading. All the little stories within remind me of what I want to be.
Like my husband. Always so sweet and quick to serve me at the drop of a dime. 
I receive so many little gifts, and I am so very grateful for them. I'm happy for the life I've lived. And may I look forward to the rich life ahead. :) How grateful I am for my little tender mercies. 

May we love always. 


Keeping a float

It's time to get back to blogging.

I miss having a place to tell my stories to and it's sorta my outlet, so I decided it must be done more often. Not that I really have a choice to WHEN it will happen because this semester, kids....is a toughie.

Welcome to my Monday:

6:00 AM-first alarm goes off. Chad groans 'cause he has to deal with my alarm. Sorry, Hun!
6:10 AM-second alarm. I drag myself from my oh so comfy bed and sleeping husband and say my prayers.
6:10-6:50-Get together my stuff for school {if I wasn't smart and packed up the night before}, stuff some food in a container for lunch, attempt to do my hair {poor Chad, I NEVER really get ready that often. I mean, I get ready and such, but I curled my hair for the first time in a month the other day. Sad!}, and pull on some type of outfit. I like to be creative with my clothes, but lately I just haven't really had the time or thought to, so usually a t-shirt and jeans have to suffice.
6:50-7:06-I make my almost daily jaunt to the bus stop on BYU campus. Except today, since it's Monday, I get to take the car. Wahoo!
(On Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday I take the bus. I always sit in the back corners and pull out a book or read the newspaper or do some last minute homework. People are so interesting on the bus..haha)

Back to Monday.

I'm driving, so I leave more like 7:10
7:10-7:30 I drive up University Parkway to UVU. Usually I'm lucky because it's early and there's not much traffic, so I'm a happy puppy. Except the fact that it's WAY too early for normal humans.
7:30-7:45 I walk from the free parking lot that's 5 YEARS away from campus. Oh my. Remember I'm short, kids, so the distance is hard for these little legs! Plus a stuffed full back-pack on an owie back definitely doesn't help. I'm sweating in my shirt before the day has even begun.
8:00 Fundamentals of Conducting with Dr. Colonna. He's fantastic and I really like this class. Let's be honest with myself here. Every time I pick up my baton, I think, "Swish and flick!". Ha. HP nerd all the way. Chad saw me practicing my conducting in the bedroom one night and said, "You look like a wizard!"

That's because I AM a wizard.....

...technically speaking, witch......

9:00-Music History. And my brain is history. I promise I'm fascinated with all that chant and stuff, but Ally isn't a morning glory, so I'm afraid any class at this hour with result in a retention rate as slow as a mole eating dirt. But I make some wicked sweet doodles on my notebook. :)
10:00-FREEEEEEE for an hour! Unless it's Wednesday. Then I have voice lessons with Dr. Hurtado. He only the greatest voice ever. Ah. Die.
11:00 Group Piano 1. Welcome to actually having to do the RIGHT fingering.
12:00 FREEEEE! Unless it's Monday or Wednesday. Then it's Practice Room time.
12:45 Eat lunch like a vulture.
1:00 Chamber. Mmmmm....sweet Chamber. Nothing like being surrounded my brilliant musicians and a over the moon phenomenal conductor who came to my reception. Yeah, that's right. The busiest man alive came to MY wedding reception! What a guy!
2:10-3 Break/Octet rehearsal/practice French Horn
3-3:50 Brass Practicum. I think my carpet pad has collected more spit that my toothbrush. Eeeeewww for slurpy horns. Ha. But hey, I'm actually playing songs now! So yeah for progress!
4-5:30 If a Monday, go to Orem Maceys and Provo Maceys and do inventory for Johnson Brothers Ties.

And do homework. And make dinner. And do some dishes. And smoochie smooch my husband and have some SWEEEEEEET Family night. :) Then prayers and scriptures together, goodnight kisses, and lights out.

So, my life is kinda crazy. That's only 1 DAY. But somehow, I feel satisfied in moments. That's what keeps my going. I'll have a certain song I sing in Chamber that just takes my breath away and reminds me WHY I sing. Or I'll see the face of relief from another student when they hit that note just right or pass a test. Or a little kid will come up to me while I'm walking home with a black sparkly cloak over his face and just stand there.

Or my husband will be the most sweetest, perfect guy ever and do ALL the dishes and wash ALL the clothes just because and pick me up from the bus stop late at night so I don't get killed. And he'll get me ice cream. Lots. And he'll take me to the temple. Over and over and over again. :)

And we cry. Marriage definitely shows you what you need to improve on as a person. It's awesome, because we all want to change initially, but to actually REALIZE you NEED to change and you do....it's sorta an amazing thing. No wonder Heavenly Father has a plan for a man and a woman to be together forever. He knew what he was doing!

And we laugh. A LOT. I absolutely adore the fact that I'm married not only to my one true love, but to my very bestest friend. We do just what friends do. Make fun of each other {in a good way;)}, sing to the radio, poke each other, dance in our living room spontaneously, listen to each other's days, laugh about our lovely Lexus. I mean, it's awesome. I couldn't imagine life more perfect. Maybe a hot tub in our bedroom and some closet space....but other than that, perfect. ;)

Life is good. And I'm glad I'm writing this right now because it makes it more true. I realize it the more I think about it or write about it. Some days are just plain awful, and I know all who are reading this can relate in a heartbeat. But the good days definitely make the sicky ones worth it.

So we're surviving. With our water noodles and floatie devices AND our rubber ducky. Named Steve. :)

Take care, all. I would post some pictures of us as of late, but....we're still working out the camera transfer to computer issue. But for now, adieu! Happy Sunday.

Love. Love Always.
Ally Jo


Soccer. My new social network.

 Isn't this just wonderful. Ah. Look at what a hunk my husband is. MAN. I adore him.

Right now Chad and I are living in a lovely little basement apartment in Provo. It's in the neighborhood right between the Provo Temple and the Creamery, and 5 minutes away from good ole BYU. {Photos to come ;)}. I personally love it. Of course it's not a palace, but it's ours. :) Not to mention we have a completely carpeted bedroom, which is an added bonus. Yes, ceiling, walls, and all. Haha, quite classy indeed. Not to mention pretty sound proof.

We love it here. Yeah, we're STILL organizing things and such {DON'T look at the living room right now}, but it's our own little place and that's why it's perfect.

So I wanted to share an experience I had a couple days ago. Chad Edward signed up for an intermural soccer team 2 Sundays ago. Let's be honest. I was SUPER excited for him because one, I know he's been dying to play soccer again {his blood runs soccer!}, plus I would get to actually see him play since I only saw him play once in high school, plus plus I would get to see him all....manly and quite attractive. :) Great! Sign right up, hunny!

Well, after 30 minutes of trying to find the field, we finally made it to the field. It was turf, mind you, which felt super great to rub my legs against. But worth it! Anyway. Chad Edward and I feel sort of awkward 'cause....we know no one and Chad Edward doesn't even know who's on his team. Ha! We looked super cool.

Eventually we found boys on his team, which also meant other married women were close by....

...they found me. :) To my left sat a blanket full of girls chatting away a mile a minute. You better believe their hubbies' were playing soccer too. A girl named Jessica called me over and invited me to sit with them.

So sometimes I'm sorta....non-social...not so outgoing....ya know. Just odd. Ask Chad. He'll tell you all about it. ;) Then other times, I can talk to anyone or anything and have a great time and thoroughly enjoy myself. It's a Jekyll and Hyde thing for me and it kinda bothers me at times because I never know how I'm gonna be till I get to the situation. "What's wrong with me! I really can be a nice, sweet person, not a grouchy grouch".

However, I felt quite at ease with these girls. Yes, they were talking non-stop, a mile a minute, but they talked to me and I absolutely got a thrill out of hearing all their stories and opinions on certain topics. I think my most favorite moment though was a girl bringing news. "Guess what, girls, I'm pregnant!"

Oh boy.

Of course I could not be happier for her. Seriously, I'm in LOVE with babies forever. It was just a change of gears for me because I'm used to being in a group of girls that are talking about who's dating who, how cute that couple is, singles wards, and all that jazz.

But, my friends? I have entered the new realm of married women.

And it's quite a change of pace. :)

I actually really got a kick out of my evening, sitting with my new married friends. It made me excited to continue on in my married life and make married girlfriends. Who would have thought?! But the day is here! Chad Edward was THRILLED to see me socializing with some new girls from the field, haha. Love you, Hunny. Glad you liked my "putting myself out there thought I may feel slightly awkward" night.

So, I'm married. Wow. It still catches me off guard, but it's beginning to become so real. There's nothing like having a very very very stressful day and coming home to your husband popping out behind the door to lift you up in a big ole hug and big smoochie smooch. :) It's da best!

Take care, all. It's a busy time for everyone, but we can make it! Cheers.

Ally Jo


Don't worry. I still exist.


So. It's been awhile. :)

Much too long, but definitely good reason for being absent from the world. Yep, I went and became a Mrs. Ha! Who would have ever thought I'd actually be able to say that someday. I think I thought I was gonna be playing in the sandbox forever and ever. Well, I can still do that now. I just got a permanent playmate next to me always. ;)

What do you even say after getting married? It's such a blow-the-mind-of-cosmos thing. I mean, I could say, "Yes! Marriage is great. I love it. I can't explain anything else that could make me happier".

Which would be totally true.

But it feels kinda empty when you say it like that. 'Cause you know it's so much more than those little sentences.

Well, everything was perfect regarding our marriage. The sealing in the temple was absolutely exquisite. I wouldn't trade that sacred experience for anything. I'm so glad I am sealed FOREVER to my dearest, most loving husband. Ah. GO TO THE TEMPLE, my friends.

Chad & I have been married for 2 weeks and and 4 days now. Wow. Only that long? Well it's been a bit of a whirlwind, that's for sure. A week honeymoon {which was obviously wonderful}, then moving into our new place the next day, then scrambling to get stuff ready for school, then BAM! So much school and work, not to mention dinner making, cleaning, and doing laundry. Whew! It's been such a whirlwind, and I just love Chad more and more everyday because we survive.

This last week we finally had a few hours for just us, and I think we just about peed our pant with excitement! We actually got to see each other! Seriously. I feel like we see each other less now that we're married instead of more.

But it is all worth it. I love being married. I love cooking for my husband. I love snuggling up together before we fall asleep. And I love that look we give each other when we have 30 seconds to just breath and remember we got each other.

Love is great. And I wouldn't trade giving and recieving it for anything.

Hopefully I'll be writing more now that we'r settled a bit! Here's to it. :)

Ally Jo