Wednesday, August 15, 2018

30 Years

I have had a lot of time for reflection lately... mostly about turning 30. The last 30 years have been kind of awesome, but I've been thinking especially about the last 10 years. I can definitely say the most heartache, hardships, growth, happiness and adventures and happened in these last ten years. Some of the highlights:

1. Went on three cruises (Bahamas, Caribbean, Bahamas)
2. Became an AUNT
3. Went to Disneyland a million times (I should really count)
4. Went to Disney World a million times
5. Was a cast member at Disney World
6. Worked for some of the most incredible non-profits in the world
7. Granted wishes
8. Went through the temple
9. Got a boob job (he.he)
10. Bought two cars
11. Adopted a puppy
12. Traveled alone
13. Saw many incredible Broadway shows
14. Started a company
15. Wrote a lot
16. Dated some awesome guys (and some not so awesome)
17. Did an Angel session
18. Went to therapy to heal
19. Made some incredible friends
20. Read many, many books
21. Discovered myself
22. Lived alone
23. Witnessed a birth
24. Witnessed a death
25. Lost an organ (curse you gallbladder)
26. Fell in love
27. Moved probably 10 times
28. Decorated a house
29. Ran two half-marathons 
30. Grew

There is only one Whitney Anne Willis in the world and she is me and she is pretty awesome. Here's to the next 30 of growth, discovery, happiness and love. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Are You Happy?

Jonah does this really cute thing.
He will look at you, tilt his head, and say in the sweetest high-pitch voice: "are you happy?"
Granted, he usually does it when he has just done something naughty and wants you to not be mad at him. 
But sometimes we will be snuggling together, happy as can be, and he'll turn to me and ask that cute question. He's the most empathetic, sweetest kiddo I've ever met.
I always say "yes, Jonah Bean, I'm so happy to be with you right now!"
Lately, though, I've been thinking about that question a lot. 

Am I happy?

I think I might be.
I am happy when I'm at home, in my brand new big bathtub with a book.
I am happy when I'm on the floor, praying my little heart out to God.
I am happy when Ellie curls up next to me.
I am happy when Jonah hugs and kisses me and tells me he loves me.
I am happy when I'm laughing with friends.
I am happy when I feel my angels near me.
I am happy when my momma texts me sweet things.
I am happy when I can help someone.

Things might not be going the best in my dating life or at work. I'm not a mother yet. I may not be where I want to be financially, emotionally, or spiritually. But, I am blessed. I am full of faith for the future. And I am happy.

Here are some photos of my favorite person in the world, just for good measure. 

P.S. Yeah. I'm back.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Shop Ashley Lemieux

For years I have struggled with my own sense of personal style. I never knew what was really me, what fit well or looked flattering. Throughout my 20's I have experimented with a lot of different styles and brands (dressing modestly is NO JOKE PEOPLE), but when my friend Ashley Lemieux (founder of my favorite jewelry brand/nonprofit, the Shine Project), started her own clothing line I was ecstatic. I have always loved every single thing she wears - she has such a great fashion sense. She launched last Fall and her brand has blown up in a big way. When she releases new pieces they sell out within hours. I always sit by my computer so I can snag some favorites! I've never felt more beautiful or confident in a clothing line before. So when she needed models for a launch, I was there! 

The shoot was soooo fun. I didn't know any of the girls except for Ashley and Ashley's husband Mike took the photos. I was really nervous at first but found myself feeling more confident and beautiful as we went along. Of course I loved all of her pieces, but one in particular really spoke to me. Guess what? She named it after me!! You can buy the Whitney Floral Maxi dress HERE. 

Enjoy some of my favorite photos!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

You Do Know Me

I was having a particularly difficult night. I felt lonely, tired, unmotivated and uninspired. I began to wonder if I even really had a relationship with my Savior. When was the last time I had felt his love? When was the last time I really understood his hand in my life? I fell to the floor on my knees and let out a heartfelt, tear-filled prayer. 

"I just want a relationship with your Son," I pleaded. "I want to feel close to him and know him again."

I slipped into bed and before sleep took me I heard this as clear as day in my mind: "You do know me," immediately followed by a memory.

The memory was the out pour of love after I had repented of a major sin. It was the hardest time of my entire life and yet I had never known my Savior better. I understood his atonement... what it meant to me personally. I was becoming more like him every day through service. I did know him. And I still do.

I just want to remind everyone it's not easy. Sometimes I lose my faith. Sometimes I wonder or worry. I feel anxious or sad or alone. In those times though, I know it's so important to remember the times when we did feel... when we did KNOW.

#cslewis #jesus #hope #truth #love


Sunday, April 2, 2017

I Am Certain

There are lots of things in this world that I do not understand. That used to really bother me, but now it doesn't. I have faith that one day I will understand, even if it's not in this lifetime. I'm okay with that. I am certain that God has a plan for me. I am certain that He loves me more than I could possibly know and that He sent His Son to die for me. I am certain that I have influence in this world and that there is light in me and work to be done. I am certain it will all work out.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

On the Edge

I feel like I'm on the edge of something (a phrase we use at Girl Scouts) really incredible and important in my life right now. I've discovered more about who I am and how God feels about me in the last two months than ever before. As I reflect, I think it's due to some very key events that happened since early December:
  • Feeling depressed after surgery; confused about my spirituality and gaining more perspective/strengthening testimony
  • Let's Get Real event with mom
  • Seeing the movie "the Shack"
  • Reading the book "The Gifts of Imperfection"
  • Phone conversations with Bonnie
  • Reading the Book of Mormon with a study guide
  • Daily affirmations and selfies with Abby 
  • Consistently staying for all three hours of church
  • Starting to slowly get back to the gym and eat healthier 
  • Real, personal prayer
My prayers have really changed, as has my faith and perspective on who God is. I've started asking Him to let me know how He feels about me and how I can better "show up" in my life. I ask to see His hand in all I do and to feel joy through trials and sorrow. I'm starting to wake up happy and enjoy my days. I'm also enjoying work so much I can't believe it. It's incredible to have that in the workplace and to feel seen and loved.

All of the events above are shaping me into something greater and opening up my eyes to who I am and my purpose here on Earth. I think I'm moving towards starting to love myself, little by little. I know this is something I need to work on before I meet "the man," and I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow. I used to be so angry and bitter with God for making me wait for my dreams to come true but I now see He is saving me for something special and using this time to mold me into an incredible woman. I know it's an uphill battle and there's probably a lifetime of learning ahead. I know there will be good days and bad days. But this I know as well: I was brought to this earth for a very particular reason and I am a daughter of a King. I am divine. I am loved. I may even be beautiful. ;)


Friday, March 3, 2017

I'll be Happy One Day...

The past few months or so have just been... off. I feel like I've consistently been in this state of: "I'll be happier when I lose 20 pounds" or "I'll just be happy one day when I'm married and have my babies." And so I've been sitting at home, hiding from the world (because when you hide you can't get hurt), waiting for a miracle to happen in my life (AKA Prince Charming will suddenly waltz through my door and I'll miraculously be skinny). But you know what the thing is? God is a miracle worker, but he can't give you a miracle if you don't show up. For the past few months I haven't been showing up for my life. I go to church but I either leave early or sneak out right after the three-hour block. I don't go to church activities anymore or do a good job of fulfilling my calling. I keep telling myself "NEXT Monday I'll go to the gym." Part of it is I'm scared to run into anyone looking how I look. And today I realized the real reason is something deeper. I don't show up because I'm TERRIFIED of meeting the right man or being healthy/fit. I'm terrified because I don't feel like I deserve either of those things.

I know it's crazy. I can look at a room full of women and see their beauty, their potential, their strengths and weaknesses and I draw from their stories. But I look in the mirror and I see nothing of value. It's hard for me to admit that, but it's been that way for a long time now. It's tough to break cycles of abuse (especially when you are the one abusing yourself emotionally). 

Another big piece missing of my life equation is feeling joy and contentment NOW, just the way I look, just the way I am. My "wants" are a fit body and a man who loves me. But my "joy" right now is my family, my nephew, long walks outside, reading good books, snuggling with Ellie, watching good movies, serving others. I can feel joy right now and not wait for anything else to change or happen in my life to feel those moments. 

People always say "fake it till you make it." I don't like that. I plan on using "faith it till you make it." It's going to be so hard... really hard... but I need to start showing up for life. I can't sit in my apartment and wait for miracles to happen without putting in the work myself. I deserve to be happy, make connections and serve others with my light. I'm going to start showing up for activities where I don't know anyone. I'm going to pray for an opportunity to talk to someone sad or lonely. I'm going to go to the gym and start slow because every effort is a good effort. I'm going to jog on that damn treadmill until my knees hurt knowing I'm taking care of God's greatest gift to me and the feelings of health and confidence will come naturally, as will the man who I'm meant to be with. God NEEDS me, just like He needs you. So let's start showing up.

P.S. All of these "ah-ha" moments were brought to me via regular therapy. I go 2 - 3 times a month. I go to heal. I go to grow. I'm proud of myself for consistently showing up there. #bereal #beyou 

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