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Hi I'm Melanie

I played basketball in college. I have lived in DC, LA, Portugal, Utah, Las Vegas, and Idaho. I'm a mother. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love to do anything active - mountain bike, wakeboard, ski, hike, play tennis, basketball, softball, football, etc. I could watch basketball and football games all day, and never get sick of it. I know this is not typical of most women, so I consider my husband, also an avid sports fan, pretty lucky. I played basketball at UCLA and BYU, and was fortunate enough to make the Elite Eight my junior year, and the Sweet Sixteen my senior year. I miss my playing days. I miss being so tired at practice that I thought I was going to die. I miss off-season workouts that made me tougher, mentally and physically. I miss playing in games, competing at such a high level, and I miss my opponent talking trash to me. I miss the notoriety we got as athletes. I miss free meals and free gear. Mostly, I miss having teammates and being part of a team- there's nothing like it. Although I accomplished a lot in basketball, nothing brings me greater joy than motherhood. Never thought I'd say that, but it's true. My baby girl makes me want to explode with happiness. I never knew being a mother would be so fun. As a new wife and mother, I'm learning to better my cooking skills, and I'm beginning to learn to use this sewing machine that's been collecting dust for two years. I have never been a crafty person or great in the kitchen, so I admire those who can whip up a meal without a recipe or those creative people who make artsy crafts that I couldn't even dream up.

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon because being Mormon brings me peace, confidence, and happiness. I know that God is aware of me specifically, just as He is of everyone here on earth. I was projected to be the 26th pick in the 2002 WNBA draft, but withdrew from the draft because I did not want to play on Sundays. I made a commitment a few years earlier to not play sports on Sunday, thus I was left devastated that I could not fulfill my childhood dream of playing basketball professionally. I know other athletes that have remained active members of the Mormon community and still participate in their sport on Sundays, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them or their decision to do so. I respect them for what they do for their sport and how they have influenced others for good by being a Mormon athlete. As I look back on this decision, I wonder why me, why was I inspired to make such a strong commitment to not play sports on Sundays? I recently have come to understand one possible reason why. If I would have played professionally, and thus on Sundays, I would be a different person than i am today. I may have been more likely to break promises that I had previously made. I may have been more likely to accept jobs that cause me to work on Sundays. I would not have met my husband. I would not have my daughter. I am not sure of whom I may have become. But today, I try to keep my promises, I dont work on Sundays, I am married to the best guy in the world, and I have the most adorable baby in the world. I am honored to have fulfilled my commitment to God that I would keep the Sabbath day holy as best I could, and I know He blesses me more than I deserve in return. Putting God first brings me joy, far more joy than I could have on the basketball court. Making a commitment to God, then following through with it has given me confidence because inevitably peace ensues, and am reminded of who I am - a daughter of God. I am divine. I matter to Him. We all matter to Him.

How I live my faith

As all women in the Mormon church, I am assigned a few women in my area to visit and to help with whatever is necessary. One of the women I am currently assigned just gave birth to a baby, so I will be delivering dinner to her and her family tomorrow. We are a church that believes in service, and as such, we are happily and constantly serving each other, as well as those in the community not of our faith. Another way I have lived my faith is by teaching lessons in Sunday School classes at church. Each week, in my own spare time, I would prepare an hour lesson on some assigned gospel principle such as faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, or fasting. I love that no one is paid for their services in our church. We function because members of the congregation fulfil their voluntary assignment. Different members of the congregation are asked to prepare and give sermons each week, creating a learning environment that is full of variety containing perspectives from many different backgrounds. I have attended Mormon church services all over the country, including in Virginia, Maryland, Idaho, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, California, Nevada, Utah, and even outside the country in Portugal. Another thing that I love about our church is that it is the same everywhere in the world. The sermons are different, but the doctrine is the same. The lessons in Sunday School taught last Sunday in Ghana, Africa are the same lessons taught in Paris, France and Oklahoma. Next Sunday, a different lesson will be taught but everyone in the world will hear that same lesson taught by a member of their congregation. The feeling in each Mormon church that I have visited has always been the same, that of peace, love and comfort. When I am in a foreign land, I always feel at home when I enter a Mormon church.