Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunshine in the Mornings

I love to wake up when the sun has already lighted up the sky.  I love the cool morning fresh air.  I love the cloudless blue sky.  I love the sun shining in my eyes as it peeks over the mountain.  I love the fresh air coming in through the kitchen window.

Remember, just a couple months ago there may have been a rather bitter post about Monday mornings.  But now we have proof ... sunshine is good for the soul.  Or the bitter, tired body :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

All About Me - #17

sunrise or sunset
sweet or sour
Sahara or Himalaya
dolphin or eagle
old or new
hot or cold
Coke or Pepsi
soft or hard
train or plane
yesterday or tomorrow
red or blue
fast or slow
Beatles or Elvis
blind or deaf
open or closed
bath or shower
square or circle
fire or water
lightning or thunder
black or white
ocean or forest
dogs or cats
day or night
leaves or roots
left or right
cremation or burial
victim or criminal
even or odd
written or spoken
carpet or hardwood floor
earthquake or hurricane
city or countryside
vanilla or chocolate
abstract or figurative
limited or open-ended
house or condominium
! or ?
sun or rain
pen or pencil
horns or strings
summer or winter
horizontal or vertical
destiny or choice
alone or together
New York or Paris
silver or gold

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I is for I don't care right now.
I had planned for this post to be a lot about the ideas I have and little snippets of projects that are currently in the works around here.  But, like the title says, I don't really care right now.
Life is full of twists and turns.  Think of the time you sit on the front row of the roller coaster.  The bright sun shines in your eyes while your stomach probably feels a little like butterflies when you strapped yourself in, thinking "Why am I doing this?"  Then, the ride jerks forward and your body feels a little tense.  You know it's going to be alright and you know you're going to have fun but the adrenaline just takes it's time hitting.  Once it does, every twist and turn is exciting and you may have even found enough courage to raise your arms before the camera shoots while you're hanging upside down.  What a memory!  You hop off the ride, running to get in the line for another go.
Sometime, the rides we take are in the dark.  We know there will be twists and turns, ups and downs but whether or not we got over the first scary loop, we're already shooting into the next.  Sometimes there is no time to catch your breath before the next twist takes it away again.  The thrill of the ride is lost in the dark unknown.  You can't quite explain what you've just been through before you've been thrown into the next loop.  There doesn't seem like there will ever be a break in the uncontrollable speed of the ride.  You can hardly wait until the ride slams to a stop.  But then it does.  When you pull your body up and out of the seat, you trudge off, hoping to never see that ride again, let alone be a passenger.  You even debate whether or not to leave your lunch in the bushes near by.

The thing is ... it just may be the same roller coaster.  Sometimes we get to feel the rush of the wind on our face and sometimes that same wind overwhelms us.  Whether it's light or dark while you zoom through the twists and turns, the ride goes on.  The difference is the light.  The light is when (or what) makes us feel safe, it gives us the power to hold on until the end of the ride and hopefully, helps us even enjoy the ride.
I just gotta find the switch to turn on these darn lights.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For my friend, Bishop Mitch

Sunday, April 22, 2012

All About Me - #16

Your earliest memory - I remember once during preschool, a little boy went in to use the bathroom at my house.  He came out so scared because he said there was a big snake in the bathtub.  I don't know why I remember this, but I can't remember really anything earlier.
When you were a child, you believed - dogs are boys and cats are girls...still may be true
 Do you still believe this? - Apparently
Your first kiss - probably Kevin Barton
When? - before Kindergarten
The first time you fell in love - I was in love with Jake by October 2010, whatever I thought love was before, wasn't real.
The last time you fell in love - October of 2011 when Jake brought Toby home
Describe your first paying job - other than babysitting.... The Golden Swirl, I was 16 years old and was made the assistant manager during my first week
Describe your best paying job - the one I have now, I got it a year after college graduation
Your most vivid childhood memory - the rainstorm the day my cousin passed away
You are haunted by the memory of - I'm finally ready to own it.... On the last day of 4th grade, I told a girl (who always fought with me) that I hoped she died.  She did die, that summer, and never returned to the 5th grade.  I felt pretty horrible about that until.... well, I still do.
The memory that still makes you laugh - every girls' camp I attended, all 6 years
A person who was exceptionally kind to you - I had a few teachers take a special interest in things I was interested in learning about..... but Sister Alice Lewis took a lot of time and interest in helping me develop a talent I never would have discovered without her.
A person who made you miserable for a long time - no use going into this
One of your most peaceful memories - 12 years ago, I prayed harder than I ever prayed and immediately I felt the peace I needed
Your best birthday - all of them, minus #18
One of your most tragic moments - hurts too much to write about the losses I've experienced
One of your angriest moments - hurtful lies said about me

Your worst birthday - #18

One of your most desperate moments - the moments after learning about the hurtful lies said about me

Someone you wish you had never met - no reason to go into this

One of your most driven moments - either my first or last semester of college

The memory or story you tend to exaggerate when telling to others - how cool my cat is

One of your most embarrassing moments - Youth Conference 2000, I think

A smell that reminds you of your childhood - Sunday dinner

An object you still own or remember vividly from your childhood - my denim ball (which my mother-in-law just recreated for me)

A routine you remember from your childhood - the mornings or Monday nights

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21st - Photo of the Day

my favorite water bottle

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20th - Photo of the Day

Something you drew
A new fun game.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19th - Photo of the Day

My relatively new notebook/project

H is for HOME

H is for Home

When I was thinking about what the word home reminded me of it made me think of warm.  It's just a warm word.  It's the type of warm that is synonymous with safe.  Home should be a place that is a refuge to everyone who comes there.  It takes special effort to make a house into a home and to keep it safe.  Sometimes, we can't completely control our surroundings, but there are other things we can do to create a home environment.  With a home, individuals have the ability to try new things, build confidence, excel and succeed because home is a stable, safe, and dependable place.  I'm beginning to see the connection when I hear apostles teach that home is the most sacred place after the temple.

In my first home, I learned how to grow, how to learn, how to love, and how to be loved.  I had a lot of experiences growing up that gave me confidence.  It was safe to learn confidence and it was safe to be disappointed because I knew that home was a safe place to try again.  My parents made special efforts to make our house a home.  They gave us traditions to look forward to, time together to learn and play, and opportunities to work and serve others.  They worked hard to make sure negative influences were not welcome in our home.  My parents built an environment that gave their children a refuge from the things we might have faced outside the home.  I can't explain the feeling in words but I will appreciate, forever, that my parents taught me how to make a house into a home.

Because of the home I was blessed with as a child, I was excited for adventure and to try new things.  I had the confidence and the support of my parents to make my own decision about what I would do after high school.  I decided I wanted to move to the east coast and become a nanny.  The summer after I graduated, my parents dropped me off at the airport and away I went to New Jersey to live with strangers and to care for their four children.  There were so many lessons I learned while living there.  I was living in a house and I needed to feel like I had a home.  So my mom sent me a few framed pictures that I had asked for.  I hung up three of my favorite paintings of the Savior in my bedroom.  In that room, I prayed every morning and every night.  And, because apparently God was listening, my little room in the basement of a big strange house, became my home.  I found out that I could create a home no matter where I lived.

After New Jersey, I lived in Salt Lake with my sister, in Logan with strangers turned friends, in my first townhouse I bought in Layton with roommates, and then in Roy with the same roommates and now with my husband and two children.  My sister and I shared an apartment that was a good, safe home for us.  In Logan, I didn't realize, but I had gotten comfortable there, and put up a few decorations when one of my roommates thanked me for turning our apartment into a home.  It was a safe place because these strangers turned into such good friends who I could talk to about anything and not worry that they would judge me or not be my friend anymore.  In Layton, I had roommates who read the Book of Mormon with me.  We would pray after we read.  I was so nervous to tell them that I had that idea to read together (we all wanted to do better at reading our scriptures) because I was afraid they would think I was a nerd.  Instead, that routine because a special blessing on a day I needed to know what God meant by the Plan of Happiness when I had seen such horrible events take place recently.  My tiny townhouse became my home.

And now, I have a home with a family in it again.  But I'm not the kid, or baby sister, or roommate.  I'm the wife!  And, I'm the mom!  As much as I hoped for this, I really didn't see it coming.  Now it's my job to create a refuge for my children.  I wish I could control what they have to know and deal with in their young lives but I can't.  I wish I could protect them from confusion, doubt, or emotional harm, but I can't.  What I can do are the simple things that we hope will give the kids the ability to find home here.  It's in the scriptures, in prayer, in fun, in work, at Church, during meals, at bedtime, etc.  I found the perfect formula.  It's unconditional love.  It's teaching them the truth so they know what Heavenly Father wants them to know.  It's teaching them obedience to God's principles.  It's teaching them to work and to serve.  It's giving them a place where it is safe to try and try again.  So that's what home is ... love + truth + work.  I'm not a perfect anything, especially wife and mom, but if I can do anything, it's work hard to create our home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18th - Photo of the Day

He's just barely getting baby hair around his hairline to fill in around his ears.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17th - Photo of the Day

Something you don't like
dirty dishes

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16th - Photo of the Day

Jake picked one of these for me :)

Friday the 13th Fondue Party

Friday, May 13, 2011
Friday, March 13, 1998
Friday, August 13, 2004
Friday, November 13, 1970

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15th - Photo of the Day

I pretty much missed it, I guess.

All About Me - #15

The emotion you tend to hide the most - disappointment
The emotion you seem to experience the most -happy
The predominant emotion you have experienced lately - homey
A moment when you achieved absolute happiness - pretty much every day when I'm at home

You have a great amount of guilt regarding - my laziness in school

You would feel envious right now if - Jake was eating Pizza Plus cheese bread and wouldn't share with me

A piece of music that makes you sentimental - hymns played at my family members' funerals
The music reminds you of - my family members
When you are happy, you need - someone else to know I'm happy too
When you are sad, you need - quiet for a few minutes
When you are sentimental, you need - quiet for a few minutes, maybe to talk
When you are angry, you need - to think it through
When you are in love, you need - time with Jake
When you are lonely, you need - time with Jake

You would jump up and down and shout with joy right now if someone told you - I could stay home with my kids

The last time you were very angry was when - an associate lied and lied and lied straight to my face
The last time you cried uncontrollably was when - I was confused

A moment in your life when your emotions froze and you felt absolutely nothing - maybe once or twice it happened

Someone who genuinely makes or has made you happy - Jake
Something that makes you happy - my family

You get angry with yourself when you - are lazy

Someone or something that made you laugh this week - my kids

Write the colors that match the following emotions for you - 
Fear - Black
Happiness - Yellow
Anger - Red
Jealousy- Red
Love - Orange
Sadness - Yellow
Guilt - Brown
Loneliness - White

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14th - Photo of the Day

How you feel today
It's 9:45 p.m.  I just got home from work.  I am a little tired and very glad to be home.  I like work.  I love home.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13th - Photo of the Day

Something I Found
Jake got me a hoodie at work and put it in the bathroom to surprise me this morning.  I love to wear hoodies.

Something to work on

Before:  This is all of the junk our house has collected recently.

After:  This is what survived the garbage.
I have a goal.
I'm interested in becoming healthier.
I have bad habits and strong loves that keep me from healthy living.
I have an important long-term goal, but I want to be healthy by then.

Before I could chicken out, I cleaned out the pantry this morning.  What I kept has been split into 100 calories or less.  I kept one Diet Coke for Jake and I to end the Diet Coke reign that's taken over our refrigerator.  I couldn't throw away seven good cans of Diets, so I took them to Cody and Tiffani.  The M&Ms survived because I just could not throw them out.  So, I did my research, split the serving size in half, and made them into 100 calorie baggies.

Last night, I was texting Jake, and told him I was going to throw out the junk.  I was going to ask him to do it to prevent me from chickening out or from eating it, instead of throwing it away.  But then I decided that if I was serious about trying to be healthier, I had to do the work myself.

Here is what I hope to accomplish:

< 149
cute shirt
< 144
cute shorts
< 139
cute jeans
< 134
hair cut and color
< 129

Pretty much, this isn't anyone's business but maybe if I post it, and all three of you know about my goal, then I'll feel at least a little obligated to try.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12th - Photo of the Day

Last April, these stairs existed, but the carpet and walls did not.

G is for GENDER

Today is sponsored by the letter G

G is for GENDER

In 2003, I was 19 years old when I was called as an adviser in Young Women's.  I taught the 16-18 year old young women.  When I started teaching, I was only a year past being one of them.  I think that made my calling easier and more difficult being so close in age to them.  It made it hard with a few of the young women leaders, too.

One Sunday, I had taught a lesson about divine roles and the following Sunday was taught by an older woman about gender and divine roles.  She told the young women that gender was given to us by chance at birth, that there was no gender in heaven.  I sat there, astonished by her comment but was not given a chance to speak until I taught again the following Sunday.  I knew that this "no gender" comment had to be clarified so the young women would know where to find the truth.

"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

I have been given a very blessed life to have been born in a home where the knowledge of my divine nature and that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of His children.  Even better, Heavenly Father gave me the opportunity to learn those lessons for myself as well.  I have an unwavering belief that gender is on purpose and a God-given gift that was ours before our birth and that will remain with us throughout eternity.  There are not any choices, temptations, styles, or advantages that are worth trading divine potential.

I am certain that my happiness lies in the divine roles Heavenly Father has given me as His daughter.  Being a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, girl cousin (go FMC!), young woman, aunt, girl - friend, girlfriend, fiance, wife, and mother is where I find joy.  When my main focus goes outside of those roles, I struggle to keep up, feel balanced, and be happy.

G is for GENDER.  This may have been an odd take-off on my general alphabet sponsored posts, but when I thought of the topic, I just knew I wanted to write about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fav 5 Spending Tips on Pinterest

Continuing Financial Literacy Month... 

5.  Calculate purchases in working hours and determine if that sweater-you-just-cant-live-without is worth 8 hours of your life.
4.  Save on hair conditioner by using it every other time you shampoo. Only use on dry ends, your scalp’s natural oils will work on the rest of your hair.
3.  Use generic-brand hair conditioner as an inexpensive shaving cream.
2.  Always Google coupon codes before buying anything online.

Follow Me on Pinterest

April 11th - Photo of the Day

Where you ate breakfast

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

fairy tale review - Little Ida's Flowers

Little Ida hears a rumor that flowers dance during the night.  Little Ida worries about her dying flowers so she gets up to watch them in the night.  She finds all the flowers from her home dancing about and the flowers from the palace even come to dance.  Ida goes to bed and in the morning she buries her dead flowers with her little Norwegian cousins who shoot arrows.

My thoughts include:
  1. How did Hans's brain come up with so many words for this story?
  2. I thought about how this was the entertainment in 1835.  I am so happy Hans's fairy tales were not my only source of fiction as a child.
  3. Why does the last paragraph introduce the two Norwegian cousins?
  4. This fairy tale was long and boring.

April 10th - Photo of the Day

The last two Diet Cokes that my fridge will see.

Monday, April 09, 2012

fairy tale review - Little Claus and Big Claus

Little Claus tells his horse, plus Big Claus's four horses to giddy up.  Big Claus gets mad and kills Little Claus's only horse.  Little C gets lucky when he gets lost on his way to sell his horse's hide.  So Big Clause comes and knocks dead Little C's already dead grandmother.  Little C gets lucky again so Big C ties him up in a sack, takes him to dump him in the river, but stops at church on the way.  Little C gets lucky one more time when Big C is surprised to see Little C with a herd of cattle.  Big C then asks to be thrown in the river to find his own herd of cattle.  Little Claus lives happily ever after.

  • I like that Little Claus wins out here.
  • I'm glad Little Claus got rich every time Big Claus tried to take him out.
  • I feel a little bad about the two grandmothers in the story.
  • I wonder why Big Claus was so stupid.
  • The lesson I choose to learn here is: I'm going to watch out for my grandma and I'm never going to call another man's horse my own, even by accident.

fairy tale review - The Tinder Box

This weekend we bought a big book full of the fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen.  We are going to lay on the bed in my room and read at least one every night.  I grew up with fairy tales about the house and lots of stories that we've all heard.  Apparently, I'm not completely familiar with many, many fairy tales.  It made me wonder how many people are.  So for fun, I have decided to give a brief, very brief, review of the fairy tales we read.

A soldier chops off an innocent passing witch's head to steal her grandmother's tinder box that was deep inside a hollow tree.  He greedily steals away the copper, silver, and gold.  Then, in the night, he has a dog, that's right, a dog, steal the princess from her room to bring her to him to kiss each night.  The dog trickily tries to protect the soldier from the man-hunt.  In the end, the soldier marries the princess and becomes king.

A few thoughts/questions:
  1. Why did he chop of the witch's head?
  2. Where was the regiment to which he belonged?
  3. Why were the dogs' eyes so big?
  4. Why didn't the princess wake up after being drug by  dog to a stranger's house?
  5. Why wasn't the king and his army smarter than the dogs?
  6. What kind of happy ending is "Soldier kills and cheats his way to become king?"
  7. I thought fairy tales were supposed to have happy endings.  It could be argued that this was a happy ending for the soldier.  But, what about the witch?  What about the princess who got tricked?  What about the kingdom who got a lying king?
  8. What did Hans mean to teach us with this story?
  9. I choose to learn: big eyed dogs will get me in trouble.

April 9th - Photo of the Day

Younger You
When I was younger, this music felt like it was born in my fingers.  Now, it feels like a foreign visitor.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

hard work pays off

It's true.  I don't wear makeup to work very often.  Recently, I've really been trying to do better at getting ready in the mornings.  But, this post isn't about makeup.

This photo is Uheina and me.  I was Uheina's job coach for a year.  When she came to work, it was her first job outside of the home.  She is the mother of 13 children.  She was born in Tonga and came to the United States as a teenager.  When she was in Tonga, she had the opportunity but did not finish her education.  Now, 25 years later, she had the desire to complete her high school education.

Uheina and I started by reading.  I would read to her and then she would read to me.  I still have not finished the one story we started.  I was so disappointed when she said she had finished it at home without me.  She loved to read the Christmas poems and stories from Elder Vaughan J. Featherstone's book.  After she got more comfortable with the idea of reading, and lots of practice at pronouncing "ask" or "asked" she began reading with one of our service missionaries.

After some convincing, she began the GED study class.  And after a little more time, Uheina decided she would like to finish her high school credits rather than take the GED.  The problem is, apparently 25 year old high school credits from another country don't transfer easily.  So, Uheina had to start from the beginning.  And she did.

When I left her to transfer to another building, Uheina and I had a long talk and she agreed that she would stay at work, doing her high school packets with the service missionary, until she got her diploma.  I know there were a lot of times that she wanted to stay home and not finish.  She had family things come up and work things come up that made it a hard decision for her to stick with school.  Uheina told me that it was her promise to me that kept her working and testing to earn her credits.

After so much hard work, after lots of ups and downs, encouragement and discouragement from home, Uheina called me last week.  Her voice mail said that it was her last day at work and to call her back.  I was so surprised by the message and I got a little worried that she had given up because of something that happened at work.  So I called her right back.

Uheina had taken her last test and had earned her high school diploma!  So per our agreement, she worked her last day and said she wiped her feet on the way out.  Uheina finished her entire high school while working, with 9 children at home, and a new grandbaby living at her house.

I was so happy to hear what she had done!  The time went so quickly!  Uheina did all of the work.  No one could read for her, understand for her, or test for her.  She did it!  I am so grateful for her example and now for her lifelong friendship!

Easters - Welcome Spring!

We love Easter!  It has renewed all of our spirits for the sunshine to arrive.  Being outside makes the kids so happy!  Bike riding, sidewalk chalking, dirt digging, short pants wearing, running club, Easter egg hunting, and golfing brings the happy out in us all.  Welcome Spring!  We've been waiting for you!

everyone gets a goodie when we listened to the speakers!

Sunday lounge outfit :)