Great Monday (8-14-17)

Hello dear friends,
Do you ever marvel at the genius things other people do and say and come up with? I do. All the time. Just the other day I had another opportunity to marvel. This time it was at my own son. He came up with this quote,

 “Good is not good enough. Great is great enough.”

I asked him what it meant to him. He basically said we are always doing things that are good but we can be doing better. We can keep trying and making changes until we’ve done the best that we can and then it won’t be just good it will be great. 

I’ve been thinking about what Jackson said and I think he’s right. All this coming from my child who has struggled the most in school and has had the most personal challenges. I am happy and his teachers are happy (more like we are thrilled) when he can just get the work done. But Jackson isn’t happy with that. He wants to do it the best. That leads to more frustration because his ability in some areas is immense where his ability in other areas doesn’t come close. But the desire to do the best in all areas is equal. So here is a child who isn’t going to settle for good. He’s going to go and push and work for great. 

One of my favorite quotes says, 

Try a little harder to be a little better. -Gordon B Hinckley

I think this summarizes what Jackson was trying to tell me. We can do better. We can do and be more than just good. Make those little changes. Try again and again and again. 

But it’s hard and it can be scary. Why is it so hard and so scary? One of my sisters framed this quote for me, I think it perfectly answers my question. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous. 

Actually, who are you not to be?

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.”

Who are we not to be great? Jackson is amazing. You are amazing. We are amazing. We have the potential to be great. To make everyday great or at least better than the day before. We are powerful beyond measure. I truly believe that. And I believe that you are truly great. 



Back to School Monday (8-7-17)

Good morning friends,

My kids start school today. I’m excited and nervous for them. They are smart and capable, I know they can do hard things. They just have to learn that. 
I think I’m nervous and excited for myself too. I’m excited to do some of the things I haven’t been able to this summer with the kids constantly at home. I’m nervous about keeping things running smoothly. 

Being in a new house it’s easy to make and keep things clean and organized and to make promises of keeping things clean and organized. But in reality I probably won’t be able to do it. I’m trying to be ok with that. And to be ok that my plans, routines and goals might not be reached. Truthfully and if I’m being honest with myself they probably won’t. I’m trying to be ok with that too and to roll with the punches, to make changes and adjustments as I go. 

That is also what I’m hoping my kids will be able to do. Roll with the punches. Make changes and adjustments as they go. I am smart and capable. They are smart and capable. If we can learn together and learn to work together we can totally succeed. And by success I mean long term success. We are going to fail at times so we need to be learning from our many failures. I think that’s where I get stuck. I failed once so I’m a failure. Not true. I just have to make changes and adjustments and jump back at it. So much easier said than done. And so much easier to help my kids do that than it is to help myself do it. 

What do you do to keep yourself going through the little failures? How do you help yourself make changes and adjustments? What are some, or were some, of your back to school traditions? Will you help me in my commitment to roll with the punches, to change and make adjustments instead of dwelling on failing? 

Well, here’s to a new school year! Hang in there. It can be a long year but we can make it a good year. 


My heart is full on this Monday (7-31-17)

Hi there,I am writing this email today with my heart full of gratitude. We moved this weekend and received an over flow of kindness. From babysitting to bringing meals, packing to unpacking, loading to moving to unloading, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I am overwhelmed. There are so many good, kind people in this world and I am so blessed to know them. 

I’m siting here eating Cheerios and yelling at my kids to please watch the baby for just another minute and trying to hold back tears of appreciation. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you dear friends, all of you. Each of you add meaning and joy to my life. Please know your worth because it is great. 



Keep keeping on Monday (7-24-17)

Hi friends!I used to own an SUV that was super convenient for driving around lots of kids. I taught preschool and did a lot of field trips and kid swapping with other moms so those extra seats were really handy, until they broke. There was a little rubber piece that helped latch the rear seats to the car. These seats were always going up and down depending on if I was doing a Costco run and needed more storage space or if I was hauling kids and needed more seating. Well, this stinkin little piece of rubber broke on both seats in the very back and for the life of me I could not get those seats to latch which left them completely unusable. For months I tried to fix those seats. I used glue, screws, my own sheer force. I tried to buy new little rubber pieces but they only sold the entire seat which was $300 per seat. So I tried glue, screws and my own sheer force again. Nothing worked. Finally a day came when I needed those back seats. Preschool got out at 3:00 and kindergarten got out at 3:10. I had to take a little boy home from preschool and I was watching another friend’s son after school. There was no way I could take my preschool student home before picking up my son and my friends son from school. I needed those extra seats. And I was stressing over it. The night before the big kid swap I spent over an hour pushing and shoving those seats but no matter what I did I could not get them locked into place. I was sweaty and frustrated and decided to just go to bed and try again in the morning. I woke up early and went out to my car. I climbed in the back and said a quick prayer. “I need help. Now. I need these seats to work. My friends are counting on me and I need to keep their children safe. Please help me.” I opened my eyes and hesitantly went through the same steps of latching the seats that I had already done a hundred times without success. Miraculously, this time it worked. It only took one try to get those seats latched and usable. Let me tell you, I never unlatched them again. I was convinced it was a one shot miracle and if I flipped them up I would never get them down again. My day went smoothly. I got all kids where they needed to be without any problems and now I have a little reminder that prayer works. 

Yesterday my family got home from our ten day road trip. We drove up to San Fran and down to Santa Monica and back to Phoenix. There were seven of us, my family of 6 plus my husband’s 15 year old sister, in our cute little Ford Flex. We had a luggage carrier on the roof, we were filled to overflowing and we had a great time. I’m really so pleased with how amazing my kids were, especially the baby. We didn’t have any problems with our car or anything. I did get car sick driving to see the red woods but for me getting sick only once is quite an accomplishment. But now we are home and I don’t want to be here. Not only do I have piles of luggage and laundry to wash, clean, sort, fold and put away I also have piles of boxes all over my house, some full and some needing to be filled.  We are moving on Saturday. I’m excited about the house we are moving into but feeling a little depressed about getting there. I really don’t need any physical help there isn’t much I can pass off. I’m just tired and unmotivated. 

I read a scripture that said, “ask and it shall be given unto you.” I’m remembering the time I asked for the back seats of my car to be fixed and they were. So, I’m going to take a nap and when I wake up I’m going to say a prayer. I’m going to say, ” I need help. Now. I need to get my house packed up. My family is counting on me and my friends are coming to move us on Saturday but I need to get us ready. Please help me.” And I’m going to remember that one time after all I could do I finally asked for help and I got it. In the scheme of things my “help me now’s” are so insignificant. But isn’t it the small things that build up to make big things? So my small prayer to help my car has turned to a bigger prayer to help my house. Maybe one day I’ll remember this and it will help me get through something else. But until then, my friends, know that I love you. You are constantly in my thoughts and heart and prayers. Please know that you are not alone. You are amazing with something only you can do. Just keep on keeping on. And I will too. 



Monday Changes (7-17-17)

Hello friends,

I am out of town road trippin’ it with my family. I saw this mural in San Fransisco and really loved it. 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I’ve heard this quote before but seeing it painted on a huge wall in the middle of a busy city made it seem more powerful. It made me stop and think. If I want to see change I have to make changes in myself. 

Lately I have learned some of the many changes I need to make. Every one of these changes started with me seeing the fallacies of others. After I tried to figure out how to change others I realized that I need the change just as much if not more. And so I am trying. I see something that the world needs to do better and I see that I am part of the world and I need to do better. I need to change. I need to be the change. 
I hope I can change. I hope I can be the change. I hope you know I love you and care about you. 


Choosing Monday (7-10-17)

My niece posted this quote a few weeks ago. I found it amazing at the time. When I woke up today I felt like I needed to share it;
“Choose to believe that you are truly worthy.
Worthy of love,
Worthy of affection,
Worthy of acceptance,
Worthy of a second chance,
Worthy of being chosen,

Worthy of succeeding and reaching your dreams.”

After speaking to several friends this week and struggling with my own personal battles I’ve realized that so many of us don’t feel worthy. I had never been able to put a name to those feelings until I read this quote again. It hit me hard. I realized that my inner dialogue has been telling me I’m not worthy. I haven’t said to myself, “Kendra, you aren’t worthy of love. You aren’t worthy of being a mother. You aren’t worthy of reaching your dreams.” But that word sums it up and makes all those feelings and thoughts tangible.
Depression is a constant companion of mine. With help and medication I’ve been doing pretty well. But it has been building and the last couple of weeks have not been good. Again, with help and medication I’m getting back on track. I feel better and am functioning again but with that comes the guilt. I feel guilty for leaving my children on their own. I feel guilty for sleeping all day. I feel guilty for not feeding my family or cleaning my house. I feel guilty for ignoring and being angry/impatient with my family. I feel guilty for letting it all happen again. And then I feel embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that my kids look like ragamuffins and are couch potatoes. I’m embarrassed that my house is filthy, we can’t find anything and haven’t had a good meal in days and days. I’m embarrassed that I snapped and yelled and shamed my children. I’m embarrassed at breaking down in tears and having to admit to my doctor that I need more help. I’m embarrassed at telling my husband that I’m not doing well, again. With the guilt and embarrassment comes the feelings of not deserving my life. I don’t deserve my children. I don’t deserve my beautiful home. I’m not deserving of good friends. I don’t deserve the love of my husband. Put all of that together, guilt, embarrassment, shame, and you get worthlessness or feelings thereof.
I’m learning that many of the struggles my friends and family are facing lead to feeling of being unworthy. By definition the word worthy means; having merit or value, honorable, admirable, deserving. I think we see the worst in ourselves. We cannot admit or focus on the amazingness that is in us. We let others’ perceived thoughts dominate our own. But really, we are better than we think. We are more amazing than we will admit. And everyone else is feeling the same way.
I ask myself, “Does my life have value? Do I live an honorable life? Are there things in my life that are admirable? Am I deserving of my life?”. The answer to all of these is, YES! I might have moments, days and even months of feeling I don’t have value because I can’t do anything but sleep all day or snap at everyone. There are times where I might not feel admirable or deserving, and maybe at that moment there isn’t much to admire. But this life is a marathon. We are all in it for the long haul. We can’t define ourselves based on one day or one sharp remark or one failed attempt. If we look over a period of time we can see the many miles we have already run. The race is still going and we’re doing better than we thought we were.
So, am I of worth? Am I worthy of love, affection, acceptance, a second chance, being chosen, succeeding and reaching my dreams? The answer is, was and always will be “yes”. Yes, I am worthy. And so are you my friend. So are you.

4th of July Eve Monday (7-3-17)

Happy 4th of July Eve! What are your Independence Day plans? 

My baby is 11 months today. He is almost walking and has just learned to sign eat and finished. He gives really good open mouth slobbery kisses. He is always happy and is always on the go. He is my reminder that life works out. Bad situations come to an end, things change, life goes on. There is a 7 year gap between my two youngest. I never thought I would have another baby. Both my husband and I felt very strongly that I couldn’t. Physically I could but not mentally/emotionally. I was a mess. But life is all about change. My situation changed and we got to add on to our family like we so desperately wanted to do. Life has a way of working itself out. Changes happen and changes can be great. Baby boy Calvin was a great change. 
Happy happy Fourth of July. Do something extra patriotic this week!