Summer Monday (5-29-17)

Oh my goodness. It’s Monday isn’t it? It’s the first weekday of summer break and I already have my days off. What are your plans and goals for summer? We have the usual plans; swimming, Popsicles, staying up late, like going to bed around 9:30 because 9:00 is already super late for me… I’m also hoping to have at least a minimum amount of success in keeping my kids off electronics all day long. We’ll see how that goes. By tomorrow I might be throwing electronics at them just to keep my sanity. I have no deep thoughts for today. There isn’t anything special I need to share. All I want to do is wish you a warm, bright and happy summer. Keep keeping on, wear that sunblock and know that you are so very loved. 

Happy first Monday of summer. 




Happy Monday (5-22-17)


It’s a brand new week and one I am so looking forward to. It’s the last week of school! Woo hoo! School’s practically out for the summer. I see Popsicles, swimming and keeping my kids from annoying each other to tears in my very near future. Is there something you are looking forward to this summer?
I had an interesting conversation the other day. I was visiting with a person I had just met, a complete stranger. When he found out I had four children he was shocked. “Four! You have four children? Do you know we live in the 2,000’s?” I was a little surprised by his response but it was his next question that really surprised me. “I just have to ask, are you happy?” My immediate and genuine response was, “yes.” 

This conversation has had me thinking about a lot of different things. I mean really, is having four kids so unheard of? But what I keep coming back to is “are you happy”. I was sincere when I said “yes”. I am absolutely happy. Well, honestly, I’m pretty grumpy this morning. It was a rough night. My patience today is pretty much non existent. But, that’s trivial and temporary. I really am deep down happy.

Now I ask, are you happy?

My follow up question is, “what do you do to stay happy?” Or “what can you do to bring happiness into your life?”

Like all good things I believe it takes effort to be happy. Sometimes it takes more work than others. Although I feel good now there have been times in my life when I have not been happy. At those times I would look around me and know that I have a home, my needs are being met, I have a family, I’m healthy, etc. I really had no reason not to be happy, but I was miserable. I was unable to feel joy. I was unable to laugh. I couldn’t get through my day without crying. It has taken much effort and work and help to get to a point where I can honestly answer “yes, I am happy.” And it takes continued effort on my part to keep myself from falling into that pit again. And the things I do to keep myself going are far more than listening to good music or eating healthy or going for a walk. Because really, when you are in that hard place you can be doing everything you’re “supposed” to be doing and still feel numb or angry or hurt. And when it’s deep and you can’t see the light and you feel so alone just getting up and brushing your teeth can take every ounce of effort you have. So doing something like exercising or preparing a good meal is completely unattainable.

Through years of trial and error, putting a smile on my face to hide the hurt, and taking every minute possible to escape through sleep I have found a few things that work for me. First, talking about it. Opening up. Reaching out. If I try to keep it in I crumble. Second, I’ve had to let go of the shame and admit that I need help. Third, I’ve found professional help. Fourth, I bit the bullet and have conceded that medication is a very needed and healthy part of my life. And last but not least I have humbled myself and turned to prayer. For me, prayer and faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ has been my light in the darkness. These are the things that when used together have created the ladder that has helped me climb out of that deep, dark pit and have helped me find my happy. 

I ask again, what has worked for you? Where do you turn on those unhappy days? What do you find joy in? 

My friends, I truly hope and pray for your happiness. I wish you to feel joy. I’m cheering you on. 



Grateful Monday (5-15-17)

Good morning! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and women out there. Cause really, aren’t all women who lift and give and love mothers? I think so. 

Did you enjoy your week? Did you do something kind for someone? I tried, I really did, but honestly it was harder than I thought. Maybe it should have been easier than I made it but the thought of doing things like striking up a conversation with people in line at the grocery store scared me silly. So I took the cowardly way, I sent my kids to school with cookies for their teachers, I left a few bucks with a little note that said “treat yourself today” around the grocery store and I left a bigger tip for my server. I guess the point of kindness matters week was to try, to actively think about being kind. My heart jumped for joy when we were at a stop light and my kids saw a couple holding a “homeless anything helps” sign. They started looking around the car and asking if we had anything to give them. All three, without any promoting from parents, asked what we had that we could give. They weren’t any kinder to each other last week but they did recognize an opportunity to be kind to others and I am so happy for that. 

Looking back over my week I think I was shown more kindness than the amount I gave. My mother and sister in law came to visit, a new friend brought me a succulent plant, my husband got up early and did the dishes. This week I was reminded of how much love and kindness and friendship their really is in this world. If I step outside of myself for a second I can see it. 

Seeing kindness has made me feel very grateful. I had much to be grateful for this weekend. My family went to San Diego for my niece’s wedding. I was grateful to get away for a few days, grateful we drove safely, grateful my kids didn’t kill each other during the car drive, grateful the wedding was absolutely beautiful and perfect, grateful for my sweet niece, grateful she found someone she loves so deeply, grateful that so much if my family were there, grateful to now be home. I also found gratitude in the people who helped me when I couldn’t help myself. 

The wedding was on Friday and Saturday most of my family went ocean kayaking. It was a beautiful day, there were so many of us together, it was a great experience. Until I got sick. The ocean was so, so,so rough that day. I lost it. All. Into the ocean. Again and again and again. I was so sick. I often get motion sickness but this was the worse I’ve ever had it. My dad was having a hard time sitting in the kayak, my mom and I switched so my dad and I could go back. Damon was feeling yucky so him and Lucy also went back. It took forever to get to shore. Our poor guide had to hook our kayak to his and paddle us in because we were completely worthless. The entire time I was fighting nausea and just moaning. I kept telling myself to stop that because it was probably so very annoying but I just couldn’t. We had to wait for one of the workers to swim out to us and help us to shore. It was the longest wait ever. We finally headed for shore and were so close when our kayak tipped. No big deal, just put your feet down and walk to shore. But when I hit that cold water I went into shock and started hyperventilating. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t walk, my dad practically drug me to the beach. Damon was there waiting for us. He and my dad tried to take me to sit down but I couldn’t go any further. I sank onto the sand and just laid there shaking. After a little while they tried to help me over to where we had set up our umbrellas and towels. I couldn’t sit up on my own, I couldn’t stand up on my own, I couldn’t walk. I had to lay back down. Damon brought me a towel. I laid under it so so sick, shaking uncontrollably, still hyperventilating and sobbing like crazy. I was completely out of control. I could barely talk. I finally was able to ask my husband, who was sitting with me trying to comfort me, to pray. After praying mybrother in law came to help. He felt my hands, they were freezing cold. He held my hands for warmth. He made me sit up and breath deep. He made me lay back down and elevated my feet. One of the kayaking workers came over. They took me to his truck and back to the shop so I could take a hot shower and change my clothes. My brother in law shouldered most of my weight to help me walk. He stayed with me so Damon could return our rentals and help our kids. My family stayed with my baby. The workers at the kayak rental shop kept giving me coins to take free showers. Kindness and gratitude everywhere. 

I’ve been motion sick many, many, many times but never that sick. Cold water has taken my breath away and made me shiver but never like that. I was sick, I was in shock and I was scared. But I am grateful because I got better and because of the kindness of others. 

I’ve realized that I not only like being kind I also like being grateful. So this week I’m going to show more gratitude. I’m going to find more to be thankful for. 

For Christmas one year I was given a sign that says, “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” This week I am always going to try to find that something. 

My friends you are so very loved. And I am so very grateful for you. 



While at Target today I randomly left cash laying around. I pinned together a few bucks with a note that said “treat yourself today”. Hopefully this act of kindness outweighs the other acts of not so kindness that I performed today. 😬 #kindnessmattersmonday 

Last night I was not being kind to myself. I woke up feeling tired and in a slump. So today I’m trying to remember that kindness begins with being kind to me. #kindnessmattersmonday