Monday Trek (6-18-18)

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to go with the youth of my church on a Pioneer Trek. It’s a simulation of what the Mormon pioneers experienced while crossing the planes to escape religious persecution and find freedom to worship how they may. This experience was for youth ages 14-18 year olds. We took four days to reenact the Mormon pioneers trek west. We left modern conveniences behind, dressed in pioneer clothes and pulled a handcart. The youth were put into “families” of about ten kids plus an adult “big brother” and an adult “big sister” plus a “ma” and a “pa”. They piled their belongings into a handcart and walked for 19.1 miles the first day. It was long, hard work. The kids were broken down and physically exhausted. After that grueling first day we filled them spiritually. We learned about the men, women and children who suffered and gave all to make their journey west. We learned why they made the sacrifice they did.

This was an amazing experience. I feel stronger and better for having participated in it. I feel stronger and better for knowing my heritage and knowing stories from the past. I feel it very important to learn each other’s stories. I think it brings us closer together. That is why I share my story and it’s why I want to know yours.

Thank you for always listening. Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Kendra

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Monday Angel (6-11–18)

My baby girl turns nine tomorrow. She is one sweet angel baby. She was born at a time when both our families were mourning. She was the little piece of heaven that we needed. We named her Lucy Dean. Lucy after my brother Luke and Dean after Damon’s brother Geoffrey Dean. Both our brothers had recently passed away. I like to think they kissed Lucy and sent her to us. She’s my connection to them. Happy birthday baby girl.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Love,

Kendra

Comparing Monday (6-4-18)

Happy Monday!

I recently realized something and have been thinking a lot about it. I’ve realized that I am horrible at comparison. I am constantly comparing myself to others. I do it to make myself feel better (at the expense of tearing someone else down) and I do it to criticize myself and therefore tear myself down. It’s a lose lose either way.

I think it’s something we all do and I think it’s gotten worse with seeing everyone’s “perfect” lives on social media. We/I am terrible at this. I see my messy house and I think what a failure I am. I see someone’s perfect hair and I think how ugly I am. On the reverse, when I see something that’s not perfect I think how much better I am. This is a terrible way to live and to think. It creates such a negative inner

dialogue that leads to an unhappy life.

Wendy W. Nelson said, “it’s time to stop comparing ourselves to others. It’s time to put away those erroneous views of ourselves and others. The truth is we are not as hopelessly flawed as we think. And others are not as perfect as they appear.”

I also read a quote that says, “it is not what you are that holds you back, it is what you think you are not.”

Let’s stop thinking so little of ourselves. Let’s stop thinking so little of others. Let’s start seeing ourselves as not so bad. Let’s realize that others have as many struggles, or more, than we do. Let’s focus on the good. The good in ourselves and the good in others. We are not so horribly bad. All that really matters is that we are trying to be better today than we were yesterday. That’s it. As long as we are working and trying we are doing it right.

Let’s make today and this week great. Let’s throw our comparisons out the window and start thinking of how we can make this day better than yesterday.

Love,

Kendra

Monday Gratitude (5-28-18)

Happy Memorial Day

I am driving home from my favorite place. We spent the weekend at Lake Powell. There is something about those red rocks pressed up against the blue sky and riding in the boat with the wind in my hair. It does my soul good to be enjoying God’s beautiful world.

Brene Brown says that you can’t separate the concepts of joy and gratitude because when people speak of one they always talk about the other.

I have to say I completely agree. When I am at lake Powell or on a walk or camping or hiking at at the park with my kids I feel so much gratitude, I love being in nature, and when I express that gratitude I feel joy.

Don’t we all feel joy when someone says they are grateful for us? Or when sitting around the table sharing what we are grateful for on Thanksgiving?

I always knew that I felt better when I expressed gratitude but I never put it together with joy before. But it’s true, that’s what makes showing gratitude so grand, we feel joy when we do it.

So, I am committing to writing down daily the things I am grateful for this week. Who’s with me? Let’s express more gratitude and feel more joy.

Love,

Kendra

Sick Monday (5-21-18)

Hello,

How are you and how are you spending your day today? I’m unshowered and have Curious George on repeat while I snuggle a sick baby. Poor guy has a double ear infection. Yesterday he had a fever of 104.9! So off to urgent care we went. I am so thankful for medicine. After one dose and a good night sleep his fever is way down and he’s feeling better.

This week is my kids’ last week of school before summer break. It has been a great year. We have never had such a good year before. Between Autism, ADHD, and dyslexia we have had our struggles. But this year was smooth sailing. We ended with one child being accepted into the honors program next year, one being accepted into National Elementary Honors Society and one getting student of the month. I am so pleased with the growth my children have made.

Thinking about their growth makes me think of my own. Where am I now? Where did I used to be? Where do I want to go? I’m grateful I can look back and see the peaks and the valleys and that I can appreciate both. I can also look forward and not be overwhelmed by the uphill climb.

It’s been interesting having a baby after a seven year gap. I am such a better mom than I was when my big kids were littles. I can definitely see and measure my growth. I think we’ve all grown and become better people. It’s nice to take a moment and realize that.

I hope you realize how important you are. You are very loved.

Love

Kendra

Monday Words (5-14-18)

Hello and happy Monday!

The other day my kids were driving me crazy. They were arguing and yelling at each other and using a mean tone of voice. Finally I had enough. I got stern (mad) and said (yelled) “Stop it! Stop arguing! Stop being mean! Change your words! Change the tone of your voice!” I think it totally worked because, clearly, I had set the perfect example for them to follow.

Today I read this quote that says,

“Remember, we are known to others, perhaps more than anything else, by the words we speak.”

Can I just add “and how we speak them”?

The words we say and the tone we say them in is vital. Words can build up or tear down. Words can give peace and hope or fear and despair. I think we can all remember a time in our life when someone said something that made us feel loved and special. I bet we can also remember a time when someone’s words hurt.

I’m grateful I saw this quote to remind me to watch the words I use and the tone I say them in. It’s a good reminder that my words are not always kind. So, if I have ever said something that has made you feel less than wonderful I apologize. Please know that I love you.

Love,

Kendra

Becoming Monday (5-7-18)

“True happiness is not made in getting something. True happiness is becoming something.”

Marvin J. Ashton

Becoming something… what is it that I want to become? What is it that you want to become? I want to become better than I am now. I am already a sister. I want to become a better sister. I’m already a wife, a daughter, a mother. I want to become a better wife, daughter, mother. Or, maybe I should say I have already become a sister, wife, daughter, mother so I should already be happy. If happiness is becoming something what more can I become? Maybe I have already become something and happiness is there waiting for me to take it. Or maybe true happiness comes when I become the best me I can. If there is one thing I want to become it is a good friend. I want to be a good friend to you. What do you want to become?

Love,

Kendra