Monday Happiness (10-23-17)

Recently I wrote the words “Choose Happiness” on my white board. Each time I saw it I noticed Lucy had added drawings to my words. Until it looked like this 

I love this but for me choosing happiness can be a challenge. Lately it has been challenging for me. I wrote “Choose Happiness” when I was feeling pretty good and then forgot about it. I saw it this week and have appreciated Lucy’s additions but didn’t think much about the words until last night. 

Last night I was not choosing happiness. It wasn’t in me. I just felt down and grumpy and was being so hard on myself. Before I went to bed I read an article that just happened to talk about happiness. It was just what I needed to hear. 

Henry David Thoreau said, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

So how do we find happiness? Here are some suggestions from that article. 

– “Learn as quickly as you can that so much of your happiness is in your hands, not in events or circumstances or fortune or misfortune.” Abraham Lincoln had much to be unhappy about but acknowledged that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness comes first by what comes into your head. “Don’t be passive. Swim upward. Think and speak and act positively. That is what happy people do.”

– Be kind and pleasant. “Kindness and pleasantness and faith-based optimism are characteristics of happy people.” Mother Teresa said, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness–kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

– Work at it. “If you want to be happy work at it. Learn to work. Serve diligently. Don’t be idle and mischievous. A homespun definition of Christlike character might be the integrity to do the right thing at the right time in the right way. Don’t be idle. Don’t be wasteful.”

“In short, your best chance for being happy is to do the things that happy people do, live the way happy people live, and walk the path that happy people walk. As you do so, your chances to find joy in unexpected moments, to find peace in unexpected places, and to find the help of angels when you didn’t even know they knew you existed improve exponentially. Here are five ways we can live “after the manner of happiness.”

So, my friends, today and hopefully in the days to come, I am choosing happiness. I am going to work at it. I’m tired of being grumpy and pessimistic. I chose to be kind and optimistic. I am hopeful that today and this week I will find my butterfly of happiness and hope that you will too. 



(“The Gospel Plan to Happiness” by Jeffrey R. Holland) 


Waiting on Monday (10-16-17)

My oldest is 12. When he was 3 and 4 he meowed like a cat. All. the. time! In first grade he was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. He has since discovered the wonders of reading and is always lost in a book. He is happy, imaginative and kind hearted and he has big ideas. 

My second baby is 11. He has never liked people, change or vegetables. He is quick witted and hilarious. He loves to learn and remembers everything. Last summer we learned that he has dyslexia, dysgraphia and executive function disorder. Even though he is brilliant school is hard. But I have full confidence that he will be our next Einstein or Walt Disney. 

My 3rd baby came a year after my brother died and only a month or so after Damon’s brother died. She was the angel we so needed. She is confident and sassy. Teachers love her and she drives her brothers crazy. She has the mind of an engineer, always building and creating. At 2 she taught herself to write her own name and started teaching herself to read before kindergarten. 

My baby baby is 14 months. He is silly and full of energy and always happy. We waited a long time for him, 7 years. For several years we tried to adopt because having a baby was not something I was able to do. Physically, yes I could have, but mentally, no. For whatever reason adoption didn’t work for us but waiting did. 

I don’t know why sometimes we have to wait so long. Sometimes it feels so unnecessary. But sometimes I look back and see so much good that came during the wait.                                                           

I look at my children and I see the times when we had to wait for them to come. We waited 7 years for Calvin. When we had been married a short time I wanted a baby but Damon asked me to give him one year. When that year was over I not only found myself pregnant but we were financially stable enough for me to quit work to stay home with our baby.  There are the times we had to wait for answers to help our children. To receive a diagnosis of autism or dyslexia is not quick and easy. And then there are the many, many times I tell (yell at) my kids to “just wait a minute (dang it)!”      

Life is a waiting game. Hurry up and wait. The length of time we have to wait is never determinable. But the one thing we can control is the amount of time we spend reflecting on the wait. When I do take the time to look back I always find the good that came while waiting. 

Have a marvelous day my friends. Do something good and find the good during the wait. 



Everyday Monday (10-9-17)

“Everyday may not be good but there is something good in everyday”
Today was a good day. But I know not everyday is. The challenge is to find the good in everyday. Be the good everyday. 
I hope this week we can all find the good. 

Make it a great week. You have so much to offer that can make someone else’s day. 



Building Monday (10-2-17)

In July of this year two boys swimming in the ocean off a Florida beach got caught in a riptide. Their family swam into the ocean to save them but were soon trapped with them. Others saw and tried to help. Soon nine people were caught in the riptide. People on the beach wanting to help began forming a human chain. It started with 5 people with linked arms reaching out into the ocean, then 15, then the human rescue chain grew to 80 people. One woman,Jessica Simmons, and her husband who were very strong swimmers used boogie boards to reach the drowning swimmers and ferry them to the human chain who passed the swimmers down the chain and to the shore. All 9 drowning swimmers were saved. 

In a Facebook post, Jessica Simmons said, “To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!! People who didn’t even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that.”

Pause and just imagine that. Strangers risking their lives and working together to help others. That is good, that is optimism, that is courage, that is kindness. 

I like to listen to the news in the mornings. Today I had to turn it off. I had to focus on something different. Thankfully, I recently heard this story and have been able to focus on it. I feel people’s sadness as if it were my own. I hurt for those who are hurting. To fight fear and sadness I reach my hand out to you hoping to build a human chain of love and kindness and compassion. Let’s work together to build and lift and save. I don’t know what I can do personally to help those hurting in Las Vegas or the now homeless in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico but I know I can lift and build my children, my friends, my family, my community. When I link arms with another I can strengthen them and they can strengthen another. Our chain can grow and strengthen and together we can help those who are helpless as well as strengthen ourselves. 

Let’s not be sad or scared. Let’s be optimistic. “You can’t, you don’t build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, you work with faith, and things happen.” -Gordon B. Hinckley

Let’s work with faith and optimism to reach out our hands and link together to make good things happen. 

What is one thing you can do today to build and lift and strengthen another? Please share with me your thoughts. I would love to pass on any and all ideas to help me find courage to reach out and to help others find courage too. 

Make today a good day friends. 



Hopeful Monday (9-25-17(

Hi Friends,How was your weekend? Mine was great. But man am I tired today. Tired and feeling overwhelmed with everything I need to do/ should do/ want to do this week. What I really want is to take a nap and wake up to find my house looking like a model home. But baby boy just woke up and I have lost all hope of getting my house in order today. As I write that I feel silly because no matter how busy a one year old can be and no matter how much you have on your plate all hope is not lost or should not be lost. I recognize that my worries and concerns are small. I acknowledge that many many people have real life challenges that are considerable in magnitude. There are those who may be justified in giving up hope. But I plead with them and you and me to not give up. And why? Because, “hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us. And to all who suffer-to all who feel discouraged and worried-I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. When we have hope, we acknowledge the difficult path ahead of us, but we move forward in faith, knowing that God will see us through these times of trial.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

So my friends and to all out there who are feeling hopeless please never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. You’ve got this. You are amazing. Don’t give up. 



Positive Monday (9-18-17)

Good morning and Happy Monday. 
Today started out rough. It’s been one of those days where I am too tired to even think straight let alone get out of bed when the alarm goes off. Not sure why. I bet you know the feeling. 

After getting up late and rushing through the morning Lucy said something about it being a bad morning. My first thought was, “it’s not bad yet, just rough.” Then I wondered what would make it a bad day. I finally decided I don’t want a bad day so I’m not going to let my rough morning get the best of me. Positive thinking. Very positive thinking. 

I have a tendency to not be a  positive person. I’m always thinking worst case scenario and imagining reactions to things that may or may not happen. I also often get overwhelmed and that does not mix well with positive thinking. But today, today I am determined to not make it a bad day. As much as I want to lay down and take a nap (I might do that later) I’m going to plow through this morning. It may be rough but it doesn’t have to be bad. 

There is a quote I like:

“For maximum happiness, peace and contentment may we choose a positive attitude.”                               -Thomas S. Monson

It’s easy to blame a bad day on events or other people. But in reality no one, or thing, can make us have certain thoughts, feelings or actions. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I believe that. I believe you can also say, “No one can make you have a bad day without your consent.”

So as hard as it is for me to think positive, I am going to do my best today to think positive. I want happiness. I want peace. I want contentment. I want you to also have happiness, peace, contentment. So I am not going to give anyone or anything permission to make me have a bad day. Today at least. 

Have a happy Monday friends. Stay positive. 



Monday Comfort Eating (9-11-17)

Happy Monday!

Have you ever tried treating a bad day with food. I have. Many times. This weekend I rediscovered one of my favorite go to treats. With fall in the air (it’s getting down to the 90’s in the mornings so that counts as fall in Arizona) my mind turns to fall foods, comfort foods. One of my favorites is popcorn balls. I used to make them every year for Halloween so to me they are a fall comfort food. I love them and have the best recipe ever. Because I’m using them to cure feeling low I’m going to share my recipe with you. You can thank me later.

Pop one large bowl of plain popcorn and set aside.

Melt in a large pot one cube of butter and one pack of marshmallows stirring frequently and watched carefully so it doesn’t burn.

When the butter and marshmallows have melted together remove from heat and mix in the popcorn. You may not use all of the popcorn. The more you add the less gooey your popcorn balls will be but you want to add enough to make them workable.

When the popcorn and marshmallows are mixed well you can now form it into balls. I put butter on my hands to keep the popcorn from sticking. Take a handful of popcorn and form into a ball. Be careful though it’s hot. Place on a cookie sheet until cooled then store in an airtight container.

Go make some popcorn balls and have a great week.