April 9, 2016

H is for Hard By The Yard

 Sometimes, I try to plan things out WAY too far in advance for me to even know for sure if it will happen the way that I plan. I can get so caught up in looking to the future that I can forget to look at what is happening in the present. 

"Life by the yard is hard, but by the inch it's a cinch." 

This a lesson that I have learned repeatedly, but I have really come to recognize what this phrase means over that past few years. 

I have come to know that living life "by the inch," requires faith and trust in our Heavenly Father. We can't always know the future, but the Lord does. He knows our thoughts and desires and will help us through it all as we come to him. 

Things always work out. It's much less stressful to look at life "by the inch" than by the yard. I've found so much peace as I rely on my Father in Heaven through my daily life and I am so grateful, that I have learned a little better how to live life "by the inch" so that "it's a cinch!" ;) 

G is for Grateful In All Things

As I look at my life, I can see that I am so truly blessed.  There have been many times where I have not been able to see clearly all the blessings that I have been given. But when I look at each day, I can see that the Lord has blessed me in more ways then I can count. 
Having a friend to talk to, a smile, a friendly hello, an opportunity to serve, having a chance to clean my house or even something as simple as having food on the table, are great blessings that I have been blessed with each day. 

 I am so grateful for my home and my family.  I have two beautiful kids and a wonderful husband. We have great friends and neighbors and I have everything that I need.  There isn't any reason not to be grateful. The Lord is so mindful of me and my circumstances and he puts people in my path to help me feel of his love each day.   

I am so grateful for the people in my life and for the love I feel from my Heavenly Father everyday! 

April 7, 2016

F is for Family

Today i'm keeping it simple. The love of a family is one of life's greatest blessings. I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family who loves and cares about one another. The lord has placed so many wonderful people in my life and I feel so truly blessed! 

April 6, 2016

E is for Emree

My daughter Emree is 3 years old and is so fun! She has such a sweet spirit about her and is a HUGE light in our lives! She brightens any day!

Emree has always been a strong little soul and has always been a strength to us when things get hard. She is so happy and enjoys life.  I love her laugh! Anytime things are tough and I may not be having such a great day, she is always there telling me her silly stories and giving me a good laugh. She turns my day around and helps me see that life isn't so bad. ;)

Her high heels and clothing choices (especially in the winter time) are a bold statement to her beautiful and strong personality.

Emree loves painting, dancing, singing, ice skating, twirling, reading, playing with friends (and being the leader), being outdoors and cooking. Mountain biking on easy trails with her daddy is a new hobby she is picking up as well. She loves cuddling up next to you while watching a movie and spending quality time doing almost anything. She also loves going to new places and trying new things...most of the time. ;)

She is also a girl who knows what she wants and will tell you like it is! She has a specific way she likes things and will tell you how she wants it and if it's not done right, she'll make you do it again.  At times it may be frustrating, but this bold little one adds a little excitement to our home that we can't get anywhere else.
Oh what a joy it is to have Emree is our home! We are so blessed!

April 5, 2016

D is for Drops of Awesome

I was thinking today about a blog post that I often look back on for encouragement.  In this post a Mom talks about a lesson that she has learned in how she looks at herself and others.  She tells of a story when she was walking her 7 year old son to the bus stop.  She didn't walk him to the bus stop very often, but decided to do so this day. Halfway to the bus her little boy reached up and held her hand. She immediately thought:

"That’s awesome that you’re walking him to the bus stop and putting on this “mother of the year” act today. What about yesterday and the day before that? You hardly ever walk him to the bus. He’s probably holding your hand because he’s so desperate for the love and attention you haven’t been showing him...I am a crap Mom."

Then another thought came. 

"What is wrong with you? You are being an awesome mom in this moment. Your child is happy. You are loving him and caring for him. He’s well fed and dressed. You’re walking to the bus stop in the early morning and you’re already wearing a bra for heck’s sake. Do not rob yourself of this moment’s joy because of what you failed to do yesterday or what you fear you might not do tomorrow."

Over time, she came up with the idea of "Drops of Awesome." Every time you do something good, kind or productive, that is a drop in your bucket of awesome. It's all about allowing yourself to feel joy and allowing yourself to be proud of the small victories you achieve. 

She relates these "drops of awesome," to the atonement of Jesus Christ. When we are close to Christ he pours more into our buckets then we could ever imagine. Our capacity for joy grows as we keep going one drop at a time. 

Whenever I go back through this story and am reminded of my abilities and successes, I feel so blessed to know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. Who is cheering me on and is delighted in my little successes.

What's important to us is important to him and each day we are doing all kinds of things to add to our bucket of "Awesome!" :) 

I only hope that as you go out each day that you remember to look at the drops of awesome you put into your bucket each day. Look at your successes and know that you have a Father in Heaven who is proud of you and loves you. 

You are AWESOME!! 

April 4, 2016

C is for Chocolate

I have a bad habit of craving chocolate anytime I am upset, sad, worried or just plain had a bad day. I guess that means I am most definitely a stress eater...for chocolate. :) I have been trying to loose weight ever since we moved back to the U.S. and I have always known deep down that the culprit has been none other than...sugar (a.k.a. Chocolate). 
 I have studied Stress Management for about 4 years now and one thing I know is that weight loss doesn't just come from exercise and nutrition. Don't get me wrong those are two very important things, but another factor that plays into weight loss is your stress levels. And for me, my emotional well being was really struggling. So, to kick the stress eating, I knew I had to dig down deep inside to see what the real issue was for me. 

I know you are curious, but to be honest it is a little too personal for the world to know. ;) But I will say this, I started out looking at just my physical body. After I broke my foot in 2015, I then realized that there was much more to being healthy then my outward appearance. I mean, I have always known that it was important to take care of your inner self, but at that point my mind was so focused on what was outside, I was struggling to see what was happening inside of me (thus, the broken foot). It's funny to think, but Heavnely Father really was watching out for me at that time. I don't know if I would've even learned the lessons I have without him letting me brake my foot that day.

 I then began taking care of myself emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It has taken me a long time, but I have now come to the point where I am ready to kick the cravings and move forward making healthier food choices.  

My dear friend Chocolate will just have to find someone else to use her to fill their void, but for me... I'm happy with the new me. :) 

April 2, 2016

B is for Boxing

A little over a year ago, I decided to find a new hobby. I was bored of all the normal sporting activities and had no desire to do biking, running or anything like that. I wanted something fun, different and something I could feel passionate about. Something that would give me the drive to get up in the morning and give me the energy I needed to get through the day. I was at a point in my life where I was unsatisfied with where I was at, and needed to make some changes.

So, I went on a search. I looked up all kinds of different hobbies, but none of them really appealed to me. Then I remembered one of the ladies in the movie "Meet the Mormons." She was a kick boxer. I had done some shadow boxing in various Aerobic classes, but nothing quite as intense.

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to give it a try and felt really excited about it. So, I found a club called "Title Boxing Club," where the first class was free. I went one evening and loved it so much, I signed up right then and there. It was a hardcore workout, but made me feel so good that I wanted more.

I have now been boxing for a year and it has become a great passion of mine! Something about getting out your frustration and stress on a bag really makes all the difference. Plus, it is fun to learn a new sport. It's challenging and there is always something to improve on. I LOVE IT!!

Last year was a tough year for me and boxing helped me get through it all. Sometimes, I think it truly saved my life. It wasn't just a coincidence that I found boxing. No, I truly believe the Lord led me right to it. I'm happier, healthier and I have learned so much about myself. It was one change in my life that I will forever be grateful for!

April 1, 2016

A is for An Angel By My Side

A few months ago, I received some news that threw me for a loop. I was troubled and struggling with some difficult challenges. But one particular day I decided to go to the LDS Temple. As I sat in the Celestial room pondering, all I could think was that I just wanted someone to care. I felt very alone and felt I had no one to talk to. But the Lord new my thoughts and desires of my heart.

A few minutes later, a man walked up to me and asked me how I was doing? He said "Either you are very deep in thought or really sad. So, I thought I could come over here and see if I could put a smile on your face." He then asked me if he could sit down, next to me, for a minute. I said "Yes" and he proceeded to talk to me about all kinds of things. There wasn't anything in specific that he said that was really important or significant. But his friendly smile and the impression he felt to come sit by me for just a moment, made all the difference.

He did put a smile on my face. And he may never know the difference he made in my life that night. I know that the Lord was watching over me and that he sent this angel to sit by my side at a time where I needed to know that I was noticed and that someone cared. This was such a beautiful tender mercy that I will always treasure.

 The Lord loves each of us and is so mindful of our circumstances.

I will forever be thankful for the angel he sent to sit by my side that winter evening. :)