Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Sunday drive to a beautiful place

One of our favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is to hop in the car and drive into the mountains.  Lately Sunday's have been busy with our responsibilities at church so a couple Sundays ago when we found ourselves with a spare afternoon to spend with each other we took a drive to the mountains. 

The sun was radiant! The boys were in good spirits and the scenery was delicious to our eyes.  we skipped rocks, walked along the river, gazed at the towering mountains and played fetch with our dog.

It was a little piece of perfection!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stop trying to loose weight start trying to change your thoughts

"Look how skinny she is and she has had four kids!"
"Na uh! YOU are so skinny, oh my gosh your tummy is so tiny. Look at mine... ugh I have this roll from last nights burrito"

Blah, blah blah it went on and on  between two very petite, very slim women. I wanted to scream and smack them. I wanted to say you are both beautiful but your beauty has NOTHING to do with the size of you stomach. Come on ladies look what you are teaching the little people listening and how are you making people who are not your size feel.

When I hear these types of conversations or women discussing dieting my blood starts to boil. It boils because I watch them slowly hate themselves, I watch them loose confidence and forget their blessings. These conversations are full of negativity and comparison to others; two very unforgiving behaviors.

Now don't get me wrong I believe living a healthy life is REALLY important. I LOVE fitness! I spend 10 minutes standing on my head everyday, I love getting so sweaty that people can not tell if I am sweaty or have just stepped out of the shower. I love a physical challenge even if I fail miserably at it. I also believe nutrition plays a major role in our health but this is sometimes harder for me implement into my daily life.

When I am feeling gross, you know the feeling when you are about to start your period, you just ate 6 cookies (and still wanted another one) and have no energy- that feeling; it is really easy for me to start a negative dialogue in my mind. This dialogue can be damaging, it never has long lasting positive effects. It either pushes me to the point where I want to start a stupid diet, exercise none stop for hours, believe that a pill, shake or specific workout will change everything and make everything perfect or go and eat the 7th cookie and feel even worse after.

I want to share what I am trying to change... my thoughts. It's interesting because I hear a lot of people talk about how we need to stop comparing ourselves to one another or to the photo-shopped images but they don't change their actions, maybe they don't know how. The fact is we can not change society but we can change ourselves and if enough people change their thoughts and behaviors society will change too.

Back to my thoughts. Why do I sometimes feel overwhelmed with disgust for my body? With all the amazing things my body can do I should be jumping for joy constantly. When women feel gross we think if I was just 10/20/30+  pounds lighter I would feel so much happier. I think that is crap! If you have ever meet someone who has gone through a major body transformation what transforms them the most is not the loss of weight but the change in their thoughts.

I started looking at specifically what triggers these feelings and I've come to understand it has nothing to do with my body/weight but everything to do with my mind. For example if  I just ate WAY too many brownies I am mad that I just put all that junk in my body and that I had no self control to show my body respect. I know this choice will lead to minutes  later developing a headache, that will make me irritable, I'll probably loose my patience with my kids and Ill feel tried and be less productive. An hour after the domino effect I choose to allow my frustrations attack my self esteem and way I feel about my body but really I am unhappy with my lack of self control not my body.

I know what I put in my body has a direct effect on how capable my body can be and the feelings I will feel. This month I have set some resolutions inspired by The Happiness project  :

  • Get sleep: I know when my body is well rested I am more successful at mastering self control.
  • Feed my spirit: When I am spending time daily developing my spirituality I deepen my appreciation towards my body and spirit and treat them with more respect.
  • Challenge my physical body: When I have been engaged in physical activity I feel wonderful and crave good nutrition, the good nutrition fuels my mind and spirit in wonderful ways.
  • Keep a food journal: As a mom always preparing food it becomes really easy for my to pick at lots of snacks all day long. When I record what I am putting in my body I avoid filling up on my children's left overs and enjoy a clearer mind as a result.
  • Keep a to do list: while this has nothing to do with fueling my body with good nutrition it has everything to do with self mastery. When I am planning my day out with a modest to do list I have the opportunity to practice self mastery this will help me when I am faced with delicious brownies to enjoy one and not the entire pan!

My happiness doesn't come from the goal of loosing weight it comes from the goal of controlling my ability to  treat my body with respect. I believe that improving overall health is a more successful experience when approached this way.

Next time you are part of a conversation that ignites the negative dialogue that attacks your self esteem and worth choose to end it or walk away and search for positive energy that will propel you forward into a bright future of self respect.

Monday, March 24, 2014

More flag football

LOVE watching my Jack learn and grow in this sport!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

My horse Shrimp

When I was a youth I never had one very best friend. I had lots of friends but no one that I wanted to share my deepest desires and secrets with. For most of youth my parents filled that role; I am ever grateful for that!

 When I was about 15 I got a best friend. Her name was Shrimp. She was my horse. 

When I meet Shrimp she was in a field with lots of lush green grass most of which ended up in her ever round belly. After having a baby she her training had stopped and she was indeed of a friend who would be willing to re-teach her and love her. I became that friend! 

 I had only been horse ridding for a year and a half; I had a lot to learn... We had a lot to learn.

I embarked on an adventure with my new best four legged friend. Oh what adventures we had. 

Shrimp was afraid of Orange tractors. 

Orange-tractor-phobia was problematic when we were out on the countryside roads, which was often. They say if the horse rider is scared the horse can sense it. I found it REALLY hard to suppress my fear as I watched an orange tractor drive towards me. One specific time that made an imprint on my memory was on Forest lane heading towards Belton (a village near my home). I can see peering around the corner giant wheels that belong to an orange tractor. I tell myself that Shrimps going to just fine,that perhaps she wont even notice...but my heart start thumping and I just can't slow it down. 

Shrimp sees the tractor and stops dead still! Her heart is now thumping. I ask myself "Why oh why are Orange tractors so scary?" and "why couldn't this have been a green tractor?" The tractor keeps coming towards us and now there are cars behind us now waiting. I kick Shrimp to continue on she takes a step but starts turning around in circles determined not to get close to her enemy. I am praying that I stay on (I had a habit of falling off ) and that no cars would be hit as we begin a spiraling dance of fear. Trying my hardest to muster up confidence in my lack of experience I say "come on girl!" trying to direct her forward and past the tractor, which at this point stopped. 

We inch closer as we turn and finally I really kick her forward and she jumps past the tractor. 

Success; no injuries!

One time Beth, my sister and I were racing across a field in the winter. I was on Shrimp and Beth was on Blue our grey naughty pony who belonged to gypsies that only came once a year to see her and threw a fit when I cut her dragging dirty tail. Apparently that is a major NO NO in gypsy culture. We were bombing across a field  being watched by dad, Sally our friend and the dogs. Suddenly, Shrimp slips on what I believe was black ice and she goes down with me following. We slide with down on the grass. Shrimps body was pressing into my left leg that felt like it was being buried into the ground. In this moment I screamed, I thought my leg was broken and that my riding days were over. Perhaps my teenage hormones were kicking into over drive but truly I thought I was in big trouble. Shrimp gets up and I stay motionless on the ground. My dad and Sally frantically run to me. "Are you ok? Can you move?" I try to move my leg and amazingly it moved! What a blessing! I walked away with only bruises and soreness.

One day I decided that we needed a little adventure. I often rode the same several hacks where we lived. There was a forest that had always intrigued me. I was convinced if I went through the forest it was be a great short cut to the village I was hoping to get to. There was a fence that surrounded the forest, it did not look inviting...but there was a gate and I decided that it was OK for me to explore this unknown territory. In we went. It was dark and the trees were close together. I had feelings of adventure in a nervous manner. Shrimp didn't feel too adventurous and I wish I would have listened to her instinct and turned back but in my stubborn nature we headed forward. 

Suddenly out of no where Shrimp reared up, I hit my body against a tree and fell to the ground. While I am gathering myself together Shrimp is throwing her body back and forth knocking into tress. Suddenly she stops and I head over to investigate. She has a huge gash in her front right hoof, blood is slowing but surely flowing out. I look down and there is an electric fence about 6 inches off the floor, Shrimp must have got zapped by the fence. I calm her down and jump on to head home for help.

As we get out of the forest we head home ASAP, whether that was smart I just wanted to get her help. We ran fast as tears steamed down my face, "How could I be so stupid?" "Mum's going to be  so mad!" "Is Shrimp going to be OK?" 

Everything was OK. Amazingly. 

There were many nights in the Summer I would spend hours in the field brushing down Shrimp and being with her. I talked to her. She listened and loved in a way that humans don't know how. Being on her back going on an adventure was a place of safety and acceptance. I remember saddling Shrimp up several times and ridding with the wind in my face finding peace, focus and most importantly an escape from my worries. She was a refuge. 

In the winter months I spent every night brushing her down, cleaning her stable and putting her to bed. I remember freezing fingers and missing tv shows but what lessons I learned ... I really learned how to work and be responsible. 

I left for college and my sweet Shrimp became very ill the first year I was away. I returned home for the briefest visit in April and got to spend time with Shrimp. Little did I know this would be my last time with her. I remember receiving a phone call while living in Idaho from my dad. My dad told me that Shrimp had passed away. Since I had left my dad had loved and cared for my Shrimp. He had become her new best friend. She died from a stomach ulcer that bleed from the inside. 

Hearing my dad tell me she had gone was heartbreaking. My best friend was gone but what a gift it was to have had her. Ironically this was one month before meeting Ben who has been my best friend since!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I am praying for my friends...

Right now there are several people in my life who really could use some help.
I LOVE these individuals. They need help but seem unwilling to ask, receive, accept help or even accept the reality of their situation. This breaks my heart...LITERALLY, my heart breaks for them and their future. I have tried to reach out to them and help them in the ways I know how but I feel helpless and so I pray for them ALWAYS. 


The fact is I really don't know the best way to help them. I don't know their hearts, I don't know their inner and dearest thoughts and feelings, I can not comprehend what it feels like to walk in their steps and live their life. This is reality. I just don't know...

But God does.

I want to say to anyone who feels like they are trapped,
 who feels like they have fallen too far to return home, 
who feel unworthy of goodness, 
who are lost, 
who feel so utterly lonely, 
who see no way to change.

I say to you open the door. Jesus Christ is waiting so patiently on the other side.

If you can only turn the door knob and crack open the door that's good enough because once you feel His love for you it will give you the strength to open the door wider and wider until you are surrounded by His love, warmth and support. 

I might not understand your circumstances but I do know what its like to feel encompassed in darkness and to be saved by my Savoir Jesus Christ's love.  
I know exactly how that feels. 
It is real.
HE is as real as your problems.
HE is the answer to your problems. 

What does opening the door look like? 
It looks like choosing to COME UNTO CHRIST.
You achieve this by talking to Him through Prayer, bearing your soul to Him
Read His WORD in the scriptures.
LIVE His Gospel

It is not always easy
it is ALWAYS


Dog park and Flag-football

Our poor dog has not had as much outdoor love as she needs...Lucas and I decided to change that and took her on an adventure to the dog park or "Mud pit" as it seemed more like. She had a blast bombing around and Lucas got super dirty.

Jack has started flag-football and is very excited to succeed in it. We arrived early to practice the boys had a blast messing around.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Where is God on your priority list??

Lately, I have been exploring how and why I prioritize people, commitments and things in my life. Last month was a tough one for me. What is it with me and February? (more on that here) In the last couple of months I have been offered some new responsibilities at church and have felt overwhelmed trying to understand how to accomplish all that I feel I need to do without ignoring those closest and dearest to me.

I got my priorities in a twist; they were all mixed up. I felt so blue but didn't know how to change my situation. Have you ever felt like you head is so full of thoughts and voices telling what you need to do, what you have forgotten (again), who needs you, who you need to call, who you need to email, what needs to be cleaned and organized, and there is always another meeting to attend etc, etc, etc... and then your phone rings and you just can't handle it. When the voices become so loud that I just shut down. I literally turn off and then get nothing done.

Thanks to incredible support from my hubby I was able to make a little progress. I found myself reading my scriptures more, blogging about my past and checking out "The happiness project" from the library. These few things have helped me understand what is most important. Somehow when
I become busy or over committed the most important actions drop far down my priority list or even falls of it.

I read this quote and love it:

What sound advice. Why do I allow people, to-do lists, commitments and those voices in my head convince me that I just don't have time for spiritual help and nourishment. It is absolute rubbish! I have 24 hours a day and I get to choose what I spend my time doing. I just need to change what my vision of success looks like. Once I change what success looks like I am more capable of being successful and motivated.

At the end of the day I have determined a few things;

  • In order for me to find joy and satisfaction in my life I must prioritize my relationship with God above all else. This means I need to pray daily, find spiritual nourishment through His written word and other inspired works and Keep my covenants I have made with God.
  • Second to God there is my family. My husband and two boys. I need to find ways to connect with them and serve them. This looks like date nights, family home evening, reading books together as a family, planning family activities, family dinner, talking and sharing experiences, having clean laundry and an organized home so we can find things. 
  • Health allows me to serve others. This looks like exercising daily and eating good food. 
When I am incapable of doing these things I am over committed and something has to be dropped that is not in the previous list.

Another quote which touched me deeply was this one:

Perfect is impossible but I can work on living a righteous life...

For March I am focusing on having more Energy.  I am attempting to achieve this by daily spiritual nourishment, organizing and simplifying weekly and yoga. 

Wish me luck!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Lucas wanted chocolate cake

...and I thought "what a wonderful idea" at home is NOTHING like what you see on the Food Network. I would like to watch a a food show that represents what cooking at home with children is actually like. Now that would be entertainment!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

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