Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why I eliminated my Facebook account

It is 4pm and we just got finished with homework, the house is somehow already a disaster...I did clean up and vacuum just an hour earlier, I did didn't I? Grrr...I am so exhausted.

I sit down and whip out my phone and hop onto Facebook. I'll just have a 10 minute break and then get the kids involved in cleaning up and do their jobs while I make dinner...Dinner...what  am I going to make??

 My thoughts trail off as my eyes become fixed on Facebook. I am now in a Facebook coma, you know the type... Looking through my feed there is a cool video posted; I check it out; it was 7 minutes long and very cool!

I check my notifications and see if any more people have liked my picture I posted earlier; aw 4 more likes and three comments! This makes me happier than I would like to admit...

I see a friends picture of her recent Iron man race; wow she looks awesome! How many of those has she done now? I just don't understand how she does it all? Maybe I should sign up for a half marathon...  

Another friend is posting her weight loss success and before and after pictures Wow that stuff she is taking seems to really working, she always seems to succeed in everything she does... I really need to shift a couple pounds... 

I see a photographer friends page yikes she has been crazy busy with work I really need to up my game, sign up for a course and do a better job at marketing my business...I could start another project! I then hop over to several other photographers I admire and compare work and see if they are as busy... wow they all are doing so great, whats my problem? Am I any good at all?

I find myself browsing through a friend's page I haven't thought of for EVER but saw a picture she posted and decided to check out their page and then back to my Facebook feed...

I need to be more frugal.
I really need to create better teaching opportunities for my kids at home like that friend.
Their vacation was so picture perfect.
Wow she just finished her second degree!
How great, her business is really thriving.
Her little boy can already read chapter books, boy I have some work to do!
Piano lessons... I need to do that with my boys.

I hear my kids screaming, feeling frustrated that I am being pulled away from my 10 minute rest I go to see whats up. When I get back in I realize it has been over an HOUR...I start to fill with guilt.

Why am I feeling guilty?

I feel guilty because I just spent another hour of my time pretending to connect. Yes pretending. Clicking "like" and anonymously browsing Facebook friends pages is not connecting. Yes it is nice to see how people are doing but is it really necessary to do that multiple times a day? I felt guilty because I have two children that are living in my house needing me to guide them, love them and be with them. I can literally connect with them physically, spiritually and emotionally everyday; yes that takes more effort than clicking "like" or typing a quick "super cute!" comment but really connecting with my kids will fill me with the satisfaction I yearn for and it will fill them with the reassurance they need. Together we will be better off.

I believe Facebook and other forms of social media are really awesome but in my case Facebook was no longer Awesome for me. It was a distraction. It was an addiction. I decided in that moment of feeling guilty AGAIN to just eliminate it. I deactivated my account, no more distraction and more opportunities to actually connect and strengthen real relationships, relationships that really count.

I have realized that a lot of my feelings of inadequacy have been coming from comparing myself to others or what others want to show of themselves on Facebook. Since eliminating this distraction I have had a greater sense of purpose in my every day life. I have been more committed to what is right for me and my family now instead of being persuaded otherwise by pretty pictures or humorous status'. I have found great joy in purposefully seeking out opportunities to connect. Visiting with dear friends, writing and receiving heartfelt emails and cards, leaving song voice-mails to a BFF, chatting with my Mr, being with those I love by listening to, learning from and experiencing together; our beautiful life.

Sometimes activities we choose to engage in become a burden, sometimes they prevent us from being the best person we yearn to be and live the experiences we dream of. Sometimes they are a distraction or an addiction. If your actions/habits are not building you up in fulfilling and enriching ways perhaps you have to eliminate it. For me eliminating Facebook has felt liberating. I feel more present in my life with the people who mean the most to me.

Question: Is there something you engage in frequently that is distracting you from your purpose?

Challenge: Find some time to sit down and analyze your chosen distraction: the pros and cons. Determine if it is something you can eliminate or commit to do less. Share your goal with someone and follow up with them in a suitable time frame.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Easter was wonderful! Really. I just loved it!

It began with the boys in our bed reading about Christ's resurrection. They were totally invested and listening; this was a beautiful gift from heaven; parent paycheck!

Then Easter baskets! The boys were thrilled to receive a dvd each, a blanket and some eggs. They were so occupied counting and sorting their eggs; it was cute.

Breakfast was homemade (because you can't buy them here) hot cross buns, fruit and eggs: Loveliness.

Then off to church for meetings and choir practice.

Church was great; lots of people I love and discussions about Jesus Christ.

Our Easter dinner was spent with family creating memories and strengthening traditions. 

It was a piece of heaven!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Update on my goals

So for the last 30 or more days I made 7 (my lucky number) daily goals.

Get sleep
  • Because I sometimes can be awfully stubborn I may sacrifice sleep in order to do other things. This goal really helped me remember that sleep is so essential to my ability to function well and be nice wife, mother and person. 
  • I tried to be turning off my light at 10:30 so I could rise between 5-7 depending on how the night went
Feed my spirit
  • What a blessing it has to reinstate this habit. My spirit has been renewed and strengthened.
  • I have felt greater peace and comfort in my life and I know its due to the focus on spiritual nourishment in my life.
  • I just focused on daily spiritual nourishment not a time limit. I found this to bring me the greatest success.
Challenge my physical body
  • Exercise is essential to my body but sometimes I neglect to challenge myself. To focus on challenging my physical abilities has resulted in being able to do 3 different types of headstands and hold one for 2 + minutes! 
Keep a food diary
  • Having to keep a food diary has been really helpful in understanding the volume of food I am consuming and the nutritional value.
  • I don't find this a habit I want to maintain daily but perhaps twice a week to keep me aware.
Clear my closets
  • This has been so wonderful to gain some order in my life and make space for energy. There have been mounting projects that were need organizing and now so many are done and not only have created physical space but have removed a mental and emotional burden
  • I want to always have a space no matter how small to organize and clear each week. I was amazed at how this specific goal energized and motivated me in my life.

I had a chart and each night would mark the goals I achieved that day. The first 2 weeks I LOVED marking off my achievements on my chart. I felt so accomplished and it really helped me develop these habits. As the habits became easier and a part of my lifestyle the need to record my achievements lessened. 

I hope I can continue all these goals now they have become habits. I wont keep a daily food diary as now I know the calorie intake for most of my meals but think doing it a couple times a week helps keep me on track to a healthier life. 


Because of Him

Because of Him.

I am here
I came to earth
I am more than I could ever imagine 
I have divine potential
I find happiness
I find hope
I find peace
I live and will live again into the eternities

Easter is because of Him; it is because Jesus Christ LIVES!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Slow down and smell the flowers

"Hurry up! Hurry up! Let's go!"
"Put that down and lets get going!"
"Stop looking at that and get focused!"

This has been a too frequent dialogue that has been escaping my lips lately. Sigh. Sometimes I don't realize what I sound like until I hear one of my children mimic me. Sigh again. I guess sometimes we need a rude slap in the face to realize that a change needs to occur within ourselves. 

Lately everyone has been living on MY schedule My time line and that means that not everyone is happy. I decided today I would carve out two blocks of time that Lucas got to decide what we would do and how. I love doing activities with my kids BUT I too often take control and reduce the amount of discovery and creativity they could experience if I would have followed their lead. 

Today I tried something different. I followed Lucas' lead. Instead of saying, "oh that car is too big!" I choose to say "nice choice lets see what happens" and then he would discover it was too big and when he found a car the right size the satisfaction he felt was beautiful. I found myself saying on our walk, "which way do you want to go?" over and over again. I called him "Lucas the Leader!" and he loved it. He walked taller and smiled brighter.

I am so happy I took the time to SLOW down and SMELL the flowers as we walked. They smelt so good. I found myself smiling wide as I realized I had almost missed seeing spring appear and show its glorious and refreshing face.

Yes, there are times we might need to hurry up and get moving but I think they don't have to be as often and frequent as I invite them. As the mother and nurturer of our home I set the tone. My tone and attitude determines so much. Due to some vital but small choices that I made today our day has be been full of wonder, love and gratitude.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spiritual Favorties

General Women's Conference, April 2014

If you would like to watch it check it our here, I highly recommend you do!

"...They delighted in the covenants they made with the Lord..."
Rosemary Wixcom

"we are united in building the kingdom of God! The adversary would want us to focus on our differences but this is not Gods way"

"It is a fact that women need women! Not only to love each other more but to love each other better"
Bonnie L Oscarson

"Our true identity is a disciple of Jesus Christ"
Linda Burton

"Because He loves you He will provide the help that you need to move forward"
Henry B Eyring

As I watched I felt an empowering sense of joy being a woman, a nurturer, a sister in Zion; a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints. Oh, what joy and peace filled my heart!

General Conference, April 2014
If you would like to watch it check it out here

"Be grateful. Set aside the goblet of bitterness and sing unto the Lord with Thanksgiving"

"Develop a spirit of GRATITUDE"

"The choice is ours. We CAN choose to be grateful no matter what!"

"A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues"

-Dieter F Uchtdorf

"I'm a competitor and I want to do my best but I want my other competitors friends to do their best too"
-Tora Bright

"Does the Load I am carrying have sufficient spiritual traction? what loads are distracting me from from having greater spiritual traction in my life?

Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to Christ"
-David Bednar

 "You might forget you kinds words Today but the recipient may treasure the forever!"
- Thomas S Monson


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Packrafting date with my BFF

So, for Ben's birthday he got a paddle and helmet to go with his packraft. To celebrate Ben's birthday and spend time together we went on a packrafting date. 

Ben was giddy as could be. Full smiles and twinkles in his eyes. I couldn't help but smile seeing him have such a great time. 

I am not going to lie; I was a little nervous. 

I was just fine, pretty hopeless but had a great time and Ben sure enjoyed laughing at me. 

All in all it was wonderful. 
Take a look at our mini adventure.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Pictures of Musicals and dance from my past

Mrs Dumbar's Dance class

Calamity Jane

Church Talent show


The wizard of OZ


Friday, April 11, 2014

Jack Conversations

Conversation over dinner
Jack: when you get fired from your job you should get a job that has you moving around more
Ben: OK...
Jack: you know so you can get more exercise.
Ben: What job?
Jack: hummm, maybe a car garage job changing oil!
Ben: I would have to change a lot of oil to put food on our table
I am quietly listening and giggling to myself

Phone conversation to Ben while in New York City
Jack: I have a question
Ben: Oh ok!
Jack: so are you and your boss sharing a room in the Apartment? Are you sharing a bed?
Ben: No. No we are not. We have separate rooms.
Jack: Oh OK

In the car
Jack: So about my birthday party. I think I want our family to go bowling
Me: Oh, ok. Are you sure? You have choose that for the last two years...You sure you don't want a party to invite friends?
Jack: well its so hard to decided which Friends
(I'm thinking it's because he wants to invite more than 7)
Jack: I need to choose friends that will get along with each other well.
(oh wow we have a doctor Phill in our midst!)
Me: Ok, it's up to you, but we need to make a decision in the next few weeks.
Jack: hummm, I think we should just go downtown to the bowling place there.


Oh if life were a musical

The sun is bright and glorious! The sky is painted a light blue hue.
 Spring is really actually happening. 

I feel my toss back, my eyes close and jazz hands start to emerge. I am about to throw myself into a new age, up-tempo rendition of the "Oh what a beautiful morning" when the sensible voice in my head says 

"Control yourself! You are in the school parking lot...You could get away with this at church because they know and love you but this crowd will be a LOT less forgiving, you need to be normal"
I take a deep breath and return to reality but in my mind I see a musical number take place and a smile creeps across my face and stays there as I walk to my car. 

Oh if life were a musical...


Thursday, April 10, 2014

These moments

Today after running around with my head cut off like a chicken, 
having the washer repair man ditch us,
picking up a whole deck of UNO cards that had been scattered around the house for the second time,
catching a dog that had run away,
grocery shopping,
making meals,
filling the cupboards with snacks that might only last a couple days/hours,
running to and from gymnastics, swimming and football,
wiping dirty bottoms, faces and hands countless times,

I wondered 

I think all moms have moments of frustration and exhaustion. 
In these moments it can be so easy to focus on the monotony, 
the negative and the challenges but we need to remember the moments that made us smile and hold them dear and tight in our hearts.

This moment is one 
that I want to 

a little piece of heaven...

Goodbye sugar: DAY1

I consider myself pretty healthy. As a family we rarely eat out and I make all our dinner at home and mostly from scratch. We eat a bunch of fruit and vegetables. We are an active family and I work out personally at least 5 times a week.

So whats the problem?
I have a couple;

  • Eczeema
  • IBS
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Irregular periods
Now I know my little issues are really nothing compared to others but I still think my body can do better. I have been reading about diets that are specifically designed for those with IBS. I guess there are certain carbohydrates that are hard for some peoples digestive systems to break down (those with IBS). I am thinking about incorporating some of it to see if my IBS symptoms are reduced. 

I have decided to cut out sugar. I have read sugar/candy all that delicious stuff is really hard to digest, it makes skin issues worse and is clearly unhealthy:( I have been wanting to cut it out for some time but never stuck at it but I really want to feel healthier and I feel this will be a great step towards a healthier body.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I love these girls

I have the privilege of working with the Young women (12-18 years)  in our church.
I can honestly say I love them and yet I don't know them all very well. You may think that is impossible but you are wrong!
God fills me with this love. I can barely explain it but my heart is filled with love for these women. I see them through eyes that see their goodness and their divine potential. I wish they could see what I see when I look at them!

We had a movie night at my house.
We ate.
We chatted.
We laughed.
We took pictures.
We clucked like chickens...or maybe I did...
We watched Catching Fire.
We bonded.

It was wonderful.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

9 more years till 40!

I happen to be thrilled with the man I chose to stand by for the rest of my life and into Eternity. His name is Ben. This is no coincidence as my mother married someone who was named the name she would have been called if she would have been a boy and guess what I would have been name had I been a boy? Ben. Yes, it was fate.


We have been together for almost 10 years, married for 9 of those. I can honestly say with each year our relationship just keeps getting better and stronger. You are my home and I am so thrilled that you stuck around long enough for me to make up my mind in the beginning, I am so lucky that you saw past my fickleness. 

You are faithful as you put your God and family first. You are kind as you give me space to dream and wings to fly. You are determined in all you do. You are passionate about things close to your heart even if it means creating some ripples or tidal waves in your case:) You have an innovative mind with ideas and wonders in the works. You are a adventurer at heart with desires to explore this world by knowing it's land and meeting it's history through it's people. You are an example to our boy's as you teach them with love and kindness and are their hero in so many beautiful and wonderful ways. 

You are my best friend and the person I would choose to experience life with. 

I love you like crazy, and thank God each day that he gave me you; what a perfect gift.

Happy Birthday babe,

Jess x x x 

One of the many reasons why I LOVE HIM RIGHT HERE:


Monday, April 7, 2014

Jack had a break out game last Saturday! 
It was pretty magical watching him get real serious about the game. 
We may have been the parents cheering/screaming for their kid:)


His favorite moment;

He is serious about running that ball

Another play!

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