Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mountain climbing....

Last week I read this article and although I related to much of it, something didn't sit right with me. Today I read this blog post in response to the previous article and it resonated with me because that is what I want to focus on as a Mom. (If you have time, read them both, they are both well written and have good points.)

That being said Being a Mom is hard work. Many days I am overwhelmed and discouraged. Many days I get very frustrated with my kids. Many days I want to pull my hair out due to the mess and chaos that seems to reign in my house. I say this because I don't think we talk about it enough, we put on the happy face and everyone thinks we do everything well. Well I don't do everything well. Stop by spontaneously to see me and you will see that organization and housekeeping are not my strong suits. In fact today is a rough day and I feel like my laundry and cleaning are my Mount Everests.

Most of the time I'm not frustrated with being a Mom, I'm frustrated with all the other things I need to do. I love being a Mom with everything I have. It's what I've always wanted to do, I get frustrated with not having the time to do what I want to as a Mom because the house is calling and the laundry is piling up etc.. If I had unlimited resources I would pay for someone to do my daily chores so I could focus on my kids and being a Mom. I don't have depression but some days I feel discouraged and down on myself and life in general.

There are lots of things that help me overcome some of these feelings. Going to the temple, reading my scriptures, prayers etc..... But there is one tool that I have not utilized enough in the past that is helping me immensely lately.


It not only helps me be physically healthy, it also helps me be emotionally healthy. It relieves stress, it gives me added energy. My kids and husband can tell the days I exercise and the days I don't. It's dang hard to find time to do with with 5 children. It's extremely inconvenient with a husband who leaves for work before 6 most days. But it is worth the inconvenience to get the pay off. I only get to do it for about 30 minutes 3-5 days a week. But that 30 minutes of investing in me is paying huge dividends. You wouldn't look at my body and think I'm a woman who loves to exercise. I'm not doing it to lose weight, I'm doing it for my health in all aspects. I am happier and healthier than I have been in years. I'm a convert and it's a habit that is going to stick around for a long time.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mt. Baldy

Isn't this the cutest bald head you've ever seen? Remember this post about our friend Caleb who is battling cancer? Caleb has lost his hair this week due to the chemo and so we went to a "head shaving" party on Saturday with some other friends. Lots of boys and men shaved their heads to show their support for this incredibly brave boy.

This is a picture at church yesterday. 27 men and boys. Didn't know that so many bald men could make me misty eyed. Such a showing of compassion and love. There are many more who aren't in this photo. I am so sorry that this horrible thing is happening to the LeBaron family, but I love what it is doing for our ward. Such a feeling of love and unity as we do our best to support and strengthen them. They are amazing, most of the time they have smiles on their faces and have such faith. I think I would be curled up in the fetal position having to watch my child be tortured like that.
Thank you to the LeBaron family for your incredible examples and for letting us participate in your miracle.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The power of one...

This past weekend I went to the funeral of my Aunt Judy. She is my Mom's sister and I learned so much about her this weekend. In fact the local paper put out this article about her on Saturday. She was a woman with passion and talent and an incredible worth ethic.

She and her husband Colin and their son Campbell moved to a town called Claremont in southern CA in the 70's. Claremont is a beautiful little village that has beautiful homes, vegetation and history. Much of the beauty of this town is directly attributed to my aunt. It is not your typical southern Cali town. You see when they moved there in the 70's she immediately got involved in civic affairs. She eventually was elected to the city council and was even the mayor for a few years. She has greatly influenced and shaped the development of Claremont and the "village" concept. She has preserved history yet also helped the town move into the future by bringing modern transportation to the town. She even wrote two books about it's history.

Many people this weekend said over and over that Claremont wouldn't be the town it was today without Judy's influence. However one of the women who paid tribute to her said this, "Judy was a giant in Claremont, but she was also the heart of it." Not only was she concerned with the preservation and atmosphere of Claremont, she also was deeply concerned about people. She was a fantastic mother to her son Campbell, a loving and nurturing grandmother to her 5 grandchildren and a loving wife to Colin. She was a loving sister, daughter and a wonderful aunt. She had many friends and influenced countless others.

I was inspired this weekend to be better. I was inspired to get more involved in my community and have influence on it. I was inspired to improve my talents and find new ones. I was inspired to be more passionate about those things I feel strongly about. I was inspired to be more people oriented and to really let those I care about know it.

I am grateful for Judy and for the influence she had on so many and for the way she has inspired me. I am sad I didn't get more time with her while on this earth, I could have learned much from her. I am grateful she is part of my heritage and that I can teach my children about her and she can also influence their lives. Love you Aunt Judy and will miss you terribly!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stand ye in holy places

This post has been rumbling in my brain since Tuesday night. I had the opportunity to visit Caleb and his parents at the hospital. It was an experience I won't forget. In the scriptures we are urged to stand in holy places (D&C 101:22). Oftentimes we consider the holy place to be a church or the temple, but those are not the only places that are sacred.

You would not normally walk into a hospital and consider it to be a "holy place". But our little spot in the waiting room where we talked with him and his parents was. The thousands of prayers being offered in their behalf and their perspective and reliance on God have turned their little corner of that hospital into a place where God is felt which is what a holy place is. Angels are surrounding them, lifting them up and comforting them.

I recall another experience I had that I knew I had entered a holy place. My dearest, life long (actually we knew each other before this life of that I am convinced) friend, Lisa lost her husband in a tragic motorcycle accident 7 years ago. The morning after he died I walked into her home and was overwhelmed by the spirit and the peace there. I walked into her bedroom where she was holding his motorcyle helmet on her lap. I laid on her bed and held her hand and we cried and amazingly we also laughed together. I was in a holy place that day. Again, thousands of prayers were being offered in her behalf and I know angels were around us that day.

I want my home to be holy...sometimes that seems impossible with the chaos and noise that reigns supreme most of the time. In the Bible dictionary it states under temple that :

"A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."

Did you read that last line?? Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness! So how do I make my home into that holy place comparable to the temple? Here are a few things that come to my mind: sincere, heartfelt prayers, our tone of voice, acts of service, a clean and orderly atmosphere, laughter, happiness, positive words, study of sacred words.

Where have you felt is a holy place? What do you do in your home to make it holy and sacred?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


My husband works hard. Most weeks he works way over 40 hours....he gets up before the sun and comes home to us after it has gone down. I love his work ethic and ambition, in fact it was one of the things that I was most attracted to when we first started dating.

However....sometimes it wears on me and I need a reprieve. Well these past two weeks have been my reprieve. He took time off, lots of it. We didn't go anywhere or do anything fancy....we just spent time together as a family. We took turns sleeping in, he did some "honey-do's", we de-junked and organized, we went to a movie, we enjoyed our beautiful weather, we went on "wogging dates"(walking/jogging), we played at the park with the kiddos, we watched lots of family movies, we played games.......

It was pretty much heaven. It made our holidays magical knowing Dad didn't have to go back to work the next day or for several days. We were originally going to head north to be with family for a few days but that didn't work out for several reasons. No offense to family, but I didn't miss going because packing 7 people up for a week long vacation isn't exactly relaxing. We were able to just rest, relax and have fun together.

And it was magical. And now I'm back to the grind...but, I'm trying to take that rest and relaxation back into reality. Trying to focus on being more patient and content and healthier this year.

Now to tackle Mount Washmore.....