Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Good Morning

I really love this morning time.  Most of the time.  Sometimes I stay up too late and my head is too fuzzy to enjoy any part of my peaceful morning.  But last night I went to bed on time and so this morning is glorious!  It is still dark out.  We got about 3 inches of new snow during the night and the clouds are just rolling out.  The patchy black and gray sky is such a beautiful contrast to the fresh white covering everything.  It looks cold, but I get to be cozy inside sitting next to a warm fire and having read some comforting words about Jesus Christ.  I feel warm inside and out. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Can I learn something from this dream?

My dreams have been a little more vivid the last couple of nights.  And the one from last night, or really probably just an hour ago, is making me think.  Basically Naomi and I needed to get home and got on a bus, but that turned out to be a very wrong decision, so I quickly got off just before the bus drove away but couldn't convince Naomi to get off.  The rest of the dream was spent trying to get to that bus to get Naomi but being constantly delayed because somebody wanted to chat with me or needed something and I couldn't be rude and say, "No" or "I've got to go!" I just worried and stressed instead. 

Friday, February 24, 2017


Next question from 52 stories:

What has been your greatest physical or athletic accomplishment - an endurance race, a difficult hike, a personal health goal?  How did you stay motivated to reach the finish line?

I feel like I have already written about this in more than one blog post.  I think for this one I will focus on that last question.  How did you stay motivated?  Motivation is something I struggle with, and it would be great to understand myself a little better there.

I'm not sure which single "event" I would consider to be my greatest accomplishment.  There are a few things that come to mind, that I feel like were real accomplishments.  I rode 80 miles on my bike, I ran 11 miles, I deadlifted 200 pounds, even the fact that I exercise regularly feels like a great accomplishment!  Most of them were done with my friends.  The one thing I can think of that I did all by myself, was because of my friends and I received a lot of encouragement from them. 

So, there is my answer.  Friends.  Really great and amazing friends who I adore, and often wonder why I am so blessed to have such dear friends.  They are positive, helpful, loving, fun to be with, and they make hard things a pleasure.  I hope I can be such a friend.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

One Kitten for Kim

I used to write about the books I had read, and I think that would be great to do again.  So I'm starting with One Kitten for Kim, by Adelaide Holl. 

I loved this book when I was a kid.  My parents still have it, and it made me so happy to see my kids enjoy it when we would visit.  I finally decided that we should have a copy too.  It came in the mail yesterday!  Spencer did not recognize it, so I was extra excited to read it to him.  Ellen did recognize it and sat down with us to listen.  That made me happy too.  It brings me a lot of pleasure when even my big kids will stop what they are doing, or even come sit down with me, to listen to what I am reading out loud.

Spencer liked it!  He liked all the kittens and the new pets as they came along.  He also liked being able to help me read the list of animals Kim was carrying in his wagon after every stop. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I'm having another "hmmmmm" day.  I'm not sure what to write about, and my time is short because it took me so long to get the fire going this morning.  Some days it is really quick and easy, and some days it just is not.  But I really like to have the fire in the morning, so I think it's totally worth it. 

I'm running in the Snake River Canyon Half Marathon next Saturday.  I'm feeling a bit nervous.  I know I can do it, but I think it's going to be kind of hard.  Not terribly, but I think it will stretch me.  My body is ready to be done with it, I think.  Ready to be back on my bike.  Anticipation is such a strange thing!  I'm not dreading it, but I am wanting to be done with it.  I'm excited and nervous. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I can hear it raining right now.  Such a nice sound.  Nice because I'm safe and dry in my house.  No leaky roof or flooding basement.  A fire to keep me warm.  Such basic, but really amazing blessings.  And it's a comforting sound.  During the night I woke up from a strange dream, heard the rain, and was able to focus on that and not the disturbing scenes of my dream.

On Saturday I went running in the rain.  I almost went to the gym to run on the treadmill instead, but I didn't.  And I'm so glad I got to run in the rain.  It was actually very enjoyable and gave me a bit of a boost.  How funny that rain can be soothing in one instance and energizing in another. 

I'm not saying I would love to live in Seattle, because I do really love seeing the sun after several cloudy days, but I am saying that I do like rain.  I think it is an amazing gift.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Then and Now

Last night I got out an old journal and read through the first 7 years of our marriage.  I didn't write a whole lot during that time so it didn't take all that long.  I think I spent about an hour reading it.  As my kids are getting closer to leaving home, I sometimes find myself wishing I could go back to the time when they were little.  I often think life was much simpler then and I would like for life to be that way again.  But after reading my journal, I've realized that I really don't.  I really like life now.  I like having big kids.  I like little kids too, but it was stressful.  And very tiring.  I only wrote a little bit about the time after Naomi was born.  But it was very hard.  I really don't want to go back to that. 

I'm so thankful that life carries on.  That we get to keep progressing with it.  And I'm thankful that I don't look back on those years and automatically think they were terrible.  I'm glad my first reaction is to remember the sweet and simple times. 

Friday, February 17, 2017


Yesterday I kind of rediscovered Harry Connick Jr.  I have loved his music for a long time.  Ever since I was in Jr. High and Jane started listening to him.  I even got to go to his concert not long after we moved to Denver, in 1994, at Fiddler's Green. 

This last fall, Harry started hosting a talk show.  I haven't ever seen a full episode, but have seen a few clips and really enjoyed them.  A couple clips in particular have really impressed me and they both involved Harry and his wife, Jill.  They were cooking together in one, and Harry sang a song he wrote for her in the second.  She was there in the audience and he sang the last part of the song kneeling in front of her gazing romantically into her eyes.  I know he is an actor and a crooner and it could easily have been just part of the show, but I really loved the way he talked about her too. 

So I looked up the song, One Fine Thing, which is from his Every Man Should Know album.  I listened to the whole album and loved it!  I think I'll listen to it again today.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I went to bed too late last night so now I'm tired.  I just spent the last 30 minutes un-liking pages on facebook, hoping to clear out that space.  Maybe it could be a little more meaningful than it has been.  And maybe I can spend a lot less time there.  That's my plan!  And maybe tonight I can go to bed at a reasonable time.  Now on to a happy day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All Together

Last night was another one of those crazy nights that I keep scheduling, and then get into the middle of it and wonder if life wouldn't be nicer for all of us if we didn't have so much going on.  James and I were both away from home watching two different kids in their different activities on opposite ends of town.  The three oldest were left at home to finish making the dinner I started, get it on the table and clean up afterwards, all while keeping Spencer occupied and getting homework done.  There was quite a bit of fighting.  When I walked in the door, James had been home for about two minutes and was heading back out the door with another child.  There were some hurt and tender feelings at home that needed attention, more people eating dinner, and still more cleaning up from dinner.  And the house was a mess, which really didn't help anything.

We finally all came together just before 8pm for family prayer.  As I knelt there listening to Spencer pray, I was suddenly struck by what a precious moment this was.  We were all together, praying.  My mom heart was full of love and gratitude for each amazing member of my family.  A few minutes later, Annie briefly expressed her sorrow at realizing how very quickly Stephen will be leaving our home.  He is a junior in high school.  And I don't think she realizes it yet, but she will be right behind him!  I try not to focus on that too much, but I really started thinking about how much I need to treasure and appreciate every moment we have together.  They mean the world to me! I should act like it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

El Mamo

Most of the time, my kids call me "Mom".  Spencer will occasionally call me "Mommy" and he and Noah will sometimes call me "Mama", which I love.  Annie started calling me "Mother" last fall.  I'm not sure why, and it actually kind of bugged me at first, because I've never been a fan of the term mother.  In my mind it seemed kind of cold and distanced.  But the longer Annie has used it, the more I have come to like it.  She doesn't mean it or use it in a cold way, but in a "Mom, I need you, I love you" kind of way.  So it's ok.  Stephen calls me "Mom" when he's right there with me, talking to me.  But when he is looking for me, or needing me for something, he calls me "El Mamo" and I love it. 

Spencer and I had a little conversation the other day which he started by saying, "Your name is Mom, but only your kids can call you Mom.  What can other people's kids call you?" 

Monday, February 13, 2017


Spencer received a Lego Creator set for Christmas.  It came with instructions for building a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter.  He is really too young to put them together by himself, so I have built these three things with him.  And I discovered that I really liked it!  It was like a puzzle to me.  Sort of.  A puzzle with detailed instructions of every step.  So not quite the same thing, but it gave me the same sort of satisfaction.  James and I were talking about Spencer's legos the other day and he mentioned that he had tried to help Spencer put the jeep together on Christmas day, but had quickly lost interest.  He would much rather have had our tub of random lego pieces to work with and be able to come up with his own design.  He is definitely an engineer.  I am definitely not.  I do not know what to do with random legos and don't like trying to come up with something. 

Spencer likes doing both things!  He likes following the instructions and watching the legos turn into what they are supposed to turn into.  "It's starting to look like a jeep!"  But he also really enjoys making his own space ships and cars and people even, and is quite creative.  He gets a little frustrated with his limitations sometimes.  He wanted to draw a particular picture that he had in mind yesterday, but couldn't get it to come out right, and was pretty upset.  Legos are a better medium for him right now, but he has ideas; things he wants to create.  I wonder what he will be?

Friday, February 10, 2017


Yesterday Spencer and I discovered a song written for children that Spencer really liked and so we listened to it at least a dozen times.  It asked a question: "What do you think when there's nothing to think about?"  The song says that whatever it is you think about or do when there is nothing directing your actions or thoughts is who you really are, and you might want to think about that.  Maybe it's just because I heard the song so many times in a row, but I've been pondering that thought and wondering what it is I do think about.  Here's to happy thoughts today!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

learning to ride a bike

Another of the 52 stories questions: What is something you taught yourself how to do, without much help from anyone else?

I taught myself how to ride a bike.  My Mom tried.  My two younger brothers and I all learned at the same time.  They hopped on the bike, Mom gave them a big push a couple of times and they had it!  I was too afraid to let her just give me a push and I wouldn't let her.  So I sat on the bike and just pushed myself around with my feet for quite a while.  Basically treating the bike as a strider, and eventually I learned how to balance and feel like I could keep my feet up and then finally start pedaling.  I'm not sure how long that all took.  I had a rocky start though, and frustrated my brothers quite a bit. 

The three of us saved our money and finally were able to pay for half of one used bike for the three of us to share.  Mom and Dad paid the other half.  So we had to take turns riding the bike.  And on my first turn, I rode right into the back of our little pickup and popped the front tire.  Then we had to wait for Dad to fix it.  My brothers really were not happy with me.  But they have definitely turned out to be amazing bikers, so I don't think I hindered them all that much!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Heavy Things

On Monday I went to the gym to lift weights with my lifting buddy, Sharon.  She and I lift almost the same weight, so it's really easy to lift together.  This week is week one of the schedule we follow.  We have a certain weight that is our estimated maximum amount that we could lift.  Then over the course of 3 weeks we lift progressively larger percentages of that weight, take a 4th week to de-load (take a break from those particular lifts) then move our numbers up and start over with week one.  Sometimes I'm not ready to move up.  Like with my overhead press.  I haven't moved that number up in the last 3 rounds.  But my deadlift numbers have kept going up, and that is pretty exciting to me. 

When I first started weight lifting, about a year ago, my max for deadlift was 155 pounds.  This week I moved up to 210 pounds, which means I actually did 5 repetitions at 135 lbs., 5 more at 160 lbs., and was then able to do 9 reps at 180 lbs.  Next week my final lift will be at 190 lbs. and the week after that will be 200 lbs. 

I'm actually going to take a break from this lifting program after these three weeks, but I will keep lifting once a week.  I want to keep myself in the habit.  It gives me a lot of satisfaction to be able to lift something so heavy and do it without hurting myself.    I like feeling strong! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dance Class

Since I can't always come up with a topic to write about, especially in just a few minutes, I decided to turn to #52stories to give me some great writing prompts.  You can learn more about that HERE.

What is your earliest memory of feeling proud of yourself?

When I was 6, I think, I was able to take a dance class at Ricks College.  I remember being so excited for the recital.  I think I wore a blue leotard and I got to wear makeup!  We danced with hoola-hoops and I thought that was really cool.  I was especially excited that my family and even some extended family came to watch.  I also remember that my class was in the Kirkham building and one time my Mom was not going to be able to pick me up right after class so I was supposed to go to the next building over, the Spori, and go to Grandaddy's office to wait there.  She had shown me how to get there, but I remember feeling pretty proud of myself for getting there on my own.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Free Time

I don't usually feel like I really have free time.  Time that is not occupied by a particular task leaving me free to do whatever I choose and that is also not occupied by thoughts of "I really should be doing this right now; laundry, de-cluttering, spending more time with my kids, husband, neighbors, etc."  I am pretty good at wasting time, on facebook for example, but I usually go to facebook, or waste time in general, because I'm procrastinating or avoiding something I really don't want to deal with. 

Gretchen Rubin says that some free time is really good for us and helps us not feel the need to avoid difficult things so much.  This writing time is a little bit of that for me.  I'm exercising my brain and it feels wonderful! 

What other little things would I do with truly free time?

Ride my bike
Talk to people
Take pictures
Drive around - to see and experience different things and places and also take more pictures.
Work on puzzles
Watch old movies

Friday, February 3, 2017

Better than Before

Right now I am reading a book called "Better than Before" by Gretchen Rubin.  It has been very interesting!  Last night I read a chapter on the benefits of scheduling.  Especially for people, like me, who fall into Gretchen's Obliger category. And for people who tend to procrastinate, also like me.  I have to admit that scheduling this time to write has actually worked for me so far.  I am enjoying it.  I have to wonder if scheduling would work so beautifully if it were something I did not enjoy.  Like cleaning out the fridge. 

Gretchen talked about scheduling time for work, very specific work, as well as play.  Schedule your priorities, she says.  I found myself wondering how well scheduling works for those with small children.  Spencer is getting to the point where I probably can schedule some things and have that schedule work.  I know some people and even children do really well with schedules.  I have never been able to establish much of a schedule, especially when my kids are involved.  Am I too much of a push-over?  Just too nice?  Too undisciplined?  Probably all of those things.  I really dislike contention, and so I avoid it!  But maybe by avoiding it, I am creating more opportunities for contention.  Hmmmm. 

I didn't want to be quite so serious today.  My goal for tomorrow - write about things I would like to do if I had nothing else to worry or think about.  Just little things.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Well, I'm not totally sure what to write about today.  What's been on my mind?

I had a funny dream with Gran and Grandaddy in it.  I love that I still have dreams about my grandfathers.  They are still mine and I still know they love me and I look forward to seeing them again!

What else?

I got to watch Noah compete in the school spelling bee and Naomi compete in the school geography bee yesterday.  I found myself feeling nervous for them each time their turn would come closer.  I would think of the correct answer and wish I could just transmit it to their minds.  They both did great without my help though!  And neither one looked too nervous.  Noah tied for third and Naomi got first!


I didn't think I was going to workout yesterday, but as the day went on I knew I really should.  My body seemed to just want to move.  Even though I would really like to not exercise a lot of times, I know that I don't want to lose the benefits!  So, the younger kids (last night was mutual) and I actually got dinner cleaned up before bedtime, and I had time for a 30 minute workout before putting kids to bed.  Spencer wanted to exercise too.  He is so good at it!  His burpees are really fast.  And he watches closely and listens when I am trying to help him do a new exercise correctly.  It was fun! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Beauty of Weaknesses

A couple of days ago my sister, Heidi, posted a General Conference talk she had read for her Pathways class.  It is called The Atonement: All for All by Bruce C. Hafen.  I listened to it yesterday and have been thinking about something he said. 

"But growth means growing pains.  It also means learning from our mistakes in a continual process made possible by the Savior's grace, which He extends both during and after all we can do.  If you're seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you are moving closer to God, not further away."

It gives more meaning and understanding to the statement at the end of Ether 12:27, "for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."