Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm not joking . . .

when I say I'm jumping on a plane tomorrow morning and heading to Oregon to run my first half marathon WITHOUT any training whatsoever. Seriously people, what am I thinking?? Hmmm, something like, "you'll be that idiot collapsing at the finish line after everyone has already gone home and it's dark!"

Here's the story: I have known about the marathon for months, but as luck would have it, illness hit the week I began training back at the beginning of March and I was stuck with various lame lung and allergy related symtoms until yesterday - great. I ran a couple miles today and felt good, so I'm crossing my fingers that seven times that amount will be just as pleasant ;-). I couldn't be more excited taking off for a long weekend to visit my sister Jenna and her little family in Corvallis, OR . . . no kids, no responsiblities, no phone calls, no driving, nada. Chris will be taking over the kids' activity and social calendar for a few days - what a guy!

Now I'm off on my adventure and hoping that between the lower altitude, the moist air, the pressure to stay up with my sister, and some unbelievable positive "I can do this" thinking, I will at least finish the race. I consider myself a person who runs to stay in shape once or twice a week for a few miles, but 13 miles - never. I think the greatest distance I've ever run at one time was 6 or 7 miles. So, in the spirit of challenging myself to something new, exciting, and probably incredibly painful . . . here goes! Wish me luck :-).

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Little Things

I found this tea towel at one of my favorite boutiques the other day and just had to get it for my oven door, and since I do have days that are less than favorable, I wanted this little reminder that it is those little things that make me the happiest and bring the most joy into my daily life.

In eastern philosophy, the more one dwells on the negative, the more that negativity becomes part of his/her soul, until it eventually takes over. It can be hard to stop that cycle of thinking and there are certainly days when I begin to dwell on the negative, but when my mind turns to those little things that bring joy into my every day, the cycle stops and is replaced with optimism and peace.

Here are just a few of the small, seemingly insignificant things that make me smile and remind me that life IS good:

the sunrise through the kitchen windows
the sweet touch from Chris as he wakes me up every morning and sits on the edge of the bed to talk before he leaves for the day
the eager hugs and kisses from warm little bodies each morning
the mountains surrounding our home, and how they never fail to impress each time I walk back home from the mailbox
good friends, uplifting discussions, spontaneous conversations with neighbors outside while the kids play
laughter, giggles, squeals of delight
the excitement and nonstop chatter surrounding the kids when they arrive home from school each day
the peace inside the house when I have it to myself
the unexpected, touching conversation with a child while we're fixing dinner together
listening to a little one read out loud
taking the time to savor a book, listen to music, or play piano
freshly changed sheets on the bed, soft pillows, and the stars - always there, out the window for me to enjoy as I fall asleep

Friday, April 24, 2009

I liked this . . .

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

~ Henri Nouwen

I happened to find myself in the doctor's office this afternoon (no worries - allergies), and found this quote in a magazine. It spoke to me, so I thought I would share.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a thought for today

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring and FLOWERS

After being teased incessantly by mother nature the past few weeks, spring is here to stay . . . I'm sure by just saying that I've now cursed the weather and we'll see snow again before June - never fails. But for the moment and in celebration of the bright blue skies, warmer temperatures, blossoms, and green appearing everywhere, Liza and I packed up lunch, grabbed some friends, and headed to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point yesterday. Truly a perfect afternoon and celebration of the season. If you've never been to the gardens down there, make it happen - you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Here are some more cute photos from our afternoon. Michelle has a really great, awesome, amazing, make me drool camera, so her pictures look better than mine every would - check them out!

Happy, happy, happy day :-).

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. Indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
~13th Article of Faith~

Today in sacrament meeting Ryan spoke as a youth speaker about the 13th Article of Faith. His talk included a wonderful quote by President Hinckley, as well as some thoughtful personal insights and testimony from Ryan. I was quite impressed, given the fact that he remembered he had a talk last night at 10pm (church begins at 9am), and wrote the majority of it this morning - oh well, live and learn.
This evening in Family Home Evening our lesson focused again on this insightful declaration of what we, as members of the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints, truly believe. The part I wanted the children to really understand is what it means to be "true." Do we profess to believe and act according to our standards in one arena of life, only to behave differently when we find ourselves among others whose standards are not as high? I think that staying "true" can be a struggle for just about anyone at any age. How do our actions everyday in every situation truly reflect our devotion and committment to the Lord? We then discussed what it means to be "hypocritical" and how difficult it would be to share the gospel with those who observe us behaving less than our standards dictate. I do believe that keeping the 13th article of faith close to our hearts will keep our family strong and bless each member with greater integrity.

This is the quote Ryan used in his talk: "This article of faith is one of the basic declarations of our theology. We ought to reflect on it again and again. I wish that every family in the Church would write out that article of faith and put it on a mirror where every member of the family would see it every day. Then, whenever we might be tempted to do anything shoddy or dishonest or immoral, there would come into our minds with some force this great, encompassing statement of the ethics of our behavior. There would be less rationalizing over some elements of our personal conduct which we try to justify with one excuse or another."

~ President Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

14 years ago

I love this boy!

Chris and I were reminiscing this morning about our Ryan and how everyone told us that we'll blink and he'll be grown up. Where have the years gone? Wasn't it just yesterday we were putting him in the stroller for walks down Timpview Drive in our old Provo neighborhood? Weren't we just trying to figure out the baby thing - nighttime feedings, diapers, baths in the sink, etc.? Now we've moved on from babies to teens, in really, what seems like a blink of the eye. But what a journey it's been raising a son and watch him year after year turn from a darling little boy into a handsome young man. Today when I picked him up at school for our traditional birthday lunch outing I glanced at his Converse and told him that his feet are about the size that he was the day we brought him home from the hospital!

We are so proud of Ryan. He's truly grown up to be responsible, kind, helpful, honest, and a great brother and friend. Of course he's not perfect, believe me, he has his moments, but for the majority of the time, he really is fabulous and I couldn't ask for a better son.

So, in celebration of one of my favorite days of the year, here are some favorite pics of my favorite boy . . .

Happy 14th Ryan Christopher -

We LOVE you!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our Prime Month

It will only happen once in our lifetime (believe me, I figured it out while in the shower one morning). From March 13th until April 13th our entire family is a prime number - SOOO cool when you think about it. Ryan just says I have too much time on my hands to be thinking about such things :-).

I just had to bring it up since tomorrow Ryan turns 14 and we no longer are a family of primes . . . 43, 37, 13, 11, 7, 5. Plus, isn't it even that more coincidental that it was only for one (prime) month, from the 13th to the 13th (both primes) that we were those ages? Too bad 2009 isn't prime, or it would have really been amazing.

Good things happening my friends -
I can feel it, the stars have aligned!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

“Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!”

~ Joseph Smith ~
D & C 128:23

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Slowing down

Vacation, long weekend, a get-away . . . call it what you will, but just a few days away from the house, the phone, the calendar and schedule is BLISS, and right now it's just what the doctor ordered. We're in St. George staying at my parent's home and the kids are in heaven watching as much television and movies as they can handle, sleeping in, playing games, going to the park, eating out of the stocked refrigerator, and allowing Ryan to watch college lacrosse on his own tv nonstop (seriously, he's logging hours - a little insane). It's good for the kids - they need to unwind, sleep in, spend time together, and just wake up with no expectations other than clean up after themselves ;-).

It's also some serious down time for Mom. It's in my nature to never stop moving, but down here I actually stop thinking of everything that needs to be accomplished; I'm not checking in to see if the kids are practicing piano, getting homework finished, or doing their chores . . . and believe it or not, I don't mind if the TV is turned on, which is a treat since they never watch it at home. It is only here where I can actually SIT and RELAX rather than make a lame attempt at slowing down while in my own environment. I do try that every now and then only to realize that something needs cleaning or organizing, a phone call needs to be made, someone needs a ride, or I just need to get out and do something. And that is exactly why this is the perfect place for me to slow down - it's not exactly a vacation (no sightseeing, no gathering everyone and heading anywhere, no worrying about luggage and hotels) . . . it's a retreat.

SO, in the spirit of our lovely St. George holiday weekend while the kids are out to a movie with their Grandpa, I will settle in with my book and a cozy quilt on this rainy day and enjoy a book. Ahhhhh :-).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Just listen . . .

If you've never heard of Hayley Westenra, you're in for a mesmerizing experience. My dear friend Amy gave me one of Hayley's CDs a couple years ago for my birthday and I thought it was some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. Truly a rare, pure, angelic voice. Since then I've been collecting her music. I once left a CD of hers in Chris' car and he came home from work asking who in the world was singing - he had never heard such a beautiful voice. She's from Ireland and many lyrics in her songs are sung in Gaelic, which makes it even that more entrancing.

This song, May It Be, is a personal favorite. No matter what state of mind I am in, or how frantically I am running from place to place, it never fails to calm my mind and sooth my soul. Her music is inspiring and uplifting, it takes me to another realm and for a moment tells me everything is going to be alright.

Visit her website and listen to some tracks, especially Abide With Me . . . the first time I heard her sing that beloved hymn it brought tears to my eyes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Signs of spring

YES! What better way to celebrate the first warm day of spring yesterday then out on the soccer field in the warmth of the late afternoon sun. After leaving our snow covered yard and neighborhood and making about an 1,000 ft. elevation drop, we found warm, DRY grass . . . heavenly. I honestly can't remember the last time I sat on the grass and it was wonderful to feel the sun on my face and watch these spunky 7 year-olds run up and down the field. Sophie loved it and her little team won 3-1 despite the fact that not one of the girls had practiced - here's to a great season!

Another sign of spring . . .

Lacrosse Season

Let's just hope Ryan gets more balls in the net, rather than through our windows this season. Nice one son :-).

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Light

The quote I posted yesterday is one I try to remember daily. It's a quote that was at the center of a talk I gave a last week in a combined Young Women / Relief Society meeting down in Provo, and one that woman and men of our faith should keep close to their heart.

I was asked to speak on Modesty. Easy enough, but the more I pondered this topic, I came to the conclusion that modesty comprises much, much more than our dress. It's a lifestyle, it's at the core of our attitudes, our behavior, and especially our relationships with others and God. Truly it's the center of our character, as every one of us strives to live virtuous lives in a world that has increasingly become closer and closer to pornographic.

Before the meeting began I was enthusiastically greeting many old friends and neighbors from my old ward, and even bantering with some of the men that they weren't missing out on anything, since my topic of modesty wasn't for them. However, after wrapping up what turned out to be an amazing experience with the women of the ward, I thought it would have been nice to have the men there as well. My focus was not "what to wear or not to wear," we know what is appropriate, but rather how our actions, dress, and language reflect what is truly in our heart. Does our outward behavior reflect our inner beliefs - our commitment to always remember the Lord? Do the things we surround ourselves with daily reflect an attitude of "modesty" . . . not just in dress, but also music, internet use (including i-phone apps), television programs, our choice of language (not just swearing, but crude or inappropriate), and especially our accepting attitudes towards immodest dress and behavior.

After a lovely conference weekend I felt I would share what, right now has been on my mind. I've always expected the best of people, especially myself. I know at times I fall short, but after sharing my thoughts on modesty last week, I walked away with more determination to watch myself more carefully and be that light spoken of by Neal A. Maxwell. We cannot be that light unless we strive each day to remove ourselves from what has become acceptable behavior in the world.

I'll end with a quote from my talk by Robert D. Hales: “Modesty is at the center of being pure and chaste, both in thought and deed. Thus, because it guides and influences our thoughts, behavior, and decisions, modesty is at the core of our character.”

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a thought

"How can we be a light unto the world when we are just like the lost people of the world?"

~ Neal A. Maxwell

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Springtime in Utah

The good news - I'm finally BETTER (clap, cheer, hooray) . . . even made it on the treadmill for a few miles today. Yes, the treadmill in APRIL because is was snowing nonstop the entire day. Here's more good news: today may have been the last of it, so in celebration of hopefully the final WEEK long winter storm, here are some pics to celebrate spring in Utah - enjoy!

We love our Easter Bunny!

Miffy enjoying some winter fun

My flower pots - um, no planting going on this week!