Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Good morning. It is 6:00 and i just got up. (late, I know. But in my defense, I was up late. Yesterday was a good day pretty routine. Workout, take Katrina, send boys off, get ready for work, work, come home. Help kids with homework, make dinner.

 Bryan is working a big project that is due Friday - the culmination of a term long project he’s been working on for history. We enlisted the help of my (graphic designer) friend DeDe who took my little idea of using vinyl to cut out the family tree names to use on the tri-fold board display… and she turned it into an actual vinyl tree that will cover almost the entire board and then the written parts will fill in any empty spaces around the tree. I think it is going to look pretty cool. She’s going to work on transferring the tree today, then this afternoon Bryan and I will attach the names and start figuring out what other data to to include and how to best lay it out around the tree.

 I’ve been reading the book “Like Dragons Did They Fight” which is a book put out by a group that helps people fight sexual addictions, but as I said yesterday, they let you know the principles apply to much more than addiction.  It has been interesting to read about the chemicals released in the brain that affect our decision making ability. I have been trying to read it from the perspective of ME - trying to battle my own addictions with food and exercise, and just keeping Aaron in the back of my mind - attempting to have great empathy and understanding. I think I have learned some good things… I’ll keep reading and keep applying the principles taught and see how it works for me, then i’ll have a better frame of reference to talk to Aaron (and the other kids actually) about it.

I actually had a good talk with Bryan about some things as we drove to Hobby Lobby to buy vinyl for the tree.  He had been in Aaron's room and saw the e-cigarette device, and he told me about it.  I talked to him pretty straight about Aaron's addictions and how he continues to try to cover up the pain in life with "stuff" instead of facing it and working through it.   I talked to Bryan about the importance of learning from others experiences - then you don't have to go through it yourself.  I am hoping that by being more upfront and open NOW, I can help prevent Bryan and Caleb making similar choices down  the road.  I am trying to help us ALL LEARN from Aaron's experiences.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

strep, weight, and perspective

Let’s see. What did I do yesterday? Monday? Oh yeah… (I just went back and read what I wrote in the morning, and that jarred my memory a little bit.) I dropped off the other kids at school and then took Caleb to the Dr. YUP, just as I thought - he has strep. I picked up the prescription, then left him here at home and I went to work. It was a good enough day at work, but there is one little boy who really seems to be going through a hard time right now. For the past 3-4 weeks he has just been on the edge, and it takes the tiniest little things to shove him over - resulting in major behavioral issues. I feel bad for him - but I don’t know what to do. He won’t talk about what’s bothering him, but there is certainly SOMETHING going on. I wish I knew how to help him. The weather yesterday was beautiful and today is supposed to be just as nice! (like up in the 40’s) I think I’ll go for a walk today. I’ve been thinking a lot about Aaron (of course) and his addictions, and I was watching a video that said something along the lines of “I know most of you have come here because you want to help someone else, but I want you to stop and think about the last time YOU fell short of a goal you had for yourself. The last time that YOU didn’t follow through on a commitment you had made to yourself to do something that you knew you should do. (I of course thought of how I’ve been trying to lose weight for about 10 years now. I lose 10 - 20 lbs, then I gain it all back, PLUS some. Right now, I am at sitting at another all time HIGH weight. Why haven’t I been able to “quit?” Why don’t I have the “will power” to stop eating garbage and exercise more? Thinking about this perspective has helped me realize that there are no simple answers here. I am also trying to figure out a new game plan to tackle my OWN demons… maybe I need to start trying to be an example instead of a “preacher.”

Monday, February 25, 2019

nothing to say -

Once again, not a lot to say this morning, as I said it all last night, right before going to bed. But I am checking. Caleb just work up and his throat is really hurting. Fever was 102. Gave him some ibuprophen and sent him back to bed. Will take him in to the Dr. this morning to get a strep test. He’ll be staying home from school today. The rest of the day looks pretty routine (and for now Mondays are my most laid-back days. (in two weeks community scout troop meetings are moving to Monday, but I think it will be a good thing… Thursdays are often so jam packed - this will help alleviate that, and we’re done by 7, so FHE can still happen

Sunday, February 24, 2019

a busy weekend

wowsers!  it was a busy weekend.

I did get up early on Saturday, but instead of doing my miracle morning routine, I did research on possible addiction recovery resources that might help Aaron.  (I ended up having a long and honest conversation with Aaron on Friday night.  I don't really believe it was an accident, I believe it was totally the result of following a prompting by the spirit.) . I won't go into detail - because it was a LONG conversation, and it involved a lot of personal things, but while I became privy to information that I wish was NOT true, I am feeling grateful that we were in a place where we were communicating openly and honestly about hard things.  Where do we go from here?  I have no idea - but I am feeling confident that if I can do my best to stay in tune with the spirit, I will be better able to handle things calmly when they get thrown at me.

I was grateful to go to the temple yesterday, it was a crazy day when very little actually went as planned, but for that 2 hours, I got to enjoy the peace and perspective that the temple brings.

A moderately busy week ahead - probably busier than I am seeing right now, but nothing that should be super overwhelming.  Caleb had a fever and sore throat today, so I am hoping he feels better tomorrow, or I have to decide whether to keep him home or not.  Obviously, if he has a fever he will stay home.

Life is good.  I am grateful for my life and all the good things in it. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Happy Friday!

Not much has happened since I wrote last night. In fact, ALL that has happened was that I watched an episode of Survivor, then I went to bed at 11:00. (i know, later than I should. I had a little trouble falling asleep, but here I am, ready to go. I will just share a few photos with this explanation. On Wed, night it was New beginnings. Their theme was “Stay on the Covenant Path” and they asked for people to allow them to display blessing gowns, baptism dresses, temple dresses, and Wedding gowns. I pulled mine out of storage, and Katrina wanted to try it on before we boxed it back up.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

a better day

I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this, but today was better!  It was still hard to get up…  but I was up by 5:15.  And I had a pretty cool personal experience I would like to share.

In order to tell the story, I need to tell explain some backstory.  Last week I saw a message on FB from a sister in the ward.  It said, “Is there anyone who could possible pick up my son from Centennial (a middle school in Provo) at 1:45?  I got called into work and can’t get there.”  I messaged back that if no one else could I do it, I could help out, but I would be late getting there, since I don’t get off work until between 1:40 - 1:50, and then it’s a good 25 minute drive from my work in Springville to the other side of Provo where this school is.  No one else volunteered, so I did it.  No problem right?  Well, yesterday I got a text from her asking if i could pick him up again. ( I found out last time I picked him up that the school has set it up that he doesn't have a class during the last period of the day.  Because school causes him “anxiety,” the school and parents adapted his schedule, so he only have 4 classes a day instead of 5 like everyone else.  (Or maybe he has 3 per day instead of 4, I forget the exact number) but he has to leave the school - he can’t just hang out and then ride the bus home.) Now, I’m sure you recall what frame of mind I was in…  not a happy, loving, service minded place.   I started mentally ranting about how “some people…”  blah blah blah.  give an inch they take a mile kind of stuff... (you can probably imagine…) anyway, by the time I responded that I could pick him up (very begrudgingly, I admit)  she had already lined up the RS president to pick him up, but wanted to know if I could do Thursday (today) instead.  Oh, and by the way,  could I please volunteer to just take one day every week for the rest of the school year to pick him up?

Yup - you guessed it - This sent me mentally into an even bigger rant.  I won't even begin to give examples.  Anyway, I composed a reply that I could pick him up today, but that I was not in a great mental spot right now and I couldn’t commit to anything long term.  I was all ready to send it, but didn’t really feel great about my response.  I decided to say my morning prayer first.

The first thought that came to my mind - “yea, and are willing to bear one another's burdens that they may be light.”  Oh crap!  Not the answer I wanted.  The next thought was along the lines of King Benjamin, “but say in your heart, if I had, I would give” - and then I thought of how grateful I am that I don’t HAVE to work.  If I have a child that needed to be picked up everyday from school, I could quit my job in a heartbeat and our family finances would be just fine.  (or my work would try to accommodate me that I could do both)   Yes, it would be inconvenient for me to give up almost an hour of my time to make the round trip to pick up someone else's kid - (who I personally think needs to learn how to cope with real life instead of  finding ways to escape it) but I HAVE the time.  I CAN easily afford to pay for the gas.
Then I thought of the challenge we were extended in Stake Conference by our visiting authority that each morning, we should pray for an opportunity to minister to another person that day.  My final thought was that all the time in talks, when they are talking about feeling down, that you should look for people you can serve.

SO - with these “ever so subtle” nudges from the spirit, I changed my text to say that I would pick up her son on Wednesdays.  (I picked that day because it is the day the kids have mutual, and maybe if I tell him every Wednesday as he gets out of the car ”Hey, do you want us to pick you up for young men’s tonight?”  Maybe ONE day he might say yes and actually show up.  You never know…

Then after I sent the text, I opened my Book of Mormon to do my 10 minutes of reading, and in my first verse, it said, “and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yes, or even than his tens of thousands.  (and my thoughts added, "Yea, or even stronger than the demon of depression)...  then in verse 6…  “Let us go up, the Lord is able to deliver us…”

I believe that.  I believe that The Lord has the power to help me get through all things.  He has in the past, and he will continue in the future. But I have to DO my part.  Just like they had to "GO UP."  God didn't just drop the plates into their hands.  they had to GO UP.  they had lay the ground work.  They had to MOVE FORWARD in faith.  It was interesting, because in the short time that this experience took place, my emotional state took a huge turn.  and I started to feel less oppressed.  Less dead inside.

As far as the rest of the day - busy but good.  Went to my workout this morning, had a better day at work.  Got in a short nap after school, took Bryan & Caleb to scouts (community troop) and they both had their necessary board of reviews and scoutmaster conferences, so they will advance in rank at the court of honor next week, then I raced over to help with our ward’s pack meeting (they were having a mini blue and gold - a birthday party theme, and they asked me to come make balloon animals/swords/ etc…  for the kids.)  I wasn’t super excited (by which I mean i didn't want to do it at all!) about going when I agreed to it earlier this week, but I got a blessing from it - Aaron agreed to come along and make balloon things with me.  (He is the master at making turtle wrist bracelets.)   I think it was good for him to get out and do some service too.

Now I am home, just made a new batch of homemade granola, and I think I’ll treat myself to watching one episode of something before I go to bed.


PS - I am also VERY VERY VERY grateful for dear friends who understand exactly what I am going through, and who love and support me in ALL things.  THANK YOU! (you know who you are!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


I sure wish I knew what was WRONG with me!  Sometimes I wish I could just pull my brain out of my head and swap it out with someone else.  Then again - Who know what I’d be swapping for - maybe their brain has other funky stuff going on inside of it.  I guess i should just learn to deal with  (and improve) the brain I have.

I woke up at 5, but didn’t get up.  I fell back asleep.  Finally got up at 5:30.  When I was trying to say my prayers - I COULD NOT keep my mind on track.  I’m guessing it drive Heavenly Father CRAZY when he tries to listen to me, my mind wanders and off I go…

Then I was having trouble opening my computer - once I finally did, I committed the cardinal sin…  I opened up my email and facebook instead of my “miracle morning” documents in google drive.  The next thing I knew, I had wasted another hour.

I did finally kick myself in the backside and I read my Book of Mormon, did my Spanish lesson, and now I’m journaling.  I don’t know exactly what happened.  Why I lost motivation.  Why it isn’t so “miraculous” for me anymore…  I scrolled back to the beginning of February and reread what I had written, about the benefits I had been seeing.  It’s strange, but even as I know I wrote those things myself and they were completely truthful - I can’t even get my mind back to that place right now.  It is hard to believe I was IN that place or that I can get BACK to it again.  Maybe I should start taking some herbal supplements for depression again.  I don’t know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

day 1... again

I went to bed right at 10pm, and got up by 5:15.  (woke up at 5, but had a minor 15 minutes battle with myself before I was victorious.  :)

I tried mixing up the order of what I’m doing in the morning.  I said my prayers, then I read 10 minutes from the Book of Mormon.  Then I read one of the chapters from this week's "Come Follow Me" assignment.  No real in depth study, just reading, but since my Book of Mormon reading has basically become non-existent since we started the come follow me, I felt I needed to remedy that.

I read through my affirmations once, then worked for a little while on my vision board.  Then I did my 2 duolingo lessons, and now I am writing.  Should have been an "own it" workout day, but Timpview is out of school, and for some reason (very unusual) Keyyan canceled the morning workout.  I’m not complaining…  I need to have the time to complete my stuff this morning.  I need to feel like I am back on the wagon 100%, not just sort of clinging to the back, trying to appear as if I am holding one.

Yesterday I had Bryan do another “GPS course” to finally pass off his geocache merit badge,  The counselor was willing to check it off based on the hunt that he designed back at Thanksgiving, but I wasn’t willing to count it.  It didn’t work at all!  Even yesterday, we had some glitches, but it worked better.  The Fair boys, plus Caleb Lehman came down and they attempted to follow the coordinates and find the clues.  The final coordinate brought them back here and we had a fire going and the got to roast hot dogs and s’mores.  Now I just need to set up a time to take him over to the counselor dude's house and  get the blue card signed.

It’s just about time to take Katrina to seminary…  and it’s back off to the races we go!

Monday, February 18, 2019

no worth posting... but trying to maintain habit

Didn’t get up again this morning, (not until about 7:30 - 8:00)  but I am slowing dragging myself through the steps of my morning routine.  I am committed to going to bed on time tonight and getting up at 5 tomorrow.

Today is President’s day and there is no school.  Tim also has the day off work.  He and the younger boys are outside working on some yard projects.  (too cold for me)  I think I’ll head out grocery shopping soon and will buy some hotdogs.  We’ll have a backyard fire and roast some ‘dogs. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Well, we knew it had to happen SOME time, right?  This morning was my first day, since Jan 6th, that I DID not get up and do my miracle morning.  I got into a little “slump” again last night and stayed up too late (finally going to bed at 11:30 when the circle device shut off my access to watching “Monk.”  I wasn’t TOTALLY wasting time, since i did wash a few loads of laundry, but mostly I was just trying to escape.  Escape from what?  I have no idea.  That is what makes it so hard to fight.  There is no real REASON for my ups and downs, but when they hit, I just want to curl up in bed and never move - or I want to disappear into mind numbing tv shows or entertainment. 

So - I did get up at 7 and got going on my regular day.  Kristin Goodwin and I played the flute in Mikes ward today and it went well.  I made a small error, but it was ok.  Back to our ward for Sunday school, choir practice after church.  Did some planning with Tim for our upcoming St George family reunion/ spring break Arizona trip that is coming up at the end of March…  We didn’t pack it in and plan every moment, just a general basic idea of some things we’d like to do.  Then we made lentil soup for dinner and played some games.  I worked a bit more on scout stuff - printing out merit badge packets and trying to map out in my mind what things we need to get done BEFORE the powwow in two weeks.

This upcoming week I need to really put more concentrated effort into my personal gospel study.  I really let that slide this week.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

a Busy Saturday ahead...

Believe it or not, I got up at 4:30 this morning!  Shocking, I know.  (and that is after going to be at 11:00 :(  I think I am going to want a nap this afternoon :)  After looking at the schedule for today, I had to figure out what was MOST important.  There were just too many things happening and a lot of shuffling to fit it all in.  I am going to skip my workout this morning, but I’ll ask Keyyan (the trainer) to send me a picture of the workout board and I will do as much of it at home as I can.

I got up at 4:30 so I could shower.  It is now 6:00 and I have done my prayers, affirmations, visualization, and Spanish lesson.  I also logged in to family search and identified a few names to take to the temple today.  I didn’t print them out yet, because it says I already printed them, so I need to check my temple bag and make sure I really have them.  (not checking right now because my bag is up on the shelf in the closet and Tim is still sleeping :) 

I will leave in about 15 minutes to go to bountiful baskets.  When I get home at 8, I’ll change for the temple, then at 8:30 I’ll drive the group of kids that want to go this morning.  (My 3, plus the two Fair boys, plus the Goodwin girls)  We are hoping the baptism wait won’t be too long, as the boys have a YM stake basketball game scheduled for 11:00.  I’m going to have the boys bring their B-Ball clothes, just in case we are cutting it too close and they need to go straight to the game.  (I figure they can change in the bathroom if need be)  So B-ball game from 11 - 12.  Then home for lunch and Saturday jobs.  Then at 3 I am going with Sister Goodwin over to my brother Mike’s house to practice for a song he is singing in church tomorrow.  Kristin is for sure playing the flute with him, and I might be as well.  There ARE two parts, but really ONE person can do it without losing too much, and she is WAY better.  (not because I cannot do it - but because I am so out of practice.   I ran through it and can play it…  but it doesn’t sound as beautiful as it will if she plays it.  My tone is just not as good, and my high notes are sometimes hit or miss…  I’ll take my flute and will play, but I think it is likely we will decide that those few extra parts are not necessary, nor do they add enough to warrant my playing :)  (which I am totally good with!) 

I spent about 2 hours last night planning out scout stuff - signing boys up for merit badge powwows and camp outs, and mapping out the next few months of scouting goals…  It was good that I did, as I signed Caleb up for Citizenship in the World, which has the requirement to attend an “ethnic or cultural” celebration or event of some type, and I found one for tonight.  It is an “Icelandic feast.”  My guess is Caleb will not like the food, but oh well - we will go, we will try it, and it will pass of the requirement.  That is what we have scheduled at 6:30 - 8:30.

So - a busy day ahead, but there should be time to fit in a short nap sometime between 1 - 3.  (just have to make sure I get some laundry done too… or the kids won’t have clean clothes to wear this upcoming week)

Friday, February 15, 2019


So apparently I missed writing yesterday too.  It’s all a bit of a blur again.  It was another OWN it / early morning seminary day, so i got up, did my prayers, affirmations, & visualizations before I left, and I am pretty sure I did my Spanish lesson, and I know we did our family scripture reading, but I don’t think I did my Family history (indexing), nor did I do my personal Come Follow Me study or my journal…  Still trying to figure it all out I guess.

So after my last entry -  I suppose I should say that I’m feel better.  I am in a place where I can see mroe clearly that Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes as a person and a parent, but my children also each have their own personalities and they have their AGENCY.  I really have TRIED to do my best.  Sometimes my “best” wasn’t very great, but it was what I could do in that moment with the skills and understanding that I then had.  I’d like to think that I am a better wife and mother NOW than I was when I started…  and I plan to continue to learn and grown and improve.

So yesterday, after I picked up the kids from robotics (which Bryan is LOVING and Caleb thinks is a waste of time, mostly due to his partner…) we had just over an hour before we had to go to scouts (707)  I found Caleb in my room, hiding under my bed crying.  It was hard to hear and understand him, but something about the pressure of having to go to scouts.  I gave up.  I just told him he could stay home.  So he did.  The whole reason I am committing all this time and money is because CALEB said he wants to earn his Eagle.  If HE doesn’t WANT this - I am not going to keep pushing it.  Yet, at the same time, I believe he would really really benefit from it.  He needs to learn to push through hard things.  He needs to have a venue where he sets goals and gets out of his comfort zone.  We signed Bryan up to be Caleb’s “Buddy” - because Caleb thought that would help him be more comfortable in the troop.  The leadership opportunity has been great for Bryan, he is really enjoying it, and last night he really did a great job stepping up and leading, on the spur of the moment, and he did a great job!.  (and he had a fun time doing it)  It is yet another mystery for me to figure out what to do. 

Tim bought dinner last night (for Valentine’s day) so when we got home from scouts we were all enjoying dinner…  then Bryan asked, “Mom, did you remember to print of those pictures for my history project?”  SHOOT!  Of course I had forgotten.  His history class has been doing a unit on THEIR history.  A whole bunch of family history stuff.  Each Friday there has been another project due.  For this one, Bryan chose the option of scanning and creating a scrapbook kind of thing.  Grandpa Mellor’s 80th birthday is this year, (next month, actually) and we are planning a surprise reunion to celebrate.  Tim has been working on a slide show presentation to celebrate his/their life - We piggy backed on that and he took what Tim already had, then added some to it.  Luckily Stevensons copy center is open until 8, so I raced over there and got it done 5 minutes before they closed. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

an emotional SLUMP

So I missed writing yesterday.  I DID get up early, but it was an OWN IT workout day, so I only got in a few things before I went, and then I just never got back to it throughout the day…  I was also in a terrible mood last night.  As I think about it, it’s a bit of a chicken & the egg scenario - I don’t know which was cause and which was effect.  Did I get into a bad mood because I didn’t follow through, or did I not follow through because I was in a big slump?  I think it was the slump that encouraged me to not get back to finishing…  Just because I have had lots of days when I don’t fit in my exercise, and it hasn’t knocked me flat emotionally.

I think what happened is that I started feeling like I have failed my children.  I see the strong and amazing spirits and personalities they have, and I am thinking that for their sakes, they should have come to better parents.  Aaron was on my computer yesterday and he left himself signed in.  (on facebook)  I have always had a “no privacy policy” when it come to social and internet communication, so since he left it open, I checked out his message threads.  It is so disappointing to me to see bad language, evidence of bad choices, declaration of addictions, etc…  I know it is pointless to do so, but I find myself wondering what I did wrong.  How I failed him.  He is so unhappy and directionless in his life.  He doesn’t like himself at all.  He is so convinced that he is worthless, and I don’t know how to help him.

Caleb is also struggling with so many things.  He has so much inner turmoil and anxiety.  He gets so angry at everyone and everything for what feels (to me) like no reason.  Katrina & Bryan are frustrated with it and feel like they have to walk on eggshells around him because everything they do or say makes him angry. 

Katrina & Bryan seem to be doing ok, but then I worry - “Aaron seemed like he was OK too, and he wasn’t…  What if these two are having inner struggles that they are hiding?  What if mess them up too?”

Anyway, that’s where my thoughts and emotions were last night up until I finally forced myself to go to bed at 11:30.  I certainly was not looking forward to getting up this morning, but I need to follow through.  I need my mind and body to have something it can cling to as a sign that I’m not a total failure.  (As I think this morning, I recognize that I am being a little overly dramatic in that statement.  I am not feeling the darkness and despair that I was feeling last night.  I am still discouraged and at a loss what to do, but I know everyone has their agency.  Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes as a parent.  I am emotionally flawed and was perhaps unable to give Aaron the love and support that he needed in his formative years, but I have done my best.  I have tried to change and improve the person I am.     I am working at being a better mother and a better human.  I have to hold on to the trust that the Atonement of Christ can heal all wounds and make up for my lack.

In other news, my shoulder it totally killing me right now.  I think I am about ready to give in and call Dr Robinson to set up an appointment to have the scope done.  (They’ll go in with a little tube things and “vacuum out” the calcite deposits, which should eliminate the pain I’ve been in (to one degree or another) for almost 2 years now.  I’ve been trying one last ditch effort at non surgical healing by taking some supplements and having acupuncture done.  So far, does NOT seem to be helping.  I'm also so discouraged with my weight.  just keeps climbing up and up.  I know I need to make sure the exercise part of my morning is serious and a priority - not the thing that I can let slide if I run out of time (which I always do)  More importantly, I need to track and record the food I am eating.  I KNOW these things, but I just don't want to DO them. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

This feels a little wicked to say out loud, but I am so grateful that Stake Conference is over.  I feel the choir went well (with a few minor hiccups).  As I sat reviewing things in my mind this morning, I thought of a few things we could have have done differently, but you know what?  Given the time frame and the ever-changing parameters, it was good. 

Stake Conference was good.  The main message I got out of it was to be more aware of (and ask for) opportunities to minister to people around me.  And to make sure I am committing time to temple & family history work.  I am toying with the idea of adding indexing to my miracle morning, but then I will HAVE to get up AT 5 (i can't lolligag around and wait until 5:30 to roll out of bed (like I did this morning)

So yesterday - I went to hear Ethan Mugleston speak in sacrament meeting yesterday prior to leaving on his mission to New Zealand.  He will be joining my email list :)  Aaron and Ethan have been close friends ever since 1st or 2nd grade.  Ethan was the last of Aaron’s friends to leave for his mission, and I worry a little about him feeling alone and left out…  Not sure if that will prod him to make some definitive decisions about which direction he wants his life to go, or just make him depressed, but there isn’t much I can do about it either way so I will just keep smiling, loving, and supporting.

After conference it took me a while to get everything cleaned up - a few people had left things in the choir loft so I gathered those up and returned them to their rightful owners.  I got home just before 4pm.  Fred & Christie were outside and I ended up talking to them for a while, which meant I ran in and ran right back out, since I had a scout committee meeting (707) at 4:30 in Orem.  I was 12 minutes late… Oh well.  By the time I got back home (just after six) I had a headache and was starting to feel sick.  I got some food and water  (i hadn’t had anything since 8 that morning) and soon felt better.  I joined the boys (Tim, Bryan & Logan) in a game of Canasta (card game) then we all watched a movie.  It was based on the true story of Patrick Henry Hughes, a boy born without eyeballs and with a form of dwarfism that kept his arms really short and affected other joints as well.  It was a slow moving story - but inspiring to see how his parents (his dad in particular) had to put away their original dreams of his son being a sports all star - and helping him become the amazing person he was sent to become.  (In the end, His dad ended up leaving his job so that he could be his son’s “legs” as he participated in the college marching band.  The father son teams travels all around the world today, giving motivational speeches and inspiring people to reach for their dreams and do what it takes to be your best self.

Send all the kids to bed by 9, and MEANT to go to bed early myself, but I didn’t.  I really need to get better at that.  I really just love my “alone time” after people are in bed.  (just don’t love the morning after…  when I discover that i missed a couple hours of sleep that I COULD’VE had.

This week is looking much calmer than the last two.  I am really looking forward to it. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I know that the Sabbath is the "day of rest"... but mine was TODAY!

Ahhhh, yesterday was nice.  I meant to be a little more productive than I was, but oh man, it felt SO good to not be running a million miles an hour!.  Tim & Katrina had both gotten up and done “Saturday jobs” before I even got home from Bountiful baskets, so where I expected to have a lot of housework to do, they had already done the majority of the surface clean up.  I ended up cleaning the downstairs hall and laundry room, and doing 4 or 5 loads of laundry throughout the day, but while waiting to move loads from washer to dryer, and then folding them, I laid in my bed and read a book.  It has been a while since I’ve taken the time for that!  I mean , I LISTENED to The Miracle Morning a few times in a row, and I’ve been reading things related to my gospel study, but really, I haven’t just relaxed and read a book for  while.  (I did buy myself a Mary Higgins Clark book for Christmas, and I took a day to read that - that was my last time…)

We went to the adult session of conference last night and it was good.  The first couple speakers went way over their allotted times, so the last 4 really trimmed down what they had to say - but it was good.  No super powerful take-aways for me, but the reminder to focus on Christ and let him heal me, carry me, etc, as opposed to trying to do things on my own - and the importance of Ministering - we don’t have to know the right words to say, or have all the answers, we just have to BE there with love, the Lord will work WITH us accomplish his ends.  He just needs us to allow him to work through us.  I need to step up my game in this area.  I have a new “youth companion” and so far I have not been a great mentor or teacher for her.  I need to fix that.

After conference we went to the Spadafora’s for banana splits.  Jenny is SO good at creating environments of happy fellowship.  An eclectic group of people, all chatting and having a good time.  Conversations going every which way, yet everyone feeling welcome and accepted.  It is a gift she has. 
This morning at 9 I will be going to hear Ethan Mugleston speak in church prior to leaving to serve a mission in New Zealand.  I need to get dinner started in the crockpot before then…   Then I’ll try to make sure I have all my ducks in a row for the family choir “stuff”  (like sharpening 60 pencils….)  Then we need to be at the multi-stake building by noon.  (trying to organize and arrange all those families in the choir loft if going to be an interesting game of tetris!  (the goal is to keep family groups together - without getting little children buried behind big people…) I am  praying everything goes well and that the music is well received and helps bring the spirit into the meeting.  I’ll be honest - I will be glad when this particular conference is DONE!  It has been more stressful than the others, simply because of the last minute nature of it all.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

all is well

Good news - I survived yesterday!  Hooray.

I was a bit cranky and irritable in the morning, but I tend to get that way when I have not had enough sleep (especially when it is some else’s fault that I didn’t get to sleep because they procrastinated a project.)  AND I get that way when I am feeling unprepared for things (this one was MY fault because I didn’t make Bryan pack on Wednesday, and I hadn’t pushed harder to get everything all done for stake conference.) So - yesterday morning was like a double whammy!

Here’s something from yesterday that was interesting to me.  I had two different impressions (at least two that I distinctly noticed) - One that I followed, and one that I didn’t.  (and I WISH I had followed both...)

The first was regarding the activity booklet I was creating for the choir.  I had finished printing out the pages for the booklet, but I wanted to size them down so they fit two to a page, double sided and could be folded into a book.  I know we have a feature on the copier at school that does this exact thing.  I had the impression that I should take the pages to work with me, get permission from the administration to make some personal copies on the work machine (paying for them myself) then I would have a working master copy that I could take to the copy store.  I did take the pages to work, but then I felt dumb and awkward, so I never asked for permission.  I just decided to go to a copy store and do it after school.  (Don't ask my WHY I felt that way - it's not like I was doing anything wrong in asking...  sometimes by brain just worries about silly things and invents issues out of NON issues!

So…  After school I brought the boys home and gave Bryan strict instructions to GET PACKED for the Klondike.  I ran down to a local sporting goods store and bought some wool socks for Caleb, mess kit bowls and mugs, and some hand (and toe) warmers for the boys.  Then I ran to Staples (in the same business complex) to buy a few things for the stake music library AND create my master copy of the booklet.  And guess what - they did not have (or were not aware of) the same feature that was on the school machine.  In order to make it work on their machine, I would have had to manually reduce the size of each one,  then cut them out, tape them together to make the pages I wanted, then run them through again.  I was super frustrated, thought about running to another copy store to see if they could do it... but instead I ended up just driving BACK over to the school and asking for permission to use their machine.  It was not a big deal or a problem at all, they charged me .50 for the copies…  and I had it done in 10 minutes or less.  (I still had to cut and tape together two pages to get them in the format and order I wanted…, but I knew ahead of time that I’d need to do that)

Then I ran to Smith’s and bought the boys some cans of soup for dinner and a few snacks, then picked up Katrina from School.

Got home about 3:30, ensured that Bryan was packed, and threw into his pack the new things I had purchased, and got the boys to the church at 3:55.  (i know, I was a little late, we were supposed to be there at 3:45…  but “shocker!” (not) there were still about 8 boys NOT there.  We unloaded the stuff onto the curb, then loaded it another van  few minutes later  when the parent volunteer driver showed up.  That is about the time Bryan realized he had forgotten his COAT!  So I drove him home to get that.

Now, I had PLANNED to drop them off at 3:45 - 4:00, then drive over to Orem for an acupuncture appointment.  (Trying that as a way to hopefully to get some relief & healing for my shoulder) It was at this point I had my second impression.  The copy place the stake likes me to make use is called Print-Mark.  I now had my masters to copy of both the booklets and the word sheet for the congregational hymns, and I planned to make the copies on either Friday night (post acupuncture) or Saturday.  I had the thought to check the operating hours.  (I am used to making my copies at Stevenson's, and they are open until 8pm and that includes Saturdays)  I checked online - and SURPRISE - Print-mark closed at 6pm and is NOT open on Saturday!  I raced over there and got my copies made - 1000 copies!  Good news is they did the booklets first so I was able to staple them while i waited for the others to print.  I ended up not getting to my acupuncture appointment until just after 5, but they were still able to fit me in.

I am SO grateful I listened to the prompting to check the hours of operation of the copy center - or I would have been out of luck today.  And I WISH I had listened to the prompting to make my master copy at school.  If I had, I would have gone straight to the copy center and dropped off my project(s) to be copied, THEN gone shopping for soup and winter gear, then could have picked up the copies on my way to my appointment AND I would have been on time for it.  Oh well - it all worked out just fine.

Today I did Bountiful Baskets this morning (just got home and I’m finishing this entry as I eat my breakfast - yummy homemade granola with fresh blackberries that i got in my basket this morning.   I have a MOUNTAIN of laundry to do, and I need to do some cleaning of my house - it has been pretty neglected this week.  Then we have the adult session of conference tonight.  Should be a little bit easier of a day.

I hope the boys are doing well up on their camp out.  Right now the temperature in Payson (the city nearest to camp maple dell) is 24 degrees.  BRRRR!

Friday, February 8, 2019

I need a break!

YIKES - I feel like my life is OUT OF CONTROL.  Ok, not really, but it does feel like I am running and running and running, and not really making much progress.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on finding fun mazes, word puzzles etc… to create a booklet for the family choir children to have during stake conference.  It was a bit bigger of a project than I originally thought it would be.  I think I have something that is going to work, but I haven’t had time to go make copies to know for sure!  I have to do that today, plus get the word sheets printed out for the congregational hymns.  Conference starts tomorrow!!!! And I am still not ready.  I’m thinking I procrastinated a bit on this one…  :(

So, yesterday.  As I said, in much of my free time, I worked on the “quiet activity book,”  also went to work, of course, the boys had robotics club, then scouts with troop 707.  Bryan had to be there at 5 for patrol leader training.  We have Logan Black (a friend of Bryan’s) staying with us for a week as his parents are in hawaii.  Yesterday was the first day.  Both boys have a big history project due today, that as of getting home from school yesterday (AFTER robotics class) had not yet been started.  Logan stayed here and worked on his project while the boys went to scouts.  We raced home, dropped off Caleb, picked up Logan, and raced off again to get Logan to his basketball game by 7:30.  It was a good game, they were behind (by about 10 points) almost the entire game, but in the last quarter they actually pulled it off and with the help of a few 3 pointers, they pulled ahead and won the game by 3.  Bryan and I cheered for Logan, while we worked a little on the history project.  (They have to create a visual “family tree” - and it cannot just be printed off.)  We took an old dusty artificial ficus tree, one that we have been meaning to haul off to DI for a while now, and turned it into a “family tree.”  counting Bryan as generation 1, we went back 5 generations.  Boys on blue paper, girls on pink.  So at the game, we were using the family search app on my phone and he was writing down all the names.  (of course, it ended up being a waste of time, because when we got home and checked the assignment directions, he needed to include death & birth dates and places…  and we hadn’t left enough room on the paper for that information, so he had to write them all again.

Anyway, we got home at about 9, then they ate some of the dinner that was still left out, then got started on homework.  Logan was basically done, so he ended up just proving to be a distraction as he tried to be “helpful.”  Bryan was able to get his science homework done, and he worked on the “tree” project until about 10:10, then I sent him to bed and I worked a while longer at it - attaching all the papers to the tree.  He has a few more things he needs to write out this morning, plus some math to do…

Today will consist of work until 1, then getting bryan packed for Klondike (i really wish I had insisted that he pack when Caleb did)  and getting the boys off by 3:45.  I have an acupuncture appt at 4:30,  still need to squeeze in getting all the copies made, and I really should run and buy some wool socks for the boys campout.  Caleb could really use new boots too, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to fit it all in.

Somehow I need to figure out how to take some deep breaths and calm myself down or I will never survive this day!

Thursday, February 7, 2019


It is crazy to me how I can sit down to write and seriously not remember what I did yesterday… I think that’s why all my journal entries sound about the same.  “I got up, went to work, came home, did blah blah blah…
Yesterday i DID get up - and did go to work.  Oh - I can talk about the weather.  IT IS SO COLD!!!!  We are in the midst of a “winter storm watch” or “warning” I forget which, but yesterday was super cold.  Northern Utah got hit a lot harder than we did, as far as snow.  Lots of school districts up north had a SNOW day yesterday…  That doesn’t happen very often in Utah.  It snowed more last night and the road were pretty slick this morning taking Katrina to seminary.  Actually, she drove.  She did just fine - we just took it nice and slow. It’s another FULL day today - I hope I can get everything done.  I think I’m hitting a little wall - I’ve been feeling lack of motivation the last couple days.  I’m having a hard time pushing through all these tasks on my “to do” list.  The problem is, a lot of my “stuff to do” is related to stake conference, which is just 3 days!  I don’t have any more spare time.  I guess i need to buckle down and get it done!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

district science fair

Well, apparently I never completed yesterday’s journal entry.  I started writing, but then had to leave to go to my workout - and I simply never got back to it.

After my workout, I took Katrina to seminary.  When I got home we did family scriptures.  I don’t remember exactly what I did then, but at 8:30 I jumped in the shower and got ready for work.  Went to work, ran over to Provo High to borrow lab coats from Christie, got home and ate some lunch, sent Bryan off to UVU for the district science fair, went to pick up Katrina from school.  Worked on the word sheets for this weekends conference, then drove over to Orem for a session of acupuncture.  Went to UVU to check on the kids and be there for the awards ceremony.  They did well, and advanced to the next level, which will be held at BYU in March.  I guess now the group needs to figure out if they want to do more testing and beef up their project, or if they are content with what they have and they just keep it as it is.


I got home just after 9pm and instead of either going to bed early OR being productive on things that I need to get done, I wasted time on facebook (posting a “proud momma” science fair post and watching the “likes” roll in…) and watching dumb clips or news stories that came up on my phone…  I really should have just gone to sleep - you should have heard the argument going on in my head for 30 minutes this morning as I laid in bed, refusing to get up.  (finally was stern enough with myself and got up at 5:30.)

Oh well - I guess there are just going to be days like that - it is a bad habit I have, sometimes when I feel I’m going, going, going all the time…  I rebel by grabbing hold of a chunk of time and not “doing” anything that I’m “supposed” to do.  The trouble is, it is almost always at night - once everyone else is in bed, and it just ends up hurting me in the long run - cause I still have to finish everything I am putting off - AND now I’ll be more tired the next day!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Cooking pancakes with Faith, instead of electricity

Well, I woke up at 5, and then fell back asleep.  But my body was good amd re-woke me at at 5:20 and I jumped out of bed that time!  Yesterday was a good day.  Went to our ward, then practice the song with the 14th ward girls (and 2 of their leaders) then ran my kids home.  Went back to church and attended the 14th ward meeting and sang with them.  They were sounding good and I don’t really think they “needed” me, but the girls were persistent that they wanted me to sing with them, so I did.  (and I only felt slightly awkward :) 

After that meeting, I came home and had several hour to fill before stake choir.  I know I had lots of things I could have done, but I decided to bake a whole bunch of cookies to take to the family choir.  It is no easy thing to bring a family with children to a rehearsal each week - so this was their “reward.”  It was a lot of baking, but I felt they were well received and appreciated.  Next week is conference and this particular choir adventure will be completed.   It is coming together.  There are a few things i would change if we could, but at this point I am trusting the the Lord to make it what it needs to be.

Caleb shared his testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday about his first experience in the temple.  It was very sweet.  It was also his first time passing the sacrament.  He did great.   I also shared my testimony.  I related the experience we had at the pancake breakfast with the lack of power, then miracle  of it coming back on.  I know I shared this story yesterday, but here is the way I wrote it out in the letter I sent out to the missionaries last night: 

We were holding the fundraiser at Wasatch Elementary which is a really old school in need of being rebuilt.  We got everything set up for the breakfast, then 20 minutes before people were supposed to start arriving, we turned on the griddles to start cooking the food.  The old wiring and electrical system could not handle it.  Just when a griddle would start to get hot enough to do anything, it would flip the circuit breaker and we would lose all power.  We tried new power strips, different plugs, different extension cords, everything - nothing was working.  the sweet custodian was doing everything she could to get things working, but time after time, we'd lose power again.
Finally at about 7:25, we did what we should have done earlier - we gathered the boys together, explained what was happening, and told them that we needed to pray in faith and ask Heavenly Father to help us.  Caleb volunteered to say the prayer, and with all the faith of 11 - 12 year old boys, they prayed.  As soon as we said Amen, we checked the griddles and they all had power.  We did not have any more trouble for the rest of the event.  We were able to run everything we needed to feed the people that came.  Bryan came up and talked to me, saying "I read a story this week in the Ensign about a family that didn't have enough money to pay for oil to put in their furnace, but they paid their tithing anyway, and their furnace kept working.  They said that their furnace ran on FAITH instead of OIL.  I think the griddles are running on FAITH instead of Electricity."
I shared this experience in testimony meeting today.  I related how I had said my personal morning prayers before we left for the breakfast - and I had prayed that everything would run smoothly...  I guarantee that Sister Oldryod (the troop leader) prayed for the same before she left her home that morning and probably every other parent there... Why didn't those prayers work?  Why did we have such a crazy power crisis?  I believe it is because Heavenly Father wanted 8 young men to have a personal experience in which they were part of asking God for a miracle and seeing it come to pass.  I believe he wants them to know that they can call on the POWER of GOD in all circumstances. 

After the breakfast was over and we were all cleaned up and about ready to go home, we gathered the boys up again and one of them volunteered to be voice as we said a prayer of gratitude.  It was a witness to me that you can being doing everything right, and things can still go wrong. - but are they really "Wrong?"  Or are they just opportunities to learn and grow and strengthen our faith and testimonies?  (that's a hypothetical question, pretty sure we all agree on the answer to that one, even it we don't LIKE that answer when it is US in the middle of a "growing experience.)

Well - I have another full week ahead of me - but I’ve totally GOT  THIS!

Sunday, February 3, 2019


I want to add one more this to my list of benefits that I have seen in doing the MM challenge. 

I sleep better.  I feel like my sleep is more restful and sound.  Hey - I have a fitbit, I should look that up and see if the fitbit agrees with me…  Ok, apparently my fitbit hasn’t synced for the past week…  I wonder why.  I’ll have to have tim look at it again.  Looking back before that, it certainly appears that I have been much more consistent in how much sleep I’ve had…  if only I could get myself to bed a little earlier each night.

Anyway.  Yesterday was a good day.  Busy, but good.  Pancake breakfast went well. At least, it went well after we remembered to say a prayer.  We got to the school at 6 and set up - (the centerpieces were great!  I got a lot of positive feedback regarding them)  the event was held at Wasatch Elementary school, which is an older school - and is on the list of schools that the school board is trying a bond passed so they can build a new school.  After my experience, I can understand why…  we were in the cafeteria and were plugging in griddles to cook the food.   The breaker kept flipping and we kept losing all power.  The sweet custodian was running back and forth, flipping breakers, bringing us surge protector power cords, etc…  we ended up running extension cords into various places to try to spread out the draw of power, but NOTHING was working.  Finally, we remember to stop and pray.  Immediately, the problem stopped and we didn’t have any other problems with the power for the rest of the morning.   It was pretty amazing.  And YES - after we were all cleaned up, we gathered the boys and had a prayer of gratitude… 

Other events from yesterday - went to the YM basketball game at noon and cheered for the boys.  (they lost, but they had good attitudes)  Bryan spent a few hours with Annalyce and Spencer, getting their board ready for the district science fair on Tuesday.  I spent some time getting the music ready for stake choir rehearsal tonight.  (It’s not perfect, i can see a few things I could have done differently that might have been a little better - but I think it is good enough. 

Our friends, the Goodwins hosted a “year of the Pig” (Chinese new years) pot luck dinner.  Everyone was supposed to bring some kind of Asian dish to share.  I tried making cream cheese wontons (rangoons) with mixed results.  The GOOD part was that I love rangoons and they more or less tasted good.  The BAD part was trying to fry them  I don’t know if I just didn’t seal them right or what? But you are supposed ot cook them on both sides, but as soon as they had been in the oil for a minute or so, the cream cheese mixture was pur liquid and if you flipped them (or when they flipped themselves which was common) the cream cheese would all run out.  Suffice it to say, several of them turned out pretty HOLLOW - with just a hint of cream cheese flavor that USED to be in there.  I really like them though, so I think I’ll do a little more research and try again

This morning pretty was hard to get up.  (even though it is Sunday and I get a whole 50 minutes extra of sleep  :)  But I did finally get up,  (at about 6:10) and I declare that it’s going to be a great day.  (although looking at the time right now, I think this morning is going to be a bit rushed - as we have to be at church in 40 minutes and as of right now - I haven’t seen or heard movement from ANYONE (except Tim, He left 20 minutes ago for bishopric meetings)  i guess I’d better wake people up then jump in the shower.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Pancakes & other busyness

Crazy day ahead.  It is 5:38 am and in about 3 minutes we are headed out the door to set up and then help run the Troop 707 annual pancake breakfast fundraiser from 7:30 - 10:30..  Bryan has a training/planning meeting for his teachers quorum that runs from 8 - 12.  (yes, he will be missing most of the pancake breakfast, but I’m taking him over to help set up)  The YM have two basketball games to play (stake YM basketball season right now and today is our double header)  we will make it to the 2nd one at noon.  I need to get music copied for the choir tomorrow.  I need to make some type of Chinese side dish or appetizer for the “chinese New Year” party at the Goodwins tonight at 6.  That is my day ahead.  Oh, and I should really clean my kitchen and do some laundry today too.   READY SET GO!

Friday, February 1, 2019

A look back at January


It is mind blowing to me that we are 1/12 the way done with 2019.  (using months as my measuring device)  Since I just wrote last night and gave you a very specific look at what I did, there is no need to report on “yesterday.”  Instead I will look back and review my “January.”

It was a really good month for me.  Very Busy.  A little stressful at times, but good.  I can see personal growth.  I am almost officially done with my 30 day miracle morning challenge and it has definitely been a positive experience.  No, I haven’t lost 10 lbs or seen drastic changes in my relationships with others.  My house isn’t a spotless, organized place to be and I’m not financially seeing any difference in my life.  (I mention some of those things, because those are some of the things that the author noticed.  He didn’t mention a clean organized home…  that was just one of mine that I think I hoped for a little bit)  But the fact is - I have noticed a difference.  It is a little hard to put into words, but I will try.

I feel more self confident.  I set out to do something that I knew would be hard for me, and stuck to it - even on mornings when i had gotten to be late, or hadn’t slept well.  It feels good to be able to say that I didn’t quit.  I didn’t give in or give up when it was “hard’.  It helps me have the confidence to believe that I can do other HARD things.  I have always tended to be a “Fizzler.”  I start out great at something, go strong a whole week or two, then fizzle out.  This shows me that I don’t HAVE to be a fizzler…  I can be a FINISHER

I have been more productive.  I feel like I have been better able to identify my priorities and get what needs to be done, done.  Perhaps it is because in the morning I look at my day and decide what I want to get done that day, then I set out and do it…  maybe it’s because I am getting up early and getting the most important things done FIRST, which gets the ball rolling and makes it easier to KEEP getting things done…  (the whole “object in motion stays in motion” theory)  I don’t know exactly, but it feels good.  Even yesterday, as I had SO much to do and very little down time, I wasn’t feeling overly anxious or stressed, just busy.  I knew what needed to be done and I got it done.  It felt good.

I have made some better choices.  I have had a few times this month where I was face with a choice, and a line from one of my affirmations would come into my mind and instantly, the choice would be clear.  (for example, the choice to go skiing with my family.  “I choose to invest time & energy into the relationships that matter most,” & “I enjoy active adventures with my family.”  Another example was when a good friend of mine (former college roommate) posted something negative about the church on Facebook.  I usually just ignore things people post, because I really hate confrontation, but the line “I stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places” came to mind.  SO, I commented on her post, kindly and respectfully correcting the things that had been misrepresented.  She was not offended (at least I don’t think so, she “liked” my comment), nor did it start a big battle of words or contention, and I was left feeling really good about my choice to stand as a witness.

I feel better about my self worth.  I have just felt better about myself, who I am, and who I want to become.  It’s like investing time and effort into myself is helping me see and feel like I AM worth investing into.

I don’t know, those are the things that come to mind.  It’s been good.  I am going to continue to do it.