Friday, October 18, 2013

Lessons in Judging

2 months ago during Jacob's semester break I learned a couple of lessons in judging others. The first happened when I went with the girls to get  a pedicure. We went  to a beauty school (ya really can't beat the price!).  The girls that were doing our pedicures came to greet us and one of the girls had a buzzed head with a slight faux hawk.  She wasn't dressed "immodestly", necessarily, (maybe slightly, but not at all trashy or sleazy looking) but you could totally tell she had fakies.  I inwardly rolled my eyes, thinking she must be "expressing herself" when in reality just trying to find herself.  Come to find out I was totally wrong.  The young woman had just finished battling breast cancer, and had only been back at school for 3 weeks.  Hence the buzzed head and implants.  I felt really bad.  I kept thinking over and over how your really don't know anyone's story, and it's so unfair to judge them.

The following day I had my second lesson in judging.  So here in WV our temple is a little over 3 hours away. By the time we go down, take turns doing sessions, eat something and come home it's easily a 12 hour day. And with Jacob putting in around 80 hours/ week into school (8ish hours on Saturdays), we don't exactly get to go every single month.  Anyway, during Jacob's semester break we made it twice! Only the second time I was THAT person at the temple... the one with the cough.  I remember when we lived in Provo I would feel frustrated when people would come to the temple that were obviously sick.  I didn't go to the temple to get sick! It was easy to take temple attendance for granted there.  Being able to go whenever I wanted, I selfishly thought it was selfish of them to go when they were sick.  Anyway, I wasn't super sick or anything, I just had a cough and it wasn't a nasty mucous-y cough, just a dry annoying cough.  If it had been "productive"or if I had been all snorty or runny and gross, I would NOT have gone, but I just had a cough and it had come from a teeny tiny summer cold! It taught me a lesson in judging others. We really don't know people's circumstances.  My heart ACHED to go to the temple. I really missed going, and I couldn't bear to pass up another opportunity to go, especially knowing it would be awhile until we could make it again. Lesson learned: Don't be annoyed by sick people at the temple. You have no idea what they have been through to get there, or what their circumstances are.  That being said, if you're sick and it's EASY for you to get to the temple and you are able to go often, just think about it before going. If you need it- go, if you can wait a week- then wait :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Well, I'm pregnant again (as you all know). It's my 3rd pregnancy, and I promised myself this pregnancy would be different.  And I'm happy to say it is. My other 2 pregnancies I found myself frustrated with my body. I felt "fat" and "ugly" and "slow" all the time. When I'm pregnant, I gain a lot of weight on my hips and my thighs, and get love handles. After reading this amazing post by a friend from high school almost 2 years ago, I decided to change my attitude. I often reflect on the post (it truly is an inspiring post- please read it).

It would be silly of me to assume that this time around my body wouldn't gain weight on my lower half. So why be annoyed about it? Why believe I'm ugly? With hard work and a good diet I can get back to my healthy weight. I've done it twice before, so of course I'll do it again. I've really tried to embrace and love my extra curves while pregnant. I have born 2 healthy children, so obviously my body knows what it's doing! God gave us beautiful bodies that can do AMAZING things. It still blows my mind that I have created LIFE with my body.  I know it saddens Him when I don't see myself as the beautiful woman that I am.

I do not need to live up to an "ideal". I need to be healthy and take care of myself and Love myself. Our bodies are created in the image of God. We need to love these beautiful bodies that are GIFTS to us.  One of the reasons we came to earth was to receive a body, right? So why tear it down and despise it? It saddens me that I did this through my other 2 pregnancies. Our bodies are one of the most amazing gifts from our Heavenly Father. YES we need to take care of our bodies, but we also need to be grateful for and love our bodies.

It is hard to be pregnant! For some harder than others. I know many have it far worse than me, but I have my own limitations that prevent me from staying as active as I would like to be. For someone who usually exercises regularly- Yes, it can be frustrating. But, it is all worth it! I'm so excited to give birth again! I'm so excited for that flooding of overwhelming love. That indescribable moment when you finally get to meet your baby.

In October 2005 Susan W Tanner gave a talk about the sanctity of the body- I want to share a quote from it "(talking about Satan).... He seduces some to despise their bodies; others he tempts to worship their bodies. In either case, he entices the world to regard the body merely as an object. In the face of so many satanic falsehoods about the body, I want to raise my voice today in support of the sanctity of the body. I testify that the body is a gift to be treated with gratitude and respect." I am grateful for my body and want to treat it with the respect it deserves. I am still a work in progress, but I am getting better.  I have a beautiful body. And so do you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


This morning I had what I like to call a "successful" shower. Aka one where whiney and/or demanding children don't barge in.  At the end of my shower I stood there with the water running, dreading turning it off and returning to "real life".  I was enjoying feeling like a person. With a sigh, I turned off the water and was greeted by the sound of my sweet little babies giggling, squealing and playing.  It was a good reminder that "real life" is a beautiful thing, and I am greatly blessed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sweet little Saylor- an update

So various people have been asking about my cute little niece Saylor, who got a liver transplant. I guess I owe it to the blogging world to make an update, since I wrote my other post, ha :)   Saylor got her liver transplant!! She took a turn for the worse and was given a higher need score. She was the sickest baby in the region (CA,AZ, UT, ID, NM, WA, OR and possibly other states in the west) in need of a liver transplant and she got one soon after her higher ranking! I can't remember, but I think it may have been the next day. Maybe one more day after that, not sure.  The sweet little baby she got her liver from died of RSV. Please pray for the donor family. It still baffles me that because someone else DIED my niece gets to live. I felt so strange praying for her to get a liver, because it meant that someone else would have to die. Then I reminded myself that whoever she ended up getting her liver from wasn't dying so Saylor could have her liver, but was dying no matter what. What a miracle that we can bring life from death! And what a miracle for modern medicine! I definitely love using essential oils and other natural remedies and I love how they can help with things, but if it wasn't for modern medicine, Saylor would not be with us! Even if she had been born 20 years ago they would not have been able to properly treat her. I'm so grateful for everyone's love and support and prayers. Saylor is doing great with her new liver. It started working before they had even sewn her back up! Isn't that crazy?! She now looks like she is caucasian, she has white skin and white eyes and is sooo soo cute! I love her! They wait about 6 months before officially declaring whether her body has accepted or rejected the liver, so only time will tell with that, but so far she is doing great! She is recovering faster than the doctors could have hoped, and doing very well! We are so happy for her and her parents!

post signature

Monday, March 25, 2013


I have recently been thinking about choices we make and where they lead us.  I have been realizing more and more how valuable my health is in all aspects. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And they really do affect each other! There is so much we can do now to ensure the quality of life we lead later! When I take care of myself physically (this is NOT a post insulting anyone struggling with weight, whether it be "too little" or "too much"- everyone has their own healthy weight, what really matters is what you are doing TODAY) by exercising and eating things that will help my body feel good, it is easier to get through a day at home with grumpy children and a husband gone 14-15 hours a day studying.  When I keep myself spiritually uplifted I feel more motivated to take care of my physical body. When I keep myself in good emotional health by forgiving others and not worrying about things I can't change (forgiveness has always come easily to me, however the not worrying does NOT!:)) I can focus on positive things, which helps me make positive choices in other areas. Mentally challenging myself is important too, and for me it involves having a creative outlet and doing hard things. For me it is more mentally challenging to say no to the cookies than it is physically, and in a workout it is truly conquering the mind first, then the body when you are convinced you can go no further or not do another rep and you do. The other thing I do for my mental health is try to read some non-fiction and do sudoku.
  The one that has the ability to drag me down the most though is not taking care of myself emotionally. We all know someone holding on to bitterness and resentment that can't let things go. If I don't keep myself in a good place emotionally it is SO hard to drag myself out of bed for that workout. It is impossible to say no to a second cookie or a second scoop of ice cream (I am not against sweets in moderation! :)) And if I do have the gusto to pick up my scriptures, I'm not engaged and getting out of it what I should. So how do I take care of myself emotionally? (FYI this post is about me, these things may be completely different for you!:)) First and foremost-- I let things go! I don't let other people get to me and bring me down.  I think this might be why I like everyone--for reals, if you think I don't like you, then you're wrong! I like everyone, even if they don't like me-- The second thing for me is to have something to look forward to. Whether it is a trip somewhere, (even if it is small) or someone coming to visit, or maybe a date night. Something that I can plan for, and be EXCITED about, and look forward to. I love being excited for things! That is where I truly thrive.  The third thing is making sure I get enough adult contact. Sometimes the days get long and really draw out. Without human contact (ok, fine, my kids are human.. but I can't really engage them in a REAL conversation about things that interest me and what I'm up to and what I love and what I dislike) I really get into an emotional funk and next thing I know I'm a mess in all aspects of my health.
When I'm old, I want to be like grandma was: lively, vibrant, active, full of life. She still knew how to have a good time and was so HAPPY. And it was because she took care of herself. I would hate to be anything but that! So here's to being happy, active, and vibrant when I'm old!!
At the end of the day it's a good life and no matter how low you are in any area, you can always heal and do things every single day to help lift yourself up.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This weekend

Despite the kids being sick, this weekend was AMAZING! It wasn't anything spectacular, but maybe it was just because Jase was sick all. week. long. And so I was stuck home. all. week. long. ugh! We are used to getting out of the house about 6 days a week! And Jase is probably the whiniest sick person I have ever heard of! On Friday, we met Jacob at his school when classes were over, and went on a walk. His school sits right on a river, so it's a nice place to walk.  It was in the 50's and sunny and it was sooo nice!!  The weather here during the winter is AWFUL. Prior to this weekend we only saw the sun a total of a few hours the last 2 weeks. It's not very good for the soul, that's for sure. This week is spring break! YAY!! He decided to take the weekend off of studying, so Friday night we just went to Target to get diapers and Sammi some new shoes- her old shoes have been too small for over a month, so it was definitely time! We got home and put the kids to bed and enjoyed a relaxing evening without ANY homework! Woo! We just stayed up and watched Netflix and talked. On Saturday I got a coupon for $10 off $25 at JCP so we headed to the mall. I'm not hog wild over JCP, however they have really cute skirts! So I got a new skirt for $15 and it is the most gorgeous color, I am in love!  Jacob let the kids run wild in the play area there while I shopped and it was sooooo amazing to shop without whiney kids! We headed to Lowe's because we don't own a shovel and need one for gardening. We headed home, ate lunch, put the kids down for a nap and headed out into the upper 60s and bright sunshine to work in the garden. Oh my goodness, it was so amazing!! Our garden is covered in mint (oh my gosh, if you grow mint, grow it somewhere you can contain it, like a pot! Holy cow!) so we had to pull it out. We aren't done yet, but that's okay! The kids woke up about 2 hours later and we decided to go on a walk. The walk we like to do is about 1 1/3 miles, nothing major, but it's all uphill or downhill and the perfect distance to take the kids on. Well we left around 2:45, went .4 miles and were home at 4:30... Why? Because we have super nice neighbors! Everyone was outside working in their yards, and they all wanted us to stop and meet them, it was great! People here are so nice (and talkative!)! They really have a way of making you feel welcome, we really love our neighborhood. We enjoyed the rest of our evening and it was just so so nice!  Sunday was good. Jacob and I both spoke in church. Since the kids were sick we took turns with them in the foyer. Also, I got a little card that said I only had 2 minutes left!!! For real!! ME! Most of my talks are like 7 minutes, no matter how long I try to make them since I get up there and am so nervous I talk super super fast. However, in my own defense I'd only been talking 10 or 12 minutes when I got the card. And I was informed later that the bishopric had been requested to make an extra effort to leave the last speaker plenty of time. It was embarrassing though. AND I didn't get to give the best part of my talk! Oh well! After church I was minorly upset for a little while, because I found out that someone who has a responsibility to stick up for me and defend me has been trashing me behind my back. I am now over it, as this person has a lot going on (IMO not an excuse to belittle others, but oh well), so I really can't hold it against them, right? That would be wrong. It was just disappointing to find out. Anyway, after that We skyped with Ty and Lindsey!! It cheered me up and made me so happy, they are such awesome people! We got to see little baby Saylor and she is doing so great! I love her!!! It was a fun weekend and it was so nice to have Jacob around! Usually he studies Friday evenings, and for at least 8 hours on Saturdays, so it was a ton of fun! post signature

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Unfortunately this post won't have any pictures. I just have a lot on my mind and need an outlet. So as most of you probably know, my beautiful little 5 month old niece is waiting for a liver so that she can get a liver transplant. For her blood type (completely normal--A) she has the highest need in the Western US. She is a very sick little girl and needs a liver badly. This whole thing has been so many ups and downs. Mostly downs, but you know. I have felt so much guilt that I haven't yet met and held that sweet little girl.  Yesterday afternoon she got a liver offer, and we were all so elated. Late last night, the liver offer was declined. I have no idea why. My heart goes out to the family of the potential donor. I can only imagine how awful it would be to lose a child. I'm praying with all my heart that my brother and his wife don't have to find out.  It would be a hard decision for a family to donate the organs of a lost loved one, I can get that.
 I proudly proclaimed "YES" when I turned 15 (not a typo, thanks Idaho!) and got my driver's license and they asked if I wanted to be an organ donor. I didn't know much about it, but the idea of saving others' lives if I died young was very novel to me.  Now that I know more about the process, I am definitely still an organ donor, but Jacob has told me it would be very hard on him to donate my organs.
Since the very beginning of this whole thing my heart has ached for the family of whoever ends up being little Saylor's donor. My heart aches knowing that Saylor will get to live because another baby died and their family was selfless enough to donate their organs. It's very humbling.  I never thought that I would be related to someone who has had an organ transplant, it always seemed so distant to me, like something in books and movies, not something that could happen to me or my family. Please pray for my sweet niece and my brother and his wife.
Are you an organ donor? More than 6,000 people in the US die every year waiting for an organ transplant. That's 19 people each day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life Lately

Life has been going well here in WV.  I feel like so much has happened that I don't even know where to start! I think for now I'm just going to say where we're all at
Samantha-- loves it here. The transition here was surprisingly easy. She sort-of misses people back in California, but she is really good about enjoying life in the moment and not dwelling on other things. She has lots of friends here. Her and this other little blond girl in our ward became instant friends, and they are so cute together. You know how sometimes there are people you just click with automatically and friendship is SO easy with them, and you are immediately close? I feel like she has experienced that. She loves our house, she loves the trees and the deer. She is doing really well.
Jase- Jase is still my little buddy. He has grown more attached to me, but is actually doing okay in nursery, thank goodness! He is still my mostly chill little boy. As long as he is well rested and well fed and I hold him when he wants he really doesn't have any complaints about life. He loves cars, and since moving here has a new obsession with trains. There is a lot of coal mining here, so there are constantly trains hauling coal. We see multiple trains every time we go anywhere, and he loves it! Also, a lot of his behavioral issues have been getting better as he hasn't been spoiled constantly, ha ha :)
Jacob- is suuuper busy with school. He gets up at 4 every morning to study (don't worry, he goes to bed early) and studies alllll day. He puts in 12-15 hrs a day for school, so it's pretty crazy. I'm so proud of him for working so hard for our family.
Me- I've been keeping plenty busy.  Pretty much everything falls on me now (don't get me wrong, Jacob helps out when he can :)) so I've been getting used to that.  I was thinking about it, and you know, the PA students that don't have a wife or family have things they have to do. Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the toilet, cooking, ironing (the program's dress code is business casual) etc. And while I now have to take care of pretty much all of that stuff, it's like a trade off. Because Jacob doesn't have to put time into these other things, he does have a little bit of  time to spend with his family. And I love it. It's totally worth it.  It's not all bad either. The kids and I do stuff pretty much every day. Whether it's story time, play dates, having friends over, play group, going to the park, grocery shopping or whatever else, we do stuff a lot and keep busy. I've loved getting to know all of the young moms in the ward. Everyone is so so nice and incredibly friendly. There are a ton of us, and it is really nice to have that support.  I like it here a lot, though I miss the sun. I'd say so far, probably 70% of our days here have been gloomy/rainy/snowy/etc.
Hopefully a fun post to come soon with some pictures!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We have now been without our "stuff" for over a month.  On Dec 21 our stuff was loaded into a truck to be driven to West Virginia. We kept out the bare minimum. A couple of books, a few changes of clothes, the pack n play- really just the basics.  We were informed by the moving company it would be 5-17 days from the date of pickup that our stuff would arrive. We quickly replanned our trip across the country to get there a couple of days sooner since they said there would be "no problem getting it there by December 31." We asked them about the 5-17 days and asked them if that meant our stuff would be there by about the 9th and they said "yeah, somewhere around there." Long story short, after many phone calls and the latest day they can deliver being re-estimated multiple times, and finally ending at January 17, because there weren't any more days they could X out, our stuff is now officially 5 days late (which really isn't that bad, I'm just frustrated they led us to believe we would get our stuff sooner, in my mind they are WEEKS late).  However, they said they would call at least 24 hours in advance, and still no phone call. Hopefully we get it before Sunday, because I am really sick of wearing the same thing to church! :)
All the annoyance aside, it's funny how simple life has become. Cleaning is a breeze, because we don't have much to make a mess with. And really, we aren't without much. Poor Jacob only has 2 outfits to wear to school (I'm telling you, they really let us believe the latest they would come was the 9th!!) because their dress code is business casual for the PA program. The things I miss the most are my cute clothes-- especially my boots and sweaters and cute jeans (I mostly just packed t-shirts and my least favorite jeans because we weren't supposed to have been here very long without our things, and I didn't see a need to pack cute clothes to ride in the car in), cookware, spices, a computer (all we have is Jacob's laptop right now, and he takes it to school 12 hours a day!) my bed, and a table! (any idea how hard it is to get children to focus on dinner when you aren't situated at a table?!)  We really do have the necessities though. We sold most of our things before moving to Ridgecrest, so we came here and had to buy couches (looking for couches on a student budget?? Big Lots! They are SO SO inexpensive), so we at least have somewhere to sit! And luckily some friends let us borrow their spare bed, so we aren't sleeping on the couches anymore :)  Also, the place we live is all hard wood floors (cold an uninviting, in my opinion) so we got some rugs, so it really isn't so bad.
I have just been thinking lately about how much "stuff" we have. We have way too many toys, I could definitely get rid of some of my kitchen things, I could definitely get rid of more clothing and shoes. Why do we have so much stuff? Think back 200 years ago. They didn't have near as much "stuff". They found things to do and ways to be happy. It's kind of crazy, really. On one hand I could rationalize keeping every single thing in those boxes headed our way (I know, because I did it in December when we went through everything-- we got rid of a LOT of stuff then), I found a need for every single thing there (and we aren't packrats or anything, either). On the other hand part of me is like why?? Why do we have so much?? Do I really need a pair of boots in brown and black (the answer is still yes! ha!) Do I really need 6 pairs of jeans?? Do I really need all of those jackets (I've been okay with just the one) Do my children really need all of those toys?  Anyway, life has been good a little bit simpler these last few weeks. The kids are fine with only their books and toys they got for Christmas. I'm fine without a computer during the day (sort of). Jacob is fine without my amazing cooking (its the spices thing.. I can only make things that don't require spices other than salt pepper and cinnamon, so we have been having a lot of fajitas and breakfast burritos and sandwiches). We have all been fine, and it's been nice. I'm really hoping I can keep this in mind as I am unpacking, and hopefully I can get rid of even more stuff.  Sorry this post is forever long, just my thoughts tonight as I anticipate the arrival of our bed and my boots! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Everybody's doing it

Making new years resolutions, that is. So here are a few I'm doing (I did actually start these on the first, our truck just hasn't shown up with our stuff, so computer time is limited!)
-couple scripture study EVERY day. I really want to get 100%, however, I won't beat myself up if we are above 96% (to reach that we can miss almost 15 times, which is PLENTY)
-family scriptures EVERY day. Okay, so this one isn't even hard since my kids are obsessed with scripture time at night, but that's okay :)
-stop picking at my face! sheesh. Worst nervous habit I have and it HAS to stop. This year is the year!!  I'm embarrassed admitting this. Any ideas on what to replace it with?? Bad habits are supposed to be replaced by good things, but I'm fresh out of ideas here!
-read the D&C and pearl of great price cover to cover. And maybe Our Heritage. Jury is still out on that one.
-Run 4 miles straight without stopping.
-Blog at least 30 times. That's 2.5 times a month. I can do it.
-BLOOM. really working on blooming where I have been planted here in West Virginia.  I know with all my heart that the Lord sent us here and wants us here and this is where we are supposed to be. So I want to make sure I bloom into a full, beautiful flower. Not a flower that rarely pokes its head out, but a really huge happy flower. And I really don't care if it sounds cheesy :)

Stay tuned, I WILL be blogging about life here in West Virginia... There are some things here that are too hilarious to not blog about, ha ha.