Blog Archive

Friday, March 6, 2015

Live Up to Your Privilege

Last Saturday I had the special opportunity to attend a special Relief Society Conference that my singles stake put on entitled "Live Up to Your Privilege." To be honest I wasn't so sure if I really wanted to attend, it was "early" Saturday morning and was 3 hours long plus lunch at the end, I'm grateful that I did end up deciding to attend though, I was spiritually uplifted and it was a great morning spent with Kayla as well. Sorry if my thoughts will seem scattered, these are just bits and pieces that I wrote down/remember/stood out to me. 
We all gathered in the Chapel first to hear a couple testimonies, special musicals, to watch a slideshow, and to hear from our Stake President (I love our my Stake Presidency, they are so wonderful and I constantly feel their love for us!). After the time in the Chapel we had the opportunity to choose 2 of 5 workshops (so not fair having to choose!).
The first workshop that I attended was called "Communication and Relationship Building." The number one thing that they sister teaching the class seemed to keep repeating was Being Engaged with and where you are (ENGAGED-Participate, Establish a meaningful relationship).
She spent a lot of time discussing the 5 Languages of Love (if you haven't heard of them you can go HERE to read more about it or to take a test to discover what kind of Love Language you need). I've heard about the 5 Languages in several of my classes but have never really thought a ton about them or what I might be. She recommended that we take the test every 6-12 months ourselves because our love languages do change. One suggestion that she made that her sister does for her kids I loved. She said that most people/kids generally act out when they are not feeling loved so her sister will have her kids take the test to discover what kind of love language they need and work to fill that kind of love for them. 
She also showed this clip, I loved the idea and loved the different comments they make, especially the old couple. 


The second class was called "Trust in the Lord, His Timing, His Way, His Will" 
She started by reading this quote from Richard G. Scott, "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." There was more to the quote but this is the part that she had highlighted and repeated several times through the whole workshop and it continues to stand out to me. 

She had run out of time but told us to go home and watch this song, Lemonade by Alex Boye (she said it was a good song but she also remarked on his crazy pants :D), somehow I had never heard this song before but  I really liked it. After that she was talking about are we more concerned with what is not happening than what is happening which fit it with what the song was about. 


After I had listened to the song I also read the notes that Alex Boye had put under the movie and felt that it really did go well with what she was talking about...


This song is inspired by one of my favorite quotes:

"Cease your complaining and fretting.The cause is in yourself, and where the cause is, there is the remedy...Alter your outlook on life, and your outward life will alter."

-James Allen

I've always wanted to write my own Bobby Mcferrin, "Don't worry, be Happy" song. CHECK!! There is a part in the song that says "So many miracles are happening each day, if I can just get out of my own way.

That's a reminder for ME.

A few years ago, even though I had so many amazing things happening in my life, I was so caught up in things that were NOT going right, that I stopped appreciating the things that WERE going right. I would start making a habit of chasing the storms and not the sunlight, and started getting used to feeling sorry for myself. whenever bad stuff would happen to me, i would say things like "Yep, of course that would happen to ME and nobody else!!

I would always be waiting for something amazing to happen to me before I felt good about myself. "If I get that raise, THEN life would be amazing, or if I found the right spouse, or if I get that record deal, or if I win that contest, or got the new car, THEN things would be amazing. I was living in the future and NOT enjoying the PRESENT.

Things started to change for me when I came across a book called "The Magic of believing".
I started to change my way of thinking and realized that we don't have to wait for something amazing to happen. WE ALREADY ARE AMAZING!! I would say that to myself often and then i would start seeing amazing things happen in my life. so glad I found that little truth in my life. It has made ALL the difference.


Im learning now that when bad things happen out of our control, it can either leave us either bitter, or better for going through it. I once heard someone say, "Life can truly be bittersweet. But whatever you bring attention to, expands, so choose wisely."

This is a song about making the most and the best of life, whatever is thrown our way. Thanks for reading this far!!
Best,
Alex Boye'

LEMONADE LYRICS:

I'm just so broke you won't believe 
Can't get a dollar out of me 
And as far as I can see 
I'm losing control like a bad disease 
No I just can't get relief 
I've been shot down by the life police, 
And everyday I try to rise 
But I can't succeed 
Can anybody find a cure for me? 
You can be bitter, bitter, bitter 
Or you can be better, better, better 

CHORUS 

When life gives you lemons 
Instead of champagne 
Don't worry little children 
And don't complain (woh) 
Remember you're golden 
So find some sugar cane 
When life gives you lemons 
Make lemonade 

Hama kama hama kama heyama kama x2 

Now everyday is like a brand new year, 
I throw my hands up in the air 
Like I just don't care, 
I'm moon walking down the streets 
Feeling like oh yeah (oh yeah!) 
like the bottom of the glass now I see clear 
So now I laugh just a little more (Yeeheheee!) 
I stand much taller than I did before (Yahahaa!) 
I know I'm not where I need to be 
But I thank God that I'm not 
where I used to be, 
I used to be bitter, bitter bitter 
And now I feel better, better, better 

CHORUS 

When life gives you lemons 
Instead of champagne 
Don't worry little children 
And don't complain (woh) 
Remember you're golden 
So find some sugar cane 
When life gives you lemons 
Make lemonade 

BRIDGE 

Hama kama hama 

I was saved for a reason 
That I can't explain 
Got something new to believe in 
I'm awakened again (who woh) 
So many miracles are 
Happening each day 
If I can just get out of (Elelele) 
My own way 

CHORUS 

Le-le-le-le-Lemonade 
Lemony-lemony-le-lemonade 
Lemo-lemo, Woo! 


A big purpose of this class was using our patriarchal blessings. "Your Patriarchal Blessing is a window into who you are and who you can become."
She told of having talked to a friend of hers who has been a patriarch for many years and she asked him what he tells people that are receiving their blessings. He told of a suggestion that he always gives and I thought that it was a very unique and good idea. He tells them at the beginning to make several copies of their blessings,

  • On the first copy mark the blessings and talents that are mentioned.
  • On the second copy mark what opportunities that you will have in your life.
  • On the third copy mark what blessings you will receive. 
  • On the fourth copy mark what counsel and teachings your blessing gives you. (you can also mark the warnings that are given or do that as a separate copy). 
  • On the fifth copy mark what insights are given concerning your life mission. 
He said then when you are having a bad day go look at the blessings and talents copy. Struggling with a calling, look at the counsel, etc. They always say that every time you read your blessing it seems like you discover or notice something different, I think that looking at the blessing with different parts highlighted will also help.

Sunday in Relief Society it was really nice, they had asked one person that had attended to spend 5 or so sharing some of their thoughts/notes, so even though we weren't able to attend all of the classes we were able to hear some about them. Here are my bullet point notes from them: 
  • Don't worry yourself over which you have no control.
  • Practice daily receiving personal revelation so we know how the Lord speaks with you. You need to have a desire to know and receive revelation. 
  • True Beauty
    • We shine when we have the spirit with us. 
    • Deep beauty is Happiness, Bathing in the Spirit.
  • Circumstances can only determine so much-it's our attitude, choices, reaction, etc.
  • Emotions take time, they take work and A LOT of talking. 
  • Be a good listener.
  • You have to take care of yourself before you can help others. 
  • If you are helping someone, you need to have someone that you can talk to. 
  • Our patriarchal blessing is like a recipe, we have the choice to disregard it completely, follow almost completely, or follow it 100% and live up to the full potential of the recipe. 
  • We have a vision of what we want to become through our actions and living each day that we can accomplish that vision. 




Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Biking Goal

After all of my biking last year I made the goal of biking 500 this year. I had figured that I would need to bike 42 miles a month average in order to do that. I started to really think about that and I realized that during the "winter" months but during the summer months that should be really easy to accomplish and I 


  decided that I instead was going to change my goal to 1000 MILES! It still seems crazy that I am setting myself a goal like this but I am working hard to make sure that I accomplish it! As of my ride yesterday I've          done over 115 miles. I hope that with the summer months I'll be able to kick this goals trash!

Kick-Off to 2015

January, already the year is off to a great start! I'm loving this "winter!" (I feel a little bad when I get pictures sent from my sister-in-laws about how the snow goes up to the trampoline in Boston and my brother in New York is having to put two jackets on to go take the garbage out, when yesterday I went on a bike ride, wore capris and sandals, got a pedicure and just basked in the high-50's temperatures). I am looking forward to what 2015 is going to bring!

 When I went and got my headlights done in January I did it at the Mazda dealership in Orem, of course I had to look at the beautiful new cars...look at all of those gorgeous Mazda6's!

 This beautiful Mazda3 was staring at me the whole time in the lobby. 

I love in the mornings when I am making lunch at work I open the blinds and windows and the sun just streams in and lights up the whole kitchen.  

January had lots of silly moments and cuddles with my kids. 

Waffle Love was around the corner from work one day. My boss had never tried them before so I sent her over to get us some, delicious!

I got some fun new socks from dollar tree and wore them to work one day, all good except I didn't really plan well for when I was going to the gym afterwards. I hope that everyone at the gym appreciated my happy socks :)

One of the fun things that always happens in January and has become our tradition is going to the Auto Expo. Lots of shiny new cars to admire. 

The girls love it when I allow them to do my hair. I always come out with very interesting styles :)


One night Kayla was babysitting her nephew, we took him out for dinner and fun at the arcades. 

My first time putting my rack and bike on my car without anyone else being there to help me!

One of the girls documented me coloring.

Sometimes you just got to take selfies ;D

More hairstyles.

I had an adventure with my bike when we tried riding more north on the Jordan River Trail (I would not recommend it...terrible!). My first flat tire. Lucky for me Derek and Kayla know what they are doing and Kayla had an extra tube/CO2 container so we were able to change my tube and head back. 





Despite getting a flat tire that ended up being my longest ride I've ever done at 30.49 (Kayla and Derek were nice to go extra on the trail with me just so I could break the 30 miles).

The one bad thing about all of this warm weather this year is that Ice Castles weren't able to be open very long, they only ended up being open 3 days, one weekend which kind of stunk for them because they moved locations this year and made it bigger and better. We were lucky though and it worked out that we were able to get up there on Monday, the last day that they were open. Just as last year it was amazing, I can't believe all of the work that goes into it. These pictures don't even begin to do it justice. 






 Derek and I went and did a bike ride up North and on our way back we stopped at RC Willey to look at different appliances for an condo that Derek was looking at. This place was huge, I could quite easily get lost in there (I feel like we walked in several circles) and it was fun to daydream, I realized that I have quite expensive tastes if allowed. I've always said that my kitchen would be where I would spend the most money on if I were designing it. (There was a side by side fridge and freezer with each unit being separate and about the size of a regular fridge. I could just imagine myself standing in front of it with both doors open)

One night we didn't know what to do and we somehow ended up at the nicklecade, we got these 3 snails as our prizes, we had some entertaining races across the tables with them and they now sit on the counter looking cute as ever :)

January doesn't seem to have been as full or at least I didn't take as many pictures but I know that it was a good month full of bike rides, movies, lots of laughter at work and outside of work, time spent with family and friends, making fun plans for the year.

A New Car

I realized recently that I always tell people when asked how long I've had my car that I always say a little over a year but in reality in April it will be 2 years! And while this car may not be brand new that I could do things to make it seem newer and nicer. It started in December. I've been feeling like lately when I drive at night it almost seemed like I didn't even have my lights on which worried me. I asked Derek for opinions on what to do to help it and he suggested that I could get something done called Headlight Restoration, he had seen that Walmart had started doing them recently so I tried going to them but it didn't work. I ended up going to the Mazda dealership in Orem and although it cost more than I was hoping I am super happy with A. How they look (if you can't tell the top is before and the bottom is after)--they're super shiny! and B. I have lights when I drive at night! Still even now over a month later every time I see my headlights they make me smile. 

I had also noticed lately how nasty my seats were looking and was thinking about getting my seats cleaned when Derek sent me a link about a mobile car cleaning company that was on citydeals. I was a bit hesitant but it was a good price and again I'm super happy with the result! This is my back middle seat before and after. The guy also called me out to my car when he was part way done to show a comparison of what the seats were like (he had done half of a seat so I could see). He also showed me the water after cleaning them. 

I love my car and it's been fun feeling kind of like I'm getting a new car again. 


Fun in December

We are already halfway through February and I realized that I should get my December and January posts done before I finished up another month (more like I needed to get it done before I forgot what actually happened :D)!

 The last several years Elf on the Shelf has become quite popular and this year some of the kids begged the owner Lynn to get one, she decided she was in a nice mood and got one for us while she was on one of her runs to Costco (but of course it wasn't the original, it had a cloth face which caused some major meltdowns in my kids, but that's a different story). I got to participate in some of the helping of the moving of our elf, one night he decided to hang out in the cereal. The kids would get so excited to find out where it was in the morning or to show me where it was when I got to work, they would even come down to say good-night to it if they were taking a nap. I don't think it will be something that I want to do in my future home but it was still fun to watch the kids react to it at work. 

We tried an art project where you put white glue and then cover it with salt. Once it dries you put drops of paint and watch it spread across. The original experiment said to use smaller like table salt but I wanted to see what it would be like using different sized salt. The kids loved doing it and wanted to do several, I just loved this one because it came looking out like spongebob so of course I had to take a picture to send Derek. 

I've been hearing for several years about the Festival of Trees and thought it would be interesting to go to. Kyle, Mom, Derek, and I went one Friday evening afterwork (that night traffic was TERRIBLE! when I was leaving work I looked at my phone to see how long it said it was going to take to get home and it normally takes 15 minutes but this time it was an hour and 34 minutes!). It was pretty neat, I couldn't believe how many different trees, wreaths, houses, and gingerbread houses there were! I enjoyed mostly just looking at everything and didn't take very many pictures...
 I of course HAD to take a picture of this one though, it's the house from Anne of Avonlea/Anne of Green Gables. I Love Love Love that story and I was super impressed with how the house looks!
 This one was based off the M.C. Escher's drawing House of Stairs. 

I randomly heard about a firework show that was supposed to be happening out in a small town past Saratoga Springs, if I haven't mentioned before I absolutely love fireworks and will pretty much jump at any opportunity to go watch fireworks.  


When we went to the Festival of Trees they were selling scones, they sounded really good, but the line and price was ridiculous. Derek, Kayla and I were walking separately from Mom and Kyle and when we came up Derek asked Mom when she was going to make some and she said they were just having a conversation about her making them the next day. Mom made the dough and we cooked up some delicious scones. 

I made up a couple of different honey butters to go with the scones. 



Draper had a tree this year that they lit up and titled the Tree of Life. It was quite amazing how much it actually looked like the tree that has been put in paintings/drawings to represent the Tree of Life from Lehi's Dream. It was really beautiful. When we went though there were lots of people walking/running around and it was quite loud so it was hard to appreciate the spiritual representation.  

Every Christmas season the First Presidency does a Christmas devotional, Ben and Sonia invited us over for dinner and to watch it with them (awesome side note on that, the devotional this year was December 7 and I went on a bike ride that afternoon before going over to Ben and Sonia's). I had been brushing Sarah's hair when Isabel took the brush to brush Uncle Kyle's hair. It was cute!


Finally, several months after deciding to start this project I finished my birthday wall. I had seen a couple of different ideas and kind of combined them together to be something that I wanted. I think they turned out super cute and add some color pop to the wall. 

Libbey and Erick went on a trip to Florida in December, while they were gone Mom and I watched Alexia and Sophie for a couple of days. They got to come work with me for part of the time. They did so well, immediately making new friends and having fun the whole time. The second day when I took Sophie to her class they were playing outside, she went straight out to play and didn't even look back at me once she started to play. 




 They got a surprise from Mommy of matching pajamas that they were so excited about! 



My boss was talking about this idea that she had heard of someone doing and I loved the idea and recreated it. I gave each kid a couple of green triangles that they got to decorate how they wanted and then we put them together to create one giant tree. I love the variety of color and designs. 

We heard from Derek that one of the nights that the girls were at our house that it was cheaper to go see the Lights at the Zoo, I'd never been to the Zoo before and thought it sounded like something fun and different to do. So Kayla and I bundled up the girls and we headed to the Zoo. Somehow we got lucky and got a parking spot only on the second row (the side of the road was lined with cars leading up to the Zoo) and as we were getting out of the car Kayla found an unopened package of glow sticks. The girls loved them!


 Lexie spent half the time matching the colors of the lights to her glow stick. 
 They became fast friends with Kayla, holding her hand most of the time or wanting to be carried by her. The best was when we got back in the car and were on our way home. Kayla said alright everyone that knows my name raise your hand, I raised my hand but Lexie didn't (Sophie had already fallen asleep). We told her Kayla's name and then she asked if we could ask the question again, she was ready this time. 



As I've mentioned before Sarah is an awesome door decorator! She put this one together and then Joseph (Jenn's husband) drew the face. They both have such talent!


Sarah had told me about Dickens Festival that she had heard about, it sounded just like something that Mom would love. So we went, there was so much to see and if you came with lots and lots of money it could quite easily be spent. 

 Everything was decorated to look like Old English, the sellers even were required to be dressed up to. There was even a choir of orphan children singing (at one point I saw an orphan trying to escape and a police officer was chasing after him). 


Kayla and I got to go shopping for her Christmas tree, I've missed doing that as we've used a fake tree for several years. It made me feel some pride though as all of the trees came from Oregon. 

Another experiement...we made our own window clings! All it took was gelatin, food coloring, water, and we added glitter. We mixed it up the first day and then the next we cut it out and put it on the windows. The kids cut them out and then they got to go pick which window they wanted to put it on, it was fun going through the whole building and seeing them everywhere. 

Libbey invited Mom, Sonia and I up to having a baking night. We brought the supplies up and made different kinds of cookies, at the end we split them up and came home with lots of goodies. 





Just as high up with fireworks for me comes looking at Christmas light displays. One night Kayla and I went down to Spanish Fork to their Festival of Lights, it wasn't very expensive and had so much to look at (so much better than Thanksgiving Point in my opinion). 

After the Festival of Lights we also went to this park that had trees that were lit up on the pond and we also just made the rounds looking at all of the different places that we could find that were lit up. 



 Sometimes I go through my phone and find silly pictures left as a present from my kids :)



Nathan and Sallee stayed with us a few days before Christmas, I didn't get to see them a lot because I was working most of the time but my favorite part was that almost every night I got to rock little Amelia to sleep. I love when babies are cuddly in your neck. 

This other night it was rather late and miss little should have been very tired and asleep, but instead she was wide awake and very smiley/talkative to Grandma and me :D



I had seen a fun idea of decorating ice cream cones as christmas trees with frosting and sprinkles/other candy. We didn't have enough green frosting but the kids still had fun doing it. 

I love this picture of Noah! Sonia invited us to go watch Penguins of Madagascar with her and Sarah during Christmas break. I got lucky and Noah was sitting beside me, he was so cute. During the movie he would randomly say "Waddle Waddle" (what they call Penguins) and then just start giggling. 


Christmas day pile on Uncle Kyle! I spent Christmas day sick, sick, sick. But I was still able to enjoy most of the festivities from chair. 

One of the only days that we had a little bit of snow the kids asked if we could go outside and play in the snow for a little bit, we bundled them up and went outside. Miss Lucy said get Miss Beth and all of the kids turned on me and this is what happened. 

New Years Eve is Mom's birthday, we ended 2014 with dinner, games and talking at Ben and Sonia's. It was fun but I was more than ready for bed, we stayed for counting down and cheering at midnight and then I think I was in bed by 20 minutes after midnight.