May 12, 2017

You love those you serve

Since the first day you found yourself with a child to take care of, you have been serving them and loving them very much even if they aren't yours. All that time spent created a bond. The time taken to feed them every few hours, the time to show them the world, bath time, bed time, reading time. All these things give us a connection and assures that child that you love them.

In certain places it seems only acceptable to serve a child, not your spouse. They are dethroned just like a kid when they all of a sudden have a younger sibling. They now need to do everything themselves, they don't need your time. The child does. So not true. They need to see love though service, though giving your time. Just don't forget it goes both ways, it is important for dad to serve his family.

And now for the reason I wanted to write today. How much do we serve ourselves? How much time do we spend?

The conclusion I came to was, if we aren't serving ourselves then do we love ourselves?

We put ourselves last, thinking we have to fulfill everyone else's need first. As a recent high school graduate I found myself watching my niece full time for a few months and guess what I had time to take care of myself. I would shower, do my make-up, make yummy meals, go on walks, visit friends. It was made easier that come 3 or 4 o-clock I would hand my niece over to my sister. But guess what, I would do all of those things with a baby, not when my sister got home.

Fast forward a couple years and I have my own child to take care of, I didn't take time to shower, or to brush my hair, or even to get dressed and this lasted almost a year. I understand taking time away from those things to sleep but I was out of excuses. I didn't like myself. That's what it came down to. I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, yet I did nothing to change it.

It was such a change for me. I felt better a week after having a kid than I did 6 months after. A week after having a baby I went to a cousin's baby shower, a week and a half after that I went to an outdoor movie. I had more energy then I had had in a long time. I went on lots of walks. I loved to visit my husband between classes. Mostly because I was directed by a doctor to shower daily and to take it easy. I lost the baby weight quickly and was feeling amazing.

And then came winter. My husband was in his last year of college. And I was depressed, I regained all of the pregnancy weight. Yikes!

In spring, I made some small steps that started me back on the right track. And all I did was to spend time on myself. It has taken me years to not feel guilty about taking care of myself. Why do we allow that to happen!? In the movie "Mom's night out" the dad mentions how you have to put your oxygen mask on first and than help others.

I invite you to take the time to love yourselves today. And than you can start on your ever growing to-do list.

Thanks for reading!

May 3, 2017

You matter

As a mother it becomes very difficult to stay motivated at home. We start thinking, is it worth it? Am I making a difference?

And then you have moments where your child does something that makes you proud and happy to be their parents.

Today, well doing dishes I watched as Rose and a little girl I take care of during the week danced in the dining room. All of a sudden the little girl fell down and hurt her arm. I was about to rush over but I could see she wasn't hurt but what surprised me was Rose taking care of her. She kissed her owies and made everything better. Soon they were twirling to the music once more.

I try to remind myself that we are works in progress. I don't have it all figured out and my daughter is only 4 with lots of time to learn and grow. We are here on earth to learn from lives experiences. We have a long way to go but that is what it is all about. She is still learning and I am too.

So take a deep breath with me and start again. It will all work out, you have plenty of time, just keep trying.

May 1, 2017

Searching for something

In The Little Mermaid she is searching for something. Not really knowing what she would find. In one of the songs it says "Ask them my questions and get some answers." Isn't that what we try to do all the time? But do we know what the questions are?

Since I was little we moved a lot. Even if we stayed in the same school we would change houses often and it hasn't been until now that all seems like it will stay the same for a bit more than 2 years. And what do I look for? I want change.... but I really have no idea what I am searching for.

People do it all the time. They move and jobs no longer last 30-40 years. We want to travel further than before. We want something, we are searching yet we can't seem to find it. Those lucky enough, like the Little Mermaid go for what they want and it actually turns out she wanted it. The story could have ended so differently. She finally has legs and then she finds out that the grass really wasn't greener on the other side but now she's stuck.... Yikes!

I've been thinking about this a lot. And I find that I want to recreate times that I had fun and was happy. Forgetting all along that yesterday was an excellent day and that tomorrow is promising to be even better. Isn't that great? I want to enjoy what has been instead of creating and enjoying the wonderful life happening right in front of me.

My goal for the week is to be present. :)

Thank you for reading!

April 24, 2017

Dads matter

Almost a decade ago on a flight to Utah. I met a woman that greatly impacted my life. To me she seemed young and pretty(she had life figured out, I thought). She had recently become an empty nester. During the 2 hour flight we talked. I don't remember everything discussed but I do remember her telling me that if you wanted your husband to be involved in your children's lives you had to act. She told me that unless I insisted my future husband won't have a relationship with my future children.

At that point in my life, I had recently graduated high school and was moving to Utah to hopefully get into college. I was definitely not thinking that far into the future. I was 18. I was applying to college and I did not have any prospects for a husband.... I was a kid.
Yet this lovely lady was giving me advise that I wouldn't need for many years to come. To her it must have just been a nice conversation but it meant the world to me. A stranger that wanted me to succeed in life.

Fast forward though college, marriage, a kid, many apartments and a few jobs. And that advise is ever more present. My husband has always been a great help. As I see my daughter getting older, I can see why that advise I received so long ago matters. When children are young they need you for everything. Yet a time comes when they don't need your help as much, they do most things on their own, they are ready to go to school and make friends of their own.

At this stage it is easy to forget that your kids no longer need a nanny to change their diapers and feed them. They need a loving relationship with their mother and father. It seems easier for a lot of mothers because they are home, they check homework and answer questions. But what about their fathers? They don't seem as needed. Their wives have it all handled, all they need to do is work and provide for their families.

Children need more than that they need a loving father to listen to them, to show them love, to play with them, someone to point them in the right direction. When a kid enter school they are all nerves and excitement. And they want to share it with those people that matter most in their lives. Their mother and father but what happens when parents are to busy or not available. Those loving children learn to not trust. They learn not to share their feelings because they were never heard before.


So I invite you to listen to your children. What they say may not be important to you but it means the world to your little one.

April 21, 2017

We Need Each Other

In todays world we take care of ourselves. Some may be lucky enough to have close friends and family to rely on but most people are left to struggle alone. We convince ourselves that we don't need help and that we can't ask for help. Why?

Where did the "it takes a village to raise children" mentality go? Why are people expected to go it alone? Life is impossibly hard and we were never meant to go at it alone. We were born into families, some better than others, and in most groups we are expected to marry and have families of our own. Why? Because we need each other, and not just a spouse and children but the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, the cousins. It gives a connection that matters and can never be taken from us.

And now you say what if I don't have family? You have neighbors, coworkers, church members and you have a community. The days of knowing your neighbors and actually relying on them are long gone it seems. And yet your neighbors are still there and it might surprise you that they also are searching for a connection.

In high school I remember new people going to church and I was one of the first people to reach out, especially in Young Women's. It was always interesting to see what would happen afterwards. These girls would go to something and I'd sit with them and the next time the others girls would reach out as well. Until that moment they hadn't felt the need but because I acted they wanted to act as well.

Connections are important to our health, when we feel lonely and isolated, depression sets in, you may even lose focus of your objectives in life. Don't let that happen.

I invite you to reach out. I try to reach out a lot, because I need it. I realize that I can't change things for everyone but I can in my little community. I can try to be there for those that may need it. My Grandma recently told me of a women where she lives that has a large porch were she sets out rocking chairs that she has painted and even named. This women has coffee going just in case someone needs a place to go. A place where relief is found and their daily struggles can be forgotten if only for a while. A place where women can find a connection and comfort.

April 14, 2017

Easter Party Prep.

Is it just me or is it nerve racking to know you are having a large group of people show up at your doorstep expecting to be feed and entertained? Yikes!

Tomorrow that will be me.

Thankfully they have all accepted to help out with the food but still just knowing can be very overwhelming and I thought I would write out some ideas to make the day go smoothly.

1. To start out with, do what you can the day or even week before. Shopping, decorating, set-up and if possible make the food in advance.

2. Make sure everyone gets an invitation. It sounds so simple but for our wedding breakfast we had all the immediate family, except we forgot to invite two people(Sorry! We still love you.)

3. Delegate. It is so easy to want to do it all by yourself but for your own sanity let everyone pitch in, especially for clean-up.

4. Relax. This is your party too, and if you aren't having fun then your guest probably aren't either.

5. And lastly, schedule time for yourself. With everything going on it is easy to still be wearing your pj's when the first people knock. So take the time to relax and get ready for the party!


Good luck to all those brave people hosting Easter parties this weekend!


P.S. Take the time to remember why we celebrate this holiday. All the bunnies and Easter eggs hunts are fun but there is so much more to Easter. Namely the Resurrection of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

April 11, 2017

To try or not to try

We live in a world where everyone around us seems to be the best at something or other. We see women who work full time and then come home to take care of their children. We see people that volunteer their time, those that always seem to have a lot of friends. We see the best side of people and seeing that side keeps us from doing what we really want to do.

So...what do you want to do? Should you not try just because someone might be better. Or even worse do you fear going that extra step. If you don't try you will never fail....

Not the case because of regret. Someday you will wonder what have I done with my life. I mean sure you might have a great job, a wonderful family, great friends but have you ever gone out of your comfort zone to try something you might completely and utterly fail at? Scary....

I think there is merit in trying. You might end up finding something you love and that is that best reason to try. How many of us have thought of being some famous person, whether in sports, t.v. , movies, writing, or even in politics. To be that one person everyone knows. The dreams are glamorous but the work that would lead you there is not glamorous. It is the daily small things that will make the biggest differences.

I love to write but I feel inadequate that could stop me. I'm sure I have grammar errors and I'm not very structured in my writing but I try and I love it. And that is enough.

Try something new and do what you love especially when you aren't the best.

February 8, 2017

Service in our Community

     On Saturday I went to a church activity for the women of my stake where we were able to listen to Janice Kapp Perry, most known for writing primary songs.

    I learned many things from her but what I would like to share is how she served in her community. Janice decided to find something to do that would be a sacrifice for her. So, she called a friend that could no longer read and offered to read her a book. She thought oh... I'll just go once but after visiting she offered to return every week at the same time. Her service increased with time first it was one hour and then it was three. And she would never regret spending her time there.

A few years my daughter and I did something similar. In our ward was a lovely old couple that we visited all the time. She would make cookies for the neighborhood kids that were returning from school.

Soon after we moved in they invited us into their home. My daughter at the time was only one. And a bit much for them yet they always had a cookie for her and a basket full of toys. They would ask us to stay for dinner and they invited us to their family activities. When I needed a ride to church they were there and when she could no longer see well enough to drive.... I would drive them in their car. I loved to sit with them in church, Grandpa would always help with my daughter. And Grandma would give her rides with her walker. Grandma always encouraged me to be the best I can be. I remember her telling me that if you don't feel well to just get up and do it, that it will pass.

The sense of community we felt because of them was amazing. We planted a garden together even though all she could do was tell me where to dig and where to plant. We grew to love them very much. Since moving away we haven't be able to visit much and earlier this year our dear Grandpa Petersen passed at age 93. In his obituary it says "he never met a stranger" and I know that to be true.

At times serving others can be a sacrifice but I know that as we serve in our neighborhoods the love in our community will increase. You will find your place in this world.

February 6, 2017

Be your own kind of beautiful

Every day we are assaulted by images. We see them on television, online and in magazines. A lot of the time they are ads to make us think we need what they are selling to make us as beautiful as the people in the ad.
 
Other times we compare ourselves with the pictures we see online from people we know. That seem to have it all together(hint:they don't...) What we see is their best front. I'll give you an example, if you take 100 pictures how many are good enough to share? Even the most experienced photographer will have bad pictures.
It happens yet life is beautiful because of the hardships. There are beautiful weeds... 
 
I look around me and think that other people are beautiful, smart, accomplished. They are all roses and I want to be a rose but I'm not a rose. I'm a wildflower.
 
Some people really like wildflowers and some do not. Yet I'm beautiful and resilient.
 
Do you know how many types of flowers there are? There are over 400,000 and those are types, not including all variations and colors.  
 
Don't compare a rose to a lily.... Be your own kind of beautiful.
 




February 4, 2017

Love of God, Perfect Love, Happiness

       Christ in white robes in front of billowing white clouds, walking across large stones seen in the foreground.
As Valentine's day approaches I thought it good to remember the best example of love. I'm sure many of you can think of people in your life that have shown you what love is, and how to show love to those around you.

       In the Bible it says:
 
John 3:16 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 
 
      Our Heavenly Father is the best example of love. He gave His Son for us for us to be happy. Men our that they might have joy(2 Nephi 2:25).
 
Real love is not to desire a person, but to truly desire
their happiness–sometimes, even, at the expense of our own happiness.(Richard Paul Evans)

 
      Loving others can be hard at times, it is easy to think of our own happiness before another's.
 
How often has someone asked you for help and you deny them? To love our families seems
 easier but how often do we ignore their desires for our own?
 
I invite you to show love and to serve those around you. 

February 2, 2017

Marriage with kids

       Do you remember those days when you first feel in love with your husband? How excited you were to see him across the room... I remember in college, I'd go find him between classes just to say hi. It was all new and exciting to know I would marry that man and be with him for forever.

       Just like many of you I didn't think about what it would be like to have a kid in the house but we talked about it, you know, the great how many....

       That first summer was the best of my life so far. We worked together in the mornings and then had the rest of the day to explore and explore we did. We took long walks and hikes. We went camping and enjoyed dreaming together.

        We dreamed, but it never prepared us for reality. By the end of the year we were expecting our first child and that is when my focus went from him to our unborn child. It was an exciting yet very overwhelming time. And I had no idea how to be a wife and a mother at the same time. To me it was always one or the other.

        It took me a long time to realize that the best thing I could do for my daughter was to love her daddy. You'd be amazed, you fill his bucket of love, and it spreads.... Those moments of daddy/daughter perfection increase exponentially.

      So I ask you, what have you done for you husband today? Do you still seek him for love and companionship?

Love him, listen to him, pay attention to what is important to that man you married. 
     

January 31, 2017

Industriousness

      Long ago working for shelter, food, commodities were an all day thing. People would wake up at dawn to feed animals, make breakfast(you couldn't just pop in the microwave), walk many miles to a job, and many others things.

      Nowadays life is easier we can sleep in, work part of the day and return home with plenty of time to do what ever seems good to us. Yet I see that people forget industriousness.

Industriousness definition, working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent: an industrious person.(www.dictionary.com)

      We no longer have to work so many hours, yet working energetically and devotedly is important! It improves your whole life; to work with joy in the outcome, to be diligent and loyal to an employer, and to find peace in providing for your own needs as well as those of your family.
     
       That extra time is wonderful but where do we put the time? Do we put it on trivial things that won't matter or do we put it with our families, our communities.

Time equals love.
 
You love those you serve. Where do you put your time?