Like so many women out there, I am a wife, mom, and do-it-all handyman, err- woman. I wanted to create a blog that can help us as women get back to what's really important. It's time to get priorities straight and make life better for ourselves and our families in these troubling times. I plan on having multiple pages to touch on each aspect of our lives- including what others expect of us, as well as the pressure we put on ourselves. I hope my posts will touch someone out there and help her days be sweeter!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Separation of Church and State

It's voting time again! This is the time where we as Americans have the chance to have "the will of the people" be heard. So many immoral and ungodly things are going on in our world. We need to stand up for what we know to be true and good.
So many people misunderstand the meaning of "separation of church and state." This doesn't mean we can't talk politics at church or vote for what your church teaches to be true (morally). It doesn't mean we can't pray at school or ask our friends in art class to come to church with us. It simply means that the Pope (used as an example, even though he's not American) cannot serve as the Pope and President of the United States of America at the same time. Religion cannot be forced. While there are tax stipulations that inhibit non-profit churches from speaking political views from the pulpit, that can't stop hallway chitchat. While the conversational subject of politics is considered taboo in so many places it is so important to not be ignorant of your local and national dealings. I urge you to please be aware of what is happening in your area and make your voice heard!
Slightly switching gears here, I have had a pleasant surprise in 2 of my college classes. I get to talk about Jesus and God's plan for us, and it is encouraged! One class deals with sociology of the family. My professor is a retired pastor and has no qualms with bringing religion or politics into the classroom. He even started the first class with scriptures from the Bible!
In my British Literature class we are studying some of JRR Tolkien's works. Do I need say more? Many of the test questions are asking for themes his work sets out. How awesome is that! One question I just did was a theme on the Holy Spirit and how he whispers messages to you when you are in trouble.
All my life I had been taught you can mention religion in school. Working in daycare I was told not to mention religion. I felt so empty, and odd not being able to share such a basic part of who I am. Now that I have the chance it feels odd because it goes against what was ingrained in my head. But my heart is happy. I would love to see classes like these encouraged in the public school system, but it all goes back to the misunderstanding of "separation of church and state." Our Pledge of Allegiance says, "One nation, under God." Our money says, "In God we Trust," and yet we cannot pray at school openly. It may be several years from now, but who knows.... if enough of us stand up and VOTE FOR TRUTH AND GOODNESS we just may make it right again! This helps fill everyone's cups! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time Flies...

Wow! It's been almost 2 months since my last post. I have been uber busy and very tired.

All the health issues are still there- none resolved yet. School is flying by for the kids. I even added college to my plate. All was successful for my financial aid (even with several bumps in the road along the way) and admission was completed. I am now officially a full-time student, full-time wife and mother, and on call friend (sorry about that one).

It's funny how the less time you have to get things done, the more is added. I feel bad that I have not been calling my friends more often like I used to, but I have been able to go see them in person more often, even with the 35+ mile separation. It doesn't seem to be enough, though. I have a few friends from my old stomping grounds that call me up for their "Bridgette time" or "Bridgette fix." I find it funny that though they are not in the same circles they refer to me in the same way. It's flattering and a good self-esteem booster. Guilt sets in though when I go to see one friend but not the other when they are only a few miles apart. I tell myself that I am just one person and can't do it all in one day (plus my kids are in tow-for play dates with their kids- and they have a threshold, too) and life still awaits at home. I apologize if any of you out there reading this feels I am neglecting our friendship. It's not my intention. I really do try to see everyone.

Life is still in the pre-stabilized stage right now with schedule changes and new activities. I've got priorities down, I just have to find a routine that works efficiently. Suffice it to say that house work has gotten the short end of the stick while the new routine is being figured out. You can't tell that just 2 months ago I spent everyday of 2 weeks deep cleaning 2211ft2. Just days after I finished, there was mud on the walls (still there in some rooms) pizza smashed in the carpet, saltwater taffy spit out and hidden under furniture, milk spilled on the upholstery, blue marker murals on the staircase and upstairs hallway (still there too), and clutter from outdoor projects everywhere! But, hey! I'm staying on track for my college classes!

In one of my classes we are learning about the sociology of the family, mainly how the mother/wife steers the flow of the family function. I am amazed at how much power we as mothers and wives really do have over the direction our families take. There are always the social and economical issues that we cannot change and have to deal with, but we can determine how they will affect our families. Will we let hardships get us down, or will we fight on and prevail? I'd like to think of myself in the latter group. While today's struggles may be of time, keeping an orderly home, or furthering education, the broader picture should still always be in view. Ask yourself, "What do I really want for my family?" "Am I doing what's best for my family?" "Are my families psychological and emotional needs being met?" So many times when we focus on ourselves and our troubles, we forget to keep the whole picture in view. Yes, we need to care for ourselves, but that does not mean that we can ignore everything else.

In my class we are learning about the changing family. People in society are saying left and right that families are in crisis, that values are falling apart. What is to be done? I learned something interesting. Change the question, and you'll find a solution to the problem. "Why are families changing?" Find the reason why, and you can find the answer. At church we know that the answer is the Adversary doing his work to destroy all that is good and holy to God, setting his focus on the sanctity of marriage and families. For people with little or no religious views these answers may come in different forms such as feminism, latch-key/viddy kiddy/day care kids, single parent, or even just a parent who doesn't have it in them to care anymore. There are ideals that we all strive for, but are we willing to do the work to get the reward? In our instant gratification society, traditional ideals are outdated yet frustrating because we can't have them NOW if they are what we want. I love the billboard along the main interstate that says, "BE the change you want to see." We need to be doers. We need to get our cups full now more than ever so we can fight on and persevere with our families at our sides in this troubling world. One drop at a time, one family at a time, we can make our world a better place as long as we DO. Find your ideals. Set goals. Make it happen! Go fill those cups! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ode to Back to School

Arthur Academy, I love thee. Let me count the ways.... Well count down is more like it. One week from today and my two oldest will be back in school. Not to mention my brother I take care of will start back at his special ed program too. Woohoo! I am very much looking forward to quiet mornings and getting back to the blog daily.

I know I have not been consistent this month like I was in the beginning. Well, it is summer. Family activities have taken up my time, plus the computer has been having issues. So either way, I couldn't get online for very long, if at all.

It's funny how life throws you irony. Since I started this blog on staying optimistic and taking care of yourself, I have been hit with many reasons not to do so. I am grateful for the knowledge and support from my faith that keep me going and on the upside (for the most part). Filling your cup is definitely a process. Like anything else in life, changing your frame of mind takes perseverance and dedication. I have been using my own advice quite a bit the last couple months. It's all too easy to just slump back and say to yourself, "Ugh, what's the use." Believe me, I say this too, but I don't let the thought linger. I hate hypocrisy, and try with all my might not to be a hypocrite. I teach my kids that the word "hate" is a very strong word and not to use it lightly. So when I use it, I mean it.

I apologize if I seem a little scattered. I feel scattered. I am emotionally pulled in many directions from events over this summer, and haven't quite figured out how to solve things yet. I got a wake up call the other day from a blessing I received and am working on getting my head back on straight. I know I'm not alone and the Lord is there- always. I need to remember  that more often. I'm sure someone out there has the same issue I do- stubbornness. So my challenge I set forth from now until whenever the next time I write is to remember the Lord and let Him in  to help carry you/me when things are hard (and maybe even for the little things too). I know if we do this we can fill our cups faster!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Muscle Testing

I am so excited about this topic. I have had a previous doctor and my chiropractor use a method called "muscle testing" to see what my body was doing at that particular moment, but the process was never explained to me until recently.

My mom lent me a book called "The Emotion Code" (see the side panel to order your own copy). It gave me so many answers to questions I've had for most of my life about how our mind-body works and how to talk to your subconscious without hypnotism. The book addresses multiple topics about how our energy is used  and how it is affected by negative energy. (Remember- we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and spirits are pure energy!)

Do you know why you are quick to feel a particular negative emotion so strongly when something trivial happens? You may have a trapped emotion stirring your reactions. This book addresses what you can do to fix that. Do you feel you just can't "get over" something traumatic? "The Emotion Code" addresses that, too. Do you have a medical condition that the doctors just can't figure out why it's going on especially when the test results say you're fine? This book tells you how to address your body and ASK YOUR BODY what it needs, what's wrong, and how to fix the problem. Now, this doesn't replace your doctor. It will help them help you better. I suggest finding a doctor that is familiar or at least open to muscle testing so you will get better cooperation from them and not looked at like you're crazy.

The reason I am not going into detail on how to perform muscle testing is quite simple. I am awful at explaining it. I have a few close friends I have shared my new knowledge with and I get so excited about explaining it to them that I fumble over my words and leave out important details thinking they automatically know it too. Even just typing this, I am using the backspace button a lot typing the word ahead of what I am thinking. But I will explain what it is.

What is muscle testing? Muscle testing is when the conscience mind-body connects to the subconscious mind and may ask "yes" or "no" questions. The subconscious mind has access to all universal knowledge, since knowledge is energy, and so are our spirits. That part of us can take the question we ask of it, and in turn it will seek out the answer and give it to us. The key point to remember is that God has given us this ability, as He is the one that created us, and has given us the knowledge to access. We need to be ethical in our questioning, and give thanks to Him and have love and gratitude in our hearts. Without these, the process does not work right.

Now there are several techniques that are used in muscle testing. Self-testing, partner testing, surrogate testing, and proxy testing. The book goes over all these methods and multiple techniques to each method. Each offers a very distinct difference between "yes" and "no" answers.

In the book, Dr. Brad (the author, who is also an LDS Christian) talks about our emotions and how they affect our bodies physically in the long run and not just temporarily as we may think. He introduces what it are called "trapped emotions" and how they magnify our feelings (remember the question earlier on how you are quick to feel so intensely?). There are also things called "heart walls" that our minds create to shield our hearts from being hurt repeatedly. He explains that our bodies, being energy, resonate at a certain frequency. After all, everything around us is energy just vibrating at different frequencies to make them appear as they do to us in our realm. (All you science and physics folks out there can appreciate this, and know it's true.) Negative thoughts and emotions resonate at a different frequency and is not harmonious to our bodies. When our subconscious does not process these emotions correctly, they can become trapped in our bodies, literally. Ever hear the term "emotional baggage"? It's truer than you'd think. These trapped emotions get lodged wherever they want to, and can reek havoc on your health. He takes account of patients of his who have had cancer, tennis elbow, migraines, night terrors, and more who have been freed from their ailments after their trapped emotions that were CAUSING these things were released, never to return again. It truly is one of God's healing miracles that He has allowed us to understand how it works. This even works on animals!

Now I'm sure some of you think, "Yeah, right. This is all hooey and witch craft." But I assure you, it's not. Anyone who knows me personally would know that I would NEVER endorse anything ungodly or even questionable. I am a believer in this knowledge and am very excited to be using it to help myself and my loved ones feel better mentally and physically.

If you would like to learn more about this book before purchasing it, here is more information about the program, or you can visit

Happy healing, and fill that cup!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why does cleaning take so long?

I had a so-so productive day yesterday. I had the kids off at my awesome friend's house where they got to spend the night. I decided to start cleaning with my daughter's room, which is at the far end of the hallway upstairs.

The plan was to go in a wave from one end of the house to the other, top to bottom. Well, I never got past her room. I was shocked at how much graffiti a 5 year old can make on the walls and furniture. I went through 6 Magic Erasers and needed more, but ran out. The washcloth just wasn't cutting it. I found rotten apple cores, a broken night light, clothes that disappeared last school year, hidden barf stains, and gum in the carpet. I didn't think her room was that bad by just glancing in from the doorway. Boy, looks were deceiving! The shampooer was pulled out and used for about 2 hours.

Today's agenda was to shampoo the whole house after being cleaned yesterday. Yeah, it didn't happen. I did deep cleaning about 2 months ago, and thought it would go quickly like it did last time. My family must have been on dirt overload this summer! I will be so happy when school starts up again and the house can stay cleaner. Instead of shampooing today, I've been washing walls and folding laundry. After washing the walls for over 2 1/2 hours today and not even finishing the upstairs, I gave up and took a break. I guess I should get back to it. Now, where do I get a genie to do it for me? There's gotta be one somewhere...

I'm going to get it done this week. I just have to. I will feel so much better in a newly cleaned house, and function better. I would love to get back to my crafts. Well, off to chores again. Let's go fill our cups.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Projects, Projects, and more Projects

This spring/summer has been full of projects at my house. The fence was finally put in, sprinklers are on their way to getting done, I painted/decorated our bedroom the way I wanted it to be, and I got a ton of shelving units put together and placed in their permanent homes. Not to mention ALL the moving boxes have been unpacked (except for some of my craft and sewing stuff). There is still more painting to be done, the fence needs stained and sealed, more purging of old stuff needs to happen (garage sale is coming in the next couple of weekends, so come on over!), re-organizing my craft room again and again 'till it works the way I like it, and the constant uphill battle of cleaning up after 6 people with begrudging children not really helping.

I took a look at my house today and sighed. I took a "break" from cleaning over the weekend. I was just too tired. I am ashamed to see how much mess my family makes and does not clean up after themselves. The living room is basically a storage room right now for the sprinkler parts waiting to be installed and the laundry that has not been put away. The hall closet had to be emptied out so the hubby could access the crawl space and bate the ants who have invaded our house since all the outdoor projects have started, and the stuff is still sitting in the family room awaiting permission to be returned to their homes in the closet- but alas, the ants haven't met their demise yet... The toys that had been bagged up and set aside for the garage sale are now being reintegrated back into the mesh. I am going to have to buck up and just say, "Everything goes." The kids don't even take care of anything, so why should they have it? Bicycles and scooters are in the entry way because the garage is blocked by a mound of river rock. Someone gave my husband something like 5 big boxes of paperback books, knowing that he never turns down books-especially free ones. So they are sitting on the foot chest at the base of the stairs waiting for a home on a bookshelf. I have a bag of pants I promised a friend a week and a half ago I would alter for her husband and haven't even started yet. They, and the sewing machine are sitting next to the newly acquired books.

I still see so many projects I want/need to get done, but haven't. Summer sure does make it hard. I am sooo looking forward to school starting again and having the peace and quiet to think and get my projects done efficiently. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. But nothing ever gets or even stays accomplished when they are home 24/7.

I went to Jo-Ann's the other day and got a bunch of supplies to make some fun crafty things I've had stuck in my head for a while. I want to do them so badly, but cannot bring myself to actually do it until I have order and cleanliness around me. That is just how I function. So until I get the living room to no longer be a storage unit, the closet put back together, the toys gone, and my craft room re-organized, my creative outlet will just have to wait. Ugh.

I guess it's just all part of being a mom. We shuffle our schedules to meet the demands of our families and are constantly re-prioritizing what has to get done and what can wait. I know we can all relate to this. I'm at the point right now where the stuff that was put off just can't wait anymore, and I am having a tough time doing it without feeling discouraged. Hmmm, I wonder if there would be much cooperation for a "Chore Day Get-A-Way." Once a week (or month) moms send all their kids to one person's house for the WHOLE DAY. Then all the other moms go on a cleaning fury. The next swap, they go to someone else's home, and keep rotating until all moms have had a turn. It would need to be greatly organized, and people would have to stay committed. I tried doing something like this in Beaverton, before moving to Woodburn, but there was a real lack of commitment. When it was my turn, I only got about 2 1/2 hours (without help) before I got a call saying that I needed to get my kids- she was done with it. Not much got done that day.

Oh, well. Life goes on. "Oh blah dee, oh blah dah," as the Beatles would say. I sure need to get functioning again soon so I can fill my cup!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who Keeps Giving Monkeys All The Wrenches?

Someone needs to find all the tools in the world and keep them away from the pesky monkeys in my life. I understand everything is in the Lord's time, but I would really like things to go my way every once in a while (wishful thinking).

I told my mom it's been hard to think of positive things to blog about these last two weeks, and to not be negative. I've been stressed; my friends have been stressed; my family's been stressed, and no relief in sight (yet). She and one of my brothers said that it's all part of life and to write it in a way that is understanding to those kinds of days. I've done one previously titled "Can I Have A Redo?" Yes, I know it is all part of life. Believe me, my life is not all butterflies and rainbows. I do try my best to be optimistic and find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Like most Americans, finances are tight. I have not worked in over 2 years because of my youngest son who has Cystic Fibrosis. Going back to work is a tricky situation. Part of it is that I am not flexible in my schedule, and my pay scale is higher than what most employers are willing to pay right now. There are many things I have to weigh to even make it worth taking a job. I've prayed about it, and the Lord keeps saying not to worry about going back to work, all will be taken care of. So 6 months ago I decided it was time to go back to school, and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

I have been trying for a couple years now to get back to college. Life kept getting in the way and it would get delayed, again and again. I decided there would be no excuse for this next school year (2010-11) and started the process back in March to register and get financial aid ready. I met with the advisers a few times to make sure I was doing things right and planned out my pre-nursing class schedule for the next two years- as all my previous credits were now expired or invalid. So hopefully I don't have to keep trying to get my previous transcripts transferred. I've tried twice and both times the new college says they never got the files. I did get a massive scholarship application packet completed, along with 2 letters of recommendation, and turned it in at the deadline. I thought I had done everything I needed to for the ball to start rolling.

I've been waiting since April to hear back from the Financial Aid/Scholarships Office for the status of my applications. FAFSA said my application was completed back in mid April, yet the college didn't have the info yet. The review board is still going over the scholarship packets, so no clue where that one is going. I did get one letter stating I was not chosen for that particular grant, but that's the only response so far.

I got a letter a few days ago, followed by an email today stating that my college application has been put on hold. I called today to find out why. Apparently I had to do an online orientation and do the placement testing ASAP before they can finish my enrollment and financial aid paperwork. So I did the orientation online today (which was boring and didn't learn anything I didn't already know) and I will go do my testing tomorrow. I called the Financial Aid Office again to check on the FAFSA status, and they still haven't received it. They are up to applications processed by April 5, 2010, and said it can take an additional 16 weeks after they receive it from the government before they complete their end of it! My date was April 19, so who knows how much longer I am going to have to wait. I can't go if I don't have funding. Arrgh.

I know eventually it will happen-I MUST HAVE PATIENCE. I have noticed as I have gotten older that my patience wears thinner. I know I need to work on that topic a lot. I know we all have those days/weeks/months/years where we just feel so disconnected from where we need to be, and feeling continually set back no matter what we do, or even a lack the motivation to get there. But there is hope. Keeping our eyes focused on the Lord, even when we might be perturbed at Him for not getting our way, will ALWAYS get us through even the toughest of times.

I apologize if this comes off as "me, me, me." I am in the same boat as a lot of you out there, and trying to stay positive with some venting along the way. I will keep moving forward and find the time to fill my cup. I hope you do, too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vitamin D Update!

We are still having computer issues, but for tonight, it seems to be cooperating.

I wanted to post some more info on Vitamin D that I knew was stored somewhere in my brain, and my mom found it. Thanks!

Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin. It is a natural steroid that helps regulate hormones. Your body CANNOT store it. It also takes a couple days to process through your system. So for all you out there who religiously shower and scrub with soap daily, listen up. Vitamin D actually sits on your skin's surface when you are out in the UV rays. (Which are good for you! Just not in excess.) It takes 48-72 hours from exposure for your body to process it. When you take a shower and use soap, you are literally washing it down the drain. Just use soap on the stinky and truly dirty parts of your body, and rinse with water on the other parts. This preserves the natural oils in your skin so they can do their jobs properly and get that D where it needs to go.

Also, your eyes are the main benefactor for processing Vit. D if you allow them. Your retina can amazingly produce up to 90% of needed Vitamin D if you have UNFILTERED exposure. This means no glasses or contacts. Exposure can be indirect (meaning eyes closed). If you cannot be outside without glasses or contacts (like me- I'm legally blind) then get that trunk exposed and don't wash it with soap!

Getting adequate Vitamin D greatly increases your health both physically and emotionally. Because it aids in regulating hormones, which play such a big role in our lives, we all need to make sure we are getting enough. Ladies, it helps with regulating your period, lessening your symptoms from it, and can even help shorten it if you suffer from long, heavy menses. Guys, it helps with prostate health and testosterone levels.

Let's all get out in the sun this summer and literally "soak it in" so we can fill our cups!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Get Out In the Sun

So this comes from many different sources in my life. Some think it's hokey, but I say it totally makes sense. You decide for yourself.

Is sunscreen bad for you? Some researchers say, "Yes." There have been studies linked with sunscreen and their ingredients causing cancer. It is said that particular ingredients found in most sunscreen actually speed up the naturally occurring cancer cells in your body so they manifest themselves early or even awaken them if dormant. (check out the link, and read about the importance of Vitamin D and sunscreen- references are at the bottom of the article)Yes, everyone has cancer cells. Not everyone has the genetic disposition for them to awaken and become dominate. So, don't let that statement scare you, please. But unnatural circumstances can cause them to reek havoc.

Vitamin D is another topic that needs to be acknowledged. Most Americans are deficient, including myself. Going out in the sun (with out sunblock!) is the natural way our body makes this vital nutrient. Vitamin D cannot be stored, so we need a continuing supply to replenish ourselves. There are some foods and supplements that offer fortified Vitamin D. These help, but are not the most effective. I also learned from my doctor recently that in the medical field they are discovering that 10-15 minutes a day in direct sunlight is all you need, as long as you don't have sunblock on, and have your trunk exposed. Arms and legs go not have enough surface area, nor do they have internal organs to utilize the solar power. When your chest, stomach, and back are exposed do direct sunlight your body can quickly and efficiently make enough Vitamin D needed to get you through.

Spending time outdoors is a great way to fight depression, get your vitamins, and give thanks to the Lord for all the beauty He has given us. Get in touch with nature, and fill your cup! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shameless Plug

So today I am going to promote my blog...heehee. If you haven't ventured past this page, you're missing 85% of the Cups Half Full experience. All my pages have cute names (in my humble opinion) for their subjects and have a ton of information, tips, and resources to help us women have a more rounded whole being.

The "You're A Babe" page is for exercising tips, self-esteem boosters, article links about myths and realities of dieting, what's really in what you eat and drink, the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, and a cool calorie counter to see how much you burned from a workout. There is so much to play with on this page. There is even a cute little cartoon lady doing jumping jacks for you while you read. Don't forget to take the pole on "how much do you exercise a week?" There are just a couple weeks left open for the tally and only one person has done it!

"Fun Family Activities" is pretty self explanatory. There are links and info on fun cheap and some free activities to do as a family. There are also links for clothing swaps for the kids and you moms! I post new stuff as I find it, so check back often to see if something new is available. Also, feel free to post a comment on an activity that your family enjoys that may not be listed so other families can enjoy them, too! Craft ideas are also welcome. Fun times don't have to be away from home!

"Healthy Yummy Recipes" has recipes for old fashioned homemade goodness! No pampered chef shortcuts here. These recipes promote healthy living, natural and organic products, and minimal to no processed foods. Yes, they are delicious. Most are my own personal recipes I use on a regular basis, and have even created myself. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share, feel free to comment. Or if you have an opinion on a posted recipe after trying it, let everyone know by leaving a comment on it's posting. Feedback is highly appreciated.

"Organization 101" is a simple and friendly way to prioritize and get going on the daunting tasks of cleaning monster messes and getting clutter free. There are also some decorating tips to help spaces feel open and fresh.

"Are You Ready" gives helpful hints on how to be prepared for the unknown: natural disasters, economic crisis, family emergencies, personal financial strain, and even death in the family. Being prepared is not just food storage! I will be posting more resource links as I find them. I know of cool items I've seen in ads that look awesome for getting items organized and stored, I just need to investigate where to get them and find their links. At least one new resource will be posted each week.

"Act 'Naturally'" is about cleaning with natural products you probably have in the house anyway, and doing your part to take care of the environment. The term "going green" is what most people associate these things with, but I feel this is just living the old fashioned way. There are tips and tricks for cleaning just about everything in the house with things on hand, and the classic reduce, reuse, recycle. There are also links for unconventional resources and products to help keep your world clean and the landfills empty. Again, feel free to leave your 2 cents!

Coming soon (when I get all my notes together) is "You Need Me To Do What?" This page will focus on time management and learning to say, "no" when you know you just can't be stretched any further. This is hard for a lot of us who are always giving, but it is ESSENTIAL for keeping your cup full so you have the ability to continue on.

Please check out these pages and become a fan of those you wish to follow. These "pages" have unique URL addresses, so you can bookmark your favorites! Thanks for reading and fill your cup!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Girls Night In

Last night I had a girls night in. Instead of going out and spending a small fortune on movie tickets and concessions, I invited my mom and a dear friend (and her kids to spend the night with my kids) for a movie marathon night with goodies at home. We did mani/pedis until around 2:30am while watching a great movie called "The 10th Kingdom." (It's 8 hrs long!) It was so nice to relax at home and be like a kid again, even though "mom mode" was still on until the 6 kiddos calmed down and went to sleep on the hide-a-bed. The night was a great way to spend time with friends and get to know each other better, and have good old fashioned girl talk.

While "Girls Night In" doesn't need to be a sleepover, spending time with girlfriends and letting your guard down is a great way to connect on a personal level and rejuvenate each other. You can also do a theme night. I went to a chocolate night at a friends house from church a few months back where it was a potluck style dessert buffet with a chocolate fondue fountain. There was a movie too, but we were too busy chit-chatting to watch it.

Be creative with the theme or style! Delegate some responsibilities out, like the food (do a potluck) or games/movies. It's up to you if you want an intimate setting with just a few people or a large gathering. Maybe even co-host(ess) with someone if your space is too small. Either way, having adult female bonding time is a great way to fill your cup!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Learning To Share... Again

So my posts have been infrequent this last week and a half because the nifty little notebook I do all my online stuff with has been confiscated by my husband. His computer is choking to death because the hard drive is full to the brim and has now decided it doesn't want to connect to the internet anymore. So thus, I get to share, reluctantly.

I got to thinking: we tell our kids all the time to share, and even at times take away their stuff and give it to the other kid/sibling so they are forced to share. Hmm, I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. As adults we do share our things quite a bit. Right now our post hole digger is being lent out, I'm borrowing movies from my mom, she's using my brother's car, a friend of mine is borrowing movies and a book from my mom...on and on. But rarely are we forced to share. We borrow and barter as needed. It makes me think of yet another conversation my mom and I had this last week (She's good for getting topics from...thanks, Mom!).

We talked about the Law of Consecration. Life will be grand when we are righteous enough to live this law to its full aspects. We give all we have to the Lord; possessions, time, talents. In return, everyone is given back material goods sufficient for their needs and wants (within reason). It's the Lord's way of doing the adversary's "socialism." Sharing is not forced, we will all be willing and eager to help our fellow man (or woman). There will be no, "Mine, mine, mine!" like I hear from my fighting children. My mom was so cute, she said she would ask if she could keep her sleep number bed because it's the only bed she found that doesn't hurt her back. I reminded her that you get what you need, and if that was what she needed, then yes. Also, when it comes time to live that law, resurrections will be nigh at hand. Her aching back and sleep will no longer be an issue. Wouldn't that be great! All of us who jokingly ask where to buy a new body will get one:) Well, not new, but renewed.

It makes me happy to know that we are coming so close to the time of our Lord's second coming, yet apprehensive because I know I still have so much more work and learning to do. I hope that when that day comes, my cup will be full with all the good things I strive to do, and that you, my fellow sisters will be at my side with cups running over! So let's get to work:)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blast From the Past

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July weekend. My weekend was very full of family events and spending time with dear friends. My happiness has even spilled into today, Tuesday, because a very dear old friend whom I had been diligently searching for, for 14 years, called me tonight. We had a wonderful conversation and got up to date on current events in each others lives. I now have 2 friends in my life that time does not touch our bonds.

I hope she doesn't mind me telling a little of her story, and I won't give her name because it doesn't change anything. She told me she is still freshly out of (just over 1 year) an abusive, domestic violence ridden relationship and home. I honor her courage to protect herself and her children. She has also spoken at conventions and seminars about how to get out of and overcome these circumstances. She is strong and filling her cup, too- along with helping other women fill theirs. She has taken control of her life in the things she can, and is getting back to church so the Lord can do His part for her as well. It filled my heart so much tonight hearing from her and the things she has done. You go girl!

Tonight's topic is from her (thanks). Women (and some men) who are in abusive relationships often do not want to acknowledge what is really happening to them and/or their children. It is scary and many times dangerous and life threatening to do anything about it. But something MUST be done!

My friend is not the only person I know who has had to suffer through this. All the signs are the same. All the excuses are the same. The cycle is the same. You are most likely secluded from your friends and family because of your partner. People who were in your life previous to the relationship are "not a good influence on you," or "I know what's best for you." You may even have been threatened with physical harm if you try to contact anyone. Your partner keeps vigilant tabs on you, maybe even calling obsessively to see where you are and what you are doing/who you are talking to. There is no freedom unless they grant it to you.

The relationship flows in a predictable circle. You have the "honeymoon" stage where your partner promises to be good and things will change, often with a promise from you that you will stay and do your part to make them happy. This fizzles fairly quickly into the "abusive" stage, whether verbal or physical. You are blamed for their unhappiness. You are blamed for things being the way they are. You are the one who has to get it straight for things to be better. You think to yourself, "If only I had... been a better wife," or "been more attentive," or " not gotten in the way".... These are all classic signs from the victim that there is trouble at home. When these escalate to the point that police are called (once or multiple times) or family/friends are raising a fuss about you (many times pleading for you to call the police), the offender starts to be apologetic, and begs but mainly guilt trips the victim into staying and the cycle starts all over again. If any of this sounds familiar and is currently going on in your life, I plead with you to please seek help. Pray to the Lord for the strength to do what needs to be done. There is help out there specifically for this purpose.

There are lots of excuses for not leaving. At one point, I was on the child's side of the situation of my mother needing to leave my father. I was scared of what was going to happen. I was really scared. I thought maybe if we did nothing, things would be OK at some point and we could all move on. But what I wanted was contradictory. Things couldn't get better and we couldn't move on if we stayed in that situation. There had to be action. It took my mom years of prayer for strength before she finally got us out of the abuse, but she did it even though it was hard and scary. She was now a single mom with 6 kids, the youngest with autism. No job, no support. She had been a homemaker for 17 years. We worked as a family and made it through with a lot of help from the Lord. He made it possible.

No matter what your excuse may be, and I'm not trying to be insensitive or not understanding, but there is a way. I promise. Change is hard. Work is hard. But you are worth being saved and loved for who you are WITHOUT ANY STRINGS ATTACHED! Remember who you are. Know who you are. Be confident. Be strong. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your kids. As moms, we all know how we feel when it comes to our children. You do what it takes. So do it. Make that call to the shelter. They can put you in touch with resources and get you out. Don't let it keep beating you down. FILL YOUR CUP!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

This week has been so busy, that I realized last night that I hadn't posted since Monday! Now here it is almost midnight Thursday, and I'm just now getting a chance to write. Oh, well. Life goes on, as I often say.

Today I got to enjoy a rare treat. My mom and I went to the temple together. The last time we got this chance was about 9 years ago. I am so blessed to have a temple close to me and the ability do the Lord's work today just as the ancient people of the Bible did long ago. I am also blessed that I could have my mother as a companion doing so. Thanks, Mom!

As my mom and I conversed today over many topics, she brought up Moroni (from the Book of Mormon) and how he must have felt when he had to seclude himself during war. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, here is a rough summary:
The Native American People had 2 main tribes long ago, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Nephites were the righteous ones (most of the time) and the Lamanites sought to destroy them (most of the time). The last recorded war between them was in the time of Moroni (son of Captain Mormon, who was the leader of the Nephite army). The Nephites had started to turn unrighteous and were warned to repent or be destroyed. They didn't listen. The Lamanites won. The Nephites were wiped out, and the Lamanites became righteous unto the Lord. During the war though, Moroni knew that his and his father's efforts to turn their hearts was futile, and he needed to preserve himself and the records of their forefathers, and the Holy Scriptures that were passed down through generations (the Jewish cannon). So he hid in a cave on the side of the mountain where he could still see all the destruction going on. He hid for a long time, all the while finishing his father's work on their people's recorded history.

So why do I bring up this subject, amongst all the others to choose from today? It's because we can learn so much from the experiences and knowledge from these ancient people in the scriptures. They were people, just like us. They had trials and hardships, just like us. They struggled with the same emotions we do: trust/distrust, denial, joy/pain, anger, longing, heartache, confusion, peace, growing, rejoicing, and acceptance. There are so many stories in our scriptures that can help us in our journeys. Male or female alike, both have great merit in the Lord's eyes, and I'm sure He would want us to learn from our ancestors as much as possible to help alleviate heartache and pain in our lives. But when we do come into these situations, we can turn to them for guidance. We have solid proof in writing how things can turn out when we put the Lord in our lives and follow Him.

The Holy Scriptures have much more meaning to me than great fanciful stories, or tales with a good moral ending as some might say. They are proof to me that no matter what I am faced with, the Lord has paved the way for me to return to Him, and it works! There are others that have been tested and proved themselves! It is possible, no matter how rough along the way. When we feel weary and trodden down, then more than ever, plead for the Father's loving embrace. He can take away the loneliness. Maybe not all at once, but He will comfort you. He has promised us this. All we have to do is ask.

I hope that one day I will know all the scriptures so well, that I won't have to look through the topical guide to find quoted text as I have to do now (but didn't have to for the story above). I want to know ALL the stories by heart and with detail. They are so easy to liken them unto myself, just like we're told to do with them. I hope that all of you can find or have found the same joy, and take from God's Words what is there to be taken, but not taken for granted. His words are the perfect way to fill your cup.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do You Know Who You Are?

Yesterday I had a few separate encounters with different people who were talking about the same subject... knowing who you are. So I got to thinking on the subject as well. While this may not apply to everyone out there, I know there are some who struggle daily with understanding and loving themselves.

When the world tells you to discover who you are, this usually entails the individual leaving behind their life, ie responsibilities, family, friends, jobs, etc... to embark on a soul searching journey. When the Lord tells you to know and discover yourself, He reminds you that you are His child, an heir to deity. You are encouraged to lose yourself in service to others. You do not leave your responsibilities, family, friends, or jobs. Being irresponsible and disappointing and/or hurting others is not the way to discover what kind of person you really are. I strongly urge the Lord's way to know who you are vs the world's way.

So how do you start? First and foremost, no matter what religion you claim to be, understand and acknowledge that you are the spiritual offspring of a higher being. You have a Father in Heaven who loves and cares for you dearly. He wants to see you learn, grow, and succeed in life. You are His child. You are of great worth to Him. You ARE worth the effort. This is your starting point.

Next, think of what talents you have. Musical? Mathematics? Cleaning? A good listener? Crafty? Writing? Baking? Artistic or even multitasking? All these and much more are talents our Father have given us as individuals. Yes, ALL of us have many talents and we need to use them. Part of having a talent is sharing it. What good is hand making a chair if we aren't allowed to sit in it? Or a writing/singing a beautiful song when there's no one to hear it? Our talents are meant to be shared to bring joy to others and ourselves. So find ways to share your talents with your family, friends, community, workplace, etc. You will be pleasantly surprised how much joy this can bring into your life, and your eyes will be opened to understanding who you are. Confidence grows. Talents grow. Your spirit grows. Watch out! You just may get a twinkle in your eye.

My challenge to you this week is to dust off one of your hidden talents and start practicing it again. Let the world around you know that you are there, and you know who you are. You are a child of God and you are filling your cup!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back Underway

OK, so that was more like 4 days instead of one or two. Life has been very busy, and I haven't been online for 2 days. So now that most of the work I was wanting to do is set and ready to go, I will resume my posting!

I would like to thank those of you reading this for taking the time to do so, and thinking my advice is worthwhile. It has been therapeutic for me as well.

Please check out my new pages and become a follower of the ones you like! I am always open to new ideas and suggestions to add onto them. Thanks again!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Under Construction

I am spending the next day or two adding archives to my pages. Please be patient as some things may look a little odd while I am rearranging and editing pages. I will have the normal posts and updates back up as soon as possible.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Compassionate Service

I just talked to my Visiting Teaching companion to check up on a new sister we see who just had her first baby. It's a good thing I did; I forgot I am taking dinner over tonight!

I love doing things like this. I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that I have helped lighten and brighten someone's day. It's not co-dependency (that's a totally different ball game). This is a blessing the Lord has promised us when we serve our fellow beings; that we will have joy and come to know and love those we serve.

Twice a year our church holds a general conference where all the members listen to and/or watch talks given by our church's authorities. This last April there was a talk on service and depression (yes in the same talk). I wholeheartedly agree with what was said. There are a lot of people in this world who suffer from depression. I know, because I too am one (that is why I agree with this subject). For some there truly is a chemical imbalance that only medication can correct, but for the majority of depression sufferers, there is an explanation as to why they are depressed. Most sufferers are sedentary or not physically active enough. Most have worldly thinking, ie, me me me. Most do not understand the true meaning behind sacrifice, and lastly, they do not go beyond themselves and serve others. When we serve a purpose beyond our own selves, our spirits feel rejuvenated. We feel needed and helpful. When we feel this way, there is no room for depression. There is only joy.

When I was in Seminary as a teenager, my teacher had a poster on the wall that had "joy" as an acronym. "J- Jesus, O- Others, Y- Yourself. Without ALL 3, there cannot be 'Joy.'" He also explained they needed to be in that order as well. Putting yourself last doesn't mean going on the back burner either- usually that means that you don't ever get what you need. But instead, serve others without a selfish thought. And be sure to fill your cup so you can help others fill theirs.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Can I have a redo?

There was so much to be done today, and didn't. My supplements haven't seemed to make a difference yet, and I am still feeling wiped out. My husband said maybe I will need medication to help my problem.

My kids refused to do what their dad assigned to them today. Bribes didn't work. Yelling didn't work. Threats didn't work. I gave up. I posted on Facebook that I wanted to know if there was a store I could turn them in for an upgrade. A friend replied, "What happened to your cup half full?" I guess she reads this :) "I spilled it today," was my reply.

Ahhhh... It's OK to have those days. Not everyday can be perfect and productive (or positive). Tomorrow's a new day with a chance to redeem myself. It's important not to dwell on downfalls, and move forward.
Maybe going to bed early tonight will help restore some of my spill today :) sounds so good. Time to fill that cup.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I found myself tonight, as I do a few times each month, searching the internet for answers to emotionally charged questions and looking for other families who have faced a similar situation as I have... losing a child. Tonight I found a few families who lost their little angels to trisomy 13 or 18 and HEP. I have a couple friends who have first hand experience with HEP (alobar holoprosencephaly). While I still have to wait for my answers as to why my son's body couldn't sustain life, I find peace knowing that for some mothers out there, there are answers.

It was about 3 years ago that I found out that I was pregnant for the 9th time. I was excited and worried at the same time. I had a hard history of several miscarriages for known and unknown reasons. My husband and I waited for several weeks before we told anyone. I was starting to show at 8 weeks and thought it was pretty strange. I figured I could tell people now, since asking was starting to ensue. At 10 weeks I awoke in the middle of the night with that awful sinking feeling that something was wrong. I felt blood. I got up, discovered I was right, and told my hubby I had to go to the hospital right away. He needed to stay home with the kids and stay home from work if I wasn't back in time for him to leave. I then drove myself to the hospital and checked in to the ER. I waited for 4 hours before making my way painfully to the front desk and ask why it was taking so long. The waiting room was fairly empty, and there were others that had been there longer than I had. While pleading with the triage nurse to be seen soon, I felt another gush, and now there was a fresh puddle on the floor. This got me back immediately to see the doctor. He figured it was just another miscarriage and ordered an ultrasound to see what was left, and if a D&C was needed. To our surprise, there was no miscarriage, but twins! I was assured the bleeding was under the babies and not hurting them. I took my sonogram picture proudly home and showed it to my husband just in time for him to wake up and go to work. Again, I was excited and worried. The bleeding continued for 5 weeks. I saw a perinatologist as my OB at a specialty clinic. All seemed to be going well. At 16 weeks I was asked if I had ever been tested for being a carrier for the CF mutation. I had no idea what this was, but if insurance was going to cover it, why not? I got a call the next week at work with the results. During that week I did a little research on what it was... not good. I had old info stating that children born with CF (cystic fibrosis) were lucky to make it to age 10. The super lucky ones got to be teenagers. So when I received that call telling me I was in fact a carrier- I lost it. Being pregnant anyway makes a woman emotional, but this news did me in. I was crying to my boss that my kids were going to die and I couldn't do anything about it. Now it was time for the spouse to get tested too.

We figured he was coming to the 20 week appointment anyway to find out the genders, so we scheduled his test then. It was on a Monday. That previous Friday had been a VERY stressful and over eventful day at work (pre-school and daycare) where myself and the other assistant director had been running the center for the week as the director and her family were away on vacation. Throughout the day, I knew there was something wrong, but I figured it was just from the awful day. On Saturday, the Holy Ghost kept telling me, "Pay attention to who is moving," all day long. So I did. They were both active and playing as usual. That night I went to a General Relief Society Meeting at church. I saw an old friend who was also pregnant. I told her I was having twins. Then the Holy Ghost whispered, "No, you're not." I was so confused. "Yes, I am," I argued back. "No, you'll see," was my answer back.

Monday came and I went to my appointment with 2 kids in tow and got a call from the hubby that traffic was heavy and he'd be late. The kids and I agreed that we'd start the ultrasound with out him, and do the genders twice (and act surprised the second time). First one... a boy! "Where's my sister?" my daughter cried. "Don't worry, there's another one," I told her. They were fraternal twins. "It's another boy!" "But I want my sister!" she protested. It took some convincing to get her to accept 2 more brothers. The technician went on and had a puzzled look on her face. She moved the scope to several different positions, then dropped her head and shoulders, took a breath and said, "I can't find a heart beat." She showed me his still body and pointed out that his bladder was enlarged, meaning it had not emptied. She said that this and his growth size compared to his brother meant that he had died sometime in the last week. I said, "No, he died yesterday. He was alive on Saturday." Just then, my husband called asking how it was going and that he was almost there. I had to keep a level head and not let on that something terrible had happened. Over the phone was no way to break this news. I told him he had to get there ASAP, I needed him. My kids were crying. I was in shock. There was silence in the room as the technician finished her exam. My husband walked in with papers he was filling out to take his CF test. The tech asked if we needed a moment. He looked confused. I told her, no and that I needed her there. I told him one had died. She showed him the difference between the 2 bodies. There were many tears and questions. The doctor came in and spoke with us about what was going to happen. I had to continue carrying so the other baby could have a better chance at survival, but I was now at risk at going into labor at anytime. I was to be heavily monitored. We spoke to the chaplain that serves that office and hospital. She gave us a gift to use for remembering our lost baby, and information for bereaved parents. The nurse came in and gave me a hug. I was eerily silent. I had too much to process. The nurse put it perfectly as "bitter-sweet." The appointment ended, and now we had to go home. The CF test didn't happen.

I called work and told them I couldn't work for the rest of the week and why. They were not to tell anyone outside of management what was happening. I couldn't deal with that yet. We told our family and friends at church. The next day I had sisters from church at my door with cards, flowers, lots of hugs, and meals for my family. The first sister to arrive was the one I needed the most. She had an angel daughter, and knew what I needed.

The next 3 months passed very slowly, day by da
y. No one at work knew what had happened until my last week before leaving. My daughter spilled the beans. People acted very strange around me. Some completely avoided me or wouldn't make eye contact. This is why I didn't want them to know. I had a cesarean at 38 weeks. One live baby, and one not. We named him Elliott, "Jehovah is my God." There was a peaceful silence when he was born. I heard a nurse whisper, "wow." The Lord told us all, "It is sufficient." Our Elliott had fulfilled his calling in life without taking a breath. He was mummified, which I had prayed for daily. The day we had the original news, the doctor said there was a chance he could be reabsorbed into my body. I was very disturbed by this thought. I prayed fervently to have his body, to have proof that he existed. My prayer was answered. Because of the twin situation though, he had a condition called fetus papyraceus. This is where the weight of the twin flattens the body of the deceased. He was 18cm long and 1/4" thick. Pathology couldn't find anything wrong with him. He had appeared to be healthy. Now he rests on the top of a hill (God's natural temples) overlooking the countryside with a beautiful sunset every night.

The day after they were born, my new little boy was having his own problems. There were troubling signs that something was wrong. After many hours of talking with the nurses and nurse practitioner and a few tummy xrays, my son was hurried off to the NICU. He had meconium ileus, an indicator of cystic fibrosis.

He lived in the hospital for his first 12 weeks (3 months) of life- undergoing 4 surgeries, 3 blood transfusions, countless procedures, and numerous IV lines that were constantly blowing or infiltrating. He ended up having one sewn into his heart. He wasn't allowed to eat. For a while we couldn't even touch him because the stimulation was too much for his system to handle. My heart broke when he didn't make a sound even though he was screaming. He had an intubator to help his body not have to think about breathing. He had wonderful nurses and doctors who loved him and took the greatest care of him. We celebrated 3 holidays there during his stay. I stopped counting the babies that got discharged before we did. I saw so many families come and go without knowing what really goes on day after day in the NICU. I'm grateful they don't have to know.

I made som
e friends there, and helped keep a smile on some faces when tears wanted to overcome. There were two other families that had been there just as long as we had, and we all ended up bunking by each other in the end. We'd joke about who was going to bust out of there next. Our little guy ended up winning, followed by a gorgeous little girl, and lastly by a spunky little boy on Mother's Day. I thought that was a pretty cool gift to give his mom.

Now, here it is almost 2 1/2 years later. The doctor visits have gone down to just maintenance visits now. The feeding tube left 2 weeks before this last Easter. Our litt
le bundle of a CF miracle is doing pretty good. He is definitely all boy. His big brother and big sister love him very dearly, and understand that he needs extra care. They take it very well, and understand that if they want their brother to stick around as long as possible, he has to have his medicine and therapies. I have never seen any resentment from either one of them. They are awesome!

So for this bittersweet life I am grateful. I know that I will get to hold ALL my children in my arms someday. They are mine, and I am their mother. All will be made right. Until then, I need to make sure I am fighting the good fight and keeping my cup full to take on and continue on for my family's sake.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What a day...

All of us out there have those days that just drag on forever with problem after problem and won't let up. Today was one of those days for me.

I was pretty pleased with my self though. I got through almost all the day before a migraine set in and sucked the rest of my patience away. I yelled maybe twice at my kids to knock off whatever it was they were doing. For the majority of the day I kept a level head every time a new obstacle was thrust my direction. Although I was perturbed at being late to my exercise class because I over slept, discovering a flat tire upon leaving class and waiting 2 hours for it to be fixed, finding out the front end of my van is out of alignment and therefore voids the warranty on my recently purchased unevenly worn tires, paying overdue bills, cell phone ringing off the hook while driving & couldn't answer because of the over zealous new cell phone law (most calls were from my autistic brother who had apparently forgotten the rule about calling me when I'm out and about), being stuck behind drivers who couldn't decide where it was they were going or understand what a speed limit is, had to stop at fast food for lunch-again (disgusting), heavy hail storm, took care of hubby's to do list he had just given me on his lunch break, got to friends house 3 1/2 hours late for a play date and mommy visit, spent $50 for one large bag of groceries for this week's lunches and tonight's dinner (which is still in the oven as we speak), getting home to find a mountain of ants on the kitchen floor and making their way to the pantry, catching 5 year old daughter with poopy panties, and finally answering to mother nature's monthly call... even with all my frustration and 3 kids in tow and their frustration the whole time, I feel pretty calm right now. Sure I would love to have today be over and done with, but I think I handled it much better than I would have before I started changing my thinking.

I could have taken my negative feelings out on my kids every time they shared their negative feelings, too. But I didn't. I realized it's not their fault all these detours in our day kept happening. I think they did pretty good too, especially since nap time never occured either.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new start. I pray it goes smoothly. But if not, I hope I can handle it as well- if not better than today.

I hope all of you had a better day, and as always...Fill that cup.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Setting Aside Differences

Tonight my family had a huge dinner at our favorite restaurant in celebration of my little sister getting her bachelor's degree. Almost all of the family living in Oregon was there, including our grandparents from Montana who drove here for her special day. While the majority of my family are members of the LDS church, we also have Catholics and undecided religious views as well. There is also a colorful past between many members of the family who attended. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the night went, and that everyone got along for the evening without any arguments or debates. For one night, we all seemed to have a common interest... have a good time as a family to celebrate an accomplishment.

If only everything in life could go as smoothly. Unfortunately there are too many times in life we have to deal with people we don't want to be around or don't agree with their personal views (even at work). While I think it is perfectly reasonable to not be around these people whenever possible and/or choose to avoid them, there are those inevitable times. During these times, to help prevent unwanted confrontations, we need to learn to set aside differences and stop conversations from turning down dangerous paths. An easy way to do this is to simply not bring up whatever it is that causes tension or strain between the 2 (or more) of you. If the other person (or people) bring it up, you can simply state that you have no interest in discussing it at this time, and are here to enjoy yourself or whatever the case may be. If they insist or even attack you, mention that every time this subject is brought up, the end results are always the same and you have no wish to purposefully ruin having a pleasant time. Agree to disagree. I've even told some people to "grow up" because they were acting so childish, but that didn't go very well. There also have been times where I had to stand my ground and tell them to stop, and back off. It takes guts, and sometimes may cause a scene, but it does the message across loud and clear.

I acknowledge that not everyone has an "A" type personality like mine, but I do feel it very essential to every living soul to know how to stand their ground. Even the timid can learn to be forceful. I've seen it. It takes practice and a will. The more we have confidence in ourselves and where we stand in life, whether it be religion or politics, personal values, etc. we can overcome the times when we are challenged. This doesn't necessarily mean we have to wage a war to win either. It means we have the discernment of knowing when it's not worth our effort to fight, and when it is. Sometimes the loudest sound is silence. To not fight back destroys the enemy's plan. Think of the advice parents give kids about bullies- don't give them what they want.

My hope is that we all can have the confidence in ourselves to understand what tactics are needed in the different aspects of our lives and use them appropriately. FILL THAT CUP.

Friday, June 11, 2010


5...4...3...2...1.........SUMMERTIME IS HERE!!!

Now that school is out and the kids' schedules are free as a bird, mine is about to go bonkers. Say goodbye to the quiet daytime where I could get chores done with out them being undone within 5 minutes (excluding 2 yr old can't stand a stack of folded laundry, it needs to be on the floor where he can roll and jump in the clothes!). I am tempted to implement my old preschool schedule and curriculum styles to help keep the summer from being total chaos. No vacation for moms.

Have you ever noticed that when it's time for a vacation, it's the mom who gets everyone and everything ready. It's the mom who sacrifices her sleep to get the house completely clean the night before so she doesn't have to come home and have a mess stare her in the face. It's the mom who keeps the kids in line and clean when out in public doing whatever touristy vacationy thing on the agenda (and usually stressed out to the max to make everything wonderful for the rest of the family). It's no vacation for her, but she does it anyway. Why? She does it because she loves her family and wants her children to have fun and exciting memories of their childhood. Now some of you out there I know are blessed with partners who help out tremendously. You guys are very lucky. For those of us that don't, we need to find a way to keep our heads on straight during these stress ridden times. If possible, give yourself a "time-out. I've had to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes before so I could cry alone without being asked why. I hate being asked why I'm crying. Go and be alone for a few moments and take a deep breath. Cry if you need to. Punch a pillow. Then think of how happy you truly are, despite the frustration, for being able to spend time with your family making memories. Shift your thinking just as we are with priorities. We put this time in selflessly so our families can have a good time. So why are you mad about it? Most likely you knew ahead of time it was going to be a LOT of work. You agreed to do it, right?

So much of today's society tells women they need to have an easy life. Women deserve to live a pampered life. Women need to have their outside life take president over their home responsibilities. Life needs to be stress free. I'm sorry, ladies... I don't go for that. Yes, we need to take care of ourselves. We are what our children see day in and day out. We are their examples of how to behave and treat themselves. This means hygiene (spa days every once in a while are totally acceptable), regular exercise, appropriate attire (moms don't have to be in rags), our attitude portrayed is what we expect to see in return from them (like respect), having a "yes" and "no" button that are two and distinct buttons, and taking life as it comes and learning from it. I loved this quote as a teenager..."I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it." God requires us to sacrifice. NO ONE is an exception. Our lives are meant to have trials and be difficult. I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer by any means. I am a realist. I have found happiness in my trials. I have realized that by going through and learning from my trials, I am stronger and am more able to use my God given talents. I have grown as a person. How could that not make anyone happy? If you haven't shifted your thinking, this is hard to understand.

Simply put, don't dwell on things you have no control over. Find happiness in your accomplishments. FILL YOUR CUP.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the verdict is...

So I have a reason now why I am always tired (being grouchy comes too easily when energy is gone). I have low thyroid, low B-12, and low iron. Oh, and low vitamin D. Go figure. I am the kind of person that puts off and puts off going to the doctor. I live a rather healthy life, and I like to figure out myself and fix on my own what I can. But there comes a point where taking care of your whole well being means there needs to be a mediator. Now that I know that my body isn't doing what it needs to with what I have been giving it, my doctor and I have a game plan.

If you are suffering from low energy, mood swings, depression, or any other ailment that eating right (natural & unprocessed!), exercising regularly, and lifestyle changes have not fixed, then paleeeease go see your primary care physician. And take into account that saying you "tried that" means more than doing it once or twice. It means for minimum of 2 weeks. Many health transitions take a few weeks at best to notice a difference. The doctors will tell you that too, so don't sell yourself short!

Have you found your 10-15 minutes yet? Are you stretching? Feel it's too easy? Bonus challenge time! On top of the other challenges I've posted this week, hand write and snail mail an uplifting letter or pretty card to someone you feel needs a boost. Let them know how much you admire them or care for them. E-mails and networking sites don't count! When you hand write a letter there is an emotional connection you make with the words. You are putting physical effort into the message versus just punching a key on the keyboard. Plus, receiving a letter with actual writing and not typed print is such a surprise to get in the mailbox! Putting a smile on someone's face always puts a smile on mine! FILL THAT CUP!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I found this quote on a chart my kids got from Primary for tracking their scripture reading. It says, "If you don't have time to pray and read your scriptures daily, then you are far busier than God ever intended you to be."

I think this is soo true. We consume ourselves with so many projects and menial things that we think we're too busy to do the simple things that help us to be balanced and have inner peace. Do we really not have 10 or 15 minutes to read the scriptures or pour our heart out to the Lord? I'm sure you have time to watch that show that isn't all that great, but you're bored and want to pass the time... It's all about priorities. We really can find time to read, pray, exercise, take a bubble bath, bake bread, etc. if we prioritize correctly. It's not a matter of scheduling either, just routine. The more you do something, the easier it is to do it and have it be a normal part of life. It is VERY hard to change a habit. It takes a conscience effort to switch gears, but it will get easier, I promise. Consistency is the key.

Our goal for this week is to find that 10-15 minutes that is being used for something unimportant and use it for something that will make you feel enriched. Whether it be scripture reading, prayer, a nap, or meditating, do what will help recharge you emotionally for the rest of the day. FILL THAT CUP!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where it all starts...

Hello, ladies (and maybe gentlemen).

When I hear the phrase "the cup is half full" it has 2 meanings to me. The the standard of being optimistic, which I think the vast majority will agree with, is the first thing that comes to mind. But there is another to me. WE are the cups. Are WE half full or half empty? Are we constantly giving and giving and giving until our cup has gone past half to possibly empty? Or can we balance our lives and put some back in to make it half full or maybe....more?

In this blog, I will be researching and posting ways I feel are effective and relevant in our lives to help us be stronger as a whole person to take the pressures life throws us. I will focus on mind, emotion, and spirit on this page and body on the "You're A Babe" page. I will also be having pages for managing schedules, family activities, and emergency preparedness. If there is a subject you wish to learn more about or are just stumped (having tried all you know how to do, and need more suggestions), please let me know. I will do my best to help.

When we are armed with the right resources, knowledge, and strength to do what's right we can accomplish anything. People who know me know my mentality... bring it on!

My goal for all of us is to be FULL CUPS!