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, 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!