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The Act of Giving

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm!”

 

Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful.  The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun.  It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!

As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.

It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.

Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁

One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!

This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.

 

 

Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!

 

You can shop my look (and more) by clicking the links below

 

 


How to feel more Confident

“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose!”

 

Confidence is not something you suddenly just have, you don’t necessarily wake up with it…it can take consistent effort & positive thoughts.

I can recall being a young girl, and having a really distinct taste in fashion, and how my parents encouraged me to be me.  As I became older people started to notice that I dressed a little differently, that I liked different things and that I kind of liked not fitting in the mold.  The thing about being different is that it scares people, they see it as a threat to themselves because they are not truly confident in themselves, so because I liked to stand out, I was teased a little, criticized and sometimes laughed at.  I had a choice at that point…listen to what people were saying, change who I was or be ME.  I chose to be me, and a funny thing happened…I remember having a pair of Red Mary Jane shoes, and within about a month I noticed other girls wearing the exact same pair of shoes.  I took that as a compliment, not because they were wearing my shoes, but because I realized that I had it right…I had the confidence thing right.  I wasn’t afraid to be me and those girls learned something – they started to do that themselves.

I am not saying that I am the most stylish person in the world, I don’t always get it right, but one thing I can say is that no matter what, I wear what I want, I do what I want and I am who I am – no excuses, in fact, I LOVE WHO I AM!!!

 

I realize that not everyone is as stubborn in my confidence or as bold as I can be…so here are some easy steps to help you with your confidence:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others – stay focused on you.
  2. Don’t stress things you can’t control.  Talk about setting yourself up to fail, stressing about little things and things you can’t control is a sure way to bring disappointment, frustration and stress.
  3. Love yourself.  There is no one like you – you are gift to this world.  The world needs you and don’t ever forget it!
  4. Seek positivity – find the good in every situation.  Positivity reaps positivity.
  5. Do what you love – and you will love what you do.  Life is way too short to be stuck doing something that you don’t love.
  6. Trust yourself – don’t try to be something or someone that you are not.  Our instincts very often tell us whether something feels right…we should trust that instinct.  Being in tune with who we are in a great gauge for confidently being happy.
  7. Believe you are worthy – when we believe in ourselves, the world is our oyster.
  8. Don’t be afraid of being wrong – confidence doesn’t always mean you will be right, it means you don’t tie your self worth to it – which means you are not afraid to be wrong about something.
  9. Don’t allow jealousy or hatred to seep in – confidence doesn’t need to feel hatred or jealousy because it knows the world needs all kinds of people and one persons success is not dependent on another’s failure!
  10. Step outside of your comfort zone – self confidence grows by learning and growing.  We start out when we are babies using this concept by learning to talk and walk, but for some reason we forget it as we become older and sometimes stay stuck, not growing, inside our comfort zone.  There is no great self confidence booster than accomplishing something new.

I don’t know about you, but I wish that someone would have given me some steps when I was a little girl, almost a road map showing me how I could become more self confident.  All of these steps are what I use…I know they are not all the things we can do to help our confidence, however, even by implementing one of these that you weren’t using before, it’s only going to help put you further down the path to self confidence.

Remember – self confidence isn’t something that is taught or learned, it is something that comes from surpassing your own self-limitations!

Angels in Disguise

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“I’ve always loved the idea of not being what people expect me to be.”

As we have been traveling on a road trip with 3 of my boys, and have had the pleasure of spending time with my brother and his family up in the Seattle area, it has given me the opportunity to contemplate how I got to this place in my life.

I started out as a feisty and determined “little madam” and I can assure you none of that has changed.  I love to challenge myself, to grow and to help whoever I can along the way.  I feel like the world needs people that are not just “followers” but those that are not afraid to be bold enough to stand out and almost be controversial.  That is how amazing things happen!

So, as I think about me and what is important in this life, I realize that I am where I am because of the people I have in my life.  Not everyone in my life is easy, and those are the ones that I am most grateful for.  Having a child, a spouse, a coworker, a friend or an acquaintance that pushes every limit of our patience and understanding…those are the ones that help us grow into the person we are destined to be.  They are our Angels in Disguise.

For some reason (and I am sure because I must have had some serious lessons to learn), I have had plenty of Angels in Disguise in my life, in fact, sometimes I keep having the same type of person in my life because obviously I haven’t learned what I need to yet 🙁

Have you ever thought about people in your life that are particularly challenging and perhaps considered that they may be really helping you?  That they could be YOUR Angel in Disguise?  I know when I think about people that really challenge me in this perspective it actually changes my reaction, helps me become a little less triggered and amazingly enough, to grow and become better at dealing with things.  So what if…you thought of the most challenging people in your life as the ones that are really helping you to grow?  Does that change anything for you?  I would love to know!  Comment below

Maybe some of this positive thinking is enough to get you through hump day!! Happy Wednesday my friends…

 

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How to Show Gratitude

“The best way to love someone and show gratitude is by using a language they understand!”

Yesterday I posted on Instagram about how I had gone to the airport to see my 17year old son off on his Humanitarian trip, and how for 2 weeks there will be pretty much no contact because cell service in the Philippines is slim to none.  I hope I am one of those mothers that doesn’t worry so much that I stress my kids out, one that has so many fears that the lack of communication will lead me into frantic mode – especially when I know what he is doing is so worthwhile and good for him!

We actually did receive a phone call at 12:30am this morning from Canyon in the airport in Japan using wifi he managed to make a call.  It was so nice to know that he was at least part way to his destination (only 2 more plane rides and a boat ride until he was there).  In fact, I don’t know what happened, but he actually seemed humbled already and thanked Brandon and I for supporting him in his fundraising and his decision.

I don’t know about you but when I see a glimpse of my kids showing appreciation and gratitude, or even that they accomplish something, it makes all the sacrifice, arguments, disappointments and challenges almost disappear.

It made me wonder if I actually show enough appreciation to those people that have helped me along my path?  Do I recognize and show those I love how what they do for me means to me?  You may have heard of the book “The Five Love Languages”…I read this book quite a while ago and thought I had it figured out, but I am finding more and more each day how important it is to show a person how much they mean to you by using THEIR love language.  Mine is primarily acts of service – or basically put, I like it when someone shows me love by doing something for me.  It’s not that every time, because there are definitely times when I like to be told things, times when gifts are important to me, and so on – but my primary or most important love language is definitely acts of service.  If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend checking it out.  It works for spouses, kids, friends and family – pretty much it can be the thing that makes all the difference in any relationship you have!   I figure, whatever help I can get I am up for.

 

 

I always like to tie in fashion and style to my posts because I feel that the better we feel about ourselves the more likely we are going to be a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, etc.  It may sound shallow but I promise it’s a real thing.  Taking care about how you look is important not just for how others will see you but also for YOU.  Even if you say you don’t care about the latest trends, or if you don’t feel it’s worth your money to spend it on new styles, trust me on this.  I have worked with lots of Women that may not dress is the latest styles or even know what they are, and that is totally fine.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you are spending money all the time.  In fact, looking good and feeling good come from knowing that YOU are important and as such you want to show the world how you feel about yourself. Have you ever owned something that was a heirloom or something that was a gift that had a lot of sentimental value?  Did you shove that thing in a drawer or proudly display it and take care dusting around it?  My guess is that it’s the latter – that you were very careful about how you treated it, and where you displayed it.  I believe the same should be true of how we treat and care for ourselves. Don’t be your own afterthought, spend some time on yourself, and as you start to love and take pride in yourself, everything will change.  Others will see you the way you see yourself!

 

 

As I head into this weekend, I have determined that I am going to show myself some love by doing something for myself.  By showing appreciation to the many amazing people I have in my life, and just loving!

I hope your weekend is amazing…

Oh, and by the way, if you decide that a way to show love to yourself is by buying gifts or shopping- I have put some shoppable links of my outfit below 🙂

 

Don’t just “make it” to the Weekend

“Joy is a decision, a really brave one about how you are going to respond to life!”

I hear lots of people saying and people posting about “making it to the weekend”, and I know I have been guilty of that too, but recently it has made me pause and think about what means.

We live in a time of immediate gratification, high expectations, social media comparison and so on, and I interpreted that as meaning we are always searching for that “thing”that is going to make us happy, we put expectations on ourselves and our situations so high that it is almost impossible for anything to reach those expectations.  And then when you start looking at what other people are perceived to be or have on social media, it only leads to even more  dissatisfaction and disappointment.  I have definitely been guilty of almost wishing away my time while I have been waiting for an event or a vacation, and the result is I don’t get to fully enjoy the moments that I am in NOW!

So, when we talk about “making it” to the weekend, my goal is from here on out to enjoy what I’m doing, and not be in such a hurry to get through the week.  There are definitely times that are hard and challenging, but if we spend all our time waiting for the next big thing, or just pushing through, we could be missing out on so much.

You probably all know by now that my husband is a coach and he teaches to trade your expectations for appreciations and find gratitude in things where there really doesn’t seem to be anything to appreciate. Finding joy in your life journey is the secret weapon to an amazing life.  Finding the good in the things that don’t seem good, or just being OK with things that you can’t control and working through them are a great way to start!

I am an extremely driven and motivated woman, and I am my own worst enemy.  I complete ruthlessly with myself trying to be so much better than I have been in the past, so much so that I sometimes lose focus on the things that are the most important things in this life – which are love, family, friendships, and heath.  I think at this point I am not going to remove that competitive drive from within me, but what I can do is learn that there are times when I need to pause and just appreciate!

 

 

This weekend is one that I am spending with my family at our home away from home in Midway, and our day is starting with a hike and appreciating the beauty of this world, and spending time with my boys (grumbling and all), because that’s what life is about.

 

I hope as next week starts you think about learning to enjoy the week so that you are no longer just counting down the days to the next weekend – you may even find that you start to enjoy what you’re doing 😉

Happy Saturday beautiful people!!

Shop my looks by clicking the links below…

 

Don’t Ruin Your Travels With These Mistakes

“Traveling in the company of those we love, is HOME in motion!”

Not that this topic is ever far from my mind, but certainly as the weather starts to become colder I look for ways to get myself and my family into a warmer climate and plan some trips.  As I start planning there are always some things I make sure I have considered, so here are some tips to help make any traveling you choose to do be less stressful and more fun!

 

Traveling should always be fun, it gives you the chance to explore the world, or at least your own country. There are so many different places to see and cultures to learn about, whether you’re going on a road trip or taking a cruise. While things don’t always go entirely to plan, you should still return from your trip having enjoyed yourself. You should be careful, though, or silly mistakes could ruin your travels. If you don’t pay attention when you’re planning your trip, things might not go well. Some mistakes might even mean you don’t get to go on your trip at all. So watch out for these big mistakes if you want to have a good time.

 

Not Getting Your Travel Documents in Order

One of the worst things that could happen is that you go abroad and you’re not even allowed into the country. Or you end up starting your trip with a big fine because you didn’t pay attention to the customs rules. The first thing you need to do is sort out your passport, which you’ll need to make sure is valid. If you need a new passport for the first time or you need to replace a lost or stolen one, you will need to meet with a passport acceptance agent. You can find out more about that here. For some countries, your passport might need to be valid for at least six months when you travel. You might also need a visa or visa waiver, and you will often need to fill out a customs card, which you are often given during travel. Make sure you tell the truth on all documents.

 

 

Neglecting to Research How to Stay Safe

Staying safe when you’re traveling is an interesting thing to consider. No one can ever be 100% sure of their safety, but there are still ways to try to stay safe and be aware of the most likely dangers. For example, women and minorities might check what sort of attitudes they might come across. Everyone should check information about common crimes, especially violent crime, as well as the political situation in any of their destinations. A safe trip is a more enjoyable one.

 

Being Unaware of Cultural Differences and Local Laws

Every country is different, and even various regions within a country have their differences. That’s why it’s important to understand some of the most important customs and laws when you visit a country. Is it unacceptable to show too much skin? How do people greet each other? What are the laws about bringing in fruits and vegetables, carrying drugs and medication, or even showing affection to other people in public?

 

 

Racking Up Hidden Expenses

Make sure you don’t have to cut your trip short because your money is running out. Some hidden costs can give you a nasty surprise if you’re not careful. You could end up paying huge data roaming charges on your phone if you don’t turn roaming off. You might incur large fees from your credit card, so check how much they charge for using it in a foreign country. Check your bank balance and other finances to make sure you’re not spending too much.

 

Don’t let silly mistakes ruin your trip. Be prepared, and you’ll have a much better time, no matter where you go.