October 23, 2014

when I was in A RUT...

Every once in awhile, I find myself in a rut.  Nothing in my life is necessarily wrong, but something feels like it's missing.  I experienced such rut a few months ago.  Isabelle had just started school, and our family had began a new schedule that was very much the same each and every day.  

Don't get me wrong - I love schedules and routines!  But there were days that I would think that there was more to me than just waking up, getting ready, dropping kids off at school, picking kids up from school, cleaning, running errands, cooking, going to work, etc.  I felt as though I needed to invest more in myself by way of developing new talents or learning about new things.

I decided to spend some more time in an area that had piqued my interest for years:  essential oils.  I was specifically interested in them in terms of cleaning.  I had always been curious about making my own cleaning products and knew essential oils were often used in homemade recipes.  I reached out to a friend of mine who had a lot of experience with the oils, and she helped me find a starter kit that complimented my needs.  


Not long after, I found myself using the oils every single day.  I used them to clean my kitchen and bathrooms.  I used them to help my family, specifically my kids, calm down in the evening and to get better sleep.  I used them to keep the spiders away in my basement.  I used them to wipe down all the door knobs and other frequently touched surfaces in my house to help eliminate germs.  I used them to help clear up my skin when I broke out into hives.  I used them as a "pick me up" when I felt a bit groggy in the morning and mid-afternoon.  And I used them to help my house smell like a million bucks!


Now, only three months later, I have found myself with a new appreciation and love for these oils.  Not only have they given me a plethora of options in how I care for myself and family, they helped me get out of my rut.  It has been so nice to learn about something new and find new ways to spend my time!

As I've shared them with my family and friends, I've forced myself out of my comfort zone and have seen new ways in which I am capable.  And, as a VERY surprising twist, they have helped me earn some extra cash.  An outcome I was not planning or expecting at all.  But, I'm certainly not complaining!

Do you use essential oils?  If so, how?  I'd love to learn new ways to use them!

Do you have an interest in essential oils?  If so, let's talk!  They really have changed my life.

October 10, 2014

FLASHBACK fridays: CROSSROADS

This is a post I wrote a few years ago.  It's a story about a time in my life when I was at a crossroads in my life.  Enjoy!

... 

In May of 2004, I graduated from Weber State University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies.  At the time, I had a job that was great while I was a student because of the flexible hours, but I always told myself once I graduated I would quit and get a job related to my field.

A few weeks after graduation, I moved into a new apartment and began working full-time for the same company.  My plan was to keep my job while searching for new opportunities.  I also had the plan to go to graduate school the following year.  It seemed like the perfect plan.  

Nearly six months went by and I still had not found a new job, but I wasn't frustrated. I figured it would take awhile. And in the meantime I was learning more about admission requirements for graduate school, getting used to the thought of living in Alabama and dreading the idea of taking the GRE.

One day, while I work, I received an e-mail from my supervisor.  She asked if I had heard about a job opening in a different department and wondered if I was going to apply for it.  I hadn't heard about the position and even though I knew this wasn't her intention, because she sent me that e-mail, I felt a little pressure to apply for the job.  

I had a week to submit my resume, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do.  I knew I was qualified for the job and stood a really good chance of getting it.  I knew a lot of my friends (including Karen) were applying for it which made things kind of awkward.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it.

After a few days of thinking things over, I soon realized I was making a very critical decision.  A life changing decision. I knew if I applied for the job, I would get it. I knew accepting the job would change all the plans and goals I had just set for myself.  Without a doubt, I was at a crossroads in my life and I didn't know why.  All I knew is that I had to apply for the job, and I wasn't happy about it.

I submitted my resume and soon had an appointment for an interview.  

The day of my interview, I contemplated what to wear.  I had learned all the do's and don'ts of interviewing, including proper attire.  I knew wearing denim wasn't the best choice, so I wore a jean jacket.  I knew wearing perfume wasn't a wise decision, but I wore it anyway.  I knew I probably should put my hair up, but I wore it down.  I did what I could to not make the best impression because I was scared of getting this job.

I was offered the job.  And I accepted it.  And I knew it was the right decision to make, but still didn't know why.

Weeks later, something unexpected happen:  I began feeling different about a really good friend of mine. A friend that was a boy.  I was annoyed at these new feelings. This guy had been my friend for over a year, and I was satisfied with our relationship.  Suddenly, I was more attracted to him and wanted to spend more time with him.  A new job, now this?  I wanted to tell life I was tired of all the curve balls.

Fast forward at most 10 weeks (yes, that's right, 10 weeks) I found myself engaged. Yes, I was engaged  to this guy whom I had no interest in just months earlier.  It was insane.  Totally insane.  But, it made sense and completely the right thing to do.

I know not everyone believes in God, but I do.  And I know He lead me in a different direction than the one I had all mapped out for myself.  And maybe that was so I could marry Dustin.  Maybe it was to spare me from a situation that would've come about had I gone to graduate school.  I probably won't know the answers to these questions for awhile.  And that is okay because it doesn't matter.

What matters is that I am happy with my husband.  I'm thankful for the life we have built together and the many years to come.

I'm humbled to know that God, in all his infinite power and wisdom, takes time to guide me in the right direction.  And I'm so grateful I listened to Him!

October 9, 2014

the IMPORTANCE of being KIND

On Monday morning, I volunteered at my daughter's school to help with reading.  When I arrived at the school, I was told to check-in at the office.  As I was checking in, which was all done on a computer in the corner of the main office, I heard my daughter's voice.  I glanced behind me and saw her speaking to the school secretary.  She explained that her friend, who was standing next to her, had hurt herself during recess and needed ice for her cheek.

It wasn't until then that she turned and saw me sitting at the nearby computer.  We said hi to each other as the secretary told the girls that ice was available outside with the recess duty.  I motioned for her to follow the instructions, so she and her friend dashed out of the office on to their next destination.

In that moment, I couldn't help but be proud of my little girl for a few reasons.  I was proud she took the initiative to take her friend to the office and was confident enough to talk to the secretary.  But, mostly I was proud that she was being a good friend and that she showed concern and kindness towards one of her classmates.


It is easy for me to overlook the more gentle attributes my daughter displays.  I encourage her to do things on her own and for herself, and I know I put too much stock in her becoming independent and strong.  

This experience reminded me to reinforce the importance of kindness, thoughtfulness and courtesy to my children.  And I'm grateful for my daughter's example because if she can do it, I can do it!

October 8, 2014

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: DECOR by LL

My youngest daughter LL is so busy.  I can't keep up with her.  She is a little bundle of destruction!  She roams our house getting into any and everything she can.

A favorite adventure of hers is raiding the fridge.  I'm always amazed at what I find throughout my house.

 
Salsa, anyone?

For your convenience, here's some orange juice!

While I love my little LL, she can drive me crazy.  I don't want to get a lock for the fridge, but it may end up getting to that point!

Happy INSTAGRAM Wednesday!

October 7, 2014

the MODEST girl

I recently read a post on Facebook written by someone I don't know that went along these lines:

 "Parents, please make sure your daughter dresses modestly so my son doesn't get addicted to pornography."

{Ok, so that is a slight exaggeration}

But, it may as well been that blatant of a statement, which, by the way, infuriated me.

Regardless, I decided that, as a mother of two girls, I better get on this request of making sure my daughters are dressed a certain way.  So, I added it to my current To-Do list:

Monday: Take pictures of my daughters' wardrobe.  Send pictures to parents of boys for approval
{Note to self:  Research the most affordable place to buy pantsuits}

Tuesday:  Have a sit-down with my daughters.  Reiterate the importance of understanding the changes the male body experiences during puberty.  Make sure they understand how sensitive we should be towards our male friends.  
{Note to self: buy more tampons and Midol}

Wednesday:  Send an e-mail to Macy's, Nordstrom, etc., asking them when their new line of prom dresses with high-necks and sleeves will be in stock.  Find a full day to go dress shopping. 
{Note to self:  hire a good seamstress}

Thursday:   Take that first leap of faith by letting my daughter walk to a friends house by herself.  But first, review the family "code" word.  Buy some more pepper spray.
{Note to self:  Research self-defense classes}

Friday:   Encourage daughters to get good grades, and tell them I hope they plan to attend college.  Help them understand that exercising their minds is just as important as exercising their bodies.
{Note to self:  Research how to teach your daughter that looks are not the most important thing while simultaneously teaching her that she needs to look a certain way.}

...

Don't get me wrong.  I understand the basic principle behind the original post.  I have standards for my daughters and do not think they should be allowed to wear whatever they want.  And I'll do my best to make sure that when they leave my house they are dressed in a manner that I deem appropriate.

But, the bottom line is this:

It is not my responsibility, nor my daughters' responsibility, to make sure your son does not engage in anything improper or immoral, be it actions or thoughts.

That's your responsibility.  

But, mostly, it's his responsibility.

So, if you could take the state of your son's morality off my plate of things to do, I'd really appreciate it.

{#ohsnap!}

October 6, 2014

MUSIC mondays: BOY BANDS

Like millions of other Americans, my husband and I took our daughter Isabelle to see Frozen.  She didn't like it at first, but that slowly changed.  Before I could blink, our world had turned ice-cold and the only music I was listening to was the Frozen soundtrack.

After months and months of this, I decided it was time to introduce my daughter to her first boy band.  Yes, she's five years old.  That is how completely desperate I was to listen to something new.

Even though I grew up loving New Kids of the Block and pretending to hate Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync, I decided Isabelle needed her first boy band love to be current.  So, I bought two One Direction songs.  Namely, Story of My life and Best Day Ever.


It was a rough at first, but eventually Isabelle learned to love the greatness of boy band music.  And, now that I've had a break, I don't mind hearing her belt Let it Go every once in awhile.

October 3, 2014

CUSTOM-MADE spirituality

I've blogged a lot about the struggles I face taking my children to church.  There was the post about why we skipped church {and loved it} and the follow-up post about why I even go to church to begin with.  Even though I know I am not alone with my struggles with taking children to church, I usually feel alone each week as I find myself, yet again, dealing with an uncooperative child.

Church used to be a time where I could go to feel uplifted and renewed, ready to face a new week with a stronger conviction to do what is right.

Church isn't that way for me anymore.  And I miss it!  But, I realize this situation is only temporary and things will get better eventually; however, until that blessed time arrives, I made the decision to find ways to feel the way I used to during church outside of church.

One of the ways in which I've incorporated spirituality into my daily life is by listening to general conference talks in my car.  I have found great satisfaction, peace and comfort in doing this.  It is amazing how the spirit can be felt at almost any time and any place.


Here are a few of the talks I've listened to:

President Gordon B. Hinckley's address titled To the Women of the Church

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's address titled Happiness, Your Heritage 

Sister Julie B. Beck's address titled Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society

and all the talks given at this month's General Women's Meeting

So, if you find yourself missing Sunday as being a day of rest and spiritual edification, I would invite you to think outside the box and find ways in which you can reap the benefits of feeling the spirit no matter what day it is.

This has made a world of difference for me.  I feel happier, more energized and a stronger desire to be the best person I can be.
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