09 November 2013

things that bring me joy

In my regrouping moment, I have thought a lot about my life currently; where I'm living, my children, my marriage, my jobs, friendships both past and present, finances, hobbies, health, family, spirituality, education, well, you get the picture! I'm 45 and have lived a pretty interesting life for someone whose circle of influence is limited.
Lately, I've wondered or more accurately, have fretted over what I should be doing with my life at this point. Should I be doing more? Should I have a career? Do I want one? Do I have one? Being a mom is important, but that's hard to see and feel, especially when your kids tell you your driving them crazy. 
Am I supposed to be doing 'more'? What more can I do? Some days I feel like I can really accomplish whatever I set my mind out to do, but I'm not clear on what that is:) Other days I feel like I'm asking for too much; I should be content with where I am. Even though I'm still struggling with what my life should look like and with the idea that God really does have a plan for me, I have figured out 3 important things to focus my energies on, for now anyway. 

1. Find joy in something everyday. Something just for me.
2. Be grateful. Have an attitude of gratitude!
3. Serve, serve, serve. As a mom, that one is not very difficult! Ahhh, serve with joy, now, that one, is a little more challenging; especially when I'm cleaning the toilet for the hundredth time or picking up dirty socks.
Since I need a little focus today,I decided to post a few things that have brought me joy in the last few weeks.
A hike with friends on a gorgeous day is great!

 Finishing a hard project is joyful! Those caramel apples took forever!
 Watching my husband dance in front of strangers and love it is pretty joyful too!
 Dinner with friends always makes me smile...
 Appreciating someone's talents. How cute is this baby!
 Sneaking dessert alone was awesome!
 Watching the sunset set the sky on fire was breathtaking...
 My children enjoying a treat because of a thoughtful friend is joy.
 My nephew realizing that I was not exaggerating when I said that Mickey Mouse really was as big as him!
My family. Good has truly blessed me even though I'm not deserving. His Grace is Joy.

11 October 2013


Mercedes took this photo in downtown Springfield while her sisters were at a rehearsal a few years back. She is pretty good at getting Gage to humor her. I'm sure you're wondering where the chair came from... yes, it was in the alley. I can picture the conversation went something like this:
Mercedes: Gage, grab that chair!
Gage: What for?
Mercedes: Just grab it! Put it there.
Gage: Uh, Mercedes. Why??
Mercedes: Gage, just do it!
The result is, what I think, a great photo. 

What do you see when you look at this photo? Someone who's tired; giving up; rejected; depressed?I've always loved this photo. I used to think it represented someone who was tired or giving up.
Now, I look at it through the eyes of someone who's tired and overwhelmed. Someone who needs a little inspiration. I now see someone who is taking a moment to regroup.

I really need this:) I have been praying for some guidance on what to do with my busy schedule. I realize that I cannot continue at this pace; something has to give. I have been praying and waiting. I know that God is mindful of the fact that I need very clear and blatant answers. But I also realize that answers don't always come right away. So I wait:)
But waiting isn't quite right. That means doing nothing.
Regroup. Reorganize. Regain. Recover... Regrouping means to actively change something, hopefully for the better.
Regroup. Thanks for the inspiration, Mercy!

05 August 2013

My new obsession!

                                                                 Thinking about it...
 I am hooked on retro dresses, especially from the 40's and 50's! I bought this one for a wedding we are attending at the end of the month. I hope it looks as good in person!
Why did I buy a new dress? Well, I always enjoy wearing something new =) but even more so, when I'm meeting new people I like to look as fantastic as I can! I don't want anyone looking at my husband and saying, 'Oh you poor thing, having to look at THAT all the time...'
 Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger and it's a little harder to hide the flab and the sag at 45. One of the reasons I love this style of dress is because it hugs the top and hides the bottom; a  very flattering cut for any body type.     
                                                                             Hee, hee!

09 July 2013

Utah, part 2

We arrived in Syracuse, Utah, home to the wonderful Call family!
They allowed us to stay with them while we got Mercedes ready for Rexburg.
The photo below is one of many views from the Call's neighborhood.

 Nicole reserved tickets at a theater in Murray, an old western town, to see a spoof of Les Miserable.              We were very excited to see it since it is an absolute favorite of ours.
                                                                   The Desert Star

 I'm not sure if photos were okay, but I was able to take a couple without the flash as to not interrupt the show.

                                                     We laughed out loud and HARD!!!
So glad we went and even happier that it was a family friendly show so we could                                                     enjoy it together.

                       Nicole's brother-in-law owns the Prairie Schooner restaurant in Ogden.
                              The food was delicious and the atmosphere was fantastic!!
                                                                  Loved the sign!
      We stopped in at the Greenery Restaurant for their famous and scrumptious Mormon Muffins!!!!
                                        Couldn' t leave Ogden without stopping at the temple

   We drove into Logan to take a hike to the Wind Cave and was given a souvenir to take... a speeding ticket! Yikes. A hundred and fifteen souvenirs to be exact. The police officer was less than hospitable and I'm sure once he realized we were out of state, he was going to teach us a lesson. The sad part was that the speed limit had changed and since I was not familiar to the area and there was a lot of traffic, I didn't notice the signs. I didn't make excuses and took my medicine, as bitter as it was, like a big girl without protest. But dang, did it hurt! Boo!!!!!!!!!

After I was able to calm myself down, I did enjoy our hike. We didn't make it to the cave because Bobby was worried about it getting dark and late... We also still had a 4 hour trip to Rexburg, Idaho...

                   I wanted to take the kids zip lining in Salt Lake, but they didn't open til June:(
                                           I was glad that we took this hike, though!!!!
        The Rexburg Temple was the view that Bobby and I had from our hotel room!!!!
 It really stands out being that it's in the middle of prairie and more prairie!!  Can you tell I'm a city slicker and proud of it!

  The hotel was very nice and modern. Unfortunately, the news was focused on the terrible bombing in Boston. We found out much later that we had friends at the Boston Marathon and thank heavens they were okay, although our hearts and prayers went out to all the families that were devastated by the effects of the thoughtless and senseless acts.
Mercedes new digs... apparently this is considered the low income housing section of Rexburg, or better known as ghetto housing. I truly despise that word paired with anything! It sounds ridiculous!
                                    Good thing our kids know how to appreciate being humble:)
 It wasn't bad at all!! Two bathrooms, three bedrooms, a full kitchen and internet. What more could you need? Oh yea, food:)
                                                                     Eat in kitchen
                                                Amanda was there to greet her buddy

                   Crystal was kind enough to meet us and take the whole fam on a tour of the campus.
                             I'm glad that Mercedes was able to accept the Ackerman Circus:)
                                         The temple by day and right on the outskirts of campus
                                                                    Clean campus

This beast of a car was our upgrade from the minivan that I originally reserved. When the clerk saw all of Mercedes' luggage, he recommended something a little more comfortable. I didn't like the price tag attached to the upgrade, but admit it was the best decision!! We were able to drive in comfort and peace:)
                                  We took the kids here to eat and have our last meal with Mercy

                              It was a cute place with monster shakes and pretty decent food.
Leaving was very hard for me. Knowing that I could call and text when I wanted made it a little easier... actually a ton easier compared to leaving Gage at the MTC, but still hard. It's a very strange feeling to have your family splintered and have the pieces burrow so far from there place of origin. A bit corny, but it's the best way to describe how it felt for me to let my children go. And go they should, but it doesn't make it any less painful...

We stopped at a gas station on our way back to Utah and I couldn't believe the convenience store sold Yak meat. Okay, where exactly did we just leave our daughter... Yak meat, really??

We stopped right off the highway to check out these lava formations!! How cool, a field trip. I felt a bit like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus:)   "Seat belts everyone!"

We did end up doing the trail. I kept waiting for something to crawl out of the rocks or come running off the prairie! Oh yes, city slicker at heart:) I'm okay with it!

                                              A very cool gnarly tree (or a yak if you squint;) )
                       It reminded me of some of the trees I saw after the tornado here in Springfield

                     The Call's suggested we have a open house instead of trying to visit people individually. We didn't get to see nearly everyone we would have liked to visit, but this was great!!!!!
                                                         Roci and Jordan together again!
Hey, we know those guys! It's Turner and Lawter, the dynamic duo!! We miss you guys:(

I felt a little guilty doing this without Mercedes, but she has since taken a motorcycle ride, go cart rides, fired rifles, and other cool college experiences! So many adventures, so it's okay!! Right??
                           We had a BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 laps and I wasn't the last one, ha!

Courtney had her Junior Prom!!! She fell asleep on the couch waiting for us to come home. She's such a doll:) She was gorgeous:)
Oops:) I had to get a picture of the Winget family who wasn't able to make the open house, but did come by the next day for a wonderful visit!! They were expecting baby number 4!!

            For our last evening, we had a talent show! I should say, the kids shared their talents:) That was very fun! I wish I had recorded it:( there was a lot of singing... I had no idea that Courtney and Kaitlyn sang! They were amazing!
Goodbye Call Family:( Hopefully we will get to see you very soon! Thanks for everything, we love you! Oh, and Gordon, thanks for the Krispy Cremes!! I couldn't leave Utah without stuffing my face with those yummy doughnuts...

I hung a Paraguayan flag when Gage left as a tribute to his mission and I thought it only proper to have him take it down when he returned.

Phew. One home, and one gone again! But at least Mercy will be coming home soon!!! for a while anyway... I'll take it!!!