Sunday, May 25, 2014

Was Life Always This Good?

I took a nap today (it felt amazing! I love naps) and upon waking I had this thought pop into my head,  "Was life always this good?"

I came downstairs to my sweet children and my poor sick husband and started to make dinner. I usually HATE (notice the all caps) making dinner, but found my self enjoying it (don't tell anyone). All the windows were open and the fresh air smelt so good! It got me reflecting.

When I first started on my journey of finding answers and learning different ways to deal with and get support for my depression and anxiety I noticed that there was a certain stigma. It's like most people suffered in some way or another with depression, anxiety, bipolar or just bad days, but no one wanted to talk about it. No one wanted to support each other or admit that they weren't perfect.

I determined early on in my healing that I would talk about it as much as I could.  The more whole I became, the more I wanted share. I try to take every opportunity I can to share my story. I write about it, talk about it when I am teaching classes about essential oils (oils are one of MANY methods I attribute to my healing), I ask every new mom I know if they are struggling with "baby blues". In my own small way, I am determined to tear down the walls of that stigma.

Depression robs you of JOY, it literally changes your brain chemistry and the vibration of your body, making your sluggish, foggy and "down". You are void, in most ways, of seeing the bright side and identifying problems and fixing them. Most of the things in life that should have made me happy where my burdens, and even if I didn't see it as a burden I didn't have the mental capacity to even hold the JOY, because I was so full of negativity and hopelessness.

So...back to my post nap thought. Was life always this good, and I just wasn't aware of it? Yes! It was this good. It was amazing. My kids are amazing. My husband is amazing. My jobs are amazing. Now, please don't confuse this with perfect. James and I have our share of problems and our kids fight and say naughty words just like every one else. I have really hard days and feel alone, resentful and overwhelmed a lot. But despite all of those normal emotions and things that fill our life, I feel a peace that is indescribable. My head is clear and my heart is full. It is what makes nights like tonight so blissful: sitting in the back yard, eating taco's, making silly videos, laughing and teasing each other.

It was always this good. I am so glad I know it now.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Snow Cones and Fire Pits

Our favorite little shaved ice place opened up yesterday for the summer! Northern Ice serves the 2nd best shaved ice snow cones (the first best is in St. George-soooooo delicious) If you have never had a shaved ice snow cone...well, I am sorry for you =( They are so good!

Last night at their opening they had a luau with all sorts of yummy food, unlimited shaved ice and a photo booth. So we enjoyed our snow cones, got sufficiently sticky and then headed over to the photo booth.

Then we came home and enjoyed James' early birthday present, a new fire pit. We had so much fun and I found myself on several occasions overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude for these awesome people I get to call my family. They make me better. They make me laugh. They make me happy.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

I have not always been a fan of mothers day. When I started having kids I had very extravagant expectations for how this day was suppose to go. I couldn't figure out why I was always going to bed upset on this special day. What was wrong with everyone? Was it really too much to ask that ONE day of the year no one fought, the house stayed clean, I didn't have to change a single diaper and I got exactly what I wanted. I mean, come on! Geesh.

So, yeah, I wasn't a fan. The weeks leading up to each Mother's Day I always prepared myself for disappointment, instead of a "wonderful day" like you see all those mothers post on FB (gag!).

As this Mother's day approached I found myself slipping into the same patterns of expecting the worse. I exchanged the same dialogue with a few people here and there...Mothers Day this and Mothers day that...blah blah blah.

But for some reason I could feel something different about the way I was thinking. I was feeling a little uncomfortable with what I was saying and thinking about this special day. The words didn't feel right in my mouth anymore, I knew that what I was speaking and thinking were wrong. They weren't facts, they were my own "truths" that were in fact, lies.

Whenever this sort of thing happens, were I can feel my paradime shifting, it is always followed up with experiences that help me see the truth. I want to tell you about 2 of those:

#1- I read this post from my dear friend of 24 years:

"Don't expect a gift or a meal or a love letter to make you happy. You've gotta be happy already. You are in charge of your own happiness. All those gifts are a bonus! To be truly happy is the best gift I've ever given myself. And being happy, I can actually enjoy Mother's Day--- but not because of gifts I may receive. From mama to mama... Happy Mother's Day!"

Kari Rangel serves many purposes in my life, but the first is to ground me. If I were to send a pity party invitation to her, she would crumple it up, show up on my door step, kick my butt, tell me to stop my whining and then she'd buy me a snow cone and we'd go shopping (too bad we don't live closer).

Her post hit me and gently began to lead my heart in the right direction. The uncomfortable thoughts and feelings were still there, kind of like a soft, warm, familiar blanket you don't want to let go of, but I could feel something new brewing.

#2- A package arrived, from my mother in law, Robin. I was shocked because I wasn't expecting anything. Inside the package was the most beautiful note and this bracelet.  I sat on the porch and tears poured down my face as I put the delicate bracelet around my wrist and touched each stone, representing each of my angels.
The way she reminded me of the importance of this day and how much she loved me was the final stone I needed in my bridge to see this day for what it really is.

I saw, for the first time, how my selfish expectations  for this day were poising it for me, and how each and every Mother's Day, despite what my husband and children did, I was getting exactly what I expected.

This bridge was allowing me to remember what an honor and blessing it is to be a mother. I don't need anything, or anyone to remind me how much I love being a mother. I have devoted my life to 5 little people and I am so grateful for them. I was waiting all these years for them to honor me and to show me how important my role was and how much they appreciated what I did.

But that wasn't their responsibility. Like Kari said, "You gotta be happy already!"

Mother's Day will now be a day I will honor my children, as their mother. I will take this day to truly see them for how lovely and perfect they really are. I will take a moment longer to look into their eyes and remember the love and respect that they deserve. I will see my husband as the amazing partner he is to me and how he so effortlessly glides through life with me, as their Father...

...Then, all the hand drawn cards, home made presents and walmart flowers will be so sweet and so precious...The icing!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You're Not a Tree

I came across a great talk in my studies today that really spoke to me. I have been in a  funk the last few weeks and have thrown several pity parties (sorry I didn't get the invites sent out in time...). Reading this talk, by David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints infused me with a new strength to pull myself up by the boot straps and get going! In his bold and awesome way he says:

"As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who "ACT" rather than objects to be "ACTED UPON."

You can read the whole article here.

I identified one thing (I have LOTS, but just chose one for now so I can actually do it) that I can change and not be a victim to anymore. Good reminder, eh?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What Joyce Taught Me

Death has an interesting way of brining things into perspective, doesn't it? I have not lost very many people close to me. I am fortunate enough to have both my parents, all my sibling and 3 of my 4 grandparents alive still. I realize that that could all change in a heart beat, but as of this day I am grateful.

A dear friend of ours lost her battle with cancer today. Joyce was the mother of Kylee's best friend. I had only known her for about a year, when our girls met and started to hang out more. In just that year she went from walking, to a wheelchair, to bed ridden and finally to a hospice nurse. This brave, kind, amazing mother of 9 kids touched my life in ways she may never know. What I learned from Joyce and what I hope to implement into my life from today on are:

1. Life ends. It is unavoidable. But it does not end the joy and the happiness.

2. Give. Even if you don't have much, or don't know what to give...give. I had only known Joyce for a couple months when I received a card from her with a $20 gift certificate in it. Out of no where! Who was I to deserve this gift and this beautiful card, written in her shaky cursive handwriting. I was shocked that she had thought of me and given so freely to me.

3. Love. She loved her kids. I could see it her eyes, and the way she spoke about them. She loved her husband, she loved her life, she loved her catholic religion. You know those kind of people that you meet and they just love you from day one, even thought they hardly know you yet? She did that. That is an amazing gift.

4. Let go. Letting go is hard and it's scary and it's unfair. Joyce lived a month longer than she should have. She held on, but then let go when it was time. I was not there when she passed from this life, but I can only imagine her faith and courage as she said goodbye to her family and let go. There is so much in life that we need to let go take our grasp away from and move on. In forgiving and moving on we create a tremendous amount of space for growth and goodness.

Thank you for teaching me these things and for being such a beautiful glimmer of true beauty and grace.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My James

Went to the temple this morning at dark o'clock. James and I have been doing this the last couple of months. We get up early and head to the temple while the kids are still asleep. Then Kylee wakes up with everyone until we get home. It's a great plan, and I love it!

I wanted to post some pics of me and the hubs because, well, he's pretty awesome and I forget too often to tell him that. It's pretty sweet that he still likes me after all the stuff I've put him through. He is so kind, hard working, unintentionally hilarious, quiet, gentle, super smart and super duper hot!

This is the face he makes when he thinks I am being a weirdo ^^.  I call it his "dad's face" because he looks just like his dad when he makes it.
 As wonderful as James is he is a little photo challenged. 98% of the photos I have of him are with his eyes closed. Even our engagement photos- eye's closed.

Here's us at the temple this morning. He's trying to figure out his phone and I was bored...
I am grateful for James and all that he does to keep me and the littles afloat!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who I Am, Not What I Do

We, as human beings (and especially woman) put so much pressure on ourselves. We judge ourselves relentlessly. We would never say the things we say to ourselves to our friends, or family. But yet, we do it to ourselves.

I have a running to do list on my phone and it is overflowing with things to do. I have each item listed into a category "Home" "My doTERRA business" "My Mentoring Business" "Primary President". Sometimes I crawl into bed at night and look over my list and find myself gaging my day on how many things I checked off. If all the boxes are checked then I am one hot mama, if there are still some left, I grudgingly move their to-do date to the next day and chalk it up to I am just not good enough.

I am beginning to realize that while I mistakenly wait for perfection from each day I am missing the little nuggets of cuteness and happiness. The older I get (did you hear that hair just turn grey??) the more I realize that happiness in life should never be judged by what we DO, but what we ARE and what we are fighting each day to become. The more I let life play out how it will and take the lessons I am suppose to learn from it, the happier I am. The more joy I am able to experience and the more memories I will create to draw upon when my children are grown and gone (Kylee only has 5 years left before she could move out (((gasp)))))))!!

Sometimes I forget that I chose each one of these jobs I do (well, I thought about saying no to the Primary President thing but my Mama taught me better than that). I choose each one, to have a family, to work at something I am passionate about because I know it is right. I know that if I can be connected to things that are bigger than me that I can find JOY and purpose. I need to be better at filtering through the stuff I have to DO and look deeper at the person that I AM, and the people my children are becoming. Each day is riddled with imperfection...but that is why it is so amazing.

Wanna know some of my nuggets of JOY????
This picture will bring a smile to my face every time, first of all because how happy my Tyler looks and how fancy free the dogs look as the cool, spring air blows through their hair. The imperfections that you can't see is that the dogs have needed hair cuts for a month now and I am too cheap to pay for it, but keep forgetting to do it.

I think the reason why Charlie (Gandolf the Grey) loved his head out the window was because the wind blew his overgrown hair out of his eyes and he could see the world. AND Dalin was right behind me in his car seat with a full bag of licorice, chowing down. He had taken a late nap and was sooooo grumpy and screaming at me the whole way to pick Tyler up from a party. He stopped crying as soon as I threw gently placed the bag of licorice in his lap. And that was licorice I wasn't even suppose to have cause I was trying to not eat sugar Mon-Friday's. But all of that melted away when I opened this picture up when we got home.

This little nugget was priceless. I was trying to give the house a quick clean before I went for a jog this morning but Dalin begged me to take pictures of him, so we sat down on the stairs together and took silly pictures and videos.

If I had brushed this little curtain-climber off for the sake of a clean house (clean for 5 minutes before he destroyed it again) I would have forgotten that he will be 4 in August and in a few short months I will never have a 3 year old in my house again. He will start pronouncing words correctly and my ears will never get the pleasure of hearing words like "cycle bus" for motorcycle and "wick-wiss" for licorice (which, by the way he ate half the bag...oi).

Where do I begin with this atrocity beautiful little nugget of a photo? (don't ask what I am doing here, I don't know.) Sometimes the pressure and heavy load of being a mother paralyzes me with fear. This is becoming more and more of a reality as my Kylee outgrows me (her shoe size is already bigger than mine).  How am I suppose to help this beauty grow into a virtuous, responsible young woman? She reminds me all the time how hard it is to be the "guinea pig" of the family, as the oldest and to be the one that we make all the mistakes on.  But 75% of the pictures on my phone are like this, us being goofy together. She tells me about her day and what the boy she liked said to her. She tells me when she is in a fight with her BFF or when she got a bad grade. She knows I get her, that I respect her and trust her. The paralysis easily melts away when she grabs my shoulder to take another goofy pic. She likes me! I wouldn't go as far as saying she thinks I am cool, cause when I drop awesome, modern phrases on her like "I am totes jelly!" (google it if that looks like a foreign language) I get some pretty good eye rolls! There is a line you just can't cross.

And then there is this one! My girls are always trying to pull new funny faces, and then begging me, while they have their fingers stuffed up their noses to take a picture.

I was sitting on the couch the other day, trying to catch my breath between dinner clean up and night time jobs. I was tired and counting down the minutes to bed time when I looked up to these monsters...How do you not laugh at this? It immediately pulled me out of my bad mood and I of course had to pull the face myself...I have a picture to prove it, but you will never, ever see that picture because it would give you nightmares.

Oh- and the highlight of my day today was when my hubby let me go see a movie (Divergent)- BY MYSELF! Yes, I am the weirdo you see in the theatre sitting alone and you wonder if their date is just out getting popcorn or if they really are that pathetic. If you have never gone to a movie alone, I highly recommend it- it's fabulous...and you don't have to share you popcorn =)