Monday, December 19, 2011

quote of the week...

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

--Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol 

Monday, December 12, 2011

quote of the week...

"Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment."

--H. Ross Perot

Monday, December 05, 2011

quote of the week...

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

--Joseph Campbell

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Oh, dear.

I walk into the room after having been on the phone.
My 7 year old daughter sits up quickly and says brightly:

"Hello, Mother! We have been sitting here doing nothing wrong while you were on the phone."

My gut instinct? She is totally lying.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

never say never...

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a animal lover. Through a series of events that I still don't completely believe happened, we now own this little guy, who we named Gatsby.

I am shocked that I actually adore him. It has been so fun to discover that while you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you can find a puppy that will teach you that you really can love just have to find the right one. Not to mention the fun the kids are having now that they have something they have wanted for years and years!

Anyway, the moral of the story is: never make a final decision about what you will and won't allow in our life when it's just based on preference or the current season you are in. You never know what may change or how YOU may change that causes you to have a place in your life for things you wouldn't have considered earlier.

Monday, November 28, 2011

quote of the week...

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”

Alan Bennett

Monday, November 21, 2011

quote of the week...

"Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."

Our girl and her boy are coming home today. We will try to stretch the week out so it seems longer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

at the doctor's office...

Pediatrician: Okay, everything looks good! Today we need to give you 4 shots, though.

7 year old daughter: 4???

Pediatrician: yes, 4. I know it's a lot. Sorry.

....long pause...

7 year old daughter: I want you to knock me out for it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

just want to let it be known...

I love my life.

It is messy, loud, flawed, imperfect, frustrating, over-extended, bittersweet, and average.

It is also blissful, awe inspiring, tender, meaningful, soul stretching, hysterically funny, and filled with unspeakable joy.

And it is mine. And I am blessed. I see it, and I feel it. I am humbled by what it is now, and what it is becoming.

That is all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

quote of the week...

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

— Albert Einstein

I think I struggle with balance in my life more than anything. I am either going 100 miles an hour or at a dead stop. I am seeing the wisdom and peace that comes from just consistently moving. Both literally and figuratively.

Monday, November 07, 2011

quote of the week...

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I Choose Him.

Tonight was our evening to honor the young women for the good things that they do. This slideshow was my final project to earn my young womanhood recognition. The pictures were taken by me and 2 of our young women, and the song was our theme for the evening along with 2 Nephi 33:9.

It was a wonderful night. They are wonderful girls.

Monday, October 31, 2011


from left to right:
Oliver the Trumpeter (search you tube to understand), Little Red Riding Hood,
Harry Potter, a fairy, and Ron Weasley.

quote of the week...

"You can describe a man in inches, pounds, complexion, or physique. But you measure a man by character, compassion, integrity, tenderness, and principle. Simply stated, the measures of a man are embedded in his heart and soul, not in his physical attributes. But they can be viewed in conduct and demeanor."

--Richard C. Edgley

To be a man--a real man--like Richard Edgley is talking about, is a good thing. We need good men. I hope I am raising 4 good men, and I hope that one day my younger two daughters will each find a good man to marry, like our oldest daughter did. I am grateful that I married a man who measures his success by how well he provides for his family, by how happy he strives to make his wife, by how welcoming and devoted he is to our children, and by serving God with all his heart.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

fall break fun...

Connor wanted to try and make our friends' recipe for salsa. I'd never made salsa from scratch before, so it was a fun little challenge. It turned out really well!

Monday, October 24, 2011

quote of the week...

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."

--William James

I am taking the time this last week of October to finally complete several tasks that have been on my mind and my heart. I've decided that one of the keys to living in happiness and peace is to keep my promises: both large and small. When I don't, it weighs on my spirit. It saps my energy and weakens my resolve to do other things.

Find something (or someone, frankly) in your life that you have an uncompleted task for. Complete it. I promise the mental energy you spend thinking about how you haven't done it is far more difficult to live with than just doing it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

fall full of pictures...

It's been a busy fall for me as far as picture taking is concerned. ( far as EVERYTHING is concerned, but such is life) I thought I'd share some of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

quote of the week...

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."

---Margaret Thatcher

Monday, October 10, 2011

quote of the week...

"The sweetest experience in all of mortality is to be the answer to someone's prayer."

--Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

opening the call...

There aren't adequate words to describe how it feels to watch our son choose to take 2 years of his life and serve the Lord and the people of another country. We are grateful to be his parents.

Hurrah for Israel! Hurrah for Israel!

Monday, October 03, 2011

quote of the week...

"How we spend our days is how we spend our lives."

- Annie Dillard

Sunday, October 02, 2011

50 lbs in 5 months: What I've learned so far, part 2

4) I've learned that earning something is far more enjoyable than simply taking it.

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: "Don't you feel deprived? Don't you feel like you are missing out?" The short answer is: "No." It's actually the complete opposite. Now when I go to a party or there is a special occasion and I have previously planned to eat something that I wouldn't normally eat, such as a hamburger or dessert, I actually enjoy it and appreciate it more than I ever did before! Not only is it enjoyable to eat, but the best part is I eat it with no guilt or remorse whatsoever. I have earned that food. I don't have the burden of thinking about other poor choices I am making that just add to this one, because that is no longer the case. The same thing goes with exercise. When I work hard and burn 500 calories at the gym every day, and then see changes in my ability and stamina, there is SUCH satisfaction in knowing that I worked hard for those changes! I know it's in our nature to want a quick, fast, and easy fix...but it just doesn't exist. Not only does it not exist, I'm convinced that even if it did, it's not a substitute for earning it ourselves.

5) I've learned that you have to believe different things about yourself, and think of yourself as a different person, in order to makes changes that last.

Habits are so hard to break. And too often we have habits so deeply ingrained that we define ourselves by them. For example: I obviously led a sedentary life for many, many years. To the point that I realized as I started to make changes that I had defined myself by that. "I don't like to do active things. All of my hobbies are sedentary...reading, computer, television." I had to learn to look at myself and see someone new, someone who did things differently than I had done in the past. When I found myself letting the hours tick by without getting a work out in, I had to say, "I am a person who works out every day. I go to the gym and I burn calories and increase my strength every day." If I found myself considering using food in an unhealthy way, I had to say, "I am thoughtful with my food choices. I am a person who respects my body and treats it well. I don't use food as a coping skill." As I redefined myself and what I did, I found I not only changed my behavior--I changed what I liked to do! This may sound odd, but I have discovered that I really, really like to sweat. It's, like, better than Christmas. For reals. I NEVER would have thought that could be said about me, but now it's true, and it's because I chose to see who I was differently. I find myself thinking of things my kids and the Hubby and I can go do, like hiking or walking or playing outside...things I never would have considered. Before, I would have observed. Now I participate. See what I mean? Different.

6) I've learned that happiness and peace come through the knowledge that you are living the way you should, the results of living that way are simply a bonus...not really the reward.

I am not going to lie and say that losing weight and looking better and getting to donate clothes that are too big isn't a lot of fun--but it really isn't what has kept me going. I feel a peace and a contentment that is completely internal. It's a happiness that has to do with how I behave when no one else is looking. I feel peace because I know that I treat my body with respect, and that I show gratitude for all that I have been given by not being greedy with food or with anything else. When I wake up every day, the reward is that I like myself, how I live my life, and who I am becoming. The weight will continue to leave my body and I will continue to become more healthy and more strong, that is a consequence of the many choices I now make. But the REAL prize is looking in the mirror and seeing a woman who lives what she knows. There is a song that says in part "Do what is right, let the consequence follow..." I understand what that means more than ever now. Nothing feels better than doing what's right, in every aspect of your life. Nothing.

I hope that something I have written here may be something you can relate to in your own life. If your particular weakness isn't weight or food, I still maintain that the principles and lessons I have learned could apply to what you struggle with, as well. We all have ways in which we cope with life and its challenges. Some people eat, some people drink, some people cut, some people isolate themselves...there are a million ways to cope in a way that gives us immediate relief but is ultimately destructive. I have felt such joy as I have learned to cope in a way that actually makes me feel better long term, and increases my strength for the next challenge!

I know that I still have a lot to do, and a lot to learn. I'll keep you posted. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

quote of the week...

"Liberty is not the power to do what one wants, but it is the desire to do what one can."

--Jean-Paul Sartre

Sunday, September 25, 2011

50 lbs in 5 months: What I've learned so far, part 1

I am hesitant to write this post.

I have lost 50 pounds in 5 months, and it has been an intense and personal experience, one that I am not sure I can truly articulate. However, something whispers to me that the things I have learned in this process are not unique to me--and frankly, contain lessons that could be applied to far more than weight loss.

This isn't meant to be a guideline on how to lose weight--I may talk about specifics someday, when and if I feel I have something to offer. This is more about what I have learned as I made changes in my life that would lead to changes in my body.

1) I have learned that we are capable of far more than we know or acknowledge.

I have done things in the past 5 months that have been beyond what I would have thought were my capabilities. I have broken habits and changed thought patterns that have been a part of my life for decades, in some cases even my whole life. I have come to believe that God asks us to be obedient not simply to honor and worship Him, but so that we can see what lies within that we can see His power, which is part of what we are able to access as His children. There is power in being obedient to truth--regardless of what kind of truth it is. It doesn't matter whether it's "If I eat well and exercise, I will be more healthy" or "If I want to gain knowledge, I have to study" or "If I cross the street into oncoming traffic, I will be road pizza" -- it's all the same. It's when we stop fighting against those truths and live with them instead that we really begin to see what we can do.

2) I have learned that it's never one big decision, it's a million little ones.

This is one that can be difficult to figure out, and even more difficult to become comfortable with. My losing 50 pounds is not a result of my saying, "I want to lose 50 pounds." Sure, that may have been part of my original thoughts or goals, but there have been thousands of decisions considered and wrestled with over the past 5 months, each of which has gotten me closer to what I wanted. Every morning when we wake up, we make decisions every minute that will progressively get us somewhere. Those decisions determine whether or not we end up where we say we want to be. Every day, I had to get up and say, "I am choosing to eat correctly at every meal." Every day, I had to get up and say, "I will go to the gym today and I will work out." Every day (and sometimes, every hour!) I had to say, "I choose to cope and function in a way that makes me feel good about who I am and is in harmony with what I know to be true." It'd be easier if we just made one big decision and that was it--and there are times when we do make a grand and important decision--but that alone won't get us there. The reason I think this particular lesson is so difficult to learn is that it requires living thoughtfully and not impulsively. It requires living in a state of clarity and awareness of the fact that those millions of little decisions are going to be made every day...whether you make them consciously and purposefully or not is up to you.

3) I have learned that the easiest person to lie to is yourself.

It's ridiculously easy to be dishonest with yourself. It's also ridiculously destructive. I didn't get to the point of needing to lose a great deal of weight by honestly dealing with myself and why I was gaining weight to begin with. I told myself little lies, like: "I deserve a reward of food." or "I've blown it today already, so I might as well just eat more." I also told myself big fat (pun intended) lies, such as: "I don't abuse food, I just like to eat!" or "No one else has to pay attention to what they eat, it's not fair that I should have to." or "This is just how I am going to be for the rest of my life. I can't change now." The problem with lying to yourself is that you start to believe what you are saying. And believing those lies is what keeps you right where you say that you hate to be. I have struggled most of my life with feelings of depression and low self worth, and guess when that changed significantly? When I got honest with myself, and decided that I was going to live in complete truth with myself and with everybody else. And by "live in complete truth" what I mean is that I wasn't going to lean towards either end of a spectrum of thought--I wasn't going to justify or excuse anything I did, but I wasn't going to beat myself to death over anything I did, either. I was simply going to see things as they really were, and not try to pretend that they were anything different. If I found myself trying to go back to old ways of thinking, I would stop myself and say, "Nope. That doesn't fly anymore. I know better than that." Being honest with others was harder for me. My husband has never been anything but loving and supportive of me, always saying I am beautiful and attractive. I have held in most of my feelings about my body and my struggles with food, always afraid to be that vulnerable. (even now, I am torn writing this, knowing how much I am choosing to reveal to anyone reading this) In deciding 5 months ago to live in complete truth, I have opened up to him and shared fears and weaknesses and flawed thinking that I never could have before. He has become my greatest cheerleader, my strength and support, my shoulder to cry on, and all the while somehow maintaining a needed neutrality...there is no doubt in my mind that he knows that this is my mountain to climb, and that he'll love me even if I am climbing for the rest of my life. I cannot guarantee that every person could react the way that he has, but I know that regardless of what he did, I had to be honest with others in order to truly be honest with myself.

Coming Soon: Part 2

Friday, September 09, 2011

quote of the week...

"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people."

-Abraham Joshua Heschel

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Dear Overly Enthusiastic and Perky Step Class Instructor Lady,

You are The Devil. You are evil to the core. I hate you and all that you stand for.



P.S. See you at the next class.

Monday, August 29, 2011

quote of the week...

"Unsurprisingly, we do notice each other’s weaknesses. But we should not celebrate them."

--Neal A. Maxwell

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

back to school...

Well, look who's making a blog post. I'll go slow, so I don't pull a muscle or something.

Here was this year's back to school treat for the young women I serve in our church. I got it from the awesome Sugardoodle website, and just modified it a bit.

(you can click on above picture for a better view of the text)

I love the way they came out. My favorite part of doing this is going to the young women's houses to drop them off. I love to look each girl in the eye and see how her day went. Give her a hug and make sure that when she is at school and feels all alone, she knows that someone loves her and is praying for her to succeed.

On a side note, all of our children are in school all day this year except our son who graduated last year. (he leaves for his mission in January, don't know where to just yet.) Everyone keeps asking me, "Wow!! What are you going to do with all that time??" and I finally came up with an answer. "All the same things I did before, just with less interruptions."

Friday, July 29, 2011

car conversations...

9 year old: "But I don't want to do that!"
me: "It's not about you right now."
9 year old: "Well, I think it should be about me SOMETIMES!!"

He's probably right. Poor kid.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

quote of the week...

"Either you are committed or you are not. Either you are moving forward or you are standing still. There’s no halfway."

--Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday, July 15, 2011

quote of the week...

"The secret I am finding is this: the more you do the things you know you should, the better you feel about yourself."


Monday, June 13, 2011

quote of the week...

"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."

--Steve Young

Monday, June 06, 2011

quote of the week...

"While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness was not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful."

---H.G. Wells

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Dear Heavenly Father,

Next time the words, "I'll make sure it gets done, don't worry" are about to come out of my mouth, PLEASE...please...PLEASE stop me from saying it.

Your loving and impulsively acting daughter,


Sunday, May 29, 2011

car conversations...

18 yo son: So, I think I have trouble communicating with my girlfriend.

Me: Really? Why is that?

18 yo son: Well, for starters, she didn't know she was my girlfriend. So.

Monday, May 23, 2011

quote of the week...

"It takes a long time to grow an old friend."

---John Leonard

I am grateful for my old friends, and I hope they can always be grateful for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

my mother's day present.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I saw in Country Living magazine how someone had put a screen door on their pantry. I pretty much drooled over it. I clipped it and filed it away for a "love to do when we have a chance" project. Over the years, we had looked into getting a pre-made screen door, but it would require special ordering to get the size right, and was ridulously expensive. One day a few months ago, I started breaking down what a screen door was made out of, and after the Hubby and I talked, we I realized--we he could make it! And for far less money.
                                                                 I know, right? Yawn.
                                                    we tested it for fit and for level swinging.
                                         All painted out. What a difference it makes to this wall!

When she slams shut, I'm reminded of my grandma's house in West Virgina, which is a lovely memory...a bonus is that we can never seem to get our kids to close the pantry door...ta da! No more problem with that. When all was said and done, we spent about $80 on her. By far the most expensive things were the decorative corbels...but they pretty much make the door, don't you think? The rest was simple 1x4s, some trim pieces, extra spindles from Hobby Lobby, and paint.

She's so pretty.

FYI: I named her Shelby.

Monday, May 09, 2011

quote of the week...

"I'd much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they are the first to be rescued off of sinking ships."

--Gilda Radner

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

What I will do today:

go to the Temple
clean the house
prepare for Sunday
take kids for haircuts
catch up on emails

What I did today:

went to the Temple...
and nothing on my list seemed to be all that important after that.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

quote of the week...

"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

- Winston Churchill

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

What I will do today:

visit some of the young women at their Seminary make-up day
Pick up tablecloths from a friend
order son's corsage for his prom date
make about 75 phone calls
set up for and attend our church talent show & young women fundraiser

What I actually did:

visited the young women, had an awesome talk with my bishop
Picked up the tablecloths
ordered the corsage
made about 90% of the phone calls
set up and attended the talent show and fundraiser--which was REALLY good

Monday, April 25, 2011

quote of the week...

"Our goal is not to compete with or imitate anyone on this earth, but to use our unique gifts to serve other people. By focusing on our commission to lift other people, we lose our fear of falling short of them. As we do the work of the Savior, we feel a sense of his approval."

--Mollie H. Sorenson

Monday, April 18, 2011

quote of the week...

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

--John Adams

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

small and simple reminders...

This one is from the girls' room. I made the pillows in the feed sack style that is popular right now, and which I love. A friend was kind enough to lend me her stencils, and I just used acrylic paints. I wanted the wording to have meaning (small and simple reminders, right?) so this particular pillow says "Gift of Christmas" and "daughter of God" in French (because the room is decorated with a French feel). The numbers on the bottom are her birth month and date. I did one unique to our other daughter for her bed, as well.

Also, the pillow directly behind the feed sack pillow is actually an old bedspread from The Hubby's grandmother. I made several pillows and throws from it for our house as well as for other family members, as a small and simple reminder of our dear Grandma Peg, who is sorely missed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

quote of the week...

"Why do women do that? Why do we complain about the 10 things we didn't do instead of celebrate the 3 things we did?"

--Wynonna Judd

I have to admit, I love me some Baby Judd. Her song "Is It Over Yet?" is perfection.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

What I will do today:

go to a friend's child's baptism
get caught up on my reading
make the kids do all their chores
act on a prompting to read the YW lesson for Sunday

What I actually did today:

went to friend's child's baptism
ignored the reading I needed to do, and read what I felt like reading
forgot to make the kids do their chores
decided not to act on the prompting to read the YW lesson, lived to regret it on Sunday

Monday, April 04, 2011

quote of the week...

"Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”

--Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

What I will do today:

watch all of General Conference

go to the store in between sessions to get laundry soap so I can do laundry

snuggle with my children

finish reading a book

make tin foil dinners

What I actually did:

watched most of general conference, except for when I fell asleep until Elder Oaks' voice woke me up

went to the store, bought laundry soap (and Cadbury eggs because, duh),
did no laundry whatsoever

snuggled with Cooper whenever I could, realized once I finally got him to sit with me,
 he was spiking a HUGE fever

sent The Hubby to the store for children's Tylenol

made tin foil dinners. They SO rocked.

finished reading my book

Friday, April 01, 2011

As the weather warms up and families start traveling...

...I have to ask that you take a moment and read my friend, Anne's, recent experience.

Anne and her family's story at Car Seat Nanny

For all intents and purposes, the crash Anne's family was in could have been a multiple fatal. My husband has covered many crashes just like this, with much different results.

Please, please, please. Never buy used car seats. Have your car seats installed by a law enforcement officer or car seat installing specialist (like Anne herself). Use them. Every single time you are in the car with your children. Be an example and protect your children's parents. Wear your seatbelts. Every single time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

quote of the week...

"In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours."

--Mark Twain

I found this apropos, considering we woke up to snow and the kids are now outside playing with no snow in sight. Hello, Spring.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

My stylish and talented daughter, Bri, has started this Saturday Project over at her blog, The Secret Life of Bee. I've decided it would be fun to participate, so here I go!

What I will do today:

Deep clean my bathroom
Help the kids complete their Dad's "new and improved" chore chart
finish preparing my lesson for church tomorrow
Go out to lunch with nephew for his birthday
Wash our bed sheets
Attend the LDS Young Women's Broadcast & dinner
Find someone to chaperone the youth dance
Get a good night's sleep

What I actually did today:

Deep cleaned my bathroom
Dealt with many, many meltdowns and temper tantrums from kids
completing Dad's "stupid and immpossible" chore chart
Went to Olive Garden with sil, nephew, my hubby, son, and some friends to celebrate nephew's birthday. Yum.
Washed our bed sheets
Attended the LDS Young Women's Broadcast & dinner
Went and chaperoned the youth dance
Came home from dance, remembered wet sheets sitting in the washer
Stayed up preparing my church lesson while waiting for sheets to dry
Dropped into bed at 2:30 am.  Wonderful, warm, clean sheets.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

book list...

I decided that this year I wanted to add re-reads to my book list to the right. ----------->

In previous years, I didn't count any books that I had read before, and was (for what ever reason) reading again. So, if you see an "*" next to the title, then you know what that means.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

quote of the week...

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't tell the other quotes, but I think this is my most favorite. EVER.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

some of my favorite people...

I had so much fun shooting this family...they are some of our dearest friends.
They kept cracking each other up, which made my job pretty easy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

we can try to blame the drugs, but he's just like that...

18 year old son, after coming out of surgery:

"Wow. The last thing I remember is hearing the word 'buttocks'".

(long pause)

"I do have nice buttocks."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Finally finished! I am happy with the way it all came together.

(Sorry about the heavy angle, I was trying to avoid too much sun glare on the frame glass.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

quote of the week...

"Judge me all you want. Just keep the verdict to yourself."


Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I am working on a project for our living room. I am taking a series of pictures of our children, framing them, and also rearranging the wall of pictures that looks like this now:

I will post the after next week. :)

Monday, March 07, 2011

quote of the week...

"If you want to know how strong your testimony is, ask yourself how well and how willingly you serve when no one will know."

---Joe Evans, Encompassing Charity

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

quote of the week...

"Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We can all think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."

-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, February 21, 2011

quote of the week...

"Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known...Nothing exposes our true selves more than how we treat one another."

--Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review, 2010

I read 24 books this year.

10 biographical
6 fiction/brain candy
4 spiritual/religious
4 educational

Biographies still lead my list, I guess there is no denying that I am interested in people and what makes them who they are.

For my least favorite book of the year, I'm going to have to go with Mean Mothers. I was disappointed that on a topic as complicated and emotional as the relationship between mothers and daughters, in my opinion it spent too much time talking about why what mothers do or don't do effects their daughters (umm...duh?), and very little time on how to learn to grow and thrive even if that relationship wasn't ideal. Ultimately, it wasn't a hopeful book...which maybe wasn't even what the author was trying to write, but I had bought it with the intentions of giving it to someone, and after reading it decided it wouldn't be helpful.

As for my favorite...this is hard. I read several books this year that I really enjoyed. But strictly from a reader's perspective (as in, really well written and engrossing to read) I am going to go with Still Alice by Lisa Genova. When I asked for suggestions for what to read after last year's book review, a friend suggested it and I am SO glad that I listened to her. When I think back on the book I still have a hard time remembering that Alice Howland isn't real, and to me that is the mark of a well written character and story. It manages to be painfully real about what Alzheimer's can look and feel like, and yet I finished the book with a tender, hopeful feeling.

Other books from 2010 that I would recommend:
Every Patient Tells A Story, Marriage and Other Acts of Charity, Mistaken Identity, Burying Our Swords

So, what should I read this year?

Monday, February 14, 2011

quote of the week...

you can see my reflection in the picture...that makes me happy, for some reason.

Monday, February 07, 2011

quote of the week...

"I think the best evenings are when we have messages, things that make us think, but we can also laugh and enjoy other's company."

--Jane Goodall

We had one of these nights last night. What a joy to have good friends.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

quote of the week...

"Starting small is still starting."

--Becky Higgins

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I've had days like this...

I went to a wonderful meeting today, and the speaker showed us this picture and reminded us that oftentimes we can feel a lot like this poor donkey, like the weights and burdens we carry are too much for us to handle.

I appreciated her gentle reminder: "You don't have to do everything all the time."

I forget that, and find myself spinning my mental wheels in 20 different directions and becoming increasingly more miserable as I calculate just how many people I am letting down in how many different ways. I needed that reminder to be realisitic about what I carry.

So, I share it here. In case someone else might have needed to hear it, too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

quote of the week...

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

--Henry David Thoreau