Morning Inspiration

So, been walking a few times a week now. Basically I don’t walk in the mornings on the days I work and sometimes the day after. My husband has been great about taking Dylan to seminary on the days I work and the day after I work when I ask him too. It’s nice to get to sleep in a couple of hours at least once a week.

So, on my walks I think about different things, a lot of the time they’re church related in some way. Today started off about the same, but then suddenly, inspiration hit me! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at writing for awhile now, but have really struggled coming up with ideas. But this morning I had one hit me, and it was so exciting. Now I can’t wait to write down the idea before I forget. And for once, the urge to write has hit me when I don’t work the next day. For some reason it seems like I always think about writing the day before I go back to work so then I don’t feel like I can really get into it. So, I’m excited about possibly doing some writing soon.

I’ve also been considering trying to write an article about my conversion story and how I met my husband. My mother-in-law tried to get me to write it back when we got married, but I put it off and it never got done. But something tells me that it could possibly touch someone in some way so that’s a goal of mine to try to finish by the end of the year. I got 3 months, should be able to make it, right?

I can’t remember if I’ve written about my new calling. It’s to teach in Relief Society on the 4th Sunday of the month. Which is the week we do Teaching for Our Times and teach from our General Conference talks. At first I was not thrilled about it. The thought of teaching a bunch of women who probably know a lot more than I do about the Gospel scared me. But now that I’ve done it a couple of times I at least know that I’m capable of doing it and feel accepted by the women. And it’s also a great motivator to read the General Conference talks. I admit we’ve been pretty bad about not watching the last few like we should have, so I’m excited to read and learn from them. Perhaps that’s why I received this calling, so that I will learn from them.

Part of me wishes they would release me from my Activity Day calling. But at the same time I would feel like I was abandoning my co-leader and friend and I would hate to feel that way. So, I’m just going to try to do my best. Luckily I only have to do one lesson and one activity each month, so it shouldn’t be too bad. But this does mean that I now have 3 callings, 4 if you count Visiting Teaching. And maybe the problem with having so many callings, even if they aren’t all heavy time consuming ones, is that then it’s hard to give each one 100%. So my fear is that I won’t do well at any of them. I already feel like I could do better at them. But maybe this new one will renew my desire to magnify my callings and I’ll do better. I can tell that I’m going to be relying a lot more on prayer with this calling. I think I’ve prayed more in the last week than the last few months, so if nothing else, it’s helping me to pray more!


Morning Adventure

Looking at my history I average about 1 post a month, so maybe if I do it earlier in the month I’ll manage to get more than one in. The walking has been going well (at least when I’m the one that takes him). Shaun has been great about taking him not only on the days I work, but he’ll take him the day after I work a lot of the time which is really nice. Although I’m hoping to get to the point where I don’t want him to because I want the walking time. I do enjoy it once I get there and get going. Especially now that the weather is so nice!

Although, today was a little scary. As I was walking my usual route along the sidewalk outside the church I noticed that one of the doors on the back side of the church was propped open. I debated about what to do for a lap or so, then decided to go take a closer look. It was propped open with a box and the light was on in the little room. It was a room I never even knew existed and it led to some stairs (had no clue we had stairs in the church). I heard a noise so I got freaked out and quickly headed back to the sidewalk. I was going to go in the church to tell someone immediately, but then decided maybe it would be best to wait till after Seminary because I didn’t want to disrupt the class and I also felt like the fewer people that knew the better. So I continued my walk but now instead of thinking productive or spiritual thoughts I played out different scenarios in my head, like what would happen if someone came out of the door while I was walking. When it got to be close to time for the kids to be done I headed in and waited on the teacher to be available so I could tell her. So then we decided to go check it out. We went and closed the door and then headed upstairs to peek and see if anyone was hiding out up there. Thankfully we didn’t see anyone or even any signs of someone up there because I’m not sure what we would’ve done had there been someone! So, that was my little adventure for the day!

As far as how Seminary is going for Dylan, I think it’s going great! I’m honestly so proud of him. He never complains about getting up before 5am, he’s been doing really well with reading his scriptures at least every night that he’s at home, and he says he enjoys it. I was feeling a little guilty at first for making him get up so early and go to it. But now I feel like he really likes it and I think it helps his day go better. He’s definitely a lot more dedicated than I was at that age, and probably more so than the average Freshman in high school, at least around here where we don’t have a large population of LDS. Although our youth is growing. We almost have enough active young men to have only them blessing and passing the sacrament, which is really cool to see.

I received a new calling at church. It’s as a Relief Society Instructor. I believe I’ll be teaching on the 4th Sunday usually. Which will be good for me, but I am nervous about it. I taught last month as a favor and then they decided to call me to the position. Should’ve seen that one coming! But I actually enjoyed preparing the lesson. Teaching it not so much mostly because I hate speaking in front of people and get super nervous. But hopefully that will improve the more I do it. It was definitely a different experience from teaching Primary children! I didn’t get through my lesson because of all the discussion that went on. The good news is, they just want me to finish my lesson this month, so don’t have to do much preparation. Although I do plan on doing some in case it’s too short this time so I’ll have something to add at the end if needed.

Well, I’d better get moving if I don’t want to fall asleep. The goal is to stay awake all day so hopefully I can sleep well tonight since I work tomorrow.

Seminary Walks

So, school has started, and with it comes routines, homework, activities, practicing instruments (my middle child is learning guitar this year, hopefully it sounds better than when she was trying violin!), and now this year something new, Seminary. I’ve been dreading my son reaching high school and starting Seminary for 2 years now. The thought of getting up at 5:00 am everyday was so dreadful. But as the start date loomed closer, I started to change my perspective on it. I decided rather than dread it, I should look forward to it and take advantage of being forced to wake up so early. I made the decision to walk while Dylan is in class. Today was my first day of taking him since I worked yesterday. So I took my mp3 player, set it to my Christian playlist full of uplifting, Christ centered music, and I walked. I got in over 5,000 steps. Sometimes I don’t get that many steps in a day (I think I used to rarely get that many before I got my Fitbit and saw how inactive I was)! So I’m kind of excited about what this will hopefully mean for my weight loss. And not only is it good activity for me, but it’s also good spiritual me time. I mean, it’s almost an hour of just walking, listening to spiritual music, and thinking and even praying.

Back before I got pregnant with my youngest I would walk early in the morning before going to work, and honestly that was one of my favorite times of the day. It’s just so peaceful and refreshing to get that time to ponder on things. I’ve really missed it, but lacked the motivation to get back into it. So I’m happy to have a reason for getting up early and not having any excuse to not walk. I think it will quickly turn into my favorite part of the day. I believe everyone needs a little me time. And what better way than getting some exercise along with having time to be spiritual. There’s not a lot to me that’s more spiritual than being outside and admiring the beauty around us while listening to spiritual music and watching the sun rise. I mean, what a way to experience the power of our Heavenly Father! So, that’s how I’m making the most of having to get up early for Seminary. I thought about reading scripture while there, but in reality I’d either fall asleep or end up playing a game to stay awake, so for me, walking is a better choice.


So, haven’t been around much lately. Mostly I just try not to spend much time on the computer so it’s hard to spend what little time I do get on it writing I guess. Anyway, things that have happened since I last posted include personally delivering a baby (first time for me) which was way scary but I guess it’s good to know that I am capable of doing it! The kids went on vacation with their dad and the husband and I got a night alone with no kids (a friend watched Nat for us). That was our first overnight alone since before Nat came along. Was a lot of fun, but we spent way too much money and learned why gambling is bad for you. We both agree that won’t be happening again any time soon, if ever! One of the things I’m most excited about is the new toy that I got. It’s called a fitbit ultra. I love it! It has totally renewed my motivation to lose weight. I’ve already lost over 5 pounds in just a week of having it! Which for me is pretty good. Especially considering that a week later I still feel motivated. It’s not some magic gadget or anything. All it does is track what I do. Then I log in my food and extra activities it might not track and it shows me how many calories I’ve burned and how many I can still eat. It rewards me with badges for accomplishing different things like 5,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs. Basically is kind of like a mini coach telling me what I need to do to burn more calories than I eat. And what really amazes me is how it’s motivated me to clean. Cleaning has actually become fun for me because I get to see how many extra calories I burn by doing it. It helps me to be more active instead of just sit and watch TV all day. Now I try to come up with little tricks to try to get my 10,000 steps in a day. Like sitting the basket of clothes to be folded on an ottoman across the room from the couch, so I have to walk back and forth to fold the clothes and pile them on the couch. Before I would just sit and fold. But no more, now I do extra laundry so I can get a few more steps in! And my house hasn’t been this clean since I moved in. I’ve been sweeping and mopping the floors daily. Before I would do a quick dust mopping on most days. But not any more. And now my floors actually look clean. I love my spray mop thing I got, it’s so easy to use and now I’m like why haven’t I been mopping daily since I got it? My husband and I have started doing Jillian Michaels Body Revolution work outs again too. Part of what I think helps me succeed with the fit bit is how easy it is to track my food. That was one of my downfalls in the past, I would get tired of writing it all down and so I’d just stop tracking. And once I stop tracking, I stop losing. I might think I’m watching what I eat, but I’m really not. Now that I track with this, I can see easily how much work I have to do to burn off those extra calories I eat. For instance, I’m kinda regretting getting a second brownie last night because that meant I didn’t burn enough extra to lose any weight yesterday. I still burned more than I ate, but not enough more to show a loss today. So far I’ve been averaging about half a pound or so each day. Probably the biggest realization I’ve had since using it is how much I used my kids as my slave labor. I’d have them go get Nat’s pj’s, or diapers or whatever. Or throw stuff away for me, just do a bunch of little things to help me. Well, the reality is, it wasn’t helping me do anything but get fat and lazy! So, now I catch myself, and instead of asking them to do something, I try to just do it myself. It was really eye opening to see just how lazy I had become and how much I relied on the kids to help me. Now I have more energy, I feel better about myself, and I feel better about my house. And it’s only been a week! So, I’m really looking forward to seeing where this journey leads and how much better off I’ll be after wards.

Well, I hear Nat banging on her crib, guess I’d better go rescue her. Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

Highs and lows

Well, this week has had some highs and lows for me. Starting with the lows, my little Nat seems to be hitting the terrible twos about 6 months early! She loves to bite and pinch people, has even pinched her little friend from church leaving scratch marks on her! I don’t know what to do about it, feel like I’ve tried everything to get her to stop. I’ve even tried giving her a little pinch, but it doesn’t seem to work. My husband is like how do you expect her to know better when you do it back? And I just reply with “I’m desperate!” My leg is covered with scratches from her coming up and out of the blue pinching me, and it hurts too! You wouldn’t think tiny little fingers like that could do some damage, but I got the marks that say otherwise.

The low point of the week for me was probably the other night. Last week I went and bought a bike and we got a little seat for Nat and spent a couple of days getting it ready, but then got super busy and didn’t have a chance to try it out. So the other night I decided I was gonna go hop on it without Nat to make sure I remembered how to ride (I mean, it’s only been like 20 years since I last rode a bike!) Well, as I push it out towards the end of the driveway and start to hop on it, I hear a loud guffaw of laughter and I quickly turn to see one of my neighbor’s friends busting up laughing at me and tapping my neighbor on the shoulder to have him look as well. He then of course saw that I was looking at him and quickly waved at me and stopped laughing. But the damage had been done. I went ahead and got onto the bike and did a quick lap around the block, then tried to slink back in the house without being noticed (don’t think I was successful at that). I tried not to let it bother me, but as the evening went on it kept replaying in my head and made me feel worse and worse about it. Of course my husband wasn’t much help because he can never understand the way women think or feel. Oh to be a guy and not care what anyone thinks! But it just made me feel really depressed. I mean, how had I let it get to this point? How had I become the fat girl the people point and laugh at? So yeah, that right there was the low point of my week. Probably the low point of the month, maybe even the year! Which is dumb, I know. Why should I care what some guy I don’t even know thinks? But it’s humiliating. I mean, here I am, trying to do something about my weight, and I get made fun of for it. No wonder I don’t go to a gym or anything.

So, there I was, feeling down about myself. But I made my husband get up with me the next morning and we took our first bike ride together with little Nat in her seat. She loved it! I loved it, was a really great feeling riding around with them, even if that seat killed my bottom. We came home, and I did my usual stuff around the house and had a pretty okay day, even got a nap in which always makes it better. Baked some cookies for Activity Day. Then the kids and I headed out to the church for our Wednesday night activities. The young men and young women activities ran a little later than normal, so we didn’t get home till after 9:00 and Shaun had decided to go eat with a friend from work so he wasn’t home yet either. We got up to the door and there was a note stuck to it. It said that “we hope that you’re blessed by having your lawn mowed. we’re glad to have good neighbors and look forward to getting to know you. In Christ,” and had their name on it. And I looked and sure enough, they had mowed our front lawn (which needed it badly, had it on the agenda for today). So, that made me feel very good. But then I was like, crap, what do I do to thank them? I just finished baking some brownies that I hope turn out good enough to take over to them. I tried a recipe on the box for my chocolate malt-o-meal because I really don’t keep a lot of baking supplies around. I mean, who needs that temptation all the time? So, I’m trying to be patient and let them cool completely. I have a really bad habit of getting too impatient with brownies. Keep thinking I should go ahead and buy that perfect brownie pan, since I can never wait long enough to cut them so they don’t fall apart in the process.

Another good thing this week was our Activity Day last night went really well. I think it was one of the best ones we’ve done. I’ll have to add it to my Activity Day page. I love my co-leader. She’s so awesome at coming up with ideas and carrying them out. It actually helps me to enjoy this calling instead of dread it. Which is important. I mean, who wants a calling that they hate? Kind of takes away the gift of service when you do it out of obligation. Well, I’m going to go so I can find my thank you notes to write one out to our neighbors and then hopefully this evening we can go and properly introduce ourselves. I mean, it’s only been 6 months, what’s the rush? lol

Going to the Temple

So far this week has been fairly productive. Honestly I’ve probably done more in a day and a half around the house than I usually do in a week. The weather is beautiful, now that the storms are gone and so I have the doors open and there’s fresh air inside. I think that makes a huge difference on my energy. Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen, plus made cake mix cookies (those will be my downfall in the weight loss department I’m sure) and got caught up on laundry from working over the weekend. So far today I’ve swept and mopped the downstairs, more thoroughly than usual, cleaned out the van, then went and filled it up with gas and washed the outside followed by vacuuming the inside. I don’t think I’d done that since before our trip to Utah last August. I always like driving it better after it’s been cleaned up, almost feels like a new van! I wanted to get that done because later this month our Youth get to go to the Oklahoma City Temple to do baptisms for the dead and I volunteered to drive (it’s a good 3-4 hour drive). I figured Shaun has to work and it’s our weekend with the kids and it will be my 12 year old daughter’s first time going so I wanted to go with her. Shaun was able to go with my son the first time he went and they really enjoyed sharing that experience and I was sad I wasn’t able to share it with them. So, I don’t want to miss out on this time. I’m really excited. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the Temple. I think the last time Shaun and I went was for our first anniversary. I remember thinking that I wanted to try to go each year for our anniversary, but it just hasn’t worked out. But I plan on making going to the Temple a priority for us as a family. We’re coming up on our fourth anniversary this year, so that’s almost 3 years in between. Like I said, way too long! We’re thinking about trying to make it up to Kansas City for the Temple open house, but it’s hard trying to find a time when he works 6 days a week and it’s not open on Sundays. Anyway, guess I’ve been thinking about the Temple a lot lately. My activity for the girls this week is going to be about the Temple. I hope it goes well. They’ll probably get bored fast, but then when we start making sugar cube temples I bet they’ll enjoy it more.

You’d think I’d have more to talk about when I don’t write very often. But when your life doesn’t change much I guess it doesn’t leave much to talk about. My goal for the rest of this month is to work on getting our computer room organized. That is by far the worst looking room clutter wise in our house. Probably because it’s the room I throw everything in when I don’t have a specific place for it. So, I need to come up with a plan. Perhaps start at my desk since that’s usually about the easiest place to declutter. Mostly it’s just papers that get stuck there to wait for me to pay bills or do whatever else needs to be done with them. The bad area is the file area. My pile on there is so heavy it’s weighing the shelf it’s on down so it sags, lol. I’ll try to remember to do some before and after pics since those are always fun to look at and see what’s been accomplished.

I haven’t had much success with my weight loss. I just enjoy eating way too much. I don’t know why I struggle with food soo much. Shaun and I were exercising, but due to scheduling and all the things we had to do last week we missed it each day. So far this week isn’t looking much better. On the bright side, I haven’t been watching as much TV and have been doing more things around the house so at least I haven’t gained any weight. Now if I could just get it to start going down I’d be ok. That would probably actually happen if I stopped baking and avoided chocolate. I was craving it something fierce last week and tore up the kitchen trying to find any hidden stashes I might have forgotten about. So, I think I need to have some on hand for emergencies like that, but try to keep it small. Not bake whole batches of cookies for me to eat when everyone’s gone!

Well, I’m gonna go finish watching Smash from last night then see what other chores I can get accomplished today. I plan on mowing the back yard once the kids get home from their dad’s this evening so at least I’ll get some exercise then.

Rock Star note

Well, I’ve had a productive day. After a week of rain I think the sunshine today got me motivated to do more around the house than I had all week. My husband is planning on having a friend and his kids over tomorrow while I’m at work, so of course I felt like I needed to clean the house. So the downstairs is swept and mopped along with the upstairs bathroom. I even washed my bathroom rugs, they really needed it. Then I decided that since the kids’ spring break is next week I’d better get busy and finish the chore system I’d been slowly working on. Got it all done, then the dry erase board I had intended to use decided it didn’t want to hold the magnets on it. So at least to start with we’ll just use the side of the fridge. I think it will work well, I have an old dry erase board with the days of the week on it that I put their names on so we can keep track of the money they earn daily then pay them weekly. It’s an idea I’d seen around on pinterest but I made a few changes. I basically just typed up a bunch of chores and the money they were worth then printed them out and cut them out. Then I glued them onto some scrapbook paper and cut them out with a decorative edge scissor. I had some magnet tape hiding in my activity bag (won’t tell you how long it took me to actually find it, was hidden really well) so I put a bit of magnet on the back of each chore and now they’re all on my fridge. I’m thinking about maybe making name tag magnets so that then we can put the chores they do under their names. We’ll see if I get motivated to do that any time soon.

My husband installed a storm door on our back door last weekend and I’m loving it. This house is so old that most of the windows either don’t open, or don’t have screens so I don’t want to even try, but now thanks to my husband I can get some fresh air inside. That was probably the most disappointing thing about this house, was the windows. Maybe someday we can replace them all, but that will probably cost a fortune. I love the fresh air though, it just helps me get in the mood to do more than just watch tv or play on the computer. Not really having any shows waiting for me on the DVR helps too. Another project I decided to tackle today was the back porch. For some reason even though we don’t have a single tree in the back yard bunches of leaves decided to make their home on our back porch. So I swept it and cleaned up the little side table and chairs that are out there and even folded a tarp for the dogs to lay on when they’re out there. Feels much better out there now. Really wishing I didn’t have to work tomorrow so I could enjoy it with Shaun and his friend since they’re planning on grilling.

Let’s see, not much else to say. Been doing better this week with the diet and exercise thing. Had been doing okay with exercising, but the dieting not so much. I lost over 4 pounds the first week doing this Body Revolution, but then hadn’t lost any since. Last week we attempted to go to workouts 3 and 4, and decided we needed a little more time on 1 and 2 lol! So that’s what we did this week and then the plan is to bump up to the next level on the second half of next week. I am seeing improvements in my body and strength. I can actually do most of the exercises and the ones I struggle with I can at least do a little bit. So, hopefully by next week we’ll be more ready to move on. I don’t think I’ve ever been as sore as I was the day after we did workout 4. And to think that it goes up to 12! I don’t even want to think about what that workout is going to be like lol. So, I haven’t had the weight loss I was hoping for, but I have seen some results and I know that if I stick with it I will eventually get there. If I was a fish eater it’d be easier I’m sure, but I just can’t stomach most of it, unless it’s fried and well, that defeats the purpose.

Guess my Nat didn’t feel like taking a nap after all, think I’ll go rescue her and find something for us to eat. Kind of hate days when it’s just the 2 of us. Oh, before I go, I have a proud Mom moment I have to share.

It reads "Dylan, You'll do great at the party "test". I know you will be the cool one "smart one". Have fun and do your best! I care for you and always think of you! love, Dannielle

I found this note yesterday morning, my daughter wrote it for her big brother to encourage him for his assessments. I guess that she tries to think of tests as parties, whatever works, lol. But this was so sweet that it made me feel like I’ve raised some pretty good kids. I’m glad that they’re so close and hope that they keep that closeness throughout their lives.