Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grateful and Blessed

We have some special friends - Trent and Melissa Cheney.  Cory and Trent were best friends in high school, I met Cory through Trent (he was a friend of my roommate's), and Melissa and I hit it off right away before they got married.  We have gone through all kinds of things together and they have been a blessing in our lives.

As we struggled with infertility before having Gabe Trent and Melissa were struggling.  We've gone through college experiences, being young married couples, moving, trips together - we have thought of them more as family even than as friends.

So after Naia was born - their sweet little 6 year old - and Trent and Melissa started struggling to get pregnant again our hearts started to break.  They are amazing parents and wanted nothing more than to be able to add to their family.  They made all kinds of attempts, tried to adopt - and prayed a lot.  We all did, we all wanted them to have more kids. 

And so today when I got a text forwarded to me from Cory that said, "She's here! She's 7 lbs 11 ounces.  All are doing well." tears came to my eyes.  I am so happy for Trent and Melissa - and can't wait for Naia to get to be a big sister.  So congratulations and welcome to Kimbree - we can't think of a better family for you to be a part of!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

12 Years Down - Eternity to Go...

Happy 12th anniversary to my sweetheart. I'm glad that even through the crud the world tosses our way that we get to fight through it together. Thank you for being my best friend, biggest cheerleader, sweetheart, father to our kids and the dreamer that might just help me learn how to dream big. Thinking of the 12 ye...ars in our past and the eternity we have to be together and I am truly grateful that we have each other. Thank you for everything you teach me and everything you do for me - big and little.

I love you! XOXOXO

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scrapping Pages

Wow - it's been a long time since I've updated layouts on my blog.  By the time I finish the layout, get it posted in the right galleries, post it on Facebook....sometimes I forget to get them up on the blog too.  So here are some of my latest layouts :)

As usual - if you hae any questions about specific products used - please leave a note in the comments and I'll answer you.  :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thought for the day....

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 Run

Hey guys! I got up this morning for my 10k run on 10-10-10! I LOVE running in the mountains and it was a perfect morning for it. Late last night I mapped out my route and Cory dropped me off @ Right Hand Canyon. My route was supposed to end at the scocer fields. While I was running in the canyon I had to be careful because apparently it was a great morning for senior citizens to take a drive....I kept almost getting run off the road by some of the sweetest looking "older" folks. But once I got on the paved path it was nice to turn on my tunes and just enjoy the morning.

I ended up finishing up a bit faster than I had planned, and I was excited about that. But then when I went to log it on "Map My Run" I realized that I hadn't read the map quite right and this meant that I hadn't quite reached my 10K distance (I think I was off about .3 of a mile). Darn it! I was so disappointed! But then I figured up my time and I had done it @ under a 10 minute pace - I was actually around 9 minutes. That felt awesome. So less than a 10K, but less than 10 minutes/mile - so I was happy.

I was actually really bummed that I hadn't planned for a 10 mile run time wise - because I felt great and wanted to keep running. The problem was time and trying to make it to church in time.

Anyway - as I was driving up the canyon I had the radio on and it was playing the "Sounds of Sunday" church music playing. The last song I heard was the Tabernacle Choir singing "Press Forward Saints". It was funny because as I ran the lyrics of that song came back to me. I don't normally get "pumped up" as I listen to church music (in an energetic running kind of way) - but this was different - it was very contemplative. The minute or two when I got tired it was like the good old choir was cheering me on "Press Forward!" :)

I loved thinking about the fact that to celebrate 10-10-10 I was being active and running a 10k instead of having a more typical goal for me which would have been to eat 10 cookies, or 10 different kinds of treates.  Being active and feeling my body moving in a healthy way was much more of a celebration!  Next year on 11-11-11 I'm going to be running 11 miles - it was fun!

10-10-10 Gabe and Hunter

Sunday morning I explained to the boys that it was 10-10-10.  They weren't quite as impressed with my geeky bit of trivia, but they obliged when I asked for a cute picture of them and helped me make a list of 10 things they both love or are thankful for.  Here are their exact answers:

Hunter - age 3

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. Grandma Marilyn
  4. Gabe - my brother
  5. ME!
  6. the black dog (Daisy)
  7. the yellow dog (Sadie)
  8. nursery
  9. the toys on my changing table
  10. my sock drawer and all of my socks and underwears inside
Gabe - age 5
  1. Legos
  2. Mom and Dad
  3. books
  4. my little brother
  5. Jesus
  6. all of my Grandmas and Grandpas
  7. I love it when my mom does races
  8. spaghetti
  9. my friends
  10. Star Wars

Loved this quote

I just read this quote on a blog and felt it applies to many, many areas of my life:

"Everywhere in nature, we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come."
--Joseph F. Smith

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sesame Street: Smell Like A Monster

I've loved watching the Old Spice parodies that have been floating around. This one might be the cutest one yet. I can't wait to show my kids in the morning. (I think they love the Old Spice guy even more than I do!)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fun Star Wars Masks

My boys are obsessed with all things Star Wars so when I saw these cute masks I thought they'd have fun with them.  We made a Chewy and Darth Vader mask today.  I printed out the standard size of the mask onto white cardstock and then cut them out.  I cut out the eyes too (I used a large gromet punch).  Then I ran them through my little laminating machine and cut out around the mask (including cutting out the eyes again).  Then I added eyelets to the sides and added twine to tie them on with. 

They're pretty simple, but hopefully the boys will have fun with them.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Trials & the Storms of Life

I'm sure that many of us (if not all of us reading this) have had trials and storms in our lives where we've responded with the question, "WHY ME?????"  Now I don't think that necessarily asking this is a bad thing.  I think that if we wallow, and we dwell on it, and we suffer unneccessarily it can be a bad thing - but I think that if we take that question and turn it around a little bit we can learn a lot in each and every trial - even in the middle of the trial and not just looking back. 

Instead of asking "Why me?" ask "What can I learn?".

I've thought about this a lot recently and I've found a few key reasons I experience trials and I thought I'd pass them along and share them with anyone else they might help.  I feel that going through difficulty and trials can be for the following reasons:

Developing Empathy and Compassion - Many of my trials haven't necessarily been directly for me in a typical way.  Many of my trials I'm finding have been so that I can understand other people better.  Once I've gone through something, or done something maybe I shouldn't have done - I understand others so much better.  The idea of "walking around in someone else's shoes" has a lot of merit and truth.  If we think of our Savior and how he truly understands our weaknesses and struggles - it's because through the Atonement he has actually experienced them.  As we go through hard times much of it is so we can develop an understanding and empathy for others.  We all have such vastly different lives and by experiencing a little bit about others we grow closer I believe.

Trials Help Us to Not Judge Others - Going along with the last one of developing empathy and compassion as we do that we begin to judge others less.  As I struggle with something and hope that others will not judge me as I struggle I hope to remember that later on so I don't do likewise and judge others unfairly.  For instance - after we struggled with infertility for years and years I have learned not to judge other people on the spacing and timing of their children.  For all I know they have tried getting pregnant for years.  We had many, many people make comments about how it must be nice to be waiting to have kids until we owned a house, finished school, had a career - all things that were nice, but we longed for a baby much more than we ever longed for a 3 bedroom home of our own....I've tried not to judge others on how they spend their money, how they discipline their children, or how they get along with their spouse.  I hope that we will all work on not judging people all around - but especially in situations where we know nothing about their experiences.

We Need to Learn to Forgive Others - I look back and see several times in my life where I have been hurt or wronged by someone else.  I have been hurt, angry, said I would NEVER do that to someone else and I would never be able to forgive that person.  Well I think we should "never say never" because I have also had experiences where I swore I'd never be - and needed other people's forgiveness.  How can I expect someone else to forgive me for something I haven't been able to forgive another for?    Going through trials gives us extra opprotunties to forgive others.

We Go Through Trials So We May Strengthen Others - I have had a couple of exerpiences and confirmations recently that trials I have gone through weren't just for my benefit - but for others as well.  There are many ways this can happen - when we struggle and others serve us - they are blessed.  When we struggle and are good examples of learning as we pass through those trials - we bless others.  When we struggle and learn we can be there for others so they do not feel alone as they struggle.  When we pave the way by "learning the hard way" sometimes others won't have to struggle the same way we have.  I think of the pioneers and early leaders of the church and how I have learned invaluable lessons because of experiences they had and lessons they learned.  I hope that I am able to handle my trials and lessons in a way that can bless others both now and in the future.

We Have Trials So We Can Draw Closer To Our Heavenly Father - I remember a conversation I had with a dear friend several years ago.  We were just getting to know each other and were sharing our experiences with infertilty before having our families.  We were both sharing things we had learn as we struggled through and how looking back we were so grateful for those experiences.  She said, "At times I actually kind of miss being in the middle of that trial.  Does that sound crazy?  I just felt so close to my Heavenly Father as I leaned on Him for understanding and strength."  So true!  When we are in the depths of heartache and struggles - if we will rely on our Heavenly Father and the infinite strength and peace He gives us - the middle of our trials can really be a peaceful and beautiful place.  I will question myself when I begin a new trial and kind of take stock of where I am at with my relationship with my Heavenly Father - often when I'm not as close to Him I find myself in a trial - so I have opprotunities to strengthen my relationship with Him.  Just like a parent who misses their children - our Heavenly Father wants us to be close to Him.  I love the scripture in Ether 12:27 where we're told that if we go to the Lord with our weaknesses He will make weak things strong for us.  It's SO true!

Trials Often Prepare Us For Future, Harder Trials We May Face - I see some of the trials from my past and think - WOW - that was a stepping stone to these other things we'd be learning later on.  In fact in the midst of some recent trials I had a strong feeling that that particular trial wasn't the actual trial - but was to prepare me for something bigger later on.  (That was a scary thought...). But since we're here on earth to continaully learn and grow it's important that we build upon what we know - right?

Trials Help Us Feel Grateful For Blessings and Re-evaluate What Is Really Important -  I bet you've heard, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." How often to we express gratitude for our health, or do we wait until we're sick to complain about the lack of health?  As I've been going through a few things recently I have developed a great sense of gratitude for material items that I had always taken for granted.  I've also realized what things are important (family, relationships, the gospel) and what things are just not vitally important.  Trials have a definite way of giving us a different perspective.

Trials Teach Us How Strong We Are - When Cory and I were in the midst of a VERY hard summer job years ago one of our leaders in the company was talking to us. He said, "I know you don't believe me right now, but you are going to look back on this summer and say 'WOW!  Look how strong we were - look at all we accomplished together!'".  At the time I felt overwhelmed and stressed to a breaking point - but know what?  Looking back on those experiences in Detroit it did just that.  Repeatedly when we're faced with something I have the thought "Remember what you accomplished before?  You can do it again - you're tough!".  I think we don't realize our strength and trials give us a chnce to prove our toughness - even if it's to prove to ourselves that we can do hard things. We can often amaze even ourselves with how tough we really are!

Trials Are Given To Us To Bless Us - I believe this more right now than I have ever believed it.  There are economic challenges we are going through right now that I know would break me if I didn't have this perspective.  There are things I've gone through in the past that have shaken me to my core - but I ultimately have learned that trials are the greatest blessing our Heavenly Father can give us.  They cause us to stretch, strengthen and lift ourselves and others in a way we would not otherwise be able to.  They bring us to our knees and help us be reminded of a Father who loves us more than we can even comprehend.  Trials are a gift and I hope that as each of you go through these trials you can find the same kind of perspective as I feel I'm being blessed with. 

I am indeed grateful for the trials my Heavenly Father knows I can handle. I am beyond grateful for a knowledge that I have that after the storms, and even in the midst of the storms we can find beauty and peace.  Through the particular challenges I've been dealing with in the last several months I can honestly say that I am happier and more at peace than I have ever been while struggling.  Often after a trial is over and resloved I've been able to find the beauty of it - after I'm done suffering; but this is the first time I have been in the middle of a trial and felt extreme gratitude for the experiences and lessons I'm learning.  Sure - it's hard and there are days that really stink - but I have felt the love and beauty that my Heavenly Father has given me.  I feel gratitude in greater ways than I remember feeling it in a very long time.  I have a new sense of what my blessings are and feel greater love for life.  I know that we can all find beauty during the storm and I hope anyone reading this can feel that peace. 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Things I Love

I see this frequently on a few friend's blogs and Facebook pages and I'm reminded of things I'm grateful for too.  I need to document those simple, everyday things better.  Those are things I will look back on later in life and be glad I recorded.  So here are a few I'm thinking of today:

I have looked at a bunch of different, fun running jewelry since I started running.  I'm not a huge jewlry fan, but I like jewelry that has a connection to it - a momento from a special event.  Anyway - I think this little running charm is adoreable.  I have a friend running a BIG race this year and I've been looking at different fun things I'd love to get her to remember it by....we'll see....(oh to be wealthy and be able to purchase fun little trinkets for everyone I think about each day....that's hard for me in this current financial climate.  I see things - both big and little - that remind me of others, that friends or family members would enjoy - and I wish I could spoil them.  I guess that's a little bit of my love language - giving gifts.  Wish I could do more in that regard...

Cottage Cheese:
Ha - kind of silly - but I *heart* cottage cheese.  With the way I'm trying to eat (6 small balanced meals consisting of a lean protein and healthy carb) I'm always looking for good ways to get protein in.  Cottage cheese has become a staple in my diet.  It's simple, tasty, and very healthy.  I like to add Salad Supreme seasoning or Mrs. Dash seasoning, sometimes mix I it with fat free fruit flavored yogurt, use it as a dip with rice/whole grain baked chips or use it as a dip with carrot slices. Totally versatile :)

Friends and Running:
September 18th I ran my 3rd 1/2 marathon in just over a month.  I think it was a 1/2 marathon every 2 weeks.  I am so grateful that I've discovered that I can run.  Sure - I'm not the fastest runner - but I did it.  The Cedar Canyon 1/2 I ran in September was painful - it was hard.  I was in pain and I didn't know at times if I was going to even be able to run the race, much less do very well.  I'm so grateful that I could push my self and finish - and even end up with a personal record (2:11).  I loved seeing friends there (who are faster runners) and feeling of their excitement, support and seeing that we're working together to do something good for our bodies - which helps us give back to others.

Projects that just come together:
Sometimes I have a scrapbook page I'm really happy with.  Yesterday I was working on this layout and it just clicked - it just came together exactly like I had wanted it to and I was really happy with it.  That doesn't always happen....more often than not I sit and stare at a layout and get frustrated with it.  I love it when things just click and fall together nicely.

I LOVE this weekend in October every year.  I love listening to our church leaders as they teach us the things we need to hear. It amazes me how there always seems to be a theme - even though talks are not assigned.  I love that no matter what I'm going through in my life it's as if every talk was written JUST FOR ME.  I am grateful that I have answers as I listen to the talks.  I just LOVE conference!  I missed most of the Saturday morning session (Gabe's last soccer game for the season) and I am anxious to watch the recording of it later.  It's not the same to me as watching it live - but the messages are still important.  I absolutely loved Elder Richard G. Scott's talk on the Saturday afternoon session.  It was one that just CLICKED for me too.  It talked about repeated ideas that I have been reading about/thinking about in the last month or so.  I love when there are principles or ideas that pop up repeatedly in my life.  It's like Heavenly Father REALLY wants me to learn something - so I'm taught it over and over again - from different messages, different friends, different experiences.  If I hear it 2 or more times I am learning to listen carefully - it's probably important :)

I have found that most of the time when a movie is called "Oscar Worthy" that I don't fall in love with it.  When critics love a movie - I generally find it odd.  Cory and I have commented more than once that if a critic doesn't like a movie - we'll probably enjoy it.  But this time I had heard quite a few things saying that this movie was great and that the acting was fantastic and would be up for awards in the upcoming award season and we loved it!  I like movies that promote discussion and make us think.  As we left the theater we talked about things we give up, things we loose - and if it's worth it.  Pride, greed, intelligence, friendship, loyalty, brilliance, and ideas that can change lives.  Interesting stuff. 


I hope to work on being grateful for simple things more often.  I hope that I don't take things for granted or get complacent about expressing my gratitude.  I'm so richly blessed and I am grateful for so many things, relationships, lessons, experiences...What are  you grateful for or enjoying about life today?


As I was making this list I paused to pay a little more attention to conference.  President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet and president of our church began his talk.  I typed up a few of this thoughts becuase they went along with what I was just thinking about gratitude.  These aren't direct quotes - and there was SO much more he said that were important - but here's a start.  When the talks are posted online I'd reccommend re-reading his sweet words that remind us of being grateful:
He is a wise man who doesn't greive for the things he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  Gratitude is a divine principle....Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in ALL things. And in nothing doth man offend God or against none is his wrath kindled save those who confess not his hand in all things. We are told to live in Thanksgiving daily for the mercies and blessings God doth bestow upon us.  Regardless of our circumstances each of us has much to be grateful for. If we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.  This is a wonderful time to be on earth.  There is much that is wrong in the world today, but there are manyt higns that are right and good. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.  We can lift ourselves and others as well as we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate in our hearts an attitude of gratitude.  Gratitude is of the nobelest of virtues and the parent of all other virtues.