Thursday, December 31, 2015

Peace out 2015.

2015 was such a great year! And of course... I had to make a flipagram. So go on over to my YouTube page to see it.

Can't wait to see what 2016 brings us!

Happy New Years my lovely friends! Hope your year starts out awesome!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best. Day. Ever.

It has been sooo long since my last blog post.

I am not good at juggling many things and I had to put the blog on hold so I could keep my sanity. I also put any and all fitness on hold AND apparently my hair.

My hair is sad...

I need a color and cut so so badly.

Since last may we have had a great summer with lots of outdoor adventures, daddy spent a lot of time working out of state (BOO!), we enjoyed another balloon fest weekend (dad wasn't able to be there due to his working out of state and it was hard not having him there), Molly turned 2, we moved into a different home, started home-school, I turned 33, Cooper turned 9, dad turned 33 and we have had a wonderful holiday season.

OH!!! And... We were sealed as a family for all eternity. It was the best day of my life. Having my husband and children in the temple together was a dream come true. I will never forget the feeling that over came me when it was all said and done and we looked into the mirrors in the sealing room. There before me was a family all dressed in white.

It was a wonderful day.

I want to remember it forever.

I never want to forget what we went through to get there. And what it felt like to walk into the beautiful and oh so sacred Provo temple as a family. And to know that we were doing what was best and right for our family.

I can't tell you how many times I had prayed for our family to one day be sealed forever and ever. I can't begin to tell you how desperately I longed to know that death could not separate us. To know that we would be able to be together as a family.... The day it came was describable. Amazing. One of the greatest blessing in my whole life. 

They say that the things that are the most important are the things we have to work the hardest for.

It's true.

And oh so worth the hard work to get it.

"I have a fam'ly here on earth.

  1. They are so good to me.
    I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
  2. Fam'lies can be together forever
    Through Heav'nly Father's plan.
    I always want to be with my own family,
    And the Lord has shown me how I can.
    The Lord has shown me how I can"
Here are a few photos from my favorite day of 2015.

Best day ever...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Not after the manner of men.

While I was in n a the kitchen cleaning up I noticed it was much quieter than usual. I knew Cooper was reading on the couch but I wasn't sure what Molly was up to and I got nervous. She has already made her fair share of chaos today. I wasn't looking forward to any more. But when I walked in to see this sight my heart skipped a beat. And I couldn't help but feel excitement for our upcoming adventures in homeschooling.

I have been having some stress lately about whether or not I am going to be able to give Cooper what he needs for a good education. Not only do I worry about how well it will work out to have Cooper doing his work while his crazy little sister is running around the house I also worry about me and what I am capable of. I am not a teacher. I didn't do well in math. And I am not the most organized person. I have been trying to work on theses weaknesses since homeschooling became a definite but haven't felt like I am enough. I knew I was led to this decision by spiritual inspiration. I know it is what Cooper needs. But even with the knowledge of those things I still couldn't shake the doubt. So I did what I needed to do. I prayed. I said a prayer to know that I could be enough. And I asked for inspiration to know how Cooper needed to be taught. That afternoon I was reading my scriptures and these verses stood out and told me what I needed to know...

Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.
 And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did prayoft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto megreat things.

The Lord has not asked me to build a ship but he ha asked me to build my son's future. And just like He told Nephi not to build his ship "after the manner which was learned by men", He has asked me to teach Cooper in a non traditional way. And just like Nephi I must pray oft to know what things The Lord would have me know and do. I am not alone in this. After receiving this inspiration I do not feel so stressed. I know that as long as I stay close to my Heavenly Father, have faith, and pray oft that our Heavenly Father will help us in our homeschooling journey.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Am I strong enough to be your mom?

You know that Sheryl Crow song, Strong Enough? Many times throughout the song it has a line that says "Are you strong enough to be my man?" Well the other day I found myself singing... "Am I strong enough to be your mom?"

I have 2 very amazing strong willed children.

Cooper has been through a lot as a child. He has dealt with divorce, change, letting love in, more change and going back and forth every other weekend from one family to the other. It is his life. And he lives it so well. I look up to him. He is so genuinely good... Like honest to goodness this kid has a beautiful soul. And he has so much determination in life. But he also has his trials. He has things he must learn to live with, be better at, and not let bring him down. As his mom it is my duty to help him embrace his strengths and overcome his weaknesses.

Am I strong enough to be your mom?

Then there is my tiny little Molly June... Molly is stubborn, determined, fearless, and feisty. When Molly wants something she doesn't give up until she gets it. She will go at it from different angles and won't stop until she has what she wanted. The majority of my day is spent getting Molly out of something she is not supposed to be in or on. Over and over and over.... She is stubborn. I admire that about her. She's not even 2 yet but I just know she will be this determined her whole life. And that can be both a positive thing and a negative for her. It all depends on how she learns to channel that determination and fire. And as her mom I feel the responsibility to help her learn to use that determination in a positive way.

Am I strong enough to be your mom?

I was given 2 very amazing souls to raise. I must give them enough love, understanding, space, trust, support, and so much more so they can be their very best.

Am I strong enough to be your mom?

I promise to do my very best, to give what I have to give. And when I am lacking the strength I need, which will be almost always (if not all the time), I will rely on our Savior and His gift to us.

Through the atonement we will always be strong enough. I can be strong enough to be the mom you need. And you can be strong enough to be the best versions of yourselves too.

I promise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crying on the kitchen floor. It's normal.

(Top: Cooper and I after he got his bobcat badge
Bottom: Warrior face!) 

Last night at pack meeting Coop got his bobcat badge. I got to paint his face during the little ceremony thing. It was pretty fun. Cooper has come to really love scouts. I love it. I love seeing him enjoying something and being happy. He is such a good kid. I really needed that time with him last night. And here's why... Lately I haven't felt like the best mom. I have been so stressed and emotional the last few days and when you mix those two together it is never good. Yesterday was my breaking point. Before we went to scouts I was trying to make a dent in the mess I have let pile up in my kitchen and after the 100th time of getting Molly off the table, out of the cupboards or drawers and putting away whatever she got out, I lost my cool. I yelled at Molly. I had been praying and trying to not yell all day. I yell too much. It's one of my many faults. And at that moment after yelling and telling her she is driving my nuts I had all my insecurities as a mom and homemaker rush forward and I felt like crap. "Gosh! I suck at this!" So I sat on the kitchen floor and started to cry. I started saying a prayer in my heart telling my Father how I felt and how inadequate I felt. " I can't do this. I need help!" A short heartfelt prayer that said so much more... I need help to get past my shortcomings. I need help to be a better woman. I need help to be a better mom, wife and homemaker. I need help to accomplish the things I need to do day to day. I need help to get control of my crazy woman hormones and not let satan use that time of weakness against me. I need help to be better... And a couple minutes after my prayer was sent heavenward, as I sit on the floor crying like a loon, my sweet boy comes upstairs, kneels down beside me, puts his arms around me and says, "Don't worry mom. I'll help you." I don't remember saying that I needed help out loud. I was sure I said it in my head. 

I am hesitant to share that moment because it feels like our moment, mine and Coop's. But I have this other part of me that feels like I need to share it because my whole purpose of sharing yesterdays breakdown was to also share my testimony that God doesn't expect perfection from us moms. and is there listening and waiting for us to open up to Him. He doesn't love us less when there are dishes overflowing our sinks or crusty food under the baby's highchair that never got cleaned up. He doesn't expect us to be happy all the time and never have bad days. He doesn't care if we end up staying in out leggings all day with a t shirt covered in our children's food and boogers. He doesn't think less of us for not putting any make up on or doing our hair before our husbands get home from work. And He certainly doesn't love us less because we can't seem to reach the worlds standard of a good homemaker.

None of that matters.

So what does matter to God? What does He want from us? 


He wants us to love our families and teach them through example how to love. He wants us to love our lives and find happiness. He wants us to love ourselves and know that who we are is enough. He wants us to love each other. and show our love by serving one another and being kind. And our Heavenly Father wants us to know that no matter who we are, what we do, what we wear, how we feel about ourselves, or what mistakes we have made... He loves us. His love for us is infinite and never changes. Even though I felt like such a failure, crying on the floor, overwhelmed and feeling crazy, He loved me enough to send my little boy upstairs to answer my plea for help. God listened to my small prayer because He loves me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his onlybegotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Every life matters.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Every Life Matters Q&A - Bonnie Bunnell

Can I just tell you all how much I L-O-V-E love these Q&A's??? Like... A whole lot! 

I just love reading through the emails when I get them back. I like to tell myself that I do these to help others remember that every life matters, including their own! But if I am being totally honest.... I am just selfish and I love them for my own personal gain. Each and every one has been so great and has helped me so much. I am thankful I get to know these women (and maybe one day men because this isn't just for women) that have taken the time and effort to answer these questions and help by sharing their thoughts, experiences & feelings. They rock! 

So with that being said I would like to introduce my next guest in my Every Life Matters Q&A series... I met Bonnie a few years ago soon after moving to Cedar. One thing you may not know about me is that I am not that outgoing in some social situations. When I am new and alone I tend to stay hidden in the corner and not put myself out there. And because of that I don't always make friends easily. Well when I started attending my new ward in church I just new I would have a hard time making any friends because of my social weirdness. But Bonnie had to ruin it all and be her amazing friendly self. She was so friendly and talked to me like we were already friends. I loved her energy. She forced me out of my shell and helped me to open up to others and make friends. After getting to know her more I found out that she was pretty much AMAZING! She is talented, creative, friendly, kind, funny, and has awesome taste! I pretty have a friend crush on her.

We have both ended up moving away from Cedar City but because of the blessing of social media we have been able to keep in touch. And I pray one day I get to actually see her in person and give her a great big hug! 

I am excited for you all to get to know her through her Q&A! She's awesome!!! But I will let you find out for yourself... 

Take it away Bonnie!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello there! My name is Bonnie. I am a mother of 5 delightfully active, bright minded, energetic, and exhausting children. I have been married for almost 15 years. I am completely in love with life and all it has to offer. I love to thrift and refurbish thrift finds and have my own DIY blog called Drab to Fab. I also love to photograph beautiful places and things. And I own my own photography business, Photography by Bon.

Who matters to you? And how do you show them that they matter to you?

Nothing matters to me more in this life than my husband, my children, and of course my faith and belief in God. I get to show my love to my hubby each day. I get to serve him and be served by him and most importantly I get to have him as my best friend! I love to shower my kids with an ample amount of hugs and kisses, to the point that they are slightly embarrassed of me. {haha} But that is the fun part of being "in charge". 

What matters to you most?

What matters most to me in life is happiness. If I can achieve levels of happiness in my marriage, in my family, in my home, and help others around me than I in turn feel happy. Life is so difficult. No one is exempt to challenges and struggles, but taking a little bit of time each day to "pause" and see all the ways I am blessed, instead of focus on all the struggles of life I may face, helps me to find joy and happiness everyday!

Tell us about a time in your life when someone has made you feel like you mattered.

I could give many instances where someone has gone out of their way to show love towards me or make me feel special. That is the beautiful thing about life, there are oodles of gloriously beautiful people. But if I had to pick just one I would choose a Young Women's leader I had when I was around 13 years old. She always went out of her way to compliment me and make me feel loved. I will never forget a moment when she approached me and said, "You are always happy. Your smile is contagious and can make so many people happy." That has always stuck with me. It helps me  in times of my life when I don't feel like smiling, to remember her kind words.

Tell us about a time in your life when you haven't felt like you mattered. How do you overcome that?

I think the down side of life is that we WILL fail sometimes and struggle. It is easy in those moments of weakness to feel unimportant and be so hard on ourselves. I have found that when I think others are tearing me down, or Satan is trying to place doubt in my mind, that it is usually my own self that holds me back. I have the ability to choose whether or not to react to something. I have the ability to be Christlike, no matter what. So I would have to say those times in life that I feel I don't matter are from my own doings.  I know I have a Heavenly Father that loves me, no matter what- but sometimes my "natural women" gets the best of me.

Life can get pretty crazy and there are a lot of distractions and things to get us off track. How do you keep focus on what matters most to you in your life?

In order for me to keep focused on the things that matter most in life I have to constantly pray to my Heavenly  Father. I sometimes feel like the yappy annoying puppy that is constantly at His heels. But I have come to realize that having a "prayer in our heart" like the scriptures say is truly a great way to keep an open communication with my Father in Heaven. Which in turns helps me to feel closer to the spirit and know what He would have me do!

If you could give one message to those reading this what would it be?

If I could give anyone one bit of advice it is that GOD truly does love you and knows you. There is so much good all around us! Find those good things in your life. Cherish your relationships and don't be afraid to let people in! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Playing alone at recess.

This morning I was talking to Cooper while he was getting ready for school and he told me that he doesn't have any friends to play with at recess.

(Insert mom's heart breaking here)

I pray every single day that I can do and say the things my children need to help them be happy in life. Cooper has had this problem at school a couple times already and I have told him not to worry cause he is awesome and that he should find a new friend. When in my mind I want to tell him that he is too good for those mean kids anyway and they suck! I have to hold the protective mama bear in. 

But today when he told me that he tries to play with so-called friends at school and they say they don't want to play with him it makes me so upset. What do I do? How do I handle this? What do I teach him in this very normal but hard time of his childhood?

This is what came to me...

Just because someone does not see how great you are does not mean that you aren't great.

Some people , young and old, get caught up in what is going on in their lives, their lifestyle, their group, their projects and/or interests, and they forget to take time to see anything else. And just because they don't see how fun and interesting you are does not mean that you are not fun and interesting.

Sometimes we end up playing alone at recess.

Play. Be creative. Enjoy life. Be awesome.

Sometimes not being a part of the group is better than being a part of it.