How Women Think

I bought this nice dress on sale (50%) off and got it in a size smaller than where I was as a "goal" for myself.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried it on and it was SO tight. 

I was so mad. 

My other clothes are falling off of me but this stupid "goal" dress just won’t work. 

I was mad at myself and the stupid designers who can’t size things right. 

I was mad that I spent the money and I was sure this was a sign I'm destined to be a fat chick. 

"See", I told myself," you aren’t really making any progress. You’re just as fat as usual."

I’ve been mulling this over in my head for the last two weeks. Over and over and over.

Today, I decided to try it on again. 

And you wanna know why it didn’t fit before?

I didn’t undo the zipper all the way.


What Do You See?

Do you see the musician or the woman?

I've lost nearly 40 pounds in 9 weeks. And I find myself disappointed in my efforts. I catch myself asking, "Why haven't I lost more? What can I do to ramp up my weight loss? Why is this taking so long?"

Next time I get on the scale, I just know it's going to say, "Just kidding fat ass!"

In my mind's eye, I'm no different than I was two months ago.

Doesn't this happen to so many of us when we're making changes for the better?

When you are working hard at something, and have been successful at that endeavor, it feels like your mind tries to convince you otherwise. When we work to be more forgiving, patient, kind, mindful, or empathetic how many of us delude ourselves into believing that on the inside we aren't those things?

How many of us see a distortion of who we really are?

The moments of mental weakness we have do not define us. Whether they be thoughts about saying the mean thing, or the thought of losing your temper, or the thought of eating the whole box of cookies. Yes, we are told we are judged by our thoughts. If you have a thought over and over and over, you will likely succumb to that idea.

But, what truly defines us is if we give in to the thought. If you fill your mind with who you want to be, your actions will follow.

One of the adversary's greatest tricks is to try and convince us that we are not doing good things. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our fears. He knows our insecurities.

Next time your mind is filled with thoughts that are contrary to the good you are doing: stop. Where are those thoughts coming from? Are they justified? Could you be doing better?

Or are you being tricked by an illusion crafted by the master of deceit?


Mi Familia

While my mom was visiting, her cousin Gina (my Grandma Leona's sister's daughter) came to visit. We haven't seen her since my wedding - 9 years ago! When my girls and Allen asked me who she was, I told them how we were all related. They gave me sideways glances about the whole thing. So, I simply said, "She's gonna look like me." And when she walked in, they all said, "OH. MY."

Can you see the resemblance?


Another Year...

Nine years of marriage.

We've done so much together that we could not have possibly done alone.

We've have been entrusted with three beautiful souls whose presence blesses us in ways beyond our mortal ability to comprehend.

We've suffered loss that only parents can know. We are the only two people on this planet who can truly say to eachother "I know how that feels" for the hope in each of us was the same.

We know the other's private dreams we are so hesitant to publicly share. The daily triumphs and heartbreaks that make up this life.

There are days, like today, when our eyes meet across the table amid the chaos and we still see each other. When the spark that brought us together is bright and vibrant.

There are days when those lights seem dark and hard to find. We feel like ships passing in the night; so close, yet on our own course and thus, unable to see the other.

When we are rowing in different directions with our sights set on our own aspirations, we become those distant ships.

But, when we focus on the same desire, with eternity as the destination, we are not only able to find each other on the stormy seas, but are one vessel with a common course.

The journey to that place is rarely pretty, decorated with the perfect smiles caught on film, but is filled with the times when we carry each other. When we are willing to reach out and lift the other to be with us, rather than go on alone. That is when we so clearly see that our fierce desire to be independent is not our greatest strength.

But that our ability to put aside our own selfish desires in order to be what the other needs, that is where our power lies.

This is the engine that keeps us propelling toward that great goal: to be with this family forever.

I would be nothing without this family.

Without you.

Happy Anniversary.


Where Were You?

I was at home with Brent. I was living with them in their first ever home at the time and we both hadn't head our for our daily activities yet. He woke me up and we sat paralyzed in front of the TV. Allen soon came home from his new job at the Livermore Lab. Laura joined us later as she was teaching and had to take care of her class before she could come home to us.

We all felt disbelief and sorrow. We all felt anger and rage toward those who would go to such effort to intentionally hurt others. In the midst of all that was a surreal quality. The horror of it all was almost too much to grasp.

The boys talked of joining the military. They had both danced around the idea for some time. The sense of duty and responsibility that had been dormant was instantly awakened. Their desire to serve increased as the news coverage continued throughout the day. There was no official declaration, but it was clear our country had been called to war.

The following week at work, a client arrived to ride his horse. He had been in the bottom of one of the towers that was hit. He was on travel for work - he was a Wall Street guy - and was in the lobby on his way to a meeting when the plane crashed. He rushed out amid the hundreds who were also fleeing. As he was trying to escape, a woman was knocked to the ground and about to be trampled. He grabbed her arm and saved her from the mob. He recalled being in the street and watching the papers and people being sucked from windows of the floors nearest the crash site. He also saw those desperate souls who jumped. He was visibly changed.

I know I'm not the only person who has difficulty finding the words to honor those who unwillingly and willingly lost their lives that day. What I do know is that I am intensely proud to be an American. I know that beneath the political discourse and imperfectly run government are millions of people who would die for their fellow American. Who have died in the service of another. And who will die as they strive to protect and give freedom to our brothers and sisters here at home and worldwide.

September 11, 2001. I know I won't forget.

I Have To Admit...

I miss this.


Praise To The Man

I've had the great fortune to be deeply insulted by someone. I was under the impression that my involvement in this person's life was helpful. However, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I had not helped at all. Not only had I not been helpful, I was told, but I had been hurtful.

I was called evil. I was told I was a hypocrite in both word and deed. I was told I wouldn't make it to Heaven. I was called a bully. I was told I have a personality disorder. I was told I have no character.

Of course, my initial reaction was defensiveness. I wanted to state my case and correct the author. I wanted to refute such charges. Instead, I chose to withhold my response and ponder the situation.

I shared my experience with those closest to me. They know my heart. They also know my ugly. I asked if this person was right. Was I really an evil person? Was I a hypocrite? Was I so focused on the riches of the world, I had forsaken my covenants? Was I a person void of integrity?

I mean, I could see how my strong personality could make a person feel bullied. But, the other claims were not as easy for me to swallow. I actually pride myself on being a person who is consistent in word and action. When I make a commitment to people, I keep that commitment to the best of my abilities. While Allen and I are financially blessed, we try to be as free with our blessings as the Lord has been with us.

As I mulled this situation over in my mind and heart, those who know me best assured me that I was not any of those awful things. They also knew the context within which I received these criticisms, and made sure I saw that that I was attacked because I had asked another to be accountable for his behavior. They helped me remember the erratic nature of this person even prior to this diatribe of insults, and that at no point had my efforts ever been received with gratitude.

Even though I had an answer as to why this other person could respond to generosity with such hateful sentiment, I feel that to walk away without having learned something about myself would be a waste of an experience. Surely I wasn't completely blameless in the situation.

My fault in the scenario wasn't in holding this person accountable. It wasn't in giving the service. My fault was expecting to be thanked for that service.

I really thought I was helping. I really thought I was creating a chance for this person to make some strides in life. And I thought I would at least get a thank you.

And there was my error.

I gave the service based on a spiritual prompting and was being obedient to that prompting. But, ultimately I was seeking the praise of man. I was hoping I would make a difference and be rewarded in the form of gratitude. I was hoping that this person would look back have fond feelings toward me and mine.

Allen and I have a rule about lending out our material belongings: if we would be mad if it never came back, we don't lend it out. For me, that is easy; I don't think twice about it. I value people way more than things. But I do expect a thank you. My pride wants the recognition of my service. I want to be liked. I want to be appreciated. I seek that from man. I seek that appreciation in my own family; I want them to see how hard I've worked and acknowledge the fruits of my labor. When I feel unappreciated, it makes me feel resentment toward those for whom I have provided service. I feel frustrated. But mostly, I feel hurt.

That right there is a complete recipe for failure.

When I give service, I need to do so without any expectations. I need to do it because I need to give. I need to give of myself, my time and all that I have without any strings attached.

If I never hear another thank you in my life, I should still be willing to give in the same way. I should do so because it is the right thing to do. I should do so because Heavenly Father is counting on me to help his children. I need to focus on what will earn me the praise of God.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.