Wednesday, April 15, 2015

He Hears Me

I'm trying to be better with the Sunday photos. So, even though it's now Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, if I'm being honest),  I'm posting it. I wanted to make sure this experience was documented anyway, and there is no picture to go with it.
Last Thursday wasn't a very good day.

I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I was ready to go to bed by 3:30 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the day was just getting started.

I was just about to leave to teach my Institute class on campus when my accountant called to tell me that Joel's social security number had been used to file a fraudulent tax return. As I sat there on the phone with her, listening to her outline all the steps we were going to need to take to get our tax return filed on time and deal with the identity theft, I just wanted to cry. I just did not need one more thing to deal with!

I drove down to campus feeling completely defeated. It was raining, I was running late, and the building where Institute is held never has an open parking space. I'm always having to park two blocks away and I just couldn't deal with that at the moment.

And so I said a prayer, asking God to please just let me find an open space next to the building. It was a silly prayer, I know, maybe even a little bit selfish. I got to the building and drove around the parking lot and found that not only were there no open parking spaces, but about 8 cars had made up their own spaces. It looked like I was going to have to park somewhere else and I hadn't even grabbed my umbrella.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

13 Quick Front Door Updates

This summer I updated my front door. It was a super quick makeover, and it has kept me smiling through the winter when I drive up to the house and see my bright red front door welcoming me home.

I'm now thinking I'll do a quick update to my back door this coming summer (it is coming, even though it snowed this morning, right?), so I put together a board of my favorite front door updates on Hometalk. I'm loving all the color and the way other people used vinyl in creative ways.

I can't quite decide what color I want to do the back door, but I'm leaning towards black. Maybe I'll do red, even though that's what I used for the front door, just because I love the red so much. No worries, though, I have plenty of time to decide!

To see my inspiration doors on Hometalk, click here: 13 Quick Front Door Updates.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Paper Planners: More Than Just a Schedule

Paper planners are so much more than just a schedule on a calendar. They are a way to keep every aspect of your life in order.

As you all know, I love my paper planners.

The reasons I love them so much are many, but I think one of the biggest reasons is that they help to keep every aspect of my life in order. I know I could do this on my phone with a wide assortment of apps, but I prefer to do it in my planner.

Obviously the schedule is the biggest part of a planner. Without the monthly and weekly calendars I would be completely lost in my own life. But everybody knows that planners are schedules. What not everybody realizes, is just how versatile they can be.

Here is a list of all the ways I use my planner, plus a few ways I should be using it!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Putting the Fun in Easter 2015

I've had a bit more energy than usual these past few days. I decided that I'd better use that energy for good and make Easter weekend at least a little bit fun for the girls.

I'm not much of a fun mom, anyway, so doing a little bit of fun is a big deal!

I took Chloe and Sophia to a sock puppet making class on Friday night. We had a blast together creating some cute puppets, and Sophia loves hers so much she's been sleeping with it on her hand. #MomWin

Yesterday (Saturday) and today (Easter Sunday) was General Conference. I look forward so much to General Conference every year! The talks this time were amazing, as usual, and just what I needed to hear. I loved the focus on marriage, on Christ, and on faith.

I love watching together with my family. (Bria's knees are in this photo...)

Friday, April 03, 2015

April 2015 Visiting Teaching Printable

How on earth are we already in April? Surprising as it is, I'm loving it. We're having warmer weather (in the 30s--nice and balmy!) and we're hurtling towards the end of the school year. I'm getting excited for summer (is it too early to be excited for summer?) and I'm really excited to celebrate Easter and General Conference this weekend.

April also means a new Visiting Teaching message.

I am loving these attributes of Christ that we are studying this year, and I have to admit, each month they kind of surprise me. They are not the attributes that I assumed we would be learning about.

April's message is The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Guile or Hypocrisy.

"Without guile" is one of those things we read about in the scriptures or hear in a talk, but sometimes don't completely understand. I've always understood that it means someone who is honest and has integrity, but I love the nuances pointed out in the lesson. To be without guile is to be innocent and have pure motives. And, according to Joseph B. Wirthlin, it is an attribute that is absolutely necessary in our day--a day when most of the world doesn't see the importance of or understand this virtue.

Hypocrisy is a word there isn't much question on. I have to admit that I can be hypocritical. Sometimes I say one thing and do quite the opposite. That is why I love President Uchtdorf's quote so much and why I used it on this month's printable. Because I DO want to be more like Christ, even though I am aware of how many faults I have. I don't mean to be hypocritical, but sometimes it happens that way. But through the Atonement, I can overcome my faults and do better. Love, love, love that message--especially now as we celebrate Easter week.

April 2015 Visiting Teaching Message Printable. The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Guile or Hypocrisy.

Click here to download:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Some Thoughts for Easter Week: #BecauseHeLives

Sophia reminded us to do a Sunday photo today, even though I've missed the last several weeks.
Sometimes I read through my old blog posts and am absolutely amazed at the person I was a few years ago, or even a couple months ago. Yesterday, I was working on some blog things and I managed to read a few posts that made me realize just how much this whole Lyme disease thing is really affecting me.

I used to try to keep my house clean, even with my busy schedule of work and kids. And I usually succeeded, too!

I used to read the book club book every month, plus several more.

I used to go grocery shopping.

I used to keep up with the paperwork in my office. At least mostly.

I used to have the energy to deal with my spitfire Sophia.

I started to notice my energy and ability to do a lot of things going downhill sometime last summer. While I am not sure exactly when I contracted Lyme, the blood test does tell me that it was sometime in the past 18 months. At first I assumed my thyroid was off again and pursued that avenue to no avail. It took until the end of January for me to know definitively that Lyme was probably the cause of the issues (not just lack of energy) I was dealing with and I started treatment about three weeks ago.

It is kicking my butt.

Keeping my house clean is almost impossible. Now I feel like I accomplished something absolutely amazing if I am able to clean ANYTHING.

I can barely manage to read my book club book for the month, and if I'm being honest, I haven't even finished the last two books until after the meeting.

The Maestro has taken over the grocery shopping completely for the last several months. I had to do it last week because he was out of town and it nearly killed me.

The paperwork has officially taken over my office. I'm serious. Don't go in there.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dealing With Chronic Illness: How to Feel Better When You Aren't Better

Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. Here are some tips that really work to help you forget how  sick you are for a while and feel a little bit better.

A few weeks ago, when I walked into the bathroom at work, I was greeted by sticky notes all over the mirror. They bore messages like "Good Morning Gorgeous! Go Get 'Em!" and "You Are Good Enough. Accept Yourself." and "Smile!" and "Hello, Lovely!" and many more.

Even though I know that whoever put up those notes wasn't thinking of me, and probably doesn't even know me, I felt it was a personal message to me that I desperately needed to hear.

I haven't felt very good lately. A major surgery will definitely do that to a girl. I'm exhausted. I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning, and since getting ready one-armed is so difficult, I go to work feeling a little self-conscious and just not quite put together. Then there is the added fun of being newly diagnosed with Lyme disease and just beginning treatment, which makes me feel even worse. And I know I have a long road ahead of me with both my shoulder rehab and the Lyme treatment. I'm not going to feel good for a long time.

When I look at that picture I took of the sticky notes, I see a girl whose hair isn't just how she likes it because her husband has to do it for her right now. I see a girl wearing an ugly sling who can't use her arm. I see a girl who has to do her make-up left handed, so she isn't wearing as much as she usually does and is feeling a little self-conscious about her unibrow, because plucking is out of the question right now. I see a girl who is wearing glasses when she'd prefer to wear her contacts, but it's too hard to put them in one-handed. I see a girl who could stand to lose a few pounds--those hips! Ugh.

But if I back up and look just a little more objectively, I see a girl whose hair looks just fine. Her husband did a pretty great job on that pony tail! I see a girl who has nice skin, even if her eyeliner isn't perfect. I see a girl who is wearing some cool funky glasses that she really likes, and bonus! They hide the fact that she hasn't plucked that dang unibrow. I also see a girl who is wearing a color that looks fabulous on her and who chose clothing that fits her well. I see a girl who is wearing a houndstooth scarf because she LOVES houndstooth more than anything.

We are our own worst critics, aren't we?

So I've been thinking of ways I can shift my focus and feel more confident when I don't feel great. Or, you know, when I don't look great. It's all the same thing, right?

1. Wear Things You Love