Friday, March 25, 2016

Pray+God+People= all the answers I need

My life is super busy, as it should be with four kids.....but lately my husband and I have both been feeling so drained and burnt out that getting up in the morning to meet the days demands has been a real struggle. --Lots of tears and feelings of resistance to the normal everyday events like washing the sheets every morning for a child that wets the bed, or making special meals each day for the child that just won't eat, or making extra time for the child that needs more attention....and on and on.
So I do what I know best and I pray for help: Help in any form will do. And guess what? help comes in the form of people who feel inspired to do a little extra, to show up, give a little more, and make things happen. I.e... the La Leche Leaders who are helping on my breastfeeding Facebook page, the breastfeeding moms who are helping each other, my Cub Scout Leaders that are doing their jobs, the neighbor girls that come walk our dogs just for fun, the soccer parents who stepped up last minute to coach my son's team, the Kindergarten teacher who loves my son even though we always forget to do the weekly homework, and the kind lady at Great Harvest Bread Company who gave my picky picky son an extra free slice of cinnamon chip bread because he loved it so much. 

All these blessings add up; some big, some small, but they've made my burdens feel lighter this week. 

God is amazing. Prayer is amazing. People are amazing. I can do this!

He loves the cat but does the cat love him?
My Cedar City drift-wood and California seashells Mobile
It's officially skirt-season
never too old for an airplane ride

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saints and Sisters...A Tribe for LDS Women

want to share something that is very special to me— even sacred to my heart.
A couple months ago my friend Wendy started a new group for LDS Sisters on a new social media platform called Tribalry. She invited me to join. At first I wasn't interested nor excited about it. I'm already on Facebook and that's all the social media I have time for, I thought. But this felt different. As I looked into it more I not only knew in my heart that I wanted to join, but I knew in my heart that I needed to join.
So I did.

Saints and Sisters has become a place where I can share my true self as an LDS woman and dedicated disciple of Christ, in a loving and deeply personal environment. As I've gotten to know many of the other sisters on the forum, I can't help but feel a deep connection with them, something I've never felt on any other spiritually-related-online group! I also feel that Saints and Sisters is a refuge from the world; it is a place where I can safely share my gospel views and opinions without the bombardment of haters or negative naysayers, which are so prevalent on other platforms out there. (There are no Facebook trolls on this group, waiting to pounce and denounce the beliefs I hold so dear to my heart.)

Saints and Sisters shares weekly posts with uplifting spiritual content. The content is created from the genuine thoughts, experiences, and insights of a diverse group of LDS sisters. (I am a bi-monthly contributor, which has been a huge blessing in my life!)
To me, this forum is much like being in a Relief Society meeting with all your favorite, most inspiring friends, whilst discussing the things that mean the most to our hearts. 
The spirit is radiating! The content is inspirational! The feelings I get when I read these heartfelt stories of  hope, happiness, perseverance, and faith from women who share my faith helps me feel my own confidence and worth in this world. 
Lastly, I can feel God's hand in this online group. It was created from the humble and thoughtful desires of one woman's hope to connect LDS women across the world, in unity and purpose of Christ.

I am so grateful to be a part of Saints and Sisters. I eagerly invite all my LDS Sisters to join, participate, belong, and feel the love wherever you may be in your spiritual journey.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Snowboarding Self-Care

I took myself snowboarding two Saturdays ago on one of the best selfie dates I've had in a long time! I spent 6 glorious hours in the mountains carving turns, bombing down big hills, and launching myself off of ski-lifts to my own hearts content! Just me, myself, and I. No one whatsoever to stop me or slow me down!
I spent the entire day moving tirelessly as I explored every run and every inch of that mountain. My heart was exploding with happiness! By one o'clock I didn't want to even stop for lunch, yet I had to because my body needed nourishment to keep going, then I was back up on the mountain again to explore and carve and smile and just be me.

I needed a date with myself! I enjoy hanging out with myself! I don't get to hang out with me too often as I live with 5 other people, 4 of them who are like little appendages. Most of my days are spent feeding them, cleaning them, wiping them, teaching them, and worrying about them.
But up on the mountain it was just me. 
My arms were free, my mind was free, and my spirit was soaring!

I learned to snowboard as a teenager. One spring break I flew to California with my best friend and her family. They took me snowboarding up in Mammoth Mountain for my first time and even paid for me to take lessons. I loved it so much and couldn't wait for the next day to bomb down that mountain with all my new found skills! Unfortunately, my friend didn't love it. In fact the next day she took the money her dad gave her for snowboarding, found some guys selling weed, and smoked marijuana all day with the local potheads. I, on the other hand, spent one of the most exhilarating and rewarding days of my life navigating through the runs and lifts of Mammoth! Sure I was all alone, but I didn't care one bit. I found snowboarding to be just the right amount of challenge and excitement to keep me busy and happy all day. 
Having grown up with the solitary sport of surfing and spending many days out in the ocean alone, I was used to the peace and quiet that often accompanies me on my adventures. 
I picked up snowboarding again in college when I moved to Utah in 2002. My student loans helped pay for a season pass to Sundance, as well as new snowboarding equipment. I spent many Saturdays alone (or with my friend Reo) carving and sweeping down the slopes of Sundance! 

The only problem I discovered with snowboarding is that although it's wonderful in it's own regard, it can't replace surfing. Surfing is...surfing. 
To quote one of my favorite bumper stickers: "Only a surfer knows the feeling"
But, that doesn't negate the fact that I sure had some really fun adventures snowboarding in Utah in my college years! There was Powder Mountain with Shannon and her family, BrianHead with Pepper and Ricki, Brighton with those girls that I forgot all their names, and of course Sundance with myself or Reo.

The last time I went snowboarding was right after Micah and I were married. We thought it would be fun to go to Sundance together, but after several runs Micah sprained his ankle. It was  a sad day. :(  Micah spent many weeks on crutches and unemployed. It was not the brightest beginning to our marriage, either, which led to me selling my snowboarding gear and moving on from that sport.
That was eleven years ago and the last time I went snowboarding, until 2 weeks ago.

I'm so glad I got the opportunity to get back out there. Getting alone time to recharge as a busy mother is absolutely essential. Usually I get an hour or two here or there, so this six hour stretch was pretty unusual, but very much needed. I came back recharged, inspired, relaxed, excited, exhilirated, happier, and armed with some new perspectives on life. All that time to think to myself helped me think these following things:
--Good, wholesome recreation is absolutely crucial to my sanity and well-being.
--I want to share my love for the outdoors with my children always.
--I want my kids to learn to snowboard (ski-lessons next winter?)
--This cold, snowy place we live isn't so awful in the winter, afterall.
--There is a pretty fun and lively sub-culture of ski-people here that I never knew existed. 
--If I can't surf, at least I've got snowboarding.
--I want to ensure I'm always this active and healthy in my life.
--I am a mom, but I am still me.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Haha Just kidding. I'm still here.

Don't you just LOVE big, dramatic exits followed by "ahhhh, nevermind." I've decided that changing our minds, our hearts, and our directions is just part of life. It's the flexible, open-minded part of life that isn't black and white, but instead a colorful, brilliant opening, willing to accept whatever comes our way. Even if it means going back a little..... and changing our minds.

I had been feeling pretty confident all week long that my LLL Leader retirement date was set in stone.......
until I had a mom reach out to me asking to help her complete her training
...until I sat in a room full of breastfeeding women and babies and my heart melted all over again
...until I realized that giving up something you love isn't always the answer
...until I saw that by keeping my heart in LLL, I could also make room for other life missions
....until I realized that the group I had worked so hard to create was going to need my continued support until I could pass that support to another's hands.

All of these things are feeling right to me.
Therefore, I am taking back that last marching forth post as I March forth (or tenth, he he) to continuing to be the breastfeeding support advocate I feel strongly is still running through my veins. 
For as long as I need to be.
And here's more nursing photos, just because:

Photo credit goes to Raydean Whipple of HeyRay Photography. This is me nursing my 19 month old Malachi, just a week ago. :) 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Marching Forth, 2016

March 4, 2016

Today is one of my favorite and most meaningful days of the year! Maybe because I've already decided this,that fate always has a way of bringing about forward movement and change on this day each year. Today I "March forth" to new horizons and new adventures. After 8 years of service, today is my last day as a La Leche League breastfeeding Leader in my community. I am retiring and making room for other important things in my life. It has been an amazing journey working with this organization. The influence LLL has had on my mothering experience has been huge and unforgettable! I attribute so much knowledge, happiness, understanding, and joy raising and nurturing my four babies, to the concepts and philosophies I've learned from LLL. This is a bittersweet day for me, yet I continue to March forth and let the winds of change carry me to my next adventure. Thank you God for leading me always.

Here's to "Marching Forth!"

Photo credit goes to Raydean Whipple of HeyRay Photography. This is me nursing my 19 month old Malachi, just a few days ago. :)