Friday, February 27, 2015

Goal update: Running and a GIVEAWAY!

Today I'm linking up with Jenna, and I'm sharing my monthly goal update! I'm glad to say that with most of my goals, I'm still on track. I slip up once in a while on being content but with the others, I'm still going strong.

This month I'm sharing my running update. My goal was to get back into "race shape" and I'm so happy to say that I'm well on my way! It's taken a lot of work. I've had to remind myself that it's ok to run slower so that I can go further. But I'm getting there.

Here's my milage progress for proof:
Even the smallest progress is still progress. I finally hit my three mile mark since having asthma!

Earlier this month, my cousin asked me to help her start running. I was so excited! I love having a running buddy to help me meet my goals. It's so much easier for me to go running when I know someone is there waiting for me and when I know they are watching. And it has also been so fun to see her progress. She's made a ton of progress from a month of running.
We signed up together to run the Pink Series race in Pleasant Grove Utah this April, so we have something to work for and to push ourselves for.

The goal for the next few weeks is to get her to the 3 mile mark and then start running outside. Running outside is so different from running on a treadmill. They are both great, but running outside always makes you go further, and you have to pace yourself instead of the treadmill pacing you. This will help us get ready for a race. It will also help our bodies get used to the pavement instead of a treadmill that has shocks on it.

As I've said before, one of my favorite things EVER (especially for running) is called a RooSport. I'm so excited to announce that RooSport has agreed to do a giveaway to one of you lucky readers! Brenda is the founder of RooSport and she has been so fantastic to work with. I've been so excited for this giveaway all month, I could hardly stand it.
And, if you don't win the Roosport, you can buy one here or here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How are your goals going? 

You might also like:  My GoalsKeeping Your Goals6 tips from a runnerHow Exercise Fits Into My Life

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

10 things about me

While thinking about and planning out my blog posts for the next little while I decided I needed to do a few more "about me" posts. So I thought it would be fun to do a post of things you didn't know about me.

1. I went ice skating at my grandparent's cabin, when I was around eight years old, and I skated over some really thin ice and fell in the deep end. Luckily, my brother Bob was there and caught the hood on my coat so I didn't go all the way in. He really saved my life. I don't think I would have been able to pull myself out if I fell all the way in. This is the reason that one of my biggest fears is falling in through the ice and drowning.

2. My favorite animal is a giraffe, I don't even know why but I love them. One time, Trevon and I went to the zoo with his family, and I know you're not supposed to do this, but Trevon got the giraffe to come over to me close enough to pet one! I loved it.

3. My favorite season is summer. I love spring and fall too (winter and I don't get along). I love summer because I love all the stuff that you can do outside. And now that I have little kids, I love that I can send them out side to play in the back yard while I finish my chores inside, or read a book out there while they play. I love the sun and being warm and...I just love it.

4. I've lived in one place my whole life. I don't think I could leave it if I tried either. I love being close to both of our families, and even while I hate winter, I love having the seasons change, and here in Utah, we get a pretty good variety of seasons.

5. I'm the youngest in my family, and I always hated that. Most people like being the youngest but I always asked my mom for a baby brother or sister.

6. I've always had a very casual style in clothing and make up. I'm trying to branch out a little more now, and I think It's going pretty well. I still know very little about make up and how to do my make up "the right way" but I'm learning.

7. I don't have a favorite food but I hate fish. Any kind of fish. I just don't like the taste and texture of it. The best fish I've had was Salmon and I still hated it.

8.  I've been through a lot of really hard things in my life from the time I was really little. I don't feel it's important to go into detail here at this time, maybe at some point it will be necessary. I feel like I've come from all those things and tried to make something good from it. More good things to come, hopefully, if all goes as planned. If things work out, you'll be hearing about them soon.

9. Unfortunately I'm a pretty needy person. I kinda hate that but I can't say it isn't true. I need to have people close to me. I need to feel important and needed. I need to feel safe and loved. And I think every one needs those things but some people don't need that as much as others do. I'm one who, even though I need some alone time everyday, I also need to be with people. I need the conversation and attention.

10.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone makes a mess on the table or the kitchen counter and doesn't wipe it off. I'm pretty sure that came from hearing my grandma tell me over and over to wipe the counter off. And my mom always kept the kitchen clean. So now if mine looks like a mess to me, I can't even go in there unless I'm going to clean it all right away.

I want to get to know you too, What are some interesting things about you?

Monday, February 23, 2015

My 4 Favorite Cleaning Tools

It's only February but spring is certainly on the way for us here in Utah. And if spring is on the way, that means it's time for spring cleaning. And that means it's time for me to do a spring cleaning series. Every Monday, from now till the end of April I'll be sharing my spring cleaning tips and process.

Starting out I want to share some of my favorite cleaning tools to use. These are things I use multiple times a week, if not multiple times a day that I just can't clean without.

First off, this duster. I'm really short so the thing I like about this duster is that it can reach high places and I don't have to do a lot of climbing to get the house dusted. It comes with two different sleeves that you can switch on and off and you can also wash them. It also has an extension for the really high spots or to get spider webs down. I love that!

This Bona mop. I love this mop. It's kind of like a swiffer, but, you can refill the bottle on your own. It's really great wood floor cleaner. I don't know if they have a cleaner for tile, but if they do, I'd definitely consider getting it. It makes mopping so, so, so much easier!

My most favorite cleaning tool to use ever, is my Shark vacuum. This vacuum is the best thing ever. It has so many really great functions to it. You can vacuum carpet and rugs, just like normal. It picks up so much stuff it's crazy. You can also use this to get the dust and cob webs off of walls, blinds or basically anything else you can think of. It has a couple of different extenders to get into corners, or higher parts of the walls. It has a hard floor vacuum attachment which is one of my favorite things about it. I will vacuum up the crumbs so you don't have to sweep but it also picks up the dust, that a broom doesn't usually get, on the pad that is also on that attachment. The vacuum also has a portable lift away mode. That lets you take the canister off when you're cleaning under beds or when you're needing to carry it around the house to vacuum up in higher places. And there are still things I'm learning about this vacuum every time i use it. It's also super light weight and thin. It's easy to store anywhere. It's also really easy to use. You would think with so many different options in one vacuum, it might be a little intimidating and complicated, but it's actually really simple. Any questions are easily answered in the owners manuel. If you're in the market for a new vacuum, this is the one to get! You can find it here on Amazon.

My own two hands. Sometimes cleaning needs some good old elbow grease. It's always nice when a tool or product can make your work easier, but sometimes they just don't do the job. For years after we got married, I used a swiffer mop for my tile floor in the kitchen. But after using it and buying refills for it, I noticed that it didn't seem to be cleaning as much as moving the dirt around. So I got rid of that mop and started getting on my hands and knees with a bucket of soapy water and just wiping the floor down with an old rag. And you know what, it doesn't actually take that much time and work. If I keep up with it, cleaning the kitchen floor only takes about ten minutes. Sometimes you are the best tool.

What are your go-to tools for cleaning? Do you have a cleaning tool that you love to share with others?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I decided to link up with Running with spoons today. This is a fun link up that gives us an opportunity to just say things that are on our minds. It makes for some fun conversation and insight into the person behind the blog, I think.

1. I went to the dentist yesterday (who happens to also be my dad). I had to get a filling. Anyway, I got happy gas. It's been since I got my wisdom teeth removed that I've been on happy gas. If you don't already know, I'm really sensitive to anything like that. I get really weird. The things that go on inside my mind when I'm no happy gas, if only you guys could understand just how funny it is. The thing with that stuff is, when you're off of it, the things you're laughing about and thinking about, aren't all that funny anymore. I'm sure you've all experienced at one point or another how it is to be on it, so I'll stop rambling about it right now.

2. Be kind. I say that to my kids so many times a day! The other day after saying it I thought, am I kind? Then I started thinking about how to show kindness and teaching kindness. What an important thing to learn growing up. And I think the best way to teach it, is by example. I feel another post coming on.

3. I hate Bambi. My 3 year old is currently watching it, and ever stinking time I hear Bambi yelling for his mom and his mom yelling for him to run, it makes me so sad.

4. I'm thinking of being a little (or a lot) ambitious and starting up and directing a 5k geared towards awareness for abuse. It's a huge project that takes a lot of work. And I don't even know where to start. But it's something that I've wanted to do for a few years now and I've been looking into it a little more here and there. It's pretty exciting though, even though it's a little overwhelming at the same time.

5.My hand/arm is KILLING me! I think it's a pinched nerve but I'm not sure. I can hardly use it for anything. I'm getting it checked on Monday, hopefully they can do something for me and not just tell me to try not to use it.

6. I went shopping today. I haven't gone shopping for myself in a long time. I got a killer dill at H&M, which is kind of new for me. We just got an H&M in Utah a few months (maybe a year?) ago and I have got some great deals there so far and I'm loving that store. This is also a pretty newish look for me. I'm not usually one to buy any kind of button up shirt. I'm such a casual, t-shirt and jeans kind of person. As well as skinny jeans vs bootcut. I'm excited to try them out though.
Also, this is the quilt my grandma and I made when Trevon and I got married. I still love everything about it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A day in the life of a stay at home mommy blogger

I've never been one to jump on the stay at home mom vs working mom topic. That's not what this post is even about really. It's just a glimpse of what I do on a daily basis with my girls. Somedays are harder than others. Most days my to-do list doesn't get completely done. But I love it and I love my girls, so it's worth it.

7:00 AM: wake up
7:30 Am: Get myself dressed and ready for the day

8:00 AM: Get myself and the girls breakfast (if they haven't eaten yet)
                                                                                               The girls love to watch Super Why during breakfast. 
8:30 AM: Family prayer 
8:40(ish) Trevon leaves
This happens every morning, M saying bye to Dad as he drives away.

Somewhere in between here we have our first fit of the day. 

9:00 AM: get the girls dressed and ready for the day
9:30 AM: Chores

Dishes, sweeping and moping the floor, and vacuuming. 
Dishes are by far my least favorite job to do. I swear they are never all done!  

10:00 AM: Practice letters

10:30 Somedays this is when we go out and run errands, other days we play for a little while. 

She's doing a photo shoot of her toys, clearly she sees this happen often.  Then little sister got in the way. 

Weekly Costco Trip

11:00 AM: put laundry away, clean up again 
Another fit happens around here.

11:15 AM: Play until lunch

This time we did play-doh.

12:00PM: lunch
1:00PM: nap/quiet time. This is the time of day that I can get something done. Like work on the blog, answer emails, read, or anything else I need or want to to do.
we got these awesome Melissa and Doug Reusable Stickers. 
They are the best.They keep J entertained forever! You
can find them here.

2:00PM : M wakes up, J's movie is over, it's time to finish chores.
Another fit around here. Terrible twos have started

3:00PM: We have a little reading time. 
she wore herself out this day. It was a hard one for her.

4:00 PM: Walk. If it's warm enough outside. If it's not we usually see if we can go play at someone's house. Especially if we haven't gotten out of the house all day. 
5:00 PM: Start dinner
5:15 PM: Daddy gets home
5:30PM: Eat dinner
6:15 PM: clean dinner up, sweep again, have a little family time. 
7:15 PM: I go running! It's probably my favorite time of the day, most days. Trevon gets the girls ready for bed while I go. 
8:00 PM: Girls go to bed
Somewhere between here and 10:00, I shower and read in bed. 
(Clearly after naps I start failing at the picture taking stuff.) 

Thats our day in a nutshell. Most days we don't have quite so many fits. M is really an easy kid. She just had a rough day this day, and we have the terrible twos starting. And there is always something kind of different in our routine. We try to have fun, new things for the girls to do every once in a while so they don't get so bored and stir crazy. I realized with Jay, when she gets bored she is much harder to work with. 

Thats my day, What's on your daily to-do list?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why I blog

 I haven't been blogging for very long, and since I've been blogging, I've been asked a lot why I do it. Which is kind of a weird question to me. But, it's made me start thinking, why do I blog? Some people earn money blogging, while that would be nice, and hopefully someday I will earn money doing this too, that's not my case. Some people use a blog as a journal. And while that's a great idea, that isn't why I do it either.

  For me, right now, blogging is a way I get to interact with other people. That sounds funny, but I think that really is a big part of it. I spend most of my day only talking to a three year old and a one year old. I need some where to put my thoughts and feelings and to share the things that I know with other people who "get it". I love my girls, but I love to be able to have a conversation that's more than explaining why you can't do this or that.  And I've loved getting to know other bloggers and the friendships I'm building.

 My husband has said that I express myself so much better in writing than I do in person. This is so, so true. Even in telling those I love how I feel, or how much they mean to me, it's so much easier for me to tell them in a letter. I don't know why I'm this way. I'm pretty sure I always have been this way. I remember growing up I used to get so frustrated or hurt by people and I didn't know how to deal with those things. I read in a book by Anita Stansfield, in her Buchanan series (it's a good chick flick book, check it out and read it), that gave me the idea to write a letter to who ever I had been hurt by, read it through, and then burn it. I tried it and most of the time found that it worked really well for me. Most of the time whatever had bothered me wasn't even a big deal and I just needed a way to move on from it. So, even though I sometimes struggle to find words to express the way I do in writing, I feel more comfortable using writing. I think it gives me a sense of safety. I am always able to go back and erase something that I didn't really mean to write, or that I've changed my mind on. But once I say something to someone out loud, it feels like it's so much more permanent.

  I have always felt that I have more to give than I seem to do. I feel like I have a lot of talents that go to waste because I don't know how or where to use them properly. I took piano from the age of eight or nine, until I was thirteen. And while I was never really good, I still have that talent, I just don't ever play anymore. I've wanted to be a photographer since I was eight years old and my cousin, Ashley, got her first Polaroid camera. I worked at Kiddie Kandids for almost three years and then after several years trying it on my own, almost completely have given that up and put it on the back burner. Because here in Utah, it's very, very hard to start any kind of business like that. Mostly because everyone either has someone in their family who is a photographer or is a self trained photographer. Never mind that I was actually certified. Those are only a few examples. So I found that blogging is a way for me to share things I know and love. It's a way for me to give help to those who are looking for information or tutorials on little DIYs or tips on running or some of my favorite products. It's also a way to share my testimony, to share what I believe with the world. And that's the whole point of this blog. To share with you, and help all of my readers when I can.

Thats why I blog. I love seeing that I'm helping others, wether I see that by comments or just by people reading, I feel like someone is looking for the things that I have to offer. I love making friends through this blog and I hope to build it more and make even more friends. And, it's a talent that I'm working on, and a way to share my other talents.
I know this post has been kind of a jumbled mess, and might not really make sense. I'm sorry for rambling a bit. But I felt this post was something I needed to write, for me, if not for anyone else.

I'm here to share with you guys though, so please, tell me what posts are your favorite? What kind of things would you want to see more of on my blog?  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Last minute Valentines Party

The other day, we threw a fun Valentines party for all of the grandkids at my parents house. I've loved being so close to my family. I grew up with all of my cousins and I love that my girls have so many cousins close by to grow up with.
I thought it would be fun to share some of our activities with you because parties are so much fun to throw for little kids. They all get so excited with everything going on. It's always nice to have something fun and new to do as well.

First, we had lunch. Cafe Rio gives you free quesadillas for kids so we decided to just grab some of that and call lunch done. 

Then we let them decorate valentine cookies (a family tradition for us growing up).

Next we had a little photo session. I'm a photographer on the side so I brought my camera and some fabric I had for a back drop. My sister made this cute banner and brought some hearts for them to hold.
to see more of the pictures go here.

Then we let them play games and we finished by handing out Valentines for each other. 

It was a pretty simple, low key party. But it was so fun to let the kids play and have a good time together. Sometimes parties are more fun when you don't plan a huge list and make it a big "to-do". Just keep things simple. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love Story: Dating

Since this week is Valentines, I decided to write another love story post about us. Then I found this link up through Growing Gracie Last time I told about how we met. Trevon and I were really good friends all through high school. And we have some really fun stories and memories together. Someday I want to share those great stories with you but if I added them in here, you'd be reading for days.

Love Story: Dating

  Since our group of friends were a year behind us in school, Trevon and I and one other friend (who is now a cousin, thats another story) graduated before the rest of our group. I was planning on going up to Utah State, Trevon was going to UVU and Sam, the one other friend that graduated, went down to Snow Collage. First we said goodbye to Sam. I was leaving next. I was excited at first but as time grew closer for me to go, I grew more and more uneasy about it. Not because I was nervous to leave home. I just didn't know if it was where the Lord needed me to be. I prayed about it a lot. My parents knew that I had started to feel that way and offered to drive me up to campus so I could get another feel for it.
 After going up there, it was a beautiful, great place, but on the way home I got the distinct feeling that I needed to go to UVU instead. I was a little heartbroken about it because I was really looking forward to a new adventure. I would have been the only one in my family to go away from home for school. But I knew what I needed to do. So I told my parents and I enrolled at UVU instead.
  My first semester was mostly just figuring things out. Trevon and I would run into each other once in a while but we didn't have classes together. We were both working when we weren't at school. I even remember my mom asking where Trevon was because she hadn't seen him for a while.
  Second semester was better. Trevon and I had signed up for an institute and a math class together. We went the first day of math and both decided to drop it because the teacher was crazy strict. So Trevon decided to take a psychology class and talked me into taking it too. That was the best class I ever took.  We had an awesome teacher and we were both pretty interested in the class. We started to study together when we weren't working. Slowly as we were studying we started holding hands. My mom would try to sneak up and catch us (she was really hoping that Trevon would be the one. She always had hoped that).
  I started to test Trevon, to see just how much he liked me. I didn't want to get into another relationship that wasn't going to go well. The first, and last, test I threw at him was to tell him that he could come meet me at work that night because I was closing and it was going to be a super slow night. He showed up right in the middle of my last photo session of the night. I was shocked. Trevon didn't have a car, so he had to ride the bus up to my work. That might not even be a big thing to some people, but for me, it showed how much he liked me and what he'd do for me.
  From then on we just got closer. He'd told me at one point that he wanted to kiss me. I told him I don't kiss guys who weren't my boyfriend. A couple days later we were playing at the park. After 15 minutes of trying, he finally got up the courage to kiss me. After that we were pretty much inseparable. We studied together, we went to movies, we met each other after work, we ate dinner together. Any time we could be together, we were.
  We knew he was going on a mission soon, and that was hard because we had, finally, just started dating, but we knew it was going to happen. So we packed in as much fun as we possibly could from the start. He got his mission call in June, he was called to Jacksonville, Florida. I was so glad he was state side! He would leave August 29th, two days after my 19th birthday.
  We continued to date but didn't make any promises. I knew how hard it was to wait. My mom, aunt, sister, and neighbor all waited (and all married their missionaries). I had also sent a boyfriend out when his parents left on their mission and the relationship didn't last all that long after he left, and that bothered me.  I knew how these things could go.

We went to the Dinosaur Museum,

We went to the zoo

We went to Hill Air force Base

 We went to several rodeos

go-karting and mini golfing

 And to the 4th of July parade/festival

And did everything else we could think to do. 

Then, when the time came, he left and I began waiting. (you'll hear about that next time.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

God's Love

At some point in all of our lives, (several in my own) we need some encouragement. We need support and love. We need hope.  Every so often I start to feel overwhelmed or discouraged or just really depressed.
 Once while in college, I can't remember the reason now, I felt so discouraged and heartbroken. I didn't want to go to my classes, I didn't want to even get out of bed, but I did. My first class was an institute class. I had it with Trevon, we hadn't even been dating then but I knew he would ask why if I didn't go. In that class, I heard a talk given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, and since that day, this has been my favorite talk when I need something to remind me that I will be ok.

Here is a little clip from that talk:

to hear the rest go here

After reading or listening to this talk, I feel God's love. Every single time. It reminds me that He is there.  It reminds me that all I have to do is pray and talk to Him. He will answer. He is guiding me in life and He has a plan for me. 
  And if He is there for me, why would He not be there for you, or of anyone else? We are all God's children. He is literally our Father. 
  What would you do for your kids? If you see them hurt and crying. If they ask you for help. If you know they are struggling, What would you do for them? I know that God would do anything for us. He loves us, He's there for us. We only need to ask. 

If you're struggling, if you need some comfort, if you need someone to talk to that is understanding and who will give you honest help and love, ask Him. 

How do you feel God's love in your life?  What reminds you that He is there?