Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ten Things to Smile About This Month

Another month has flown by.  I am looking back over April and finding 10 things that made me smile.  Join me the last Tuesday of every month for 10 Things to Smile About.

Ten Things to Smile About in April

1. Family- what they mean to me, what they do for me

2.  General Conference and messages of truth, light and hope
watching general Conference

3.  Easter

4. Fun girls weekend at Time Out For Women
friends at Time Out for Women

5. Having my in-laws visit

6. The painting Ryder made
Kid bee painting

7. Date nights with my husband and yummy food!
Dinner date

8. Working at the school book fair-- I love kid books!

9. Watching Ryder play flag football
Flag Football

10. Open house, the good school my kids have to go to and how well they are doing
Food Trucks
What made you smile this month?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Five: Eater, In-laws, Open House

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all have had a great week and a fun weekend planed.  Recapping my week with 5 thoughts and 5 pictures

5 Thoughts

1. My in-laws came to visit last week.  For some this may cause dread, for me it is something I look forward to.  Love when they visit and my kids adore them.  We didn't do a ton of stuff but did have a great time.

2. We definitely ate a lot while they were here.  Eric worked from home on Friday so he could smoke a brisket, it was so good!  Then we had a delicious ham he made on Easter.. so yes, so much yummy food!

3. I had a newborn shoot this weekend when everyone was here.  They left and went to the driving range and out to lunch, was sad to miss that part, but glad it all worked out.  Now just to get the editing done!

4. It was Open House week for us, Lucas' and then the grade schools.  They had lots of different food trucks and fun games at both.  The middle school's food trucks worked out better as there were more and they were there for a longer duration of time, so the lines weren't so bad... and the grade school, we ended up just going to 5 Guys after, giving up on waiting in a line that never seemed to move.

5. In Ryder's class they had a Who Am I page, and the last question was what do you want to be when you grow up.  Ryder answered, a Dad!  Made my heart melt.  My kids do have a good Daddy.

5 Pictures
Making strawberry pie

Pizza with Grandpa

Golden Gate Bridge

Food Trucks

Who Am I

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Five: Soccer, Time Out For Women, In-laws

Happy Easter everyone!  Today on this Good Friday, I am definitely stopping to think what I am grateful for.  

5 Thoughts

1. This week was a very different one as there was an indoor soccer game during the week but no soccer practice; I must admit it was kind of nice to have a week mostly off.

2. This week they had a muffins with moms at the middle school.  I was able to go into the classrooms for a bit, then they had a presentation for the moms about talking with middle schoolers-- as well let's be honest- middle schoolers seem to be their own species, and then had the muffins.  It was a lot of fun and I am glad I was able to go.

3. Finally got our Easter shopping finished last night, the last few things will be delivered on Saturday. I love Amazon Prime.

4. My in-laws came to visit this week. I love when they come.  Alex and Mimi have already baked pies, they made dinner and Poppie made some fun videos with the kids.

5. I have a newborn shoot tomorrow. I don't usually do newborns on Saturday.. and now with family in town, will be having to kick everyone out for a few hours.  It is a little girl though, so that makes me happy as I always seem to have more boys!

5 Pictures
friends at Time Out for Women

Making strawberry pie

Muffins with mom

Neighborhood birthday party
Dog Haus

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

When It is Hard to Forgive

--This post contains affiliate links--

Have you ever had someone wrong you?  Someone hurt you either intentionally or not?  What about those times so extreme it seems impossible to forgive?

This weekend I had the privilege of going to Time Out For Women.  One of the speakers was Alissa Parker, mother of Emilie Parker one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.  Let's just say there were a lot of tears listening to Alissa speak.
Me and Alissa Parker after her presentation 
Alissa told how she went over to the school, waiting to hear, then learning Emilie would not be going home with them that day.  I remember the Sandy Hook shooting so vividly, I remember watching the news feed live, unable to stop watching.  I remember texting my husband while bawling, telling him what had happened.  To think of all of those little children.  It broke my heart.

Alissa told how empty she felt almost unable to function.

Then she began talking about the angels; the angels in her life in the forms of her friends and family and those around her.  How they cared for her, how they reached out for her, how they did what they could to somehow try and help.

She talked with a counselor asking how can I help my kids through this and the counselor wisely told her, first you need to work on you.
As mothers I think our instinct often is to take care of those around us, make sure their needs are met; but as a mother you are a person too!  If you are broken and empty, it will be impossible to truly take care of others.

She said as time went on, she felt like she needed to choose.  To choose to let the light in, to choose to see the tender mercies, the help from the angels in her life.

Then she said something I will never forget-- 

"There is a correlation between healing and forgiveness."

She said at first she almost felt guilty, like taking away the pain felt like a disservice to what happened to her daughter.  She wanted to think of the shooter as a monster, it was easier, it felt right.  Ultimately, this is not how she could live her life.

She said that after meeting with the shooter's father, it began to humanize the shooter, and almost gave her a closure.  She realized that it was not her burden to judge and know how the shooter would be held accountable with God, she didn't need to carry that burden with her, she could turn that over to God.

She testified that God can take the hardest and most broken hearts and can heal them, but we have to choose to let Him do that, we have to choose the light above the darkness.


Alissa has written a book about her experience-
I went an immediately purchased it after hearing her speak

I have read many survivors stories, and one commonality is their hope of something more; something more than just this life, also their ability to forgive.  Once they forgive, that person or those people who harmed them- the people and the crimes lose power over them.  They no longer need to be victimized by the horrendous crimes that were committed against them; they are able to find peace and purpose in life.  That is true power.  That is how you forgive when forgiving seems impossible.

**Please note-forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  In some situations, actions need to be taken to protect yourself and others.  At times, seeking professional help is necessary**

Now just this week, there was another shooting in a school, a domestic dispute- played out in the classroom, taking the lives of the teacher and a student, another student hanging on for their life.  As I saw the news of this, my heart broke once again.  Men's hearts are failing them.  This world needs peace, this world needs the ability to find light, hope and peace.

This true peace, this true light, comes from one source, our Savior Jesus Christ; he truly is the Prince of Peace.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Five: General Conference, Art, and Farts

Happy Friday!  I am excited for this weekend, will be leaving soon to head with a friend to Time Out For Women!  Should be an awesome weekend, and every mom needs a time out now and then.

5 Thoughts

1. Last weekend's General Conference is exactly what I needed!  Really helped me refocus on what matters in life.  I am so excited to go back and listen to the talks again as I know I will continue to learn so much from them.

2. Ryder did a little painting class after school, he did such a great job and was so proud of his artwork, I was proud him too!

3. This week Lucas got to go to Knott's Berry Farm with school, all of the kids on the Principle's Honor roll got to go.  So very proud of him for earning this and that he overcame his nerves about going and had an awesome time with his friends.

4. The weather for soccer has been perfect lately, it does get a little chilly by the end of practice; but I know when it is almost 100 degrees out I will be wishing for these days.

5. Funniest conversation I overheard.
  Lucas to Ryder:  "You farted you are the fart King."
  Ryder: "No, mom is the fart Queen!"
  Lucas:  "Not anymore, she takes her pink drink now.  I need to find a way to sabotage it so she can be the fart queen again."

I guess my Pink Drink really is working!

5 Pictures

black and white mom and kids

watching general Conference

Kid bee painting

kid drawing of people