May 21, 2015

Courage, dear heart - My NICU Experience

March 5th my beautiful baby girl was born and we thought everything was fantastic until the following morning the NICU head nurse and my Dr came in to tell us that they thought my sweet babe had a blocked bowel. After several tests they concluded that she needed emergency surgery and within an hour she was on her way to the airport to be Life Flighted 4 hours north of where we live for surgery.

I was a mess, a complete mess! I was in shock and could not wrap my head around it. It actually took me 3 days after the surgery when she was recovering in the NICU to accept the fact that this was reality. I would seriously burst into tears at any moment. Anything could set me off.  I could not hold it together which was not okay because I needed to be strong not only for my new baby but for my 3  yr old little girl. She was such a trooper and honestly amazing through it all but she was scared to and when I broke down it did not help! She was honestly the source of why I broke down a lot because I felt like I was neglecting her by being at the hospital everyday and then sending her home with Grandma 4 hours away from me for an entire week! I was heart broken by it!

Once I accepted it all I was able to be a much better mom and wife! Did I still have my moments of breaking down yes. But I was able to control them enough to wait until I was away from everyone.

My sister gave me a print of her favorite quote "courage dear heart" she wanted me to put it in baby Os hospital room. Here is a photo of that day.

Several days after I did I realized that quote was as much for me as it was for her. I needed courage and faith. Courage to be strong and there for both my girls as best I could. Faith in my Heavenly Father that everything would work out the way it was supposed too. Faith that Brandon and I were in that situation for a reason. There had to be something for us to learn from it all!

Turns out I was right.  Not only did the terrifying experience bring me and Brandon closer together but it brought me closer to God. After pouring my heart out to him day after day I trust him on a completely different level now and I will forever be grateful for that!!!

I hope that by hearing about my experience that it might give you the courage to trust in God as well and to accept whatever is going on in your life so that you too can start growing and gain the courage you need to get through it!

I'll be honest it still scares me to see her in that picture! I'm so happy she is a chubby little one now! Prayers are answered!!!!! 

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February 27, 2015

Improving Me Book Review - Living Well Spending Less

I started reading this book in January because of a book club challenge with Blog Bliss an amazing community for bloggers that want a little support with improving their lives.... if your a blogger you should check it out! Anyways I fell in love with the book the second it showed up on my door step. Not only is the cover really pretty but it is soft... I know that sounds weird! Anyways! The material inside is life changing so I couldn't help but share!

There is so much I have taken away from this book that I know I will be referring to its pages often for reminders and inspiration. 

The challenges Ruth has at the end of each chapter are ones that make you stop & really evaluate your life and your goals. Here are the 12 challenges:

1. Define your good life
2. Choose Contentment 
3. Identify your sweet spot
4. Plan your long term vision
5. Take back your time
6. Purge your excess stuff
7. Freeze your spending
8. Establish a family budget
9. Save on food
10. Clean your house
11. Embrace the things that matter most 
12. Share the Good Life

The chapter I loved the most was "We all get the same 24 hours" or the #5 challenge above. She asks:

"What if self-discipline & time management skills are something that can be strengthened over time? What if self-control is not an innate character trait bestowed on a select few but something we all need to develop? What if willpower is actually a finite quality, one that runs out over the course of the day? Wouldn't that change the game? Wouldn't we want to be sure we used our energies well?

She then goes on to discuss self-discipline & goals & setting good habits, while breaking bad ones. She asks this:

"Do our choices match our calling - our vision, goals, passion & dreams?"

I can honestly answer yes to this question about 60% of the time my choices do match my goals but I struggle in rising early & I'm a pretty excellent procrastinator. 

In the "Spending Less" section she gives you budgeting & shopping tips. Access to free printables for couponing & how to save as well as homemade recipes for cleaners, etc. 

There are many things I will be incorporating into my daily life. All brought on by reading Ruth's book. Here are a couple I'll be focusing on right now.

1. "have daily conversations about the blessings in our lives & the things we are grateful for. We call it our Attitude for Gratitude." This is something I want to do with my girls.

2. Make daily tasks/habits that will get you to your goals. I have already started breaking my big goals down into daily & weekly tasks and am working on my habits such as reading scriptures daily and taking the time to ponder/meditate. 

3. Visualize & write down my future success. I have done this already but I am realizing that I need to be more specific. Especially when it comes to how I feel in the future. One of the printables she offers for free is the Goal Workbook I already have my copy and am excited to use it!

4. I'm also going to accept the challenge to make a commitment for 1 week to get up 30 minutes earlier every day & spend that time working on one of my major goals! I love my sleep right now being 36 weeks pregnant but I can see the HUGE benefit of doing this! Hopefully it will set the tone for after baby girl arrives as well! 

The last 2 chapters "Best things in life are free" & "We get more when we give" just top off an amazing read & unbelievable inspiration to continue improving & live the good life! She says:

"Inspiration is everywhere, although sometimes it is just a matter of opening our eyes to see the beauty right in front of us... the Good Life is one of service. It is based on who we are rather than what we have."

I highly recommend you get your own copy of this book to read & grow from! And no I do NOT have any affiliation with the sells of this book I just sincerely enjoyed it & learned a lot. 

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January 8, 2015

Starting the New Year off wrong... I mean right!

New  Years Day we decided to drive about 30 minutes east of our home towards our families cabin in the mountains so that our little girl could play in the snow. On the way up the truck slid around a little on the snow covered roads but nothing major. I of course was a nervous wreck though because, well lets be honest I'm paranoid. My anxiety is even worse when I'm pregnant so there you go! 

We found a spot to pull over for her to play just outside of Zions National Park. She was ecstatic! 

On the way down the mountain I was thinking what a great way to start the New Year... off on an adventure with my little family. I also thought to myself that I really need to relax & not be so uptight & expect the worst when we go out like that. Well not 1 minute later (no exaggeration) we turned a corner & there was a truck with a trailer sideways across the road. Brandon had to slam on his brakes & narrowly missed a mother & her 2 kids that were standing in the MIDDLE of the road. This forced us to slid off the side of the road into a big ditch with a bunch of large rocks and trees. 

Brandon of course was instantly angry & rightfully so in my opinion! I, on the other hand, went immediately to tears. I kept them under control though & turned around to see my little girl wide eyed in her car seat which had been knocked crooked when we hit the rocks. She wasn't upset so I calmed myself so I wouldn't make it worse. 

It took about 40 minutes for them to get the truck out of the rocks & surprisingly the truck was in better shape then I expected. It obviously could have been much worse had Brandon not been able to keep control of the truck enough on those slick roads to miss that mother & her kids. It could have really been tragic!

Later that day, after we were home I kept playing the events of the day in my head & feeling the same terror. Then it dawned on me right before bed.... What can I learn from today's events? 
  • Surprises can literally happen around any corner!
  • We are not invincible
  • We need to live each day telling the people we love our feelings so we have no regrets

I could go on & on but I think what I learned more than anything is that even though my paranoia & anxiety in this situation turned out to be right.... that is no way to live!

You cannot live your life afraid of what may lie ahead, around that next corner. Having constant anxiety & viewing the world, your life this way will only slow you down & keep you from achieving your dreams. 

I also find it very ironic that this happened New Years Day. The day everyone sees as the day that will set the tone for the rest of the year. 

Do I think this accident is telling me my 2015 is doomed? Absolutely not!

I think its telling me that 2015 is going to be a year to overcome many obstacles but if I push through & keep my focus on who I want to be then I will overcome. Just like we got ourselves out of those large rocks with minimal damage & came home to go about accomplishing our other tasks for the day. Which by the way we got a lot done after the accident around the house! 

All in all it was a really good & satisfying day! 

Did anything eventful happen for you the first day of the year? How would you react to this situation?!

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December 31, 2014

Why I will NOT be making New Year's Resolutions for 2015

I have to come to realize for myself that the lofty goals I set at the beginning of each year are lost almost within the first month. The reason.... I get too overwhelmed by it all & I don't want to look like a fool so I just let them dissolve & pretend I never meant to keep them in the first place. 

Sound familiar?!

Just 8% of people achieve their New Year's Resolutions according to this article at and research done at the University of Scranton. It goes on to explain that
"many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional. That’s a nice aspiration, experts say—but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure. Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place."

This year I am not going to set resolutions like lose 10 lbs by March (for starters I'm pregnant and due in March so I will likely gain 10 lbs in the those 3 months!). What I mean is, I am avoiding those types of resolutions & am instead taking the time to get a clear picture of the type of person I want to be.

For example:
I am a patient, loving wife & Mother whom is organized & keeps my cool under pressure.  I am a writer who strives to be an inspiration to those around me everyday.

Now I'll be honest it took me some time to dial down on those items even though it seems simple because there are so many goals I have but they all fit into that definition of myself.

Your picture might look entirely different then mine. Perhaps your picture looks something like this...

I am a hard worker that rises early every morning to workout & prepare for the day ahead. 

The idea behind this is once you figure out who you are & who you want to be & hold onto that image then when you are faced with an alarm clock yelling at you at 6 AM to get up & workout you will easily remember why it was set in the first place. 

Or when your 3 year old is up at 3 AM screaming for 30 minutes you are not as slow to remember that you are a PATIENT mother (this happened to me several times recently!)

If resolutions have failed for you in past years I urge you to take the time to set a clear picture of the person you want to be instead of setting resolutions. Write that picture down in detail & review it often. Rehearse it in your head & soon you will find its just who you are to workout in the wee hours of the morning!

I would LOVE to help you stay on track and achieve your dreams so I have a lot in store for you over the next few weeks to help motivate and push you to keep plugging along day by day! 

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September 24, 2014


I have always had a love for writing. English class in high school and college were always so easy for me. I always said I could bull crap my way through any paper & honestly usually got an A. 

But I was also very intimidated by being an actual writer. To write novels, to write for a magazine. It sounded magical but when I would go to put pen to paper I froze. 

Awhile back I decided to start this blog & I will tell you I wrote & re-wrote posts several times before I ever got the courage to hit publish. When I finally did hit that little button it was an amazingly powerful & satisfying feeling!

But I still didn't feel enough confidence to keep up with the writing. I know my main fear was that I didn't believe that what I was writing was good enough. The same is true for novels. I literally have 3 novels planned out in mind but I don't have the courage to actually write them down! I'm quite embarrased to admit that! It is almost as if those characters & their stories are haunting me now. They pop into my mind regularly. I know that I need to write them but I use the excuse of not having time as my crutch.

We all know what time is right?! It's an excuse if not used correctly. You can always make time. 

So when I read this part of Julia Cameron's book "The Right To Write" it was like a slap in the face!

How beautiful is that?!

Everyone has insecurities & writing is a way to work them out... free those insecurities.
I know if I sit down to write these stories & my lack of confidence rears its ugly face I need to push through it and just keep writing! Even better stop the story for 5 minutes and write out my fears... work them out on paper! Then crumble it up and throw it away. It will free your to write what you want! I need to give these characters I have grown to love, life!

The same goes for this blog. I cannot worry about what readers want to hear. I will write it & if it helps 1 person, even if that 1 person is me, to grow, then I have succeeded!

I want to inspire with my writing!
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September 21, 2014

Do you know your passion?

"You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion. It's nice advice, it's heart-warming advice, its great advice -- if you happen to have one that is very clear & obvious. Sometimes it feels cruel & all it does is make you feel even worse & more left out, because you're like, 'I would if I knew what it was!' If you're in that position right now.... forget about passion."
- Elizabeth Gilbert

I recently watched Elizabeth's interview on the Oprah Winfrey show here and could not stop thinking about it after. I have since watched it several times because I have struggled myself with narrowing down what my passion, #1 dream is over the course of my life. 

In high school I was dead set that I was going to go to nursing school & work in the Emergency Room helping people. Then I got a job at a nursing home as a CNA & lost ALL interest in the medical world. So I spent some time trying to figure out what my new life calling would be.... I switched my major to Psychology for about 2 semesters and then realized that my love for writing was going to win out! So I moved back to to my hometown to attend our local college as an English major... and to be closer to my boyfriend (soon to be husband) & got a job as a Secretary for a mortgage company. About a year after being there they started training me in to be a loan processor and I was gun-ho ready to go! I stopped school and have now been a loan processor for about 7 years. 

Do I love it? No. So once again I am searching for that one PASSION! 

So when I watched this interview it was a HUGE AHA moment for me. Elizabeth goes on to say:

So the fact that right now at the age of 30 my curiosities consist of: 

is OKAY!

I need to follow those curiosities because I never know what path it might lead me to next & that path could be my passion that I hold tight to for the rest of my life. Or it could continue to lead me down another path & another. It doesn't matter! If those paths spark an interest for me then I will enjoy ever minute of it!

So what is my true goal & dream right now? It is to follow my curiosity & never stop searching for that one thing that is rare, that burns within.... my passion! 

If owning your own business is a dream of yours there are so many tools like Kabbage, a small business loan company, that can help you not only narrow down your dreams/goals but help you achieve them. 

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June 20, 2014

Curve Ball!!!

The past 6 months have been full of improvement but not in the areas I had planned on. It's funny how life throws you a curve ball and before you know it you are veering off track quickly and you can't get your feet solid underneath you. That about sums up the last 6 months for me. 

I have wanted my focus of improvement to mostly be in my personal life and found that I was neglecting my professional life. I think this is why my curve ball came into play. I was so focused on certain areas of my life that I didn't see the problems arising at work. I can happily say that those problems are now resolved but while I was fixing this curve ball that I took blindly to the face my personal life (this blog included) suffered.

Finding balance in your life is unbelievably hard. I have at times thought it is impossible. How you can focus on certain areas to improve without losing focus of others? That is something we have to battle with everyday.

I have been reading a book called "The Slight Edge" and it has been amazing in getting my mind and my anxiety in check. I have so many ambitions both personally & professionally that I feel overwhelmed almost daily. This book has opened my eyes to the fact that doing the little things everyday to move my business forward and to make sure my family is taken care of.... that is where I am going to find balance. 

If I commit to doing enough of those little things every day no matter what then my goals will be moving forward daily. It might not be at a rapid pace but I have decided that is okay. If you try to move to quickly you not only miss out on what is happening right now but you also leave open game for that crazy curve ball and you will likely strike out. If you slow down you might see it coming and be able to hit it out of the park before it ever rears its ugly face.

That is all for now :D 

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