Holding Up….Holding On

Did we ever think we’d be facing a global pandemic, sheltering at home, the uncertain economy, fully online school? 

The answer is No…..

Our future is a mystery, but the good news, it has ALWAYS been a mystery. 

We didn’t know in January what was in store in March 2020.  The uncertainty can be scary and overwhelming. But here is what I have to offer you…..

Life has always been a mystery, we never knew what was ahead or what to expect…..that hasn’t changed.  So now we focus on what we do have control over……. You can control YOU! You can control how you choose to respond and react.  Do you feed into the fear or do you choose to focus on knowing we will move through this?  YOU CONTROL YOU! 

You control your thoughts, mind, reactions, responses, and attitude.  I know you may feel overwhelmed, overworked, scared, tired, nervous, and unsure.  KNOW that is NORMAL and everyone feels that at some point. 

When you have these thoughts and feelings, allow yourself to feel it and move through it and tell your brain to re-direct the focus. 

Try and focus on something you enjoy (a hobby, a craft, music), the things within your control (making a good meal, your + attitude, your garden, your home),  or the goodness that you have around you (your family, your children, your partner, your pets, your home).

This conscience effort of redirecting your negative thoughts will become a habit and you will feel and see the change in yourself. 

I am glad you are Holding Up, Hold on….we will move thru this, together.IMG_0321

Much Love, 



My Loves – 2020

Here are the 20 things I love as I move into 2020….no particular order, just where my heart is right now! 

  1. Camping – I love being outside, waking up in nature, and a good campfire! 
  2. Cooking – I enjoy preparing a meal…not the 20 minutes to get something on the table or eat in the car kinda meal, but spending time in the kitchen creating something good for my family.
  3. Cookbooks – On that note, I LOVE cookbooks, they are my favorite reading material! 
  4. My home – it is cozy, warm, friendly, homey, and truly feels like our sanctuary from the outside world…a soft, safe place to recharge. 
  5. Who I share my home with – They make my life a bundle of fun and I get tremendous satisfaction out of caring for them.
  6. My dog, Oaklie – she is forever in a good mood, brings a light and energy to our home that is tangible and felt by everyone.
  7. Instagram – I love capturing photos and having a place to share them with family and friends.
  8. Chatbooks – On the Instagram note, I must also throw in Chatbooks, I love having a way to take my Insta photos and create an instant scrapbook! 
  9. Working out – I haven’t loved this in the past, but in 2019 I started lifting weights and doing metabolic conditioning and I truly enjoy it, I feel stronger, leaner, and more confident….doesn’t hurt that I’m doing it with a great tribe of women! 
  10. Being out on the water – specifically Lake Powell, a lake surrounded by red rock in southern Utah.
  11. Writing – I love to journal by making lists, I make lists of what makes me happy, things I enjoy about my home, what I thoroughly enjoy about each of my kids and my hubs, house projects, you name it, I write it down….I have a beautiful notebook to keep it all in. 
  12. Good Calendar – I really enjoy my Happy Planner, it has great color, design, stickers, and good energy.
  13. Parenting – I love parenting, the good and the bad…I also enjoy talking about it with others, hearing advice from others, offering advise, talking strategies, etc.
  14. Good Magazine – I love reading magazines, here are few of my favs, This Old House, The Cottage Journal, and Country Living
  15. Gardening, Plants, and Landscape – Nothing is more fulfilling than getting my hands dirty, planting, or outdoor projects.
  16. Home Projects -Being handy is a skill that my Dad taught me, he taught me basic plumbing, electrical, woodworking, tile work and home maintenance. There is such a sense of accomplishment in creating or fixing something with my own hands.
  17. Podcasts – I LOVE podcasts that incorporate life coaching, provoke thought and feeling. One of my all time favs, Better Than Happy
  18. Quotes – Words that evoke emotion.
  19. Home Decor – Using found things, new things, re-invented things to create a space I love.
  20.  Gathering with Friends – Whether it is a casual driveway party on Halloween or a dinner party with candles…..good people feed my soul.

Take a few minutes to reflect and create your own list of the 20 things that make you happy and that you are loving right now.  I hope your list warms your heart! 

Happy Happy Happy 2020,



Chase the Sunshine…


This quote SPEAKS to me…I almost feel like it was written FOR me. 

As a mom I enjoy having a routine and getting things done on my ‘to-do’ list and I enjoy when my home is running smoothly.  I believe that life seems a little less chaotic when we all have some routine. 

BUT…..the urge to go crazy, go do fun things, take off is always gnawing at me.  I want to pull the kids out of school, I want to drive without a destination in mind, I want to follow the sunset and so I say this….

Listen to your heart and know that routine is a necessary part of life….but if every now and again, you have the chance to chase the sunshine, DO IT!! 

Enjoy the chase,


The Greatest Happiness

The greatest happiness comes from what??

For many is comes from family, work, spirituality, service, hobbies, adventure, and the list goes on…..

How do you find what brings true joy and happiness….what is the path? 

There is no right or wrong answer and everyone’s path is different.  

The first step is to stop and think…..am I fulfilled? Am I happy?  Do I want to seek more?  If the answer is no, then you may have found what is truly making you happy, so stick with it!

If the answer is no or you are unclear…I would encourage you to seek work you feel is fulfilling, or examine your spirituality, find a service organization that you enjoy, take up  a new hobby, or plan and adventure! 

For me, I am constantly asking myself,

  • “what brings me great joy?”
  • “will doing this…(whatever it is) make me happy?”
  • “am I capable of a greater contribution?” 
  • “is there a greater purpose for me?”

These questions always leave my striving for greater contributions in work, family,  service, and in my spirituality.  They also make me pause and truly think about what brings me joy and happiness. 

This is the greatest gift, because in that pause, you realize that super simple things can bring great joy.  Many times we get caught up in wanting that promotion we have been working towards, or needing a larger home, our kids getting better grades, an expensive vacation, better car….etc.  Again…there is no wrong answer, so nothing is wrong with wanting these things, you just have to decide if these things will bring you happiness. 

If we pause and truly examine our daily life, there are hundreds of little things to be thankful for that bring joy, I call these things ‘everyday magic’….even it is just a simple, small glimmer, these things added together can create great happiness.  Nothing profound….Some of my everyday magic;  A warm cup of coffee, sitting by the fire, a hug from my kids, sitting at the dinner table together, music playing, clean laundry, my home, my bed, a warm bath, going hiking, praying, the mountains, fresh snow, talking to God, watching my kids do activities, camping, our puppy, the smell of pine trees, cuddles, mountain breezes, service projects, warm sunshine, iced tea, gardening, home projects, I could go on an on….

Unfortunately it is all too easy to focus on the hassles and irritation in life and see things as a burden….for example laundry, who enjoys laundry?  Probably very few people, but I LOVE clean clothes, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel as I am getting it done, and I feel tremendous pride in taking care of my family, doing the laundry is all part of that…..so it is all about perspective.  You can focus on the work, burden, and frustrations or you can focus on the everyday magic. 

All of these small, somewhat insignificant things added together can create an amazingly happy life….but we have to pause long enough to discover them. #everydaymagic 

Enjoy the pause,


Our DNA…

As I was listening to the radio the other day, I heard sound bite…I have no idea what the topic was or when the program was going to air, all I heard was a man say,

“What we believe becomes our DNA.” 

This statement hit me at my core, I thoughts about how profound and yet simple it really is…..

What we think and believe does become who we are….and for many reading this you may think, “of course is does” and I agree our religious beliefs, our morals, our values, what we hold sacred all become part of the DNA……but I want to simplify it further.

What we believe about ourselves, what we believe about others, what we think when we see someone who is different from us, how we react to difficult situations, how we choose to treat others, this all becomes part of our DNA too….it is who we are.

If you have religious values and a good moral compass but then sit in judgment of others without knowing their story, or make judgement about others because they don’t share your religious choices, or they indulge in something you don’t like or aren’t kind and considerate towards others…..your values and morals are in direct conflict with your current thinking.  When this happens, what really is your DNA?  All the good stuff, your religious beliefs, your morals, your values or is the judgement, unwillingness to be accepting, the irritation, the lack of consideration??

I believe it is critical that we strive to ensure that our moral compass and values match our; daily interactions with others, conversations, kind thoughts about ourselves, and ALL of the thoughts that run through our heads that never make it out of our mouths…..

It isn’t just the big stuff that makes up who we are, it is how we view the world everyday, the conversations we have in our own head about how we view ourselves, it is the small simple kind words and gestures we use when interacting with family, friend and strangers….this is all part of our DNA.  


sunset hands love woman

Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com


Your Own Path….

When I have quiet time in the car, sometime I listen to music, sometimes talk radio and sometimes Joel Osteen, his messages offer me a ‘pick me up’ that, at times, I need.  It is a quick spiritual reboot, if you will.  🙂

The other day he shared a message that I really liked, I have tried to find the message since on his blog because I only caught the end….so far, no luck.  www.joelosteen.com

His message was about keeping up with others and he described that as we try and keep up with others we for-go our own skills, talents, and natural abilities and we don’t have the tools needed to move down someone else’s path, this leaves us feeling uncomfortable, struggling for success, or unhappy.  He said it far better…but you get the idea.  The message was pretty powerful….

The message really spoke to me, over the next several days I thought about it over and over again….Thinking about the truth behind his statement. 

For me….sometimes I get caught up in what other moms are doing and I think…I should be doing that too and when I go off course from what I know and do…I start to struggle. I am not trying to be boastful but for the most part, I think I am a pretty good mom and wife…..I have good relationships with my kids, we chat about hard stuff, they come to me with some pretty difficult topics and my hubs and I are a great team.  But….all too often I see something or hear something that someone else is doing and think, “I should do that instead of what I am doing” and it never brings me peace and enjoyment, the reason, I am trying too hard and I don’t have the tools to be successful on their path

 At times we get caught up in our friends and colleagues bigger house, boat, vacations, toys, etc. and it may lead us down a path of trying to keep up or wanting more….the truth is that seeking out things or changing our behaviors for the wrong reasons doesn’t lead us down OUR path, the path where we find joy, we have great comfort, and where our natural abilities shine. 

So stay the course my friend, you are doing the right things, you have the tools needed for your own path, there is nothing wrong with striving for more, the larger home, the amazing vacation, the toys….just make sure you are doing it because it enriches the path you are already on….. 



Changing My Focus…

How do you alter your focus? Really change the direction you are headed and move in another direction? 

I keep asking myself that question…It isn’t that the direction I am moving is wrong or it isn’t a happy path, I just feel like I could do better, be better if I made some changes.

I started by making a list of my of my ‘wants’, I am sure many of these aren’t far off what any mom and/or wife wants.  They seem simple but when you work outside the home and have busy kids, theses things sometimes seem monumental.  Many of my girlfriends are stay at home moms and many are working moms and most of the time, our wants are the same….

My Wants

  • Enjoy my home
  • Joy in my daily routine
  • Finding happiness in everyday
  • Reduce the frenzy of the day
  • Taking care of my home
    • Cleaning
    • Laundry
    • Errands
  • Meal Planning and Prep
  • Offering undivided attention to my hubs and kidlets 
  • One on one time with each of my kids everyday
  • Reduce my work schedule or eliminate work all together 

Next came my list of ‘struggles’ where did I need to put in some work.  

My Areas of Struggle

  • Really…All of the Above

Now what?? I have my lists….I asked myself, what do I do now?  

First of all, I believe that creating the list and identifying what you want and what you struggle with is powerful.  It helps stop your brain from spinning and focus, think, and decide what IS really important to you.  It is similar to writing goals down on paper, it makes things more real, more tangible, more significant somehow. 

It would be easy for me to think quitting my job is the answer to all of my problems….but I am not sure that will solve my entire dilemma.  Yes, it will free up some of my time for the task-y stuff but it doesn’t solve the three ‘wants’ below, these are deeper more significant in my mind. 

  • Joy in my daily routine
  • Finding happiness in everyday
  • Reduce the frenzy of the day

The bullet-ed items above require more intentional effort, they require me to pause and evaluate what I am doing or what I can do differently. 

Joy in my daily routine is about finding happiness and enjoy in the mundane, in the trudge of chores, and running kids.  So for me this is about the sweet conversations that happen in the car on the way to practice, this is the chat about soccer and school, I have with my 14 year old as we fold towels, this is when my 17 year old sits and visits with me about high school, friends, and boys as we make dinner, this is when my 5 year old helps me load the washer, so he can push all the buttons.  These are things I am choosing to focus on rather than the task-y stuff, that really isn’t much fun.   

Finding happiness in everyday is about laying my head down every night and feeling a sense of accomplishment and feeling good about my interactions with my hubs, kids, and everyone I came across in my day.   It is about feeling good about my day, and some days it is HARD almost impossible to find the happiness because it has either been a crummy day or exhaustion overtakes me.  

Lastly, reducing the frenzy of the day, it is less about reducing the running from here to there, being busy and eliminating activities to create less frenzy, for me this is about reducing that frenzied feeling from my kids.  Making them feel like, even as busy as we are, that I am not stressed, uptight, anxious, or irritated and …..that I’ve got this.   Creating for them a sense of calm that they can come to rely on from me as their Momma.  Knowing that in moments of great stress and chaos that I can be their anchor and their calm.  

I don’t want to pretend that everyday is great and I am perfect….that isn’t me or my life.

But I am conscientious of how I am and how it impacts my little people and some days I blow it and other days I am a rock star….but as long as I am working in what I feel is the right direction…I see this as success. 

composition cute design diary

Photo by Miesha Moriniere on Pexels.com



Life after….Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

Is there life after you step out of your comfort zone??

I am proof that life continues.  I recently made a huge life change,  after 18 years at the same organization, I took a LEAP of faith, left and started NEW.  I was terrified….

What terrified me? 

Quitting terrified me, I had spent 18 years creating a community, friendships, routine, knowledge base, generating ideas, implementing policy, process, and projects. I knew the organization, I knew what to do, I knew people, I knew my place…..I was about to leave that ALL behind. 

Starting fresh terrified me, having people not know me, establishing new relationships, learning new processes, adopting new knowledge, creating a niche for myself within my new place….it all terrified me.  

Rocking my world terrified me, changing my schedule, altering my commute, what impact would this create for my kids, my hubs, would I be able to learn new things, would I be happy, would I regret making this decision, would I make new friends, would I be valuable to new organization, would I have knowledge to share????

Well….I am alive and well. 

There IS life after you jump out of your comfort zone. 

Quitting wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  It was surprisingly easy, my organization didn’t beg me to stay or make it hard to exit.  I simply submitted my resignation, had a few comfortable conversations, and worked my remaining time and then walked out.  

Starting fresh isn’t easy…but it also isn’t terribly hard either.  I have met new people, created new friendships and am still in the process of having folks get to know me.  I am learning new skills, expanding my learning to include platforms and processes, and I am creating a space for myself.  

Rocking my world hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated, my schedule is good, commute is fine, my kiddos and hubs had basically no adjustment.  I am happy, my decision to leave my past organization was the right decision…but it is still painful, I miss people, I miss knowing what to do and how to do it, I miss the work….but I am moving forward.  

My take away….

Getting out of my comfort zone has pushed me in the direction of growth, it has made me do hard things.  It forced me to take control of my destiny and life.  I want my kids to know, understand and SEE that getting out of our comfort zone may be scary,  painful, hard, worrisome, and uncomfortable, BUT when these feelings exist, we can get through it and there can be GREAT growth, sense of accomplishment, and a knowing that YOU CAN DO hard things!!  

As parents we are continual examples for our babies, kiddos, children, so we must always keep in mind that little eyes are watching everything we do, how well we manage,  and our emotional stability.  I believe our kids will only handle and manage situations and obstacles as well as we, their parents/guardians do,  so it is imperative that we manage things well. 


dawn sunset beach woman

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Recipe – “Go To” – Chicken Pot Pie Bites

This is one of my family’s favorites…

Chicken Pot Pie Bites

  • 1 Can of biscuits – I use Pillsbury Grands Junior
    • Regular biscuits are too large and don’t bake as well. 
  • 1 Can Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Cup frozen peas and carrots (Optional)
  • Spices – Garlic, Season Salt, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Pepper, etc (Optional)

Flatten biscuits and place into muffin tins, they won’t be perfect…it’s just fine.  No need to spray tins, biscuits have enough butter, oil, etc.

Mix together, ingredients above and scoop into biscuits. Top with cheese.

Bake at temperature according to biscuit can and bake until biscuit appears done. 

Other guts to try; Sloppy Joe Mix, Taco Meat, Spaghetti Sauce, Pulled Pork 

3f534b27792cce920ff7ed9d5000fd22 (2)