I’VE GOT A DREAM!!!!!
When we are younger all dream big. When I was a little tot I wanted to be a Ballerina and then be a Dentist on the side (I know a little backwards right- but that's how I wanted it!), I wanted to travel the world, I wanted every kind of Barbie there was and all of her accessories and let me tell you the list went on and on and on. Then as I grew up my dreams became a little more practical. But how many of us forget about our dreams when we grow up and have families of our own. I understand that sometimes our dreams need to be put off for bills, kids, jobs, college, and life in general. But why must we stop dreaming and working towards our dreams?
I love in the movie UP (well I really just love that movie) how the cute cute couple has this dream that they are working for. They understand what it would take to get there and they make a plan. For them it was a money jar!
They put off their dream to fix their car and house, yet they always keep their sights on that dream and work towards it. I feel that there is great importance in finding a goal or dream and work towards it. It will give you something to keep you moving forward in life and something to hope for. I have a dream to go to Paris France and visit the temple when it is finally built and walk the streets late at night night around Christmas time. (There is a reason it is called the city of lights!!!!!) I understand that it will take a while to work up to something as adventurous as this but it is something I can dream of and look forward to in my future.
Have fun and allow yourself to dream big- then dont be afraid to go for your dreams. There is a lot to do is this world- and having fun is one of them :)
(sorry if this post is a little scrambled- Michael is distracting me :)
One of the greatest feelings is when you spend just a little extra time in the morning getting ready, attempting to look a little better than the every day norm and YOU GET NOTICED!!!!!! I love those days when I actually wake up on time and I actually curl my hair and put on a little more make up than mascara and wear something nice and then get stopped on campus by people all day telling me how cute I look!
- It makes me feel like those 30 minutes I could have been sleeping that morning were well spent
- It boosts my self esteem!!!!!
Let's admit it when someone goes out of their way to say you look nice that day you stand a little taller, you smile a little brighter and you strut your stuff with a little spunk, attitude and BAZAZZ!!!!!!
Now I am not telling you that you should dress up and go out with the intent to get attention- because I can guarantee if that's why you are dressing up you will most likely get attention you dont want. No I want you to dress up for you!!!! Let the compliments be the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae!!!!!!
I want you to quickly think about the days when you opted for a few extra minutes of sleep, then you threw on jeans, a sweatshirt and pulled your hair up into a sloppy pony tail (not going to lie, this was exactly me this morning for my first class!!!!!!) Then compare that to the days when you wore maybe a nice blouse or a cute flowy skirt, straightened or curled your hair and maybe worse some yummy smelling perfume. I dont know about you but on days when I just throw on cloths and walk out the door (or run in my case this morning) my days seem slow, long, drab, boring, uneventful, depressing, tiring etc. But when I take the time to look a little nicer that day I feel more confident when I walk out that door, I feel ready for the day and I seem to smile just a little more.
Dont feel like you need to dress to impress- but dress to be happy. Dress to have fun. Dress to enjoy life and have a good laugh. And most importantly dress to be you!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers :)
You know when you are walking through the park and you see that cute old couple sitting on a bench, his arm is around her, they are smiling and talking, or what about that cute couple that sits on their front porch together watching the sunset. Or the ones that will still walk through town hand in hand and steal a kiss every once in a while when they think no one is looking. I love seeing couples like this, the ones that you know have pushed through all the long nights of crying babies, and the hardships of life and still came out just as happy as the day they were married. I always think to myself that I hope I will be a cute old couple like that when I grow up and I am almost positive that I am not the only one. I think we all at times look up to those older couples and wish that we will end up as lucky as they are.
This is a picture of my boyfriends Grandparents- I love how cute they are in this picture :)
A love like that doesnt just happen over night or at the snap of the fingers- It doesnt even work that way in the fairy tales. An everlasting love takes years of working together and dedication. Today is the day of the week I talk about fitness and how to stay healthy- but that doesnt necessarily mean working out and eating right and having a healthy mind set about yourself. That also means having healthy relationships which is what I want to focus on today.
When we are young we focus so much on dating, and a good part of dating involves talking and getting to know others. Eventually when the Lord lets both people know that the time is right they enter into a special kind of love and bond- and that's called marriage. (For some odd reason the line from The Princess Bride comes to mind "Mawwiage..... Mawwiage is what bwings us togeth-uh today....) But why does the talking and the getting to know each other and the cute cute dating have to stop there? As humans we are constantly changing and it's important to make sure that you keep getting to know the person you are married to and remind yourself why you love eachother. So often I find that the couples that drift apart are the ones that didnt spend time together and they didnt talk.
Growing up, my room was always right next to my parents. In the wee hours of the morning and very very late into the night I could always hear them talking to one another about almost every subject there is on this planet to talk about and then some! Some of their favorite dates consist of grocery shopping together and deep cleaning the car at my dad's shop- because it allows them time to talk and remember why they were attracted to each other.
In my text book, Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives, Chapter 2 talks about the ABC's of dating and marriage, They go as follows:
A Awareness of or Acquaintance with another person
B Buildup of the relationship
C Continuation following Commitment to a log-term relationship
I believe strongly in the importance of continued dating after marriage, but I also believe that you dont always have to spend money on a date. Going out to dinner and to the movies are fun and you can create great memories and you share many laughs this way- but can you truly talk in these kinds of activities? Sometimes we under estimate the power of a simple walk through the park, or a night drive in December to go look at the neighborhood Christmas lights. Moments like these are times that can be shared together and opportunities to talk. My parents loved walking, hiking, biking and taking car rides together as they were dating, and they would go out for hours and just talk. Then when they started having kids they kept doing these kinds of activities and made them family events. Now as I am older and live away from home I am grateful for those opportunities because we were able to create memories and we have created bonds in which we can share anything to each other.
My parents made dating, family time and talking so important to all of us- that's step number 1- Awareness of or Acquaintance with another person. As a family we were always aware of what was happening with each other and we were always there for each other. Step 2- Buildup of the relationship. Not only would my parents go out to become re-acquainted with their feelings for each other but they also did that with us kids personally. Some of my most fondest memories as a kid are dipping french fries in vanilla shakes at McDonald's and going boating on Lake Washington with my dad on Daddy Daughter dates- or going birthday shopping and going out to lunch on Mommy Daughter dates. But then on a larger scale they would also take time to take day trips to the ocean and having picnics outside my dad's shop during my dad's lunch break. Step 3- Continuing. When kids are young many parents spend good quality time with their kids but tend to slowly grow apart as the years pass on. I am so thankful my parents didnt allow that to happen. They have been very much apart of my life- my entire life!!!!!! And as an addition my parents have never stopped loving each other the way they did when they were engaged- in fact they have only strengthened that love with the time that they dedicate to each other.
President Uchtdorf gave a talk a few years back in where he said that Love is really spelled T I M E. I challenge you to make time for those that really matter, forget all the electronics, the facebook posts, the errands, the politics, work, etc- and spend time with your husband, your children, your families. Remember that picture of the cute couple in the beginning? If you want an ever lasting relationship with your loved ones and you want to look as happy as they do when you are that age- then spend the time now getting to know them and enjoying every moment.
I saw this little cartoon the other day and I thought it was pretty cute and I wanted to use it in my blog. But before I show you the cartoon I would like you to think about how you first viewed the day when you woke up this morning. When I woke up this morning my first thought was "Today is the day I am going home!!!!!" But maybe yours was "Uggggg can I just sleep one more hour?" or what about "My bed is so warm and soft I dont want to leave it." or did you jump out of bed and welcome the new day? Then what did you think about yourself when you first looked in the mirror? When I looked in the mirror I kind of laughed because my hair dried really funny in my sleep and then I thought "Well good thing I woke up on time today (which hasn't happened the last couple of weeks) because this will take a while to make presentable." Was your comments ones of love and respect or did you kind of groan and roll up your nose at your reflection?
When I was a kid I had this favorite book about a pig, the story is about her daily routines, she talks about how when she would get up she would immedietly go over to her mirror smile and say "Hey Good Lookin'!" Honestly this is a lovely thought and something that kind of makes me chuckle, but how many of us welcome each day like this? I know I dont always do this, in fact I only do that when I know that it will be a great day..... but funny things is- Arnt I the one that decides which day is a good day and which ones are not? So when I start my day off with a groan and pressing the snooze button on my phone three and four times, am I really welcoming a great day or am I setting a low tone for my day?
In this picture you see a sad Caterpillar today, but tomorrow he is a happy and beautiful Butterfly. I absolutely believe that we must not lose a hope for what tomorrow might bring- but I also believe we must not lose faith in the present. There is this quote I heard a few years back and it went something like, If we keep looking for tomorrow we will find that we have a bunch of empty yesterday's. You know maybe we so focused on tomorrow and what the future has to bring that we arent enjoying today! In a conference talk one of the apostles brought up the importance of the here and now, he said that there is a reason why it is called the Present because each moment is a present from our Father in Heaven.
So where am I going with all this?
I want to share the great importance in a single moment, and the great blessing it is to live each and every day. Today is truly a blessing from our God above and he wants us to enjoy it to its fullest! Tomorrow try waking up and instead of groaning and pushing the snooze button try getting on your knees and saying "Thank you", try walking up to the mirror and say "Hey Good Lookin' !" or maybe try doing a cheesy smile and winky face. Dont be like the Caterpillar in the picture, so unhappy with your life today that all you can dream about is tomorrow. Everything happens in the Lord's time so enjoy it...... enjoy it all and eventually your wings will come.
Here is another cute little cartoon that always makes me chuckle :
Each human being, no matter how young or how small, is a 'beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny'
(Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives: Chapter 27)
There are two types of courage. One is "the motivation to do what is right" no matter the circumstances. (quoted from my roommate Seva) The other kind can be described by one of Joan of Arc's more famous quotes "I am not afraid.... I was born to do this!" This is what I want to focus on today, because I just love this attitude! I love that she was proud of who she was, she had goals and dreams and she went for them! You dont need to save someone from a fire or go off to war or save a life in surgery to be considered courageous- it could also be having the guts to go for your wildest dreams and becoming the person God created you to be and taking hold of the divine destiny that was laid out before you.
Did you know that........
We can go through life day by day sprinkling drops of water here and there nonchalantly..... Or we can focus our talents and our ingenuity towards something spectacular and create something beautiful.
This blog is called She's Not Just A Pretty Face. To those who read my blog, have you taken the time to think about this? Because right now in this moment I want to challenge you to think about that. To help you I want you to also listen to this song:
Throughout your day to day life you do much more than I think you realize, and you are an influence in the lives of so many...... and you are not just a pretty face. You are a woman full of marvelous good works and you can truly change the lives of so so very many. This week as we near Thanksgiving, we tend to try to focus on all of the blessings that God has granted us with and all that he has done for us in our lives...... But do we ever take the time to thank him for giving us ourselves? I know that sounded a little weird but you yourself are a blessing to you. And he has given you so many blessings and qualities that make you a unique daughter. Be proud of who you are and who he created you to be, embrace your life and live it. Allow yourself to dream big and work for it, allow yourself to be a blessing to others, and then allow you to bless you. Be not afraid of who you are- live it and be a courageous woman of God.
Eating is so much fun. Let me tell you- I LOVE FOOD! I love to look at cook books, watch cooking shows, I love to watch people make food, I love to smell good food cooking, I love cooking and I love eating. I really am grateful that there is ZUMBA because I sure do love food. But something I love even more than food is when I get to enjoy it with others. My sisters and I used to make cookies together we would throw flour at each other and then eat the cookie dough. When I made dinners I really didn't have to go anywhere far to find someone to test-taste my creations.
I have mentioned this before but I have a strong testimony that families can grow closer together through having family meals together. (and I dont mean that you each have your claimed spot in front of the TV with your own personalized TV try..... I'm talking about around the table) So to all the families that dont have weekly or even better nightly dinners as a family, I challenge you to first work on this. Then once you have introduced this, why dont you take it one step further and start making meals together.
Making dinner as a family could be like a game and it's always more fun to be in the kitchen when you are with others..... especially people that you love. This is also a good opportunity to teach your children how to cook and kitchen safety.
Who knows, maybe they will discover that they really love cooking and then they will start cooking for you :)
.... and then maybe they will set the table and serve you dinner......
At every age, children respond best when working alongside parents or other children, but even when they work alone, they benefit from the experience. Canadian scholars who compared children who do 'self-care tasks' (making own beds, cleaning own messes) with children who participate in 'family-care tasks' (setting the table, washing family dishes, folding family laundry) found 'an overall pattern of results suggesting that beneficial effects of household work occur.... when that work involves assistance to others, when it requires on a routine or self-regulating basis, and when the outcome variable is concern for others revealed in the family context.' In other words, children learn to care for others by doing work that helps them think about others.
(Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives: Chapter 21)
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(: Weekly Recipe :)
Chocolate Chip Cookies/Shortbread.... Say what!!!!?
I made these cookies with my boyfriend last Saturday and they were absolutely delicious !!!!! They are super soft (and they dont go hard the next day either!!!!) they dont have a ton of flavor but that just highlights the delectable flavor of the chocolate chips even more and they have this slight hint of a shortbread flavor...... can we say YUM!!!!!!!
2/3 cup softened butter
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Start with creaming your butter, shortening and sugar..... You know when I did this recipe I was so busy singing Christmas songs and dancing and laughing at Michael that I totally forgot to even put the brown sugar in..... They really were quite good this way. So try it both ways and see what you think! Anyways you want to whip these ingredients till they are light, airy and fluffy.
- Add your vanilla. Crack your eggs into a seperate bowl (they work best when they are at a room temperature, you can either let your eggs sit out on the counter till they are not cold no more or you could get a bowl fill it with hot tap water (not super hot, good enough to stick your fingers in.... you dont want to cook the eggs) and let the eggs sit in the bowl till they have warmed up a little. Whisk the eggs then slowly add to your creamy mixture.
- I always add my salt and baking soda before my flour, or you could in a separate bowl whisk your flour, slat and soda together till there are no clumps and it is sifted to a fine mixture then slowly add.
- Now when we made these cookies what made them so super good is we did 1 cup mint chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts..... YUM!!!!!! They were absolutely loaded but super delicious.
Preheat your oven to 400 but when you put the cookies in turn the heat down to 350. Bake for approximately 8-12 minutes. They really dont turn a golden brown color on top, so be sure to check the bottom. I put them in for 8 minutes then I take my spatula and try to lift up the cookie if you can pick it up with ease without it scrunching up or falling apart then they should be good, if they do start to scrunch up then they need a little more time. but really you will know when they are done. My trick is I always (very) slightly under cook them, and then when I pull them out of the oven I set the cookie sheet on the stove top and let them sit for another minute or two. There is a little bit of heat that is coming up from the oven, and then from the heat of the sheet pan it will continue to cook, but they will not overcook. Creates for soft and sometimes chewy cookies!!!!! YUM!!!!!!
Michael and I with our delicious cookies! See they really dont change color.... but they are fluffy, soft and..... YUMMMMMM!!!!!!
(These are pictures of my own loving mother)
The ability to love is defined by how one asserts, expresses, and defines his or her importance, and the importance of others, in intimate as well as non-intimate relationships. Love is defined as the ability to be emotionally available to self and others, especially in times of need that is, when loved ones are hurting or are fearful or being hurt- without requirements of performance, perfection, problem-solving, or production. Thus, the ability to love requires a combination of a sense of self-worth or personal security plus intimate regard for others.
(Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives- Chapter 1)
When a child wakes in the middle of the night crying and is scared, when it is cold and dark our Father in Heaven is there to to comfort and protect us, but he cannot be there to physically wipe the tears from our eyes, wrap his arms around the child and rock him back to sleep. When that child comes running home from school because the cute boy or girl in class just smiled at them and they are giddy to tell someone, our Father in Heaven is there to smile and listen to our excitement. When that child is stressed about a test or project and is working late into the night, our Father in Heaven will stay up all through then night watching over that child. When that child is standing in line anxiously awaiting their diploma our Father in Heaven is there in the front row smiling and sending rays of sunshine into our lives saying "Well done my child, I am so proud of you." When we have just lost a job or a loved one he is there to cry and mourn with us. When that child finds their one true love and gets married and then brings a child into this world he is there to again cry tears of joy and celebrate these joyous occasions with us. Our Father in Heaven is there for us always because he loves us and he is there to share every moment with us, but he can not be here for us physically. This is why he sent us mothers.
Mother's have the ability to love like no one else, they can look into your eyes and and know exactly what you are thinking and feeling, they can walk up to a crying child and know just what the right thing is to do to calm their tears and sooth their worries. Mother's can wrap their arms around a child and make them feel like they are the most special person in the whole world and share the perfect love of God with everyone they meet.
My mother is my very best friend. I remember many times coming to her in tears and she would place me on the counter and clean my scraped up knees, she would patiently assist me in making homemade bread and cookies, she would play games with me for hours on end, she would be there at the bus stop to listen to my every story as soon as I stepped of the bus, she would shop with me, and listen to my boy stories. My mom taught me how to work, play, laugh, cry and love. My mom has suffered through the hardest of trials with me and been there in the front row cheering me on as I achieved my goals and made great successes in my life. She is always there to talk on the phone with me after a stressful week in college and this next week she will be there like she always has been when I come home for Thanksgiving. My Father in Heaven loved me so much that he gave me the very best person for me to be my Mother, and he did the same thing for each and everyone of his children. Mother's are the hands of God in raising a child when God cannot physically be there, they are those warm kisses and those soft strong arms to wrap up in in both the happy and sad times.
.......and Mother's watch over us from here on earth......
My Aunt Paige & Uncle Steven at Table Rock in Boise
The Proclamation teaches that it is essential to our Eternal Father's plan that His children 'obtain a physical body and gain earthy experience'.
God gave us this amazing opportunity to come down to earth, and with that privilege we have been given a body. But like everything living we cannot just accept this gift and then not take care of it. Like a plant it would become unhealthy and eventually start dying. Our bodies need constant nourishment and we need to stay healthy.
The proclamation teaches 'that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.' Some ways that we can stay active and healthy can be through spending time with our families. We can go on hikes, we can play ball or frisbee in the front yard, garden, we can go jump in puddles or jump rope, go on walks to the mail box or around the neighborhood, go on bike rides, or hike out to a pretty destination and have a lunch, rake the leaves in the yard, go swimming in a lake. These are some of my families favorite things to do. Growing up I remember many times going on Sunday walks after dinner, laying out under the stars in August, timing ourselves to see how long it took us to walk around a local mall. Activities like these are not only beneficial to your own physical health but they are crucial to keeping a healthy family. These activities may seem minimal and some cheesy but for my family they were an opportunity to talk and grow together.
Family Reunion Summer 2012- Hiking Table Rock in Boise, ID
I know that some of these little activities dont burn major calories nor do they shed the pounds.... BUT they set an example for your children at a young age to stay active. It gets you moving and it is a great starting point for anyone who is not accustomed to strenuous heart pumping calorie shedding exercises.
(Successful Marriages and families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives= Chapter 23)
- Recall the hurt..... Too often we try to deny or forget the pain of the offense and avoid the discomfort associated with addressing that offense in an interpersonal relationship. In order to forgive, we have to be clear about the wrongdoing and acknowledge the injury.
- Emphathize......this involves borrowing the lens of another person so we see something from their point of view. In order to forgive, it is important to understand the transgressor's feelings.
3. Offer the altruistic gift of forgiveness..... (altruism: the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others) Forgiving with altruism is easier when the victim is humbled by an awareness of his or her own shortcomings and offenses, with special gratitude for those occasions when he or she was freely forgiven.
4. Commit publicly to forgive....... The victim has a better chance of successful forgiveness if he or she verbalizes the forgiveness commitment to another person (for example, telling a friend or counselor about the decision).
5. Hold on to forgiveness.....
( Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and research Perspectives- Chapter 20)
Life is full of hardships and sorrows and we all make mistakes along our journey of life..... we all do. But how detrimental would it be to our eternal progression if we never forgave or were forgiven? When I think back to times when I would hold a grudge against my brother for all the little things he did to me, I wasn't moving forward. At most I was standing still but usually I was moving backwards. But as soon as I allowed myself to forgive him it strengthened our relationship and we were both able to move on with our lives.
As women and mothers we have the amazing ability to be empathetic and loving towards those around us. We can sit down and listen to a sad story and genuinely care, we generally know what to do and if not we are usually creative enough to come up with something that could help the situation. We can look at someone and know that they are having a hard day even through the laughter and the smiles. We can look into someones eyes and know that they are breaking on the inside and in turn we hurt for them. We also have this amazing ability to look past the mistakes and forgive one after a mistake.
I saw this quote the other day on LDS.org: "Knowing how imperfect we are, surely we can extend healing forgiveness to those we love. Jesus said, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). Comfort and sweet peace will live in our homes when we forgive each other freely."
I love this quote! I know that I know just how imperfect I am and I know that I make mistakes each and everyday . I strive to forgive myself, I know that in time the Lord will forgive me and I can only hope that others will forgive me for my mistakes. Keeping all this in mind helps me to turn around and forgive others. I challenge you to not hold grudges to forgive and love. And if this is hard I promise you that if you turn to the Lord in honest prayer he will grant you the Love of Christ and in time you will find it easier to forgive.