When in situations of stress we wonder if there is anymore to give. We can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capacity perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail. Let us remember that we were measured before and were found equal to our tasks. When we feel overwhelmed, let us recall the assurance that God will not over-program us; he will not press upon us more than we can bear.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Becoming Something I Thought I was Never Strong Enough To Be!

I have been thinking about this blog post for a while, and I feel like it needs to be said.  This topic has been on my mind for a long time and I finally feel like I am in a place where I can share it, because it needs to be shared.  Not to be too serious!  ;)

I feel like as women, there is an underlying feeling from the very beginning that we need to be PERFECT.  As in, you are not allowed to have any physical or outward blemish where anyone else can see it!  I have always felt that I was never good enough.  Even after I married my amazing husband who always tried to make me feel loved and show his love.  I always justified his actions as something that as a husband he feels like he needed to do, it was his duty.  I would tell myself that he only married me because I was at the right place at the right time.  How sad is that?!  I never allowed myself to feel his love.  It wasn't that he wasn't trying to love me or he was doing anything wrong.  He was doing all the right things!  It was me, as his wife, that would not accept what he was giving me.  Did I ever even realize this before?  Nope!  Not in the slightest.  I just thought I need to talk myself down because that is what I witnessed from every other woman around me.  If you thought that you were great, you were conceited.  If I said anything good about myself, it was always a joke.

Then one day, something amazing happened!  Reese was about nine months old and I was going into the mother's room at the church to change her diaper.  There was another woman in there with her daughter who was around the same age and she started talking about getting a workout group together.  I  knew I needed to change something because I just wasn't happy with where I was.  I was never happy and I thought, "If I could just lose weight and look like all of those skinny girls, I would be happy!"  I took her up on her offer and decided to start going, to see where it would take me.  At first these workouts were full of "I hate this!"  "I can't do that!"  "Ha Ha!  You're funny if you think I am going to accomplish that!"  My set goals for myself were right where I was currently.  I couldn't see what greatness I actually held!  I started a diet challenge with some of these ladies that were working out with me.  My first week my goal was to have a positive attitude during my workouts.  Something amazing happened!  All of a sudden, I could do 10 push-ups on my toes.  I could run farther.  I could squat lower.  I could do all the things that the skinny girls could do!  I WAS STRONG!  That week, I lost 6 pounds!  That is like biggest loser status people!  I was on a roll!  In that first diet challenge, I lost 11 pounds!  It was a great jump start!  I would consistently lose 2-4 pounds a week.  I was getting so excited!  All of a sudden, my clothes didn't fit anymore!  I had to buy smaller sizes.  All of a sudden, I could allow my husband to LOVE me!  I could love myself!  And you know what happened?  He liked complimenting me more!  I would accept what he had to say!  He was more attracted to me, because I allowed him into my "circle", not just because I was skinnier.  I could truly see myself as a daughter of God!  That I was worth fighting for!  I was worth it!  I was going to achieve my goals!  I was going to become better!  I really started to love myself because I saw my potential and ability rather than just looking the mirror and seeing something/everything that was wrong with me.  I saw myself the way that my Father in Heaven saw me!  Then I decided I wanted to challenge myself and do a race, not just any race, a triathlon!

While training for a race, it can be pretty exhausting to keep your mental capacity where it needs to be.  You constantly have to be positive and ready for the next training day.  You're often sore and feel 80 years old but after a hard run or workout you feel great!  It was worth the pain!  I started signing up for a lot of different races.  I was doing as many as I could because I loved how it felt!  Beating my last score!  Keeping the right pace!  Passing the person in front of you!  (I might be just a little competitive...)  It was a fabulous time full of self fulfillment.  And as it always goes, life happened.  I hit some boulders on my pathway.  Some pretty big boulders.  All of a sudden, I was back where I started.  At least I still had my lifeline of exercise, but mentally, I was right where I started, thinking, "I can't do that!"  "This is so hard!"  "Why am I out here?!"

One day, my daughter slipped and fell and was crying for mom.  As I was comforting her a very disturbing thought came to my mind, "She wouldn't love you if she knew how really awful you are!  If she knew all of the evil things you have done, this beautiful girl would run the other way."  It shocked me!  It terrified me!  I HATED that I thought that!  Maybe I needed something so vile go through my head to wake me up, but it shook me to the very core!  I knew that I had changed!  I KNEW that I was different from before!  I KNEW I was worthy to be her mother and to be loved!  Why would I throw myself away like that?!  The next few days were full of a lot of introspection.  They were also full of frustration and anger and a VERY difficult 8 mile run!  I was tired of those feelings and I needed to remember that I was worth it!  I started looking in the mirror and would force myself to only look at the things that I loved about myself.  First it was just my eyes, then it was my smile, then it was my shoulders, and as I worked down my body in the mirror, I finally saw the goodness again!  It is an amazing feeling to look at myself and LOVE myself!  To appreciate all of my imperfections.  My body is perfect!  Maybe not by the normal "standard", but my body is perfect for me!  My body is something given to me by my loving Heavenly Father and it is able to do so many amazing and beautiful things!  It can grow and nourish a child!  It can love another human.  It can be a vehicle for attraction for my marriage!  (It's OK to FEEL sexy for your spouse! I know, crazy right?!)  It is able to run until my mind tells it to stop!  It is so resilient!  It has been punished for 24 years of me putting myself down!  And it has even made a comeback and will perform with such grace and beauty, like nothing ever happened!  This body of mine is such a GIFT!  Why do we abuse it so?!  Why do I think I NEED that piece of chocolate cake?!  (Not that the chocolate cake is always a bad thing...) Why do I think it is OK to put it down and say it isn't so wonderful?!

Have you ever thought about all that your body is capable of?!  Think about it!  The limits that people on this earth have been able to reach because they just WILL their body to achieve it!  And we are still breaking records and still changing the molds.  If we just pushed those awful mental blocks to go away and only allowed those strong thoughts and positive meanings to come through, how much stronger would we be?!  Your body is PERFECT the way it is right now!  You are where you are for a reason!  Weather it be to heal from grief or protecting yourself from pain.  When you are ready and want to get there, your body will allow you!  It is not just calories or workouts.  It is often just allowing you to love yourself RIGHT NOW!  Right where you are today!  Appreciating your imperfections because they have something to teach you too!   And you know what, I am still not one of those "skinny" girls like I thought I would be.  But I am so much happier where I am now, than if I was starving myself. (because let's me honest I have some very strong legs!  ;))  I know I still have a ways to go.  I am training for a marathon for crying out loud, but I know that I will get there, because it is time for me to let go of the sad/unmotivated/gross conversation in my head.  It is time to push forward!  Appreciate what I am today, and work to be better tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Colosseum and New Years

The Colosseum.  This was the very first thing I saw when we got to Rome because we got off the metro and BAM! it was across the street.  I LOVE this building!  The fact that it was finished being built around 80 AD and it has gone through SO much and is still standing truly is remarkable.  I don't like to think about all the sad and disturbing things that happened here, but it is incredible to see the strength it conveys.   
This is the "basement" of the Colosseum.  This is where they held all of the prisoners, animals, everything they used to make the fights interesting.  It was of course covered when it was being used.
Through one of the arches you see this next to the building.  It was pretty fantastic too. 

If you were to go watch an execution or fight, this is what it would have looked like as you were looking for your seat.  It is seriously the size of a football stadium. 

Another view

This was the last night before we came home.  Todd and I and just had a wonderful dinner together of the best pizza I think I have ever had and we were walking back to our room and the view was just too good not to take a picture!  It is like our picture of us saying goodbye to Rome. 
New Years was CRAZY!  This was the view from our window in our hotel just after midnight.  If you notice all of those barricades, yeah that is so the ambulance can get in and out of the crowd.  You literally could not walk through all of this because it was just people.  People were lighting off M80s in the middle of this crowd and deafen us all for a few minutes.  Todd and I were in the middle of that when Midnight hit and as we're counting down, I start looking around and I notice multiple people around us have bottle of champagne and are shaking them.  I turned to Todd in a panic and said,"Todd we have got to move, we have got to get out of here!"  He just smiled at me and asked, "Where are we gonna go?!  It is everywhere!  We just have to bunker down and deal with it!"  I resigned my need to move and just kind of went with the flow.  Luckily we didn't get too much alcohol on us, and surprisingly it smelled good, so I didn't mind too much.  :)

Us right in the thick of it.  We were a little overwhelmed if you can't tell!

There was a huge stage in the middle of the road with a couple bands playing music.  This picture was taken before the party really started so that is why we look so happy! :)  So that is why we look blue, but if you look in the back ground you can see the Colosseum.  It was an awesome place to celebrate the new year!
Our girls enjoying their spoils from Italy.  We missed these two face dearly while we were away!  Luckily while we were there we were able to facetime with them every day.  We truly appreciate my parents for taking care of our precious girls while we were away!  Family truly is a blessing!
This trip was so much fun!  It was good to spend time with Todd's family without the stress of everything that has been going on since June.  It has been a very tough year, and it was good to just let loose for a few days and not have to stress about anything.  Todd's parents basically paid for the trip, and as fun as this trip was we would much rather have them here to share our lives with.  I am glad we decided to do this, because I think we all needed it! 

The Vatican

The main dome in St. Peters Basilica.  This building was RIDICULOUS!  Just to give you a frame of reference, you can fit a football field in this dome.  As in the end zone is sitting in the dome and an end zone is sitting on the floor.  That is how tall it is!  And if you notice how ornate and detailed it is, that is how the entire ceiling of this HUGE building looked.  Absolutely marvelous! 

The Pietra.  This is the first commission that Michelangelo did for the church.  It is of Mary holding the Savior after his crucifixion.

This is the pulpit.  Under this canopy is where Peter's body supposedly lies. 

Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this building, look behind us, yeah those are people walking around.  It is HUGE.  It is ridiculous how big this building is and how much money went into it.  I have decided that no one should give the LDS church a hard time EVER again!

The Swiss Guard.  I loved their uniforms!

This was one of the sculptures Michelangelo used as inspiration when he painted the Sistine chapel.  We did see the Sistine Chapel, but pictures weren't allowed and we wanted to respect their reasoning behind it.  It was pretty amazing though.  
Behind me is St. Peter's Square.  It is huge and pretty amazing how old it is. 


This is the Pantheon.  It was originally built as a temple for the pagan gods, but that was later changed to a catholic church.  It has Rafael's tomb in it.  If you have seen/read Angels and Demons, this is part of the story...
On New Years Day we took a little day trip to the Mediterranean to this cute little town called Ostia Antica.  The ONLY place to eat that was open was this restaurant that specialized in sea food.  I was excited!  Most everyone else was not.  I ordered this spaghetti with lobster... AMAZING!  I was happy we stopped there!  :) 
Something about Rome that pretty much amazed me was there were ruins EVERYWHERE!  You really get the feeling of just how ancient this city really is!  Behind us used to be a huge palace that housed basically royalty.  Amazing!

The Mediterranean!  The water was so blue and beautiful!  The beach was completely lined with sea shells so it was pretty fun to go and pick out sea shells.  It was a beautiful beach and very quiet.  I think part of that is because a lot of people were hung over, but that's fine!

The Forum.  This was basically their shopping mall.  It was cool to walk through all of this and see what it used to be!  The work that went into the beauty of their city was absolutely awesome!

This was a typical street, notice all the cars.  Those were basically what all the cars looked like.  A lot of smart cars are driven there.  And don't step out in front of a car assuming they will slow down, they don't!

This is the best gelato in Rome!  As in, the Pope comes here to get his gelato!  We found this amazing place the last day we were there... unfortunately.  After you pick what kind of ice cream you want they ask if you want cream.  I wasn't exactly sure what they meant and then I saw this HUGE bowl full of FRESH whipping cream!  You had better believe I want cream!  It was some of the best ice cream I have ever had! 

These are the spanish steps.  This was the day before New Years and there were a LOT of people in the city!  But it was pretty beautiful and a very nice part of the city to visit!

Castle St. Angelo.  We weren't able to go in here because it was closed for the holiday, but even just to walk around it was pretty magnificent.  Also, this is another Angels and Demons kind of place.... This is where they kept the cardinals in the book.  Just giving you a frame of reference.  :)

Rafael's Tomb in the Pantheon

Circo Maximo.  Behind us is where they held their chariot races.  Also, if you notice the buildings behind us... those are part of the ruins as well.  Absolutely amazing to be there!

This is called the Trevi Fountains.  They are huge and absolutely spectacular.  If you throw a coin over your right shoulder into the fountain you basically promise to return to Rome someday.  I am really hoping I keep that promise!  :)

We did a lot of this!  We probably walked at least 5 or more miles a day.  I loved moving all the time!  It was a lot of fun!


When we first got on the plane.  We look happy, fresh and excited!  We had a non-stop flight from SLC to Paris... yeah a long flight!  I got some sleep but mostly we were just excited!
This was our first gelato in Italy.  I am in love of gelato.  We had at least one a day!  Delicious!  If you notice the street behind us, it was still decorated for Christmas and it was BEAUTIFUL!  We loved walking down the streets with tons of lights and decor.  It truly was magical! 
This is our illegal picture of the David by Michelangelo.  Those other sculptures in the hall are unfinished works by Michelangelo.  They were beautiful and it was pretty surreal to be looking at such a famous work of art!  It is beautiful, and as you can tell, it's quite large as well!
This is Michelangelo's tomb.  It was in a church named San Croce and this church also had the tombs of Galileo, as well as Nicolini.  It was pretty cool to be in such a place!

This is the Duomo in Florence.  This is THE church in Florence.  It was SO beautiful!  The outside of it was just magnificent and very large! 
We decided that we wanted to climb to the very top of the Duomo.  So we climbed 463 steps to the top!  A lot of the way it looked just like this staircase, but as you start climbing over the dome part, it gets a little sketchy.  It was definitely an adventure!
This is the view from the top!  Worth every single step!  It was so gorgeous to look out over the city and all that it holds!  Italy truly is full of beauty!  No wonder why so many artists came from this area of the world!

There is a river that goes through Florence and it is flanked by many apartment buildings and shops.  If you notice, the bottom floor of all the buildings are shops and merchants, and the other floors are apartments.  That is how most of the buildings were there.  It was pretty amazing really! 
We thought this picture was pretty funny... David always gives us that look though so nothing new! Behind us is a bridge that has a bunch of gold jewelers on it.  It is pretty cool to walk through there, but it is VERY high end... we didn't purchase anything in that part of town..  ;) 

This is the inside of the Duomo.  Isn't it beautiful?!  Very exquisite work!

The morning we left Florence we decided we wanted to do a Segway tour.  BEST. IDEA. EVER!  We LOVED it!  I seriously want to purchase one!  I just have to live closer to town to justify it though...  

Florence was so amazing!  There are seriously just piazzas full of sculptures and works of art!  It is a smaller city so it definitely had a charming feel.  We stayed just down the street from the Duomo and it was pretty spectacular to walk outside of our hotel and see this building just down the street!  We were only in Florence for really only a day and a half and then we took a train to Rome.  Just being there for that long, we did a lot and had a great experience! 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Thank you Grammie!

As most of you know, we recently lost Todd's Mom to cancer.  It has been SUCH a hard few months full of tears, fears, stress, and work.  Along with all of this pain has come a lot of peace and love from our family and our Savior.  For the past few months, I have been here helping her do her daily activities and making sure she has been comfortable.  There have been some pretty easy weeks, and some very discouraging and distressing weeks.  Days full of weakness and worry.  Days full of laughter and smiles.  Days full of medication and supplements.  Days full of prayer and hope.  In the end she returned to be with her eternal companion and has left the pains of this life.  It hasn't always been easy to share my feelings with her.  I always loved her, but there were always the things I just didn't understand or couldn't comprehend.  As I have served her and sat by her bed, fed her, washed her, dressed her, talked of her worries, something amazing happened, I really learned to LOVE her!  She was such an amazing person and I am so grateful I was able to be there in the last few hours of her life.  I hope that I can share her legacy with my girls and my family.  I miss her so much that I can hardly put it into words.  I know that she is watching over us and will be around as we go about our days.  But for now, thank you Grammie!  Thank you for being an amazing mother, for sharing your talents and for loving me even when I probably wasn't the easiest person to be around!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Some Fun in the Fisherhood

 Lily loves to make this face, and we think it's pretty cute...
 On August 25th, I ran a relay race with 4 other ladies from our ward.  It was SO much fun!  I even got my own little cheering section during part of the race.  Our team ended up taking 3rd in the women's category.  It was HUGE for me!  I have never gotten anything like that when doing the races, so it was exciting for me to bring something home other than a sense of accomplishment!  :)  We ran 31 miles in 4:11:57.  WAHOO!
 Todd is teaching them while they are young...
 Todd tried on his mom's wig the other day, this apparently is his Zoolander Face... nice!
 For our anniversary we took a much needed quick trip to Lagoon for the day.  We jumped into one of the photo booths and used Todd's phone for some free pictures!  hehe
 I am not exactly sure why, but I just LOVE this picture! 
 Reese was eating an ice cream cone at the fair the other day... yeah VERY MESSY experience. 
 We found this at Todd's mom's house and Todd decided to bring it home!  :)  It has been wonderful having it! 
We attempted to let Reese ride rides at the fair, yeah this is what happened...
So we tried again, and this is what happened... so we stopped trying.  Hopefully someday, she'll be daring like her sister, but if not it'll probably save us a lot of money in the long run.  :)

We have been busy starting school and doing all sorts of fun things.  I know I am a slacker and didn't get a picture of Lily on her first day of school.  Maybe I will get a picture of her on her 4th day of school though!  lol we are doing a joy school with some ladies in our ward as well and she is loving it so far1  I love how grown up she is, and how much she is learning!  LOVE HER!