Monday, January 8, 2018


It's that time of year again!  

Time to choose my ONE WORD for 2018.

Here are my ONE WORDS for the past several years:






I look forward to choosing MY WORD for the next year starting in November.  I have had several words floating around in my head for the past couple of months, and guess what?  I can't remember a SINGLE one!  Not a one!  The interesting thing about that is, I DO remember the word that I chose for 2018, was NOT one of them.  
When I first thought of this year's word, (and it just came to me like...viola!), I still wasn't certain it was the right one.  Maybe because it came so effortlessly and easily, that I thought there was no way it could happen that painlessly.  I mulled it over in my mind and really doubted if it was "the one", but then I had confirmations every where I turned manifesting to me beyond any doubt that it was to be my word.  The word popped up in conversations, in quotes, in my Sunday School lesson, in the talks at church, in my readings, on billboards, on the radio, even on the back of car.  I never look at the name of cars -- ever --but I was prompted to for some reason, and when I saw my word on the back of car (the car's name), I had to just laugh up at heaven!  I'm telling you this word was trying to make sure I had zero possibility of replacing it with a different one.  It was everywhere!  It wants to be my word. It has more than proven that to me at least a dozen and a half times.  Sooo.....I consented to it and I chose it for my word for the entire year of 2018. I mean how can you doubt something that obvious when it keeps appearing to you in the strangest of ways?  It's like heaven was trying to knock it into me with all the powers that be.  Okay, I give!  I get it. I have acknowledged that this word is to be mine.
It is a great word.  
The more I have thought about it, the more I see why it is supposed to be my word this year.  It has been amazing how my brain has opened up to see the reasoning behind the importance of me choosing this word. I love when things like this just fall into your lap without a struggle.  It doesn't happen often for me and so I am counting my blessings. 
What is the word?  Well, I guess you could scroll ahead and find out because I will have it everywhere in the rest of this post, OR you could try and guess it?
Here are a few hints:
  • Most people probably use it in their conversations at least once a day.
  • Some of it's synonyms are: hub, center, target.
  • Some of it's antonyms are: outside, exterior, surface.
  • One of it's Webster definition's is: a center of activity, attraction, or attention.
  • It's something that I need to do to improve many aspects of my life.
  • If I can improve those aspects of my life, I will feel like I lost a 150 lb weight on my shoulders.
One more hint via story form: (another one of those things I happened to read that told me, "'Ah-ha'....this is your word."
A lady went to the Bishop and said, "I won't be attending church anymore." He said, "May I ask why?"

She said, " I see people on their cell phones texting and typing during the service, some are gossiping, some just aren't living right, some are sleeping, some are staring at me, they are all just hypocrites."The bishop was silent. Then he said, "Can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?"She said, "Sure, whats that?"
He said, "Take a glass of water and walk around the church two times and don't let any water fall out of the glass." She said, "Yes, I can do that!" She went and got a glass of water and walked around the church two times. She came back and proudly said, "It's done."The bishop asked her, "Did you see anybody on their phone?; Did you see anyone gossiping?; Was anybody living wrong?; Did you see anyone sleeping?" She said, "I didn't see anything because I was so focused on this glass, so the water didn't spill out."
He told her, "When you come to church, you should just focus on the Savior, so that you don't fall. That's why Jesus said, "Come follow me, He did not say follow Mormons."
Don't let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.
Figure it out YET???
Okay, one more hint:
So, what is it????




So, WHY did I choose this word, or rather why did it choose me?

I believe the main reason is because I have a load of weight I have been trying to lose for the past several years and no matter how hard I try, I can't get it to budge.  This weight has been literally weighing me down and has prevented me from moving forward in many aspects of my life.  I know once I can get rid of the excess pounds I will feel free and more alive.
What is this weight?

Well...mainly those things that I have had hanging over my head for a while that I have a hard time accomplishing.  Most of them I have a hard time even just beginning.  I won't list them all here, but a few of the most pressing ones are:
  • Tyson's headstone
  • Print my blog books (from 2008 on)
  • Organize my bedroom so it's more of a haven
  • Remodel master bath
  • Finish basement
  • Organize gift stock
  • Purge garage and basement
  • Family History names done
You get the idea...

Most of them have been on my list of things to do for a very long time which tells me I need to start doing something different in order to accomplish them.  I hope putting my FOCUS on them is the ticket I've been looking for. 

I think I have lost my ability to multitask like I could when my boys were small.  I think multitasking is one of those gifts young mothers develop out of necessity and when the necessity is gone, so is the gift.  At least in my case.  Now, when I multitask, I tend to lose my focus.  So, it's like chasing two rabbits, I catch none.  

I have tried to convince myself that the reason I am not accomplishing these things is due to a lack of time, but deep down I know if they were a priority, I would FIND the time.  We all find the time for those things we really want to do.  

I think some of them have not been checked off my list because of fear.  Simple fear.  Fear they won't be done perfectly (headstone) or fear I will get so bored doing them that I can't finish the task (blog books) or fear of not being able to make decisions (bathroom and basement).  

Whatever the reason, I feel like this is the year I MUST get them done.  I honestly feel like my word was given to me in order to help me achieve this.  I need to stop allowing myself to be distracted either with excuses or with things that don't matter in the long run.  I am going to make a weekly and monthly plan and pick at least one to accomplish.  I will not expect perfection, just improvement.  What I have learned is the hardest part of ANY task (in my case) is just BEGINNING!  If I can take that leap and just BEGIN (my one word in 2014), then I know I will be able to accomplish all of them. Maybe not 100% this year, but hopefully at least get a good start on most of them.

"The successful warrior is the average man with laser like focus."

My plan is to eliminate distractions as much as possible.  How am I going to do this?
  • Make a plan for each day of week with specific ways to accomplish the big things in small chunks. (Prepare this on Sunday).
  • Get up early and immediately follow daily plan (will be different each day) which includes a plan to accomplish big goals.
Also do the small things (below) which in truth really are the BIG things:
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • Scripture reading and daily morning prayer
  • No social media, no email, no correspondence until planned quota for the day is done
  • Practice harp before begin day
  • Reward self when accomplish major goal

It might not always be done in this order, but I plan on my making my mornings much more productive by following through on this.  Do I plan on succeeding at this list 100% every single day?  Nope.  In fact, the reason I choose ONE WORD each year instead of a bunch of New Year's resolutions is because of the fact that I know I have great ideas and great plans on January 1st, but come March 1st, I am usually very discouraged my plans have not panned out.  Therefore, I am going to FOCUS on the word FOCUS and that is good enough.  If I only accomplish 50% or even 30% of the big things on my list, then I will be happy.  30% is better than 0% and 0% is where I am starting out right now on the big stuff.  So pressure is OFF!  But hope is ON!

I believe if I begin to FOCUS more on what I want to accomplish and learn how to FOCUS better by eliminating distractions, then I will be able to gain a lot of ground.  I know it's impossible to eliminate all of life's distractions, and frankly, I don't want to.  Some of my distractions bring me joy.  My plan is to be flexible, but move continually forward.

A few motivating quotes:


I am now focusing on being focused!

Okay, wish me luck!  

This Ted Talk video (top one) came across my path as I was evaluating my word this year.  I almost chose the word STOICISM but I think I will save that for next year.  However, these Ted Talks are great motivators to help give you the kick in the pants you need to tackle those things that you are having a hard time beginning. Watch one or two....

Monday, January 1, 2018

*Monday Memos* (Christmas Edition)


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear christmas!  Amazingly, everyone slept in until about 8 a.m.  Well, everyone that is, except me.  I was wide awake at 5:30 even though I didn't get to bed until after 1 a.m.  Sleep, where are you?  I was in the bathroom brushing my hair and heard Carson come in.  He was so excited!  Bryce still wasn't home. I text him and he said he was just getting ready to leave.  The roads were too bad to travel on last night.  He said he couldn't even see out of his front windshield. I am glad he waited, other than we started without him which was sad.  Carson was pretty exited to see his stuff.  Christmas turns magical when you have little ones around, that's for sure.  He was so fun!  Between what we got him and what Sky and Sarah did, he made out pretty well!
The boys seemed happy.  They better be.  I spent that last two months trying to make  sure they were.  Not an easy job.  We have big Christmases around here.  Good?  Bad?  Not sure, but that's how it is.  At least for now.  I blame Dave's mom for starting that tradition.  Hah  I got some PURPLE sorrel boots from Sky and Sarah!  Wow!  I had no idea they even made purple ones.  Sky got them from New York.  It was Sarah's idea. I'm pretty excited about those!  
I also got a purple nativity made by Jim Shore which I really wanted.  I love it!  I hope everyone was happy with what they got. They were all very appreciative.  Bryce showed up at 11 a.m. and he was more excited to give out his gifts than to see what he got.  My boys are always very generous.  However, I wish they would just save their money.  
It was a good day other than the stress over getting Sky to cooperate in the pictures.  Grrr....   I got a couple of the boys once Bryce arrived but not what I wanted.  
FIRST time having all these boys together for Christmas in SIX YEARS!  
What a blessing to have them all here this year.  
Sky didn't last long.  Glad I got what I did!
My parents never came and never came and I kept texting them.  We had already eaten breakfast by the time they arrived.  Carson was so cute with them.  

Once they arrived, I did Carson's treasure hunt for his giant Panda.  He was so cute and excited.  It was a lot of fun seeing how excited he was.  He would find one Panda and take it to Dave to read the clue and then go find the next one.  He was very happy to see the giant Panda in the shower!  Haha  It was a blast!  So happy to have a little one around!  
Each one had a little poem telling him where to go next.
The person who hid it forgot to take the plastic off of it.  Haha
He called this Panda Mountain. I call it Panda-monium!
I played Oh Holy Night on the harp and Carson "accompanied" me on the piano.  Haha  We then got a few pix with my parents.  
The out-takes
Then we headed to the "farm" to get a few of just our family because this was the FIRST time we have all been together in SIX years!  Due to missions or Sky working in Texas or Bryce working in Vegas one year.  Six years!  That is too long!  So I REALLY wanted those pictures!  Happily, Sky was willing (after some duress).  
Not professionally done, and total spur of the moment, but I am GRATEFUL for what I got!  Sarah took these for us.  She did a good job I think.
I added my faves so I will have them here.
These were totally spontaneous, but I love them.
They turned out pretty good too!  That was seriously all I wanted for Christmas.  Pictures mean the world to me.  I know how valuable they are because life is fragile and after Tyson passed I was so grateful I had so many pix of him but regretted I didn't have more.  Especially professional ones or posed ones.  I have used his professional one from when he was 15 for almost all the stuff I post of him and I wish desperately I had one from when he was 17.  So I was very very very happy after we got these done.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief!  
We headed to Dave's parents house and everyone was there playing a game.  They ended it when we arrived and we chatted and opened gifts and ate stew and rolls and junk and had fun talking. I took Christmas Crack as per tradition.  Aubrey and Natalie and I talked about Aubrey being nearly engaged.  Not officially, but she's set a date for the wedding.  These kids are all growing up way too fast.  I can't believe Karen will have two married and I won't have any!  Sad.  Scott gave me my gift.  A purple blanket.  So pretty and a book about cats peeing.  Only Scott.  Carolyn was home sick.  We had Karen and Barry's name this year and she loved the crepe maker and bowl.  Dave's parents loved the calendar and everyone else gathered around to look at it.  It's always the hit because everyone loves to see themselves in it.  
Love all these!
We went in with Scott and Carolyn to give Dave's parents a gift to The Roof and we are all going to take them. Dave and I also gave them dinner every Thursday night. I hope I can pull that off!  We shall see!  That is going to be tough.   But we have to eat anyway and we cook dinner so we decided we should take some to them. Our life is just so crazy that I hope we don't forget or are gone too many Thursdays because that is about our only free night now.  They were very excited!  His Dad is such a sweet man. I just love him and always have.  I feel bad we haven't been doing this sooner because his mom doesn't cook anymore.  We all played a game called 5 Second Rule and it was intense but hilarious.  Barry makes any game hilarious.  The girls won the guys and so Karen made him sing "You are the champions".  We were all rolling on the floor.  He is one of a kind that's for sure.  

We all pitched in and cleaned up the house and then everyone left at the same time.  Our boys had all left earlier.  Carson was so cute when we got home and wanted to watch a movie. I just wanted to crash and go to bed for about a month!  I survived another one!  Now for the aftermath!  Argh......

dear tuesday, I got up and tried to get some things done before Carson woke up.  He woke up about 7:30 and I asked him to help me make crepes because I promised them to Taylor and Sarah.  He was good with that for about 10 minutes and then just wanted me to play with him in the playroom.  McKay came to the rescue so I could finish making breakfast.
But then I had to run after eating...not my idea of fun. I only got in 5 miles and should have done 7 or so, but I called it good.  My training miles were horrible last week, but I don't worry too much about it because it's Christmas and it's always like that.  There's always too much to do that needs doing and so running takes a back seat.  When I got home, everyone was hanging out.  While I showered Sky and Sarah and Carson built a snowman.  Actually, a snowbear.  So cute.  

Carson also sledded down our hill.  He loves his new panda sled.  It's so cute! I can't believe I found it!  
Dave came home for lunch for a bit and then I played with Carson in the playroom.  I did my nails and then we watched some Disney show called Descendant's 2.  It was pretty entertaining. I fell asleep watching it for a few but he didn't.  We built his new Legos and they are pretty cool.  Then he had to take a nap. We had Lynn's party and Carson woke up just in time to go with us. The boys didn't come because they were watching a movie.  The party was fun.  I got to see Kylah and Nikki.  So cute.  We gave Lynn the same book that Tanae and Denver did.  It is called One by One.  We told him when he opened it he could call ours Two by Two.  hehe  Oh, well.   We had homemade ice cream and cake and Carson was ready to roll.  I was hoping he would interact more with other kids but he just wanted me.  We got home and I played with him again in the playroom.  He is a blast to hang out with. However, I was so beat, I just wanted to crawl in bed.  Too many stressful days and no sleep will do that to you.  Carson is so sweet and says things like, "I am sorry you are so tired."  Or he will rub my head and be so sweet and gentle.  That kid amazes me at his tenderness and love for others.  He is so young but so bright with how others are feeling.  When Dave got home from his meetings at 8:30, him, Sky and Taylor had a Dr. Mario contest which went on until 10:30 pm.  But I'm glad because it gave Sarah and I a chance to talk.  We talked about her life before and Carson's deadbeat dad.  She has been reading all the family newsletter poems through the years and told me that it's unheard of that we have five boys and all of them had amazing grades and are all such outstanding humans.  No smoking, all have jobs or are in school, all good students, all amazing boys.  She said that is like impossible from where she comes from.  She is blown away how they all help with the dishes and with anything that needs to be done.  She is constantly in awe of all that.  She wanted to know how I did it when Dave was in medical school and residency by myself.  I told her I was basically a single mom for eight years and I have no idea how I did it to be honest.  It was tough I do know that.  We then got talking about Tyson.  Oh, that was tough.  We originally started talking about medical school and how we moved away and ended up back here when we needed to be when Tyson was born and that turned into the story of the progression of his disease starting with his birth and first surgery.  I told her all about the day he passed away even up to the point of where the mortician (Merle, our friend and neighbor) came to get his body and his two good friends (Matt and Ryan) were in my room by him just sobbing. And how Dave's parents and Kevin and Tori were at a play and they all left to come over.  My parents came as well.  I had a hard time talking about it. I told her about how when we took Sky to the MTC and I got a photo of all the boys together there, that I had the thought that this might be the last time all these boys are together here on earth...and it was.  I told her how close Sky and Tyson were and how hard that was on Sky to lose his best buddy.  And how hard Tyson tried to stay well so he would be here for when Sky got home from his mission.  He only missed it by three short months.  Heartbreaking to me.  I told her how I heard a voice that day saying that he would be going home today.   I told Tyson that it was okay for him to go.  That he didn't need to try to fight it and that it was okay.  I remember how tough that was to say, but also how bad I wanted him to know he didn't have to fight to stay any longer because he was so sick.  So sick...  Oh man, I haven't opened up that much about it for a long time and I was struggling to even talk.  She had tears streaming down her face as I talked.  She has a very tender heart.  I need to go back and read my journal during that time to get everything back in my head, but I think it might be too painful.  I have felt very close to him this Christmas.  I know he is nearby. I also told Carson how much Tyson would have loved him and then I said, "I bet you and Tyson were buddies in heaven before you came down and I bet he had something to do with you being a part of our family because Tyson would just love you!"  I truly believe that.  Those two would be so cute together.  I love watching my boys interact with him.

dear wednesday, I hit the hills this morning. I did 10 repeats.  I need to get up to 15 in a few weeks.  It wasn't too bad. I didn't listen to music but more like meditated while I ran.  Sometimes I want to just use the time to clear my head.  Today was one of those days.  I hurried and got ready and then me and McKay and Taylor headed to our annual ice skating family fun tradition at the Ice Sheet in O town.  We stopped at iQue first to get McKay's phone repaired.  We were the first ones at the ice rink from the fam and the line was a mile long!  We stood in line for about 30-40 minutes.  Sky and crew showed up and then Linda's fam and Brian's fam and some of Scott's.  Karen's fam was much later than everyone else.  We had a good time and it's always a fun time to make good memories with the cousins.  They are all so cute together.  I wish Bryce could have come. Carson did really well but got tired and started to cry and so I took him out and bought him a treat.  
We had three photo bombers in this one.  HILARIOUS! 
Look at that sweet little face!
He was getting the hang of it!
Cute cousins!
Cousin train.....
Being silly!
We always have such a fun time!  
Our traditional Penalty Box photo!
We headed to Eastern Winds for our traditional lunch after.  It was a lot of fun.  I was in a silly mood, of course I usually am when I am around Karen and her girls and the nieces.  It was fun.  We picked up McKay's phone and headed home and I tried to catch up with all the stuff Christmas put me behind THIS! 

dear thursday, it was a very pretty day this morning. I headed out west and LOVED how nice it was!  :)  It's been a long time since I have seen such a perfect day!  But I know it won't last :( so I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I came home and did a lot of things that I put off because of Christmas.  It's so nice having Taylor and McKay home!  I can't really remember what else happened today.  Sigh...
Mr. Cat posing for me...

dear friday, it was a gorgeous day today!  The sun was shining and the temps were in the high 20's when I took off on my run.  I had to shed my jacket.  I was going to do 5 miles today but when I got going and it felt so much warmer than usual, I decided to do 8 and get my long run over with today.  I came home and hurried and got ready and then met my mom at Tiff's house in Willard.  Britt is here from California and so we planned a lunch for my Mom's birthday.  Mark showed me the house and it is amazing.  It was built in the 1860's and they have restored it.  The new part is really nice though.  

I didn't realize Cyndi was bringing all her kids and even though Tiff couldn't come, her kids did as well as Britt's.  I talked my Dad into coming as well.  We had 12 in our party.  We arrived at Maddox at 2 pm and had to wait almost one full hour!  Sheesh!  I was getting ancy!  That never happens at 2!  Anyway, we had a good lunch and then headed back to Tiff's for a bit.  
My parents with cute Kailani!
I ran some errands and then got home and was so beat.  Not sure why. I think the longer miles are taking their toll already!  JK.  It's actually because I NEVER SLEEP!  Oh well.  Such is life!  

dear saturday, I got up about 5:30 am and worked on stuff I am behind on such as this blog!  I am so behind!  But I am determined to catch up!  Then I met Robin for our long run. I told her I was only going to go 8 because I did 8 yesterday and I was only supposed to do 8.  Well, I ended up going 10.  Not sure if that is going to be good or not because now from here on out, the numbers increase!   Next week is 13!  Then 14!  Then I get a break and a 10, but after that it goes to 16, 17, and 13.  Then the long ones hit.  I know it will come fast and so I probably should have let my body rest and only gone 5 since I did 8 yesterday.  Oh well, I am a bit behind in my accumulative miles.  I came home and cleaned and Sarah text saying they are coming up today....probably for the weekend.  I am excited.  I hurried and got my Christmas Elf Shop cleaned up in my room.  Yay!  They came later than expected so I had more time than I thought.  I even got my harp practicing in!  Double yay!  When they arrived Carson wanted to "play".  He is so cute.  Can't turn that boy down.  So we played.  We watched a show in my room but ended up reading books to him.  I made fudge for tomorrow. 

dear sunday aka new year's eve, we headed to church.  I was grateful I didn't have to teach or play the piano today. I would have had no time to prepare.  Carson wore his cute suit and he is so proud of himself with how handsome he looks.  He is a doll.  He was excited to go to his class.  I wish I could get Sky and Sarah to stay after sacrament too, but I am so grateful they come to that.  Carson loves Tammy.  Unfortunately, this is the last week she will be his teacher and so I'm not sure how that will all work out for him.  Worries me some.  It was the last week with our Sunday School class.  I will miss them.  We had combined (5th Sunday) for RS and Troy taught.  He does a great job and goes all out. Even had a power point today.  Soooooo not looking forward to church starting at 1:00 next year.  That's my least favorite time.  

Dave chillin' with Mr. Cat.

I made Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscano soup for the party tonight.  It turned out great.  
Carson wanted to take a nap with me. I was SO glad because I needed one especially since we will be up so late tonight.  He laid by me for a bit then went to find his mom and then Sky laid him down alone so he would actually sleep.  Dave wasn't feeling well and so I went to the party with Taylor and McKay. Sky and fam came later.  Dave never made it.  It was fun. We played lots of fun games and Barry had us all laughing as per tradition. He is hilarious that's for sure.  Parties are never boring when he's there.
Nat was dying at my drawings on Telestration.  Too funny!
We played Telestrations. Fun game.  The Garrett's never made it due to illness.  We stayed up to countdown and then watched the ball drop. Carson was bright eyed and bushy tailed the entire time.  He did some poppers I gave him for Christmas.  I got to bed about 1:30 a.m.  Sigh......

2018 is going to be one amazing year!


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