Monday, February 2, 2015

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)

dear very busy week, I actually survived and lived to tell about it! 

dear tired taylor, it appears college life is wearing you out!  You came home Monday afternoon and fell asleep in a very uncomfortable way!  No idea how you actually slept like that, but you did! 

You didn't get much of a nap because then you went out with the missionaries to do visits. I snapped this one of you when you got back.
 After that you had a city ball game.  Most of your team was unable to make it and so Josh (your old high school teammate) joined the team as well as a couple others I didn't know.

 You had a lot of jumping and defensive play going on.
 It's always so fun to watch you play.  I got to talk to Josh's mom during the game and she just cracks me up.  I miss those days where we spent SO many hours watching you boys play.  I think you started at age nine on a comp team and I can't believe how fast those years flew by!

 You and Josh after the game was over.  You were not happy about the loss.  You rarely let a loss get to you, but this one was tough for some reason.  Probably because you guys were so much better than the team that beat you, but you didn't have your actual team tonight and that made the difference.

 Mr. Cat consoling you.
I'm just happy you get to come home once a week! 

dear tuesday, you were one of those days that make you think deeply about life.  Without giving out too much info, let's just say that I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with.  Life can turn on a dime and we never know when that dime is in the mood to turn.  But once again, I can firmly say that gratitude is the key to getting through those turns in life.  There is such a huge power in that principle that I wish it was taught in school!

dear deer, oh are a deer dear.  You are hard to spot, but you are there in the middle of the photo.  I love seeing you in my backyard!  It was such a beautiful day and you made it even more so.  This photo is historical as well.  How so?  Well, see that purple gazing ball?  It no longer exists.  It became a casualty of a soccer ball this week thanks to Bryce.  I think I have replaced it three times now.  But never in January.  In January it's usually covered in snow.

dear training, I haven't really felt the training yet because I was already running as far and as often as my training is at this point, but that's all going to change here in about a week or two when it increases a lot.  I can't believe this is January!  I have been running in just a lightweight long sleeve pullover.  I didn't even wear gloves most days this week.  It's been great, I'm loving it!  It is usually 20-30 degrees colder and the roads and trails are usually snow-packed or icy this time of year.  The last time we had a real snowstorm was on Christmas.  Definitely can't complain about winter this year!
This is a first for the month of January. Those are pansies!  And they are still alive.  They don't look so healthy, but they are still living!  Crazy!
I run past this purple house often- right in my hood.
These two were so excited to see me (as they are every day) as I came running up to them.  I am still sad about that For Sale sign in their yard. I am going to miss these pups terribly!  Izzy and Kaydance.  Just the sweetest dogs! 

dear day at the temple with friends, Dawn had invited me to go to the temple with her and Kathy on Wednesday.  I suggested they come up to the Brigham temple and so they did!  It was great!  Dawn gave us some names to do and then after we sat in the Celestial room and talked for a really long time!  It was great. 
 I am so glad Dawn likes to take pictures as much as I do.  She also has a blog and when you have a blog, you need photos or your posts are all just writing and that's no fun. Besides, there is no better way to preserve a memory than with a photo!  Her camera has a great timer and so most of these were taken with that.  We did ask some pedestrians if they would take a couple for us.

 I just love these women!  It's so crazy to think what good friends we have become when we weren't that close in high school.  We should have been because we just enjoy each others company so much.  We were pals, just not good friends.  Actually, I barely knew Dawn.  She was a year older than me.  I often wonder how different my life would be today if it were not for Facebook.  That is what brought us together again (as well as so many of my other old pals) and I'm so grateful for it.  
I love these two!

We then headed to Firehouse Pizza to get some of their breadsticks and a FHzookie to share.  Oh man that was soooooooo delish!
 There's never a dull moment with these two!

dear jazz game, after I got home from the temple, I had to get ready to head to the Jazz game. Our good friends the Parsons, let us have their season tickets for tonight's game.  We had six tickets and so Taylor invited his roomate CJ.   We stopped at Crown Burger and ate before heading to the game.
Taylor snap chatting the feast.

We had great seats!  We were on row 14! 
Never a dull moment!
Check out Taylor's sly photo bomb?  I didn't even notice until I was going through these pix.
After the game we made our traditional stop at Nielsen's Frozen Custard!

Oh man, that stuff is to die for!  I shared Dave's bumbleberry almond concrete!

dear hill repeats, I try and get you in at least once a week.  Today was super windy and if there is one thing I hate to run in, it's the wind.  It was brutal, but I did it.  I got in 12 repeats.  I should have done my usual 15 but I had to get home.  I always do them at the same place and I was shocked to find a penny today.  It's not the kind of place that a lot of people frequent and so I was really surprised. It made my day!  The photo of the plants is to show how strong the wind was.

dear mckay's church ball game, oh how I love watching these games!  Our boys are such good sports and so fun to watch.  Tonight's game was a close one unlike last weeks where we killed them.  We ended up winning.  These games are full of laughing and smiles and cheering each other on. Just a lot of fun to watch.  McKay had a great game.

dear long run, I had to do you on Friday because my Saturday this week is insane. I originally thought I had to go 12 miles, but discovered I only needed to do eight!  Yay!  I went with Robin and we just went around town. It was overcast and sprinkling and when we went past the temple, I had to capture this shot because as I was running past it, I just had the thought come to me that I am so blessed to be able to run right past a temple every single day.  Very few members of the church in this world have that privilege.  There is just something special about the feeling you get when you are near it. I feel very blessed.
Our no makeup selfie!

dear tender mercy... right before I was getting ready to head out to meet Robin on my run, my good friend Brooke text me saying that it was Hawaiian day at school that day and that her son Greyson was heart broken and said he can't go to school because he has nothing Hawaiian to wear.  She said he told her, "Well Jodi would have."  hah!  She responded with, "I am sorry I am not as good as Jodi son."  (Whatever - she is the most incredible woman on the planet!) and then she said he was one sad boy and how terrible she felt.  I told her that I would grab one of Tyson's Hawaiian shirts and run it by on my way to pick up Robin for our run.  I ran to his closet and started to look through all his shirts.  I knew that Tyson would be honored to have him wear any of them.  Each one brought back a visual of him wearing it.  After Tyson passed away McKay would sometimes wear those shirts. I remember the first time I saw him wearing one, it was really hard for me for some reason.  It made McKay feel close to him and so I let him wear them whenever he wanted, which was quite often for a while.  I don't often look at them, but it's always a bit emotional when I do.  I was trying to figure out which one wouldn't drown him and which one would be best, when I saw this yellow one that I totally forgot about.  It still had the tags on it.  I knew that was Tyson's way of saying to me, "Mom, give him this one.  That way he can keep it."   He knew that if I let him wear one of his I would have to have it back.  This way he got to keep it.  I felt Tyson's hand in this very strongly.  It was just so cool.  I ran it over to him and they were just pulling out of the driveway to head to school.  He was sitting in the van with a plaid shirt on and some pucca shells.  I handed it to him and his little face just lit up.  He was beaming.  It was so sweet.  I told him that I knew Tyson wanted him to have this shirt and he could keep it and wear it knowing that Tyson was honored he was wearing his shirt.
I took those first two pix and Brooke sent me the last one once he arrived at school.  He was so cute.  She sent me a text that said, "Greyson says, 'I hope I can grow into this shirt and grow into the man Tyson was!'"   She also told me she told him that Tyson wasn't a man but a kid when he passed away and that Greyson told her that he was a man not a kid.  We put two and two together and realized that Tyson died before Greyson was born.  That gave me a few chills!

On Sunday the doorbell rang and there was Greyson with some chocolate covered cinnamon bears and a card.  He was so sweet and thanked me for the shirt.  Check out Bentley (his little brother) in the background standing there so dang cute watching with his arms folded.  I invited them to come in for a bit and they were just so cute.  Look at that face on that sweet little guy.  He's just so precious!  I think in that last photo he is thinking, "Okay enough is enough!"  hah
 Check out Bentley in the background - hah!

This card was the sweetest thing ever.  It made me cry!  And look at the picture he drew of himself in his Hawaiian shirt!  I just love that boy!  What a cool experience.

dear another tender mercy...I had another tender mercy this week as well.  My dear friend Bonnie's mom passed away a few years ago and she is reminded of her when she sees butterflies or pansies or birds.  One day when I was out shopping, I found a frame that had pansies on it and a butterfly and it said MOM.  I KNEW immediately that I had to get it for her, not just because of those reasons but also because it was made by Lenox and we had both fell in love with this Lenox bowl a lady in our ward gave to someone at a wedding shower.  Well, for my birthday that year, Bonnie gave me the exact same bowl!  So for her birthday I gave her a Lenox bowl as well.  So this frame not only had pansies and butterflies but it was also a Lenox AND even the same pattern as the bowls!  Now if that isn't a direct send from heaven I don't know what is!!!  I bought the frame but decided to give it to her on her mom's angelversary which is in August.  That is until we were chatting about the women's conference this week that we are both speaking at and she told me that for her display she was going to set up photos of her parents as well as some pansies and birds and butterflies.  I KNEW then I had to get that frame to her so she could use it as part of her display. Then... when I got home there was a purple gratitude journal and a very nice card on my porch from her.  That was even more confirmation I needed to.  In her note she wrote that she was so touched by the Lenox bowl and card I had just given her for her birthday. I wanted to wrap that frame up right then and get it over to her!  I ended up leaving it on her porch early one morning when I was out on my run.  After she got it, she text me saying she was in tears and that Brad even got teary eyed.  I was so happy I gave it to her early. 
I know Heavenly Father directed me to find that frame because He wanted her to have it. I was just the one that found it because I was out shopping.  I also know that He wanted Greyson to have that shirt as well because I do not even remember anything about having that shirt or buying it.  It was just there waiting for the right moment.  Wow, Heavenly Father is amazing.  And so organized and so much a part of every little thing in all of our lives!  Both of these things strengthened my testimony of how real He is and how aware He is of all of us.  Heaven is much closer than we realize!

dear date night, this week we had our date night with friends.  We love the Herzogs and have a lot of fun with them.  They took us out to dinner because we are going to watch their cat and fish while they are gone later this month.  We ate at El Toro Viejo and then went to their house so they could show us what we needed to do.  We were mesmerized by the cat's electronic and flushable litter box.  Crazy!  We  didn't stay too late because I still had some loose ends to tie up on my presentation tomorrow.

dear stake relief society women's conference... the day finally arrived.  Not sure why I say finally, because it came way too fast for me.  I could have used another week to prepare even though I have given this presentation many times to many different groups.  But this time I just felt so nervous probably because it was for the entire stake as well as the fact that the other presenters were amazing and I was feeling rather inadequate. 
Program ↓ 

I went over early to get set up.  Thankfully I had Dave to help carry in the totes, but he ended up printing copies of my handout and so I didn't have all of them.  It was hard to set up without it all there, but I managed until he got the other one in.  I was a rather stressed about trying to get it all set up before the keynote speaker began.  I almost made it.  I was about 10 minutes late getting into the chapel.  Julie stayed with me and helped me finish up the final touches as did Kathryn. 
It looked like a party! 

I thought the display turned out pretty nice, especially compared to the last time I did it.  I had lots of help this time!  The theme of the conference was WHAT  MATTERS MOST.  My presentation was on family fun and celebrating what matters most with those that matter most.

I was disappointed that Dave didn't get a photo of my room when I was presenting.  It was packed.  He kept bringing in chairs and he said he had taken every chair out of every classroom he could find and it still wasn't enough.  I think I had almost 100 women in my classroom.  They were sitting (and standing) out in the hall.  I made 100 copies of each handout and they were all gone!  

Kathryn introduced me and then I began.  The group was very responsive and very easy to talk to.  They laughed when they were supposed to and were just very warm and receptive. That doesn't always happen when I speak.  It's always intrigued me how each group has it's own personality collectively.  This group was just fun to speak to because they were just so with me.  When I looked out into the audience it seemed every sister had a huge warm smile on her face.  Well, there was one or two that looked pretty grumpy, but oh well.  I still felt accepted and loved and my nerves started to calm a bit.   

I ended up mentioning how important it is to create memories while we can and that we never know how long we will have our children and don't want to have any regrets. I then talked a bit about Tyson, which I had not planned on, but I'm glad I did and I think it helped to make my point.  I always worry that I will overwhelm them when I do this workshop because I give out SO MANY IDEAS and I try to explain that it's taken me over 20 years to get to where I am as far as how much I do and to just take one or two ideas and don't overwhelm yourselves.  I also talked about the 3% principle and how it relates to traditions and I also warned them about being careful on the traditions they choose because once they start, then they will be committed to them.  So true! ☺
I told the story of when my boys broke the YOU ARE SPECIAL PLATE that I always have on display in my kitchen and replaced it with a paper plate that they had written YOU ARE SPECIAL on it (actually Bryce is the one that did all of this, but I'm sure he had help in breaking the plate). The plate is the one in the above photo (the paper one sitting next to the real one that broke - I ordered another one just like it).   He wrote "shatterproof" at the top of it. ☺ Then he placed it back in the plate holder before I saw what happened.  That got a roar of laughter.  I also told my secret of where I get all the math equations and scientific formulas for the tablecloth I make when I do my Back to School dinner.  I told Dave to not listen (he was in the hall watching from a door) and that was also pretty funny.  Dave told me after that he had always wondered how I knew all that stuff.  They really liked my description of the Back to School dinner and seemed to get excited about doing it. I hope someone actually will!  I talked about our HAPPIES and SADS book (each boy said what made them the happiest that day and what made them the saddest that day every night after family prayer) and I read a couple posts out of it. It has been so fun for me to go back and read through it. I am so glad I kept record of those things for all of those years.  Sadly, I ran out of time and didn't get to talk about our Halloween or other holiday traditions, but just mostly the non holiday ones.  I had a thorough handout though and so it was okay.  Overall, I felt good about it and I had many people come up and tell me thank you and that it was a great class.  I did have a few tell me they don't how I do all that and I could tell it overwhelmed them and so I tried to tell them to just take one or two ideas and ignore the rest.  I really don't like to make moms feel more overwhelmed than they already do!
They were expecting around 300 women and I'm sure they were close.  I had to hurry and clean up and get everything out of there for the next speaker.  Luckily I had some help!  I then ran over to Bonnie's class on Caring for the Elderly.  I kind of want to avoid that topic (even though I know I will need it someday), but I wanted to go to support her.  She had the frame I gave her on display with a photo of her mom inside.  Her class was excellent and she was so sweet about the things she said about the frame.  I truly am blessed to have her as a friend.  She enriches my life.
With my dear friend Bonnie.

The keynote speaker was AMAZING!  Her name is Meg Johnson.  She was paralyzed in a cliff accident and her talk was so incredible.  Her website is amazing as well. Check it out HERE.

I also attended a class on Happiness by Elizabeth Lund that was excellent as well.
The entire conference was WONDERFUL!

Here are a few of the thoughts I used during my presentation...

This ↓ is the awesome gift I received.
The Dove chocolates there in the bottom are my new addiction. They are a dark mint and to die for!  Oh. My. Gosh.

I received this sweet card in the mail after...
I was so happy when I read this.  It was another little tender mercy from above because I always wonder after I do a presentation if it was good enough or if I covered what the attendees came for.  It really made my day.  Knowing how much this little card meant to me, makes me want to be the one to write these kind of cards to others as well.  I often "think" about doing it, but don't always follow through with it.  I do about 75% of the time, but I want it to be 100% because I feel it is a prompting from the Spirit.  I feel that LeeAnn was prompted to send me this note.  I was going to write one to the Stake RS Presidency to let them know what a great job they did.  I need to go do that NOW. NOW you see why I choose the word NOW for my one word!  Good intentions aren't worth much if they aren't actually done!

dear grampy's birthday!  It was such a crazy day that I am glad I had to go to my Pa's house to pick up Trevor's kids for a sleep over, otherwise I wouldn't have got to see him on his birthday!  I hurried home from my conference and put away all the "stuff" I used for the display (that was no easy feat!) and then ran to my parents house to grab Trevor and Cyndi's crew for the weekend.  Trevor had colon cancer removed this week and so we have all been taking turns taking care of the littles. 
I ran to Lee's and grabbed a little cake for my Dad's birthday and some other things for tomorrow's Super Bowl Feast.  I knew I had to go right then or take the three kiddos with me to the store.  Since I am out of practice doing that, I hurried before I got to my parents.  As soon as I got there, Winston (the ADORABLE two year old) was singing Let It Go from Frozen.  He was belting it out!  It was so cute!  Then he wanted us to all hold hands and move in a circle while we all sang it!  Oh. My. Gosh. that kid is adorable!  I was so excited I got to take him home for the night!  
We had fun together and had cake and ice cream and then I brought the three home with me.  I wasn't sure how much fun the older littles would have, but they ended up being so cute and having a great time too!

dear getting to tend, I was so excited to be able to have my cousin Trevor's kids over while he recovers from surgery even though it was a crazy busy weekend.  I was even more excited to take them to church with me.  They are all great kids!  It was fun to be able to get to know them a little better.  Trevor is the son of my cousin Shelley who died from MS about seven years ago.  Shelley was my idol growing up.  She was nine years older than me and I wanted to be like her in EVERY way.  My Mom really helped out with Trevor and his sisters when MS started to take it's toll on Shelley....therefore they always related to her as a grandma (Mammy) more than an Aunt.  These kids were great the entire weekend.  Winston is obsessed with Frozen and sang Let It Go over and over and watched it about 100 times.   
I made purple chocolate chip pancakes for them for breakfast.  Winston wanted Mickey Mouse ones but he never ate a single bite.  Harrison and Madysen made up for it though.☺ It was fast Sunday and so I didn't get to sample them, but they looked and smelled really good!

Then we made some indoor snowman (since we don't have any snow outside!) and it was SO. MUCH. FUN.  I seriously need some grandkiddos of my own!
How cute is this?
This is really the funnest thing to do EVER!  And so easy!
Here is the recipe:
2 cups baking soda
2 Tbl salt
1 tsp dish soap
8 Tbl water
Mix soda and salt together with hands, then add dish soap. Mix well, then gradually add water until it can form a ball.  Form into a snowman and pour vinegar over it to melt. (Put vinegar in a squeeze bottle for best results.)

After we melted him with vinegar, Winston and Harrison had fun playing in the aftermath.  I had fun (not!) cleaning up the aftermath!  It was EVERY where!
Winston took over vacuuming after I got the snowman mess cleaned up.  Look at that face!  SO CUTE!

Then we got all ready for church! They clean up nicely!

Don't they all look great? Their mom dresses them to the tee!

Winston feel asleep in sacrament but went to Sunday School with me.  He then said he wanted to go to nursery.  I took him in there, but he wasn't too happy because he was expecting it to be 'his' nursery.  So we went to Relief Society. He was pretty good until the end and then I had to take him out and so we tried the nursery again.  He did better this time and I just stayed with him.  There were only three other kids.  Two of them were not in real happy moods when we arrived.  But they mellowed after a bit.  He made fast friends with Landon and he talked about him the rest of the day.  I was amazed how well Winston remembered names of everyone.  Most two year olds don't do that.  They were all just so cute and it made me miss those days when I was in the nursery.  Whaaat?  I think I seriously need some grandkids!
Winston took the one with the cut off heads.  hehe

dear super bowl sunday...McKay and Taylor had given me a list of what they wanted to feast on during the big game and since I had no time before the game, I had to come home and rush to get it all ready quick.  Luckily, it was all just simple stuff.
Sweet pork nachos!  Yum!
Some shots of the spectators!
Fun was had by all!
Winston really took to the boys. Literally...hah!  He is such a hoot that no one can resist him!  We had a lot of fun!  Harrison is a total hoot too and Madysen is just a doll.  Glad they got to come and hang out for a while!

Oh my, the game was crazy!  Here's what I wrote down as my prediction for the final outcome...

I would have WON it all if Seattle would have ran that ball in instead of passing it (the talk of the entire nation!), but noooooooo!  If they would have done what everyone knows they should have, I would have hit the nail on the head with my score!  Groan...
I took the kids home before the game was over because it was getting late. Dave couldn't go because he had meetings.  I went and got my Mom to ride down with me which was nice.  When we got there Trevor didn't look so great. He had just gotten discharged from the hospital that day. We watched the ending of the game and then saw the fun things they have done with their basement.
Winston on his "pet" horse.  The kids in their under the stairs hideout.
How cute is that?  I was sad after telling them goodbye. I can't wait for them to come again!

dear mr. cat, looking at this just makes me want to snuggle up and purr.

dear random taylor finds, once again I have Facebook and Taylor's friend's moms to thank for these.

dear holy heck look who I am related to!  This is on Relative Finder and it's so cool to see how closely I am related to the Prophets.  Well, closely meaning 8th cousin 2 or 3 times removed!  hah  I think the relative part in relative finder might also mean it's all relative cause that's not exactly a real close tie with all those "removes". 

dear quotes, these spoke to me this week...

dear message from God this week, this was a timely one as they all are.  I was feeling a bit inferior when I had to give my presentation to our entire stake of women.  I have always loved this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt...

Today, Jodi, we believe God wants you to know that ...

no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

You have to agree that you are less and that someone else is more to feel inferior. If you don't agree, you can not possibly feel inferior. You might know something less, or you might be able to do something less, but you ARE unique and hence simply incomparable. Do not buy into being reduced to an object of comparison.


Dawn said...

I always look forward to your posts. You truly inspire me in every way possible. I know your presentation was great and wish I could attend whenever you speak. You are so gifted! I love the tender mercies God always sends us. This weekend I noticed a dime and picked it up and thought...this has to be from my dad and a penny just wouldn't do. :)

Nancy Mc said...

LOVED! really just loved this post. You inspire me to be better.


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