Monday, November 16, 2015

*Monday Memos*


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

dear monday, I went on a run this morning and nearly got blown away.  It was windy!  A storm is blowing in.  I was happy to see Bryce still home when I got back.  He picked up a truck that his boss got him to use for the season.  Then he took off for Idaho Falls to continue working.  The day got darker and more stormy and by 4:30 it was nearly dark.  Then it started to snow!  First snow of the year!
Bryce's truck at Island Park

dear first snow of the season, Dave and I had to run a gift to someone and so we headed out into the first snow storm of the season.  It was kind of fun, but it was coming down pretty hard.  
It was also very cold!  We ended up at Old Grist to grab a loaf of bread for part of the gift and decided to eat while there.  That's what empty nesters have the freedom to do!  LOL  I LOVE their grilled turkey bacon pesto sandwich!  Mmm....  We shared one.  It was tasty! It's so odd to not have to worry about feeding the boys dinner anymore.  Just so bizarre.  Kinda strange to have that freedom.  The downside is I am not good at planning meals right now because it's just the two of us and it's hard to cook half a casserole or half a roast, etc.  I need to figure this out and get better.  

dear tuesday, I headed out in the tundra to run this morning. It was so cold.  I am not acclimatized to this cold yet.  But once I got going I was okay. 

I found these two pennies in a very unusual spot today.  It is pretty crazy how when I am intensely thinking of finding one and really looking for one, one always seems to appear. Two in this case.
I hurried home and got ready and headed to the mortuary.  Dave was speaking at the funeral of our neighbor Sister Jeppson.  He did a great job as always.  I am not sure how he just is able to just get up and deliver a profound talk and message no matter what the occasion, but he has that gift.  When I got home Taylor was there.  He had a dentist appointment and so ran home since he doesn't work on Tuesdays because he has an afternoon class.  I started to make him lunch and told him how good Old Grist was last night and somehow we decided to go there instead.  We both got the turkey bacon pesto.  It was just as good as last night!  hah  I could eat those every single day and not tire of them.  I dropped him off at the dentist and ran to Wallies to get some groceries for him.  He had to head back to Logan right after but it was fun to visit with him for a bit.  I love that I am usually available so I can spend time with the boys when they happen to drop in.  

I had a RS planning meeting tonight.  It was productive and we all shared a lot of fun ideas...most of which we got off of Pinterest.  I love Pinterest.   Dave had meetings.

dear wednesday, I felt like this day was a wash.  Very unproductive even though I didn't stop all day.  I ran five miles (15 hill repeats!) in the cold!
My views on my run.  Check out that gorgeous pink ray my camera captured.
I came home and showered and the internet/cable guy showed up. I thought he was just delivering a DVR box and would be in and out in 20 minutes. Nope!  FOUR hours later he left!  Dave and I had been planning on going to lunch, but that ended up being dinner.  I also wasn't planning on him going in every room in my house!  He came in my room when I was giving myself a pedicure (nice!) and I had some stuff I needed to put away and organize that was just out and messy, had I know, I would have taken the time to "tidy" things up more. haha  I also couldn't use the computer to work on my talk or on two invitations I was needing to get done for a bridal shower and for a Sista party.  That was what I had planned on doing during that time.  Oh well...  Dave headed to meetings and I ran some errands and made some handouts for my talk tomorrow.   
Our car speedometer turned over to the LUCKY 7's!  Hoping that means some good luck heading this way!

dear thursday, I ran five miles this morning.  I see this guy ↓ quite often.
Today he was unusually friendly and came running over to the fence.  He's a llama.  I always talk to him and ask him if his mama's a llama or if his dadda's an alpaca.  He hasn't answered yet.  ;)  You would have to know the book, to get that one!  haha  Animals seriously brighten up my day.  I am sure in heaven I am going to have a huge farm of all kinds of them.

I finished up the final touches on my talk and the handouts. I had to miss my Jesus the Christ study (for the very first time!) because I had too much to do and deadlines.  I still didn't get it all done!  I have felt very unproductive lately and I'm not sure what is up.  I never just do nothing and I am always doing, laundry, meals, stuff on the computer, but it seems like I never accomplish anything. I have been trying to get McKay's Christmas package sent for two weeks now and it's still not ready to send.  That is mostly due to lack of knowing what to put in it though because we are limited to one very small flat rate envelope.  I have so many books I want to get read and I get them started but never finished.  I just feel like I am going in circles right now. I have SO much to do and I never feel it gets done!  And now here comes Christmas to add to the mix!!!  Ho Ho Ho!

dear speaking to special needs group, my good friend Dawn is President of the area Special Needs Young Women group and asked me to speak to them awhile ago.  I was really excited and thought it sounded fun - mainly because the topic was GRATITUDE.  I love that topic and I love to share what I have learned about it to others because it really has changed my life.  It was a great experience!  My good friend Carla was also there!  I am amazed at what a good job Dawn does...she is perfect for that job.  She is so good with them and just a natural.  I have always loved being around those special people because I can feel how pure and truly Christlike their spirits are.  It was fun talking to them before I started and once I started, I was surprised how much I enjoyed speaking to them.  I would say most of them are on an elementary school age level (some above) but they were fun to talk to.  I have always loved children and these guys were just big children with a long attention span.  It was really fun.  I think speaking to them may have been my favorite talk I have ever given (other than the couple of hot flashes that attacked me in the middle of it!)A couple of the girls REALLY liked to share and talk - haha - and every time they did I watched the clock tick away at my time.  I was determined to keep my talk to 25 minutes....30 at the very most, but that number kept going up as they kept commenting.  I didn't want to be rude and not allow them to share and so I started to look towards the corner of the other side of the room and not make eye contact with the one girl that had so much to say.  Bless her heart.  I just loved her.  I hope she didn't think I was rude when I interrupted her a couple of times because I still had some final things to say and my time was up. The problem was once she started to share her thoughts, then others wanted to as well - haha.  My friend Carla told me she was impressed how well I handled it. That was sweet of her to say because I was worried I was a little too abrupt at times.  She was very nice and told me she was very impressed at what a great job I did and that she really needed it today.  She attends a different church and so she isn't used to hearing people give talks that aren't a paid ministerBut I still appreciated her sweet kindness.  I really did enjoy speaking to them.  It was a lot of fun for me.  I hope they got something out of it and I truly hope it will help them.  Dawn ordered Gratitude Journals to give to them that we passed out  and I hope they will actually use them because I know it will be a life changer if they do.  Carla really wanted one!  She was so cute.
I love the picture of the girl covering her face with her coat!  I asked them what made them happy and after they all told me a few things, I told them that pictures make me happy (they do!) as well as my blog and so I was going to take their picture.  I knew that they would love to have their picture taken and I also got some pictures for my blog!
Dawn took this  It makes me laugh!  She added it on her blog because she needed a picture to make the collage work and I am glad she did or I would have missed out on a laugh.  I think it cracks me up so much because it looks like I am being all serious and meditating or something and then you have the look of the girl looking back grinning as if she is thinking, "This dame is crazy!"  I need a good caption for it but I can't think of one!  haha  Dawn told me that my face reminds her of Meg Ryan in it.  Hah! Maybe Meg Ryan in pain!  
Handouts, book, and quotes.
We love smiling.  Smiling's our favorite!  hehe I love these girls!  They are my favorite! :)

I was going to post my talk on another post so I could refer back to it when I need to.  (Those posts come in handy when I need to speak again!)  But due to time I am just going to sum it up on this post. 
I mostly talked about how gratitude is the secret to happiness but it takes work.  I had one of the girls put a pebble in her shoe and walk around and then I asked her what she thought about while walking and of course she said how much the pebble was bothering her.  I pointed out that we will always have things that bother us in life, and we can focus on those things or we can CHOOSE to focus on the other things in our life that are good.
  I asked them if they wanted to know the "secret" to being happy and then I talked about how research has now proven that gratitude benefits in many ways physically, mentally, and emotionally and that psychologists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in your life is how much gratitude you show.

·       I read the book Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss    

  GRATITUDE!!!!  It's almost MAGIC!  Gratitude is magical...

·    Consider this....psychologists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in your life is how much gratitude you show.
Turns out it’s rather simple. Gratitude produces happiness. The simple act of being thankful for someone or for feeling appreciation for things in life, if even for just the beating of your own heart, is the most powerful technique we have for reconnecting with happiness.
People who practice gratitude in their lives: 
*Felt better about their lives as a whole
* Experienced greater levels of joy and happiness - less depression
* Felt optimistic about the future
* Got sick less often - stronger immune systems 
* Exercised more regularly
* Had more energy, enthusiasm, determination, and focus
* Accomplished more personal goals
* Slept better and awoke feeling refreshed
* Felt stronger during trying times
* Enjoyed closer family ties
* Were more likely to help others and offer emotional support
* Experienced fewer symptoms of stress

It's not happy people who are thankful, it's thankful people who are happy

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus

Focus on what we've GOT instead of what we've NOT!  I came up with that one. :) 

I told the story of rock hitting windshield when I was going to pick up my marathon packet and what a wake up call that was for me.  It woke me up to see that even though I had an injury, I could still run and I was ALIVE!
Talked about how EACH DAY IS A GIFT

I explained that when I get caught up in negative thinking, I have learned to divide my thoughts into two categories: "things I can change" and "things I can't." And how we will always be worried about something, but if we can cut that list down even just a small bit, our happiness will be greater.   We only have so many hours a day, and if we focus the energy on only the things we can control, we will feel less stress. Life's happiness truly does depends upon the quality of our thoughts. While we cannot control what happens to us, we can control our reactions to the events of our lives.

 I gave seven ways to help feel more gratitude:  
1. Gratitude Journal  One simple way to feel more gratitude is to literally count your blessings. Keep a journal and regularly record whatever you are grateful for that day. Be specific. Look for things to be grateful for, and you'll start seeing them everywhere.  CHALLENGE TO WRITE IN IT FOR 21 DAYS without stopping.  If do start over.
2. Positive PRAYERS   -Say thanks for everything. It doesn’t have to just be food.  Focus on what went right instead of what went wrong. If someone made for breakfast something you don't like, then you, think, "'I'm grateful someone made me breakfast' By being grateful for the little things -- a stranger's smile, a beautiful flower -- you increase your gratitude threshold."

3. Negative PRAYERS. On a regular basis, imagine some part of your life being worse than it actually is. Before you get in the shower say thanks for not having to bathe in an ice-cold tundra. Before go to sleep say thanks for not having to sleep on the floor. When I see a Box Elder bug in my house I say thanks they are not cockroaches. Remember the bad so can be grateful for the good!

4. THANK YOU (NOTES!!!)  “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?” If you don’t do another thing today, simply express a thank you — to God, to a friend, to a family, to someone. You will feel a lift in your soul — it just goes hand in hand. The simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful for them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.
"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." ~ William James
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."-- Oprah Winfrey  

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~Melody Beattie

5. Hold A Complaint - (don't let it go - keep it in.) The next time you want to lash out in verbal complaint towards a person, a situation, or yourself, don’t.  Instead, humbly keep it to yourself. You’ll likely diffuse an unhealthy, unhappy environment. But more than that, you’ll experience joy by choosing peace in a difficult situation.
Oprah said she has nothing to complain about.  "It's not that I have everything that I have... and therefore I don't complain...I don't complain and that's why I have everything I have." 
6. Search For Blessings In Your Pain - This life can be difficult. Nobody escapes without pain. At some point—in some way—we all encounter it. Find the good in the bad.  There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.  Choose to look for the benefits that can be found in your trial. 
 7. SMILE! :)  A smile is a wonderful...But more than that, studies show that that making an emotion filled face carries influence over the feelings processed by the brain. Our facial expression can influence our brain in just the same way our brains influence our face. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy.  And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.
****I have tested this out while running a hard race.  When it gets really hard, I have trained myself to smile.  Just by that simple little thing...smiling when I'm hurting...helps me to feel better and takes a lot of the pain away.
“Smiling stimulates our brain reward mechanism that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer cannot match,”. “British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate. The same study found that smiling is as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 pounds in cash. That’s like 25 grand a smile. It’s not bad!”
 Lifesaver Challenge: 
I love being reminded to slow down and be grateful.  Life is such a blessing.  We have been given so much.  I challenged them to pop a lifesaver in mouth just before start to pray. I changed it to chocolate inside instead of a lifesaver.  Chocolate is more enjoyable.  And then offer a prayer of gratitude--thanking God for all their blessings until the lifesaver (chocolate) was gone.  

dear friday, I was supposed to go to Farmington this morning with a group of friends to go to a boutique with Colleen who now lives in Bountiful.  Colleen sent a text last night and informed us she was sick and would not be going.  I told the group maybe we should wait until it comes to Ogden in a couple weeks so Colleen could go.  Everyone was on board with that.  I was so relieved because I really didn't have time to cut a six hour chunk of time out of my day.  I tried to be very productive and use the time as a free gift that I wasn't planning on.  I didn't even go for a run because I had so much to do.  One of the things I did get done were the invites I REALLY needed to get done today.  I think they turned out cute!
I also promised Kathy I would do the Tea Party invites for the Sista Gratitude Glamma's thing we have coming up.  They didn't take long at all, but I felt bad I told her I would get them done and it took me so long.
 We changed the time so more could come and so I did a different one.  I think it is much cuter so I am glad for the time change.

I worked on a lot of things and had to run a bunch of errands that I would have never got done if I had gone to the boutique.  Bryce came home for a wedding and so I was glad I got to see him for a bit too.  Dave had to run to SLC and I had a bridal shower to attend.  It was for Jaida's sister and it was at Jaida's house so I got to see her!!!  She is as cute as ever!  But oh my, she is already taller than she was just a couple weeks ago at Halloween!  She showed me her room and it is purple!  And she had the chocolate sign I gave her hanging dead center above her closet!  Love that girl!  It's so sad she is growing up! 
 Journey was there as well and she wanted to be in our selfie.  She is a mini Jaida.  Such a cutie!

dear saturday, Bryce headed back to Idaho at 7:00 a.m.  It was a fast trip!  So fast I didn't even get a photo of him!  So I took this one as he was leaving. LOL

I met Robin for our long run.  Dave drove by on his way to work and took this of us!  It was cold but the sun really helped warm us up by about mile 3.  
We went 10 miles and saw this huge pumpkin on our route.  It was at a bank on display. It is huge!  We "tried" to do a selfie with it so you could see how big it really was, but that didn't work so well!  hah
I got home and worked on McKay's Christmas package.  I HAD to get it mailed today NO MATTER WHAT!  I got it finished and Dave ran it to the post office. He got home and told me that I forgot to put the address on it.  I didn't really forget. I put it on the declaration form and thought they printed one out from it.  WRONG!  The big problem is he was in a hurry and so he had to write the address on it and I am VERY worried that his writing will be hard to decipher (it is!) and it will never get there!  Oh man!  I have been praying like crazy that it will get there!  Not that it's anything great or even a lot, but he will feel so sad if he doesn't get anything from home on his first Christmas away from home!  

Robin invited me to go to Logan with her this afternoon to look for some things for her house.  I knew I really didn't have the time but I felt like I should go.  Plus I needed to pick up Mona's clock for her over there.  We had a lot of fun!  We tried on clothes in Downeast and we both picked out the very same dress AND same skirt!  We have the same taste!  The dress was on clearance for only $12 and so we both got it!  haha  It is so cute!  She didn't get the skirt but I did!  It's so cute  Then we hit TJMaxx and her daughter Sam met us there.  She is cute.  I also ran into my good friend DarlaIt was a lot of fun to catch up with her. She is a hoot and always has been.  Then we went to Home Depot and she got a new rug, then to Hobby Lobby for a plant, and then Michael's for frames.  She got most of her stuff done.  I didn't buy much.  Was hoping to get a dent in my Christmas shopping, but, oh well. We were STARVING and so we ran and ate at Cafe Rio.  It was so yummy!  Then we went and picked up Mona's clock and headed back.  I did not take one picture.  Oh well... it was FUN!  The only bummer was that Taylor wasn't there!  He had come home to work for his landscaping boss and so after work he was at our homeThe only time I go to Logan in forever and he isn't there! haha  But he was still here when I got home so I got to see him for a bit.  

dear sunday, the day I get to sleep in and instead I am wide awake at 5:15 a.m.  Dave's alarm goes off around then, but I was already awake!  The worst part is I can't go back to sleep!  I was so tired all day!  

Taylor came home for a little while for a homecoming for one of his friends so I made him some Monkey Bread.  It was yummy!  He was still here when we went to church.  Today I taught my lesson on: 
I LOVE my Sunday School class so much!  They are such a great age. I teach the 16-17 year olds.  They are just so much fun!  Today they asked me how Dr. Love was doing (aka McKay).  That is his nickname.  They call me Mama Love and Dave Papa Love.   McKay gave them ALL nicknames and it is just hilarious.  Sherminator (nickname) always has me laughing in there.  Well, the truth is they all do.  They are a great class...a few of them do talk a lot, but they are still a blast to teach.

The home teachers came right after church and so no time for a nap!  After that I had to get my letter written to McKay and so the day was gone.  We will go to church at 9:00 starting in January.  That's going to be a major adjustment, but overall I like it better than 1:00.

dear mr. cat, you better stop fighting so much because this week you have had MANY wounds and you can barely open your left eye.  But, it appears from these pix that all is well and life is great.  Eat, sleep, chill outside (literally), fight, eat, sleep...repeat.  All day long...  But, I am sure glad I have you especially now that nest is emptying.  It's nice to have another living thing to talk to besides myself!

dear quotes this week,
 And AMEN to THIS too!

 We MUST ask!

 This is so true, but not always easy to believe.

 Some words of wisdom...

dear silly, ridiculous, and waste of time idea why I can't resist taking these even though I know they are totally not scientific. haha  But they make me laugh sometimes.  Check out the top left one.  Now THAT is a riot!  I am really should stop doing these stupid things!  haha



Dawn said...

I always look forward to your Monday Memo's. Thanks so much for speaking to the Special Group of ladies I get to work with weekly. You are the best and always do a fabulous job.

I always love the quotes you post. I have always loved quote of inspiration and found folders with some that I had copied by hand growing up.

I was happy to see that I am the heart in your silly facebook games...that made me smile and feel good. However, I wouldn't consider you the nerd and wouldn't know who I would consider.

I'm glad you were able to get McKays package off...that always made me anxious too and it's a relief when it's off.

Audrey said...

Thanks for posting your thoughts on gratitude! I really needed the reminder today. You always have such great thoughts.


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