Monday, March 21, 2016

*Monday Memos*


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

dear march blizzard, I woke up on Monday and really didn't want to go out on my run because the wind was blowing SO hard.  I am not a fair weather runner UNLESS the wind is really misbehaving.  I will run in about any weather, but the wind....oh, how I hate the wind.  So...I waited until it calmed down some.  When it looked like it was going to behave for a bit, I headed out.  Shortly after, it started blow again.  Then a bit harder.  Then it started to snow.  Then it blew even harder.  I wasn't prepared to get wet.  I didn't have on my waterproof jacket.  I did have sunglasses which was a blessing because it started to just pelt in my eyes blinding me and on my face (ouch!).  A good Samaritan in a car offered me a rain poncho.  I took them up on it!  It saved me!  After only about a mile or so and I decided that I was crazy!  Possible the craziest thing I've ever done.  Well, that's debatable!  I headed back to my car but it was a fight against the elements the entire way.  It seemed I was running directly into the snow (aka ice pellet razor blades) no matter what direction I ran.  I was so happy once I got to my car!  My shoes and socks were soaking wet, as were my pants.  Bless that soul who gave me the rain poncho or I would've been another 10 pounds heavier!  The wind was so strong I thought it was going to use the poncho as a sail or balloon. Either way it made for more resistance. was worth it! I found two pennies!
Proof I am either very dedicated or certifiably crazy.  The jury is still out.
Only in Utah can you see both of these photos (one above and this) on the same day.

dear pi day, Monday was Pi Day.  I usually make a pie to celebrate.  It's always good to have an excuse to make (and eat!) pie!  I wanted to make my Chocolate Haupia Pie.  It's the best pie in the world!  But I ran out of time because I was working on my talk for Tuesday.  Marie Callendar's to the rescue!  I had a chocolate satin one in the freezer! 
Mmmm......  Well, that was until I read how many calories is in one little slice (1/6th of the tiny pie)....560 calories!  That is a ton!  I guess I never read that before.  That kind of ruined it for me!  I've been battling this dang thing called "age" lately and I have had to cut my calories down a lot or I gain weight, no matter how much I run or how little I eat!  I've even gained on only 800 calories.  What?!  I know!  It's maddening!  Through the years, I have always just stayed within 1200 calories to maintain and if I gained a pound or two, I'd just cut back a bit for a week or so, but now, it's like my metabolism has decided to quit on me.  I read up on menopause and how it affects our metabolism and how the hormones really mess with it.  One article had over 1000 comments of women saying the exact same thing.  Many said they just started gaining even though they hadn't changed how much they ate and were still exercising the same and yet they gained without doing anything different.  Seems like an awfully cruel way to thank women for all we go through.  But it is what it is I guess.  Sigh....

Taylor stopped by on his way to the Jazz game.  Bryce also went to the Jazz game but I think he had really good seats.  Taylor and his friends didn't have tickets yet, but he couldn't miss seeing LeBron.  :)  They bought some when they got there.
I fed him (a couple times) before he took off.  That kid can eat like no other. 

dear penny load, part of my run on Tuesday was the high school parking lot and I hit the jackpot in the penny department!  If I really want to find a penny, that is almost a guaranteed place.  I guess teenagers don't value a penny enough to go to the trouble of picking them up if they drop one because there are always plenty there. But it's fun for me!  What am I saying?  It's just heaven's favorite spot to drop them at!

After my run, I got ready and then met Robin at Great Lengths to shop their one day sale.  I got a few things and it was fun.  Robin got lots of things to wear on our cruise.  It's getting close!

dear surprise on porch, I found a heart shaped rock sitting on my porch this week.  I have no idea who left it there, but it was very sweet and thoughtful.  I am thinking it was someone in my ward because at our RS meeting I shared that one of my favorite things was heart shaped rocks.  How sweet!

dear relief society speaking assignment, as I worked on the final preparation for my talk on Tuesday, I was still not sure what direction I was going to take it.  I had a couple choices, but decided to go with the spirit once I got there.  I spoke to the 12th ward and I was actually looking forward to it because I don't know very many of the sisters in that ward.  I wasn't really nervous, at least until our Stake RS President walked in and then Dave showed up!  I thought he had meetings but they started after my talk.  I had to send him home to get my heart shaped rock I forgot.  Katherine introduced me.  I always prefer that they come up with my intro instead of me giving them a bio.   She was very nice.  She told them that I love purple and said that my house is "tastefully decorated" in all shades of purple.  I was happy to hear she thought it was tastefully done.  Sometimes I think people wonder.  Hah  I was glad she told them about my passion for running because I talked a lot about running.  My assigned topic was the scripture in 2 Nephi 31:20 about pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ...  I broke it up and talked about each section of itI am going to do a synopsis at the end of this post for my own reference so I won't go into to much detail here.   I enjoyed my time speaking with them.  They were very receptive and I felt connected to them.  That is always a bonus when speaking.  I felt the spirit there and I hope I said something that helped at least one person.  I ended with a challenge for them to spread random acts of kindness in their own little ward.  I encouraged them to send someone a thank you note in the mail that week instead of via text or email.  And as I always do, I talked about gratitude.  All in all, I was happy with it.  They were all so nice afterwards thanking me and introducing themselves.  I stayed for the dinner as well.  It was a great evening.  It's always a big relief once a big thing like that is over.  I came home and since Dave was still in meetings, I practiced the harp for quite a while.
Modeling my new outfit I got today at Great Lengths (well at least the cardigan) which I wore to speak in. Thanks Dave! He doesn't know he bought it for me, but thanks honey!

When I challenged the sisters to write thank you notes, I didn't mean to me! But I received three!  I did tell them in my talk that I am a hoarder of Thank You notes and I have saved almost all of the ones that I have received over the years.  It's fun to go back and re-read them occasionally.  Which is something you don't usually do with an electronic thank you note. 

dear hill repeats, I forced myself to do 15 today.  I was so glad after...during not so much!  haha I have been slacking on my planking time this week.  For some reason this week it's been a lot harder.  I found TWO large heart rocks while doing hills!  Love notes from heaven.

dear wednesday, after my run I had to hurry to go pick up 44 pounds of chicken I ordered through Zaycon.  I was going to can it all with a pressure cooker, but Dave wanted to freeze it instead.  I got caught up today on a lot of things that I put off while getting my talk prepared.  I got through all the old newspapers, my dusting, vacuuming, mopping, laundry, etc.  I also reorganized everything under my bathroom cabinets after the flood.  I love to organize usually, but this was frustrating me because I couldn't find the perfect size storage containers for everything.

dear harp lesson, this week she gave me several more songs to learn.  One has glissando's and oh my, they are much harder than they look.  I have five recital songs to learn and I am going to be practicing a lot this week.  Next week is my group lesson at night and so I have to have it all ready before then.  I am still loving it though!  Karen had to cancel lunch due to a Dr. appt and so I headed to Station Park and got in some shopping.  I love that place.  I spent too much time though because it hit me on my way home that it was St. Patrick's Day and I hadn't planned my green dinner yet!

dear st. patrick's day dinner, since I hadn't really planned the dinner in advance like I usually do, and the fact that I got home later than I planned, I had to really throw it together fast.  Kent's was out of green bread and rolls and so I made banana muffins and colored them green.  That was a first!  I also made green beef stroganoff and green riceThe past few years I have made Shepherd's pie with green potatoes, but I wanted a change this year.  It was just going to be Dave, me and Bryce but I still decorated the table and tried to make it fun.  I was able to get it on the table in under an hour.  It was weird with just the three of us! 
Getting our green on!
Eatin' O the Green!

dear mr. cat, THIS ↓ is what happened when I was practicing the harp!  He feel asleep right at the base of the harp by my feet!  It was THEE cutest thing ever!  My harp playing actually put him to sleep!  haha  It totally was so sweet!  He really loves to get close when I am practicing.  He must not be too picky with what puts him to sleep because there were a lot of mistakes!  lol

A few more cute pix of him.  The top right is of him sound asleep face down on my blanket on my chair.  He's my "pecial boy"!  I wonder if I will still take pix of him when I have grandbabies!  lol

dear long run, I met Robin on Friday morning to get in our long run.  We ran around the town and got in about 10.5 miles.  We had to go slow the last half because she had a bad cramp.  I was glad to have it over with before Saturday.  

dear friday, I was supposed to go to lunch with Colleen today but we decided to reschedule it.  I felt like I had been given three free hours!  So what did I do?  I cleaned.  Boring!  But I really wanted to get my bathroom cleaned and mopped and the rest of my house done as well.  I used to have more speed when cleaning but now I am not as quick and I get tired faster.  I worked for about four or five hours just cleaning and organizing.  I should probably do that every single day, but there is more to life than that!  The thing that makes me crazy is that the cleaning will need to be done again in a few days.  I wish it would last longer.  I think that is one of the reasons I love to organize...because it lasts a little longer... or it should anyway! 

Taylor showed up after work because he had a game at 10:30 PM for the TMAT (Todd Morrison Alumni Tournament).  We took him and Bryce to dinner to the Old Grist Mill.
Hmm....  This was carved in the bench.  I'm sure it's not "our" McKay.  Of course not.  
dear taylor's basketball game, this weekend was the TMAT at the high school where the former basketball teams from years back come and play against each other to raise money for a needy family.  I believe the oldest year was 1985 this time.  Dave played in 1977 but they haven't had a team compete in several years.  Too many bad knees or possible heart attacks! haha  But that would be cool if they did!   I think everyone from Taylor's old high school team showed up, plus two that weren't on the team when they were Seniors.  It is always so much fun to go to these because they are like a little reunion of sorts.  Some of the boys have changed.  Either buffed up, gained weight, lost hair, got tattoos, etc.  It's so fun to watch them play.  
Tonight they played 2010's team at 10:30 PM.  These are the guys that Taylor plays with in the city league (Cody, TJ, Carpet, and Hunter) and so I kept cheering for that team too when they would score because I was used to it.  LOL  At one point I got a little carried away with the game (it was neck in neck!) and let out a scream (I couldn't help it!) and the people on both sides of me started to laugh.  I apologized to them but they kept laughing at me.  I tried to keep it under control after that.  However, that game was SO intense!  Taylor was on fire!  He was rebounding, stealing the ball, scoring on lay ups and foul shots, and even a three pointer or two.  He was playing so hard both offensively and defensively.  It's amazing what he can do when he isn't being told how and when by the coach.  There was one lay up he made but the score keepers missed it and we never got the points.  I tried to get their attention, but never could.  We were in the small gym and so it was tough to go across the court and tell them.  Dave pretty much held me down anyway because he said it would embarrass the team.  I doubt it.  I knew the game would be close and I told Dave he would be sorry if we lost by one or two points....which is what happened at every single game the year they were juniors and seniors.  Some of his teammates were a little rusty.  But they still held them at bay.  Both teams wanted to win and it was a battle the entire game.  We did get up by nine at one point, but then they caught back up at the end.  Their former coach was a ref.  And with only 1.1 second left in the game, it was tied up!  The other team had the ball (only because one of our guys passed it to them...ugh!) and then that guy got called a foul.  Who calls a foul with only 1.1 second left in a tied game?  Serious?  The crowd went wild because he didn't foul him...he was straight up.  His mom was yelling that she had it on video that it was clean.  LOL  But that call basically gave the game to the other team because then they got to shoot foul shots and, of course they made them and we had no time to take it back down.  It was one of those very frustrating games.  We had so many like that through the four years he played in high school.  Intense!  This was just for fun, BUT these boys really don't understand the meaning of "just for fun".  Their competitive natures come out.  And so do the moms!  LOL  One of the other moms came over to me after and confirmed that Taylor got robbed on those two points he made.  She saw it too.  Oh well.  If he had got them, they would have won and then played the team they wanted to next.  But if sports has taught me one thing... it's that I have zero control on the outcome of a game.  Well...other than THIS one I could have if I had told the score keepers they screwed up!  Okay, I am calm!  hehe  It's just a game... just a game.... just a game.  The funny thing is Taylor wasn't even upset at all.  He wanted to win big time, but he didn't blame it on the ref or the score keepers.  Just on themselves.  He said they should have had them easily.  I love his attitude.  He thinks I get way too uptight.  LOL  And he is right I guess.  It really was fun just being able to watch them again and be with the other moms.  Those other moms always crack me up.  If you think I'm intense, they are even more so but in a fun way.   We have had some good times though the years.

dear run... Taylor wanted a haircut and so after I gave him one it was a little later than I planned on for my run, but at least it was warmer.  It was a gorgeous day!  BLUE skies!  I ran down towards the Pickleball courts because I thought Dave was there but he wasn't.  So then I headed to the high school.   
Just from the parking lot (filled with cars) I found 10 pennies!  And quickly too. Penny load again!  I loved it!  Then I found two dimes and three more pennies on the way home!  Yay!  Who said it doesn't pay to run!?

dear taylor basketball game...he had two more games today.  The first one they played the current high school team.  Hmm....  They were in great shape and made a million three pointers. They could not miss.  We hung tough against them and it was a great game but in the end, they won it.
Defying gravity! 
The last game was against 2009.  They were tough but we were ahead the entire game and won it.  It was a lot of fun to watch them play again!  Looking forward to next year already!

dear dunk contest, Taylor surprised us and entered the Slam Dunk Contest at the TMAT tourney at the last minute.  They do one every year and it's always so fun to watch.  He surprised us even more when he ended up in the top TWO!  The judges gave him ALL 10's and one 9.  He ended up taking second place overall!  The kid that won it was like 6'7"- 6'8"and not very old.  If Taylor could have had a good one on the final like he did in the preliminaries, he could've won.  But he did great!  He was amazing!  That kid can jump AND dunk!  We haven't seen much of this until now.  He must have been practicing.  I was very impressed!   
A few pix of him...sorry some are blurry, but he was moving fast!  lol
Looks like white men can jump...
It was a lot of fun watching him.  Not sure how he did so well on tired legs after playing a game right before...but he did.
Great bunch of boys...
And the timing was perfect that this ↓ came up on my Facebook memories today...
I really miss those days of basketball, football, and hockey games with all my boys. 

dear chicken salad challenge, I call this a challenge because Taylor has been begging me to make him chicken salad for quite a while now.  He finally started to get smart and say things like, "You've never made it and you don't know how"....things like that which he knows is almost a guarantee that will get me to do it.  He knows I like a challenge. He claims he doesn't remember me ever making it.  Hmm...  it's not like I make it all the time, but I have made it several times over the years.  Mostly for showers and things like that I guess though.
Soooo... I MADE IT!  Just for him!  It turned out really delish if I do say so myself!

Here is my recipe: (I don't really measure and so this is approximate)
 Jodi's Chicken Salad
4 lg chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup toasted almond sliced or slivered
1/2 onion chopped fine or green onions
1 cup red grapes cut in half
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (more if want it moister)   
1 1/2 to 2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbl dill weed
1-2 Tbl honey mustard (Famous Dave's brand)
1/2 -1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix together and serve on croissants.   

dear green ham fried rice! I can say for certain that I have never made green ham fried rice before.  Well....I guess that's not a for sure, but I don't remember.  There have been a lot of years I have had leftover GREEN rice after St. Pat's Day, so maybe I have.  Taylor was in the mood for fried rice and I had a ton of rice in the fridge.  GREEN rice.  But rice.  So I made it from that.  It didn't look too appealing, but it tasted good!  hah  Green eggs and ham fried rice.

dear first day of spring! Ahh... it's finally officially here! 
Purple Lady bugs. Rumored to live in Hawaii.  I've never seen them there, but they are sure cool. 

dear provo temple dedication, we didn't have church on Sunday because it was the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple.  Dave had to preside at the 9 AM and 3 PM one and so I went at 9.  I got there around 8:15.  After it started Dave was able to come and sit by me.  It was a wonderful meeting.  I could feel the spirit so strong.  Elder Oaks conducted and he did a great job.  The talks were all very good. 

dear mom w bday party, Karen had a party for Dave's mom's bday at her house Sunday  night.  We thought we were going to get to see Weston, but he was in Arizona.  But most of the rest of the gang was there.  I got to meet Tanae's new friend.  He is a runner and we chatted for a long time about running.  Trevor also had a new friend.  She is very nice as well.  We had strawberry delight and brownies.  I was messing around with Mickey's harp and everyone told me to play a song.  I turned them down but they eventually persuaded me to.  I played Lavender's Blue.  I figured that would be a little more impressive than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Mary Had a Little Lamb.  LOL

dear mckay, yay we got lots of pictures this week!  I look so forward to pictures from you even if half of them are of bears from the zoo.  lol  You are such an amazing missionary and your positive attitude never wains.  I am continually in awe of how you are able to choose happiness even when you see and witness so much of the sadness and the hardship in the world.  You are blessing so many lives!  Including your own... more than you realize. 
Poor bears
Not in Moscow but...
Getting studying in.... haha
Vlad, typical bus, possibly the best food in the world
Statue, McKay's dream car, Vlad heli
Very rare huge Costco like store
More Zoo pix

dear random, someone posted this on Facebook.  It's Skyler (on right) and his companion Jeremy while serving their missions in IndianaThey are still best friends.  They roomed in college and in Hawaii.  Jeremy is now married with a darling cute little baby girl.

This popped up on my Facebook memories.  Good laughs!  Mona looks so spry!
What Bryce has been doing all week
Mr. Tom at top of hill.

dear quotes,

I want to read this book...

Talk Synopsis
(Doing this for me for future reference so NO need to read! VERY LONG)
Prepared twice as much as I had time for since wasn't sure which direction to take it

PRESS FORWARD 2 Nephi 31:20

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. “ (Task with a promise)
I talked about my running experience in the blizzard on Monday and how after about a mile and a half of that wind blowing fiercely against me and fighting the resistance of it all, I was about ready to hitch hike! I had an inch of snow covering my body.  But, I kept on pressing forward against the resistance (I really had no choice -my phone had frozen) and tried to keep my head down as much as I could to block it from my face...and also so no one would know it was me and call Dave to report his wife was crazy.   I couldn't stop until I got back to my car and even though I cut my run short, I had to keep pressing forward until I reached it. 

Nephi tells us that if we “press forward” we shall have eternal life.  He says we not only can press forward, but must.
 “Pressing forward” implies resistance. The scripture doesn’t say walk forward, or move forward, or simply proceed forward. It says to press forward! 
To me  “press forward” means To move forward with determination, regardless of adversity or distraction.  It sound so simple...that is until we apply it to real life!  By real life, I mean trials that we all "get" to experience while here.  Just as running in that storm yesterday, each of us will experience resistance from worldly forces as we try to press forward on our life journey.

It's easy to press forward when things are going great and life is a nice smooth ride, but since that is rarely the case, we have to learn to do it in the midst of the bumpy roads and unexpected detours we find ourselves taking in this ride of life.  It never ceases to amaze me the trials that some people must endure...(give examples). And yes, some of them are due to their own poor choices, but even if we made all the right choices in life we are still going to get a large helping of adversity while we are here....after all, that is WHY we are here isn't it? (RS Pres saying as she drives through our hood there is not a single home that behind each door there isn't a trial of some kind.)
So we are going to have them.  In order to press forward in the midst of our trials, we must have a vision of where we are going. Otherwise we don't know where we want to end up and we are just moving without HOPE.  We need hope - we need a destination to reach for

Not only are asked to Press Forward but we are also asked to ENDURE to the end while doing so.

This scripture is such a perfect analogy to running. I took up running a couple of  years after we lost our son Tyson.  I call it my therapy.  I never started out thinking I ever wanted to run a marathon ....but that is now what I am usually training for.  I'm not gonna lie...26.2 miles is a challenging distance.  It takes months of training daily and hours of time spent on long runs/speed work etc.  I can honestly saying running a marathon is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Yet.... I actually PAY to do them!  Explain that?  Running has taught me many life lessons that is for sure.  The main thing is that I can do hard things.  I have never ran one marathon so far when I haven't wanted to quit and just give up.  There is always a point in the race where I question my sanity and wonder how I will ever get to that finish line.  Last year I ran the St. G marathon in my attempt to Qualify for Boston.  Since I had never ran that one before, Dave and I decided to drive up to the starting line the night before.  Everyone told us not to do that because it would psyche me out, but we did anyway.  The entire drive there we both kept saying..."Wow this is so far!"  I was amazed at how many hills were on the course and even more amazed that I was going to be running them the next day.  Then we drove all the way back......We went to the finish line so we could arrange where to meet after the race.  I also wanted to be able to visualize what it would feel like to cross it the next day. The next day when I was running the course and  feeling like there was no way I could go even one more step, let alone climb another hill... I just wanted to be done.  I was tired and weary.  That is the point where I usually start to pray.   And pray I do!  I pray really hard.  I always dedicate my race before hand to someone that has passed on and I actually ask them if they aren't too busy at the moment and if they have any connections up there, if they could maybe petition me some strength.  And I'm here to tell you, I always get it.  Always.  When I feel I have given all I can...I ask for help.  For strength.  And I try to visualize crossing that finish line.  That is what kept me pressing forward and helped me endure to the end of that race.
With enduring comes a willingness to “press forward” even when we are bone weary and would much rather drop off on the side of the road.
Our visions of our future will help us to press forward when we are in the midst of our trials.  If we take the time to envision where we want to be in the next few years and make a plan and then take action to do it we will reach our goals. People don’t just run a marathon when they decide to do it. They must train daily, slowly building stamina and endurance to run the 26.2-mile distance. So it is with life. It is daily diligence with prayer and scripture study  (feasting on the words of Christ) that will help us reach our goals....ultimately eternal life. Our daily decisions are what get us there. (Elaine Dalton)

Currently, I know so many family and friends that are struggling with really hard things right now.   Sisters, when you are going through something really hard...or if you are right now and you
get to a point where you feel like you've given everything you can... and reached a point where you are still willing to give more but you just can't and you've done all that you can humanly possibly do and might feel like you want to give up..... At that time.....  Remember it's at that moment that you MUST Keep PRESSING  ON.....but maybe in a different the way of REMEMBERING that there is someone who is stronger than you....someone that can empower you with HIS strength....someone who you can cast your burden onto .  He has promised us that He will strengthen us and empower us with his strength -  His ability not ours -  His grace is an enabling power that will allow us to cope with our trials and to lay hold on eternal life after we have expended everything of our own best efforts.  That is the part of having a steadfastness in Christ.

We believe in Christ but do we really believe him when he says "I can strengthen you and comfort you?"   I bear witness that He knows us & our heartaches and He knows us personally  and our needs..... He has the power to lift the hands that hang down and strengthen feeble knees.

"God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe." -- Jeffrey R. Holland 
 If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart.  So it has been with the best people who ever lived.Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.” “. . .The Lord’s plan is to exalt you to live with Him and be greatly blessed. The rate at which you qualify is generally set by your capacity to mature, to grow, to love, and to give of yourself. He is preparing you to be a god. You cannot understand fully what that means, yet, He knows. As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth. -Elder Richard G. Scott

When you are feeling like maybe life is too much and you are down and discouraged...I am here to tell the SECRET to lifting yourself back up and it works EVERY SINGLE TIME! It is one of the simplest things to do in the world and people who practice it received all of the  following benefits:
*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
Do I sound like an info-mercial?
GRATITUDE!!!!  It's almost MAGIC!

    Consider this....psychologists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in our life's is how much gratitude we 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 re-connecting with happiness and discouragement.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it's thankful people who are happy.
"When life is seen as good, a bad day can be easily absorbed." Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Gratitude! Being grateful leads to happiness.  It is a magic formula!  We have been commanded to THANK THE LORD IN ALL THINGS.    That means in trials as well as blessings.

Pres Benson said: When we withhold gratitude or praise that might raise another person we are manifesting the sin of pride. On the other hand when we point out the good in others the Holy Ghost helps us discover the good in ourselves and everybody wins.


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."
While we cannot control what happens to us, we can control our reactions to the events of our lives.  THERE IS ALWAYS something to be grateful even in the things we have no control over

Each day is a gift  - story of rock hitting windshield (I now call it my heaven sent rock) Last spring (2015) as I was driving to Ogden in a rainstorm to pick up race packet for my marathon the next day, a rock hit my windshield.  A BIG ROCK!  It happened SO fast!  I had been insanely stressing about my marathon the next day because I developed plantar fasciitis a few weeks before thanks to some new running shoes. I was beyond frustrated because I trained very hard for four months in hopes of a Boston qualifying time. The training paid off and all my times pointed to a good outcome until the injury. That coupled with the fact that we would most likely be running in a downpour- had really taken its toll and got me discouraged. It took a fast flying three inch diameter rock that would've gone straight through my head had my windshield not protected me - to wake me up and realize what's really important and to be grateful.  I realized the marathon is just a race… a big one to me, yes, but still just a race. I immediately felt such overwhelming gratitude that I could even run. Injury or not. It made me realize that .....Life is fragile. But it is also amazing and great! What a great time to be alive!  And I went and ran that race with zero pressure or none of the expectations that I had put on myself the day before... but just enjoyed being alive even running the entire race in a cold downpour.  And I dedicated each mile to something that I was grateful for. It wasn't hard to find 26.2 things! My first mile I dedicated to RAIN (and BIG ROCKS!)
Happiness is the purpose of our existence HF wants us to be happy
Pres Hinckley The more often a person says thank you the more happier he will be ...
J Smith chose to be happy..... always wearing an unconscious smile.
 Having a Love of God and of all men.................
D&C 108:7 Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.

CHALLENGE:  Little acts of kindness.  If those of you present right now will start a chain of acts of kindness just in your little ward, it will has a ripple effect unlike anything you can imagine.  I found this rock on my porch this morning. I collect heart rocks.  Someone who knew I did found this & left it for me...anonymously.  I wish I knew WHO left it, but in a way maybe it's better I don't because now I will treat everyone that I think it might be with a little more kindness & gratitude because it COULD be them.  Heavenly Father always blesses us when we bless others......  This I know.  Last week while shopping I found the cutest PIG pepper grinder and I knew that I needed to get it for a sister in my ward that collects all things pigs.  I dropped it off on her porch (though I left a card & signed it which is sometimes a good idea when you want to build unity) and she in turn wrote me a thank you card.  We both felt loved and a little more bonded.... but since I did that, I have received two things back.  The rock & some chocolate from a friend.  He always blesses us with even MORE than what we give.  ALWAYS!  And the best part is it blesses everyone & it spreads.  ONE TEENY TINY domino placed next to one a little bigger, and then another one a little bigger and on and on..........can start the chain that knocks down a domino as big as the Eiffel Tower.  LITTLE THINGS can have a powerful effect on others.

FEAST ON THE WORDS OF CHRIST...scriptures!  J Smith's example of reading from God's word in a time of trial shows how all his life he had been trained on how to always put his trust in the Lord. The Prophet despairingly pleads to God for help. "My son, peace be unto thy soul;" the Lord lovingly says, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
I love this promise that the Lord extends to Joseph Smith and to all of us! We will all face trials and hard times in our lives. That is guaranteed. The only question is how we respond to those times. How we respond to them determines what blessings we receive. As the Lord says in that scripture, if we endure those trials well, we will be blessed! God will exalt us on high! We will triumph and have victory over all of our foes--discouragement, depression, disappointment, etc. Everything that is holding us down or holding us back. By enduring to the end and following the example of Jesus Christ, we will be blessed with strength to overcome them all!
 Elaine Dalton:  You may never find yourself pressing forward on the hills of a marathon. But you will find yourself faced with choices that will have eternal implications. You can press forward with vision. There may be some steep hills ahead, but our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has promised to climb with you every step of the way. He is our one bright hope. Through Him you can have the hope of returning to live with your Father in Heaven. Through Him you can overcome the things that will keep you from being steadfast. Through Him you can find the strength and courage to press forward even when the winds of resistance blow.
That is the promise! For those who press forward, God the Father promises us that we will have eternal life--living in His presence forever! What is better than that?!? That is the promise that is extended to all who choose to press forward in the face of adversity.
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

SMILE! :)  A smile is a wonderful...But more than that, studies show 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'd like to be crying...helps me to feel better and takes a lot of the pain away.
The Simple act of smiling makes you happier than 2,000 bars of chocolate
“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!”
THANK YOU NOTES ...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
TYSON -   Very hard thing.  But even though I still get sad and miss him a lot....I focus on the great memories and the fact that I got to have  him for 17 years!  That is a blessing!   IF I think about the good that came from his life instead that he is gone. I am happier.  TRUE I had to make a choice....
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus
·         I found this poem and it has became my mantra in many ways....
" I can shed tears that he is gone, or I can smile because he has lived. I can close my eyes and pray that he'll come back, or I can open my eyes and see all he's left. My heart can be empty because I can't see him, or I can be full of the love we shared. I can turn my back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or I can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. I can remember him only that he is gone, or I can cherish his memory and let it live on. I can cry and close my mind, be empty and turn my back, or I can do what he'd want: smile, open my eyes, LVE and go on." ~ David Harkin


Nancy Mc said...

I need to remember that a smile will make me happier than 2,000 chocolate bars.
You are a busy, inspiring woman.
The weight gain during menopause is not a nice thank you.

Dawn said...

lots always happening in your life! The timing on your harp is perfect now that you have more alone time than ever before.

I secretly wish Donald and Hillary would take a ride in a boat and sink ;)

menopause starts with men so why in the world does it affect women? not fair!

Nancy Mc said...

Your pennies found in the HS parking lot motivated me to get the Fremont's parking lot this morning. I had thought about driving there yesterday but decided that would be futile. It is 2 miles from my house. I walked there, then scoured the parking lot for pennies. I found 1. The students at FHS must be willing to pick up their money. I did find a dime about 500 feet from my house as I came home.
My hubby and I laughed and laughed about the Donald/Hillary quote.
We don't have a cabin, and never will. The kids humor me and come to the house for our 'cabin day'.
Feel free to delete this comment.

Jodi Wilding said...

Oh Nancy you make me laugh! Why would I ever delete one of your comments? I love them! FHS kids must value money more the BHS kids do! I went there on my run today as well and found 6 pennies and 2 dimes! It's easier when there are no cars in the pkg lot and the sun is glaring the right direction.
I think that is the coolest thing that you do a cabin day at your own home! How fun! And why not? Sounds like a great idea to me!

The Donald and Hilary quote makes me laugh too!


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