Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brady & Jen

I got the opportunity to spend a few days with my brother and his wife last week and it was so good for my soul.  I am just awed by them.  They are the most perfect (no one is perfect, I know) couple.  They compliment one another so completely and they both spur the other on to growth and excellence and I love that.  Also, (since I am the big sister, I can say this), I have seen them both grow and mature so much over the past five years and I am so glad that I got to be with them and just hang out.

I did get to go to Disney twice while I was there! Jen took me the first night to see Elsa "ice" Cinderella's castle.  It was so much fun to be with Jen and some of her friends from work.  They were all so super excited to see the castle get lit for the first time this season!  And Olaf made his first ever Disney appearance and that was super fun!!!  Then the next day Brady took me to the park and we did a whole lot of going from ride to ride deciding the lines were too long!  We did get to see Cinderella in the parade and that was super special for us!

It was a relaxing weekend away from kids and the computer (and even my phone due to technical difficulties).  I appreciate the time they took out of their schedules to entertain me and hang out with me!  They are great!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Snow On The Mountains

So, yesterday I grabbed my littles from school early to head to the mountains because there was snow.  Last year I did this and it was a super fun memory, so when I saw snow on the mountains yesterday I decided to make a tradition out of it!

They were so excited!  Dax actually said that when he saw snow on the mountains on the way to school that he knew I'd be coming to get him!

So, I headed to the mountains with Tiki, Dax and Gabby (and Baylor).  The weather was beautiful and the drive was peaceful.  We to to Molas pass and had a blast throwing snowballs and laughing.  When it was time to leave, we realized that the keys had been locked in the car.  Not great.

Thankfully we have AAA and thankfully there were several very generous people around at the time. One guy gave us food, water and THREE wonderful coats to wear while we waited.  He left us with the coats and his contact info so we could ship them back.  Another couple let the kids warm up in their car for about 30 minutes and then gave us blankets and towels and another coat when it was time for them to leave.  They are from Durango, so we'll be returning those today.

It was an adventure.  It was a great lesson in helping others.  It got cold and we huddled together under the coats and blankets with Baylor on top of us trying to keep warm while we waited more than two hours for AAA.

So, the day won't long be forgotten, but I have a feeling they'll only remember the locked out part and not the fun in the snow part.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ring Ching

So, a year ago today I was driving home from work praying about this new health and wellness company I was involved in.  I had been using the products for about 6 months, I had lost 40 pounds and I was feeling great.  Financially things were difficult at camp and I felt like I needed a financial back up for my family.  God really laid it on my heart to give MLM a go.  So, I prayed about it and I asked Him to send me the right people and to guide my steps.

When I walked in the door from my commute, I got a call from a number I didn't recognize.  It was one of my sorority sisters (my big actually) who needed a change.  She needed some weight loss, she needed health, but what she was desperate for at that time was to be able and make her car payment.  Her testimony is below.  In the past 52 weeks she has gotten so much more from this company than a few pounds off and a car payment made monthly!

And so have I!  I have friendships that I would have never had.  Kirsten is one of my closest friends now and I missed that opportunity 20 years ago when I could have taken it.  I have dear friends all over the country because of this company.  I am healthier and I feel better.  I am learning about health and wellness and I love all I am learning.  I am a part of something bigger and I love that!  I love that I can help make people's lives better.  I can give help them get better health, I can help them loose weight (and keep it off), I can help them feel better, I can help them reach their financial goals and their financial dreams.

I don't like talking about finances.  I don't ever want to sound ungrateful or sound like I'm bragging.  But, I think it is important to share what this company has done for my family financially.  In the past year, I have earned over $28,000 working this extremely part time.  I'm a busy working mom and this company is not at the top of my to do list, but it is such a generous company with such a simple and generous compensation plan and I have been able to leverage my efforts and my time by building a great team based on my friend who called me 365 days ago asking for help.

So, RING CHING.  Ring Ching to a sorority sister that God put in my life 20 years ago for more than just college stuff.  Ring Ching to a year of helping other people change their lives and get the health they deserve.  Ring Ching to a company that is generous and full of integrity.  Ring Ching to products that are truly life changing and I can speak from my own experience as well as the experiences of my husband, my children and my friends across the world!


Kirsten's Story:
Hi. I'm a 38 yr old mom of 4 who was struggling with weight and health issues for the past few years since I had 3/4 of my thyroid removed. I worked out 5 times a week and was exhausted! I took cat naps every afternoon around 4 and was addicted to diet coke and sugar! I also had disc replacement surgery a year and a half ago in my neck and was told I would never regain full movement in my neck again and afterwards was addicted to hydrocodone and muscle relaxers because of the constant pain. I had IBS for the past 15 years in which I have been medicated for, but never fully felt relief. Almost 2 years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and the doctor and all my friends and family thought we had finally found a cure for my stomach issues. I quit gluten immediately and expected to drop weight fast and feel better but neither one came. 

So a year ago I heard about these products through my college friend Jamie Jo and trusted her so I decided to go for it. What did I have to lose??

In the first 8 days I lost 9 lbs and 16 inches. Not only did i begin toI look better and have the problem with my pants falling down without a belt, I felt amazing. I was no longer am tired. I no longer take naps. I feel like the energizer bunny! Having read that these products reduce inflammation, I decided to quit my narcotics cold turkey. By the next day the pain in my neck and shoulder was gone! I could turn my head all the way to the left for the first time in years! I also stopped taking my IBS meds and have never felt better!!! 

A little after the 2 month marker I exceed my goal with 24 lbs loss and over 44 inches gone! Now maintaining it with amazing workouts powered by Spryng that is re-shaping my body! Never too old or stuck to try something new!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some Things I'm Learning

God has me in an interesting (and really) hard place emotionally right now.  It is interesting because I am running all over the country hanging out with great people, working hard and having a great time, but on the inside He really is doing  number on my heart as He turns my world sideways.  You don't need to know all of the details, but there are things that I am struggling with and that I have been struggling with for five years now--but really they date back as far as I can remember.

I'm really trying to work on my self development in many areas as I cry out to God to show me the me I need to become.  I'm realizing that in many situations as I deal with certain people (Tiki and Andy for example) that I am the one who needs to change.  Period.  I have been working so hard to get others to change and God has made it painfully and exceedingly clear to me that I need to work on me--mostly because I can only control me.

When I went back to my Gran'ma's home this summer and stayed there without her it was the first time I really realized what a safe place her home was for me and what a safe person she was in my life (and I've written about this before).  I was talking on the phone to my dad this weekend and the words I had been thinking, but not ready to admit, came blubbering out of my mouth, "I have a need to be 'the favorite' and I was her favorite.  Now I don't have anyone who's 'favorite' I am and that is so scary for me."  That was an embarrassing and almost toddler-like admission to make.

I had just been to see a neat Christian counselor before I made that admission out loud (I didn't even make it to my counselor).  The counselor helped me see that I have a deep longing and thirsting desire to be loved and when I don't feel loved (which also looks like not feeling good enough), then I go into "super hero" mode and try to be more and more perfect so that I can be worthy of that person's love.  It is interesting how that cycle is the same for all of my relationships, but it presents itself in different ways depending on the person (Tiki and Andy in my case right now).

I am learning that I need to put my trust in God and not in people to accept me and to make me happy.  People may disappoint me, but it is not my responsibility to control them so that they don't (back to that fear thing I wrote about HERE).  For some reason, my fear, I have been trying so hard to control those I love this fall because I have been scared that they would disappoint (Tiki) me or hurt (Andy) me and I thought (wrongly) that if I could just "control" them, then I would be disappointed or hurt.  Wow.  That is warped!

I read something in a book yesterday:

Forgiveness means "to let go."  It means making courageous choices to rise above our pain.  We do that by taking positive action. . . .

LET GO. . . (the author was quoting another author here)
To "let go" does not mean to stop caring; it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off; it's the realization that I can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To "let go" is not to try and change or blame another; it's to make the best of myself.
To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.
To "let go" is not to judge, but to let another be a human being.
To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To "let go" is not to regret the past, bu tot grow and live for the future.
To "let go" is is to fear less and love more.
To "let go" is to let God.

That was powerful for me!  It is amazing how God brings things quietly to my mind, then reaffirms them--in this case through a good book written by a wise woman and through a counselor who truly cares about me.

I'm a work in progress!  I have such a long way to go, but I think making that awful admission that I just long to be someone's favorite (unhealthy though it is) and the fact that I am realizing that I need to work on ME and not control others are huge steps towards my healing and my being a better version of myself.  I could type all day on this topic, but I have to run--school, work and five children need me more than this blog!  Pray for my healing if you want!  

Monday, October 20, 2014


This past week I got to travel to Philadelphia for the first time.  Oh my.  I really like that city!  There is so much to see and do--I felt like I was in a European city.  I didn't get much time to explore because I was there for work (our Gap Year kids are there), but I had a great time for the few days I was there working!  I got to meet with our Gap Year kids and their parents and I got to eat with old staff and two of my professors from Eastern.  It was jam packed and even included a spontaneous trip to a jazz club where our Uber driver was a big star!!!
A "Sorry" game piece in honor of my family because that is one of our favorite board games!
One of my professors, Beth.
My accounting (for dummies) professor, JoAnne.
My Uber driver who happened to be IT at the local jazz club!
They asked him to play a song or two.  So fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mickey & Friends

Last weekend I got to spend a super weekend in LA with my new Xyng Friends.  It was a great three days!  We were in training for the majority of the time and I learned so much.
My very favorite part about the weekend was on Saturday morning when I walked into the green room and the entire executive team was circled up holding hands and praying.  That blew me away.  I knew that I loved this company (and the products), but the face that our executives were praying before the training floored me.  But it only got better from there!  During the training at one point we all stood up and held hands at first just to show that we are all a part of one vision and one goal.  Then one of the members read an amazing quote from his quiet time that morning and it was followed by one of the highest earners in the company praying that as we were all learning these new training methods that we would retain all the things we needed to and that our motives would be pure.  Wow!  I don't care what anyone says about multi level marketing because it doesn't matter for me and this company specifically.  It is made up of hard working people who love the Lord and just want to help others!  That's the bottom line and I feel so blessed to have found this company!
The president of the company based our training on Biblical principles he found in the story of David & Goliath.  I thought that was going to be my highlight, but it was trumped by the prayer the next morning!
They also announced a new product (again) and I love it!!!
After the training, we headed to Disney for the afternoon and the company threw us a huge party at California Adventure that night complete with red carpet pictures with Mickey and Minnie.
My selfie with the president of the company and the company's top earner (she made $1,000,000 last year).
Pluto has always been my favorite!!!
On the way home, I got to spend the day (very unexpectedly) with Laci Friend who is the top earner in the company.  She is just a small town Kansas girl who loves the Lord and has big dreams (she calls them "God Dreams.")  We have so much in common and it was the perfect "cherry on top" to the weekend.  I am thankful to be able to call her my friend!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fact or Fiction?

So, I was cruising Facebook just now (because I have a paper due and I am in no mood to write it) and I saw this picture on a friend's wall (thanks, Tiff).  The quote is by a friend from Baylor (okay, not a friend, but the brother of a friend--he would recognize me if he saw me, but he'd have no idea what my name is and out of context the same would apply in reverse probably).  He has a book coming out in a couple of weeks and I'm sure it will be great.

I'm not doing a book promo right now, I just want to write about this quote.  It's funny how hard it struck me when I read it.  It is so true so often--I'm not sure how Scott is meaning it, but for me it hit home that it is so much easier for me to believe the lies that I tell myself (thanks to how loudly the devil whispers into my ears) rather than the truth that I know to be true deep down somewhere hidden.  The lies about how I look and about how good of a mom or wife I am are the biggies I struggle with.  There are so many more daily (hourly) and for some reason I pick the easy road and just latch on to them.  Why do I believe the fiction in my head instead of the truths?

This morning Andy and I flew to Denver (and then on our separate ways) and he told me something nice about myself and I just laughed it off.  But he didn't let me.  He said, "why do you always do that?"  Why do I?  Why do I laugh off the compliments of a man who loves me?  Why can't I believe that they are true?

I don't know.  Like I said, this blog was unplanned. . .I was just putting off homework.  But then I stumbled across this quote and I had to write.  I know I'm not the only one affected by fiction over fact.  I really want to work on believing fact instead of fiction for the rest of this month and see where that takes me!  We'll see. . . . 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


As moms (and maybe dads, I'm not one), don't we feel tons of pressure (from ourselves) to be everything to everyone?  Pressure to bust out of our jammies or work out clothes or work clothes and be Super Mom (with no cellulite showing through our skin tight costume)?  I do!  And sometimes it is EXHAUSTING.  The pressure I put on myself to be amazing for everyone is exhausting.  Why do we do that?

So, I was jamming to my music (not a pretty sight) while I was cleaning the kitchen (thank you broken dish washer for the black mold that has infested my kitchen) and this song came on.  I've heard it a zillion times, but I guess I really heard the words for the first time.  It was refreshing.  Somehow it gave me the freedom to just be human and not expect so much out of myself!!!

by Christina Perri

I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that's what you want
Be your number one

I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that's what you ask
Give you all I am

I can do it
I can do it
I can do it

But I'm only human
I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
'Cause I'm only human

I'm only human
I'm only human
Just a little human

I can take so much
'Til I've had enough

Anyway, why that song gave me a sense of freedom, I do not know.  But sometimes we Super Moms in disguise just need to be reminded that we are only human and as one of my professors told me, sometimes it is ok to just be ok.  Freedom in those words!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fear & The Control Freak In Me

I'm having a great week.  I have chosen positive thoughts and positive actions and I have chosen to be happy.  Weird that those are all choices that one has to get up and make, but I'm finding that to be true more and more often than not.  So, why this post about fear?  Well, I've been thinking about it and even though it doesn't match my mood or my "place" today, I wanted to get it on paper.

I feel like I have blogged a lot in the past year about fear and love and the fear that comes with loving.  And I've been hearing a lot about fear because Andy's newest book is about fear.  And there is so much fear all around us (another post for another time) thanks to the news and crazy Facebook rants.  I feel like we are surrounded by fear.

One of my girlfriends and I were talking the other day about this fear that is often paralyzing (especially in relationships) and I said something that sounded very well thought out and rehearsed and really it just came to me.  I said something like. . . fear is safe for us because we can control it.  When we don't fear (just trust and have faith), we have nothing to hold on to and that makes many of us feel out of control.  With fear in our lives we are at least in control of that.  It is warped, but the more I think about it, the more I think it is true.

I have fear in relationships.  What if they don't like me?  What if they reject me?  What if they betray me?  Relationships and how the other person will handle you is out of your control, so you let fear step in because in some weird way, you can control that.  I should be saying "I," not "you."  If I have fear that someone won't like me, I hold on to that and do everything in my power (out of unhealthy fear) to make them like me.  Whew.  I'm in control.  What if they betray me?  I hold on to that fear and don't trust because if I don't trust (out of fear), then my trust can't be broken.

It is simple and complex.  I am afraid of turbulence when I am flying (especially without my kids).  Does my fear keep the plane in the air?  No.  But if I have fear, then I have some form of control when I am in a situation with ZERO control.  And somehow I think that feeling of control helps me feel better.  Maybe?  If Hays is late from wherever he is driving from I go into fear mode that something happened because somehow that gives me a little bit of control.  If I wonder what any boy in my house is doing online while I'm not looking, I snoop around and somehow that fear gives me control.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense or not.  I just get the feeling that my fear in my relationships comes because I am somewhat of a control freak and I don't really know what to do when I'm not in control. Then I allow fear to slip in and somehow I grab on to that because that seems like control.  Mind you, this is all subconscious.  I do not consciously choose fear ever.  But Andy said something to me the other night (that made me mad and hurt my feelings because it seemed so mean) that as I thought about it started to make a little bit of sense.  He asked me when I am going to decided to get out of my fear funk.  Those were not his words, I don't remember his words.  I was too mad to remember his words.  But as I thought about it, that is when this idea started coming to me.

I have to choose not to fear.  There, little Miss Control Freak inside of me--control that!  Relationships are scary, but they are also fun and wonderful and life-giving.  So, just enjoy.  Don't fear the unforeseeable.  Just go along for the ride.  Will I be hurt and rejected and berated?  Well, yes, probably at some point.  But I will be happy and accepted and someone will be faithful a zillion times before the other happens.  So I do need to just let go, put my hands up (like on a roller coaster) and enjoy the ride for what it is.  I am choosing not to fear.  And hopefully that daily choice will become such a habit that I won't even have to make it and fear will be so far out of my mind.  I'm choosing happy.  I'm choosing trust.  I'm choosing to believe that the things people say about me are true.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Who Wants A Time Share?

So, one of my best friends is trying to sell her time share.  It is at the Grand Mayan and they have these beautiful resorts all over Mexico.  It is a 5 star resort (I've been to two of them--it should be 6 stars) and I love it!

  • 3 floating weeks each year (not available on major international holidays)
  • 2/2 lock out which means:  grand master suite with occupancy for 8 in 2 king bedrooms with full baths and couches with a gourmet kitchen, dining room and living room (trundles that sleep 4 more) or 1 kind size bedroom with bathroom lock off.
  • it sleeps up to 11 people
  • 14 years remaining
  • maintenance fee once every 5 years is $997
  • locations: Rivera Maya (Cancun), Cabo, Acapulco, Nuevo Vallarta, Mazatlan, Puerto Pensaco/Rocky Point and Puerto Vallarta
Similar time shares are selling online for up to $21,000 and they are just asking $12,000 (and are very willing to negotiate).  What does that mean?  That means that for $12,000 you get up to 3 weeks of vacation every year and you only pay $1,000 (less than) each year when you stay.  

This sleeps up to 11 people!  Oh my goodness!  That is less than $15 per person per night.  Get some friends together for a great 5 star vacation!  I'll go with you each year, we just can't buy the time share because we just bought one (unfortunately because I would MUCH RATHER have THIS one)!

Let me know if you're interested!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Volleyball Champions!

Maggie's team won the championship today and she played like a rock star!  It was so much fun to watch!  She played so well, she knew what was going on on the court, she was a team leader.  It was awesome!  I loved seeing how excited she got with each point and then ultimately the tournament win!  (I cried.)

It was a crazy day of being a mom--Maggie had multiple volleyball games in Durango while Dax and Tiki had a football game in New Mexico.  Maggie's team wasn't expected to go very far, so I didn't make plans for the football game.  When it started looking like they were going to win I had to become a total spaz.  I hopped in the car, drove Dax & Tiki to New Mexico, begged the coaches to bring them home and then peeled out on my way back to Colorado.  (It was a miracle they made it home--actually Dax isn't even back yet.)

But volleyball was awesome!!!!
I love how excited she gets!
Poor Gabby hopping in the car back and forth across state lines all day!  What a trooper!