WELCOME TO THE JOURNEY OF THE SLIDERS













May 1, 2014

36 Things You May Not Know About Me...


36 Things You May Not Know About Me...
 
 

In lieu of my 36th Birthday. I thought I would write a novel, haha! These 36 things turned out to be harder than I thought. I'm sure that most won't read them all. But they will be fun for my kids and grandkids all too soon enough;)!  

1. I am the worst of the worst insomniacs. It drives me crazy! I have been one as far as I remember back to my earliest childhood memories. I’ve tried everything, literally. I’m doomed for life.     

2. Because of number one...I envy all people who can fall asleep in minutes!! How nice would that be!!    

3. I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), ADD, and Dyslexia. Now you can stop judging me, and stop judging my grammar and spelling;). At some points in my life these have been huge disadvantages and had caused myself and others a lot of heartache. As I’m getting older…and wiser (haha); these have become positive stepping stones to my growth as an individual. Nothing can stop me at becoming the best me!


4. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. But mostly hate. And I'm really not a hater. I actually don't hate anything else. I might not like something or think it's annoying, because hate is such a strong word. I hate answering calls! If you know me at all, if I answer my phone you'll think it's truly a miracle!  And if I call you back, it's most indefinitely a miracle!  I will sit and talk with someone in person for hours. But to sit on my phone while my ADD brain constantly tells me it's a waste of time and I can be doing 100 other things, drives me crazy! So love to you all who continue to put up with my hate for the phone;).


5. Our kids will get hot sauce or soap in their mouths if they ever say "shut-up" or "I hate you". I think those words are bigger swear words than most casual swear words. But here's the kicker, and get over it if you find it offensive, our kids can say "ass" and get away with it. Cause technically it's really not a swear word;) haha! I say raise your kids however you want, I won’t judge you, you don’t judge me.       

 
6. I got my 6th speeding ticket in 1996 which caused my license to be suspended.   

 
7. My first trip outside the U.S. was to Mexico with one of my soul-sisters from high school. We were Jr's and decided we were all grown up and drove to San Diego and stayed with my Great Grandma Wilson the first night. The second night we stayed in a hotel near the border, met some firefighters, who we then drove with to Rosarito, Mexico with and stayed the night at a hotel there. How are we not dead you ask? That question still remains a mystery.

                                                  
 8. My intuition never fails me. I wished I listened to it more.

                                                    
 9. I love research and statistics. Give me a topic and I'll write up a research paper just for the fun of it.

 
10. I love libraries! I've always loved them. The energy in them is electric. I love the smell, I love the quietness, and I love that it is big old-school manual computer.

 
11. I went to my doctor at the age of 18 and asked for my tubes to be tied. I had 25 good reasons as to why this was a great idea. The doctor told me to come back when I was 25 and we would discuss it. I had Mason at 25...best decision of my life next to marrying Steve.      

 
12. I was born in Utah, moved to AZ when I was twelve, moved back to Utah in 2003, lived there for the last 11 years, and just moved back to AZ 9 weeks ago. I'm a half-breed I guess.


13. I cry easily at movies, commercials, inspirational stories, books, music, pretty much anything with strong emotion. I get that from my Dad. :)    

 
14.  I’ve always been intrigued by what other people think and how other people live. I often wonder what it would be like in another person’s shoes. I’m happy being me and wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I just like to see the other side of the eyes looking at me and to try to understand who they are and why.

 
15.  I’m an introvert. No really. The tests tell me so. It doesn’t mean I don’t love hanging with people, quite the opposite. It just means I need quality alone time to recharge batteries.

 
16. I despise dish-rags. I cannot use them. I've tried over and over throughout the years, but they just freak me out. I use Clorox wipes or a kitchen spray with paper towels.


17. I am a little obsessed with shoes. When we just moved I had 106 pair. I felt liberated when I got rid of 46 of them. I still have a hard time picking a pair to go with an outfit. Almost every day I think I need to throw most of them out and start over again. I am currently looking for the perfect pair of medium brown, white, and a black pair of sandals.


18. I cannot, repeat....CANNOT stand for cupboards or closet doors to be left open. I'm pretty sure it's just part of my OCD, but for the love of life just close them for my sanity!

 
19. I rarely watch t.v. , meaning pretty much never. If I do it's because Steve or the kids turned it on and I happen to be in the same room. If the t.v. is too loud, especially commercials, I want to punch someone in the face. Seriously though, t.v. causes me so much anxiety.  I feel like I am all alone in this department. Is there anyone out there like me, anyone? Bueller??

 
20. I can only sleep on my sides. I rotate back and forth all night. And... I can't sleep well without at least 4-6 pillows.

 
21. I LOVE food! Seriously LOVE good food! When asked a favorite, it just depends on my mood. I can almost always eat Sushi. Some of my favorites are: Thai, Steaks, Salads, Mexican, Italian, Pizza, Burgers & Fries, Indian, and of course Chinese. Did I miss any? Haha!

 
22. I am a night-owl. Period. Which means I am NOT a morning person at all! I'll take a sunset over a sunrise any day. As soon as dusk arrives my soul begins to feel alive and relaxed. I think people who say things like "your wasting your day sleeping in" "you are more productive the earlier you get up" sleeping in is just for lazy people" are downright rude. Well guess what morning people, I never rain on your dumb parade when you're singing praises about loving mornings. Just because you call my "sleeping in" wasteful, when in reality I just got the same amount of sleep you got in your 24hrs. And I guarantee I am just as productive, if not more than most morning people I know. Do you need me to make you a list of I do during my days? I promise you it's nothing close to what I consider to be lazy. Thank-you very much! Yes, his has always been a subject I’ll debate to my deathJ!

 
23. I love fresh flowers. I could buy a few dozen every weekend and place them around my house. I love the look, the smell, and the ambiance they bring to a room. They make my heart smile.     

 
24. I love baseball. I like going to any kind of baseball game. I love the energy, the smells (beer, hotdogs, popcorn, sunflower seeds, gum, grass, dirt, and fresh air), and how happy and relaxed I feel while watching a game. P.S. please don't ever make me watch it on t.v  though.

 
25. I go to church every week, unless we're out of town. Not out of obligation, but because I enjoy it. I love learning about new ways to become more Christ-like and more loving throughout the week. Maybe I love going because I have a hard time taking initiative for my own spiritual reliance.

 
26. I am a really great cook. This continues to surprise me. The first real meal I made for Steve and I was a fish dinner. The cat wouldn't even touch it. I've come a long way over the years and actually really enjoy doing it.  

 
27. There is NOTHING better than clean sheets!! Nothing! Ok, maybe a few, but it's in the top of the list;).

 
28. I do not get most humor, especially jokes. People laugh about all kinds of funny things and I'm thinking damn...why don't I get what they're laughing at? So sometimes I just laugh so I don't feel left out looking stupid.

 
29. No matter what I go through in life, I know I'm going through it with the right person. I knew Steve was meant for me from the very first time I met him. I love that we've fallin in love over and over throughout the years and we'll continue to do so the rest of our lives.

 
30. The second and third best decisions of my life happened when I had my babies. They truly make me a better person every single day. Man I love them more than words could ever be described.

                                                       
 31. I continually think of the 90's as if it were only 10 years ago.

 
32. Organization! What a beautiful word. I love to organize. Closets, pantry's, cupboards, garages, really any unorganized mess.


33. For the love of going to the movies! It is one of my favorite things to do. I'm easily entertained; I love all types of movies. Add a big Vanilla Coke Zero and popcorn with butter...need I say more?? Oh, and every now and then I throw in Jr. Mints, Milk Duds, or Cookie Dough Bites.

 
34. I have ran 4 5k's, 2 10k's, a Ragnar, and a Half Marathon. And I don't really like running. I like how I feel afterwards, but while I'm running, I wonder why I'm doing it.

 
35. I'm the world's worst procrastinator. It is one of my biggest enemies. I hope someday to defeat it.

 
36. I have this weird thing with friends. I have major reservations and trust issues. I love people with all my heart and soul. When you get to know me, you get to know all of me. I am not a pretender in any kind of way. I am who I am. If you know me, you probably know all about me, I have nothing to hide. Once we become close, we are lifetime friends. Yet it takes me a while to let my guards down. I have a hard time continuing to be friends with those who lead double lives/double standards. It’s not me trying to be judgmental, that is the least of my personality traits if you really know me at all. The thing is, life is just too short. Life is too precious and incredible to live your whole life pretending to be something you’re not. I can’t pretend and I can’t watch others pretend like life’s perfect all of the damn time, it’s exhausting. We only have this one life to live. It doesn’t matter how you live it as long as your'e truly happy living it; and we each have a different definition of what that happiness is. 36 years of mine just flew on by like it was nothing at all. I want to try and live this life with as much passion and love and happiness as I can through all of the storms I am given. And who I choose to associate with, makes a huge difference on how I manage to enjoy it. I still mourn those friendships I have lost to different paths of living over the years. Thankfully I believe that there is never a coincidence to anything that happens to us in this life. I’ve had a lot of lovely learning experiences from wonderful people who have chosen their road to happiness that just happens to be different than mine, and that’s ok. Those who I do have a relationship with now are the most important to me. In the end, all we have are those relationships, good or bad. I hope those friendships in the past who have made such an important impact on my life, know how much I love them. And I hope I can choose to love those around me a little more each and every day I have left. I want to leave no regrets or doubts that my loved ones mean everything to me!!    

March 12, 2014

Live With All You Have To Give



FIVE LONG MONTHS TO BE EXACT! This is the longest I have ever gone without blogging, writing, keeping a track of the journey. For those of you that know me, don't know me, read my blog, don't ever read my blog... I have been journaling since I was eight! I have locked trunks of books filled with stories I may or may not want anyone to ever read. That's what I do for partial therapy... I write. Since 2008 I found blogging as a replacement. My family blog was not as personal as my journals had been, but I also had another blog dedicated to personal expression. But just like most mom's/wife's/business owners, the personal time is hard to come by, and my personal writing outlet was left to be written another day, in another year, maybe even for another life.

The busier I've become, the less time I've had to just sit down for an hour or two a week and do one of the things I love the most...Specifically documenting the thousands of pictures I take a week, put some words to the preciously snapped moments I loved from that week.... that are now frozen in time, and turn them into everlasting memories! I can't even begin to explain how much I LOVE looking back over the past five years, over and over, and savoring every little piece of it.



But instead, I've let life completely take over and have somehow pushed out a lot of thigs that should be a priority.

I've also given up on trying so hard to make everything work. Like making sure I had all my shiz together. But I came to the conclusion that I can't do it all...haha, obviously! But somehow so many of us (especially and specifically myself;)) try too damn hard to be the perfect wife's, mom's, employees, business owners, homemakers, have a beautiful and clean house, make and eat nutritional meals for the family, run a list of races, workout 5+ days a week, sale or buy at all the trendy parties, boast about all your kids talents and achievements, make time for date nights, GNO's, keep the yard in decent shape, make time for your kids to find and excell in their talents, make time for ourselves to find balance... and then there's the all important spiritual side of life, that just so happens for me to be the most important in finding my balnce and happiness in my life, and has nothing to do with the religious side of life. Oh, that brings me to the finding time for religion and the list that comes with that too (that's for a blog post all on its own someday soon).

Added to life's lists are always the unexpected. Mason and then Mailee were diagnosed with dyslexia this past year. I knew there had to be answers after Mason has tested year after year with a high IQ, yet continued to fall farther behind in school each year. Learning has been a difficult and stressful journey for him. I'm SO thankful to finally know how to get him help! Thankfully Mailee's dylexia is not as severe and we are able to help her diagnosed at an earlier stage. I wish schools would recognize this as a specific learning disability and get them help sooner. The earlier they are diagnosed and recieve help, the less severe the disablitly becomes. Most kids with dyslexia are incredibly intelligent, all they need is to be taught the way their brains work and they quickly excell. But with class sizes around 35 and special ed classes not willing to split they way they teach ALL learning disabilities as if they were all the same, progression for these kids is nearly impossible. These extremely bright kids will contiue to fail in public schools if this doesn't change in the near future. Regardless of what the schools decide to do, I am extremely thankful for dyslexic programs and tutors!!




To break it down: Last year started out with my Nana going through complications from death defying cancer, Papa surviving a heart attack, passing of my Grandma, the loss of Mailee's classmate/friend, learning about dyslexia, Steve looking for the lucky leprechaun in his new adventurous-short-lived-african job, to not finding the leprechaun that lead us to this new job in AZ, the loss of not one, but both our computer and laptop to viruses (which had thousands of pictures and work documents), having to leave one of the dearest, most beloved, hero of mine...my mom-in-law Donna, along with family and friends who I miss daily, and all of life's details that fit in the middle of that big mouthful.

So in dealing with the side effects of life...anxiety sprinkled with depression for me this year; I didn't feel the need to drowned not only myself in self-pity, but complain like a whiny kid for all the world to see (ok, maybe not the world, but to the three people who read my blog;)). So excuse me for having a really hard time continuing to be "Pollyanna" and trying to find all the good things that were in my life. It's not an easy thing to always look for the bright side of things. But when I was left to beg for mercy on my knees at night, I always...always came to the conclusion that I knew without a doubt that I was blessed in more ways than I could list. I also always knew that someone else out there, A LOT of lovely and nothing but wonderful people I knew and didn't know, were going through MUCH harder and more trying trials than I. Though it didn't take away the pain, though I didn't feel that maybe "this to shall pass" because dammit sometimes it just doesnt. Sometimes we are left with things that cannot be fixed like death, disease's, terminal illness, and permanent handicaps/disabilities. Thankfully I was not experiencing things that truly would never pass. Fortunately each experience I went through has left me a more humbled and grateful person than I was before each trial. Somehow, somewhere, I found gratitude in the middle of my life mess. I have learned that the only thing I can take away from adversity is this:





What did I learn from what I went through? Happiness is not about having everything you want; it's about wanting and appreciating everything you have!
Thankfully I know I'm not alone in learning from life's lessons.
I'm a damn good mountain climber.
Life is truly too short to not be more present, love more, plan less, do more of what I love, live more, and do less.
If I knew I only had a month to live, how would I live my last month? Life is a journey. Take it one day, sometimes one hour at a time.
Once again, I'm taking the leap of faith and embracing all the good in life!


Cheers to the rest of March y'all! You truly never know if it is the last, so live with all you have to give!




October 14, 2013

What Is Happiness...

If you haven't taken the time to watch these Coca-Cola Happiness videos...you really should!! They are AMAZING! Truly Inspirational! 
And you can't deny the happiness on their faces! Made me a Coca-Cola lover even more!!
(If you can't view this on your phone, make sure to view it on a computer) 




There has been so much going on in our lives lately. So much change…too much change at once. As I watch our little families’ world and the world around us, I seek for a calmer and simpler life. Finding that simplicity and the calm is harder than I ever imagined.  I feel like the world and society wants us to believe so many lies, and we forget the truth about what this life is really about. We all have our own theory about what happiness is. In the dictionary it is defined as “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”  Everyone has a different opinion of what brings happiness to their life. I have mine, you have yours. We all try to live in this same world with all these different opinions and theories. My hope is that we can embrace and respect what each others theories are about "what happiness is".

I've really been struggling with my faith lately. You know the definition of faith: To have faith is to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” and “a feeling of optimism or a desire that something will happen”. Each day we act upon things we hope for, even before we see the end result. This is similar to faith. And this is similar to knowing the sun will rise and set each day. It is the reason I live with hope: Hope can be defined as a basic belief in good things to come. It's also a powerful defense mechanism that helps people manage the stressors and problems of life. In our darker moments, hope gives us something to look forward to, and prevents us from simply wallowing in self-pity. It also motivates us to keep going through the tough times, with the expectations that better days are on the horizon. After all, if you had no hope that things would get better, would you really be able to put in the work required to change your circumstances and achieve your goals?

It’s without a doubt devastating to continue to watch your dreams be shattered. It feels like every time Steve and I put our faith into what direction our lives need to be going in and what we want for our future; Life decides to give us a big slap in the face instead…or so it feels like it most of the time. So why when we feel so positive, so secure, so at peace with the decisions we've made; that each decision turns into a dead end?!?!  I have always believed that what you put into the world comes back to you and that everything happens for a reason, everything. Nothing is ever coincidental and God has an exact plan for me. I have always felt confident with these beliefs. But I’m struggling with those beliefs.  I realize everyone has their struggles, everyone has their own set of trials, and everyone is fighting their own battles one day at a time. I know if it came down to throwing our trials into a circle with thousands of other people, and then picking out another’s trial;  I’d most likely still pick my own when compared to what I see family and friends have to bear.

As I have been struggling, I have been searching for answers and comfort. I came across an INCREDIBLE article that has helped me re-focus. I know these things I read to be truer than true. This article along with another GREAT one that can be found HERE, have brought a little hope back into my life. This specific article called This Is Your Brain on Bliss resonated with my soul the most. I loved how Mathieu Ricard wrote “Happiness can’t be reduced to a few agreeable sensations. Rather, it is a way of being and of experiencing the world—a profound fulfillment that suffuses every moment and endures despite inevitable setbacks. We try to create outer conditions that we believe will make us happy. But it is the mind itself that translates outer conditions into happiness or suffering. This is why we can be deeply unhappy even though we “have it all”—wealth, power, health, a good family, etc.—and, conversely, we can remain strong and serene in the face of hardship." 

Ricard continues with how we can find peace and happiness, “The most important time to meditate (or pray) or do other types of spiritual practices is early in the morning. You set the tone for the day and the “fragrance” of the meditation (and prayer) will remain and give a particular perfume to the whole day. Another important time is before falling asleep. If you clearly generate a positive state of mind, filled with compassion or altruism, this will give a different quality to the whole night. When people experience “moments of grace”, or “magical moments” in daily life, while walking in the snow under the stars or spending a beautiful moment with dear friends by the seaside, what is really happening? All of a sudden, they have left their burden of inner conflicts behind. They feel in harmony with others, with themselves, with the world. It is wonderful to fully enjoy such magical moments, but it is also revealing to understand why they feel so good: pacification of inner conflicts; a better sense of interdependence with everything rather than fragmenting reality; and a respite from the mental toxins of aggression and obsession. All these qualities can be cultivated through developing wisdom and inner freedom. This will lead not just to a few moments of grace but to a lasting state of well-being that we may call genuine happiness."

"In this state, feelings of insecurity gradually give way to a deep confidence that you can deal with life’s ups and downs. Your equanimity will spare you from being swayed like mountain grass in the wind by every possible praise and blame, gain and loss, comfort and discomfort. You can always draw on deep inner peace, and the waves at the surface will not appear as threatening.” I love every word spoken of truth here. There is no denying the details of God in my life when I feel his love through His truths.

It’s one day at a time right now. Some days are easier than others. Some days you fight the whole day to survive it. It’s just life. If we all walked around with signs around our necks explaining our current struggles (or past struggles) we would be a lot kinder and more loving to everyone around us. Everyone has a story to be told of triumph over surrendering to life’s refinement.  And although I feel like my refinement is too much to bear at the moment; I continue to HOPE and PRAY for the strength to get through it all. At the end of the day, I count my blessings each night; I then feel what I call HAPPINESS.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

September 26, 2013

Yep...4th of July!!


(back-blogging July 4th! I'm making progress...only 2 months behind now:))

Click HERE to see a wonderful video that explains how I feel about being a proud American!!

I love this time of year! Everything about staying up late, sleeping in, spending quality time with my family, warmth, and lots of laughing and smiles! I am extremely patriotic and I love celebrating our wonderful country and all it has to offer. I feel honored and blessed to live where we have the opportunity to choose to make our dreams come true. 

This year we traveled to Idaho Falls. We were told they had the 3rd best firework show west of the Mississippi!! We had the pleasure of staying with the amazing Vaughn family! They are more than gracious and loving hosts! We loved the time we were able to spend with them...Thank-you Vaughn family!

Mailee couldn't stop giggling at this potato bench that she thought looked like our dog Wilson's "balls"! Haha! This little girl of ours always keeps us laughing!



Aunt Becky showed us around town and all the cool little spots!


Steve's cousin, Lizzie, invited us to The Blatter Farm for a wonderful Idaho 4th barbecue dinner. We had a great time eating yummy food and enjoying family on this beautiful farm.


Aunt Becky made these awesome water-sponge-balls! 
The kids had a BLAST playing with these in their yard for hours!
I need to make these for next summer for sure! So much fun!






We celebrated the day honoring those who have fought for our freedoms and saluting those heroes who continue to keep our freedom!















What I continue to learn about my photography skills is this:
I am not a professional nor think I will ever be.
I would LOVE to take fabulous professional looking pictures of my family...but it seems that no matter what I do, I end up in frustration trying to figure things out. I have had numerous people try and explain the ins-and-outs of the basics of my camera...but when I'm actually in the situation where I need to remember what ISO to what aperture, to who knows what photography lingo?!?! I can't remember a thing! Oh well, at least I have my crappy iPhone camera to save my butt most days.

So when I look at these pictures... I can at least see the comical side and laugh a little at myself;)












I think the best part out of what I took a thousand pictures to get these few that semi turned out... Is Masons face! He was more annoyed with me than I was annoyed with myself, and I was really annoyed with me!




Regardless if I can take great pictures or not...
I love capturing moments in time! Before I know it these little ones will be gone and I'll be stalking them at collage, or annoying them by take a thousand pics of grand-babies!




These two, Chance Vaughn and Stefanie were nice enough to save us an incredible spot next to the Snake River at Idaho Falls. These two lovebirds got engaged shortly after the fourth (and are now married). Thanks for helping make our 4th so memorable!

And the rumor about this firework being the best of the west...
It held it's end of the bargain and was absolutely the BEST show we had ever seen!! We will definitely be back next year!!



Our drive home was quite unnerving to say the least. We received a  warning on our phones telling us " THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN POCATELLO HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WARNING- PLEASE SEEK SHELTER ". Luckily when we stopped at a gas station in Pocatello, they said it wasn't a big deal, they issue them all the time. Well, alrighty then... We continues on our way through scary skies, heavy-heavy winds, and flash-flooding To say "There's No Place Like Home" was an understatement that night! 

We were thankful for a wonderful weekend and even more thankful to sleep in our beds that night!:)
Home Sweet Home!  


September 19, 2013

Happy 60th Anniversary!!!

(YES...I am still back-blogging;) I've now caught up to the end of June!! Yay!)

It started with a simple ring, many years ago,
And now you have a treasure chest that's begun to overflow.
For 25 years of married bliss, much silver did you store,
And then you reached your 40th, with ruby stones galore!       
You travelled through life to 50 years of happy wedded bliss
Your treasure grew with golden gifts, to toast your happiness
And now you've reached that special day, that's only seen by few
60 years together, now its diamonds for both of you.
But the treasure that you value most isn't jewels, silver or gold
But the love you have for each other, that has never grown old!









My Aunts, Josie and Susan put together a lovely 60th Anniversary party for my Nana and Papa. It was a beautiful French themed celebration! I am honored to be a part of a family with a incredible legacy of Loving Unconditionally! I have learned so much from my grandparents who I simply adore. It's rare in this day of age to see those who live this long to make it to such an inspiring milestone! Marriage is definitely not an easy one, 
but I have seen by their wonderful example,
that it is with out a doubt worth it!  

I love you Nana and Papa!!
Congratulations on a remarkable 
and honorable milestone!!






















Click HERE is a video I created for this event...


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