Lately

Sorry I’ve been so MIA for the last month. The first week of February was like a whirlwind as we travelled to Utah for my sister-in-law’s wedding, and the week we got back was so busy with work and babysitting and just general craziness that I fell behind with the blog and never caught back up. The month of February in general was just hard for me. I kind of abandoned all of my goals, I spent a lot of time feeling down and completely un-motivated to do things that needed to get done, and in general I was just in a slump. Do any of you have times like that that you go through?

Anyway, with the start of a new month I have tried to brush off the last few weeks and start fresh with a positive perspective. I’m usually the kind of person that really gets down on myself when I abandon a goal, but I’m going into the month of March with the mindset that just because I haven’t done something for a few weeks doesn’t mean that it’s too late to start again. My whole year isn’t ruined because things went a little sideways in February, right?!

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I love this quote. My friend handed it out during her lesson at church a few weeks ago and it really struck a chord with me. It’s so true too, isn’t it? Usually when we are feeling negative it is so easy to be down and make negative choices. Not even necessarily bad choices…just…not good ones, or productive ones. It’s during those times though that I think it’s the most important for us to make sure we make intentionally positive choices. It can really turn the whole day around, and our attitude too! This quote is my new mantra for March. I hope it helps to inspire some of you too if you have gotten in a slump over the last month or so!

I have every intention of being back to posting regularly this month, so I am hoping I can stay motivated and have that all pan out. I did want to go ahead and quickly say thank you to you all though–1) for voting for my #eyebooster video for the Physicians Formula contest (positive thoughts are still appreciated until they pick a winner at the end of the week!) and 2) for subscribing to my YouTube channel. Starting YouTube and putting myself out there has been a really scary thing (I feel like such a dork, you guys) but I am really glad I am doing it, and thankful to those of your supporting me! I already have well over 150 subscribers in just two months, and while I realize that is almost nothing in the world of YouTube, it means a lot to me. Other than my husband I haven’t really told any of my friends or family about my channel, so all of my subscribers are people I don’t know personally which makes me pretty excited! Haha, see? I totally am a dork. Oh well! If you want to subscribe to my channel or watch my videos I have it linked with the rest of my social media icons on the top right of this page. Thank you to you all!

Okay, nap time is almost over which means my blogging time is about to be cut short. I’ll talk to you all again later this week!

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Goals for 2015

I hope all of you had a fun and relaxing New Year’s Day today. Even though Brinton had to work we still had a great afternoon and evening together as a family, and even got the chance to enjoy a Chinese dinner which is one of my favorite New Year’s Day traditions. I know it’s already pretty late in the day, but I wanted to go ahead and put up my goals for 2015 post before I went to bed tonight. So, here they are!

Goals for 2015 Header

As I mentioned in the last post, my word of the year for 2015 is priorities. Keeping that in mind, I took some time today to think about what things I really wanted to prioritize this year, and I came up with five areas of my life I want to improve.

Faith // Practice more open communication with the Lord through prayer and scripture study, and continue to learn how to listen to Him (how He speaks to me).

Fitness // Be active for at least 30 minutes every day.

Finance // Learn how to make a monthly budget–and then stick to it!

Self // Make time to allow myself to be more creative–learning new skills, DIY, art, music, theatre, YouTube, etc.

Family // Communicate more openly with my husband and make an effort to intentionally date him through the year; push myself to be more present with Evan and not allow less important tasks to distract me from my most important job as a mother.

This year I tried to set goals that would be attainable but still push me and challenge me to grow. I have every intention of using these goals to guide me in my monthly and weekly planning, and am confident that my word of the year will drive me each and every day. Even today it made a difference! Evan woke up so crazy early this morning and when he went down for his first nap all I wanted to do was take a nap too. But instead–remembering priorities–I changed into my work out clothes and pushed myself for 30 minutes. I ended up with a pretty good dose of energy through the rest of the morning, and even though I was a little tired by the afternoon I felt so good that I had made a positive choice.

So tell me, what are some of your goals for 2015? How did you celebrate the arrival of the new year?

2015 and my Word of the Year

Friends,

Happy New Year Polaroid

I know I’ve been missing in action for a few months around here. When my in-laws came to visit in November I let myself take some time off from the blog so I could really enjoy their visit. Then the holidays were suddenly here and I decided to not stress over making sure I was getting posts up and just take a little blog-vacation until the new year. I’m sorry I didn’t really have a post up to communicate all that to you! Forgive me?

Speaking of the new year–I can’t believe it’s here already. I feel like holidays sped by so quickly that they didn’t even happen yet! Even though the end of 2014 flew by, I am really excited for the new year. I always feel like in a way, the slate is somewhat wiped clean at the start of a new year. It’s a perfect chance to start fresh, be renewed and re-energized, and set some new goals. I like the idea of goals so much better than the idea of resolutions. And this year, inspired by Elizabeth from Elizabeth Loves, I decided to pick a word to focus on in 2015–a word of the year, if you will. I’m still setting a few goals, but this year I am going to use this word to inspire and motivate me to accomplish the things I set out to do and to help me transform into a better version of myself.

So, what’s my word of the year, you ask? Priorities. I can easily say that with this word in mind as I plan my goals–both my larger goals and my smaller day to day tasks–I will be able to really evaluate if I am working towards the things that matter most to me. And sometimes it won’t be about making a good decision vs. a bad decision, but perhaps it will be to choose between something good and something better. I was inspired by this word, and chose it with the hope that I will be able to look back on my year at the end of 2015 with a feeling of accomplishment and knowing that I actively made an effort every day to improve myself.

Also…surprise! I decided to go for it and make my first YouTube video. Whaaaat?! I know. Crazy. I’d love for you to watch and let me know what your word for 2015 is going to be.

I’ll be back on the blog later today to share my goals for the year, but since I am writing this just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’m going to close my laptop and enjoy watching the rebroadcast of the ball dropping in Times Square with my husband.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Assume the good, doubt the bad…

Today at church I had the opportunity to listen to a wonderful lesson that one of the young women leaders was teaching to our girls. The topic was how we can support and serve our family members, and why it is so important. As she was teaching, I felt very pensive. I have reflected on my my relationship with my family each and every day for the last few years. I realize that I probably was not the most amazing teenager to raise, and that I have so many shortcomings that it is a miracle that my parents even allowed me to live through my teenage and young adult years. Sometimes I argue with my husband over silly little things that neither of us remember the next day, and on occasion I have realized that I am just plain rude to my extended family.

I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes, hurt a lot of feelings, burned a few bridges, tried to mend wounds, learned, tried to grow, re-built relationships, cherished the little things, become best friends, and have really realized why family is so very important. Through it all, I think the biggest thing I have learned is that I could have done better. I think we all come to a point in our lives when we realize this. It’s part of growing up, really. This is something that I know now, and that helps make me a better person each and every day. I think before I act. I choose my words carefully. I make the decision to not be offended. I cling to the opportunities I have to see or talk to family. Sometimes, I fall short. I realize I have slipped back into being distant, or moody, or that I have started to take for granted these people who I love dearly. So I start again, trying each day to be better than I was the day before.

This lesson at church really impacted me today. As I was sitting and listening to the lesson, I was reminded of a quote I recently saw on facebook. It is by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and it was a reminder that I needed to hear.

How often do we not do this? Why does it become so easy sometimes to assume that someone–especially someone we love–intended the worst possible thing and meant to hurt us? Why do we not give people the benefit of the doubt? Why do we let these feelings grow and fester, rather than assuming the good and letting the bad go?

Just like I am not perfect, my loved ones aren’t perfect either. The thing is, I don’t expect them to be perfect. They don’t expect me to be perfect. It’s okay to slip up. It’s okay to have a bad day. What it isn’t okay to do is push family away. It isn’t okay to look for reasons why our loved one is wrong. It isn’t okay to have to always be right. And, it isn’t okay to be offended by the little things, or to look for reasons to be upset.

Choosing to not be offended is actually much easier than you might think. Instead of assuming the worst and feeling hurt, try taking a brief moment to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Brush it off, and move on. You will be astounded how much better you feel. Just try it. If you don’t see your relationships improving, you can always go back to being upset and offended. But I promise you, the more you try to “assume the good and doubt the bad,” the more you will feel the burden of contention lifted from your shoulders and your relationships.

Try it this week. This is my formal challenge to you, my 15 readers that have somehow stumbled across my blog. I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m expecting it to be quite challenging. But I am also expecting it to be very, very worth it. Extend the practice outside of your families too. Put it into play with everyone you come in contact with this week. Your co-workers. A friend. The person on the bus who takes the last seat. That car in traffic that cut you off. Choose not to be offended.

Assume the good, doubt the bad.

How to Get Organized

My husband and I recently moved into a new apartment. I was so excited at the opportunity to re-organize our life and revamp the way we operate in our home. We were living in a very, very tiny studio and moving to a somewhat larger, but still tiny one bedroom apartment, so I knew that even though I would have more space, I didn’t want that to mean that suddenly our stuff was going to be everywhere. I wanted things to be streamlined, and pretty, and I really wanted everything to have a place. It took longer than I wanted it to, but this weekend I finally got everything squared away. After everything was done, I sat down with a nice cold glass of lemonade (it’s always summer here in Hawaii!) and reflected upon my accomplishment.

Here are my 5 motivators/tips to getting organized:

1. Just Do It

Yes, I did just grab my inspiration from Nike. Sometimes when it comes to organizing, all it takes is just getting up and doing it. The longer I would sit there thinking about all of the things I had to organize, the less was happening, and the more I was feeling overwhelmed. When I finally just got up and started sorting through things, I realized it wasn’t as overwhelming as I was making it out to be in my head. I also realized I was actually enjoying everything finally getting put away. Step one: just stand up!

2. It really doesn’t take that long

When it comes down to it, I had my whole apartment organized in just a few hours (that includes being cleaned!). Now, that may sound like a long time, but think about how long it takes to clean up when everything piles up everywhere and things get out of control. You may even have to break it up into small organization projects room by room and tackle everything a little bit at a time, and that is perfectly fine! You’ll find that once you start, time flies by.

3. Don’t let yourself get distracted

This one is hard for me. I started my organization project in our bedroom. As I began sorting through everything and putting things in their “new homes,” I would take something into another room. Then, seeing something that needed to be put away in that room, I would start organizing that pile. I had to stop myself a few times (out loud, even) and go back to the one room I was supposed to be working on. It took a little bit of diligence, but once I was able to solely focus on the task at hand, it wasn’t long before I was completely finished organizing our bedroom. It was satisfying (and motivating!) to see one room 100% finished instead of three rooms partly finished. It helped to feel that I had really accomplished something, and it made moving on to the last two tasks/rooms much easier.

4. If it doesn’t have a home now, it’s never going to have a home

This is a sad but simple truth. If you put something in a non-specific area “to be dealt with later,” chances are it is just going to become a pile of clutter. I used to have a bad habit of making these kinds of piles around my house, and every designated cleaning day I would re-sort the pile…make it not so cluttered looking…maybe move it to another area…but I would never actually do anything with it. If something can’t be placed in a designated area now, it probably needs to go. Of course there are exceptions and situations where this wont apply, but overall, I feel like it is a good rule. It also leads to my last tip:

5. Some stuff just has to go

If you are undecided on where to put something ask yourself the following questions: Do I use this? Do I really like this? Can it go with other things that I’m having trouble finding a home for? If I get rid of this, will I even notice? Chances are, it is something that you can live without.  If you are really having trouble getting rid of it, I have heard other bloggers recommend making a “donation box” in your home. Put the item in question in the box and leave it for two weeks to a month. At the end of the month, donate the box. If throughout that month you either didn’t go back for anything in the box or didn’t even remember what was in there, it didn’t need to be taking up valuable space in your home. Parting with things is hard, but the clean organized feeling is SO worth it.

Well, there you have it. Cleaning and organizing can be challenging, but when it comes down to it, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when everything is in its place is awesome. I have felt so much less stressed over the last few days as I look around at an organized apartment instead of seeing a big cluttery mess of things to do. I’m so glad I finally got it all done, and I hope these 5 things help some of you to get motivated to do it too!

Next time…how to keep things organized. Haha, that is the second half of the challenge!