Category Archives: Inspiration

Cultivate a Spirit of Optimism!

dsc_6553Lately, I have been working on this. I love the way this is phrased. It is not something that people are just born with. It doesn’t just come through time and life experience. It is something that must be cultivated… intentionally developed, intentionally changing your thinking here and there when you catch yourself in the wrong frame of mind, intentionally pointing out the good wherever you see it.  It must be done intentionally. I love this. Thank you President Hinckley! 🙂

This is why I wrote this on my bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. ( Which by the way is a great place to write a little message to yourself every now and then since it wipes off so easily!)  Hope you are having a great day and remember to take some deep breathes to keep calm to carry on. 😉

Love–

Marilyn

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Life is About Balance

We often encounter so many voices that say ‘do this and your life will be dramatically morphed into “HappyLand!” I am sure that is true to an extent but overall I have learned that life is about balance. Balance of your time and efforts towards things spiritually, physically, intellectually, and socially. It really is.

I remember thinking when I was a kid that if only I could just work hard enough to become the best piano player of all my teachers students, or most amazing singer in the region, or make the highest grade possible of my high school I could then be happy. Ambition is awesome but the kind of thinking in “all or nothing” terms or so that you selectively ignore other important aspects of your life actually hampers happiness. Happiness by definition is wholeness or completeness. Therefore, you can’t ignore other important spheres of your life, particularly those mentioned above. Life is about balance.

I love balance. In dance, balance is so critical. Where are you distributing your weight? Are your feet firm and yet are your stretching your head and your spine? My ballet teacher once told us, “that our legs are like steel rods piercing 5 feet into the ground while stretching our spines up, up, and up to the heavens.” Although this is not what is really happening, it’s a good visual to get the point across. What about our arms and center? How do they fit in the picture? What about the placement of the head and the delicate position of our hands? How it applies to motherhood is yes, maybe we are good at keeping a clean home and having it clutter free but how are we doing with playing with our kids, having family meals every night, or reading to them and developing your relationship with them? It is not easy. I struggle too and that is why my blog is dedicated to this- how to relish being a Mom and find the magic in its beauty.

Don’t worry this is not something to add stress to your life or cause you to put labels on our selves or feel we don’t measure up somehow. Say goodbye to any of those thoughts. They are not allowed because they are not justifiable. Just take a deep breath and believe in who you are no matter how little or much you feel like you are doing. You are amazing whether you realize it or not. Believe in what you love, and what is important to you. You are going to do great!

With that how can this actually apply to YOUR life? How do you make this “life of balance” thingy real in your life??? The answer is…. through a weekly checklist! Yes,it is so true and worth every thought-out minute of putting one together for yourself. It is so worth it. It has helped my family and I have a practical weekly game plan to get our personal goals and home goals happening. I have not always been perfect at it or am currently, but I am striving for it and and it is making a difference, a big difference. It is so worth the effort because I remind myself when it gets difficult, that I am developing something very important here – “to-be adults”.  I want them to be responsible and do great things with their lives. It starts with just a touch of order and discipline. They can either learn now while they are more teachable or have it be a whole lot harder learning later in life. The other side of the equation is that I am consistently being disciplined and hard-working myself because in the end you lead by example.  My next goal is to get my hubby on board and have him write his goals out so we can support him, too. We have these on a wall in our kitchen.

The boxes apply with different days of the week. Some rows have boxes under Monday Wed and Friday while other goals have boxes for Mon-Fri. Row 1 of boxes coordinates with row 1 goal. You can write it our by hand and or be more technical and use Microsoft Excel. 🙂

You can totally do something like this if you are not already. Start with just 10 categories of checks.  Make at least one weekly check in each category spiritual, physical/health,  intellectually challenging, and social. For example you’ll see I have a goal to read my scriptures each morning (spiritual), workout and make healthy meals for family (health or physical), practice german (intellectual), and I have goals to get out with kids and friends weekly (social).

I laminated these so we can just use them weekly and wipe them off at the end of the week. If you don’t have a laminating machine you can use small picture frames. When you write on the glass with a dry erase marker you can wipe it off with a paper towel. Here is a post of when I did this before.

Try it! Beautiful things happen when you commit to a life of balance and a life in pursuit of peace.

Marilyn

dsc_6077

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Exercise in Creativity

Sometimes all you need is what you have.

I believe this goes for finding joy from within as well as often times for physical/material things. Why not try looking around at the things you have and change something without purchasing anything when you feel this need for a change? With a new coat of paint, some heavy duty cleaning, or organizing, you can greatly transform what you have to be glistening and glowing with good vibes.

Think of life is an art in balance. Sometimes we think we need a new dress or new this or that but what if during those times we think we need something (sometimes just go for it) but other times, more times than not, work on sharpening up what you have.

I mentioned above that it applies to within because it does. Sure it is nice to hear how others are making progress in their lives, and have them tell us what is cool and what isn’t or even see these things on social media/instagram/facebook. I get that and it can be really helpful. You can learn a lot from others and get encouraged to try new things, perhaps things you might not have thought to try on your own. At the same time, realize all you really need, the most essential things, you already have. You don’t need to be in a constant state of searching for more and never feeling satiated. Your gifts, personality, and eternal worth as a child of God that are already set in place are ENOUGH.

So as an act of celebrating what you have and showing gratitude for it, fix up something today within your home. Take even 30 minutes to clean, organize, or revamp something you already have until you feel it sparkling with a sense of satisfaction. Something outside of what you would normally think to do. You can do it! I challenge YOU!!! 🙂

Here is my table I revamped last week. I have had it for years but I decided I wanted to give it a fresh look with a white top. I sanded down the stain with an electric hand sander and painted the top white. I used a roller so the paint would go on evenly and then used a paint brush to even out the texture from the roller. Whoohoo!

dsc_5345 dsc_5350 dsc_5353

Save

Save

Save

Women’s Garden

Last week on a family vacation, we went to this Women’s Garden in Nauvoo, Illinois. It had beautiful sculptures and a beautiful message celebrating women, her contributions, and gifts. It was a lovely exhibit. I would have passed by it because I didn’t know about it but my husband saw it and thought it was something I would enjoy. He was right. 🙂 Here are some highlights from it that I wanted to share with you!!!

Take a moment to zoom in and read the inscriptions. You will not be disappointed. What a beautiful message about the influence and sanctity of a virtuous woman.

DSC_4538

DSC_4533

DSC_4516DSC_4517

DSC_4522DSC_4526

Save

Save

Mothering and Dance

While we were at BYU this past Spring Break for a family reunion we had a couple of days prior to do as we wanted.  Jason and I decided to visit BYU campus since we both were students here and met here 10 years ago.  In visiting the Richards Building we were allowed to go into a couple of dance classes to view first hand. It was a really special experience for me since this is what I have my degree in and spent a lot of time myself doing. Now I have four sweet daughters of my own and am involved in full-fledged mothering and am in a totally different stage of life.

What struck me upon viewing these classes was just how beautiful the dancers appeared to me. When I was a student, I didn’t feel so beautiful. I would often compare myself to the others in the classroom and if I was not one of the top dancers I did not feel that good about myself. But what struck me was that all the dancers were so beautiful to me. All of them. I didn’t distinguish between some as beautiful and some as not. Sure someone could mess up or mess up a lot but they were still so so beautiful and doing an amazing job.

What I equate to this is about mothering. I sometimes do not feel so beautiful or that great as a mother though I am truly trying my very best. I am giving it my all. But maybe, just maybe, just because I don’t feel so beautiful or amazing doesn’t mean a thing. Maybe I am beautiful because of what I am doing, because of my contribution and efforts, because I am a mother period.

DSC_2530 DSC_2531 DSC_2532

Career Day

The sweetest thing happened lately. Aurora told her teacher this last month that what she wants to be when she grows up is a Mom. She has previously said Doctor but since they’ve been studying this at school, she decided a Mom is what she wants to be.

It really touched me and made me realize that she is indeed watching me. Maybe in all my craziness and mothering frustrations I am not so bad after all. 🙂 I am really trying but let me tell you it is not easy. Four young daughters is about killing me at times but I am giving it all I’ve got.

With career day this week, I think I got even more excited than she was which is saying a lot. I told her to bring our family picture album to school to show all the cool things we do together-i.e. some of the cool stuff Moms get to do. Also, I wrote this little talk her to share in front of the class. She told me she wasn’t allowed to bring either. Errr… Come on people. I need something to work with.

DSC_0517DSC_0499 DSC_0502 DSC_0511 DSC_0513 DSC_0507