Thursday, January 31, 2013

Children Will Listen

One of my all-time favorite songs (from "Into the Woods")
by one of my all-time favorite composers (the brilliant Stephen Sondheim)
sung by one of my all-time favorite performers (Mandy Patinkin).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I think we can safely say the drought is over...

My husband has been doing a lot of this lately.
And, he doesn't stop with just our house.
Oh, you lucky neighbors.
The last two days while he was at work
I took over.
Hard work. Not fun. 
We need one of those snow blower machines
and a trip to Hawaii.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rule #7: Be More Grateful...

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand..
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain...
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain...
All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above
So thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love...
We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food,
No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts! 
~from the musical, Godspell
by Stephen Schwartz 

More and more research is showing that gratitude is a crucial
tool for health and happiness. Feeling grateful and sharing that
with others increases happiness and reduces stress. It makes people 
feel better about their lives. 
Grateful people have a greater desire to serve and pay it forward.

"Gratitude is a way of defining your life circumstances.
Grateful people use words like 'lucky' or 'fortunate'
 or 'blessed'.  They don't focus on what they're lacking--they 
make sure they see the good in what they have.
And the more you see the good, the more good you see."
~Robert Emmons
(interviewed in Good Housekeeping Feb.2013)        

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rule #6: Savor the moments.

My animal loving daughter #1

Savor the moments.
Pause and be present.
Life is NOT a race.

"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away the days,
waiting for better ones ahead."
~Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I spent so many years rushing from one thing to another.
 Trying to get "things" done.
I'm sure I gave a lot of energy to unnecessary and trivial things.
When I would try to enjoy any 'moments' 
my mind would always be thinking
of the next thing I had to do on my list.
It was not until my mid to late thirties
 when it finally dawned on me
that I didn't have to say yes to every request
AND that I didn't have to feel guilty about it.
Once I realized this I was much more content and at peace.
I have also had to remind myself (on a regular basis)
 that it doesn't matter what others think of me.
This allows me to focus on things that are truly important.


"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
 Let me learn from you,
love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world,
your return."
~Mary Jean Iron

Living in the Present

"Yesterday is a cancelled check.
Tomorrow is a a promissory note.
Today is cash in hand; spend it wisely."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tabernacle Temple

Just had to post this amazing photo.
Remember when this beautiful building burned two years ago?
It has been exciting to drive by every so often
 and watch the progress
as it is being transformed into a temple.
Look closely at that entire building lifted off the ground
and sitting on some sort of saw-horses.
How did they do that?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rule #5: Appreciate your amazing body and all it can do...

Daughter #2 about age 9 doing stretches before dance class.

"The human body is the best work of art."
~Jess C. Scott

If I had known what I know now I would have taken much better care of my body when I was younger. Eaten better, aimed for 8 hours of sleep each night, exercised more consistently.

"If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred."
~Walt Whitman

I was a dancer and an athlete in my prime
 and I regret taking that for granted.

"Do something every day that is loving toward your body,
and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sensations
of your body as you live your life."
~Golda Poretsky

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rule #4: Don't let your goals control you...

14 year old daughter #3 (who will not be happy with me for posting this)
with Grammy nominated, Academy Award winner Maureen McGovern.
Here at the Broadway tour of 'Little Women.'

"We were brought up with the value that as we sow,
 so shall we reap.
We discarded the idea that anything we did
was its own reward."
~Janet Harris

At about the age of 14 I began to dream of performing on Broadway.
I actually wrote it down as one of my life goals.
While I was majoring in theatre at university I was actually
encouraged and pushed by fellow students and professors. 
But despite the dream and the goals,
 something never felt right in my gut.
I always felt more at peace when I thought of sharing my passion
through teaching.
However, I struggled for some time because of my 
goal-driven mindset.
Then, a wise-mentor told me:
"Don't set your goals in concrete because some of the
best things in life happen spontaneously."
And you know, it took me years to understand that,
but it's true.

"Setting goals can be useful and important, especially if we 
are willing to let them go when they become irrelevant, and if
we remember that the journey itself is important."
~Anne Wilson Schaef

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rule #3: Stop worrying...

We felt a "gap" when our first daughter was away serving her LDS mission.
With my unnecessary worry I had to remind myself to "Let Go" and "Let God."

This is a tough one for many of us.
Years ago a friend told me that I worried too much.
Then he said:
98% of the things you worry about
never happen.
The other 2% would have happened anyway.
So why worry?

"I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever."
~Isak Dinesen
from Out of Africa

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rule #2: Stop comparing yourself to others...

Daughter #3 with one of her lifelong BFFs.

Apparently my talk was well-received.
I had some requests for my list of 
"Things I wish I had known in my twenties."
I've decided to post each of the items I discussed.
"I am as my Creator made me,
and since He is satisfied,
so am I."
~Minnie Smith

"How beautiful and how simple it is just to accept ourselves the way we are. Women, especially, have difficulty simply seeing the beauty in who we are. We are always comparing ourselves to others: no matter what we have or who we are, it never seems to be enough. We are always too much or too little, too fat or too skinny, too intelligent or not intelligent enough, too aggressive or not assertive enough. Whenever we compare ourselves to others, we lose."
~Anne Wilson Schaef

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rule #1: It's NOT your job to make everyone happy.

 Tonight I have been invited to speak to a 
Young Single Adult group of women.
The topic?
"What I wish I had known in my 20's."

 Look at that clueless face.
I mean, what did I really know?

I have been compiling a list.
The first being the title of this post.
(Thanks to my friend, Julie DeAzevedo Hanks for that.)
It is something that has taken me years to learn.
And I wish I had known it in my 20's.
It is a very freeing concept.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Best Friend

Couldn't resist posting this classic photo of my husband at about age 7
getting Julie Andrew's autograph when he lived in Hawaii and she
was there filming the epic movie "Hawaii." 
Looks like he is taking the moment very seriously.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Snowy Birthday to You!

 Happy Birthday to my firstborn.
(Sorry about the "pink"...I guess I dressed you in it often.)

 Apparently you pulled silly photo faces even way back then...

20 years ago on this day there was a blizzard.
Lots of snow!
As I recall, rather than be happy that perhaps
 school might be cancelled,
you were more concerned that I wouldn't be able to buy the donuts
and get them to school for all your classmates.
But we did it and the day was a success.

Love you, Court!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Indulge me a few more for good measure...

A tumblr to check out

Cups filled with water in a school hallway!

My youngest daughter has a fun tumblr account
where she re-blogs some very fun stuff.
Just thought I'd give her a shout-out:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Then and Now

Why do we always go to the beach when it's cold?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Serendipity

 For over 25 years we've pretty much done the same things
 for our Christmas season.

Though I'm a big believer in traditions.
I've also learned as time has passed
that it is not always necessary to keep 
some things in concrete.
  Some of the most lovely times
can also be created through spontaneity.

 So this year we decided to shake things up a bit.
Since daughter #3 had moved to LA this year,
we all decided to pack up and spend Christmas
with her in California.
And because our girls have always adored
Disneyland, why not spend it there?

(One of Court's heroes.)
 And may I say it was the best decision ever for our family.
We had a wonderful time together
and created some terrific memories.
No regrets.
 Cammy met her favorite classic character.
 Caitlyn and Coryn found sequined Minnie Ears.
 Coryn, who along with her dad is a STAR WARS geek,
finally got that photo with a Star Trooper.
 And the girls, who were too little to remember seeing this in 1990,
got to see Captain EO in a whole new light.

 The new CARS LAND was really fun to see.
 All in Christmas trim and pretty at night.

 Radiator Springs.
 Cinderella's Castle was all decked out in finery.
 Downtown Main Street was decorated everywhere you looked.
 And how great to see old-time Oswald back where he belongs.

 And we did indeed.
 We all got a kick out of The Haunted Mansion
recreated into Tim Burton's
Nightmare Before Christmas.
Inside and Out.
 Sandy Claus.
 Tinseled Toon Town.
 And even Small World added some "Jingle Bells" to their tune.
 California Adventure.
A Christmas time to remember indeed.