October 25, 2014


Last Saturday, the dread of the upcoming day was sinking in.  Sunday.  The hardest day of the week was fast approaching, and I had a very important decision to make.  I could deal with it, or I could run away from it.

I've blogged a lot about how difficult it has been for me to take my children to church.  It doesn't seem to matter how much I prepare, I always manage to forget something that apparently my children can't live without and can't possibly be well-behaved unless it is in their possession.

Sunday morning came and I was wrestling with myself as I tried to come up with a legitimate excuse as to why we could stay home from church.  Dustin for sure had to go because of his church responsibilities, but certainly there was a reason I could stay home.

As a pondered what to do, two thoughts kept entering my mind.  The first was, "just deal with it."  The second was, "trust me."

I made the decision to go to church and "just deal" with whatever happened.  I also, in some strange way, knew this week would prove to be different.

I arrived to church, armed with every snack and coloring instrument known to man.  I found a bench close to the organ so the girls could watch Dustin play during sacrament meeting.  As the meeting began, I watched as my children sat quietly and contently.  They colored and requested snacks, and I managed to keep them contained for a good 30 minutes.  A big change from the last few months!

Eventually, though, we did make our way to the hallway, but the day was already shaping up to be better than the many weeks prior.  While in the hallway, my girls wanted to run around and be free, but I remained firm with them and they stayed by my side almost the entire time.

After sacrament meeting, Isabelle complained about going to primary.  I snapped my fingers and told her to go. And she went.  I'm sure I seemed like a a mean mom to the people around me, but I didn't care.  I was going to get through the entire three hours of church if it killed me!

My next stop was taking LL to nursery.  Up until this point, she had refused to go and screamed and cried until I eventually gave up and took her home.  This week, I did a few things that I hoped would help her overcome her fear.  First, as I was getting her ready in the morning, I added a few drops of lavender to her lotion and rubbed it all over her body.  I also added the same oil to her favorite blanket.  At this point, I was willing to do ANYTHING to see some progress.

When we arrived at the nursery room, she got upset and began to cry.  But then she noticed some toys, so I put her down and she began to play.  I quietly stepped out of the room.  I found a chair to sit in and listened.  Sure enough, she began to cry.  I knew the nursery leaders would bring her to me if it got too bad, so I remained in my chair and listened.  After ten minutes, the crying stopped.  And it never started back up again.

Eventually, I went to Relief Society for the first time in awhile.  It was lovely to be at church, sitting by my friend and knowing every member of my family was where he/she needed to be.

As I left church, I reflected upon the thoughts I had had earlier that day:  "just deal with it" and "trust me."  I really believe those were inspired messages.  On the one hand, I believe it was time for me to "just deal" with the weekly struggles of church with kids.  There are worse things in life that I could be dealing with, and since I know going to church is the right thing to do, I may as well go and make the best of it.

After spending the week thinking about my second thought, "trust me," I came to the realization that I don't think I actually had true faith that Heavenly Father would answer my prayers.  Each week I would plead with Him to help me understand how to help my children behave in church, and each
week I felt as if He never heard my prayer.

But, obviously, I know He did.  He just didn't answer it the way I wanted Him too.  Or, maybe I wasn't giving Him enough time to answer.  Regardless, I was given a firm reminder that simply knowing my prayers CAN be answered does not equal having faith that they WILL be answered.

Of course, this isn't the first time I've been humbled by God when it comes to this situation.  {If I haven't told that story, I will soon!}

But, hopefully, I've learned my lesson.  And the lesson I took away from this special Sunday was this:
No day will ever go exactly the way I want.

There really is a difference between belief and faith.

 And, if it's hard doing the right thing, you do it anyway and you just deal with it.

October 23, 2014

when I was in A RUT...

Every once in awhile, I find myself in a rut.  Nothing in my life is necessarily wrong, but something feels like it's missing.  I experienced such rut a few months ago.  Isabelle had just started school, and our family had began a new schedule that was very much the same each and every day.  

Don't get me wrong - I love schedules and routines!  But there were days that I would think that there was more to me than just waking up, getting ready, dropping kids off at school, picking kids up from school, cleaning, running errands, cooking, going to work, etc.  I felt as though I needed to invest more in myself by way of developing new talents or learning about new things.

I decided to spend some more time in an area that had piqued my interest for years:  essential oils.  I was specifically interested in them in terms of cleaning.  I had always been curious about making my own cleaning products and knew essential oils were often used in homemade recipes.  I reached out to a friend of mine who had a lot of experience with the oils, and she helped me find a starter kit that complimented my needs.  

Not long after, I found myself using the oils every single day.  I used them to clean my kitchen and bathrooms.  I used them to help my family, specifically my kids, calm down in the evening and to get better sleep.  I used them to keep the spiders away in my basement.  I used them to wipe down all the door knobs and other frequently touched surfaces in my house to help eliminate germs.  I used them to help clear up my skin when I broke out into hives.  I used them as a "pick me up" when I felt a bit groggy in the morning and mid-afternoon.  And I used them to help my house smell like a million bucks!

Now, only three months later, I have found myself with a new appreciation and love for these oils.  Not only have they given me a plethora of options in how I care for myself and family, they helped me get out of my rut.  It has been so nice to learn about something new and find new ways to spend my time!

As I've shared them with my family and friends, I've forced myself out of my comfort zone and have seen new ways in which I am capable.  And, as a VERY surprising twist, they have helped me earn some extra cash.  An outcome I was not planning or expecting at all.  But, I'm certainly not complaining!

Do you use essential oils?  If so, how?  I'd love to learn new ways to use them!

Do you have an interest in essential oils?  If so, let's talk!  They really have changed my life.

October 10, 2014


This is a post I wrote a few years ago.  It's a story about a time in my life when I was at a crossroads in my life.  Enjoy!


In May of 2004, I graduated from Weber State University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies.  At the time, I had a job that was great while I was a student because of the flexible hours, but I always told myself once I graduated I would quit and get a job related to my field.

A few weeks after graduation, I moved into a new apartment and began working full-time for the same company.  My plan was to keep my job while searching for new opportunities.  I also had the plan to go to graduate school the following year.  It seemed like the perfect plan.  

Nearly six months went by and I still had not found a new job, but I wasn't frustrated. I figured it would take awhile. And in the meantime I was learning more about admission requirements for graduate school, getting used to the thought of living in Alabama and dreading the idea of taking the GRE.

One day, while I work, I received an e-mail from my supervisor.  She asked if I had heard about a job opening in a different department and wondered if I was going to apply for it.  I hadn't heard about the position and even though I knew this wasn't her intention, because she sent me that e-mail, I felt a little pressure to apply for the job.  

I had a week to submit my resume, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do.  I knew I was qualified for the job and stood a really good chance of getting it.  I knew a lot of my friends (including Karen) were applying for it which made things kind of awkward.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it.

After a few days of thinking things over, I soon realized I was making a very critical decision.  A life changing decision. I knew if I applied for the job, I would get it. I knew accepting the job would change all the plans and goals I had just set for myself.  Without a doubt, I was at a crossroads in my life and I didn't know why.  All I knew is that I had to apply for the job, and I wasn't happy about it.

I submitted my resume and soon had an appointment for an interview.  

The day of my interview, I contemplated what to wear.  I had learned all the do's and don'ts of interviewing, including proper attire.  I knew wearing denim wasn't the best choice, so I wore a jean jacket.  I knew wearing perfume wasn't a wise decision, but I wore it anyway.  I knew I probably should put my hair up, but I wore it down.  I did what I could to not make the best impression because I was scared of getting this job.

I was offered the job.  And I accepted it.  And I knew it was the right decision to make, but still didn't know why.

Weeks later, something unexpected happen:  I began feeling different about a really good friend of mine. A friend that was a boy.  I was annoyed at these new feelings. This guy had been my friend for over a year, and I was satisfied with our relationship.  Suddenly, I was more attracted to him and wanted to spend more time with him.  A new job, now this?  I wanted to tell life I was tired of all the curve balls.

Fast forward at most 10 weeks (yes, that's right, 10 weeks) I found myself engaged. Yes, I was engaged  to this guy whom I had no interest in just months earlier.  It was insane.  Totally insane.  But, it made sense and completely the right thing to do.

I know not everyone believes in God, but I do.  And I know He lead me in a different direction than the one I had all mapped out for myself.  And maybe that was so I could marry Dustin.  Maybe it was to spare me from a situation that would've come about had I gone to graduate school.  I probably won't know the answers to these questions for awhile.  And that is okay because it doesn't matter.

What matters is that I am happy with my husband.  I'm thankful for the life we have built together and the many years to come.

I'm humbled to know that God, in all his infinite power and wisdom, takes time to guide me in the right direction.  And I'm so grateful I listened to Him!

October 9, 2014

the IMPORTANCE of being KIND

On Monday morning, I volunteered at my daughter's school to help with reading.  When I arrived at the school, I was told to check-in at the office.  As I was checking in, which was all done on a computer in the corner of the main office, I heard my daughter's voice.  I glanced behind me and saw her speaking to the school secretary.  She explained that her friend, who was standing next to her, had hurt herself during recess and needed ice for her cheek.

It wasn't until then that she turned and saw me sitting at the nearby computer.  We said hi to each other as the secretary told the girls that ice was available outside with the recess duty.  I motioned for her to follow the instructions, so she and her friend dashed out of the office on to their next destination.

In that moment, I couldn't help but be proud of my little girl for a few reasons.  I was proud she took the initiative to take her friend to the office and was confident enough to talk to the secretary.  But, mostly I was proud that she was being a good friend and that she showed concern and kindness towards one of her classmates.

It is easy for me to overlook the more gentle attributes my daughter displays.  I encourage her to do things on her own and for herself, and I know I put too much stock in her becoming independent and strong.  

This experience reminded me to reinforce the importance of kindness, thoughtfulness and courtesy to my children.  And I'm grateful for my daughter's example because if she can do it, I can do it!

October 8, 2014

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: DECOR by LL

My youngest daughter LL is so busy.  I can't keep up with her.  She is a little bundle of destruction!  She roams our house getting into any and everything she can.

A favorite adventure of hers is raiding the fridge.  I'm always amazed at what I find throughout my house.

Salsa, anyone?

For your convenience, here's some orange juice!

While I love my little LL, she can drive me crazy.  I don't want to get a lock for the fridge, but it may end up getting to that point!

Happy INSTAGRAM Wednesday!

October 7, 2014

the MODEST girl

I recently read a post on Facebook written by someone I don't know that went along these lines:

 "Parents, please make sure your daughter dresses modestly so my son doesn't get addicted to pornography."

{Ok, so that is a slight exaggeration}

But, it may as well been that blatant of a statement, which, by the way, infuriated me.

Regardless, I decided that, as a mother of two girls, I better get on this request of making sure my daughters are dressed a certain way.  So, I added it to my current To-Do list:

Monday: Take pictures of my daughters' wardrobe.  Send pictures to parents of boys for approval
{Note to self:  Research the most affordable place to buy pantsuits}

Tuesday:  Have a sit-down with my daughters.  Reiterate the importance of understanding the changes the male body experiences during puberty.  Make sure they understand how sensitive we should be towards our male friends.  
{Note to self: buy more tampons and Midol}

Wednesday:  Send an e-mail to Macy's, Nordstrom, etc., asking them when their new line of prom dresses with high-necks and sleeves will be in stock.  Find a full day to go dress shopping. 
{Note to self:  hire a good seamstress}

Thursday:   Take that first leap of faith by letting my daughter walk to a friends house by herself.  But first, review the family "code" word.  Buy some more pepper spray.
{Note to self:  Research self-defense classes}

Friday:   Encourage daughters to get good grades, and tell them I hope they plan to attend college.  Help them understand that exercising their minds is just as important as exercising their bodies.
{Note to self:  Research how to teach your daughter that looks are not the most important thing while simultaneously teaching her that she needs to look a certain way.}


Don't get me wrong.  I understand the basic principle behind the original post.  I have standards for my daughters and do not think they should be allowed to wear whatever they want.  And I'll do my best to make sure that when they leave my house they are dressed in a manner that I deem appropriate.

But, the bottom line is this:

It is not my responsibility, nor my daughters' responsibility, to make sure your son does not engage in anything improper or immoral, be it actions or thoughts.

That's your responsibility.  

But, mostly, it's his responsibility.

So, if you could take the state of your son's morality off my plate of things to do, I'd really appreciate it.


October 6, 2014


Like millions of other Americans, my husband and I took our daughter Isabelle to see Frozen.  She didn't like it at first, but that slowly changed.  Before I could blink, our world had turned ice-cold and the only music I was listening to was the Frozen soundtrack.

After months and months of this, I decided it was time to introduce my daughter to her first boy band.  Yes, she's five years old.  That is how completely desperate I was to listen to something new.

Even though I grew up loving New Kids of the Block and pretending to hate Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync, I decided Isabelle needed her first boy band love to be current.  So, I bought two One Direction songs.  Namely, Story of My life and Best Day Ever.

It was a rough at first, but eventually Isabelle learned to love the greatness of boy band music.  And, now that I've had a break, I don't mind hearing her belt Let it Go every once in awhile.

October 3, 2014

CUSTOM-MADE spirituality

I've blogged a lot about the struggles I face taking my children to church.  There was the post about why we skipped church {and loved it} and the follow-up post about why I even go to church to begin with.  Even though I know I am not alone with my struggles with taking children to church, I usually feel alone each week as I find myself, yet again, dealing with an uncooperative child.

Church used to be a time where I could go to feel uplifted and renewed, ready to face a new week with a stronger conviction to do what is right.

Church isn't that way for me anymore.  And I miss it!  But, I realize this situation is only temporary and things will get better eventually; however, until that blessed time arrives, I made the decision to find ways to feel the way I used to during church outside of church.

One of the ways in which I've incorporated spirituality into my daily life is by listening to general conference talks in my car.  I have found great satisfaction, peace and comfort in doing this.  It is amazing how the spirit can be felt at almost any time and any place.

Here are a few of the talks I've listened to:

President Gordon B. Hinckley's address titled To the Women of the Church

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's address titled Happiness, Your Heritage 

Sister Julie B. Beck's address titled Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society

and all the talks given at this month's General Women's Meeting

So, if you find yourself missing Sunday as being a day of rest and spiritual edification, I would invite you to think outside the box and find ways in which you can reap the benefits of feeling the spirit no matter what day it is.

This has made a world of difference for me.  I feel happier, more energized and a stronger desire to be the best person I can be.

October 1, 2014


Dustin is incredibly difficult to shop for.  I pretty much go into panic mode whenever Father's day, birthdays and Christmas roll around.  He's not one of those guys that ever wants anything.  So, I usually end up buying him gag gifts like the latest Jonas Brothers album, which he never listens to {thankfully}, and ultimately the gifts become a waste of money.

This year was a little different:  Hillary Clinton released a new book and Melissa Etheridge came to Salt Lake City.  Just like that, I had Father's Day and his birthday all taken care of!

Dustin loves Hillary Clinton and Melissa Etheridge.  When Hillary writes a new book, he buys it and reads it and loves it and lovingly displays it on his bookshelf.

When Melissa Etheridge performs in our area, or near our area, we go to her concert.

The selfie Melissa Etheridge took during her Salt Lake City concert.  We were there!

While these two women may not seem to have much in common, they are both strong, independent and successful women.  They stand up for that in which they believe to be important.

I'm in no way surprised that Dustin gravitates to these type of women, because he was raised by a mother who carries such similar traits.

No, his mother is not a politician or a rock star.  She lives in a small town in Wyoming and loves it.  And even though she does not live a life in the spotlight, for as long as I have known her, she has been a very strong, independent, hard-working person.  She has had more than her fair share of tragedy, but continues to live life the best she can.  She is organized, thoughtful and keeps a nice home - a home that my daughter's love to visit.

Because of Roberta's influence on Dustin, I am married to a man that didn't seem bothered at all when I struggled with changing my last name after we were married.  He has never treated me as if he was my superior.  He respects and listens to me.  He supported me when I made the decision to go back to work.  He appreciates and acknowledges the effort I do to better our family.

And I know without any doubt that he considers me his equal.

Just last night, we were talking about the struggles of the day, and as he was describing his day, he said, "Well, you know how I feel.  You were going through the same thing at home."

Despite the fact that his day was at work and my day was at home with our daughters, he considered the work load and difficulties the same.  And I am SO grateful for that.

Roberta, I know you had a difficult day yesterday.  I know you were anticipating a fun-filled evening and that things did not turn out the way you wanted.

So, in hopes of helping you feel better, I just want to thank you for the woman you are and for the life you lead.  You are a great example to me and my daughters,  your granddaughters.  We are so blessed to have you in our lives!

September 21, 2014


Nothing says "I'm Back to Blogging!" like a giveaway.

Which is exactly why I am offering all of my readers a chance to win a new favorite product of mine:

On Guard Essential Oil by dōTERRA

On Guard is dōTERRA's unique, proprietary blend designed to help support a healthy immune system. One lucky winner will receive a free 15 mL bottle of On Guard, a nearly $43.00 value.

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is visit this WEBSITE and read about all the many wonderful benefits of using On Guard in your home.  Then, leave a comment on this blog and tell me one of the PRIMARY BENEFITS of On Guard, one of the way On Guard can be USED and one way YOU WOULD USE it in your own home.  Pretty simple, right?

On Guard is an oil I have started to use regularly, now that my oldest is in kindergarten.  While I don't consider myself paranoid when it comes to germs, I do consider myself a bit extreme when it comes to her school attendance.  I don't want her to miss school if at all possible, which means I need to make sure she stays healthy!  Here are a few, very simple ways, in which I use On Guard every single day:

I put a drop of oil on the bottom of my kids' feet in the morning

I put a few drops of oil on a damp cloth and wipe frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and countertops

I diffuse the oil in my car, so when I pick my daughter up from school, leave work or a grocery store, any airborne germs can be eliminated


This giveaway begins NOW and ends at 11:59p on Sunday, September 28.

{P.S. If you do not have a Google ID, before you leave a comment, select Anonymous from the drop down box.  Then, leave your comment. Be sure to include your name as part of your comment.}

Good luck!

September 19, 2014


I read something today that posed the question, "What makes you happy?"  It didn't take long for me to decide that one thing that makes me happy is writing.  I've neglected my blog for far too long, and in an effort to go about making some change in my life, I've realized I need to write regularly {regardless of how many comments it generates} in order to keep myself grounded.

As I begin to reground myself and share the changes I've made and hope to make, I hope I haven't lost too many readers and that you and I can learn and grow from each other.

To begin, I'm going back to what inspired me to begin this blog in the first place.  This video is based off of a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the Relief Society General Meeting in October 2008 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I heard this talk during my first pregnancy and its message helped me significantly as I struggled with my new identity as a mother.

Here's to a new chapter of blogging!

February 2, 2014

how to LOWER your DISH NETWORK bill

When I first signed up for Dish Network I was eligible for a promotional rate for one year.  My monthly bill during that year was roughly $38.00.  After a year, the charges went up significantly to $68.00.  

After awhile, I decided to see what I could do about lowering my bill.  I talked to a nice representative who told me she could change my monthly bill to $41.99 for one year.  I was very happy about the new price, and confirmed with her numerous times that the price she quoted me was what I could expect to see on my bills for the next  year.  She assured me that the final price would be $41.99.

Well, the next month, my bill was higher than the price I was quoted, but I figured that had to do with amounts being pro-rated since my promotion had changed mid-month.  So, I just let it go.

The following month, the amount was even higher, so I decided to chat with a representative online to find out what was going on.  After awhile, it became clear that the girl I originally spoke to had given me wrong information, and while I was chatting with the Dish representative about her mistake, I more or less just wanted an apology and an admission that a mistake had been made.

An apology was never extended, and, in fact, things like these were said instead:

"I don't know what happened.  I was apart of the conversation."

"How about you get rid of the protection plan?  That would lower your monthly bill."

I eventually ended the chat conversation and told the representative I would most likely close my account since I couldn't trust what my bill would be.

A day or two later, I tried again.  I chatted with another representative and explained my situation.  Again, I was looking for an apology or some sort of acknowledgement that yes, a mistake had been made on the part of Dish Network.  


So, I said I wanted to close my account and the rep quickly gave me the contact information I needed.

The next day, I called Dish Network and spoke to a nice representative.  I explained my situation and said I wanted to close my account.  He told me I would be penalized for closing my account early, and when I told him I was outside my two-year agreement, he started with the specials he'd extend to me if I kept my service.

Specials like HBO or sports channels free for 3 months.  I told him I didn't watch channels like that and that I still wanted to cancel.

He then went over all the details of how to return my receiver, remotes, etc. and how I would be penalized if I didn't do things correctly.  Apparently Dish is allowed to make mistakes without any consequences, but not their customers.

After I told him I understood what I needed to do, he asked me if I was sure I wanted to close my account.  I told him confidently that I did.

And then he put me on hold.

And then he came back on the line and went over a few other items of business with me.  And asked me again if I still wanted to proceed.  I said yes, again.

And then he put me on hold, again.

And, then, suddenly he came back on the line and said he'd knock of $30 from my bill if I kept my account open.  I went over the numbers with him and decided to take him up on his offer, assuming, of course, the quotes he gave me actually turned out to be correct.

In the end, I gave Dish Network another chance.  After all, my new bill was apparently going to be lower than my original starting price.

And then the bills came.  And the numbers didn't seem right.  They seemed a little too low.  As in, my bill was less than $20 a month.  I was confused and eventually chatted with a supervisor about it.  Apparently, my original promotion {the one that supposedly took my bill down to $41.99} was still in effect, plus the additional $30 discount I was given for threatening to close my account.  

To be honest, I don't know exactly how all the math adds up.  All I know is that my bill is somewhere between $15 - $17 a month for one year.  I just have to laugh because I was more than thrilled with paying $41.99.  I thought I had scored a pretty sweet deal.  And, all the talk about closing my account all stemmed from a measly $7.00 discrepancy.  Sure, not a lot of money, but the bottom line is I wanted what I was quoted.

My experience is just another example of how messed up Corporate America really is.  I know I'm just one customer and I matter not to Dish Network in the grand scheme of things.  But, it really is pathetic that I managed to score such an awesome deal all because this company refused to acknowledge a mistake.

And, honestly, in the end, that's all I wanted - a simple apology.


UPDATE as of September 2014

This post has turned out to be one of my most view posts ever.  I am amazed at how many people are looking for ways to lower their Dish Network bill!  I recently made a change to the way I view TV and am in love.

First, I cancelled my Dish Network service.

Second, I bought a Roku (a one-time fee of $69)

Third, I signed up for Netflix (which included 30 days free service)

Fourth, I signed up for Hulu Plus (which included 60 days free service)

Now, I have access to all the shows I want for a SET PRICE of less than $20 a month.  And, I was streaming shows to my TV after a very short, pain-free, appointment-free installation process.

These services have been a game changer for our family.  If you're fed up with companies like Dish Network overcharging you, I highly recommend you consider doing what I do and getting rid of it all together.
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