Thursday, December 27, 2012

establishing an Attitude of Gratitude

I just thought I'd share a little more detail about this gratitude week! First, here is the super cute orange book that is all organized for holding a LOT of gratitude! It's small, too, which makes it's extra sweet. It's about the size of my hand.

I decided to be very non-traditional and start this gratitude journal on the 23rd of December! I couldn't wait any longer to start! Plus it felt fun to be a little unique to not start on January 1st! I write at the end of each day and date it, but here I've just quickly listed what I've written the last few days in one big list! Enjoy!
I am grateful to my parents for teaching me of my divine worth.
I am grateful to learn that Travis is a lot more of a Christmas fan than I ever realized! (LOVES Christmas lights and Christmas music. EXTREMELY loves it. So funny to have spent 6 Christmas's together and just this year am I realizing the depth of his Christmas passion!)
I am grateful for fun plans to look forward to.
I am grateful for a sweet, kind, smart, and happy baby girl!
I am grateful for toothbrushes! I feel so refreshed after brushing!
I am grateful for how much fun I had shopping for family's gifts this year!
I am grateful for Christmas. I am also grateful it's over so I can put away all my decorations. It's a breath of fresh year to not feel so cluttered and "full"!
 I am grateful for Travis's heartfelt belly laugh!! haha! It's one of those mood changing, addicting, got to laugh with him kind of laughs!! Love it!

It's neat today to be in the middle of my day and naturally paying attention to what I am grateful for in this perfectly normal, wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gratitude in week 3!

Hi! So I just wanted to review for you and me what I've been up to on this blog for the last 3 weeks.
I am on an 8 week journey to become a little more "Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous"!!! Um, ya! It's going to be amazing! Do you know the author Connie E. Sokol? Well she is faithful. She is fit. She is also fabulous! And she wrote a freaking amazing book about how to become all those things! In 8 weeks! She's LDS and her program involves letting Heavenly Father in on all you're doing and allowing HIM to mold you into something a little more faithful, fit, and fabulous!

According to Connie, there are 8 areas we find stress in if those areas are not doing 80% or better. For example, motherhood, finances, relationships, fitness, and organization. But, man, that's a lot of areas to be doing great at, hence why we women can get overwhelmed with all our responsibilities! Therefore, one of Connie's points is something that President Faust once said, "have it sequentially." That is, timing. So she created a program with one goal in all these areas (plus 2 more) one week at a time. She talks about how we could probably handle more than one goal a week, but only for "like 2 weeks" until life happens and you begin to say, "pass the pan of brownies."

With Christmas this week, I had to set a goal for this week that was doable along with the holidays. This week, every night before I go to bed I've written a few things that I am grateful for! It's been fun! I hope to continue as often as I can throughout this new year!

What worked?
Acknowledging that I can't expect myself to accomplish some great goal along with all that comes with celebrating Christmas and playing with family!

What didn't work?
It's a small goal. I can't wait to do something a little more productive. But I am! It's just hard to choose to accomplish something small.

What will I do differently?
Even now I can be a little more proud of accomplish SOMETHING that I've specifically said I would. I got to keep pressing forward! It's the 3 week mark - that's where I started loosing steam to keep going! NOT this time!! It takes time and effort to be specific about what goal your going to concentrate on every week - it's hard because I'm not used it yet, it's not a habit.

That's okay! I'm excited to work on creating little weekly goals and accomplishing them!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is it Thursday already! Ooops!!

So, what happened to my daily updates!!? I guess I got into a "bad" rhythm with last weekend. Then it was hard to get back into the daily-update-rhythm when I had my brother staying with us for a few shorts days! I have one younger brother who is in college and during his breaks he's nice enough to invite himself up and hang out for a few days! It was a blast (as always) and we actually got a lot of Christmas shopping done. So have I or have I not been working on the daily goals I mentioned in my last post? ...mmm....Well I haven't disregarded them all together... :)

Monday: It was suppose to be a day about Brynlie and focusing on her and enjoying motherhood in general. Well, this particular day we hardly had time to eat and she had to come with me here and there. So, very sadly, business got in the way. I was super nice to her :) and she was super super good, but there was no sit down-one-on-one-you-have-my-FULL-attention time. :( We just have days like that sometimes despite what I plan to have happen.

Tuesday: I was suppose to serve Trav and focus a little more on him. This day I actually took time to research some extra special activities I could do with Brynlie... Perhaps I was feeling guilty about how it all went down yesterday (despite my own desires). I came up with some fun things to spend some unique quality time with her! So I mentally checked half of Monday's goal off my mind.

I also came up with a fun idea how I could "serve" Travis. Travis is all about sports. He knows the ins and outs of whatever is currently happening in sports. I, on the other hand, am quite clueless. It's not a particular interest of mine (knowing who was traded to what team and who is hurt and who is losing/winning lately), I'd kinda rather paint or ...clean. :) I like watching Jazz games and even really enjoy watching the 4th quarter of the Jazz games. Travis, knowing I'm not really in "the know", doesn't really talk "sports" with me (unlike my brother who talks my ear off about what's going on in sports). But when my brother talks my ear off, I don't really mind because what he's telling me (and with his enthusiasm) it is kinda interesting. Plus, I can talk his ear off about painting and crafts without even knowing it too. So we are even! :) But Trav, I always talk to him about what's going on with crafting, Brynlie, shopping, or cleaning, whether or not it's really an interest of his. ANYWAY, so I spent the afternoon asking Robby (my brother) to tell me all that's going on in sports and that way I can kind of surprise Trav and know some things that he's really interested in. It was a good idea until that evening when I brought one of the "facts" up to Trav and I couldn't keep a straight face! In fact, within a minute, I had Robby and Trav laughing AT me and my attempts to know and be interested! I still kinda want to try to be a little more in "the know" but I don't think Trav really minds that I don't read ESPN every day like he does!! haha!

Oh and I did some laudry. Well, Trav helped me finished what I started on the laundry. (Again, having Robby staying with us and playing with him just through us off our routine)

Wednesday: I was suppose to create a grocery list using the ads. Surprisely, I DID IT!!! Yep! I ended up waking up an hour before Brynlie and Robby did, so I read my scriptures, ate, and MADE a GROCERY LIST! I was pretty proud! Have I used it yet!? No time to grocery shop yet...but I have plans to tomorrow!!

Thursday: I was suppose to do a "house" project today. And I really have! SUCCESS, again! I cleaned out my corner in my room. That nightstand area is hard for ME to keep organized. It just fills with important yet random things that don't have any other place other than the nightstand. So I organized it again. I have a plan to help fix this constant problem, but it costs a few dollars so I've been waiting it out....we shall see.

Oh, and I did do some laundry!! YAY!

So what worked? KNOWING what I was suppose to be working on! Having TIME in my day to actually do it. Having MEANINGFUL things to do that I care about.

What didn't work? Being way too busy and physically unable to do EVERYTHING I would like to. -You know how that goes!? :) Not having our "normal" routine to work with.

What will I do differently? Well, excepting that I might be busy tomorrow - for example - and setting an appropriate goal or changing the goal throughout the week. Flexibility.

I really might try this week's plan again. Maybe change up Wednesday's and Friday's goal. We shall see!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 1 is DONE! :)

Goal for week 1: show my husband extra love by doing extra acts of service throughout the week.

What worked?
Sorry I didn't update about how yesterday went. But both yesterday and today were fine. Small and spontaneous things tend to be both of our favorites. (He has no clue that I've been doing this all week, but he just seems more pleased and touch when I do small and simple things for him. Which works, right!? ha ha!)

What didn't work?
The weekend was hard. I remembered (mostly) to think and do some kind of service for trav, but we were so so busy that it was hard to do any "extra" service. Which is bad to say that I felt I was too busy for service. But I did serve him, just not huge things, which is totally fine. It's all about your heart and taking time (even a small amount) to focus and others' needs.

What will I do differently?
1. I don't want to plan on doing too much during the weekends (as far as these weekly goals are concerned).
2. Also, I'm going to change things up a little bit for this next week. I'm going to try having a different goal per day for this week. Keep things interesting.

Sneak peak for next week:
Monday-chapter "Joy in Motherhood" from Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous! and laundry!
Tuesday-chapter "Healthy Connections" from Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous! (do something extra special for Travis)
Wednesday-Create a grocery LIST while looking at the weekly ads. (Just something I got to get back in the habit of doing!)
Thursday-House project (because I love "house projects" and have a lot of them!) and laundry! (We need to two days for laundry!)
Friday-Read my pregnancy/birthing book

This sounds like a lot of things to do when I read this whole list. But when I read one day at a time and really think about it, it's just one thing per day except for the laundry days which isn't too big of a deal. Plus, I just didn't plan anything for the weekend. I like it. I'm learning. We shall see how interesting and (most important) how success this week will be.

But to wrap up week 1 I'd say it went REALLY well. Not perfect, but I wasn't excepting it to be perfect. The main reason I feel like it went really well is because I learned a lot in the process. I can see that if I keep doing this for the 8 weeks as the author of Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous suggests, I'll accomplish two things: I'll progress in the areas of my goals (obviously), but I will also learn HOW to set and ACCOMPLISH goals. I have accomplished some things in my life, but setting a specific goal and staying focused successfully until it's 100% finished isn't really something I've mastered, ya know!? I kinda like to dabble in all different things, ha ha!

Thanks for reading! This is fun, which is kinda the point! (along with everything else I've talked about!:)

Have a B-E-A-utiful night! :) (or day, or whatever time it is to you!)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Week 1: "small acts matter big" on Day 5

Any other mother out there recognize that slogan!? (Sprout...) lol Brynlie LOVES Barney!

Goal: to show a little extra love for my husband by doing extra service for him.

(Yesterday) what worked?
I just did little things yesterday. Like we watched a movie last night and he wanted popcorn but was seated and comfortable on the coach and so I jumped up and made it for him with a smile. He was soo grateful! I also remembered to turn on our heated blanket on our bed hours before we went to bed so that it would be warm. He was excited about that too! It almost seemed like he appreciated these small and immediate acts of service more than my big planned ones. Maybe it's easier to be a good receiver of small acts of service cuz they bring less guilt.

What didn't work?
I had no plan. I just prayed and hoped some opportunities would present themselves. Slightly stressful to leave it up to fate, but once again, it always works out! :)

What would I do differently?
Today (because I'm documenting a day late) I want to try doing some small things throughout the whole day. That's going to be my plan. I want to slow down a little today and just observe what he is doing and what little things I can help him out with. I'm excited because, again, I think he might appreciate those or just enjoy receiving those acts of service better! I actually don't blame him! :)

YAY! Have a fabulous Saturday!


PS Would you guys agree? That its easier to be a good receiver of small acts of service. I

Thursday, December 13, 2012

still week 1: day 4...I think! :)

Okay so this is where my hopefully "simple" method at documenting with pay off - so that I actually keeping documenting my way through this. Actually a lot of my motivation to write a quick post about today is because of Michelle Pace! So thank you, Michelle Pace, for your suggestions and for asking me a question!

Answer: The book that I am basing this whole thing on is Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous by Connie Sokol. She is LDS and takes a very spiritual approach to accomplishing both spiritual and temporal goals! I first discovered her while listening to the a program called Everything Creative on the Mormon Channel. (listen to this amazingly inspirational woman HERE by scrolling down and clicking play by "Episode 54!)

My goal for this week: To do something extra special for my husband to show a little extra love.

(Before I begin, Michelle Pace mentioned a wonderful suggestion!! This is Thursday of week 1 (I have SEVEN more weeks to go), and although I'm still really excited about my progress and my potential progress, I can tell that it's going to be more than impossible to stay as motivated as I need to to complete this. But even when I'm not doing her 8 week program (like....last week), it's not like I'm unproductive. My natural tendency is to do what Michelle Pace suggested - do a different goal a day. I like this because it's so much more my personality anyway (I guess I can get so excited that I easily burn out after 4 days!), but I love the idea that it could more easily become a habit instead of just a week I plow through! Brilliant. Brilliant. Considering that fact that I'm almost done with this first week, I'm going to continue with my same method for now. But coming week 2, things are going to change and get even MORE doable and successful than they are now! Again, thank you Michelle for pointing out the brilliant, the obvious (more natural), and the more doable approach!

What worked?
This morning before Trav headed into work, I (very) quickly snuck into our garage with a cool Jazz bumper sticker and put it on our (his) Camry. I gave him a (an even cooler) Jazz bumper sticker in his stocking 2 years ago and he thought it was the coolest present ever! He put it on a car that we ended up selling this summer. So when I was cleaning out his drawer two days ago and I found this other bumper sticker, I knew he would think it was pretty cool to randomly find it on his car! Luckily it literally took me 45 seconds to pill off the sticker, stick it on, and rip the stop sticker off, because that's all the time I had! He noticed it tonight actually and was surprised. Not as overjoyed as he was with the first sticker, but he still thought it was cool!
Then, when he was at work, I did some Christmas shopping for him. I got him some wonderful things he's been wanting for a while! It's so fun to shop for other people, especially my kind and awesome Trav!!

What didn't work?
I always find myself sneaking around and trying to surprise him. It's so nerve racking for me because I try (and am pretty successful) at not getting caught in the act. But I stress so much about not getting caught that it's exhausting. On top of that, Travis doesn't love surprises!! ha ha!! But my natural man says that showing him the sticker and asking him "do you want me to put this on your bumper and what part of the bumper should I put it?" doesn't sound nearly as thoughtful or neat! But I honestly think that Trav would think it's just as neat (because surprises aren't too neat to him...they're a little stressful or something...who knows ;)) So I should just spare myself the nerving-racking trouble and let him be involved in my service to him! not me. But I really should think about applying my own advice. :)

What would I do differently?
Maybe taking my own advice and let him give his two cents about what I'm going to do for him. (ugh, just typing that doesn't sound as special). He'd probably beg me to not to buy the gifts (for example) and buy something for myself! So this advice seems like it works for some service opportunities with Trav but not all of them!

Good night!
Love, me

PS I love this picture of Brynlie! An oldie, but a goodie! (March '12) It seems like she's saying "what would I do differently if I built this tricycle myself?" LOL
PPS Does anyone else hate to shop for themselves but find it fun and exciting to shop for others? Not to sound all selfless, I just literally hate all the personal guilt involved in buying stuff for me. I always find myself saying, "I don't REALLY need this, I can get by without it. But I really want it and I should just get it, but I really don't absolutely NEED this."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week 1: Laundry folding done!

Goal: serve my husband and show my love for him a little more! (chapter: Healthy Connections from Faithful, Fit & Fabulous)

What worked?
Today I had a lot of other things asking for my time. But I did do some service for him that was on purpose. It was actually just folding the "whites." (you know what that is, right!?) Every night Trav gets everything ready for his day that way he can sleep in to the very last possible second (and because he's kind of an organized person like that). I'm not always 100% on top of folding our "whites" and so every night that's just another thing trav has to find and prepare (along with his breakfast, lunch, snacks, clothes, shoes, dishwashers, etc., etc.!!!). So when his garments are folded and ready to go, it's a nice relief for him. That may not seem like a different enough or big enough service to you, but it was. Today was a busy day and in order to get all those whites folded, I had to specifically make the time and put forth some extra effort.

What didn't work?.
...It really worked just fine! :) The only drawback to today is that I feel like I need to give Brynlie a little more attention. Busy busy busy! It breaks my heart that she's so flexible and easily plays by herself. That's so wonderful on one (huge) hand, but it makes me feel bad for her. Maybe tomorrow I'll sneak in something intently to do with her! :)

What would I do differently?
Well, (again) things are going well. I made a do-able goal and am flexible with small and big service opportunities. I am sort of flying by the seat of my pants. Which I do like because I feel like I have time to contemplate and get more creative and wise with my ideas, but I also am not 100% sure what I'm going to do for him tomorrow. I don't want to start slacking off now, I need to keep it up! So maybe tonight I start really thinking of what else he has mentioned recently or even way in the past.


Wish me luck!

PS Anyone out there on top of folding their laundry!!!? :) Any tips?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 1: Day two and lights too!

Goal: serve my husband and show my love for him a little more! (chapter: Healthy Connections from Faithful, Fit & Fabulous)
What worked?
I LOVED having someone else and something to give so much purpose to my rather regular, mundane, at-home, normal day. I put up another string of Christmas lights on our tree outside. (Last night he mentioned that would be fun to do.) I also changed out the dead light bulbs on each side of our garage. This was something Trav tried to do last year but couldn't because the screw was stripped. He's been wanting to try again and has mentioned it a few times. I tried unscrewing it during Brynlie's nap, and it was sooo hard! After many prayers and several failed attempts at removing the stripped screw, I felt almost inspired to find another method of removal. Using 5 different wrenches the screw was removed!! I almost cried in gratitude when that dumb screw started to turn! Trav was really please at having two brights porch lights (actually three counting our front porch light) staring at him when he pulled up!
While Brynlie was awake, I also cleaned out and organized "his drawer" that he drops all his keys, wallet, etc. The other day he said it was "out of control." It was fun to (again) do something for him knowing that he wanted to get it done but wouldn't have time to do himself. It's been fun to serve with full intent the most important person in my life!!

What didn't work?
Well, like I stated yesterday, today my plan to serve him worked. That's because I had nothing going on. I know that I will have to get more creative and use my time more wisely. Tomorrow, for example, I have other obligations to balance my time with. Simple but on-purpose things are also good, right!? :)

What would I do differently? 
I get so excited about all my ideas that I try and do (like) ALL my ideas in ONE day! For example, cleaning out his drawer was fine to do today, but I didn't need to do that today along with the "outside stuff." I have Brynlie to also give my attention to, so I should probably balance all my ideas and my time a little better. Nevertheless, I can't help myself when I get excited about my ideas. But balance, it's the key word! :)

PS have you put up Christmas lights in a tree before!? It's so hard!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 1: Monday lights up!

Goal: serve my husband and show my love for him a little more! (chapter: Healthy Connections from Faithful, Fit & Fabulous)

Here's my review from today!

What worked?
I paid attention to something that he really wanted done as opposed to something that was only slightly important to him. He really wanted more Christmas lights hung around our yard. And that's something he expected to do himself. He was absolutely thrilled to have it done!

What didn't work?
I ended up needing his help to finish what I started. It wasn't a big thing I needed help with and he didn't seem to mind, but it would have been nice to have it completely finished for him.
I spent my whole day doing something for him. That was so great and so fun! But I know by Wednesday I'm going to run out of ideas and energy if I work as hard as I did today. It's okay to do something small yet still nice this for him.

What will you do differently?
Smaller things (if needed). It would be wise to make it a matter of prayer. Perhaps great ideas of service would keep coming up!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's simle. I'm trying this again!

For the past few months, I stopped working on being a little more Faithful, Fit & Fabulous for two specific reasons.
1. I slipped back into my normal routine. Taking at least 30 minutes to blog was way to big of a commitment for a crazy, silly, busy woman like me!
2. What do I work on first? Everything is so important, so helpful, and so fun to be apart of! How do I choose ONE thing to focus my attention on? And how do I not get bored working on that one goal by Wednesday?

I want to try this again. Do you mind!!?? I'm sorry for not being a perfect, constant, model and example. I'm just me. Trying to battle my natural man. And I'm off to battle and party again!

So how do I not end up exactly where I ended up the last time? Who knows. But I have two solutions to the two problems above and maybe that will help.

1. This blog and each blog post have to be simpler. My goal is to DO and FINISH all 8 weeks of this projects while sharing it with you. If I happen to make this blog cute with pictures and other accessories then that's fabulous but that's not the main purpose of this blog. (note to self: take my successful scrapbook strategy: simple, caught up, and actually kinda pretty!)
2. I am going to choose one SIMPLE goal each Sunday. Pray to know if that's a good choice. I get bored day after day working on the same fun goal. Therefore, I will create specific goals for each day that don't take all of my free time. Perhaps embrace my desire to be involved in more than one thing while still being constant in at least one thing.

Okay so Brynlie just woke up and real-life has already begun its challenge of lack of time. This first week, I want to work on being a little extra loving, kind, and helpful to my husband. Healthy Connections is the chapter in Connie's Sokol's Faithful, Fit, & Fabulous book that I need to read but have ran out of nap time. Nevertheless, I will begin tomorrow by doing something kind to him and may even finish reading this chapter!

I will give a SIMPLE report tomorrow night.

Wish me luck!

PS Do you think choosing ONE goal would be hard, too? Or is it just me! ha ha!