Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just Like a Father Would

I know my last post was a lot about Mercy River... this one will be too, sorry! Time Out For Women in Salt Lake City this past weekend was streamed LIVE for free! I wasn't able to sit at the computer all day to listen, but for the 15 minutes I was able to, I was glad some of it was Mercy River! They sang this song, a song which I've heard many times before, but this time, it spoke to me. Maybe it was the story they shared before the song began that really caught my attention, because it was something that happens in my life daily...these are similar thoughts they shared, that were my thoughts exactly.

We all know we aren't perfect, and we all make mistakes daily. My most common mistake is losing my patience with my children (afterall, they are in the majority of my day). Then, as I hear them giggle, or walk in to check on them before I head to bed the guilt settles in. I see their innocent faces sleeping so peacefully and I am once again reminded that I am not perfect, and I have a lot to work on...which can be overwhelming for us all. It's at that moment that I feel the love of my Father above. He reminds me that its okay. He knows ME and my weaknesses, and reminds me to keep on trying to be better. I say a silent prayer to Him, thanking Him for those 3 sweet beings, and their health, and ask him to forgive me for my shortcomings. The next day I am faced with the same trials of patience and hopefully each day I do better.



Here's a picture of me and my dad from this past spring. I love this guy SO much. I'm definitely a daddy's girl. He has taught me SO much, and continues to each and every day. He and my mom have been through so much, and are great examples to me. Things don't always go right for them, but they pick themselves up, dust off, and continue on in faith. I'm thankful for my dad's example, and inspiring words that he's given me through out my life as I learn, and grow.

(you can look up this song on iTunes and listen to a clip of it,
it is so peaceful and thought provoking, go look it up!)

 Just Like a Father Would

From the Mercy River album Higher

You always know when I’m drifting
When I’m lost or I’m hurt
Somehow you know the pleadings of my heart
Before I’ve spoken a word
When I fail You’re there
To catch me and say
I know you did the best that you could
Just like a Father
Just like a Father would

You gently show me my weakness
And then You teach me how to change
And though I wander on my journey
Your love always remains
When the heartache comes and I’m devastated
Somehow You turn it for my good
Just like a Father
Just like a Father would

Your heart breaks when my heart is breaking
Because You’ve been down this road before
When You desperately want to rush in and help
You know I have to learn these lessons for myself

You know the burdens I carry
How they’ve built up like a dam
You help me see the mistakes I have made
They don’t define who I am
You softly whisper when it’s time to let go
When I hold the heartache longer than I should
You believe in me
You love me perfectly
As only the Father of my spirit ever could
Just like a Father
Just like my Father would


With today being November 1st I encourage you to write down something you are thankful for each day of the month, I will be, and I know it will help me be a better person as I concentrate on my blessings instead of what I am lacking. Today I wrote that I am thankful for my children. They drive me crazy daily, but just as often they make me laugh and love.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Time Out For Women weekend

This post is a little late, but I am so excited to share with you some of the fun pictures from Time Out for Women Denver- which was in September! Time out for Women is put on by Deseret Book Company, and is a weekend full of laughing, crying, fun, and inspiration for women. I look forward to this event EVERY year, and never regret going. This year in particular I was SO SO SO excited about because, as is fully known here on this blog, my favorite music group Mercy River was going to be singing at it! To say I was excited was an understatement. This group seriously does not have a single song that I do not love, and that does not inspire me. They produce the most amazing albums, and they are amazing women too! I really enjoyed listening to them talk about the inspiration behind different songs they've written, or sung, and then to hear them perform in person was amazing. I just sat there in awe the entire time. I will even admit I went a little "groupie" on them and got teary eyed when they came out to do their first number, I just love them that much!
What was truly fun for me was to chat with them for a little bit!
I was so excited that my sister was able to come in town to attend TOFW with me, and that my amazing husband was willing to watch her 3 kids along with our 3 kids for the weekend too!

No, I won't end without sharing a few things I learned from the weekend....and I even have a fun video to share too! The theme for this year was "Seek the Good". How often do we go through life looking at the faults in people? I'll give a few thoughts on some of the speakers for us all to think about!

Virginia Pierce- spoke about forgiveness, it was an amazing message that she shared and gave me a lot of things to think about. Some of the notes I wrote down were "REFUSE to be offended, look deeper for the intent of their actions.- usually people aren't trying to offend!" and "Holding on to expectations is often the source of unforgiving feelings".

Sheri Dew- such amazing, strong women! She talked about the strength of women, and that we as women have specific roles to play. Something she said I really liked  was "Men and women are EQUAL in the sight of the Lord, not IDENTICAL." and  "There are some things the Lord will only show to those who seek and believe"

Chris Williams- author of "Let It Go", if you'd like a great inspiration video for the day go HERE and watch this mans amazing story of forgiveness, enduring, and moving forward through trials.

Anthony Sweat- spoke about the true meaning of Charity - "Charity is a relationship with God", "We all have hungers, needs, wants, and Charity is the food that feeds you- "if ye drink, ye shall never thirst again"

Julie De Azevedo-Hanks- spoke about being "Your most authentic self" - "Instead of trying of feel better, maybe we should get better at feeling!", Celebrate the good that is already in you. Acknowledging and owning my God-given strengths is humility." and my favorite "Instead of making a to-do list make a ta-da list!"


And lastly, here is a hilarious parody that Mercy River did....that is OH SO TRUE.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Deliciousness

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I spent last weekend listening to our modern day Prophet and Apostles at the 182nd Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Whew, that's a lot in one sentence....we just call in General Conference. I learned so much listening to the leaders of the church teach, guide, and inspire all to be better, and do better. Thanks to the inspiration from a wonderful friend I even created some activities that kept my kids present for ALL 4 sessions (that is 8 hrs!) of conference for the first time EVER.  My favorite talk this time was Elder Henry B. Eyering, his talk is titled "Where is the Pavilion", click that title and it will take you to a summary and link to the video so you can watch it too! Some of the other talks I really enjoyed were President Dieter F. Uchdorf on Saturday morning(2nd counselor in the first presidency of the church, and Sister Ann Dibb on Saturday morning as well. You can click HERE to listen or watch any of the speakers from all sessions of conference.


Prior to conference on Sunday I decided it was time to bake a yummy fall treat breakfast. I searched around on pinterest and googled some ideas and boy did I find a hidden gem of a recipe! So delicious that I decided I just had to share it! I made Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins. Seriously, they were so melt-in-your-mouth good. So, here they are!



Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
found at: Two Peas and their Pod blog

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour  (in an attempt to add a little health into this I substituted 1/2 C. whole wheat flour, and will probably increase it to 3/4 C. or more next time)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin (I added a little more than this)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Topping:
1 1/4 cup oats
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and combined.
4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.
5. For the brown sugar cinnamon filling: in a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
6. For the streusel topping: in a small bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
7. Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each half filled muffin cup. Fill the muffins cups with the remaining batter. Top each muffin with streusel topping.
8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove muffins from tins and enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just Relax

Sorry I've been MIA for a couple weeks now, I've had a bit of a "bloggers block" and have been busy trying to accomplish some goals of spending more time with my family and dreaded chores. On to the post though.....

Sunset in Santa Fe, NM......amazing huh?!
  As a mom of 3 young kids my life can get...well, crazy. I spend every day trying to get a hold on things and figure out how to keep my life together.
 Here's my current life equation:
homework+spelling tests+reading lists+fundraisers+volunteering+preschool snack days+field trips+speech therapy homework+a two year old+soccer( or baseball depending on the season)+grocery shopping+meal making+working out+church responsibilities= one stressed out pair of parents.


So what do we do to relax a bit and just let life come one day at a time? One thing I like to do is get out and enjoy nature! Autumn time is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year. I feel like it screams "Slow down! relax a little!" The hustle and bustle of the holidays hasn't come around the corner yet, and everyone is tired out from summer vacations, and the confusion of school starting. My favorite smells are the smells of autumn: pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple....they cause me to pause, take a deep breath, slow down and relax. Spring and Fall cause me to actually take note of the colors changing all around me. I love the vivid fall colors of yellow, red, and orange. The sound of a leaf crunching under my shoes. The warmth of the jacket I haven't warn for a year and the excitement I get to put on my tall boots! I've said it before, but can you tell how much I love nature?  
 


Bridal Veil Falls Park, Provo Canyon, UT- this is the park where my husband proposed to me:)

 Of course I can't go without saying that music and reading a good book can help you relax too! What do YOU like to do to relax and de-stress?


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Friday, September 14, 2012

If You Try

It's so easy to feel defeated when we are working towards a goal. I am constantly having to "regroup" and keep at it in life. We all have goals- my current goals are to workout harder, eat healthier, be less lazy in regards to my household chores, organize and utilize my time better...I could keep going but I won't bore you, its a long list! Do you have goals you are working on? What keeps you from working hard at them...or starting them? If we don't try, we don't succeed right?

I recently got the new album "Beautiful World" by Justin Cash! If you haven't had a chance to check this new artist out please do! He's got a feel good, keep it cool, jazzy beat to his music. I'll admit, Jazz music isn't at the top of my favorite music genre's, but sometimes I just need that feel good feeling that you get from listening to it! I would group him with Jack Johnson and other similar artists. Here is a brand new music video to inspire you to keep working towards your goals!

If you don't try, you won't succeed.



How cute is his little boy in this video?! Check out this other awesome video of Justin Cash and Calee Reed having a little jam session.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Are America

I can't let this memorable day pass by without making note of it. September 11, 2001 will forever be etched in our hearts. The exact moment, the exact place we were standing or sitting in, the exact emotions we went through- we will remember every bit of it. I'm forever thankful to live in this amazing country and pray every day that we will have leaders that can guide us righteously in the way he intended this country to be. I am thankful for the public and military service women and men that protect my family every day. Here is a great song, sung by Jessie Funk, written by her husband.

We Are America


Calling America, Alex Boye

Thursday, September 6, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know it.....

When I was a teenager I had a great group of friends. I have such fond memories with them and thankfully not too many of them are drama filled! One day we got the idea to start a "Happy Book". To be honest, I really have no clue where this idea came from (perhaps at EFY?)? Anyhow, we each had our own Happy Book that we faithfully carried everywhere with us. What is a Happy Book you ask? Well, exactly what it sounds like, a book/journal that we wrote down everything that made us happy! You could find anything in it, from flip flops (which we all LOVED...and had too many of) to boys names, to chocolate cake, to our family....anything that made us happy we wrote down. I sure wish I still had this journal, it would be fun to go back and look at what made me happy as a teenager. I know that while we were on this Happy Book obsession we were so close and got along so well. We had so much fun together and tried not to let the caddy teenager stuff get to us.

I decided today that since life gets tough sometimes as a mom/parent/grown-up I should take some time to list what makes me happy! If we always dwell on the negatives, things will stay negative. If we take time to count our blessings, and step back and look at what the positives are in our life things will just go better. Here we go!

From top Left going clockwise:
My family- Although my kids can bring me to my breaking point quite often, they still make me happy to have them a part of my life.
Nature- I LOVE sunsets, and the mountains, and reflections in the water of the two....I just LOVE nature
Desserts- I have an undeniable addiction to sweets, well, not just any sweets, the chocolate sort. I particularly LOVE this cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (a restaraunt that makes me very happy) called Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple. yum-o.
Mani-Pedi's- I LOVE going to get a pedicure, and when I can splurge and get a manicure too, boy I'm in heaven (as you can tell by the picture flip-flops still make me happy too!)
Music- This is no surprise considering my blog....good music makes me happy down to my soul
Baking- Obiviously this goes along with my sugar addiction...but I really am happy when I can bake and decorate a beautiful cake or cupcakes...I also love baking anything else sweet.

Round Two! Starting at the top left:
Fall, Autumn, the rescue from summer heat- Whatever you call it, I LOVE the fall season. The cooler temperatures, the nice breeze, the amazing colors, carving pumpkins, the excuse to use pumpkin in my baking. Love it all and can't wait for it to get here!
Crafting- I love making crafts!
Costa Vida- enough said.
Mercy River- I have blogged about them before, but this music group of moms is AH-MAZING.
My Husbands Pancakes- I always convince the kids to get daddy to make his chocolate chip pancakes most Saturday mornings. They are perfect in every way.
A new Haircut- Doesn't a new haircut make everyone happy? Well, unless it was a bad haircut I suppose
Bakery- I love going to cute bakeries, even if I don't get anything...which usually never happens. This was a bakery near San Francisco
Quotes- when i was younger I also had a quote journal where I kept quotes that inspired me in some way. I love how so many bloggers are willing to give out free printables with amazing quotes for the rest of us folks to use

I would like to challenge you to make a list of what makes YOU happy. Keep it somewhere safe, and when you are having a "down" day, whip that list out and add to it! Leave a comment on something that makes you happy!


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Friday, August 31, 2012

Eclipse

There's something to be said for A Cappella groups. I've posted before about how much I LOVE listening to them. I was broken hearted when I heard "The Sing-Off" was not going to air for another season! There is just something about listening to music that you know is ALL voice. No instruments, no  recording studio doctoring. Just PURE talent. I love it! Take a look at this new video from the A Cappella group Eclipse of Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are".

Friday, August 24, 2012

Closer to You, Calee Reed

Sorry I'm a day late today, I'm up to my neck busy with school in session now and Dr's appointments....still trying to set a new schedule for the family!

I recently received Calee Reeds new debut Album "The Waiting Place" and LOVE it. Many of us were first introduced to Calee Reed around mothers day when she released a single "She Put the Music in Me", as well as music video to go with it. I posted in on my blog HERE. Calee has such a unique sound to her music and voice. I was even surprised to see that the genre iTunes put her in was "Indie Rock", even though this CD is primarily Christian music. There are so many great songs on this CD like the toe tapping "Trust In God"- seriously it's so fun! Also, the song "Time for Love" is a live version, talking about how it's just time for love in this world! I think this song is needed as a public service message!

The song that I want to share my feelings about today is "Closer to You". You can hear a clip of it (and download it) HERE. Isn't it amazing how so many emotions in life can be compared to weather? When you are happy you can compare it to sunlight, when you are going through hard trials you can compare it to storms, when you end a chapter in your life you can compare it to a sunset. The thing that instantly caught my attention in this song is the first line, "Why do we only remember the sun, after the rain starts pouring down?". It's true isn't it? We don't think about how beautiful the sun has been during the day until we realize its actually not sunny any more. We don't realize how good life is until we are in the midst of a storm/trial rolling in. "We fear we are lost to him [and left] to sink in the raging sea" when we are going through something that is really difficult. Whether it is the death of a loved one, or fighting in your marriage, or the loss of a friend- sometimes our human nature will want to know why it happened to us. Why do we think God has left us alone? What we need to always remember is that our Savior is there with his hand reaching down pulling us up if we just have faith to walk on the water next to him. This song reminds me that we just need to look past the dark storm clouds and rising water and we will make it through the storm....because the storm will always end. Enjoy the words of this song.

What does it teach you?
Reflections of Christ

Closer to You, by Calee Reed
Why do we only remember the sun after the rain starts pouring down
We take it for granted until it is gone; we’re left with just storm clouds around
We’re standing in water that’s rising fast and these dark clouds are gathering speed
Just when I feel I’m not going to last I look through the clouds for the rescue I need

Lord, let this storm bring me closer to you Help me pull through this
Lord, help me see, letting fear flood my heart with just drown me
Bring me closer to you

Why do we fear that we are lost to him, or faded to sink in the raging sea
Struggling for courage to rise up and swim or walk on the waves of his beckoning
I’m wading through water that’s rising fast and these dark clouds are gathering speed
Just when I feel I’m not going to last I look through the clouds for the rescue I need

Lord, let this storm bring me closer to you please help me get through this
Lord, help me see letting fear flood my heart will just drown me

No matter how many hurricanes I’m called to endure
Of one thing I’m always sure, that as hard as it gets, I know when its all through
I’ll be stronger, and wiser, and closer to you

I’ll wait for this storm to end, just like they always do
And I’ll be cleaner, and purer and brighter
More loved and more sure and lighter
Stronger and wiser and closer to you
(Words transcribed by me, I apologize if they aren't 100% correct)

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Music is FUN!


I love discovering new music, and I have recently discovered a great cd for my kids! As a matter of fact, ever since we got this cd a week ago, every day, the second we get in the car my two boys ask for the music to be turned on and get upset when I have to turn it off! This new music album, Scripture Power is such a fun cd for kids (and adults!). It is so fun and upbeat you can't help but enjoy yourself and feel good when you are done listening to it. I even caught my 6 year old singing a song from it the other day.

I can not stress enough the power of  music in the life of a child. Music, without even meaning to, can completely change the mood of everyone who can hear it. When I feel the spirit of contention in my home I instantly walk to my ipod and turn on some peaceful music, whether it is my favorite music artists like Mercy River, Hilary Weeks or Cherie Call, or I turn on some Pandora piano music (my favorite channels are the "William Joseph" channel or "Paul Cardall". In the mornings to keep things calm I have started going to my "Sarah Bareilles" channel....calm, but upbeat. The foot tapping, upbeat nature of the songs on this album help us have fun together while we are in the car! I wish we would have had this all summer, it would have been perfect for our many long car rides to the mountains! Check out the link to the album and listen to some of the samples, you'll enjoy it!

Click HERE to go to where you can purchase Scripture Power, it is also available for mP3 download.
HERE is another FUN, kids cd as well, called Popcorn Bopping.

Have a GREAT weekend!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some thoughts....

I've recently had on my mind the impact that good media can have on who we are inside. It affects how we think of ourselves, how we act, the attitude we have day to day. How do you feel after you put that book down you've been reading, after you walk out of the movie, or after you turn off the t.v. or radio? I always find its a hard balance to figure out with the good and evil surrounding our world today. We live in a day where men call "evil good, and good evil" (Isa. 5:20) Today I just wanted to share some interesting quotes I found on this subject!

"Music can help you draw closer to your Heavenly Father. It can be used to educate, edify, inspire, and unite. However, music can, by its tempo, beat, intensity, and lyrics, dull your spiritual sensitivity. You cannot afford to fill your minds with unworthy music." (and might I add, unworthy media in general)"
-President Thomas S. Monson

“We need to make good media choices ourselves and set good examples for our children. … We need to take time to watch appropriate media with our children and discuss with them how to make choices that will uplift and build rather than degrade and destroy”
-M. Russell Ballard

I'd like to challange you, and myself, to be more mindful of the media we partake in. Take note of how that magazine, book, song, tv show, or movie makes you feel, and don't be afraid to put it down or walk away if it doesn't make you feel good, inspire, or uplift you- even if you're the only one doing it.

On a side note- here is fun video from Britt Nicole!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Already a Butterfly

I am excited to share with you guys a new music video that was just released this week! The song is by Cherie Call and is called "Already a Butterfly". As you'll see, this is such a cute video with such profound words! The song has a fun catchy beat too! I love many of Cherie's songs, one of my favorites is "No Ordinary Girl" from her album The Ocean in Me. A few years ago I remember seeing her perform at Time Out For Women...she was VERY pregnant and I couldn't believe she was there, singing in front of hundreds of women and sounding as amazing as ever. She has such a calming tone to her voice that I return to often! Back to her new song....

 "You don't need a cape if you're already a butterfly. Butterflies fly through the sky without a care in the world. I wish you could see as the years go by that no matter what you're still that little girl. And its easy to believe you're beautiful when you're three years old. But when fifteen comes around I hope that you still know, butterflies fly through the sky without a care in the world!"

I love that the message from this song teaches us that we are who we are, and we shouldn't change it. We don't need a cape if we are already a butterfly! So often we (at ALL ages) feel that we need to be something else to be wonderful, but if we can all remember to be as a butterfly and fly through the world without a care in the world we WILL be wonderful! How much different would this world be if we taught this to all our children and helped them believe it....and if we remembered it ourselves.


You can check out the thoughts behind this song on Cherie's blog HERE,
and check out her website HERE 

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

We Are

I love spending time looking for new music artists that uplift the soul! This week I have found an amazing music artist, Kari Jobe. She may not be new on the Christian music scene...but she's new to me! I am trying to open up my little box of being stuck to LDS music artists and find more to listen to these days. With all the negative, inappropriate, NON uplifting media surrounding us these days we should cling to what is good. It seems as though the only media I can find that is good these days is music (well yes, I know there are a lot of good books too!)....and that is still being suffocated by bad music. I've really been shocked lately by the level of horrible tv shows starting this fall. Seriously people, what happened to TGIF- Full House, Family Matters....you know what I'm talking about? Good, wholesome, family entertainment besides PBS cartoons!
Anyhow....back on track......I have spent a good bulk of my extra time listening and watching Kari Jobe's YouTube channel and listening to tracks on iTunes. She has so many great messages to share! The one I decided to share today is her acoustic video of "We Are".

She says "We live in the dark, but that's not who we are. We are children of light.....make the most of the time we have left. We are the light of the world, we are the city on a hill, we are the light of the world and we gotta let the light shine!"

I love this song because honestly, that's the whole point to this blog! I want to let MY light shine, spread some light to others. There is so much evil and darkness in the world today, if I can do my part to share light to others I can feel peace in my heart. I know I have been blessed with the talent and love of music. It is how I feel my Saviors love for me, through music. If I can reach others through music, then they will feel that love as well. I may not write and record music, but I can still share it.

"We gotta let the light shine!"


Check out Kari's website HERE

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heaven is Here

Have you heard of Stephanie Nielson? Maybe you heard of the NieNie Dialogues? Well, if you haven't you are in for a treat....just as a warning, you may want to set aside a LOT of time because once you get sucked into her inspirational story and blog, you won't want to stop. I think it is human nature to partake in inspirational things. To some it is given one talent, and to others another, Stephanie Nielsen was blessed with the amazing talent of inspiring others to be better, to take life one day at a time and to cherish EACH AND EVERY step along the way. To cherish the good and embrace the bad.
I have known about this amazing women for a few years now. Stephanie and her husband were in a small airplane crash in AZ....here's a video to share her story.....

I have followed her story on and off for the last 5 years and am constantly inspired by her. She recently wrote and published a book called Heaven is Here. Here's a quick video introducing it:


 I borrowed this book from a friend last week and LOVED it. It was so neat to here her side of the story, starting before the accident. Seeing her go through the experience "in the media" (ie. blog, newscasts, Oprah, magazines, etc.) she always showed such hope and dedication to getting better. The book is an open book to her life and emotions that she went through since the accident. It was a great reminder that no matter what someone is going through, and how they seem to be handling it on the outside, we are all human and have deep, heartfelt struggles. Just because someone says they are doing fine, may not mean they are TRULY doing fine. If you feel a prompting to send them a note, bring them dinner, or just give them a call, DO IT. Another lesson I learned was the importance of families- I know this already, but it was a great reminder. Her family network was crucial with her recovery, our families are important and we need to constantly be working on those relationships, even if they live scattered across the country!

The third and most important lesson that I have learned from Stephanie Nielson and her book is to cherish my calling as a mother. I have learned that even the moments of 3 spilled cups of milk in 10 minutes, tantrums in the grocery store, arguments about constipation issues, and endless amounts of diaper changes should be counted as blessings. Blessings because, as frustrating as they are, I am HERE to be a part of them. I am alive and healthy and able to help my kids learn and grow each and every day. I am able to help my kids zip up their coats, button their shorts, make them scrambled eggs. I am here to comfort them in the middle of the night. I am thankful for each breath I take.


I am so thankful for the strength, dedication, and passion for life that Stephanie Nielson shows to the world. I am thankful that she has chosen to share it with the world.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

"I Am His Daughter"

I'm back! I hope to have a weekly post from now on! ! If you like what you read and want more go ahead and become a "follower", I truly appreciate it! I also LOVE reading comments, and would love to hear your thoughts on uplifting things you come across. Thanks for joining me

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Silence....

Its been a rough few days for me. Really rough. Just one thing after another "going wrong". After a good breakdown/cry session on the phone with my sister I felt better, picked myself up and moved on. A clean house top to bottom was first on the list....it won't last very long, but it always helps me to have a better attitude about things, and handle my patience levels better too! Something else I noticed was my Ipod was missing from its dock for a few days (almost 2 yr old decided to put it in big brothers backpack...not a place I think to look!), and that meant no music for a few days! I was pondering this today and came back to my conclusion on how powerful music is. I play music during the day, almost always, to keep an upbeat mood, and keep the spirit in my home. I didn't have that for a few days and I felt it, so did the rest of the family. I still have my few favorites, namely Mercy River, Nichole Broome, and Hilary Weeks...I also listen to "Headphones" by Brit Nichole a lot now too (my previous post), its such a FUN song! What are some uplifting songs or albums you enjoy listening to, to keep an upbeat attitude?


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Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

This goes to the kids!

I was on my daily (well, nearly daily) phone call with one of my sisters today and asked her for some ideas for todays post. She had a great idea! She said how about something for kids? She remembered a music artist that my kids used to LOVE, particularly Tyler. Her name is Laurie Berkner. She is part of The Laurie Berkner Band. Boy, if you haven't heard of her, and you have kids, or work with kids, you are MISSING OUT! I totally forgot about how much my Ty loved listening to her music and watching her music videos when he was 2. I have many videos of he and his cousin dancing to her music....I'll even share one today!
I feel that music is crucial in the healthy development of children, which is why I have music playing almost all day, every day. It teaches them creativity, how to have FUN, teaches them patterns, beats, oy, I can't list everything! Take time to play some music for your kids sometime, you'll be suprised the fun time you can have with them!

Some of my (and my kids) favorites from the L.B.Band are I'm Gonna Catch You, The Goldfish, and We Are the Dinosaurs- as with most of her songs, they are songs that you can join in on the action, kids love it and adults have fun joining in too! You can find her on YouTube and watch a ton of her videos, she is also on NetFlix! Perfect activity for when its just too darn hot (or too cold!) to play outside!

Grab your kids and start dancing!


and here's one of the fun we have had with Laurie Berkner at home!



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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Britt Nicole- Headphones

Another new music discovery for you all! As I said in my last post, one of the reasons for this blog is to help others discover new, uplifting music! After discovering Rachael Lampa I started looking for some more, fun, upbeat, uplifting music in the same genre...and discovered a few great music artists!

The next one I'd like to share is Britt Nicole. After looking around on YouTube I found this FUN song, it is totally going on my workout play list! I LOVE it, and think it is SO perfect for teenagers in the world today. I love the message it gives to be yourself, and remember to look UP and remember the love our Father above has for YOU. I love that it teaches that music can uplift you and help you remember who you are and that things are going to be okay.

"Headphones" by Britt Nicole
"Keep your head up, dust off your shoulder, It's alright, no it's not over
Anytime you feel alone, put on your headphones,
Love, Love's coming through your headphones!"


If you are reading this in an email or reader click HERE and it will take you to my
blog to watch the video.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, please leave a comment if you liked the video or if you have any song or music artist suggestions for me to check out!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rachael Lampa

Have you heard of Rachael Lampa? Me neither, until a few weeks ago. A friend of mine from highschool (Nicole Broome...I blogged about one of her songs HERE) was doing a "giveaway" for tickets to a Rachael Lampa house concert she was hosting. I was curious, so I googled her...and WOW, I am SO glad I did! I wish I lived in NC so I could have entered to win some tickets!
She has an AMAZING, unique, fun, soulful voice. I LOVE it! And sheesh, she is gorgeous too! Rachel was in the music scene a few years back when she was younger, and was exploding with success, but decided to stop. You can really tell that the time off taught her many things and helped her mature and realize the true purpose of music, to uplift others. I'm so grateful for fresh, new music artists that truly LOVE the talent God has given them! Some of my favorite songs that  I've discovered are "Remedy", and "When I Fall". She has both "secular" and "christian" music, which I love.
One of my purposes for this blog is to introduce others to music artists, as well as force myself to look outside my normal favorite few, I hope you take some time to check out her WEBSITE, I think you'll like what you find! On her website, under Media, she has a few videos you can watch. In the meantime, check out this acoustic performance of "Remedy"!

(*Update...I thought she looked familiar, and now I now why, I just discovered she was in the group called "The Collective" on last season of "The Sing Off"!)


*If you are reading this in a reader or through an email CLICK HERE to take you to my full website*

Do you have a favorite music artist/song that uplifts you that I might like too? Please leave a comment or email me so I can check it out!!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

She Put the Music in Me

Sorry it's been such a long break from me posting. My grandfather passed away at the end of March, and I got off track for a while after that. I will miss him so much, but am so thankful for the memories I have with him and for the knowledge that I will see him again someday.

I came across a new video released today by a new music artist, Calee Reed. Her voice is magnificent! I'm sure I will post about her again soon! (I've also come across a few more music artists that I'm excited to share with you soon!). Calee released this music video today in honor of Mother's Day on Sunday. She lost her mother to cancer last year and this song is a tribute to her, and to all mothers.

 As I was watching and listening to the song, my thoughts, of course, turned to my own mother, and to who I am as a mother. I love the title of the song, "She Put the Music In me". My mother truly put my love of music in me. My parents always taught us the importance of music and it played a huge part in our family growing up. I was taught how important music is in feeling and teaching by the spirit. How it can bring peace and inspiration. Each child in my family played an instrument. On any given day you could hear the many sounds of music coming from our windows- from Chopin and Beethoven, to Michael McClean, to Celine Dion, to Brittany Spears, to Louie Armstrong, to Garth Brooks...I could go on. You could hear flute, piano, viola, cello, violin, trombone, trumpet, a little guitar, and of course voice. That's a lot of music! My mother has a beautiful voice, I have fond memories of her singing to us at night before bed her french lullabies when we were young. I can hear them now as I think about it. My parents also sang together sometimes, we loved hearing them sing duets!

My parents and I last November
I am so thankful for the many things I have learned from my parents, as the song says, they were sent to me by my Heavenly Father. I share this music video for her, and for every women out there who has loved, taught, and cared for another....all women are mothers.


Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Better than a Hallelujah

A cell phone camera and a fun app provides lots
of entertainment some days.

I'm not sure I can say it enough, the group Mercy River is AMAZING. When I heard months ago that they were getting ready to release a new album I was SO excited! Mercy River is made up of three down to earth moms who have a passion for music. (I have posted about them previously) Maybe that's one reason why I have been so drawn to them, I can relate, and dream to be in their position one day, inspiring others with music! I was so excited when I found their album on iTunes the night before it was officially released, if we still listened to cassette tapes mine would be totally worn out because of how much I have listened to it. I have had a hard time picking just one song on the album that has inspired me, that I wanted to write about- they ALL have inspired me in some way.

After listening to the album, I don't know how many times, the song Better than a Hallelujah caused me to stop what I was doing, restart the song and really LISTEN, and feel the words. I know the spirit was telling me to stop being busy and take in the message of the song. Here are the words:

Better than a Hallelujah
by Mercy River, from the album Higher

God loves a lullaby
In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
God loves the drunkard’s cry
The soldier’s plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what’s been done
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

I grew up in the south, and in the south there are many "Hallelujahs"! It was fun to sing the "clap your hands, sway back and forth, shout hallelujah " songs in highschool choir and the youth city choir. Those kinds of songs can uplift and inspire just as much as the more quiet, reverent songs. So, I really felt I understood what they meant when the said "Better than a hallelujah". As I began thinking about the words of this song, it made me think about the counsel we are given to pray always. I love the first phrase of the song because I can relate to them most, "God loves a lullaby, in a mother's tears in the dead of night." SO many times in my life in the past 6 years I have cried holding my crying baby that just won't go to sleep. My tears truly were a prayer, pleading for help with my sweet child, for help keeping my patience and showing them love, when I all I wanted was for them to sleep so I could sleep. The last 6 years of my life have taught me more about having a constant prayer in my heart than the previous 22 years. God wants us to turn to him, he wants to hear the honest cries of our breaking hearts.  Not that he enjoys seeing us this way, but more because he is there waiting with open arms to comfort and direct us. He wants to hear our honest cries more than he wants to hear our loud "Hallelujahs". He wants to hear our thoughts turn to him, He wants to bless us with peace. He wants us to turn to him in prayer as a family, and in the quiet peace of our bedrooms. I hope the words of the song can inspire you as much as they have inspired me!

"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you" Matthew 7:7

"Prayer is the provider of spiritual strength. It is the passport to peace. Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father in Heaven"- Thomas S. Monson


A recent family picture taken at the Denver LDS Temple

Guess what?! If you don't already have the new Mercy River album, Higher, you can go enter for a  chance to win a copy of your own! Mercy River is on a blog tour and will be stopping by TODAY  to guest post on my sisters blog, Moments! So head on over and check out her fun blog and enter to win!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Isn't it amazing how the simple word "sunlight" can evoke such wonderful, happy, joyous feelings? Say it out loud....it makes you feel good doesn't it? I just came across this video from the oh so amazing Piano Guys. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"- yes I know, the song title doesn't have the word sunlight in it, but rainbows happen because of sunlight. How can you not look at a rainbow and smile and instantly want to show someone else? I also felt it appropriate with St. Patrick's day (or as my boys call it "Leprechaun day") around the corner I post something about Rainbows.

Enjoy this video, what thoughts of peace and joy come to you when you listen to and look at the beautiful scenery in it?


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Walking in Sunlight by Stephanie Mabry




I am SO excited to have recently found this song! How could you not get in a good mood just from reading the title of the song, let alone the fun beat it has!? The message of this song is so simple.  So often I teach the youth (girls ages 12-13) in my Sunday class that if they live righteously, and strive to be like Jesus Christ, they will have the Light of Christ shining with in them. Not only is it the way our Heavenly Father wants us to live, but it is the way that will help us to feel good about ourselves. It truly is a beautiful feeling. It truly is like walking in sunlight. You know that feeling you have when you've been stuck inside all day and you walk outside to the warmth of the sun? That's what it feels like to have the Light of Christ, warmth, happiness, love. If we live the right way, others will notice it in us, and want us to show them how they can have the same thing. I know there is a reason I have always LOVED sunrise and sunsets. They fill me with so much joy, and remind me of the love my Heavenly Father has for me. I want to shine with that light and be a window to others of that light. It is human nature to long to be happy, feel loved, and show love to others. WE can walk in that sunlight, and help push the rain clouds away from others and share the light.


Walking in Sunlight by Stephanie Mabry 
(EFY, 2010)

It's a beautiful day, even though its dark out there
You've got sun on your face take it with you everywhere
And it warms your heart that's beating, it comes from believing
And it's a beautiful, a beautiful feeling
It's like walking in sunlight, when the whole world is covered in rain clouds
Your walkin' in sunlight, find the whole truth and living it out loud
Yeah when you know whats right, it's light walking in, Sunlight sunlight

Its amazing to me, how someone else can find
The light that they need, radiating in your eyes
Then it warms their heart that's beating
And suddenly your leading them to that beautiful,  beautiful feeling
It's like walking in sunlight, when the whole world is covered in rain clouds
Your walking in sunlight, finding the truth and living it out loud
Yeah when you know whats right, it's like walking in sunlight, sunlight

It's easy to forget how blessed we are
but life's better, when we remember, when we remember

It's like walking in sunlight, when the whole world is covered in rain clouds
We're walking in sunlight, finding the truth and living it out loud
Yeah when you know whats right, it's like walking in sunlight, sunlight
Sunlight, sunlight
Sunlight, sunlight
(the words to this song were transcribed by me, I apologize if they are not entirely correct)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Eyes by Nichole Broome

I love how in the past 5 years social media has just exploded. It is amazing how simple services like Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn and others can bring lost friends and family together as if they were never apart! Among the hundreds of friends/acquaintances I have come across and reconnected with is a friend I had in 7th and 8th grade, Nichole Crook Broome. We were in choir together at Northwest School of the Arts. She was among the many, many talented kids at my school that have become successful in the arts. I remember she was someone I looked up to because she had such an amazing voice, she also had similar values and beliefs as me, so I was comfortable around her. Anyhow, we didn't stay in touch as we changed schools and grew up, until Facebook came along. We became friends on FB, haven't talked a ton, but its been fun to see her family grow and follow her career as well! 

Last year she released her first solo album called New Eyes. Ever since I bought it on iTunes I have listened to it at least once a day. As I've said before, I am always listening to music, and her album is fun, inspiring, and uplifting, it helps me get things done with enjoyment! It was unexpected to hear the jazzy undertones to the album, but I love it! Every song has a unique message. 

New Eyes

You say don't worry about it, just stop thinking about it, try to get some sleep
I've been tossing and turning, it feels like my soul is burning, I'm crying way down deep.
When I try to forget all the ghosts in my head, I feel so week,
that is when I let in the sweet words that you said
and fall asleep,
So rescue me, give me new eyes to see
I'll follow you're lead, just rescue me

Sometimes I feel so defeated,
So incomplete and my spirits beating me down
But then I'll stop breathing, the promise of your victory,
that's when I fall to the ground and cry,
When I try to forget all the ghosts in my head, I feel so week,
 that is when I let in the sweet words that you said,
and fall asleep,
So rescue me, give me new eyes to see
I'll follow your lead, and rescue me

Fall Holy spirit, fall down, fall down
Fall Holy spirit, fall

And rescue me, give me new eyes to see
I'll follow your lead, just rescue me
I'll follow your lead, and rescue me
(I transposed the words to this song by listening to it, so I apologize if it's not 100% accurate
song written and sung by Nichole Broome)

I love every single song on this album, so it was hard to pick one specific that particularly inspired me, they all do! I have fallen in love with the words of the title song, New Eyes. How often do we all worry about things in our life and try to figure them out on our own?  It is something we should all constantly work on to humble ourselves, fall to our knees and ask our Father in heaven for the help he is waiting to give us. He sends the holy spirit down to comfort us, help us forget the "ghosts in our head" and fall asleep, that is, to leave it all to him to take care of. He wants to give us new eyes to see things in His way, and the way we can do that is by following Him, and the example our Savior Jesus Christ gave us.

I love finding new music artists that can inspire me to be better, and it was an extra bonus that I knew Nichole! I wish her the best with her music career and family, and hope that you will check out her album!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Believe In Christ

I Believe in Christ. Such a simple phrase, yet SO full of meaning. A few months back my belief in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer was challenged by someone. This was the first time in my life someone was blatantly telling me what I "believed", and that, I, as a member of the LDS church did not believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. I was told I should "go back and read my Book of Mormon and bible, and learn about what Jo Smith taught" It stung. But I held strong to my testimony and told them what I know is true, and that I know, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that WE BELIEVE in Christ. He is God's son. He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and died on the cross to save me from my sin. He knows my pain and suffering, because he has felt it. I know that He died, that I might live again. (If you are not of my faith, and would like to know more of what we believe you can visit THIS website
I love the song "I Believe in Christ", written by Bruce R. McConkie. The words are so powerful and piercing to the soul. Here are the words, and my testimony, my belief, in our Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.

I Believe in Christ
I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I'll sing; I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ' he is God's Son. On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He health the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised

I believe in Christ; oh, blessed name!
As Mary's son he came to reign 'mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ; who marked the path, who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: "Come, follow me, that ye my friends, with God may be."

I believe in Christ- my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod. I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me. From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love In his eternal courts above

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From hi I'll gain my fondest dream; And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "He shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may. With him I'll stand in that great day.
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

If you are looking for some wonderful renditions of this song check out Michael Dowdle's version, he is a truly remarkable guitarist. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir also has many beautiful recordings of this song.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Arise

We all need to Arise! Our world is in turmoil and needs each of us to reach out to all places, call to all nations. Now's our time to shine. Arise.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Echoes" by Mercy River

A few months back I had a conversation with someone about if I, and they, believed in life before this life. They did not believe we existed before we were born and wanted to know why I thought we did. I didn't have much scriptural "proof" for them, but I did have my testimony. I had my firm belief that I know I have a Heavenly Father, and I was with him before I gained my body here on earth. After this conversation the subject has been on my mind a lot. I continue to find more scriptural references, but also continue to gain more of a testimony of the subject. I have had this song on my iPod for at least a year and have always loved the sweet, calming influence it had on me. One day not long ago I actually listened very intently on the words. I felt the spirit so strong knowing that this song is SO true. There are so many "Heavenly echoes" in my life that remind me of that far away place we call Heaven. My children's little giggles, the beautiful sunrise and sunset, MUSIC, the scriptures. All these things and more are constant heavenly echoes in my life reminding me of the life and family I had, and have, in heaven.

It wasn't until today that I actually realized that this song is somewhat of a lullaby. It is speaking to a baby. It says "Soon you won't recall his voice or his face, but baby sometimes if you're still, you will hear echoes..." I know that all those sweet, tender, absolutely beautiful babies we see all around and in our own homes are so close to our Heavenly "pre-earth" life. They still remember our Heavenly Father's face, and voice. As they grow each day that moves further and further from their memories, and soon they won't remember it, which is why He sends us Heavenly angels whispering echoes. They are wanting and waiting, to send us Heavenly echoes, if we let them.

Echoes
long ago and far away
you were in held in another place
and you were whispered words of sweet grace
and you were wrapped in the arms of mercy
soon you won't remember those days
soon you won't recall his voice or his face
but baby sometimes if you're still...

you will hear echoes
heavenly echoes
reminding you of another time and place
like waking from an old familiar dream
you will hear echoes

you may have feelings hard to understand
like you're a stranger in a foreign land
when your homesick spirit feels alone
remember, remember
this was not your first home

you will hear echoes
heavenly echoes
reminding you of another time and place
like waking from an old familiar dream
you will hear echoes

there may be times it seems
heaven never happened
but baby there will be angels,
wanting to send you,
waiting to send you

echoes, heavenly echoes
reminding you of another time and place
like waking from an old familiar dream
you will hear echoes

If you haven't heard this group or song before, take a minute to look up their website Mercy River, or look it up on iTunes! Their music is all amazing. They have such beautiful voices and unbelievable tight harmonies.