Friday, September 19, 2014

Family Friday - Day of Caring

Oh yes! Another amazing Day of Caring is in the books! I looked back and found a post I wrote about my first Day of Caring and it's so interesting to see how far things have come. If you missed it I posted a bunch of photos on Facebook so you can see a few shots from the Breakfast and the two projects I was able to go to.

I'm totally posting this under Family Friday because if you think about it, depending on your job, sometimes you spend more time with the people you work with than your own family at home. I am always so excited when I have the opportunity to work with people I would gladly call family. Right now I feel I have the best team ever and am proud to work next to them on a daily basis. 

I love my team!!! Alison and Amy are the BEST!
My job on Day of Caring is not to run a project but to make sure things are going well at all of our projects as well as manage media that shows up on site. This year we were super organized with media and I knew exactly where they were going to show up. To my knowledge no one else showed up at any of our other sites so my job was pretty easy. I did end up having to make a mid day run for some extra paint for our mural project but that's exactly what I'm there for. Solving problems and making sure things run well.

Brian and Angel of FM 100 were wonderful to work with.
I also wanted to share some of the media coverage we got (see the list below). I was interviewed in the KSL video and in the background of the Good4Utah - Day of Caring video. I also had the opportunity to do some live radio spots on X96, FM 100.3, and 103.5.

Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News
Good4Utah - Stuff the Bus
Good4Utah - Day of Caring
I can say in some ways this year was easier and in others it was harder. We continue to expand our work which means more schools and projects to manage but we're continuously working on ways to make our processes better and more efficient for everyone involved.

I loved being a part of the mural project with American Express and Granger Elementary

I felt the day went really well and I can't wait to see pictures of the projects I couldn't get to. The highlight of my day was hearing some of the stories from students at Kearns High as well as the Kearns High botany teacher when he said this might be the best day in his entire teaching career. WOW! When he said that I was completely speechless. To know something you played a small part in facilitating was that impactful for someone seems like such a rare opportunity and I feel blessed to have been a part of that great work.

Before: Kearns High community garden space - weeds, concrete, rebar, and other yucky things.

In Progress: framing garden beds, adding drip irrigation, and completely cleaned out!
And, for those of you who are interested in learning more and getting involved you can visit our newly re-designed website at Seriously it's AWESOME and looks great on any device. Please let me know if you find any typos or links that don't work. It just launched so there is definitely the possibility for bugs or things that got missed.

Amazing volunteers from GE helping build these incredible tables for the inside of the greenhouse.

If you still can't get enough of this amazing goodness check out our pics and video on Facebook and Instagram. You can also search under the hash tags #doc2014, #liveunited, and #volunteer or @uwsl.

P.S. if you need an amazing muralist you must check out Aniko Doman. I've worked with her for years both in Las Vegas and here in Utah and she is amazing. She can provide a mural project like ours for volunteers to complete or she can work the entire process herself from start to finish. 

I also had the privilege of working with Greenside Landscaping and Lowe's. I have to say Brian at the West Valley location at the Pro Desk is tops! He can help you with all your project needs and is very knowledgeable. Kelly in the paint department at the Murray location is great to work with too, as are the guys at the Pro Desk there too. I know retail can be brutal so when I find people who are reliable and provide solid customer service I am all about giving them a little shout out. Greenside Landscaping even helped me get 3 trees within a 18 hour time frame when I realized I hadn't ordered all that I needed. Now that's good customer service.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Making a Difference

After hearing some amazing stories of gratitude on Day of Caring I decided that today I wanted to throwback to a post I wrote thanking the amazing staff and people that were there to support me when Russell was born.

The sweet little sign on Russell's bed in the NICU.

In my Day of Caring post I mentioned being speechless when the Kearns High botany teacher told me that that day was probably the best day in his entire teaching career. I commented that I felt that was rare but I'm sure in some professions it's more common to actually have a lasting life long impact on someone.

Alison and I after a long day at work for Day of Caring. I had to plug in my phone to snap this pic.
In reflecting I also realized that all of us really have the opportunity to make that kind of a mark on the people we come across every day. I realized through all I did on Day of Caring the things that stick out the most were the moments of friendship and kindness that I gave to others or that others gave to me. I don't think you have to literally save a life to really brighten someones day and even if you never know the impact you had I think it's worth trying to be the person you'd hope to encounter that makes your day a little better.

The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that outlasts it. - William James
I personally am looking inside to how I can be a better person each day. Not just in the big moments but in the little things I say and do. I know it won't be easy because I'm human and we all make mistakes and have a wide range of emotions and circumstances to deal with but in the end I want to know that overall I did my best to be the person I hope to meet every day.

Has anyone ever done something for you that you won't ever forget? Were you ever that person who was able to give something to someone that made a difference in their life. Share your stories and let's get inspired by some happy goodness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - 100 Days of Yoga

Everyone get excited! Now that I'm past the biggest work event of my year I am so happy to get back on track with my personal yoga practice. My goal is to have a daily practice so I can build my strength and flexibility to be prepared for my Yoga Teacher Training next spring. I'm definitely the type of person who needs a little accountability so I'm accepting the 100 Days of Doing Challenge.

Bookmark To Blog
I love this challenge because you can pick what you want to do. 100 days of doing something. Trying new recipes, taking pictures, reading books, learning something new, or whatever your heart desires!!! I also love this challenge because my friend Kim is so real about how she's doing and her struggles. I know that committing to anything for 100 days is hard to think about but I love knowing that Kim is willing to share her challenges and let us know that missing a day or two (or a week) is no reason to give up.

Get over to Bookmark To Blog today then make sure you link up when you accept the 100 Days of Doing challenge.

Do You Yoga
I will do my best to take a photo every day I practice and post them online but without my phone I know that will be hard. I may resort to putting a sticker on my calendar every day I get my yoga in until my new phone gets here.

Make sure you use #BTB100DaysOfDoing and #motovated when you post your pics so we can see what you're up to.

Will you accept the 100 Days of Doing challenge? If so, what are you picking for your challenge? Let's make Fall 2014 simply fabulous!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motovated Monday - Embrace Your Body

Happy Monday! (Yes, Monday can be a happy day too...) I wanted to share this great piece I saw on the Do You Yoga Facebook page. Lately I've been reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and it talks about loving your body and yourself in order to help heal yourself. I know, some of you will think it's a bunch of hippie-affirmation-loving junk but I am being open to different possibilities at this point in my life so I'm giving it a read. I actually started reading it a long time ago on recommendation from my friend Kim but just picked it back up recently. I think it's true that when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Anyway, regardless of what you believe about your body and how you can/can't heal yourself I feel this thought is worth considering.

Embrace and love your body. It's the most amazing thing you will ever own.
Do you feel you really love your body and yourself? Do you feel it's hard to keep up with society's view of what's "beautiful" and "good" or have you found ways to live for yourself and your family? Share any tips you have on how you have learned to embrace and love all that is uniquely you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Jam Thumbprints

Well, one might say the blog has taken a holiday turn lately and you may be right. I have been thinking of these cookies lately and judging by the last time I wrote about these the seem to match the holiday season. Let's get baking folks!

Jam Thumbprints

Make some jam now while summer fruit is still in season and you'll thank me when you can make these during the holidays. MMMM!!!

Does anyone else go nuts baking or making homemade treats around the holidays? Some of my favorite memories are of my mom making homemade chocolates or cookies for the neighbors. Now my Mom makes this delish caramel popcorn that is a whole lot easier in bulk but I still LOVE those memories of making holiday treats growing up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Snail Mail

Hopefully you caught my last Wellness Wednesday post about my Cell Free Detox. In honor of going back to more traditional ways of communication I wanted to put it out there that it's about time for Christmas card season! Oh yes! Don't deny it. I get we're only in September but if I don't get going now cards won't get out until it's almost Christmas. HA HA HA!!!

Seriously, who doesn't love a baby in a snow suit?!?
It's funny because I never really thought I cared about getting cards but I actually enjoy getting paper mail. (As long as it's not junk mail.) I love getting something in the mail knowing that the sender had to at least take the time to think of you long enough to get your address on an envelope, put a stamp on it, and get it to the mail box. It's so fun to see how your friends families have grown through the years and I am totally the person who keeps my cards year after year.

Russell's first Christmas. He was a tiny little guy!
So, because I have been looking at what design to pick for our families Christmas card this year I wanted to see how many people out there still send cards. If you do, here's what I want to know.
  1. What type of card do you send? (Photo card, family letter, regular cards, etc.)
  2. Who do you send cards to? (Just family, family and friends, professional/networking connections, etc.)
  3. How many cards do you send?
We have typically done a photo card because it's easy and I personally like seeing pictures of my friends and relatives around the holidays. We usually just send to family and a few close friends and I think in the past few years we've only sent around 20 cards.

Russell loves shiny things. HA HA HA!
I love getting cards so if you'd like to send a card my way I'd be delighted and it would hang in our house until after Christmas. I'm also thinking about some sort of fun holiday exchange we could do if people were interested.

Maybe Russell will like Temple Square more this year than in the past.
Share with me your favorite holiday traditions! As Russell's gotten older I'm getting more excited about the holidays and the fun we'll have together as a family.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Motovated Monday - PTSD Project Video

My husband isn't the type to share inspirational quotes or ra-ra type videos so when he said he'd recently seen the most inspiring video ever I had to check it out. As he prefaced it, it's got a military focus but regardless of your thoughts or experience with the military the message is solid.

These are some of the things that spoke to me:
  • You have to create the perfect time. The perfect opportunity.
  • When you're not pursuing your goal. You are committing spiritual suicide.
  • Make that dream a reality or else you will be working for someone else making their dream a reality.
  • If it was easy, everybody would do it.
  • Start saying yes to your life, your dreams, your unfolding future, your potential...
  • Leave no opportunity behind.
I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve in our military. Who put their lives on the line so that I can pursue my dreams, my hopes, and my vision for the future. The little girl at the end of the video gets me every time. Yes, I've watched this video in its entirety more than once.

If you want to do more, check out the Wounded Warrior Project or Soldiers' Angels. They are both great programs that support both active duty soldiers and veterans. I have personally supported Soldiers' Angels and I know my husband would like to see us support the Wounded Warrior Project in the future.

I hope that no matter who you are that you don't give up on yourself or your dreams. I don't think you're ever too anything (insert that downer thought you tell yourself too often - too fat, too tall, too short, too stupid, too old, too young, too xxx...) to start changing your life to make it what you want it to be. Start today, take baby steps, and one day you may find yourself living the life of your dreams.

What's your dream? What's holding you back? Is there a simple step you can take in the next week that could bring you a baby step closer to reaching your goal? Maybe it's checking out a book at your local library, taking a friend for lunch to pick their brain and get advice, or maybe it's just starting something like a blog, a class, or picking back up a hobby. Whatever you choose, please don't give up.