Friday, February 20, 2015

Birthday Weekend Recap

It's well after my birthday now but I still wanted to share some pics from my birthday weekend. I loved seeing all the fun posts on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday. It's always fun to hear from friends you might not have heard from all year. I also love that I happened to have my birthday off work this year so it was nice to relax and not have to worry about anything but having fun with the family.

Our day started out with breakfast at The Original Pancake House. I love enjoying breakfast out because my favorite breakfast is eggs benedict which takes some effort at home and when we eat out I can just enjoy it without the mess. Russell loved his fresh fruit and the service was great so it was a wonderful way to start the day.

One of my gifts from Joe and Russell was a massage. YES!!! If you've never had a massage you MUST go at some point in your life. I've been to a few spas when we lived in Vegas and have always enjoyed the experience so when I found I would get to enjoy a massage for my birthday I was excited. Plus, things had been stressful at work for a while so it was nice to know that I could just kick back and relax.

After my massage we hung out for a bit before we took Russell to my parents house so we could go out to dinner. We went to Red Iguana which was a place we'd wanted to try for a while but never had because it's always so busy. We don't mind a short wait with Russell but the only place you can wait at Red Iguana is right on the sidewalk by the street. Russell is a little too into trains and cars and isn't one to sit still so we decided we'd check it out on our own and decide if we could manage Russell there. The food was great and we went early enough we were sat right away. I think if we went with Russell we'd definitely go early so we're not waiting for long.

Finally even though it was my birthday I picked up a birthday balloon for Russell to play with. He loves balloons and we love watching him play with one so it was a win all around.

So, with all the birthday festivities I was reminded that friends and family are what's truly important. Another year older I am looking inward to focus on how I can improve myself and my life so that as a family we can be happy together. We are hopeful that this year we'll get into a house where we can settle in and really make it our own. I am excited to see what the next year brings and hope that we continue to experience good things together.

What are your favorite birthday traditions? Do you love a big birthday celebration or prefer something more low key? Share your favorite birthday memories and let's celebrate life together!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Little Things

Things have been a little crazy at work lately. My team member, and friend, who has been with me the longest accepted a wonderful opportunity that was a good career move for her. Sadly for me, that means the process of re-hiring and training a new person. I got lucky and we had an internal candidate that accepted the position which reduces some of the work for me but is still a stressful process. I decided it was time to breathe and relax and look for the little things in life that are beautiful. I found some lovely things in my parents backyard that reminded me that even in a yard that looks mostly dead there are still beautiful things and signs of life.

This week I encourage you to take a moment and look around. Find something beautiful and meaningful to you. It doesn't have to be big because sometimes it's the little things that make life worthwhile.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Motovated Monday - Look Inside Yourself

I love following DoYouYoga online because I get amazing inspiration like this. A good reminder for us all as we start a new week.

"Look inside yourself; everything you want, you already are."
~ Rumi

Friday, February 13, 2015

Adventures at Thanksgiving Point

This year one of our Christmas presents was an annual membership for our family to Thanksgiving Point. The benefits are pretty sweet and include being able to visit all of their venues (Museum of Natural Curiosity, Farm Country, Thanksgiving Point Gardens, Museum of Ancient Life). We have already taken Russell on multiple occasions and have found that it hasn't been as busy and chaotic as we thought it would be. We had tried the Museum of Natural Curiosity when it first opened and it was insane but it seems like going during the week isn't bad at all.

We have gone to the Museum of Ancient Life multiple times and Russell seems to love it. He enjoys the dinosaurs and playing in the different interactive parts of the museum. My favorite thing is when we've gone it hasn't been so busy that Russell couldn't take the time to play and explore. We've probably already gotten close to the value of the membership and we're barely into the new year so I know we'll get some serious mileage out of this gift!

I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from a recent visit to the Museum of Ancient Life. If you haven't been I recommend you get down to Lehi and visit. There are tons of great places to eat and shop in the area so it's definitely worth your time.

If you missed it the stegosaurus has a dinosaur in it's mouth. Yeah, that's what dad does...
Russell wanted to stack up all the pieces of the dinosaur.
It's fun to see what will catch Russell's eye each time we go.
Russell found his reflection interesting.
What are your favorite places to take your kids in Salt Lake or Utah County? I'm always looking for new options where Russell can have fun and learn new things. We have tried the usual places but I'm always interested to see what other people's kids are into. Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Lately I've had a situation that has been causing me a lot of stress. It's gotten bad enough that I believe some of the eczema problems I've had are because of stress. I have a lot of pain in my back and I believe some of that is just me holding on to stress and anxiety. I've been exhausted, unmotivated, and not interested in doing much more than the minimum to get by and even then I question if I'm even doing the minimum. I've came to a decision about this situation but I've had a hard time executing on it and I couldn't figure out why until I came across this...

I found this on the Chopra Center Facebook page. They share a lot of motivational and inspirational quotes but this one completely stopped me in my tracks. I realized one of the reasons I haven't been able to change my situation was because I hadn't completely learned the lesson I was meant to learn from it. I realized that I was letting other peoples actions, behaviors, and dramas impact me and my life. My reaction is what's holding me back from completely letting go of the situation and moving on.


It reminded me of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent".

Dang it! It's true!!!

Sometimes you just need a reminder at the right time to teach you the lesson you haven't seen or been willing to see. At this point now I know that I need to better control my reactions and do my best to not let other peoples actions impact my quality of life. Some people will always bring drama, lies, manipulation, or other negative traits to your life but it's really up to each one of us on how much of their yuck we let into our life. We can choose to let them make us angry, bitter, upset, or feel small or we can stand tall, stand for what's right, uphold our values, and not let them get the best of us!

Whew! So what's next?

I feel that now that I've realized why I've had a hard time letting go it's practicing the lesson that will set me free. I know it won't always be easy and some days will be harder than others but this life is mine to live and I am taking back my power and going to look for the good in every situation. Look for the other lessons I can learn along the way and always remember how I feel so I never make the mistake of treating someone else in this way.

All this being said I will apologize for being vague about things. I am not at the position where this situation is resolved enough that I can say more but know that things will work out and that's what's important. My hope in sharing this is that if you are currently in a situation that isn't the best for you or bringing you joy you find the lesson quickly so you can move on to the next part of your life. I do believe that in every hard situation that there is a lesson to be learned and until you do it's likely to keep reoccurring in your life anyway. Find the lesson, learn from it, and be free to move on!

Have you ever had a lesson that kept following you regardless of what you did to change things? When did you finally realize the lesson and how did you manage it once it became known to you? Have you ever tried to help someone find their way out of a bad situation before? Feel free to share your thoughts on lessons learned or what you have to overcome.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Motovated Monday - Just Say Yes

When in doubt, just say yes. You can figure things out along the way.

What bold thing have you said yes to in your life? Is there an opportunity you should be saying yes to? Don't be afraid to work hard and learn the things you need along the way. No expert is ever born that way. What you see is years of hard work and dedication being acknowledged. You can be that expert too.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Make it Happen

Over the past month I kept seeing a book pop up on social media and in conversations so I decided it may be a sign this book was for me too.

Have you started reading this book? Is it on your "to-read" list on Goodreads? If you haven't already started reading Make it Happen (or even if you have) pick up a copy at your local book store or order yourself one and get ready to Take the Leap with me! I'm going to start sharing my thoughts and some of my comments from the Take Action section as part of my Strategic Sunday space and I hope you'll share your thoughts and actions with me too.

The book is written by Lara Casey and I'm not really familiar with her work but one of my really good friends highly recommended her and this book so I took a chance. As soon as I got a couple pages in and read the piece below from the Use What You Have Now section I knew this book would be something I'd be excited to work through this year.
This book is your invitation to stop striving, be still, and let go of your struggles and fear. To surrender what feels like everything, to gain what really is everything. You were created to do more than what can possibly be held in your tiny world all by your lonesome.
For the longest time I've felt like I was meant to do so much more than what I am doing now. That's not to say what I'm doing isn't valuable and good but for years I have thought I was meant to do something bigger than me and what I am right now. Who knows, maybe in some way beyond my current reality I will find a way to change the world. And, if I do, you can say you were following my blog long before I was famous. :)

So, I'm really only a few pages in so I don't know what to expect and where this will take me but my friend who is further into the book says it's great and only gets better. If you'd like, pick up a copy of the book and read along with me. Be sure to comment below and let me know if you're reading along. You are always welcome to post in the comments on my blog or post a link to your own blog if you're sharing your thoughts. As I read a little more into the book I'll figure out how often I'll be sharing but know this won't be the last you hear about this book. If you're local and would like to discuss this book I'd be happy to figure out some times we can get together and share in person.

What are the books that have changed your life? Do you have any books you would recommend to anyone and everyone you meet? Is there an author you just can't wait to get the next thing they publish? Join me on Goodreads and let me know if there's anything you'd recommend I read.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am so grateful to have made it to another birthday. This year I have seen many friends deal with the loss of loved ones and heard about many other deaths across the country. It's hard to think about but in reality we may be here today but who knows when our last day will be. So, to not be a serious downer about it all I am asking that everyone celebrate life with me today. If you don't know how to join in the celebration here are some suggestions I have for you...

Take a nap. Seriously when in doubt take a little time to reset and relax. Double points if you have an awesome place to sleep like Panda did.

Try something adventurous! You don't have to make a run to Vegas or Wendover but try something that's outside of your comfort zone. Your future self will thank you for it.

Have dessert first! Yep, it's my birthday so everything is fat free and calorie free today. Indulge because if today were your last day would you want to know you'd said no to everything good and delicious. Live healthy but also enjoy the moments where you indulge in the decadent things in life.

Give thanks today for those who are doing so much to protect our freedom whether here in the states or abroad. You don't need to do anything formal but don't forget that not everyone gets to celebrate their birthday at home surrounded by friends and family. (And yes, that is my husband and he can definitely shoot.)

Find beauty in something today. In nature, in yourself, in those around you, in your circumstances, whatever... Your choice. Find something you can be grateful for and embrace that. When we think about it for most of us we really are blessed in more ways than we may think. 

Be creative! Don't just do everything the same old way. Drive a different way to or from work. Try something crafty. Create something from scratch. Get down on the floor and play with your kids (or a friend/family members kids). Life is more fun when you give in to your inner child and see things in a fresh new way.

If you want a tangible way to celebrate go shop somewhere local and get yourself or someone you love something nice. Seriously, go out of your way to buy something you'd usually get at a big box retailer and find it at a local shop. You are supporting those daring enough to follow their dreams and supporting your local economy. I think both of those things are amazing and worth doing.

Eat cake! Yeah baby! If you can find yourself some cake have a slice and think of me. Feel free to also let me know what your favorite cake is in the comments. :)

And free choice for you! If none of the things above really appeal to you just do something for yourself that your future self will thank you for. Take that next step, read that book, make that phone call, whatever you need to do... You'll know what it is deep in your heart. There is always something you've set aside for far to long and today can be that day where you pick back up and move forward one little step at a time.

Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads this post. More thanks to everyone who takes action on one of these things and comes back to share how that went. I am seriously not big into celebrations but I hope today you'll celebrate not just my life but the lives of those that mean the most to you. Comment below and let me know what you've done today and seriously what your favorite kind of cake is. (Or other dessert if you don't like cake.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

YTT Session One

I am so excited to share a recap of my first Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) session! Part of my training includes blogging about my experiences. If you are interested in getting up to speed on my YTT journey you can check out my past posts here.

YTT started on January 30th. Our group will gather every last weekend of the month at the Bodhi Yoga studio in Provo, Utah. It's such a wonderful and beautiful space and the people in my training all seem like long lost friends. I am very hopeful that we'll all support each other throughout this time together and hopefully well into the future.

I love that this training is a good balance of book work, videos, demonstrations, discussions, and hands on work. We all have the use of bolsters, blocks, blankets, mats, eye masks, other props, and the studio space where we can learn and even practice teach. If anyone is in the Provo/Orem area and wants to get a group together I'm happy to coordinate a time so we can use the studio space. It's amazing and I know your friends and family would love it!

We were advised to come prepared and bring snacks so I put together a nice healthy mix of nuts, fruit, and dark chocolate chips to help me keep my energy up through discussions. Friday we meet from 3 - 9 and Saturdays are 8:30-5 which includes a full yoga practice so having healthy and good food and lots of water are essential.

On our first night together we shared some delightful dishes from Bombay House. There are three locations in town and I HIGHLY recommend you get yourself there soon and try some of their food. It was so good Joe and I ended up getting some for us on Saturday for dinner.

On our first day I found out that Rani, a certified teacher that assists during class, took her training at the same time as my friend Tara did. There is also a student, Emma, who also knows Tara which makes the class seem even more exciting since we have this common connection between us.

Our class is made up of all women but we have a variety of ages from, I'd guess, 20's all the way through 75. Some people are single, some married, some with and without kids, some have kids that are grown and out of the house, some tall and short, and all body types which is great. When I was driving down for day one I was a little worried that I'd show up and be the only one who wasn't wearing a complete Lululemon outfit and in perfect shape. I guess I should have known better based on the vibe you get walking into the studio. It's not pretentious at all it seems to attract normal people who want to enjoy yoga and share their time together.

At the end of our second day Kaija gave every student a lovely little note. I don't know if they are all the same or different but it was nice to receive and I now have mine in the front of my binder as a reminder of her thoughtful words.

On day two we had some time to break for lunch and luckily I could just run across the street to Zupas. I picked up some food and took it back to the studio to eat. The place was packed and definitely not the vibe I was looking for during our break. It was nice to eat and share some time with Renae so I could get to know here a little. (She is 75 years young and raised 10 children. Now she wants to bring yoga and meditation to other seniors to help them. She is amazing!)

Overall I feel this was the right decision for me and I am so pleased with how things have gone so far. I am excited to work on our follow up items before our next session and can't wait to see everyone again. I do miss Russell when I'm gone for so much of the weekend but he still shows me he loves yoga too by playing with my bolster I got for Christmas and helping me clean my mat at home.

If you want to know more about the Bodhi Yoga studio, the classes that are available there, or the Yoga Teacher Training I am a part of you can find all the details at Don't forget, if you are interested in being part of my practice teaching please complete this form and then I'll know to contact you when I'm ready to start scheduling my practice classes. Namaste.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Motovated Monday - What You Think

I have been trying to be more positive in my thinking lately so this resonated with me. If you're not following Positively Present on Instagram you need to. Plenty of great inspiration that you'll want to see in your IG feed.