September 18, 2014

"You Never Know"

After a difficult morning where all I wanted to do was lock myself in the bathroom and be by myself for a few hours, I stumbled across this Mormon Channel video. It CHANGED. MY. DAY.

I've been feeling like a failure in some areas of my life, feeling down and stressed about how my house is always so messy and cluttered, how sometimes I become impatient with my kids when I shouldn't, how I don't get to take a shower some days until 10:00 pm, how I wish I spent more time teaching my preschooler important things like letters and numbers when instead she watches cartoons, how I wish I had more time to develop my own talents and interests, then feeling guilty about wanting to spend more time on me instead of my family, the list goes on and on and on.

By about minute 6 in the video, I guarantee you will be sobbing like I was if you are anything like I am. It helped me realize that while some days I don't feel like I accomplished anything, most days I do, at least in the eyes of those around me, especially my children. I always wake up with good intentions to clean an area of the house, to get an important errand done, to do an act of service for someone in need, to call a friend I haven't spoken with in months, but those plans seem to always get pushed further and further down my "to-do" list.

I end up cleaning up cookie crumb messes all over the floor and googling "how to clean permanent marker from wood table top" while trying to remain calm. My mountain of unfolded laundry (with more waiting for me in the dryer) has been sitting for days in the same spot. My bed is un-made and clothes are thrown all over my floor with miscellaneous toys, ripped up pieces of Kleenex, hair clips, and a number of other random things brought in my girls, mixed in.

So after watching this video, I thought about what things I've "accomplished" so far in my seemingly difficult day. I've comforted my 2 girls in at least half a dozen crying instances so far, bent over and cleaned up at least 2 bins of toys (which are now scattered all over again), made breakfast for my children, sang a song with them, and helped my daughter put on a princess dress so she could play in it.

I helped my daughter ride the new (to us) bike she received yesterday for her birthday. Her very first bike with training wheels. She eagerly put on her helmet and semi-patiently waited for me to get dressed (something I told her was required before I could step outside as my neighbors don't want to see me in my bath robe). Then with baby in-tow on my hip, I helped her push the pedals forward and steer the bike. She got frustrated. I got frustrated. My baby got frustrated. But we did it. By the end my daughter was riding pretty well on her own. She felt proud of herself.

That was a moment worth "checking off" my list. It wasn't on my to-do list for today, but has so far become one of the highlights. Teaching my daughter how to ride a bike. Wow. What else could possibly be more important than that? Putting away clean dishes? Folding towels? Scrubbing permanent marker off my table top? Those things can wait. Being with my girls can't.

As I was writing this, I poked my head in to see what my girls were up to. I snapped this picture. They were quietly coloring and getting along (for approximately 4.5 minutes). There was peace and harmony in our house. It didn't last long, but it was there for a moment.

As women, moms, grandpas, parents, aunts, grandmas, sisters, fathers, uncles, brothers, sons, we need to stop putting so many unnecessary things at the top of our priority list. We need to stop thinking that our homes have to look spotless in order to feel like we have worth. We need to stop thinking that we need to have such-and-such to feel included. Let's STOP making so many to-do lists and START making memories. Let's stop being planners and start being doers.

September 17, 2014

Little Cottonwood Creek Trail

Where: Little Cottonwood Creek Trail up Little Cottonwood Canyon
Distance: 3.5 miles total, but may walk any distance and turn around at any time
Hiking Time: Varies
Little Cottonwood Trail starts at the entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon and follows Little Cottonwood Creek east. Primary activities on the trail include hiking, trail running, and mountain biking but dogs are not allowed. Parking is free.
We started in the middle of the trail and walked west along the creek trail for about 45 minutes then turned around. Below is a description of the section we "hiked".
Directions: From the large parking area at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, follow the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road up the canyon for 2.7 miles. Before the road enters a bend to the right, turn into the small turnout parking area on your right. Across the road to the north is the trailhead for Lisa Falls. After you park, walk down the hill to where you join the east-to-west Little Cottonwood Trail. You can head east or west, it's your choice.
If you decide to start at the bottom of the trail, park in the parking lot  at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon where the paved road veers to the right (at the stop sign). This is the same parking lot as the Temple Quarry Trail.
The trail is mostly wide and smooth. There are also smaller trails off the main trail that lead down to the creek. It was fun to explore the creek and see the flowing water and throw some rocks into the creek. Towards the end of our walk we stopped at a bridge that spanned the creek. Great picture spot and area to view the red berries and changing leaves on the trees. After we turned around, it was a bit tricky finding the spot where we leave the trail and head back up the hill to our cars. At least 6 adults walked right past the turnoff without noticing. I would recommend leaving something bright at this point so you know when to turn back to your cars. There was a small cairn set up that we didn't notice at first. If you head to the east end of the trail, there is a historic mill you can view.
 More information: here and here

I don't know what it is babies in backpack carriers, but it's adorable! Love seeing her little face riding behind me.

We took a short side trail down to the creek to feel the water. It was fun to see the creek up close.

At the part where we turned around there was a bridge that spanned the creek. We walked across it and saw these beautiful red berries growing on the trees.

These little friends holding hands while hiking just about killed me it was so cute.


I loved the parts of the trail that opened up wide and you could see the large granite canyon walls.

A great little hike on a rainy cloudy day! Luckily we only felt a few sprinkles.

September 16, 2014

Mustard & Floral


A mustard skirt is a Fall staple in my opinion. A couple years ago I searched high and low for one and couldn't find it. I wanted a plain simple pencil skirt style in mustard. You wouldn't think it would be that hard to find a reasonable price. I didn't find one the first year I wanted it, but I was able to find the perfect one the next year on Sometimes it pays to have some patience. 
I ALWAYS have to have an elastic hair band on my wrist, no matter what!
Top: White Plum [similar / similar]  | Skirt: Target (old) [similar / similar / similar] | Belt: Target (old) | Shoes: Target [similar / similar]

A simple pencil skirt goes with so many things. And I love this mustard color in the fall, it goes with so many other fall colors, like plums and purples, navy blues, etc. I paired it with this adorable floral blouse I got on a daily deal website that has deep discounts. 

These wedges were on clearance on over the summer so I snagged a pair, they are comfortable and have a low heel which works great for me. If you can't find a pair, just wait until next Spring/Summer and they will be popping up all over the patient!

Skirt: Target

I love versatile blouses like this one because you can pull out any color from the top and match it to a bottom. I swapped out the mustard skirt for a green pencil skirt (also from Target). And it has pockets! Love skirts with pockets.

September 2, 2014

Vintage Pink & Red

I recently posted on my Instagram account this thrift haul I stumbled into. We were on our way home from an appointment and on a whim I decided to run into a thrift store (Deseret Industries) to look around. We don't go thrifting very often, and when we do, I hardly ever come out with anything. I've found that you have to go several times in order to find something one time that's worth buying. That's just me.

Most of my thrifting success has been in the girls' section. I buy a lot of little girl dresses for church for both my girls. Most of them are in almost-new condition and only cost $1-$2.

But this time I hit the mother load. I usually just skim over the women's sections because I haven't found much success in the past in clothing my size. But I stumbled upon the most glorious vintage pleated skirt. It was like-new, no stains, perfect size, beautiful color and print, I couldn't believe it. The price tag? $3!!!! I snatched that thing right up and considered my trip a victory.

Then we headed over to the shoes area where we looked at toddler size shoes for my baby. I also never have success in this area because often the shoes are too worn and too expensive for what you get. But I decided to look anyways. We didn't find anything for my girls, but my eye caught a bright red pair of shoes in the women's shoe isle. I went over and picked up these vintage red and white heels and just about died. Not only were they gorgeous and in very good condition, they were in my size!! They fit me! I couldn't believe my luck. They were the most expensive item I bought that day, ringing in at a whopping $6.        

Once I got home and washed and cleaned everything off, I couldn't wait to pair these two beauties together. I really liked the color combo of the feminine pink skirt with the bold red and white heels. Pink and red isn't usually a combination I wear, but I really liked how it came together this time.  

So there you go ladies, never give up when it comes to thrifting! Just try it, you may be surprised what you come out with.

Top: H&M | Skirt: Thrifted [similar/ similar/ similar/ similar] | Belt: old | Shoes: Chelsea Crew [similar] | Necklace: A Modern Boutique

Can you spot where my 15 month old drew on my skirt with blue crayon?

Shoes: Thrifted [similar/similar]

Motherhood Filter

It was a typical day, we had spent time playing at home, running errands, folding laundry (do those piles ever get smaller?), and fantasizing about a cleaner and more organized home. I don't recall anything too frustrating about the day. Of course I had dealt with the daily meltdown of my almost 4 year old, slammed doors, time outs, and pleading with my oldest to eat more than 3 bites of food at breakfast and lunch.
My daughter had played with a friend while my 15 month old napped, then we had to run to the grocery store to pick up a few items. We weren't in a rush and I remembered that I had promised my 3 year old we could get the cool car grocery cart next time we went shopping. We can never use those carts if we have to be anywhere within the next 2 hours simply because it takes 1 hour and 58 minutes to maneuver those things through the isles. Ever try turning around mid-isle with one of those things? It's like a 13 point turn. And at least 2 of the 4 wheels turn in different directions making it almost impossible to steer in a straight line.
Anyways, we got one of the carts and I secured my oldest child in it (silly since she would undo her restraint in the next 43 seconds). I went to put my 15 month old in the front of the cart by me but then decided to let her try sitting down on the seat by her big sister.
I backed up to make sure they were snug and secure before heading into the grocery store and then it happened....... my filter turned on.
Yes, I have a very special filter. God may not have blessed me with the ability to get pregnant on my own, but He did bless me with a specialized "motherhood" filter. I surmise that some, if not most, mothers also have a similar filter, but I notice that mine comes on in the most needed moments.

My motherhood filter stops me in my tracks and makes me aware of the moment I am in. In this particular moment, I had stepped away for a split second before entering the store to make sure my girls were okay in the grocery car cart. I noticed their sweet faces, my 15 month old inquisitively pushing the fake horn that makes an annoying squeaking sound, my 3 year old checking her little sister's seat belt making sure it was hooked. Right then my filter came on. I snapped a picture (I try to capture these filtered moments so I can remember them later not only mentally but visually as well), then took a breath, and went on with my grocery shopping.
Other mothers will resonate with the thoughts and feelings that swarmed through my head in those precious few seconds. My filter was once again reminding me how truly precious these two children are. My filter reminded me once again that I AM A MOTHER! I am that mom that I envisioned years and years ago pushing her children around a grocery store in a ridiculously oversized contraption called a cart that barely has room for actual food.
No matter what frustrations I had that day, or that week, or the stresses that awaited me tomorrow or the next, I was reminded how TRULY BLESSED I am to be a mother and to have these two wonderful girls of mine. They are the most important thing in my life. My heart bursts just thinking of them. When years pass by and you wonder if you will ever get to experience these small and almost insignificant moments, it makes them all the more significant once you do. Little things like pushing my kids in a cart through the grocery store, changing a blowout diaper, building a tall tower of blocks then watching with excitement as it gets knocked down, cutting up a hot dog into tiny slices, finding a trail of ripped up toilet paper throughout the house.........these are the moments that my motherhood filter captures.
I am so grateful to be able to recognize these precious moments in our seemingly mundane, repetitive days of folding laundry and asking for the umpteenth time for a certain someone to please put her toys away.
What moment has your motherhood filter captured?

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