Friday, January 9, 2015

Go To Breakfast

All whole-food eaters are gonna hate me.

It's real.  My reality is not being able to have the time or means to hand grind whole organic almonds every day for my milk.  If that is you, God bless you.

Almost every morning I have the same thing for breakfast.  It's my go-to fuel for the day.  I will drink it around 7 am and not feel hungry until 1:00pm.  I always have this shake before a hike and it keeps me fueled for several hours of strenuous mileage.

Here it is:

1 banana
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 Scoop of Protein powder, I use Chocolate Orgain or Vanilla Creme Body by Vi
1 cup Spinach
2 Tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter, hated by all whole-food foodies)
1 cup Almond milk
1 cup ice

Mix all that in a blender and you have a creamy, sustaining breakfast.  If I don't have PB2, then a Tbsp of almond butter is delicious, but heavy laden with calories and on days where I really need an extra punch, I'll do that.

It has 292 calories, 16.8 grams of fiber and 23.2 grams of protein.


And it can be made in 5 minutes.

I do try and buy organic spinach and bananas.  So there.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

Set back after set back.

In early November I had surgery and before Thanksgiving I had a nasty bike wreck.  I feel like I can never get ahead.  I feel like my life has been on hold for almost 4 years now.  I just live day to day, waiting for things to happen and for change for the better.

This morning I read something that the Lord said to Joseph Smith and I am reminded that I need to be patient.

"Yea, for this cause I have said: Stop, and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee."

I know that Joseph was frustrated.  He had already spent YEARS working with the plates of brass when he was given this vision of standing still. He had gone to the Lord many times, I'm sure, wondering how things were going to come to pass.

This is the Lord's work, His plan, His timetable.  I have to trust that.

Thanks Doctrine and Covenants.  Thanks Joseph.  If he can STAND and wait for the Lord, so can I.  So can you.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Trails vs. Treadmills

It's no secret that I love hiking.  Nothing makes me feel better and more alive then having my lungs infused with clean air under a celestial blue sky.  A little Navajo sandstone added in the mix isn't half bad either.  I am rejuvenated when the fragrance of sun-warmed silver sage, Ponderosa & Pinyon Pines, Cliff Rose and Scotch Broom fills my senses.

Every time I start out on a hike I am reminded of how much I prefer trails over treadmills.  I get so much more from the great outdoors than I do in a stifling gym.

1.  Let's start with the most basic of all needs.  Oxygen.  True, clean oxygen unencumbered with the stench of other's sweat and other unpleasant bodily excrements.  When I think of inhaling others discarded and ill-smelling air in a gym a feeling akin to claustrophobia comes over me.  That isn't a problem in the great outdoors where there is plenty of fresh air to go around.  Here's an interesting article on the benefits of being in fresh air:

2.  Trails don't care what you wear.  I've yet to see a fashion show on a mountain.  Only weather and conditions dictate what clothes you choose to wear or not to wear. So you don't have a matching outfit or the latest in gym attire?  No worries, the rocks and trees won't judge you.

3.  Free, natural, unfiltered or filtered (as you choose) Vitamin D can be found on the trails, not in gyms. More research is revealing that Vitamin D is necessary for promoting the absorption of calcium, which assists in bone growth.  It has also been linked to a potential inhibitor of cancer cell growth, it stimulates your pancreas to make insulin and it may be an important part of the immune system to fight off sickness.  I've even read that it may assist in maintaining a healthy body weight.  Who doesn't want that kind of supplement?  Can't find that on a treadmill.

4.  Trails provide plenty of rocks. Sometimes I like to encourage people to leave a rock and a worry on cairns we find while hiking.  The idea is to mentally attach anxious thoughts, concerns and worries to a rock by picking it up, placing the worry on the rock and leaving it behind with other's rocks. Just walk away from it all.  I believe in my heart that we can leave our troubles behind on the trails.  We can vent, meditate, process, concentrate and are better equipped to make decisions with each step.  Hiking on trails is a stress relief and allows your mind to become uncluttered and clear of unease or trouble.  Getting away from the world and into nature, enables you to ponder and deliberate without distraction. There are plenty of rocks for every worry. When I return home from the trails, I am rejuvenated and I have a better perspective on life.  It's not quite the same experience on a treadmill, while you watch the timer and count down the seconds to how long you'll be done with your workout.

5.  Trails are cheap.  Compared to gym membership fees or the cost of a treadmill, trails are free!  The money used for gyms could be used for gas in your vehicle that will get you outside to see the world!  Plus, it is a sport/hobby that can be used for a lifetime.  How many gyms give you a free lifetime membership?

6.  Trails are alive.  Things grow outside.  Animals thrive.  You can too.

Seek out local city trails, reserves, State Parks and National Parks in your area.  Take advantage of a few days here and there to find your way to a trail.  Make the effort to choose trails over treadmills as often as possible. Carry adequate water and supplies with you and remember, the heavier the backpack, the better the workout and the more calories burned!

Take a hike and find yourself on a trail.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to...

Normal?  Work?  School?

As I watch my friends send their littles back to school (anything up to a senior high school counts as a little to me now), I keep thinking about how different this year is for me.  Back to...what?

No more little back packs, Crayola's and loose leaf paper to sort, label and organize.  No first-of-the-year, annual photos.

I did start back to 'work' today for the first time in 3 months.  It's a bit surreal to be driving by the carpool lines at schools and realize that I'll never be in one of those again.  But work is a great distraction.  At least my calves say so.

Bridger will be leaving for Snow College on Saturday.  Then my house will be thrown into a silent and horrific abyss.  I have learned that there is no way to prepare your brain for this change of season in your life.

Now I'm an outsider.  I'm not retired and ready to attend the Empty Nesters events nor can I relate much with younger Moms anymore.  I hear them talk of their woes of back to school drama, sleepless nights, changing diapers, carpools, soccer games, ridiculous 3rd grade science projects, PTA, hormone changes, immodest clothing, bad friendships...and I have what I can only describe as an out-of-body experience.  It's almost like deja vu or talking with someone that I vaguely used to know, only that person is me.

It's like those years almost never happened.  Don't get me wrong, while I was in them I was in the trenches.  I was in survival mode.  And I used to hear wiser women say, "enjoy this time because they grow up so fast". I used to wonder what those so-called wiser woman were smokin'.  Those days felt like they'd last forever but they didn't.  It's all a foggy dream to me.  I never ever in my wildest dreams imagined I'd be here.

And now I'm here, in this place.  How did this happen?  Am I supposed to feel liberated?  Am I supposed to feel free?  What exactly is my place?  I strongly emphasize this can't possibly fathom it until you go through it.  It doesn't matter that wiser women tried to warn me and it doesn't matter that others have gone this way before.  Until you personally experience this new chapter of your life, you can't possibly comprehend it. And because I've learned a thing or two, I know that each season will bring this shocking new reality.  I also know that someday I'll be looking back at this time of my life and will be still in awe that I survived it too.  It will be foggy to me as well.

Part of me sympathizes with the Mom in the trenches.  Part of me wants to scream, "buck up!" Oh, I remember those days and had someone said that to me, I probably would have popped them in the kisser.  I know now that the best advice you can get during those years is to ENJOY.  Have joy in the moment.  Appreciate the season you are in so that you will have no regrets.  My life is full of regret.  A wise woman once told me that I would feel that way. I didn't believe her. Listen to the wise ladies because while you think they can't relate, they actually paved the way for you and I and have lived through every circumstance imaginable.  Thanks to them for their sweet, assuring nod of the head as I tell my tale of woe, for their grinning, pinched faces beaming of love and pride for my accomplishments, for their genuine concern in their sweet embraces and for never belittling my struggles.  They know.

So, it's back to enduring to the end for me.  Each day should be living a life with no regret and not wishing the time away.  Enjoy the season you are in, whatever that may be.  Go back to the trenches, in your season because I am beginning to realize life is hard no matter what phase of life you are in.

Back to enduring for me.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Road to Recovery

It's called Recovery.

That's the mode we're in now with Hunter.

She is home from the rehab facility that she's been in since early May. Previous to that she was in jail for behavior problems since Feb. 7th.  She's back in the real world, which can be pretty overwhelming if you've been literally away from society for half of a year.

Hunter has grown up.  She has learned boundaries and coping skills that will hopefully enable her to remain sober.  Her year mark of sobriety will be on August 5th.

She is not living at home.  She is 21.  I feel a variety of emotions about this. While I'm excited for her to live an adult life of independence, I am sad for the years lost and the influence of living at home under my roof with my family.  It's unrealistic to expect to get those years back and really not healthy at all to hope for my adult child to regress and be dependent on me.  I am very aware of this but still sad.  I suppose it will be almost a grieving process that I'll have to go through. I battle with the Momma Bear in me every day and have to remind myself to resist the urge to race over, scoop her up and fight her war for her.  It would be a major disservice to her and me if I hindered her growth as an adult.

Hunter is like a magnet. Everywhere she goes, people watch.  Every time she speaks, people listen.  She has the capability of being a great leader and yet doesn't value herself as one, rather, she has been more of a follower in recent years.  I'm not impartial when I say, she is special.  Truly. Those who know me, know that I'm not the bragger of my children that I probably should be.  But this kid glows.

She is healthy.  She is overwhelmed.  She is stronger than she knows.  Will I always be thrilled with her choices?  Probably not.  She has a LONG road ahead of her as she makes her way back to good standing in many aspects.  I certainly feel fear for her.  I know the adversary will impede at every opportunity.  It's part of the plan, and he knows she's worth fighting for as well.

So we are all in recovery and learning our new roles in this world of sobriety.  We're all kind of licking our wounds and healing as we move on. I am learning that as the Mom, I need to close my mouth more.  I read this passage in the new Drops of Awesome journal that has really resonated with me, "There is nothing a verbal flogging will do to help that child that pure love and encouragement will not do better.  Good results are accomplished by nurturing, not nagging.  Every time." So true and yet so stinkin' hard for the negative Nelly in me.

I could title this post, The Road to Recovery is Paved With Good Intentions because I really feel like that's how this trip will be.  There is good intent but I also know the road to recovery isn't necessarily a straight ride.  It's more like the windy back roads that you take a bit too fast in your car and careen off into the wilderness. (wouldn't know anything about that though. :)  I digress.  But the point is; we are going to slow down a bit and take it day by day.  Because I've learned that by small means, great things are brought to pass. Elder Uchtdorf said, "Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward." We will stumble, no doubt.  But we are learning how to pick ourselves up and continue on.  We'll get there.

I am not a fan of prayer by rote.  I am however, in love with the Serenity Prayer and not as a prayer unto God necessarily but as a reminder and mantra that can be what we need to get us through each day.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Did you know the rest of the 'prayer' goes like this?

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

May that be our road to recovery, is my prayer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All You Need is Love

We've been home from Girls Camp for 3 days! Preparation for 4 days of high altitude, outdoorsy living on Cedar Mountain at Camp Little Thunder, began last January when our stake announced that the theme this year for camp would be Come Unto Christ.  Each ward was asked to choose an attribute of Christ as their own theme for this camp. Our YW made a list, narrowed it down and unanimously chose, "Love".

How could we dress up this attribute and make it memorable for the girls? They decided that we should be the Master Chefs, where everything we do, is done with love.  Our motto was, "The Special Ingredient is Love" and as Jesus was is Master and did all that He did with love, so should we.  We had a baking theme that included aprons and chef's hats. Our camp cheer was, "All You Need is Love". Are the B7 YW geniuses or what?
Since January, we've spent months fundraising, creating packing lists, designing logos, making camp decorations, hiking, certifying, skit writing and rehearsing, practicing songs and preparing for this one-week event.  To say it's a lot of work is an understatement and that doesn't include all the preparation done on the Stake level.

The week of Girls Camp included great spiritual and physical moments. The YW participated in rock climbing and repelling as their high adventure activity.  To see these girls conquer their fears to climb mountains and scale 100 foot cliff faces is inspiring.

Their were plenty of unifying field games, and craft rotations to keep the YW busy.

One of the highlights of the week was the Skit Night, where our YW shined.  They performed so well and won the crowd over by passing out homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone afterwards.  

The most memorable evening was our last night at camp.  We attended a wonderful fireside where we released balloons into the air with our testimonies tied to them.  We listened and participated in a beautiful program of talks and music and then retired to our own camp site for an uplifting testimony meeting.  

We spent some time discussing the wisdom of the attribute they chose and exemplified over the week.  Love is the root of all other attributes and characteristics of Christ.  The YW were examples of unity and love in all that they did this week and demonstrated what it means to have Christlike love.  

Much love and thanks goes to so many who helped make this Girls Camp the success that it was.  We appreciate Sis. Carter for being our camp director and organizer.  She did so much for us.  Sis. Green made pounds of chocolate chip cookie dough and darling decorations for our camp.  Sis. Bair and her daughters baked dozens of cookies and brought us Cafe Rio (probably the YW's favorite part of camp) on Friday evening. Sister Anderson helped create our darling aprons and made pins for our camp lanyards. Sister Larson joined us the last evening and helped bring YW home. Bishop Bair and Bro. Kanenwisher helped haul our gear to camp, set it up and then came back to help take it down and bring it all home.  We would not have been able to feel the Spirit or have enjoyed the atmosphere of camp without all their efforts.  We appreciate the Stake Presidency and the Stake Young Womens Presidency for all the time, sacrifice and inspiration that went into making this Girls Camp amazing.  The B7 YW are 'juiced' and ready to take on the challenge given by the Stake to read the entire Book of Mormon in 40 days!  We are warriors!  We can do it!

I'm grateful for the love of our Savior that made this all possible.  To accomplish all this and more, All You Need is Love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I have felt more contentment in the last two days then I have since Chloe's wedding.  It started off with a Sacrament meeting about 'hope'.  I'm sorry to say that I've allowed my doubts and fears overcome me a bit recently. But I feel hope has been renewed in me a bit.

Boyd's Grandma Fern passed away last week and her funeral was yesterday, Monday.  We left after Sacrament meeting on Sunday to head up to Salt Lake City.  On the way we were able to spend two hours with Hunter in Cedar City.  Every Sunday, with approval, we are allowed to visit her for 2 hours between 1-5pm.  This is the first 'informal' or non-therapy visit we've had with her.  We sat outside under a tree in the shade and just soaked up every minute.  Miracles are happening in her life and I can literally feel the effect of prayer on her behalf.  She does too.  I recognize that she has a long road ahead of her but right now I feel hope again.  That's something I haven't felt in quite some time.  I don't know what the future holds for her and my little family.  But I have faith that it will all turn out, even if it's not the way I expect.  I have to laugh even as I type this because I know that there will still be dark days and that I won't always feel very faithful or I won't always feel like enduring to the end, but today I do.

After getting to spend time with her we headed up to Orem to spend the night at Chloe and Ryan's new apartment.  I'm so pleased with their new lodgings and with the direction they are going in their lives.  In one day, I was able to spend time with all of my girls and even though they weren't all together, my little two-sizes-too-small heart swelled with contentment.

We got up Monday morning and headed to Grandma Fern's funeral in Bluffdale.
We last saw Grandma at Chloe's wedding. She is an example to me of one who is strong and determined to the end.  When I walked into the Relief Society room and saw her lying there, I almost believed that she would sit up and look around and say, "what is all the fuss?". My children are so blessed to be a part of this woman's legacy.  Chloe was her first biological great-grand child and from first grandchild to last great-great grandchild, she knew and adored them all.  We have all been the recipients of her handiwork and love.  We took a couple of beautiful stuffed animals she sewed for the girls with us up north.  We left one with Hunter and the other we kept with us as a reminder of her tangible and enduring love for us.  As her obituary said, she was the epitome of one who "lived with a brightness of hope, a deliberate joy, loved with a passion and resolved to live a faithful life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  I am forever grateful to know her and have her example in my life.

I think the highlight of the day for me was to be able to see family that I haven't seen in a long time.  I really do love Krista's family, including all her siblings and their children.  It was also so awesome to have all of Boyd's siblings together even if only for a short afternoon.  I love them all and consider them my brothers and sisters.  I feel like we've all grown up together.

Left to right:  Boyd, Matt, Jenny, Ken, Chris, Laura, Krista and Ken

Boyd was a pallbearer and sang at the graveside with his brother Matt and sister Jenny.

Left to right: Winston, Peter, Jennell, Sherry, Raymond, Jennifer, Krista
Fern's children

I'm grateful for a knowledge of the Plan.  I'm grateful for Fern and her legacy.  I'm grateful for my own family and that we can be together forever.  And I'm grateful for the hope that I feel today.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy 18th Bridger

I meant to post this yesterday!

And she was my easiest baby!

Happy 18th Bridger, you'll always be my baby.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Credit Card Knife

Recently I was given a great little credit card knife to check out and use. I've had it a couple of weeks and have already used it several times and have found it super useful, compact and very handy.  I can think of tons of places I'd like to keep them and because they are small and light-weight, they will fit anywhere and take up hardly any space.

First of all, when this knife is closed it is exactly the size of a credit card.  I even managed to fit it into my wallet.  Of course, I'm not sure if keeping a knife in your wallet is necessary and I'd advise not leaving it in there if you plan on traveling by plane, but for women how great is it that I can literally carry a knife in my wallet or purse if I want and the space and weight are negligible?!  Don't get me started on how great it is in a backpack.

Opening and the knife literally takes seconds, with the twist of a small locking mechanism, flipping out the blade, and folding the handle and snapping it into place.  

The knife blade is sharp and of good quality and pretty much does everything my standard pocket knife does on my hikes.  Other then the blade, the rest of the knife is made of plastic, which means no rusting after I use it to cut open my me, this happens.  Rinse it under water and go.

If you are interested in learning how to get one of these knives for free, click HERE

You can find this tool and some other really great gear at

It's the ultimate preparedness website.  Be sure to check them out on Facebook, where they have giveaways and contests all the time and really great practical tips.

They also have a blog with tons of ideas.

For the most incredible deals and best methods of food storage preparedness go to  

You have GOT to contact these guys to hook you up with the best and most affordable food storage available.  They also sell heirloom seeds for storage!  How cool is that? I recently was able to try out some veggies grown from these seeds and they were delicious.  Go to their website for the latest in water filtration and survival provisions.  By far, the best deals anywhere!

They have an incredible blog as well at  

Enjoy your prepping!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


We saw Hunter last night.  Bridger, Boyd and I drove up to Cedar City for our first Family Group session at the Horizon House.  Every day is an education on this roller coaster.  I believe Hunter is doing well and she's sort of wrapped in a safe cocoon right now.  Is it perfect?  No.  But its a step in the right direction. She looks so good to me.  I haven't seen her look this physically healthy in quite some time.

I've been trying to encourage Bridger to get up before 8am every morning and get out and do something with me.  We haven't done it every day and it is a struggle, but I'm pretty sure once I get her outside, she ends up enjoying herself.  Some times she's just grouchy and we'll just take a walk in silence and I'm okay with that too. I'm just grateful that I have this opportunity to spend quality time with her before she leaves for Ephraim in August.

My friend Raquel sent me a Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch last week.  It's a Finnish product so it includes a European technology learning curve. I am thoroughly enjoying figuring it out and getting to be back on with keeping track of my excursions. I will be posting more about this little gem of a tool later.  

I really believe every day offers something to learn.  I'm grateful for these little opportunities for growth.


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