Friday, September 28, 2012

Double Posting! Fireproof Your Marriage

The above video is Love Is Not A Fight by Warren Barfield. It kind of sets the mood for the post.... so if your a music lover like me who likes to listen to music while reading I highly suggest you listen to this while you read.

I'm double posting because I learned a pretty powerful lesson tonight. Scrolling through Netflix like I do every night I couldn't decide on anything to watch. I've passed up this particular movie a million times, but tonight I just figured what the heck. Might as well. The movie....Fireproof.  It is a story about a firefighter and his wife who have a marriage that is crumbling at their feet. Just absolutely falling apart. Neither one is good enough for the other. Then the husbands father gives him The Love Dare. By following this dare, the father and mother had saved their marriage and brought them closer to each other than ever before. At first the husband is thinking its useless. There is nothing wrong with him. Why does he need to change? And will his efforts actually do any good? Anyway, you need to watch the movie to get the rest, I don't want to spoil it for you. And yes, it has religious conentations, but I truly believe that there is something to be learned by everyone regardless of what higher being you do or do not believe in. So I ask you to read on, even if we don't share the same religious beliefs or don't think it would pertain to you personally.

Enough of the movie. I really felt like I more needed to share my insights from this movie than anything else. My definition of love has always been jaded. And although this movie is talking about the relationship between a husband and wife I look at it as a relationship with my family, my friends, my co-workers, my kids, everyone I interact with. This world is such a horrifying place these days. Every day on the news I read/hear about another person brutally attacking/killing/raping/etc someone else. I see families breaking apart as children are neglected or spouses are beaten down. There has never, ever been a more important time to keep your loved ones close. A deep, very dark evil lurks all around just looking for a way to shimmy itself in and completely tear us apart from those we love. I know I've been sucked in a time or two. And it's been my loved ones who have had to watch me struggle, who have stuck by me even though I haven't given them the same in return.

I have always figured my kids will still love me if I don't take the time to sit down and play cars with them. Or skipping the bedtime story so I can hurry and get back to other things. Of course I love my boys like crazy, but do I really give them the time they deserve?  Am I giving them all that I can possibly give? Am I doing everything I can to make sure that this home is the safe spot they can fall into when they are hurting or needing help? Am I the first person they want to run to with good news? Am I the person they can confide in?
I have always known that my parents and my family love me. But am I giving them every bit of love I can possibly give in return? Am I caring for my friends in a way that they know I will always be there for them if they need me?
What about my community? If I see someone stranded on the side of the road do I stop? Or do I assume that the run down looking man asking for some change is going to spend what I give him on alcohol? Is it my place to judge? If I see an older person struggling do I offer a hand?

My heart is hurting for all of the precious time I have wasted thinking that okay was good enough. Being an average person was all I needed to be. There is something to be said about the person who goes out of their way to make another's life better. I want to be that person.

So it's high time I start working on me...all of me. I think I'm finally in a place to see where I have gone wrong, and be open to fixing things I've broken. I'm ordering The Love Dare. What is there to lose?  I paid a whole $5 for something that has such a wealth of information, day by day, to grow your relationships with others. To show you care. To truly love another person as much as you can possibly love.

So I'm putting the challenge on you now. Fight for your love my friends, build it up to be strong and unwaivering.

Love Is Not A Fight - Warren Barfield
Love is not a place to come and go as we please.
It's a house we enter in then commit to never leave.
So lock the door behind you and throw away the key.
We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.
To some, love is a word they can fall into
But when they are falling out keeping that word is hard to do.
Love will come to save us if we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all.
Love is a shelter in a raging storm.
Love is peace in the middle of a war.
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door.
No love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for.

I will fight for you...would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


via Google Images

Last night I watched a documentary on Netflix called Happy (see above picture). The basis of the documentary was to try to figure out what makes people happy. They went all around the world from places that were financially amazing to places that had horrible living circumstances and shocking enough (or maybe not so shocking) the people who were happiest, were the people who had the least amount of material things. In fact the richer society (Japan in this case) is currently going through an epidemic where the men literally work themselves to death. Seriously. They work such long, hard hours that their body just eventually gives in and dies. But on the flip side, another side of Japan prefers to focus on a more holistic lifestyle and they live to be in their hundreds. The difference? Their views. One of the studies done was to see how a person's view of the world and what their goals in life were would effect their happiness. Those who had goals of making lots of money and being rich and famous were generally displeased with life and pretty unhappy. The ones who were less concerned about material things were happier. Not to say that money can't buy happiness initially, but once material needs are met the happiness level doesn't go up when you make millions versus thousands. There is an instant gratification of course, but nothing long lasting. Scientific studies shows that a person is generally more happy when they are doing things to better their communities or relationships with people. Intentionally doing something just because, without any sort of physical reward for doing so.
It got me thinking a lot about the things that I think are important right now and what is really important. And also how I want my kids to be raised and how I want their outlook on life to be. I want them to be happy, healthy, productive members of society. I want them to know they are loved and be able to share unconditional love with anyone in need of it. That is rare now days I think. Not to say I'm not going to chase my financial goals by any means....but it means I'm going to stop and take a look around more as well and see what I can do to intentionally help someone else or better my community. I have found that I sway between selfishness and selflessness quite a bit and I'd prefer to stay predominately on the selflessness side of things personally.
Anyway....if you want a to watch a fascinating study on happiness? Check it out. It's called Happy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Latest Ryder-isms

My Ryder cracks me up. He is such a funny kid who says the most hilarious things sometimes. And... I can't help but to share a little because they are funny enough they make me laugh right out loud.

On the way to daycare this morning Ryder and I were talking about what fun adventures will be happening today and out of the blue, in our normal stream of conversation he all of a sudden said "Mom, my mouth is leaking." I almost died laughing.

When telling Grandpa about this, he told me that on the way to St George a while back him and Ryder were discussing ears popping from the change of elevation and Ryder said something to the effect of "Turn on my hearing Grandpa!" Makes sense with the ears popping...

And tonight as we were playing around I started to squeeze on the top of his head (gently of course) in a game we like to play sucking out the brains and he very ademently told me "You cannot suck out my brains Mom, only caterpillers can. And ladybugs."

Where does he come up with these things? He cracks me up...I love this age because it all makes complete and total sense to him. He doesn't realize why I'm laughing most the time but gets a kick out of it anyway. I love my boys. They are so much fun. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Ryder!

5 years ago today my life changed when my little goofball Ryder came to town. I love that kid. Today was his birthday. It started a little rough. He was ornery as all get out this morning and very clingy. And from what Grandma said he had a whole lot of come aparts after she picked him up too. Once I got there, however, he seemed to calm down and actually be able to enjoy his birthday which I thought was great. We had our traditional family birthday party with the cake choosing and the whole sha-bang. I'll let the pictures show. I'm big on pictures lately I've noticed. goes.

Playing with his presents a little early. Ms Beverly at pre-school got him a cool flashlight that made a star winking with it's beam. And of course the new cowboy hat.

The traditional decorating of the cake...with M&Ms of course. I love his face!

I love the perfectly content look on his face right before he blew out the candles. Nothing better for a little guy than being surrounded by loved ones on his birthday. :)

Getting ready to blow! I had a picture of him blowing the candles out but Nate's head was in the way. So...this is as good as it gets.

Wearing the birthday crown he also got at daycare. They treat him so well there, I just love them to pieces. And I love that face!

Ry wearing his new Mater jammies from Aunt Betsy, Uncle Scott and Jackers! He LOVES them!

So Ryder, my little lovey, you are the bright spot in my day. You are hyper and crazy but loveable all at the same time. Its pretty darn hard to stay mad at that cute face too long thats for sure. You give me a run for my money, but I hear that you were just like me when I was a kid. Scary....but also good I think. I love every bit of you and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All sorts of unrelated stuff

Today things are scattered all over the place. I've got some pics from here, from there, from everywhere! And since a picture is worth a thousand words, lets get to it.

My Birchbox! A few people have asked about my Birchbox. This is what it looks like when it comes in the mail. More below. By the way...if you want to check it out and get on the waiting list (crazy that there is a waiting list huh!) go here

This month's theme was getting ready for the fall season. I got a cute little makeup/accessory bag, the "latest" color that looks more like black to me, my fav type of hair tie, some Go beauty facial cleanser and foundation, some sort of energizing oil, some Twirl perfume and a mini mag full of the latest trends. Its all sample size for the most part but awesome all the same. Its my little treat to myelf.

The boys and I crashed the parents' block party yesterday. I feel like I'm part of the block as I know most the people who live there and my kids are friends with most of the that makes it okay right? :) There were yummy burgers and hot dogs, all sorts of potato dishes, pasta salad, chips and sooooooo many desserts to get fat from! Absolutely delish and a great way to spend the evening!

My quest to eat healthy tonight...Chicken Stir Fry. For anyone who knows me really well, I am not a veggie fan. It takes ALOT to get me to eat veggies but I'm trying to do better and the boys need to start learning how to eat healthy too so we are. They hate me for it but will love me when they are older (their wives probably will too hopefully). It was pretty good. and more filling than I expected. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sooooo Happy!!!

This was me today!!
via google images
After 6 long, grueling years and over $3,000 (I stopped counting after got too depressing) today I found out that I will no longer have a legal bill. Well once I get it paid off anyway. No more accruing of the legal bill. Thats right. Everything that has to do with my divorce/child support/bleh will be over tomorrow morning when I go in and sign the final documents. This day has been a long time coming and I am pretty sure the whole office at work was wondering why on earth I was jumping around doing a happy dance today when I got the call from my lawyer. It is a happy happy day. I feel like this was the last piece of my old life that was preventing me from fully moving on and now I have a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
And, as frustrated as I have been with this whole process, I have a soft spot for the ex. I don't know what his feelings have been through this whole thing as I haven't talked directly to him for quite awhile but I imagine its probably been as tough on him as me and I really do hope that he is feeling the same relief as I am. It is just soo nice to have this done and over with.
So, I go to bed tonight with a smile on my face and a happy heart.

Monday, September 17, 2012


The last few weeks I've been working with a client who is just straight up, down right unhappy. I understand her frustration to a point, but no matter what I've gone out of my way to do with this file it's never just quite good enough. And in the golden hour of signing today, she still wasn't happy even though she was saving oodles of money and getting oodles of money in return. It just wasn't good enough.

I kept wondering what I could do better. What could I have done differently to make the outcome different? What could have been done for that client to make her happy? And after thinking about it for a long, hard while....I realized that there was pretty much nothing we could've done differently. There was nothing in this world that would've made this person happy short of giving her the moon. And even then, there would've been something wrong with it and she would've been unhappy because that is just how this person is.

And then I realized, some people just are not happy people. No matter what you do, how much you go out of your way, how many times you jump over the moon for them it's just not going to be enough. And it makes me sad honestly. There are soo many happy things to focus on in life that it almost seems to be a shame to not be able to enjoy those happy moments. It also made me realize that I really need to remember to enjoy life and not stress the little things. Although I do have my moments, I think (and HOPE!) that I am generally a happy person and want to make sure it stays that way for as long as I can get away with it.

So from here one out, I am going to make a point to purposely shift my thinking and feelings to the positive as much as possible.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Fun Family Night

Tonight we went to a fundraiser dinner/events to benefit the folks who recently got flooded out in the recent ginormous rainstorm. We had lots of fun! Dinner was very tasty and the Tyler gave up his birthday money to pay for wristbands for himself and his brothers to play the events (I'm paying him back on payday for his generosity...) and they had a blast!

Ty and Ry hiking up the bouncy slide

Nate knocking kids out with the giant ball in the middle of this monster bounce house

Nate climbing the climbing wall. That kid is good...he hopped right up the wall, hit the buzzer and repelled back down. I've decided he's a rock star. Or a monkey.

Ty didn't make it quite to the top, he gave up about half way through. But he still did awesome and I still think he's a rockstar monkey boy.

One of the events was a ping pong ball drop from the top of a fire engine ladder. The boys thought it was awesome and paid an extra $5 a piece to get a ping pong ball (that would hopefully yield a prize) but we came home empty handed. The boys were bummed, however after explaining what the money was for they were okay.

Does not do the sunset justice but I loved the orange glow behind the clouds. It was a great end to a great day.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A weekend filled with happy events

This was a happy happy weekend. On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a very good family friend...I taught her in high school and have known her mom forever. I love that family like they are my own. Seeing her get married was amazing. And it made me feel kind of old. It seems like just yesterday I was harassing her in class and hanging out with the fam at night playing Apples to Apples. She is such a beautiful young lady now, I can't even believe it. And her wedding was soo much fun, very laid back and enjoyable. Ry and I were there for hours and hours just taking it all in.

Congrats Richard and Victoria!

I get really bored with my hair a lot. Like really bored. I get tempted to cut it or color it or do something with it. But as I am trying to grow out my hair at the moment, that means the only option to change up was to dye it. As I pondered over the color selection I decided on dark. It ended up WAY darker than I expected. But it's growing on me.

"Bronze...that ended up black"

 And is my sister's birthday! Happy Birthday Steph! I have many memories with Steph. We shared a room for a whole lot of my childhood. I'm sure I drove her crazy with my lack of cleaning. I remember dancing in our bedroom, being really jealous of her L.A. Gear shoes with the pink and teal shoelaces and watching her get ready for prom in a pink western dress. She has given me a whole lot of insight over the years on issues that I have had and has always remembered the little details that sometimes others forget. It's very apparent by her four amazing and talented kids as to the wonderful mother that she is. She is also one of the strongest people I know spiritually. She is a great example to me in many many areas of life. We miss you very much and wish you guys were closer, but that just means we will have to come to you sometime! Especially now that your hard work and dedication to your house as paid off. I love you very much Steph and I hope that you had a wonderful birthday today, you deserve it! Happy birthday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Proud Moment

Today I had a proud moment. The day was actually full of happy moments, but one in particular was a proud moment. So back to the beginning to tell the story (but obviously can't go into much detail for privacy issues)....I've had this file that has been extremely hard. Soo very hard. There were mistakes made by me and the Lender both, so I take my end of the responsibility but wish they would've done their part too, it would've saved a whole mess of issues. Anyway. We have been trying to fix the problem, and I was asked to figure out a calculation that I've never done before. I poured over the HUD Handbook last night to try and figure it out, looked on the Lender website to see if I could find the answer, and just nothing. This morning I couldn't find anything and then I had to drop it to work on some other urgent loans that needed my attention. Understandably the Loan Officer (LO) on the file I had to drop was frustrated that I hadn't been able to find the answers I needed. She let me know her frustration in not a very nice way.
And I stood my ground! For anyone who knows me well, I really try to go above and beyond when I'm doing things and don't like contention so I will jump when asked. Today... I stood my ground and voiced my frustration back. It was a big moment for me. Very big moment.
I did take some time after voicing my frustration to do as she asked and figured out that if she would've paid attention to the file, I wouldn't have had to spend hours trying to find the answer because it was non-existent. So...I poured out all that work for nothing. Obviously I was beyond irritated. It was an extremely high tension situation and because of the issues on the file and the contention between the LO and I, I decided to give up the commission and pass on the file to a processor that didn't have as many files as me, so she could spend the time that the LO wanted spent on the file.
And my stress level....has gone WAY down. I got 3 hard files closed today...I was able to pass on the other very high stress file that was taking more time than I had to spend on it.....and I have many more on the brink of closing.
Its a good day. A very proud day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cowley Family Reunion

This past weekend we had our annual Cowley Family Reunion. It was fun, as always, and we really enjoyed ourselves. And instead of writing about it...I took lots of pictures! So we shall do Cowley Family Reunion via Instagram!

The beautiful cabin we stayed in (among other buildings, this one is just the prettiest :)

Off in the distance is a kid sized barn, swings, teter toter, swing set and volleyball field that we enjoyed

They added this pretty little pump pond since last time, it was very nice

The pretty flowers in bloom

Photo Op moment in the sleigh....there was even a plastic Santa in there at one point!

The B-Ball shooting game that the boys absolutely loved, thats Ty playing with cousin JJ

These little bike scooter things were cool, I can't remember their names. But the boys also loved them...Nate probably more than the rest. He spent a lot of time racing his cousin James around the big barn/garage place

Ry on the hop-a-long horse. There were a few of these kickin around too. And obviously he is the only one who would stop playing long enough to allow me a non-blurry picture haha!

What family reunion isn't complete without a Piniata? This one had lots of yummy treats inside

The fam gathering to hear about the Burrville murder

Nate pulling the Rickshaw. I think he's found his calling in life

The family getting ready to play a skeet shooting game

The boys aiming for skeets

Nate shooting the 22

Nate shooting the 22 Cricket (the cutest little gun I've ever seen!)

Tyler shooting the 22 Cricket

Tyler shooting the 22 with the help of Jeremy and Blake

Ry getting in on the action and shooting the 22 Cricket with Steve

Not pictured.....
*A delicious dinner of marinated then grilled chicken that was absolutely delish
*Lots of catching up with family and meeting new/soon to be family
*A movie night projected on the side of the garage featuring Only a Stonecutter (the link is the shortened version), The John Tanner Story (this link is part 1 of 2), and Nacho Libre - which is one of my very favorite Jack Black movies.
*A yummy breakfast of pancakes, fruit and egg/sausage/pepper/onion scamble
*Many four wheeler rides
*Volleyball games
*Awesome sunburn lines
*Much, much more fun and excitment had by all!

We really had such a great time, it was the perfect de-stresser from a rough week. I wish we didn't have to leave but I am sure happy to be home to my own bed. Heres to a successful reunion and I look forward to the next!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Moment of Reflection - Grayson Post

  **This post does have pictures of Grayson which I know is something that some may be sensitive towards, so just lettin' you know ahead of time.**

I don't generally discuss (in too much depth anyway) things that have to do with Grayson. But as I was dusting my dresser today, I picked up my Grayson box....

I was given this little yellow box at the hospital to keep momentos and such. I honestly haven't really opened the box more than a couple times in the past 3 years, and even that was just to add stuff in there as I came acrossed it. Well today I decided to open it up. I remembered there being pictures and maybe a card in there, but wasn't sure what else I would find quite honestly.

And, I actually found a few things I hadn't remembered about. I had the pictures of course, the CD that had the original proofs of the pictures that were taken at the time but I found some other treasures that I am so happy I kept, as I didn't keep much from that experience.

Don't mind the extreme need for a re-paint of the nails.

The nurses did the ink hand and foot prints...I had forgotten all about it. It is crazy to think that his little pigs were smaller than my thumb. His hands too. He had 10 perfect toes and 10 perfect fingers.

I hadn't opened this card when it was given to me, I had just put it right in the box and never looked at it since that time. Well I opened it today and found something so very special to me. Grayson's stats when he was born. I think it just all kind of sunk in when I looked at it. Seeing this card made me go back and remember that day, the feelings I had felt and how much I have grown since that time. It also helped me remember him, which sounds odd because I think of him a lot but it made me remember the physical side of him, not just the experience. My Grayson was 13 oz and 9 1/2 inches long. He fit in my hand with a little wiggle room left. He was a perfectly formed little boy.

 I think I need to open that box a little more often and remember just how much of a miracle he is to me and how he changed my life. He was taken from me before I even got to know him, but he had served his purpose. He had given me a change of heart and continuously helps me learn and grow so that I can be his Mother again in the next life.