Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Do It Today

I married into an avid BYU Football family. I have come to love it & each football season has become a fun family tradition. I really love seeing our boys get so excited about it. The other day Tony went with his dad to a private BYU scrimmage. Somewhere along the way he saw this stone with the BYU logo carved into it. 

He showed me the picture when he got home & said, " I think I'll make one!" 
We happen to have some large boulders sitting in our driveway that we've been using to create a patio. So that same day, he took one & started carving one out with his dremmel. It turned out pretty cool! 

I am always amazed at Tony in how he can see something & just go create it. He sees something, sets his mind to it, & gets it done. He seizes the day & I'm grateful for that example :) 

This type of thinking seems to be apparent to me lately. See, then go & do. Sometimes I find myself waiting or procrastinating. "I'll go visit a friend next week" or "I'll call that friend & check on them soon..." or "I'll follow that advice someday", when really life could be better if I just go & do. It doesn't take long to brighten someone's day. 
I found this quote this morning & loved it. It refers to the Lord's Second Coming but it asks some great questions:

"What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?"--- Dallin H. Oaks

Today is the day to make it happen, whether it is creating something new or strengthening relationships...go & do!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Minky Baby Blankets

My sister Amy did an awesome tutorial on adorable minky & satin baby blankets. She made one for my daughter & she LOVES it! I feel like she's a little queen everyday she uses it. Some of our friends are about to have babies so I decided to make them some of these blankets. 
The first one was for a baby girl. I found this cute minky at the Fabric center in South Jordan (UT). The fabric was already cut so it was half off! Yay!! 
I Love the Stain turquoise fabric. It has a flannel back so it stays in place better when you sew.

Here's the second one. 

Our friends are huge Real Salt Lake fans so I searched for some fabric, which I now know they don't make :) so I hunted down a jersey & cut out the logo. I added a red border frame around it so it would stand out.

One of the best things about these blankets is they are self-binding. It gives them a nice finished look & they are quick!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day Cards

I finally pulled out my Cricut again & made some Father's Day cards :)

I am so blessed to have such amazing men in my life! Even though my dad has passed away, he still influences me for good each day & I'm so grateful for the life he lived. I look forward to the time when I can see him again :) 
I never could have imagined what an amazing father Tony would be for our kids :) I feel so honored to be married to him & they are SO lucky to have him!
 Tony's dad has also had a profound influence in our lives & my kids are so blessed to have such an awesome grandpa! 
I hope you all have a great Father's Day!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day

My sister Amy took some awesome pictures of our kids recently. I was so exciting to get them hung up! Tony was so sweet & made this picture frame for me for Mother's Day!

About a year ago Tony stopped by a cabinet shop & asked if they some any leftover scraps. They gladly gave him a bunch of random free scraps. He has used them for a few projects. For this one, he cut random colored pieces of crown molding with his table saw to make the frame. Then he placed a panel of beadboard behind it. We spray painted the whole thing white. Then we bought the smaller picture frames from Walmart & spray painted them turquoise. To finish, I hot glued some thick rope cord around the edges. 

I love it! It reminds me everyday how blessed I am to be a Mother. When I stop & look at my kids & think of how beautiful, pure, precious they are, it helps me have more patience with them :)

Here's a quote I've been thinking about the last little while. It's helped me keep perspective as a mom: "Heavenly Father taught you before you were born about the experiences you would have as you left Him and came to earth. You were taught that the way back home to Him would not be easy. He knew that it would be too hard for you to make the journey without help."

"You were tutored by Him before you came into this life. He helped you understand and accept that you would have trials, tests, and opportunities perfectly chosen just for you. You learned that our Father had a plan of happiness to get you safely through those trials and that you would help bring others safely through theirs. This plan is marked by covenants with God."--President Henry B. Erying (Daughters in the Covenant)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hope :)

A few people have asked me about my experience with Postpartum Depression & the things I did to make it through. So I thought I would share part of what I have learned in hopes that it might help someone :)  

I didn't realize for quite sometime that I was dealing so badly with depression, during pregnancy & for about a year after.  Depression effects everything! It was not only hard on me, but hard on my marriage & my family. Things are extra hard when we ignore them or don't understand them. The more light & understanding that comes to an issue, the less power it has & the more bearable it becomes.  So here are a list of symptoms to help you or the people you love, recognize it:

  • Struggling for perfection
  • Feeling overwhelmed or feeling a sense of failure
  • Experiencing shattered expectations
  • Plunging into despair
  • Having difficulty focusing & concentrating (brain is in a fog & it's hard to see clearly)
  • Feeling lonely
  • Panicking
  • Having difficulty sleeping (or the opposite--wanting to sleep forever)
  • Lacking appetite
  • Feeling as though you are losing your mind
  • Struggling to survive

"A woman’s experiencing postpartum depression does not mean that she is weak, that she has done something wrong, or that she is to blame for her overwhelming feelings....Postpartum depression is an illness with a biochemical basis...hormone-level shifts that occur during pregnancy & after childbirth may contribute to chemical changes in the brain." That, combined with the stresses and fatigue that accompany having a new baby, can lead to depression. About 10 percent of women who have a baby will experience postpartum depression, which typically occurs within four weeks after giving birth but can occur anytime during the following year. Many women who experience postpartum depression have had a previous encounter with depression; new mothers in this category should closely monitor their feelings so they can get help if symptoms appear and escalate. ("Managing Postpartum Depression: A Gospel Perspective" Lynn Clark Callister)

After having my daughter, I studied a lot about hormone levels & how they can affect how you are feeling. I felt that I had a lot of symptoms of low progesterone & low testosterone so I had a doctor check several difference levels (they did a complete health history analysis & I think they took about 12 tubes of blood!). I appreciated how they didn't just treat the symptoms I was having but tried to get to the root of the problem.  It was SO good to get some answers & know that some levels were extremely low & there was a reason why I was feeling the way I was. My brain could not function normally because my body was deficient of essential nutrients I had lost being pregnant!! I felt for several months that I had been trying to run a marathon with a broken leg!  Once I found out what levels were low I could get some help. One of the best things I started doing was taking an RAW organic prenatal vitamin. Although I had been taking a prenatal vitamin for over a year, my body had not been absorbing a lot of the nutrients, especially the iron (apparently a lot of people's body don't absorb Ferrous Fumerate). 
Within a month of taking the RAW vitamin I was grateful to be feeling SO much better.

Before that, I tried to attack this struggle in every way possible way:
Physically -- trying to eat more healthy, getting good rest, gaining an understanding of how my body works & what it was lacking, seeking help from doctors (an anti-depressant did help me for few months but had some unwanted side effects), taking supplements (including Vitex & Maca to help regulate my hormones)
Mentally-- seeing a counselor, journaling about my thoughts, reading uplifting, inspiring books that helped me understand depression & my own emotions (Living in the Light, The Burnout Cure, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child)
Socially--finally opening up to others & admitting that I needed some help, being able to confide in friends & family
Spiritually -- prayer, meditation, scripture study, living prophets counsel, seeking counsel from a loving bishop, receiving priesthood blessings that filled me with hope

 I know the thing that helped me the very most was the knowledge I had that God had a purpose for my suffering. He had all power to take it away but there was a reason that he allowed me to go through all of this. He loves us enough to let us hurt in order to grow for the better. I needed to be refined & with his help, I could handle that refinement. The spiritual habits of prayer & scripture study were my best medicine. These habits are what made this trial bearable on a daily basis. 

This quote helped me be patient with & understand the process of healing: " It is only an appreciation of [the Savior's] divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive."("Like a Broken Vessel" Elder Jeffrey R. Holland ). The Lord Jesus Christ is the only person who has walked our very path. Because of his loving Atonement, he knows exactly what we are going through & he knows exactly how to guide us through it. One of my favorite names for Him is "Wonderful Counsellor" because that is what He became for me :) He actually knows us better than we know ourselves because he sees us as eternal beings. Although we can not remember the wonderful place our spirits came from before this earth, our Savior does. He knows who we were & what choices we made there. He also sees what we will become

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tony's 30th Birthday

My husband Tony turned 30 this last week! Sometimes I look around at the life we have & our 3 beautiful kids & wonder "When did we grow up?" Time seems to be flying.We had lots of fun celebrating his birthday though!
 My sister Amy is amazing!! I was so grateful she let me borrow these CUTE birthday decorations for Tony's 30th birthday party. It really livened up our house :)
Look at the detail on this banner! Isn't it amazing!!!

 I loved this for the front door :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Just a Few New Touches

I have loved this headboard in our bedroom! Over the last year I put a few more touches on the room & thought I'd share :)

I already had most of the pillows for the bed but I found the 2 cute blue ones at  Home Again.
Have you ever been there? It's awesome!! I saw the turquoise throw at ROSS. It was about the softest thing I had ever touched & was only $10. So I added it to our bed.

I love the sales at Hobby Lobby & was excited to find this mirror for half off. 

After being married I for almost 8 years, I was so thrilled to finally get some matching nightstands. I found these ones on KSL & they fit perfectly in our room. Yay!!!

Over time little things start to make a big difference. "By small & simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6). Can you see the differences?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Moment of Truth

I really only thought this would be a craft blog but let’s be honest…there is so much more to life than designing & crafts :) So here is my moment of truth…

This past year has been the most difficult of my life!! I have been through a very challenging journey of prenatal & postpartum depression (to read more click here). It has taken me to the very depths of my soul & back. Thankfully, God has been with me every step of the way & his loving grace is the only way I have made it through. He has led me step by step & taught me truth by truth. We have been so blessed with 3 BEAUTIFUL children. They light our lives with happiness every day. They teach me how to be better each day. Needless to say, it is not always easy taking care of 3 little ones in our world today. There is often such strong pressure coming from every different direction & always so many things to be done.  So here are a few truths I have learned:

  • I am enough & I am wonderful. Before this year I could never have said this. Now honestly care more about God’s opinion than other people’s perception of me.

  • I have such great value & loving Heavenly parents who rejoice with me when I am happy & feel deeply for me & even weep with me when I am filled with sorrow.

  • I have been blessed to have a physical body to teach me a depth of experience I never thought I could comprehend.

  • I know who I am & that I have purpose. There is work for me to do & Heavenly Father has a personal plan for me.

  • I can do good things & hard things & make a difference.

  • The home is a powerful place. So sacred that it compares to a temple.

  • I do not have to be perfect but I am loved perfectly.

  • I need to be as kind to myself as I am to other people.

  • God gives us things we can not handle so that we learn to rely on him. If we are humble enough to ask for his help, he lovingly sends strength to us through the power of the Atonement. When we come to him & exercise faith, he sends angels to help us.

  • God is the author of all wisdom. He sees completely, perfectly, & eternally. He has infinite wisdom & can reveal truth to us when we exercise faith.

  • His spirit can fill us with pure light which can become part of our physical makeup.

  • It is better to recognize what we ARE doing rather than what we are not doing. It is incredible the things we accomplish each day, even if they are not on our “list”.

  • Admitting we have struggles and sharing them with others is not a sign of weakness but actaully of great strength. It helps us realize our own misperceptions of others & helps us have true compassion & charity for one another.

  • God wants us to be happy! This is his work & glory.

  • We have to have sorrow in order to understand true JOY.

  • Satan attacks people’s perception of their worth in multiple ways. If he can make us believe we are not enough or not worthy of love or forgiveness, he can impede our progress. His goal is to keep us from light, hope, & faith which bring happiness to our lives. True confidence comes as you understand how God sees you & who you truly are!

I heard the words to this great hymn in one of the time I needed it most. God is amazing like that :)
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."
 (How Firm a Foundation)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mail Holder

I've been needing a designated spot to put our mail, otherwise it starts to consume our kitchen :) So Tony built this awesome box that fits into our mudroom wall! Now when I walk in the door I have the perfect place to put it.

I love how he used crown molding scraps for the frame around it. He also cut a hole between the studs in our sheetrock so it fits flush with the wall & doesn't stick out too far. 
It's amazing how it de-cluttered our house :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Travertine Kitchen Back-Splash Wall

I've been meaning to post this for a while now. Tony surprised me for Christmas with this amazing back-splash!!!

We had a small 4" granite lip with our gray paint up the rest of the wall.
Tony found a great deal on 18 x 18" Travertine tiles at Home Depot. We didn't want the backsplash that big so he spent a whole day cutting them (with his tile saw) into 3 " slabs. This took some time but saved a lot of money!
 He started from the bottom up...
 ...and continued it above the kitchen cabinets so it reaches the vaulted ceiling. I love that it completely changed the whole look of our kitchen!

Around the door was one of the trickiest spots to make sure everything lined perfectly, but I absolutely LOVE the look of it :)

One of the best things about this tile project was it required no grout! He simply stacked them on top of one another & sprayed it with a sealant. 

 He also changed the outlet covers once he finished. Now they match our appliances.

Eventually we want to add crown molding & handles to the cabinets, a new faucet, & pendant lighting....but for now we are enjoying our new awesome backsplash! It all takes time :)