Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deeply felt gratitude

Today I was rushing around, getting things done, not stopping for a second. You know those mornings, when all is busy, and there is no time taken for being still.

Then I got in the car, and reached for the radio, and decided instead to talk with our Father. I don't know why, perhaps I just needed to feel near Him, and to pour my heart out to Him; knowing that He loves me and accepts me for who I am, with the understanding that I am indeed striving to be better. Once I started praying all I could do was express how grateful I am. Yes, we live in a crazy, mixed up world, full of wrong choices, and contention. Yet, all I could feel was gratitude for those I love; my husband, each and every member of our family, my mom, and so many others that have made or make a difference in my life. Then I could only think of what bonds us all together, the gospel; and who has made all that bonding, that sealing, available to us - our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The more grateful I felt, the more humble I became. I don't share this to boast, though it may seem to some that I am. No, it is because of those feelings, those spiritual promptings, that I am writing today. There are moments in life where the light of the gospel shines, touching our spirits like nothing else possibly could. Those moments are profoundly personal, but that is what this blog is about...sharing personal feelings of gratitude for life, and all the experiences encountered along the way. I am deeply grateful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Soup date

Last week we made a date with Craig's family to have dinner together. Yes, they live in Utah and we live in California ...miles apart! Our date was via Google hangout. Lucas decided the menu would be soup. So, at 5 pm (Pacific time) we all sat down "together" and had dinner! It was fun spending dinner time with them. What a great idea for lessening the distance between us. I am grateful for our soup date. Thanks Craig, Angie, Lucas & Darci. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lunch date

Seldom do I have the opportunity to go to lunch with a friend. Yesterday a close friend from Ripon noticed that Pat is Engineer of the year; she immediately texted and suggested a lunch date today. Everytime we see one another we say we will get together, but life gets in the way and it just doesn't happen. The funny thing is that we both came down with a cold yesterday and considered canceling but decided against it. (We didn't want to seem like we didn't want to get together...funny how friends think alike) I am grateful that we were able to catch up on each other's lives, it's fun to renew friendships.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blue skies

On facebook it looks like many friends and family have reasons to stay home - SNOW! We do not have that problem here. In fact it's sunny out, and has been for two days! Yay! It is a little windy out, but the sun is shining, there are white puffy clouds in the sky, and the sky is a beautiful blue. What a welcome change from the fog! I am positive our temperatures will cool down in the next few weeks, but for this week I am enjoying  our 50-60+ degree weather. It just does something to brighten my spirit.

I am grateful for the beauty of this day, and the days to come. I wish all those I love could have a day or two like this right about now. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friend's support

We weren't aware that there was an article today in the paper recognizing Pat's engineering award. The only way I discovered it was through our friend's comments on facebook! I'm so grateful for our friends, for their love and admiration for Pat. They have touched my heart.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stake Relief Society

Today was our annual Stake Relief Society Meeting. They chose to do it way different than how we did it when we were in charge. Honestly, I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay home and be comfy and cozy. Fortunately, it was sunny out this morning and this afternoon when I returned home. So, the comfy and cozy part didn't even matter. I don't know why I was not excited about going, but that's another post, for another day. Perhaps.

My motivation for going was simple - to show my love and support to those who worked so hard to put this on.

Thankfully I sat next to sisters from our ward that I'm friends with. We had a great time chatting. When the program began it was a bunch of sisters from our ward, and several from the stake singing about being a mom and how frantic it can be to the tune of 'Working Nine to Five'. They changed it to 'working dawn til dusk'. Super cute.

After that our Stake President's wife, Julie, put on a cooking demonstration using a crockpot. Then we had a sister talk about the importance of family meal time. Then President Crockett spoke on the trials we face, and how we overcome them.

Then we ate: soups, salad, bread and cheesecake (though they tried to convince us to eat the cheesecake first, it was just toooo early for me to do that!)

All in all the best part of the meeting was seeing dear friends (including our former presidency), and feeling the Spirit. I am so grateful to all of those who participated, and that I could participate a little as well. It's also fun to see my husband as a HC serving the sisters...though he is quite tired now.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Easy return

I made a decision. As much as I loved my new Kitchenaid I started to realize just before leaving for Amy's that it wasn't for me. How did I reach that conclusion? It was one of those moments that hit me with clarity. That moment came when I was whipping cream for Pat's birthday angel food cake...the moment I had to cover both of my ears because the noise it made was deafening! And I'm already deaf in one ear! Yes, indeed, that was my defining moment. That decision was cemented when I used Amy's new (comparatively) whisper-quiet kitchenaid. That was when I knew. Since I made the decision I hoped that Costco would be okay with the return. Gratefully they were. Seriously, I am so grateful that there was not an iota of hassle! What a blessing!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Busy day = multiple blessings

This morning as I was driving home from getting groceries Pat texted me and asked if I'd like to go with him to a missionary family history presentation/luncheon. Since I like spending time with him I said "sure!" (Even though I had to put a dress on!) An old friend helped with the presentation, which was great also. Then, Angie texted (actually just before we were to leave) and asked if I'd like to google chat with Lucas and Darci - which we did when Pat went back to work. :) By then Darci was napping so Lucas hung out with me, building houses with legos and showing them to me. It was fun to have a "grandma date!" Around the time Angie and I were going to chat a dear friend who is visiting her parents gave me a call and wondered if we could visit this afternoon, of course I said "yes!" I'm grateful for the time I could spend with family and friends today. It may have been really busy, but it was so worth it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Debt free

Years ago, when the housing market was still going strong, we took out a home equity line of credit on our home. It wasn't some frivolous thing that we decided to do; we didn't go on an extravagant vacation or make some huge home improvement. Nope. We used the money to purchase a car for Pat's (fairly) new job (at the time, obviously), become a partner in his company, and to help a child of ours with their education. Nothing fun.

I have disliked having to pay this loan monthly. (Pat doesn't notice, he doesn't handle the finances.) Last year we discussed this loan and I expressed to him how I wanted to be done with it. He, thankfully, agreed. We paid a large sum into the loan, then we opted to double our monthly payments. By taking the initiative in paying off our loan we would actually be finished paying it off in March. Instead we decided to finish it off now, which I did today. (Yay!)

So, as of now, except for our home, we are completely and happily debt free. I am so very grateful that we have the funds to take care of this and no longer have it hanging over our heads. It feels so good.

We should celebrate, right?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Home, busy home

I really am grateful to be home. Honest. I love sleeping in my own bed, using my own stuff (Amy's blow dryer rocks! Mine does not), driving my car, being back with my honey etc. With all of that comes endless chores: getting a prescription for my mom, doing some work for Pat's calling, shopping, cleaning up the kitchen mess, and getting caught up with name a few. While it isn't what I looked forward to upon my return, I am grateful that I have life to keep me busy. Only downside: I miss my little guys, my girl's and Brad.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Being loved

This morning I woke up to a surprise "goodbye" from Rach. She melted my heart when she came over to Amy's unexpectedly at 6:30. She certainly made me feel loved. Then, this morning when James figured out that I was returning home to Papa and he wasn't going to be able to come with me he was very upset, it reminded me of when his mommy was little and my mom would leave. I sm so grateful that he loves me so much.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Having been gone from home for a week now I can honestly say that I am quite grateful for the various forms of communication we have these days. I remember so many times (in ancient times) where I wouldn't have been able to talk with Pat while being away, at least not without it being costly. There have been various times in my life where I can look back and say that I sure wish I'd had a cell phone at that time.

One of those times was when my dad was in the hospital. Eight weeks earlier he had suffered a major heart attack. He then had a triple bypass and was recovering. That last week was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Our family had been to Disneyland and the day after we returned dad was back in the hospital. The kids and I headed up several times, and on Sunday was our final trip up for him to have two procedures done on Monday morning. That night we all chatted, had a nice family prayer, and headed to bed. The kids said their 'good-byes' to Grandpa, thinking they would see him again.

On Monday morning we took my dad to the hospital for his procedures. I remember walking with  him as they were wheeling into the surgery room. After surgery he came back to his room, groggy and tired. Mom and I headed back home. Later that day my mom said she'd be going back up to the hospital. I didn't want to leave the kids behind again so I had her go without me. She went and spent a few hours there with him. He just wanted to come home; that was all he wanted, to get out of the hospital and stay out! But they insisted he stay overnight. So, he did.

The Dr. went in to see him around 10:30, he was fine, just tired.

The nurse found him in cardiac arrest sometime around midnight. They had no idea how long he'd been that way, so  he was put in neuro intensive care. To make a could-be lengthy story short, my dad passed away at 9 AM. Pat was at work, he had an inkling of what was going on, but there was no way I could reach him. And this is where the whole cell phone thing comes into play... he was on the road, I couldn't call him and tell him my dad had passed away, and unbeknownst to me he was heading for the hospital.

By the time he arrived we had left. He walked into the nicu asking for my dad. A nurse told him that my dad had died. He was heartbroken, naturally. A cell phone could have made all the difference. I am grateful for cell phones, that our family can be in touch frequently; for negatives or positives throughout life.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Girl's date

One of the best things about visiting Oregon is that it's a two-for-one deal. I get to see both of my girls and there's nothing bad about that! Today we had a girl-date to see Les Mis. Pat and I have the 25th Anniversary edition of the play, which is my only exposure to Les Mis. So, I was familiar with the music, but watching the movie at the theatre was amazing. I loved it. What I loved most was being with my girls, I am grateful for the time we can spend together.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Baking with grandkids

On Monday James and I made lemon lava cake. He was so proud of his accomplishment and beamed with joy when we ate it. Today we are going to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. He is excited to be my assistant. I love spending time with our grandkids no matter what we are doing together, but I'm especially grateful that I can share something I love doing with them, and helping build their self esteem.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Auto repairs

We noticed recently that Pat's Pathfinder was leaking oil. We decided that since I'd be gone it'd be a great time to take it into the shop. That way he'd have my car to drive. Apparently it turned out well that he took it in when he did, if he hadn't the problem would have been much worse. I'm grateful it was fairly inexpensive and that it is now done. One less thing to worry about!


It's obvious that I didn't post anything yesterday, not for lack of gratitude, rather for lack of remembering! I've been a little "busy" with snuggling, reading stories, chatting, and even making dinner to give Amy a break. I was especially grateful that Gavin cuddled with me, Jack let me hold him multiple times and for James' "I luzh you, Nana"s. They all made me smile inside and out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Pat!

Since I'm at Amy's I don't have access to our computer, otherwise I'd post a picture of my wonderful husband on here today. He is an amazing person! I'm truly grateful to have him in my life, and for the eternities. He is a loving husband, father, grandpa, and son. He has been a wonderful provider, a worthy Priesthood holder, and shown kindness to many. He is smart, funny, giving, loyal and friendly. He is not perfect and is the first to admit it. I am not only grateful for him, but am proud of him also. We recently found out that he has been nominated Engineer of the year in the San Joaquin chapter of engineers. Most importantly I love him and wish him a very Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Modern medicine

This morning James had his four year checkup. The original plan was that I'd stay home with his brothers. However, everyone is stressing how important flu shots are, so we took all three of them. Needless to say, this was not a happy experience for them. When our kids were little I dreaded shot days. However, I knew it was for their benefit. Today I was brokenhearted as they were all stung by that healthy needle. Poor little Gav declared, "My yeg huts!" While James had three shots and voiced how much he disliked the "owies"! Jack was simply stunned. No one had a great time. Still, I'm grateful for modern medicine and the difference it makes in our lives.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Joyful day

While I cannot claim that my entire day was full of joy I will happily claim that there were joyful moments. This morning began a bit hectic what with finalizing everything for my trip. Sure, all my bags were packed, I was ready to go...but there were other lingering 'things' that needed taking care of. I needed to do something on our computer to fix a problem, I needed to copy all of our children's addresses and birthdays for my mil (which Pat had forgotten, apparently many times, to let me know that she wanted). Then, being the kind and dutiful daughter and wife, I made a pot of stew for Pat and my mom to enjoy eating today. Needless to say, I felt a little stressed this morning.

Then came the first moment of joy: I explained to my mom that we had set up a breakfast station for her so that she could easily access things to eat. She was so grateful she teared up and couldn't thank me enough. Seriously. Her reaction was unexpected and touched my heart.

The second moment of joy that I experienced was the Priesthood blessing Pat gave me; it was comforting, reassuring and loving. I felt like a warm blanket had been placed over me in preparation for this trip.

Saying good-bye is always bittersweet. I watched as Pat walked away from me at the airport, full of joy that we have what we have...grateful that we are forever.

After getting to the airport and finding out my flight was delayed due to ice on the wings I was not overjoyed.  But I was grateful that I had thought to bring a sandwich to eat, and that I was in the same boat as many others. I was also grateful that the guy sitting across from me had pretty much the same reaction that I did when they announced that our flight would be delayed by an hour and forty-five minutes. It was actually kind of fun when the other passengers were enjoying a football game, it felt a bit unifying.

Finally when I was comfortably seated I was joyful when I realized how much leg room I had. My legs aren't long, most definitely, but still, it was nice to have way more than I needed.

Arriving at the airport I felt joy as I was greeted by James, Rach, and Amy. Jack-Jack didn't really embrace the idea of grandma, but he's not even fifteen months old yet, he will get there!

It was so adorable when we got to Amy's house and James said, "Hey Nana, do you want to go and see my daddy?" Of course I did! Another joyful moment...seeing Brad and Gavin.

I sure do love this family of ours. I love that we are forever. I am grateful for those simple moments of joy that come through expressions of happiness to see one another, to give hugs and kisses. These are the moments that make life worth living.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Early celebration

Have you figured out that my husband is awesome? Case in point: he insisted that I go to Oregon to spend some time with our girl's, and found a flight for a great price! The thing is, it's his birthday in a few days. I objected to being gone for his birthday, again he insisted. (Birthdays have always meant more to me) So, today we are celebrating him! I surprised him this morning by making (popping Rhodes in the oven) cinnamon rolls. You'd have thought I gave him a new car! He was that happy! (So cute!) I am grateful that we are celebrating his birthday early and together. I don't think he understands how important that day is for me, without his birth I'm positive I wouldn't be as happy in my life. I am blessed because of him.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe exchanges

Last month we had our extended family over for some homemade soups and sandwiches. Everyone raved about the food, went home happily fed and with food to take with them. My niece, Deb, wanted my recipes so I sent them to her via email the other day. She also called last night to wish my mom a "happy birthday!" Deb and I chatted for a few minutes also. We discussed some family things, then we talked about recipes. It's amazing how the love of cooking can bring people together! (I gave Deb a recipe box years ago...she pulled it out not too long ago for me to see that she still uses it!)

The love of cooking is one of the bonds I share with our daughters - we all love to cook, and we discuss recipes and like to try new things. In our family it's a big deal. I am grateful for the bond of recipes and cooking, it really does bring families together.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Growing up I wasn't aware of the wonderfulness of avocados ...which is amazing since I grew up in So-Cal! Then they decided that they weren't all that healthy for us, so I avoided them. Now they have decided that they are good for us, in moderation. Thank goodness! Pat doesn't like them, at all. For six months on his mission he had double decker avocado sandwiches (they had a cook, he had to eat what they made) and that was when he discovered just how much he dislikes them. :/ Every once in a while I will get an avocado just for me, which I did last week, and enjoyed for lunch today! Maybe they are one of those things you enjoy rarely, which makes them even more appreciated. How ever seldom I eat them, I sure am grateful for their creamy goodness!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Good mommies

We have three and a half mommies in our family (not counting me). I count Rach as a half-mommy since she helps Amy out from time to time and those boys love her fiercely!

With all the illnesses going around, all the coughing, sneezing, throwing up, and fevers, I have noticed how caring each of the mommies are in our family. Their heart strings are tugged at each time one of their children, our grandchildren, becomes ill. I am so grateful for each of them - even if they aren't feeling well themselves they put their children first. They care for their needs, monitor what they eat and drink, cuddle with them, pray for them, and all of that is because they love them and are grateful for them. That is the miracle of motherhood. It is certainly the most human selfless role I know of.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Uplifting quotes

With Pat being sick we didn't exactly have FHE last night. So, I opted to clean up my Pinterest by attacking my largest pin file..."quotables". I found myself rearranging them into other files, some were put in 'church', some were put in "Life is Good", some deleted and some just left in that file. I found it very uplifting to read some of those quotes, so I thought I'd share a few here today. Before I do, though, let me just share that they made me stop and think about so many things that I am grateful for; which of course made me grateful for those uplifting quotes!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fresh oranges!

We love our orange tree! It may only be a dwarf tree but it sure produces lots of delicious oranges! Every year I anticipate their sweet taste and scent. I am so grateful for our yummy oranges... I just wish there was a way to preserve them. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

VT reports

Today I am finalizing the VT reports for our ward's December visits. So far it looks promising! I am grateful that so many sisters were able to take the time for others during the holiday season to let them know that they are important.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Cycles of Life

As I wrote the post title all I could think of was the line in "Runaway Bride"... "They love you, they hate you, they're hot, they're cold, they're high, they're up, they're down." That description pretty much sums up my cycles of life...probably yours too. Of course the 'they' that they were referring to was women, but it still works here, in my mind at least... seeing as how I am a woman. Why shouldn't it apply to my emotions as well?

Yesterday was not a stellar day for me. I was upset, and I wasn't really sure what I was upset about, but I sure was. My life is not perfect. I am not always happily going about my day - serving others, doing good, being nice, studying the gospel, bettering myself, cooking amazing meals, always eating healthy, exercising daily, etc., etc., etc. Actually, my days are filled with running errands, fitting in a session on my recumbent bike here and there, trying to eat right (often failing), talking with my daughter (sometimes other children), making sure my visiting teaching is completed (and my calling is up to date), taking care of our home (cooking, cleaning, organizing, budgeting, doing laundry, etc.), taking care of my mom's needs, sometimes reading or watching a little TV, and spending some time on the computer (blogging, paying bills, checking emails, etc). Seems like there are a whole lot of "etc's" in my life!

Having a horrible, awful day, yesterday I decided that I need to figure some things out. Here is the thing: I am generally a happy, positive person. I am so very grateful for my husband, our family, for the gospel in my life. That all means the world to me - I can't even begin to tell you how important they are in my life, or what deep happiness they bring to my life. I recognize the great blessings that I have, I really do.

But there has been something missing.

I've known that for quite some time now. I've had discussions with Pat about it, and he is always quick to point out how much I do for our family, for others, and what a wonderful person I am. (his words, not mine)

Here is the problem... I don't believe it. I don't believe that I am amazing or wonderful. When I was serving in the Stake RS Presidency I felt inadequate ALL the time. Why? Because I was, and am.

This is so not easy to admit, and I'm not asking for pity or attention, or anything of that sort. I am just sharing, like I always do on here, to anyone out there who happens to be 'listening'.

What I have come to understand is that I need to care for myself as much as I care for others. I wouldn't be hard on Pat or our children if they came to me telling me how inadequate they feel, or even to another person. I get that we are on our own journey here on earth, with our very own set of challenges that we face, sometimes even demons that we face. My challenge is me. Fun, right? Not so much. But, I don't think I am alone in this, though I certainly feel like I am right now.

What is the solution? I'm not sure. So, tomorrow I am fasting to help me figure it out. Once I figure it out I will probably share it on here. I've even considered (again) stopping blogging, but I think it is good for me to feel connected with whomever reads this, thus allowing me to share what I am grateful for on my journey.

Getting to the root of the 'problem' is important, so that is what I am going to do. How can I expect to be who I am meant to be if I can't even get past myself? (sounds strange, but I understand what I mean) I  know that I am a good-hearted, caring person. I simply need to apply that to me, so that is what I am going to be working on. I know that I need to feel like I can do more than contribute to everyone else's happiness; that I need to feel like I can be successful at something. I am working on it, and I will find it, whatever 'it' is.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Temple friends

Last night Pat and I went to the temple. The wonderful part was that everything I did last night involved our friends, the Sherrill's. I am grateful that our temple experience was made even more special by our friend's service.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Light bulb moments

A few months ago we moved furniture around in our home. One of the things we moved was a bookcase from the hallway to our bedroom. I figured that way it would, a) not be in the way when the kids came home to visit, b) not be in the way of my mom with her walker, and c) be very useful for Pat to put all of his church books/notebooks on. When I organized the bookcase I put his church things on the top shelf. Several weeks later I was in talking with my mom and we heard a loud crash. I assumed Missy had gotten into something, but she sat there quietly looking at me with concern on her face. (note: for my mom to hear the crash means that it was REALLY loud! she knows that as well.)

I went into our bedroom and found, to my dismay, that all the items on the top shelf of the bookcase had fallen as the bookshelf objected to their weight. *Sigh*  I then cleaned up the mess and reorganized said shelf.

One of the other events that took place is that we had our Christmas tree in our great room. In doing so we needed to move the rocking chair and an end table into our bedroom. While it was in there Pat adapted to putting some of his things on the end table. It just so happens that it also was a convenient spot for Missy to look outside, since it was up next to Pat's window.

Pat wanted me to get some other item of furniture (a bookcase, something of that nature) so that he could house all his church things under the window, and Missy could continue to have her perch. (He is so much nicer than me)

And then, yesterday, unexpectedly, I had a light bulb moment while I was on the phone with Amy. I glanced over at the bookcase and the thought struck me, why not move all the other books in the bookcase up to other shelves and put Pat's church stuff on the bottom shelf that can hold that weight?  Sometimes the obvious escapes us, seriously. After getting off the phone with Amy I got to work and rearranged the bookcase, yet again.

When Pat came home I showed him what I did. He, and I, both felt pretty stupid that we hadn't thought of that right off. Oh well. I really am grateful for simple lightbulb moments that strike when we least expect them. They sure help us out in life!

One more quick story. We have tile in our entryway. Obviously since it's the entry into our home it gets a good deal of traffic. Well, I've been cleaning that tile consistently over the nearly ten years we've been in our home, and lately it hasn't been as clean as I'd like it to be. I've even noticed on Pinterest how you can get tile cleaner to get rid of all that dirt that has been accumulating for years. I haven't been able to find any of that around here though, and honestly, I don't look that often because it isn't a priority. However, a few weeks ago I looked at that dirty tile and resolved to find something to clean it better with. Then, I had another lightbulb moment - why not try and use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser's that I get all the time for cleaning other things? I wasn't sure if we had any or not, then I found a four pack under our kitchen sink. So, today I decided to try it - it works amazingly well. With little effort it took off that grime that has been bugging me for a while now. I am so happy and grateful that it works!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Delightful Emma!

This past weekend Rach and I were discussing how she had just watched the PBS series "Jane Eyre". (and that I need to read the book before watching said movie) I started looking on Amazon Prime to see if it was on there any longer, it isn't. So, I was directed to other similar movies and found "Emma". Only, this time it isn't with Gwyneth Paltrow. This time it is a 4 hour BBC series, and it is wonderful! I laughed and nearly cried! It is SO much better than the movie! I simply loved it, and find myself quite grateful for it. :)

You should watch it! It is worth every moment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Last Sunday I was ill. I went to Sacrament meeting, had the opportunity to be administered to for my health, then went home. I decided that I wanted to watch the Conference talk that they would be discussing in Relief Society, since I was unable to be there. I have read the talk before in my normal studies, but I hadn't really seen it since Amy's family was here and there were busy little boys keeping us, well, busy! (It's okay with me, I love them that much!)

This talk was given by President Dieter Uchtdorf, and is entitled, "Of Regrets and Resolutions". The premise of his talk is about a nurse that interviewed her patients that were terminally ill, asking them "do you have any regrets?"  Three of the answers were:

  1. I wish I had spent more time with the people that I love.
  2. I wish I had lived up to my potential.
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier.
President Uchtdorf is certainly one of my favorite speakers, as are quite a few others, I admit! He just seems to get to the heart of whatever he is conveying. He goes on to tell us in his talk about how we can resolve to not have the regrets mentioned by; choosing to spend more time with our family and those we love, to work on becoming the person that our Heavenly Father wants us to be, and finally, to find happiness regardless of our circumstances.

Those all seem like really obvious things to do, and sometimes they may seem like a tall order, what with our imperfections and all. I was talking to Amy about this talk yesterday and I told her that this talk made me feel like I want to be better, to try harder...but not in a guilt-ridden, negative way. Rather it felt like a new beginning, a rebirth, for my soul. Reading this talk is so positive and uplifting that you can't help but feel that way. Nothing is insurmountable when it comes to improving ourselves; as long as we take it one step at a time and don't expect to hurdle each and every imperfection that we have in our lives.

This will sound kind of crazy/silly...but one of my first steps was to remove each and every game from my Kindle Fire. I have no need of that in my life, what I do have a need for is reading good books that help me to be a better person in general; like "Jane Eyre", which I am currently reading! (Thanks Rach for the recommendation!)

I am grateful for this New Year! For the hope and positive outlook that we can have if we just look in the right places to find it. We truly are so blessed, and I am so very grateful.