Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Preparing for General Conference

 General Conference has always been near and dear to my heart.  I love hearing from the leaders of our church speak on the things they have been inspired to share.

For those of you who may not be familiar with what I am referring to, twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds a General Conference.  These meetings are held the first weekends of April and October on both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday there are three different sessions 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm and the Priesthood session at 6pm.  Sunday there are two additional sessions at 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.  There is also a general women's session that is held the Saturday before the main sessions. We get to hear from the Presidency, General Authorities and other current leaders of the church.  The thing I have always been most impressed with is that the speakers are not assigned topics or given a theme for the conference.  While basic teachings are always covered themes do emerge each time.  Another interesting thing is that these themes can be different depending on the person listening and what they need at that time. 

I believe in personal revelation and have experienced it first hand many times in my life.  When we are prepared spiritually I think that we are more open to receive those promptings.  For me, conference has been a way to evaluate where I am at and also to develop an "action plan" of sorts for the next six months.  

Everyone has a different approach to General Conference participation.  I have always been a note taker but I have changed the way I take notes over the years.  I used to do more of a lecture note style which consisted of writing fast and furious to try and catch everything each speaker was saying.  Thanks to modern technology I don't have to wait for a month for the Conference issue of the Ensign (one of the official magazines the church prints) to come out.  Now I can watch and read all of the talks within days and in some cases hours after they were given.  Since they are now so readily available, I have turned to more of a thoughts and impressions approach. Sometimes I will write direct quotes and scripture references but mainly I write things I feel and things that come to mind as each speaker is talking.  

There is definitely no right or wrong way to do this, you don't even need to take notes if that isn't your thing. What I would like to do is encourage everyone to participate in conference this coming weekend. You can find it streaming live on www.lds.org at the times listed above.  It's a time to spiritually recharge and hopefully feel the peace and love that our Heavenly Father offers each and every one of us. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

No Spend March

Every so often I do what I like to call "no spend month". I am choosing March this time but you can do it whenever you want.  This is pretty self explanatory really, other than food and gas I don't buy anything in that month.  I have done a few of these now and I have had varying degrees of success. As with anything else, it all comes down to preparation. Wait what..make plans!?!  Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

I know there are people just dying right now thinking you have got to be kidding. I won't be able to do anything all month.  Well that is where you are wrong.  You will just need to be a little creative.  Whether it is around the house or out on the town there are plenty of no cost things to keep you busy for a few weeks.

I don't know about the rest of you but I could run my own craft store out of my home.  I have enough projects to keep me going for months.  Scrapbooking, sewing, and card making are just a few of the things at hand that I don't need to buy anything for. But I'm not crafty you say?  Perhaps you don't stockpile projects to get through the zombie apocalypse.  Here is a list of a few ideas of things you can do:

  • do some genealogy
  • study about the countries your ancestors are from 
  • volunteer 
  • go for a walk/hike
  • do some yard work if weather permits
  • change some light bulbs
  • change your smoke alarm batteries
  • go to the library (it's the building in town that has a lot of books)
  • read a book
  • take photos of your town
  • see if any museums in your area are free
  • visit family
  • start learning a new language there are plenty of free resources online
  • organize your recipes
  • clean out your closet
  • deep clean a room
  • spend time outside get some natural vitamin D
  • have a family and or friends game night
  • start a journal
  • check the expiration dates on your meds/make up/food
  • start planning a vacation
  • make a budget
  • use that gym pass you paid for and haven't been back since Jan 18th
  • Hang some pictures
  • Do a brain dump
And when all else fails...rearrange the furniture ;)

Its not too late to join me for March no spend. You have a few days left to get your plans in order.  I would love to hear what activities you have lined up!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Some people thrive on change.  Always trying out a new hairstyle, rearranging the furniture or are up to date with the latest _______(fill in the blank).  I am not one of these people!

Change has always been hard for me. I grew up in a very structured environment and my dad's health dictated much of our daily routine. The more his condition declined the greater the need to stick to a schedule.  I didn't realize at the time how much of my time was laid out for me.  All I knew was I lived a fairly happy and safe childhood.  Sure, I went to activities and spent time with friends but there were no real disruptions to my day to day life.

After graduating from high school I took this learned lifestyle with me as I went on to college.  I had a great time with the new freedom of not being at home but I still gravitated toward structure and a sense of routine.  I know that not many people that know me would believe this but I do have a sort of OCD.

In life change is inevitable. Sometimes it is by our choice and other times it is more or less forced on us. Then there are the times when you are guided to do something else. One of my favorite scriptures is Doctrine and Covenants 122:7 which ends with....that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

Lately I have had a feeling that some changes need to be made in my life.  Actually many things...too many to mention here.  My goal is to take on the changes whether large or small knowing that they are for my good. What I do know, is that I will use my previous experiences to grow and progress in the future.

I hope you will be along with me as I see where these changes take me.  To quote President Thomas S. Monson (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) "Brothers and sisters, my sincere prayer is that we may adapt to the changes in our lives, that we may realize what is most important, that we may express our gratitude always and thus find joy in the journey."  

To see the full talk please watch the following:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Was that an answer to my prayer or just my own thoughts?"

Have you ever asked yourself, "Was that an answer to my prayer or just my own thoughts?"
Posted by David A Bednar on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This is something I have been studying quite a bit about lately as I have earnestly been searching for some answers.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Getting along spending zero

I am half way through my no spend August.  There have been a few challenges along the way but I have done really well.  At one point, I actually had a shirt in my hand at Old Navy that I really wanted and I thought, no you don't NEED it.  I ended up leaving without buying anything...small victories!  I did price out a couple of things that I may need in the next month or two though if you are wondering why I was in a store to begin with :)

I thought I would share a few things that I have been able to do this month so far while not spending anything.

Football season is SO close I can feel it!  I had to run an errand for work one day that took me near the stadium.  Not wanting to pass on an opportunity to spend some time at one of my favorite places ever, I went over the the stadium and just walked around.  It is so different when there aren't thousands of other people there.  This place has so many great memories for me with family and friends.  I am truly happy here.

Comso got in Utah lake for the first time ever!  Don't you love his little life jacket?  We went for a drive and ended up at the lake.  I had his jacket with us so I thought why not.  He was a good sport but I am not sure if he really loved it.  The water was cold and he was shivering so me got out.  I need to try it again during the day when it is warmer.

Amazing shots of the sunset over the lake.  It was kind of  a stormy evening which made for beautiful colors in the sky.  I love nature and the feeling of peace it brings to me, I think that is why it is my favorite thing to photograph.  

My extremely lucky friend Jodie wins tickets to EVERYTHING and I happily accept to go with her whenever I can.  How excited was I to get a call saying she had tickets to Kenny Chensey and did I want to go?  Uh, yes please!  

I am excited to see what comes up the rest of the month. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 2015: Super Girl helps with another "no spend" month

For those of you that have been following me for awhile, you know that I have done "no spend" months in the past.  The concept is simple, other than food and gasoline I don't spend any extra money that month.  I have had varying degrees of success with this but the last time I did it I didn't do so well. 

I really need to get back on target with following a budget and putting money in savings so what better way to kick that off than a "no spend" month.  This gives me time to evaluate where I am at and figure out some longer term financial goals.

 This might sound boring or even unnecessary to you but not to worry.  You would be amazed at the things you can find to do that don't cost any money and this is where Super Girl comes into the picture.  She is pretty much awesome at coming up with creative ways to have fun. I have so many partially completed projects and even more that haven't even been started yet laying around my house.  I am sure that between the two of us we will be able to come up with all sorts of great things.  

Here is a list of just a few things that we could tackle this month:

  1. Reading
  2. Sewing
  3. Scrapbooking
  4. Storage and organization 
  5. Decorating
  6. Gardening
I would love to hear from you about the kinds of things you would do if you were doing a "no spend" month.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The 30 day Happiness Challange

  While I was searching Pinterest today looking for something else I came across this link for The 30 day (no fail) Happiness challenge.  Since I have been struggling to find more joy and harmony in my life recently I decided to give it a look.

  It is a fairly simple challenge really:

Day 1: When you wake up name 3 new things you are grateful for.  Repeat this step for the next 29 days.

Day 2: Right down at least one meaningful thing that happened to you over the past 24 hours.  Repeat this step for the next 28 days.

Day 3: Reach out to someone that you know and give them praise. Repeat this step for the next 27 days.

Day 4: Do some form of cardio for at least 15 minutes a day. Repeat this step for the next 26 days.

Day 5: Start meditating for at least 5 minutes a day.  Repeat this step for the next 25 days.

That is it.  This isn't even a half an hour of your day if you are at the bare minimum.  You can start this tomorrow morning, I know I am going to.