Monday, June 20, 2011

A New Addition to my life, A BLOG!

Hello, yes, I am still alive!!  I am sorry since nannying the twins I have been non existant on here.. but that will change, i promise!!

Just wanted to let you all know that I have a new weightloss blog.  After winning an essay contest with "Wholly Guacamole" I have been blogging about that experience.  I will get caught up with that and then come back here for other stories.  Just wanted to give you all the link!

Loves to you!!

http://couragetofinishwhativestarted.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hawaii... where have you been all my life?





ALOHA!
Ok, so Hawaii has been here, but only in my dreams!!  This week my dreams became a reality, and for free and I get paid for it too!!  Man, I am so blessed.  And so far it has been paradise!

We left on Thursday Morning on US airways!  The girls were AMAZING on the flight, seriously, AMAZING!

Natalie and Ainsley sat like this playing for lots of times during the flight.  The fussiness was few and far between! 

Wanna see the PARADISE that we are staying at (I have my own sweet with an AMAZINGLY deep bathtub!)  YES!  I am in LOVE!

So this week, if you are wondering where Meg is.. I am in Hawaii looking for a husband, cause I don't wanna be here alone again!! hahahha Wish me luck! :)

P.S.  Maybe the next time I am looking for a husband, I shouldn't have 2 twin newborns with me, 
it's kind of hard to get them to believe I am just borrowing them!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Missing in Action?... Somedays!

I know, I know.... I fell off the face of my blog!  
Literally I did!!  
But when you see this picture it might give you a better understanding why.
That's right TWINS!! 
Believe me, there is never a free moment in the day and by the time I get home at 6pm, go to the gym, I am DONE!  But I will tell you what, I have NEVER felt so blessed.  I love them, like I birthed them myself! 
INTRODUCING....

Miss Ainsley
(A.K.A. Ponyo)
AND
Miss Natalie
(A.K.A. Princess Buttercup)

I am residing in the HOT state of Arizona and will most likely be with these sweeties till the start Kindergarten, unless you all find me a Man so I can have one or two of my own!  

So... now you have it!  I am a FULL TIME nanny of just one family!  I never thought I would do that, but I found where I am supposed to be, and I am going to soak it in while it remains where I am supposed to be.
Guess who is taking me to Hawaii in 3 weeks.... THANK YOU GIRLS!! :)

If you want to follow our adventures, see us at http://thevacationnanny.blogspot.com/  This is where I will post   things about them. I will continue soon with this one as well!  Comment so I know someone even is looking!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Birthday Wishes for one of my FAVORITE AZ Friends! Happy Birthday Stephy!

39 years ago today, 
SUPER STEPHY WAS BORN!!

I am so excited to do this Blog Tribute!  I met Stephanie the FIRST week I moved to Arizona.  She was in the Relief Society Presidency and came to visit me at Verna's house with Carole (the President) and her little 6 yr old Presley.

The minute these two woman walked in the door I thought I had known them for my WHOLE LIFE!  Stephanie sat there and got my whole life story out of me in the 30 minute visit. And poor thing has been getting more and more glimpses the past 6 month... I just can't stop blabbing my guts to her!


Within the month of moving to Arizona I was put into the RS Presidency working side by side these woman, and I soon found that Steph was THE REAL DEAL!  She was who she acted like.  She was real and I wanted to be around her all I could be!  Steph is also unique cause she has an identical twin Tiffany who sounds and acts like her, who looks like her, it is amazing how as adults they can still be so ALIKE!


Steph makes me laugh A LOT!  I feel comfortable sharing things that are weighing on my mind or to tell her how I am feeling whether it be funny, sad or frustrating! She was a pillar of strength to me as I went through challenging times with Verna.

Some of my favorite memories in the last 6 months have been: group walks, Tuesday Night tradition where I was invited to eat with her family and then we would watch the Biggest Loser together, Birthday Pedicure, Easter with her family, our love for food, cleaning out Verna's things, helping me set up her tribute at the funeral, decorating wedding luncheons and Laurisa's shower, helping me get Grandmother's funeral, She taught me what it REALLY MEANS to throw a party (this girl has more talent on one pinky than most do in their whole being), party throwing, hot tubbin', movies, daily texts, decorating her yard, her fun doorstep surprises, did I mention laughing?


One time I was shocked when she brought me a gift of "her favorite things" and they were all things I use on a daily basis!  I love when you find someone that just "get's you!" Steph has showered me with so much support, she even bought a one way plane ticket so she could drive me to Dallas for my new job (that is another post) and fly back!  Many times on an off day she has shown up with dinner, bread, a card or just let me come over and hang out so I wouldn't be alone and I have loved her for it! We shared our lives ups and downs and instantly I felt like I have known her forever!  

One of the MOST POWERFUL things that I have learned from Stephy Girl is SERVICE!  I call her SUPER STEPHY! There is no one I have witnessed serving 90% of their life.  She is an example that you are NEVER too tired, NEVER too maxed, NEVER too downtrodden to serve someone else.  If I am looking for Steph and she isn't available by phone or at her house, I can know that her feet are walking someones child in a stroller, picking up dinner for a new mother or struggling friend in the ward, redecorating some frustrated or overwhelmed friends home, taking her sister's children some times for multiple days to give them a break, volunteering at her children's school, sitting for hours at her Mothers side as she goes through chemo treatments, helping someone move or clean their own house (even when she has her own laundry, dishes, bed making to do).  There is a saying that I say to Steph almost daily, "Have you done any good in the world this hour?!"  And I am so glad to know that this is NOT an exaggeration it is just the woman that she is!

The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless. ---- Billy Graham ----
Steph, I know your feet get MUCH mileage every day!  I want you to know that example makes me want to get out of bed and do something good in the world that hour!  Arizona has been sweeter because of you!! So glad that we have connected!! I learn SOO much from you!  Thank you for being there for me and helping add to the goodness I have found in Arizona!  You are the real deal and I am so glad to have you as a true friend!
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY 
STEPHY DEAR!! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mother's Day Surprise....



I had a BLAST this last weekend surprising my Mom with the most LAYERED surprise I have ever pulled off.  The idea started when Kiley Humphries in my home ward talked to me about wanting to do an "In A Coming Day" Reunion (A song that I taught the primary kids 6 yrs ago...most those primary kids are now graduated or graduating this year!).  I emailed Bishop Jenkins for permission and recieved it so then it was nailing down when we would do it.  A few days later I got a email back from the Bishop asking that if we do it Mother's Day if I would ALSO speak in the ward!  That is all it took to make it happen, I mean, what Mom wouldn't think that was the GREATEST Mother's Day gift Ever?!

So plans were underway and Kiley went to work recruiting and I went to work booking my ticket from Phoenix to Utah and figuring out how I could surprise my Mom the BEST.
I flew in late on Friday night and was picked up by my besties Jen and Erica.  We had a sleep over that night at Jen's and it was so fun to be back together.

The next morning (Saturday) Erica and I left early for Orem and she ran me around finding the music and getting things together for one of our ONLY practices with the kids.  By 10 am I was at the church practicing with the 4 kids that showed up.  Amazingly I wasn't STRESSED out at all cause the 4 kids alone did a great job, I knew it would ALL work out! 
Spent that day visiting with people and surprising other's as well.  It was a fun day.  At 5pm I got dropped off at Mimi's Cafe in Orem where all the women in the family were meeting for a Mother's Day celebration and surprised them all.  Mom and Gram were crying.. it was GREAT!

One thing Mom didn't know is what I had up my sleeves for the next day..that was the best part!  I loved having more surprises coming!  I stayed up till 2am reworking my talk, making sure that it was perfect and what I wanted to portray.  Melba met up with me in the wee hours and of course brought food!! 

I woke up at 6am to get showed and ready for the events that were about to take place that day.  I did have to lie to my Mom and tell her that I was going to hear someone talk when I left at 8am that morning, really I was going to have one final practice!  When we got to the church and about 15-20 youth were there to sing... I WAS ELATED!!  They did such an AMAZING job and really sang with their testimonies!  
I was THRILLED!

I was so thankful for the quotes that I was able to find that supported the feelings of my heart as a single.  I don't think of not being a Mother as doom and gloom.  Although it really is the ONLY thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.  But whether it is my kids or others, I am still able to be an example and nurture the kids and people in my life.







I am sure this isn't word for word of my talk...but I just wanted to keep it for posterity sake.

Mothers: A Light Unto the World
By Meg Gazaway.  With teachings from Sheri Dew, Elaine Dalton, Joseph F. Smith and President Gordon B Hinckley

It has come to my attention in my Adult years how there is this thing in the church where Mother’s HATE Mother’s Day.  I have been so intrigued by this that I continue to ask question to my friends as to why this may be.  Some of the answers are that they feel let down by the day, that no one follows through with the celebration (basically there is no such thing as a day off as a Mom) others have responded that they feel inadequate to be celebrated in that way.  Other’s shared that it isn’t really a special day, nothing really changes, kids don’t stop fighting or talking back, some husband’s don’t go the extra mile and so it just feels like a waste.  I have been so surprised by these answers and didn’t quite understand till a recent experience with Mother/Daughter Achievement Day activity gone wild! It’s the kids comments that make you feel inadequate isn’t it? Hahaha

I am living in Gilbert Arizona and attend a family ward there. When the children were asked to tell what their Mother’s  "Hidden Talents" were the following was my favorite responces.

  • 1.       My Mom is really good at yelling.
  •        My Mom likes to hide candy in her room and eat it in her bed.
  •        My Mom can toot on demand.


I just want to assure you Mother’s that I have not asked ANY of your children about your hidden talents or will I throw any of you under the bus.  But today instead we will just talk about how as Women of God in general, we are a force to be reckoned with!

In April Conference 2006 Sister Elaine Dalton shared a poem that her grandfather used to say and I have loved it and repeated it since.
You don’t have to tell how you live each day;
You don’t have to tell if you work or play;
A tried and true barometer stands in its place-
You don’t have to tell, it will show in your face,
If you live close to God and His infinite grace-
You won’t have to tell, it will show in your face!

As Women of the church we are blessed with this light in our countenance.  It comes to us when we keep the covenants that we made with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and you have made the choices which qualify for you to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  That light that comes to us is the Savior’s light.  It is the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  By the way you live the gospel, you reflect His light.  Your example will have a powerful effect for good on the earth

Sister Dalton continues, “Can one righteous woman change the world? The answer is a RESOUNDING YES! You have the Holy Ghost as your guide, and He “will show you all things…you should do” It is the daily consistent things that you do that will strengthen you to be a leader and an example—daily prayer, daily scripture study, daily obedience, daily service to others.  Are any of us perfect at this?  NO! But we still try and this TRYING makes us worthy of that light!

As we do these things we become more like him and His light shines through us.  And when other’s see that light, they want to be around it!

Do any of you like to play the find a Mormon is the most random places game?  I don’t know if I am alone in this quest, but I LOVE to people watch.  Especially on vacations!  And my most favorite thing to do is find the Mormons!  You know the people with that special light in their eyes!  I have found them in airports all over the US, in shopping centers outside of the typical Utah towns, on cruises you name it.  Now I am pretty friendly person and after observing that light and watching a few of their mannerisms revealed, I have dared to say are you LDS?  And 99% of the times I have asked which have probably numbered in the 20’s they have said YES and I have an instant friend and bond. 

One such instance happened to me in Puerto Rico.  I went with a bunch of my friends there.  One early morning we decided to take an adventure to the island of Culebra.  To do this you have to stand in line by 6am and get a ticket for a one hour boat ride that takes you there for the a day excursion and brings you back that evening.  As we were standing in line I noticed a group of girls with that “Mormon light” within them.  I mentioned to my friends that they were for sure Mormon and they teased me about my theory.  We continued to watch them.  Another girl joined their group and when I looked over at the new arrival I saw she was wearing a shirt that said Old Nauvoo. I laughed told the Spanish speaking member of the group to read the shirt and He rushed over to communicate with them in Spanish and let them know that we too were LDS.  We spent the whole day on the island with them and had a BLAST! All because a glance at their bright light radiating from them. 

The one thing that we can know for sure is that Satan is very opposed to that light that is within us!  He has DECLARED WAR on Motherhood or Womanhood in general!  Sheri Dew in a talk entitled, “Are We Not All Mothers?”  Talked about this very thing. She says, “He knows that those who rock the cradle can rock his earthly empire. And he KNOWS that without righteous Mothers loving and leading the next generation, the kingdom of God will fail.”

I connect with Sheri Dew and feel her light and her understanding of Motherhood without being a Mother herself.  She explains things in such a way that it excites my spirit!  One thing that I learned from this talk that I never have thought about before is she shares this thought, “When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role.  While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve, “the mother of all living”—and they did so BEFORE she ever bore a child.  Like Eve, our motherhood began BEFORE we were born.  Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality, righteous women were ENDOWED premortally with the privilege of Motherhood. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that.  It is the essence of who we are as women.”  


As that was not powerful enough to describe our roles of Motherhood President Hinckley declared, “Men have to have something given to them in mortality to make them Saviors of men, but not mothers, not women.  They were born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be saviors of human souls… and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children.”

As we know, not all of us get to exercise the gift of Motherhood directly, that is in our own homes.  But the Father doesn’t take that away from us who fit in that category. We still have great opportunity to do so vicariously. We just simply have to find other ways. All around us are those who need to be love and led.
Nearly a century ago President Joseph F Smith said this to the Women of the Church,
““It is not for you to be LED by the women of the world; it is for you to LEAD the women of the world in EVERYTHING that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and... purifying to the Children of God.”


Sheri Dew makes this point,
“How will our young women learn to live as women of God unless they see what women of God look like, meaning what we wear, watch, and read; how we fill our time and our minds; how we face temptation and uncertainty; where we find true joy; and why modesty and feminity are hallmarks of a righteous woman? How will our young women learn to value women of God if we don’t show them the virtue of our virtues?”





Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of BOTH the mother who bore us and the Mother’s WHO BEAR WITH US!  Those Mother’s are in each of us.  I have been blessed with some of those adopted Mothers in my life who BEAR WITH ME and because of the sweet relationships I have with them it helps me TO KNOW that you don’t have to give birth to someone to LEAD them, to love them.  Infact, it is because I know they love me that I let them help lead me.  Their light is such a calming force in my life.

I wish that you could all know how blessed I was the day Our Father sent me into the arms of my own Mother.  When I was only 9 months old my parents got a divorce and my Grandfather moved my Brother and I along with all 11 of his own children from Marshalltown, Iowa to Provo, Utah.  Since that time my Mother raised us on her own with no help or support from my Dad at all.  My Mom is a true example of that light.  She has always been full of love, testimony and truth.  She has been my hero as long as I have known what a hero was.  I am thankful that I never had to question what side of the line my Mother was on.

Sheri Dew put it this way, “WE ARE THE LORD’S SECRET WEAPON!  Our influence and light comes from a divine endowment that has been in place from the beginning…  The world won’t tell you that, but the spirit will.”


Sisters, today is a special day of rejoicing in that endowment!  It isn’t a day to bring discouragement, frustration, or pity. It doesn’t matter whether we don’t have any kids, or we have 18 and counting we are ALL given that same endowment!  And it is up to us to use our light in ALL Ways to love and lead those, even each other, back to the one who blessed us with such a high honor!
Many of you have blessed me to live vicariously through your families and allowed me in small ways to love your children and to you I am so thankful.  I learn from you, I lean on you and I watch the magnificent job you do in bringing light to a world of darkness and confusion!


When you live close to God and his infinite grace-- You won’t have to tell, it will show in your face!  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Should I or shouldn't I.......?

I am feeling torn.
 I don't know if I can do it?
Yes I am obsessed with it, but really can I put myself out there again... in person?!

Here I live in one of the cities where a HUGE population of Biggest Loser contestants have came from. I live less than 5 minutes away from the casting call.... I just don't know if I have it in me to face another rejection...

If you were me... what would you do? 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Power of OUR Words

Today in church we had one of the most beautiful lessons on the SACREDNESS of our words.  How our words make a huge difference on those around us and most importantly our own self and our own countenance.

 This struck me a lot after having a conversation with my cousin last night about a time when a family member was overly harsh to her about a situation with her boyfriend that they didn't understand and felt as though her boyfriend had been wrongly judged.

How many times do we misjudge someone's intentions or think that we know better?  How many times do we bubble over and are impatient rather than take the few extra minutes to communicate something better or make time for someone's silly request?  How many times do we let our words be DESTRUCTIVE instead of using them to help people see themselves the way the Lord and other's do?

Although this video may be 16 minutes, it is some of the best minutes you could spend to think and evaluate how this could help you in your life.  I have watched it 3 times today already and fully intend to use it in my life.

Watch it!  Share it! LIVE IT!

Monday, March 1, 2010

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE VIRTUOUS WOMAN AT A TIME..VERNA I WILL MISS YOU!


Verna Pauline Oswald Taylor
 January 9, 1911-February 19, 2010
How do you write a post like this? How do I even begin to explain the lessons, feelings and love that I have in my heart for this dear 99 yr old woman? How do you thank someone who changed the way you look at life?

The answer that I came up with is be true to the things she taught you and live the example that she emulated!

The end of January thru February 19th has been one of the most challenging times of my life. I can't remember the last time that I have felt more physically and emotionally exhausted, yet how much EXTRA strength was given to me by my Father in Heaven to do even more than I thought was humanly possible.

In January the dear granny that I have been taking care of (since Dec 13th around the clock care) came down with pnuemonia. If you would have asked me a month before, I would have NEVER guessed that you could have slowed her down.. she ran circles around me! She had more energy and more drive than an energizer battery! This stupid illness took her down. She was so sick. At times she was in real pain. I watched her struggle with so many things.

Many times she asked me why she was still here. Why she couldn't die because she felt so bad. The antibiotic had a weird reaction with her and I spent MANY sleepless nights with sweet Verna as she had a case of the "crazies". This medicine made her mentally confused at times. I just felt so bad that this sweet lady had to go through all of this. I was so thankful when everyone got on the same page and took her off of that miserable stuff. Luckily we were working with Hospice and they tried many things to help us with pain control and comfort.

Some might ask, "why would you do this kind of work?" "Why don't you ask for a raise?" and to that I would answer, because the GOOD's out ways any of the minor bads. The lesson's that I learned from her even when she wasn't in her right mind were SOO precious... even when she wasn't all the way there (mentally) she was being a missionary to me and it touched my heart. In the middle of the night one night as I was chasing her around the house as she went through everything in her closet, she turned to me with her imprinted Book of Mormon that I would guess she has had for YEARS and looked me right in the eye and said, " I want you to have this, and read this! I know that this is true and I know that this book will change your life!" At this time she wasn't remembering that I too believe that. She thought she was teaching me something that I didn't know, and it was so precious to me. Later her daughter Mareen told me that she had told her, "I almost have her converted." What a cutie.

Since we had plenty of them.. I decided to capture a picture of us on one of those all nighters. Here we are in our FAV jamies. Those are the one's I gave her for her 99th Bday.
Another lesson that was so sweet to me was one night she was feeling really sick and she was scared because she didn't understand what was happening to her and her mind. Around 3 am after I got her calmed down she looked at me with those innocent eyes and said, "Will you say a prayer for me?" I said, "I would love to say a prayer with you Verna. But I need to know what it is that you want me to pray for?" at that question Verna grabbed a hold of me and started to offer one of the most humble, faithful, tender and pleading prayers I have EVER been a part of. I don't remember all the words that she said, but I want to record what I do remember to have forever. " Heavenly Father, I have been praying to you every day since I was 10 years old. I have been righteous.... I have done everything that I was supposed to do and I am ready to come home..... I am asking you to please take me home." Both of us were crying and I held her in my arms for a few minutes and told her that I loved her. I thought she would go home that night after that heartfelt and humble prayer. It touched me so much. I felt like I was in heaven that night... the veil was so close. (I tearfully related that story to her daughter Sherry a few days later and found out that when she was 10 yrs old her Mother died. Of course that is when she started to really pray to her Father in Heaven and have a personal relationship with him.. she needed that comfort and she knew where to go even at 99 for that comfort.) Well even after that prayer she still remained for another 3 weeks on this earth.

I left to Utah for a couple days for my birthday and prayed the whole time that she wouldn't go while I was gone. I wanted to come back to be with her.

After coming back she didn't have very many good days after that. We had one Sunday where she felt a little better than most days and I painted her toes and fingers and took her on a wheelchair ride to her daughter's for Sunday dinner.
By the time Jen was in town over Valentines she was put in a hospital bed(which saved my back it was on it's way out from lifting her so much) and was pretty non responsive.
(Jen helped me sooo much both in emotional support and physical help. Her coming here was not by coincidence.. I needed her so much by that time in the illness! Thanks Jen for all your support!)

One morning she was trying to get out of bed. I tried to explain to her that her legs weren't working right to get out of bed (by this time she was even too weak to even communicate through words) at that, she grabbed on to me and forced out the words..GO! I tried to talk her out of it and she again said GO. I grabbed onto her two hands and walked backwards and she walked all the way from her bed room to the living room and that was the last time she walked. The rest of the days I did all the lifting, changing of diapers and bathing for her.

This is what Valentine's Day looks like when you are LOVED by everyone that you come in contact with...
I always called Verna the WARD MASCOT! She seriously was one of the most beloved people on the earth. I only wish that she was alert enough to realize all the flowers that were brought in to her.. she would have LOVED them every second!

In her last days on the earth Verna was in a coma like state. VERY rarely would she make a sound. It was a lonely time in my life and so hard to see her go out like that. A woman that just 2 months before was gardening, and living on her own, was now unable to even care for herself.

The last 24 hrs of her life was one of the most precious, tearful, spiritual and blessed days of my life so far. While I sat with her for nearly the WHOLE 24 hours without sleeping I talked to her, I told her I loved her. I thanked her for helping me gain great perspectives on life. I sang her songs that I knew that she liked. I listed to the music her daughter brought over with her. I knew she was going to be reunited with heaven really soon. I got the special experience to watch her, in her coma state, lift up her arms TWO different times to hug people that with my earthly eyes I could not see. Knowing that she was leaving this mortal body, her breaths getting more and more scarce, I decided it was time to do my final act of service for my sweet friend and help her to go out of this life the way that she would want too.

I got two bowls one of hot soapy water and one of hot water. And I gave her a bed bath, lotioned her up and put on deoderant, changed her garments and placed the Jammie's that I gave her for her 99th birthday on her. Then I washed her face and combed her hair. I knew that would be important to her. After that, I layed down on the bed that was set up next to her hospital bed and watched her through the night. Around 9am she started really breathing weird... I got up and checked her blood pressure and it was beyond low. I knew this was it. I kissed her on her forehead. Told her how much I loved her. at 9:17 am my sweet friend took a deep breath and I watched as her whole body just went calm. The pain in her face relaxed. She was with heavenly friends. What a reunion she was having! She hadn't seen her mother in 89 years! Her Husband, her daughter and ALL her sibling reunited again!

To my sweet friend... I will miss your giggles, your sense of humor, your love of roses, your cute quirks, your tight hugs in the middle of the night, your sassy ways, your love of your house (in which I still live and it feels so empty without that love in it), your sweet prayers, your stories, the perspective that you taught me, your hate for the stray cats in the yard, your love of poppy seed dressing on ANYTHING, and just YOU.. I miss you! I am happy that after 99 wonderful years of life you finally got to go home. Who knew that after 2 months I could love you THIS much!
Farewell sweet Verna for now.. until we meet again!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Miracles Still Exist

I have been following this families journey. It is amazing how much a perfect stranger can change your perspective on life. This is such a touching video and worth every minute of the 9 minutes to watch it. Prayer is powerful. Calling on the powers of heaven does work!
I think with all the hard times we sometimes forget that good things happen. Congrat Staker family on your miracle...

If you would like to read more about this go too.. http://stakerzxposed.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SOOOOO EXCITED!!


I don't know if I have ever wanted a VACATION MORE IN MY LIFE!!
Mama... I am COMING HOME!!
Even for 2 days... it will be the best Birthday EVER!!
Utah watch out.....HERE I COME!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Celebrating my sweet GHETTO!

Today is one of my bestest EFY's friend's Birthday! She is off to the Bahama's to celebrate...JEALOUS!!
Back in the first year days of EFY (2002) this darling girl, Stephanie Nelson and I found each other and FELL INSTANTLY into friendship!
She is ABSOLUTELY one of the funnest, sassiest and adorable people I had met in my life!
We each call each other GHETTO.
I started calling her that when she was telling me that she had a "ghetto butt" and now that is ALL I call her. The sad truth is all of our friends (that aren't all friends with the other one of us) only know us as Ghetto.. They don't even know our REAL names!
I have had so many tearful heart to hearts with this girl and we have also had tearful belly laughs together. My wedding business would have been NOTHIN' if it wasn't for all the sacrifice, love and help that she put into the weddings. She would always call me and volunteer her time to help build my business and she was DANG GOOD AT IT!

We went to Puerto Rico together 2 years ago and had an absolute blast. Our whole group received 3rd degree burns! We did moan and groan but still found cause for laughter! We are fake smiling in this picture. How could you not smile though..look at that scenery. Ghetts was soo sunburned lets just say it wasn't her choice to have that skirt on..

Here is the proof of our sad sunburns that we had to fly home with (doped on TYLENOL PM) and all ended up in urgent care facilities!
All of us..

This is us buying Aloe Vera at the Walgreens.. All the workers only spoke Spanish but as soon as we walked in, they KNEW what we were there for and directed us to the aisle!

My sweet Ghetts, I love you so dearly! I am so proud of all that you have become in the past 8 yrs of knowing you! You have handled many difficult challenges, overcome such mountains and become so full of charity and so much better through those times! I am so thankful that I can call you're one of my besties, you definitely deserve that title! Thanks for you love, compassion and charity towards me!
Be safe on your vacay and come home to me soon!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLING!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ARIZONA JUST DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!

This is not a lie.. check the news...
Arizona has declared a State of Emergency!!


Yes, this SCORPION inside the back door of my house is a REAL
EMERGENCY!!!
I am seriously ready to pack my bags and head for home... forget about a job.
Why did God create these ugly, iridescent, stinging creatures anyway?!
(Don't answer that.. I want to be dramatic right now.. Monica!! hahaha)
My skin is crawling with the thought of scorpions stinging me in my bed (thanks to that story from my home teacher), in the shower, on my feet as I walk barefoot (thank Monica)...
I am just beside myself! Pray for me... Alexis Drive truly has a state of disaster tonight..
I might just go mad.. thinking about all the ways I may get tortured by Mr. Glowing Scorpion.

Now, to talk about the REAL state of emergency (although I feel like mine is also one!)!

It's Raining...It's Pouring... It's Flooding...
Tornado Warning!!
Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer signed a declaration of emergency for her state after it has been experiencing severe storms, according to theOffice of the Governor.
The Governor’s declaration will release $200,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Funds, which currently contains approximately $2.7 million, to pay for emergency response and recovery expenses from the weather events

I have been gigglin' about the RAIN since I got here. I arrived with NON-working windshield wipers and everyone told me, you don't need windshield wipers here, it NEVER rains in ARIZONA (yes these were AZ natives that told me this!) It has rained 50% of the days that I have been here! Granted not all day most of the time.. but rain for sure! It is so interesting to me how much the people here LOVE these storms! I had a lady at the bank today dance when she saw how wet my check had gotten in the rain, friends telling me how wonderful.. haha I guess I still feel like I am on vacation and it steals from my daily walk in the sunshine.. so I am NOT a fan!
Right now as I type this (still glancing to the wall, floor and doors scoping for scorpions I might add) the wind and rain are BEATING against my house. I keep thinking that the granny has gotten out of her sick bed but no..it's the rain!
The Emergency Essentials side of me, is coming out, with the tornado warnings to the Phoenix Metro area tonight.
Don't worry Pectol family, I have filled my van with gas (with non working windshield wipers, I don't know how that will help), I have candles gathered in one area, I know where my purse and granny's meds are, I have 100 calorie pack chocolates on hand and a case of water bottles...
MAN, I AM in a state of emergency.. sooo unprepared in this AZ home!
Arizona Whitings.. you better watch out.. we may be joining you for homemade bread.. hope you have a box oven! :)

Thankful Thursday: 25 years of Jamie Ann Schroeppel Gillman

If I was going to come up with a word that combines every word that would stand for this girl the word would be POWERHOUSE!
Meet my Jamie Ann! She is one of my MANY, MANY cousins. But one whose life I was able to be part of for all of it, and that was a BLESSING to me for sure!
Growing up I didn't have a sister and so my poor cousins had to just amuse me and let me adopt them.
Jamie was always great about letting me lug her around and I think she actually enjoyed it.

Since Jamie was a little girl, she had more personality than most people have in a lifetime of growing it!
She was sassy, knew what she wanted and was remarkably mature at all her ages. As she has grown into such a wonderful adult I know why the Lord blessed her with such greatness and maturity because she has had to go through A LOT! As I have watched her loose her first baby, nurture her second, bury her third and continue on have a fourth with a fifth on the way my heart has been touched by the strength this young mother has and the peace she exudes. She has taught me so much about the plan of salvation by watching how she has handled her struggles. Beautifully is the only word that describes how she handles trials.
Jamie KNOWS who she is. She also SHARES who she is with all those around her. She is a master decorator, party thrower, chef (except when she puts a pizza box in the oven and catches it on fire! haha), sister, cousin, mother, shopper and has a humor that will put you constantly in stitches!

Some of the fun memories I have of Jamie include:

  • Jamie was named Andrea at birth and at her blessing her Dad re-named her to Jamie Ann to all of our suprise.. even her Mom's! (Most people don't have a story like that!)
  • Playing School, house, cashier...fighting through it too
  • The Tiffin Room at ZCMI
  • Sleepovers
  • Overnight babysitting
  • Laughs and laughs
  • Helping me clean and organize things ( I am pretty sure she is still a freak about it like me!)
  • Drive-In's
  • Funny girl's nights with Grandma
  • Jamie and Amy's New Kids on the Block obsession (night gowns, sleeping bags, telephone...)
  • the face she would give when she was "up to something"
  • Her teasing personality
  • the natural mothering that has ALWAYS been in her!

James, I adore you! I have loved you from the VERY second you entered this world and I will love you FOREVER. Thanks for being all that you are! Thank you for being real. Thank you for your faith. You are such a ROCK and I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to be in your family! Love you CUZ!!
HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes! I met Blaine Kotter, Season 7 Biggest Loser Contestant




What a fun, insightful night!! I loved learning all the behind the scene things and how he compared to the gospel to the things on the ranch.

Here are some of the tidbit "insider" things he told us!

  • Biggest Loser sends you home with nothin but a couple resistance bands, 3 boxes of cheerios (because I did a commercial) and a one year to 24 hour fitness (like you will only need to only work out a year! haha)
  • Worked out 4 hours then had lunch, a lil break 2 hours then had dinner 2 hours then went on a walk. Sometimes they wouldn't get home till midnight
  • Jillian kicks the snot out of you. He learned what suffering was. He likened that suffering to the atonement and repentance!
  • When he was in the final process of being chosen, Dane and he were sequestered in a hotel room for 3 weeks. Take away all communication, don't give you a room key. He said it prepared him for the prison like feeling of the Ranch!
  • 6 baptized members in that season (Black team: Dane and Blaine, Blue team: Sione and Fillipe and Yellow team: Aubrey and Mandy,how ever Mandy and Aubrey aren't active)
  • They have fill in trainers. Bob and Jillian are only there 60% of the time. There are other trainers who take you on outside workouts.
  • Biggest Loser spend $100 a day on the contestants food all organic, high quality things
  • The ranch is old and worn down. (they make it look nice on TV...it isn't) Used to be owed by Gillette Razor guy. It is a on national park land so you can go right up to it (tourists)
  • Ron is as scuzzy as he appeared to be.
  • Kristin really DIDN'T get baptized :(

He learned about repentance and treating his body right. Before the show he was on 8 different medications and he had high blood pressure and an enlarged liver from them. Within 4 weeks he was off all meds. He ended up losing about 155 lbs and ran a 1/2 iron man, 2- 1/2 marathons and a full marathon before the finale.

His wife had a baby and he got to go home for 24 hours. It was while at home he realized the STARK contast of home life with The Savior as the head and the world contrast on the ranch.

Dane and him still set "game days" to get to the goals they want to achieve and to remember to get there. He elaborated on this. He said every week that everyone looked forward to the challenges, the "game days" where they could accomplish something they have never done before. He said that we should set a date (game day) and set our success in motion. He gave this
acronym.
G oals
A ccountability
M otivation
E ducation
Some spiritual insights he gave throughout his talk...
  • "You can't give what you don't have!"
  • "Pain is temporary, Growth is permanant!"
  • "Be accountable to God."
  • "If you haven't suffered, you haven't repented."
My favorite thing that he talked about was how before he left to sequestered state in the hotel his wife gave him a book To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses by Henry B. Iring.
There was a talk given by President David O. McKay that he quoted in there that taught the following principle,
“Man is a spiritual being, a soul, and at some period of his life everyone is possessed with an irresistible desire to know his relationship to the Infinite. … There is something within him which urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical and live in a higher and more beautiful world” (True to the Faith: From the Sermons and Discourses of David O. McKay,comp. Llewelyn R. McKay [1966],
244).That pull upward is far beyond what you would call a desire for self-improvement. When I felt it, I knew I was being urged to live so far above myself that I could never do it on my own. President McKay had it right. You feel an urging to rise above your natural self. What you have felt is an urging from your Heavenly Father to accept this invitation:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32–33).

That urge to rise above yourself is a recognition of your need for the Atonement to work in your life, and your need to be sure that it is working. After all you can do, after all your effort, you need confidence that the Atonement is working for you and on you.

I think that I really got what he was saying! I appreciated his words, the laughs, the spirit and his willingness to talk to me after and answer any questions that I had. It was a great night. It was fun to see someone that you cheered on, on your television set, right in front of your face and still working towards that goal of self mastery. I appreciated his hard work on the show and I appreciate his continued drive to have that GAME day and keep himself focused and his success in motion! Thanks Blaine for sharing your challenges, suffering and testimony with us tonight!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday: The Women in my life!

This past 2 weeks have been really challenging for me. I won't go into detail right now but some past issues have resurfaced and I am going through some stuff emotionally because of it.


I have been reflecting on my life and the things that I know and believe about myself and just being reminded of truly how blessed I have been and how protected I have been from some pretty ugly things that have happened.

Today I was thinking about my Mom. I am so blessed that I got her as my Mom. She is virtuous, lovely, of good report and praise worthy! She is a women of strength, determination and steadfastness. But most importantly she is someone worthy of being called Mom and I am so thankful that I get to keep her as that, FOREVER!

As I thought about my Mom, I thought about others to that have loved me, buoyed me up, praised me, listened to me, counseled me and just loved me right where I was at in the moment. I am TRULY blessed to be surrounded by ALL of you angels! Your comments on my blog, your texts, your phone calls, your own trials (watching how you dealt with them), chats, gifts, kind acts, hugs, but far beyond all that your EXAMPLE has done wonders for me in my life.

I know that my Father in Heaven loves me, because I feel it through each of you in countless ways! What great peace that is to know. It is something that I come back to anytime I feel weak, alone, scared or hurt. He is a constant in my life and I am so thankful that I have people who have taught me how to find him.

Thanks to ALL YOU women in my life for being YOU!
I need you and I love you!


>P.S. I am SOOOO thankful for technology so I can still hear the words of our Beloved President Hinckley. Oh how I still love and miss him dearly!