Tag Archives: i’ll show you my

Things I’m Thankful For

For our November write up we’ve been posting what we are thankful for to correspond with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Admittedly this is one of the more difficult posts for me to make all year. I am not predisposed to positive, grateful thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am blessed and have many blessings, gifts and privileges many people in the world will never see. I am simply not an “OMG thank you so much!” type of person. Again, I know I have much and thus much is expected at times. Just know this is not an easy off the cuff list/post for me to make.

A good friend of mine encouraged me a few months ago to sit down at the end of each day, think about my day, and write down at least one thing or event from that particular day I am thankful for. It was a great idea and I did make the effort, for a day or two. The idea is to bring positivity into your life by acknowledging and realizing what you have, instead of pondering the things you feel you are lacking.

I also wanted to make this post different from last year’s post. I posted 30 things for 30 days of gratitude last year. This year I figure why not use the alphabet? It’s a great helper to keep me on track.

A: Acts of kindness. Performing or receiving, there is blessing for all.
B: Books. As nice as technology is and helpful to finish listening to a book, there is still something comforting about curling up on the couch (winter) or sitting out in the sun (summer) with a good book physically in hand.
C: Christmas Carols.
Yep I’ve been listening to Pandora’s Christmas channel for a few weeks now. 
D: Democracy.
Yes our governments are a mess but life could definitely be A LOT worse. 
E: Electricity.
I know this one sounds silly but with the experiences we’ve had living in the north east, electricity is definitely an invention I’m thankful to have in my life.
F: Family.
As dysfunctional as we may be at times, my family is mine. 
G: Grass.
Remember when you were a kid and running around the front yard with no shoes on feeling the fresh grass on your feet? My kids don’t either… we have no grass here in the rocky, weed growing woods.
H: Home-based businesses.
I am part of Younique but I also LOVE supporting and being able to purchase from my friends who also are working from home. Direct sales companies or crafty people. 
I: Indoor plumbing.
Oh Em Gee Becky. The privacy of my bathroom and ability to turn a faucet on to get water in my house.
J: Jesus Christ.
My savior and redeemer. 
K: Kid kisses.
The pure love from a child’s kiss to mom is so healing!
L: Love languages
M: Mothers.
Especially my own mom and Grandma. 
N: Nature.
I have not appreciated nature in the beginning of my life as I do now living in the woods. 
O:  (adult time) The big O (not Oprah).
Please don’t ask me to go into further detail.
P: Pregnancy.
It isn’t an easy 10 months, but I am blessed with the ability to carry and birth my children.
Q: Quiet moments.
With 3 kids, a dog and a cat; quiet time is few and far between. When those moments do come I cherish the quiet.
R: Ring.
More specifically my wedding ring. (sappy alert) It is my constant reminder of how lucky and loved I am.
S: Snuggles!
When I don’t feel good, (physically or mentally) a nice snuggle on the couch sure helps me. ok the kids too when they aren’t feeling well.
T: Tribes.
I’ve written a few posts about my different tribes (such as this one), we all have them and all need them. 
U: Underwear!
Yes more laundry but man what a blessing it is to have undies for everyone in my family, and multiple pairs! 
V: Vocal Cords.
Talking, singing, even yelling at the kids. 
W:  World wide web.
I am able to find so many answers, reach out to friends and family across the country and pretend I know the latest kid craze thanks to www!
X: (ya I’ve got nothing here)
Y: Younique.
I’ve been able to meet a lot of fabulous women and learn more about my own inner beauty by being a part of this company.
Z: Zumba!!
Great music + friends + dancing = a fat burning workout! Doesn’t get much better than that.

 

What are you thankful for? Do you have a daily gratitude journal? Share your blog post with us and link up below or put a few things you’re thankful for in the comments.

Next month join us for the last link up of the year and share a holiday recipe.

I’ll Show You My… Back to School

Can you believe it’s been a month already? Can you believe it’s fall?! 🍂 Where did the Summer go?

For our little brood school started almost a month ago. Our kids don’t need a lot of back to school supplies fortunately. The schools are pretty good about not requiring a bag of supplies brought in the first day. So most of our back to school is a new backpack and some clothes.

Let’s be real here, my kids aren’t the most gentle on their possessions. So most of the shopping we do is clearance and sometimes from second hand shops. There are great deals to be found. So we don’t spend a lot of money on back to school shopping.

I don’t think it really registered with my kids they were going back to school. Dawn didn’t even let me do the obligatory first day of school photo! Luckily Little Red let me snap a few of her before we headed off to the bus stop.

Little Red and Little Man first day of school
Little Red’s first day of 2nd grade

 

First day of 2nd grade is a success!

How was the first day of school at your house? Link up below.

 

Join us next month for fall fun activities.

I’ll Show You My Vacation

This summer has been a busy one around here. While we haven’t been out or travelling much with three kids from toddler to teenager, everyone has their own schedules and ideas of summer fun. On top of the kid schedules and summer ideals AJ has been keeping himself busy with travel for work and the National Guard. The poor guy needs some down time to unwind and relax. It seems even family vacations can be not as much fun for him, or me for that matter.

Our most recent family vacation was this summer just this month. I had a work convention in New Orleans with Younique and since none of our family had ever been there before we opted to make it a family trip. I think this sounded easier and better in theory. Don’t get me wrong, we had a good time but traveling with all the kids and exploring a city is not easy for one parent alone. Like I said, the man needs a vacation.

Our vacation started with our flight down to NoLa (New Orleans, Louisiana), read all about there here.  Once we arrived it was late at night and the 5 of us needed transportation. We hailed our first Uber! More on our Uber experiences later. Let’s get to why you’re here… our vacation!

We did a lot of walking around the city, our hotel was close to where I needed to be and downtown. My personal to do list while we were there frankly consisted mostly of trying the local food. Hey I know my priorities! Besides I was in classes most of the time during the day or had events at night.

AJ and the kids explored more than I did and they had a great time doing so. They walked around the city, visited the French Quarter, an insectarium and aquarium. (AJ has those photos on his phone, I forgot to snag them from him. I will edit the post with his photos later.)  The kids weren’t terribly interested in trying the local cuisine. They preferred McDs to local fried southern chicken. I still don’t understand that one, but hey no money or food wasted there I suppose.

There was a lot of rain, one day there was even a flash flood! We tried to keep inside during the downpour. We stayed safe but not dry. Later that night the power went out in our hotel, while we were trying to pack up for our flight home. No power, no water and no AC. I can officially check that off my list of things I want to do… ever.

Delicious food was what we had the most time for as a family and walking around Riverwalk near the convention center. I would definitely enjoy visiting NoLa again with AJ to explore the city more.  Enjoy some photos I have.

Brunch time at Ruby Slipper
Eating his yummy shrimp and grits for brunch.
Dawn hanging out
Art in an elevator
Jester statue
Dinner out with this guy (an a bunch of my gal pals).
Had to try fried green tomatoes with shrimp and grits
Delicious Beignets from Café du Monde
Waiting out the flash flood
Off to a ball
Homeward bound

Usually our vacations are near or with extended family, this was a nice getaway, even tho it was mostly a work trip for me. Where did you go this summer? Do you have a normal vacation spot each year?

What are your plans next year?  I’d like to go camping next summer and explore more of the woods and area where we live. A vacation doesn’t always need to be somewhere away from home. Post about your vacation? Link up with us below!

Join us next month for our Back to School post!

I’ll Show You My Fellow Blogger!

This month we wanted to mix it up a bit and introduce you to some other bloggers out there.  There are a lot of blogs out there in the far reaches of the internet. How do you find someone you can relate with? How do you know if a blog is a good one to follow? How do you choose to start a blog, let alone what you write about? Hopefully our fellow bloggers will be able to give you a guide in the right direction. At the least you’ll find a new blog to follow and expand your own blogger friend universe. Without further ado let me introduce you to my fellow blogger, Ashley Meir from The Rad Mommy (head on over and give her a like or follow on these other social media platforms:

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest


Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?

My name is Ashley Meier and I am a blogger at The Rad Mommy as well as a wedding and portrait photographer. My blog is essentially a mommy blog that focused on empowering and inspiring entrepreneur and working moms.

Describe how did you first get into blogging.
I really like to write and was looking for a creative outlet. I love business and I love being a parent, so why not combine the two :0).

Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I have experience with website design and maintenance, and also do a lot of blogging with my photography stuff so I think that helped. Also, just knowing how to find a following on social media has been huge, although I am still growing and finding my exact niche.

How would you describe your blogging style?
I am a conversational and informative blogger. I want my readers to get something out of what I am writing and delivering. I am also exploring podcasts and videos to help with that.

What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
I think Facebook Groups are huge, and then just connecting with like-minded people who do what you do, and want what you have to offer.

What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
I think it depends. Whether that’s light reading, education, products or services; it really depends on what the blog is trying to achieve. There is a need for it all.

What would be your ideal working environment? On the beach in Costa Rica 🙂 . I just love working on a computer with a big monitor and a cup of coffee or glass of wine close by.

How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Scheduling posts and not biting off more than I can chew. I am still getting in my rhythm but those two things have helped tremendously. Also just staying focused!

What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Writing about viral topics has yielded the biggest results for me thus far. And then having other people become my cheerleaders and share my content.

How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I want to truly define my niche, whether that will be working on getting high amounts of traffic or developing resources like webinars and courses for readers.

What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Not sure yet 🙂 . I think blogging can just get tedious and discouraging because it doesn’t happen overnight. But, I do see the reward in sticking with it, like anything in life.

Tell me about your proudest achievement.
When I had a post go viral! It was SO fun to see my numbers go up while looking at my “live” analytics.

Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Everyone and everything. Being a parent and being a business owner.

What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
I am a mom to two little girls and I run a super successful wedding and portrait business. I am on to my next dream of creating the life I want by working my way into the blogging worlds.

How do you think I rate your blog as an interviewer?
I think you will like it and hopefully find some good resources from it.

What do you do in your spare time?
I drink wine, travel, ride my bike to breweries, exercise and hang out with friends – all while mommin’ of course.

Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
I would like to have bloggers blog for me, so I can sip cocktails on the beach and focus my efforts on the content, instead of the marketing aspect.

What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Just seeing how slow growth is, and working really hard on content that doesn’t always get high traffic.

Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
My favorite right now is Melyssa Griffin. That girl is on her game and I learn something from her every time I read her stuff. There is no fluff there.

What inspired you to start your blog?
I wanted an outlet and wanted to start designing even more freedom into my life.

How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
I am still pretty new to the blogging life, but I think just focusing on consistency and then letting myself rest if I am not feeling it. Having expectations but not ones that make me feel like I am chained to it.

Can you tell me about few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
Just things I use. This is not really my blogging focus but might be at some point.

What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
The tedious work of formatting posts, designing graphics, scheduling social media posts, etc.

In the future where do you hope your blog will take you?
I really hope it can turn into my full-time job so I can officially step away from photography. I love photography, but long term I see more of myself in the inspiration realm of things.

Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?
Not yet :0). But I did run into David Spade one time at the Cheesecake Factory (but that was like 12 years ago, lol).

Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
Create some content, define my niche and start making more money on the blogging side of things.

What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
I have a lot more to do!

Did you have any professional help or did you created the blog yourself?
I created everything myself. I am into this DIY thing.

How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
I have about two posts a week, and am constantly posting on social media several times a day usually. Most of it is scheduled though.

How much time do you spend blogging?
Yikes! Not sure yet. Probably about 10 hours a week right now.

What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
I think it depends on where you want to focus your time. Long term I am thinking Pinterest might be the way to go though, because Facebook and Instagram are limiting the audience reach.

Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Absolutely! It is a great outlet. But know a direction you want to head before investing too much time, and don’t expect to be an overnight success.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is both my profession and my hobby. I am building a business here 🙂 .

A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
It is NOT easy, but it is doable. I think you just have to be focused on what you want to do, and head there. You will constantly be evolving though, so don’t expect to have all the answers right away.

 

Thanks so much Ashley for letting me interview you. It is a pleasure getting to know you behind the scenes of your blog.
I have learned a few things from this interview and hope all of you have as well. Do you have a fellow blogger you’d like to introduce us to? Link up with us below!

 

Monthly link up every third Wednesday!

I’ll Show You… What Makes Me Happy

Hey guys! Wow can you believe it’s the middle of April already? Last month we were talking about spring cleaning while there was still some frost on the ground. Before you know it summer will be upon us! Our topic for this month is what makes ME happy. I’ll admit I wasn’t too keen on this topic. I had no clue what I’d write about that I haven’t already in our November posts. The truth of the matter for me is I suffer from depression. Not the having a bad day I need a good cry depression. The debilitating, psychiatrist prescribes meds kind of severe depression. It isn’t something I talk about, I simply cope and try to manage myself. Finding and talking about what makes me happy did not sound like a good idea, I must have been having a downward day.

As I write this post  I am reveling in all of the warm weather we have been having.  I hope you’ve been enjoying your spring thus far. The sunshine and warm weather always seem to perk me up. I find myself with more energy and enjoying life a bit more during spring time than the other seasons.

The warm weather and sunshine seem to shine a light on life a bit better. I find myself smiling more and in a better mood, for the most part.  So what makes ME happy? Not my kids, not my blessings, but what do I enjoy for myself?.


I absolutely miss my sunny SoCal beaches but the forest where I live is filled with wonder. There are trails, rivers, mountains (ok hills for the Rocky Mountain natives), forests and majestic waterfalls all around. Hiking to a spot like this, while sweaty and sometimes exhausting, fills my happy cup every time.  I look forward to more spring hikes before the tourists show up and crowd our lovely nature.

It took spending half the morning alone, outside of our house to realize I really am happy with him. It isn’t because he’s my husband and I am suppose to love him and always be happy (we are SO not always happy together). We were simply running some errands and spending time together, enjoying the beautiful weather and little town we live in.  Being silly with AJ totally falls on my personal happy list.

I found this image here and how appropriate and true it is! In my car, at home, in my head… I LOVE music. Dancing, singing (not always the written lyrics), and creating music make me happy. I have always been involved in music since I was about 10 years old. I can play a handful of instruments and have been in a few choirs. I am by no means a professional but I don’t have to be in order for music to be on my happy list!

This right here says it all! It must tie into my love of music because Zumba is a blast! I’m sure part of it is also the amazing support of my gym Tribe but man it’s great! I may walk out sore and sweaty but I will have a smile on my face (or Jen might give us extra burpees next class).

I know this isn’t about my family, but part of my happiness is my family. When I am down and feel alone, forgotten and wonder what is the point. I try to remember what I have learned and become as a daughter of God. Our family has been sealed together for time and all eternity. The peace I find inside this knowledge and inside the temple helps lift my mood every time.

These are a few of my happy moments and places. For mental health it is vital to not only be grateful but to mark those things which make us happy. Find time to do something you enjoy, something which makes YOU happy.  What are some things you do for yourself to find happiness in your day?

~Christina

 

Next month we are doing a blogger interview. Would you like to be interviewed and featured in my blog? Would you like to interview a fellow blogger (doesn’t have to be me) and join us? I have questions all ready for you too! Let me know!

I’ll Show You My… Spring Cleaning

You guys I’m so excited about this month’s collab post! Spring cleaning is something that happens about every season around my house! If you’ve been to my house in the winter it may look completely different in the spring. This year is no different.

Truth be told I hadn’t anticipated moving the furniture, I thought I was happy with my current arrangement. Everything changed when I brought out the carpet cleaner! We’ve been living without a carpet cleaner for longer than I care to admit. I finally found one at a decent price with great reviews. I moved all of the furniture out of my dirtiest living space, the front room, and went to work. 

These are photos of my carpet before cleaning but after moving the furniture out. Gross, I know. I won’t show you the gobs of hair and pet fur this beast grabbed out of the carpet. It isn’t brand new but dang this is a great looking room again!

It was while I was cleaning the carpet I decided I wanted a change. I wanted the furniture back in the living room with the piano and gas fireplace. The big picture window is nice for looking out but the room felt too separate from the rest of our living space. So AJ and Dawn helped me move the pool table into the front room. Voila!

Of course the pool table was fully cleaned off and I am loving the new arrangement. We rehung the tv on the wall in the living room and it feels more like home.

Admittedly this was my biggest spring cleaning project to date. It was nice and warm here for a little while but Mother Nature decided to knock us back after springing our clocks forward. So I’ve put a lot of my major spring cleaning on hold for now.

I have been cleaning out closets of games, toys, shoes and clothes no one uses anymore. Those items are being collected in the garage to be donated locally. Purging the house of items we no longer use has been on my to do list for awhile and what better time than spring cleaning to clear it all out?

I will be cleaning the carpets in each of the other rooms when the temperature rises again, no sense in having wet carpets with below freezing temps outside.

Some of my other spring cleaning chores will be done this month and others will need to wait for warmer weather. Here are some of my regular “spring cleaning” tasks:

  • Scrub inside of washing machine
  • Move washer and dryer to clean floors underneath
  • Hose down screens
  • Clean window wells
  • Pressure wash outside house
  • Turn over mattresses
  • Clean window sills, under glass
  • Clean curtains
  • Check sink traps
  • Clear outside AC unit
  • Wash windows in and out
  • Play outside with the kids

My lists are always adapting to our busy lives. I don’t have a list I use each year simply a task list of items as I notice they need to be addresssed.

What are some of your spring cleaning tasks? Have you started spring cleaning yet? Link up with us and share your spring cleaning ideas and tips. Also see below for our schedule for upcoming collab posts.

I’ll Show You My… Love Language

Did you have a good Valentine’s Day yesterday?  How did you celebrate? Did you do something special? Go out to eat? Have a nice evening at home together? Spend the night in each other’s arms? Did you get a gift? This month for our Mommy & Lifestyle blog collab we’re talking about love!

This month we are changing things up for our mommy and lifestyle blog collab. We are starting to use a LinkUp so you ALL can join us at any time and link to everyone’s post. For this month I’ll Show You My… Love Language!

AJ and I had read this book and taken the quiz years ago prior to being married.  Since then we have retaken it with new results. Imagine that, how we communicate changes over time!

Learning what makes you feel loved is vital for a healthy relationship. If you don’t know how your partner feels love how can you ever let them know they are loved? This works both ways.

There is no right or wrong answer for how you feel loved. No language is better than any of the others either. It is a simple matter of finding and knowing what works best for you and those you love.

Think about it, have you ever bought someone what you thought was the perfect gift only to have them react nonchalantly? He probably doesn’t speak love with gifts.  Receiving gifts is one of the five languages. The other four are physical touch, quality time, acts of service and words of affirmation.

As it has been a few years since I last assessed my love language I took the quiz here.  According to the site the maximum possible score for each category is 12 and it is common to have two high scores, meaning two languages are important. Although one does usually have a slightly higher advantage than the other.  Want to dissect my love language? Here are my results…

Acts of Service: Me-7  AJ-9
Being a mom is exhausting and while AJ and I have had the “my job is more difficult than yours” argument on a few occasions he has learned to appreciate the stay at home mom aspect of my life.  This is from the Love Languages site:  “Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.” Oh my goodness yes! This is me!
It was interesting to me that we were on the same page with this one. When we talk he seems to me more of a words of affirmation.

Quality Time: Me-7  AJ-6
It is rare for us to have alone time so when we do I cherish it, even if the time is only 5 minutes. Having little ones at home makes it difficult to find our time, let alone quality time. Maybe this will change as the kids grow up and move on, who knows. Again, from the quiz: “Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.”

Physical Touch: Me-6  AJ-5
Physical touch did come in a close 2nd place so I’m not a complete ice box haha. When he holds my hand in the car, puts his arm around my waist or we are simply snuggling on the couch I find comfort in his touch. Even when the jerk is tickling me so much I’m about to pee myself a little. “Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.” Notice it doesn’t say sex…

Words of Affirmation: Me-6  AJ-8
Words of affirmation came in a close 3rd… they are all so close to each other! Hearing I am appreciated and he notices what I do for him and our family is important to me. If I’m not appreciated I feel I’m not doing a good enough job and no one is happy.

Receiving Gifts: Me-4  AJ-2
 Receiving gifts is on the bottom.  I do appreciate the little gifts he brings home from his frequent trips. It’s nice that he thinks of me. He’s made it clear I’m not easy to surprise or shop for, especially since I handle the finances.

All in all AJ and I speak relatively the same love languages. Having knowledge is power right? Use your love language to help improve your relationships today.

Share your love language with us and linkup below. We will have this option every month for you from now on.

Here’s what’s coming up for our I’ll Show You My… monthly posts.  Please join us and link up when we post every third Wednesday!

I’ll Show You My… Resolutions!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we are doing a New Year Resolutions post! Follow along in our series as we show you bits and pieces of our lives and who we are in our Mommy & Lifestyle Blog Collab. This month Katie, Tracy and I are joined by Dara and Jamie.

Each New Year seems to bring with it hope of revitalization and renewal of ourselves whether it be mentally, spiritually, physically or all of these aspects. Some of the more common “goals” seem to be to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, quit sugar, read more, spend more time with the family, etc. Usually by the end of January most people have quit their New Year’s resolutions.

I am no exception! For the last few years we have sat down as a family to write out our personal and family resolutions. Each year a few of our goals are met but for the most part we have forgotten or lacked in one way or another. This year I have chosen a different approach. First AJ and I sat down and discussed things we want to improve upon as a couple and as parents.

  • planning out Family Home Evening (FHE) for each quarter
  • consistently saying prayers and reading scriptures as a family each night
  • say yes more often
  • slower to anger
  • focus more on the whos than the whats

Some of my personal resolutions are linked to my 40 by 40 goals.

  • continue working out to get into better shape and a healthier weight (my ultimate goal is currently 175 lbs but I will see how my body shapes out as I get closer)
  • participate in and finish my first Spartan race
  • read scriptures daily in my personal study
  • find and make more “me” time
  • make memories instead of stressing about cleaning
  • including more whole foods with meals (yep means more meal planning)
  • get pregnant – yes I said it, now hopefully it will manifest!
  • read more! in addition to spiritual enlightenment I want to read one self-improvement and one novel per month… realistically it’ll probably be once a quarter…
  • be able to interpret for ASL

I really am looking forward to finishing a Spartan race this year. Most of the time I am elated and can hardly wait… other times the thought terrifies me. I look back over the last year and realize I have become stronger and may be able to handle it. This incoming year shows much promise and room for growth. Whatever 2017 might hold I am waiting with open arms to embrace my future!

Tell me some of your resolutions or goals for 2017. What are you focusing on this year? Do you make New Year’s goals?

 

I’ll Show You My…

Welcome to the October edition of our Mommy Blog Collab. This month Katie, and I are joined by Tracy and Dara. Pop on over to their blogs and get to know them as well. I hope you all are enjoying getting to know us better as each month we delve into a new topic opening our lives up a little more. This month we are on a different topic. I’ll Show You My Religion.

We have had a few diverse posts showing you in our collab how different we are. A few months ago we posted about our tattoos. Katie and Tracy showed us their tattoos with enthusiasm and excitement, even talking about more they hope to get in the future. Then there was my post…. I don’t have tattoos, members of my family do, I don’t.  We remain friends and I like to think our differences make us better friends as we can explore more aspects of life by talking openly and casually with each other. We aren’t always sprinkles, lollipops and rainbows but we are real. We listen.

What is a religion? Many words are synonymous with religion such as faith, belief, worship and church. Religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods, according to the Oxford online dictionary.  Sounds simple enough… let’s dig a bit deeper into that definition on a personal level.

I am a Mormon.

Mormon is the nickname given for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. LDS, LDS Church, Mormon Church; these are all synonymous with the Church. Where did the Mormon nickname come from? I’m glad you asked! The long in the short of it, we believe the Holy Bible to be the word of God, in the proper and correct translation given from God. There has also been a second record located and translated in these latter-days. The records follow families from Jerusalem as they escaped under the direction of God in the early years of the reign of King Zedekiah. The bible traces the history of the Jews, while these new records follow the families who left Jerusalem and eventually came to the Americas. Much as the bible follows and recounts the history of many people over a long period of time, this other record does the same. Think of it as prophets keeping a journal of the church and people. These records were compiled by the last righteous man of the people, a man named Mormon. He abridged the records together creating one book. This book is called The Book of Mormon. As this book is unique to our religion we are given the nickname Mormon. This is the average, as opposed to the short,  in the long of it so to speak. You may obtain your own free copy of this book here.

Who are Mormons? What do we believe? Basic and simplistically put members of the Church are Christians. There is a lot of information available if you want the facts and statistics. Here and here are a few. We do not practice polygamy. Most likely the information you have from watching TV shows, movies or plays is an inaccurate depiction of modern day Mormons. The exception to this is Meet The Mormons, real people, real life, not a reality show.

Where do I fit into all of this?

Well I was born into the Church, meaning my family were active members of the Church, attending and practicing their faith. As a baby I received a baby blessing in front of the congregation during Sunday worship, Sacrament meeting. Eight years later on a Saturday in December I was baptized a member of the Church, of my own free will.

This is similar to a confirmation in the Catholic Church as we are now accountable for our own actions and decisions, as far as our knowledge has allowed. I have been thru a rebellious stage in my life where I did not live up to my own moral standards and beliefs. By the time I met AJ I was a practicing, full-time, active member of the Church again. We married in a civil union then a year after he joined the Church, and was baptized, we were able to enter the Salt Lake Temple and be sealed together for time and all eternity as husband and wife as well as to our children. 

Our lives are normal, we are regular people living in a normal house in the middle of nowhere PA (also known as the Poconos). Each Sunday we attend services as a family. Sacrament meeting is comparable to mass, or communion. We partake of the Sacrament, think last supper, and are taught Gospel Doctrine by other members of the congregation. Sunday School is less formal. The adults have separate classes from the kids for the remainder of services. The third hour adults attend a second class but are taught in groups of men and women. The women attend Relief Society and the men are in a Priesthood class. The children are in Primary for Sunday school and auxiliary classes. Teenagers have a Sunday school class followed by Young Women and Young Men/Priesthood classes. There are also other activities during the week and get togethers throughout the year. All classes, meetings and organization are lead by members of the Church in a volunteer capacity. Our Scout groups, the youth leaders, even our ward leaders are volunteers. These volunteers are asked to serve in these capacities as a calling from God.

Every Sunday we have service. Every six months there is also a Church wide broadcast to the world. This broadcast is from the Church leaders in SLC,UT providing guidance, admonition and direction for members and the world. While there are guidelines and direction given all religion is individual.

Like other aspects of life, there are ups and downs, high points and challenging moments.  I do not know everything but I will continue to strive to learn and improve myself. I am a work in progress. I do know and believe my religion is a part of who I am. While I do sustain and follow the guidance of our Church leaders, I seek God as an individual. My relationship with Him and His son, Jesus Christ are very personal. I believe He speaks directly to me giving guidance and council as I ask and listen. The Holy Spirit guides and prompts when I am worthy.

One of my favorite quotes is framed with a picture of Jesus, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

I welcome any and all questions and comments about my post and religion. Please do so  respectfully.

If you wish to join us in this month’s blog collab post, tag back to this post or comment below. Interested in future topics of I’ll Show You My? Reach out to myself or Katie.

I’ll Show You My…

Has it been a month already? It has!! Time for September’s edition of mommy and lifestyle blog collab I’ll Show You My… with Katie. This month we are talking back to school haul!

Our kids are back in public school this year. We made sure to have enough of everything and then some for the entire school year, not only the start of the year, but all year long. With one child in 1st grade and another in 11th so they have different needs.  Not knowing exactly what the girls would need this year in school we stocked up on about everything they could need.

Fortunately, we receive back-to-school supplies thru Operation Homefront. They run a school supply donation drive each year and several military units are able to receive these donations. We are able to get a lot of supplies as AJ’s unit is small and there are enough for everyone. Half of these supplies are actually left over from the small supplies we received last year!

When school started we received notice from #2’s teacher she did not need any school supplies as she provides everything so it can all be the same. We will send in other supplies she needs such as disinfectant wipes and tissue. High school is a bit different and they are expected to be more responsible for themselves. #1 has supplies as she has seen fit to use, mostly composition notebooks, pens and pencils. Luckily we have enough of those and she seems to be doing well with them.

Did you get enough of your own school supplies? What does your stash look like? Post yours and link it back here!

I’m including a giveaway this month! I want to pass our blessings on to one of you! One person will win a flat rate box filled with school supplies! To enter simply make sure you are following my blog as well as Katie’s blog, then comment below! Entry deadline is Friday 16 September at 11:59pm ET.