My Job List!

I have in my notes on my phone a list.

At first I called it: Past Jobs/Past Regrets. 

I have had many jobs in my life. I didn’t really mean to have many jobs, but it just happened. As my Darlin and I would drive around town here or there, I would say, “I worked there!” He said I needed to make a list. I thought that might be a good idea just for fun. So I did. I started my list with my first job after babysitting as a teenager.

Let me name a few of my jobs: picking cherries, fast food, summer recreation, t-shirt store, flowers, phone sales, motel, delivery, Fitness instructor, retail, amusement park, selling knifes, photographer assistant, Cosmetology, book store, personal assistant, dentist office, daycare, lunch lady, real estate, and insurance, just to name a few.

I can’t say I’ve spent a lot of time at each job.

Some jobs I just tried, to see how things went.

Sometimes the employer called me to offer me a job. Yes, that happened.

Sometimes I was in desperate need of a job to help pay bills, and took what I could get.

Sometimes I wasn’t a good fit for them, sometimes they weren’t a good fit for me.

I wouldn’t trade any experience I have had. I have learned so much, and all of that experience is part of who I am.

I ran into two of my friends at the grocery store, and they were asking about my job at the flower shop. I told them how much I love it. How blessed I feel to have it. Somehow my job list came up in the conversation. They said they wanted to see it. I pulled out my phone and showed them the list. They scanned down the list, asking about this job or that. I would tell them about some of my experiences. They said they didn’t even want to go to that many interviews, let alone work at that many jobs. They told me I was brave, motivated and amazing. I loved that. They said, “You need to change the name of your list to: “My Bravery and Experience”, list, which I did.

My last job on my Bravery and Experience list is my last, best job @ the flower shop!

I love my job! Sometimes you have to go through some hard, not fun, jobs to get to your last, best job! I’m glad I have “My Bravery and Experience” list, and to have all the bravery and experience to go with it!

Lessons

I love this misty picture of our new, old house. Built in 1906.

For the last little while I have not been my best self.

I do put quite a bit of pressure on myself to get things done. I am always trying to do so many things that at the end of the day I usually say, “I didn’t get enough done.” or “I feel like I’ll never get this or that finished.”

So with our move almost 3 years ago, I really struggled with feeling my best. I have depression, and I had just been through one of the biggest changes of my life.

We moved after living in the same house and neighborhood for 18 years. We moved to a smaller house planning for the future and simplifying our lives, which made us empty nesters. I had looked forward to this time, but did not anticipate how hard it would actually be. We had all our kids with us at the other house, including our married son, his wife and our grandbaby, who lived in a little apartment in the basement. We saw them all the time. Our middle two kids had been home from LDS missions for a couple of years, and we had just received our youngest daughter home from her LDS mission in December and moved in March. I still struggle with that, because I wish I’d had more time with her at home before she got married. Now she’s married and lives about 45 minutes away and I usually only see her every other week for Sunday dinner.

FYI. I took the love language test and my love language is time.

So there came a time shortly after the move that I could not stop crying. I have taken medication for depression for many years, but it wasn’t helping this sadness. This sadness, was coming from knowing that my time of being a mom with my children at home was over. I was so lonesome for them. They were raised, and now adults living on their own. My usual routine was completely different.

There were days I couldn’t leave the house. There were days when I didn’t get much done at all. There were also times I felt like my eyes would always be swollen from crying. I practiced saying many positive mantras, lot’s of prayer, focusing on blessings, and the beauty of the world around me, and I think we tweaked my medication.

As I was studying one day, I found a talk by Elder David A. Bednar. In it he talks about spending a Sunday afternoon with one of the other apostles Elder Robert D. Hales as he was recovering from an illness. Elder Bednar asked Elder Hales to share a lesson he had learned through all of his responsibilities as he has grown older and been constrained by decreased physical capacity.

He said,  “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”

This was perfect for me especially as I adjusted to my new life as an empty nester, my new routine, neighborhood, and house. I had to be patient with myself. I had to say “No” when people asked me to do this or that, knowing it was too much for me at that time. I am doing much better, now. I still have days that are tough sometimes, but I know that, when I cannot do what I have always done, then I only do what matters most.

I am so grateful for lesson’s!

Happy New Year! Happy 2018!

Happy 2018!

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

-Minnie Louise Haskins

Whenever a new year starts, I think of this introduction to Minnie Haskins poem. I am always a little apprehensive about the new year. Will it be a year of learning, growth, love, and success? Maybe it’s not good to have expectations. I don’t always do well when things don’t turn out the way I was hoping or planning. I know realistically, that there will be challenges, that’s what life is all about. We never really know what the new year will bring. Let’s see what happened in 2017.

This past year has brought many blessings and challenges:

*We were blessed in our family with a new grand baby. She is such a sweet little soul and has been so much fun to love and watch her as she learns new things. I can’t imagine my life without her.

*We found out that a family member has cancer. It’s tough to know those we love are going to suffer. Its hard to know how to love, and help them. Maybe praying for them is enough.

*We lost my husbands mom. She was 82 and lived a wonderful live, and had been alone since the passing of her husband a few years ago. I believe they are together now.

*Our young nephew passed away unexpectedly. He has been sick, but not with something we thought would take his life. He will be missed and I know hearts are broken from the loss.

*I was blessed to find and work at my dream job, at a flower shop. I love the flowers, the people I work with, and my boss is wonderful. I am so happy to have a job that allows me to make a living, and be creative. It is also a blessing to be able to bless other peoples lives with something beautiful that can ease sadness, and put a smile on their face. I love it!

* I have a family. They are a big part of my life. I am so grateful for a wonderful husband and amazing grown children. I have two perfect daughter-in-laws and one super son-in-law, the most precious grandchildren you could ask for, and extended family that are the bomb! What would I do without them? I don’t want to think about it. I have ancestors whose example and lives help me to keep going. Family is the best!

The thing that helps me as I think about the new year, is that God is a part of my life. All our lives. He is there to listen, bless and help us as we travel through the year. His hand and guidance is “better than light, and safer than a known way.” His love can help us through anything. Sometimes during the busy, hectic days I have to stop, and just listen. Feel my heart beating… is He close?  Yes. I know He is. Say a little prayer, and tell Him how much I love Him. I know He will help me as I go on my way. He will help you, too.

This last few years I’ve really struggled with depression. I have so much sadness at times. I have not done a great job on this blog, but I want to do better, and that is my goal. I hope that what I say can be a blessing to someone reading this.

Best wishes for the New Year! 2018!

Change: Out With the Old, In With the New!

Sometimes change is a good thing!

First the old: It all started 30 or so years ago my hubby became a locksmith. It was a choice he might not have made, except his dad decided to learn how to do it too. He was a locksmith full time for at least a year. It was a big investment financially in the beginning. There were tools, machines, keys, etc. to buy to get started. Then we realized it was not the job for us. Many things about the job made it a hard job, on call on holidays, no insurance, on and on. Even though my darlin kept the tools and machines for all these years, he didn’t do it as his job. He had moved on to better opportunities, and at this time has a great job with many benefits.

Now for the new: Like I said this locksmith job was many years ago, and we have had the tools and machines for all this time. They were taking up room in our tiny garage, and it wasn’t leaving enough room for the car. I said, “Why don’t you put all these things from locksmithing in the trunk of you car, and then when you are driving around town you can stop at a locksmithing business here in town and see if they want to buy these things?” He agreed and put them in his trunk. About six months later, he came home from running errands and said, “Guess what? I sold my locksmithing stuff.” Yay!!!

I wondered what he would do with the money.

He had such a great idea. He decided to buy a tennis racket stringer. The best part about that, is that he loves tennis!!! He is good at tennis, and plays at least once a week with friends. He had spend time and money on the locksmithing stuff so it was hard for him to part with them, but it ended up being a really great thing!

I’m so glad! 

Visiting Puffin’s? It’s a Happy Place!

There are some things in life that just fill my heart with happiness! One of those things are

Puffin’s!

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All of God’s creations are amazing. I always try to make a habit of noticing and truly appreciating the beauty and wonder around me.

On my list of favorites is this cute sea bird called a Puffin. 

The Puffin is a small, black and white bird, with a colorful beak. It’s beak is not always colorful, but during the breeding season it is colorful. They can dive deep to fish for food, or fly for long periods of time. When they rest on the open sea, they can sit on the ocean and ride the waves. These cute little birds mate for life, but separate during the winter months coming back to the same place during breeding season. The female only lays one egg and she and her mate take turns sitting on the egg and feeding the Puffling once it is hatched. Yes, the young Puffin is called a Puffling! I could watch them for hours.

That brings up the reason for the post, I found a bird cam that is on Seal Island in Maine, Puffin’s breed there and Audubon has a camera so I can watch them as long as I want. Here’s the link for you!

It is called the Puffin loafing ledge.

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The Puffin’s are truly an example of living a good life.

First: The never forget where home is. Second: They mate for life. They separate for a time and return to each other. Third: They work hard for their food and to feed the family. Forth: They know how to soar and they know how to dive. Sometimes life gives you ups and sometimes life gives downs. Fifth: When they need a break, the take it easy and float on the waves. You could say they “go with the flow”.

Maybe we can all learn to be more like Puffin’s!

7

Today, it has been 7 years since I started my blog!

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It’s my blogiversary!!

So here’s a list of 7 things I’ve learned blogging for 7 years:

1-Always remember why you do it.

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I don’t spend a lot of time on other peoples blogs. I am trying my best to get a grip in my life and sitting on the computer all day doesn’t help. So if I don’t have a lot of visitors, because I’m not commenting all the time on others blogs, I’m ok with that. I am leaving a journal with stories and what not for my family and anyone else who would like to visit. I love you all!

2-Put your best foot forward.

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I struggle sometimes. I prefer to not focus on complaining. It’s really not me anyway. I am a joyful person! I am always looking for the blessings in life.

3-Have variety.

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If I always focus on one topic, it’s like I’m talking in a monotone voice. That’s not very fun! So it’s good to mix it up.

4-Be totally honest.

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I am, what I am. I love to share what I feel and the adventures I’m having. Sometimes, life is challenging. Maybe if I share how I’m working through a challenge it might help someone else. Who’s to say…;)

5-It takes a lot of effort sometimes, and that’s ok.

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Remember Dory? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

6-“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

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I am a firm believer that love conquers all. I don’t agree with everyone on the internet, and I know they don’t all agree with me, but we can be kind and show love for other humans when we communicate.

7-Sharing what matters most to me is fun!

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Sunday’s really are Best! Family History is so fun! Missionaries make me happy! Beautiful Places are beautiful! My Darlin, First Born, Janet, Dream Come True, Most Quoted, Amber, Bonus Baby, Anthony, Grandbabies, and Tayzie mean the world to me! Someday this blog will be a treasure for the people I love, maybe it is already. Either way, it’s here and waiting for a visit from all!

Thank you for visiting! I hope you return often!

Love, Joy

 

Expectations!

I’ve been going through boxes…still.

I moved a year ago, we downsized.

Somethings you can go through quick, and junk or donate. Somethings take time, like the kids school papers, and family memorabilia. My expectation was that I would scrapbook, or organize as we lived, and experienced the things that are now in boxes, while we were experiencing the memory.

Wrong!

I was busy when they happened,

Living!

Now, if you’re one of those mom’s like I was, don’t be hard on yourself. Do the best you can, and someday you can be like me. 😉 I found some pictures today of my kids when they were just tiny. With tears streaming down my cheeks I thought of all the fun we had as a family when they were little. It was the best! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!!

If I had organized all the things I meant to, I wouldn’t be spending time today thinking about how blessed I’ve been to have children, a sweet darlin, and wonderful memories of all of us growing together!

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Riley 2 years old with Uncle Brad

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Alex 6 months old with Grandpa

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Riley 5 years old and Kelsey 2 years old (me in the background)

Are You Feeling It?

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I stated in a post several months ago that I struggle with depression. 

The end of March marks one year in our new (old) home.

It has been quite a year! 

These are the things that happened in the last year:

1-We sold our home of 18 years. Left a wonderful neighborhood and church family, and moved to a new wonderful neighborhood and church family.

2-We bought a darling new home, built in 1906 and half the size of our old home.

3-We all lived together in our old home. My oldest with his sweet wife and baby in the basement apartment while they looked for a home, and our three other young adult children going to school, etc.

Not anymore! Oldest son and wife, Riley and Janet bought a home, second son Alex bought a home, and the girls, Kelsey and Emily moved in with him.

Which means….we became “empty nesters!” (Much more difficult than I anticipated)

4-Second son, Alex met and fell in love with his sweetheart, Amber. We had a wedding in October!

5-Girls no longer want to live with brother, Kelsey moves back with us, Emily moves in with Grandmother.

6-Quit my job. It was just too much.

7-Emily met and fell in love with her sweetheart, Anthony. We had a wedding in January. Spent the whole month of January sewing, creating centerpieces, and ordering wedding decor.

Not to mention, that since 2010 we sent Riley to Boot Camp, Alex to South Africa to serve a mission, Kelsey to Texas to serve and mission, and Emily to the West Indies to serve a mission, we received them all home and had three weddings, a funeral for my father-in-law and many other changes, including health issues for my parents. This last five years have probably been the busiest time of my life.

I’m only telling you all of this, because sometimes I think life just wears you out!

I wouldn’t change any of these experiences for anything, but I feel pooped. The state of my mind doesn’t help sometimes.

The reason I titled this post “Are You Feeling It” is, because I consider feelings very important.  There are feelings of worry, fear for the future, for the safety of family, etc. Sometimes when I have feelings come to mind that are not helpful to me, I have learned some pretty good coping skills, like looking for all the good things that are happening, also making sure I am taking care of myself.

I would say the feeling I long for most on a consistent basis is Peace. I really want to feel that all the time, but that may be too unrealistic.

There are times when I want to feel close to my Father in Heaven. It’s not that I don’t feel Him to a certain extent, but not the way I want to feel Him. It could be my happy pill, sometimes I’ve heard from others taking medication that they can’t even cry. The pill makes them feel numb. I need the pill to be my best, but I want to know He is there for me. That I am of infinite worth to Him. I want to know He is hearing my prayers and answering them.

I have decided it is an issue of Faith, for me. I was studying Faith and thought, maybe I don’t have enough Faith.

In the Bible dictionary it says Faith is a principle of action. You know how people say to “exercise” Faith. I thought that explains a lot…I never really like to “exercise.” Haha 🙂 (I wish I could say I was kidding. I know, exercise releases endorphins.) So anyway, if Faith is a principle of action, I decided to make a list of things I could do to “exercise” Faith. Here it is: Study my scriptures, pay my tithing and offerings, attend all my church meetings, take the sacrament in a meaningful way-thinking about the Savior and His atonement for me, doing my best at my church calling, also really putting an effort into saying heartfelt prayers at least morning and before bed. I already do these things, but maybe not my very best effort. I committed to build my Faith.

And guess what?

It helped. I started noticing things in my day going smoother, or having some tiny insignificant thing go just right. I even had answers to prayers come in a way I could not deny. I know there may be some doubters, but I felt it! I felt Him. I felt Him loving me and I am feeling much better than I have for a year.

If you are struggling with your Faith, do your best to put your desire to increase your Faith into action. This lets Heavenly Father know you are willing to do your part, to act, to meet Him in the middle or even more. Whatever it takes, do it! I can say I can Feel it, and I am so grateful for my increased Faith.

Busyness, Etc.

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Where do I start? 

I have been a slacker…..Only in my blogging!

Life is so wonderful, and hard, and awesome! Our family had a wonderful blessing on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Our daughter Emily, my Bonus Baby was married for time and all eternity to her sweetheart in the Jordan River Temple.

It was wonderful!

It was a blizzard.

It’s was very overwhelming and fun!

I have had my two son’s get married, but this is my first wedding for a daughter. Let me just say there is a big difference in what you do to get ready for a son to marry, as opposed to what you do to get ready for a daughter to marry. I have been sewing, and hot glueing and organizing for weeks and weeks for this blessed event.

It all turned out great!

Now that we have had our day with Em, I’ll share some of our preparations with you.

I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in preparing. I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned. I will share pictures and fun ideas.

Watch for my next post!

Expectations!

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Expectations!

Is it good to have expectations?

I don’t know…except to say I have had and continue to have expectations about my life. Has it beneficial? I would say no. Things don’t always turn out the way we expect them to, I would say they rarely turn out the way we expect them to.

When Kelsey, my “Dream Come True” was in high school, she would say that when she graduated she wanted to go visit New Zealand! As her time in high school continued, she changed her plans…knowing that the chances of making it to New Zealand were slim to none.

Her next plan was to go to the “Four Corners!” 

Definitely more realistic.

Guess what? She didn’t do either one! She went to New York City for a week and stayed with her aunt and uncle who live there (She let me and Emily come too).

It was a blast! We love NYC!!!

Did reality match her expectations? Was it still ok? You bet!

I think we all need to relax, and enjoy life! (I’m saying this for me:))

I am still working on this, but it seems so many times that what I expected, or wanted to happen in my life doesn’t happen, and what happens instead is wonderful!