#52 Stories- Week 7


Week 7

What have been the most important and valued friendships in you life?

This is tough! It’s like trying to limit myself to only one flavor of ice cream. All of them!  They are all important and valued!  But, I would have to say that the most influential friendships I’ve had are the ones that helped me become a better person, to stretch beyond myself.

As a child, I was soo shy. I wouldn’t even feel comfortable saying ‘hi’ to my friends.  I spend a lot of time being embarrassed.  My brother knew this and would purposely call out my friends’ names to make them look our direction, and I would be completely mortified!  I can only imagine how it looked to my friends: Me totally embarrassed to see them.  I’m grateful for those friends who continued to talk to and play with me when I was so awkward and weird.

I had a dear friend growing up, Linnaea, who was a free-spirit. She loved to be outside and play make-believe, usually fairy princesses or some other thing, like mermaids, or the like. If you know me, that is totally not my thing, it never has been, and never will be. I loved to be with my friend, but those imaginary games were torture to me. I always volunteered to be the bad guy, like Gollum, so I could be by myself and not have to pretend to be fairy and prance around. She seemed cool with that. We always had fun.

We did get into a lot of mischief together on other occasions. On time we pulled a bunch, actually more like a bushel or more, of vegetables from her mom’s garden thinking they were ready and presented them to her mom, so proud of our help at harvesting.  I think I went home shortly after that. Another time we pulled out all the eggs her parents had collected from their flock of organic hens….hundreds of them. We sorted them, weighed them and organized them, then…we forgot to put them all back in the fridge.  I’m sure she took a lot of heat for that one.  And a few times we may have left our muddy shoes on in the house, forgot to close the gate to the chicken coop, or let the turkeys out, and maybe rearranged everything in her mom’s feng shui meditation room.  Maybe.

Amazingly, she was a good friend who miraculously welcomed me back again and again, even after our costly deeds. Bless her dear parents.  Linnaea passed away at age 11. I was 12. To say her friendship changed me would be an understatement.  Losing a friend always changes you. If you let it, it can make you stretch yourself and become a better person, and this was the case. My friendship with Linnaea was one of the most important and valued friendships in my life.



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#52 Stories Week 6


Week 6

This month the focus for my stories is  ❤ Love and Friendship. ❤

This week’s question:

Do you know the story of how your grandparents met and fell in love?

Ha ha.  Well, we always teased my grandparents about how they met, because somehow the story got twisted into something ridiculous. At least my paternal grandparents. I have no idea how my mom’s parents met.  They are both gone now, so I don’t know if I’ll ever know. Sniff, sniff.

Here is the abbreviated version of the twisted tale of how my paternal grandparents met:

Grandma was hanging out at the Mexican bar in lovely Taber, Alberta.  Apparently, she was dancing on the pool table and her slip was showing.  Grandpa saw her and pulled her aside to tell her about her slip and the rest was history.  Lol.

Totally fake, albeit hilarious, because, #1. I’m not sure there was even a Mexican in Taber at that time, let alone a Mexican bar. #2. Grandma is a Mormon. She wouldn’t be caught dead in a bar, especially dancing on the pool table. #3.  Grandma is really short. I’m not sure she could get up on a pool table even if she wanted to.with a ladder.

Here’s what I think really happened.  Grandma and her girlfriends were walking down the street and Grandpa was hanging out with his friends, all recently returned from WWII.  Grandma’s slip was showing below the hem of her skirt, and Grandpa felt it his duty to let her know.  I’m sure it was a very awkward conversation, as Grandpa was very shy.  I’m so glad he wasn’t shy that day!  I’ll have to ask Grandma for more details!grandpa-and-grandma







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#52 Stories -Week 5


Week 5

What will be the greatest achievement of your life?

Hmm. My greatest achievement.  Well, honestly, my greatest achievement won’t really be my own, I don’t think.  My greatest satisfaction and my biggest desire, what I want more than anything else, is to know that my children know their Savior. And perhaps not just my children, but everyone that knew me, I would want for them to know that I knew my Savior, too, and that they could also know Him.

In the Bible, in Proverbs 22:6 it says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  And in The Book of Mormon, it says,  “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi25:26)

So, if I could only get one thing done in life, one achievement, it would be to make sure my kids knew Jesus Christ. Not just new about Him, the Bible stories and stuff, but really had a personal relationship with Him. That they believed in Him, and believed Him. And not just that they “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” But that they know and feel of His love for them and His love for all mankind.  That they know He wants to be with them, and wants them to be with Him because He loves them and they are precious in His sight.  I want them to love the Savior as much as I love Him. If I could accomplish that, I’d be good.

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#52Stories – Week 4


Week 4

What would you want your friends and family to learn about making and achieving goals from your example?

Ha ha. This one is tough…You see, I’ve never been a big ‘goal setter.’ I really struggled with setting goals as a kid, teen, and young adult, writing them down, breaking them into baby steps, checking things off along the way, etc. I mentioned how well I did last year, yes? (One out of 14 goals.)

I think I’ve always had the best of intentions, and I usually have a pretty good idea of where I want to go or what I want to accomplish. And I think throughout my life I’ve been fairly successful at achieving and improving. There just was never anything concrete about the process. Sure, I made lists, but those were often forgotten or lost and ignored. I never made posters or charts or notes to hang up or stick on the bathroom mirror to keep me on track. I didn’t have little log books or things designed to chart my progress or keep me on course.

So how did I make it this far in life without those things and still come out okay? I don’t know. What I do know is that I did have a few things going for me.

1. I’ve always had a clear vision of where I wanted to go in life. The big picture view. A few times I found myself wandering the wrong way. All I needed to do was acknowledge that where I was and what I was doing wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go, so I adjusted my life-course. Sounds easy, but wasn’t. It was painful. Maybe those little sticky notes would have helped me stay on track?

2. I have never been afraid of work. Yes, I’d rather be lazy and sit on a beach all day, every day. Who wouldn’t?  But I’m not afraid to take on the challenge, or task, or job required to get where I want to go. Sometimes the job isn’t fun. It’s mundane. It’s lame. It’s not fair. But if it’s necessary, bring.it.on. I’m ready.

So, whether you need to have your goals broken down into a million baby steps with charts and post-it notes all over the bathroom mirror, or set reminders on your phone, or calendar, it’s all good. Or if you are the poster child for Franklin Covey, and have to have ‘goal planning sessions’ with yourself and your 7 successful habits on a regular basis, it’s all good.  Or if you are like me, with only the big picture constantly in your mind and a willingness to take on whatever work comes into your path, it’s all good.  The important thing to remember about goals is that they help you become better. Whether they are big or little, PROGRESS is KEY. Baby steps, big leaps and bounds, slight re-adjustments in direction, just make sure you are heading up, not back.

You might find that  your best intentions (like mine last year) don’t get you as far as you had hoped. That’s okay. It’s okay to take as long as you need to make one baby step or one big leap. Sometimes we have to take it very slow.  And sometimes we have to take the same baby step again and again before we can move on.

What do I want my friends and family to learn about goals from my example?

Keep going. Keep working.  Keep the end goal in mind. Never give up.  Keep trying!  Keep dreaming, and dream BIG!

And maybe a few sticky notes would be helpful.

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I Created!

Not perfect, but my first attempt at my newest hobby? 

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#52Stories-Week 3


Week 3

What goals are you actively working towards right now?

Exercising.  This week I actually legitimately exercised 5 times!  5 times in row. And, I even missed not being able to exercise on day 6 (and 7, though  didn’t miss it as much).  Amazing, right?! Now to work on that food problem. Tacos are sooo good!

Practicing. I set a goal to practice the piano at least 30 minutes a week. I know, that very low, but I’m starting at ZERO, so I thought I’d make something attainable. Greta doesn’t like me to practice (or do anything that takes my attention off her, for that matter).  It has been a very quiet 4 years of no piano practice with her around.  So far this past week I’ve been able to do sit down twice, nearing 30 minutes total!

Creating.  This week Greta and I made some simple birthday cards. I don’t consider myself crafty at all, so this was a fun, little project we could do together. I think they turned out well for a project with a 4 year old, and the best part, we mailed them away already, so they are actually practical, too.

Blogging/Journaling.  I’ve made a goal to try and be more intentional in recording and blogging and/or journaling this year. So far, so good. Last summer I purchased a planner that is pretty intense. It helps me keep most things in one place, instead of my usual back-of-the-envelop method.  The more I use it, the more I realize that I am still using those envelopes for various other notes, including to jot down things to blog or journal. I’m contemplating going to a bullet journal when the planner is finished with the academic year. Then everything will be in one place, finally!


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Week 2 Question:

What is something you taught yourself to do without help from anyone else?

Well, long ago I really wanted to get crafty…I was a new wife, new stay at home mom in another country with not much to do and no where to go, what else was I supposed to do? The internet was new. My Space was the big thing, and I barely knew what to do with it. (I had like 3 friends on there.) There was no Pinterest. There was no Netflix. There was no Facebook.  I had a flip phone. I know what you’re thinking. Ancient. It’s okay. I own it.

So anyway, I decided I was going to learn how to knit. I bought a book which had a few pictures and instructions in the beginning of the basic stitches, plus more complex ones if I ever wanted. I’m a visual learner, so it was sufficient. I bought some needles, some yarn and after weeks and months of effort, I had made several successful projects. That was years ago. My career of knitting only lasted a few years at most, with only a handful of projects completed. I found that knitting is not a beloved pastime for me. I was always tense while knitting and it gave my hands cramps and my neck, aches. For the amount of concentration and focus it required from me, the pleasure was minimal. My favorite part about knitting was the finishing with a needle. Not technically even knitting.

I am proud to say I taught myself how to knit. I’m glad I tried. I’m glad I had the sense of accomplishment that comes from learning something new, and having taught it to myself. I’m also proud to say that I had the courage to walk away from something that took a lot of my concentration and effort, a lot of my time, because I found that it wasn’t for me. I learned most importantly that it’s okay to leave what you don’t love, even if you are invested in it. It’s okay to break free, and not look back. If it hurts you, get out!  Find new loves. Find old loves. Find other loves. Just find loves.

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