Monday, January 22, 2018

A New Year: Another Year of Church Attendance...with my children

Ahhh, church with toddlers. It's so relaxing! So spiritual! So uplifting!  Except when it's not. Which is the majority of the time. Church with small children is so hard. So hard.

In my life, I've had a couple crises of faith (yes, I just googled to make sure I spelled the plural of crisis correctly ha), but never in those periods have I straight up lost the desire to attend church. That is, until I had small children. Call me dramatic but it's true. How it's possible that a one hour meeting can leave me feeling absolutely depleted and discouraged by my children is one of the marvels and mysteries of life. And I am not the first parent to ever say, "is it even worth it to bring my children to church?? maybe I should take a 5 year-ish break except for Christmas and Easter ;)"

2017 was a hard year for me in losing the desire to go to church. I will never forget the worst time when we were visiting a ward on Easter, and a lady turned and loudly "shhh'd" my 2 and a half year old. That really has been the only time someone has been rude to me about my kids at church, but it was hurtful enough to want to send me into inactively attending church for who knows how long. I really don't know what I would do if this kind of thing were to happen more than once, because my emotions really are egg shell fragile about it.

But with that being said, the thing that has kept me going is that on all the worst Sundays throughout the year of 2017, there was ALWAYS a tender mercy of someone coming up to me and offering me words of hope and encouragement. Yes, even in that visiting ward on Easter. On a Sunday in our ward now, Victor was giving a talk and the boys were AWFUL. And then I was teaching Relief Society later. And after my lesson, a lady came and said to me "you have had a stressful Sunday." And as she encouraged me, I lost it. I started crying right then and there. Like I said, I am just so overly sensitive about this!

So even though 2017 was a year that I lost my desire to go to church (by that I mean that I do not look forward to church and view it somewhat with dread), I did not stop going to church, and I am better for it.

Sundays are still hard and I admit that sometimes the only thing that has kept me there past the sacrament meeting is the 2 hours of nursery afterward aka a break from my kids. But I see with each passing week the impact it has on my kids, especially my 3 year old. He comes home asking questions and wanting to talk about Jesus. Yesterday he asked me what our spirits are. So even with my 3 year old, I am starting to have pretty great spiritual talks, and that would never have happened if I gave up on taking him to church.

So it's worth it. Hard, but worth it. And I hope this year will get better and maybe a little bit easier? We shall see.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A New Year: Taking Care of My Skin

As part of my last post, I wanted to share another part of my New Year's goals. I was noticing in December that my skin really was not looking or feeling good. Blotchy, bags under my eyes, and chapped lips (that's probably dry Utah ha). So I was realizing that I really need to take better care of my skin--more than a splash of water in the mornings and evenings.

The first part of this goal (also part of my fitness goals) is to drink waaaay more water. I know hydration is the best for your skin. And then after that, I have started routinely using some amazing products my sister introduced me to: The Spirit Goat.

All of their products are made locally in Logan, Utah, and all naturally as well. The facial bar soap, white tea toner, and the goats milk soap and lotion is really what has been a game changer for my face. I never cared much before about the "all natural" stuff, but I am a believer now!

I went crazy on my visit to the actual store, because everything is fantastic. I got some lip balms as well, and I have seen such an improvement. I'm so glad they ship since I don't get to Logan often. 
The scent "Awakening" for soap and lotion is amazing. 
^^also helping with the bags^^

I seriously recommend them. Since regularly using their stuff for the past month, my skin has improved so much. I don't even put on foundation or concealer on anymore, and my skin is so soft. I'm obsessed!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A New Year

I've had a couple experiences within the last few days that have really prompted and excited me to actually make some New Years Resolutions. Everyone does it, and so it all sounds pretty cliche, but never I have felt more prompted and motivated to actually think about the reset that I need.

The first experience was last week I went to the temple by myself, and I had to wait about 45 minutes. When they told me that it would be that long, I shamefully thought how in the world am I going to pass that time?? I don't even have my phone! Bad, I know. It really was a wake up call that I need to more regularly focus my time to solely do something like study the scriptures. Those 45 minutes of waiting turned out to be a great study time, with no distractions.

Then on the long drive home to California, I caught up on my podcast listening. I had quite a few personal epiphanies, and I want to write about them, but not here. So I ordered a new journal for the first time in YEARS (bad, I know) to write about those personal things.

The podcast that was filled with so much amazing stuff was this one:

Shawn Achor's insights weren't anything super groundbreaking, but they reinforced things that I know I should be doing more of to feel happier. I highly recommend listening to it. Especially at this beginning of a new year.

So I bought my journal, and I joined the YMCA yesterday (I needed the no excuse mentality of a gym that provides childcare haha), and I stocked my fridge with lots of healthy stuff. I am such a cliche for New Years ha. But it really was necessary.

I have some other goals for 2018, but they are things that are kind of uncertain. But the physical and mental health and happiness of my body is something I am in complete control of. So that really needs to be my focus. I'm excited to see the changes.