Thursday, December 9, 2010

Everything Christmas

I know you would probably expect this post around this time of year - but I have to say that almost every day for the past little while something Christmas has put me in a good mood. Whether it is reading a daily special Christmas story from a book of stories given to our family. Or waking up and seeing that our Christmas Tree lights have already been turned on by my husband who loves to have them on morning and night. Or downloading great classic Christmas songs to put on my IPod  like Mariah Carey's "O Holy Night" and "All I Want for Christmas is You" or Josh Groban's "Thankful" or Michael McLean's "The Forgotten Carols".  Or my favorite - the Hilary Weeks Christmas Album. Or getting a package in the mail from my mom with early Christmas goodies in it. Or seeing neighbors who actually make the effort to put up Christmas lights despite them getting covered by 41 inches of snow.  Icicle lights. Red and Green M&M's, The Salvation Army Bell ringers, Receiving Christmas Cards from Old and New Friends in the mail, finding a good deal on just the right present for just the right person, watching our Church Leaders give a Christmas Devotional, taking time to remember what Christmas is all about, having my daughter re-enact the "Rudolph" play she went to on a field trip, having a snow day, ornaments, twinkling lights, Stephens Hot Chocolate, scarves, going with the kids to the Dollar store to let them pick out presents for each other. Singing bedtime Christmas songs, and more....all these special things put me in a daily good mood. This time of year is a natural good mood enhancer IF you slow down and allow it to be. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sucking it Up...

Have you ever thought of what a great invention vacuum's are?  What did people do before vacuum's? Sweep? hand pick up? Well today I officially admit to having a crush on my vacuum. Since we have moved to our new house I have not had a good working vacuum.  So for months I have wanted one and finally broke down and researched and read reviews etc.. and finally decided on one.(pictured above) I got it yesterday and was like a little girl in a candy store putting it together today piece by piece.  As I ran it over my nasty floors I realized that I LOVE to vacuum. I had no idea how much I loved and appreciated a good vacuum job until I hadn't had one for 4 months.  It was awesome and I feel so much better about my house and my day because my floors are clean and I didn't have to get down on my hand and knees to get them that way. I love it and having a powerful suctioning vacuum is a great mood enhancer. So "suck" it up and vacuum your house and if your vacuum does not suck like mine didn't - then go buy yourself a new one and enjoy vacuuming all over again. It is an awesome feeling. Ahhhhhh.......

Monday, November 22, 2010


This time last year I had the experience to be in a woman's choir directed by the amazing Merrilee Webb. My sister talked me into it and it was a life changing/attitude altering experience for me. The first thing Merrilee shares with you is her story from living in Hawaii and about the Hawaii people's "HA" or breath of life (life energy) and the whole spirit behind the AloHA or the Aloha Spirit.  So when the Hawaii people say AloHA they are breathing life into you.  Merrilee's whole goal is to teach you how to make a difference everywhere you go by your attitude and how you present yourself - to smile to give energy off to the people around you and create friendships and wonderful relationships. It was inspiring and like I said life changing. She has such wonderful stories and she makes you laugh and cry in the same five minutes. I loved my experiences in that choir last year. We were the choir that sang on the day after Thanksgiving on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah last year when they lit up the square with Christmas lights and it was awesome. We all made Hawaiian lei's to wear around our necks and the Christmas music we sang was just beautiful.  We would do a Hawaiian chant at the beginning of all our rehearsals that I will play back on the CD sometimes when I am feeling down just to remember that experience and to remember what the chant meant. Here is the chant and it's interpretation:


So when I am in a bad mood I think of the difference one smile, one AloHA can make to someone and I think of the wonderful spirit I felt at every rehearsal in that choir and it puts me in a good mood. So aloHA... go and breathe energy or life into someone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

High Five

I love the act of the High Five. It is such a positive thing.  From infancy you are taught how to give a "high five".  One of the reasons I love them so much is because they can almost never be negative. You would never say to a friend "I am having the worst day ever - please give me a high five" - it just doesn't work. The act of the "High Five" dates back centuries I am sure but for my life "high-fives" have meant a million different things. I remember playing that game when I was little with high fives, you know the one...."Up high, on the side, down low - too slow...etc.." and laughing hard at tricking people. I love watching and playing this game with my kids now. Pure joy. Then as I grew up a little I played sports, so high fives on the field or court or wherever usually meant encouragement to do a good job or to actually say "good job - you did something great".  I would make up 'high-five secret handshakes" with my friends that would include all sorts of high five-ing and cool things that would make me feel like I had something special with people. Then as I started dating the joke would come about of "high-five-ing" on the porch after dates. And I still remember the high five with the lingering hand hold I gave my husband before he left for two years to serve our church.  My husband loves high fives and always has. He would give high fives to everyone in a room when he was leaving and made every person feel special. I see him giving them to my son when he plays basketball with him and I saw him give them to his High School students all the time for encouragement and praise.  How can someone not feel special if you give them a high five? How can you not feel special for giving one out? So next time you are feeling down just ask the next person you see to give you a high five or make up a secret high five handshake with a friend or even play the "down low too slow" game with someone. I love high fives. They are sure to put you in a good mood.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have always loved to swing whether on the playground or on the dance floor - swinging is one of my favorite things to do.  As fate would have it, this is also one of my daughter's favorite things too.  I try to avoid playgrounds with swings because if there are swings that is all she will want to do is be pushed the entire time we are at the park.  It will be a great day when she learns to pump her legs, but until then I push and I push and I push. There could be a rollar-coaster or ferris-wheel at the park, but all she will want to do is have me give her "under-doggies" on the swings. At my elementary school growing up there was these type of swings where you had handlebars you pulled with your arms rather then having to pump with your feet. I think they were designed for handicapped kids. As kids however, we would get one kid on back one on front and one sitting on the seat and we would get going so high and I would love that feeling. Of course, eventually, they were taken out and replaced by something safer - but every recess would bring pure joy and fear as I prepared to board those swings with my friends. I loved them.  So the other day I finally found a park near my new home and of course all my daughter wanted was to swing. So I start to push her and I start to enjoy giving her under-doggie after under-doggie and to tickle her when she swings my way. To see the joy I remembered reflected in her eyes was something special. However, I then realized that my swinging days are not over, I climbed on a swing myself and started pumping and pumping until I was flying very high. I would put my head back and swing down and after the nausea wore off I remembered what it was like to be a child and to swing and that feeling of fear and joy you get on swings. I get that feeling now that I am a grown-up but it usually comes from seeing if checks I write will clear the bank. :) So to feel that innocent joy again put me in a good mood for a really long time. So if you're having a bad day - go find a park and either push your kids on a swing with a few under-doggies or climb on one yourself, let go and remember the feeling of pure joy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make your Cake and Eat it Too

I have been watching episodes of "The Cake Boss" lately and have seen Buddy make some absolutely incredible cakes. I mean everything he does with cake is absolutely crazy and unbelievable and looks delicious.Watching all those cakes being made and eaten made me crave some cake so I got a Halloween fun-fetti cake mix with matching frosting from Wal-Mart (Buddy would not approve) and made me a cake. One thing about living not so far above sea level is that things turn out more moist and I LOVE it!!!  So my cake may not have been some amazing decorated thing but every time I walk by it I take a little bite and smile.  I let my kids have some last night and it put me and them  in a good mood even though my youngest only eats the frosting (where did she learn that from?). Then I was thinking about it and realizing that cakes really are a happy food. They are usually made for some happy occasion and every recipe I have had is delicious and eating it makes me happy (except when thinking about the calories, but that is another post altogether)!  So next time you are in a funk either drive to New Jersey and order a cake from The Cake Boss watch an episode of The Cake Boss for some inspiration or make your own - but any way you do it - it will put you in a good mood. Bake your Cake and Eat it Too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Inside Jokes

Today I was thinking about inside jokes and how fun they are to have.  There are a number of people in my life that all I would have to say is one word or phrase and we would be laughing forever. With my roomies from college all I would have to say is "retainer" or "silverware" or "bike tire" and we would not be able to stop laughing. With my husband all I would have to say is "Amberly" or "hokey-pokey" or "panini fries" and we would be splitting a gut. With my brother all I would have to say is "bub-rub" "sledding accident" or "leprechaun" and we could go on for hours.  Inside jokes are gifts given to us to remember when something hilarious happened that made us laugh really hard. They are memories. Mostly good, some embarrassing and some stressful that became funny after the fact.  I probably have at least one inside joke with almost everyone I know whether they know I do or not. :)  Today being able to think up some of my old inside jokes and memories I put myself in a good mood. Try it - it's fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You're the next Contestant...

The other day I was on the treadmill at the gym (natural good mood enhancer - exercise) and I plugged my headphones into the channel that was showing "The Price is Right". It had been a LONG time since I had watched this show. I mean I haven't seen it since the "remember to spay and neuter your pets.." Bob Barker days. I forgot how much I loved this show. The first guy up was so excited - you know how they get - jumping up and down pointing to the audience etc.. well this guy was especially excited. Just watching him made me excited for him. So of course it was revealed that he would be able to try to win a brand new Jeep Cherokee. Well if you thought this guy was excited to be a contestant now he was overcome.  He was getting down doing break dance moves and his girlfriend in the audience was fainting. Well as luck would have it, he won that Jeep. And watching him get excited made me smile and even laugh out loud (those people exercising by me without headphones probably thought I was nuts but, Oh well).  And then watching contestant after contestant get excited to be called and excited if they won - that show is all about happiness - happiness that you have got a quick chance to do something great -to earn a quick reward. I decided then and there that first of all, someday I want to be a member of that audience and second of all, that show puts me in a good mood. Watching Joe Shmo off the street try to win awesome prizes just has a way of putting a smile on my face. So DVR a few episodes of Price is Right to watch on your hard days. It is sure to bring a smile to your face and maybe even a chuckle. And you might even learn the correct price of a hand blender - so double the benefit and watch. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Shhh" Whip Cream

Tonight my kids wanted ice cream. So me, being the wonderful mom I am gave them ice cream and for a treat I had bought the "shhh" whip cream. You know what I am talking about the kind that goes "shhhh" when you push the little nozzle to the side. The yummy deliciousness of pure air colliding with sugar and cream = "shhhh" whip cream.  So after scooping them up some Cookies and Cream Great Value ice cream in the paper carton (best cookies and cream out there by the way - introduced to it by a friend to whom I am forever in debt :))  Anyway I scoop it up and then put some "shh" on the ice cream in their bowls and then straight into my mouth. Well of course my kids want to try some straight into their mouth too. So there began a hilarious family moment of putting "shhh" whip cream into my kids' mouths and having them crack up so hard when it got in there that it came right back out their mouth or nose and sometimes they actually swallowed it. So what if I had a huge mess to clean up at the end - the "shhh" whip cream brought me laughter and joy and made my kids smile and laugh.  Thank you for compressed air. Thank you "shhh" whip cream for being so delicious. Today you put me in a good mood. So go out and buy a container of it and when you are sad - open the fridge - spray some straight into your mouth and feel the guiltless fun of the "shhh".  I think it is pretty low in calories too - such an easy cure to those bad days.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Country Living

I used to stare at the pages in Country Living magazine and love seeing how people lived where there was such beauty all around them. Growing up in the west has it's own beauty - I'll say that - but I would dream of the fall's people were experiencing in the East where there were millions of trees with all the gorgeous leaves and fall festivals and pumpkin patches etc... I have never really experienced fall I feel until moving here. It is absolutely incredible. Every time I go out on a drive I feel I am on a scenic parkway. The reds and golds are beautiful There are multiple farms that let you come pick apples and pumpkins and have activities for the families. I LOVE it! I have fallen in love with fall all over again. A couple days ago we drove out to a farm to do some activities and the drive out there was unbelieveably beautiful with the scenery. There was a gorgeous lake in the middle of it all and the trees surrounding it seemed like they were on fire because of the colors and I was just awestruck with how close I live to so many beautiful spots. This put me in a good mood. Everyone keeps telling me just wait until winter sets in - you'll be hating life but for now I LOVE going outside and the crisp air and the pumpkins on porches and the falling leaves. I am going to enjoy it while it lasts and make my own Country Living Magazine article to enjoy. I love it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yellow Balloons

In high school I had a part-time job working at a party store. I was a pro at putting together amazing balloon bouquets.  I ended up loving it.  I especially loved the clear yellow balloons. I learned then that yellow was my favorite color. Wearing yellow. Receiving yellow flowers. Tying yellow balloons together. Whatever it was I loved that color. So the other day I was having an average day and threw on a yellow shirt after my shower and I immediately felt better. I am not kidding. Colors are powerful. Yellow is a happy color - so for an immediate mood shift put on a bright colored shirt - it will help.

At that job I also learned that I love balloons. Mainly because they make you look UP. I love how like flowers - when you receive balloons you are happy and it usually means a happy celebration. Balloons make you focus on things heavenward instead of getting so caught up in things only you can see. I have heard of a few instances where at funerals people let balloons go with memories of the person who died tied to them and then every year on the anniversary of their death they do the same. I love that. I love that instead of going and staring at a grave you let go of balloons that cause you to look up into the heavens and know that the spirit lives on. Balloons put me in a good mood. So if you're ever feeling down go into a party store - find the high school worker and ask for a balloon bouquet. It will do the trick.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today I got a phone call from a new friend inviting me over to her house. It put me in a good mood. Someone knows about me, thinks of me and likes me enough to invite me to something. Being invited to something is a sure remedy for a bad mood (unless it is Jury Duty or a blind date or some event you really don't want to go to). But in general, being invited makes you feel included and it improves your self esteem.

I remember in the 8th grade there was this party that it seemed "everyone" was invited to. Even though the boy lived right down from the street from me and we had grown up together I guess I wasn't popular enough to be invited to his big boy/girl birthday party.  I waited for him to hand me an invitation but it never came. I was sad but then after some digging realized some of my other friends weren't invited either. So I held an "un-invited" party for all of those he forgot to invite ;) and we had a BLAST. (not to mention we spied on the party that was going on and it was not cool without us there - believe me!) So whatever the event - being invited makes you feel special.  On the other hand if there is a time when you are not being invited anywhere then buck up and do your own inviting because there is always friendships to be made by just making a phone call and saying, "want to hang out? go on a walk? our kids to play together? go out for my birthday? watch a movie? Play b-ball?" It could be anything. Being invited and doing the inviting are two things to put you in a good mood. At least it worked for me today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


People who have certain accents put me in a good mood. For some reason bad news sounds a little better if it is given in an Australian or British accent or even Irish or anything European.  Just think about it...wouldn't it sit better with you if someone says (insert Australian accent) "I'm sorry mate, but your credit card has been declined". Or (insert Irish accent here) "Sorry Laddie, but those coupons are expired" Seriously - those things said with an accent don't sound as bad.

I would be in such a better mood if everyone who gave me bad news or every customer service agent I had to deal with had a European or Australian accent. I am not kidding.  Personally I am very bad at imitating accents they all seem to come out as some mix between Asian and Irish and Southern. But for some reason accents make me take notice of people that I might not have before. They make me smile and therefore put me in a good mood.

It does have to be the kind of accent where I can still understand their English - German/Spanish/French/African/Asian accents- those I don't think have the effect on my mood as much as the other ones I have mentioned above. German accents make me scared. Spanish accents make me nervous. French accents make me doubt. African accents make me wonder. Asian accents make me stressed. But the Australian and European accents have a good affect on me and make me interested and happy. Call me an "accent snob" but that is just the way it is. Accents make me appreciate culture and diversity make me feel different ways but there are those certain few that put me in a good mood. So if you need a little boost in your day just start talking in a different accent OR "youtube" some video footage of different accents - sure to make you smile.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Once I started keeping a "gratitude journal"and every night I would write what I was thankful for that day. I  tried not to repeat myself and didn't run out of things to write down but eventually I just ran out of time or desire to do it regularly. So I have started a little "I am thankful for..." sidebar on here that I will add to each day so when you can't think of anything in your life to be thankful for - you can come here and remind yourself of a few things. 

It is my knowledge that we have a living prophet upon the earth to guide us and give us council. This last weekend I listened as he gave a talk on how important it is to have gratitude in our lives. The part that hit me the hardest was when he talked about things we left un-thanked - intending to give thanks for but we never do. I know that I love to get thanked for things whether it is from my husband thanking me for cleaning the house or from a friend thanking me for a phone call - it always makes my day and attitude better. Someone recognizes the things I do - I am not alone in the world. I think a lot of times I live a "thankless" life so to say. Getting up doing the things I do and it isn't that I can't do the things I do unless I am thanked and I don't expect to be thanked for every little thing I do, but when I am - wow - it is like for the next while I feel better about doing what I am doing because someone notices. So as I think about what I learned from this talk I realize that if you want a quick fix to your mood just think of a time that someone has thanked you and if that doesn't work or you can't think of a time in particular go out and thank someone for something they have done for you. An attitude of gratitude is a sure fire fix to those bad mood days.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vitamin D

I was sitting eating my lunch today and all of a sudden a ray of sunlight shone on me from my patio door. I leaned back, closed my eyes and soaked it in. It has been raining all week here - so it was great to see the sun for a few moments and as I was soaking it in I thought of how powerful the sun is. Right now there are places converting the sun's energy into power for lighthouses, boats, houses, and even factories.  I thought about how there are articles and reports on how everyone needs Vitamin D everyday for a healthy life - at least 15 minutes of sun light daily will do wonders for your energy and mood. This is a proven fact. Amazing that "The Son" - as in Jesus Christ will do the same thing for us. If we can give him 15 minutes a day or more of our time whether in prayer or scripture study or reflection - He will give us energy/strength/courage and more.  When I was a teenager I would sometimes sport sunglasses inside and when someone would ask me - "Hey Bec, why are you wearing your sunglasses inside?" I would say, "because when you're cool, the sun shines on you 24 hours a day".  Just a fun joke to say - but in retrospect it is something to think about. Even in "rainy" times of our lives there is a "sun" that can shine on us 24 hours a day. The One who gave His life for us. Sometimes we may have to be other people's "sun". And sometimes we may have to make our very own "sun light" for our stormy days. But no matter what we can convert the energy from "The son" and "the sun" into ways to bless our family's lives and neighbors lives.  So today a ray of sunshine put me in a good mood. What can it do for you?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Research and Patience

I just saved $50 on my cell phone bill. It took internet research and 2 calls to customer service but in the end I got it all to go through.  When I save money on anything it puts me in a good mood - whether it is finding out the clothes I bought last week are now on clearance so the store gives me back my money or finding just the thing I came for at a thrift store for $5.  It feels good taking items home when I know I got a good deal on them.  No guilt gut or buyer's remorse - just good old fashioned budget sense. The problem is that sometimes I will buy things I don't need just because they are "such a good deal!"  But that is a story for a different time.  The point is - never give up. If you think there is a better deal or a way you can negotiate by getting a different agent or trying to get the item used or at a different store don't be scared to do it. As a wise friend of mine would always tell me, "EVERYTHING is negotiable" Don't take the first offer on things - always make sure you are getting a good deal as well. You can use this in every aspect of your life not just with money. Don't settle on the minimum - always reach for one step higher one thing more than you think you can accomplish because usually you will get it. Accomplishments like this will put you in a good mood because you will know that you tried your best no matter the outcome. I won't be laying awake tonight worrying about my cell phone bill (although there are other bills I might lose shut-eye over) because I know because of some research on my part and a lot of customer service agent patience I am getting a good deal. And it feels good. :) This is me, Smiling.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I got myself a new planner at the store the other day and as I sit here thinking of all the things I have to put in it and all the dates I need to save and make sure I remember, I smile. It is kind of like having a fresh start. I look at my old planner that has days I have squeezed so much in I had to use two days worth of notebook space to fit it all in and other days I had nothing written and even other days wasted away. Now I get to start over. Not only in my planner but here in this new place.  As much as I HATE moving I kind of like being able to be anybody you want to be - I can be that nice, quiet woman I have always admired and wanted to be or that non-judgmental, smiling all the time woman I have looked up to.  Anyone I want to be. Mainly I want to be Christlike.  I want to stand out from the crowd and say the right thing when people ask "why don't you let your kids go trick-or-treating on Halloween when it's on a Sunday?"  or when Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door and ask "do you believe it is important that people read the Bible?"  Or when someone says "why don't you watch R rate movies?"  I want to be able to speak with conviction but with love and not make people think I am better than them because of my standards. It is a whole new way of life for me. I am grateful to be here experiencing it.  I am also grateful that even if I didn't have a fresh place to start over I can always start over through repentance. This knowledge carries me through my hard days.  So with blank pages in front of me I am in a good mood because there are so many opportunities. So if you are ever in a funk - go out and buy yourself a fresh new planner. It feels good to have a fresh start with so much un-written. It will put you in a good mood.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Random commercials put me in a good mood.  Since I never watch live TV anymore thanks to the invention of a DVR I don't see the commercials as they are meant to be seen. However, every once in a while one will sneak through while watching live TV that we will rewind and rewind because it is so funny or random. Ones that we can never see enough of and find something new every time is the "mayhem" commercials by Allstate. These absolutely kill me. Just thinking of them right now I am cracking up. Maybe because that is the kind of humor I like or maybe because of the random details put into them or the dry humor from the guy who is the star of them -but something about them make JD and I split our guts laughing!  Also the "Swagger Wagon" commercials by the Toyota Sienna minivan - I want one of those minivans just because of those commercials. They are hilarious. And if you don't know what I am talking about you have to "you-tube" them. (side note: someday I hope that my name becomes a verb like "google" and "you tube" have. They have become so popular that you start as a simple name and became a verb - like something people do e.g. To Google = to search for information about anything you want on the Internet. To YouTube = to search for video of anything you want on the Internet. Like I said someday I want to be so popular that my name is a verb. To Bec = to be..... I don't know the definition quite yet but someday there will be one) Sorry for the lengthy side note - so anyway - funny commercials always put me in a good mood - whether it's reminiscing about the old "Bud - Wise - er" frog commercials or seeing the hilarious "dog house" commercials from JCPenney around Christmas it always makes me chuckle and sometimes even have side splitting laughter.  So sit down "you tube" the ones I have mentioned and get a chuckle out of it for your good mood tip of the day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Skype It Up

As I have mentioned before, my family and I moved far away across the country just over a month ago and it was a very sad goodbye to family we lived by and are very very close to.  Well we all made sure to get web-cam's so we can keep in-touch via SKYPE. This is an incredible invention. Wow.  Yesterday alone I got to talk to my sister in one state see my nephew and how he's grown my brother in another state and my niece how she's grown. My kids get to see their cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents which they ask to do daily and it makes them so happy.  I hadn't talked to my sister in a long time and to sit down at my desk and have an hour long conversation with her like we were out to lunch was amazing. Next time sis, let's bring Olive Garden to the screen and it will be a girl's lunch out! Talking to my brother was just fun because we miss him and his wife so much sometimes it hurts and next time we are even talking about playing charades or pictionary over skype just like we did when we were living by them. Mostly we laugh and make faces and my brother bends his elbow and puts it up the camera to make it look like a bare bum - but it is so great to talk and see each other. So today I am in a good mood because of skype. You made the ache in my heart a little smaller because I was able to see family that I miss so much.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making the Bed

 There is a positive energy that comes from a bed that is made. Seriously.  If I wake up and make my bed and my kids' bed first thing my day starts out right. My mood is sometimes directly connected to how my bed looks that day. If I forget to make it and later I come in and it is still not made - no doubt I probably am under some stress and I most likely will want to get right back in bed and take a nap instead of doing some important thing I need to do. But if I walk in and it is made - I don't want to get back in it because I'll mess it up so I can go and maybe fold the 2 loads of laundry or thaw some chicken and start dinner or even clean the toilet- all because my bed is made. I am not kidding you.  Same with other areas in my home - if the kids' rooms are messes but their bed is made it makes it easier to clean up other areas because one thing is already done.  So today's good mood tip is simple - make your bed first thing in the morning and I promise you it will make a difference on your mood and energy level. Seriously. On the other hand if you ever come over to my house you can tell what kind of day I may be having by simply going into my room and seeing how messy my bed is - you wouldn't even have to ask me how I am doing just say "Hi Rebecca - before I ask how your day is going can I have a look in your bedroom?" And then you will automatically know what kind of day I am having - made day or un-made day. It really is true.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

King or Queen for a Meal

Have you ever had one of those days where you don't feel like anyone knows you exist? Lonely? Wondering where you fit in?  Well I am here to tell you that the place to go when you feel that way is......Burger King.  At Burger King they have an adjustable crown young and old can wear to feel like royalty.  You will always know who you are and where you belong when wearing a crown for a meal - King or Queen of the Whopper or the Kid's Meal or even the 2 and a quarter piece chicken nugget (meant to be a 5 piece nugget but helpings are small on the 99cent menu). Make sure you order in, take a seat and wear your crown with pride and happiness. Here in this place, for this moment - you are royalty.  That should make you feel good. We went there as a family last Friday night and it was awesome to all sit down and wear those crowns. My oldest kind of felt dumb and wouldn't wear one (I hate when kids grow up and know what is cool and what is not). Even dad sported one that of course even on the last notch wouldn't fit all the way on his head - but the kids loved it and I love that I married a man who is still a kid at heart. So today as I look back at that memory I know that even when the world doesn't know who I am - Burger King does - I am a queen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Your Junk is my Treasure

On Saturday we took a few $20's out of the bank and went yard sale'ing. I love yard sale's and he'll never admit it, but JD loves them too. His secret passion is to go out with some cash in hand and make other people's junk his new treasure.  Things you never thought you wanted until you see them sitting on that table for only $1 or $2 or $5.  I also like to go out with a list of specific items we are looking for and try the "drive-by" method where we drive by looking for things we need and if we don't see it we drive off to the next one.  Well on the way to one of our pre-determined (by reading the newspaper items they had) yard sales we happened upon a mulit-family HUGE yard sale that had everything - but just nothing on my list. Needless to say we found a lot of cool cheap stuff - but i still have a full list of things I thought we needed. Maybe we don't need them now - but our house is full of things I never could have lived without. So - we are broke, but have everything we never knew we needed. That in a nut shell is how yard sales effect you.  So come by our house in a year or so and half of the things we bought on Saturday may be cheaply priced and sitting on our yard with price stickers on them. Just don't ask about the year 90-91 Basketball Cards - that was the find of the day! Or the huge container of Lego's for only $19.75 when I haven't been able to find a set for under $40 - but would I have bought them right now even if I found a container for $19.75? Probably not - but at a yard sale - you can't say no to good deals.  Amazing stuff - I say again - I love yard sales. But we can only afford to go once a year - but that yearly outing is fun and puts in a good mood for a long time - so very worth it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


A couple years ago we got a book written by Bill Cosby that I read to my kids called "The Meanest Thing to Say" - the lesson in the book is that when kids are making fun of you or calling you bad names you just say "so?" as a comeback. Great lesson. Great book.

We have been trying to teach this lesson to my oldest child especially on the days he would come home crying last year because of something mean said to him. Well it finally sank in -  as he tells me yesterday: "mom I told the truth".  Me - "that's good - about what?" .  Child -  "well my friends were talking about their favorite shows and were making fun of  the "girl shows" I like to watch on the Disney channel, so instead of making fun of them too, I said that I liked them and when they made fun of me for liking them I just said 'So?'".  I was a proud mom - my son stood up for himself. We pray that he'll be able to stand up for himself and be a leader not just a follower and for the first time I know of he was able to do that yesterday. Yes I know JD probably wouldn't be happy that he stood up to his friends about watching "girl shows" on the Disney Channel. (although JD and said childe both frequent the Disney channel and both know all the songs in Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam - so he can't say much).  I was just smiling all night as I thought about our little boy standing up to his friends and then using the lesson "so?" that we had been trying to teach him. Maybe they do listen. Thanks to Bill Cosby and Disney Channel for this good parenting moment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The "Y"

Today I went and joined "The Y". I have always heard of "The Y" on TV shows and from another friend I had that lived out this way - but today I saw my first "Y" and I have to admit - I fell in love. It is an amazing place. They have discount prices for membership if you are poor struggling students like we are. Awesome! They have FREE swim lessons. They have FREE babysitting for you kids while you work out or play racquetball with your husband or sit in the sauna. Seriously.  They have all sorts of family programs and sport leagues and youth leagues. It is a crazy wonderful place and I am giddy just sitting here and reading through all the material because I have a place I can go workout during the winter months that I hear are not very fun around here. I have only heard that from every single person I have met here so far - I say "yeah we just moved here" and they say "what were you thinking? Just wait till you see a winter here". Seriously - every person from the cashier to the insurance agent to the next door  neighbor - everyone says the same things about the horrible winters. So in way of preparation I have joined the "Y" so I have something to do.  They even had a very nice lady take me on a tour of the whole place and I fell in love even deeper. It is 10 minutes from my house and I can't wait to go - tomorrow!  Yeah!  So having great places like the "Y" is what puts me in a good mood today - I know not very funny and may not bring a chuckle out of you, but it is what I am smiling about today. That is the WHY of "the Y".

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recipe Wanted

As we were making chocolate chip cookies for JD's Department Dinner on Sunday which is a lot different from a Department Dinner he would have had back where we used to live. One main difference being that it was on a Sunday - a lot of things here are on Sundays which throws us for a loop.  Another difference being that every single person (above 21) at the party had a wine or beer in their hands and there was the opportunity to partake of whatever alcoholic beverage you so desired if you would have liked. And this was a "family - bring your kids" party. Wow have I been sheltered. I felt especially sheltered when my oldest came in and said "mom, what is in all those bottles that everyone has?" And I said "it is an adult drink" and he said "well I think (insert my 2-year olds name here) drank some".  We do find out that she actually didn't but she very well could have thinking it was some sweet looking Apple Juice. I guess I have to be more careful...who would have thought.

So anyway - I was making my infamous chocolate chip cookies and the kids gets so excited when I make them because of course, just like their mom, they like to sample the dough. I absolutely LOVE Cookie dough - especially cookie dough that this specific recipe makes.  I have been known to make full batches of cookie dough and maybe squeeze one dozen out to cook and eat the rest - Guilty pleasure.  As we were making the cookies - my oldest says, "mom, you better teach me how to make these so that when I move away from home I can make them". I just chuckle and then my 2nd child says "yeah mom, I need to be able to make these for my kids someday".  Thinking of this moment puts a smile on my face. I am leaving them a legacy they want to share with future grand-kids of mine. That is something special and would put anyone in a good mood. It was a wonderful moment that I will not soon forget. Everyone at the party loved the cookies by the way - they were all a little tipsy but I trusted their judgment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yard Tales

Today I am happy because the magical yard debris pick up truck came and picked up the yard debris we have accumulated since we moved here. (pictured above) You see it all started about a month ago when we moved into a house with a big yard. We have never lived in a house - never had to take care of a yard - never owned a lawn mower. So my husband goes out and gets a re-conditioned lawn mower from Home Depot and I take pictures of him mowing (see above) and it is a grand and memorable event for about 3 minutes until we realize that after one pass of our lawn he has to empty the bag of grass clippings so if he continued on this path of emptying the bag every pass it would probably take him anywhere between 1-2 WEEKS to finish mowing the lawn once with all the mowing and emptying since our yard is pretty big. So after trying a few things to rig it so it wouldn't take us a month to mow - he eventually just lets the cut grass fly out the back without the bag on. Then he would go and rake up the grass taking him double the time. We would ask people's advice, we would stop the car and watch how other people mowed their lawn. We questioned buying a riding lawn mower - or a different type etc.. we just couldn't imagine that mowing a lawn would be that much work. So he ended up mowing the lawn twice using this method which left us with bags and bags of grass clippings we didn't know what to do with. We tried bagging them up in plastic bags and putting them out with the normal trash pick up- no luck they wouldn't take them. Gratefully, our neighbor told us about a yard debris truck that comes by every other Monday to pick up grass clippings and the sort but the stuff could not be in plastic bags. So we had to go buy huge paper bags from Lowe's and transfer all the wet and moldy grass clippings to these paper bags still worrying that they would take one sniff and not take them and we would still be stuck with 7 bags of moldy grass clippings (all of this taking days to figure out by the way). Not to mention we also had to trim a lot of our trees and bushes so we had about a dozen bushels of tree limbs they needed to take as well that we had to hand bundle and could not be longer than 5 feet. I guess this place hadn't been taken core of by the last tenants very well. SO, we spent all day Saturday with our tree limbs and moldy stinky grass and then a smile spread across my face today as I saw the truck come and them load up every last twig.

That my friends would put anybody in a good mood. Before you think that we will have to go through this every time he mows the lawn take comfort in the fact that we finally read our instruction manual for the lawn mower and realized there is a "mulch" setting that cuts the grass in to tiny little pieces and puts it back into the lawn without having to bag it.  We learn line upon line at this house.

My tale ends with  meeting our very first family pet in the tree out front as I was raking out the cobwebs from our tree out falls a pretty big snake. I yelled - the kids ran away and it slithered away somewhere we didn't see while I was waiting for JD to get something to kill it with - how do you deal with a snake? Well good thing it slithered away before we had to decide how to deal with it - but as I said in my last post - we have named it Gomer. Gomer the snake. At that is the end of our yard tale.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Today was a good day. Late to church as per usual for us - which is bad since they do not open the overflow in the ward here. Therefore, if you walk in late you have to walk up to the front and try to squeeze yourselves in between two families and then without a doubt as soon as you sit down and hope no one noticed you clamoring over people one of the kids will say "mom, I've got to go potty". Then you say "wait until the end of the meeting" hoping to distract said child with animal crackers for 1 hour and 5 minutes. So anyway, the thing that put me in a good mood happened in Sunday School. The lesson was about a story in the Bible where it uses a marriage to compare Christ's relationship with each of us. Well the Old Testament does kind of have some weird stuff in it - let's be honest - some of the names must have gotten changed in like the 10th translation or something. As for today - JD and I are sitting there following along with the teacher when she starts to read the story of the marriage in the book of Hosea and reads the woman's name, which is - GOMER.  JD and I hear this name read aloud and we look at each other and just start busting up laughing and can't stop. And then the teacher starts talking about said Gomer and people start saying the name without even smiling so it makes JD and I laugh even harder - so hard that we almost had to leave the class because we were causing a scene. I hadn't had a case of the giggles that bad in a long time and eventually we did control it -but afterward I was thinking that no matter what people thought of us - because it was pretty immature from their standpoint I am sure, it didn't matter because first of all, my husband was sitting by me in a Sunday School class which hadn't happened in YEARS. Second of all, amidst all the stress that has been our lives the last few weeks we could still find something as simple as "Gomer" to laugh uncontrollably about. I love JD and I love that we can laugh together over silly things. So now Gomer is the name of the snake we found in our front yard yesterday -more to come on that...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to Back School Clothes

This week my kids and husband started school in a new place - one in 2nd grade and one in preschool and of course one in PhD school.  I have always LOVED the time of year when school begins. Growing up I looked forward to it - maybe it was because my birthday is at the end of the summer -but I think mostly I loved it because of all the new things you got, like pencils, those erasers shaped as hearts or unicorns, the paper and crayons and "trapper keepers" and of course the new clothes. This year I haven't had enough time to properly prepare my young-ins for the back-to-school event because of our big move - and it came as more of something to check off the list then something to be excited about - but even with a CRAZY STRESSED mom my kids still found the joy that is in starting a new school year. It brought it all back as we tried clothes on that I bought too big because why in the world would I buy clothes that fit them right now and are short sleeved when in a few weeks they will have grown a size and need all long-sleeves - so I finally found something for my oldest to wear a mix between summer and fall clothes that doesn't have holes and that actually still fits. Then I got busy doing things and my preschooler made me chuckle as she was following me around the house as I tried to clear out pathways amongst all of our stuff that is still not all the way unpacked saying "mom, help me pick out my back to back school clothes"  I didn't catch it at first but as she kept saying it eventually I actually heard what she was saying as opposed to tuning it out as I normally do and I asked her "what do you want me to do?"  and I finally look at her instead of through her as she look up at me holding 3 pair of pants  and 2 tops and says "back to back school clothes"  and right there in that moment I got it - I got what was important for the next little while - getting excited with my daughter about her "back to back" school clothes.  It was pretty cute the way she said it and I found joy for the next few minutes in trying things on with her and packing her backpack and putting on her "bus tag" so they would know where she goes the next morning.  Starting school puts me in a good mood - whether I am the one starting or not this time of year is a new start - I may just go buy myself a trapper keeper for old times sake - or a new outfit - that really would put me in a good mood.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reasons and Seasons

Names are a funny thing - the reason I named this blog what I did is because a year ago I applied for a job that would have paid me to write a blog post every day about what puts me in a good mood. I had to make a video and write an essay and get people to vote for me on a website. I accessed all of my resources, probably lost some friends through being blocked because of my daily voting reminders, and in the end I didn't get the position.  It went to someone else (that is also friendless i am sure). So, for this entire year I have thought of starting a blog of the same nature - a place where I can share what puts me a in a good mood/bad mood/in-between mood etc... and now I have finally done it - this is the place. I may not get paid for it - but I will still get to put my thoughts into words and get to finally share all the wonderful ideas I had as posts for that blog. So that is the reason this blog was started...

As for who I am - I am a wife a mother a daughter of God a sister and a friend - but these things do not define me so much as what I do within each of those roles. So I will share with you through my daily interludes - my reasons for being happy amidst the conundrum that is my life. The things that make me wonder. The things that make go "oh", the things that I think about and the things I dream about. Also the things that make me go "Ugh" or "are you kidding me?" Because let's face it- life is not always about being in a good mood. I hope I don't offend anyone with my boldness or my humor - the purpose of all of this is to uplift and create a few chuckles (I love that word). 

My family and I just moved across the country to start a new season in our lives so I would also like to use this blog as a place for those who I miss dearly to still have a piece of the craziness that is me and maybe they won't miss me so much and I won't miss them because I know they are reading pieces of my mind and heart. 

Anyway, back to names - my birth certificate name is Rebecca - but through the years I have gone by many things such as "Becca-boo Bear" "Becca" "Bec" "Rebe" "Bec Faye"  "REB-e-kah" etc.. The name that a lot of my older friends know me by is "BEC" but my new friends know me as "Rebecca" - my husband who will hereafter be known as "JD" had the same issue with names - so for the purpose of this  blog I am going to go by "Bec". 

So for now I will leave you with these introductory thoughts and hopes to make this a wonderful escape for my thoughts on an almost daily basis.