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.