Change is our only constant…

The word change actually makes me cringe…I generally don’t like change.  Well, I guess I don’t like change that I have no control over or I don’t like the outcome too.  If the change is a welcomed thing and something I like then I welcome it.  The thing with change is that most of the time we have absolutely no control over.


Last weekend of being in my 30s

Last weekend I went out of town.  I left Friday early afternoon and arrived back home Sunday evening.  It was just me gone…I left Kris and the boys at home.  When I came home…I came down to my bedroom to put my bag away and found the surprise of a lifetime!

While gone…Kris had COMPLETELY redecorated our bedroom.  This change…I freely welcomed!


This is what I returned Home too!

This last week was my 40th birthday!  I turned the big 4-0 on November 10th.  (Wow!  I remember when my mom turned 40 and I thought she was getting old  Now that I find myself here…I feel better and younger than every…40 is not old!)  Finding this surprise on Sunday evening was the best presentto welcome this new decade I am embarking on.  I knew right when I saw the room…that my 40s are going to be my best years yet!


Old Bedroom



What my room looked like Friday at noon when I headed to the airport

I think Kris might have found his hidden calling too…he is quite the decorator!  Well he did enlist the help of my talented sister, Kristy.  She is an interior decorator and she was in on the secret.  She helped Kris put together the design and did most of the shopping.  Kris did all the heavy labor.  He took everything out of the room, got new carpet installed, painted and then Saturday afternoon all the decorations were hung and the details were completed.


My own extreme house makeover…in less than 48 hours this all was completed.

I was completely shocked and fell in love with each wall…there was meaning and thoughtfulness throughout the decorating.  It was an experience I will never forget.


The furniture stayed the same…but put in a different location. With the change of colors it feels like a whole new place. I love it!


So back to change…I welcomed THIS change.  I was wanting to redecorate my room and had been putting the bug in Kris’s ear that I thought this would be a good project to undertake.   I had decided this would be a project I would tacked next year after the holidays…so I didn’t give it much more thought.  I had no idea that he had been working on this surprise for a little while.    That is one thing I love about him…he is just so good with the details.  It amazes me.  Sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself.


Kris never ceases to amaze me!

This post is short and sweet…because it is my birthday week!  It has been full of fun and celebrating!  And I am one lucky girl.  The week has had its ups and downs but I am learning that even though there is change all around me and most of it I can not control…I can control how I react to it and be grateful for all I have.  I can choose to be happy each day!

Changing to age 40…is better than I could have even imagined.  This week has been great…I look forward to all the changes ahead.  I want to share my favorite thing in the room.  Kris placed it next to where I sleep so each day when I wake up…I can read these words.  I think this will be my motto for the next decade of life…


One more reminder of the power of words!




Gratitude Challenge…Share Goodness

what-are-you-grateful-for-today[1]So I love the month of November!  One reason is because it is my birthday month!  I also love this month because it is when the seasons change but it isn’t full blown winter yet.  It is colder outside so the boots and sweaters come out of the back of the closet but there isn’t very much snow.  The temps outside are chilly but not freezing.  Once November is over…I enjoy Christmas time but other than that I am ready to skip ahead and be back sitting at the ballfield watching my boys play baseball in early Spring.


November is known for the month of gratitude as we celebrate Thanksgiving.  This month gives me time to start reflecting on all I have to be grateful for.  Here is a simple tradition that my family has done ever since I was a little girl on Thanksgiving.  Before we started to eat our feast, we would go around the table and all take a turn to say something we were grateful for.    As a child it was easy to come up with something to say to “humor” my dad so we could get on to eating dinner.  As an adult this tradition has taken on much more meaning.  We have tried to continue this tradition through the years with my own family and extended family.  I look forward to hearing what others are grateful for each Thanksgiving Dinner.  Now our family is much bigger with sister and brother in laws, and a bunch of cousins…but we all take a turn and share something we are grateful for.

As I listen to each person share, it reminds me of something that I am grateful for too.   As everyone shares there becomes so many good things that remind us of all the blessings  we have received.   What I love about this simple activity is it gives us all a few minutes to SHARE…to SHARE GOODNESS.

When other people share goodness it causes me to reflect and think yes that is good in my life too.  Or it might make me think I should try this or that.  I find that people all around me, family members, friends,  and even complete strangers influence me daily by what they say and do.


So this month…I am going to continue with something that I have been doing now for several months.  I wrote about it in July but will attach this previous post from July here.   “A Month of Gratitude”

Someone shared this idea with me and it has made s big difference in my life.  Every night before I go to bed I write down 10 things I am grateful for.  I do it in a gratitude journal.  I had heard several times throughout my life to try this…and always thought that sounds nice but wondered how it made a difference in having a grateful heart.  Finally…I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did.  It causes me to slow down each night and reflect on what I am grateful.  It helps me to look for the good in each day!


This morning I saw a cute post for doing a “Thankful Jar”  It is from @hallaroundtexas (someone I have started to follow on Instagram.)  Her blog with all the details is    You should check it out…this is another great idea to think about and write down something you are grateful for each day.  This jar would be a great activity for the whole family to do.

This is what I love about Social Media…it can be used for GOOD!  So the challenge this month to myself and anyone else out there is to try to look for the good in life and  Share Goodness on social media.  That is the only rule!   It can be anything as long as it is goodness…so think about it and give it a try.  Use the hastag #sharegoodnes when you post.  I love to follow others who post positive things and make a difference in my life.  We can each make a difference.  We each have influence!  Give it a try and Share Goodness too!



Words Have Power…

FB PROFILE_10-13-2015What a week it has been!  My sister in law and I have been in the process of taking an idea and turning it into a reality.  And I think today…we are both a little pooped.  We are happy the holiday weekend is upon and we can take some time to enjoy with friends and family.

We both were wanting to create something and make a difference.  We are busy mom’s and wives but are always wanting something comfortable and stylish to wear too…so we decided to try our hand in the tee shirt and apparel business but wanted to offer something with a positive message.

Every where you look these is messaging, on tv, social media, billboards driving down the freeway,  EVERYWHERE.  Messaging can be good or bad…uplifting or deflating.  What we put into our minds becomes our reality.  When I put positive messaging in my life, I am a more positive person.  When I put negative messaging…well the negativity sets in and multiplies.

FB TIMELINE_10-13-2015

Our idea started with our story…and then we thought lets take words that have meaning to us and put them on shirts.  Words have power!  Change your words and you can change your life.  We realized that these words might not have the same message to you as they do to us but that is okay.  The words themselves have influence and they become apart of our story.  We decided we wanted to SHARE GOODNESS.

Becoming Threads is an online store that has on-trend tees and apparel with a bright and positive message. Let What You Wear Tell Your Story.  We are just opening our shop and would love you all to follow.


You will find us and can follow at:

Instagram:  @becomingthreads

Facebook Page: @becoming threads

And our Etsy Store is OPEN!

We are just getting started…we have a lot to learn!  We are learning to just be patient with ourselves as we want to have the knowledge of being in business for 10 years on our very first day being open.  I guess that is why one of OUR SHIRTS is that reminder to us that all we can do is  First Things First.  One day at a time and then one day…10 years will be here and we will see what happened…. but for now we must stay in the day.  We are happy to be here and OPEN!!

FirstThingsFirst DM107LJetBlack

Order at our shop:

Thanks for your support and Love!

The Story Behind Our Threads…


We are two moms ‘B’ecky and ‘E’rin the BE behind BEcoming Threads. Everyone has a story and a path they are following. We were both asking questions about who we wanted to be and wondering if we were living “our story” to its full potential. When we realized we were both looking for the same things, we chose to bring our talents and energy together to create BEcoming Threads.

 Words have power and create emotion, so why not put hopeful and uplifting messages on fashionable apparel? Why not share our story with others? BEcoming Threads has become a way for us to purposefully and joyfully fill the gaps between who we are today and who we want to BEcome.

BEcoming Threads offers simply stated apparel with high quality printing and soft and wearable fabrics. You will always feel confident and comfortable as you share your story and wear BEcoming Threads.

This is our Story…

“Let What You Wear Tell Your Story”



Something in Common…


There is something that all of us have in common. What is it?  It is time.  We each have 24 hours a day.  Nobody can make more time this or add more time to their day.  This is a standard we are all held to.

The thing that is different is what we do with our time. We each are in control of it.  We each are faced with choices.  Every day we are given the freedom to decide what we do with our time.  Yes we have jobs, commitments, and obligations that seem to cut into our “free” time but even those things come about by the choices we have made.  Our time is spent and used by the simple and sometimes complex decisions that come to us each day.  Is there a right or wrong way to use our time?  What I do with my time and what you do with yours will be different.  That’s okay!  I just need to worry about my time and let you worry about yours.  As I have begun to realize this in my own family…it has made a big difference.

I have been very busy this last week. Looking back on my week, I couldn’t even tell you one particular thing that kept me so busy; I just know I can’t believe it is the weekend again.  I am in the process of starting an online t-shirt business, BEcoming Threads.   I would love for you to follow @becomingthreads on Instagram or FB…and it will be starting really soon.  ( I will write more about this fun adventure soon!)   It is a dream I have always wanted to pursue…to have my own “hobby” business.  Even though it feels like this is the time to pursue it; it has added a lot of extra things in my life.  The way I am trying to make it work is by putting this new passion as one of my top priorities and letting go of things that are less important.   (Again it is all about choices!).  But besides this new adventure…just being a mom with kids takes most of my time  Things like homework, running them for haircuts, new ties for a choir concert, baseball games, to and from school, ortho appointment, laundry, cleaning the house, etc (what my life was this last week) is a full time job…and then add in church service too!  It all takes time but I find as I put first things first…I am able to do all that is most important and find time for the other things that I want to do.  The key is doing the most important things first.


My goal for the week was to sit down and write my blog post sooner than Friday. I kept thinking I will sit down at this or that time but as the time approached…something else came up.  I had to keep pushing it off.  I tried to not get frustrated because the post really doesn’t matter.

As I woke up today I just wondered to myself, “where has this week gone?” I was starting to feel a little down that I hadn’t accomplished everything I had wanted too in the week.  Then my next thought was but you have been busy all week.  Look at what you have done…not at what you haven’t.  Then my thoughts turned to my priorities.  What is most important in my life is getting done.  If there is something I am not getting done then it must not be a top priority or I need to make it a priority and let something else go.

Simple example is it is 7:15 am on Friday and I have some quiet moments to write down a few thoughts. My house is quiet and everyone else is sleeping as it is late start for the schools today.  Once my kids get up and our house gets active I find I lose a lot of control doing the things I desire to do.  This is how it should be because I am a mom of five busy and active boys…it would be strange if that was not the case.   When my kids are awake and home…my priorities should go to them.  If I am trying to multi task too many things I just get stressed out, full of anxiety and show it by not being very patient and kind.



I ask myself this question all of the time…what is that next right action? Over the last year I really have been working on my priorities.  What matters most to me?  I show that by my actions.  I can have so many good things to do that I forget about the better things and even the best things of life.  I still think we can have a little of everything but I find when I put what matters first in my life…the things that don’t matter fall out of importance.

Kemp Family 2015 Color74

So how are you going to spend your next 24 hours? What are you going to do?  Who are you going to serve and help?  Who will you show your love too?  Those are the questions I am asking.  I am just going to worry about today and try to stay present and do those first things first today.  But now the blog post is almost done.  Yeah!  Just in time cause Jack just came in and asked for a drink of water…looks like the kids are waking up.  Now it is TIME to move on.

I did sit down and write my post.  It is a simple one with little significance but to me…but that is the purpose of this blog.  To document my story, my life and my experiences.  TIME is the only thing I have to work with as I live this life. I live it one day at a time.  (By the way…by the time I edited it and put the finishing touches and posted…now it is Saturday afternoon…but still I got it done!

Don’t Walk…Run??


This isn’t the best advice in terms of living life but let me explain.

I have found the “Best” Blanket (our opinion) out there and want to share it with you. About three years ago I was on a quest to find a great blanket to keep me warm during the winter. Softness was at the top of my priority list.  As fall comes and the weather begins to change you notice that almost every store sales blankets…even grocery stores have them for sale.  There are so many choices and price points that it became a little overwhelming to me.  I just wanted a great blanket…but which one became the question?

What I did was I began to buy and try…

After trying several different options…our family has found one that we absolutely love and would recommend to anyone and everyone! Here is some Kemp Family Goodness we want to share with you.  Check out a recent post on “Why I share goodness

Kemp Family Favorite Blanket

Kemp Family Favorite Blanket

This is the one that we LOVE! The Brand is Life Comfort and it is the Ultimate Sherpa Throw.  The dimensions are 60” x 70” and it is machine washable.

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It can be found at Costco right now and is only $15.99. Yes…I know cheap! I still can’t get over how cheap it is for what a good blanket it is. A few years back I bought me one of these to try…I liked it so much that I wanted to go and buy one for each of my boys for Christmas presents.  When I went back to Costco to buy more, they were all sold out. These blankets sale fast and when they are gone…they will be gone until next year.

A few weeks ago…I noticed the blankets are back at Costco…so I suggest you add Costco to your to do list today and go and pick one up.  The year I missed buying this blanket for my boys from Costco…I decided to look for it elsewhere.  I tried online and found the same blanket being sold for $49.99.   I didn’t want to spend $49.99 per blanket for my boys so I decided to buy a different kind of blanket for each boy.  It looked very similar to this one but was another brand from another store.  It ended up costing me more than $15.99 per blanket and let’s just say…they all still wanted to use mine.

Favorite blanket 1

Life Comfort Ultimate Sherpa Throw

What I love about this blanket is how soft and comfy it is. I even pack it in my suitcase when I travel because I like it so much. I like to sleep with it where ever I am…home or away. There are two sides of the blanket each offering a different softness and texture. If I get bored with one side, I use the other.   And who doesn’t love to be warm as the weather is changing? Sitting down to read, watch TV, or take a nap always is better with a blanket.   All the boys in thshouse (including Kris) have been known to wrap up in a blanket to watch a movie or TV.  This item is not just for girls!  I have found that after a year of daily use…it is still soft but not quite as nice. (Due to being used so often) It holds up fine being washed but since they are so dang cheap…I just buy a few new ones each year.  I have already picked up my new one for the upcoming winter! I went with the dark blue one and I just love it.

Run and not walk…when going to purchase this blanket at Costco. They will be sold out fast and I promise you will be glad you got one.  Buy additional ones because everyone in your family will want their own and you will not want to share.  (Put them up for Christmas…and you will have one present purchased and ready to go and it is still only the month of October!  Good Job…you have started your Christmas shopping early this year!)


But…for the rest of my life…I have to take the opposite approach. I often try to run faster than I can and am learning to slow down and to take a pause…TO WALK AND NOT RUN through life.  I am learning to slow down and enjoy the moments that are before me.  We are finishing up fall break here in Utah and I have tried to enjoy the last few days of summer as the weather has been so great and the kids are out of school.  I am trying to BE PRESENT in where I am at in life today and not wish time away.  As you enjoy your weekend and might be in need a easy dinner idea for tonight try this simple but delicious bbq recipe from a previous post “Chicken Thighs, Say What”  After dinner, go get your blanket and wrap up and watch a movie you have been wanting to see and ENJOY the simple things in life.  They are best!


Our Caboose, Jack Kristopher Kemp…

IMG_7652It is hard put into words how much Jack has added to our family! He is a ray of sunshine in our lives as we went through some difficult and challenging years. I can’t believe that he just turned five… he is growing up too fast!

Jack is a JOY! He wakes up happy, is happy all day long and then goes to bed happy. He has a great personality. I remember when Kris came to me and said he thought we were supposed to have another baby…another boy! I just said, “Yeah, I don’t think so.” At that time we already had four boys and they were more than enough. I stood my ground for about a year and then something happened. I had my own personal experience where I came to know that there was one more child to come into our family…and not any child, another little boy.

I kept wondering and even questioning: “Why another baby…why another boy! Why now?” I remember talking to Kris about how we were in the worst financial place in our marriage…why would God want us to have another baby now. It actually felt like we were being irresponsible.


Jack Kristopher Kemp

On September 27, 2010 we welcomed baby Jack to our family. His middle name, Kristopher, is after his dad, with whom he shares a special relationship. He has truly been the BEST thing for me, Kris and our boys. He was the best distraction from the hard and difficult times we faced. We always had enough to take care of this new little one and even keep our other boys involved in the things they enjoyed. Life was okay. Jack was a blessing and not a hardship.


So who is Jack…? He is fearless and free. He is full of life, excitement, and pure JOY! He isn’t afraid to talk to anyone and thinks everyone is his friend. Kris calls him a “park rat” because he’s grown up at the baseball field. He always has some kind of ball in his hand. During the summer he wakes up every day and asks, “What guy gots a game today?” Going to the park, being outside, playing baseball and having fun is what Jack is all about.

He loves food and especially candy. He calls himself the “candy boy.” We have to hide candy and soda pop from him or he will eat it all day long. His favorite lunch is salami with crackers and Manchego cheese. Right there you know Jack is one cool kid…just by the way he eats.


Jack learning to ride a two wheeler bike at age 3

He started to ride a 2 wheeler at 3 and has never looked back. He is determined and tries until he gets it. He is known to say, “Just one more time” but says it over and over again until he has accomplished what he wants to. He loves to learn new things and discover. He loves playing with friends and always wants to be busy. I am sure a lot of this has to do with having 4 big brothers. He watches his older brothers and learns so much from their example.

A few weeks ago at church we saw a side of Jack that we were not used to. It was the Primary program and all the primary aged kids were to go sit on the stand in front of the congregation. Jack had a little part to do that he had learned and had been practicing. It was the first time I saw some fear creep into Jack. When it was his turn to go up front, he didn’t want to go. He started to cry and was upset. This is not like Jack. It surprised me! Kris was so sweet and took Jack up front and sat with him. When the kids sang, Jack sang and did his best. Jack quickly relaxed and even went to the microphone and did his part all by himself when it was his turn.


I was so proud of Jack…but realized that the older each of us get, the more fear, doubt and insecurity creeps into our minds. I’m sure Jack will conquer these fears and keep his joyful personality.   As his mom, I got a small glimpse that day of how I can help him. There is enough negativity out in the world. In our home I can offer him and my other boys love and acceptance each day. I can be their cheerleader as they face life. I thank my Heavenly Father each day for Jack. He is a gift from heaven to our family. He helps me slow down and enjoy the small and simple things of life, motherhood and families.


Last week, we celebrated Jack’s birthday and headed to Lake Powell for a week. This is one of our favorite places to be. Jack played from the minute he woke up until the minute he couldn’t play anymore and had to allow himself to sleep. It is so fun to watch your kids discover new things. Jack conquered the houseboat slide and spent hours and hours swimming and playing in the water.


For his birthday, Jack said he wanted to change his room and paint it green. He is our baby, so you know what happened…for his birthday we painted it green and are in the process of decorating it with Super Hero pictures. Very fitting for this kid; in my eyes, HE is a super hero. I love you Jack. Thanks for not letting us forget about you. I am grateful he is in our family. I am grateful I was willing to follow God’s plan instead of my own. I always thought I didn’t like odd numbers…but I guess having 5 boys is just what I needed! Jack made our family complete.


Discovering MY Purpose…

IMG_7340   When I was a teenager…I always thought about who my husband would be and what my future family would look like. I day dreamed about how may family would be. I like even numbers and always wanted 4 kids…two boys and two girls. In my head…it made complete sense that this is how it would happen! I just planned on living the story I had created in my mind. I never thought things might not go as I had planned.

I’ve been a mom for 17 years…I still pinch myself and wonder where the time has gone. Those years in junior high and high school didn’t seem to go as fast as they are now.   Where has the time gone? The plan I had in my head hasn’t quite turned out how I envisioned. I never thought about the days of life. I never thought about the hard days and the sad days along the journey. I never thought about disappointments or setbacks. Those were never a part of my dream. But as I am learning…life happens and it is what we do with it that matters. Being part of a family is a gift. It’s a blessing to go through this journey with others.

Over the summer, the importance of my family has been on my mind a lot. A little primary song has played over and over in my mind:  The Song in entitled “The Family is of God” (lyrics and music by Matthew Neeley)

These are the words to the chorus:

 “God gave us families

To help us become who He wants us to be

This is how He shares His love

For the Family is of God.”

Families are important. They are the most important unit in society. Friends will come and go in our lives but our family is forever. God put us in families as each one of us comes to earth. My family might look different than yours but the family unit is how we are intended to come to earth to develop, grow and learn.


A few months ago I was on a walk early one Saturday morning. I had been wondering about my purpose in life. I think because my kids are growing up and I am getting ready to turn 40 soon…I have been wondering if I am reaching my potential.  I had been reading a book that said once you discover your purpose then you can discover your passion. I didn’t know how to discover my purpose so I decided to start praying about it and ask my Heavenly Father to show me and help me know it. On this particular morning as I was alone in my thoughts I had a very clear thought come to me: My purpose right now is to strengthen home and family.


It was a still small voice that whispered it to me as clear as day…as I wondered what it meant my mind was filled with questions. How do I strengthen home and family? Where do I start? What should I do? Should I get involved in a group that promotes families? What!? I began to think big got a little overwhelmed. As soon as my thoughts started to go there…I felt again, “No, start with strengthening your own home and family. That is your purpose…start there.”

As I thought about that experience and how I felt…I have come to know that was the right answer for me. The difference I tried to make in my own home and family would have a bigger impact in the world than anything else I try to do. I needed to make MY family my number one priority. Not just on outside appearances either but in the details of my daily life.

After this experience I have seen a glimpse of how important my role is to these 5 boys Heavenly Father has entrusted me with. I have been able to see how my actions and my mood set the tone for the whole family. Yes…I said five boys…see my family make up was much different than I what I used to dream about. It is much better! It is exactly how it was meant for me. This is my family.

My Family

My Family

Family relationships aren’t always easy. Just because I am a part of a family doesn’t mean I think the same as everyone else. I don’t have the same interests or dreams. I don’t have the same talents or abilities. Take my oldest two boys. Kayden, age 17 and Tyler, age 16. Even though they are only 13 months apart and just a grade apart in school…they have many of the same friends and have been involved in many things at the same time. These two boys are like day and night. They are both wonderful young men but they react to life so differently. Here’s a quick example:

Kayden and Tyler with new suits

Kayden and Tyler with new suits

A couple weeks ago, Kris took them out to buy new suits. Kayden came out of the dressing room asking, “Do you think I can pull this off?” And Tyler came out wearing his suit and a fedora hat (full of confidence) and wondering what Kris would think. Neither was wrong or right…just different.

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To me, this is exactly what a family is. We are put in these units to learn and grow from each other. If we were all exactly the same, life would be very boring.   I’m not here saying I have figured out how to raise kids and be married…not even close. To be honest, I don’t know if I ever will…and that’s okay! This is just one more reason I believe I am FLAWED PERFECTLY. We aren’t meant to have it figured out. That’s what our journey here is all about. To be put in families and to learn as we go…day by day, step by step.

I am grateful for families. I am grateful for where I am on my journey and I try my best to find joy in each day. I am living my life “happily ever after” because I have a family to live it with. As I continue to discover who I am…I am also beginning to better understand who Kris and my boys are.  I know I need to make these guys my highest priority. These guys are helping me BECOME who I am intended to be. I look forward to discovering my purpose…within the walls of my own home.

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Please Show Some Respect…

IMG_7152I’m going to share one of our favorite family stories with you. When Kayden turned 10 he had a birthday party and invited several friends. Tyler and Kayden are only 13 months apart, so most of the kids at the party were also friends with Tyler. As Kayden opened his gifts, all the kids were excited to see what Kayden was getting, Tyler became a little jealous. Nobody was giving him any attention. He was really bothered by this because he was typically the life of every party. He was making such a scene that Kris took him inside; when Kris asked him what was going on, he said, “Well, everyone is just here giving Kayden ALL THIS RESPECT.” We still laugh about this today. Tyler was struggling because he wanted attention and to be RESPECTED! (But come on…don’t we all?)

2009 Tyler Baseball

Tyler at age 9 wanting some RESPECT!


Tyler…this post is to show you that we RESPECT you! We also love you and are grateful to have you in our family.  Since your 16th birthday was yesterday…I decided to devote this post to YOU.

Seriously, Tyler is a fantastic kid. He has a great personality. People are drawn to him. He is a natural leader. From an early age, we recognized this great quality. I always tell Kris that if Tyler grows up and lives a good life, he will be very successful.  There is just something special about the way Tyler carries himself.


Tyler is FEARLESS! He just started his first year of high school. He was calm and cool about the change. I asked him several times if he wanted to go and find his classes and locker before school started and he just said, “No I think I am okay.” He did go over to the school one afternoon to walk around with Kayden but then left and said…”I am good.”   Tyler doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He just goes with the flow and does what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

Tyler can be a really hard worker. I often ask him to do something around the house and he just does it without complaining. He might not want to do it, but he just gets in and gets it done and then moves on. He gets his stuff done so he can have fun. He is disciplined and self motivated.  His friends are very important to him and he loves to play hard.

When Jack was just a week old, Kris and I left to run a quick errand. We left Tyler in charge of baby Jack. Tyler was barely 11 years old at time and was just getting used to having a baby in the house. Jack was sleeping in his crib and we thought we would be back before he was awake. It took us longer to get home than we thought. As we arrived home, we walked in to find Tyler feeding Jack a bottle. We never received a phone call saying that Jack had woken up and needed help. Tyler just took care of it.

This might not seem like a big deal…but it really shows Tyler’s personality. First off, Jack had woken up and was sad and crying. Tyler saw there was a need and started to take care of him. He didn’t call for help or just wait until we came home. He jumped in and took action. He held him for a bit trying to comfort him. When that didn’t work he decided to make him a bottle. What is the big deal about making a bottle? Tyler had never made a bottle before. From the first day we brought Jack home…Tyler was never afraid to hold, love, or take care of his new baby brother. I asked Tyler after we got home that night, how he knew how to make a bottle?   He just said, “I saw you guys use this stuff (pointing to the formula container) and measure it out into a bottle. I read the instructions, warmed the water, measured it out, shook it and just decided to feed him.”

2015 Tyler and Jack

Tyler with Jack

To this day, Tyler has a KINDNESS and COMPASSION that cannot be taught. Tyler is inherently good. Tyler and Jack are buddies. Tyler has always taken the time to be kind and loving to him and helps him in any way he can.

Tyler is such an example to me to just get in and get something done. He didn’t stress and think, I don’t know what to do…he just acted and did. He read the instructions. He had observed us doing it and then the key work is he TRIED.

That is what Tyler does…he tries. He tries his best in all areas of his life. He does his best in school, in baseball, being a good friend and being a great brother and son. He is determined but relaxed at the same time.   It is a great balance.

Tyler getting his driver's license on his birthday.

Tyler getting his driver’s license on his birthday.

Tyler is FUNNY!   He has a great sense of humor and always keeps us laughing. Even a few days ago, he made me laugh. He wanted to go take his driver’s test so he can get his driver’s license on his birthday! Driving there I asked him if he was nervous. He said he wasn’t nervous but as he waited he said, “Well maybe I am a little nervous.” After his test, he was relieved because he passed! I told him I was proud of him. His response was, “Thanks mom, I am kind of proud of myself!” For anyone who knows Tyler…that is just how he is. He is funny and fun and full goodness.


Happy Birthday Tyler! I love how fearless, determined, kind, loving and full of life you are. You always try your best and give 100 %. You have great potential to do big things in your life. The sky is the limit! It is so fun to see each child grow and become his own person. There are so many qualities that I admire in Tyler. I hope he sets his dreams big and goes after each one of them. It is a pleasure to be his mom.

First Things First…


As a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister and friend I struggle with knowing what do to next. Last year,  I heard someone say do “first things first.” These three simple words have changed my life.

“What do I do next?” I ask myself this question a lot. On any Monday morning, I have more things on my “to do” list than time to accomplish it all. I can get discouraged with my day before it even begins. There are always choices; should I do this or that and in what order. I get overwhelmed easily and when it happens…it tends to paralyze me and anxiety sets in, even with all the things to do and deadlines to meet.


Lately, I have been learning a lot about priorities. I have been trying to discover and live my life instead of letting life live me. There are so many good things needing my attention that I can forget to do the best things. I constantly ask myself, “What really needs to get done today?” This is how I apply the phrase “first things first” in my life. I try to sort out all the things I feel need to get done and realize there isn’t enough time in the day to do them all.   What NEEDS to happen today? What can be moved to tomorrow’s schedule or to do at a later date?

A friend has taught me to look for the next right action. What is the next thing to do? It doesn’t mean you won’t get to your entire list…but I am learning there is a better way to approach it. It helps me with the anxiety and fears that arise when I feel like there it too much to do and wonder where to get started.  I find I like to put off the hard things and do what comes easily. So as I ask myself what I should do next…I try to tackle the things I don’t want to do first. I also ask myself…does this have to happen today? I would like to go get a pedicure but I made a commitment to myself to write in my blog every week. I should do the blog post first and then find a different time to do the pedicure.


You can feel fall in the air here in Utah. The mornings are crisp but the days warm up. I love fall time…but this season doesn’t last long and then winter sets in. One thing that happens during fall time is canning. I am not a big canner…I always looked at it as a lot of work. Over time I have learned that this is the time to prepare things for your family that can only be made during this time of year. Then you are able to enjoy them through the year until next fall comes and it’s time to do it again. Our family likes tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa and jam.

Our boys love our Raspberry-Peach Jam. They don’t like the store bought stuff because they have been raised on homemade jam (once you have it…you will never like the store bought stuff again either!) Last fall, we were “too busy” to make it. We didn’t make it a priority so back in January, we ran out of jam. (Luckily the boys have their amazing Aunt Chris who makes it religiously every year and shared with us to get us by). This year has been just as busy as last year, but I promised myself we would do the jam. This needed to be at the top of the priority list. Even though I don’t eat it, my boys do so I wanted to have some for them. I had to remind myself, “first things first.” This needs to be made now, not in a few months when the peaches and raspberries are out of season.

Last Saturday, we were in Spanish Fork for a baseball tournament. As we drove to the fields I noticed a farmers market. I dropped Kris and Jarret off at the field to warm up and took my other boys to see the farmers market. Several vendors were selling fresh peaches and raspberries. I knew this was my chance: I should just commit to making the jam…knowing that once the produce was bought, we would find time to do it.

Saturday night we needed to run to the store for groceries so I asked Kris to pick up sugar and pectin…the two other ingredients I knew we would need to do our jam. I still wasn’t sure when we would fit this in our busy schedule but was hopeful. A lot happened, but in the end the jam didn’t get made until late Monday night. Our boys are grateful to have it in the freezer again. Each time they’ve had it this week…they are thrilled. They love it!

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Homemade Raspberry-Peach Jam on Wheat Toast

This may be a silly example but its how life really is. We take our list and decide what the next right action is. Painting Jack’s room can be done another day…doing jam needed to be pushed to the front of the “to do” list or it would get missed like it did last year. So what are your “first things?” Mine change from day to day…


The last thing I want to say about this is that when I start my day with Heavenly Father in it I do much better deciding what is most important. When I start my day with prayer and meditation I ask Heavenly Father to help me know what I should do first. When I am willing to listen He guides me every step of the way.

There is still time this fall to do jam…go hit the farmers market this weekend and try this out!. It is simple and delicious. The recipe is not our own…it is from Kraft foods, altered a bit by Kris to reduce the sugar and improve the consistency…

Rapberry-Peach Freezer Jam

What you need:

10 Cups prepared fruit (buy about 6 pt. fully ripe red raspberries and about 15-20 big fully ripe peaches)

8 cups sugar (measured into a separate bowl)

1 1/2 cups water

2 boxes Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin

How to Make it:

Rinse your raspberries well and crush them thoroughly. We like to use a potato smasher. Measure 4 cups prepared raspberries into large bowl.

Peel and pit peaches; finely chop or grind the fruit (we like to chop because the boys like chunks of peaches in their jam.) Measure 6 cups prepared peaches into bowl with the raspberries. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*The easiest way to peel the peaches is to blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes then immediately put them in ice water. If the peaches are ripe you can peel the skin off using just your fingers.

MIX water and pectin in a small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture and stir for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy (a few sugar crystals may remain).

FILL all containers immediately to within ½ inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 6 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 2 years. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

DIY: Finished Product…a year’s supply of Raspberry-Peach Jam

* Be sure to clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

* We use the 2 cup, round Ziploc containers at Target so we can wash and reuse them during the year.  It makes about 20 cups of jam…about 10-12 containers.


Practice Makes Progress…


I am learning to accept that the saying “Practice makes perfect” doesn’t apply to me. I won’t ever be perfect, and that’s okay. I can do my best to progress and trust the process of change. However, I am a perfectionist! I like things to be done a certain way (my way) and I have a hard time giving up control of most situations.

As a mom, being a perfectionist is not working out. The only person I am in control of is me. My kids are all learning, growing and developing their own way of living life. I can only be an example and learn and progress right along with them.   I am learning daily just like them…as a mom, I experience new things every day; things I might not have thought or known how to handle until it is happening.


The other morning 3 of my boys started school. Kayden is a junior, Tyler is a sophomore and Jarret is a 7th grader. It was a big day. Going from summer break and sleeping in each morning to having to set an alarm clock and wake up at 6:15am for school is a big adjustment. I knew this first morning would be rough; from past experiences I knew it was going to be hard to be up and out the door on time. Change is hard for kids too.

That first day came and went a lot like I expected. Even though they prepared some the night before the morning went by way too fast. Each one had to rush out the door as to not be late.

Trevor had started school a few weeks before and he wasn’t like this. Neither was Jack as he eagerly waited for preschool to start again. There is something about kids being less excited about school starting as they get older. It is sad but true.  Both Jack and Trevor were happy and excited to head out the door their first day.

Trevor's First Day of 5th Grade

Trevor’s First Day of 5th Grade

Jack's First Day of Preschool

Jack’s First Day of Preschool (2015-2016)

As long as I can remember I have taken a picture of the boys as they for the first day of school! I know many of you do the same. It’s just what mom’s like to do.

This is how our first day of the 2015-2016 school year went with the three older boys: As my two teenagers hurried out of the house (already 10 minutes late) I asked if I could take a quick picture of them…I should have paused and thought about it. They weren’t in the mood to humor their mom & I shouldn’t have been surprised by their reaction. Their response wasn’t what I wanted. All I got was, “No, we are late…we don’t have time!” as they ran past me and got in the car.

Jarret was to leave 20 minutes later and I hoped we would find time to get a picture of him. But…the same thing happened. Before we could take a quick shot, his carpool ride was outside honking as Jarret was scrambling to get his shoes on.

So as the three boys left, I felt like I had just had a big mom failure. The perfect pictures I wanted didn’t happen. I was sad, angry and disappointed…all over the first day of school photos.   I shared my feelings with Kris hoping he would tell me it was okay to feel this way. Instead he just looked at me a little confused and shrugged his shoulders.

I am reminded over and over that things don’t have to go my way in order for them to be okay. I have an idea about how I want things to go, but when it doesn’t it can be hard for me to adjust. We had taken pics on the first day of school for years and years and I expected it to be the same…but this year it was different and they actually turned out better.


I made progress this day as I decided not to stay disappointed and accepted the fact that the pictures just didn’t happen…I was still a good mom and my boys were still good boys. All was well! As I relaxed and didn’t worry about it, the rest of the day unfolded like this:

Jarret’s first day was just a half day. After he came home and told me all about his classes, and getting lost, and all the exciting and new things about middle school…I was able to ask him if I could take his picture. We weren’t in a hurry and he happily agreed.

Jarret's First Day of Junior High as a 7th Grader

Jarret’s First Day of Junior High as a 7th Grader

A few hours later, Tyler came home from his first day of high school and the same thing happened; I listened to how his day went and when he was done I asked if I could take a quick picture of him for his first day of school…Surprise! He happily agreed!

Tyler's First Day of High School as a Sophomore

Tyler’s First Day of High School as a Sophomore

The last picture I wanted that day was Kayden’s. He had to leave right after school to go to work and didn’t get home until just after 6 pm. I decided to try this approach one more time…listen to them first and then ask if I could take his picture. Even after being at school and work, he happily agreed.

Kayden's First Day of his Junior Year

Kayden’s First Day of his Junior Year

Does it really matter when the picture is taken?  After this day…I realized it doesn’t. Slowly but surely I am learning to be flexible and to allow my kids to have a say in things. This is truly progress for me! My way doesn’t always have to be the right way. I don’t need to be in charge of every situation. When I get out of the way and let the day unfold I continue to learn that it goes better for me and my boys. And by the end of the day…I usually get everything I need and most of the things I want.