The Awareness Factor

Envision the following…

My husband, son, and I are shopping at Costco. As we peruse the offerings we pass by the occasional food sample to try. We try to get a food sample, but there are so many people surrounding the sample tables that if we wanted to get one we would have to fight someone for it, normally a child between the ages of 5-14 (this is not an approximate age), or an entire family of 6-8 members that have positioned their carts by the sample table so no one else can even remotely pop in and sample something and say thank you. And because there are so many people vying for a sample they have gridlocked the area and you can’t even get through to keep shopping.  Thus, we normally do not even try to sample something because the situation is utterly ridiculous, and go a different way. End scene.

The older I get the more I rely on the manners I was taught as a young person. Sure, I had a lapse probably in my post-high school/early college years, but nowadays I really try to be courteous, be aware of others, and practice the golden rule. As I go through my daily life, more and more I observe a lack of awareness. Everything from people having a full fledged conversation in the middle of a grocery aisle on a busy Saturday to no one can get through to the slowest driver possible in the fast lane. I have to say it gets old. Trust me, I do practice patience on a daily basis with any situation resembling this because I taught junior high school for 15 years. (If you forgot, that’s teaching children between the ages of 12-15 with raging hormones, smart ass opinions, and almost constant drama. Let me say up front I did love what I did, this is just an observation.) However, as I continually watch people lose awareness of their current surroundings I ask myself, where has our awareness gone? Are we so into our cell phones, that we can’t possible move our cart to the side of aisle so people can get through? Is the conversation we’re having on our phones so captivating that we can’t drive in the slow lane and let everyone pass by? I think it bothers me more because I really try to make sure I am aware of others around trying to enjoy the same scenery as I am.

Yoda Be Aware Meme

In conclusion, I ask that everyone try to be aware of your surroundings. It’s quite possible that you just might help everyone else enjoy the same surroundings you are.


Colorful Kid Dinnerware

I think because I was raised by people that love to cook and I love to cook, I LOVE anything kitchen related (minus doing the dishes; thanks Thor)!  After having my son I was given another reason to browse kitchenware everywhere – enter IKEA.  

One day months ago I was at IKEA for an entirely different reason.  I can’t remember why, but I remember I was proud of myself because I made it through the bottom floor in 2o minutes.  If you shop IKEA you know it can be impossible to make it just through the bottom floor in an hour, so I felt like I won a bronze medal or something.  As we were waiting to checkout I saw something rainbowish in my peripheral.  It happened to be sets of kid plastic plates, bowls, cups and eating utensils.  Each set was $2-3 each.  SCORE!  Occasionally I’m guilty of being sucked in by a good price of something I may or may not need.  I could have waited to purchase them because Max was only 6 months old at the time, but why wait?  

    I can honestly say this is superb kid friendly dinnerware.  I personally like the bright colors, but all of it washes great and is microwave friendly.  If you’ve never browsed the bottom floor of IKEA, I highly suggest it for many household needs.

P.S.  Let’s keep it real, I don’t need any reason to browse kitchenware!  😉

Wish I Were Dumbledore

dumbledore thoughts

There are days when I feel like I’ve accomplished at least 75% of what I set out to do in a day (I’ve had to lower my expectations with Maximus Rex), and then there are days where I’ve accomplished 5%. This picture represents my mind right now and what’s going on inside it. There are so many things I WANT to do (inventory all my photos since 2013, blog more, read the never ending pile of books/magazines laying by my desk, chronicle Max’s adventures, etc.), and NEED to do (clean, party planning, deep clean, renew my teaching license, etc.) that the decluttering will commence as soon as I post this.

It’s time to get rid of the cobwebs, reprioritize, add and take away from my to-do list and live vicariously through Dumbledore.  End scene.

Southern Winter Retreat

Utah the second time around continues to amaze me with its diversity, geographically at least.  The above snapshot is of a walking trail in Washington, Utah (St. George area) and I find it totally gorgeous.  However, it’s even more appealing because this is what I have been living in (like everyone else in the Wasatch front) for the past week…


You can barely make out a mountain back there because of the inversion (hot/cold weather fronts trap pollution in our valley) has been SO awful.  As we traveled from our house to the St. George area it didn’t clear totally up for a good 150 miles; seriously.  Here are some more shots as the journey progresses and the air starts to clear…



After we passed Filmore it finally was pretty clear.  I don’t really think people understand what it’s like living in a constant fog/smog like environment until they’ve experienced it.  Of course, being the silver lining type of person I am, when it gets this bad in Utah I think of a much more polluted place like parts of China and think we’re doing alright.  BUT I know we’re not doing alright especially if it’s not safe to take my 9-month old out for a walk.  I started to think of the movie, “The Mist”, and wondered if things were hiding in the smog.  (True confession – I’ve never seen “The Mist”, but wonder if things are hiding in the mist waiting to gobble you up.)

Back to the beauty at hand this past weekend.  We took walks and enjoyed as outside air we could get our hands on, and spent some time with Grandpa and Grandma Call as well.






This was our last walk and if I lived in this beauty daily it would take quite a bit to stop me from enjoying every aspect of it.  End scene.

My Career Change = Weird

Transitioning from teaching junior high for 15 years to being the Queen of the House (alright I was already, but now I’m literally in charge of the house & our children for the better part of the day) has been quite the experience so far.

#1 – Motherhood

Hands down, I love being a Mom.  I realize whether I work or not I’m a mother of  a human now, but not working gives me the opportunity to really see every little change and growth our child experiences.  It’s pretty cool and your kid thinks so too. *Insert Maximus’ cute smile here*

#2 – Project Procrastination

Being Queen of the House means you actually get to work on those projects you always said you were going to create, fix, etc.  True, mothering comes first, but little by little you chip away at each goal and task and it’s nice to live in a house you LOVE, not a house that you threw together in mediocre haste.  I still have plenty to do, but for some reason now it’s imperative that anything I do to our house reflects our style and a place we truly call our santuary.

#3 – Social Network Withdrawal

Truth be told I really miss my peeps during the day.  When I was at work I got my daily dose of conversation (some deep, some small talk), now it’s Maximus Rex & the dogs with the occasional outing with the few friends I have that are either retired or also stay home.  I realize at heart I’m an extrovert and should just be making new Mom friends left & right, but sometimes you don’t feel like starting over and you just want to catch up with someone familiar.  Eventually I’ll get over myself and make some new friends, but in my own time.

#4 – Purpose

This has been a very challenging mind shift for me.  When I taught, my purpose was to educate & craft young minds, collaborate with co-workers, and do all the other stuff that goes with it.  My purpose has shifted to educating & crafting one young mind, creating a beautiful home, and doing all the other stuff that goes with it.  One purpose is not higher than the other, however, when trasitioning from teaching all day to being the Queen of the House all day the mind shift takes some time (alright, raising our son in a safe, nurturing environment is the highest purpose of all to me).  On a daily basis I feel very fortunate to stay home with my son.  Do I miss work?  Yes.  What do I miss about it?  I miss engaging young minds (which I do with our son as well), collaborating with co-workers (I can envision myself creating a corporation of Moms who I collaborate with in one space; sorry social networks you just don’t get cut it because I prefer face to face most times), watching the teenage light bulb go off, joking with administration, and many other things.  Do I miss the missing work I have to hound students for?  No. Do I miss the after work meetings that didn’t accomplish much half of the time?  No.  Do I miss the uninvolved parents who only get involved when they think I’ve lied about their child’s behavior & their child couldn’t do any wrong?  No.  The point is my purpose has changed in a major way and the mind shift takes some time.  Is it a good change?  Definitely.

Overall, my current mental state is a combination of….WOOHOO!  I get to wake up with my son, husband, and two dogs at my own pace without teenagers at 7:50 a.m.!…or, RATS!  Where’s my social network of familiarity to share daily shenanigans with?  Although I’m in a state of weirdness for me right now, I know I will evolve and find the best part of me like I always do.

P.S.  Through this transitional phase Thor and I have spent more quality time together and have taken the time to reflect on what it means to live in the present and still accomplish far off goals at the same time.  This is why he is my best friend, lover, confidant, and is the best.

Excuses, Excuses

Excuses, Excuses

Back on my birthday in September I had set a goal for myself. My plan was to achieve a toned, muscular body by my 40th and upcoming birthday. It was a great plan, but as much as I tried to set aside time, my time kept getting eaten up by work. Eventually, I gave up on my goal and didn’t really advertise my choice. People kept asking how the workouts were going and asking me if I had lost weight. I would tell them there hadn’t been much exercise, and yet the way people were talking to me it was like I worked out all the time; that’s because I used to, like last summer.

I’m here to tell those that read this blog I have been all talk and no action. Up until today I had accepted my choice of not trying anymore and started to believe I would never achieve what I want. I have been unmotivated and yet a little voice in the back of my head kept saying, “You know you love that feeling when your body is tighter, you can start to see your bicep and shoulder muscles, and you can drop it like a squat with 25 lb. dumb bells.”

After much thinking, processing and negotiating with excuses, I was getting ready for work last night and saw the book “Push” by Chalene Johnson on my bookshelf. I had read it when it first came out and liked what it had to say, but had I really read it and let the words sink in? Well, since last night and picking up the book again I feel a renewed sense of self. I was reminded that one of my largest hurdles can be my mindset at times. It’s not that I sabotage myself or maybe I do by making excuses for myself like work getting in the way (it so did this year), I don’t feel like working out some days (more lately), or I don’t want to do what it really takes to get what I want and maintain it.

Well, I don’t want to be the person that lives with the regret of not trying my hardest to get what I want. Thus, IT’S TIME TO PUSH. It’s time to push myself to get what I want. It’s time to be in it for the long haul even when I’m knocked down. It’s time to make the sacrifices that will get me the results I want. IT’S TIME.

Stay tuned…

The Flavors of Protein

When looking for a quick snack or perhaps a meal, I was always on the hunt for a good granola bar, protein bar, or something that would taste good and be nutrional.  Choosing the bar is a quick fix for those of us who are super, hyper busy sometimes.

There’s so much out there today and those bar options beg the question, do I really want to read every single bar ingredient label that I come across??  If you’ve ever read any of them, most of them are this long:

protein bar ingredients

I get through the first ingredient and I’m literally exhausted.  

When I came across Quest Protein Bars, I was quite pleased at it’s simplistic approach to ingredients, and more importantly the taste and how many flavors they offer.  Here’s a sample of their ingredient list:

quest protein bar ingredients

11 whole ingredients!!  20 grams of protein and only 3 carbs!!  17 grams of fiber!! WINNER!

Not only do I enjoy these protein bars because less is more when it comes to ingredients, but they offer tons of flavors (Cookies ‘n cream, chocolate chip & apple pie are my favorite), they taste good, and they keep me full.  So, if you need a new protein bar, go on a ‘Quest‘ and try this one out.  🙂

quest protein bars

Procrastination – It Takes a Pro Like Me

Procrastination - It Takes a Pro Like Me

I started working on long-term lesson planning, then realized I’d like better sound to the music I was listening to while working. Next thing I know I’m whipping out my speakers and suddenly realize that I have succeeded at doing something besides my school work. (Posting this fine moment is also taking me away from school work. Well done!)