Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mid-Week Motivation

Hope you're all feeling pumped about your week! I'm talking to you in particular, health challenge people--you know who you are. :)

But whatever you're up to this week--school, work, kids, gym. . . hope you're makin' it through! Good thing this guy bolts out of bed at 6 AM to go to the gym. He is my inspiration--go Chad! I'd love to hear your mid-week success stories--drop me a line!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Gender Gap.

I listened to a Freakonomics podcast yesterday, and thought I'd share some of my reactions and thoughts. The podcast was on The Gender Gap, and was affectionately subtitled, "Women are Not Men." Funny.

Really, if you have a chance, you should listen to it and weigh in. The show cited several statistics and studies showing how men and women are a) very similar and b) very different and also how c) the differences and similarities seem to be deeply related to one's cultural experience.

The similarities seem to have a lot to do with the feminist movement. More women, simply put, are doing things that were once done primarily by men (not so long ago, actually). The gender gap is closing in terms of jobs women are allowed to do in the military, for example. Okay.

The differences were pretty interesting. Not only do women make less money (yeah, yeah, I know you've heard about that before), but the hypothesis has been offered that this is partly because women don't ask for pay raises. There is some information that suggests women avoid situations that are overly competitive (which may be why, according to this podcast, women are more prolific than men in pretty much every online arena, including not just social networking, but also gaming, yet make up a minuscule fraction of people posting on wikipedia, which is a more "competitive" form of internet posting in that everyone edits the posts by deleting others' work that is deemed inaccurate). Oh, and women have managed to still commit very crimes compared to men, despite making advances in most other areas.

Cross-cultural studies showed that women in a very matriarchal society were actually much more likely than men to engage in workplace competition (or some form of this). They were willing to take a risk in order to earn significantly more money, that they would have to do better at a given task than the other participants in the study. In the male-dominant society, almost all women chose not to take that risk, but to accept the lower wage. I thought all of that was very interesting (and you really should listen to the podcast for better details).

Finally, and this was the part I've been stewing over a little: the show cited some research showing that women, in general, are reporting their own happiness as being at an all-time low (about equal to men's, actually), compared to in the 70s when it was much higher than men's. A few different hypotheses were offered, one being that "women are now doing everything men are doing, so now they're just as happy as men are (which is less happy)." Another idea was that women have less life-satisfaction because their new responsibilities in the workplace haven't replaced their responsibilities at home. Rather, they have double demands on their time and energy.

I am so interested in these ideas about women, in particular about their reports of life-satisfaction or happiness. My perspective comes from my place as a newlywed, a therapist, a Mormon, and a girl who grew up in a traditional family. I have always wanted to marry and have a family of my own, and even now, I look somewhat enviously at stay-at-home moms, because they have what I have always wanted. At the same time, finding a career has been very fulfilling for me. So that's where I'm coming from.

Here's what I think: sometimes chasing happiness doesn't make us more happy; in fact, it might even make us less happy. It's not that I don't believe in equal rights for women, because I do. I believe women should have every opportunity to be educated, and that they should be paid for the quality of their work. I think women can work and mother and succeed in all kinds of ways and find lots of happiness in that. But there's a part of me that thinks the feminist movement, in a way, gives the illusion that there is always something "better" than what we have. And if there is always something better, can we ever really be happy where we are? I almost wonder if the past 40 years have been a wild goose chase for women on the whole, expecting to be happier but then being disappointed by the reality.

I could be so wrong about this, but those are a few thoughts I have this morning. I'd love to hear your insights.

Monday, February 25, 2013

This Weekend, I. . .

This weekend, I watched Scott Pilgrim vs The World with Chad and some friends of ours. We liked it okay, mostly because the main character is George Michael from Arrested Development and we think he's funny. Overall though, probably wouldn't watch it again, although I was entertained and enjoyed the company. Our friend Andrea made us this amazing mango drink called Mango Lassi. Yummm.

This weekend, I went to a UofL hockey game with Chad. They were playing Life University, and we laughed about how that sounds like the name of a fake college, one you would say you went to if you didn't go to college ("I was educated by LIFE."). Then we proceeded to comment on the game using cheesy puns that resemble things you might actually say about life. Like, "They are totally taking life by the horns!" and "Wow, that guy really looks like he's getting beat up by life right now." You get the idea. Endless, endless fun. Oh, and I forgot that ice rinks are freezing--but we stuck it out.

This weekend, I became totally obsessed with the health challenge we're starting today. I am just so, so excited to see enthusiasm about this from so many people. Already I can tell the competition will be fierce, but Chad and I have both decided to go all in! We've got 31 participants now, which means somebody's gonna win $150! I don't even care if I win (okay, I really, really want to win), but I'm hoping everyone will be in better health at the end of these 8 weeks, myself included. If you want to join, today probably really is the last day, as much as I would like to keep taking people forever. Shoot me an email or comment.

Here's to a happy Monday and a great week! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Here is my therapy-oriented question for the day: how do people become empowered? This is an important question, not just for me as a therapist, but for everyone who is interested in making a change or tackling a goal.

As a therapist, I have noticed that some people seem to be very resilient. As if that is just who they are. As if there is just some piece of them that is so strong, it doesn't matter what happens to them, they will make it through. Like a woman I know who lives in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant, was abused by her husband, had a son murdered, and somehow finds the wherewithal to go work in a factory for 8 hours every day so she can feed her kids.  She is resilient, in my mind. Here she is, as a functioning member of society, after all she has been through.

However, resiliency doesn't seem to be quite the same thing as empowerment. Some of us are very resilient in that we make it through just about anything life hands us. But we may or may not recognize or tap into this strength when facing a challenge in the moment.

For example, my immigrant friend has a really tough time with her kids. They are teenagers, and they  are constantly fighting. As in, swinging punches at each other and occasionally doing serious damage. My friend repeatedly says that she "can't" do anything to stop them from fighting this way. She can't? How is this possible? Especially for a woman who is such a survivor, in so many ways.

Being empowered, to me, is having the feeling that we can make it through anything, that we will do whatever we have to do to turn a situation for the better. It is some kind of confidence that we will stick to our guns and things will turn out. It is not just resilience, but optimistic resilience. It would be my friend's firm determination to do absolutely whatever it takes to stop the violence. Police would be called, if necessary. Kids would be ripped off of each other. There would be consequences, and immediate action from this woman.

I believe she is afraid. Afraid of what, I'm not sure. I just know she's afraid. Too afraid to stop what is going on. Too afraid to call me or the police or anyone, and I'm not sure why. Because someone might judge her? Because of imagined legal consequences? Because her kids might turn their anger on her instead of each other? I repeatedly remind her about how strong she is, but it hasn't seemed to help.

We all have things we avoid, postpone, or attempt half-heartedly. Ask yourself these questions next time you realize this is happening. What am I afraid of? What holds me back from reaching my potential or changing things I would like to change? Am I afraid of something unfamiliar, afraid to fail, afraid of rejection or judgement from others? Looking back, which situations are proof of how resilient I am? I'm sure everyone on earth has made it through some tough stuff. Why not face challenges with a little more confidence, then?

Those are my thoughts for the day. Spurred in part by therapy stuff, and in part by Chad's comment today that he had decided to change his attitude about the upcoming health challenge. He says that instead of doing a reseved, half-baked job, he has decided to "be hard-core about it." I should probably do that, too. Which reminds me, we're starting on Monday. You've still got today and tomorrow to join!



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Writing About Therapy

Wahoo--today and tomorrow I will be attending the KAMFT (Kentucky Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) Conference. I love conferences! I'm really grateful to have a job that is flexible enough to allow me to squeeze in extra hours here, and take off extra hours there. Monday through Wednesday were pure mania, but now I get to go to a conference AND see a couple of private clients Friday evening.

I have been considering starting a weekly (or however often I manage to get it together) therapy-type post. Perhaps some of my experience working with a certain type of problem, or maybe some research on topics that interest me (and/or make me feel like I'm banging my head against a wall). I am reading Sue Johnson's book, "Hold Me Tight," right now, which is all about Emotion-Focused Therapy for couples. Some of that will probably make it on here, since I adore the book so far. But I would also love to field questions about any kind of relational or personal issues that might make find their way into a therapy room. If you've got an idea, let me know in the comments or here.

For a while now, I've felt like my blog is lacking some. . .substance. Oddly enough, I have felt compelled to work a TON on my blog lately, but writing about home projects and food and whatnot has felt pretty surface-y. At the same time, I have qualms about sharing the MOST important stuff--I mean, I guess I believe some of life's most sacred moments are best enjoyed privately. Does that make sense? Anyway, writing about some of what I do (while excluding confidential details about actual people, of course), seems like one way to put a little more 'me' into what I'm writing.

So I guess you can consider this your heads-up. Send me your ideas! I would love love love that. Oh, and don't forget the health challenge--starts this Monday. Let me know if you're in.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emma Says.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you may have read that my little sister, Emma, recently decided to serve an 18-month mission for our Church and was assigned to Cusco, Peru. She leaves June 5th. She has been sending me weekly scripture blurbs from her studies. Enjoy!

"There are many awesome prayers offered in the Book of Mormon but one that I learned about this week was Nephi’s (Nephi the son of Nephi who was the son of Helaman) in the beginning of Third Nephi.  In Third Nephi 1: 11 he starts his prayer like this, “And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.”  I noticed that first he “bowed himself down upon the earth” which is a very humble thing to do. This showed the Nephi was ready to pray because he had left his pride out of the prayer.  The second thing I noticed about this piece is that he begins praying first for his people. That is a great example to me because I should pray for others, not just myself. And not only did Nephi pray for others, but he made them a priority. Next, in Third Nephi 1:12, we learn more about how prayers often work. The verse says, “And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him…”. I like this scripture because Nephi prays all day before he receives an answer to his prayer. This is a comfort to me because if it takes Nephi all day to receive an answer to his prayer, I guess I can be patient too. It is a reminder that prayers should be given in humility, are tests of faith and require real effort on our part." 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Warm, Happy Fishy.

Fishy was so much happier this morning after we decked him out with scarf and hat last night. I think it will become a nightly ritual.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gus? Russ? Chad, Jr.?

I really love our little betta fish. We still need a name for him, though. Ideas?

Also, we woke up this morning and he looked like he was frozen. Like, no movement, fins sticking straight up. Until I swished his bowl around a little, and he moved around a little. Those were some terrifying moments. Do fish sleep? We are worried our house is too cold for him. 

But, first things first. We need a name for the little guy. We've been throwing around some different names, but nothing has felt quite right yet. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gettin' Healthy.

January's over, and maybe some of us need some extra motivation to be healthy as the new years resolutions fade into nonexistence.

Chad and I invited our family and friends to join us for a special health challenge, and today I thought, "Why not just open it up to the vast readership of my blog?!" [crickets]. Ahem.

Well, just in case you ARE reading this, here are the details.

1. Serious competitors will invest $10 at the beginning of the 8-week competition. You're welcome to follow along at home for FREE, but you miss out on having that extra little twinge of "I spent $10 to join that competition and now I'm flushing it down the drain by eating Chick-Fil-A for dinner?"

2. The first place winner will take 50% of the money, with second and third place winners taking 30% and 20%, respectively. Winners will also be featured here (oooh, the prestige!).

3. Each competitor gets access to their own personalized, online spreadsheet tracking their scores (and the ability to view other participants' scores, as well).

4. Each day, you earn up to 10 points for doing things like exercising at least 45 minutes (2 points), eating 5 servings of vegetables (2 points), drinking 64 ounces of water (1 point), not eating junk food (1 point), eating 3 healthy meals (1 point each), and not eating within 2 hours before you go to bed (1 point). Your lowest-scoring day will be dropped, and at the end of the 8 weeks, your lowest week will be dropped. (read: you are allowed one emotional/crazy/undisciplined day per week and one emotional/crazy/undisciplined week.)

Interested? Great! Email me here, and we can exchange info and I'll send you your spreadsheet. We'll start on Monday, February 25th. Feel free to share the button below, which will link back to this post. Let's get healthy, everybody!

Mr & Mrs. Smith

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Mr & Mrs. Smith"><img src="" alt="Mr & Mrs. Smith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Friday, February 15, 2013

My First Valentines as a Married Person.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and it was our first one together. I mean, we were "together" last year, but we weren't together together because I was in Alabama and Chad was in Louisville.

I think both of us were kind of nervous this time around. (Partly because Chad has now had up-close experience with the rollercoaster emotions of a female who pretends not to have high expectations about anything and then gets her feelings hurt sometimes. I really want to curb that.) Anyway, our conversation on Sunday went something like this:

Chad: What can I do for you to make sure you have an awesome Valentines Day?
me, stammering: Oh, ummm...nothing! I'm sure whatever we do will be great.
Chad: Okay, cool.
me: Is there anything I can do so it's awesome for you?
Chad: Honestly? Just make me feel like you're happy about it. Be happy.
me: Oh, yeah! Sure!

10 minutes later...

Chad: So, I'm kind of nervous about Thursday.
me: What? Why?
Chad: I dunno, I mean, it's not like I've totally neglected thinking about Valentines Day, but I just hope you don't have really high expectations.
me (innocently): Who, me? Nawww...I don't have any expectations. (frantically thinking: crap, what are my expectations and how can I get rid of them now?)
Chad: Oh, okay. Cool.  

So yes, I left that conversation thinking, "Dang it--just another example of not even knowing what my own expectations are, much less being able to articulate them. Prepare for failure and heartbreak."

I really do have some serious work to do on my interpersonal skills--like, oh, communication, for example. Scary, since I'm a therapist and supposedly an expert on that kind of thing. Weird how I can be so aware and yet so unskilled at times.

Anyway, yesterday ended up being the best Valentines Day I have ever had! Granted, I was working for most of it. And Chad and I had exchanged our little gifties on the 13th, so I really didn't expect anything else on the 14th. But there was chocolate, and nice notes, and Chad made a killer salmon dinner for us. (Only one glass and one plate got broken in the process! (which was actually pretty hilarious, since there has never been a broken glass or plate or anything, in all the months we've been married. of all days.)) It was the height of romance and fun. I love that man. First Valentines' as a married couple = success!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

We gave each other our gifts yesterday. They were actually meant to be given on Valentines Day, but we each did a relatively poor job of hiding them. I found Chad's orchid in the basement a few days ago, after wondering why he kept forgetting to turn the light off down there. Chad walked in on me this morning right after I had finished feeding the fish (who was stashed right under my side of the bed). The funny thing is, we had each decided to pretend to be surprised by each other's gifts, so neither of us said anything until this afternoon.

me: There's a surprise for you in this room.
Chad: I know.
me: Wait, what?! You KNOW?
Chad: Yeah, I saw it. This morning. It's awesome!
me: oh, well, I saw yours, too.

Look how beautiful they are together. Our pretty new betta and our pretty new orchid. What should we name the betta? Oh and also, I worked a little on my lettering last night--what do you think? A fellow blogger is hosting a valentine handwriting linkup, so go here to check out some others or share your own!

Something Charming

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mondays with Emma

Here's our weekly inspiration from Miss Emma. Love that girl!

One of my favorite lessons from this week was found in Helaman 5: 51-52 which say, “And as many as were convinced did lay down their weapons of war, and also their hatred and the tradition of their fathers. And it came to pass that they did yield up unto the Nephites the lands of their possession.” I like this because up until now, this group of people (Lamanites) had generally had a tradition of wickedness among themselves. However, once they heard the gospel they completely changed and became a righteous people. I think this is wonderful because I think sometimes we have sins we want to give up but Satan tries to tell us that there are things about us that we can’t change, we just are going to have to live with it. However, this scripture gives us encouragement, because if the Lamanites could change their entire way of life, I can change the little things that I need to change. If you are ever feeling down on yourself, just think that you are probably not doing things as bad as the Lamanites were, and they changed so we can too!

I also like the word choice in this scripture of “convinced”. When I read the word “convinced” I thought of the word “converted”, because I think part of being converted is having a belief, or being convinced, but after the Lamanites were convinced or converted, they didn’t just leave it at that. Rather, they acted upon it. Because they knew, they changed their way of life and didn’t war anymore. This applies to us because it is great if we believe the gospel is true, but we also must do something about it in order to strengthen our faith. Today in Ward Conference my Stake President shared something that I really love. He said, “Testimony is what we know and feel. Faith is what we do and become.” In conclusion, I learned two major lessons from this part of scripture. 1. I believe that we are never too far gone to receive God’s help to make us better and 2. I believe that once we are “convinced” or have a testimony, the next step is to “do” or live it. This will help us be even more useful in the hands of God.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chad's Sculpting Contest

Okay, so every year there is a giant contest for all the dental students in Chad's school. The contestants are given small 4-inch blocks of wax to sculpt into whatever they want. Chad wanted to sculpt his into a naked man! (weird.) Last year, Chad made an awesome guitar. He won second place, and earned 75 bones.

This year, Chad spent many hours re-creating this amazing wax guy. (Sorry for the nudity--at least he's got a leaf on, right?) One of Chad's teachers is always showing a slide with a picture of the Statue of David with his a picture of his own face pasted on it labeled, "The Statue of Carmine" (his first name). Apparently everyone loves this particular teacher, so the statue was an instant hit. Wednesday was the day of the convention, and Chad won first place!! Isn't that amazing? Not that I was surprised, mind you--look at the amazing detail on that guy! I am so proud of Chad, dental student/sculptor extraordinaire! You can just imagine how good he is getting at drilling and filling with utmost precision. I'm excited for him to start seeing patients in a couple more months!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Long Hours = Grouchy Me.

I really just think I wasn't cut out to work 12-hour days. I scrambled to get my hours all done by yesterday so that I could have a long weekend again, and I only half-achieved it. It's such a let down to work all the live-long day and then not get the day off you were expecting. I'm just being a whiner, I know. You don't have to read this.

But while I'm at it, here are things I wish would/would not happen in my job.

1. I wish people would not cancel or no-show. It happens a lot less now that I go to people's houses, but people still stand me up from time to time, or cancel. Which is why I have to see people today. It's just common courtesy, you know?
2. I wish everyone would stop threatening to "send [their kids] off."
3. I wish my 4:00 appointment kid would talk to me, because 4:00 is my nap-time and I almost fell asleep on him yesterday.
4. I wish other therapists/service coordinators/etc. would only make referrals to me for people who actually want or need in-home, intensive therapy. Otherwise it puts me in a really awkward position where they're like, "Yeah, we don't have any problems with him at home/school. Who are you again?" (it's only happened twice, but still.)

That's pretty much it for the moment. I know I just need to suck it up and 1)be more assertive with people about no-shows/cancellations, 2)continue trying to change the false notion that sending your kids off gets great results, 3)take a power nap before I visit the quiet kid, and 4)communicate with the referral source about why-the-heck they referred Mr. Perfect and his perfect family for in-home therapy.

Sigh. Yesterday morning we had a work meeting. Our boss asked us to write down why we do this work, and to tape the little paper in a place we'd see it. I wrote two things: 1) Because relationships matter, and 2) Because I get to be the Lord's hands. Why is it so hard to keep that perspective sometimes?

I'm sorry for complaining. Things will get better.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Illustrious Liebster Award.

So apparently, sometimes bloggers nominate each other for awards (who knew?!). I have a new blogger friend at (creator of the Valentine's printable I showed off last week), who nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. The only criteria for winning the award is that your blog is relatively new and you have less than 200 followers. So, yay for being new(ish) and unpopular. . .

Just kidding. I really am honored. What a cool surprise!

At the end of this post, I will nominate 11 of my favorite blogs for the award.

ta-da!! here it is, in all its beauty.

There are a few rules to follow if you receive the award, so if I nominate your blog, here are your rules: 1) Post 11 random facts about yourself. 2) Answer the questions I've set for you in this post (for simplicity's sake, just answer the same ones I answered), then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to (or use the same ones--whatever). 3) Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award to and link them in your post. 4) Go to their page and tell them about the award. 5) No tag backs.

Okay, so it feels a little email forward-ish. But it's an award! I can't not be excited about this. (I think I just figured out how spam-email-forward creators can generate even more forwarding action.) Oh, and side note--if you receive the award and choose not to follow the rules, that is okay. No pressure. Your wishes may still come true, and your one true crush might not shun you.

Here goes.

11 Random Facts

1. I can frown and smile at the same time. I call it the frown-smile. Or the smile-frown. I think it's more of a frown-smile.

2. I love to improvise when I cook, and I like to make up recipes or make substitutions. Sometimes when there is a recipe I want to make and I am missing one of the ingredients, I view it as a challenge. I say, "Oh, you think I'm not going to make this just because I don't have self-rising flour? (or eggs, or onions, or milk, or whatever). We've had some real dud meals because of this little habit, but we've also had some awesome ones! Ones I may never be able to re-create. I usually wait until after Chad has taken a few bites and given his stamp of approval before I say nonchalantly, "Oh, that? Yeah, it's just something I made up. . ."

3. I can be the most passive, gentle, agreeable, easygoing person (most of the time). But when I decide something is important, I can be THE MOST bull-headed, determined girl you have ever seen. I think maybe I get both sides from my mom.

4. I speak Spanish. And Papiamento.

5. I love reading. I don't always finish books, though. Sometimes I will check out several books at once and dabble in all of them.

6. I am the oldest of SEVEN kids. I absolutely love being the oldest, although you may have heard a different story 10 years ago.

7. I am a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate. Meaning that, upon completion of 1000 client hours, 200 supervision hours, a national exam, and a boatload of paperwork and money, I will be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In Kentucky, at least. We'll see what happens when (if) we move. I LOVE my job.

8. I pick hot over cold. Beach, beach, beach. I am in love with Aruba. Sarasota, Florida was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in the U.S. We honeymooned in Daytona Beach, FL. I just can't get enough of the ocean.

9. I have a really high value on keeping in touch with people. I catch up with my best friend from college weekly, for the most part. I have other friends from high school, college, grad school, or my mission that I talk to much less frequently, but I make an effort not to lose contact completely.

10. I married Chad at age 27 and after feeling somewhat hopeless about my prospects. My younger brother AND my younger sister were already married, so I felt somewhat old maid-ish. We met out of the blue, when the time was right. It's so much easier to see that in hindsight.

11. I write songs, although I haven't written any for a while. I have been feeling an itch to get started again, though.

My Answers to the 11 Questions

What is your favorite book?  
Tough. I have always loved the Anne of Green Gables series--all of it.      

Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog. I've never actually owned one, though, and I tend to get somewhat panicked when dogs jump on me, so I don't know how much I would actually love owning a dog. Plus Chad would never go for it.

Where do you see your self in ten years?
Who knows? In Florida, Texas, or Colorado with 3 kids. Chad will be the best dentist ever, and I'll see therapy clients during naptime/school hours. 

What is your favorite form of social networking?

What are you most excited about in 2013?
Going home to CO for Emma's mission farewell. Also the half ironman on June 1st. 

What is your favorite Holiday?

Do you prefer coffee, tea, or neither?

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Hang out with Chad, or traveling. Or BOTH.

Do you have any weird habits?
Umm. . . I used to always commit to every party, study group, get-together, etc. even if I knew I was double-booked or would have to cancel on somebody later. I have worked to get rid of that habit, but I still feel the urge to say "yes" now and then when I should say "no."

What's your favorite smell?
Cookies in the oven.

How many siblings do you have?
I have 6 siblings--3 brothers and 3 sisters.

And the 11 Liebster Awards go to. . .(drum roll, please)

Olivia@Olivia in NC

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Favorite Little Guest Writer.

Says Emma:

As human beings, when we are presented with a “difficult circumstances”, I think we often react by feeling stressed out or feeling afraid. It just so happens that this type of situation is presented in Alma 58. Verse 6 says, “And the Lamanites were sallying forth against us from time to time, resolving by stratagem to destroy us; nevertheless we could not come to battle with them, because of their retreats and their strongholds.”  In addition, the Nephites were not receiving the food or provisions that they needed. Initially, they were “grieved and also filled with fear…”, which seems like a reasonable reaction. But I love this part in the scriptures because this despair directly contrasts with what they decided to do next. In verse 10 it says, “Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us; insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.” Afterwards, they “did take courage will all our might” and “were fixed with determination” “and thus we did go forth”. I love the comparison between their initial feeling of grief and their later expression of faith. I love how after they exercised their faith, they were blessed with many gifts that we could use in our daily lives, like the gift of peace and the gift of courage. Reading these verses together just shows how faith is so much more productive than fear.  Faith may not be our immediate response to a difficult situation, but as we move past fear into faith, we will be blessed with many gifts fromGod. We will have the strength to keep going and He will be able to make much more out of our lives than we would be able to without Him.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

I just want to brag about my man--is that okay?

So, yesterday was my first Sunday acting as quasi-ward choir director (recently got called as ward music chair, and decided to pull together a pick-up choir to do a special musical number in March). Not only did Chad participate in the choir like a good husband, but he came home and spent several hours using his tech savvy to transcribe the musical number I had in my head (the number splices two different hymns, Where Can I Turn for Peace & My Redeemer Lives). Now everyone can have a copy, and I can look like I know what I'm doing! He makes my life so much easier. I love that man.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday's Musings and Our New Bedroom!

Today is Friday and I didn't have to work today! Well, other than writing some casenotes from yesterday's sessions. I have several co-workers who work 4-day weeks, and I've always been jealous. This week I set the goal to get it all done in 4 days, just to see what it was like. Yesterday I got 8 hours of therapy in! (I realize that may just sound like I worked an 8 hour day, but when you consider meetings and driving, it was actually a 13-hour day with no breaks). I actually don't know how I did it... but today has been nice. It may or may not ever happen again.

I've had some experiences with therapy this week that felt like setbacks, but I am trying to view them as learning experiences. One client's parents dragged her to a residential treatment facility one night when she was "out of control." It was so disappointing, because I really felt like we had started getting somewhere, and I had to close the case because insurance would consider mine a duplicate service (if I were to continue seeing the parents while the girl is in residential, that is). If the parents would have called me, I know I could have helped them to work through the heat of the moment and make a more reasoned decision about what was best for the girl. But then again, maybe mom and dad didn't want to be talked out of it. Sigh.

Anyway, it was a day off and I got to spend part of it in the dental lab with Chad. I drilled little shapes into a practicing board, sanded stuff, used a little mini saw to sort of "floss" in between some fake teeth, and mixed up some cement-y stuff to make an impression. Oh, it was fun. And now I  need to go train. Must train. Don't want to train today. Will. Must.

The bedroom makeover is complete. The rug I ordered arrived yesterday. I like how it turned out. Do you think I did an okay job pulling the browns and black together? (black rug/black bed frame; brown door frames and furniture; blackish brownish ottoman and pillow cover)

I have to say I'm super pleased with how it turned out. I'm not much of a seamstress, but I had such a fun time making the curtains and the pillow cases (thanks, Duane & Andrea for letting me use your sewing machine!). It feels so much better being in that room now than it did before--oh, how I wish I had some before pictures. It was pretty blah.


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