Life of a Real Mom

Unedited Mothering

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 17)

Today – July 26, 2019 – Peace of Mind

Piute Pass Trailhead

Curt and I are home from being Duncan’s support vehicle for 10 days on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra Mountains of Northern California.

Here is the REAL story. I don’t always have peace of mind. Yes, I support Duncan’s hikes. He loves it! He is an amazing hiker and driven to reach impressive heights, distances, landscapes and vistas. His hiking hobby keeps Duncan active and has brought us to some amazingly gorgeous places that humans can only get to on foot. Still, I admit that deep down I have been less than happy about the amount of Duncan’s attention and time it has taken away from me and the family. These generated negative thoughts in my mind have plagued my mind and emotions from time to time.

After years of personal growth despite these thoughts, I have come to the conclusion that:

  • My thoughts create my emotions. I have control over my thoughts, so if I manage them correctly I can create more healthy emotions.
  • I want to the be the kind of wife that supports her husband in the things that are important to him. I do this because of who I am, not in order to please anyone.
  • I give his choices and free agency to him. They are his. I also have my own choices, including how I respond to my circumstances.
  • Affirmations are a tool to set my dreams in motion, like this one: I am loved and lovable, and as I choose to love others, I find it easy for others to love me too.
  • I am excited for the future as I now understand and know that if it is to be, it is up to me. I work hand-in-hand with the Lord and my husband. I like being in-charge of me. I am a responsible person.

Obviously there is a lot more truth than stated above. There is more to what I have dealt with in my life and head to come to these conclusions. Truth is all around us and I am so grateful for the truth I know so far. My foundation comes from Jesus Christ. He is the source of all light, truth, goodness, and peace, including peace of mind. I am learning buckets and buckets of emotional and mind management truths that are allowing me to feel more peace of mind and happiness. If you are struggling with thoughts of resentment or discouragement I recommend the following resources:

  • Jody Moore Podcast #197: Brain Software ON HER SITE, ON SOUNDCLOUD
  • Jody Moore Podcast #199: The River of Misery ON HER SITE, ON SOUNDCLOUD
  • The book The Emotional Skills and Tools of Positive Mind Management by Dennis Parker
  • Podcasts by Brooke Castillo, Jody Moore and Natalie Clay on understanding the power of our thoughts.
  • 7 Habit of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Bible and The Book of Mormon.

Hiking is awesome. Husbands are awesome. Husbands and hiking have been on my mind a lot because they are my current situation. YOU have a different current situation. You have your immediate worries and thoughts, whether they be positive or negative. Understanding that our thoughts create our emotions is awesome. Peace is the best! Find it in your head. I am. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, of course. 🙂

Yesterday – July 12, 2019

My determined bunch in front of the tow truck pulling our precious but exhausted van.

Our van is toast. It is such a sad fact. This Honda Odessey is the best car Duncan and I have ever had. It gets…got great gas mileage, has tons of storage space, and has gone the distance, 226,217 miles to be exact.

To make a long story short, we over heated BIG TIME, 2 miles outside of Gallup, New Mexico on our way to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We got towed into PepBoys (Thank you AAA). We stayed at the NICE Springhill Suites by Marriott across the street and after two opinions came to accept the fact that the engine was ruined. We made the excellent decision to rent a 15 passenger van to continue on our vacation, which was awesome! The hikes, water falls, BB guns, quads, jeep rides, yummy food, and the mountains are written on our hearts. Thank you Brandon and Ross for coming with us and enduring the fancy unexpected stay in Gallup.

Yesterday, safely at home – I finalized the highest sale I could muster for the van, still parked at Gallup Automotive, for $200. Blast. That is the absolute best I could do. Then, after research and a test drive, decided to buy Kay and Chuck’s (my daughter and her husband) 2007 Honda Civic, which only has 92,000 miles! Kay and Chuck have wanted to sell it, since they are moving to Puerto Rico in a couple months and so it is a win – win. They have loved the car. They bought it a year ago for $6,000 and I bought it from them for the same amount. Hondas hold their value for a long time.

The moral? I have no idea. Keep going when your car breaks down? Hondas are awesome? It is possible to sell a car from a long distance? We love Colorado so much that we will do anything to get there? My kids and husband are patient and awesome? All of these morals are all true. 🙂

Today – July 13, 2019

I am not the best at winking.

Today has been a good one:

  • Read and pondered The Word of God.
  • Did some very brief exercises.
  • Made pancakes. Ate 4!
  • Painted the ceiling in my bedroom.
  • Curt (13) got home from Geronimo Scout Camp! I missed him! Unfortunately he caught the flu somehow and was vomiting through the night his last night at camp. Yuck for him! Fortunately, no other scouts were in his tent this particular night, so he didn’t interrupt others, but poor guy had to endure that in the dark in the woods all alone.
  • Went with Kay to ASAP Title and Registration. LOVE THIS PLACE! (It is worth the $15 convenience fee to not have to go to the MVD.)
  • Made chef salad for big and medium kids.
  • Figured out the map that Duncan is currently following in Northern California so that we can follow along. He is hiking hundreds more miles this summer toward his life long goal of hiking from Mexico to Canada.
  • Went to visit Adam (18), who worked a double shift at Smashburger today. Have you had their BBQ Salad?! It is the bomb.
  • Painted three more hours on the walls and details in my bedroom. I washed my hands and face before I took the above picture. I actually have paint speckled on one of my contacts that I still need to wash off.
  • Time for bed!

Some Current Trends in Education

Eighth Grade Promotion

Curt had over 70 standardized tests in middle school! He has often reminded me to help him reach his goals, because the schools aren’t doing it. I recently read The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley. It was very telling. The U.S.A. school system and culture leaves something to be desired. I was not surprised.

Ted Dintersmith

Ted Dintersmith’s book looks at the schools in the U.S. His look is critical, instructive and refreshing. There are some good things going on in some schools that the others could learn from. This talk gets me so excited and concerned all at the same time.

Williamsburg learning says the same thing – the current way of doing things in our schools isn’t going to meet the vast opportunities available to our next generation.

My cousin Monica is a gifted education advocate in Cinnicinati, Ohio. She has recommend the following books for me to read:

I’ve been reading and thinking about homeschooling for years and years. Finally, we are all on the same page and I am going to homeschool Curt ninth grade this fall! I am not going to use Williamsburg Learning, but I have been inspired by some of their ideas.

There are SO MANY resources out there that we will be taking advantage. I would say I am more of a manager of Curt’s education than THE instructor. What AM I going to do?

  • Encourage TONS of exploration and invention, following HIS ideas
  • BYU on-line SCIENCE (Anyone can use this incredible resource.)
  • BYU on-line MATH
  • ASU camps, museum and real-life hands-on field trips
  • Memoria Press Literature and Composition
  • Duncan’s ASU geography content and quizzes from his college curriculum (Did you know my husband is a geography professor?)
  • History books, videos, and research
  • Private piano and violin instruction
  • Our local school sports program
  • Our local seminary program
  • Local homeschooling Co-op for even more socialization and exposure

Out of the 24 classics that Memoria Press recommends for third grade through middle school, Curt has read two. So we are going to have a blast reading the books he has missed starting in August. We are going to read them for fun, for discussion, and for application in real life – not for a test or an assignment. I am so excited! Here is the book list for this fall:

  • Farmer Boy
  • The Moffats
  • The Blue Fairy Book
  • Dangerous Journey
  • The Cricket in Time Square
  • Lassie
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Heidi
  • The Twenty-one Balloons
  • King Arthur
  • Adam of the Road
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • The Door in the Wall
  • The Bronze Bow
  • The Hobbit
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Trojan War
  • The Wind and the Willows
  • Treasure Island
  • Tom Sawyer
  • As you Like It

More than the book list, Curt’s freedom to invent to his hearts content will be the most striking improvement this year. He is constantly sharing idea with me. He watches science shows and SpaceX during his free time. He has drawers of wires and screws. He loves dumpster diving for broken machines so he can take them apart and find out what makes them tick.

I hope and feel quite excited that Curt will have an “out-of-the-box” experience this year. The sky is the limit and Curt is ready to launch.

Natalie Clay: Couples Coach

One of the questions I ask my clients a lot is, “What’s wrong with disagreeing?”

Disagreeing is essential in Duncan and my relationship. It has reduced our arguing by miles and miles. For us, it is okay to agree to disagree.

Natalie Clay says, “This relates to all sorts of different things:

“I don’t want to go biking but my husband thinks it’s important that we all go as a family.

“I would rather not spend every Sunday with my in-laws but my wife gets super defensive when I try and talk to her about it.

“I really love spending time with my girlfriends on occasion but my husband doesn’t like being left alone to get the kids down.

“Every time we have an argument my wife wants to talk about it for hours and it drives me crazy.

“Did you know you can disagree on anything you want? Your spouse might not like it and that really is OK! 

“The goal of marriage can’t be seeing eye-to-eye on everything. That would be weird and boring.

“Here’s a simple tip to make disagreeing more tolerable: Don’t NEED your spouse to understand your reasons. Allow them the freedom to be upset about it. It’s really OK.

“It’s perfectly fine for your husband to wish you were biking while you stay home. It’s nice that he wants you along. It’s not a problem that your wife wants to spend every Sunday with her family. That’s not a reason you should go. It’s OK for your husband to have a stressful night getting kids down. Don’t need him to enjoy it. If you’re done talking about feelings, that’s the perfect time to end the discussion. It’s OK if your wife thinks you’re being insensitive. That’s not the reason you’re done.

“It may seem harder to do what feels best when your spouse doesn’t understand or like your reasons, but it’s really good practice to get your own back. The alternative is to resent them for “making” you do all the things. Being an emotional adult means allowing others to  be wrong about your reasons. It’s not a problem unless you think they should understand. If they don’t, they shouldn’t and it’s OK.” (by Couples Coaching with Natalie Clay)

Get Added her Address Book

Traveling with Kids

Duncan and I got this book years ago.

Dunc and I have gone all over the place with our kids, mostly via camping because it is more affordable. In fact most of them have been to 49 of the 50 states (we still need to visit North Dakota), including many state and national parks. You have GOT to try out the Jr. Ranger Program! It makes traveling with kids an extra adventure and keeps kids occupied and learning while you soak in the beauty around you. I think my kids have learned to appreciate conservation and taking care of nature better because of this great program.

I think this is crazy and unnecessary, but more and more people are doing it. Kay and Chuck went to Paris before Lyla came. If you want some ideas on a taking a trip before baby comes check out Babymoon Holidays.

Kay and Chuck on their Babymoon in Paris

Traveling should be before and after baby comes.

Lyla in Northern Arizona
Capitol Reef in Southern Utah

I suppose that our kids’ adventurous spirits may be partly Duncan and my fault. We have 5 very courageous kids who love to travel, hike, camp, and explore. Doesn’t that seem to be a step in the direction of resilience? Which the world is in great need for.

J.D. at the end of the Appalachian Trail: Mount Katahdin!

Raising Resilient Children

“Depression is now the single leading cause of disability globally” (World Health Organization). Susan David shares articulate insight in her excellent talk on Emotional Agility. How do we teach our kids that discomfort is okay? They need this resilience to live in a complicated world.

Lessons of Resilience from Childhood

—Lyle J. Burrup

When I was a child, many adults in my life—parents, neighbors, teachers, and Church leaders—taught me and my brother and sisters the following lessons. These five principles may be helpful for your children:

  1. Paying the price for privileges.I knew that freedom to play with my friends in the coming days depended on whether or not I came home on time.
  2. The law of the harvest.If I wanted money, I had to deliver the newspapers for my route and collect the money each month.
  3. Personal accountability and responsibility.I had to complete my own homework, science fair projects, and merit badges.
  4. The law of restitution.I could make up for misbehavior by apologizing and repairing the wrong. My parents sometimes suggested that I complete extra chores, such as pulling weeds.
  5. Learning from mistakes.If I made my bed poorly, did not wash the dishes properly, or did not pull weeds properly, I had to redo these tasks correctly.
Rough times will come. By dealing with failure and uncertainty in healthy ways, we develop toughness. No one is perfect. We must have resilience to try and try again.

You can do it. Our kids can do it.

Today – July 10, 2019

I cut my hair.

Today I decided to clean out my inbox instead of work on painting our master bathroom. Here is what it looks like after 2 days of primer:

A Work in Progress.

As you can see the walls are blotchy. I don’t want to cover brown paint ever again. I AM glad I am taking the time to prime the walls, though. The finished walls will be Revere Pewter (light gray) and the ceiling back to white. The doors and trim will be whisper white and the cabinets will be matted black. What color of towels should I spring for?


See the brown walls… still all through out my bedrooms, unfortunately. The catalyst to our remodel was the moldy floor board there at the base of the leaky shower door, but you can see that the vinyl flooring and shower were yuck-a-rama too.


I love the tile – My mom would have laid it herself, but I am not going to ask her to do that again, even though she does a pristine job. I hired a contractor to handle the new shower walls and doors, the tile, and the shower and tub fixtures. I AM painting the walls and cabinets, which are taking some time.

Lately I have been loving the subject of mind management! Check out what I am learning HERE.

Have a good today!

Emotional Agility

I am learning about emotion and mind management. 

Emotions are energy (actual vibrations from our minds) that we can control through our thoughts. “When we allow a thought [true or not/good or not], an image, or a belief/idea into our subconscious minds, the degree to which we amplify the thought or belief in our imaginations, plus the amount of memory data we recall from our memories to justify and validate being right with the accepted belief, makes it a predominant behavior producing thought in our belief system.” (The Emotional Skills and Tools of Positive Mind Management by Dennis Parker) Susan David, PhD calls this amplification.

This energy effects our health, our behavior and our happiness. Worries, resentment, doubts, and untruths can be destructive. BUT ignoring them is not the answer. I love what Susan David says in her TedTalk: “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage”, “Be curious about your emotions. What are they telling you?” Emotions are data. They are a manifestation of what we care about. They should lead us to our values. 
Remember that truth, light, love, encouragement, beauty, and goodness create life in us. 

The brain is different than the mind, Dennis Parker teaches. The brain is a physical organ in our bodies. It is programmed to repeat itself and to defend itself. This is why we regurgitate thoughts (worries, memories, hurts, images) over and over. We need to make sure the “stories” we are telling ourselves are true and uplifting. The mind is the center of your intelligence. It is the eternal part of you. The mind controls the brain and as you continue to strengthen your mind, you will be able to control your brain, which controls your thoughts, which controls your feelings and emotions, thus controlling your life. Isn’t it fitting that the Savior teaches to let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly. Virtue is light, purity, and truth. From this power we can be one with God and gain all that he has: riches, peace, knowledge of the past and future, His love, and much more. 
I am reading a few books and doing other research on these subjects right now. I hope to become a source for good in the arena of emotion and mind management. It is all very cool.

You have an amazing mind! Let it help you be happy! Here is my current book/media list:

The Power of Emotional Courage by Susan David

Susan David, TedWomen 2017: “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage” Here are my notes:

“Emotions seen as only good or bad is rigid. Rigid in the face of complexity (the world today) is toxic” and this effects with way we live, love, and parent.

Discomfort is okay.

Emotional agility = resilience, thriving

Apartheid/Nazi is denial. They convince all that everything is okay.

ex. father dying of cancer for 10 years – and she kept going through life as if everything was okay. The beginning of her solution was writing in her journal (8th grade English teacher’s advice) as if no one would read it. out came grief, sadness, and regret

“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.” ex. We are young until we are not.

“The only certainty is uncertainty and yet we are not navigating this frailty successfully or sustainably.”

“Depression is now the single leading cause of disability globally.” – World Health Organization 

…We are victimized by our newsfeed… (triggers and buffers in Carol’s presentation at the Alldredge reunion relate here. 

Parents shouldn’t inadvertently shame their kids by quieting emotions that seem negative. Parents shouldn’t jump to solutions and fail to recognize emotions that are inherently valuable. ex. cancer victim is to “just stay positive.” Woman, stop being angry. This is a tyranny of positivity – it is cruel and ineffective. If we learn anything from the apartheid, it is that rigid denial doesn’t work.

When you ignore emotions they grow = amplification. (p. xiv on The Emotional Skills… relates here.) Deal with the world as it is, not as we want it to be. ex: “I don’t want to try, because I don’t want to feel disappointed.” or “I just want this feeling to go away.” I understand, but you have dead people’s goals. Only dead people don’t get inconvenienced by their feelings. ex. stress, discomfort. Tough emotions are part of our contract with life. 

Accept emotions and yet be accurately label them. Be truthful = “readiness potential “

Emotions are data. They are a reflection of what we care about.

Rage when you read the news – Shape your life in that direction …

We own our emotions, they don’t own us.

When you feel an emotion, show up – be curious. NOT “I am …” You are not the emotion. You are you and the emotion is a data source. Instead say, “I notice I am feeling angry, I am feeling sad.” These are essential skills for us our families and our communities. When people are allowed to feel their emotional truth, they 

Meet your emotions with Curiosity and let them step you closer to your values. What are your emotions telling you? 

Feel your emotional truth. Diversity of emotion makes resilience. What is my emotion telling me. Which will take me to my values? Which will take me away from my values? Be truthful.

We all die, Susan. Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is fear walking.

When the time comes that we need to face our fragility, let yourself be agile.

Let the moment be a resounding “Yes.” in seeing yourself, you are also able to see others too, the only way to survive with resilience in a complex world.

All these words are directly or indirectly from Susan David, PhD. She has a book that can be found HERE.

Older posts

© 2019 Life of a Real Mom

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑