Sunday, November 29, 2015

What Happy People Know.

Last weekend, I cashed in my birthday present from my seestah's and went to Time Out For Women. 
If there was ever a time I needed a "time out" it is now. 
Yay for awesome birthday gifts!

I must say that my favorite part of the weekend was many, many Gentri performances.

Pleeeze don't underestimate my love for Gentri.

In person, they were flawless. 
Did I mention I love them?

Anywho---many other great things happened at TOFW...
One of them was Hank Smith and his happiness list.
He spoke about what to do when your plan of happiness changes.
That's something that I can relate to, yesiree.

Anyways, he gave a list of 10 things that happy people do.

1. Happy people surround themselves with happy people.
Note to self- don't be that person.... 
2. Happy people try to be happy. 
They work at it, they choose it, they fight unhappiness...
3. Happy people spend money on other people.
Yes, apparently money can buy happiness...
4. They have deep "in-person" conversations. 
Save the texting/messaging for your shallow interactions... :)
5. Happy people laugh a lot. A LOT.
6. Happy people use the power of music.
I could do a whole post on this one.
7. Happy people exercise and eat a healthy diet.
Sorry, it's true. You know it is.
8. Happy people take time to go outside.
Driving outside does not count. 
20 minutes of breathing in outside  air.
9. Happy people get enough sleep.
Thus why my years as a mother of newborns are a blur...
10. Happy people meditate. 
Deliberate meditation, no distractions, 10 minutes. 

And there you have it. The secret to a happier you.
You're welcome.  :)

Shabbat Shalom.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Birthday to Molly.

She is officially 18.
She has also left for home for 6 weeks-
I guess her mom misses her or something :)
We know how that goes.

See you next year, Molly.
Happy, happy holidays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And When Life Just Gets Too Heavy....

...Watch a Korean Drama

Hannah and I are obsessed.
One of us, a tad more than the other.
It's not the one you think-
Unless you're thinking it's me and
then you would be right.

I have watched this one twice....25 episodes. Eeek.

And I'm in the middle of this one.

I can't explain why I love them-
but I do. 
And I am not ashamed.
 (Okay, maybe just a little because twice is really too much for a 25 episode season, 
even I know that.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Of Cleaving.

I fasted yesterday.
It has become my new "go-to."
Though I have been fasting once a month since I was 8 years old,
I have never truly tapped into the power of fasting more than monthly.
It has become another lifeline for me.
Sometimes I am embarrassed that I need so many lifelines.
And by lifelines I mean that I am dependent upon them for my survival.
-the temple,
-the Book of Mormon,
-lot's of gut-wrenching prayer.
But my spirit craves more. And the more I feed the craving, the more I need.
It's a beautiful relationship.
I am also keenly aware that it goes both ways.
The less I give, the less I desire and so it's a cautionary tale. :)

But back to yesterday.
I found two beautiful scriptures.
A simple answer to my hard questions.
I loved the moment in which I found them, and I love the continual strength they bring me.

" Yea, cleave unto me with all of your heart...."
D&C 11:19

"...cleave unto God as He cleaveth unto you."
Jacob 6:5

I can do that.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Discipleship in 2015.

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, 
This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
John 6:60

Might I just say- Never.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Halloween or Something Like It.

Halloween was almost a non-event this year.
At the last minute, I headed out of town to help 
a friend who was in need. 
I was gone for 10 days and returned the day before Halloween.
The same pumpkins I bought before I left sat uncarved,
 and none of the pre-Halloween traditions had been done.
I felt pretty pathetic.
And really, when you only have one costumer at home, 
the hoopla is kind of half-hearted anyway, right?
Sadly, the answer is yes.
However, Will headed out to school in a 
pretty cool costume contrived by he and his dad (high-five Michael). 

 Hat and Russian face courtesy of Michaela.
Red eyes courtesy of my camera and my extreme laziness that prevented me from fixing them.  

Later that evening the Russian face was still going strong. 
He was joined by a nerd and serial killer 
and headed out to conquer two neighborhoods.
 KGB agent
 Smartie pants (get it?)

 and Freddy Kreuger.

Yep- some real creativity going on there. 

And just because, Michael and I decided to celebrate Halloween by going to the movies. Super duper pathetic but hey!

I was so out of it, I didn't even confiscate candy.
Nor did I make disgusted noises over the 
amount of candy hauled in. 
As a matter of fact, Will, being wise to my past methods,
took it straight to his room and hid it in multiple places.
And I didn't even care. I'm blaming jet lag. :)

So Halloween has come and gone and per tradition (that I began last year), 
the Christmas music is playing loud and strong.
I find no shame in that.
The way time is flying Christmas will be here and gone 
before you know it. 
I intend to squeeze out every bit of joy I possibly can 
between now and then. 

So Merry Christmas and no, I haven't forgotten you Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Doing the Work of Jesus.

Hello again, it's me. 
I use to blog regularly.
Now I don't.
And that's about all you need to know.
Here's to hoping I find my groove again.

I've been thinking a lot about missionaries lately.
Probably because almost every sacrament meeting this summer hosted an outgoing or incoming missionary. 
It was awesome.
I can't explain the love that fills my heart for those who leave and then return.
It's amazing, the change, and I can't get enough of it.
Mostly because I find myself constantly examining my own commitment to doing the work of Jesus. 
I love it. 
For the Brown side of the family, it was quite the year for missionaries.

We had this lovely girl come home from the Georgia Atlanta North Mission. 
She was an awesome girl before she left, but oh my, 
the difference in her has been so amazing to see.
She is a great example of how missions are meant to sink the gospel deep into your own heart as you do the Lord's work.
Lindsey continually seeks for people to help and ways to serve.
She is truly one of my favorite people to be around.
She adds a dose of joy to everything.

Then, this boy left for  Honduras.
His letters home make me laugh. For example and I quote:
"Here's the story of the week. My companion 
almost killed a baby ".  
But more often than not, they make me cry:
"My mission has and is changing me into the person I was MEANT to be". 

 Love that Elder Neeley.

Not long after he left,another Elder Neeley came home.
His brother had served for 2 years in Colorado Springs, (Spanish speaking).
This boy killed me.
As happy as he was to see his family, he was not ready to be done. If someone had offered him the choice, he would have turned right around and headed back to Colorado, 
not even having to think about it for a minute. 
To say he loved his mission doesn't
begin to describe it.
And so, he has committed himself to extending his missionary service to the Olympia, Washington area. On any given day, he can be found seeking out service and reaching out to those who are struggling. 
And in between all that he tries to work a job. :)
 What an example. 

And a couple of months later this Elder came home:
He served for 2 years in the Texas Lubbock Mission, 
also Spanish speaking.
I happened to witness the emotional moment 
he took off his tag (Sorry Cody).
It was heartbreaking.  
I never realized how hard that moment can be.
Especially when you have literally left everything on the field for Jesus, like Elder Backus did. 
You could just feel it.
I'm crying just remembering that moment. Ugh.

And now, in just a few short weeks, our year of missionaries culminates with Sister Paynter heading to the 
Raleigh, North Carolina Mission.
We are so excited for her.
I know it will be the hardest thing she has ever done and the courage it takes to make this decision is pretty intense.
But I can't wait to bask in her returned missionary glow in just 18 short months (Ha!)

And just because he didn't leave or return this year,
 let's not forget Elder Paynter.
He just passed his one year mark 
in the Mexico, Pachuca Mission.
I'll close with his amazing testimony:

"No one can truly understand the importance of the Atonement without reading the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true! I know that it can bless the lives of us as a Family! Don't stop reading the Book of Mormon, Mom!! I love the Gospel and know that only blessings and Eternal Life come through our Savior. I love him and love getting to know him more through my study of the Book of Mormon. My greatest Advice that I can give to Meghan as she is preparing, is to read the Book of Mormon. The greatest advice that I can give to all the kids is to read the Book of Mormon. IT IS TRUE! I know it is! I love it and hope to be able to have the opportunity to study it for every day of the rest of my Life!!"

Amen Elder.