Thursday, December 1, 2011


Sometimes... you just can't explain things. After five years of being told that we could not afford a horse, not the purchase price, nor the monthly costs; after working 'in-kind' for 2 years to pay for training for my children's lessons, after almost eliminating lessons and horses entirely from our routine.... my ex-husband bought a horse for our children!! "Astounded" doesn't begin to explain my surprise, my delight, my exuberance and happiness for my children!!! Although I will never understand his reasons, I WILL ever be grateful that he did this for them!!! They are over the moon!!

I am so excited to see what amazing experiences my kids will have...the shows, the friends, the lessons, the learning and growing and the sheer excitement they have...just priceless!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ordinary Miracle

Isn't 'Ordinary Miracle' an oxymoron? How is something miraculous if it's also ordinary? Is that possible? My online dictionary defines 'miracle' as:

1) an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2) such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3) a wonderful or surpassing example of some quality.

and 'ordinary' as:
1) of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional.
2) plain or undistinguished.
3) somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre.
4) customary; usual; normal.

So Friday night, it was just my littlest guy and me for the evening. We decided to watch a movie together. At first we picked Dreamer but he remembered it's got too many scratches on it and skips too much (not sure why we haven't tossed it if that's the case... but that's for ANOTHER post!). We chose Charlotte's Web.

Now... you would think I would have read it enough times, and/or seen the animated movie enough times... to NOT cry. I KNOW HOW IT ENDS! I know the drill... uncommon friendship, kindness, sacrifice, love - all 'round feel-good show. Knowing this should shield me from the onslaught of sappy expressions, right? No.Such.Luck. I'm really a sap... I'll admit it, even without the hormones of pregnancy running through my blood I will cry at the drop of a sentimental hat!! Touching commercials will even get me... still. Oh well... my only saving grace is that my son was equally as touched. We shed a tear in unison together on our couch... bonding moment!

As I was sitting there after the movie, pondering the message of Charlotte telling Wilbur that he had changed things... as a result of his acceptance of her, his goodness and kindness (and his willingness to express it!) he made everyone in that barn think a spider was beautiful. And through her sacrifice, she was able to spare his life from the smokehouse. I was contemplating how sublime those simple principles of acceptance and kindness are.

How many times are our simplest of actions the most significant? A quick word of encouragement to a friend, a heartfelt hug, an 'I love you' at the end of a conversation, a 'thumbs up' when feeling down, a quick phone call to see how we're doing, a casual compliment? Honestly, the older I get the more I realize that it's the small acts of random kindness, consideration and care that ultimately bind us to each other. Why? Because THESE expressions are culturally optional.

Everyone 'hops to' when a loved one passes away, or a friend has had an accident... meals are made, children are babysat, houses are cleaned. We KNOW that someone needs help and we respond. It's loving, it's kind, it's supportive... all very good, and it's also CUSTOMARY and as such, almost expected. Now, while those are surely vital and important times to lend a hand and support - they aren't the only moments that bring us closer to each other and I might propose that they aren't the only instances where SIGNIFICANT connections are made.

It's those optional, voluntary, unnecessary moments when someone reaches out a hand, a word, a glance, a hug... and we are moved in profound ways. Because no one expected them to, no one asked them to, no one felt obliged... it's a true gift, an expression of love from a willing heart. And THAT... is powerful.

As I'm resting on our couch, musing over the movie and watching the credits... I hear this song by Sarah McLachlan 'Orindary Miracle' and I begin crying again. Here's a sampling (there's a lot more to this song, but this'll give you a good idea of what it's about):

The sky knows when it's time to snow
Don't need to teach a seed to grow
It's just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
And disappears again at night
It's just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don't throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part of the ordinary miracle

I just sat there and listened to this and thought of all those small ordinary, yet miraculous things that make a difference in my life. My daughter giving me a hug in front of her friends (this might be more miraculous than ordinary!! LOL), my mom calling me in the morning to see how I'm doing, a morning text message from my boyfriend, lunch with a good friend, my 10 year old wanting me to rub his back still....

Ordinary? Absolutely... Miraculous? Undoubtedly... because, according to one of the definitions, these things manifest as a work of God - namely, Love. And Love... loving, being loved, being 'in love'... is God's greatest work we can do and experience; and being fortunate enough to have an abundance of Love in my life, through ordinary, voluntary means... is truly miraculous, yes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Circle of Life... From the Second Half!!

The Circle of Life... I've always loved the idea of this concept. I love developmental or cyclical things; seasons, rebirth, growth, death, etc. I find great comfort in the majesty of it, the order of it and the connectedness it displays; I like knowing that I am a part of something that grand. Studying how the parts are interconnected and interdependent is just fascinating to me.... Until I realized that, at 45 years old now, I am FIRMLY on the second half of that circle! GAH!

HOW can this be? I see that I have children that are adults... but there must be some mistake, right? THEY can age... but I still feel about 27 years old in my own mind! Even my sister challenged me a few months ago when I said that my second son was turning eighteen... "Are you sure? That can't be right!" Uh.... yeah.

I realized the other day, on my birthday actually, that I am no longer the young mom with young kids (I still have 'younger kids' - but not YOUNG kids). I am now one of those veteran moms the 'young moms' look at, wonder how we've done it and question how they, too, can do it... and they have no idea of my story!!

So...I suppose I need to reluctantly admit that one benefit of being on the second half of that circle is the beautiful opportunity to pass on some of my life's experiences, wisdom, hope and strength to someone else who is walking a similar path. That happened to me recently, and it warmed my heart. Other than to our immediate family, we don't often get the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, or stand on the watchtower and shout encouragement - so I wanted to share it.

About a year ago, a lovely young woman in our church came to me and had some questions about homeschooling. She knew I had homeschooled all four of my children and had recently decided she, too, wanted to venture into the crazy abyss of a homeschool lifestyle! She was, naturally, questioning her sanity and a bit trepidacious at the prospect of it all and wanted to talk to someone about it. (Here's where part of the disconnect happened for me, because I realize NOW that she saw me as a veteran, experienced mom here but I still saw myself as a struggling mom trying to muddle through it, too!).

I wondered to myself, 'What do I say that would help her as she explores into the fray?' and I thought to myself, 'I will simply tell her what I wish someone might have said to me when I was taking that leap of faith and walking off the ledge!' She came over and I gave her a ton of my supplies that I wasn't using anymore since my kids were in school. We talked for about 2 hours, and I probably overwhelmed her with the amount of suggestions, ideas and organizational tips (my inner ManagerMom was in bliss!). I'm not sure of all I said, but do remember boiling it down to this, "There will be days you will cry and wonder what you were thinking. You will feel like you can't do one more day of this, you'll feel like you're failing and you will think you've lost your mind... and it will be okay! Just know that on those days, it's just a bad day. It will end and you will get up the next day and things will be different, maybe even better and you will carry on and enjoy your time with your child. Just take it one day at at time and embrace it all."

A couple of months ago, she sent a message to me on Facebook, thanking me for the encouragement and information and indicated that it made a big difference in her confidence to take on such a task and that she was loving it, enjoying the new journey with her daughter and she was grateful for the support I'd offered. It made me feel very good!! I was glad that I had helped in some way. A few months passed by, and we were at a social function the other day. She again reiterated how much of a difference that meeting made for her, emboldening her resolve to strike out and try something new. Again, I was flattered...

But here's what she said that made me realize that I am that 'older mom' to whom she was looking for guidance, support and encouragement. She said, "I am SO glad you told me that there would be days when I would cry and feel like I was failing, days when I'd want to give up... but it was normal to feel that way sometimes. When I feel like that, I think to myself, 'Shannan said I'd feel this way, and if she could do this with her four kids, I can do this with my one. I just can't tell you how much it has helped me, and what an inspiration you have been to me.' I almost teared up... knowing that my simple words describing my own experience made such a difference to her. Until this moment, I hadn't really experienced this before... the gift of feeling the expressed gratitude of someone else as they relished in their success and knowing that I played a part in providing some hope and faith for them along the way.

The funny thing about circles is that the beginning and ending are rather elusive... and as such, we are often unsure about where we are on that cyclical journey. Sometimes, we have touchpoints, or markers, that delineate our place along that pathway. This was such a marker for me. I realized in that one moment... that I was no longer the young, struggling mom looking outward/forward, anxiously seeking or searching for my own vision and understanding. I was the mom offering that inspiration and reassurance... and I didn't even realize it. And although I like to complain that I'm shocked that I'm actually a 45 year old mom... I was truly, surprisingly comfortable in my place, in my part, and grateful that someone out there thought I was 'that mom' to whom they could reach out to for assistance as they sought their own vision, their own path, their own journey.

Like I said, I love the concept of the Circle of Life, the associations within it...and I'm really okay with the fact that I'm on the second half looking back with satisfaction at my first half. It's a good place to be!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Confessions from a Life of Imperfection: The UN-perfect Mormon Mom!

Fall is such a busy, busy time... kids get back into school and we have to acclimate to the new schedules again, the days get shorter and I begin to feel like I don't have quite as much time each day! However, with that... I also begin to feel the instinctual urge to get cozy - wait for the weather to cool (even in SoCal... it EVENTUALLY cools down!) and hunker on down in front of the fire with a cup of tea and my kids. It's important for me to have these quiet times with myself or my kids, because sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by life and these opportunities help me to 'reboot'.

This Fall was a learning experience for me AGAIN (I'm having A LOT of those lately). I'm not one of those Mormon Mom Bloggers who is going to tell you that my life is so amazingly perfect that I just can't hold in the gratitude, or that my children get such great grades, or that I've found the PERFECT gift for their teacher and that I have completed three house decorating projects this week (which were just snappy easy and super-duper cute) and four craft projects with my kids (which, of course, they just adored and will put in their sentimental safekeeping box)... Nope... That ain't me. If you're looking for that kind of a BlogMom... keep looking.

Here's what you'll get here: I'm real. I screw up sometimes and hit a home run other times. I forget things, sometimes even important things for work or my kids. They struggle in school and with our household management skills. (For instance, my almost 11 year old child seems to have a profound aversion to placing clothing INSIDE the drawers of his dresser! He must just be very efficient-minded after all my ManagerMom tricks and techniques, and feels that clothes are more easily accessible if they are just thrown upon the floor :)!! It's an ongoing battle, but I willingly don my warrior-wear each week I am with them.)

I don't have kids that are on the State Debate Team, All State Soccer or in accelerated classes. Both my children who are at home struggle with learning disabilities. We aren't looking at AP classes or even college at this point. We are dealing with life skills, social skills, personal management, self-esteem, kindness and respect for each other.

We don't have Family Home Evening every week, we don't read our scriptures when we're super tired (uhhhmmmm... we go to bed!), and sometimes (gasp!)...we miss Youth Night activities. My daughter is 15 1/2 and we are NOT working on her second Personal Progress award - in fact, it's not likely she'll obtain even one. My ex-husband is the driving force behind the scouting movement in our family and I couldn't tell you if my 11 yo is close to completing his Webelos rank badges or not.

And my second son who is off to college? Yeah... I only get the phone calls when he actually needs something. Though, I do count myself lucky that he will, in fact, ANSWER my calls to him and although he's monosyllabic in his responses... he will respond and have a quasi-discussion. He's not posting on FB how much he loves me or misses us, or how grateful he is for the years of selfless sacrifice I spent homeschooling him or supporting him in his hobbies and achievements. But even though he almost grunts during our conversations... he did tell me he loved me today.

What I can tell you, however, is this: I am learning to let go of those things as markers of my success as a parent. What matters to me as a parent are three things I heard many years ago for goals in parenting: 1)that my child is mostly happy, 2)that my child progresses, and 3) that they know they are loved. Those are my goals. THAT, I can toward those goals.

So given that, I work on teaching my children to be kind and respectful to each other and it doesn't always work out that way. I teach them to be kind to me, and it doesn't always work out. I teach them that life doesn't always go according to plan, but you gotta adapt and make the best of it. I teach them to keep trying and work hard, be open to new experiences and to find gratitude in the small things that surround them. I teach them that they aren't entitled to good things, but how we can find good things around us on any day. I say "I love you" every day, sometimes many times in a day. I hug them whenever I can. I smile at them whenever I can. I encourage them in all that they are doing and I strive to recognize the good things they do each day. I tell them how proud of them I am for WHO they are, not WHAT they do.

And while we won't likely be seeing my kids up on stage getting some award for overachievement where my friends and family might say, "You must be so proud of all that hard work!"... I will see my kids living their lives, hopefully enjoying those lives and will think to myself... "I am so proud of who they ARE!"

So there you have it... real life, real struggles and real joy. Stay tuned for more updates from a Life of Imperfection...

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Wow... I just can't believe how fast this summer as completely disappeared! School begins again in two weeks and I'm pretty sure I'm not really ready to begin daily homework and early morning Seminary again! GAH! Here's a sampling of this summer!! This first one has Parker and Braden enjoying a ride at Knott's Berry Farm... FUN!!

Baby horses being born... AMAZING to see new little creatures coming into the world!

Mud Run... also amazing to realize just how dirty one can get!!

Daughter works as an assistant groom at Arabian Horse Youth Nationals and her barn-mate wins National Champion!!!

Fountain fun... just before the security guard told us we weren't allowed to have fun in the water. Sigh!

Celebrating with my kids... I got a job where I can earn hours toward my licensing as Marriage and Family Therapist after searching for a year! WOOHOO!

Fun with Grandparents at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego!

Fun with other grandparents in Sonoma, CA!!

For me personally... THIS new development is extremely satisfying... DATING!! Amazing how much MORE enjoyable the process is when you know what you want and what you like!!

Life is good... really, really good!! I am excited to see what new experiences and memories are to be made this Fall!! :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Number Two (but really Number One!) Graduates!

My second son passed through one of life's milestone's this past week... the all consuming High School Graduation! I say it's Number Two but really Number One because my oldest son was homeschooled for part of high school, then went off to junior college to finish up before transferring to BYU. We never had a graduation event for him. So while this is my second child to reach this age, it was the first time that extended family gathered from all over the state to celebrate this fine young man and join together in acknowledging his hard work and accomplishment!

Now, aside from the usual stress and insanity of graduation festivities, this gathering gave me little more angst than it normally would have; it was the first time since I separated a year and a half ago that I was going to see some ex-in-laws. I just wasn't sure how it was all going to feel, some I hadn't seen in years...I am happy to say, that everyone of us was able to focus on the young man at hand, celebrate for and with him and leave any of our personal opinions at the side of the road and get on board with this great adventure! It was a delightful day... and my son even said THANK YOU to those family members for coming down, and at one point I was able to catch my ex's sight, gave him a smile, a nod, and a thumbs up as our boy had just received his diploma, he returned the smile... and it was a very, very good day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Having avoided the traditional high school activities most of his 4 years at the school, my second son decided to change things up and go to Prom! Here's his absolutely lovely date... What a GORGEOUS couple!! They had an amazing night with lots of friends! So fun to see him enjoying this final days of high school!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wisdom Teeth Extractions!

Poor boy...four impacted wisdom teeth at once. One was so impacted it needed to be broken up into 3 pieces! Poor's how we kept track of our medicine dispensary! Three different meds, different times, etc. This way...once he's coherent and I've got to go to work...we both know when he took what!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Ups and Downs...Happy Mother's Day!

I think one of the greatest things we can learn in life - is that our only guarantee is the impermanence of's always changing! Being divorced and making the related choices and adjustments has given me such amazing opportunities to learn this concept; to learn how to truly meet my own emotional needs, to trust God that His plan for me is going to play out when I can get out of my own way enough to let it happen, and to enjoy all that this life has to offer me...because it's never the same and it's usually NOT what I thought it was going to be! This past week has been a rough one, there are many MORE changes that will be occurring in my life this coming year and, honestly, they scare me. So...for today....I'll focus on what makes me happy!

My only daughter is finishing up her Freshman year at our local public high school. She has auditory and visual processing disorder, experiences severe cognitive delays and was homeschooled her entire life until this past year. She LOVES high school...and her favorite class has been Mixed Choir (this pic is her before her first concert this past year). She was thinking about trying out for the next year's Concert Choir but wasn't sure. After some conversations about it - she decided to try out. We talked about how to handle the nerves and the benefits of trying new things. Her audition had to be postponed until after our Spring Break due to a severe cold she experienced. More pep talks!! Well....she went back to school, auditioned.... She sang Silent Night a'capella, had to sight read a new song and perform some various skill drills during the tryout... And MADE CONCERT CHOIR for next year! She is SO excited! I am thrilled to see her taking on the uncertainties of her life, trying new things, working through her fears. She inspires me to do the same!

My youngest child, my third son... is in 4th Grade. In California, that is the year you work on your state history. This year's project requires they take some California monument, structure or event and make the report, storyboard and diorama...he chose Knott's Berry Farm when it was really a berry farm and Wild West experience! We gathered all the supplies, then one night last week began constructing the diorama. WHAT FUN we had together! We surprised ourselves and got it done in one evening! All that is left is inserting pictures for the background. He did all the work himself with the exception of some difficult hot glue gun placement!! :) He just kept saying the whole time we were working on it, "Thanks for doing this with me, Mom...this is FUN!" This kid just makes me smile!

My second son is 17 years old. He's just about to graduate high school, which has been the bane of his existence. He's getting his wisdom teeth out, going to Prom, going to Senior Breakfast and a day at Raging Waters, graduating, and going to Grad Night...all within the next month! Oh yeah...and working part-time as well. The best part about my relationship with this boy, is that he's a man-boy...and our relationship is changing into more of an adult-style relationship. He's confused about a lot of things right now and this time of his life is giving him plenty to think about. It's wonderful to see him developing into a person that is capable of thinking and making his own choices (whether or not I actually AGREE with them!). When he smiles and laughs, he takes the whole room with him!!

My oldest child, a currently living in Panama in Central America serving as Mormon missionary. He has been on his mission for one year and has another year to go. He attempted to go out on his mission in May of 2009, re-injured a knee in the Missionary Training Center and had to take the next year to endure reconstructive ACL knee surgery as well as meniscus repair. It was a horrible year for him. With JOY, he returned to the MTC in May of 2010 and finally hit Panama in July of last year. It was a rough adjustment, but he LOVES serving the people in Panama. He is currently the Financial Secretary for the entire mission of 200 missionaries. He works in the office now during the day and is still able to proselyte in the evenings. Here he is at Christmas time - they took two beds and several bags of toys to two families living in a remote jungle community. It took them hours to traverse through a mud jungle. Here they are about to cross a river...HOW they got BEDS across this tiny little bridge? Well...some things are just better for a mother NOT to know! :)

THESE are the four reasons I have joy in an uncertain world. I won't agree with all their choices, I don't know WHAT their future holds, what God's plan is for them in their lives. What I DO that my love for them knows no bounds. Each of them brings something beautiful and unique to my life and I am enriched and immensely blessed simply by being their mother. This is reason to celebrate! Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I love Easter almost as much as Christmas! Maybe it's because they both revolve around the most significant events in the life of the Savior, his life and death; and both holidays give me a reason to pause and consider the impact these events have on my life in a very personal way.

Honestly, I had a terrible day yesterday; I didn't want to go to work but, of course, I had to go from 9-2 even though it's my weekend with the kids. After I got off work I spent the remainder of the afternoon planning and preparing for our Easter Sunday brunch and subsequent plans to go camping at Malibu. My son older son came home from his job and promptly, but with a hesitation and sadness to his voice, informed me that he has to work on Monday and therefore could not join us on our camping trip. I won't go into all the ugly details, but let's just say that everything fell apart, the camping trip got canceled and I suddenly was looking at an Easter Sunday that looked pretty much NOTHING like what I'd planned. This is my first Easter with the kids, last year my ex-husband had them...and I don't get very many days off with my retail job...and the leaky faucet in my eyes just started and pretty soon, I was in mama-meltdown mode.

I was just so very sad....and one of the things I've noticed about being it's NEVER just about the outward event or exchange...every event in my life is now layered with a series of emotional nuances, feelings, symbols and triggers. I was so saddened and upset by it all, I was Humpty-Dumpty who'd just fallen off the wall and it was time to bring in the big sister, my mom, and a very special put Humpty-Dumpty back together again! After talking to all perspective began changing and I realized 1) Yet again, where I have work left to do on my own emotional well-being, and 2) That I am so very blessed to have people in my life who love me, accept me and will help me when I need it.

Our plans are very different today than I'd spent weeks arranging...but we're all going to still be together, and it's looking like we're all going to have fun together as we head to my folks house in San Diego. BUT...the most important lesson I took away from this is that I realized that it doesn't really matter WHAT I do today outwardly, if I don't pay attention to the inward reason for why this holiday exists then I miss the point entirely. I was sad because MY plans, my outward plans, weren't going the way I wanted them to... I was feeling alone, sad, and disappointed. I reached out to those around me and began feeling better.... But all the while, I was missing the point...which is that the one source of love that is ALWAYS available to me, my Savior's love, was being ignored. Time for a re-focus...

How truly grateful I am for the atoning sacrifice and unconditional love that He willing offers to me, that my life might have a foundation of peace, gratitude and serenity to it - even amidst the plans gone awry according to my own designs! I got off course yesterday, focusing more on the logistics of the day rather than the meaning of the celebration. Yes, it was frustrating...yes, I was disappointed....and YES, today is STILL Easter and meaningful in it's own right for reasons totally unrelated to my plan. And for THAT, I am very thankful.

So, enjoy your day today - no matter how it looks, how you got here, or how you may feel about the's a GOOD day with the potential for His love to abound in your life...just look around for it, it's there.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Youngest Child's 'Reading Time'

So my youngest is 10 yo, and he's in public school for the first time since Kindergarten (we homeschooled before my divorce). He LOVES his teacher and does all sorts of cool projects like this one!

The kids have been working on their 'Fairy Tales' since January! They wrote the stories (which are about 20 pages long!), typed them up, illustrated them, made front and back covers, dedication pages, front and back flap covers....WAY cool.

His story is about a talking horse - since we LOVE horses in our family and he's been riding since he was 5 yo it made sense! It was SUPER fun to go to his school, have him read the story to me and talk about it! LOVE his creativity!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sir Isaac Newton on the Family....

"A centripetal force is that by which bodies are drawn or impelled, or in any way tend, towards a point as to a center." Sir Isaac Newton.

As families, we need centripetal forces to counteract the centrifugal forces of our culture....and one of those centripetal laughter. In fact, I think one of the best forms of therapy is laughter...No matter what kind of a day I've had, if I can muster a chuckle at something, ANYTHING, I feel just a little bit better.

Laughing together gives us a shared bond, a common experience that later in time gives us a point of reference backward, a link to each other which elicits and evokes positive emotions and reactions to each other. With all the stresses and difficulties that come flying at us, and at our kids, I think laughing together as a family has ENORMOUS therapeutic value as a centripetal force, or a pull back towards our center - our family. It's a powerful thing!

As we were getting ready for bed tonight, I heard my oldest son listening to one of our favorite comedians, Brian Regan, on Netflix. I almost can't breathe I laugh so hard listening to this talented comedian! I was drawn to sit down on our loft with my son at 9:15 and watch "Just a minute!" of knee-splitting humor. Soon, my youngest child joined us on the couch and started to join in the giggles. Finally after only about 5 minutes, my daughter came to say a final goodnight and she, too, couldn't resist the pull and sat down..."just for a second!" Well...45 minutes later - MUCH later than our regular bedtime, which I'm a pretty tough stickler about - we finally turned Brian Regan off and all of us went to bed in an almost euphoric state, cheeks hurting from smiling so broadly, bellies aching from laughing so hard, eyes most from tearing up we were laughing so completely. We were repeating our favorite lines...all of us laughing all over again! I don't bend often on kids just seem to have a high 'sleep need' and we're pretty consistent with it; but tonight, I thought, "I think I want to laugh with my kids and 45 minutes less of sleep is worth that!" Well....we'll see how we all feel about that tomorrow morning bright and early....but for now...I'm a happy mom, with happy kids...and THAT is a good thing!

Check him out on YouTube...Brian Regan...and for just a few moments, let the worries go and feel the centripetal force of laughter bind you together!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"If we don't truly intend to embrace happiness, we have unconsciously chosen something different....Once we have intention firmly in place, happiness is no longer accidental, it is purposeful - something we are creating all day long." How We Choose to Be Happy by Foster & Hicks
Just reading this great book - basically about the anatomy of choosing to live a happy life. I really like it! I think so often we allow ourselves to feel 'happy' based on what is 'happening' TO us. Happiness is an 'inside job' quite frankly - it does NOT really have to do with our external circumstances or experiences, but on our perceptions of what is happening to us or our willful INTENTION to find something that brings us joy amidst the turmoil we'd like to blame for our unhappiness.

How do you, as ManagerMoms, find happiness on those difficult days, or through those difficult times?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So, you know by now what my name is and that I have kids!! This is me with my three younger ones. The one of the missionary is my oldest son who is serving a Mormon mission in Panama! I have loved (and STILL love) being a mom...even when it got really overwhelming; there was something very satisfying at the end of a busy, chaotic day when those beautiful children looked liked angels sleeping and I could hear the soft sound of their breath as they snoozed...and it's still rewarding when they are teenagers and I know that all of them are safe and accounted for!

I have a passion for learning and growing, gaining understanding, moving forward through life and embracing all the experiences that are given to me. I think it's a grand world and we should make the most of each opportunity we have to be alive!

I was married for 22 years and a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) for 18 of those years, homeschooling my four children who now span the ages from 10-21! My divorce was official last year and WOW....ManagerMom Gets Divorced was another amazing challenge! Although these principles are explicitly directed toward the SAHM, they are, in fact, quite universal. I am no longer a SAHM....but I am a mom, and I do have a home!! So....all these principles are still applicable, I'm just running a different system now and it still requires a fair amount of management work because my custody arrangement is quite unique....instead of the children moving in and out, my ex-husband and I do the moving. Different, but it is what was in the best interest of the children and we're able to make it work for a while longer. Currently, we alternate each week with our children at our main residence and I rent a room from a girlfriend in my church for my 'off week'. So...whether you are a single person, roommate, spouse or single parent...the ManagerMom ideas work!!

For fun, I love to ride horses with my kids, TRY and watch some of their TV shows, listen to music, make digital photo books, watercolor, run, go to movies and hang out with my friends, mom or sister when I'm not with my kids!

Tell me what you think of ManagerMom so far!! Any questions? Ideas that are working for running your home? Let me know!!