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!!