Thursday, November 17, 2016

thankful heart 14-17

14--My heart is so thankful for lifelong friends and little people that I get to love on. God has blessed me with such good friends.
15--I am thankful for a productive morning, tacos with a friend, and prayers that were patiently answered.
16--Pizza and friends? Apparently my social life centers around food with friends...I'd say that's a fairly accurate description.
17--The temple.

While I am very blessed to have a home and be welcome in many homes, sometimes...I feel homeless. Let me explain what I mean. We all want to belong. I think its a human thing. We are all born into families, we feel a sense of belonging within that unit and as we get older, we desire to have that unit with us in a different way, by building our own families. Within that family we do a lot of things. We learn together, we grow together, we teach together, we help together, we become...together.

In the past week, I've been trying to learn how to be more "together" when I'm alone. For example, I've realized my prayers have really just not been good. I need to pray more. I need to be more consistent in my prayers. So...if I was "together" what would I do? I'd pray aloud. So...I've been praying aloud more, even at meals. I'll be honest, I feel ridiculous. I actually sometimes whisper...there is no need to whisper when you're the only one who lives there! I imagine my voice volume increasing...I think we'll get there, but for's a step.

Another way I'm trying to figure out how to be more "together" is family home evening. I want to have family home evening. Often on Monday nights (the traditional time for FHE) my ward hosts some activity; however, the pattern I want to build is a spiritual principled pattern of the family having an evening of learning and doing together. I want that spiritual stake each week...but again, alone, together, together, alone. So, this is the next quandary I'm working on. We'll figure it out.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

thankful heart days 10-13

I'm thankful for all the love that appears at birthday time!

I'm thankful for adventures with my favorite Speth boys and that I get to be their aunt Erin.

I'm thankful for Jon McLaughlin who plays the best concert!

I'm thankful for super Saturdays that bring spiritual Sundays.

I'm thankful for Christmas decorations which currently adorn my home.

I'm thankful for choir, lessons, the sacrament, and hugs from people when you need them.


I delight my twenty-ninth year.

dear twenty-ninth year, 

You did it! You topped off 3 decades of an awesome life.  I sat down tonight to write my thankful heart piece for the day and only then realized, I still had more writing to do. I had to write this letter to you. 

You went on an adventure. Straight out of the gate last year, you headed to ASHA where you felt enlivened by your profession, grateful for the opportunities it provided and enthusiastic about lifelong learning. Christin and I had our first pie day sister sleepover where we even set up the Christmas tree. You know it was a success when its November 9th now and she has been asking (or telling :)) for 3-4 months when pie day is and that she is so excited to come to my house to make pies for our Thanksgiving. That girl has lit up this year! She finally finally finally picked up on all my years of modeling ask and tell and now she sometimes gets it right or sometimes she will say, "Uh Sis, I have to ask or tell you something." That's one way of dealing with this SLP sister of hers. Ha ha! But really, we have cleared up her intelligibility in a lot of respects and she has become much more receptive to my strategies. She even told me at one point this year that she has been having some problems with her "r's, l's, and e's." The first two I can see, the third...I'm not sure. :) She lights up my world and literally lights up my phone and my instagram with hearts and Christin. I feel so blessed to be her sister everyday! Twenty nine, thank you for an incredible year with all my family! 

Twenty-nine, please tell thirty to be nicer to my poor house. I feel like my house took me on a wild adventure. And my family was so helpful, and kind and supportive all along the way, even if they didn't help paint my walls. :( Okay, Dad did help the one day, ha ha! The basement flooded and I have since refinished the whole thing, including painting the walls "Erin's bright colors" (as Christin says). I replaced the windows in the house too. I had flowers thanks to my incredible parents who believe in flowers. And you know what, it wasn't so bad! Its also so fun to have family flowers and ferns. Most of all, I think I might love that I have Grandpa Bandley's stepping stone in my front garden. I stepped on it everyday this summer. Man I miss him. Twenty nine has had a void without my regular visits to see my Grandpa Bandley. He's made me know he's still around and about twice a year, I have a really good cry about it. Twenty-nine you've further cultivated my gratitude for the Plan of Salvation in so many ways. I'm so grateful for our Heavenly Father's plan for all his children.

Twenty-nine, you brought intentional living with my #olw being intentional. It's been so good. And I think the most intentional thing that has happened is being intentional about my learning, the time I spend with people, and intentionally defining my balance, boundaries and bandwidth. I'm seeking for relaxed control and thanks to some powersheets, some prayers and some incredible books, lectures, discussions, friends and life has been incredibly blessed. The Lord truly has been in the details of my life. 

You brought adventures! Island Park multiple times...with Dad, Grandpa, Craig, Nicole, fishing with Dad, Christin, all the family, and alone. St. George with the fam. But my favorite adventure was back to the Maritimes! My heart was truly drawn there. Those 10 days were absolutely incredible. The weather, the people, the opportunities, the doors, the beauty, the hearts of the people of the Maritimes! I was so overwhelmed and so grateful. The best thing I came away with was a better understanding of where I am, where I've come from, and a vision of what I need more of.

Twenty-nine, you cuddled children, you chased your dreams, you did things you've never done before, you got brave, you upped your game, you bought patio furniture, you got another new job, you weeded a garden, you learned to direct a choir, you went to a lot of new restaurants, you drank lots of diet coke, you learned how to be "inspiralized," you learned how to grill and it actually has bee awesome!, you embraced "getting things done," you served in the temple, you read lots of books, you did some sewing, you took a lot of walks, you bought a kitchen table, you made a lot of phone calls, you connected with a lot of people, you cried, you laughed, you grieved, you sang, you danced, you painted, and you talked. You listened too and you tried really hard to make good choices and to build your faith.

Twenty-nine, you've taught me some valuable lessons, a few of which are: 

"When you begin to make things happen, you begin to believe you can make things happen and that makes things happen."

"You never make decisions on a hill."

"Comparison isn't just the thief of joy, it's the thief of everything."

"If something has your attention, it needs to have you attention, engaged."

"Its never too early, and its never too late.

"Being interested, makes you interesting."

"Life is short. Live it well."

"Boundaries. Bandwidth. Balance."

"If I give more to myself. I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn't selfish." --Gretchin Rubin

"Let your prayers find access to thee."

"Mind like water. Get back to baseline. Don't ride every wave."

Thank you twenty-nine for all you've brought my way,

love always, 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

thankful heart day 9

If i could write an ode to frozen yogurt and popcorn I would...

Life is good, but man, just want to throw in the towel and move to Canada.

Sometimes life puts you in really uncomfortable positions. I feel like I've been in a handful of them in the past couple of weeks. Receiving feedback, more feedback, more feedback, crying and yet still getting another earful. And then receiving indirect feedback and opinions of my life, my relationship name it...I've probably received some feedback about it. 

Now that's an over exaggeration and I know it. But you know what...25 year old Erin would have lost it and thought she was a complete failure. 29 year old Erin is much more resilient. It hurts but it makes me stretch, it makes me strive, it gives me drive, and I seek to thrive. It's awesome!

I'm so grateful that I've changed. That I'm not who I was last year, or even last month. Tomorrow we arrive at 30 and you know...its going to be okay!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

thankful heart day 7 and 8

family backyard from some easters back
this picture has nothing to do with anything in this post, except that i remember this moment with such clarity and i just love having this visual memory of it. 

day 7
I'm thankful for books. I feel like in the past year, I have rekindled my love with reading on a more regular basis (although, binge reading series is a thing for me too). 

Last night, I got home from work and thought...okay am I going to read that book that I have that's due at the library next week? Yep. So me, my couch, pajamas, book, and popcorn settled in for a cozy night in. Don't worry, I finished it this morning before I went to work and put the next book in the series on hold at the to wait for the 10 people who get to read it before I do.

day 8
I'm thankful for pondering. On Sunday, my awesome friend Holly taught Sunday School and led a great discussion about the role and value of pondering. It reminded me that a) I love pondering, b) I miss pondering, c) I can't ponder well without some preliminary steps in place, and d) I need pondering in my life. 

So, I've been remembering the power of always having a pen and something to write with. I've been trying to be better at collecting the promptings I have, and heeding them. I used to be SO good at this; however, with the right tools in place again, I realize I receive revelation more than I think I do when I don't have the tools. Such a powerful first step in the right direction. 

Anyway, I've been thinking about things that have been on my mind for a while and had a couple of quotes stand out to me from my current Audiobook, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. 

Quote 1: "When you start to make things happen, you begin to believe you can make things happen. And that makes things happen."

Quote 2: "The things that have your attention need to have your intention engaged." 

Such powerhouse quotes!

I have been doing power sheets for the past 6 months (see for more information). Lara Casey's work has been something that has peaked my interest for a few years and earlier this year when I created my "Life Binder" I decided it was time to dive into power sheets so I bought myself a 6 month set, set aside the time to do it, and haven't looked back. It was definitely the thing I needed at the time thtat I needed it. One of her mantra's (for lack of a better term) is "Making things happen." I love it but sometimes...that's so overwhelming to me. I'm making all sorts of things happen but its like "attempted to be controlled chaos" which really is just a mess and I don't handle messes too well. My mind is constantly trying to reign in some order.

Lara has a quote on her site that I love, 

"Comparision isn't just the thief of joy, it's the thief of everything. 
Keep your eyes on your purposeful path.
Celebrate others.
Celebrate progress, not perfection.
Cultivate gratitude over comparision.
Gratitude turns what we have into more than enough."

When I found this quote...I realized just how much comparision was robbing me of and had a decsion moment where I realized that I had to do something about it. Enter my one little word....Intentional.

And so, with all that being said, I've learned a lot this year about managing what you measure, choosing to act and not be acted upon, mind like water, shaking it off, collecting and getting things done, essentialism, and that self-regard isn't selfish.

I'm so thankful for pondering and that by small and simple acts are great things brought to pass. I can do the small and simple.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

thankful heart day 3, 4, 5, and 6

3. i love seeing patient's. i definitely am in the best profession there is! i'm so thankful for all the doors that have made it possible.

4. having the boys field trip to my work, doing work, seeing patients, going on a walk, and dinner with heather.

5. definitely delighted in reminiscing the many memories of years antique shows, answering prayers in the home decorating store, going on "the ride" and eating delicious Mexican food. then, dinner, cocoa, and conversation with mary.

6. church. man oh man, i love the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

thankful heart day 2

somewhere in cape breton
october 2016

Tonight my heart is thankful for the temple and covenants. 

I'm thankful for good friends old and new.

I'm thankful for hugs and little people snuggles. 

I'm thankful for phone calls and mom's.

I'm thankful for fall days and days off.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

thankful heart day 1

cape breton island
october 2016

My most favorite month has arrived...NOVEMBER is here!

Maybe its because I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a month ago, but I've been extra ansy for November this year. I love the ringing in of the holidays, my birthday, and how everyone's heart's turn toward family and the Savior. 

In past years, I have written daily on this blog in November and I decided to bring it back this year. It's been just over a month that I've been living alone again. Evening's are kind of weird when you live alone. Especially when you work a schedule like mine. I come home, change into something warm (because it's already dark out and my house is, well cold because I've been gone all day), and eat some dinner. Dinner is usually accompanied by some background noise which lately, has been Fixer Upper (I've totally jumped on the Chip and Joanna Gaines train...they're an exemplary couple and example of her style is lovely!). After that, I've been organizing everything in my house, hanging things up, or just being lazy and climbing in my bed with a book. 

When I sit down to write, I have to get myself in the frame of mind which is accompanied by silence or the right music. Tonight, it's Coldplay.

Now that you've had probably way too much background, let's talk about my thankful heart...
-i'm so thankful for my faith. 
-i'm so thankful (and yet terrified) that this election is almost over.
-i'm so thankful for my family.
-i'm so thankful for good friends. 
-i'm grateful for socks. 
-i'm grateful for perspective.

I'm just really grateful for my grateful heart. I have a quote on my computer from a recent Intermountain stories about how today is one more day lived, another day off your life. As I look at the picture that I paired with this post, I can't help but think about how life is about how we frame it. What is the lens that we're using to view the world. When we frame life with an attitude of gratitude, our lives can be transformed from "never enough" to "abundantly blessed." 

That's the frame I want to keep around all I see and experience this season. I have lots of reasons to potentially get a little bent out of shape this holiday, mostly that I'm entering a new decade of life (it's a pretty ridiculous reason but it just seems like 30 has snuck up on me...even though Christin's been telling me I'm almost 30 for the past year). It's easy to look around and see all that I have to be grateful for, but like my recent posts have also's easy to see and feel what I still lack. So, even more of a reason to keep life framed in an appropriate perspective. 

frame life with a thankful heart.
choose the lens through which you see and experience the season.
be outrightly grateful.
be intentional.