I don’t need much of a reason to celebrate. I am always looking for ways to make special days and memories for my children because that is what my mom did for me. She went all out for every holiday. From giant gingerbread houses at Christmas to candy bar grams on Valentine’s Day to Easter egg lessons about Christ, my mom figured out a way to make holidays fun and memorable for us. And did I mention she was a wedding planner too. I was destined to celebrate the fun parts of life.

family archery

Aim for Love Retreat- Day 3

Welcome back for the final day of our “Aim for Love” 2017 Family Retreat. Day 3 was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so the kids and my hubby were off from school and work. I liked the retreat spanning over into a Monday. It was good use of a holiday weekend. FAMILY YOGA We started the morning off with a family yoga session led by me. Yoga is one of the loves of my life, and I wanted to share it with my family. But, I also feel that we all need more tools than ever before to deal with the fast-paced, over-stimulated world in which we live, especially children. We need healthy ways to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, disconnection, etc. without turning to food, al…

elle candy cup table_Fotor

Aim for Love Retreat- Day 2

Full disclosure here. Day 2 was a Sunday, and I never meant it to be a full day of the retreat. My husband had too many meetings; I was teaching a lesson, and we had dinner plans at grandma’s. So I just threw in a few theme-based activities in the morning to keep the momentum going and to keep the theme fresh on the kids’ brains. The night before, Crew had suggested that we all wear our Christmas pajamas for the family movie, so we were still in them when we had our morning meeting. (Dad refused to participate in the matching pajama thing.) We started off with our gathering activity. GATHERING ACTIVITY Last year I made a big heart for my hubby for Valentine’s out of post-it…

Aim for Love

Aim for Love Family Retreat- Day 1

My husband came home one day last year jazzed about a training he had at work called “Becoming Your Best” by Rob Shallenberger. It was all about forming his company’s vision. Chad wanted to apply his learnings to our family. I mulled over his enthusiasm and got the idea to do a family retreat. We decided the retreat would be a condensed session of family vision planning, teamwork, and fun.  We did one over a long-weekend in January last year and had a great experience. We worked a lot on coming up with a family vision and deciding what is important to our family. Unfortunately, I didn’t blog about it, so this year I was determined to record all the details. I am break…


Oh, Yes, He Did

How many of you have ever threatened to take away gifts at Christmas? Or threatened to text Santa about the kids being naughty? Or told your elf in front of your child that he/she did something wrong? Or said something like, “If you don’t stop (fill in the blank), Santa’s not going to give you any presents!” Most every parent has resorted to a version of these empty warnings at one time or another. I have, and I’m not proud of it. The second the words come out of my mouth, I am disappointed in myself for losing control, resorting to threats, and for basically saying something that I would never do. It feels dishonest and childish, but mostly it feels desperate. …


Cash Will Do

I am sure I’m not the only one that Easter snuck up on. In my mind March is for St. Patrick’s Day and April is for Easter. For some years now we have tried to do our baskets on Saturday morning, but as of publication there is nothing to go inside them. Luckily, Crew came up with a great idea.…


Lucky Enough

About a year and a half ago we moved to a beautiful mountain valley. We are surrounded by the Wasatch mountain range to the west, including Mount Timpanogos, and the Uintah mountain range to the east. On the local Facebook page someone wrote: “If you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains, you’re lucky enough.”…


Basketball Bingo

One week night I had a meeting at my house, so my husband was in charge of the kids for the night. He wanted to go to a high school basketball game, but the little kids didn’t want to go. He was pushing it, and they were whining and complaining. That’s when I stepped in with my genius idea.…


“Acts of Kindness” Recap

Can I just say that February’s “Acts of Kindness” Family Challenge was way more fun than January’s “No Eating Out” Challenge? Turns out it feels better to indulge and to give then to starve. Ha! We learned a few other things during our challenge as well.…


February Challenge: Acts of Kindness

We held Family Council Sunday night in the car as we drove to grandma’s house. On the way down the canyon we debriefed January’s challenge, and then we brainstormed ideas for February’s Challenge. I told the kids that I would like our Family Focus to be love or kindness. Chad and I organized a family retreat in January and in one of our mini sessions we attempted to identify our family’s values. I passed out a sheet with 40 values on it and everyone had to circle their top 10. We reported and recorded everyone’s choices. The only value that everyone picked was LOVE and 5/6 of us choose KINDNESS. And the only reason my husband didn’t choose kindness was bec…


Nailed It

I have to say I think I nailed family pictures this year. And I think I nailed family pictures because I approached them differently than I had in years past. I didn’t need to remember a gorgeous location or coordinated outfits. I didn’t need perfection; I just needed record of these people, at this time, at this age, with these faces.…