Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks: Days 5-7

Okay so sometimes I go to my sisters’ houses for Thanksgiving and sometimes I’m just a little caught up with family things so I don’t get the chance to write in my blog like I would normally. That means I never finished my thankful posts. But I promise that I’m very much still thankful. Instead of writing three more posts on this subject, I’m going to instead roll it up into one final post.

Day 5: My livelihood and transportation

Someone close to me recently had a serious change in livelihood. No, she didn’t lose her job, but it did burn down. And the building and everything in it was a complete loss. While it looks like she will still have a job, things are going to be quite different for awhile.

This has really caused me to reflect on my own job. I know that I complain about it a lot and I’m not always as grateful for it as I should be. But observing this situation has really helped me to appreciate my job even more than I did before. I am very grateful that I have a job and that it’s a good job. It’s undergone quite a few changes this year and although some of them have been difficult, I am grateful for the challenge it’s presented and how it’s helped me to grow. I would be in such a terrible situation if something suddenly happened to my job, so let me just say that I’m grateful for it.

Along those same lines, I am very much grateful to have a reliable car that can get me back and forth to where I need to go. I’ve had very few problems with my car since I got it, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. I’m even happier that it’s so close to being paid off.

Day 6: My children

One of the most special roles that I get to play in my life is favorite aunt to my 12 nieces and nephews. And in case you can’t tell from the 5 million times I mention them in my blog, they are one of the most important things to me. They fulfill a need for me that can’t be filled anywhere else. . . until I have children of my own. Since there’s no telling how long that might be, let me just say now how much I love and appreciate them. Here’s just a few pictorial highlights of the fun things they do.





Day 7: My Incredible Family

I’ve already talked about how much I adore my nieces and nephews, an d they’re an important part of my entire family. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my family. I have incredible parents who taught me from a young age to develop a strong set of values and morals.They taught me how to work (even if I didn’t always like it at the time) and encouraged my educational pursuits. From a young age it was made clear that a college education was not only encouraged but expected, and I’m so grateful I have my degree. I’ve enjoyed watching my siblings also get their college educations and how that decision has blessed their life.

Being almost the youngest child in my family, I learn a lot by observing. I have carefully watched my older siblings and have learned quite a bit from doing so. It’s also given me something to look forward to and work toward.

I feel incredibly blessed by the fact that I’ve never had to wonder throughout my life if my family loved me because I always knew they did. I know that not everyone can say that so I’m grateful I can. I could go on for pages and pages about why my family is great, but I know that would most likely be boring for anyone who reads my blog, so I’m going to just end with saying I’m grateful for such a wonderful family. Here’s a picture of almost all of us.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks Day 4: The Temple

I know that I just barely posted my day 3, but I’m behind a couple of days so bear with me while I catch up. Since I’m pretty much snowed in tonight with the storm of the century raging outside, I have some time on my hands and am trying to figure out the best way to use it. Blogging about being thankful seems like a great way.

I have always had a great love for the beautiful temple. I grew up being taught why temples are important and knowing I someday wanted to go there. And now having been, I know why it’s important and that I always want to be worthy to enter. Living in Utah I have my pick of which temple I want to go to. In only an hour radius there’s about 8 temples and there’s even more if I widen my scope to a few hours. I try to do my best to never take the temple for granted and attend regularly.

The last year has increased my knowledge of the importance of the temple even more. I am a strong believer in the idea of eternal marriage and families. After losing a family member so dear, whom I definitely want to see again someday, I have an even stronger belief in those sacred covenants. I know their power is real.


Just a few weeks ago, I saw my beloved sister and her family be sealed for time and for all eternity in the temple, and I don’t know that I’ve had a more touching experience. There is power in those sacred covenants, and it touched me to be a part of it.


The temple is also a place where you can go to think and ponder over important questions. I’ve had more than one experience where I received exactly the comfort that I needed by going there. I hope to continue to make the temple an important part of my daily life and to attend frequently.

Pumpkin Walk etc 149

Giving Thanks Day 3: My testimony and my faith

I’m pretty sure everyone who reads my blog knows me personally, but just in case you don’t, I’m happy to tell you that I am a deeply religious person. I’ve been raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it’s an integral part of who I am.

I’m incredibly grateful that my parents raised me in a religious background because it’s taught me to have faith in something outside myself, something that I can’t see with my own eyes. This faith has given me something to hold onto during times of sorrow or distress and something that brings me hope, peace and happiness.

I felt my faith wasn’t strong enough a couple years ago, so I set a goal to strengthen it over the course of that year. I learned to be careful what you desire because you just might get it. What’s the best way to strengthen your faith? To have it tried of course. That shows you what you’re really made of. I felt so blessed to discover just how strong and deep my faith is. And it helped prepare me for events that followed. I am more grateful for this than words can even express.

Along with my faith has come a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can honestly say that I know with all my heart that it’s true. I know it without a shadow of a doubt. This testimony has sustained me through thick and thin and has given me knowledge that I couldn’t have gained in any other way. It’s encouraged me to become a better person, the person I have the potential to become.

The great thing about a testimony is that it’s always growing and changing. As I learn new things and have new experiences they enlarge my ability to believe and add to the testimony I’ve already developed.

But I know that a testimony comes with a caveat. I can never be complacent because that’s when I put myself at risk of losing it. There are also many forces and people out there who would break my testimony or try to take it away from me, so I must be aware and careful of these influences too.

Both my faith and my testimony are a vital part of who I am, and I hope to continue developing them no matter what happens.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks Day 2: Discipline

I’m sure you’re looking at the title of my post right now and wondering, “Has she lost her mind? Why in the world should she be thankful for discipline?”

Someone who is older and wiser than I am pointed out recently that having discipline isn’t fun and anybody who thinks it is, well, they’re just strange. I would have to agree. In fact, just last week when I was at the store and decided not to buy something because “it’s not in the budget” I was thinking how it wasn’t fun at all to have discipline, but it is necessary, and I understand that.

The reason I’m grateful for it (even though I may not like it) is because I’ve seen some wonderful changes in my life because I not only discovered that I have it, but have chosen to exercise it. Even when it was hard. And, even when it wasn’t very fun. It’s a powerful thing to learn mastery of oneself, especially over bad habits that have been in place for more years than I’d care to admit.

But the good news is that learning discipline (even if I still slip up sometimes since having discipline doesn’t mean I’m perfect) has helped me make some changes I’ve wanted to do for a very long time like losing weight and taking charge of my finances. If you recall (and if you don’t it’s okay because it was a very long time ago) two of my goals at the beginning of the year were these two things. It seemed impossible then to have reached the point I’m at now. . . and, yet, here I am. I haven’t arrived completely, but I’m on my way. I’m making steady progress, and I’m proud of myself.

Just today I had not one, but two opportunities to cheat on my no sugar goal for this month. I may have already cheated a little bit, which I refuse to feel bad about, but in this case I held firm. I think it’s because the end is in sight, i.e., Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and that’s when I gave myself leave to have sugar again, so I feel good about that. And it is helping me to reach my end goal, even if it’s not as quick as I’d like.

So, while having discipline isn’t fun and often means you need the strength to do something different than everyone around you, it can be done. And it feels good to know that you can. That’s why I’m grateful to know that I have it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seven Days for Giving Thanks Day 1: Friends

Tis the season for giving thanks and remembering all the blessings in our lives. I know we should do it every day (and I have been trying to do it more in the last few weeks), but I don’t always get it done as I feel I ought. For that purpose, I want to spend the next week writing posts that express my thanks for blessings in my life. I meant to start yesterday, but, alas, I didn’t get around to it yesterday. So today there will likely be two posts.

I think I’d like to start my thankful posts by giving thanks for my wonderful friends.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, the last year has been very trying for me. Parts of it have been extremely difficult for me to even make it through. Among other things, I’ve had a great network of friends who’ve supported me and been there for me when I needed it most. Honestly, words can’t even begin to express how much their support meant to me.

I’m a social creature, and I thrive on opportunities to get together with these friends. I’m almost never happier than when I’m in a room surrounded by people I care for, listening to their stories, talking to them and just having an all-around fantastic time.

I have appreciated these great friends talking to me, laughing with me and in their own ways, just showing me how much they care. Along those same lines, these friends have also prayed for me and my family at a time of great need.

I hope that in some small way I’ve been able to be a good friend to them as they to me. And if/when the time comes that they need support too, I hope to be able to offer the same to them. I would post pictures of these great friends, but I don’t have pictures of all of them, and I’m afraid I would miss someone, so I’m going to hold off. But just know I’m extremely grateful for them, pictures or not.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Life This Year

I wanted to write a thankful post for several days now, and tonight I actually have time to do it, but, alas, I'm afraid I'm not in a very thankful mood so I think it's a no go. But keep holding on because I'm sure it'll be coming soon.

Lately I've been thinking about everything that's happened in my life this year and quite honestly it's making me feel overwhelmed. I know that I've already lived through it, but there's something about going through it in my mind that somehow makes it completely overwhelming all over again. And brings back many of the emotions associated with said events. * Sigh * Sometimes I hate that girls are so prone to be emotional all the time. It just isn't fun. :(

I am a believer that things happen for a reason, so I know the experiences I've had have not come without reason. I guess the good part is I feel I've learned significantly from them, and I appreciate the growth I can see in myself. The hard part is they've involved doing and feeling a lot of difficult things, things that, quite honestly, I don't know that I want to re-live, so I hope I never have to.

I feel like a completely different person than who I was a year ago or even six months ago. I'm still me, but so different in so many ways. My task now is to accept this new me and to really take the time to process everything that's gone on in my life. I thought that I'd dealt with all the emotions already, but I think there's still some things I need to process and work on accepting. The depth of emotion still connected to some of these things is surprising to me which probably means that I haven't quite finished dealing with it, but now that I'm aware of that, I can hopefully fix the problem.

I know that I keep alluding to things, but I don't feel like airing my dirty laundry (anymore than I have in previous posts), so I'm not going into specifics. Either use your imagination, read my past posts or ask me about it, and I can probably tell you. I hope I don't sound dramatic because that's not my intention. Writing what I feel and think helps me to process things, so please bear with me as I do so.

I also want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me and been there for me through everything. Know that you are loved and appreciated more than words can ever express. If I don't quite seem like me, well, just know that I'm working on it. And I might be different than I was before. I don't know how someone could go through the experiences I've been through and not be changed by them. I guess some people could, but I can't.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If you chance to meet a frown. . . dance it away!

This afternoon on into this evening I was just feeling blue. I don't have a specific reason (although I have a few suspects), but I just didn't feel happy. I'm a happy person for the most part, so when I don't feel happy, especially for no good reason, it frustrates me.

Although I haven't mentioned it here, Tuesdays are my Zumba night. I'm taking it as a community ed class, and I love, love, love it!!! It makes me feel so great, and I love the workout I always get from it.

I've already discovered that exercise is a great way for me to deal with emotion, so I was excited to go to class tonight. And my excitement wasn't misplaced. It brought out happy Tammy again. I left the building a much happier person than I was when I went in. On the way home I was delighted that I felt happy again and more like myself. It didn't hurt anything that I also got to talk to a wonderful friend on the phone. :) But the exercise definitely put me on the path to feeling like myself again.

Hooray for working out and especially for fantastic dance workouts!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A forever family!

This weekend I had a very special experience I’m excited to share with you. My sister and brother-in-law and their two boys were sealed for time and for all eternity in the Logan Temple. This is miraculous in so many ways and such a blessing for their family and for ours as a whole.

And with the year we’ve had, it’s great to be able to have something positive to report.

Not that it’s been all bad or anything, but we’ve had our fair share of challenges. It’s great to see the blessings coming along with the challenges.

Yesterday as I sat in the sealing room with my family and some wonderful friends gathered around me, my heart felt full enough to burst. And it was touched even more to know our beautiful angel was in attendance (she made it clear during the ceremony that she was there) and when the boys were brought in and joined hands with their parents. It’s making me tear up just thinking about it.

To avoid becoming a watery mess (even though I know none of you can see me as I write this), I’m going to cease talking about it and instead post pictures of this special event.

Here they are walking out of the temple together. Yes, the black shoes with the white clothing is an interesting (and yet fun) contrast. Smile


Just pictures of the family. The one in the bottom left corner is one of the missionaries who helped bring this all about. He and his dad flew in from California to be there. So neat! We were glad my grandma was able to come too. Thanks to my aunt and uncle for bringing her to the temple.




And last, but certainly not least, my entire immediate family, sans my brother-in-law who had to go to work right after the sealing. Yup, we’re a big clan all right.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Be careful what you say. . .

So today I had a funny experience that I'd like to share. I'm not going to use names so you can just use your imagination.

This afternoon my supervisor and I had a meeting on another floor. Mind you it was crazy today because of a major event that was going to be happening in our building tonight, so the elevators were busy to say the least.

We got in the elevator with a group of other people, including a high-level executive. We pushed the button for our floor and, en route, decided to go to a different floor instead. Of course the elevator didn't know about our decision, so it still stopped on our floor. The executive looked over at us and said a rather snotty comment, half serious, half teasing, that involved a swear word. Of all the ones she could've said, however, this one wasn't so bad. Being me, I shrugged it off by turning it into a joke and we were laughing about it as we continued to the next stop.

It was only after we reached the floor all three of us happened to be going to that she realized she'd said something inappropriate in front of an LDS general authority who was riding with us in the elevator and got off at another floor.


My take on it is if you're going to say something snotty, even in jest, it kind of serves you right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good-bye sugar, hello healthier me!

The time has come to take drastic measures once again. And today those drastic measures would be. . . giving up sugar for a month, once again. (With the exception of Thanksgiving, which will be my official cheat day.)

I've been doing really great with weight loss in the last few months. I haven't really talked about it here because I didn't feel comfortable doing so, but today I'm going to open up and talk about it. I was doing great over the summer, eating more healthfully, cutting down on my sugar intake and exercising quite a bit.

However, my progress has stalled in the last couple of months. In September it was because I wasn't careful enough with my eating, even though I was still getting a good amount of exercise.

Last month it had to do with finding it an extremely busy schedule and not being able to find time to fit it in. Commuting shaves an extra hour off the time I have available each night. I know that I willingly made the choice to move so far, but having that extra hour gone is still hard. The problem is that it gets dark so stinkin' early, and I was enjoying utilizing the Jordan River Parkway, which is only a short distance from where I live. That is until a friend from my ward begged me not to go on it anymore, especially by myself. So now I'm not sure where to go to exercise, it's colder outside and it's just about dark by the time I get home.

I know, excuses, excuses, but it's the truth.

But, I set a goal for myself some time ago, and I fully intend to reach it. I may have temporarily lost sight of it, but now it's in front of my eyes again, and I'm going for it! This means somehow I have to a) find somewhere I can exercise for an affordable price, b) find the time to exercise and c) get back on the healthy eating wagon. I know it isn't going to be easy, but I'm committed. I'm determined to see this through, starting with giving up sugar. Wish me luck!