You only have 18 summer with your children

 The Boise Balloon Festival. I love that we usually have extra kids with us.
 My beautiful girls, Emily, Morgan and Cassidy.
 The whole family this summer, photo taken for Meridian Life Magazine.
 My beautiful Cassidy down by the Boise River.
 Donovan's graduation day.
 May 25th, 2012 my oldest son graduates.
 Donovan's Senior Photo
 Morgan and Emily having a blast!
 Victor tubing in McCall, Idaho this summer.
The balloon festival in Boise this fall.
Highlights of 2012

I have mentioned to many friends that a lot of things have changed in me this past year. I was on a path of getting quite a bit better, but in November I actually received some tough love from a good friend. She was so accurate with her assessment and I can only be abundantly grateful! It came at a time where I was becoming more aware of things about myself that needed some improving and I was open to even more improvement.

The tough love portion was that I hide behind my camera and my phone. I tend to distance myself whenever I become uncomfortable instead of immersing myself in a situation and figuring out why I am uncomfortable. I know she was right because now when I have that tendency to pull away, I actually take the thought out and analyze it. Why am I uncomfortable? What challenges me in this situation? I find I am facing my fears even more in the past two months than I have been in the past five years and I have been facing my fears, but I am doing better now with it.

The other thing is that I spend too much time on my phone and the computer. I took that to heart and have really pulled away and I am focusing on my relationships that are right here in front of me. I make a point to have my phone on silent and to put it away from me when I am with people. My kids have all mentioned how much they LOVE that I am not on the phone so much anymore.

When I was at my very first GTC with Arbonne, back then it was called NTC, I heard our former president, Rita Davenport, say two things that forever changed my life. The first was that you only have 18 summers with your kids. The second was that you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. These tidbits really impacted my life and I am so grateful!!

I had been doing lots of charitable works, involved in local clubs and volunteer work. I realized that the most important place to spend my time is with my children. I know for a certainty that I am called to be a huge influence, teacher and guide to my children. They were entrusted to me. My oldest son graduated this past May and decided to move with his dad to Southern California. It has hit me so hard that the kids will be graduating every other year for the next several years and there is nothing better that I can do than to be present and spend lots of time visiting with them, listening to them. I swear the older they get, the more time they need us! I often think of how blessed I am right now to have at least four of them still at home. I am reminded of a quote near the end of Water For Elephants, "Those were the salad days, the halycon years! The sleepless nights, the wailing babies; the days the interior of the house looked like it had been hit by a hurricane;.....Even when the fourth glass of milk got spilled in a single night, or the shrill screeching threatened to split my skull,....they were good years, grand years." The kids will be growing up and moving away and I will have plenty of time for charitable works, but for now, the best place for me to be is focused on those who are right here before me.

Regarding being a combination of the five people you spend the most time with, well, the older I get, the more aware I am of how much people influence me. I definitely want to be around those that have higher thoughts, are moving forward, care about diet and exercise, are positive thinkers and do-ers, those with a similar mindset. I do find that when I am with people who are healthy, eating raw vegan etc, I get very intrigued and want to learn more and eat better. When I spend time with healers, I am fascinated and want to delve into that. When I am with a woman who loves to cook, I am excited to take her ideas and tips and go apply them right away. I happen to love to decorate and when I am with something that shares that love, my ideas and creativity flow easily. We are easily influenced, let's make sure that we spend time with people that we admire and want to be more like. And, don't forget, never take advice from someone more messed up than you ;) Five years ago when I first heard that about being influenced by the five people you spend the most time with, I had some very negative friends, they really thought the worst of people, their intentions, the world was out to get them. I immediately knew that I needed to distance myself from people who thought along those lines. I choose to spend time looking for the best in others and drawing those people into my life.

I didn't mean to write even this much, these were a couple of thoughts that were racing through my mind this morning. I am so pleased with where I am today and where I am going and with who I am becoming along this journey of life. Just in case something resonates or someone needed to read this, I figured I would share. Plus, I keep getting nudges from so many people to write more. I have never particularly wanted to write, it has not been an aspiration of mine, but I have many friends who have asked me to start writing more. I will make an effort to write an occasional blog post.

2012 has sure been a wonderful year and I am truly looking forward to all that 2013 will bring. I look forward to sharing this life journey with you!


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