I have never been very creative. I have however always been very good at copying others creativity. 
A friend of mine had made a decoration with her child's name on it to put on the wall. Thankfully because of her, she took me to Hobby Lobby, (my new favorite craft store) where everything was on sale, so I could buy the supplies and do the same thing. 

Not only was making this therapeutic for me, but it was super easy and made me feel so accomplished. I know after seeing my oh so cute photo you're all wondering, how did she do it? :) Well I am here to tell you.
Supplies you will Need
Letters, Mod Podge and brush, scrap book paper, sticky tac and any other accessories you would want to add to it to liven it up.
1. Go to the store and buy the letters that you want... there are SOO many letters to choose from. My friend had foam/cardboard based letters that I would have used but they didn't have any H's left. They have wood letters in all different sizes, which is what I choose, and they had some already done letters. (which I didn't want because they were more expensive and I wanted to make them myself.) Choose scrapbooking paper, which I had so much fun with! I already had a rocket ship theme for my sons room, but I always liked dinosaurs, so i decided to put the two together. Buy all the other accessories and everything else you will need.
2. You need to cut out the paper so it is shaped like your letter. I will admit that I messed up with my C the first time I traced the letter and cut it out, I did it backwards, so I had to go back to the store and get another piece of paper. Once all the letters are cut out your ready for step 3.
3. Brush your letters with the Mod Podge and very carefully put your scrap book paper on top of the letter. One thing I noticed was as mine was starting to dry, bubbles were forming under the paper, so make sure to press the paper down and smooth it out.
4. Now that all the letters are covered, you can do 1 of 2 things. 
a. If you noticed on my letter H there is a rocket ship sticker at the bottom of the H, but on the letters A and D are pop up stickers. For the letter that have stickers on them I placed the stickers where I wanted them to go and then repainted over the top with mod-podge. For those of you who have never used mod podge before, there are 2 different kinds you can buy, 1 that will leave a glossy look and one that will leave a more rustic look. (I used the more rustic look, for no reason other then it was what my friend used. When you cover your letter it looks like you glued your letter, but when it dries, it dries clear.) 
b. For those of you with pop up accessories, you will paint over your letter with mod podge first and once its dry, you will then add your accessories. 
5. After your accessories are on and they are looking good it is now time to put them on the wall. Depending on what type of letter you picked and how heavy they are I would suggest different methods. But what I did was put sticky tac on the back of my letters and stuck them to the wall. Granted I didn't want any of them falling so I used a lot of sticky tac.

Now that you are finished I hope you feel as good as I did. It was really nice to be able to make something that I think looks really good and know that I did it. If you feel like I do and don't feel like you could come up with these things by yourself, there are so many options for you. There is pinterest which is nice, and also many magazines, even in the store that you can look at. There is still hope out there for EVERYONE! :) 
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Kaylee here, as many of you know by now I am a Human Development major but I hope to one day do therapy for couples and families. I get newsletters every now and then from professors in my major and their advice. Jonathan Sandberg is a Marriage and Family Therapist who I have actually had a class with before. He is outstanding and I love every minute I have to listen to his advice. Here is GREAT advice on how to tune up a marriage that may not be 100% satisfactory. 

A Quick Couple Tune-Up: Remember A.R.E.
Jonathan Sandberg  
​Dr. Jonathan Sandberg, School of Family Life
I remember working once with a young couple who I believe had been married less than a year.  Though the symptoms were common (periods of distance followed by conflict and more distance), I struggled as a therapist to understand the cause of the problems.  After several sessions, I finally asked them to describe their daily routine and was surprised to find out that as newlyweds they spent, on some work days, less than 90 minutes in each other’s presence, and that time was often in front of the TV.  They seemed to spend a majority of time on separate interests, and with separate friends, and had quickly evolved to a roommate type of marriage, with little deep connection or intimacy of any kind.
I have noticed particularly over the last five years that this is a real and common problem for couples in this fast-paced, hectic world.  Has your marriage slowly slipped to a co-parent or roommate arrangement?  If so, what are the causes, and how can you return to the “full enchilada” model of marriage, where spouses are best friends, lovers, and true equal partners?  Although there are many excellent books and programs aimed at improving marital connection, may I suggest a simple acronym and a way to measure and improve marital closeness.
The acronym is A.R.E and stands for:
Research on attachment in couple relationships has shown that in order to build a secure bond in marriage, partners need to demonstrate accessibility and responsiveness that leads to engagement. 
Accessibility can be simply defined as, “I can find you; you are availability to me.”  Accessibility requires frequent physical proximity and emotional availability.  Common, modern threats to accessibility include physical separation from a partner (e.g., work, church, kids, travel, hobbies) and a multitude of distractions (e.g., technology, screen time) that prevent emotional presence.  In the case of the couple mentioned previously, they were often in the same house, but in separate rooms working on a laptop or watching TV or reading a book. Accessibility means I can find you and approach you.  A lack of accessibility prevents connection.  Problems related to accessibility can often be resolved by making concrete changes in our schedule and habits to be more present, physically and emotionally.
Responsiveness means when you approach me, I respond with emotional attentiveness.  It means I look at you, hear you, feel you, and respond in loving and affirming ways.  Again, one of the greatest threats to responsiveness is technology-based distractions.  It is astounding to me how many students and even adult friends or colleagues are in the habit of not-responding to phone calls, texts, e-mails and even face-to-face communication.  It has become common to say, “I heard you” or “I got your message, but did not respond.”  In marriage, this is dangerous because it communicates to a partner, “you are not important now,” and, “I care about other things more than you.”  Non-responsiveness erodes trust and connection.  Problems related to responsiveness can often be resolved by “unplugging” the distractions that prevent us from looking into our partner’s eyes and reaching out to them.
Engagement means that when you are accessible and sincerely try to respond to my needs, we connect.  This type of connection, built over time, forges a safe haven and secure base in marriage and brings a sweetness, peace, and strength which is unique and powerful among human relationships.  Common threats to engagement, beyond a lack of accessibility and responsiveness, are often skill-based.  For example, I can be accessible and sincerely responsive, but when my wife comes to me in tears about an insecurity or fear, I may give advice instead of validating and reassuring her worth and value.  This advice-giving can block engagement.  A consistent lack of engagement fosters isolation and disconnection.  Problems related to engagement (when A and R are present) can often be resolved by simply learning new and more effective ways to communicate love and support to our spouse.
A quick A.R.E. tune-up conversation can be prompted by the following brief 12-item questionnaire.  I urge you to take a few minutes to answer the questions then discuss how you can improve as a couple.  Remember, the peace, love, and joy that come from experiencing a safe haven and secure base in marriage is worth the effort.
Circle the number that best represents your experiences in your current relationship with your partner.
(To score, first reverse the scores for items 3, 4, 9, 10 (that is, for these items, 5=1, 4=2, 3=3, 2=4, 1=5). Then sum the items. Lower scores mean behaviors are present that lead to stronger attachment, and higher scores mean lack of behaviors that lead to strong attachment.)
For additional reading see:
Sue Johnson. (2008). Hold me tight: Seven conversations for a lifetime of love. Little Brown Books: NY.
Sandberg, J. G., Busby, D.M., Johnson, S.M., & Yoshida, K. (in press). The brief accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement (BARE) scale: A tool for measuring attachment behavior in couple relationships. Family Process.​ 

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So, I hate going to the doctor. I always feel like they are impersonal, not very helpful, and never really answer my questions. Because of this, I am been wanting to learn more holistic ways of healing.  I know a little bit, like taking calcium can help with migraines and putting lavender on your throat when it starts to feel sore can prevent it from getting worse, thanks to my in-laws but I wanted to learn more.  So when I was in my favorite place, the library, I strolled down the medical isle and found this book:
Secrets of Self-Healing: Harness Nature's Power to Heal Common Ailments, Boost Your Vitality,and Achieve Optimum Wellness 

I LOVE IT! Dr. Maoshing Ni talks about combining Eastern (Chinese) and Western medicine.  He focuses on preventing disease and illness and catching it early rather than treating it later on.  Having all aspects of your life in balance, Dr. Ni believes, is very important in staying well and preventing disease.  As I read this book, I really felt that I believed a lot of the same things.  

It was interesting that I found this book the day before the senate passed Obamacare as being constitutional. Dr. Maoshing expresses his belief that the US is in a healthcare crisis and that we should be doing more to promote preventative healthcare in the US.  I agree and plan on using the things I learn in my own life and with my family.   
Dr. Ni talks a lot about Yin and Yang and staying in balance

Dr. Ni outlines the five principles of self-healing and wellness which are:
  1. Diet and nutrition
  2. Herbs and supplements
  3. Exercise and acupressure
  4. Lifestyle and environment
  5. Mind and spirit
The first part of the book has a chapter on each of these principles and the second part is entitled, "Self-Healing Remedies for Common Aliments."
I HIGHLY encourage our readers to look into this book, especially those that have health problems and are looking for more natural ways to solve them! Happy Reading :)

If anyone picks it up, comment on what you think of it!
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In 2008 tragedy struck Park City Utah. In this year, 5 students died, one month after the other. This tragedy effected everyone in the community, one way or another. 

After the deaths occurred the parents of the students got together and started a foundation. In memory of their children who died, the parents of the Park City 5 want to provide educational opportunities for other children in need. With that goal in mind, they have planned to build five schools in five areas of the world where they are desperately needed. The Park City 5 Memorial Fund has been established to raise money to build these schools. Since then every memorial day there has been a 5K race where all proceeds go to this foundation. 

This week, although I was unable to attended the 5K race, I did find time to go and visit the cemetery to visit, Matt Knoop, one of the 5 that affected my family the most. 
Our family got to know Matt when he started dating my older sister Tiffany. Matt started acting as an "older brother" to me while in school. (My sister didn't attend the same school as us, so Matt took on the responsibility to look out for me.) 
Matt and I were both on the Park City High School basketball team, where the girls and boys would ride the buses together to save money. Matt always made me feel so cool by letting me sit with him and his "cool" friends on the bus.
After him and my sister broke up, he still made time to look out for me. 
Matt and Tiffany ended up at the same University. I would visit Tiffany almost every weekend and I can remember one time when Tiffany wanted to go get something to eat at the school cafeteria, where I couldn't go because I didn't have a student ID card. Well Matt stayed and hung out with me while Tiffany did that. He was always looking out for me.

On April 21, 2008, while Matt was serving an LDS mission in Brazil, he was walking along the side of the street and hit by a car. He died soon after.
This blog post is not only to remember Matt and the amazing person he was, but everyone else who died that year; Matt, Connie, Mike, Erika and Chris. I know their are many people who were unable to be at the Memorial day 5K for them, but take a few seconds and remember them, pray for their families and make sure that they are NEVER forgotten.  

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I've been a mother for 7 months and 2 days now. For the first 4 months I was waking up every 2 and if I was lucky 3 hours through the night. Before I even got married I had heard of the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

Over the last couple of months through Facebook, I have seen many many posts concerning the sleep habits of their children. Some new babies not sleeping well, (which is very understandable) and some 2+ year olds waking up at 5 am and being ready for the day. I don't know about you, but I am NOT a morning person who could never start my day at 5am.

This post is for all those mothers out there who might be struggling with getting their child or children to sleep through the night.

This book goes through all the problems mothers and fathers might be having. And please don't think that this was easy for me, I don't think its easy for any mom, but I will tell you now that it was worth it! My son goes to sleep around 6-7 every night wakes up at approximately 5 am to eat, then is in bed back asleep by 530am, where he then sleeps anywhere from 7-8. And I owe it all to the advice this book gives.

I urge any who are having a hard time to read this book. It will relieve your stresses. Remember the beginning is hard, but completely worth it. And if you have ANY questions fill free to ask me! :)
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There are many people out there who are battling depression. 
Some symptoms of depression are:
Feeling irritable
Reduced interest in most activities
Significant weight loss or gain
Insomnia or oversleeping
Low energy or fatigue
Feelings of worthlessness
Diminished ability to concentrate
Recurrent thoughts of death/suicide

If anyone has 5 or more of these symptoms in a two week time period I would recommend seeing a therapist and getting medication for it. This is the extreme case of depression which cannot just be ignored or go away on its own. 

Most people, on the other hand, have a minor case of depression.
At times I do feel like I get into depressed funks that are just so hard to beat.
If any of you are like me it is really nice to know what can actually help these feelings go away in a natural way. 
Here are some tips to fight minor cases of depression.

Sleep and make sure to get enough of it. When you feel fully rested you tend to feel a lot better about different situations in your life.

Exercise. There are physiological endorphins that actually can help you get in a better mood. 
Also the sun light can help depressed feelings so if you exercise outside that can be a double whammy. 

Start doing yoga. You can join a class, rent yoga videos from the library, or even look up yoga techniques and positions online. Meditating, pondering, relaxing and on a religious perspective - spending time with the Lord can really help you beat those intense and binding depressing feelings.

Help others. It really does help to take a step out of your shoes and make a difference in someone else's life. This doesn't have to be a big thing... it could be anything from a small act of kindness for a friend or family member to taking time to volunteer with those who need it. It doesn't help though to look at everyone who is doing worse than you because it could just make you feel even sadder than you felt before. 

Be good to yourself. Read things that help you. Put up motivational thoughts around your house and bedroom that remind you how amazing you really are. Listen to music that makes you feel happy. 

Eat well. Having a healthy diet really makes a big difference on your mood. Don't go on a rigid diet but just make a stronger effort to eat lots of fruits and vegetables rather than hamburgers. 

Laugh. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Be around people who make you laugh. Too often we don't really take the time to let ourselves laugh. Just do it-- it really feels so good. 

In all that you do make a conscious effort to prevent yourself from getting down.
I know you can do it! 
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You know when you're just living your life doing your thing and the beat of that song keeps playing over and over in your head? The music bounces off and around in your head about to shoot out of your ears and you can't stop it.

So for the past week I have not been able to get this song stuck out of my head. I'm glad it is an amazing song. I don't know what it is, about it. The beat. The drums. Maybe the fact that it shouts for freedom to all the nations around the world. It could be that it reminds me of the glorious game of soccer. Maybe because it reminds me of soccer, it reminds me of my sisters because we all played. Regardless of what it does, take a minute to just sit back and enjoy this amazing song. Close your eyes and connect with the beat and rhythm that plays from this to us. Let it inspire you to be better tomorrow. Run that extra mile you've been meaning to run, watch one of your favorite movies you haven't seen in forever, talk to that neighbor you've been meaning to catch up with. Have the courage to stand up for something and stick to it. If you want something you've never had, go for it. Discover your best self and stay to it. Dance. Sing. Shout. Love more. Every day get happier.

It's up to you.



I just took an Infant Development class and on our last day our professor talked about Robert R. McCormick Foundation's  List of the top ten things every child needs. I love it and think it is so true. I hope every parent out there makes all of these things a priority in their child's life.
Every child needs...
10.  To Read
9.     To Hear/Experience Music
8.     To Play
7.    Someone to Talk With (communication)  
6.    Quality Care/Nurturing (education)
5.    Positive Self-Esteem
4.    A Safe/Healthy Environment
3.    A Stable Relationship
2.    Appropriate/Nurturing Touch
1.    Human Interaction
I also love this message. 

Be crazy about your child.




My friend rented this movie from netflix and let me borrow it.  I just watched it today and I loved it.  Nora (my two-year-old) watched it with me and also loved it.  It is based off of the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a girl from Hawaii that got her arm bitten off by a shark.  The movie tells Bethany's story of struggle, faith and perseverance.  Bethany is a good example of taking something that could be quite difficult and handicapping and making the best of it.  I think that people can get caught up in a disability, whether it be physical, mental , spiritual and use it as an excuse to give up on life. I think that Bethany's story can give hope to everyone, no matter what we are going through, that if we have faith and keep working, we can accomplish our goals and live a happy, successful life and even do amazing things if we want to.