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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