Susan Layton

Film Producer - ASL Performer - Life Learner

Category: Life

“Mother!” Need I Say More?

Motherhood is a great responsibility.  As a kid, I thought, “Motherhood. A piece of cake.”  Oh yeah, my perspective has changed since becoming a mother. *You’re laughing, I’m sure. Me too!*  I’m grateful for great examples of amazing mothers, because without them, I don’t know where I’d be! … Probably a mess, trying to figure it out!

SistersMomI think of my mom and I am filled with joy.  She radiates goodness.  She is one of the most hard-working people I know.  She is caring, patient and loving.  She exudes talent – she is brilliant with sewing, journaling, teaching, entrepreneurial everything, family history/genealogy, and crafting.  I am grateful for my mom.  I am grateful for the love she has for my dad and all 6 of us kids (and all the grandkids too). SistersMom5I strive to be like her.  My mom speaks often about her amazing heritage.  She talks of her mom and her grandmothers with great love and honor.  I know she had beautiful examples of motherhood from those she holds near and dear.  It is evident.  What a blessing for her … and for me!

Alongside my mother, I look to many others for their great examples of motherhood – my mother-in-laws, my sister-in-laws, aunts, good friends, etc.  But the ones I look to most would be my three sisters.  Each one of them possess qualities of amazing mothers.  Each of my sisters have had different challenges, experiences, and findings as they have trekked through motherhood.  For me, it has been beautiful, as I have learned from and grown because each of their examples.  I have much love, respect and gratitude for each of them!

SistersKristin1My oldest sister, Kristin, is strong, smart, and loving.  When I look at Kristin, the words that stands out the most are: PERSEVERE and LOVE!  She has faced challenges, head on, that I don’t know I could ever get through had I been in her shoes.  What I love about Kristin, and a testament to me of the responsibility of being a mother, is that though it all, her driving force to keep going has been her role as a mother and her love for her children.  When you talk to her, you can feel the immense gratitude and love she has for her kids.  Her love for them is so deep.  It’s beautiful to see her relationship with them and her children’s love and respect for their mom.  Her children are smart, caring, service-oriented, talented and hard-working.  Not only  has Kristin persevered, but she is more radiant because of it! I know Kristin’s role as mother has been a shining force behind it all. Her example makes me want to be a better mother.

In our younger years, my younger sister, Julie, and I were always thought to be twins.  I loved having a twin! (She was definitely the cuter half, for sure!)  As she married and started her own family, it has been beautiful to see Julie in her role as a mother.  I think of Julie and I think: BIG HEART and LOVE!  In society these days, we often see our “big (and soft) heart” get in the way of discipline and structure.  I am grateful for Julie’s example that one can have big heart AND maintain the balance of discipline, structure and a fullness of love.  Julie has homeschooled her children, taken care of her aging in-laws, participated in church and community projects along side her family.  As a result, her children are smart, respectful, loving, helpful, hard workers and always have big smiles.  I can see when I go in their home that “Love is spoken here”.  I know that Julie is behind it all!  I want to be a better mother, because of what I see and feel in Julie’s home.  And for that, I’ll take being her twin, any day!

SistersSarah1My youngest sister, Sarah, is nothing short of amazing.  I have seen the challenges that she has faced as a mother and the fight and drive to make JOY and LOVE the underlying and overriding factor in her home.  You know success when you see the young people say and do the things they have seen their parents say and do.  SistersSarah2
I see that in Sarah’s family.  You see her children remember to pray, to serve and be kind to family, learning to accept the consequences for their actions – which ever way they stand, and share their love for their parents.  These wouldn’t happen without the example Sarah has given to them.  She is a stalwart mother.  I want to be a better mother, because of the kind of mother Sarah is.

I’m grateful for these mothers in my life – looking to them has made it easier … because being a mother is hard work.  Each of us have different lives, work responsibilities are different, our children have different personalities, challenges and abilities.  We have all been exposed to different examples of motherhood.  The philosophies of ‘how to mother’ are as numerous as there are mothers.  But if there is one thing, well, make that two things we all have in common, it would be: We want to be a good mom.  We want the best for our children.

SistersFam3I don’t know all the answers of how to be a great mother.  But I keep trying – I get up every day and strive to be a better mom than I was the day before.  Although I don’t have all the answers, I can say for sure that two things have shown tried and true for me: PRAYER and LOVE.  Sometimes I wonder how to keep going – and the peace, the love, the support, the answers, the drive have come only through getting on my knees.  I am grateful for prayer in my life as a mother. I have also learned that when love comes first, I am more patient, I am reminded of my children’s potential and why they were placed in my care, I see I can persevere, I feel the joy, and the love is stronger – for my kids and for my responsibility and opportunity to be a mother.

The world we live in has become more challenging – fluctuating values, responsibilities, expectations, and even the status of parenthood/motherhood.  Our challenge as mothers is a great load and responsiblity. But God has given us this responsibility, and He knows we can do it … and that is a great honor and a great comfort!

SistersFam7One last thing that tugs at my heart and I want to share. There are several women in my life, growing up and also since starting my own family, who I (and my family) have been very blessed to know.  These women have made an impact on me throughout my life and as a mother.  Some of these women have not had the opportunity to have children of their own. But I am grateful that that didn’t waiver their decision to help me, guide me, and walk beside me, cheering me on along the way.  I am grateful that whether or not they had children of their own, they still loved me, my children, my family and have planted hope and love in our path.  These women, all of them, have made a lasting impact on my life.  And I am grateful!

“Mother!” Need I say more.  My sincerest *MWAH* to all the mothers (of any kind) out there!  THANK YOU!
Question: How has your mother (or other women) made an impact on your life?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or on Facebook (and be sure to tag them!).


A Surprise from Japan!


It’s last Sunday.  My family is at church on time! (Woohoo!)  I’m wearing no make-up because my makeup bag was in the car that just got totaled. That’s ok, I had a cute skirt on. Ha. As usual, we sit in the back row – my kids like to fight about who sits by Mom, smile (sigh – haha).  It’s almost time to start the meeting, so I begin my usual “Shhh, sit down and be reverent” spiel to each of my kids.

Then, I get this *tap tap tap* on my shoulder.  It’s my friend, Jarin.  He says, “There is someone here that is a big fan of yours and wants to meet you.”  I was thinking, “uhhh, ME?!”  I follow him and standing a row behind me is this sweet Japanese family.  The mother, Mami, was looking around the chapel and then saw me coming towards her.  I don’t know how to describe her pure and utter excitement. She was so giddy and absolutely so sweet! “I can’t believe it!  It’s you!  We LOVE yoooou! WOW! It’s you … You’re right there, in front of me!”  I was like, “ME!? …  WOW! Yaaay!!!”  It was pretty exciting for me! I couldn’t help but to smile! She said, “We love you!  The Deaf people in Japan LOVE you!  And you’re standing in front of me!!!”  Mami was with her two daughters and son, who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  The girls were sweet and giggly too and her son stood close by with the biggest smile on his face.  This was the funnest meet and greet I have ever had!  Ha. What a joy it was for me to meet this sweet family!

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After church, we met up again.

Mami’s children use Japanese Sign Language as their primary language. They are also learning American Sign Language.  The daughters, Lisa and Rumi, attend one of five Deaf schools in Tokyo.  Their older brother, Kei, came to the United States so he could attend a university here.  (For a Deaf person living in Japan, it can be quite costly to attend a university because they are responsible to pay for an interpreter for all their schooling.  In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that the costs of interpreters are paid for by the university.) Kei’s family came for his graduation from Brigham Young University. So awesome Kei.

Mami and her family were so neat to visit with.  They were all smiles, hugs and laughter!  They really made my day!

I was really curious on how they knew who I was – especially knowing that they are from Japan!  Mami told me that the Deaf community in Japan love my ASL musical performances!  (Are you kidding me!??  How awesome is that???!!)   I felt so touched that what I do is loved and appreciated by others AROUND the world!

So funny, after we took pictures together, Mami was jumping up and down with excitement!  She exclaimed, “Oh! The Deaf in Japan will be so jealous when they see I got to meet you!!! I can’t wait to show them!”  I laughed.  (I’m thinking a trip to Japan is now on my list of MUST-GO-TO places!)  😀

What an HONOR for me to visit with Mami and her sweet family!

As they were leaving, the girls asked if they could sign me a song in Japanese Sign Language!  OH BOY! This was a treat!!!  …. And I tell you what, it was SO BEAUTIFUL!  …. With their permission, I recorded it for you to see. You’re going to LOVE it!

“I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” in Japanese Sign Language



それは最後の日曜日です。私の家族は時間通りに教会であります!私の化粧ポーチはちょうど合計しまった車の中であったため(Woohoo!)私はメイクアップを着用していませんよ。それは私が上にかわいいスカートを持っていた、大丈夫です。ハ。いつものように、我々は後列に座って – 私の子供はお母さん、笑顔( – 笑ため息)で座る人について戦うのが好きです。これは、会議を開始するためにほとんどの時間ですので、私はいつも私の子供のそれぞれに熱弁「Shhhは、敬虔なを座ってすること」を開始します。

そして、私は私の肩に、このタップを取得します。それは私の友人、Jarinです。彼は、「あなたの大ファンであり、あなたを満たすために望んでここに誰かがあります。 “と言います私は、考えていた」、うーん、私を!」私は彼に従うと、私の後ろに行を立って、この甘い日本の家族です。母、真美は、礼拝堂の周りを見て、その後私は彼女に向かって来るのを見ました。私は彼女の純粋で、全くの興奮を記述する方法がわかりません。彼女はとてもめまいと絶対にそのように甘かったです! “私はそれを信じることができない!それはあなたです!私たちはyoooouが大好き!WOW!それはあなたが…あなたが私の目の前で、右がしています!”私は、 “WOW!?…私!Yaaay !!!”、のようでしたそれは私のためにかなりエキサイティングでした!私は笑顔ではなく助けることができませんでした!彼女は、「私たちはあなたを愛しています!日本のろう者はあなたを愛しています!そして、あなたは私の前に立っている!!!」と述べました真美は聴覚障害者や難聴の2人の娘と息子、とありました。女の子がクスクス笑う甘すぎたと彼女の息子は、彼の顔に笑みを浮かべての最大の近くに立っていました。これは遊べる大会だったと私が今まで持っていた挨拶します!ハ。私は、この甘い家族を満たすためにのためにそれが何だったか喜び!

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真美さんの子供たちは彼らの主要な言語として手話を使用しています。彼らはまた、アメリカ手話を学んでいます。娘、リサとルミは、東京の5つのろう学校の一つに出席します。彼はここの大学に通うことができるように彼らの兄、圭は、米国に来ました。 (彼らはすべての学校教育のための通訳の支払いに責任があるので、日本に住んでろうの人のためには、大学に出席するため、非常に高価なことができます。米国では、アメリカ人はコスト障害者法(ADA)のマンデートで通訳は、大学によって支払われている。)圭の家族はブリガム·ヤング大学卒業のために来ました。とても素晴らしい圭。


特に彼らは日本からのものであることを知っている – 私は、彼らは私が誰を知っていた方法に本当に興味がありました!真美は日本のろう者コミュニティが私のASL演奏を愛していることを私に言いました! (あなたは私をからかっています!?? !!さ???ことをどのように素晴らしい)私は何を私が行うことは、世界中の他の人に愛さと評価されていることに触れ感じました!

私たちは一緒に写真を撮った後にとても面白い、真美はジャンプアップと興奮でダウンしていました!彼女は “ああ!日本の聴覚障害者は、彼らが私はあなたを満たすために持って見ると嫉妬になります!私はそれらを表示するために待つことができない!」、叫びました私は笑いました。 (私は日本への旅行を考えていると、私は行かなければならない場所の私のリストになりました!):D


彼らが残していたように、彼らは私に日本手話で歌に署名することができれば、女の子は尋ねました!ああ!これは御馳走でした! ….そして、私はそれがとても美しい何であったか、あなたを教えて!あなたが見るの….彼らの許可を得て、私はそれを記録しました。あなたはそれを愛するつもりです!

日本手話を使用して、 “私はイエス·キリストのようになるしようとしています」。


Accident Update (and Funny Story)

First of all, I am so grateful for all the love and support that has poured in!  It has been absolutely touching. Your words of support, warm wishes, prayers and so much more have been so comforting! THANK YOU!

Both my hubby and daughter are doing very well! … Still a little sore but recovering well. The car, on the other hand, was just declared a total loss.  🙁 …

Funny story tho: When my little boy asked when we would get our car back – all fixed, I said, “Honey, we aren’t gonna get it back. It went to car heaven.”  He slumped over and let out a big sigh.  Then yesterday when we went to the salvage yard to get all of our things out of the car, my sweet guy saw the car and excitedly exclaimed, “Mom, is THIS car heaven??!!?”  I love his sweet innocence! 😀


Blessings In Unexpected Ways!

Sometimes, the blessings we ask for come in ways we don’t expect.

I was driving to pick up my daughter from a birthday party yesterday and I received a text from my husband.  It said:

Totaled car.

We are ok.

Ryan and my oldest daughter were on their way to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead (proxy work for those who have passed on … for more info, see the end of this post).  This text “Totaled car. We are ok.” was shocking. How? Where? What does ‘OK’ mean?  Of course, I said a prayer, to ask that they would, in fact, be okay.  I knew nothing else.  But I picked up my youngest daughter from the birthday party and started driving the direction they were headed.

About 5 minutes later, my friend, Merri called me and said both were okay but the car was not.  We arrived to the scene about 40 minutes later.

This is what I saw:

Pix Car1

Right before this all happened, the rains became very heavy.  Ryan tried to slow down (without using the brakes – afraid of hydroplaning out of control) but the rains were just too heavy and the car was carried away, anyways.  The car hit the side of the hill and began to roll.  They finally came to a stand still.

A few minutes later, an off-duty paramedic arrived at the scene.  (She later told me that seeing the entire incident right before her eyes, she was afraid of what she would find once inside the car.  She was pretty sure it would be a sad situation.)  The paramedic found one door that could be opened.   She called out to the passengers, “I am a paramedic. IMG_2268We’ve already called 911.  Who is in the car?”  My daughter responded, “Me and my dad”.  Merri heard my daughter and recognized her voice and said, “Oh  my goodness! It’s me, Merri!”  What a beautiful blessing and miracle to have Merri, an incredible paramedic, a dear friend and my daughter’s Young Women’s leader, there at the scene to assist them in this catastrophic accident, just moments after it all happened.  Still buckled in, upside down, my daughter told Ryan that Merri was there and she was going to help them.  Once they were in a secure position, Merri pushed their seatbelt buttons and they fell to IMG_2273the ground.  Then they crawled out through the back of the car.   They were, indeed, protected and I am so grateful to the Lord for preserving their lives!

When we arrived to the scene, I was grateful to find them both doing so well.  Ryan walked away with only sore hands from white-knuckling the steering wheel.  My daughter had a small scratch/bump on her forehead but that was it.  Of course, they were shook up but doing very well, under the circumstances.  What … a … blessing!

After we did what needed to be done with the police and tow truck, we all agreed that we still wanted to go to the Temple and serve.  Merri took our younger ones to her babysitter’s house and then we met at the Temple.  Serving in the house of the Lord brought us much needed peace and comfort.

As we were traveling to the Temple, my daughter called my mom.  (I had called my mom the moment I heard about the accident. So, I knew she would be sitting anxiously by the phone, awaiting some reassurance that all were okay.)   The conversation was tender.  I could hear the trembling voice of my mother.  I could hear her as she began to cry.  She told my daughter, as she wept, that cars can be replaced but there is no replacing the ones we love!  That is true!

After our time at the Temple, my daughter shared with me her experience of this accident.  She had already submitted 5 names to the Temple (a week ago) so they would be ready for her when she got there but really felt there were a couple more she wanted to do.  So she was using my husbands iPad to find the names as they were driving.  It took her a little while but she finally found two of them and felt those were what she needed.  She put the iPad down on the middle console.  Then she grabbed her scriptures and began reading in Mosiah chapter 5.  She finished the chapter and realized the rains were coming down really hard and the car began veering off the road.  She grabbed on to Ryan’s arm and said “Heavenly Father…” and then the car began to tumble.   This morning, she opened up the scriptures she was reading to remind herself of what she read.  With tears in her eyes, she shared with me what she learned from this passage: If you keep the commandments, love, serve others and put God first, He will bless you and protect you.  My testimony was strengthened.  God IMG_9342knows us.  He loves us.  He will bless us.  As my daughter shared this experience with another dear friend of ours, Toni, said, “I’m sure those family members, who you were searching for while traveling in the car and those you had found earlier in the week, were there protecting you and your dad. They needed you to finish their work.”  When she said that, I could feel such power and peace come over me.

I am so grateful that they were protected.  I’m not gonna lie, I loved that car.  But it served it’s purpose.  Blessings do come in ways that we don’t expect sometimes.  It’s humbling, it’s inspiring, it’s just really beautiful!

I’m grateful for the blessing of the Temples.  Within those walls, sacred work is performed.  We learn. We serve.  Great peace is found there. The blessings of eternal families are realized within.  I’m grateful that I am sealed to my family for time and for all eternity.  The Temples are the House of the Lord!


I guess, another few things I learned from this accident was to always express your love to your loved ones.  You never know when something will happen and you won’t have them anymore.  The second thing I learned was to recognize the blessings big and small and thank the good Lord for each of them.  It makes terrifying experiences more bearable.  Third, slow waaaaay down in the rain, best to do that while on a slope.  🙂  In any case, better safe than sorry.  And lastly, in any circumstance we are faced with, saying a prayer, even if it’s “Heavenly Father …”, will help us through the good and the bad.  Comfort, peace, guidance, protection and understanding can fill our lives, as we call upon Him.

To learn more about Temples, click here.

A Special Day in 2000!

April 14, 2000. The day I wed my 10259767_10203718534903686_4519034621021399761_nlove, Ryan Layton.  I am so grateful for the blessing of being married for time and all eternity to the man I have grown to really love, appreciate and admire.  We were married and sealed in the Las Vegas LDS Temple on April 14, 2000.

Oh, this date has a story.  Since I was a very young girl, I wanted to be married on April 15th.  Sure, that sounded like a beautiful spring day.  A day with beautiful flowers10154024_10203718778389773_2019260875160657156_n blooming all over and pretty white fluffy clouds in the blue sky.  That was the day for me! … And then I grew up and realized that April 15th wasn’t the funnest of days, for this was the day your taxes would be due and blah for that.  Ha.  But I still wanted April and I realized a prettier looking day would be April 14th.  Just the numbers rang beautiful to me!  The year 2000 was the year I really wanted to be married!  I wanted a number that was easy to remember how many years I was married, every year.  I didn’t want to have to subtract, add, borrow, discuss, figure out, look at journals or anything else 1957644_10203718399380298_4581695779963541763_oto figure out how many years it had been.  So the day I wanted to marry was April 14, 2000!  😀

In 1999, my good friends from Phoenix (where I had served part of my mission) were going to attend a Deaf Expo in San Diego.  I wanted to go and be with them.  I packed up and headed to beautiful San Diego for a sure-to-be fun time.  That is where I met Ryan.  He was hanging out with all of my Phoenix friends (he knew them from his time living in the area a few months past).  It was a wonderful weekend.  But, it ended all too soon.  We exchanged email addresses and pretty much said, “have a good life” as he lived in California and 906122_10203718767709506_6641045466722837953_oI lived in Vegas.  Several months later, I received an email from him.  His company had decided to relocate to LV and that very weekend he would be in town to check out apartments.  Drats!  That weekend was New Years Eve and I already had plans to go to an old high school friend’s home for a little party.  All of my friends would be there. So Ryan and I agreed to visit the next day, if we could work out our schedules.

New Years Eve:  I arrived to my friends party.  I was greeted with hugs from many of my old alumni friends, catching up as we worked our way to the kitchen.  I stepped into the kitchen, and there was 1540286_10203718761149342_4771756794473657824_oRyan!  WHAT???  Why, how, HUH?? He was there in MY friend’s kitchen!  As we exchanged the “Huh? How do you know Lauren?”‘s, we soon learned that Lauren was my friend AND Ryan’s cousin!!!  What a small world!  Needless to say, Ryan and I hung out all weekend!  Looking back, I remember Lauren, in high school, telling me about her Deaf cousin who was at Gallaudet University.  How cool I thought that was, but I was a sophomore in high school! … And that meant he was old!  Ha.

January 2000: Ryan moved to Las Vegas.  We seemed to hit it off well.  Almost every night, after work ended, we were together.  I enjoyed his company very much.  Growing up learning ASL and being exposed at a young age to the Deaf community and culture, there was never a real struggle of Deaf/hearing between the two of us.  It was just a natural part of life.  I supported him, he supported me, and both our families supported us. That was, for sure, a blessing.

10259271_10203718748989038_1684461828553476432_oFebruary 14, 2000: Valentines Day, lunchtime.  I stood on the exit corner of the parking lot where Ryan worked.  I was with a very loving and trusting friend, Angela Darling, who kept rooting me on (from her car), to be brave!  Dressed up as a homeless girl, I held a sign.  My sign read, “Will work for love” … or something like that! It was corny and I loved being corny, especially for something that was worthy of it!  And to me, he was all that!  He and his working buddies went out for lunch that day.  As they were leaving the parking lot, I could see him trying to figure out what was in front of him.  It took him a minute to realize that that was me holding the sign.  I think he was in utter shock! Haha. … (He didn’t leave me standing there!  So I guess it worked!)   🙂10256893_10203718407180493_7317541851384143465_n

February 24, 2000:  It was evening.  We were overlooking the glittering lights of Las Vegas as we stood up on the Temple grounds.  We spoke of the city’s glittering beauty.  We spoke of the beauty and majesty of the Temple and its sacred purpose. And then came a question.  Yes, the question.  The kind that results in being engaged.  And we were engaged! Could it be so?  It was! And … a lucky girl I was because he was willing to marry me on my “April 14th”.  Yay for a little girl’s wishes!  Smiles. Looking back, I’m sure the folks would have liked a little more time… but of course, they were in full support. (ha)

984050_10203718740028814_15457019397428509_nApril 14, 2000:  My mother and Aunt had stayed up all night to finish sewing my bridesmaid dresses and pressing my wedding gown.  My mother was/is amazing! … It was a beautiful spring day! The flowers were in full bloom.  The white clouds were in the beautiful blue skies (kind of all over – not so fluffy, but no matter).  It was the day of my dreams.  Of course, there were hiccups.  The photographer arrived over an hour late, my bouquet and flowers never showed up (until the reception much later) and 10006435_10203718739308796_3840165559692796949_nthe beautiful glass blown cake top never came home with us.  But the day was perfect anyhow!

Our days since have come with many bumps in the road.  Through those bumps, I have been reminded time and again the answer to my prayers that I had received when considering this marriage.  And then more prayers were answered along the way.  We held on, we worked harder, 1507140_10203718414900686_3785667598740269804_nand we loved more.  15 years later, and I am so grateful for the experiences we have gone through.  I love him more than I ever imagined I could or would.  He is a handsome, strong, patient, loving, forgiving, happy, talented, and all-around, in-and-out amazing man, son, father and husband!  Sealed to him for eternity is a blessing.  A blessing I am so grateful we held on to (and continue to hold on to and work for)!  Happy Anniversary, my love! Here’s to the rest of time and all of eternity! *MWAH!*


This is a favorite picture…

All those ILYs and my sweet daddy trying his best!

He loves me and I know it, even if it’s hang-loose style!


My brothers and sisters!  I love them like crazy!

All of my siblings have a picture like this on their wedding day!  Ha!



My sister made and decorated our cake.  She is just fabulous that way!

And our beautiful cake topper. At least I have a picture of it!


My dress and veil were nothing like I initially thought I wanted but when I saw it, I knew it was the dress made for me. It was so perfect and beautiful in every way!


Oh, isn’t he so regal and handsome?


Love this picture!

Even with the “emergency” white silk flowers that I used.  They still kinda make me cringe but I had them and well, they were flowers, and I guess, that’s that!  😀

But it’s the honey beside me that I love the most!


The Layton Family

Established April 14, 2000

Smell the Roses!


Take the time to stop and smell the roses! … Today I had the opportunity to go film with a good friend, Bonnie.  She is a woman of many talents!  One of her talents is up-keeping the beauty in and around her home.  She showed me around her beautiful home and I was brought back to the age old saying, “Stop and smell the roses!”  Sometimes, life is so busy and we – I – forget to enjoy the little things.  I was grateful that Bonnie helped me out and made sure that after filming to stop and smell the roses.  That time really made my day a lot more brighter!IMG_7260 IMG_7261



My New Job …

I’m almost the big 4-0!

big 40

A number I always thought I’d embrace, but now that it’s knocking at my door, I feel like I’m trying to roller-skate backwards, on ice, as fast as I can because a swarm of bumble-bees are headed straight towards me.  “Aaack!”  Are you with me?  Haha. That!

As I turn a new chapter in my life, I am also reminded that I am not getting any younger.  So with a lot of thought, I decided there is no better time to start a new job.  I’m really excited.   This job has been a dream job for a very long time.  My duties as a mother, a wife are not secondary to my new job but stand equal to the duties of my new job; however, it is a job and it cannot take the back burner.  It is a job that I have always wanted to do but for reasons, mostly created from my own fear or ability to stand up for myself, have never really been able to accomplish or sustain for long periods of time.  My new job: PERSONAL CARE-TAKER!

Yes, my new job is to be my very own personal care taker!  I hired me!  And it’s a job I am taking seriously!  Since starting my new job, I am a happier and stronger person.  My motherly responsibilities are accomplished easier.  My new job has created a more positive wife.  Since starting this new position, the dividends have paid well:  I am positive. My physical and mental health are stronger.  I feel balanced.  I …. accomplish! *Jaw drop!* (haha-but true!) I am happy.  I am able.

Prior to accepting this new position, I felt either physically sick, down in the dumps, or fatigued.  Every day, I would be taken back to the days I felt strong and able to do what I wanted to do.  Oh yes, I knew exactly what helped me: exercise and eating healthy.  But I feel like I have tried to get back to doing that, but was overwhelmed with the almost impossible task at hand.  Something was in my way, mentally.   I finally got to the point *clap clap* that I would eat a healthy breakfast and a healthy dinner, but everything in between I consumed what was easy, fast, and often “oh my, I’ll just make a PBJ for me too” because I’m too (blank: tired, busy, overwhelmed, or just don’t want to bother with healthy).  But why did I still feel sick, tired, or whatever other ‘blah’ feeling?  As far as exercise, I had really great intentions, ALL of the time! But if I’m honest with myself, and you, those great intentions came with their own set of “IF’s” …  “if I could fit in the time”, “if I didn’t need a nap”, “if I didn’t have to work early that day”, “if…. if…. if….”. I never really thought those excuses, they just kinda happened naturally.  Sometimes I really did get in a run and I would feel ON TOP of the world!  Then I’d think, I’ll do that again tomorrow cuz that was awesome!  Do you know what I’m talking about?

Fast forward to a Sunday, not too long ago. Church had just finished and a sweet friend (and AMAZING cook) asked if our family would join theirs for dinner.  Oh wow, of course!  We’d love that!  … The food was amazing, as always!  Our visit was just splendid, as always!  … And then, my intestines or something inside of me felt like they were being strangled and twisted in tight fists!  It was one of the worst pains I had ever felt.   It went on and on… I didn’t know what to do.  It finally calmed down but within a few seconds, it started up again.  Slowly the feeling moved to the center of my innards.  And then back to the side again.  It went on for almost an hour!  It finally settled to where I could stand.  The pain, though not as excruciating, continued over the next 5+ days.  That made me reconsider my struggles with food and exercise.  That was my “AHA!” moment!


Why did I wait till I had so much pain, (I even considered going to the hospital … and for anyone who knows me, I will do anything not to go to a doctor or hospital! Ha), to put MY needs first?

The day after the severe attack, I said, I am hiring a personal care-taker.  I am hiring ME!  Because I KNOW what it is I NEED!  I KNOW what I CAN do!  I KNOW how STRONG I am!  I AM the best candidate!  I am tired of feeling sick.  I am tired of feeling tired.  I am tired of being put last on my very own list!  I AM STANDING UP FOR ME NOW!

Exercise Quote

Within those 6+ days of pain, I ate healthy and exercised, without fail!  What resulted was feeling stronger.  I developed an “I CAN” attitude, an “I HAVE TO” slogan, an “I LOVE MY FAMILY ENOUGH TO…” mentality, an “THEY WILL LOVE ME FOR IT” and “I WILL LOVE ME FOR IT” thought process.  This is a JOB!  I go to work each day.  And if you notice its not work with quotation marks.  Because “work” to me means “wink wink – haha – isn’t that cute? I’m going to “work”” … And I’ve decided its not that kind of work.  This is a job!  No exception, no excuses.  It comes regardless of my other jobs, employed inside/outside of my home.

I decided I COULD come up with every excuse “not to” but I have used up all those excuses, and it turns out, none of them love me back!

I am getting older.  Life is carrying on.  And it will carry on with or without me.  I want to be here as long as I can.  The only way for that to happen, and to minimize the aches, pains, sad faces, and all that I can control, and as long as the good Lord will let me stay, is for me to excel at my new job.  😀


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