Monday, January 31


I was recently made the young women's president in my church
since we moved in over two years ago we have worked with the youth 
it started out as being youth sunday school teachers 
then 1st counselors in the young men's and young women's
now we are the presidents 
i love working with the youth
i remember one youth leader in particular who made all the difference in my adolescence years
I can only hope to have a similar positive influence on at least one of my young women 
however in between church and weekly activities these girls need additional help or attention

for example one girl turns 16 in April and texted me with great excitement that she passed her test to get her learners permit.... hopefully she never tries to convince me to let her drive. 

another girl showed up at my doorstep needing help with a homework project due the next day 

but today I experienced something I never could have imagined. 
I was just finishing at the gym when I noticed I had a missed call and voice message. 
one thing I have learned with the youth is they only call if it's serious stuff
concerned that one of my girls needed some 'real' help I called her back 
she beckoned me to come over and that she really needed help 
when I got to her house she was duct taped from mid thigh to about her neck
i wish I had my camera!
she wanted me to finish duct taping her, her sleeves and neck
her mom was helping her and had to leave so she was stuck in this duct tape dress.
this cute girl just got a sewing machine and wanted to make her own dress form 
she youtubed a how-to guide and was trying to make her own.  
I finished duct taping her and then had to cut off all the duct tape 
When I left she was duct taping the dress back together and then would stuff it with paper 
quite creative
obviously since I didn't have my camera this isn't my young women, but I wanted a visual of what I was doing
I was surprised at how many pictures there are with you google duct tape dress form

(if you know the girl I'm talking about, which I'm sure a hand-full of you do, you can't say anything to her because she'll kill me for this... pinky promise?? thanks)

Sunday, January 30


Sunday's seem to be the day that I write my longer posts...
must be my deep thinking days
well this week I did something I've never done before 
for the first time I gave my 2 weeks notice
I was so scared, I didn't really know how to say or approach the situation 
oh man, it felt so good once it was over 
20 pounds lifted from my shoulders 
thanks for the text's of encouragement and support from those of you that knew
I have felt so loved lately and I appreciate all of you taking care of me.

I was offered a full time job at an office
I already work there on my days' off from the hospital 
One of the ladies husbands just got called to be a mission president, adios to them 
so going into their busiest time of the year they desperately needed help 
lucky me i desperately needed a change 

When I had to decide between working at the hospital doing what I went to school for and being FT at the office I felt like my decision would effect the rest of my life
I felt like this sign, the consequence of this decision would result in either success or failure
I kept thinking, 'if I quit the hospital I might never work there again....'
well hopefully in a few years I'll start a family and never work full-time again so what does it matter where I work for the next couple years, as long as I am working 
it's good to take things seriously but sometimes you have to take a step back 
I had to stop worrying about 5 years from now and worry about now
what will make me happiest, my spouse happiest, and provide the best opportunities?
that was the bottom line for me 
so I accepted the FT job and gave my 2 weeks.
my whole life I've never had a full-time, salary paying job

I've been a free-spirit, with a wandering weekly schedule 
I'm not saying that working 40 hour weeks is something I will enjoy 
but I will enjoy the security, consistency and paid-Friday's off in the summer. 

I feel simply overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity
I recognize that many people are without work right now and I feel truly blessed to get to chose which job I works best for me at this moment of my life
cheers to a new adventure coming my way in two weeks. 

Thursday, January 27

this and that

I am a 'plan ahead person'
at the beginning of every week I sit down with my planner and write my list
my list consists of each day-to-day task i.e. work, gym, dinner etc.
I make a list of 'have to's' i.e. young women's, meetings, any obligations
then I make a list of needs/wants i.e. any cleaning, crafts, normal to-do's
and it seems like every week I have unrealistic expectations
I seem to think I have way more time and energy than I really do
Sunday night I thought I'd have more than plenty of time to do this and that
but I feel like I am running around with my head cut off
let's be honest today I was so excited that I had time to cut my finger nails...
I love them short!
of course now I'm happy to be in bed,
in my comfy pants that I have practically had on everyday since we bought them
writing this post
I wouldn't have it any other way
I love to be busy
I almost thrive off of it
however I am currently thriving off of my week last week when I stuck at home sick
lucky for me I was just sick enough I couldn't leave my house
just sick enough I couldn't clean, cook, etc
but not bed ridden
and enough energy to twist yarn around frames and wreaths
and enough energy to paint letters on burlap
here's what I did

one of my new years resolution was to be more resourceful
at the office they had a tree from the festival tree up all Christmas season
when they were taking it down no one wanted the tree skirt
it was just a piece of red burlap
I didn't want to see it get thrown away so I brought it home
I still have so much more, maybe I'll make a pillow or something
I'm really pleased to have a little Valentine's decor
amanda's crafts=simple

Tuesday, January 25


we've been saying we are going to Europe in May since last May
here we are coming up on February and we finally get to start planning
our basic plan is to spend 10-14 days while visiting 4 different cities/countries
have you ever been?
where'd you go?
where do you want to go, why?
what is the must see/do while we are there. .

I'd love your input! help me out.

Sunday, January 23


being denied the promotion at work was one of the hardest trials I've had in my life
I admit I've lived a blessed relatively uneventful 'easy' life
you want something so badly but you just can't have it and it consumes you, completely consumes you.
you feel like you are in the middle of a bad dream and you can't wait to wake up.
but you never wake you, you keep moving day-to-day almost in a blur.
all my thoughts were centered on not getting the job

lucky for me I have a great husband who had the patience to help me pick up the pieces
he distracted me
he allowed me to cry, complain, and ramble(usually saying the same things)
he called ahead to family and told them the news
asking them to not mention it
his love and support spoke volumes even though he didn't have to say a word
nothing he could say would make me feel anything but
he just held me tight and loved me more and more
a friend shared with me the importance of keeping yourself busy when you are sad, or trying to endure a trial.
The more you sit around 'thinking' or feeling sorry the worse it gets
get busy
do something for someone else
get active.
and I've found that to be true throughout my life, but especially recently.
sitting in my little basement
no matter how clean it is
won't make my problems go away or make me feel any better.

as I read through the comments that you shared on my 'lemon' post I will admit I was surprised by some that shared.....I didn't know that many of you read my blog I was touched that you took the time to share your thoughts and love I realized...even though I don't have a friend besides my husband that I talk to every day or week for that matter there are alot of people around me who care.and it goes both ways.I care about you guys too. I would want to help my neighbor, church member or friend if they ever needed anything.but what keeps us from getting that help?
I think it's because we never stop and ask.
I can't ever think of a time that I called a friend or a friend called me and said,
'hey i'm having a hard week would you mind bringing Sam and I dinner?!'
I want to appear strong
I want people to think I've got it all put together
I don't want to be that person who always needs help
Well we certainly shouldn't be running around feeling sorry for ourselves
and making everything a big deal for attention
we shouldn't be walking around all tough either.
letting other help us helps them... does that make sense??
it totally does in my brain but I'm not really sure why it works so well.

My last comment before I get off of my soap box
some of the most joyful happiest times of my life has been when I have thought of others(not just my husband) but those around me more than myself.
I truly gave myself, talents, time, energy to those around me.
while doing that I was happy and everything else fell into place.

This week I am going to seek opportunities to help those around me.
I'm not planning on volunteering or going out of my to find those in need
but I will be listening closer when a friend shares a concern
I will send a text or a phone call when I think of someone, just to check and see how they are doing
my goal is each day to do at least one thing for someone else, besides Sam.
I'm not doing these things for self-recognition but to give back to everyone who gave to me.

Join in, and focus your week on others too.

I know these photos are completely random, but I was reading a blog about taking your own self-portraits and while I've been home sick this week I decided to give it a try.
Sam eventually joined in too

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new diet.

this week I explored with a new diet
sprite and saltine crackers
Let me tell you if you want a slimmer tummy section you should try it

well we've been sick with the stomach flu around here
Sam stayed home all day tuesday
he felt weak, nauseous, woozy, faint, tired and extreme stomach discomfort
lucky for me I got it too
Wednesday I came home early from work feeling similar
I laid in bed hoping I'd feel better for YW
ended up missing YW, ACLS training and everything in between.
as Sam started feeling better and was able to eat again
I just felt the same
if I tried to eat I'd regret it

I'm small
I feel like whenever I get sick it effects me 5x's more than the average person
so once I knew I was completely cleaned out I started my new diet
maintained it
and just felt extreme starvation
everything sounded fantastic
hamburgers, chili cheese dogs, sweet potato soups, panini's, sushi
you name it I wanted it
so last night after it had been about 24 hours since my last flu episode we went out

millie's burger
I had a burger and fries
it was delicious!
not exactly the best food for your first meal after the flu but it settled just fine
I'm so happy to be feeling better before the week is over.

of course I got sick just a day after I bragged to Sam about being so healthy due to my consistency in taking my vitamins.
karma can suck.

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Friday, January 21


this blog is the result of me being a people pleaser.
you all know that I am a huge people pleaser, it's just what I do
I'm the youngest of five
I was always being bossed around as a kid and never learned to fight back
as I've gotten older I've learned that and had to learn how to take care of myself
not necessarily to fight back but stick up for myself
create my own opinions
anyways, this post isn't about being a people pleaser
my purpose for this blog has changed.
it's no longer to please those around me
or to 'fit in' with the blog crowd

I have been thinking for a while my goals for this blog
there are so many great blogs around
like many of you I love scrolling through others blog
i'm so surprised how much I relate to complete strangers

Here are my hopes for this blog
a place to journal
(I love re-reading past post, it's a blast from the past, it's super fun)
a place to channel my thoughts
(let's face it we all have random thoughts, peeves etc. that make us who we are and I hope to be less self-conscious about these things and more confidant to share with the blogging world)
of course a place to stay in contact with those we love
(Mr. Richards and I are at an ever changing phase of life, so it will be challenging keeping everyone up to date but I'll try)
a place to share inspiration and hobbies
(both crafts and educational. I have a strong background in health and fitness I want to share what I know and read. I love making things pretty I want to showcase my projects to inspire all of you)

My blogging is a roller coaster. Sometimes I have so many ideas for posts turning in my head, I can barely get them typed, other times I am a blank slate. Obviously right now I'm motivated to blog. I hope that as I stay consistent my writing, thoughts, ideas will become more inspirational, diverse and clear to all those reading. I hope you'll stick around and check in frequently for updates from our little basement in SLC.

Wednesday, January 19


After writing my post about lemons I felt guilty not sharing more details
however I'm not one to share my soul with many people
but it's been almost a week since the event that prompted such a post
I am now feeling ready to share
this is a long post.... sorry

Months ago preventive cardiology who I work for
announced they were going to try to get another full time position approved
it took FOREVER.
it all started in September and they just filled the position.
Since there are 3 super great awesome candidates working part time
they posted the job opening internally and just long enough for us to apply
I was super excited
I have been working there over a year and longer then anyone else
All my fellow employee's told me the job was mine
we went through all the formalities of applying
3 interviews!
I was confidant primarily because I felt like a great candidate
I knew it'd be hard for them to decide
all the employee's are super great
I need to add:
I work the most shifts, if I worked 1 day more I'd be working 'full-time'
I am proficient in both components of my job, inpatient and outpatient
Patients remember me by name(impressive when they see so many people a day)

Anyways I'm sure you already know what happened
my manager took me into the hall ... seriously and told me they chose anthony
'we decided to go with Anthony, I don't have a reason'
yeah that makes perfect sense ....
'I love you like a little sister and really want you to stay working here'
'we'll have another FT position within a year when daybreak opens'
hope i'm not around....
obviously it was upsetting
I was totally outraged, upset, sad, angry, betrayed, blindsided and so much more
all weekend I dreaded going back to work today
I'd have to face all my co-workers
we'd have to talk about it
how could I possibly be composed enough to go through that....
somehow through all those emotions I finally found peace
Finally I felt like what everyone said all along was true
'something good will come from all of this'
'everything happens for a reason'

Each day got a little bit better
Sam even treated me to a mani/pedi to make me feel better
by the time I returned to work today I felt like me again
(well except for the fact that I came home early with the flu)
also something Sam treated me to.
I talked to my managers' manager and they gave me 2 lame-o reasons
but I was happy to have tangible reasons.
It made me feel like they didn't just pick a name out of a hat
That there was some thought to their decision

So I feel like there's light at the end of tunnel.
The turning of a page
And I'm happy again, because no one can take that from me

stay tuned for a post about what I learned from this experience
many of you inspired me.

Tuesday, January 18

learning to study again.

this week i'm feeling totally overwhelmed.
I'm required to get my ACLS certification for working at the hospital
my workshop is on Thursday and test on Friday
it's been over a year since I've had to study for a test
and in all honestly my last 2 semesters were a breeze when it came to tests
they were mostly application classes
all you students what do I do.
tell me how to study again. pretty please.
after I take this test I expect just about everyone will want to hang out with us
why wouldn't they
just in case something major happened I could bring them back or sustain their life
oh wait....
exercise specialist can't push drugs and that's what ACLS is all about
so I'll have the knowledge but not the rights to use it
and if I use it and push drugs could be fired or sued
hmm... this really makes sense to me
i'm not hiding my feelings very well about having to get certified
it's totally lame
either let me push the drugs or don't make me memorize each one
(i'd rather they just let me use the drugs, cause i do love learning)
anyways, i feel better now that i've vented
I really learn well by application
so if i have any volunteers this week who want to play dead
give me a 'holla'.

Monday, January 17

'the time is always right to do what's right'
-martin luther king jr.

hope you are having a nice holiday
much thanks to the kind remarks and thoughts in regards to the previous post
i'm so grateful for friends and family
who would i be without them??

Sunday, January 16

when life gives you lemons

I'm not writing this post for pity or attention
I just wanted to share my thoughts and I know that many of us are constantly enduring trials
maybe it helps to know you aren't alone...

when life gives you lemons... make lemonade
I had some pretty big lemons thrown my way this week
the first couple of days I wallowed in my misery
I've experienced all sorts of emotions
anger, fear, confusion, sadness, hatred, self-pity, self-consciousness
but after a couple days of walking around feeling this way
i've determined it's time to move on
however i'm not really sure how to do it
lemonade is a pain to make

last night sam and I stayed in for dinner
together we made a delicious feast
breaded chicken with lemon pasta and broccoli sprinkled with lemon crumbs
I don't have a fancy juicer
that would have made juicing the lemons simple
Sam zested each lemon and I juiced it
our three lemons probably produced 3/4 cup of lemon juice
can you imagine making an entire pitcher??

So I ask you how do you make lemonade when life gives you lemons?
what makes you move on
where do you find your peace

a partial answer to this question came to me today at church
a line from a hymn
'have courage to accept his will'
whether or not you are religious you have to believe
everything happens for a reason
we have to have courage to accept our current circumstance and press forward

please share your thoughts...

Tuesday, January 11

something new

Christmas brought 2 new things for me to learn to do.
Sam surprised me with a camera,
with it came 18 free lessons
hopefully by lesson 18 I'll know how to use it.

Then my mom surprised me with a sewing machine!
I'm so excited to be able to sew and create at my own home
my first sewing lesson is tonight
I can't wait to get started on all my projects
it's absolutely perfect timing for Sam to start school
Here's to a year of home-made gifts.

Tuesday, January 4


the past couple of nights I've been having some serious irritating pain in my legs
it's a mix between cramping/aching/tingling sensation
I'm not really sure what's causing it
so I decided to look it up.
don't you just love google
here's a small list of the possible things I could have wrong with me
restless leg syndrome
(which could be a symptom of kidney failure, neuropathy or iron defiency)-awesome
postmenopause-mostly likely not
osteoporosis-I know I'm at risk but probably too young to have it
bone loss- let's be honest my bones are huge
and many other conditions I've never heard of
So, I have self diagnosised myself
I'm growing

I'm going to be officially 5'1'' by my birthday

Sunday, January 2

sleep over

These little munchkins slept over a couple days before Christmas
All three snuggled up under the Christmas tree
Our fish Red really enjoyed some company
and I thought maybe our little house isn't too little for kids
we'll just put them on the floor