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Vision Board – free download!

 Uh oh….I’ve been thinking… 🙂

Oh gosh. I can’t even tell you how THRILLED I am to be able to post again. We had a crazy glitch with our site and it wouldn’t let us post. Not even once, for 3 whole weeks!

I’ve decided that maybe we need to learn PATIENCE?!! Lol, between you and me, I think it just may be true. And I’m actually really grateful for that. AND that I was cut off from posting for a while. No, not for the obvious reasons you might be thinking, like getting some time off or something crazy fun, but in fact, quite the opposite, as it’s given me time to really contemplate what we need to talk about.

And maybe missing New Years with you was actually the perfect time to miss. As I saw the whole world posting about New Years Resolutions, I realized how this is something we can do on an ongoing basis, and practically eliminate a chance for failure. I’ve thought about how to not just encourage you to set those goals, but how to find the ones that will best define YOU, so you can have a positive experience all the way around.

As we’ve been on our own journey, we’ve come to really understand that it’s not touching the heart, but changing the heart that will ultimately have the greatest impact on our health and well being.  It’s like completely re-setting that inner compass and making changes flow almost subconsciously rather than fighting ourselves to make things happen.

Whether you are hoping to lose weight, get more fit, eat more healthy, get ripped, become more grateful, or whatever it is, just get it on your Vision Board asap.

Because you, my friend, are divine.

Divinity lies within you,

and we want to help you

see and celebrate that.

Tiff explains our perspective in this video….

Once upon a time, I wasn’t so sure about making a vision board…but now, I’m convinced they are incredible.

I admit it, I had actually heard that I should make a Vision Board before, but had no interest. Yikes, did I really just say that?! Ok, yeah, I really had zero interest.

And it wasn’t until I worked on a TV Pilot that I actually finally got the vision.

One of the show’s Hosts was a business woman, who had sold her first business for $500,000,000.00. Yes, this is that part where you can gulp really big. I did.

So I worked with her for a few days in the studio, then again, at her home (I guess you could call it that) which was about as breathtaking and enormous as it could possibly be. And that’s just the description of her closet, jk, ok, well maybe kinda, lol.

This woman told me how, as a young mother she ended up divorced, with very little money. Her dad had taught her to make vision boards, and had turned her into a firm believer. He also told her to figure out how to support herself, so she put it on her VB.

Before long, she set up a business, then grew it every day. She put goal after goal on her VB, and met those goals in spite of every obstacle along the way.

In time, she was able to sell her business, and now runs a business that helps startups, and one of the 1st things she teaches those business owners is to make VB’s.

She also said that every item she had ever placed on her vision board materialized. She said there was only one item still on her board, but she knew it would materialize.

And you know what it was? It was a Jet. Lol. Yep, a real, live Jet. 🙂

By now, she very likely has her jet, but if not, I have no doubt that she will have it soon.

She was passionate about the power those boards have.

But even more than the message she shared of her vision board, I was deeply touched by how quickly she turned all of her thanks to God, who had always carried her, every step of the way. That was awesome, and I was very inspired to say the least.

So I’ve made my own, and they are awesome tools. That’s why I want to share this with you.

1. What IS a Vision Board?

Here is mine…Yours will look much like this when it’s filled in.

FREE Vision Board Download from Nature's Knockout!

2. What do I put on my Vision Board?

It’s really up to you. What would you like to add to your life?

Rather than looking at what you don’t like about you or your life, just look at adding the things that can enhance it. Maybe you’re hoping to feel better, look your best, think better, maybe you have qualities, or maybe even a few things you’d like to add. It’s really up to you…

You are the author

of your own destiny

As you can see, on my board above, I want to make other’s smile every day, to do humanitarian missions, to replace our very ancient cars with something more reliable, to go on a trip to Disneyland with the entire family, to go on a cruise with my husband, to feed my spirit daily, and to exercise daily.

2. How do I start one? 

Download our free copy by subscribing below.

We recommend that you download it, pray about what you’re going to place on it, and fill it with what inspires you. It can be things, places you’d like to go, things you’d like to do, but hopefully it will include some behavioral changes you want to embrace as well, as that’s where the greatest successes start to happen.

Place it on your wall, on your bed post, by your computer screen, on your mirror…wherever you want–any of those places or ALL of them. Just make sure you place it where you’ll see it.

And start watching things happen. It’s awesome!

Have any of you ever done a VB before? If so, please share how it worked for you, and any tips you may have..

But whether you have or not, please comment below, we’d LOVE to hear what you’re cooking up out there! Let us know where you are hanging your vision board, share what you’ve put on it if you’d like, whatever you feel like sharing. We can’t wait to hear from you.

We love you guys…we honor the divinity within you!

xo

Laurie & Tiffany

Merry Christmas + A Special Announcement!

Merry Christmas from our family to YOU!!

We love this special time of year! It’s a celebration of our Savior’s birth, and a new birth to us all. We cherish the traditions and wish you the merriest Christmas of all!

This year, we thought we’d share our Christmas family photos with you–

and when they say a picture says a thousand words….they just might be right 🙂

christmas family pictures

christmas family pictures

christmas family pictures

I posted those on my personal facebook profile and had a lot of people wondering, lol. So here’s the story…

Years ago, when Tiffany was turning 8 years old, I found out that I was pregnant. In our faith, the age of baptism begins after 8 years old, so we had planned to have Tiffany baptized the same day as her twin cousin and her other cousin that was just a couple months older then them.

Since the whole family would be together, we pulled Tiffany aside and shared our news with her. We thought it would be special if she announced it during our family photo session.

So the whole family was laughing and smiling when Tiffany yelled out, “my mom’s pregnant!” The wave of surprise was so fun to be a part of.

SO fast forward 22 years.

Our son Trent, and his family recently moved to Dallas. When they asked their son if he could go anywhere for Christmas, he immediately said, “I want to go to Utah and play with my cousins.” Trent and Megan’s hearts melted, and yes, they ended up coming home for Christmas. YAY Cayden, lol! 🙂

Soon after we learned they were coming home, Tiff and I spoke at the Pinner’s Conference in SLC. As fate would have it, we stopped by the Camera Shy booth and yes, I submitted.

So I coordinated with everyone and nailed down a date and time. I had no idea that Tiffany would be going on a mad hunt, to coordinate with Camera Shy that she would be announcing her pregnancy in one of the photos.

So the big day came, and we did our photos.

It’s always fun (and a little crazy) when we all get together, so we were having a good time, but just before the 1st photo above, 3 of the workers from Camera Shy came in to “help”. Not one of us questioned what was about to happen.

And then, they yelled out, “Tiffany is pregnant!”

We ALL were shoecked. And AWED!

And of course we got emotional. It is a special time, a beautiful blessing, and something we didn’t know if her body would be able to ever do again. She’s been eating more fermented probiotic food, organic bone broth, and doing all she could to regain her health. She’s been feeling great and her joint swelling has all gone down. But we had kind of let go of that hope that she would ever conceive again. So we are beyond grateful for such a special announcement, and at such a sacred time of year, and in such a special way that none of us will ever forget.

And her little 8 year old Ashton, who had been in on the secret proudly beamed because he hadn’t told their secret to one single soul. I love the picture below as you can see how proud he felt. And I too, couldn’t have been prouder.

And as you can see in these pictures we’re sharing, a picture truly does tell a 1000 words!!

Yes, it was a very happy day!!

christmas family pictures

christmas family pictures

And that’s our story, sweet, sweet sweet.

As you celebrate this sacred season, we wish you the very best. It’s a beautiful time of birth, and rebirth, and we wish you a very merry Christmas!

And if you missed our last post, Silent Night, A Savior is Born–head over to download a beautiful song for FREE!

We love you guys!!

xo

Laurie & Tiffany

The power of kindness…

Sometimes you never know the power of kindness and how easily you can change a life…I had a conversation yesterday with one of my children that really touched my heart deeply……And so, of course I will share it with you.

The power of kindness...photo by Cami Low

This is a picture of both of our sons, Trent (left) and Brent on the right. Yes, they were born in the 80’s–the era of matching sibling names, lol! 😉 But both of them love to reach out and help others in every way that they can, in fact, Tiffany is very much that same way too. I don’t think any of them have ever put much thought into why they are so deeply moved to help others, that is, at least not until now.

I’m inspired by each of our kids and the good they do, but my story is going to focus on a really neat insight that Brent and I had one day.

He typically keeps his acts of kindness to himself, but while living in Costa Rica, one of Brent’s friends learned that he had personally re-built and stocked a Costa Rican Soup Kitchen that had been out of service after an Earthquake. This friend became aware of a couple other things Brent had done as well, and was intrigued.

He asked Brent if he had ever had a moment in his life when he had gone hungry or something that may have sparked his desire to help others.

Brent thought for a moment, and then it hit. 

Some childhood memories came to his mind. He remembered that we had been very poor.

He vividly remembered a particular Christmas. I’m sure Brent could sense the stress my husband and I were under as we didn’t know if we would have a Christmas at all that year. So at night when the kids were in bed, I started cutting out some fabric scraps and made 2 small teddy bears, and a tiny cloth doll topped with yellow yarn hair. On each of their chests, I drew hearts that said, “I love you.” It really hurt to think that those would be their exclusive gifts that year, but it was all we could do.

Brent’s memories took him to one meager night before Christmas as we were cleaning the kitchen when someone pounded loudly on our apartment door. We looked at the rattling door. We hadn’t been expecting anyone, and looked out the peep hole into the darkness. No one was there.

We opened the door to a sight we had never expected.

Christmas, in all it’s splendor, was laid out before us. There were baskets and boxes overflowing with food, toys, and more Christmas gifts and goodies than we could’ve ever dreamed of.

Yes, each of our eyes turned into faucets, flooding with tears.

We were all moved in ways that words can’t even begin to describe. Our hearts pounded with gratitude.

We never found out who those angels were, but we began to look at everyone we saw with a deeper respect, appreciation and love. It was a great act of service that we’ll never forget…. but that’s not where this story ends…

It was at that moment, when Brent sat reflecting upon his childhood memories that the pieces of his life started coming together.

.

Kindness

changes

the hearts

of everyone

it touches

.

Those overwhelming feelings of gratitude, love for people he couldn’t ever thank, and witnessing the joy-filled tears that flooded our hearts and filled our souls….Brent realized then, that those were the very feelings that made him want to reach out to others in need. It was a subconscious thing that he never identified until that day.

It’s amazing to realize the power behind one simple act of kindness.

Those generous people probably assumed that their gifts would temporarily lift the spirits of a downtrodden family. They did. But they also completely re-defined the direction of the lives of 3 small children, forever.

And we will never know how many other lives have been changed because of what was done for our family 25 years ago. I’ve come to believe that the power of kindness truly has no end.

I’m so grateful for good hearted people who teach us all how to be. Sometimes we hear so much about the bad things going on in this world, but it’s refreshing to reflect upon the astonishing power behind one single act of kindness.

Now go and have a wonderful day!

Please share your thoughts, we LOVE hearing from you!

xox

Laurie & Tiffany

IMAGE

A Silver Tag and a Silver Lining

A Silver Tag and a Silver Lining

My heart took a step back the other night when I sat down and saw this silver tag at my seat with the name “Mariah Teller” etched onto it. I also noticed a birth and sadly, a death date, which meant this child had passed away at just 3 1/2 years old.

I was at the BYBC2015 Bloggers Conference in Salt Lake City, which was incredible btw–but I had no idea what these tags were all about.  

And then I learned…

But before I share, you know that aching feeling of seeing someone suffering and not knowing what to do, what to say, and just wanting to somehow take their pain away? The awkwardness, the urge to help that goes unsatisfied? After I learned the things I learned, those very feelings came creeping over me. But if that starts to happen to you as you continue reading, just know that something awesome, amazing, and so very simple can help take those feelings away. And I’m about to share those with you too. With that, here is what I learned…

A speaker named Jesse from the Tyler Robinson Foundation spoke about losing his brother Tyler to childhood cancer. The story was crushing.

A Silver Tag and a Silver Lining

He told us that Tyler had died on March 4th and that was why Jesse was reaching out to us. They had organized the March Fo(u)rth for 1 Million Voices of Hope for Pediatric Cancer Families. How cool is that? My eyes stung with tears and I couldn’t believe the “coincidence” of the timing of his death.

I’ve had children in my makeup chairs over the years that were dying of cancer. In every case, I’ve been deeply moved by their strength and demeanor. I have to believe that those special little spirits are truly brought into this world to bless the hearts of everyone they touch. They are incredible, they teach us how to love, how to embrace every second, how to become strong, and what really matters in life. 

I knew I had to share this story with you, and went to work on it right away. 

Of course, my curiosity got the best of me. So, I googled Mariah’s name. I think I stopped breathing as the most beautiful pictures filled my screen. Then I found a “Prayers for Mariah” facebook page, which took me down another journey.

Something about Mariah drew me in. She came, lived her little life, and moved on. But as a total stranger, I was still powerfully moved by her legacy. A life well lived can truly change us.

I found this article about Mariah and her family. They’ve been through so much.

I reached out to Her mom Terra, and here are her words: 

“she was the most incredible toddler, always happy no matter what she was going through, always worried about others. People were so drawn to her and she brought people together. She never felt sorry for herself, and even against unwinnable odds, woke up with a smile on her face. A triumphant spirit every day. She is my hero, she gives me strength.”

“My little Angel”
A Silver Tag and a Silver Lining

Here is another note Terra wrote on Mariah’s page,

“To heaven, Heavenly father please take good care of Mariah today we miss her so bad it hurts we wish there was visiting hours but then I think we would stay ..Please cuddle her for us squeeze her sing with her and play play do her cousins are really missing her too please hug her for them and give them the strength to endure today . Please tickle her for Marcus she was his favorite buddy to watch football with . Tell her I miss having her next to me cooking and just by my side where ever I went I love her so so much, please help me be strong, please hug and rub noses with her for daddy tell her he misses her mugga muggas and snuggles .she loves mashed potatoes and turkey but no cranberry sauce she will eat very little to move on to the pie. Please let her watch bubble guppies the turkey episode and sing the songs with her . We are so grateful with the time we had with her we love you sweet little Mariah you and your brother are my everything happy turkey day sweet heart . Sending my love to heaven”

A Silver Tag and a Silver Lining

The tears just keep rolling. I can’t even imagine what these kids and their families have gone through. But back to those aching feelings of wanting to somehow reach out and help…

We can do something–we can join in and March Fourth on March 4th this week…to help child cancer patients and their families. 

And they’ve made it easy for us too–just pick what works for you! (The day they’ve picked is March 4th, but if you’re reading this after that date, you can still march fourth and help in any way listed below…

1. SHARE this post everywhere you can, share it today & tomorrow –we will too! Use this hashtag:  #myTRFvoice

2. If you can, donate just $4 on their website

3. Leave a message of hope for kids suffering from cancer HERE 

4. Attend a March Fo(u)rth event in your area if there is one) All worldwide events are listed their website

That’s it!  We really can’t take away all of the pain these families endure. But we can help, and we can make a difference. I’m excited for this opportunity, it truly can touch hearts. Let us know your experiences–we believe they will be wonderful.

A little aside–I was in the middle of working on this post today when I had to run to a meeting. As I was driving, a car was in the wrong lane and swerved over. The guy behind them slammed on his horn. My first thought was, does he even know what they might be going through?

Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but just maybe we can stop in our moments of rage, and breathe…see other people as real, and reach out to make their lives just a little bit better. And just maybe, we will be surprised to see our lives become better as well.

And I don’t know why I’m feeling compelled to share this link… Recovery From Grief  But if you know anyone suffering from grief, recovery is essential and better yet, it’s attainable, and can ultimately empower us. Here is a wonderful book that can help make that process easier for anyone that you love. 

That’s it! Thanks for being so amazing and we hope we get to see some of you at our local venues as we MARCH Fourth for so many kids and their families.

Please share your thoughts–somebody may need to hear them!

xox

Laurie & Tiffany

What IS Love?

True Love and how to Find It

PIN IT

“A man travels the world

in search of what he needs,

and returns HOME

to find it.”

-george moore

What IS Love?

In my work, I travel often to all kinds of different places, cultures, scenery, and people I don’t yet know. I love it, but as I get home to my own home and sink my head into my own pillow in my own bed, and find myself surrounded by my family, I realize what truly matters most.Learning about Love

Studies show that family relationships can bring joy and meaning to life. If that makes you twitch, don’t worry, we’re all a work in progress, but when we learn to see those relationships as opportunities for growth, increased love, and potential joy, our lives begin to change.

A friend shared her struggles about their family relationships with me recently. I actually don’t think a family exists that doesn’t have a mix of healthy and unhealthy behaviors brewing…but how we deal with those  can either make or break us.

When we start to see everyone in our close circles and real and meaningful, and understand their limitations, their pains, their joys, and what they are about, our hearts begin to shift.

When a person is immersed in destructive behavior, it tends to have roots. And when their behavior effects us negatively, we ultimately have to realize that we can’t change them, but we must change the way we react to them. My dad (a retired Phsychologist) said that over and over again.

No family is perfect, but ironically much of the growth we go through in life comes about because of our family relationships.  So whether it’s healthy or not isn’t the question, it’s how we allow those primary relationships to direct our paths.

I think that seeing each family member where they are, understanding that they are doing the best they know how to do with the tools they’ve been given, we can start to let go of our own unhealthy expectations. They are where they are for a reason, and typically can’t see why things aren’t working for them.

True Love and how to find it

But once we let go of our expectations of them, our hearts begin to change.

We can see them where they are and love them there…that is the beginning of uncondtional true love.

And when we learn to love unconditionally, we grow in leaps and bounds and that’s when we become healthy…inside and out.  What we think, feel, and conquer truly makes us who we are.

With those thoughts in mind, how long has it been since we shared our feelings of love with those who should matter the most to us? Maybe it’s time….After all, it’s worth it 🙂

To your health, love, & happiness–inside & out!

Please comment!

xox

Laurie & Tiffany

IMAGES

 

What I learned on set today will forever change my heart

I’ve kept a diary ever since I was 10 years old. If I were to write an entry for what I experienced today, it would go something like this…

What I learned on set today would forever change my heart

DEAR DIARY…. What I learned on set today will forever change my heart. We were filming a music video  – “Beautiful Heartbreak,” with Hilary Weeks, and wow. I had no idea how it would impact my life.

Hilary is possibly one of the cutest things on this planet!  You know how some people just draw you in and you feel an instant connection–sort of like long lost soul mates or something? Yeah. Well that was Hilary all the way. I seriously fell in love with her and felt so blessed that our paths could connect.  

I try not to follow any celebrities at all. I purposely know nothing about any of them so that when I work with them I’m not dying of awkwardness. But it’s not just me, I feel like I owe it to them to give them a safe place, where they can share what they want, be who they are, and be loved and accepted for who they are instead of for what they’ve done.

So, for me, I never knew Hilary Weeks, or her music at all, and had no expectations at when we did our first shoot together (the cover above). But she is truly a person who shares her heart and really means it.  And she is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met too.  

So yes, the cover shoot was a wonderful experience and a lot of fun to work on and when they called me back about doing the music video with her, I was happy to clear my calendar to make it happen.  And I guess that time I knew her and had expectations, but I had no idea the effect this “job” would have upon me.

There’s so much more to share…but first, here is the finished video. I know you’re going to love it:

On Set, Beautiful Heartbreak, with Hilary Weeks

You know how some experiences sink so deeply into your heart that you hope they’ll never leave?  Today’s shoot did that for me, on so many levels…. and I can’t stop thinking about it–

Today started out like any other day.  I prepped my gear and loaded my car and headed up to a beautiful mountain location.  I was afraid it might be cold, so I wore long layers and Uggs (big mistake, lol)  Let’s just say it got hot! 

Here are some pictures as we were getting Hilary ready….

What I learned on set today would forever change my heart

Her cute hairstylist’s name is Dani–so adorable!  I met Dani when we worked together on Every Step, so by now we were old friends, ha! 🙂

We laughed and gabbed about silly girly things as we tortured her with glamour and glitz.

What I learned on set today would forever change my heart

One random conversation we had was…”What do you say to someone who’s struggling?” Hilary’s thought was to just talk about your feelings, rather than to try to advise or anything.  I totally don’t know why our conversation went there, but her words would come back to me in a few hours time….

On Set, Beautiful Heartbreak, with Hilary Weeks

Touch-ups just before stepping on set, cute Kim, Hilary, Dani and me (hiding under my big hat, of course 🙂

On Set, Beautiful Heartbreak, with Hilary Weeks

I have to admit, this was the first time I had heard Hilary sing or play. So when she played and sang on that hillside today, something very magnetic happened to everyone there. It was spectacular. And then,

I listened to the words. Oh gosh.

“Beautiful Heartbreak” was written by Hilary and Tyler Castleton.  It was beyond touching.  It was about the painful struggle of a heartbreak, then realizing the struggle was actually a beautiful gift. It’s really a powerful song and I was moved to tears repeatedly throughout the day.

Then extras started showing up.  The extras for this shoot weren’t handpicked at all, just random invites.  I think we had around 20-30 altogether.

On Set, Beautiful Heartbreak, with Hilary WeeksAfter the extras got there, the director asked them to take one of the blank poster boards (above) and write a heartbreak in their lives that they had overcome.  

I started walking through the group and found a few featured extras to touch up.  As I did, I looked at their boards and could hardly say a word.

“Share your feelings” came back to me and I quietly asked a few questions about their experiences.  As we talked, I couldn’t help but feel a special bond toward each person there.  I just shared my feelings about those heartbreaks and walked away. I didn’t know a heart could be so full. Those people had been total strangers to me just a few minutes earlier.  I was touched by their attitudes, their strength and sweet honesty.

Next, we lined them up in front of the cameras and tender feelings overwhelmed me once again. I saw each of these people holding their trials for the world to see.  Each of their trials were huge. 

I think that is what shocked me the most. How is it that each of those random extras could have suffered so much heartache? The death of a child, a parent, a sibling, cancer, a burn victim, two beautiful teenage girls who had lost their dad in an airplane accident, and so much more.  It was pretty heart wrenching to think of the struggles they each had endured.

These “strangers”wove a place in my heart.  Then it hit me how everywhere we go, people are dealing with hard struggles of every kind, and we just don’t know it.  We’re all in this together, but we don’t see it.  

What if people carried signs all the time? Would we suddenly see them as real people with real pain and real agony?  Suddenly we would know no strangers. We would let so many more people into our lives and learn and grow so much more, right?  I think we would have so much more compassion and feel so much more love in our hearts. And all the “little things” that weigh us down wouldn’t have so much power over us.  We’d see the big picture so much more clearly.

I’m so grateful for this day and for the powerful realizations that came with it. 

During the shoot, a woman passed out, and smack her head on a concrete driveway.  The paramedics came and it was intense.  We were all worried, but I could see Hilary agonize over the comfort and safety of this woman.  It turned out to be okay, but it’s those stressful moments that bring out what lies within a person’s heart.  Hilary’s is obviously full of compassion.  I love that girl to pieces!  I love working with her, and feel really inspired by her presence.

I loved today’s crew, loved my girls (Dani & Kim) loved our extras, and everything.  If there ever was a real Groundhog day, this is the one I would choose!  What I learned on set today will forever change my heart

Please share your comments if you can–we love to hear from you, in fact, I’d also love to hear of your own trials and triumphs!  love you guys–you’re awesome!!!

Listen to “Beautiful Heartbreak” — so inspiring.

Thanks for reading!

xox

Laurie & TIffany

Love to Run?!

Ok, true confessions here. I really don’t love to run.

Whew, I said it. But I really don’t. Tiffany is a gifted runner and she and her older brother have always had this crazy love to run, which is actually super awesome and I love to cheer them along every step of the way. But as for me, no, I don’t love to run.

I know it’s a little weird, that for someone SO into health, you would think that I would love to run and would be running in every 5k and marathon around but, nope. I just don’t like the way that it makes your heart beat so hard and makes your mouth  so dry-ugh, it’s just not my thing. Give me zumba or yoga and that’s another story.

So why did I jump at the chance to share in this 5K?

Because a 5K isn’t actually too bad. I actually did one in my life–it was last year for a friend who was dying from a brain tumor. The course was really nice. I actually got lost along the way somehow (how do you get lost on a 5k?, I really don’t know, but I guess if there’s a will there’s a way, lol!)

And I also didn’t even run once on that 5K. I just walked, which is something I actually do enjoy.

SO, the thing that touched my heart about  this Loco Coco 5k is that it will help to feed Christmas breakfast to 500 families in need. THAT is awesome and makes me so warm and happy inside.

We actually were one of those families in need many years ago and it touched my life in a way that I never could have dreamed. Long after that food is eaten, the love behind it will keep living on.

I think we have those kinds of experiences in our lives to change us. And I will always cherish the feelings we had when we opened our door to huge baskets and bags of food and toys. There really aren’t enough tears of gratitude that can express the way that it touched each one of our lives forever.

So I hope that you’ll join us, whether you love to run or not, dry mouth or wet, come by and join in on the fun! We hope to see you there–unless we get lost of course, lol!

All of the details are below…
Come run with your favorite bloggers!

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Utah Mom Connection | Natures Knockout | Feel Great in 8

I am so excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers (and your favorites too, I’m sure!) to support an awesome local community event called the Loco Coco 5k & Food Drive!

Loco Coco 5k & Food Drive
November 15th at 8:00am
Farmington, Utah
www.LocoCoco5k.com

It’s going to be an incredibly fun day …

  • 5k run/walk
  • Stephen’s Hot Chocolate Bar
  • Free Photo Booth
  • Waffle Wagon food truck!

But, more importantly we’ll be helping with the goal to feed 500 local needy families breakfast on Christmas morning!

bountiful-food-pantry

We’d love to have your help with this huge goal, and we’d love to meet you all in person! Come run with us, invite your friends and family to join in, and most importantly, donate what you can to help with the food drive.

Most needed breakfast food items; pancake mix, maple syrup, jam/jelly, cooking oil, bacon/sausage, hot cocoa mix, and biscuit mix, but any and all donations are welcome! Donate your food on November 15th at the Loco Coco 5k, or drop them off from November 8th-15th at the Farmington Fire Station (82 North 100 East Farmington, Utah).

Oh, and don’t forget to enter below to WIN A FREE REGISTRATION on us! Thanks for being such incredible readers!

xox

Laurie & Tiffany

THUMBNAIL IMAGE

The Hero Within

I’m going to share something personal. And so this will be a tough post to share. As I sit here, contemplating what to say, I feel my heart swell and my eyes fill with big droplets of water.  That happens every time I think about it, not because it’s painful or  awkward, but because I have such deep and intense feelings about this subject.

I’ll give you a hint…

“A hero is someone

who has given

his or her life

to something

bigger than oneself.”

– Joseph Campbell

Having a positive role-model, a “hero” can be essential in molding and shaping the outcome of our lives.

I have a Hero, who has taught me a lot, but perhaps some of my most powerful observations have come from just watching him live his life. He is…

True Love and how to Find It

my dad. I wrote about him recently when he was invited to go to Washington DC for an Honor Flight with 66 WWII Veterans.

Then last week, he and my little sister packed their bags and headed to the airport for the trip of their lives.

When they got there, singers greeted them in 40’s period clothing and hairdos, singing upbeat 40’s music. My dad broke into the jitterbug. Not bad for an 85 year old man. 🙂 That’s pretty impressive, but isn’t what makes my heart melt when I think of him. I’ll tell you more, but first I want to share a little bit of his story.

War wasn’t new to him. He grew up in Key West, Florida, near a military Base during WWII. As a young teen, his dad was off fighting the war. In the battle at Pearl Harbor his dad’s eardrums were ruptured by explosions,  he never got his hearing back, but survived.  Sadly, many of his comrades were killed right before his eyes.

My dad also watched his favorite uncle, Bob, head off to war and was eager for him to return. He never did. News came back that Bob had been killed in a tank in Germany and his body was never recovered.

Hearing those stories didn’t stop my dad though. In fact, they made him even more determined to throw himself into that war,  maybe it was his way of making sure that Bob wasn’t killed in vain. At the same time, he was committed to fight for our freedoms and to make this world a better place.

So at the age of 16, he headed over to the Military Base and lied about his age, hoping they’d enlist him in anyway. They didn’t.

A year later, just after turning 17, he went back to the Base, even more determined. He was a skinny, scrawny kid and when the recruiter put him on the scale, he didn’t weigh enough. He was about to turn him away again, but saw something in my Dad, so he pulled him aside.

He told him to come back in the morning after eating an entire stock of bananas and a gallon of water. Of course my dad did exactly that and showed up at the base in the morning, about ready to pop. He was still a beanpole, but looked about 10 months pregnant. He almost hit the minimum weight requirement on the scale. The recruiter eyed him down, then said, “Young, you’re in.” My dad was thrilled and sped over to the nearest bathroom.

He dropped out of high school and went off to war. Two months later, the war ended (thank goodness!)

Later, he served in Guam where he became very close to the guys in his battalion and loved the island of Guam. So when an assignment came for him to move to Utah, he wasn’t really thrilled. A couple weeks later, the Korean War broke out he heard his entire battalion (from Guam) was sent out to fight. He yearned to be with them, but news came back soon after that every one of them had been killed. He was crushed.

War is the saddest thing, and there really aren’t any winners. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain my dad has experienced because of war. But he picked himself up and moved forward each time, still determined to make this world a better place.

Later he went on and not only finished his schooling, but also retired from 20 years of serving his country. After that, he went on to get a Doctorate Degree in Psychology. The perfect degree for someone so driven to help others.

Last night, the Honor Flight returned back home. I was thrilled to go down to welcome him home. It was a wonderful reunion for all of us, with lots of happy tears. I’m so proud of my Daddy. But in his usual way, he managed to teach me even more.

So many people came up and thanked him, I could tell they had been touched. That’s just my dad, everyone who meets him loves him, and it’s not because of what he says, but it’s about how he makes them feel.

And of course, the highlights of  his trip were about others. The group of 66 Veterans were greeted and thanked non-stop everywhere they went. It wasn’t the fanfare that melted his heart, but the outpouring of patriotism from so many people. That was probably the greatest gift my Dad could receive, it truly meant the world to him.

(Here is a video my nephew, Tanner, put together of the Honor Flight, of course it made me cry!)

My Dad visited with all of the heroes on that Honor Flight and listened intently to each of their stories. One in particular really impacted him. A Veteran told how he had dropped the bomb over Heroshima. My dad could tell the guilt this man had carried was unsurmountable. So naturally, he pulled him aside and began to counsel with him. It’s crazy how people are brought into our lives for a reason. I really believe this was one of those times, I actually believe he has been brought into many lives because he has such a powerful gift of helping them. Ironically, after World War II, my dad had been sent to Japan for several years, so he was able to share stories of Japanese men telling him, through tear streamed faces, that the bombing of Heroshima was the greatest thing that the US could have done. It was a hard loss, but it ended the war and prevented millions of more deaths.

My dad could see that his stories were helpful and what this man had needed so badly, but he could also tell that there was still underlying pain. He did all he could to help this man be relieved of the burden he had born. Then he visited with the man’s son, and assured him that his dad was indeed a hero. He went on to ask the son to go home and let all of his family members know that he had done the right thing, and was a true Hero.

heroes improve our lives

So what I want to share most of all, is how I felt last night as I drove home.

My heart was deeply touched by my hero once again. In his mild and loving little way, he again inspired me to do better, to reach outside of myself, to be better, and to not just watch for opportunities to touch peoples lives, but to constantly make those happen. I know because of his example that the only way I can truly find myself is through finding others and the rest will fall into place.

I am so grateful for Heroes. I’m so grateful for those who have carried burdens we can’t even imagine, those who are willing to give all that they are to make things better. In every country, in every land, we find Heroes. I’m so grateful for their inspiration, their vision, their unselfish desires, and all that they are willing to do, to be, and to give, in order to make things better for every one of us.

I hope more than anything, that what I can gain from rubbing shoulders with such a great Hero, is that maybe, somehow, I can learn to be like my Hero, and I can carry on that beautiful legacy. That everyone in my wake can walk away feeling better about themselves and truly loved, appreciated and valued.

We are so blessed to have Heroes, who are yours, how do they inspire you,  and what are your thoughts?!! Please share!

fathers day true patriot

We are so blessed to have wonderful Heroes in our lives, 

We love you!!

xox

Laurie & Tiffany