Thursday, November 27, 2008

These are a few of my Favorite Things:

Kyler and his kung-fu moves when he scores in air hockey.

Trevor's sweet demeanor...just being content playing with water.

Xander and how loving and vivacious he is.

Trevor and Gregory's brotherly bond. Reminds me of Greg and Jeff when they were younger.

How fun and spunky all of my nieces and nephews are. 

We had such a fabulous Thanksgiving feast! And when I say feast, I mean feast. Rhett and I are loading up to go to Dumont and this will be the first time we don't have to swing by the store to purchase any food. Everyone brought a dish or two and it made it SO nice to have the help. Everything turned out perfectly. 

After eating half of us drove out to the trails and took advantage of the after affects of it raining all day yesterday. There was lots of mud and many trails to test out the vehicles (and drivers) ability. 

I'm so incredibly grateful for my family. I'm grateful that through the years we're still close and enjoy spending time together. I love watching my nieces and nephews grow and learn and developing their personalities. It's amazing to watch such a miracle. And most of all I love my husband. He works so hard to keep me happy. Whether it's helping me set up tables or clean up the house or rub my back...he's always there to make sure I'm happy. I couldn't have chosen a better guy. 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for all of my friends and extended family as well. You've all had a part of making me the person I am today and I'm thankful for your friendship.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

#32 Mission Complete

I've officially completed my first item on my 101 list! I started it on Tuesday and finished sewing it this morning and I'm SO excited about it. I think it's the cutest apron ever. And such a cute model! Thanks Jalee. I was not in a modeling mood this morning and she stopped by right after I finished. 

Earlier this year I had a conversation with Heather and I told her that I never wear aprons. I think it's because they make me feel too matronly. She said she lives in them and how you just have to make cute aprons so you don't mind wearing them. So for the last few months I've been looking at aprons, trying to figure out a style I liked and I finally saw enough that I was able to design this one. I bought material a month ago and finally sat down and drew a pattern and figured out what I wanted to do and put it all together. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to, which usually doesn't happen the first time around. So I am very pleased. I'm thinking that it's a little TOO cute, though. It almost looks like a cocktail dress. So I've been thinking about adding a pocket or something to make it look more apron-ie. Heather, how do you normally do yours? Pocket or no pocket? I have just enough material left over I could do a pocket. Let me know what you think.

Friday, November 14, 2008

101 in 1001

I'm super excited to be participating in the 101 goals in 1001 days challenge. I know it's going to be tough to complete them all, but I'm up for the challenge.  I've created another blog just to keep a proper record of everything I'm doing. If you would like to check it out, please visit Richins 101. Now, I'll definitely be posting many of my accomplishments on this blog as well, so don't worry (I'm sure it would have kept you up at night). There are too many fun ones not to share as part of my every day life. Wish me luck and if you feel so inclined, join me in finding 101 of your own goals to accomplish in 1001 days. If you just can't think of 101 things, you can check out Liz, who is the founder of this challenge. She has a support group going on and everyone has a link to their own list. Once I got going I actually had to start eliminating items because I kept thinking of more and more. But lets be realistic...I'm only one woman...I can't do everything!

101 Goals:
1. Finish painting my house
2. Put hinges on TV drawer front & touch-up paint
3. Refinish old green couch
4. Recaulk tub & sink in master bath
5. Design backyard landscape
6. Regrout the kitchen floor & seal it
7. Blow up a picture I've taken to display in the house
8. Stain the front door
9. Deep clean the entire house
10. Install doorstops behind each door
11. Read 3 religious books
12. Read 3 "fun" books
13. Read 3 classical books from my collection
14. Read scriptures at least 4 times per week
15. Finish the B.O.M. (again)
16. Finish the old testament
17. make wall hangy with The Family: A Proclamation to the World & pictures of the family
18. Host 2 scrapbook/quilting/crafty days
19. Learn more about photography through books & practice
20. Get Photoshop Elements & learn how to use it
21. Blog at least once per week
22. Learn to crochet around baby bibs & blankets
23. Make a recipe book with pictures
24. Put together wedding scrapbook
25. Scrapbook through 2006
26. Make a quilt out of old jeans
27. Design & make a baby quilt
28. Make silk square quilt
29. Make a crazy quilt
30. Make all my pillows (for pillow forms already bought)
31. Make a comforter for guest bedroom
32. Design & sew an apron
33. Sew a dress
34. Design & make a bathing suit
35. Make a bedskirt for master bed
36. Drop weight to 135 & maintain (unless preggers)
37. Run a 5k without stopping
38. Run a 5k in less than 30 minutes
39. Compete in a triathlon
40. Keep a food diary for one month
41. Create meal plans
42. Get my knees in better condition
43. Exercise at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes
44. Develop a stretching program and implement
45. Get an allergy test
46. Organize the movies/CD's closet
47. Organize recipe books & get rid of ones I don't use
48. Organize the laundry room storage
49. Organize jacuzzi chemicals
50. Organize closet in gym
51. Organize food storage
52. Back up the computer on an external hard drive
53. Hand wash all needed clothes monthly
54. Mend all clothing within one month of discovery
55. Sell my Zen
56. Buy an iPod
57. Download songs/pictures/movies to iPod
58. Increase food storage by 50%
59. Have zero debt
60. visit teach every month
61. Attend the temple 6 times
62. Have an up-to-date 72 hour kit for each member of the family
63. Take a video of everything in the house (for insurance purposes)
64. Invite friends/family for dinner at least ten times
65. Call all family & friends on their birthday
66. Send more cards
67. Send at least 6 thinking of you cards
68. Go through my closet twice & donate clothes/shoes to D.I.
69. Go to the Arizona Hot Springs
70. Go on a picnic
71. Go to Washington D.C.
72. Go to San Diego at least three times
73. Go river rafting
74. Go to 3 new places
75. Take a hot air balloon ride
76. Plan a date with Rhett monthly
77. Paint pottery at a "make-your-own-pottery" place
78. Get pregnant
79. Have a baby
80. Read to my future child daily
81. Change the current office in to a nursery
82. Change the current living room in to an office
83. Study up on nutrition
84. Learn more about herbs, test them out, and keep a log of their affects
85. Take a sewing class
86. Take a cooking class
87. Learn to make bread
88. Learn how to swim faster (hire an instructor)
89. Build a snowman
90. Make a new recipe/dinner once a month
91. Make a birthday calendar of family and friends
92. Create a scenic calendar with pictures I've taken
93. Create a daily quote calendar
95. Pamper myself with at least two facials
96. Pamper myself with at least two massages
97. Start a garden and produce at least one edible item
98. Send out a Christmas card/picture/letter at least once
99. Participate in a Santa run
100. Start a club and meet regularly
101. ***Personal***

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Older I Get...

the more changes I'm seeing myself go through. I'm not talking about physical changes (although those are happening as well). I'm speaking of the maturing process that is constantly going on in all of us (some more than others). For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately of how much I've changed (and grown) over the years and how much I enjoy seeing these changes. Take a step outside of yourself for a little bit and take a look at yourself. How have you changed in the last few years? Do you like the changes you've made? I've always enjoyed change, but the last few months I'm realizing the importance of change. Are we constantly trying to better ourselves? How? Most people want to be better than they currently are. But wanting it and striving for it are two totally different concepts. What are we actually doing to become the person we want to become? I WANT to be healthier. But what does healthier entail? Working out? Eating better? I'm the type of person that not only has to make a goal to work out and eat better, but to actually make a goal to sit down and figure out HOW to work out and HOW to eat better. The last month I've spent many hours researching nutrition and trying to figure out what works best for my body and although I'm still light years from being a health guru, it's helped me to understand that as long as I'm going in the right direction...I'll finally get there. And I think that's all we need to commit to. To head in the right direction. For whatever goal you would like to attain.

Now I hope you don't think I'm on a soap box about all of this. Everyone is free to choose their own path in life. And another thing I've learned over the years is to judge less and accept more. This post was more for get some of my thoughts out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Loving Consciously

I wish I could take credit for the words of wisdom below. I stumbled across this article/blog and I thought it was just amazing. It seems that lately I've had many friends/family/co-workers who have been struggling to keep their marriage alive. Many of them are at the point of getting divorced or deciding if divorce is the right answer. I think the below article should be handed to couples getting married as a type of guide book. I know that many of the techniques work well for Rhett and me and hope that someone reading this blog might be helped by it. It's a long one, but oh so good.

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” -Gilbert Chesterton

Knowing how someone wants to be loved and then providing that love are two separate things. Sometimes marriages and other relationships end because either one person does not understand how to meet the needs of the other; or one partner refuses to meet the needs of the other.
To love consciously is a choice. Mary Beth and I often say being married is very similar to having another full-time job – you get out of it what you put into it.
Our marriage is like a savings account. My wife and I make deposits into it never expecting we may need to make a withdrawal. However, when we do request a withdrawal there are no associated penalties.
Yes, we argue over the temperature in the car or who really forgot to feed the dog, but when it really matters; when it really counts, we make the consciousness choice to give each other the love that is requested and needed.
With over 23 years of marriage under our belts, we have found the following strategies work best to love intentionally; to love authentically and to love consciously.

Show Appreciation
A simple “thank you” in response to a trivial or ordinary item can make a significant difference. It only takes a few short moments to utter these two words, but the impact can be felt for a very long time.
Showing gratitude is also the best strategy for ensuring the things you are most grateful for continue to happen. When we stop and tell our partners what we are grateful for, we are also telling the Universe. By making the effort, the conscious decision, to express our thanks we are in a better position of receiving more of it in the future.
If you want your partner to be grateful, it starts by you showing gratitude, first.

Be Happy, Not Right
Here’s a question for you, “Would you rather be right, or happy?” Too often our pride and egos can keep us from enjoying intimate relationships. We stew over what we think are injustices, but are perhaps only misunderstandings.
We carry grudges and do not show enough grace, passion or forgiveness to the person we care most about. Our need to be right can overshadow our need to receive, and give, love.
Take a look at what your pride is costing you. If intimacy is strained and the relationship is off track you may want to reconsider the value of your anger or self righteousness. Here’s the thing: You may be right in the argument although you partner thinks otherwise, but you will never be wrong when you put your partner first. Happiness always feels better than vindication.

No Day But Today
What would you say to your partner if you knew this was the last day you would be together? Would you complain about the television being too loud, or would you remind your partner of their value and significance?
Life does have an expiration date. This isn’t meant to be a downer – just a reality we all share. It’s what you do with this information that will make the difference. While it’s very difficult to sustain a high-level of connection and passion on a day-to-day basis, there are some simple things you can do to convey your partner’s importance to let them know they are important today:

*Kiss your mate at least twice a day
*Leave a quick note just to say “hi,” or “I love you”
*Never do anything you wouldn’t want your partner to know
*Be fully present when they need to talk or share something important
*Make the effort to spend some time together each day
*Give a compliment
*Make your partner feel important
*No Judgments

Judgments are often times rooted in perception, not reality. Judgments are also a piece of how you see the world, not the way the world, or in this case your partner, actually exists.
The harm with judgments is resentment and anger are typically the outcomes – not the change that is expected. When a judgment is made, there is an implied belief the behavior or trait being judged should be corrected. However, the person receiving the judgment does not always share the same expectation.
As a result, communication is impaired, connection is deteriorated and conflict ensues. To love deliberately and consciously requires loving your partner with a different filter – a cleaner filter that does not have the residue of past containments.

Be Aware of Your Own Thoughts & Feelings
Loving authentically is dependent on loving yourself, first. Before you share love, and share yourself with someone, it is important to beware of what you want. Reality suggests, however, we fall in love and begin relationships before we have a clear idea of our own true feelings.
When this happens, there is still plenty of time to discover your needs – this is called growth. Give yourself opportunities outside of the relationship. Build friendships and pursue interests on your own.
A good relationship exists when both people can live without the other, but choose to be together. A relationship built on a foundation of sharing different interests cultivates more life and depth into it.
You own your thoughts and feelings. These make you unique and keep you grounded with who you really are or growing to become. By doing so, you are in a much better position to love freely and honestly. Nature has a way of taking care of those things we put the most energy in and want to grow even stronger.

Loving Consciously
The power of love extends its reach when we will love intentionally. Real love, authentic love, springs to life and is sustained when we make the choice to feed it with our deliberate passion. Our souls are nourished when our partners realize we know how to love them.
There will be a day when I no longer share this life with my wife. When that day arrives, my hope is she will know my intent was to discover exactly what she wanted and my conscious choice was to give her more of that.