Saturday, May 31, 2008

And the Winner Is ...

To be determined on another day!

I had planned to do it today but I am way too busy so ... stay tuned and I'll announce the winner on Monday.

I was a bit disappointed that my little contest didn't totally boost Tristi's sales (I underestimated my immense power of persuasion) so each of you will only be entered into the drawing once. I will notify the lucky winner on my blog and by email.

The prize is a $15.00 certificate to ~ however, if you'd like I'd also be willing to buy you a copy of Tristi's book Season of Sacrifice as your prize (it is not currently available on Amazon,) and have it shipped to your home. So, the winner may choose.

So you have a couple days to imagine what you would do if YOU are the lucky winner!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Only Three More Days to Enter to Win in the Tristi Pinkson Interview Contest!

To read my interview with Tristi and to enter my awesome contest ... click here.

Living in the Moment

Many people, women especially, have a tendency to multi task to a fault. Researcher abounds that indicates that multitasking actually produces negative resulsts--from poor performance (you can never accomplish one thing in truly excellent fashion) to mental side effects (hyperactive brain function.)

I've thought a lot about this subject since my sister brought it to my attention a few years ago. She had read a book--never can remember what she said the book was called and I've asked her to remind me so many times that now I'm embarrassed to ask again--in which they addressed our inability to live in our present moment to the fullest. The books aim was to teach you how to handle your problems better and to reduce stress in your life, and it did so by teaching you or encouraging you to live in the moment.

Heather and I discussed how even while she and I were having that first conversation I was cleaning the house, folding laundry, checking my email, etc. I didn't sit and listen and enjoy the conversation.

When people (read: women) make love to their partners, 90% of the time they are planning their day, making a grocery list, or berating themselves for things they forgot to get done that day. No wonder so many women can't obtain full satisfaction--they're too distracted thinking to allow their bodies the full enjoyment they deserve.

I notice this problem myself particularly when my husband or children are talking to me. After having this discussion with Heather, I realized that very often when my family is speaking with me, I am not wholly there. I am only partially listening, perhaps giving the greater portion of my attention to the television, or to the article I am reading, or the email.

So I have been making an effort over the last few years to live in the moment more consistently. It is very, very difficult. I'd be very curious to hear how you have done if you have also been making this effort, or to hear how you do if you care to take up my challenge: Practice living in the moment, start today. See how it changes you.

If someone is speaking to you, put down your book, mute the TV. Make eye contact. Absorb what they are saying to you and think about it.

When you make love, be there. Experience the moment. Don't think about it--there is nothing to think, but there is everything to feel if you are wholly present in the moment.

When your children come bounding in the door, interrupting your very-important-something, look them in the eye and be there for them. They will not be interrupting you for long--soon enough you'll be wondering how in the world to get them to talk to you! My own personal theory is that if I am willing to listen to them now, they will probably be more likely to listen to me then. At least, it's a bet I'm willing to make.

I bring this up because I'd been slacking off for a while so I'm recommitting myself to the live-in-the-moment philosophy.

I love this quote from Buddhist philosophy:

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

It's amazing how easy it is to multitask--in fact, it feels downright sinful to slow down and deny the need for speed. But the moments are much more likely to become memories, or healing, or inspiring, or even sacred. Who knows what will we will hear, or what we can discover, if we are here, if we are listening.

Weekly Health Report

You didn't ask for it, but here it is anyway. So, I didn't do well this week. Working out, that is. It rained, I had lots of appointments, a sick child--just lots of things that got in the way of me doing what I ought to have been doing.

Also, David really got on me because I haven't been feeling well and he was convinced it was because I hadn't been watching my blood sugar. Some of you may remember or know that in the fall I was diagnosed with, umm--suddenly drawing a blank here--pre-diabetes but I can't remember the official name. I was told I needed to eat a la South Beach Diet style. At that time I went on the South Beach Diet and did really well. I stayed on it for almost an entire month before it all fell apart. I did great on Phase 1--my problem seemed to come when I tried to move in to Phase 2. Anyway, at David's insistence I've gone back to the Beach.

I started back on the Beach on Thursday and I'm already down a couple pounds! Almost three, actually. And I'm already feeling quite a bit better. I still need to exercise, I know, but at least I have some comfort in knowing that I am eating very well and properly for my body and that I'm not denying something I know to be true--not ignoring an important issue.

So, that's all, really. Down almost three whole pounds, no exercise, but eating better. Upward and onward, right?

As an aside, I have many blogs I need to write, so you may get an influx of new posts from me over the next day or two. I've been storing them up, but there hasn't been any time to post the last few days! So watch out!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Forgot to Vote

I realized this morning that I forgot to vote last night for David A. on American Idol.

Yes, yes, I know that I said I was a fan of David Cooke--and gosh, sometimes he just did the most amazing things like his performance of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

Now come on, isn't that just amazing? Truly beautiful.

But last night, David A. kicked David' C.'s butt--in my humble opinion, of course.

My favorite of his from last night was probably his first song, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me:"

So ... I guess tonight will tell which of the Davids gets to go home with the American Idol title--without my little ol' vote.

I guess I'll be happy either way. Both of these guys are amazing and really, they will both have great careers before them no matter what happens.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Keepin' It Honest ~ Weekly Health Report

Well, I planned to walk one mile 5x last week. I did it four times. It wasn't what I'd planned, but I was pleased. It was a whole three more times than I had done the previous week! And, I think the pain in my legs must have been from inactivity because by the end of the week, I was feeling better and experiencing less pain. Hurray for that!

The goal for the first week was to do one mile in less than 24 minutes 5 times. The plan suggests that if you can do the mile in that time frame and you feel good, you can move to 1.5 miles and do it faster - or just do the mile faster, I can't remember which.

But they also give the option of stayin the course for at least another week until it's easy. I think I need that extra week (or two.) For one thing, I'm afraid to push myself too much just yet because it's hard enough just to get out that if I make it too difficult I might give up. Plus, while my legs are doing better, I'm definitely not ready to pick up the pace. I have been walking the mile in about 18 minutes each time, but I think I'll stick with just one mile for another week.

As for eating, I did *better* but there's still room for improvement. Again, I think the key for me here is not to change too much too fast. This week I concentrated in eating less, not necessarily better. I still ate what I wanted, but I definitely ate a little less and the main thing I noticed was that I didn't do any snacking late at night - a definite plus. Again, I will continue with this plan for another week, continuing to concentrate on eating just until I'm satisfied and no more and only eating when I'm actually hungry.

I bought a few items of clothing this week to fit my bigger body. Just enough to let me feel relatively comfortable rather than feeling horrible about myself all the time. I need to keep my sights on the long range goal - a healthy and fit me - and not allow myself to get side tracked by my feelings of inadequacy now.

Is there anyone else out there trying to make any self improvements? How are you doing?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Yeah, I know. It's no longer Mother's Day. But it's the week of, right? Surely it's not too late to post about my day.

Thing is, it was kind of bittersweet. We went to the cemetary to see Mom's grave. We hadn't been back since the funeral, so we hadn't seen the stone. We spent a good long while wandering aimlessly around the portion of the grounds that we thought her grave was. It was very disheartening and upsetting when we could not find it. Finally we called a brother of David's and were directed to the right spot. I guess our memories from that day were a little skewed.

So David was feeling a little sad. And Mother's Day is always a day when I think a lot about my own mom too. I usually try to do something nice for her - plant a lilac bush or something - but I didn't do anything this year. I found most of my thoughts going to Laura, David's mom.

But it wasn't all bittersweet. Some of it was just plain ... sweet.

For days before the holiday, my boys have been excitedly telling me they couldn't wait to give me their presents. They had made something at school that for the first time in their little lives they were really proud of.

They came to get me in the morning, hugs and snuggles galore, to wish me Happy Mother's Day. They brought their presents to me - they couldn't wait till breakfast or anything. Their teacher had provided 8x10 frames in which the boys put signs that tell why they love me. What the signs say is sweet, but it was the light shining in my boys' eyes that was most the rewarding.

David gave me a gift too, which is lovely, but mostly it was all the love showered upon me that made the day so special.

I am so grateful to be a mom. It took us a long, long time to get there - but man, it was worth the wait. These guys I've been given are true gifts from God and I take my calling as their mother very seriously.

I love them. And, selfishly, it feels sooo good to be loved by them.

Xan has taken it upon himself to be our decorator for all family events.
For Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween and Christmas
he puts up signs to celebrate.
I usually leave them up for a while because I love to see them!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Interview with Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author AND a Contest!

I am very excited to have had the opportunity to interview Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author, about her new book Season of Sacrifice. You've heard me tell you before what an inspiration Tristi is to me, and not the least of the many things I admire about her is her passion and love for her family and for the gospel.

In Season of Sacrifice, Tristi tells the story of her own ancestors and their efforts to follow the will of the Prophet of the Lord. You can read an awesome review of Season of Sacrifice here.

Following the interview with Tristi,
read up on how YOU could win a $15.00 gift certificate to

Having published with a publishing company, and self-published, do you now have a preference? Or how would you identify the pros and cons of each?

There are definitely pros and cons either way. A huge pro in self-publishing is having ultimate power. (I like power. Power is good.) However, the huge con is that I obviously don't have the promotional dollars that a publishing company has. I would definitely choose a publisher over self-publishing, inasmuch as it's possible.

This month you are on a blog tour - stopping by blogs across the internet, answering questions and touting your new book Season of Sacrifice. Obviously, you are hoping to increase your exposure and book sales. What are your plans to continue that trend once the blog tour is completed?

I'm going to retire to Argentina on my riches. And if that doesn't work, then I'll keep the book up on my website, continue to take it with me when I promote, and keep spreading the word.

Your book, Season of Sacrifice, features a rich period in Mormon history.
While preparing your research, did you encounter any information that was new to you, or that surprised you?

Not really -- the story and all its attendant facts have been passed down in my family my whole life, so I wasn't caught off guard or anything. I was pleased to learn that Sarah and her parents were on the first train that used the Transcontinental Railroad when it was constructed. That was pretty cool.

Your book includes your own great-great-grandfather's experiences with polygamy. How do you feel knowing that you are the descendant of a polygamist?

I've never been crazy about the idea of me, personally, practicing polygamy (so I don't have that idea) but it doesn't bother me in the slightest that my ancestors did. They were people of faith, obedience and courage -- I'd claim them no matter what.

Polygamy is a hot-topic in the news today. If you could speak to the issue, particularly as it relates to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, what would you say?

I would seek to draw a very clear line between polygamy as it was practiced by the LDS Church in the 1800's and how it is practiced by the FLDS Church today. The LDS Church has not practiced polygamy since 1890, and any members found to be practicing it today are excommunicated. It took place for a short period of time as the men of the Church were killed by mobs and disease, leaving their wives alone and unprotected. When the Saints settled in Utah and their numbers were a bit more even, the practice came to an end. You can read more of my thoughts on the subject at the following links:

Is there a message that you hope your readers take away from Season of Sacrifice?

I would like my readers to come away from the book feeling a sense of the Lord's hand in the lives of these pioneers and to know that nothing is impossible for God. He is there for us in all our trials, physical and emotional.

~ Contest! ~

Please help me help Tristi sell some books! This is an awesome book that ought to be on all of our bookshelves and those of our loved ones! So, here are the rules:

  1. You must leave a comment on this post with an email address or some other way so I can reach you should you win.
  2. For every copy of Season of Sacrifice Tristi sells on her website, I will enter your name in a drawing.
  3. On June 1st, I will have some third party (probably a child) draw a name from a bowl or something. I will announce the winner here on June 1st!

So come on, be a winner ... buy a book (or two, or three!)

You can purchase your own copy of Season of Sacrifice
by clicking on the picture below ...

For a limited time, Tristi is offering autographed copies of her new book for $15.00!

Heaven Scent by Rebecca Cornish Talley

My brand-spankin' new copy of Heaven Scent
by Rebecca Cornish Talley has arrived straight from the publisher! Sweet!

I have the distinct privilege of reading Heaven Scent, giving it my honest review and then I get to interview Rebecca! How cool is that?

My interview with Rebecca will be June 19th, so keep posted. I'll be putting up my review some time over the next week or so, as well.

Looking forward to reading it Rebecca!

A Challenge to Myself ...

I wonder if Tristi Pinkston realizes what an amazing influence for good she is in other people's lives. I wonder if she has a big head because of it?

I mean, if you travel around BlogWorld long enough, you'll find dozens of references to how Tristi inspired this person, encouraged this other person, set a good example for someone else. Seriously, does she pay people, or what?

Thing is, I'm right on that bandwagon folks. I'm a huge Tristi-fan.

The first time I *met* Tristi was at the LDStorymakers conference in 2007. She was dressed up in a tutu waving a wand about. I think she may have spoken with a sort-of English accent, even though she is not from England.

And you know what? That's exactly how I see Tristi to this day. Except she sits on my shoulder, or flits through my brain saying "If you felt inspired to do it, then it's not a fantasy, it's your calling!" or "You can do it! Why would you ever think you can't?" And lately she's been zipping around telling me "If I can do it, you can too!" specifically referencing my dire need to get out and drop some pounds.

Tristi is a writer - but she's also a human being who in an effort to better herself shared her goals with the world and encouraged others to join with her. Because of all the doodoo I've been walking through lately I just couldn't think about my weight. But now that I can't fit into a darn thing I own, and I've officially tipped the scale to the highest I've ever weighed, AND life is settling into a pleasant little hum, it's time to focus.

(Hear Focus people! Focus! Except it wasn't Tristi who said that. Well, she might have said that, but not to me.)

So I hereby follow the example of my little fairy-friend and challenge myself to lose this darn weight already!

I am going to start out small. Move more, eat less. Simple as that.

I'm going to walk: I have a plan I found in Family Circle magazine that teaches a walking regimen starting with 5 days this week of a one mile walk in under 24 minutes. Next week it changes a little, but I can't remember right now what it is.

I'm going to follow the 0-5 scale for eating: Eat only when you're a '0', stop when you're full, like a '5'. When I feel a bit stronger, I need to get back on The Beach because I feel my blood sugar is all out of whack and I need to take better care of myself.

But baby steps, baby steps.

So ... here I go! Wish me luck! And Tristi? Thanks. :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blah ... blah ... blah ...

There's a whole lot of nothin' to report here. But I hate to disappoint my wildly adoring fans so ...

Thing is? Like I said, a lot of nothin'.

All I've been doing, it seems, is writing, writing, writing. Which is awesome - most awesome! - but still, it doesn't make for very exciting blog reading.

I finished my book last Thursday, but it was too short, I thought. So I've been going through, seeing if there were any balls I dropped, or any places where I skimmed. I've already added an additional 8,000 words, but I'm sure there's still a lot more I could fill in.

I'm hoping that if the editors like my book, they'll not be disheartened by it's thinness, but be agreeable to helping me fatten it up.

On top of that, David and I invented a new thingie (can't tell you about it yet!) so we've been trying to find investors for it and get it off the ground.

Lots of fun and interesting things going on here - along with all the crazy, depressing stuff of being underemployed and feeling stressed about money, but that's not nearly so exciting to talk about.

So that was my blah-blah-blah for the day. I'm waving 'hi' and thanking you for coming by! I'll try to be more entertaining next time :)