Thursday, January 3, 2013


Refer to previous Blog post post of my AMBITIOUS fitness goals......Did I reach my Christmas goal of being at PRE-Baby weight...............NOPE.  Did I try really really hard...YES.  Did I learn some VERY VALUABLE LESSONS ABOUT LIFE AND MYSELF........YEP.   Are those lessons worth the 4.2 lbs I have left between reality and that goal.   Yes!!!

Here is what I am learning.......slowly apparently...........

Sometimes you need a BREAK...............cue story of an insane two week period of CRAZY HUSBAND, INJURED CHILD, CRYING BABY, AND POTTY TRAINING DEFIANT TODDLER.   Lets just cut to the end and say I ended up passed out at work (literally :0 ) and in the ER.  Prescription from the attending MD : YOU NEED A BREAK (including food, sleep, and a little bit of quiet)......did that happen.....not really....I walked right back into my life 3 hours later (better hydrated from IV fluids) and went right back to the crying baby...and so on.   BUT....I am getting better at DEMANDING a break for myself....from myself.  I am getting better at taking a bath instead of doing the taking a nap instead making an over ambitious dinner on Sundays and playing with my kids and ignoring the pile of laundry.  (I HATE LAUNDRY) I know the TYPE A in me is going to take my WHOLE LIFE to what husband calls "Learn to relax and SIT DOWN ALREADY!!!!!"  but I'm trying.....and I havent been to the ER lately. :)

ALL YOU CAN DO IS ALL YOU CAN DO......Its no secret I am SUPER motivated, and generally SUPER enthusiastic about things I think are important (cue spirit fingers...GO TEAM)  But sometimes I ....well... CANT DO EVERYTHING.   GASP!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and guess what I learned.....I kind of like it!!!!  Some days its just more important to cuddle a teething baby then workout, do laundry or even shower.  Although not doing EVERYTHING I set out to do sometimes gives me the end doing what is MOST IMPORTANT usually trumps it.  And lets be honest..........there is no humanly possible way to finish a to do list a mile long with a potty training toddler.  So I am just not beating myself up about not being SUPER WOMAN everyday.  Because frankly she doesn't really exist in the way I thought she did.   What I can be SUPER at is giving all I have to what is most important in the moment, and leaving the rest to do when I can. 

DON'T GIVE UP BECAUSE YOU FALL ON YOUR FACE.........ask my friends....if there is something I'm famous for...its falling on my face..literally.  Its unfortunately genetic.  Thank heavens my children inherited their fathers cat like reflexes because uh....I have rather slow ones. =)  But, in life....who likes to fail?  Who likes to screw up?  Who likes to make mistakes?  Not me....but guess what.  Its inevitable.  So get over it.  Brush yourself off and start again. People may laugh at you...people may judge you...people may even dislike you...thats their problem.  In my opinion the only way you fail is if you stop trying.  So here I go again. 

Life is to precious to waste it being a STRESS CASE

The peanut butter smeared under the counter...the boots left in the middle of the floor....that pesky "junk drawer" that is already full of junk after you cleaned it last week........not worth my worries.  What should I worry about....becoming a kinder, better person.  I should worry about hugging my kids before they go off to school and not the fact they didn't get ready as fast as I told them to.   Its what my dad used to call "making a mountain out of a mole hill" (hated that expression as a kid) I am learning to look through the filter of "Is this REALLY important??"  "Is this of LASTING CONSEQUENCE??"  Its making me a little more patient...ok a lot more patient and a lot more forgiving of other people and of myself.   Because its true...the old saying....there is no use CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK....cause its just milk.   Now if its breast milk ...go ahead and cry. LOL That stuff is like GOLD. 

LIFE HAPPENS and guess what else.......ITS FREAKIN HARD!!!!!!!!!!  you know that expression "life is a bowl full of cherries" .....well guess what???  Some people HATE cherries....sometimes the birds eat all your cherries...and sometimes your cherries get worms.  TRUTH!!!!   So now what????   Embrace that its hard.  But those cherries are mad full of antioxidants and and if you eat'll be stronger.   The only way you build more muscle on your body is to literally work your muscles so hard that they tear and build new muscle.  Ouch.  Life is unfortunately the same way.  As much as we may hate it in the moment, life hurts but we will come out stonger.  Sometimes you need a bandaid a chocolate brownie...but don't quote me on that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I figured out why I have never been "SuPER FIT"  scince high school.  I think its because I've always been "Fit enough".  I have always managed to stay within 10 lbs of my "ideal weight"...I have never felt super uncomfortable in my skin when I'm at my normal weight.  So, I get lazy....and then I get pregnant again.  LOL.   So THIS TIME once I get to my "normal weight' I want to push my body to see how strong it can be.   I have been in "marathon" shape....but after the marathon I once again...GOT LAZY.    So here is a years worth of GOALS.....I'm gonna do it!!!

Tier one (deadline Halloween)
Break back into the 130's
Incentive: get my hair done at the salon...not out of a box

Tier 2 (deadline Christmas)
 REACH Pre-BABY weight 132
Half marathon shape (10 mile training run)
Incentive:  TURBOFIRE  and NIKE FREE shoes for Christmas

Tier 3 (deadline VALENTINES DAY!!!)
Break into the 120's 
Finish P90X
Incentive: overnight getway with Jeff,  registration for TWO races (hopefully the TOP OF UTAH and ST. George Marathon)

Tier 4 (Memorial day!!! POOL OPENS!!)
Finish Turbofire and Brazilian Butt lift 
Marathon shape (20 mile training run)  
Incentive: FINALLY being able to wear those string bikini bottoms, a new swim suit,

Tier 5  FALL 2013
run a marathon in under 4 hours
Finish Insanity or P90X again
Incentive: New boots and new jeans for fall

BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


So here I am blogging again.   My fourth baby (and may I say UBER CUTE BABY) is  3 1/2 months old.  I am finally getting sleep (ok more sleep...still not enough) and feeling like myself again.  So its time to kick it into HIGH GEAR.   Its MOMMY MAKEOVER TIME!!!!!    and you know what??  I am NOT GOING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!!!!! Nope NOT THIS TIME!!!!!!!!!!  Why??  Because if I am the BEST ME I am the BEST MOM!!!  
    I've been working out HARD (INSANITY) for two weeks and it feels AMAZING.  My body is getting stronger...and I am SO MUCH HAPPIER!!!  Its a LOT easier to dedicate every second of the rest of your day to caring for MINI PEEPS if you've taken time for yourself first!!! 
    So as in the words of, Its TIME to Decide, Commit and SUCCEED!!!!  I have this swim suit I bought a long time ago which I accidentally bought the wrong bottoms to....they are those tie on the side, show every extra pound kind. Well,  I ended up buying another bottom that covered well, more of my bottom.....but every summer I try those "tiny" bottoms on and yea I will look good enough to wear these.   Well guess what.....NEXT SUMMER I AM GOING TO DO IT.   When my baby turns 1 and my oldest turns 8 in May, and the pool opens, I am finally going to do it.
    I always look at those SUPER FIT women and think ...yeah but I have four kids...yeah but I work nights...yeah but but but but.....WHO CARES.  I may be 30 (yuck), I may have 4 kids (cute ones), I may work nights, I may have a husband in Grad school(2 yrs to go)..............

Its time to get out of my own way.......


There is is...............Is on my bedroom wall..........
Next time it comes off I'M GOING TO WEAR IT!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


  When you think of the word CHEERLEADER, what are the first three words that come to your mind?  Dont feel bad if they aren't nice ones; you'd be in the majority.  I'm sure most of us can understand that it is a stereotype; at least most the time.  Yet, nonetheless, cheerleaders (especially high school)  are not thought of very nicely.  Why is that?  Because it's true? Maybe sometimes.  Because we're jealous?  Maybe sometimes. Or, is it that for some reason our culture decided to label them that way?  Yes; unfortunately. Recently, I posed this same question to my facebook friends. (thanks friends!!) Here is a sample of their answers:

When you think of the word CHEERLEADER, what are the first three words that come to your mind?

Texas, Murder, Blonde
Bubbly, Pretty, Crazy
Popular, Superficial, Skinny
Clique, Hair, Repetitive 
Spunky, Althletic, Crazy
Fun,Exciting, Loud
Fun, Annoying, Fit
Cute, Bubbly, Football
Athletic, Energetic, Pretty
Blonde. Ditz. That's pretty much it.
Fun, Athletic, Cheerful
Cute, Vain, Outgoing 
Stuck-up, vain, and Annoying   
Blonde/Ditz , Mean, Easy
Melissa Anne Bradley

Yes, those last three words are MY FULL (maiden) NAME.   Literally, my two BEST friends think of ONLY ME when they hear the word Cheerleader.  It used to bother me, that even NOW(at almost 30), I am associated with a word that has such NEGATIVE connotations.  Yet,  I'm coming to understand, that it's for a reason.   I AM A CHEERLEADER. I always will be a Cheerleader, and I'm proud of that.

When I was in 8th grade I fell in LOVE with tumbling. Who wouldn't love doing standing back flips?!?  SO FUN!!  By the time I was entering high school I decided to try out for the sophomore cheerleading squad.  After all, I was LOUD, energetic, and I loved to TUMBLE.  Cheerleading  just seemed to fit my athletic ability and my personality.  What I didn't fully realize is that the STEREOTYPE of cheerleaders didn't.
Referring back to the list above, the second to last three words are MINE.  They are : Blonde/Ditz, Mean, and Easy.  Why, if I WAS a cheerleader, would I think of those 3 very negative words FIRST?  There is an easy answer.  It's NOT because that is how cheerleaders ACTUALLY ARE.  Trust me, I was around a lot of them.  It is because those are the words that I HATED being labeled as MOST, just by wearing the uniform.  I'm going to briefly touch on each of those three words.

I have always been an excellent student. My parents strongly encouraged me to do my best and set my goals high.  Still, as adult, I love to read, write, and learn new things.  Why is it that people think Cheerleaders (and women with Blonde hair) have nothing valuable to say or contribute??  It baffles me.  Wearing a skirt and having pom poms DOES NOT SUCK OUT YOUR BRAIN!!!!!  I know that....because I still have one....and a college degree. 

Often cheerleaders are considered to be the "queen bee" of high school.  But, more often than not, PEOPLE (especially girls) HATE THEM.  Why?  Because they ASSUME they are STUCK UP AND MEAN!!!!  Are some of them MEAN??  ABSOLULETLY!!  But honestly, teenage girls in general can be so vindictive, conniving and awful to each other....its not JUST the cheerleader.  

I was raised in a household where we were taught to be kind; even to people who were not kind to us.  It REALLY bothered me that all the sudden when I became a cheerleader people just ASSUMED I was stuck up and mean.  I love people.  I love to be kind to people.  It fills my life with joy.  Everyone has bad days and can be mean, but its the exception, not the rule.  I truly believe that all people are inherently good.  God made us that way.  He is good, so we are good.  We CHOOSE to be mean.  We are not inherently so.  Just because you are a cheerleader, does NOT mean you have to choose to be mean, condescending, or snotty. 

 EASY (or whatever your version is of mom's was "loose")
This one is the hardest for me to swallow. Of all of all three of  these stereotypes, it bothered me the most. It still does. I was raised to be modest and chaste in word, deed, and dress.  The first time I put on my cheer skirt I ABOUT DIED.  It was sooooo SHORT!  My dad would NEVER have let me out of the house in shorts that short!!!  But, it was a UNIFORM and my parents didnt even bat and eye.

I will tell you who did MORE than just bat their eyes.   I will NEVER forget the first day I wore my cheer uniform to school.  I should have been proud. Right? After all, I was head of the Sophomore cheer squad. Yet, mostly, I was mortified.   I vividly remember walking down the main hallway at Orem High School.  There was a bench full of Senior boys.  As I walked past they made comments I wont repeat, whistled, ect. ect.   I went into the bathroom and cried.  I felt so used.  Imagine my relief when we got  to wear leggings underneath our skirts in the winter, or jeans and our Cheer sweaters.   Over time, I got used to the uniform (which I'm not sure is good)....but it sure made me realize that HOW I DRESSED affected how boys looked at me, and thought about my standards.

In my time as a high school cheerleader...
I learned a very valuable lesson.


Why?  because God made you the way you are for a REASON.  And ONLY YOU CAN BE THAT REASON.  

The past 11 years since high school  I have become a many things. I am a friend, a registered nurse, a wife, and mother.  As I have spent my time learning and growing in each of those areas , I have come to realize that the saying "Some things never change" is very true.   When I wrap an arm around the mother of an ill child and give encouragement,  I am a cheerleader.  When I  decorate crutches, or the bed of a child who is struggling to overcome illness or injury, I am a cheerleader.  When I hug my husband after an exhuasting day at school or work, I am a cheerleader.  When I urge my husband to accomplish his dreams, I am a cheerleader.  When I clap for my child taking their first steps, or writing their name, or learning to read,  I am a Cheerleader.  

What we SHOULD think of when we hear the word CHEERLEADER is EXACTLY....what is spelled out in the word.   CHEER and LEAD.   When we enthusiastically CHEER for someone, or even ourselves, how infectious is it??  Cheerleading is encouragement by example.  It is positivity, energy, optimism, faith, and enthusiasm.  EVERYONE NEEDS a CHEERLEADER in their life.  We all need some one to tell us we can make it after falling on our face. (ask my friends and family, I have a knack for tripping and falling on my face). 
In truth,  CHEERLEADERS really are the people who everyone wants to be around, and EVERYONE CAN AND SHOULD STRIVE TO BE A CHEERLEADER. We just don't call them CHEERLEADERS. Who doesn't want to be with someone, or be that someone, who see's greatness in everyone.  Who unites people in a cause and pushes through adversity??  Who waives their arms and shouts YOU'RE NUMBER ONE when you feel like you are already losing??  Who doesn't need someone in their life to tell them that they can finish the race, and that they will be there holding a banner when they get there.  

I am not saying that everyone needs to wear a tiny outfit and shake glittery pom poms (although I do ADORE pom poms.)  I AM SAYING that the world could use a LOT more CheerleadersWe should be cheering for our families, our friends, our neighbors, our communities, our leaders, and OUR VALUES.  We CAN make a difference, even if it's only to one person, it will make the world a better place.  Try it and see.  Pick ONE person to be a CHEERLEADER to.  See if you don't change the world ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  

 I have been told SO MANY TIMES that I was born to be a Cheerleader.  They are right.  I am a CHEERLEADER, and I'm PROUD of it.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The word PRESENT is what we call a HOMONYM in the English language.  Meaning, it has multiple meanings for the same word.  My first grader often finds this either annoying or funny as she is learning to read and comprehend new things. When she encounters a homonym, silent letters, or  K and C that sound alike, she often asks me WHY???  My response.....Because the English language is stupid. (is there a better answer??)  To be completely honest Spanish makes so much more sense!!!   That said....HOMONYMS sometimes PRESENT us with an "AHA MOMENT."  A sudden revelation how things relate to each other in a way we had not previously thought of.   I had one of those this past week.
  Since the week before Thanksgiving  I have been busily checking PRESENTS off my childrens Christmas lists (as well as my own)  in hopes to not leave shopping to the last minute and avoid feeling stressed during this very magical time .   As I purchased PRESENT after PRESENT I began to really reflect on what it is I REALLY WANTED MOST THIS YEAR!!!   WHAT PRESENT did I want to give to myself????   WHAT PRESENT DID I MOST WANT TO GIVE TO MY CHILDREN???? Then is dawned on me..............
The most precious PRESENT we can give to ourselves and our loved ones is............. to be PRESENT in the PRESENT!!!!
(Did you like all those HOMONYMS???

As a busy mother of three (and a third =) )with a husband in grad school, I have a long list of things to do that often occupy my every PRESENT moment.   I have taken notice lately that while I might "look" like I am listening to my 4 yr old tell me another account of Spiderman or my Six year old babble about her day at school I am not really PRESENT.   And guess what???  THEY CAN TELL!!!!  Even my 23 month old baby has picked up the phrase "Listen to ME!!!"  and he's not even 2!!!!   Time for mom to re-evaluate her priorities and her focus.

MY CHILDREN and my SPOUSE are the things I treasure most.  Our lives are busy......but often just because when we are doing one brain has moved onto the next.   I have come to realize that by not being PRESENT in the PRESENT I am missing the moments that bring the most JOY!  Just this morning my four year old came to tell me that his brother had a dirty diaper.......for the next five minutes I chased my little William around the kitchen table while he yelled "STINKY STINKY" at the top of his lungs.   It would have been a lot quicker to corner him and drag him in to have his diaper changed....but in five minutes time we were all laughing hysterically and still ended up with the job done.  Earlier my Jeffrey had come upstairs for breakfast to find me on the couch reading a book.  I could have jumped up to get his cereal before he asked for it....but instead I put down my book and opened my arms.....into which he quickly snuggled.  Soon enough, he (and his siblings) were asking for cereal....but not before I had squeezed in a cuddle with my tender boy.
Earlier today I read another blogpost that I loved in which a mother describes how her own mother had treated her :

When I was growing up, my parents never treated me as an annoyance.  They were so loving and patient with me, and I never went to bed wondering where I stood with them.

Many times, I would walk into my mom's room and find her kneeling at the side of her bed in prayer.  She would immediately stop, look up at me, and hold out her arms so I would come give her a hug and tell her what I needed.

One day I asked, "Mom, what do you tell God when I interrupt your prayer?"

She replied, "I just say that my child needs me, and I'll be right back."

I am sure that God wants us to be PRESENT in our lives.  He wants us to love and enjoy the wonderful family and friends that we have been blessed with to the fullest.  The people we love don't feel loved when they think we are not paying attention to them.  Even my (almost) two year old knows when I am distracted!!!  My six year old often chides me "Mom??? you're not listening"  I am listening.....but I am not PRESENT.  My children DESERVE a mother who is PRESENT.  After  we feel truly LOVED by someone who acts like the only "sort of" care about them???  No.  We don't.  I want my children to feel my love.  To KNOW I love them!!!  I WANT to be PRESENT in the PRESENT....but HOW??? How in the world do I change my mindset????  How do I change my "always doing something" personality to slow down and be PRESENT in the PRESENT.

I have been earnestly thinking and (praying) about this the past few days.  Then came these wise words into my mind......THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!!!!  (go ahead and laugh....Steve Jobs is sending me inspiration from heaven.  LOL) Thats it!  My IPHONE!!!  The soulution was that easy. I started to jot down funny little moments I spent with my kids in my I phone Lists. (because you KNOW I'm never without my phone).  To my surprise, what I noticed, is that by LOOKING for those little moments on a daily basis I was HAPPIER!!!!!  I STOPPED MY BULDOZER BRAIN in mid-thought to EJNOY what was happening in my house at the PRESENT.   I sure laughed a lot more as I watched my kids without annoyance and allowed them to do things in their own way and own time.   Jeffrey rolling himself in his blanket to the bathroom to brush his teeth may have taken 2 more minutes but instead of nagging him to HURRY I had a good laugh instead.  The same thing when Caitlyn was "Bum dancing" her way down the stairs to bed after family prayers.   I smiled....I laughed......I was PRESENT.   and you know what???.....It felt like a PRESENT. 

  I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for his patience with me as I learn to me a mother, a wife, and a follower of Jesus Christ.   He is EVER PRESENT in my life.  He always answers.  He is always there.  I hope in this Season of PRESENTS I can keep Him in my PRESENT.  I know that is the greatest PRESENT I can give to Him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Modesty.  A Hallmark of an LDS woman.  It has been something I have been thinking about a lot lately. 

I wanted to share a funny expereince I had in Walmart a few months ago.   I was shopping with my kids and I wandered by the swim suits.  As I was looking through them a group of about 5 teenage girls came over and were looking through the racks.  One of them held up a swim suit to herself and said to another "well?" to which the other said "Remember...MODEST IS THE HOTTEST".   Then they all laughed and moved on to another section of the store.  As they walked away I noticed that each of them were dressed modetly (granted it was Febuary).  I honestly wanted to run up and hug them all.  To tell them that I was PROUD of them for encouraging eachother to be modest.  I wanted to call and congratulate their mothers for teaching them modesty.  I will never forget that saying for as long as I live.  It will be a story I relate to my own daughter as she grows.
    I was reminded of a talk I heard by Susan Bednar when I was at Ricks college on modesty.  It really does reflect a respect for our bodies and for our relationship with the Lord.  Its a GREAT talk.  Here is the link
  I remember being in high school.  I never felt very pretty or attractive and I SURE never understood the way my dress affected boys.  But I do remember the first time I went to school in my Cheerleading Uniform.  I remember being a naieve Sophmore in that tiny little skirt.  I remember walking by a bench full of Senior boys who said somethings I will not repeat.  I did not feel attractive.....I felt dirty and used.  What was I supposed to do???  I had to wear that uniform to school every game day.  It was awkward and because I had been raised in house where modesty was expected it was difficult for me. 
  I also remember a night I was heading out the door to a school dance.  I had just bought this hot pink shirt that I LOVED.  It was really tight...but it was long enough, had a high neckline, and it had sleeves so I thought It was fine.  My brother matt passed me at the top of the stairs.  He stopped dead in his tracks and told me to go and change.  I was ANNOYED.  But I changed...because if MY BROTHER noticed...surely other boys would. Sometimes I wanted to be noticed....but I'm glad that I had parents and a brother to look out for me.
   Modesty is something our world think is old fashioned.  But, it invites the spirit into our lives and reminds us to keep ourselves pure and clean. Its something I have recently rededicated myself to pay closer attention to.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What does it mean to be a Powerful Woman?

I have been pondering lately what I really WANT!  I have always wanted to be a STRONG woman! (like my mother)  But what does that really mean to me?   I have become FASCINATED with the lives of women from church history....Lucky Mack Smith, Emma Smith, Eliza R Snow (did you know her middle name was Roxcy!!?) and Mary Fielding Smith.  What AWE inspiring woman who fearlessly trusted in the Lord, served others, raised families, and supported their husbands.  THAT is what I want to be.
   In recent talks Julie B Beck has referred to women as "the Lioness" of their families.  What a POWERFUL symbol.  ( I wrote a previous post about that) Beauty and strength mingled into one! I have never thought of myself as a feisty person.....or even very brave.  I have never done anything very heroic by the worlds standards BUT...I am learning more and more that when you love God the worlds standards just don't matter.  AT ALL.  The world would tell you that its DEGRADING to stay home and raise your children....the world will tell you that dressing MODESTLY and being CHASTE is old fashioned.  The world will tell you that Marriages are expendable and that you should worry about YOUR needs always being met to your hearts desire!  But the spirit will tell you differently.   There is more POWER in a faithful woman who is kind, chaste, and courageous than the world can imagine.  If the Lord created this earth by His power...JUST IMAGINE what we could do if we enabled ourselves with it.   The Lord said in Matthew that if you have as much faith as a mustard seed you could move mountains.  LITERALLY!  Moses parted the red sea not with his staff (that was a symbol) but with his FAITH!  
  Have you ever held a MUSTARD SEED in your hand??!??  Its so TINY!

What does that tell me about how powerful I could be???  How much good I could do??  How much I should TRUST the Lord? It makes me think about how little faith I must have now....and how I want it to grow like a mustard seed.  Into what the Savior called the "greatest of all herbs".  Why??  Because it becomes a HUGE tree! HUGE!

  THAT is what being humble, meek, kind, chaste, patient will make you.   A HUGE TREE OF FAITH!  A shelter from the storm for all those "little birds" who are lost.  A firmly rooted example of POWER!  YES.....POWER!
      The world has accused Mormon women of being weak, even blind.....but I am pretty sure those people have NEVER worked a miracle by their faith and prayers.  When you have that kind of Faith and are flawlessly obedient..... we will be able to call upon heaven for miracles.  And they will come to pass according to His will.  I will  never let the worlds judement make me feel powerless again.  For although a spiritual woman might appear to the world as lowly..........The Lords power is INFINTE and it is ours through our faith.   DO you feel AWESOME YET!???  Seriously.  It changes the way you think about washing the dishes and changing diapers!!  Literally when we give our hearts and lives to Him I believe He  will make us more powerful and beautiful than we could possibly imagine.   Bless me with the faith to become such a woman!