Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Impact We Make

It's that time of year again where we focus on being thankful and kind, and think more about good will toward men, which got me thinking about a post I wrote awhile back


"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
            -Oscar Wilde

I've always believed this quote to be true, but I didn't realize, until very recently, just how true it was for me personally.  I had a classmate from my junior high days contact me the other day (They know who they are) after reading my blog.  They said how junior high was rough for them, but that I was one of the people they could look back on and have a positive memory because I took the time to be a friend and treat them like a normal person.  They said, "It's probably a case of one person having more of an impact than they realize on another."  That really struck a cord with me.  I was incredibly touched and humbled, and then very inspired to write this post. 

"Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another."
   -Walter Savage Landor

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
    -Scott Adams

This person moved away after Junior high and just recently found me on Facebook, and it has been many years since those days, so it is so true that even the smallest of gestures can make a big impact and the impression we make is a lasting one.  The paths we choose to take and the actions we choose to make not only affect us and who we are, but it also affects those whose paths we cross and whose lives we enter, no matter how long or short of a time that may be. 

"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough."
   -McLeod Bethune

We all need to try to be as patient, as tolerant, as open minded and less judgmental, as thoughtful, and as kind as possible to everyone we meet because we don't know that person's struggles and we don't know just how much of a difference we could make in their lives with the simplest of gestures.  Just a smile can go a very long way.  We also never know where and in what situation we might find the greatest of people and the truest of friends, when our paths might cross again, and the difference they could make in our lives as well...

"Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, and kind deeds are the fruits. Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds; fill it with sunshine, kind words, and kind deeds."
    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


It feels wonderful, knowing that I made a difference to a person who was struggling and that this many years later, they still consider me a friend. Don't get me wrong, I can't say that every person I've ever met feels this way; I'm definitely not perfect and have been less than kind to some people in my life, and there are days that my husband and son don't like to be in the same room with me (lol). But, I do try to be a nice person even when I'm having "one of those days" because I do know how it feels to be on the receiving end of harsh judgement and negativity...

"In everything, therefore, treat people the way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
   -Matthew 7:12

It can be hard at times, I know, but I think we should all challenge ourselves to have this giving and kindhearted mindset all year around, not just this time of year alone. How we treat others, I believe, has sort of a "butterfly effect." Giving someone just a simple smile can set a tone to their day and then for the day of those people they come in contact with, just like being rude and negative can do the exact same. Don't be hesitant to do simple and kind gestures and when someone does one for you, pay it forward…

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I'll be taking a bloggie break. So I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Spirits Up....I Forgot the Eggplant


Good Monday morning Shiners and Shinettes.  The weekend seems to go by so fast, but never the less; we are here to start another great week.

Well, I know you must be wondering what the heck is this post about!?  Well, this post is about forgetting the eggplant.  I totally, understand that you may not like eggplant but it’s a silly story behind it and a walk through trials that lead up to this title.

I had plans this weekend and many of them fell through, well shoot, all of them did.  I know many of you can relate, when you plan to do something and then all of a sudden BAM, you’re not going anywhere.  Well that was me this weekend.  I had two things that I wanted to do, I wanted to support a friend, and I was supposed to go to the movies but I was not able to because while doing laundry, my dryer decided to just stop working.  Sooooo, as I sat there with one load of clothes in the washer wet, I had another load in the dryer wet.  Great!  One event out the window and the movie ordeal went just as fast, because the money that I put aside for that also went to the Laundromat to dry the clothes. 

While, I lugged 4 loads to the Laundromat, I said guess I will go to the market while the clothes dry and get the odds and ends that I need to cook dinner for the upcoming weeks.  Now this is where it gets interesting. 
My kiddos and I head to the market; I had my cart all ready to go.  Had my good-good list and they had many sales going on so I was happy!  I said” oh let me not forget my eggplant so I can make eggplant Parmesan” I got the sauce, I grabbed, the cheese.  We enter the produce area and there it was the eggplant.  I’m hype now because, at least I can eat something that I want since I can’t venture out like I planned to.  I was focused, I grabbed 2 and asked my son to give me one of those plastic bags so that I can bag them and put them on the cart.  He gave me the bag, and I was on my way.  Yes!!! I’m now chanting “I’m gonna make me some eggplant gonna have me some eggplant!”  (Yes…I do these things and my kiddos just look at me crazy) bit HEY I was trying to perk myself up because I was feeling a bit low from the turn of events. 

We needed to adjust the cart so somewhere in here this is where I lost the eggplant!  Yes lost! 
We adjusted the cart, grabbed the rest of the items on the list, and headed to the register.  Ahhhhh, the young-lady rang up our items, and off we go back home to unload them before going back to the Laundromat to get the clothes.  OK, unloaded the food, and in seconds I’m on my way back to get the clothes and get back home, because , my mind is all on the eggplant that I can’t wait to have!  Bagged the clothes up and walked back home.

After that, I just plopped down on the couch to catch my breath.  Looked at the clock, ok now its 7pm, gotta cook and hereeeeee we go!

Me: Bell (what I call my daughter) where did you put the eggplant
Bell: Mom you didn’t get it.
Me: Ummmm yeah I did, I bagged it up.
Me: We stood there having an entire convo about why I was making it etc.
Bell: Oh I know that mom, but-wait I’m telling you that you didn’t get it!
Bell: The girl never rang it up
Me: How is that?? It was in the cart
Bell: No mom…look at the receipt.
Me: Scanning receipt
Bell: See told you it’s not on there!
Me: Ugghhhh “This is stupid” (One of my fav sayings these days)
Me: Well I have no idea where….!  When I adjusted the cart, I left the eggplant in the hoagie area! GRRRRRRRRRR!
Me: Well dang, no event, no movie and no freaking eggplant!
Me: Well…There is a bright side to all of this!
Bell: What’s that mom?
Me: We have clean and dry clothes….
Me: But I sooo really wanted to have that yummy eggplant which is in the dang it hoagie aisle. However, I take the good with the bad and still I smile!
Me: Breakout the hoagies, I’m hungry! J

Have you ever had a day like this where everything that could go wrong did but you found the bright side and pressed on!?? I would love to hear about it! 

Have a great week guys! #ShineOn

 Ms. Positivity

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Houses and Towns That Built Me, Part 2

 I grew up in a small town, but I spent most of my weekends in the country.  Both of my parents grew up on farm/ranch operations northwest of Brigham City, in the Tremonton area, so I have some very strong country ties. I spent a good part, if not all, of my weekends at one grandparents' place or the other. I spent the majority, however, at my Grandma & Grandpa Berchtold's (my Dad's parents) and I think that this is the place that "built" me and influenced who I am the most...

I love the peacefulness and quiet of the country, I love the sights and smells of the farm. Yes, you get used to the smell of horses, cows, and dairy farms! Lol. I love the smells of Russian Olive trees and sagebrush, and fresh-cut hay; the sounds of crickets, birds, and the gentle breeze in the leaves of the trees; the wide open spaces that take you back to a simpler time. There's just something about the different seasons in the country too; my grandpa's rose and peony bushes, and the smell of wet sagebrush in the spring; sitting under the giant Poplar and Box Elder trees while sipping a cold drink in the summer; the change of color in the leaves, and playing in the huge corn fields in the fall; and then those vast spaces with the mountains in the distance, all covered in snow in the winter. This may sound cliche, but there's really nothing like a good old fashioned Thanksgiving and Christmas on the farm. 

I can still close my eyes and remember the smell of my Grandma's kitchen when she was cooking a roast or a pot of chili. I remember playing in the snow or mud, running in the fields, playing on hay bales, playing in the leaves, and chasing snakes and bugs all around the yard with my cousins. I had my first taste of coffee at my Grandma B's house and, to this day, I can't find coffee that tastes quite as good as hers. Maybe it was the water out there, or maybe it was just her special touch. I remember fun, I remember love, and I remember lots of laughter...

I always took that I had such a great place to escape to for granted; I thought that everybody's grandparents lived on a farm when I was growing up. When I was older, however, I realized just how lucky I was... We still own the majority of the land, but the house and some of the surrounding acres have been sold.  I envy just a bit those people who live there now, and I hope they appreciate how lucky they are.  That house that they live in has such a history, and so many amazing and wonderful memories. I still go out to the pastureland quite often.  It's a great place to unwind and relax; all my troubles and worries seem so much smaller when I'm there.  It's still so peaceful, the sights, sounds, and smells are all still the same.  Everything seems untouched by the passing of time, and still takes me back to a simpler one... There is another cliche that rings very true with me, "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl."

I would love, just one more time, to sit in that house that built me...

Thank you so much for reading, friends. I do hope you enjoyed taking a journey back in time with me...Until next time...  


Monday, November 11, 2013

I AM.....

Good Monday morning Shiners and Shinettes!  I hope that everyone has had a great weekend….It’s time to get our week started on a positive note.

You are probably wondering what the title of the post is about…well let me tell you!

Many times, we may feel one way about ourselves and that way is not the real us. We tend to absorb the negative thoughts and words from others and for some reason we let them stick.  However, what about how we think of ourselves?  Are we not strong enough?  Well, I am here to tell you….Oh yes we are strong enough to push back.  Yes-Life does throw us many curve balls and sometimes, one negative word can break us down making it simply impossible to overcome.  Well today, that ends….just because that seed was planted does NOT mean it has to stay in that pot!

I want you to repeat after me…

I AM…..

Amazing <---
Smart <---
Kind <---
Helpful <---
Awesome <---
Caring <---
Loving <---
Strong <---
Creative <---
Beautiful <---
Handsome <---
Encouraging <---
Inspiring <---
Motivating <---
Unique <---
Artistic <---
I am Me….

I am the best ME that the world could and should ever get to know.
It is only up to us to uplift our spirits….I understand that some days may be harder that others, but we are all stronger that we could ever imagine.  So, no more words to break ourselves down.

 Are there any other words that you would like to add to the list?  If so then post them in the comments.
#SpiritsUp and #ShineOn   Here is to a grand week you awesome Shiners & Shinettes!

 Ms. Positivity

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Houses and Towns that Built Me, Part 1

Historic Main Street
Hi there, friends! I want the Positively Shining family to get to know me better, as I mentioned in last week's blog, so I thought I'd take some time and tell you about where I grew up. I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Utah called Brigham City. Like the majority of cities in Utah, Brigham is a predominantly Mormon community.  Like most towns, it has grown a lot through the years.  There used to be a lot of fields, and cherry, apple, and peach orchards (for those not familiar with northern Utah, besides great snow, we are known for our fabulous peaches) where there are now big houses, apartment complexes, and strip malls.  When I was little, there were quite a few family restaurants and only one or two fast-food places.  Now there are only one or two family restaurants and southern Main Street is "fast-food row." We usually had to drive south to Ogden if there was something special or specific we wanted to shop for or if we wanted to go to a mall and it is still that way to some extent.  Living in a small town has its inconveniences, but it definitely has its up side too. The pros and cons are all a matter of perspective, I guess; one man's pro is another's con and visa versa, but, for the most part, I feel very blessed to have grown up in a small town. The cons of a small Mormon community are that some of the people can be a bit behind the times and narrow minded, live in a bit of a bubble, and in a small town, people tend to snoop and be in everybody's business. The pros are the emphasis on and the importance of family, the strong sense of community, and neighbors look out for and care for one another. There is also something appealing about the quiet of a small town; no rush-hour traffic to speak of and not so much hustle and bustle.  Another thing I love about Brigham is that it really is a beautiful town in a fantastic location. We have rural communities just to the north and south, vast farmland and wetlands to the west, and absolutely gorgeous and awe-inspiring mountains to the east…Seriously, our mountains are a thing of wonder. Growing up, they are something I just kind of took for granted. When I was still junior high age, I remember picking my cousin up from the Airport in Salt Lake City when he came for a visit (he's from Alabama) and the whole 70+ mile car ride home, he sat practically sideways in the passenger seat, just staring at the mountains and every once in a while exhaling the occasional, "Dang!" or "Wow!"…We also have an abundance of trees, which, for me, just adds to the appeal, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing. We usually get snow in the mountains in the fall and all those trees with their changing leaves with the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop, really is a site to behold. Not to mention how the mountains look when winter hits and there's an abundance of snow!... The portion of Main Street in the center of town is historic with all its old buildings, very quaint and picturesque.  I used to think I wanted to live in a big city where I would have quick and easy access to whatever I might want or need, but now I appreciate my small town.  It, after all, helped "build" me into the person I am today.  I also have some strong country ties, but I will talk about those in part 2 of this blog post...stay tuned!...

The Old Courthouse and Chamber of Commerce

Pioneer Park in the Fall

Awesome Mountain with the B
for Box Elder High (go Bees!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spirits Up-Give Back to Yourself!

Hey-Hey, good morning Shiners & Shinettes!

It is Monday, a new day, and an open door to be awesome all week long!

This Monday’s post is short and sweet…well at least I think so!

Today’s post is about giving back to yourself, being the best you that YOU can be.  Do not dull your shine by trying to be like another, each of you are a Rock Star all of your own. 

So many times, I see that many will say, “Oh I can’t stand them” or “how is it that they have this or that” When we have these thoughts, we take so much away from ourselves.  Being in competition dulls us, and we may never be able to get that shine back; because it is hard once, that habit has started.  

Give yourself back your shine; give yourself back your blessings!  Do not allow yourself to be robbed of what is rightfully yours.  We have to dig deep and be happy with whom we are and what we look like.  Be happy with what WE have. 

It is time to give back to ourselves.  It is time to give ourselves a chance to really live and not through others.  Give Back! Make a deposit today, deposit positivity back into your life.

Its Monday…Be awesome!  Make that positive deposit today!