ten thoughts |42|

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this week, i have ten thoughts to share on a monday instead of a wednesday :)

my sister is hosting a "family systems workshop" at the end of this month. the event is being held at my parents' home in park city, utah ... and it's going to be amazing! it's an incredible opportunity for deliberate parents to learn and share, and all attendees will leave the workshop with clear plans for building systems into their homes that will help their children thrive. check out the event registration page for more information.
i was touched (but not surprised!) by these testimonials from parents that have attended a similar workshop in the past:
“this retreat was a game-changer for me and my wife. we came away with concrete ideas and plans plus great new friends who we can keep exchanging ideas with as we move forward building our family systems.”
“it’s only been a week since the workshop and already we’re seeing so many positive changes in our home.."
“i attend many workshops and conferences for work and have learned a lot through those events. but the learning, sharing, and plans i got from this workshop was way more useful and important than anything i’ve ever experienced before."
until 14 september, you can use the code "charity15" at checkout to get 15% off the workshop price!

we had such a great couple of weeks exploring and roadtripping barcelona, andorra, and the south of france. we saw gorgeous things, experienced new places and cultures and foods, made wonderful family memories, and loved having a big adventure together. we decided pretty soon into the trip, though, that traveling for the foreseeable future for us will be made up of trips to one place, rather than trips full of different destinations. the first few days of our trip were honestly about 75% exhausting and 25% enjoyable - ha! turns out that traveling with a toddler is way harder than with a baby! we got into a groove and that exhausting:enjoyable ratio totally flipped. but we learned along the way about a new chapter of travel for our family.
my survival kit for traveling with a toddler is illustrated in the four photos below: playground breaks, pedestrianized streets, ice cream cones, and a sense of humor ;) 
gabriel was an awesome tiny traveler. i always chuckle a bit when i hear people expressing trepidation about traveling with an infant. buckle up, friend, that's definitely the easy stage! :)

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while we were in barcelona, i officially registered for the stockholm marathon this coming june!! i've signed up and paid the fees so it's really and definitely happening! ahhh. i'm super excited about it. i think there's so much power in challenging our bodies and running a marathon is a challenge i've wanted to take on for over a decade. i'm doing it!

on saturday, i had a "trial day" at a super fancy gym in our neighborhood. it was such a treat for me to spend a morning working out and using all the gym's wonderful amenities. this experience reminded me of my single days, when i would leisurely go to the gym for a long workout session, and just basically did whatever i wanted whenever i wanted. it's kind of mindboggling to remember that lifestyle, and sometimes i definitely miss that freedom. but waaaay more often i am grateful that that stage of life is over, and that i have two boys (three, counting ian ;) ) that depend on me.

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i think i am enjoying gabriel's babyhood even more than i enjoyed moses's. and that's really saying something, because i adored little mo as a baby. toddlerhood is a whole different ball game, but i'm enjoying moses's toddlerhood so much as well. while gabriel is giggling more, moses is talking in sentences more, and it all brings me a lot of joy. the other day moses noticed that gabriel was crying, and, unprompted, he picked up a book and started reading to his baby brother. big-time heart melter. i love these two dudes so so so much.

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when we got home from our trip, we were greeted by crisp autumn weather right as we stepped foot off the plane. the past few days my mind has just registered that, yep, summer is over. it was a really, really awesome summer ... and i'm soooo excited for fall! undoubtedly my favourite season.

i've had a couple of conversations and experiences lately that have reminded me that life is so precious, and that you really never know when something can instantly change. i'm constantly trying to really be present and love what is now. i was reminded today of a quote from my one of my favourite books, a tree grows in brooklyn:
francie stood on tiptoe and stretched her arms wide. 'oh, i want to hold it all!' she cried. 'i want to hold the way the night is - cold without wind. and the way the stars are so near and shiny. i want to hold all of it tight until it hollers out, "let me go! let me go!"'
i felt this "hold it until it hollers" feeling this morning on my run as the rising sun filled the sky with fantastic colour, and also a few weeks ago on my walk home (past this gorgeous church) from yoga under the indigo late-evening sky.

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i just recently got into watching snippets of the great british bake-off when i have a sliver of free time, and i love it!

we are approaching the one year mark of living in this flat! it feels like time has flown and also like it's hard to remember a time before this was home. there are still decorating things i haven't gotten to, but a lot of family memories have sunk into these walls. we love where we live, a lot.
maybe my favourite little corner of our flat is this shelf on the wall in moses's room. i just like that he has jesus, the temple, and his grandparents and cousins on the wall. (joined in this picture by a card his grammie sent him in the mail, and some animal stickers that he asked to put on the shelf to watch over him in his sleep one night :) )

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i'm grateful that every day is an opportunity to start again and be better.

happy monday! life is beautiful.


  1. Yay! So excited for you to run your first marathon! I feel like it’s a great mom hobby. 😂 Feel free to email me if you want to talk training schedules or training while nursing (I trained for my first and third marathons while nursing my fifth and sixth babies—it’s tricky but totally doable!)

  2. YESS the great british baking show (as we know it in the US) is legit the best, and i hope you can watch from season 1! (if you have netflix...) also, we have those same melissa and doug stickers as moses. such fun!

  3. Two things 1. I legit love all of your photos of doors, steps and flowers. They give me so much joy. And I love how they change through the seasons. 2. Playgrounds! Yes. All of our travels centre around where the nearest playground is, whether they be longer holidays or a day trip out. Kids love a playground and mine are 10 and 7!

  4. I also love the book you quoted and that quote really strikes home as my oldest is moving away to college and my youngest just started 1st grade. Good changes but it’s a little hard to let go. ❤️

  5. Hello Charity, I left on Shawni's blog this comment I share below. I gess she's busy and I'm sure she'll answer at some point (no irony here, I know she tends to answer most comments), but I'd like to find out your point of view on it as well. Thanks!

    "I follow your blog because I love the family focus and I learn a lot thanks to the experiences and thoughts that you share. It inspires me especially how you try to raise consciously and deliberately and do not mind working hard to achieve it. However, I do not agree in the religious field and I believe that ALL families are equally important and valuable, as long as there is love, respect and work among its members. And, for this reason, despite all the positive aspects that I find in your blog, I feel we do not agree on the important thing: that all people are worth the same. What would happen if in this course it really seems very interesting to register a family formed by two mothers or two parents? Would they be allowed to attend? Would they be treated the same as the other families?
    It is an honest question by a long-time follower of your blog and Charity's blog as well. I would not want you to be offended or upset. I just want to better understand how you manage your beliefs with the rest of the world and people who may not share them without undermining them."

    1. hi there! i'm not sure what you mean by "this course," or where you're getting the idea that my sister or i don't believe that all people are worth the same (maybe i need to read my sister's post more carefully...?).
      one of the most central tenets of our faith is that every single human being is a child of god and that all are equally loved and cherished by our heavenly parents. we believe that we are all brothers and sisters and that, although humans can have wildly different lifestyles and perspectives, all should be treated with love and respect.
      i do believe that a loving god has a plan for all of his children that is centered around families with a married man and woman. this does not mean that i expect anyone else to have this belief, or that i would consider a family with a single parent or two moms/two dads to be any less worthy of love, respect, cooperation, and any "course" out there.
      i hope this answers your question in some way?

    2. Hi Charity, Thanks for your answer.

      Also, I want to apologize because it must be exhausting having people always telling you that they have better beliefs or thoughts and confronting yours. I didn't mean to be like that, but I think I sounded just like that. Sorry.

      By course I meant workshop (the one that your sistes Saidy hosted). I did a bad translation.

      My question was about what would happen if a gay couple wanted to atend the workshop. I know that you honestly think every single person is worthy. I just wonder how to align this idea with other LDS rules or guides regarding to certain individuals (in this case gay people).

      I'm sorry if I bothered you. I truly appreciate your responses.

    3. you definitely didn’t bother me! i appreciate the comments and the questions. and now i understand more what you were referring to - shawni just did a post about an online course for organization so i thought maybe you were referring to that or something else.

      i can’t speak for power of families, my sister saren’s organization that is putting on the family systems workshop, but i would feel confident surmising that if a gay couple wanted to attend the workshop they would be warmly welcomed! power of families isn’t associated with a religion, and saren shares my beliefs that all families matter and that there’s great value in all parents (regardless of sexual orientation, which seems pretty irrelevant here!) deliberately working to be better for their kids.

      i still don’t quite see the conflict that you do between the idea of all being worthy of love and respect and lds rules or guides. when it comes to what we believe are eternal, saving religious ordinances, there is a requirement of sexual purity in line with god’s plan that centers around marriage between one man and one woman. but the church definitely doesn’t condone exclusion of people on grounds of sexual orientation from non-religious events or groups or activities.

      does that help answer your question? happy to continue the conversation.


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