Need to find “Pockets of Peace”?

25125485Is it possible to put Christmas and peace in the same sentence? As a somewhat functioning woman, wife, and mother, I’m here to say absolutely— BUT it takes a little focus (and a very big stick…)

In order for me to find those moments of clarity and calm—amidst the swirling vortex of a family of nine—I have to be intentional and often creative. And, most importantly, to take the opportunities presented to me.

Like last week—an apex of returning from our family experience (and the resulting img_1835washloads), science fair, extra Nutcracker rehearsals for my daughter, helping with make-up homework, cleaning, groceries, and that’s just getting started…because I was also trying to figure out a solution to a problem.

Enter my sweet oldest daughter. She saw the stress, ran a bath for me, and in that quiet moment, the answer came. Problem solved. Why? Because I saw the peaceful moment (thanks to her) and I TOOK IT.

No guilt, no questions, no problem. Literally.

In this week’s Studio 5 segment, I share three key ways to find and create the peaceful pockets we need to truly savor this season, and all year long.  Enjoy the live segment Thursday at 11 a.m. on Channel 5, and thereafter on my blog. If you’re a reader, check out the www.ksl.com article live on Friday.  And watch Thursday for a newsletter with my FREE videos on how I’m applying “Forty Days with the Savior“.

3booktrioMeanwhile, enjoy more goodies such as the FREE webinar tonight on finding success through failure. Register here

And our last days of 3 books for $25 sale (any 3, your choice) click here for great last minute gifts.

We’re here to help. Sit back, relax, and feel peace in the holidays.

 

Best,

Connie

My Unexpected Hawaiian Chronicles

img_1743We just returned from a big family trip to Hawaii (thank you, SkyMiles). Before leaving on the trip, I promised myself two things: to be present and nonproductive (okay, except for outside of the 6-hour flights—when else would I get that kind of golden time??) 

And funnily enough, something magical happened. Although the sun, waves, and family connection was to be expected, I experienced something new.

The Hawaiian Chronicles.

What, pray tell, are those?  The name I gave to a running list of my thoughts and insights that surfaced with some much-needed downtime. As I paid attention to life, I found myself making better intentional choices that aligned with what I truly wanted, not just “getting something done.”

I felt them to be personal victories, such as:

*On the first evening there, we stopped to get something to eat (Papa Ole’s—our soon-to-be home away img_1962from home). Next door was a store. As we waited for our food I was about to multi-task and run in to the store real quick to pick up groceries while everyone chatted and enjoyed their time. Then I stopped. My “be present” promise rang in my ears. I shook my head and said, No hurrying, uber planning, or running—the only running I’m doing is on the beach!

*After using my laptop on the flight over—and all the battery—I realized post-landing that I had also forgotten my laptop charger (subconscious slip?) Knowing I would need to power up for the golden time flight home, I called the nearest Radio Shack (30 minutes away). But you know what? I let it sit, then slide, and then completely let it go. Instead, on the flight home I treated myself to an inspiring movie, handwritten thoughts, and Austen reading!

img_1818*On our last day of the trip we had planned to go swimming (as we had every single day but Sunday!) However, by that last morning the tumbling in the waves had caught up with me and I felt drugged-tired to my bones (I might, perhaps, not be as young in body as I thought…) Even with the tiredness, the conflicting thought came, I need to be there, to support the family experience, to be involved, blah blah blah.

 As I debated (face down on the bed), my toddler sitting next to me suddenly said, “I want to stay home.” That sealed the deal. It actually worked out to be a blessing for me help us pack/prepare to go, and be more present with all.

Sadly, I know traveling to Hawaii won’t be my downtime go-to. However, the lessons I learned during this single week I’m still applying after our return. Ironically, this week in Studio 5 I’ll be talking about this very subject (not planned) and how to create “pockets of peace.” 

I hope you’ll join me and even share with me your favorite ways to find this gold mine of peaceful and personal inspiration.  

All my best,

Connie

Cyber Monday Deals—LAST Chance on These!

Last chance for these two great deals from Connie!

 Get the first deal: Any 3 books for $25! 

Perfect gifts for any woman, get Connie’s fiction and nonfiction. Do all 3 books the same OR3booktrio different, you choose. Give the right book to each person!

Which title to choose? Match what you need with Connie’s recommendations.

“For a spiritual focus I like giving 40 Days with the Savior—it’s a nondenominational daily thought book on the Savior. For women, wife, and mother humor, I give The Life is Too Short Collection (most popular life essays from the Life is Too Short series)—a great laugh with real life tips to boot. To make the season simple, I share Simplify & Savor the Season. For a beautiful, inspiring gift book for any mother, I choose Motherhood Matters.”

With each book enjoy Connie’s bestselling humor and helpful life tips.

Purchase now and shipping is typically 3 days western U.S. 3 for $25 with $6.95 S&H

Now that you’ve ordered books for friends (meaningful gifts—DONE!), enjoy a cozy clean romance to reward your efforts.


Get the Second Deal: Soda Fountain Christmas only .99!

Curl up (or stand in line) with a cozy clean romance novella! Short and lovely, enjoy sodachristmas_cvr_xsmlConnie’s bestselling story, Soda Fountain Christmas, or Amazon gift it to a friend. Step into the small-town world of Echo Ridge at Christmas time to discover if two people can find love to change their town and each other’s lives for good.

REVIEW:

A wonderful, clean and wholesome romance. I love a good hometown girl story, esp. when she’s fighting for community and family. There are delicious sparks flying between Keira and Tayton with a relationship built on character attraction rather than solely on chemistry. Excellent story to curl up with under a blanket preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and read in one sitting. Cozy and satisfying. —-K. Swinton

Buy Soda Fountain Christmas here.

 

Black Friday Deals—FAB Simple Gifts that Matter!

Two great deals from Connie—order AND enjoy as you wait in line!

Your First Deal: Any 3 books for $25!

Perfect gifts for any woman3booktrio

–get Connie’s fiction or nonfiction!  Do all 3 books the same OR different, you choose. Give the right book to each person!

But wait, which title to choose? Match what you need with Connie’s recommendations:

“For a spiritual focus I like giving 40 Days with the Savior—it’s a nondenominational daily thought book on the Savior. For women, wife, and mother humor, I give The Life is Too Short Collection (most popular life essays from the Life is Too Short series)—a great laugh with real life tips to boot. To make the season simple, I share Simplify & Savor the Season. For a beautiful, inspiring gift book for any mother, I choose Motherhood Matters.”

With each book enjoy Connie’s bestselling humor and helpful life tips.

Order now and receive within 3 days western U.S. 3 for $25 with $6.95 S&H.

Now that you’ve ordered books for friends (great gifts—check!), enjoy a cozy clean romance to reward your efforts!


Second deal: Soda Fountain Christmas only .99!

Curl up (or stand in line) with a cozy clean romance novella!  Enjoy Connie’s bestselling sodachristmas_cvr_xsmlshort story, Soda Fountain Christmas, or even Amazon gift it to a friend. Step into the small-town world of Echo Ridge at Christmas time to discover if two people can find love to change their town and each other’s lives for good.

Review:

A wonderful, clean and wholesome romance. I love a good hometown girl story, esp. when she’s fighting for community and family. There are delicious sparks flying between Keira and Tayton with a relationship built on character attraction rather than solely on chemistry. Excellent story to curl up with under a blanket preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and read in one sitting. Cozy and satisfying. —-K. Swinton

Buy Soda Fountain Christmas here.

 

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Enjoy two just-for-fun things this week!

Studio 5:  Did you miss the family Dynamic Duo (!!) of Connie and her Mom guesting on her Studio 5 segment?

View it here, “Keep Your Cool: Managing Emotions During the Holidays”

B2B Deal: Want to curl up with a clean romance? This week enjoy Connie’s bestselling novella, sodachristmas_cvr_xsml

Soda Fountain Christmas for ONLY .99 for a Limited Time! 

Enjoy!

Connie

Did you miss Connie's segment?

Did you know her Mom was a guest on with her?! Click here to view fabulous tips on “Keep Your Cool: Managing Emotional Shifts During the Holidays”! Get it in print here


sodachristmas_cvr_xsmlAnd ready for a cozy clean romance read? For only $.99?

Enjoy her bestselling novella, “Soda Fountain Christmas,” on sale now!

Did you miss Connie’s segment?

Did you know her Mom was a guest on with her?! Click here to view fabulous tips on “Keep Your Cool: Managing Emotional Shifts During the Holidays”! Get it in print here


sodachristmas_cvr_xsmlAnd ready for a cozy clean romance read? For only $.99?

Enjoy her bestselling novella, “Soda Fountain Christmas,” on sale now!

5 Things I've Learned to Navigate Change

He’s back! As many of you know, recently our son, Cameron, returned from a 2-year absence serving as a missionary for the LDS church. I know I’m not alone in this experience. Many mothers wiser than I have had a similar emotional adventure—whether for college, travel, or simply kids being absent in their lives—and navigated it much better.
However, from my own learning I’d love to share a few “Definite Dos” that have hit home for me over the past week in handling, helping, and enjoying this unexpectedly incredible experience.

  1. Prepare for the shift. This includes understanding a happy shift is still an emotional shift, and to navigate it means open communication is key. A few days ahead of him returning, we discussed as a family some basic emotional dos: do understand that emotions will be a bit rollercoaster; do express what your feeling openly (but not annoyingly…); do choose a healthy coping skill including talking about how you’re feeling so we can work it through together.  I believe this open policy reduced meltdowns to a minimal doable two and made laughter the best medicine again.
  1. Reset the Norm. In emails to our son before his return, we began sharing subtle hints of what was expected when he came home—what are your thoughts on school, work, and living arrangements? We also shared some new norms with the kids already at home, including that Cameron was now an adult so let him be (note to mom). And in fact, in the spirit of open communication, I said to my son, “I’m still your mom, but if I’m being too hover mother, just give me the cut off sign.” (Some patiently raised eyebrows but no sign as yet…)
  1. Ask for help. Due to a change in schedule, the person who was going to pick up the welcome home banner wasn’t able to. Problem: I had a super tight margin of time to run back down, get it, hang it up at our mailboxes, then run back to the house and change, then pick up three kids at three different schools and still head to the airport in time. My first thought was, biting my lip, I can do this, I can do this. Then it hit me: I can’t do this. My next thought was, my Visiting Teacher (our church program where a neighbor volunteers to make sure I’m sane every month). One call, that was all. She said, I’ve got it, and when we drove home, there it joyfully was.
  1. Accept help. On the same weekend of his return our neighbors hosted their annual Pie Night. A dear, thoughtful friend texted to know if we were going—I said yes (and had optimistically bought the Granny green apples and pie crusts to make said pie). She texted back, I’ll make one for you. We came home from the airport to find the most beautiful homemade caramel apple pie you’ve ever seen. It almost didn’t make it to Pie Night.
  1. Details don’t matter. The most important thing both to us and our son was a bed to sleep in. We planned to have him room with his older brother and ordered not one but two beautiful new beds. They arrived on time but one of them was the wrong bed. And being late to the airport, we didn’t get out the darrrrling new bedding, pjs., and new outfit laid out on the new bed. Using the back-up plan, while he was being officially released by clergy, our daughters hurried to make the bed up fabulously. We returned to a busy evening, family prayers, and a late-night movie—I thought, All is well. But the next morning the truth came out: he had slept on the couch. His response? “That couch was more comfortable than any missionary bed I’ve had.”

Ultimately, what I learned over and over and OVER all week long was that the seemingly important details did not matter one whit. Because what was key was laughing, talking, eating, and hanging together.
I can’t describe the joy I’ve felt this past week. The sacrifice in having our son gone has been nothing compared to the purest, fullest joy of having him return a true man-child, with heart-felt convictions and soul-earned stripes of honor, diligence, and love.
Hugs,
Connie

5 Things I’ve Learned to Navigate Change

He’s back! As many of you know, recently our son, Cameron, returned from a 2-year absence serving as a missionary for the LDS church. I know I’m not alone in this experience. Many mothers wiser than I have had a similar emotional adventure—whether for college, travel, or simply kids being absent in their lives—and navigated it much better.

However, from my own learning I’d love to share a few “Definite Dos” that have hit home for me over the past week in handling, helping, and enjoying this unexpectedly incredible experience.

  1. Prepare for the shift. This includes understanding a happy shift is still an emotional shift, and to navigate it means open communication is key. A few days ahead of him returning, we discussed as a family some basic emotional dos: do understand that emotions will be a bit rollercoaster; do express what your feeling openly (but not annoyingly…); do choose a healthy coping skill including talking about how you’re feeling so we can work it through together.  I believe this open policy reduced meltdowns to a minimal doable two and made laughter the best medicine again.
  1. Reset the Norm. In emails to our son before his return, we began sharing subtle hints of what was expected when he came home—what are your thoughts on school, work, and living arrangements? We also shared some new norms with the kids already at home, including that Cameron was now an adult so let him be (note to mom). And in fact, in the spirit of open communication, I said to my son, “I’m still your mom, but if I’m being too hover mother, just give me the cut off sign.” (Some patiently raised eyebrows but no sign as yet…)
  1. Ask for help. Due to a change in schedule, the person who was going to pick up the welcome home banner wasn’t able to. Problem: I had a super tight margin of time to run back down, get it, hang it up at our mailboxes, then run back to the house and change, then pick up three kids at three different schools and still head to the airport in time. My first thought was, biting my lip, I can do this, I can do this. Then it hit me: I can’t do this. My next thought was, my Visiting Teacher (our church program where a neighbor volunteers to make sure I’m sane every month). One call, that was all. She said, I’ve got it, and when we drove home, there it joyfully was.
  1. Accept help. On the same weekend of his return our neighbors hosted their annual Pie Night. A dear, thoughtful friend texted to know if we were going—I said yes (and had optimistically bought the Granny green apples and pie crusts to make said pie). She texted back, I’ll make one for you. We came home from the airport to find the most beautiful homemade caramel apple pie you’ve ever seen. It almost didn’t make it to Pie Night.
  1. Details don’t matter. The most important thing both to us and our son was a bed to sleep in. We planned to have him room with his older brother and ordered not one but two beautiful new beds. They arrived on time but one of them was the wrong bed. And being late to the airport, we didn’t get out the darrrrling new bedding, pjs., and new outfit laid out on the new bed. Using the back-up plan, while he was being officially released by clergy, our daughters hurried to make the bed up fabulously. We returned to a busy evening, family prayers, and a late-night movie—I thought, All is well. But the next morning the truth came out: he had slept on the couch. His response? “That couch was more comfortable than any missionary bed I’ve had.”

Ultimately, what I learned over and over and OVER all week long was that the seemingly important details did not matter one whit. Because what was key was laughing, talking, eating, and hanging together.

I can’t describe the joy I’ve felt this past week. The sacrifice in having our son gone has been nothing compared to the purest, fullest joy of having him return a true man-child, with heart-felt convictions and soul-earned stripes of honor, diligence, and love.

Hugs,

Connie

My KSL article "Get real about the holidays"

The holiday season is intended to be full of meaning and joy. Yet the reality, especially for women, can be asimplifysavor_cvr_med hurry-up-and-finish-it experience.
Instead, we can get real about what is best for our family and how to make it happen using tips from my…Read more here.
Enjoy!
Connie