Stay At Home Mom

The other day I was thinking about my life…. and I suddenly realized how lucky I was that I had always been able to be a stay at home Mom!  What a blessing for me, my children and my husband.

I wonder how much my kids would consider me a stay at home Mom since there was a 6 year period during their teen years that I actually had a business with a friend teaching young kids in a performing group called Spotlight Sensations.  Though they were all involved in one or more of the classes of that business, it still meant that I was gone a few hours after school a few nights a week.  I guess during those times they had to fend for themselves for dinner…. though I know my husband was always willing to fix them something.  But, I think I always had a lot of those quick ‘throw it in the microwave’ type convenient foods around.  That’s the one bad thing about it being during their teen years….. my youngest son doesn’t remember me cooking much…. but I sure did when they were little!

In spite of that 6 year period…. I was still what I consider a stay at home Mom.  When they were little, I was always available if they needed something at school.  And during those young years before they were old enough for public school, I was there to take care of them.  I even participated in teaching in a parent co-op nursery school in those preschool years.  I was available to support them in some of their extra curricular activities.  I think that pretty much qualifies as being a stay at home Mom!

My business never really brought in any extra money…. it just paid expenses and we were rewarded emotionally by working with those kids.  It was a great experience.  We didn’t start the business because we felt like we needed more money…. it was just something my friend and I wanted to do, plus it gave us a place for our own children to learn the skills that we were teaching.  (Though some of our own kids fought us tooth and nail about being a part of it back then…. I think they might actually admit that they are grateful now…. and even had fun!)

Unfortunately…. there are so many people that are forced to have both parents work in order to get by.  I was so lucky that we were able to live on my husband’s income.  We didn’t live in the ‘richest’ part of town, but we certainly weren’t in the poorest  part either.  We were blessed with a lovely home and great neighbors and friends for our kids.  (Of course, by the standards of poor countries…… we were and are rich!!)  Our kids had all of their ‘needs’ met. They may not have received all their ‘wants’….. but they were never without what they needed!

I’m so grateful that I was blessed to find a husband that had a good job and owned a home when we got married.  I realize not everyone is that lucky when they are newlyweds.  I consider myself very blessed.  I’m grateful I was there for my kids pretty much when they needed me.  I’m grateful that we learned to live on what we had and never had to go without and that I was able to be home with them!  And…. in case my kids forgot…. they were doubly blessed in the Summer because both Mom and Dad were home!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


As a side note…. while I was looking for a picture to post with this…. I suddenly remember what a busy Mom I was!  Amazing how you can kind of forget that thing after you get through it!


She’s Mentoring Again!

Today I had the chance to sit at the feet of a pro and watch her at work.  Someone I’ve come to respect in so many ways.

I did a post on BJ Jackson a while back, but sitting in the same room with her today while she went over the details with a client on listing his house was inspiring to me.  She was so thorough in explaining the contract and answering questions he had.  She almost made me want to get back into Real Estate full time!

Besides getting to watch her at work, I got to spend sometime with her today chatting about some things that I’ve been feeling I need to pursue lately.  She is so good at making you feel good about yourself and making you feel like you can do it, which, ironically is the exact type of thing I feel I’m suppose to be doing!

I so appreciated her insights and encouragement today.  It’s amazing how talking about your dreams with someone else can help you realize that maybe you have stumbled upon the right path for yourself.

Though I know I have a lot of work ahead of me in order to pursue this next thing….  at least the encouragement from friends can give you the courage you need to ‘just do it!’

Thanks, BJ….  thanks for inspiring me, coaching and mentoring me ….. and I hope that your wish to be a part of this next pursuit of mine will be a reality for you, because you would be an important piece of the puzzle for me!  Once again…. thanks for your friendship!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Gone Too Soon

Have you ever noticed how when someone is reflecting on another person’s life they often talk about what that person taught them?  What they learned from them and how it has affected their life?  We are all teachers.  Knowingly or unknowingly.

Today I witnessed an amazing tribute to a friend, Gae Morrow Beckstrom.   Even though she was a teacher in her career…. it was obvious today that she was a teacher in life.

It always breaks my heart when someone goes too soon.  I guess, depending on how old you are you may not think that 56 years old is too soon.  But I do.  WAY too soon!

Gae Morrow Beckstrom

It’s not fun to watch a person suffer when trying to fight off a debilitating illness.  Particularly when they feel they are making all the right choices in that fight.  Trusting modern medicine.  There’s much the medical community does not know about many diseases…. but they do their best to give advice according to the knowledge they have to recommend what they feel is the best procedures.

Though I was not around Gae the last few months to see her illness take a hold of her…. she kept most of us that were concerned about her up to date by blogging about her experience.  Check it out here.  I could tell from the last few posts that it wasn’t looking good.   Unfortunately, the disease got the better of Gae and we lost her last week, after a long courageous battle.

What an amazing woman.  My one regret is that I didn’t stay in closer touch with her over the years.  We were first year roommates in college.  She was so much fun to live with.  She was always happy…. and fun loving.  After listening to her children talk today…. she remained that way to the end.  We had some good times in our college apartment.  We stayed in touch for the first few years, but I unfortunately let that slip away.

About a year ago, one of our other roommates made a trip to Salt Lake and wanted to try and get those of us in the area together.  That’s when I reconnected with her after so many years apart.  That’s also when I learned she was fighting this horrible disease.  I remained in touch with her a little over the last year.  Mostly through email and by reading her blog.  One other visit I made to her home…. but I wish I’d been there more.  We always have regrets after someone passes, don’t we?

After sitting through her wonderful service today…. I sat with much regret that I didn’t stay in touch with her all those years.  I missed out on so much.  The kind of friend you want for life.

What a wonderful tribute she was given by her family.  I can only hope that when I’m gone…  my own children will feel about me that way hers do about her.  It was so touching to hear them talk about the things that she had taught them and also talk about what a vibrant passionate person she was.

Her career as a teacher made it possible for her to touch so many lives.  I believe there were many former students there today.  Many who loved Miss Gae dearly.

I was impressed with a few things that her children talked about today.  One of those things was what they refer to as their family motto:  “No empty Chairs”.   Gae had a passion for wanting to make sure that her entire family are together in this next life.  Because of her strong beliefs, she knows that it takes obedience to His commandments be offered all the blessing our Heavenly Father has to offer.   She stressed that very strongly to her family.  She taught them how importance obedience was for their eternal happiness.  Hence their motto:  “No empty chairs”.  She wants them all there with her!

Another teaching point that her son shared was that Gae taught him to never give up.  He quoted her as saying:  “Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you’re defeated!”  Isn’t that  a great lesson we can all learn?  Its’ only those who give up that fail at things.  That’s why we need to keep on trying.

I recently read a story that talked about a man who tried for 25 years to pass the Bar Exam!  It took him more than $50,000 in testing fees and over 144 hours spent in testing rooms, but at the age of 61, he finally passed the Bar!  Now that’s persistence!  That’s knowing you aren’t defeated, even though you didn’t win the first time!  Great philosophy!  Thanks for sharing it today, Adam.

I’m so grateful that I had the blessing of knowing Gae Morrow Beckstrom.  I’m grateful that she touched my life in such a profound way just by her example.  I’m grateful for the wonderful family she and Blake have raised.  What a tribute to them both!

Don’t forget to tell someone you love and appreciate them today.  You never know when they will be gone too soon!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


ADDED Nov 17, 2011

I thought this post on Meditations for Women today went so well with Gae’s philosophy that I wanted to add it here:

“Persistence overcomes resistance.”

When you’re persistent you find the power to hold on and persevere in spite of anything. You’re able to overcome every obstacle and you do all that’s necessary to succeed.

Persistence does not mean you will not fail, but it does mean that when you feel defeated you rise above your disappointment and keep trying. Instead of giving up when all seems hopeless, you find a way to keep going. You simply refuse to give up.

Great things come your way when you endure what seems impossible. No, it’s not easy, but remember big achievements require time. Be patient and don’t give up.

Sow persistence and reap success!

BJ Jackson

I’ve been blessed to know some amazing people in my life.  Really.  I could probably blog about one a day and still have many left over in a years time!  The fact that I keep meeting some pretty amazing people helps!

I met BJ Jackson in 2004.  I had just completed Real Estate school and was interviewing Brokers to see where I wanted to put my license.   I actually had BJ as one of my teachers in Real Estate school for one class.  I remembered her because I was impressed with her skill of memorizing names.  She went around the class room and asked what everyone’s name was and then was able to repeat it.  I can’t remember her exact association right now, but I remember that she had something to associate the name Wanda with.  It seems it was a friend or a relative…. I’ll have to have her remind me!  I’ve always been impressed with people who can remember a whole room full of names in a matter of minutes!  I also enjoyed BJ as a teacher and remember that being one of the favorite classes I took.

BJ had her own Brokerage at the time I finished school.  I had already interviewed with a few other Brokers when I visited with her that day.  There was an immediate connection for me.  This was a big step I was taking.  I had pretty much been a stay at home Mom, with the exception of a short stint of running a Children’s Performing group called Spotlight Sensations.  Other than that….. I was making a step into a world I was very unsure of.

Bj and I hit if off right away and I felt at home in her office.  One of the things I loved, was that it was a small Brokerage, which meant that she would be much more assessable than if it were a large Brokerage.  I was feeling the need for my hand to be held!!   I found out after completing Real Estate School that they don’t teach you how to ‘do’ Real Estate in school….. they only teach the laws and rules!  I needed a mentor who cared!

I had one more interview after my interview with BJ and could not believe the difference I felt.  Besides feeling a lot of pressure from them to join their office…. I just didn’t like the atmosphere.  It didn’t work for me.  It was only a re-assurance that I was right in making the decision to go with BJ’s Brokerage.

BJ was and is an amazing Coach.  She’s a great Teacher and a wonderful Mentor.  I’ve always been impressed when she ‘has the floor’ … no matter what the reason!  She has become a friend to me.  Though I respected her position as my Broker, I always felt that she liked me as a person and a friend.  That made all the difference for me.

Though I haven’t done a lot with Real Estate the last couple of years, I am still great friends with BJ.  I don’t see her as often as I’d like since we don’t see each other in an office situation anymore…. but we are still friends.  She has even joined me in another venture I am pursuing.  Though she is still a Realtor, Coach and Mentor, she tackles many more things too!

I’m grateful for BJ Jackson.  I’m grateful for her concern and her Mentorship to me when I first started in Real Estate.  I always knew she cared about me and my success.  I”m grateful for her friendship, her example and her undying energy!  Thanks for being you, BJ!!  I’m honored to be your friend!

I am Grateful!  How are you?


How can you be grateful for retirement when you’ve never had a job long enough to retire from it?   OK….. so I’m not talking about me.  How about the fact that my husband is retired!

I consider myself very blessed.  In so many ways.  One of the best blessing I’ve had in my life was to be able to be a stay at home Mom.  I was lucky enough to snag a man who had a secure job and owned a home when we got married.  I know, right?  L.U.C.K.Y.!!  Though we didn’t live in a palace, and the kids couldn’t participate in all the extra curricular activities they wanted to because we didn’t really have the money to support them….. none the less…… we have always lived very comfortably, and I was able to stay home to raise my kids.  My husband has always supported me in all my extra activities and been willing to help take care of the kids.   He was always around in the evening, so at least they had someone at home when I wasn’t there.

My husband taught school for 31 years.  Being a school teacher, he was off for 3 months of the year, so I was used to having him around all the time by the time he retired.  I have heard so many women say that they don’t quite know what to do with their husbands when they retire or I’ve even heard comments like “How can you stand having him around that much?”   Wow….. I guess I just married the right guy, cause I have always loved having him around!   When the kids were little, it meant he was around for us to go do things together as a family during the summer months.  Since they’ve been gone…… we’ve done things together.  Besides….. I can always come up with a pretty good size ‘Honey Do’ list!  (He’s a handy man….remember?)

Now, we have quite a bit of time to be together.  Unfortunately, we don’t yet have grandchildren taking up our time…… but we seem to find things to do.  We also recently started our own business that is very rewarding.  I say ‘we’……. he says ‘me’ ….. meaning he thinks its my business.  But he still supports and encourages me and once and a while even helps.

I love the spontaneity that we have to be able to pretty much plan our schedule the way we want to and switch it up when it needs to be switched.  I’m grateful that he had a job that allowed him to retire.  So many people now a days have no retirement benefits.  We are very lucky that we do.

Life is good.  I love having my hubby around and enjoying this time of our lives.  Someday, when there are grandkids in the picture, it could get a little more hectic…..but for now….. it’s wonderful!  We haven’t done much traveling…… yet…… but it’s coming!

I am Grateful!  How are you?