The principle of hard work and delayed gratification.
Often times this is one of the hardest principles.

There are things in my life that I look at and say "This is way too hard to follow through with" or "why can't this just be a little easier?" As human beings we often tell ourselves we can't do certain things or that we are not good enough. Sometimes we think that tasks take too much time and we would rather just have  it right now!  Sometimes it is extremely hard to follow through, because many goals take time, consistency and a whole lot of patience. 
I saw this sign out at lunch one day and I thought it was very wise advice. Me and my Sterling have been working on our schooling. Sterling is working toward becoming a doctor and it takes a lot of time, hard work and money. Although, I look at this sign as  more of a temporal aspect (work hard at school now, for stability later), it got me thinking about the deeper meaning of why working hard at goals and desires are important. Why is it important to go outside of our comfort zones, why do we have to spend so much time making decisions and carrying out tasks that we hope will turn out how we would like them to?

God wants us to work hard so that we can learn and grow. 
What if I was given a degree today without having to spend the time and money? I think I would be kind of happy for a minute, but I don't think I would appreciate it as much. Better yet, if my husband were handed all of the knowledge he needed and a degree in medicine today (again that would be awesome for a minute), would this really teach him anything? God wants us to experience the principle of hard work. He wants us to experience challenges and he wants to teach us patience. That is why being handed everything is not the way he works.

I am slowly learning how important work is and that we can do anything with God's help. God has given us gifts, talents and abilities that are far greater than we could ever imagine. It may take time, dedication, and sincere prayer to find and develop these gifts. It is the process that refines us and not necessarily the end goal. 

God will help us through the process and refine us
When looking at a task or desire, Sometimes we feel like we don't have much to offer, but a loving Heavenly Father knows that this is not the case. I think that it is very appropriate to ask God for help with any inadequacies we may feel. When it comes to inadequacies,  I have often found that when I compare myself with others, the hope of accomplishment plummets and goals become overwhelming. Look to a loving Heavenly Father rather than the false reality of someone else's perfect life.

Anything is possible with God in our lives. 
The only person that God will compare us with is our own selves. He knows us individually, he knows our hearts, and there is no need to compare yourself to one single person on this planet. It is extremely appropriate to ask God any and every minute of the day to help you in every aspect of your life. Some may think that God is too great to listen to such a small person. God loves us more than we will ever comprehend (at least while we are on this earth) and he will listen and help us in every thought and every need if we just ask.  

Since this has turned into a rambling of more than I thought I would get into, here is what I am basically saying....

Work hard and enjoy the now. 
Do not waste another moment comparing
spend the time researching, contemplating and pondering decisions
 make prayerful decisions, 
work hard and work in steps.
Remember that God loves us and wants us to succeed.
We had a pretty great few weeks off of school. Finishing another semester always feels so great and it was so fun to spend time with Sterling and family. We spent some time with our cousin's that were visiting from England, Mary and James. They were so much fun and we really enjoyed seeing them a few times during their visit. They even left us loads of treats which was incredibly nice. Digestives are the best cookie ever!
We also spent time with our parents going to the parade of homes. I was in heaven.  This last weekend we spent some time visiting the temple, eating at the best indian food buffet around, ventured into a west valley swap meet and saw Tarzan at Hale center theater. We also celebrated new news. Sterling is going to be starting a new job at Apple and I just go called to be in the Young Women's, which I am very excited about. Here is to a new semester and new opportunities!
Marriage is a gift from God to us; the quality of our marriages is a gift from us to Him.
Marriage: Watch and Learn  BY ELDER L. WHITNEY CLAYTON

One of my favorite things to do is to enjoy fresh produce. I absolutely love going to the farmers market and growing our own produce as much as possible. 
I just has to post this because it looks soooo good
SJ had his 10 year reunion this year! It was quite an experience to experience a reunion as a spouse. I loved hearing all of the stories about Sterling and what a funny kid he was. I especially liked hearing about the elementary days and how he called one of these cute girls really early in the morning one morning. Knowing that she loved games, he asked her if she wanted to play monopoly with him. 
This family reunion happens every single year. It includes my grandmother's 8 siblings and all of their kids, great grandkids and great great grandkids. 
Our Aunt Mae is an angel for coordinating the event every year. This year was extra special because a quilt was made of all the family reunion shirts dating back to 1992.
We has a great time going on a hike with my parents. It is rare that we all have a day off together to do something like this, so this was a pretty special occasion. The hike to Timp cave is sooo beautiful and I highly recommend it.
     Okay I get a little embarrassed about the first picture of myself, but I need to give a visual that explains a small portion of what I have been experiencing with my lifestyle change. I am not a hard core exercise enthusiast or shop at whole foods everyday of your life kind of person (If I could afford, maybe I would). This has been a gradual change, that has taken time and will continue to take time. Now days I find my mouth watering for bell peppers and tomatoes (I use to hate tomatoes!). I find myself craving cookies less. I find myself having more energy, I find a steady and maintained15 lbs off of the scale. Wahoo!

This is what I have found:80/20 Rule We have created a rule in our house to eat healthy at least 80% of the week and eat semi healthy, with a few treats here and there 20% of the week.  The 20% is not an excuse to splurge and make ourselves sick, but it allows us to still enjoy a treat every once and awhile. This way we don't feel extremely restricted. Although treats are great every once and awhile, I have found that by eating the more nutrient dense foods such as fruit and vegetables along with a high protein breakfast, the craving for sweets lessen.

Green smoothies are magical-This is one of the easiest ways for me to get my fruits and vegetables. When I start the day with green smoothies, I feel energized and tend to eat healthier the rest of the day.

The more you exercise the more you will love it- Okay you may not think this is true, because working out can be hard at times, but the after effects are amazing. The more you do it the more you will find that you like it and you need it.  I try not to focus on the difficulty of the workout, but on how it makes me feel afterwards. For me, running has always sucked, but I have changed my mind, LITERALLY. Your mind plays a huge part in getting yourself to keep going. Make up your mind that you are not going to say one bad thing about running again. Tell yourself you are a runner, and you will be. Find music that you enjoy, get someone to do it with you.

Weights are your best friend- I have been doing a lot of research on weight training. I remember the first time I went to the gym and I how I felt so uncomfortable standing in front of the mirrors doing free weights. Me and S have a joke that we throw out while we are at the gym "nothing less than 50". Of course I can't do 50 lbs, but I do try to pick heavier weights and work my way up each time. Many women think that they are going to bulk up too much so they stick with the 15 pounders. Go for a little heavier and work your way up, women do not have the testosterone to get huge, all more weight is going to do is tone! Women that bulk up are doing some pretty intense supplementation to get that way. Don't be scared to go heavier, just make sure to watch your form. What I love, is that while you burn more calories during cardio, the weight training is what burn more calories hours afterwards. I seriously love the thought of going home and sitting on the couch and thinking "I am burning some serious calories right now"

Plan your meals- It is difficult to eat healthy when planning is not involved. If there is no plan you either eat too much junk food in the name of hunger, or you end up scrimping and not eating enough calories because you are scared that you don't have a healthy meal in place. Here is a list of great meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Stay positive and be confident
- Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop focusing on weight. Start focusing on how you feel. Pay attention to your body and give it what it really needs. Us women think we have to look a certain way and when we aren't seeing quick results we often struggle to keep going. Just keep going, you can do it!!

Thank you to my incredible  husband, who has been my main motivator, who has always told me to keep going, and that I can do anything.
Hey America. We celebrated your birthday with an all American Breakfast at The Cracker Barrel.
Then we decided to get a one day pass to Sam's Club just for their Italian Ice. 

What's more American than fireworks and a couch in the front yard? Redneck Much?
Happy Birthday Land that I love!
We celebrated our 6 year anniversary this weekend up in Park City, Utah. It was a beautiful weekend filled with great food and mountain biking down a huge mountain. It has been a memorable 6 years to say the least. 

    We Are...

     Sterling and Hayley.

    We are so glad that you decided to visit our blog. I'm sure you will see that we included a collection of those things that interest us. We spend as much time as we can together, so we thought we would share our adventures and some good dang stuff that we both enjoy.