Mike Kelly and I had the opportunity to MC a church multi-stake youth dance. We had a blast and it was definitely the coolest stake dance that I've been do. We had fun activities to mix it up and there was great modern music as well. Benjamin Howe ran the music and he developed a cool web application where the kids can come up and select the songs they want to hear from an ipad. The more votes that particular song got, the more it gets bumped up the list to be played.
But the best part is they had a projector that played different "Just Dance" dancing videos. While there were a couple people in the front competing with the Wii controllers, everybody else joins in and does the dance moves as well. It was way cool!
The dance was completely planned by a youth committee and they did an awesome job. It was very well attended.
I'm not big on traveling, but recently I had a chance to travel a bit more for work. I visited our Leavitt Group employees in Montana and we all meet in Bozeman. Bozeman is a beautiful city and I enjoyed my stay there very much.
Along the way home I got to visit the Leavitt agency in Rexburg, ID and our Leavitt agency in Logan, UT.
One of the great parts of this trip was that I got to see a lot of family along the way. I traveled by car the entire time, and stopped and stayed the night at my parents house on the way to Montana. I got to have dinner with my nephew and his wife, Michael and Brianna, in Rexburg. Then on my way to Logan, I stayed with my brother, Keith, in Lewiston and he took me out hunting. And then on my way back home, I got to go out to lunch with my brothers, Kent and Cameron, in Lehi. It was a packed trip, but very productive.
Not long after, I was able to go to a great training in Phoenix, AZ.
It wouldn't be traveling without a few selfies along the way:
Wendy and I try to go out on dates when we can. As more time has gone by in our marriage, I realize how important it is for us to set aside time to spend together and talk. There are so many activities and responsibilities that consume our lives, that sometimes we forget to reserve some extra time for each other.
Last week was one of my favorites. We went to the dollar store and we each picked out a coloring book and some crayons, got a smoothie, and then just colored and talked. We got a few strange looks and laughs, but we didn't care... it was fun. When was the last time you colored... without your kids around? :)
Doing something different makes dating your spouse fun. It's also fun to trade off planning the activity and not telling your spouse ahead of time what you have planned.
We've done some other activities lately, including canoeing together at the Lake on the Hill, hitting golf balls off a cliff.... Do you have any other date ideas that you have done that are fun and inexpensive? Please share in the comments below.
When I first planted this tree in my front yard, it was a small twig I got from the Enoch Arbor Days. I prepped the soil well and it grew some good roots. It started to slowly grow.
However, like most of the trees that we've planted in our yard, it got neglected and started to die. I thought the tree did die. Several times. We planted the tree long before we had the grass and gravel. Before the grass, I ran over the tree with my car. And after the grass was put in I mowed it down thinking it was dead and gone.
Despite the neglect and abuse, the tree came back and survived. It now looks good and healthy. And while its not as big as it could have been, it is a beautiful tree. We've planted a lot of trees in our yard and not very many have survived. The difference with this tree is that it established some good roots.
I think this tree can be like life. Often times we're neglected. We feel abused and trodden upon. To the point that we shrivel up and feel like we don't have anything to show for ourselves and nothing to offer the world. But as long as are roots are well established in the things that matter most... sometimes all we need to do is just hang in there. If we hold strong and hang on a little longer, opportunities will present themselves for us to grow, get stronger, be better, be happier, and feel better. We can become more confident in what we have to offer to the world. And although we can never be as perfect as we'd hope, we should be proud who we are and what we can become.
Flying makes me sick, sometimes really sick. After a flight, it can leave me dizzy for days. Throughout my life I have always had problems with motion sickness. Most of my family members get motion sick as well.
I actually don't mind flying and traveling to new places, but motion sickness can make the experience absolutely miserable. About 5 years ago, I took a small flight to Sacramento. I was slightly ill in the days prior which enhanced the awful experience. I vowed to never fly again.
A business trip opportunity recently came up to fly to Ohio. It would be a stress-free trip (meaning that I wouldn't have to give any presentations, just go and participate.) I decided to give flying another try.
While there are several medications and options out there, I tried several new things this time. Mostly with the aid of this article: "How I Hardly EVER Get Motion Sickness Anymore... I used everything from the Bose headphones, appropriate sleep, hydration, anti-socialness, listening to calm music, and even some oils (peppermint & lavender). In addition, I did still used a less-drowsy Dramamine pill, and I also used earplanes to manage the air pressure. Overkill?
The flight itself was a smooth flight. But overall, what worked, what didn't? I don't care. I think the multiple things combined to help me stay relaxed and comfortable was key. The flight was a much, much more manageable experience than ever before. And while I still felt a little loopy after each flight there and back, the dizziness was minimal and I was functional just fine.
The worst part of the trip? I actually got quite motion sick because of the several bus rides we took. I was dreading taking the flight home after feeling so awful, but between a good exercise and a deep sleep, I felt good enough for the flight back home.
In addition, I avoided elevators at all costs. I took the stairs everywhere I could. I hate elevators!!!
Am I excited to fly again? Not really. But I at least have hope that I can reduce the effects of motion-sickness from flying in the future.
I have worked with the Leavitt Group as a graphic designer for nearly eight years. The Leavitt Group is a great organization and I work with great people. About six month ago I sought after a new job within the Leavitt Group. Simply put, I am now a marketing consultant to help our various Leavitt Group agencies to sell more home insurance and auto insurance.
The Leavitt Group is one of the largest insurance brokers in the nation and primarily provides business and health insurance to our commercial clients. A smaller portion of the Leavitt Group's revenue is made up of personal insurance (home & auto insurance... the kind of insurance you are used to seeing.) Although personal insurance is a smaller part of the Leavitt Group's make-up, Insurance Journal ranks the Leavitt Group as the 7th largest private broker that provides PERSONAL insurance! Link: Top 50 Personal Lines Leaders
HOW IS THE LEAVITT GROUP DIFFERENT?
The Leavitt Group is not an insurance company. They represent top insurance companies, such as Allstate, Progressive, Safeco, Travelers, Hartford, Bear River Mutual, etc. We are the broker, the middle man, the independent agent. The best analogy I've heard is we are the match makers in the insurance industry. Just like a match.com or cupid.com, our agents take your profile and match you with the insurance company that meets your needs and price. I like this model because our agents are licensed professionals, they give unbiased advice, and they shop different insurance companies for you.
WHAT ABOUT GEICO & PROGRESSIVE?
You might be thinking... I've never heard of Leavitt Group, or had no idea that they even sold home and auto insurance. I'm not surprised. Let me explain why: Again, the Leavitt Group is a broker and not an insurance company. Its the insurance companies that have the huge advertising budgets. (GEICO spends over $1 Billion a year in advertising... that's insane!) And these companies have flooded the market with the message that getting the cheapest insurance is the only thing that matters. I can't dispute that I've laughed at a GEICO commercial from time to time. But the cheapest insurance mentality is wrong and drives me nuts. When it comes to protecting your most valuable assets: your home, your car, your FAMILY, not only do you want the best price... but you need to make sure that you are adequately covered and protected in the event of an accident or tragedy. I love having an insurance agent that can talk me through the process, give their unbiased recommendations, and help me make an informed decision on my insurance.
For example, I believe everyone should have umbrella insurance. Don't know what it is? Ask an insurance agent.
So my job is to help spread the word that the Leavitt Group offers home and auto insurance. (Somewhat of a secret. Inspiration for our secret campaign commercials a few years back.) To spread the word requires strategic marketing in order to compete with the onslaught of GEICO and other major insurance company advertising. We don't plan to compete in the same way as GEICO. So don't expect lots of Leavitt Group commercials to appear on your TV. My strategy is very simple: take good care of our customers and let them do the talking. While other insurance companies spend millions talking about how cool they are, I want to focus one encouraging our customers to talk about how cool we are. I've developed a strategic approach in which our agencies can enhance our customer experience and help them spread the word. When it comes to insurance, most people make their decisions based off of a recommendation from a friend or family member.
WHY DID I SWITCH JOBS?
I love graphic design and always will. However, when it came to enhancing and growing my skills, my heart was not into design for the long haul. Everything that I've been researching, reading, learning, and excited about in my spare time involved marketing. And over time as I've worked at the Leavitt Group, I've become fascinated with personal insurance and how misunderstood it is at large. I've been anxious to make a difference in marketing this segment of the Leavitt Group, because I believe in the Leavitt Group, its products, and its people. I've been hitting it with full force and having a lot of fun doing it.
I wouldn't say that I'm a big music lover or dancing lover. But I absolutely love music that makes me want to dance. One of my favorite things to do is turn on some fun music while doing the dishes and dance around the kitchen. It usually turns into the whole family engaged in a full on dance off.
The techno/dance/pop music of Zedd usually hits the spot.
Over the years, I've become more of a "bah humbug" when it comes to this time of year. (Just ask my wife.) Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas, the Christmas spirit, and what it stands for. But I miss the good old days as a kid when everything about Christmas is so exciting and magical. Not to mention you had two weeks off of school to relax, be lazy, and enjoy.
Now as an adult, this time of year for me seems to be the most busy and hectic. And gift buying, planning Christmas socials, hanging lights, etc. becomes more of a chore than an enjoyment of the season. With the distractions of a commercialized season, trying to get in the Christmas spirit can sometimes be challenging. Also, the holidays as an adult could also be a downer if you've gone through a recent trial, such as a death in the family, financial woes, or relationship problems.
For myself, I would guess the best solution would be to just have a better attitude and get caught up in the giving spirit as much as possible.
What are your thoughts? What do you do that helps you enjoy and get the most out of the Christmas season as an adult, instead of stress over it?
We all have different backgrounds, different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses, and different challenges. To measure a successful life is all due in one's own perspective. But here is my own personal life's success philosophy.
Living a successful life requires balance and growth. We often tend to take on more and more responsibility as we grow older, and many times we will gauge how successful we are by how much we can cram into our busy life. Sometimes we take on more responsibilities so that we can make more money, thus trying to further our "success". But ultimately, the more time we spend on one aspect in our life, the more that we ignore other important parts. There are several things that we juggle and it is crucial that we give adequate attention to family, God, work, friends, and ourselves. Just the basics are enough to overwhelm me.
I often think that my life would be more successful if I could just simplify my life. There is a lot of good reasoning in reducing the extra little things that add unnecessary stress to our lives. But, it is also important for us to grow, push ourselves, and get outside of our comfort zone. In doing so, we find achievement, self-worth, and happiness.
No one person can have perfect balance in life. If they do, it is short lived. Life is all about constantly growing, adjusting, and aligning ourselves to be in balance as much as possible. We often fall short or get off track, and we should quickly refocus and get back on track as best we can. We can't compare our own lives to others as a basis of success. As mentioned before, we are all different and we have our own unique situations and trials in life. All of which play into a constant challenge for us to keep our own life in balance. Identify what roles that you have and make sure to create an appropriate balance based on those roles. Creating balance with growth is what I consider life's challenge. And the attitude by which you approach this challenge, largely determines the outcome. Don't view it as burden, but as an opportunity to live a successful life.