Small Acts of Kindness

April 2nd, 2014

I know the importance of reaching out to someone who is alone.  And I know how comforting hug can be.  As the recipient of both yesterday , I was so grateful for those two small acts of kindness.

Let me back up.

In January of this year, Brad Wilcox asked if I would be available to meet Michelle Corpuz – a dear friend of his who was dying of breast cancer.  I agreed and on February 4th I had the privilege of meeting Michelle, her two daughters and her parents, Omar and Beatriz Canals.  At the center and heart of our hour-long conversation was the Plan of Salvation and Michelle’s faith-filled testimony that God is in control.  I felt gratitude for having met a new friend and stellar daughter of God.

 

Michelle’s health declined and on March 27th, she graduated from this life.  Her father, Omar, emailed and asked if I would sing at Michelle’s funeral.  The opportunity to be associated with the Canal/Corpuz family again outweighed my concerns about the emotional challenge of singing at a funeral, and I said, “Yes.”

Yesterday morning I sat at the piano in my living room and “practiced” singing He’ll Carry You, the song Michelle’s family requested.  My fingers agreed to play the keys of the piano, but my voice was weak and filled with emotion.  I wondered how I could possibly sing without crying.  I knelt and asked the Lord to bless my voice with strength and my heart with the power to sing so their family could hear the pure message of that song unimpeded by my tender feelings.

My eternally supportive husband offered to come with me, but three of our daughters had dentist appointments.  I would have loved his company and support, but he was needed more on the home front.  So I went to the funeral service alone.

I can only imagine how awkward I appeared standing in the hallway, waiting to enter the viewing.  Michelle’s sister-in-law, Jenny, saw me and introduced herself.  Her smile was wide and beautiful – instantly putting me at ease.  She began a conversation and led me into the room where the family was gathered.  (They had invited me to join the family prayer.)  Jenny stayed and talked to me and each sentence chased away the feeling of being surrounded by strangers.  Suddenly, I had a friend.

A few minutes later, Brad and Debi Wilcox arrived.  While Jenny resumed her family responsibilities, I talked with the Wilcox’s.  As I watched tears flow down the cheeks of Michelle’s family, my own began to fall.  It was difficult to contain the feelings of empathy and compassion.  The family prayer began and I felt Debi’s arm reach around me.  She kept it there until the “amen.”  It brought me so much comfort and I felt the strength to do what I had come to do.

The funeral service was lovelier than I have words to describe.  Omar gave the most beautiful Elder-Holland-like sermon I have heard.  The family repeatedly expressed gratitude for the musical number and my heart swelled with the joy of service.

When I look back on the experience, among several tender mercies, I will remember those two simple acts of service and the joy it brought me.  Next time I see someone who is alone in a crowd, I pray I’ll have the courage to smile and introduce myself.  And when the moment arises that someone needs me to put my arm around them, I will remember and be ready.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

BillionClicks Scholarship Fund

February 12th, 2014

Two years ago, as our oldest daughter neared high school graduation, she began filling out college applications and scholarship applications.  We kept our fingers crossed (6 family members + two hands each = 30 sets of crossed fingers (if you intertwine your thumbs,) that a scholarship would come through!

At the same time  www.billionclicks.org was being designed, created and programmed.  As my daughter searched for possible scholarships, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if, one day, BillionClicks could offer a scholarship?!”  I might have even said it out loud.  Don’t remember.

Today, I am gonna say it out loud.  (Because I finally have an idea that might just make the scholarship fund a reality.  No one wants to say dumb things out loud.)  Here’s my idea…

These are called Possibility Books and they are ADORABLE – if you ask me.  (If you ask me twice, I’ll answer the same.)  Each charming Possibility Book is designed to help you capture your possibilities!  Whether it is poetry, song-writing, drawing, storytelling or doodling, this book will help you notate it all!  Inside you will find pages that are sure to surprise and delight you and every book includes at least two pages of my very own song writing notes!  (Not copies – a portion of the actual handwritten pages!)  You can also use the delightful envelopes and bags inside the Possibility Book to collect memorabilia!

IMG_6385

Possibility Book-p001

There are two styles to choose from, both inspired by songs from the Say Love CD – the Brave Possibility Book and the Good Day Possibility Book.

Every single book is unique – no two books are alike.  (Same meaning, I just said it two different ways.  Somehow I feel like that emphasizes how excited I am!)

The back cover is autographed by…me.  (But if I knew someone cool like Trisha Yearwood or Oprah Winfrey, I’d had them sign it for you, ‘cuz that would be way more exciting.)

Here’s the very best part…

Poss Book inside pics-p001

So, there ya have it…that’s my great idea!  Possibility Books are $30 each.  50 Possibility Books are available – 25 in each style.

Let’s send someone to college!  (Or at least help cover the cost of text books…)

Click here to order the Brave Possibility Book.

Click here to order the Good Day Possibility Book.

One more thing…if now isn’t the right time to make a purchase, but you would like to donate a dollar or two to the fund (and I mean “a dollar or two” literally – because every dollar counts!) we invited you to use the PayPal Donate button below.  100% of your donation will go to the BillionClicks Scholarship Fund!

Thank you.  (It seems inadequate…but really, Thank You!)

Hilary

February 10th, 2014

That is a rough approximation of the calories I didn’t eat in January because of my “I Won’t” goal.  3,465 is really close to 3,500 (duh) which is the number of calories in one pound.  You could say I saved myself a pound’s worth of eating.  You could also say, (now this is just hypothetical,) that sometimes I ate a morning snack, a late-night treat and/or a snippet before dinner because I knew I had “saved” calories earlier in the day.  So you could say, the saved calories and the extra calories evened out.  That’s what the scale would say too.

I would say, after a month of not overeating:

  • I feel more in control
  • I did not feel sluggish
  • I didn’t have the “I’m going to pig-out now, but will be good tomorrow” mentality
  • I was motivated to exercise
  • I feel good about myself

I love January’s “I Won’t” so much, it gets to go with me right on into February – like new friend who I want to keep hanging out with because of their good influence.

Now, let’s not leave out January’s “I Will.”  (I Will set a mini-goal everyday.)

Like a child who has just tied their shoes for the first time, I’m happy to announce…”I did it!  I did it!  I set goals all by myself, and I reached them!”  It’s given me a renewed confidence in goal setting.  The daily goals were simple, easy, achievable.  Things like:

  • Write a thank you note
  • Use a kind voice
  • Write a blog
  • Finish my workout – don’t quit in the middle
  • Make a dentist appointment
  • Send an email

“Okay, January’s “I Will,”  you can come with me into February too.”

Can I just tell you, it was fun to decide what February’s “I Will” & “I Won’t” would be!  It feels like a new, more simple world of goal setting has opened up!  Now, without any further…um…waitingpausing…(I’m trying to avoid having to spell adieu)…here are February’s “I Will” & “I Won’t.”

Just in case the “I Will” is confusing…I Will study German everyday for ten minutes.  So excited!

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

 

 

February 6th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy buffet Batman!  That is crazy!

Crazy or not, I proved that theory to be true.  (I can feel my face turning red…)

Two years ago our family went on a Disney cruise.  When I got home and stepped on the scale, I realized one of my souvenirs was 5 pounds.

 

 

 

 

 

I lost a couple of those pounds, but the other few have lingered like the smell of French Toast after the breakfast dishes have been done.

This January, we decided to go on another cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could hear the new five pounds saying, “Make room on your thighs, little mama, ‘cuz here we come!”  But the five pounds waiting to attach to my person didn’t know about my “I Won’t” for January.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s right, food fans.  I committed to NOT overeat.  And I haven’t – not even once.  (For the record, I’m continuing January’s “I Won’t” into February.  It is February 5th, and I haven’t stuffed myself a single time.)  It is true – I actually went on a cruise and did not overeat.  All that food – and I stayed in control.  Last cruise I ate like I’d never seen food before.  I felt constantly sluggish.  By day three or four I was on food-overload.  Near the end of the cruise, I had eaten so much and so often that food didn’t even sound good.  I preferred the elevator to the stairs.  At dinner when the waiter asked my dessert preference, I just said, “Yes.”  Once home, the button on my jeans didn’t stand a fighting chance.

The cruise of 2014 was totally different.  From the very first plate I filled, I stopped when I was satisfied.  It was HARD.  I wanted to keep going.  I really did.  But, because I had set the fork down, when the next meal rolled around I was actually…HUNGRY!  I took the stairs.  I ran two 5Ks that the ship offered as activities.  I felt energy.  I didn’t even mind when it was swimsuit time.  Well, let’s not get carried away.

And when I got home, the scale backed me up.  I gained 1.5 pounds, which I shed in two days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t deny myself the soft-serve ice cream.  I ate the appetizers and the desserts right along side the main dish.  I just didn’t allow my stomach to call the shots.  Nope.  My brain was in charge.  What a difference!

I loved January’s “I Won’t!”  On December 31, 2014, I hope to report that I went 365 days without overeating.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

A few favorite moments of 2013

January 15th, 2014

In my last post, I mentioned my “I Will & I Won’t” plan for 2014.  It has been fun to think about new goals and look forward.  It has also caused me to look back. Below are some of my favorite moments of 2013.

Last winter, on a very cold and foggy morning, my husband and I drove to Ogden so I could speak at a women’s conference.  Immediately following the engagement in Ogden, I was schedule to speak at another women’s conference in Orem.  We left Ogden quickly – too quick – and I accidentally left my talk in the chapel there.  When we arrived at the church in Orem, I looked in my bag for my talk.  It wasn’t there.  I looked in the car.  It wasn’t there.  My heart sank and I began to cry.  (Which isn’t like me.)  When he saw my reaction, my husband was instantly concerned for me.  However, I reassured him the tears were not because of fear.  When I realized I didn’t have my talk, the Spirit quickly consoled me and I knew everything was going to be okay.  I was crying because I felt the Spirit in a strong and unique way.  I stood up in front of 500+ women in Orem, told them what had happened and then went on with speaking and singing.  The Spirit brought everything that was important to my remembrance.

I really struggled with my Time Out For Women presentation this year.  It took me 6 months and 5 tries to get it right.  As I drove home from my second TOFW event of 2013 (in Idaho Falls), I knew it hadn’t gone well.  I had blown it again.  Why was this so hard?  Why couldn’t I get this right?  I pondered on my presentation the whole three hour drive home.  I felt so discouraged.  A few days later, I received this email from a member of the production crew:

Hi Hilary,
I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed your awesomeness in Idaho Falls. I have thought a lot about that weekend and I don’t know if I have ever been so moved by a TOFW event. I have always enjoyed your music and stories but for some reason I felt really inspired by Idaho Falls. I have seen a bajillion presentations both from LDS presenters and non and I have always felt that you go above and beyond. I can tell that you put a lot of work and effort into your preparation and it really pays off. This past weekend I had to teach Gospel Essentials and I felt that, after watching you in IF, I should try a little harder to be prepared and make it more interesting. So I prayed harder about and I listened to a bunch of your music while preparing. The payoff was having a man in his 70′s, who is returning to the church, tell me that he had never felt the spirit stronger in Sunday School. I know that had I not seen you in Idaho Falls I would have done my last minute straight out of the manual lesson and he wouldn’t have had the spiritual experience that he and I both had.

Brent

It gave me the courage and confidence to keep rewriting, keep trying, and not give up.

As you might know, my new CD Say Love released last September.  It was so hard to write.  It took a toll on me.  One night in June, I fell apart.  The weight of it all was too much.  I began to doubt myself.  I wondered if the songs were good enough.  I gave in to all my fears about failure – and I had a melt-down.  I cried and cried all evening.  I cried in front of my husband and my daughters.  They were so sweet to try to console me, but the tears still came.  I decided to just go to bed and try again the next day.  As I crawled in bed, my youngest daughter (8) came to my bedside and began tucking me in.  She gently pushed the blankets right up to my feet, then my legs.  She worked her way up to my head and then leaned over, kissed me on the forehead and said, “I believe in you.”

 

There literally hundreds of other moments, memories, miracles and tender mercies that took place last year and for which I am grateful.  I am thankful for the comfort of the Spirit in the very moments we need it, for kind emails filled with encouragement and for the strengthening words of a child.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

I Will and I Won’t

January 9th, 2014

It has been 226 days since my last blog post.

226.

That’s a lot of days.  Too many.

I have some really good excuses for why I didn’t blog.  But they are uninteresting so we won’t dwell on them.  I’m ready to move forward and blog again!

Just a couple of months ago I was doing some much needed ironing.  (Do you let the ironing pile up too?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stack of wrinkled clothes was high and deep – I was gonna be hanging out with the ironing board for a while.  My mind somehow wandered ahead to 2014, goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions.  Before I could mentally list the usual goals (lose some weight, study the scriptures more, be nicer…) an idea popped into my head.  It was simple – I Will & I Won’t.  As I pressed my husband’s golf shirt, I decided to approach the New Year a little differently.  Each day, for one month, I will do something and I won’t  do something.  I brainstormed ideas.  Possibilities flowed like the steam streaming from the iron.  Here are a few of the ideas I am excited about:

For the month of January my “I Will” is to set a mini-goal each day and accomplish it.  Recently I’ve lost my confidence in setting and actually achieving goals.  I’m not sure if I believe I can set a goal and stick with it over a long period of time.  But, I know I can set a one-day-mini-goal and I will see it through.  Some of my mini-goals during the first week of January have included: writing a thank you card, writing a missionary from our ward, sending an email regarding my calling as Cub Scout Den Mother, and choosing a new book to read.  Simple. Accomplishable.

What is my “I Won’t” for the month of January?  It’s a good one.

I won’t overeat.  I will not stuff myself to the point of having to unbutton my pants, loosen my belt or change into sweatpants.  I will only eat to the point of feeling satisfied.  It has been hard.  I am definitely in the habit of overeating.  I love to eat.  I don’t want to stop.  When something tastes good, it only seems right to continue until there isn’t one millimeter of space left in my stomach. The greatest challenge to sticking with this came last Saturday when our family ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  That food is good.  And plentiful.  But I walked out of the restaurant feeling satisfied and in control.  It was worth it.

Each day as I have left food on my plate, I have estimated the number of calories I did not eat.  My guess is I have walked away from 1,760 calories in just 9 days.  If I keep that up, I will have saved myself a pound’s worth of calories (3,500) in no time.

I’m having so much fun with I Will and I Won’t! I am already thinking about what I’ll choose to do in February.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

P.S. My goal for today was to blog.  Check.

The Shark

May 27th, 2013

Do you have one of these?

No – not a door.  The gadget in front of the door.  A Shark.  Its a mop.  Ya, this blog is sort of about mopping.

I used to despise mopping.  It was my least favorite chore.  I would rather eat a sock than mop.  Well…, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but mopping was the last chore to ever get done at my house.  I whistle while I scrub the toilets. I sing while I dust.  I smile as the vacuum and I dance around the house.  But I don’t whistle, sing or smile when I mop.

I wouldn’t dream of clicking while mopping.  That would be a travishamockery.

…until now.

About four months ago I was walking through WalMart, unaware that my life was about to change forever, when the end cap called to me.  “Look over here, Hilary.”  And I did.  Before my eyes was the most beautiful piece of boxed plastic I had ever come across.  I picked it up and put it in my cart.

The Shark and I have been besties ever since.  We love being together.   I can hardly believe I am saying these words, but…I actually LOVE mopping now.

I even took my Shark to church yesterday.  No lie.  It was part of an object lesson.  I told my Relief Society friends about how I used to feel about mopping and how I feel now.  Then, I explained that just like there were chores that I don’t like, there are qualities I don’t like about myself – things I wish I could change.  Things I wish were different about me.

I told them how the Atonement has helped me change those unlikeable quirks.  Even some of my greatest weaknesses are on their way to becoming strengths.  The Savior has helped me change.  He has taken parts of my personality that were lacking, and helped me become better – more like Him.

I am so grateful for the Atonement.  I am grateful that we can change because of Him.

And…I’m grateful for clean floors.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

Help Kenzie Make a World of Difference

May 13th, 2013

Our oldest daughter, McKenzie has always been a “server.”  Serving is like breathing for her.  She would have to really try to go a day without doing something nice for someone.

She is a little like Ordinary Mary.  Have you read that book?  (Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed.)  Remember how someone gives Mary blueberries and Mary makes blueberry muffins and gives them to five people and then those five people do something nice for five more people each.  And the good deeds multiply until millions of people are touched…and it all started with blueberries.

That’s Kenzie for ya.

She used that story and this picture when applying for a humanitarian scholarship last year.

OH!  Wanna see a picture of her when she got her wisdom teeth out?

Sorry.  I am getting side-tracked.  Let me get to the point.

Three years ago, Kenzie learned about an organization called World of Difference.  They build schools, train teachers and provide educational supplies in Africa.  The minute she learned about these expeditions, she wanted to go.  But, obviously, that costs money.  $3,750, to be exact.  This summer Kenzie is working two jobs to save for the upcoming college year and to go to Africa in August.  Even working everyday, she will be short on funds.  Kenzie is doing some fundraising, but I wanted to jump in and help.

You and I probably can’t go to Africa this summer to build a school,

but WE can help HER build a school!

So…here’s the offer.  For anyone willing to donate $50 or more, I will handwrite the lyrics to your favorite Hilary Weeks song, sign it and send it to you.  Once you donate, send me an email with your favorite song!  info@hilaryweeks.com

And…if you are really, super, ultra, amazingly interested in donating a big ‘ol chunk of change…I will sell the red pumps I wore at the Collection CD Release Concert for $500.  I’ll also throw in a signed Collection CD and, AND…if you live within an hour or so of us, Kenzie and I will personally deliver the shoes and the CD.  Only ONE person can purchase this item, so the first person to make the donation and then email me, gets the shoes!  info@hilaryweeks.com

But that’s not all.

Anyone who donates will be invited to a fireside this Fall where Kenzie will share stories and pictures from her expedition and I will sing a song or two.

 

Here’s a shot of what Kenzie’s reaction will be if she can raise the money to serve in Africa…

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!  Blog to you soon,

Hilary

 

 

May I suggest using a calendar?

April 22nd, 2013

Calendars are such useful things.

They remind us of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries.  They help us schedule and coordinate soccer games, football practice, dance class, gymnastics and lunch with a girl friend.  They are very useful when we need to remember important meetings we have scheduled.

Which is exactly why I should have written “Interview with Brooke Walker from Studio 5″ on my calendar a few weeks ago.

It was Monday, April 15th, one o’clock in the afternoon.  I had just finished lunch and was petting the dog, when I looked out my front window and saw Brooke walking to my door.  It hit me!  I have an interview with Studio 5 today!  Holy Forgetfulness Batman!  I opened the door and exclaimed,

“Brooke!  Hi!  Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about the interview today!”

In her graceful, professional way, Brooke asked if I would like to reschedule.  “No!  No, come in.  I’ll just run upstairs and change out of my sweats into something presentable!”  As I ran up the stairs, I asked Brooke for fashion advice.  She said to wear a solid colored shirt in a bright color.

“Please let me have something that fits that description…and dear heaven above, let it be CLEAN!”  I thought as I dashed upstairs.

The closet was good to me and I found something to throw on.  I combed my hair (LUCKILY I had washed it and applied make-up early that morning!)  Then I joined Brooke and Cory, the videographer, in the family room.

The interview was a delight because Brooke is such a delight.  I wasn’t nervous – there wasn’t time to be!  We talked about the concept of clicking and training our minds to think positively.  I shared our new Clicker Kits and even took them on a tour of our garage where we house all the clickers, stickers and other products on BillionClicks.com.  The garage?  Yes, I actually took them in the garage.  Classy.  I know.  But no less classy than forgetting an interview, and I was on a roll.

Just a week later, the episode aired on Studio 5.  I was excited to watch it.  And a little nervous too.  Okay, a lot nervous.  Who wants to see themselves on tv?  But…

I loved it.

I loved everything about it.  (Except my hair sticking up a little and how goofy I look when I walk on the treadmill, but that isn’t Studio 5′s fault.)

So, as an experienced forgetter, I offer you this advice.  Use. A. Calendar.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Say Love – Studio

March 18th, 2013

We have had such fun recording our first song for this CD…”Say Love.”  As soon as we have something mixed that is worthy to show you, I’ll post a snippet of the music on the blog.  This week we will start on a song called “I Found Me.”  I can’t wait to get started and listen to it evolve.  I think you’re really gonna like this song.

In other news…

Two of my daughters were in the musical Annie at their school.  It was SO AWESOME!  This is basically their first time to act/sing/perform – and they loved it!  They played orphans.  Each night before the performance I would rat and mess up their hair so they looked unkept.  It was a highlight for me.  I’ve always felt like I had a gift for not doing hair well – and I really seemed to shine under these circumstances.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary