Kate and my Gate

I want to give you an update on two of my favorite issues lately, Kate Hansen and my gate.

First the gate. As you can see in the photo below, it is closed… has been pretty much everyday since I “caught my neighbor boys” walking through my backyard and gave them the “assignment” to help keep it closed. I actually saw them helping each other shut and latch it this morning on their way through. I love the fact that these two boys have taken the responsibility of keeping my gate locked so seriously. Makes me happy every time I see this:

closedfence

Second Kate Hansen. Kate came in 10th in the Olympic Luge event, but 1st in the hearts and minds of so many who have come to know her the past few days. Even Beyonce posted her photo on her Facebook page and wrote “Go Kate.” My favorite article on Kate was published in the LA Times, and included this awesome commentary:

“There’s nothing in the Olympic motto about winning. None of the five Olympic rings is gold. Sometimes it’s not about the speed of the sled, but the view from the sled, especially if it’s in the eyes of a 21-year-old Southern California kid riding atop a snow-covered sport on the other side of the world.

Sometimes, as Kate Hansen reminded everyone, it’s not about greatness you take from these Games, but the gratitude you leave behind.”

Kate Dancing

Thanks to Kate for the smiles and the genuine gratitude for it all and to my neighbor boys for minding my gate.

Life is good.
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Mission Accomplished: Fence Closed

For those of you following my fence story, I’m happy to report that it happened this morning at about 7:50 am. I was sitting in my truck, warming it up before I left for the airport to attend the Super Saturday tomorrow in Fresno and not one, but two of my neighbor boys came walking through my backyard.

They are brothers, and the youngest was in front, walking along without a care in the world. The older boy saw me about half way through the yard and stopped in his tracks – clearly worried that he was going to get in trouble.

I climbed out of my truck and yelled, “I’m so glad you two are walking through my yard.” That statement made the youngest smile, but the older boy had that look on his face that said, “but?”

I met them at the gate and said, “Listen, you two have a pass to walk through our yard whenever you want to, OK? But will you do me one favor? Will you shut the gate behind you so the deer won’t keep walking through it?” They were both with me now, though the oldest was a bit puzzled because he knew that the fence had been open all winter – I had vowed not to close it until I caught them. Once he figured out what I was asking, he shut it tightly and they were off. As I pulled out of the driveway, the youngest turned and said, “See you later, have a great day.”

I snapped a photo of the closed gate and drove off knowing I had just made a great trade: My gate will remain closed and my new friends will never worry as they make their way to and from school through my yard.

Mission accomplished!
fenceclosed

Cheering on Kate Hansen Today!

Kate Hansen

In June of 2010, our family moved to the beautiful little town of LaCanada, California. The day our furniture arrived, I came home from work to find boxes stacked every where, and my wife and kids on a couch in the center of it all in tears – they were not happy to have been uprooted from our home of 11 years in Bountiful, UT.

Later that week a bright, smiling, young woman somehow found her way to our home and everything changed. That summer, she befriended all three of my teenagers and took them on amazing adventures in the LA area. Kate led my son and two oldest daughters to Dodger games, to the Hollywood sign, to the rooftop of a local shopping center and to the beach (often). Kate has a larger than life personality that all of us Blakes warmed to, but by fall she was gone.

Turns out, that this Southern California surfer had somehow decided she wanted to be an Olympic Luge athlete. So, when the summer ended, she traded her surfboard for a sled and went off to cold weather climates to train and compete.

Her road has been long, and she missed the 2010 Olympics. She almost quit several times, but she didn’t. This fall, she was having the race of her career when she broke her foot – not a good thing for a sport that requires minor adjustments in your feet to steer. Despite her broken foot, she went on that day to a personal best and won the event and put herself on the map for the 2014 USA Olympic Team.

Today at 3:15 and then at 4:20 in Park City, UT, Kate Hansen will race to secure her spot on the USA Team and if all goes well will receive an official Olympic invitation in a press conference just after 6pm. My family will be there – my girls wouldn’t miss it.

In our prayers this morning, my four year old, who typically prayers for things that impact her (her cousin will be nice, her mom will take her to a fun place, etc.) asked her Heavenly Father to help “Kate win her race.” I believe God answers prayers, though I don’t think he is too involved in sports, but I do think He appreciates a woman like Kate Hansen – not so much as an athlete, but because of her ability to love and inspire others.

At Jewel Kade, we have determined that our mission is to “remind women everywhere of the power within.” Kate Hansen is a poster child of a woman who has discovered her personal inner power. Because of her discovery, Kate has helped other young women (my daughters included) discover a little something in them.

Here is hoping that Kate Hansen becomes an Olympian… and if an Olympic Medal will allow Kate to influence more young women, I hope she brings home Gold.

This afternoon, I’ll be in Park City, holding my 4 year old –whose name is also Kate–cheering Kate Hansen on to victory and hoping God answers a little girl’s prayer.

Kate Hansen wFamily

Let it Snow! I’m not afraid

This morning it finally arrived – SNOW!

Some of you know I moved from LA in July and may be surprised at my excitement for the white stuff. Well I’m not fully embracing the cold, and admit the winter may get old, but today I’m not only ready, I’m excited to welcome the white stuff.

Why?

For the past month or so, I’ve actually feared the snow. You see my driveway is looonnnnggggg (see photo below) and I had no equipment to remove snow from that driveway. I had been looking online, searching home improvement stores, trying to find the right equipment to allow me to clear the snow when it comes.

Finally, a week ago it all came together. I found a small snowplow for the front of my truck – perfect for a single driveway, and because I bought it used, it cost much less than the snow blowers I had been considering. Then, I found the perfect shovel on Bob Vila’s website and as of last Friday I had everything here and installed. That morning, my fear magically disappeared and was replaced by anticipation.

It’s funny; I actually went from being fearful of snow to wanting the snow to come. This morning I woke up early enough to play basketball with the guys in the neighborhood before the sun came up and there was no snow. When I came out of the gym, it was here: snow, beautiful, white, flaky snow.

On January 2, 1831, the Joseph Smith told a small gathering of believers gathered in Fayette, NY, something I now perfectly understand, “if (you) are prepared (you) shall not fear.”

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Plow. Check.
Shovel. Check.
Fear. Gone.

Snow.. Bring it on…

Get up and dance

How are you doing with your personal growth? Are you moving forward, plugging in, future focused or are you stuck on something that happened x days/months/years ago? Some of us record criticism and complaints in our minds and push “repeat” so that we hear it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again..

Fill your minds with hope, focus your eyes toward the future — lift them above the obstacles — not so that you don’t see them, but so that you can see how to get around them. You can reach your goals — but only if you set them and work toward them.

We must be the change..

For those of you stuck in the past, worried about the future, concerned about all that we have and must change to be the absolute best company in the world (not in direct selling alone) for women entrepreneurs, consider this quote from Alan Watts:

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Anyone want to dance?dance