Monday, December 31, 2012

Quote of the week...

To wrap this year up, I had to borrow this quote from my wonderful daughter's blog. You can fall in love with her here: The Secret Life of Bee.

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

--Hugh Mackay

 This year, 2012, has been...unexpected. This year has not turned out the way that I would have anticipated or hoped in many different aspects. Things have come out of the blue and demanded attention when I would have rather not have dealt with them. I am trying to get my feet back under me again, and to learn what God would have me learn from these experiences. Hence my loving this quote when I read it. I don't believe that God wants us to be happy so much as he wants us to have joy...and that is where the wholeness comes in. Love that. In all that does or does not happen to me and those around me, I am being made whole. I will refuse to give up on that and I will seek it through the darkest times.

My prayer for the new year is that we will all seek to be whole, whatever that may mean in our own lives.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A few of my favorite things...

I thought I 'd share some of my personal favorites from the photographs I took this year. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

This song has offered me great comfort over the last few weeks...I share it here for anyone else who may need it as much as I have.

God is Great.

Monday, November 26, 2012

quote of the week...

"I, with a deeper instinct, chose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."

---Anais Nin

Monday, November 12, 2012

quote of the week...

"You cannot change the winds...but you can adjust your sails."


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

quote of the week...

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

Sunday, October 28, 2012

quote of the week...

"There will never be another woman who owns the look, the personality, and the experience that you do. Those ingredients make up the recipe of who you are, and it's your gift from the Lord--own it."

---Candace Cameron Bure

Monday, October 22, 2012

quote of the week...

"When you say, 'I need more confidence,' what you're really saying is, 'I need those people over there to approve of me.' That is the desire to control other people and what they think."

--Augusten Burroughs

Monday, October 15, 2012

quote of the week...

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”
J.M. Barrie

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

how about no...

The other day at work our boss had lunch brought in for everyone from this great Chinese restaurant.

[pause for you to wish you worked where I work.]

I opened my fortune cookie and it said, "Life will bring you a grand and dashing adventure."

And I immediately thought, "That is really going to mess with watching my Top Chef marathons."

Monday, October 08, 2012

quote of the week...

"Our history can become our destiny and either compel us to repeat our errors or be the catalyst for change."


Friday, October 05, 2012

small and simple reminders...

This small and simple reminder is about how little things can mean so very much.

I belong to an online community that over the years has become a very special place to me. I have developed friendships that are lovely, and I have even gotten the chance to meet in person some of the terrific people that I have spoken to online. I was reading a magazine a few months back, and saw the name and town of one of those friends in the comments section, and immediately knew that she would appreciate having a copy and was out of the country and unlikely to find a copy of her own. So I sent it off with not much thought other than that I hoped she'd enjoy having it.

Some time after this, I received this beautiful little box in the mail from her, along with a generous and kind thank you note for my sending her the article. If it had only been that, it would still be a sweet little story...but there's more.

On the day that I came home to find this gift, I was heavy with the weight of the world. I was tired. I was worn out, body and soul. I had been trying very hard to keep myself together, all the while wishing that I could find the time and place to fall apart. I felt unequal to the tasks before me, and felt sure that there was nothing I could do about it. I had been praying that day in the car on the way home so very hard to feel an answer to my questions of  "Can I even do this? Am I making a mess of everything? Why do you think I can be the person that it requires to make a difference here?"

I walked into a house of chaos and clutter, just sure that I couldn't be a worse person if I tried, when I saw the envelope. As I opened it up and saw the exquisitely detailed box and read the letter from my far away friend, I felt love and relief wash over me. I burst into tears. I felt a still, small voice say inside my mind, "You are loved. You are noticed. You can do this. What you do matters, in ways you aren't able to see."

The most beautiful part of this is that I didn't deserve it. But this friend, I believe prompted by God, was generous. With her time. With her words. With her gratitude. And I believe that she was able to set into motion the circumstances whereby my Heavenly Father could, with her help, tell me something that I desperately needed to hear.

So now when I pass by this tiny box that sits on my book shelf, I think of that day. I think of my friend and all of the dear friends I have talked to and prayed for and that have talked to and prayed for me in our little online community. It is a small and simple reminder of how generous Heavenly Father is with His comfort and praise. It is a small and simple reminder that it is my turn. That to show my gratitude, I must now be generous and give to someone else. So that Heavenly Father can, with my help, tell another child of His what He knows they desperately need to hear.

I can't wait.

Monday, October 01, 2012

quote of the week...

"Trial is someone standing outside of yourself, trying to tell you something about you that is not true. And the real truth of all trial is to get still, silent, centered, and know for sure who you are and who you are not."

--Oprah Winfrey

Monday, September 24, 2012

quote of the week...

"As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs."
--Sam Abell

I snapped this while assisting my lovely daughter, Bri Lamkin, as she shot a wedding. I love that my daughter has a passion for photography. I love that I get to see the world the way that she sees it, when I look at her pictures.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harry Potter Party

After coming through the front door, which had been made to look like Platform 9 3/4, they went straight into Olivander's Wand Shop (the office) and after choosing their wands (which The Hubby cut from wooden decor sticks I found in the floral section of WalMart), the kids boarded the Hogwart's Express (which was in the front room.) The guests filled their favor bags from the trolley of candy and treats, and I printed out quotes from every Harry Potter book (from, mounted them on cardstock, and they got to choose their favorite one to take home. The dining room with party food and drinks was the Great Hall and we hung mini-led candles from fishing line. The family room was the Common Room, and contained spell books to study from, while the television played Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And finally, the back yard was the Quidditch Field (which thank goodness my adopted family plays every year at family reunions, so I just had to borrow theirs!)

We had loads of fun, and it really wasn't that much work as far as parties go!

Monday, September 17, 2012

quote of the week...

"Babies are such a nice way to start people."

---Don Herrold

In honor of my dear grand-niece, Elizabeth Rose, born on early Sunday. Welcome to the world, Ellie!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A moment of silence...

Because I finished the final Harry Potter book yesterday. Sssssshhhhh.

Let me let it sink in.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I found this list on my night table. I've thought about what her thought process must have been as she wrote it.
"So...I heard Mom and Dad say they need to go to the store. I should let them know what I would like them to get. Maybe they would buy me some cupcakes? Cupcakes aren't so big...they would probably go for cupcakes. ... If they'd go for cupcakes, then why not cake? Basically the same thing only bigger. And there is no way 1 cake is going to go far in this house...better ask for 3."
"They will probably go to Sam's. And you know what they have at Sam's? Trampolines. How hard would it be to just toss a tramp in the cart along with the cakes? And, the hot tubs are basically RIGHT THERE next to the trampolines...Mom and Dad would love a hot's really more for them, honestly..."
"Now, since I am going big here, I think I will put pool...but I need to be careful because Mom and Dad might not have the facts they need to make an informed purchase. I need to put 'huge'. If I don't put 'huge', let's just remember who we're talking about here...they could come home with anything. Some little dinky plastic thing with no room for me to swim underwater.
Yeah, huge. That ought to do it."

Monday, September 10, 2012

quote of the week...

"Heavenly Father's job is not to make us happy. Heavenly Father's job is to change us...and He only has a few short years to do it."

--Ron Bartholomew

Friday, September 07, 2012

a pretty place for functional things...

I love the trend to reuse old and found objects in new and fun ways. Next to distressed furniture, it is the kindest thing trendsetters ever did for moms. I have tried from time to time to do this in my own spaces, with mixed results. Sometimes I try stuff, and after a while it becomes clear that no matter how cute something is doesn't mean it's functional. Other times I look at something and think "I must have you" and then find a way to use it that lets me enjoy its unique and fun qualities while still having something that fills a purpose.

 I was recently at a little antique market, and spotted this lovely little thing. I instantly thought that it could go really well on our office desk, to hold pens and papers and glue. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it seem a bit cleaner and add a modern flair, but for $10 I knew I had to give it a try. I mean, look at those colors...she was made for me.

 So I cleaned it with some all purpose cleaner and paper towels, and then I dug through my shamelessly large stash of scrapbook paper and found a few that I thought looked cute with it. The best part is that when I get bored and tired of it, all I have to do is pick a different paper. I could certainly have used wallpaper or even fabric and hot glued it. I am so lazy that I didn't even adhere the paper...just slid it right into place. The bottom section fit so perfectly that I didn't even need to cut the paper...reason #547 that it. is. my. new. BFF.

 Then I filled her up with the ever present "stuff".
I love that the top drawers are narrow which will discourage me other people from loading them up with junk.

Here she is, all in place and ready to make me feel happy every time I look at her. I enjoy finding things that seem like "me" and using them in a way that I can actually USE them. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

quote of the week...

"Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic."

---Steven R. Covey

Thursday, August 30, 2012

back to school...

This year, I gave the young women I serve in our congregation this for their back to school thinking of you thingy ma jiggy. (it's a technical term. Ahem.)

 I kept it small and simple because, well, that is what I had time for this year. The most important thing to me remains actually going to see the girls, looking them in the eye and letting them know that they are loved and thought about. They walk every day into a minefield, and I want to be sure that they remember that there are people who are praying for them to fight that good fight and to be the young women that God intends for them to be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

quote of the week...

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself."

--Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about an experience I had last month while at Education Week. (a weekend where BYU-Idaho opens up the campus to people for 3 days and has hundreds of Continuing Education classes.)

We signed up for a Passover Dinner celebration with Victor Ludlow. He walked us through the entire evening and how the occasion has been celebrated for decades, adding in his own experiences of traveling to the Holy Lands, and sharing insights from his life long study of the Jewish culture and religion.

There were several things about that night that left a lasting impression on me, and one is a portion of the Passover called, "Dayenu." The reader (Ludlow, in this case) reads stanzas as the dinner guests respond, "Dayenu" each time, and then all the guests sing a song.

The word "Dayenu" means, "it would have been enough for us", "it would have been sufficient", or "it would have sufficed" (day in Hebrew is "enough", and enu means "to us"). The stanzas (there are 15)that the reader recites all refer to blessings that God gave the Jewish people, such as deliverance from Egypt. Some of the stanzas refer to the miracles that God gave them, and the dinner guests say, "Dayenu" after each one, like this:

If He had split the sea for us. (dayenu)
If He had led us through on dry land. (dayenu)
If He had drowned our oppressors. (dayenu)
If He had provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years. (dayenu)
If He had fed us manna. (dayenu)

I have pondered many time since that night the importance of feeling and recognizing "dayenu" or, for me, what God has done for me and my family that would have been "enough". I think too often, it is easy to think about what we have right now that might be lacking, and not remember all the good in our lives that has come before. Sometimes, I forget all the miracles that have happened in my life...instead I stand and wait impatiently for the next one.

So since that night, I have tried to say my own version of "dayenu" when I feel prompted or pulled to do so. It sounds different every time, and each time I have done it, I feel a swell of gratitude and a surge of perspective. I see in a tender and fresh way that God has indeed been good to me. Here is what one I say might sound like:

If He had given me my body and soul, dayenu.
If He had given me a good husband, dayenu.
If He had kept us both healthy and safe, dayenu.
If He had given us just 1 child, dayenu.
If He had healed my heart of just one wound, dayenu.
If He had given me 1 person to learn from, dayenu.

What I love most about this meditation/prayer/thought process is the unspoken afterthought of, "but He didn't just do that. He gave me more. Much more."

I hope that this little lesson I learned can be of value to someone out there who reads it, and that you can find a way to see what God has done for you that would have been "enough", and even more importantly, how much He gave you after that.

And if you feel for just a moment the love that He has for you, then...dayenu.

Monday, August 13, 2012

quote of the week...

"In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order."

--Will Durant

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I had to make this...

If you love all of these floating around blogs and Pinterest and Facebook, you should know that you can make your own! Just go to It's super fast and easy.

Monday, August 06, 2012

quote of the week...

"As soon as a man begins to speak negatively about another, I forget every other thing he's ever said."

--Abraham Lincoln

I can't say it enough. What we choose to say about others reveals so much about our character. Gossip, passing along bad stories, judging, whatever you want to call is toxic. It is like a cancer. You cannot feel the love of Christ and then speak hatefully about your neighbor. It is such a habit in our culture to enjoy and even celebrate tearing others down and constantly talk about people's faults. But any temporary charge we get out of feeling "better than" someone else will turn to ashes in our mouths. I love the scripture, "our works will condemn us, Yea: our words will condemn us." I believe that is true. Whether spoken to others or just around our homes where we think it's "safe" day our words, if not chosen carefully, will condemn us.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

a few thoughts on having a blog, and why I owe all men an apology...

Yesterday I was having a text conversation with a dear friend, and she wrote, "Are you going to blog about Education Week?"

To which I replied, "Wait. I have a blog??"


I already know that what I am about to say isn't going to come out the way that I want it to, and I will end up wishing I were someone who could write more clearly the feelings and thoughts I have been having...but I am going to say what I want to in my own meager way.

A few months ago, I started working outside the home. At first it seemed like it would be just a more part time kind of thing, 4 or 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. It has since developed into a 6 to 7 hours a day, 4 days a week kind of thing. I am loving it, it is the right job at the right time. I am blessed.

However. I have noticed that I have not even remotely been able to keep up with many things that I spent hours on before. I do the best that I can, but my best is honestly pathetic right now. I am learning how to plan and schedule but SO much is done last minute, and I have to let go of lots of good things that are just not good enough right now for me to spend time and energy on.

I was considering how hard it is to juggle it all, and I found myself feeling more than a small pang of guilt over the times when I looked at the men in my life: at church, in the neighborhood, and sadly, in my own home, and thought that their efforts were lacking.

I am embarrassed by the times that I thought, "Geesh, how hard is it to email about something?" or "I wonder if the lawn is EVER going to get mowed...I've only mentioned it 12 times." or "We always have to pick up the slack for the men and make sure stuff gets done."

I am exhausted at the end of my work day, and I don't even work full time. What energy I have left I give to my sweet family, because that is as it should be. I find myself on the drive home, gearing up to forget how tired I am and how much I still want and need to do, and I focus on how I can help my children and my husband and my church. I realize now that my husband has done this for 25 years...and overall, I never gave it a thought. I just expected it.

I have always (I hope) been an appreciative wife and a loyal friend to the men in my life...but I can't honestly say that I really ever put myself in their shoes.

So let me say this to the good men I know:

I am sorry. For thinking you had to do more, and that you didn't care as much as I thought you needed to care about certain things. I am sorry for my lack of patience when you didn't do things in the time frame I thought they should be done, or the way I would have done them.

And thank you. Thank you for leaving your homes every day and working to provide for your families. Many of you work at jobs that in a million years I could never work, and you do it day in and day out because you believe in what you do and in who you do it for. Thank you for coming home and listening to the children and women in your lives when they need your love and attention, even when you are tired and worn down with the weight of the world. And thank you for taking on the honey do lists and church responsibilities when you really just want to sleep or watch TV for a bit.

So, as The Hubby's Grandma Peg would say, "That's it." That is all I wanted to say. I wish I could have said it better.

And , yes, I will blog about Education Week. Sometime. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

quote of the week...

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

~Orison Swett Marden

Monday, June 04, 2012

quote of the week...

 "You never know how much you really believe anything, until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to tie a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? . . . Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief."

---C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day...

They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore:
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls—
But still their Spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world at last to Freedom.

--LORD BYRON, Marino Faliero

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

quote of the week...

"I am ready for whatever is coming. I am a servant of the Lord and whatever He has in store for me is for my benefit."

--our son, Spencer

Monday, April 30, 2012

quote of the week...

"Hurrah for Israel! Hurrah for Israel! Hurrah for Israel!"

I know that most people who read this blog know the significance of this exclamation, but I feel strongly that I should share it and talk about it today.

This is the soft shout that we gave our son as he left for his 2 year mission for our church. I wanted to share the story about where this particular saying comes from.


(From the book, Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints)

The Prophet called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to go to England on missions. Elder Orson Hyde, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, was sent to Jerusalem to dedicate Palestine for the gathering of the Jewish people and other children of Abraham. Missionaries were sent to preach throughout the United States and eastern Canada, and Addison Pratt and others received calls to go to the Pacific Islands.

These brethren made great sacrifices as they left their homes and families to respond to their calls to serve the Lord. Many members of the Twelve were struck with the ague as they prepared to depart for England. Wilford Woodruff, who was very ill, left his wife, Phoebe, almost without food and the necessities of life. George A. Smith, the youngest Apostle, was so sick that he had to be carried to the wagon, and a man who saw him asked the driver if they had been robbing the graveyard. Only Parley P. Pratt, who took his wife and children with him, his brother Orson Pratt, and John Taylor were free from disease as they left Nauvoo, although Elder Taylor later became terribly ill and almost died as they traveled to New York City.
Brigham Young was so ill that he was unable to walk even a short distance without assistance, and his companion, Heber C. Kimball, was no better. Their wives and families, too, lay suffering. When the Apostles reached the crest of a hill a short distance from their homes, both lying in a wagon, they felt as though they could not endure leaving their families in so pitiful a condition. At Heber’s suggestion, they struggled to their feet, waved their hats over their heads, and shouted three times, “Hurrah, Hurrah, for Israel.” Their wives, Mary Ann and Vilate, gained strength enough to stand and, leaning against the door frame, they cried out, “Good-bye, God bless you.” The two men returned to their wagon beds with a spirit of joy and satisfaction at seeing their wives standing instead of lying sick in bed.


So now when I hear this shout, I think of every missionary that has ever left the loving arms of their family to go and share the Gospel. I think of every family member who watched them leave. I think of the strength and faith that it took to do that, and I used to wonder if I would have that strength and faith myself. Now I know that I do. We have that strength and faith because we know that it is our charge to share what we know.

So when I use the expression, "Hurrah for Israel!" just know that I am saying, "This is God's work! It hurts to have him gone, but this is one of the most important things he will ever do! God is good, and merciful, and I put my son in His unwavering and perfect hands. All is well!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

quote of the week...

"Complaining is not thinking. Ridiculing is not reasoning. Accountability is not for the intention but for the deed. No person is proud simply of what he or she intends to do."

 --Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a little thanks...

I serve with the best people. And they worked SO hard on our recent fundraiser that I wanted to do a little something as a thank you. I gathered up relaxing back salts, stress relieving lotion, and some yummy mints and chocolate. Catch the theme? These ladies needed a break after all their hard work and effort!

I printed out these cute "one in a million" cards as photos, and then backed them with posterboard and attached a ribbon.

Here's one all done. Turned out well!

I wish I had a better way to express how much I love and appreciate the women I serve with! They truly ARE one in a million. I am SO lucky and happy to get the chance to associate with them. This little something will have to do!

Monday, April 16, 2012

quote of the week...

"Life is filled with pieces of joy. Life is challenging, hard, and full of heartache and anguish caused by our sins and the sins of others. But as long as we seek to follow Christ, we will be given pieces of joy, and these pieces of joy will be sufficient to carry us through our darker times."

---Betsy Chatlin, Finding Peace

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

happy anniversary, bri and jordan!

Our sweet daughter and her wonderful husband started their journey to forever 2 years ago today. I wanted to post one of my favorite quotes on marriage in their honor:

"Marriage hath in it less of beauty but more of safety ... it hath more care, but less danger, it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful."

--Bishop Jeremy Taylor

Here's to 100 more annniversaries, dear kids, all filled with love and happiness.

Monday, April 09, 2012

quote of the week...

"Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time."

Thomas S. Monson

Monday, April 02, 2012

quote of the week...

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world."

--Wayne Dyer

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reasons #672 and #673 why my husband is perfect for me...

I am driving kids to and fro (where is 'fro' anyway?) and that song "I'm Sexy and I Know It" comes on the radio.

Me: "This song is SO annoying. I can't stand this song."

My 14 year old: "Dad loves this song."

My 12 year old: "Yeah, he says it's his theme song."

Of course he does.


actual text conversation between The Hubby and I:

Hubby: Did you have an idea of what's for dinner?
Me: Yeah. Like I would ever actually KNOW that.
Hubby: Hey, a guy can dream.
Me: It's cute how you keep hoping.
Hubby: Isn't it?

Monday, March 26, 2012

quote of the week...

"By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach."

--Winston Churchill

Friday, March 23, 2012

a few random thoughts on a Friday night...

It's been a tough day. The good thing about having a tough day is knowing that it will end. That, and knowing that you can get through a tough day and it will be okay.

Heavenly Father sure does love us. I have been witness to His love and to His gentle way of blessing us even while allowing us to go through the difficult times of life. He won't take all the difficulty from us, because He knows it's what will teach and refine us, but he'll soften the blows so that we know we are not alone and can feel His love. I feel it.

Turns out, the Harry Potter books are quite good.

I miss Spencer. Just like trying to explain to a person who has never given birth what it feels like, I can't really describe what it feels like to send a child on a mission. If you've done it, you understand. It's wonderful, difficult, satisfying, gut wrenching, tender, faith building and faith shaking--all at the same time. It is one of my favorite words: bittersweet.

Friends are such a gift. It is just so good for your soul to spend time with people who know you well. Someone who you have inside jokes with, someone who remembers the embarrassing stuff you did when you were young, who knows what you looked like with braces. A night of laughter with friends can lift and strengthen and comfort.We are lucky, lucky, lucky to have friends to do that with.

Prayer changes things. I promise. Most importantly, prayer changes us--which is pretty much the point.

There are moments when we can be doing something that seems really simple, really small, and there will come the thought that what we are doing is NOT small but instead is actually really, really important and really, really matters. I love moments like that. I need to notice them more.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

this is why I love them...

Part of a conversation with one of my young women who has just been diagnosed with a chronic disease:

Me: "I am just glad that you keep your sweet smile and good humor through it all."

AYW (awesome young woman): "Well, thank you. Besides my smarts, charm, and good looks it's really the only thing going for me."

Seriously? I have the best calling.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

quote of the week...

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”

― Steve Maraboli

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More Marin-isms

Connor: "I need some lined paper."
Marin: "Oh! I have a Constipation Notebook that I never use! You can have the paper in that!"

We are talking about presidents at the dinner table. Somebody brings up JFK, and the fact that he was assassinated.

Marin: "There is just so much tragedy in the world. The Twin Towers fell; President Kennedy gets assassinated; the book fair closed early..."

The older kids tell Dad and Mom that the door on the downstairs armoire is completely broken.

Marin: "Yeah, that was me. I was sitting on the door, and then I remembered that I shouldn't be sitting on doors, so I was getting down, and right about then--it broke."

Monday, March 12, 2012


This song happens to be my theme song for this year. I love to run to it. LOVE. And I love to listen to it to be reminded of the waste of sitting around and worrying about whatever it is I am worrying about.

Friday, March 09, 2012

quote of the week...

"And even if someone else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad."

--unknown, found on a comment on 'Give Me The Simple Life' blog

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book Review, 2011

I read 25 books in 2011. 2 were re-reads.
5 were autobiographical.
4 were non-fiction.
16 were fiction.

Apparently I needed a lot of escape this year, because I was way heavier on fiction than I normally am. This was a good year for me as far as finding a lot of books I really enjoyed. Normally, when I look back over my list for the year, there are only 1 or 2 that really stand out and that I say, "Oh, yeah, I really loved that one." This year, there are at least a handful that I not only liked, but would read again.

Picking my favorite is tough, because in a year where I read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and The Help and was introduced to Anne Perry for the first time?? It's really difficult to decide.

I have to go with Encompassing Charity, however, because it completely broadened and expanded my understanding and now sits in a short stack of books that I refer to as my "life textbooks." There are a few books that have so overwhelmingly and profoundly taught me things that change who I am and how I feel about core principles, that I mark them to death with highlighters and scribble in the margins as I consider how what is written fits into and expands what I already know, and they become books that I go back to again and again. Encompassing Charity has become one of these books for me.

For my least favorite, I'll say Bossypants. It has gotten such buzz and I love Tina Fey, but I wasn't thrilled with it. There was a chapter or two that were really good, but a lot of it was dismissive and snarky--and not in a good way. I love snark and sarcasm when it's done well, I just didn't feel like this was.  It didn't help that I read 2 Nora Ephron books, one before Bossypants and one after, because Tina really suffers by comparison. Nora is a genius at the New York humor. I still love Tina, she's just no Nora Ephron.

So, what are you going to read this year?

On my "to read" list:

The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the Harry Potter series

Monday, February 20, 2012

quote of the week...

"We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger." 

~Tad Williams

Thursday, February 09, 2012

quote of the week...

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

--Elizabeth Stone

I am feeling this one a lot at the moment. I have a piece of my heart in Tomball, Texas...and now another piece in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Not to mention bits and pieces scattered around town at middle and elementary schools during the day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

quote of the week...

"Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim."

--Dory, Finding Nemo

Monday, January 23, 2012

quote of the week...

"It is our choices that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities."

--Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

My children have been after me for years to read these books...and I may, now that I have read this quote.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

car conversations...

Marin: You are SO pretty, Momma. You are just beautiful....You should be a super model, because you are so pretty....You should! But you probably can't be a supermodel, Momma....because you are so busy...because you are a mom, and a young women's president, and you work. probably can't be a supermodel.

Me: Yes, Marin. THAT is why I can't be a supermodel. Lack of time.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Quote of the week...

"A year from now you will wish you had started today."

---Karen Lamb