Sunday, April 30, 2017


We're moving.  If I think about it too much right now I might cry.  I'm leaving behind so many good friends and of course family.  I have truly loved Texas with all of my heart.  It has taught me so much and I'm not sure I'm ready to let it go.  It has become home.  If this isn't home...I'm not sure where home is.  I'm excited about this new chapter in our lives but I know it's going to bring a lot of change and starting over for all of us...which is never easy. It's a good thing that I have Paul and Audrey.  I'm not sure I would feel at home anywhere without them. 
I wanted to thoroughly document our life here and this home.  I'm going to miss it so much!  I thought about taking pictures in every room of the house before we leave.  It was going to be my picture project before we leave.  I hope I have time.  There are so many loose ends to wrap up before moving, along with teaching a choir class and being my community photographer.  You tell everyone you're moving and suddenly everyone wants a family photo session. I've really enjoyed learning so much but it has been a little overwhelming.
  So here's our backyard.  It's not much but we've spent countless hours out here enjoying the sun, running in the sprinklers, star gazing (in the winter you can see the entire Orion constellation, which is currently Audrey's favorite).  We've chased poppy around, picked lemons and drank lemonade, played soccer, chased each other, watched clouds, made mini fires, bird watched, and slid down this small slide countless times.  It's been our space and home.  I'll miss the memories it holds.  The only thing I won't miss is the weed we call grass here. :) 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coming Unto Him

At times in my life I have felt like my prayers have gone unanswered.  It seems like it happens the most when it's about something that's really important to me.  
I feel like I'm only just barely starting to understand why.  Today our bishop's wife gave a talk about Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  She said when answers to her prayers didn't come she felt like the Savior was expecting her to seek him.  It was then that she had to work her hardest to come unto him.    As she spoke memories and experiences flooded through my mind.  I have felt the same call from the Savior to come unto painful as it has been sometimes. This verse of scripture comes to mind, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
I've come to realize that it's always been my will against his, what I think my purpose is vs. what He has in mind for me.  I've tried to understand His will, but still secretly hoped that his will was what I wanted.  
In the last few months he has answered countless prayers and has given me endless peace despite the storm that seems to rage around me.  I feel like Peter.  It's been his hand that has been there to catch me in my time of need.  It was as if receiving answers to these prayers meant that he was still there.  He was still watching.  He was just quietly teaching me, beckoning me. It's only now that I recognize that his purpose for me maybe different than what I had envisioned...and that's OKAY.  I may not always receive answers and that doesn't mean that he has left me alone.  It only means that he is expecting me to come unto him.     

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Raw Truth Exposed

I told myself a lot of lies today.  I’ve gotten really good at that over the years.  “I’m not good enough, I will never be successful in music or anything else, and I’m not a good Mom.   “I don’t have enough faith, I doubt too much, and why did I volunteer to do that when I know I’m not going to do it as well as someone else.” 
This quote by Theodore Roosevelt rings so true to me, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  It’s so hard for me to watch my friends kids play with each other and know that Audrey is missing that.  I feel so much grief when I see joy in the eyes of a new Mother.  It was hard for me today in my church meetings when the woman leading the discussion said, “Let’s all introduce ourselves; start by saying your name and something you like to do.”  She starts with her name, how many kids she has, and that she likes to teach tennis.  Every woman following her lists the same three things.  With every person that passes my chest gets tighter and tighter and I can hardly breathe out that I only have one by the time it gets to me.  I know I’m comparing.  I know that it’s all in my head; the women around the room are not thinking about how terrible of a person I am because I only have one child.
It hurts when Audrey brings me her picture of the day.  Most of the time it includes four things: Me, Paul, Audrey, and baby sister.  Why Baby sister?  I usually tell her how beautiful it is.  I never let go of the hurt in front of her.  How could I ever take away her faith? 
There’s a point to this I promise.  I’ve been doing fertility treatments lately….now the whole world knows.  J  Well I was at the end of my cycle and I took a pregnancy test which came up with a blank result.  Apparently that’s a thing.  I felt like the world was against me.  Why?  So I decided to wait to take another one, Paul convinced me that if I waited one more day it would be more accurate. 
The whole afternoon I’m angry, and that’s when the lies start.  “He’s never going to bless you with this because you don’t have enough faith!  You haven’t done all you can do! You forgot to read your scriptures yesterday.   Do you think he’s going to bless someone like you?”  Then what followed will be burned into my mind forever.  I had a thought that just appeared in my mind like someone had neatly placed it there just for me, a thought that I not only heard in my mind but also in my heart.   It was as if he said to me, “I am a loving God.” 
This was truth.  A loving God would never want me to believe these lies.  A loving God would tell me, “Hold on a little while longer, there is something beautiful up ahead.  It may not be what you had in mind but there are blessings coming.”  He would tell me to hold tight to the little girl in my life because she is precious and his plan for her included waiting.  He would tell me that my worries sometimes get the best of me and that she is going to grow up beautifully.  He would tell me that He loves me, He loves Paul, and He loves Audrey and that his love is in the details of our lives even though we may not see it all the time.   
This morning I took a pregnancy test and it was negative.  Somehow, even though I was sad, I wasn’t broken hearted.  There was peace surrounding the grief of not being able to have that baby sister now. 
I know that everyone struggles with something.  You might be crazy if you go around thinking that there are people out there without hurt.  I think it’s amazing that Heavenly Father knows us so perfectly that he could put things in our path that would try us in just the right ways to bring us to Christ, to humble us, and to help us to grow in ways we’d never imagined. 

I’m a different person than I was just a few years ago and I’m grateful for that.  I’m grateful I know His love and that I’ve found peace through the Atonement.  So if you’re struggling know that you’re not alone. Remember that “comparison is the thief of joy”.   Keep your chin up!  He loves you!      
And while I'm at it I'll throw in a little Audrey love.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Zoo Trip

At some point around the holidays we always go to the zoo.  I can't believe it's been a year already!  The best weather is in December.  This particular day was surprisingly chilly, even though the days leading up to it felt like summer. The weather doesn't know what it wants to do this year.  
This time we started and the birds.  We've never looked at them because the Zoo is pretty big and they are our least favorite thing to see, so they usually get left out.  This time I'm glad we did.  There were some pretty cool birds and amidst it all I got to see a blue jay walking around on the ground.  I've never seen one up so close.  It was beautiful. 
We also got to see a few more monkeys this time.  One of the babies had a lame foot and we had a good conversation with Audrey about disabilities. Although, it didn't seem much like a disability to me...he did let it stop him from climbing around just like all the others.     
After seeing a few more of our favorite things we headed out to take a ride on the train.  It was almost as good as the polar express.  I think we'll do it again.
Here's to another green Christmas in Texas.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I never thought it would happen.  I guess it took Audrey growing up and then constantly asking me for a baby sister.  The questions were endless.  The one that broke my heart the most is when she asked if one of our friends had prayed as long as we have for a baby.  I know it's hard for her to understand all the forces at play here.  I keep telling her that Heavenly Father is making her a really special baby and that's why it's taking so long.  
There's a life lesson in this experience for her too.  God always answers our prayers, sometimes it's not exactly how we imagined, or sometimes the answer comes after a lot of patience.  She's learning to be a very patient little girl.  
I'd talked with Paul off and on about getting a dog.  I knew that it was something that he didn't want, but I also knew that it would be a good thing for Audrey.  I knew it would help her to learn things that she had not yet learned because she has no siblings.  I knew that it would be a great source of friendship and comfort for her after loosing Giselle.  
In all honesty Paul agreed to get a dog a long time ago.   He told me that I could get one whenever I was ready.  I had been looking on and off but nothing had felt right and I wasn't in a hurry because I knew it was something that Paul wasn't that excited about. 
Then this girl and her sisters came across the facebook pet page, I jumped at the chance to meet them.  By the time we arrived there were only two little black ones left.  I had read a little about choosing a puppy and Poppy was exactly what I was looking for.  She is such a sweet puppy.  She loves people so much that sometimes that interferes with her reasoning skills but we love her.  She can always be found at our feet, she loves to beg with those puppy dog eyes, she loves to play and has a lot of energy.  I'm working like crazy to get her trained to be the perfect dog and so far she seems to be doing really well.  I won't say it has been without tears in clothing from jumping, war wounds from puppy nibbling, and holes in my back yard.  She's was determined to find China any time she found fresh dirt.  It's like it calls to her.  I finally found a way to rid her of the habit when I started mixing her poop with the dirt I put back in the hole.  :)  Now she doesn't want to go near the dirt.
All in all it has been so good for Audrey and I like having someone extra to love and hangout with in the middle of the night.  
Oh....and I can't leave out this little gem.  I have taught Poppy to do her business on a certain part of the lawn.  Audrey came in from the back yard screaming one day, "Poppy's playing in the poop sector Mom!"  I just about fell over because I was laughing so hard.  "The poop sector", where does she get this stuff.  

Monday, December 26, 2016

Park and a New Tool

On our last day with the out of town cousins we went to a park that Rod and Anne were going to take us to earlier but it was too cold.  We had a warm afternoon and nothing planned so we hit the park.  I kind of wish something like this existed in Texas.  So many kids, cool swings, a teeter totter, zip-lines, a carousel, kids posing, cheesy smiles, jumping, running, laughing, and arm hurting.  I still feel bad about that. 
Then there's the pictures way down at the bottom.  Paul built something for himself with his Dad, from odds and ends in his Dad's garage.  He built a hot wire that cuts foam. I was pretty impressed. It was also awfully romantic that he cut my name out with it.  I had to thoroughly document their awesomeness.   So if you find yourself wanting to cut foam, let me know....I'm pretty sure I can hook you up.  :)  
Speaking of Paul's parents.  I am the loser that didn't pull my camera out at their house this visit.  We had and amazing 2nd Thanksgiving dinner with them, built cool stuff, went out to eat, colored, talked, pet Hamilton, exchanged dog training tips, took pictures of Grant and Nicole, saw Paul's Grandma, read books, roasted hot dogs on the fire, thoroughly admired their work on their driveway, and went shooting.  It was so good to see family this year.  We're looking forward to seeing Rod and Anne again.  This time their will be more photos.