Friday, October 28, 2011


"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is a place where we tear off the mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule."

Fredrick W. Robertson

Is our home like this?  Is it a sanctuary from the world for ourselves, and our families?  What is wrong in your life, attitude or actions that keep your home from being that place where you can be safe, where you can find peace, where you can be yourself.
I had to change a lot of things about my life to get to that point, and being good is not easy, and it can sometimes be lonely, but I promise you that it is worth it.  I am finding happiness that I never knew that I could.  It takes making those hard choices though to find that happiness. However, I have found more freedom from the binding lifestyle that pleased every false friend, but not me.  I had to remove those negative influences from my life, but I do not regret it.
What can you do today that will help you find your happiness?  It is a personal decision, and it is not easy to admit those things that we do that might not be the best thing for us.  It is up to you to figure out what that means.  I did it though, and it took me a long time, but I really, truly don't regret it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I miss my roses...

For mother's day every year, instead of just a bunch of cut flowers that will only last a short time, my family started to pick out a rose bush.  They planted each one for me in our yard.  This had become a treasured tradition.  I Love them, as does my mother and my grandmother.  I can't think of anything that made me happier, except the love of my husband and children.  Watching my children grow and bloom.  Watching my relationship struggle to stretch and grow in all those ways that we do.  I dream of an English garden, in keeping with my hearts desires, and my heritage.  I have found though that the plants here in the dessert are just as beautiful.  You never know until you experience something for yourself, how wonderful it can be.  I always say, "God has a wonderful imagination."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have struggled with my weight ever since I began to have children.  I would like to blame it on them, but cannot honestly do that.  I was caught up in the, "mom syndrome".  The syndrome we seem to get, which causes us to loose all sight of ourselves.  The one where we neglect ourselves to the detriment of everything we need as individuals.  It is the same syndrome that causes mother's to wear clothes that are too big, too old, too plain, too frumpy, and most likely in the sweat and t-shirt category  It is sad, but true and I believe that it is an epidemic.
Well, since I am no longer having children, but am now raising them.  I am finding that I do have time and a desperate need to take care of myself.  It is incredible that I allowed myself to slip to such depths of depression, when my children brought me so much joy.
My solution has been, develop my talents, socialize occasionally, and realize my roll in my own care, or lack there of.  I don't move as much as I should, but I can control what I eat, and how much, and when I eat.  Developing my talents has not only distracted me, but made me begin to feel good about myself.  My family moved, to get more sunshine, more room, and an interesting change of scenery.  We also started to change those things that were toxic in our lives.  Like removing negative things and people from our lives.
Is it easy?  No.  Is it necessary?  For me it was.
I guess I would say, find out what works for you.
One beautiful side effect for me is getting closer to my husband, finding myself, enjoying my children more, and loving life more than I have in a very long time.  The other thing I was happy about, was that I lost almost 32 lbs.  Since all I made these changes.    I also developed a love, appreciation, and growth in my faith.  That has made everything in my life better too.  I realized that I am not alone, and God does want me to be happy, and I am beginning to be happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Atonement Covers All Pain

I have been asked to give a talk on this subject and I was given a talk from Kent F. Richards, that he gave during "General Conference" as a reference.  General Conference is a world wide meeting for members of my church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"  or you might know us by our nickname, "Mormons".
I love this talk and it can be accessed on

In one part he quotes Elder Robert D. Hales,
"Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder... I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance.
Elder Richards then says, "The Savior is not a silent observer.  He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face.  He suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children".

Being someone who deals with chronic pain and illness, I have come to believe that this is very true.  Through the conditions I have, which are many and include back and hip pain, muscle and joint pain and fatigue, female issues and others like migraines, etc... I have learned that there is purpose in my suffering.  When the doctors have done all they could do, and when every medicine and therapy has been tried, I had to learn to turn to the only place that I could.  I had to turn to God.  I started to feel his comforting, a renewal of my strength, which although it did not end my suffering, gave me what I needed to endure and survive while at the same time giving me back some of the joys that pain had taken away.  Even the simple things of being out of bed, to spend time with my family.  Those moments are precious to me.
I now understand that Christ suffered in Gethsemane to be able to better judge, empathize, and understand what I am going through and coming to him in prayer about.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, and I was not always so faithful, or patient.  I was not always so willing to put my trust in ANYONE.  Until life threw me a curve, I did not understand God's love for me.
I understand now that he has a plan, and it is to help us to find happiness, no matter what comes.  All we need to do is ask.
I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.  This is my personal experience and growth.  We are all at different levels of readiness and understanding.  I just want to share my point of view.  I want to make you as a reader open your mind to a possibly "new" way to look at your situation.  That is my purpose.
I. with my whole heart, believe that my problems are never worse than someone else's, because we all have our own personal limit.  What I may see as easy, may be very difficult for someone else.  What may be very difficult for me, may be nothing for someone else.  We are all different, and unique, but we can all have compassion, and understanding, and support one another.
Thanks for listening (reading) this.  Sincerely,

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Powerful Quote

"Anger builds nothing, but destroys everything."
by Thomas S. Monson

It does not have to be fancy to be special

A Capsule Course in Human Relations

The five most important words are these:
"I am proud of you."
The four most important words are these:
"What is your opinion?"
The three most important words are:
"If you please."
The two most important words are these:
"Thank You."
The most important word is this':
The least important word is this:

by Robert Woodruff
From "The Missionaries Little Book of Inspirational Stories"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Modesty and Self-Esteem

Just another note about how we treat ourselves.  If you are lonely or attracting the wrong sort of people in your life. (especially men) Consider this saying,  "Being immodest is like covering yourself in mud, the only thing you will attract is pigs."
Being modest is not lame or limiting.  I have ridden on both sides of the tracks.  I looked for all the wrong attention, because it felt better than being ignored.  It felt good to feel pretty, until I had to deal with the pigs, the ones who did not want me around for anything in my mind or heart.  When I started to take care of myself, dress in a way that made me feel pretty and like I had more to me than just body parts, I found myself and people around me treating me like I was a real, and worth while person.  It goes back to taking care of ourselves.  You don't have to do anything for anyone, if it makes you feel like all you are is a piece of meat.
We as women, make the world go round, but how often do we give ourselves credit for that, or believe that we can make a difference. We are daughters of a supreme being who loves us, believes in us, and knows our great potential.  How would you feel if really understood how He sees us.  How would we grieve for the lost little girl and the woman we could have been . We are the only ones who limit ourselves.  How you treat yourself will determine the kind of life you have.  The choices we make, ALWAYS have consequences.  Not all of them are for our benefit.  If you decide today that you want better for yourself, you only have to take a step. on that path.  We decide our fate, by deciding that we are worth fighting for.  We all have things in our lives that we cannot control, like the actions of others, but what we can control, but we can control the choices we make.  That is where we can change our lives for the better.
One man can make a difference, but a woman can change the world.

Just thinking out loud today

I had a really nice day at church today.  Hearing the testimonies of others is always special.  It is nice to learn who needs your prayers too.    I liked learning about the Epistle of Hebrews and the signs of the times.
I really believe that education is the fastest way to good self esteem.  You can never underestimate the power and strength you can get from learning and growing as an individual.  I don't think that we, as moms, take care of ourselves enough.  I think that we do not take our role as women seriously.  We can change the world, if we all supported each other, and took care of ourselves.
How can we take care of anyone if we are burned out, spent, frustrated, full of regret, or ignorant to the better ways of living.
I believe that doing what is right, living a good and honest life, and living a life full of growth and true happiness, is much better than living a life trapped by addiction, sorrow and depression, temptations, living for others and never being happy or satisfied with yourself.
I have never been very confident and to be honest, for a long time, I gave up everything I was and everything that was good about me to fit in.  Do you have any idea where it got me?
I was ashamed, disgusted in myself, trapped in a pattern that I could not understand or get out of.  I was so sad, and I did not think I was worthy to take another breath.  I did not want to live.
It has taken me 37 years and a lot of experience, good and bad, to begin to see that I have purpose. However, we all have purpose.
Fear and insecurity can rob us of anything that may be worth living for.  Women have fought for every freedom, right, and ounce of respect that we deserved, but some of us throw ourselves to the wolves, because we don't feel like we deserve any better.
Everyone knows someone who does not believe in themselves, or have given up, and it sorrows me to my core.  I was there, and sometimes I am again.  If you are living a life that makes you sad, makes you feel like you want to give up, or even have, then you need to take a step back.  You need to reevaluate your situation and make those hard choices.  I don't have friends in my life, because I decided that the ones I had, did not care about me because they sincerely cared about me.  You have to decide, what and who are toxic to you.  That is the hardest thing to do.
Being honest with yourself is not easy, in fact is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do.  Someone  once said, "Being good can be very lonely."  We all want to fit in.  We all want to feel attractive, wanted, cared for, but at what cost does it come to you?
I would rather be alone, that go back to the way life was for me.  I was miserable, self destructive, angry, sad, and I had given up.
Now, I am happy (most of the time), I am laughing sincerely again (something that was not always real).  I am enjoying things that I never dreamed I would again.  I have a beautiful family who loves me.  Confidence I never had before.  I feel smarter (something I never believed that I was.)  I am developing talents that I never thought I would be able to do.  I am in love with my husband.  I am in love with my children, and best of all, I am beginning to love myself.
Life is not easy, but there is purpose to us and everyone we meet.  Sometimes we just have to look for it, and it is not always easy to find.  When you find it it will make you smile.

There is a quote I like from the book I obviously read a lot.  It says, "Rise to the great potential within you.  I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity.  I hope that you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure.  I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know how.  If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass."  
"One bright and Shining- Hope Messages for women, from Gordon B. Hinckley."

Don't give up, whatever situation you are in.  If I can overcome the trials of my life, so can you.  Nothing is so impossible, because if you are here and you are alive, God is giving you a chance to make your life right.  Hang in there , and if you know someone who is struggling, consider for a moment what you can do to uplift them, even if that means just listening, and being a friend.  You never know what a little love and comfort can do.
Thanks for your time.  I'm just a simple girl, but I have a deep ocean of a heart.  I hope this helps someone. Sincerely.

Friday, October 7, 2011


"Give thanks for yesterday, feel the excitement of tomorrow, and remember that the beauty of today matters more than all the 'what ifs' in life.  On this day, celebrate the moment and the incredible beauty your life is made of."

A gift card for my daughter from her friend.
Flavia, Toscana The Weedn Family Trust

Quote from one of my favorite books.

"The gospel is a thing of joy.  It provides us with a reason for gladness.  Of course there are times of sorrow.  Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety.  We all worry.  But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice."

"One bright and Shining Hope: Messages for Women" from Gordon B. Hinckley

A Difficult Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of my son's death.  He passed away 15 years ago.  Hard to believe it has been so long, and still, most days feels so fresh.  Anthony was my first born and would have been nineteen this December.  I don't feel old enough to have a child that age.  It is crazy to me.
Anthony was such a sweet loving little boy.  An angel on earth really.  He had a lot of physical limitations, but his heart was as big as the great out doors.  He had big blue eyes, which even though they did not work, could look into your heart and soul.  He had auburn colored hair and sported the traditional mullet of the time, but it was so cute on him.  His skin was soft as a babies, even as he got older.  He could not hear properly, he had severe brain abnormalities, and could not speak or walk, but he could laugh.  He had a laugh that warmed you to your core.  He loved to stand out the window, and absorb the sunlight.  He used to sit on the floor in the morning, where the sun shone warm on the carpet, and he would smile and bounce.  It made him so happy.  Something so simple.
He loved milk shakes, and if you brought a snack to the couch, especially puffy Cheetos, he new it.  He would crawl across the room and he was in your lap in a second, waiting for you to give him one.
He loved everyone he met and he loved deeply and with his whole heart.  He was... precious... does not seem to be a descriptive enough word.  He was loving, charming, loved life, and sacrificed himself in order to teach us what we needed to know, to make his sisters condition (who came 3rd in our line) not simpler, but more manageable.  We knew what to look for in her, because of him, and we were able to prepare ourselves, which you never really can, but he made us aware and more able to take care of her.
He is missed desperately, but I know without any doubt that he is never far away, and he is always waiting for our reunion.  In the mean time, he takes care of his sisters on the other side for us.  Forever a big brother.
I miss you Anthony, and I can't wait until we see you again.  I'll probably cry tonight, but right now, I am happy, because you are mine. 

Some of my joys

I listed some of the things that I have endured, but there is so much in my life that I was not sure I would ever discover could make me happy again.  So, I wanted to give a few examples of the joys in my life.
I love a good thunderstorm and rain shower.
I love to look at the sunset and sunrise.
I love skittles and Hostess Ding Dons.
I love the sound of my children laughing.
I love to hear the sound of birds outside my window.
I love to listen to all sorts of music.
I LOVE a good movie, but hate vulgar comedies.
I love to read.
I love to write.
I love to draw.
I love photography.
I love to sit quietly, even though that is a rare event
I love live shows, plays, musicals, concerts, but hate crowds.
I love to speak in public, but am normally VERY shy.
I love the changing of leaves in the fall and the snow in winter.
I want to be a morning person, but struggle to wake at a decent time.
I am a total night owl, and love the quiet of 2 o'clock in the morning.
I love a walk on the beach, on a overcast, and/or foggy day.
I love British sitcoms and murder mysteries.
I love Christmas and Halloween equally.
I love my family.
I love my God.
I love knowing that I am a survivor.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Tale of Two Frogs

"Two frogs fell into a deep milk bowl.
One of them had an optimist's soul,
While the other took a gloomier view;
"We shall drown," he cried, without further adieu,
And with one last despairing cry,
He flung up his legs and said goodbye.

Said the other frog with a merry grin,
"I can't get out, but I won't give in;
I'll keep swimming around till my strength is spent,
Then at least I'll die the more content."

So bravely he swam, until it would seem,
His struggles began to churn the cream.
And on top of the bowl he gaily hopped,
What of the moral? It's easily found;
If you cannot hop out, keep swimming around."

-Anthony P. Castle
From the Missionary's Little Book of Inspirational Stories


"You did not come into the world to fail.  You came into the world to succeed.  You have accomplished much so far.  It  is only beginning.  As you move forward on the trail of life, keep the banner of faith in self ever before you.  You may not be a genius.  You may not be exceptionally smart.  But you can be good, and you can try.  And you will be amazed at what might happen when in faith you take a step forward."
This quote is from the book: "One Bright and Shining Hope, Messages for Women from  Gordon B. Hinckley" - Deseret Books

My beginning...

My journey began, in a large family.  My mother is from Germany and my father is from Idaho.  I have seven brothers and sisters.  I met my husband, during a turning point in my life, when I was seventeen years old.  I was a very sweet kid growing up, but at twelve years old, I had to deal with a tragedy, the kind of tragedy that steals your childhood, and robs you of your innocents.  This tragedy caused me to spiral out of control.  I lost myself.  I had no true sense of my self worth, and I did not want to live.  If I had to though, I was going to do anything that I could to fit in somewhere.  However, this caused me to lose myself even further.  I was gone, when Tony came into my life and loved me despite my surface rust.  He loved me for me.  He wanted to be in my life for all the right reasons.  He started my turning point.  
I see a turning point as a moment that happens when you decide that you are worth fighting for.  It was not a single moment for me though, it was a series of landslides and steps that I had to endure, fight through and take to get to the point that I am at now.  It has been and continues to be... a journey.