Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Here's to the holiday's... my favorite time of year.  There is nothing like the feeling of anticipation that comes with waiting for that Christmas morning. I love the crispness of the air, and the chill that makes you want to cuddle up in a quilt with a hot cup of cocoa, and a great old movie.  I am happy to know that no matter what is happening in my life, I have the holidays to look forward to, and spend with my family.
I don't know any time of year that makes me feel like I am closer to my family, my God, and my  happiness.
I hope that as we prepare, for whatever holiday you enjoy, and as we carry out those traditions that may either be new, or old that we all have a wonderful time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Found This to Be Very Powerful For Me:

Posted: 22 May 2012 08:00 AM PDT
"Worthiness to hold a temple recommend gives us the strength to keep our temple covenants. How do we personally gain that strength? We strive to obtain a testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the reality of the Atonement, and the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration. We sustain our leaders, treat our families with kindness, stand as a witness of the Lord’s true Church, attend our Church meetings, honor our covenants, fulfill parental obligations, and live a virtuous life. You may say that sounds like just being a faithful Latter-day Saint! You are right. The standard for temple recommend holders is not too high for us to achieve. It is simply to faithfully live the gospel and follow the prophets."

The gospel is simple enough for a small child to understand, and rich enough to stimulate the most intellectual of minds.  The love of our Lord is universal and in reality it is easy to follow.  We complicate our own lives by trying to fit into a world that can make you feel less than important, less than unique, less than special, and less than our potential.  Life is a time to learn, grow, and be tested.  It is a time for us to decide what is important, who is important, and if we are worth the effort.  What we do now, in this life, will determine the state of our eternity.  
We are the author of our own life.  The next chapter will be determined by our effort, our faith, and our decisions.  It is hard to be different, but don't we appreciate those who are.  Think of your favorite celebrity, hero, idol, loved one, and decide what is it about them that makes them special.  What is it about them that makes you think that they are worthy of your attention?  Now look in the mirror and decide what it is about you that makes you special.  
Our temple recommend simply asks that we live an honest, kind, fair, compassionate, loving, and faithful life.  Is that a bad thing?  Is it lonely being good?  Sometimes, but in the big picture, at the end of the day, who would you rather be?
People believe that our temples are a place where secrets are kept, but that is not true.  There is a huge difference between secret and sacred.  If something is special, do you want others to belittle, exploit, or abuse that thing?  To us, the temple is more special, more sacred than any other place on earth, except for the home.  Home and the temple should be a sanctuary, a little piece of heaven on earth, our place to be safe, happy, and loved.  
My question is... why do some think that it is stupid, dorky, or lame to be a good, trustworthy person?  Why is it bad to want to be an honest, law abiding, loving, and fair?  Why do some feel the need to persecute those who are doing there best, to be the best that they can be?  I just don't understand it.
Life is short, and our families and friends are precious, so why would we squander our time on this glorious earth?  We have been given an opportunity to grow, laugh, love, and be worthy of blessings that we cannot even comprehend.  
I want to be the best version of me that I can be.  That is a goal that will take a lifetime to accomplish, but I want to be remembered, as most of us do, and not forgotten as a faceless, invisible lost soul.   
It is not easy to be good, all the time, but it is worth it.  
I have suffered so much in my life, but I have not given up.  I have not given up on myself.  I am going to have hard days, and days when I question myself, and my purpose, but I do not want to miss out on the life that I might be able to have, with effort, and faith.  
I struggle, but I am worth the effort. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This applies to me so much right now!

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 08:00 AM PDT
"Learning to fully understand the doctrines of the gospel is a process of a lifetime and comes ‘line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little’ (2 Nephi 28:30). As children learn and act upon what they learn, their understanding is expanded, which leads to more learning, more action, and even greater and more enduring understanding."

I got this from the Daily Gems offered on the lds.org website.  I love those.  They send you a spiritually oriented message on a daily (or whatever set up you chose).  
I recently started studying an institute manual that my friend loaned me.  It discusses the history behind the scriptures.  I love it.  It is so interesting to learn about the politics, social and cultural issues, as well as the physical struggles that people went through in the B.C., and A.D. time of our history.  I find that learning about the "peoples" history helps me to understand the way that people think, and the way that they were treated, and what they had to endure and survive.  Some of the information is very difficult to stomach.  The atrocities that people endured were often horrifying.  I have a new respect for people who had to survive to bring us the messages and lessons that we can apply to ourselves today.  We can learn so much from our histories and the history of others.   Too much in life is taboo.  We need to share our stories, even the difficult ones.  We need to share, because through sharing we teach.  When we teach we ourselves learn and grow.  The teacher always learns more than the students.   
I was never very studious.  I always struggled in school and with reading.  I found it difficult to read and understand what I was reading.  It wasn't until I was a mother, reading every night to my own children, bed time stories, etc... that I was able to discover the joy of reading. Now I devour books.  I love reading and I find that I love learning.  
I heard someone say that a person who does not read is no better off than someone who cannot read. 
That is so true.  Learning is how we improve ourselves, our understanding of others.  We learn compassion, empathy and sympathy.  We learn how to help ourselves and others.  We learn how not to repeat the mistakes of those who came before us.  We can find strength and inspiration from the stories of survival of others.  
Has anyone you loved, met, or known been through something that you later heard about or witnessed that inspired you or made you grateful that you did not have to face the trial that they are facing?  And did they struggle and fail, or struggle and conquer?  We did you learn?  
Studying does not have to be a terrifying, anxiety provoking word.  It can, when paced properly can be grow as individuals and as friends, mother's, fathers, friends, and members of society.  Besides, when we learn we can avoid those issues that face someone who does not have an understanding of the world and the way that people treat each other.  
An education is free and priceless.  It is the doorway to a life that can bloom in so many unforeseeable ways.  Education, experience, faith, strength, personal character, ect... is the only thing that can change our lives.  
We have to grow otherwise we just exist.  No one wants to just exist.  There is so much knowledge to be had and shared.  Rich or poor anyone can have it and everyone can benefit for it.  It can be ours, our own.  No one has the right to decide for you what should be important for your life.  Learning is a private journey, a private decision, a private goal, and a private joy.  But the strength that we gain from it can change the world.
One page at a time, one word at a time, and one day at a time.  It is ours, our own.  It is powerful and can bring about wonderful changes in our lives.  Don't let yourself believe that you are not worth it, because you, most definitely, are.  
Life does not have to be all about surviving and existing.  I am still trying to learn that myself, but I am beginning the journey and I hope that you will take the journey with me.
Imagine what it would mean to our children if we took learning seriously.  What an example it is to those around us.  What a triumph it is to us.  What a victory for ourselves.  What better way to honor ourselves.  
Honestly, it is one paragraph, one page, one chapter, one book, one moment.  Start where you can.  Start when you can.  Start by searching out those things you love, those things that interest you, those things that make you happy.  Search out every good thing.  Your life, your mind, and your happiness can begin with the simplest effort.  You just have to make the decision that you are worth the effort.
So here we are... and I challenge you to begin today.  I promise that it will be worth it.
Good luck my fellow traveler.

*remember that if there is anything you want to share with me, you can email me, or leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We are important...

You are special.
     "You are very precious, each of you, regardless of your circumstances.  You occupy a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God, our Father in Heaven.  You are His daughters, precious to Him, loved by Him, and very important to Him.  His grand design cannot succeed without you."  Gordon B. Hinckley   One bright and shining Hope

     When you feel like you are failing, or that no one knows that you exist, try to remember that there is one who never fails us.  He sees the potential in us... always.  He loves us and knows what we are able to accomplish in this life.  He knows to what heights our talents can take us.  He knows where our lives can go.  He knows that we are special.  He wants to hear about our day.  He wants to know that we are grateful.  He wants to know that we need Him.  He wants us to know that we are loved.  He knows that we are a gift and he wants us to return to Him one day.
    Every day we have potential to be a little better than the day before.  One baby step at a time.  One moment at a time.  One experience at a time.  I need to know every day that I matter.  I need to remind myself every day that I am important, if not to the people around you, to one special person who will never stop rooting for us.  He will never give up on us.  He will give us every opportunity to succeed and be the best that we can be.  
    It was not promised to us that life would be easy.  It was only promised that it would be worth it.  Our journey will be difficult, and there will be trying experiences that will test us to our limits at times, but what I have learned, is what you survive, and what you go through will cause you to grow.  There are a hundred reason to give up, there are a hundred reasons to say that I cannot go on.  But I want to learn to say that, "this might be hard, but I cannot quit.  I cannot give up.  I cannot allow myself to say that I am not worth the effort.

    "We are ALL worth the effort.  We just have to allow ourselves to believe that."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter Everyone!  I hope that like spring you will find a new beginning with the reminder of why we celebrate this day.  He is risen, and offers hope to us all.  Our greatest struggle in life is being true to ourselves and true to the goodness that is instilled in us.  
We are children of a father who loves us, no matter what.  He never gives up on us.  Even when everyone in the world seems to have failed us, He never will.  I struggle to remember that myself, but I know in my heart that it is true.  I am a daughter of God, and I have a Savior who loves me and sacrificed everything for me, and you.  I do not know what the plan is for my life, but I know that I am being watched over, guided, and my path is being prepared, if I only look for the signs.  If I pray fervently, study the scriptures, attend church, and do my best to be the best, fairest, most compassionate, friendly, person who endures this life the best way that I can, then I can have nothing but hope.  If I do everything right, does that mean that my struggles will stop? No!  Not at all.  This life is a test, a test that asks, "Will you trust me?"  I struggle every day with chronic pain, and depression, not to mention all of my insecurities, but does that mean I will give up?  No, I will try not to at least.  It is not easy to be strong all the time.  I can't be.  I have bad days.  I have days when I do not want to get out of bed.  I have days when I am so cranky that I do not want to be around myself.  I have days when I want to cry all day and I am not sure why.  I have days when it is hard to believe in myself, but I promised myself that I would not give up.
I bear my testimony that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and watches over me.  I know and believe that I have a Savior who is Jesus Christ.  I know and I believe that I am a daughter of the divine, and he knows my potential, even if I struggle to know it myself.  I know that this life is a test, and this life is just a grain of sand in the eternity that I can have with my family and savior in the afterlife, if I do my best.  I am grateful to know that Jesus Christ was born, lived and died to be an example to me, and he did it for me.  We can never fully understand His sacrifice, but I do understand that he did all of it because he loves us, all of us.
Happy Easter everyone!  I hope that you can find hope in this day!  I do.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Posted: 07 Apr 2012 08:00 AM PDT
"My beloved brothers and sisters, in our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace fro the words of the angel that first Easter morning: 'He is not here: for he is risen.'"
—President Thomas S. Monson, "He Is Risen: A Prophet’s Testimony", Liahona, Apr. 2012
Topics: Jesus ChristResurrection

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Depression... my depression.. I hope it helps someone today.


  1. Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
  2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

  I have depression.  I suffer from long bouts of feeling like I am worthless.  I have long bouts of feeling like if I begin to cry, I will not be able to stop.  I have long bouts of ache and pain.  I know that depression effects my body in painful, straining ways.  Body aches, headaches, muscle ache, weakness, and fatigue.  It is not fun.  I know that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that messes with my system, my thoughts, and my mood.  I am tired of being tired.
But what can you do?  What can I do? 
I take my medicine. I take my moments, when I feel out of control.  I listen to guided meditation, it helps me to relax and unwind.  I like to listen to music.  It affects our mood too.  I play way to much facebook games though, and I should avoid it, because it is a band-aid that distracts me from doing productive things with myself, like developing my talents.  I am struggling with what to do with myself.
I know that I am talented in certain ways.  I love to write, and have written two novels, even if I am not published or known yet, I can be proud of that.  Even though I am struggling to believe in myself.  I am a decent artist, and would love to illustrate professionally.  However, I struggle to see the value in my work.  I am smart, but believe and always have that I am unskilled.  
I love my husband and family more than I could ever express in this lifetime, but everyday I feel like I let them down.  I feel like I am the worst mother ever, because I cannot be there for them in the ways that a mother should, and I have so much guilt that I cannot breathe.  
I suffer from ailments like a issues with my back, that cannot be resolved.  I suffer from hip issues, chronic headaches, and migraines.  I suffer from an eating disorder, and the side effects of years of dealing with it.  I am pre-diabetic, and I am sad.  I am sad  to say that I suffer from P.T.S.D.  (post traumatic stress disorder) brought on by trauma.  I suffer from depression.  I also suffer with P.M.D.D.  (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder), which makes your emotions out of control, like PMS on steroids, or as my family calls them, my psycho days.  So sad that tears are not enough to wash it away, or lower the tide in my heart.
Why am I telling you all of this?  I am telling you this because I don't want anyone in this world to go without the knowledge that they are not alone, because you are not.  Really not.   I want to be honest in my dealings with others.  I want to be a source of information, compassion, understanding, support for whoever needs it, because I have felt alone in this for a very long time.  
We all suffer from something.  We all suffer in silence, putting on a smile so that no one knows how much pain we are in (emotional or otherwise).  Tony, my husband, always reminds me that I don't  have to smile and laugh all the time, to make others feel better.  He reminds me that the doctors will not take me seriously, if I pretend to be happy.  I am pretending, more than I want to admit.  It is hard to hold on sometimes.  It is hard to believe in myself, or that there is a silver lining somewhere, out there.  It is hard to remember that I am a daughter of God, a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me and knows my potential.  I have faith in that, but my head often tries erase that from my memory.
I want to be a source of strength.  Most people believe that I am so strong, because of all that I have been through, and I can still smile. That is true... I can still smile, and I am strong, especially more than I ever thought I could be, but I am also dealing with a swirling tornado that touches down randomly in my mind and in my heart, tearing me up again.  When this happens, I have to stop what I am doing, and try to sort it all out again.  It is a day stopper.  It is a life halter.  It makes me sad that I have to deal with the devastation caused by the touching down of the emotional tornado.  
I am sad because I cannot stop it.  I can only do my best.  
I read my scriptures, go to church when I can, listen to talks from church leaders, and I try to absorb things that are good for me, for instance, my favorite art, music, shows, activities, like doing puzzles, playing solitaire, watching a good movie, sometimes one that makes me laugh, or something that makes me cry, yes on purpose.  Crying is a wonderful release.  Laughing is great too.  Working on a craft, or working to develop my talents or learn a new one. It all helps, but I have to push myself to do it.  I have to force myself to do it.  I have to make myself want it.  Is there days that I cannot?  Are there days where I fail?  Are there days when getting out of bed is impossible?  Are there days when I do not want to speak, or even be?  The answer is yes. 
But do I keep going?  Yes... why?   I have too.  I love my family.  I love my Lord.  I love my children who are waiting for me in Heaven, and need me to be worthy to get back to them.  I believe that my Father who is in heaven has a plan, and that plan is for my good.  I believe that he will never allow anything to happen that is more than I can handle, and because of that I am flattered.  Apparently he believes that there is more that I am capable of than I ever imagined that I would be.  I am a survivor.  I am proud to be a survivor, but I am also a person who has to learn how to live, and not just exist.  
Do you feel like you are only existing?  Day to day feels so hard that there is no joy in your day?  Are financial troubles so taxing on your mind that there is no where to turn for relief?  I am with you.  I understand.  I am there.  I pray daily that it will end, and right now I struggle to believe that it will. But will I give up today... no.
Today I want to live.  Today I want to struggle through and see what tomorrow brings.  Today I want to love my children, and when they come in to see me, while I lie in my bed, in agony and pain, I want them to know how happy I am to see them. I want them to know that they mean the world to me, and that the time they took to come upstairs and see me means something to me.  I want to give them my best hello, my most sincere smile, and warmest hug.  I will ask them about their day, and try to push aside my guilt of not being able to share it with them.  I will try to push away the thoughts, the reality, that I am not the person they deserve right now, but instead remind myself that they are valued, and loved with all of my heart, and that I want to be with them, as much as I can, and then I apologize again, sincerely, even though they tell me it is okay.  I have a mother who is in the same position.  I grew up watching my mother wither, until she can no longer be here for us in the ways I know she would be if she could.  So on my good days, I do my best. On my bad days, I do my best not to take it out on them, and get through it with the goal of doing better tomorrow.
I suffer from debilitating depression, but I will not let it win!  I promise myself that.
What will you do to get through today?  Because some days you have to have a plan.  And some days we have to get ourselves out of bed, even if only to sit on a recliner where you can be present in the room with your loved ones.  Some days you have to decide that you are tired of being tired, and do your best to push yourself forward.  Does that mean that you cannot have a bad day?  No.  Does that mean that you cannot cry yourself to sleep in you bed?  No. Does that mean that you cannot take some quiet time, away from it all?  No.   Does that mean that it is okay to give up?  No!  You cannot give up.  I promise to you, anyone who reads this, and to myself that I will not give up.  I will not stop trying.  I will not quit.  
I might not be strong enough to say that tomorrow, and tomorrow I might need to lean on my husband's shoulder, but for today, I will not give up.  
Turn to your friends, turn to your family, and if you have none of those, and even if you do, turn to your God.  However you define Him.  He will be there, even if it is just to listen.  If you don't have a God, or friends, or family, write it down.  It helps.  You will feel stronger today... because you got it out.  You will have released some of the pressure in your heart and mind.  You will feel a little less sad.  I do.  Having written this has helped me, but more than that, I hope that it has helped you. 
You are not alone, not really.
All my love and support, for whatever you might be struggling with, even if you are just sad for a day and do not have clinical depression, because that is hard too.  
Ask yourself also, have you been kind to someone today.  Have you served someone through an act of kindness, or called , written, emailed, texted someone today that has been on your mind? 
That will also help.
And if you are so inclined, even if you have never done it before, have you prayed?
Helpful hint:
Begin with Our Father in Heaven...
and end with I say this, or I ask this in the the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
In between those two phrases, just tell him what is on your mind.  Tell him how you feel.  Tell him you are fed up, tired, struggling, depressed, frustrated, and maybe try to remember to tell him what you are thankful for.  Counting your blessings is not just a simple phrase... it helps.  
Anyway, thank you for listening to me today.  It helped.   I send you my compassion, my empathy, and my prayers.  I send you my tenderness and hopeful thoughts.  I send you my love (in a friendship sort of way).
I am struggling, but I have made a choice. I have decided... not to give up.
Good luck everyone.  You are not alone. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What does it mean?

We can learn so much about ourselves from those who despise us.  I just wish that it would stick.  There is so much for us to be proud, and humble about.  
When will we learn that we are can only be a great nation if we stick together, care for each other, and love one another.  I have to wonder, why do other countries see us as a selfish wild card.  Are we?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time and Procrastination

It is said that procrastination is the thief of eternal life, and I believe that time is its eternal companion. 
It slips through our fingers like water when held for too long.
Like the rivers it continues to flow, the ocean tides continue to surge, even the streams move on without turning back.
Such is time.
With time come the changes.
My skin no longer radiates with the spark of youth.
My hair has begun to whiten, losing its brightness and sheen.
However, I have come to realize that these things must be.
For these changes are our reminders.
They are our warning.
They are our beckon call.
We are being reminded that time is slipping through our fingers.
Our time to prepare has nearly run out, for this life is just a grain of sand, a drop of water, a moment in the grand scheme.
It is time to prepare for our eternal life and procrastination is the thief.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Poem called, "What if...?"

What if...?
People say that dreams are the messages of the heart, or maybe our fears realized, depending on whether they are a simple fantasy, or a terrifying nightmare.  What if the dream was the reality?  What if our daily, sometimes mundane lives were the illusion?
     Or for those who believe in worlds without number, what if our dreams were really glimpses into those worlds?  What if dreams are the windows, and our imaginations are really the doorways?
     Writers, painters, artists, craftsman create works that make you want to be a part of them.  What if they are giving us glimpses into other realms?  If they are simply dreams or imaginative flights of fantasy, why do our hearts and minds long for those glimpses to be real?
     Are they momentary escapes, or are those feelings really the desire to return, from whence we came?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Mask I Wear

This poem was given to me, by one of my therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, when I attended a 5 week Chronic Pain Treatment program last year.  It was very on the nose about me. Throughout my life, I have worn a mask.  In my effort to be everyone's friend, to fit in, and to not draw attention to myself, or my pain (emotional, spiritual, physical) I put on my mask.  The "eternal smile" I called it.
This poem really applied to me and I hope that it might make you think about the mask that you might wear.

The Mask I Wear

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask.  I wear a thousand masks- masks that I'm afraid to take off and none of them are me
but don't be fooled,
For God's sake, don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure
That all is sunny and unruffled with me
with as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm
and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me. Please!

My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask,
My ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness.
But I hide this.
I don't want anyone to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weaknesses
and fear exposing them.
That;s why I frantically create my masks
to hide behind.
They're nonchalant, sophisticated facades
to help me pretend,
To shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only salvation and I know it.

That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
and if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls

I dislike hiding, honestly
I dislike the superficial game I'm playing,
the superficial phony game.

I found, when I read this for the first time, that I was afraid.  I was found out.  Someone saw through my mask, and I did not know what to do.  Once the fear subsided though, I realized that I wasn't alone.  Someone in the world understood me.  I was not the only one, and it was liberating.
I also came to discover the depths on which I depended on my mask, and it made me sad.  I was sad that I was so ashamed of who I was that I could not bring myself to take a chance and share the real me with anyone, except my husband and children.  I realized how depleted my self esteem really was.  My well had run dry.  What did I have to show for it?  I had a lot of acquaintances... people I would call friends, but it was all an illusion, and I was miserable.  Those are hard realities to face, but once I did face them, I could see more clearly what I had to do, and what I needed.  I also came to realize that I was blessed.
I was blessed, because I had a wonderful man in my life who always saw through my disguise and loved me for who I was.  He had never asked me to be more than myself.  He had only asked for my trust, my love, and for those things that made me...me.  I had beautiful, creative, funny children who needed me, and loved me in a way that no one else ever would, or could.  Those are good realizations to have.
I am grateful for the struggles in my life, because you can't get to the heart of anything without scraping off the hard outer layer.  (metaphorically speaking).

We all have masks, whether we know it or not.  We all have things about ourselves that we are not happy with, or resist.  We all want to fit in, and be seen.  We all want to know that we matter, that we are accepted and that we are loved.
However, my question is, what price do we pay for that buffer of imagined security?  What of ourselves do we give up to fit in, to find our place, to find acceptance?
I gave up all of me and it has taken me a long time to rediscover myself.
You might ask though, do I still struggle?  Do I wear my mask, even on a part-time basis?  Of course I do.
It is a struggle that I will probably have for all of my life.  I struggle to feel happy.  I struggle to feel valued.  I struggle to fit in and feel accepted.  I struggle to feel good enough. I struggle with the worry about what other people think of me, but it does not mean that I am not still trying to overcome those thoughts.  It is work... like with anything worth having in this life... but I am not giving up.  Giving up and succumbing is easy, it is the repairs that have to be made after ward though that are the real bugger.
I am learning though, that I am a good person.  I do deserve to be happy, and I deserve to have good people around me, who will accept me flaws and all.  Those people are hard to find, but I'm not giving up on that dream either.
Good luck my fellow travelers.  I hope that you will learn to let your mask down once and a while.  Risk is scary, but you are worth it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Difference and Purpose

I love this picture, because it makes me think of my children. They were severely mentally impaired, blind, deaf, unable to walk, or run, jump or play without assistance, but they were so special and they were mine.
Being different in this world is not something that is accepted readily.  Unless you are outwardly beautiful, talented in some astonishing way, or wealthy and can show it, there is little welcome in this world for you, unless you can get people to look past your differences, to find out who you are.
For someone who is handicapped or disabled, it is very hard to find acceptance.  You discover that most people feel a lot of fear, and awkwardness when meeting people who are different.  You find out who your friends are, you discover who can handle your new life an the challenges, struggles, heart breaks, setbacks, and sorrows that are now a part of your every day.
Through those struggles though, I came to understand how special my son and daughter were. By taking on the responsibility of caring for them everyday, rooting for them when they worked so hard to perform the basic tasks that we take for granted, and loving them when they slept so peacefully in my arms, I came to see them for the gift that they were.
They taught me more in their short lives about compassion, unconditional love, and about myself than anyone could ever have.
I was saddened by the fact that few had the courage, or took the time to get to know them better.  They had such sweet spirits.  They were full of love and simple appreciation for those who loved them and shared the day with them.
Music provided so much joy to them.  The right tune soothe them, or made them want to dance and play.  They loved being sung to, and the hymns played on Sunday morning made them so peaceful.
Silliness was the order of the day and being around them made you want to be silly.  They made you feel like you could be yourself.  They only wanted your time, your laughter, your attention.  The simplest things made them laugh and smile.  A silly noise, the laughter of others, music and dancing around the living room, all of those things made for such happy memories.  Anthony love it when Tony would "play" wrestle with him and Tia on the floor.  He loved taking walks and feeling a breeze on his face.  His absolute favorite thing to do though, was to stand (holding onto the window sill) and feel the sunshine on his face.  His favorite spot to sit was in the section of sunshine that would shine down through the window creating a wide, warm rectangle of light on the floor.  He would sit there for so long, just basking in the warmth an beauty.  I loved to watch him, quietly from the other side of the room.
To have someone need you so much, to love you so unconditionally, to need you in ways that no one else could, was such a blessing.
Kyra was my snuggle bug.  She could not do as much as her brother, which was very little, but what she could not do, she made up for in love.  She loved to snuggle and listen as I read her stories, or sang her songs.  The hymn "I am a child of God" was a song that I sang to her every night while she fell asleep in my arms. Those are the moments that I remember with longing the most.
The other memories I have caused me to suffer from depression, and post traumatic stress, but if I am being honest, I would be willing to do it again, if God asked me too.
I understand the crucifixion now so much more now, and in such a personal way.  I understand the sorrow that our Heavenly Father must have felt knowing what his son, our savior Jesus Christ, was going to have to go through.  I understand the helplessness he must have felt knowing that nothing could be done to change his fate.  He was meant to suffer for our sake.  I know that helplessness. My son and daughter went through so much that I could only observe.  I could offer them support, love and comfort, but there was so much that was out of control.  How often does our Heavenly Father watch helplessly, only able to offer us the love and comfort when we suffer, or when we face situations that are necessary for our growth.
However there are times when we make choices, going against all we know, and against our better judgement, to fit in, or to escape, but are not necessarily prepared for the consequences that come with it.  Many people believe that God causes bad things to happen to us, but that is not true.  Often he has to allow the bad to happen, for our growth.  Often he has to allow us to suffer the consequences of our actions, decisions, and choices.  The question for us is, do we trust that he knows us better than we know ourselves?  Do we trust that he has a plan for us?  Do we allow him to teach us those things that he feels we need to learn.  Do we trust that he knows what we are capable of, or that he knows our potential.
Not all of us are born with superior intelligence, the ability to draw, sing, tell a story, create, or understand, but it does not mean that we are not worth knowing that we are not worth the time, effort, friendship, love, or time of those around us?
My children were not able to do the normal things that most children could do.  They could not see, they could not hear properly, they could not speak, run, jump, walk, or express themselves, but there is not one moment that I shared with them, that I would trade for the world.  They were a joy to behold, and those who did get the chance to know them better, came away with so much love and appreciation for them.
How often do we ignore those meeker members of society, or in our lives.  How often do we take the time to understand to know, support and love those around us that we take for granted.  How often do we offer friendship to those who may not be in our everyday social circle?  How often do we attend to the needs of those around us, without expecting something in return?  How often do we offer a kind word, a smile, a simple act of love, without needing a holiday as an excuse?
Are we loving those who are around us, the way that our savior taught us to?
It is just something to consider.

" I dreamt of heaven the other night, an the pearly gates swung wide.  An angel with halo bright ushered me inside.  And there to my astonishment stood folks I'd judged and labeled as quite "unfit" of "little worth", and spiritually disabled." Indignant words rose to my lips, but NEVER were set free, for EVERY face showed stunned surprise, not ONE expected ME!"  -Unknown

I love you Anthony, Kyra, an Gabriel.  I miss you, but I am so grateful for the lives you live on our behalf.
I can't wait to see you again. -mom

Thursday, January 12, 2012


What would this world be without our dreams?  Where would our hope begin?
Every invention, painting, story, creation begins with a dream, or inspiration.
It is so important for us to dream, not just for the guide of it, but because we grow with every dream we have.
What do you dream about? What is your greatest wish?  What is it that you hope to become, create, or do?
I have so many dreams that it is difficult to focus on one.  I have so many stories, rushing around in my mind that my fingers cannot write them fast enough.  I cannot make them type any faster than they are capable, but still I dream.
What are you going to do, to make those dreams come true?
Every wonder of this world begins with a dream.
Don't be afraid to dream.

"Keep your heart open to dreams.  For as long as there are dreams there is hope and if there is hope there is joy in living" -Anonymous

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

As wives and mothers, even "men" we sometimes get so busy with our responsibilities, our jobs, our many roles that we have to play everyday to so many people that we forget that we are valuable for so many other reasons.  We forget that we are individuals with needs, wants, dreams, etc...
We all think about our resolutions with the advent of the new year, but how many of us follow through?
We all have ideas about what is expected of us.  What neighbors, friends, and family expect of us, but sometimes we lose sight of what we should expect from ourselves. Are we being the best we can be?
We are miraculous, marvelous creatures who are capable of great things.
We are capable of learning, developing, and changing in such amazing ways.
We are individuals who have value, much more than we sometimes know.
However, we forget that our happiness is just as important as the happiness we try to provide for of those around us.
Now, I do not mean that we need to neglect our responsibilities, or roles, but we do need to remember that we have needs of our own.
We are talented.
We are smart.
We are industrious.
And some of you (like me) are a little mad with creativity waiting to burst out.
Not all of our talents and interests appeal to everyone, but who cares.
I learned very early in life that if no one understands you, or wants to play with you, it does not have to mean the end of the world has arrived.  It only means that you have to get creative, and you have to be yourself, and you have to (and this is important), you have to be okay with being alone.
I spent quite a bit of my childhood in the attic, up a tree, dreaming in the garden, or a small corner of the garage, or a closet that was just big enough to curl up with a notepad, pencil, crayons, and such.  In fact I still find myself longing for those quiet moments, without distraction, or onlookers.
But my point is, that you have to find what it is that defines you, and be okay with that.
You are an individual who is precious, talented, funny, wise, creative, loving, and full of a life, but we may be limited by your environment, the people you associate with and other things like not enough time in the day,  but what is worse is that we are limited the most by our own feelings of inadequacy.
Why would we try, if we don't feel like it matters, or that we matter?
I know that I have a truck load of issues of my own, but one of my goals, my resolutions, is to try to stop feeling that way.  It won't be easy, but if I want to feel better, I have to give it a try.  However, my husband reminds me all the time that "you can't try, you have to do".  He is good at that, but opposites do attract and I am not so good at that.
I have always struggled with my self-esteem.  I have never felt valued or valuable, but as I said I am working on it, and I guess that is what is important about resolutions.  We cannot put a time limit on "all" of them.  We cannot be too hard on ourselves for failing.  We cannot put too much pressure on ourselves.  We can involve others in our resolutions when it comes to the need for support, but change can only come from within.  We have to do the changing, and no one can do it for us.
So what do we do now.  What do we do with our resolutions?
Well, we think about what it is that "WE" need.  What is it that would help us to grow in those wonderful ways that God knows we can?  What is it that we have always wanted for ourselves?  I don't mean material things.  I am talking about what talent have you always wanted to develop, or was put aside for the responsibilities that have taken up our time?
What are you good at?
What have you suppressed, because you think that there is no time for it?
What are you wishing you could do that is positive and good for us?
That is the type of things that are most important to our growth.  It is not about the brand of clothing that you wear, what role you play in the PTA, what kind of trip you take, car you drive, or status you have in the community.  Those things may be important to you, and that is your choice, but what I am talking about is what it is that makes up your core self.  You are special, individual, unique, and loved by someone who knows what you are capable of, our Heavenly Father.  We just have to be willing to discover it ourselves, by whatever route you must take.
Of course I also have the goal of weight loss.  Of course I would love to find a great haircut, or hair dye that covers my grey really well, and of course getting out my p.j. pants and slouchy clothes, but one thing at a time.
My goals have to be met in baby steps.  I have to work on them slowly, and at MY pace.  I have to do it that way, to make it a part of my everyday life, or IT WILL NOT WORK!  I know that about myself.
I want to encourage you to make those changes and take those steps that will make your quality of self and life better, but try to be patient with yourself.  Change takes time, but there can be change.
Good luck and I'll let you know how I am coming along.  Wish me luck too.

"Dwelling in the world is part of our mortal test. The challenge is to live in the world yet not partake of the world's temptations which will lead us away from our spiritual goals."Robert D. Hales - Oct. Gen. Conf. 2002