Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once upon an All Hallow's Eve

The year was 1999, and I was partying it up before the new millennium arrived and the world ended, computers crashed and chaos ensued....or whatever such things we were all convinced would happen!  

Partying is a term I'm using quite loosely here though, because instead of dancing on tables and lifting drinks into the air in the throes of youthful rebellion, I was at the mall buying conservative skirt and shirt combos, sensible dressy walking shoes, and toiletries galore.  I was packing bags, tying up loose ends, and preparing to make a mark on the world....... in my own little way!  

I was going to be a missionary, and my party was a going away party.

For a year and a half I would be gone.  Gone from home and family.  Gone from television, music, shopping and hanging with friends.  In the absence of familiarity I would come to know the real purpose of life, the essence of our day to day existence, the greatest source of earthly joy.  

Love and service.  
Love of God, through service to his children.  This, my friends, is the sure route to real happiness.

And so, on October 31st 1999 I spoke my farewell to a congregation of fellow believers.  The faces of my most loved and cherished beamed up at me in acceptance of my meager offering to the world.  While the rest of the world celebrated with costumes and candy, we celebrated with family and friends.

I've decided that the real trick to growing up or gracefully maturing, is simply treating yourself to things that will give you the greatest experience!

Don't be scared of what YOU have to offer the world! No matter how small it feels....Let it shine!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You said Yes

The other day Tyler was chatting with Emilee on the living room floor.  They were talking about the temple, and Tyler asked, "What do you remember about Mommy and Daddy's wedding?  I'm sure you were there."  She casually looked over at him and smiled.  "You said yes."

We looked at each other in disbelief!  In the temple you say YES instead of I DO!  She was right.....we did say yes!

I like to think that our unborn children are allowed to witness our weddings!  What an awesome celebration it must be for them, knowing that we've made the commitment that will bring them into the world!

This conversation reminded me of a dream I had years ago!  It was one of the most vivid and real dreams I have ever had!  I kind of suspect that it was more than a dream......a memory perhaps?  In this dream I was there that rainy October day in 1977 to witness the wedding of my parents!  I saw them walking out of the temple.  I saw them happy and in love.....and so young!!  When I awoke, I felt like I had time was awesome!

My mother was pregnant with me two weeks after the wedding, which means if I was present at their wedding, I knew I would soon be on my way!  33 years ago on a rainy October day, my journey was about to begin!

I am forever grateful for my Mother and Father who, when asked if they would love each other for eternity, didn't hesitate to say YES!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funny Feet

When I turned 8 years old, my Dad was away at Basic Training somewhere in the Southern United States!  I missed him, and it felt like forever since I had seen him.

We spent most of the summer, while he was gone, in Garrison on my Grandma and Grandpa's ranch!  It was magic!!  Hours and hours spent outdoors, wandering, exploring, and pretending!  Playing with cousins and enjoying the freedom of childhood!

I knew that when I turned 8, it would be time for me to be baptized.  I knew this was a big deal and there was still so much for me to learn and understand about the promises I would soon be making.

I was a happy child on one hand, but I was also a worrier, I felt even at my young age, that I had a lot of things to repent of......dark and serious things.  A lot of it stemmed from fears and emotions related to things I wrote about in THIS POST.  Along with my worries, I also struggled with a lot of insecurity.

I wanted to be baptized by my father, so I waited until he returned, and on a beautiful October day I stood with my Dad, both of us dressed in white.  Now, being a Mother myself, I can imagine the feelings my parents must have felt that day.  I imagine they felt in awe at how fast the years had gone by and how quickly I had grown.

I was recently asked what I remembered about my baptism day.  I know it was a beautiful and important day.  I remember feeling so clean and shiny.  I remember a feeling of sweetness and satisfaction when I was confirmed.  The thing I remember the most though, is how I hid my feet under the pew as I listened to the talks, for fear of someone noticing my funny looking feet!  WHAT?  What 8 year old child is worried about what their feet look like?

I was.

I don't know all of the reasons I felt ugly at such a young age.  It breaks my heart to think of my little self carrying such feelings of guilt, and embarrassment about my body.  I am still trying to work through those issues, all these years later.  The good news is, that on that October day so many years ago, I was touched by the power of the Atonement.  I was given a gift of comfort and companionship, a voice of reason in a dark world.  I knew without a doubt that I was known and loved by an all powerful and very personal Father in Heaven.

I wanted to be wherever that love was.  I wanted to find that place of safety, light, and happiness.

God has been so good to me, because even as I write this, I realize I am there.  I have so much to be grateful for!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Ballerina

I think I have found my new mantra!

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."
*George Eliot*

Sometimes I wonder why I didn't become a dancer?  I love to dance.  When I was a little girl, I used to pretend I was a ballerina. I would move my tiny arms in graceful movements. I would dip and twirl and daintily prance around the house.

Then I grew up, and I used to live for the weekend institute dances! The music was a call I could not ignore and the dance floor was my stage.  No one was watching, and it wasn't about attention.  It was about expression and it felt so good to move, and laugh, and live it up!!
 Now I hesitate to move my body that way and I can't quite figure it out.  I think it might be due to the extra pounds weighing me down.  It could be that I don't feel like myself anymore, and because of the embarrassment I feel for my bigger body, I've allowed areas of my heart and soul to wither away.  Parts that used to make me happy!

There are other things too, like...
Why didn't I ever try out for a play in high school, or stick with violin, or flute or guitar?  Why didn't I ever tell certain boys that I "liked" them?

Why wasn't I more generous, kind, outgoing and adventurous?  What could my life have been like?  What would I be like now?

I've wondered that from time to time.

I can't imagine God placing time limits and expiration dates on His dreams and goals.  Who knows how "old" he was when he created you.....or me.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't place limits on ours either.  That is usually our own doing.

I know this little ballerina is somewhere inside of me, even now.  And when I've found the love inside that doesn't judge my size, shape, age and limitations...

...I hope she'll dance again!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that October is my favorite month of the year.....and it's not because of Halloween, because quite frankly, I'm not that into Halloween.

No, for me it has more to do with the feeling, the color and the memories.

October is the perfect combination of warm and cold and the perfect backdrop for happiness.  You get to wear tights and jewel tones, and you don't have to wear a jacket, but you can.......if you really want to!

I remember a stormy October night 11 years ago.  It was a night of great importance in my young life.....I was going to the Temple in preparation to serve a mission, and more importantly, in preparation for the rest of my life, and all those heartfelt renditions of "I Love to see the Temple.....I'm going there someday" somehow brought me to this October night!  Inside that hallowed building I made promises to God and to myself.  Promises that I was finally ready to make and in so doing, even without noticing it, I was a different person.  It was the most beautiful thing I had experienced and it was huge and important and I felt the warmth that only the spirit can bring.  I realized that there is so much to learn, and even though I caught only a small portion of it on that first visit, I knew it was true and I knew that I was loved and important to my Heavenly Father.
On the way home, dark clouds and cold wind swirled around us, but all the cold in the world couldn't penetrate the warmth I was feeling.

It was good.

This month of October is making me feel reminiscent, and even a little emotional.  A lot of the greatest events in my life have taken place in October.  I think I will write more about them through out the remainder of the month!

Now off to eat some pumpkin chili!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Is anyone hungry for a delicious burrito baby?

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lovely Letter

I want a pen-pal!

I've been obsessed with the idea lately and I'm on a quest to revive the forgotten charm of letter writing.  
I really want to buy pretty note cards and stationary and send little bits of my heart out to an unfamiliar place.  I want to  learn about someone interesting, with good ideas and a life that is different and new!

On the other hand........I want to reconnect with familiar places.

My cousin's and I used to write letters to each other growing up.  Unfortunately I have been so negligent when it comes to keeping in touch with people I love and care about.  
I recently went through a bunch of old boxes and found stacks and stacks of old letters from my childhood.  I only kept a handful of them, as there were too many to read and store.  In this process though, a little fire was lit inside and the need to share love and words has been swirling around inside me ever since.

There is something so warm and nostalgic about a handwritten letter, and it is always fun to have something real and personal waiting for you in the mailbox.

I think it would be fun to start a club where paper, pen, envelopes and stamps carry words of love and encouragement to people all over the world. Everyone who joins would be paired up with another member and for a whole year you would send and receive a monthly letter.  It could be about anything, but it would need to be positive and inspiring.....something to look forward to receiving!

I know writing letters isn't a new idea, but It feels fresh and exciting, considering the fact that everything is digital nowadays!
If anyone can match me up with a pen-pal....please let me know!


Friday, October 1, 2010

A Good Day

Five years ago today I found myself in my cozy bed in a tiny Orem apartment.  I was tired and didn't feel well.  Lying there in the dark I sensed someone enter my room.  It was Tyler, and he softly whispered for me to get up and get dressed and meet him in the living room!

"Whoa, wait......what time is it?", I thought.  "How did you get into my apartment?"  Everything was a swirl of confusion, sickness, and excitement!  It was a Saturday, and not just any Saturday.  It was General Conference Saturday, and I was excited to sleep in, and lazily lounge around the house listening to words of hope and counsel.

I jumped up and dressed in the dark, tried to comb my hair and met Tyler in the living room!  He seemed nervous and excited.  I couldn't say I was unaware of what was going on.  It was a short time before, that I had finally agreed.  It was time for us to be together forever.  We hurried out to his truck and together we started toward the mountains.  He had a back-pack filled with snacks and had even purchased a radio, so we could listen to the first session of conference together on top of squaw peak.  As I mentioned before, I wasn't feeling well, so it didn't take long before I broke down!  I felt horrible.  I knew he had put a lot of thought into his plan and I knew it would all be wonderful, but I just couldn't do it!  The work of hiking and climbing and straining and sweating was more than I could take considering the nausea and headache.  I sobbed, not because of how I was feeling physically, but because of  how I was feeling inside.  The last thing I wanted to do was ruin this important day.

Together we sat on the side of the trail and he held me while I cried.  We went back to the truck and he drove me home.  I remember he was so sweet and so understanding.  The truth was, it didn't matter where it happened.  After our long and emotional journey to this point, it just felt good to have our focus on eternity.

We watched conference together.  I don't really remember all of the details of the day, but I do remember that sometime after 4:00 p.m. we took a drive up Provo canyon and basked in the beauty of a changing season, both literally and figuratively.  This is my favorite time of year and there is nothing like being surrounded by the warmth of Fall kissed mountains!  I was in heaven!

We arrived at Sundance.  We found a place to pull off the road and together we walked up into the trees.  Tyler was nervous and knelt down in the leaves.  A car pulled up a few yards away disturbing our  peace and he quickly jumped to his feet.  We quietly waited until they drove away.  Again he knelt down and took my hands.  He began to speak his emotional request, when quite unexpectedly a man came bursting through the bushes  just a few feet away!  Again Tyler jumped to his feet!  We were both startled and quite surprised and laughed at the timing of the interruptions.  The whole thing was kind of rushed, because Tyler had to be back by 6:00 p.m. for the Priesthood session.

Finally after much distraction and interruption, he asked me the question......and I said YES!

I know his plans for that day included something a little more beautiful and meaningful than what actually transpired, but there is a spot....a beautiful and sacred spot in the golden trees of Sundance where our lives changed, and the days that have passed from that day to this, have brought us more joy and growth than I could have ever hoped for as I stood in that spot.

Today, my heart is filled and bursting with gratitude for a man who has been willing so often to stop on the side of the trail and hold me while I struggle through our journey together.  He has been willing to make alternate plans......plans that have sometimes been different than the original, but more beautiful than either of us could have ever hoped!