Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back

I picture myself walking down a path, lush foliage surrounding me. The path up ahead turns and just before I reach it, I glance behind me. The events of 2009 rise like small clouds of fog before evaporating into the recesses of memory.

The experiences don't linger, but still consume me with emotion.

The relief of finishing my degree. The frustration of a misbehaving fifth grade class. The joy of watching second grade students remember the math I taught them. The pain of injury as I push myself to run one more mile. The peace of sitting in my office with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. The uplifting laughter shared with a friend. My heart beating out of my chest, wondering if I can make it thirty more minutes on the bike. The light in my head that directs my story in the right direction. Discouragement at contests lost and not feeling good enough. The inspired words that came at just the right time. Time spent laying on my bed talking to my children.

I turn forward, concentrating on the path ahead of me. The dissipated clouds of experience strengthen and lift me, giving me the courage to face a new path filled with more experiences of joy, frustration, sadness, discouragement, inspiration and love.

May the experiences of 2009 give you the courage to face head on whatever may come in 2010.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I am thankful for this time of year and the spirit of peace that accompanies it. I love the sparkling snow (as long as I don't have to drive in it) and the shining lights on Temple Square. I love the music and the anticipation of Christmas morning. I love the time with family and the only light in my living room coming from the Christmas tree. I love the traditions--the sack game, Christmas Bingo, homemade cinnamon knots and hot chocolate to name a few. Most of all I love my Savior. Words cannot express my gratitude for his life and sacrifice as well as the opportunity to celebrate his birth.

May all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Never ever ever give up. -- Winston Churchill

I recently saw a fireside given by basketball great, Thurl Bailey. He spoke about life's journey.

Something he said caught my attention. Besides mentioning kindergarten when all the other children came to his knee, he spoke of being in junior high.

He stood at a miniscule six foot four. In seventh grade. All through school he had been teased mercilessly about his height. He decided that if he joined some school clubs that people would overlook his height and concentrate on his involvement in these activities.

He joined nine clubs. And he was excited about this. But . . . not only did he want to join these clubs, he wanted to be the president of all of these clubs.

At the first meeting of each club, he approached all of the other students and told them what a great club this was and told them he thought he'd make a great president. This happened at each of the nine club meetings.

He was voted president of each of the nine clubs.

(You might be questioning the point of my quote at this point. Please hang in there with me, I'm getting to it.)

One day he was walking by the gym and saw a sign that read "Basketball Tryouts" with a day and time posted. He thought, Hey, I'm tall. People are asking me all the time if I play basketball. I could make the basketball team easy. I'll be the team captain. It'll be awesome. So he showed up for tryouts.

He stood heads above all of the other boys trying out, which boosted Thurl's confidence. The coach gave assignments -- dribble the ball, make a layup, etc.

Now remember, Thurl Bailey had never played with a basketball in his life, much less owned one. He didn't even know what a layup was. He had to watch what all of the other boys were doing and attempt to copy them.

The next day he approached the posted list of team members. His name wasn't on it. This devastated him. He was tall. He was the president of nine clubs. Why couldn't he make the basketball team? He hovered over every player.

A year passes. He's in eighth grade. He's still involved in the clubs. He's overcome the devastation and tries out again. Some time in the last year he got a basketball. He's more confident. He's ready. He's six foot nine. He'll make it for sure this year.

Tryouts came and went. He approached the posted list of team members. Again, his name wasn't on the list.

He practiced playing basketball. The next year, as a freshman in high school, he tried out again. This time he could make a layup. He approached the typewritten posted list. Some boys were walking away, heads hanging. Some were giving high fives. The names of the team members were listed in alphabetical order. His name wasn't listed under the B's. He scanned the list until he reached the end of the names. There, at the bottom, handwritten in pencil was Thurl Bailey's name. He looked to the boys surrounding him. "Did you write my name on this list?" Denial all around.

He had made the team. It wasn't varsity, but he did end up playing for the varsity team. He jokes that he was a starter. He got to tip the jump ball to a teammate. Then he was immediately taken out. Eventually he played more for his team and received numerous offers to play for several colleges.

I was inspired by his determination to never give up. It didn't matter that he didn't make the team two years in a row. It didn't matter that he only played to tip in the ball. He found he loved the game and wouldn't give up until he had accomplished his goals. He played professionally for 15 years before retiring.

If he can reach his goals and dreams without giving up, so can I. So can you.

So don't ever ever EVER give up.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You mean I won?

My sweet, funny friend, Carolyn, (who apparently stalks my blog) gave me this very nice blog award. So, now I have to find some people who I feel deserve this award. Hmmmm . . .

First,Jill, because not only is she my favorite sister, she makes me laugh. And she's nice to me. And she makes me yummy treats. And she has the cutest babies I know.

Second, Kristi, cause she's just awesome. She's funny and she writes blog posts that are enjoyable to read. She is either making me laugh or making me think. And, she encourages me in my insane running goals.

Third, Melinda. She writes the most beautiful and thoughtful posts. She's also got really great taste in boots. She might not agree, but I think we have similar tastes. She's sweet and fun and I just like her.

Fourth, my dear friend and writing buddy Karen. She has been the biggest support to me, especially with my writing, even when she didn't know why. She makes fabulous veggie sandwiches and rockin' awesome chicken enchiladas.

I am grateful for all of their friendships. They will never know how much they mean to me.

Okay. Now for the dreaded questions.

1. Where is your cell phone? In my giraffe purse, which I love.

2. Your hair? Pulled back. Need I say more?

3. Your mother? Taught me everything I know.

4. Your father? Taught me how to work hard and be responsible.

5. Your favorite food? Today--mint brownies ala mode.

6. Your dream last night? I was number two on the New York Times bestseller list. No wait, that was Karen.

7. Your favorite drink? Homemade hot cocoa.

8. Your dream/goal? Publish a book.

9. What room are you in? My office.

10. Your hobby? Reading, eating, running . . . Wait. Do I have to pick just one? I'm sorry, I can't.

11. Your fear? Losing my children--and I don't mean at the mall.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Putting on firesides and doing school visits 'cause I finally published my books.

13. Where were you last night? At home.

14. Something you aren't? (I'm going through the scout motto) Brave.

15. Muffins? Blueberry.

16. Wish list item? My own book.

17. Where did you grow up? Rural Idaho, since there is no such thing as urban Idaho.

18. Last thing you did? Ate a mint chocolate brownie. Mmmmm yummy.

19. What are you wearing? Yoga pants, what else?

20. Your TV? What about it?

21. Your pets? 1 turtle. She's the queen of the tank. Just ask her.

22. Your friends? Are awesome!

23. Your life? Good.

24. Your mood? Content.

25. Missing someone? Ummm, no. Should I be?

26. Vehicle? It's a mini-van. Yep. I'm cool.

27. Something you're not wearing? Earrings?

28. Your favorite store? The Purple Cow.

29. Your favorite color? Lavendar.

30. When was the last time you laughed? Really hard? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I was with my sister. We were probably reading Deep Thoughts.

31. Last time you cried? Cried? I don't cry. I don't know what you mean? I do know that it wasn't last week. Oh no, it wasn't then.

32. Your best friend? My sweetheart. He's awesome, and cool and smart and wise and fun, and . . .

33. One place that I go over and over? The kitchen. Not only do I find things I like to eat there, but I have to go there three times a day to fix meals, too.

34. One person who emails me regularly? Hmm. I'd have to say the secretary of the marketing person at Modbe.

Well, there you have it. Thanks for joining me on this lovely award-winning journey through blogland.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A humongously gigantic thank you

Some people have hundreds of followers or at least enough to quantify double digits. I have nine. But I have nine rockin' followers, darn it.

I was extremely surprised when I actually saw people showing up. I couln't believe it. People actually read my blog? Apparently there are some that do. And I thank you. Thank you for reading my drivel. I love you all.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Staying Away from the End Zone

Most of you know that I like to run. That doesn't mean I'm athletic or even coordinated. I just happen to like to run. The endorphins, I guess.

Even though I enjoy running, I hated P.E. as a kid. I was the one who tried to find a place to hide on the field. All the other kids were running to the end zone, arms raised high in the air screaming "pick me, pick me," so the kid with the football would throw it to them. I was hiding somwhere among the sidelines with my hand covering my face so said kid wouldn't throw the ball to me. Just call me the princess of invisibility.

A good friend of mine wrote an overwhelming and inspiring blog post about writers being in "the zone." This got me thinking.

I like to write. I've been trying to write, but have I actually ever been in the zone when I write? I want to be in "the zone." It sounds like a great place to be. I dream about being there, just kicking out my story. I can picture it flowing out onto the page. But that never happens to me. I think, pray, free write and when I sit down to write, part of the scene comes out and then I have more questions. Should my character do this or that? Is this really the right direction my story should take? What would she do in this situation? And on and on.

So, I wonder. Am I still that awkward kid in P.E. trying to stay away from the end zone? Only now I'm the awkward middle-aged woman who can't find "the zone?"

Hmmm. Something to think on.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What a Peach!

Or should I say what a bunch of peaches. Our tree this year was loaded and we have bottled 56 quarts and made 31 jars of jam, so far. There are still more peaches on the tree. I picked more this morning. Will we ever get to them all?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Lament

I've been away for a long time. I have missed blogland, and my friends here, but I didn't feel like I had anything to say. That and I let life consume me. Kind of like a ravenous teenager breaking their fast.

I wanted to come back so I thought about what I would actually say. What kind of post should it be? Nothing exciting is really happening. There's nothing to share. I could post something profound like some of my friends do. (And you know who you are, BTW) No. I never think of anything profound. What I'm thinking about? Yeah. That's what I'll post. What I've been thinking about. Well, the following is it. If you can make it through the next couple of paragraphs,I think you won't be disappointed. Just follow the link. It applies to me in more ways than one. Maybe it will for you, too.

While training to run a 5K, I have continually suffered from repeated injuries. It has been frustrating to start over again and again.

I've also struggled with writing. As I repeatedly sat with Alphasmart in hand staring into space, typing nothing, I questioned this as a wise career choice for me.

I've felt like life has dealt me one blow after another. But there have been a few things that have brought some peace and inspiration.

One, a quiet visit with a friend;
Two, a lesson on prayer;
Three, the Ensign;
Four, my sweetheart;
Five, sweet little Enjay;
And last, but not least, this:
When I feel alone . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Glass Castle

I recently read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Her direct writing style painted not only physical pictures, but emotional pictures as well. I was overcome by her story. She is one of THE most amazing people I've ever heard or read about. This is her first line:

"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."

I haven't read a more intelligent, educational, stirring, and eye-opening book in a very long time, if ever. It has definitely moved into my list of favorites.

In an interview she said, "The shame is not in falling, the shame is in staying down." This completely sums up not only what I've seen of her, but her story.

If you are interested, you can see part of a speech she gave at a conference.

Her story is extraordinary and so is she.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Things I've Learned

I like to run. I've always liked to run. But I haven't done any running for a long time. I wanted to get back into shape , so I started walking. Then I decided to train for a 5K. I'd already been walking about 4 1/2 miles. I started running. I was at one mile after the first week. I was at two miles at the end of the second week. Week three I injured my knee. I could not have been more frustrated. I knew I couldn't run on it. I did strengthening exercises and walked, but that didn't help. Everything I did just aggravated it. And, quite frankly, I was aggravated with it. All I could do was cry through every workout and shake my fists at the injury gods.

Enough of that. Down to the things I learned:

1) Get a program before you start to train.
2) Don't push your body beyond its ability to healthily respond.
3) Injuries really ____. (Fill in the blank. And remember to watch your language.)
4) Running is the bomb. (Okay, I already knew that, but it's still true.)
5) When you set a goal, there's always someone or something that's more than willing to shoot you down.
6) Don't listen to them/it.

I found out that I strained the bursa something something in my knee and I'm on anti-inflammatories. I have a week to do non-jarring physical activity. If it doesn't get better, I have to get x-rays and possibly never run again. That would really be the pits.

I'm being positive, though. It will get better. I will run again. Even if it kills me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WIFYR 2009

I love writing conferences. I get to hang out with my writing friends. I get to learn all kinds of great stuff about writing. I get to network with really cool people. I get to meet new writing friends. And, of course, I get to buy new books. What's not to love about that?

Last week was absolutely fabulous. I spent the entire week at BYU sitting next to Janette Rallison, who I have been stalking for a couple of years now. I'm not sure she appreciated me camping out right next to her. But it certainly worked for me. She is so talented and fun. I learned more than I think my brain can hold and had a couple of moments of epiphany which changed not only me as a person, but changed me as a writer. Best of all, I got to laugh. A lot. I also got to cheer on writing friends as they made incredible strides with their writing careers.

As Mattie would say, it was hdra (hands down rockin' awesome).

Here's some of the pics of my great friends.

I love these people. What can I say more?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Which Character Am I?

Personality tests. I never take them. I delete and ignore them all. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I don't care what kind of personality I have or who I'm like. But I saw my fab friend, Kristi, post one and decided to take it. Just for the heck of it. And because she said that her character matched her perfectly.

She wasn't kidding when she said hers was right on. That Jane Austen character really does fit her. Well, so does mine. And here she is.

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I know you were all wondering which character I was. And now you know.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not the truck GMC . . . the other one

My fabulous friend, Karen, let me borrow one of her books a few weeks ago. It talked about goal, motivation and conflict. I learned a lot of great things from that book. It helped me to focus on the right things as I worked on my manuscript. My writing improved because of the things I learned.

Although reading this book was awesome, the real purpose of my post is not just this great book and applying it to my writing, but how I can apply it to my life.

I have a goal. I have a mountain of motivation. My journey has also had tremendous conflict. How am I going to overcome this conflict and accomplish my goal?

The conference this weekend opened up doors for me, giving me the opportunities I needed. I am so grateful for these.

So, thanks to Julie Wright, who totally rocks. Thanks to Julie Bellon, who is the best lunch buddy anyone could ask for. Thanks to my bestest friend, Karen, for, well, everything. Thanks to the incredible table of writers at boot camp. You are awesome! And thanks to my amazing writing friends--among whom are Kristi, Melinda, Jewel and Shanna. Thanks for your friendship and support.

I'm ready to keep my goal in focus and squelch anything that comes that may keep me from accomlishing it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise

I came home from school today. Decided to check out my e-mail before I relaxed for a few minutes and found this. Most of you have probably seen it already, but if you haven't it's worth a look-see.

It wouldn't let me embed it, but here's the link. I love to see Piers and Simon blown out of the water. Enjoy!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Two of the Most Beautiful Words

Two of the most beautiful words in the English language are:

Spring Break.

After experiencing a run-in with an emotional and mental meat grinder, I am ready. What more can be said? Spring break, with the emphasis on break.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh What a Rush

This was an amazing day. We saw howler monkeys and parrots, coatis and vultures airing out their wings. The picture of the monkeys is of a mama and her baby. The cute little long-nosed animals are coatis. They are related to racoons. Such cute little critters.

The last picture is not the most exciting picture, but brings back the greatest memories for me. Because that's me on a zip line, flying through the air for approximately 1200 feet high above the rain forest floor. It was a total rush. One of the funnest things I've ever done.

Weeeeeeeeee . . . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Next Installment

Here's day number two.

One of the many exotic birds we saw.

One of the scary crocs we saw.

Our fearless cap-i-tain feeding a 12 foot croc. Eeek!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It Was the Bomb

Okay, here is the way more fun post. If you want to read the depressing one, see my previous post. If you want to see the way fun post, keep reading.

I spent the past week in Costa Rica. Yes, the Central American country between Nicaragua and Panama. The home of the filming of Jurassic Park.

Can you say ultimate vacation? Amazing, stupendous and awesome don't even come close to this experience.

We spent two days on the Pacific Coast and two days inland at the Arenal Volcano. I'll have to post the pictures in installments. These are pictures that we actually took from our first day.

This is the view from the hotel room.

This is our Costa Rican friend that lived just outside our room.

Beautiful sunset from the ferry boat across the gulf.

Stay tuned for more . . .

And yes, it truly was the Bomb!

Difficult Passions

I usually like to blog about fun things, exciting things, things to think about, but today I need to write about something a little less fun.

Why is it that something that I love so much, something that I am passionate about is so difficult for me? I write and rewrite and edit and send it off to friends who generously read through my puke on the page and when I get it back, there are red marks all through it. (I should expect that. It is puke, right?)

This is not to say that the friends that critique my work have done poorly. In fact, they have done a tremendous job and given some great ideas and insights that would make my story better, much better.

It is just that I feel so discouraged. Why can't I write something good? Why does it always come out like cr**? Will I ever learn?

Okay, I'm done now. I just needed to get it out. Next post -- something a lot more fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Forgotten Warrior

Syd is a tough, yet tender, teenager. Through a miraculous event, she is transported back in time. To her dismay, she leaves her sick mother and mentally challenged sister behind. Mistaken for a boy, and accused of being a spy, she has to prove herself to Captain Helaman and his second-in-command, Tarik (who also happens to be a hot stripling warrior).
I was drawn to Syd from the start. Her courage and story made joining her in this journey through Book of Mormon times a pleasure. I found putting the book down difficult. I wanted to keep going to see what would happen to her and her relationships with these people from earlier times.
Kathi Oram Peterson exceeded my expectations of this time-traveling story through part of Book of Mormon history. I enjoyed thinking about what life must have been like for them during these war-torn years. Kathi painted a superb picture of life during this time.
I care for these characters and wanted to know more about what was going to happen to them. What is going to happen to Syd? Does she get to go home? Where is Tarik? Is he okay? Apparently we’ll have to wait for the sequel. But I think it will be a wait worth waiting for.
To read Kathi’s great story The Forgotten Warrior, go to Deseret Book, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or Seagull Book.
To find out more information about Kathi and her other works, go to her blog or her website.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


What is it about the term grindstone? What does 'back to the grindstone' really mean? Hmmmm.

I don't know why these random things come into my head, but I truly was wondering about this as I thought about coming back from LTUE and having to go back to work on Monday. Teaching fifth graders. Chatty fifth graders. So, I looked it up. Here's what I found.

* Merriam Webster says that it's a flat circular stone of natural sandstone that revolves on an axle and is used for grinding.

* Keep your nose to the grindstone means to apply yourself conscientiously to your work.

* Some think that the phrase came from millers checking the stones to make sure they weren't getting too hot and burning the flour, but those were millstones, not grindstones.

* Others think that it came from knife sharpeners who had to bend over close to the grindstone as they sharpened the knives. (I must agree that this would be hard work.)

* In regards to the knife sharpeners, a writer named John Frith said, "[They] holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces."

So, apparently, getting back to the grindstone means to get back to work. And that is what I had to do Monday. Go back to work ... er ... the grindstone.

Hope it doesn't disfigure my face.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Well, Miss Rachel and I are home from LTUE. We had a fabulous time together. I like spending time with her. She is a very talented and sweet person.

We hung out with our fantabulous writer friends and talked and laughed and laughed some more. Thanks Karen, James, Julie, Melinda and Kristi. These are amazing people and I am so grateful to count them as friends.

I even got a surprise visit from my sister. She provided our entertainment. It was a riot.

I didn't take any pictures, although I packed my camera with me everywhere I went. Figures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Note Number Fourteen

I love my husband.

He is a sensitive, smart, hardworking, handsome, thoughtful and kind man. His eyes sparkle when he smiles and makes my heart melt. He is my very best friend. He listens to me. He supports me in all of the crazy things I want to do. He holds my hand when we walk down the street. He opens doors for me when we go into a building or get in the car. He remembers things like Valentines Day, our anniversary and my birthday. He gives me beautiful cards that make me cry tears of happiness. He is a great father to our children. He is an excellent example to them of how one should live. He is supportive of them and their talents.

He is an amazing man and I am so lucky that he chose me to be his wife.

I love you, sweetheart.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Note Number Thirteen

I love art.

I love looking at art, learning about art, even doing a little bit of art. I'm not good and what I do is crafty art, not serious art, but I love it just the same. Here's one of mine. I call it "Birdie in the Garden."

One of my favorite artists is James C. Christensen. He is amazing. Thanks to my sister for introducing me to him. I love so much of his work, but here is my favorite piece called "A Place of Her Own."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Note Number Twelve

I love Spring.

The buds forming on the trees and plants. The blooms on the flowers. The colors. The life that breathes into everything after winter's death. The beginning of summer's warmth. The soft downy chicks. The little fuzzy bunnies. All the baby animals that are just so darn cute. The trimmed yards and flower beds. Planting seeds in our vegetable garden and watching them grow. I can taste the fresh tomatoes now. Ooo, and the creamy peas and potatoes with corn on the cob. Yum! Yum!

It's a new beginning. A beginning of new life.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Number Eleven Love

Boyds Bears.

Who can resist those cute little fuzzy animals. They each have their own unique personality. Miss Macintosh stands with apple in hand ready to teach her class. Jeannine De Bearvoire sits with purple hat tilted to one side and seems to say "Hello Dah-ling." Little Bear-Peep holds her sheep 'cause gratefully she found them.

I love them all. All I have to do is walk in to my office and I smile. They make me so very happy.

Love Number 10


What isn't to love about them? They allow you to travel to exotic places, meet new amazing people, find out that your life isn't so bad after all. It can be a learning experience or an escape.

I love devouring a good book. I just love a good story.

I can't go into a bookstore without purchasing at least one. I love that I have a teacher discount at Barnes and Noble and I love our children's bookstore, The Purple Cow. I like the people who work there and I'm surrounded by children's literature.

Hmmm. I think I'll go there now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love Note Number Nine

I love music.

All kinds. I love to listen to it. I love to sing it and I love to play it. I can't even begin to say which are my favorites. I love broadway music, new age, country, pop, oldies, classical, the list goes on and on.

I love piano music. I like to just sit down at the piano and play and play and play. It calms and relaxes me. Ahhhh . . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Number Eight Love

I love my friends.

I have had many friendships over the years. I am grateful for each one and all that they have taught me. Most I don't keep in touch with any more, but the memories I have of them will stay with me forever.

I am especially grateful for the writing friends that I have made. I love keeping in touch with them through blogging.

There is one friend in particular that I am extremely grateful for. She has been a tremendous support to me. She listens to me rant, but never judges me. When I have faced disappointments, she was there encouraging me. She is happy for me when success finds me.

If it weren't for her, I would still be a closet writer. After reading all the "puked on" pages, she has offered positive encouragement. Not one negative word escapes from her. She is thoughtful, always bringing me yummy things she makes. She makes me veggie sandwiches and I sit and watch her because I know if I help they just won't be as good.

She is extremely talented. She writes beautifully, cooks tremendously, plays the flute amazingly, sings angelically and even builds rooms and shelves carpenteringly. (Okay that wasn't a word, but I had to continue the sentence with an adverb, right?)

She loves and accepts my children and puts up with their silliness. She puts up with our truck putting holes in her lawn. She puts up with the strip of dirt and weeds that we have said for years we would put nice rock in.

I am so grateful to have met her and have her such an integral part of my life.

I love you, Karen.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love Note -- Day Seven

I love my fairy door.

It just reminds me of cute little fairies with iridescent wings, fluttering around. It sits on my shelf with some beautiful fairies waiting for their friends to come out in the middle of the night to play. I've posted about my door before, but I'm doing it again, because it's one of my loves.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Sixth Love Note

I love my parents.

They have done more for me than I could even describe. They taught me righteous principles, integrity, hard work, patience, humor, and faith. Basically, what a functional family looks like.

I was encouraged to do my best in all that I did, to not be a quitter, that life is hard, but perseverance is key. They taught me that when times get tough, "This too shall pass," so get get up and keep moving.

I have the best time with my parents. We don't have to be entertained. All we have to do is sit and visit and that is all the entertainment we need. They are amazing people. They taught me well. They have supported, encouraged and guided me throughout my life. I am so grateful for them.

I love you, Mom and Dad!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love Note -- Day Five

I love my children. They are each amazing in their own way.

My oldest is 16, has her drivers permit, loves life, gets excited over the simple things, is an amazing writer and will graduate from high school with her associates degree. (She's way smarter than me).

My second daughter is 14, a high school freshman, an animal lover, has an amazingly sweet disposition, is a talented dancer, clarinet and bassoon player, a villager, a sheep and teacup in the upcoming high school musical "Beauty and the Beast."

My oldest son is 12. He is a talented author and illustrator, a great hugger, a boy scout, basketball player and comedian.

My second son is 8. He is a basketball player, scout, has an amazing smile and cleans his room without being asked. (Why couldn't he have been the oldest?)

They bring lots of joy and laughter into my laugh. I am who I am today because of them.

I love you, my sweeties!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Fourth Day Love Note

Another love of mine is heavenly hot fudge.

Oooo, the chocolatey goo melts in my mouth. All I have to do is close my eyes and enjoy the creamy cocoa-flavored sensations. I can eat it on ice cream, cake or just plain out of the jar. What more can I say? I love the stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Note -- Day Three

Teaching -- and Learning. These are my loves of day three. And they so go together.

I love teaching. I love seeing the light go on in the eyes of a student. I love finding different ways of teaching that make a topic meaningful. I love making school subjects approachable and inviting. I love researching a topic and finding better ways to teach. I love igniting sparks and sharing my enthusiasm.

I loved going to school and learning new things. I love reading. I learn something every time I pick up a book. I love the things I learn as I study topics I am preparing to teach. I love being involved in a classroom discussion and having the students make comments that teach me.

They both are so rewarding. I just . . . LOVE it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Second Day Love

Something else I love -- hanging out with my sister.

I have great memories of staying up late, reading Deep Thoughts and laughing until I cried and my stomach muscles ached. Hearing her voice tell me the latest thing her three-year-old daughter just said. Shopping 'til we run out of money. Sharing our frustrations on the phone as we watch the weigh-ins on The Biggest Loser. Sharing books. Brainstorming manuscript ideas together. Singing "In His Eyes" together (as well as other music from great broadway musicals) (I'll give you my heart, if you give me your face). And laughing. We always, always laugh when we are together.

I just love her. I might be the big sister, but she is the one I look up to. She is the most talented, fun, beautiful person.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Love Note -- Day One

I loved this idea that I saw on Rachelle and Karen's blogs. Every day until February 15th I'll be blogging about something I love.

There are so many things that I love. It's hard to pick which one to start with.

I love writing. It allows me to create. It has given me countless new friends (both living and non-living). It gives me time for introspection. It lets me play with words. It is satisfying and rewarding. It's also a lot of work, but work that is worth it. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I just finished reading Recovering Charles by Jason Wright. What an amazing author! I so enjoy his books. I wanted to blog about his book after the first two pages, but constrained myself until I had finished it. It's a beautiful story of forgiveness during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I was so moved by this story. Not only does he have great story ideas, but he's a great writer, too. Thanks, Jason. It was absolutely inspiring.

If you haven't read this yet, go to deseretbook.com or amazon.com and pick it up today. It's a great read. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

She's Alive!

Yes, it's true. I am alive.

Although it has been an overwhelming few months, I am here and ready to move forward. My degree has been posted, so I am an official graduate. It was a good experience. I learned a lot. I am glad to be moving on to the next thing, however.

I have been trying to play catch-up from being so busy and gone so much. I am spending lots of time cleaning out and organizing. I'm almost there and can finally take the time to read a few blogs. It's good to be back in the land of the living and not just the land of the existing.

Hope you all had a great holiday and are ready to take on this new year.