Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm not MIA I promise, I've just decided to move all of my blogs to WordPress.  

Please visit  my new blog location at  

The home page now features my craft projects.  To view what's going on in my life, you'll want to click on Live Faithfule link.  To view this page though, you will need a password.  If you would like to receive said password, please comment on this post and I will contact you individually.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Look Up I Say Look Up

Once again I have had the chance to attend a Time Out For Women weekend. This is going to become my new habit I think. So much of my life is chaotic and this last week has been one I could have lived a million lifetimes without ever having had to endure but endure it I did. After the horrible start to the week, followed by an even worse midweek I was ready for it to come to an end. What I wasn't quite ready for though is for it to come to an end quite the way it did. I attended TOFW last year too so I thought I was prepared...guess that's what I get for thinking cuz um...yeah sorry so wasn't prepared.

Where was I headed next...lemme think...sorry my thoughts are still a little scattered right now. Oh yeah so Friday afternoon just moments before needing to walk out the door to join the girlies for TOFW 2010 I discover something that just leaves me feeling violated and angry all over again and I told Verizon I didn't even want to go. Go I did and I am so glad.

The drive up, or is it over? Over and up maybe? The drive to our TOFW venue taught me a couple of lessons. Adult women, when away from kids and husbands and crazy neighbors are really just teenagers in bigger bodies. We laughed and giggled and screamed in surround sound! It was so much fun. We arrive in the heart of the city and proceed to find our hotel but instead drive around and around and around and around and around and maybe around again. Finally we decide to just park and get our get our hind parts over to the convention center. As luck would have it, I wound up with FRONT ROW seats WOOT!

I need to back up a little bit though...back to that around and around thing. We couldn't find that dang hotel anywhere no matter how what we did. Being women we even stopped and asked for directions, but still couldn't find the hotel. As we left the parking garage and headed to the convention center we were forced to look up..or maybe we just naturally looked up...and right there in front of us just one block away was the hotel.

That experience kept coming to me over and over throughout the event but I didn't quite get it until Mercy River performed their closing song and after the last lyric was sung, they all stood there so beautifully heads lifted to the heavens. They looked up and then, at that precise moment in time, I knew where the prompting came from...

Had we have just looked up, we would have known the hotel was on our right and not our left. Had we have just looked up, we'd have known exactly how to get to where we wanted and needed to be, but it never occurred to us I guess and we remained off course.

I'm sure I'm the only one that this happens to, but when I'm down and discouraged the muscles in the my neck forget their function and my head drops. I find I look down way more than I do up. The plus side of this though is I do get to see a lot of fabulous shoes! I have always thought it was because maybe I wanted to hide the emotion in my face from those around me or because it is easier to pretend nothing's wrong when you don't make eye contact with people or the strange medical phenomenon that happens in my neck or a million other things. Or maybe, I look down to hide from the one person ready and willing and fully capable of helping me. It didn't occur to me that perhaps this was a the exact opposite of what I should be doing...looking up. Look up I say, look up.

Look Up I Say, Look Up
©Masked Marauder

When you can't see around the next bend
let alone the road's end

When the light disappears from your day
and darkness appears intent to stay

When you lose control and find doubt
when you feel stuck with no way out

When you are out of courage and hope
when you lack the strength to even cope

When you are surrounded by people yet you feel alone
when you want to just crawl under a big stone

When you feel insecure and afraid
and wonder if you should have stayed

When you find yourself weak
and unable to find any words you can speak

Look up I say, look up to Him who knows
in His perfect like everything glows.

Look up to Him for courage and find strength
for your redemption he's suffered great length.

Look up to Him and find directions for life
certain to provide comfort no matter what your strife.

Look up I say, look up no matter how dark the day
look up and he'll show you the way.

It needs some work I know....

How many times in our lives do we drift a bit off course and look down or sideways instead of up? How many times do our struggles seem to difficult to bear and we lose our hope and our courage and our strength for no other reason than we fail to look up? How many times do we need answers and look to our friends, neighbors, family, the Internet, food, addiction, shopping, education, music, etc for the answers; answers that are often incorrect?

What if, instead of circling over and over in the wrong direction we'd have just pulled over and looked up to our Heavenly Father for his wisdom and guidance? Do you think He could have told us we were just a block off course and shown us exactly how to get where we needed to be? Do you really think He cares about us enough to help in all the little things? Of course, but then I wouldn't have had the inspiration to write this blog now would I?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How they know

So I posed some questions to my children: "Do you know I love you by what I say or by what I do" and "What do I say or do that makes you KNOW I love are their replies:

Mommy's Boy says:
I know you love my by what you do. You kiss my owies, you hug and kiss me, you protect me and keep me safe, you give me courage to be the better person and walk away when people are being mean, and sometimes you let us outside without tickets. You let us go to friends' houses when we're supposed to be doing our chores. You also say that you love us and show that you love us. You do the best as you can at being a mom. You discipline us. You buy us movies and that's all.

Sass Master says:
I know you love me by what you do and say. You take me to Panera by myself, you snuggle with us, you let us watch t.v. when we're supposed to be doing chores, you take us to the park and the zoo and you take us places we've never been. You tell us to keep our head up and you take us to scrapbooking stores and scrapbook with us. You let us have a kitty kat, you buy us fishies and give us packets so we can not be bored at General Conference and you let me share a room with you.

Come-back Queen says
: I know you love us because you care for us. You let us go outside when we're not supposed to, you take us to church, you teach us the gospel, you provide for us by giving us food, clothes, and a place to live, and you struggle to make it so we can get stuff. You share almost everything with us, you worry about us more than you worry about yourself, you try and take us swimming, and you try and give us as many vacations as you can. You create stuff for us like the amazing wall we have.

Monday, March 8, 2010

How will they know I love them

One of the silly songs my kids and I sing together comes from Enchanted. Giselle asks Richard how Nancy knows he loves her and then breaks into song. "How does she know that you love her? How do you show her you love her?" As I evaulate my curtain circumstance, I find myself asking this question a lot when it comes to my children.

Will they know I love them because:

I dole out consequences for bad behavior or give them room to make mistakes so they can grow? Or maybe they'll know I love them because I insist on teaching them to fish versus just giving them one. Will they know I love them because of the sacrifices I've chosen to make for them? Or will they know because I tell them over and over? Will they know I love them because I endure despite the difficulty, because I refuse to give up, because I have gone to great lengths to keep them safe, because I am trying to get college over and done as fast as I can so I can find a job capable of supporting them all on my own? Will they know I love them when, thinking they are all asleep, I finally allow myself to cry and they hear me? Will they know I love them when I sleep as much a week as most people sleep in 3 or 4 days and can be grumpy as a result? Will they know I love them when they realize that sometimes they are the only thing that keeps me going??

There are so many questions I have like this, but the ones that often cause me to lose sleep at night are these:

Will they know I love them when:

I stayed in an abusive marriage way longer than I should have?

I kept doors open that I should have not only locked but thrown away the keys to?

I lose my temper and yell at them?

I can't always be at every school function?

I've cried tears I should have hidden from them but didn't?

I chose to work and go to school both giving me less time to spend playing with them?

I have to say no way too often and yes not often enough?

I couldn't trust enough to give my heart to someone again?

I tried and failed?

I've made mistakes and forgotten to say I'm sorry?

I've gotten mad at them for no reason?

I don't know how they'll know, I honestly don't. I just hope that somehow they are able to know and understand how deep the love I have for them goes and that they'll be able to forgive me for all the mistakes I've made and all the ones I'm likely going to make in the future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Personal Narrative

Week 2 assignment in English Comp. Enjoy!

November 10th, 1991 is a day I will never forget and not just because it is my sister's birthday. It is the day I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My life has never been the same since. While I can't recall all the details of my actual baptism, I can recall what led up to this decision. Whenever I remember these events, they play out in technicolor in my head.

You see, I had been raised in a baptist church. The local church bus came to pick us up real early on Sundays and we got back late in the afternoon. My mother found it the perfect daycare situation and we were on that bus every week, whether we wanted to go or not. Every week the preacher got up and talked about why all the others denominations of Christianity were wrong and every week I listened. At the know-it-all age of 16, I approached my pastor with some specific theology questions. None of them he had answers for and I decided I wouldn't be attending church there or anywhere else until I found answers.

Time went by without much thought to the conversation I had with him until about a year later when my sister called me and told me she was getting baptized. I remember my response vividly. I said to her "what do you mean baptized, you are Catholic and have been sprinkled already." It was then that she informed me she had decided to change her religion and was getting baptized into the LDS church. I dropped the phone and FLIPPED out for real. Granted I knew NOTHING of how LDS people believed, I just remember my minister telling me their belief system was wrong. Sadly, I refused to attend her baptism; it is one of very few things I wish I'd have done differently.

Shortly after her baptism, we were traveling to a friend of mine's house. To get there, it required we drive right past the Portland Temple. To my dismay, my sister asked "isn't the temple right around here?" Before I knew it, we had deviated from the original course and were now on our way to the temple. I was angry, scared, and convinced we were going to hell. My sister and the boyfriend she had at the time got out of the car and didn't even ask if I wanted to come with them to walk the grounds. I figured if we were all going to hell for being there anyway, we might as well go together and quickly joined them.

The first thing I noticed was how quiet the grounds were. The Portland Temple is situated just off a major section of interstate. I could throw a rock from temple grounds into the highway if I wanted and yet, on temple grounds, the traffic is barely audible. After walking around the entire building I was willing to admit only one thing: it was absolutely beautiful. We got to the door of the temple and a woman dressed in white opened the door. Because I was the only one appropriately dressed, she only extended the invitation to come inside the building to me. There was NO WAY I was going in there. Are you KIDDING me. Heaven only knows what these people would do to me once they got me in there. I started backpedaling and my sister looked at me with her beautiful sad brown eyes as if to say "please sister, I'd do it for you" and I though I did demand they send search and rescue in for me if I wasn't out in 10 minutes, I relented.

When I stepped onto the foyer's carpet the first thing I noticed was how velvety soft and padded it was. I imagine walking on this carpet must be what it feels like to walk on clouds. Everything was so simple and elegant. It was just beautiful, too beautiful to even begin to describe. Off the foyer is a garden room. The walls are marble and the ceiling is glass. Large flower beds provide sanctuary to an array of vegetation. I remember the orchids and bamboo because it was so uncommon to see things thing in Portland in October. I found a bench to sit on and just sat there thinking and reflecting and embracing the spirit of the temple. I looked through the glass ceiling of the temple at the spires and statue atop the temple in awe. And the peace, oh how I remember the peace. My life was in a little bit of turmoil at the time and here, in this building I never wanted to be in in the first place, I was finding perfect peace. After what my sister reports to be about 45 minutes or more, I finally returned to her and her boyfriend. The first thing she said was "wow her entire countenance is different."

We never made it to my friend's house that night. Instead, we went back to our apartment and I had a long involved conversation with my sister's missionaries. We talked all night and I came to an agreement. If they had detailed answers to my questions, I would let them teach me about their faith. As promised, the missionaries had the answers I had been seeking and 10 days later I was baptized. Now, some 18 years later, I have no idea where I would be today had it not been for this experience. Without this experience, I'm not sure I'd have ever joined the LDS church and without the LDS church, I don't know where I'd be.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meet Gregor

My first writing assignment in English Comp was to write a one page description of a character for a reading assignment we were given named Gregor. I had to answer what color he was, how many eyes, mouths, and teeth he had, did he have wings, how big he was, what his body looked like and what his voice sounded like. Here is my submission:

“Am I well and do I need anything?” thought Gregor. No, no he was not well indeed.

Standing just 27 inches tall and weighing 10 pounds, what Gregor lacked in size he certainly made up for in heart. Gregor’s heart was so big, his chest would glow a faint shade of green with each beat. When he was excited or in the presence of someone he loved, his heart would beat so rapidly the faint glow of green was constant. Gregor’s glow was constant most of the time and he was often ridiculed for it, but Gregor’s big heart was not the problem this time.

Like each member of his family, he was purple from head to toe and his skin felt like velvet. He had the traditional overly large head of those around him and two of his three eyes were red. The third, the one that could actually see into the very soul of people, was a soft shade of blue. This soft color made people want to get lost in Gregor’s gaze and that’s what enabled him to see their soul.

Gregor’s two legs made up more than half of his total stature and his tiny torso barely had room for his three sets of arms. The hands on each arm contained different digits, allowing Gregor to do a variety of tasks. The hands on the arms closest to his head contain a thumb and forefinger on each hand. This allows just enough dexterity for holding and picking up things. The hands on the middle set of arms contain one thumb and two fingers and serve to further allow Gregor to pick up and hold objects. The hands on his last sets of arms contain a thumb and 6 fingers and allow him to do just about anything. Gregor never has to ask for anyone to give him a hand because he has all of them he needs.

His wide-eyed toothless grin and glowing heart has had people falling in love with him for years. He was the only son in a family of 33 children and everyone was waiting patiently to for his tail to develop. Males of Gregor’s species develop tales in adolescence. The color of these tales is used to determine the primary function of each member of the species. Gregor’s family was hoping his tale would be gold. This would mean Gregor was destined for leadership among his people. His family had been waiting for weeks with no signs of an emerging tail; each of them grew more and more concerned.

On this morning, the unthinkable happened. Gregor successfully fooled his mother into accepting his normal deep voice but in all reality, Gregor’s voice had developed and unusually high pitch to it. It bore quite a resemblance to the sound made by speakers when a microphone is too close and this caused Gregor much concern. Only the female half of his species had voices like this.
In the quiet recesses of his room, Gregor tried to clear his throat hoping this high pitched tone was the byproduct of something being stuck in his throat. No matter what he tried though, his deep baritone voice was gone and he wasn’t sure he could face his family. To make matters worse, instead of a tail having developed, Gregor now had black wings. Wings were exclusively reserved for women. Wings were a necessary appendage on the female portion of Gregor’s specie. Like many human women, the women of Gregor’s specie often had way more to do than they had time to do it and wings allowed them to flitter to and fro diminishing the travel time between tasks. Gregor could not believe he had wings and felt betrayed by the parents he loved. So much so that his heart no longer glowed green constantly while in their presence. Somebody certainly had some explaining to do.

Having been raised a boy his entire life, these new physical changes made him anything but well and he needed a lot, but how would he dare begin to explain this to his sister let alone face her?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Human Resources

For my Success Strategies course I am to write about the "human resources" I have to support me in my educational goals. The instructor identifies these people as those outside school who support me when I face challenges. Specifically, I've been instructed to answer the questions "how do they help you when you have challenges?" and "if you have an issue, how will your resources be of assistance?"

I am blessed to have many human resources; it would be impossible for me to list them all by name. Here are some of the ones I rely on most, in mostly random order:

The Minis: They are my first source of unyielding support and they are the reason I'm even doing this whole school thing all over again in the first place. They help me when I have challenges in a few different ways. First, they do more around the house for me so I have more time to focus on school. Sass Master has learned to cook and can pretty much follow any recipe and together her, Come-back Queen and Mommy's Boy (new names for them) do almost all of the chores in the house. Sass Master is also pretty professional on the phone, so she can take a good message when the phone rings and I'm studying and she can make appointments or cancel them for me as I need as well. They can't do anything for me when facing a school specific challenge, but their love for me and belief in me keeps me encouraged. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me encouraged.

Verizon: I think she has been my biggest supporter my entire life. She has always been the one to believe in me, even when I'm doing wrong and even when no one else does. She tells me on a daily basis how proud of me she is and her support has always been invaluable. Already she has helped me get through a few challenges in Anatomy and Physiology. She is always there to offer an encouraging word, text, or IM just at the precise moment I need to hear it. We were talking about this class this morning and she pointed out that she thought it was good for me to be challenged by this course (unlike her, I do not enjoy science nor does it enjoy me) because none of the others are. She remembered/reminded me that without a challenge, I get bored and when bored, I lose drive. I cannot afford to be bored my first quarter in school. Additionally, because Verizon has gone to school with me in the past, she knows the caliber of my intellect and has already reminded me that, while it may take a more focused effort, I am smart enough and talented enough to get my head around A & P. If I have an issue, Verizon will help engage my brain and problem solve a solution with me if that engagement isn't enough to help me solve the issue on my own. Everyone should have a human resource like Verizon in their school or life supplies!

Bear: In the dictionary, when you look up "unconditional love" there should be a picture of my brother Bear. He is one of the most incredible men I've ever known. He's one of those people who makes you feel better just by being around him. A hug from him often fixes everything that's wrong in my world, even if it's only temporary. Bear helps me respond to challenges by keeping everything nice and laid back. Sometimes I struggle and face challenges simply because I get bent out of shape over something or caught up in worrying about it. Bear is as cool as ice. He doesn't ever seem to get his "cage rattled" and I'm not sure I've ever even HEARD about him being angry, let alone seen him lose his cool. Often all it takes to solve the problem is a cool head and Bear has helped me get mine back more than once.

Daddy: My Daddy is the wisest, smartest man I know. He and I have had some very heavy and intensely deep personal conversations. I mean he IS my Dad after all. The way my Daddy helps me respond to challenges is to believe in me and remind me that my Heavenly Father loves and believes me even more than he does. This is HUGE. I would suggest that, aside from my son, no man loves me as much as my Daddy does. I know he loves me by what he does for me, what he says to me, and how he uses his influence and love for the benefit of me and the Minis. When he reminds me that my Heavenly Father loves me even more and before I was Daddy's daughter, I was first Heavenly Father's daughter, it helps me appreciate my worth. Like Sass Master IS her mother's daughter, I am my Heavenly Father's daughter. All that He is, I have the capability of being and often this gentle reminder from my Daddy is all I need to tap into the greatness he knows I have inside me.

MissWisc: This is my BESTIE! She herself says "We've been kickin' her butt for years, no reason for it to stop now." She is good for a butt kicking that's for sure. In fact, I owe part of being back in school to her as well. She has been sending me links for scholarships and various other things to support me in my goals for years and least 10 if not more. She is quick to remind me to put first things first and, like each of the rest of my human resources, believes in me when I am unable to believe in myself. MissWisc often helps me think outside the box. She helps me see not just the big picture, but the entire picture and can put anything in perspective. When commenting on how much more fun it was to take chipmunk tests on Facebook instead of read for school she said reminded me I could only take chipmunk tests "if you want to be a chipmunk when you grow up. Do your schoolwork then play, understand?" MissWisc is one of a few people not afraid to give me "tough talk" when I need to hear it and does so in such a way I am able to internalize it and make changes.

Lyrica: This gal is something else. She is one of the most brilliant minds I know and a HIGH C personality type like me. She's been my go-to-gal on many things for many years. Master P, her hubby, has picked on us repeatedly for the duration of our conversations (we can't help it though we both know and use a LOT of words), but she's always been great at helping me find my words when I've lost them. She is a wealth of information, has a vast degree of life experience, and loves me and wants to see me succeed. She can help when I face challenges in NUMEROUS ways. If the challenge is anything word related, I know I can count on her to help me find the solution. She can help me proof read assignments, she can help me bounce ideas off her first for clarity and cohesion and the list is endless. She's one of the rare few that I think use more than just the average 10% of her brain and, being a bit of a brainiac myself, this is one of the qualities I admire most about her. If I have an issue, I know I can come to her and together we can find a solution to virtually anything. She's helped me crunch numbers, find words, make sure all my t's are crossed and i's are dotted and even helped me put more than just periods at the end of my sentences. The thing I rely on most when it comes to Lyrica though, is her belief in God. Sometimes the only solution is to stop and pray and there is strength in numbers. In these circumstances, I know I can always count on her to pray not just for me, but with me and sometimes this has made all the difference.

B Cubed: Everyone needs to have a friend like him. They (whoever they are) say laughter is the best medicine and I count on B Cubed to keep me giggling. Sometimes my biggest challenge is myself. When I am feeling overwhelmed and need to call an audible , one of the first things I do is send him an IM or check out his Facebook status message. I can almost guarantee it will be something clever and witty that makes me laugh. This laughter often provides just the balm I need to gain a fresh prospective on the situation. With this prospective, comes the ability to overcome challenges. Additionally, B Cubed has an opinion and is not afraid to use it. His opinion on things have often helped me respond to challenges in a unique way and often that response has helped me grow. Finally, B Cubed is, in my opinion, the perfect man. He's sensitive and caring and passionate and ALL man all at the same time. I count on him for a "manspective" on things sometimes but he is always able to package it nice and sweet! I just love this about him!

Super K: Though he's not "outside of school", his support and encouragement have helped from day one. When I have a challenge at school, I often vent to Super K and he cracks me up with his Sweet IM responses. When I have an issue I don't have the patience to figure out the solution for on my own (like why I didn't receive my Adobe software for instance), I often shoot Super K a message and have come to rely on him to assist me in finding the solution. He was one of the first people to yield unrelenting support of returning to school (and I suspect not just because they pay him to) and his push to make it happen sooner than later has been a very good thing! Btw Super K, have they given you that raise yet?!?!?

Shawshank: She has known me her entire life and still loves me despite all the horrid things I did to her as a kid. She is one of the most selfless people I know and I owe her a debt I doubt I'll ever be able to repay. I admire her and hope I can be half the woman she has become. The way she best assists me with challenges and issues is how she responds to her own. She is so full of grace and dignified in the way she handles adversity and her example inspires me.

In addition to the specific people listed above and majority of my family, I am blessed to have a very supportive church congregation. I have numerous people I can turn to when I need a Mom-Cation, be it for just a few hours or even a few days. I have people willing to provide virtually any service my family and I might need, I have people who pray for me even when I'm unaware of their prayers and even when I haven't asked them to, and I have numerous people who believe in me and want to see me succeed. I am blessed to have such powerful human resources back me up.