Screen Shot Junkie

I do allotta shots. My phone is riddled with screen shots, as I sifted through them I realized how much they say about me, and I kinda had this urge to sift through EVERYONE’S screen shots to learn about how they are, why they are, and when, what, where?

My screen shots generally fall into four categories: food, inspiring stuff, funny stuff, and stuff for other people.
Okay, so maybe it’s much less FOOD and more like TREATS:

That popcorn was AMAZING. My kids INHALED it while I watched a chick flick.
And I love that pretty kitchen! Oh, those colors!

I didn’t realize how many quotes I snapped pictures of. I think it’s because I like words so much?
I actually have sub-groups in my wordy pictures. There’s inspirational quotes from inspirational people, like Victor Frankl and Maya Angelou:
And then there’s scriptures:
And then there’s literature-related treasures!

I also tend to snap inspirational stuff without words -definitely not as often, but I do. Stuff like art:
And music:

Why IS that? Am I inspiration-starved? Am I wisdom-sapped? I don’t want to think about it too long…
I need a break before my brain explodes, and my favorite break is a smile break:
funny1I’m dying to put sticky eyes all over everything now.
And then there’s the dovetail screenshots… some inspiration on the tail of the funny:
And the ones I screen shot to text out to other people that have funny on their tail. Hey, Dad! How ’bout those pregnant cows?
‘course this whole procedure would be easier if Dad could text…
Screenshot_2015-02-26-15-28-19PS: where is this device for humans?  “Are you ready to be a grandma?”  “Are you ready to be an aunt?”  “GET TO THE HOSPITAL, your patient is about to BIRTH!”
Sometimes I screenshot bad news to break to Dad… like his favorite cartoon character’s ultimate demise:

Here’s one I sent to my brother -I found the old board game we played for hours as kids!
I sometimes get too worked up to “SAVE” things to my gallery and just screen shot n’ share. My sister-in-law had this sweet baby last week very early (33 weeks-ish) and I’m dying to hold her!
And there’s a few WISHLIST shots -STAINLESS STEEL goodness right here! Oh, the possibilities!

I think I need a better filing system.

Like an Egyptian

I’ve been thinking about Moses’ mass… you know the crowd he miraculously led out of slavery and captivity? The ones who complained about it?
I wonder if I am one of those guys.

In order to make a solid decision about the whole thing, I cracked open The Old Testament and began reading the story of Moses which really begins with the story of Joseph. I read about the death of Joseph’s father -Jacob -not fully focusing on the words because the story was only meant to be a prelude to The Meat -The Story of Moses and His Complaining Masses.
But Joseph’s story stopped me in my tracks.

I read about his father’s death, and I could FEEL Joseph’s pain. He had spent so many years in Egypt -so many years away from his father. To have him and have him taken away again? Mortality is no respecter of persons.
Soon after Jacob passed away, Joseph’s brothers huddled up and wrote a letter they hoped would keep Joseph from unleashing his vengeful wrath upon their unholy souls. Why? Because years ago, they had SOLD Joseph.
He had trusted them fully, and they SOLD him into Egypt.
The brothers feared Joseph’s wrath now that their father had passed away. They crafted up a letter “from Jacob” instructing Joseph to forgive his brothers.

Upon reading the letter, Joseph wept. He asked his brothers -paraphrasing, “Do you suppose me to be God?” Meaning -I am not God, seek forgiveness elsewhere. I am not all powerful.  Seek not to serve me, but God only.
And then he said -not paraphrasing, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”

Those words stopped me in my reading tracks.
“…but God meant it unto good…”

I looked up from my phone and let the truth sink deeply into my soul before I went about the rest of my day.
Yesterday I listened to Brene Brown’s TED talk, “Listening to Shame” in which she says, ” …some research by Mahalik at Boston College. He asked, what do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers in this country: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance.”

When I heard those words, I felt ill. I shook my head and wanted to scream and cry.
“Is that all we’re capable of?” I asked the television, hoping America could hear me… my question being rhetorical, of course. I know the answer. The answer is NO.

But that belief? That was my Egypt.  That was a large part of my captivity.

When I absorbed myself in my husband’s addiction -when I allowed myself to be taken, I lost myself. I lost myself to those false beliefs, to a lifestyle where I remained controlled, where my voice -once strong, loud and sure -was timid, scared, and halting.  I was in Egypt.

My freedom was gone.  Unlike Joseph, I always had the power to take my freedom back, but I didn’t realize that just as I had allowed my choices to be taken from me, I also had it within me to take them back.

During the last ten years of my life, there have been days where I have felt in prison, days where I have felt absolutely betrayed. There are days when God has blessed me with miracles. There are days where I’ve been wise, days where I’ve faltered.

And just as Joseph’s brother’s tried to illicit forgiveness from him, so did my own husband ask me to read a book in hopes that I’d come to forgive him.
But I am not God.
Just as Joseph did not want his brothers to serve him, so do I feel. I want Danny to serve -above all -God.

Because of my own captivity, I now recognize freedom. I now know myself -and I’ve learned above all that I can spend my entire life getting to know myself and I’ll never know an OUNCE of what there is to learn.
I understand more fully God’s grace.
I understand my worth.
I understand my place in God’s plan and my place in God’s heart.

I feel, as Joseph so perfectly said, “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

God MEANT it unto GOOD.

My captive belief that beauty was something that made people say, “She’s really outdone herself,” was shattered and replaced by TRUTH.

The truth is that true beauty comes when I look at someone or some place or something and say, “Wow, God’s really outdone himself.”

There is beauty in newborns and the smell of brand new tomato plants, in giggles and ripples in a quiet lake. There is beauty in laugh lines, scars, and the sunset.

My captive definition of beauty had an insatiable appetite for MORE -more money, more time… some beach, somewhere -an unattainable tan, fit, thin body.

My new definition of beauty makes lunch beautiful.  It makes what I have, what’s in front of me now -my present -fulfilling and beautiful.  It has a appetite that is filled at every turn: every sunset, every quiet moment, even my tiny house filled with proof of little people traipsing around.

I look to the Japanese, “wabi sabi” which holds to three principles, “Nothing Last. Nothing is finished. Nothing is perfect.”
When it comes to THINGS -to youth, tight stomachs, movies, toys, computers… nothing lasts.  True beauty and peace is found in simplicity, in nature and nature’s natural ways.

Loving someone with an addiction is the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done.
Is it about the substance itself? No. It’s about the behaviors that come from not understanding how to manage emotions, how to connect and how to express in a healthy, productive way.

For the one who loves the one with an addiction, it is captivity.

Again, I turn to the wise Japanese and their art of “Kintsugi.”
They take The Broken and mend it -usually with gold -thereby bringing out beauty in the breaking.

Repairing broken ceramics!

It reminds me of Cohen.
“There is a crack… a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

For me, the light came in when I broke.
And that’s when God poured in the healing Gold.
It is good -I am good.

My life is a life of freedom, and I write my truth in blindingly honest vulnerability hoping -as Joseph -that God might save a soul or two.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll read up on Moses’ Ungrateful Mass and judge myself accordingly, but for today I’m going to thank God for freedom and for the ride there. I’m going to thank Him for being. I’m going to thank Him for my body, perfect for me as it stands this very minute. I will thank Him for the reminder of captivity, for it strengthens my resolve to never return.

Above all, I will thank Him for the return.
During my years of captivity, I was all but lost to my Father in Heaven and my parents on earth. The child they had known had been missing… missing for too long.
And so I emerge free, reunited with self and family.

God meant it unto good.

And maybe, just maybe, this experience answers my question… am I ungrateful to be set free?  I can only answer one day at a time, and today that answer is NO.



Easter Festivities

We like Easter, so we stretched Easter out for a long, long time. There’s Cadburry eggs and Resurrection. There’s flowers and eggs and an emphasis on rebirth that gives us all an equal dose of hope and sugar comas.
What’s not to love?

We went to the big city to spend time with family and watch The Easter Pageant. I hadn’t been to the pageant since 2006… I had come home from the pageant and miscarried my first pregnancy. As I stretched out on a blanket on the lawn by the Mesa Temple, I looked around me at the three kids all clamoring for attention, a spot on the blanket. They were all awash with the special kind of amazement country kids show when they’re in the thick of a city.


Hope and gratitude filled my heart and soul, so appropriate for Easter.

The next day, Grammy Deets pulled off her annual Easter Egg Hunt. All 10 of her grandchildren were there!

The weather was perfect, and Grammy’s luncheon was delicious as always! Her egg hunt is something the kids look forward to every year.


That evening, I took my Lacy Lou to the LDS Women’s Conference. She’s 8 and official now -although I will say that age didn’t stop me from taking her in October.
She had been looking forward to the Conference for a while, and I enjoyed having her with me.
Last year, I attended the first Women’s Conference IN the Conference Center with my sister and some friends… and it was awesome, but there was a big LACY hole. There was a mother hole, too!
This year, I was able to fill at least my Lacy hole. She sat next to me and giggled and wiggled. After it was over she said, “Sometimes I get bored of their stories about when they were younger -and they just go on and on… so I listen to a song in my head and I feel warm inside. Hey, MOM! You should TRY THAT.”
Oh, kiddo.
In the middle of a talk, she swore she NEEDED a bathroom. I told her to wait for the song to start -it was more polite to leave during a song.
“Are you sure you’ll be able to find your way back to me?” I asked, we were in a new chapel -one she’d never seen before.
“Oh sure, I’ll be fine.”
She didn’t come back for a long time.
When she finally did, I asked her if she got lost.
“A little, but Mom… I was walking around trying to find a bathroom and I heard the song playing in a different room (the Relief Society Room was broadcasting the conference on a small television), and I felt warm. I felt like the song was so important. I stood and listened to it AND THEN went to the bathroom.”

That girl. Was I half as sweet as an 8 year old?

Once at home, we spent some time dying eggs. And by “spent some time” I mean 9 pm on Easter Eve.

Danny and I then stayed up until WAY past midnight, making sure all of the kids were fast asleep -this is really hard to do with Alice who prefers to sleep only after the day changes over.
Her sleep patterns are slowly unraveling my sanity.
We used Netflix to keep us awake, and then we filled baskets and ate the boiled egg Trenton had decorated with the words, “For You Easter Bunny.”
We left the shell out for him to see with a thank you note scribbled on an egg-shaped note pad.
When he saw it, his eyes LIT UP. I wouldn’t lie to them about things like the Easter Bunny if the payoff weren’t so darn satisfying.
But oh! The payoff.

We spent the weekend listening to General Conference. I braided Lacy’s hair for practice because I really need braiding practice. Or braiding lessons.

Between sessions, we walked to a family luncheon -stopping on the way to talk Family History with Uncle Doyle (who sealed Danny and I in the Snowflake Temple 10.5 years ago).
The kids fought on the walk, so we employed the old BRING LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS trick:
We feasted on Navajo Tacos and my Mom’s famous Mandarin Orange Salad before returning home to finish out the rest of Conference.
Lacy took some flowers to our neighbors and stayed to do puzzles with them -just one of her many adopted Grandparents… while the rest of us got ready for great-grandma’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Grandma has been hosting this hunt for as long as I can remember -it was always a highlight of my Easter Day growing up, and it really gets me so excited that my own kids have a chance to make the same memories.

Alice was accompanied by her favorite “Aunt Roof.” We’re so grateful to have Aunt Ruth in our lives.
She’s so cool her great-nieces request play dates with her.


As Easter came to a close, I felt the effects of the sugar I’d indulged it (Cadburry tastes SO RIGHT)… and Trenton delighted in beating me in a rousing game of chess.

Mom sent me home with some of her Easter “critters.” She makes them every Easter, and I planned on making a gluten free version, but FORGOT because I was too busy trying to make THE TODDLER SLEEP.
They require overnight sitting, but they are WORTH IT!

Similar recipe found HERE.


Someone taught my 8 year-old Pig Latin. Suddenly I want to call my mom and apologize for speaking fluent Pig Latin because adulthood has taught me something important:
Pig Latin is irritating, friends.
Lacy keeps asking for words, “Give me any word, Mom.”
And I’m tempted to finish, “And I show you how the root of that word is Greek.”

I’m wrapping up the second week of a challenge I took with a friend. She challenged us to go without sugary snacks during the weekdays.
I don’t know EXACTLY why she choose this specific challenge, but I will tell you that I’ve been emailing her everything I’ve been eating because I wanted someone to be accountable to. And I will also tell you that for one week straight I ate exclusively sugar with the occasional side of protein.
“Chocolate and marshmallows for breakfast,” I’d say.
“Fruity Pebbles for lunch, hot chocolate for a snack.”

Yes, it’s true.
The past two years of my life have been dedicated to simply making through EACH day, and now that I’ve found a solid degree of mental, emotional, and spiritual healing, it’s prime time to add physical healing to that list.
I thought being accountable to my friend would help, and I was right.

Writing out what I was eating was pretty horrific -mostly because I LOVE MYSELF so why in the holy heck am I feeding myself crap? Coated in chocolate?!

I will tell you why:

Cutting out sugary snacks seemed painful, but I thought, ‘I’ll take it one day at a time, just like The Serenity Prayer says I should… Living without marshmallows one day at a time…”

By last Wednesday my withdrawal symptoms were making me question my existence.
“A Wednesday without gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies is no Wednesday at all…”

It was no joke. But I woke up Thursday morning feeling REALLY good. I felt like someone had taken a pin to my abdomen in the night. I hadn’t realized how bloated I’ve been! Did the bloating come back on Saturday morning when I ate a bowl of Vanilla Chex? YES.

So now I have two reasons for cutting seriously back on sugar:
1) Health
2) Vanity

Vanity will motivate me more than Health, I am sorry to say.
To spur on my motivation, I suggested to my friend that we take pictures of our food and send it to each other.
I’m posting it here to continue my motivation because today I’m hankering for more chocolate.
I’m also hoping you’ll chime in with tips, recipes or motivational memes.

I’ve been working on doing health-related things every day: scriptures, prayer, some kind of cleansing (oil pulling, apple cider vinegar shots, lemon water…), meditation, walking.
Breakfast is usually oatmeal (my favorite) topped with blueberries, almonds, brown sugar and milk. Yesterday I popped a big batch of Amaranth. I add a little sugar, cinnamon, craisins and almonds. It’s filling and so good!
Lunch and dinner at our house sometimes look the same, so I’m just grouping them together:

My friend tipped me off on a sweet but healthy snack idea that I’ve used a few times. It’s like a sugar patch for sugar addicts. It’s still full of sugar, but it isn’t a chocolate bar.
So YAY for progress!
Vanilla Greek Yogurt with frozen fruit. Last week, I paired it with “Into the Woods.” It got me through that awful Wednesday -The Hump Day of Spring Break when the kids were at each other’s throats and my wallet was nearly empty from the bribes I’d had to make good on.
Movie rentals were just one of those bribes.
Friday morning, I caught Alice running through the house wearing nothing but a beanie, singing, “Inna da woods! Inna da woods!”

Now I’ve got her singing Kundalini Yoga songs, and it’s pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve seen since she ran around in nothing but her tiny pink boots.

Kundalini Yoga is going to the next thing I try to add to my physical healing.
Alice has been running about the house with her pointed fingers bouncing, “I am happy! I am happy!”