30 Day Challenge: Day 10 – Your guilty pleasure (or pleasures!)

Reading books.

Some of my favorite friends are books.

Remember that Carl’s Jr. ad that said, “Don’t bother me.  I’m eating”?

Well, my slogan is, “Don’t bother me.  I’m reading.”

Taking a Bath

I love taking long, luxurious baths.  Especially with a good book and some soft music in the background.  One of the reasons we chose our specific floor
plan is because I wanted a big, soaking tub.

Going to the Spa

Especially for a hot stone massage or a facial.  It’s ridiculous how much I enjoy this kind of pampering.


This summer baby loves basking in the warmth of the sun.  Especially if it’s by a body of water.

Spending an entire day in my Pjs doing absolutely nothing.

Need I say more?


30 Day Challenge: Day 9 – If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I went into social work because I like helping people and luckily for me, there are several opportunities within a social work career to work in many different fields.  I’m going to go back and earn my Masters of Social Work when the time is right and when my littles aren’t so little.

But if we’re talking dream jobs…

I’d really like to be a writer.  I love to write, which is one of the reasons I have a blog.  I once watched an informational show about Barbara Kingsolver (one of my favorite writers) talking about writing and I sat enthralled for over an hour.  The hubs walked in the room and said, “I know why you’re watching this.”  And I said, “Because The Poisonwood Bible is one of my all-time favorite books?”  And he said, “no, you want to be a writer.”

And there it was, my deepest desire laid bare in front of me.  How did he know when I never uttered that wish out loud before?  I’ve written a few things here and there, had a few poems published in school Journals, had an essay or so published on a famous (infamous?) blog, but I’ve never sat down and tried to write a story that wasn’t auto-biographical.

My bestie, K, teases me about being a teacher’s pet in college, and the truth is, all of my Social work professors (and a few of my English professors) praised me for my writing ability.  I had a friend and fellow student in my Diversity class once tell me he was always astounded at my abilities to put words together in a passionate way.  But does that make me a writer?  Hardly.

Someday I will put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, which sounds decidedly less romantic) and compose something that I can be proud of and maybe someone will want to publish.  Someday I’ll have something important to write about.  Until then, I’m having a lot of fun practicing on my blog.

Book Review – Second Nature

Second Nature: A NovelSecond Nature: A Novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a Jacquelyn Mitchard fan.  I’ve read most of her books, and this one did not disappoint.  It’s a continuation of the saga of the Cappadora family Mitchard made famous in her novel, “The Deep End of the Ocean.”  This books follows Sicily Coyne, who is burned in a church fire when she is 13 years old.  Half a life-time later she is given a second chance when she is offered a face transplant surgery.  Sicily’s life intertwines with the Cappadoras when she asks Beth to document her transformation with her beautiful photography.  What happens next changes Sicily’s, and the Cappadora’s family, lives forever.

Beautiful.  Powerful.  Mitchard is a master with words.  Like most of her novels, I wanted to read, read, read and never come up for air.  This novel is engaging and makes the reader appreciate having a normal face that so many of us take for granted.  The ending, again like most Mitchard books, left me wanting more.  Mitchard knows how to write about life in such a real, but poignant way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and hope that Mitchard writes more about Sicily Coyne and the Cappadora family.

View all my reviews

The Iron Daisy

I wrote this poem on March 25, 2009.  I thought it was particularly appropriate now.
The Iron Daisy
If I were a flower
I think I’d be a daisy.
And yet beautiful.
But optmistically reaching toward the sun.
Winter may come
and cut me down.
Take me down to my roots.
But I will grow again.
I will bloom.
And I would be beautiful.
If I were a daisy.

30 Day Challenge: Day 8 – The moment you felt most satisfied with your Life

There are several days when I have been satisfied with my life just where it’s at.

When I married the hubs.

When my sweet, little girl was born.

Once my son was a happy, healthy baby after a few health problems.

Photo courtesy of Echo Mann

The day we were sealed for Time and all Eternity in the Bountiful Temple.

The day I finally graduated from college.

On our trip to Hawaii.

When my 3rd little baby came and helped bring joy back into my broken heart.

When we moved into our house.

The day, 2 years after my mother’s death, I saw my parent’s wedding pictures for the very first time after they thought they had been lost for years.

The day I could look at a picture of my Mom and laugh instead of cry.

30 Day Challenge: Day 7 – Your favorite Childhood Toys

The 30 Day Blog Challenges resumes….

I spent many, many hours creating outfits and coloring them.  This was my favorite thing to play with.  It combined my two loves of coloring and fashion.


I had about 30 to 40 Care Bears.  In addition to them lining my bed, I had the Care Bear musical tapes and read the Care Bear books.  I would subject my family to Care Bear musicals where they were forced to stare at my Care Bears doing nothing while a musical tape played in the background.
I had a million Barbie and Ken dolls, including a Barbie house (multi-leveled with an elevator), several Barbie cars, and many Barbie outfits.  My paternal grandmother gave us a Hawaiian chest full of scarves and I loved coming up with my own Barbie outfits with the scarves.  My dog chewed up my favorite Ken doll, and I still played with him.  I loved making my Barbies have car crashes by hurtling them down the stairs.  And I insisted that my Barbies be multicultural, so I had an African-American Barbie, a Native American Barbie, and a Mexican Barbie in addition to all the blonde Barbies with blue eyes.  
I had this exact Strawberry Shortcake doll, along with all her friends.  I also had Strawberry Shortcake curtains and a Strawberry Shortcake bedspread.  The funny thing is I don’t like the dessert strawberry shortcake because strawberries make my mouth fuzzy.   
I only wanted a Cabbage patch doll because they were extremely popular in the ’80s and all the other kids had them.  Even as a kid I thought they were ugly as sin.
I had this exact Annie doll because I was fairly obsessed with the movie at one time in my life.  I had all of Annie’s co-stars as well, including:  Miss Hannigan, Daddy Warbucks, Pepper, and Grace.  My Annie dolls would co-mingle with my Barbies and Strawberry shortcake dolls in all of my imaginary dramas.
What girl growing up in the ’80s didn’t have a plethora of jelly bracelets in all different colors?  This is before they took on all sorts of lewd meanings.  

Lent, Happy Ash Wednesday

I’m back from a bit of a blogging break.  Some things format-wise I’ve changed and I hope that makes my posts and links easier to read.  I’ve had a couple of people ask where my blog went and the truth is it went no where, I just made it visible to only myself.  Why did I do that?  Well, I’ve been going through some personal stuff and I just needed a moment to step back for a minute, catch a breath, and move forward.  The sadness from my mother’s birthday, combined with a couple of other disappointments, put me in a sad place for a few days.  I honestly didn’t know how long this break would last.  I didn’t know if I was going to shut the lights out on this blog forever or what.  But in the end, I knew I’d always have something to say and write about, and well, here I am.

Which leads me to the point of this post.

As I wrote in this post, I am a member of the LDS church (aka The Mormons).  I consider myself to be a Christian, and yet, I feel so lacking when it comes to the most important Christian holiday, Easter.  A lot of people believe that Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, is the most important Christian holiday, but I disagree.  While I believe that Christmas is a sacred holiday and we should rejoice in the birth of our Savior (“ours” as in, Christian’s…not as in pushing my religious beliefs on the whole world), Easter is when we celebrate the Savior fulfilling his mission on earth and being resurrected.  And yet, Easter doesn’t get much lip service in my church.  I can only remember maybe a handful of Sacrament meetings that were really moving Easter productions, but that is it.

And I’m craving a more spiritual experience on Easter.  So this year, I’m observing Lent.

Years ago I was talking to the hubs’s cousin who is a practicing Catholic.  I love her to pieces and was very lucky to work with her for 3 years.  In that time we became what we called, “best cousins.”  Anyway, it was about this time of year and we got talking about Lent.  I think she had just gone to Ash Wednesday Mass and still had the ashes on her forehead at work that night.  I was asking her in depth questions about Lent and what she was going to give up, so on, and so forth.  She said that during Lent you don’t have to just give up something, you can start a new habit.  I think she said she was going to start saying daily prayers and I liked that starting something for Lent could bring you to a more spiritual place then, let’s say, just giving up ice cream for 40 days.

Last year I had an idea, I think sparked by one of my Christian friends on Facebook, about Lent and so I decided that this was something I was going to do for Easter 2012.  I’ve decided that between Ash Wednesday (today) and Holy Thursday (the usual 40 day duration for Lent), that I’m going to read the first four Gospels of the New Testament.  All of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Studying the New Testament my first year in LDS Seminary was my favorite year and I like to repeat studying the New Testament as an adult.

Because we don’t observe Lent, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday in my church, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not going about this correctly.  Any “gentle” correction would be appreciated.  Most of what I learned about Lent I learned on the wikipedia page, and we all know that wikipedia has never steered anyone wrong .  You might ask what a Mormon gal like me is doing celebrating Lent.  No, I’m not trying to highjack a holiday that my religion lays no claim to.  What I’m trying to do is cement a further commitment in me to my Savior and the sacrifice I believe he made for me.  My spirit is craving the spiritual.

For Lent, I’ve already come up with a Scripture reading schedule and I am very excited.  I don’t think I’ve read the New Testament since high school.  During that year I studied the New Testament, I felt like I developed a strong Spiritual connection with this man named Jesus, the Christ, and I would like to feel that again.  I’m yearning for a more spiritual connection.

Then I got thinking about sacrifice and the sacrifice I believe, as a Christian, that my Savior did for me.  I believe that he bled from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane to atone for my sins.  I believe he hung on a cross for 3 days and died for me.  And because he made this sacrifice for me, I thought that maybe I could make a sacrifice for him, while I study his life in the Four Gospels.  So, I’ve decided to abstain from Mountain Dew for 40 days.  Now, I’ve tried to give up the Dew in the past, many, many times.  But I’ve never consecrated my desire to quit with a prayer.  I’ve never given it up in an effort to sacrifice something for my Savior.  This is why I believe I might be a bit more successful in giving it up this time.

So there it is.  I’m observing Lent this year.  I’m hoping to get something out of it, and if and when I do, I’ll write about that as well.  I don’t want Easter to just mean a new dress and a basket full of goodies for me.  I hope that by observing Lent this year Easter will mean more for me and my family.