Saturday, June 16, 2018

graduation and progress

 When Sierra was in the third grade, we started making paper chains to count down to the last day of school. On June 23rd, we did the final count down as Sierra Olivia graduated on a beautiful, happy Arizona night. 

 We were so glad Sadie and Andy could join us.

These are the moments that fill up my cup as we continue to navigate the new normal
and continue to find joy. 

I'm feeling grateful for progress and growth,  and so looking forward to what comes next for this kiddo. 
Congrats Ra. We love you. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

the next good thing

The best part of Mother's day yesterday was our Skype call with Drew. And here's my next good thing. Drew will be returning from his mission in Mississippi on July 26th. Oh happy day!

I cannot wait to see this kid again.

Monday, May 7, 2018

the first good thing

Almost three years ago, I created a vision board. This was one of the cards I put on my closet wall.

Although I loved practicing yoga, it wasn't my main exercise focus at the time. I remember feeling very prompted to write this card, but not knowing why. I also remember looking at my board a few weeks after creating it and thinking, "Why did I write that  card? I think I'll take it down". I remember reaching to remove it and having a very clear thought come to my mind, "Do NOT take down that card!" So I didn't.  Fast forward to six months after d-day. While looking for something to help me navigate all of my trauma, I found a women's retreat that would be taking place in Utah. After doing some research, I decided to go. There I formed some incredible friendships with other women who had experienced trauma similar to mine. We had amazing mentors, and a huge part of our experience involved yoga. As I returned home and continued to practice yoga, I found that it was an irreplaceable tool to managing my anxiety. The more I linked breath and movement, the more peaceful I felt. I knew I wanted to share this gift with other people, especially women in trauma. The next month I started searching for a YTT program and within weeks found the perfect one only three miles from my house. My 200 hours of training were the very best escape. When I was in class, I was just me. Somehow, when I walked into the studio each day, the rest of my life, the divorce part of my life, just disappeared. I graduated in May of 2017. After working hard to develop my own little business last year, I am happy to share with you my dear readers, that two weeks ago I was offered a position to  teach yoga at Life Time fitness (amazing programs, gyms nationwide). So my vision board card will now go into a book of visions realized. My heart is full as I get to pursue this new opportunity. More then anything, I hope to be able to help others to experience the power and breath and love of yoga. 

The light in me honors and respects the light in each one of you dear readers. 
I hope it's been a beautiful Monday. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

a shift

I'm trying to keep it real here as my life evolves, and I evolve, and this little blog of mine evolves. 

I often think about writing, but struggle with what to share, and how to share it. It's my hope, that by being as real as possible when sharing my journey, I can help someone else navigate their hard, what ever that looks like.
We all have to do hard. The question is just what do we do with it.

June 1st will mark the two year anniversary of my d-day. I was talking to a friend last week and remarked to her, "I wouldn't change anything about my life to this point." I really wouldn't. But these last eight weeks have been very difficult, as I've once again had to do mortal combat against depression. A few days ago I came to the realization, that in my mind, I had subconsciously put a time line on my healing. I'm a list maker. I crave order and checking off the boxes.  The reality is, there is no, DONE WITH DIVORCE box. There just isn't. It's not something you can erase or rewrite. You don't wake up one morning to find it gone. And although I understand this cognitively, my spirit has been trying desperately to check that box with a big red sharpe and pretend it never happened.
It did happen. The course of my life and my kid's lives has been forever altered.
"Where do I go from here?" This is what I've  been asking myself this again and again. It's  a somewhat tiresome conversation.

But three days ago, I felt a shift.

Our new house has the most amazing back yard complete with several huge shade trees (an absolute anomaly in AZ) and 40 + roses bushes (I promise some pics one of these days).
A few days ago I was sitting outside reading my scriptures, and enjoying what will be the last of our perfect spring days. While reading I came across this verse.

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday , today and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

As I read these words I was reminded of the many miracles I have witnessed these past two years. Our new house is one of them. The first time I walked through it, I looked at my realtor and said, "I am suppose to buy this house. And it's going to take a miracle." At the the time my divorce was no where near being final. There were no funds available for a down payment, and nothing I could offer the current owner to secure the sale. But miracles defy logic. Shortly after this time, I had an opportunity to meet the owners of the home. For some reason, we connected powerfully as we shared unique, yet painful stories of why I had to move, and why they had to sell. Nine months later, and after the sellers extended my contract four times, Sierra, Gentry and I moved into our new home. I remember my realtor commenting, "Sellers never extend contracts that many times. It's unheard of".
Miracles carrying me.
Miracles helping my spirit evolve and trust and hope.
Because even though the box can never really be "checked", it can, through faith and trust,  be turned into something resembling a blessing.
I won't give up. I can't give up. That's just not who I am.
And there are so many new things and good things happening.
More about that soon...
My new job, Sierra graduating, Drew coming home, and dating (?!) (Yep).

Thursday, March 29, 2018


sun roof open
windows down
oxygen (finally)
my playlist
my dog

The darkness that won't let go. The frustration. The fatigue.  The reality check (again). 
Treading water.
 And the incredible injustice of the whole thing.

for just a few hours
go away

And I consider driving until I reach the ocean. I consider running away. I consider giving up. And I think and cry and breath until I'm done with it.

And then, I put on my big girl pants, and go back to work. 
Because that's what you do when you're adult. 
And there's always another highway. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

the here and now

There are only two days of the year when nothing can be accomplished, yesterday and tomorrow.
-Author Unknown

Hello my beautiful readers,
As I type this, I am sitting in my new office. White walls, wood floors, vintage blue rug. Windows open, and a warm, early spring breeze is softly blowing through.  In the distance I can hear our neighbor's
dog barking and kids laughing and playing.

 I am here.
I am present.
I am happy.

 Today is a good day. Today is a day that I
have refused to let painful memories of the past soak up my oxygen and encompass the synapses of my brain. Today is a day that I have willed my thoughts back into the space of now and not the worries of the future.

As I've traveled through this journey of divorce, something has become painfully, yet beautifully clear to me. Divorce will always be with me on some level. The experience of it, and all of the trama associated with it are now simply part of my DNA.
And that is okay.
There will be more hard days.  There will be more happy days.
But I only get to do this day once.
So I am continuing to try and live each day in the here and now.

I am choosing to be

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

winter formal

So, we've moved into our new house and things have been so good, but also a little crazy.
 More about that to come, 
but here are Sierra and her fun date Caleb at the winter formal dance. 
It's so nice to have a little normal in the middle of the crazy now and then. 

Just five short months before she graduates. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


As in our stuff, which I'm pretty confident, seems to be  multiplying. Just when I've tackled one corner of the house, another pile seems to develop out of no where. That is the nature of the packing/moving beast. But, it's all good.  So very excited to be in this new space of "begin again". 
And my new kitchen is actually looking like a kitchen.

Moving day....Saturday!!! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

give thanks

One of the harsh realities of divorce is having to split holiday.  Since the kids and I were in New York last year, this thanksgiving will be my off year. 
But, thankfully, Sadie and Andy came to Arizona a little early, and last Sunday, we still got to do the full thanksgiving feast together.  Today, I helped Sadie make our traditional pumpkin pies for the real deal tomorrow. It's something she wanted to do, and I'm glad she wants to keep up the tradition, even if we're looking through a much different lens this year. 

Tonight, despite all that's happened, my heart is full of gratitude. I try to never let myself hang out in the "poor me" zone for too long. It's just not healthy.  Plus it makes me super unhappy. Not to say I don't still continue to grieve my former life, because some days I do. But, I am finding, that for the most part, each day gets just a little better. Sometimes almost immeasurably, but yet, I think about how crazy hard it was a year ago at this time, and I know there has been so much healing. 
A few months ago a young mom was giving a talk in our church service.  She has lost a baby the previous year and was sharing a little bit about overcoming another kind of crazy hard.  She said something that impressed me so deeply, 
"Gratitude is paramount for healing." 
I have thought about this mindset again and again. I have a "gratitude journal" dedicated exclusively to writing down all that is good in my life. In the past five hundred plus days, I have literally only missed four days of recording what I have to be thankful for.  Even on my darkest days, I could always, with very little effort, find some kind of blessing. 
So here's to 
Giving Thanks 
all that is good in this wonderful, unpredictable, happy, sad, joyful, comical, hard, and yet amazing world that we live in. 
Because, at the end of the day,  life is always worth living. 

Happy Thanksgiving
my beautiful readers.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

mom tears

The good kind.
The ones that happened when Gentry worked like crazy in soccer tryouts and made the high school team.  

The happy/sad kind when Drew sent me this pic with the birthday cake I sent him and he frosted. And I miss him like crazy, but feel so glad for him to be doing good things and having so much growth... 

 and catching a lot of bass.  (Because that's what you do in Mississippi). 

And lately, I have a lot of tears of gratitude. Like when our new home starts to come together, and I feel so very ready for this new start.

Moving day...less then three weeks away.  

Monday, October 30, 2017


It's late. I should be going to bed. But, I realized tonight, that
 it's already been a month since my last post, and so many good things are happening. Things I want to remember. Changes I want to share.

So first this...
June 8th I became official. And last week, I finished teaching my first six week course.  Oh, and I now have my own website too, New classes coming for the new year. When I look back through this past year and a half, I can say that I literally breathed my way through my divorce.  Pranayama baby. And by the way, when is the last time you took a really deep breath?  The kind of breath that fills up every single cell in your lungs. Please do take one of these breaths today, and as you exhale, send out anything emotional or physical that is not serving you. Namaste.

And then there was this....
When you have a birthday and a lovely flock of pink flamingos show up in your lawn. (I have the nicest friends)! I remember telling my aunt a couple of years ago, that sometimes I dreaded getting another year older. Her response was, "Well, what's the alternative!?" which  I decided was a very valid point. 
 My birthday this year was so good.  I can honestly say I have no desire to go back to the earlier days of my life.   There was a lot about those days that was wonderful, but I like me now.  I like who I am.  I like the peace that I've gained that could only come through spending some quality time on this earth. And, I even like my laugh lines, they remind me of how amazing it feels to smile. 

 And finally this, more progress on what will soon be my new kitchen....
 The moving van comes the first week in December.  In our current house we are in full swing packing mode.  As the pictures come off the walls, and the boxes are packed, it's a crazy ride.  One day I can't wait to move into to our new home, and the next I'm a puddle on the floor as I walk through the ten years of memories that were created in this home. I never hold back those tears when they come. They remind me I'm human. They are a sign of progress as I become sensitized again after months of protective numbness.   They are important and vital  for me to continue to heal.  It's such a good thing to embrace each day without emotional resistance. It's also tremendously empowering. 

Change is good.  Change hurts, change also heals. 

Happy Monday my beautiful readers. 
May the changes in your life ultimately be catalysts for good.

Monday, October 2, 2017

not coincidence

     As I mentioned yesterday, the food in Seattle was serious delish.  Sierra and her friend Mikayla ended our trip by picking up some macaroons from a store called Lady Yum.  As we headed to the airport, I sampled one. Oh my  goodness, I didn't even know I  liked macaroons until I tried one of these.  When we got to the airport, Mikayla mentioned she'd seen a Lady Yum there when we flew in a few days earlier.  I decided I really needed to buy some macaroons to take home, but then remembered we'd flown into a different terminal (with a different airline) on the way there.  Sad face, but I decided I'd already had enough sugar for the week.  As we walked to our departing gate Sierra remarked, "There's a sister missionary!"  I didn't even see her go by in the crowd, but since she was alone we decided she must be returning home from her mission.  "How great for her family!" I commented and we continued to our gate. I checked the departure time and we grabbed a seat by the window.  That's when it happened. I started thinking about those macaroons, obsessing really.  I needed to take some home (not wanted, needed).  But, I reasoned with myself, The store is not even in this terminal.  You don't have time. I tried to think about something else.  I tried to sort pictures on my phone.  I tried talking to the girls. I tried looking out the window at the beautiful fall day. And yet, there it was, this nagging, relentless thought....must find macaroons. And the counter thought...this is ridiculous, you do not need those macaroons. After another minute or two, I couldn't stand it any more.  I stood up and announced, "I'm going to find that Lady Yum store. I'll be back." The girls looked up from their phones, "Okay?" And away I went, running down the concourse, must have macaroons, must have macaroons.
      Now please know, I consider myself to be a person of strong self-discipline. But every once in awhile, something trumps that, like this little situation. I rounded the first hall leading back to the main center of the airport.  This airport is small, maybe the terminals will be connected. I started sprinting past some of the other stores and decided, You really just need to get some directions. The people at the first store where I stopped at had no idea what I was talking about.  Frustrated, I did a 360 turn to decided who I should talk to next.  Surprised, I saw the sister missionary standing by herself against a wall.  I approached her and asked, "Hi sister, are you going home?"  She responded that she was not going home, and in fact had just flown in from Puerto Rico as part of the evacuation of all the mormon missionaries due to the hurricane.  She had been reassigned to Yakama Washington and her flight had been delayed for several hours.  I was shocked.  I asked if I could help, and she asked if she could use my phone to call the mission office and tell them she was delayed so they could arrange a ride for her later that night.  I asked if she had been in contact with her parents, and she said only through email.  I offered to let her text her mom.  She was grateful for the opportunity and I can only imagine (as a missionary mom myself) how happy her mom was to get that text. As we talked some more, she shared with me all the craziness of surviving the hurricane, but also feeling peaceful as the storm battered the house they were staying in for twelve hours solid hours.

Sometimes there are coincidences. But sometimes, things happen for a reason.    I am confident that this strange little macaroon quest was nothing more then a unique prompting that resulted in me having the great privilege of helping this sister missionary.

Yesterday,  our family watched the annual general conference of our church.  I was particularly struck by this talk referencing "divine design" as I thought about how that thought of finding those little cookies was enough to move me out of my seat, and directly toward someone who needed to know that her Heavenly Father was aware of her. As  I listened to this talk by Elder Rasband, I also couldn't help but think of my own life.  It was a sweet assurance to me that my Heavenly Father loves me and is making more of my life through His plan then I could ever make with my own plan.

After texting her mom, Sister Goeff returned with me to my gate and we talked until it was time for the girls and I to board our plane. We exchanged hugs and she took a picture of us together to send to her family.  It's these kind of moments and experiences that make me seriously love my life, no matter what's happened to this point.  My life is so good and God is so good.

 And Post Script to this story. In the interim, while Sister Goeff was texting her mom, I did find those blessed macaroons.  The two terminals did connect and Lady Yum was less then 400 feet from where I first saw this sweet sister missionary.  I know, cool, right?!
 Happy Monday my beautiful readers.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

thank you Seattle

Last weekend the girls finally got to redeem a christmas present from 2017, Coldplay concert tickets.  The venue was Seattle and our first time to the city.  I am in love. Photo credits to Sierra for most of these pics. ( I will get my camera out again one of these days).

The Coldplay concert ruined me.  As in I am convinced I may never ever love another concert as much as I loved this one. I will simply describe it using one of the Brits favorite terms, "Brilliant" 

  Gentry and I can highly recommend the Seattle Art Museum.

If you visit Seattle, Pike's Market is a must see. 

The flowers were the most beautiful I've ever seen and crazy inexpensive. Huge, massive bouquets for $10.

 The pier is also a must see complete with a carousel.

 And we always enjoy the local talent.

Museum of Pop Culture was also a good time.

LOVED  this city that seemed to offer a little bit of everything. Not pictured, but must try...Ivar's fish and chips and Von's homemade mac and cheese. Thank you Seattle. Best time ever.