Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

2011 had its ups and downs.

Here is the year in review in not particular order:

Got 2 new jobs: Anasazi & E3 Imagine
Went to the Renaissance Festival
Got 2 Henna Tattoos
Went to the World Fest (Beer Fest)
Did a Walk for the America Liver Foundation
Went to Girls Camp
Cut bangs
Kissed a Cowboy
Did the Elpha Challenge
Started a Writing Blog
Re-did my room
Walked into a glass door
Finished writing a book
Painted a Chalkboard Wall
Wicked awesome "Suckerpunch" Halloween costumes w/ the roommates
Slide Rock in Sedona, AZ

I'm looking forward to this next year. I have created a special "Make it Happen" blog for the next year of my life. On this blog you can find my New Year's Resolutions or 32 goals that I want to make happen this next year!

I hope you have an opportunity to thank and love those who make a difference in your life. Here's to the next year! Happy New Years!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Kigatsuku & Kaizen

Two of my favorite Japanese words are Kigatsuku & Kaizen. Kigatsuku means “an inner spirit to act without being told what to do.” (Chieko N. Okazaki). Kaizen means "improvement", or "change for the better" and refers to a philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes.

Here at E3 Imagine we believe in both philosophies at our very core! Each person on our team has worked very hard, brought with them their unique skills and abilities, and everyone has strived for the betterment of the whole. We are always coming up with new ideas, new ways to implement those ideas, and how to spread our message to the world.

Today is our LAUNCH DAY and we are very excited to offer you a FREE sample ebook. We also have 2 new ebooks available for purchase.

Please enjoy this wonderful video and Come back in the Spring of 2012 for our printed books!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DIY:Chalkboard Wall

I'm not into crafts that much or DIY Projects but the other day I was sitting with a Young Walker (teenage client) and she said, "Your office is boring." I laughed (I just moved in) and then asked her what she would do with my office if she could. She suggested I paint one of my walls with Chalkboard paint. I loved the idea and thus it became.

Here is my office wall before.

Here's the midway point...the symbol is a heart at peace.

Here is my finished Chalkboard Wall!!
This project was really easy and cheap. I bought 2 small cans of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint, a roller brush, and a paint pan for $30.00. I have a ton of paint left over for other projects. 

It didn't take me too long to pain the wall (lots of coats) and then I waited the allotted 4 hours before I could put on the 2nd coat of paint. I am really excited for it dry completely so I can write on it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My "Trail Week"

I took a "trail week" this week. What does that mean (you may be asking)? Well, I work for an incredible organization called Anasazi. We are a wilderness therapy organization and we work with incredible families and their children. I am a therapist at Anasazi and absolutely LOVE my job.

My contract as a therapist ran out and so I was training and working on skills so that I could go out on the trail as a Trail Walker. (As a side note some of the trail walkers I have met at Anasazi are the most incredible, real, and talented people I know.) A Trail Walker goes out on the trail for 8 days (Wed-Wed) and is off the trail for 6 days. When they are out on the trail there is no contact with the "world." They don't have cell phones, computers, ipods, etc. They have what they can carry on their backs and nature—it is an unreal and unbelievable experience.

Well, as life would have it I was re-hired as a Therapist at Anasazi before I could be a trail walker. So I decided that I would take a "trail week" this past week. I didn't get on Facebook, watch TV, listen to music in my care, etc. I even gave my phone to friend for a few days. In essence, I tried to get away from the world for 8 days. As a result here are a few things I learned:

  • I am much more effective with my time with no distractions
  • I am able to do things I love (play piano, read, have long chats w/friends) when I make time for them
  • I am completely disconnected to the outside world and therefore miss important details
  • It became apparent that I miss certain people 
  • My thoughts are more focused and in tune with God's will
  • The world didn't stop or end without me online (ha ha I knew this was true already)
  • I felt the spirit more and felt more guided.
  • Some media is not bad and actually really needed for me in my life
  • It is an inconvenience for people in my life for me to be disconnected
  • I was able to listen much better with less distractions and less noise
  • Rejection means you put something out there (received my first book rejection)
  • I need to for sure take more "trail weeks"
The biggest thing I noticed is how happy I could be with so little. I found myself driving down the road, sun shining on my face, and smiling. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fractured Faith

In the past few months of my life I have had a few key thoughts, lines of a song, scriptures, etc running through my mind:

"Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord...The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14: 13-14)

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me." (Hymn #97)

"Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." (Matthew 9:24)

"Be not afraid, only believe." (Mark 5:36)

You can probably see the pattern.  I have been lacking faith and patience in my own life. As a therapist I spend my days listening to others peoples problems, sorrows, etc. I try to exhort patience, empathy, sympathy, and a listening ear. When I get home and need to deal with my personal life I find I have no patience left for myself. I wrestling with the Lord and want Him to make things happen in my life that I think will make me happy. 

I want a regular, adult-like job, where I get paid a salary and I don't have to scrip to pay my rent and feed myself. I want a man in my life who wants to be with me, who I confide in, who will protect me from the world, and listen to my heart. I want the Lord to fix/stop the hurting hearts of those around me that I adore. I have the hardest time watching people I love suffer.

After I have thrashed around enough with God and I'm exhausted the above words come to my heart and mind. I KNOW of their truth and comfort but for whatever reason I can't seem to let them in. To borrow a phrase from one of my mentors (Chris Wallace)—I have "Fractured Faith."

I don't want that kind of faith. I want the faith that moves mountains, parts the sea, closes the mouths of lions, and raises people from the dead. I want a Fortress of Faith! I want to be believing. I want to be patient. I want to be happy with one step of light ahead of me instead of wanting the entire path to be lit. So I been really trying to be present in my life. I have tried really hard to be vulnerable, open, honest, and more patient with myself. I continue to fail but try again.

To help I decided to start what I call a Patience Project.

I never grew up in a family that puts puzzles together. We pretty much all have ADHD and this would have never happened in our family. So I never really got the value of puzzles. Then a good friend of mine, Lincoln, introduced me to the magic of puzzles. It is less about the puzzle (though they are awesome—especially if they glow-in-the-dark) and more about the entire experience. Sometimes it's about the people you put the puzzle together with and other times it's just about slowing down and using your hands to create. To me a 1000 piece puzzle= patience.

My patience project is about time I set aside for me. It is time I let other things drop out of my life. It is time to be creative and practice patience. Don't get me wrong this puzzle is also frustrating to me. The puzzle I chose is 87% blue pieces and I have no idea how I am going to put it together but I always remind myself, like life, one piece at a time, one step at a time. When it gets too frustrating I leave it alone next to my bed and do something else. But lately, I find myself more and more comfortable sitting down with my patience project puzzle.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How old are you?

To my friends who are no longer allowed in "singles wards":

So I was in the stall at church and there were these two girls talking about age and how old was old and such.

"So at what age do you think you will feel old if you're not married?" Asked one of the girls and before the other girl could answer she continued. "I always thought that if I reached 26 and I wasn't married that I'd feel really old (yes she did make the emphasis). It means that you are no longer in your early 20's but now in your late 20's. I just dread being 26."

"Yeah, I'm a little worried about turning 25—I'm not excited about that, but at least I have a few years before I have to worry about that."

I'm sure they said more but I was stuck thinking...I am 5 years (and closer to 32 by the day) older than the girl's dreaded "old" age. I waited until the girls left the bathroom and then laughed to myself and wanted to tell those girls—married—not married you are going to get older and if you are dreading it—it's gonna be rough!

Forever Strong Principles

I wrote this a year ago but for whatever reason didn't post it so I thought it pertinent in my life to post it today.

Tonight instead of partying up for Halloween I stayed home sick. I decided to watch the movie, "Forever Strong" and thought it was a great movie. Highland Rugby Coach Larry Gelwix had some inspirational quotes that are called Gelwixism:

“Good decisions don’t make life easy, but they do make it easier.”

“The true test of a man is what he will do when no one will know.”

“The essence of a lie is not the words you choose, but the message you convey.”

“If you lose your integrity, you’ve lost everything.”

“I want you to be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field.”

In the Bonus section of the movie (yes I'm a nerd and checked that section out) Coach Gelwix shares 6 of his principles. I love them and try to live them. 

Don't Play with Snakes

Don't Lie

Don't Do Anything to Embarrass Your Family

Attitude and Effort are Everything

Choose Wisely

Focus on the Final Score

Being In Tune

My roommate Alycesun said this comment, "Being in tune is so much better than being a big thing...being, seeing, feeling—much better." I like that

Friday, September 30, 2011

Anasazi Skills Camp & Fire Council

  • The past 3 days I have been living in the wilderness with Anasazi. It was really awesome. I learned all kinds of new skills. I went out on the trail M-W. I figured I'd use the time to learn things about being on the trail I didn't know so I would be ready to TW in Nov.

    We had 3 stations the 3 different bands rotated on Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday we did all the setting up and making the spots look great and set up tarps for shade etc.

    Station 1: (T-Bird/Brittany)

    Tuesdays—T-Bird taught beading on a loom and we all made these awesome beaded bracelets.

    Wednesday—Brittany taught leather sewing and we mad these little purse bag things. I didn't actually get to do this b/c I was doing my therapy sessions.

    Station 2: (Thomas)
    Thomas did pottery both days and taught about the different stages of making, burnishing, painting, and baking the pottery. I'm excited to get my pottery back!

    Station 3: (Spencer)
    Tuesday— Spencer taught us how to make Antler handled knives.

    Wednesday—Spencer/ Hannah taught us how to make sheaths for our knives. I also did't get to do this b/c I was doing a therapy session. Spencer told me he would teach me how to do it later so I can sheath my antler handled frost.

    Fire Council:
    Wednesday night we had a fire council first for the girls & boys band and then next for the Sinagua band. It was really awesome. Ezekiel, his wife, Lehi, Rachel, and Moroni Sanchez were there.

    We had tiki torches leading them into the council, staff had their faces painted, and the spirit was really strong. One girl YW & one boy YW tried busting to start the fire (gift of light) but neither of them, after trying in the dark for a long time, could bust. So we borrowed a coal from another fire and then had them do the tender bundle part and eventually we had this huge bonfire.

    Then Ezekiel and Pauline both talked and told these great stories. Pauline signed in Navajo as Rachel sang a song. Then we closed the council with giving everyone a necklaced. Afterward the YWs and their TWs were given hot chocolate in their cups (it was really cold and they loved it).

    The second fire council was a bit different but same idea. It was pretty incredible to be a part of the skills camp and fire council. Even though I was freezing at night I really love being out on the trail and look forward to being a Trail Walker.
    I learned how to build a shelter from a tarp

    I learned to make lots of different food recipes in my cup

    I made an antler handled knife

    This is the necklace I received at the end of Fire Council

    I beaded this bracelet on a loom. the acronym stands for Listen More Talk Less

    This is the fish trap I made from willow

Friday, September 23, 2011

Start Something That Matters

Today I saw this video when I was checking out TOMS website. I felt inspired. I went and bought Blake's book, "Start Something That Matters," and I read it in one sitting. It is full of inspiration and fabulous ideas. You should read it!

And so...

I want to introduce you to a new organization that is truly doing something that matters. I'm currently a volunteer for this brilliant, beautiful, and inspiring company.

E3 Imagine  is an educational organization that follows TOMS One forOne model. For every children's book you buy we will give a child a book. I am working on the humanitarian side of things but we are involved in schools, travel, education, and most importantly doing something that matters. Check out E3 Imagine!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Okay isn't my niece Eden the cutest girl ever!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Room Whisperer

My roommate Alycesun Marie Clare is seriously wicked awesome and talented. She has a gift for design and she is a room whisperer. She has organized and decorated my room twice and both times I have absolutely LOVED it! 

My room was in a serious need of change both from an organizational point of view and from a Feng Shui/Chi feel. So the other night my roommates helped me take everything out of my room and start from scratch. Alycesun helped to open up a lot of space in my room (we got rid of my dresser) and make it so that it had a lot more space for positive chi flow. I love it! Check out some of the details:

I told her she could move anything and put up anything but I had to have my cork board.
 She added the records b/c I love music and this is my Creative Wall.
Alycesun actually made the "Make it Happen" sign for me.
 It is currently my life motto. This is my Affirmation Wall or the wall that helps remind me to simplify, relax, love, and enjoy life! 
I had never been a big pillow girl before but Alycesun convinced me that I would love having lots of pillow on my bed and she was most definitely right. My bed is now the center and focal point of my room. Don't worry there will be more pillows in the future. I am looking for the perfect lime green pillow.
This is my Travel Wall.  Alycesun actually made the 4 Italy framed pictures.
 I love this black & white picture often called "The Kiss."
The bottom photo is by Brad Burnham.
This is my workspace area and as such is the most cluttered. This is my Pear Wall. Alycesun did such a great job of incorporating the lime green color all throughout my room. She was able to recycle a lot of the things I already had up on my walls. The plaque above my computer says Harmony and check out how big my bamboo plant is growing.
I can't even begin to tell you the trouble that this little white bookshelf caused all of us. I think we moved it a gazillion times. I couldn't part with it though because my emeritus best friend gave it to me and it means a lot to me. Besides that I have a lot of books and they need a home. Check out my awesome purple globe—thanks Miranda!

Do you want an appointment with the Room Whisperer?

Now that you have seen some of her handy work let me tell you how she can bring magic into your life. Alycesun can breathe new life into any room. Does your office space need some re-organizing? Does your bedroom need a face-lift? Do you just need to breathe new life into your house? Alycesun does things on a budget and you will love what she can do. Let me know if you are interested?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Men of Valor

Part of being a 31 year old single adult in the Mormon church is people trying to figure out why you are not married. If they love you, think you are talented and beautiful, then it must not be anything you are doing wrong but it must be that the guys in the church are "stupid, lazy, crazy...." and so forth. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this excuse. It's as if people, in their need to comfort me, feel that putting down the men of the church, will make me feel better. Sure there are men out there who are lazy, stupid, and all the other words I have heard preached to me but there are also men of valor.

There are men who stop whatever they are doing at midnight to come and give my roommate a blessing. There are men who leave everything in their life behind to serve extremely hard and amazing awesome missions. There are men who love their wives with all their hearts. There are men who give their children Father's blessings, school blessings, and blessings for the sick. There are men who mow lawns, paint walls, hold hands with their girlfriends, sit through Sunday School, and use the Priesthood of God. There are men who actually date. There are men who listen, serve where they are needed, and put God first in their lives. I LOVE these men!

A while back I worked at a Domestic Violence Shelter as a therapist for victims of DV and their children. I listen in horror as these women told their stories of violence. I saw the bruises on their bodies, I hear the anguish in their voices, and spend time with their traumatized children. At the same, to gain a balanced perspective I was also working with the offenders of DV crimes. I sat in groups with men who had committed heinous crimes and listened as they described violence unspeakable by their own hands. I tried to be professional but there were moments when I wanted to throw-up because of the things some of these men had done. They were at various stages of change and I prayed before, during, and after every group that I would be able to see these men as children of God. Every time the group was over I called my father, who I love with all my heart, to tell him I love him and thank him for being such a wonderful man. Then I would call my best friend to him how much I appreciate his goodness.  I knew that if I let myself I would end up hating men after going to those horrible groups—instead I chose to love the valiant men in my life.

And so while I do get frustrated waiting for a man in my life, and while I sometimes laugh or nod in agreement when people place the blame for my singleness on men, I need everyone to know that I know there are men of valor out there. I know there are men who love God, who are trying to chose the right in the face evil. I know there are men who abhor pornography, say no to drugs, serve others, and work hard. I know there are men who love their mothers, respect their fathers, and treat their sisters like queens. I know there are men who read their scriptures, say their prayers, and show up at the temple.

And so tonight, for whatever reason, I want to thank the men of valor in my life. Thank you for putting God first. Thank you for seeing the good in me. Thank you for being a man that I can trust, love, look up to, and believe in.

Sanctify Yourselves

Saturday, September 17, 2011


A big part of the new fiction novel I'm writing is about grief, loss, love, healing, and how when tragedy strike things get all jumbled up. Faith falters, people rise to occasion or they crumble under the stress. Everyone grieves differently.

It is strange the things you remember in times of deep dispair. I remember the week my brother died that we go so much food that it was rotting on our counter b/c we couldn't fit it into our fridge. I remember literally praying that people would stop bringing over flowers b/c they just ended up dying all over our house. I remember thinking that I hated people b/c they said the stupidest things in the most inappropriate times. I remember wishing someone would help my sister find a way to sleep b/c she had been awake for days on end. These are the things I was thinking about b/c the alternative, at the time, was too painful.

As I write about grief I it is hard to go back there—to the funeral, the days before, the days after. I have always wanted to write something that had to do with healing and hope that this new book will do it justice.

For those of you who have grieved and stood on the precipice of despair I am wondering what random thoughts consumed your mind and heart. I want to capture grief in its most naked and vulnerable state. If you are willing to share I would appreciate your feedback.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Traces of Memories

In general I have a terrible memory. Like my mom used to always say, "If it isn't on the calendar then it doesn't happen." I have to write things down, blog, keep a journal in order for me to remember important events in my life. However, I find that when a memory is shared with someone I love sometimes it attaches itself to something else, like an object, smell, song, etc. and is vividly remembered later. Let me share some examples.

The other day I wore a BYU hat that belonged to my brother Grant. A friend of my, noticing my hat, said, "Wow, that is old school." Almost instantly memories of my brother cheering for BYU in the Lavell Edwards Stadium flooded my mind. It's almost as if the memory of my brother and BYU games are imprinted on that hat.

Years ago a boyfriend of mine, at the time, asked me what my favorite smell was (up to that moment I don't think I had ever been asked that question before) and so I thought about it for a while. I told him I loved the smell of Lemon Trees in San Diego. A while later he went to CA for a photography shoot and when he returned he gave me a plate (in the shape of a green leaf) that had lemons hand-picked from a Lemon Tree. Whenever I smell lemons I think of that loving gesture.

I love trains! I think I have always loved them. One time my sister and I drove out to Fort Bridger, WY to visit some friends. While we were there we rode horses and then when it got dark we loaded up in a truck and drove to the middle of nowhere. We got out of the truck and were herded into this cave-like place to wait. We were instructed to hold onto something sturdy. So I did and all of a sudden I heard the loudest sounds rushing over me and everything was shaking, like an earthquake. Then there were sparks flying around me and it was wicked awesome. Before I could wrap my head around what had just happened the train was rushing away. We had been sitting underneath the rail road tracks. Whenever I see a train I think of that exhilarating moment.

Sometimes a shared memory can transform an ordinary experience or place into something magical. There is a movie theater near my house that my roommates and I go to often. One day I went there to watch a movie with my boyfriend at the time. The movie was good—though I don't remember much about it but afterwards we were holding hands, laughing, and just talking with each other. We stood there talking and laughing in the parking lot for ages and then I sat on the trunk of my car and we kissed, like we were 2 teenagers, shamelessly while cars honked their horns and people whistled. I can't help but smile whenever I am in that movie theater parking lot.

I'm not a huge ice cream or chocolate fan but when I was living in Jerusalem for my study abroad I was introduced to this ice cream, Carmel, chocolate dream on a stick called, Magnum Bars. I fell in love and wanted to know what the secret ingredient was that made it taste like a piece of heaven. Well they have now come to the states and when I see them through the window of the freezer section at the store I can't help but connect them to Jerusalem and all my incredible memories there.

My mom's dad died when I was 8 years old but I loved him more than my little body could handle. I don't remember hardly anything about him but I think of him whenever I get the urge to pour water on someone. Whenever I was at his house he would fill a tall glass of water and drink it all except for a little bit in the bottom of his glass. Then, when I would least expect it, he would sneak up and pour it on my head. I am sure he had no idea what those moments/memories would hold for me.

There are so many more to share and write down but you get the idea. Sometimes when we share moments, even the simplest things, with those we love traces of those memories are captured in ordinary objects or moments in time where your heart takes a picture. No longer is a lemon just a lemon or an ice cream bar just a treat. They are forever changed and harbor some of our most cherished memories.

Today I am grateful for the ordinary things, places, smells, people, etc. that hold traces of priceless memories!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Here are two poems I wrote in the past to express some of my feelings about September 11, 2001:

Remember me when the day is done
When your laughing heart is free
Remember me when the day begins
The flag flies for liberty

Remember me when you're free to roam
When you can worship where you may
Remember me when you take a stand
And have freedom of speech to say

Remember me when you make a choice
When you kneel down to pray
Remember me when it's not so easy
I died so you could live this way
(September 11, 2002)

The best laid plans fail
The most sacred memories fade
And even with you least expect it
Towers crumble before your eyes


Patriotism with bind souls
Remembrance will sear hearts together
And even though the world is ugly
Love still conquerors all
(September 11, 2006)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Raising Expectations

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of raising expectations. I recently read an article about Brandon Davies returning to BYU after he broke the Honor Code. In the article there was a powerful quote:

Something the late, great tennis start Arthur Ashe used to argue all the time: If you demand more from people, people will rise to meet the higher standards. You can get what you insist upon. So don't sell people's capacity to do the right thing short. People do summon their best selves when it's required of them.

I not only believe in what Arthur Ashe said but I have seen it in my life as well as the livewss of many others. I have a friend who, in his limited spare time, is a personal trainer. I was training to run in a 12 man relay time a few months ago and asked him to help me set up a strenghts training plan. He went to my gym with me a few times to help me figure out how to use the equipment and what worked best for my body. I was amazed at the things he could get me to do. I did more reps, lifted more, had more endurance, and much more flexibility when he was asking for it then I had even been able to do on my own. He had high expectations for me and I rose to them.

People have a way of rising to expectations. There is something in us that wants to succeed. Through the years of working with teenagers I am continually amazed at what happens when expectations are raised and what happens when there is not expectations.

As a young Seminary (religion) Teacher I went to a Church Education System (CES) AKA Seminaries and Institutes training. To this day I remember the way the spirit touched me as to the truth of the words that Elder Eyring was teaching me. In an inspiring talk, "Raising Expectations," Elder Eyring said,

In the days ahead, the Lord will raise the spiritual bar again and again. And our youth will rise higher and higher to more than clear that rising expecation. They will make the choices to receive the promised spiritual outpouring deep in their hearts. Ours sons and daughters will prophesy, and our young men shall see visions. The questions for us are these: Will those young people feel by what we have said and done that we expected it? And with the Lord say tha twe rose to the best we could be an that He expected us to show them how? I have assurance that we will rise to that expectation.

I absolutely love teaching youth/teenagers, in any capacity. I love being an adolescent therapist. I learn so much from the youth I serve and I'm trying to have high expectations for them. In turn, they hold high expectations of me!

I sometimes wonder if I hold high enough expectations for myself? I think it might be time to raise the expectations.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Do You Have A Favorite Emotion?

Over the years I have collected strange favorites. For example I have a favorite English and Japanese word. In English my favorite word is Remember. In Japanese my favorite word is Kigatsuku. My favorite number is 8. My favorite color is purple. My favorite vehicle is a train. the list goes on but you see...most of you probably don't have a favorite vehicle, Japanese word, or even favorite English word.

Lately, I think I've discovered my favorite emotion—and if we are being technical it is actually a secondary emotion. My favorite emotion is anger. It's not my favorite because I feel it often or I like it. It's become my favorite—especially as a an adolescent therapist—because I can do something with that emotion. Anger tells me something about my client. Anger is a motivator. Anger usually brings about some kind of drive, passion, action, etc.

When I am working with clients who are depressed, sad, lethargic, etc. it is hard to motivate them. It is difficult to get to the root of the problem and it is hard to help them to make needed changes in their lives.

Don't get me wrong anger, because it is a secondary emotion, covers up the actual emotions you are feeling or trying to express. However, bring on the anger because then we can talk about the real underlying emotion. Bring on the anger because then maybe you actually cry or punch something or deal with your emotions. Bring on the anger because then you begin to be honest and get into a healthy emotional place.

I'd rather be angry any day over feeling reject, depressed, or forgotten

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I FINISHED MY BOOK!! I can now say I have written a 194 page book!! I printed out my first complete copy tonight at 9:27 PM August 20, 2011. It is an incredible feeling to finally be done and to have accomplished one my life goals! Thank you to everyone who helped in some capacity to make this happen!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tender Mercies

While watching a movie recently a line stuck out to me. It said, " When God has something to teach me He usually provides a teacher." I LOVE that and it is so true in my life.

For a long time I have been struggling for the right job, the right place to live, the right guy to date, and so forth. I have been happy but struggling with what direction(s) to take with my life. I thought that once I got my Masters degree I would go out and get a big girl job and move forward. What I go instead was lots of bills to pay, rent, complications, looking for a job where I can use my degree, and so forth. I ended up working at a job where I make the same money I did before I went to grad school. Let's just say things in my life weren't looking so great. I had faith that things would work out but was feeling sorry for myself.

Then came the testing. I felt like the Lord just kept closing door after door in my life and I was desperate to find an open window. Then I discovered Anasazi and applied for a job. When I got the job I found my window and jumped through it. I had no idea the joy that would await me or the tender mercies the Lord had in store for me. I had lessons to learn and God was providing me a teacher.

Now I have been working for Anasazi for a few months, I am learning so much, I met a wonderful guy who treats me like a queen, and I can't believe how happy I am. Both the job and the guy may be leaving my life very soon. The job is only a summer contract job and the guy is leaving the state for education. While I will be devastated at the loss of either of them I can't help but smile at what the Lord has placed in my life. I am better because of both!

And so as I embark on possibly losing them both I hope I have enough faith and trust in the Creator to understand and appreciate the blessings in my life. Truly God has given me tender mercies!

Friday, June 24, 2011

You know you have been single for a long time when...

  • You no longer sneak into the movie theater when the lights are out so that no one can see that you came alone.
  • You stop spreading out your purse, jacket, etc. all over the chairs around you at a restaurant to look like someone will be joining you
  • You go to a wedding reception alone, compliment the groom's (close friend from my Boston days) mother on how beautiful her yard looks, and she looks around and asks,
Groom's Mother: "So who are you here with?"
Me: "No one, I am here alone."
Groom's Mother: "oh, well that was brave!"

Any more....

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Sometimes I find myself just wanting to say my brother's name out loud—Grant, Granty, Grant Marcus

Sometimes I miss him something fierce. His skinny long legs, his never ending questions, his annoying bugging, and his sweet, sweet hugs

Sometimes I catch myself thinking of how old he would be today and try as I might I can't picture him. I can only see him as a scrawny 15 year old boy

Sometimes I want to tell someone about him just to talk about him—to acknowledge his existence, but how do you do that. How do you talk to someone about that

Sometimes I hear a song, watch a movie, see a boy, and it almost feels like the wind is being knocked out of my chest. I am surprised at how fast I am back laughing with Grant or watching him stand like a flamingo in front of the TV

Always I am grateful he is my brother for eternity

Wind & The Sacred Wind

I spend the last 4 days living in the Wilderness. I was a Trail Walker and I was on a Rabbit Stick Walking with Anasazi. It was amazing! It was hot, cold, and nats ate us alive. We hiked, cooked food off a propane stove, and slept on the ground. Many things happened that just can't be explained but there was one thing I would like to share.

At Anasazi we talk about something called the Sacred Wind or in other words you may call it the Spirit. I love talking about, listening to, and learning from the Sacred Wind.

This week out in the desert there were SO MANY nats out it was crazy beans. I mean it when I say that we were eaten alive. I came home with about 75 nat bites all in the area of about 3 inches from my wrists up, a few on my face, about 15 on my neck and collar bone area, and a few more on my legs. This is minimum compared to most. I wore a light bright green scarf around my face shoulders and neck, sort of like a hijab, almost every minute. It was hot and sometimes hard to breath but I am so glad b/c it really saved me. some of the TW were just covered in nat bites, some had swollen eyes, and they looked like they had either super bad acne or chicken pox.

One night there was this amazing wind that came through my camp throughout the night and it was so amazing and needed. Every time the wind would blow through our camp it would take the nats with it. So I would pray that the wind would come and give us some reprieve. As I was praying and hoping for the wind to come I couldn't help compare it to the Sacred Wind.

When I feel the spirit or when it touches my heart it is such a reprieve, it brings peace and direction in my life. It also helps me to steer clear of the nats. As I sat there feeling the wind on my hot itchy skin I was so grateful. I was grateful for the cool wind and for the gift of the Sacred Wind in my life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I LOVE my job!

My amazing sister, Chelsea, recently wrote a great blog about jobs. She writes about her idea of a "Utopian ideology" where everyone would be able to work at jobs they love and are passionate about. Not only would they get to work at these jobs but they would get paid and love what they do.

Being a social worker I can't tell you how many times people have said to me, "I am so glad you do what you do because..." then they say things like "I could never do that", or "you really don't get paid enough" or "I couldn't do it because I need to make more money." I don't spend too much time thinking about how little money I make since I knew what I was getting myself into.

However, I do spend a LOT of time trying to figure out why there is so much drama, red tape, bureaucracy, and incompetent people. I can't understand why some programs are run so ineffectual. When I'm in a job like this I can't help but think—sometimes—about how little I get paid to jump through hoops.

Then I come across a job like being a Shadow at Anasazi and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I absolutely LOVE my job. I love every annoying aspect of the red tape, the training, the lack of space, the new people, figuring out the computers, phones, etc. I love the monotony of policies and procedures, trying to figure out where I fit in in the big non-profit, and the fact that I will, yet again, make little to no money.

I find myself over and over again thinking...I am actually getting paid to:
  • walk in the wilderness
  • learn to survive primitively
  • have an outdoor office where I sit on a blanket and do a session with an adolescent
  • spend the entire day sharing "seeds of greatness" (strengths) with adolescents
  • work with amazing co-workers who are passionate about the outdoors, living in a way that is an example to youth, and come from amazing backgrounds with even more amazing stories to tell
  • be part of an amazing legacy
  • and so much more...
Only when I realize I need to pay bills or I need to fill my gas tank do I stop to remember that I am barely making ends meet. I can handle this though b/c the pay off for having a job that I adore, and feel like is home, makes up the difference.

And so as I embark on this new adventure I just wanted to say that I am truly grateful for my new job, the journey it has taken me to get here, and for the lessons I am learning and will continue to learn.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Burn The Ships

Tomorrow I start a new job! I am really nervous b/c the training for this job takes me out in the field trail walking for multiple days in a row w/ really nothing but my shirt of my back. Part of me is prepared (remember my summer job on the Apache Reservation) and excited and the other part of me is nervous and concerned (I think I may be a bit to old for this??).

Taking this summer job has been a step of faith for me. Yesterday was my last day at the job I've been working at for the past year. I have known for a while that I need a new job, a more challenging situation, and a job that would pay me more money. I have been looking for a clinical job for over a year now. Things just haven't worked out.

Many times I have been tempted to just forget the whole social work thing and just find another job that is closer to where I live and pays more money. But then I think of the 2 years I spent on my Masters degree, all the opportunities that have led me to where I am, and most importantly how much I love being a clinician with adolescents.

So I made a decision and I decided to "burn the ships" and forge ahead. In his book, Leadership, Sterling R. Sill talks about the idea of burning ships. He writes,
When Caesar went to capture Britain, he first landed him men and then unloaded his supplies. Then in the night he sent out men and burned the ships in which they had come. Then death was the only Roman alternative to victory. Under such circumstances most men fight with a vigor that never knows defeat.
I want to be a great therapist so I can't settle for some job that doesn't utilize my abilities or where there is not room to grow or progress. If that means I quit a full time job, with benefits, and security to go be a clinician with the same pay, no benefits, and only for the summer—then so be it. I choose to move forward and burn the ships. There is no way for me to go back now all I can do is move forward.

I am nervous and excited to begin this new adventure with the Anasazi Foundation and have faith that when the summer is over things will work out the way they should!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do You Have To Do It To Help Somebody Get Through It?

Today at work I was having a conversation with a coworker. He was saying that he wanted to be a substance abuse counselor someday in the future. He went on to say that he didn't think someone could be effective at helping kids overcome substance abuse if they hadn't done drugs themselves. He went on to say that he thought the best Licence Substance Abuse Counselors (LISAC) he'd ever seen help kids were the ones who were the worst drug addicts when they were younger. I listened to him explain and shared a few of my thoughts.

What do you think? Do you have to do something or be something in order to help someone? Can a single person be an effective marriage counselor? Can you help kids with substance abuse if you've never done drugs yourself? I am very interested in what you think so please comment!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Some of the reasons I'm grateful:

The other day I sent my Dad a text:

I need some guidance dad.
I feel a bit lost in my life.
Things aren't too bad I just need a plan.

He called me back and told me I could move home into the extra bedroom. I laughed—which was much better than crying because my dad seems to know exactly what to say. I told him I couldn't move home b/c I'm 31 and people just don't do that. He told me he figured I'd say that and that I would realize things could be much worse. He was right, I was left smiling, and once again Father knows best! This experience is just one of the many reasons I adore and am grateful for my Dad!

I swap shifts with a coworker so I wasn't with my students for two days. Upon returning one of my ragamuffins told me that he missed my meanness! I'll take it! He missed me and for a moment being missed really mattered. I am grateful for being missed!

Along the same vein I left work the other night and notice a note in my purse. I opened and read it and got a little teary-eyed (no I did not cry). It was from an intern who just wanted to let me know that they noticed the difference I make. The validation couldn't have come at a more needed time. I am grateful for people who validate!

I am in the process of sending my book manuscript to publishers. In the wake of things my family has gotten excited and volunteered their services. My mom, a bit worried about my frequent spelling errors, volunteered to be my human spell check and two of my sisters wanted to read a few chapters and give some feedback. I am grateful for a loving and supportive family!

Whenever my roommate comes home she plops herself at the end of my bed, on my desk chair, or on the floor and she shares all the days dealings. I love these moments and know I will theses days in the future. I am grateful for someone who loves me enough to share their life, the exciting things, the drama, and the mundane.

I am sure there are many more things but for now I am just wanted to share my grateful heart!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Faith and Patience

I am trying to have faith—to believe that God has a plan. At times I think I'm failing and then the Lord gives me a tender mercy/validation that I'm on the right path.

In an earlier post I talked about being reject by a wonderful non-profit for a clinician position and at the same time being offered a different position. What I didn't mention is that the job required me to work on Sundays. This isn't an issue for everyone but for me I struggled a bit. The job offered wasn't the best hours but the pay was significantly greatly than I make now and I would have one clinical day a week to work with clients and get clinical experience. I would also be supervising 8-9 people and gain much needed supervision experience.

I talked to many people about whether or not to take this job and everyone had sage advice. The job was offered Wednesday. On Friday I decided I would let the HR know that I'm interested in the job but wouldn't be able to work on Sundays due to previous religious comittments. They responded positively and said they were working out bugs in the schedule and would let me know by the end of next week what they decided.

So I had a questions and prayers in my heart as I headed into General Conference, a broadcast every 6 months where the Prophet speaks to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It didn't take long for the Lord to reassure my heart and my decision about working on Sunday. The very first Conference talk, The Sabbath and the Sacrament, was about keeping the Sabbath (Sunday) day holy and the importance of Sundays. I know that talk was for everyone in the church but I also know that talk was for ME!

Today I got a call from the wonderful non-profit and they let me know that they gave the job to someone who was willing to work Sundays. They were kind to me and told me to keep in touch and that they would for sure let me know if they have a clinician spot that opens up. I thanked them for their time and hung up. Once off the phone I had mixed emotions. I feel like I made the right choice, and that the Lord validated my choice, but sometimes it is difficult to have faith and be patient.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Turning Point

My roommates and I were watching conference together and afterward there was a show called Turning Point that came on BYUTV. We were immediately drawn in by the cinematography, music, and curious about where the show was going. So—we just kept right on watching, crying, and loving every minute of the great 1 hr show.

I hope if you are reading this you take 1 hour out of your busy life and watch this amazing show about 2 different turning points in peoples lives and how those turning points changed and continues to change the lives of so many others.

I think this documentary touched my heart so much because it spoke to my soul. I am passionate about adoption and believe in the power of love. I also work with kids, though not wheelchair bound, who are broken on the inside even though they may look okay on the outside. Like the "Eagle Eye" children, broken on the outside but intelligent on the inside, the kids I work with need a lot of love, patience, and someone to help them learn how to deal with their emotions.

I love how this documentary was filmed. My roommates and I were on pins and needles waiting to see what was going to happen next. I just sat and watched pure goodness and my eyes got a bit leaking. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


In a matter of a few weeks I have been rejected from three jobs all of which I made it to the last round of interviews. One rejection came in the form of a mailed letter. Another came in the form of an email. The lastest one (today), and my favorite kind, came face to face.

The first two rejections said they decided to hire someone with more experience. bummer. Today I went in for a second round interview. The weirdest thing happened. The interviewer (CEO of the Non Profit) told me something like this: We have good and bad news. The bad news is we hired a clinician about 1 hour ago. She previously worked here, was trying to spread her wings, but decided to come back. We were planning on hiring you as of 2 hours ago. You can imagine I was wondering what the good new would be....Come to find out they had another position (non clinical) that they were offering me to consider. Wow! That was not expected.

Regardless of how things turn out I have been thinking a lot today about the effects of rejection. Does rejection make you stronger? Does it bring out the best in you--the will to work harder and prove others wrong? Does it crumple you? Does it make you nit-pick at yourself?

How do you deal with rejection??

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I haven't shared this video in a long time so it's due. The reason for sharing this life-altering-perspective-changing video was something that happened at work today.

I was swinging next a girl in the class that I'm a TA for at my job. A couple kids came up complaining of this or that while I was on the swing. After a few moments in silence she said, "Ms. Kylee you are good at that." I smiled and said, "Good at what?" She said, "You hardly say anything at all but you listen and then when you do speak it matters and it makes a difference."

Wow! I have to tell you folks that I really needed to hear that today! I needed to hear that what I was doing mattered to someone else. She made my day and again I was reminded at much validation matters!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Find The Best

Just in case you missed it in my last post I started a new blog, Find The Best, all about books, writing, and all kinds of literature stuff. Come over and check it out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Have I Been Doing?

Lately I have been reading a LOT. I have been reading books I've borrow, bought, or received as gifts and have been sitting on my shelves for a long time. I think now that I'm almost a year past Grad School I am ready to dive back into the world of reading for pleasure! In particular I have been reading a lot of ARC's lately that I got for free when I went to an ALA Conference in San, Diego. If you have never heard of an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) before no worries I am hear to tell you about them.

What is an ARC?
An ARC is basically a almost published version of a book that a publisher gives out for free to start buzz, get reviews, etc. They often change cover art, edit a few things, but mostly when you read an ARC not much changes once it is published. If you want information about ARC's from a few other sources you can find them here and here.

What is a Galley?
While I knew what an ARC was before I went to the ALA Conference I had never hear of a galley before. Galley's are basically ARC's but they are digital. Often publishers will have these postcards with their upcoming books on them and how you can read a digital copy of that book. You can learn more about book galleys here.

How do I get an ARC?
There are a lot of different ways to get ARCs or Galleys. You can get to know an author and then ask them for an ARC/Galley of their upcoming book. You can get to know a publisher and ask them the same. You can go to Book Fairs, Book Conferences, ALA, etc. and you are bound to come home with more books than you ever imagined. You can find good information about getting ARCs here. You can find book ARCs/Galleys here.

In reading all kinds of books lately I decided that I want a place where I can talk about them. I also want to give some of my thoughts as review, start some dialogues, and so forth. Because of this I have started a new blog called: Find The Best. If you are interested in what I'm reading, writing, or reviewing come take a look.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I got rejected from both of the jobs I have been in the process of applying for for months. The first rejection (job #1—the job I wanted the most) came in the form of an email. The second (job #2) came in the form of a rejection form letter in the mail. While I am sad I didn't get offered either of these jobs something else about the rejection process has been weighing on my mind.

At the end of my second interview with job #2 the interviewer told me that they would let me know on Friday (exactly a week from that day) either way about the job. I thanked them and fully expected to hear from them in a week.

At the end of my interview with job #1 they told me they didn't know exactly when they would let me know but that it would be soon and they would tell me either way.

By the time Monday (10 days later) I hadn't heard back from either job. I wasn't so concerned with job #1 since they hadn't given me a specific time but I was bothered that I hadn't heard from job #2. In this day and age there a so many ways to contact someone and tell them you are running behind, you need to finish some interviews, etc.

Then comes today. At the end of my work day I check my email to find job #1 rejection email. I was disappointed after the interview process that I received an email instead of a phone call but I guess that is the way things goes.

Already dealing with bad news I decided to call job #2 to follow up. I called, they told me the decision hadn't been made, and for the next few hours I had some hope. I got home, got the mail, and received my next form letter rejection—wait, what? Didn't they just tell me a few hours ago that they hadn't made a decision? They lied to me!

And so we come full circle. What happened to the days of personally talking to people. What happen to the days of your word being your bond. What happened to integrity in the office. I'm disappointed in people who say one thing but don't follow through. I hope I do a better job in my professional and personal life!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Only Temporary

I got a tattoo—of course it is henna and only temporary. I had wanted to get a henna tattoo for a while. I picked out a simple design, paid my money, and waited for my turn for the medieval gypsy to work her magic. When I sat down and show her the picture I chose I could tell she was disappointed and she asked, "can I make it a bit more swirly?" to which I responded okay.

Turns out this tattoo is nothing like the simple picture I had chosen. She set out with a picture framework and then she went to work using her creativity and imagination and the tattoo I ended up with was nothing like the one I imagined. (good thing it is just temporary).

This tattoo experience is indicative of my life. Many times I have set out with a ideal frame work that I think is simple and fits me and the Lord has other plans (good thing it is only temporary!)

Faith Like Dust

I am a questions girl. I ask them, I think them, they often trouble my mind and heart. I find that the asking of questions isn't the problem. When I ask questions they lead me on a quest or great adventure to find answers—some I expect—and some that are greatly unexpected.

Although I love my desire to understand at times I wish I were more like nature. I desire to have faith like the dust, mountains, and the waters. They know Gods voice and obey! In the scriptures it says,

8For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.

9Yea, behold at his avoice do the hills and the mountains tremble and bquake.

10And by the apower of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.

11Yea, by the power of his voice doth the awhole earth shake;

12Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.

13Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.

14Yea, if he say unto the aearth—Thou shalt bgo back, that itclengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;

15And thus, according to his word the aearth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the bsun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.

16And behold, also, if he say unto the awaters of the great deep—bBe thou dried up—it is done.

17Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, andacome over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done (Helaman 12:8-17.)

If I had faith like dust I know the Lord could do more with me. I find myself lately often thinking of a faith fill phrase of a loving father, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:24.)