Monday, February 11, 2019

This seemingly sweet picture of a mother and darling little girl ripped a hole in my heart this weekend.

To the average eye this woman is smiling and enjoying a fun play date with her little girl.  To the other people enjoying this day at the trampoline park she is giggling going down the slide with her little girl.  She looks put together.  Every hair in place (albeit football helmet-esque in size and um... durability.) Her makeup is done.  She's overdressed for the trampoline park high heeled boots, jewelry and all.  She looks happy to the untrained eye.  I know this women well, however, and I can see the forced nature of this smile.  I can feel the crushing pain she is hiding behind the mask. 

She is there with her two beautiful little crazies.  And minus a little residual fullness in her cheeks, she bears no sign that just a few days ago she was 8 1/2 months pregnant.  And that is killing her. 

Oh how I want to scoop this baby version of myself up in my arms and tell her it's going to be ok.  She will be happy again.  The light will return and when it does she will emerge from her little survival cocoon transformed into a stronger, more resilient version of her former self.  A version that has come to know and love and trust her Savior a bazillion times more from having to clench onto His cloak for dear life. 

I want to tell her she is not alone.  He has been right there beside her all along.  He knew this was coming and prepared her for it.  He has felt the exact pain she is feeling, He understands.  He will never leave her alone.  He will send comfort when she needs it and lead her, in ways she'd never imagine, to others that will lift her up.  All those things will not always be obvious to her at the moment, but in retrospect will be glaringly obvious and beautiful.

I want to tell her she's doing an amazing job.  It's okay that she gets up and takes care of her babies on autopilot.  At least she got up!  It doesn't matter if anyone thinks she should mourn a daughter she didn't know.  They don't understand.  They aren't meant to, it's not their trial to endure.  And wishing her angel baby was here with her doesn't lessen her love for the sweet babies that she does have here with her.  She needs to give herself some time and grace.  She'll find the new normal.  And it will be happy.  So happy.

Life will be so so good.  It will also be so so hard at times.  She will face even harder challenges.  But the spiritual muscles she is building during this emotional weight lifting "class" will make those new challenges seem less.... challenging.  And her new perspective of eternity will make said challenges feel more worth conquering. 

Most of all, I want her to know:  someday, in the not so far off future, your smile will be real again.  You will feel peace.  You will feel joy.  And it will be so much richer having known the crushing pain.  And it will happen here, in this lifetime.  You won't have to wait until you have "gotten through" life. 

Hang in there, masked woman.  It will all be worth it.  You are stronger than you realize.

Friday, February 9, 2018

This perfect little hand.  Tiny little finger nails. Itty biddy knuckle dimples.  My Savannah.  She had her daddy's full lips and my round little pug nose.  She was perfect in every single way.  Except that her little heart was not beating.

I have contemplated my pregnancy with my angel babe.  I have a lot of regrets.  I was overwhelmed.  Hunter was barely 2 and Sami was 5 months old when the Lord whispered in our ear that it was time to add another to our little nest.  I let the overwhelm take over the only time I would have with her on earth.   I tried to argue with God to give us another year or so, but He prodded us to trust him.  He had a plan in mind.  So, full of lots of doubts, I acquiesced.  There were moments of excitement, but mostly I found myself focused on the anxiety of our pending "situation".  3 kids under 3 and a husband that travelled most weeks.  Everyone else was anxious for me as well, which added to the anxiety.

"Seriously, God?  Are you sure about this?  It really doesn't make sense.  We make adorable kids.  I'll add as many as you'll give us, but couldn't we have a breather in between?  Couldn't we have at least ONE of them potty trained first?  And do you really have this much confidence in my abilities, because... well... have you MET me?"  But the answer was always, "Yes.  It will be okay.  I will help you.  I have only the best things in mind for you."

I remember just days before Savannah was born.  Sami wasn't feeling well and I was up I the middle of the night with her.  I was trying to rock her in the rocking chair, but there wasn't much room left on my lap.  She was barely one, and still needed so much from me.  I looked over at the crib and imagined another tiny one needing me at the same time in the next few weeks and I silently cried.  "Heavenly Father, I'm really not sure I can do this.  Please help me."  " I will" was the simple answer I received.

Days later we would discover what Gods plan for our Savannah was.  She was never going to stay.  We were never going to juggle 3 kids under 3.  We would get to have her later, but now was not the time.  And I was devastated.

"Heavenly Father, are you sure about this?!  That is not what I meant when I asked you to help me.  I was stressed, but I always wanted her.  It would be crazy town for a while, but we can do it.  We WANT to do it.  Please don't take her."  Again the same answer, "It will be okay.  I will help you.  I have only the best things in  mind for you."

And He was right.  Time and time again in my life I have come upon situations that have not turned out the way I wanted them to.  Times that I think I know what is best and that I question the path the Lord suggests for me.  I have had so many times that I could not possibly see how something would work out "for my best" or how a heart break or stress or frustration would lead to my "best happiness".  But hind sight is always 20/20 and time and time again I have had it proven to me that every one of those "unfair" situations has led to something even better than I could have planned for myself.

You would think by now that I would have learned to trust Him.  But I guess it's human nature to think that we know better.  Because our brains work with limited human logic.  Gods works with eternal perspective.  It's hard to trust in that sometimes when we can't see it.   But not understanding something doesn't inherently make it untrue.  Just ask Christopher Columbus.

It has been 10 years since I held this perfect baby girl.  And there still has not been one single day that I have not thought about her.  It is not *usually* with tears anymore.  With His help, I have come to realize who she is.  A valiant daughter of God that was not meant to stay, that had a job to do on the other side.  A daughter that I want so much that I will take her however I can get her.  Even though that means that in order to come to me, I had to accept that my time with her would be delayed.  It's better than her going to someone else that could accept what her path is.  She has taught me so much about trusting in the Lord, even though I'm still not perfect at it.  And I have learned that He *eventually* DOES turn heartbreak into our best happiness.  Even if it doesn't feel like it in the thick of it.  Even if it's not on our time frame.  He has great things in mind for every. single. one of us.

Trust me.

Happy 10th birthday Savannah.  Your mommy loves you and has not forgotten you. <3 p="">

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Are We There Yet?

 I have a confession: I am not a lover of winter.  That can be problematic, given that I live in Utah, and winter can last from October to May ( and sometimes June).  Don't get me wrong, snow is beautiful.  I love it when I can gaze at it from the comfort of my toasty warm kitchen with my nose pressed against the glass of my back door.  Hot chocolate.  There definitely has to be a steaming mug of hot chocolate {and mini marshmallows wouldn't hurt while we are at it} involved in this scenario for it to be acceptable in my book. But if I have to go ANYWHERE {and sometimes that means anywhere outside of the confines of my comforter} I curse it.  I don't love being cold.  I don't love wearing a thousand layers.  I don't love that my bff the sun hides behind dismal gray clouds.  Bring me HEAT.  Bring me frosty cold Dirty Diet Cokes.  Bring me COLOR.  Sometimes winter can seem interminable to me.  Seriously.  And it doesn't help that Mother Nature is rather bipolar where I live.  It can be 70 degrees one day and snow the next. 

I have another confession: this has been a rough winter emotionally for me.  Life is crazy and can have as many ups and downs as the emotional roller coaster-esque whims of Mother Nature in Utah in April.  I was contemplating said ups and downs this morning and I looked out my window and noticed something that I have looked at a thousand times in the last couple of days, but have not really SEEN til now.  We have these beautiful flowering trees in our backyard and a spectacular view of the Wasatch Mountains.  As I gazed out at this beautiful scene mother nature painted for me I noticed a funny juxtaposition.  Through the vibrant pink blossoms I could see snow capped mountains.  Spring is officially here, but apparently the mountains haven't gotten the memo yet.  It is still a cold and dreary day, but there the blossums are vibrant as ever as they blow in the wind.  It may not feel like it, but spring IS here.  And these gorgeous blossums reminded me that the warmth of summer is close ahead.  So now I have a choice to make.  I can focus on the startling fuscia reminder that dreary times will soon end.  Or I can curse the gray clouds that are here today, and try to melt the frigid snow on the mountain tops with my lazer beam stare of hatred. 

Life is like the seasons.  Certain seasons seem never ending.  Others seem to be over in the blink of an eye.  But they always have their turn in the cycle and then they end, leaving their mark and passing on the baton to the next one.  If we had eternal summer here in the desert of Utah we would not have the water that the snow pack provides for these beautiful flowers.  Our lakes would dry up.  We would not be able to water the golf course {and then my better half would be on suicide watch}. If we only had winter... well, do I even need to elaborate on that one?  My (oh so wise) 9 year old daughter told me today, "Mom, when it's super hot in the summer, I sometimes think I am ready for the snow.  And when it is super cold in the winter I think I am ready for the summer."  Whether you are Team Winter or Team Summer, they each make you appreciate the other.

So, for now, I guess I will hunker down for a few more weeks in my cacoon and dream of burning rays of sunshine beating down on me. 

This too shall pass.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open the Shutters

One morning, after a long sleepless night, I looked toward my bedroom window.  My room was still quite dark, but I could see burning rays of orange and red trying to escape through the slats in the shutters.  I thought to myself, "Wow, it must be a beautiful sunrise out there."  And I laid there in bed watching these bright stripes grow brighter.  As I looked away I noticed the stark difference of the dark abyss of the far corner of my room that faces away from the slats in the window.  It reminded me of the darkness that had surrounded me the night before as I desperately tried to will my body to sleep.  I looked back at the window and noticed the red and orange getting more and more intense as the sunrise progressed towards its ultimate crescendo.  Something hit me really strong in that moment: no matter how much brighter and more intense those rays got, and how hard they fought to break into my room, they were extremely limited in the brightness they could add to my dark room- until I took some action.  Realizing this, I sprung from my bed and threw open the shutters.  I was figuratively thrown back by the intensity of the burst of light that instantly enveloped my room.  With the exception of the corners that stood out of reach and direction of the light, the darkness was immediately chased away.  For darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, it is immediately cast out.  However, as much as that light wanted to burst in and bathe me in its warmth, it was held back by the laws of physics.  It could not burst through the slats, I had to open them and move them out of the way.  Too many times in my life, I become complacent to lay there and just enjoy the little slivers of light that are lighting up my world, but if I would only get up and open the “shutters”  I would find so much more waiting for me on the other side. 

Matthew 11:28

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  The word “rest” has come to have a whole new meaning for me.  I used to think of it as “a break” from my burdens.  He’ll give me “a rest”.  I think a deeper meaning has been hiding here for me to discover it.  I picture the Saviors open arms when I read this scripture and I picture an offering.  His offering.  He has given me so, so much to be grateful for.  But if I will come unto him, open up my shutters so to speak, He will give me “the rest” of all He has to offer.  That is what is waiting for us.  And it is so much more than we could ever imagine for ourselves.  

And that sunrise WAS even more spectacular that I had imagined from the confines of my comfortable bed. 

I’m so grateful for “the rest” that is available to me and my family. 


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's been a long time, I know. And if anyone is even reading this, this post does not mean that I am back full time. I have missed writing. I have REALLY missed writing. But life is crazy and I have an addictive personality...

Anyway, I felt like I should share a talk I gave in church this last December. It was the Sunday before Christmas. I was just a few days shy of giving birth to my sweet rainbow baby {aka... chubby chubberoo} . And the bishop {aka: hubby}, or rather the Lord requested I speak on this specific, tender subject. If anyone tells you it pays to have connections in the bishopbric they lied to you my friend... I'm just sayin...

Anyway, here it is.

2 ½ years ago my husband came to me and said, “I think we need to have another baby.” I just laughed at him. Why is that so funny? My baby, Samantha, was only 5 months old and Hunter had just turned 2. He insisted, “I know it seems crazy but I really feel strongly about this. Will you at least pray about it?” I said no. I didn’t need to. I knew what my answer would be… I also didn’t necessarily want the answer that I would receive… not just yet. But, when the Lord calls you answer and within weeks we were expecting our 3rd child. We found out a couple months later that another little girl was going to join our family and we decided to name her Savannah. A lot of people made sure tell us how crazy we were to have another child so soon... and I agreed. We would have 3 children under 3 all in diapers for several months. But I also knew that this was not just a spur of the moment decision we had made, we had been inspired that this was the right path for our little family. Or, rather, my husband had been inspired and I reluctantly agreed! The pregnancy went great, and I felt as good as a pregnant mother chasing two little rugrats around can feel. We looked forward to our due date of March 20 with excitement, but also a bit of anxiety. I knew that I had no idea what I was in for, and it scared me to death at times. But I always referred back to 1 Nephi 3:7 “I know that the Lord giveth no commandment to the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he has commanded them.” I knew it was true, and I knew that the Lord would provide a way for us to make it over the challenges that raising 3 tiny children would bring. On February 8, 2008 I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and we went in for a routine dr. appointment. We were hoping to be in and out quickly so that my husband could get on the road to a stake scout camp that had been planned for that weekend. Our world was rocked as the dr. told us, “I can’t find a heartbeat I’m so sorry, she’s not alive anymore.”

My husband didn’t go to scout camp that weekend.

The rest of that night was a bit of a whirlwind. Brett’s parents picked up our kids and we headed to the hospital to deliver our little girl. I actually felt really strong throughout the night. The spirit was very strong and confirmed to us that this was the Lords will and that everything would be okay. The nurses dressed her in a beautiful white dress and a tiny little bracelet and brought her to us to spend a little time with her. I felt okay. Then the moment came to hand her over for the last time. It was really hard to hand my baby off to a total stranger that wasn’t going to bring her back. For the first time that night I felt hopelessness. The man holding her looked into my eyes and told me, “I promise we’ll take good care of her.” And at that moment I heard another voice. Not with my ears, but deep within my heart. A voice that chased away all hopelessness and filled my entire body with warmth it said, “So will I.” The spirit spoke to me and I knew it was the words of our Savior talking directly to me.

I’m not an “important person”. I’m not an incredible above average person… although I allow and often ENCOURAGE my husband to tell me so anytime he feels so inclined…. BUT the Savior of the world spoke to me. He didn’t appear to me as he did to Joseph Smith. He didn’t raise my little girl from the dead as He did Lazarus. But he spoke peace to me. He knows me so well that he knew the 3 little words that would take away the pain that no one else in this world could. And He took time out of His busy schedule for one insignificant sheep.

Can any of us deny that being a mother involves sacrifice? The greatest story ever told begins with a humble 16 year old girl facing explaining to her fiancĂ© that she has not committed adultery, but that the child she carries is the child of God conceived by the spirit. She travels a long distance “great with child", gives birth in filthy stable, and spends the next several years in hiding from people that want to kill her beloved child. Ultimately, she helplessly stands by her sons side as he suffers an unimaginable death.

Just like each of us, Mary faced many defining moments in her life. Moments when she could choose to go one way or another. She could choose to let events taking place make her bitter, or to make her stronger and bring her one step closer to the Lord. Losing a child was something I never imagined I could handle or bear, and it was certainly never something I thought the Lord would ask of me. But the moment came. And my husband and I had a decision to make. We could choose the path that this would set us on.

Joseph Smith taught the law of sacrifice in these words: “For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor, and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children and even his own life- counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ- requires more than mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God; but actual knowledge, realizing that, when these sufferings are ended, he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God.”

Bruce R. McConkie said, “Sacrifice pertains to mortality; in the eternal sense there is none. Sacrifice involves giving up the things of this world because of the promises of blessings to be gained in a better world. In the eternal perspective there is no sacrifice in giving up all things- even including the laying down of ones life- if eternal life is gained through such a course.”

Did things go the way I wanted them for my daughter? No. Just as I was accepting the call to add her to our family and getting excited about it she was “taken”. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I know she’s mine eternally and I just have to wait. And when making the decision to add another child to our family I resolved that I would not do it until I could honestly tell the Lord that I would accept whatever plan he has for her as well. So far so good as far as getting “my way” with this new baby. However, being a mom sometimes means taking on the challenges without the guarantee of earthly rewards. But we all know the eternal rewards far outweigh the earthly ones.

I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a personal one. I know that He didn’t just take on the sins and sufferings of the world… but for each individual person that has ever and will ever live in this world. I know that He speaks the truth when he promises us all that He has. That everything we experience in this life, the sacrifices and the joys, are leading up to something infinitely bigger.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


This is my friend Kim and her cute little family.

Kim is a young, fun, amazing mother and friend.

Kim found out today that she has a tennis ball sized tumor in her brain.

She will go in for brain surgery tomorrow. They won't know until they get "in there" how deep it is or if it is malignant.

Kim needs your prayers!

Anyone willing is invited to participate in a fast for Kim Truman tomorrow. Please pray for her that all goes well so she can enjoy a long life with her cute little family.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Haha... so true.

Don't get in my way on the road.

I'm in a hurry.

I have important places to be.

I'm a Dale Jr. reincarnate.

I..... drive a mini van.

...and I have precious cargo buckled in the back seat...

...IIII'm..okay... a speed demon at heart. You're probably looking at ME in your rear view, and I'm probably sucking in the fumes of your exhaust pipe wishing I could will my Honda Odessey to fly past your.... Honda Pilot...? Seriously is anyone reading this driving anything other than a "family sensible car"... is anyone reading this at all anymore since I've been slacking in my obsessive blogging habits...

But at the risk of sounding cliche'... don't you love sentences that start that way? ...neither do i. Take another look at the words on that rear view mirror. I'm not winning any races on the road (much to the annoyance of every man on the road that is horrified that I'm not driving 100 in the slow lane of the freeway..... them and every Honda Pilot driver... thems crazy people)

But I'm winning another race.

My opponent- Grief.

Grief puts up a good fight. He is fast. He is clever. He is a he because he knows how to push my buttons.

But I am faster. And now he is in the rear view sucking in all the fumes from my exhaust pipe.

I don't drive a mazzarati. I didn't need anything fancier than my Honda Oddesey. You see, grief, while very persistent, can be be outrun. If you take even one small pit stop, he will catch you again. If you look back for too long you lose momentum and he's right on top of you. But if you focus forward and just keep driving you can beat him.

You will never completely lose him. If you look in your rear view, he will always be there waiting for you to give him a chance to overtake you again.

However, if you just keep moving forward, objects in the rear view DO seem smaller than they actually are, and DO appear to be losing.

ps... Honda Pilot drivers aren't that bad...I just long to be one of them.

...I did hear that they have a supressed fear of killer trout, however... and that's a little silly...