May 28, 2010


"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with petit mal seizures. I was told I would eventually grow out of having them, but in the meantime I was put on daily prescription medication.  The medication worked, but every time I had a test done to see if I had grown out of them, I was always told no.

By the time I reached high school and eligible to take driver's ed, I was told it was too risky for someone with my condition to drive.  So, all during high school I never got a driver's license.

I continued to have seizures while in college.  I also experienced them after I got married.  And,  during my pregnancy.  And, after my pregnancy.

Now, nearly one year since my last seizure, my doctor finally gave me the "OK" to get a driver's license.  I was both excited and frightened to get this news.  On the one hand, it was going to be SO great to have freedom to get to places without depending on anyone else to drive me, or to worry about walking in the rain or snow.  On the other hand, getting a license would mean I would have to conquer my biggest fear:  driving a car.  

I'm not sure where my fear of driving came from, and I decided there really wasn't any point in trying to find out.  I decided, now that my seizures were really under control, I would learn how to drive.  It was time to conquer my fear and not let it rule my life.

Over the past few weeks, my husband has been teaching me how to drive.  It has been a good experience, but sometimes frustrating.  Some drives are really great and I leave feeling really confident.  Other drives are bad and I exit the car feeling hopeless.  But, we have prevailed and my husband has not let me give up.  He's really encouraging and always reminds me when I'm doing a good job (or when I'm about to run into something...).

Today, a neighbor of mine called and asked if she could borrow my music stand.  I, of course, said yes and told her I would bring it by once my daughter woke up from her nap.  Now, when I say neighbor, I mean she literally lives 4 houses away from me.   As my daughter slept, the rain began.  My heart sank.  I hoped as time passed, the rain would cease, but it only got worse. 

Once my daughter was awake, the rain was still going strong.  I was so frustrated and decided to take matters into my own hands.  I put my daughter in her car seat, got into the driver's seat, turned on the car, made sure I knew how to turn on the wipers, put the car in 'drive' and slowly accelerated.   

As I left my driveway, I felt so liberated, so powerful.  I was running my first errand.  And it felt fabulous!  Two short seconds later, I reached my destination without any problems at all.  I gave my neighbor the music stand and then headed for home.  Two seconds after that, I was back in my garage all safe and sound.  I did it!

I immediately called my husband.  And then I called my mom.  I was filled with joy.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.   I knew I was close to conquering my fear.... not to mention getting a real license so I could drive legally on the road.

What are your biggest fears?  Do you have any interesting stories to share in which you looked fear in the face?


May 27, 2010


"I think it's getting to the point where I can be myself again.  It's getting to the point where we have almost made amends.  I think, it's the getting to the point that is the hardest part."
-Call and Answer, Barenaked Ladies

We've all been there.  You've just called it quits with your boyfriend.  Whether it was your idea or not, it hurts.

I've experienced heartache like this a few times in my life.  The first time was when I was 17 years old.  I had just dumped my first boyfriend, Ryan, because he didn't treat me the way I thought he should.  It was your typical high school drama, but it was a big deal for me at the time.  

I felt so sad without the company of my once boyfriend of 3 months.  I did whatever I could to get over him by spending time with my friends and family.  But, sometimes I embraced my heartache by chillin' in my room, listening to music and thinking about all the good ol' days.  It was really difficult, and some days I never thought I'd get over him.

One evening, a few months later, I was at home painting my closet door (thanks Mom and Dad for allowing me to do that, by the way) when my phone rang.  I answered and heard "Hey" on the other end.  I reluctantly said, "Hey" and then asked, "Who is this?"  I heard a chuckle, and then the voice said, "This is Ryan."  I have absolutely no idea why he called or what we talked about.  The only thing I remember is feeling so great that I did not recognize his voice.  In that moment, I knew I was at "the point."  I was over him.  

Sure, getting to "the point" sucked big time, but once I was there it was like all that pain and heartache never existed. 

After the whole Ryan thing, I moved away to college.  I met and dated new guys.  I went through more breakups and had more heartache.  Most were easy to deal with compared to my high school days.  I suppose I was better equipped emotionally to deal with the pain.  One, however, topped them all.  But that's a thought for a different time.

So, do any of you have any great "getting to the point" experiences?  Am I the only one that remembers stuff like this?


May 22, 2010


"Everyone can create.  You don't need money, position or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty."
-President Dieter F. Utchdorf

Today's thought was inspired by this video, which was put together by the LDS (Mormon) church.  It was compiled from a talk given by one of the leaders of the LDS church, Dieter F. Utchdorf.  You can read the entire talk here.

I am LDS.  I know religion can be a touchy subject, but I absolutely love this video.  I believe it has such a great message that is applicable to anyone regardless of religious affiliation.

In addition to this post, this video inspired my blog.  In fact, my blog description "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul," is from this President Utchdorf's talk.

I hope you enjoy it!

I think the words create and creativity are often confused with being crafty or artsy.  For example, you're only creative if you can put together a great scrapbook, if you are an excellent photographer or have written your own novel.  Because I so often view creativity or creating this way, I often feel like I'm lacking in a big way.

But, then I thought I should define it differently.  After all, one technical term of the word create is "to bring into exsistence."  That really opens up what being creative means, which makes me feel better.  Maybe I'll create a new friendship, create a happier day by being more positive, create a stronger family unit by always making sure my husband, daughter and I have dinner together.  The possibilities are endless.


May 17, 2010


"Location, location, location!"

Yesterday, I read an e-mail from a very close friend of mine.  She told me her husband accepted a new job and that she would be moving to a new state.  She and her husband are no strangers to moving.  In their 10 years of marriage, they've lived in three different states, most of which were away from their families.  However, she indicated that this move would be different because she now has a son.  Moving away from family is different when there are grandparents involved.  :)

I'm really excited for my friend.  The idea of picking up and moving to a new part of the country where you can meet new people and experience new things is so appealing to me.

Nearly 4 years ago, my husband and I moved to Idaho.  We purchased a house that belonged to my grandparents.  At the time, there was no doubt in our minds that we needed to be in Idaho.  It was definitely the right thing to do, and I relished in the idea of being in a completely new area.  It's been a good few years.

Of course, living in Idaho meant we'd be away from family.  At first, it didn't seem to be a big deal.  In fact, it wasn't a big deal.  We were close enough to everyone that visits were not a big production - just a few hours in the car.  But, like my friend, living away is different now that we have our daughter.  Being closer would mean she could see her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins a lot more.  But is location really vital to having a close relationship?

I've thought a lot about the importance of location since realizing I really enjoy change.  I honestly think I am one of those people that could move every few years or so and absolutely love it.  Why stay in the same place if you don't have to?  Why not get out and explore and experience new things?  Is being settled really all that important?

Well, I'm sure a lot of people can think of dozens of reasons as to why that way of life isn't ideal.  I can think of a few reasons myself, especially when it comes to work for Dustin and school for my daughter.  Maybe exploring and experiencing new things is what vacations are for.  I suppose I'll never know unless I try it.

Maybe all this talk about change and moving is a sign that I'm not happy with my current location.  Hmm, that's something to think about.


May 12, 2010

Confession Wednesday: FINALS

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I don't have any dramatic stories about finals. I managed to take all my finals on time and, for the most part, did pretty well on them.

I did, however, have a bit of a scare when it came to my Adolescent Development class. I was taking the class my last semester of school. In lieu of an exam, my professor had us write a 20 or so page paper on any topic relating to adolescence. Usually, I was so on the ball when it came to writing papers. I was always starting them fairly early on and giving myself plenty of time to complete them before the due date. I didn't do this because I was an exceptional student, but rather a worry wart.

For some reason, I put off my adolescent paper to the last minute. And, by last minute I mean I only had a week to complete it. I was so freaked out about it, but I decided I would live in the library until it was done. Everyday, after class, I made my way to the library and spent at least 8 hours there researching and writing my paper.

By the time the paper was due, I wasn't thrilled with it. I felt like I could've done better. But, I couldn't do anything about it, so I turned it in and called it good.

Looking back, I'm glad I procrastinated my paper (and the only reason I can say is because I got an A). Part of the college experience is staying up all night and cramming for exams or freaking about finals, right?

May 11, 2010


"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new."

I found out I was pregnant with my first child in May 2008.  Dustin and I had decided a few months earlier that we were ready to add a branch to our family tree, so I wasn't too surprised when I read the word "pregnant" on my home pregnancy test.  It was still a little surreal, though.

Instead of planning a big reveal, I immediately called Dustin at work to give him the big news. Our conversation went something like this:

Me:  "Hey, how's it going?"
D:  "Good.  How are you?"
Me:  "Good.  Guess what?"
D:  "What?"
Me:  "I'm pregnant."
D:  "Really?"
Me:  "Yeah."
D:  "Okay..."
Me:  "We can talk about it when you get home."
D:  "Sounds good."

Romantic, huh?

Over the next few weeks, as things started to set in, I realized something:  After a lifetime of hearing other women tell me about their pregnancies and what it was like to be a mom, I was finally going to have my OWN story, my own experiences.  It may sound silly, but it was such a liberating feeling.

My daughter, Belle, is now 16 months old.

I always expected motherhood to alter me.   I expected to be tired.  I expected to have fun.  I expected the throw up and messy diapers.  I expected a bond.  I expected the irrational worry and fear.  I expected all of that.

What I didn't expect was a love for my own story.  I love to analyze it. I love to compare it. I love to share it. It's my very own story, and no two stories are the same.


May 5, 2010

Confession Wednesday: GETTING OLD

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My friend Karen does a weekly confession on her blog every Wednesday.  I'm going to participate for the first time today.  Yay!

Today's confession is the first time you felt old.

When I was in school, all my friends and I were the same age, give or take a year or so.  Everyone knew if someone was a sophomore, junior or senior.  It always seemed like a BIG deal.  It also seemed that once I graduated from high school, age suddenly became irrelevant.

The first time I really started to feel old was when I moved to Idaho Falls.  I quickly became friends with people in my neighborhood and church.  I would go out to lunch with my friends, have them over at my house, go over to their house - all the usual friend stuff.  

After awhile, I learned that everyone I was friends with was 4 - 5 years younger than me.  For whatever reason, I just figured everyone I was chillin' with was my same age.  It seemed so weird that I was close to so many people that were my brother's age.  I never hung out with my brother's friends!  Gasp!

I felt so old!

Another time I felt old is when I uttered, for the first time, the words:  "About ten years ago..." and had a perfect recollection of what I was doing with my life at that point in time.  Double gasp!


May 4, 2010

sweet, sweet MUSIC

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music.  It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain.  Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.
-George Elliot

Music has always been a big part of my life.  I began taking private violin lessons when I was six years old and continued doing so for many years.  During those years, I performed in many concerts, participated in my high school and college orchestras and even taught lessons myself for a little while.   Spending so much time and effort into my musical abilities has been a great blessing for me, and I hope I can encourage my daughter to participate in music lessons when she gets older.

Today, I found a few CDs that I had burned maybe 6 - 7 years ago.  None of the CDs were labeled (typical me), so I started playing them one by one to find out what songs were there.  Holy cow.  It a total flashback to my college days, and I loved being flooded with memories and reminiscing about past experiences.  Here are a few:

R.E.M. and The Cure - My lifelong friend, Karen.  I can't go a second without thinking of her whenever I hear the song "It's the End of the World as We Know It." Nor will I ever forget the day we couldn't get enough of "Friday I'm in Love" and played it over and over and over again! Love ya, K-Lo!

Dixie Chicks -  Bath & Body Works.  I'm not a big country music fan.  Folk music is about as close as I get to the country these days.  However, while working at Bath and Body Works, all my co-workers adored the Dixie Chicks which meant I had to listen to their music all the time.  After awhile, "Wide Open Spaces" didn't sound all that bad.  Good times!

Barenaked Ladies - I went through a phase when I loved this group, particularly the song "Call and Answer."  Hearing this song for the first time in awhile, I was immediately taken back to the days when I lived in a little red brick house with a green front door.  My room was in the basement, so it was always freezing.  I remembered laying in bed at night, listening to "Call and Answer" and really loving the lyrics.

Duran Duran -  The only song I like by Duran Duran is Ordinary World, the acoustic version.  Hearing this song today reminded me of my friend Jimmy.  He and I always gabbed about music, and he liked this song as much as I did.

Allison Krauss - "When You Say Nothing At All" reminds me 100% of my friend, Laney.   We used to listen to the Notting Hill soundtrack together and this song was on it.  Okay, it wasn't the Allison Krauss version, but still...

Enrique Iglesias - Who doesn't remember the song Hero?  Good ol'  Enrique reminds me of a past friend.  We're not friends anymore, but when Hero was on the radio 24/7, she and I acted like we were separated at birth.  She was a good influence on me.  Great times with a bittersweet ending.

The crazy thing about all these songs is that I never listen to them anymore.  I still like the, but my taste has definitely changed (current music loves are on the sidebar).  I guess that's okay because when I do hear them, I get to revisit all these fun memories!

Isn't it amazing how music can trigger so many memories, whether good or  bad, and feelings?  I definitely echo George Elliot when it comes to music.  I could not live without it.


May 1, 2010

could you SPELL that, please?

PTERQUIE (tur-key)

Today's thought is about people who have common first names, but whose spelling of the name is anything but, and people who have unordinary names.

Every so often, my husband and I think about cool names for pets.  We apparently have too much time on our hands or have really bad sense of humors because it's one of our favorite pastimes.  Our favorites as of late are Jeffrey, Scott, Victoria and Beverly.

One day, we decided Turkey would be a hilarious name for a dog.  As if picking out dog names wasn't weird enough, we took it a step further and decided how we would spell it.  This is what we came up with:  PTERQUIE.  The "P" is silent.  While this activity of ours was a total joke to Dustin (the hubby), I decided IF (and that's a BIG if - I'm not a huge dog fan) we got another dog after our current puppies (Sammie and Tod) have gone on to the next life, the dog's name would be PTERQUIE.  We'll see if it ever happens.

When it comes to naming children, is it just me or are names getting WAY out there?  For example, Gwyneth Paltrow has a daughter named Apple and Ashlie Simpson named her son Bronx Mowgli.  Sure, apples are delicious and Mowgli was an important character in the beloved Disney classic The Jungle Book, but does that mean they make good names for people?

I think there should be an unwritten law that people need to practice a bit more common sense before choosing a name.  In my book, this would include a few things.  First, the name should be a good, solid name.  A name that isn't too weird and one that the child can grow into.  A name may be way cute when the child is young, but you've gotta consider if it would still be cute when the child is an adult.

Second, the spelling of the name should be considered.  I cannot even tell you how many ways I have seen the name Kennedy spelled (Kenidi, Kenedie, you get the idea). As a person whose maiden name was constantly misspelled and mispronounced, believe me when I say it gets SO OLD having to spell your name wherever you go.  And, don't even get me started on all my awards or trophies I won that all had my name misspelled.  So annoying!

And, third, consider if the name rhymes with a four letter word or could make your child an easy target at school.  I'm a big fan of the name Tucker, but am pretty certain I couldn't go through ever naming my son that.  Of course, you can't plan your life around what bullies could potentially do to your child, so maybe this step isn't as important as the others.  But, I still think it should be considered.  

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