Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Absolutely No Reason Not To

"If you're worried about how you look, you're cheating yourself out of opportunities."

At the end of this video it says that Chris' powerful courage is powered by the acceptance that he has for himself. Why can't I have that? All the time. Even when I mess up or do something a little less fabulously than I meant to. Why can't I get back to the place where I accept myself no matter what happens?

You know what? I can.

On Sunday one of the other Young Women leaders gave a very powerful lesson on Unity. She started out giving us an analogy of Redwood trees. They are gigantic and tall and they rely on each other and the support of the each other's root systems to stay standing. She had a bunch of really great quotes that I would love to get my hands on. During her whole lesson, there was a bunch of white balloons filled with helium in the front corner of the room.

As she was wrapping up her passionate, heartfelt rally for unity, she gave us each a sticker and a pen. We were supposed to write something on the sticker that was holding us back. Something that we struggle with that keeps us from being our best selves... from having a close relationship with Christ... something we needed to let go.

We folded the sticker in half on the string of the balloon and we went downstairs and outside. And then we let them go.

You wanna know what I wrote on my sticker? The thing that holds me back and keeps me from being my best self?

I wrote about the way I feel about myself and the way I berate and put myself down and the way I squash my own self worth.

That's what I let go of.

I want to be like Chris. I want to accept myself with all of my flaws and shortcomings. I want to unleash my awesome and do things that only I am good at. I have absolutely no reason not to.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Let Your Words be Anything but Empty

A couple of years ago, for a family reunion, my aunt organized a tour of the Make a Wish facility closest to us. If you have never done that, you totally should. They really work hard to make wishes come true and to make the whole experience amazing. I loved reading about all of the wishes hung on the walls. There are beautiful stars hanging from the ceiling with names of all of the kids on them. I hesitate to call them "lucky" because the reason they were given a wish is never for a lucky reason, but being granted a wish must be a really neat experience.

At one point during the tour, they took us out to a beautiful little garden with a pond and gave each of us a wish token. We could make a wish and toss it into the pond. I think I wished that I could know what Becca would wish for. This is a picture of Becca's token. I put it on a chain and I wear it sometimes, still wishing I knew what the desires of her heart are. 

I know her pretty well and I can probably guess what's wrong with her faster than you can, but there are still so many, many moments that I am at a loss for. I can't always stop the tears. I don't always get to a diaper fast enough. I get frustrated and she is not always the only one crying when something is hard or it hurts. I still wish I could somehow lessen her burden at the same time hoping that it doesn't always feel like a burden to her. I hope that our love for her and the wonderful things and people we try to surround her with help her to feel loved. 

It would feel weird to make a wish for her. It would be my wish, not hers. 

I recently ran into an article that articulated some of the feelings we have raising Becca. I wanted to share it with you with an explanation. I am mostly able to keep a grasp on the idea of having an Eternal Perspective. That is to say that I believe with all of my heart that Becca's disabilities are temporary. They are for this earth only. When she leaves this life, her spirit will be free from the hinderance that this body gives her. I also believe that this body is a protection for her spirit. There are so many negative influences that can't touch her in a body like this. She is pure.

We know our family looks different. We know if you do not have someone in your family with disabilities that there is no frame of reference for you to completely understand what we are going through. I do not understand what you are going through just from looking at the outside of you either! I know that people mean well when they say these things. I have even said things like this! I must say, though, that the longer I live, the more I live by the rules she outlines at the end. Someone who listens and who will make a genuine effort to be a good friend is usually exactly what I need. Don't we all? So, as you read this article, know that I have felt exactly this way, but that I don't always. I know you mean well. I know you are trying to help and be kind. And maybe something she says will hit your heart the right way and next time you'll try to say it differently. You'll do the right thing. I am surrounded by wonderful people in my life. Thanks for being one of them! Thanks for taking the time to read this and understand me a little better. 

Click here for Dear People Who Do Not Have a Child With Disabilities

Click here to listen to one of my favorite songs from which this title was taken: Brave by Sara Bareilles

Friday, April 25, 2014

You're Worth More Than Gold

Do you ever wish that you could share things with your past self? This is one of those things I wish I could pull teen Diana aside and show it to her. And, of course, bottle up copious amounts of self esteem and have her drink it in. Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.

I not only want my girls to recognize their own worth, but to recognize it in others, too. I want them to be the ones that don't jump to judge. The ones that can always find something nice to say. Divine Nature... Individual Worth... there's a reason these things are so important that we talk about them all the time. Heavenly Father knows how hard it is to fight for these things. He gave us SO many tools and people in our path to fight against the negative feelings. Let's help each other along and build each other up.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Making Feminine History

I was able to attend the first ever Women's Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that included girls 8 years old and over with all 3 of my girls and my Mom, too. I was slightly less nervous driving in Downtown Salt Lake than I was to ride the train because I had been there before. Little did I know they would direct me away from the only place I knew where to park! Having Becca with us, we got to park across the street from the Conference Center, so everything turned out just peachy.

Things got a little confusing for me when they took Becca around the metal detector and wouldn't let me be right next to her for a few minutes. She can't talk and not touching her wheelchair in a public place makes me anxious. She is the anchor. I'm always telling the kids to hold on to the wheelchair when we're in crowded places. I didn't like letting go! After they were done touching all 3 things in my purse, we were reunited and all was well. 

Our tickets were for the balcony, but there are only stairs to access up there, so we were seated on the terrace level, which is the middle level. Emily felt dizzy even at that height. I talked her through it with words that help me in the same situation. "You're sitting in a seat and there's floor under your feet." That room is SO big! It really does make your head spin.

Becca did really great during the Conference. She loved the music. We played little hand games when she started hitting her chair and I felt like it was making too much noise. She really was quite joyful throughout the whole thing. When I left to escort the girls to the restroom, my Mom said that she was laughing right out loud. It made me wonder which angels had stopped by for a wave and a giggle.

The talks were incredibly uplifting. They showed videos that included women from all over the world of different ages. The Spirit was SO strong! My testimony is such that I really don't understand those who want to change or undermine the teachings that are as true now as they were when Christ walked the earth. I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who inspires our leaders to give such wonderful speeches that lift and edify me. I can't wait for General Conference next week! What a blessed era we live in to have access to the best things our Heavenly Father has to offer us so quickly. He really does love us and wants us back SO much! 

I loved being there with my girls and the woman who was there for me when I was just a girl. I love my Mom and it was wonderful to spend some spiritual time with her. We had some really great discussions and teaching moments with my girls. An evening filled with love and light to be sure. 

I'm Spoiled So Rotten, You Can Probably Smell Me From There!

 This is the post in which I attempt to describe my wonderful weekend so I can remember it forever. A week from tomorrow is my birthday this year. It's not a nice, round number birthday. It's just another birthday. But Geoff decided to make it really special. He combined an overnight stay that we won at a Conference with a bunch of creativity and romance and made a truly great getaway.

Somewhere during the planning stages, he asked me if I would ride the train into Salt Lake to meet him. Logistically, this made a lot of sense. We could leave our wheelchair toting van with his Aunt, who would have our kids overnight and he wouldn't have to come back and forth (half an hour each way) in his car. Emotionally, this freaked me out! I get nervous driving places I've never been and somehow, rather illogically, this translated into me being scared of a train that moves on the same track back and forth. He told me a few nights early, which helped because I could get a lot of my nervous energy out beforehand... I cut out a dress and watched Chuck. :) 

Geoff forgot to take the suitcase with him in the car, so I took it with me on the train. It wasn't really in the way since I was going into Salt Lake at 3:00 in the afternoon, so it wasn't crowded. I did get asked if I was going to the airport like some sort of world traveler. ;) The train was quiet and interesting and I spent an hour looking out the window and people watching. It was really fun to see Geoff on the platform when I got there. A - it meant I had made it to the right place and B - it was an unusual place to see him from afar and he just looked so darn great! 

I was looking forward to seeing where he's been working for the past few weeks, but it was already 4:00 on a Friday and his coworkers had pretty much split, so we didn't stop by to say hi. Instead, he took me A.A. Callisters. The same one I bought myself my very first cowboy boots and jeans in high school. He bought me a pair of jeans (with just a smidge of bling) and a turquoise color woven belt. Spoiled! 

The overnight stay we won was for the Grand America. Have you been there? Wowza! Opulent. Fancy. Hoity Toity. We were on the 14th floor, facing the mountain towards home. It was gorgeous!

I love this chair and the guy sitting in it!
This room had 2 entryways before you even got to the room!

This is what I did right after we got there.
Our house is on the other side of that mountain on the left.

We dressed up for dinner and I wore the dress I had finished sewing earlier that same day. We ate at The Roof! Also very hoity toity. I felt so elegant eating my choices from the gourmet buffet. We ate beef medallions, stuffed pork chops, honey baked ham and various salads, cheeses and delectable side dishes. After perusing all of the desserts, I came back around to the cherry cheesecake. I can be talked into a lot of favors using cheesecake, for future reference! ;)

View from the windows outside of the restaurant.

Beautiful sunset while eating.
We danced around our room to the Sinatra-esque stylings of Michael BublĂ© and just thoroughly enjoyed each other and doing whatever we wanted and watching whatever we wanted. He even let me sleep WAY in! 

We ate breakfast at a little cafe that had yummy muffins and to-die-for caramel hot chocolate. Turns out, we were right next door to our next activity, which turned out to be watching the Hobbit 2. Lots of action, Benedict Cumberbatch's smooth tones coming out of a dragon and a great middle movie that continued the story without really finishing anything up. Love me some Legolas! It was fun to meet Tauriel, too. I'll have to mull it over and then see it again before I really process the whole thing, if you know what I mean! I love the books, so whatever they do in the movie is fine by me. If I don't like it, I'll go immerse myself in the books again. Why complain? ;) 

I am one spoiled girl to have a man that loves me so much. We've been through a lot over the years and it's really great to take a few moments to remember what a great team we are. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



"Either way, the other day at church I heard someone use the word amazing to describe the parents of a special-needs child. The word amazing is often used to describe such parents, who can find it difficult to swallow because it feels a little lofty and frankly untrue. It's a word that applies pressure, even as it attempts to indicate respect."

I am working on my ability to recieve compliments better, but this one is always hard for me. I definitely do not always feel "amazing." I know you mean well and, like I said, I'm working on it, but I would much prefer you ask me questions. We'll just sit down together underneath the pedastal and have a chat. It's easier to hear you and connect with you when we're standing side by side.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Your Child

This is a beautiful song that speaks right to my heart. I love the symbolism she uses of placing the beautiful, colorful pictures of families and special children over the top of hard words like pain, discouragment and diagnoses. Those are all still there, underneath. But their radiant spirits change those words into words full of light... love, beauty and hope. 

My Hubby did the 12 Days of Christmas for Lil' Ol' Me

If you aren't already my Facebook friend and didn't get to follow along, this is Geoff's post so you can see all the fun pictures of things.


He did such a great job and it was SO fun to open each one each day. I still don't know where he hid them or when or how he put them up on their special spot on the corner of the mantle each morning. The kids made sure I opened each one before they left for the day. It was a family affair, really.

The van appraisal almost made me cry! It would be a dream come true to have a van that was easier to get Becca in and out of. I am so glad we are finally on the same page about this. We still have some giant steps to take, but this is the first one and it's in the direction that it needs to be.

The coolest part about it is that they were all just for me. In fact, most of them were things he doesn't even like. I don't buy them for me either because I'm the only one that would eat them... it seems more prudent to buy things everyone likes. Do you know the last time I put mushrooms in anything? *sigh* Everyone tried the baby corn and nobody likes that either. I might have weird taste in food, but now it means I get it all to myself!

The snowballs were embarrassing! I made him blur them out on Facebook, but obviously he didn't here. He thought himself pretty funny. And it was. But it was also embarrassing!

The jewelry holder is incredible! I have been moving earrings over as I wear them to make sure only the ones I actually wear make it over there. :) As a matter of history, my jewelry is moving over from a wooden heart necklace holder my Mom made for me when I was young and a plastic mesh earring holder that Grandma Joyce (a childhood neighbor) made for me.

Sentimental much?