Sunday, December 23, 2018

I miss writing

I miss writing. I think about it everyday: all the stories I'm going to write, the book I should be working on, the writing I've done in the past, and all the missed opportunities each day that should've been spent writing! I can see why hopeful writers drop everything to spend all their time writing because it's one of those things that is intensely satisfying for what it is. You don't need a huge crowd of people to tell you your writing is awesome, and you don't need a successful, published book to feel incredible because writing makes you feel that way anyways. It's the act of writing that brings all of your versatile, undiscriminating, and raw emotions to the surface, which truly makes you FEEL alive. 

I feel alive when I am writing. I am a writer in my mind. 

But yet, I am also so many other things besides a writer. 
I'm a busy mom raising 4 boys, wife to Micah, a home manager, a college student, a cook, a chauffeur, a cub scout leader, a friend, neighbor, a ward member, an athlete, a nature explorer, and a reader. There are so many things taking up my time and energy in life that writing takes a back seat. 
I love my life and all the things I get to do, but I wish there was more time for writing. 
Fluffy fern stuff from the creek.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December so far, 2018

Every morning I have to sit in front of my "Happy Light", which brings extra daylight indoors by emitting a bright, full spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight. This helps prevent my Winter depression, of which I get real bad this time of year. I should have started it weeks ago when the time changed and the days got shorter, but here I am, starting today! Hopefully because I'm forced to sit here for the good of my health, I'll also get some blogging done. :) Win=Win. 
Here's the latest!
-Started homeschooling Jonah at the beginning of the month! Such a happier kid now. He really needed a break from school and some quality time with his mom and little brother. Not sure how long we'll homeschool into the future, but we'll definitely finish the third grade doing more of this:

Our ward Christmas party was fun! We have the best ward full of the most down-to-earth and Christ-like folks you'll ever meet. I have learned so much from so many of them, which have left such a positive impact in my life. So grateful for ward families and for the opportunities we have to love and serve others around us. 

The Nay family had a super awesome Christmas party at their house. We all went except for Z who had DnD at his friend's house. Below we are playing a White Elephant gift exchange. Mally loved the game so much that he came home and made Popsicle stick gifts for the entire family so we could exchange them in our very own White Elephant game. 
I made Frosty the Cheese Ball. He was delicious! 

A fun, family tradition we have is attending the Frontier Homestead Museum Christmas celebration. The museum is right around the corner from our house and such a fun time. They do crafts for the kids, old-frontier-style games, hand out hot cocoa and candy-cane flavored popcorn and light up the grounds for a nice night-walking experience. Santa sits in the old pioneer home and gives out candy canes to kids who sit on his lap and tell him their wishes. Mally wished for a Massage chair like Grandad and Grandma Sandy's, a stuffed animal, and a candy cane.  He got two candy canes!

Every Sunday after church we go find somewhere in nature to unload ALL THE WIGGLES, otherwise we'd be stuck in the house all day with 4 crazy children with too much pent-up energy. Several weeks ago before the snow we found this strip of frozen Creek located up a little gulch near the "C trail" that kept everyone entertained!

And of course, me fighting of the winter/seasonal depression is a constant, which results from lack of sunlight in winter. There's been many times where I've tried sitting and crying through church and I've found that it doesn't help me when I'm deep in a depression, so one Sunday morning I took my sadness to the mountains to be alone with myself and my Heavenly Father. It was just what I needed. So grateful to my husband for taking our boys to church so I could feel better. So Grateful to God for beauty, healing, light, and hope, which always finds its way through my tears.

Here's Odin doing some Holiday baking! He made some fudge with nuts for our family to enjoy. We had big plans to make treats this week and bring them to all our neighbors and friends, but I came down with the Norovirus (a terrible gastrointestinal flu). I don't think we should share the holiday diarrhea so maybe we'll postpone and make New Years treats. 

We got our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We drove up the canyon, pulled over at a dirt road, and found our tree within 20 feet of the road. Easy peasy! I don't always love this tree-cutting tradition because of how cold it is up in the mountains but it wasn't too bad this time and we got a beautiful tree. Having a fresh-cut pine tree in our living room is worth it! Thanks to Micah for always leading the way on this tradition. 

Well, my happy light time is over and so is this blogging session. Til next time!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Some photos from Thanksgiving.  So happy my Dad came to visit, feast, and celebrate T-day with us!

Monday, October 29, 2018


One of my favorite new podcasts I've been listening to just had it's 1st birthday! 
Happy birthday #3in30podcast ! I really loved Rachel Nielson from when I used to read (and sometimes write for) #powerofmoms . And now I get to listen to her in her very own awesome and inspiring podcast that uplifts and encourages mothers!
We've been challenged to leave 3 takeaways for moms (with a photo of ourselves holding up 3 fingers) 
of things that we've learned over the years as a mother that we can now share with other mothers. Here's #my3in30 . Nothing too profound- just a few things that I've found helpful as a mom! 

1️⃣If the house is crazy messy, the kids are loud, and you feel overwhelmed beyond reason, just sit on the floor. That's right! Just sit down in the middle of the living room floor and breathe, relax, and let your little ones climb and love all over you. This seems to work every.single.time.
I simply sit on the floor and then suddenly nothing seems as chaotic. My 4 kids are happy to come and sit by me and talk to me, or we end up playing a game. Everything feels better when I just sit down. 

2️⃣Forget the high chair! Feed your toddler their meals in the bathtub! Best thing I ever did with my 4 boys. It seriously cuts down on cleaning up the constant food messes on and around the kitchen table and floors! Just fill up the bathtub with warm water, stick your cute little kid inside of it, and feed them breakfast or lunch or dinner or whatever meal it happens to be. A quick wipe of the tub at the end with a paper towel is all you need to clean up and..... for some reason my kids were always exceptionally clean! 😁

3️⃣Keep a notebook of all the hilarious things your kids say. I don't feel I have time to sit down and write novel journals so I just keep a notepad next to my bed and at the end of the day I write down all the cute or funny things that my kids said. We've been rolling on the floor laughing over some of the things my older boys used to say when they were preschoolers. It's never too late to start, and you'll thank yourself later on when they're all grown up and have left the house. These little tidbits are some of my happiest memories of being a mother so far.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Disneyland 2018

These were two of the most fun, most tiring, most exhilarating, most magical, most amazing, most exhausting, most fun days of Disneyland ever! We loved going for Mickey's-not-so-scary-Halloween party. We got to dress up, trick or treat, and see so many fun costumes! Plus all the rides and food and entertainment and walking and music and parades and lights and most AMAZING fireworks show!! I'm officially burnt out. You can find me rolled up in a ball on my bedroom floor, for the next 3 days, smiling from ear to ear, of course.. 

Steps to Detoxing from a Disney vacation: Step one: isolate yourself in nature away from all crowds of people. Step 2: sit on a rock and talk to only yourself or animals. Step 3: Drink buttloads of water to re hydrate from all that walking you did. Step 4: Dream of all the tasty junk food you ate but resist the urge to recreate it all at home. Step 5: Stop pretending the car is actually a ride in Fantasyland while you drive your kids to school. Step 6: Cry a little (or a lot) because its over and you don't know when you're going back. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Exciting times!

The weather outside is frightful....but my soul and spirit have been uplifted and inspired, chasing all darkness away on this General conference weekend! While watching, I couldn't stop the holy spirit from taking hold of my heart and mind, reminding me again and again that this is the right path--the same one I chose in 2002 when I was searching desperately for truth, guidance, and direction. What I didn't know at the time was that I needed Jesus Christ fully in my life. And what I found was not only the healing, loving, nurturing powers of Christ's atonement but  soooooooo much more through His amazing church. 
President Nelson was right, it is an exciting time to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints today. Can you feel it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

You are my Honolulu Moon

This night I had a dream I was back on the North Shore. I was with my best friend Crystal from high school and we were going surfing. We started out at one end of our small town and made our way all the way up the coast, surfing every break along the way until we were tired out.  Then we went and got our hair done at an outdoor gas station-turned-hair cutting-salon. Weird! The dream was very vivid, but the parts I remember the most was surfing my favorite surf breaks. 
First we paddled out at Freddy-land. Good old Freddy-land! The outside break at Velzyland was breaking 20+ feet bringing the most perfect 4-5 foot (Hawaiian) waves crashing into inside Freddys. I was catching waves going left and right and having the time of my life!  I looked over at Buttons Kaluhiokalani who threw me a shaka and a big smile as he was paddling back out after a set. Good old Freddy-land! The feeling out in the water was absolute freedom and uninhibited happiness as everyone hooted and hollered for each other to catch more waves. 
Next we moved on over to Sunset point where suddenly it was small and glassy, a perfect 2-3 feet break perfect for longboarding. I was catching these super long right-hand waves all the way into the deep blue channel of Sunset beach. It was glorious. I was all smiles everytime I paddled back out. Next we moved onto Kammie-land where it was bowling up for the most epic tube rides. Then onto Monster Mush where all our friends were out playing in the small, hamajang, wishy-washy waves. There was no competition or bad vibes-just fun waves all around, which was pretty typical of the Mush.
And down the line we went-Rocky Point with it's steep drops, Pupukeas with it's big, bubbly, lefts and rights, Ehukais with the shallow sandbar and crystal clear water...we skipped Pipe, Backdoor, and Log Cabbins for obvious reasons and went straight to Rubber Duckies! Oh how I miss Rubber Duckies, my old front-yard surf break! 
In high school I could peak out the front windows of the kitchen and see firsthand if it was good enough to ride that day. Sometimes I would go for an early morning-before-school-refreshing-surf. There was never anyone out because there were far better waves to ride, which made Rubber Duckies mine all mine, most of the time. 
The windows of our old Kam hwy house overlooking
Rubber Duckies. This is the newly re-modeled version
that sold for nearly $1,000,000,000.

There was a large rock under the water that used to mark the beginning of where the waves formed. I loved  how the gurgles of whitewash indicated a wave was coming my way. I'd paddle hard, stand up, and drop into an easy right. I could always see the round, brown rocks below before I pulled out at the end, careful not to hit the jagged, rocky shoreline. 
Next we ended up at mellow Piddleys for fun left-handers, then sharky Chuns for some long rights, then  Laniakeas where it was crowded, but  plenty of waves for everyone. The sea turtles were everywhere, munching on their seaweed and not being bothered by gawking tourists. 
I think the surfing parts of my dream stopped there. I wish we could've kept going down to Mokuleia because those "secret" spots were some of my favorite. Oh how I miss Glass Doors on a perfect, cloudless, sunny morning. 
I woke up feeling nostalgic and "homesick." I try not to miss Hawaii because it's not my home anymore and I'm busy over here raising a family, but the feelings are still there deep inside me whether I want them or not. I suppose that's why they resurface in my dreams. 
The ocean, surfing, beach culture, island life, Hawaii-life was part of my life for so long, it's hard not to recognize those parts of me that miss it terribly, that long for the ocean and the life that I once knew and loved.
But then reality sets in and I know that living on the North Shore is not realistic anymore. Prices are too high, real-estate is extreme, and the culture and vibe has changed drastically over time with more "mainland" values. But I still miss it, nonetheless. Why? Because Freddy-land and Kammi-land and Monster Mush and Pupukeas and Laniakeas and Glass Doors are still there, breaking and forming and breaking again with the endless ebb and flow of mother nature. Those things will never change and for them I shed a tear or two on nights like tonight.

Will that aching, longing feeling inside me for the ocean go away the longer I live in inland Utah? Maybe. Maybe not. 
My kids are growing up here in this beautiful valley. It is small and clean and safe. It feels predictable and sheltered from the rest of the world. There is wilderness all around us to explore. Sometimes I long for the unknown, the wild, the carefree, and the totally  inconsistent, but that's not how raising a family looks to me. Sure they will never look out their windows to see 20 foot waves crashing across the street, rattling the windows and shaking the ground beneath their feet. They will never experience the influx of tourists and surfers from all over the world gathering to their hometown to surf the biggest waves in the world. They will never speak pidgin, be immersed in diverse cultures, or have a best friend of Hawaiian-Filipino descent who pushes them to surf like a beast.
Yet, I know they will have a beautiful life here and that's all that matters. Perhaps in 25 years when they are old like me they won't have to experience the gut-wrenching longing for something far away and foreign because they will have everything that they need all around them. Family, friends, a home to come back to, and an endless environment of peace, love, and nurturing for themselves and their children. Or maybe something will take them far away from here and they will feel that same sort of longing for this place as I feel for my hawaii. Who knows. Life is interesting in that we never know where it might take us.

As for now I KNOW that I love my little family and love that we are all here together. My boys bring me joy and happiness beyond compare. My husband works hard to create a place where his family can grow and flourish. I have everything I need right here, right now, although having an ocean nearby would be handy at times. :)
I got real excited this past summer and started researching a surf trip to Costa Rica for spring break 2019. It's always been my dream to surf Costa Rica and with turning 40 this year I figured this would be a great year to do it. I called a few of my girlfriends who'd go with me, checked airline prices and surfing retreats, made lofty plans in my head of all the places we'd see and breaks we'd surf.......then reality set in because.....raising a family isn't cheap or easy. Medical bills are piling up for Odin's knees, our van needs fixing (or a new car entirely), we went into debt over my ptsd therapy, and the needs of our growing children never stop coming. So, I am putting Costa Rica on the back shelf for now and also remembering this beautiful poem by Anne Cambell that suits my mom-life perfectly:

“You are the trip I did not take, you are the pearls I could not buy,
you are my blue Italian lake, you are my piece of foreign sky.

You are my Honolulu moon, you are the book I did not write,
you are my heart's unuttered tune, you are a candle in my night.

You are the flower beneath the snow, in my dark sky a bit of blue,
answering disappointment's blow with "I am happy! I have you!”

― Anne Campbell

My big boys are getting so big!
Morning snuggles
My penguin asked me to drive him up to the big water tank so I did.
My favorite part of the day

Braces-free since June 4th. I got a permanent retainer put in both the top and bottom.

Jonah's baptism. Such a special day for our little JoJo.

Me and Micah my love, with a photobombing Odin.

Roadtripping this past summer. We got stuck in traffic for 2 hours outside of 106 degree Vegas with no AC.  Good times.