GLAD 2015

My one little word for 2015 is...
This word, GLAD, has been stuck in my head for the last month or so but I didn't think it would be my word until last week when it all came together and I decided I wanted to play The Glad Game all year! 

I know and have always known that life is not easy, however I didn't think that some days would be so hard. I have always believed life could be amazing and still do. Now I just accept that every joy has it's equal and opposite amount of sorrow.

2014 was a year of accepting a lot of hard things. I realized I'm good at always looking forward to better days but not necessarily being happy in my difficult trials and was just waiting for it to be over so I could then be happy. When trials start with hours and turn into days and months and sometime years you can't wait to be happy. You've got to find happiness in the moment and sometimes even gratitude for it. (Did I just say that. Ugh! Haha) I've read many times this last year about how we should be grateful for our trials and I've had mixed feelings about it. I'm not grateful for all my trials. Some of them have strengthened me and others have torn me to pieces. It is the latter ones that are the most difficult to let go and be grateful for. But this year I want to choose how I react to the difficult moments in my life. Even if they last awhile they are still moments and pieces of our lives not all encompassing unless we let it become so. 

This year I'm going to play The Glad Game, yep the very one Pollyanna taught us to play so many years ago. I have done this a few times mostly with sarcasm and it always lifts my spirits. This year I will still use sarcasm because it's a riot but I will also look for sincere things to be glad about even in my dark hours. I would LOVE for you to play with me, sarcasm and all. Wouldn't it be amazing if the world was a little bit more GLAD because we all play this game together. Join me! Use the hashtag 
and tag me in your posts so we can all be glad together. 

I wish you all the gladness in the world. 

2014 Warrior Reflection

My one little 2014 word has been WARRIOR. I knew that this was the word for me this year but I have to admit it made me nervous. I worried about why I needed to be a warrior this year and what exactly it would entail. The definition of warrior I chose was...

"Warriors are not born and they are not made...Warriors create themselves through trial and error, pain and suffering, and their ability to conquer their own faults." -unknown 

Oh man have I found this to be true. I made a list of the faults I would focus on and knew there would be others I would need to accept along the way. I sit here now to tell you that I have conquered...a few of them. Haha I have however worked on all of them and will continue. 

As it is the final day of 2014 I feel the need to close up this year with a reflection on some of what has been created and conquered. I believe that I am a Warrior as I had learned through trial and error, pain and suffering and worked on conquering my faults.  

1) I created a home for my family and I that we all feel safe, inspired and loved in. This move for my family was not far but nessesary for all of us to grow in ways we could not have imagined. 
In the process of creating this home inside and out I realized I'd let others opinions and thoughts of me and my abilities make me feel less than I am. As I became more confidant in my interior design skills I shed layers of self doubt and the need for others validation. I love the home I've created and am grateful for all that I've been given. 

2) Autism Gala and Events conquered and in the books with my gals. These events are a lot of work but when it all comes together I am overwhelmed and thrilled with all that we created and conquered. I am also stunned and humbled by the amount of love from family and friends who volunteer, attend and donate to our cause. I am truly grateful. 

3) It was a thrill and honor to be apart of Megan Pyrah, BrassyApple's, I Am Brave and Beautiful movment to empower women. 

4) After multiple escapes, one cop ride and 2 drownings the fact that all of us (family and friends) especially Hagen conquered the summer is something for us all to rejoice over. I can't even think back to 4 months ago without my stomach turning in knots and my heart start pounding with anxiety. We did it! It's over! He's moved on to other death defying tricks. 
                    Me & My Buddy

5) I have had the opportunity to learn more about my body, what triggers ulcerative colitis flare ups and how to manage my stress in order to be healthy. I have not been perfect on my trek but I am continuing to learn and grow. Creating cleaner eating habits and finding a new medicine, Laminine, have helped me feel my best. Thank for those of you who have shared your knowledge and care with me. 

6) People need people. I have learned so much from the people that waltz in and out of my life. If our minds are open to learning from others we will. If we give each other the benefit of the doubt and accept that we all have something great to give to will all become more accepting and understanding. I am a better human being because of all of you in my life. Here are a only a few highlights of those I've learned from. 

7) Creating time with my girls has been a joy and trial as I navigate through these new waters of teenage hormones and needs. I love them more than words and I want them to be their best selves. I love the times we have jam out in the car, bust out in song at any given moment, being teased about how old I'm getting, teasing about boys and awkward selfies. 

8) Conquering my dream of being a "Jet Setter" came true this year thanks to all the time spent as a single mom as my husband lives his dreams all over the world, I reap the benefits of sky miles. I was able to make a few 24hr hour trips just for an out of town concert or a quick sister visit. I'm grateful for this time to just be ME and the people that make it possible. 

9)  One thing I have not conquered but recognized more than ever this year is the need to...
...accept where we are in life, not where we imagined we should be. myself and the divine gifts that I've been given. 
These are important and key to peace. I will keep working on these. 

10) Speak only Truth was one of the abilities I wanted to conquer. It's not like I'm a compulsive liar or even think I have a lying problem, it is more than lying or not. Speaking the truth to me means to speak your heart, to uplift others only, stand up for what I believe and share love through words. I wouldn't say that I had this in the forefront of my mind everyday but I would look at my list of goals throughout the year and be reminded. I am not perfect but just having this as a goal has created the ability to see truth and the desire to have it around me always. 

I'm not big on New Year Resolutions but picking my one little word every year gives me a focus on how to be better than I have been in the past. I highly suggest making goals whatever way works for you and your life. 
                Happy New Year!!!

Hexagon Wall Art

It might take me awhile to put something on my walls, but when I do I LOVE it! I wondered if this would be weird but then I realized this is my kind of art, simple, clean and different. 

1) I had the hexagons frames made for me by the wonderful man, Kevin, at The Wood Connection (a local Utah wood shop). 
2) I picked out all different kinds of fabrics (fur, leather, linen, patterned cotton). 
3) Cut the fabric the shape of the hexagon with enough fabric to fold it over the frame and staple. 
4) Start stapling on one flat end in the middle and then staple that edge 1in. apart. Then go to the opposite flat side and do the same. Then work your way around pulling fabric tight with each staple. 

A Far Reach

Thank you to everyone who shared, posted and liked our I Am Brave and Beautiful stories. Megan followed her inspiration and I was blessed to join in the plans. I am so grateful to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. You have strengthened me and my girls. Women need Women to uplift and inspire one another. THANK YOU!!

I am Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "
Megan and I have been the team behind this whole project. Our worldwide vision included creating our own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for us to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.
Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!
Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

In these two photos you can see a significant difference around my eyes, my wrinkles, smile lines, crows feet whatever you want to call them I have them in one picture and not in the other. I like the natural one better. Yep, I said natural is better. Why? Why am I ok with the wrinkles? Because I don't see them as wrinkles I see them as my WARRIOR lines. These wrinkles are a direct result of every smile and tear shed in my life. They are the result of a life well lived, full of meaning, deepened with every sorrow and extended with every joy. I look forward to being old and wrinkly because it is my outward testament of a great life, a warrior's life. 
I think the only thing we have to "TRY" to do is own who we are. We are who we are because our families, friends, neighbors, strangers and the world needs us to be who we are. We don't have to "...TRY so hard", like Colbie Calliat says, because all we have to do is be ourselves. We each have strengths, talents, weaknesses and failures unique to us in order for us to learn, grow and accomplish our unique purpose here on earth. If we need makeup or no makeup in order to feel like our true self then that is what we need to do. 
There are a lot of people, images and messages in our lives that will try to tear us down. They try to make us believe that we are not valued. We need, no we have to shut those messages out of our lives! In Coblie's song she says, "take your makeup off", to me the word makeup can be literal and it can be whatever or whoever is holding you back from liking you. We need to find and own the value of how we look, what our talents are and what our purpose is. Once we understand these things we will fly with self worth, light and truth and we will change the world one tiny insignificant moment at a time and live a warrior's life.
(Thank you Lindsay Black for taking my natural photo.)
share your natrual beauty -
Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.
>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<
women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on -
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup -
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful
Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Anger stage of Grief

I wasn't sure I'd ever hit the anger stage of grief and so far I've kept it at bay. But as the days go on and I miss my dad more and more I find it creeping in. 

All the sudden I want my dad so bad I feel like throwing a full out two year old tantrum. Something like this...

I quickly (10 sec) pull my thoughts into check and tell myself angers not the way and a trantrum won't help. So I just cry and miss him extra hard for a bit. 

I worry I might be like a volcano and just explode one of these days. (I'm only human.) 

Is this normal? Anyone else felt this way? What helps you?

Pressure Diamonds Paradigm Shift

I love Rhonna Designs App and the opportunity she gives me to create pictures (above). 

I like to create inspirational pics especially on Sunday and as I was looking for something in the app this quote struck a cord with my heart. 

As this week I was overloaded with added pressures with acedemic struggling children I found myself sad and overwhelmed. When things are added to my plate without me choosing I tend to crumble for a minute (or an evening) before I pick up my big girl warrior panties and charge on. 

When I read this quote it gave me a paradigm shift... that I can accept the added pressures of life as an opportunity to create and conquer the warrior within me. The added pressures can be a gift to change and be better. Yes, even as I type this I cringe and say "I don't want to!" Haha just let those thoughts Go! (🎶 Let it go, Let it go 🎶 -Frozen) 

The truth is I DO want to be a warrior. I want my light and strength to shine bright like a diamond. The only way to do that is to let the pressures become an opportunity to conquer. 

My 2014 Word

This word came to me in July. I've been searching for the right definition of this word. I don't see this word in a fighting or war like manor. To me it means strength, virtue, service.

"Warriors are not born and they are not made...Warriors create themselves through trial and error, pain and suffering, and their ability to conquer their own faults." -unknown 

I will continue to create and conquer,

Its the word create that jumped out at me and made it perfect. I wrote this quote and thoughts in my phone 3 years ago. As I get older it's interesting to see the pieces of my life come together. I didn't know it then the Warrior God and I was/are creating.

My dad and I had many conversations about creating ourselves. When I told him this creating quote he loved it and we referred back to it in many of our life philosophy discussions. One of his life quotes was, "If it's to be...It's up to me!"
I owe so much of the Warrior I am today because of the guidance, belief and love of my parents. I'm so grateful. 

Whatever comes this year I will learn and grow, create and conquer, I will be the Warrior God wants and needs me to be. 

I'd love to lift each other up, if you have a pic or a quote that can do that share and use #warrior2014. 

It's All Special November Link-Up

special needs banner

Welcome to It's All Special: The Special Needs Link Up! This is It's All Special: November Edition, hosted by Mishmash Mama, Trust Me, I'm a Mom,and Peace from 6 Pieces through the It's All Special Community on Google+.

This month, our members are talking about "hope."

You are invited to link up your posts about hope and special needs parenting at the bottom of this post. If you missed last month's It's All Special, you can find it here. If you have questions, would like to co-host, or would like to sponsor a special needs appropriate giveaway, email Shannon at

Your hosts are

shannonShannon @ Mishmash Mama





Cobilynn @ Peace from 6 Pieces





Michelle @ Trust Me, I'm A Mom




When you link up, please:

  • Be on topic (silliness, humor, anger, honesty!) Old posts are fine.
  • Follow your hosts
  • Add our badge to your post, or link back here
  • Comment on at least 2 other posts! Share the love!
  • Use #ItsAllSpecial on social media
  • Also, feel free to request membership to It's All Special, our Google+ Community
...and finally, enter this month's giveaway, sponsored generously by Doodler Crayons.

Doodler Crayons™ are reshaped fun crayons

Great for kids big or little! Perfect for art projects, unique gifts, stocking stuffers, or even use them as party favors!


Doodler Crayons is a family run crayon recycle shop that was created in 2009. We are located on a small farm in the beautiful valley of Crow, Oregon. If you are ever in the area stop by and say Hi! We hand-craft each crayon with detail, care and love. We support the environment, green America and local economy.


Link up your post below, then come back and enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget your badge!


special needs button


Hope, It's All Special

Life is funny. As little kids we imagine our lives in the future. We create dreams, goals and ideas that we HOPE will be our reality. We learn from others what we want and don't want. We plan and prepare for all of our dreams to come true. We believe that we are on the right track as things fall into place and we make the right decisions in order to accomplish our goals. And then...

You're hit by a 2x4 (literally or figuratively) and our reality we dreamed of and planned on is no longer available to us in its entirety. It's changed somehow. Maybe you planned to be be married with 5 kids, two dogs and live on a farm, but you find out after your first baby you can't have any more. Maybe you planned to go to NYC and enjoy single life in the city, but instead while in NY you meet the love of your life and follow his dreams. Maybe life is just the way you planned when you get hit by a car while on your bike and your hopes turn into a fight for your life. 

In my life I feel like I've gone through a few of these reality altering experiences. Some of them I've welcomed and some of them I've handled like a two year old throwing a tantrum. Believe me when I say it's a lot easier to accept than resist because no matter what it is what it is. In my experience the life that is waiting for us to accept is better than what we hoped for. 

The Rock's diagnosis with autism has been one of these experiences and all my hopes and dreams for my sweet baby boy changed. My hopes and dreams for my son became simplified. My hopes for him became what most every other child takes for granted. My hope for my son is that one day I'll be able to have a conversation, a simple answer to a simple question like: 
Me "How was your day?" 
Him "It was good."
Me "I love you, buddy."
Him "I love you too, Mom."
This will be the most amazing conversation I will ever have in my life. 

My HOPE's for the Rock have become a belief, which I think are even stronger than hope. I BELIEVE that my son will one day talk with me, understand more than he does now and will be successful in the life he is meant to have. I don't know how this will all happen but because of my HOPE and BELIEF in him I continue to fight for him, work for him and accept the miracles that occur daily, you never know when it will all become our reality. 

What do you hope for? How do you keep your hopes alive?