My March for Women's Rights

Why I March for Women's Rights...

"Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. Today women around the world are marching for parity and equity for all women’s rights. Women's rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. "-womensmarch.com

I march today to change the rhetoric of Marital/Intimate Partner rape, sexual abuse and/or sexual assault. I am frightened of the hurt or betrayal some may feel by me sharing my voice but I can not be silent any more. I will not be afraid. This is my truth as I have lived and survived it. 

Common Belief
Some have lost their belief or may have never believed in the basic human right that No ONE has the right to any physical contact or sexual act with their body without their consent. There is a mindset in our world that by being married it automatically gives consent to any and all sexual acts at the desire of an intimate partner at anytime or place. This is not true. No means No, even in MARRIAGE & PARTNERSHIP. No one has the right to physical contact, penetration or to force themselves on any one else without mutual consent not even your intimate partner. A majority of society thinks that sexual consent looks like anyone of these excuses or many others...
  • Appeasement because you don't want to fight with your partner.  
  • Appeasement due to guilt or shame. 
  • If you're naked, you're asking for it.
  • If you're changing in front of your partner, you've given an open invitation.
  • If you're asleep or incapacitated, it's ok to do whatever with their body. 


THIS IS NOT CONSENT! This is Intimate Partner/Marital rape, sexual abuse and/or sexual assault. To understand the definition of these visit this page.  

Results of Marital Sexual Violence
Statistics show that marital sexual violence may result in more damage than stranger rape because victims may have difficulty identifying the acts for what they are so the sexual violence repeats for years without being acknowledged or because of the deep betrayal of a trusted partner. An intimate relationship is just that intimate and vulnerable and this person that you've trusted with your heart and soul has now taken all safety, trust, respect and self worth away from you. 

My Acceptance of My Marital Sexual Violence
I bought into the common belief. I know that there are so many out there that believe this because it's all we've ever known. 
It wasn't until my (now former) husband and I decided to separate that the line in my head became clear. Clear that if we are not together he has no right to my body. So 7 days later when he assaulted me I was in shock.  When it happened I wasn't even sure I could label it as sexual assault, I just knew I felt dirty, used and worthless. I couldn't accept that my own husband would take advantage of me. The following week in my therapists office as I explained what happened I had to ask her to label it for me. When she uttered the words "You were sexually assaulted. Your husband sexually assaulted you." I fell apart and have only come to accept that this has been apart of my marriage for as long as I can remember. The acceptance of past and present marital sexual assault/rape became my reality.

When I finally accepted that sexual assault and abuse were apart of my past marriage and bravely opened up to my closest friends and church/Priesthood leaders I was shamed as they said "Why do you think you were sexually assaulted what happened? Well what were YOU doing? What were you doing to make him think he could do that? I thought you guys were changing clothes in front of each other at the time, so..? I just can’t believe he would do such a thing, he’s usually such a nice/respectful/righteous man.
If someone has the courage to share that they were sexually assaulted it means that they are certain this is the case, they aren't lying and are scared people won't believe them. No one has the right to question if it's true or under what circumstances in happened. These responses to someone saying they were sexually assaulted minimize the act, shame the person and do more harm.

Law Enforcement acceptance: rarely is martial/partner sexual violence reported or prosecuted because having concrete evidence is difficult to find and prove and sometimes isn't even taken seriously by law enforcement. Divorce courts don't deem abuse as a result of fault or see a need to help victims. 

My religion acceptance: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, my experience has been that abuse of all kinds is not deemed a sin or given any sort of condemning to any of my abusers. Yes the church states that abuse is not tolerated but actions speak louder than words and on more than one occasion in my life a blind eye has been turned to the physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse by "worthy Priesthood" holders. 

Where does one turn for safety and peace when the people and institutions we rely on to share our secrets and to hold people accountable for violence and sin don't do it? It creates the rape accepted society we have today because their is no accountability. This has been a harsh and difficult reality for me to accept and the reason I am writing and marching today.  

Our rape accepted society that we live in has got to STOP today! It is accepted when we minimize experiences, shame victims and abusers are not held accountable. 
In this shame, guilt and denial victims can sometimes never become survivors. 
We all deserve to be WARRIOR SURVIVORS. 

How to Support Friends and Family to be Survivors
"Most people who have experienced sexual violence choose to tell someone close to them.  This will be someone who they feel safe enough with to disclose the abuse that they have experienced.  They need to believe that the person they are confiding in is trust-worthy, will believe them, and will keep the information they give confidential.  As a ‘safe’ person to tell, you are an important source of support.
  • Listen - Listen to what they have to say and let them take their time. It might not be easy for them to start talking about an event especially if it is something that they may have kept silent about for a long time.
  • Believe – People rarely lie about sexual assault or abuse. It is important to believe what the person is saying.
  • Respect – It is important to respect their feelings and their decisions. If they feel like crying, let them, it can be part of their healing process.
  • Recognize – The courage it takes for a person to speak must be recognized and praised. It takes a great deal of courage to face up to fears and also to talk about any sexual experience.
  • Don’t judge – It is important to be accepting of the way the person reacts, even if this is not what you were expecting. It is best to get rid of any ideas you may have of how a person who has been sexually assaulted should behave, and to accept their reactions as normal.
  • Remember – It is not their fault – no one asks to be sexually assaulted or deserves it and they cannot be blamed for not preventing it. The blame lies with the rapist. Reassure them that no one has the right to rape or assault anyone no matter what the circumstances were.
Make time to listen if they wish to talk.  Take your cue from them as to how much, how often, and when they want to talk about it.  Do not force them to talk if they do not want to.                                                                                    It may be very difficult for you to empathize with what the person has experienced.  It is important to support them in getting help and information from WMRSASC or any Rape Crisis Centre and other supportive friends and support services.  Most people, once the initial shock and trauma has worn off, want their friend or relative to be ‘better’ or back to ‘normal’.  However, any sexual assault significantly changes your perception of life and of the world you live in.  There is no time limit after which they should have recovered.  Each individual person learns to cope with the experience in their life according to their individual circumstances.  This can take months or years."-West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre
                                        Now that you know what to do CHANGE the rhetoric
 No means No, even in MARRIAGE & PARTNERSHIP



My 2017 One Word



  I'm not going to lie, this one is very hard for me. Last year I debated not picking a word but knew long before January what the word would be so I went with it. This last month I have fought off every inkling of idea of a word for 2017. I'm just wasn't sure I wanted to have a clear focus but as the first few seconds of 2017 rang in I knew my word, CLARITY
   I know this word will take on lots of different meanings over the year but the biggest idea or definition that is shouting at me today is that I first need to find clarity in being transparent and clear in my understanding of my self, health, spiritual, relationships and financial standing as of today. 
  Today I share with you my naked vulnerable true CLARITY. I know as I am vulnerable I give my thoughts and ideas to the world, which can then return to my open heart, mind and soul to help, heal and inspire me. 

Enjoying new found self and acceptance as I know longer live in a box that someone else created for me to live in.  I LIKE ME! I like my values, my beliefs, what I stand for and the purpose I have here on earth. Learning to love myself in a way that I only accept the kind of love from me and others that I'm worth. I WORTH it! Feeding this love through studying and self care is what keeps me capable to keep going everyday.  How do you love you?

Health? I'm SICK, ugh I don't want to talk about this but I need to say something because my usual invisible disease, Ulcerative Colitis, has overtaken my face as it continues to retain water swelling to a size where I no longer recognize the person in the mirror. (yes, I fight off tears every day and yes, I know it could be worse) My disease and I hit rock bottom after being in a flare for over a year, the week before Thanksgiving. UC is a really shitty disease (pun intended because I hate talking about my disease and what it does). I would wish it on my enemies (if I had any). Stress is the main cause of a flare so with all going on this last year it's been very difficult on my body. At Thanksgiving the only option was to go on prednisone (a strong anti inflammatory) that will hopefully put me into remission by February. However the side effects of this drug are super fun (NOT, the water retention hurts, I sweat profusely {EW! gross}, I'm loosing my hair, etc.) and have left me wondering Whose face is this??? 
This new year I will be weaning off the prednisone, cleansing, exercising, trying some new western meds (Protandem) and open to anything else you want to share with me. How do you stay healthy? Are you fighting for your life? How do you fight peacefully? How do you reduce stress?

Spiritually I feel like my relationship with God is better than it's been in years even though that doesn't look like the picture perfect mormon church ad I've subscribed to in the past and totally support my family and friends in doing what's right for them. I don't know if I'll ever want that picture again. If I do I will be true to myself and go with it, but for now that's not it. My knowledge of truth, light and love are what I live by. This keeps me grounded and raw in the truth of God as we are all ONE. I'm open to truth and light in all forms even from others, I love that special friends can look into my soul and share with me insights to help me understand myself and see what I need. I want more of this in my life. How do you fill your spiritual bucket? 

Motherhood is a choice everyday to be present. My children are going through so much right now individually, on top of their parents getting divorced and dad getting remarried all within 3 months, its left us all spinning wildly trying to find a new normal. As the mom these past few months I've spent most of my hours sustaining my children's emotional well being and physical needs. Which makes all the stuff above even more important to have in order. 

Relationships can come in many forms and are said to be the most important thing here on earth. I cherish the people in my life and enjoy serving them.  I am open to what comes my way. I'm taking one day at a time and accepting what comes with open arms. I don't want to deny myself what I'm worth wether that comes now or later. I will cultivate richer relationships in all aspects of my life. How do you cultivate deep meaningful relationships? 

Financially I am sure I need to stick to a budget, JESS help! (haha) I sold my half of the company so I am looking for the next thing for me either as an entrepreneur or employee in order to provide financially for me. It's important to me that whatever it is I do I use my strengths and talents in a position where I GIVE and RECEIVE equally. My dream opportunity is to run a philanthropic organization I believe in. Therefore I am working on my own called Power Play, an indoor playground with a focus on nuerodiverse acceptance. I've also applied to The Younique Foundation. I hope for and would love to see both of these become a reality soon. 


This is my CLARITY today, January 1st, 2017. 
Now I stretch my arms open wide and ask for the light and love needed to fulfill my purpose. I need you, angels and God to help me achieve all I need to. 
#Clarity2017 #gettingClear

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 
#thegladgame2015
and tag me in your posts so we can all be glad together. 

I wish you all the gladness in the world. 
Xoxo

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. 
...trust 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. 

Tutorial
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 - brassyapple.com
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 - BrassyApple.com
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 - Brassyapple.com
#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,
I AM A WARRIOR!

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.