you know you're a M.O.M. when.....

you're over joyed when your babies missed you so much they run to you and call your name if you walk by a door, nervous you might leave again.

Especially if it's from your baby (5yr old with autism) that rarely says "mommy" and who sometimes your not even sure if he cares if you're here nor there.

I was only gone 26hrs and when I came home he wouldn't even look at me, until I was back by the garage door cleaning up and he realized I was back there and came running saying "mama mama mama!" and jumped into my arms and wouldn't let go for awhile.

The BEST feeling EVER!

Life Lessons from The Life of Pi

My father gave me The Life of Pi, years ago and sadly I never finished it. My father is much smarter than me and knows what I'll like, sometimes I need a movie to push me to find what he wanted me to read and understand.

Had I read it years ago something else would have stood out but for now this is what I need to work on.....

Adult Pi Patel: All of life is an act of letting go but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.

Everyday I run into situations where I become overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, stressed, disappointed, sad or even angry. These feelings hurt my physical health and I NEED to learn TO LET GO.

I think sometimes I'm so worried about hurting because I won't get the the final say/goodbye that I hold on to these feelings instead of letting go. The fact is these feelings are brought on by situations that are out of my control. Lets face it there's not much in this life that we are in control of other than learning to LET GO.

The only way to let go is to leave them behind or let them wash to sea.

For me, my peaceful place is the beach. I don't have to get in the ocean, I don't have to build a sand castle all I need is to hear the waves come in, crash and drag back out and with it it takes all my worries.

"All of life is an act of letting go.."and finding out what new adventure is about to come crashing down.

Sinterklaas Family Tradition

I love family traditions!!! Dec 5th is Sinterklaas in Holland and ever since I was a little girl my parents have celebrated this holiday in their own special way.
I'm so glad that this tradition didn't die when all of us girls got married and left the house. It gives us even more opportunities to enjoy each other.
Traditions are SO important and as families change our traditions sometimes change, but the more traditions you keep the stronger your family stays.
As our families have broken off from extended family gatherings it's been heart breaking to me, because when you don't have the tradition to encourage you to go, life gets in the way and its harder to set time aside even though you love all of your family.
Thank you Mom and Dad for keeping the traditions alive and strong even when it's hard. It means the world to all of us.

you know you're a M.O.M. when....

you have the ability to push beyond all odds to do what needs to be done. And then you HAVE to stop.

As it turns out if a woman of 34 starts having a hard time concentrating through a conversation, knowing people's names she's known for awhile , there might be more than stress and anxiety. She might have half the blood she should have and needs a transfusion.

I kept pushing myself to do what I needed to because stress and anxiety were not going to get the best of me. I needed to be ok.

For me it's hard to go to the doctor, I hate it but us mommy's need to put ourselves first in order to take care of anyone else. I know this and yet still waited way to long to find some answers.

So this is me telling you to not wait, take care of yourself FIRST. Then hopefully you'll avoid this pic.


There's a reason why we can print our blogs into a cover, because every day I write, I add to My Story and who doesn't love a good book where they are the star, heroine, or slave (haha). My kids LOVE looking through their scrapbooks, that's where their story is written in the pictures and stories we tell about them at that particular age.

Like any good story there's a who, what, when, where, why. I love this picture because their personalities shine. I enjoy sharing with them what I think their strengths are. It's the story behind this picture that is the true art. Now I'm not a fascinating storyteller, but when you're talking about the person you're talking to, it doesn't seem to matter. (haha) 

I believe we all have a story to tell and one that needs to be read. Either in my life time or that of my descendants, my story is valuable and worth recording, that is why I am looking forward to learning how I can improve my storytelling/writing/blogging at the Story @ Home Conference, February 1&2, 2013. In the heart of SLC at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

This conference is full of workshops and performances by award-winning storytellers, performers and speakers, who will help you explore ways to use the power of story in your home. You’ll be able to record your own story, start on some research to learn more about your family’s history, get started on a blog and learn how to tell your story through social media.

As I look over the class schedule for this conference I become giddy, every class is an excellent  topic and I know it will be difficult to choose which one I'll go to. I NEED them all! Here are my top five classes I have to attend:
1) Tell It Again by Kim Weitkamp
2) 365 Days of Story Prompts by Jenny Eckton
3) Writing for a Publisher by Bill Lepp and Christopher Robbins
4) Social Media by Tauni Everett, Emily Hill & Stephanie Hansen
5) Family Traditions by Veronica Johnson

This conference is extrememly affordable for just $79 you will be filled to the brim with knowlegde for two days. If both days don't work for your schedule you can just come one day. Meals are not included in the conference ticket, but because of the location there are endless restaurants right next door at City Creek and surrounding areas. To register for this conference go here. You also have a chance to win a conference pass right here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 days: Truth is Twitter is Confusing

And yet there is a strategy and purpose to all that you do in social media.
I wish I would have have Dave Guymon's new book, Twitterpated, when I started tweeting. His book is an easy read that covers all the little and big details when you start to tweet.
Even if you've already been tweeting for awhile this book it's goods to brush up on the basics.
Thank you Dave for writing this book and letting me read it and share with others. Right now this book is available for only $1.99 on Amazon.
You can read more from Mr. Guymon here...

31 days: Truth is Miracles happen everyday

I'm sorry if your sick of hearing this from me but it's TRUE.

Today the Rock displayed a new found awareness of his surroundings. He was more engaged with looking at the animals at the zoo, more than ever before. While at the park he looked up as a flock of geese flew by over head and watched them go by. WOW!

Why is this a miracle???
Because it's one the critical steps before you have the ability to speak and be aware of social cues. We are constantly looking for and working on these important steps and little by little they come to him. Oh happy day!

31 days: Truth is You can Defy Gravity

Or anything else that pulls you down. Look at this little boy fly over the ice. Seriously a miracle we captured that shot. This little boy, the Rock, Defies Gravity everyday wether it's by swinging on the tramp pole or saying a new word (yesterday it was the word "awesome").

I love the song "Defying Gravity" in Wicked, I mean who doesn't. The words "I'm Defying Gravity, and you won't bring me down!" are one of my favorite quotes. I feel like there are people and situations every day trying to take me away from what's really important and trying to keep me from reaching my full potential. I have to make little decisions everyday to not let those things "bring me down". There are just too many things trying to lift me up that I need to focus on and the the downers go!

If the Rock can Defy Gravity with the trials of autism stacked against him the least I can do is give him everything I can to lift him and others around me up. I believe that by lifting up and empowering each other we lift ourselves to our full potential.


31 days: Truth Is life's ironic....

"isn't it ironic?.....don't ya think?"
-Alanis Morissette

I love this song now and then and it's almost everyday something ironic happens. Today for the first time ever living in my home I had the outside windows cleaned and guess what the weather has done just a few hours later.......Yep, it's raining. Haha
Seriously I can't believe it. What ironic situation have you had happen lately?

31 days: Truth is the beach equals peace.

It amazes me how a simple walk or nap on the beach can bring so much peace to my soul. Time allows us to heal from all kinds of struggle and trials, but standing on the edge of the ocean watching the waves rolling in is as if the water takes all my worries with it as it drags the water back out to sea.

31 days: Truth is Babies grow up

I can not believe that my baby is 12 yrs old and SO beautiful. 
Time is a fascinating thing that flys or creeps by, but either way it ticks away. 

31days: Truth is I love an Adventure.

Today's Adventure is fusia pink shirt. I know a shirt is not THAT adventurous but for me and my red hair it is. I NEVER do pinks but today is the day and I like it. I challenge you to push your wardrobe to a new adventure.

31 days: Truth is Life is Tough

The other day I had someone tell me "oh my, what a hard day but luckily they are all first world problems. " I didn't know what she was saying at first but then as she said again I understood.
The problems I have are mostly first world problems and am grateful that they are.
Still......Life is tough! Wether it's a simple life or a complicated one our shoulders are added upon.
So what???
We all need to understand to be companionate and just say to ourselves "they don't know my life and I don't know theirs, so I'll just smile and love them."

31 days: Truth is We are all Vulnerable

In order to love and be loved totally and completely we have to lay it all on the line. 
We have to put our whole selves out there for someone to embrace or crush. 
This is the risk we take but the rewards far out way the pain. 
Such is life!

31 days: Truth is Laughter is a MUST.

This is so true and this is why I surround myself with wonderful women who laugh with me and push me to be my best. Some of the best times of my life have been with these women. 
I am so grateful to have them in my life. 

I am also one lucky girl to have this man who promised to make me laugh every day of my life. He takes pride in keeping this promise. I love new adventures and almost everyday is a new adventure with the incredible people (in these pics and many others) in my life. 

31 days: Truth is Family IS important!

We are a very spirited family, meaning we have too much energy to take a serious picture.  
I think it's when we are taken away from our family members that we realize how important we are to one another. Family members are not always easy to get along with, it is this reason why family is so important. If we take the time to change our way of thinking and accept everyones strengths and overlook their weaknesses we grow closer and stronger as family and as individuals. Families give us more opportunity to become better people than any other situation is life.

31 days: Truth is I Am A Mormon

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
I believe in God, the Eternal Father 
in his Son, Jesus Christ
and in the Holy Ghost.

I am not perfect, nor do I believe that because of my beliefs in God and Jesus Christ that I am better than any one else. I love all people no matter their faith or beliefs and love learning about others thoughts and beliefs about God and Jesus Christ. 

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because it's what speaks to my soul as the right place for me. I love the teachings of Christ, to love and serve each other. I realize there are more details to the teachings of Christ but to me they are ways for us to do these two things, to love and serve each other all the days of our lives.

These two simple things are what I try to focus on to make myself a better person and in the decisions I make in life. I sometimes always make mistakes and that is why the knowledge and use of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is so important to me. The option to repent and come unto Christ strengthens my relationship with God and his Son, Jesus Christ.

If you would like to know more about what I believe go here.

31 days: Truth is It's up to you!

I saw this quote and wrote this 3 years ago.....
Creating yourself gives you the power to choose who you want to be. Finding yourself limits you to one ideal of a person you were before now. Life is ever changing therefore we are always creating ourselves to have the courage for the situations that come our way.
For me this just takes time. As I've been knocked around the rocks of life I've realized knowing who you want to be is the most important goal to have and then give it time. It's the little COURAGEOUS decisions we make everyday that create who we are. Little decisions like being kind, forgiveness, not gossiping, loving those that use us, teaching instead of getting mad.
Yep!!! My dad gave me a book a long time ago called "Added Upon". This book is all about a few lives that just never end with burdens placed upon them. Life can be that way, never ending and it just Kicks Your A$$. For me in that moment I just needed time to own all that was happening and as time went by I felt like I could stand back up, brush of the pain and keep fighting!
That's me, what do you think????

31 days: Truth we all cast Judgement

I love this quote and one that Elder Uchtdorf quoted in an LDS General Conference last year
"Don't Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You"

The truth is we all cast Judgement. In many situations we need to in order to keep ourselves and children safe. We need to be able to judge between right and wrong, good and bad. However we also cast bad judgements on each other because we don't know where someone is in their journey of life or where they've been. 
We all know someone who starts mean lies and gossips endlessly, what we don't see is the pain and suffering going on inside that person that compels them to act so poorly. 
You might not know the person who that has a sleeve of tattoos, but I do and that person is the most kind, loving and giving person in the world and a tattoo does not define her. 
You may not know the person who smokes non stop, but I do and that person is fighting daily against the addiction of drugs and alcohol and if smoking is the only way to be sober then do it. 

Maybe take a minute to consider the past or future of the next person you are about to cast judgement on. I believe this world will be a better place if we all love one another more often.

31 days: TRUTH a family that works together stays together

TRUTH is....
We may not have it all together,
but together we have it all!

Punky and her buddies had a great idea to have a Bake Sale. I thought..."that could be a lot of fun and a great way to hang out with my Jr. High School attending Young Woman/Daughter"
It became a week long activity starting with the girls making caramels and then packaging them the next day, baking the entire day before the Bake Sale and then the Glorious Day of selling everything.
Baking Day was a Music Day just to help the day go by quickly. When there's music there's singing and dancing, right? Oh, yeah! I start singing and the girls came running "I love it when Mom sings" and we all belt out the words. 
Here are the highlights.....

Although I was exhausted at the end, I was filled with peace knowing we'd done it together.

31 days:Truth iPads & Apps

TRUTH is I really have been waiting for the day that the Rock is interested in the iPad, why? you ask...
because there are so many learning apps that I hope will help him talk. 
Yep! That's right talk. We are all pleased with the progress the Rock is making, however he needs to be able to do more. We need all kinds of different ways to motivate him and I hope and pray the iPad will do just that.

It all started with him watching his big bro work the iPad magic. Now the Rock brings it to me to turn it on. I make him ask me to use it. (make him by signing the words "I" "want""iPad""please", when I sign these words he says them out loud) This process is fascinating to me. Why does he HAVE to mimick (by signs or voice) someone else in order to get the words out. I may never know that answer but I sure would love to. 
Technology is incredible and I hope that it can be a help the Rock break threw barriers.

Do you have apps you love that you think we need, please please share!

Here is what one of our wonderful Speech Therapists gave to us........
Free Picture Communication Apps
iComm-take pics with your ipad and put them in 8 categories with yes no choice to confirm the one the child has picked
Tap to Talk-free basic starter for Ipad;  includes some preprogrammed messages 
pic a word-12 choice photo board preprogrammed with messages adapts to 4 x 3, 3x3, 3x2, and 3x1 board 
Picture board- 20 categories of photos with specific choices under each category (food, clothes, plants, home) and other categories under these (fruits, bathroom, kitchen, etc.)
Free Picture Communication Apps
Picture Card Maker-FREE;  Incorporate photos from your Camera Roll on the iPad 2 and make them into Picture cards;  label them and record the message then organize them into an album.  You can create picture schedule this way or use them just for flash cards;  you can also print them out.
TapToTalk for iPad: FREE; get starter album for free and go to for more free albums
Visual Working For-FREE; allows you put photos from iPad into a schedule form to show what you are working for
Free Memory Match Apps
Farm Flips-12 location memory matching game with farm animals that make the sound when you find the match
Vocab PCS-Mayer Johnson pic syms in a memory game;  farm match is free;  4, 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 location boards
Guess’em-FREE;  Similar to Guess Who;  ask questions to guess who your partner is thinking about.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox-has matching, colors, counting (1:1 correspondence), shapes, puzzles, size concepts, letter recognition and more…99 cents
Photo Concepts- left/ right, above/ below, near/ far;  same/different, big/small, not, middle, short/tall, top/bottom touch photos as directed;  99 cents
Preschool Touch-FREE  touch farm animals as directed; great for one step directions and vocabulary
Peekaboo! Lite- FREE Listen to the farm animal and match the sound to the picture
Clean Up-FREE-Helps with categorization;  drag photo items to the correct location (closet, basket (fruits), or toy box).
Together-FREE-touch the item that goes together best with the photo on top
ABA Belong-FREE;  follow the verbal direction to touch the one that does not belong
Build it up-FREE-sequencing game that helps children learn how to organize or sequence objects (snowman, blocks, etc.)
Wheels On The Bus-99 cents;  sings the wheels on the bus song and allows child to interact, open and shut door, spin wheels, etc. 
Animal Book-Free:  line drawing that links to photos of real animals and says the name of the animal and makes the sound
Opposites-FREE;  touch a picture and pick it’s opposite
Match it up 3-Free:  pick items that go together best
MORE LEARNING GAMES; Free- helps children choose what other item goes in a pictured category
PlayHomeLite-Free; Go to the living room and kitchen and turn on the lights, the oven, the stove, put plates on the table etc.;  good for vocabulary, following directions, etc.
Gingerbread Fun-FREE-  Take part in making a gingerbread man or other cookies from the rolling to the cooking to the eating. 
What is it?  FREE;  basic photo i.d. task asks the question, touch the pic and it names the item
Animals 4 Kids Lite-FREE; different pics of animals with the name (5 languages supported);  photo of the animal and its sound.
Mobi Pizza-FREE; make our own pizza, choose toppings, bake it, etc.  Good for sequencing and vocabulary.
Kids Patterns-FREE cognitive pattern skills;  fill in the patterns;  preschool to kindergarten age types of tasks
Where’s Puppy-FREE; Fisher Price Laugh and Learn;  puppy comes out and identifies body parts when you touch them
Families 1-FREE;  choose the member of the family/category that goes with the others
Locabulary Lite-Free; has moods, assistance, restaurants, and area for your own categories;  Let’s you compose messages using predicted words and gives you the part of speech (verbs, nouns, etc.). Keyboard  to  type message and speak  it
Verbally; FREE  keyboard with a list of frequently used words and phrases ready to use. Word prediction as well.

ArtixPix-gives you one free /th/ deck then lets you purchase other decks for $1.99 (k, g, f, v, ch,s,s-blends, l, r-blends, r, z, l-blends, p, b, n, t, d, m, j)
Talking Tom/T-Rex, Santa, etc-Free- Funny cat repeats exactly what the child says as they have said it (helps for recognition of errors);  also help to get kids to initiate speech.
Pocket SLP-$29.99 real photo artic cards and diagrams showing placement (palate and side views); auditory feedback as well
Articulate It-$38.99-over 1,000 photos in all sounds of the English language, voice recording, can group sounds by manner or articulation or phonological process
Story Builder-$3.99; asks questions and provides a visual cue to help students use complete sentences to tell an original story.  They then listen back and hear the story.  You can have them listen and write the story down after they listen to it.
Story Wheel- FREE;  record a story by the wheel to get a picture and then narrate a portion of the story.  When done you can listen to your story with animated pictures. 
Mad Libs-$1.99;  Use words provided under specific parts of speech to create silly stories.
Clicky Sticky and Sticker Stories- 99 cents to $1.99 each; following directions, learning, reward,  creating a story, sequencing, etc.
Amazing Animals-FREE;  great photos of a variety of animals for eliciting stories or teaching vocabulary and descriptors.
400 Amazing World-FREE;  National Geographic photos of places around the world to generate discussion and stories 
WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY? FREE; Read about past events that happened in history on a specific day;  good for older kids who may need a conversation starter or who enjoy his kind of info. 
Story Patch-$2.99;  Help children create their own stories and import pictures or use 800 illustrations included
Toontastic-$1.99-Empowers kids to draw, animate, and share cartoons through imaginative play.
What’s That Sound?-FREE-gives you a choice of 2 or 3 pics and then you touch the pic. That corresponds to the correct sound.
My Scene-FREE;  children listen to the directions given by the caregiver to put the ___,  in a certain location;  work on prepositions, location words and following directions (1-step, 2-step, etc.)

Glow Draw-FREE
Draw Free-FREE
Paint Sparkles-FREE

Barbie I Can Be-FREE;  Career Barbie that can make pizza, bake, be a vet; can work on vocab. and sequencing
Barbie Fashionista-FREE;  dress up Barbie
Dress Up Baby-FREE;  dress up a doll in a variety of outfits;  good for vocabulary, following directions, motivation, etc.
Fun Fireworks-FREE; touch and fireworks explode 
Fireworks 123-FREE:  Let’s the child choose, size, color and number of fireworks to explode
Bubble Shooter Free-tap on the screen to shoot the ball/bubble;  fun for a reward or to get kids to touch and follow the bubbles with more precision.

Touch Trainer Lite-FREE;  touch the item on the page and it moves with music to reinforce continued use of pointer to touch
Gravitarium Lite –FREE;  combines music, art and science to create different animations paired with music for relaxation.
Audio Memos SE- The Voice Recorder;  FREE;  record language samples, etc. and listen to them;  use for taking notes; high quality recordings
Dragon Dictation App; Free;   lets you record and talk 5x faster than you can type info.; send e-mails, do homework, create documents

FLASHCARD APPS  FREE or 99 cents; flashcards for actions, things, fruits, receptive i.d., problem solving, 
My First Apps:  FREE;  photos of various vocabulary items:  actions, animals, baby things, etc.; shows the word and says it
iTouchiLearn FREE:  touch pictures to see a little movie depicting the word and words that go with it;  also letter and puzzle games with words;  touch the pic. That matches the word game also
Mickey’s Spooky Night-99 cents fun interactive story with Mickey and a spooky theme
Zanny Born to Run-about $2.99-fun interactive story about a boy who loves to run; includes a feelings faces game that is a lot of fun 
Halloween Book-FREE;  tells a cute story and works on answering Where questions?  can also get a PDF copy at
Making Pizza-FREE;  easy level book that can also work on sequencing, prediction and storytelling.
LittleMouse Lite-FREE;  Book format with vocabulary items that are interactive; feed the food to the man, give the mouse items, clean up items;  word is in print and said;
The Little Book of ABC-FREE;  book with all letters of the alphabet.  Reads and highlights the letter and words as it goes.
3D Brain-FREE:  Touch the screen to rotate and zoom around the brain and see how each brain region functions and what happens when it is injured.
UPPER RESPIRATORY VIRTUAL LAB-FREE; Explore the upper airway with a 3D simulator.  See the nasal passages all the way down to the trachea.
BrainPOP-Free;  Watch an animated movie about a topic and take a quiz at the end;  e.g., movie about mars; captioning is included for reading along.
Toddler ABC Lite-FREE;  trace letters;  pick letters out in a reveal the picture game; sing the ABC song; ABC free

Going Places-FREE;  videos from Model Me Kids for getting hair cut, going to the mall, playground, doctor, grocery store, and restaurant
SOCIAL SKILLS Sampler or SOCIAL HD:  FREE video modeling stories about being polite, joining groups, apologizing, following directions, etc.

iTranslate-FREE;  type in the word, phrase, etc.  and it translates it in the written word;  has the capability to speak it also
Google Translate-FREE;  speak your phrase, word, etc. and it will translate and speak it in the language you choose

Gum Drop Case-$59.95 on Amazon
Complete security for the iPad 2, including screen and port covers Dual material construction for multiple layers of shock absorption Reinforced rubber bumpers on the corners Includes replaceable integrated screen cover for protection during use Full protection of ports and screen Replaceable integrated screen cover and belt clip
Specifically for the Apple iPad 2 

Otterbox iPad 2 Defender Case;  $49.95;  other Otterbox products go higher;  see at Amazon as well

you know you're a M.O.M. when....

.......while you're buying Halloween costumes you're also buying Christmas gifts. 

It's crazy that we are so stinkin' talented we can plan these two holidays at the same time. It's not like the stores make it difficult for us to buy for these two holidays at the same time. There was Christmas decor out in July and I just could not wrapped my head around Independence Day and Christmas all at once. (haha because Halloween is SO different).
So how's your shopping coming? Halloween and Christmas? Whose done?

31 days of Truth: Eyes

Me                               &                             Zooey

TRUTH, as I see it is that Zooey and I have twiner eye color.
Truth is I am in love with everything Zooey (not the attraction love, just the I think she's Incredible).
Truth is I love the color of my eyes and I am NOT ashamed to say it. You HAVE got to celebrate your assets and use them to your advantage, just like Zooey does. 

To read more of My TRUTH, As I See It

Insta-Friday Linky from Life Rearranged

I don't get it? How can he pick up the video camera (stone aged) and know exactly how to make it work?? This is a phenomenon to me! He can figure this out no problem but know his own name, nope. Autism is a crazy thing and I don't know if we'll ever really understand it.

Legoland and drenched it rain, it doesn't get better than that. Really!
I love playing in the rain, memories were made, and laughs were had by all.
I say that's a great day!

I know, I know....ugh, food???? I just have to share that I've finally grown up and I love hummus. AND
Now my kiddos love hummus and ask to eat all the time.
(Proud mom moment)
life rearranged

MY TRUTH as I live it

Oh my goodness, I'm going to do this, I feel like I have to do this, what have you started 
Lars's TRUTH is beautiful and inspiring and the reason I feel like sharing my TRUTH with you today.
I like to focus on all that I'm grateful for, to write about the good times and all that I'm in love with. I believe we need to focus on gratitude, however because this sometimes seems to be all someone might know of us we compare our life to theirs. This quote says it perfectly.

So today as I was laying in my bed crying (it's now 2pm), literally not able to get out I realize I need to share this side. So here I am exposing my vulnerable and all too REAL TRUTH,
so you can see glimpse behind-my-scenes and realize we've all got a story.

This is the face of the woman I want to be everyday. This is the face that I want to believe I am.
Bright eyes, smiling, full of energy and the mindset to take on all that the world and God throw at me. The ability to love and feel that I can handle all that I've been given because it is MUCH.

I believe I am this woman most days but only because I mentally fight this face (below) away EVERYDAY.
{scary face}

I've never taken a picture of me in this state and let me tell you, it haunts me.
This is the face of despair, sadness, sorrow, loneliness, emptiness, exhaustion and loss. 
This roller-coaster we call life has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. 
We all feel these emotions through out our lives, however for me and for so many others that fight the good fight against mental limitations (depression, anxiety) it's sometimes more than I can bare and I end up with this face showing through. 

I hate taking medication and have now figured out for me an emotional checks and balances. Unfortunately for my husband that means I need him to step in and take over when I've reached my limits and I'm about to fall off the edge of sanity into the abyss of hell. It's a fine line to ride on a daily basis and a burden for my entire family to carry. 

Life doesn't turn out the way we want, expect or imagine it to be. 
I didn't expect to fight depression and anxiety all the time. I never wanted my husband to travel all over the world away from us. I imagined all my kids would have an easy time learning and would sail right through school. I imagined only the good times, laughing through the highs and lows.
It's life and I am not in control, no matter how much I'd like to be. The only way through it, is straight through, hopefully into the light and laughter.

We all find balance in different ways. For me I love projects, friends and laughing. I live for these moments to lift me up and push me straight through life and to give me PEACE.
I pray everyday to be a light in the life of someone else, I believe that's what life is all about....RELATIONSHIPS and how we are the PEACE for each other. 

I am so grateful for my dear husband, family, friends and strangers who are answers to my prayers. 

Run! Family! Run!

A couple weeks ago our family was given the opportunity to run in a local race. It's not something we trained for, just a few miles. I figured we go show up and see what happens. At this race they throw different colored chalk on you through out the race and I really wasn't sure if the Rock was going to be able to handle it well. There were a ton (5000ish) people there with great music, great crowd, which causes a great disturbance for the Rock. It could have gone a number of different ways, but instead of getting mad he got clingy and THAT I don't mind. He wanted to be held and covered his ears. We stayed away from speakers and just waited to start.                                                                 Once we were out of the gates we were dancing along and then Taz said "I don't want to walk let's run!" So off went Heman, Taz and the Rock running. I stayed with Punky and a friend and chatted as we went along. The boys would run and then wait for us to catch up. When they threw color on you the Rock did ok, I never know what's going to be ok and what's not. We all had a great time as a family!
Memories were made, time was well spent, bodies were strengthened and our souls were nourished, I'd say that was QUALITY.

How do you spend your family time? Do you have traditions that feed your bodies and mind?

Where Women Cook

I'd never had Fresh Peach Pie until a few weeks ago and I fell in love, hope you do too.
You can read about it where I'm featured here......
where women cook

Thanks to my sweet friend Stephanie from The Daily Blarg for giving me this opportunity and making me look good by taking the photos.
Thanks to my sweet friend Jenny Thompson for introducing the southern way of life to me.

you know you're a M.O.M. when..... have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.
I LOVE it because I can find everything I've never even dreamed of. I HATE it because I can find everything You've never even dreamed of. It's amazing what a wonderful tool Pinterest is and how really smart people use it.
Janet Thaler is a very smart M.O.M. who (along with Paul Wilson) created PinAlerts, a pinterest tracking tool from your website. It's easy to see what your readers find PINteresting. Register for PinAlerts here.

Some of my favorite pins......
Inspiration to "Just Keep Swimming"
Places I WILL Go

Things I need to remember and try. I did this detox bath last night and.....

What do you love about Pinterest?

Witches are OUT at Gardner Village!

from Witches to hats
from treats to mats
Gardner Village is where the Party's AT!

We (some of my favorite women in the world and I) had such a fun time on our own scavenger hunt to all the wonderful shops and event/meeting venue at Gardner Village. This place has everything and every shop has something unique that I didn't want to leave without. As you walk around you feel like you've been transported to a whole new destination complete with Witches (perfect photo ops) delicious Fried Green Tomatoes and a Spa to take all your worries away (for at least an hour). 
I hope you're able to make it to Gardner Village soon!
Go into Archibald's restaurant before you start your journey and pick up a Savenger Hunt paper for the kids to find all the witches and then stop into Sweet Afton's to turn in the completed hunt for a treat.

You know for kids! It was so cute I had to try it on @ Aunt Elsie's Treasures store.

pick yours up at Archibald's restaurant 

Just one of the spooky characters lurking around.

One of the MOST beautiful women I know inside and out, my friend Megan or Brassy Apple.

I won a fabulous gift from the Cottage Retreat & Spa. Can't wait to slip away to PEACEFUL heaven soon at this gorgeous cottage. Check out that amazing ring on my finger in the above photo, 
Posh Peddler folks, it rocks!

Here are all the shops and some of my favorite's inside each one......

Naborhood Bakery (yummy orange rolls), Country Funiture & Gifts (best holiday decor and furniture), Down to Earth (favorite pillows and furniture), Sassy Babies (fashionable chew bracelets and necklaces), Spoiled Rotten (cute boy clothes and accessories, KnuckleHead apparel), Kamille's Knitting (class to get your knit on), Upon the Shelf (everything to decorate your mantel), Georgell Doll Shop (every girls dream, tea parties too), Vintage Chic (swanky clothes to accessories), Pine Needles (amazing fabric, patterns and classes), Highlite Photography (talented photos, just ask for a mustache), Just Us Girls, Plum Dandy, Storybook Nook (books to toys), Taste Culinary Boutique (classes), The Bead Farm (bead parties), The Village Quilt Shop (my bedspread now is a quilt shop original, love), Modern Display (holiday decor), Sweet Afton's (fudge & treats)