Josh, Emily, Brook, Kristie, 40 Horse Cave, Nov 24, 2012

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It has been quite some time since I have written here, so let me catch up.

For me, school is going really well. I only have 3 weeks left of actually in class classes before I get a respite in preparation for my student teaching coming up in January. I am so grateful for this semester. It has brought me many new friends, new experiences to learn from and more opportunities to rely on the Lord. I directed my first play (cutting of a play) and it was beautiful. I know that it was by grace (strength and ability beyond my own) that I was able to do so. I am so grateful for my professors and for all they have taught me. I have strengthened so many friendships; I know that my life, my choices and the Spirit as led me to this moment, right now. The wonderful people I have been blessed to work with now would not have been a part of my life had we not decided to have Brook when we did. I know that. They will forever be a part of my life and I am so humbled that they are now and always be a part of my life and my professional network. Furthermore, I completed a goal I set one year ago: run in a Half Marathon. I ran the Provo Halloween Half--it was beautiful and fun. My sister Kellie, kindred spirit, was my angel; she ran with me, step by step, kept me hydrated and moving. It was my first, her third in 1 1/2 months, and I am grateful for her willingness to support me on the trail.

Josh is also doing well. These past two weeks marked the start of the busiest time of the school year for him. He started basketball tryouts and practices the same week he started Mock Trial. Thankfully we have the new habit of going to bed at 9 o'clock every night so that we are both getting the rest we need to do so much. He is such an amazing man; he does so much for me and for our little family. Let's face it, anyone who can put up with me and my amazingness must be a saint already, already canonized.

Brook is growing so much! She brings such joy into my life. She starts every day with smiles and giggles, talking from the moment she get
s up. So much of life to enjoy. She is very in tune as well to my feelings and what I am going through, even at her young 14 1/2 month age. She knows when I need a hug around my leg, a pat on the arm, or just a jabber that means so much to her that I wish I could speak her language.

Brook has three teeth coming in on top to accompany her two bottom teeth; this apple is proof of her gnawing desire to eat adult food.
Chatting with Grandma and Grandpa Wallace. She had to lie on the floor right in front of the screen. Her narcissism showed as she talked more to the image of herself in the bottom righthand corner than to Grandma (she does say Grandma--"maama"--and Grandpa--"grapa").
She played in this box for over 30 minutes. Like on my favorite show, Modern Family, "give a kid a toy and they'll play with the box. So the next year we gave Luke a box...and he played with the bag we wrapped it in."

Here's Brook helping Josh empty the dishwasher. It has become one of her favorite things to do. So domestic:)

God is good; He is love, peace, joy, strength and ever aware of me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Strength Beyond My Own

These few weeks have been full of change, peace and balancing. At the beginning of this semester I set the goal to read from my scriptures daily and to find the beauty in every moment. Can the Lord make me an instrument in His hands? Yes, when I am willing and seek his guidance. Can he give me strength beyond my own? Yes, every day and in an abundant ways. I know He has always been there, guiding me and making me stronger; I am more aware of it now and I am so grateful.

I see the beauty all around me. The beauty in the mountains, in the leaves, in my daughter, in art, in acting, in my life and in so many people that surround me. As Pres. Uchtdorf recently said I am finding "...wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in [my] journey." I love life! I love and appreciate everyone around me. He knows what speaks to my soul and guides me to it. I love the Lord for opening my eyes, my heart, my mind and my spirit to His love and the " of the glorious earthly and spiritual landscapes that surround [me] " (Pres. Uchtdorf again). I share it with you, whoever will read this or cross my path. God knows and loves you.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nebo Half Marathon: Kellie

Here's the video of Kellie running the Nebo Half Marathon last weekend. She did awesome and beat he goal by almost 20 minutes. Wahoo!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Live Your Goals with a Sense of Direction

First, check out this new song by Taylor Swift. I love the message and feel that she expresses it better than some of her contemporaries:


"Live Your Goals" was the theme to this years Women's World Cup competition for soccer. Now, I'm not much of a soccer fan myself, too much running and not enough scoring; but, from the beginning of the tournament I found myself home and glued to the TV watching the USA Women's Soccer team play. It was thrilling, down to the last penalty kick. So awesome to see such beautiful, STRONG women. I was impressed with their poise and agility accompanied with their physical grace as they ran up and down the field and I repeatedly thought, "I can do that." Not play soccer, per say, but run with such ease and grace. I'm on the path. I'm "Living My Goals."


I have been rereading a book about directing aptly named "A Sense of Direction" (which I always need). The author, an experienced and well respected director himself, shares his insight in ways that speak to my soul ("true self") more now than the first time I read it. Here are some of my thoughts (in italics) that derive from his thoughts:

"[a work of art] reveals Universe (God, Heavenly Father)."

"Art...awaken(s) the Spirit (light of Christ, Holy Spirit/Ghost/our own spirit)...A light (light!!) goes on within [the spectator] (because it's always been there) and the self is illuminated, awakened, enlightened, elevated, and changed." (Amen)

Art shows the "Beauty of Humankind".

"Consciousness"=I AM=THE BEGINNING... He writes about how our consciousness is tapped in a performance as we watch it and as the actor performs.

"The actor's power is limitless" OUR power is limitless.

I am still pondering these principles and seeing how they apply to my directing, school and life. I'll keep you posted as I study them further.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts or ideas and impressions you had, if any, as you read the above quotes.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Alaska Dancing Remix

Kellie decided we were going to dance everywhere we went on our trip. Here is a short montage, a remix if you will, of the moves we rocked to.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Refocused and Cartography

I returned recently from a week and a half trip to Alaska. It was amazing. The entire trip served as a refocusing adventure that was unexpected and surrounded by endless, indescribable beauty. Now I am home in Utah it feels hot, like the sun is beating down on me from directly above and the air is dry. Though the Rocky Mountains are gorgeous in their own way, I have seen little that compares to the majestic nature of the Chugac Mountain range. I am grateful for the beauty, the experiences and the people I met for the first time and those I reconnected with.

I will be making a few entries that relate to experiences I had there soon, but for now I will share with you some of the amazing pictures we saw. I took far more mental pictures than actual pictures that are more amazing than these.

This was the last picture I took on our boat tour around Prince William Sound with a fishing boat heading out to sea. Around these peaks is one of the glaciers we saw on our tour.
This is a humpback whale fluke. So amazing to see these animals in their habitat.

The harbor of the Port of Valdez.
This is a pod of Dall's Porpoise hunting. They surrounded the fish at incredible speeds and swam in a circle. They came over to the boat and swam off the bough where we were and it was amazing! They are often mistaken for Orcas because they have the same black and white coloring. It was thrilling to share their ocean with them.
Me with my windblown hair and the amazing mountains of Prince William Sound. The green does not show up as well and I could hardly take my eyes off the landscape.
My cousin Ray caught an Arctic grayling. Just wanted to prove I did fish (or rather watch someone fish) while I was in Alaska.
On our drive to Valdez (which is now one of my favorite place on to being with Josh and Brook) we turned a corner and this was our view. Between the towering peaks Worthington Glacier makes its home.
Eklutna Lake and Kellie. This gorgeous glacial lake is amazingly long and encompassed by mountains.
Kellie had me stand in the glacial river entering the lake. It was very, very cold.
The view opposite the lake....and Kellie.
The Hafen's (Kary, Ray, McKinley and Stephen) at mile 9 of the marathon Kary and Ray ran. It was so cool to be there to cheer them on.
This was the sunrise at 1:30 a.m. only a short time after the sunset.
Flowers growing on a rock in Hatcher Pass outside of Wasilla. This reminded me of Grandma Mabel, or rather I sensed her there.

The sun came out in the middle of our hike on the tundra of Hatcher Pass. I look surprised and Kel looks a little scared. It was so gorgeous!!
Kel on a rock (Hatcher Pass).
This is Ray's truck he let us borrow to do some exploring; we lovingly named it "Truck" because we are that creative:). I am grateful Josh taught me to drive a clutch so I could navigate the roads. It didn't have a radio but Kel and I took turns choosing songs we sang at the top of our lungs. Sweet!
Talkeetna, the Hippie Town.
Sunset. 'Nuff said.
Kary in her peace-full yoga pose.
Portage glacier. I'm such a brat!
Strong at Portage.
Kel ordered a salad and a side of these amazing corn fritters at a restaurant we went to. They gave us an extra order of fritter by accident so we got more for free!
Seriously...the best corn fritters ever.
We met this family (The Westenbroek's) on our tour of Denali National Park. A few hours after the tour we saw them at a Mt. McKinley viewpoint and they invited us to a hot breakfast the next morning. So great to meet such a family.
You can see Denali's (Mt. and the same) peak between the clouds in the middle of the photo.
At the Imaginarium in the Anchorage Museum. It was us and a bunch of kids trying this lift out.

Caribou (Raindeer) antlers. Much heavier than you would think.

At peace with Denali.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Begin Brooklyn Summer Fun!!

We spent the night last night at my parents house for our monthly F.H.E. While there, we had a lot of fun playing in the back yard and Brook was experiencing some new outdoor activities I wanted to share.

Brook swinging next to Nick (13 y/o cousin).

Head banging on a rockin' dog.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Karma, Blessings and My Relationship to My Food

Thank you all for your comments! I learned from your thoughts and I hope that we can continue to uplift and help one another in our similar yet individualized experiences.

The Lotus Temple of Spanish Fork, Utah

I have been thinking about a presentation I went to a couple of years ago by the Utah Krishnas (see for more information about these amazing members of my community). They have a gorgeous temple in Spanish Fork and the lecture I attended was an explanation of vegetarianism and how karma applies to all we do and, in this case, to the food we eat. One concept in particular struck truth in me and has been entering my mind lately as I continue my journey: they do not taste or eat any food, even while they are preparing it, until it is ready to eat and they have taken part of the food and offered it to Krishna, their lord. How does this apply to Mormon me? Oh in so many ways. Most basically, how do I prepare my food? Am I ravenously preparing my food anticipating not so much the flavor and purpose of the food but rather feeding my hunger and belly? Do I eat 1/3 of the dish before we are even ready to sit down to eat?

What do I take from this? Prepare food "with and eye single to the glory of God" which sounds a little strange applying this scriptural phrase to food, but I will explain. God's "work and glory is to bring about [our] immortality and eternal life... (Moses 1:39" Immortality, immortal, mortal. Our bodies are key in our mortal life. Here and now. They will be an integral part of our eternal life as well as perfected and resurrected bodies. So, we are eternal beings made up of Heavenly Father's DNA (spirits) and our earthly parents DNA (bodies), going all the way back to Eve and Adam. What I eat and how I eat it affects my body. My physical health affects my intellect (mind). My mental health, included my thoughts about everything including my own self image, affects my spirit. My spirit affects my body. And so on, and so forth and not necessarily in that order all the time. I cycle through my starting points to find my balance, my karma.

What to I learn from the Krishnas? Love myself. Love others. Love, understand and show gratitude for all sustenance I receive. So, though I may do a little taste test, first I recognize the blessing the food is to me; I recognize what the food will do for my body; I humbly thank the Lord for the food and ask him that the particles will fill my body's need for energy as well as my spiritual need to see those particles and how they react with my body as a blessing. As long as I choose what is best for me, my body reacts in positive ways to the food I eat. That doesn't mean that I don't ever eat chocolate, which I firmly believe is manna from heaven, especially during a few short days every month (women, you know what days I mean). I limit my indulgences, which is not easy, but I feel so much better about myself when I do.

I am grateful for food. I love the foods that are best for my body. I am constantly discovering new ways to enjoy foods and keep my body in perfect health.


Monday, May 16, 2011


I have decided that I want to share some things on our blog that I am going through. It may just be my own way of getting things out, maybe it might open a dialogue between the few readers/followers of the blog, or it just might be interesting to read about what I go through and how I try to work it out. However this may go, it is helpful, to me at least.

I am working on many personal things right now. Without going into exact detail and without putting them all down like a "pity me" list, I will put them all under an umbrella statement: "My Journey to Self-Forgiveness ." I have thought in the past that it is easiest to forgive others such as friends and acquaintances and even family (though forgiving family has been complicated for me at times). Now, I recently discovered, that all others are easiest to forgive and that the most difficult forgiveness is of myself. Many wonderful experiences and people fill my past and memories; yet, with the amazing and joyful moments come hurtful ones, most unintentional, but equally damaging to my sense of who I am in the present moment.

Many may read this and think "how can this be!?! She's amazing and blah, blah, blah." Not to undermine the compliments or the perception others have of me, but, in case it wasn't known, I am human. I carry emotions in my own way; most physically as a result of my non-confrontational, afraid-to-feel-or-cry-in-front-of-anyone persona I have acquired through certain experiences. The truth I have discovered: this is not healthy. At all. I am working on releasing many negative things and I have seen a great improvement mentally, physically and spiritually--greater BALANCE, greater peace and I can turn off my mind and JUST BE. It's in those moments Spirit to spirit conversations occur; I come to know more about my true self, which I plan to discover my whole life.

I have made many positive and very effective changes in my life. I am constantly discovering new ways to take care of my body, my mind and my spirit. These three things, that I believe make up my true self, need a healthy balance just as my time needs a healthy balance. To create a healthier body I started a vegetarian diet several months ago. I physically feel stronger and have learned to control my eating habits in a more effective and positive way. I have also started an exercise regimen; nothing too extensive, mainly I focus on being active at least once a day. I haven't really set many goals for myself other than to GET MOVING. My physical progress has been at my own speed and in my own time (which I know is the Lord's timing for me at this time in my life).

Having a healthier body has opened my mind to new understanding and knowledge (see D&C 89) and I am more aware of inspiration as it enters into my soul. These have become a catalyst for greater growth and confidence.

One hard thing for me to do is to not compare: not to compare myself to anyone around me, anyone at the gym, family members, and especially not to what I once was like. I love my body now and am grateful for what it has accomplished, especially in the past year and I have a beautiful daughter to show for it!

I am being the change I want to see in my world. It starts with me. So, yes I may be selfish about a few things for a while until I find my balance (don't worry I do not neglect the wife and mother aspects of my life).

I am beautiful. I am at peace with myself. I learn more about my true self everyday. I forgive myself everyday. I love myself. I find balance in every moment.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring/Summer Plans

Since Brook dominates our blog, I thought I would post some things about Josh and I before putting more videos and pictures of our amazing daughter.

Josh is doing well with school as the year is winding down. He has enjoyed doing many things this year, including some new thing such as running the stage crew, teaching debate classes and helping with debate and mock trial, coaching basketball and finishing off his fifth year teaching!! Amazing! He is such an amazing man; of course he is, he puts up with me!!

He has enjoyed his calling and has finally settled into the rigors and time commitment to being the executive secretary in the ward. He loves the Bishop and the bishopric members and has grown so much through his service. I myself am also learning much from his calling such as patience (which runs short sometimes) and love and support of my husband has he fulfills his duties.

I finished the winter semester last month and I have loved being able to spend so much time at home and with Brook! We are finally getting some good weather so Brook and I spend a couple of hours each day outside. It is amazing how amazing I feel when I can spend time out in the beautiful creations of our Lord. I am so grateful for everything that gives me so much joy in my life!

I am working a little more right now at ARUP: 3 hours Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, all day Fridays and 4 hours or so on Saturday mornings. I am grateful that I have been able to pick up more work since we stopped our cleaning job a month ago. We use to clean office buildings and a a plastic surgery business (we found some interesting things there, let me tell you!). We are grateful for that job and the help it was to us while I was unable to work much at ARUP.

I will return to BYU in the fall to finish off my degree! I have one semester left of classes then I will student teach. I have decided to student teach in both theatre and Spanish and I have already let my supervisors know so they can start planning for that. I will teach mostly theatre classes and have one or two classes of Spanish to teach at the same school. I also am preparing to take the PRAXIS tests for both disciplines. I have a lot of work to do over the summer to best prepare for those and also for my student teaching. I have the set the goal to write several unit and lesson plans so that I can be ahead for when I get my Teacher Work Samples ready (they are like extensive resumes that show my work, amazingness and great talent in order to help me get jobs).

I am going to Alaska 5 weeks from today with my sister Kellie and I am really excited. We will be staying with my cousin, camping and living it up! We have a few more trips lined up for the summer and we are looking forward to spending time together with family and friends.

Now on to the gorgeous Brook. She is such a joy in our life and we are grateful to have her as our daughter. She is starting to show off her attitude and personality through her jabbering and by getting into everything!! She stood up by herself for the first time yesterday using the couch as a help, she tries to crawl on her knees but gets board with it after two crawls so she drops to her quicker army crawl, she waves, she whistles (not on purpose but when she is concentrating she purses her lips and some whistles escape) and she makes us laugh. Her are some photos and videos of our girl!!

Brook playing at the Post's. Such an amazing girl!

She fell asleep on our walk last Saturday. She's starting to fill in her carseat well!
So happy!

The girls!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beiber Fever

It was the only song I could get her to dance to...

Such a happy baby! She seriously laughs at everything...seriously.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Daddy and Brook

We got home last night from our stake Valentine's Party (and dance) and Josh was playing with Brook. She is a giggle machine now! Always finding things in life to enjoy. She's starting to scoot a little and gets her bum in the air but can't quite figure out crawling yet. She turns circles and rolls over to get to a toy. She's too cute.

Josh's team is doing well. They've lost only one game and when they win this afternoon they'll be sitting pretty for the playoffs. I'm starting my stage manager gig for one of my classes. It's a good deal for me because the play only rehearses 3 times a week and the tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal and run all happen in the same week. This means it will last only 1 month where other people in my class have to be to rehearsals 4 times a week for 2 1/2 months then have a 3 week run. I'm loving school and loving the balance I have to spend time with Brooklyn.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Poetry and beauty

Hello again.

This week I was in a Poetry Slam competition in one of my classes and out of 25 people I was the 1st runner up! (I should have won but the winning poem was about being a single, 23 and "not too old" girl; so with all young, single girl judges that poem won me out by 2 points.) I have never poetry slammed before but I decided to go all out. I wrote all three of my poems and had a blast performing them.

My Friday morning class has been moved to Thursday mornings which is nice; this way I don't go down to school on Fridays and I get to spend three entire days with Brook! She is growing so much: almost crawling and sitting up on her own, gabbering more and smiling so much it's blinding (like, her smile lights up the room...corny but very SAD for us with her around).

Josh's middle school team is undefeated so far and will face their rival tomorrow. It is exciting! Also, he had a great birthday week, if I do say so myself. On Monday we went ice skating in the middle of downtown Salt Lake and had a lot of fun. Wednesday we got pizza and watched the BYU vs San Diego game and BYU won just for Josh's b-day. Tonight, we are relaxing at home as a family. Love it!!

Enjoy a couple more videos and pics. The videos are sideways (Josh didn't know that if you hold our camera with the longest side up it films sideways...I love him...)

Josh with his b-day cake...

In honor of Josh's 30th birthday we had a 90s themed party. Josh and I went grunge (I did dark eyeliner even...), my sister Katie (front in t-shirt) wore her shirt that said "Everybody knows hover-boards don't work on water" (Back to the Future 2), Anne and Kellie sported the over-sized golf shirts, Nick wore flannel, and Melissa wore her Super Mario Bros 3 t-shirt. It was so much fun!
More of us!
Brook got into the party too--hippie shirt, hat and all her cuteness!

Brook in her swing. She figured out that she could lift up the lap-thingy with her feet and entertained herself, and Josh, for over 20 minute. She's so smart!

Me sledding with my nephews off my parents front porch, over the stairs, through the covered grass, down the ramp and onto the basketball court. I was out there with them for 45 mins. It was a blast!

Brook in Bath. We took this earlier this month--you'll like our attempt at modesty:). She continues to love bath time and I'm sure it will continue.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 2011 - School, Discovery, Fun

This new year brought new wonderful things for us. Josh started to teach school again, I started back at school (3 classes--I go to campus every day), and Brook started to roll; to talk more; to play with toys more; she's close to sitting up on her own more; she now grabs at your face when you hold her; she smiles and giggles all the time; she got her first flu but got better quickly; she grabs her feet while she's on her back and puts them in her other words, Brook is growing and it's wonderful! While I'm at school Brook spends the day with her aunt Anne and her cousin Luke. She made the transition from being with me all the time to being with Anne part of the time beautifully; me, not so beautifully (the first day of school I dropped her off, got back in my car and cried for about 20 seconds, took a deep breath and said "I can do this, she is safe and happy"...sigh....then off to school!).

Hello gorgeous!

Josh and I decided to give each other gifts for Christmas that did not cost any money; my gift was a morning of snowshoeing. We borrowed the snowshoes from my sister, Katie, and went up Milcreek Canyon to hike. It was so much fun! It was a gorgeous day with fog and beautiful scenery.

It was requested that we put up more pictures and videos of Brooklyn (never mind new pics and vids of us:P she's the cute one).
Brook fell asleep while eating one night holding her bottle.

Brook in her "workout gym". She loves this thing (thanks again to Tracy).

Napping on Josh's pillow before I wake her up
"Heeey!" This cute towel was given to us from a lady that works with Josh.

Love this cute pink dress! I had to take a pic of Brook in it.
Brook decided to do her Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch" impersonation. Really she's getting a head start on holding up her dress like all little girls love to do...

This was a few weeks ago...Brook couldn't quite get use to sitting up in this chair.

She did, however, figure out that the chair is soft and nice to chew on (sorry it's blurry).

When Brook had the flu she snored for the first time...poor girl, but so cute!

This was last night (01/21/11) when we were changing her. She talks and tries to eat her foot at the same time!