the business of change

Been forever.

We have listed our home for sale. I had forgotten how much time and emotional attention it takes to sell a house.  Every darn room has memories floating around in it.  I can't even write the feelings I have when I walk around in here.  But Geo and I have both felt sure that we are supposed to go in this new direction.  We won't go far, but we feel like we do indeed need to go.  19 years in this neighborhood brings nostalgia, but also a bit of restlessness.  In addition, we have felt like it is time for another family to enjoy this splendid neighborhood.  To raise their kids where they can walk to the elementary school, the store, the church, the park.  All of a sudden I feel like the house is almost pushing us away.

Strange how it is hard to cook, to go out and exercise, to keep in touch with friends, read blogs, to tend to regular things when you start to allow yourself to relocate, even emotionally only.  Distractions upon distractions.  It almost becomes paralyzing, not so much because of the busyness that comes with prepping a home to sell, but because your mind is fractured and random and offline.

If we don't get a bite here we will recommit and dig back in, happily.

Strange, the way we need to be so flexible in such a firm and sturdy thing as a home.

This Wonderful World

I wish you all could come to my classroom on December 19th and see my little specials do their Christmas program.  You would understand why I love my job.  You would understand the innocence of children a little more.  You would understand why I cried when they each held up their paintings as I sang Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World".

The thick brush strokes of red on the heart (..."they're really saying "I love you"...), and the yellow stars and moon on the black paper (...the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night...).  I felt so dumb and so tainted and so concerned and consumed with worldly things while I thought about what really matters.


It's all good.


You're looking at (no longer listening to)
a big-time copyright infringer who has been shut down.
A guest post from Kazzy's husband, Gideon Burton.

Kazzy isn't too happy today. Her voice is being silenced, literally, by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Today she received a notice from Blogger that someone had complained of her infringing upon copyright. If she doesn't remove the copyrighted material from her blog it will be shut down. So, she's complying. After nearly 800 posts and many years, she doesn't want to put her blog at risk.

small broken things, we

I sit here on my pew saving seats for my teenagers who may be here for this special conference just before it starts.

The women's choir is warming up and I see the alto on the front row getting choked up, unable to get the words

creative commons from Chiceaux on flickr

"Praise the Lord of small broken things, who comforts our sorrows and washes our feet...
Praise the Lord of the faint and afraid...
He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes..."

She is wearing a silky dark green shirt and is holding her head tilted so that her long bangs fall over her eyes and hide her emotion.

But I see her. I see that there may be cracks in her eyes. Maybe in her heart.

We are the small things, yet grand. We are nothing, yet can have everything. 

And so I pray to be washed and made clean so that when I see Him I will be ready.  And He will see me.

a sculptor

Michelangelo would say that when he looked at a massive piece of marble he already could see what was inside.  His job was just to chip away at the outside and reveal what was there.

This is the way I feel sometimes about my life.  Not so much a predestination, but a plan.  A plan that asks for me to keep certain rules and live by certain values, so that things can play out to my best interest.

My hammers and chisels are gospel principles and my free will.  These are my tools.  And then I see the inside of the block.  And it is beautiful.

my own answer

Sometimes I look into their faces and see right through.  Right to the backs of their eyes. The backs of their eyes where there are sparks and flickers and brilliant colors.

These little kiddos don't have the same kinds of inhibitions you and I have.  They don't always have the same personal space issues.  As a matter of fact, one of my little guys likes to intentionally gently bump into me or my technicians in order to kind of ground himself.  To give his body a reference point.  A place to call home base.  Many of my specials have no problem coming right up close to my face and staring right at me when I talk to them or ask them questions.  Some never make eye contact, but those are more rare.

And when I just need to giggle at a funny response I get, or a random answer to a question, they often join in because they are right there in my space where the reaction is happening.  We share it.

We are within arm's reach during one-on-one time.

Q: What color are these flowers?  
A: My mommy has flowers.

Q: When do you go to bed?
A: My sister has boots.

Maybe I need to try answering questions with something that just needs to be said, whether it is in response to the question or not.  Maybe taking an opportunity to have an audience means that we give whatever answer we want, because someone is finally asking us something.

Q: Miss Karen, where do you live?
My Answer: Yes, I do love my job.  Thanks for asking.

i choose you

blue glass taken by karen burton

Have you ever said to someone, "I will love you no matter what"?

I have.  And I am here to tell you that sometimes that is a tough promise to keep.

Sometimes you want to shake that other person and ask why they are trying so hard to test that promise.  But most of the times you just shake your own head (and heart) instead, as you wonder what is going on.  I can get myself pretty worked up just thinking about ways I have felt disappointed or let down by people I have invested in.

On the other side of things, I have found that the more I say "I love you" out loud, the more it becomes true (no matter what).

And I also believe very deeply that you can begin loving someone before you even meet her/him. Like the way I love my 4 daughters-in-law, only one of whom I have met.

You commit early.  You open your heart.  And then you feel it.  The love that you know has been there for eons, even though it is a new acquaintance.  It's like magic, I tell you.

It's a refining thing, this unconditional kind of love.  It is maybe more about us, as the promisers, than about them, as the recipients of the promise.

No matter what.

The Book of Jer3miah

Around a year ago this terrific web series was picked up by Deseret Book.  It was produced by my good friend Jeff Parkin, and has his cool vibe all over it.  I have watched the entire series twice and find that it has all of the things I like about a good "watch".  I have never seen anything else like it, especially when it comes to a story about an ancient religion and how it can creep into our present lives.  Seriously so cool.

I am going to randomly choose 2 winners of this DVD from my commenters.  I will literally put your names in a hat and draw 2 out!  The New York Times and Amazon both gave great reviews for this web series, and you will not want to miss it.

So leave a comment and come back next weekend for the announcement of the winner.

heal over

On a rainy evening sometimes you just gotta sing.  I have been listening to a lot of folk music lately, thanks mostly to my #3 who is always introducing me to cool new stuff.  KT Tunstall has some really good gentle melodies that fit the bill for me tonight.  Click the title below to give a listen.

my recording session, done in my pjs

Heal Over
Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

taking myself there

Last week I was invited to teach about 20 young women the principle of agency and accountability. In my studies I found a quote that said (paraphrasing here) apart from the gift of life itself, the choice to direct your own life is God's greatest gift.

My angle with these young women was to discuss directing our own lives toward positive relationships. To use this great power of choice to serve others. To choose honesty and integrity. To be our best selves.

There will come a day, I told the girls, when I will answer to God for the misuse of my talents. Like the times I have chosen isolation over collaboration, knowing full well that I am a collaborator in my heart. See, we will be accountable for that stuff too.

Free will. What makes us human. Flawed but driven.

hair shirt

It is harder than anything to see people you love hurting. And making choices that are self-destructive. Choices that effect other people you love. Hard. Super duper hard.

When I evaluate my own life as a way to get perspective, I am reminded that I have faced some tough things. Things which I survived. It helps to remember these things. At least a little.

Have you noticed how much easier it is to go through your own hell than to watch others do it? When it is your own suffering you just strap on the hair shirt and suffer it out. When it's someone else you live in the world of "what else could I have done?" Yuck.

The goal this week- breathe and pray and let go. A little bit.

varied refuge


Great Salt Lake
July 2012

Geo and I drove up to Saltair a couple of weeks ago. A little wilderness therapy. The sandy mud on the shore of the Great Salt Lake was slimy and a little stinky, but I loved it. We walked out to the water and imagined we were looking at the ocean for a second. We took pictures of ourselves taking pictures. Not much talking. We just slipped around in our sticky-bottomed flip flips as we walked out and back.

A week later I had myself a little pity party, thinking about my little granddaughter, and her parents, whom I love to the moon and back. Some husband arms around me helped soothe my soul, and after a little while I moved past it. For now. I know it will revisit me. I need to expect that. I am inspired by my son and his wife. They know what matters. They know they have so much to live for. This is the payoff in being a mom of adults. I love it.

Perry as a Jewish towns person in LDS New Testament film
currently in production

We take refuge in family. In places. In history. In relationships.

Sometimes it looks like an abandoned building set near a salty lake.

Sometimes it is the grown-up bearded face of your son.

the parable of the beets

I have spent the past three weeks prepping for, participating in, and then recovering from stake girls camp, and now I would like to tell you some thoughts I have had on mercy.  No specific link here (promise), but I had a little experience this week that I want to share.  

My sweet neighbor, and master gardener, brought over some beets for me this week.  I was in and out all week, and the one person in my family who will eat beets was out of town camping.  Was it wrong of me to accept this offering even though it would go unused?  Would it have been better to turn down someone's generosity?  What's more important here, eating 4 offered vegetables, or accepting a kind gift with a smile, knowing it would not be used?  What's a more Christian response?  I ask this because I believe there are many who may say it was wasteful.  Sure, on a temporal level maybe it was.  But some days I need to make my decisions based purely on what feels right.  If I had turned away that gift I may have frustrated a spiritual prompting that kind man had had to come and make an offering.

Our front porches can be like altars sometimes.

Too often when we talk of giving and service we consider the response of the recipient.  We ask questions like, What if he does not use my gift appropriately?  What if the money I give that family for Christmas gets spent on something less desirable?  We worry that the receiver is not responsible enough to receive.  We even justify our reluctance to give because we don't want our resources wasted.  But once we give something away that thing is not ours anymore, anyway.  No matter what is done with it.  Why do we worry so much about the reception and use of our gift?

Let me tell you one thing I have learned through experience and teachings from the holy spirit.

God's mercy is as much for the giver as the receiver.  

If I give a gift that is completely abused or disregarded, am I blessed less?  Do I only benefit if my offerings have been received with gratitude and meekness? Of course not.

And this is my nugget for today.  Give yourself into heaven, and think less about the other part of the interaction.

It's not the eating of the beets that matters, but the pulling them out of the ground with someone else in mind.


self portrait using the iphone app icolorama

Social proof is a principle my husband teaches in his literature and writing classes.  It is the idea of creating content that is connectable with many others through new media, and through its connection becomes legitimate and real.  Geo's students are on fire about it.  The traditional research paper seems dead once we consider immediate and meaningful dialogues that we can be a part of through this way of researching and writing.  He encourages his students to publish drafts on their blogs.  To write about the process.  To use social media to connect with others that have similar reading and writing interests.  Twitter, Google+, etc.

I think of the metaphor.  Allowing ourselves to show some of our own growth.  The rough drafts of our own learning.  Of our own lives.  Taking the risk of being "proven" through relationships.  Not necessarily to define our worth, but more to sort through our thoughts and progress.  This is one reason I love to blog.  The way we are able to feel socially engaged and to know we have an audience, no matter the size.  And the opportunity it gives us to return and report.  

Writing into a void rarely serves anyone.  

summer singing session

He Won't Go (click to listen)

A little singing on a warm Summer afternoon.  

Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

my observations as I sit among women

My eighty-something year old neighbor opens her Etienne Aigner purse and puts some church announcement sheets in there, making a little noise as she does so. She wears a scarf around her neck and has her cane propped against her chair. She is steady and strong.

The woman sitting to my left holds her grandson on her lap, assuring me that she has let him skip going to nursery because he is in strong need of a nap. Sure enough, within two minutes he is out cold, his little sweaty blond head bobbing around as he tries to settle in to those comfy arms.

To the far side of the room is an older woman who is gentle and kind. After we lost our little Olive in March this friend told me that she lost three babies at the same point in her pregnancies. Her eyes were shiny that day as she connected with me in this experience. I respect her. And an added bonus, she has never once colored her hair, which is still a beautiful auburn.

At the podium up front stands my friend who sometimes gets self-conscious when she is in front of people. She mumbles a little as she starts, and then she talks to us about the lost being found. About individual struggles. About being committed to gospel things.

And I sit here and realize that I/we are doing the best we can. Some are still rocking babies. Some are mourning. Some are tired out tending to family members who are demanding.

Some are lost.

And some are found.


my own

I have been doing a lot of driving lately.  Up and back to drop my son off at work, and then, on some days when my husband can't make it, up and back again to get him a few hours later (the price of sharing 2 cars between the 3 of us).  I also take my youngest to his cello lessons each Monday afternoon.  Like the great mom I am I wave goodbye when he goes in and flip the switch on my nice electric seat and lean back for a little snooze.  Or sometimes I use the half hour to catch up on some church emails or even call my mom or sister.  Time well-spent, even though I watch the other moms go in and out of the teacher's house with their own children/students.  

During these past 3 weeks of intense chauffeuring I have come to appreciate my one-on-one time with that particular passenger I might be transporting.  Also, the alone time on the one-way is not so bad.  Sometimes I pray.  Or I sing.  Really loud.  Or I just think.

I like myself more in my 40s than I did in my 30s.  I can be alone and be totally satisfied.  But at the same time, I appreciate family and good friends now more than ever.  

I am coming into my own.

lessons from the passenger seat

When my husband found this old photo this week I was immediately transported back nearly 20 years. Back when there were only four of us. Back when these boys did whatever I asked.

We have done maybe 8 cross-country trips in these last 20 years, and we keep learning a lot of things every time we do. And our numbers have changed too. Our first trip was when we drove from VA to LA to start grad school in '89. There were just three of us then, and I would turn around and feed jarred plums and apricots to my nine-month old.

Through the years we added 3 more sons and a couple of dogs to our passenger list. Lots of visits to historical sites. Lots of eating on the road. Audio books. Jokes. Even arguments.

But through it all I learned a lot about my family. I learned how healthy it is to explore new things together. I learned that #4 will eat a burger with everything on it (thatta boy), and that #2 talks in his sleep (got that from his mama). I learned that Geo needs a little reassurance as we head east that he will still be important to me as I stay up until 2am laughing with my sister or reminiscing with my parents about growing up in the Huck Finn place that was my home town.

When I look at that photo of my little guys in the tall grass I think, Many things ahead, my sons. Many things.

my power

I remember when I learned about the power of the first-born.  

We were sitting in the back seat of the car during a night drive, my two younger brothers and I, and I looked over at them right when some head lights hit my face just right.  My brothers scooted closer to each other and shivered with fear as they saw my big dark eyes glaring at them. Unintentional scariness, of course.  Once I figured out that without a word I could wield that kind of power, I found ways to use it to playfully (honestly) intimidate them.  But after a while I came to learn that I was really just kind of scaring myself.  There is a real "thing" about a first-born, whether it is the stereotypical charismatic leader, or someone who does it more subtly.

I like, but don't need, to be in control.  I am a problem-solver.  In a small group I am comfortable leading out.  I can do that.  Not necessarily bossy, but firm and confident enough.  I admit that the challenge I like best is charming people into trusting me.  Not in a slimy salesperson kind of way, but in a public relations kind of way.

This has been a real benefit in my profession, where parents have to trust my judgment.  They need to like me enough to believe me.  And they need to look at my eyes, when the head lights are hitting them just right, and choose to trust me rather than to be scared.  It is a good kind of pressure that I want to measure up to.  It allows me to satisfy my first-born tendencies and help these little kiddos at the same time.  Awesome combo (honestly).

interlocking circles

It has been a smorgasbord of feelings this month as our family has been in recovery, and then, at almost whiplash speed, in celebration mode.

Thursday our son came home from Mexico, where he had served a mission for two years for our church.  He is handsome and obedient and humble, and all-around a joy.  We are complete again, at least for awhile, and it feels dang good to have us all in one place.

Our family, my in-laws, and the couple that baptized me 29 years ago (to the right)

Gideon, Adam, and me

In front of our home

Benny Knudsen, Gideon, Adam, me, and Willa Knudsen

Tomorrow is my birthday and I find myself thinking about my own personal progress.

What are some spiritual goals I have accomplished, and what do I still want to get done?  
What are some physical goals I have met, and what do I still need to do?
And so on, and so on...

I was watching a show last night where a couple had to go into the witness protection.  The husband was fine with it, but the wife about lost her mind at the prospect.  Starting over, with no opportunity to maintain past relationships.  Can you imagine?  My friends spent a lot time during this past month building an incredibly strong safety net for me to fall into.  Eyes closed and swollen with crying.  Arms folded in prayer.  Throat seized up with stress.  Now I am coming out of the net, but I certainly would not want to leave these people, whether in my physical neighborhood or my virtual one.  Ever.

Now we look forward with faith, and we are ready to move ahead.  Life is a collection of little circles.  Concentric and interlocking.

I talk to myself while I sweat


I sure do. When I am sweating up a storm at Zumba I have a little conversation in my head which goes a little something like this:

You can do this. Push. Push. You will NOT be another 50-yr old in a mumu!

And as much as that helps me push through a work out, it also helps me push through life. We need to get uncomfortable and be willing to go to our own limits if we want to see how much we are capable of.


That might be related to our physical strength. That might be related to our emotional strength. Our spiritual strength.


As much as I hear my own voice when I exercise, the opposite is also true. I sometimes exercise in my own mind when I need that strength. I visualize myself with free weights or climbing the bleachers or sweating it out to some Pitbull.


It gives me two ways to get through hard things.

I choose my own voice, or I choose my own movement. Either way, I am my very own middle-aged cheerleader. I know what I know. I know my body. I know my spirit. And I know that when the two are working together I am a more resilient person.



cinching things up


Sometimes, most times, it takes two to figure things out. We bounce ideas off of each other. We check in with each other to make sure our most extreme selves are put into check. We balance and balance again.

When I came home on Tuesday there were books on my porch from a good friend. A couple of children's books and a book for me. Beautiful verse. Beautiful imagery. Beautiful moment. I came into my room and cried. A little at first, and then a whole bunch. It felt so good. That was one of my recent moments.

A couple of times since, Geo has had his moments. See, we believe in the promise of Easter, but we are still a little sad because we will have a bit of a wait until we see our little Olive again. But we figure things out together.

We talk without words more often lately. We know what the other person is thinking. We know we can't always solve things. We also know that we are being helpful when we just hold hands or maybe sigh together as we sit on the couch in the quiet evening.

Eternity seems like something you will think about tomorrow until you are forced to think about it today. I hash it out in prayer and in conversation and in unspoken ways, and then I cinch it all up by immersing myself in what matters most.

Still working on it.

Still working at it.


hands that hang down

Dearest Friends,

How could I have ever known that after being so moved by the tragedy suffered by my friends, at the loss of their sweet little man last week, that we would so soon suffer our own loss in the birth and death of our first grandchild.

We have received so many words of support and comfort through out the weekend that I am beyond full. I am beyond saturated.  I am overflowing.  This is what a lifetime of building relationships does.  It allows you to be held up when you need it.  It allows you to let your knees completely buckle, to throw your arms into the air, and while falling backwards to know that there are many there to catch you.  We have felt it to the end of the numbers and back.  Thank you kindly.

My son is an amazing man that has been a rock for his sweet and gentle wife.  He has held her hand and smiled in her face, knowing that through the blessings of the gospel they will have their little Olive again someday.  And if you could have seen the way he held that baby and protected her little lifeless body for the few hours she was in the room with us, you would have fallen madly in love with him, like I did.

We will heal together as a family.  We have each other and we have the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

All will be well.

a thousand years

I saw death today in a sweet little coffin with a sleeping baby wrapped in a soft white blanket.  Usually a quiet occasion, this one was especially peaceful as his parents stood close by to watch over him.  They were kind and gracious to visitors while they offered hugs and dignity in the face of what I cannot even imagine.

And even though there is a gospel plan which offers hope and eternity, there must be that brief moment, after a tragic loss, where we think short -term.  Where we feel the gut-wrenching sense of loss and things-will-never-be-the-same-again.  That has to be allowed.

Then, gradually, our souls come around and convince our minds and bodies to succumb to this idea of forever.  Where we realize there is neither beginning nor end to our love.  Then, when we have rejoined ourselves, we wrap ourselves up in that white blanket.  Together.  As a family.  And sleep.

A Thousand Years
click to listen

late afternoon pebbles


The bottom line is that the shadow can be three to four times as long as the actual object. All it takes is for the light to be at just the right angle. Low-aiming light gives a long shadow and makes for an illusion of size.

Sometimes people appear to be more than we think. They catch the light just right and cast shadows that surprise us. They do more than expected.

Like when my little student knew all of the right answers today about shapes. His little pebble cast a good long shadow then, and I smiled and told him how proud I was.

Twitterpated, by Melanie Jacobson

After reading Melanie Jacobson's Not My Type a few months back, I realized what all of the hype was about.  This girl gets the voice down so well in her characters that you are instantly 20-something again as you are reading.

Now, with her newest novel Melanie again captures the issue of being a young woman who is looking to  figure her working life and her personal life out.

Click here to buy her newest novel, Twitterpated.

that time

When I walked out of the elevator in my silvery shoes and wind blown hair I heard Chopin being played on the piano in the lobby. Memories. Flooded. You played that same song when we were newly entwined.

And I thought of being here 18 months ago as we celebrated our son's wedding. The flowers. The food. The people. Always about the people.

Remember that time? Or those times? Where we notice the ornamentation in faces and experiences, not just in architecture and fancy things.

I remember.

a little psyched

Monday was warm and sunny, and I opted out of making dinner so that I could take a long walk and listen to Imogene Heap sing "Headlock".  I stopped by the high school baseball field to watch a scrimmage game on my way home (did you know I am a sports nut?), and then I took my youngest to his cello lesson.

When I walk my mind wanders and I use the quiet for processing things.  How are the boys doing?  How can I serve my husband better?  What will happen to my sweet little downs syndrome student next year?  I am not a social walker.  I need to be selfish here and there.  Social in a lot of other situations (most, actually), just not when I am getting my walk on.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my sweet daughter-in-law?  She is tender-hearted and a little shy, and she loves my first-born.  I know this because I see how patient she is with him.  She allows him his time to bang on drums in his band(s).  She allows him to be himself.

And she is giving me a little granddaughter in the Summer.  Can you see her high-fiving us?

My missionary son comes home in 5 weeks.  He is obedient and humble and funny and all-around terrific.  I am anxious to wrap my arms around him and kiss his handsome freckled face.

This house of boys has been what I have needed.  My destiny, I guess you could say.  I have spent the past 24 years teaching them to try and think of others' feelings.  To not slam the kitchen drawers so hard.  To not leave their dirty underwear on the threshold of the bathroom.  To talk to me.  And to know I get to start teaching again when Little Miss Burton comes makes me hope that I have gotten better at it.

I love my life.

just being

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

Here I am at almost 48 years, and I still find myself thinking about the experiences I have had that have shaped me.  Some are smears of friendships and places and events, where I can't seem to pinpoint dates or details.  But some things stand out in full color.  Full HD. Each of these kinds of experiences has led me to where I am, from my major in college to my marriage, to my now.  But you know what I have always known?  I have always known that God loves me and has things for me to do.  While not necessarily an over-achiever, I have had a sense of purpose for as long as I can remember.  Not an "I am going to change the world" kind of purpose, but more of an, "I can do that and help people while I do" kind. And all of these years later I can finally say I am pretty good at two things that I thought I would mention here, more as an exercise in self-realization than an exercise in bragging.

I am a bridge-builder
From the time I was in junior high school I have had friends from different groups. Somehow I have been able to make friendships just as easily with people that share my interests as with those who don't.  I had friends who hung out in the smoking section at my high school (yup, a note from your parents gave you permission to smoke in a certain courtyard behind the building), friends on my basketball team, friends from choir. And I have had opportunities to bring people together when needed.  I was able to do some of this today as a friend confided in me and asked advice on how to solve a certain concern she has with a mutual friend.

I have my own mind
Although I care about others' opinions of me, I have finally gotten to a place where I can just be.  I am not overly stubborn, but I am not easily swayed either.  I am confident in my interpretations of situations, and feel like I can read people quickly without being judgmental in a negative way.

I believe the Lord has blessed me with these things.  What gifts do you have?

In the Doctrine and Covenants section 46 we read:  11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.  12 To some is given one and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

writing process

I am a book, aren't I?  


My table of contents lists my friends, places I have lived, big events I have faced. Milestones. Children. 


I establish my voice, my narration, through early experiences. Some chapters are stronger than others. Like the one where my kindergarten teacher puts her arm around me and smiles. Right at my little face. 


Some chapters weaker.  For example, the chapter where we move when I am 12 and the neighborhood girls kind of hate me.  And let me know it regularly.  Here the voice would seem a little unsure and even jittery. 


But the arc moves forward and the story opens up. Character development.  Conflict and resolution. 


my sweet little student playing with plastic animals 

I try to remember this as I write on the cute little pages of my students, and my own children, everyday. I reassess often and realize that I need to edit and rewrite. But the books are being written and I am just pleased as punch to be a part of it. 


my last 2 weeks in pictures

After recover from a wicked sinus invasion I spent the last couple of weeks working side-by-side with Geo on some home improvements.

painted walls and hutch in the dining room

painted kitchen, removed all upper cabinets (for good), and got new counter tops

held our 15th annual Oscars party with ballots, food, and prizes

had our class picture taken for the school yearbook

woke up to a flooded basement bedroom, and while the excavator was out repairing our main water line from the street to the house we had him remove our old cracked walkway

kitchen cabinets went from maroon to white.  can you say "primer?"

quite a few nights out for dinner with the kitchen torn up

Tell Me Who I Am

If you read my blog as a fellow-writer/blogger let me ask you one question.  Why do you write?  

I write so that I have a place to be creative and to express my feelings.  I write to try and create something artistic.  I write to try and figure things out.  I write to tell my own story.

In my left side bar you will see a book that I have contributed to.  It is a collection of essays written by Mormons (16 of us to be exact) about life, families, and identity.  I have read many of the entries in this book, and in doing so I have found myself inspired and connected to other people in a way I never knew was possible.  This book has been put together by my friend DeNae Handy as a real act of love and interest in our culture and in our writing about it.  I encourage you to purchase a copy or two and share it.  

Pre-order your copy by clicking on the paypal link in my left sidebar.

his face

25 years ago Geo made me a pink cake that said "Jé taime, baby".  We were not engaged yet, but there were feelings of real love sneaking in and we both liked it.  A lot.

He is a good man with a warm and gentle manner.  He loves me in spite of my fire (because of it, he would argue), and has helped me to be a better person.

I love being in love with this man.

Click on the title below for my tribute.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face