Just checking in…

It has been a while. If u saw my posts on Facebook or Instagram, u know some of what is going on:

–my son, Zach, came home from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ, serving the people in San Diego, CA in ASL (sign language).

–My daughter, Jessie also graduated from high school

–we had a party for my son & daughter to welcome Zach home, & congratulate Jess

–we went on an Alaskan cruise

–both my son & daughter went to BYU a few weeks ago, & on the way, they were rear-ended (they are ok, & were protected)

–my 18 yr. old daughter became the Relief Society president over the other college-age girls in her BYU ward (congregation)

–I got a new wheelchair that can use to either sit or to stand.   (I am like a transformer, & if I have my knee brace & chest strap on, I can “transform” from a sitting car, into a  robot…& when I do turn into a “robot”, I turn into a robot that is much taller than my “human form”!  (My “human form is 5 feet, 3,5 inches, while my “robot form” is like 6 feet tall—it’s pretty awesome!). 🙂


The week after I got my new chair was crazy trying to NOT sit!  (After 14 years of sitting, standing is a bit more appealing!)  However, in the last 14 years, I have created a world for myself where I sit, so I was very limited to what I could do standing...BUT if I’ve learned anything in 14 years, chances are high that I will need to make a sacrifice in order to gain something greater. So, despite limited things to do, I spent more time doing other things:  when I stand, I lose my belly (that I support my iPad on), & I lose my lap (which means I can’t use my iPad pillow, or carry/transport stuff, but talking I can do sitting or standing, so I  did a lot of standing & having conversations.—Oddly, it has actually become a challenge to sit & talk: Maybe a coincidence, but I think my diaphragm is less squished, so I get more air when I stand…However, I don’t think our dog, Cooper, likes my chair too much, also, since his lap is gone, & he’s always staring at me like he’s saying, “When’s it my turn?”  I now have a tray (I am standing as I type this!), but our dog HATES how he can rarely sit on me now!


“Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?”

I was watching this video about when Peter walked on water (, & realized that my speech can be the same way.


I have some friends who routinely come by to chat…Rarely, do I ever sign—we really do chat!  & excitedly, I can FINALLY speak to my hairdresser (who, before, couldn’t even talk to me, cuz I could not answer w/a head nod!), & sometimes, I can get out a “thank you” to a person who holds the door open for me!  (This has bothered me for so long, it is very exciting to me!)  I have answered a few phone calls, & have gotten braver, & open our front door, & approach people (in the past, I’d never do that, cuz I can’t talk to them, & they can’t talk to me).  Not long ago, my husband went to help one of my friend’s w/some home repairs, & I tagged along to just keep her company & chat…she knows no ASL, yet for quite sometime we conversed just fine!  & I have had friends at church remark on how clear my speech is getting, & approach me in the halls to talk!    So, with all this occurring to build up my confidence, in a sense, I can walk on water!


However my speech is not perfect, & still needs A LOT of work!  As I watched the video, I could understand Peter’s thoughts–often, like Peter, I will think, “I’m doing it!” & have a moment of thrill, followed by panic, questioning myself, & then I clam up (& sink).  It is not until I stop thinking about how I did it, or stop feeling anxious, that I can again speak.  The title of the video is “Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?”  How much that fits me as well…


I have been sick lately, & a few weeks ago, I literally couldn’t speak for a few days, & I had to resort to sign language again…it was horrible!  (Ironic to hear that from me, I know…but I guess it is like swimming in water, after experiencing walking on water), & I wondered how I had tolerated it for so many years!  My family has “gotten out of the practice” of periodically looking at me, & I forgot how hard it is to get people’s attention when u can’t even make a single noise!!!  When I was telling a family member about how I had lost my voice that weekend, she pointed out how it was a good thing I had enough voice to even lose it!

Merry Christmas!

Sophie is in this “extra” choir outside of school.  They performed this weekend for the holiday season.  The day we went (Saturday) was a day filled with small upsets & disappointments, but it culminated when we went to Sophia’s concert, & the ONLY place I could sit was at the very far back of the room (with empty rows in front of us).  This is not the 1st time something like this occurred (handicap seating is often crappy), but it was just one more thing that day…

There is this new TV show called ‘Speechless’, & one of the actors is a teenage boy in a wheelchair, who is incapable of speech, & the mom is quite an advocate for her son, who will make it quite clear of how he should be treated…Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear that Mark went all “Speechless” on them, when they tried to be proud of completing the minimum accessibility requirements!

Despite that, I love Christmas. As a child, my favorite tradition was to prepare the manger for Christ: every good deed “earned” a piece of straw for the manger. That tradition never caught on w/my kids, so we did other stuff…

We have tried to keep the focus on Christ (our tree has only nativity ornaments, & most of our decorations are nativity related.–even our advent calendar is a nativity scene, & the while the actual nativity set we display is nice, it is not fragile, so it was ok if little hands touched it– though we also had a Fisher-Price nativity play set that was pulled out & added to their toys in December).  Even Santa remembered Christ in our home, & just as Christ received 3 gifts from the wise men, Santa only gave our kids 3 gifts (though when u add in a gift from your parents, from each sibling, from both sets of grandparents, & from Mark’s 5 siblings, & my 6 siblings, there’s a LOT more than 3 gifts–Thank goodness our siblings began to rotate, & do 1 family gift, instead of 11 individual gifts!)

In addition, to make the holiday less commercial & more personal, we continued Mark’s favorite tradition of making gifts for each other. It doesn’t always happen for Mark & me, but we often help the kids make each other gifts. These are my favorite gifts.

However, this year, I don’t feel very “Christmasy”.  My kids are all grown up, & it has seemed to loose it’s “magic” when everyone can pick out their own gifts!  But this year on Christmas, we will be able to talk to my missionary son (serving in California, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  After all those years of trying to put Christ into Christmas, that will certainly put the focus on Christ on Christmas Day!  Who knew I had to wait until now to find Christ in Christmas!

Christmas Concert

If u will be in Austin the 1st weekend in December, u should really go to this…Maybe I’m biased, but I think it’s soooo good!  & this year, my Jessica is doing the biggest bell in the bell choir!  And if u can’t pick between attending Friday or Saturday night, I suggest Saturday, because my other daughter, Sophia, is performing with her quartet (I may be biased, but I heard them practice, & they sound AMAZING!)



I posted several new traditional baby book pages for Zach & Jessie, as well as one of the few pages I made for Zach’s missionary album that I’m keeping:

My son, Zach, is serving a mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in san Diego, CA for the next 2 years. He can only call home on Mother’s Day & Christmas, & he can only email us on his P-Day (“preparation day”, for him, is on Tuesday, every week), which is his “day off” to grocery shop, do laundry, run errands, & “have fun” (usually play basketball, I think!).   The rest of the time he is sharing the gospel & the message of Christ, often in ASL.  (If u are ever interested, there is a link to get a free Book of Mormon, which is what he is sharing as well, on the right hand side of my blog).

My youngest, Sophie has never been sure of the career she wants…I remember her feeling distressed in elementary school, cuz she wasn’t sure how to dress for career day…I suggested “a mom”, & was so proud of her for doing it!  Maybe something sank in that day, cuz last night, Sophie had a choral concert.  In the program, it listed “empowerment statements” by the show choir.  I was touched by Sophie’s, that said, “I want to be a loving mother.”  Sophie just rolled her eyes when I told her that I loved her empowerment statement, but motherhood is the most important job a girl can ever have, yet now-a-days, it is ignored, & they all want these fancy professions instead!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for learning & knowledge (I was a teacher, for crying out loud!), & I love that girls believe that they can be in male-dominant professions!

The concert was to support breast cancer, so when the sponsor was speaking, & mentioned some of her favorite empowerment statements, I thought for sure she’d mention Sophie’s…but she didn’t, & it made me so sad to see how little motherhood is valued now-a-days!  Some of the girls even were chosen to shout out their empowerment statements in one of their songs…Of course, Sophie wasn’t one of them!

I am thankful that I was raised in a way that I could see the nobility behind the calling of motherhood, & I am grateful that my daughters have recognized it as well (my middle daughter, Jessie, has always wanted to be a vet, but not at the expense of being a mom).  I am thankful that my son is sharing the gospel with others, which also teaches of the nobility of motherhood!  & finally, I am grateful that when all was “said & done”, two things remained after my stroke: my free agency & my family (mother/wife).