New Tradition

back to school feast 2015

Tonight my family and I started a new tradition: a back-to-school dinner feast with a theme for the year. I discovered this idea from blogger Stephanie Nielson from

After searching for ideas, Jim and I settled on reaching your highest potential, both in school and as a child of God. I found this wonderful quote from a talk from President Gordon B. Hinkley, a prophet who died in 2008. Here is the quote I used:

“You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind, a body, and a spirit. With these three things, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require effort, sacrifice, and faith.”

Potential Plaque

Noah's crown

We will talk about reaching our potential every day, especially as this theme includes adults as well. Jim also gave Noah a back-to-school blessing before he went to bed that he will have a great school year and enjoy learning.



Six months ago my faith and resilience was challenged in a VERY unexpected way. My son revealed a hidden pain and struggle, along with some terrible decisions that have led me to self-doubt and guilt.

Because, seriously, how could I NOT have known this whole other side of him? I knew he had the typical teenage angst that comes with finding his way in this world, but this was a whole other level.

I’m grateful for the gift of the Atonement. I KNOW that my Savior, Jesus Christ, knows me, loves me, and atoned for my sins. He also felt my feelings of despair, confusion, pain, as well as my happiness! He knows how to help me help my family overcome our unique challenges, and for that, I’m full of faith, and grateful for Him.

I’m a Mormon, and if you’re interested, click on this picture to read about my faith.   temple-i-believe-blue-silhouette

A Grateful Heart

I love Jim. He is a patient, supportive husband who is my best friend. We have been through many challenges in our almost twelve years of marriage, and I’m so grateful that we’ve grown stronger as a result.

Jim and Jen I’m so grateful that Jim is my husband, because he is my other half. A number of my friends do not have happy marriages, which saddens me, yet helps me remember my blessings.

Missing My Son

Life is tough at the moment. My fourteen-year-old son has been at a residential ranch since April. He had a traumatic early childhood, and some of these memories have come back to haunt him.

Seth with his long curls.

My husband, Jim, and I talk to him every Sunday (except on the weekends we get to visit him). He suffers from a mood disorder that causes dangerous, scary behavior, where we end up calling 911 so he can be evaluated. My heart is sad at his absence, but the alternative is even more frightening.

I’m grateful for my faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who will heal our minds, bodies, and hearts when we pray for His help. I’ve prayed for patience throughout this trial, to avoid pulling Seth from the ranch healing program. They progress through five levels of both reading and work before their graduation. I love knowing that they have year round school to help his reading fluency.

Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.

Seth after I cut off his beautiful curls.

So while it’s difficult not knowing when he will be able to return home, I’m glad to know he’s in a safe place where he can work through his suppressed anger and sadness. I look forward to the day when he is healthy and happy!


I have experienced numerous changes in the last ten years. Changes such as infertility, adoption, and unemployment to name a few.

Now I am ready to begin making deals in my new real estate investment business. In my mind it seemed I’d be a bit older when I began writing my life story. However, with my memory problems, and the fact that I haven’t recorded my life events in my journal, now is the best time to begin.

I want to publish my memoir someday because I’ve experienced immense joy and have overcome many obstacles that I want my children and grandchildren to read someday.

The Book of Mormon

Happy Memorial Day!

Today I think of my beloved father-in-law. He’s a World War Two veteran who sadly left this earth in 2011 at the age of 90.

I’m grateful to all of our veterans, from every war, who fought and died so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. It is my hope that we as a country will remember the veterans who are alive today, whose wounds may be unseen.

Happy Memorial Day!

Writing Again!

Wow, it’s been a while seen I’ve written a post! I have been busy working on my new real estate investment business since December. It’s been exciting, stressful, scary, and fun so far. Going into this, I knew this would be difficult for so many reasons. I expected the neck pain, fatigue, and general day to day busyness in raising my children. However, the day after Valentine’s Day, my teenage son scared me with an intense emotional outburst. As with almost every teenage boy, it started with a girl. One he liked at the time. And after discussing it with some friends, discovered something I’d forgotten: I’m not the only one experiencing this, and we found it immensly helpful to KNOW we are not alone.

After taking a six week break from progressing with my business, last Saturday I attempted to start reading my paperwork to refresh my new knowledge. Unfortunately, it was very difficult for me to concentrate as a result of my son’s severe mood swings.

I am LDS (a Mormon), and watched the Church’s General Conference today from the comfort of my home. The importance of marriage and family seemed to come from every speaker, and it occurred to me that my family has GREATLY struggled lately.

I asked myself, “why haven’t you written about this? No wonder you’re always stressed out.” As I thought more about this, it occurred to me that just because I did not have time to write a novel, it didn’t mean that I shouldn’t write ANYTHING!

So I’m opening up my word documents again, and will write about the things that make me happy or cause me stress, and I’ll even blog about some of it.

New Adventure

This year has gone by so fast! It’s hard to believe that today is December 29th already, (which is also my mother’s birthday) when it seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the holidays.

I may not be posting for a while. I’ve always wanted to work in real estate, but not as an agent, and am now learning about real estate investing. I’m starting my own business, hoping to make some extra money to pay for my surgery and any additional health care procedures or costs that may occur in 2015.

One of the reasons I’m doing this (I’m the one learning and working with a mentor), is so that my husband will day be able to retire and work on both our manuscripts and our real estate business.

One blessing I’m grateful for is the practice I have from writing in both my fictional manuscripts and my blog posts for the last five years. While I was interviewing for this mentor’s program, they asked to me write down in an email what my goals were for the next year, and why I wanted to learn real estate and start a new business, in 20 – 30 minutes, so they could read my answer before our last phone call.

It suddenly seemed like I was a contestant on a reality T.V. show, and I was so nervous. But not because of the writing part. That seemed easy; I was nervous because of this new opportunity in a completely different field.

I’ve been studying, (and would be now if their website wasn’t down), and learning such clever and creative ideas on how to invest in real estate without using any of my money. My mind is able to grasp this new knowledge and seems to be sharpening my memory. I miss writing in my fictional world, and hope that my husband and I will one day work together. Side by side on the couch with our own lap tops, each writing our part of the story. I’ll try to write when I can, and post here as I settle into this new business.

My Second Neck Fusion

Five weeks ago I had a second cervical fusion. Sometimes it seems to be healing, but if I turn my neck too sharply, or turn my head to check the clock in my bedroom, my neck cracks and it hurts!

My new surgeon told me that my cervical MRI showed that between my vertebra and arthritis, I have the spine of an 80 -year-old woman. The strong muscle relaxers seem to make by brain a bit foggy, though it could be from my Fibromyalgia.

So, I’m been taking from my novels and short story to a blog about my fibromyalgia to document my progress. And the pain. Resting is all I can do to help my neck fuse with C4, C5, and C6. I can’t remember if C7 was included or not. Fibro fog is so aggravating, and I wish it would go away.

I hope to return to my fiction writing soon, because at the moment my characters are not talking to me anymore. I fear they’ve given up on me as a writer.

Life works in cycles, or seasons, if you will. Between my healing, my father’s not feeling well these days, and raising two sons, my time to write my novels is why I do what I do.

Eerie Picture

enchanted-background.jpgPicture retrieved from Getty Images

This is the picture that inspired my new short story, Crossing Over. These Spirits appear to be ‘walking’ on water as if trying to reach a destination, and the green background gave me the idea of the powerful evil Spirit known as the Dark One. He uses a powerful mist to disorient and kill anyone who travels in this part of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are thousands of trapped Spirits who can’t cross over into the Spirit World because of his power. My protagonist, Maria, who is the most recent victim, is confused by the mist until she sees Him. She and her family realize that there accident was the result of this evil one, and are dismayed. Maria is now determined to find a way to defeat the Dark One with the help of her new friends.