It’s amazing how quickly life can change. This last week has been one wild ride. It’s been so emotional. Couple that with my lack of sleep I’m probably too emotional to write this. But I’m going to anyway, I want Emery’s incredible arrival and story told.

I arrived in Utah on Tuesday of last week. Tawny’s due date was the previous Tuesday. So we were in high hopes of Emery coming soon.

We spent a lot of time in the pool. Tawnymara could bounce without high impact.

We walked all through the aquarium.

We hiked Prov Canyon.

We went to the temple. We also visited many shops and delicious restaurants.

Day after day we planned fun things, then – finally- Tawny started feeling contractions. This was on Saturday. We decided to help time pass by watching a movie. We saw Tolkien (amazing movie BTW)!

Sunday around 2:00 am Tawnymara woke with heavier contractions, they were keeping her awake, so we made sure we had everything ready. She did a home-pool-birth.

From here on out it was eager anticipation. If I were a gambler I would have put good money on Emery arriving on Mother’s day- good thing I’m not a gambler! By 9:00pm Tawnymara called the midwife and a group of 5 ladies came over ready for action with duffel bags of equipment for any conceivable situation. After checking her though they thought it might be a while longer and left us to have an enjoyable night in labor, and watching Scrubs.

Dallin was an amazing ‘daddy doula’. Throughout every contraction he would put pressure on her hips or stand so she could lean into him.

It was a long hard night. Around 2:00am things cranked up, it had been 24 hours since Tawnymara woke with contractions, and now the real work was going to start. A call to the midwife brought the crew and duffel bags back.

From then until 7:00am it was full of hard labor. Tawny would try to catch mini naps between contractions, it was excruciating watching my daughter go through this kind of pain and work and not being able to do anything for her – truly excruciating!

Dallin was able to deliver her. It was such beautiful event. Emery was immediately brought to Tawnymara’s chest and all our hands helped to rub her little body and get the circulation going.

Soon Tawny got up on trembling legs and made the trek to their bed. Mom and baby had the go over check up and while some of the midwives did that others were in cleaning up the birthing area like champs.

My favorite picture of this little family!
Aurora time.
Eve time.
Pretty in Pink

The midwives came back on day 2 and checked Emery over. Then again on day 3. It was during that check that the midwife felt she should be taken in to the hospital for more in depth oxygen tests. Nothing was glaringly wrong – it was a feeling. They went in and found Emery has Tricuspid Atresia. This is a heart disease that basically means only half her heart is working.

She was life flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. This is where my heart crumbled. I knew Tawny was still in so much pain from her 30 hours of labor. Then all the pain that come with healing and breastfeeding. Adding on the nights full of waking to feed I knew she was on the point of collapsing. Getting the news that her infant had this disease that will require many surgeries and hospital stays then she was told she couldn’t ride with her baby to the SLC hospital because the pilot said there was an imbalance. It seemed too much! I was back home by then feeling very useless and helpless.

I am in awe of Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s strength! They have taken every step of this with faith and courage. I don’t know how they’re doing it. I think I’d be in a fetal position in a corner somewhere- in fact I feel like doing that now. I think there are now hundreds of people praying for them . I know there’s such power connected to that, and I attribute so much of the fact that Tawnymara is smiling and loving on her baby in their last Marco Polo, and Dallin’s voice is upbeat and positive.

Dallin’s amazing family is heading out to rally around them. I’m so grateful they will be there to support and love them through the next little while. The future plans for Emery include many surgeries and the possibility of a heart transplant. It’s going to be a long journey. I’m hoping to get back out there and help through some of this. The distance sucks!

Between getting back so late on Tuesday, then teaching early morning seminary, then finding out about Emery the last night around midnight, my sleep has been very minimal. I’m kind of a wreck. I’m yearning for the peace of the temple and Bill and I will be going tonight. I’m trying to balance all this with the faith of knowing Emery is in Heavenly Father’s hands, and what ever transpires is part of a bigger plan. I got to spend a day with this precious angel and I feel so blessed for that.

If you’re reading this- chances are you’re praying too, THANK YOU! Thank you .

I will share more of Emery’s story as it unfolds.

While mom is gone…

Image result for dad home with kids

I very rarely leave the family and venture out on my own.

Last time I did Bill decided to remodel our kitchen, but had only gotten to the dismantling of it and when I walked in I almost started crying. Actually I think I did cry for a second.

I had just finished a week long camping trip with a group of young women from our church. It was a wonderful time, but I was bone tired emotionally and physically.

Tomorrow I leave to be with my oldest daughter. She is now 6 days overdue and I’m hoping to get there in time for the big delivery! I had planned it this way so that I could help her and her amazing husband by waiting on them for a week while they could just sit and love on Emery (Baby’s name).

Yesterday a friend asked me if I had all my plans in order to leave.

You can laugh- I did.

But then I realized I actually did plan it out a little. I left this day clear so I could do what I need to get done, only now I realize that I need 2 of me to do everything I thought I could do.

Things I can check off my list: clean kitchen, wash laundry, make bread, make food, mow back yard, take care of businessmen & seminary emails.

Things I have yet to do: clean kitchen (… I made food after I did it last time….), get a pedicure (this is not a must, just a wouldn’t it be nice…probably won’t happen) , take a meal to a friend (last minute thought- glad I made a lot of food), go grocery shopping, fold & put away laundry, pack, take dog for a walk, pick up pottery (Danni & I took a ceramics class), & I really should set aside some time for a shower and family time.

The house will not be pristine when I leave, and I have no expectations of it being that way when I come home. My children are old enough so that Bill can work and they are fine holding down the house. Danni is an exceptional cook and all Enoch will eat is cereal, sandwiches, smoothies and pancakes (and pizza – he loves cheese pizza), so the food I made ahead is more for my own peace of mind.

Bill has a ton to do with our business, so I know he’ll not have any chances to remodel anything (BTW – I love my kitchen now!).

A few deep breaths and it doesn’t look as impossible as it did before. I’m so blessed to have a family that can survive without me here, even if I don’t act like they can.

Barrier Free

I think most of us feel like our lives have limitless potential. We know it’s possible to put in the work and get results. It’s what this great country is all about!

Now that doesn’t mean we don’t flounder and flail from time to time, but we can keep trying – or not, it’s our choice. Very rarely is there an actual barrier – someone standing in front of us saying

Image result for you shall not pass

Not all the population has these opportunities. I think we’ve comes so so far from just 20 years ago, but some things that our populace with special needs may want to do can really feel out of reach.

I used to think certain things were just not possible for Enoch, marriage, driving, supporting us in our old age…But now I’m not putting any kind of expectations out there, why cap his progress?

Enoch will often get up early – like 4am early. He usually plays with his toys or draws. Lately he’s been getting out his word cards and printing them in a notebook. Today I tested him to see if he could read all the words – he passed with flying colors on the ones I pointed to.

We had to get him prescription glasses (not in pic). He popped the lenses out so he could say he was wearing them whenever I asked. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the glasses, so he found an alternative way.

I’m not putting anything past him. He’s outsmarting me- out witting me- and can stay awake for longer periods of time, he’s get the world in his hands!

Barrier Free is the title of an acting group I have gotten to participate in for the past 5 years. It grows every year, I can’t imagine how the director will continue to absorb so many actors, but she’s done it like a champ so far! This super woman is Tracena Marie. I don’t know what drew her heart out to the community of adults with special needs. I don’t know why she gives 9 months of her life a year to teach, guide, and love the wonderful people who get involved. I should ask her someday.

She not only holds theater groups for adults, but for children also. Enoch has been one of the lucky ones to be in her program for the past 2 years!

Last year Enoch also got to be in the adult production, he’s quite the versatile actor.

Last weekend was our Barrier Free show for this year. The messages from these always come form the participants. They give thoughts and ideas – sometimes without knowing it – in their training sessions. Tracena takes all the notes from all the meetings and compiles them into a script. The script is fluid and works on the talents of each individual actor.

There’s always music and dancing! There’s always comedy and serious scenes. There’s always tears from many of those who watch.

I’ve watched these performers morph into super stars once the lights are on them and the audience is watching. I’ve watched them bloom into beautiful actors, expressing feeling and compassion. I’ve watched their confidence bubble up as they float onto the stage and give their all.

While the message of the show is always a good one, the real beauty is in the delivery!

Image may contain: one or more people

For 3 performances the actors are given wings. All barriers to being a star are gone. They get all the bells and whistles- lights, sounds, props, costumes, and the applause. For 3 glorious performances they are the stars!

Getting to know me

Not too long ago I met a beautiful woman who decided to give my restorative yoga class a try. She had undergone gastroplasty and had lost a huge amount of weight. She commented to me that she wanted to get to know her ‘new body’.

That comment has stuck with me. Especially as I have lost weight and do have a new body. A couple of times I have had to do a double take in a mirror when I was walking by. Or I’ve looked closer at a picture or video of me to make sure it was me.

I don’t know what to expect when I see myself. Not yet.

I had Danni snap this picture yesterday as we were walking out the door for church. My brother gave us this coat 7 or 8 years ago. He got it from a translator in Afghanistan who decided the mission they were on was too dangerous for him and felt bad about ditching my brother, so he gave him this coat.

This was a ‘double take’ picture. I’m not sure what it was about it that made me look twice. It’s really not that great of a picture. But I like the ‘me’ in it.

We went for a walk through the Minnetrista yesterday. I don’t like those filters that make the skin look like porcelain. I like the ‘me’ in this even though wrinkles are there and my grey hair is frizzing like a champ, I like the calm joy that is coming through my eyes, and I love Bill’s smile!

I find as I grow older I’m not worried about the perfect shot so much as the real ones. The ones that have a story and show the emotions of the situation. Of course I still don’t want to look like a zombie or a mug shot, but I’m less picky now.

To tie this into the getting to know me title, I’m struggling a bit with that. You will probably think I’m off my marbles here, but when I look at pictures or my reflection I expect to see something else. I expect to see a thinner younger me. I expect to see my transformed body looking amazing! But instead it looks a lot like I thought it should have looked 40 pounds ago.

There’s a certain amount of acceptance that I’m lacking. I’m working on doing better, but it’s the automatic response – the one I have to talk myself down from each time with the self talk about how far I’ve really come. I’m not even sure where that initial disappointment in myself comes from.

I’m not writing this to get your accolades. I hear daily about how much better I’m looking from myriads of people. I’m writing this in case you can identify and you can know you’re not alone. How we see ourselves is a tricky endeavor.

I don’t think it’s just our physical appearance either. I like to think that I’m patient and loving, but I know if I’m cut off in traffic I become this:

Maybe we’re all a bit splintered. Maybe I’m not so unique. Maybe it’s wanting the better me while seeing the lesser me that makes me want to continue to improve myself.

A week in South Carolina

This is actually more of a photo montage.

~So enjoy!

biking on the beach
so many dear friends made!
OK- so the birds were mesmerizing!
so wonderful!
Loving the shoal- we could walk in the water for a long time!
Who doesn’t love a sunrise kiss?
Morning over the ocean.
2 deer
We really did smile throughout this whole trip!

Our lodging. Vanderhorst Plantation.
Why we were there.

Bill is an amazing teacher, that’s why he was asked to teach this workshop of amazing artists. I don’t get to go on every trip with him, but I was sure grateful to be his travel buddy on this one.


I will be the first to admit that I go into things “half-cocked” – as my dad would always say.

There are many euphemisms that don’t apply to my personality, “look before you leap”, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and so on.

So it all started when I went to Alec for some acupuncture. (Amazing by the way – I would totally suggest it for anything that ails you!)

He sat and talked with me for quite a long time explaining all the many services he offers. Turns out some people don’t like needles sticking out of their skin. One of those services is cupping. I was very interested!

I found my own silicone starter set on Amazon and ordered them.

Cupping Warehouse TM Supreme 8 (4 Sizes) Professional and Home Use: Clear Chinese Silicone Massage Cupping Therapy Sets Vacuum Suction Cups

Bill injured his elbow quite a while ago. He has been trying several options to help it, but nothing has worked. This was my first ‘test subject’! I rubbed some arnica creme into it and latched those babies on.

Elbow cupping – it looks like the water bottle is attached as well – it’s not!

I had read enough of the instructions to know that I shouldn’t put them over a major artery or leave them on for more than 10 minutes – enough for me – let’s do it!

His elbow felt great! He has done some stretches and exercising to help it along, but he says it’s night and day!

My daughter hurt her back/ shoulder area by playing with her nephews, awesome! I got to try the cups again! And she felt better, not completely healed, it took another session a couple of days later.

Yesterday Bill said he had tweaked his back, so I ran for our cups! (I may or may not be a little too excited to try out my new toys on my family.)

Right after cupping

I had him go through some yoga poses after the cupping and he said the pain was much less. While the marks look bruised, there are just shadows of them this morning. Although when I did my daughter her marks were much darker and lasted longer.


Cupping draws stagnant blood and other fluids that has fallen out of healthy circulation up to skin the level and away from the injury so that healthy free circulation can be restored to the affected area. Being that skin is the body’s largest organ, it contains about 20% of your blood volume at any given time. The skin has a beautiful network of capillaries that make it a fantastic vehicle to transport all the stagnation that cupping pulls up into it. Cupping creates a space for oxygen, living cells, and nutrients needed for healing. The body’s capillary system at the skin level carries the toxins to the liver and kidneys, where they can be metabolized and excreted. ~ from :LOVIE ACUPUNCTURE AND HEALING

I think of it like lifting up the rug (skin) and sweeping dirt out from under it.

Image result for sweeping out from under a rug
If you’re anything like me – I’m usually sweeping it under the rug!

Have an old injury? Or maybe a brand new one? I would suggest cupping! Probably from a professional like Alec. But – if you are also a half-cocked personality, there are so many articles and videos out there, you could get your own set and give it a try! It’s worth looking into anyway.

Intermittent Fasting Update

Wish it would stay here…

If you are just joining me on my Intermittent Fasting (IF) journey then this weight might not seem that impressive. To me it’s just 9 pounds from my goal weight! I started at 228 on October 1st, 2018. My kids got me this Renpho scale for Christmas, so my weight is documented from then

Very long fast!

This is a screenshot of my LIFE app. I have made a circle ( https://lifefastingtracker.app.link/eXwnGOkE0U ) and you’re welcome to join me. I saw many people posting about apps, but never felt I needed one because I just would stop eating and start eating with the clock.

But I sure like it now. I get to support my friends in the circle, I also get to see where I am in my fast. All those little icons along my fast cycle tell me what’s happening during that point in my fast. (You can see what they all mean here: https://lifeapps.io/fasting/the-5-stages-of-intermittent-fasting/

Since I’ve had the app I haven’t fasted past 48 hours, so I’ve never gotten to the last 2 icons! It’s motivation for me.

Although I normally do 20 to 24 hours of fasting. With spring I’ll probably try a few longer fasts. I do one 72 hour fast a month (although this is my 2nd for March). Then I’ll scatter 1 or 2 more 48 hours throughout the month.

Spring is when my body naturally wants to pull away from heavier foods, get outside more, and not eat as much. So the fasting works well with “spring cleaning” my temple – my body!

roller coaster ride

This is a chart of me going from 196.2 on Jan 4th to today. So this 8.4 pounds has been a roller coaster ride….as has been the entire 40 pound loss. Admittedly , February was kind of a plateau month – I didn’t push it very hard.

Knowing this about my body helps me not give up.

These longer fasts kind of kick my body down, then once I start eating it goes up. But the downs get lower, and my ups don’t go as high.
My goal is 179 for now. Initially it was getting under 200, and I choose to continue from there. Once I get to 179 I’ll re-evaluate it all.

I don’t have a date set for 179 (it was supposed to be 180, but I couldn’t get the line onto the right place on the app.) I had my 50th birthday as my goal for the 40 pound loss, missed it by a few weeks. I am slowing down on my weight loss a bit. If I continue on this trajectory I imagine I can get to my goal around my 30th wedding anniversary, May 5th.

So now you know all the numbers! Now you can keep me accountable.

Some things I love while fasting: lots and lots of water, I just found sparkling mineral water for these longer fasts, pebbles of salt when I feel like I’m hungry, Cafix or Teecino, and mint tea.

You are welcome to comment with your fasting tricks, or with questions!

Why everyone should do Yoga before Zumba

So maybe not in the same day – but I’m talking over all. In fact I think yoga should be the first exercise a person learns, then try something new.

Let me tell you why…

While going through these poses a certain amount of body awareness naturally happens. We start to feel a connection with the body, the way the muscles move, the way our joints open, and the way our breath guides it all.

Women silhouettes. Collection of yoga poses. Asana set.

Usually a yoga practice is slow and thoughtful. The mind has time to visit the areas of the body that are being engaged. This body awareness helped me as I hopped, swayed, and shimmied my way through a Zumba class today

set silhouettes zumba dancers

As we did some twisty thing (like a belly dancer – the teacher – not me! – not yet…) I was able to put thought into my abs a feel the way they were supposed to move. Leaning into lunges I was able to know the form and flow that naturally occurs in so many yoga posses.

Something else yoga did for me was allow myself to move without judgement. I might not be able to “shake it shake it


I love the way Sun salutations flow from one asana to another, same with the Moon Salutes, although they require a little more balance. But over all –

it’s the flow.

I love the seemlessness, the grace, and the muscle control used in moving from one pose to another.

The tendency is to focus on the pose itself, but I think the movements between the asanas might be just as important.

I’ve been playing with transitions more in my practice. I tried to put in a video of my recent experiment, I hope you are able to see it, not because it’s super fantastic – it still needs improvement. But because it’s a work in progress.


Danni was able to get this embarrassing image of me falling down. (Thanks Danni!) A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to ditch the wall with my headstand. This did end as funny as it looks like it might have…

falling down!

Next time I tried I asked for help!

Bill stood behind me and I tried my headstand again. But this time I also decided to switch my hands to the front to allow me a little better foundation. It ended up that he didn’t have to help, I was able to get my legs up and hold without a problem.

Lessons learned: 1- Having a spotter gives me confidence to try something new. 2- I’m not too old to learn new tricks.

The thought of using a headstand in a flow excited me! The only thing I could think of for transition was crow. Then the flow brought itself to life! Going from crow to the headstand was a leap of faith for me. Could I make it smoothly (the video doesn’t look that smooth- I actually did better in practice!)?

I went through the flow I wanted in my head over and over until I knew how I wanted it to go, then put it all on the mat!

Are transitions in life similar?

We all go through transitions- I have them sub-categorized:

Baby bear transitions; new hair cut, changes to my schedule, helping a friend in an emergency, etc.

Mama bear transitions; getting really sick, appliance or car conking out, child going to college or getting married, etc.

Papa bear transitions; loss of a loved one, relocation, loss of a job, ended marriage, etc.

Of course we all have to deal with transitioning because of any and all of these possibilities in our lifetime. I think some more than others though.

The movements between the holds- the little things in life, it takes courage, time, patience and fortitude to move from one hold to another.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Stack of buckwheat pancakes

When Bill and I were in Colorado we would eat at a little breakfast place (which I tried so hard to find – but can’t now) – it was at this place we first tried buckwheat pancakes. Mostly because they ‘sounded’ healthy. Bill fell in love with them, and I have – for the past 20 years, been making them for him! I like them too – don’t get me wrong, but there’s a different taste to them.

They have a heartier taste. The spices and molasses in them give a nod to ginger bread. My kids grew up on these babies.

No wheat was harmed in the making of these pancakes!

Buckwheat is actually a seed, like quinoa and amaranth. It’s easy to put it in the grain category because of it’s name. There’s no gluten in buckwheat. Just a little information – I am not adverse to gluten – but there are some who are.

Buckwheat in the grinder

I grind my flours. I usually grind enough buckwheat to take me through a couple of weeks worth of pancakes. I make them pretty much every other day (Bill makes his smoothies on the off days, and Saturday is waffle day!).

dry ingredients

I’m sure at one point I started with a recipe, but I have no idea what it is. I generally throw the ingredients in by rote now.

add wet ingredients

I think I have an idea of the amounts that I’ll share with you, but feel free to tweek and change.

buckwheat pancake batter

Why even try it?

According to Buckwheat 101: Nutritional Facts

(https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/buckwheat )

Buckwheat has become popular as a health food in many countries, due to its high amounts of minerals and various antioxidants. It has also been shown to provide health benefits, including improved blood sugar control.

The nutritional value of buckwheat is considerably higher than that of many other grains.

on the griddle

For us – it was just a healthy breakfast option that everyone seems to love.

Here’s my best guess at the recipe!

2C. flour

1/4 C brn sugar

just shy of 1 Tbls baking powder

1/2 Tbls Cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp clove

(whisk all that together)

add 2 eggs

1/2 C oil

1/4 C molasses (Bill likes more!)

1 & 1/2 C milk (or your choice – we use almond)

whisk that in and ladle onto a hot griddle.

Flip when you see the bubbles.

So this is one of a few recipes I feel share worthy.

Let me know what you think! I’m always looking for ways to improve it.