Mom Intuition (or Inspiration)

I'm sharing this story with permission.

When my visiting teacher was a teenager, she was struggling and feeling a little lost. She was the second child in a family of eight children. One week, for Family Home Evening, the family had a lesson on serving and loving each other. It was decided that they'd draw names out of a bowl and during the next week, they would perform "warm fuzzies" or acts of service for their secret family member.

During the week, my VT decided that her secret family member was probably growing pretty tired with all the extra service they were performing. Her chores were being done, clothes were being put away, her bed was being made and thoughtful notes were being left. She wondered who in her family was wearing themselves out in her service. She felt very loved and blessed.

At the end of the week, she discovered that her mother, knowing of the struggles she was having, had rigged the game and every member of the family had drawn my VT's name. The entire family had spent a week loving and serving her. She had a change in her heart and was grateful to her mother for recognizing that she needed that extra love and attention.

This story touched my heart. As Moms, we have the privilege and the blessing of receiving inspiration about what our children need. It's up to us to pray for that guidance and then act on it. Sometimes we may worry that our children need us to move mountains to help them through a hard time, but really all they need is for us to watch for those opportunities to love and guide them.

I want to do better at seeing the needs in my children and allowing myself to be guided to give them what they need. Bravo to my VT's mom, who knew what she needed and rallied an entire family to meet that need.


When Bruce's high school graduation ceremony was taking place, we were driving I-84 across Oregon, enjoying the views of the Columbia River, en-route to Seattle, where we were boarding our Alaskan cruise. We were listening to good music and enjoying being a family. We'd had to go that particular week because it was saving us over $1,000 on our tickets.

At one point, I said, "Sorry you're missing your graduation ceremony, Bruce," to which he responded, "I'm not. This is way better than having to sit there for three hours. I'm still graduating and that's the important thing."

And he did. After our trip, we went to the school office and picked up his diploma.

Veronica wanted to do the same thing. With a missionary out, we decided we'd schedule our family trip so that we'd be somewhere between Utah and San Diego during her commencement ceremonies. The idea of paying a chunk of money for a cap and gown and sitting through a 3-hour rehearsal and a 3-hour ceremony didn't appeal to her. We were okay with that.

Unfortunately, 5th grader Joe, had other things in mind. He'd spent the entire year working toward perfect attendance. We didn't want to punish him for a worthy goal, so we set our time of departure for the day he gets out of school. Which is two days after graduation.

This didn't change Veronica's plans. She hasn't flaunted her plans. She's just quietly gone about her business, accepting a shift at work that will take place during her graduation.

The only thing that's been difficult is some people's reactions to her decision. Most are shocked and have told her how much she'll regret it. Those who have questioned her decision don't understand Veronica. I'm certain she's never going to regret it. I'm positive that she'd rather buy a text book with the cap and gown money than rent the cap and gown. I know that she's an amazing student with much to be proud of, but I also know she isn't worried about everyone knowing it.

Tonight she was telling me about her latest encounter with someone who was sure she'd live to regret this decision. Veronica said, "I think it would have been easier for her to handle it if I'd told her I was pregnant instead of that I wasn't walking for graduation," and we had a good laugh.

For any of you who might be worried that Veronica is making a dreadful mistake, let me assure you that Veronica is comfortable with her decision and while she might regret not spending money on a cute dress she saw or a great pair of shoes, I'm certain she's not going to regret not walking.

I Lost a Week

A week ago, I went in for a CT scan to try to determine the cause of stomach pain I've been experiencing for about six months. That was the beginning of my lost week.

I missed school programs, church, and seminary graduation (although I did hobble in and grit my way through Veronica's piano solo of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" before heading home to a hot bath and my barf bag). I missed Joe's two highest-scoring games of his career. I missed the Cedar Fort Author Appreciation Dinner. I missed being available to help Veronica through a scary car accident. I missed a day I'd been planning to spend with my sisters helping my 8 months pregnant sister get ready for baby number 7.

Instead I spent the week having two surgeries, spending days in pain that is impossible to describe, spending an evening in the the ER, hours in a hot tub and days wrapped in an electric blanket. I kept down a cup of cheerios and two pieces of toast in four days and by yesterday I couldn't keep down a few ice chips.

But thanks to a good doctor, I'm on the mend today. Thanks to good nurses, I spent the last day in relative comfort. Thanks to good neighbors, my family got fed. Thanks to good family, I had tons of prayers on my behalf. Thanks to good kids, my house and laundry got attention. Thanks to my good husband, everyone got where they needed to be--including me.

I'd like to have that week back, but only if I could feel good and could be a part of all the things I missed.

It's hard to believe I could be robbed of so much by something as stupid as a kidney stone.


Finally a poem in Veronica's AP Literature class that she loved. She brought this home yesterday and shared it with me and I loved it, too.


The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,   
which knew it would inherit the earth   
before anybody said so.   

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds   
watching him from the birdhouse.   

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.   

The idea you carry close to your bosom   
is famous to your bosom.   

The boot is famous to the earth,   
more famous than the dress shoe,   
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it   
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.   

I want to be famous to shuffling men   
who smile while crossing streets,   
sticky children in grocery lines,   
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,   
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,   
but because it never forgot what it could do.   

This Mother's Day...

I'm thankful for my amazing mother...


I'm filled with gratitude that I have the privilege of being their Mom.

I'm very blessed.

LDS Authors Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the LDS Author Giveaway Hop. I'm giving away a hardback copy of The Evolution of Thomas Hall by Academy Award winner, Kieth Merrill. This book was a 2011 Whitney finalist.

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She's All Grown Up

I love how you're confident enough to choose where you'll go to college with the help of prayer, but you still ask me which shoes you should wear.

I love how you're capable of closing a business, but still want someone to make cookies with you.

I love how you read a novel in an afternoon and then beg me to hurry up and finish it too, so we can talk about it.

I love how your schoolwork is perfectly organized but your bedroom is the picture of teenage girl messiness.

I love how you'd like to hang out with your mom and aunts, but are always willing to go play with the little children that love you so much.

I love how you're best friends with your friends without ever leaving out your best friends that are family.

I love how you cry because something is hard and then you grit your teeth and tackle it.

I love how you stick up for yourself when you're mistreated and then forgive those who mistreated you.

I love how my heart breaks that you're all grown up but my heart bursts because you've given me every reason to know that you're going to be all right.

I love you so much. Happy birthday, Veronica.

A Fun Evening

Saturday night was The Whitney Awards Gala. I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my wonderful husband, my two beautiful daughters and my in-laws.

At our table, we were joined by the talented Kristin Chandler (who was nominated for her YA novel Girls Don't Fly) and her teenage son, Clark. They were good company and we enjoyed sharing the evening with them.

Gifted didn't win, which is the outcome I expected, but I was thrilled with most of the people who did. I met Carla Kelly (who won in romance for Borrowed Light) and Gale Sears (who won in historical fiction for Letters in the Jade Dragon Box), both amazing women.

The meal was delicious. The asparagus was cooked perfectly and Veronica didn't want hers, which made me very happy.

I was very touched by Gale Sears remarks when she won her award and I want to paraphrase them here. She paid tribute to all who write--whether it's novels, poetry, short stories, journals or letters. There is value in each of those things. She also said it's important to leave our egos out, because EGO equals Edging God Out.

It was a treat to be there among so many talented and generous people. I feel very blessed.