Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taking the challenge

I actually just read back through my own "Month of Gratitude." I am grateful I took the challenge upon myself. It was very revealing for me to look back and remind myself of what I am grateful for, and I know I will cherish having this record of my life. I have made some big decisions over the last 6 months. I've made huge move in more than ways than one. It's scary and exciting and new. I'm working daily to be patient, to enjoy every little detail and really experience life. I'm just grateful for it all. The good and the bad. I don't have to like the bad, and I don't. But when there's good thrown into the mix, I'll take it all. I'm grateful for my kids. I wish I could say perfectly just how wonderful they are. I am so blessed to have four children that love me and care for me and bring me so much joy. As the Christmas Season is now upon us, I challenge myself and anyone reading this to take a good look at the blessings in our lives. If we can see those more clearly we can find happiness through the trials.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Holy Cow!!!!!!!!!! I had the scariest, most nauseating plane ride of my life. I was pulling back to my memory any lamaze breathing lessons I could conjure up to try and keep my food from hurling back from my stomach into a teeny tiny white bag all while leaning as far forward as I could to try and minimize the movement, selecting to listen to Hillary Weeks (all about Christ) music as loud as I could to go to a happy place. It was like riding the worst roller coaster ride for what seemed like an hour. I kept thinking that if I was going to die in a plane crash, it certainly wasn't fair that I had to be feeling nauseous and throwing up all over to boot. The cute pilot kept coming telling us in a very calm voice that the plane was fine. It was handling the rough weather and we would be out of it soon. That helped calm my fears about crashing a little. There was a moment when my stomach rested and I pictured my kids faces. I couldn't help thinking how unfair it would be if I died and they were left with no parent at all. My tears started and the silent sobbing followed. I didn't believe I was going to die, but my emotions were pretty volatile in the state I was in. I also started to realize that my stomach was calming the more I was crying, so I didn't try to stop it. My poor sister didn't know what to do, but she kept rubbing my back which did make me feel better. I appreciated her comforting touch. Once the roller coaster stopped. It got a little better. I was breathing through my t-shirt so I couldn't smell any other smells that might trigger my own reflux. Needless to say we landed safe and sound and I have never been more grateful to put my feet on solid ground. (Side note - I think I slept 12+ hours that night. I was ready but nervous for a week of relaxation on the "rolling seas" which I'm still recovering from. I didn't get sick mind you, but the sea was definitely rockin' and I still catch myself rockin' from time to time. It was an amazing trip - details to follow.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm going on a cruise!

So this will be the last post in my Month of Gratitude until I get back from the cruise. I'm so excited and grateful for the chance to go and do something like this. My sister and I planned this over a year ago, and now it's time to go and enjoy. I can't wait to see the beauty of other parts of the world. I can't wait to lay on the beach. i can't wait to snorkel, and see the countless array of sea life. It never ceases to amaze me. I would be happy if I don't see a shark or barracuda however. I can't wait to have a week with no worries. I can't wait to eat incredibly delicious food. I'm grateful that my parents are able to come and stay with my kids. I'm grateful for neighbors who are helping out with carpools and such. I'm grateful for my kids being so supportive and excited for me. They are completely awesome. I'm completely anxious, nervous, stressed and excited all at the same time. I'm trying to relax and breathe, but it's not working very well. I may very well be up till late in the night. I can't believe it's finally here. Bon Voyage!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I do love Thanksgiving Day, and for some reason I was especially grateful today! Maybe it was because I've been focusing on what I'm grateful for all month. Maybe it was because Patrick was home which seemed to complete things. Maybe it was because I was leaving for a cruise in 2 days. Maybe it was because we were all getting together as family and enjoying each others company and love. It was probably all these things combined. It doesn't really matter, but it was a wonderful day and weekend with my kids and family living here in AZ. I was so excited to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I know it's the same every year, and many times I'm not all that excited about it, but I really couldn't wait to eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry jelly, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and the closest imitation of my Grandma J's rolls. It was everything my mouth wanted and more. We also went around the table and shared with each other what we were grateful for. It got a little emotional, but it wouldn't be Thanksgiving Day without that. Yeah for Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I know Christmas isn't even here yet, but today with the Christmas tree up, lights on and the kids hanging ornaments I couldn't help but be grateful for Christmas and everything it means. I got a little teary eyed as I watched them, and then Tessa brought over one ornament that made me smile and cry at the same time. A sweet little silver frame with a picture of Mark and I with brand new baby Lucas. A new baby what a sweet thing. Showing Lucas his daddy who's gone, a heartbreaking thought. Being reminded of the real reason we celebrate Christmas - the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ - a "priceless" thing. I love what the feeling that this entire season brings. What a wonderful time of year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Divine Intervention

Happy Birthday Dad.

Okay so I'm sure it wasn't divine intervention exactly. This piece of furniture, which is a filing drawer, could have done some major damage to my body and prevented me from going on my cruise or at the very least made it not as fun to go on the cruise. I had one of those dumb moments when I had the big bottom drawer open looking for stuff and then opened the top drawer at the same time. I'm sure may of you've experienced this same phenomenon. The entire unit at this point falls forward with all the weight from the drawers pulled out in front of it. Notice the decor on top. Unit is falling forward. I realize what is happening and try top push top drawer back in quickly, but it's still falling and everything on top is coming quickly to the front edge. I'm trying to catch stuff on top, not let the whole unit fall and not get hurt. My sister Diane is downstairs when all the crashing sounds start. She thinks I'm getting killed. I yell I'm okay, but I need help. I manage to stop the smell good stick thingy with my leg. So I'm smelling really good, and luckily the oil didn't get all over my important papers. I also manage to stop one of the large candlesticks with my face. CRAP that hurt. "Did that leave a mark?" (from Tommy Boy for those who've seen it.) Everything else fell, but luckily, the rest of my body went unharmed. All was set aright, and I truly was grateful that it wasn't worse. With the way my cheek hurt after that candlestick hit me, I thought I was going to have a good ole black mark. It hurt for the next few days, but it never did discolor. Go figure. I was more worried that my favorite sweats were going to permanently smell like that oil, but even that came out in the wash. Yeah.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hot Tub

This picture actually taken in August when Patrick was visiting. Love this picture and they're in the hot tub!!

Tonight the kids and I went out after dinner and sat in the hot tub. We were sitting in the dark, the cold cool air blowing slightly and having the best time. The kids ended up getting too hot and went inside. I stayed out for a few minutes more. Just listening to the sounds around me and letting the heat of the water sooth my body. The hot tub is positioned right next to the pool and slightly higher. I was sitting at the spillway to the pool, watching the water ripple with the breeze and the light from the pool seemed to dance across the surface. The stars were bright and the sky so clear. There were crickets singing a soothing song. I was paying close attention to my breathing and letting every breath I took register in my brain. It was cathartic. I wish I could do things like that more often. They're very good for the soul. I'm so glad it is working!!! (The hot tub that is.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Voice

I've been practicing for our ward choir and stake choir Christmas programs on the past three Sundays. I love singing and there's nothing better than singing beautiful music in celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. My sister is singing with me in the stake choir. We both have low enough voices to sing the tenor part, and they needed more tenors than altos. One of the songs we sang yesterday for the first time was "Sleep, Little Lamb." The men's part was so moving, and I was really grateful that I got to sing with them. It was deep and tender and such a sweet message. I love singing in the car with the kids, I love singing in choirs, I love that I was able to sing to Mark on the day we got married. I'm grateful that I can sing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So the big game didn't end the way I'd hoped, but it sure made for a fun day. I was excited and ribbing Utah fans all day, but luckily not bad enough that they could rub my face in the loss. My only sadness came in the fact I couldn't watch it, but then again, maybe it was better that I didn't see it. There's nothing like a good rivalry. I still loves the coug's and will till the day I day. I can so picture Mark's reaction and disappointment in the game. He loved BYU football so much.

I took my kids, minus Lucas-plus T's friend, to a Suns game tonight. It was really fun. The kids were so excited and it was a pretty good game against the Trailblazers. Of course the favorite part of the night was the "Human Slinky" at half time. It was a fun day with a sports theme, so I was grateful for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am grateful for a good book. Right now I'm especially grateful for this book and the series. I loved each and every minute of reading it. It was great to be lost in the crazy fantasy of a love story between a vampire and a mortal. I have a Facebook button that reads "Instead of Prince with a Horse, I want a Vampire with a Volvo." I would so take an Edward right now. As you can see in the pix, I went with my sister, her daughter and our friend that got us in to this special showing. We wore our I {heart} Edward t-shirts. I think we were looking sassy. They had gifts and raffles and it was a whole theater full of women from 13 to probably 60. It was great. So much fun and silly. It's great to be young for a night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I digress a little, because I really wasn't thankful for anything today. In fact, I was mad, hurt, angry, frustrated, confused but not grateful. I haven't been in this much pain since the day the doctor told us Mark had cancer. I think on that day my heart was torn in two, and it became frozen in time. I think I thought my heart was always going to remain in this frozen state of nothingness, but it was clear today that my heart is still broken to the very core. This was one of the worst days of my life and there's no explanation why. So as this day bore on and I was trying to think of what I could be grateful for in the middle of all this pain, I realized that at least I have feeling. If I can feel this much pain and sorrow then at least I'm alive and kicking. I know I have something of substance to contribute to the world. I have hope that this feeling will go away. I wish that no one ever had to have these kinds of feelings, but as long as the world keeps turning it's bound to happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I know at first this might sound a little scary, but bare/bear with me. I have this baby powder that my friend gave me when Mark (and I) was going to law school. I rarely use powder, especially this one. I think this line was closing out back when my friend gave it to me, so I probably couldn't ever find it again. Therefore, I use it sparingly, because I love the smell, and it brings up so many memories. When I shake it into my hands and the smell rises up to my nose, I am instantly back in our apartment at Stanford. I can picture standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes. I can picture the courtyard with the swings, trees and grass. Faces of sweet friends and their children pass through my mind. Memories of some amazing times in my life with Mark. There are specific smells that do that for me. They might induce a different memory of a different time and place, and I love that. I'm grateful that the sense of smell can bring with it so many memories.

Monday, November 17, 2008


My sweet new friend came over to help me with some stuff today and her little girl and Lucas had the best time. They put on swim goggles and were pretend swimming on the trampoline. You can see that Diva #3 (as she's known on her own blog) is holding her breath under the water while she's swimming. Hilarious! They were both using their arms to swim, swim, swim. I love the imagination of a child. They are so creative. It was so fun to see them play and work things out through the day. I'm so grateful for children, for the opportunity to watch them imagine and grow. It's so simple and yet so fulfilling to stop and take in the wonder of a child. I'm also grateful for my friend who's talent to sort, organize and throw away helped me accomplish so much today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The day started with music. The ward choir held practice at my house. And the day pretty much ended with music. I went to stake choir practice. All the time in between was filled with music. There was a solo musical number in Sacrament Meeting, a primary song was played to introduce the Gospel Doctrine lesson, and a there was a duet in Relief Society. We sang in the van on the way to church. I sang by myself, with abandon of course, on the way to stake choir practice. I love music. I love to sing. I love the way a song can move me to tears for no particular reason. It's not just the words of a song that touch me. It's a feeling. I remember a particular time hearing a song that I'd never heard before and I was crying almost instantly. It touched the very core of my soul. It can be gospel, country, pop, instrumental it doesn't matter. I know my spirit is moved by music. Mark wanted me to sing at his funeral, and I just couldn't, but it makes me happy to know he can hear me sing all the time now. I'm so grateful for a voice to sing the music, ears to hear the music and a heart to feel the music.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My life

Today was good and busy from the moment I woke up and it's not even ending until the early hours of tomorrow. Going nonstop the entire day. I'm finishing late at a scrap booking crop with some friends and family. I talked with a good friend. I had my dad's help cutting dead stuff out of the yard. I got to see my brother and spend time with him. I took my kids to our neighborhood block party and met some more neighbors. On the way to the crop I was listening to a song about believing in who I am, believing in what I'm doing, and "that I'm a daughter of God." And I just knew that was what I was grateful for today. Not just that I am a daughter of God, but that I KNOW it!

Friday, November 14, 2008


So yesterday, I spent a fair amount of time jumping on the trampoline with Lucas. I usually don't venture onto the tramp, because well it's not always the safest place for me. Anyway, jumping uses muscles in your legs that you don't normally use, so I could really feel those leg muscles today. Being so aware of my legs today, made me realize just how grateful I am for them. Even when they're a pain in the but, literally. Yes these are my pj's and they feel good on my legs. Oh and just in case your wondering, today was a great day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad days

Not sure why they happen. I can't plan for them. The one constant is knowing that they will happen, but tomorrow is a new day. For me it's as if every thought I can possibly have come together like a tornado in my brain. I go from optimistic to despair all in the same breath. I just have to ride these days out, because I know a better day is on the horizon. I can't really take a picture of a bad day, but this comes close. If you're grateful for the bad days then the good days are going to seem even better, right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This isn't the first amazing sunset I've seen here in Arizona, and I know it won't be the last. And yet, each and every one is different in it's beauty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I love movies. But I especially love a really funny, clean movie that I can take my kids to and have a great time. I laughed and enjoyed myself with some abandon today, and I am grateful for that. But that being said I cannot end this day without expressing my eternal gratitude to all Veterans that this day honors. I wish I could thank them personally for the freedoms I enjoy, because of their service. What I blessing we have everday to be free. Free to choose what we can do, support, believe and be.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Bed

For no real physical reason, I was so tired today, and by the time the day was over I couldn't wait to get in my bed. I love my bed. It's comfy. It's pretty to me. It revives me. But even more than that, I have a bed. Honestly, I know I am blessed to have a bed to sleep on, and I am so grateful for that fact. I take for granted so many things, so I'm really trying to see some things for what they are and how lucky I am to have them.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


A big loud thunderstorm was booming outside during our Relief Society lesson today. I wanted to go watch and listen and take in the smell. There's something about a rainstorm that just excites me. Maybe it's the power behind the thunder and lightening and the slight chance of danger. There's also the fact that we need it. Every living thing needs the rain for survival, so maybe it's peace that it brings. All I know is I'm grateful for every drop and I never get tired of the smell of rain.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today we went hiking with another family. We also had our first geocaching experience. Way fun! It was amazing to be out in our shorts in November. The hike was simple, perfect for the little legs. I am awed by the beauty that can be found in the world. It's so different from Utah, but absolutely breathtaking just the same. We saw a few lizards on our way, and a few other bugs. The variety of cactus are so interesting. I just think its amazing the variety God has given us in the world. I am always in awe at the beauty of all His creations. I'm so grateful for all that I have seen and enjoyed. I hope I can see even more.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I decided I had had enough of my dagger like toenails. (I know I could cut them myself, but where's the joy in that.) I wanted to sit there in a chair for an hour without thinking and let someone pamper me, and I did, and it was joy. I invited my sweet sister (SS) who luckily was free to join me on this outing. Let me tell you it was AWESOME! I even became extra sassy when it came time to choose my nail color. I went with BLACK. Oh yes I did. And I think it looks fabulous. Seriously though, I can't be grateful for sappy things every day. I am not ashamed to say that occasionally I treat myself to a pedicure, and I'm really grateful for the cute ladies who are willing to trim my toenails, slough off the dead skin and massage my calves. Oooooh it felt sooooo good! The only thing that could make it better is if I was in my bed, so when they're done I can just drift off to sleep.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Mark received this fortune (statement of truth really) from a cookie when he was dying of cancer. We looked at each other and both knew it's truth. Every day that I get another chance to be a better mother, person, and daughter of God is something I am grateful for. Each minute I laugh or cry is a minute I know I'm alive and kicking. As much as my heart aches for Mark, I want to continue living. I have so much to learn. I desire to give. My children need me, and I need them. Time also heals, and I am so grateful for that. One of my most favorite quotes I share with my kids all the time is: If you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there. I am trying to live and enjoy each "present" moment of time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Happy Birthday Mom. In the last 3 days there have been 4 birthdays in our family. And in addition to that I've been able to talk with Patrick numerous times and then work on a project for another family member. It just made me realize how wonderfully full my life is because of my family. The love and gratitude I have for my ENTIRE family is beyond words. The great thing about family is they are always there no matter what. Distance sometimes comes between us, but the it doesn't lessen the strength of the bond. Family will drop anything for you. They laugh with you. They cry with you. They might even get angry with you, but in the end they still love you. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Savior-Jesus Christ & my Father in Heaven

I've always been grateful for Christ and his atoning sacrifice, but as the day finished I felt the need to reacquaint myself with the magnitude of his love for me. I was feeling uneasy and fearful, and then someone shared with me some recent words from Elder Packard. His words were something to the effect that God is watching, and that he is aware. This isn't new but it was definitely something I needed to remember. I am grateful for the knowledge that God is aware, and has been from the beginning. I am grateful that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die for me and all mankind, so we can be saved from our sins and have eternal life. With that knowledge I cannot allow myself to fear. I must take courage in their love for me and the entire world. I know that God lives. I know that the Savior died for me. I am grateful for that knowledge and the peace it brings.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Three wonderful years ago, Lucas Mark Clements came into the world. Happy Birthday my little Indiana Jones. I am forever grateful that Mark felt there was another spirit waiting to come to our family. Little did any of us know just how important a part Lucas would play in bringing joy and healing to our home. He has been an antidote for grief. He makes me smile. He makes me laugh. Not a day goes by that I don't realize what a blessing he is to our family.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Many things happened today to focus my gratitude on friends. It was my dear friends birthday and I was thinking of her all day. Also, Chase had taken a trip to Utah this weekend and when I picked him up tonight he told about seeing so many of our sweet friends from Draper. I cried. I miss them. I have thought about the many friends I have had in my life. Some I've kept in touch with, some I haven't. Either way, each one has been a blessing to me at that particular time in my life. Being in a new place, I look forward to making new friends. I can only hope that I have been the same kind of friend to all those I am grateful for today.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Today I had cause to feel an overwhelming love and gratitude for this beautiful country in which I am blessed to live. With this very controversial election right around the corner, I realize what an amazing privilege it is to vote and to have the freedoms we enjoy. I am grateful for those who have fought in the past for the freedoms we enjoy, and for those who continue to fight for our country. God bless the USA!!

A Month of Gratitude!

So I know I haven't posted in FOREVER, let's all just agree and move forward.

I saw this idea/challenge in the Creating Keepsakes Nov 2008 issue about being aware through the entire month of the things I'm grateful for. Originally I was going to do it as scrapbook layout, and I still may. In case I never get around to scrapbooking it; however, I've decided to journal it here.