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Blackberry Jam


You were Measured Before…

photo (3) (Large) The day after my Women’s Conference presentation I woke with the words “sing the song of redeeming love” in my head, and so I couldn’t help but share on my blog my testimony that our Father is so aware of us…so eager to aid us in all that He calls us to do. I’m trying to follow every good feeling to wherever it leads… which includes sharing the below journal entry with you.

Where do I even begin to recount the blessings and experiences of the last four months, and their culmination in the BYU Women’s Conference that I’ve just participated in? I received the request to present at the end of December. I had spent that whole month planning to overhaul my life in 2014, and had promised my Heavenly Father an increase in effort during my prayers. I just felt like I needed to get through Christmas!

Well, Heavenly Father didn’t waste any time! The Sunday after Christmas I was released from my calling as Enrichment Committee Chair and called as a Primary Teacher. Just a few days later I received a letter from my old friend Jean Hwang at Women’s Conference. And believe it or not, I could feel my Father’s hand aligning my life to hold me accountable to all my dreams and commitments. He must of known that my assignment to speak would be just what I needed to hold me accountable and that a calling in Primary would give me the opportunity to build my confidence as I  practiced sharing my ideas.

And I continued to feel his enabling and sustaining power as I prepared to share my 30 minute talk on the topic of Young Motherhood: A Divine Eternal Mission. It was so much fun to see old friends and places in Provo, and even better to do it with my mother and sisters in law! When I woke to get ready early Friday morning I felt such peace! I’m not a public speaker- I hardly like to speak in a group at a baby shower- so for me to be at peace felt miraculous! As I prepared myself that morning I kept thinking words from my talk (and favorite Neal A. Maxwell quote)

“You were measured before and found equal to your task” 

It wasn’t me thinking it, though. As I brushed my teeth the words came. As I put on my mascara they came again. Curling my hair. Shaving my legs. Putting on liptstick. They came time and again. It was like fear would slowly rise up within me only to be pressed down by the peace and reassurance of those words from the Spirit. In this manner we went to the first two talks of the conference, ending up at my venue, the JSB Auditorium, an hour early to listen to Brother Richard Holtzapfel.

Later on, as I was speaking, I felt jittery, but nothing unmanageable. I got behind on my slideshow, but recovered. I got out of place on my talk, but didn’t get so flustered that the problem was compounded. It wasn’t perfect, but He answered my pleas. Before speaking I had prayed, telling Him that I knew He’d given me the words, but would He please give me the power to share them. I’m actually grateful that it wasn’t perfect, because in a weird way, it helps me to know that He helped me further. Those imperfections were mine, but He gave me the peace to overcome them even in a moment of stress. He sustained me each time I felt my weakness.

I’m so grateful to to have been given this opportunity to learn, to feel lead, to feel my worth because of His awareness of my needs.

Here are a few of snaps from my iphone and others that my family snagged. If you follow me on Instagram, sorry about the repeat!








Clara helps…

A couple of weeks ago I spent the morning photographing Madilynn and Lily’s creations for their art books (I was racing the calendar to get most of my shopping done before December!). Miss Clara woke from her morning nap before I was finished and my race against the clock became that much more hectic as I tried to use my time between when I set Clara down on the other side of the room until when she made it back to where I was working! I got several pictures of her little fingers snagging the art before it turned into out and out mayhem as she wrestled with Lily!











Big Girls room

The week before Clara was born, Billy (Mike’s younger brother) moved out and the girls moved into his old room. We made quick work of girl-ifying the place! Painting the back wall purple, adding security sensors and trim to the window, a chandelier, and moving everything down there. There aren’t nearly as many pictures on the wall as I’d like, but I really hope to eventually add a framework so that the girls are able to fill the space with their own artwork and things they collect through the years. I just haven’t figured out exactly how to do that and still maintain a sense of order in there!  Sources at bottom.

Bedding- Garnet Hill

Silhouettes- crafted by me, hand cut and glued to scrapbook paper

Horse Silhouette- hand stenciled and painted by my mom and I

Painting- Madilynn, age 2


Cube- Ikea

Campaign Beds-: Craiglist find ($20 for two!), repainted drawers

Dresser- Gift from neighbors

Summer Schedule

It seems silly to share this so late in the Summer, but maybe it will be helpful to someone? If nothing else, it will help us remember where our time went over this Summer that seems to be sweeping by us!

We’ve been able to keep pretty close to our schedule and it gives me direction on days when nothing has been planned. We aren’t so very good at all participating in chores, but at least something gets done during this time!

I think Lily will stop napping in the next couple of days and have been preparing a couple of boxes of quiet activities. Lately, her naps are either full or trouble and slammed doors as she repeated gets up to peek out of the room, or her not being tired at bedtime. Sooo, I just need to get the guts up to bite the bullet. My one concern is that I normally get so sleepy around 3:00 myself! Hard to nap when both girls are up! :)

Here is our schedule for this summertime.

Protected: Preschool Photos 2012

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Mema’s Buttons…

One Summer trip that I took to Mema’s, shortly after my PaPa died, I took four little quilts with me to sew with her help. I just barely knew what I was doing, but even with her own stack of beautiful quilts, she never made me feel like my abilities, vision, or grasp of the art was insignificant. Looking back, I was making a very simple pattern with a limited understanding of the process, but I was determined. They were quilts for my brothers and sister to take with them when they moved to Mexico City in a few months. I was sixteen.

Looking at these buttons that I brought home from Mema’s house, even though those quilts didn’t have a single button, remind me of that giant project that she coached me through. She’d tell me how it should be done, then sit back and let me make my mistakes. She made many beautiful things herself, but they weren’t meant to be simply admired; they were used.  The embroidery was on a pillowcase, not a wall hanging and the doilies were out, not saved for holidays.  Oh, and what a practical country housekeeper she was! She kept nails and screws in with her notions!  I was cracking up as I sorted through this pile.