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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

Goodbye Summer 2011

Summer might not be officially over (the blazing temps certainly remind us of that), but the lazy days have come to a close for another year with school starting up. Plus, I have been ready to shut the door on it as well. It has been a sad, fun, liberating, exciting, challenging summer and I do not wish it back again. 
Looking forward to Autumn with its color and coolness and warm comfort foods that come into season.  Happy Last Day of August!

First Day of Kindergarten - PTGS 7

it's a purple classroom!
the baby monkey started kindergarten today. he was so happy and excited 
that tears could not come for me. i choose to find joy in his gladness today. 

for the record, i totally did NOT make special arrangements 
or pay anyone off
for that awesome purpleness in his classroom
*the stars just happened to align* 

if you don't know what PTGS means and would like to know, go to:

A Back to School Funny

In honor of my very first day of the new school year I want to share a comic I found on Savvy and Sage. The following link is absolutely fabulous. I love how it makes a truth statement from one perspective, interjects wisdom, and then shows a polar opposite perspective out of the same mouth...Calvin and Hobbes is hilarious.
On a deeper level, I think it demonstrates how quickly a paradigm shift can change our passions.


Savvy and Sage: Calvin and Hobbes: Teachers

Monkey Bars Take Two

Tomorrow starts yet another semester and I am disheartened by all that transpired over the Spring/Summer terms. The thought of beginning yet another set of failure-for-me courses makes me want to cry. I would never consider quitting it all, but a semester off would be so nice-- I will NOT forget this and WILL take Summer term off this school year. (if you get any posts to the contrary in about 8 months from now, remind me to read this post)

the will to love

The poem I have written below was featured on the blog A Disposable Woman, but for those of you who have not seen it yet I place it here for your reading enjoyment:

You love me but you hate me
And it just keeps going round and round
Where does the hate stop and love begin
I need you to show me
Because it all looks the same

Wanting to love
And willing to love
Look different too
One is easy—almost too easy
The other is the test

Do I love or do I hate
Is what I do a mixture as well
Muddied up into bittersweet
I want to love
Yet am I willing

I search my heart
And find it willing
Willing love into being
As far as I can see
You accepting what I have to give

pitiful news

I finally got a grade for my blessed online Isaiah course and I received a D. I have never done so poorly in formal education since high school, nearly 20 years ago and let's say it -- another lifetime ago. I never thought I could ever sink so far beneath my potential. I am bright. I do NOT say that to brag, but what I mean is that learning is enjoyable to me because it isn't some hugeamongous challenge and hard things for many people are not so much that for me.
If you haven't been able to tell by now, I have been under serious emotional strain and just haven't quite figured out how to balance life through all of it. I feel like a serious jerk. I have the opportunity to attend school because of scholarships I receive and this will mar my chances for next school year quite significantly. I wish I could say I deserved a better grade, but I can't. I truly feel blessed I did not FAIL the course actually. I think there would have to be a moment (possibly a week) of silence for me to mourn the situation if that would have occurred. seriously.
sorry to be such a bore and rag and throw my pity party out there for you to suffer through, but I figure it is better to suffer with friends than all alone.

Save Cassette Tapes!

this must be friends and friday week or something...
I have an old friend from high school who has a recording studio in Hawaii and he did a project for me that I thought would be near impossible to do and have it turn out right. 

Suzanne, Jewelry, and The Cure

I have this great friend Suzanne that designs custom jewelry and she is making a piece for All Things Purple and I just could not wait to talk about it any longer!  It is going to be fabulous! Hopefully, there will be pics soon and I will feature her blog and etsy shop and you will fall in love with her stuff too.

So anyways, I was thinking about her and the fun thing she is designing and it reminded me of The Cure. She invited me to a pool party in 8th or 9th grade and while we were waiting for the party to start (for the boys to show up) we hung out in her room. She had this huge poster of this guy wearing LIPSTICK on her wall and she turned on Friday I'm In Love. From that point on, I was converted to the idea of a guy wearing lipstick -- so long as they can sing really well.

For your Whimsical Wednesday enjoyment, I invite you to click the link below and have a listen:

Friday I'm In Love

Moms, Pepsi, and the First Day of School

I don't know where this day went. Oh yeah, I spent it running around like a maniac...

This day marks the first day of middle school for my big boy and since he was at scout camp last week, we missed the Back to School Night where he would have walked the halls to his classes, met his teachers, learned how to open a locker, and found out which bus he should get on/off and when and where. So, I schlepped all my monkeys to the middle school this morning and proceeded to figure it all out with him. Wouldn't you know it? The district computer system was down and so no schedule. They did have the locker assignment sheets available, so I did a 5-minute tutorial at his new locker on how to break into that thing. (he still can't get it down though, poor guy). We knew he was in band, so I dropped him off there and lo and behold-- it is his first period class!  Talk about awesome. So the computer thing only made him miss out on two classes and the school put on impromptu orientations for lockers and 7th grader courses in the auditorium, making it not an entire waste of two hours.

Seeking to Become - August

photograph by C. N.
I got out of church and was pondering on what more I could do to increase my spirituality. My oldest son gave his first talk in front of the congregation and his preparation and the assistance he needed in order to do well took over a week and a lot of discipline and prayer and reading and discussing. It gave me cause to look at how prepared and practiced I am in gospel learning. I don't take enough time—on a daily basis—to ponder on the words of the Lord and actually implement them consciously into my life. If I want to be more like Christ, I should be seeking to become more like Him.

Simple Yet Very True Advice

As a parent of a disabled child, I identify with much of the advice included in the link below and feel like it is worthy of sharing with all of you. I know not everyone fits the description, but I would bet you probably know someone who does and this could help them. So if it doesn't apply to you, pass it along. You might save a friend/family member's sanity.

When the hard times come for me, I KNOW that these tips do help you survive because I have either done them and felt the benefits or suffered needlessly (obviously recognized in hindsight) because I did not do them.

7 Survival Tips for Parents of a Seriously Ill, Disabled or Injured Child

I include a label for ADHD because these tips fit the bill for dealing with the bad days (weeks, months, etc.) for that too. I know from personal parenting experience.

A Purple Wordle!

Everlasting Hopefulness

I guess I was hoping for more from my son, but I guess I hoped for too much as a girl or mom or someone suffering from what I call everlasting hopefulness...Can you really suffer from everlasting hopefulness? My BFF tells me it is one of my gifts, yet when I feel so disappointed that tears come or I have near physical pain from hopes being dashed I call it suffering.

The boy has been at his first Scout Camp since Monday, hiked in the high Uintas and slept outdoors in a shelter he put together himself instead of a proper, zipped up tent, ate fish he caught, was named best hiker out of approximately 20 scouts, and the list of awesomeness continues. Despite all of this, I thought he would be happy to see me, that he might miss me. But no, he acted embarrassed by me or something--I don't know what.

On Location

The most fabulous thing about this Whimsical Wednesday is that we get to go visit another blog whereon appears an original poem I wrote for a blog buddy's treasure box. I am very honored by her departing from her typical guest post and choosing to feature my poetry. Such a kindness. I hope when you go to read the poem, you might stop and take a look around on her blog. She is quite talented and has inspired me by many a word.

A Disposable Woman: Treasure Thursday - Laura - The Purple Lady: "Doing things a little different today. How about a little poetry. the will to love I love this lady, She's Purple! I hope you e..."

Friendship Can Be Tricky

I was poking around on Facebook and ran into a little rant by my sweet niece. She was getting all upset and feeling stupid about putting herself out there--being an invested giver of friendship--and somehow was rejected. Oftentimes, I have found myself in that position though it has not happened to my face in quite some time. (This is something to be grateful for and don't you know, I know it!)

Making and keeping a good friend takes time, care, selflessness, mutual respect, and the ever-present solution to almost any major issue: communication. When friends begin to drift apart or not need one another so much, the communication factor (lack of communication) fuels these messed up stupid moments. If people would/could be able to just say, "we don't really see things eye to eye anymore" or "I have made a great new friend and would like to spend more time with them than with you" and other such comments without guile or getting our feelings hurt, I know the stupid moments would simply melt away almost altogether. But--until that day arrives when all are one in heart and mind, the advice I gave her applies:

hurting and healing

photograph by C. N.

I want to be friends with everyone
though everyone cannot understand
how in the world can a sinner like me
ever live down whatever it was I once was

how does a sinner like me 
live down what he once was?
when repentance will not come
calling and begging and shoving its way in

into the hearts of the stubborn
fall cries of confusion
then in that dark night
God's light diffuses all doubt

trading black and ugly
for bright and delight
shining in found again beauty
clean and whole and new

different yet the same 
wounded yet healed
once I felt I could never be glad
glad I was wrong and know I am loved

loved by my Savior
and your Savior too
blessed through sacrifice
healed through His pain

blog buddies

Blossoming Friendship

Over the past couple of weeks I have been coordinating a guest appearance on a friend's blog. The super part about this sentence is that this friend is someone I have never met in person. The wonderful world of the internet makes this more and more common place, but I hope I do not ever get over the tiny miracle that it is to make friendships that cover such vast distances.

Salt Lake City - PTGS 6

Downtown Salt Lake City - Temple Square

If interested in contributing to the PTGS, please go to the following link for explanation and instructions are found in the comments section. If you still have questions, please comment below!

all things purple: Personhood of the Traveling Grape Soda

The Happy Song

 In my search for happy things, I discovered this video and believe it has a deep message hidden within it's gorgeous layers of pretty people and nice rhythm/sound. Listen to the words and take a minute to think about them. It is called Happy, but Leona Lewis sings about the realistic happy, maybe even just the hope of being happy again. In my mind's eye, she really captures how elusive this feeling can be much of the time and how much the pursuit of it can cost when looking in the wrong places. Happiness is usually peppered with some sadness, making many events in life bittersweet. I am glad for the moments in my life that have been truly happy as well as the hard times. This balance makes it possible for me to appreciate it when things are pure bliss!
I hope you enjoy the song and have a happy day everyone!

The Pianist

photograph by C. N.

Happiness: taking the time to help a young musician to keep going on a dark day

love my little {d} so much and am proud of her for putting in the effort to learn her newest/hardest song and not calling her teacher yesterday to quit

she is destined for great things...

related link:
all things purple: Happy or Bust!

The Opposite of Happy

The past 24-48 hours have been jam-packed with enormous mental and emotional stress and I am succumbing to feelings of desperation over finishing my summer term class in time and with a decent, non-failing grade (I just got my 2nd F on a test today) and frustration over my lack of wisdom when interacting with others in abrasive situations. I did not want to, but allowed myself to cry for a bit and started writing this in an attempt to not start it up again.

Happiness Manifests Itself In Many Ways

Have you ever had a friend you seemed to have a mind, heart, soul connection with? Well, The Savvy Sage and The Purple Lady did NOT, I repeat did NOT coordinate our happy stint and I am amazed at the level of correlation and support that each of our posts over the last few days prove and grant to the other.

There is no secret to how to be happy, but it comes in many forms and giving to others is one of the ways to achieve this sometimes elusive human state.

Savvy and Sage: Happiness is Giving: "“There is a wonderful law of nature that the three things we crave most - happiness, freedom, and peace of mind - are always attained by giv..."

Happiness is Learning New Things

My life as a non-traditional student can be highly stressful at times.
  • Juggling children
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Homework
  • Housework
  • Errands
  • Yardwork
  • Class time
  • Doctor/dentist/etc. appointments
  • Writing
  • Serving at church
  • Going to church
  • Attempting to live a full and happy life
  • And the list goes on...
Homework and class time slip into the mix almost unnoticed. It looks so simple putting all those things into a nice neat list, but it really is NOT. The homework this term has been kicking my rear since my personal life has overrun my student life just about off the dang highway. I must take ownership though--I should have used the emergency pull out lane and taken a couple terms off.

So anyway. My point is that I go to school, but see things quite differently than many students working on their 4-year undergrad degrees due to plain old life.

Little Things Make Me Happy

If you haven't noticed, I figured out how to add a Stumble Upon badge to my posts!  I know this sounds ridiculous to many of you tech savvy individuals, but you do not even know how long it took for me to comprehend the short paragraph of directions--clicking back and forth back and forth--between the html editing page and the SU directions. It is not exactly how I would like it because I wanted to do the permalink thing, but I just could NOT understand what in the world to do with that stuff!

Happy to Put It Down

Not to get on some rampage over women's issues and stuff, but dude! Why are supposed women's magazines over the top sexualizing women? To answer my own question--men and sell out women probably run the joint.

I was at the pediatrician's office the other day and picked up some random magazine (I forgot to bring my textbook I should be reading), I think it was In Style, and holy cow! I would have thought it was directed at a male audience. Roughly 75% of the ads and articles displayed or explained how to be the epitome of sensuality. From my days as an avid pop culture mag reader, I could have swore Cosmo was set aside for that job.

Happy or Bust!

You have to keep on doing the things you know will get you where you're going 
even if it feels like nothing is happening
--D. Jackson

Water For Elephants

The novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen contains some very captivating qualities within its pages.

First, it is a novel of the romance persuasion with the classic love triangle though set in the 1920's and 30's traveling circus culture.  Not that I am well read by any means, but I have never been exposed to a novel meeting all three of those criteria at the same time, notably the circus part. If anything, that aspect peaked my interest for trying the book out. I did not care much for the explicit portrayals of immorality, foul language (of which I did my fancy black gel pen editing on), and prevalence of alcoholism, yet the instances definitely give the reader a glimpse into that time and culture. So, I concede: mission accomplished for the author.

Second, I like how the book begins and then revisits the beginning near the end. Without disclosing too much, the entire scene being repeated with knowing all the details leading up to that flashback scene ties the book up with a strong common thread. The book totally came alive for me at that point.