Featured Post

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...

All Things Purple Top Ten of 2011

For your reading and viewing enjoyment, click each title...

TEN.  I Will Survive!

NINE.  Everlasting Hopefulness

EIGHT.  Another Chapter in My Project

SEVEN.  A Few Things I Cannot Photograph

SIX.  An Angel Has Flown

FIVE.  The Best Pumpkin Cookie Recipe Yet Written

FOUR.  A Bit of Small Talk

THREE.  The Best White Bread Recipe Yet Written

TWO.  My Hope For Eternity

ONE.  In Her Footsteps

When I began this adventure, I could never have known how well-loved my poetry and other musings would become. All I can do is look forward to the approaching year and what is in store for All Things Purple: the blog. Knowing that people like what I share causes me to hope more than I dared to before and to see that I can reach farther than I thought possible.

Thank you for reading, enjoying, and sharing these pieces of my heart.

Reflection and Resolution

I will preface my list with an explanation...

I don't really believe in making New Year's Resolutions. There is something all too shallow about a practice so widely unsuccessful and, in reality, hailed for its ineffectiveness. Statistics, comic strips, jokes, etc. displaying the ridiculousness of the practice keep me from participating. I am a goal-driven sort of person, and if I make the effort to set a goal, creating a joke out of it just bothers me and it is not worth my time. I take my goals seriously; probably too seriously at times, I am sure.With all these things said, I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the hopes I have for this coming year.

a sense of the future

I can write forever in my spirit
The night dims unseeing eyes,
Closes one path for me,
Opening my eyes to love

I can see forever in this moment
The light that shines between us
Creates a spark of hope
Leading me to love you

I will feel forever in your embrace
The confidence always shared
Inspires a thread of words
Proving you will love me

I can hear forever in a whisper
The remembrance brought to mind
Heals a wound from love
Giving new love through you

Honesty and the Forgotten Tradition

Monkey #2 came to me and said, Mom, we forgot to go caroling this year. I looked at him and, for a moment, wished I could let him believe that statement.

I have taken my children caroling during every Christmas season for around twelve years now. I took them by myself most of that time. I took them when it was freezing outside. We went even if everyone promised they hated singing. We went even though I knew I would be singing a solo with a few back up singers in sections. We went because I know how much fun it is to feel the Holy Spirit as you sing praises on someone's doorstep and how it brings everyone the gift of music during Christmas time. You don't need money to go caroling, just a faithful heart and the courage to sing.

But, life as I know it has been crumbling around me for a very long time. I have had to learn survival tactics, such as recognizing when you just shouldn't do something--no matter how fun or fabulous it might have been--because you will be frazzled the whole time and then, it isn't really fun or fabulous anyway. So it is just better to cut your losses. That seems to be my new theme for life: Cut your losses and Keep your sanity.

I {heart} Music

From a very young age, the love of music was instilled in my heart. I like to sing; listening to music is part of daily life around my house; I enjoy watching movie musicals; going to live musical theater makes my heart sing. With these facts about myself made known, I am impressed to include music on my blog. I have heard, from time to time, that some people do not like blogs with music players on them. But, I know music is an essential layer of my blog. My hope is that as I very carefully choose the songs that play on here, my readership will come to know me better and will be able to accept the entire package found on All Things Purple: the blog. Or, at the very least, not get bothered.

As we prepare for a fresh new year, I have curated yet another set of musical selections for the All Things Purple community to enjoy. And as always, suggestions for new or possibly new to me songs/artists are very welcome.

The Santa Conspiracy

At my house growing up, Santa Claus always wrapped our gifts in the most beautiful paper--different from the rest; with the largest, most shiny bows on top; and the tags were always written in the most perfect handwriting possible. He (she, my mother) stuffed the stockings with treats, gadgets, and thoughtful little gifts. And Santa ALWAYS left a 2 lb. box of Nuts 'n' Chews from See's Candies, my mom and dad's favorite kind. I think that is why I prefer the soft centers--I got burned out on all that chewy stuff!

The sad part about all this lovely preparation is that my Santa bubble was burst, on purpose, when I was around five years old. I do not like to (nor ever really do) talk about these two people, but without some explanation you will not understand--

I had two older half siblings who found joy in torturing and abusing me. This year, that Santa's origin was revealed to me, is the first memory of their abuses that has been seared upon my heart.  If I think too hard on it, I can still feel the wound. It's probably because it opens up the door for recollection of all the more heinous crimes. Although, stealing the magic of a child's Christmas is quite the crime...

The Refiner's Blowtorch

When life is beating you hard against the rocks, 
When you can not see the silver lining,
When children do opposite from what you taught,
When chaos looks like the force that's guiding, 
When choices are almost always made for you,
When family mandates harsh abandon, 
When lack of money shackles what you can do,
When love and disdain comes from the same one,
When pain overwhelms the strongest of the strong,
When death's darkness rapidly encroaches,
When everything slashes at your happiness, 
When everything seemingly crushes your hope,

they say it's called the Refiner's fire. 

I say-- it's more like a scorching Blowtorch.

I'm a mess, but am I a beautiful one?

I was chatting on Facebook with some cousins and they recommended Jason Mraz to me. I asked, Is he a guy or an author? I guess the answer would have been yes for both, but whatever. (I have books on the brain and think everyone's an author until proven otherwise.) They quickly let me know that Jason Mraz is a singer/songwriter and that they think I might like his stuff. Never having heard of him before, but trusting the thoughtfulness of these two cousins of mine, I invited them to share their favorite songs via youtube.

Does my family know me, or what?!  

"A Beautiful Mess" is most likely my new favorite song. The words touch a tender chord in me. All I can think is how I wish for this to be my song, though I do not have someone who sees me with this perspective. I want someone who sees that I can do everything in the state that I am, not changed into something they want me to be. Then, on the other hand, it's also just an overly romantic catalyst for self-pity and crying and I should stop listening to it out of self-preservation.

Either way, the music and lyrics float ever so softly across my body and soul and take me away to Neverland—for just a moment.

Favorite lines from A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz:

Belandaria Designs Meets The Purple Lady

What do you get when you combine forces of a Purple Maven and a Jewelry Artisan Supreme? 

The beginning of something so purplicious you won't be able to stop yourself from joining in...

The Purple Lady Gets Her Photograph Taken

I have this amazing friend. Her smile is sunshine personified. She gives of her time and talents like they're going out of style. And one of her talents happens to be photography-- one of my favorite things ever.

It had been WAY too long since we had done a photo session, or even hung out for that matter. So, last week we did the whole carpe diem thing, bit the bullet, stopped to smell the roses, and took a load of fabulous photographs!

The location is on the campus of Brigham Young University. 

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did creating them. 

Crossed Quote Taken Out of Context

I think about the journey I have been on so far in life, school, motherhood, blogging, and I can only sit back and be amazed that I am still standing. This goes for nearly everyone I know as well. Each day that we pass through teaches us new things. Some days are difficult to choke down, some nearly choke us to death with tears, while some show us what joy is all about.

Most of my days have been absolutely peppered with stress and heartache-- for about four years now, yet I can still smile. I read blog posts, at least once a week, about people suffering with major illness or financial ruin or grief over some type of loss. We are all going through the fire that might refine us.

I am reminded of a section of the novel Crossed by Ally Condie as I ponder on the difficult journey we all are on right now. Ky and Indie are in the canyon. Indie asks him a personal question and Ky thinks to himself,
I don't want to answer but I can tell we're on the edge. It's as though she holds to the walls of the canyon. If I move wrong she will look over her shoulder, let go, and take her chances with the fall.
This reminds me too much of the canyon walls I am climbing right now, except I am Ky and Indie put together. I see both sides and can place myself in either shoes.

holiday haiku

I have written a few selections of haiku for your reading enjoyment this holiday season:

Hot Chocolate

marshmallows melting
cocoa aroma wafting
cooling, then tasting!

Christmas Lights

drive through the city
crooning our necks to see
electric magic


Love in a package
confined with ribbons and bows
tangible delight

New Year's Eve

forgetting, remembering
time to start anew

Mindy Gledhill: the Epitome of Whimsical

This will be the second time I have featured Mindy Gledhill for a Whimsical Wednesday, and it's because she fits like a puzzle piece into the last empty spot. Her singing voice has a sparkle to it and she puts out these fabulously unique  music videos: chock full of texture, color, feeling. I am officially enchanted.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did!
And please, don't forget to scroll down and pause the music player prior to starting the video.

I {heart} Purple Hearts - Purple Quotes 8

Since I was a young girl, I have loved hearts and flowery things. The first thing I think about is how I used to have this pair of tights with hearts speckled all over them like tiny little polka dots and I wore them until they were WAY too small.

Another thing I think about when I see heart-shapes is all the love that I have in my life. I love my children so dearly; my family loves me and I love them; and there are too many friends for me to count whom I love very much.

Then, there is the love of the Savior, my Redeemer, who loves me and provides me with an ever watchful care through all the stages of my life. I could not make it through some of the trials I experience without my testimony of His redeeming love.

a delicate strength

I meet this day with trepidation,
although I know inside I should not fear.
My head and heart are disconnected,
and I cannot tell what is most dear.

People come and go around me,
yet I am quite the solitary soul.
No one here to hear my cries.
No one here who wants my goals.

I feel my loneliness so poignantly
that I can nearly touch it with my hand
until I remember who I am--

I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am intelligent.
I am me.

And someone will see me.
Someone will care.
I just cannot see when.
I just cannot see who.

Why Did I Watch That Movie?!

I just finished watching the worst movie I have seen in a long time.

I really try to be choosy with what I watch, so I don't have to say stuff like I just said very often. Like, I can't even remember when was the last time I made that statement. Well, until just three sentences ago.  And now you can probably get a feel for how CRAZY. STUPID. Crazy Stupid Love turned out.

Christmas Decor DIY Project

Last Saturday was simply fabulous. I got to hang out with my crafty sister-in-law (you can check out her awesomeness on My Artistic Ventures) and two of her friends. We crafted all afternoon. I can't quite pin down what was so magical about the day, but it just was. Trust me. Beads, glitter, paint, and ribbon somehow equal bliss when combined with a few intriguing and intelligent people to hang out with.

So anyways, I thought I would do a short DIY instruction and show off what I put together. This will be my first DIY craft post (and possibly my last if it turns out goofy) so just ask any questions in the comments and I will attempt to give quick replies.
Photographed by The Peacock Girl

my perfect square

When I was born, I was an untouched square. Then—life happened.
Crumpled, torn, ripped, and shorn: all providing experience.
Crumpling helps me find courage, when afraid, to speak out against atrocities.
Tearing strengthens me against weakness when I want to fall apart.
Ripping to bits proves that I can pull myself together; no matter how impossible it may seem.
Now, I am in the midst of my shearing: shorn of pride, shorn of dignity, shorn of happiness.
As with shearing of sheep, once this season has passed, once I have learned what I should,
I will grow more beautiful—pure and white and untouchable—once it is over.  

*inspired by the children's book Perfect Square by Michael Hall

broken hearts heal

My heart broke. 

While time flew by me, I stood still.

Confidence departed as anxiety and grief moved in.

No matter the day, I continue to stand still, afraid to move forward, afraid of change.

Loving used to be my nature, giving selflessly without any thought of receiving.

Will I know how to love if love ever takes root again?

The pieces of my fragmented, ripped-apart heart will never go back together the same, 
 but I hope to heal and love and be loved back. 

Hearts heal.

So mine will, too
(I hope).

Seeking To Become - December

In church today, there was a lesson on giving and I was deeply moved by it. The scriptures the teacher referenced brought to mind several instances in my life when I have been the giver and the receiver of true Christian generosity.

One of those memories was from the morning my mother passed away. I don't recall the details exactly, but this is the way I remember it:

I got the call from one of my brothers around 4 a.m. and spent some time freaking out at my house, then, at some point, I contacted my best friend, told her the news, and left to go be with my brothers and father. She lived about 40 minutes away from my parents' home and I lived about 10, but somehow she arrived when I got there (or at least so it seemed). I will never forget the hug she gave me and how, immediately after the initial shock passed, she produced a warehouse-store sized box of yogurt-dipped granola bars. This act would not have been quite so important, except she and I were both pregnant and her intuition told her that we would need a treat and that was what she had on hand, so she brought it. I believe I thanked her right away and between everyone at the house, the entire box was inhaled in no time at all. Although the granola bars were a simple offering, they mean so much to me to this day. I can't see a box of them without recalling the thoughtful compassion my friend showed that tragic morning.

what my childhood tasted like

Red Licorice: reminds me of all the movies we'd see at the drive-in over on Mojave and Lamb

Black Licorice: horrific abuses left a bad taste in my mouth to this day

Penny-candies: undeserved freedom to walk to the 7-11 on Nellis

Dad's hot sauce: the stink of it filling the house once a year, burning my throat without taking a bite

Hickory Farms: New Year's Eve ALWAYS had a platter with crackers, too

Grilled cheese sandwiches: quick dinner I loved

Large pot of spaghetti: ate this too often

Grape lip gloss: I have been a Lip Smackers junkie from about age 8 to present day

Barbeque ribs: the buffet at Railroad Pass in Boulder City

When my brothers and I were still kids, I was the only one that was allowed to get the ribs at the buffets because my little brothers would make such a raving mess out of them. I remember when my dad let one of them get some--my mom came unglued!

To this day, barbeque ribs are one of my favorite foods. They taste good and I have so many fun memories while eating them.

My Journey With Autism

My Journey With Autism...Thus Far

after the diagnosis
against all expectations
within a few years I inched
toward comprehension of this unknown thing
by means of reading and studying anything I can get my hands on
except I cry sometimes
along with celebrating the milestones
in spite of those milestones not being in "proper" order
into high school she goes
out of my protective sight
beyond my control
around kind people most of the time
unlike anything she has done before
amid doubts on my part
for all children like her
onto the bus she goes
instead of having her stay home
since I know it will help her-- and bless everyone who sees her