Sunday, January 31, 2010


i am so tired.

i have failed in my goal to write every day in 2010.

i have a secret love for the singer aaron neville.

i ate a rotisserie chicken the day after i watched food, inc.

i vacuumed my room for the first time in ... really i can't remember when i last vacuumed it. maybe june?

i am in love with the book i am reading. i love it so much i don't want to tell people about it, because what if they don't like it?

i have been crying all day, off and on for the dumbest reason, but i can't stop. somebody put me to bed.

i feel like throwing up every time i think about starting work full time again tomorrow.

wish me luck. i'll be doing it all without sugar this year. NO TREATS UNTIL APRIL 15th.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Addict and 5 Chins

Okay peeps. I am really behind on blogging and it's just going to get worse.

I have accepted a new assignment at church (Relief Society secretary) and said goodbye to my previous assignment with great rejoicing and choirs singing alleluias in my head. Not one tear shed in sadness.

But, with the change comes a lot of work and meetings, plus there is the looming Tax Season of 2010 that I am preparing for. I am really busy. Can you tell? While the world mourns their losses in Haiti, I blog about getting new shoes. Also, I leave it up for more than a week. Don't worry. I made a donation to the Red Cross at Costco to make up for my shallowness.

I still need to blog about: (1) basketball season, (2) a change to my New Year's Resolutions, (3) an author signing, (4) a birthday party

But first, allow me to reminisce. So far, I have been perfect in keeping my goal for no soda in 2010. But did you know, like a true addict I went out with a bang? On New Year's Eve I made a visit to Pop the Soda Shop in South Scottsdale to fill up one last time.

Think: aisles of dusty cardboard boxes filled with every kind of bottled soda that exists in the known world.

My sisters and me.

And now the 5 chins. Please meet my brother-in-law Clint, husband to my sister Angela. He is hysterically funny, argues passionately about his beliefs and I would suggest bringing him along on any outing. Guaranteed to be more fun. Our little jaunt turned into a contest to see who could make the most chins. I think I won, but tragically only have the pictures of Clint's 5 chins to show you. Also, Clint has a blog and sings in a band. You may love one or both.

Friday, January 15, 2010

mexico 66

Inexplicably giddy about the shoes that showed up on my doorstep earlier this week.
In stock here in a myriad of delicious colors, on sale, with free shipping.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


i believe we all have at least one spiritual gift.

at least once a month i have a day (+ a night, usually) where i feel overwhelmed, sad, discouraged, like i won't ever learn the lessons i need to, like i am a terrible wife and mother, like all the hard things in my life are a direct result of my poor choices.

that is my spiritual gift.

yes, that's right. my gift is to feel. that means i feel intensely all kinds of emotions, even those kinds.

i also believe this is satan's message: you are not good enough. it's what he tells us all.

but this gift, this blessing of feeling, allows me to recognize the spirit easily, deeply, in the fleshy tables of my heart. and it whispers the truth to me. and i can recognize the truth when i hear it.

the truth is that i am a work in progress. i have a unique set of skills and abilities that will allow me to help those around me in a way that no one else could. the truth is that i am not mediocre or average. the truth is that i am extraordinary and i am enough. (even if i am not photogenic, ever, or if i will need an entire lifetime to develop the gift of patience).

and you are too.

i am so grateful to have this knowledge. to feel powerful and loved and important.

remember that the next time you are feeling down. and that i love you. always. love, me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vacation Part 1: Ryan + a recipe

This is my brother Ryan. Things you should know about him:

When forced to choose between a ski trip to the Alps or a Canon 5D camera, he chose the camera. (Seriously).

When he was in 7th grade I tried to get him to smoke a cigarette with me. He told me no. I've looked up to him ever since.

At one point, he was the only brother in a family with 5 sisters.

My first born son's middle name is Ryan.

He is a gourmet chef and I get a new recipe or cooking tip from him every time I visit him.

The best thing about Ryan is his wife Kathryn. Period. (Ultra-organized, unfailingly kind, creative, attentive mother, industrious, former 1st grade teacher, and gorgeous). If she has a flaw I haven't seen it yet. We asked them to take over the care of our children if Don and I die. That's love, Ryan.

Oh, and they are the parents of multiples. Multiple multiples. Once again, it's Ryan and 5 girls. I like to think we trained him well.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us a calm place to stay on our vacation. While there we went on a photo shoot to the east benches of the Superstition Mountains. I loved watching the colors change as the sun set, looking across the entire valley of the Phoenix area, and spending some quiet moments with Ryan and Angela. And you may not know, but every evening in Arizona has a poster-perfect sunset.

And now a recipe for said brother. This recipe is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe to be easier and better. Enjoy while cranberries and oranges are in season.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Add the cranberries to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Drop the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper with a large muffin-batter-scooper (or about 1/3 cup blobs).

Bake 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the powdered sugar orange juice, and zest. Drizzle over the scones. Makes about 14.

**ETA: photo of Ryan and Kathryn by Darby, and photo of double twins by Ryan

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ring out the old, ring in the new

I love this time of year. A time for taking personal inventory, starting over, renewing commitments. The blank, white future is ahead of us all, waiting for us to write the story of our lives with our thoughts and actions. What kind of story will you tell?

I just got back from a fabulous trip to Arizona. Much more on that later. We left Christmas day and stopped at a gas station along the way. I asked the clerk if he was upset about working on Christmas. "Oh no," he replied, "I love working." And it sounded like he really meant it.

His reply struck me. It's been marinating for more than a week. This man is a convenience store clerk in a tiny Utah town and he seemed genuinely happy about all of it. I wanted to know what his secret was and how I could become more like that. More of a optimist. More satisfied with the things allotted to me.

And so, with him in mind, I went about setting my resolutions and thinking up a theme for 2010. Mine will be:

all in good time

This phrase is framed and displayed in my home. It reminds me that:

1.) Diligence in the small things can yield the most miraculous results,


2.) none of us are perfect, yet.

I want 2010 to be a year of growth in spirituality and writing talent, and improved overall health. This year I am focused on the small steps to get me there. So, if you are still with me, here are my resolutions for 2010 (in order from what I think will be easiest to hardest):

1. No soda, all year.
2. Buy no new clothes, all year (unless, of course, I happen to receive a GIFT CARD for my birthday to a place that sells clothes[not that that is a hint or anything]).
3. Attend the temple twice a month.
4. Write every day.
5. Read my scriptures and pray, every day.
6. Run 3 half marathons.
7. Go 10 weeks without any treats/sweets/sugar. (I'm starting February 1st. Anyone care to join me?)

Sounds like a year full of denial. I can't wait.