Sunday, December 22, 2013


Well, here we are again.

We have had an amazing year.  We've lived, we've loved, we've traveled, we've served, we've worked, some of us have hunted and fished and some of us have made candy and painted snow flakes.

Most of all this year, though, I've learned.

I've been reflecting on the past year, trying to figure out what to write.  And this is what I came up with.

Our primary theme this year was "I Am a Child of God".  Seems simple, right? Something that most of us know and have heard all of our lives, right?

Today, we did a recap of the theme for the end of the year in primary.  I read the kids the same story today that I read them on the first Sunday of 2013 - "You Are Special" by Max Lucado.  I know it's not your typical LDS book but it teaches a valuable lesson.  And today, as I was reading it and looking at each of these beautiful, kind, good children...these words hit home.

“Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes.”

I am not a mistake.  I am not broken.  I am not worthless. I am not less of a person because of my weaknesses.
As we discussed this, we came to the conclusion that our Heavenly Father made us who we are on purpose.  We are who and what and where we are supposed to be.  We are here to learn and to grow from our experience.  It's okay that we're not all the same.  Each of us has a unique talent and a spot in this world to fill that no one else can. I asked each child what their special talent was and got some amazing answers.  And then they asked me...I honestly could think of something for every person in that room...(about 30 kids and some adults...) and couldn't think of anything for me.  Until I looked at those faces looking back at me.  No one can love them like I can.  I'm really good at loving people.  And when I said that...they all agreed.  And the more we talked, the more I realized that I was not teaching this lesson for them.  This lesson was for me.

I wish I could tell you how strongly I feel about this.  I wish you could see how much it has affected me.  I wish you could know what I know.  Some of you do...and some of you don't.  I wish I could bring each of you to primary with me and let you learn what I have learned.  No one can be Katie Jennings like I can.  No one can do the things that I do in the way that I do them. No one can love people like I can. I have struggled this year with finding my place in this world...and I think I know where it is.  It is in the heart of the Shepherd's fold- loving, fellowshipping and teaching.

I wish I could shout from the rooftops that I am a Child of God and I am special.  I wish I could look each of you in the eyes and make you know that you are too.  But...since I can't...
This will have to do.
You are loved.
You are special.
You are a Child of God.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Friends That Aren't So Imaginary Anymore.

I have been trying very, very hard to be more outgoing. I used to be CRAAAAZY outgoing and as I've gotten older, I've become incredibly self conscious.  I'm not crazy about the way I look, the way I talk, the things I lack or the person that I'm not.  In fact, you could almost say that I loathe those things.  Yes.  Loathe. Because I am a self imposed introvert, I don't have to see those things.  I don't have to notice that I didn't go to college.  I don't have to compare my hair to anyone else's.  I can wear crazy mismatched things and it's okay ... in the comfort of my own home.  I can love cats and think in song titles and movie quotes and laugh at myself for hours. I can wear my winter hat with my pajamas and some mismatched slippers...which is what I'm doing now.  I can dance.  I can sing. When I'm at home....I'm okay with me.  I don't have to put on the facade that I love my fabulous life.  When someone on tv starts discussing things that make me uncomfortable, I can change to ESPN and feel okay about it.

I have to admit, this year has been a journey for me.  At first, I was a displaced caregiver trying to find a purpose.  Then, I became Super Mormon Primary Woman....and I still try to fill those shoes every Sunday, but it can't consume my life.  And then...I found them.  I found a group where I belong.  I found women like me.  These women struggle with the thing they lack at times and celebrate it at others.  They have careers.  They have hobbies.  They understand.  And thus, the journey to self acceptance began for the first time in my adult life.  We talk-figuratively.  We cry.  We laugh.  We understand and most importantly, we accept.  We build and support.  We comfort. We empathize. We pray for each other and for ourselves.  I'm usually not a huge supporter of sharing information with people I've never met- but they are different.  I could not have made it through this year without them.  Y'all know who you are.  Heavenly Father must really love us an awful lot because He made us all awesome...and then led us to each other.

I know this post is incredibly vague, but for right now, it has to be.  I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father puts people in our lives for a reason. I'm glad He put us here and gave us hearts to feel and understand.  I am grateful for a little Facebook group of 23 women from all over the world that helps me to not feel like such a misfit.  I may never meet some of them, but I am glad to know them. I am glad for their part in my life and in my journey.

And all because I figured out that I am Christina Yang.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Loss of a Legend

Tonight, I have a very heavy heart.  Last Thursday, our community- both local and industry- lost an amazing leader.  Tomorrow, I have to go to her viewing.  And my heart is broken.

How does one begin to memorialize a person like Vanetta Griggs Wilson?  How do you even know where to start?  I suppose at the beginning.

When I was first hired at Chesbro Music almost 9 years ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with the company's CEO, Vanetta.  Now, I was terrified.  Seriously.  She's the CEO.  I'm just a little retail salesperson who likes to play the piano.  I'm nobody.  But not to her.  She explained to me that all of us at Chesbro were family.  We supported each other, we took care of one another.  She asked me about my career plans with the company...and then completely supported them.  Not only did she support them, but she gave me tools, ideas and suggestions on how to achieve them.  She reminded me that I was welcome in her office at any time and that she would always be there if I needed anything.

My next experience with her was my first NAMM show.  The NAMM show is the biggest trade show in the music industry.  It's huge.  It's overwhelming.  And I was terrified.  Vanetta gently reminded me of my talents and told me that she had faith in me and that I would represent her company well.  She stood beside me and taught me how to navigate the industry.  She showed me how to do business in a ladylike, gracious and effective way.  She showed me how I needed to treat each and every customer.  She told me that regardless of how big or how small a customer's business was that every one of them was important and should be treated as if they were my first priority.  She showed me how to deal with publishers and to be gracious, but to get them to do what I needed them to do for our company. Vanetta and I traveled together a couple of times and roomed together a couple of times.  She was such a thoughtful and kind woman.

Vanetta was a confidant.  She understood my trials.  She had them too.  She understood my need to be successful at something.  She understood when I needed to leave quickly to support my family.  She understood that I only got frustrated when our customers weren't treated fairly.  She was empathetic to my personal struggles and often offered advice, solutions and a listening ear.

There are so many things that I could say about her.  So many.  But above all, she was kind.  She exemplified the Savior in every aspect of her life, but it was evident most of all in her treatment of others.  Never an unkind word.  Never a moment wasted.  Never a smile not given.

While the world is mourning Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela, I am mourning someone who had a much more profound impact.  The world has lost an amazing, kind, gracious woman and we are worse for it.  The best we can do is to follow her example and be better people.  I will do my best to do better, smarter, more gracious, relationship centered business and to be a leader, a mentor and a friend in her honor.

Thank you, Vanetta.

Vanetta's Life Legacy and Service Information

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Life and Primetime Medical Dramas.

I am a HUGE Grey's Anatomy fan.  Like ...watched every single episode huge.
Naturally, when I heard that this was Sandra Oh's last season, I was distressed.  I mean, she's Mer's person.
"If I murdered someone, you're the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. she's my person." - Christina Yang

So, I wondered...are they going to kill her off like they have everyone else? Or is she just going to pull and Izzy and disappear?
So, I watched tonight's episode...and here's what happened. (stop reading if you haven't seen it yet...and you want to.)
Basically, Christina steals a surgery because Meredith is busy being a mom.  Both admirable professions.  Meredith is understandably upset.  In her explanation, Christina explains that once upon a time, the two of them were walking the same path, heading for the same destination, together.  They had things in common.  They had inside jokes and a great unhindered relationship.
Then, Meredith adopted a baby and gave birth to another. Something had to give...and the path changed.  Meredith was on the fast track to mom of the year...while Christina was still ... Christina.
Both things are absolutely admirable and acceptable.
Most of the time.

I struggle with this on a daily basis.  I make friends.  I think we're awesome.  We do stuff together, we like the same things, we laugh and have fun, we cry, we vent, we live.

Then....something changes.

At first I thought I was just being a rotten, envious person. And then I realized, I'm not envious.  I love my life.  I love my little world.  And you love yours.  And that's okay.  But instead of being my person, you now have to be someone else's person.  And again, that's okay.  For you.
And I'm aware that you don't do these things intentionally.  I understand that family comes first.  I understand that mommyhood comes first.  I accept that.  But sometimes, I really need a friend...and when I struggle, I have no one to turn to because everyone is busy.  Busy with dance or gymnastics or soccer or school or life.  When my husband is gone, I have no one to call to go to the movies with...not because I know y'all won't go, but because I don't want to burden you.  I know you have more important things to do than watch movies and wander around the mall.

Infertility has made it so that I am forever stuck in young adulthood.  I still go to the mall and window shop.  I still go to movies.  I eat cupcakes for dinner...and breakfast...and lunch.  I wake up when I want to, I do what I want to, I watch what I want to...Tim and I basically do all the things we did when we were first married.  Not much has changed.
And that's okay.
I'm not saying that I'm sad or hurt or devastated because I've been through multiple Meredith's in my life...I just never pictured myself as Christina...
Please know that I think you're all great moms.  I think what you're doing is amazing.  I could never, ever do it.  Ever.  Know that I miss you, but I would rather you be where you are because I understand the value of a good parent.  Know that I pray for you and your kiddos.  I love you and your kiddos.  And just because I disappear doesn't mean I don't like you.  It means that my road is going to a different destination than yours is...and they're very far apart.
I understand.
And I hope you do too.
And it's okay if you don't...
Because I'm okay.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wait. I'm a WHAT?!?

Right at this moment, I am so mad and so hurt and so annoyed that I cannot even think straight.
So please...forgive my rant.

Someone showed me something the other day and prefaced it by saying
"I thought you would enjoy this because you're such a feminist."
Yeah, that's how I felt.
So confused that only a gif from the Kardashians could explain it.
Let's clear this up right now.

Nor will I ever be.

Don't get me wrong.  I firmly feel that women should have all the rights and privileges as a man.  I think things should be fair.  But that's because I think things should be fair for everyone.
(is that Kardashian clip making you crazy too? scroll down.)

(and that's a big however.)
I believe that God gave men and women specific duties and gifts and talents in this life.
I believe that we should cultivate those.
I believe that we should exemplify those.

Now, I know.  I'm not a cookie cutter wife/mother/daughter/aunt/sister/woman/Mormon.
I get it.
That is not necessarily of my own choosing.
But because I believe in a merciful, loving and teaching God, I accept the life I was given and will do the best I can with it.
But just because I don't have children and I have a career in a male dominated industry doesn't mean that I am a feminist.
It means I don't have children.
It means I love my job.
It means I'm Perfectly Katie.
Just because I stand up for women and girls everywhere doesn't mean that I am a feminist.
It means I am a human being with a heart.
Just because I am more comfortable in a truck wearing blue jeans doesn't make me a feminist.
Just because I enjoy sports and hot wings instead of a cozy, romantic dinner doesn't make me a feminist.
It means that I like football and pickups and hot wings.
I love my husband.  I support him in his duties as a man, my husband and a priesthood holder.
And let's get this clear right now.
I don't want the priesthood.
I really have enough to do already without that responsibility.
And really?
What is wrong with just being a good woman?  NOTHING!  
A good woman can change the world and beautify it in a way that no one else can.
No person can love you like a mother or a sister or a "primary" mom can.
A man cannot do what a woman can.
This is obvious.

Now, don't call me old fashioned.
I believe household duties should be shared.  I believe bill paying should be shared.  I believe that men and women should treat each other equally.  
But...if my husband needs a sammich, I should and do feel great about making him one. If he needs a patch sewed on, I can do that. If he needs our home to be a place where he can relax and feel comfortable and watch football and eat my amazing nachos, I can provide that.
Not only am I a career woman, but I am also a woman of God.
Which means that I understand my role and purpose and I am doing my best to exemplify that role.
This doesn't make me less of a person.  It means I have love and concern for the well being of my spouse and for the children (although they are just primary children) and the pets that have been entrusted to me.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
So there.

Speaking of sammiches...I need to go make some because hunting season opens in 4 hours.
Off my soapbox.
Feminist, sheesh.
Girl, please.

Monday, October 7, 2013

12 years...

12 Years.
I have been married to my very best friend and superhero for 12 years on Saturday.
So, because I don't tell him nearly enough...

Here are 12 things I ADORE about Tim.
1. His smile.
2. His ability to make me laugh.  Even when it's inappropriate.
3.  His work ethic.  He works hard.  Sometimes, too hard.
4.  His dedication to his calling and to the priesthood.
5. His adventurous nature.  Always ready to explore.  And he always encourages me to explore too.
6.  His calming nature. 
7.  His eyes.  They twinkle.  I love that.
8.  His ability to fix ANYTHING. Seriously. He could give Bob Villa a run for his money.
9.  His superhero-ness.  He can always save my day.
10. He is an EXCELLENT uncle, brother, son, friend, cousin, grandson, etc.
11.  He is a good man.  They are so few and far between...and I got the best of them.
12. The way he loves me. Loyal, kind, thoughtful and sincere.

Happy Anniversary, Husbandito.
Love you to the moon.....
and back.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ministering, Murmuring and Mormons.

Let me begin by saying that I HATE MEETINGS.
A lot.
Sometimes, I feel like they consume my life.
So, needless to say, I was less than excited about the meeting I had to attend earlier this week.
However, because I have been teaching Primary children about serving the Lord with a happy heart, I was determined to have a good attitude.
But...I was still silently murmuring inside.
So, when the Stake President got up to speak, I was kind of only half listening.
And then- he said something that I will never, ever forget.  Ever.

"We need to be ministers and not murmurers."

Ho. Ly.  Crap.
Loud and clear.
I read you.

And then I thought about it.
When has this been evident in my life?
For instance, I have had some primary kids in the past that were hard for me to handle.
And I served them...but I did it...begrudgingly.
And then, I had a moment during a General Conference (which I am so excited for, btw) where I realized that it was my job to show them that they were a child of God, that I needed to be (for lack of a better phrase...) A Window to His Love (thanks Julie De Azevedo).  And it changed.  They were better behaved, more apt to listen and understand and obey.  And all because I decided to stop murmuring and start ministering.
Or...there was a woman in one of my wards that I did NOT like.  I thought she was snobby and rude and a not very nice person.  And then, I learned some things about her life, and I felt compassion for her and empathy for her behavior.  And our relationship changed.  And I'm happy to say, she's still one of my favorite people to this day. seems to me that this ministering thing is the real ticket to bringing people together.  It brings love and acceptance and understanding and empathy and kindness.  I KNOW that it works with children.  I have a testimony of that.  It's tried and true with them.  All they want is to know that someone really loves them and will be there for them if they need someone.  All a child needs is structure and love.  So, it stands to reason that this would work with adults as well.  
If you think of the world's greatest minister- He loved us all.  He served us all.  He cared about each and every one of us.  He is there to guide us, teach us, support us and love us.  Jesus Christ doesn't care where you're from, how much money you have, how important you are to the world...because you are important to Him.  Regardless.
That's what ministering is. It's treating people as Christ would treat them.  It's loving and supporting and teaching.
That sounds a lot more pleasant than murmuring.
So, in my quest for eternal perfection, I am going to try harder to be a minister and not a murmurer.
I will be the Nephi or the Moroni or the Alma in my world.  I will not be the Laman or Lemuel of my world.  (If you don't understand that last can check in out in my all time favorite book...the Book of Mormon- just head over to and click on something.  anything.)
And I dare you.  I dare you to try it for one week and see what happens.  Try ministering instead of murmuring.  Try to build people up instead of tear them down.  Trust me.  It will change your life and maybe someone else's.  And really?  Isn't that what we're here for?  To love and learn from each other? And then return to our Heavenly Father?
I know that we are.
So, go.
Change the world.
After you watch this...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Patriot Day

As I sit here in the quiet of the night, on the eve of Patriot Day...I have found myself thinking about why we have this day of remembrance in our country.
My grandma often talked about "the war".  She talked about how frightening sending her brothers and loved ones, including my grandpa, off to the armed forces.  She recalled the insecurity of the world, of our nation.
I felt that way about September 11th.
I will never, ever forget that day.
I was a 20 year old girl, in the midst of planning and preparing for my wedding day.  I woke up with a ring on my finger and the world at my fingertips.  Then...suddenly, that joy and excitement was replaced with fear.  My brother came and told me that I needed to look at the television...and I saw it.  I don't remember much else about what was being reported other than the facts.  I just remember sheer terror.  And anger.  So much anger and fear that it threatened to erupt at any minute. Until I stopped listening and started watching the people on the screen.  The firemen, the police, the volunteers....the families.  And in an instant, the anger was replaced by a deep sorrow, one that I can still feel every time I think about it.
And now, 12 years later, it still feels fresh and real.
Especially when I compare myself to those souls that were lost that day.
Right about now, they were going to bed.  Maybe they were happy.  Maybe stressed out, maybe looking forward to the next day or the weekend or an upcoming event.
Did they know?  Did they feel what was coming?  Did they feel a sense of impending tragedy?
Did they tell their family they loved them that night? Did they spend a few extra minutes with their children or their loved ones or their pets or their friends?  Did they have everything in order...just in case?
Or, did they do what we're all doing right now?  Waiting for some laundry, scratching the cat, washing dishes, surfing the internet, paying a bill, thinking about work, trying to decide what to wear, watching a movie and "glorifying the busy" of life?
Had they know it was their last evening at home with their loved ones...would they have changed their schedule or activities?
Would I?
Every year, on this day, I vow to be kind.  I vow to make my world better.  I vow to stop being so damn busy all the time.
So, its time for that again.
Do I really need to watch reality television or is there something better I can do with my time?
Can I put down my phone for an hour or two and really listen and talk with my husband?
Can I slow down for a minute and pay attention to those around me?
Can I stop rushing from place to place and instead meander through and stop to figuratively smell the roses?
Do I really need to yell at the person in the car in front of me?
Can I spend more time teaching and being an example of the word of God?
Can I be a better Christian today?
Did I kiss my husband goodnight?
Did I tell him I loved him?
Did I make sure he knew that through my actions as well as my words?
Did I tell my family that I loved them?  Do they know?
Have I mended relationships and offered forgiveness?
Can I be more kind and accepting and gentle?
You bet I can.  And today, I'm going to try a little bit harder.
I think it's still best summed up in the song written by Alan Jackson.
It's still relevant today.
Have a listen.
And I mean really listen.
And make a change.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letters to Grandma

Dear Grandma, 
Today, I miss you.  I have so many things I want to tell you and show you.  Like how I've stopped biting my fingernails and my primary program and my cats and how big they are.  I want to tell you that I'm keeping my promises that I made.  I want you to know that I'm going to teach again.  I want to show you my Batman mask and buy you fudge and candied popcorn.  I want to show you my file folder games.  I want to give you a hug and paint your fingernails pink and fluff your hair and ... all the other things I can't do anymore.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm glad you're with Gramps and Aunt Susie and your brothers and your mom and your daddy, but I kinda miss you.  I wish you could just come back for one day.  Just one.  Is that so bad?  Probably.  

Anyways...I miss you.
Love, Angelface

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bullying...Not Just for Kids Anymore.

We hear about it everyday.  Kids are bigger bullies now.  They are meaner and more hurtful and out for blood.  We have got to fix it.  We have to correct it.  We have to stop the bullying.
The very definition of bullying from is as follows:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Please note that this says "school aged children."

I know that I'm not a professional, but I very much disagree.

Most adults are uncomfortable with the term "adult bullying" because it comes with a feeling of being a child. I can see the logic in that.  I don't want to feel like a child, I don't want to feel weak and I certainly don't want it pointed out to me that I am being bullied.  Do you?
Didn't think so.

No matter what age you are, there will always be a bully somewhere.  As an adult, it's hard to recognize.  No one is stealing your lunch money or beating you up behind the monkey bars.  No, it's much sneakier than that.  Adult bullies tend to be opportunistic.  They attack people that they perceive as a threat.  They choose to target people who excel, who are generally likeable, who are capable and dedicated and successful, but who are also non confrontational.  We used to call this healthy competition.  But, it's escalated to much, much more.
A bully's goal is to intimidate, discredit, and gain control.  They do this via threats, exclusion, verbal abuse, ignoring, sarcasm, interruption and the very worst in my mind...with GOSSIP.  The rumor mill is a dangerous thing.  It destroys people.  It destroys their self worth.  It destroys their confidence. It can ultimately destroy a life.
Adults who are bullied often do nothing about it except keep their heads down and cry in the bathroom.  They feel afraid to tell someone for fear that no one will believe them or tell them that they are overreacting and it's just the dynamic of the group.  They often quit their jobs and end up living a life they didn't want because they almost have to let the bully win.  Sure, there are harassment clauses and human resource departments, but really?  Who wants to go in to their boss and say..."so and so is picking on me and it makes me uncomfortable"?  Not me.
The sad part is that in both situations...bullying is a learned behavior.  Kids learn it from their parents, who learned it from their parents.  These people can communicate, but not effectively.  The saying comes to mind "Great minds discuss ideas, small minds discuss people."  They often feel threatened or are unsure of their own self, since misery loves company, why not create more, right?
Whether in adults or children, it has to stop.  Now.
Well, in doing some research, I've found a list of things that adults can do to combat bullying from various websites:
1.  Consider the Source: Is this person someone who's opinion should really matter to you?   Probably not.
2.  Document.  Pay attention.  write it down.  Dates, times and what was said or done.
3.  Stay calm.  Chances are, if they can't fluster you visibly, they'll stop.  They're looking for a reaction.  Don't give them the satisfaction.
4.  Try not to take it personally.  Understand that the bully is acting out of desperation and lack of self esteem.  Try to feel compassion.  I know it's hard, but try.
5.  Assess yourself.  Are you helping them?  Are you being confrontational?  Are you silently bullying back?
6.  Get Support.  Tell someone.  Anyone.  Get it out in the open.  You'll feel better once you find someone you trust that understands.
7.  Last Resort...Remove yourself from the situation.  Ask to move your desk, to switch positions, to move to another department, or as much as I don't condone it, find a new employer.  If your employer won't support's time to move on.  You have to make healthy choices for you.
8. If none of these work.... offer to take your bully on a vacation to the bayou, the rainforest, the zoo, the continent of Africa and feed them to an alligator, venomous snake, hippopotamus or a lion.  Or just push them off the cruise ship and claim innocence.  That should work.
9.  Last but not least, Realize that YOU are a Child of God.  Go to Him.  Ask Him for patience, for support, for a solution.  He will not leave you comfortless or without aid.  You are His child and He does love you and want you to be happy.

So, there's that.  Now I'm off of my soapbox and going to go eat a cookie because I deserve it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Caroline Theory

When I was a little girl, I loved loved loved Little House on the Prairie.  I loved Laura so much and couldn't wait to grow up and find my Almanzo.  I wanted to be like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
So, I've been watching Little House again and found myself idolizing someone completely different.
Caroline Ingalls is the woman that I wish I could be.  Here's why.

1.  Caroline Ingalls was a good wife.  And I mean a REALLY good wife.  She loved her husband.  She supported him.  She was kind to him.  She took care of him.  She rarely complained about him or about him moving them to the middle of nowhere land.  She was his help meet.  She didn't gripe or moan or fight with him.  At times, she got angry at him, but then she would quickly find a solution and kiss Charles and apologize and say things like "I should know that spending time being angry with you is just time that I've wasted."

2.  She was a good mother.  She tried so hard to teach her girls to be good, strong, industrious, kind and God fearing women. She seemed to never run out of patience with them, even Laura.  She accepted each of them for what they were.  She tried to never speak unkindly to them or be stern with them.  She spent her time with them teaching, laughing, working, playing and living.

3.  Caroline Ingalls loved God.  She was always telling Charles to straighten up and making sure that the girls went to church and read the Bible and tried to be Christlike.  She always said her prayers and read the Bible before bed.  She even went to church when people were rude to her or when her husband fell out of a tree and people judged her.  And even better, she went home and taught her family every day to love God as well.

4.  Caroline Ingalls didn't put up with any crap from anybody.  Ever.  She was one of the few people that could put Mrs. Olsen and her ringleted, snooty, bully of a daughter Nelly in their place.  And quickly.  And kindly.  She stood up for her girls and for her husband and didn't think twice about it.  She protected her family and her way of life...but in the nicest, most kind way possible.

5.  She was as ladylike as they come.  Even when she was plowing fields, building houses, moving her family across the country, fighting fires, birthing animals, putting up with Laura, teaching school, cooking, raising kids, chasing Jack the sheepdog, giving cornbread to Indians, etc....Caroline Ingalls was the picture of being ladylike.  She was never ruffled, never unkind, never without manners and always on her game.  It didn't matter what the situation was, Caroline handled it with all the grace and ease in the world, even if she was falling apart and terrified inside.
And might I add, Caroline was giving, thoughtful, hard working and stalwart.
Now, I understand that Caroline Ingalls the way that I see her is kind of fictional....the story is true, but much has been left to the imagination.  But, don't you think we could all try to get a little more in touch with our inner Caroline?  I know that I certainly could...I could try harder to be supportive and kind and gentle.  Wouldn't our world be a little better if we tried a little harder?
Well, I'm going to test the Caroline Theory....I'm making a commitment to be some of those things listed above and I'll see if I can change my world for the better.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Midnight Rant.

So, I have something to say.
If you're offended...please be aware that you are making the choice to read this and it's your own fault.
Here it is.
If you can't and/or won't take care of your children, stop having them.
If your priorities include you and only you and not the care of your children, don't have them.
If all you do is constantly complain about your children and how hard it is to be a mom, you shouldn't have had children.
If you resent your children because they're getting in the way of your plans, you shouldn't have had them.
If you can't seem to take care of your children because you're too busy spending the money on yourself, you shouldn't have had them.
If you can't seem to nurture them or teach them or love them, please...try.

What I am simply trying to say is that there are people in this world who would love the opportunity to be a parent and it very much offends us that you do all of the above.
Every time you say that you're annoyed with your children, our hearts feel sad.
Every time that your children are hungry or lonely or unloved or neglected, we feel a little bit angry at you.
Every time you say that you resent your children, we resent you.

If you have children, love them and tell them that you love them.  Care for them.  Nurture them.  Enjoy them.  Play with them.  Talk to them.  Teach them. Take them on vacations.  Fingerpaint with them.  Drink koolaid, make cookies, color pictures, watch Disney movies, play catch, sing songs, and LIVE with them..because there are some people in this world that want the very thing that you have and it's practically impossible for them to have what you have.  And we're envious sometimes.  We pretend not to be.  But sometimes, late at night, we cry.  We sob.  We question our purpose.  We feel worthless.  We hug our cats and put costumes on them and try to teach them to talk and pretend that they're children.  We throw away things we've been saving for years for that miracle day when we have a baby.  And we curse you.  We don't understand why you don't love every second of being a mother.  We just don't get it.
We understand that it's not all cupcakes and color books and smiles.  We get that.  What we don't get is when you utterly neglect them, when a tattoo and hair color is more important than new shoes for your child, why you ignore them, resent them, neglect them and then wonder why they are so naughty, why you don't teach them proper nutrition, language, social skills etc and then complain that they're fat and awful and dumb.  Well, as the old saying goes, you've made your bed and now you have to lie in it.  And I shouldn't be expected to feel bad for you because you've made bad choices.

Now, I warned you.  If you're offended, I don't apologize.  I don't have to.  You should apologize.  To your children.
And really, if you don't want them, give them to me, lock, stock and barrel and go away.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How My Cats Changed My Life.

Before you read this and judge me...just look at how darling they are.  Look at their sweet faces.  Then stop calling me a crazy cat lady and read on.
My husband and I will have been married for 12 years in October.  It's always just been the two of us.  We don't have kids and we probably never will.  Please keep in mind this isn't my choice, but it's what we've been dealt, so, we accept the challenge.
Let me start at the beginning...
I've always had a very close relationship with my grandparents on my mother's side.  And from the time I was a little girl, I've always promised them that I would take care of them as long as I could and that I would never let them feel sad and lonely like the people you sometimes see in nursing homes that sit in the hallway and talk to everyone.
So, about 4 years into our marriage, my grandpa passed away.  It was devastating to my family, especially to my sweet Grammy.  I couldn't bear to leave her here alone, so, I quit my job, packed up my belongings, and drove up to live near her on a wing and a prayer.  We eventually found an apartment across the street from her.  It was great! pets allowed.
We found jobs and took care of her as long as we could, until we bought a house and she went to assisted living.
Now, by nature, I am a care taker.  I want everyone to be happy and feel loved and not sad or lonely.
I could only do so much for her at the assisted living home.  Some of it she had to do on her own.
Now, my husband is a self professed cat hater.  As in...he used to shut all the bedroom doors in his basement as a child and chase their cat with a nerf gun. (rude.)
I, on the other hand, have always had a pet...until I got married.
There's a lot to be said for being a wife and a granddaughter/care taker.
But there was something missing.
This void is often filled for most women my age with children.
Obviously not working for me.
So, to surprise husband bought me a rescue cat for Christmas.
Best. Day. Ever.
Then a few months later....we found Lily.  She was a runt and needed a good home.  So, we paid someone $25 and brought her home.
I can't begin to tell you how much I love my kitties.
I know, I sound crazy.
Here are some examples:
*  Mother's Day- my cats don't judge me because I'm not technically a mother.
*  Funerals- When my grandma died, I cried on my kittens for WEEKS.  My husband was a great support, but my cats were always there when he couldn't be.
*  Bad Days- Jack and Lily always need me.  They always love me.  No matter how stupid, fat, ugly, dumb, worthless or useless that I feel.  They're never rude to me.  They never call me names.  They never talk about me behind my back.  They always make me feel like I'm important.
*  Really Bad Days- Sometimes, I struggle.  Sometimes, I feel sad.  Sometimes, its overwhelming.  Sometimes....I don't want to get out of bed.  But...Jack and Lily need fed.  They want me to come play.  They want to tattle on each other.  They need brushed and scratched and kissed and snuggled.  And when I cry...they lick my face and sit on my lap and purr.
* Happy Days- My cats make me laugh every day.  Especially when I find them in the bathtub, or in the cupboard or the dryer or on the counter...they make me laugh and enhance the good days.
*  Days When I'm a Hunting or Fishing Widow- my cats stick right with me when Tim is gone. They check every noise, every light and have to go into rooms before I do to make sure there aren't any rabble rousers in the room I'm walking into.  They sleep in my bed or on my pillow...depending on the cat.
*  Every Day- they're ALWAYS excited to see me.  They always come running to the door when I get home.  They always love me.  Especially when I cook bacon.

These are just a few examples, but I am grateful that Heavenly Father gave me furry babies if I couldn't have real ones.  I love them like children and probably spoil them too much, but I couldn't love any person more.  And honestly? The more people I meet....the more I love my cats.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Forgive me a small venting blog post.
Why is it that we women feel like we have to be friends with everyone?  Why is it that if one person doesn't like us that we feel worthless? What in the heck is wrong with us?
Don't we see that we are of infinite worth, no matter what anyone else thinks?
I don't understand why we as women don't value our talents, our beauty, our worth and our purpose just because one lousy, rude, unkind and definitely not Christian person doesn't value them.
There are dozens of people who think we hung the moon and stars, but just because one person sees the need to be hurtful, we throw what those dozens of people think away?
And I don't think I'm just speaking for myself.  I think that in general, most women pay way too much attention to what others think.  And the crappy part is that those unkind people are the ones we pay the most attention to.  We don't listen to our spouses, our families, our true friends and people that matter.  All we hear are the bad things.
For instance, my husband tells me everyday that I'm beautiful and kind and big hearted and talented and smart and hard working.  Do I listen?  No.
The only words that are constantly replaying in my head are "controlling, bossy, witchy (with a b), teacher's pet and suck up."
Why do I do that?!
(And might I add, don't ever call someone a teacher's pet.  It's more hurtful than you realize.  It makes all the hard work they've ever done worth NOTHING to them.)
Yes, this is very personal.
No, it's not a big deal.
I've decided to stop letting other people affect me,but I can't help but replay their words in my head every time I make a choice.
I think I'll try a new approach.  I've been teaching kids that they are children of God and have infinite worth this year....
Maybe I need to teach myself.
So, if you're reading this, you are a child of God.  He loves you.  He thinks you're great.  He doesn't make mistakes.  And even if no one else sees your worth, He does.
Now, go.
Have a good day.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Things I Wish I Could Say Out Loud

I was watching TLC tonight (shocking...) and came across the show "Four Weddings".  These people attend each other's weddings and vote on the winner.  Whatever.  The part that touched me was the personal vows that these couples had written for each other.  Now, for those of you that were married in a place similar to the one I was married in, you understand when I say...I wish that was part of the ceremony.  I wish I had the guts to say those special words in front of everyone...or even just to Tim. 
I've never been the gushy type, I grew up in a family of boys, for heaven's sake.  I don't really have a way with words.  And... when I feel uncomfortable, I make everything funny.
So, for the's what I wish I had said 12 years ago.

I never understood love until I met you.  You swept me off my feet the first time I laid eyes on you. I will do my best to be your rockstar wife.  I will stand by you through thick, thin, good, bad, pretty, ugly, funny and sad.  I will support you in everything you do...or at least, I will do my best to.  I will give you everything I have, everything that I am and everything that I ever will be.  While I may not always be the wife you deserve, rest assured and know that you are perfect for me.  You are my knight in shining armor, the milk to my cookie and most importantly, the man I want to spend eternity with.  I know that things won't turn out the way we planned or even the way we wanted or imagined and I'm sorry, but I do know that we'll make it through as long as we have each other. You are the man I was meant to love and I love you to the moon and back.
There.  Too much gushy.  Just like the mud I lost my shoe in while I was fishing with my superhero yesterday.  But every word is true.  Every.  Single.  Word.  And honestly?  If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.  Not one moment.  Sure, I often think that I might do things differently, but if I did, we wouldn't be who we are today.


That's enough of that.

So. Much. Gushy.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Never Grow Up...

Saw my nephew tonight.  I have MISSED his little face.  And I thought about this song...
I'm normally not a girl that adores Taylor Swift...but this seemed appropriate...
Even if I can never say these words to their faces...I will always want them to know that this is how I feel.  I would do anything for them.  Any time.
And I want them to stay little forever so that I can always protect them.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Midnight Musings...June Edition

So, here it is, 1 a.m. and I'm awake.  I'm as awake as can be.
You may ask why...Even if you don't...I'm going to tell you.

Reason 1:  Way too much Diet Mountain Dew today.

Reason 2:  My husband is at Scout Camp until Saturday.  I don't sleep without him.  Some nights I think, man...Tim needs to stop a.) hogging the bed.  b.) snoring  c.) kicking the covers on to me.  d.) taking all the covers away.  However, after 12 years, I still find my king sized bed very lonely when he's gone.  And although I am so glad that my husband is a priesthood honoring man who is fulfilling his calling and being a good, strong Scout leader...I miss him.  A lot.

Reason 3:  Tomorrow, I am hosting a baby shower.  WHAT?!?  I have never hosted a baby shower, much less been to one.  Ever.  I hate them with every fiber of my being.  More than the dentist.  That's a lot.  So, I have spent the last week making mustache games, making mustache chocolates, trying to figure out what the heck people do at these things and now realizing (in the middle of the night) in the midst of all my planning...I have forgotten to buy the mother to be a gift.  Holy bananas.  Really?  Thank heavens WalMart is open 24 hours...and that I have a stash of baby ick that I've been collecting...just in case. Also, I feel sick because while making chocolate mustaches, I've tasted far too many and now am feeling quite ill.

Reason 4:  I forgot to turn off the water outside before it got dark.  Tim has all the flashlights with him.  And....I'm pretty sure that there is some homicidal maniac (cue Aaron Hernandez jokes here) waiting outside to kill me.  And yet, I don't want to flood my poor plants.  Whatever, it's supposed to be super hot tomorrow, they'll be fine, right?  

Reason 5:  Because I've been so busy planning a baby shower, teaching sharing time, teaching singing time and working a full time job, my house is a DISASTER.  AND...I have company coming in less than a week. To stay.  Sigh.  All night dish washing and laundry marathon anyone?

Reason 6:  I am homesick.  Now, I understand...I don't have a hometown.  And the places that my family lives are most certainly not home to me.  However, I have lived very close to my little brother for a few months...and then they moved away.  And I hate it.  I hate my family all being somewhere else.  I hate that my brothers are all in one place and my parents are in another place.  And I hate that we all have lives that prevent us from having a big family reunion.  And I miss my nephew.  I miss all of my nieces and nephews, but this one...well, he lived close for a long time...and I spent a lot of time with him...and well, I miss him. 

Reason 7:  My biggest fear is that I'll trip in the night and break my face and there will be no one to take me to the emergency room...which I wouldn't want to go to anyways.  I would rather have a broken face than to have to pay the same doctor 14 different times for one stupid 3 hour visit.  I mean seriously, you spent 10 minutes with me and now you think you have the right to charge me hundreds and hundreds of dollars for your 10 minutes?  Buddy, you owe me for 3 hours.  Let's just call it even, right?

Reason 8:  I'm typing this stupid blog.  

Now, I'm going to attempt to sleep...but will probably end up lying in bed playing Candy Crush Saga on my phone until it dies and my eyeballs fall out.  Serious.  Don't make fun of me tomorrow if I have no eyeballs.  I'll be super offended.

Good night.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Family History, I am doing it, My Family History...

So, for those of you that pay attention, you've noticed that I do a lot of indexing.  No...not the kind at the library.  Well, kind of like that.  Some of you have had questions...hopefully I can answer them.
First of all, What is indexing?
Well, basically, someone has scanned archaic paperwork into a database.  The information on that paperwork-passenger lists, death certificates, christening records, census forms- needs transferred to a digital database.  So, I transfer that information from one place to another.  I like to think of myself as an ancestry taxi cab.  I take people where they need to be.  This information is used to piece together family history, you know..where YOU came from, how your family got here, who else you're related to, etc.  It's not only interesting, but essential to knowing who you are.
Secondly, Why are you indexing?
Well, first, I'm a nerd.  I LOVE family history.  I love all the details! And in order for me to know those details, someone had to do some research and some work and some indexing.  I want to repay their hard work...or at least, pay it forward. (which, coincidentally, is a great movie that you should watch)
Second, I am LDS. (Or, a Mormon, if you'd like).  We very much value our family history.  Why?  Because we know that families are eternal, meaning that after death, we will still have our loved ones with us.  Isn't that great?!?  However, in order for this to happen, there are certain ordinances that we believe need to take place.  In order to put those ordinances into effect, so that my family can be linked forever, I have to have a lot of information.  My family is important to me.  I want them forever.  I don't believe that a loving God would put them in our lives, just to have them be gone when I die.  If you would like to know more about these ordinances and ideals, find the LDS missionaries.  They can help.  Or ask me and I can direct missionaries to you, happily!
Third, I am an obedient member of the LDS church.  Recently, our Stake President (who is a local religious leader...not the man in charge of tasty meat) challenged each of us to index a thousand names.  That's really what lit the fire under me.  If he thinks it's important, it must be.  He is a man of God and I will follow where he leads.
Fourth, I've noticed a change in my life since I started.  Because I am being obedient and because I know that I am doing what my Heavenly Father needs me to do, I feel more blessed, I feel more faithful.  I feel like I am making a difference.  When I first started this project, I was doing it because I am obedient.  Then I indexed some birth records and some death records and a light flickered on in my soul.  These aren't just names.  They are people.  They are people who lived and who died. They are people with a story.  They are people with a family, perhaps a family that is trying to complete their family tree and missing that one person. They are children of God.
The death records were difficult...and enlightening.  They were from the 1930's and from the south.  The thing that bothered me the most was that there was so much difference in the records of the white people and the "colored" people.  It brought me to tears.  Some of these people suffered such tragedies- for instance, one man lost his wife in child birth and 12 or so records later, lost the baby that his dear wife has died for.  Another was an adopted boy who was riding on a wagon and fell.  There were car accidents, illnesses, etc.  And it made me very much ponder my existence.  What am I doing with my life?  What will people remember?  Will I make a difference?  And, if I'm not currently doing things right, I need to change them.  Immediately.
I love Family History.  A lot.  And I think you will too, if you just try it.
Here are some links to get you started...
Go.  Find your story.
It's worth it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

If you don't know me by now...

Blech.  I hate that song. And, blech, I just realized that I can actually summarize my life in song lyrics.  Isn't that pathetic?
So, since you're here, you probably want to know about me.  I've realized that I've poured out my heart and soul on this blog...and never actually introduced myself.

I'm Katie.
I am a 32 year old superhero.  (mostly in my own mind.)
I am married to another superhero named Tim.  He's the best part of my life.  No kidding.
We have no children, because, let's be honest.... it's none of your business and what with us being superheroes and all, it would be completely unfair to the rest of the world.
I do, however, play mother to two furry babies with tails, Jack the Cat and LilyBelle the Cat.
I work my dream job everyday at a local music store in the wholesale division as an account executive.
My husband works with foster kids.  All day.  Every day.
We are an LDS Power Couple.  My husband was called to be the Young Men's President in our ward at the same time that I was called to be the Primary President.
(I seriously almost swore in the bishop's office...for real)
I have dedicated the last couple of years of my life to those primary kids.  I have adopted every single one of them and love them more than I ever thought I could.
I love my family.  I am the oldest of four kids...and the only girl.  And the shortest.  And the most round.  Or roundest, whatever. And also, the prettiest.
I am the crazy, eccentric aunt that everyone warns their kids about.
My favorite hobby is spoiling the people I love.
My favorite colors are neon colors...mostly because they're so obnoxious.
My favorite foods are ones that I can eat.
My favorite chore is dreaming about how I can make one of my cats do the dishes.
My favorite movies are mostly black and white...or have Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews or any combination of the actors listed.
I have a severe music addiction.  I currently have over a thousand songs on my MP3 player.  And I keep buying more.  Are there groups for that?
I love the idea of being domestic, until I actually have to do it.  Ha.
I don't like long walks on the beach...or anywhere for that matter.
I like to shoot guns, drive my truck in the mud and explore places that aren't on maps.
I love animals...  I like to shoot them.  With my camera.
I leave the real animal shooting to my super hunter husband.
I love to play card games, because most of the time you only need two people...and I don't make friends easily.
I love to play instruments.  Any kind.  Currently, the guitar.
I wish I could twinkle my nose like Samantha in Bewitched and change things...or just clean my bathroom without actually stepping foot inside of it.
I think mustaches are hilarious.
I love action movies.  The good, dangerous, kind with fast American Muscle cars and lots of , well, action.
I am a HUGE sports fan.  I love the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning almost as much as I love my husband...and breathing.  I love my Oregon Ducks.  I love my New York Yankees and my Miami Heat.  Except hockey. And soccer.  And golf.  BOOOOOOORING.
My all time favorite song is, of course, I Am A Child of God.
And, now I'm sleepy.
So, feel free to tell me about you too in the comments...mostly because I'm bored...and nosy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Better To Look Up...

I don't know who this post is for.  Maybe it's just for me.
Today, a mother in our ward passed away leaving behind four children and no father.
I have a couple of friends who are fighting some hard battles right now.
All around me, I see hurt.  And pain. And fear. And turmoil. And tears.
And the worst part?
I can't fix it.
I am a fixer.
Whatever it is.  I fix it.
I bake it, I hug it, I love it, I gift it, I visit it, I bring it dinner, I babysit it, I clean it, I give it rides...
I do everything in MY POWER to fix it and make it better.
I can't fix this.
I can't undo it.
I can't even make it remotely more pleasant and easy.
I have cried all day.
I've been angry all day.
Angry at how unfair the world is.
Angry that good people are suffering and crying for help.
Angry that bad things happen to good people.
Angry that choices of others are affecting these people.
Crying for four children who are without a family.
Crying for their loss, for their fear, for their instability.
I've found myself racking my brain to the point that I have a headache trying to fix it.
Trying to fix their loss, trying to fix the trials and struggles of my friends.
And I can't.

Everyday, I see a struggling world, trying to make it through another day, trying to put on a cheerful face, trying to just try. 
I find myself looking around, looking side to side, looking down...and seeing the same stupid things.
Sadness, hurt, loneliness, pain, frustration, hopelessness, and so much more.

I recalled a quote by President Thomas S. Monson that hit the spot today.

"Remember, it is better to look up."

And it hit me.  
I'm looking the wrong way.
I can't fix it, but I know Someone who can.
Our Heavenly Father CAN fix it.  Sometimes, He chooses not to.
Sometimes, He lets the storm rage...but He will always comfort His child if we just ask.
I am grateful for my Father in Heaven and for His wisdom and His grace and His love.
So, to end...I'll leave you with this.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...Or Pounds

For those of you that don't really know me, let's just get this out of the way.
I'm a chubby girl.
My body and I have a love/hate relationship.
I've never been skinny.
Fit, maybe.
Skinny, no.
I never will be.
I accept that.
However-I want to be HEALTHY.
So, my husband and I decided to join a weight loss challenge. I thought this was great.  I'd done it before and I knew that with him on my side, I would ultimately succeed.
So, now we're three weeks in.
I am working my tail off.  Literally.
I am counting every calorie that I put in my mouth. Including chewing gum.
I work out until I am sore.
I haven't had a soda for TWO DAYS. (that's a long freaking time.)
I've lost 6 pounds.
He's lost 25.
Let's just say that I'm flustered.  Incredibly flustered.
I almost didn't work out this morning because I was lying in bed thinking...what's the point? It's not like it does a lot of good.  So, I laid there, scratching Lily-my cat-and letting my mind wander, which I've found is never safe.
And I recalled something that happened quite some time ago.
A little insight...
I might seem like a tough girl, a Regina George type, to some.  But, even us Reginas get our feelings hurt when someone is unkind to us. We don't always show it, but we remember it and we beat ourselves up for it for the rest of our lives because we feel like we've let someone down. And most times...that someone is the girl looking right back at us in the mirror.
I won't elaborate because it's not necessary.  I just remember feeling so, so worthless and wanting to just sit down and flip off the world and quit.  In fact, I remember getting in the shower later that night and bawling my eyes out-(in the shower so that no one could see or hear me.)
I simply wasn't good enough or fit enough.  I let myself down.  I let myself believe that I was nothing. I fell right into the trap.
So, when someone asked me today why I wanted to lose weight-I tried to be sweet and coy and even funny with my response when in all reality, the thought running through my mind was "because that will never, ever happen to me again. I will not let it."
I will never, never let that happen again.  I will never allow myself to be treated like that or to feel like I'm not good enough.  Ever.
So, I pulled my chubby buns out of bed and decided to kick box my way into Thursday.
Because I'm not worthless.  Because I'm not a straggler.  Because I'm not a follower.  
Because I AM worth it.  Because I AM a leader. Because I DESERVE better.
So, 6 pounds is a success. That's 6 pounds less that I have to carry on my shoulders...or more accurately, my backside. :) 
It's 6 pounds of self doubt, fear, guilt, failure and worthlessness.  
And maybe 1 Snickers bar that I ate when I was sad.
Goodbye 6 pounds.
Fare thee well.
Don't ever come back.
I honestly never want to see you again.
Also, to the people involved in this experience, thank you.  
I appreciate your example.
Thank you for inspiring me to be better and healthier and more kind than you ever were to me.
Now, off to bed so that I can kick box the trash out of another 6 pounds again tomorrow.
Here. We. Go.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dear Blank Please Blank...Part 3.

Dear Cat,
Seriously.  Stop peeing on things when you're mad at me.  I don't go to the bathroom on your stuff when I'm mad at you.

Dear Husband,
Please stop being so adorable.  I already love you more than anything.

Dear Cupcakes, 
Stop. Existing. Right now.

Dear Dr. Pepper,
I miss you.

Dear Primary Kids,
Stop being so cute.  I'm trying not to get attached to you .

Dear Orange Cat, 
Please go away.  I'm finding it quite hard not to adopt you, too.

Dear Survivor,
Is it too much to ask that my favorite survivor win? Ever?

Dear Luke Bryan,

Dear Deer, 
(just wanted to say that...)

Dear Fat Cells, 
Please shrink and disappear.  I hate you.

Dear Chocolate,
Please stop being so many calories.

Dear Yankees, (the baseball kind)
Please stop getting hurt.

Dear Football Season,
Hurry the heck up.  No please about it.  Just get here already!

Dear People Having Yard Sales,
Please stop selling cool junk.  I already have enough...

The Ugly Duckling

Take a minute..give it a watch.  Trust me on this one.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Don't Stop...Believing...

(you're singing that song in your head right now, aren't you?)
However, this post is not about the fabulousness and classicness of the band Journey.
Sometimes, life is hard.
Sometimes we all have trials that we don't understand.
Trust.  Believe.
Enough said.
(have i told you all how much I LOVE General Conference?)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Late Night Musings of a Slightly Tortured Soul

My heart hurts today.  For so many reasons.
It's been a hard week.
I find myself really looking forward to General Conference tomorrow...
(for those of you that don't know what that is...go to
I feel ashamed to tell you that I always listen to conference, but I don't always internalize it like I suppose I should.  I suppose I've never much applied it to my life all that much.  I listen, I learn, but I don't always DO.
And now, I find myself craving some comfort and guidance from God's prophets on the earth today.
I need to be uplifted, to be reminded of the things in this universe that are good and right, to know that I am a daughter of God, to remember that He loves me.
I'm going to be upfront with you and say that I've been experiencing one of those stormy seasons lately.  Much of it is self inflicted-meaning that I've made a bad choices in who I've trusted, in who I've befriended, in who I thought I was.
In day to day life, each of us is seeking acceptance and happiness and worldly wealth. And by doing this, we are pulled down from what we actually believe to gain that acceptance.  We start making exceptions and start rationalizing things that are wrong.
We forget that there is something and someone much more important.
We often need reminded that the opinions of the world are not what we should be seeking.  We don't need acceptance or "friendship" (and I use that term incredibly loosely...) from people who don't value us or the things that we hold sacred like kindness and honesty.
And still, not going to lie, I'm torn.
I don't throw things like what I thought was friendship away easily, but when you've been bitten numerous times and you've watched this person tear apart things that you believe in and people that you love, it's hard to hold onto.  I've often heard that some people come into your life as blessings and some come into your life as lessons....which leads me to think that I am a slow learner.  I hate to hurt others.  I hate to be mean.  I hate confrontation.  I hate tension. And yet, I hate feeling worthless.
So, what's more important? My self worth? Or someone else's? We are always taught to love thy neighbor. But...can we love them from afar?  What if the continual effort that you put forth is unhealthy?  What if it does nothing but bring you down?  Then is it okay not to love your neighbor, throw your hands up in the air and say Well! I tried... ?  I highly doubt it.  Maybe the answer is to be the best me that I can be and do my best to live a good, righteous life.
I suppose what I'd better do instead of blogging and listening forlornly to Ed Sheeran, is go hit my knees and figure this out.  Or better yet, pray for guidance and inspiration and comfort and let Him figure it out.
I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and for His divine plan for each of us.  I am grateful for my blessings and my lessons.
And last, but not least, I'm glad that I'm His child and that He loves matter what.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What If?

I'm a hypothetical kind of gal.
I like to wonder.
I like to imagine.
Which leads to this.
Yesterday, I was feeling sort of bad for myself.  Pity party for one, you might say.
I was looking at myself and wondering "What have I done with my life?  Who will remember me when I'm gone?  Who will care?  Who will want to know about me? Oh, that's right...I have no kids.  No lineage.  The buck stops here."
So, I took my sad, sorry, pathetic self home and tried to decide what to do about dinner.
As I was getting it ready, my doorbell rang.
Lo and behold, there stood my neighbor kids from across the street.
They came to bring "Brother Jennings" and I cupcakes that they made.
(a little background...these kids go to primary.  we have taught them with the missionaries in our home.  they ride to church with me on occasion and almost always sit with us.)
As I hugged them goodbye, the littlest one said "I wuv you, Sither Jennings!"
And I began to play the "What If?" game...
What if.....
I don't have children for a reason?
What if...
I actually had my own children?
What if...
Heavenly Father actually knows what He's doing?

I think I know myself pretty well.  I'm pretty positive that my nieces and nephews are the cutest children to EVER walk the face of the earth.  I know that my cats are smarter and prettier and funnier than anyone else's...and my husband, well, he hung the moon.

It makes me wonder if I don't have children because I'm needed elsewhere.  If I had my own children, I wouldn't like anyone else's child.  At all. Because, let's be honest.  We all know my kids would be AMAZING.
How  would it be possible for me to love my primary kids like my own?  To stand up for them?  To worry about them? To be concerned about their future, about their worthiness, about their identity, about their feelings?
It wouldn't.
For some reason, they need ME.  They need all of me.  They need me to be a primary mom.  To bust their chops when they screw up.  To love them.  To teach them.  To make them my first priority.
Isn't it wonderful that Heavenly Father has this huge master plan that we can't understand all at once?  Isn't it wonderful that He knows each of us?  He knows who I am.  He knows my strengths, my weaknesses, my struggles and my triumphs.  I am grateful that He knows me. I am grateful that He gave me 60 kids instead of 5.  I am grateful that He loves me and can give me what I need everyday.  I am grateful for my calling.  I am grateful for my testimony.  I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who keeps His eye on little, old me.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Beauty of Being a Woman

 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." - Proverbs 31:10

I've been thinking for a few days now how messed up this world is.  Seriously.
I saw a commercial for Women's MMA (mixed martial arts for you non-espn-ers) followed by a segment on Danica Patrick and the Daytona 500 followed by another segment about women in sports.
Now, I'm not trying to judge them, but not one of these women looked like my mother- who I consider the ultimate woman.
Then, later on that day, I was told that women like me set the women's liberation movement back 20 years.
Then, today, I taught a primary class purely on inspiration because I didn't have a manual and it wasn't planned...and the discussion somehow led to why women don't have the priesthood.
Now, first of all, I realize that my views are archaic and old fashioned and not at all trendy.
I believe that women do have rights.
I also believe that women have divine qualities and a divine purpose in this world.
I personally may not be able to fulfill some of these qualities and purposes and I'm quite alright with that.
So, this leads me to ask...
What exactly is wrong with just being a good, virtuous woman?
What is so "uncool" about cooking and cleaning and caring for those you love?
Why is it not okay to wear a dress to church?
What is wrong about wanting to make the world and your home a better, more beautiful place?
We, as women, have a privilege.
We get to affect the world for the better, and we don't even have to try.
It just comes naturally.
I want to be pretty and delicate and sweet and kind and honest and trustworthy and virtuous and lovely.
We get to raise children. (whether they belong to us or not.)
We are automatically equipped with the ability to love and to nurture.
We serve freely.
We are kind.
We are good.
We change the world every day.
I'm not saying we all have to be barefoot, pregnant and locked in the kitchen.
I'm saying be a woman and be proud of what and who you are.
Don't think that you have to be masculine to fit in a man's world.
Be gentle.
Be good.
Be kind.
Be beautiful.
is how a woman can change the world.
I urge you to celebrate womanhood.
I personally am going to try very hard to be more kind, gentle and lovely this week.
I am going to respect myself and treat myself as such.
I am going to build my family, small as it may be.
Go, be a woman. 
I am woman, hear me speak kindly and softly and gently.
Not roar.
It's not ladylike.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm the Chubby Friend.

Chubby girls have feelings too.  They might be a touch harder to find under all this fluff, but they're, please don't assume that just because I'm built like a Mac truck and act tough that my feelings won't get hurt if you stomp all over them.
Also, we don't like being the big butt of all of your jokes. ( I don't care who you are, that's funny right there.)

So, first, I felt bad.
Then, I read THIS FABULOUS BLOG... again.
Then, because I like to laugh,  I found these.
This is true.  I mean really?  Have you met me?

We do.  It's true.

Now, don't go feeling bad for me.  Because I don't.  I love me.  I'm awesome.
I just need other people to realize that I'm a whole lot of awesome.

And finally, this.  Because it's true.  And even though I'm chubby and out of shape and not what you think is great and not even what I think is beautiful...Heavenly Father still loves me.
So there.