Peace and Pandemonium

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Silent Auction Back Story

I am so excited to take pictures of the darling family that won the silent auction a couple of weeks ago. We've been in touch and are scheduled to do our photo shoot on Friday. I am so excited!!! I'll be posting their teaser blog next week but until then, a funny story...

I was told by Misti, the woman who was actively bidding on this auction item up until the very last seconds and who ultimately won, that there was some cheating involved. Not by her of course because, as she says, "cheaters never win", but by a shady woman who tried to pass herself off as a neutral "volunteer". Instead of hearing it second hand from me, go check it out for yourself on Misti's blog. This story is so funny and you can read it right here.

I'm still unsure what the high bid was but I think it was around $95. I'll have to verify that, but if that is what it went for then I am ecstatic!! Especially because I set the minimum bid at $25. I'm also happy that there was a bidding war. Not only does that boost my ego a little (shameless, I know), but it drives up the money for school which was the whole point in the first place. ; )

I'm so happy that Misti and her family won this photo shoot. Especially because they truly earned it!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Sugar and Spice

This girl brings me joy!

I love EVERYTHING about her.


Alpine Loop

Steven and I drove the Alpine Loop this afternoon with our kids. The fall colors are in full display up there and it was so beautiful. It seems to me like I don't get enough pictures of this handsome guy. Today, he was my muse.

Nothing but smiles. : )

Sunday, September 28, 2008


My Talk

It's been a week since I gave this talk in church and today was the first day since then that I read through it. It was good for me to reread what I had written. Every word of it was written for my own benefit. I thought I'd post it in case you had any interest. If not, I's kind of long. I was told that I talked the longest. My husband timed me at 13 minutes!! I was trying to talk slowly, so as to not rush, but 13 minutes??! I was aiming for about 8-10 so I'm glad I over shot it a little. I still cant believe I was able to rattle on that long though.

So now I've posted on politics and religion....what other taboo topics should I discuss here?? : )

* * *

Henry David Thoreau said, “Knowledge doesn’t come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven.”

When I set out to write this talk last Sunday I decided to just open my scriptures somewhere in the middle and see if there was any divine guidance waiting for me on the other end. I opened my scriptures to the Words of Mormon. I flipped through and saw that it was only one chapter, so I decided that I’d just read the whole thing. When I got to the 7th verse, my heart warmed up and started to pound gently in my chest. I read:

And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

The Lord’s will is carried out on earth through those who are willing to serve one another. I was asked to speak today on: “Being and instrument in the hands of God”. As I thought about what it means to be His instrument, I came across a quote by Kathleen Hughes 1st counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. She said:

“God knows the needs of His children and He often works through us, prompting us to help one another. When we act on such promptings, we tread on holy ground, for we are allowed the opportunity to serve as an agent of God in answering a prayer.”

I started to wonder how I could prepare myself to be that instrument? What would I need to do personally to prepare for this task? This preparation is what I would like to focus on today.

I believe this process begins with a desire to perform the Lord’s work.

D&C 6:8 reads: Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

Countless people perform the Lord’s work each day. The sincere and devoted teacher, the volunteer youth counselor, the Red Cross worker, and the full time missionary all carry out Heavenly Father’s good works, and none of this good can start without first the desire to serve Him. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be sensitive to Him. He wants us to reach out with all of our hearts so that He can pour out His love upon us. We innately desire to reconnect here with the love we felt while we were in our Father’s presence. The more we obey and serve God, the more we desire to help others. The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on.

D&C 88:63 promises: Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

During the course of our busy lives serving others can be difficult, even when we have the best of intentions. We need to pray to our Heavenly Father and ask him to show us the ways and means that we can serve Him and His children and then wait for the answers to come, knowing that they will. A helpful and practical way for us to be more aware of how we can be His instrument is by writing down our thoughts and inspirations as we receive them. In this way we will be better equipped in remembering what we have been prompted to do. Writing things down allows for reflection later and it is during our moments of reflection that we learn the most about ourselves and our Lord. If we don’t have a natural desire to be God’s instrument, then we can pray for that desire. God will infuse us with His spirit if we will but ask. He will know of our desire to serve Him and He will show us the ways that we can become all that He would have us be.

Our desire to serve the Lord will grow and flourish if we strengthen our personal testimony. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,

“Honestly evaluate your personal life. How strong is your own testimony? Is it truly a sustaining power in your life, or is it more a hope that what you have learned is true? … Your testimony will be fortified as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ, in His teachings, and in His limitless power. …”

Alma 32:27 says: But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

What a blessing it is to know that no matter where each of us are with our own personal testimony, we can always increase our knowledge of our Heavenly Father and our convictions in His words. When we allow our testimony of Him to grow, we will discover that God loves us. You and I, individually. When we begin to trust Him and to exercise faith in Him we will begin to believe and know with the deepest of conviction that He will never lead us astray. That He will always guide us in the direction that we need to go. He will always show us how we can improve ourselves and how we help others along the way. We may at times feel that we aren’t capable of being God’s instrument but we can come understand our weaknesses in a different way when we read Ether 12:27 which says,

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

For me personally, an extremely effective way that I have been able to grow my testimony has been through service in my calling. By being involved in the Young Women program I have been presented with many opportunities for service that would not have otherwise been mine to enjoy. Preparing weekly mutual activities, attending camp, and now speaking in sacrament meeting have all been extremely effective in increasing my testimony and stretching what I previously thought were my limits.

As we continue to increase our personal testimonies, which is a lifetime pursuit, we can become more confident in our Heavenly Fathers love for us and we will begin to seek Him out more diligently. As we get to know our Father in heaven we begin to understand how He speaks to us. These revelations are different for every person but they always come from the same source and that is through the gift of the Holy Ghost.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“We hear the words of the Lord most often by a feeling. If we are humble and sensitive, the Lord will prompt us through our feelings. That is why spiritual promptings move us on occasion to great joy, sometimes to tears. Many times my emotions have been made tender and my feelings very sensitive when touched by the Spirit. The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate with each other. We are more calm in our relationships. We have a greater capacity to love each other. People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit. We are more godly in our character. As a result, we are more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things.”

When we listen to and act upon the promptings of the spirit we will be set upon a course that will ultimately allow us to reach our fullest potential. This potential not only includes what we will learn or accomplish along the way, but also the opportunity to bless other people in a way that only we can.

Finally, the most important part of being an instrument in the hands of God is this. Follow through. Stretch your limits. Step out of your comfort zone if that is what you feel prompted to do. Seek out those among you that you can serve. Reach out to someone in need. Encompass charity in all of your actions. Be true to who you are and who our Heavenly Father wants you to be. As we do these things we will discover that this is how we accomplish our mission here on this earth. We listen to the still small voice of our Father in heaven who loves us and would never lead us astray. We trust that he has a specific plan for us that if we will but follow His promptings we will find the path of least resistance. We will feel His love for us, the pure love of Christ, the most meaningful expression that we can experience here in this life. We will truly be doing Gods work, walking our divine path, and loving every minute of it.

Once again, in the inspired words of Henry David Thoreau,

Do a little more of that work which you had sometime confessed to be good, which you feel that society and your justest judge rightly demands of you. Do what you reprove yourself for not doing. Know that you are neither satisfied or dissatisfied with yourself without reason. Let me say to you and to myself in one breath, Cultivate the tree which you have found to bear fruit in your soil.

And never forget, Philippians 4:13 which states, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

* * *

After this I bore my testimony but that was only for the select few in the house! Sorry. : ) By the way, the songs on my page.....I love them.

Friday, September 26, 2008


My Decision '08

I just watched the debates and lets just say I'm an Obama Mama!

However, it's really too bad that because I live in Utah, my vote is worthless, pointless even. I often wonder, why do I even bother going to the polls? If I were to vote republican, which I don't, but if I did, it wouldn't matter because everyone and their brother votes republican here. If I vote democratic, it also doesn't matter because my vote gets washed away by the overwhelming majority. SOOO LAME!!! When are we going to change the electoral voting system in this country? Probably not until our country isn't totally falling apart at the seams, or maybe when when we aren't on the brink of another very serious, and scary I might add, Great Depression, or when we aren't in the middle of the most expensive, pointless, waste of a war (and waste of human life). My guess is that it's going to be a while. Not very optimistic am I? I guess I need to work on that. Until then, maybe I should move to Florida where my right to vote would actually count for something.

What are your thoughts on politics and our archaic electoral voting system?

Monday, September 22, 2008


Mirror Mirror

For Sophie's 3rd birthday party, we started out in jammies...

and with the help of a little make up and some beautiful dresses...

we transformed into princesses.

Sunday, September 21, 2008



I am so relieved to have finally finished one of the longest, busiest, and most stressful weeks of my life. Phew!!
I managed to put together my portfolio for the auction despite a problem at the printers that sent me into a full panic less than an hour before I was supposed to have it ready. Because of this problem, the pictures that ended up making the final cut are slightly different from those in the previous post. It's a long story and believe it or not, I don't want to go into it. The auction went well! I scored an amazing deal on an 8 time yoga pass to It's Yoga. 26 bucks! A total steal, those babies go for $75! 6 am yoga class here I come. : ) I don't know who won the photo shoot yet but I'm so exited for them to email me so that we can set up a time to take pictures. Which reminds me, I got my camera and lens back! The turn around was really fast! I was very impressed. Now I hope that everything is in working order. I haven't had much of a chance to experiment yet with one small exception. The impromptu birthday party that I decided to throw for Sophie during one of the craziest weeks ever. What was I thinking? I'll tell ya, I was thinking "Why not? Why not add more work and stress to the craziest week of my life?" Unfortunately I cant tell you exactly why I was thinking that. Except for maybe that throwing a party is so much fun! That's probably why I went ahead and had the party this week instead of next. I needed to have some fun with my kiddies in between all of the chaos. Sophia had all of her friends over for a very special Pajama to Princess Party. We had pancakes for breakfast, cut into pretty shapes, we did pedicures and makeup and then dressed up as princesses and played.
It is a happy coincidence that the sound of the letter P is what Sophia and Matias have been working on in their talking time preschool class. I told her that if she wanted to have her party this week she had to say princess instead of the usual trincess. She managed to say it correctly when her birthday party hung in the balance. I was very proud. : ) She can hear the sound of p and says other p words correctly, she is just in a bad habit of saying this particular word wrong. The alliteration of p's in Sophies birthday party plans was purely accidental parralelism. Look for pictures in the next post. Ok I'll stop now.
Of course the biggest reason for my stress this week was the looming sacrament meeting talk I had to prepare. Oh boy, that was a challenge. But you know what? It was a welcomed and appreciated challenge. I accepted the invitation to speak and I really feel that I benefited from the experience. That's not to diminish my enthusiasm when I say that I am so glad it's all over. I can finally breathe easy again. In fact, I hadn't walked more than two steps away from the pulpit before I felt amazing. Great! So relieved that I had made it through in one piece. Now, with the exception of the usual school stuff and an appointment here and there I have all of next week free to spend how I desire. I plan on visiting friends, having a girls night out, and watching the premiere of the new fall season. All of my "stories" as Steven calls them are starting again. Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Amazing Race, ANTM, and maybe a few choice others are already set up on my DVR to record. This is yet another reason I love the fall, TV!! Hahaha! I couldn't imagine trying to watch any TV without a DVR though. It would make me crazy and I probably wouldn't do it. Regular TV is for suckers. : ) Sorry if you are one but its true. Ok. I feel so much better now. I feel like I can finally unwind. Yay!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Portfolio Pics

As it turned out, I had an extremely difficult time choosing the right pictures for this auction. I was only going to include 8-10 which would have been plenty. Instead I chose closer to 20. Overkill? I hope not. These are the pictures I selected to showcase.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm Not a Teacher, I'm a Reminder

Once again, I'm posting an excerpt from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. I'm telling you, this book never ceases to amaze me.

I have been given the opportunity, if you want to call it that, to give a talk in church this Sunday. I honestly cant even remember the last time I spoke in church. A prayer here and there but an actual lesson where people are listening to me and expecting to learn something? It has been well over a decade. I am determined not to make a total fool of myself so with that in mind I have set out to prepare ahead of time and to avoid procrastination. My fingers are crossed here! I am fully aware that these kinds of talks mostly benefit the one who has taken the time to prepare it and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn a few things. I need at least that. I know I will be nervous when the time comes, public speaking has never really been my forte. I'm trying not to think that far in advance. I always feel that I should be the one listening and learning from others, not the one teaching. That is why I am trying to psyche myself up by reading from one of my favorite books, The Prophet. I'm going to remember that I wont really be teaching, instead I'll be reminding people of things they already know. That takes some of the pressure off. Lord help me!

Then said a teacher, "Speak to us of Teaching."

And he said:

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of our knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My Little Superman

I was just thinking how much I love having a superhero around the house.

Matias has been growing and changing so much lately. He is in preschool three days a week and loves every minute of it. One of his favorite things to do is to practice his handwriting. He is getting really good and writing vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines. His sense of humor is developing and sharpening everyday and I'm not kidding when I say that this kid makes me laugh on a daily basis. He has such an irresistible personality, I'm like putty in his hands majority of the time. I guess that's the effect that a superhero has on me.

Even when he picks his nose.

However, not as much when he eats it afterward.

Hopefully he grows out of that???

By the way, if you want to enter another giveaway head on over to Jenny's Happy Life. She's a funny lady and I'm meeting requirements here. : )


We Have a Winner

First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to browse through pictures for me. I know it took effort and I want you to know I really appreciate your time. I haven't thoroughly gone through your suggestions yet, but that is what I'm going to work on today. I'll post the pictures I choose to use (based on your suggestions) in my next post so that you can see what images made the cut. Now I just have to hope for someone who wants to bid on it.

Because I didn't know of a better way, I wrote each of your names on a piece of paper and folded them and shook them up. I had my sweet little helper Sophia pick out one piece of paper thus choosing the winner.

Motherboard!! Guess what? You're the one! The big winner. Please email me ( with your address and I'll send your Barnes and Noble gift card to you ASAP!

Once again, thanks sooooo much to all of you. What would I ever do without you??

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well That Was Interesting...

Thanks so much for your help!!! I needed some direction and you guys helped out a lot. I think you are right, showcase pictures that appeal to my target audience. I will do my best to choose images based solely on your suggestions. If anyone still wants to enter the giveaway, your odds are pretty good and you still have until Monday at midnight. Remember, I'm only asking for like one or two suggestions, you don't have to go crazy {ie: Wonderwoman!! : ) We forgive her though, she's a superhero and cant help but be an insane overachiever.} You might win $15 bucks at Barnes and Noble, what could be cooler than that? Oh that's true, lots of things but you'd be helping a friend and isn't that worth more than money or gifts? : ) Love you guys. Thanks again!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


So This is What I'm Thinking

I have decided to do a give away. My first and maybe not even my last. We'll see how this one goes.

Here's the background. I am donating a photo shoot to my son's school for a silent auction. I'm trying to get myself prepped for it. I'm going to have a selection of my pictures in a portfolio so that people will know what they are bidding on. I need to choose maybe 8 or 10 of my best shots to include in this portfolio. I need to show variety, the types of groups I photograph, MY STYLE basically. That way maybe someone will bid on it! At least that's what I hope. I'm also hoping that by doing a give away, I can entice those of you who may normally choose nott to take the time to comment, to instead, leaf through some of my favorite shoots------->(in my sidebar) and let me know what you think. I need your help! This is what your comment could include...

1. Your favorite series.
2. Maybe one or two of your favorite images, either from that series or another. Do your best to describe but I think I'll know.

I have gone through my blog (for you) and made a selection of my favorite shoots. If you want to sift further, feel free. This however, will hopefully save you time and make participating in this give away less grueling. I just need a little direction and help. I've tried to make it easy for you although it will take a few minutes of your time.

The reason that this will help me is because I might not choose the same pictures as the rest of you. It will be interesting to see what you all come up with. I will tally up the "votes" and then choose the portfolio images for this auction based on your suggestions, with maybe one or two choices of my own.

In return for your kind service, I will be giving away..........drumroll please.............

A $15 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble!! Cool right? I can think of many, many, many books that I'd like to spend 15 bucks on. Ok peeps, I know it's not much but I don't have too much more to give right now. I hope this will at least encourage some of you to speak up and help me out.

I know that this is not in line with what I usually do here but I'm in the middle of removing my blocks and I'm putting it all out there. Fun right??

To enter just leave a comment by Monday the 15th, let's say midnight, my time of course. One lucky blogger will win by a random draw. I'm not sure how yet but I assure you it will be totally fair and neutral...I have obviously never done this before. Either way, on Monday a lucky one among you will win a new book or a movie or a CD or Starbucks. What ever your heart desires. I'll mail this nifty little GC anywhere around the world. Let's see what happens.

Ok peeps, vote! I need your help. Thanks so very, very much.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Good Bye Summer

Now that the weather is changing and it's cooling down I can honestly say that I am so excited!! October is my favorite month and autumn is my favorite season. Here are a few reasons why.

1. I love wearing jeans, sweaters, long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, trenches, layers, boots and anything else warm and cute.

2. I love the sound of the fallen leaves crunching under my feet when I step on them.

3. The cool, crisp air is so refreshing. The leaves change colors and the mountains are gorgeous!! It's not too hot and it's not too cold. It's perfect.

That being said, I will miss the summer. If it would just go summer, fall, summer, fall, that would be great!

I never got around to posting these pictures from our day at Cresent Beach, FL this past June. My kids LOVED being here. It was storming moments before our arrival and so our picnic idea was scrapped. We ate in the car while the beach totally cleared out. Then, as if by design, as soon as we finished our lunch the clouds parted and it became the most perfect day to be at the beach. The weather had scared away most tourists and locals so we practically had the beach to ourselves. Isaiah spent the afternoon looking for shells and Matias and Sophie built sandcastles. The water was amazingly warm and gentle. Steven swam in the ocean with Isaiah, the only child brave enough to accompany him. I took pictures the whole time and stole a little reading time too. It was such a wonderful day!!

See, those are my feet. I really was there.


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