Friday, November 11, 2016


Today I am thankful for many people and things, not just because it's November, but because I think about this stuff!

I'm grateful for this funny kid who I've had to coerce or bribe to take a picture since he turned 14. J is so talented and smart. With so much potential, I am excited to see what he does with his life. I never thought about and worried about another person like I have him since he was born. I pray for him every day, multiple times a day. I had no idea what unconditional love was until J came into my life. He makes me a better person.

I'm grateful for my stepson D. He has come a long way in appreciating me and his dad in his life. He's funny and the life of any party with his stories and jokes. I never thought I'd have more kids and was so blessed with him. He is an amazing young man and he and J are brothers in every way. It's awesome.

 I'm thankful for this guy. Steve and I are a match made in heaven (literally). It took heaven and earth to get us together over twenty years after he asked me out the first time! He is patient, kind, funny, sexy, hard-working, and spiritual. I am so blessed to be married and sealed to him!

When Heavenly Father was assigning each of us families I'm sure that he didn't give me a choice with this one. They needed me and I needed them, only He knew it and knew why. This picture represents only one sister and her family (with her hubby absent.) I have three more with many more adorable nieces and nephews. Love them all. 

Hard to not be thankful for dogs. They keep me busy when I want to just sit. Something about a dog depending on you and loving you no matter what just tugs at my heart. We've had Oscar for twelve years. He was a shelter dog, so we really have no idea how old he is. He is the BEST dog I have ever had.

I am also grateful for jokesters. I do not drink soda usually. This was a joke I was playing on my sister, Nikki. Her name is boldly printed on this can to reserve it for her and her only. I was taking a selfie to send to her and tease her about drinking it. (I didn't.) My youngest brother, Truman, jumped in at the last minute. He is a jokester and notorious photo bomber. I LOVE that about him! He and I have had many laughs over the years with his photo bombing. We all need happy people like him in our lives.

 I am super thankful for my health and the ability I have to run, walk, bike, etc. I've been running since my son was born. It has been such a blessing to me to leave my worries behind, think, ponder, and pray while I run. Plus I'm outside in the sun---my favorite!

I'm grateful for America. She is a beautiful, crazy melting pot of people and ideas. She's still the best country in the world, despite her flaws. 

I am grateful for earth's beauty. It makes me happy and chills me out. I took this photo about 2 years ago and added the text later. I got to work that morning, parked my car, and looked up to see this gorgeous sky.  

I took this photo at my favorite spot on earth in Duck Creek, Utah. Only a few people have been invited to go there with me. It is a lovely meadow where I sit and pray and reflect on life while my dogs run around thrilled with the wide open space. We need places like this to bring us peace and give us time to think and be away from people and technology. 

I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I would not be the person I am. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am understood. He knows me and loves me, despite all of my faults. I love Him.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


About four days before Eric Wayne Deuley died, I had a strong prompting to call him. Strong might be an understatement. It was a such an overwhelming feeling, that I physically swayed and had to grab onto a table. I didn't have his number. We hadn't spoken in about 26 years. The last time we spoke I told him I loved him, but I told him I loved someone else too. He was my first real love at 18. I never really got past him or over him. I ran from him the first time, hoping he would chase me. Hoping he would change, for me. Hoping. He never chased me like I wanted him to. He turned, hurt and upset. He did the same thing the second time. I never learn.

I would ask my cousin, his step mom, about him every summer at our family reunion. For most of the summers I asked it was bad news. Drugs. Homelessness. Divorce. Poverty. I would cry after I walked away from her. A small piece of my heart breaking. The voice in my head telling me I could have saved him or changed him or helped him. But I know that is not true. We make our own choices. We live with them. Even me. (My husband knows all of this, by the way. Steve is an amazingly understanding husband.) But if I somehow contributed to his pain, that is something I struggle to live with.

Some years it was good news. He got married. He bought a house. He had children. He was clean. He was working and making decent money. He was happier than he'd been in a long time. Especially the last few years. I was happy that he was happy. I was in a good place too.

So that day I looked Eric up on Facebook and found pictures of him happy and smiling with a woman. He looked older and different than I remembered him. He had been through a lot. His poor choices had led him down roads most of us would never dream of taking. The idea of calling him and disturbing his happiness, not to mention explaining it to my husband, kept me from calling. I was a coward, I admit it.

Four days later he was hit and killed while riding a motorcycle on the highway out by Hoover Dam.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I have yet to get over this or even around it.

I'm still healing.

Logically, it makes no sense. I step outside of myself and think, "Why are you so upset? You haven't seen him in years. You broke things off. You let him go not once, but twice. You moved on. You are happily married." But do we ever really move on? Really? Do we ever overcome a first, true love?

My eternal optimism (inherited from both of my parents) whispered to my heart over the years that someday Eric and I would get a second chance. Okay, a third chance. We tried the second chance and that didn't work. I sincerely thought we'd get one when we were old(er) and gray(er). That we would finally be in the same place and finally want the same things. That's not going to happen in this life. And THAT'S what makes me cry.

While I love, love, love my husband (who is perfect for me in every way), a part of me never stopped loving Eric. I wish I'd called him.

I know I will see him again in the next life. In fact, I believe he and I knew each other before our lives on this earth and that we were close friends. So that gives me hope. (Eternal optimist, remember?) And that hope makes me smile, because I know he would want me to. He would nudge me and make a wisecrack and look at me like, "What are you worried about girl? Stop yer cryin'."

Miss you Eric. Until we meet again.