lessons from mom – intro

I was blessed to have a great mom.   She was an incredible person, in just about every way.  She was the kind of person that you loved to be around.  Everyone loved talking to her, because she was an amazing listener, she really cared about you and what you had to say.   She had this way about making you feel comfortable and good about yourself.   Mom was a student of life, loved learning and studied many subjects.  I’d often find her researching something on the computer; the history of a country, the life of a famous musician or world leader, or anything that sparked her intrest.  She was a woman of faith.  She loved the Lord and had a very close relationship with Him.  Talking to her and being around her made you want to do better, and be better.  She never gossip-ed.  Not once, did I hear her gossip.  She spoke and acted like a lady, (something that i’m still working on).  She was refined in every way.  She was wise, and her counsel or advise was pretty spot on.  She was a devoted and loyal friend.  She loved music, art, culture, people, laughing and life.  She loved good food, time with family, and a great conversation.  She had this delightful and contagious giggle, a beautiful smile, and sparkly green eyes.  She was one of my very favorite people in the world, and next to my sister T, my most dear and best friend.   Like all mothers, they have the most beautiful and profound impact on your life.  You love them with all your heart.  I will never doubt that she loved me.  I still feel connected to her and I know her spirit is alive as ever, and i’m sure radiant and more beautiful than I can imagine.  But oh, how I miss her terribly.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, which then returned again in 2009.  She fought cancer bravely, selflessly, and courageously.  The last 2.5 years of her life I was fortunate enough to see her almost on a daily basis, in which I worked on her life’s history.  At the time, I had a feeling that I should help her work on it, inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father to help my mom share her life history and for her daughter to learn and know that life.  We didn’t finish the history, but we did capture over 100 pages of experiences and lessons from her life.  The thought came to me the other day, to share her “life lessons” on a weekly basis on my blog as I think that we all can benefit from her life and her lessons.  There is power in remembering.  There is power in feeling connected to our loved ones who have passed on.  To listen.  To apply.  Building on the foundation of their lives and the things they taught us and what we can learn from them.

It is in that spirit, that I hope to share some of the “Life Lessons” of my Mom.  I plan to post weekly with an excerpt from her history.


Life Lessons

Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engrave these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.  Jacob 4:3

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God: for we know that it is by grace that we are saved after all we can do.  2 Nephi 25:23

I want this to be a record and a testimony of the things that I have learned in my life, so that my children and grandchildren can benefit from the things, which have blessed me.  I think that as a parent you want the best of your life to be with your children, you want to share the experiences that have taught you and blessed your life so that those truths can continue on to bless their lives.  And so I write, something I am not comfortable with nor do I find easy, but I will not live forever and I will not always be around to tell the stories and teach the lessons. Perhaps, if I write them down, there will be times when they are read and benefit my posterity long after I am gone. I also know that these are not the only lessons in life nor are they necessarily the most important ones.  There are many lessons I have not yet learned and many things I may have brought with me and just knew, gifts from a loving father who knew what I needed to be successful in my earth experience.  But these experiences written here are a few things I learned and felt they were important enough to pass on.

I just heard a quote, it is not what a person writes that is important, but what they choose to write about, and this gives me comfort, which the importance of what I do is in the subjects, not in the mechanics…. I have hope…


st. thomas – st. John – best of USVI

When I was 25 I had a quarter life crisis.  I dated 3 boys in a row my 24th year and things didn’t work out.  My heart got hurt a little and I needed some adventure and change… So, I quit my job (that I loved) and took another opportunity to go live and work in the Caribbean for a while.  It was one of the highlights of my life and such an adventure.  People often ask me for my recommendations and so I put together this list of the highlights, sorto-of a BEST-OF.   It’s hard to fit 6 months of experiences into one vacation, at least you’ll have a starting point!


ST. Thomas Beaches:
Megan’s Bay – evening.  get’s busy in the day
Sandy Bay
Mermaids Chair – on the west end.  fun to explore!
Santa Maria (adventurous.  You’ll want to snorkel around the point on the right side)
Smith Bay – a non-resort beach
Sapphire Beach

St. John Beaches:
Solomon Beach – 1.5m hike from cruz bay
Maho – Stingray & turtles
Francis – Gorgeous
Leinster to Waterlemon. (amazing snorkeling)
Salt Pond
Reef Bay (hike the reef bay trail)
Limetree Cove & Hansen Beach

St. Thomas Food:
Ritz – Sushi & Desserts.
Bologno Resort Restaurant
Udder Delight – shakes in Megan’s bay

St. John Food:
BBQ street vendor
Smoothie from smoothie stand
Banana Deck
Street Tacos
Skinny Legs
Mis Lucy’s

St. John – 
Cinnamon Bay Campground – Tent/Cottage/Dry site
Maho Beach: Campground
Concordia – Eco Resort
Villa Rentals

St. Thomas – 
Marriott, Ritz, Sapphire Beach

Must Dos:
Day Trip or multi day trip to Virgin Gorda – The baths are phenomenal!
Snorkeling, alot
Scuba diving
Kayak – Through the mangroves in STT and hurricane hole STJ
Paddle Board
Hike the Reef Bay Trail and Rams Head Trail in STJ
Monday Night movies on the beach – Water Island
Try Patte, Johnny Cakes & Conch Fritters
Swim at night to see the bio-luminescent organisms

on blogging

How do people keep up with blogging their life.  There is lots to share, but people amaze me at what they produce.  I still am trying to work out what to write and what I care to write about.

In the meantime, I’ll just going to try and go christmas shopping and make sure my kitchen stays clean.  Oh, and change the world of display marketing.  Yeah, that too.

And try to love B, like alot.

And fight my inner desire to binge on all things amazon.

seeing the christmas lights downtown last week.

b&c christmas lights

found this little gem.  us in aug 2011 weeks before we got engaged.  albion basion. ut

b&c 2011 utah mtns

b&c 2011 utah mtns

treasure from a little bro

little brother-hood

little brother-hood

My lil bro is awesome.  Here he is at age 911or something accepting my apology.

Carrie I forgive you.  Somtimes it is so hard to come home from a hard day and then you are all snotty and tolte (totally) mean to me.  It is hard.”

Life is hard when you are 11ish.

Now that little brother is 6’4″ a dad and one of my favorite people in the entire world.  He is hilarious, funny, smart, handsome, hard working and an awesome husband and father.  I stinking love his guts.  I’m glad he forgave me for being snotty and mean.  Dang it.

So glad I kept this in my little box o notes.  Not sure why, but funny none the less.


lunch time wedding

Lunch today was spent going to a wedding of one of my most fav. roommates.  It was rainy and the temple looked beautiful.

rainy day at slc temple
During the ceremony one bit of cousel that was shared, touched me.  He said, when you marry you are to love your spouse as God loves them.  Beautiful concept.  I guess I have some increased loving to do,  you better get ready B.

(Watch out, I’m about to go deep)

Today was also unexpectedly awesome to reconnect with old friends from a few years ago.  It made me think of where I was a few years ago vs where I am now.  At that time, when those were people I interacted with daily, we were in the think of cancer with Mom.   While that time was incredibly precious it was also equally intense.  Being with those old friends reminded me of how many of them prayed, supported, loved, sent flowers, texts, emails, notes to us. That was such a hard time;  hard for my family but so much harder for mom. The pain, the heartache, the sadness to leave her family, the loss of life as she knew it as cancer slowly consumed her.   It was cool to be able to look back and see how much losing my mom has taught me.  How much I’ve grown.  How that experience has impacted me deeply.  I think she would “be pleased” with the outcome.  I am so grateful that time passes, the heart heals, and life moves forward.  The sun keeps rising.  The seasons keep changing.  Life moves on and returns back to a “new” normal.  I am happier now than I ever have been or remember being.  I’m sure in large part to the due to what I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had over the last couple years.  Also, credit goes to that B, he makes me so very happy.  I have much to be grateful for.

I think part of me will always be sad, always miss her, and wish I could feel her closer and share my life with her.  But the pain of it all has faded.  Replaced by the comfort in the images and thoughts of her in the next state; Free from suffering, pain, sorrow, cancer, and mortal bonds.  In a sate of happiness, peace, rest, joy, and surrounded by loved ones.  Images that are most beautiful.  see Alma 40: 11 -12

advent – intro

When I was a teenager, my mom learned from one of her friends of the tradition of Advent.  We started doing it each Sunday after thanksgiving, leading up to Christmas.  I have really happy memories of Christmas Advent with my family.  My mom was an amazing woman and her knowledge of the scriptures and love for the Savior really made Advent come alive for all of us.  She loved doing advent with her 7 kids and then her 12 grandchildren.  Her last Christmas with us she lead the discussion, even though she was very sick.  I was amazed at how well the little grandkids listened to her and how still and quiet they were.  She taught her Grandkids the song “this little light of mine” a song she loved from her childhood summers spent at the Brethren Bible school she attended in eastern PA.  She would give each of them a candle as they sang the words “This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine”.  Although the grand kids were young when she died, they all remember and love that song.  I hope to teach it to my kids someday and sing it at Advent, just like my Mom.  Maybe they will already know it when they come, maybe mom would have taught them in heaven.

Advent is the celbration of the different lights of Christ.  Each sunday you light a different candle in the advent wreath that represent one of the different “lights” of Christmas.  You sing a christmas carol or two, watch the light flicker and talk about the Savoir.  We always paired advent with a treat and to help the little kids stay engaged mom gave them each a small candle of their own to hold, if they were good, during Advent.

Advent Wreath

Advent wreath

Advent Schedule:

1st Sunday – The light of prophecy
2nd Sunday – The light of love
3rd Sunday – The light of joy
4th Sunday – The light of peace
Christmas Eve – The light of Christ

B & I have decided to continue this tradition this year in our family.