It’s been a long time…

And that is because we have been having so much fun over here.

My Meg got married on June 10, and we have been planning and making magic every single day since Utah State got out.

I thought you might like a peek at some of the events of the day…

If you have a wedding in your upcoming future you should contact Ethan, we absolutely loved working with him.

And now that things have calmed down I have time to do some writing…

Back soon!

L  F : 


I don’t remember when he started calling me mom.

Maybe it was after that night when we picked him up after he had been abandoned on the curb with all of his belongings.  He sat hunched over on the very top step of the stairs sobbing.  All 6’5 and 290 pounds of him, legs tucked to his chest, shoulders bearing the weight of 18 years of sorrow, giant alligator tears streaming down his face.

When I want to remember what lonely looks like, I remember that image…it’s seared right into the deepest parts of me.

It was at that moment that I promised him that I would be there for him always.

…when he was sick with a high fever and chills, I would be there.

…when he exchanged vows with his wife, I would be there.

…when they were in the hospital delivering their first baby, I would be there.

…at Christmas, and on his birthday, and every day in between, I would be there.

I wasn’t going anywhere.

I would always be right here, for whatever he needed, whenever he needed it.

“That’s what moms do,” I remember telling him.

And in that moment, I realized a very important truth ––God decides when, and where, and how you become a mother.  He is the great orchestrator.  He can enlarge the capacity of a heart.  He can forge the deepest bond.  I have delivered four children of my own, but this great big boy is just as much a part of me as they are. I have come to understand something remarkable ––some kids come to us by birth, but some kids come to us by love.

God’s love.

There are moments when God reaches down and pricks a heart, He enlarges our capacities, He bestows the gift of His pure love upon us, allowing us to see others as He sees them.  In those moments it is His Grace that enables us to love.

I know, because I have experienced it.

There was a moment when God reached down and touched my heart, and in that sacred moment I became Garett’s other mom.

A few nights ago KUTV aired a portion of Garett’s story… you can watch it by clicking the link below.  You just can’t help but love this kid…


Source: Snow College lineman lives Utah’s ‘Blind Side’ story – KUTV –

L  F : 

Maybe you remember last year at this time when my whole house started filling up.

It started around Valentine’s Day.  Everyone decided to come home.

Not just my kids.

Garett returned from his mission and moved home.

Ian moved in.

And Steven, next door, lived here from breakfast until midnight every day.

There were nine of us living under this roof.

It was a Spring and Summer I won’t ever forget.  One of my most favorite.

Well, this year it started happening again.

On Valentines day.

But not with children.

I came home and heard tiny chirping noises coming from the kitchen.  I walked in to discover four baby chickens.  (Ummm, we already have 8 full grown chickens in the back yard.)  Greg loves the chickens.  He calls them his ladies.  He talks to them, gives them treats, even allows them into the kitchen on occasion.  Now all the sudden there were four more.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.27.51 PM

“What are these?”  I asked when he walked in.

“Happy Valentines!”  He said.

“Wait,” I immediately replied, “That’s not my happy valentine’s.  It can be yours though…” I said with a wink.

A week later I was speaking at a TOFW in Layton.  Greg sent a text.  “Someone just left four baby chicks on our front porch with a note that says, “Greg, thanks for all you do.  I thought you would like these.”


Who gives chickens as a thank you gift?

…and then there were 8.  (Well, 16, if you count “the ladies” in the backyard.)

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.30.08 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.29.26 PM

Until four hours later when my sister showed up at the door with six chicks.  “I heard you were raising baby chicks.  Will you raise mine?  I hate the baby stage.  You can drop them off in two months.”

Of course he would.  He loves chickens.

You might want to keep up with the math here.  22.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.28.26 PM

Until a seminary teacher heard about the petting zoo, and added four more to the bunch.


And the neighbor across the street, who added six.


And then the cute grandpa, who couldn’t resist buying four for his granddaughter.

Yes.  That is 36 chickens.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.28.43 PM

This year, instead of helping to raise other people’s children, we are helping to raise other people’s chickens.

Hey.  We all have to do whatever we can.  Right?

And this year I am making a difference by running a small petting zoo.

It’s made me realize that there are so many ways to make a difference.  To help out.  To serve.

And some of us are good at one thing.  And others, another.

And sometimes our role is huge.

And other times we just provide sawdust and heat lamps and chicken scratch.

But at the end of the day it is nice to know that someone can show up on the front porch and ask for help.

I always want to have that kind of front porch.

A welcoming porch.

For children.

Or for chickens.

Whatever people need.

I want to make that kind of difference.






L  F : 


We woke up to gray drizzle.

That gloomy damp that seeps right into your soul.

I’m not in the mood for it today.

So first thing I go down to the holiday room.  The one where we keep all of the decorations boxed up tight.  I pull out the one that says Easter and I open the lid and Spring falls right out onto the kitchen counter in soft pastels and polka dots and my heart smiles.


I decided in January that this year Easter was going to be different.

This year I want to prepare my heart long before the weekend of Easter, weeks in advance, the same way I prepare my heart for Christmas.

This year I want to fill my heart with the stories of the people closest to the Savior.  The people who had personal experiences with Him in the last weeks of His life on Earth.  I want to learn what they have to teach me, and through their stories I hope to create personal experiences of my own.

This year I want to fill my home with decorations that testify of Jesus.  I long for decorations that bring hope, not frivolity.  I want to replace the prominence of the rabbit with the promise of the Resurrection. I want to remember the true meaning of Easter.



This year I want to grow in testimony, be filled with hope, rejoice in Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you would like to join me?

We will be celebrating each of the people and their stories each week here on the blog.

But for a more detailed description of each person and their story and tradition you might want to pick up a copy of this book.  You can find it here.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.29.56 AM

Today Grace and I will hang this banner as a reminder of each of the people we want to learn from.  If you would like one you can find the banner here.


Already I feel my heart preparing.  I feel hope in the midst of this dreary gloom.

Easter is approaching bringing with it hope and promise in all its glory.

Yes, I can already feel it ––things are going to be different.

Easter is going to be different.

This year.

L  F : 

Every once in a while God reminds us of how He is in the details.

In tiny ways.

Which makes me realize that if He knows about the tiny details, then He is certainly aware of the big details.

And when the tiny answers come, they give me faith to wait on the Lord for the big ones.

Last week I am standing at the mirror in the dressing room of a huge event that I am about to be speaking at.

For the hundredth time I retie the black satin bow around my waist. It won’t stay tied right, no matter how many times I pull the one bunny ear through the other, and measure both sides, and check the length in the mirror.  For just one second it does, but as soon as I move it is all wrong again.

I’ve been in front of that mirror for way longer than I like to stand in front of mirrors.

And now, I am getting frustrated.

Just then, a dear friend walks in.  Gives a word of encouragement as she passes by.  Enters the second bathroom stall on the left, and shuts the door.

I untie the bow and start with the bunny ears again.

“You wouldn’t happen to have a safety pin?”  I question my friend behind the closed door of the second stall on the left.

“Are you kidding?”  She says with a chuckle.  “Seriously?  Did you just ask me for a safety pin?”

She continues to laugh.  I am feeling awkward, because I wonder why she thinks it is so funny I asked her for a safety pin.

Then she says, “You aren’t going to believe this, but there is a safety pin hanging on the handle of this door.”


For just a second I have to wonder who hooked a safety pin on the inside handle of the door on the second stall.

And then I have to wonder why, at just that moment, my dear friend walked into a dressing room with 8 empty stalls and chose the second stall on the left.

Just then.

Just when I needed a safety pin.

For a silly black satin bow.

I’d been praying all day that I would be able to give the message those women had come to hear.

It was a big prayer.

One that I hoped the Lord was listening to.  I felt the burden of that responsibility.  I couldn’t do what needed to be done without an increase of His Spirit.

And so, when He answered my petition for a safety pin immediately, I knew that when I stood on the stage some four hours later I would have His help.

Because He was aware of the tiny details.

So He wouldn’t let the big details go unanswered.

FullSizeRender copy 2

L  F : 
B e c o m e   a n   E m a i l   F r i e n d