Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Recap of 2014

Me Towards the End of This Year
There are only a couple things that have remained consistent in my life, and those things are The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and change. I am always going through change.

As a teen, I put a picture of a caterpillar and a butterfly in my journal to represent what I felt the purpose of life is. The more life I live, the more I think I understood, even then, as a teen.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  ~Author Unknown

This year has been a very full year. It is amazing to look back at it all and look at what we have accomplished as a family. Just looking at the achievement wall that we have in our kitchen, I cannot help but feel blessed to be part of such a great family. The wall is literally covered in certificates and certifications that each family member has achieved.

This year has been full of trials and heartaches as well. I have come to accept that this is just the pattern and cycle of life. We have trials and heartache, and then we have blessings. Everything is in perfect order, and opposition to each other. And I have found this year that focusing on what I can learn from each experience to much more beneficial than wallowing in it.

Aulora on New Years
In January, Aulora Mae told us all about her first big New Year's Dance. I knew when I saw her that my little girl was not so little anymore, and I knew that she would start dating in the fall. I couldn't believe that my life had already reached this point, but there she was in all her beauty daring me to deny that she is now a young woman.

New Year's also brought the First New Year's kiss for Josh and I. We had not yet been married for a year, and had already experienced so much together as a couple. Married just over 7 months, we had already experienced, unemployment, sacrifice, resistance to us being married, relocation and many many other things.

I truly enjoyed spending the first hours of New Year's with my husband and the other three children that did not go to the New Year's Dance. We had fun masks and noise makers. It was an exciting New Year's party even with it just being the five of us since family was so far away.

Josh on New Years Day
We watched movies as a family, and looked at pictures and talked about all that we had experienced since we met Josh and invited him to become part of our lives.

One of my favorite pictures is just after midnight where Zion, Zachariah and Josh are banging pots and pans in the street and saying Happy New year!

They are running around so fast, that they all just look like blurs across the picture. There were some neighbors that were hollering Happy New Year's back at them, so they seemed to fit right in. Josh also got his very first certificates from school this month!

Anniversary of the Day We Met
February was a VERY full month!! It was the Anniversary of the first time that Josh and I met online, Valentine's Day, AND the girls were being given chocolate roses at school from boys!  I could not believe that both of my daughters were getting so many chocolate roses.

Of course, Zachariah had a crush that he wanted to make gifts for and so we helped him do that. Alma decided that he didn't want to have anything to do with any of that, and I was ok with that! :)

In the picture to the right, you can see what I did to celebrate that day that Josh and I first met. I slowly gathered everything over several months and hid them in the girls room so he had no idea that anything was being planned. We had a great dinner, and he had a lot of surprises. There were balloons all over the floor that Aulora helped me get ready before Joshua was out of school for the day. Josh also had planned 12 days of Valentine's and so we both got a lot of fun little gifts. One of my favorites was a Hot Pink extension cord that I had told him I wanted on one of our window shopping dates that we had gone on months before.

I was still doing freelance writing as a ghost writer at this point, but things started to change, and financial struggles began again. I started looking for other options for income. Because I could tell that the cheese was moving. (Love the book "Who Moved my Cheese?") During the week of Valentine's the Kids' schools had them dress up different ways each day. One of my favorite pictures was of Retro Day.

Retro Day at School
Everyone's outfits went over really well, except for Aulora's. A lot of people made fun of her to the point that she requested to come home. She learned a lot about what it was like to be made fun of and bullied that day, and determined to make it a point to stand up for other kids that day.

We went on a Family Vacation in February as well. We saw a lot of family, and picked up my sister's cat Meowie to care for while her and her husband were house sitting for their in laws while they were on their mission.

We stopped at the Big Red Barn for Ice Cream and we enjoyed taking pictures at Yuba Lake, visiting the Filmore Museum and finding pictures of our relatives on the walls.

While the kids were visiting their father and paternal grandparents, Josh took me to see a few places that I had wanted to go and tried some chocolates and he also bought me a watch. We did a lot of window shopping, and reliving some of the moments that we enjoyed when we were dating.

Zion's Hair Prior to Chopping It Off
March brought even more changes. Zion had been growing out her hair to donate it to Locks of Love. She reached her hair growth goal on her birthday, so she went ahead and had me cut her hair to donate it. With the amount of hair she wanted to donate, it brought a new hairstyle and new clothes for her birthday for her. And it seemed that her true personality became unleashed at the same time! She went from being quite and shy to being known as "Camp Giggles" during the following months.

During this time, Josh also got more certifications, his A+ Certification and shortly after that his Network+ Certification.

I started a new contract, and my old one faded into the distance. Money was really good for awhile when I was doing grant proposal writing and research. Sadly, it only lasted a short time.

Zion's New Do!

In March, my hair went back to being dark, and I got it cut shorter than Zion's. I had fun playing with my hair color for the next few months as I continued to lose weight and determine who I was going to be. Who "Me" really was.

Zion loved the movie Frozen, so that was the theme for her birthday party. We had a cake and ice cream bars, and she had a lot of presents that were focused on horses. A horse necklace, bracelet, books and other horse items. She is definitely still an animal lover.

The very end of March, I was one of the Wise Virgins in the Ten Virgin Parable Musical that we put on. It was a wonderful and beautiful event. I was very grateful to be part of it, and still will say hi to the other sisters from all the other wards (congregations) that were in it that participated too.


And if that was not enough cool things this month, Aulora, Zion and I got to attend the First Young Women's and Relief Society combined conference!

I knew that it was a significant life event, and with being so new in the ward, I was grateful to have both of my daughters attend with me!
Charity Right Middle Ten Virgins Parable Musical


Aulora Getting Her YW in Excellence Award
After a wonderful April General Conference, we were excited for Aulora to receive her Young Women in Excellence Award.

Aulora achieved her goal of getting this award before she even turned 16. Most girls do not get it until they are about 18! So naturally, we were very proud of her. And once again, I was confronted with the fact that she is becoming quite the young lady, and I will have to have her dad keep a watchful eye on her and all those boys that keep pursuing her.

I dyed my hair to a very bright red this month, which some people really loved and others really hated. Later I added blonde highlights to it. I really was having fun experimenting with different looks. 

Also in April, we got to attend Zachariah's orchestra concert. He has been doing so well with the learning the bass. He does a really great job. Joshua was so great about reminding him to practice every single day except on Sundays, and it really paid off. Zachariah has always had a great sense of humor and I love how much he makes me laugh. I couldn't help but smile when I came into the living room to check on him rehearsing and being greeted with the mysterious mustached Stranger playing the bass.
Zachariah Playing the Bass

In the picture of Zachariah playing the bass, you can see our paper service chain on the wall. We each did random acts of service, wrote what the service was on pieces of paper and attached it to the chain. It was awesome to have a visual representation of all the good that each of our family members were doing for each other and our neighbors.

Also in April, I went to the County and State conventions as an elected delegate. It definitely was an interesting experience. I have been a delegate before, but not in this county. And this was the first Utah State Convention that I attended. (As a side note when you are a delegate you get Christmas cards from local and state office holders, so that was a first).

My Wild Red Hair For Convention
Later in the month, Josh and I got to enjoy the lunar eclipse together. We got up early in the morning and drove up the mountain to an area where there are no city lights.

It was a really cool event, and I loved sitting with Josh in the truck waiting for it to happen. He gave me a blanket to keep me warm, and we enjoyed sparking cider in the Anniversary Inn goblets that we got on our honeymoon.

For Easter we did lessons from the book a More Christ Centered Easter like we have always done, but this year, we added Lamb Stew to try, and we had a lot of watermelon!

Josh also got me a new camera as a very early birthday present. I was so in love with it!! It was my favorite color (purple) and had all the features that I wanted and then some! Josh has made it a point to slowly replace everything that I have with something new that is a gift from him. 

As the school year started to wind down, the kids joined me for nature walks, that built up to 5 mile walks. We started going in the mornings and the evenings. 

Since I gave my old camera to Aulora, the girls often took pictures a long the way right along with me. We truly enjoy all the nature that we can experience in this new area that we live in. 

The boys started running far ahead of us and trying to beat us. This was when I discovered that Alma can really run, too bad the track coach and I are not able to convince him to do anything with that talent yet!

Zachariah and Alma at Elizabeth's Wedding
In May we had a very full month. We were able to attend my sister Elizabeth's wedding. The timing worked out well with traveling for my new job as a Personal Assistant. 

We also were able to be at my nephew Peter's baby blessing and Josh was able to meet and hold his nephew Slade. 

We enjoyed being with a lot of my side of the family. It was hard to fit in everything, but we pulled it off somehow! It was so nice to see everyone again!
Right after we got back, we had another orchestra concert to attend for Zachariah. He was very busy the entire year practicing, playing, and attending other orchestra concerts.
Mother's Day 2014

Mother's Day brought with it snow. My boss was shocked when I posted this picture on Facebook wondering where in the world I was. She had not looked out her window yet to see the winter wonderland. I got a ton of balloons and gifts from Josh and the kids. 

Aulora got the lead in Guys and Dolls, and she did amazing! She was Sarah Brown, and her singing and acting talents really shined. She made a lot of new friends, and gained more confidence in singing on her own instead of just singing with the choir and in duets. It was amazing to see her do things that I used to do at her age, but do them even better, and get better parts. Naturally, I was very proud of her.

Flowers Josh Got Me
The end of May brought our First Anniversary. Josh and I talked a lot about how tough the first year had been being newlyweds and having four teens. It is not the easiest way to start a marriage.

But, we were thrilled that we made it through the first year, and all the trials, tears and tribulations that came with it. Of course we reflected on our blessings as well and the Hand of the Lord in our lives. 

We went out for breakfast, and went to the temple in St. George to do proxy sealings. I had gotten him a ton of personalized gifts that had the Jordan River Temple on it since that is the temple we were sealed in. I also got him a popcorn machine like he had wanted since he was a little kid. 

All I wanted was flowers, because I had not been given them very often. I told him I wanted $100 in flowers. He went over budget, but the flowers that he chose were absolutely amazing. And I loved all the little balloons that he got to go with them. :)

Josh Grilling His Father's Day Steaks
In June, Joshua had his second Father's Day with us. The kids got him a lot of t-shirts and other thoughtful gifts. We also got him really large steaks to grill because he said that was something that he really wanted to do and missed doing. 

Because finances had been so tight, we really hadn't done anything like this since we got married, and when he was single he used to do it all the time with his friend Will and others. So, we worked hard and did some extra work for my boss so that we had extra money to get him this steak and the gifts the kids wanted to get him.

June also was the month that I released the first book in my series "Mending Angel's Wings-Based on a True Story" Aulora helped me do all the filming for the promotional videos, and I did all the editing. We had a lot of fun and I loved combining with so many friends and family members to have 21 days of giveaways! And we had some great prizes! One of my favorite ones was tickets to The Salt Lake Pops Orchestra American Hero's Concert.

In July, I started to go ULTRA blonde. And we also had Joshua's birthday party. And the kids and I chose a Captain America theme, so his t-shirts, cake and cards were all about that. Little did we know how much later in the month our lives would change. 

We went on a business trip to SLC with my boss and learned a great deal about the products of our business. Even tho I had been using the products for a couple years, I really did not know that much about them. 

We spent Three days up there learning a lot about all the oils and ways to use them. We also got to see family, go to the Aquarium together while the kids saw their father and grandparents. 

We also went to Clark's Planetarium and got a membership because it was more affordable than paying for the movies that we wanted to see. 

Later that month, we started our 26 day detox. We had started to prepare for it by giving up sugar and having green smoothies everyday so that it would not be as big of a shock on our bodies. Josh had a break from school part of the time, and I was getting ready for my first semester at SUU. I lost 16 pounds during those 26 days and Josh lost 20. It was an amazing experience, and it changed our taste buds forever!

Zachariah's birthday was the beginning of August, and his birthday theme was the color blue since it is his favorite. He got a ton of coupons from Josh and I that allowed him to have free movie nights, time with parents, and to get out of chores and a lot of other things. 

He was given some of his presents early and late, but with doing the detox, Josh and I did not eat anything that he had, so the ids had a lot of blue raspberry popcorn and play dough ice cream and a whole bunch of blue corn chips! 

The very end of August both Josh and I started school before the kids did. And so that was an adventure, but they quickly followed. 

The beginning of September Aulora and Alma turned 16!! It was a crazy day, but they both got what they wanted. 

Because we had changed our diet so much, they requested to have a 100% raw key lime pie, and Alma wanted to make sure that it had golden raisins on it, which it did. 

We had a small family party, which was not what they kids wanted. (They wanted all family up north to be there) but it just wasn't working out. They were still happy with all that we did and they enjoyed going to the movies and eating out as a family. 

Everyone wondered if they would go out on their first dates now (outside the family), and were shocked when they were told that they wanted to wait. Aulora wanted some time, and Alma said he doesn't think he will date until he is back from his mission, so we will see! We also discovered that we love artichoke hearts together in September. The twins had it as part of their birthday dinner as well.

I think that the biggest thing for me this month was seeing Alma ordained a priest by Bishop Stapley. It was such a touching experience. And then to see him sit up on the stand and bless the sacrament was also touching. It was a huge moment for all of us. Alma had been practicing the sacrament prayers since he turned 15. And he did them perfectly. He was a little quiet at first, but then later he got more comfortable. I love seeing his smile every time he gives service preparing the sacrament table and then blessing the sacrament. 

I have also enjoyed seeing Zachariah pass the sacrament. This ward does it different than the one we lived in before, and watching him adapt has been great. He really loves to serve the bishop the sacrament. It is nice to have two sons holding the Aaronic Priesthood and using it. 

Josh and I During Convention 2014
Toward the middle of September, my boss had Josh and I attend Convention with her. The events were incredible, and we learned even more. By this time, Josh had fallen in love with essential oils and he was even more thrilled to think about sharing oils with others and making this our business.

Before convention was even over, Josh and I decided that we were going to make this our business, and that we would do it together. This picture taken during convention we used on our business cards to remind us of that day. 

Before we headed home from convention, we stopped at my brother's home, and he and his wife became our first team members. We were so excited! We knew we had a lot to learn about building a team, but the momentum had already started. All the opposition that we had been having started to make a lot of sense at this point. We realized the positive affect we could have on other's and their lives by simply improving our own. 

Josh Holding Our First Check
By the end of September, Josh and I had earned our first check. While it was a small check, we knew that we were on to something, and it was going to be big and life changing.

I tried to stay focused on school while building our business at the same time. It started to become hard to balance the needs of a husband, four children, my business, my schooling, two callings, and being a personal assistant. 

On the weekends, I would take my children to work for my boss too so that they could have extra money and learn additional skills. I have always wanted to teach  my children how to work, and that has been a great focus, but all the work that I was doing and helping them to do started to take its toll, especially as life's trials began to rain down on us. 

I knew the pattern of life, and I just kept trying to hang in there, trying to keep my grades up and trying to fill the many roles that I had. By the time October came, I can't say that I was surprised when during General Conference I felt the spirit tell me that this was my last semester at school. That I needed to focus on being a wife, mother and work  and not do anything else. 

Despite the many stresses that we all were facing, Joshua was named the National Technical Honor Society Student at SWATC.

I was also admitted and invited to join several honor societies. 

All of the children also had high GPA's, and continued to excel in all the extra curricular activities that they are involved with. 

We attended an Eagle Court of Honor for a family friend. And Josh got to sit in the Eagle's Nest for the first time. He was so touched by it because it was something that he had always wanted to do. I was especially touched that he got to have this first experience with us, and that I was able to share it with him too. 
Josh in The Eagle's Nest at Kyler's Court of Honor

We were able to attend Aulora's first choir concert this month as well. Aulora auditioned for the choirs and was able to get into the all girls choir. A lot of people were surprised that she was able to get into it as a freshman because that usually isn't the case.

The amount of growth that she has had vocally this year has been phenomenal. I often will hear her rehearsing and wonder who the vocalist she is listening to is. Definitely thrilled to see her blossom in this way. Zion has started branching out with singing as well. And I am sure that she will do a lot more of it! She is becoming quite the humorous ham, I would not be at all surprised if she spends some time in drama in the future.

Aulora and I Before Her Choir Concert
Grandpa Anderson returned to Heaven this month. It was really hard for us to feel that loss. The kids and I had been so grateful to have a grandfather and great-grandfather involved in our lives again.

Whenever he saw us, he was always so happy to see us, and he always told us how wonderful we are. I will always remember the last time that I saw him, which happened to be at the end of a business trip after following a prompting to go see him, and we found out he was in a care center. 

While we were not sure that he knew we were there, we knew that eventually he would know that we cared. We put some essential oils on him to make him more comfortable and told him we loved him and said our good byes. It was not long after that he passed away.

I had to finish projects early for school to make it to the funeral and arrange to take tests at times outside of their scheduled times, but my professors were very understanding. I cannot praise them enough. They were supportive through this and many other events that happened during the semester that were trying.
Grandpa's Casket and Yellow Roses He Wanted

Halloween was different this year as well. With the kids being older, they all took off different directions, some of them went with each other, and switched off doing different events. 

However, one of my favorite moments was making Zion's Maleficent costume with Josh. We sacrificed to get the supplies that she needed to make it, and we worked together through the night to create it. I think it was one of my most cherished memories this year because he was helping me so much. 

Zion as Maleficent


For the middle school, they had the kids dress up all week long during Halloween based on different themes, so Zion was not Maleficent for Halloween, but it was still my favorite costume. Zachariah chose to be a knight one of those dress up days and made his own shield and sword.

Josh and I took some time after we got home to go to Kolob Canyon together. Josh was really close to his grandpa, he was like a dad to him. So he needed to take a lot of time to deal with his emotions.

I was grateful to attend his funeral and learn all I did about his life that I did not know. It was so cool to hear about all the indexing that he did, and because of his example, Aulora and Alma especially are focused on beating grandpa's record.

Favorite Picture From Kolob Canyon Date



As October came to a close, all I could focus on was that my birthday was coming, Thanksgiving, and the end of the semester. I started to hope that I could make it to the end and still have good grades. I really began to struggle with all the assignments and responsibilities that I had.

A friend, that I had met at school, and her husband came to my rescue. They took me to a sacral cranial energy life coach, and she helped me release a lot of negative energy and move forward with my life. It was an experience that I will never forget. It helped me feel more like myself, free from everything in my past and all that I was struggling with.

Certificate of Being Directors
Soon after that, business picked up rapidly. Josh and I were promoted from Manager, to Director. I started to push the business harder and we followed many impressions that came.

I learned about removing financial blocks, financial principles that people I admire live by and a whole new way to look at my life. I started looking at my life through the lens of gratitude again, and thanked my Heavenly Father for blessings that were to come that had not arrived yet, and saw incredible things happen.



Aulora and Kyler
Aulora went on her first date and had a wonderful time. I loved hearing about their night long after it ended. The group came by after their date and talked to me for awhile. Sadly, I was so out of it, that I was more like a zombie I think, but I was thrilled that they came so I could get a picture of her first date. :) 

Josh and the kids focused on making my birthday great this year. Instead of having a cake, we had a gingerbread house miniature town and a train that we made together. I loved having that kind of family time. I got frosting all over my hands, and had sugar for the first time in months. While it did not taste good, I really loved all that they did. They made me cards, art, a special seat at the table, and so much more. 

Joshua got me a very large Christmas Snoopy for my birthday and kept putting it up different places in the house. It was SO big I could not take a selfie with it LOL. It was a great birthday!

During this time, Josh transferred schools to one that is 100% online. It offers a lot more certifications, and also a job at the end of the 17 months he has left if they cannot place him. It was a struggle to get everything done, but anything that is worth it takes work!


Some Oragami Art For My Birthday

Shortly after my birthday my focus shifted to all my finals. I wanted to make sure to get as many of them done as early as possible because I knew that some of the projects were larger and would take more time. 

I am very happy that I did this, because the larger projects were able to have much more of my focus, and I got very good grades on them. 

I turned in many of my assignments early, so I literally was just waiting for time to pass so I could take my finals.


Thanksgiving Dinner
We enjoyed our second Thanksgiving together as the Kerr Family. I found a lot of recipes that used  essential oils in them, so we tried them. We had pumpkin pies, sweet potato pie and other dishes that were made with all natural ingredients. Even the mashed potatoes had essential oils in them. They were my FAVORITE!

Keeping with tradition, we put up the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving was over and turned up the Christmas Carols and Hymns! I also got Holiday Joy essential oil, and loved diffusing it All Month Long!! And into December!

Picture I Colored During Finals
SUU has a really cool Rock Finals event that helps keep stress low. You can get free massages, pet a dog, color in coloring books play with legos and a lot of other fun things. 

After one of my finals I decided to take advantage of the free scantron, vegi's and dip, and spent some time coloring. It really did lower my stress.

My final grades were awesome! I ended up with an overall GPA of 3.811. With all that happened, I feel that it was a very successful semester. But, I am glad that it is over, and that I am not going back in the Spring.

Our Business has grown so much that it takes a lot of time to help team members, customers, and do marketing. But, I know that it will be worth the time invested in the end!



Rehearsal at Sister Hedgecock's House

December has been a flurry of musical events. I sang a solo in Sacrament meeting one week, and then the next week sang with the choir and a duet in Sacrament Meeting. 

Josh and the kids are all in the choir too, so they have been in rehearsals after church all year round. I was released as Choir Director in November, but I am still a primary teacher. They will be combining two classes together for me to teach next year. 





Josh is still a teacher in Elder's Quorum and he also is the Weeblos Scout Leader. A couple of the kids are in the presidencies of their YM and YW groups, so there is always a lot going on.

Aulora, Zion and Zachariah and I got to go and enjoy the Messiah this year. Josh, Zachariah and I went to a Christmas concert at CVHS and we also attended Aulora's Christmas Choir concert as well.

Josh and I went on a date together to see all the Christmas lights in town. There were some very decorated houses! One of our favorites ended up being in our own neighborhood. It was still romantic to drive around together listening to Christmas music, holding hands and looking at the lights.

Josh and I also advanced this month to Executive, and we are focused on becoming Elite. We are just $200 in sales from reaching that level, so it is totally possible that it will still happen this month, which is two months sooner than we set our goals for. 

We have been very blessed this last year by friends, family and church members. We have gone through many struggles this year, but there has been someone to be Angel's on Earth for us at almost every turn. It is each of these angels that I am most grateful for. They made it possible to get through this year and helped each of us grow in so many ways. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

****UPDATE****

Josh and I did advance to Elite before December was over!!! We surpassed our goal as well! :) On To Premier!!!













My 50 LB Weight Loss

Weight loss, used to be a dirty word. I hated hearing it, and I hated feeling like I was never going to be able to make any progress in my life and with my health.

Every year, I would say I am going to lose weight. I often joined a gym and worked out for several months. I hired a personal trainer one year, and after 6 months of working out 6 days a week for an hour and a half each day, I had not lost any weight. I was really feeling depressed about it.

I was dating my husband at that time, and he told me that the weight was not going to come off until I dealt with the emotions that were the cause of my weight gain. I thought he was a little crazy, but over the last couple years, I have discovered that he was right! As I have dealt with the emotional cause for my weight, the weight has come off and easily. In fact, I have not started exercising yet, but I defnitely plan to.

In 2014 I have released a total of 50 LBS!!! And I am very happy with those results and myself! And this next year, I am certain that I will reach my weight loss goal! 

(Me wearing the same tank top I wore in my first picture)

I have really enjoyed the fact that I have taken the time to take some pictures a long the way so that my progress is evident. :) Here you can see for yourself just the difference in my face, and yes, I enjoyed changing my hair color too!!!



My weight loss has been a journey, and I am still on it. I still have about 35lbs to release in order to be at my ideal weight, but I know that I can do it! And since I have been on this journey, I have become passionate about helping others on theirs as well. I have a Facebook group called Charity Angel's Weight Loss Journey where I tell others what I have done, and help them take steps forward in their own journey.

 I did one 30 day detox. I also made dietary changes. I stopped eating processed foods, and artificial sugars. By that I mean, the only sugar I ate was natural. I would eat honey, molasses, maple syrup, coconut sugar and other natural sugars, but gave up granulated white sugar and I never ate artficial sweeteners in the first place. 
I still drink a green smoothie everyday. You can use 100% fresh fruits and vegetables, which is what I usually do. I eat more fruits and vegetables and grains than I do anything else, however, I do still eat meat when I want it, and I also eat some dairy when I feel like it. But, that is not very often. After making such a dietary change, your taste buds change. We grow new taste buds every 7 days! 
Here is a picture that was taken on my birthday in November. I wanted to make sure to include a full body shot too, so that you can see the progress that I continue to make.


Contact me to become the best you that you can be! Get healthier and you will be happier! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dreams Really Do Come True

There is something about Walt Disney and dreams coming true that I cannot help but think about today. I believe that he was right when he said that if we have the courage to pursue our dreams, that they can come true.

For years, people have been telling me that I should write books. I would tell them just a couple stories from my life and they would exclaim, "That's Amazing!", or "I can't believe that you made it through that!". Then they would follw that with, "You should write a book! Your life is much more intense than any book I've ever read!"

I used to just laugh off their comments and respond with something like, "Maybe someday I will." I have always wanted to be an author.

I have written songs, stories, and poems since I was in elementary school. I used to have binders filled with all that I wrote over the years. When I was about fifteen, there was flooding in my bedroom that destroyed it all. After that, I did not really give much thought to writing professionally.

After going through so much in my life, and then taking steps along the way that helped me grow and develop and heal, I realized that I wanted to help others do the same. If Ic ould make their path a little shorter, their pain last a little less than mine did, then I considered that a success.

I wrote my first little booklet "What Lies in Your Journey?" in 2012. I got a few paperback copies of it printed, and share it with a few people. I didn't do anything else with it. Then recently, I had a series of events occur that left me searching for how I could deal with my financial situation. My sister sent me an ebook that gave me new insight. It was called "Choose Yourself". While it had language in it I did not want to read, I found it had many answers that I was looking for by the time I got halfway through it. And suddenly the light went on.

I decided to market my book. And not only did I find a job while doing that, I connected with people that I had no idea were excited to help me be successful. Those people gave me prizes to give away for my 21 day giveaway. During this time, I finished up the first book in my new series "Mending Angel's Wings." I was inspired to look for someone to create the cover for me, and one of my friends was willing to help create the layout and helped with the fonts. And before I knew it, I was ready to send out beta copies to test readers.

After receiving responses from the test readers, I was able to make corrections and add additional information to the story. Because this book is based on a true story, I have spent a lot of time on it.

My series, "Mending Angel's Wings" will have three books, and possibly a prequel. It has officially been released, and will make it to major distributors within the next four weeks. All it took was believing in myself again, and a lot of courage, especially since the true story this book is based on is mine.

Additionally, I have become aware of how many different interests I have had are coming together for my passion to help others heal. My music, my books, even my love for essential oils are all coming together to help me help others heal.

I am very excited about creating the final products that will be included with the last book in the series. I feel the help of God's hand in so many different aspects of my life, and I am very grateful for that.

On another note, an essay contest that I have entered is going well also. Even though my books are very different from the my essay, it is nice to see my different writing styles appreciated by such different audiences. Being able to return to school, be a published author, a vocalist, a wife and a mother are just some of the many dreams that I have had come true in my life.


Monday, June 30, 2014

21 DAYS OF FREE GIVEAWAYS!!

I have just released my book "What Lies in Your Journey"! In celebration of my book's release, we are going to have a 21 day giveaway.

That means that we are going to giveaway 1 prize everyday for 21 days!!

In addition to this, each time my page reaches a new milestone for likes, we will also giveaway bonus prizes!!!

All you have to do to enter is go to my Facebook Author Page and click on the giveaway tab! More details of our giveaway can be found in the video below!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reeves Law Group Scholarship Contest

This post is for a scholarship contest that I have entered. The names of the innocent and guilty will not be used, and the images used will not be of the actual individuals.

Soothing Innocence


From the first moment I saw her, I fell in love. A sweet beautiful face and thin platinum blonde hair. She was not more than a year old, and her smile made me smile too.

Her tiny little hands had dimples on each knuckle, even when she was holding her bottle in her hand. It was as if a little angel stood before me. I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy.

My tenant had not mentioned that she was a mother. But, when she brought this angel over and told me that she was fighting for custody and was in hiding, I believed her. Being a mother myself,  I knew that I would do anything to keep my children safe.

The first night that she had her daughter with her things went very well. It appeared that they were close and that different aspects of her story were probably true. By the second night, I knew that something was wrong. I kept hearing this sweet angel crying all through the night, and I wondered why I did not hear her mother get up to soothe her.

Because her mother was renting a room from me in my basement, I decided to go and check on her. The door was open, and I saw this sweet angelic girl on the floor by herself crying.

 Her bottle was empty, she had no clothing on except for her full and sagging diaper, her face was sticky and dirty and her hair was in little knots.

Her eyes were red and swollen from crying so hard. I immediately felt the need to mother her. At that moment, her eyes met mine, and she started to scoot across the floor and then tried to waddle to me in her overly full diaper.

I tried to wake up her mother, but she would not get up. She was breathing, just refused to get up. She mentioned something about being out too late, and I asked her if it was ok if I took care of her daughter. She mumbled that she did not care and to do whatever I wanted. 

I scooped the little princess up in my arms and carried her upstairs where my children were. As I set her down to change her diaper, I noticed that her legs were raw from how long the wet diaper had been rubbing them. I changed her diaper, putting oinment on every wound. I combed her hair while singing to her, and fed her. She suddenly became vibrant and happy again. 

I set her on the floor with my own children, I had four under three at the time. And they played together throughout the day. 

Her mother did not get up until it was well after dinner time. I told her that I was not happy about the fact that she left her daughter crying all through the night, and did not wake up until now. I told her I was concerned about how her daughter would have had what she needed while she was sleeping. 

Her mother became upset, and she told me that she would take the girl to her mother's for a couple days. I worried about whether or not she would be taken care of, but I thought that surely this angel's grandmother would make sure that she had the care that she needed.

During the two days that they were gone, I had some unexpected visitors come by. It was little angel's birth father and paternal grandfather. I listened to what they had to say, but I did not reveal to them what I knew about little angel or where she was because I did not know what the truth was. I asked them to show me evidence that this sweet girl had been taken, and that she actually was supposed to be with her father, which they did provide.

After reviewing what they had, I told them that I knew where she was, but I did not know where her grandmother lived. The police came, and they discussed with me what I could do to help. They explained to me that the mother had lost custody due to neglect, and that the grandmother mistreated the child as well. I was horrified, and wanted to do whatever was needed.

I was asked to let them know the moment that they mother returned, and whether or not sweet angel was with her. It was not long after that, that they did return home. I cried as I picked up little angel and saw cigarette burns on her legs. In that moment I had mixed feelings. I felt sad that I would never see her again. I felt relieved that she would be cared for better than what she had been going through, but I also felt remorse for not knowing what the truth was and getting her into a safe place sooner.

I picked up the phone and dialed the number I had been given, and said the coded phrase. It was not long before her father, grandfather and the police arrived. I picked up little angel and told her that it was going to be ok. I stepped outside the house and walked into the street. She clung to me tightly, and I took one last look at her beautiful blue eyes, then placed her in her father's arms.

I had never dealt with anything like this before, and was not aware that I could have checked out her mother's story. There are a lot of people, just like this angel, who cannot help themselves. And it takes loving parents, neighbors, and friends to help them. I will always cherish the time that I had with her, and that I was able to love her during that difficult time in her life. I often wonder about her and how her life turned out. 

I will never forget the look of joy on her face the moment that she saw her father. I will always remember the gratefulness of her grandfather and the police. And she is only one of the many experiences that I have had that has fed my passion for helping others escape abuse. While I lost a tenant, I helped protect an angel girl. And there is nothing better than that.





Monday, June 23, 2014

Less is More | Libertas Institute | Advancing the cause of liberty in Utah

Juat two years ago my friends banded together to help me get the most likes for my essay on Facebook. I ended up winning the "People's Choice" Award. This time, I am going for the grand prize. Please take a moment and click on the link below and read my essay. Like it and share it with everyone you can! Thanks so much!!



Less is More | Libertas Institute | Advancing the cause of liberty in Utah


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jen Marco- Vocal Breakthrough Retreat

This amazing woman is Jen Marco. I have known her for several years. During that time, I have watched her grow in incredible ways.

When I first met Jen, she and I were in an independent makeup consultant business. We both attended the same conference in order to build our businesses to the fullest.

At this conference, I learned a lot about Jen, since we were assigned a room together. during that time, I learned that before that moment, Jen had given up some of her dreams in order to pursue her spiritual endeavors.


That night, she questioned  if she would be able to ever sing professionally again.

I moved out of the state soon after that, and Jen and I lost touch for awhile. When I reconnected with her, she had started pursuing her dreams again. She had many trials and obstacles that she had to overcome, and I watched her do it!

She lost weight, became a single mother, and she went through many difficult things, but, it all paid off. Jen has not only achieved her dreams, she has far exceeded her own expectations. Because that is the case, she had to set new ones.

With in the last year, Jen had an amazing experience, check it out!



Jen has recorded on over 200 projects.  Her Vocal Breakthrough method is a unique combination of technique and mindset, designed to create complete vocal freedom!

She has coached, performed, or recorded with participants on:

American Idol
The X Factor
America's Got Talent
The Voice
The Sing Off
So You Think You Can Dance


She believes that everyone deserves to unlock the power of their most brilliant voice and discover confidence and joy in singing!


And now, she is helping others to do what she did for themselves in their lives. 

Do you want to tap into your natural God given talent and potential? 

Our bodies are magnificently created, and the potential within each of us, is only limited by our own roadblocks and self-determined limits. 

Unlock your full potential as a vocalist, and as a person of influence by attending one of Jen's Vocal Breakthrough Retreats! 

The next Retreat is coming up later this month! Those who register right now are able to get an Early Bird Special!! Trust me, this is something that you want to take advantage of! Whether you want to sing, speak, coach or heal, there is going to be something at this retreat for you!!








Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lucid 8 "Idle Revolution" Track by Track Album Review


http://www.amazon.com/Idle-Revolution-Lucid-8/dp/B00K5RVUAW/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1401480983&sr=1-1&keywords=Lucid+8


Normalcy Bias
Music: Andy Craddock, Lucid 8 
Lyrics:Jonny Craddock, Eddy Williams 

This song hooks you with a fantastic blend of electric guitar and piano. The drums are smashing. The vocals are smoky and raspy. The message conveys a sense of hope that we can overcome and fly higher rather than sell our souls for misery. Overall production is radio play quality.

“The Truth” 
Music: Jonny Craddock, Lucid 8 
Lyrics: Jonny Craddock


Intro has an ethereal tone that feels like it is reaching into another realm. Somewhat mystical in mood, then the strumming begins pulling you in deeper. As soon as you are hooked, the tempo increases and the drums come in. Very catchy tune, the first chorus is upbeat and ascending even though the lyrics express betrayal and the inability to be able to trust someone. The contrast makes it stand out in an edgy way. It is a great song about not accepting less than trust and honesty in any relationship.

Lucky
The intro hooks you much like “Pop Goes the World” does. As the song picks up, the joy of the vocalist shines through. It is completely believable that he really is lucky. He is having such a good time that a listener cannot help but feel happy as well. Some of the simple phrases of the song, like having the radio on and driving down the highway really focus on the simple things in life that people can be grateful for. It is a sweet song. Great vocal tone and color, perfectly arranged and keeps a listener’s interest from beginning to end. The background vocals are great. They change it up just enough that they add the right flavor to this track.


“Dune Chick” 
Music:Iann L. Murray, Lucid 8 
Lyrics: Iann L. Murray


The sweetest part of this song is the chorus. The vocals of the lead singer really call attention to the lyrics at this point. The music is perfectly crafted and flows well with the lyrics creating a vocal painting. The listener can feel what rabbit kisses might have felt like. Vocalist expresses that emotion rather well. The drums are spot on, have good rhythm and tone. They really help pull the listener through the song.

Pieces
This song just radiates with love from the very first note. The vocalist conveys his feelings as if he is experiencing all those positive emotions at that moment and we get a view into his soul. His vocals are smooth and inviting. The drums and guitar are perfectly arranged for this track. They keep the mood gentle, but push the point of the song, that there are tough things they may go through, that he will always be there, and wants to see them be successful. As an upbeat love song, this track really has the potential to be a hit. The music arrangement is great from beginning to end, and the background vocals add the perfect finishing touch to a really great song.

Lucidity
Attention grabbing intense electric guitar intro with drums following quickly. Anticipation builds naturally while waiting for the lyrics to begin. The vocalist has a great tone and color for the style of the song. The guitar starts to feel a little repetitive just as the drums come to the forefront, and then it suddenly changes, creating an even more pleasant experience for the senses. The mood changes whenever the guitar drops to more of a background position. The overall quality of the recording and mastering is at a professional level. This song would be well received in this genre and sounds like it is ready for radio play.

The Road
“The Road” 
Music: Eddy Williams, Lucid 8 
Lyrics: Eddy Williams


The intro has a very similar sound and feel to Firehouse’s Love of a Lifetime. It immediately creates a sensation of comfort and deep emotion. The vocals are rich and intriguing and are reminiscent of Ugly Kid Joe. The vocalist pulls the listener in, inviting them to listen to his story. You can feel that he appreciates that their love is hanging on even when he is gone on the road. The guitar and drums are perfectly crafted to support the mood and vocals in this song. The lyrics are memorable and the melody helps the song continue to be recalled long after listening to it. The harmony and background vocals are a great addition to the song when the chorus repeats. This song is definitely radio ready and has the potential of being a hit.


Only One
Upbeat intro that creates a great and happy mood. The vocals are crisp and clear. The drums and guitar are professionally recorded and keep the emotion of the song moving throughout the entire track. The harmony is perfectly timed and spot on. Great track to dance to. The bridge is crafted in a way that pulls the listener deeper into the song. The vocalist believably portrays his desire to make a woman the only one.

Cliché
Lone electric guitar sprinkled with drums in the intro hooks the listener. As the drums become more consistent, the mood changes. The vocals create a calming sensation when they first enter. The dual vocals fill out the song, eliminating the sense of a competition between the instrumentation and the vocals. There is a sense of a battle taking place as the vocals and instrumentation wrestle into the foreground. The lyrics pop through the song at key places.

Idle Revolution

The drums starting off the song is brilliant crafting. It is interesting and makes a listener pay more attention. As the guitar comes in, the skill of the guitarist is clear. The lyrics get lost in the musical arrangement, but the song keeps the attention of the listener all the way to the end. A good raw, intense edgy song.

Love the Music? Here's the Band!