Two days ago our family dog Ryker was hit by a car and he died instantly.   I was not home at the time of the accident.  His death has caused me to look at life in a completely different way.

On Sunday night our family went for a walk.  It has been years since we have all  been on a walk together.    It wasn’t a perfect walk and things we’re said that were not perfect.  But we created a memory,  and it was our last memory  with Ryker.   Our last walk with Ryker will be a walk that we will always hold dear to our hearts ♥️.

Ryker came to our family as a free gift.  He was given out of love from Tyler’s in-laws.  Ryker was a dog that I never wanted, a dog that made me crazy A LOT.   But he was also a dog that I had learned to love on a level that is hard to explain.

Ryker loved to run.  Ryker loved to run with me.  It was probably his favorite thing to do.  However; most of the time when I took him, he would disobey and take off.  He’s almost died so many times that I can’t count.  He’s spent the night in the shelter more times than I like to admit, and he has caused me to question several times why I said we could have him in the first place?   My relationship with Ryker was like a a fast moving ship.  As long as he and I were on the ship moving in the same direction, we both were happy.  Ryker was so much like me, that I often wondered if I birthed him.

Ryker loved people, I love people.  Ryker loved to run, I love to run.  Ryker liked to eat, only when he needed it for energy. However; during his last few months of life, he was eating more and running less.  He was sad his last few months of life.  He was getting older  and he was not running as much and eating more.  Dogs are like people.  A body in motion stays in motion.  A body that lays in one place becomes stationary and will usually gain weight.

It’s amazing how much dogs are truly like us.   Most people do not feel good when  they sit around all day and eat too much.  The human body was meant to move and eat food to fuel the body.  Ryker was the happiest when he was eating healthy and running more.

The day before Ryker died our family had a little discussion whether we should take him on the walk.  Some of us agreed to take him, others did not want too.  The final verdict was decided by our newly returned missionary daughter and she decided in the affirmative.

Ryker is not a leash dog.  He hates leashes.  I don’t blame him.  I would hate to be on a leash too.  My oldest son Tyler took the task at hand and was in charge of the leash.  It was like watching a tug of war between a bull and a donkey.  But in the end the bull won and the donkey obeyed.  Ryker settled into his role and stayed on the leash the entire time.

Our family had a discussion about Ryker on the walk.  Some would call it a discussion, others would call it a debate, but to put it in layman’s term, it was a little bit of an argument.

In our family an argument consists of three people who are very head strong,  2 people who are peacemakers, one who remains completely quiet, and then me, who is the referee.  I hate being the referee.  I get put in the middle of things I don’t like, but in the end I usually make pretty good calls and I try to make sure everyone is ok.

As the referee, I have pondered over Ryker’s last walk.  What was he thinking?  Could he hear us talking about him?  Did he hear me stand up for him, or did he only hear the negetive things that I said about him?   Since dogs are like people, I believe he did hear what was said about him, and I bet it probably hurt his feelings.  I wonder if he went to bed that night feeling sad

If I could live that moment again.  Our family would not have argued.  We all would of chosen to say good things about Ryker, and he would of never died.  However; Ryker did die,  and we all are mourning his loss.

Continue reading “THE LAST WORD”

MY TRIP TO SPAIN Sept 17, 2017

They say that to dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. To dream is to believe, and to believe is to know, and to know is to hope for things we cannot see. We dream of the blue ocean waters, the majestic mountains of Utah and the beautiful Montana sky.

Our hearts long to go to exotic places, African safaris and tropical beach paradises. Yet somewhere in all of these places, peace cannot always be found.

I have realized that my Spain is believing that I can get through one more day knowing that my children our safe, sleeping in my little twin bed at my parents home in Cedar City, Utah , seeing a butterfly in the middle of the day, to watch the sunset, and seeing the love in my granddaughters eyes👀

Today I went to Spain with Sydney and Easton Hogge. Sydney slept in my arms like a beautiful rag doll, she sat on my lap with her inquisitive eyes and she sang “Old McDonald Had A Farm” like a light brown haired Shirley Temple. Today I told Sydney that she was good for my soul. She told me that I made her heart happy.

This morning when she laid on my chest, time was of the essence. She smiled and said “I love you grandma” and I knew that I had just gone to Spain 1000 times in my dreams.

I went to church on Sunday with my two grandchildren. I chased Easton through the cultural hall, watched him run like his father, and got him to hold still on my lap for several minutes. Easton is blonde, brown eyed and so adorable that you want to look at him for hours. He never stops moving, doesn’t eat much and has two binki’s in his hands at all times. He’s a crazy boy with crazy dreams and when he says the word star ⭐️ it seems like nothing else matters.

Today I watched my oldest son be a father, I noticed how he looked at his wife Laura with love is his eyes, he carried the diaper bag to church like a rock star and the highlight of my day was to listen to him sing in the ward choir in Spanish. Tyler has done a lot of amazing things in his life, but watching him be a father to my grandchildren is definitely on my list of favorite things to do.

I believe that God sends angels into our lives to heal our broken hearts. He also sends angels to protect us, but he mostly sends angels to help us learn that through his tender mercies, we embrace the ability to be still and know that from a distance God is trying to teach us that Spain is really just a place we carry in our hearts.

I learned today that love is and always will be the strongest force on the planet.

As we step into the unknown we learn that we can be fragile and strong, terrified and brave all at the same time.

Today I went to Italy, Switzerland, Sweden Holland, Norway and of course Spain all at the same time. When my body stopped shaking and my eyes stopped crying, Spain became a memory I will cherish forever.

To love another person is to see the face Of God. Today when Sydney and Easton looked at me with their big brown eyes, I had the trip of a lifetime, and Spain became a memory I shall cherish always.

A Memory


Last Thursday I created a memory. I woke up at 6:00 am. and I thought about life for a while. I laid in my bed and wanted time to stand still. I thought about Austin and all the incredible things that he has done in his life, however, his greatest blessing is going to be his wife, Whitney.
I have tried to teach my boys that their wives are their greatest treasure. In marriage you become one with another human being. Marriage is a partnership with God. Marriage is never thinking your better than another person and it is always putting that persons needs before your own. Marriage is the greatest sacrifice a person will ever make. Marriage is believing that by loving another person, you become a better person.
Last Thursday morning Austin and Whitney were married. It was a beautiful day and I will never forget how I felt watching them kneel over an alter of God knowing that they
are sealed for time and all eternity.
It’s interesting how some people think that once their sealed, it’s all they have to do? Interestingly enough, it’s just the beginning of a journey of a lifetime.
Marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Marriage is something that I am not very good at. Marriage has been hard for me.
However, if I were to look at the greatest day I ever had, my husband was with me. The worst day I have ever had, he was not there.
Wherever we go and whatever we try to become, doing it together is always the better way.
Whitney and Austin created a memory. They can create memories everyday for the rest of their lives. “If it is to be, it is up to me”. That is one of my favorite mottos. We get to choose the type of person we are going to be. Marriage is s choice. It is choosing to put the other persons needs before your own. It’s about love, sacrifice and devotion, and it is never about control.
Marriage is a partnership with God that creates a triangle. When that triangle is broken, air gets in and little holes start to develop. Once those holes get too big, it’s to hard to fix them.
It’s like a tire on a bike. When you get a hole in your tire, the only thing you can do is patch it. Once there’s too many holes in the tire, it wears out. The tire gives out and the bike can’t work anymore. Marriage is like a bike. If the holes get too big, they can’t get fixed. This is usually when the marriage starts to fall apart. Seperation takes place, and then eventually divorce will occur.
However, if the marriage is healthy, the bike will continue to work. The tires will get worn out, they may lose their tread and they may even get a flat. However, flats can be blown back up again, holes, however, never really go away. You can patch them, tape them, glue them and try to mend them, but the second the marriage has a problem, the hole opens up and the problem just becomes increasingly bigger.
I believe that Whitney and Austin have a strong bike. They’ve gone on lots of bike rides together and because of those bike rides, their journey is going to be full of beautiful memories to last a lifetime.
Last Thursday I danced with my son Austin for the first time. The song that we danced to was called “For The First Time” by Rod Stewart. I certainly hope it won’t be the last time I dance with Austin but I hope it’s the last time I ever dance with my single son. I want his marriage to last forever. Maybe the next time we dance together, there will be a little person in between us. Last Thursday I looked into his eyes and I knew that I had created something pretty special. Austin is my son. He is created in the image of his father, his earthly father is such an incredible part of his life, but he was created in his Heavenly Father’s image and with God as your creator, with parents who love and cherish you, and with Whitney as his eternal companion, there are endless possibilities for Austin to become the person God has always known he can be. Austin and Whitney have become one with God, and with God, nothing is impossible❤️

It’s The Little Things 🍃😊🍃


Today when I woke up I realized that every thought, every word and every action I take, I am responsible for.

What kind of a person am I going to be today?  Where is my heart?  What is my purpose and what really matters about today?

My thoughts were of the little things.  The things that we think don’t think really matter, but they matter more than words can possibly express.

It’s the view outside your window, the sun ☀️ that comes out every day, even if we can’t always see it.   The rainbow 🌈 that reflects God’s message that rain does have a purpose, and the moon 🌙 that creates a stillness in the evening, that our day did matter.

I have been in Bronson,  Missouri with my husband this weekend.  I don’t get to see him everyday because he works in Frisco, Texas and I live in Utah.  Because of this separation, I have come to cherish the little things.  The things that most people take for granted, the things that become second nature, and the things that make an ordinary day an extraordinary day.

When I wake up in the morning and he is lying next to me, I am truly blessed.  When I can hold his hand when no ones watching, and when his left hand covers his face when he is sleeping,  I feel safe.

I believe in the simple things.  The 4-wheeler rides, the walks around the neighborhood,  the morning prayers that we try to have as much as possible, but most of all I believe in his smile that melts my heart when he is truly happy❤

When big things happen and your life changes tremendously, it’s the little things you cherish the most.

A phone call, a text, a kind word, a sticky note on the mirror, a single rose, a warm hug, and most of all his presence  that takes my breath away.

I often wonder if God keeps track of the little things?  Does he know that deep in each of our souls we long for connection.  We strive to be noticed, to be valued and to be understood.  However, I believe that God knows our hearts 💕 and doing his will, matters even more than the little things.

I believe that sometimes we get so caught up in the big things, that we forget to cherish the little things.  The things that keep us grounded, the things that give us hope, and the things that we really can’t completely understand in this life.

So for today, I hope to smell a flower, give someone a compliment,  listen to a friend and give a stranger a hug.

I believe that the little things you do today may be opening the door for the bigger things that create a brighter tomorrow.  The big things matter, but they matter most if we cherish the little things first.

The penny that we pick up off the sidewalk, the dandelion that your grandchildren bring you from your garden and the prayer that you say on a strangers behalf.

Because at the end of the day we really don’t have a lot of control over other people, we can’t change their actions, we can’t change their behavior and we can’t change the outcome.  But we can change our own actions, our own thoughts, our own behavior, and we can truly change the feelings in our hearts❤.

We get so caught up in winning the lottery, losing 30 lbs, and buying the million dollar home, that we forget to be grateful for the little things.    The penny we save, the dessert we pass up at dinner, and the picture that we cut out of Better Homes & Garden of our dream home are truly the little things that really do matter.

So for today, I will save my pennies, smile at the sun, and bask in the goodness of the stranger who gave me a dollar to pay for my Diet Coke because I left my wallet in the car.












Today I woke up and the first thought I had was how grateful I am for my husband.  In the LDS religion we believe in getting patriarchal blessings.  When I was 14, I received my patriachral blessing.  I didn’t know much about them because their was no one in my family who had ever had  one before.

when I received a copy of my blessing and read it, it changed my life.  I have read it 100’s of times and I go back and reflect on it often.  The incredible words that are in it have changed me and guided my life in ways that I never thought possible.

There is s sentence in my blessing  that says:  “your husband will be a fortunate individual because you will love him very much”.  It also states  that I will be very close to my children and I will be able to help them tremendously  all of their lives.  Today I am so grateful for how much I love my husband and how much my relationship with him affects all the other relationships in my life.

when I see my children, I am so incredibly grateful for the  goodness that is in them.  The goodness that comes from God, the goodness that comes from their father and the incredible love that I am able to give them because of the love that Daren gives me.  Marriage is not easy, it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  However, when it is done right, it is a beautiful thing.

When two people join together  in a marriage they begin a journey that is not theirs alone anymore.  Each step they take, each decision they make and each path they cross becomes stronger or weaker depending on the direction they take.   Marriage is like climbing a ladder.  You can  climb up, climb down or stay on the same step.  Whatever direction you take makes a difference in that person’s life.  The most beautiful thing about marriage is when the steps are taken with God at the top of the ladder both partners have the same goal and faith, hope and love lead them to the top.

To be grateful is being able to see the beauty, love and goodness that surrounds you and embracing all of the moments in your life that truly are gifts from God.






To Dream🎶

When I was a  little girl I used to dream that I wanted to be a professional singer. Little did I know that my family wasn’t very musical.  My mom doesn’t sing and doesn’t have a musical bone in her body.

However, my dad’s family has amazing vocal and performance skills.  My dad’s sisters used to perform and sing together and my grandma Turner played the ukulele and she also used to yodel.

I put all of my boys in violin lessons when they were young.  My daughter Kailee plays the harp and Blake and Tyler both have really good singing voices.  My husbands parents both used to sing in the ward choir and Daren’s mom had a really beautiful singing voice at one time.  I know she used to sing to him when he was little.  She loved Barbra Streisand and would sing her songs to him.  “The Way We Were” I believe was one of their favorite songs.

About six years ago I was put in a music calling in our ward.  This calling was the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do. It tested my faith on a level that I have never experienced.  However, I received a really strong promoting that I was susposed to accept the calling.  With God’s help , and a lot of faith and prayers on my behalf, I embraced the calling and ended up doing a really good job.  It changed me and made me want to become more musical.

My oldest son Tyler told me that the Lord qualifies people for their callings.  I do believe that was the case for me.  Ever since I’ve had this calling, my love for music has increased and I have tried to develop a desire to become more musically inclined.

I started taking voice lessons at the time I received the calling.   It was a stretch for me, but I was really reaching out of my comfort zone.  I did not stay with this voice teacher, because I knew she was not the right match  for me.  She did, however, teach me a lot, and her inspiration made me want to become a better singer.

In December, I found a new voice teacher. Her name is Katheryn.  I have grown to love her and trust her.  The only problem is my husband is working in Texas and she is in Utah.  I have been traveling back and forth from Texas to Utah during the past 3 month and taking lessons has been difficult.  I have felt this great need to still take lessons from her.  I can do a FaceTime lesson with her from Texas and I honestly think that I can make this work.

I don’t know why I am doing this, maybe it’s just to prove to myself that anything is possible.  I believe that a dream is a wish the heart makes ,and dreams sometimes do come true.

When Daren and I first met he used to play this song called “The Time Has Come”.  The chorus says, I’ve got this dream inside of me, and it knows no boundary, maybe it’s too big to satisfy, but I know now the time had come, to try.

So that’s what I’m doing, trying to fulfill a dream.  I’ve realized that my dreams are so completely different than my husbands dreams.  I just hope someday he will understand that even though we are married and are trying so hard to be one, my dreams are not the same as his dreams.  The things that make him happy are not the same things that make me happy.  However, because I love him, I am trying to support his dreams.  I pray that someday soon both of our dreams will come true and there will be moments where we both can truly understand the worth of both our souls is great in the eyes of God.

When words fail, music speaks.  Sometimes there are not enough words that can truly express how you feel, but a song can stir an emotion deep within our souls.  Music can change us and take us to a place that no one else has ever been🎶


April 8, 2017

I have often wondered what the word separation means?  If you look it up in a dictionary it states:  The act or process of moving apart or forcing something apart.  The separation of continents from a single landmass; the separation of railroad cars from a train, the separation of two people who truly love each other but are apart for a season.

For reasons that I still don’t quite fully understand, my husband, the father of my children, the person who has wisdom, and knowledge in areas that I can’t even comprehend is running a company in Frisco, Texas.

My husband is a businessman, a numbers guy, and a financial genesis.  Numbers go through his head like the sands of an hour glass.  I on the other hand think about music, fashion, romance, flowers, birds and mostly just being with him.  I am a true romantic and everything that makes me happy has to do with love, tenderness and compassion for other human beings.   I love on a level that far surpasses even my own understanding.

He thinks about financial security, stock, companies going public, the mortgage, bills, car insurance, medical bills and 401k’s and maybe retiring someday.

However, once in a while I see him basking in the sunlight, holding his granddaughter tight, and looking at me with his blue eyes that seem to pull me into mements  of incredible peace.

I believe that marriage is one of the hardest things that we are ever asked to do, but when done right, it is the greatest blessing in our life.

The act of becoming one with another human being gives us fortitude, strength, and a deep understanding of God’s love for us.

Over the past 4 and a half months, I have had to learn to trust God on a level that I wasn’t ready for.  I have had to believe that he knows what is best for me and that in the end, it will all be ok.

The one thing that I do know for sure is that each day I am away from my husband there is an aching deep in my soul.  A longing for my other half, my soul mate and my eternal companion.

They say that woman are angels and when someone breaks our wings we simply continue to fly, on a broomstick we’re flexible like that.

However, flying with a broomstick is hard because brooms are stiff, and straight and and kind of a matter of fact.  When an angel has two wings working at maximum capacity, it is like flying over the ocean like an eagle in search of it’s heavenly home.

In order for me to function at full capacity, at an ultimate speed, and reaching my full potential, I need to feel safe and secure in the arms of the man that I choose to marry in the house of the Lord so many, many, years ago.

There is a song called “Back For Good”  I want my husband back for good.  In the twist of separation, you excelled at being free, can’t you find a little room inside for me.  And we’ll be together, this time is forever.  We’ll be fighting, yes forever we will be, so complete in our love, we will never be uncovered again.  Want you back for good, just tell me the song and I’ll sing it, You’ll be right and understood.  Want you back, want you back for good.  I guess now it’s time that you can come back for good.