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Showing posts from June, 2018

Newport Coast

Notes for Kori:  Here's my recommendations for Southern California. We love to stay at Newport Coast, the enormous Marriott property near Newport Beach.  There are some pretty great mansions in the hills nearby.  Ask somebody to point out which one belongs to Tiger Woods.  When you make your reservation, you can ask for a room with an ocean view.  If you have noisy little boys, you can ask to be on the ground floor so you don't have to worry about them jumping and disturbing people under you.  You can buy groceries nearby and then enjoy an apartment with a kitchen and two bedrooms. When you want to go to the beach with the family, find the shuttle stop and take the free bus down to the beach at Crystal Cove (because parking down there is like $15 and you still have to walk a ways).  My favorite thing is to walk down the hill, walk down to the beach and enjoy it before sunrise when there's no people there.  It's a great morning walk, but I wouldn't want to wa


Insomnia is usually a red flag that there's another problem under the surface.  It's a symptom of something worse, but it's also a serious problem in and of itself.  Here's 24 years worth of trial and error, research and experiment, therapy and tears, condensed into one essay.  (A few of the ideas here come from, "The feeling good handbook," by David Burns, MD.  It's a great resource.) 1.  Don’t put your face in front of bright screens from  11pm-5am .   Whether it's a phone, desktop computer, lightbox, whatever.   It’s like artificial sunshine, and you don’t want that confusing your body's circadian rhythms. 2. Biofeedback:   “my hands are warm and heavy,” stuff really works.   ( BYU used to have a great lab in the downstairs of the Wilkinsin center.  It might still be there, I don't know.)   Your mind has a ton of power over your body.   I can raise my body temperature in certain areas, just by telling myself to do it.   You can look u

Leaving Utah

Norm and I are at a crossroads.  It's time for our family to take the next step.  But first a quick trip down memory lane. We first came to Utah sixteen years ago.  We were young and cute and pregnant with baby #1.  Norm had been accepted as a student.  I had a lot of fun during my first two years of college, and I imagine the admissions board looked at my transcript and said something like, "yeah right!"  (More details about getting a D in organ lessons over  here .) So my first BYU application was rejected.  They let me attend classes as a visiting student, and one day an admissions officer called my phone.  It was a landline, and we were living in BYU married student housing.  He had two questions for me:  Is your husband a full time student?  Yes.  And you live on  campus?  Yes.  End of interview.  A few days later I got my acceptance letter. We finally graduated together in 2004. We bought our first home in Lehi, not too far from Willow Creek middle schoo

Church music, my favorite song by Pink, and thoughts from a recovering perfectionist

A song I've loved for years is, "You are perfect," by Pink, because it rings true for me:  I've chased down all my demons.  Or at least most of them. I've played the organ in Sacrament meeting dozens of times.  Occasionally there's a distinguished visitor or an important somebody sitting on the stand (literally two feet from my organ bench).  Sometimes it makes me nervous, but usually not too bad.  The time that freaked me out the most was when there was music professor in the congregation.  I remember having a little meltdown before church that day.  I told the Bishop, "I got a D in organ when I was in school..." and in his good natured, humorous way, he said, "We won't tell him."  Still, my anxiety was real.  I was worried about the songs, I was worried about the singing, I was worried about a lot of stuff.  Mainly, I was worried that I wasn't good enough and that somehow that music professor would agree. If you

The Scoutmaster

illustration by Norman Rockwell 1956 A few months ago, Norm's tenure as Scoutmaster ended.  He served the boys for five years.  Today I pay tribute to him, and to the many other men who have served in similar capacities.   He grew to love the boys in his troop, and so did I.  They spent a lot of Wednesday evenings at our house.  I was willing to support Norm because I believe the following is true:   "It is better to build boys than to mend men." This is what my boys looked like five years ago when Norm began serving as Scoutmaster. The first winter campout where Cade joined them.  Haven't you always wanted to sleep in a tent when there's snow all around? One of the best things about a campout is the fire and the Scoutmaster minute.  Each camp out he'd spend time telling an inspirational story or lesson, along with goofy, silly stories to entertain the Scouts.   scoutmaster minute ideas (Quick tip for moms: