Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Today I am thankful for friends...some I have known all my life, some are brief acquaintances, some I know well, some know me well, some are family and some I call family, but friends they ALL are and I love each and every ONE!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today I am thankful for children...for their enthusiasm for life, for their innocence, for their willingness to love, love, and love some more.  Is it any wonder that the Savior has admonished us "to become as a little child"?

This while playing with a neighborhood friend my Joaquin let his emotions get the better of him (this is a super rare thing...Zeke, now that is a different story).  The friend, although repeatedly asked to stop playing rough didn't and Joaquin yelled at him.  The friend yelled back and they both stomped for home.  The next day after arriving home from School with Joaquin our little friend was playing outside with Zeke.  They both, excited to see Joaquin, ran to the car.  Joaquin was a bit hesitant and his friend said, "Joaquin, do you forgive me?  I forgive you."  Joaquin didn't answer but he was listening.  Then his friend looked at him and said "friends forgive friends".  I looked at Joaquin and said that is true.  Zeke, chimed in and said yes, Joaquin, "friends are friends".  There you have it folks plain and simple, straight from the heart!

My boys woke up at 7:30 am this Saturday morning and headed straight for the window to see what the storm had left for us...more than a foot of snow!  WOOOOOOHOOOO!  We love snow at our house! I was still half asleep but I could hear the two of them getting ready.  They were dressing for snow cause the early bird gets the worm(or snow in this case) don't ya know?  Then they headed out back to play.  When they came in an hour later for breakfast (it is only 9am folks and they have already been building and playing away) we decided to go sledding which would include the purchase of a new sled ( a 2 seater).  As we were getting ready to head to the store Joaquin was trying to tell me something but then he stopped and said, "I am so excited I can barely talk!"  Children make everything more magical!

I am so thankful for the two beautiful boys God blessed our home with!  I love you my Joaquiny and Zekiel!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Today I am thankful for all of the difficulties, trials, challenges, and adversity of this life.  Because of them I have experienced great joy!  I can see how my rough edges are being smoothed and softened.  They have and are making me more kind, compassionate, tolerant, and forgiving.  Although terribly painful and often nearly overwhelming I know they are helping me become the person I want to be when my journey on this earth is through.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Written Upon My Heart

Where oh where do I begin?  I always look forward to Conference Weekend to be nourished by the good word and I am never disappointed.  But where to begin to when there was oh so much that touched and lifted my spirit?

To quote Maria..."Let's start at the very beginning a very good place to start"...

What a wonderful revelation to hear that young men who have graduated from school can serve missions at 18 and young women at 19.  I immediately looked at my own two sweet boys and thought of what that would mean for them.  Having served a mission myself at 21 I was thrilled to hear the young women would now be able to serve at 19.  What a blessing!  I am so grateful for a living prophet and apostles who lead and guides us under the direction of Jesus Christ.  Thank you Heavenly Father to be alive in this place and in this day.  We truly are blessed!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rodrigo's Graduation - WE DO HARD THINGS

My husband, Rodrigo, has worked in the Digital Media industry for nearly 15 years now.  When he started out an associate's degree was all the education needed and his starting pay was $45,000...that is a lot of pay for so little education.  Anywho, the industry has changed drastically over these 15 years and in 2008 he decided to go back to school for his Bachelor's degree.  He successfully completed his degree this past April and was honored to have his Senior Project chosen as one of the top eight projects for the 2011-12 year. He directed and helped produce a documentary "Helping Hands" (click the poster for a preview) for a local non-profit organization "The Pete Suazo Business Center"

Needless to say, we are super proud of him.  He finished his last semester with little to no sleep and he pushed himself to be successful even when it seemed all was lost.  I am a firm believer in the principle of "do all you can" and the Lord will make up the difference...2 Nephi 25:23 for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Thanks to my husband's persistence and relentless to drive to succeed I know my boys are beginning to catch the vision of our family motto: "We do hard things".


Friday, February 24, 2012

The things of my Soul

The Book of Mormon Prophet Nephi once said regarding the record he was keeping..."And upon these I write the things of my soul..." 2 Nephi 4:15  This is why I blog.  This is my place to record the things of my soul.  The place where I can pour out my thoughts, fears, joys, successes and yes more often that I would like even my failures.  There are many wonderful blogs out there seeking to change the world in some little way and I believe little by little they are.  But my blog isn't about changing the world rather it is about changing is a record of the person I am becoming and hope to be some day.  The apostle Paul wrote...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Recently, it has been difficult because I no longer have a computer at home.  There are wonderful positives to this.  My children don't ask to play computer games and I get much less distracted.  I like this but what I don't like is that when I feel the need to express myself about something I have been pondering or mulling over I don't have a computer, instead I have to put pen to paper.  Pathetic it is.  I know.  That it would take this to help me remember so long ago, ha! ha!  (like less than 20 years ago)  I was only ever putting pen to paper.  So posting is a bit more sporadic but it comes all the same :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Please don't ask me why my son decided to pose like this for this picture because I have absolutely NO idea and it has nothing to do with this post :)  

This is my Ezekiel, or Zeke (pronounced Zeekey) as we like to call him.  He is 3 and will turn the BIG 4 in 9 days.  February 14th to be exact.  He is my Valentine's boy.  Well, the soon to be 4yr old boy has been going through some type of phase as of late.  It started about two months ago and it started small, but it has blossomed into something...well, something typical for a 3yr old but still quite baffling for the Mommy of a 3 yr old.  It all started with Spiderman as it often does with little boys right?  See there were these jackets...

This one with Spidey and one just like it but gray with Superman.  They belong to his big brother, but one day I let him where one because he thought they were cool.  That was all she wrote folks because I could hardly get him to take it off to bathe.  He even slept in it a couple of times.  Thankfully I had two jackets so when one was dirty the other I had as back-up.  You can't imagine, or then again maybe you can, the meltdowns that would result if I didn't have either ready for him to wear.  I'm not one of those Mom's that is going to start WWIII over what my children wear.  I am taking the advice of wiser Mom's who have repeatedly told me to "Pick my battles".  What they wear, as long as it is clean and modest, just ain't one for battlin over. So, every day it was Spidey or Superman...our friends dontcha know? :)  And this I could handle, but his obsession turned to his PJ's to one pair in particular.  Betcha can't guess who was on these PJ's?  Yep, none other than our friend Spiderman.  This was really hard because he only has one pair of these.  Do you know he would actually hide them from me when he took them off in the morning?  He would tuck them in a corner or put them under a bed out of fear that I would wash them and they wouldn't be ready for bedtime that night.  

Once his obsession spread to the PJ's it was over for me, Mommy.  Because the next thing I knew he only wanted to wear jeans and nothing else.  And then it was only certain shirts.  One day as we were laying out his clothes for the next day, I had given him two choices and he said no to both. I asked him why and he said, "They aren't cool".  Do you know I rolled my eyes like a teenager?  And said "ok, what do you think is cool enough to wear?"  It boiled down to about three shirts...his monkey shirt, his "Pre-historic fish" shirt, and his googly eye shirt, two of which were too small for him.

Fast forward to today two months later...

We bought him new shoes yesterday, which of course he picked out all by himself.  As I was just about to work on my post for today he came down in his PJ's (an "acceptable" alternative to Spidey) and stood next to me with a big silly grin on his face.  I thought, "What is he doing?" and then I looked down.  He had rolled out of bed and first things first of course, had put his new shoes on.   All he needed from me was a quick tie of the strings.

Will he grow out of this phase?  Maybe he will maybe he won't.  But I want to remember and of course will have fun in the future helping him remember the " SUPER COOL"ness of being him! 

Love you my Zeke!

PS. Bought a shirt yesterday that was actually "COOL" enough to wear without his jackets :)!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Where on Earth Can I Find Heaven?

I miss it like the trees miss April when its fall...

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,  60
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,
          And cometh from afar:
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come  65
        From God, who is our home:
~ William Wadsworth

Do you ever feel homesick and you are home?  I do.  As a child I instinctively knew the home I was missing was my heavenly home.  About the only place that eases this sense of longing for me is the temple.  Each and every time I attend the temple I feel, for those moments, close to home. The most wonderful part of all is that as I serve in the temple and then return to daily life I take a little piece of that heaven with me to my earthly home making it a little piece of heaven too.

Here is what President Monson, a living prophet, has to say about the temple.

"As you and I go to the holy houses of God we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation.  In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace, we will be renewed and fortified.  May we make whatever sacrifices are necessary to attend the temple to have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comfort Food for Thought

You know those foods that when you eat them you just feel good all over?  The ones that make you feel warm and safe and happy all the way the very core of your being?  Well, I also have those comfort foods for my thoughts.  They are things that when I reflect on them I feel this sense of peace that settles over me and sinks down deep into my soul.  The story of Joseph Smith and what we mormons call "The First Vision" is just such comfort food for my thoughts.  I was 9yrs old the first time I heard this story.  I will NEVER forget it.  

My grandmother was a lover and seeker of truth. She had a great passion for it. A friend of hers, that was a member, stopped in to her work one day to visit with her. During the course of their conversation he asked if he could bring the missionaries to share with her more about the church. She accepted. My sister and I lived with her at the time and were eager to hear these discussions as well. I am not sure the order in which we learned about the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ to the earth but, I will never forget how I felt the first time I heard the story - A young boy of 14 who went to a grove of trees and knelt down in prayer asking God what church he should join. As I heard his testimony of how God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him I was filled with light, joy and the sweetest peace I have ever felt. I knew he had seen God and Jesus Christ and that this young boy was God’s instrument in restoring His church to the earth. I have never doubted it.

Why, you might ask would this story be comfort food for my thoughts?  Because there are some simple but precious truths I learned from it.  God hears and answers my prayers. He knows me personally by name. I am His child. The Heavens are once again open and He speaks to a prophet to lead and guide us, His children, back to our Heavenly Home.
The words near Joseph's childhood home where he saw God, our Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ"  We call it "The Sacred Grove"
Yesterday on the spur of the moment I took my children to see the movie "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" on temple square.  My Joaquin was deeply moved by what he witnessed so much so that he refused to talk about it afterwards.  Have you ever had experiences like that?  Ones where they are so personal and special that you want to keep them for yourself to think over, to ponder to savor?  I'm hoping this story too will become comfort food for his thoughts.  

Here is the full-length film to view on YouTube if you are interested.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My husband, Rodrigo, has been having a love affair with film since he can remember.  He has always been fascinated with creating for the big screen.  He is currently finishing a Bachelor's degree in Digital Media in preparation for obtaining a master's degree in Film Production.  Last semester he had to re-create a scene from a film.  He chose "The Rabbit's Foot" from Mission Impossible III.  I think he has talent but who am I to say?  I'm pretty partial anyway :).  Anyhow, I have earned bragging rights!

Rodrigo Diaz Villar @ Work in the broadcasting dept. of UVU

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Of Thee I Sing"

I am a collector of children's picture books. I grew up reading.  My grandmother, my constant source of inspiration, read to me often and would discuss what we read.  She was always pushing me to be the very best I can be and to see the best in all around me.  She was truly one to accentuate the positive.  It wasn't that she didn't notice the negative she just chose not to focus her energy on it.  This is why when I read the book "Of Thee I Sing" the very first time I felt like a child once again sitting in her lap soaking up her wisdom.

It is a book written by Barack Obama to his children.  He is reminding his girls of how great they are and at the same time teaching them about the great people who helped make this nation the glorious place that it is.  I don't think I have gotten through a read of this book without tearing up.  I just can't help but to be moved by the beauty of the people who have shaped us and have encouraged us to find the best within ourselves and share it.  Below are just two small samples.

When I read this page my boys are always eager to share their song with me.

Who isn't inspired by Abraham Lincoln?
No need to buy it just head on over to your library and check it out. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

...The Meaning of All Things...

Today I was sitting in stake conference there was a sweet little family sitting in front of us with three beautiful little girls and a baby boy.  One of the little girls, an 18 month old was sitting next her her mother.  Walking toward the family was a young couple who it seemed the husband of was the brother to the mother of the little family.  When the 18 month old saw him her face lit up and she began pointing and chattering about him.  Watching this little girl in her delight I was transported back in time.  Chancey, or Lilah, or Livvy was that little girl and I was the beloved aunt coming to visit.

My one and only sibling/sister, Caprece, died now just 5 years ago and there are many things that are difficult about her absence.  However, I would have to say the most difficult is how it has effected the dynamic of my relationship with her children, my nieces and nephews. I went from the place of a cherished aunt to a relative with very limited privileges regarding time spent with them.  I don't say this with bitterness - it is a fact.  Is it hard? Yes, heartbreaking.  I have prayed long and hard these past 5 years to find peace with my new reality, to understand why and to discover what I should change about myself to make it different.  This week I was having just such a moment.  I was thinking of them and missing them so terribly and once again evaluating, pondering and pleading with my Father in Heaven when the following scripture entered my mind...

1 Nephi 11:17...I do not know the meaning of all things.

The very nature of this life is that there will be things that we do not and will not ever know the meaning of but I felt peace because immediately following this verse the following came to me..

2 Nephi 4:19...nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

At that moment I knew he understood the longing of my heart. I felt His empathy for the pain I had experienced and was experiencing.  I felt Him acknowledge the difficulty of my situation and also the hurt I felt because I don't understand the why of the situation or how or if there is anything that I can ever do to change it.  And I also knew that I could endure it because I trusted Him. Because He is there beside me walking with me through it. I could accept that I didn't know the meaning of this thing because I trust Him.

It doesn't take away the pain, but now I can allow it to wash over me, taking away the need to know, to understand, and to change.  I can just love, love and love some more like I have done every moment since I first held each and every one of them in my arms.

Book of Mormon Blog Hop

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Plain and Precious

I love to look at my children when they are sleeping.  Basking in their innocence and sweetness while they sleep is the best part of my day!  

A few nights ago, as we were having our nightly ritual of reading 5 verses from the Book of Mormon, I was finishing up the verse below.  The sweet boy on the left, Joaquin, asked me about "garments stained in blood".  We talked about symbolism, an abstract concept and very hard for him to wrap his 6yr old mind around.  Even though it was difficult for me and for him we did discuss it and I tried to put it in the most concrete terms as possible for him.  But what touched me most about this moment wasn't what we discussed but rather it was his question...he was listening!

Alma5:22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?

I've been reading to and with my children from the Book of Mormon since they were born.  Even as newborns I felt the spirit of this book would touch their spirits and plant the seed of testimony.  However, as you can imagine the older they have gotten the less I feel like they are listening.  Sometimes I have felt like giving up but instead I have pressed forward holding consistently to the word in hopes for a moment like this one.

A few nights later we were reading, same chapter just a few verses later 

Alma 5:39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.

Same six year old and he wanted to know who "the devil" was.  It resulted in a wonderful discussion of the plan of salvation.  We talked about our life before we came to earth, why we are here on this earth and where we will live once we leave this earthly life.  I know he didn't get it all at that moment, but he was listening.  These are the best teaching moments of all because they spring from his questioning and interest. 

I am so grateful for the counsel of modern prophets, who have taught us to have family scripture study and for the precious, plain and simple truths of the Book of Mormon.  So plain and so simple that even a child can recognize them.

I'm hooking up with my Book of Mormon Forum friends...CHECK IT OUT!  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Peace - My Word for 2012

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace when other sources cease 
to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice,
I draw myself apart searching my soul?

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you... ~ John 14:27

The world defines peace as "the absence of conflict or disturbance, but the Prince of Peace does not offer a life without conflict.  Rather He is offering us a way to overcome conflict, unrest, contention, tribulation, anger, malice, and hurt.  He offers us "a more perfect way" to peace.  Peace for our own lives as well as those around us.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;... ~ Matthew 5:43-44

This year I want to have a greater measure of peace in my heart, in my home, in my life.  Where do I turn for peace?  He, He only One.  

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