Monday, August 30, 2010

I am Divorced and it hurts.

It has taken me about three days to get up the courage to write this post. I wanted to blog because I wanted to write about the pain I was going through. And I wanted to talk what I was learning as I dealt with the greatest pain I've ever experience. But even within the safety of my own blog, I found I couldn't really talk about it. I'm so scared of being labeled. It is easier to pretend it never happened and focus simply on being happy.

Let me tell you my story.

I'm 22 and I'm divorced. That word still makes me tear up and sting inside. I was married in the Idaho Falls Temple and if you don't know we Mormons take marriage very seriously. To sum it up simply, most marriages performed are for time only, meaning the couple is together only for the time while on this earth. It is temporary. However, we believe that temple marriages are for time and eternity and that families can be together forever by sealings. It is a very permanent, serious, and sacred thing. Marriage is not to be taken lightly.

I was married last year. Only a year ago. I was so happy when I became engaged, thrilled to have someone who wanted to be with me for eternity. It was a fast courtship having only dated about 3 months. I believed that this was my one chance for happiness and a family. That happy feeling lasted for about a week. I woke up one morning suddenly nervous and sick, but too ashamed to call off my engagement. I thought no one would ever love me again. I was sure we could make it work. We loved each other after all. I plastered a smile on my face and went through the motions of planning a wedding. In fact, I drowned myself in flowers, lace, and tulle trying to muffle out the sickness and nagging doubt, something we call the Holy Ghost.

My wedding was beautiful. It really was. No big catastrophe happened that day. The weather was gorgeous and my family was all there. I remember asking myself if I was excited. I know now that I wasn't but I did a heck of a job convincing myself that it was going to be the best day of my life. I was full of hope for the future. Marriage was beautiful. I genuinely believed that we could make it work.

It didn't work.

I didn't understand. I prayed, fasted, attended the temple, talked with my bishop and counselors and knew that the only thing I needed was the courage to step out. Our relationship was sick and very unhealthy in all aspects. It was affecting me in the worst ways. I felt my Savior's love as I struggled through understanding repentance and pride and taking the steps I needed.

I moved home. When I think about the love I received from my mom and dad it breaks my heart. They too were struggling to understand, their hearts breaking, yet they were a support to me and greatly needed by me. I thank God for their understanding and love. I felt so liberated there. So light and filled with peace. I knew that my Savior would take care of me. I knew everything, somehow, would work out for the best. He loves me beyond my understanding. I may never marry again, but I know that joy comes from doing His will. (I know that if He had told me to stay and work it out, it would have worked. He has the power to heal broken and sometimes seemingly irreparable things, but in the case of my marriage it wasn't to be.)

There is a great deal of pain in life. Divorce hurts. As do other sufferings. But I believe that there is also a great deal of happiness to be found in the pain. Mine comes from knowing that I have a deeper and more personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. I know that I have yet a great deal to learn from my experience (thats what you get with disobedience), but I want to send a grateful note to those who have helped me, and to those who have loved me despite my terrible shortcomings. I am grateful for those who encourage me everyday. You have no idea how much it means to me.

I'm really not the greatest with words. Most times I really struggling in trying to write down my thoughts. However, I found it to be a relief to write about the happiness I experience in creating my new life with the knowledge I have gained from my life changing experience. I am in the business of creating something worthwhile, something with love and joy, and something by doing the right thing.

And I'm grateful for those who take the time to read my business. You are my new friends, and part of my new life. I love you.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ThE ZoNe

There is something magical about producing something that wasn't there
before. For me, it is art. I get so excited when I sit down and release all
that pent up energy into something that has been playing across my mind.
Something that has wanted to get out for a while. It is so satisfying to
look at something you did and know that it is the very essence
of who you are. It doesn't have to be perfect. BUT don't let the fear of failure
discourage you from trying. You will be surprised by the your own
capability. It is something that I feel I must do to understand life.
It clears my head and makes me feel like I have purpose.

{this is my neice Tayla with a twist inspired by the Fauves, Acrylic}
For the big day tomorrow my cooperating teacher (whom I'll call Mrs. CT)
asked if I would create a small slide show introducing myself to the kids. For some odd reason, kids think that teachers live in the school and don't have lives of their own. Mrs. CT also said to include some of my artwork to show the kid that yes, art teachers know how to draw. (This is great for me. I have the hardest time drawing on the chalkboard.)

I've been going through some of my old work (most what I've done in classes at school) and it was so fun to look at. I'd thought I would share a little bit of some of the things I've done. I've added some quotes about creating or art that I related to. Enjoy!

{Study done with watercolor}

"God didn’t give me a choice. Art is not just something I create but something I am. It makes me one with my personal God. When I see something of beauty—landscape, still life objects—I need to be a part of it; through the creative process, I become one with my subject. My subject’s soul and my soul intertwine." -ritzymitzi
{Perfume Ad, Watercolor}
"I paint because it is the only time when I can be truly me and only me..."

{Study, Watercolor}
"If you are true artist, you make art throughout your entire life. You have no choice." -John Mars

{head study, Graphite Pencil}
"I paint, sketch because I live art. Look, see, observe, smell, taste, feel. Art is what we are. It's actually an extension of ourselves which God himself gave to us at birth. Sit behind your easel and smell fresh paint and mediums and if you are not excited deep within, then you are not destined to produce art. It has different meanings for us all, but all in a nutshell "We just have to!"
{My roommate who was a dance major, Oil}
{Figure study, Pastel}
{Flower, Watercolor}
"I started painting in my 50s and it totally changed how I look at my world and how I live my life. When I paint I have total freedom to create whatever I chose to. The fact that there are no rules is so liberating and that freedom spills over into my daily life. I love it!" -Margidy
{China girl inspired by my visit to China, Pen, Ink, and Gouche}
."The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty." -Uchtdorf

{China woman, Gouche on wood sanded off}
"No one can tell me I'm wrong."
{Illustration Study, Acrylic}
{Flowers, Gouche}
{Elephant, Charcoal and Gouche}

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moving, Deodorant, and Wal-mart

I've arrived.
It has been a mess. Boxes and piles everywhere, but slowly
my room and apartment have emerged.
It is definitely a change.

I'm not at college anymore, but not really in the "real world" either.
I don't know anyone in this town and my roommate has
to work every night. So its been lonely getting all moved in and hauling
boxes up the stairs. (I've definitely gotten my workout the past few days.)
I've been to Wal-mart enough times to know which cashiers
are fast and which are slow. And I've broken in my new car.
(I'll tell you that story soon. I need to figure out its name first.)
And my poor Van Gogh
doll with the detachable ear was torn up by the roommate's dog.
(I'm an art teacher. I can have Van Gogh dolls.)

Thursday and Friday this last week were a lot of teacher meetings.
I met with my cooperating teacher and university supervisor to go
over what is expected of me.
I don't know how they think anyone can be comfortable teaching
knowing that in the back someone is critiquing every word said.

Plus, I sweat a lot when I am nervous. (Well, kind of all the time really.)
It is gross and I'm really paranoid that I'll have huge tacos in front of everyone.
I'm sorry if this is grossing you out, but I've had nightmares about it.
I have tried almost every antiperspirant and I can tell you personally:

This last student teaching experience is a pass or fail course.
These two people decide whether I can be a teacher or not.
It is scary and very, very intimidating.
Highlight: My parent love me. They gave me three roses with
good luck note. This is a big change for me and kind of scary.
I'm so grateful for them and their support.

I start with real kids on Monday. Wish my luck.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The COW Story (involving poop)

The sun was setting behind me. The colors blending in with the cloud
of dust from my tires as I speed along the dirt road. I stuck my hand out
of the window making an airplane and letting the wind blow it up and down.
It's harvest time!
All day long there is the sound of machines going in the fields. A fleet of trucks
run along the roads taking wheat, barley, and oats to their rightful places. The
sticky hotness and the itchy cloud of grain dust penetrate the air. It is
definitely miserable. But I love it. I didn't always.
Living on a farm sounds romantic and appeasing. Let me tell you it isn't.
When I was younger I hated the farm with a PASSION. I wanted to live
in a big city full of culture and art. I loved art. However, I was stuck in a town
where the nearest thing that could be called artistic was a cattle brand.

When I applied for college I was required to write an essay addressing
the question of why the college should choose me over other applicants.
I told them a story:
It was a stormy day. Actually, it had been raining for about three days.
Dad hauled my little brother and me out of the house to sort out
some cows that needed to go to auction.
We chased them down the alleyway into the sorting corral.
I grabbed the gate and was using it to push the cows in. All of a sudden I
was on my back as one of the mothering heifers kicked the gate right into my
forehead and sent me flying onto the ground. Let me remind you it
had been raining all week and so, yes, I was covered head (including hair) to
foot in slimy, oozy COW POOP!!!

{image via}

I just laid there stunned; cows running all around me
taking advantage of the open gate. I got slowly up. Waddled over to dad,
holding back my tears asked if I could please go home. "Nope," he said.
" We have to finish the job." So I stayed. Miserable to the bone. Hair
matted to my head with poop. Crusty. Stinky. Wet. And we finished the job.
I told those big college people that I would be that way the rest of my life.
I would stay until the job was done.

And so... in two days I move.
I move to a new town, a new job, and a new life.
I'm starting my student teaching. Starting the beginning of "being cultured."
And you know what I think I'm going to miss the most: home.
I'll be packing now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

That Thing You Always Wanted (SERIOUSLY)

You know those neck pillows that are so handy
when you are flying or going on long trips? I love them.
I also love my rice bag that my sister made for me a few years
back. Heat it in a microwave and it is perfect for those aches, pains,
and cramps that we all get. The rice holds the heat for quite a while.

My two loves have come together to make this genius heating neck
wrap that is going to be my new best friend. (I don't know about you
but by the end of the day my neck is killing me and this lovely is going
to make my life wonderful.) It is very easy to make too!

I'll show you:

1. I drew a pattern based on the pillow on some fabric. I traced it
about 1/2 out from the outline of the pillow to give room for the
stitch and the filling. I used fleece. I think thicker fabrics will
be more beneficial to the overall heat of the pillow.
(I think I probably should have ironed it. I really hate ironing.)

2. Pin the first cutout onto more of the fabric and cut out a back.
3. Sew it all together. Remember to leave a hole to turn it inside-out.
and to fill the bag with rice with.
4. Turn the pillow inside-out so you no longer see the stitch.

5. Fill with rice. I added some oatmeal and some herbal tea bags.
The herbal tea masks the smell of the rice and makes it heavenly to
heat this baby up. I used ginger and peppermint and it smells very
much like Christmas; it's wonderful.

6. Hand stitch up your hole.

7. Throw it all in the microwave for a few minutes. Remember if it is
too hot for your hand it is too hot for your neck.

8. Love it. Use it. Thank me. :)
It is like getting a warm, cozy hug on your neck.
Cost: Nothing. I just used stuff around the house.
Time: about an hour

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where I Come From It's Cornbread and Chicken

{me with the pigs}
If someone were to ask me what experience has shaped my life and personality the most, I would say, without the slightest pause, growing up on a farm. There is a certain sense of pride that comes from having your dad work with his hands and your mom take care of her family. As far back as I can recall, we've always had cattle and enough land to keep us more than busy.

Lessons learned on the farm were countless. Such things as
  • I was born knowing how to drive a truck and a tractor.
  • It is important to know how deep and thick something is before you cross it.
  • The better you treat an animal the more they are willing to give you.
  • Everyone feels hot and sticky and miserable in a 2pm sun --you’re problems are not unique.
  • There is always going to be another solution. You can't do it one way you can do it another.
  • A piece of twine will do some amazing things. (It is similar to duct tape.)
  • You can't start it-- push it. You can't push it--pull it. You can't move it--ask your brother.
  • The best time to sing at the top of your lungs to Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw is while driving a tractor. Country music doesn't belong anywhere else.
  • It isn't always easy to find "this size bolt" from 6 five-gallon buckets of rusty pieces of metal.
  • And it important to always have a lot of duct tape and WD-40 on hand.
  • You don't get to take a hour lunch.
  • Machines talk. They tell you when they are feeling normal and when something is amiss. STOP if anything sounds bad.
  • Go to bed when you have the chance.
  • Run everything to the dirt and then some.
  • An most importantly, the harder you work at something the better you feel about yourself.

    Family and your stories are part of who you are and what you stand for. Dad can fix anything and mom knows how to make everything good. The habits you keep for years are as strong as life itself. We are part of the land we work.
    Pray a lot because it all depends on Him. However, work like it doesn't.

    No other experience in this world can offer the satisfaction I feel when I watch the sunset after a day of sweat and hard work and the realization I've "
    done some good in the world today."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Ann?

Oh my mother. Such a hoot.
She has always been my best friend. The first person I told
about my school girl crushes and my awful first kiss. The person I
ran to with my messes And the person I needed when I couldn't handle
life anymore and I didn't know what direction to point my compass.
She'd listened as I cried and somehow she'd always make me laugh.
She's an awesome listener.

My mom is wise. She taught me some pretty essential things:
~Cops don't mind too much if you go 5 miles over the speed limit
~Sing "Happy Birthday" as bad as you can, it makes the best memories
~"Stop picking" (the zits of course)
~A package of yeast is about 2.5 tsp
~ There is an art to dressing down around the house
~Putting on a pair of earrings completes an outfit
~Use the nice dishes on Sunday and Holidays
~There will always be someone who loves you
Just warning you, this one is a little crude:
~ A virgin is someone who hasn't kissed
(Remember when I asked you what the word meant after hearing it
on the bus. You told me that's what it was. I told people for a long
time they were wrong, Ma.)

My mom is just the right mix of a classy lady with a sense of humor.
My mom is a babe. She is a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun.
She is my biggest example. And I love her a whole lot.

Happy Birthday Ma!


Sometimes there is nothing better than a man hug.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mom doesn't like the word random

~ When I finally have a house of my own to decorate, I am
going to put thousands of glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceilings.
I have them in my bedroom now and I love trying to find constellations
as I am going to sleep. I make up my own with their own stories.

(I did this with a past boyfriend for a date. We went and checked out
children's books at the library, made a fort out of the couch cushions, and
tried to find constellations on the ceilings as we ate smores made from the
stovetop. I don't think he liked it as much as I did. Cued me in that he wasn't
right for me. :) {Image found at}

~ My mom's name is Ann. My grandma's name is Shirley. I've always
wanted to name one of my daughters: Anne Shirley.
"Anne with an e."
It honors three great people.
{Mom cutting Grandma's hair. This is one of my favorite pictures.}

Anne of Green Gables= fantastic book, fantastic movie
Probably going to watch it today and eat my cupcakes.

~ I Love Lucy is the best show in the whole world. I have never laughed so hard.
I own 6 seasons on DVD and I watch them every year. I've dyed my hair
red in honor of her several times.
{image found at}

~I don't really have celebrity crushes. Although for a while I really liked Orlando Bloom. I liked watching him in Lord of the Rings. Running. Hmm. He made a pretty great pirate as well.

~Getting notes is one of my most favorite things. I love making cards to give
to people. I think notes should be as long as the space available.
There is always more to say to a person, fill'er up!

~Summer is coming to an end. Did I get rid of my pasty-white chicken legs? No.
Did I read any of the books I planned to? No.
Did I do some art projects that I could use for my student teaching? No.
My excuse: for the last four years I have done nothing but study my
brains out. Read and read. I use to love reading. It feels now like
something I have to do (a chore) and I don't want to. I'm done studying for a while.
All I want to do is watch T.V. and eat cupcakes. It makes me
feel sluggish and gross, but I deserve it. I have worked hard to finish college
and this my break. Next week I'll be moving into a new apartment, in a
new town, and starting a new "grown-up" job; I'm scared! I'm having all sorts
of doubts. What if I really don't like teaching? What if I'm not a good teacher?
Mom says I worry too much. I know I do.

~These chairs are making me so happy. I painted them yesterday.
The frames were plain wood I had sitting around that I sprayed
with a light coat of white and scruffed up a bit with sandpaper.
~I really want to know how to make a heart on the computer.
Anyone know?

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a Universal Truth...

that all driver's licenses are terrible.
Today I got my third license in a year (that's a different story that someday I'll tell)
and it is the worst! I tried extremely hard to be cute. I was determined to look
at least normal. I wore my favorite shirt and did my hair as cute as I could.

But the camera again conquered me.

Hair= not bad.
Squinty eyes= ugh!
See the clenched smile= not normal, kind of sinister.
Chin= I look like my brother.

And who sees my driver's license? Police who have the ability to make me
poorer than I am. (Did I tell you all that I have to buy a new car?) I always hope if I
look pleasant they will be nicer. (Not going to work with this lovely card.)
I hate getting pulled over.
I hate the chills down my back seeing those lights. I hate how awkward it is.
I hate the agonizing wait seeing if they are going to punish me; and coupled
with the flashing lights blinding me and everyone whose passing looking
through the window to see if they know me, makes it miserable.
"Hey everyone! Yes, I got in trouble. Move along now."

So, what I really meant to ask:
As anyone ever had a good driver's license?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When I was 18

I always thought that the perfect age was 18. And when we
died we would be 18 in heaven for eternity.
I waited and waited to be 18. It was the age where magical things
happened. All my Barbies were 18 and they got to go to college,
met "real men," drive their own car, and eat sausages and ice cream
for dinner if they wanted to.

First night at college with my first ever roommates. Me= Nerd at the top.

Truth? I didn't know anything when I was 18. I thought it was the
age where you were young enough to still be considered young and fun,
but old enough to be solidly an adult. It was all about freedom and
being carefree.

My roommates and I freshman year "popcorning" someone at 4 in the morning. Me= Right

Drinking too much sparkling cider. Me= far left.

Me at 18 was insecure. I cried a lot and did some crazy things.
And I didn't have money to buy sausage or drive my own car.
But college seemed a lot more exciting when I was 18. I took life by the
horns and tried to shake all the fun out of it.
And yes at 18, I gained the famous "Freshman 15,"
although for me it was 20.

My roomate and I polishing off a 10 lb cake on a very depressing night.
As I got older, I found myself most night with so much homework that "going out" was not an option. I ate too much Ramen and studied too hard. I was a boring college student bent on getting my A's.

But I like myself more now than I did at 18. I know myself a little better.
Maybe I'm a little more mature.

Maybe not.

I do however have more curves to show off and I do eat sausage when I want to. And my car died last week.

I now believe strongly that the perfect age will be 24. I'll have a real job, be a successful, and maybe get rid of my lazy tendencies. And I'll be shaking those horns again, but a little bit more responsible.

Guess I'll tell you how that goes when I get there.

*I lied. That last picture isn't me now. I was 20. It just makes me laugh every time I see it. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ode to Earrings

I was super excited to get my ears pierced when I was younger.
Mom kept telling me I was too young to get them done, so
on a day in town with my sisters we rebelled and got them done. My older
sister signed the permission slip as my mother (she's only 10 years older than me)
and I went home a little sore but happy and feeling very mature.
I love earrings, especially when my hair is shorter.
I've collected quite a few in my life (I just wish they were cheaper) and
I never knew how to store them. They end up all heaped together
in a cup on my dresser.
This idea solved all my problems, and I love it:

I started with a $1 frame I found at the D.I. , sanded it down, and painted it a fun lime color.

At about any craft store they have plastic mesh. Mine was only a dollar.

I measured out the mesh and hot glued it to the back on the frame where normally the glass would go.

I don't have a craft stapler, but if I did I would have used fabric for the back on the frame. I used paper, measured it out and just taped it with double stick. It works wonderfully.

I added a scrap booking flower I had and some ribbon to hang it with.
I stuck my earrings through the mesh and hung it up.

I love the color and how it grabs attention. Fun, fun, fun!

Total spent: $2.00

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I promise this is not a craft blog-- it just happens to be the
only thing I'm doing lately. I had to really talk myself out of posting
another DIY, but I promise it is coming and everyone should be
so excited! Its my favorite thus far.

My thoughts have been mulling over an odd quote from a movie I watched yesterday. The character claimed that hell would be being locked in a room with another person who know everything about you, especially that which is worst about you, for all eternity.

It seems we are constantly trying to get people to understand our point of view. Yet, it is still scary knowing that someone could find out the deepest, darkest secrets of our soul. And knowing everything about us could someone really understand us, our thoughts and actions, and still love/respect us? To trust another person is a scary concept, but one each of us must face in life. The results are sometimes pleasant and other times heartbreaking and life alternating. You have to take a mighty risk and HOPE that they won't take advantage of your vulnerability. It is tragic when that hope dies-- similar to a death of a loved one.

It would be so great to rid ourselves of every negative thought, every jealous tendency, and overcome all ignorance. It would seem great to rid ourselves of everything bad and replace it with trust, happiness, compassion, and love. However, I believe that everyone is going to hurt you in some way. The challenge is find those who are worth suffering through the pain for. Life would be too dull if it was perfect. Without pain we would not be able to experience true joy. Opposition gives us perceptive--without the bad there would be no good.

Keep hoping, keep trying, keep experiencing those things that are hard but make us better people in the long run.

And I know heaven will be a better place then hell.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quick and Easy Footstool

I haven't painted for a while and I've been feeling the urge.
This last semester I wasn't able to take an art class because I
was getting done with all my history classes.
And how I have missed it!
It makes me all the more excited for my student teaching
because I'll be doing nothing but ART!
I feel challenged when painting, but also so free. No one can tell
me that my painting is wrong and I didn't learn right, because it is mine.
It is a puzzle that only I can figure out and there is no guide to help.
It is my responsiblity to contribute something that didn't exist before.
I love watching the piece emerge as I use highlights and shade
to create shapes. It is so relaxing and satisfying. I just love it!
This is the watercolor I did yesterday.
{In advance: I apologize for the low quality of pictures.
I am still trying to figure out how to take pictures of myself
while doing the actual project.}
Here is a quick little, easy project for ya all!
I painted this cute this stool in elementary school and
lately I've been hiding it in the back of my closet. It isn't something
I'm really liking. It definitely needs a new update.
I first sanded all the old paint off I could and painted it all white.
I then added a coat of black on top. Taking a fine grade sandpaper,
I roughed up the edges to let some of the white come through.

I have these two bottles of medium that work handy.
Pick a brush that you aren't afraid of getting ruined.

I picked some scrapbook paper that I liked and cut it to fit the
top of the stool.
I prepared a thick coat of Matte Medium on the surface of the
stool and let it sit for about five minutes to let it set up a bit.

Starting at one end, set the end of the paper onto the stool
and I used the Varnish Medium to adhere it on the top.

Avoid just setting the whole paper onto the top of the stool.
Doing this will create bubbles that will be difficult to get out.
Roll it down adding more and more medium on top with a brush.
Don't be afraid to add quite a bit of medium, though adding too much
will make the scrapbook paper a bit murky.

Let dry. And enjoy.
I am excited to put this in the new apartment.