Upon the Horrifying Realization My Oldest Child is a Grown-Up 

I sat in a soft chair on the Mezzanine of the exquisite Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City and cried as I watched the back of your 18-year-old person walk to the elevators and disappear to floor 9. Son, you may wonder why I cried. You've had other jobs. This should have been no different. But it was. It was very different. You see, I realized today you're a grown-up. You may argue that 18 is not a grown-up but see why I got all choked up today and then convince me you haven't grown up yet. 
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Dear Brittany  

Dear Brittany,

Brittany, as you move forward with your plan to end your life early, I wish to speak to you as one who was left behind. 

On this day eighteen years ago (October 29, 1996), surrounded by family and loved ones, my late-husband, Mark Allan Van Horn, age 26, slipped peacefully through the veil that separates this mortal world from immortality. Like you, he suffered from a terminal and inoperable brain cancer. But we didn’t consciously know he was dying of an inoperable brain tumor because we…

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Perfectionism & Chipped Nail Polish 

How do you know if you're a perfectionist? Here are some statements and behaviors that might be a red flag:
  • Go big or go home. 
  • If you want it done right you have to do it yourself.
  • I like to do things what I call the "right way". 
  • I procrastinate because I want to have the time to do it perfectly.
  • My value is directly tied to what I accomplish.
  • Others are valuable only to the level that they achieve important things.
  • It is unacceptable to make mistakes.
  • Unless I am the best I am…
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On Loving An Older Man 

I held his face for a few seconds and looked into his calico eyes. He smiled. It was hard not to get lost in the rugged, hard-earned smile lines borne of 50+ years of experience. Age and experience are attractive. He is a beautiful man, I thought between kissing his cheek and scrunching his salt-and-pepper curls on the back of his head. Our foreheads touched and we sat there with our eyes closed just taking it in- the history, the ups, the downs, the friendship, the long, hard road that led to our…Read more

The Drool Test 

What you are about to learn is an unscientific yet strangely accurate test of love. I call it the drool test. You see, I rarely get sick or have to lay down to take a nap. As a woman on the move I often find it very annoying when people take naps. In His usual, humorous manner, God showed me how "normal" humans feel. He blessed me with wicked hayfever complete with burning eyes, scratchy throat, stuffy sinuses, body aches and chills. I felt the "ick" coming on at Taste of India (currently my favorite Indian…Read more

How To Get Married 3 Times By The Age of 32 Without Really Trying 

It takes being married three times by the age of 32 to cause one to have a little bit to say about love. I am often asked how I managed to marry three times in such a short amount of time. Never am I sure if I should be insulted, amused or annoyed by that question, but I usually find myself amused. My response sounds something like, "You got me. I don't know."  But I do. I just say that to fend off curious gossips who need something to talk about at Bunko night.  

Death and divorce have a tendency to raise…Read more

All By My Selfie 

I am amazed at how many selfies there are online. The main picture on my homepage is a selfie.  My first, to be exact. 

Though selfies have been happening since the early years of photography, the recent advent of sharing the selfie with the virtual world is a rather new and unusual phenom.  Somehow, someway it is a result of cultural influences of the 1980s. I am sure of it. The bangs. The leg warmers. Some level of narcissistic disconnect had to carry over from that ten year wrinkle in time.

My curiosity…Read more

Life On Auto-Tune? 

Auto-tune is the plastic surgery of the music world. It makes things pretty, but is it real? Have you been to a live concert of a big act only to find the live performance sounds very little like the album you downloaded? It becomes clear the artist nipped and tucked his or her own voice to be something it isn't. For good or ill, the artist deprives us of his or her true self. This creates an unsatisfying experience in the pursuit of perfection. God has his version of auto-tune.  It's called the human ear…Read more

Peace Like A River 

Two rivers of tears rush down my cheeks as I write. Tomorrow is his birthday. He would have been forty-three.

I was a young woman in my early twenties, kneeling on the floor of a bathroom stall pouring the agony of my heart out to God, pleading for strength to let go of the greatest love I had ever known.  My young husband, attached to "life" support, lay in a bed at the end of the ICU hallway. Our precious baby boy was at home with my sister.  A horrifying storm of emotions rolled inside of me, nearly…Read more

World Peace and Ear Plugs 

In terms of world peace, John Lennon had it right when he suggested that all we need is love.  Before world peace is possible we have to achieve peace in our individual worlds. I looked at my own world for solutions.  I homeschool my four bouncy, musical, noisy kids.  I gave birth to the youngest three in about a two-and-a-half years. Silence is rare and golden.  If you want to make the musician in your life crazy, just fill their head with external noise so they can't think their own thoughts, finish a…Read more
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