Friday, May 28, 2010

The Road Show, by Braden Bell

The Road Show The Road Show by Braden Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was honored when I received a phone call informing me that Braden was interested in having me write a song to go along with his book. Little did I know what an amazing journey accepting that request would be for me.
In order to capture the feeling (and the lyric) for the song, Braden sent me a copy of the manuscript. At first, I skipped right to the end, and read through nothing but the song lyrics.
Thankfully, in a fit of inspiration, I stepped away from the piano, put down my pencil and just started to read. I read through the entire book in less than 2 days.
I wasn't sure what I was expecting, since this was Braden's first novel, and I don't read a lot of LDS literature...because a lot of it is cheesy.
This book captured me from page one. The characters and content were honest, and raw, and deeply powerful. There was one character in the story that I related to on such a personal level at times I felt like I was reading about myself.
Braden explores things in this book that I think need to be brought to light. We are all struggling with something. We are all different. And we can all be healed with the healing power of the Savior.
I loved the characters, I loved the message.
It was absolutely beautiful.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ten Years

It was May 26, 2000. A Friday. I awoke promptly to the sound of my alarm at 4:00 a.m. When normally, I would have pushed snooze a couple dozen times, I arose immediately, surprised at the restful sleep I'd had, despite thoughts of excitement and anticipation swimming in my head.

I hurriedly made my way from my bedroom in my parent's basement to the bathroom to take a shower. Four months before I had moved back home after 3 years of living with roommates. I took special care to get extra clean and shaven, and began the tedious task of doing my hair and make-up. As I wandered up stairs, I found my Mom and sisters up and ready to help me get dressed. He would be here at 6:00 to pick me up, and I needed to be ready in time.

This would be the day, when I would marry the love of my life.

I had waited for this day for a long time. I met C in a singles ward at the U of U in June of 1998. Our first "date" was on June 14th. My roommates and I invited him and his roommates over for dinner one Sunday after church and to watch the Jazz/Bulls play off game. I was awestruck by this boy. He was so out of my league. Ruggedly handsome, with a winning smile that melted my heart the first time he smiled at me. Perfectly polite and friendly, plus he drove an awesome vintage '80's sports car. I had no idea if he liked me the way I liked him, but we instantly became friends. I felt at ease with him, and felt no pressure to act and be a certain way. I felt comfortable just being the real me, and we had a lot of fun together.

Over the weeks and months, it became evident that we were "dating." But over time, there was no denying that I was definitely falling for him. We spent almost every day together for a year and half. There were times when I wondered if he would ever decide he wanted to marry me, and I would get so frustrated. He seemed to be perfectly comfortable with me as his girlfriend forever. So many times, I thought about breaking up with him, or giving him an ultimatum. Something always stopped me. Deep in my heart, and logically speaking, I didn't want to break up with him. I loved him, and I loved being with him. Just when I'd decided to accept things as they were and stop pushing, Valentine's Day approached. We had gone out to a nice dinner the Saturday before to celebrate V-day, so the following Monday, which was the actual holiday, I wasn't expecting anything big. I made him dinner at his apartment. Shortly after, as we sat at the table, talking, he suddenly said, "I love you, babe." And pulled out a ring, and asked me to marry him. Words cannot describe the joy I felt.

Now that the day had finally come...our wedding day...I was overwhelmed with happiness. It was an hour drive up to the Logan temple where our ceremony was held. It was nice to be able to be able to make the drive to our wedding, alone, together. I think we spent most of the drive up, discussing and planning our wedding night.

The ceremony was beautiful. Honestly, I don't remember a lot of what the sealer said, my Mom has told me things she remembers, thankfully. Things I do remember....C saying Yes too early in the ceremony, and me feeling happy that he was that excited to marry me; me..holding it together so well, until I made eye contact with my sister, then totally losing it; feeling the Spirit so strong, and again the overwhelming peace and joy.

After getting pictures around the temple, my family and everyone left to get set up for the luncheon. I waited for C to go back inside to get his clothes. We got out to my car to drive away, and realized that my purse, with my car keys were in my Mom's car. We, the bride and groom, were stranded at the temple, and late for our own wedding luncheon. This was pre-cell phone days, by the way, so we had to go back into the temple and ask to use their phone and a phone book to call the restaurant and ask someone to come back and get us.

Needless to say, we made quite a grand entrance!

Our reception went by so fast. I remember being starving and realizing it didn't matter the fretting and stressing we'd had over what food we served because C and I weren't going to get to eat any of it anyway. Maybe I just should've let him serve pizza and Coke, like he'd wanted. I swear, if we'd been married in the fall, we probably would've had a football game going, too. We settled on buffalo wings and li'l smokies. I danced with my Dad. I sang, "The Way You Look Tonight" with the band.

We cut our cake with a carving knife, because the caterer couldn't find the pretty one, and I didn't care.

I remember being so tired by the end of the night and a little cranky. But, it turned out to be a beautiful day. I have no regrets.
Ten years ago today, I married the love of my life. And I love him more today than I ever imagined I could ten years ago. He is now, more than ever, the man of my dreams, the love of my life, the father of my children, my best friend, my soul mate.

I love you C! Happy Anniversary.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Random Sherisms and Random Tunes

I waited to post about all of the exciting things that happened to me this week until my random post. And now I'm thinking it's too little, too late. The moment has passed. The adrenaline is expired. I've come down from my high.

And now I don't feel like it.

I woke up this morning with a sick feeling in my stomach. (No, not morning sickness). It's just that gnawing feeling. I don't know. Feels like anxiety...or that sense that you've forgotten something really, really important. But what?

Maybe its the rain today. Maybe it's the fact that our 3 year old house just sprung a leak from the roof into our family room. Maybe it's all of the stuff I've been involved with lately. Maybe it's stress. Maybe it's the guilt I'm feeling because I've been spending so much time away from my family, and my wonderful husband has been picking up the slack without complaint. He has a lot of stuff going on at work, he has every reason to be stressed, but he is getting off early, coming home, and doing my job after doing his, and all with a great attitude, just so I can go out and live my pipe dream. I seriously love that man! What did I do to deserve him?

I suppose I'll give you a synopsis of my week anyway, and maybe some of the excitement will return.


Friday night (a week ago), Veronica and I went to the studio to start recording with Greg Simpson.

A little history--Greg was my seminary teacher in high school, many moons ago. At that time, he was just starting his music career (I think he had one record out). I had a major music crush on him. Not a real crush, because he was my seminary teacher, he was married, and I was a good girl. But, he was living the dream I'd always wanted. And Veronica's husband is Greg's cousin--thanks to her he agreed to record our song for cheap!

Well, if you remember it rained a lot last Friday night in Weber county. We arrived to Greg's studio, and the power was out. So, we loaded the piano out of my car (thanks to my SIL for letting me borrow her electric piano--I need one of those), and into his basement. While he tried to figure out what to do about no power, V and I went to the Ogden marathon expo.

Bless her heart, Veronica had signed up for the half marathon, and gave me her #, because I missed the boat, signing up. So at the expo, I signed her up for the 5k under my name. At the time, it seemed hilariously funny that we were switching places.

After the expo, we headed back to Greg's. Thankfully the power was back on, and he had everything set up and ready to go. I recorded the piano part in one take. I guess it comes that easy when you eat, sleep, breath and live one song for 2 months. V recorded a scratch track with the intention of coming back later the next week to record it for reals, with the violin part.

Greg played us a couple of his new songs, and it was fun just shooting the breeze with him.

Afterwards, we stopped at Pizza Factory for some carb loading.

Didn't get home till 11 pm.



Woke up at 4:30 am. Surprisingly refreshed considering I didn't go to bed until midnight. There's always a certain excitement that comes on race day. I got dressed, got my things together, and drove with my SIL, Shannon, up to meet my running group to ride together to the start line.

This would be my third time running the Ogden marathon. Only this year is the first time I was running the half instead of the full. Part of me felt a little sadness that I wasn't running the whole thing. But I was surrounded by good friends, and the energy in the crowd got me pumped. Most of my friends in my running group have run the full marathon, so it became the joke, every time we'd pass a certain land mark, we'd say "If we were running the full, we'd be at mile 20." It felt good, knowing I only had to do 13 instead of 26 miles.

I went in thinking I'd be slow. I felt a little defeated after running the Thanksgiving Point half three weeks ago, and getting my slowing half marathon time ever. So, I went into this race, hoping to beat my 2:15 time, but not expecting much more.

A group of my friends before the race.

Now, I know why I call myself a social runner. A few of my friends were running close to me for while, and I just couldn't allow myself, no matter how much I wanted to, to slow down, and let them get away from me. My dear friend, KO, stuck with me, and pushed me the whole way.

In the end, he beat me by a full minute, but I'm grateful to have someone pulling me along, because I finished with my 2nd best half marathon time ever! 1:59. Talk about a rush! And I loved every minute of the race. Every year that I run the Ogden marathon, I am swept away by the beauty of the canyon, the awesome downhill course, and the energy of the crowd.

I hope to be doing this race every year for as long as I'm still breathing.


For Mother's Day, C gave me a gift certificate for a massage, and tickets to Hale Center Theater for Saturday night. He even made the massage appointment for me!

Right after the race, C and I went to the spa for a couples massage, then had an awesome date night and saw The Three Musketeers at HCT.


Sunday night, I participated in an amazing production of Bryce Neubert and Michael McLean's "The Garden." If you're not familiar with it, it's an oratorio about the Atonement. I was asked to be the accompanist. We had two rehearsals. These singers are absolutely amazing! And the music was so beautiful and inspiring (and fun to play).

The director asked me to play a medley of hymns on the piano in the middle of the performance. So, I spent all Sunday afternoon writing an arrangement about Christ. I used Jesus, Once of Humble Birth; I Stand All Amazed; I Know That My Redeemer Lives; and He is Risen. I was really nervous that it would sound thrown together (cuz it kinda was). But, as I was playing, I could here sniffles in the audience. That sound is music to my ears, when I know something I've written and/or performed has touched someone emotionally. That is the greatest payoff for my music.


Tuesday, I brought my brother, Mason back into the studio to record a violin part for my song. He is amazing. Seriously amazing. Veronica couldn't come to record the vocal part on account of her poor daughter's unfortunate accident. So, on a whim, we decided to have me record the vocals, just for fun.

How exhilarating! I was shy, and timid at first. I'm not comfortable with my solo singing voice. I know I have singing strengths. I have a wide range, I can sight read anything, and I can pick out parts like it's nobody's business. But, I've never been really confident as a soloist. It was a huge self esteem booster to be able to sing my own song, and have a professional musician tell me he thought it was good. I was on a total high the whole way home after that.

Don't worry, V, I'm not firing you. But, I just might keep a version of me singing it to give to my Mom.

V and I will be wrapping things up in the studio this week. I'm really excited for you to hear it!


Sorry for the novel. And sorry it's not that interesting. At this point, I'm just trying to get it down. Oh well.


That's it for me this week.

I'll see y'all at the CBC!

Look for a coupon from me for a discounted download of my album in your swag bag!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Busy, Busy--and a guest post

Life is crazy. There's no time.

But, if you still want to get your Sher fix for the day, I'm posting over here today, at Or So She Says.

They have an awesome blog. Go check it out!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Sherisms and Random Tunes

I had started writing a post entitled "Tra La, it's May!" And as I sat listening to Julie Andrews (as Queen Guenevere) singing inside my head, I had an epiphany. Ok, not really an epiphany as much as a sudden wave of dispute and rebellion. Tra La? Bull Butter! (that's my new favorite phrase, by the way). May has got to be the most INSANE month of the year. It's by far worse than December. Because, first of all, it's Spring, and the phase of the moon and the tide or something because I don't know about you, but my kids are CRAZY! It's like they've been possessed by some hyperactive alien who desperately needs to jump and yell all. Day. Long! And of course, since it's Spring, every sport on the planet is taking place at the same time. We are driving here and there and everywhere, sometimes in opposite directions at the same time, to get kids to baseball and soccer, and stuff. AND it's the last month of school. So kindergarten programs, preschool programs, recitals, performances....
....I'm having chest pains right now thinking about it. Holy crap, I think I'm having a heart attack!

After this month, I think Annie's advice on her blog yesterday, is the most sound advice I've ever been given.

So, after soccer season is over, and school gets out, and softball and baseball season gets over, and my girls have their singing recital, and swimming lessons, and football clinics...I'm totally pulling the kids out of their activities for the summer.

Peter at her karate belt test. Now she's a blue belt!

T's kindergarten program. Sorry, I took these with my phone...forgot the camera. (T is on the back row, third from the right in the green shirt) K's piano recital. Here she is with her amazing teacher, Andrea!

If you need us, you'll find us by the pool.


I wish there were a way to comment right from google reader. I know it would drive down people's traffic, but it sure would make things so much easier.

That said, I haven't read blogs in ages.

I log in to my reader about once a month, see the 1000+ unread posts, mark all as read, and promise to stay on top of it from now on. Then, a month later, I do the exact same thing.

Sorry, I'm not a good blog visitor.


I had to rewrite "He Healeth Me" I had some remnants of "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" in the accompaniment. It was really cool. But I guess the Church doesn't allow its intellectual properties to be put up on You Tube. Did you know that? I just found out yesterday. So, I went through and rewrote most of the accompaniment to take out the hymn. Honestly, I actually really like how it turned out.

I think there must be a LOT of illegal churchy stuff on You Tube.


We hit the recording studio tonight! I'm so excited for everyone to hear the song. It will debut with the Road Show book trailer, and then a full length version of the song will be available for download! Yay!! Stay tuned!


I'm running the Ogden half marathon tomorrow! It almost feels anticlimactic after all the other crazy stuff going on this week. I'm a little nervous that even though I ran a half marathon three weeks ago, that I'm going in unprepared. I ran a total of 3.4 miles this week. And that was on a treadmill. I haven't exercised since Wednesday, and I've eaten sugar and junk for every meal for the past two days. (I'm blaming stress).

At first, I was hoping to at least beat my time from Thanksgiving point (my slowest half marathon ever). But, now, I'm just hoping to finish without keeling over.

Here's to getting in to the rush of race day and pleasantly surprising myself. (fingers crossed)


I discovered my voice recorder on my phone last night on my way down to play for my sister's Enrichment night in Lehi. I had some serious epiphanies while sitting in traffic! Some worthy of their own post, so I won't write them down now.

But, I actually thought maybe it'd be cool to just post the voice stream, if I could figure out how to do that. Anybody know how?


K, I'm off to practice, clean, shower, etc, etc.
But, I'll leave you with some happy tunes for the weekend!

1. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Eric Clapton
2. Defying Gravity - Wicked
3. Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy - Big & Rich
4. In Love Again - Harry Connick, Jr.
5. Buy Me a Rose - Kenny Rogers
6. I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
7. Papa Don't Preach - Madonna
8. The Song Remembers When - Trish Yearwood
9. Chasing Pavements - Adele
10. Exodos - Eros Ramazotti
Bonus: Barriers - David Archuleta

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

We found a bird's nest filled with baby birds in our Barbecue on Sunday afternoon. They look like they are brand new, freshly hatched! I almost wish we had found them a few days earlier, while they were still eggs, so we could watch the whole process.
The kids think it's the coolest thing ever!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Question of the Day

Do you know just how Beautiful you are?

A few months ago, my husband and I were on a trip for work. It was the final night of the conference, and we were getting ready for the closing ceremonies and dinner. It's one of those fancy dinners in a swanky hotel where the women dress up in evening gowns, and the men wear tuxes. It's also where us hicktown Utahns (or at least me) feel like frumpy housewives in our Sunday church dresses and dockers. So, I decided to mix it up a little. I put on my nicest top and my skinny jeans, and my hooker heals. I adorned myself with all of the blingety jewelry I had, and painted my face with black eye shadow, sparkly eye liner, and dark lipstick. I curled and ratted my hair.

And then I asked my hubby how I looked. I can never accuse that man of not being honest with me. And he said something to the effect of, "You look so much better without make up."
As I later related this story to one of my family members, she asked me if I was so offended by that. And I said, absolutely not!
What better compliment could my husband give me than to tell me he thought I was the most beautiful as my natural self, without all the help of artificial beautifiers? That moment, for me, was a huge self esteem builder. Not only did it help me realize that I AM beautiful without all of that crap on my face, or wearing fancy clothes, but to know that I have an amazing man at my side, who loves ME, not my designer jeans, or my department store make up.

And what's more....I have a Father in Heaven, who sees me from the inside out. He knows my heart and soul better than I do. And HE thinks I'm beautiful. And so should I.

So, I ask you...Do you know just how beautiful you really are?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Question of the Day

I decided not to do a Random Sherisms post today. Mostly because I don't have much to talk about, unless you want to hear about all the soccer and baseball and softball games, piano lessons and recitals, dance and singing group recitals and karate belt tests we've been going to. I promised to stop complaining, so I shall.

Instead, I've been thinking of some random questions to ask you.
Here's today's question of the day:

How often do you company clean?

What do I mean by company clean? Well, I was cleaning bathrooms yesterday morning, and I got thinking. I don't know about most of you, but as for me, I have a way of cleaning for everyday, and then there's the way I clean when I know company is coming over (like if I'm hosting book club, or throwing a shower or something).

Usually, I just pile up the clutter in one spot. (Ok, I actually have three spots where I pile the clutter). I clean my bathrooms with Clorox wipes, and maybe once a month actually use real cleaner and cleaning supplies. And honestly, I don't really even do that. I make my kids do it.
Moment of truth? I vacuum, maybe, once a week. I hate to vacuum. But, I do sweep every day. And I've said it before, my dishes are almost always done. The rest of my house could be a total disaster, but if my dishes are done, then I feel like my house is clean. I never dust, unless the kids do it with the Clorox wipes. I love Clorox wipes.

So, I like to have people over at least once a month, just to motivate myself to actually really clean my house. Even if its only for my visiting teachers.

So, how about you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I just watched this....

I've seen people all over the place writing about it, talking about it. I don't know why it took me so long to watch it, but now I did.

And I am humbled.

I will stop complaining now.

When All Else Fails....Repost

I'm pretty much inches away from being committed for clinical insanity. I don't have time to think straight, let alone, blog.

But, this post pretty much describes how I've been feeling lately, even if it was forever ago, and for different reasons.

Originally posted March 2008:

I'm skipping church today. I've had this weird stomach thing all week. I don't know what it is. C keeps saying, with all the sarcasm he can muster, "Are you going to die?" I've been sooo tired the last two weeks. Like, night-of-the-living-dead tired. I'm still dealing with this darn vertigo thing. I feel like I'm wandering through my days like a zombie. So, I think this @#$%^ day light savings did me in. I slept until 11:30 (DST), and I'm still exhausted. I HATE day light savings. I remember my mom saying she hated it...I always thought it was because she couldn't get us kids to bed on time in the daylight. Now I understand.
My poor children. They are good sports despite being neglected. KJ has become the new mother. She poors milk for Peter, helps her get dressed...bosses TJ around....did I mention my house looks like a tornado hit? C was awesome this morning...he even did Peter's hair. (KJ is now into doing her own hair.. Hello, she six!!) She is a little too big for her britches.

So, I can't figure out if what's wrong with me is an effect of eating something bad, getting up too early to run, running around like a crazy person all week with all our activities, or just a bug.
I'm pretty sure that we're not any busier than the next family of five. So, how do you all handle it so well? I think I missed something in the motherhood/housewife prep class (I was probably sleeping). I mean, I know some people who I could drop in on anytime, unannounced, and your home would be impeccable, your children would be clean and beautifully dressed, behaving perfectly, and you would be dressed to the nines, with fresh lipstick and perfect hair, baking cookies. Hello!! I'm lucky if the carpet stays clean five minutes after I vacuum, and it's pretty inevitable that if I mop..shortly thereafter there will be something sticky spilled all over the floor. But we do bake cookies...actually that's not true...we make cookie dough and eat it out of the mixing bowl in front the TV.

Please don't call CPS on me....I'm just having a bad month.

It's probably because I'm about to turn 30...and I don't know why but suddenly it feels like my youth it gone. (Those of you who are older than me are probably laughing at my drama) Go ahead and laugh. Maybe, I'll just take a nap, and sleep through my 30th birthday, and then I can just stay 29 forever....