Monday, November 13, 2023


 Driving home tonight, I was thinking about how little people here really know me. And that goes the other way too. It's a factor of moving I think. Maybe sometimes that is a blessing to be able to move and reinvent yourself. But sometimes, I realize that even my closest friends here only know a snapshot of me. Its like being an amputee but no one thinks you ever had another limb and the way you are is normal to them. Even if they know, because you have told them about the other limb you lost, because they never saw you with it, never knew her, never knew your family with 4 girls instead of 3, they don't see the loss every time they look.

Here I am 15+ years later. I still feel the loss every day. I am not sad about it everyday. But I live differently in the world still. My family is actively dealing with the consequences both big and small of that fateful day each and every day. We are still healing and trying to minimize the effects of the trauma. As my children mature they are processing their grief in new ways. 

I used to find comfort in the thought that one day Camille's death would be a chapter in the book of my life and not my whole life. But I am finding it a bit lonely to be in a place in life where no one read that chapter with me and it seems so far in the past but in reality it has shaped the rest of my story so profoundly that it is a critical element to understanding me today.

Maybe that is the thing that will be most profoundly moving when we meet our Lord and Savior again. He will KNOW us, like really in a way no one else can, KNOW us. And in that knowing and being seen in a way we have never been seen by anyone else, we will feel His love.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

20 Years Ago Today

This happened. It what turned out to be by far my fastest, easiest and most fun delivery, Ann Marie Waite entered this world 20 years ago today. She came on an 82 degree January day after 3 hours of playing games waiting and only required a few pushes to make her debut. She was such a beautiful baby right from the start.

Over the last 20 years she has grown in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. She continues to improve and grown in every area of her life as she diligently and obediently serves the Lord now as a full time missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

 There simply aren't words to adequately express the joy I feel in seeing my children grow in their faith and holding fast to Christ through both good times and trials. I have watched Annie do just that. I see her doing that still today. Annie was not the easiest little kid to parent. Maybe because she was such an old soul in that little body who was ready to parent me instead. But she has gotten better every year of her life.  Every day in every way, she just gets better and better. May I do the same.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022


 This morning I watched a testimony of a Sister missionary I know. She talked about how as she came to know her Heavenly Father better through studying more about him that her prayers changed to become more intuitive. That really made me think.

I don't need reminders to call my mom. I think of her often and call her almost daily. I don't have to think of an excuse to talk to her. I don't just call her when I NEED something. I call her because i want to feel close to her. I call to hear her breathing and check to see how her day was. I tell her my stresses and help her with hers. 

I think I will try to get to know my Heavenly Father better so that my prayers too will become intuitive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Without Rain There Would Be No Flowers

 The rains ⛈️ last night had me thinking about the storms of life we must endure. Sometimes in the middle of a storm it is hard to remember that without rain and even sometimes destruction there would be no flowers or room for new growth. I know the Lord loves each of us. Perhaps it is only by suffering in our own personal Gethsemanes that we ever truly come to understand just how much He loves us. I hope that when the storms rage in your life you will be able to Look to Him in trust and faith and be able to see the “flowers” he sends to remind you of His love along the way. 🌸❤️ 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Find the Good - Be the Good

 This morning we talked about while we aren't supposed to judge other people, we are supposed to judge between good and bad and to choose the good. Mormon was one of the last prophets of the Book of Mormon and lived in very wicked times. But he was preaching to the people he called the "peaceable followers of Christ." He said he judged them this because of their "peaceable walk with the children of men." 

We live in wicked times and there is a lot that goes on in middle and high school (and the adult world too) that is not good. It does not bear good fruit in the end and bring happiness long term. Yes drugs may give you a momentary high but long term they destroy lives. We are to go into the wicked world and find the good. And we are the BE the Good. 

So I sent the kids off this morning with a challenge to be the good and look for the good. Find those things and people that are good and be the good in someone else's day. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Noble's Thought and Mine

 This morning I asked Noble to give our spiritual thought. I figure I need to train him in thinking spiritually on his own and being prepared to give devotional thoughts in seminary next year. So here was his:

Everyday at school we see people doing things that aren't right. But Jesus teaches us that we should be loving to everyone and be kind and friendly to everyone. So even when we see people doing things we know are not right we need to not judge them and still be kind and friendly and love them. It's like the scriptures teach us to judge not because we each have our own things we do wrong too. 

Not a bad spiritual thought. I liked it.

As for my spiritual thought this morning - it came as I was praying this morning before going to wake up the kids. I was praying like I do most mornings that I would be helped to be a good mom. I mean we all need that help right? I have often said and thought that my role as a mother is to be an arrow that points my children to Christ. But this morning I felt something as I was praying that called me to a higher vision of my role as their mother. 

I am supposed to be more than an arrow. I need to walk with them and teach them to walk with Christ. I need to do more than tell them to do it. I need to take their hand and lift when they are weak and lend my strength to them to steady them in their wobbles. Just as I did when I taught them to walk, I need to cheer them on and comfort them when they fall. My job is more than just pointing the way, it is helping them walk in the Way. Yes, I need to talk and teach of Christ. Yes, I need to model the Way by walking the walk. They will learn by those things. But they need to stand up on their own feet and try it out themselves and they need me there to steady them and support them and cheer and comfort them in their efforts. 

And I need to have faith in them. They will learn to Walk in the Way. Even if they someday stray, They will know how to get back. And I will use this time while they are still young to teach them how.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


 Our happiness is so tied to our ability to be grateful in all things. For our morning spiritual thought, we went back and forth saying things for which we are grateful. After as while, I challenged the kids to think of something that if a trial to them. Then I asked them to come up with something they can be grateful for about that trial. Harrison has a hard time with all the inappropriate things kids do and say in middle school. We have been working on loving people even when they do in appropriate things and don't stop when you ask them. He said he was grateful to be able to tell right from wrong because of this experience. I am grateful for his love of goodness and clear vision of right and wrong. 

Monday, October 3, 2022

Holding Hands with Jesus

 In primary we are singing a song about walking with Jesus. If we are walking with Jesus and holding His hand, He can strengthen us to do all things that are right and good even if they are seemingly impossible to do. As a friend in college once told me, "It is amazing what two people can do when one of them is God." 

Just as children walk holding their parents hand for safety in a parking lot or crossing a street, We need to have the humility of a child to understand we cannot see all the dangers around us or protect ourselves from every threat. Some tasks we are required to perform ARE more than we can do. God does sometimes give us trial, tests, or tasks that ARE more than we can handle - at least more than we can handle ALONE. 

He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to know that is by Him that we are led, by Him that we are saved, and through Him that we can be made perfect. He does not want us to be independent of Him. He wants us to Come unto Him and to know Him and that through Him and with Him, we can do all things.

So how will you take the Savior's outstretched hand today? How will you walk with Him?

Friday, September 30, 2022

Preparing to Feast

 The other night I had a dream that President Nelson came and spent a couple days with my family. The whole time he was there I was just so thrilled to be with him and learn from him. I didn't want to go do any of my chores or errands. I just wanted to learn all I could from him. It was an amazing dream and in it he did give me a specific message. Just before he left he told me to tell Sabrina to stick to her goals and work to become a professor. He said she was going to be a great professor and touch a lot of lives in that profession. 

I called Sabrina up the morning after I woke from the dream and after I told her about the dream and President Nelson's message for her from my dream she said, "now i'm gonna have to come up with a new general conference question." I guess she had been second guessing her career path and her question she was taking to General Conference was what she should be doing with her schooling and career. 

Just like my dream, we will all have the chance to learn at the feet of the Lord's prophets and apostles for the next couple of days. What questions are we going in with? Will we focus on feasting on their words more than feasting on our cinnamon rolls? 

So my spiritual message for my kids today was to prepare for a feast. Think of what questions you want answered. Go into conference seeking and we will find. I can't wait!

Thursday, September 29, 2022


 I just returned home after doing an endowment session in the temple. After I sat in the celestial room praying for a long while. As I prayed, I was simply overwhelmed with gratitude and joy and love. I am grateful beyond words for my own spiritual experiences and answers that have given me a deep and abiding unshakeable testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ, his redemptive, enabling, and healing power, and of the restoration of his church which teaches his gospel with true authority and is led by Him today. 

I am also so grateful to know that my two oldest daughters also have their faith firmly rooted and that they are continuing daily to do the work to grow their roots deeper in their faith and grow closer to their Savior. I am also grateful my 3 younger kids are on the right path and working to grow roots as well. Lastly I am grateful to live so close to a temple, where I can go and visit a bit of heaven frequently. 

I have never been one of those bereieved mothers who goes to her child's grave often to feel close to her child. I know that is helpful to so many of my angel mom friends. For me, going to her grave is just a reminder of all I have lost. When I want to feel close to Camille, I can go visit heaven by going to the temple. 

I am also grateful for my roots - my ancestral roots. I am grateful beyond measure for the faithful men and women from whom I descend. I am grateful for the sacrifices they made for their faith and that I am honored to have a bit of their blood running through my veins. 

So I guess my spiritual thought today is, how are your roots doing? Are you doing the work to grow them deep to seek the living water of the Savior?  

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Be a Tool - a Useful Tool

 Yesterday was such a good day for me. I got to do some work that allowed me to use my brain and earn some money. I got to share a great spiritual thought with my kids. Then I got to go visit some children who, due to some boundary changes, are newly a part of our ward. These visits are always fun. At the end of the first visit, the little 9 year old girl looked at me and said, "you know I was kinda nervous about all these changes and being in a new ward. But now that you are here, I'm not nervous anymore." 

Mic Drop. Mission Accomplished. Then I went to my next visit. This was to a family I had heard had never come to church. Mentally after I heard that I had put visiting them on the back burner because I had several families to visit and needed to get info out to the kids who come to church before tonight when we have our first activity days. But around mid day yesterday I felt like I should not put them on the back burner and reach out anyway. So I did. 

The dad answered my phone call and agreed to let me come visit yesterday afternoon. So, I went to visit. Apparently, they only moved in a couple months ago so I went under the assumption that they were generally active but just hadn't made it to church since the move.

The visit went really well and I think the boy will come to our activity tonight. We will for sure invite him over since he is Harrison's age and new here.  After a while i asked the dad (mom was in Florida visiting family right now) what kind of callings his wife liked. I had told them we were really excited to have more people to fill callings. 

He said she’s mostly been in primary but YW was her favorite. I asked if he had a favorite calling or if no calling was his favorite. 😉 He chuckled but said "No i like to serve." He’s mostly been in EQ Pres HP leadership or YM when his older grown sons were in YM. 

Then he said “im sure you know we have not been active recently. But if funny you called because i was just talking to my wife and she snd all my family were praying about whether to evacuate because of the hurricane snd she said she heard a voice tell her to stay. After the prayer everyone in the family had felt the same feeling to stay. And she and i were talking about how we need to go back to church. And then you called.” 

I love it when I get to be a useful tool in the Lord’s hands. Really there is no better feeling in the world. So my spiritual thought for my kids this morning was to say a little prayer and go out and be a useful tool. Pray for opportunities and the ability to see where you can help or lift another, even if it is small thing like giving a compliment. Go out and make someone's day better. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Stripling Warriors

 The Stripling Warriors did not doubt that the Lord their God would deliver them because of the faith and teachings of their mothers. They had FAITH big time. But that didn't mean that once they got out to the battle the sat down and took their helmet off. It didn't mean they slept through training or ignored their captain's warnings or directions. 

These young men had incredible faith and they combined it with putting on the whole armor of God both literally and physically. They trained and prepared and fought with their full strength. They were young men and probably were not stronger than the full grown soldiers in the opposing army. But they didn't give up. They let their faith fuel their works. They did the work necessary to know how to fight, they practiced and then they put that practice into action in battle. 

They were also exactly obedient to their leaders every command. There was no arguing or questioning or suggesting a better alternative plan. 

These three ingredients are essential to our youth today.




Each day I send my kids out into the battlefield. When kids leave primary, there is about a 95% rate of activity in the gospel from active families. Once kids are 19 the activity rate or rate drops hugely. I'm sure it is different in different parts of the world but recently in our area stake conference a visiting authority said it was close to 30% active by 19. 

Make no mistake that these middle and high school years are indeed a battlefield. I have been and continue to teach my children and strengthen their faith. I can see them growing in that faith. I can see them putting in the work (though often begrudgingly) to train and to put on that full armor of God. We are working on being exactly obedient. It's still a process- for all of us.

And just like those stripling warriors I have seen my kids take battle wounds from the enemy. Each one hurts me right along with them. I want them to come out without a scratch but they are doing battle and they aren't perfect and they are young and learning against a seasoned powerful enemy. But I have faith that they will emerge from the battlefield victorious. 

So today I encouraged them to put on their armor, have faith, do the work, and be obedient. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Wickedness Never Was Happiness

 This is a quote from scripture we often hear but I don't think we fully understand correctly. I think language is such an interesting thing because on the one hand it enables us to communicate our thoughts and ideas with others. On the other hand, it limits the true transmission of these thoughts and ideas to the meanings associated with the words we choose to  use and sometimes those words don't really adequately or accurately describe the thought, feeling, or message we wish to convey.

With this quote I think for most of my life it was trying to tell me that people who do bad things can't be happy. But I have seen lots of people who tell me they are pretty happy doing things that are not "righteous." I have even had friends tell me they are happier after they left the church and stopped living the commandments. 

On a more recent reading of this scripture in Alma 41:10-11 where Alma tells his wayward son that wickedness never was happiness, I noticed in the next verse that Alma kinda defined what he meant by happiness.  He says that all men who are in a state of nature, or a carnal state are in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity. "They are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness."

This last time reading this I came to see that Alma's definition of happiness is to be with God.  

There are lots of things in this life that we must do or not do to live "after the manner of happiness" or in other words - to live with the Spirit of God abiding with and in us in this world. Sometimes we think we would be happier to just do them or stop doing them. But I have experienced enough of sin and repentance to know that when we are brought to a perfect understanding of our guilt, it is not happiness we will feel. 

True happiness is living with the sanctifying presence of the Holy Ghost burning within us. It is living in daily repentance and striving to do and act and become like Christ so that at that last day or any day before then we can know we are right before the Lord and can call on Him with confidence in our trials. This is true happiness. This happiness is independent of the circumstances of our lives and can be like a fount of living water to our souls. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022


 I’ve been reading 4th Nephi and the Book of Mormon today and I was once again reminded about the insidious problem of pride. I think pride is one of those sins that creeps up on you over and over even when you keep trying to put it down. 

Annie recently posted a question on Facebook about why we prayer. Maybe one of the reasons is to bring us back before our Maker regularly so we can get a reality check on our “standing” and realize there’s a reason we kneel before Him. 

Pride is something I am continually working to eliminate in myself. I have learned through experience that it is easier to humble myself than to be caused to be humble. Yet still I struggle. And so I pray. And as I pray I hope to feel the humbling all encompassing love of our Savior for myself even in my struggles and weaknesses and for others even in theirs. 

What do you do to help strip yourself of pride?