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I have been married to Ryan for 7 years and I love being married to my wonderful husband. I am a religious Christian and I love God. I live in the United States and have lived in China. I love being free and those who sacrifice(d) for my freedoms (not just servicemen and women, but all who work to preserve and teach freedom.) My hobbies include photography, music, ceramics, time with Ryan, and trying new things. I believe in the family and marriage. I love spending time with my family.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Yeah, I know I haven't been on here in a while.  Sometimes I think, "Oh, I want to blog about that."  But I can't do it because I am not near a computer or I'm not in a position to be able to write.  Sometimes I think, "I'm at the computer.  I should write something.  ... I have no idea what to write.  Guess I'll do something else."
So, you don't get a post.  Well, that is changing "write" now.  I don't feel like I have anything to say and yet so much has happened.  This might just come out as a jumbled rambling of nonsense.  If so, I'm sorry.  Sort of.  Because you have to realize that if it comes out that way then it probably means that I have yet to sort through the happenings in my life as of late and it is a step forward into getting to a cohesive blog post.  I don't even know when I last wrote!  Christmas?  Thanksgiving?  I have much to be grateful for.  Christ has been a great support to me.  I did awesome things in November and December but I don't want to talk about that, really.  It's too far away.  So, on to 2015!

Goal setting?  Yes.  I set a 4 week goal.  It kind of fell apart at 2 weeks, but I did notice an improvement in myself after they didn't really work.  that was cool.  I noticed weakness and strength.  That was cool.  Really I set 2 goals in 2 different domains each so a total of 4 goals.  That is a lot of goals to have.  But I decided I didn't have to be perfect in them.  I just had to work on improving myself.  After all, life isn't about being perfect.  It is about working toward perfection, working toward Christ, working.  Becoming better.
I love that word; becoming.  I feel like to become means I am getting better, I am improving, building up, growing in capability, strength, morality, understanding, goodness, all things good.  I feel like the word "becoming" is a forward and upward motion that happens when one works, or lets something good work in them.  Like the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the Lord.
Becoming is something that builds.  It is not something that falls apart.  Not truly.  To become has so much potential, I can't even explain it.  I can't even say all the things that it is and represents to me, but I can say this.  It doesn't go backward.  It doesn't go from being something to falling apart and disintegrating.  It doesn't go from organization to chaos.  Rather than going from beauty to something you would look at with disgust, it increases in beauty.  To become is not something hollow, but rather something full and full of meaning.

So, if you didn't do a great job with your goals, if you didn't accomplish them, if you didn't even set goals this year, don't let it stress you out, but don't give up, either.  Become.  You don't have to be perfect.  Just work on becoming.  Better.  Kinder.  Gooder.
(Yes, "gooder."  To me, in this context, it doesn't mean the same thing as better.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Life Is Good. God Is Great. My Husband Loves Me.

Life is Good. God is Great. My husband loves me. So why can I complain? I can't.  I just wanted to write this.  I'm thinking of changing my blog title to these three sentences.  We'll see.
Life is good because ... it just is.  I can't say why.  If I were to say why then I would be here all day writing a 10 page paper on why life is good.  It just is.
God is Great.  In many ways.  He is all powerful, all knowing, perfect, perfectly loves each and all of his children.  He gave His only begotten son to live in this mortal mess so that we, his children, could take hold on the atonement and exercise our faith to become better beings, more like He Is, and do good work.  He is so loving and always there for our support, even in our hardest times when we want to be alone or when we feel like we are alone.  He is there.  Just hold on.

(tangent:  You know, I have friends who think they need all the answers right when they want them.  They think they have to hurry up and choose an answer that fits their schema, when really, they need to be patiently waiting on the Lord, studying his word, asking him, thinking it out, bringing their answers before him, listening with their hearts TO HIM.  Truly listening to him can be hard sometimes.  But it is always worth the sacrifice.  Following him can be hard sometimes, but it is always a better outcome.  Following God and Christ gives us peace and true, lasting happiness in our souls.  And it is strong.  So, if you don't know the answers, or you are confused, just know; that happens sometimes.  We have to figure things out, but we don't have to make hasty decisions.  Rather than following the world, follow God.  Rather than putting your trust in man, trust in God.  Rather than hide your faults and hurts from him, tell them to him and ask him how to get rid of them.  You have to listen to God, and it is not always what we want to hear, but it is important and right and true.  God is constant.  He doesn't lie.  He is perfect.  He loves us, and he loves us perfectly.)

One thing I have learned is this:  Everything God has given us is because he loves us.  Everything God has taken away from us or withheld from us is because he loves us.
Sometimes it is hard, but I kinda know why we have to go through hard things, so I guess I can't really say "I don't know why."

Ryan loves me.  Yes.  I have a good husband.  7 and a half years of marriage has been wonderful.  It has not been perfect.  If you have a perfect marriage, then look closer at it and improve something.  It takes perfect people to have a perfect marriage and all us people are imperfect beings capable of wonderful things.  You know, he is in The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It is so wonderful.  It is a beautiful choir.  Mack Wilberg is the director.  He is a genius at it.  I don't know how.  Anyway, it has been a great blessing to us.  Also, Ryan helps me a lot.  He helps around the house.  He is patient when it is hard for me to leave whatever party we are at and go home.  He makes breakfast in the morning and even when I don't come in for it because I'm busy getting ready, he still makes me some.  What an angel of a man.  He listens, he works hard, he teaches good, he serves.  He loves me.  He wants to be a father.  He is faithful to me.  He is faithful to God.  He is just wonderful.  I love that man.  I love you, Ryan Paul Withers!  If you read this blog entry leave a comment and I will know.  (*Is there a devil emoticon face I can insert here?) 

SO.  God is Great.  Ryan Loves Me.  Life is Good. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Okay, craziness!  I'm putting this on my blog, but it is really a journal entry.  I just type faster than I write, so... that's that. 
Wonderful Things That Have Happened Lately... (Excluding lots... sorry.)

Scroll down to the world record video I was in if you don't want to read this all. 

Adoption is going along nicely, although we did have a scare that we didn't have our fingerprints/background checks updated, etc...  We hurried and got them re-done and were praying they would go through fast.  Later, our new case worker got our background stuff from our other agency and tells us, "Oh, you're okay.  These are good for 18 months (instead of 12.)"  Things are still on track.  :)   God is good and loving.  One of our friends gave us a little outfit with a ducky toy and it is adorable!  Finally, going down the baby isle in the grocery store is not awkward or obnoxious...! 

Wonderful Things:  The Sesame Street Muppets and Mormon Tabernacle Choir
I got to go see the Sesame Street Muppets perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their Christmas Concert!  It was awesome!!!  At first, I was just sitting by myself on practically the back row.  Then this other lady came and sat by me and we just had a marvelous time because we both appreciated it and appreciated that our neighbor appreciated it, so we were concert buddies.  She works at the costume shop of a local University.  Thanks, concert buddy!  You made the show so much more enjoyable.
I felt like I was five years old, again as I sang with Elmo, I laughed at Big Bird's funny jokes, and Ernie being silly while Bert didn't get it.  I watched Cookie Monster beg, plead, and go crazy for cookies, finally eating the headset mic.  and Grover had to open Cookie's mouth to cue the choir loft.  Rosita and another one who I don't know sang a trio with a lady from the choir.  And the count was there!!    He counted the 12 days of Christmas and Richard Elliot played the organ while Count did this.  It was magnificent.  Truly magnificent.  I am serious.  It was the best rendition of the 12 days of Christmas I have ever heard because there was not the annoying repetition and there were a whole bunch of other songs played in it.  It was just so fun, and then,... AND THEN  The Count Did His Lightning and Thunder!!!!  In the Conference Center!!!!!!!!!!!!  I WAS THERE!!!!!!!!  In real life for the lightning and thunder that I could only dream about and imagine as a child. 
It was wonderful and I almost forgot, Santino Fontana was the other guest artist and now some of the songs he sang are my new favorites: Candy Man (Which he sang as he came down from the ceiling in a hot air balloon!!)  and some other Christmas songs in a medley: Blue Christmas, It actually sounded nice.  And all of it was just so fun!  Then my inlaws came down to sleep over and go to the concert.  Then on Sunday, I got to go again with some of them to the "mini" concert and Music and The Spoken Word.  It was wonderful.  Except I was pretty sick on Sunday and had a coughing fit during the broadcast.  I really hope they didn't get my sounds on the recording!  But if they did, I'm sure they recorded the rehearsal and will "fix it in post..." haha. 
Lucky Ryan, he got to sing with all those muppets!  Sing, Sing a Song.  A Clarinetist is a person in your neighborhood.  In your neighborhood....
My little niece came with her parents and my sister and it was so fun we just talked and talked and talked and talked afterward.  I also saw my music and art teacher from elementary school.  She said I need to audition for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I hope one day I can.  Anyway, It was short lived, but it was so fun to see her. 

Health:  We are blessed to be healthy.  Except, we (I) have an awful inclination to give in when offered sugary treats.  Happy Christmas!  Also, I was sick over the weekend and it was nasty!  It was "Just a cold" but it was terrible.  I mean, really, really bad.  Then today at work, someone says, "Don't you get sick, too!"  I told her I was just getting over it.  I was on the mend.  She was surprised because apparently a whole bunch of people who were getting colds were all losing their voices and stuff.  I'm blessed.   

Okay, I really have to go, now.  Merry Christmas.  Remember Christ.  #HeIsTheGift.
OH, yes, and I also participated in this:  I broke the record for the world's largest live nativity with the most people.  Check it Out.

The link in case the video doesn't work:

Monday, December 8, 2014

"He loves you today."

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm still here.  I'm still blogging. 
I'm grateful for a wonderful, busy, lively life filled with family, church, work, and love. 
Oh, and play.  I never forget that.  
Today I read this quote:

I am grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father does love me.  He loves me today, he loved me yesterday, and he will love me when I mess up again, tomorrow.  And even though I mess up, he loves me enough that he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to be my savior, to be my Lord, to redeem me from my sins and lift me from my sorrows, to ease my shoulders from the burdens of life.  The same is true for you. 

Hold to the Lord when you are in your low places, because he loves you.  Christ has been there, where you are.  He knows how to lift you up, how to succor you, how to be the friend when you feel alone, overwhelmed and in despair.   He knows how to help you find value and purpose when you feel life is meaningless.  He knows how to help you come closer to your Father in Heaven.  He knows how to love you perfectly, wholly.  And through both the joyful and trying times, as you hold on to him, you will see the light and feel the joy in this beautiful mess of life, and know His love for you.  You are a child of The Divine. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Because I Have My Father

This post was originally going to be "Why I Love My Husband."  Then I realized, I had really no idea how to start this post.  Do I begin with my annoyance at a meme that degraded fathers and husbands?  Do I start with the inspiration from the I Stand For The Family Conference?  Do I lead off with how my dad was a wonderful strength in my life and example of what a man should be to his wife and kids?  Do I open with an introduction of my husband himself and go from there?  I have no idea.  I just know I love my husband and am grateful for life with him and I want to tell you why.  The truth is, there is too much to say before I talk about my wonderful husband, Ryan.  So unless you want to read a bajillion paragraph essay on why I love my husband and why he is important I have to start with some other things.  I really don't want to spend the day writing a bajillion paragraph essay, although the topic would be a good thing to write about. 

Some people believe that the hook up culture is the only way to go.  Or that all they can expect from a man is half of him.  Some ladies out there think they don't even need a man and wonder why they would ever want to get married.  Well, everyone has their own opinions, ideas and experiences.  These are mine.  I have grown up with a wonderful example:  My dad. 

When I was a little girl, I dreamed about my wedding day and being a mom.  Just like my mom.  She got married to my dad and became Mom.  That's how I was introduced to marriage and family; the example of my parents.  Their example, teachings and harmony at home was how I knew that I wanted the same thing when I grew up.  I was completely my daddy's girl, but I loved my mom and somehow knew that I was to inherit what she had: like her, I was going to grow up and become a woman, wife and mother.  I was going to find a good man like my daddy and we would get married and have kids and I would be the mother and the man who became my husband would be their father.  I knew what kind of man I should marry because of the influence and mostly, example of my father. 
Aha!  Ryan, you didn't think that his would make it on the blog when you pulled the face, did you?
jk.  Here's the real pic.

As I said, I have always been a daddy's girl.  I loved it when my daddy would bring me a treasure from his business trips such as one of those little poppers, a hat, or my space place-mat.  I loved it when he would call me his song bird, when he would sing and when he would convey that he was pleased when I sang or that I ought to keep singing.  I hated it when he took me to my room, sat on my bed with me and talked about my bad behavior and how I needed to change it, but I am really grateful he did that.  I hated that he made me sweep the front porch when the missionaries were coming over, but I'm grateful he was firm about it and stuck to his guns.  I loved that he took me trick or treating and that one year he dressed up as buried treasure by somehow putting gold coins all over his clothes.  I love that he worked, even when he was out of a job.  I loved that when I was a kid he took me on the roof to fix the shingles after a big windstorm and torn them up.  I love that he never spanked me, but when I was in trouble I knew I had to shape up.  

I love that he took me to work with him on occasion and sometimes we would get a burger.  One time when we were coming back from work, I asked if we could go out to eat.  It was dark, so surely we would get there after dinner.  He responded, "No.  Your mother has made a good meal for us."  His dear wife had worked hard on making dinner for us and we weren't going to go out to eat.  He mowed the lawn and did house fixing stuff instead of paying someone too much to do his job.  He took us camping and on other family trips.  He played guitar and sang with us kids and my mom.  He led us in Family Home Evening where we would sing, read a scripture and have a lesson about how to better follow Christ and become more like He is.  He served in church capacities.  Instead of coming home to the T.V. he would come home to his family. 

He took my mom out for dates every Friday.  They regularly went together to the temple.  He always honored my mom and his marriage to her and specially celebrated their anniversary.  He would take my mom to see plays, go out to eat somewhere special and fancy, he would bring her roses.  Every Mothers Day growing up, he would wake us kids up early and bring us downstairs to plant flowers in some flower pots for her.  When he came home from work, us kids would race to the door and lovingly attack him as he found his way to my mother, "Hi Julie." and a hug and a kiss. 

Wake up!  It's Christmas!...almost.  Some mornings if we were not in a mood to get out of bed, dad would prep for his shave and come ask us who wanted a kiss. 
I was that teenager who was proud of her father and wanted the other kids to know what a cool dad I had.  I loved it when her dad was at the youth dances doing the Electric Slide and I loved it when he danced with me.  He was so cool that anyone who saw him would obviously like him.  He would do funny things and good performances on stages and served the youth at church.  I loved when my dad came to girls camp and youth conference.  He was not afraid of the youth.  He knew not only that it was important to teach them, but also how to teach them.  Some winters, he took me to shovel the driveway of the widow he was assigned to home teach in our ward (congregation.)

Dad has taught all of his kids. 
This is the night Todd became my sister's fiancee. 
When I was an older teenager, he talked to me about problems.  He was firm, but it was always in a loving way and I knew that I had to be the one to make a difference.  I had to be kinder to my sister, choose whether or not to go with a boy, and work harder in school.  As a young adult I would call him up and tell him life was getting hard and he would encourage me and I would be able to move forward and make good things happen.  The year I moved to University and met my husband, was really, really rough and if it were not for my dad, I would not have made it up there.  Who knows what would have become of me?!

The steady influence, example and work of my father have really built me.  He is half of who I am.  I am not telling you that to be a good man, husband, or father, a man has to have the same characteristics, or learning, or experiences as my father.  Each man has to be himself.  His best self.

Growing up, I saw my dad was good with a camera, a guitar, his voice, his brain, his hands, his character, but most importantly his roles as a husband and a father.  I don't know that I really realized he was such a good husband to my mom, but as I have listened, looked and learned about people in this life, it is completely obvious.  Some things are so obvious, you don't realize them until you see, hear, or otherwise find out about counter-examples.

Because of him and my mom, I had a stable and secure life.  I never had to worry.  When I was about 4, I worried, "What if my dad smokes and I don't know it?  What if he is not faithful to my mom?"  Children care about what happens with their parents.  The truth is my dad was not that kind of man and I trusted him.  He was never the kind to go do things that would lead to addictive behaviors.  He didn't flirt with danger.  I still trust him.  He lived and lives a solid, moral, family and God life.  If he was ever afraid of our family not making it, whether it be financial, or some other way, I never knew it.  Maybe some men out there are scared?  Hold on.  You can make it.  You are everything to that family of yours.  They depend on you. 

I love my dad.  He isn't perfect but he works hard, shows his dedication and becomes greater every day.  He loves God and leads our family to Him.  He loves my mom.  I am a girl, but I am my daddy's girl and because of him, I grew up knowing what a happy family is like.  I grew up knowing how a man is supposed to be and how he ought to treat me and what to look for in a husband.  Because of my dad I have a better life.