Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MY MOAB MEMORIAL (Day weekend)

For nine years we have been going to Moab, Ut. for some of the best times of our lives, and this year is no exception. Memorial Day weekend is a good time to go because of the long break from work and school. We have had all kinds of people come along with us to share in our enthusiasm for this part of the world... and we love sharing it. This year Jeff's entire family was able to make it along with my friend Elisa and her three kids. Elisa's decision to come was kind of last minute, and since it was one of THE busiest weekends of the year, they ended up in our trailer. It was fun to have a big group all together... it reminded me of the motorhome trips my family made when I was a kid. This year we didn't have Jeeps or bikes so we spent more time hiking and relaxing around camp. I was so sad to leave yesterday... but we do have our memories and pictures... until next time...

I said "cheese" not freeze!

There's some cheese...

Hiking buddies

Can't go wrong with a thumbs up!!!

Beauty on the beasts! I bent down to take this pic and that horrible plant bit me!

Cute Kelson Family

My babies... sniff, sniff... so grown up.

Corona Arch hiking group

Corona Arch


Aw... sweetness

...And a little nature lovin'

Oh, and a lot of exhaustion at the end of the day...

Good thing for good dogs! Thanks everyone who helped make my Moab Memorial Day weekend so memorable!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Have you ever had to keep a really big secret? Do you remember how it felt to keep that secret? If it was a good secret, like the time Jeff and I wanted to surprise our kids with a trip to Disneyland, it feels like you could just burst before the big day arrives and you can reveal the great news! Or, like Christmas Eve when you know you’ve gotten the perfect gifts for your kids and can’t sleep in anticipation for their excitement in the morning. Even so, keeping those secrets takes energy and effort, doesn’t it? I’ve kept a few secrets in my lifetime. Some of those secrets have been terribly painful to keep. Lately I’ve been thinking it’s time to let them go…

This summer I will travel to the places where my childhood was cut short, innocence stolen, trust stripped away, to help me let go of these terrible secrets. I don’t know what I will feel, I don’t know how or if it will help me, and I am trying not to have expectations, but it feels like the right thing to do at this point. I‘ve been told many times, confronting your fears and losses is the best path to leading you out of them. It’s a path I know way more intimately than any person would ever want to, but the alternative is denial, and that was not getting me far. This summer I will take my mom back to these places, at her suggestion, and hope it will give us both a reason to let go of guilt or blame for things that ultimately, neither one of us could control. This summer I will take my kids to these places, to show them that we all have fears to face, that we all need to keep fighting, and that I am not afraid anymore. This summer I will re-visit a time and place where I was unable to protect myself, where I was vulnerable, afraid, confused, and damaged, but this time I will be strong. This summer I hope to leave parts of me there… The dark parts, the broken parts, the parts that died a long time ago, yet I’ve carried with me for all these years. It’s time for me to lay those parts down where they should have been left to begin with, and to leave a little lighter. One more step on my path to being whole.

Why blog about it? Because it is really no secret that 1 in 4 girls, and 1 in 6 boys, will be sexually abused by the age of 18. Look around you, look at your daughters, your sons, your nieces and nephews. Look at your grandchildren, your friends, your neighbors, look at how many people you know, then look long and hard at those statistics. 1 in 4 beautiful, innocent, undeserving, little girls, young ladies, or women may be struggling with the weight of this kind of terrible secret. 1 in 4. There shouldn’t be shame in what was stolen from the innocent. Keeping my secrets isn’t helping me, and is, in fact, a bad example to the 1 in 4 girls whose lives will be snatched by a greedy hand, shaken to pieces, then left to try to put things back together.

This summer I will turn 40. It’s about time I made this journey… there have been a few years where I wasn’t sure I would choose to keep fighting. I’m glad I did. There is still a long road ahead, but I believe that I will be miles farther on my journey, after this summer.