Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Early Christmas

Dear UPS man,

When it is the week after Thanksgiving, and you are delivering a box to a house with a bunch of kids playing outside and watching what you're delivering, will you please be secretive about the box with the bicycle pictures on it? It may be a Christmas present, do you think?

Yes, Trey asked for a Razor 360 from Santa, and yes the UPS man delivered it right to our front door with all of the kids outside and watching. So, Ryan informed Trey that Santa was worried the bikes were going to sell out by Christmas, so Santa decided to send it early so he wouldn't run out. Trey believed it. Case closed.

But still...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Songs

What's your favorite Christmas song?

My oldest asked me this question yesterday. I told him I didn't know. It depended on the singer, and it depended on the genre. I have a soft heart for Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra, but I think my favorite Christmas album is The Carpenters. I especially love the 'Christmas Waltz'. Love it! It makes me want to get up and dance the waltz (with memories of dancing with my dad). Love 'Sleigh Ride'...oh and what about 'It's Christmas Time' and the lovely piano. I always wanted to learn hot to play the complicated introduction. And I loved 'Ave Maria'. Yes, I could go on forever. Love The Carpenters. I'm going to go listen to some music. It makes me happy. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012 February

We're going to Thailand!!! Isn't that crazy! Ryan just surprised me on facebook with the news. So excited!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Politics & Leslie Ann Warren

My first exposure to heated discussions over politics was when I first watched "The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band". I watched mostly because of the cute romance and the cute boys, but of course I watched it because of the music. I have always been a sucker for classic movies that make my toe tap. I want to watch this movie again now from my adult perspective so I can understand more of what was going on in the movie and to watch Leslie Ann Warren.

P.S. God bless America!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Title Names

So it's between:
Princess Heritage Series
Princess Chronicles

And the title of the second Princess book:
Sleeping Beauty Was Here
Who is Sleeping Beauty?

Friday, October 12, 2012


I've started the second book in the Princess Heritage Series (my princess time travel books). I'm not sure what the title will be yet. The first was 'I'm Not Cinderella'. So, since this one is Sleeping Beauty, I was thinking along the lines of 'Sleeping Beauty is Gone' or 'Where is Sleeping Beauty?'

Another perfect quote

Often I feel as if I'm walking through three or more life the day. My mind will walk through my 'work in progress' novel and think about past and future conversations they will have, then I will think about the novel I've been intermittently reading that's stashed under my couch, and I also dream about the life at Downton Abbey (my favorite tv show).  Oh what a life we live with the assistance of great movies and books. What would I ever dream about without their assistance.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

People who announce they don't like to read scare me.


More summer reading.

Here are my recent favorites:
Loved, loved, loved...LOVED this book! When you stand in your living room and twirl in a circle after reading a book then you know it's a great book. I love modern classics but often more than not grow bored and eventually disappointed in the anticlimactic love exchange at the finale. Instead, this book had sweet exchanges throughout the book. Now mind you, of course the kiss happened at the end, but I was satisfied with their conversations and excitement of watching them evolve together even when new obstacles began to come their way.

After Edenbrooke, I wanted another modern classic. This book was sweet and cute, but fell in the line of boredom and slightly disappointed at the end. Sorry. I skimmed a bit, too.

Very good. A bit dark, but I'm getting used to the these out of life, out of body type books my sister keeps sending me. What I liked about this book was the undeniable connection the main character had with her past boyfriend. He's basically the one who brought her back to earth. Otherwise, she would have forgotten everything. Her thread to his memory and his love was her anchor. Can't wait for the sequel. Curse you sequels!

Life is like a piano

Love this! It's often times I need to remember that everything that has happened in my life (both good and bad) has led me to now. It's led me to who I am and where I am. And I love where I am. I love being a mom of 3 amazing kids and a wife to a wonderful husband. It's taken 35 years of my life and 15 years of marriage to sit here and sigh in content. I couldn't ask for more. This is what I want. Forever.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Time

This is a picture of the cupcakes I made for my birthday. Well...they didn't look quite like this. They were a little flatter, the frosting not so perfect, no white chocolate shavings...but they were of the same genre. Meaning: the genre of deliciousness. I saw these cupcakes on pinterest a few weeks ago, and I knew I needed to make these for my birthday. Yes, I had to make my own cake for my birthday, but you see it's a good thing since I get to pick exactly what I want to make.

Today was a good day. A great day in fact. I love birthdays because they're a day that everyone reminds you that they're glad you were born. I have 3 vases of flowers on my table (from wonderful friends), new clothes (from my mom and a close friend), new books (form my likewise book loving sister), full belly (from lunch date with hubby), cards and drawings (from my excited kids), a card from my great (great as in wonderful) grandparents), and a phone full of loving text messages (from family and friends).

Yes, I am loved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm on a Roll

To be a good writer, I've often heard the advice to read, read, and read. And of course write. I can support his theory and find that when I read (and often) it helps me when I write. The words come easily to my mind and I also have the motivation to make something amazing when I read something that touches me.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been deep in my reading binge. I love it!!! I stay up late. I think constantly of the characters I've grown and loved.

My sister mailed me a box of 'one nighter' books. Thanks sis! But 95% of them were first books in series...without their accompanying sequels. Thanks sis! Anywho, I am in love of reading. Here are some of my favorites:

The character in this book is actually a dragon. Weird huh? But it was SO good. I had to buy the 2nd book. I just had to. ;) The 3rd and final book comes out in 2 weeks. Yay!
Angels are the new fad in the publishing industry, apparently. This book, about a girl who finds out she's part angel, is now on my 'save forever' shelves. I loved every aspect of this book...romance, mystery, adventure, love triangle. Sigh. I have a confession: I bought the 2nd one too. The 3rd doesn't come out until January. :(

Great series! Another book about angels. Luckily I didn't have to buy any sequels. I found a friend who had them. The 4th and final one comes out in October.
This one is a book about zombies. But not the kind you're thinking of. They're teenagers who have died but attend a school to learn how to live among the living. Don't dig it until you've tried it.
Cute book. I couldn't wait to find out who she chose. But I was not expecting the cliffhanger at the end. There was no conclusion. No finale. No hint of what would happen next. I don't even know when the next book comes out. :(

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...

Yes, I received a contract from my publisher.

Yes, I signed it...with much enthusiasm.

Yes, I sealed it and plopped it right back into the mailbox to be whisked away to my publisher in Salt Lake City.

Ooooo, what a feeling.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LDS Publisher's Summer Book Trek

 How fun! I haven't participated in a really fun reading challenge for awhile!

When I saw LDS Publisher's Summer Book Trek challenge, I decided to go for it!

Quick Summary:

Who: Calling all fiction readers!!! (If you’re under 18, you have to have your parent’s permission.) You do not have to be LDS to participate.
What: A summer reading challenge for August 2012! Read books by LDS authors.

First step, creating my reading list:
  1. Jenni James (released August)
  2. Secrets After Mary Higgins

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Author Friends

Snowflake is bubbling over with authors. Who knew? My hubs encouraged me to ask a couple for advice on getting published.
David Bowman is an artist/author whose daughter goes to school with my oldest son. 1st day of Kindergarten my son told me about this cutest girl in his class. ;)

Alma Yates is the principal at my children's school. He's published 11 books and called me yesterday to give me his personal advice.

DeeAnne Gist, who included my name along with my mom's and sister's in her latest book, emailed me to congratulate me.

Friends...especially popular ones...are great!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jenni James...Love her!

As per my last post, I have been looking over a contract from Walnut Springs Press to publish my first book. Since this is all new to me, I had no idea what to expect. I told my hubs that I wished I had someone to talk to who was in a similar boat and could give me advice. Thank goodness for facebook. I've made friends with fellow authors and remembered a favorite of mine who also published with the same publisher. Her name is Jenni James, and she writes the cutest YA novels. So, I sent her a message through facebook asking her for help, and she replied back and gave me her number to call her. And I just have to tell you that she is the sweetest. She answered all of my questions and helped me so much...while at the same time fixing her 7 kids lunch. Yes, I said 7. She's a single mother of 7 who just moved her family from Utah to Farmington, NM. Wowza. Anyway, she gave me some great advice. She talked very highly of Walnut Springs, and I'm ready and excited to be a part of their company. Here is Jenni James link (check it out):

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 10, 2012...a date to remember

Happy Dance!

2 years ago on Mother's Day I finished my 3rd book titled I'm Not Cinderella. I printed and bound a copy for each my mother and grandmother for Mother's Day and then sent the manuscript off to 4 publishers. During the span of 26 months, I've had 1 publisher reject my manuscript, another interested but requested alterations only to have the same person who was interested no longer work for the company and that 'said' company no longer interested, another publisher file my manuscript in the 'to be published' file but then write to tell me they are going out of business, and then 1 last publisher who emailed they were interested and gave me suggestions to fix my manuscript and requested to see it again. Well, I revised and revised and revised my manuscript and then resent it to that particular publisher 5 months ago and received the most glorious news on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012. It says:

Dear Tarrah,

How are you? I apologize for being out of touch, but I do have good news. Recently, I asked someone in my office to read the revised version of I'm Not Cinderella, and she liked it very much. (I've been so busy I haven't had time to read submissions; my coworker read your manuscript while on vacation. :) We'd like to publish the book if you haven't yet contracted with another publisher.

And then another email:


Thanks for your message. We are excited to work with you and publish I'm Not Cinderella. The next step is to get a contract signed. Please read the attached (our generic contract) and let me know if you have any questions. Once we have a signed contract, we'll chat with you about marketing, schedule, etc. My guess is that we'll want to publish the book in spring 2013.

Did you say there will be sequels to the book? If so, how many?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crunches & Allergies

So, we went to Mexico. Survived. Loved it. Want to go back. Ryan broke his ankle. What?! Yes, he broke his ankle. And, ladies and gentlemen, he broke it after only being in Mexico for 4 hours. Bravo! Well done. Our son, Tytan, and him were jumping the waves in the ocean and doing a little bit of body surfing when he came down with the force of the one of the ways and his foot landed in a small hole and snapped. The clinic by the resort wrapped his ankle up in a boot, and we stayed on our vacation. When we got back to America 3 days later, the doctor ordered him into operation to get 6 screws and a plate to hold his ankle together. Crazy! I think we're done vacation hopping for now. What do you think?

The kids have been hilarious calling his crutches crunches. I correct them often but have found the slip-up endearing. I love my kids little and know it won't last long. I love that my 8 year old son still wants to hold my hand. So, if my 7 year old daughter and 6 year old son call crutches crunches, I'll bask in the life of childhood a little longer.

On the same page, they call algae allergy. Love it!

My dear mom, sweet sister, and I went to a RomCon event this past weekend. Yes, I left my poor husband home to fend for himself. Thank you to wonderful friends and neighbors who helped with the kids. I, on the other hand, had a blast. We were prized with 76 books altogether from the convention...for free. Can you believe it? Sad thing is I don't know where to start reading. Which one do I pick. We went to dinners with fun authors, laughed silly at some questionable authors, went shopping, and giggled at secret jokes. It was a perfect weekend to recharge and rejuvenate me. Thanks Mom and Torie. Miss your face! Love me some rainbows. ;) snicker...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm going on Holiday

Why do Europeans say they're going on holiday instead of vacation? I like it. Sounds more official. Summer 2012 is the time for taking a 'holiday'. Let it begin.
April was our Europe trip
May was an expedition through Zions National Park and St. George
May/June marks our week long break to Laguna Beach and a surprise visit to Disneyland
June is one more trip to San Diego and then Rocky Point, Mexico

Alright, now breathe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Europe or bust!

Nervousness, excitement, trepidation, elation, confusion, anticipation...

Ryan and I are going to Europe - take 2. Three years ago we went to Paris, London, & Rome and had the best tourist trip of a life time. When Ryan asked me where else I would like to visit, I said I wanted a repeat of our trip and chose to return to Europe. This time we decided to venture to Eastern Europe.

Our intinerary: to Europe
Saturday...Prague, Czech Republic
Sunday...Vienna, Austria
Monday...Salzburg, Germany
Tuesday...Munich, Germany
Wednesday...Fussen & Garmisch
Thursday...Inssbruck & Zurich, Switzerland
Friday...Berlin, Germany
Saturday...Berlin, Germany
Sunday...Prague, Czech Republic home

Exhale. What a trip! Can't wait to post pictures of our adventures.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Sisters, sisters

There were never such devoted sisters...
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing...
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun...
-from the movie 'White Christmas'

This ones for you, Sis!!!

About a month ago I received a letter in the mail from my one and only sister, Torie. It was handwritten and everything. She has beautiful's intimidating, actually. I type, and I type fast (which can also be intimidating). Therefore, I'm typing a letter to my sweet sister.

Jane Austen used to write to her sister. How fun that I also have a sister to write to. 12 hours of driving time between us will not keep us apart. Lightning speed emailing will not keep us apart. And definitely unexplainable, instantaneous texting will not keep us apart. Yes, that shows the complete devotion I have to my sister...who I have not written to since her first letter last month. It's not like I have any avenues. Why the complexity? ;)

So, my dear sister, here is my letter that I will forge for you. I love you and miss you. I can't wait to see you soon. Even though it'll be a brief hi and goodbye surrounding our trip, I'm excited for the experience. At least we'll have St. George; that's where the real fun will happen. I love that we have our get togethers. Our moments are spaced farther apart, but that just makes them more memorable. I love sharing those glimpses in time with you. Thank you for making my childhood sweet of sisterhood fun. Don't ever forget how much I love you. Please forgive me for the times I was a bossy older sister and didn't let you play with my barbies. I'm glad that you gave me unconditional love and that I got to be your sister.

P.S. Thank you for taking care of my angel babies. You are the sweetest sister ever!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Schedule

With the warmer weather, our schedule is bulging. As if we weren't busy enough. On one hand, though, being busy with little kids reminds me that I get to enjoy this part of life that is so completely immersed with my kids. Gotta love it.

AM - I volunteer to teach music at the Elementary school
PM - I pick up kids and cousins from school; Trista/Trey have tumbling from 3-4; Family Night
AM - Preschool
PM - Tytan bball practce 3-4:30; Trey karate 5-6; bball/tball games
AM - My morning is free to do laundry.
PM - I tutor and teach piano 2:30-5:00
AM - Preschool
PM - Tytan bball practice 3-4:30; Trey karate 5-6; bball/tball games; Tytan cub scouts 5-6
AM - My morning is free to clean, clean, clean
PM - I coach Trey's tball team & we have practice after school on Fridays
Saturdays...(this Easter weekend Saturday is packed)
AM - Easter party/hunt @friends' house 9:30-12
PM - Baptism in Holbrook @1; Baptism in Snowflake @3

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break

The advantage of starting school early in the year (August 11th) is that we get a week long spring break. Woohoo! It's lovely having a week with no karate, no wrestling, no scouts, no piano lessons, no tumbling, no cheer practice, no preschool, and (of course) no school.

Ryan and his brother-in-law adopted a project this week (because men can't sit idle for very long) and began work on building our raised garden beds. Another woohoo! I'm so excited to get some stuff planted this year. Potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots - mmmm, can't wait. I'm going to have each kid in charge of a section of the garden. They'll get to choose what to plant, but will be in charge of watering, weeding, etc.

Because of this BIG project, the kids' spring break has been a spring 'work' break. They've stayed outside from sun up to sun down playing with friends in exchange for assisting Ryan when needed. We did take a 'break' today and went on a hike, though. Tomorrow we might go play at the McDonald's play place, and maybe Friday we'll go on a picnic at the park. We've got to do something that constitutes a spring break right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


10 years ago February 19th, 2002, I gave birth to our angel babies - Ryanne Dee & Tamarrah Sue. The day was a whirlwind of confusion and sadness. My babies were born too soon and only lived a few hours on this earth. Tamarrah died first that first day of her life, and her sister, Ryanne, died in the early morning hours after midnight. I remember that night like it's engrained on my heart.

However, that experience is the foundation to my testimony. The whole plan of salvation rests upon the knowledge that I'll get to see my babies again and hold them in my arms. I miss them...but I know I'll always be their mommy. Eternity is real, and I'm so grateful for forever families.

My cousin just gave birth to twin boys a couple of days ago. They are healthy, and I am happy. I'm not surprised by the onset of my sad memory of my twins. It goes with the territory of losing a loved one, especially the loss of a child. But, I'm honestly more thrilled than melancholy for my cousin. I love hearing of happy reports of twins being born. Twins are fun. Twins are a lot of work. Twins are a miracle!

My only wish is that no one forgets about the other set of twins that were born a decade ago. Two precious girls who are up in heaven waiting for us. How lucky am I that I get to be their mommy and raise them in the millennium.

Yes, I am one lucky gal.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pinewood Derby

I love watching my kids grow and experience new things in life (even though I'd love to keep them bottled up in a jar and keep them my babies forever :-). Tytan is now in Cub Scouts...and loving it. He participated in his first pinewood derby this past Saturday. He was so excited. We attended last year but only got to watch. He asked what he'd get if his car won first place. I loved watching his face light up when his number was announced to do his first race. And then I watched his face fall when his car came in 2nd and then in 3rd and again in 3rd and another time in 3rd. Overall, he was the 2nd to the last out of 18. :-(

Well, needless to say, this is also Ryan and my first pinewood derby experience. After Ryan talked to a few other dads after the race, we found out that you're supposed to prep the cars to run faster. For example, wheels are sanded, the spokes are greased, and weight strategically placed under the car. Who knew?

So, Tytan (as well as Ryan) are eager and ready to try again next year.

To all other 1st timers at pinewood derbies, do your research. ;)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'Wicked'...the best play ever!!!

Ryan and I took an overnight trip to the Valley last week. The kids stayed with Ryan's sister, and Ryan and I went and saw the musical 'Wicked'. And let me tell you, it was awesome. A lot of people said how good it was, and we were worried about having high expectation from what everyone was saying. But, it was even better than expected. It takes a lot to beat our already high expectations. The play was funny, it had a good message, the acting was incredible, and I absolutely loved how it tied into the story of 'The Wizard of Oz'.

This is the synopsis from Wikepedia: "Wicked explores the concept that the Wicked Witch of the West, here known as Elphaba, is a misunderstood, victimized person whose behavior is merely a reaction against the charlatan Wizard's corrupt government. It also displays her relationship with the beautiful and ambitious Galinda Upland, who ultimately becomes Glinda the Good Witch of the North."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Present

Happy Valentine's Day!

As a sweet present, i received an email from my 'hopeful' publisher yesterday. This is what it said:

Dear Tarrah,

How are you? Sorry I missed your message. I missed several days of work last week due to illness, and I finally just found this message from the Friday before.

I’m glad you’re resubmitting I’m Not Cinderella...I definitely remember you.

As soon as I can, I’ll review the manuscript and let you know what I think. It will be at least a couple months, as I’m very behind in reviewing submissions. (I’m actually probably close to nine months behind, but I’ll try not to make you wait that long. :)

So, we'll see. As I've said before, patience is a difficult thing for me to endure. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I am finished with the rewrite for my book, 'I'm Not Cinderella'. I decided to go with the original title and have the title 'Replaced' as a second option. I feel really good about the edits and other things I fixed in the book. The hook happens a lot sooner in the book and I altered the ending to be a more feasible ending for a teenage girl. So, I emailed it to my publisher and we'll see what they think. It's hard to be patient and wait for their response, though.

In the mean time, here are some cute Valentine's from the kids. They love you and miss you!

Monday, January 30, 2012


I love music. Always have. Always Will.

On Mondays I volunteer to teach music to the Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms for the past 3 years. It has been a lot of fun. I've gotten to know the kids and also gain a connection with my children's teachers. I've played piano since I was 8 years old, and I've taught steadily for the past 6 years. I love it. And I don't know what I would do without it.

Music is a part of everything I do. I walk to music, I talk to music, and I dream to music. My favorite is when I'm cooking dinner: I turn on the music and dance with my kids. Of course I'm molding their taste of what music they'll grow up to like, but they'll grow to appreciate my good taste. ;)

What I'm listening to now:
Hot Chelle Rae
Jessie J
La Roux
Cobra Starship
Lucy Hale
Cady Groves
Selena Gomez
Mindy Gledhill

Grandma, you'd love the last one (Mindy Gledhill). I'm going to burn you a cd and mail it to you. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why does muscle weigh more than fat?

New Year's Resolutions - that is the subject.

Right before Christmas Ryan's sister, Chelsea, asked if I wanted to join her and some friends exercising. I try to keep myself active in my life and have been lucky to not have to worry about my weight too much. However, now that I'm getting older, I've been more concerned about keeping in shape. I'm reaching 35 years old this year and my metabolism has changed. I guess I'm not 16 anymore...even though my mind thinks I'm the same.

So, i took the opportunity and decided to exercise with my sister-in-law. I go everyday unless I'm teaching preschool or music at the school. It's been hard work but a lot of fun. I'll tell you that these women I exercise with are diehards. Sometimes they do two workouts. Crazy!

This is where my concern is. My muscles have never felt stronger, but I've gained weight instead of losing it. I haven't gained tons (just a couple of pounds), but it's enough to make me feel discouraged. Ryan tells me it is good because muscle helps you burn more calories. But, seriously?! Come on!

Anywho, I'm going to keep on trucking and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Title for my Cinderella Book

One of my New Year's Resolutions for 2012 is to finish my final revisions for my book by the end of January and send it to my publisher. Am I on track to do it? ...yes. :-) Today I'm working on page 184 out of a total of 320 pages of my book. Woohoo! It's turning out nicely, and I'm really excited about the things I've added. I actually had an editor look at my manuscript and give me some pointers. So, when I'm done I'll have to send you an updated manuscript. :-)

One of the things the editor told me was to maybe switch up the title. At first I had it as:
I'm Not Cinderella; a Tale of Ashes in Time

She said it was too long. Right now 1 word titles are really popular. Therefore, here are some titles I have been optioning:

I'm Not Cinderella
Cinderella's Territory
Far far away

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My name has been immortalized

How fun to come across my name in a book. And not just any 'old joe' book. A book from a national best selling author.

My path to stardom begins about a year and a half ago when my mother, sister, and I attended a retreat with one of our favorite authors, Deeanne Gist. She's this amazing Christian author. We got to go to North Caroline and visit the Biltmore Mansion. What a trip! So fun!

Well, anyway, this author was working on a new book and I just barely started reading it a couple of days ago. What to my surprise when I stumbled across a character with the name of Mrs. Chadaz. What!? I exclaimed. I called my mom and sister, and we giggled with the tribute to my mom.

But wait. The story doesn't end there. Tonight, while I was reading (I'm almost half way through the book), I came across two characters who are sisters with blonde hair and brown eyes. Guess what? Their names were Torie Cutler and Tarrah Montgomery. Not Mrs. Cutler or Mrs. Montgomery but the actual names spelled out.

So this is my documentation of my name immortalized forever...well, while this book is kept upon the face of the earth. I shall demand every person to read it. ;)