Thursday, August 15, 2019

Another First Day Of School- YEAR 8!!!

8 years.....that's how long we have been homeschooling with Utah Virtual Academy!

Just look at these faces!

Piper is entering 7th grade, fully into middle school now. Last year was a huge eye opener to the difference between online schooling in elementary and middle school, so this year, we are fully prepared!

She still loves unicorns, Harry Potter, snuggling and root beer floats. She's starting to get "bored" a little more often and has a crush on someone.

Braces for the second round, but she still has a beautiful smile...and those eyes!!!

Samantha is entering 5th grade and here, in Utah, she is at the end of elementary! MY HEART!!!

She tumbles all over the house, can almost do an aerial (no-handed cartwheel), loves Captain America and is getting more and more freckles!

She's on the cusp of being a preteen and she's still the most sarcastic of all the girls, but man! She is the epitome of the blond hair-blue eyed skinny Minnie!

Scarlet is entering 3rd grade- this is an easy thing for me because I've done this curriculum twice already!!

She's still my Choochie who gives me snuggles, who gets scared at night sometimes, who always needs to sleep with Minnie, is rough and tumble, but the sweetest little girl.

We're prepping for an expander and then onto braces, but look! Her 2nd front tooth is on its way in and if you have been following us, you know her teeth trauma over the last 5 years! She's going to look so different with teeth, but still just as cute as a button!

We're ready for this school year and excited to still be at home together!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I Had No Idea

Two years ago, to be literally exact, I was choosing pretty much everything over my husband and my family. If you go back about 18 months ago, you can read my previous posts and see the pain I was struggling with upon figuring out that I was a pretty selfish person.

Sometimes I hear or see something that takes me back and I have to remember that the past is dead. I do not celebrate the past or let it steal my joy. I have to remember that God is good. God is merciful. And God gives me grace. Over and over and over and over.

I was wrapped up in my own world. Music/church was everything. I revolved around it like the sun, never straying. I had started up Canvas By Cassandra earlier that year, but was struggling to make sales. I would advertise for custom orders, make inventory that I wasn't sure would sell. I was not confident in my art, not confident as a worship leader, but overly confident in my status.

That's what it was all about. I was SOMEBODY.

Then my world came crashing down around my head as I was spinning out of control. OUT. OF. CONTROL. No "Jesus, take the wheel." No "I'm drowning." It was, "Hey, what does this button do?"

But, I had no idea.

I had no idea how God could take something so broken and make it whole again.

I had no idea how God could heal a gaping wound, where something sacred once was stored.

I had no idea what joy God had in store and that life could go on without music.

But Canvas By Cassandra literally exploded at the end of August 2017. I never had to ask for a custom order again. I started selling things left and right. And it grew.

It grew and it grew and it grew.

God slowly replaced the hurt of lost music with the healing of a paintbrush. It has been a long arduous journey and it's not going to be over until.....until whenever!

I still can't believe that people want to buy stuff from me, but I no longer worry about if they do or if they don't! I find peace when I paint (most of the time) and it's something I can do with the Riz.

My studio is in his office so I can paint while he works or plays games. I show him everything that I do. He helps me by making my frames & wood pieces. He helps me set up and tear down shows. This is a world I share with him. This is how it should have been when I was the worship leader.

I wish I could go back and change things. I wish I had made better choices and knew what I know now. But....we wouldn't be here, in this place of healing. Things wouldn't be exactly as they are now.

Anyways, I try not to dwell on it. I'm super thankful and grateful for where I am now, my heart is full and my marriage restored. We still see a counselor time to time because it's healthy! There shouldn't be a stigma on counseling- marriages need just as much help as our bodies do.

So...maybe you're in a place of hurt right now, out of control and you can't see what's in front of's okay to be scared. It's okay to be hurt. It's a hard time, but you will get through it! It might take a while, but keep trying! Take it day by day because man, you have no idea.....

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ten Years


I was a new mom, the second time around.

I was 27.

I had naturally curly, brown hair.

I had a mom bod, fresh from a c-section.

Bryce & I had almost been married 5 years.

I was unsure of myself, didn't like my body and my life revolved around my daughters.

I had just joined the worship team at church.

I had almost lived in Utah for 1 year.

I had a couple of friends.

Bryce worked from home and it was super helpful with the babies.

I was insecure, but I didn't really care what others thought about me.

I only cared what Bryce thought about me.

Marriage seemed pretty easy.

I was still pretty naive.


It's been 8 years since I have had a baby.

I am 37.

I have brown & blue hair.

I have learned that exercise, eating well and intermittent fasting does a body good.

Bryce & I have been married 15 years.

I know who I am, love my body and have finally figured out what is important in life.

I am now an artist by trade, musician at heart and love all of it.

I have lived in Utah for almost 11 years.

I have really, really good friends.

Bryce works from home and we love having him here.

I care about what others think, but not so much about me anymore.

I care what Bryce thinks about me.

I have worked hard to restore my marriage.

I feel much wiser and can actually give good advice now.

Ten years is such a long time. A lot can change in ten years. I see a wiser me, one who has been around the block, who has lines by her eyes and gray in her hair. I have a c-section scar times three and a new outlook on what makes me happy. I have a deeper relationship with Christ and a newfound respect for marriage.

No one tells you how much work actually goes into a marriage. No one tells you that you and your husband will evolve into different people and that your marriage will evolve too. No one tells you how hard you have to fight for your marriage. They tell you it's hard work, but it's worth it. How hard? How much work? When? When do you know that it is going to get hard?

And parenting? Homeschooling? Friendship? Work? You don't know what you've got until it's gone unless you happen to be that person that knows how to be grateful right then and there. Sometimes when I'm praying, I thank God for real, for a roof over my head, a comfortable life because there really are people out there who don't have those things. You forget how happy you actually can be.

Life throws curve balls. God is in control. Just be happy and be grateful for what you have every single day. That's hard work too, but no one ever said that living is easy.