Who’s coming?

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This week is Women’s Conference at BYU. It is two days of great classes, great speakers, and just an overall great opportunity to get away and feast on the word.

I think you should come. Click here to learn more about it.

If you’re not local or just can’t come, never fear! (“Never fear” makes me feel very superhero-ish.) I will be attending lots of great classes and I plan to blog about what I learn. You can go here to see posts I’ve written about women’s conference classes in the past. Also, this time around, I’m going to try to do something wild and crazy and use Twitter to send out some great quotes and fun experiences. I only created my Twitter account a few weeks ago and I don’t even really know how to use it well, but I’m going to try. My handle (which I think is Twitter-talk for username) is @SD_Sorensen and the hashtag (which is also Twitter-talk for something I totally don’t understand) for women’s conference is #byuwc. So there’s that. Over there ——-> (on my sidebar) there’s a place you can subscribe to follow my Twitter account if  you want to.

If you are going to Women’s Conference, I would love to meet you. I’ll be doing a book signing in the BYU Bookstore from 10:30-12:30 on Friday, so come by and say hello!  Since Mother’s Day is kind of the prime marketing time for my book I have several book signings scheduled over the next two weeks starting tomorrow.  Here’s a schedule in case you’d like to come visit or pick up books for gifts or whatever. If you do come, please introduce yourself.

UPCOMING BOOK SIGNING EVENTS for COVENANT MOTHERHOOD:
Wed. 5/1, 11-1, Lehi Costco
Fri. 5/3, 10:30-12:30, Women’s Conference, BYU Bookstore
Sat. 5/4, 2-5, Sandy Costco
Fri. 5/10, 5-7, Lindon Seagull Book
Sat. 5/11, 2-4, Redwood Road Seagull Book, SLC

After that, I’m going to lay in bed for a few days and let my children bring me chocolate bon bons on a silver platter. I’ll probably actually do lots of laundry and surf Facebook for hours with my eyes glazed over. Either way, I’ll recover.

So, in summary: Come. And if you can’t, stay tuned here on the blog or Twitter, and I’ll try to keep you posted. And if you can’t do that, then just send bon bons. I think that about covers it.

p.s. Special thanks to my husband who takes some time off every year so I can go to Women’s Conference. It’s my Mother’s Day gift. :)

The sound of my own voice.

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Remember when you were little and you used to play with the Record button on your cassette tape player? We even had one with a microphone that I would instinctively hold so close to my mouth that I always sounded like a drive-thru window worker. Didn’t your voice always sound weird? I remember thinking I didn’t sound like me at all. Funny how that works.

Well, today I got the privilege of hearing my own voice in a podcast. Same weird feeling as those cassette tapes long ago. Last week I spoke with Nick Galiete at The Good Word about my book, Covenant Motherhood. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but luckily he was nice to me and didn’t ask me questions that made me look like an idiot … I think.

The whole interview is about 17 minutes long and I did get the chance to share some of my own experiences and my testimony about motherhood.

>>Click here to hear the interview.<<

To be entered in a giveaway and win a copy of Covenant Motherhood (that you can keep or give away for Mother’s Day), listen to the interview and answer this question in the comments here on the blog:  Why did I start blogging?  I’ll turn on comment moderation so I can edit out your answers before I post your comment publicly. I’ll announce the winner Monday morning. :)

So now I can add radio star to my resume. Sort of. Right up there with “meanest mom ever” (I get that one a lot.) Thanks, Nick. Enjoy the interview, friends.

GCBC Week 22: “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead” by Elder Richard G. Scott

In this talk, Elder Scott bears testimony of doing family history work. If you’re interested in doing some genealogy, but just don’t know where to begin, consider checking out the RootsTech conference in just a couple weeks in Salt Lake City. I’m actually teaching a workshop about journaling and blogging, so I’d love to see you there.

The Joy of Redeeming the Dead by Elder Richard G. Scott

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What stood out to you as you read these talks? From wherever you are, what can you do to be more involved in family history? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

(A reminder to those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club: You’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)

You’re not as boring as you think.

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Everyone has a story.

Everyone.

And the longer I live, the more I realize that those stories are fascinating. Yep. All of them. I went through a phase when I loved watching TV shows like StoryTrek, Who Do You Think You Are?, and The Generations Project because it turns out that regular, run-of-the-mill people like you and like me have stories inside of them that make me awe, wonder, cry, and think. Why aren’t we all telling more of our own stories? One of the reasons I blog is because someday when my children are grown and have children of their own, I want them to know the real me. I know a blog is selective and doesn’t reflect every aspect of my life, but I try hard to keep it real, and if nothing else, I have recorded some stories.  I hope those stories will make them feel close to me and maybe even learn a few life lessons.

This spring, I am participating in a conference that is all about telling, finding, and recording real stories– your own and your ancestors’. I’m even teaching a class about “Recording Life Authentically,” but that’s only one of many, many workshops and resources available to help you learn how to write your own life story, do genealogy, discover the stories of generations past, and use all the cool technology that’s available to fuel and find our stories.

I think you should come.

Here are the details: March 21-23 in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Events Center.  (If you’re old like me, you used to go to Jazz games there.)  Guess what organizations are involved? Well, it was originally called the Story @ Home conference, a team effort with Cherish Bound and FamilySearch, and that conference has a specific track for bloggers. THEN, they merged with RootsTech conference, which is sponsored by a few organizations you might be familiar with: BYU, Ancestry.com, and National Genealogical Society to name a few. Basically, it’s going to be big and awesome.

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Go here to learn a lot more about it and to get pricing. There are options as low as $19/day, with full-conference passes ranging from $39 to $149, depending on how much of the conference offerings you want access to. Notice that there’s a full-conference Story@Home track available (which includes the blogging classes) for $79.

For any of you photographer types–amateur or otherwise– check out this Instagram contest:

Prize: Full-conference Story@Home pass ($79 value)
Dates: February 20th-24th
 
To participate in the contest:
  • Snap a picture you think tells a story. Examples include family, friends, places, events, mementos–anything that has meaning for you.
  • Upload the photo to Instagram and share with us what story your photo tells. Include the hashtags #tellyourstory and #storyathome.
Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the Story@Home Facebook page Monday, February 25th. “Like” the Story@Home Facebook page to find out if you’ve won.

So, listen. You have a story. And it’s a lot more interesting than you think it is. Come learn how to tell it and record it and save it so that someday, your stories will be alive even when you’re not. Your children and grandchildren will love that. I promise.

So much to celebrate.

We’ve got something really great to look forward to.  Behold:

(Eventually I’ll have a button over there on the sidebar with a code you can grab –>)

I will be teaming up with these fine folks:

Jocelyn of We Talk of Christ, and
Middle-aged Mormon Man of … well, Middle-aged Mormon Man
to celebrate this:
We will have a Proclamation-related post every day from September 17-30th at all four blogs. I have some fantastic guest bloggers lined up, so you won’t want to miss it. This proclamation was written “to the world,” and we hope to share it with as many as we can. Here are a few ways I would love to have you participate:

There will be three “Blog Hops,” which is simply a cute name for an Internet Block Party. We’re inviting you to write a post on your own blog about a topic we’ll all share that day, and then leave a link in a central place (to be announced) where we can all see what everyone has to share.  The scheduled Blog Hops are as follows:

Wed. September 19 – Share an FHE lesson or craft about The Family Proclamation.
Sun. September 23 – Share your personal thoughts, testimony, or faith-promoting experiences with any aspect of the Proclamation.
Wed. September 26 – Family Proclamation Photo Essay – pair photos of your family with different phrases from the Proclamation (as many as you choose). There are examples of photo essays from past celebrations here and here.
Also, I invite you to give away a copy of Family: A Proclamation to the World to someone who maybe has never seen/read it before. Why? Because it’s awesome. And it’s true. Anytime we can help people to love and honor and promote family, it’s a good thing. I’m hoping that on the last day, Sept. 30, you can come share with us how that experience went.  You can order them in brochure form (perfect for giving away) right here for FREE, even with shipping. So please hurry and order some copies and start giving them away because I want to hear all about it.
Hooray. (And all kinds of other celebratory exclamations.) !!!  You ready for this?

If a blog die, shall it live again?

Hi.

Um, remember me?

Of course a dead blog can live again!  It totally can. Right? I checked Google Reader, and some people are actually still subscribed here. It might be an accident, but still…. (Does anyone even use Google Reader anymore?) Plus, whether they actually mean to be or not, there’s still a handful of people that subscribe by email, so hello there long-lost inboxes.

Wow. So where do I start?  I have so much to tell you. Really. Let’s transition carefully back into blogging, shall we? I think I’ll start with a bunch of mini blog posts just so we can all get used to each other again.

Mini-post #1:  Guess What?

Remember how I only occasionally popped in during the summer to beg you to vote for me in that video contest?  Well, I don’t know how to tell you this without a formal plan to compensate you for your goodness, but I won!!!  I’m not even kidding– I won a cruise. Matt and I are going in October and I’m very excited about that. It took a little bit of manipulative creative negotiating to convince Clark that even though it was his story that won the trip, it would still be better for Matt and I to take the trip together.  I’m sure that with the passage of time and maybe a small amount of therapy, he will find it in his heart to not feel completely ripped off. And I will find it in my heart to sit on a ship deck and read books and drink virgin daiquiris.

Mini-post #2: No, Really, Guess What?!?

This part is almost too exciting to say. I’m truly afraid that by embracing it, I may somehow curse it. The reason I took a blog sabbatical in the first place is because I, honest to goodness, felt down in my soul that I needed to write a book. I had never before in my life imagined myself authoring a book, but I felt (select the word that you’re most comfortable with here–>) prompted/compelled/pushed/inspired/obligated to write a book about my testimony concerning motherhood. I have spent a good part of the last decade of my life studying motherhood in a gospel context, and I felt the pieces coming together little by little in ways that gave me new insight and purpose. Motherhood was still hard–it’s always been kind of hard–but I felt like I was starting to get it.  And then I felt like I should write it all down. So I did. And (here’s the exciting part) I recently got word that it’s going to be published. As in, printed by someone else in an actual book that will appear in LDS bookstores next Spring. I’m not the type of person that writes things like *squeeee!* or “yippee! yippee!,” but if I were, I would write that here right now. Other than the fact that I feel a tiny bit terrified, plus an equally tiny bit inadequate, I love the thought and hope that maybe, just maybe, my book might help some mom out there (especially a mom of young children) “get it.” And by “get it,” I really mean get herself–see herself and what she’s doing as she really is and how much it really counts. So, yes, yay for that.

Mini-post #3: In Which a Mom and Her Kids All Grow Up a Little.

Something unbelievably amazing has happened. Perhaps even more amazing than a cruise or a book deal. (I realize that this would be the easy place for anyone who’s having a bad day to hit the delete button real quick before my life gets any luckier, but please don’t. I promise I’m not bragging. And I think this next piece of news just might be some kind of balm for your weary soul. Maybe.) When I started this blog, all three of my children were in some stage of diapers. It is with no small amount of shock that I announce to you that last week, they all started school. All of them. From morning until early afternoon.  Look!  Look at this picture and tell me that they are not the cutest people you’ve ever seen. Just try.

Anyway, I’ve blogged a lot over the years about the stages of motherhood, and how sometimes times and seasons must be endured-slash-appreciated for what they really are. When my oldest went to kindergarten, I felt like I had entered Stage 2 parenting. There were glimpses of my children’s growing independence, and I found random bursts, no matter how brief, of “down” time, where I could choose to read a book, or nap, or hang up my clothes, or nap. Now, my friends, I think I have entered Stage 3. Yes, they are older, and make bigger messes, and more noise, and have developed some snarky habits, but trust me when I say: It is glorious. Do you know what I did yesterday? I did a workout video in my family room and then I cleaned my bathroom. I cleaned it for three and a half hours, and it is a masterpiece. I have not cleaned an entire room from start-to-finish in years. After that, I went to the library by myself and picked out books in peace. Then I went to 3 stores in a row and quickly returned some items, stopped at one more store, and picked up a few groceries. I came home and made chocolate chip cookies. When I got home, my house was just as clean as it was when I left in the morning. It stayed clean; do you get what I’m saying? When my kids got home, I hugged them and gave them cookies and helped them with their homework. I still got annoyed sometimes, but I felt ready to be there for them. I. am. loving. it. I am not trying to rub any of this in your face if you still have small children at home and you feel entirely drained. Nor am I trying to knock anyone who feels terribly sad when their children go to school. Not at all.  All I’m saying is that toddler and preschool mothering were quite challenging for me, and now I feel like I’m hitting my stride. I’m not foolish; bigger kids will mean bigger challenges, but if you are wondering if there’s any light at the end of the diaper tunnel, I’m here to tell you:  Good gravy, there is!  I can hardly believe it myself. Stage 3 just feels like it fits so nicely right now. Carry on, good moms everywhere, the stage that fits you best will come in good time.

Mini-post #4: More to Come.

I’ve got fun summer stuff to tell you. I’ve got some giveaways of things I’ve been saving up for you. The September celebration of The Family: A Proclamation to the World is coming up, and that will be epic. Basically, I’m excited to be back. This party ain’t over yet. Please say hi. I missed you.

Breaking News (and other earth-shattering announcements)

This post is a COPY of Sunday’s.  When I did two posts in a row, I think this one got buried, and I just wanted to make sure it was out there.  If you’ve already seen it, it’s old news.  Sorry.

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Forgive me while I wax administrative for a day, but there are a few news-items I need to communicate.  Get your mouse-clicker finger ready because I’m sending you all over the place.

1.  For the sake of pure anticipation, I need to let you know that in September, I will be teaming up with  Montserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium, Jocelyn of We Talk of Christ, and the mysterious Middle-aged Mormon Man to host a Family Proclamation Celebration.  It’s exactly what it claims to be: a two-week star-studded gala honoring the timeless principles of Family: A Proclamation to the World.  And by star-studded, I mean a cohort of guest posts that will knock your socks off, including but not limited to:

Shawni at 71 Toes
DeNae at My Real Life Was Backordered
Michelle at Mormon Women
Allison at Simple Inspiration
Melanie at Write Stuff
Ken at The Craig Report
Some other dear real-life friends that predate my blog,
and Matt (my husband, who puts the stud in star-studded),
plus even more, because that doesn’t even include guest posts at the three other blogs.

Also, in association with the celebration, Montserrat is putting together a video of families around the world reading phrases from the Proclamation.  It would be really helpful if you would do a little webcam project and submit it to her. (I’m sure it will bring you lots of fame and fortune.)  You can get more information here.

There’s really nothing else you need to do about this now except get excited.  And get your kids all ready for back-to-school in late August so that you can spend September 17-30 basically reading blog manna around the clock.

More announcements.  I’ll be brief.  (I’ll try.)

2. I’m taking a blog sabbatical.

sabbatical:  any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

I know I’ve tried this before and failed, but this time I really mean it.  :)  I just accepted a very-part-time job to teach a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU that starts in a few weeks. (Thrilling and terrifying at the same time.) It has become clear to me that in order to make this work and still keep my focus on my family, I need to adjust my juggling act, so I’ve picked the blog as a plate to drop.  I’m sure I will pop in occasionally because loud people don’t shut up well, and obviously I’ll be up and running again by September (see announcement #1).  Other pre-determined exceptions are listed below.

3. General Conference and GCBC.  This week, I will still do a few fun posts about getting ready for general conference.  I have been hosting the General Conference Book Club here for three years.  I can hardly believe it.  It’s my “baby,” and I love it, but it doesn’t fit well with sabbaticals, so I’m handing it off like a faith-filled birth mother.  Becca will be adopting and hosting this next round of GCBC at her blog:  My Soul Delighteth.  I’ll post more information this week, but I wanted to give you a heads up.  It will be the same deal, same system, and I really hope you will still use it as the gospel-study tool it was intended to be.  I plan to still participate, but I’m just not going to host it for a season.

4.  My Pretty Darn Funny Video.  I posted yesterday about this video contest I entered.  Turns out that, after reading all the small print, I’m still confused about when the votes actually count.  The real promotion period starts on March 31st (I think), so I may come out of my sabbatical once or twice to do some shameless self-promotion and ask you to vote again.  I really, really want to win that Caribbean cruise.  Forgive me in advance?  Thanks for all your votes so far, and feel free to drop by right here at random and leave more votes pretty much any day between now and the end of May.  :)

5. “I love you, man.”  I just want to say thank you for all your kind support here on the blog over these last few years.  This isn’t a funeral speech, and you’ll be hearing from me periodically, but really, thank you.  I’ve loved your comments, participation, and virtual friendship.  You make a sabbatical feel really hard to do.