Sunday, May 31, 2009


This weekend another of my handsome nephews went and got himself "hitched"... (okay, okay...beautiful ceremony in the St. George Temple...CONGRATULATIONS Doug and Kaeli). This of coarse gives the Clark Clan another reason to doesn't usually take that much but...

We have so much fun when the opportunity arises to all get together that sometimes, we forget that we are supposed to be standing in a receiving line or paying attention to the other guest that are there! We don't mean to be rude or indifferent, we are just so dang happy to be with each other!
It is even more fun when Matt makes it down...that's when the stories get really good because "EVERYONE" knows Matt...

Families are the very best part of life. I have such sweet memories of childhood and those "growing up" years because of this family. I only have one regret...I live too far away from all of them!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Today is Cambria's 22nd birthday! What a year this has been! When she came home from Boston she told me that she was not going to become interested in any "one" particular guy for a very LONG time...I think that lasted all of maybe 2 months! Things have certainly changed in her life and I think that she would SHOUT...for the better, after all the "SKY's" the limit!!!

One thing is for sure you can always find her in the middle of the kids! Cambria LOVES her nieces and nephews. I think that the feeling is mutual. They love doing things with her. Whenever she is around they WILL find her!

We love you tonz!


In a small cemetery just a few short miles from where I grew up some of the most important people in my life are buried. I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about them or do something that reminds me of them. How truly lucky I am to have a family that is so wonderful in life that even when that life is taken away they remain as wonderful in death.

I still make sure that I place only flowers on my mothers grave that I know that she would appreciate...she had a "thing" for color. She liked the yellows, reds, and oranges. The warm summer colors while, my Aunt Choral loved the pastels, the colors of spring, pink, blue, and lavender. They were so different in so many ways and yet so alike and inseparable!

People used to tell me all the time how much I looked like my mom...she's been gone a few years now and people seem to say that I look more like my dad now. I don't really know who I look like all I know is that if I can be even half the people that my mom and dad are I will turn out more than alright! It is hard to loose the good influences in our lives and fortunately if we are lucky we don't loose them all at once! I will always be grateful when I look in the mirror and once in awhile catch a glimpse of the one person that I miss you mom.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today is John's 30th birthday...I'm not really sure that he wants me publishing that but, I can't believe it! He has actually turned 30!!! That is 10X3, 10+10+10, 20+10 more...I could go on and on. UNBELIEVABLE!! What is even more unbelievable is that he also is the father of three. What a great daddy he is to. He is Cole and Maddy's Daddy and as of May 20 a new little girl was added. (See post below).

John has always been my easy going, easy to have around guy. If I ever needed anything done, all I had to do is ask. Seldom did I get a negative response from him. (Okay, excluding the years from 15 to 18...) Now that he is grown I never get a negative response from him...LOVE this kid! We are so glad that they live close and that they like sharing the grandkids with us. It makes our day when Cole wants to "hang out". Happy birthday John! Thanks for being YOU!

Hope you don't mind that I borrowed a picture :-}

Thursday, May 21, 2009


~BELLA~ { "beautiful" in Italian}

She is BEAUTIFUL! {Lei e' bella!} That's about it for my Italian...

John and Loreli are the proud new parents of this lovely new name yet but really, who needs to rush things when your this cute? As soon as they decide on a name I will add to this post but for now I just wanted to let you all see what she looks like. SO SWEET!

This just in...the name is Bella. She is so stinkin CUTE!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Elder and Sister STUTZ have arrived safely home after many months of missionary service in Kenya. I was so happy to be able to spend a little time with them today. They stopped in Provo after visiting family in St. George. They are on their way back to Boise ID ( home). After being gone for so long they needed to catch up with every one so, they have been doing a little traveling and visiting before reality sets in and real life takes hold once again. In some ways I am not sure life for them will ever be the same after living in Africa and that is a GOOD thing! There you can learn in a very short time that "things" are not so important anymore and the way you look at the world when you come home is just a little bit different than it was before you went. We have so MUCH! Even the poor in this country have so much in comparison to the people this wonderful missionary couple have been with for the last year. It is truly humbling to live with, work with and love the people of Katalia and might I add...Kakamega!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


What a fun weekend in sunny St. George! My nephew Todd married the love of his life Staci in the most beautiful of surroundings...the DESSERT! Me, being a "dessert rat" myself can truly appreciate such a unique and absolutely gorgeous place. It was also such a treat to be out of the vacillating 50-60 degree temperatures of the north and into the 90 degree temps of the south. At least for a day or two!

The very best part of the weekend was that I got to see my sisters!! I honestly don't have a memory of any importance growing up that doesn't include these beautiful girls. If you ever need a template of how to raise a healthy, happy family, you should probably ask our parents because they did such a great job! We still to this day really, really love each other!!! REALLY!

I know that many of you that know me are a little confused at this point because you thought that I was the only girl in my family of boys...I am but, the part you are missing is that my cousins are actually more than cousins...Our mom's are sisters and our dad's are brothers! We grew up just down the road from each other and there were times when our mom's didn't know which girl they had at their house! Chris and I are just 6 months apart and looked quite a bit alike as we grew up. Our mom's even dressed us alike sometimes making it even more confusing to our friends and teachers! There are people in Delta who to this day still do not know which set of parents we belong to for sure! We love it. There would be a tendency to think that polygamy was perhaps involved somewhere which might be an easier way of explaining all of this but our fathers are good little Catholic boys who married good little Mormon girls! Sorry "Plig" stories for the record books on this side of the family. But, I have to say to all of you out there who wonder how the Catholic/Mormon thing worked out...GREAT! Turns out an open mind is a wonderful thing.


We missed you Mitzi!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Here I go again to that vulnerable place I don't feel comfortable going . It's almost like letting you who read this into a place where only I myself and usually alone. Obviously, I don't make a habit of inviting people here often because it makes me a little uncomfortable. Okay, a lot uncomfortable! But, there are things that need to be written down because in the writing comes a certain type of closure a healing. Most of the time its referred to as "therapy" yikes! So, here I am again writing for posterity what I can't say out loud...I still don't handle certain parts of my life very well without my brother Bruce. There are days when I simply find myself staring off into space. On May 12th 2007 he died in a small plane crash. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and it has taken me two years to look back on it and realize that I can't change it, I can't fix, it and I can't spend forever crying over something that I had certainly no control over. I know Bruce wouldn't want me to.

Bruce was our "glue". He was my dad's best friend, my brother Matt's "go to" man. He was my youngest brother Shane's champion and my all around good guy. He was my cousins adopted brother because they were a family of all girls having never been blessed with brothers. He took that position seriously and considered each one of them as much his sisters as I was. He knew what to say and how to say it. What to do and did it. He cared more than most and showed it. He was not always happy, but seldom sad. If he was angry you knew it, then it was done. I loved that about him. However, he was known to hold a grudge ever so slightly when deserved, He was a wonderful father and tried so very hard to be a great husband...I miss him. We ALL miss him. My mother passed away three years prior to Bruce and surely welcomed him home...

When my mother died people told me that time would make it better, that I just needed time.
I have to say that time does makes it a little easier but not better. Nothing can make it better. I feel sometimes like I am pretty good at writing down stuff. But, stuff is only stuff when it doesn't hurt on the inside so much. It becomes so much more than stuff when it hurts. It's about the void that is left because he isn't here. I can't call him, I can't hear him. I have forgotten what his voice sounded like, his laugh. I am so sad that I won't get to see what he looks like as he grows old with the rest of us. His number is still in my phone and his email address on my computer...I can't seem to bring myself to the point of pushing "delete". I don't know if I ever will. I know that life isn't fair and that bad things happen to good people. I understand all of that. But, what do you do with the "empty"? Where can you put the "nothing"? What happens to the "hole" that is left when someone you love is taken away so suddenly and so tragically?

These last couple of years as I have pondered those questions and the hurt has subsided a bit with time. I have also come to the realization that "empty, nothing, and holes" all have something in common. They are "fill-able"! They can be filled with faith, with love and with service. There are people out there that are hurting so much more than I am! I used to feel like I had to almost turn myself inside out to do anything for anyone else because I was so self absorbed in sorrow but, once I started looking at the opportunities that were right in front of me it was easy. What a difference it made in me! I believe for the past two years "Bruce" has been teaching me that. So as often as I can I throw a little "Bruce" into the empty parts of my everyday, hoping that the difference it makes in me will spill over in the lives of those around me, especially my family who have suffered most from the sorrow I have let consume me at times. Bruce was so much fun to be with in life and even now that he is not here his influence speaks volumes to those of us who are willing to listen in a "different" way to what it is he is trying to tell us which to me is simply: "live" and "enjoy" every moment you are given because this life can be gone in an instant...Even before you can turn around and catch one last glance at the people you love...

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I finally figured out how to crop and export this picture so that I could actually post it! I am so proud of myself I could burst! Computers have never been one of my strong points...Many of you know that while I was in Africa working at the hospital the missionaries came to visit. What was absolutely astonishing was the fact that they are my COUSINS! As they walked in and I read "Elder and Sister STUTZ" on their name tags I knew that there had to be a connection somewhere. There just aren't that many "Stutz's in the world that would be on a mission for the church and would not be somehow related to my family. Sure enough...we have the same aunt and uncle in Provo. What a small world. I told them that I had come all the way to Africa just to meet them! It made my day! Well actually it was one of the many highlights of my trip!

They were released just this April. They live in Washington state but, on Monday they are going to be here in UTAH and I am having lunch with them. How exciting it will be to catch up on all their mission/Africa experiences! I have so much appreciation for what they have been doing the last 18 months. I was only in Africa for a few weeks and it was very different and at times difficult. I am sure that you would get used to it after a while but honestly, there is just no place like your own home, your own bed, AND your own bathroom! It will be interesting to see if they feel that same "pull" as I do to return. ( maybe not quite yet) It's like Africa wraps her arms around you and holds you ever so gently... you never really want her to let you go. I heard a song once that puts it so eloquently and, I quote it often, it goes in part: "In a world full of strangers, I have a family of friends". That is in a large way how I feel about Africa. I am getting ready to go back again in November and I think that it will be for the last time. There are just so many other places I want to see but, Africa will always hold a special place in my heart and give me a lifetime of "magical" moments to ponder.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


It was "Nurses Week" this past week at work and normally that means that the doctors and our administrator will cook breakfast for us and if we are really "nice" maybe even lunch! All in all it is usually just another week of basic appreciation (sign on the wall..."thank you to all of our nurses...we love you...blah, blah, blah...") for work you have done over the year. Not a big deal right? Well, you don't work at Riverwoods Surgery Center if that is what you expect! We walked in to what looked like Christmas morning on Monday. These adorable bags were hanging from each one of the nurses lockers with a note that said to look inside each day for something fun! It made our week. The girls in the office went WAY overboard and I for one LOVED IT! Not only did they make the bags and the cute flowers for each one but, they wrapped and tied with ribbon each little gift and made sure there was a note attached to every one! Way to go girls!!! Thank you, thank you, Francine, Suzy, Kim, Judy, Ashley, Francis and all the docs that make Riverwoods such a great place! Oh, I almost forgot to mention that our boss...I call him "Mufossa" did cook breakfast and did bring in lunch from Magelby's and Dr. Stewart is even cooking on MONDAY next week. This might just go on forever...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I went running/climbing last night and as you know I love this time of year and my running trail...I have mentioned that right? With all of the wild flowers that are starting to bloom come many other critters as well but, one of my favorites is the butterfly. I think that I love it so much because I know that it can't hurt me! About 3 years ago I had the awesome privilege of meeting a man who changed my life in a giant way. At 49 he was dying of cancer and only had a few very short months left to live. In those too few months he made me realize what was important and what wasn't, what things needed attention and what didn't, what battles to wage and which ones to bow out of. He saw things from a perspective that those of us who are not close to leaving this earth can not even begin to understand. The effect his words and his wisdom had on me will remain forever. What a beautiful person he was and I am sure still is. After he died I remember running my trail each day thinking about how in such a short time this man had touched my life in so many different ways. As I would run I would notice each day butterflies, the big yellow ones. Perhaps they were always there and I just never noticed... Now it seems to me that their mission is not just to pollinate the flowers but, to possibly remind me that life is so very short, and our blessings aren't always placed in the easy to get to areas of our lives. So, we happen to "bump" into those special people... If we are lucky more than one! It sometimes takes an effort on our part to make that connection but if we do we will find that they will help us gather our "missing parts" they'll fix us up a bit and put us back on our way to where ever it is we are headed...If we are lucky maybe, just maybe, we will all end up where I know people like him have to be...

It was spring then as it is now and each day from May through July and into August...butterflies. Each and every year it has been the same as I trudge up the canyon I am greeted by the big yellow butterflies. I am always glad I go. Yesterday I saw my first yellow's almost like they are saying to me..."Don't forget me. I'm still here and I will
always be your friend...Got anything ya need to talk about"?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I'm at work at the moment playing the never ending waiting game...wait for doctors, wait for patients, wait for OR's, wait for instuments. Wait, wait, the meantime I get in on the
most interesting conversations. Some of them worthwhile, some of them not so much. This mornings meaningful segment came with the realization that all things come to those who wait. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to afford to go back to Africa this fall. With everything that we have been through this year financially it is really quite CRAZY for me to even consider it but, Africa has gotten under my skin and I can't seem to shake the faces of those beautiful little children from my mind. It's hard to explain because when your there it is extremely difficult work and all you really want to do is come home to where life is so much easier and you have clean beds to sleep in, fresh water to drink and your don't have to be locked in at night with guard dogs on the loose. Yet when your home all you really want to do is hurry and go back. Strange how you can't really seem to explain it. I can't come up with words that even come close to having it make sense to anyone. It just seems to"pull" me. So, I will "wait" and see what I can come up with. Perhaps with enough "waiting" for just the right opportunities and having enough patience with some of the people who feel that Africa should not be a priority on my "bucket list" again, anything is possible. I guess I will just have to "wait" and see. In the meantime what do you think? Should I go?