A Symonds Christmas Card

Salt Lake Temple Christmas Lights

Salt Lake Temple Christmas

I love music. For some years I lived in Utah, where I met Scott. Many years ago I worked near Temple Square at Christmas time with my dear friend Yvonne. We both sang in the Bountiful High Choir. My favorite carol was and still continues to be, “O’Come, Emmanuel. We worked at the Lion House or old Governors Mansion. After serving we worked in the Kitchen, where the acoustics were best. I remember singing the following sweet song after all the guests had gone home. Today, I found this version and wanted to share it with my friends and family.


The Symonds Family has a long-standing tradition of trying our hardest to keep Christ in Christmas. Every year, when I wrap packages, even though I sign them, “from Blessings.” This year is no different from any other. It has been full of miracles, exciting changes and new babies. It has also been a year of great loss. Because of that great loss, I am more grateful than ever before this Christmas for the gift of the Savior, the atonement for my sins and eternal life.

The Savior gave his life and in doing so gave us the greatest gift of all time, the gift of more time.  I am grateful for eternal life, and with that another chance to hug lost family members and be a friend to those we lost this year. Good-bye Maggie, Mark, Mike and Tryg for now, only for now. 

Here is a wonderful family version of the The True Story of Christmas: The Nativity by This is how I pictured the Savior. He smiles, he touches everyone he blesses. I believe it was his arms that welcomed my friends home.

With every year our family grows. Fisher Symonds weighed in this year at 10 pounds. Joe is proud and Lindsay is amazing. Maya calls him, “my Fisher.” He is a typical Symonds, big and content.


The Symonds also have another long-standing tradition. It is the tradition of believing in miracles. We pay our tithing, do our best and trust. This year, Scott opened his business doors full-time and thanks to our generous and beloved Seaside has been busy. He continued to teach at the college and loves each and every student.

the jeep

Erin and I have been writing. Together and separately we have published 184 pieces this year for Deseret Digital Media’s I also published a few for Hilary Weeks website

For my day job, I am working at Providence for the best boss I have ever had. I have the privilege of working with people I truly love. I love my job. They let me write on the walls!


Yesterday, Scott cut a hole in a wall for me, and I will be setting up a full-time art studio so I can paint more often.

This year Scott Donated a 300 dollar detail from the “Scottys Can Do Shop” to the Providence Seaside Festival of the trees.


Our Christmas Miracle will be all 6 children coming home for Christmas. I believe it is the first time in almost 5 years. Time for another torturous family photo, right guys?! (Don’t tell them about the picture or they won’t show up.)

Time for a new photo! shhhh

Just a quick run down of the Symonds kids for the year:


Erin and Mark bought a beautiful new home in Farmington Utah.


Jamie and Alan finally came home to Seaside. Jamie has her own little studio and is painting and doing woodwork. Alan is landscaping.

Jamie and Alan

Joe and Lindsay had Fisher. Joseph finished Lineman’s School and Joe is working near Salem. He will commute.


Joel is recovering from a tumor removed from his foot and in the Army in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That is Charlotte holding him up. She is living in Longview and we love having her visit! Hope we see you for Christmas Charlotte.

joel charlotte

Jodi and Becca have rented an adorable house and Jodi got a job this year working for the Department of Human Services – Child Welfare (like her Mama). AND guess who can cook! Jodi is an amazing cook!

jodi thanksgiving

Trish is just finishing a term of School while trying to be a Mom. Oh soo hard! Russell is about to start in January. They rented a cute house and he works in a Potato Chip Factory.


So just to leave you smiling. Here is a little movie from my funny sister Sara. She always makes me laugh and smile.


P.S. Next year…..Temple Square in December. Start saving kids!

Stones, Storms and Atonement

Mark 4:39

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind,

and said unto the sea,aPeace, be still.

And the wind ceased, and there was a great bcalm.”

Today when I rose to run, I was running into the wind. I thought how like my life this storm was. Some days are blue sky and soft breezes and others I am running into the wind and rain. The storms feel like they will push me to my knees.

On days like this when I run, I try to remember that I never run alone. Sometimes I catch myself looking to my left and smiling. I hope I am always on the right side of the Lord. I know he knows my heart and cares for it. When life is the perfect storm I know I never run alone.

One of my favorite stories begins when the Savior walks into the perfect storm. In John Chapter 8.

 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

 5 Now Moses in the alaw commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger awrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without asin among you, let him bfirstcast a cstone at her.

 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their ownaconscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do Iacondemn thee: go, and bsin no cmore.

 12 ¶Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the alight of the world: he that followeth me shall not bwalk in cdarkness, but shall have the light of life.

I choose the light. 

Only one person knew the woman who lay on the ground. Only one person knew her heart and he stood between her and the stones. He loved her, he protected her and invited her to go and sin no more. He didn’t say the sin or whatever was happening in her life was acceptable. He forgave her, loved her, protected her and later atoned for her sins.

He is the great example.

The question I asked myself this morning is what will I do with the stones that come into my life. When all my world is a storm. When I find myself laying on the ground will I remember the Savior is beside me? Will I remember, when anger is blowing my way that I need not cover my head, because he will stand between me and the stones?

What will I do with the stones that are meant for me? Will I pick them up, the angry words, the gossip, the hurt and carry them with me, heavy on my soul? Or will I hurl them back at those I believe threw them? I hope I can hand them to the Savior who offers to carry all the burdens I cannot.

I hope I remember to be thankful. He stands between me and all the storms and stones of life.

I ran six miles today. At the half way point I turned around and tried to see the storm and the story from the other side.

What if I am like the Pharisees? Am I the one carrying stones and waiting for my chance to storm, to throw them and the hurl accusations at others? Do I create a heavier burden for the Savior? If I had a rock in my hand right now would someone’s name be written on it?

I ran home on the beach and thought about all the stones I needed to leave in the sand. I realized that in my life there are stones that I will never fully understand and I can only let them rest in the Savior’s wounded hand.

Storms come and go in my life. This one will pass. I will run and you will see me. Watch as every once in a while I look over my left shoulder hoping I am still on the right side of the Lord.

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