She goes around in circles 'til she's very, very dizzy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Prodigal Daughter's Sister

You may have seen a link to and/or read this post, titled 'The Prodigal Daughter', on Facebook recently. I was introduced to it earlier this week and haven't been able to forget it since. It is an open letter to all Mormons  requesting that they "let people be happy if they are happy".

Great. I couldn't agree more. No argument here.

My concern comes in when a request to avoid unfair judgment, in a not unusual twist of irony, seems to cast judgment on those are purportedly the perpetrators. I have a funny feeling that the negative talk she refers to was not meant negatively at all. I have a feeling that it was said/written out of love and concern and was internalized negatively, for whatever reason.

So in a completely unoriginal fashion, I will attempt to respond to her letter while hopefully maintaining an air of respect but polite disagreement.

Dear "Mormon",
(I add quotation marks not to offend, but simply to reiterate your own statements regarding being a prodigal daughter and living your version of Mormonism.)

First off, I don't believe that there are 'versions' of Mormonism. There is doctrine. There is a prophet and there is modern-day revelation. These things are truths. They are immutable and immovable.

There are, however, definitely different versions of Mormon (aka. Latter-day Saint). It has been said often that we are not part of a perfect church, because it is filled with imperfect people. "If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ... then here you will find [it]." 

When I thought about writing this, my heart was hurting too. This post is about the things we say to fellow Mormons who we visibly observe and personally know are struggling and unhappy, even as they insist they aren't. I also come from a place of love and concern for the many I know who are living at your same level of Mormonism. And I also speak on behalf of a population of Mormons, whose love and concern may be misconstrued as negative and hurtful. They are also praying that you will eventually listen.

It is hard to love those who have a different perspective than your own. Especially when they disregard and disvalue something that you know to be of IMMENSE importance. (Immense not being even close to an adequate enough word here.) Your well-meaning friend's sadness and disappointment is the same sadness and disappointment I feel when I read about the choices you have made after experiencing what you have experienced and knowing what you know. Or at least what you have undoubtedly heard during your time in the temple.

And you're right, to a certain extent, it is none of our business. But to another extent, this person (who you openly claim as your friend) does have a right to her opinion. An opinion that she felt was too important to keep to herself. Because it affects someone she obviously cares for. Someone who she undoubtedly worries and prays for. Someone who loves you enough to tell you what she's feeling, even though she knew it might hurt you.

You don't have to answer to anyone. Well, except God of course. And I in no way wish to demean your ability to receive personal revelation. However, I have been to the temple and I know the sacred promise that is made regarding the holy garment. Not promise, covenant. It is one thing to break a promise that you made to your best friend when you were 12 to never-ever-ever take off your BFF bracelets. But it is another thing entirely to break a sacred covenant with God to never, NEVER stop wearing your garments. No one is asking you to divulge your very personal reasons for doing so. We also fear being misunderstood and judged. But we ask you to understand that we are trying to come to terms with a decision you have made that concerns us very deeply. I do not know you, nor have I ever met you, but I'm sure I feel the same heartbreak your friend feels. And I admire her courage in trying to express that to you. I know I'm not that brave.

It is never our intention to make anyone feel that they have fallen off the path or are out of the club. It is not 'us against them' or 'us against you'. But it is hard to turn a blind eye to something that you know will have eternal consequences in a person's life. One of my favorite quotes says, "Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." Is it not possible that what you perceive as offensive only seems that way because you have made it so? No one can cause you offense unless you let them. You decide how you internalize what they say and how it makes you feel. It may be hard, but it is so possible.

But here is the real meat of what I have to say: you have used the terms happiness and true happiness. You say that you can have both without dedication to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And it might surprise you to hear that I agree with you. I believe that you, specifically you, can feel true happiness in your new clothes and your new boyfriend and your Starbucks coffee. And I hope you do. However, I know that it is a happiness that cannot last. And I'm not talking about just this life. You have said that Mormonism is very important to you, so I assume that you believe in a life after this. Will the happiness you feel now last for eternity?.. Will your clothes or your choice of drink matter then? I can tell you one thing with a surety, if your present relationship turns into a common-law marriage, that will most definitely end with death without the blessings of the temple sealing.

I am not here to determine your level of dedication to the gospel. And I am very truly sorry if people have said things to you that have hurt you deeply. But what is an appropriate time to voice our concern? This isn't a subject that we feel can wait or is better left unsaid. If it comes to a choice between never saying anything or possibly hurting your feelings, I will always choose the latter. Because testifying of truth is always the right thing to do. I'm sure you know that.

So here are some interesting questions: What if you/they are 'looking for more' in all the wrong places? Or better yet, don't know what you/they are looking for more? It is not our place to answer either of those questions for anyone. But it is our duty to assume that it might be a possibility and to try to relate and respond accordingly.

Seems these days that no one can step out their front door without feeling 'judged'. "You're judging me." "I feel judged that you assume that I'm judging you." "Now you're judging me for thinking that you judged me??!" And so on and so forth for ever and ever. Your 'confront' may be my 'approach'. Your 'gossip' may be my 'hopeful discussion'. Your 'offensive' may be my 'truthful'. Your 'judgment' may be my 'loving concern'. Take everything with a grain of salt and you will always be happier.

And now I am actually going to quote you "Mormon", "If someone you love is sincerely struggling, the successful way to help them is to let them know that you are there, that you will never judge them or think less of them for their decisions but rather love and listen. Tell them this and that you are not going anywhere. You will be better and they will feel loved." But I will also add my own addendum: And when the time is right and you feel inspired, testify to them of what you know to be true and of eternal importance, without saying "you are wrong" or "this is a mistake". It may be Mormon cliché, but it is entirely possible to love someone and not their choices. It is our job to tenderly share what we have learned and believe with everything we are, regardless of its reception. You are the master of your fate. You can decide if you want it to make you feel abandoned or loved.

I hope those around you never stop sharing what they hold to be true. And I hope you will always try to receive it with more understanding than offense. I don't view your path as a downgrade from mine. As I know you don't view mine as superior to your own. Finding Mormonism isn't the final level, exaltation and eternal happiness with God is.

Many people are hurting, it's true. But the source of their hurt is up for debate. Life is hard, and the only thing you really need is happiness. And true happiness may take many forms. But I feel so blessed to know that happiness, eternal happiness, comes through living a Christ-like life and living worthily of entering His holy house.

I am happy that you feel happy now. And I can accept that your definition of true happiness is different. But I refuse to give up hope that one day you, and everyone else for that matter, will come to find eternal happiness. And that is not found in karaoke and burgers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Corinner-elly Creations

It's me again, Corinner-elly.

You know, sometimes I feel bad for letting this blog die off, but then I have to remind myself that every person goes through phases in their life, whether they realize it or not. And just because my priorities and interests have changed doesn't mean that the ol' blog and I didn't have a good run together.

And it's not like it's really dead, right? I mean, here I am, still posting.

Hopefully its content has drifted away from my snarky & sarcastic teenage years to something with a bit more substance. Where I can memorialize thoughts and events in my life without forgetting to always find the humor. Because I think if I didn't laugh, I might cry. And I much prefer to laugh.

I'm sure you may have noticed that I recently began a small business via Etsy as a designer specializing in artistic services and graphic design. And based on responses (such as 'what's that Corinner-elly thing I keep seeing') received, I've come to determine that there is some confusion surrounding the matter.

But to begin, I need to go further back. Much further back. To a time when I wasn't Corinner-elly. I was just Rin. (Rinner. Rinnerroo. Rinnerroo-roo. Crin. Crinner. Corinner. Take your pick.)

I've always been proud of being talented. (Is that bad to say?..) Not in a 'I'm better than you' sort of way. Just in an 'everyone likes to be noticed' sort of way. And being able to do many things and do them well gave me the attention that every person seeks.

And so it was that one afternoon, I was home with my family and found myself bombarded with requests to help multiple people with multiple projects all within a manner of minutes. Teasingly, a family member (I can't for the life of me remember who?) burst into song "Corinner-elly, Corinner-elly. Night and day it's 'Corinner-elly'... She goes around in circles 'til she's very, very dizzy. Still they holler 'Keep a-busy Corinner-elly!'" (A variation of the Work Song from the Disney animated classic Cinderella.)

Thus, Corinner-elly came to be. (Funny I've never explained that before. Years down the road and many, MANY blog posts later.) I subsequently started a blog, because I love to write, and I loved the reaction it got. And presently carried the name over to my business: Corinner-elly Creations. I thought it only fitting, considering I am Corinner-elly (or at least, my talented side is), and I love to create!

A little over a year later, and I still can't believe how excited I am every time an order comes in! I have always known that I wanted to be home with my children, but I also knew that I wanted to have a means of bringing in additional income and keeping my creative mind busy. I dabbled with industries such as interior design and professional organizing, but they didn't seem to fit. And I certainly never loved my work.

Which is why it is so relieving to finally have found my professional calling. For those of you who are still scratching your heads as to what it is I actually DO, let me explain.

My shop ( is divided into various sections such as Announcement/Invitation, Artwork, Wall Art, Clipart, Stationery, etc. A large portion of my listings are announcements and invitations that can be customized to include a customer's desired information. They are given the opportunity to request unlimited edits until they are 100% happy with the finished product. I then send them the high-resolution JPEG file via an Etsy conversation where they may save it to their computer and print as many copies as they'd like from the print location of their choice.

However, a large majority of my orders come in the form of custom orders where a customer requests an entirely new design based off examples they send -OR- of my own creation from the direction they give. I have had orders come in from all over the world, sourced from an Etsy search or from my listings in Facebook groups.

I also feature some of my past artwork and will feature many future pieces (if my husband has his way) in the form of digital files that can be printed and displayed at the purchaser's discretion. In addition to printable wall art.

I also list the design elements I've created in the form of clipart PNG files that can be downloaded and used instantly. This comes in handy for other graphic designers as well as digital scrapbookers, etc.

Additionally, I offer my design services in the form of logo/wordmark and business card creation. Basically, if you need something designed, whether it be a paper good or digital file, I'm your girl.

You'll find that my shop is constantly evolving. I add listings and sections periodically as my portfolio grows. I am always up for a challenge and have confidence that I can create whatever it is that you are needing, in a timely manner with unlimited patience should my customer be undecided or especially detail oriented.

If you've found this post intriguing and would like to follow my business, please 'like' my Facebook page at I so love sharing my talents with the world and find immense satisfaction in my work.

Even if I end up "[going] around in circles 'til [I'm] very, very dizzy. [Hope you'll] holler 'Keep a-busy Corinner-elly!'"

Monday, January 12, 2015


Growing up, kids my age went through a variety of 'must-have' crazes. There was the year of the Skip-It, Pokemon trading cards, gel pens, pogs and trick yo-yos to name a few.

But perhaps the most memorable/favorite toy peer-pressured purchase of adolescence was my yellow kitty Giga Pet. After jealously watching my BFs with their adorable little pixelated monkeys and puppies, I couldn't wait to play mommy to my own little digital baby.

I'm sure I spent that entire first day with my eyes glued to the screen. Feeding her little fish heads, playing with the yarn ball, giving her medicine, putting her to sleep, etc., etc., etc. By that first night, I was convinced that I was the best virtual pet parent the world had ever seen.

Lovingly, I placed her on the shelf above my bed, already excited to get her out again in the morning and show her off to my friends. Smiling, I nestled in and started to drift when..


My eyes popped open. "Huh, she must not be sleepy yet. Better check on her." Apparently kitty still wanted to play. "Go to sleep", I told her.

Convinced that was the end of that, I settled down again, ready for an un-interrupted 8-hours of dreamy bliss before school the next day.

"BEEP." I pretended it hadn't happened. You know, cry-it-out method. "BEEP. BEEP."

A hint of concern crept into the corner of my mind. Why was she still beeping at me?? Once again, I patiently activated her screen to find that she was dancing around a steaming Hershey kiss. So as any good parent would, I begrudgingly cleaned up her mess, determined that this HAD to be the end of it.

I once again laid back down, with the covers wrapped a little more tightly around my ears perhaps, and made it a full five minutes before.. "BEEEEEP."

Frantically, I sat-up. And did what any other loving mother would do: started bawling.

It didn't take long for my own mother to arrive on the scene (quite confusedly, I'm sure) and eventually deduce my hysterics stemmed from a new toy that 'WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE AND WOULDN'T STOP BEEPING ALREADY!'

"For goodness sakes!" she responded, "Don't leave it by your bed at night then!"

"Oh.." I instantly calmed. "Why didn't I think of that?"

Fast-forward 15 years, and I'm a new mom to a brand-spanking-new little 7 lb. 15 oz. ball of adorableness. I had loved being pregnant, feeling all of her little kicks and wiggles and constantly carrying around my little best friend with me.

And my delivery had been wonderful, with the nurses insisting that I 'had to be at least a 1 or a 2 on a pain scale of 10' when I insisted that I was really a 0.

So there I sat in our little hospital room, once the visitors had subsided and the day had become night. I knew exactly what to do. I had been labeled the baby whisperer repeatedly over the preceding decade or so. I couldn't count the number of times I had played 'mom' to my 20+ nieces and nephews, and there wasn't a one of them that I couldn't calm to sleep within minutes.

I cradled my sweet baby (still so surreal to say), nursed her to sleep and lovingly placed her in her plastic, inclined nursery bassinet, already excited to get her out again in the morning and show her off to my friends. Smiling, I nestled in and started to drift when..


My eyes popped open. "Huh, she must not be sleepy yet. Better check on her." Apparently Tiny still wanted to play. "Go to sleep", I told her.

Convinced that was the end of that, I settled down again, ready for an un-interrupted 4-5 hours of dreamy bliss before she needed to eat again.


A hint of concern crept into the corner of my mind. Why was she still crying at me?? Once again, I patiently re-swaddled, bounced and carefully deposited her in her cradle, determined that this HAD to be the end of it. I didn't even make it back to my hospital bed before she once again protested. My mind immediately scanned for possible solutions.

The husband was presently snoring, wedged in his little chair pull-out bed, dead to the world. I could sense he would not be a viable option.

So as any good parent would, I swallowed my pride and called for help. Before giving birth, I had so naively assumed that I would keep her by my side at all times during our stay. It surprised me how quickly I was ready to send her off for a bunch of strangers to take care of in the nursery.

Two-days later, we are home. The endorphin high has worn off, leaving in its place exhaustion. Our little Tiny's nursery is no where near completion, and she's decided she hates sleeping alone in the pack-n-play in our room. Time loses all meaning as I groggily try to find a solution that will get her to sleep for, please-o-please, at least a few hours.

I eventually give in and put her in the bed between us. It only takes a few hours of this before I drive myself crazy with worry that one of us will smother her or that she will roll over and smother herself in our plush pillow top. I stumble around upstairs, trying to find the bouncy seat that I pray will be the solution to this problem and fall down the stairs in my stupor.

This has to be one of the 2nd or 3rd worst nights of my life.

By the time dawn is cresting over the mountains, the husband is awoken to our baby's pitiful cries and my own inconsolable sobs as I repeat, "I can't keep doing this! I'm going crazy!!"

And then, as if through time and space, I remembered.. this had happened to me once before. And I had received some very sage advice at the time, advice that I need to once again employ.

"For goodness sakes!" I could hear my mother saying, "Don't leave her by your bed at night then!"

"Oh.." I abashedly remembered. "Why didn't I think of that?"

And so it was that Tiny's nursery was completed in a whirlwind, and I learned the hard (very, very hard) honest truth about motherhood. Not only did she wake up every 3-4 hours, at best, it took at least an hour to keep her awake for a full feeding, change her, rock her and get her back to sleep (sometimes easier said than done) before it would all start again 1-2 hours later.

I had thought I knew everything about being a mother. I'm embarrassed to look back and remember it. In the past, I had felt jealously upon hearing of a new mother and her precious bundle, but my experience has wisened me.

Now when I hear of a new baby, I instantly pray for their mother. I have to bite my tongue at baby showers, debating between laying the whole horrible truth on them and letting them be innocently optimistic for a little while longer. And when I do share a few hard to swallow details, I remind them that I do so 'not to scare them.. to prepare them'.

And finish with the best news of all: in a few short- (hah!) hellishly long weeks, their baby will start to sleep through the night. Then they will see that first newborn smile, hear that first baby laugh, feel that first toddler hug and have the best (very, VERY best!) feeling in the whole entire world.

It's now been a little over a year, and I can hardly remember those tear-filled days and endless nights. They are but a post on my Timehop app and twinkle in my eye.

Now, every morning after a solid 12-hour nighttime slumber (woop!), I can't wait to burst in her room and scoop my not-so-Tiny-any-more up and thank God that I am so blessed to be her mom.

And someday, when she begs to have the latest digital pet (in HD, I'm sure), I'll knowingly smile and remember.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Matter of Fact.

I've taken on a new title.
I've decided to become a 'self-proclaimed truth authority'.

What this means is that every time you or one of your friends or one of my relatives decides to 'Facebook spam' an image claiming some outrageous statement to be true, I feel morally obligated to debunk fact from fallacy. And then to make sure they are fully aware of their naivety. Out of love, mind you.

For instance, remember a few months back when a photo of 'pink slime' seemed to be circulating rather rapidly?..

The accompanying word blurb described how this 'pink slime' was mechanically separated chicken that is used in all processed chicken products. It went on to relate that "basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve - bones, eyes, guts and all. [Then] it comes out looking like this."

But wait! There's more! Apparently "because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaking in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be re-flavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color."

Lastly, the author concludes in the most sarcastically ridiculous way possibly, "But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?"

Okay, first off, yes. Yes it does. It tastes amazingly delicious, in fact.

Second, let's take it easy with the commas and the 'thens' lady.
(I only assume it's a lady. Most likely because the Facebook friend who shared it was also a lady and also impossible to reason with.)

Next, let's just think about this for a second.. You really believe that your chicken nugget is the result of a whole chicken being smooshed through a strainer at some unnamed factory??

How about we check our facts before we start alarming the masses.

I, for one, find it a good rule of thumb to reference anytime I come across information that seems even the slightest bit fishy. Some will claim that the site isn't always correct, but I would much rather risk the unlikely instance of a few minor errors than to blindly believe anything that I read on the Internet.

And so, do you want to know the truth about 'pink slime'? It's exactly this: a process is used to mechanically separate small pieces of meat from bone that would otherwise be wasted. These edible meat tissue scraps are then processed and sanitized in order to keep them from growing harmful bacteria. So basically... 'pink slime' is food that isn't being wasted and is kept germ free so that it's safe for us to eat.


I'm not saying that you should therefore love processed meat. And I'm not saying that in it's most common fried forms is the healthiest thing you can eat.

What I am saying is that you shouldn't always believe everything you read.

Another example that both amused and infuriated me at the same time was a link claiming that cut onions absorb bacteria, making them extremely effective in reducing illness. Just think, all these years I never knew that I could chop up a few onions and scatter them around the house if I wanted to avoid getting the flu! Wonders never cease!

And then as if that weren't enough, it went on to claim that "it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day [because] it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning."

Interesting... because I've cut and stored onions for quite sometime now, and I've never died a horrible, agonizing death from doing so.. Must have an iron stomach or something.

That, or I'M INVINCIBLE. Yep. Probably that.

And just in case you weren't convinced by that myriad of blatant lies, it ends by warning that "...dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions. Please pass this on to all you love and care about." If that's not a 'forward or you will die tomorrow' phrase, I don't know what is..

What's interesting is that the basis of these allegations are usually true. Onions can create adverse side affects when fed to canines. But then they throw in phrases like 'highly poisonous' and 'bones, guts and all' to scare the average reader into feeling so horrified and repulsed that they can't help but share it with their easily fooled friends.

Which explains nearly ALL of the incorrect truths I was taught growing up. Granted, my dad did like making up answers just for fun, but my mom is still convinced that aspartame and MSG are going to single-handedly destroy the world.

But perhaps my favorite example of Facebook foolishness is the image of someone (there have been several) holding a winning lottery ticket and claiming that they will give portions of it to a few lucky 'winners' that re-post/like the image.

Come on people.. Is gullible written on the ceiling?..

And then there are those rare but refreshing instances where I research a claim and find it to be true. Surprisingly enough, some of these posts (we're talking a VERY small percentage here) are actually fact-based. Take Capri Sun for example.

The post claimed that the fruit pouches grew mold and that several children confused the fermentation with what they believed to be 'worms'. And while that obviously isn't the case, it is possible for the drink to go bad.  Just like any other food. Especially if the pouch were to be punctured due to neglect by the owner.

And just like an expired block of cheese or a moldy loaf of bread, it is not typically medically dangerous to ingest. Disgusting, yes. Life-threatening, no.

So here's what I suggest:

Think twice before spreading the claim that an entire t-bone steak can be dissolved when submerged in Coke for a 24-hour period. If that were the case, your stomach and/or intestines wouldn't stand a chance.

And don’t annoy people by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who's been tied to a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only chance of living is the 5 cents per letter he'll receive if you re-post this image.

Now share this with everyone you know.
Otherwise you'll find all your socks missing tomorrow morning.


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