"Opening the Sky" is about seeing yourself and others without boundaries--trying to enlarge your heart to all peoples of this world. I try to write about those who have faint voices--children, people with disabilities, and those who live in more unknown places.

I am currently an expat in China, but have lived all over the world. San Diego, California was my first home so water and skies touch deep currents in my heart. I am the oldest of nine children, which is, I guess, why I love to be around large gatherings of people. I enjoy music, art museums, books, nature, humanitarian service, cooking, and exercising. I have been a teacher, editor, writer, and worked in refugee camps in the Philippines and Thailand under the auspices of the UNHCR. I served a mission to Taiwan and then was asked to start some educational programs with refugees in Southeast Asia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The experiences in Asia completely altered my life forever--teaching me to "serve with no strings attached" and to be aware of "the one." I have lived in seven countries, speak Mandarin, and some Spanish. I went to Brigham Young University, and then to New York University for graduate school.

I am the mother of seven children. Our last child was diagnosed with autism when he was three. Another young son died a few hours after birth so I have known some towering joys and stumbling sorrows (as we all do). Although I have traveled widely, my favorite place in the world is where my family is gathered--that is my home. In 2014 our family moved across the world to Doha, Qatar, and now we live in China. These treks have struck some lightening bolts in my more formerly predictable life, but the move is stretching, probing, teaching me–painting more light into my sky.

I try to live with the philosophy that unexpected light and discoveries are around every corner to be explored--in people, places, and life lessons. My blog chronicles how I am learning the art of possibilities--what I grasp from having a son with autism, traveling to remote places, learning languages and the cello in my 50's, loving people who were unknown in my previous territories. The journey is grand, scenic, boundless. I want to find ways to part the clouds and fog that occasionally drifts through--opening new horizons.

People fascinate me, and unfailingly, repeatedly teach me things I thought I already knew. In this blog I want to convey that in this world there are staggeringly remarkable people who can surprise us with their wisdom, compassion, and courage. Currently, I am in a front row seat to so many different faiths, cultures, opinions. Being an expat has given me a new lens to see and understand. One of my favorite poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay sums up my feelings well, and is the reason I ever decided to write a blog called "Opening the Sky:"
The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through
But East and West will pinch the heart
That cannot keep them pushed apart.
I would love to hear how you are trying to "Open Your Sky" wherever you are in this world. Thanks for dropping in....


  1. Beautiful, inspiring, and motivating! What a gift of pen and prompting that led you to the broad and bountiful vistas both of heart and mind. The completeness, the circle of life you richly fertilized the souls of each of your children! And not to overlook the medical mind of your husband who envisioned the round dining table that clearly was therapeutic for your dear son with Autism who might have otherwise been inclined to recluse. Much admiration, Love, Allison Prival

  2. This is a beautifully written blog! Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences.

  3. Wow, what a blessing your words are. I agree with ALL you are sharing and hopefully, look forward to more thoughts. Much Love Ali (in Australia )