Happy Birthday

I am so incredibly grateful for my Uncle Pete and Aunt Michelle. Not just because they are the best sort of people, who make you feel loved unconditionally, and not just because Michelle is the greatest hostess on the planet, but because they now reside in the beautiful metropolis of Cheyenne, WY. The perfect break in a road trip between the SLC and the paradise that is Kearney, Ne.

I LOVE my Uncle Pete and Aunt Michelle so so much. Which is why I loved spending time with Michelle this trip, but was sad that my Uncle Pete was working nights. He arrived home at like 4 or 5 in the morning so when Katy and I were up and leaving at 8 he got up for a second to say hello-goodbye:

ME: Unlce Pete! You have to be so tired. You shouldn't be getting up just because we are here.
P: Well I am going right back to bed I just wanted to say hey.
P: Well...Happy Birthday.... Wait that's not it... Um what is it? Oh yeah. Merry Christmas.

The poor guy was so tired. On the way back we got to visit with him for a few more minutes. I was grateful for whatever time he had though, and that he crawled out of bed so tired, to wish us Happy Birthday.

Comment Moderation

Due to some recently made comments using language that I feel is not appropriate for this content, I will now be moderating all comments on my blog. Don't worry I will still be getting your comments it may just take a few hours for them to appear on the blog itself.

I love comments so keep them coming! It provides some validation, other than my stat counter, that someone is listening.

To the nasty person who has left inappropriate comments: If you don't like who and what I am please simply stop reading my blog.


Random thoughts... while I freeze to death.

1. The open mouth chewer came into my office this morning. Eating an apple. Chomp chomp chomp went his OPEN mouth. While I was sprayed with apple juice and pieces. Really? He has to realize how awful that is. HE HAS to! Right? I know there could be worse things, but AARRRGHH!

2. Katy and I love road tripping because it is always an adventure. OH BOY did we get our adventure this time. I should have known the GPS was wrong when we passed the sign that said "No winter maintenance." Ha but I didn't want to turn around and go back 20 miles to the freeway.  So an hour and 2 lumber jacks later we are back on the road. I intend to blog this entire story later when I have my pictures. Sadly there were no pictures taken of the lumber jacks who came to our rescue.

3. Why do I ALWAYS get the Christmas flu? This year I was the only one! Sucky!

4. I love being home and this year it was made extra great because both of my littlest sibs were extra sweet and cuddly. All I want to do it hold them and normally they don't let me. This time they crawled up into my lap every chance they got. LOVED IT!  I also got to give my Logan boy lots of cuddle time. He loves to cuddle which I think is great, I am always a willing cuddler.

5. I am currently freezing to death and can't wait to leave work, make a fantastic dinner, read a good book, and be warm the rest of the night.

6. I miss my sibs already. I am dreading the idea of us all growing up and getting big girl/boy jobs all over the country. I want to be able to spend time with any of them any old time I want. I am so blessed by the siblings I have been given. Each and every one of them. I can't wait to meet Caleb, due next month, I am sure he will be great, but he has some pretty stiff competition.



I had an interesting experience recently.

There is a new guy in my ward who Served in the Omaha, NE mission. He even spent a small period of time in the Kearney ward. Before he knew who I was related to in the ward we chatted about people. I asked him for general impressions of people... and he gave them to me.

It was interesting to hear this stranger praise the people I love the most and try to avoid talking about the ones I think make life difficult for the rest. I gave him no leading questions. He didn't know whom in the ward I was related to. He had no invested emotions based on being related to someone or having this or that history. Just one outsider in The Lord's Service observing a group of people and their dynamic.

I never want to be that person who is known throughout the area as poison.


New Jersey, The greatest place on earth

My boss the other day asked me why anyone in the world would want to live in New Jersey when they could live right here with the Rockies out their back door. Well I have an answer for him.

In New Jersey we have the best Fall foliage, because we actually have trees, lots of them. And you don't have to drive up the canyon to see them.

EVERY road you travel down will look like this.

Because we have Diversity. Because I got to experience a myriad of cultures in my home town. And they can all cook! Italians, Greeks, and Puerto Ricans are a few of my favorites.

Because we have cheesesteaks (real ones), with salt and vinegar fries

Because even the ladies in my high school cafeteria could make a better meatball sub than any I've had since.
And let us not forget. You can get a real honest to goodness cannoli. And you have more than one option.

In my great state you are never more than a quick drive from sacred ground such as:
Valley Forge


Or Independence Hall

Because you'll pass ten of these road side stand on your way home and you'll never have a better tomato than a fresh Jersey Tomato.

Because in New Jersey you can pick your own Blueberries. (You haven't had a blueberry unless you've picked your own)

And you never have to pump your own gas.
Because we have this

And this

And not as much of this as you might think. However, this does look like it could be a picture from my Senior trip. (But these guys are from New York)

Because you picture NJ like this...

 But it's more like this
And this

And this. (I worked here)

So all I suppose I really want to say it that I hate the sterotypes. Don't say you hate something until you have experienced it. I'll take any of you home with me and you will meet the best people, see the best sights, and eat the very best food.


Insulting My Mom

To me insulting someone's preferred genre of music is like insulting their mom. Just don't do it. Music is so important to people. Music is so powerful. If you insult it you are insulting a little piece of them.

In my case it feels even more like you are insulting my mom because part of the reason I love the genre I do, is because growing up my mom always had the radio on. Those songs have become the soundtrack of almost every good memory I have of her.

I vent a lot about this, I know, but recently it has come to my attention that these same people are now fond of making fun of where I am from. Like there is nothing good in Nebraska. It is my home and almost everything I love is tucked away in that beautiful state. My dad grew up In Battle Mountain, NV and deals with the same things. He knows and loves the good people, the desert, and the memories he created there. So why is it okay to make fun of it in front of him?

Then you have my poor mother from Ogden, UT... Don't even get me started about people's opinions of that place.

In the end it seems that these expressed opinions only make me feel that they are simply closed minded. If you can't fathom one good thing about places, cultures, even styles that are different than yours then my heart is sad for you. There is good, beauty, and something to love in all things. You are limiting yourself and missing out.

Please be kind.

**There will be a post to follow on The Garden State which is also my home and the subject of much criticism made by those who have no idea what they are talking about.  i. e. My boss (Who I like anyway)


Happy B-Day Mom!

I almost forgot to do a Happy Birthday Post for my BEST friend!

I've gone on and on in earlier posts about my mom and how wonderful she is. So my birthday ode to mom will be about something I have learned recently.

My mom loved horses, and restoring cars, and John Wayne movies. I wanted nothing more growing up, than to be what she wanted me to be. I assumed that what she wanted me to be was someone that encompassed all the things she loved. What I have come to realize is that her kids were the things she loved the most and she wanted us to be US.

Forever I tried to like what she liked. When I wanted to watch My Fair Lady instead of  practicing barrels I was sure she was disappointed in me. I loved my horse, I did. But I loved other things too. What I didn't realize until later was that she was trying just as hard to like and be interested in the things I was interested in.

I now have my own taste, style, likes, loves, and dislikes. But I know that is okay because my mom taught me that who I am is exactly who she loves. I have the ability to be the nomad I am, to take risks, to develop into me because my parents, that's right both of them, have given me a safe place to land, unconditional love and support. I will be forever grateful for parents who gave me the freedom to be just like them... with a twist!


One time in college my good friend Linds tripped and instead of catching herself she decided to protect her Diet Coke. Around the same time we had a mutual friend who performed a similar feat in order to preserve her sandwich. Both had Band-Aids on both knees, but the joy of good food and essential drink.

The other day I had the meatball sub at the Mediterranean market. When I say it was to die for I only ALMOST meant it. I think if I was shot in the GROIN I would head off to the hospital and get my sandwich another time. But who knows until you are in the situation. Maybe I should find out in which exact deli this man picked up a sandwich that was worth risking his life for.


J: So do you have any fun plans this weekend?
Me: I am going to sit at home in stretchy pants and work on Christmas presents.
J: So you aren't going to go out and eat anywhere new and fun?
Me: No, that is how you end up in stretchy pants.

A random selection

1. I think we are driving home for Christmas. I am VERY excited for the adventure! Current weather prediction for I-80 that day is heavy snow. Should be a good time!

2. This morning I had an apple as part of a well balanced breakfast and it tasted like a carrot. Suspish. I wonder if God is trying to sneak veggies into my meal? That would be ridiculous though because we both know I LOVE veggies, just not in my breakfast apple.

3. Someone has a crush on me. This is great because he isn't creepy and he didn't go for Katy first. It is fun to talk to him and listen to him trip over himself. I know that sounds mean but I am so used to being on the other side of the coin. This side is more fun!

4. I am making all my Christmas presents this year. I have about half of them done and I think they will be better than store bought. I put a lot of thought into each of them and a lot of time.


Cancer makes my heart hurt

Cancer seems to be effecting more and more people in my life. More than half of my best friends have lost a parent to cancer at a very young age.

My old seminary teacher was JUST diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and the dad of one of my good friends here locally was just diagnosed and is also already stage 4. My heart is breaking for these families.

One of my favorite roommates from college fought cancer, went into remission and went on a mission. Fought it again, went into remission and got married. She has just now gone into remission again. People my age should be having babies and planning their future. Not fighting cancer.

Is my perception just changing or are more and more people's lives affected by cancer? It makes my heart hurt to see what it is doing to the lives of so many people I love.

Maybe I should wear more sunscreen...


Talent Shows

As our ward talent show is forth coming and we have been discussing it in ward counsel I can't help thinking about past talent shows. To me a talent show is just an excuse to get up and make a fool of yourself in front of the ward. It is always a good time for those of us who are simply observers.

Some of my favorite talent show moments:

* When Ren sang Captain Vegtable and dressed up!
* When a girl in college put on a Santa hat and sang "Santa Baby" to the Bishop while doing a slightly inappropriate dance.
* When one of the Rich boys demonstrated his nunchuck skills and accidentally let go of one and it went flying across the stage to where the small children were watching with wide eyes. 
* When a group of boys sang The Eagles classic "Lying Eyes."
* When a girl in my ssingles ward did her talent as being able to name what episode of Stargate was being shown in the first ten seconds.
*When a girl did interpretive dance and her roommates switched the tape to a Muppet song last second.
* When Brother Sama dressed up as a woman and danced around while his wife and daughter sang The Oak Ridge Boys classic "Elvira."

If you think I am being mean, the above list should show you that, yes indeed talent shows are for people to make fools of themselves for the entertainment of others. I LOVE THEM! Can't wait to add to the list after the 18th Ward Talent Show!


People are Crazy

I think people are crazy who tell you to live every day like it was your last. 
Because if today was MY last day I would certainly call into work and say something like 
"Uh hey guys. I'm gonna be kinda busy today.. 
and um I won't be in tomorrow because it looks like I have dying on my schedule sometime before then."
I would probably stop in and say goodbye, but certainly wouldn't be putting in a full day.

I just CAN'T live every day that way. I need some cash flow, and as much as we like to tease each other, I am sure my boss would get sick of that call quickly. And he would probably like it if I came into work most days.

I would also probably spend too much, eat too much, and stay up way too late. 

Just seems like a bad pattern to observe daily.


Happy Birthday Kyle!

To me, birthdays are a day to celebrate that someone special was born. I am so blessed to have Kyle as one of my closest friends.

I appreciate having a friend who genuinely cares about those around him.
One that goes out of his way to make things right again.
Someone who is actually good at listening.
Someone who appreciates the quiet, just together time.
A man who expresses gratitude.
Someone who hasn't lost sight of the important things in life.
A man who treats all women like the queens etc. they have the potential to be.
Someone who enjoys God's creations and loves to be among them.
A friend that will delve into deep conversations on deep topics, but also laughs at my stupid jokes.
Someone who allows me to serve.
A man who will do whatever it takes to keep me safe.
Someone who makes time.
Who loves enough to voice concerns.
Who speaks volumes with just a look.
A friend to whom it is okay to show weakness. 
And he look AMAZING in his gray suit!

His friendship is more than I deserve and I am blessed to be a part of his life.

Brain Dump

1. I want to make Christmas presents for everyone on my list this year but worry that they won't be as well received as a purchased one.

2. I don't know how I am getting home for Christmas yet. When do I panic?

3. I think I know why I hate Christmas music. It reminds me of my mom. Then I think about how Christmas isn't the same without her. Then I feel guilty because Christmas isn't about moms right? It's about The Savior. But I feel like it is very much not the same without a mommy.

4. I can't get the image of my boss running through the parking lot after a flock of Canadian geese out of my head. He is a funny guy.

5. How long do you keep a friend's secret, in the name of being a good friend who can keep secrets, when you know the secret is hurting both of you?

6. I judge people who watch too much TV but I love to sit at home and watch movies. I could do it all night every night. Thank goodness I have too many things going on to allow that to happen.

7. I had a chat with a friend today in which hatchets were buried. I am so grateful for friends who can shovel. Really if you are reading this you have no idea what that meant to me. THANK YOU! 

7. I am still thinking about the geese outside because they are adorable and you can see them eating big red berries off our bushes through the window. Precious!

8. I wish I had the money to help everyone in my life that needs it so desperately right now.

9. I need to go buy yet another smaller pair of jeans! I should be happy but I hate all the money I have spent on pants the past few months.

10. I need to put up my Christmas tree but I am putting it off because I desperately miss the man who helped me put it up last year. I miss having his spirit in my home. Maybe we'll just let Katy decorate for Christmas this year.


When your boss comes to work with this mustache..

It becomes really hard to take him seriously.



If my mom were alive today I would send her a text

I would ask her if she wanted to go on a picnic.

Then I'd ask her to bring the brass paper plates.

And she would know I was teasing her.

And she would know I loved her.


...and she is

If my mom were alive today.

She would be trying to call me right now.

And I would be avoiding her call

Because I am busy and my friends are over.

I would think, I'll call her tomorrow when things calm down.

And she would leave a funny message I'd play for my friends.

About how the only good excuse for not picking up is if I'm kissing boys.

But really she would be worried that she was loosing me.

And I wouldn't be worried at all because we are best friends.

And BEST friends are always there the next day.


I think I turn 28 today...

28 and I when I read this I totally identified with pig.
There are enough Pigitas in this world.
We need more sofa forts for sure.
I could really use a burger right now...



I wonder, sometimes, what life would be like with only one chin.

Probably just the same.


Grrrr... But grateful

Last night I crawled into bed super super late. (Next time we realize how late it is and go home before midnight) I was in that half asleep state when I remembered I was doing a photo shoot at work tomorrow for product that needs to go onto Overstock before black Friday. I promised myself I would remember it in the morning, even though I hadn't the day before, I was not leaving my warm bed. But then I thought better of it and went down stairs, gathered up my photo equipment, and placed it by the door where I wouldn't forget it. "Put it in the car" I said to myself but there was NO way I was going outside that late. I would remember.

Flash forward. Today I get on the freeway a few minutes late but sure I would still be the first one to the office when I remembered my photo equipment sitting by the front door. Arrrrg! Could I put the shoot off another day? Probably not. But I couldn't just turn around because I was on the freeway so I get off at the next exit and backtrack home. I gather everything up running ten minutes late now. Traffic report says traffic is stopped southbound into the city. So I hop on the Legacy highway which adds another 5 minutes. I pull on Legacy right behind an officer of the law. So now I have to go 60 putting me behind another 5 minutes.


I am grateful for a job where they don't fire me if I am 20 minutes late one day. Where I don't even get yelled at. Where I get to do a job I enjoy AND be a photographer. Who knew my favorite hobby would be something I could get paid for. In this world where anyone with a nice camera and a Photoshop thinks they are a photographer... I get to do it as part of my actual job.



I hate Christmas music.
You know how you start to really hate Taylor Swift
after you hear her latest release for the millionth time in days.
I feel the same about Christmas music.
It seems to be the same 12 songs sung over and over again by different artists
We’ve had 2000 years to write about Christmas and all we can come up with is
Chesnuts roasting and deer with red noses?
For the Christan world the birth of Christ is kinda a big deal.
I know it is for me.
Originality is all I am asking for.
We write so many songs about love.
Why can’t we have some new ones about the greatest love story ever.
A man who really did give his life to save mine.
Because He loves me!

** Let me clarify: New songs, not by Michael Mclean because those are now in that same Taylor Swift category. 


My New Goal is...

to drink more water.

When I think I can’t drink more water


Drink more water.

My co-work Jon said to me:

“Here comes Annie with her water bottle. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a cat.”

I hope when that day comes that I still smell good.


I agree

My boss calls me this morning:

B: "I can't talk right now I'm in the temple."
ME: "Then why are you calling me?"
B:"To tell you I won't be in today because I'm in the temple."



I redesigned my blog.

I like it a lot.

So for those of you reading my blog from your google reader...

hop on over to my actual blog and tell me what you think.


Temple Timeout

Isn't the Bounitful Temple so pretty? We (Katy and I) try to attend once a week. Last week we came home from work got dressed and dashed out the door. In the temple parking lot I realized that my recommend was in the pocket of the sweater I wore last time we went. I didn't want to drive all the way home (I know I shouldn't complain when I live 10 minutes from a temple) and I didn't want to skip it so we went in and asked if there was a way they could look up my recommend electronically or something. The guy at the desk asked me for my bishop and stake president's names and phone numbers. All I knew was my bishop's name. Who knows numbers without their cell phone? The guy looked at me all suspish. I am sure he was questioning this girl trying to sneak in the temple who doesn't even know her stake president's name. PS. It's Morris I found out later. So the temple guy makes katy and I take a seat on this little bench by the front door while he takes what little info I have to the temple recorder.

It was awful sitting there watching everyone else go in. I got the strangest looks from other people as they filed past me. I honestly felt like I had been put on timeout. While we were sitting there Katy started teasing me about being one of the 5 virgins with no oil in her lamp. He eventually came back and must have gotten a hold of my bishop because they let me in. I don't ever want to be without my oil again because temple timeout is no fun at all.


30 Before 30

I had such lofty goals. As you can see if you click the tab labeled 30 before 30 above. I decided to start with being vegetarian for a month. I lasted 11 days until I "accidentally" made and ate 6 turkey and black bean tacos. Man were they delicious. The sad thing is that after being 11 days in, I wasn't going to start over again at day one, and it would be cheating to say I was vegetarian for a month when I had in fact eaten 6 turkey and black bean tacos... and Shrimp Saag at Taste of India, also worth it! So skip that one. What should I tackle unsuccessfully next?


Conference and a Cannoli

If you will recall from just a few posts ago I have been feeling the need to declutter my life. I have been terming it "putting my life on a diet." I got rid of half of my wardrobe, more than half of my shoes and purses. I got rid of a bunch of books, old craft supplies, and many other things. And it has felt AMAZING! I haven't missed a thing and the simplicity of my life has made me super extra happy. So I loved when Elder Uchdorf quoted Da Vinci in conference this morning. 
'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.' -Leonardo Da Vinci
I also want you to know that before Sister Beck rocked this haircut
I rocked the Asymmetrical haircut!

In between conference sessions Lolly and I went to the Mediterranean market and had delicious sandwiches and AMAZING COOKIES! Yes please! After the second session we went to this Italian bakery downtown and got Cannolis. My favorite. Not healthy but so good, and hey since I am vegetarian this month an extra dessert or two won't hurt me.

Decluttered life, listening to prophets, BFF in town, Cannoli, and the best of times! 




Do you ever have those days when you swear that your I-Pod not only knows exactly what to play but that it just might be the only person who understands you?

Man I'm not kidding when I say mine knows me better than I know myself.

I thought Pandora would be my second love. Especially now that I sit at a desk all day. But when I type in Alison Krauss and it plays Pat Benetar and Paula Abdul I have to wonder. Pat and Paula are both enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but it is suppose to be playing artist similar to Alison Krauss. I also hate that I can get up and leave the office for a few minutes and come back to something horribly inappropriate blaring from my office. Pandora Loses.

Back to my ever trusty I-Pod. How I have missed you.


The Life Cleanse

 I recently came across the idea of putting my life on a diet. It was actually the title of a book I saw in the warehouse of a publisher a friend of mine works for. The book I hear is extreme, I'm not going to live with no electricity for a year of my own free will and choice. But there are parts of my life that need a diet.

Last weekend I went through my closet and got rid of 2/3 of my clothes. I started by getting rid of all the clothes I keep hoping will fit again someday. Then I got rid of all the clothes that I keep thinking if I put through the wash enough times the stain will go away. Then I got rid of anything that really isn't in style anymore no matter how badly I want it to be. Then I tossed anything that I haven't worn in a year. Then I went through my collection of purses, shoes, etc. This weekend I will be going through books, random boxes from college, etc. I am loading it up in a friends truck, because a truck will be needed and it's off to the DI.

Know what? In the week the I have been minus all of these things. I have actually been happier. I thought I might miss some of my shoes, purses, clothes etc. But I haven't thought about them once.


I Want To Be A Gypsy

I was on the phone the other day with one of our reps. He is quite the chatter but I don't mind because the stories he tells me are ones I find fascinating. This time he was telling me that he has a hippy friend and I was entranced by the stories that followed. Unfortunately in order to be a hippy you have to have a rich relative supporting you, which he confirmed, his friend in 65 and still gets weekly checks from his mother. So I suppose I will never be one.

I hung up the phone and my mind went back to last week when I felt maligned because I was described as whimsical and unpredictable.  I realized I  am and I love it. I love living as close to a nomadic life as I can. Hippy is the wrong word for me because I like to shower, I don't have strong feelings about war, and I don't do drugs etc. Maybe a gypsy. I love to pick up and go at a moments notice. I love to head off to nowhere in particular and discover and explore a few nowheres as I find them. I love to have no plan. I love to change plans mid plans. I love the unexpected. I love to move to new places and find a new home. I love to try new foods, and meet new people, and experience new cultures. I crave adventure.

That is just me. I may be here one hour and on my way to Vegas the next. I buy tickets to faraway places at a moments notice with no money left in my account. I love to sign up for crazy classes like Thai cooking, or oil painting, or Macrame. I love midnight runs to Del Taco, and 5 star dining at it's finest. That is just me. Friendship with me means adventure. It means laughter. It means frequently wondering what the? It means barefoot hiking, it means good food. it means rolling your eyes, it means praying I am safe, it means wishing I had health insurance.

Is my goal to have a home and family someday? Yes! Would I love to settle down in some adorable small town somewhere? Yes! Have a tire swing in the front yard? Sure. Am I excited to be tied down by a bunch of kids with runny noses? Yes Please! Do I want a minivan with melted crayons on the back seat and stale french fries in the cup holders. ABSOLUTLY. And when the time comes I expect that these qualities will not hinder my ability to be a good wife and mother but enhance them.


Confession Tuesday

 Okay I am behind on confessing. So here we go. I hate pumping gas. I HATE IT. In Jersey I never had to, in fact it is against the law. So I moved out here to Utah and my freshman year I always had boys with me and they always did it for me. I eventually learned, but for most of my time in school I only had a few dollars for gas so I spent two dollars and was done. Now that I can afford to fill the entire tank I NEVER do. Because it feels like it takes FOREVER! The best part about it though is that if I only put 5 dollars in and see cheaper gas a block away I can put in 5 more.


1000 Memories and 6 years

I have been insanely happy lately. It's true. Typically today is a hard day for me. It is hard because I know it is THE day. The day my life changed forever. I struggle because throughout the day I imagine the accident. I imagine her hurting, I am imagine her being scared. I imagine her being stubborn and refusing to go. I remember what it sounds like to hear "There was an accident." I remember what 5 missed calls from home means. I remember, Imagine, and I kinda fall apart. A dear friend recently told me that the reason loss is hard is because we know what could have been and we are not only robbed of them in that moment but also robbed of a future  that no longer exists.

This year I didn't even realize the day was approaching until someone else mentioned it. Ironically I had just created this website for my mom because my Logan boy was only 6 when mom passed away. It breaks my heart that he doesn't remember her. But more importantly it is breaking his. He was robbed of so many more futures that I was. I asked for contributions from friends and family and I myself have added a story and will add many more.

Many of you have already contributed and I am indebted to you. One friend contributed this, that may have been submitted for Logan and others but was meant for me: "I got a phone call one morning asking if I knew of a Cindy Hall. I told her yes. She said she just heard that she was in an accident. I raced over to the hospital to see if there was something I could do for her. I raced into the hospital asking to see her, leaving the babies in the van with it running. "No Cindy Hall Admitted Here". I was driving over to Debbie's when I saw a Deputy at the emergency exit. I parked in the middle of the street and ran over to the Officer asking about Cindy. He just hugged me as he caught me when he said......"She's gone!!!!!" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I got to the van.... I cannot believe Cindy talked to me, on the radio was the song from Mercy Me....I can only imagine! Tears rushed down my face as it is now. She was HAPPY, FREE, LOVED, and in front of our Savior! I wanted to be standing or kneeling or singing right next to her. I was angry with her that She was in HEAVEN! Then My thoughts went to her children, to Logan, the "baby". My heart cried for them!
To the Hall Kids! She loved you! She Loves You. She does MORE for you in Heaven then she ever could physically for you on the earth! What a great blessing that is to all of you!"

What a blessing. How in the world can it be a blessing that I have no mom? How can it be a blessing that Logan will never know his mom in this life? Let me tell you. I am blessed to have a certain knowledge through sacred experiences that families are forever. I am blessed as Shanon said to have a mom who can do more for us from the other side. I am blessed to have a mom who can continually look over me. I am blessed to have a mom that looks over my friends, again experiences too sacred to detail here. I am blessed by two of the most precious new siblings a girl could ask for, whom I love more than words can express, and they are mine for eternity. I have been blessed with a friendship with my stepmom that is literally a sealed friendship. I am blessed by a myriad of new experiences that have taught me self reflection, better communication, selflessness, humility, and the ability to apologize. I am blessed by the increase in my reliance and love of my Savior. I have been blessed by my ability to empathize and thus bless others.

I have been blessed. Yesterday I listened numerous times to the song referenced in our friends experience. My mom calmed her heart with this song and today my heart has also been calmed by it. How amazing it would be to be held by The Savior. How amazing to learn at his feet. To not only be surround by friends and family you met in this life but many more you loved just as strongly before.

To my mom, I miss you, but more than anything today I am jealous of you. I can hardly wait until we meet again.

To readers: If you have a thought, memory, story, picture, etc. Even a story I told you please contribute. You can log into the site with your Facebook account. Or you can simply email me and I will post it for you. (


Here Comes The Sun!

I was recently reviewed in a blog:

"She is a social individual, more whimsical in her personality, impersonal to me and un-predictable."

At first I was very hurt and very sad. Because they had posted it where all my friends and family could see their opinion of me. I was sad because it was used as an introduction to me, and I had hoped that if someone was describing who I am that they would do a better job. I was VERY VERY sad.

But the more I thought about it and even cried a little, the more I was sad for THEM. Because if this is how they see me then they simply don't know me. Because I really am pretty fantastic. I am generous to a fault. I can make anyone laugh. I am determined and dedicated. I am fiercely loyal and I am wise beyond my years. I am caring and nurturing. I am fearless. I am insanely creative, and resourceful. And these aren't just my opinions these are things friends and leaders have recently told me that they admire about me.Whether at work, church, home, or with friends, I brighten others lives.

So it is okay if this is the best description one person came up with. People who know me would say otherwise. I have realized that anyone who reads this "review" won't think negatively about me. In fact I have received numerous notes and messages as a result of the review ensuring me that I am loved, and respected for who I am.  

Thanks to my friends out there who are over looking the bad and noting the good. Like I said in my previous post that was ironically posted before this incident. I know I am weak, Thanks for seeing past it. I learned a trick in institute that I have treasured. Ask the Lord to introduce you to someone. He will show you who they really are. In the mean time here are a few other reviews you might enjoy:

"She is the only person I know who took the time to get to know the real me, inside and out. She was the first person I felt knew me completely and loved EVERY part of me. With her I am safe."

"She taught me how to love. Even to this day I can't think about or talk to her without a huge grin on my face. She knows me better then a lot of people and it's because she took the time to invest in me."

"Reese if there is any validation to your concerns that someone doesn't like you. It is simply because they do not know you."

I wish you knew me. 

P.S. An Idea just came to me. These quotes mean the world to me and the negative one at the top had my world caving in around me. So.... I am going to write a quick little paragraph about everyone who has changed my life. I may even put them in a post. But be expecting one in your inbox soon. Because it is the people who love me who make me who I am, and I treasure your words of kindness.


I am Annie Hall

I am a girl.
I am possessive of my friends.
I forgive and forget so easily that I often let poisonous people back into my life.
I Run away from emotional pain and confront the possibility of physical pain head on.
I do really stupid things.
I speak before I think.
I cause drama.
I hate drama.
I am too critical of others.
I am often disappointed when I don't meet my own unreal expectations.
I see the best in others but too frequently discuss the worst.
I refuse to ask for help.
I say out loud what everyone else is thinking.
I think I am cute but wish I was beautiful.
I am fiercely protective of my friends and family.
I need people.
I need compliments.
I crave validation.
I can't stand the thought of even one person not liking me.
I am jealous when the men in my life spend time with other women, unless I'm dating them, then I don't care.
If I get a paper cut you will hear about it. If my leg falls off I'll ignore it.
I try on 12 different outfits in the morning before I get it right, and the wrong ones go on the floor.
I don't wear makeup everyday.
I fall in love with men who are unavailable, not married ones, unavailable in other ways.
I need quality time to feel loved.
I don't like chocolate.
I have too many purses.

I don't feel as though I am all that different from most girls. We are fooling ourselves if we think any of us are free from drama, hard days, hurt feelings, miscommunication, etc. Some come loaded with a lot more than others but we all have some. The question becomes, are there enough good things about me to outweigh the bad? I know some people who think so. I am so grateful today for those people in my life who over look the bad parts of Annie and see only the good. Because that is a quality I treasure and am striving to develop myself. Please bless it happens quickly.


Ode to Jetta (sorry it's late)

I have a friend who goes by Jetta.
Whom against the couch company, has a vendetta.
If they knew what's best they'd stay in bed.
For tomorrow they'll report to one angry red head.

The lessons she teaches are top notch,
I find I never check my watch.
after others' we go home and chat
and wonder what the heck was that?

One day the game of soccer she tried,
but found her balanced misapplied.
She crazy busted up her knee,
now it's all fixed through surgery.

My Miss Jetta loves to run,
boat all weekend, and get too much sun.
in her left ear she hears no sound.
ask her how to lose a pound!

I had a few more verse I will confess,
but don't want my lines to cause distress.
I want our Jules to feel of worth.
on this the anniversary of her birth!


Confession Monday

I love to read dating advice books. My favorite one ever was this one. 

My favorite bit of advice from this book was to NEVER wear white stockings. NOT EVER! To never have chipped nail polish, or to use those awful scrunchies that were popular in the 90's. I find this kind of advice not only good but fasinating. However, while I love to read these books, I do not read them with the intent of improving my dating life or advancing my wedding day. I just find them facinating. HA! Maybe I should try to apply a thing or two. But since I hate dating, even the very idea of dating, I don't see any reason for intense application.


Confusion reigns at work once again

My printer frequently has errors pop up that keep the whole thing from functioning. The customer service people assocaited with said printer are useless as well as the owners manual on CD they left.

I have no idea what this means. But I hate to see what happens when the waste is full.

To My Michelle

Sometime you just love people so hard it hurts.

When Michelle decided to move to Utah immediately following High School and I had to wait until September and then attend different schools I SOBBED. I felt robbed, but it was the right thing for her and I am sure for me as well.

We never knew giggling, and laughing, and whispering about boys, the heartache we would both know in our futures. Since that time we have both dealt with tragedy. For her, it was the loss of her little boy very suddenly due to illness when he was 14 months old. As her little boy Sawyer is now approaching that same age she is having a very hard time. She posted recently on her blog apologizing for her grief and again talking about The Savior. Reading both I have I cried right along with her.

I was going to simply post this as a comment but I feel it is something we all need to hear. No one ever knows what to do or say to those who are grieving. Often words only make things worse. Maybe some of what she has written will help us all understand how to mourn with those who mourn.


I still cry. I still feel pain. I frequently feel as if others are judging me for not letting go. When others talk about the atonement taking ALL of their pain away I wonder what is wrong with me. Then I find I am angry because how dare they think it is as simple as that. Then I feel pity for them. They must not have known love like I have. I still have days when it is hard to get in my car, because what if I am next? I still panic when I have more than one missed call from home. What if I call back and my life changes in an instant again? What if next time the pain is too hard to bear? To let go of all the pain of missing her would be to let go of all the memories. To let go of the relationship that is eternal and I am still in such desperate need of. It is okay to hurt and to cry because it means you still love. It means our loved ones are not forgotten. For me when I miss my mom so bad that it brings tears it isn't because I don't believe in eternal families it is simply because I MISS HER. People talk of her being a part of our daily life still and that is great, and I am certain she is. But I don't get to be active participant in that relationship anymore. Has the Atonement healed me? Certainly, but I still feel a great loss. I take comfort not just in the example you have given of the Savior, but also in remembering the words and tears of President Hinckley in October General Conference as he talked of his recently departed wife. Or in my favorite talk of all time by Elder Wirthlin when he describes his own grief as "those days when the Universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie scattered about us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again." Never feel bad for grieving. Because to grieve is simply to love. Even those we look up to the most have tears and sadness at the memory of loved ones. Keep loving Michelle and with time you will be able to breathe again. In the mean time know that I pray for you and grieve with you.


Wanted: Friendly Customer Service

In the past month money has been very tight for me as I had a few unexpected expenses and lost my job.

*Post to follow about the blessing that is my new job. I think HF likes me.

I feel as though I have been very responsible and frugal during this time.

I have had to call a few companies and tell them payments may be a day or two late while I moved money around. T-Mobile was AMAZING! They told me I had a 7 year history with them and no late payments and I called before hand and it would be no problem at all. Not to worry. They even said they would put a hold on it and I could pay both payments the next month, if needed, with no penalty. I was in tears of gratitude when I got off the phone.

Capital One was also amazing. I called and asked the same thing. Just a few extra days while money cleared my checking account. No problem at all. They waved all associated fees and wished me luck.

I have had similar experience with Toyota, and my utilities. In the end my Capital One payment was the only one that I made even a day late.


Wells Fargo was a BEAST. I have had three accounts with them for almost 10 years, they told me there was ZERO room for leniency and listed off all the fees I would incur if my balance dropped even a penny below the allotted amount for my account (P.S. There are A LOT).  They told me it was my responsibility to be aware of ALL policies and fees and to plan for such. True Wells Freaking Fargo, True, I should read all of the fine print. I should plan better. I should have my savings account more accessible for emergencies. This is all true. But you are just plain mean. And where do you get the right to call me names? That's right the supervisor I talked to on the phone actually called me names. That's professional right? And for the record I was sweet the entire time, and I didn't cry.

So who has a bank or Credit Union they love? The one thing I like about Wells Fargo is that they are literally EVERYWHERE and I have my bank boyfriend at the Layton branch. I just want someone with customer friendly policies and associates. Does that even exist? Every other company I dealt with was more than simply reasonable, they were also kind and flexible.


I'm Happy

I don't have much to say because, well, life is just good.

I have a job I LOVE! It has quite the learning curve though and I really really want to be perfect at it now.

Katy does lots of crazy things that I can tease her about.

My ENTIRE family is coming out this weekend and then some of us are going to THE DIRT BAND concert!

I went for a long walk last night with friends and we came home singing at the top of our lungs.

Jake and I have discovered we have mad dancing skills when someone is playing the banjo.

I love grapes.

Who wants a flower? Who wants a weed?

When I was very small, and adorably cute by the way, I use to run around with those white dandelions in my dirty little hands and sing "Who wants a flower, who wants a weed?" Well I pick the flower.

I use to also sing "I love you and I don't want to die." I was a messed up kid it would seem, by the song lyrics I wrote. But I wasn't. I was incredibly happy. And for the record. I still love you.


A Wednesday Confession

Today I called this number to fix a UPS shipping issuse. I was so ticked that I got a fax machine. I couldn't believe that someone would give me the wrong number. Turns out I had called my own fax number. It's just going to be one of those days.


a sort of confession

I have a problem. I get very emotionally involved in movies. When I watch Anne of Avonlea and she keeps telling Gilbert no I get all upset and I yell at the TV that she is an idiot and he loves her and she just needs to say yes and start being the happiest girl alive because any girl watching that movie would trade places with her in a heart beat and we would all say yes the first time.

When I watch Pride and Prejudice I get so involved in Miss Bennett and Mr. Darcy's relationship that I can barely handle watching the show. "You are both so in love with each other" I scream. Stop being so whatever you are and kiss each others face off! Then they do and it is real good! But think of all the time these people would save if they just listened to me!

However for me, the movie that I watch and can't get over is Gone With the Wind. In the end when Rhett walks out I am literally yelling at the screen "You love her, and she loves you, and she needs you and she knows it!!!! Just turn around and run back to her and live happily ever after.

I need to be in control of these peoples lives... seriously. Um and could someone please be in control of mine? Thanks.


Counting My Blessings

When I lived with Linds in college and she took a job in SLC I cried because I honestly couldn't picture my life without her in it. I was 100% lost. She had become a part of who I was and I loved her. Since then I have moves to SLC and she has moved to Seattle and due to my hatred of the phone we don't talk too much, but I still love her and I still feel that she is a huge part of who I am. 

Tonight we went to dinner, casual and fun, we chatted and reminisced. Then I had to leave and as I walked back to my car I felt like I did back in college again. I felt like I was loosing my best friend and I was completely alone. There were tears streaming down my face as I paid the parking attendant and headed home.

I called zac. Because I don't mind telling him I am a mess. I don't care if he sees my weaknesses. No answer. So I left him a message. "Listen I though we had discussed how I need to have you available to me 24 hours a day.  So if you want to call me back so we can talk about your priorities, maybe move some things around that would be great."

I end up at Jo-Ann Fabric and through my tears I am trying to find a very specific product. I had been staring at them for like ten minutes totally lost when my phone rings. ZACULA  appears on the screen.  "Thank you Heavenly father, You knew I needed a friend." So I told him what had happened. That we had gone to dinner and I had taken off... no big deal. Then I started to cry again. But I knew I was in the company of someone who cared that I was sad, even if for a very silly reason. By the time I checked out I was laughing again.

Thank you Heavenly Father, You knew I needed a friend. Since before I was put on this earth you knew they were going to be essential and you gave me some of the very very best. I wouldn't have made it though some very rough years without my Linds, AND I never would have kissed Eric, a moment in history I am glad I participated in. You put Zac in my life because you knew I NEEDED him. There is no way around it. I need someone who knows me so completely, even better than I know myself, and loves me. I could start listing the blessing you have given me in the way of friends, but I don't have that kind of time. But I am so grateful that I am being taken care of. To me the best part about friends is that they show you that there is something about you that can be loved. They show you that you are worth something, because they choose to love you. 

Linds and I use to joke that we met in a certain pre-existence prep class. That we bonded goofing off in the back row. I wonder who else was back there with us? 


HapPy BiRthDay LoLly!!!

Ode To Lolly:

I have a friend that loves with absolutely everything she has.
I have a friend that sacrifices for me
I have a friend that cries with me
I have a friend who share my Del Taco obsession
I have a friend that loves me in spite of
I have a friend who does thoughtful things
I have a friend with sassy red hair
I have a friend who is an awesome cook
I have a friend who drags me to vampire prom
I have a friend who helps me be a better person
I have a friend who helps me love myself the way I am
I have a friend who makes me laugh
I have a friend that makes me go to the doctor when the weird pain doesn't go away
I have a friend who doesn't allow me to be shy
I have a friend who encourages me
I have a friend who has seen me at my worse
I have a friend who supports me
I have a friend who was born on Free Slurpie Day!
I have a friend who doesn't judge
I have a friend who is good for 20 bucks for gas when you're unemployed
I have a friend who takes time to get to know the people who mean the most to me
I have a friend who doesn't care if neither of us get out of bed until lunch time
I have a friend who makes me that lunch and brings it to me in bed.
I have a friend who doesn't mind that I have a "drinking" problem
I have a friend who doesn't let me jump of cliffs or go on juice diets

I am blessed to have such a friend.


a little perspective

I was having a bad day at work the other day. I won't go into detail except to say that someone above me made a big oopsie and then shifted the blame to me. I was at work super late and didn't want to face rush hour traffic so I called Wade. His idea was Barnes and Noble and dinner at The Bay Leaf or Charlie Chows. So I head off to his place up by the U. I get on I-80 headed east and miss his exit so I had to get off way up on Parley's and while I am making my way back down to his place I start listing in my mind everything that is going wrong right now. Including the fact that I can't even get the correct exit for my BFFs place. Really? Really? I was ready for Wade to cheer me up. In the car he mentions that two people he knows are in the hospital and I blow right past it because we are SUPPOSE to be cheering me up. Don't you worry that the Bay Leaf was closed. Add it to the list right?

So we decided to go to Cafe Trang because I had never been there. There was a parking spot right out front with no meter and the ambiance is kinda cool. I was already feeling better. But I could tell Wade wasn't.

"Did I tell you two people I know are in the hospital."
"Yeah you mentioned it in the car."
"Well my little sister's heart surgery went okay and she is recovering nicely."
"Wait one of the people is your SISTER? With HEART surgery?"
"Yeah and they took my dad to the ER last night."
"What happened to him?"
"They still don't know, he's still in the hospital waiting to find out."
"Oh and guess what else? The guy in the cubicle next to me died this weekend."
"Really? How?"
"I don't know. It said doing what he loved so I guess that is good right?"
"As long as what he loved wasn't bing drinking sure."

So I am  BIG fat jerk and basically the worst friend ever. The night got better though when I went to the bathroom...

Taped to the stall was a sign that said "please no too much toilets papers. It over fill toilets, no so good."  I loved it and it made me laugh out loud so I sent Wade into the boys with my cell phone camera. They did not have the sign but Wade brought me a picture anyway.

Apparently they needed the sign in the little boys room as well. We left when this started happening at the table next to us.

Yes she is licking his arm and yes that dress is 100% see through. Believe it or not neither of us wanted a closer look and Wade said the only way we could stay is if he got to make out with my arm. So we left and went grocery shopping before we headed home. Which if you know Wade from previous shopping experiences...

Where he has taught us how to choose a nice firm milk... Grocery shopping can be the best of times.

One of these apples is not like the other... One of these apples just doesn't belong... Can you guess which one Wade stepped on and then put back because he rolls like that?

Not because he was trying to be mean or gross but because he can't stand for anything to not be in the right place in grocery stores. HA!

I got home to find out that one of my best friends from College has cancer again. Who gets Chemo at our age when we should be having babies? Lots of them!

I am so grateful that my life got put back into perspective. I have almost no problems compared to those around me. I'll take my life and enjoy every minute of it.


The "Lady" in my office

There is a lady in my downtown office who use to be named Paul...

The trouble is that I have only seen pictures of Paul and never met Brittney, I think that's her name. So now whenever I run into a lady in the hallway I stop and look to see if the woman before me looks as if she use to not be. The real trouble is that now there are at least three different ladies in the office that I am sure it is. That makes me feel like a bad person for thinking that at least two ladies who have never been a man might have been. Does  any of this make sense?


I have no clever ides for a title...

Today on the radio they were discussing a statistic that claims if you spend more than 20,000 dollars on your wedding, the marriage only has a 15% change of making it. They took a zillion calls that all seemed to show that the more you spend the less happy the marriage is. Which left me grateful for temple weddings and a culture of gymnasium receptions with mints in Jumbo sacrament cups!


FYI.... and a query.

I consider myself a bit of a traveler. At least in this country anyway, The only time I went to Canada was because Dad missed all three signs that said last exit before customs. <3 my Dad! I have been to almost all states with only a couple of exceptions. In my travels I have learned a few things I would like to share with you.

Rule #1 Never ever use a droppie in Yellowstone. It is worth the couple of miles of driving for a flushie. Trust me on this one.

Rule #2 The bathrooms at the shore that cost a quarter are worth it! Pony up the quarter you won't regret it! 

Rule#3 If you can wait for a flying J do it. At least through Wyoming their bathrooms tend to be cleaner than any other truck stop.

Rule#4 If you can find a grocery store use the bathroom there. Too many travelers come in and out of truck stop bathrooms all day. Plus they normally have drinking fountains which are free and water sits way better in a traveling tummy than sugar drinks.

Rule #5 When at Wal-mart and a trip to the bathroom is inevitable ALWAYS and I repeat ALWAYS use the bathroom in layaway. They are a million times better than the ones up front.

Today I was at a Wal-mart and forgot rule #5. I was wondering why in the world I was braving this restroom and not just waiting until I got back to my office. SoI have a question for you and if you are reading this I want you to really think about it and answer, you even have the option of an anonymous comment. Okay anyway... the question. What is the worst bathroom you have been forced to brave? Also, if you have a rule to add please do. Share the info with the rest of us please!

My answer I think would be the outhouse at our cabin. It is older than my mom and I have been afraid I was going to fall in since I was a small child. Which is a valid concern as most of the outhouse is rotting away. I was also plagued by stories of my aunt disturbing a bee hive when she made the inaugural trip to the outhouse one season. Alas, I always choose the outhouse over the woods because it at least affords me a small amount of privacy.

P.S. In my family if we say we have to go put something on layaway you now know just what we mean.


Confession Monday

I am a prayer peeker. Not just occasionally, I peek every single time.