Angels (part one)

I've learned something this week. Someone is looking out for me, and I believe that someone is my Heavenly Father. I was worried about weather on my road trip home. Wyoming Decembers can be unforgiving. We left on Friday after work and stayed at my Aunt's ranch. We stayed up all night talking and left late because we spent all morning talking, but it was so worth it.

The trip went fine from there until we stopped in Cheyenne for lunch and I forgot to get gas. Gas was 2.73 there so you wouldn't think I'd forget so easily. So we stop at a place outside of town. Katy went inside while I was supposed to use her card to fuel up. I however did not know her zip code. I tried the three I could think of then it locked her card. Oops! I didn't want to "see cahsier" so I planned to just pull to another pump when Katy returned and suggested I just use my own card.

So I do and we go to get back on the road and this man taps on our window. I roll the window down and he tells me I have a low tire. Ugh! Seriously? So I get out and look and it's ALL the way flat, like rim on the ground flat. I tell Katy to pull to the air pump that's like 20 feet away. No biggie. But its not holding air, like at all. Again, no biggie, I can change a tire. But the parking lot is basically one big ice sheet/snow drift. So where do I safely jack my car up? I start using my tire iron to chip away at the ice.

That's when a very attractive, or so Katy says, man comes up and asks if we need help. I tell him I'm capable but a man would certainly make things go a lot faster. He busts out this jumbo jack and has my tire changed in no time. He gives me back road instructions for getting into town and sends us on our way. I feel bad that his cigarettes fell in a puddle.

We find a Discount Tire on the GPS, where I recently purchased new tires, and on arrival the guy, Tony, says he's not the same Discount but he'll take care of us. He had it repaired quick and no charge. He even fixed my spare that was also loosing air fast. That flat could have happened anywhere in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. It could have been a blow out. So many little delays led to us being so wonderfully taken care of.

I knew then that there were angles watching over us. But it became more apparent a few days later. 



Tomorrow is the birthday of my mommy. The day we celebrate the happy accident that is her life. I had a couple of days last week where I desperately needed her. It's been so many years and still when my heart is hurting or my little soul is in turmoil my first thought is to find my phone and call mom. If I can just talk to her for a minute, I think, then I know everything will be okay. If I could just curl up on the couch with her and watch X-Files, we don't even have to talk, I just want to know she's there. I want to tell her something funny that was said, or about some new adventure. I wish I could say I didn't have those days still but I do. Because you ALWAYS need your mommy.

As my little heart was aching, I learned of the tragedy in Connecticut. I thought instantly of that school full of children desperately needing their moms. So many children feeling that everything would be okay once they saw their mom.

Every year when I have tithing settlement and I have to look over my church record I pause for a minute as I read next to sealed to parents: "born under the covenant." To me there are no three words that mean more to me than those. I had the privilege of being born into an eternal family. There is nothing evil enough in this world to take my family away from me permanently. I tease Kate all the time about being stuck with her forever and I didn't even get to choose her. But the truth is, I'd choose her a million times again. I am grateful that we are sisters forever.

And that is all well and good. But sometimes, while we know we have forever, we are robbed of tomorrow. And it's awful, and it hurts, and we feel like nothing is ever going to be okay again. The truth is, it won't be the same, something will be missing, it will be an adjustment. It will hurt and you'll cry, and it may be a long time before "normal" returns.

For me it took awhile before the promise of eternity helped. In fact at first when people would say "families are forever, at least you know that," I would want to hurt someone. Because families didn't feel forever in that moment. I felt forever had changed and I didn't like it.    
As the years go by however, I am more and more aware of her presence in my life. More aware of how happy and proud her kids make her. More aware of how well and often she is watching over me. Happy birthday mom, I'm looking forward to eternity! 



I hate gift giving. It isn't my love language and I'm really bad at it. People get me the most thoughtful gifts and I am amazed. I can not, for the life of me, do the same.

My dad always says that he's easy. But really he's super hard. I hear people say the same thing about me, but I am also easy to buy for.

Anything that has anything to do with any of the following will be treasured:

The Civil War
Children's books
My favorite sports teams:
(Phillies, Utah State, Nebraska)



The Juvenile Section

Remember how I dislike 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 moms add the magic... at least mine did. 

But I don't hate ALL Christmas music... 
I am basically five years old. 
I LOVE this movie and the soundtrack.
I was SO excited when I found it at the library. 
I had it cranked up all the way back to the office. 
For some reason this stupid movie makes me LOVE Christmas. 
Something about it make me feel like a kid again, and Santa is coming, 
and mom will be there in the morning. 

After all "it's only (26) more sleeps til Christmas!"


Worst Movie Ever

A while ago I angered a lot of people by posting as my Facebook status, a list of the movies that, in my opinion are the worst movies ever made. Included in that list are the following:
The Dark Crystal
The Labyrinth
The Last Unicorn
The Secret of Nim
The Never Ending Story

I was at Lolly's house the other night, teasing her husband about watching Tinkerbell... Because he did, by himself, his choice. Anyway, that is when I added Last Unicorn to the list and while Lolly was threatening to put me on friendship timeout, we discussed how there are just some movie that if you didn't like as a child you never will. Although, Katy made me watch Dark Crystal when we were little and I NEVER loved it.

I truly don't understand the love people have for these movies. I asked Lolly "So you would seriously come home after a long day, snuggle up on the couch, and think to yourself that you'd really love to put The Labyrinth on and give it a watch?" She very strongly assured me that she would, and that is when Joshua got up to put the movie in, and I decided it was time to leave.

So I tried to think of a movie I loved as a child that I'm sure no one else would love if they viewed it now for the first time. I came up with one. I know that those of you who didn't love it as a child probably want to stab your eyes out if made to watch it. But those who love it could probably, like me, quote the entire thing from beginning to end. What movie you ask? Saturday's Warrior!

Oh how I love the bad acting, limited cast, horrible outfits, cheesy choreography, and false doctrine that is one of my favorite movies of all time!

What is your favorite childhood movie? Did you rewind the part of Home Alone II when Marv says "wow what a hole" as many times as we did? Did you have a brother who watched Scamper the Penguin or The Little Engine That Could multiple times a day until you were dreaming about macaroni penguins like I did?

Do you secretly love Saturday's Warrior as much as me? Or perhaps not so secretly?   


It's Cold, Seriously

J: Annie why are you dressed like it is winter?

M: Because it is DECEMBER in the Rocky Mountains!I think there has to be a John Denver song about that.

J:It's going to be 50 degrees today, that is down right balmy.

M:You Utah people are seriously crazy.

Seriously you are.

K: I am not sure if it is cold enough for a trip to lava yet.

You are also Crazy! 


What are the chances?

Zac: I'm just heading home for the weekend what are you up to?
Annie: In Logan picking Lolly and the babe up to go to the USU game.
Zac: That sounds fun.
Annie: What the heck is going on? It says road closed but I need to go down that exact road. I'll just do it anyway.
Zac: Wait, where are you?
Annie: I'm on 10th turning onto 10th by Gosner's.
Zac: Stop right where you are.
Annie: Why?
Zac: I want to hug you.
Annie: Okay, I'm pulling into this Texaco. Where are you?
Zac: In the black charger behind you.

What are the chances? Seriously! So glad I was able to spend 10 minutes with one of my besties in the parking lot of a texaco. I love that in that ten minutes I received about 12 hugs, and the "duck look" at least 5 times.

Happy Birthday to Me

I got this little beauty in my email. Yes please! I'll take two!

Oh, and one more picture for you viewing pleasure.
You are jealous of my Happy Birthday Banana!

Leah, Kate, Cam, and Dave threw me a party.
Joan dressed up!

They put so much work into it and I felt so loved.
Thanks to all who came!
Turns out we were so busy goofing off,
that this is the only picture taken at the party.
But it was fun I promise.


Dear 12 Year Old Me,

Just a quick note.

You are going to like this picture.
I told you that you would. You are free to print it and put it in your locker. The one outside of Mrs. Bunden's room, so you can see it every morning. Maybe put it in the locker by the English room too so you can see it before you go home at night.(Kristen will like it I promise, put it next to the picture of "Peter.")

Your crush ages really well. But he gets married. Yeah not to you. Sorry to break it to you. He marries a soap star. Go tell mom how sad it makes you. Seriously, go tell her right now. If she laughs at you, that is fine. You are really going to miss that someday.

When mom tells you she will buy you the new Bryan White CD if you help her clean the garage, know that the treasure you receive will be time spent with mom, seriously enjoy EVERY moment of it. The CD will not be his best anyway. In fact it is his last for a long time and you won't really like it that much. I think you might even give it to Katy eventually.

You are going to tell your friends you are going to a Bryan White concert. Not because you are really planning on going, but because you want them to think you are cool. Well to be honest they don't really care anyway. But guess what? Mom is planning a surprise to really take you to a Bryan White concert at a fair in Pennsylvania. And she will hear you talking to you friends and think you know about the surprise. So keep your mouth shut. Ugh! Stop trying so hard to be cool. People love you just as you are. Seriously they do.

When you are heading off to the concert and dad stops to get cash and blows a tire. Be kind and patient while they get it repaired. You still get to go and you don't miss the concert. Dad will leave the concert to get you cash so you can buy a concert t-shirt. Tell him thanks. Be grateful for the memory and treasure it. You are going to miss him too.

Today I found this picture on Bryan's Facebook page.
I know your heart is racing right now and you are thinking "Is he LDS? Oh my goodness I have a chance." Umm he isn't and you don't. But there will be a lot of good men in your life in the future. Stop crushing on Dave, Bryan, Gommie, Texas, and the cowboy. Seriously. STOP RIGHT NOW.

Okay here is one more picture.
That is Bryan with your future crush. Your future celebrity crush is running for Vice President and we think he is sexy. When we see this picture today we are VERY happy and so many memories came flooding back. If you could try to hold onto more of those memories for me that would be great.


P.S. Be careful with mom's van when you are driving it through the pasture, back by the trees. It doesn't fit between the trees and the fence post. I promise it doesn't.


My Phone

Last night I was leaving this party and walking back to my car. It was late, between midnight and 1 sometime. Well I look down at my phone and realize it's calling someone. I don't know who it's calling so I panic. I keep trying to hit hang up and it isn't working and I'm saying "NO, NO, NO" really loud. Then I hear someone saying "hello? Hello?" Finally it hangs up but not before I hear someone say something about butt dialing.

So who did I call? I checked, it wasn't a number in my phone. So I checked the ward directory that I had out to find the address for the party. I checked every number on the page. It wasn't one of those numbers. Then I tried the internet on my phone, maybe Dave was looking something up and I accidently hit the number. Nope, he left it on a page with no phone numbers. So I still have no idea who I called last night in the middle of the night just to yell "NO, NO, NO" and then hang up.

If it was you I'm Sorry. Seriously.

Then tonight I was on Facebook on my phone. I kept hitting the back button until it said "friendship requested" well what the heck? I didn't request a friendship. I didn't even know this person who was also named Annie. So again I'm sitting there yelling at my phone like a crazy person "NO, NO, NO!"

Seriously, phone. Stop trying to make me become social with people I don't know.  


A Convo While Up To No Good

A post temple night, semi road trip, adventure of naughtiness.

That I may or may not have been dragged into against my will.

Cam: Pretty sure your mom is coming with us.
Me: Dislike.
Cam: That we are going or that she is coming with us?
Me:That you are making me go and that I know mom is probably all happy about it.
Cam: Well you know she wouldn't want to miss out on this.
Me: I know and if she was alive I would be awake for another hour afterward while I told her all the details about what happened.
Cam: Now she can just come along.
Me: Well if she is coming she gets to sit in the chili seat!

*I don't think mom will mind taking the seat we spilled chili in, because well... she doesn't have a body right now anyway.


Apollo Burger

I had planned on a nice healthy lunch... But somehow I ended up at the wrong exit. Well you know why I was in the neighborhood I figured I could use a little pick me up in the way of an Apollo Burger.
I however, received an extra little pick me up from the man who collected my dollars:
"GIRL... Those earrings! Dang! I bet your husband is at home just waiting for you! Um huh! He is a lucky man!"
I did not tell him there was no lucky man... I didn't want him to apply. I just wanted a burger in bad way.


Thing I Can't Resist

A southern man. Seriously when they call me Miss Annie it kills me every-single-time.

Large sandwiches

ANY kind of Chicken Salad. Seriously.

Big earrings, seriously, like the kind white girls shouldn't wear.


Downton Abbey, My friends all love Bates but I am a Matthew girl myself.

Chickens... I am going to be a crazy chicken lady some day.
But I already mentioned that.

Babies with chubby cheeks and brown eyes.

The Boys of Fall (College football) AND the song by Kenny Chesney. I have it on repeat in my office all afternoon.

Really any song by Eric Church, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Keith Urban. My boys.... I know they like being my duet partners in my car, and kitchen. I think they do.

Gus... You know from Psych. Is it really not returning until February?

Johnnie from Taste of India in Bountiful  We are besties with him now and when we come in, he treats us to all kinds of goodies, sits at the table with us, and chats about my dating life and India. So mostly India...



I need to learn to be kind.


But every time I make a new commitment to it I have to deal with a really difficult customer. Let me just say that the old adage that "the customer is always right." Is one of the boldest lies ever told. The customer is almost never right. And if you tell them that, you might even get the privileged of being sworn at.

Or someone raises their hand at church to make that comment that makes you cringe. You know the one about how they are the ultimate fighting champion and how somehow that has to do with the pride cycle? And I can't help but laugh to try to make the awkwardness go away.

Or when someone you know looks just like Sheldon's Girlfriend on the Big Bang Theory and you just HAVE to point that out to the girl sitting next to you.

And if someone has put a huge real life sunflower in her hair, like the size of her head for real. I have to say something. That kind of thing HAS to be acknowledged.

In Stake Conference this weekend they were talking about giving up our favorite sins and I was sitting next to an anonymous friend who said "But I only watch rated R movies in the theater." and I said "But I really like to gossip." Then we agreed to band together in not yet being willing to give up our favorite sins. I also like to speed. But that is a story for another time.


My Personal Dictionary

You know how when you are typing on your phone and it doesn't recognize the word but you hit space anyway it saves it to your phone? Well I found out that you can go into your personal dictionary on your phone and clear those saved "words." Because after awhile you have so many of those special words saved as actual words in your phone that you can send some really awkward text messages. Or messages that make no sense at all.

While cleaning out my personal dictionary this afternoon I cleared out a few choice words:

Words like:

What in the world was I trying to type? But at least they are not in there as legit words anymore. Some words in there make me smile because I know Exactly what text message I sent when that word was needed.

Words such as:

Then there are the words that are uniquely Annie. Either because me or a close friend invented the word, or because it is something the world is not as familiar with as it should be like Winco or the Uintas. These are words I did not delete.

Words like:

A couple of those are actually nicknames I made up for dear friends. Because in my life you haven't been initiated into full friendship if I still call you by your first name.

Now it is your turn to go clean out your phone dictionary. See what kind of words you make up and report back.

It is easy on a Droid, select settings> Language&Keyboard> Touch Input> Personal Dictionary. Easy as pie.



I used to have this roommate in college who would FLIP out if the cashier bagged anything on top of, or really in the same bag at all, as her tortillas. She said that if you put anything on them it smashes them and they aren't as good and they might stick together. Because obviously when they were shipped with like a thousand other tortillas stacked on top of them, that probably wouldn't smash them at all.

I never understood why people get upset about the bagging procedure. I mean     it just didn't seem like a big deal. I typically shop at Winco where you bag your own groceries or Smith's and use the self check out. So I haven't had a cashier bag my groceries in a very long time.

Yesterday I was at my favorite cheaper than dirt grocery store, and I was watching the cashier bag my groceries with bewilderment. So befuddled was I, that I stopped on my way to the car and rearranged things. I mean I couldn't handle the way things had been bagged.

leeks, cilantro, chocolate bars.

canned beans, bread, sour cream.

Frozen Potstickers, asparagus, canned tomatoes.

Spaghetti sauce, eggs, red vines.

Jalapenos, floss, frozen chicken.

Does that seem weird to anyone else? Despite the fact that I actually bought candy? It is for the movies and the road trip I am participating in this weekend. And you would buy a lot of chocolate too if you found Kinder bars for a dollar. Oh-My-Goodness! Kinder Bueno bars are my FAVORITE!! I couldn't just let them be smothered by leeks!

I am just saying....


Engagement Pictures

If I see one more HORRIBLE engagement picture I am going to scream! Seriously....

There is a trend among my people... Well two trends really. One is that every stay at home mom fancies herself a professional photographer  The other is that people have the most horrible engagement pictures done by said "Photographers."

If you look like you have a hunch back. If you look like you are scared to touch each other. If you look like you have never kissed before. If you look like you have 9 chins. If you have a branch poking you in the bum. If you took the pictures in your back yard and you can see the cable installer's truck in the background. If you eyes are closed in most of them. If you fiance looks like a creeper. If you look washed out. If you are wearing overalls. You need new pictures.

What is frustrating is that I offer, and I know two other friends who are VERY good, offer to take friends pictures for free just because we like doing it. Some of the worst pictures out there are of couples who have turned us down! I am no professional by any means. But you will at least look in love... and ALIVE.

Seriously call me! Ugh!



Today Joan picked Katy and I up and took us with him to volunteer at St. Vincent's Catholic Community Services. It was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again.
Katy got to fulfill her dreams of being a lunch lady and getting to scoop food out onto trays. I was in charge of dispensing ham and yogurt and Joan had some kind of crazy drink he was loading the trays with. The lady across from me in the line, the one giving out glasses of milk, asked after ten minutes if I make men turn gay.
Oh how insightful this fun old lady was! We couldn't get enough of teasing each other. I still don't know how she knew that all the men I love turn out to love boys.   
My favorite part was the man called Graveyard. He was showing us all his home done tattoos and telling us all about the last time he was arrested. He was also bragging about how he finally started taking his meds, and had been taking them consistently for an entire week.
We were so busy scooping out food and laughing with our new friends that I didn't even notice the hours pass. Seriously so fun. Can't wait til next time that I get to hang with Graveyard, and the rest of the St. Vincent crew!
P.S. I can't tell you how hot it is to jump in a man's car and have him turn the REAL country music up loud with the windows down. Thanks Joan! 

A Scary Story

I had just dropped Dave off, it was very late and as I pulled into my driveway I thought "I haven't checked the mail in a few days." So I walked out to the mail box. As I walked back a little stone hit me in the leg. I thought I must have kicked it with my other foot or something. Then a bigger rock hit me in the leg and I thought, probably some neighborhood kids trying to scare people. No big deal. I live in Bountiful, bad things don't happen here.

So I casually, enjoying the crisp fall night, walked back to my apartment. I got to the door not expecting it to be locked. For some reason this time I really struggled with the lock. I stood there fiddling with it trying to figure out why the key wouldn't fit in the lock.

In my frustration I turned my head and saw a large man just standing just behind me. I didn't stop long enough to look again or very well at all. My key instantly slid into the lock and I slipped into the house and bolted the door. Dave told me to call the police. "At least have someone drive by and look around." But I didn't want to because I was worried that maybe there hadn't been anyone there and my imagination was just running away with me. You know another flashlight man.... Then I told my roommate because she was due home any second to at least have her boyfriend bring her home. When he did bring her home he looked around. There was solid evidence that someone had been camped out in the trees by my mailbox.

Dave told me again, to call the police.

I did not call the police.

Dave said "Please call the police."

I did not call the police.

A few nights later I pulled into my driveway late at night again and got out of my car, once again enjoying the brisk fall evening. Then I heard "Run."

So I ran into the house and bolted the door.

And told Dave...

"Call the Police."

I did not call the police.

"Call the Police. They can drive by a few times tonight just to check the house."

I never saw anything though. What am I suppose to say when I call?
"Ummm hi, I was walking into my house tonight and felt kind of creeped out?"
Not happening.

"Call the police."

I did not call the police.



Chickens and Other Poultry

I hate birds. I am scared of them. I think they are diseased. This may stem from there being an abandoned pigeon house on the property my parents owned growing up. While Katy and I were adventuring we would frequently run in there to hide from monsters. There were old bird skeletons and crusty wings.... yuck, yuck, yuck.  

Except that I LOVE chickens!!! (That felt like a 3! statement) Really any kind of poultry. Ducks, geese, etc. There was a chicken in our yard the other day and I caught it and held it and squeezed it and made Leah pet her too. Se was so sweet and soft! I hope she wanders into our yard again soon! 

Have I ever mentioned before that growing up we had pet geese named Mulder and Scully? Well we did and I loved them too! Katy and I used to set a very tricky trap for them.. Wait til you hear how clever we were... We took this old piece of scrap metal and covered it in mud. Really thick mud, then we covered that with a bunch of sticks and leaves and things. Then we put the piece of metal on top of a rock in the creek. The idea was the geese would try to cross the creek by walking across the rocks and when they got to our disguised piece of metal they would step on it and it would slide off the rock and the geese would fall into the creek! Ha! Even if it had worked, for some odd reason, the result would simply be geese in water. Oh no! Poor geese! How naughty we were! 

Oh and we had a turkey named Barney that Katy and I used to ride around the yard until he became thanksgiving dinner, or at least half of him did. He was too big to fit in the oven whole, so my parents cut him in half!

Today there was a decapitated bird in our parking lot at work and the warehouse manager went and scooped it up and I could barely function in my office for like 20 minutes because I was just thinking about a bird. Sick... Sick... Sick...

Did I mention I love chickens? Because I do!

Like a lot! I can be the crazy chicken lady! Because believe me those exist!

I just laughed out loud when I remembered how my mom was president of the local chicken club! Oh how I realize more and more just how much like that woman I am!


A Convo With a Bestie

Him: Where could I get an STD if I needed one?..

Me: UMM I don't know... Pioneer Park, just sit on the grass probably.

Him: Umm.. what did you think I just asked you?

Me: What DID you just ask me?

Him: What I should be for Halloween.
Me: OH. I don't know.  Not a monkey this time.


The Flashlight Man...

There are three eternal truth that the missionaries copied down for my mom once.

1. When metal is red, it is hot. DON'T touch it.
2. Don't catch falling chainsaws.
3. ....

Three comes from this story, I was about 16.

For a few nights in a row I had seen a light bobbing around our backyard. I was sure someone was sneaking around our yard with a flashlight. I was nervous but my Dad had had assured me that everything was fine and it was just my imagination.

Then my dad left for scout camp with the boys and Katy said she had seen the same thing. Still, my dad had assured me there was nothing to worry about. Probably just a light reflecting off the pool making it look like it was moving.

But then I heard someone in the garage. Now I will admit that I have a very active imagination. But I could hear that someone was in the garage. Someone large. Because I could hear large things being picked up and moved around. I heard something fall off the wall and then heard a deep sigh. No actual words but certainly a voice. It wasn't a happy voice either. The sigh turned to a frustrated kind of grunt and Katy and I were scared.

Mom was home, but I believe had just had Logan and was upstairs sleeping as most new moms do. We went and woke her up, had her listen, and she also heard the noises. Katy and I gun in hand, I am not making this stuff up, headed back downstairs to call the police. Once I was back downstairs an idea came to me. My dog hadn't barked. Not even once. She was very protective of us and would bark her head off when any stranger approached the house. Odd, I thought. So What I decided to do was stand behind the door, open it and let the dog look out. I opened the door, Yogi looked out and stared... nothing.

So I opened the door and looked out. One of our cows was in the garage. Dad had emptied the van of the feed he had purchased and left it in the garage in his hurry to take off for camp. The cow had gotten out, found the bag of feed and had been eating out of it while also pushing it across the garage floor.

So number three is "Remember that the flashlight man was only a cow."
I find myself frequently in flashlight man situations. Situations where the threat I feel is an imagined one. Or that I have myself so worked up about something that I can no longer see the situation clearly. Fortunately I have been blessed to have many watch dogs in my life to warn me when something is truly amiss, or calm my fears when it is just a cow.

That's right I just called you all Dogs and Cows... and you like it.


Hide and Seek

We had to wait for Dave to get off work so we could go to dinner. It was later in the evening and someone was getting a little whiny. So when we saw Dave pull up we grabbed our shoes and headed out the door to meet him. We were outside not even a minute later.

But where was Dave? We mingled by the car...No Dave.

"Maybe he is finishing a private phone call?" Still no Dave.

"Is that his truck?"
"I'm not certain, but what are the chances that a truck just like his pulls up at our house exactly when we are expecting Dave?"
No Dave

"Someone go look in his truck."
"Don't get too close, if he is in there that will be super awkward."
No Dave

"Maybe he is peeing in the bushes?"
"Does he know it's totally okay to use our bathroom?"
No Dave

"Maybe he wanted to go make friends with a chicken."
"Maybe he ran over a chicken and is taking it to it's owner."
No Dave

"Maybe he went to the wrong house."
"I've been looking in all the windows and I don't see him."
No Dave

"Call him."
"He answered and we got cut off."
"Call him again."
"He hung up on me again."
"Do I need to call 911? Maybe he was kidnapped?"
No Dave

"JP go look in the woods and see if he is hiding from us."
"Is this some kind of joke?"
"Where could he possibly be?"
No Dave

"Maybe there was a free bookcase on the road and he went back to get it."
"Why wouldn't he just stop and throw it in his truck?"
No Dave

"Go look in his truck again, maybe he passed out in it."
"He isn't in there."
"How well did you really look?"
"He isn't in there."
No Dave

"I'm going to start knocking on neighbor's doors."
No Dave

Guess where Dave was?
I will just tell you.

He was doing his home teaching.

Well technically, he had already done his home teaching but he wanted to make sure that this inactive member knew that we had no church meetings on Sunday... Just in case they wanted to show up this week.

Don't worry we still had plenty of time to overeat and watch Boise State's touchdown.

"Wait, you thought I went into a neighbor's house and didn't realize I was in the wrong house and was just hanging out waiting for you to be ready to go?"

"Yeah I guess we didn't really think that option all the way through."


How to of the Day

That's right I clicked on the link.
You know... just to see if there was anything I was missing.

It said:
Participate is subtle flirting
Be mysterious
Keep him wanting more
Be considerate and kind
Be a positive force in his life
Don't force it.

Yep, sounds pretty much what my mom taught me my entire life.

Now I just need to find a man to practice them on.

P.S. I think I may need to start writing my own "how to of the day"... or maybe week to be realistic. I think it is a good idea... imparting of my vast knowledge to those who are lacking.


The Best Friends

The Dad: Why did you invite your friends over when the house is a mess?!
C: Why didn't you put a shirt on when you came downstairs?
The Dad: Well because it is just THEM!
C: Exactly.


Eating Alone

I am reading this book titled What We Eat When We Eat Alone. It is very interesting. Some of the things people say they eat when they eat alone are disgusting such as, mustard on a tortilla with coffee grounds. Yick! Or Old bread dipped in whiskey and ketchup, not my thing. Or grilled cheese with Jalapeno Jelly, which I might try if someone made one, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way.

Some people's confessions sounded delicious though. My favorite was the potatoes sliced thin, fried, then eaten with a sauce made from Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and mustard. Or a baked sweet potato with goat cheese and butter. That all sounds like I need to try it.

It has me thinking about what I eat when I eat alone. These are some of my favorites:
  • Boiled eggs smothered in spicy guacamole, on wheat toast
  • "Hot date wraps" consisting of; a whole wheat tortilla, spicy pickle, horseradish, and roast beef
  • A corn tortilla broiled, with a few pickled jalapenos and cheese
  • Mac and cheese with tomato soup mixed in
  • Tortilla and hummus
  • A can of Tuna with dill, and salt and vinegar chips
  • Popcorn with red pepper and Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with feta cheese, and Greek spices
  • Cherry tomatoes and pepperoni 
What do you eat when you eat alone? I would love to hear about everyone's delightful and strange concoctions.



The Desperately Desperate and Lonely Hearts Club

I am mean, I know it. If that bothers you, probably don't read the rest of this post. I will be ranting again about dating and such.

I went with a couple of friends to an over 25 single adult institute class. For those of you not familiar with the LDS lingo, institute is a scripture study program for the college age young adult. I attended while at Utah State and I learned so much about the gospel and myself. We had amazing teachers and fellow students who created an environment of learning. I learned so much, and I couldn't get enough of it. Some semesters I had 3 institute classes.

Last night I had enough after 20 minutes.

It started with a guy on the front row who replied to the teachers query about the date with, "I know today is the 11th because tomorrow is the 12th and I have a date! I haven't been on a date since 1999!" Oh goodness, we were in for a long night. We spent the first 35 or more minutes discussing how a prophet is called. Don't get me wrong, that is important to know, but isn't there maybe a primary song or something that illustrates that? I was frustrated that in a class specifically designed for those of us who are older, the curriculum hadn't been altered to reflect that. I could have easily been in a seminary class. (Seminary = same thing for high schoolers) My roommate passed me a note that said "milk before meat but we don't need formula." I laughed, the teacher glared.

Now I agree that men should be interested in a girl with a mind. Someone who understand the gospel and enjoys learning, and can teach it to your children. But ladies, just because you sit up front and answer EVERY SINGLE  question the teacher asks before he even finishes asking it, does not make you any more attractive. Especially rhetorical ones.

We were discussing the parable of the labors in the vineyard. We were bracing ourselves for someone to make this lesson about dating and we were not disappointed. "I just feel like some of us are the laborers who are at the last hour and haven't been picked, you know in dating. I just think it is so important that we realize that we won't find a man until we don't want one." I was cringing, she was crying. In my opinion there is no truth to that. You are never going to find something you aren't looking for. Just don't be desperate. It can't be all you want, or all you plan for. You can't live a life of anticipation for only one thing and deny yourself true happiness until it is gained. And you have to put your hand down and stop telling every boy in the room, (there were perhaps 6 of them and none of them seemed to be 25 quite yet), that you are desperately desperate.

Oh and all you other ladies who added your tearful comments about how sad you are that you don't date.

Seriously it is hurting me.

Who attends an institute class where you feel like you learn something, and or feel strengthened in your testimony as you leave at the end of class? Please take me with you!


Dear Kyle,

Thanks for reading my blog.
You are sexy when you wear your fireman shirt.
That is all.



We are hiring part time in our warehouse again.
It is almost impossible to find good help.
But the other day we hired someone.
The next day someone called to apply who sounded perfect.
I wrote his name down and asked him to send in a resume anyway.

Today we fired the new hire and I was desperately digging through my trash for the name and number of the perfect man who had called. I knew it was on a yellow post it note so when I found this note in my trash I called it up!
Me: Hi is this Kurt?
K: Yeah
Me: This is Annie with ______. Were you the one who called to apply for a job?
K: No not me.
Me: Well why the heck do I have your number on this post it note on my desk?
K: I think I want to take you on a date.
Me: Do you need a job?
K: Uh maybe... what does it pay?

Oh Kurt.... Thanks, but no thanks. Back to the trash you go.


The Phantom

Me: So I was Facebook stalking you and realized we share a common friend.
G: Oh really? Who?
Me: *** but we call him The Phantom. How do you know him?
G: He was in my ward once. How do you know him?
Me: I have a crush on him!
G: Very good, I approve. You know the first time I met him we were carving pumpkins and everyone had their little carving knife out. But he busted out a drill and started going to town on that pumpkin. He carved Superman in it.
Me: Why is this man not my best friend?


I Choose to be Offended

Aunt : I was wondering if you could come visit this afternoon.
Me: Probably not today, but maybe I could stop by tomorrow sometime.
A:Well I want you to meet a boy.
M: I don't want to.
A: Well he is a very nice boy, and I really like his family.
M: The problem is Aunt S, that you like EVERYONE, and I like hardly anyone.
A: Oh well that isn't true.... is it?
M: Tell me about this guy.
A: Well if I had to guess I would say he is probably REAL good at computers.
M: *Pause* Maybe I can get my roommate or a friend or someone to come with me to make it less awkward.
A: Well whatever you need to make it less awkward dear.

My roommate, who was totally available, refused to go with me and left the house to avoid having me ask her about it. I had to go it alone. I tried so hard to get out of it. But my aunt is too nice to be mean to.

Have you ever had someone set you up on a date and when they show up you are kind of offended that someone who claims to know you well thought you would be a good match? Well he showed up, he was about 5ft, long unkempt beard. He was wearing a red Shopko uniform polo shirt, he doesn't work at Shopko, he just thought that was a good look. She was also wearing white, falling apart, velcro shoes. Oh and he was really good at computers.

I spent the whole time teasing my aunt about how much she wants me to repent. I had my aunt in stitches and the young man thinking I was a degenerate for sure. My uncle fell asleep and would occasionally wake up to insert his agreement that I repent.

I am not opposed to the set up. But maybe I could set a few guidelines.

*Good hygiene, including clean clothes
*Some sense of humor
*A job
* Ability to live independently. He can live at home to save money, I mean someone who has the physical ability to live alone.

Please bless I can have at least these things. That's a fair request right? Why does my Auntie like to set me up with people who don't meet these qualifications?


You Are Not Dying

You know how if you have a weird pain in you arm or side or something and you WebMD it you always find out you have cancer and are dying? Scary...

Well growing up I had the opposite, which I was reminded of when I came across this article today discussing an outbreak of hantavirus. 

You see when I was a child and would complain about something hurting, and my mom knew it was nothing, she would tell me that I probably had hantavirus and then laugh and laugh at me. Sometime I would be mad, sometimes I would whine that it really did hurt, and sometimes I would laugh too.

Make no mistake however my dear sister would always laugh at me. 

I miss my crazy mom.


A Gem or Two For You

I love to watch the news. I have been watching a lot of RNC coverage, In the process I have come across a few other stories that make me laugh and feel total disgust for the people I share this planet with.

There are more but for the sake of time I will share my three favorites from this morning. 

There was a corn vendor in North Ogden yesterday who accidentally shot himself in the back so he told police he was robbed and shot. How in the world does one accidentally shoot themselves in the back? A foot maybe. And then to top it off by calling it into the cops so as to hide your embarrassment... Which do you think seems more embarrassing?

Or closer to home, in Grand Island the schools are trying to make a 3 year old deaf boy change the sign for his name because it resembles a weapon. Are you kidding me?You want him to change his name! He is three!

And I hope you didn't miss the story about the man in Indiana who flipped off the LDS missionaries, then while distracted, ran his car up a pole and rolled it. Apparently he was struggling to flip off the missionaries, while not dropping his cigarette, and steering his car.


The Best Wife Ever!

"I have the BEST wife ever! She bought me tickets for Superman this weekend!."

"I could not love my wife more. This weekend she taught me how to fold a fitted sheet."

"I seriously have the most awesome wife in the world. This morning she made me pancakes."

Seriously?! These are for real facebook posts from people I really know. Do these things really make you the best wife ever? I can buy Superman tickets. It is super easy and they don't cost that much. I mean I bought movie tickets just this last weekend.

Pancakes? I am giving ten to one odds that they were from a mix and someone just added water. You know what I had for breakfast? I had eggs blackstone. It is like eggs Benedict but with spinach and tomatoes. And I made the hollandaise from scratch. Yesterday I made an omelet with feta cheese and fresh veggies. Ummm... On a weekday, before work, while dancing. Did I ever tell you I make my own syrup? Okay just sayin....

The fitted sheet thing I am not even going to comment on. Okay I will. I was trying to avoid it though because I don't even fold fitted sheets. Okay I concede that maybe I won't be the BEST WIFE EVER! I use the Drew method of folding fitted sheets which basically means I twirl them around in my arms until it forms a nice crumpled lump and shove it in the closet. I do fold towels though.

I mean maybe it is really great that these men are so grateful for the little things. But every time it leaves me thinking that if those things make for a fabulous wife, why am I still on the market? If guys are looking for girls with skills, I got em'. Well maybe not computer hacking skills... but I know people.

My Skills:
I can buy movie tickets
I can buy concert tickets
I can grocery shop 
I can pretend to play the guitar, while dancing
I paint
I can order take out
I can pick up the take out
I can cook you something better at home
I can drive a mini van
I know where we keep the extra rolls of toilet paper
I can find the mustard in the fridge.
I know all the words to Saturday's Warrior
and every Keith Urban song.
I can knit the heck out of some yarn
I can do a Jersey accent
I can keep my office plant alive
I can run for almost an entire mile
I can text without looking
Make a mean cup of herbal tea
Get free things with a wink
I can make ANYONE laugh
I can punch like a boy
I have my own car
I can sing off key
I tell a great bedtime story
I love spicy food
I can make pancakes
Spanish Omelets. 

I actually have some other skills too. You know ones that matter. Ones that might actually make me a pretty great wife. But I better not give too much away at once. I don't want to price myself out of the market.


Dear Snubs,

Maybe it didn't mean that much to you, but thanks for dinner. Thanks for still being able to order for me after all this time. Thanks for making me laugh like no one else can. Thanks for being brutally honest with me even when it might hurt. Thanks for understanding my heart. Thanks for loving me even though I am a Mormon *gasp*. Thanks for agreeing to go to Chick-fil-a with me, as long as I pay. Thanks for being able to offer a sincere apology and admit when you have been a word I don't say. Thanks for being my "fiance."

S: Annie If I die and I find out that you are right, and I still exist, I still plan on marrying you.
A: Well I am right and you will, but I don't plan on being available.
S: If any part of me, in anyway is alive, if I have any consciousness at all, it is yours.
A: It makes me happy that even if only the tiniest shred of what is you still exists, even that tiny little part will still want to be with me.

Thanks for letting me dislike 'the other girl.' Thanks for finding it a little attractive when I get jealous. Thanks for taking it in stride when that kid openly hit on you and I got ticked. Thanks for being sexy. Thanks for being more than my gay friend. Thanks for being one of the best. Thanks for changing me for the better. Thanks for caring about what I am going through. Thanks for letting me hit on your Dad. Thanks for being okay with me blogging about us. You like it!

Thanks for being MY very own Snubs!



I am the chubbiest of my entire life.
And I have never liked the way I look more than I do now.
I realize that in a few months I will be thirty.
While that kind of makes me panic. 
I like to think I am pretty.
I am never going to be 16 again. 
Thank goodness!
If, with age comes beauty,
and I find that I grow up to look just like my mom.
I will be thrilled.
And just like her....

I don't plan to stop acting 16 anytime soon.

Defending My Boys: A Dating Rant

*Warning* When I said rant I meant it.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a room with a lot of single ladies. Somehow it turned into a boy bashing session.One girl said "all the boys I know are bums that live in their parents basement and play video games. I am sick of finding these men." Then another would reply with "I just think boys in general are lazy. They don't ask girls out anymore."

I am afraid I may have been a little too harsh when I finally piped up. "Where are you finding these men? All the guys I know are hiking, camping, fishing, playing soccer or frisbee, grilling, having bonfires, riding, running, or working 12 hour days. AND they are ALL dating frequently. They just aren't dating you. The first and most necessary step to changing this would be to NEVER let a boy hear you talking like this. You stink of desperation and negativity, this will almost always put you at the bottom of the pack. I am thinking now of all my best guy friends and I can only think of one who has a gaming system, and when he gets it out he always invites me over to kick his butt at Mario Kart."

I am obviously no expert on dating. But I needed to defend the amazingly good, righteous men in my life who are trying so hard to do the right things. Give them a break ladies.

Ladies, I know it is hard, and there are lonely times, and you worry that time is running out, but don't be that girl. Be the girl who likes herself and the men in her life, respect them, they are trying I swear they are, and they are GOOD men. Seriously the men I know are so good, and there is SO much pressure on them at this stage in their life.

Oh one more thing: I have a friend who is ridiculously righteous, attractive, successful, kind and funny. The last 9 girls he asked out said no! Seriously? Seriously!?


Bear Lake for a Jersey Girl

I know a million of you have already seen our bear lake pictures from facebook and instagram.

I would like to share just one little story and a video though.

After I just tell you that we drove all the way around the lake.
It kinda reminded me of Jeresy. Which leads me to my story.

We were out swimming in the lake...
It was seriously the prettiest day and the water was so warm. I know that seems like an oxymoron because we all know Bear Lake is NEVER warm. But it was, I swear. Now to the story. We some how, if you know me you are not surprised, became part of a stranger's synchronized swim team.

It was so much fun and somewhere near the end they did or said something that prompted me to say:
M: We don't do things like that in Jersey!
H: What part of Jersey are you from?
*No one is ever from my part of Jersey, not ever!*
M: Woodstown, the pretty part, farmland and the beach, you know the town where Cowtown is.
H: We are from Woodstown! We lived there for a year and then got a place in Mullica Hill.
M: Um seriously?
*Not believing but wondering how they knew about Mullica Hill.*
H: So are youz guyz from Woodstown or is is just the closest town you thought we'd recognize because of Cowtown?
M: No I am really from Woodstown and the youz guyz gave you away! You are really from Jersey!

My heart melted and it now a part of Bear Lake permanently. How can I go back every single weekend?

Use the following link to observe some of our fun. I am the one in the black swim top near the end.


Safety First

There are many nights that I walk home very late. I often reflect on my walk and or ride home about how great it is to live in a place where I can walk safely home after midnight, a white girl, alone. Please any suspicious creepers on my blog, do not decide to follow me home. Ahh!! Okay but anyway Yesterday I went to the local farmers market with these lovely ladies.
In the picture you will notice that Taryn is holding one of my zucchini and the little bouquet of flowers that a random stranger gave to me. I was very excited about my 50 cent zucchini and can't wait to grill them. Leah and I made the best grilled zucchini ever the other night. I dream about it, seriously. So anyway...

Much later that evening after a heated game of Mario Kart I headed home. I was walking with my jumbo purse over my shoulder, a jumbo zucchini under each arm, my little tender bouquet of flowers, and a half eaten bag of kettle corn. On my way home I have to cross a very busy street. Normally it isn't a problem because I walk up the busy street for a block or so and just jaywalk when there are no vehicles. Last night I went a different way and had to cross the busy street at the intersection. I could see vehicles in the distance but they were all moving slow and all three or 4 blocks away so I started to cross the street.

Once I started across the street one of the cars sped up. I remember thinking 'what the craziness is that person doing? Why is he speeding up? And then... That car is going to hit me!' So I stopped and took a few steps back to try to make it into the "suicide lane" before he hit me. My next thought was 'That is a police car that just hit me.' But it wasn't anything serious. It was just his car brushing past my body. Still it was the scariest moment of my life. Then he pulled over and turned his lights on.

That is when I thought... 'Oh Crap and now he is going to give me a ticket for jaywalking!' So I made a dash for it with a zucchini under each arm, exactly like Taryn is demonstrating in the picture. Then I thought 'No Annie be cool.' So I stopped running and just walked as fast as I could up my street with my head down pretending like nothing had happened hoping he wouldn't turn around and come down my street after me.

He didn't. So I went home and wide awake as I was, heart RACING, I made the best chicken enchiladas you have ever tasted! It is okay to laugh. Seriously. Picture me running down the street with my zucchinis like I stole them, and laugh. And then be happy I am alive. And then know that I am mad that only one person read my facebook status and asked if I was okay. Seriously! More people should have been concerned! You like me! Right?


More Conversing With the Boss Man

*Boss walks into bathroom*
B: Annie! What did you do in here!
A: Umm.... I don't know what you are talking about.
B: Well it didn't go down and it is floating in there, and it smells

*cut to an hour later when I make my way into the bathroom*
A: What the? It smells nasty in here! What is that and why is is foaming?
B: I told you! It's your ice cream!
A: Oh well why didn't you just flush it?
B: Because that is disgusting! Why did you flush your ice cream?
A: So it wouldn't be stinking up the trash can and leaking out and getting the can all gooey.
B: Well it was nasty!
A: How is ice cream nasty?
B: It was orange and foaming and it smelled bad.
A: As bad as if I had given it to someone else to finish and it made it's way unflushed into the toilet that way?
B: Well... it was still gross.



It rained here. It was still 82 degrees and I saw so many people in hoodies. Seriously? It was still 82 degrees!
* * * * * *
I went home and thought "hey it is only 78 degrees, I should go running!" Crazy girl! That is basically 80 degrees with no breeze! I was dying! But it felt great!
* * * * * *
I am obsessed with the Philippine dried coconut pieces. You know the company who sells the best dried mangoes of your life? Seriously run to Costco right now and grab a bag if you like coconut! I can't stop tasting them!
* * * * * *
There is nothing quite like having the power go out when you are in the shower.
* * * * * *
"I would like to nominate myself for an Oscar in the Celestial movie of your life." ~Me to Leah
* * * * * *
Don't tell your sister multiple times that she just needs to give a certain young man a chance because he is a REALLY good guy, even though he has no personality, because he just might decide to switch sisters and then you are out of excuses.



So there was this one time that a relationship I was in ended. It was hard for me but I had other good friends. One of them said to me "good I never liked him anyway, he was SUPER boring." Well I thought, and actually still think, that he's hilarious. But never mind that. I couldn't help thinking 'why the heck didn't you tell me that during the year plus I was with him? Why did you so willingly come to our game nights and dinner parties? Seriously?' 
Question. If a good friend is dating someone boring, or irritating, or a little too self centered do you tell them? I'm not talking when they are a horrible person, or you think your friend is in an abusive or controlling relationship. That I think needs to be discussed. I mean when they are a great person but being around them makes you want to rip your arm off and throw it at them. Me, I'd want to know. But apparently people don't tell in the spirit of good friendship.


Where I Come From: Stephen Hopkins (Part 2)

The Mayflower

So Hopkins, his pregnant wife Elizabeth, children Constance and Giles from his first marriage, and child Damarius departed England on the Mayflower. While on the Voyage a child is born and named Oceanus. 

"On November 11, after 66 days at sea, the Mayflower came to anchor in what is now Provincetown harbor, and Stephen once again found himself on a ship which had reached an unintended destination."

Here, despite his experience in Bermuda, Hopkins petitions to have the company stay there. This time the captain makes the safe decision and they anchor there. He becomes one of the 41 signers of the Mayflower Compact. It is late in the year and the colonist must find a place to settle soon. As one of only three passengers who have been to the new world before, he is a leader on this expedition The women are left on board while the men begin to scout the coast. On December 6th Stephen is one of only ten men willing to brave the weather to continue scouting the coast, when they are attacked by Indians. No one is harmed however, and they row on into a storm that breaks the rudder hinges, and mast. On December 11th they finally find "Thievish Harbor" where there is fresh water and no sign of natives. Here, the landing at Plymouth Rock takes place.

They spend the winter aboard the Mayflower as shelter is being built on shore. This time around however, Stephen does not escape the starving time. The woman were hit hardest with only 4 of the 18 surviving, by some miracle all the Hopkins family and servants were spared. One settler recorded that at times there were no more than 7 people of sound mind "who to their great commendations spared no pains night or day, but with abundance of toil and hazard to their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them."

When the Mayflower departed for England in early April not one of the pilgrims chose to return to England. 
Hopkins was a great asset to the community. He was adept at fishing and hunting, and because of his previous experience as a colonist, he acted as a liaison to the local Indians, often welcoming them into his own home. One native, Squanto, lived with the Hopkins family. Squanto's stay was essential in helping the colonists form allies with native tribes.

He was not exactly a model citizen though. He was fined 5 pounds for the beating of John Tisdale, he was fined for serving alcohol on Sunday, allowing his friends to become drunk, and allowing servants to drink and play shuffle board. He was also convicted of price gouging and even landed in jail. His jail term came because "his indentured servant, Dorothy Temple, was pregnant by a man who had been hung for murder. She was whipped for having a bastard child, but then she had nowhere to live. The court ordered Hopkins, as her owner, to be responsible for her support for the duration of her contract. Hopkins wanted to resolve the matter on his own terms without a court order, and he was found to be in contempt. He spent four days in jail until John Holmes agreed to take Temple and her son to live with him for the payment of £3, relieving Hopkins of his obligation."

Hopkins died sometime in 1644 at the age of 63 as a wealthy man. He willed to his children "his house, many animals and 'movable goods' such as books, rugs, flannel sheet, a frying pan, fire shovel, butter churn, two wheels, a cheese rack, scale and weights and four skins."

(Part I: The Sea Venture)



Buffalo Ranch Loop

I won't go into detail...
But this was me yesterday.
Have you had those days? Seriously cruddy.
Then to add to the day, apparently there was also a convention of grumpy in town and they had all their afternoon meetings in my office. Where did they all come from, and why all in one day?
I didn't wake up like this but one crazy, insane, mean, rude person at a time had me feeling this way when I left and headed home.

So what do you do in the summer time when all the world is mean?

You go for a bike ride!

I am so greatful to live somewhere so beautiful, where this bike ride is only a minute or two away.
Goose crossing! The Buffalo Ranch Loop that I rode last night, is only a few miles and you pedal right through a bird santuary on the bay.
I like to go at or near sunset. It really is so pretty.
You can't forget to wear a scarf though. That close to the water, that time of night, the bugs are EVERYWHERE! You don't want to swallow one. Believe me I have been there!

Then I met Joan (pronounced Joe-on) we went for a ride up the canyon while we blasted some country tunes, and sang along with the windows down.Thanks Joan!


Where I Come From: Stephen Hopkins (Part I)

The Sea Venture

I have been reading a lot about this grandfather of mine (11th).

I wanted to be as close to historically accurate as I could be, which has required the reading of a ton of material. I have taken what seems to be consistent between the accounts and included it here. It is long but a good story. Promise.

So let's get started. In May 1609, At 28 years old he left his wife and two children in England and signed on with the Virginia Company as part of their third supply expedition to the new world. As he had no money to invest he was listed as a servant on the flagship The Sea Venture. He was to receive free passage, lodging, food and ten shillings every three weeks/months to send home. After his three year contract he was to receive 30 acres in the colony. While on board he was known as a loud mouth who quoted the Bible a lot. He is later described by William Strachey, who chronicled the voyage of the Sea Venture, as "A fellow who had much knowledge in the Scriptures, and could reason well therein" 

On July 24th the fleet sailed into a hurricane. The Sea Venture was taking on water and had lost contact with the other ships in the fleet. Fortunately within the week (4 days) they spotted land and ran the ship aground upon a reef about a mile from Bermuda. Not one passenger, including a dog, perished in the incident and Stephen himself made it to Bermuda clinging to a wine barrel.
The Sea Venture, while not sea worthy, did not break apart and the men were able to retrieve supplies from the ship as well as use the wood along with local cedar to build two new vessels.

Bermuda turned out to be a happy accident. They were on an uninhabited island so there was no threat of natives, and an island with plenty of food, and “bibby” made from the fermented fruit of the palmetto tree.
Despite this, their goal was still Jamestown, Hopkins was no fool however and thought they should stay in paradise and colonize it. He also thought that if they never made it to Virginia then they could not be held to their contract with the Virginia company. However, this line of thinking was seen as treason and he was tried for such his sentence was execution. However, due to his pleading on behalf of his wife and children at home in England that they would be ruined should word reach England of his mutiny, he was pardoned and was on one of the ships (Patience or Deliverance) bound for Virgina when they left Bermuda.

Both ships arrived safely in Jamestown in May of 1610 where they found that all the other ships in the company had made it safely to Jamestown. However the settlers had been met with adverse conditions and had dwindled dramatically in numbers. Even turning to cannibalism to survive. Records don't show if Stephan remained in Jamestown or as a mutineer was shipped straight back to England on the next available ship. However his wife dies in England in 1613 and he was not there. He also has vast knowledge of the local Indians when he returns on the Mayflower in 1620, leaving historians to speculate that he had spent a significant amount of time in Virginia before returning to England.

Once back in England, whenever it was, he discovers that his wife has perished and his three children are in the custody of the church. One of which is Constance Hopkins, My Great-Grandma (10). In 1618 he marrys again, they take up residence in a home just outside the east wall of London nearby the infamous Henage house. Henage house being home to a group of Separatists looking for funding for a Patent to settle a community of religious freedom in the new world. They were recruiting men with economic ambition to join them and Stephen was the perfect match. In 1620, this time with his entire family, he departs for the new world aboard the Mayflower.

(Part II The Mayflower)

Main Source of Resources for our story:


I Can Always Be Kind

The situation with the bus monitor Karen Klein being bullied makes my heart hurt so much.

I can't stop thinking about it this afternoon. It makes me grateful for parents who taught me to stick up for the under dog. It makes me proud of my sister Kate for letting Keith play wild stallions with her and her friends on the playground even though he was a little smelly.

When I look back on my own years I was never the cool kid in school. I was the Mormon, respected but generally left alone. It lead to a few lonely days, but in the end I was kind and funny and I made friends. Very good friends who are very good people. I have a lot of respect for the people I went to high school with, because no one was bullied, or tortured. I can think of a few kids who weren't cool. But they weren't made fun of. They were left alone. My mom taught me that I didn't have to be best friends with them, but I ALWAYS had to be kind. My friend Peet was the greatest example of this. She was as cool as it got in my mind, and yet in gym she would find the most awkward lonely kid and have him walk the track with us. I am still not sure either of us knew a word that Rich was saying but for one class period every day he knew he had a friend.

Mom always taught us that the kids that are the dirtiest, smelliest, most obnoxious, etc. are probably that way because they don't have parents who love them like I do. I know for a fact that the three or four people I can think of that fit that description had horrible home lives, and most were in and out of foster care.

One of those girls recently added me on facebook. She was so negative and almost suicidal in her posts that I deleted her. Today I readded that girl I once knew, who is currently begging for help. Maybe just maybe I can be some influence for good in her life.

Guess what? That chubby kid who wore penny loafers with socks and jeans in high school... The one you thought was weird but were always kind to even though he had a huge crush on you and it kinda weirded you out. He will be the first person to call you when your mom dies, and he will make sure that your other best friend who is living in the Czech Republic knows about it almost before you do. When you fly back home a couple years later and are feeling so incredibly lonely for your mom, and every thing you touch or see is a memory that pricks at your aching heart... he will know that is probably the case and make sure to meet up with you at the local diner and talk with you and make you laugh. He will respect you for the rest of his life, and he will turn to you when things are tough. When someday he sees a Mormon kid getting picked on he will stand up for him because he knew a Mormon once who was a great person, and when the missionaries knock on his door he will be kind and cordial to them and offer them a Pepsi that they will politely refuse. Your life will be better because you were kind to one boy in high school you could have easily ignored.

Oh and that awkward, skinny red head in gym class. She lives in New York now and is a fabulous actress that has been a regular on a popular drama and in numerous movies. She is going to be a star someday, but in high school maybe you were her star, and she yours. All it took was kindness to find a very sincerely kind heart to cling to in rough times.

And to everyone who was kind to that one Mormon girl. I appreciate it. I share this not to toot my own horn. I share it because as I watched this video I realized bullying doesn't just happen with kids. I am no longer the Mormon, I mean I am still Mormon, but now I live in Davis County Utah (Mormon Central). I am no longer THE Mormon, I am one of many. So I reflect this afternoon on who is the "Rich" in my social circles. Who needs me to reach out and be kind? Who needs a good laugh or just a kind smile? I can always be kind.

The power of one good friend (Kip) changed my dad's life, changed my mom's life (the girl who invited her back to church), changed my brother's life (Jon) and thus changed my life. I can't be the person who passes up the opportunity to change the lives of those around me.


The Water Bottle

Have you purchased for yourself the water bottle from Costco yet? If not, go buy one right now! When I saw that it claimed to keep your water cold for 20 hours I scoffed at the idea. Too good is never true, am I right? But it was the kind I like the best with a rubber straw for sipping and it was metal on the outside so I wouldn't break this one.

It is the greatest thing that ever happened to me! I fill it up, stick one or two ice cube in it and the ice cube stay ice for days! The water from the water cooler at work stays cool all day. Perfection. Until Monday morning when I couldn't find my bottle anywhere. I searched the entire house. I was late to work because I was searching everywhere.

Days came and went and I was contemplating buying a new one. So I searched my car inside and out. I went through the house again. I borrowed keys and broke into the church to look there. Nothing. As I drive away from the church I am thinking "those darn Mormons, stealing my water bottle. People these days."

Until last night when I am telling my roommate every place that I looked and asking her if she has seen it and it comes to me. Maybe it rolled under the couch. I mean I would have looked there earlier but we just got the couch over the weekend (thanks to Kyle and his dad, in their fireman shirts no less). I have never had a couch on wooded legs before. I normally have the kind a water bottle would never fit under and you don't know what has made it under there until the movers lift it up and you are embarrassed beyond belief.

So Leah hops off the couch and peers underneath
"Um it is here."
"Seriously? Give it to me."

It was like I had found a 100 dollar bill on the side walk, which by the way would buy you 10 of the most perfect water bottles ever.

I forgot it at home today.



"I had too many of your *darn* cookies last night." ~ Jess

 Is music to my ears.

* * * * * *
I am not sure there is much that I dislike more than an online recipe with no printer friendly version.

* * * * *
I just made myself sound really spoiled.

* * * * *

Laying on the floor,
barely able to move from the amount of food that had been consumed that evening
and JP says "wait! Annie made cookies? Hand me one of those!"

* * * * *

I don't like the way Target smells.


The Bake Sale

I'm posting this for Leah who witnessed this conversation and thought it was funny.

Dad: Reese you need to go to the doctor because this could be cancer.
Me: But it's so expensive.
Dad: Don't you have insurance now?
Me: Yeah but it's a 5,000 dollar deductible and it's not like the bank loans dying people money.
Dad: The hospital will always treat you. They won't let you die.
Me: But I will be making payments for the rest of my life and I'd probably rather be dead.
Dad: Well someone will have a bake sale for you.
Me: Dad that's so sweet you'll have a bake sale for me?
Dad: No I thought your friends would do it.
Me: We aren't friends?!?!
Dad: *laughing
Me: I guess I am going to have to resort to putting a can on the counter at the Maverick for people's loose change.

P.S. I don't even a little bit have cancer. I was just telling my dad that my hip hurt. But it doesn't hurt because I am sick, it hurts because I have abandoned my car and now walk or ride my bike everywhere I go. It is amazing (I have an inappropriate attachment to my bike) and I couldn't be happier, but it takes a few days for your bottom, and hip apparently, to adjust to this new activity. I even took my bike to return Kyle's power tools. I thought I'd have an empty satchel on my way home but was incorrect, as apparently I had left enough of my own things at his house to fill the satchel right back up! He likes it when I leave my shoes in his car!

Father's Day

About a month ago:

Kate: What are you doing?
Me: Calling Dad
Kate: Why?
Me: Just to talk to him, no reason.
Kate: Save it for Father's Day!
Me(to dad): Dad, Katy told me to save it for Father's Day when I wanted to call you.
Dad: Well I will remember that and avoid her when I am in town next week.

I hope Kate remembered to call Dad yesterday. Otherwise, I suppose she won't be able to call him again until his birthday. Or maybe Christmas.



It might be time to invest in a new rotary board.


I took that picture with my phone...
If you go here you can make one too.
I used the text of the testimony I shared here.

I like it.

Thanks for the link Kay!



I have been pondering recently, the principle of compensation.

When Elder Wirthlin gave his talk Come What May and Love it, I remember thinking. How will I be compensated for the loss of my mom and so many other dear friends in my life? I decided I should be compensated with a cowboy husband. I decided and I waited.

And I am still waiting because that is not how The Lord works. We don't pick our blessings do we?

In all actuality I am not waiting for my compensation.

I realized this a few weeks ago.

I had been outside playing with these two kiddos.
We even went fishing.
Later that night when I was holding this one tight as he fell asleep with a fever,
I looked down at him and thought "This is my compensation." I have 4 new eternal family members, that I wouldn't trade. If something happened to one of these guys my grief would be exponential. I lost one and gained 4. It isn't the compensation I picked out for myself, but I'll take it. I will more than take it. I will be eternally grateful for every sticky kiss, sassy expression, and story read.

I haven't given up completely on my cowboy husband.

Since you brought it up....
This is how I now feel about my cowboy man.
If you aren't an actual cowboy that's cool, you can be a cowboy on the inside.



  • Look up Pizza Man on amazon.
  • Let your friend read Pizza Man to you when you have a hacking cough. 
  • Wear a Shade layering tee as just a tee. Layer it, trust me.
  • Put off going to the doctor for two months when you have a hacking cough.
  • Start liking a boy before he asks you out.
  • Ask someone why he is trying to get into your hotel room until you make sure you are in the correct hallway. 
  • Listen to Jason Aldean all the way up if you have cheap speakers. 
  • Listen to your new favorite song *Kiss You Goodnight* 30 times in a row.
  • Eat Cheetos, then iron your temple dress.
Seriously.... Don't.


If you give a girl a perscription...

She's going to want a date to go with it.

"I have always wanted an inhaler. Just think of the possibilities. Say a professor calls on you randomly and you aren't prepared. Just start sucking away on that thing and you are home free!" ~Spencer (co-worker at USU)

I have been sick since I drove home from Vegas. Seriously it was miserable. No one needs to have a horrible cough for 2 months. But I kept thinking it was getting better. My boss told me to go to the doctor I didn't. My friends told me to see a doctor and I didn't. I have had, in general, only horrible experiences with doctors. I know that typically they are amazing men and women who work hard, and save lives. My experience however, has been large bills for no improvement.

Finally, yesterday, I saw a doctor. Thanks to my adorably sweet bishop and his wife who made the appointment with a friend of theirs. Along with a lot of assurance that I would be in goods hands and taken care of.

What I wasn't anticipating was the incredibly ATTRACTIVE student doctor he brought in with him. That is not exactly the place you want to run into a sexy man. I am looking homeless, coughing up a lung, smoker voice, making a great impression I am sure. He also made sure he administered the nasal spray himself. Awkward having this incredibly attractive man stick medicine up your runny nose.

For the record that nasal spray is the worst tasting thing that I have ever had in my nose. Seriously so gross. I would trade in a heart beat for that pink bubble gum flavored stuff I choked down as a child.

The story gets better though because just when you thought you couldn't get any sexier he prescribes you an inhaler. Seriously. Maybe he was just trying to make sure no one else would want me. That is the story I am going to tell myself. Then he was going to get off work and hang out at Smith's Marketplace hoping I would need to stop by and pick up some cilantro for dinner. Unfortunately, when I stopped to pick up cheese for dinner he wasn't there. Maybe I should have checked the produce section.

P.S. I was going to include a picture with this post. However, when I googled attractive doctor, none of them were as attractive as my student Doctor... and don't type in hot doctor. WARNING!

P.P.S. My cough was gone when I left the office. No more cough! What a beautiful thing!