If I was Feeling Lonely

Wednesday after school, our Baby got a phone call. Not from his best friend, he was already here. Or his other best friend, but one of Calvin's best friends growing up. He wanted to come over and play xbox with Baby. I thought "How sweet!" He came over and they got to work in the basement killing bad guys and having fun.

Then about 15 minutes later three girls came over, one of them happened to be one of Calvin's best friends. She is the cutest tomboy. She would always round up the neighborhood for a game of football in her grandpa's backyard. (She confided in me how recently they had been hiding behind some bushes and were throwing little plastic army men onto passing car's windshield.) They were hanging out talking to me and discovered the other friend in the basement. So they went downstairs to play with Baby and friend.

Then two more boys came over and hung out in the basement with everyone else.

Olaf came home and took a phone call. 'Is M here?" he asked me all perplexed.

"Oh yeah, there's a bunch of Calvin's friends in the basement playing with Baby," I nonchalantly replied.

"What? I'm gonna cry. That is so sweet of them to play with him." he replied, stunned that there were teenagers in our house again.

Baby loved the attention. He has always loved Calvin's friends and the attention they give him. He thinks of them as friends, just like anyone his age. It was good for them to play with him. It was nice to have rowdy teenagers in the house again, even tho it's infrequently going to happen. Those kids might keep me from being lonely and missing the teenagers.


It's the Little Things That Count

Olaf was out walking the other day and one of Calvin's best friends came running out to tell him that the night before (Oct. 23) the High School Football Team had all painted 'CH' on their calves for the game that night. Not only that but several of them came through the viewing line in their full uniform and brought us a football the whole team had signed. It was so sweet and thoughtful.

I found out that the night before that the Junior High Choir had sung a song in his memory at their concert. The parents said they did a great job but had a hard time getting through this song.

Calvin was the last group to go to Middle School in 6th grade. Then they split the group up into two different Junior Highs the next year and half his friends were in the other school. The first day of school after the accident the kids from the other Junior High who remembered Calvin all dressed up in white shirts and ties for school in remembrance of him.

We are still getting several cards a day from friends and family. This whole tragedy has really struck a chord with a lot of people who have lost loved ones. It's amazing how many people have lost immediate family members. The hardest ones to read are from Calvin's friends. They loved him so much and tell us how happy and nice he was to everyone. They tell us how we must be great parents to have such a wonderful son (don't tell them the truth!). They tell us how much Calvin loved his family and his little brothers.

I'm just so thankful that Calvin is such a good kid and that so many people loved him and that he was able to touch so many people's lives. It really helps to know that he lived such a happy life.


The other night I got ready for bed. I pulled out my big exercise ball, laid back on it, put my feet against the wall, cuz they're always slipping, and tried to do a sit up. OUCH! I couldn't move at all! I rolled off laughing at myself! I'm still sore, what in the hell made me think I could do a sit up on a ball which is hard enough when I don't have any bruises or soreness!

For everyone's watching pleasure:
16 Days Left!
I love the scary castle in the background. Is there any way they can bump it to Halloween? I sure would be happy about that at least!



Last Saturday we added a new member to our family. Our children could hardly bare the whole two lives missing. While they can never ever be replaced we have been trying hard to find a new member to add. So, as of last Saturday, we have a new member. Welcome our new dog, Snyder, Tank, Sniper, or the accidental Boomer. I'm going to have my first contest. We are trying to come up with a good name for him and need some help. So leave us some hints. I haven't gotten a pic yet, but he looks a lot like Boomer, a little longer and a little darker. Scared our neighbor to death! He kind of freaked out when he first saw the new dog in the backyard. His wife assured him that this was indeed a different dog, not Boomer. So, leave us some ideas for a new name and we'll let you know what we name him soon!


17 Days to Go!

The Day After

When I first woke up after the accident it was quiet. No one was awake yet. The house was silent. I cried. Then I went upstairs to see if my parents were here yet. I knew they wouldn't be because they would have had to leave at about 3am to get there by this time. They weren't here yet. I went back downstairs and went back to sleep. Sleeping was hard. My left shoulder was really banged up from the seat belt. My right ear was sore and bruised. The back of my head had a big gash on it and was sore. I had to sleep on my stomach and left side of my head. Granted I usually sleep that way but I couldn't move very much and I was very sore.

When I woke up a few hours later I could hear people upstairs. I cautiously crept up the stairs, not sure what I'd see. There were two neighbors sitting and visiting in the living room. When they saw me they got up and hugged me and we all started crying. This went on for a few hours with a steady stream of my friends from the neighborhood. It was so nice to know that people cared so much about us and were coming to visit so quickly. One of Calvin's best friends grandparents had also brought over several bags of groceries and stocked the fridge!

I couldn't believe the people that knew what had happened already. They weren't the usual church people, it was my friends. This terrible news didn't travel through the usual church grapevine, people called my friends and let them know what was going on. I was so thankful for my friends coming and visiting me.

I cried so much that first day. When I woke up and looked in the mirror my eyes were swollen. I kind of thought that maybe something was wrong with them. I'm not a crier and for my eyes to be swollen from crying was something I'm not used to seeing. Then my hair was another matter completely. I mentioned I had a big gash on the back of my head. From the front I looked disheveled, like I had a bad night sleeping, but not too bad. My mom did mention my hair was lighter from all the dirt and dust. But when I turned around the back of my hair was all tangled and matted from blood and dirt. And then my clothing was another story completely. I came home in a hospital gown and scrub pants. My mother-in-law had given me a different t-shirt to wear, but that was it. But I didn't even care what I was wearing or how horrible I looked when I visited with people that morning.

I was just thankful that friends were coming to visit, family was coming to stay with me, and someone was taking care of my family because I couldn't right then. So much food was brought over and the vast majority of it was eaten. I had 25+ family members and they were fed. My brother-in-law was a little disappointed. He loves our local hamburger joints and had to go eat by himself. This trip was unexpected for everyone and I'm sure everyone was on a tight budget. Everyone was thankful for the meals. I was amazed by the amount of food brought over and the caring and love shown by everyone around us.


Love and Compassion

After our accident people were on the scene immediately. Not just dumb passerby's but knowledgeable EMT type people who instantly went into action and helped with everyone. The ambulances took 12 minutes to get to our location but to me it was only like a minute. The only thing I even remember is looking around at the horrible destruction around me. The two younger boys were sitting on the ground near each other and someone was with each of them. Olaf was already bandaged up and when he saw I was awake he walked over to talk to me, and someone was with me, talking and patting my shoulder. I also saw farther away a group of people, I didn't know what they were doing but they were working on Calvin. Olaf had seen them doing CPR on him and knew things weren't good for him. I had no clue. I was thankful and comforted that somebody was with everyone and taking care of things since I couldn't. We were whisked away in the ambulances with people putting IV's in us while on the bumpy highway. I know it was bumpy because the laceration on the back of my head kept hitting the backboard I was on and I couldn't turn because of the neck brace they had put on me. These EMT people stayed with us at the hospital until we left, over six hours later. They were amazing.

The hospital employees were also wonderful. They were so kind to us. They didn't leave us for a moment. When we were bandaged up and checked out and doing better they asked if we wanted to see Calvin. They told us they had bandaged his head because he had a head wound. I was really afraid to go and see him. I couldn't imagine my sweet son not alive. But I also remembered hearing other people saying that although it was hard to see their child gone it was healing. So we went and saw him. It was hard and I cried. I couldn't believe that he was already cold. But then it got better and I was able to talk to him. He was beautiful, even with all his scratches. He looked peaceful. He almost looked just asleep. The little boys were in and out. The EMTs had put on a movie for them because they were bored. We were able to say our goodbyes.

Olaf's Mom and Sister and both spouses were there very soon at the hospital. The hospital called his Mom and told her that her son had been in an accident. He had a head injury but was coherent. She asked how his wife and children were and the hospital staff couldn't tell her anything. She had to make the long, half-hour, drive to Nephi not knowing the condition of the rest of the family. While the news of Calvin was devastating she was so glad that the rest of us were doing wonderful and would be fine. I cannot imagine the horror of that half-hour drive to Nephi. She has said that was the longest drive of her life.

Sister-in-Law Nurse was absolutely wonderful. She called me parents since I was in no condition to make that call. I gave her my cell phone and said I didn't want it back for a while. She called all my friends and family and talked to them. I couldn't deal with telling anyone the news or even talking to my family about the whole thing. She took all the calls over the next two days that came in to my phone, knowing I couldn't do it yet. I could never had made those calls and she took it upon herself to help me out in that way. She also helped out with Olaf when he got home from the hospital. She and her Mom helped with all the medical things that needed to be taken care of. That was good because I am not good in that department and was glad I didn't need to take care of that part of him. I felt woefully inadequate in that area but was glad they were there to do that for him.

Olaf's Mom and Step-Dad had us stay at their house for over a week. We just moved home tonight. They were so good to keep us there so long. It really helped to not come straight home after everything. Since a lot of my family was staying at my house across the street, it was wonderful to have a quiet place to be when we needed it, and Olaf needed it a lot at first. I had to take care of all the funeral arrangements because he was still so tired and recovering from his wounds. I really didn't know where to begin. The day after the accident I saw on my home phone that the mortuary had called and I just refused to call them back. I still couldn't quite cope. But the next day I headed over there with my parents in tow and we started taking care of the arrangements. Thankfully, until the funeral was over, people were following me around, taking notes of the things I was planning. That was so good because I couldn't remember most of what I was doing. I was constantly turning around asking questions about what we had just discusses, already forgetting half the details. I lost my purse every time I picked it up!

This whole experience has made me learn more to let people help me. I like to take care of things myself and not ask for help. But I had been incapable of that for almost a week. While I was still doing these horrible things, planning a funeral for my son, someone was constantly there taking care of me. I know there is no way that I could have gotten through this experience without all the prayers of support that people were saying for us. I know it helped and sustained us through this trial. I know this is not over and that it is going to be hard a lot but I have been so thankful for all the love and support everyone has shown me and my family.



3 Weeks - 1 Day!

Eating & More

I've been learning a few things about Calvin that I didn't know before. I didn't know that he used to sneak in his friends' houses to tease them. One time a friend's mom even called his cell phone cuz she thought he was still there and knew he liked to hide in her house. He innocently claimed he was at his own home. Turns out he was hiding under his friend's bed! After this story at the funeral a few other friends told me that he had tried to sneak into their houses to scare them also. Another mom told me he would sneak in and get food out of basement. Technically that would not only be breaking and entering but theft also. She found him more than once in the basement eating a bottle of peaches, his favorite.

Everyone that knows him has fed him! I thought that I provided plenty of food, but apparently not. I knew he was always hungry, but I had no idea how hungry. I thought I had done a pretty good job of providing food. When the congregation got together Sunday night to talk about him and all their feelings the bishop, our congregational leader, started by asking "Who has fed Calvin?" Everyone raised their hands!

I also learned about Calvin's dove hunt he went on several years ago with one of his best friends. The dad dropped them off at one end of the field and went to the other to wait for them. Part way across the field they shot a dove. They were so excited! When they came upon the dove, it was still alive. The two boys were saddened and couldn't finish the job. The dad saw them standing in the middle of the field and finally went to check on them because they were taking so long. He found them looking on sadly at the poor bird and had to finish the job for the young softies. This dad was always looking out for Calvin and coached him in many sports. He was wonderful. When they heard the news and his son said something about crying a little, he replied, "It's okay to cry A LOT."

A few years ago my Mom was visiting. When it got time to go my boys didn't want her to leave. So Calvin hid her suitcase! I must have known about this at the time but I had completely forgotten about it! All my sisters and sisters-in-law mentioned how Calvin loved to push my buttons. More than once he would say to them 'Watch this!" And then he would come up to me and say something to bug me. Of course, I would fly off the handle and he'd get in trouble. But then, unbeknownest to me, he would grin at them and say "Told ya!" I knew he liked to push my buttons but had no idea he had so much fun with it!



3 Weeks Left!


Let's just just address the whole seatbelt issue so no one has any embarrassing questions. All the articles state that Calvin wasn't wearing his seatbelt. The second comment to the Deseret News article about the accident stated something to the effect "It's too bad the parents will have to live with the guilt of not making their children wear their seatbelts." Idiot. We would all be dead if we weren't wearing seatbelts! That's the only reason the rest of us are alive. We don't let our children ride without seatbelts. But that was one of the things that Calvin had rebelled against in his teenage years. It was a battle every time we got in the car. There were times he would pretend to buckle until I turned back around. Thank goodness for Mother Supersonic ears, "I didn't hear a click!" Sometimes I would be yelling so hard at him for his seatbelt cuz I was so tired of the battle. Obviously he didn't believe me when I said he could die without his seatbelt. We weren't in the habit of getting in car accidents. (wonder how much the car insurance is gonna go up now!) Thankfully the other children did listen and I hope it won't be a problem with them at all. And, by the way, Sister Accountant left an unpublishable comment with the paper that made them think twice and they removed the 'guilty seatbelt' comment so it's not there anymore, thank goodness.


Life & Love

Today was the first day without a million people around. Technically, yesterday was, but today the only people left were parents. It's the last day the kids will be home from school. Grandma took them to lunch and the movie. They sure are getting spoiled! Olaf & I ran some errands and he had an appointment with the plastic surgeon to make sure he was healing well. Everything went well. We got everything on our list completed except some items that were under the heading, 'Any Time.' I felt like we accomplished quite a bit today. I also felt it! I am so tired this evening that I'm ready for bed NOW.

The past week has been a roller coaster. I will write about it over the next few posts. All I can say for now is that I have never ever been the recipient of such an outpouring of love. Pure, Unadulterated, Perfect, Complete, Selfless, LOVE. It has been an incredible and exhausting experience. I had no idea my child had touched so many peoples lives and I had absolutely no idea that so many people cared about us. Our families alone were wonderful and the community support we have been shown has been so incredible that I can't begin to describe the love shown. Words would only downplay the experience I have had over the last week.

I will probably not keep the countdown going everyday, but for those looking forward to the movie, including me, here is an attempt to make up for the last while.

22 Days To Go!


Thank You

Dear Friends and Family,

We were never prepared for this moment in time. One never expects it to happen to them or even someone close. My heart is breaking. A big hole has been ripped out and it will never be whole again. I miss Calvin so much. But it still doesn't feel real. I keep expecting his smiling face to pop around the corner with a goofy comment that will either drive me crazy or make me laugh. Calvin is such a special boy. I miss him so much. The only solace I have is knowing that we are an eternal family, that we will get to be with him again. I know that this earth life is only temporary. I can feel everyone's prayers. They are like a warm blanket around me on a chilly winter night. There is absolutely no way that I could make it through this time without EVERYONE'S love, help, prayers, visits, and calls. His obituary is in the Daily Herald. I made all my sisters and sister-in-laws help me write the thing, I couldn't bear to do it alone. We were laughing for an hour straight at all our remembrances. I know that is how Calvin wants us to remember him. I know he's in Heaven watching us and telling us to quit crying and mourning. My husband was talking to someone about another boy going on a mission and he just got an incredibly peaceful feeling that Calvin was called home early because he had work to do up in Heaven. I'm thankful for my beliefs and the support it gives me. I'm going to post his obituary because it's beautiful. It has to be, Calvin is a beautiful person.

Calvin Christopher Hansen

Calvin Christopher Hansen, born December 22, 1994, in Payson, Utah. Our cherished son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, and Scout passed away Wednesday, October 15, 2008, as a result of a motor-vehicle accident. His dog, Boomer, also passed away in the accident.

Calvin was in eighth grade at Spanish Fork Junior High School. He had many friends and was involved in many extracurricular activities. He played sports with a smile on his face. He loved to do things with his friends and when he couldn’t, he texted them nonstop. Calvin was full of life. He had an infectious happy personality. We will always remember his adventurous and sensitive spirit. Calvin was always concerned about others and put everyone’s needs before his own.

True to his spirit, he always volunteered to help others. He loved his brothers and his dog, Boomer, and he was very protective of them. He was an avid Scout in Troop 1501. He earned all his merit badges and was preparing to work on his Eagle Scout Project. He earned his Arrow of Light and Duty to God Award. This past summer Calvin attended Timberline National Youth Leadership Training Camp and forged new relationships with other Scouts. He loved the outdoors and all activities; hiking, camping, rock climbing, swimming, geocaching, and hunting. He got his first deer three weeks ago while hunting with his father.

Recently he attended the Priesthood Session of General Conference in Salt Lake City with his best friend, his dad. There has always been a special spirit about Calvin that has touched so many others’ lives. He will be sorely missed but his memories will bring smiles and laughter forever. We appreciate all the people who have taken care of Calvin during his lifetime and know that they all helped to mold him into such a strong and happy person.

We thank everyone for their calls and visits. It means so much to us to know that he touched so many peoples’ lives.

Calvin was survived by his parents, Chris and Donna, brothers, Clayton and Cole, his grandparents, Dena Hansen (Dave Hendrickson), Dan and JoAnn McLean, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his grandfather, Fred Robin Hansen.

There will be a viewing from 6-8pm on Monday, October 20, at Walker Mortuary, 187 South Main, Spanish Fork. Tuesday, October 21, there will be a viewing at the Latter-day Saint Chapel from 9:45 -10:45 am at 870 E. Canyon Rd, Spanish Fork, Utah, followed by the funeral at 11 am.

A fund has been established in Calvin’s name at Central Bank. Anyone wishing to make a contribution may do so at any bank branch.


What Once Was Lost. . .

This evening I noticed the door to the garage was open. I pointed it out to the boys and told them to close it before Boomer the Basset Hound escaped. He's been known to do that once in a while, including twice already today! He loves the crisp Autumn air and can't believe he's not allowed to roam free like the King of the Beasts that he believes he is. Needless to say every piece of literature I have run across discussing qualities and problems associated with Basset Hounds state that they get lost easily. They take to a smell, follow it, and when they look up 15 minutes later they have no idea where they are. Every person I have mentioned this to asks "Why don't they just follow the smell the other way?" I have no idea why they don't do that, but it would make life so much easier. In Boomer the Basset Hound's two years with us we have mounted several Search and Rescue missions, always a success.

Tonight was different. When I noticed he had snuck out while all our backs were turned (you'd think he was a convict), I instantly grabbed Baby, the only one home, and drove off looking for him. There wasn't much daylight left and I knew how devastated all 3 C's would be if he wasn't home that night. Baby said three prayers in a desperate effort to aid our search.

When Middle Child came home he went out in the dark looking for his dog. When he got home he sat on Boomer the Basset Hound's sofa and cried.

When First Born arrived home he tried to call 911 first. I stated that even though Boomer the Basset Hound may be an emergency for us, it doesn't consitute an emergency for the police. So he also searched for his dog. But alas, it was pitch dark out and he couldn't see a thing. He also sat on Boomer the Basset Hound's sofa and cried. My boys rarely cry. They throw tantrums and fits and holler, but they don't cry unless they have a really good reason. Tonight they had one of the best reasons ever. They had lost their other brother.

All night long I had randomly sent children to the front door to make sure Boomer the Basset Hound hadn't come home and was waiting for us, too short to ring the doorbell. I finally checked the door, thinking I would be calling the Pound in the morning. BUT, WAIT! What little nose is pressed against the storm door? Who's tail is wagging? Who is looking so happy that he got a walk completely on his terms? Who is at my front door? Boomer the Basset Hound! He decided it was dark and time to come home. All three boys welcomed him with tears and hugs. Boomer the Basset Hound wagged a happy tail and tried to eat their dinner.


31 Days!



33 Days to Go

Sorry I didn't, couldn't, post this sooner today. Some people in this household have been playing WoW all day. Between 3 people it doesn't take much time for any of them to take the whole day together. I had to push them off to get this in!


Operator? Any one There?

Olaf and I went on a date tonight. It's rare, but always wonderful. I always thought when the kids got older and could babysit themselves we'd get to go out more. Not so, now we have to watch them even more and we can't really get a babysitter. What 12 or 13 year old girl wants to watch an 11 year old boy? Let me rephrase that: What girl do I want watching my prepubescent son? This can only go in the wrong direction! So a date tonight was nice. I called home to make sure the boys had fed themselves. Despite my best intentions they are growing into men already. Middle Child answered his phone in one of his rare (maybe not so rare) moments.

"Who is this?"

"Hi, it's Mom. Have you guys eaten dinner?"

"May I ask who is calling?"

"Your mother is calling. Did you eat yet?"

"This is an 80-year-old operator and my mother is dead. I don't think you're calling from the grave. Who would you like to be connected to? I can connect you to anyone on the planet."

I didn't know what he was talking about. He's 11, not 80. I tried again, "It's Mom, did you fix yourselves something to eat yet?"

"I am an 80-year-old operator. I can connect you to anyone on the planet."

I realized this was a game. I decided to play along cuz it was kinda silly, "I am looking for CRH."

"Let me look. There is only one CRH in the world. He lives in Spanish Fork."

"Great! Do you think he's eaten dinner?" in hopes that the charade had gone far enough to satisfy the boy. But no. We are not done!

"I don't know if he's eaten dinner. Let me connect you."

Then I was entertained for 30 seconds of Middle Child making fuzz noises while we were 'connected.'


"Hi, Middle Child. That was so nice of the operator to connect us."

"What operator?"

"You know, whatever. Did you guys eat anything yet?"

"Yes we did."

"Great that's all I wanted. See you soon!"

Not for one moment did the child break out of character.


34 Days and Counting!


An Ode to Olaf

While on lunch break with some coworkers I pried and asked one of the guys if things were getting serious with his girlfriend, if I wasn't being too personal. He got this big grin on his face as he said yes. It was the biggest, happiest, cutest grin. It reminded me of how much fun it is to fall in love, especially with The One.

I dated enough guys to know that Olaf was The One after not too long. Of course we didn't run off to Vegas at that point or anything rash like that. We waited for the honeymoon. But I knew, or thought I knew, pretty soon that he was The One for me.

I remember being so incredibly happy that someone so wonderful would actually love me enough to marry me. For years after we got married I always wondered when it was going to end. This was just too good to be true.

I remember an incident from our wedding day. A little old man came up to me and asked me if it was "True Love." Deep down inside somewhere, deeper than I ever went before, I felt that it was indeed "True Love" and that this would last forever. I've never regretted that day for more than five minutes.

We have been married for over 15 years now and it has been wonderful. I'm not going to lie to you and say it's been perfect every day, I don't believe those people at all. But I have been happier than I could imagine.

I know it sounds trite, but on that wedding day I thought I was as in love as I could ever be. I had no idea how wonderful love would be after 15 years. It's amazing how breathtaking it is to have a great partner with whom to share your life. I seriously couldn't imagine life without the man.

Here's to us!


35 Days!

Or, exactly 5 weeks to go! Feel the anticiaption! You know you'll be waiting in line! Oh, wait, that's me that's gonna be leaving work early and standing in line for the movie. Hope to see you there with me!


That Pioneer Woman

I clicked on the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog yesterday and was absolutely amazed! She had only posted 44 minutes earlier. She was giving away 3, count them:

3; Three; Two+One; Five-Two; 137-134;

gift cards to Wally World at $250 each. Within 44 minutes she had already had over 1000 comments in an attempt for people to win the gift cards! I was in absolute shock that she had so many readers. I didn't even bother to enter. Even tho there were 3 cards, my favorite number, I didn't even try. I can't win contests when there's less than 100 comments, what would make me think I could win that one. I checked her blog today. There were almost 12,000 comments!!! Talk about absolutely crazy!

On a completely different tangent, Olaf brought home a remote control car tonight. Boomer the Basset Hound is hiding in the other room! Baby is excited!


Yesterday Baby came out of his room holding a toy.

"Almost everything I own is 'Made in China'!"

"Yes, it's true. We ship most of our stuff from China to here. That's why everything is so cheap and you can have so much crap!"

Sometimes I wish stuff was more expensive so we would quit buying THINGS. They are only things. Remember:

Less is More.

It's my motto and I live by it once in a while.


Day 36

Yesterday may have been too dreamy for some of you, so no pictures of the man tonight. But tune in tomorrow!



37 Days!

For Sister Accountant who said he looks so dreamy in a swimsuit. I know it's the wrong movie, but, oh well. Hopefully you can all live with the inconsistency.



There will now be a daily countdown to the new James Bond movie! I thought about making a paper chain, but then nobody would be able to enjoy the countdown with me. So I am going public! You will get a new picture every day. So tune in and enjoy! And if you've read this before you won't be surprised by this at all!

Day 38

I had no idea that my last blog would get such a response! I honestly thought about not posting it because it was kind of disparaging and I don't want to be that way. I want to be funny and uplifting. But I enjoyed the responses! So keep on responding, it makes me feel good!

Check out my sister's blog about last weekend right here (click on here). She came down to visit and we had soooooo much fun!


Help! I'm Surrounded!

Help! I'm Surrounded! By Mormons! It's not like they slowly invaded my space. It wasn't gradual or anything like that, I happen to live in Utah County where the population is 88.2% LDS. But sometimes I feel TRAPPED! I know everyone is different and has their own unique personality, but I've never lived where everyone has basically the same belief system. It's really creepy! It makes me feel like a clone at times.

Growing up I was different from other people. And even though it made some things hard, I enjoyed the individuality that my religion gave me. Now I feel as though I am just one more drone. Except that I'm not an Institutionalized Mormon. I know that sounds harsh but sometimes I feel like I'm living in Rome amongst the Catholics. They don't know why they do things, it's just always been that way.

I'm lucky in the fact that my parents joined the LDS church when I was a baby. They had to learn everything on their own. They had no Primary as youngsters that taught them the gospel principles on which our religion is based. They had to learn it all from scratch. And they took their new religious conversion seriously. They were not lackadaisical in their approach at all. They approached it with all the enthusiasm that they could muster. They did not take anything for granted like so many members around here do, including me at times. We attended all our meetings and even lived across town, half an hour away from the church.

So often I wish I didn't live in Utah. I wish for a normal life in the real world where no one assumes I'm Mormon. I love finding friends who aren't Mormon and befriending them. They're so appreciative to find a Mormon who is willing to be their friend and not need to bring them to church. I want to live where no one but me knows how to make bread or cookies. I make a damn good pie crust but no one in my ward knows it because of another sweet old lady who used to own a coffee shop and made them regularly, she's the expert. I'd love to live where I'm not judged on my spirituality by my next door neighbor. I'd love to live where being a member of the church isn't a criteria for your children being able to play together. I'd love to live where people aren't judged as 'bad people' because they smoke or 'alcoholic' because they had a glass of wine or beer with dinner. I'd love to live where someone else is mowing the lawn on Sunday, shopping on Sunday, and playing on Sunday. And I'm especially tired of locals referring to the rest of the world as the "Mission Field." I want to be different again.

Help! I'm Surrounded!


Boomer Loves Us

The Best thing about Boomer the Basset Hound is his ears! They are so floppy! He loves to ride in the back of the truck and let his ears fly in the wind. He always gets looks and comments from people driving behind us. It is just so fun!

Then his eye are next! Our friend says he always looks like he's come off a hard night of drinking. He just looks so saaad all the time that you can't help but pet him every time he looks at you.

Then every now and then he howls! It's just so fun to hear him howl at a bug in the grass or a fellow dog walking by. And when we leave him home by himself for an overnight trip he gets mad! He actually BARKS at you when you shut the door. Last time he banged into some things and knocked something off the counter in the garage. I didn't dare look! I just ran out the front door laughing and crying.

The bestest thing yet is his love for his boys. They are his world, his joy, his happiness. He greets them at the door and wags his tail and waits for his loves. Thank goodness, two years later, the boys still love him. The other morning as Middle Child was sitting on the sofa, Boomer the Basset Hound laid on his side under the human legs above. He reached one paw up and touched the back of one of the calves. Middle Child grinned, reached down and patted BtBH. BtBH laid there for a moment and then reached up again and tapped the back of one of MB's calves. MB grinned again, reached down and patted BtBH for a moment. After another minute BtBH reached up and pawed the back of MB's calf. MB grinned and patted him again. This went on for over five minutes. They were both loving the fact that the other one wanted their attention! The boys and the dog have such a wonderful relationship.



10 years ago. . .

1. I started my homebased daycare
2. Had two young children at home
3. Had just bought a house
4. Lived in Spanish Fork, Ut
5. Had been married for 5 years

5 Things on my "To-Do List" today. . .
1. Make dinner
2. Clean up dinner
3. Take Baby to Soccer
4. Take Middle Child to Guitar
5. Go to work

5 Snacks that I enjoy. . .
1. Diet Coke
2. Chocolate
3. Triscuits
4. Brownies
5. Cookies

5 Things I would do if I were a Millionaire. . .
1. Invest so I could quit working
2. Travel the world
3. Build a house, nothing huge and fancy
4. Donate to something I felt important at the time
5. Buy a Mini Cooper

5 Places I have Lived. . .
1. Ventura, CA
2. Cedar Rapids, IA
3. Ames, IA
4. Spanish Fork, UT
5. Manhattan, KS

5 Jobs I have had. . .
1. Assistant Manager of Copy Store
2. Dough Master at Pizza Hut
3. Phone Operator/Office Employee at Target :)
4. Tastee Freez employee
5. Bar Tender at a local Bowling Alley

I Tag Sister-in-Law Fashionista (Nesha, that's you!)