Saturday, December 22

OK, OK GEEZ...CALM DOWN!!! sister in law...or maybe it is my brother...or both...kind of got on my well as a few other people for not posting my defense...I did just move 27 days ago...which I suppose does call for a new I do have friends living in other countries who are dying to see my new place...not much to see...but it's home! So this post is my official Thanksgiving post.

This year, Thanksgiving was done Norman Rockwell style. Maybe my family didn't think so...but we had a huge family meal in a small southern Utah town, where EVERYONE knows my dad's family and we all just sat around in the house that he and his five siblings grew up people! How did they do it?!

Just a brief overview of the was the first traditional, homecooked, family meal that I have had for Thanksgiving in...I would venture to say...oh...10 years or so?! We had turducken one year (duck stuffed in a chicken stuffed in a turken), but we go out all the time...which I love...but it is fun to get together and eat riediculous amounts of food! So we drove down to Cedar City Wednesday night...oh and that trip is for SURE worth mentioning!!!

The car ride was suppose to consist of myself, Kelli Jean, Scottie, and Mattie. Kerri was going to be riding down earlier with my mother and father. Scott...being the sentimental type...or maybe just mental...thought it would be "fun" if all the kids rode together. That, indeed, might be fun...if we were still driving our Ford Aerostar Van...but alas...we were not...we rode Scott's and MAttie's Sanota! GREAT CAR...don't get me wrong...but for three be sitting in the back seat...for what is typically of 3.5 hour just...well let's just say...I love family togetherness (well sometimes) but that was jus a bit too together! Although now it is funny, and frankly I even laughed during the drive did Scott and Mattie who were sitting comfortably in the front seats. Kelli and Kerri, however were NOT laughing...especially Kerri...but we had a good time...playing..."If you were stranded on a deseret island..." yes, deseret...ask Scott. Well if Kelli was stranded on a "deseret island" and she could only have one person with her she would have Jesus! Way to go Kelli...she probably wouldn't really need to worry about anything else...fishes and loaves, water into wine...I'd say she's pretty set. Oh and one more thing about the was not a 3.5 hour was more like...5.5 hours! But we made it, and Dad bought us dinner, and Kelli, Kerri, and Mom and I saw mom said she will never go to a movie again with Kelli and I...we tend to laugh kind of loud when something is funny...and it was.

So here are pictures of the family dinner, and walk around's a very small town...I had pictures, but I can't find them now...anyway...I hope you enjoy...I sure did!!

Dad and his sister Lucinda and her daughter Sydney...Southern Utah is GORGEOUS!!!

Mom and Lucinda decided to be twins this year!

Just a good time.

Monday, November 26

I know, I know...but it's fun!

Ok so I realize that I have Weekly Random Questions to post, and a trip to Boston, and a Thanksgiving that is right out of a Norman Rockwell painting...but I was reading my friend Erin's blog today and I hadn't read her earlier posts...and I found one...and it was hilarious, and I've spent the last twenty minutes laughing out loud in an empty if you're board at is something fun for you to do...either read mine and get a kick out of my names, or make up your own and post them to my site! Enjoy! I promise I will catch up on WRQ's...and if you have suggestions that would be helpful!! Thanks Erin for the idea!! LOVE YOU MISS YOU!!!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car):
Pi Honda

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie):
Half Baked Snicker Doodle (not very menacing)!

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name):
B Rus

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal):
Brown Shark

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born):
Lee Provo (that is LAME...just like soap operas)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first):

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink):
The Blue Water

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers):
IVon Gene

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy):
Happy Sweetart (I still think that Maraschino takes the cake...and the pole)!!

10. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):
Ann Eugene

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter):
Ladniak London

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower):
Winter Lily (I think this is my favorite...I would like to start going by this name)

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”):
Clementine Hoodie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree):
Yogurt Birch

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”):
The Writing Rain Tour

Saturday, October 6

familial favorites?

So recently I had a conversation with my friend about whether or not I have a favorite friend claims that I DO...after many weeks of arguing...I DO indeed have a favorite...well...maybe not a favorite, but one that I relate to the best...I think that each of them has their place as a favorite for something...but I definitely think I relate to one better than the other two because we have similar personalities.

I was surprised by the was quite a vast array of replies. Some people really just do have a favorite...and as Ed says...maybe he is the favorite!

I probably shouldn't even include names as to not offend the siblings of those responding...although I think only about three people read my I'm not going to worry...first names are included.

Alisa: No, but sometimes I do like one more than the other.

Amanda: I have a least favorite , but its not her fault, she has mental health issues.

Annie: Yes. (and I know who...she is pretty great)!

Dave: Of course!

Dave: No, I hate them all!

Devin: It all depends the mood I'm in, but usually I don't.

Brother Hale: No. I don't like any them. Actually, they're all good.

Lisa: Yes...Jesus. :)

Mandy: No...I have a favorite blonde brother, a favorite brown haired brother and favorite sister!

Jill: Each of my brothers have a had their time as my favorite. I think it worked out that they had what I needed and vice versa at that time. Currently, its my youngest brother. Plus he hasn't been taken over by a girl.

Janelle: yes

Jessi: Nope! Can you believe it! I know you do.

Sunshine: No

Scott: All of them. I love them all the same for different reasons.

Heidi: Not me! (this is a sarcastic response).

Ray: My sister

Tim: No...they are equal.

Kelli: No, all things equal.

Katie: I'll go with yes. I like all my siblings, but I'm closer to one than the other two.

Jenn: I only have one...So I guess so.

Josie: No.

Kelly: Yes

Mom: No, not as an adult, probably not as child either. I always wanted to the only child. LOL.

Kathryn: Yep. My sis Alaina. ha ha cuz we're close in age adn best friends.

Sliced Bread: I'm pretty sure you know my answer to this one! :)

Tammy: Yup.

Jillesha: No! I have too many!

Emily: Nope-They're each fun in their own way.

Aubry: nope. But I love them all for VERY different reasons. My relationships with my brothers ebb and flow at times.

Kim: Favorite, no. But ones that I'm closer to.

Ed Parker: No favorite, but that doesn't mean I'm not the favorite to them.

Mindy: Yes.

Tuesday, September 25

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream...cones!

I love ice cream. I am a true believer in the fact that ice cream makes everything better. I have always loved ice cream...that frozen treat. It has served it's purpose in getting me through some tough times. I have wonderful childhood memories of ice cream, frozen custard, and frozen yogurt.

When we lived in St. Louis we were able to be near the best frozen custard in the US, possibly the world. Ted Drew's. The green and yellow cups are what I remember best...those and how much my mother loved...LOVES...Ted Drew's. She drove miles, and miles out of her way to Utah just to go to Ted Drew's. When we moved from St. Louis her friends got her a Ted Drew's cup with concrete in it...real that she would always have a Ted Drew's concrete.

Then there was Julie Ann's Frozen Custard in Illinois. It was near my orthodontist, and nothing feels better on freshly tightened braces than a delightful frozen treat. I loved their turtle sundaes. Except when I had my expander(an orthodontic device to make my mouth bigger because it wasn't big enough). The nuts would get stuck between my expander and the roof of my mouth, and I would have to suck them out. It disgusted my mother, and as a result I developed a habit of sucking in sometimes...even without my's not really a pleasant least not for the rest of the world...anyway...I suppose for my earliest years it was frozen custard...but don't cream has it's place in my life too. Edy's Grand (which is Dryer's in the west) was our favorite store bought...with my mom's homemade hot fudge...or Mrs. Richarson' mom taught me how to have a little ice cream with your hot fudge. Maybe I love ice cream and custard so much because it reminds me of my mother....interesting.

Anyway...then we moved to Vegas. I don't really remember much about frozen custard or ice cream in Vegas, but I do remember frozen yogurt (and of course In-n-Out Burger...but that is for another blog). I remember going to TCBY and getting vanilla frozen yogurt with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...DELICIOUS! Then there was the Golden Swirl at Smith's grocery store...what I remember about Golden Swirl is the day that Aja got her driver's license. She had just gotten her driver's license and so we went driving, and I bought her frozen yogurt and we walked around Smith's just having our usual good time doing nothing important...of course how were we to know that in under an hour Aja would be getting in her first car accident...with her driver's license still warm from the printer! A great memory with a great friend. I remember eating ice cream with my friend Mary and laughing so hard that Mary wet her pants a little! Nothing to bring about good times like a creamy frozen treat! I'm telling you...if you want world peace than pray for ice cream to be loved by all the world! Maybe an ice cream truck should drive through the battle fields of the world.

Then...tragically...we moved to Utah...but lucky for us...Nielsen's was here...and though it's no Ted Drew' is definitely a decent substitute. Especially when their flavor of the day is MINT!!! And Cold Stone or Baskin Robbin's has ALWAYS served as a delightful ending to a night of spiritual uplift-ment (aka institute). I've had some great conversations with great friends sitting outside of Basking Robbin's and Nielsen's, and Cold Stone...I even have a little Cold Stone crush! He's very nice!! And let's not forget the soft serve cones at Maverick for $0.89! In college those were life sustaining...and when we really wanted to splurge it would be an Oreo Sundae at Denny's...good times!

But one of the most important things in all my love for these creamy, frozen treats is how do you eat them...well for truly depends on what I'm eating...

Ted Drew' and yellow cup for sure! Julie Ann's...a bowl. Edy's green ice cream with black dots and my mom's hot of our brown bowls that we've had forever! TCBY or Golden Swirl...a waffle cone at TCBY and sugar cone at Golden. Nielsen's...a cup. Baskin Robbin's...or any other hard ice cream...a SUGAR CONE. Cold Stone...since I usually have a shake...a cup...if I do get the ice cream...typically a bowl...though I have been known to splurge on a waffle cone. Soft serve from McDonald's, Dairy Queen, or Maverick...a regular cardboard cone. I know...I'm a complicated woman...but only about the little things! ;)

But how do we eat these delightful treats? Well I think that how we eat them says a lot about who we are...So I decided to take a little poll...of sugar cones...because they truly are the best...and regular cones...they truly are pieces of are the results! ( and I love those of you who just said waffle...even though it wasn't an option...I wondered if that would happen)!

john: sugar cone. a regular cone is one step away from eating paper.

annie: sugar

aubry: regular. with vanilla soft serve from Dairy Queen...yum!

amanda: waffle cone. I have a happy childhood memory about waffle cones. plus freshly made ones are divine. (I'm telling you ice cream is the key to world peace)!!

eric: waffle, all the way. chocolate dipped when I can get it.

jeff: regular (I guess he likes cardboard)

jimmy: regular

dave: waffle

kathryn: sugar cone! more crunchy and sweet! (AMEN)!

jenn: I'm gonna pay extra for the waffle cone!

kelli jean: sugar

jerusha: sugar cone for sure, unless the regular ones have half the calories. (who counts calories when they're eating ice cream)!?

kerri ann: regular (I can't believe we're related)!

mandy: well between those; sugar. but waffle is the best.

sara: sugar

becca: mmmm....sugar.

melanie: regular cone all the way!

sunshine: sugar

jill: sugar! I want all the sugar I can get.

tracy: sugar

dave: sugar! dug! (we are definitely related)!

jessi: sugar with chocolate dipped and lots of sprinkles

mindy: sugar cone because of its great sugary goodness and because it was such a coveted reward when I was little.

stephanie: sugar of course.

danna: I love sugar cones!

tim: sugar cone.

kim: regular

shorty: depends on how much sugar I had that day. generally regular cone because of its shape. (leave it to shorty to over analyze the question...oh did I)!

ronnie: regular...cuz it gets good and soggy faster.

sarah: waffle cone dipped in chocolate and nuts.

becca: sugar. always.

megan: waffle cones. bigger. holds more ice cream

alisa: sugar cone

tammy: sugar

ed: depends...a high quality ice cream deserves a high quality sugar cone. McDonald's ice cream doesn't seem right on a sugar cone.

slice bread: generally I would say sugar cone, but sometimes I'm in the mood for a tasteless piece of edible cardboard with my ice cream. (this is why we are friends)!

ray: waffle cone

janelle: no cone

jenn: no cone

josie beth: sugar

devin: for sure the sugar cone. they hold a lot more ice cream
  • ADDENDUM: So Courtney pointed out that her answer was not on here...which may not be the end of the world except that this question was her idea!! Here is her response: "Well it depends on my mood, but if I don't get a cone (sugar) then I get a cup and sugar cone and I crush the cone on top". My humblest and most without wax apologies.

Sunday, September 23

Just Because You Answered Doesn't Make You Shallow!

So I'm working on being better about my so called weekly random that they are indeed...weekly random questions. Just a quick side note...if you're browsing through the responses, and you did not have a change to respond to one, please post a comment with your two or three cents!
So the most recent weekly random question was "What is your favorite physical characteristic of the opposite sex." I asked this question in a public face to face setting, as well as over text messaging. This may seem like a shallow question...however...let's be honest...what initially attracts you to someone...if you've never heard them speak...for example...the lost member of the Beatles who I saw last night at Village Inn...I didn't hear him utter one word...he was eating alone...but I lost my train of thought a few times during the course of the conversation...just ask my friend Courtney...but there was something about his physical self that caught my if he had opened his mouth...maybe I would have lost interest in his physical make up...but until he did speak...I was going to enjoy the view! And what was it about the view that I was enjoying...his hair, and his eyes, and his very Romanesque nose. So...what do the rest of you enjoy? I have left out names...but attached genders. Please note that comments in parenthesises are my own comments.

male: eyes and a long slender neck with hair up and few pieces hanging down.

female: the entire facial package with an emphasis on straight teeth

male: simple beauty (you gotta love this guy)!

female: jaw line, shoulders, angular, height: he should be tall

female: face, teeth, eyes, lips

female: height

female: eyes! lips come in a very close second, but at first glance I would say eyes. beyond first glance I like hands. I think they say a lot about a person...just like eyes. (And to this I say A-FREAKING-MEN)!!

male: the same thing pirates are after: the booty!!

female: hair probably.

female: I am a fan of backs! I know it is weird! If they have a nice back I am happy.

male: smile

male: honestly, breasts. Although that is not what attracts me to them. (right)

female: eyes, smile, and BUTT!

male: derriere

female: eyes

female: clean cut, nice teeth, well kept. I'm too picky to name just one! I like eyes, but what if his smile sucks? Or what if he has a nice smile but he's a midget?! (I just type 'em how I see 'em)

female: when you're married ask me again. (what is she saying do you think)?

male: lips, takes care of herself

female: eyes & teeth

female: eyes, teeth, smile

female: confident, manly, nice look, teeth & eyes, scent

female: smile

male: I have "two" actually...but seriously, angles and abdomen

male: legs and butt

male: face

female: the eyes for sure! Vincent has one blue eye and one green eye.

female: hands

female: I have a tough time choosing between manly calused hands, scruff and height. All score makers in my book! There is something about a big rugged man that I makes me feel all girly inside. But if I had to only choose one...I really like tall guys...I could probably do without the others...but I won't.

female: favorite characteristic of the opposite gender is definitely eyes.

male: I would have to say face...oh and her body...yeah...that's about it.

female: good question. I am going to with smile.

female: eyes

female: the booty! Just kidding! The eyes. You want to be able to look into them and forget everything but the one your with.

female: I have to say eyes or hands. Kind of weird I know.

female: elbow skin hands down! So rough, so rugged...RARRR!!!

female: hands

female: their butt. HA HA...just kidding...Not sure of my favorite, but I like hands.

I asked a couple of the girls who said hands why they choose hands...they overall consensus was that they make us feel safe. It's a female we enjoying feeling nice teeth contribute to that...I have no idea...but boys...make sure you have strong looking hands, and nice white teeth! And girls...I don't know...look cute...and I think you'll be ok!

Saturday, September 15

French kissing before you're married: yes? no? maybe so?

So I realize I'm a bit behind in my weekly random question posts, and I have a couple friends who find themselves bored at work, and are outraged that they have nothing to read while milking the for those of you who have better things to do at work...this is for you! ;)

As always...last names have been withheld to protect the innocent and in this case...the not so know who you are...John ;) As I may have said before the responses always amaze characteristic of these great friends of mine. :) I sure love it.

Becca: Yes, but I feel like its also really important to keep it under control-I've seen a lot of friends get into trouble because the didn't respect each other enough to handle something like that.

Danna: Yes

Devin: it all depends on whether you follow the little red card or not.

Jessi: well I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of yes.

Jared: Duh! of course before marriage.

Jeff: If I kiss, then yes.

Jenn: My friend Adam says no and I say heck why not!

Devin revisisted: well so far it's a yes on the french kissing for me...actually I don't know if I should have told you that, oh well.

Ed: I'd say that it's better than not kissing at all before you're married...Furthermore, it's not restricted according to my bishopric's red card.

Amanda: That's a tough one; before divorce I didn't see a probleman with a little. Now I'm more cautious as it gets emotions going that are tough to wrangle back in.

John: Hell yes.

Katherine: Umm yeah. I didn't realize there was a choice.

Josh: If she won't, we don't date.

James: O baby yes.

Jill: for sure!

Aubry: I won't pass up the opportunity if it arises

Katie: Hell yes! HOw else do you know if they're any good.

Kim: Only if he's the right one.

Sarah: Yea, why not?

Becca: Seriously?...yes.

Ray: I say let your conscience be your guide.

Tracy: Depends on with who.

Tara: Yes. As long as its done respectfully.

Shorty: Yes!

Tammy: Nope! That's like "How much can I sexually stimulate myself."

Mindy: Confession time: I would say before married because I already have. But does it count if I hated it?

Ronnie: Kimball clearly has said no...but the night I get proposed to...I might make an exception. But my flesh is weak and I admit to past occurances. I try to hold back. I don't look down on those who do because it is hard to resist.

Annie: Definitely not.

Stephanie: No kissing before the alter.

Dave: Only if it's the right one, or if you feel lonely, or if it's after 10:00pm and the moon is full.

Michelle: YES...but probably not?

Eric: Well I've never had a problem wiht it.

Sean: No because it gets him in trouble.

Josie: I did.

Lara: Nope.

Janelle: yes.

Well there you have it folks! Take it for what you if has been far too long since I have kissed I don't feel that I can offer a valid response...but if my memory serves me well...which I might not at my old was a great thing...and I was not opposed to it at all.

Friday, August 17

driving with the windows down

This blog is dedicated to my friend Rachel Coon for no other reason than this is the title of a mix CD that she made and burned for me. It is truly better enjoyed when the windows are down, and the music is blaring! So thanks for that Rachel!

In a recent random weekly poll I asked my closest friends the following question: Driving with the windows up of down?

At the beginning of July I drove to Cedar City. I made 80% of the drive with my windows down, hair blowing music unfortunately...see "all things considered" for reasons why...i have short, "magic" hair so it's not a complete disaster when I get was a wonderful experience...akin to that of driving inside a blow one friend so eloquently put. People I spoke with could not believe that I would drive so much of the way, at such a speed with all the windows down...why not? Isn't that the point of windows? So I took a poll...

Here are the results of the poll: (I have included names this time. If you are upset...let me know).

Aubry: "with you: windows down. alone: windows up mostly."

Annie: "Usually down."

Amanda: "If the outside temperature is between 60 and 90 degrees then windows down if I have a hair tie. Otherwise windows up with climate control."

Jessi: "Down!"

Kelli: "in Utah: down. In humid Maryland: up"

Melanie: "Depends on how hot it is outside."

Sister Murray: "Depends on the temp outside."

Becca: "Windows up...usually. Unless is has just rained or stuff like that...and until I get my convertible."

Sunshine: "Down. What kind of question is that?"

Jimmy: "Up"

Snow: "If I have a hair clip then definitely windows down!"

Ronnie: "Depends on the season...and the hair do. It it's a/c so windows down. But on a good curl day I don't want a big friz windows up."

Emily: "Windows down in the summer. Unless its blazing hot and you need your a/c!"

Jill: "Windows down. Always." (this is why Jill and I are friends)

Jillesha: "Depends on weather outside. But most of the time down."

Cali: "Up. Definitely." (good thing she is one of the best people I know...I don't know if our friendship could continue)

Sarah: "Down 66% of the time."

Becca: "Down! With music on!"

Jennifer: "Up...except for those oh so precious beautiful spring and fall days when the temp is just right."

Mindy: "Windows down for as long as I can take the heat. In the winter I'll still crack them open a bit with the heater on." (A woman after my own heart...gosh I miss you)!

Ed: "It it is between 70-90 degrees, I'd say windows down, unless circumstances don't allow. Circumstances include: weather, if you're on a date, or going somewhere nice and don't want your hair messed up, of if you're picking your nose." (Ed and I were best friends in our previous lives).

JD Dixon: Down! I have no a/c in my truck."

Adam: "windows down."

Liz: "Windows up."

Devin: "oh, windows down of course." (coming from the man that said: "driving in Utah in the summer with the windows down i like driving in a blow dryer...such wit)!

Courtney: "Depends on the weather."

Lon: " depends on the temp and whether you have passengers, but 9 times out of 10 windows down with the music blaring."

Tara: "I know you know my answer. Definitely windows up. Only on very rare occasions and under specific conditions is windows down actually enjoyable!" (SERIOUSLY!! HOW ARE WE FRIENDS?! and...why do you have a sun roof? what a waste...)

What is interesting about these responses is that it reveals quite a bit about personality...who knew?!

Tuesday, August 7

My friends...

have always been important to me...very important to me...and I've made a lot of them in my short 28 years on this earth. I've lived in a few different places, moved a fair number of times...and every time managed to make some great, and lasting friends. If I'm going to take the time to make a friend, I'm going to make it worth my time. Why spend time and emotion on someone who is going to fall by the wayside? I love big groups...I'm extremely at ease at parties...but my true happiness lies in the one on one time that I spend with my friends...any or night...preferably with some delightful eats...or at least a glass of ice a car, on a porch, at a park, up the canyon, standing in the pantry, even on the phone...some of the greatest moments of my life are found in those places.

This is dedicated to those who have been with me for the long haul...even if you've only been with me a few minutes, or months...even if its been years, and years since I've seen have made me who I have contributed to my outlook on life...the paradigm through which I live my life. I'm a happy person. I don't have any great claim to fame, or pictures of adorable children to post...but my friends...they are amazing...their children are gorgeous! So here's to you.

I have my elementary and junior high school friends...from whom I gleaned...unfortunately...part of my sex education...who I played soccer, and basketball with...who I toilet papered houses with...who I rode bikes to 7-11 and spent $20.00 on baseball cards, big gulps and Slurpee's with...who I swam at the community pool with...had birthday parties detention with...thought I was so cool for wearing shorts in the winter with...who I explored the creek with...who I was chased down by neighborhood hoodlums with...who I went to roller skating parties and gossipped about who was skating with who and who had held hands while skating with each other...who I had my first sleep overs with...who I went to girls camp with...who taught me to love Saturday Night Live...the earlier years...who helped me shave the back of my head...who I first accidentally tried alcohol with...oops...who I went to church with...who I could have been nicer to...

I have my high school friends...from Nevada...who welcomed me with open arms...for the most I had just moved across the country to a foreign land...who I learned to drive with...who I went off campus for lunch with...who I ran around the Vegas strip with...who I sat up til all hours of the morning with...who I swam at 2am with...who I made hilarious home movies with...who I went on the most creative dates with...who I ate Oreo's and salsa with...who I decorated floats for homecoming with...who I hiked Sunrise Mountain with...who I went on my first date with...who I watched more R-rated movies than I care to admit with...who I swam and played volleyball everyday one summer with...who I climbed at Spring Mountain Ranch with...who I grew my appreciation for musicals with...who I vented to about the frustrations of life with...who I shared journals with...who I roller bladed all over Green Valley with...who I played basketball with...who I went to early morning seminary with...who cried with me when my grandmother died...who I had murder mystery dinner parties with...which we wrote by ourselves...who I almost went to EFY with...who I stayed up all night to watch Heathers and two trilogies with...who changed my life forever...who allowed me to see who I was...who taught me supported me through my struggles...who came to my 16th surprise party...from Utah...who I had my first job with...who I learned to love beef jerky again with...who I discovered Top Hat Video with...who sat with me at lunch when I had once again moved in the middle of high school...who would drive around Bountiful with me at midnight...who would listen to the Spice Girls at high decibel levels while drive in the unfinished hills of Bountiful and North Salt Lake...who ditched class to talk me through my struggles...who I gained an appreciation for modern dance with...who I fell in love for the first time with...who I wrote a song and sang in front of the entire school for...who I played practical jokes on that almost stopped me from graduating...who I went on to college with...

I have my friends from SUU (and my greatest friend from the deli)...who I lived on my own with...who I pulled all nighters continually with ...who had the brilliant idea to sniff tang with...who I drove up to Cedar Breaks at midnight with...who I went snowboarding for the first...and last...time with...who I filled my Denny's intake for the rest of my life with...with whom I discovered who I could be...who I drove to Vegas with to see WWF vs. NWO wrestling with...who I mourned the loss of one of our own with...who I fell in love for the second time with...who I wrote 20 page papers with...who I cheered for my T-Birds with...who I got a bit too crazy on New Year's eve with...a couple times...who I laughed harder with...who taught me how to hug...who's wedding receptions I attended...who I remained friends with after years apart...who I ran out of gas in the Virgin River Gorge with...who I randomly drove to Mesquite with...who I almost pierced my tongue with...who I learned to slice meat with...who I ate the best sandwiches with...who I discovered the beauty that is Southern Utah with...who I bought my first car with and from...who I made out with...who I introduced to his wife...who I did Upward Bound with...who I dedicated myself to the school with...who I decorated Sharwan's statue with...who I decorated trees on campus for Christmas with...who I lived the crazy college life with...who I sat on grassy knolls mulling things over with...who I took poetry from the Poet Laureate of Utah with...who I hiked Angel's Landing with...who I shared my best and worst with...whose best and worst I shared...who I discovered my best and worst with...whose children are the apples of my eyes...who still love me today...

I have my...I don't know what to call them...friends...some of my bests...who I eat spicy Mcchicken sandwiches with...who I enjoy chocolate shakes I enjoy late night conversations with...who I mix kava with...who I traveled to Hawaii with...who I attend concerts with...who I discuss music with...who I walk all over Salt Lake with...who I talk things out with...who I live a parallel life with...who I have Sunday brunch with...who I drive up canyons with...who I enjoy the view in my hammock from my back yard with...who I secretly have a crush on...who I share my deepest darkest secrets with...who I attend the temple with...who I work with...who I watch graduate...who I worked at EFY with...whose children I want to take home with me...who I take road trips to visit other friends with...who I find my greatest joys in...who I attend church with...who I laugh hysterically with...who I learn more and more who I am with...who I run with...who I cry with...who I vent about life with...who I have inappropriate conversations with...who I build my testimony with...who I get great haircuts from...who I am myself with...who I know I will always be friends with...

Thank you for being my friend.

Brooke Lee Russell

Tuesday, July 31

The Power of the Bread Maker

This morning at the Russell house hold began as any week day morning would: Dad up and getting ready for work; mom out weeding (its summer, otherwise she'd be at school molding young minds); Brooke, Kelli, Kerri asleep in bed. At about 7:00am my body began to wake. This process usually takes a good fifteen to twenty minutes for me. Although there can be a catalyst of two thrown in the mix to move that process along. This morning it was my mother's dulcet tones in the direction of my father. Argus (the giant, black poodle who resembles a small deer according to my friend Melissa) had been outside relieving himself and was unfortunately (for ALL parties) sprayed by a skunk. The dulcet tones of which I spoke of were those of my mother yelling at my dad to NOT let the dog back in the house. HOW HAD HE NOT SMELLED THE DOG?! HE REEKED!! IT WAS PAINFUL!! Unfortunately, due to the limited capacity of my dad's olfactory system he took no notice and happily allowed Argus back into the house.

Needless to say my mother was less than pleased. My dad wasn't the one that had to suffer...he was off to work. My room didn't smell much more pleasant as I sleep with my window open at night. So now the smell had wafted in from outside and was also running through the house in the form of a standard size poodle. I finally got out of bed and proceeded to get ready for my day. My mom came down stairs and I asked her what had happened. I asked if she was taking the dog the the groomers to get bathed and she said yes. I wondered if maybe they'd charge a few extra dollars for the smell...when you get your car washed and it's super muddy it's an extra couple bucks...she said she'd pay a hundred. Then she said that she would be baking bread in every room of the house. She asked if I'd like her to bake some in my room. I laughed, said yes, and went back to primping ;)

To my surprise ten minutes later she walked down stairs with the bread maker ready to go! She wasn't kidding. She really was going to bake bread in every room in the house! BRILLIANT WOMAN! So now when I return home this evening my house will smell of freshly baked bread, and a bathed dog. Ah the power of bread!

Friday, July 20


Sometimes being single in this place that I call home can be tough. Here I am surrounded by so many great examples of strong married sisters in the gospel. I have had the privilege of getting to know a many of these outstanding women and have felt their influence in my life as a lasting one. Whether it is their encouragement to sing in a choir, despite my inability to carry a tune, or their advice on how to be a better child for my parents, or simply the laughter shared – I consider myself greatly fortified in my abilities to become a successful wife and mother.

Yet it seems that my time to become just that is not approaching with the haste I would sometimes like it to….and at times being surrounded by eternal companionship and motherhood leaves me in an ocean of self doubt with waves of loneliness and frustration washing over me. But it is not in my nature to doubt myself. I was not created to doubt – I was created in the image of my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ – I was created in their likeness (Genesis 1:26) – “having been born of goodly parents” (1Nephi 1:1) who have taught me the gospel…born to a mother who once said to me “wouldn’t you rather be happy and single instead of miserable and married to the wrong guy?”, in response to a frustrated comment I had made about being single...(not a commentary in any way shape or form on her marriage) I was born to be an exemplary child of God.

In taking out my endowments this last summer I have seen a shift in my priorities with continued temple attendance. In striving to put the Lord first in my life I’ve gained peace and contentment in my soul, all the while the war with Satan continues to rage on before me; yet so often I know that I go untouched by the influence of the adversary because I have chosen my Savior. The world would have me believe that as a young single adult in my late twenties there is a perpetual party waiting for me. A party where being single allows for more exploits, where I’M allowed to focus on MYSELF so the I can focus on having the best time for ME and not worry about anyone else.

However, in that world I found only temporary satisfaction and a spiritual emptiness that left me wanting. It is in obedience to the teachings and commandments of this gospel – in the keeping of my covenants – that I come to know my Savior and to be engulfed in His love for me. Contemplation of His great Atonement reveals His knowledge of who I am, as He has suffered not only for my sins and pains and afflictions, but also for my personal temptations. He knows, as well as I, and better than anyone else, how Satan seeks to destroy me and with that knowledge stands ready to bless and strengthen me with the tools needed to overcome the adversary. And so, even in my “singlehood” He is always teaching me, building me up to be the child of God, the daughter, the sister, the friend, and eventually, the mother, that He knows I can be.

I’m so grateful for these manifestations of His love, not only through His spirit, but through my family, my friends, my church leaders, and in the beauty that surrounds me. I know that my Savior loves me, that He came here to do the work of a Father in Heaven who loves and knows me. I know that Father has a plan for me and with that knowledge and continued faith I will become all that He has sent me here to be and that the promises and blessings of exaltation will be mine.

Saturday, July 14

Talk is apparently good...but make sure you don't lie.

So the other night my friend asked me what i think the most important thing in a relationship is. With questions like this I usually have some great theory to share about why my reason is the best, and blah, blah, blah...but on Thursday my mind drew a blank...I mean I had nothing! So I sent the question out to some of my friends...HOLY RESPONSES BATMAN! I couldn't believe it. I asked about 60 people and 46 people responded. Who gets a 77% response rate on anything?! (I was forced to suffer through stats in one does)!

What was interesting was that only a few asked why I was asking...they all just answered. One person asked who the question was from...obviously we're not as good of friends as I thought...just kidding Lon! One person even answered and then asked who it was! A few things about this little exercise struck me: 1) the willingness of people to respond without asking for a reason or context of the relationship; 2) who said what; and 3) the responses themselves.

Willingness to respond...

I send out an text message : "Random question: What is the most important thing in a relationship? In your opinion." Then people just started responding...good thing I have an unlimited texting plan on my phone! People just sent their answers. No questions asked (well except for Ed, and Shorty...and maybe a couple others). Why are people so willing to respond to a question like that? I asked my friend Melanie why she thought people were so willing. Her response to that question was that it's something we're always thinking about. ( We're meaning single adults...though I polled more than singles...granted they may be the majority because I am one). She has a point...if we're not in a relationship we may be thinking about what we want out of one when we are, and if we are in one then we're probably thinking about...well...the relationship.

It was also interesting that only one person...if I remember correctly...asked me the context of the relationship. It seems that most responses were to a relationship of intimacy, but I did get one response that was specifically responding to friendship. Though I think that most answers are applicable to any type of relationship

Maybe some people thought they were going to win a prize for answering...sorry guys :( Maybe some people thought I was going to respond to their response with some great mystery of the dating/relationship universe...yeah...highly unlikely...all things considered. What I could do though is go through all the responses and set people up on dates according to their responses...I mean if you're dating someone who feels that the same things in the relationship are most important isn't that going to be guaranteed success right there?! I think that is a topic for discussion all on its own.

He Said, She Said...

Who said what was also interesting...whether it was looking at male vs. female; single vs. dating; single vs. married; married vs. dating; newlywed vs. nearly dead; and just person specific. I think that people's responses say a lot about who they are. So as not to reveal too much about anyone I won't go into specifics, but next time you ask a question...a subjective question...take notice of who says might open your eyes to who they really are. People's responses reveal what they may have been through, their confidence in certain aspects of their life, or lack there of we seek after what we're best at, or do we seek after what we want most that is missing from our own life?

Here is what you said...
Names have been withheld and some responses have been edited for content...personal reasons...not explicit content...get your mind out of the gutter!!
I have included relationship status and gender. (AS FAR AS I KNOW).

"Communication"-dating someone-female

"It's a toss up between communication and honesty. Most likely when you communicate enough, you do it honestly."-single-female

"Communicating through the though things and getting along with each other."-married-male

"Commitment and selflessness. At least that's what I think."-married-female

"The ability to know you're loved unconditionally...Communication is the fall back answer:)"-divorced-female

"Selflessness comes to mind."-single-female

"Unconditional love."-engaged-male

"I would say two things: selflessness and communication."-single-female

"Friendship"-single-male (he later responded and asked to change his answer: "having one").



"Concern for the other's happiness above your own. I think."-single-male

"That's be unselfish."-single-female

"Trust. Then love."-dating one boy; waiting for another to got off his mission-female...obviously.


"Friendship? Attraction."-single-male


"That's tough cause there really are so many things that are important. But for me it is that he accepts me for who I am and what I do..."-married-female

"Probably solid communication and understanding of each other."-single-male (his response is specifically to a marriage).

"That is hard to give just one all important answer because there are so many but I would say communication, humility."-married-male

"Besides a common gospel bond...communication. No question!"-single-male

"Sex. Just kidding...communication!"-single-female


"The most important thing in a relationship is definitely without question...HONESTY. In the words of William (Billy) Joel "Honesty is such a lonely word" which is so true. if there is one person from who you can require unquestioning is the person you are sharing a relationship with..."-male-single

"Tie. Communication and trust."-dating someone-male

"I can't single it to one aspect. I'd have to say honestly, patience, understanding, and sacrifice."-single(I think)-male

"Tough question...Relationships are so complex. I'd say respect or forgiveness."-single-female

"Communication and love. With those all else should fall in to place."-single-male

"In my opinion-trust, integrity. Essentially if you do not have trust in a relationship you have no REAL relationship. There is no foundation."-married-female

"Communication and honesty. I think honesty is really number one."-single-female


"The ability to feel comfortable with the individual and be completely myself and communication. I think communication is probably number one."-engaged-female

"Trust."-dating someone-female

"Sex hands down. Just kidding...for real communication, no joke. Communication is key, then humility."-married-male

"The very thing that is missing."-divorced-male

"Love. To know they truly and sincerely care about you through their listening and asking questions about your day, etc...but sincerely caring what you say."-single-female


"There are so many. I'd have to say genuine respect. What comes from that is emotional honesty, trust and effective communication. Those are the basis of human interaction."-single-female


"Good question! I'm going to go with the Spirit."-single-female

"Trust; emotional trust; trust that they profess they are who they are; not that they won't make mistakes, but they are who they are at the core."-married-female


"I think communication is very important. I think noticing things things that are important to them, liking their interests, doing things for them, being honest, NOT talking ill of them, but supporting them even when they do dumb things occasionally--we all do! I think that being fair and loyal and trust worthy is important, not making fun of them and their choices."single-female. (Her response was specifically to friendships).

"Reciprocated love."-married-female

"Loving someone enough to trust them with everything-the good, the bad, the ugly."-married-female

The Conclusion...

So there you have it folks. In case you were wondering...communication was mentioned 15 times...and interestingly enough so was trust and/or honesty. As I continued to think about the question while waiting for responses, I came up with loyalty and selflessness. Neither communcation nor honesty/trust crossed my mind. I guess I'm a horrible, dishonest, communicator who has no trust in anyone! No wonder I'm still single!

Wednesday, July 4

Ordinary Miracles

Miracle (thanks to Wikipedia): A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning "something wonderful", is a striking interposition of divine intervention by a God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. In casual usage, "miracle" may also refer to any statistically unlikely but beneficial event, (such as the survival of a natural disaster) or even to anything which is regarded as "wonderful" regardless of its likelihood, such as birth.

RE-FINE Spelled Pronunciation[ri-fahyn] Pronunciation Key –verb (used with object)
1. to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities: to refine metal, sugar, or petroleum.
2. to purify from what is coarse, vulgar, or debasing; make elegant or cultured.
3. to bring to a finer state or form by purifying.
4. to make more fine, subtle, or precise: to refine one's writing style. –verb (used without object)
5. to become pure.
6. to become more fine, elegant, or polished.
7. to make fine distinctions in thought or language.

Every day most of us get up and go through a similar routine...whatever that maybe...we are creatures of habit. Often times I look at my life and think, "I'm so boring. I never do anything exciting, or cool." Those are the times where I will wear something out of the ordinary, or put some "outrageous" color of nail polish on. But those things are fleeting and only cure the boredom for just a moment. I suppose I could move to friend Erin is...kid, husband and all...I imagine that would cure my boredom...but maybe not. This is not to say that I'm not green with envy at the move of my friend...the adventure of a life time...but Erin and said family are not crossing a couple ponds because they're fact...I think its just the opposite...they're doing it because they're not bored...they're excited about life, and...frankly...because they can. I don't begrudge Erin for it at fact...I hope she stays long enough for me to come and see her. Anyway...enough about Erin... I just don't think that moving across the world would cure the doldrums that creep up on amazing as Malaysia is (I mean that is an assumption on my part) doldrums are cross assumption on my part.

What cures the doldrums? What brings us out of the slump that we...or at least I...tend to find myself in? Well today I realized that it is the simple moments in my life. Last week I listed some of those simple things...and today I realized that those simple things are what keep me going. Those are the miracles that Queen sings about...every drop of rain that falls, etc...

Great, amazing, fun, outlandish, unbelievable, cool things happen to me...I just don't always recognize them. I mean...of course I recognize the big things...a trip to Hawaii for a haircut (and to see friends...and...HELLO...HAWAII!!)...a cruise in the Caribbean...a trip to Boston...a Sunday dinner consisting of prawns and crab legs (I mean seriously...who eats that normally...oh family...future blog entry: Christmas dinner two? years ago).

But a drive on Highway 12 is pretty unbelievable...Oreo cookies and milk are pretty damn great...the Twin Falls County Fair is SO cool (unfortunately I won't be in attendance this year...but your little sister only turns 18 and goes off to college once...and hey...another ordinary miracle)! The seemingly ordinary things happen, and I often don't think twice...but in a moment of "poor me" if I really want to pull my self out of these doldrums...I can...because these ordinary moments in my life are miracles...

That's what I think my life is...a series of routines peppered (heavily if I'm looking enough) with many daily ordinary miracles...whether some profound truth is discovered or not...if I'm happier, and more self-aware...then I'm probably better today than I was yesterday...and isn't that kind of the point and kind of a miracle?

Some people think that we live in a God-forsaken world...and though the world is littered with unspeakable atrocities, trash, debasing media, and those who are out to perpetuate all of these things...I know that this world is ANYTHING but God-forsaken. If I have to look harder for His blessings, His is only because the hotter the flames in the Refiner's fire, the more pure the thing becomes.

A miracle is not given to give us faith...its given because we have faith. He knows how hot the flames of His fire are...and when we show our strength, our faith...He does indeed bless us. Maybe not immediately, and maybe we don't see it...but it is there...and if we take the time to recognize the ordinary things around us...we will see them as a reassurance...a reward...a blessing...for the faith that we have put forth.

Thursday, June 28

all things considered...

Some of you may or may not be aware that about one year ago my car was stolen out of a church parking lot...June 20, 2006... to be exact. It was like any other day. I got up, drove to the bus stop, parked my car in the designated "Park and Ride" lot…aka my stake center, and was off to work. It was a Tuesday, and on Tuesdays at Rubio's fish tacos are $1.00. To me the fish taco is a little slice of heaven. So my roommate and I had decided to go to Rubio's after work. Since I did not drive that day, she came and picked me up and off we went to Rubio's. Now this wasn't any old taco day, as well as the day that Anderson Cooper (VERY attractive news correspondent for CNN) was going to interview Angelina Jolie...who (and I know I'll get flak for this) I happen to like. My roommate Aubry LOVES Anderson Cooper, but she is team Aniston (as in Jennifer, former wife of Brad Pitt...I know it's ridiculous the things we know about other people's lives). So we went to Rubio's, enjoyed a lovely, yet cheap dinner, and began our drive home to prepare for the interview.

As we drove home we chatted about this and that. Reminiscing about another time we went to Rubio's and as we were driving home we were in the middle of a motorcade for El Presidente Fox of Mexico! It's always an adventure with us. (club Suede, Ben Taylor, Tristan Prettyman, and a LOT of lesbians). As we pulled into the parking lot I was telling Aubry a story about a roommate I had in Boston who sued the Cheesecake factory (another great story). I looked up assuming my car would be there (NEVER ASSuME because we know what that does), but alas it was not. I said, "Aubry I think my car has been stolen." It was funny actually. We stopped where I had parked it at about 8am that morning...right next to my friend Mindy's car, but it was nowhere to be seen. I told Aubry to drive around the parking lot, HOPING that I had a memory lapse and maybe for some odd reason parked it somewhere else...but I did not park it somewhere else. We drove by the spot I had parked it one more time just to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me...they weren't.

My next thought was that my friend Chris (who sold me the car) had come and taken it as a joke. I called him, and he did I...and assured me he had not taken it. I thought maybe...I don't know why I thought this, but you sort of do weird things when your car is stolen...Scott or Kelli came and took it as a joke. We drove up to my parents house, but it was not there. I went in and walked upstairs to tell my mom…(because as a child…regardless of age…that is always our first instinct…to tell mom and dad). The first words out of her mouth were "Call the POLICE!" Then I had to break the bad news to her. There were a few things in my car that belonged to her. Nothing of monetary value, but of immense sentimental worth. She was SO sad...and to be honest, I felt worse about her stuff than I did about my car. (I was also harboring an extreme amount of sadness about my gift certificate to Kitty Pappas that was in the car, but other than that I was pretty sad about her stuff). I went downstairs to get the number for the NSLPD. Scott said sorry, but he was kind of laughing, as was everyone else, because it really is hard to believe...not a funny ha ha laugh, but a "You've got to be kidding” sort of chuckle. Kerri was asking me if we could go to Seven Peaks and I think the stress of it all began to set in because I couldn't find the number in the phone book and I started to get a bit flustered. Aubry was kind enough to look up the number and dial for me, then I went back down to the parking lot to wait for the officer.

By this time it was 7:15pm and the interview we had been planning our day around was starting at 8. We were afraid that we would miss it because it was getting later and we still had to wait for the cop to show up and then take down the report. While we waited I paced back and forth in the parking lot and was talking half to myself, and half to Aubry. I wasn't mad…I was sad… there were no was just a strange feeling. I suggested that Aubry go home so that we could record the interview. I told her a walk home would do me good, but she was afraid I would get picked up by the police on the way because I would be walking down the street ranting like a crazy person. So we decided to call someone to go put in a tape at our house. (TiVo would have been very helpful). I started calling a few friends, and left 'messages...
"Hey it's Brooke if you get this message in the next few minutes call me's sort of important."

A couple people called back and the first thing I said was,

“Hey my car was stolen and we are waiting for the police do you think you could go to our house and put a tape in the VCR so we can record the Anderson Cooper/ Angelina Jolie interview?"

Every one's reaction was the same,

"Your car was stolen?"

"Yes, but can you go out a tape in our VCR?"

No one seemed to grasp the importance of the interview...go figure. Chris...being the great friend that he is, came over to the parking lot to wait with us...I suppose he had somewhat of a vested interest...he sold me the car and his amplifier for his stereo was still in there ...ah well...Office Osoro finally came...he was very nice. I told him what happened. He said,

"Are you sure your car was stolen? Because you are awfully calm for someone who just had their car stolen. Most people would be yelling at me."

I told that I worked in customer service and I don't yell at people who are helping me. We proceeded to discuss the car, and told me what he would do, and then we chatted about his drug bust of 3 lbs of pot in that very parking lot, and a DUI arrest he made the other was guy I know…he lives near my aunt and uncle in West Bountiful and I use to work with his wife.

Officer Osoro was in a good mood because he had just gotten a new patrol car. He let my roommate sit in the back. She was surprised by how little leg room there was, but hey, if you're a criminal you don't get leg room. We went home…we missed the first 20 minutes of the interview, but it was pretty long, so we caught the majority of it. It was great. I learned a lot about Africa and the things that go on in certain countries over there....I am truly grateful that I live in the United States and am so blessed to have the life I have.

My wonderful friend Sarah Davies was nice enough to bring me a cherry coke Slurpee. Oh another officer came to our house that night to have me sign an affidavit saying my car was really stolen and I wasn't trying to commit insurance fraud. So that was the end of day one. I was calm and collected. That continued until Thursday morning when I went to get my rental car. I had to have a Chevy was nice and new, but it was like a boat!! And it didn't have a SUNROOF. That is my favorite thing about my car...I almost started crying as I drove to work, and then the frustration set in. It's not actually getting your car's everything that happens as a result...rental car…filling out a is the longest form in the took over an hour to fill it out.

Then last Saturday after my big carne asada party hosted by Aubry’s dad… I was cleaning up and the police called my parent's house...which I thought was weird considering I gave them my CELL number and nothing else. The lady on the phone asked how long my car had been in NSL. I thought that was a weird question and told her that it had been missing for a week and half. She then asked if I had reported it. I said yes, I spoke to two different officers. She asked in the were NSLPD...of course...then she said an officer would call me to tell me where it had been ditched....she didn't say, “well hey we found your car.” It was all very strange. So about fifteen minutes later an Officer Hargis (very nice man) called to tell me that my car was at an apartment complex on Orchard Drive. I asked him which complex. Peach Tree. HA HA HA HA. That complex is right...I mean exactly due west of the church parking lot the car had been stolen out of. I drove over there and sure enough...there was the Champ (that is my car) The stereo was gone, the sun roof was wide open, and all my change (maybe a couple bucks in pennies...I thought it was funny they took the pennies) Chris's amplifier, my GIFT CERTIFICATE, a couple CD's, and my garage door opener were gone.

The car itself was least it seemed fine. I think it's fine. They may have hit a curb when moving it the whole fifty yards because it pulls to the right...but other than that it's good to go. The officer explained the reason the lady on the phone was so weird was because between the TWO officers that helped me NEITHER of them listed it as stolen…even though I reported it as stolen. So I now am driving my car again...happily, and's amazing the things you can work out in your car without music. I'm not filing a claim because what was stolen is worth less than my deductible. All in all it was a pretty good experience as far as getting your car stolen goes. Oh and the look on my mom's face when I brought her stuff back to her...PRICELESS! She was so ecstatic. So there is the story. Maybe you wanted to hear it maybe you didn't. Until next time sports fans...good night and good luck,.

Wednesday, June 27

can we say "double standard"

The only person that has ever hated me is Jessica (can't remember her last name). I was in 7th or 8th grade...can't it was was on my way the a class with Mr. Seely...greatest teacher...taught me to love diet Coke, and the Cubs...we would listen to the games in the spring on his AM radio in the classroom. We purposely would get detention with him because he would buy us a soda...and John Lindsay ALWAYS had detention and his mom would send him with Dunkin Donuts...anyway...back to Jessica...

I should give you all a frame of reference from which you can read this story. I had spent my life...up to that point...knowing that everyone liked me...and that most of them...if not all of them LOVED me. That is not to say that I loved, or even liked all of them...but they didn't know that...and they had no good reason not to like now the story...

We were walking to class, and I was with Stephanie Thomas, and Jessica was walking near us...I don't remember exactly what was said (because in junior high my dad threw away my journals...not out of was accident...that is another story) we're walking to class, and Jessica...out of the blue...according to my EXTREMELY tainted memory...told me that she didn't like me, and didn't really think I was as cool as I thought I was. Crushed...that is all I can say...I...was...crushed...destroyed...SHE DIDN'T LIKE ME?! EVERYONE LIKED ME?! What was she smoking? Of course I didn't like her...but that isn't the point...I have NEVER given anyone a reason not to me!!! I'm Brooke Lee Russell for crying out loud!!

I don't even remember how the rest of the day went, but when I got home I immediately told my mom what had here is the part that she should really write...maybe I'll ask her to guest blog...but from her memory she thought it was pretty funny...she was astounded that I truly believed everyone else I had ever met to this point liked in my defense...I really think they did...(including Becky...whose last name I will withhold...who use to kick my shins under my desk in fourth grade). Why wouldn't someone like me? Of mom still has a good eye roll today because other than Jessica Whatshername I don't know of anyone else that doesn't love me...Jamie Krahenbuhl (can someone from Vegas tell me how to spell her last name...thank you you think she'll be mad that her name is on here...should I delete it)? didn't like me either, but we over came that and parted on great terms...someday I will buy some of her art work.

I still hope that someday I will run into her, and we can make up and be friends...well at least make up so she likes me...because her dislike of me is really tarnishing my perfect record!

Monday, June 25

the simple things

Oreos and milk
pink bubble gum
cotton candy bubble gum
the sunset
waves crashing
freshly cut grass
breakfast at midnight with Jill
hearing a song I love on the radio
an email from a friend
riding the T
a favorite hymn in church
microway popcorn with honey and peanut butter m&m's
a front porch
lighting on a summer evening with out rain
the smell of rain on the pavement
a summer thunderstorm
Downtown Crossing
Boston Common
the grassy knoll with Sara
Highway 12
shorts and t-shirts
jeans and flip flops
a Sunday afternoon nap
Sunday evenings on the porch with my family after dinner
a spicy McChicken
a cheeseburger Happy Meal
a starry night
unwelcomed hugs from Jessi
the Twin Falls County Fair
my bed
driving home from work; stuck in traffic
my sunroof
Sunday dinner water fights at Grandma's
dinner at Kitty Pappa's
a good book
head phones on the beach
waiting for a flight at the airport
flying by myself
a walk
Oh Fudge Shake w/ Oreo's from Cold Stone
a bookstore
the smell of a new book
a good dictionary
coffee cake muffin from Duncan Donuts
swimming at 2:00am with Mary
the owner of Cold Stone remembering me
talking with a good friend til 4:00am
painting my nails an unBrooke color
a Slurpee and a car wash from Slim Olsen's
playing Little House on the Prairie with Scott, Kelli, and Kerri
Nielsen's custard
Diary Queen
cotton candy ice cream from Baskin Robbins
fish Taco Tuesdays at Rubio's
Connie's Pizza
a midnight drive up the canyon
watching the lighting while sitting on Aja's back porch
driving on Kam Highway with the windows down
grilled veggies
yellow cake with chocolate frosting
driving in Logan
walking to the Logan Temple from the other side of town with Cali
chips and salsa
McDonald's vanilla cone
expounding and expanding with Emelia Jonez-Evans
peanuts and National Geographic Pursuit on a summer's evening
popcorn, hot chocolate, and National Geographic Pursuit on a winter's evening
Christmas Eve dinner on the floor
hot tubs in the winter
Cedar City
cheap rentals at Top Hat Video
riding the bus
the sunset from my grandpa's hill
sleeping on the trampoline
orange soda
the Montero
Oreos and salsa-not kidding!
watching SNL in the early 90's with the Manwarings
chocolate covered pretzels
a great hug
a good joke
outdoor concerts
happy hour at Ah Sushi
driving to Cedar City
Zion National Park when its pouring rain
Boulder, UT
my scriptures
the kiss in Last of the Mohicans
driving with the windows down

karma and Ted

So this story is a LONG time coming...I actually can't believe it wasn't my first story! It makes me smile, and sometimes even laugh out loud when I think about it, and it has thus far made a few others laugh too.

Last fall I was on my way into work. I had stopped that morning for a hot chocolate, since it was a bit chilly out. I walked in to the building and as I approached the elevators the door closed...I barely missed it! At the same moment a man, probably in his early 40's was getting off the parking garage elevators. I pressed the elevator button, and the same door that had just seconds before closed, this gentleman and I stepped onto the elevator he commented on how lucky I was. I smiled at him. We pressed our respective floor buttons; three for him, six for me. As the elevator rose he least three more times...on my luck...I simply nodded and sipped away on my cocoa. I don't have much to say in the mornings, as many of you know. As he was stepping out onto his floor I felt like I should comment since he'd been so talkative. So I commented: "It's karma." He turned and looked at me and replied: " name's Ted."

Those elevator doors closed and I burst into laughter!!! I could not believe it! Now there is a man, on the third floor, who thinks that my name is "karma". I've always wondered when, and if, it ever hit the doors were closing, and my laughter straight from the gut, that is not quiet at all, penetrated the steel he was sitting at his desk one day, during a conversation in which someone mentioned the concept of karma...I don't know...but I will ALWAYS be so grateful to Ted during those moments when I need a good laugh!

Saturday, May 19

damn the swinging chain link ladder?

I spent a few hours in the sun yesterday setting up for a kids' carnival sponsored by my company. I was with my friend Stephanie. During some down time...during which I caught some serious rays, and have once again increased the likelihood that I'll die of skin cancer...I know its not really funny...anyway...Stephanie and I were discussing childhood, and recess and REAL play time.

Remember the was the wavy stood alone in the park...just taunting you to climb to the top and the unstable chain wall that hung down one side. It was made of metal...the whole thing...and it stood fairly tall...It taunted me for much of my childhood...put the fear of God in me that slide did...but I remember the first time that I made it up the side of that ladder...well it was more of a swinging chain link fence...I stood at the top of the proud of myself...and then sat down on the hot metal..trying to keep my skin from toughing so that A) I would not get burned and B) I would slide faster...(cotton makes less friction on metal than my skin). As I child I thought it was all about getting to slide down the wavy slide to the bottom...and that indeed was thrilling!!

I climbed that thing many more times and enjoyed the ride down...but as a pseudo adult I realize it wasn't about the was about climbing that ladder. The slide was the perk, the entertainment...that slide was only fun because I had to work for it. imagine if there was an escalator to take kids to the top...I don't really think the slide would be all that worth it. After time we would lose interest. It is the same way with our lives...if we don't have to work for it...its not nearly as worth it. We may still enjoy it from time to time...but we will never receive true exhilaration from the slide because there was really no effort to get there...the exhilaration really came when I got to the top of the ladder...when I looked down to the ground...twenty feet or so?...and saw how far I really had come...that I had bested my fear of the swinging chain link fence, and made it to the top.

So it is with out lives...they will be so much the richer, so much the fuller after we've climbed all the daunting, swinging, chain link ladders and made it to the top. Our joy is fuller because of the challenges that lie in our pathway. As we face them head on, not cowering in a corner...we will find the exhilaration.

Wednesday, March 21

Knock Around Girl

My day to day activities and events are typically reserved for my own private are some of my deepest, darkest secrets ( journal)...but my thoughts about things around me can be found here...however...sometimes, something happens that needs to be shared (case in point Get Shorty)...last night's events...well one in worth sharing with all of cyber space.

The evening began as mellow and calm as any other. I had dinner plans with friends (Shorty, Sliced Bread, Alisa, and Ronnie)...Happy Sumo...after an eventful dinner...which included me spilling soy sauce on every one's debit card...except mine...funny how that works...we went over to Ben's Cookies...Alisa parted ways with us (which she now says is a good thing...because of what happened)...we bought our cookies (after much trauma...all because Shorty wants to be efficient) and sat out side to enjoy a cool spring evening. So here we are...the four of a table...discussing the dating habits of guys (well one guy) that we know. Ronnie casually says..."It looks like we've got ourselves a streaker." Well of course we're all going to look up. Which of course we did. And what we was not a fact I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that what appeared in front of us, coming at full speed down the side walk...was far, FAR worse than seeing a streaker. It appeared that a young girl...early twenties...was running at her top speed, without a shirt...or bra on! I let you take a minute to get a you have it? Ok great...moving on. Shorty, Sliced Bread, and I all looked at the same moment, and all looked back at one another at the same moment...wondering if we each saw the same thing. This young girl made her way speedily past us, and into that moment, the four of us confirmed with some serious gut laughter, and tear filled eyes that we had indeed seen the same thing...she was not shirtless...but the shirt was pointless...for it was the color of flesh, and she did NOT have a bra...and she was decently endowed. The thought now still evokes a subtle laugh and great big smile. I suddenly realized why they are sometimes referred to as "knockers"...for knock they did! I'm surprised she didn't knock herself out. It was like an extra pair of arms flailing in front of her.

I'm at a loss for how someone could feel it appropriate...let alone do that. I thought those things were going to rip right off her chest! We sat there for another ten or so minutes laughing, wiping tears, and debating whether or not she was wearing a bra...She was not. I looked immediately as she passed and saw no straps. We "casually" walked passed the store to verify that she was not wearing a bra. We were probably the most obvious foursome to ever try and observe, but it was completely worth it! I mean its not a picture I love to have burned in my memory, but it was indeed a bonding moment among friends. Moments like that bond you in a way that nothing else can.

After she had made her purchase she happily strolled out of the store and back down the street off into the darkness. I doubt we'll ever see her again...but we will NEVER forget her...or her anatomy.

Tuesday, March 20

Grey's Anatomy lives in a time warp

So a fact about me...almost every Thursday night at 8:00pm Mountain Time, you can find me at Aubry's house watching Grey's Anatomy. It's kind of a different show...but has enough humour and like able characters that I enjoy that hour of my life. One thing that I have well as that the timing on on Grey's is very strange. I sent Aubry an email today about my current feelings and opinions of Grey's and she suggested I blog doesn't really fit into the nature of my blog, but randomness in the universe isn't a bad thing. Below is the email that I sent to Aubry. She commented on the fact that Meredith was suddenly back in action after serious tragedy in her life and I sent the following response: (I have added some commentary which is in italics)

I know…they didn’t even address the fact that Meredith killed her self…they address her mom dying…but that’s it! (and only like two seconds when Baily tells her she is doing I don't even remember, but its because her parent just died) LAME! Everyone is stupid right now…well maybe not…let’s see… (my feelings about the characters change often...although...George has been on the S-list for a while)

Izzie…jerk for sleeping with George...she isn't really into him
George…jerk for sleeping with Izzie, and adulterer because he HAS A WIFE!!! (who rocks the Casbah)!
Preston…jerk because his masculinity was being threatened, and he is just annoying
McSteamy…not really my favorite, but nothing too jerky lately (although not to shabby to look at...eye candy as Jill might say)

Meredith…love her…in all her flawedness…love her!! (favorite episode is when she has appendicitis)
Derrick…the perfect man…in all his flawedness
Alex…good man…good doctor and friend to Jane Doe (again...eye candy)
Dr. Bailey…always the moral compass…moving forward like a great white shark
Yang…flawed, mean, ornery, but I LOVE HER! She is SO honest.
Cali…loved her from the beginning. (Love to watch her dance in her underwear, and she is on my list of girl crushes)
Addison…WHY IS SHE LEAVING!? (and McSteamy better NOT go with her) You can’t hate her…no matter how hard you try(...she is SO Aubry would say)
Chief...his lover died, his wife left him…he works in a hospital of crazies, and that is not counting the patients.

So there you have current take on Grey's Anatomy. I can only hope that it doesn't jump the shark. It would be nice to see this show go out on top...I'm not saying I want it to end, but it is always depressing when shows go bad.

Wednesday, March 14

Get Shorty

So Monday night I offered to return a movie for my mom, so she wouldn't have ANOTHER day of late fees...unfortunately I spaced my good intention and didn't get to the video store before 7:00pm...which is when they start assessing late fees. So after FHE (Family Home Evening) was over I snagged my friend Shorty (who's real name is Christine...she is 4'11") and she came with me to the store. It was a warm evening, and I have a sun roof...which is the pride and joy of my car....seriously...when it was stolen last summer all I could think about was the fact that I would probably not get another car with a sun roof for the price I got this one...incidentally the car was found...anyway...I love driving with it open...even in the winter. We pulled into the video store and I left the sun roof open...we were only going in for a few minutes...We walked into Top Hat (BEST VIDEO STORE EVER) and I realized I had no cash, nor my debit card...luckily I have a pre-paid account, and since I'm such a loyal customer they let me use my pre-paid account...$1.33 pay for $6.00 of late fees...loyalty ALWAYS pays off...literally! Then Shorty and I looked around for a minute and argued about the movie/book Flowers in the Attic. Then we left.

As we were walking out I stuck my hand in my pocket to get keys...unfortunately, I found my pockets sans keys! Immediately I knew I had locked them in the car, however, to humour Shorty...(who is going to make some smart remark, when she reads this, about my condescending attitude to humour her)...because she peaked in the car and said she couldn't see them...I walked back into the store and asked if I left them on the counter and checked the shelves we had been standing by. No keys. There was only one thing to do...Shorty had to climb in through the sun roof...which was serendipitously open...and unlock the car from the inside...She's the perfect size...Definitely someone that you always want to have in your back a trusty Swiss army knife, or Leatherman! She did just that...climbed up the a bit nervous on the roof...I assured her that, I myself had sat on the roof...and I'm like three Shortys...she was fine...and then she slide right down into the car, and unlocked the door...Sure enough...there were my the ignition! To happy accidents and pocket size friends.

Addendum: So that Shorty will still be my friend...she is actually 4'11 & 3/4"...still short enough to have a handicapped sticker

Saturday, March 10

Maybe this is what happened.

Ok so as a preface to this entry I want you to be warned that some of you may not appreciate this entry...but I need to record this exciting moment in my life...and what better place to do that then the infinity of cyber space.

Yesterday, March 9, 2007 at 7:30am I had an endoscopy. I have horrid acid reflux, and after an "acid reflux attack from hell" (which included bowing to the porcelain god five minutes before a meeting in which I needed to impress someone) I decided that a doctor's visit was probably in order. The doctor's visit ended in an appointment for an endoscopy. So here is the play by play to my very exciting, and eventful day.

I was driven to the hospital by my dad who dropped me off. (we're the real independent types in our family...I would have driven myself, but you can't drive yourself home). I filled out paper work and they took me back to my room. I got to put on this very trendy hospital gown, and had my blood pressure taken. I hadn't really been feeling nervous at all, but when the nurse...Shelley (who was SO NICE...and had the best bedside manner ever...Jack Shephard could take a lesson in bedside manner from her) took the BP it was something like 137 over 98! HOLY COW!! She said I was probably nervous...and I agreed...although I wasn't really feeling it quite yet.

Then it was time for the other nurse to come and put in my IV!!! HOORAY! And it really is so they are sticking a tube into your skin and vein...not just a needle, but a tube...and its on the top of your hand...very sensitive really kind of hurts!!! Then they put something into your blood stream that stings in your hand and shoulder! ARG! Not my favorite. I couldn't watch. Then they left me there to wait for my turn in the operating room. As I lay there all I could think was "I wish my mom were here." I'm not a mamma's girl, and like I said...highly independent...when it comes to certain things...doctors being one of them...but wow...I was ready to cry like a baby (and in all honesty I did shed a few tears). I don't particularly love doctors anyway...and so lying there in this room, by myself...unsure of who was going to be picking me up (either grandpa, or aunt Jennifer) I just wanted my mother. MOTHERS CAN NEVER BE OVERRATED!!

After a few minutes...and thank goodness only a few...I may have been sobbing like a baby if left alone too long...they wheeled me into the operating room. They hooked me up to a monitor for my BP, and heart rate. That was fun because they put these sticky tabs on your chest and one on your side, and then attach the was like in the "Pit of Despair" when Westley is hooked up to the machine. Anyway...I had a little green mouth/bite/guard/thing that went in my mouth so my teeth didn't clamp down when they put the camera and light down my throat. They hooked my up to oxygen...which is just delightful!!! and then it was time for the anesthetic. The last thing I remember is...waking up in the recovery room.

Actually...I do remember, vaguely, and more or less as a dream...that I gagged on something, and was coughing, and hearing one of the nurses tell me that I was ok and to breathe...but that is all. When I came to I was in a recovery room, and they had been done for over an hour...the whole procedure takes about ten minutes...but they drugs take a while to wear off. I started coming to, and noticed that my gown up by my shoulder was damp and yellow...must have been the coughing/gagging/chocking moment in which I was somewhat conscious...Shelley came in and helped me sit up, and drink some water...I was starting to feel much more coherent, and she went over the things that the doctor found, and what I need to start and stop eating/doing (that is not the exciting part at all). But I don't remember much of what was said. I do remember however that I was still hooked up to the heart monitor and my BP was being taken every ten or fifteen minutes. The last time it took my BP it was 120/81! Healthy as a horse! Sort of...

Finally after about 20 minutes of being coherent Shelley decided that I could get dressed. She put the call button right near the bed in case I needed it, and told me to try and sit while I got dressed. I felt fine and figured I would be ok to stand, and then noticed that when she left the curtain to my room wasn't closed all the way and I had no desire to get dressed for everyone to see, so I stood up to go shut it...she wasn't kidding about trying to sit as much as possible! I had to hold the bed and the wall all the way to the curtain and about ripped the curtain off the hooks when I went to close it because I was so woozy. I did manage to put my clothes back on (only had to strip from the waste up so it wasn't too difficult).

My grandpa ended up picking me up...which was really great of grandfather is a very friendly, and talkative person (we have that in common...just not when I've been under sedation for a few hours) I was not in the mood to answer all his questions. He didn't know I was having this procedure probably until my aunt called him to pick me up, and he tends to worry about things like there were a LOT of questions. Shelley came in and took out my IV, and AFTER she pulled it out, we noticed that I had a rash on my stomach and arms. So I had to have Benadryl...but it had to be given via an IV!!

SO another nurse came to put one in...She tired my left hand, but said she couldn't find a vein...I can see two right now, so I don't know what she was talking she decided to do my left arm...She got it in...this time I did watch, but she couldn't find the here I am watching her move the tube and needle around under my skin for almost five minutes. She can't find it. SO we go to my right arm...which the Red Cross loves! And sure enough...she stuck that needle and tube in and out came the blood!...spilling down my arm on my sweat pants. She couldn't get the needle out fast enough and the syringe of saline solution in. It was kind of funny. Then came the Benadryl. To this point I was feeling very coherent, and thought I probably could walk to the car...the second that Benadryl hit my blood stream...I couldn't even hold my head up!...slurring my words, not complete sentences... it was great. The best part though was when Shelley was helping me into the car...

My grandfather...bless his heart...loves to flirt...he is a huge flirt! And Shelley was a very friendly, nice, cute a prime target in his mind. He pulls the car up, and gets out...but instead of helping me into the car...he is flirting with Shelley and discussing the possibility of getting a colonoscopy at that office. I'm trying to get into the car...I slipped once...but Shelley was there...and he is just flirting away...classic! I loved it...except for that fact that I REALLY wanted to be in bed. As we drove home he talked all the way...mentioning something about Dick's which I have no idea what my response was.

Getting from the car to the house was pretty great too. Not since learning to walk as a young toddler, have a concentrated SO hard on getting one foot in front of the other. Once I was in, and had thanked my grandpa for the ride I went straight for the Luv Sac, and slept for the next eight hours or so.

I still feel a bit groggy and light headed today, but I think that has something to do with the fact that I've had very little to eat or drink since 5:30pm on Thursday March 8. All in all it was exciting, and I saw cool pictures of my throat. Maybe I will post those! (probably not). Not a horrible experience...I would have liked my mom to be there, but Shelley was a pretty good replacement if I couldn't have the real thing.