Moving On

My baby blessing outfit. If I have a daughter I still want to do something like a blessing so she can wear this. 

My baby blessing outfit. If I have a daughter I still want to do something like a blessing so she can wear this. 

I have debated writing about my relationship with religion because it is confusing and most of the people I know feel strongly about Mormonism and get sad when someone doesn't want to be apart of it. But, Mormonism is how I was raised, my culture, a constant topic in my family, where I met most of my friends, intertwined with my education at BYU, and will always be a huge part of who I am--so it seems like a topic I have to address. I also have felt very adamant that I talk about my views on how people on opposite sides of Mormonism can better respect each other.

Almost exactly a year ago I walked into church, like every other week of my entire life, but left in a much different manner. Up until this point I had literally never skipped church without a justifiable reason (traveling, sick etc). I had always been on the more liberal side of how I viewed and followed church policy/guidelines/cultural norms but I had always stuck it out and because I am freakishly dependable and was almost always in charge of something in my ward. I also had this view that I could help others that didn't fit the mold, that I could be the breath of fresh air. I think deep down I knew I didn't want this to be my life forever but I am not the type to quit something and I literally did not know how that transition happens. So it took a major wakeup call to force me to walk away. I walked into church like every other Sunday but ran out hyperventilating; I was having my first and only panic/anxiety attack.

Since I had never experienced something like this before I of course googled it. It mentioned how things will flash thru your mind from the past and all compound on top of each other, it leaves you gasping for air, ugly crying, and contemplating your sanity (at least that is what I experienced). So what triggered me? A very nice woman giving a talk about how much she had been blessed and everything in her life had worked out because God answered all her prayers. Sounds like a great talk, right? And it was, except for when things from my past started flying through my mind. Things from my childhood, guys I have dated, unanswered prayers and the most recent issue of my last boyfriend telling me that God had told him to break up with me while all I had ever prayed for was for a decent guy, like him, to be with me.

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I know all the things active members are thinking at this point. You shouldn't let trials destroy your faith and things are not always rosy so grow up. Here's the thing, I also realized around the same point that I don't have faith in this plan. I realized that one of the reasons I didn't really want to get married all these years is because I knew in Mormonism that meant praying with my spouse and I HATE praying with other people and of course the temple--the temple freaks me out. I realized I had a fear of having children because I didn't want to teach them about church. I realized that there are some policies that will never work with my views on a loving God. I realized that I had been pushing things I should want away because I didn't want to do them in Mormonism. And I realized the most important thing; I know absolutely nothing to be true.

Church was always something my family did but didn't really talk about. We weren't the best at Family Home Evening, I can't think of ever doing a family temple trip, we sometimes did family prayer, and we rarely discussed church topics in a frank way. It was expected but not really explained. But somehow this worked, it at least worked in the sense that for the most part we all went as kids without complaining much, we ALL went to BYU (though some of us should not have, ask BYU housing which they wished hadn't attended hahahaha) and the majority of my family married in the temple, are super active and are doing fantastic jobs teaching their kids in open ways about Mormonism. Though you can look at my life and see COMPLETE activity in every way, I never understood everything. If you listened to my talks and lessons in church they were always on being kind and never really focused on gospel principles...

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It took me until my late twenties to realize that I am not a spiritual person. I don't feel things in church or when I pray or when other people are. The only time I feel something is when music is involved and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the pioneer hymns of Mormonism. When you are not a spiritual person and frankly most religious things make you incredibly uncomfortable, it is virtually impossible to try and gain faith in things you feel nothing for and are super confused by. I deal primarily in logic and not feelings; religion is not logical. When I told my bishop that I was not a spiritual person he tried to assure me that isn't true and of course I am; I do not see this as a fault but just how I was made. 

I don't want to turn this post into things I don't agree with in the church. Everyone has heard them over and over and it is not my intention to try and sway people to "my side." I will say, though my main reason for not attending church is because I don't feel anything when I am there (other than stress) and don't have faith in it, there are major policy, culture, and history fallacies that I cannot support. But that being said, every active member has things they don't agree with or understand and the difference is that they see value in the whole.

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Here is what I do know about Mormonism, it has produced some pretty amazing people. I look at my family and friends and see smart people, I don't think they are "dooped" or or being forced. I see them standing up for their beliefs even when its hard and unpopular. I see their kindness and happy dispositions. I think Mormonism gets somethings right and if I was going to be raised in some "crazy"--non mainstream--religion, I think I would still pick this one. (and if anyone knows how I can have a one on one chat with Elder Utchdorf, let me know! He will always be my favorite apostle; I have appreciated so many of conference talks--he always makes me feel like I am not crazy)

I spent most of my collage years sending missionaries off, writing them letters and welcoming them home.

I spent most of my collage years sending missionaries off, writing them letters and welcoming them home.

And here is what I know about being on both sides of the fence: we need to talk more, judge less and love unconditionally on BOTH sides. Active members tend to not mention when people leave, I think because they don't want to make the individual feel like they are prying and they don't want to make things awkward. But we WANT to be asked! We want to be acknowledged and have frank discussions. And on the flip side, people who leave need to be able to speak about it calmly and without calling it a sham and the believers mindless cult members (think of it as a different religion, if you wouldn't say it about Judaism to a Jew then don't say it about Mormonism to a Mormon. Sometimes people feel like they get to say whatever they want because they were on the inside and "know." Don't do that, it makes you look like a heartless ass who can't let things go and move on). We both need to stay a part of each others lives. Active members need to invite exs to things. Are you giving a talk? Are you blessing a baby? Having a baptism? Putting on the Christmas program? Great! Let us know! And exs need to go to these things! Treat them like a family get together and not a religious event. Go because it is your family (or friends) and you love them and want to support them. Go because you should. And both parties need to treat these encounters like the family events they are not as a missionary opportunity. Don't invite them to try and bring them back, let the exs feel at ease. And lastly, don't judge each other. See the people for who they really are and not what you assume. If they go to church don't assume they aren't thinking for themselves or that they are always looking at you sideways. And if they don't go don't assume it is because they have a drinking problem or want to have sex (and if it is, who cares!) Strip away the labels and see the people for who they are and have always been. 

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And if you go to church, please don't tell me how sad you are for me. If you TRULY believe in agency then you have to let people go. You can't invite someone to read the Book of Mormon and to "pray about it to see if it is true" and reject their truth if it is no. If the church really is true, I am sure this will all be worked out in the after life. The plan I was always taught doesn't make much sense if everyone would feel the same about everything and join the church. Sure we want people to join but we have always known that there are two answers people can get when they ask. Also, I was always been taught that the lowest kingdom is more amazing than earth, so if that is true don't be sad for me, also you can come visit all you want! See? God is kind and thought about those like me!

I worked for the church multiple General Conferences. I wish that the church could see the value in photographing what is REALLY present at conference. They want the typical, BYU dress/grooming standard, people but the real beauty is in the tattooed/bearded/scantily clad people that look truly happy to be there.

I worked for the church multiple General Conferences. I wish that the church could see the value in photographing what is REALLY present at conference. They want the typical, BYU dress/grooming standard, people but the real beauty is in the tattooed/bearded/scantily clad people that look truly happy to be there.

And where does this leave me? 

That is the age old question. I have no idea. I just hit the year mark of living in Salt Lake City and have made half of one friend (we are only friends at work so once I convince him to hangout off the property then he can be promoted to one whole friend). I have been thinking about my lack of a social life a lot lately and I think it is because I don't know where Mormonism left me. I used to make friends at church and school and without either I am hopeless. I am not like everyone else outside of Mormonism (or so I perceive) so I am having a hard time even figuring out how to begin to make friends "on the outside." I have never tried alcohol. I am a virgin with zero dating game. A risqué outfit to me is a sleeveless knee length dress. And I have no idea what my beliefs are in God let alone everything in the universe. I don't feel like I fit in anywhere and it is confusing and hard, but a year without any social responsibility (or church callings!) has also been healing. I have lost a significant amount of weight, I enjoy my work, I do things because I want to, and I am overall the happiest I have been in a long time. But now I have the hardest assignment to do: figure out why I do and don't do things. Do I ever want to drink? What are my boundaries in dating? What are the driving forces behind my decisions and character? Where do I donate my money? (and on a side note, I should have already figured this out because tithing is not really a charitable donation...) And there is still this overwhelming fear of letting my friends and family down if I do change some of my behaviors. 

My brother called me a couple months ago and mentioned something about me not attending church. He said something about how he just wanted me to be happy. I replied with, "I am happier this year than I have been in a very long time." And doing what he should, he said he was happy for me and didn't try to push me into coming back.

I like to think there is a God and his gift to me was a panic attack. He knew I was sad and lonely and that I would never be able to walk away from Mormonism without a push.

Also, it turns out that I actually do want to get married and maybe have kids one day. Now I just have to find someone who preferably used to be Mormon, but isn't bitter, and a decent guy and handsome and smart and can hold a conversation and is okay with my huge family and has a job... not a hard task at all...

death shall not destory my comfort

I am no stranger to death. I remember vividly going to more than one funeral with my mom, as a child, because she made it a point to expose us early so we wouldn't be overwhelmed when someone close to us died. I remember staring in awe at a tiny baby that was stillborn and looked to my five-year-old self like the most precious porcelain doll. I remember sitting in a pew while church members talked about their aged family member that passed on. I remember thinking these things were normal because I had been to so many.

The first time I remember losing someone close to me was when I was the tender age of four. My mother's mom passed away and I remember sitting on the stairs of my childhood home, scrunching up tissues and tossing them aside because others around me were crying and I thought I should be too, but nothing would come out. My grandma was amazing, but sadly I only have two memories of her; I remember he making the world's best hot chocolate and forgetting to put in her teeth once when she handed me my cup. I vaguely remember her funeral, but life didn't seem much different since I was so young so her death didn't impact me much.

Since then, I have been to dozens of funerals. I have sat next to friends as they buried a parent. I have sobbed with others dear friends as they have lost more than one child. I have sang at the funeral of a friend that died of cancer. I have been to funerals for suicides. I have been to a funeral where parents buried their adult child far before their time. I have watched from a pew as a friend became a widower. And I have sat next to my own siblings as we buried my father when I was still a teenager.

Since I was a child I have thought deeply and often about death. I have heard about this phenomena from other youngest children, I think that is the first natural thought when you learn about death and you are the youngest. All the sudden you realize that you will most likely have to see all of your family die before you and it freaks you out. Luckily for me, I have a much different take on this concept now than when I was a kid.

This past week a dear dear friend of mine passed away and I realized how much I love the concept of being a person that is left behind that has the opportunity to pay respects. LaVerne was a one in a million lady, she moved into my neighborhood when I was 7 and quickly became part of my family. I was constantly at her house all through my childhood, chatting with her in her gorgeous living room, gardening, or rummaging through her things to find the hidden treasures like the Mud Book: how to make pies and cakes. She loved to ask me about my love life so I even had my senior Prom date pick me up at her house. For years she would ask me about my date--who she referred to only as Scumptious--and was so disappointed when she found out he married someone else (even though I alway assured her we were only friends). I think I am most sad that I will never be able to introduce her to my husband. I know she had such high hopes that I would find someone worthy of her and my family and I am sad that I never got the chance to hear what she had to say about them.

Being able to post photos of LaVerne and kind words makes me realize the good parts of death. The parts where people who have lived long enough or have suffered long enough get to go home to the ones they loved that left years ago. It ends their pain while still allowing me to keep my favorite memories. I have realized this same reaction with my Dad. I knew my whole life that it was a miracle I ever had him in my life since he really should have died in the plane accident that paralyzed him in 1989 and so it was bittersweet when he finally did pass away. I knew that he had suffered 18 years longer than he should have and now it my place to tell the world all the reasons why he was amazing. Though I am obviously not looking forward to all the funerals that I have in my future, I do love the part where only kind things are said and the praise is endless. So, if you are one of my siblings and are reading this, I hereby promise to make your funeral witty, touching, and show everyone all the reasons why I'm glad you were around to raise me (because, let's be honest, you did raise me).

And now of course I feel like I should say something about my funeral. For the record, there are things that I want when I die and since I am in no way afraid of death or find it odd to talk about, here are my demands:

First of all, I do not want a church funeral. I want a party. I want a celebration that has food and laughing and music and lots of photos. I want people to tell the embarrassing stories and the sweet ones. I want people to be happy and love each other. I also want an accounting of the people who have received packages, letters or cards from me because well, I just want to know that number because it has to be impressively large.

I want my hair to be cut off and donated--let's be honest--it is one of my best assets and there is no reason it should go to the grave with me. I also want to be buried in my most boring dress because the rest of my clothes will be divvied out to my sisters first, my nieces second, and then my friends. Same goes for shoes, actually--just send me to the grave without any. But do make sure I have a nice manicure and pedicure, preferable some bright color. I also do not want to embalmed so I guess have my party without me present or keep in a freezer until its go time. And lastly, buy the cheapest casket there is or have my brothers make a pine box, I am sure they have enough carpentry skills between the three of them to accomplish that.

As for my possessions, I will hopefully write up a will and leave it with my stash of one dollar bills. If you find a blank piece of paper in there, know now that it is my will written in lemon juice and you have to hold it over a flame to have it appear. As for my money, all cash and investments will go into a family account to fund Camp Aaron reunions. Anything that isn't specified is free game for all of you to fight over.

I have seen a lot of death the last few years and I wish I could have a break. Have a break from feeling sad for my friends or the pain when I lose someone. But I am also okay with death, I am okay with knowing that everything has to end. I think being okay with it makes me want to keep sending those cards and packages so that people know I cared about them the whole time.

Death shall not destroy my comfort,

Christ shall guide me thro' the gloom;

Down he'll send some heav'nly convoy,

To escort my spirit home.

(Refrain):

Oh, hallelujah! How I Love my Savior,

Oh, hallelujah! That I Do.

Oh, Hallelujah! How I love my Savior!

Mourners, you may love him too.

Jordan's stream shall not o'erflow me,

While my Savior's by my side;

Canaan, Canaan lies before me!

Soon I'll cross the swelling tide.

(Refrain)

See the happy spirits waiting,

On the banks beyond the stream!

Sweet responses still repeating,

"Jesus! Jesus!" is their theme.

(the arrangement of this song my Mack Wilberg has always been one of my favorites, it is incredibly powerful and you should all listen to it)

27 going on 17

For years i liked to do a year review on my birthday--which is oh so convenient since my birthday is in January--but this year i decided to change things up. I have noticed lately that people don't seem to know things about be that i thought i tell everyone. So... this year we are doing the top 27 things about me.

1. Lately, i have been desperately trying to figure out how to look like an full-fledged adult in their late twenties. I have tried wearing lipstick, for real hairstyles, stilettos, non-costume jewelry, and even the daily dose of makeup. It hasn't helped in the slightest. Just last month i was asked how old i was when my sister was buying movie tickets for her kids, THE KID AGE IS 12! This trumps when i was asked if i was old enough to sit in the exit row of an airplane when i was 23 (you have to be 15) or when TSA asked if i was a minor when i was 25. Needless to say it also has totally thwarted my dating life because all the guys i would be interested in are around 30 and are not interested in the barely legal.

2. I sleepwalk. It doesn't happen every night but it does happen. I do it the most when other people are awake and i slightly interact with them in a very creepy non verbal way with lots of hand motions.

3. When i was 19 i ran a bed and breakfast in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was not the ideal establishment and
very poorly run, but it did fulfill a life long dream of being involved in a B&B.

4. Speaking of B&Bs, my new life goal is to save enough money to open my own by the time I am 30. It combines all my odd talents (cooking, organization, business, design, being ocd with details, cleaning) with my insane collection of kitchenware. I have wanted to do this for a decade and i finally decided, why not now?!

5. My sister's refer to my closet as the Bernstein Bears Closet because it creepily mimics their book on organization. I hate closet doors and if my bedroom has them i remove them, it is always the space in my house that is the most esthetically pleasing.

6. I have never been especially good at learning languages except for counting. For years i would count my steps in French, mostly when walking in parking lots.

7. I spoke at my college (BYU) convocation ceremony. I talked about why i am an artist and of course included a smattering of childhood artwork including a piece i entitled, "Girl Dinosaur in a Purple Bra." The administration wanted me to remove it from my PowerPoint because it made them
'feel uncomfortable,' but i of course didn't.

8. I only wear glasses because i have one lazy eye. I can't control its wandering and since most people find it unsettling when you are only looking at them with one eye, i wear glasses. Contacts aren't an option since they won't correct it.

9. I have never been able to picture myself as being married or having kids. This doesn't mean that i am not interested in it, just that i have never planned my life around it or gone into that completely normal phase of life where i am depressed that my eggs might dry up before i finally find a non-crazy counterpart. Even as a kid i knew i wasn't the marrying young type since i once wrote in my journal, "when i'm married, or thirty..."

10. One of my life goals is to be involved in an episode of the radio program This American Life.
Surely they have to find the story about my dad stealing a B-17 bomber as a teenager radio worthy. And if they prefer something about dating, like how a boy broke both arms while trying to flirt with me, i got that covered too.

11. I have a lime addiction. I most likely consumed over 200 limes last year alone.

12. I worked at BYU Recycling in college and drove a forklift daily. I once had a palette of around 20 bricks of crushed pop cans dropped on me by an incompetent coworker which sliced my arm in three places causing blood to run down my arm and off my hand.

13. I have been to: Mexico, Canada, France, Belgium, Holland, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

14. In the four months i lived in NYC i: lost all my money to the IRS, stayed in six different places, had nine visitors, saw six broadway shows, and survived Hurricane Sandy by fleeing to Philly an hour before the all trains stopped running.

15. I have had surgery on my: eyes, tonsils, wisdom teeth, hip, knees, and ankle. I have also: dislocated an elbow, dislocated a hip (which i walked on for a week at age 10), broken my wrist, knocked out two teeth and had two head wounds.

16. When i was ten i was in a flash flood with five of my siblings while hiking in Northern Idaho. We walked for five miles through--at times--waist deep ice water. We all admitted to peeing our pants because it kept us warm for .475 seconds. I was one of the few that didn't hallucinate but i do think i had mild hypothermia and frost bite.

17. I think i am hilarious.

18. I board-fold (the method retail stores use to uniformly fold clothing) all of my sweaters. I however don't own a board so i use my MacBook Air which is about the same size. So i guess you
can call it computer-fold...

19. I don't spend one dollar bills. It started in high school as a way to prevent myself from blowing what little cash i had in vending machines etc. and so i would have some money to put towards high ticket items like an iPod. I started it up again a few years ago and now call it my Wedding Dress Fund. When i lent it to my sister last year i naturally weighed it first, it came in at just over 4lbs. I think the clerk at the bank thought i moonlighted as a stripper...

20. I was in an opera choir in elementary school. I remember being a street urchin in Carmen and in the children's chorus in The Nutcracker.

21. My more memorable dates have involved: walking three miles barefoot on a river trail, a boy telling me he "usually likes to meet people by the Taco Bell in the Student Union Building," a boy that made up his own name, a boy that never told me his real name, a boy accosting me at every chance asking if he could smell me (he once said, 'you smell so good, you smell just like my grandmother's house' WHAT?!), eating spaghetti covered in cheddar cheese with a set of twins at their house (standing, not sitting at the table) before one of them took me on the rest of our date; I still can't tell them apart, and much, much more.

22. I love coffee table books and request that everyone who comes in my house reads All My Friends Are Dead.

23. I talk to at least one of my siblings every single day. I think we are hilarious and one of the best families to hangout with. We rarely fight, always make fun of each other, are constantly lending money, eat lots of food and quite often make inappropriate jokes. 

24. I am a note writer. I send cards for no reason, love to make heinous valentines, send obnoxiously long emails to boys who i want to date (not all boys, just the select few and i swear its not as creepy as it sounds), wrote 20 missionaries while in my early 20's, send random packages, and seal every single written correspondence with wax.

25. Secretly, my plan is to find a nice normal guy that only has a couple siblings so that when we get married i have a legit chance at winning Best In-Law. If there are only a few children it also ups the chance of maybe getting to go on parent-funded family vacations.

26. When left to my own devices, when others won't judge my choices, i watch terrible reality tv like The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Extreme Cheapskates, Teen Mom etc. All of them make me feel super good about my life. I have so much more going for me that most of these people, try it, its a real self-esteem boost. 

27. I have a decently large record collection. I started collecting them not because it is the cool hipster thing to do or because the sound is superior (i know its not), but because i love music and if i put a record on i listen to the whole thing and can't be ADD and change it after each song. It is one thing that makes me slow down and disconnect from technology which is slowing taking over my life. I blame my iPad, or Netflix Machine, as my brother calls it.
My birthday present to myself this year was The Forrest Gump Soundtrack on vinyl.



And your bonus for making it to the end?

My first ever photo where i look like benjamin button with lobster claws. 
You are so very welcome.

guilty pleasures

my nephew, in the tv zone...
You know the scene. You are sitting alone on the couch with remote in hand, finger on the 'previous channel' button. The show blaring on the screen is one that you shouldn't be watching but you can't break the spell it has on you. You sit with bated breath, ready to hit the button that instantly takes you back to the previous, 'safe,' channel as soon as you hear someone within 10 feet of the room.

This is how i spent my childhood. I wasn't watching racy shows (unless you consider Barney racy...), just ones that i knew would lead to endless shaming by my older siblings.

The Wonder Years
Season 2, Episode 8--Hiroshima, Mon Frere


Recently i was talking to my dear sister jenny, and she brought up the fact that us Davises have one major flaw: We love to ruthlessly make fun of each other. This might not seem that unusual or detrimental, and you might be thinking, 'Every family makes fun of each other. That is what makes the love-hate relationship between siblings fun!' You might think that is why siblings are fun, but it turns out they are fun because you do bad things together that you never told your parents. Indeed, they are your partners in crime. They are not fun when they are in “Hamster Patrol” mode (if you don't get that reference you NEED more of “The Wonder Years“ in your life). My siblings never sucked up my hamster with a vacuum — most likely only due to the fact that when you don't have a hamster it’s pretty hard to suck one up, and my other furry pet, a cat, was too big for the vacuum — but they did like to taunt me and each other about everything from pets to music to clothing to television viewing habits. And if taunting didn't stop you from engaging in the subpar activity they would take it upon themselves to physically stop you, like when my siblings hid my Joy School (pre-preschool) tapes in my underwear drawer so they could have days of peace from the rhyming rhythms (i didn't like to change my clothes or shower apparently as a toddler).
who could hide such a cute girl's tapes?!
Joy School graduation

The funny thing is that i feel like i spent most of my childhood foolishly hiding things i shouldn't have and flamboyantly showing things that truly were in bad taste or odd and were very much worthy of all the flack i got from all of my siblings.


For example, i didn't feel the need to hide:

• Knitting in movie theaters: Not only do my siblings know that dirty little secret but so do a whole lot of other innocent moviegoers.

• Singing show tunes at the top of my lungs in the shower: I'm sure half of the neighborhood could sing all the words to “Honey Bun” because of my frequent exploits.

• My love of infomercials: no explanation needed.

• Thinking a bowl cut was a good idea.




• Having my favorite television event be Nick at Nite instead of TGIF: By the time i was 10 i'm pretty sure i not only had seen every “I Love Lucy” and “Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” but i even had a giant coffee table book that i would frequent to brush up on the back stories of the episodes.

• Using all my babysitting money to rent classics from Hastings: What other kid was arguing with the
rental store that a not-rated film produced before 1960 wasn't going to have things inappropriate for a 9-year-old to watch?

• The fact that i not only was a mascot but campaigned for our school to get one.

My extensive homemade doll collection: It was creepy and mostly held together with Pintrest-worthy amounts of hot glue and the occasional staple.

• That i liked gold, so naturally i thought gold braces were a brilliant idea. Why was i so surprised when my siblings started singing “Ghetto Superstar” to me all the time?

• Lifetime movies: They are all about cheating husbands that get murdered by their wives and yet whenever the entire house sneaks off for the usual sunday nap i gravitate toward the terrible acting of Lifetime. Angels in heaven probably weep for my soul every sunday this happens. (did i say sunday, because they definitely have an iPad app so now it can happen anytime, anywhere!)


Yet i did hide such normal things as:
i hid who i liked cleverly under things like taped
down valentine's in my journal

• The fact that i was a girl and heaven forbid actually liked girly things.

• That boys are cute and sometimes i had/have crushes on them.

• Dancing. I might be a horrible dancer but being inept seems pretty universal.

• Writing. Did you know that it took me until college to willingly let people peer review my school papers and i was terrified to start a blog?

• Singing (not show tunes, just the regular type). At my dad's funeral in 2009 i had the first solo in a song that all the girls in the family sang. One of my sisters mentioned afterward that she didn't know that i could sing like that. Even weirder was the fact that most of my sisters are musical but i still never sang solos, especially around my family.
hard to believe she was the ultimate tomboy

• My love for crappy teenage music: Everyone goes through a phase liking something that is popular, but i felt like i had to keep it all secret. And with that i will admit that most of the time i spent on a bus on my way to ski team i was listening to Savage Garden on my Discman.


When i was talking to my sisters about what they hid as children, they mentioned things like riding their bike around the neighborhood with a Walkman so they could listen to Men Without Hats in peace and being total tomboys because 'girl things were stupid.' (For the record, the most tomboy girl out of our family — the one that made me feel ashamed to like girly things — didn't have anyone above her that said girly things were stupid but singlehandedly created this intense anxiety in both of us for no apparent reason. Oh and now both of us work in the cosmetics industry.) Especially when it came to music they got it — some music would be considered subpar and therefore warrant days of torture.

They understood what to hide and why. Apparently i did get that i shouldn't let my siblings know all of my silly habits, but i didn't get the memo of which ones.

tales from the tithing child

i couldn't keep simple things, like how many siblings i had, straight when i was a kid,
why do i assume i can remember things accurately?
there are 16 heads in this photo, my family only had 12 if you count my parents...
The other day i was with my mom and brother and commented about something i remembered as a child. Without even taking 7.3 seconds to comprehend what i said, Levi goes, "there is no way you remember that..." I stopped to think about it and realized, damn, he might be right.

Turns out that i am a bit hazy about the details of my life prior to 1998 or so. 

am i looking at the camera or the guy to
to your right? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!
mawhaha
As i thought about my childhood i realized that a lot of my 'memories' are in third person--i see things happening to me as if i am a bystander. I'm no psychologist but i think that might indicate that i am making them up. Example--i have a distint memory of being pinned down by nurses and having eye drops forced into my eyes. I know this possible because i have been going to the eye doctor since i was a wee babe (its not hard to tell that your kid needs to go to the eye doctor when they are only really paying attention to you with one eye...) and getting my eyes dilated. But i didn't know until i was at least in high school that i had eye surgery when i was two and that is why i have gray streaks in the whites of my eyes, turns out they are scars. So did i make up the memory? Since when i think of 'that time' the room is pitch black with a spot light shinning on the poor cross-eyed girl that is being pinned down in the giant brown leather chair, i would say yes. My eye doctor's office was only 80% that creepy in real life with his crazy animatronic dog in the corner--AND he didn't have nurses.

mallory and i fight? never.
Then there was that time that Mallory and i got in squabble over where we sat at the dinner table. Everyone agreed with Mallory--my chair was across from the one i was claiming. But i didn't let that stop me! I was positive that i was right (and still am to this day, more so i am just so confused i don't know what to think)! Our fight was so dramatic that my mom left the table and her dinner and told us we could eat on the floor for all she cared.

Or how about the fact that i am 90% sure i once got all of my fingers--minus my thumbs--shut in the car hood, yet my brother who i swear was working on the car can't remember? I would think that if you accidentally shut your 5 year old sister in the car you would remember. BUT i remember that in first person, so did it really happen?!

my life is a mess. or so i think it is?

But here are a few things I KNOW happened when i was a kid.

he looks so innocent and loving. just like wayne before
he became the infamous Hamster Patrol...
Levi once locked me in the car after church because he is an older brother and that is the type of thing they do according to all television shows namely the Wonder Years. I was a 'dumb kid' (according to levi of course) and couldn't figure out the super high tech pull this thing the size of a screw up and it will release the door lock thing. Needless to say, i had to pee super bad and wet my pants all over the backseat--and i highly doubt i sat in one place like a sane person would, more like let's spread pee all over the seat in a panic! Once one of my nicer siblings, most likely a sister, let me out of the car and assessed the wet mess, Levi was summoned to clean it up. Karma, she's a--... you know the rest.

I really liked to run away as a kid. Most of the time i was kind enough to leave a map--though it was rarely accurate in topography or where i actually was--usually it was to my preschool. I would grab my favorite doll, Baby Beth (which ironically is not mine but a doll i swiped from my sister Sarah), a small hot pink plastic suitcase, a set of Baby Beth's cloths and a can of green beans. I would then haul all of this and a small wooden chair out my front door, down the yard, and into the ditch bank. I would sit under our driveway which was a bridge and contemplate the finer things in life--the color pink, dolls and green beans. 

The first time my mom left my alone I was probably no older than 5, she ran to a neighbors or something and wasn't gone more than five minutes (so that none of you assume she was a terrible parent). I watched her leave and as soon as she was in her car I sprinted to the basement where i helped myself onto the play table where i proceeded to dance. Apparently, out of all the forbidden things in the Davis household that i instantly had access to, dancing on the table tops was my top priority. You would think that i would have grown up to be a seductive party girl instead of the loner introvert. 

One of our favorite pass times in the summer was playing on our amazing wooden playground. We only had it until i was 7 so i am a bit hazy on its actual size because well, to me it was HUGE! I do know that the slide was long enough to merit levi hauling his bmx up it to ride down so huge is probably fairly accurate. Anyway, seeing as our father should have been in the circus and we were all able to walk on our hands as children, it is no surprise that we would grab the thick braided rope from the farside of the playground and throw it up to the person perched on the slide. We would then leap off the side of the slide and swing back and forth. I however remember doing this but missing the open space i was aiming for and slamming straight into the support beam where it proceeded to break my glasses and bounce me backwards into a pile of the dreaded sticker weeds. Luckily Jenny was kind enough to get tweezers and de-sticker my palms.
like this only cooler
I also remember the amazing three horse carrousel that my family had. It was on our back patio, was white with primary colors and had a light switch on the box instead of a coin slot so we could ride to our little hearts content. I also remember embracing the Davis, or daredevil--they are sometime interchangeable--in me and climbing onto the horses back, up the mane, grabbing onto the inside lip of the roof while i balanced my feet on the handles coming out of the horses head, and then climbing onto the roof. Then i remember falling off. Or do i? Is this where my problems began? Trauma to the head?                                                   

maybe i did remember being born, i look like
i was pretty traumatized from the experience...
I called Mallory to ask her if she had input on this. Without thinking, just like Levi, she said, "when you were little you used to tell us you remembered being born, that you remembered the doctor slapping your butt or something..."

and i guess that proves it, i have the best-worst memory around.

But i will always stick to the story that i remember laying on the shag carpet in the family room of our house with my pants off and diaper open. I then remember at least two of my older siblings, i think Mike and Katie, coming in, seeing the poopy diaper and turning away because they didn't want to change it. If you know mike and katie or any teenagers you should be able to see the truth in this one...

i always deliver

a smattering of notes i found in my room from jr. high all the way through college.

my tornado of a room
This thursday being Valentine's, i thought i would write about love and sometimes the lack there of. Where is there a lack of love you ask? Jr. High, the hell hole of all hell holes.  A few many months ago i was cleaning out my apartment in provo getting ready for my move to the big apple. As i poured over everything that i owned trying to decide what needed to never be seen by my eyes again, i found a box containing basically all paper proof of my public education. It was full of photos, school assignments, notes, letters, and trinkets (i might have a slight problem of keeping almost everything along those lines...)

Among the many treasures i found this note that i wrote to myself. 



My freshmen english teacher made each of us write a letter to ourselves that we would get back when we graduated high school. The first sentence pretty much summed up how i felt about jr. high (and high school later)--"Where can you start about junior high? It pretty much is the worst of all worlds." (I then go on about how irritated i was with my best friend stephen because he had a crush on this girl and stopped giving me the attention i deserved. i was so dramatic. I probably should have just told him i had a crush on him instead of annoying him to death with my whining about this other girl...)

When i found this note i started to think, what made jr. high so bad? Then i found the following note:


Apparently for me, junior high was full of me picking fights over little things like "the accidental pencil stabbing incident."

I can't remember what i did to make this girl think that i deserved a pencil to the head, but i do remember one incident with her. 

This girl always thought that she was the best at everything. She played sports, was smart, and wasn't an awkward looking pubescent so really she did have a lot going for her. However, she liked to tell everyone how right she was about everything in this nasally nerd voice that made even the nicest (which is hard to come by in junior high) kid want to punch kittens. During one of these rants, probably at lunch or in some classroom when i was confined to the same God forsaken corner as her, she punched me in the arm.
Now this punch wasn't the most forceful--i mean she played basketball and made sure that everyone knew, she had to have had some upper body strength--and i am sure that it didn't leave me with bodily harm but it made my blood boil. First this girl was going to get in my face and now she had the gaul to touch me?!
Calmly i turned to her and said, "you know i will get you back, right?"

She of course shrugged it off and went on to talk about me and how much i sucked and what not and how i would never do anything to her.

i spent most of jr high apparently looking nervous
Now we fast forward to lunch a few days later if not a week. I was standing in a small group of people; this unfortunate creature was across from me and two boys were on each side of us. As calmly as i had delivered the threat of getting her back but with the quick reflexes of a cat (if you have ever been of of the fools that tried to tickle me you know what reflexes i speak of...) i delivered one sound punch directly to her left arm. This was not a weak sauce encounter like the one she gave me, but a decent--if it was a math test i would have hung it on the home fridge in pride--punch. For the first, and quite possibly only, time in my life i felt slightly bad-ass.

As she grabbed her arm with her other hand and stared at me dumbfounded, trying to come up with some snide come back, i calmly said, "i told you i would get you back."

Needless to say the boys were more than a little confused and probably think to this day that i have anger issues.

at least in high school i pretended to be cool by being in the
Homecoming court and stuff
The girl and i had to interact at least a little for the next 5 or so years of school as we both went through the accelerated, AP, church seminary and choir classes. Did we ever make up? Never. In fact she drove me up the wall. the. entire. time. And for the record, i was not the only one bothered by her, just ask anyone from my sophomore chemistry class. She ruined our prefectly sound plan of only reminding the teacher to check our homework on the days that we all actually did it "Mr. Jacobsmeyer, you forgot to check our homework!"--but remember to say it like a girl Steve Urkle and imagine her waving her perfectly done homework in front of her face...

I saw her once in college. I was walking out of my apartment complex back in 2008 when her mom stopped me to ask me how i liked living there. I am pretty sure that she noticed who i was, but just like how i didn't admit to knowing her or her mom, i quickly answered her question and went on my way.

Ironically i have had two friends mention that they ran into her lately and both mentioned that i came up in conversation. One told me that she admitted to feeling horrible for how she treated me all those years ago.

And all these years i thought i was the only one that remembered.

And why would i post this for Valentine's Day you ask? Because not hating someone is almost like loving them and it turns out that after hearing--even if it was not from her--that she is sorry i don't hate her anymore. It is also good to know that no one is the same person as they were in public school.


This proves to me that there really is a God. He might have a twisted sense of humor for letting public school exist, but at least he fixes us in time for our ten year reunion. 


all my Valentine's also get sealed with wax
(like most of my letters...)





But on to real Valentine's Day, i love it. I don't care that i have never been on a hot and steamy date or had a boyfriend during the holiday--it is a holiday where i get to be all crafty and gushy and no one can think it is weird! I crafted it up this year and repurposed my three favorite books, All My Friends Are Dead, I Like You, and The History of Love that met their demise in my recent flood into one-of-a-kind valentine's. The only thing you have to watch out for is when you are making a valentine for your mother and the page that you ripped from The History of Love happens to have a not so good word very prominently placed on the page--we almost had a very inappropriate Valentine fail.

walk twice, speak once, zero diplomas


photos by Rachel Call

photo by Rachel Call

This one time, being today obviously, i spoke at my college's convocation ceremony. I felt pretty cool just being asked to do so, you might not know this, but i like public speaking. Oh and this is my second time walking (i walked in April before I knew they wanted me to speak in August) and I don't actually get my diploma until December, a whole two credits of internship are holding me back...

After two meetings with Paul, two lunch meetings and three regular type with Val, one review from the committee, a handful of revisions, a dress rehearsal, and about twenty hours of my time, here is my five minute speech in its entirety.  I had the images appearing on the screen as i talked so this obviously isn't as cool. (If you select one photo it will display all of them in a slideshow way at the bottom of your screen, that way you can see them larger--as you should.)




From Crayons to Diplomas---Always an Artist
Fine Arts & Communications Convocation
Brigham Young University
August 10th, 2012

I always knew that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. In the beginning the medium wasn’t important, I bounced between oil paints, crayons, fabric, clay and when my mother would permit, I would commandeer the family camera and take the allotted three photos. Back then, in my eyes, it only took 3 things to mean I was an artist and therefore bound for fame and glory:


1. My work had to be hung for all to see
2. It had to receive praise from the most prestigious source
3. It had to produce an income.



Being an artist was easy at age 5. I would line the walls of our home with my one-of-a-kind creations and charge my family admission to the “museum.” I even convinced my mom to purchase one of my finer pieces, 'The Girl Turkey Mermaid,' when I threatened to rip it in half if it wasn’t procured. With that purchase I knew I had hit the big time, the most prestigious people in my life, my parents, had not only made my work profitable but had given my work praise.  It didn’t occur to me then that almost every kid in the nation had access to a 64 pack of crayons, parents that thought they were the cat’s pajamas, and the complete work of Dr. Seuss to borrow ideas from.


Though it has always been popular for children to gravitate towards the arts because of the creative nature and bold colors, these days it’s become increasingly more popular to use the same motives to claim one’s self as an artist in adulthood. Hipsters are cleaning out thrift stores of antique cameras and every smart phone user can access Instagram, the largest photo sharing social media app in the world. Some of us might have gotten into the arts for these hip reasons or to be an ‘individual’ but, it doesn’t really matter what got us here, just that we found a reason—within each of us—to stick out the long days and sleepless nightsto create, print, and frame our work.





With my weak argument about what it took to be an artist as a child, it is no surprise that it took me years in the program to finally understand my own need for art. In the beginning I stressed completing assignments with the correct methods and techniques. The ability to release the shutter at the correct moment wasn’t making me an artist; my work lacked a personal voice and motive. It wasn’t until I decided that I wanted to spend my last full year of school devoted to a personal project that I rediscovered the love for photography that I had gained as a thirteen year old when I spent every penny I had on my first camera. In 8 months I traveled to all 9 of my siblings’ homes to photograph them. I took over 7,000 images ranging from potty training their children, to carefree motorcycle rides, to giving birth, to Thanksgiving dinner. This project reminded me that I became a photographer to capture the moments in life that are ordinary but show personalities and evoke memories.  Part of my artist statement for that show read, “Most photographers spend more time working for clients than documenting the people and moments that mean most to them. To photographically neglect my family would be the greatest failure of my career.”






In one of my favorite books about creating art, Art & Fear, the authors, Bayles & Orland explain, “The desire to make art begins early. For some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art beautiful or meaningful or emotive art-is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting.”

Like me, the desire to create art persisted in my fellow classmates. The following images exemplify how they were able to push through the creative process and find their own voice. 


Having a career in photography means that we are competent enough at our medium to create an image for a client as they envisioned it, but being a photographer means that we spend our time—between jobs—working on the images that will sustain us as an artists and humans. One of our professors, Paul Adams, constantly says “if you can imagine yourself doing anything else, get out of photography now and do that thing instead.” He understands that being an artist isn’t a career choice; it’s who we are. There is a quote that we keep hung in the dark room that further illiterates this point “Artist don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.”



We learned how to successfully execute our mediums in school, but it is in our hearts that we find our passion and use it to transform blank canvases. At times our friends and family won’t understand how we can always be thinking in terms of art, how when we look at a blank, boring, white wall we see color or artwork that should hang there. But we aren’t artist for them, we are artist for ourselves, because we really don’t have a choice. It is at this point that we begin to fear. We fear that we aren’t talented, that we will run out of creativity, that other people are better, that no one—not even our mom— will love our work, and lastly that we are just students and our life as artists will end with graduation.




When the fear sets in, I remember the personal projects. I remember that not all artwork is great, that usually it takes many failed attempts to have what I envisioned come to fruition. I remember that just owning a camera doesn’t make me an artist. But most importantly, I remember that first moment I knew I could not live without creating art.

Thank you.

five years


the first time i went back to his grave after the headstone
had been put in, i am still proud of the design
and that it is not your traditional marker,
 just like how he was not your traditional father. 
The other day i realized something, March 8th had come and gone and i didn't even notice. There is a point when you loose someone that you don't think you will ever forget when they died, and then one day you do and you feel a little guilty. I remember a few years in a row i would go to Burger King on March 8th for my annual Whopper and Dr. Pepper to remember the good times i had with my dad, the times when i was a fat little kid and we would eat way too many whoppers while we made ships in bottles. He didn't even get made at me the time i drilled through the boat and into his kitchen table-probably because he realized he never should have trusted a 10 year old with an electric drill... And now that i don't remember the day he died i realized it is better to remember all the other days of the year that he was alive. The days he made the covers of magazines. The days he would ride the elevator with us, turn off the lights and make the scariest cackle/laugh ever. The days he played chess with me or taught me how to carve wood. Or the days after Christmas when he would eat the entire jar of stuffed olives that we gave him in one sitting.
my high school graduation in June of 2006, our last picture of just the two of us



Oct. 2006 the last vacation my dad had, he came to Utah to see the BYU kids and his siblings.

I currently have 10 copies of this magazine in my possession, I guess you could say i have always been proud of it.
The right image is of the Orlando Sentinel the time my dad made the cover for stealing a B-17 bomber when he was 17...

I remember the time i found the newspaper that had details for my dad's crash from 1989. I had never really known what had happened and it seemed weird that no one ever really said anything about it. It wasn't until i was in high school and one of my sisters and i were talking about how bad it was. We both knew that it would have been better for my dad if he had died in the crash, but i will always be grateful he hung on so i had a chance to spend time with him.  The last 18 years of his life were pretty crappy and I feel kind of selfish for being grateful that he lived them, i guess it just means that i have be something that he would be proud of to make that time worth it. 
i like to think that my creative side and photography skills came from him. that should make him happy. 

i've always been an angel.





































My dad was a pretty cool guy. Not only could he have been a member of Barnum & Bailey with his super human strength, but he also designed and built some pretty intense contraptions like: jet skis (in the 50's, before they were a common thing), a car frame out of a swing set, some weird hover craft (or so what i think someone told me it was) that i remember from my childhood, and last but not least--airplanes.



His main airplane was tailless and a marvel in the aviation world. This novel design landed him on the cover of national magazines and inside a slew of others. When i was younger i liked to rifle through the storage room and look at all the old magazines, photos and newspaper clipping about my family. I was always slightly disheartened that i was the only child not pictured in a magazine (i even remember reading the articles about Sarah in the local newspaper over and over--my mom had it laminated...). When Home Built Aircraft did a story on my dad in 1987 they included a family photo, alas i was not even a thought yet, the baby is Mallory. I decided today that i would change that. I don't know that this counts--okay, i know that it does not--as me being part of a photo that was available on news stands, but now i feel a little more connected to the Davis clan.

this is what you do when you go home from work early because you feel sick. photoshop and eat 12 bagel bites in one sitting...
one things for sure, a dozen bagel bites is never a good idea especially when you already feel under the weather...

everything i am, i was by age 9











Sometimes i like to tell myself that i only get more awesome with age. Recently i went through my first journal and realized a sad truth, i am exactly the same as when i was that goofy little kid with glasses so large they gave me sunburns on my cheeks.







November 25th, 1994 (age 6)


I am giteen my ckast oof in tue weex.




Okay, my spelling has improved a bit ( i can now spell words that have more than one and two letters correctly), but i think that is mostly due to the invention of spell check. The day the inter-webs came equipped with spell check i cried a little--happy, happy tears. I also am still just as unfortunate in the injury aspect of life... at 6 i (levi really) broke my arm but it just got worse with age as i progressed to sprained ankles, ankle reconstruction, and hip surgery...

February 9th, 1995 (age 7)


I am Mad at mom becaus mom and dad are going out to eet and tomorrow my famulee are going out to eet and I can't go becus I am going to Colette to spend the night and I can eethr go to Colette's or out to eet.

i just look so at home eating out. This was obviously before
i ate out too much and got a bit chunky













One time my friend asked my mom how i got to be such a fantastic cook, her answer was 'well it makes sense...she has always really loved food.' That was the nice way of saying that i was a little bit chunky. I probably like food even more now but i do have a greater appreciation for raw food and have stopped eating fast food, which is what my family was probably going to get. That or dinner at Flying J...




organize much?
April 27th, 1997 (age 9)


Now about our new car its a tin green. Has 7 seats, back windows that open. 5 cup holders, theres I think 5 cumpartments that hold sun glasses, a grog opener, a spy glass, and change. I gess that times four. Well I'm tired so I going to bed because it is 10:18 P.M. so good night journal. 
by style and by color, the way every closet should be.







Obsess about details much? I am slightly ocd, count things and organize to a fault. I also always know the exact time and am super punctual. I am  still terrible at explaining things, kinda like the 'I gess that times four' sentence.








May 3rd, 1997 (age 9)


I'm sorry my enchreys are so boring but hey I have a boring life.

Okay, this one is not true. I am not boring. For example read: terrors in the night, 23 years and counting, davises go all the way, etc. etc. etc.


May 8th, 1997 (age 9)

I don't have very much to say so don't exepte a lot. I'm going to bed now even tough it only 9:00 because when I sleep with Lynsey, we talk about going to camp until after ten 30 o,clock.

I make 10:30 (ten 30 o,clock to be more exact) seem like 4 am. I am pretty sure i have the same sleeping schedule that i did when i was 6. And, if i didn't sleep so much i might not get the amazing night life chalked full of sleep walking/dancing/singing/scarring children and over the top vivid dreams.




i might own a small business now but getting my mba is next.
May 13th, 1997 (age 9)


When I'm 30 or when I'm marryed I'll look back and see how funny I wrote. It will be funny.

Next month i will officially be in my mid twenties and on my way to single at 30. But i did forget to add that when I'm 30, i'll also be and a wicked hot/fit power business woman in a fortune 500 company.










May14th, 1997 (age 9)


I'm glad to day I didn't have any G.A.T. home work. I'm glad that after tomarow I only have to go to G.A.T. one more time.

I like to think that i am an exceptionally smart individual and logical. Sadly, i still have major blond moments (like the time my sister jokingly said she wanted to go to Chip and Dales for her birthday and i said, 'why you like nuts?' referring to the squirrels. Yes, i said squirrels, I couldn't even get the breed of rodent correct let alone type of establishment.) For the record, i was in the Gifted and Talented Education program. You know, GAT with an E...
oh my little tom boy. i think it only worked when
she was flat, once she got bitten by the boobie
fairy she decided to get more girly. once you get
boobs you either have to look super chubby/butch
in over sized clothes or get over boy clothes and
embrace your true gender.
i'm so proud of you mallory
:)





October 29th, 1997 (age 9)


I have some prity neat stuff to tell you. 


The first thing is Sarah is going to get married to Lucus Bushwiller! She was going to go on a mission but instead she is going to get hiched her wedding is Decemeber 20th at 1:00 P.M. We are having the wedding the wedding resepion at our house. It seamse reallyweird but it is happening. She got engaged Oct. 28th at 4:00 P.M.


realization i'm a girl







tom boy side


















One thing that has changed with age, my girly side has come out. I think that mallory scared all my girly-ness out of me. She was a tom-boy to the max and brutally made fun of anything pink and or frilly. Once i stopped being scared of mallory i started wearing fitted clothes and painting my nails weekly. I also, not so secretly, love weddings and all the nitty gritty details. Apparently at nine i never talked about weddings, just wrote them in my journal--secretly--where mallory's prying eyes couldn't see it--or punch me for it.



sadly i don't know that i have one normal photo of us. you know,
whereboth our eyes are open?
Novemeber 3rd, 1997 (age 9)


At Maple Grove this year we got a lot of kids from Hrizen. There is a new kid in my class named Jesse, he is 3 and a half inches shorter than me and is three mouths and about a day older than me. He is pritty funny, he tells me and Amanda some pritty weird stoirse. Like when he was little he used to run around the streets naked because his mom couldn't cach him or one time he told us that he doesn't wear underwear, he wears boxers and he said that onehe got made at his brother Seth and ripped his ear on axednent And a nother time he told us that once he stoll a kids shoe at church so the kid started chashing him and right when he dropped the shoes the kid bit his bum! He said that it hurt pritty bad and that it hurt to sit down for a week. Me favroirt is when he told us that he took a picher of his brother Seth Naked!!! That  was kind of mean. Our family knows a lot of Jesse's family.  I think Jesse is pritty nice and does a lot of really onushell stuff. 


p.s. i don't like him

my high school best friend. we are/were so cute.
If i could figure out this much stuff about my crush at 9, image what facebook has done to my stalking abilities! The ps is my favorite. I did like him and in high school i finally admitted it and dated him. I guess my admission of crushes is a new thing. At 17 my best friend Stephen made my new years resolution for me, it was that i would tell him who i liked. This is why i will be single until i am 30. It took me 17 years to learn how to admit that i have crushes, it will take me another 12 at least to figure out how to successfully flirt.


'you rang?'

When i was younger i always thought that it would be cool to resemble a celebrity. You know, have people mistake you for that awesome person, try and get free swag, etc. But then i decided that i didn't want this when i realized that the only 'celebrity' that i resembled was Zoey from the PBS show Zoom. My niece and nephew thought it was cool and would talk about it but it wasn't cool to really anyone else, me included.


I thought that was bad enough, then my sister pointed out an ever worse look alike.

I call my sister jenny like every other day, or like twice in one day if you are referencing yesterday... Lately whenever she answers, or leaves a voice message, she says 'You rang?' in this super nerdy/nasally/little boy voice. I couldn't figure out why she did this, i assumed it was just another random phase like when she talks like a duck or something weird. I finally asked her what the deal was and she goes, 'don't you remember watching Little Giants? That picture on your blog of you in my West uniform looks just like the nerdy kid who says that in the movie...'

Crap. It is true, i looked just like the scrawny boy that is only remembered for blowing the biggest snot bubbles ever. 


Maybe now is a bad time to mention that this one time, mallory and i were so bored at my uncles house that we would blow our nose as hard as we could and then run to the mirror to see who's snot was farthest down their face. Oh the things we do to entertain ourselves as children.

terrors in the night

this is us doing our scared faces, or how people look when
they wake up to my screaming and clawing them...
Today i had the following conversation with my sister Jenny:

            me-"Hey Jenny, remember that time last summer when we woke up screaming at each other? Yeah, last night i woke up to Milo freaking out and kicking me in the ribs, it was kinda like when you clawed me..."

            jenny- "You do realize that you are the only common denominator here, right?"

I have a long history of sleep walking, talking, dancing, singing, acting malicious etc. I remember when i was a young lass, only a few years old, waking up on the couch and not knowing how i got there. My parents didn't believe me when i said i got there in my sleep, well turns out it was true. 

Within the next few years my random acts of migrating from my bedroom to the couch escalated. I have always been one to go to bed fairly early, because of this my siblings were often privy to my antics. 

These antics included:

  • Carrying all my bedding upstairs, wandering back to my room where i stood curiously waiting for my sheets to reappear, or so according to Lynsey. 
  • Going to the kitchen, filling a glass of water, walking to Levi's room where i proceded to slowing empty the glass on his floor while glaring at him.
  • Telling Mallory to take out our nonexistent cat, because i of course, didn't do it yet.
  • Singing Mallory a song about how i flushed the toilet, doing a little ditty of a dance and then yelling "Make Way!" while i ran full speed and jumped on top of her in bed.
  • Getting dressed for school, usually before midnight, and then staring at the clock with my face pressed against it until it registered in my mind that it was not 7:30 yet. (this happened weekly).
  • Sitting up in bed, looking over at Mallory while pointing my finger as gun and saying, "Get out o my town..."
  • Yelling at Mallory for telling me that it wasn't time for school and to go back to bed, having Jenny come in to console me, then in between crying into Jenny, looking over at Mallory and glaring.

The instantes continued as i got older, generally it was just small things like waking up on the other side of my room or wandering around the house, but nothing terribly exciting. However, things picked up again when i got to college. 

our room, case and point
When i was a freshmen i shared a room with Diana. For a while we kept our beds on opposite sides of the room but soon it became apparent that i had a problem with keeping the area clean between our beds. This led us to pushing our beds together. This gave us ample storage space under the beds and made for entertaining evenings full of girl talk and slumber parties with our other roommate. However, moving the beds also planted the seed of sleep walking in both of us. 

Soon Diana began to cause scenes of her own. One night she sprang up yelling something about slavery and began to run off the end of our bed. She occasionally gave me American History lessons too. She however, was not the only one to run-amuck in the night. My best episode was wandering out of our apartment in the middle of the night only to wake up with my forehead against the outside of the front door with my hand on the handle. The door was open and i was standing in just my underwear and a tank top, very scandalous for BYU. One more second and i would have locked myself out. Diana and i were also constantly talking to each other when one of us was getting up early to go to work and the other was still asleep.

That was four years ago, i haven't done much of anything since then so i figured i was done. But then came Jenny and our screaming match last summer.

(this is how i imaged we looked)


Ada's infamous 'Spin and Shake,' or how i
image her spinning around my room...
Jenny came to visit which meant that i was sharing my full size bed with her and her daughter, Ada, was sleeping on the floor next to us. Neither of us like touching people in our sleep so we are pretty good at sticking to our side of the bed. In the middle of the night we both woke up, arms wrapped around each other, nails digging in, screaming at the top of our lungs at each other. After a few split seconds of this charade, we both let go and lay back, trying to catch our breath. Ada however, was spinning circles on the ground screaming. We then began to question each other as to what caused the ruckus, to this day we both think the other person started it. 

The next morning while at breakfast Ada turned to Jenny, "Mom, i don't know who screamed first, you or aunt Bethany, but i was like number 99 scared..."

This is one of the instances that i want to replay when i am in heaven, i really want to know who screamed first.

looks docile and innocent, huh?
well not in the middle of the night,
i swear it was him...



Now this exact same scenario has happened again last night. Replace Jenny with Milo and subtract all the screaming. I am pretty sure at least three of Milo's legs jabbed me straight in the ribs. I swear he was having a night terror, but as Jenny pointed out, i am a common factor. 







I guess now that i live alone and don't have someone to notice if i scream in my sleep, i will have to wait until i am married to find out if i really cause others to have night terrors. I pity the fool that marries me only to wake up to my white knuckles digging into his rippling biceps...

23 years and counting

On more than one occasion my siblings and i have voiced our amazement that all ten of us have made it to adulthood. In your family this might not seem like such a feat, but the Davis family always seems to get injured more often and do more stupid things than the average family. (if you haven't read the post on my family, read this post now. or read this one.)

Okay maybe it isn't that we do more intense things, but there is a litter of us so it only seems natural that our family would have been based on survival of the fittest. That surely means that one of us should have unintentionally killed another while being more fit. Well, i guess as the tithing child i am glad this wasn't the case...

Since yesterday i celebrated me being birthed 23 years ago, let's remind ourselves how the last 23 years looked, bad hair and all (all being HUGE glasses).

But before all that bad hair, please remember what I looked like yesterday-keep this is mind when the unfortunate photos come along... like that second one... (don't worry that in the course of one week two 'friends' told me that i was one of the most unfortunate looking children they had seen...)

2011                                                                      1988
Yes, i know, i looked like an 80 year old man straight out of the womb.

1988

i am pretty sure mallory was trying to kill me, not burp me...
1989


1990


1991

is this a foreshadow of Loon Lake disaster of 1998?!

1992


1993


1994




1995

1996


 1997



1998


1999



2000


2001


2002


2003


2004


2005


2006






2007



2008



2009




2010


and yet, 


somethings never change with age...



Always an artist.


Meet me circa 1996 or so. Don't you just loooove the bowl cut?! I know I did...

I know you were taken away with my beauty in the last image and because of this you may have failed to notice my homemade sidekick, Cynthia. Now that you and Cynthia have been formally introduced let me explain my thoughts on the arts as a child.

Art: anything that was created by you that had at least three different mediums involved. Mediums were: (basically anything I could get my hands on) most commonly paper, fabric, yarn, Sculpey Clay, and lace held together by: glue, tape, toothpicks, tread, tinfoil, pipe cleaner, or anything else deemed sticky enough.

I always considered myself quite the budding artist. As a child I used to create memorable drawings of such things as: 'The Scary Mommy,' 'A Girl Turkey Mermaid,' and 'A Girl Dinosaur in a Purple Bra.' I knew I had something going on so I started making even more creations and then telling my mom I would rip them up if she didn't buy them from me, needless to say I earned a lot of nickels. I would even line the longest hallway of our house with my work and charge my family to see the 'art gallery'.

After a few years of this I moved on to sewing and creating dolls. By now I was around 8 years old and apparently had free range of the sewing closet and the store room that was chalked full of art supplies.

My first creations were, well, how do I put this nicely... interesting. Here is one doll made of yarn and the other made of paper and tape. (I think the yarn one was me trying to emulate the corn husk dolls I had seen, why did i think corn husk and yarn were close enough to the same material?!)

Next I got a little more resourceful and the tube sock doll was invented. With this there was also progression, first a lonely head, next a full body, and last a doll that actually didn't have the seams on the outside and even had feet.

Then something magical happened in my life, I found Sculpey. Sculpey is a moldable clay that you then bake to set. This 'helped' my creations a bit but they also became fragile, hence the one poor curly headed girl that only has one foot. But then I found out that their were Sculpey molds which gave me perfect hands and feet and I could even paint the nails!

(don't you love that awesome Christmas dress with puffy sleeves?!)
Then later I skipped the whole doll thing and tried out just dresses and pillows. My sisters still give me a hard time for the large pillow. I hadn't yet figured out how to hide a sewn seam so for this pillow I found it easier just to hot glue it shut. Now my pillow has a nice hard lining :)

I can't believe I made all of these things. All of the ones that I showed here have not seen the light of day since I boxed up all my stuff when I was 16 to move in with my sister. I did come accross two lonely dolls in a box last fall when I was looking for something, and boy did they make the most wonder stocking stuffers for my sisters! I love how one of them had questioning googly eyes and the others arms were about half the width of its head. Priceless.


I can't wait to see what I am going to find when I really go through all of my stuff in a few months...