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...

Do I Look My Age Yet?!

Let's be honest, 2016 was THE WORST. Politics sucked (and stole my coping mechanism, reality tv, now when I watch all I can think is, "This could be our next president!"), people died--celebrities and family members, work was rough, I got dumped, my landlord hates me, I called the police more times than I can count, you know, the usual. I try to keep my yearly recap upbeat but I also think it is important to be real so I included everything worth mentioning. But don't worry, there are good things that are mixed among the unfortunate. 

In my 29th year:

I celebrated my birthday with my family, my co-workers, and my friends. 

On my birthday (at night so I didn't realize it until later) my house was robbed. It was completely targeted at me, made me feel uneasy in my own home, totally violated, and the cops did absolutely nothing.

I spent Valentine's with this kid and told him that if are both aren't married in 10 years we should get hitched. I also squeezed into my hot pink jeans which was a major feat.

I had my ACL replaced.

I started dating a guy that I had known for a few years but we had never been close until he started keeping me company while I iced my knee after surgery. We spent many hours eating all the pizza and tacos and watching Better Call Saul and Bob's Burgers (I'm not the most exciting person to date when I can't walk...)

I worked another session of LDS General Conference and this year we didn't get sweared at by any senior missionaries! 

Four of my siblings ran the Boston Marathon so I made the most out of my east coast trip by going to NYC, the marathon and then stayed with a friend outside Boston. And I won Best Sister of the Year award for making homemade chocolate pie in a hotel room. 

I flew to San Fransisco to spend the weekend with my sister.

I reconnected with three of my Freshmen friends in two days, two old roommates for breakfast and one guy to photograph his wedding (all wedding receptions should end with a fire pit and s'mores).

I planned my final event as Activities Director for my church. I used my super human talent to feed way too many twenty somethings on way too little money. 

I leased a warehouse for my businesses which is a HUGE deal.

I bought a shirt just so Milo and I could match and accidentally match my mom at least twice a month. 

I got dumped in the most heartless way possible and now he pretends I don't exist. 

I wrote a blogpost about being dumped because of religion and it was shared on a Ex-Mormon Reddit page and had thousands of views. The response was overwhelmingly positive and I received over 50 messages from people from all aspects of my life. If you are one of the people that reached out to me, THANK YOU, it really did mean a lot.

I attended my 10 year High School Reunion. It was weird. I had some great conversations with friends and I realized that the people I didn't like in high school I still don't like now... I also made Stephen take awkward prom pose photos since we somehow never went to a dance together.

I played Pokemon Go once and quickly became a statistic as a fell down a flight of stairs.

I was contacted by an ex-boyfriend--who has stalking tendencies and has been removed from my property by the police in the past--for no reason other than intimidation and to say hurtful things. I had to talk to the police more times that I can count as they searched for him to deliver a No Contact Order. They also checked on my property every night until I moved. He is the reason and I do not tell people where I currently live or answer unknown numbers. Because of him I had to tell my family that if I am ever hurt it was most likely his fault. This is not a position I want anyone in and if someone you know is dating a crazy person know that they probably want out. I didn't break up with him because I was afraid of him, everything that has happened has proved me right. But, people also did not take me seriously when I told them of my issues. Though I told men in my church that he was abusive and I had to call the cops, one man still asked me multiple times to meet with him (my ex) because he was having a hard time. I am sorry, I am the victim and you should NEVER ask me meet with my abuser. I also had one man ask to speak with me about the situation only to be asked multiple times if we had had sex and not "how are you doing, are you okay?" (to be honest, the part about telling my leaders at church was prior to 2016 but still, can we now all see how FRIGHTENING my ex is?!)

I convinced my co-workers to all put on metallic tattoos.

I booked a ticket to Europe on a whim to spend time with friends. After spending a few days in the Swedish country side I went to four other countries in one week by myself. I went from Stockholm (Sweden) to Copenhagen (Denmark) to Berlin (Germany) to Prague (Czech Republic) to Oslo (Norway). It was slightly nerve-wracking but amazing.

I moved into an own place, it totally fits my personality, is close to work and I love it--other than my landlord and slight mouse infestation. After my landlord said everything he shouldn't (mice aren't a problem, we wouldn't fix the hole they were coming through because "holes don't attract mice," I don't understand tenant rights, and that I was too angry/emotional for us to talk in person) I walked out to the porch where he was standing and replied, "You are right, I am angry, and do you know why? I STOPPED SLEEPING BECAUSE MICE RUN THROUGH MY WALLS ALL NIGHT AND THEN POOP IN MY SHOES!" If I was only wearing a bathrobe over my clothes I would have completed the crazy neighbor look quite nicely. Then, I went to City Hall, scheduled an inspection and needless to say they found almost a dozen infractions that he has to fix or pay a $50 a day fine. I don't know the law my ass...

I flew to LA to spend the weekend with my sisters. I won the Best Sister Award again for wearing my brother's way-too-big-for-me cowboy boots on the plane since they wouldn't fit in my carry-on. They accentuated my unicorn leggings quite nicely....

I had my first ever panic/anxiety attack. It was brought on by talks at church and things my ex said and implied about church. I haven't been able to go back since. It is obviously a much larger discussion than this post can offer. 

I made an Employee of the Month wall at my office to "class up the joint."

I spent the weekend with four of my sisters in NYC where we all stayed in the family room of my friends one bed room apartment. We ate all the food, walked all the streets, enjoyed a musical with a song and dance about Black Death, and did not shower once. We are crazy fun and crazy disgusting all at the same time. 

I voted for what I hoped would be the first female president.

I spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee with my sister and her family. I took each of my nieces and nephew out on a date, took everyone Christmas shopping, made pies, watched my niece in the Nutcracker, helped frame art for Sarah's new classroom, did facials, watched movies, and loved every minute,

I had the best sales month of my business career which (almost, its still up for debate) made the six straight weeks of doing nothing but working and sleeping worth it. One week I worked 75 hours by Friday night and it took me 4 days to have enough time to buy a gallon of milk....I literally live next to the grocery store.

I spent Christmas with my sister and her amazing in-laws and realized the beard potential of my hair.

I witnessed the most unusual New Years Eve's party that included: acrobats, drummers, one creepy puppet, lots of drunk people, exploding paint, a woman in a belly dancing outfit swinging a live parrot around, and my super confused friends.

And things that don't fit into a timeline:

I made lots of (tiny) homemade desserts

Loved on lots of babies and spent a lot of time with my family

Celebrated a lot of other people's birthdays.

Edited some crazy and funny things at work

Spent time with friends.

And I debated if I should add this, but I spent--and still spend--most of my time alone.

I have always struggled to make (and keep) friends but this year was horrible. When I switched churches after I was dumped, not one person reached out to me. Multiple times when I texted people to invite them to dinner at my house they didn't acknowledge it. I sent people cards and packages and never heard from them. I asked someone to go on a trip only to have them respond with, "yeah, you should go on a trip!" I ask people to get together and they flake on me or give a vague response of how we should hangout "sometime" or they don't respond at all. This was from "friends" while with dating I was ghosted, dumped, and then terrified by three different guys. I even had a comment on my religious blogpost about how I will be single forever because I am selfish, this from a complete stranger. I know that this year was rough and I did not handle it as well as I could have, but it has been so much harder feeling like not many people want me around. Being the only single person in my family, moving to a new city, and having very few friends is super hard. I continually tell myself I don't want birthday parties or to go on dates or that I don't need people's help etc. because it is easier to fool myself than not have people show up. So, if you do actually like me, please spend time with me. The more time I spend alone the less fun I am to hangout with and more self concious I get, this is not a rabbit hole I should go down. And if I have a horrible personality flaw please tell me so that I can start making friends. And to those that have still checked in with me through out my crazy, I love you so very much and I wish we lived in the same city.

I understand how dramatic this sounds, but this year has been full of stress and loneliness and way more tears than I want to admit. I think we all go through this, but I think it is getting more isolating and damaging because of social media. We assume everyone else is having a great time doing fun things because of what they post. We see others constantly texting their friends; we can literally spend all of our time "connecting" with people through our phones and never actually have a connection. For someone like me who is not good at texting, doesn't know what snapchat is, and is detesting Facebook more each day people use it to spew hate, I don't want to only rely on the internet to feel like I belong to some community. 

This year, please be kind and spend less time on the internet and more time in people's actual lives. 

And to end my year, I got bangs and took one of my better selfies. I feel like I am finally starting to look older than 21...

twenty-eight

Lately, I am a day late and dollar short but I finally managed to do my yearly review. Over all I would say this year was a success. I traveled more, my business grew, I found a few amazing friends, and I only injured myself a few times. Oh and I hit my 10 year mark since the last time I threw up.

During my 27th year:

I found a solid and hilarious group of girls. We celebrated Galentine's Day together in Moab. I traveled to Arizona with one and to NYC with another. I took another's engagement photos, and we celebrated two of their weddings. Whether they like it or not, they are now stuck with me FOREVER. 

I went on 5 dates with the same person. This is a new record, but then in true Bethany form it ended especially weird...

 
 

I went on a 90 mile rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. I was of course the only person that managed to get a kayak perpendicular to the water, high centered on a rock, and have to abandon ship. 

I called the cops to come to my house TWICE--almost exactly a year to the day apart, like shitty bookends to my year. The first was to remove an ex boyfriend that was trying to "win me back" in all the wrong ways. On the plus side, the last thing he said--as the cops put them in their car to give him a ride home--was, "Hey! They are giving me a ride because I'm AWESOME!" which are really the perfect last words. The second was for a burglary. Someone broke into my garage on my birthday and stole some things I had for work, unfortunately I didn't notice for a couple weeks so there wasn't anything the cops could do. 

I started making tiny cakes because 1. they are adorable 2. i randomly had the right pans in my kitchen 3. everyone likes tiny personal desserts

I bought a fancy dress just because it was under $20. Then found a party to wear said dress to.

I managed to catch TWO fish at the same time (two hooks, one line) and then had a fish fly out of my nephew's hands and land square in my bag snuggled up next to my wallet...

I went six weeks without having any sugar at all and promptly lost 15 pounds. Then of course I ate all the sugar again (but have not gained back all the weight). Now I am trying to not eat all the sugar once again and get rid of the last 15 lbs. 

I started helping one of my oldest and best friends produce a documentary about him trying to find a wife. Mostly I am doing it so I can add it to my IMDB page, or because I like him and the film. 

I tore the last half of my ACL at yet another church activity. And for the record, I totally nailed a backflip off the trapeze before the lame single jump that tore said ACL. The next week I tripped over a bench on the Highline in NYC which caused me to throw everything in my hands and land on my newly torn ACL with my butt in the air. My shin is still nicely deformed three months later...

I freelanced as a photo retoucher/digital tech over 65 times. Obviously, as the pictures show, I was busy working the entire time and never tried on the ridiculously large hats Sundance occasionally sells or had fun with my co-workers...

I was cast as a high school cheerleader in a feature film that comes out this summer (Tim Timmermans Hope For America). My name was Chastity, I was the awkward friend of the 'it' cheerleader, and I had to do a choreographed dance and a herkie jump. This will definitely get its own blog post because it was hilarious on so many levels. Oh and it is my highest paying job to date and I am eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild.

I bought a new set of dishes from Sundance that serves 20 which is approximately 13 more than I needed for the current number of friends I have in Utah.

I was the best damn assistant at the LDS General Conference (and it is totally appropriate to swear there because a senior missionary definitely said many swears to me about us photographing the priesthood session...)

I hiked Mount Timpangoes, which is way harder and longer than EVERYONE mentioned.

I traveled to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, and California.

I met my new nephew Hank, held him for a week straight, and took many photos.

I found out that I make a pretty mean gingerbread house. We did a movie theme competition, mine is obviously A Christmas Story. Please notice the turkey hanging out the backdoor, the smoke in the chimney, and the leg lamp in the window. 

And I decided that I am moving to SLC and made some killer Valentine's.

 

The End.

 

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...

you're only 24 once

I've always really enjoyed having my birthday at the beginning of the year; it makes it super easy to remember how old i was when something happened and keeps everything tidy with my age changing almost in sync with everything else. Because of this, i use my age to judge everything.

like if it is Feb. and i am single--say last year--i know that i will not get married until i am at least 25 (being this year).

or when i say that i want to accomplish something in 2013 i know that i will accomplish it while i am 25.

see? everything is simple.

And since today is my birthday eve, i figured i should reminisce what i learned/did during my year of being 24.

I:

finally have documented proof of how terrifying it is to go bowling with me (and equally dangerous).





caught my third bouquet at a wedding (third times a charm, right? RIGHT?!)


after 8 months of preparation i had over 300 images on display in my BFA final show, 
Tithing Child: A Photographic Memoir



after what felt like a million drafts of my speech were approved--i spoke at my college's convocation ceremony and showed the campus (for the 3rd time) images of my sister giving birth...


learned that i have a problem am the champion of holding grudges against past boyfriends that were asses 
(still working on that, but lets be honest, we will never be friends. ever)


survived the great disneyland flash flood of 2012 (okay, it was just horrendous rain...) while being trapped on small world--now lovingly know as 'the slow-moving torture device from hell.'


started a blog about awkward dates--probably because of that date with that kid that made up his own name, wanted to take me 'fast food shopping' for dinner, and told me about himself using his kindle since he 'forgot his book of photos that he normally uses'.


moved to manhattan--and then kept moving around manhattan--again and again and again...



figured out that peanut butter balls don't have to be boring balls, they can be dinosaurs!
(and filled with chunks of reese's holiday treats...)



went through a hurricane unscathed.


went out on a date with a Turkish American that met me on the subway and thought i was russian.

(of course there are no photos of that...)

figured out what type of guy thinks i am their type: non-white and non-mormon men

(and if i had photos of the guys who hit on me in Harlem or on Canal Street, well, that would just be weird... creepier than the comments they made to me...)


slept on 5 different couches and in 14 different beds in 5 different states in 5 months.


met dan lauria who plays the dad on my most favorite show of all time, The Wonder Years.


gave uncle sam all my money after a tax blunder



went to six broadway shows


graduated from college and got this cool piece of paper as a 'well done, kid'


ate an entire pack of Hebrew National hot dogs in one week in all sorts of interesting culinary masterpieces.


lost the ten pounds i gained when i was dating tucker


succumbed to Pintrest. i say i did it for work purposes but let's be honest, i secretly want to make little crafts and take photos of my fingernails (which two people at the mall today were convinced were fake, they look that perfect and pink right now...)

and i still don't have any followers, so you should help me out so i don't feel like a failure at something so very simple...


'ran' my first ever race


joined a very sketchy dating site that i am pretty sure is only good for hooking up and not falling love.


had the most drawn out graduation ever. 
walk in april
walk/speak in august
actually graduate in december
finally have my name in the program in april of 2013


wore pants to church for the first time (but not the last if it stays so bitterly cold in utah...)


oh and one thing i didn't do was buy a tripod...still...

i have a bfa in photography, that doesn't mean i NEED to have a tripod, right? RIGHT?!





and here's to 2013. 
It has had a rocky start but it can only go up from here. 
I unpacked my kitchen and most my room, that is a HUGE improvement in my life already.


(did i ever mention that i didn't know i had my own birthday until i was probably 6 or so? I always thought that mallory and i had the same birthday because mallory and my dad shared a birthday, my mom's was 4 days later and then mine was 11 days after that so we celebrated once for all of us. This probably is the reason why i always wished mallory was my twin growing up...)

Hurricanation

there's a storm a brewin'
(Before the storm hit i managed to get out of NYC on one of the last subways/trains. I thought it would be a better option to wait out the storm with my sister's family. This turned out to be the best idea since many of the subways did not run for a full week and the apartment I was couch surfing in took in 4 other people that lost power.)

I have never been through a hurricane before. I have been through one natural disaster in my life--a flash flood--which i was in the thick of, completely unprepared. But the difference with that terrible storm, even though all of us that were involved thought at one point or another that this might be the last day the Davis family had ten living children, is that only a small portion of people were involved. The storm passed, phone lines weren't down, no houses washed away, no one was looting, and within a few hours we were warm and dry and doing okay.
you also spend a lot of time doing this.
which takes a very long time i might add.
For us Sandy passed relatively quickly and little damage was done. Two trees fell, one knocking out part of the back fence and one doing a little cosmetic damage to the car, and the power went out for a day--but that was it. When it is over and you are unscathed, you think all is well. We couldn't watch tv and our phones couldn't make calls or use data so we had no idea what was going on outside of the community we were in. It wasn't until i would get calls from my family in the west that i heard of cars floating in parking garages of the Financial District (where that apartment i coveted and almost recently moved into is located). It wasn't until i was texted by my boss that i found out that lower Manhattan had no power and she watched water pour down her street, sure it was going to come flooding into her apartment at anytime. And it wasn't until i got back to work a week later that i heard of apartments getting looted, even the baby's clothes were gone. But when you are in an area that wasn't hit very hard, it is easy to have a good time because you have no idea that somewhere else houses are washing away and over a hundred are on fire, until of course you are back in touch with the world and hear of the people that came out so much worse than you.

you spend a lot of time doing this during power outages
what we like to call 'Hurricane-opoly'

The thing that does amaze me though, are the attitudes that i have witnessed in upper Manhattan. These people never lost power and could see the news. They knew that the subway wasn't running because of flooding, they knew that lower Manhattan was out of power. They heard stories of looters. They saw footage of houses burning in Queens. They knew that houses were washing away in the Rockaways.


I heard these people complain that they couldn't get anywhere because of the subway, that they were getting fat from eating so much because they were cooped up inside (with a working fridge and means to cook...), that they wished people staying in their house (because they had lost power/heat) would leave. And then i went to church were someone said that they knew they would be okay even though they didn't prepare at all for the hurricane because God wouldn't let anything bad happen to them.

these are our 'we are sad that the power is out' face. BUT we could still shop at target--as long as you didn't buy any perishables--and play monopoly so all was right with the world. 


Last time i checked the church adamantly preached being prepared.

Not to mention that we are all God's children, are the people that lost everything somehow less so?

I was appalled. 

This week though, that person had a chance to redeem themselves. Instead of having church for the normal 3 hours, we met for 30 minutes in our work clothes and then headed out to the Rockaways to help rip out carpet, tare out drywall, move mounds of soaked belongings, and give hope to people that lost everything. For me, i think it was really good to go. There is a difference between knowing of the destruction and seeing it first hand. 

this is Gloria's house, the one I worked in.

in my family we call these toys Dudes.
this broke my heart a little,
but seeing family photos litter the street broke my heart a lot

Mormon Helping Hands goes into areas after first responders check the stability of structures and after insurance companies calculate damages. It blew my mind that two weeks after a hurricane hit things like fallen trees and soaked carpet hadn't been removed yet, but i guess that just goes to show how bad things are. We found a women who was trying to figure out how to take care of her 90 year old mother's house. She lived down the street and moved her mom to her house during the storm, which turned out to be the best decision. Her house was not damaged in the living area but her mother's main floor and basement flooded. The main floor was a good 5 stairs up from the street and still water poured in and soaked everything. One step on the carpet and your feet were wet clear though, all this after two weeks.


All of these people are still without power and heat. Many of them also lost their cars, some just up and floated away... If you are in the New York/New Jersey area i would highly recommend finding some time to go out and help. There is no feeling like having a complete stranger let you into their home and then give you the biggest hug--like they have know you for years--when you leave a few short hours later. It makes you realize how lucky you are and how much more grateful you should be for your health and basic necessities.


carry on carry on carry on

I had a friend that used to always say:

"life sucks and then you die"

I never really thought that was true, but i'm finding more truth in it the longer i live in manhattan...


My last blogpost was written from my office--after i had finally found my way back to my trusted SoHo in a cab--and successfully dried my sweat drenched body. At that point i thought i had braved the worst part of my day, little did I know that i would lug that stupid suitcase to a photo shoot, then haul it in the back of a cab, drag it up and down 34th street--as the MegaBus directed me to line after line, pull it along in downtown Philly and finally load it on a train. All of that was grand but exiting the train caused some fuss and loss of bodily fluid.

When i was at the train i called Jenny, 'um, something is wrong with my foot, i am pretty sure my heal is bleeding into my shoe and i have a growth on my toe...'

sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.
I was kind to my dear old foot on the train, that is until i almost missed my stop. I frantically jumped up, grabbed my suitcase and with one awkward gesture made it land directly on my toe growth. By the time Jenny picked me up i was hobbling along with my shoe was full of puss.

I went to Philly for a number of reasons:
      get out of NYC for some TLC
      unload extra crap from my apartment since stupid connie isn't letting me stay
      do laundry
      chew on the babies (or snuggle my nieces and nephew)
      babysit nora so jenny could run the Ragnar
      cheer on sarah and jenny on said Ragnar

      oh and photograph jenny and sarah....

yeah, if you couldn't tell, i forgot that one.

I not only lugged a 50lb suitcase to Philly (with only 1/2 of one wheel...) but I also had my camera bag that weighs about a bajillion pounds.

Oh the way to the Ragnar, after getting all three kids, a weeks worth of food, and my camera bag in the car, Mike asked, 'did you grab your camera off the piano?' Well crap, i have a bag full of extra batteries, lens, film, cards and no camera. FAIL.

i took this. i pushed the shutter and THIS came out.
FAIL.
Turns out i am really bad at using a point and shoot camera. All the photos that i took on a borrowed camera were terrible. Like real bad. So this is why everyone has ditched small cameras for the iPhone...

Rough Rough Rough.

Monday i came back to the city, but the weekend had more in store for me. Somewhere amid my countless hours on public transportation, train to bus to subway, i caught the flu. Did i mention that i have a friend who has been staying with me and sharing my bed? Yeah, not so great when you have the flu and sleep for 14 hours straight...

luggage losing wheels, people losing housing, shoes full of puss, only 3.583 friends in the city, and an unpaid internship--new york apparently never got the memo that i love it and it should treat me kindly.


this is what a race looks like when i remember my camera...
On the plus side, i am finally going to see Sleep Walk With Me this weekend and hopefully find that Awesome Brownie that i found my first saturday here. Oh and i found out i get $30 a week from my internship. That makes me like thiiiiiiiis happy, that's like 5 Shake Shack burgers a week! (or a week metro card--which is what i think i am supposed to use it for...)

On days like this, you just got to throw on Fun. and listen to Carry On:

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on


Breaking Amish
(this is totally the theme song for that new TLC show about a group of Amish teens that leave the faith and move to Manhattan, if they can do it, I can too, right? Right?! I mean, television never lies or anything, right? RIGHT?!)


oh did i mention that i am still haven't found a place to live for the next two weeks? The only two weeks that i have people flying out to visit me...

I might love nyc this weekend, but right now--at this very moment--i kinda loathe it.

if you would like to send me a package, i would not deny it. Especially if it was this camera to keep in my purse at all times so i never have another epic photography fail. This is a point and shoot i can trust!


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...

if you knew me solely from facebook...








I had a realization. My facebook statuses make me look like a fat zit faced teenager with zero social skills. 

If you only knew me through facebook, imagine what picture these statuses would paint in your mind... (and these only have to do with my physical appearance...)

read this blog.
now.
it is hilarious and reminds me how i feel sometimes about food.
God of Cake, Hyperbole and a Half



6/18/2009
my shorts match my toenails. who knew that GAP carries Skanky Barbie Fuchsia colored clothes?! 

11/3/2009
i feel like i am going to vomit. is it nerves, or that ridiculously large chimichanga i just ate? 

3/27/2010
Bethany looks likes someone smashed Cheetos on her face. 

5/24/2010
i have a heating pad stuck to my back, my right foot is still swollen and bruised, and i have blood running from my heel into my shoe. i thought i had at least 40 more years until my body started falling apart.

9/9/2010
either i got bit by a gnarly bug or has the worlds largest zit. either way, my eye is swelling shut... 

9/30/2010
why i like hanging out in the hfac print lab: "i like your sideburns, i mean the lack there of. They have a nice shape, they aren't like guys since you don't have facial hair."- Brannon 

my purple hair.
12/24/2010
i think i looked better as a brunette instead of a purplette. christmas eve dye job fail. 

2/8/2011
i made an arm sling out of my sweater belt. classy. 


5/3/2011
i woke up with mascara on my chin. how the? 

5/12/2011
Levi informed me that today my shoes are outlandish in both color and height. 
Did it seriously take him 4 straight years of working everyday with me to catch on to that? 
 
5/31/2011
you always (secretly) hope that the day you run into your arch-nemesis after many years you look beyond fantastic, alas when that happened to me today i had a frumpy braid, extra big sweater, one fist holding a chunk of fudge and the other shoving a cookie into my mouth... i guess they just won again. damn.

6/23/2011
I am going to go ahead and pretend that since I can't see my butt hanging out the four inch hole in my shorts, no one else can either... 




6/29/2011
When you go to school with no makeup or deodorant, wearing sweat pant shorts and your sister's maternity shirt, your day only has the possibility of getting better. 







But the hard truth is, I have photographic evidence that this does indeed paint an accurate picture of me. (and sadly, the photos even say more and are more frequent...)

case and point

And then there are the statuses that make me look like i have zero social skillz, to go with my 'i just ate an entire batch of cookie dough' persona...




11/21/2009
when i put on my sunglasses i thought, "wow this is like the recovery slider in the RAW window of Photoshop..." and that is when i realized i am a huge nerd.
these are just so i feel better about my self.

3/4/2010
Day #3 of using a princess sandwich tupperware as a water glass. time to do the dishes at the office... 

3/22/2010
i feel pathetic, either too much photographing or too much invoice folding (at super sonic speeds) has landed me in a wrist brace. 

6/30/2010
i hope God has a replay button for our lives. I really want to know who screamed first in their sleep last night which caused me and Jenny to end up in a bear hug (complete with her nails digging into my arm) screaming at each other in terror. we also  terrified ada which added to the screaming mayhem. fun times at the Davis household at 3:45 in the am...

7/8/2010
thank you, efy boy, that flirted with me today. even though you may have thought i was 14, my dating moral has still been boosted. 

11/23/2010
apparently my long jumping skills were much better in the 8th grade. Hey running clothes and iPhone, meet the middle of this super muddy and merky marsh! 

see, i can be cute.
3/3/2011
days that start with car failure and end with a razor blade lodged in my finger are pretty memorable.

3/7/2011
thanks to Carrie and Jenny, I now have a tag line for my blog. I am cool in a perfectly awkward, uncool way. exactly what i always wanted to be!

5/6/2011
So I just accidentally went to a midnight showing of Thor by myself. I am awesome.

6/7/2011
mom "you should really go to that big east coast single adult conference next summer, it sounds like a fun vacation and it is full of doctors and lawyers, real catches...
"
me "so you have that little of faith in my dating skills that you are planning a year in advance to find me a date."
mom "oh no, i mean, it just seems like..." 


6/20/2011
apparently texting people when deliriously tired is equivalent to drunk dialing. 

no i didn't do that recently...to a boy...that i want to date. 

damn. 



Though amidst the unbecoming statuses there were a few gems that give a hint as to my true awesomeness, i would say that my social networking skills need a bit of help.

Davises go all the way

apparently my last post inspired my sister to send me this paper that she wrote for a family history class. to prove that i was also part of this adventure, i decided to add the photos.

Davises Go All the Way

-written by Sarah Davis Bollschweiler

Snow. The Myrtle Beach Marathon was officially cancelled. Would-be runners sulked around the Sheraton Hotel lobby in yoga pants and Chaco sandals, their tanned faces creased with disappointment---some even with rage. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” one pony-tailed woman ranted. “I drove all the way from North Carolina for this?!” 

(jojo was THIS excited about the cancelation)
“That must have been an inconvenience,” my brother smirked. “I had quite a time getting here too. You see, I set out from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, two days ago, flew to Raleigh (my original flight here being cancelled with all this crazy weather), slept all night on the floor of the airport, hopped in a rental car and drove ten hours to Pennsylvania to get my sister who was snowed in, sawed up the thirty-foot fallen tree blocking her driveway, and drove all day to get her here in time for her first marathon. We’re a little disappointed too.” 

As absurd as his ordeal sounded when he recounted it, Aaron relished the opportunity to share it with someone---even this stranger (now looking quite bewildered) ---because if there’s one trait he values above all, it is persistence, an attribute thoroughly saturating the Davis gene pool. In our family, when you do something you go all the way. 




Maybe the original source of our thoroughly thorough behavior is my mom: how a woman with ten children could have the most immaculate kitchen cupboards in town (not a stray grain of sugar to be found) still mystifies me. We knew that when she asked us to clean the bathroom, she meant CLEAN the bathroom; so while all the other kids in the world (if they even had to clean a bathroom at all) haphazardly squirted 409 here and there and gave the counters a quick swipe, we were supposed to bring our bathroom up to hospital sanitation standards. Of course, Mom’s perfectionism had its perks too, especially when it came to cooking. We knew that while other moms might call tossing a frozen chicken pot pie in the oven “making dinner,” our mother would always make something delicious from scratch. No gluey instant potatoes or crumbly cake mixes at our house... no way.








(Joseph Dyer was not involved in the B17 incident,
he is part of another article)


My dad’s stick-to-it-iveness exceeded even my   mother’s, his life driven by an obsession that began in his youth. As a boy he dreamed of airplanes, read all he could find about them, and even almost succeeded in stealing a four-engine B-17 in his rebellious teenage years in a failed attempt at running away (a secret kept from my mom for decades). Nothing---not even my grandfather’s attempt to reform him after the B- 17 episode---could keep my dad from his dream. In adulthood he acquired an airplane in a more legitimate (although still unconventional) fashion: he designed built his own from scratch. His Starship Alpha, a boomerang-shaped single-seater, was modeled after Jack Northrop’s flying wings of the 1940’s. (I suppose Dad decided that since he was doing something crazy like building his own airplane, he may as well build one with some style.) Most of my early childhood memories of Dad involve his airplane: hearing him talk about it, driving to the airport to see him work on the airplane in his hangar, watching him fly it, and bragging to my friends that my dad had made the cover of Popular Mechanics (as if they—or even I, for that matter---really knew what that meant).





As Davis kids, we learned by example what it meant to see something through to the end, whether it was something as simple as baking a cake or as complex as building an airplane, and though all ten of us kids have a bit of persistence built into us, Aaron seems to have been given a double portion. I remember, for example, watching him at age twelve or so spend months building a two-story playhouse for us kids, doing almost all the planning and work by himself. So when Aaron promised my sister Jenny he would be there for her first marathon, he meant he would be there beside her for the whole 26.2 miles, no matter what.



On that snowy morning in Myrtle Beach, while most other runners slept off the beer they had sorrowfully drunk the night before, Aaron readied himself for the race. For him, hardship made the event all the more important, and since he’d come this far, by golly, no “official cancellation” could stop him. Instead of filling out the standard “medical information” required on the back of his race bib, he scribbled with a sharpie in large capital letters: “Shoot a flaming arrow through my heart and float me on a barge out to sea.” Then he pinned the number to his breast, ingested his final energy gel, and knocked on the door of my sister’s room. He was ready to escort Jenny though the streets of Myrtle Beach, whether anyone else showed up or not.








With Aaron by her side, Jenny covered her first ever 26.2. He cheered her on, told her the kind of stupid jokes only brothers can tell, waved at drivers who honked in camaraderie, ran ahead to build snowmen and throw snowballs. The rest of us (no Davis event is sparsely attended) followed in my minivan, stopping occasionally to hand out Gatorade and snacks. My husband and I even ran the second half of the race along with Jenny. But Aaron was there every step of the way, and four and a half hours after the official Davis family marathon began he escorted his little sister across the finish line because he is Davis, and Davises go all the way.






if i die, send me out on a barge with flaming arrows

my family: we are intense. i have been told i am intense more than once but then i realized that i per say, am not intense, but my family and my growing up are.

we are intense for a number of reasons but my personal favorites are endurance/pain tolerance/athletics.

though i may not be the most shining example of a true athlete, i can always pretend, right?


meet my family:

first, of course, there is my Dad.

really, he should have been in the circus. i never got to witness his super human strength first hand, but he did like to talk about all of his conquest like:

-walking off a 40 foot platform on his hands to dive into a hot springs
-walking on his hands down flights of stairs at BYU
-tightrope walking between two buildings at BYU
-doing a giant (when you flip all the way around a bar with your body straight) on the free bars in gymnastics (too bad he didn't mean to do the giant and ended up flying off the bar and landing on his head on the hardwood floor..)
-balancing his body between two chair backs, one under his neck and one under his heels
-building his own jet ski in high school (the 50's)
-riding his motorcycle down as many flights of stairs as he could find at BYU
-surviving a major plane accident is pretty impressive too.
      -okay all of his plane stuff was impressive, stealing a B17 bomber at 17, making the cover of Popular     Mechanics... you name it, it was impressive







then there are other members of my family:

meet Aaron or Thor as he likes to be called



(if only i had the photo of him standing on a mountain in garbage bag 'jacket' downing the can of easy cheese... oh he also had a gotee, yes, it was just as gross as you imagined. no, worst than imagined.)

-this summer he became an IRON MAN! go Thor! he only lost a few toenails, and sadly it was before the race began
-he was on the National Guard marathon team
-has qualified for the Boston Marathon more than once
-hikes 50 milers like no ones business

he is also known for completing adventures that most, sane?, people would have stopped. Like the one time with the dangerous zip line, or the hike into Loon Lake that was hellish battle against the ungroomed trail with a mountain bike on his back, or our families personal favorite: the freak flash flood at Loon Lake that left Aaron with 5 younger siblings walking through ice water and hallucinating. 

Then there are the runners:



Jenny and Sarah are ROCKSTARS

Jenny:
-don't worry that she has TWO kids and still has a freaking six pack. rockstar
-she also completed her first marathon even though the official race was canceled due to a freak snow storm in Myrtle Beach, SC
-at her first official marathon she qualified for Boston! Huzzah, that is how a Davis does it.

Sarah:
-last summer, at the Wasatch Back Relay, Sassy passed runners left and right even though he had a serious baby bump going on
-she also recently qualified for Boston with Jenny
-she and her husband Luke (who also just qualified for Boston) were named the 'Fastest Couple in Knoxville, TN'
-she consistently runs through her pregnancies until she is about to pop that sucker out




Next we have Levi:

-he used to go to Utah to compete in rock climbing contests when he was still in high school. he won a lot too (not to mention he turned his bedroom into a rock climbing room...)
-he builds longboards and has had his few brushes with death (like crashing so bad that the road cut through his leather jacket)


oh mallory... darling mallory...

-LOOK AT THAT SIX PACK! i love that even when she was little mallory was pretty rock solid
-she played soccer for years, though this image doesn't show her talent, it does show her personality...
-always on the 'A' team for volleyball
-set records left and right for the triple jump



Mike may look laid back, but he is pretty intense too, just look at the sweet surfing injury

-mike thinks that the right job is the one that allows you to go surfing on your lunch break. he has taught both lynsey and mallory how to surf, if i move to LA i assume i will be next.
-he also did the Wasatch Back relay and a Mud Run in LA


the Champion of the family:

my brother in law lane is not only an avid runner but was part of the World Class Athlete Program for the Army. He even went to the Olympic trials. (He also won a slue of races but I, for the life of me, can't remember the names...)
he also had the mile record at South Jr. High for over 20 years at just over 5 minutes


S'Lynsey or Rynsey...

This one time lynsey got: Scarlet Fever, strep, croup, and staph all at the same time, needless to say it kind of messed her up BUT she still played soccer, did cross country, track and is the most flexible of the bunch. She can do the splits or a scorpion at any given time. oh my rubber sister.

though i don't have any images of her kicking butt at limbo, i think that going to aerobics that Richard Simmons teaches is pretty amazing. he liked to call her and her friends skanks. apparently it is a term of endearment coming from good old 'sweatin to the oldies' simmons.


and these were the people that I had images for. there of course, are more.

Mary: 
my teachers in high school were still talking about Mary when I was in their classes 17 years later. She was a pretty impressive volleyball player and the like.

Katie:
at the age of 12 Katie won State for gymnastics. She also did track and volleyball.
She is also a personal trainer and we (my six sisters and i) have unanimously agreed that if all 7 of us got in a fight she would reign supreme. 

noting is more attractive than recovering from ankle reconstructive surgery.
 
my 18th birthday, the same day i had cartilage removed from my hip

And then there was me, the tithing child.
i like to think that i am athletic. i played: soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, track, and was on the ski team. But alas, due to a few incredible soccer injuries i had hip, knee and ankle surgery by the time i reached the ripe age of 18. 

could i have been way more awesome if i hadn't been hurt?!

well, i am trying to live up to my family and have started running again. i do not love it on days like today when it is a whopping 33 degrees outside, but it has to be done.

i am getting excited for Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay 2011, the Davis Flying Wings are going to be the most entertaining group around, hopefully pretty athletic too.

but, if I don't survive this winter and training, send me out on a barge with flaming arrows like a Viking.

Aaron has said over and over that we have 1000 Viking ancestors that you can call upon to complete a strenuous activity, and if they don't, well, you can go out on a barge like a Viking

i am an artist, i think this proves that.

this is happiness

my sisters used to make fun of me because apparently i would say basically everything i liked was a 'simple pleasure' (prime example: walking up to someone's front door and being engulfed by the scent of clean laundry because the dryer vent is by the door), well its true, i like a lot of things.

here are my most recent favorites:

cupcakes and congratulations from friends
"i knew you would get in, its in your name! BarFAny"
oh Cameron...


finding my bathtub covered in colorful drawings and loving notes


using the bathtub crayons to do math while i shower.
(i happen to thoroughly enjoy math)


coming home from work to fresh baked cookies
and it isn't even close to Christmas


'Fat Booth' on the iPhone.
$0.99 well spent.

having a panda wielding guns greet me when i park at my office.


life is good.