I received tragic news Monday that my cousin, Dane, passed away in Iraq. This event is truly heartbreaking. Dane is my only cousin my same age and had a family life very similar to my own (married a few short year with a baby boy). Through this tragedy and reflection on his life, the first word that comes to mind to describe Dane is brave. My heart and sympathies go out to his wife, Megan and son, Kyle, and my Uncle Rick, Aunt Marva, Eric and Kimberly. I love you.

For family and friends who didn't get a chance to read his obituary and article in the Idaho Stateman:

Dane Richard Mortensen Dane died, in Iraq last Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007 while escorting a convoy supporting coalition efforts in the war. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 30, 2007 at the LDS Meridian North Stake Center, located at 5555 North Locust Grove Rd. in Meridian, Idaho. Dane entered this world on March 31, 1984, weighing 10 lbs 7 oz in Boise. His physical size was perhaps necessary to hold his spirit, love of life, and mischief. He attended Joplin Elementary, Eagle Middle School, and graduated from Centennial High school in 2002. Through out this time he was active in baseball, football, soccer, wrestling, and tennis. Dane loved hunting, shooting, and all outdoor activities, and people loved doing these things with Dane. Dane was a natural leader who generated enthusiasm, and fun for those involved in any activity he participated in. During middle school and high school Dane developed a deep pride of America, and a desire to serve his country in the military. His patriotism was deep, sincere, and unwavering. While a senior he joined the United States Marine Corps, going to boot camp just after high school graduation. After boot camp and training he was stationed at the Bangor Naval base near Silverdale Wash. While, there he met the love of his life, Megan St. Jean. Megan brought about a positive and profound change in Dane; he was completely happy and satisfied. They were married on Sept. 3, 2004. Subsequently, in 2005 he was sent to Iraq, where he served a combat tour. Dane was stationed in Ramadi, when it was a stronghold of insurgents and he saw combat almost daily. Dane was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2005, with the rank of corporal. Dane spoke highly of his military experience and particularly of the Marines, and the deep and steadfast friendships he had made there. Megan and Dane were blessed with a son, Kyle on March 23, 2007. Dane deeply loved both Megan and Kyle and overjoyed to have a son. At the time of his death Dane had returned to the Middle East to work for a security company. He worked in Qatar and Iraq. Dane is survived by his wonderful wife Megan, and beautiful son Kyle, His parents, Rick and Marva, brother, Erik, and sister Kimberli Stevens, a brother in law Dave Stevens, a nephew Damon Stevens and niece Meylnn Stevens, his Grandmother Evelyn Storer, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. All will miss him, but remember him always.

Published in the Idaho Statesman on 11/28/2007.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What is Thanksgiving without expressing our blessings?

HUGE Blessings I am grateful for this Thanksgiving:

RYDER!!!, My wonderful Phillip, My family (I miss you and have a wonderful Thankgiving!), My testimony of the Gospel, Phil's great job and his hard work & The opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.

smaller Blessings:
My thick, knit socks & my fireplace--they make my chilly thanksgiving morning Oh so cozy.
Ryder's binky--it has helped me out a number of times.
The Internet--I've gone two days without it and I really felt like I suffered.
Mashed potatoes, gravy, pie & rolls--my favorite things to eat at Thanksgiving
A good haircut--I got a haircut the other day and I like it!
Holiday flavored Yankee candles--hmmmm....
The Macy's Day Parade--because it's on my television right now and it makes me feel very thankgivingish

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!

Sad Froggy

Just this last week I took Ryder and flew to Utah for a few days to spend some time with my family and introduce the little guy to where I grew up. I just love my home. Anyhow, after a very busy day of traveling back to a very rainy Seattle, Ryder and I finally rolled in around seven. Not wanting to have to deal with unpacking in the morning, I forced my very tired self to unpack right then. Well, during this process I noticed something on the floor....

It is at this point, I need to explain something: You know how when it rains, worms appear out of nowhere? After it rains, there are all of a sudden tons of worms on the pavement! Well, here in the wet Northwest, not only do worms appear, but so do frogs, slugs and mini-lizards.

....I walked closer to it and as I did so, it jumped. I had a mini-frog hopping around in my living room! It hopped right into a corner where my slightly scared of mini-frogs self let it stay while I thought, I'll come back and get it later since I have about five things in my hand, one of which was a baby. Unfortunately, in my tired state I went to bed and forgot about the frog. It wasn't until the next morning it dawned on me that I had a froggy somewhere in my living room. I went to it's corner--not there-- I looked around and he was nowhere to be found. The more unfortunate thing is I know he didn't get out and I know he can't survive without water, so yes, my friends...I have a dead little frog somewhere in my living room.

7 GOOD Habits

I, as well, have decided to take this idea (from sister's friend Alyssa) and post 7 of my good habits, 7 bad habits and 7 habits I hope to have one day. Starting with the good...I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time coming up with 7 good habits...that probably isn't a very good thing. Okay, here we go (in no particular order): 1) Cleaning I wouldn't call myself a cleaning fanatic or anything, but ever since I got married my standards of cleaning skyrocketed. Maybe it was because I could finally control my environment without three roommates...I dunno. However, I also found cleaning keeps me very happy. I can be in the worst mood and I know if I go scrub my bathroom, that frown will be turned upside-down. As for the habitual part of it, I clean my house everyday; pick-up clutter, empty garbage, kitchen and bedrooms. I also have Saturday-morning chores every week (on Fridays if we're busy on Saturday). This includes deeper cleaning, scrubbing the bathroom, mopping floors, vacuuming, dusting and any other needed chores. The opposite also applies--if my house is dirty--I get VERY grumpy. 2) Eating an Apple a Day This is something I have picked up recently. If there is an apple in the house, I will eat one, usually as part of my lunch or for a snack,when I really want left-over Halloween candy (usually I just end up eating both). However, it helps me get my needed fruit servings and the fiber doesn't hurt anything either. 3) Bedtime Routine I also have a very detailed bedtime routine, that if not followed leads to severe consequences. It goes as follows: Remove contacts, wash my face with my Neutrogena soap bar, brush my teeth, put in my retainer, blow my nose, put on my glasses (which can be rather difficult if they weren't previously located before taking out my contacts) and prayers. 4) Smelly Good House Anyone who knows me well knows I have a thing with smells. Poor Phil, not only can he not smell (well, he can, but I have like this super-capacity smelling shnoz that usually leaves his smelling abilities by the wayside) but there has been more than one occasion I have called him at work because I couldn't pinpoint a weird/new smell. Basically it comes down to I LOVE good smells and completely disgust bad ones. What I find good and bad...well that sometimes surprises people...but having a smelly good house can be more difficult than it sounds. Every day it is my mission to make sure my house smells normal and clean and hopefully on most days, absolutely scrumptious. I put high-quality candles on our "Needs" list and can hunt down a bad smell like a dog. 5) Exercise I don't know how long you have to be doing something for it to actually become a habit (I heard once it was like 21 times or maybe 11...I dunno) but I have gone running--scratch that-- jogging, every other day for almost three weeks. The first week was a little scattered, but I found a couple of gals in my ward who also just had babies and they're training for 200 mile run (between 12 people) next August and they're gracious enough to let me tag along. It's nice because they aren't totally in shape yet, but still ahead of me by quite a ways, so it's a great way to push myself. If you only knew how much I hate running and how bad of shape I'm in, you too would also consider this quite a feat for me, even if it's only been three weeks. 6) Scriptures I have this goal by like age 50 to be this awesome scriptorian. I say age 50, because if I start now and work hard, I'll be lucky to make that goal. I really try hard to be in my scriptures at least once every day. Sometimes that does mean staring at the same scripture for 10 minutes while my brain processes every thought not relating to what I just read, but I do try hard to spend quality time with my scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, on a daily basis. On a side note, I'm taking a Preach My Gospel class where we are color-coating certain scriptures in application to PMG...really fun. 7) Finances I somewhere along the lines assigned myself with managing our finances. Anyhow, now that I'm able to stay at home I check and record our financial transactions daily along with adhering to a dedicated bill-paying schedule. Great habit? Yes. Whether I like it or not...all depends on the amount left when I'm done.


I'm itchin' for a change with my do. Whether or not that's a good tell me. After some serious thought and lack of funds for consistent upkeep, I don't think I'm ready to go short, but since I would like to one day, let me know what you think.

I got this idea from another blog and as you can see, they are styled after certain celebrities. If you are interested in doing this yourself the info is by each photo.

This is pretty close to what I have just doesn't look that good.
This is one of my favorites, but stylist is key and I have a cowlick.
I like this one, but I don't know what I'd do without my layers

I think I kinda look like a man in this one....
I like it but with a little more length with less dramatic angles

I may be shallow for putting this much thought into my hair, but it's rather fun, I think.

Daylight Savings!

I always love winter Daylight Savings because you get you sleep in an extra hour. However, that only works out if you ACTUALLY remember that it's daylight savings. Because if you don't remember, you end up sitting in front of your computer at 6:30 a.m. thinking "did I look at the clock wrong?" being really, really confused for a second and then figure since you're already up, you might as well blog about the whole thing. Good thing the clock on our computer changed automatically or else we would've been sitting in church VERY confused. I wonder if people do that. Instead of going back to bed, maybe I should use this extra hour to show up to church at 7:50 and see...