Good bye

I've been killed off with bronchitis and a raging sinus infection and cannot attend my cousin's funeral in Boise. I still wish I was there. The whole thing is so sad. I'm pretty sure having loving ones die unexpectedly is every one's worst nightmare.

Here are some articles I've found online, it's been pretty big news in Idaho. His obituary is listed first, followed by a news article.

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.

Centennial High School graduate Dane Mortenson, 23, an Iraq War veteran, returned to that war-torn country as a civilian because he couldn't find a job with benefits at home, his friend and family said Tuesday.
He died in a crash while escorting a convoy in Iraq Sunday, 24 days after he started working for a British security firm.
"He had to man up," said longtime friend Adam Frickey. "His wife was pregnant, he couldn't get a job with benefits, so he did it."
It's unclear how many U.S. civilian workers are killed in Iraq. There appears to be no official record of U.S. civilian contractor deaths in the war.
In May, The New York Times reported that 917 civilian contractors had been killed in Iraq, based on interviews and information from the government.
Mortensen had planned to join the Marine Corps since his sophomore year of high school, said Frickey, who enlisted with him after they graduated from Centennial in 2002.
"We wanted to be the toughest, the best, so we joined the Marines," Frickey said. "Originally, we had planned to stay for 20 years."
The two served together in the same unit during a tour of duty in Ramadi in central Iraq.
Mortensen was honorably discharged from the Marines as a corporal in 2005.
He loved sports and the outdoors, especially hunting and shooting. He had a lot of pride in America, and "his patriotism was deep, sincere and unwavering," his family said in his obituary.
Mortensen's survivors include his wife, Megan, whom he met while stationed at Bangor Naval Base in Washington state, and his son, Kyle, who was born in March. The family is establishing a trust fund for Kyle, Rick Mortensen said. Details are pending.


In our hearts and thoughts...

Dane Mortensen, my dear cousin, died while working for a private company in Iraq. He served diligently in the U.S. Military. He leaves behind a darling eight month old son and his sweet wife. Everyone who knew Dane knows what a thoughtful young man he was and how he simply wanted to support his family.
I wish I would have had more time to get to know you better.



Scene: Dinner table, I just leaned over and kissed Gracie on her cheek.
Gracie: Smells like poop.
Me: Did you toot, sweetie?
Gracie: No
Me: Does mommy's breath stink?
Gracie (shrugs shoulders): Yeah.

To do this week:
Teach Gracie phrase "I'm overwhelmed by the amount of mints I carry around. Would you like a dozen?"


Not Really There...or Here or Anywhere...Really

Talk about an absentminded week. Starting Tuesday of last week I got a parking ticket. Sure the sign said No Parking, but come on! Anyway...

On Thursday I got a speeding ticket. I was racing to the library so I could avoid a 10 cent fee. I was clocked at going 20 over the limit. Please don't ask me where my mind was. If I had to guess it was in a flowery meadow far, far away from the road. The nice police man only wrote the ticket for six over. Bless him. I think the fact that Gracie kept yelling "Be careful, mama" from the back seat didn't hurt anything. Way to go, girl. You are never too young to start charming men that give out tickets.

This morning I started to fill my sink up with soapy water when I decided it would be the perfect time to deal with some of my tickets. Five minutes later I turned around to see my sink on the verge of overflowing.

Also this morning I enjoyed a delightful run barefoot, in my pajamas, while I chased my daughter who was also barefoot and in her pajamas. We were outside, because the mail man broke my doorbell (longer story). I was on my cell talking to a long lost friend, when I looked up to see Gracie booking it down the street. Since it was a long lost friend, I didn't want to hang up. We made it all the way to the park where I saw a billion dressed, well-groomed mothers, playing with their dressed, well groomed children. This embarrassed me enough to hang up the phone, grab Gracie and run back home.

I think it's best if I don't operate anything harder than the television. Even that is iffy.


If Only....

my hips and stomach weren't expanding at an average of an inch an hour, I would so own this dress. Find it and many other cute and modest styles at www.shabbyapple.com. Until then, I will continue to daydream about the time when I get my figure back, which will hopefully be eventually as opposed to never.



I just told Gracie not to stick pizza up her nose as a horrible scene will surely be the result, one where she'll have to go to the doctor. Her eyes lit up. She loves the doctor, because apparently that is the only place where she gets to play with new toys and get a sucker. I saw my mistake and to get her off track I started making gagging noises so she would hopefully realize that pizza up the noise is gross, and no one wants mom making nasty gagging noises, now do they?

Also, I woke up this morning to find that the best place for our cordless phone is apparently on top of the fridge. I pull a muscle every time I reach for it. Umm... I'll have to ask Sean about that one.

I was at the BYU Bookstore yesterday and decided that not only am I going to collect every good novel out there, but also all the fantastic children's book. I find them to be so inspiring. I also have fond memories of reading such books in my youth and want to give my kids the same opportunity.


More of the Good, the Bad and the Wishful

Okay, here is the deal. I am pregnant and not feeling so overwhelmed with the desire for self improvement. Yes, I've got my bad habits, but I don't currently feel bad about them. I figure the fact that I get up in the morning, make a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches, and occasionally take out the garbage more than qualifies me as a super hero. This is certain to change once I start feeling like a human and not a slug. But for now, I might consider these as more "not my best" habits.

1. TV Watching. I'm willing to bet this is a common bad habit for more people than just me. At the end of the day, I'm beat and can barely keep my head my up so I turn on my trusty DVR. What did I ever do before cable and no commercials? Oh yeah! I read novels. Who needs those!

2. Bad Hair. Don't get me wrong, I always try my best to have fantastic hair but I've fallen into this habit of not doing it that often. I simply pull it back into a ponytail. Since I am prego I try to keep the highlights to a mild roar and I'm also finding it difficult to hold the hair dryer above my head. A lot of things are working against me right now. So this habit is here to stay until I have enough energy to be horrified at myself.

3. Sugar. This one comes and goes. Now that Halloween is over, it's on its way out. Thank Goodness.

4. Poor Organization Abilities. Right now, sitting in my new pantry are plastic hand gloves right next to the cereal. I have a feeling they don't belong there, but don't care. I think an embarrassing situation is likely to occur before this changes, something along the line of a guest pouring nails into their bowl for breakfast.

5. I sometimes don't brush my teeth until noon.

6. Dead Cell Phone. My phone always dies when I'm giving directions.

7.Overprotective. I am bizarrely protective of Gracie. It will be for the best if I can break this habit before she turns five. How embarrassing to have your mom following you around school?


I knew it, I just knew it.

You Belong in Rome
You're a big city soul with a small town heartWhich is why you're attracted to the romance of RomeStrolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in handAnd gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?
What'>http://www.blogthings.com/whatcitydoyoubelonginquiz/">What City Do You Belong In?

Sorry for the funny punctuation. That is how it showed up. I have no idea how to fix it.

The Good, the Bad, the Whishful Habits

My friend Alyssa did a blog where she listed her seven good habits. She plans on listing her seven bad habits, then seven habits she wished she had. I am blatantly stealing her idea. Here goes nothing. They might be a little different then they would be in my not pregnant, always sick days, but I'm going to be honest and list my current good habits, which may turn into my bad habits, once I am able to get a grip on things.

1. Snacking. Normally this would horrify me, but seeing as I can't eat real meals because of heartburn and small stomach issues, I find I am really good at this. Gracie and I snack everyday at 11 and 3. I usually try to make these healthy tasty snacks. It's become our favorite part of the day.

2. Sleeping. I know a lot of people who struggle to get the recommended 7-8 hours a night. This is so not a problem for me. Without even thinking I usually manage to pull somewhere around 8-9 hours. I think the fact that I can't really function after nine at night has something to do with it.

3. Walking. I can't remember when I haven't been in the habit of walking every day. I love it. It relaxes me and provides me with special alone time.

4. Checking the mail. What can I say? I'm good at it. I do it every day with out fail and throw away any stuff that is not important. I hate junk mail hanging around my house.

5. Paying Bills on Time. Every time a bill comes, I take it straight to the computer and enter it into our bill pay. This keeps me from wondering what bills I've have or haven't paid. Did I mention I love bill pay and have no idea how people used to function with check books and stamps. After I enter it, I throw it away or file it for record use. I think I do this because I hate junk mail or scraps of mail hanging around (see #4).

6. Cleaning House. Cleaning does the same thing for me as walking. I love it. I love the way my house smells after its been scrubbed clean. I love knowing that sticky things aren't on my floor and that people can feel free to sit wherever they want. Cleaning also helps me when I have nervous energy. Stop by my house on a tense day and you're sure to smell Pine Sol from the free way. Even though I am more apt to use those fun smelling delicious cleaning products that are a little more expensive. I justify the cost by saying that cleaning is my hobby and I should invest in it.

7. Diaper Changing. I am also really good at this. The habit started when Gracie was born and she was always getting a rash. I had to change her diaper the minute she went or she would get a rash. One thing you can almost always count on is that Gracie has a fresh diaper. I like to think she finds it refreshing.

So, those are seven of my good habits. Tomorrow I will post my bad ones then I will post my wishful habits. It's nice to see that I am at least a little bit on top of things!


Insulting Compliment

Two things really: 1) I need some dear motherly, kind advice from someone I trust, and 2) I really did receive and insulting compliment at the mall yesterday.

Here is what happened.

Scene: I am minding my own business trying to find Gracie a Christmas outfit.

Lady with child strapped to her chest (she was very nice): Hi, I'm from Mary Kay and I'm doing my portfolio and I feel so silly saying this, but I think you would make a fabulous before and after. Would you mind if I gave you a facial and a makeover and took your picture.

Me: Uh....no thanks.

Lady with child strapped to her chest: Okay, thanks anyway.

The sad thing is I thought I looked pretty good that day. Apparently, I looked like one of those girls from the teen movies that is a nerd but becomes beautiful after a gay guy does her hair. The whole thing was a really big upper. As I drove home I decided that the only person I will let ambush makeover me is Oprah, because she has celebrity stylists cut their hair and they all come out looking like super models. And they get new outfits, and they get to be on T.V. I think I might let myself go a little bit more so someone will worry and write a letter saying that I need help. I think it might be worth it.

As for the motherly advice, I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Someone I know and trust needs to come and kindly tell me that it is time I start wearing maternity tops. I think if they say it with tact, a kind look in their eye, and possibly squeeze my hand, I will take the news okay.


Halloween Memories

We finally found the cord that allows us to download pictures! Here are some of our very SCARY Halloween...And of Gracie blowing out her very belated birthday cake.

The anvil that Sean made for his work. His work goes all out for Halloween. They were pirates from the Caribbean. The entire theme was Disney.Gracie was the cutest, most easily scared cheerleader you ever did see.
Here is a bad picture of Gracie with Snow White and the seven dwarfs, who were actual little people. I tell you Sean's work was out of control. Apparently the CEO hire little people every year for his costume. Last year he was Charlie from the Chocolate Factory, the little people were oompaloompas.
Sean and Gracie right before Trick or Treating.
In her excitement, Gracie suffered a lot of skinned knees, but she recovered about five seconds after each one.
Here's to next year! We'll have another little one to dress up and get hyped on sugar!