101 Most Shocking Moments of 2015

Well, 365 days have finally come and gone and it is that time again!

As always, remember these tidbits about the list:

A. For anonymity purposes I sometimes refer to a person simply as he or she. Thus, not all the he's or she's are the same person. As well as, some things are very, very vague. 

B. I tried to put each moment in its proper order, with the absolute most shocking moment as number one and so on ... But it gets really complicated ... and boring. So, top 10 are typically concrete, but I make no promises. The further back it goes, the less in order they are. 

C. I had a really difficult time not putting exclamation points at the end of all of these. :) Shocking moments deserve exclamation points, however, over-used exclamation points defeat the purpose of an exclamation point in the first place. :)

D. You should see how many YOU are in or apply to you and let me know!

And now, without further adieu ...
101. Elizabeth Smart had a baby and the media didn't find out about it until three months later.

99. Utah State's football arena, Romney Stadium, was renamed Maverick Stadium.

96. Elder Perry passed away one day after we were told he had terminal cancer. 

95. I realized that we, as a nation, missed out on the celebrity name, HillBilly, for Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

94. The Wichita State mascot. Ironically, it is called the "Shocker". 

93. Unemployment made me pay them back because of THEIR mistake.

92. Unemployment accused me of frauding them (I did not!!!). 

91. How small my tax return was. :(

90. That Chevy didn't think their new model of the Suburban looked exactly like a hearse

88. Exploding Head Syndrome. It's a thing. And I have it. :(

87. How ridiculous that behavior plan was. 

86. How many people think "I's" is a word. 

85. President Monson's health. 

84. People think Bill Cosby is innocent.

83. Bruce Jenner, one of the manliest men to ever live, became Caitlyn. 

81. I saw Star Wars and I liked it. 

80. How many days Star Wars was trending on Twitter

79. How Disneyland turned Tomorrow Land into a Star Wars themed land. 

78. I started watching Dancing with the Stars.

77. I was kind of obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. #teamcrikey

76. The black/blue white/gold dress debacle. 

75. The Amber Alert went off in my car - while the radio was OFF.

74. I reposted a Minion meme on Facebook. Ha.

73. The mouse that crawled out of a garbage can in a classroom at one of the local schools. 

72. My car was towed in from a spot that absolutely had no signs indicating I could not park there.

71. Mama's surgery

70. I left my key in my car, in the ignition, with the car running while at a restaurant for the entire dinner.

68. Mom thought Sebastian was a killer cat. 

67. The Q-Fever scare of 2015. :)

66. How easy it was to find a bridesmaid dress for Claire's wedding. 

65. Taco cat spelled backwards is taco cat.

64. His actions. 

63. The text rampage. 

62. I saw a headstone (in person) that has a woman in a bikini on it. She is deceased, her husband is still alive. That is how he chose to memorialize his wife. Ha. 

61. I was actually touched by Kobe Bryant's retirement letter. 

60. The first quart of the Las Vegas Bowl 

59. The first time I "favorited" something on Twitter and the heart did a color burst!! LOVE IT. 

58. How much I love BB8.

57. Twitter still doesn't have an edit button. 

56. Alex Boye didn't win America's Got Talent. 

55. The Mantua police department saved a woman from drowning in the lake - which means they did something other than give a speeding ticket. 

54. How many people on Facebook fall for ANY "repost this" post. 

53. I ordered a t-shirt in July and as of 1-17-16 I still haven't received it. 

52. After probably 10 years, I ran into my dear, dear high school cross country coach. 

50. How I cannot handle the relationships between Riley, Lucas and Maya on Girl Meets World. I NEED Riley and Lucas to be a couple one day. NEED. 

49. She confided in him over her.

48. My nephews and I named the new high school in Cache Valley and chose the school colors. 

47. Utah State beat Boise 52-26. The last time Boise had 50+ points scored on them was in 1998. 

46. David Collette quit two days prior to the USU basketball season starting.

45. How dramatic he is. 

44. I missed the Boise State vs. Utah State football game. 

43. When a post about being kind went viral on FB, I got hate email from stranger. Ironic, no? :)

42. The crazy lady in St. George. 

41. How horrific the movie Lone Survivor is, and I saw the edited version even.

40. My computer just shut off and I couldn't turn it back on. I started crying because I missed Steve and I knew he could have fixed it. I say out loud, "Steve, I don't know how to fix this without you!" And suddenly the computer turned back on and works just fine.

37. Stew actually followed through with it. 

36. Girl Meets World had an episode about believing in God.

35. The time autocorrect changed, "I want to see your response!" to "I want to see your rectum." Nice.

32. He just didn't show up to work. 

30. Utah State basketball played a pre-season game against Duke.

29. Steve's neighbor, also named Steve, passed away 42 weeks to the day that our Steve passed away. :(

27. Donald Trump was is leading the Republican polls?????

26. Kylee's four-wheeler accident. 

25. Gasoline prices were $2.00.

24. Gasoline prices went as low as $1.69.

23. The amazing birthday party the boy threw for me.

20. My septum was deteriorating.

19. He just couldn't forgive me. 

18. She refused to report unethical and illegal conduct. 

17. My severe autoimmune disorder symptoms came back. :(

16. My septum is now made out of my ear {gag}.

14. How so many people don't care and/or justify what Planned Parenthood does. 

13. Waking up to glass shattering in the middle of the night and thinking someone is breaking into your home.

12. The day I couldn't recognize Claire at the gym. Hahaha. 

11. Their blatant lies. 

9. They were early to an event.  

7. The letter we received that Steve didn't exist. 

5. Steve never lived in 2015. 

4.. Steve's 39th birthday was celebrated without him here. 

3. He lost hope. 

2. He chose her over another her.

1. He said goodbye.


2015 Blog Review

As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to provide a year in review of the blog to point out some of the blog highlights from the last year. First and foremost, I wrote 41 posts this year, the lowest production of posts from me ever. I intetionally only wrote once a week my first year of blogging and still wrote nine more posts that this year. Yikes. :)


- I did my annual 101 Most Shocking Moments of 2014 list. This always seems to be a crowd pleaser.

- I hosted a Black & White party, which caused mucho mas controvery. So much so, that I had to have a follow up post to clarify.


-  I wrote about my NEW CAR! While I am thrilled to have my new car, it was a bit of a bummer because I wasn't planning on getting one. Ha.

- I also shared a little bit about why it has been so hard to write.


- March marked the one year anniversary since I was first diagnosed with autoimmune failure. I gave a quick look at what autoimmune failure has looked like for the first year I have had it.

- I also wrote about a commical experience in fourth-grade when a classmate bit herself and blamed it on me and how I had to set her and the principal straight. ;)


- While late to the game, I finally posted about what it is really like to be a Mormon woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After some controversy in the media regarding Mormon women in the past couple of years, I wanted everyone to know the truth from my three plus decades of experience.

- After 17 years of being the head basketball coach at Utah State University, Stew Morrill retired and I wrote him an open letter of what his time at USU meant to me.

- I shared some insight on what grief looks like six months later.


- I received a horrific Facebook message judging my grief and my relationship with my beloved, deceased brother-in-law, Steve. I had a message for that stranger. And I wrote about it on my blog.

- I wanted to post about the unbelievable detrioation of my nose, but it was over shadowed by my gall-bladder.


- "You're too young to have a colonoscopy!" THANKS, I THOUGHT SO TOO. But, I thought wrong. But, hey! I don't have cancer!

- You finally got to hear about the detrioation of my septum. ;) You lucky son of a gun! ;)


-  I literally wrote twice. Once about throwing a frisbee {no lie!} and a second time about an empty seat in our family.


- August brought my MOST POPULAR BLOG POST EVER ... You can read it here. :)


- After a gruesome recovery from my nose surgery and the year anniversary of Steve's death, September saw one single blog post. It was about my new job and a fun new nickname. ;)


- I wished you a very frightening Happy Halloween. ;)

- I tried to convey why I have continued to struggle to try and write.


- I wrote probably one of my most well-received blog posts of all time, talking about one of my greatest heartaches, outside of our loss of Steve.

- The first Thornley wedding in 18 years!!!!!!! And then a few more of these !!!!!!!!!!!


- More work shenanigans.

- And the severe autoimmune pain has returned after a 19-month hiatus. :(

Please share one or two of YOUR most memorable posts of 2015 and I will find my way over to your blog to check it out! :)

I got this idea from the wonderful Aubrey Zaruba, but missed out on their link up, so I am over here on my own, as if I had the cheese touch. ;)


Guess who's back. Back again.

That title is totes to that Eminem song. You know the one, right? I went to go search the title of it, certain it was "Guess Who's Back", "Guess Who's Back, Back Again" or at least, "Shady's Back". However, it must be said, if you thought the same as me, you'd be entirely wrong. Apparently it is called. "Without Me."


This post isn't about Slim Shady nor Eminem.

It's about autoimmune failure {isn't always though??}.

While I have had crazy symptoms from the onset in March 2014, I have never had the return of the March 2014 symptoms. Ya know, the severe, excruciating pain in my body? Well, it's back. Back again. But don't worry, you don't need to tell a friend.

Fortunately, it's only in my right arm this time around {opposed to my entire body}. Unfortunately, it decided to make its grand appearance at Disneyland {Oh hey! I just went to Disneyland!} and continue during my Christmas break. Apparently my two surgeries during my summer break wasn't enough medical fun during my time off from work. :)

Here are my biggest gripes {besides the pain and the fact that no medical professional has an idea what is going on with me}in order of difficulty:

1. Drying off after a shower. Have you ever tried to dry off with one arm? I dare you to try it. Really. Let me know how it goes.

2. I can't seem to dress myself. Don't worry, Weedus {my roommate} has been a champ in helping me.

3. Pants. I have sworn off all pants except leggings through Christmas break. Please don't judge me. Just know it hurts too much to tuck my underclothing in and pull up the pantelones {that's Spanish for pants, I apologize for getting all bilingual on you}.

So, that's how my life is shaping up lately. How about yours??? :)


Employment | Day 376

Whilst waiting in a classroom with five students for a meeting to begin, the teacher walked out of the room and one of the students said to me, "Whose mom are you?"

I inquired, "Whose dad are you?"

He laughed, "I am not a dad! I don't have kids!"

I smiled back, "I am not a mom! I don't have kids!"

I call this photo: "I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER!"
He then asked if I was a teacher. I told him I was not. He then asked if I worked for the school, "Like are you a secretary somewhere?"

I told him I did work for the district, but I was not a secretary. He then asked what I did. When I told him I was a behavior analyst, another child perked up and said, "Are you here for Tony?? He's mean!!"

To my faithful blog readers, I was not there for this so-called "Tony". I don't even know a Tony.

I am mostly telling you this story for two purposes. The first? I sure showed that kid for asking me whose mom I was and two, second student has got skillz! I am impressed he connected being a behavior analyst with "mean" "Tony". Most adults don't even have a clue of what my profession is when I tell them behavior analyst. 

I do suppose I could go on to tell you that a third student said to me, "So, do you like go to ALL the schools?" When I told him I did he said, "Like Spring Creek?"

I told him I did and he asked which school was newer, his or Spring Creek. I told him his was. He then asked which school was prettier. And I told him his was, IMHO. He then shouted out to the classroom of five students, "Man, I want to go to Spring Creek! Sounds like the girls are hotter there!"

I am not sure how an older, uglier school denoted hotter female students, but whatevs. It was a good day. And I guess that's all. 


I now know why.

This is going to be one of those posts that I get real. I am going to get real personal. I am going to get real raw. And I am going to allow myself to get real vulnerable.

Writing this has been on my mind for quite sometime. I suppose my hope in writing is, it can provide some form of comfort, even if minuscule, for maybe even one person.

I live in a culture and belong to a faith where marriage and family are a crucial and divine component of our beliefs. We believe that family relationships last forever and that one of our greatest ambitions in life is to be married and to have children.

For as long as I can remember, there is nothing I wanted more than being a wife and a mother. The absence of such a deep rooted desire has left my soul feeling nothing short of broken and wondering, "Why am I not enough?"

Dealing with that level of "rejection" for over a decade was almost unbearable at times. Why didn't someone - anyone - want me forever? 

I have dated a handful of people. And every last one of them {sans the man I am currently dating and have been for the last 2.5 years} left me ... for someone else.

Until September 30, 2014, this absence in my life was the most profound sorrow my heart and soul knew. The pain was piercing. And seemed never-ending.

At some point, I stopped asking, "Why?" I figured that once in Heaven, I would find that part out.  I figured it was part of God's grand plan and that I would have to teach myself to be "okay" with it. Plus, if I am being honest, in my mortal mind, I couldn't fathom a reason "good enough" to live without my deepest desire, so it didn't matter what it was.

And I think I have done a pretty darn good job of that. It has never been something I dwelt on. I have lived a life of joy and fulfillment. I think I have done all I could do to live a life that doesn't constantly reflect how lonely my little heart has been.

Yet, it was always hidden somewhere deep inside to come out on those hard days, or hard moments. Sometimes, it didn't feel like it was hidden too deep as I felt others' sorrow, and even sometimes pity, for the absence of these things in my life.

However, this past year, all of that has changed. 

Being as old as I am, in the culture and faith I am in, without being a mother and a wife is no longer the most profound sorrow my heart and soul knows. That is solely reserved for the absence of Steve in our lives.

My mortal mind now not only knows why I have lived a life absent of being a wife and a mother, but knows that the reason is "good enough" and more. My mortal mind now knows the reason and wouldn't change it for the world.

I have mentioned before that my sister got married at the adorable age of 18 and a mother at the age of 20. We all adored Steve and her together so much, that we never questioned it. Now we know, each year was invaluable as they would only have 17 of them together in this life. She was able to focus on making their house a home, taking care of Steve and her children.

However, when I was 18, I was off to college. I graduated and became a "career" woman. While my sister was learning "wifey" and "mom things", I was learning boring stuff like insurance, bank accounts, paying bills and stuff {things that Steve so graciously did so Tiffany didn't have to}.

It was almost comical at times how two lives that were once almost the exact same became so vastly different. But now, I know why they had to be different. 

There is no doubt in my mind that I have lived the life I have, specifically absent of a husband, so I would know how to succor my sister when she would be without hers. Knowing the cause of things so dear being withheld doesn't take away the sorrow and emptiness I have experienced over the last decade, it just makes it worth it. 

I think I wanted to share this with the world wide web because ... we are all going to face heartaches and sorrows, those deep, profound ones that make you wonder if you can go on. And I want you to know that as hard as it is, as bleak as it may appear, one day, IT WILL BE WORTH IT

So, you keep your chin up, you keep on keeping on. You may not know why you are facing such a trial or experiencing such grief. And maybe like me, it will take you a decade {or an entire lifetime} to finally know the why, but an ever-loving Father in Heaven has a plan for your pain and sorrow and IT WILL BE WORTH IT.  Trust in that, trust in His plan, trust in HIM. He is taking care of YOU and He is taking care of your loved ones in not only the best way He knows how, but the best way possible, even if you cannot yet see it. 


Hello, November

"It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that make us joyful."


I am pretty confident that I like to decorate for holidays. However, one of the biggest problems I have with it is my severe lack of storage space. I am finding it is extremely difficult to be a celebrator of holidays via home decor when you have absolutely no place to store that home decor for the that time frame that it isn't being used {which is often times 11 months out of 12}.

However, I did find a little way around it.

And it is this bistro table, baby!

I pretty much have two goals with the bistro set. 

1. Decorate it for all the fun holidays!

And 2. Take up as little storage space as possible!

I am finding much success with pillow cases. Hobby Lobby has been a treat for this! I keep the three pillow forms and then just cover them with different pillow cases each month.

October and November are kind because I can use pumpkins for both and then just discard the pumpkins come December.

Speaking of December, my dad accidentally DI'd {read as "thrifted" my Christmas tree}! Which means, I am in search of a new one ... and I am thinking I might go a little crazy this year, you know, to match my living room decor. Here's a refresher of what that looks like! I am a tad nervous, but let's get real, red and green would NOT work with this decor. So, we will just have to wait and see what happens! Wish me luck!


If you want to see more of my front porch, feel free to go to Instagram and search #MindysFrontPorch :)


I hear the bells!

On the second Saturday in September my baby sister got hitched!

This was the first Thornley wedding in almost 18 years.

Clearly, we can blame that delay on me. 

But I digress. :)

Before I continue, I need you to know that great lengths were taken for this post to be written. I accidentally made the mistake to download all the wedding photos while at my computer {read as turtle in peanut butter slow internet} and after I clicked on "download" it told me it would take three hours to download all the photos. But don't worry, the time increased to two days. Ha! Essentially, what I am telling you is that is takes forever and hell might freeze over and I might be married before the download was complete. ;)

We love Jordan and how wonderful he is to our Missy. It was an almost perfect day. The only thing it lacked to meet perfection was our Stevie there in person, although we know he was there is spirit. :)

#lastone #hellreallymightfreezeoverfirst #Imnotworriedaboutit

Photography by Claire Elizabeth and Cali Stoddard

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