Dear 2012 | A Letter

While on my morning run, I had time to reflect on all that you brought with you over these last 365 days.

And it is hard to believe we are already parting.

It feels like just yesterday that I was jumping in the frigid waters of First Dam to give you a warm welcome.

Yet, being released from my calling feels like a lifetime ago.

I realized that ... you were so good to me.

... Even if my Mittster didn't win the election, I tore some ligaments in my ankle, Gary Anderson left and I am still as single as sliced cheese. ;)

I think we reminded each other that each year, each day - our entire lives! - is what we make it.

To choose happiness over sorrow.

To choose kindness over hate.

To choose greatness over mediocrity. {Still working on this one!} ;)

While I didn't have control over everything you brought me, I knew I had complete control over what I decided to do with it.

And so as we part, I want to say thank you. 

I so enjoyed the ride. :)

Farewell, my friend. 

All my love,

Mindy Marie

P.S. I tried super-duper hard to remind everyone to call you by your chosen name, twenty-twelve {opposed to two-thousand twelve}. You are welcome. :)


Old Main

Old Main is a building here in my hometown.

And, like me, it is kinda a big deal. ;)

It was the first building built at Utah State University. It sits atop of Old Main Hill and overlooks the entire valley. Pretty much the most photographed, most predominant building in Cache Valley {sans this little bugger}. ;) 

Yesterday morning I made my way over to this building to do what I affectionately refer to as Old Main Repeats.

Which entails running up and down these stairs ...

As many times as I can.. This photo was taken right before my first set. :)

When I was finished with my repeats {the most I have ever brought myself to do was 12}, I was Old Mained out.

 ... Until about nine hours later when I trekked back up that hill and those stairs.

To sit on my rump {in my adorable galoshes, if I do say so myself - and I do!}.

To slide down the hill with this gal.

On those tubes.

Man, we flew!

And my entire life flashed before my eyes.

{Okay, that is a lie. It didn't. But that's what you are supposed to say. Right?}

But I was sprayed with a thin sheath of snow {as I dug my boots into the ground trying to slow myself down so the experience did not result in my untimely death}.

PS Shout-out to Tiffy for letting us borrow the snow tubes, the snow pants and the gloves. :)

I have a good big sister, no?

And a good roommate. 

And now, I am off to eat some cheese and crackers.

I live such a rough life.

Happy Saturday!


Baby, it's cold outside!

Today, I confused my legs.

I took them on their second run in one week.

My legs have become accustomed to running ... Oh, once month {at best} over the last year coughcoughortwoorthreecoughcough.

Biggest perk of the run was it was twice as warm as I thought it was going to be!

That is to say it was 18 degrees instead of nine. :)

 But, trust me, those nine degrees sure make a difference between frigidocity and "Eh, this isn't so bad."

If I ever have photos of my run you can assume I didn't take my watch.

And just took it easy.

Also, it must be said, people who shovel their sidewalks are my favorite

I could get used to running in the morning instead of going to work. Thank you, Christmas break. :)

How are you spending your break?


From our home to yours ...

Merry Christmas!

This is the closest we will ever get to a Christmas card. :) Thank you, Photo Grid for Android ... and to Claire for introducing me to it.

Hope yours has been spent with loved ones and most importantly, remembering Him.


Brandon & Hill: we missed you oh-so much!!!!!!


Newtown, CT

I have had a lot on my mind lately.

I have wanted to openly share my feelings on what happened in Connecticut nearly two weeks ago, but I didn't know how I wanted to express them. 

I didn't want to talk about gun control, even though I have some strong thoughts about that.

I did want to talk about mental illness, but ... my experiences with it are more personal than you would ever know, yet not mine to share. So silence remains.

However, while sitting in Church on Sunday,  I think it all came together.

We were singing the hymn "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". For those of you not familiar with the hymn, the end line of each verse is " ... of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

One verse stood out to me over all the others that day. 

It read:

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

It made me think of Connecticut specifically ... and so much more.

It is hard to think of peace on earth and good-will to men when one man can march into a school and end lives of so many innocent people, most of which were young children. 

It is an act that shows hate is strong.

And does mock the song of peace on earth and good-will to men.

The next verse also piqued my interest.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

I wondered how right prevails after such a horrific event.

And then a moment of truth hit me.

I am the person who ensures right prevails after the unspeakable happens. YOU are the person who ensures right prevails in the aftermath. WE are the people who must bring peace to earth and good-will to men ... because we can.

Even if I bring the most minuscule amount of peace in some way, shape or form ... There will be peace on earth. It might not be the entire earth, but it can be found SOMEWHERE amongst the chaos and fear.

On the eastern sector in Berlin Germany, chunks of what was once the infamous wall dividing citizens of that city are lying about - preserved as a memorial to the triumph of freedom and bondage. Written on one piece of the wall in bold, uneven red letters are these words, "Many small people in many small places doing many small things can alter the face of the earth."

You and I can be those people doing those small things to alter the face of the earth.

I don't know what that could mean to you - what "small" thing could you contribute to this vast world to make a difference. But one thing keeps coming to my mind regarding Connecticut. 

I am not sure this one thing could have changed what happened there. BUT, I do know it could possibly stop it from happening somewhere else.

It is one thing that I know can alter the face of the earth and is something you and I can do daily.


Offering genuine kindness to everyone we meet, regardless if we think they "deserve" it or not. Regardless if they failed to offer it to us.

I have sometimes let my mind wander to what kind of parent I would be, if that blessing and miracle were ever to be mine. Unfortunately, my children would most likely all be on behavior plans {thanks to my line of work}. ;) But the one thing that I think about ALL the time when I think about my elusive children is: how can I teach them to be kind to everyone - especially those who are different? 

Being extremely close to mental illness, I know kindness and love do not solve all problems. 

But I know it makes a difference.

I know it can dimmer the hate in this world.

I know it can bring peace to this world.

And be the foundation of  good-will to men.

I wonder what it would take for each of us to recognize that power instilled in each of us. That in this sometimes dark and bleak world, we can bring light to others in how we treat them - in the kindness we share.

But I do know that as soon as we recognize the power inside of each of us and act upon it is when right will prevail and wrong will fail.

So, what am I waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

How will you offer that kindness to someone today?

While this might have appeared to be an extremely strange topic for Christmas Eve, I cannot help but think this is the perfect time to commit or recommit ourselves to becoming the people that we want to be - the people this world needs us to be. 

I am in.

Are you?


Roommate Christmas

We celebrate an extra holiday at our adorable little house.

It is Roommate Christmas.

It's rough celebrating two Christmases in less than four days, but we are willing to make the sacrifice. :)

This year we opted to change things up a bit. We decided to head to the big city and stay overnight as part of our celebration.

It took a little bit extra work, like relocating Christmas to another town ... in a laundry basket.

But we thought it looked perfect when all was said and done.

We also loved our view out our hotel window.

After setting up Christmas in the hotel room, we headed to the lights at Temple Square.

We followed Temple Square up with dinner at The Garden, which overlooked the temple. We filled our bellies with two orders of fried pickles. :)

We then walked back to our home for the night, and got a sneak peak of our little tree on our eighth floor room.

Yup. That is our tree!

Once inside we hot-tubbed it up for a bit. Returned to our room, made hot chocolate ... and then it was gift time!

And staying true to last year's tradition, we had to wear every article of clothing we opened. :)

Pretend these aren't blurry. Thanks.

And, did I mention? Our matching "Ho, ho, ho!" pajamas?

We then turned on some "The Santa Clause" and went to bed. 

The following day we headed to City Creak and The Cheesecake Factory.

Throw in some serious shopping. Second lunch at In-N-Out.

And an Aggie basketball game upon returning to Logan.

Oh, Roommate Christmas! You are too good to us!

P.S. At the basketball game tonight we were playing the Southern Illinois Salukis. I personally had no idea what a saluki was, so I looked it up. It's a weird looking dog with wispy hair.

 I was intrigued to see how Southern Illinois represented this with their mascot.

Sooo, I looked it up.

And laughed. 

Until I cried.

This guy is supposed to hug kids? I am an adult and want to run away from him crying.

That's all. :)

Happy weekend people!


Facebook Statuses err ... Statusi

I kinda wish the plurality of words that ended in "s" were more like fungus, where you just end it in "i."

So, when we talked about the plural of Facebook status, it would be Facebook statusi.

I am still on my FB fast.

The only times I want to get on is when I am bored. Liiike, when I am waiting for something. Or when coughcoughmyonlyroommatethatishomeiscuddlingwithastrangemandownstairsandIfeelbanishedtomyroomcoughcough.

It's a little unfortunate that I cannot get on Facebook.

It is a little unfortunate because there are now Facebook statusi that will never exist liiiike ...


Or ...


But then, we would be reminded that it isn't the worst. Because the outdoor flirting next door is waaay worse. Totes.

But then it looks like I am Facebooking my problems opposed to facing my problems. And we cannot have that now, can we?

P.S. I use the word totes to be obnoxious. Because it is obnoxious EVERY time it is used. Was I successful? ... In being obnoxious? I hope so! But still certainly not as obnoxious as the outdoor flirting ... because no one should laugh that loud or that frequently. Ever.

Hmm. I sound grumpy, don't I?

Which is weird, because, hello, my AGGIES WON THEIR BOWL GAME.

But more about that later.

Also, I think we might be talking about mental illness soon. And how some women of my faith wore pantelones to Church on Sunday.

P.S. Pantelones is Spanish for PANTS.

It's weird how often I throw in Spanish words considering that I am not of any Latin, Hispanic or Spanish decent. But, whatev. I am just bi-lingual.

But I digress.

We were talking about Facebook statusi.

Because I cannot read your Facebook status, do tell, what does it say right this very moment? Or what would it say if you had a Facebook account?

Ready, set, go!


Reasons why I am a big deal ...

besides all the obvious ones.

1. It is 8:06 PM and I am already packed for my little weekend vacation. 

I realize this might not appear to make anyone a big deal ... but remember how I generally don't start packing until about 10:00 PM before any vacation?

P.S. Headed to Boise tomorrow. GO AGGIES. I may have purchased a new USU sweatshirt and adorable gloves ... because, hey, it is going to be cold! 

2. I put all my laundry away.

{We won't mention that I washed it on ... Tuesday. Because that makes me sound like less of a big deal. P.S. Remember how sometimes when I put things in brackets, it means I am whispering?}

3. I started my Christmas shopping today.

As in ... I purchased one item for someone else.

{And about six for myself.}

But that is beside the point.

I generally wait until December 23rd to start my Christmas shopping. This is called PROGRESS, people. PROGRESS.

4. I haven't been on Facebook since ... the last time I was on Facebook.

Which was, like, three days ago?  When Claire and I made that bet ...

This really doesn't make me a big deal. Because it isn't hard at all. 

But I just wanted to reiterate that ... I am not on FB. 

And I feel kinda badly because people are asking me questions, adding me as a friend, etc. and I can do nada.

{Nada is Spanish for "nothing".}

In fact, I was apparently tagged in two photos today {thank you email  notifications!} and ... I have no idea what those photos are. They might not even be of me.

But I am going to win a bet. So, whatev.

So, there you have it. Four additional reasons as to why I am a big deal ... as if that was ever in question.

What did you do today that made YOU a big deal?


Sick Day

I have pretty much been feeling like garbage the last two days.

I mean, I am doing okay. I s'pose it could always be worse.

It just that ... my head  wants to be chopped off from the rest of my body.

Buuuut, NBD. Because other than that, I am doing just.fine.

And as long as my head doesn't explode, I will do the following today:

Take Benadryl

Consume Cold-eeze

Bury myself in a heated blanket

Turn on my current obsession on Netflix

While not doing the following: 

Going to work

Getting out of my pajamas

Watching Criminal Minds on Netflix {because it isn't there - frown}

Getting on Facebook {because Claire and I are seeing who can go the longest without getting on - I am pretty sure I am going to cream her [and I mean that in the nicest way possible!]}

Worrying about finals ;)

Annnd, I think that pretty much sums up my day.

What are you doing {or not} today? :)


Bitter Sweet | Mostly Sweet

Yesterday I trekked through a snow storm to head to Salt Lake City.

I headed to Salt Lake to celebrate Chance's wedding {extra bonus : seeing Adam}.

It feels like an end of an era.

And it is a weird feeling.

I have always felt we were quite the dynamic trio. That's okay to admit, right? To admit together we were dynamic? ;)

They came into my life at a time where I was completely heartbroken {that's what happens to little Aggies living in Provo}. So many things in my life had been turned upside down and my heart torn into a million little pieces.

I contemplated the "whys" of my situation a lot during that time and received no answers. However, on a trip to New Mexico with my boys {to visit Chance's family}, part of an answer came.

We were sitting in Church. Adam and Chance were practicing their musical number {Adam singing and Chance playing the piano}. As I sat there watching my two best friends share their talents, I had a moment I will never forget. Admist all my sorrow and grief, I was overwhelmed with my gratitude for these two men and my association with them. 

If things had worked out the way I had wanted, it would have been a life absent of their friendship. And that isn't what a loving Heavenly Father wanted for me. He wanted a life for me that included both of these men. 

My life didn't turn out the way I had planned. 

It had turned out better. 

I just didn't recognize it until that moment. 

In the last six-and-a-half years, all three of us have grown up.

Yet, while our relationships have changed, we haven't really grown apart.

And for that, I will always be grateful. We fit into each others' lives exactly where we are meant to. 

And maybe one day, if Hell freezes over ... we can all meet up again for my wedding. ;)

But I am not holding my breath. So, you shouldn't either.

Sure do love ya, Chance. Sure do love ya, Adam. :)


Just another day at work ...

Client: How long have you been Charles'* mom?

Ahem. Charles is my co-worker. And 27-years-old. Hence. I am not his mother.

In fact, I am not anyone's mother. BUT! I am especially not the mother to a 27-year-old man {nor a 14-year-old for that matter, remember?}

Mindy: I am not Charles' mother.

Client: Oh. So you are his aunt?

Mindy: No.

Client: I guess you aren't his sister either then?

Mindy: Correct. I am not. I am his co-worker. That means we work at the same place.

I am trying to decide what I like better ... this conversation or when another client told me, "Just because you dress fancy does not mean you can tell me what to do."

Personally, fancy is not the word I would use to describe my attire, but thanks. And I wish dressing "fancy" meant you could tell people what to do.



I mean, I see this working out quite well actually.

Until then, I will still be childless and one kjillion dollarless. 

And while I always try to leave on a positive note, I am going to leave you today with three horrible facts that were brought to my attention on this day last week:

Today is not Friday.

Tomorrow is not Friday.

Even the day after tomorrow is not Friday.


* Name has been changed to protect the innocent. 


November | Instagram

Between the election and Thanksgiving {which both probably played the biggest roles in this month} we somehow fit in:

A handful of football games & celebrating that we are WAC champions

USU basketball, which is now in full swing

Celebrating Style's birthday in style with Big Blue

My new obsession with long johns

Putting the Christmas tree up!!!

And we have lights outside too!

Wrapped desks at work

Legally Blonde {the musical}

Hot tubbing x 1,000

The beginning of Christmas shopping {note my excitement}

Lots of goodies

And trying what to do with the Baby Beast, Leo, when he takes over my favorite couch

Just to name a few.
Speaking of a few ... I stole a few of these photos from Claire. BUT!! They are still Instgram photos of my life, so that is okay ... Right?

Putting together my monthly Instagrams {the ones that don't make the blog independently of this post} makes me realize I don't take that many photos considering all we do, believe it or not.

Some items not pictured are our first coaches' show with Al Lewis and Gary Anderson, my first experience with Black Friday shopping {we just watched the chaos}, analyzing neighbors, my love affair with heated blankets and celebrating the little sister's birthday {her birthday was on election day and needlessly to say, it was a horrible birthday gift}. ;)

It was a good month! 

But I am ever-so ready for December! Can you say paid 12-day Christmas vacay?? The countdown officially began immediately returning from Thanksgiving Break. Naturally. :)



Uhm. Seriously?

So, there I was.

Because you cannot start off a story with, "So, there I wasn't."

Well, I guess you can, but it just doesn't work as well.

But I digress.

So, there I was.

I had walked into the local mall and into Pac Sun. I was with roommate Jillian Jiggs looking for Christmas gifts for her sister. 

As we are looking through some of the clothes a sales associate comes over and greets us. As he does, he asks, "Are you shopping for your son or daughter?"

If you are not familiar with Pac Sun : THEY DO NOT SELL CHILDREN'S CLOTHING.

I would venture to say that the youngest person to shop there could potentially be 14-years-old, and that would be a little bit of a stretch. I don't know many 14-year-olds who do shop there or would actually fit into the older teen/ADULT clothing there.

PRAY TELL, when did I start looking old enough to have birthed a 14-year-old+ child almost adult!?

I mean, I know I am old for my culture NOT to be married, but seriously?

Now, I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I know my physical appearance doesn't look old enough for a 14-year-old. I know it. I am completely confident I don't look like I am in my mid-30's or 40's. 

So, then I began to question my attire. Did my skinny jeans, flip-flops and cardigan betray me? It was the cardigan, wasn't it? Maybe I need to ban cardigans from my wardrobe entirely! Not that I jump to dramatic conclusions or anything.

Here I am in all of my mother-of-a-14-year-old glory.

This was clearly before I was told I looked 45-years-old {as I photograph my Mourning for Mitt : 30 Days of Black}, otherwise I wouldn't have been so happy in my senior citizen clothing.

Speaking of which {wearing black not senior citizens - I have already reached my quota on them this week}, I am on day 22. I will be finished on Saturday, December 8th.

This entire experience reminded me of when I was 19-years-old and I was asked at Walmart if I was the mother of a 6-year-old Laotian boy. But that is an entirely different story for an entirely different day.

And now I am going to go put on red pantelones and the most fantastic sparkly shirt for our company Christmas party. :)

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!



In my culture I am considered to be "old" not to be married.

But that's okay.

I mean, it could be worse.

For example, I could have no arms.

Orrrr ... I could have voted for Barack Obama.

Or I could be a BYU fan. ;)

But I digress.

I recently began attending a new ward {read as "church congregation"} because I am so "old" and not married. 

When you turn my age, you have to stop attending church with younger singles. You can choose to attend with older singles or with families.

I tried the older singles. One word: creepy.

So, with all resources exhausted, I began attending the "family" ward. 

The thing is this ... I am keeping it real at church with senior citizens. About 75% of the ward are 70+.

But that is okay, because we share the same dinner time and bedtime. ;)

On Sunday, I got dressed and walked across the street to church.

And then I had a panic moment.

Because I thought about those senior citizens.

And I thought about my tights.

And how those senior citizens have probably never seen tights that color before.

But then I realized ... a little splash of color never hurt anyone{trust me, I should know}.

I am now pretty much excited to rock these seniors' world, whether it be by colors of tights or learning new words and phrases like "yo", "Peace out, Boy Scout" or "Peeps". 

Yes, I can see this going very, very well. :)


Our Black Friday

The last day of our Thanksgiving Break in St. George, we decided to liven things up a bit.

We headed up to the hills and rode our little hearts out.


 I like this next picture because: 1. Surprisingly enough, none of those white cars are ours. :) and 2. You can barely see my brother {with mama} on the right.

While all of us got to ride around the ATVs, he did not {obviously}. But I love so much that he still comes and is able to enjoy the experience. Being out there with my family was more enjoyable because he was there. I cherish every moment I get with him. 

We spent the majority of our day in the dirt, finished off with a little bit of shopping. ;)

It was a good, good day. :)

What did YOU do on Black Friday?


Thanksgiving | A feast for six

For our Thanksgiving Feast we headed to the mouth of Zion's Canyon to a beautiful restaurant to celebrate. 

All of our family was not able to attend, but we were grateful for those that could.

There are only 10 of us total, so even when just a few are missing, it makes a huge difference. 

But don't worry, I ate enough for the four that were not in attendance. :)

Ah, that little twerp and that little face!
  PS Have I ever told you that my second favorite color is sparkle?

Because it is.

Here's hopin' for Thanksgiving next year with all 10 of us. 

I would even accept 11. ;)

And I have now allowed myself to countdown to Christmas break! December 21st cannot come fast enough!


Thanksgiving | Pre-Meal Adventures | Meeting President Uchtdorf

We headed to St. George this year for Thanksgiving. 

AND! We opted, for the first time ever, to go out for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Weird. But acceptable, since I clearly play NO role in helping said dinner come to fruition. Ever.

Our dinner reservation wasn't until 6:15 PM, so we decided to go on a little Thanksgiving Day adventure to Silver Reef Mine, just outside of St. George in Leeds.

It was a long, long drive, but beautiful ...
and in the wrong direction for about two hours.


I feel like it is another location that has been brought to my attention that could use some good ol' fashioned SIGNS to direct people where to go.

But, whatev. It isn't like I have any experience with that.

Afterwards, we found the real Silver Reef Mine {not photography worthy in my mind as evidenced by no photos}. BUT!!

While there was another family there ... the Dieter F. Uchtdorf family to be exact. :)

He shook my hand and we were able to chat for a bit. I even got a picture!!

Okay, so not the best photograph ever ... I took it after we chatted as taking photographs with members isn't generally something the apostles or First Presidency do {as they do not view themselves as celebrities}.

We drove off as he and his family were still walking up the street and he stopped and waved as we drove past. :)

Suddenly, the two hour misadventure seemed to be quite the blessing in disguise! In fact, I plan to take a two hour misadventure today just to see which apostle I can run into afterwards. ;) If only that had happened following the epic Crimson Trail failure. :)

Next up: our Thanksgiving dinner, followed by our Black Friday Adventures annnnd ... then about one kjillion other things I have been too lazy to post about. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful days of thanks!


Ankle Progress : Day 59

Yup. We are still going to talk about my ankle.

And healthcare.


But don't worry, we aren't getting political at all today. :)

I received my medical bill for my Instacare visit. And I couldn't help but notice that my insurance didn't pay a cent.

This seemed odd to me. I mean, I pay into insurance. It pays out ... somewhere? Right?

So, I called my insurance company and they informed me they were not paying for my visit because they consider it a pre-existing condition. 

And I laughed.

Because, it is so easy to see how the injury I obtained while running on fateful day 59 days ago, because on THAT day I stepped on uneven ground causing my ankle to over-extend in rotation, resulting in tearing my ligaments.

Yup. That totally seems like a pre-existing condition to me. How about you?

Oh, insurance. :) It is the only legalized gambling in Utah.

 It is super fun to pay bucko bucks for service I might need.

It would be like giving Walmart 100+ dollars monthly and they might give me groceries. 

OR!!  Paying H&M the same amount of money a month and they might give me clothes.

Awesome, no?

BUT!!! I am going to not worry about it for now for two reasons: 1. It's Thanksgiving Break! Five days off work!! And 2. I sent in my medical records to my insurance company, proving that by tearing my ligament THAT day was not a pre-existing condition.

Oh, and reason number three ... I have pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

Nom, nom, nom.

Happy Tuesday Friday people!!


We put the A in CHAMPIONS!

There is  nothing quite like waiting at the airport to welcome your team home after claiming a championship title.

Especially knowing that you sat in the stands in rain, snow and shine.

Through winless seasons, scoreless game after scoreless game.

Watching your team lose the close ones, lose the not-so-close ones, lose the impossible ones to lose and being dubbed as THE worst college football team in the nation year in and year out.

All of that ... has made this weekend even more sweet. 

Plus, I was able to keep that senior citizen up on his 63rd birthday to join us for the welcoming home party. :)

It is good to be an Aggie.


Let's just say ...

That I highly doubt these johns are coming off my body any time soon.

And, yes. I did leave my house like this Saturday morning.

Attractive, no?

PS Remember my 30 Days of Stripes? I am now doing 30 Days of Mourning, by wearing black ... to mourn the results of the presidential election. 

At which point, I will change my FB profile photo {of Mitt and I, which has been up since August} and I will take off my Romney 2012 bracelet, which I put on the night of the election.


He really would have made the most exceptional president. I would have loved to see the country he would lead. My heart truly does hurt.

BUUT, I have those stellar long johns. Soo, I am convinced I will survive, right?

Happy Sunday, everyone. :)


Mitt Romney

In September 2007 I began my efforts in campaigning for Mitt Romney.

It has been quite an amazing five years that have led me across this country and included countless hours fighting for this country I know he would lead.

Being a part of this journey has been one of the choicest experiences in my life.

It has been my honor and my privilege to support a man of such faith, such character, such compassion and such generosity. His strength of character is second to none. 

And while I could not adequately express my gratitude to the Romneys, my best attempt would be:

You will forever have my gratitude for all you have sacrificed in the name of your God and your country ...

THANK YOU FOR THE RIDE. And if 2016 comes calling, I will be ready. :)

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