[sur-vis] noun, -iced, -ic·ing.
an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.

We had another activity.

It may appear like another domestic/crafty activity.

BUT, it is not.

It's a service project.

Strike that.

It's two services projects.

In one.

For project numero uno, we collected large swatches of fleece.

Where we would cut ...

And tie them.

Mindy & Lacy Christensen
The blankets were for children at the Child and Family Support Center {a local, private, nonprofit organization comprised of local citizens willing to donate their time and talents toward our mission of Strengthening Families and Protecting Children}. The blankets will go to children who are brought to the center in emergency situations {where a parent can no longer take of them, etc.}. They then get to keep them as their own. I love that they do that. :)

The second project involved some fun cute supplies.

To make some cards.

For members of the United States military.

To express part of our appreciation for their sacrifices made for all of us.


And edibles were provided.

Jacqui Roberts & Sara Evans
Of course.

And my monthly shout-out to these ladies ...

Sarah Pope, Mindy, Summer Lyday and Em.
 Of course.

For all of their hard work {and the many others who help them!}.

And for the ones that sit by me at Church. :) Their names rhyme with Barah and Bemilee.

P.s. I want to own Summer's hoodie, but that shouldn't be too surprising, right? :)

Can you believe February is here tomorrow?? TOMORROW, I say!


By request ...

On occasion I get requests of things to write about.

This is one of those posts.

It is one of those posts that I speak openly about THE thing that is actually most difficult for me to speak about. Yet, this isn't the first time I have spoken of it and it won't be the last. While I don't feel entirely comfortable talking about it {and I know it makes some people uncomfortable to even just read it}, I am comfortable being a voice for people in the same situation I am in. 

THAT is the reason I write things like this, to perhaps be a voice for others who cannot put words to how they feel or what they are going through. It isn't a comprehensive voice for everyone who is chillin' in the same boat as I am. It isn't meant to be. 

It can also serve as perspective for those who will never confront this particular challenge. And maybe by getting this perspective, we are one step closer to us all understanding each other better. 

Do you ever read something someone has written on FB or a blog post, or even heard them speak it and it just sits with you ... wrong? Maybe what they said was thoughtless, maybe it wasn't thoughtless and you were just overly sensitive about that topic?

I know I definitely have been part of the latter. An example of this is when a friend who recently had a newborn babe wrote, "I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has trusted me enough to take care of His precious little children!"

In my {sometimes} sensitive state about not having that blessing in my life I thought, "I guess He must not trust me." And then my thought wandered to if that statement was true, it meant He trusted 14-year-olds who were having illegitimate children ... and still not me! Oy! :)

It is common place to see people complaining about this and that here and there. It sometimes doesn't sit with me well when they are complaining about something I would give absolutely anything to have.

In my dark days, I have to remind myself of the compassion I would like to have and say, "This is a genuine difficulty in their life and that is okay!"

That difficulty might be someone having their husband out of town for a few days. That difficulty might be having to spend the entire day cleaning up one mess after another and defusing one argument after another from their kiddos. It may be the challenges that their pregnancy brings them. {All things I clearly know nothing about! Well, false ... I do know about my husband being gone for prolonged periods of time!}

And they are genuine complaints to have! Just because I may never be able to have a husband or children in this life doesn't mean someone else's life isn't hard because of the unique challenges a husband or babes bring!

But I repeat, on my darkest days, in my too-sensitive state, it can be very hard to see people complain about things that if I had, my joy and gratitude would have no bounds or conclusion!

This morning I was having a jovial conversation with a friend.

In that conversation she said, "I've been meaning to tell you something ...Your comment from a few months ago on my post about loving my job in the middle of the night has really affected me. I bet I've thought about it every day, and thought about the things I say more."

I had a little bit of a panic moment as I honestly could not recall what she was talking about. Annnnd, knowing that sometimes my fingers can be sharper that two-edged sword, I worried I had said something horrifically offensive!

I actually had to go search for what I had said. 

And a few minutes of scrolling down her FB page I found her status, which was posted recently after having her gorgeous newborn babe, "Even in the middle of the night, I love my job!"

I then remember the moment I had when I originally read her words months ago. A moment that I was flooded with gratitude for her gratitude.

In that moment of gratitude, I responded as best as I could with, "I hope this comes out right ... :) You will never know how many women who wish they could be mothers, but for whatever reason cannot be, appreciate statuses like these. Good job, Mama Low!"

In a world of complaints here and there about husbands and babies {which are okay!!}, there are no words to express the gratitude her words brought! A mother, who even in those exhausting hours, knew of the remarkable, breath-taking blessing she has been given - a blessing that some physically ache to have, a blessing that some never will have.

In that moment I felt like she, even if it was unconsciously, knew what the alternative would be {something that I think gets overlooked sometimes in complaints about husbands and babes}. I felt she knew that if she wasn't up in the wee-hours of the morning, it would mean the absence of that blessing, the absence of her dream.

To Mama Low, I don't know if this elaborated in any direction you had anticipated. I don't know if it helped you understand my comment more, but I hope it did. 

Thank you for finding joy in your journey, even in those moments it would be easier not to do. If my dream ever does come true, I hope to be just as grateful as you!


Epic failure!

When you make him try on your pink skinny jeans ...

And they look better on him than they do you.


P.s. One of my very favorite people Lissa is doing a photograph giveaway! She is an amazing photographer {she gave me some awesome photos from her project I was involved in and designed my blog layout!}. Please check out the giveaway here. I would sign up, but I don't meet the qualifications {"Bride and Groom must have a wedding date set"}. Doh. But YOU should check it out. :)


Hospitals ...

I have always felt like my family was a hospital family. Liiiiike, we frequent it waaay more often than the "normal" family. I remember days in the hospital visiting my brother as a child. I can even remember the nurses knowing me by name and playing with me on their breaks - that is how often we were there - that is how well they knew us.

And if we weren't there for brother Brandon, we were there for the finger I nearly chopped off in the door {even today it is still a beaut!}, my heel I cut open on the bicycle spokes, my appendix, Tiff's appendix, mom's appendix, Tiff's Leukemia {grand misdiagnosis}, dad's knee {when he was attacked by a bull}, Shteve's pancreatitis, Shteve's cancer!

To name a few.

Yes, we are a hospital family.

And our hospitalness has extended to the newest generation in full force.

Nephew One has made a handful of visits to Primary Children's Hospital in the past month. He has a muscular disorder. Very likely Muscular Dystrophy. Like his uncle {my brother}.

As hospital visits come and go, it has felt a little unreal. Unreal that this little boy who already struggles with so many things due to his premature birth could carry an even heavier burden in his life. Unreal that his devoted parents now must carry it too.

No one is sure what Nephew One's future holds. But both child and parents alike have questioned.

Recently, favorite-brother-in-law-Shteve wrote about how several years ago he and my sister built their home. As they built their home they took special precautions to make sure brother Brandon could come over whenever he wanted to, being able to get in the home {as there are many homes he can never enter}. They took extra care to make their home as wheelchair friendly as possible {extra wide hallways, doorways, limited carpet, etc.}. Favorite-brother-in-law-Shteve was sure to make it clear that it is obviously too early to tell, but were they really, unknowingly preparing this home for their son's wheelchair?

Nephew One told Grandma, "It will be okay if I am in a wheelchair, I will probably get a lot of presents." Not only do I like love his optimism, but I will most likely be a grand contributor of said presents. :) He also said it will be okay if he is in a wheelchair as long as he isn't as bad off as his uncle.

And in the midst of the unknown and heartache, I do know of my profound gratitude for a brother who has faced his heartbreaking challenges so gracefully, so beautifully that his nephew will be okay to follow down the same path if that is where his journey leads him.

It is a beautiful lesson to be taught, that through meekness and joy in affliction we can lighten the burden of those suffering similarly.

It is my belief that we can also lighten that burden through prayer. That is where my prayers have been and will be in the upcoming weeks. And yours are welcome to be there also. ;)

Have a happy Wednesday. :)


The bane of my existence ...


I said it.

And I only feel half-bad about it.

I suppose that isn't even truly accurate. Making Visiting Teaching assignments in the bane of my existence. Everything else is just fine.

I don't know if I just hate MLS {the program used to set it all up}, which gives me some hoards of grief. Or the fact that I left the Church yesterday and today after it was dark outside. Or may that in a student ward you have to do complete overhauls of Visiting Teaching every three months with significant changes monthly.  Or maybe it is the fact that the printer/copy decided to give up the ghost at the most inopportune moment. 

All I do know is that making VT assignments make me want to poke my eyeballs out and make me question where my weekend went. 

Oh, I also know that this little jar that I found in the stake offices helped me make it through the entire experience. 

It may or may not have been that full when all was said and done. 

Buuut!! When my belly is happy, I am happy.

And so is Angie, apparently. :)

And I bet the owner of the jar would be happy knowing it's contents were my saving grace.

P.s. If you are a visiting teacher, you should probably do your visits. Just so there is at least a point to the madness of what we go through arranging it all. AND, your assigners may not have even had a treat jar to draw strength from - gasp!

And now, all I want to do is go to bed.

The end.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I had a friend who wrote a Facebook status on this day, thinking that it short changes some other people who did just as much for civil rights as MLK did.

I figure I don't care who I celebrate as long as I get a day off work to celebrate them.

And I did. 

We did.

We started off the day with brunch. That included bendy straws!

Bendy straws, I say!

We then did some shoppin'! 

And had a Boy Meets World marathon {which someone on FB thought it was an actual marathon named that}.

And don't worry, it only took three bags of popcorn to get one that was edible.

And afterwards, we headed to Crystal Hot Springs.

 {Jilly was there too, but refused to be in the photo. She opted to take instead. I was feeling Christian and let it be at that.}

Our trip to Crystal Hot Springs was essentially a human soup bowl.

Take from that what you will.

But, remember! I went to brunch, shopping, had a Boy Meets World marathon and played at Crystal Hot Springs ... all while having a paid holiday.

All in a day's unwork.

Thanks, Martin Luther! Let's do it again sometime!


So, there we were ...

eating at Cafe Sabor.

Not that you can see us.

Because the lights weren't on.

And my camera phone doesn't have a flash.

The light you do see is coming from Jill's phone. The ghost radar app, to be more exact.

See, they we were. Eating dinner. And the lights flickered. And then went off completely.

And then they came back on.

Repeat 23 times.

No lie.

We figured something sketchy must have been going on ... like paranormal activity. Hence, the use of the app.

Between you and I, the radar tested positive for "activity".

At which point, Jilly and I wanted to leave the restaurant immediately!

We informed our waitress of our concerns.

To which she provided us with free fried ice cream.

Which we took home.

Where the power was on.

And where no "activity" was found on the radar.

Not a bad evening, if I do say so myself. Not a bad evening at all.


You will always know how my day has gone ...

by the number of Band Aids on my hands, wrists and arms.

But at least they are super-cute, no?

Hope your day involved less Band Aids than mine. ;)



You know it is going to be a great day when you and all your roommates match.

You find the zebra paper plates to go with the purple table cloths. 

So you can consume the 100+ cupcakes.

When you have fabulous friends like these who make your job life easier better by all of their hard work.

 When you can take screen grabs of the video you took that was meant to be a photograph

When you can take a screen grab of the video of the moment everyone realized you were taking a video instead of said photo.

 When you take the real photo, to have a memory of people who have helped change lives.

Sister Basi, Claire, Sister Maurer & Sister Sortomme

When best friends are dressed in white. 

When one of those dressed in white is one of your best friends.

January 11, 2012.

Such.a.good.good.day. :)


January 12, 2000

is a day I will always remember. Mainly because I didn't have to go to school that day, or the day before ...

Plus, it might have been the day that I became something I had never been before - an aunt!

We were all so excited for him to make his appearance, impatient really. 

I think he knew how much we all wanted him.

Because my gorgeous little nephew came two months early!

Weighing in at four pounds and 10 ounces. 

He was born by an emergency C-section with fears of losing him. 

And my sister.

But he was a fighter, which he would prove time and time again since that day he arrived 12 years ago.

In that short time he has faced battles and challenges that many will never face in an entire lifetime.

And ever since he was just a babe ...

He has been our teacher.

Teaching us lessons in patience.

In tolerance.

In unconditional love.

In acceptance of others.

In kindness.

In overcoming and triumph.

In tenacity and perseverance. 

That angels truly live among us ...

That the extraordinary can be accomplished ..

 And that no matter how difficult the journey, joy must be sought for.

 And it can be found.

And so today ...

We celebrate not only the 12 years he has been with us, but the lessons he has taught us along the way ... in helping us become better, helping us become MORE every single day.


And for today, that's all. :)


Back to the old grind ...

I had to work four whole days last week. Four whole days of eight hours a day {and this week it will be five!}.

It's been rough.

This will help you see why ...

For my two-week, paid Christmas break, I spent the majority of the time in these babies:

Adorable pajamas, in case you couldn't tell.

And now? Now I am supposed to get dressed every day. For at least eight hours.


I actually crunched the numbers for time spent not in real clothes over the Christmas break.. 66% of my days off were spent in pajamas.

But stats can sometimes be deceiving.

While I spent 66% of my days off in pajamas,  I actually spent 94% of the time in pajamas. While I did get dressed four days {I think}, I was only dressed for roughly two hours each of those four days.

It wasn't all for naught, however. It clearly brought a whole new meaning to the word lazy And I am proud to do that for you - for the world!

You are welcome.

Doing what I can for mankind, one step at a time.

And now, I think am officially finished throwing that two-week, paid Christmas vacay in your faces. Well, until at least October or November where I get so incredibly, unbelievably antsy, at which point I will inevitably bring it up again. P.s. Due to my incessant bragging of said two-week, paid Christmas break I promise that for all of twenty-twelve I will not brag about my husband or children. Deal? Buneo.


Jumping in!

I decided to jump into the New Year.

Quite literally, actually.

By jumping into First Dam.

Never mind that it was 17 degrees outside in Logan, Utah.

Never mind that the edges of the dam were frozen over.

Never mind that there were shards of ice in it.

Jumped right in and soaked myself to the bone.

{Which we have already discussed, not literally ... because skin by nature is meant to keep such elements from the bones and other vital organs, no? And my skin is not defective.}

Do you wanna know who is a trooper?

Claire is a trooper.

She jumped into 2012 with me. P.s. When I say 2012, I say it "twenty-twelve" opposed to "two-thousand twelve". You should too. Just sayin'.

We made it home alive.

We tried to resume normal body temperatures.

And then toasted to the New Year.

And, yes! I did bring in the New Year with chocolate milk.

Did you expect anything less?

The sparkling cider was Claire's.

I tried to make 2012 feel special {so it will be special to me!}.

I hope I was successful.

Happy New Year, everyone! :)


Oh, 2011 ...

We weren't the kindest to each other.

I mean, we were no Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding {with me being Nancy, of course}. But we definitely weren't Cory and Topanga. Perhaps Jim and Dwight {I get to be Jim, naturally}. Never truly friends, but having found common grounds on more than one occasion. 

I barely lived up to anything I resoluted to you that I would do. Mr. Achilles played nice for roughly three months out of the 12, so I definitely wasn't able to run three times a week. I could should have been more obedient, kinder to others, and stuck to my budget - any budget! - for longer than a month. But between you and me, you know I saw with my faith more than my sight. I killed that one

You definitely didn't bring anything I had wanted. You maintained what 2010 and previous years had brought me, but nothin' fancy of your own. You left 2012 to do your dirty work ... and that's just not fair.

I suppose this is part of the reason my only resolution every year {sans 2005 where I resoluted to never cut my own hair again, and I haven't}, is to make no resolutions.

Maybe we started off on the wrong foot ... ya know, me in bed. Sleeping. As if you were NBD. 

But looking back at it, you were NBD. I keed, I keed, 2011. Take a joke.

I figured though, that just in case you were holding a grudge from our first impression, I would welcome in 2012 a little more warmly than I did you. 

Here's hopin' that it made a good impression.

And so here I shall make my final adieu to you, 2011. I will always remember our one shining moment, particularly because it was a moment that should have been my darkest. And for that moment alone, I thank you.

Peace out, Boy Scout.


Mindy M. Thornley


101 Most Shocking Moments of 2011

As always ...

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. Live with it. ;) But to make up for it, you will earn 10 gold stars for each one you read.

B. Also, 10 gold stars for each time you make the list or something on the list relates directly to you. Feel free to argue your case on how an item relates to you in the comment section provided below. :)

C. 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 actually in exact order. The top 30 are in the general area of exactness. And 31-101 ... they are just on there somewhere. :)

D. 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. :)

And now, without further adieu ...

Mindy's 101 Most Shocking Moments of 2011!

101. That the Kardashian-Humphreys marriage didn't last 74 days. ;)
100.  He just wasn't feeling it. Haha!
99. The pink sugar cookie he left on my desk {this one should be higher, but I don't want to re-number them all!}. :)
98. How much time it required. 
97. How kind her voice was.
96. Erika married someone under 6'2". ;)
95. Idol worship in Utah Valley. You know what I am talking about.
94. They don't seem concerned that she gained over 100 pounds in 11 months.
93. USU trailed SUU for a short period of time in basketball. 
92. My new chocolate, chocolate chip muffin obsession
91. Brady Jardine is most likely out for the entire season.
90. Brady Jardine has most likely played the last basketball game of his USU career.
89. My work computer, after four years, finally signed out of BFF's Pandora account. Doh.
88. That I was excited to see that person ... for a day.
87. I watched entire X-Men series.
86. I enjoyed watching the entire X-Men series.
85. I didn't buy the pink Swifter.
84. Americans' obsession with the Royal Wedding. It's like 1776 never existed!
83. I actually have found some joy in painting my finger nails.
82. The H&M shopping-spree Brandon gave me for my birthday.
81. I got portraits taken for the first time since ... I was a kid? Thanks, Lissa!
80. My neighbor can hear me singing my songs.
79. Mindy's Month of Merriment - why haven't I been doing this my entire life?
78. The neighborhood peeping Tom
77. They wouldn't fire him.
76. He was given full-time hours.
75. I can smell what Shurlana smells.
74. Someone can be setenced 431 years for a crime.
73. Someone who has killed over 30 people has only three life sentences.
72. HOW FLAMING HOT the Bountiful temple was.
71. How to cool off in the summer
70. Stayed at the parents for a week
69. He showed up to the softball game.
68. My arm circumfrence is one inch smaller than Mike's.
67. I finally found a matching pink stapler and tape dispensor.
66. How pen bodides can flyyyyy.
65. How horrible the softball team was.
64. After going to Lagoon once in the last 15 years? I went twice in one week.
63. I finished that hell-forsaken summer challenge.
62. I didn't buy a AC window unit.
61. He didn't even recognize it was my birthday.
60. His continued indifference.
59. He called.
58. Scott likes me now. Weird.
57. Booting for non-current car registration is possible.
56. Her crasiness!!!
55. The day I couldn't remember how to spell paid. {Payed!?}
55. Aggies against Auburn.
54. I cried when Spencer left.
53. D's V-neck
52. Her FB status.
51. She rejected his date offer.
50. I was featured in a magazine.
49. Her power trip.
48. Who asked me out. Goo.
47. I got along with him for six months.
46. That person's parachute didn't open while skydiving.
45. I now own colored skinny jeans.
44. She dated him again.
43. The only plane I got in this year, I jumped out of.
42. Ward drama.
41. I found out every place I could take a pregnancy test in Logan, Utah.
40. I about passed out after the dentist.
39. The client's comment about how I was going to have sexual relations with a male co-worker. Haha!
38. She yelled at me and was feisty.
37. He is a two-timer.
36. He tried to blame me for being a two-timer.
35. She tried to end her life.
34. 52 flippin' degrees in December! Hello, Spring. :)
33. Jerry Sloan retired.
32. President Fifield's facial hair
31. The blah-stint of USU basketball.
30. What happened/didn't happen at his house.
29. It changed our friendship forever.
28. He didn't notice.
27. Spencer left. :(
26. She agreed to visit teach.
25. The Penn State's fiasco.
24. Achilles miraculously healed. Temporarily.
23. His lie.
22. DI does not wash their clothes before putting them on the floor.
21. How she just doesn't do her callings.
20. I'm a homewrecker, apparently.
19. I made lunch for 66 people. Those fed survived. And more importantly, I survived.
18. Surgery for a stress fracture ??? SERIOUSLY!?
17. We really don't talk anymore.
16. My brother moved to St. George. :(
15. JH knew about BFF all along.
14. USU football had three wins in a row.
13. USU football had four wins in a row.
11. USU football had five wins in a row {first time since the 70's}.
11. USU football went to a bowl game.
10. Wayne Newton is still alive. Really??
9. Casey Anthony was found innocent.
8. I am still not married. 
7. The engagement
6. He didn't tell me. He didn't tell me.
5. He actually married her.
4. Osama bin Laden was captured.
3. The perfect timing of when they ran into each other.
2. He didn't want to try. He wanted to give up.
1. He did give up.
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