Dear 2013 ...

Never in a million years did I think you would bring me all you brought.

Two trips to Disneyland, were much appreciated.

Losing Chuckie Keeton to a season ending injury was frowned upon.

Speaking of injuries, you handed me quite the doozy! The irate IT-band, tendonitis in my wrist, strained calf muscle and the injuries of all injuries this year, the horrid hamstring tear! 

On the first of January, I had no idea that in mere 21 days, I would be applying for graduate school and beginning in March. 

It appears St. Jude truly is the Saint of Lost Causes.

I met Glenn Beck and showed others how to follow the yellow brick road.

And I started grad school!? What were we thinking on that one, 2013?

I lived in three homes in 30 days and survived #temporaryhouse!

You threw in some really, really dark patches that left me broken. Yet, provided me with the loved ones and faith to mend the shattered pieces.

I made more mistakes than I ever would have wanted to, but I think I have learned from them. Hopefully they have made me a better person in the process.

I don't know what 2014 has in store, but I do know you gave him a grand set up for the potential of being the best.year.ever. And so, I thank you for that.

Farewell my friend, for you, I will be eternally grateful.


Mindy M. Thornley


They want you to die, don't they?

I don't know who the allusive "they" are ... but I am sure the people who invented Christmas shopping want ALL.THE.PEOPLE.TO.DIE.

Sure, I waited until December 17th to start my Christmas shopping, but that is beside the point. On that day, after two {maybe three} hours of Christmas shopping, I walked away with one gift.

The following day I braved the masses again for another two hours and walked away with one more present. Great, I thought, at this rate I will have my Christmas shopping finished by the 25th ... of January.

Maybe if I didn't wait so long to start my shopping, I wouldn't feel death was imminent from the daunting task. But {!!!} don't "they" know some people work full time jobs and are going to grad school? PLUS, I had thought about shopping earlier, but I had no idea what to get all the people on my list. Somehow, my mind can only come up with gift ideas five days before Christmas, which is actually saying something since last year I started my Christmas shopping on cough cough December 23 cough cough. 

While Christmas shopping this year {which I actually did finish on the 23rd}, I had several thoughts.

+ I contact my older sister in all Christmas shopping crisis situations. "Where can I find cute wrapping paper if Hobby Lobby is out?" "I cannot find the string! Where is the string!?" "Why is the scrapbooking section so large?" "Where can I find those little thingies that make an object 3D on a paper instead of flat?"  Her average response time: less than two minutes. I think this is why she was born before me. Can the world imagine what would have happened had I been the older sister? CHAOS.

+ I just wanted chevron paper. I loathe, loathe when I envision something in my head and then cannot find the tangible product. I think I went to five or six stores looking for it. Buuuut ...

 I finally found it. Even if I never did find the polka dot paper I wanted.

+ I finally got desperate at Walmart. I was carrying so many things in my hands that I had to find a shopping cart, I had to. But going back to the front of the store was inconceivable! Inconceivable, I say! I began looking frantically for an abandoned cart somewhere down some aisle and when that wasn't looking too hot for me, I considered stealing one from another shopper! Look what Christmas shopping does to you!

+ I never wanted to see 14-year-old love. But I especially don't want to see it while Christmas shopping. That pushes me in the general direction of "the edge".

+ And then Christmas music pushes me to said edge.

+ And Christmas music sung by Rod Stewart pushes me over that edge.

+ And once you are in a downward spiral from being pushed off that edge? You hide in a dressing room, rock back and forth and suddenly you will muster up the courage to make it through 30 more minutes of that horrific experience. And then you can return to a dressing room for more hiding once those 30 minutes have elapsed. 

And that, folks, is how well Christmas shopping goes for me. 

 How well does it go for you? ;)


Is it too late for a Christmas card?

I know, I know. Christmas was so yesterday. But! I am getting around to blogging about all things Christmas today. In fact, I actually won't get around to blogging about ALL the things today. The Christmas posts just are beginning today, which means you can thank ma later for extending your Christmas through ... January? Who knows when or where this will end.

I have never really been one for Christmas cards. My family never has been either. But everybody is doing it. And I just want to fit in. So, here is yours. Please, contain your excitement.

I'm glad Claire joined me for this photo. Otherwise, I was going to take a photo of myself by the tree and the caption would have had to read, "Merry Christmas from all of us!" That would have been funny, right?

P.S. I have been part of one other Christmas card. You can view that here. Claire made it, so it is super cool. 

And as far as the blog bombarding that will be occurring over the next few days, I think I will blog about Christmas, Christmas shopping, a Gingerbread House Walk and who knows what else. After all, I am on a two-week paid vacation from work and am not entirely sure what I am going to do with all of this free time. Do you guys have any ideas for me? ;)


Facebook Finds Friday

Guys!!!! Today is my last day of work before 12 blessed days off {and did I mention they were paid, because they are!!}.

There are no words adequate to express my gratitude for this Christmas miracle that comes around annually. Sometimes, it's better than Christmas itself. No lie. 

via Krystal
via Shurlana
via Melodie

via Jan
 This was was just too funny. Someone moved into their home only to find  37 clowns buried under the porch! Haha! #temporaryhouse whhhaat? You can go the the original story here.
via Shurlana
I think my favorite is either the girls crying over Instagram or the voice mail notification one because I loathe the notification!!! But I laugh every time I am reminded of the clowns.

Which one is your favorite?


If you would like to contribute to to Facebook Finds Friday, please either post it on my personal page or the Best.Day.Ever. page on Facebook. You may also email it at runaholic at gmail dot com. If you would like a link to be provided back to your blog, please provide a link.


Ugly Christmas Sweater Advent Calendar

At work, I am totally obsessed with countdowns.

When I first started working I had a countdown to the hours left of work, daily. It drove some of my co-workers batty.

As I got more used to working eight hours every day, I no longer needed a daily countdown. But I still made countdowns for days off or breaks {Thanksgiving, Spring, Christmas, etc.}.

This year {and let's be honest, last} I decided to bring the ugly Christmas sweater tradition to my Advent Calendar. 

I purchased adorable little clothespins at Hobby Lobby {I think}. I printed out an assortment of ugly Christmas sweaters from online and then laminated them for extended use. I mean, let's be honest, with how often I get my craft on {never!} I need the ones I do make to last!

I then used some fishing line attached to push pins, and hung the sweaters up on the line with the clothespins.

Each morning I come in, I take an ugly Christmas sweater off the line and am left with how many work days until Christmas!

If I was a true crafter, I would have knitted each sweater instead of just printing them off. ;)

P.S. In case you were wondering, there are less than five days until my two week, paid, Christmas break! Yipee! I can hardly contain my excitement!

What does your Advent Calendar look like?


Trying to grow your readership on your blog? I have the perfect solution, check it out.

And did you see I finally posted another Facebook Finds Friday? Which is your favorite?


Ad Space Giveaway

Hi, friends!

I have teamed up with a handful of adorable bloggers to offer you a great giveaway if you are trying to help your blog grow! 

Each of us will be giving away ad space on our own blogs! It is a fantastic way to get new traffic and readers to you! That way, when people visit us, they can be introduced to you and your blog! It's a pretty simple and easy way to get advertisement from six bloggers all at once!

Oh, Just Livin' The Dream // Dreaming About Someday // Pretty in Pink

All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter widget.

Let me know if you have any questions! :)


Facebook Finds Friday

Guys. It's Friday the 13th. 

Annnnnd ... nothing really special happens on this day. I feel like if we, as humans, as going to make a big stinkin' deal about Fridays and the 13ths that fall on the same day, something should actually happen.

Wellll ... I guess today something is happening. You are getting a Facebook Finds Friday! If that doesn't knock your socks off ... well, I am sure something else will, like, maybe a tornado. 

But enough about that ... let's get to the point of why you came here.

This was actually belongs to one of my friends. She decided to forgo the shipping option.

I am a little late on this one. But still funny. :)

via Nephew Two

When someone says I need to be more domestic to attract a husband.

via Claire

When all the cushioned chairs are taken at Church.

via Claire
 When asked to read something in Church.

via Claire
When your instructor is a little too peppy.

via Claire
 Craft nights. :)

via Claire
P.S. I have seen the second Hunger Games twice now and I have never read the books or even seen the first movie. Clearly that must be said because I just posted a GIF of Jennifer Lawrence. 

Which one is your favorite?

I think the Sarah McLachan takes the cake for me. :) Or the wedding ring one ... or the Florida one which was of temperatures across the nation this week!


Please consider making a donation to the Angel Tree program to help a child {or more!} have a great Christmas! You make make donation here.


Boredom is dangerous!!

I always told myself I would never, ever, under any circumstances go to graduate school.

I always knew I would get my bachelors, but that was good enough, right? I mean, people who went to grad school in Utah were either men ... or women who were doing it to prove something to themselves or to society.

And since I was not a man nor in any need to prove myself to anyone or anything, no grad school for me! 

The idea had crossed my mind for the past five years or so due to my line of work, though. If I had a masters, I could be making $10+ an hour more and doing the exact same job. Buuut, again, I wasn't a man nor did I have anyone to prove anything to, so undergraduate Mindy it would be.

That was until last January. I had previously finished my extremely time-consuming Church calling, which had occupied my time for two years. Once that was over, I began my Mitt campaigning, which had occupied my time quite well. After that first Tuesday in November, I began dating someone, which occupied my time quite well.

But then ... one day ... that boy turned out to be kind of a cheesehole. I found out of his grandeur cheesehole-i-ness on a Saturday. And on Monday when I was driving home from work, I realized I had nothing to do. No consuming Church calling, no Mittster and no guy I was dating {GID for short}. 

What could I do?

You could volunteer your time, I thought. But where? A Boys & Girls Club? Did Logan even have one? At the local humane society? I don't even like petting strange pets ...  And then the most dangerous thought of my life entered, You could go to grad school. I could? You could.

And with that, I started looking into schools the second week of January and filled out an application by the third week and was admitted several weeks later, ready to start my first semester of grad school in March 2012!

This was my first day of grad school! Now, don't be fooled, this was actually me right before I left for work at 6:50 AM. And when I returned from work I didn't attend classes, as my classes are all online. BUT!! I knew I would need a first day of school photograph to document such a ridiculous event that I was shocked I began!

I am currently halfway finished with my program and on Christmas break {just from school, not work}. And I am actually finding myself quite bored and given a beautiful reminder of why I started grad school in the first place: boredom. And that is not an exaggeration!

So, when people tell you boredom is an enemy or the root of all evil ... it's true! It just might lead you to doing things you never dreamt you'd do - like enrolling into grad school! 

And yes, that is Lionel Richie on my fridge. That is a great story for another day if you are interested. :)


I am raising money for an Angel Tree. Please consider donating.


And, I am raising Claire's dating pool. Please consider recommending all your top notch, quality, single guy friends here. ;) This is actually done in all seriousness. It has only been up two days and we are already arranging dates!


Angel Tree Giveaway

Hi, friends. :)

I have Cody here today. We are raising money for an Angel Tree and in the process, your donation puts you in a raffle to win lots of fun things!


Hey guys it's Cody from Catching Cody K. I can't believe that it is that time of year again. The time for Christmas, Santa and presents but not everyone get the opportunity to celebrate. Many people are having a hard time this Christmas and a relying on programs to help parents give their children gifts. Many programs like the Angel Tree. Angel Trees are usually found in major chain grocery stores and hold slips of paper with names of children who range from all ages. I adopted one several years ago and I was really happy to give back. This year James and I have decided to give back by adopting an angel tree. While although we have enough to sponsor a child, usually the child has a wish for a bigger ticket item like a gameboy or ipod. Unfortunately, James and I can't afford those items but would love to be able to give it. This is where I ask for your help.

Below is a giveaway filled with goodies for ONE winner. Inside the giveaway is an option to donate. No matter the amount you are automatically entered for more entries. The money from the donate will go 100% to help get the big ticket item for the child. I hope to not only raise enough for this child's big ticket item but also for another child too! Help me get there.


Cody // Blog // Twitter // Bloglovin // Facebook

Joanna // Blog // Twitter // Bloglovin // Facebook
Cassie // Blog // Twitter // Bloglovin // Facebook
Cassie // Blog // Twitter // Bloglovin // Facebook 
Mindy // Blog // Twitter // Bloglovin // Facebook

Help spread the word by adding this adorable button to your sidebar or posts! 
And don't forget to donate!


Undies in a wad ...

Do you know what I learned this week? 

I learned that people's undies get in a wad quite easily these days.

Do you know what causes people's undies to get in a wad?


Elves are horrible and should be burned, or so I have been told.

Apparently, they teach your children horrible things and go against everything a "good" parent should stand for.

Fact: I don't have an Elf on the Shelf. But if I did, his name would be Zart. ;)  I am not sure why I don't have one. I mean, sure, I don't have kids. But I bet Claire would like it. But I bet it would teach her horrific habits and overall poor life skills, so I better not. 

All I know is this, apparently, if I did have an elf, I would be judged. And judged hard. And I just cannot be bothered with that. 

From what I gather, this elf is indeed NOT Satan. I don't see how he is any different than Santa Claus, minus the fact that he is an elf and Santa is Santa, but I think you get my point.

So, elf on friends, if you choose to. And don't elf on if you don't want to .But it would be nice if you could stop being a Scrooge over an elf who is not Satan. Because if he is ::gasp:: Santa is too!

I don't know if I really want to end here, but I am pretty sure I have a grilled cheese burning on the stove, so this will have to do. ;) Merry Christmas, peeps! :)


Of these things I know to be true ...


+ Sprinkles don't actually taste good, they are just pretty.

+ Most adorable shoes hurt your feet.

+ M&Ms do melt in your hand.

+ The color pink doesn't actually exist. No reflection of light ever causes it to exist. It exists simply because of the shape of your eyes. 

+ Your best sometimes isn't enough, and that is okay.

+ People will make mistakes. People will disappoint you. People will cause you pain. Be as freeing with your forgiveness to them as you wish others would be with you.

+ People have been lying to you your entire life, gum digests normally. Swallow away, friends. 

+ You will never please everyone. You must decide who it is most important to please and let that be your aim.

+ Sometimes, your personal views and convictions will hurt others. 

+ People will judge the "internet" you. Sometimes they might be right. Often times they won't be. 

+ It is often times much easier to be silent than stand up for what you know to be right. Stand up for right anyway.

+ Conforming to what you think others want you to be never brings fulfillment. 

+ Comparison is a thief of joy.

+ Happiness is not a destination. It is a never-ending quest, but you will be as happy as you decide to be. 

+ Everyone has unspeakable heartaches, sorrow, grief and pain that you know nothing of. Be gentle. Be kind.

+ Claire is a komodo dragon.


Hello, December!

Thanksgiving was fabulous.

The overload of homework as my semester of grad school is ending ... less fabulous.

December sneaked up on me, and, oh, what a beautiful surprise!

I arrived home form my Thanksgiving vacation last night and couldn't help myself.

This happened. I made #octoberhouse look a lot like Christmas.

And now? Never mind that I should be doing homework. It is so much more fun to look at the beautiful ornaments, tree and decor in person and photograph than write a paper about the intricacies of autism, right?

What does your Christmas tree look like? :)

Sorry for the delay, but we have a winner for our Put A Bird On It Giveaway! Congratulations, Jennie! P.S. Another giveaway coming soon!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Recap of Thanksgivingfestivus coming soon ... And I realized I forgot to blog about a vacay in September. GRAD SCHOOL KEELS, guys. It does. 
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