My Story: 9th Grade/10th Grade


9th Grade!  This was the year I met my husband, Juice.  Yes.  It’s true.  We have known each other for, what, 16 years now?  Today I’m reposting something I wrote several years ago about the night we met.  And tomorrow, I’ll (hopefully) go through the rest of the year.

It was 11 years ago today (New Year’s Eve) that Juice and I met. Our church was having a youth dance. It was going to be my first one ever (you’re not allowed to go until you’re 14). All of my friends had been going to them all summer and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I was obsessive about writing in my journal at the time so I know exactly what was going on that day.

I was mad at my friend Jordan because he didn’t want to go with me to the dance. I really liked Jordan but he was not Mormon and I don’t think he really wanted to go to a Mormon dance. MusicMan, my brother, had to drive me to the stake center (which was just up the road) and we were late. As always. As I walked in, all of my friends were there and hanging out in a big circle. Kristie ran up to me to tell me that D had brought some boys that we didn’t know. That was a big thing since these dances are organized by stakes (a group of congregations in the same area, if you will) and you can only dance with the same boys so many times. Apparently.  Kristie and I walked up to the circle, introductions were made and a slow song started. Juice turned to me and said, “You’re tall. Want to dance?” Of course I said yes and was probably happy I was tall for the first time in a long time.

Through the course of the evening, Juice and I danced almost all of the slow songs.  Juice and I also played on the giant twister board that they had set up in another room of the church. The end game came down to me and Juice, and he beat me only because I was very embarrassed about so close to him. He gave me the candy he won in front of everyone. I remember offering some to Melanie and she hissed “NO! He gave it to you! Keep it all!” I think I still have a wrapper of the starbursts taped in my journal. He danced the last two dances with me. Kristie (being a very good friend at the time) gave him my number because I was too shy to do it myself.

Little did I know that Juice did like me because I was tall, and pretty. But did he like me enough to remember my name from that night? No. He had to call around and ask who I was before he could use my number. In Juice’s journal, he mentions me as the “pretty tall girl I danced most of the night with” and that’s it.

He did call me a few days later and we got together with friends and played Pictionary in my basement. Juice and I soundly beat Melanie and Max (his best friend, also at the dance that night) and we even slaughtered them at Charades. I think we hung out once more and then didn’t see each other until September that year. I was still in junior high and he went to high school.

My 10th grade year I don’t remember hanging out with him very much. I liked him a lot, but so did a lot of other girls. At the beginning of my junior year, he asked me to Homecoming [see above picture] (my first date!) and hung out every day after that. Okay, not EVERY day, but it was close. We were off and on dating until he went on his mission. I wrote him in Germany, and didn’t see him until a few months after he got back. We were both at BYU by then (my junior year again) and within 2 weeks of school starting, we were looking at rings together.

We were engaged on Nov 2, and 10 months later, married on Aug 4, 2001.

All together now…aww….


My Story: 8th Grade


In English this year, I was determined to have one friend to talk to. I picked English because, well, I did the work in record time and knew I would have some time for talking and note passing. So when we sat down, I turned to the girl behind me and asked a simple question: Do you want to be my friend?

I think I surprised her. I surprised me with my boldness in asking. It was VERY uncharacteristic of me to do that. But I did it. And honestly, I believe this was a turning point in my life. It was because of this friendship that the rest of my life changed. Mel and I became fast friends quickly. So quickly, I have no recollection of the awkward becoming best of friends phase. We just were.

It was because of Mel that I started liking going to church again. In my church, we are split geographically and stay within those boundaries. But I hated my ward and the girls in it. I felt like an outcast. So when I went to church one Sunday with Mel, I felt at home. She introduced me to all her friends, who in turn became my friends.

age 13 1993

We hung out with Kris mostly, and the 3 of us were best of friends. School was more manageable. Church (at their ward which my parents allowed me to attend every week) was good. I rode my bike everywhere. I was starting to get the hang of Utah.

And according to my journal, this is where I became COMPLETELY horse crazy.


PS- Cool picture of my brother and I at Christmas:
Christmas 1993

7th Grade: Big Changes


I’m recording my youth one year at a time on Thursdays. Follow along at Mommy’s Piggy Tales!

My 7th grade year was the start of many things.  It was supposed the start of middle school for me in Colorado.  My 2 best friends and I had our schedules worked out that we had things like lunch and PE together so we could talk.  We toured the school one day.  I was pleased to see a big open courtyard with places to sit and lockers!

1st day of 7th grade 1992

But instead, we moved.  We moved to Utah and lived with my grandparents for awhile.  My parents and brother were downstairs, and I slept upstairs in the room next to my grandparents.  I had a big bed and an old fashioned alarm clock with bells on the top.  Every morning when it woke me up, I thought it was charming.  Kind of a nice thing to wake up to!  I also had a really old black and white tv in the room that I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle on every morning while I was getting ready.  It was the only thing on at 5am besides the news that the tv would pick up.

I started a new school knowing no one but my brother.  This was the first time we were in the same school since I was in 2nd grade.  My very first class was reading.  It was also my homeroom.  While in homeroom, our teacher took roll.  She asked us to tell us our elementary school so she could write it down on the list.  When my turn came, I answered here and gave her the name of my elementary school: Cherry Drive.

“Cherry Drive?  I want your school not your address,” she said this with a lot of scorn.  The whole class laughed and I turned BRIGHT red.

“Cherry Drive Elementary School is where I went.  It is in Colorado.  I’ve just moved from there.”

“I’ll have to check on that.”  I could tell she was displeased.

Once reading started, she gave us a reading aptitude test.  She said that this is what they give to college kids and didn’t expect us to finish it at all.  She would also take it with us because she found it was helpful to keep up on her skills.  The test was simple.  It was green and multiple choice.  You had to fill in the little bubbles with your #2 pencil.  I flew through it.  I hit a question somewhere in the 200’s and had to stop because there was no more to do.  I raised my hand and kept it up for awhile before she noticed me.

“Yes?”  She didn’t even come over to my desk to not disturb the class.  They all looked up and looked at me.  I remember feeling silly because I was wasting their test time.

“I’m done.”

“You can’t be done.  I’m not even done.”

She got up now and stormed over to me.  She grabbed my paper, and looked through it.  Then she looked down at me and asked, “Who did you cheat from?  You can’t be done!”  She stormed off with my paper in hand and I slid lower into my desk.  I pulled out a book from my bag to read and got yelled at for that too.  So I put my head down and tried very hard not to cry.

Turns out I tested at a college reading level.  But I think I upset the teacher so much she didn’t report it or move me into the advanced class.  I was stuck in regular reading.  The class did get better when the teacher was in a car accident and hit her head on the windshield of her car, causing her to be in the hospital for a long time.  The school called a substitute.  A brand new teacher.  I ignored her, flew through the books and assignments, and spent the rest of the time reading very large books about horses and writing letters to my friends in Colorado.

Things kind of hit bottom this year for me and stayed that way.  School was awful.  The kids were awful to me.  The teachers were angry and bored.  I was taller than almost everyone in my school, except for my brother and a few other 9th graders.

Christmas 1992

grandkids at 40th anniversary Oct 1992

There were a few good things about this year, though.  We had never lived close to any of our family.  And suddenly, we had both sides of the family to hang out with!  It was amazing.  We got to know our cousins.  I babysat a lot for “the little boys” who were my cousins several years younger than me.

Boutiful 4th of July parade 1993

It was nice to finally be involved in all of the activities and celebrations of a large extended family.

cousins at E ordination May 1993

Cousins at S baptism May 1993

I believe around Halloween time we moved into our own house close to my aunt’s house. The one with the little boys. Those boys were obsessed with Batman and I spent many hours watching/playing Batman with them. We also ate a lot of microwave popcorn with real butter melted on it. Yummy! The middle boy asked me to marry him, when he was my age and I was his. Too cute!

This was also the year that I started writing in my journal a lot. And by a lot, I mean every single day. I have a lot of entries of how much I missed Colorado, how lonely I was, and how much I wanted a really good friend.  My first day of 7th grade all I put on the page was an enormous unhappy face.  On the second day?  3 words: worse than yesterday.

violin for Christmas 1992

age 12 1992

When the summer came I was desperate to get out of that jail of a school. (It had no windows…we used to call it the dungeon.) I spent a lot of time on my bike or in my room that summer, hoping that next year would be better!


6th Grade: A Rosy Year


Joining Mommy’s Piggy Tales and recording my youth. This year is 6th grade, 11 years old, and one great year!

age 11 1991

My 6th grade year was my most favorite year of school.  Oh 11th grade was really fun, and the first 2 years of college were amazing too.  But I always look back on my 6th grade year as my favorite.  Why?  A combination of things.  First off, there was my teacher.  Mr. B was amazing.  He thought that homework was a waste of time and didn’t give us any the entire year.  I learned so much that year. More than I ever remember learning before. And all without the homework! I remember him taking out a few of us to McDonald’s for lunch during school one day.  I can’t remember why (I’m sure we got 100% on a test or something) but I do remember it being a Friday.  A Friday during Lent because one of the girls got a fish sandwich and explained Lent to me while we ate.

6th grade class 1991

I remember sitting in the very back with my two best friends at the time, Janet and Amanda.  We had those awesome flip top desks.  I had my Trapper Keeper tucked under the desk in a little bar that was some kind of support.  It held my paper.  Janet and Amanda and I were on the last row.  Every other row had 5 desks to a row, but our row only had the 3.  And the 3 of us were inseparable.

6th grade graduation 1992

Mr. B was amazing.  I remember he brought in telescopes for us one day.  We were supposed to look at different amoebas.  We made our own slides and we were supposed to keep the solutions with the amoebas separate.  We (the three of us) accidentally mixed them up.  Then we found one amoeba eating another.  Instead of being angry at us, Mr. B had the whole class come and see what the amoebas were doing.  He was thrilled.  He said that some of the greatest scientific discoveries came because of accidents.  And I have never been afraid of having an accident since then.

6th grade grad 1992

Mr. B also took the whole class on a science exploration.  This exploration took us to Utah (remember, we were living in Colorado at the time) and the red rocks of Moab.  That was a great trip!  We spent some time in Zion’s National Park, as well as Arches National Park.  We had a big science journal that we had to record our findings for the 5 days we were there.  We found lizards, scorpions, bugs, flowering cactus, and a ghost town named Cisco.  That we kept finding.  And finding.  The class bought Mr. B a shirt with the town on it.

6th grade graduation 1992

Mr. B made all school exciting.  Learning was not just reading and taking tests, but activities through life.  Mr. B was who got me interested in being a writer when I grew up.  Mr. B made science fascinating.  He is the reason why I was almost a vet or a astronomer.  He was my favorite teacher.

in the Cherry Drive Choir 1992

I remember the rest of that year in a very rosy light.  I had some pretty great friends.  I spent long hours riding my bike through the neighborhood.  I played at the local lake (which, looking back, I was probably trespassing on) and climbed the cottonwood trees and fishing for crawdads in the stream that ran beside them.  I went sledding in the summer, and rode my bike to the Dairy Queen with Janet for 51 cent slushies every Friday.

There were a few bad spots in the year.  Like seeing Janet’s dog get run over by her sister’s bus.  And watching my dad get in a fight with some one’s dad about throwing buckets of water on us near the Cottonwood trees.  Watching another friend of mine fall out of a tree near the lake and break his arm.  My dad living in Utah with my grandparents because that’s where he could find a job. The dog eating my Easter basket loot.

Easter morning 1992

Fighting with my brother.  A lot.

Easter morning 1992

But I loved him a lot too. I think all siblings are like that.

But I remember being on the jump rope team with Janet.  Since I couldn’t do the big tricks everyone else could, I ran the boom box and their music.  A task I took very seriously.  I remember doing square dancing in gym and LOVING it.  I also remember dancing with a boy I liked at the time.  And when the gym teacher said we could have free dance, I actually asked the boy to dance.  He said yes!  And everyone else in our square danced with their partner too.  We all got green slips, which were a good thing.  We could turn in those slips at the office for a treat.

I remember spending a lot of time on my friend Cheri’s trampoline tucking blankets into our pants and pretending we were baby unicorns or pegasus. I also remember she had a great big round chair in her house that always reminded me of a nest. When I spent the night at her house, that’s where we liked to sleep.

For Christmas that year, all I wanted was books and a blow up sled. I think that winter I went sledding almost every day. I loved that double sled because my friends could ride with me too! We went sledding down the bank onto the lake that we were trespassing on. We went sledding down the hill on the other side of the lake and onto the brand new roads they were building back there. We went sledding at the park.

Christmas morning 1991

And of course, this year at Christmas we did our annual horse drawn carriage ride downtown to see the lights.

Christmas Carriage ride 1991

Christmas 1991

My 11th birthday that year was great. A few of my friends and I went to the miniature village. We had the whole place to ourselves. I don’t remember what we talked about, or what we did there. But I loved it.

11th Birthday Party 1

11th Birthday Party 2

11th Birthday Party 3

I think this year is very rosy in my mind because of what happened the next year.  Want to know what happened?  Come back next Thursday to find out!


PS- Click here to see pictures of last year.

My Story: 5th Grade


Joining Mommy’s Piggy Tales this week in recording my youth.

age 10 1990

My biggest memory this year was of my bed.  It was this year, when I turned 10, that I got a day bed with a trundle underneath it.  I loved that bed.  I remember getting to pick it out at the store.  It was a grown-up girl bed and I was happy to have it.  Plus it was so high off the ground!

the birthday bed Sep 1990

I used that trundle bed a lot.  My friend Cara who lived next door, came over often (my mom watched her while her mom went to work) and slept in it.  I had sleepovers at my house and my friends slept in it.  I used it to store my Halloween candy on.  Hidden from sight.  I hid a lot of things on that bed or behind it.

the birthday door Sep 1990

This was the year that I stopped taking dance lessons.  I think I gave my mom the excuse that tap dancing gave me a headache.  Nonsense.  And I’m sure she knew it.  Honestly, I think I stopped doing it because I knew I wasn’t great at it.  AND, my feet got too big to wear the little girl tap shoes and I needed to get tap shoes with heals.  I was NOT interested in wearing heals!  So here ends my dancing career.

last dance recital May 1991

That year I passed all the swim lessons my pool was offering and I joined the swim team.  And I was good.  I was fast.  I loved the water.  I could hold my breath a really long time.  And I was competitive.  I still have all my ribbons for the several meets that I went to.  I never got lower than 2nd place.  I remember having to be at the pool every day for practice.  I remember watching the bigger kids on the swim team try and fish out a boulder from the 10 foot end of the pool.  I guess someone threw it in there for fun late at night?  Whatever their reasons, it took 4 of the big boys to swim it to the top.  Then they dropped it and it sank faster than I thought it would.

on the Swim Team 2 July 1991

When it hit the bottom of the pool, a shock wave went through the pool and the ground.  You could hear it reverberating around the pool grounds.  Also heard, the swim team manager swearing.  He was worried that the boulder had damaged the bottom of the pool.  Aside from a huge white mark on the blue bottom of the pool, the pool was fine.  The boulder cracked into 3 big pieces though and the big boys were able to get those out with some difficulty.  And swearing.

on the Swim Team July 1991

They also fished out a lot of dead mice and rats and even a couple of rabbits who saw the pool as a water source and fell in.  One day, we got there and saw a mouse still swimming in the water, desperately trying to get out.  The pool manager got out his long net on a pole and fished the mouse out.  He put it in the bushes where it promptly died.  I used to wonder why the mouse died after it had been saved but now I think I know.  But how do you explain to a 10 year old about feeling relief at being rescued and stopping to struggle with anything?

I remember doing a lot of fishing and hiking with my parents that year.  I was still very active in girl scouts and had been camping with them several times.  I believe this is the year that my dad came along to our week long camping trip and told his famous (to us anyway) ghost story about Ben De La Tour.  There was a tiny cabin (that we had found earlier in the day) with a stove and a headless person involved.  Screams were heard.  Sleep did not happen that night for several of the girls in the camp.

Mt. Evans 1990

Or maybe this was the year that I had strep throat and spent most of my time sleeping in my dad’s tent on his futon he brought along.  I didn’t know I had strep throat until I got home.  But I did miss out on a lot of hiking and campfire stuff that year.

Or maybe they were the same year?  I can’t remember.

Also this year was the year that I went to Canada for the first time.  My grandparents took my cousin Kathy, my brother, and me to Alberta.  I think my mom came along too?  My grandpa loved to drive (still does) and this was a very fun road trip for us.  We went to Banff and I fell in love with all the beautiful mountains.  I still remember what the view from our hotel room looked like, all misty and beautiful.

Nana & Grandpa Lake Louise Banff Aug 1991

And in the hotel, my cousin Kathy, who was 5 years older than me, met a few boys and she did a lot of flirting with them.  I took some careful notes that trip.  The hallway where we sat and talked to them was dim, the carpet was gray and purple flecked, and the boys both had glasses.

Nana Grandpa In Canada Aug 1991

While driving on this trip, I discovered that Canada has a lot of wheat fields too.  And there was also a full eclispe of the moon one evening.  I spent the whole time staring out of the window watching the shadow of the earth slowly cover the moon.  And when the eclipse was full, I remember looking out over the wheat fields we were driving past and seeing a very eerie light.  I’ve only seen one full eclipse since then and there’s always that same eerie light.

5th grade in school was the only time I ever got a pink slip.  A pink slip was a bad thing.  Bad enough to send you to the principle’s office.  And why did I get a pink slip?  One of the boys in the class was bugging me.  He was drumming his pencils and just being fidgety.  I finally grabbed his pencil and hit him over the head with it in hopes that he would stop.  Our teacher happened to be walking by at that moment and I got in big trouble.  I hated seeing that lower mark on my citizenship portion of my report card.  Because a pink slip automatically lowered your citizenship grade.

I also remember being asked to change classes at the very beginning of the year.  I was so happy to be in class with my friends that year.  And the first day of school, they asked me to move to another class.  Not only was I mortified (because my name wasn’t even on the teacher’s role and she thought I was in the wrong class) I had to leave my friends.  I did okay with the new class but it wasn’t a stellar year.

5th grade class 1990-91

The best part about school that year was that I won the Young Inventor’s competition at school. A lot of people made games for their mandatory entry. I couldn’t think of anything until about 2 days before. I had a dream that night, about my friend being cold on the play ground. She forgot her coat. So I unzipped mine, took off only half, and handed it to her. When she put it on, it was a full coat. And mine had become a full coat as well. I used that as the base for my invention.

the Buddy Coat May 1991

I won! My invention went to the state level. It probably would have won if I had a working model to send them, instead of a lot of fabric pinned on a teddy bear of mine. Still I think I got 6th or 7th place at state which was pretty amazing.

I had a lot of good friends growing up. There was always someone to play with. And my next door neighbor was at my house a lot still. A good group of girls.

the birthday table Sep 1990

And we spent a lot of time giggling that night, I’m sure!

the birthday slumber party Sep 1990

Christmas with my brother, MusicMan.

Christmas 1990


PS- Pictures are coming…just too late to get them tonight!

My Story: 9 Years Old


After the whirlwind of my 8 year old year, 9 year old seems to be a little calmer.

Travel: As always, we drove from Colorado to Utah to visit family in the summer time.  We always stayed 2 weeks.  We always stayed with my Nana, my mom’s mom.  I always slept in my mom’s old room that they called the Blue Room.  I loved how the rooms had names at my Nana’s house!  I think they still call that room the Blue Room even though I don’t think it’s blue anymore.

Welcome to Texas Nov 1989

For Thanksgiving that year, we drove to visit my cousins in Texas.  It was very warm in Texas that year…or was for my Colorado raised person!  I was used to wearing snow boots and heavy coats at Thanksgiving time.  But in Texas, we just wore short sleeved shirts and went jumping around in a fountain.  Outside!  In November!  It was a novelty.  This was also the trip that my dad was pulled over for speeding trying to get to my uncle’s house.  He was SO mad that the cop was being so slow at giving him the ticket.  We were very late getting in, and I think that was why he was speeding.  I hung out a lot with my cousin Elizabeth who was 2 years younger than me.  We were playing a computer game and I was wiggling a loose molar while I watched.  I loved feeling the gums pull on the tooth as I rocked it towards my cheek.  The bottom of the tooth felt very rough.  I remember running my finger along the bottom of that tooth and being excited about something on the screen.  I pointed really fast with my finger, and my tooth hit the computer screen!  It bleed a lot.

cousins in Dallas TX 11-1989

School: I honestly don’t remember a lot about school this year.  But looking at my class picture, 2 of my very good friends were in my class with me.  I was always a very good student and never had any trouble with anything…except for spelling.

4th grade class 1989-90

In school that year we had to make paper mache masks.  I remember mine got an award for being so creative.  See everyone made their masks in bright colors, or all black.  I took extra paper mache and gave my mask ears.  Then I painted it into a dalmatian.  It was very unique, looking back at it now.

Paper Mache dog 4-1990

Extracurricular: This was the year of my favorite dance recital.  My class did a jazz number to the song from “The Little Mermaid” which had just come out that year.  Our tutus could be folded in half and snapped at our waists so we had a little “tail” off the back.  We used that to shimmy our way through Under the Sea.  I still know some of the dance moves from that dance.

dance costume May 1990

Holidays: That year I was the Statue of Liberty for Halloween.  My Nana (the same one we used to stay with every year) went to New York for a vacation and came back with a crown and a torch for me from the Statue of Liberty.  So my mom made a frock (much simpler than the skunk last year!) and I put my hand to sleep holding up my torch.

Statue of Liberty Halloween 1989

Christmas that year brought me Molly, an American Girl doll.  American Girl had only been around for about 3 years, and they only had 3 dolls.  I loved that doll.  Our neighbor, Cara, had Samantha and we used to play with them all the time.  I got Molly because she had glasses.  But I think Samantha was my second choice.

Molly Christmas 1989

Christmas 1989

Journal: I don’t have much written down this year.  It’s mostly entries that say, “Too tired!  Love, Safire” and include a picture I drew.  I drew my room.  I drew me in bed with Nessie on the end of it.  I remember trying to hide Nessie in my room so she could sleep with me.  In my room, I had my old baby bassinet that held all my stuffed animals.  I used to put her in there and surround her with animals with high hopes that she would stay still in there.  It only worked once.  Even though I don’t remember much about that year, my most vivid memories are in my bedroom, writing in my journal.

age 9 sep 1989

Amazing the power of the written word!


PS- No pictures yet because Flickr and I are fighting.  Also, it’s late!  Come back later to see some pictures.

My Story: Age 8


I think being 8 was a big year for me.  First of all, 8 years old is when we are baptized in my church.  It’s usually a big day for kids in the church.  The only things I remember about it is that I had a HUGE cold sore on my lip so I couldn’t smile.  I also remember we went to Casa Bonita, one of my favorite restaurants, with some of my family for dinner.  I remember thinking it must be a big deal if my uncle came!

Another big 8 year old mark was starting a brand new school. They changed the boundaries of the schools and moved everyone 3rd grade and younger out of my first elementary and into the other elementary school in the area. Since my brother was older than 3rd grade, he stayed at the other school. And I started my 3rd grade year at the new school.

Luckily, I think most of my friends moved schools with me. I honestly don’t feel like it was a huge change for me. I do remember being happy that I had my own school, and didn’t share with my brother.

Another big 8 year old thing was that Christmas.

Why were my brother and I so excited to get down the stairs? For this sweet little girl:

We had dogs before. But we hadn’t had them for a few years. And I had been begging my parents to get a dog. We spent a lot of time looking at breeds and picked Cairn Terrier for the right breed for us. And this doggie was the best doggie! She lived for another 16 (!!!) years.

Another big thing for that year was our first Bronco’s game. I don’t remember much about the game (other than they had a horse on the stadium). But I do remember who they were playing. It was just a pre-game, but they were playing the San Francisco 49ers. Why do I remember this? Because my mom (who grew up in San Francisco) yelled out “Go 49ers!” And even as an 8 year old, I could feel the hostility grow around us.

I was a skunk for Halloween. Yes, a skunk. I have no idea why I wanted to be a skunk, but that’s what I was. Kudos to my mom for making this most awesome costume. I had to sit sideways in school all day long because of the tail. But it was awesome.

And yet ANOTHER big thing for my 8 year old year (seriously could it get any bigger?!) were my travels. First off: Utah! And cousins!

There were cousins from England joining us that year. B and C were just my brother and mine ages. We took them to Dinosaur State Park. C and I got dinosaur stamps. We also got pound puppies.  We also started writing letters for years after that.  I have a few of them tucked away in my journal from that time.  I remember being very impressed that C took horseback riding lessons and could jump a fence on her pony.  And thus started my obsession with learning to ride.

Next stop, Disneyland!

I have to say I don’t remember much about this trip. But I do remember a lot about our other trip.


Yes we were crazy lucky to go to both Disneyland and Disneyworld in the same year. I remember the trip to Disneyworld because my dad had some kind of work there. We flew there to meet him. My brother and I flew by ourselves. I sat in the middle of the plane, and MusicMan sat on the isle. A very nice gentleman sat in the window seat. He gave me his bread from the meal. He pointed out the city lights when we came into Florida. He made sure our dad was waiting for us when we walked off the plane.

When we walked out of the airport, a WALL of humidity hit us. My dad chuckled at our reactions. I honestly think this is the first time I experienced humidity.

My mom’s plane got delayed and she spent the night in some hotel in Kansas or something. It took her the entire next day to get to us which meant we had one less day in the park. Did MusicMan and I care? No sirree. Especially since the hotel had an AMAZING pool and we swam and went down the water slides all day long.

This is also the trip where my dad drank 17 glasses of water a dinner one night. And where he got up and belly danced with the belly dancers in the Moroccan food place. A classic family anecdote. I also had a little red camera at that time. My parents bought me 2 rolls of film. In the whole 2 rolls, I think I took an entire roll of pictures of birds. Like the little birds on the sidewalks. No idea why.

Being 8 is Great!


Happily joining Mommy’s Piggy Tales!  Click through to read more history.

My Story: When I Started Writing it All Down


This week’s writing assignment was about 2nd grade.  I was 6, turning 7 when I started 2nd grade.  My teacher was Mrs. Hagood and I LOVED her.  I think my brother had her for his second grade year and we were all very excited about me having her next.  I remember what the classroom looked like.  I remember my friends in the class.  I remember we had a pinata in the class and I was first to hit it.  I swung hard in the darkness (blindfolded) and made contact with something.  The pinata!  (And not a desk, like I thought at first.)  I broke it open.  I remember feeling very proud and sad at the same time.  Proud because I broke it open first.  Sad because now everyone else in the class couldn’t have a turn.  I think I gave away all my candy because I felt so bad.  Can you find me?

I think that was the year I was an American Indian for Halloween.

Christmas was a big deal that year.  For a few reasons.  1st reason: This picture:

You see, every year on Christmas my dad would drag us out some place and take a picture of my brother and I.  This Christmas, we drove up to the mountains and stopped at this bridge for this picture.  It was COLD.  I remember running out on the bridge, being freezing cold, snapping the picture, and running back to my mom with the coats.  Notice how my brother has got his arm around me?  We were both trying to stay warm.  Nice brother!

2nd reason:

I started writing my diary!

“Dec. 21, 1987

“I went to see Santa today.  I got a candy cane.  My frend, Carissa came to.  Me and Carissa played, and played and played, until we got tired.  We didn’t go to scool today.  Today this book came in the mail from my Nana.  This book was an early Christmas present.  I watched the little match girl on t.v.  I also watched Rudolph the red-nose reindeer.  We got more presents under our Christmas tree.”

(This is my Dad as Santa!  And this is also when I realized that my parents were Santa in our house.)

The diary had pink, yellow, blue and purple paper in it.  It had a lock and a key that I used to hide around my room.  In case anyone wanted to read the secrets of my life.  Like this one,

“Jan 20, 1988

A fiw days ago there was a bissrd.  The snow is all most to my kness.  I learned about nouns in school.  What is a noun?  A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or animal.  I went to Brownies today.  We painted our nails.  Missy was my partner.  Missy panted my nails and I painted Missy.  We had fun!!!”

Compelling stuff, these secrets.  This diary is the first of over 25 journals I wrote…most through my teenage years.  But more on those later.  We’re talking about 1987 here!

“Dec 22, 1987

I ratped a big present today.  Carissa came ovre today ugen.  Laura and Cara came today to babysit me.  I have blue eays and brown hear.  I have a blue and green nitgown.  My mom has yeloe hear and my dad has black hear.”

Clearly, I am a HORRIBLE speller.  But I was getting better at playing the violin.  I think I went up in violin size this year.  And I did a lot of practicing.

This year, like every year, we went to Utah for a vacation.  While we were there, we went fishing with my paternal grandparents at a trout farm.  I remember tossing the fish food into the pool and watching the fish swarm all over them.  I also remember realizing after this trout farm that I really don’t want to eat fish.

We also drove to San Fransisco with my maternal grandparents.  My Great Aunt lived there at the time and she had a pool.  In her back yard!  It was SO COOL!  I didn’t know anyone could have a pool in their back yard!  My cousin came with us that year and we swam every day, all day long.  I remember barely eating breakfast in my haste to go out and swim in the morning!

We also walked on the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was windy.  My grandpa walked on the bridge the day it opened.  And every time we go to San Fransisco, we have to walk on the bridge.


PS- Check out Mommy’s Piggy Tails for more blasts from the past!

More Old Pictures


Thanks to my Mom for being super helpful with this and scanning all these old pictures for me!

Mom, Brother, and me at Mt. Rushmore. I LOVED that outfit I was wearing. And I think my Mom had that coat for 10 years or more. She also always refused to zip it up.

Me advancing from Daisy Scouts to being a Brownie scout. Notice my sash has no badges on it. That was short lived. I had badges all down the front AND the back when I was done.

Here I am at the Flintstone Village thing. I loved Dino.

Me learning to play the violin. We were called the “Pre-Twinklers”.

Me and the girl from next door. We got these rocks from between our house. We then painted them, polished them as best we could, and then wanted to sell them. For 15 cents each. Would have been a steal.


My Story: 1st Grade


What do I remember about 1st grade?  I remember I was in Mrs. Duran’s class.  I remember feeling like she didn’t like me very much.  I remember not liking her very much either.  But I must have done okay in class, because my report card showed I had all S’s and H’s.  (Satisfactory and High)

1st grade class 1986-87

My biggest memory when I think of first grade in school is playing on the computers in the computer lab.  It was a dark corner room with no windows.  We had those big floppy disks to save our work on.  And when we got done with our work, we could play The Oregon Trail.  I loved being a pioneer, which reminded me of my own pioneer ancestors.  Also, there was a lot of tense moments to see if our wagon made it across the rivers without tipping or loosing our flour.

According to my documents, I lost 2 teeth that year!  In school!  I don’t remember this at all but in March and in May, both on the 4th day of the month, I lost a tooth.

That year my friends were Cara, the girl next door, and Missy, who was my friend in kindergarten.  We had a dog, Nicky, who was huge and white.  I used to feed him chocolate milk from a spoon in the back yard.

at Halloween 1986

I was a princess for Halloween that year.  I had a pink cone shaped hat that we got at the Ren Faire.  I got a bike with PINK tires that year for Christmas.  I got to ride my bike that morning.  The weather was beautiful that year.  My friend Cara from next door got an identical bike and we spent many hours riding around the neighborhood.  We also spent many hours painting and polishing rocks and trying to sell them on the side of the road.

on bike Christmas morning 1986

on bikes Christmas day 1986

Christmas 1986

For my 6th Birthday, we went horseback riding.  Even then, I was totally horse crazy.  I remember saying on my invitation to wear pants and not a dress.  One of my friends thought it was the other way around.  I remember riding with my dad on the horse and him fighting with the horse to stay moving away from the barn.  If I remember right, he had a hard time keep the horse trotting back to the barn.  We got a different horse for everyone else’s rides.

on horse 9-86

on tire swing 9-86

That summer was the summer my family went to Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota.  We ate horse meat while we were there.  I remember having some and finding out what it was.  I was horrified!  But also happy that I had buffalo meat as well.  (See above comment about being a pioneer.)  We also went to some kind of Flintstones Theme Park.  The car was always full of bugs and my dad was constantly yelling at us to keep the door shut to keep the bugs out.

That was the year I started Brownie Girl Scouts, dance, and violin lessons.

I was one busy girl!


PS-  This is part of a series I’m writing about my past in conjunction with Mommy’s Piggy Tails.  Click through to read other people’s histories!

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