Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christians are Christians, no matter what! And I'm never going to Dan's house again!

I met Lloyd Nolan Westbrook II a couple of months ago. Some people in our singles ward were getting together for the night. A few of us were talking around the table and he came and joined in. He was funny, outgoing, black (that will be important to remember in a minute) and really easy to like! And he had the best smile, a Kool-Aid smile! It was contagious!
He was not a member, but he was really good friends with another guy in our singles ward so he came to lots of activities. He was the kind of person that made you want to be better, to laugh and love more.
On July 4th he drowned in the river. Our singles ward got together and wanted to do something for the family. They allowed us time during the wake to sing a hymn.
From the moment we went into the church I felt awkward. We kind of stuck out. A bunch of white Mormons taking up the front two and half rows was probably the last thing people expected at the New Hope Kingdom Church. But there we were. They opened with a hymn. It was a joyful hymn! Amen's, Hallelujahs and Praise the Lord's were shouted. And then there were the Mormons, not knowing the words to the song, not shouting praises. I felt like everyone was judging us. {Now my daddy is from Mississippi and in his momma's ward there is one convert that still 'Amen's and 'Hallelujah's during Sacrament meeting. That's not important, I just wanted to let you know.} But I've never been asked to do so. It made me feel weird. Not weird at what was going on, but weird that I didn't know how. Weird that I couldn't let go and join the Hallelujahs. Weird that I was a Mormon and everyone was staring at us, or at least it felt like they were.
We were first up. We sang Be Still My Soul. I LOVE that song! However, it sounded soooo depressing compared to their joyful song. I felt like that woman in mourning, you know, the one who has the black veil over her head with the black dress, black gloves holding a wet tissue. After we sang they opened it up to everyone to say things about Lloyd. Everyone told how awesome he was, how he had brilliant and crazy ideas, and how he had the best laugh! Then people from the ward started getting up. They told how great it was we could see him again and how he is doing a great work! During the first couple ward members I sank in my seat. We stuck out like sore thumbs.
Then, I had an epiphany! Christians are Christians no matter what. Kinda like the Dr Seuss's book. Some people praise their Maker vocally. Others do it in their hearts. But we all believe in Christ. We all knew that we would see Lloyd again. We all knew that Heavenly Father is watching over us and loves us. After that, I felt less weird and awkward. I felt united and strong!
Now, for never going to Dan's house again. Monday, my friend, Michelle, and I went to the beach in Rigby! It was super fun!!! Until we got home. I got the worst sunburn I have ever had. Both my shoulders are completely covered in nasty yellow blisters. Before work today I couldn't stand having a shirt on. But shirts are requirements if you want to continue to enjoy gainful employment. So I prayed and came up with the most brilliant idea! It was the seam on the top on the shoulders of the shirt that was bothering me, so I put socks on my shoulders under my shirt. Yes, it looked like I had shoulder pads. And yes, it looked like my shoulder pads were a little lumpy. But I could stand my shirt being on so they stayed. And they stayed on during the wake. Well, after the wake I was trying to make my way out. Dan (the one whose house I met Lloyd at, and he has get-togethers there often) was in front of me. The line out had stopped moving and I was talking to the people next to me. Someone said to just push through, but before I could, Dan moved and I was able to get through. I patted Dan's back! He turned around and here's what happened
Dan: Was that you?
Me: Yeah.
Dan: I've met you before, right?
Me: Yeah, I've been to your house.
Then Dan tried to reciprocate the pat, only he did it with a man's strength......on my shoulder.
Me, being awkward and trying not to cry, turned and walked out quickly.
So, Dan! I will not be coming to your house ever again. The reason why I left was not because I was overcome with grief, or because I really am that weird and leave crying while I'm talking to people. Its because you smacked my sunburn. So there! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Not polygamy, just sister wives!

Remember that episode of Everyone Loves Raymond where all the couples choose who their spouse will marry if they kick the bucket? It happened to me, but in a cool way :)
So J.Goss got sentenced to the marriage graveyard last year. While we were roommates we would always joke about polygamy and becoming sister wives. Well, yesterday she told me that she informed her hubby that if she dies first and I'm still single, she wants him to marry me. Not because she actually wants me to be married to her husband (that would be weird) but we just really want to be sister wives!
His response? "That's weird. We're not even attracted to each other. But ok, if its what you want."
Usually when we are all together this is how she starts things off: "Hubby, I'm going to tell Courtney about {insert title of crazy story} so don't try to stop me." So he just goes with the flow of it now!
Moral of the story: I've been proposed to by wife nĂºmero uno.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stuck in the bowl

Friday night I watched my niece and nephews! Some great times were had, and many things remembered that I can embarrass them when they are teenagers :)
Missy Blue Eyes needed to take a bath so I had her get in the tub while I got her brothers ready for bed. She called me in a few times, like to get her body wash open. Well, one time she called me in and this is how the conversation went:
"Courtney, I'm ready to get out."
"Ok, then get out!"
"I can't. I'm stuck in the bowl."
"Do you mean stuck in the tub?"
"No, stuck in the bowl."
Then she raise up one side of her bum, and there was a bowl! Stuck on her bum!
Of course, I told Delicate Rose to hurry in and see it! We laughed SOOOOOOOO hard.
"Missy, how did you get that stuck on your bum?"
"Well, I was sitting on it, and then I tried to pull it off and the harder I pulled the tighter it got."
She pulled one more time and it came off! I asked her if we could tell Swiper (Delicate Rose's suiter). She said no.
After she was dressed, she came to Swiper and said, "I'm ready to tell him!"

While Missy was bathing, Delicate Rose, Swiper, Bubba and I were all talking in the kitchen. Swiper asked who my boyfriend was so I said it was Bubba. Bubba had that thoughtful look in his eyes and then agreed. Best boyfriend I've ever had. He kept giving me hugs and saying how much he loved me. Later when he called Grandma and told her we were dating, we had to have talk about how we are just pretend dating, and we don't really date our aunts. Not sure he quite gets the pretending part, but as long as I get flowers its whatever! 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Greatest fears

On Biggest Loser this week it was Face your fears week. And I have many fears. Many, many, like lots! But one surpasses all the rest. Any guesses? There are the normal ones, like heights (yes, I laughed when Jackson screamed like a girl when he fell), small spaces (Gina thought she was gonna die - she didn't), rats, spiders, germs. I could handle all of those at the same time. The one thing I am totally, completely, 100% afraid of is prosthetics. Yes, I am scared of fake appendages. There. I said it. They are unnatural, and creepy, and give me nightmares. No joke. One time I dreamed I was in a wrestling match with someone with fake legs, and then their arms turned fake, and then their head turned fake. It was probably 15 years ago that I had the dream and I still remember everything about it. When I woke up I had to turn on all the lights in the house and I sat in the living room trying to distract myself with TV but to no avail.
So, where does one get such an outrageous fear? I have a theory. And its pretty plausible. When I was little my mom watched The Fugitive (the TV version) and of course the guy with the fake arm kills the doctor's wife, using his fake arm. So gross. Oh, and that part when he goes into the prosthetic clinic with all the arms and legs everywhere. Oh. My. Heck.
This fear has the potential to hurt people. And it has. When I was little, I was jumping on the trampoline with my friend Angie. I was like all, "Aren't people with fake legs and arms scary!" and she was like "No." What! Yes, they are. A little while later I saw her Grandma at her house and guess what. She was missing an arm. Oops! 
Have you guys watched the news? You know the blade runner? He is charged with murder and this drastically reinforces my fear. Well, last weekend, Chief Navajo Jack, and I were in SLC. At breakfast the TV's were on the news and they were talking about the blade runner. I was saying stuff like, "Of course he did it. He doesn't have legs," and so on. Well, we got back to the hotel room and were all getting ready. Delicate Rose went to put on her shoes and only found one. So she tried another pair, but only found one of the shoes. We all took inventory and every pair (except my red high heels that were still in  my suitcase) only have one shoe. We looked everywhere. Finally, Chief Navajo Jack found them under the blankets in his bed. He told us it was a one-legged ghost that was mad at me. Seriously. What a goober.
So my branch president is Prez Merrill. He's a cool guy. But in my attempts to not become Relief Society President I always say that I'm scared of Prez. One time Delicate Rose asked why I was scared of him and I said it was because he is bald. So that's what I always say now: that I am scared of Prez because he is bald. Completely not true, but it works. Well, our branch is joining up with other branches and we are becoming a ward. Tonight I asked Delicate Rose if she thought Prez would be the new bishop, she replied no, I asked if it was because he was bald, and her response? "No, its because he has a fake leg." Before I knew it, I let out this shreeking, someone-is-murdering-me kind of scream. Scariest .8 seconds of my life. I don't know if I can honestly go to church on Sunday now. I can't be near him. I can't just look to see if she is joking because what if she isn't. Such a predicament.
Disclaimer: I fully acknowledged that this is an illegitimate fear. There are millions (millions? probably millions) of people that can live full lives because of prosthetics and it is in no way their fault for missing body parts. And just like people with all their arms and legs, most of them don't kill people. I have tried to stop thinking "It was them!" every time I see one. So I'm making progress. Baby steps, right?  

Monday, January 28, 2013


So how does one get a nickname like Cohortney?? Well, I will tell you!
I met someone brilliant and genius!! She goes by the name of Jocelyn. Well, naturally she desperately wanted to marry Jon Gosselin so her name would be Jocelyn Gosselin. So of course I developed her name into J.Goss. Its just what she goes by now!
So J.Goss is in the social sciences so she is always talking, learning, studying, debated about cohorts. In her efforts to one up me (which is near impossible), she wanted to come up with a great nickname for me. One day it just happened. It was natural and normal and its what I go by now.
"Hello J.Goss!"
"Well, hello, co...hort...ney!"
And the rest is history.
P.S. what happened to leaving comments and validating me? I can see all of you looking at my blog. Leave some love! Public thanks to M.Mads (that's you Melanie!) for always validating me :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Yesterday, I created a whole new level of the stomach flu. You know how I like to share every part of my life, well here it is: I puked all day.Seriously. Just thinking about it makes me want to hurl. Again. Did you know that it feels better to throw up when you actually have something is your stomach. I, for one, didn't really know that before yesterday. But its a true story.
Anyway, the point: I was super duper sick! Sometimes it takes major disasters or lots and lots of vomit to remind me how amazing my family is. Mom: This darling woman took care of my all day. She brought me food even thought she knew I was just going to barf it up, let me rest my head of her lap and played with my hair, didn't say anything when she and Dad heard me violently ralphing while they were in the next room eating dinner,  bought my Gatorade, and stayed home from Ward Temple Night so I didn't have to suffer alone, ALL while she wasn't feeling so great herself! Thanks Mom!
Dad: He let me have Mom on his day off, didn't wake me up when I finally got to sleep even though he had a very important question, and called the home teacher "in the middle of the night" so he could help give me a blessings (you know, middle of the night for old people). Thanks Dad!
Stephanie: Oh sweet Stephanie! At 10 last night she knew I was tired of laying on the couch watching Boy Meets World. So she had me move to couch upstairs and we watched The Office on her lap top. Watching old episodes she had already seen with her barf-tastic sister was probably not her idea of a fun Friday. But she did it anyways. It meant so much! Thanks Steph!! Oh, I mean Delicate Rose!
And I know Ben, Max, and David would have done the same thing if they had been here ;)
Since we are already on the nasty subject, lets take it a step further. Wanna know the worst puking story ever (worst puking story ever only if you are Mom)? Well, I'm gonna tell it to you anyways! In February we went to Disney World. Well, on the very last leg of of our long trip home we were flying from Salt Lake to Idaho Falls (45 minute flight). Mom and E were sitting next to each other, and I was sitting across the isle from them. Mom had fallen asleep and E was coloring. Soon, she stopped, and was staring off. I told her to turn off her light and sleep. She told me she wasn't tired. A couple minutes later she was doing the same things so I told her again. She didn't like that, so she turned her back to me and was facing Mom. Pretty soon, that right, she puked right onto her sleeping grandma. When Mom woke up she hurried and grabbed the barf bag, but E missed. The flight attendant quickly came with a big garbage bag, and guess what. E missed again. Luckily, E's Dad switched spots with me so I didn't have to help clean it up. Best part of the flight? Defined when E's brother, C said "Emwee's fwo up smews wiwwy bad" (Emily's throw up smells really bad!). Truer words have never been spoken. Thanks C!  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Single and Mormon

"I had it all mapped out in front of me, knew just where I wanted to go. But life decided to change my plans, and I found a mountain in the middle of my road. I knew there was no way to move it. So I searched for a way around. Broken hearted, I started climbing, and at the top I found every fear, every doubt, all the pain I went through was the price that I paid to see this view. And now that I'm here I would never trade the grace that I feel, and the faith that I find through the bitter sweet tears and the sleepless nights. I used to pray He'd take it all away. But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak.
I never dreamed my heart could make it. And I thought about turning around. But Heaven has shown me miracles I never would have seen from the ground. Now I take the rain with the sunshine, cuz there's one thing that I know: He picks up the pieces along each broken road. Every fear, every doubt, all the pain I went through was the price that I paid to see this view. And now that I'm here I would never trade the grace that I feel, and the faith that I find through the bitter sweet tears and the sleepless nights. I used to pray He'd take it all away. But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak." (she's awesome!)
I know I used this song in my last post of my old blog. Can you tell I like it?
Anyway, back to being single in the very un-single Mormon culture. Every little girl has a picture of how they want their life to turn out. For me, this is how I saw it: I would go to college, barely slide by, have a stunning young prince come sweep me off my feet, get married and drop out of college, make cute little mini us's, and play house for the rest of my life. I truly believed, and hope this is how it would go. But when I got to college, everything started slowly changing. First, I realized barely sliding by not for me. I LOVED college. I could feel the power of the knowledge that was being poured into my head and heart. Some days I felt like a full sponge, like I couldn't possible absorb another ounce of knowledge, and yet the more I learned the more I yearned to know more. I finally chose a major: child development. That major is HUGE at BYU-Idaho, mainly because most Mormon girls had similar ideas of how their lives would go, and they assume this fits into their plan. But that's not why I chose it. I chose it because I was passionate about it. I love the theory behind learning and language and play and motor skills. It was just so empowering. I have never tried illegal drugs, so I can't say it was better than ecstasy. But I can say it was better than Oxycodone!
There were many stunning princes all around me. One in particular was named Matt (no, that's not his real name!). He was so good to me. I remember one day I was just having a really bad day. It was at the end of the semester and everything was just going terrible. I was supposed to go over to his apt for fhe. I walked over to his large apt complex and saw everyone playing out on the lawn. He saw me and I could see how excited he was to see me. All of a sudden everything hit me. I realized that in 4 short days he would go home to Alabama, and I would go home to Pennsylvania. We both had jobs at home for the break. We made plans to see each other, but it wouldn't be the same. I lost it! I started bawling uncontrollably. Luckily, I was still like 50 yards away from him. So I quickly went into the stairwell and continued to bawl. I could see he was looking for me. But I didn't want everyone to see me crying. He texted me, and I told him someone called and I would be there in a minute. I ended up just going home. Soon, he came over to my apt and asked what was wrong. Anyone that knows me knows that is a pointless question to ask. So he just held me. I continued to cry, and he told me everything would be ok. It was then that I realized how much I loved this guy. Well 4 days did go by as fast as I imagined. We had quite possibly the most epic departure BYU-Idaho has or will ever see (but that's for another post). I went home, and after a series of events, I learned that Matt was not my one and only, my soul mate, my eternal companion. He was amazing. I knew that he would make me happy, and that we could enjoy a wonderful life together. But something deep inside told me to wait. So I listened.
I'm still waiting for my right guy. Some prospects have floated in and out, but its always the same answer: someone else is for you. Some days its draining. I can't remember where I heard it, but someone said marriage is like a jacket. Everyone that has one is telling you how amazing and wonderful it is. They constantly tell you to get one. But you don't know where from where to get one. You look everywhere, but you just can't find one.  
But everyday is not misery. It could be if I let it but I choose to be happy now. Wanna know one of my favorite parts of being single? I get to choose where my money goes. I don't have little mouths to feed, growing feet that need shoes, or, lets be honest, even rent to pay (thanks Mom and Dad!). I'm about to buy a Nissan Muarno and I don't have to ask for anyone's permission. I'm going to SLC for a couple days and I don't have to consult with anyone, move $$ around to budget the expense, or even find a babysitter. Sounds like a good deal, huh? For today, I think so!
This doesn't mean that I have given up on marriage. I don't sit at home eating brownies out of the pan (most days). I know that I will get my jacket someday. Until then, I'm enjoying this life I have created for myself!
That's what it means to be single and Mormon for me.