Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FHE "Seminars"

So I got tricked into going to a dating seminar last night. It was disguised as Family Home Evening in my singles ward. I guess they probably announced that that was what it was going to be during the announcements that take twenty minutes during sacrament meeting. I tend to zone out, I'm not gonna lie. My friend twisted my arm into going. When I sat down and they started and I figured out what it was, I was tempted to get up and go. One thing I hate about single's wards is all the contrived ways to get people to date each other. It feels like a steel trap. But, I decided to stay, I mean, after all, I had already come and sat down. The speaker was actually pretty entertaining, and, as it turns out, very informative. I was indirectly informed that I do NOT know how to flirt. She started going on about all the ways women flirt and I came to the realization that I do NONE of these! Eye contact? Who makes eye contact with a guy they actually like? And smile at them? No way. And those are the two easy ones! One thing I have going for me is that she informed all the guys in the room that women do NOT flirt with the men they like. So if we are scowling at them, by all means, come and approach us because we like you. Oh, dating. Could it please be a little more difficult?

I have also been more directly informed that I am completely oblivious. When I got home, I called to catch up with my sister Shawna down at BYU, the land Bountiful. She told me she knew this guy who used to be in my BYU ward. Then she told me that he said he was totally into me back then but that I never gave him the time of day. Ok, this boy was a flirt and I figured he liked either my roommate or my roommate sister Alana. Besides I get all weird when I meet new people, and then he never talked to me, so I figured he hated my guts. Come to find out, none of those was the case. I just have blinders on. Like a horse. A blinded horse.

I guess it was a good thing this FHE was so "contrived." Now I can take off my pony shades and take a look around. And maybe I'll even smile at a guy that I am remotely attracted to rather than the weirdos I'm not afraid of.


Today is my sister's birthday. She would be turning 25. It is so weird to think about how fast time goes by and how much has happened since she passed away nine and a half years ago. Sometimes I wonder what she would be like and the kinds of things she would have accomplished by now. Would she have graduated from BYU? Would she have served a mission? Would she be married?

Anna and I were 13 1/2 months apart. Ever heard of same sex sibling syndrome? Yep. We definitely experienced that. Although we were always in competition with one another, we were eachother's champions. She was my best friend who I had to protect. We would walk home from school together and she would sing me the songs she was learning in choir. We would talk about the boys in her class that she liked. It was always kind of weird for me to see them walking around campus at BYU years later. We shared a room for years and spent a lot of hours laughing and talking. We went to camp together. We got SCUBA certified together. We drove my mom crazy and picked on poor little Alana. She would write me notes telling me things she couldn't say. We tried to compose songs together. We babysat our little sisters and brother all the time. We went to stake dances. We went to Young Women's together. We did the little girls' hair for school and church. We fought a lot but we loved eachother. We grew up together.

It's kind of funny. In my family, it seems that we celebrate Anna's birthday more than anyone else's. We do something bigger and make sure that everyone who is able can come. It is a time we celebrate the life of our sister we loved so well. Her short life has brought my family so much closer than we ever thought possible. I suppose that is her gift to us.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Park City

Lately, I have been itching to do stuff. Like, real stuff. My family does plenty of plain old stuff, but never do we do out of the house kind of stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love family dinners and get togethers at the house, but we don't seem to make as many memories as we would if we blew this town or went somewhere. I think Shawna lit this fire when she suggested we take a family vacation to somewhere other than Hurricane. Ever since, I have been a planning maniac. You should see the lists I make. Pretty impressive. Anyway, I decided that my mom's part of the family needed to get out of the house. We first were planning on going to Saint George and seeing a play at Tuachan but then decided that Park City was a better idea. Closer at least. Well, I don't think we could have picked a better weekend to go. The leaves are absolutely amazing. Like knock your socks off amazing. We played plenty of games, watched (slept through...old lady I know) a few movies, and took a look at the mansions my company builds. All in all, we definitely made some memories.A view overlooking Jordanelle and Deer Valley. This is what happens when I try to take pictures in a moving vehicle. It happened like six times. So I gave up and only started taking shots when we were stopped. I don't love blurry trees so much, I guess.
Spencer made dinner on Friday night. I never knew I would love Jimmy John's so much. They have delectable bread. We had French dips. He brought back my childhood.

Alana and Steve made breakfast on Saturday morning. They love to make breakfast. All I can say is that I love turkey bacon. My heck.
And just for the record, I was going to make dinner on Saturday night but everyone was too full from the sandwiches my mom insisted on making. I made the clam chowder yesterday and much to my surprise, it worked out and was delicious!!
Here is to family outings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bored. Bored. Bored.

Sometimes I get really bored at work. Like, really bored. I work as an office manager for a custom home builder. Since I started working here, we have mostly built second mansions up in Park City for out-of-towners. I really do a lot, not. I try to keep track of billing, pay office bills, order all sorts of stuff, vacuum, make appointments, look up stuff on the Internet, and the list goes on. If time equals money, then the most expensive thing I do it look up stuff on the Internet. That's pretty much what I do all day, to tell you the truth. You see, the building business has really retarded since the economy has tanked. Of course, there will always be rich people who have a couple mill to build a frickin' palace that they will visit for a few weeks during the year. But, most people are hanging onto their money for now. Except for me, I seem to be spending money like there is no tomorrow. But that is neither here nor there. The point is, I find of a lot of really funny things on the web. Some things make me laugh so hard. I have found some blogs that I love to visit - they belong to perfect strangers. If they only know how hilarious I found them, and didn't think I was a creep. But hey, it's on the Internet, in the public domain, right? I wouldn't think you were a creep, so why should they? Anyway, the point of this is to say that I haven't found one thing that can keep me from my boredom today. I'm just bored.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have a white shirt I was looking at the other day. It has big blue spots all over the front. I was trying to figure out what the heck happened... Then I remembered. A couple of months ago I was eating a frozen gogurt. I love gogurt. I especially love it when it's frozen. I bought a box and put it in the freezer at work. I occasionally need a popsically snack. It was a pretty hot day and I figured I deserved some yogurty deliciousness. So, I pulled one out and started eating it. I was almost done, except for the last little part that you have to squeeze out with both fingers flat against eachother. That really is the best part, you know. Well, as I was doing that, my hand slipped and blue gogurty goodness squirted all over my face, into my hair, on my desk, and down the front of my white shirt. Now I remember where those blue spots came from. And why I haven't bought gogurt in a couple of months.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Journal Entry

I have been going through my journals. They crack me up. This is one entry I found.

14 August 2008

So, Alana went with Steve and his family to Mexico for the week. I miss her a lot! I guess she asked Laura to take care of me while she was gone and Laura has slept over twice this week and checked up on me everyday. What a sweetheart! She splits my sides half the time and it has been good to spend time with her before school starts. I almost die laughing everytime we drive anywhere. Somehow, she usually ends up driving wherever we go. She is one of the jumpiest people I know (almost as bad as me!), so I like to take advantage of that. I usually will look around to make sure no one is around and then I'll scream. Oh my gosh her eyes go so wide with surprise, she jumps in her seat, and she has the most hilarious surprise scream! It's one of my favorite things in life. She also, for some reason, will press on the gas when she sees people with their brake lights on. That one I don't understand, but it's hilarious just the same. I keep waking up in the middle of the night and last night, she kept pulling my hair. She has done that since she was a baby, but now that she's older, it hurts a bit more! She used to say that her fingers were "hungry." Ha ha.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Metal Shop

A couple of nights ago, my brother-in-law had a disastrous time making rice. You should really be able to just boil it, right? Well, our family uses rice cookers. I love mine. It is the perfect size to have left overs. I adore leftovers. Well, when Steve called, it reminded me that Alana gave me her one serving rice cooker so I could give her my two serving rice cooker. I mean, it only makes sense. I am one person and they are two. I guess I just didn't want to let it go. Either that, or I just forgot and left it sitting up on the tippy top shelf in the metal shop behind our house. That's where I keep all of my kitchen stuff, at least while I am living at home. And yes, I do live at home. What of it?
I felt guilty after Steve made crunchy brown and over cooked white rice, so the next day I ventured out to the shop to rummage through my stuff to find my old friend. I kind of felt like I was betraying the little guy, I mean, I was giving him away after many happy years in college. And we did have a lot of happy times. However, he won't be up on the tippy top shelf in their house, so I can feel good about this. Anyway, I finally found it, climbed down the baby's high chair I used as a ladder, and walked back to the door. Much to my horror, I had closed it behind me when I walked in. The door to the shop has a one way lock, and that one way is from the outside. I tried to open the garage type door but it had a weird locking mechanism designed and engineered by my creative great-grandfather. I'm not so creative so I couldn't figure it out. It's a good thing I remembered to grab my phone or I would have been sleeping with the spiders. And I really hate spiders. Craig just laughed at me but came to my rescue. He taught me how to magically open the lock, just in case it ever happened again. If you teach a man to fish...or was it hunt? What was that quote? Either way, if you teach Amanda to unlock a door...

Monday, September 21, 2009


I met my best friend in seventh or eighth grade. It's actually kind of a funny story. We both have brothers named Spencer who are the same age. I think they were friends. So that meant that automatically we would be friends. Especially since they discovered that we were related. Actually, maybe that is why they were friends. Maybe this is how it went:
"Hey, my mom is a Stout" (Spencer M., NOT my brother).
"Hey that's cool. We should be friends" (Spencer S. my brother).
"Yeah, anyone descended from Allen Joseph S. is a rock star and is therefore my friend" (Spencer M.).
"And I AM a rock star" (Spencer S.)
Well, maybe that's not how it happened with them, I don't know how many rock stars Spencer M. befriended, but I can tell you how his little sister and I became friends, and we are definitely rock stars. We were in Mrs. Koritz's social studies class in seventh or eighth grade. We knew our brothers were friends so there was the obligatory exchanges, I was a shy little seventh or eighth grader. I ended up sitting behind her kind of a lot. In addition to being shy, I had some nervous habits. Annoying nervous habits. One of which was tapping my foot on either the floor or the leg of the chair in front of me. Poor girl. I don't know how I always ended up behind her to kick her chair incessantly, maybe we had assigned seats, but she would turn around and very nicely ask me to stop. Well, I was not only shy and had annoying habits, I also had a short memory when I was concentrating. One fateful day I was concentrating very hard on a particularly effort draining social studies question when I started tapping away. She kindly turned around and asked me to stop. "Oh, sorry." Eight, maybe ten seconds went by before my focus took me away to tapping out another tarantella on her chair leg. She flipped around. "STOP KICKING MY CHAIR!" I was startled enough NOT to tap her chair leg anymore. I would like to think that I stopped being annoying right then. But alas, seventh or eighth graders can't help but be annoying. Needless to say, we didn''t become BFF's at that time.
Fast forward a few years to sophomore volleyball tryouts. I think that's where we need to fast forward to, I have never been very good at time travel. Unfortunately, Annalisa jacked up her knee, which gives her plenty of grief to this day. I think we warmed up together on the court. We had more contact after that being big bad high schoolers and all. Fast forward to eleventh grade ladies chorus with Mr. Smith. That is where we really became good friends. She was sassy and fun and actually would come over and talk to me. Now, I think by the time I hit 11th grade I was over my annoying middle school stage, but I was still very shy (and still had a short term memory). She had to work on me a little bit, but once she got me talking, I haven't shut up since. Senior year we were inseparable, with ABish as well. We were Triple A. A is for awesome. She has been my BFF ever since.
Annalisa has been the best friend a girl could ever ask for. I got through high school because of her. I actually had friends. She helped me get through some life changing events and never judged me. She was the first person I told when I got my first kiss. Of course it was on tape and she didn't hear it for several weeks because she lived on the other side of the planet, but I wanted her to know. She is the one who got me thinking about serving a mission, something I never thought I would actually do. It rocked my world. She wrote me every week of her mission. She called me from the airport when she was shipping out to Australia. Made my day. I was the first person she told when she got engaged, of course it was on tape and I didn't hear about it for a few weeks after the incident because I lived across the world, but hey, she told me first. She gets my sense of humor and actually has a very similar one. Our parents never worried about what we were doing because we were good kids who hung out with other good kids. There are very few people who can make me laugh so hard I can't breathe. She is one of those people.
Annalisa is one of the best people I know. She wants to be her best self. She has a wonderful husband andthe most adorable daughter in the world. She is the best mom. Someday Iwant to be a mom like she is. Even though she lives across the country, Annalisa is still one of my closest friends. It's nice to have people in your life that even if you go for a while without talking to them, you can pick right up where you left off and things are still the same between you. Thanks for being my BFF!

I love you Dierks Bentley!

Saturday, I again realized that brothers plus sisters plus concerts equals awesome. Laura and a pink cowboy-hatted Rachel (complete with tiara) met Alana, Steve and me at my mom’s house. I wish I had a pink cowboy hat with a tiara. But I don’t. We drove out to Usana Amphitheater at 6:00 for a 7:00 Brad Paisley concert. Jimmy Wayne and Dierks Bentley were the openers. Alana was in charge of the tickets. She started passing them out and realized that, hey! It doesn’t start till 7:30! Little stinker. But that was ok. We love concerts. We parked and sauntered over to the ticket line to buy Laura her ticket, while Alana made her way to 101.9 the Eagle.
There are perks to being the best friend of the luckiest girl in the world. This girl somehow wins everything. I, on the other hand, have only ever won an Olympic pin from a drawing at my high school all night graduation party. And that was how many years ago?! So she walked up to Keith Stubbs and said “Hey! I know you! You’re Keith Stubbs! I love 101.9 The Eagle, I listen to you guys all the time! You gave me a love sack five years ago. (Yes, one of the lucky little punk’s many wins). I wanna spin the wheel.” Then Keith said, “Really? Do you like Dierks Bentley? You wanna meet him?” He then proceeded to hand her two back stage passes to meet Dierks Bentley. Meanwhile, unlucky little I was standing in the ticket line with people shoving past me. Nice.
I suddenly saw a little bouncy ball full of energy waving something in my face. “I’m going to meet Dierks Bentley! I’m going to meet Dierks Bentley!” I decided right then and there that ticket lines are not lucky. And it was because of lucky Alana that we got there early enough to even see any sign of back stage passes. Steve, the great man that he is, handed me his back stage pass. I love him. And yes, I know he is a married man. I tried to get Alana to calm down a little so I could find out what we were supposed to do. She was a bit star struck. You see, we have been obsessing over this man for the past week and a half in preparation for this concert. He is one sexy beast. And no, I am not married, so I can say that.
We skipped, ok ok, we didn’t skip, but we bounced our way down to the back stage pass fence. It was surprisingly ir-glamorous which means not glamorous (My friends and I like to play with prefixes – you know who you are). We had to wait for a while for the big gate to swing open, so we discussed what we were going to do when we saw him. I just stood there open mouthed where Alana was going to run up and just kiss him. I bet she would have if his hair was short, but it was long and curly. We felt special with our back stage pass stickers anyway.
To tell you the truth, I felt like a paparazzo with my little camera. I mean there I was with a bunch other people waiting in line to meet the guy, and how much do these guys really want to met? I feel bad for the suckers. Everywhere they go people are falling all over them and saying crazy things. It’s like they are subjected to a circus of crazies, on purpose. So I just walked right up to meet him and tried not to be one of the crazies. This was the encounter:
“Hi. I’m Dierks (as he extended his hand).” He pulled me in for the picture.
“I’m Amanda,” said a little demurely. I mean, he is pretty famous. And good looking, even if he is a little skinny. Dang, Gina.
“Nice to meet you.” Cheese.
“Nice to meet you too.” I reached for my camera and then,
“I really like that shirt, it’s really nice.” I had to wipe the spit from my eyes. Even famous people can be sprinklers.
“Thanks,” I said as I got ready to take a picture of Alana, that darn lucky girl. She walked up to him. “I love you!” She didn’t try too hard not to be a crazy.
“Well, thanks.”
I took the picture while the fan suppressant lady started coming toward me to shoo me away. I came closer to get Alana and then (!!)
“You have a nice show,” as he touched my elbow, yes he touched my elbow! I said I most definitely would.
Alana and I twitted and giggled off on our merry little way. Then I realized that I hadn’t picked up my purse and jacket so we had to walk back and get it. When you meet famous people, you kinda lose your head. Then we found out that only 25 people got those particular back stage passes. We felt really lucky. And in star-struck love. When he performed, after every song, both Alana and I screamed “I love you Dierks Bentley!” Because, you see, we’re not on a first name basis yet. And he’s famous: he goes by both first and last names. Maybe one day I will be famous and be able to just call him Dierks.
Yep. He put his arm around me. And he liked my shirt.
Never take a picture while laying down, but here is one with most of my awesome peeps I was with.
This one has Steve but not Spence. I have the coolest family.