Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Christmas time is full of traditions in the Belnap family. Here is a snippet of what I do this time of year.

1). Baking Day. This takes place a day or two before Christmas Eve. All the girls in our extended family get together and bake. All day. Our goal? Saffron Rolls!!! Saffron rolls are a traditional Swedish type of cinnamon roll that my great-grandmother brought with her from the motherland. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world so we only make them once a year and every batch must go off without a hitch. Every year we make about 300 of these delectable rolls and I believe about 1/4 of them end up in my stomach. And props to my mom because we tease her about not being Swedish but she makes the meanest Saffron roll in town.
Oh so yummy, fresh out of the oven Saffron rolls

Grammy rolling out the dough, 2009

2). Christmas Eve: This is huge! I mean this is the biggest and most important day of the entire year in my family. This is the kind of tradition Tevye was singing about! On Christmas Eve we enjoy a fanciful Swedish Smorgasbord. If you can't tell yet, our Swedish roots really take over at Christmas. The table is filled with delicious food and decorated to the nines. The food is a combo of American, English (from Grammy), Swiss (from Uncle Jared), and Swedish (from Grandpa). Grandpa is usually the only one to really delve into the traditional foods like Lutfisk (gross fish). We start off the evening by a family dance to a Swedish song, Julpotpourri Over Langdanser - we call it the Nullie Ullie Anne. Grandpa always leads the dance. We go all over the house, circling a few times. Its my all time favorite part about Christmas Eve. After dancing we eat to our hearts desire. All the food that took days to prepare is gone in a matter of moments. Yum. After dinner we have a program led by Grammy and Grandpa. Then each of their children does a talent/number/song/etc. This little act can be serious or funny but mostly ends up being funny. Usually we have Jared yodel, Rose pretends to be sick but is still forced to sing "Here We Come a Wassailing" with Grammy, and then some caroling all around. When Grandpa Bennett was still alive he would always singe the 12 Days of Christmas because he brought that song to the U.S. Then we would exchange gifts and occasionally play the money game.

Smorgasbord table

English Trifle

Dancing the Nullie Ullie Anne

Dancing to start off the night

After attempting the Nullie Ullie Anne during a Christmas in Washington

Christmas Tree at Grammy's

Dressing baby Bennett up in St. Lucia's headdress

3. Christmas Day: Momma makes caramel-pull-aparts for breakfast because by this point we still haven't eaten enough. But really, this day isn't anything too special. With all the hoopla of Christmas Eve over, it's kind of depressing. Because I grew up on a compound we just visited the other cousins' houses and hung out. In the evening we go to a family movie. This year we had 23 of us at "True Grit."
Grandpa dressing up as Santa and visiting the houses

Babies on Christmas morning in Washington

President dressed up as Santa for a mission Christmas

Christmas PJ's with Santa/Grandpa

Christmas morning 2002, yes that was Joshie's hair at the time

4. Skiing. The Balmers condo at Deer Valley become the stomping grounds for the week after Christmas. We spend it skiing out hearts out. New Year's Eve is all about the Fondue and Roclet, Martineli's, skiing, sledding, and games galore.

Heading out for a Deer Valley day with cousins

Deer Valley with Jaim-ba

DV with the Swiss girls and dad passing out tickets as usual - none of us had ever done the ski ticket by ourselves until dad left us high and dry for the mission

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I don't read or follow any well known blogs. Nothing about baking, mothering, photographing, championing, or acting entices me. I like to read blogs about people I know - or even people I am merely acquainted with - and the stuff they are doing. For someone like me who loves to spy on people, it is amazing I can only think of two people I truly blog-spy. The rest of the blogs I read are people close to me. Today I made my first venture onto one of those people-I-don't-know-that-everybody-talks-about-their-blog blogs: Pioneer Woman. I will never do it again because she made me feel as my blog title depicts, lazy and inadequate. On top of that she made me postpone planning my lesson on Ancient India to read through her history of perfecting the cinnamon roll. This took 2 hours of my life today and I didn't come away feeling good. So what if I can't bake 34,397 different kinds of pies and photograph the great outdoors for a magazine all while raising 4 home schooled children! What I can do is keep up my mediocre blog that maybe 7 people read. It sure would be nice of my peeps out there to blog more than once a month/year/blue moon. I could use the distraction to keep me away from going back to Pioneer Woman for her Pumpkin Cream Pie recipe.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is an excerpt from an actual email I got from a parent:

"...he said that he and other students were docked points based on their opinion of BYU and being UTE fans. I told him just not to wear his UTE shirts to class anymore. But teachers should be aware specific colleges or religious prefrences has no place in the classroom and grades should not be influenced by this..."


p.s. I didn't even know he was a Ute fan

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The first time I remember hearing the story about my grandmother's wedding ring, I was 7 years old. I have probably heard the story told by her or my grandfather dozens of times since then. The last time I heard my grammy tell it was on the eve of her 60th wedding anniversary. I sat next to her that entire day as she told me story after story about her courtship with my grandpa, their engagement, the diamond, their honeymoon, etc. I would give anything to be back with her on that day. Here is the brief story of that ring.

My grandparents had a unique courtship - one for another blog post. Most of their relationship was spent writing letters between Grammy at home and Grandpa at his residency. Grandpa is a true child of the Great Depression so he saved and saved for a ring to send to his Sweet Elen. The way grandpa saved enough money was to eat baby food from his hospital in Cleveland. By not having to buy food he was able to buy this ring. Such humility and devotion! He mailed the ring to Grammy in Utah and she received it on Christmas day. That was the proposal, he wasn't even there in person. I love this story more and more every time I think about it.

If I was ever around my grammy she probably wasn't wearing her wedding ring because I was (notice in the picture of us I have her ring on). She let me wear it all the time and I loved it. It stood as such a symbol to me of the constant love, devotion, and kindness of my amazing grandparents. It was more than just a diamond to me, it was the hope I had for myself to be like my grammy and to have the relationship she and grandpa had.

After grammy died, her ring was removed. I don't know where it is now but I think about it everyday. I think about what it represented but I also think about her without it. It surprised me how sad I was to imagine her without that diamond. I know she didn't want to be buried in it because of it's significance to our family but there is that part of me that wished it was still with her.

I am grateful I had the moments I did with my grandparents to hear this story. Not only did I hear about it from them but they exemplified this story through their actions to each other. I sure miss having the opportunity to see that ring and I REALLY miss my grammy.

Friday, October 29, 2010


I just can't seem to keep karma on my side lately. I saw Corey (aka C2 from my post about my dating life) and his wife at the Temple tonight. I was trapped in a completely unavoidable situation because I work in the temple and couldn't just run away. He actually spoke words to me which was yucky in my stomach but the funny/awkward part came in the celestial room: he shook my hand. Yes, a handshake. I don't need a handshake from you brother, I'm totally okay without that. Mid-handshake he apologized for the fact that I had to see him and in such an awkward setting. He acknowledged the awkward! That's like Monica saying she's breezy to Richard, it negates all breeziness. It was super awkward! Almost as awkward as his facial expression when he tried to process what on earth I was doing in the grown up temple.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Josh and I were driving back from Kaysville tonight and he just started rattling off the three wishes he would choose if he had a Genie. These were his wishes:
  1. Have all current and future construction on I-15 done, finished, complete. Forever.
  2. To have 2 Billion $$$ (which he gave me a long list of the things he would spend his $ on)
  3. The ability to choose anyone to come back from the dead and be undead

This prompted me to think about my three genie wishes and this is what I came up with:
  1. to have the border of Utah extended to include that remaining .01% of Lake Powell that is not (yet) in Utah
  2. a cure for all cancers - so all people need is just a simple vaccine, like the MMR shots become the MMRC shots
  3. unlimited travel money!!! literally, if I want to go somewhere, there is just beautiful amounts of money to do it

Friday, October 15, 2010


UEA used to mean something in Utah for students and teachers. It was a time when kids gleefully played outside for two days before the weather turned cold and teachers sat in conferences. Thank the good karma in the world that UEA no longer exists and we do a little thing called fall break. This is the only time that the lack of funding has improved my life. There is no money to put together teacher conferences so we just get the days off. Let me show you what teachers like myself do with time off:
  • breakfast at Kneaders with Allison
  • shopping
  • hang out with cute babies
  • lunch with family
  • stay up late
  • sleep in
  • Temple
  • watch TV and/or movies
  • learn to make cake pops
  • nap
  • make playlists on iTunes
  • stay in pajamas past noon
  • internet
  • dance you ace off to Michael Jackson
  • think about Grammy
  • think about Patrick Swayze
  • organize things
  • clean things
  • laundry
  • eat. a lot.
Thank you funding. I am glad you went away. I needed a "vacation from my problems."

Monday, October 11, 2010


I don't require a lot of sleep during the week. I usually get 5.5 - 6 hours every night. I do catch up on Friday and Saturday when I sleep about 8-9 hours each night. I am not doing as well as I used to on my normal weeknight hours. It has been about two weeks now that I just haven't felt rested. I think the week that Grammy was dying and the week after she passed made for some sleepless nights. I kind of self-inflict by staying up and looking at pictures of Grammy in the hours that I can't sleep. And I suppose that blogging about not sleeping because I think about Grammy isn't any better than looking at pictures her. What would be really cool is if I was productive in the wee hours of the night instead of sitting and wasting away time. I wish I had the ability my father has to tune out the world of thoughts and stress and force myself to sleep. Well here goes nothing, I am gonna give prayer a try. Honestly, that is usually the only source for a good sleep when I am wired at night. Goodnight....

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today I attended my Grammy's funeral. Today I mourned. Today I cried. Today I grew.

I am not a very good example at coping with death. I take it hard and I don't like to move on from it because I feel like when I do, the person is really gone from my life. While trying to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually comprehend the events of the past two weeks I have learned of another tragedy. One of my students was killed in an accident today caused by another student of mine. Knowing the heartache I have been processing with my spiritual, mature brain makes me so sad for my students who will have to struggle through the loss of a friend and classmate with their tender, young souls.

Somehow I have to muster up the courage and strength tomorrow to discuss with my kids about the death of this student and how to cope with it. I need to teach them compassion for the student driving the vehicle. I only hope I can be an example in their life at this time and help them through this. Teenagers are so impressionable and I know this situation will be so hard on them but they will get through. They will get through just as I am getting through. Just as we all must get through and continue on in life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


My reason for the cure lost her battle tonight.
Love you grammy!
I will still fight for your disease.
October 20, 1927 - October 2, 2010


It is time for the yearly post for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I begged you in 2007, 2008, and 2009 to do something in October. This will undoubtedly be the hardest October/Breast Cancer Awareness Month of my life. Grammy has been trying to leave this world for a much better place for about a week now. She is too strong and way too social to will herself to leave her family. When the time finally comes that Grammy passes, I will actually be excited. I truly believe that she has been fighting the battle of death for so long because there is no other way that our family would willingly let her go. PLEASE do something this October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. On the right side of my blog is a list of great BC sites. For great BC paraphernalia, I especially love Cafe Press and The Breast Cancer Site. Happy October!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


WARNING: this post is deep and personal. I don't get this way often on my blog so read at your own risk. It will be lengthy and awkward.

As my sister Jaimee put so eloquently, "Baby, you have had the crap kicked out of you." She is referring to my so called love life. Let me back story for a minute.

In June of 2003 I met W at a summer camp at the BYU. A year later when we were students at the BYU he became my best friend. He went on a mission, a few (and by a few, I mean a shload) letters in between, and then he came home. We started dating the day after he came home and he went straight in for the marriage talk. I had wanted to marry him since the first time I saw him at the summer camp but I didn't want to get married right away. He did. W also dropped the L-bomb that night. From that point on (with a few bumps along the way) marriage was in the plan. I was excited. I was in love. I loved his family. W was my best friend. A couple of months later he decided he wasn't ready to get married. Through a lengthy and tearful discussion he broke my heart and I never spoke to W again, and still haven't. I was broken badly for 1 year. As in NOT in a good place at all. Plus while all of this was going down, my parents left on a mission and I felt so alone.

Here is where some of the story overlaps. I met M in April 2006. He was in my ward and we were forced to interact because we were co-chairs of a committee. The first thought that came into my head when I met him was, "What if I marry this guy? That was a weird thought." And it really was a weird thought because I wanted to see if anything would happen with W and he still had 9 months left on the mish. Plus M was 7 years older than me and a Ute fan. M and I quickly became inseparable. We did everything together but were NOT together. Just best friends. I should have sensed a pattern here but I didn't - I tend to fall for my best friends. I warned M that we were not going to be friends once W came home because W was my real best friend. M didn't believe me but I definitely proved him wrong when W and I started dating. M was not happy.

M and I got to continue being best friends since W was now out of the picture. M had just had his heart broken so we kind of helped each other through. Off and on for the next two years I had feelings for M. Seriously, I don't know how M and I didn't start dating earlier because we acted just like a couple for about a year before we were actually a couple. In March 2008 M couldn't take it anymore, told me he had feelings for me, wanted to try dating, and that was that. We dated from that night on. Now remember M is older which automatically brings up that he has issues. But issues aside, I loved him. M and I dated for 6 months before having a marriage conversation. We talked about it nonchalantly for a month or two. In September 2008, M and I went on a walk. He opened up about the issues he had and asked me what I thought he needed to do better with. Admitting faults and willing to work on them!!!! This was a new side of M. I couldn't believe it. He showered me with compliments as we were walking through the park and told me I was exactly what he wanted for the rest of his life but he still had to become what I needed. Wow! Then a few moments later, he stopped mid-sentence and said, "I can't marry you." What? After the tearful breakup and goodbye, I never talked to him again, and still haven't.

That brings me to today. I am still a very broken human. I have the ability to love-the-crap-out-of-things. I just love things/people crazy deep. I loved both of these boys a lot. They didn't love me enough. In both instances when I had had confirmations that the relationships should move on to marriage, they didn't. Why? Why? Why did I have to lose two best friends because I wasn't enough for them? Why have I felt so strongly that someone was the right person for me - twice - and it didn't work out either time? The answer is agency. Agency is serious business. President Packer said today in Regional Conference that if he could pick any gospel topic to be the building block of our faith he would pick agency. I understand what he meant by that. People have the right to choose. Sister Beck said today, "we fought a war in heaven so we could have the privilege of having a hard life." Well I am not feeling very privileged right now. These boys exercised their agency, their choice. The part that hurts a lot is that I didn't have the opportunity to exercise mine in the break up - either time. Both times it was their choice to end things. The only agency I have is how I react to the situation. I am struggling with that one at the moment.

When W and I first broke up, I obsessed about it. Couldn't get it off my mind. When M and I broke up, I just shoved it away, didn't deal with it, and wouldn't face the facts. W got married a year after we broke up. M got married 3 months after we broke up. Ouch. Really M?

The event that brought up all of these thoughts and emotions occurred tonight. I went to visit my cousin who lives down the street from M. I had to park on the street down from M's house. After visiting with her I was walking to my car, when M, his wife, and his baby were right there on the sidewalk.  I continued to get in the car, slightly smile, and drive away. I have seen W around Provo a few times and yes it was awkward but this event with M was unbearable. I don't know why it hurt me so much. It has been 2 years since we broke up. When am I going to allow myself to be unbroken?? Why do I have to let it hurt so much.

FYI: If you made it this far, you must be crazy bored because that was quite the rant. I'm not sure it even made sense. I am not suicidal. I am not depressed. I don't need you to be worried for me. I just needed to vent these emotions and ideas as a way to sort through the process of becoming unbroken.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


A student listed this as their birthday on an info sheet today: IV/XXVIII

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This post can go one of two ways, 1) my friend looks smart or 2) I look dumb. But here it is anyway.

I really have some of the smartest friends on the block. Their accomplishments include but are not limited to: college diplomas, graduate school, careers, interns, living in real cities, etc. I can count on anyone of them to have an answer or well thought out opinion on any topic.

Case in point: Heather. She had a wonderful "vacation" here in the Provo last week. While we enjoyed our nightly read-ourselves-to-sleep-in-silence-but-loving-each-others'- company, I experienced a wonderful moment. While reading Undaunted, there was a word that I recognized but never knew how to pronounce it. I could infer from the text what it meant but I asked her, "Heather, what does the word E-N-N-U-I mean and how do you say it?" She knew. Didn't even bat a lash. Didn't fluster. Didn't brain fart. Spit it out like any brilliant human would. It made me super happy. I will continue to be happy that I managed to get smart people to befriend me, especially because I hate dumb people.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It is neat to have parents again. To be honest, sometimes I forget that they are around. I kind of got used to orphan-dom the past three years. Since president and sister's return, our fam has done fabulous things like Kaysville 4th of July, Staycation, Lake Powell, Midway reunion, etc. Well today was the greatest day of all of those and let me tell you why.

School started this week and we had a faculty lunch in the OJH cafeteria. I was up adding some delicious chips from Cafe Rio to my plate when I hear someone whisper my name. I looked around and it was my daddy. He came to say hi and take me to lunch, just because he was near OJH and could! I had already eaten and he had to get back to his meetings so he just gave me a hug and left. By far the best surprise ever. Best visit ever. Best dad ever. As he walked away I started crying because it was absolutely the nicest thing in the world and I just didn't want him to go.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


'Twas the night before school, when all through the house
not a teacher was sleeping, just clicking the mouse

The school bag was packed by the door with great care
In hopes that tomorrow the kids would be fair

The students were home all worried with fright
That I, their teacher, would put up a fight

When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter
Because the Principal said school that doesn't matter!

Yep, I wrote this poem the night before the first day of school instead of: sleeping, planning, showering, reading, preparing, working, etc. It was worth it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I might be obsessed with the state of Utah. It's not my fault though, blame it on my dad and my career. Because I love this state so darn much I paid tribute to it in the delicious dessert I made for Pioneer Day.

FYI: the cake actually was freaking delicious.
  • Layer ice cream sandwiches (the long, skinny ones) in a cake pan
  • Layer of cool whip
  • Second layer of ice cream sandwiches
  • Top with cool whip and chocolate and caramel sauce
  • Freeze for 2 hours

Monday, August 9, 2010


4,000 sheets of loose paper + wind.

That was my life today as I tried to be a good human and recycle a shiz load of old worksheets from 30 years of past Geography lesson plans at Orem Junior. All was great until the wind picked up. For 57 minutes I chased after every single stupid paper blowing everywhere in the effing parking lot. Did I end up recycling them? No. They went in the regular garbage can.

Worst. Day. Ever.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The first person I met at college was Ashton. She was my roommate freshman year and her favorite holiday is her Birthday! Yes, to her, its a holiday! We (Ashton, Jessica, Shanna, and I) had dinner tonight and played a "questions from the past" game. This brought up Ashton's birthday/holiday (and it was just last week so happy birthday). She told us the most adorable thing I have ever heard. She forgets that stores are open on her birthday. Last Thursday she needed to go somewhere but realized it would be closed...until she realized of course it would not be closed. Hilarious. Cute. Stupendous. Loved hearing it. Loved dinner. Love her.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It just hit me that while I spent 2 days sailing on the Nile River, there were no life jackets (life preservers, PFD, whatever you want to call them). Nothing! Not really shocking because I never wore a seat belt during my excursions in Egypt either. Can you imagine a western cruise line not doing the muster drill or having life boats? No. Well the cruise ships in Egypt only have 6 life boats. Egypt does things their way. Just a thought that came to me that kind of exemplified Egypt. Jessica and Lani will understand. I will say that our time on the Felucca boat was by far my favorite part of the entire trip. "More than seeing the pyramids," you ask? Absolutely! In the above picture we see Kristen, Lani, Sophie, Jessica, and myself enjoying ourselves. In the picture below you see the Felucca (just a strange type of sailboat).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This blog has no logical ties or connections. I just wanted to post some pictures from Egypt and Amsterdam and talk about the movie I saw last night. The thing is I am not going to put any pictures up. I have tried, unsuccessfully, three times to post some pictures and my blog rejects them. Oh well. I went, I had fun, it was hot. That's the most you are going to get until I start figuring out what stories from my travels I want to tell.

Onto Inception. Go see it, I think. If you have seen it, tell me what you thought. I knew the minute it was over I would 100% be dreaming about it that night. I did. Boy do I know myself. It was a trippy concept with an ending that you kind of have to decide about. I hate that. I love movies to tell me what to think, how to love, who to hate, how to date, and so on. Inception left it up to the viewer (again, I think). Another thing about this movie and movies like it is that they make me feel stupid. My brain can hardly comprehend the story, how do people have the intelligence and creativity to create the story??? Hmmm...drugs? Maybe. All I know is that I liked it. It bugged me. It challenged me. It made me dream crazy ace things. Was I the only one out there that had all these thoughts and feelings?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


People always tell me things like the following when they find out I am a teacher:

  1. "You must be so patient."
  2. "You're too young to be a teacher."
  3. "Well you must be crazy to teach junior high."
  4. "I think you should go straight to heaven."
  5. "How can you handle kids like that?"
  6. "They don't pay teachers enough."

My response to all of this: SUMMER!!!!!

Things I have accomplished: whatever the hizzeck I want! Take that working world people. You guys all chose the wrong career. Next up on this blog of all blogs: more picture proof of how amazing summer is.

p.s. I do actually love my job. Please don't think I am a cruddy teacher and work just to have a little mid-year break. I am actually a fantabulous teacher.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Yes! 0 days. Exactly 3 years ago today, I never thought this day would come. Never ever. I felt like I would be an orphan the rest of my life. Alas, I won't. The parentals come home from the mission today!!! This summer I have been to Amsterdam, Egypt, Washington/Oregon, and rafting the Missouri. None of that crap even compares to what today will be like. The rest of the summer is going to be amazing because it will have mom and dad in it! Holla!!!! God speed ladies and gentlemen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A term I use to describe myself in my present state. Lani, Jessica, and I leave for Amsterdam/Egypt in two days. Am I ready? No. Have I done anything to prepare? Not really. What am I doing right now? Sitting in Kaysville, blogging and organizing items in my parents house in preparation for their arrival. What should I be doing? Anything pertinent to my trip. I have a procrastinator's soul, I can't help it. Boo.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Today marks the end of my 2nd year as a teacher. What a strange year it has been. I can't really talk about it because a) I don't want to and b) its just too emotional. Let me just leave the year on this note: I have a strange job. The people I see everyday get ripped away from me for three months. Then some of them (9th graders) get ripped away forever. The people that I grow to love can't stay forever. And that's not just students, its teachers too. Today was my last day with Cam. I am actually sitting here in the dark at my desk, probably the only teacher left at OJH right now, crying. I can't believe it has ended. I will never have this back again. I love you Cam! I still have Kath and Allison but it won't be the same without all of us. Good thing for me though, I will only really miss a handful of students. I just wasn't as close to my 9th graders this year as I was last year. Adios year 2. Hola summer travel!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I didn't have harsh feelings towards Utah when it decided to snow on May 24. I think it adds to the unique character of our state. I do however not appreciate my lack of preparation when it came to getting dressed this morning before looking outside. What did I wear today? A sun dress and flip flops. When I left the house it was early, 6:30am. It wasn't snowing yet, just raining so I thought it would get better. 10 minutes into my drive it turned to snow. To top the morning off, the opening song of the announcements at OJH was "Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful." Clever of those 9th graders to choose that song but it stung a little because I was so cold and wet. Still love how unpredictable the weather can be here I guess.

p.s. records were broken all across the state for cold temperatures and precipitation

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I have been teaching 2 class periods of 9th grade English the last few weeks. Am I an English teacher? NO. Am I BS-ing my way through? YES. Do you know what I have been studying and creating lesson plans for??? William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Why did I agree to do this? Oh well, today is my last day. Whew! The lesson plan for today only took 40 minutes out of the class period so guess what we did the remaining time? Played HEADS UP, 7 UP. I taught the dumb play and we finished it today so of course a celebration was in order.

I haven't played this game since Mr. Merrill's 7th grade science class at KJH. I think we played it about once a week in his class. The students loved it but I totally loved it more. And I didn't feel bad about playing this game because its not my curriculum or subject time wasted. I have wanted to do heads up, 7 up for a long time. Its kind of like a teacher's dream to do it at least once. "See guys, dreams really do come true."

And to top it all off, Leslie is currently en route to Provo for a visit!!!

ps. major props to those who know what my quote is from. And no, its not Romeo & Juliet

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A trip to a public restroom made me think: why would you ever want to turn air in the direction of your face on an automatic hand dryer? Is this supposed to be a bonus feature? I had never actually pushed it down and had the hot, gross, bathroom air steam into my face until last night when curiosity got the best of me. It was not fun. I will never do it again. Why do these exist? Frankly, I would rather just further harm the environment and have paper towel. I judge establishments on whether they have "towel dry" or "automatic dry" facilities.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I made a list of items that had been blacklisted in 2008 until further notice. It needs to be updated because some of the items have been un-blacklisted. Here is the original list from September 2008:

Pier 49 Pizza
Spaghetti Factory
Kiwanis Park

Page, Arizona
People who wear bright orange shirts
Thai Kitchen
Ute Fans
6th East in Provo
Driving to Disneyland

8th North Orem Sonic
B4 (one of my 7th grade classes)

The following items are hereby removed from the blacklist:
Kiwanis Park
8th North Orem Sonic
B4 (replacement class for this year would be B3 - again 7th graders)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I hate eating food in public. I am precise on the foods that I like and when I have to eat meals in front of others I hate it. Really, truly, really, honestly, really hate it. Ordering at a restaurant presents difficulties because I can't usually order straight from the menu. I alter the dish in some obscure way that the waiter looks at me like I am crazy. Making new friends is a pain because I have to introduce them to my eating habits. And when I am in a social situation among acquaintances, strangers, friends, family, or dates it makes me sick to my stomach. I literally want to die because I know someone is going to comment on my taste and say:
  • why aren't you eating
  • what do you eat
  • why are you taking the cheese off
  • you don't like that
  • how do you survive
  • you are so picky
This kind of stuff bothers me. I wish people could just understand that I am normal. I like the things I like. The things I don't like shouldn't bother you. At least I have opinions in life and stick to them - unless in the dreaded situation of being a guest somewhere and I'm forced to eat whatever the people have prepared or I will look like a douche. Why does it make me seem like a brat just because I am not interested in eating pulled BBQ pork or whatever gross thing you have concocted? WHY? Three times in my adult life I have had absolutely no choice in social eating situations. 1.I was with a boyfriend's family and I was scared. 2. I was with a family friend that always teased me growing up and I was scared. 3. Was last week with my parentals in some members' house and I was scared. I seriously doubt any of you really get the extreme anxiety I go through just to enjoy the food I like.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I just bought these shoes. I am happy about the price. I am happy about how adorable they are. I am happy about how comfortable (relatively speaking) they are. What I am not happy about is that I should have purchased them when my mom was buying in Oregon!! What was I thinking?? Mom and I went to DSW in Oregon which translation: no sales tax. And mom was willing to buy them for me!!!!! Major mistake. I got home and had to order them online with $4 tax and $8 shipping. It will be okay because these shoes weren't that expensive at $49.o0 off the original price! All that matters is that I bought cute shoes that reduce cankle appearance and I love them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Ashley today

Ashley at 17

When you are 37 years old and someone mistakes you to be 26: that's a compliment.

When you are 24 years old and everyone mistakes you to be 17: that's NOT a compliment.

At least 2-3 times a week someone comments about my age or asks me how old I am. They believe I am in high school. They believe I am in junior high (yes, many times that one has happened). They believe I am too young to use a credit card. They believe I need parental signatures when signing up for things. This isn't cute. It just isn't. And I think the worst part of all of it is when I correct people on their poor assumptions they just say, "Well take that as a compliment. When you are 30 you're gonna love it." Well I am not 30. Believing that I am a teenager at this point in my life is not a good feeling. So don't tell me that your judgment of my age is anything but a major put down.

Here are just a few of the thousand+ examples I have of mistaken age identity:
  • When I was a sophomore in college I went to visit my dad at his office in Salt Lake. While taking the elevator up to see him one of his partners in the law firm asked me what year I was in school. I told him I was a sophomore. His reply was, "Go Darts!" Ehh, no. That would be Go Cougars! Actual age: 20. Presumed age: 15.

  • During the last semester of my senior year at BYU I interviewed for teaching positions. Some crazy teacher in one of the junior high schools that I went to stopped me in the hallway and asked me what I was doing out in the middle of class. Actual Age: 22 Presumed age: 14.

  • One morning Allison, Cameo, and I went to ask a teacher down the hall a question about his document camera. He wasn't in the room so we just took his out and discussed the pro's and con's about buying them for our department. Well the student teacher walked up and assumed we were all students and told us to, "put that down and do not play with the teacher's equipment." Actual Age: 23. Presumed age: 15.

  • Cameo and I took a group of students to Washington, D.C. The best part of the journey there was the fact that we had exit row seats on the plane. Okay, so that was only fantastic until the flight attendant came to inform us that we couldn't sit there because you had to be over 15 to sit in an exit row. Ashley's actual age: 23, Cameo's actual age: 25. Presumed age: 14.

  • Then yesterday my dad took me to a museum in The Dalles, Oregon. We walked up to the counter and he told the woman at the counter we wanted to see the museum. She said, "okay, just one ticket then?" What? Didn't she see there were two of us? She told us all this week kids under 18 get into the museum for free. I had to do the awkward age correction and inform her that was not case for me. Actual age: 24. Presumed age: 17.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Josh and I went inside of a Wendy's today. Very rare because why would you go inside when you can stay in your car and not be seen in public. I wasn't even eating but I told him I would go with him but we had to go inside. Again, why? I guess so this sweet man could change my life. A man in his early 70's walked up to the cashier and handed her a five dollar bill while saying, "I just wanted to give you this tip because you really deserve it. Thank you." The girl's countenance changed. It was like a little blessing of happiness now rested upon her. All from this man's gesture of $5! But it changed me as well. When do you ever tip the lady at Wendy's who takes your order? Never. When are you that gracious to strangers? Never. I just want the world to know that the kindness of one stranger to another changed me today. Forever.

Just an added note: the man ate alone inside the restaurant and seemed so happy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Really? I think it's either a headband OR a garter, not both. No dual purpose with an item like this.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I love to look back at my life and compare where I am today verses where I was in times previous. As Leslie well knows, this can be in any time reference. "Can you believe _____ ago...." Week. Month. Year. Yesterday. Whatever it is, I just like to see how much my life has changed. And I especially love the game, "if someone would have told you a year ago that ____ was going to happen would you believe it?" Here are a few things I have been thinking of lately.

1. One year ago (March 14) I went through the temple. Now I am an ordinance worker at the Provo Temple. I love it!

2. Two years ago this weekend 8 people gathered together in Disneyland for one of the greatest and funniest weekends of my life.

3. Three years ago I was bringing home the bacon from Deer Valley. Man, that seems like centuries ago.

4. Last weekend I was skiing at Deer Valley

5. Last year at this time I didn't know if I would have a job. Now I am thankfully still at Orem Junior and hope to never leave.

6. For the last 6 years I have rented and lived in 9 apartments. Now I get to be my own landlord because I am buying a house.

7. Sadie died five years ago this month.

8. Seven months ago I was gearing up for my 2nd year of teaching to start. Now its almost over.

9. 995 days ago mom and dad still lived in Kaysville

10. One year ago I successfully recovered from my little bout with Bells Palsy

11. If you would have told me two years ago that Corey Mounteer would be married to the other Ashley and have a kid I would have easily put $5,000 in a bet against you

12. When I first started working with Allison if you would have told me she would marry Kyle, I would have laughed so hard for a really long time

13. If you would have told me when I was 14 that I was really going to become a teacher I would have cried tears of joy

14. If you would have told me two months ago that I was going to buy a house I would have slapped you in the face for being stupid

15. If you would have told me three years ago that I would actually enjoy Mom and Dad's mission and be happy for them I would have told you I hate you and I hate missionaries.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I really like grilled cheese sandwiches. Some (okay, a lot) of people believe that I am what you might call picky. I believe I am precise. Basically, there are quite a few "rules," as Heather calls them, in my world. One of the rules is that I will eat a grilled cheese from basically anywhere. Its hard to ruin and easy to make delicious. I am sure my love affair with grilled cheese started as a little kid going to the Bountiful Drug Store with Grandma Moss and company for the earth's most delicious G.C. sandwich. It probably helped that I also would eat french fries, mashed potatoes, chocolate malt, roll, banana cream pie, and a Cherry 7-Up. All at once for one meal? Yeah. From that point on I have always trusted the grilled cheese. Because of my preciseness or rules, I have a somewhat difficult time when eating out but the trusty grilled cheese always has my back. You can pretty much order it anywhere and it is pretty much always amazing. Maybe one day if I get up to the task of generating a list of my rules, I will post it on here. I guarantee you would all be amazed at how I make my eating/snacking/drinking/dining decisions.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Four years ago today Shanna and I put school on the back burner and decided to take a joy ride because it was a freaky warm day in Provo. We had to get away from campus and out amid the warmth of the day. Only problem: we didn't have any bicycles. We decided to rent some beach cruisers from Bingham Cyclery because they let you do it for free. That is where I met Lucy. I fell in love instantly, refused to giver her back to the store so I took her home and she definitely wasn't free. Boy, what a great 4 years we have had together. Here is a "cruise" down memory lane of her birthdays:

Day 1 our time together

1st Birthday

2nd Birthday where Nessle and I started the dual Lucy/Josh Groban birthday party

3rd Birthday

4th Birthday

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I forgot about the random life story series I used to do on this blog. A conversation I had with my roommates yesterday reminded me of a run-in with the police I had in high school. Let me share it with you.

It was the first day of summer after my 10th grade year. All was quiet on Sunset Drive until we heard sirens in the distance. Everyone in the house went outside to see where the cop car was coming from because that was like big action at the time in West Kaysville. Soon enough we could see that it was not one cop car but a line of cops and they were in a car chase! It got even more exciting when the car they were chasing crashed into a mailbox two houses down and the people got out and ran for it. Soon, Sunset Drive was flooded with law enforcement.

We got the scoop on what was going on. Two convicts had escaped from the jail near by, stolen a car, and went on their merry way to freedom - until they crashed into the mailbox. So the Police were searching the fields for an escaped convict. Why were they only searching for one when there were two that escaped? Well this part is hilarious and true, get ready. One of the men was wearing such baggy pants that he tripped trying to run into the field and was run down by the police. So his buddy got away and was hanging out somewhere in the 50 + acres of farm land that surrounded him. Police helicopters were searching from the air and every access point to Sunset was cut off so this guy couldn't go anywhere unless he wanted to swim across the Great Salt Lake for freedom.

My sister Heidi and I were convinced that if we could just get some binoculars and climb on top of the silo, we could find this guy. My worry wort mother locked the house and turned on the alarm just to make sure the convict wouldn't get into to our house to take a nap or eat any of our food. My mom thought I was inside the house as well but little did she know, I was out playing detective. My cousin came over to the house and the alarm went off but she didn't know. Soon the police scanners got word that our house's alarm just went off and my mother told them I was inside.

The Police barged inside looking for me everywhere thinking the convict man had broken into the house and that I might be in there as well. They didn't find me. And no, the convict wasn't in their either. My mother was convinced I was stolen by convict man or something worse (she is the type that thinks her keys were stolen when she can't find them in her purse). So the Police are now looking for convict man and a teenage girl that might have been taken. While all this is going on, I am in the back pasture trying to hunt down convict man for myself. Heidi and I didn't have any luck so I decided to return to the house. When I came around the corner of the barn there were five police officers there that quickly surrounded me AT GUNPOINT! Officer Red Mustache yelled at me, "are you Ashley Belnap?" Thoughts swirled in my head, "no," "yes," "why do you know my name," "I am not the convict." I was finally able to mutter out that yes, I was indeed the girl in question. The officers lowered their guns and I was ordered to go find my frantic mother because she was looking for me. Whew! Dodged that bullet (literally).

At the end of it all, I was not murdered by the Police and they did find convict man. He had been sitting under a tree in the field trying to figure out his next move. It made for a great story and a great start to my summer. And shockingly, I am not afraid of guns at all. I quite like them actually.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This is what happens:

1. boy giving talk: " you see, men are like microwaves and women are like ovens. Men go right to heating up and women take a while."

2. congregation: giggles

3. boy giving talk: "no, this isn't to make you laugh, this is to make you ladies understand the difference between you and men when you are in a... umm...situation."

And the Chastity day continued on with combined 3rd hour Priesthood/Relief Society. The Bishop was in the middle of giving a really great lesson on quite an awkward subject when behind me this conversation is going on in a surprisingly super loud tone:

1. boy: [leaning forward to reach across the people sitting nearby says to girl sitting three seats down from him] "so, do you have a boyfriend?"

2. girl: "no."

3. people sitting around me: shock in their eyes because this is what he chooses to say during the chastity lesson and at such an easily heard decibel (I mean the Bishop up at the front even heard it)

4. boy: "well I would like to change that. Lets definitely hang out."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Image this scenario: awkward red-headed 7th grader who has to share every thought that comes to him raises his hand to ask me if I had heard about this health care thing going on with Obama. I obviously was confused as to why this was his question while we were in the middle of a discussion on mapping Utah's mountain ranges. I told him that of course I knew but we needed to get back to mapping. Then he proceeds to inform me, as if I truly just didn't know, about Obama trying to change health care. It doesn't stop there. He goes on to mention that "some guy in another state just won something after another guy died and it's making the republic [aka the republicans] really happy and it's going to stop this health care business." I am all about kids being informed on current issues. However, things that are as heavy as public option health care and and the stunning republican turn of the Massachusetts Senate should wait a few years to be discussed at the breakfast table. Try starting the class back onto mountain ranges after that crazy tangent.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


That stupid television show Big Love is somehow still on the air and starting a new season. Obviously, I am completely offended by that show for numerous reasons - religious and historical. But a new low blow hit today when I was reading an article on about the new year line up for TV shows. They had a little blurb on Big Love starting up again and apparently one of the polygamist people is opening up a casino. One of their (they probably only have 7) fans commented on the article and said, "isn't gambling against Mormon law or something?" Yeah douche, and so is polygamy! They are NOT Mormons on that show. Screw Hollywood. I am so glad this person's only issue with the show is that they are not accurately portraying the gambling beliefs of the LDS faith. Stellar.

(just a little end note, gambling is straight up illegal in Utah, where the storyline supposedly takes place so...)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


If you don't know what a Nordstrom Note is then you don't need to read this post. If you do, please read on. So growing up I may have had a shopping problem at Nordstrom. But I wasn't the only one because everyone in my family shopped there, even dad. I don't need to talk about all the reasons why I love this store because if you are reading this blog then you probably know me (and if you don't know me, that's just weird) which means you know my testimony of Nordstrom. I remember getting the Nordstrom Note checks in the mail all the time. Sometimes twice a month! $20 to Nordy's just for spending money there already, sweet! I got my own Nordstrom card in 2004 and I am proud to say that I am the new owner of a Nordstrom Note! It took over 5 years to earn the points on my own but I did it! This makes me really feel like a shopping whore when I look back at high school. Coming to college kind of halted my shopping money, time, and money for Nordstrom. No more girls trips there after mom left as well so really my money has not been fueled into the store too heavily as of late. But I will be spending that free 20 bones (and then some of course because $20 would buy you tights) with utter enthusiasm. Ahhhh, my very own - and hard earned - Nordstrom Note!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010


No offense to any of you born in January but I hate it. Its only the 4th and I already want to kill over and die. Nothing good comes out of this month. Literally, nothing! I have been sitting here thinking about it and trying to be positive but I can't think of much to change my opinion. I don't like February either but at least its a short month and its usually warmer than January. Boo hiss to this month. Can you tell I had to go back to school today? Perhaps that's why I am in the worst mood ever. I do love my job just so you don't think I hate kids or teaching. I just hate 1) coming back from Christmas break and 2) January. The end.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have a little tradition on this blog to write about the previous year and the year to come on January 1st. Here is what I wrote in 2008:

2008!!! What will this year bring? I dont know but I could really use a good time. The last year really sucked. Well basically summer of 06 and Dec. 06-Sept. 07. I can't even begin to explain how bad it was. I would rather cut off my favorite finger (the left hand pinky) than re-live some of those days. But somehow I got through it alive and sane. How that happened, I dont know. I am just really feeling a good year coming on. I mean I am starting it out with Tylenol PM, cough medicine, and lots of blankets. Guess I can't ask for more than a good nights sleep. I better get at least one new baby in my life (sisters, that means you!) and one sibling married. I dont think that is too much to ask for people. As for me and what I want, well that is for me to know and no one to find out. A friend inspired me to make a list of predictions. I think I am going to try that for the first time. My first prediction is that I forget all my predictions come March. Happy New Year!

Here is what I wrote in 2009:

Its kind of funny that I started this year of with the same medications and ailments. Well maybe not funny to my mom who will never give up on me taking vitamins. You know I look back on it and '08 was good to me, fairly good indeed. I got 2 new babies (well they will be born in '09 but still) so check that off my list and Josh took care of the sibling getting married by convincing Holly to marry him. And technically, I did get what I wanted and I am still going to keep that little secret to myself. I am no longer acquainted with the friend that made last year's predictions with me so I will make this list all on my own because I am a "grown-up" and can do some things by myself now. I am shooting for one more sibling married this year (fight it out Jen and Heidi), I want to try something totally new, and I want to find true happiness. I wish you all a great 2009 and that you too may find happiness in your lives.

And here are my thoughts and wishes for 2010:

I think I got everything I wished for in 2009. Jen and Timm got married in March. As for trying something new, I went through the temple, I think that definitely counts. And on the part of finding true happiness, well considering this is the year mom and dad come home, I can say I am truly happy right now! I think one of my sisters will definitely be with child this year. The odds are pretty much on my side with that because there are 4 chances for it to go in my favor. I want mom and dad to come home. Also, absolutely in my favor. As for my personal goals and wants: do the point of the mountain paragliding, go on dates that actually excite me, take piano lessons, and do something new and challenging at OJH.

As I enter a new decade I will leave you with a review of my life in the last ten years:
  • 2000 - 8th grade at KJH, had Miss Huggins which changed my life
  • 2001 - finished up junior high and started high school at dear old Davis High
  • 2002 - Salt Lake Olympics livened things up and I became friends with Hannah Watkins
  • 2003 - Senior year of high school, Summer Scholars with Laura, met Baptist, only kid at home
  • 2004 - graduated from DHS and started college at BYU where I met Jessica and Ashton
  • 2005 - moved into P2, the greatest era in Provodom, met the "brothers"
  • 2006 - applied for my major and got accepted!, worked at Deer Valley from 5am to 7pm but free skiing
  • 2007 - started my teaching program and met Allison, Heather joined the crew, dated Cameron, "Summer 'o Fun," moved to Chatham with Josh in my ward, met Leslie, mom and dad left on the mish
  • 2008 - Disneyland, graduated from college, dated Corey, and started working at Orem Junior
  • 2009 - moved to grown-up Provo, Raft for the Cure, NYC girls trip, and went through the temple