Archives for category: Memories

I miss Christmas. I know we shouldn’t wish away time (that’s what my mom tells me, at least), but I just can’t wait for this Christmas season.

First of all, I can’t wait to see my family and Blair. I haven’t seen them since May, so by Christmas it will be 7 months. That’s the longest I have ever gone without seeing everyone. I’m very very homesick, so it will be incredibly wonderful to go back home and be with my family.

Second of all, it will be my first Christmas married. I. Am. Ecstatic. Last Christmas, T.J. were nearly engaged and so it was really hard to be away from him. But I can’t wait to wake up with him on Christmas morning.

It will also be great to do all of the Christmas activities back home with T.J. For example, going to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass with the Dorans where my Dad plays the trumpet, caroling on Christmas Day (which I hate, but will be bearable with T.J.), and spending a day downtown Cincinnati with everyone.

I also CANNOT wait to meet my new baby niece, Amelia, who will be five months by then (nuts!). And Claire will be a blast to play with, considering she precious and the coolest little three year old I know.

I am excited to listen to Christmas music, wear cute festive outfits, go to Christmas parties, make lots of Christmas goodies, watch all my favorite Christmas movies, complain about how crowded our house will be with everyone home, drink my mom’s cider, and feel the amazing hope and peace that the Christmas season brings.

Apparently it’s flashback day on my blog.

Once upon a time, my adorable niece, Claire, decided it would be a fun activity to shove lemons in Blair’s mouth. Claire was right. It was a fun activity, hilarious actually.

When Claire would turn around to grab another lemon, Blair would spit out the lemon and put in back in the pile when she wasn’t looking.

Claire thought she was swallowing the lemons whole.

And that is my story with the Blair, Claire, and the lemons.

My boss was telling us that her husband just got his wisdom teeth taken out, so I thought I would share with you my grand experience with my wisdom teeth extraction.

It was the summer before my Sophomore year in college and my dentist back home told me I needed to get my wisdom teeth out very soon. I was leaving for school in just a few days so it was decided that I would have them taken out in Utah. By myself. Without my mom.

Since it was the break between summer term and fall semester, Bethany took me to the dentist that day, and for all of you who don’t know Bethany, she is a complete jokester and doesn’t care what other people are thinking. She’s hilarious.

While we were waiting in the room, she put on gloves and started playing with all the tools.

I was scared to death. I haven’t had much dental work growing up, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect. But fortunately Bethany kept me distracted.

After the surgery, I started sobbing. The doctor said this might be a side effect. I thought my earrings had fallen out too, which they hadn’t, and so when I got up I started searching the ground for them.

I started gagging in the car and kept telling Bethany, “Oh, I’m gonna throw up, I’m gonna throw up.” She dropped me off at the pharmacy and told me not to move while she went to another store to buy me a few things to eat. When she came back, she found me wandering through the isles, crying, cotton ball hanging out of my mouth, blood dripping down, searching for the bathroom. I looked like I had broken out of an insane asylum.

I cried all the way home about how ugly I was and asking if I would like that forever. (Oh, and my eye problem had flared up again, so I had to wear my glasses, so that didn’t help.) Bethany reminded me that when I was crying, I thought the tears were blood and that I was bleeding out of my eyes. Clearly it was a pleasant experience.

For the next week, other than a few drop-ins by Bethany and the boy I was dating coming over and dumping me (probably because he couldn’t look at my face anymore lol), I was alone in my big apartment sleeping my life away and wishing my mom was there to feed me pudding and icecream.

One of my cheeks was swollen for quite a bit, and when my new roommates were moving in, they met me like this. I can’t imagine what their first impressions were.

I’m so glad I never have to go through that again.


Four years ago, I was a Senior in high school and I came out for a college visit. Fortunately it was the weekend of conference.

Three years ago, I went to conference with Sam again and few other friends of ours.

Two years ago, I attended conference with two of my friends in my ward. That was the year Amanda and I made mass amounts of chili for our friends. No one showed up, so we ate chili for weeks.

One year ago, I was dating T.J. and went to conference with the question in mind, “Should I go on a mission or should I marry T.J.” I got an answer.

Sometimes I go through my wedding photos and think, “Can’t I just relive that day over again?!”

It was the best day. Ever. For you and for me. Okay, probably just for me. But nonetheless, I would give anything to replay that day in my life.

I remember when T.J. and I were waiting in the foyer waiting to come out of the temple after we had been sealed, the temple worker told us it was hailing. All I could do was laugh. I really couldn’t have cared less! Nothing could ruin that day or make it anything less than perfect. (It also helped that by the time we took our pictures outside, the hailing had ceased.)

Would you judge me if I dressed up in my wedding dress again and walked around temple square?

Mom, I have been thinking about you all day (and the gift that I sent you that I have been so excited about)! I hope it was a great day!

We have had so many memories together. When I was a little girl, you would take me to the pond so we could feed the ducks. When I grew up, I still took the walks, but not as many as I should have. We went shopping together on the week nights and I thought it was the coolest thing ever since it was a “school night.” We laughed together watching the Cosby show, Monk, and the Office. You drove up our hill one morning when you were really tired after seminary, it was the funniest thing you’ve ever done. You sent me to all of those summer camps at the armory I didn’t want to go to, but now I get that you just needed me out of the house. You took me dress shopping for all of my dances and bore with me when it would always come to tears seeing that none of the stores had any modest dresses. You took care of me in the nights when I was sick, gave me popsicles and let me have some 7-up (I always asked for Sprite, but for some reason, you always would get 7-up). You would make me practice piano and let me practice to get out of washing the dishes. You told me and my friends that you would bottle up our laughter and treasure it forever. It was weird, but makes me cry thinking about it now. You took me to Disneyland and to many other vacations every year. You let me believe that Santa was real until fifth grade, and although you ran out screaming, “We could have had her another year!” when Mary Beth told me the truth, I know you just wanted me to always have the Spirit of Christmas. You hid our Easter baskets, stuffed adorable stockings, made the best peanut butter balls. You taught me the gospel, knelt me down to pray every night as a little kid, and taught me what it means to be a Christian. You taught me manners, told me how to set a table, and showed me that we don’t wear white after labor day. You taught me how to clean, how to love, how to be a friend, and how to be a wife. You were there for me when no one else was. You helped me get through high school and Young Women’s. We prayed together nightly for a new young woman to join the church so I wouldn’t be alone. We prayed together when the snow was falling to hard to drive to Penny’s after church. We prayed together for all of our siblings when they left the house.

Mom, you’re truly the best.

You asked all of us to share our memories with you, and clearly I got a little sentimental. But I wanted to let you know how much I care for you!

Happy Birthday, from the baby!

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. This is not the “official-happy birthday” post, but I just can’t wait any longer… I want to write a post just about my amazing mom.

First of all, let’s talk about her talent. My mom has a beautiful singing voice and is very musical. She teaches elementary school kids music and is a wonderful teacher. Her room is colorful, deccorated, and the kids always have a blast when they get to go to “Miss Swainhart’s” room.

Sometimes Mom learns new things that she wants to teach her kids, but she tests them out on us first. When I was in high school, I would always give her such a hard time and tell her how weird it was that we would sing rhymes and do these weird acting games, but it was always so funny. One time she told us to say, “Someone stole my chocolate bunny, and I don’t think it’s very funny.” You’re supposed to do it in different accents and drama styles. Let me tell you, my mom would put so much energy in that weirdo rhyme, it kind of haunts me. Oh, and one of her favorite acting games that she sometimes will want to play with you is “Mirror Me.” I’m sure you can figure out what you do in that game. Good think Blair was always around in high school, or else she wouldn’t have had anyone to cooperate with her.

My mom also loves to exercise. She is a kickboxer through and through. Don’t mess with the Nanster, she knows what she’s doing. She has the gloves and everything! I’d post a video of her doing a Billy Blanks dvd, but I don’t think she would really appreciate that. If we watch a movie at home, she turns on a kickboxing dvd on the computer and does it at the same time. When we stop at rest stops, she tries to speed walk a few miles, always seeking ways to get more steps in. She is an inspiration, along with my motivation because I know she will ask always ask me, “so what exercise did you do today?”

Next, my mother is so spiritual. I can’t tell you how many times I would accidentally walk in on her saying her prayers in the morning. And when I would try to come back in 5 minutes, I’d accidentally interrupt her again! She always reads her scriptures everyday, shares her insights with others, and is bold about what she believes. Mom would teach us the scriptures and the gospel through Family Home Evenings, reading the scriptures during breakfast where we would memorize different Psalms and Proverbs.

She was even my seminary teacher for a couple of years. It was hard sometimes, I must admit. Going to seminary (which is like a sunday-school class) everyday for four years at 6 a.m. was intense, but worth it. I remember the day I found out my mom was going to be the Seminary teacher. It was the day after Christmas and my Grandfather had died early that morning. And then our Bishop came over and asked my mom. Wow, that was an interesting day. But it all worked out and was truly a blessing to my life, along with my mom’s life. Slowly through the next years my classmates fell away, and all that was left was my mom and I. It was a struggle. We prayed so hard that they would come back to church and want to come to seminary, but usually it was just us. We’d still get up in the morning, sometimes my dad would join us. We’d hold seminary in the basement and start everyday off with a strong Spirit and peace in our home. It strengthened my relationship with my mom more than anything else in my life.

My mom is a hard worker. Peacemaker. Journal-writer. Parks & Rec-watcher. Pianist. Cook. Homemaker. Laugher. Grandmother. Positive-thinker. Cryer. Compassionate-healer. Shoulder to cry on. Provider. Best Friend.