Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Uncle Dale

This week I am grateful for eternal families and the plan of salvation. My dear Uncle Dale passed away on November 11th. He was 84 and sick, so the news of his death didn't come as a surprise. Even so, it's not easy to come to terms with the fact that someone you love has passed away. It truly is the atonement that has helped me cope with his passing. Knowing that his time on earth was nothing more than a fraction of his life. Knowing that I will be able to see my sweet uncle, with my other family, again in the afterlife. How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father that understood love and families, and provided a way to make them eternal.

I wish I could express exactly how my heart feels about Uncle Dale. My mother's parents died when I was very young, too young to recollect any memories of them. Uncle Dale and Aunt Lois understood this and filled the void I would otherwise have. They stepped in as my grandparents and treated me as if I were one of their own grandchildren. I have many fond memories of Uncle Dale.

Uncle Dale and me, 1988.

Many summer vacations at their cabin in the Uinta Mountains of Wyoming.

My week visit alone to the cabin and their home in Green River, Wyoming in 1988 when I wasn't quite six.

My visit with my cousins to their home in Thermopolis, Wyoming in 1995 when I was 12.

Uncle Dale and Aunt Lois's visit when I lived in Chicago, 2001.

Our lunch date at Little America when I was passing through on my move to Oregon, 2006.

The thousands of griddle cakes Uncle Dale cooked on an open fire.

The blue jumpsuit he always wore.

The way he always sang.

His smile.

His giant bear hugs.

Uncle Dale with my cousin Collette's kids. I love the smile on his face.

Uncle Dale had a way of making everyone he met and knew feel special. I know that every grandchild thought they were his favorite. He made me feel the same way; I felt like I was his favorite. He always called me "English" (derived from Brittany - Great Britain - England - English). He could light up a room simply by walking into it. He had an unwavering testimony of the gospel. He had an infinite love for my aunt.

I received a letter from Uncle Dale last December that I have cherished ever since. My aunt had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's for a handful of years and the effects of the disease were transparent. Even so, Uncle Dale met this adversity with a positive attitude. The following is an excerpt from the letter he wrote me, describing his feelings for Aunt Lois:

"I am thinking of moving her to another location closer to where I live... I love her so much so maybe I can spend more time with her also. She is doing amazingly well. She knows me and calls me by name. We told the beautician not to color her hair and it has come in the prettiest gray. Not white gray but gray gray, it is so pretty and shinny. It just enhances her looks. I take her for a ride in the car about at least once a week and some times twice. She seems to soak up everything and reads me signs, tells me when the lights are green for go and red to stop. Her health is excellent other than Alzheimer's. She tells me she loves me and wants to kiss me. I love it."

Uncle Dale and Aunt Lois at the cabin.

I can only hope that Wyatt will be in love with me after 60 years of marriage the way my uncle was in love with my aunt. He was chivalrous.

I am looking forward to seeing you on the other side Uncle Dale. I love you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


mar·a·thon·er, noun. Someone who participates in long-distance races (especially in marathons).

In recent news, I have elevated to "marathoner" status. That's right my bloggy readers, I now have two marathons under my belt! "My name is Brittany Wilson, and I am addicted to running." My bud Jen and I dragged our husbands to Chicago two weeks ago so we could compete in the Chicago Marathon. Yay!

When we decided to run the Chicago Marathon, it was already filled. So we had to purchase bibs from people that were no longer able to participate. Jen bought a bib from Brynn (the butcher) and I bought my bib from Nupur. I had a friend draw the above picture, I added the words, made a silk screen, and printed matching shirts!

The Chicago Marathon had 37,000 runners! A far cry from the 800 in our Newport Marathon last year. Oh, and one lady ran 38-weeks pregnant and had a baby shortly after crossing the finish line. And another man died. So yeah, I ran in a race where one life was taken and another was given.

I won't bore you with all the details. Though, it has come to my attention recently that many people are unfamiliar with the ends and outs of a marathon. Notably that a marathon by definition is a 26.2-mile race. I've had many people ask me how far my marathon is/was. Also many people are unaware of how long it takes one (of average running speed) to run a marathon. I've had one person innocently say that they heard I ran the race in two-hours, and was able to qualify for Boston. Yep, that was me, drafting behind the Kenyans... (It's the elite runners that come in around the two-hour mark. The average time (at least for the Chicago marathon) is four-hours and 45-minutes. And my age group (female: 25 - 30) has to run a marathon under three-hours and 40-minutes to qualify for Boston.)

Us, running in the MASS of people. It never really did thin out... even at mile 26.

The Kenyans. I think the winner came in at 2-hours and three minutes. Like I said, I was right behind them. Because I look like I am an elite runner...

By now you're wondering what my time was. Drum roll... ... ... ... ... I was successfully able to shave 17-minutes from my last marathon, bringing me in at 04:02:37. Not too shabby. Especially considering that I was not feeling confident the morning of the race that I would even be able to beat my old time, let alone reach my goal (which was to run a four-hour marathon... I know, two-minutes over! Even so, I'm counting it).

Mile 12. The only time Wyatt and Jon were able to really cheer us on.

I could go on about how we walked the streets of Chicago far more than we should've the day before, how my ankle/shin was sore from all the said walking, how I didn't sleep very well two-nights before, how I woke up at 3am WIDE AWAKE race day and proceeded to stare at my clock for three hours, how I was successfully able to "go to the bathroom" before the race (a stress of any long distance runner), how I surprisingly felt GREAT the first 21 miles, how I peed my pants at mile 24 (yes, while running), how I nearly gave up at mile 26 (who's bright idea was it to add a hill 0.2-miles before the finish line?!!), and how great I felt at the end of the race. Yeah, I won't go into detail...

Another shot of the thousands of people.

Here are the highlights of the weekend:

1. Returning to my beloved city, Chicago! It has been five years since I lived in Chicago and I felt like I had never left. I was GRINNING from ear-to-ear the minute the plane landed.

Grinning from ear to ear!

2. Strolling (and running) the streets of Chicago with Wyatt (just strolling, not running), Jen and her hubs, Jon (also just a stroller, not a runner).

This is what Jen looks like when she's not running. (I thought she'd appreciate this picture.)

3. Absolutely PERFECT weather! Sunny, CLEAR, and warm (the temperature hovered around 75 d's the entire three days.)

4. Visiting with my Chicago friends I haven't seen for years (sad I missed all the others).

5. Running a marathon.

Happy finisher!

6. Seeing Wyatt act as the paparazzi as he sprinted by my side, camera in hand, trying to snap a few shots of us as we passed.

7. Chicago food. It is the best.

Yeah, so it was an awesome weekend. And I'm sure I'll be maintaining my "marathoner" status by signing up for another in the future. Next time, I hope I can come in sub-four-hours. And maybe, with a lot of training, someday I will qualify for Boston.

The marathoners (plus Jon) basking in the sun of a job well done. (About to gorge on some delectable Italian Beef sandwiches!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Summer that Never Came

Here it is, August 10th, and we have had roughly 15-days over 80-degrees since the start of summer. 15! And things are looking pretty dim for the upcoming ten-day forecast. I know, I know, I am obsessed with the weather. I'm not going to deny it, I am. But frankly when you've been counting down the days until your favorite season and it doesn't have the decency to show-up, you too might be on the verge of a hysterical break-down.

Wyatt said it best when he said, "Oh, Fourth of July must be around the corner". Because it feels like we're in eternal spring here in the Pacific Northwest!

So for all my bloggy readers that are amidst a heat wave, just take a moment and think of me and my suffering (I'm not being dramatic, I am suffering). Would you rather that your heater automatically turn on in the heart of July? Or that you needed your heated blanket in the middle of August? Because your dreams could come true if you simply lived in Oregon!

Let me just say that my worst nightmare has come true. And that I am still waiting for summer to start as of August 10th. And that La Nina is officially on my bad side. I hate her so much!

PS - I wasn't lying about the heater or the heated blanket. Both of these events did take place in my home this "summer". I feel so sorry for myself that I could cry.

PPS - It's no wonder that no one reads my blog anymore. All I do is talk about the weather... I guess that is what my world revolves around.

PPPS - I was going to blog about how I know of 66 women that have been/are pregnant this year. And how 53% of the babies are boys, 41% are girls, and 6% are unknown. And how April, June, and July were the most popular months to have a baby this year. And how 34% are first-time mothers, 21% had baby number two, babies three and four both had 17% of the pie, 11% had five or more. Yes, I am a nerd and have been tracking the stats in my trusty excel workbook. I know more than 66 women but I got tired of tracking and stopped. That is a lot of babies!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011

Well, I couldn't very well let my favorite day of the year pass without recognizing it. Especially since this is what the forecast was for the day:

And this is what we got:

And this is how I felt about it:


Let me just say, it was a summer miracle! Today would mark the second day in 2011 that the temperature exceeded 80-degrees. That was not a typo people, I did write "second"!

Now I find myself in a conundrum: Am I excited that the summer is here? Hopefully implying that warmer weather will accompany it? Or am I sad because the days will now be getting shorter? Perhaps if I lived somewhere that experienced summer temps pre-4th-of-July, I might not find myself awake at night analyzing the situation.

And for the record, my beloved swim park opened on Saturday (only to close early "due to inclement weather" - people, it has be BAD here! La Nina is out to make my life miserable!)! I've been scratching at the door for so long Wyatt finally had to take the leash off and let me run loose. Despite the fact that he has finals to study for this week, he took the trip to the park with me...twice! Happy day!

Wyatt + Brittany = Love

Wyatt + Brittany + Swim Park = True Love

Friday, May 20, 2011

National Debt Pay-Off

If you’ve had your ear tuned into the news lately, I’m sure you’ve heard that the nation’s debt is on the verge of maxing-out. In other words, we’re about to default on some loans unless we get tricky with the books.

Everyone knows there are two ways to reduce debt: cut spending and/or pay it off. Naturally this triggers a debate on how exactly does one United States of America do this? Who gets the pay cut? Who gets cut-off? Who pays?

My initial thought was to work together. Let’s instigate a national one-time, flat-rate tax. Everyone over the age of 18 pays $5, one time. $5 is doable. $5 is a pizza at Little Creasers, three-hot dogs at Costco, five RedBox movies – surely it’s not too much to ask?! I decided to do the math to see how brilliant my plan was. Vote for me! I’ll reduce the nation’s debt!

SCREEEEEEEEEECH! (This is when my enthusiasm came to a screeching halt…) As it turns out, my piddly $5 per person doesn’t even make a dent! My $5 plan reduces our debt by 0.01%… What the?! It’s not until each person pays $1,000 that we pass the 1% threshold. And the magic number each person can contribute to bail the country from its financial burdens is $57,405. That means a total of $114,810 for my household of two.

US Total Debt: $14,300,000,000,000
US Total Population: 311,383,748
Estimated US Population 18 years + (80%): 249,106,998

After all is said and done, I have decided that I will not be giving the United States of America 57,405 of my dollars to rescue them from the chains of debt. Instead I will offer my two-cents of advice: stop spending money!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Happy birthday to my beloved! You are my favorite!

(even if you refuse to share your birthday orange rolls with your classmates in fear that you might receive some birthday attention.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to Mom

Dear Momma,

Because of you, I am who I am today... and that makes me happy!

Love you tons!
No. 6

PS - Wouldn't you agree that the best is always saved for last?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dios Bendiga Saint George

Wyatt tells me about the movie "Windows of Heaven" he used to watch with his investigators on his mission. He went to New York City Spanish speaking, so of course the movies they shared were in Espanol. The particular thing about this movie was that everything was spoken with the typical Spanish accent, except for "Saint George". It wasn't a subtle difference but rather a quite obvious one. So now, anytime we talk about Saint George, Wyatt repeats the line from the movie, "Dios Bendiga Saint George". Making sure he uses his thickest Spanish accent for the "Dios Bendiga" and an all true American accent for the "Saint George". Very silly, but something I love!

Finally I had my opportunity to visit Saint George. My friend Amie, a friend from my Chicago days, moved there with her family a little less than a year ago and invited me to visit. So I decided to take her up on here offer. Amie picked me up from the Vegas airport last Thursday night and we immediately went out to dinner at a close by Indian restaurant. I felt like it was very important that we had Indian food since it is one of her favorites and one cuisine I recently added to my personal favorites (for the longest time I never could understand why she enjoyed it so much... I have since seen the light). It's so nice to be in the company of a fellow foodie! After gorging ourselves with food, we rolled ourselves out the door and made the two-hour trek to Saint George. We didn't arrive until after midnight, so after I received the grand tour of their lovely home (and after Amie made a delish lemon dessert) I crashed into bed.

Friday morning I was greeted by the door knock of little fists pleaing with me to get up. What a pleasant surprise to open my door and see two of the cutest kids eager to meet me! The three of us round-up their older brother for a quick game of Candyland before breakfast and school. While the two boys were at school, Amie and I spent the morning tackling errands and shopping. It was fun to tag along with Amie since she is in the midst of growing her year food supply, so she was full of useful tips and information. It gave me a bit of encouragement to begin gathering my own "crops" for my own family supply.

Friday night the whole family (dad, mom, three kids and me) made the trek north to Cedar City to see the comedian Brian Regan at Southern Utah University. The crazy part about this mini-trip is that it was SNOWING! Which, surprisingly, I didn't mind. I guess since we never get it in Portland it was nice to see... even in April. We had Navajo tacos for dinner (one of my Carroll family favs) and enjoyed a wonderful evening laughing our heads off!

Saturday was a lovely day spent with Amie's husband's (Patrick) family - we had a delish French Toast breakfast, played some games, had a tasty lunch and even a small nap... Unfortunately, this is where my stomach started to take a turn for the worst and would give me grief for the next 24-hours. Lame. That's right, I found myself with a case of the stomach flu! Double lame! I felt terrible physically, but worse emotionally. Patrick and Amie worked their magic to create a world-class meal and I could barely enjoy it. I was so disappointed. I tried so very hard to psych my stomach up to "enjoy it or else" but in the end my stomach showed me who was boss as I made several trips to the bathroom. Did I mention authentic Korean food and homemade Samoa cookies was on the menu? I know! Luckily, my stomach simmered down in time for leftovers the next day. Phew! Though let me say, it was a sight to see Amie and Patrick working side by side cooking dinner. It was as if I was watching the Food Network.

Sunday presented us with beautiful weather so we spent a good portion of the day outside. I had a BLAST playing with the kids! On a side note, if I could bear five-year-old children, I would. (An unpleasant thought, I know). I just dig kids so much more than babies. They're far more interactive, funny, entertaining and fun! I was truly sad to part ways when it was time for me to return home. It was a fun trip! And I am very happy that I got to spend time with an old friend.

It's been so long since Amie and I have spent any in-person time together, I was wondering what it'd be like. But it was great! I admire Amie so much. She is one of the most compassionate people I know, constantly serving in the church, within her community and amongst her family and friends. She is an amazing mother and wife. She keeps an organized home, filled with the Spirit. And she has an unwavering testimony of the gospel. It was a pleasure to be able to spend the weekend with her! I think another trip is in order...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Missing These Guys...

Wyatt and I have been teaching in Primary together since we returned from Hawaii... and have been LOVING it! We were the lucky ones that got to move-up with our old class to their new CTR-5B class! These six little guys have become the highlight of each of my weeks. I am often excited to go to Primary on Sundays just so I can hang with these little dudes and dudettes. They say and do the funniest things! Wyatt and I are often laughing at their spunky little personalities.

Since it was conference yesterday, I didn't get my fix of five/six-year-olds. Sad. Today I'm missing them and counting down the days until we get to play together again...

This picture captures each of their individual personalities spot-on. So cute!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What do you do if you never went to Prom...

...attend your husband's dental school formal dance 12-years later. Complete with dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with a group of friends and official dance pictures. I'm kicking myself that I didn't go as far as to purchase carnation corsages for the two of us. Snap!

(terrible picture of me...)

Though I can't say for certain, I think I enjoyed myself far more than I would've when I was in high-school. Really, I got to spend the night with my true love - embarrassing him with my unique dance moves - flailing arms and all. He loves it. Even when he begs me to stop, I know he really means to keep going. I think I also enjoyed the dig the night was on Prom in general. Kind of a silly event...

(Terrible picture of Wyatt. We can't seem to get it together.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meet Klaus

After weeks of patiently waiting, I was finally able to adopt the newest member of our family - Klaus.

I first met Klaus at TJ Maxx when my mom was in town visiting. It was she who introduced us. Rescuing him from the heap of winter accessories he was so carelessly tossed into. The moment I laid my eyes on him, I knew we were meant to be together. Even the classy lady, shopping close by, admitted we were a match made in heaven.

(bumming around downtown Seattle)

However, he was a high price to pay and I couldn't swallow the costly ticket to make him mine. I began listing the options in my mind, determining the most plausible solution to my plight. Of course! I would exercise my rights as a customer and use the 30-day return policy in my favor! Surely I could secure the funds I needed to make Klaus forever mine in thirty days.

(enjoying one of the twelve donuts Wyatt bought me for Valentine's Day)

That first night I brought Klaus home, Wyatt expressed his voice of concern. “Real fox fur?” he would say, “We live in Portland. Someone is surely to douse you with red paint.” I stifled his unease with sound reasoning. “It’s not like I bought Klaus at a fur store. I’m not perpetuating the demand. Instead, I am saving the fox’s dignity. It did not die in vain because I decided to purchase Klaus at a secondary store. Imagine had I not bought Klaus, he could very well end up on the next shipment to Africa. An unwanted item, forced to become a donation.”

“But 70-dollars?” was Wyatt’s next dispute. My rebuttal was simple, “I’m going to return him in thirty days.” Though Wyatt didn’t know it (but I’m sure was very aware of the possibility) that I had every intention to keep Klaus.

(exploring the Seattle Public Library as Wyatt maintains his usual heavy reading)

The days passed as I formulated a plan to rescue Klaus from bonds of TJ Maxx. First, I determined I would sell my shoes. Surely someone out there would want to purchase them. I listed them on eBay allowing fait (and the free market) to determine their value. Next, the most serendipitous thing happened. I was granted a 25-dollar Visa gift card from my work! The gift card alone would result in a 35-percent savings!
(so that is where Oregon is...)

I counted the days until the online auction would reveal my earnings. Finally, a $30 price tag was agreed upon. That meant an additional 43-percent savings! I knew that although Wyatt (or I for that matter) would not agree to a $70 fox fur hat, he couldn’t say no to a $15 fox fur hat. So, with Wyatt’s blessing, I made my way back to TJ Maxx to officially adopt Klaus. I returned him at the $70 value and immediately repurchased him using my $25 Visa gift card and $30 earnings from eBay. Finally the papers were signed and Klaus was mine forever!

And we lived happily ever after…

(don't tell Wyatt I posted this picture, he specifically told me not to)

I consider myself a very conservative person. I am of the bread that has a set value for each article of clothing I buy and refuse to purchase anything for more than my predetermined price. Jeans: $25 or less. Shoes: $20 or less. Shirts: $15 or less. So it is beyond me why I was so determined to purchase a hat for $70. It was very much uncharacteristic of me to become so impulsive. Really, I get buyers remorse when I purchase our weekly groceries!

However, it is the advice my mom has continued to give me over the years. The same advice my friend Phoebe continues to reinforce: “Sometimes you have to ask yourself, ‘will this bring me joy?’, and if the answer is ‘yes’, hold onto it forever.” You better believe Klaus, my fox fur hat, brings me joy! And I can guarantee he will be hugging my head tight for many years to come.

And for the record, Wyatt told me that he thinks I look very cute in my new hat! All is well in the Wilson home!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

String of Events

There is more to my life than funeral planning. I'll prove it!

Two-weeks ago I received a phone call from my momma seeing if she could visit us for the weekend. Of course I said "yes!" and as a result we had a fun-filled weekend. Poor Wyatt had to study, so it was just Mom and me painting the town. Since it was an impromptu visit, we didn't have anything planned. I just dragged Mom around with me to run my errands. And we ate like we were in hog heaven! It was wonderful! Of course, the only picture I have to document her visit is the terrible self-taken shot at the temple.

We also went shopping at TJ Maxx where I met Klaus for the first time. (More about him to come later...) We also went to the fabric store and found a cute spandex print to make my latest swimsuit. Mom helped me design the pattern, which was a HUGE help since it's easier to do with four hands (especially when two of them aren't my own!) Thanks for your help Momma! I love you! Here is what the finished product looks like:

I was aiming for a retro 50's style. However, Wyatt informed me that it reminds him of a little girl's swimsuit. Humpf! Oh well. I'm still happy with the outcome. My only bit of frustration is that I made it a tad-bit too small. In the sense that if I gain more then five pounds it'll be too small. Waaa!

I finished my swimsuit just in time for Wyatt's family's annual adventure. This year his parents rented the entire local community swim center! Yay! I would share the picture of Wyatt and me together, but Wyatt requested that I not share a picture of him in his swim trunks on the world wide web. Instead, here is a picture of me on the rope swing...

Wyatt's family was also in town to celebrate his Gramma Beasley's 90th birthday! You read it, 90! Her kids planned a birthday party and invited anyone and everyone who knew Gramma. It was a wonderful celebration seeing all of the people and lives she's touched in her lifetime. I think the party made her week, month, year, and life! She was on Cloud 9 the entire afternoon! It also made me feel so lucky that even I have been able to be a part of Gramma's life. And most importantly, the influence that she has had in Wyatt's life. I know he is a better person because of her. We love you Gramma Beasley!

That pretty much sums-up the past two-weeks of my life. Not the most exciting two-weeks but pleasant none-the-less. And two-weeks I wouldn't want to trade for anything else!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The "F" Word

Yes, I know. I’ve been awfully quiet lately… Perhaps you’ve thought I’ve been up to no good (much like those suspiciously quiet kids you discover using finger nail polish to paint the bed skirt (true story about one of my nieces)). But alas, I indeed have been up to no good. But let’s not talk about that. Instead, I thought I might briefly shine some light on the aspect of my life that has been occupying much of my time these days... My new job.

Yes, that’s right! I have a new job! Though, I wonder if I can really call it “new” since I’ve been working at my current employer for two-months now. Perhaps I’ve been delaying my announcement to my bloggy readers since I didn’t actually know how to explain what I do. That is, until this week. My company just wrapped-up the semi-annual sales meeting that unveiled some exciting new developments. Before I share with you the flashy version summarizing what I do, I’ll give you the same shpeel I used to gloss over when I was asked the question, “what do you do?”

“I am part of the business development team for a life insurance company that specializes in policies specifically for funerals. In other words, I work for a funeral planning company.”

I even had one friend go as far to ask, “What exactly do you do to develop the business for a funeral planning company? Do they give you a shotgun and send you out to develop business?” (It was actually quite funny. I’m actually laughing right now as I type.)

I still do work in business development… But after this week, I’m going to refer all inquires here: (Quick note: this isn't the official website of my company, Lincoln Heritage. It's merely a resource for potential customers to learn more about pre-planning a funeral.)

You should check-it-out. There are a lot of fun, touching, well-done videos. Our marketing crew did a fantastic job! I think it’ll make it easier for people to discuss the “f-word”. And most importantly, help people to understand a little bit better about what I do.

Ta-ta for now!