Sunday, December 18, 2011


So remember the last post, about one in four? Well...I WON!!! I just experienced the most magical, most un-anticipated week in London!

My very favorite thing about the trip was the new friends I made. I've met a few of the London team members via video conference, some during my interviews and some since. But nothing could have prepared me for the fabulous week I had with them. I was a little apprehensive to be working for a week with strangers, but from the moment I walked in (jet-lagged and all) they were so welcoming and I felt like I had known them forever. They were so great to train and help me with any questions I had, and then Thursday night we had such a fun Christmas party. It was so much harder to say goodbye than I could have anticipated.

After work, I was able to go out and see some of the wonders London had to offer. While it was incredible, the thought that kept running through my head was "I wish my mom or sisters were here to see this." I tried to remember every detail and things I wanted to tell them about, little things I saw that would make them laugh or roll their eyes. I missed them like crazy and it seemed like it had been much longer than a week since I had seen them.

Monday night I was beat from traveling but knew I had to get myself on London time asap. So I forced myself to walk a few blocks from my hotel to Covent Gardens. It was such a fun shopping experience! I felt like I was in a movie. Everything was so charming and festive, with Christmas lights and live musicians and the smells of delicious food wafting through the air. I had to keep reminding myself that about the exchange rate because all the shopping was so tempting!

The walk to and from work every day was such an adventure. It was about 10 minutes from the hotel to the office, and I passed The Royal Courts of Justice and then so many fun offices, shops, and restaurants. The people were so classy and all so thin and well dressed. The weather was in the low 40s all week and mostly sunny, a few little rain showers here and there to give me a true taste of London.

Just past the office was St. Paul's Cathedral. I took a lunch break Tuesday to go see it and it was incredible. A church has been on this site for hundreds of years, longer than anywhere else in England. I usually feel like cathedrals are cold and dark, but this one was so beautiful and had such an incredible spirit in it. As I walked through it, listening to the audio guide, I was impressed with how everything was built to point to the Holiness and Omnipotence of God and Jesus Christ. Although things didn't align perfectly with my faith, I could feel the sincerity from those coming here to worship in their own way. In one quiet corner was a painting of the scripture "I stand at the door and knock," which literally took my breath away. I stood there and stared at it for so long, and realized how no matter where we are in life, our souls are all searching for the truth.

As I walked down the stairs and back to work, my brand new high heels slipped on the stair edge and I managed to fall down the cathedral all the tourists enjoyed that!!

Tuesday night I ran quickly back to Covent Gardens to grab a few things from stores that had closed before I could get there the night before, and then went to Crazy for You at the Novello theater. I was kind of kicking myself for choosing an American play, but it was SO charming to see the Wild West portrayed by this group of English performers! The accents were so over the top but so fun! After the play I realized I hadn't had time for dinner, so I asked the hotel for a restaurant suggestion. The doorman walked me to a Turkish-English restaurant where I had the most delicious steak and just sat and watched people. The manager of the restaurant kept coming over and chatting with me, calling me Madam and when I left he thanked me for coming and kissed the back of my hand. I was completely flattered until the next day when I told the girls at work and they said he was just trying to take advantage of a naive tourist. :)

Wednesday night I went to see the historic and famous sites. Chelsea and Marcus told me about the Tower Bridge and that it was incredible, so I rode a double decker bus down to the Tower of London. I wished it hadn't been dark, but even still it was super impressive. I walked around that, and then came around the corner and the Tower Bridge was looming ahead. It literally brought tears to my eyes; I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my traveling. I felt like I had walked into a Disney movie and wouldn't have been surprised if everyone had burst into song. It was all lit up and un-describably huge, with purple and blue trim. It was freezing walking along the river but totally worth it. Again, I couldn't help but wish my sisters and my mom had been there. I kept thinking "I'm staring at this beautiful scene with no one to share it with!" As I started walking across the bridge a boat came down the Thames, so they lifted the middle of the bridge up and let it cross underneath, then when it was clear they lowered the bridge back down and let the cars continue. It was so impressive.

I caught the Tube like a true Londoner and headed to the House of Parliaments. I was amazed at how deep the trains were--it is incredible they can be that far underground! When I got to the stop and came up, there ahead of me was the famous Big Ben clock tower. Again, so massive. I walked down the street to the London Eye which was all lit up but unfortunately closed for the night. Then I walked the other way down to Westminster Abbey, and then past a beautiful park and then Buckingham Palace on the other end. They are all so beautiful! When my taxi driver was bringing me into the city on Monday we passed the Palace and he said "Its not the biggest palace in the world, but I suppose I'd live there, if she asked me nicely that is." It was much warmer than by the river but I was exhausted, so I caught a cab back to the hotel, ordered room service, and called it a night.

Thursday at work when the group learned the London Eye had been closed, they insisted I take another lunch break to go see it. It was fun to be out around some of the places I'd only seen in the dark. I wish I had been able to enjoy it a little more, I was far too stressed about how much time I was missing from work (what is wrong with me?!?) to completely relax, but it was still beautiful. The sun sets in London this time of year by 4, so while I was on the Eye it was going down and was so beautiful as it set behind Big Ben.

Thursday night was the Christmas party, which was more fun than I can write. They showed my video, and then we watched the 6 videos the teams there had made. It was so fun to see they laugh and complain about the same silly office issues that we do. After a fun night of the Goldman Globes, we headed to Bedhuin, a local pub where we stayed out dancing far too late but had so much fun.

Friday I ran into work just long enough to thank everyone and say goodbye. The biggest compliment I got was when one of the girls hugged me and said "I don't want you to go!" I totally agreed. Then it was back to the hotel, threw everything in my suitcases, and met my cab who was taking me to the airport. So sad to see the trip end!

I am such a lucky, lucky girl. I know this was the opportunity of a lifetime and I'm so thankful for it!

(p.s. you are probably as sick of the yellow coat and the self portraits as I am by now! And sorry for the information overload...hope you felt no obligation to read it all!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Last Friday at work I found out I was eligible to participate in a competition to win a trip to London. What's that? You didn't hear me? A TRIP TO LONDON!!!

All I have to do is make the best video. And last I checked there are 3 others competing. If my math is correct, that gives me pretty good odds. Which are the kind of odds I like.

And a HUGE thank you to Billy for the fabulous editing job--I couldn't have done it without him!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What do you get . . .

. . . when you combine a fabulous guest list . . .

{a scary witch, 3 hippies, The Situation, a rock star, a butterfly, a bumblebee, Boba Fett, a Celtics player, a chef, a baked lobster, a waitress, a cheerleader, an angel, a masked man, and the Wankiers}

. . . with tons of goulish food . . .

{Dinner in a Pumpkin, Bloody Bat Wings, Brain Filled Skulls, Bacon Wrapped Baby Fingers, Graveyard Glop, Salty Bones, and Squash soup}

. . . and WAY too many treats ? ? ?

{Vampire brownies (made by LaVerna), Bloody Eyeballs, Witch Finger Cookies, Dragon Fang Dip, Monster Mash, Taffy Skewers, and a Flaming Ghost Cake}



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There's been a chill in the air...

...which can only mean one thing!!! Happy F A L L !!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer 2011

*****NOTE: I'm having technical difficulties with this post and have literally been fighting it for over half hour. I just bot the low battery warning and am calling it. Hope it makes sense!

Wow, I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by. Tomorrow is the last day of August and I can't help be a little sad. Our family has had such a busy, eventful few months.

First, Elder Fackrell took off for the Florida Orlando Mission.

I don't know what I expected it to be like with him serving, but its been a lot harder than I imagined. He is doing so well and loving it so much. It is so amazing to watch him grow and learn and bring people to the knowledge of the Savior. But it has been so hard having him gone. He is such a strong part of our family. He was always there and I definitely took that for granted. A lot of times he blended into the background, but he was always there. I'm so proud of him.

Then in July, we waited for Baby Webb. And waited and waited.

And on August 4th, Asher Heber made it worth our wait! It was so incredible to see my brave, strong sister welcome that little guy into the world. What a labor of love. I'm so, so in love with him and wish I could hang out with him instead of being at work all day.

Then, Elise Fackrell became Elise Bruckner. Talk about GLOWING. She was SO happy. I'm so happy for her and it was so much fun. The wedding was in the Bountiful Temple and then we had such a fun reception with dancing and everything. Congrats Elise and Mike!!!

Somehow, in the middle of it all, Katie and Nate's kids grew up. They are so big. I don't know how it happened.

I'm so thankful for my family. Love them so much. They make my life colorful and I'd be lost without them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


What a fun week in Seattle! We stayed in a house right on the Puget Sound and went downtown almost every day. Once the race was over we could all relax and just enjoy being there. The weather was perfect, the kids were well behaved, and Baby Webb stayed put so Chel didn't have to give birth on vacation. We definitely missed Joe--it was weird to not have him around. Elise's fiance Mike got his first taste of a family vacation and we didn't scare him away. Our days were pretty jam packed to get everything we wanted to do in, and we almost always were together as a family. We split up one day when the girls went for pedicures and then the boys went golfing, but other than that we were able to find things that kept everyone interested.

GOOD FOOD: Hard Rock Cafe and Crab Pot were both super fun. Jackson definitely surprised us all by how much he LOVED the mussels, clams, oysters and shrimp. Lola loved the "chicken fingers" that were actually calamari. These little kids have exotic taste!

We had perfect weather to watch the Braves play the Mariners. We all enjoyed the cotton candy, pulled pork sandwiches, ice cream and fresh lemonade, but lets be honest, were a bit disappointed at the lack of Diet Cokes to be had. Lola was on the lookout to find boyfriends for both of us, but we were unsuccessful in that endeavor.

The aquarium and the science center were tons of fun. We also enjoyed the Music Project but I didn't get any pictures from there. Elise decided she wants a jelly fish tank in their apartment and Nate tried (and almost succeeded) to steal a butterfly that was taking up life on his sunglasses.

Pikes Place Market was so much fun with all the fresh produce, fish, and flowers. Such fun local color too--Miles was super intrigued and wanted to know all about marijuana and tattoos. Oh, the aspects of life that just isn't found in peaceful Cache Valley.

The Sunday afternoon ferry ride was fun and relaxing and we learned all about Seattle. We missed mom and dad but came home to give a full report on all the facts we had learned.

We were sad for the vacation to wrap up but worn out from our adventures. We headed home and spent one last night in a hotel outside of Boise, where we enjoyed the swimming pool at 10:00 p.m. and then oatmeal from McDonalds as a midnight snack. I'm so thankful for my fun family!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Yesterday I had the priviledge of running the Seattle Rock'n'Roll half marathon. 13.1 miles along some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen: through a Seattle neighborhood, along the Puget Sound, across a stretch of freeway, down an offramp, and into Downtown Seattle.

Katie, Marcus, Elise, Mike and I headed to the starting line at 5:45 a.m. with about 26,000 other crazy people. I was relieved with how soon I heard the first band playing and saw the first mile marker. The people cheering along the sidelines were so encouraging, the bands were so fun, the race was super diverse, and the relief at the end was so great!

I don't know how many more of these races I have in me, but a big shout out for my family for talking me into this and for Chelsea, Nate and the kiddos who were there to congratulate us at the finish line.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Baby Shower!!!

Last week we had a baby shower for Chelsea and her little guy. We had SO much fun planning and organizing and then being at the event. Everyone was so generous and we had so much fun oohing and ahhing about the cute little baby things.

I'm so thankful for my sisters and my mom and how much fun we always have together.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Chelsea sent me this picture today, and I couldn't stop looking at it: she is SO HAPPY. She is so happy to be pregnant, so happy to be a mom, so happy to have a family of her own. She is being such a good sport about being tired, sick, achy and everything else that comes with pregnancy. She still goes to the gym even when she can't workout the way she wants to, still looks adorable, and still works hard. I'm so proud of her and SO happy for her--Chel, you deserve to be happy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

Tonight my whole family got together at my parents house to watch my brother Joe open his mission call. We are so blessed to be part of such a huge support system. The room was totally full as he tore open the envelope and started reading..........ORLANDO FLORIDA!!!

I am so excited for him. He has grown up so much lately and is totally ready for this incredible experience. As the only boy with 4 sisters it hasn't always been easy for him, but he is a solid individual with a strong testimony that is becoming more and more obvious.

I realized the other day I haven't dedicated near enough of this blog to him, so Joe, this one's for you:

*** He's really good at making things out of wood. He made his mom and sisters cutting boards for Christmas and they are fabulous. He's currently working on a baby mobile.

*** He is genuinely sweet and a good listener. We've had many a conversation about the mysteries of dating, and its been so fun to get a male perspective from someone who is so concerned for my welfare.

*** He is a great uncle to Jackson and Miles. This fall while they were visiting he made marshmallow guns with them. I know they look up to him and watch everything he does.

*** He has a temper just like mine. Which means he understands me when I get riled up.

*** He is good at finding ways to serve. This winter my parents were out of town and he was home alone. They came home to a message from the neighbors, thanking him for shoveling the snow off their walks. He offers to babysit Katie's kids, helps with yardwork, and has moved me countless times.
*** He used to make appointments to come in for a haircut at my salon under fake names. I'd spend the whole afternoon trying to figure out who was coming in, and then be pleasantly surprised when he walked through the door, always with a diet coke in hand.
*** One night we were the only 2 at my parent's house, and he talked me into playing xBox with him. We played a car racing game, and he let me design my own purple sports car and then let me not lose by too much.
*** He is always up for a game of Ticket to Ride or a beverage run.

*** He is responsible. I learned that last summer when he and I took dad's boat up to Flaming Gorge a couple days before the rest of the family came up. He is confident and experienced and realizes when its ok to be silly and when its time to be cautious.

I'm so proud of you Joe. I know I can be hard on you but I hope you know how much I love you and how important you are to me. You're gonna rock this missionary thing--you'll love it and they'll love you--I can't wait to start getting the letters.