Infertility and Choosing Motherhood

When we first got married, my husband, Jon, and I figured we’d eventually have three children, but agreed to wait and enjoy life with just the two of us for a good long while. During those first couple years, my periods went from problematic to extremely painful, and then debilitating, culminating in an embarrassing incident in the mother’s room at church where an investigator found me writhing on the floor and throwing up from pain. Visitors welcome! This was a turning point for me though, because once I was recovered enough for Jon to walk me to the car, the Primary president (who was the first person the investigator found when she ran for help, whom Jon had to talk down from calling an ambulance) kindly insisted, “This isn’t normal; it doesn’t need to be like this,” and urged me to see the reproductive endocrinologist who had helped her daughter with similar symptoms. I made an appointment the next day.

He believed me. I cried in his office! (I am not a public crier.) I was just so grateful to be validated instead of having my pain be downplayed again. (I had been told by more than one doctor to just take Midol.) [Read more…]

Mormons name their kids the darnedest things: Born in 2016 edition

It’s that special time of year when I push my spell-checker to its absolute limit! That’s right; baby names are here, and a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, too! This is a big day for me, because it marks TEN YEARS of blogging awful baby names from southeast Idaho. (For more background, and the complete anthology, click here.)

Okay, let’s rip off this band-aid! [Read more…]

Five Finger Discount

I might as well tell you about the only time I ever deliberately stole something. The theft just so happened to take place on the exact day that I met my future husband, though he has nothing to do with why I did it. (Not consciously, anyway. <— Ha! That is going to be mildly to moderately funny when you find out what I stole!)

Twelve years ago my friend Lianna pulled me aside in a panic at her wedding reception. A garter! She’d forgotten a garter! How would her groom’s older brother ever get married if he didn’t catch the garter at their wedding?? Luckily I, an otherwise respectable young Mormon woman, somehow knew exactly where the nearest lingerie shop was, so I enlisted my friend Christa to keep me company and we set off for Naughty or Nice, determined to save the day.

We quickly located a suitable specimen and made our way to the register where the cashier handed me a receipt to sign and motioned toward the pen jar. Well, imagine my surprise and supreme delight to there discover a veritable hoard of Bic pens with tiny plastic penises on top! They were flesh-colored and everything!! I gingerly made my selection, signed the receipt, and would have returned the pen to its holder had the cashier not at that exact moment turned her back to fold some unmentionables.

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Thoughts I Had During X-Men: Apocalypse

Before I get into it, this is how my day began:

My husband: Let’s see X-Men tonight.
Me: Noooooo I don’t want to pay to see that in the thea– Is Fassbender in it?
My husband: Yep.
Me: …Fine.

(No spoilers) [Read more…]

Mormons name their kids the darnedest things: Born in 2015 edition

On Monday my mom mailed me a Much Anticipated Envelope. It contained the “Born in 2015” insert from her local newspaper, the Post Register. This annual publication announces the births of babies born the previous year in Rexburg and Idaho Falls, and is a veritable treasure trove of delightfully bad baby names. (Mormons, as you may know, love made-up and/or misspelled baby names. “Why use vowels when ‘Y’ exists?” is actually the Idaho state motto.) [Read more…]

Top 15 Hamiltunes

There’s a little musical on Broadway; perhaps you’ve heard of it?


This was a hard list to write, and even harder to sort. But here goes:


15. The Schuyler Sisters – I’m always awed by the harmonized vocal runs in this song. Also, there’s always a Peggy. WORK!

14. You’ll be Back – King George, ostensibly channeling British pop star Mika, singing to the colonies as though they’re his estranged lover?? Say no more. (Well, just one thing more: “Da da da da daaaaaaaaaa da, da da da di-ya da, da da da da di-ya da…”) [Read more…]

Behold Our Little Ones

The church has had a longstanding policy that children may not be baptized without parental consent. Therefore, most of the people that this new policy directly affects are worthy, believing children whose righteous desire for baptism has the full support of their gay parent(s). Of that group of individuals, the few that this policy doesn’t manage to drive away will continue to attend church and hear messages contradictory to their home life. Yes, they will often feel dissonance. Their hearts will ache at times. In that regard, they will be in the company of many others who, for a whole host of reasons, do not experience The Ideal at home. Except that these children, these precious, worthy souls, will have to navigate those waters without the Gift of the Holy Ghost to comfort and guide them.

What is our strategy to not lose these children forever?

Angels Unawares

I have a dear friend I met through work (obliquely – he’s not an employee) named Bobby. We soon discovered that we’re kindred spirits, despite the fact that we have almost nothing in common: I work in an office, he’s a firefighter and EMT; I’m almost 30, he’s almost 50; I’m white, he’s black; I’m Mormon, he’s nondenominational Christian. But on those happy, rare occasions when our schedules align for lunch, we have hours-long, reflective conversations about a wide range of topics including religion, politics, current events, feminism, and racial injustice. His stories often make me cry (once I’m safely back at home – I’m not a public crier), like his retelling of the time an elderly white woman, in middle of a heart attack, screamed for her purse and clutched it tightly with both hands after Bobby stepped in to perform a life-saving maneuver on her. [Read more…]

Improve This Shining Moment

My Relief Society is implementing a weekly “spotlight” so we can get to know each other a little better. The questions, emailed in advance to the featured sister, are as follows:


1) What’s your family nickname?

2) What’s your favorite food?

3) What’s your favorite color? [Read more…]

A trip diary and an uncharacteristic public outpouring of gratitude

My husband and I just got home from backpacking Havasupai Falls. The exhausting 20 mile round-trip trek into and out of the Grand Canyon was worth every step (even though I currently walk like the kid in Jurassic Park after he got electrocuted on the fence).

I ran out of superlatives before we even reached the water.

Descending into the canyon at sunrise

Descending into the canyon at sunrise

Tree of life

Tree of life

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Fun with’s Extensive Stock Photo Library

I’m sure you knew that is the place to look for images of temples, missionary work, and people with hands on their heads. But did you also know that in the depths of the media library, there is a picture of a bearded man wearing suspenders strumming a guitar with a harmonica attachment? Or a picture of a young couple assembling empanadas? There’s a photo for nearly every occasion! Here is just a small sampling of the many hundreds of pictures you could, with a little creativity, incorporate into your next Sunday School lesson:

 “My favorite part was when he hands the gun over to her and she uses his shoulder as a rifle stand.” “YAASSS”

“My favorite part was when he hands the gun over to her and she uses his shoulder as a rifle stand.”

“I learned how to make these homemade Hot Pockets on my mission to Arrrrhentina.”

“I learned how to make these homemade Hot Pockets on my mission to Arrrrhentina.”

[Read more…]

Survey says…!

Have you seen this? It’s a survey from the BYUSA Student Advisory Council regarding the dress and grooming portion of the Honor Code. You’ll notice that this survey never actually asks for student attitudes toward the Honor Code; it seems to be more about figuring out where the dress standards could be enforced more strictly and nudging students (“If you feel that it is appropriate”) to provide specific violations. I do not encourage you to click that link and troll the completely anonymous survey; it was no fun at all. Not one bit. [Read more…]

I Stand All Amused

Church is different things to different people. It can be a respite, a haven. It can be divisive; it can knit us together. It is often boring. It can fill us with peace or with pain, and sometimes both within the same meeting. It can be the source of angst and pure joy. But I hope we can all agree that church is the best when it’s funny. The following are my favorite remembrances of irreverent laughter – the kind that causes you to slump over in your pew to hide your shameful shoulder-shaking and tear-wiping from God and the bishop. [Read more…]

Just Serve

This is how easy it is to volunteer for a service project.

This is how easy it is to volunteer for a service project.

Today in our third block we had a combined meeting with the adults and youth about The website has apparently been around for a couple of years (though today was the first I’d heard of it), but they’re now expanding it into the Phoenix valley. Our bishop joked that they’re doing the pilot program in CA, TX, and AZ first because “we want to make sure we get it exactly right before Utah screws it up.”

[Read more…]

Book Review: Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement

CaptureUp until ten days ago, I’d never even heard of Fascinating Womanhood, a how-to-save-your-marriage manual-cum-lifestyle popularized by a Mormon housewife in the early 60s. Thanks to historian and author Julie Debra Neuffer, that situation has now been rectified. Neuffer’s new book, Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement, gives an unprecedented look into the personal experiences and social/political climate that spurred Andelin’s pursuit of an antidote for divorce, the growth of her idea into an international enterprise, and the supposed enemies she made along the way (“…the feminists, the abortionists, the liberals, the BYU Family Relations Department, and the General Presidency of the Relief Society.”) [Read more…]

Say it with a Saturday’s Warrior GIF: Part 2


Saturday’s Warriors GIFs are back. [Read more…]

Say it with a Saturday’s Warrior GIF: Part 1

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The only aspect of this post I can take credit for is providing the photo which catalyzed a side-splitting bit of fun in the BCC permas (current and emeritus) Facebook group today.

Stake Prez Reserved Parking

I snapped this on my way into Sacrament meeting this morning. It was only my fourth week attending my new ward and the first time in my life I’ve ever seen reserved stake presidency parking. I shared the image, asked “Is this a thing?”, noted that the stake Relief Society presidency’s reserved spots were conspicuously absent, and then the fun began. [Read more…]

And they were sore afraid.

There are three people in my life who have a true phobia of public speaking: [Read more…]

Mother’s Day Debrief

I want to know what your ward did for the big day. [Read more…]

Must Wear Watch


Last week I was going through my old high school keepsakes (mine fit in a hatbox, my husband’s span two countries, but this is neither the time nor place for that complaint) when I came across what used to be one of my most valued possessions. It’s a list in my 16 year old sparkly pink gel pen handwriting entitled “The Man of My DREAMS!”, the result of a Mutual activity planned with extremely limited resources and no imagination. In lieu of doing anything fun, we did this. [Read more…]

The Resurrection of a Mazda

When I returned home from work a few weeks ago, I broke into a wide grin at the happy sight of a familiar Mazda Protégé in the parking lot. She’s a scientific wonder affectionately known as The Maz; 24 years old, baby blue (in places), boasting all of her 406,000 kilometers with every inch of her peeling, rusting, dented and pockmarked body. She’d just spent nearly a month at the shop before coming home to us, her engine once again purring like a kitten. “It’s not worth it,” the auto shop had told my husband, Jon. “Why don’t you just go buy a used Corolla instead?” O ye of little faith. [Read more…]

Pants: A Review

If you’re thinking that one of the coolest people you know is named Jessica Jensen, you’d be right. She originally blogged with us last year, resulting in the epic Jonny Lingo .gif post. She lives in Phoenix and has been married 9 years to a perpetual student. She supports him by doing office support for an engineering firm but she plans on those student/provider roles reversing in the future. She also blogs when she feels like it at her Bloggity Blog.

I wore pants to church last Sunday for the first time. My main reason for doing it was very simple: I just plain wish women felt comfortable wearing pants to church. They’re more practical than skirts (especially for mothers of young children), they’re often dressier than, well, dresses, they warm your legs in the arctic temperatures of the Young Women’s room, and what year is this again? And while I do hope for greater visibility for female members of the church, I specifically chose not to participate in the designated Wear Pants to Church Day because I didn’t want to heighten the controversy. So I waited it out a few weeks instead. [Read more…]

Your Comprehensive Guide to Johnny Lingo: A GIF Extravaganza!

Please welcome a very funny woman (and my SIL), Jessie Jensen, with her first BCC guest post. She tweets as @JessieJensen, if you’re into that sort of thing, and you might have seen her popular “baby names” posts on her Bloggity Blog.

For better or for worse, Johnny Lingo is an inescapable part of Mormon lore, as immovable as the everlasting hills. This short film, the joint creation of the Sunday School General Board and (what is now) BYU-Hawaii and abounding in abysmal wigs, has been delighting LDS audiences for all the wrong reasons since 1969. If you’re unfamiliar with the storyline, you can view the thing in its entirety here, or you can save yourself 24 minutes of cringing and check out my handy GIF guide instead. Consolidated cringing!


We begin with the announced arrival of the much-anticipated title visitor.


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