Thursday, January 31, 2008

When I'm bored...

I like to look at baby names websites.
Here's some names I like:



Boys names to be continued...



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Word of the Week:

Feeling truely inspired by my pal I'm going to start a Word of the Week. The words will be Scottish because that's what I am.


To shake something.

"Ah couldna get it oot so ah geid it a wee shoogle."

"Gie me a wee shoogle if ah faw asleep."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The reluctant post.

So I've been putting this off all day but I need to do it.

Today is the 15th anniversary of Caitlin's death.

Like I said on her birthday the time has just flown by. I'm not sad anymore when I think about it but I try to live to be a better example to her if she was still here. I had a lot of regrets about not having a good relationship with Beki and how things turned out there. I blamed myself for her choices because I always just wanted the best for her and for her to be truely happy. I want Beki for eternity.

I wonder how Caitlin would have turned out; if I'd blame myself for her mistakes when really I have no control over anyone else and I'm maybe not even in control of myself all the time... ok, not really. Maybe she would have a strong testimony and a life plan. Maybe she would have followed Beki's example because my expectations were too high for her.
I really try not to live in the past and I don't like to dwell on 'what-ifs' but this is something I think about all the time.

I hope I can have children who understand the importance of eternity. It's hard to lose someone in this life but it certainly drives me harder to behave and get back to my little sister.
I wonder if she's happy with the choices I've made.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line...

Today the weather is absolutely attrocious! It's horrible. I can't help thinking about the poor postman who's out there delivering mail. I don't think we've had weather like this the whole time we've been it - it certainly doesn't encourage us to want to stay here for longer than we need to, that's for sure!

Last night the wind was howling and then this morning it continued then to make things just that little bit more exciting it started to snow too. Stuart almost didn't go to school today it was so bad. He did go and he drove because there was no way he'd make it to school walking - he might have made it to Idaho Falls but not to school... I can almost hear Cameron yelling "I'm flying! I'm flying!" right now.

As I was skimming over some blogs I once again noticed on Kat's the familiar stylings of a Rocks in My Dryer banner. I followed the links and came across a wonderfully amazing find! A bunch of bloggy giveaways! I almost don't want to share the links because I want all the stuff for myself! So this is how I've been spending my day - leaving comments on blogs so I can win stuff - cool stuff! Through cruising all those pages I've come across some really sweet things - I can't wait to have kids so I can get some of those things for them.
Here's some of my favorites:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Hinckley.

Bless him. He passed away today at 7pm.

I was a little shocked when we were first told and I suppose it's still sinking in. Mostly I've been feeling quite excited for him. I imagine there would have been a huge welcoming party for him on the other-side.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm Blue.

Take this test!

You're blue — the most soothing shade of the spectrum. The color of a clear summer sky or a deep, reflective ocean, blue has traditionally symbolized trust, solitude, and loyalty. Most likely a thoughtful person who values spending some time on your own, you'd rather connect deeply with a few people than have a bunch of slight acquaintances. Luckily, making close friends isn't that hard, since people are naturally attracted to you — they're soothed by your calming presence. Cool and collected, you rarely overreact. Instead, you think things through before coming to a decision. That level-headed, thoughtful approach to life is patently blue — and patently you!

February? Almost.

The last few days I've been feeling a bit barfy so yesterday Stuart took me out for some fresh air and wee treat. He took me to Jamba Juice and then to Gandolfo's for a sandwich. It was a really nice to get out the house and to start the weekend that way. The weeks seem to be flying by here. In no time it'll be summer time and then Stuart will only have 2 more semesters of school left here. Insane! I love it!

Last night we had Scott and Aileen over and also our friends Betsy and Anthony. We chatted and played a few games of Bang. It was a bunch of fun. We ate yummy mango salsa and queso dip. Tonight we'll be playing Settlers of Catan. I'm not sure what that game even is but I'm pretty excited about the whole idea of it.

Our first few semesters here were so much fun. We'd stay up really late most nights hanging out with neighbours, playing games, watching movies and eating food but mostly we'd be laughing all night. Those days seemed to be long gone until last night. It was like a little taste of the past. Hopefully there'll be more times like that. It makes me so excited to think about having our own home where we'll be able to entertain whenever we like and have room for it too. I can't wait. Movie night, games night, dinner, potluck... you name it, I'm going to host it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Today I'm thinking:

At some point in my future I think I'll get an O2 mobile phone. O2 is a phone company back home that sell sim cards for 1 pound and help people ungrade their phones for cheap. They also do 'pay as you go' which means I could top up my credit online - no monthly bills. I'd use it for texting my family back home and if they felt like it they could put credit on my phone online for me...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

15 years.

Today marks the 15th birthday of my youngest sister, Caitlin. Tuesday will mark the 15th anniversary of her death. It's strange to think that 15 years have passed. It doesn't seem like that long and then when I think about all the milestones she would have accomplished by now and the things I've accomplished and overcome it seems like forever. Hmmm.

Today I found some notes my dad had written on her family history file. I thought it was quite something that I found it today of all days:

Caitlin was six days old when she died. I (her father) held her in my arms as she slipped away. I would gladly have given my life for her to have been made well. We all loved her and were looking forward to looking after her and watching her grow. She was small and beautifull, perfect. For the short life that Caitlin had she touched a great number of lives.
I was able to give Caitlin her name and a blessing about an hour before we lossed
her. I felt pain in a way that I never have before.

Caitlin was six days old when she died.

It just reminds me to keep behaving so I can be with her for eternity.

Random thought...

It's strange to think that the warmest place I've ever called 'home' is Scotland. I'd never have expected that. Ever.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

I've never experienced weather like this before. It's insane. I don't have much to say about it other than I hate it.
Don't let the sunshine fool you. It's -12'c/10'f out there!

My Presidential Candidate Selector.

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100%)
2. Duncan Hunter (withdrawn) (57%) Information link
3. Stephen Colbert (campaign halted) (55%) Information link
4. Tom Tancredo (withdrawn, endorsed Romney) (52%) Information link
5. Sam Brownback (withdrawn, endorsed McCain) (52%) Information link
6. Ron Paul (51%) Information link
7. John McCain (50%) Information link
8. Chuck Hagel (not running) (49%) Information link
9. Christopher Dodd (withdrawn) (47%) Information link
10. Joseph Biden (withdrawn) (47%) Information link
11. Al Gore (not announced) (46%) Information link
12. John Edwards (46%) Information link
13. Fred Thompson (withdrawn) (46%) Information link
14. Alan Keyes (45%) Information link
15. Barack Obama (45%) Information link
16. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (44%) Information link
17. Hillary Clinton (44%) Information link
18. Mitt Romney (44%) Information link
19. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (43%) Information link
20. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn, endorsed Giuliani) (43%) Information link
21. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (41%) Information link
22. Rudolph Giuliani (39%) Information link
23. Mike Huckabee (37%) Information link
24. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (37%) Information link
25. Bill Richardson (withdrawn) (35%) Information link
26. Mike Gravel (34%) Information link
27. Wayne Allyn Root (32%) Information link
28. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (31%) Information link
29. Dennis Kucinich (28%) Information link
30. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (28%) Information link
31. Elaine Brown (22%) Information link

Try it for yourself.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Determination + Desperation =

This week is going to be a good one. I'm going to make sure of that! We've had a pretty good start to it. Yesterday I was able to stay for the 3 whole hours of church. I'm not even sure the last time that happened. My back is a little more sore from it today but I shan't complain. I really needed to stay for the whole 3 hours. I was able to chat to a good friend/visiting teaching companion, Betsey and set up visiting teaching appointments with her. We're going to do a girls night/pot luck dinner on Thursday with one of our girls who just had a baby and is having some cabin fever.

Scott and Aileen came over after church yesterday and I made chimichanga's for dinner. They stayed and played games and chatted with us until 11.20pm. I love having them here. They'll be coming over again tonight and we'll have Betsey and her husband over to play games. It'll be great. I think tonight is pizza night too. MMmmm!

I'm also going to write another article for the Emigrate Newspaper that I wrote for before. It's all very exciting. This time I'll be writing a profile article for Idaho and why it's so great. Did you know the top 4 places Brits emigrate to are New York, Florida, California and Texas? I'm still amazed by Texas. I thought Washington or Oregon would have been in it's place.

Getting to talk to Beki has really helped cheer me up. I was also able to set some other things straight with another family member and I feel a lot better. I'm shedding stress that I don't need to carry around and it feels GREAT. I just hope this year will be better than last year. It's started out pretty good so I have high hopes.

I've started off the year with family in mind -
*I started 2 family websites to bring people together and to help get some family history done.

*Beki has called me her best friend which feels good. We had a rough time last year where she told me it would be impossible for us to be best friends because I'm too far away so that was a really big thing and it could be the highlight of my whole year.

*We're talking about starting a family more. Stuart seems to have warmed up to the idea after our trip to Scotland. That's thanks to Beki raising the brilliant Cameron to have such a huge affect on everyone he meets. And thanks to Stuart for knowing how important it is for me to see my family again.

*We've been spending time with extended family that I never really knew before and I've gained a great friend through it - My Project Runway buddy.

This weeks will be good and it's helping 2008 look good too :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unconditional Love Defined.

"We just want to make your lives a little bit more comfortable it sucks being poor! And it's nice being able to afford nice food and new shoes and little treats and your my best friend so i want you to have nice things i don't like the idea of you wearing clothes that are getting worn and shoes that don't have super good grips. I'm going to start sending care packages too i think just so you have something to look forward to every month. I want you and stuart to be happy i like that i'm able to help you's out because if the table was turned you'd do the same for us. And the less stress in your lives the better so if a little bundle of paper help then i'm up for that! It'll come in handy which is the main thing so i don't really give a toss if you want us to or not you need help and your getting it so just deal with it. Ok! :-)"

Friday, January 18, 2008


Double posting, I know! I'm making up for last weeks lack of posts... You know you love it.

Today some pictures started appearing on our family site. It's pretty exciting for me because I love love LOVE family history...

Here's todays favorite.
My Papa Stronach is the one in the middle looking at the camera.
Growing up I never felt a bond with him and found him to be really intimidating - sort of how people see my dad. Papa died when I was 15 and it's only been within the past 5 years or so that I've really felt a connection with him. I find myself wondering if he's pleased with the choices I make and what it's going to be like when I see him again on the other side... So this is a post for my Papa.
James Wiseman Stronach was a brave man. He fought in World War II and is probably the reason for my fascination with War stories. He was also amazing at keeping notes for family history and that's something I really appreciate and love! He was a brilliant bagpipe player, as you can see in the picture, and very patriotic. He could do the sword dance whilst playing the pipes. He could beat up anyone. He was hard as nails to the very end. I've never seen so much diversity in one small room as I did at his funeral. He had an affect on everyone... I'm going to learn more about him so I can really make him pleased with me.

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!

This is my mum and dad.

Right now I'm in the midst of a long over due conversation with my best friend/little sister, Beki. Read for yourself:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
so whats he going to do when he has to leave school?

Sinner. says:
Well right now he doesn't know if he wants to be a dentist because dental school is really expensive.

Sinner. says:
I'm trying to get him to be a dolphin trainer.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Sinner. says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
more people are attacked by doliphins every years than by sharks

Sinner. says:
A dolphin trainer! that would be so cool!

Sinner. says:
You're getting Hippo's and dolphins mixed up.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
no im not

Sinner. says:
yeah you are

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
hippos kill more people in africa every year than lions and crocs and everything combined

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
dolphins attack about 250 people a year

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
sharks attack about 10

Sinner. says:
you're scaring me.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
its true

Sinner. says:
Well then maybe we'll join a circus!

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
we're sending you some money ok

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
we feel you need some

Sinner. says:
you're paying Stuart not to be a dolphin trainer?!

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
have you's got bank details

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
dave again give me your bank info

Sinner. says:
are you bullying me? Is this because of the dolphin thing?

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Sinner. says:
I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
dont care

Sinner. says:

Sinner. says:
I don't know my bank info.

Sinner. says:
Stuart isn't here to tell me where to get it.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
no messing we`ve got it you nead it

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
send beki a text when you have it and stop being a bum bag

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
well send it on wednesday

Sinner. says:
You know, you don't have to pay us to be your friends.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
we know

Sinner. says:
Usually when we say 'dolphin trainer' everyone laughs because it's such a jolly thing.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
they are evil and must be stopped

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
$400 ok?

Sinner. says:
I appologise for offending you with our Dolphin training enthusiasm.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
im sure in time i will find it in my heart to forgive you

Sinner. says:
I really think you should just keep the money for us

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
dave wont though

Sinner. says:
doesn't he have a heart?

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
your getting it

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
we'll save more to help you over

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
he does its just small

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
his heart i mean

Sinner. says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
so yeah we're sending you money

For part of this conversation I think Beki turned into Dwight from The Office. FACT!

It just kept going. Everything comes back to Dave's fear of dolphins and then my fear of dinosaurs.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
pregnant women are nuts

Sinner. says:
do you know dolphins love pregnant women because of the two heart beats?

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
they bite 250 people a year

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
kill about 20

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
sharks only kill about 8

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
and bite aboput 10

Sinner. says:
where did you learn this?

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
its a fact

Sinner. says:
I'd rather be bitten by a dolphin than a shark!

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
david atenborugh

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
dolphins have more teeth than sharks

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
they are also smaller and sharper

Sinner. says:
was it David or Richard who was in Jurassic Park?

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
it was dickie

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
so richard

Sinner. says:
Jurassic park is the most frightening film I've ever seen. I'm about to start crying just thinking about it.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
cameron has the box set

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
he loves it

Sinner. says:
I'd rather watch Flipper than Jurassic Park.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
he laughs the whole way through

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
daves says be thankful he's not allowed to hurt you

Sinner. says:
I cry the whole way through. I honestly hate Jurassic Park. We need to stop talking about it now. My eyes are welling up.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
no he didnt

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:
he said be thankful im not allowed in your county

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

Sinner. says:
oh, I see how that could be mixed up.

Mrs Brennan proud owner of 3 under 5's says:

The thing I love most about talking to Beki on MSN is that we have these kind of conversations in real life. With MSN I can go back and read it and laugh all over again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pet Peeve #2

People who say they are another nationality ie. Irish when they're born and raised in America. If you weren't born there then you aren't it. Your ancestors might be but that doesn't make you it too...

Today I feel much better. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm sick today.

I have nothing to write about other than aching ribs, sneezing and snots...
Old Navy is having an insane sale right now. If I had money I'd be buying a ton of stuff. Check it out...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Preconditioned Love.

Thanks everyone for your insights on 'Unconditional Love'.
It seems to always come back to the same thing. Everyone brought up really good points.

*The love a mother has/should have for her child.
*You make a sacrafice for someone without a second thought.
*You feel with them.
*It's a love that truely knows no bounds.
*It's Christ-like.
*It's Godly.
*It may be easier to give than to feel or accept.
*It's abused.
*It's pure and accepting.
*It's when a person's flaws are perfect for you.
*It's individual.
*It's eternal.
*It just is. No strings attached. You either do or you don't. You should.
*It's part of loving yourself.
*It's humble.

Another thing that amazes me is Stuart. He's brilliant and I love him to bits. One day we were talking about something and he said,

"When the time comes I'm not going to welcome (person) back with open arms because I've had my arm around them the whole time."

I might just like to play with words but that statement really amazed me. Do we always think about what we're really saying? The best part was that he really meant it.

We're all sinners and yet we're all worthy of Unconditional Love so why don't we do it more? If you don't feel like you're loved Uncondionally what's really stopping you from doing it to someone else? If you want it back maybe you have to give it more. If you are loved Unconditionally are you doing it to everyone to show them how great it feels?

This weeks challenge to all: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
It'll make you happy. Promise. Repair a relationship for the sake of it. Life's too short to have regrets.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Unconditional Love.

Think about that and tell me what it means to you.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

King Arthur.

Tonight we started watching the new King Arthur film with Scott and Aileen. Few people know that I detest King Arthur movies. This one will never be the same again - and could be my favorite all because of this little story...

At the beginning they show a shot of Hadrian's Wall: I was sitting thinking about home and the purpose of the wall when Aileen asks, "Is that the Great Wall of China?!"...

Friday, January 4, 2008

What makes me, Me.

It's a new year and I'm going to rediscover myself. I've gotten to know myself really well over the last 5 years or so. I'm secure with who I am and I quite like me.

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up the way I am:

My parent's are to blame/applaud. I'm a Stronach which means I'm part of a team and you should be scared of me. I'm serious. Have you seen my brother's?

I believe in God and that families can be together for eternity - none of this 'til death do us part milarky. Eternity is where it's at but we have to behave.

I come from a roadtrippy family. Roadtrips mean family time and CAR-eoke - The Osmonds, The Carpenter's, Andy Williams... It also means using your fist as a microphone and listening to Beki sing out of key really loud. Bless her, I love her. I love when she sings "What would you do if I sang out of key? Would you stand up and walk out on me?" Haha. Is that the theme song from The Wonder Years? Roadtrips also mean adventures.

Stronach adventures sometimes means camping without tents. I missed out on a recent Super-Stronach adventure when Dad took Beki and Andrew out on an ultimate survival trip - Beki was pregnant with twins at the time. They snuggled together and made pine needle tea. Beki carved spoons for them to use. It was hardcore. *Jealous*

I want adventures. I love maps and globes and old books. I like knowing how things work and where places are. I dig history, especially family history. Sunday afternoon's are made for stories. I like seeing old places. I love the sea and thinking about adventures that happened out there on boats and far away places.

The relationship I have with my parent's plays a big part of how I got this way. I was a horrible youth who hated school so rarely went. I wouldn't eat dinner with my family or talk to them. I was really horrible but my mum tried really hard to help me. It worked. My mum's my best friend. My dad's amazing too. Stuart has a lot to live up to.

I'm quick witted. I can't be sure where I got that from but I like it.

I love my heritage and can't wait to have a family to tell them about their rascally Papa Stronach and the mischief he got up to - and still does.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


"The past is behind--we must learn from it.
The future is ahead--we must prepare for it.
The present is now--we must live in it."

(Thomas S. Monson, "Three Gates to Open," CES Fireside for Young Adults, Jan. 14, 2001)

Diplomacy, dipshlomacy,,,

We started the New Year the way we mean to go on - with friends and with a clean kitchen!
Stuart, Scott and Jeff played "Diplomacy" for 8 hours whilst Aileen and I snuggled and read together and eventually fell asleep. It was 4am before they left. It's so nice to have the freedom to have people over whenever we want and I love how comfortable our friends are here that they can stay that long or rake through our fridge for something to eat. I love that. I work hard to make our home welcoming and comfortable...
Yesterday I made New Years Dinner. Back home New Year is HUGE - bigger than Christmas. I made Turkey, stuffing, gravy (from scratch), mashed tatties, roast tatties, carrots, pig in blankets, devilled eggs, bread sauce, pasta salad... I was cooking all day and now I'm paying for it with this back-attack. My back is KILLING me... but dinner was good. Stuart was the official Baste-ard of the day. Aileen and Scott were here, Jeff came over and then Hilary and Russ came for a visit. It was a really good day. I made a Hot Fudge Pudding cake and we all ate it with Huckleberry ice-cream.
Today I'm taking dinner to a neighbour who just had a baby so I'll make some turkey tetrazinni or something.

Right now I'm reading a book and it's possible that it's the most boring book I've ever touched. It's taking forever to get through it because it makes me fall asleep. I have to finish it though before I can start another one. It also makes me confident that I could have a book published. This one truely is awful...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Lang May Yer Lumb Reek!

Happy New Year and all that!
This year has been brilliant with learning and experiences - some good and some truely terrible. Looking back I think I could have dealt with things a little better. Hurting my back and having to rely on everyone was probably the beginning of my downward spiral into negativity and after that September was a truely awful month. I think I grew up a lot in those few months without really wanting to. But September is over; 2007 is over and I'm ready and excited to start afresh. There's things I'm really looking forward to this year ie. Stuart's last whole year of school, the possibility of an exciting internship in a new place, Christmas in Scotland maybe, maybe we'll have a baby... there's so much to look forward to. Because of the sucky stuff that happened in 2007 Stuart and I have really grown together and I think that's one of the most exciting things ever. Who'd have known we could become even better friends and even more in love?! I had no idea it was possible.

My goal for this year are to really focus on the positive side of awful situations, experiences and people who bug me - and to focus quicker instead of letting things upset me for a while. I'm usually quite good about that but I think I really need to recommit myself to it. And as usual - No regrets. Life is too short to have regrets.