Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to Us!!!

As of tomorrow, Well, Well, Wells is officially one year old. Interestingly, our first post was about a football game right here in South Bend, Indiana. And here we are, one year later. I still love Indiana. And I still love Notre Dame.
And, I want to celebrate blogging for a year. I love parties, and birthdays, and blogiversaries. I love giving presents (yay!), and I love telling stories. So, I'm going to combine all that into one big contest! (Contests! I love contests! Yay* for competition!)
I love to talk and tell stories. The best stories are those I experienced personally, but only slightly less fantastic are great stories that happened to someone else. So, I have a proposition. Share a story in the comments. Tell your favorite tale of something that has happened to you. Share your high school prank, or your worst date. Talk about something cute your kid said last week. Tell how you had to call the rejected applicants that wanted to rent your condo and were accused of sexism or how you wrecked on your bike while trying to be coolly casual in front of the cutest guy on the football team.
You have one week. The contest closes next Tuesday, the 21st. On Wednesday the 22nd, I'll put all the commenters in a jar and draw two (2!!) winners and send them a present. (It's a homemade present, but I still think you'll like it. And if you don't, you can regift it to someone else who might.)
Bonus points if your story reminds me of a story I love to tell. Oh, wait. EVERY story reminds me of a story I love to tell. Lurkers, this is your chance to come out and admit you read my blog and be rewarded for it. :)
Okay, I'll start us off. This story is directly from an e-mail I sent to family and friends from when John and I were in Bolivia working in an orphanage in 2002. You may have (you probably have) heard me tell this story before, but it's my favorite. Let it be an inspiration to you. (It's long, really long, but yours doesn't have to be.)
Cochabamba again, but this time. . . we ride in style.

We are currently in Cochabamba.  Chris (John's brother) flew into La Paz
from Lima on Wednesday, and after showing him just a few of the wonders
of La Paz (especially his favorite place, Dumbo's ice cream), we decided
to bring him to Cochabamba.  The plan was to leave Friday morning, but we
decided at about 10:00 on Thursday night that we would take the overnight
bus to give us more time at the temple here.
When we got to the bus terminal, there was a line of irate people in front of
the only open bus company.  The last bus to Cochabamba was sold out,
and 20 more people wanted to get on.  We debated whether or not to just
go home, but a couple of the others ran out onto the loading dock (for lack
of a better word) just as the bus was pulling out and hopped on.  They told us
to do the same, so we did (being dumb gringos), and it was a little surprising to
see several empty seats, even after all of us (without tickets) had sat down.
The peg leg (no joke) conductor came around and asked us for tickets.
We told him we didn't have one, but we paid him for our ticket.  He told
us that our seats had probably been sold in El Alto (the city just up from
La Paz), but "Vamos a accomodar." (We will accommodate you.) We told him
we would not take an overnight bus ride standing up.  He said we wouldn't
have to.
When we stopped in El Alto, half an hour later, hordes of people got on
the bus, and we realized we were not going to have a seat.  We talked to
the conductor, and he just kept repeating (almost like a mantra) "Vamos a
acomodar." When all the seats were full, and we were still standing in the
aisle, we grabbed our luggage and got off the bus, intending to take a
combi back to La Paz and try again in the morning.  The conductor stopped
us and pointed to a mattress that they had put in an empty luggage
compartment UNDER THE BUS (dimensions about 4'x3'x8').  Two men had
already rolled in and were laying down.  They motioned for us to do the
same, and we went for it.  John laid down first, then me, then Chris,
which filled the compartment. One more guy asked if he could get in too
"por favor", so he and Chris shared Chris's space, next to the door.  We
were a little concerned about asphyxiation, but the conductor assured us
we would be okay.  Since he seemed an honest fellow, (after all, we
weren't standing) we believed him.  Also, there was a pair of shoes and
some food trash up in the rafters, so we realized it had been done before.
(Although what happened to the owner of the shoes, I have no idea.)
When the ride started, Chris realized there was going to be no lack of air
in that compartment, since cold gusts were coming through the crack in the
door.  Also, the mattress wasn't QUITE big enough for the entire
compartment, so he was half on the cold floor.  With our knees all bent,
and our heads resting on our luggage, pretty soon just about everyone was
asleep.  John was stretching out his legs on the ceiling, and realized
that one of the cables he was pressing against reved the engine.  The pipe
his other foot was on would move whenever the driver shifted gears.  Being
a boy, he pushed on the cable a couple time, enjoying his newfound power,
and tried to stop the driver from shifting by keeping the pipe from
moving.  In a moment, the bus stopped, and someone came down and opened
our door, yelling "Deja de jugar con el acelerador".  (Quit playing with
the accelerator.)  Chris, half asleep, and thinking that the driver was
asking if we needed to go to the bathroom or anything, replied, "Estamos
bien. Gracias" (No thanks. We're fine.)  The man lying next to John just
kind of grunted "Que??"  The door shut, and we continued on our way while
John giggled to himself.
After our halfway bathroom stop, (Tip:  Never step in any mud in Bolivia.)
one of our fellow passengers convinced the conductor to let him lay in the
aisle of the top half of the bus, and the guy who had been sharing with
Chris hopped in to take his spot in the middle next to John, which had to
be way warmer.  We all crunched back in, whereupon I slept very soundly.
Poor Chris was so cold that he just shivered through the next 4 hours, and
John was kept from sleep by his new neighbor who kept tossing and turning
and saying "Nunca mas" (never again) every time he moved.  We were
delighted to get to Cochabamba, but it was an experience that was worth
having once, if only for the story telling value.
We have loved the temple and the grounds here again.  It's so nice, and
the misioneros that work here are incredible. We are going to dinner
tonight with one of the couples, and we will head back to La Paz overnight
again, but we will buy our tickets in advance this time.  (It's not an
experience worth having twice, even if it has great story telling value.)
We will be starting our flight home on the 31st, and we will be back home
on the 2nd.  Crazy!  We only have 5 more days at the orphanage, but we'll
be sending one more weekly update.  Hope everyone is doing well!
Em and John

*Should it be "yea for competition"? That just seems so scriptural. And "yeah" is not really the pronunciation I'm looking for.


Logan said...

I think your original "yay" is correct.

Here's a story:

Once there was a little girl who fell off the swing.

"Why?" you may ask.

Because. She didn't have any arms.

Lyle said...

Susanne and I were called as Primary teachers in the first ward we lived in after our wedding, which I think was the Provo Fifth Ward. Most of the time, there was only one little girl in our class named Rebecca Mackinnon. This was a lot of adult attention to focus on one little girl. We were always shushing her. Susanne was teaching a lesson on Abraham being commanded to go to Canaan. Not wanting to focus entirely on Rebecca, she looked at me and said, "That's a big word. Lyle, can you say Canaan?" I very carefully pronounced both syllables. Then we both realized how silly this was and started to giggle. Poor Rebecca. I'm sure she thought, "They're always shushing me, but they get to giggle all through the class? This isn't fair."

The Pynes said...

Remember our days in the little yellow house? I think you will have yourself a little laugh when you think back on our time of "saving" the pansies from their mulching fate. Remember how we stole out under the cover of darkness with our innocent cardboard box and spoon? I specifically remember keeping guard as you stealthily dug up a couple of the better looking ones. How proud we were to bring them home and beautify our little rental. Sure enough, their mates were soon mulched. We did these pansies a great favor by saving their lives. Too bad they only lasted that one week in our soil.


Susanne said...

When Annie was three or four years old she was in primary class one Sunday. The teacher started to tell another story about Jesus. Annie turned to the teacher and put her hands on her head and said, "If I hear one more word about Jesus I am going to hit my head on this wall".
Needless to say that took the teacher by surprise.

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

My mom has had a lot of surgeries on her feet, which have left her with some quite misshapen feet. The only shoes that will support and fit her feet are quite blocky/tennis-shoe looking/lace up shoes.

One Sunday while she was teaching her primary class, a little girl raised her hand and said, "Sister Sorensen, does your mom know you are wearing those shoes to church? I don't think that my mom would say those are Sunday shoes."

Which, if you know my mom, just made her laugh and laugh and give that little girl a love.

Andrea said...

Ok Emilee here is a story from my recent woes... POTTY TRAINING! We are trying to Potty train Brigham. The first day I put underwear on him and I was taking him to the bathroom every twenty minutes. He was doing pretty well. He wanted to go outside, so I let him out. A little while later he came in with no underwear on. I told him to go outside and bring his underwear back in, which he obediently did. His underwear was still clean! At this point it was time to run errands so I decided I needed to put a diaper on him. When I laid him down to put the diaper on him I noticed that his bum was not clean. I asked him if he had gone to the bathroom. He told me he did. I asked him where...He told me outside. So I told me to show me where. He promtply led me out to the garden lot where we have all our vinyl fencing stacked waiting to be installed. There sitting on a Vinyl panel was the proof of his deed...a little poop. Shae of course thought this was hilarious. I was just thinking I sure hope that none of my neighbors (who are all elderly) saw my little boy squatting on our fence!

Story Family said...

Way to go on a wonderful year of blogging! It should be published. Someday, Em.

Here's a cute little story:

Seth's been having a hard time getting to sleep in his bed and, if he does, staying there all night. He is so scared of everything! He's convinced monsters, trolls, wherewolves and other such nonsense are completely real and all after him. Nevermind the fact that Weston sleeps in the same room, unharmed, night after night.

This has been a very recent thing and is driving Scott and I crazy. We feel bad for him, but still...come on!

Last night, after shedding a decent amount of tears, HE DID IT!! When he woke up, I ran into his room to tell him how proud of him I was. I told him, "I knew you could do it!"

He smiled proudly as said, "Yeah. And I can do this on the next days, too!"

Is this the end?? I certainly hope so!

Story Family said...

Logan!! If you're out there, I need another invite to your blog. I get so much junk mail in my inbox that it got all mixed up in there, never to be found again. I finally found it and it said my invitation had expired!! What a blow to my ego....expired!

Kent and Leisy said...

all of my really great stories take WAY too long to tell- let alone write down! I'll just have to share the very shortened down favorite story about my twin sis. I think you've heard it at least two or three times.

Laney was on her mission in Latvia when she had abdominal pain that progressed to the point of not being able to walk or sleep or move really. In the middle of the night she and her companion took a taxi to the scariest rat/cat infested old school communist hospital where she was was thoroughly examined by a russian male gynecologist, poked at prodded with needles and strange instruments, and then finally forced to walk down the lit open hallway of the hospital in NOthing but a hat and booties to the operating room where she lay AWAKE while they searched (for FAR too long) for a ruptured appendix. She was in the hospital for EIGHT days and received 38 shots in her REAR END! they didn't do IVs there.

She now has a terribly ginormous scar and the best story EVER to share. I just get to tell the story.

Liz said...

I was eleven and at a very cute stage in my life. I had bushy hair (I had gotten a perm and didn't know how to take care of it), coke-bottle glasses complete with glass-strings so I wouldn't lose them while reading, braces, and headgear.

It was a hot day in July and to top it off my head was covered in pink foam curlers. We were going to have family pictures taken later that day. Looking back I wonder why my mom even tried to help me look seems like it was probably such a lost cause.

Anyway, my mom looked out the window and realized the empty trash can was still at our curb and asked me to bring it in the garage.

I looked at her in horror and blurted out the obvious, "But mom, I have curlers in my hair and the Hess boys might see me!"

We lived across the street from a family of all boys. The oldest was my age and the younger ones' ages all happened to coincide with my three younger brothers' ages. I had a secret crush on the one my age (Jared) and the thought of meeting him or any of his brothers outside with my head a virtual pink foam ball was terrifying.

This was a legitimate worry because at least one of the Hess boys never seemed to be in their house. These guys were active and playing video games all day long was not their thing.

My mom rolled her eyes and told me the Hess boys probably saw their mom wearing pink foam curlers all the time and that I shouldn't worry about it.

Yeah, like that calmed my fears!

I came up with a solution. I put my heavy winter coat on. I carefully covered all my pink foam curlers with the hood and pulled the ties as tightly as they would go so only a small portion of my face showed.

At this point I was already sweating in our air-conditioned house. But I didn't care. My vanity had to be preserved at all costs.

I made it to the curb and had my hands on the garbage can, ready to pull it in the garage (all the while sweating even more) and was just telling myself how silly I had been to worry so much, when I heard a voice from across the street.

It was Nathan Hess, by brother's friend, two years younger than me.

"Liz, WHAT are you doing?" He looked very confused and rather shocked.

I tried to be nonchalant as I answered, "Bringing the garbage can in."

He crossed the street and came over to me. I desperately hoped none of the pink foam was poking out from my hood or that the rivers of sweat running down my entire body had started soaking through my clothes.

Nathan was now right next to me with an incredulous look on his face. He clarified his already obvious question, "No, what are you doing outside with your coat on?"

"Oh, that. Well I didn't want to get cold."

Nathan's eyebrows shot up in amazement as I grabbed the garbage can and ran into the garage. There was no way I was going to stay outside and let him question me further. I was way too hot.

And what have I learned from this experience of mine? I will NEVER ask my daughter to attend to any outside errands if she is wearing pink foam curlers.

No wait. I will NEVER make my daughter wear pink foam curlers.

Annabelle said...

one time you cut my hair. crooked. and then mom had seven sons.

Mags said...

i was so going to tell the annie story, it kills whenever i repeat it.

i think you'll have to give yourself a prize since that is the best story ever. if your mother was named cassie she would be dead from the millions of possible scary things that COULD have happened to you. really em, you must find a publisher. so since i can't compete, i'll just share a funny little tidbit.

quinton and i were talking politics (the 8 year old version) and i said, "so quinton, who are the candidates for the presidency?"

and Q replied, "I didn't know the canadians had someone running!"

Mike & Kelly said...

You asked for it, so here it is. This is a “when we were first married” story. Mike and I made the innocent mistake of not securing housing at BYU for after we got married. I guess we didn’t have the typical BYU “I’m-planning-on-getting-married-this-year” foresight. We just went down to look for a place. Back in those days there was no craigslist, and Wymount (aka the “Rabbit hutches”) was the best option by far. Well, we ended up in an old polygamist house behind the Albertsons on Center and State in Provo (a great part of town). It was a row of houses (4 of them), all of them attached, with one “apartment” house behind the others. It was a historic landmark, and had beautiful windows, but the landlord did not care much to keep the place up. It was a one bedroom apartment, with the tiniest bathroom, and kitchen. Simply getting to the toilet was a feat…but at least you could wash your hands at the same time. The water heater was right next to the stove, and the fridge was right next to that. The fridge even was one of those with the ice box inside instead of a freezer. All was fine and dandy when we moved in August, but when the weather started to turn cold, we found out what living in an OLD place (not well kept up) was all about.
I was using the restroom one day and noticed something in the crack between the floor and the baseboard. I thought it was a spider, and bent over to squish it. It was not what I was expecting… not at all. It was whiskers that belonged to a mouse…. Peeping on me. EEWWW…. I grabbed my hairspray and sprayed it at that mouse. I guess it wasn’t a big fan of White Rain, so it went away, but that was not the last of it.
Mike delivered pizzas for Papa John’s at nights and would be gone until midnight some nights. Being alone was scary enough, but I would see mice scurrying across the floor while I was watching TV. I would hear them in the wall behind my bed when I was up reading and a few times I heard them in my utensil drawer…. (mega yuck). All of this was bad, but ….
One night, we got home after hanging out with some friends. Mike went into the kitchen to get some ice cream. I was just getting in the door when he came to see me. He was holding his hand out in front of me and wanted to show me something. I looked. In his hand was mouse poop. I said “Where did you get that?”. He said, “Follow me”. He took me into the kitchen, and opened up the fridge. He started pointing down to the bottom, but my eyes never made it down there.. I was staring at the door. My butter dish to be exact. Low and behold my little nemesis was eating my butter. IN MY FRIDGE. Nothing was sacred anymore. I started screaming. And pointing. Mike leapt into action ( he moved like an animal –he wanted me to put that) and started trying to squish it with a broom. He chased it under our bed, and when he moved it we found a lovely hole about 3 feet wide, and two inches tall in some places in the wall right under where our heads had been. We moved out of that place about two weeks later. I could not live there anymore. I was all out of being adventurous. Some people have a fear of spiders, some snakes, mine are mice… not a fan of rodents.

Larissa said...

Okay, I've really been wanting to post a story, mostly because I want a homemade gift from you! I really couldn't think of one, but then I remembered that Jeff has a great one. Can I just post the link? He wrote about it on our blog way back in 2006. This story involves a rectal exam gone wrong... you get the idea. :) By the way, Jeff is sitting right here and he thinks you should not pick the winners from a jar, you should instead choose the "best" stories as winners. He's obviously confident in his story!

Kent and Leisy said...

pick the winner! pick the winner!