That feeling of flight. As if you are a bird, running, jumping, catching the wind and soaring up. Do you ever get that feeling? It would have to accompany something phenomenal, in my opinion, because that is one phenomenal sensation. It's not the same as taking off in an airplane. No, in fact that feeling can be thrilling, I guess, but is quite offensive to compare to the one I'm talking about. Try, Soarin' Over California at California Adventure. Or, perhaps, this music video? Really, the best way to experience is becoming a bird. Or pterodactyl. Or dreaming about any of the above. So, uh, good luck with that!


Good moooorning! Kelsey and Catherine wanted me to write down this story for a memory book that Deon is putting together, so I thought I'd recycle it here. For your pleasure.

I don't remember if it was winter, but I do remember the cold. That dark, nearly-windowless cell in which I spent uncountable ... minutes ... awaiting my fate. 

It was probably around 2001. I was 13 and we lived in Kingston. For whatever reason, I was in the basement bathroom one evening when there was a knock at the front door and Mom and Dad came downstairs with the missionaries — two elders, one of whom I had a major crush on. Geeky side-parted hair, ill-fitted suit and all. Mortified at the possibility of him seeing me without makeup and in my pajamas, I slowly creeped toward the bathroom door, pushed in the lock (because you know how Elders are, always barging into bathrooms without knocking), and decided to wait it out. How long could they talk? What could be that important? 

As five minutes turned into 10, I began to get nervous. The cement and drywall that surrounded me in that tiny half-bath mocked me. "You're never getting out. You're going to die in here, with all the BYU Creamery buckets of forgotten toys, the over-sized orange Scouting sleeping bags hung from the ceiling, and the spiders. Oh yes, the spiders. Daddy Long Legs, who are neither alive nor dead in their dust-covered webs." 

Determined not to let the voices taunt me to an early grave, I looked at myself very seriously in the mirror. "Get it together, Elizabeth." Finding some bits of chalk in the (very organized, thanks Mom) piles on the floor, I amused myself with drawing on the drywall. Having recently watched "West Side Story" I began with graffiti of the Sharks insignia and then the Jets. Having completed that, I realized I had no idea what time it was. No clock, no watch, no cell phone (were those even invented back then?) I reckoned it had been at least 35 minutes, and the conversation sounded as strong as ever. This is when the desperation started pushing against my chest. With the last bits of chalk I wrote out how many days I'd been incarcerated — one mark, two, five? I scratched out encouraging sentiments and last words. I decided future generations would know my story!

And then, from the abyss I heard the conversation outside my door coming to a close. Could it be? Freedom was near!

"Well, thanks for coming over, Elders," Dad said. "Why don't we gather everyone for family prayer?" 


Maybe they wouldn't notice my absence. Maybe they would just go on without me, assuming I'd fallen asleep in my room. But that day, luck was not on my side. One-by-one the siblings came downstairs and waited. And second-by-second I waited and prayed that they'd get on with the prayer. 

"Where's Elizabeth?" Mom asked.

"I don't know," came the answer all around. 

"Please, please, please, please," I whispered, eyes heaven-ward, hands clasped in front of me. 

"Why don't you go get her?" And off they went, looking for me. 

"She's not upstairs."

"She's not in the garage."

"ELIZABETH?!" Kelsey called out the front door. 

And then, my worst fear was realized. I could picture them all slowly turned their heads toward the closed door just 10 feet from them. 

A knock came, my face feeling the vibrations as it was now pressed up against it in agony.

"Elizabeth? Are you in there?" 

"... yeeeah."

"Have you been in there this whole time?"


"Seriously? ... Well, it's time for prayer. Come on." 

"Uh, I'd rather not," I finally replied.

"Open the door, Elizabeth." 

And so, with all the strength I could muster and the courage of an Amazonian warrior, I opened the door. But like a cockroach in the squaller of the Houston slums, I shrunk from the light. 

"I'll just kneel right here." Out of sight and on the cold cement floor that had been my home for the past hour (yes, it had only been an hour), I knelt. Someone said the prayer, the missionaries said goodbye — said goodbye even to me in the bathroom, still beyond their vision and completely mortified — and left. And then, from the pit, I emerged. A free woman. A changed woman. 

[You're welcome, future generations.]



The last of the memories about my family:

Conner - I still quote you, Conner, from when you were about 2 or 3 years old. "Cute boots, Mom. Cute boots." And also another favorite, you singing along to that rap song: "Flashing ... Lights-lights." I even got my roommates to quote it like you said it.

Scotland - You didn't like me very much when you were tiny, Scotty. You only liked your parents. But one day me and you were playing up in your room in Provo and it was a good 15 minutes before you realized that your parents weren't around. Then all hell broke loose, but it was fun while it lasted.

Maximus - That last time I saw you, just this past January, me and you were thick as thieves for those 36 hours I was at your house. We built two forts and watched Disney Channel and you showed me your Power Rangers toys and your great dance moves. That was so much fun.

Charlie - When your parents were both going to school at BYU, Charlie, I babysat you for about an hour or so every other day on the second floor of the Joseph Smith Building. One day you got a poopy diaper and unbeknownst to me, it had gone all up your back as well. Trying to get your onsie off became one disgusting mess quite quickly, and I pretty much decided then that I'm never having kids that poop and you owe me one.

Aurora - I remember going grocery shopping with you and Charlie and your mom in Provo. We'd always get the shopping cart with the play car attached to the front, and you and Charlie would sit up there having a grand old time. You make the funniest faces and ignore Charlie when he wanted you to get out. It was pretty hilarious.

Jemma - I remember holding you in the hospital when you were first born and taking pictures of you and Uncle Thomas. You were one teeny-tiny thing with a bow in your fuzzy hair.

Lillyanna - A couple weeks before I left for my mission, me and Benton came into your room where you were taking a nap. Without even looking at us, you heard Benton talking and said (mostly to yourself), "And so it begins again."

Benton - Sshh, don't tell anyone, but you're my favorite. Don't worry, I'll keep your secret that I'm your favorite too. I love your high-fives and half-smiles that explode into laughs. You're adorable, Benton, in a masculine kind of way.


Aunt Lizzy


Yet MORE memories. I can safely say I'm probably really missing my family right about now. Hope you're missing me too.

Thomas - You made me and you and Catherine an omelet one time that was about the size of Rhode Island and we took it outside to eat it. We took a seat at the big spindle thing we had under our carport, the thing they probably used to store telephone wire cable or something. Also the spindle thing the neighbors told us to get rid of because it brought down the look of the neighborhood. Psh, losers. We at the omelet with barbeque sauce because that was really the only way to do it, according to you. It was a good omelet, by the way.

Catherine - Remember how we used to play cats in our room? And the four walls of the bedroom were the four walls of a cardboard box we cats lived in? Yeah, that was messed up. And then I pretended to scratch my way up the cardboard box wall and proceeded to fall onto and knock off the shelf of not-pretend tea sets.

Brianna - When you were just learning to talk in full sentences, Brianna, I was so proud of teaching you to say, "Boo, Mariners. Go Angels!" because the Mariners were playing the Angels at the time and I wanted you to say it to Dad (Grandpa). You said it pretty perfectly a couple times, but when it came to saying it to anyone other than me, you wouldn't. Thanks a lot. ;) (Just joking!)

Hayden - I love that you give me a hug every time I come to your house. Remember how we went to go get doughnuts at Krispy Kreme back in December (2012)? You got a Krispy Kreme hat and we listened to Beatles songs and I was just so impressed by your attention to detail and concentration on the lyrics. Those doughnuts were good, too, huh?

Tucker - When you were a baby, I thought it was fun to lift you up high and sometimes throw you into the air and catch you again. What I didn't know, one such time, was that you had just eaten and so any pressure on your stomach would send baby vomit out of your mouth. Unfortunately, I was right underneath you, mid-throw-and-catch, and got that puke all over my face. Gross. It was pretty funny though.

Mason - I never feel left out when I come over to your house, Mason. You always want me to play, and I love buliding castles with you out of the wooden blocks and knocking them down. We'll have to build a lot of castles when I get back from Chile!

Gage - You, my friend, are awesome. Watching you dance to Gangnam Style never got old. You've got some sweet moves, dude, and your smile is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Spencer - When we went to the Albuquerque Aquarium a few Christmas' ago, you were so enthralled by the fish, and after we left (which was hard to do, because you wanted to stay) all you could say all day was, "The fishes, the fishes, the fishes, the fishes," in a sing-songy voice. And then you would also say, "The fiya (fire), the fiya, the fiya, the fiya," when you saw the fireplace at Grandma and Grandpa Gosney's. I still quote that.

James - Me, you and Spencer had a great time at your house the last time I visited, playing monsters. And the time before that we played hide-and-go-seek and you were always so excited to be playing, that a lot of times you wouldn't stay hidden, or you'd come out and tell me where Spencer was hiding. That made me laugh.


Elizabeth/Aunt Lizzy