surveys and scrapbooks and sweethearts.

Oh hi.

So I’ve been working at the whole cleaning out thing, and no, it is not going any faster than it was. Anyway, I finally got some really big stuff cleaned up and put away and decided to finally begin on the scrapbook I’ve been intending to make for ages. This involves discovering things like my fourth grade report card (it was very, very pretty), junior high yearbooks (those were not so pretty), and a whole bunch of craziness from high school. I kept a lot of things, apparently.

Today was the first time I saw Sam since his graduation two weeks ago, and it was lovely. We were up in Boise near where his parents live, and got sandwiches and ate them by the river, and then, of course, we started walking.

The trail does end after a while, which wasn’t a problem – the problem arose when the barbed wire fence came down close enough to the river that continuing would have been a tightrope act. But I felt oddly like we had gone all the way to the end of the world. It was beautiful.

Somewhere before the world’s end we found a tiny little cleared-out place at the riverbank. Kissing by a river is one of my new favorite things. (I mean, I love rivers, and I am quite fond of kissing, so you know. The math is quite simple.)

I’ve been in relationships where I looked desperately day in, day out for the signs that it was a good relationship or that we had a good dynamic, where I found myself making excuses for the lack of conversation or the presence of tension or something. Some bad relationships are still healthier than others. But I digress.

I still look for the signs that we have a good relationship, because some habits die hard and as a girl and a highly introspective emotions nerd (I’ve never used that term to describe myself before but I think it’s rather accurate), I’m always wondering how one measures the health of relationships and what are its indicators. But I don’t have to look desperately – the evidence is there. Not screaming in my face or anything. That would not only feel contrived, it wouldn’t exactly jive with either of our respective modi operandi. But it’s there – quiet and steady and confident. And I don’t have to make excuses, either. The whole thing just works – it’s as simple as that.

Okay, enough cheese. On to a survey. John Green took this on his Tumblr and I liked it, so have at it.

1. Do you usually sleep with your closet door open or closed?

At the moment, open, because my room is enough of a mess that it is impossible for those doors to close.

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?

Sometimes, if I’ve used them.

3. Have you ever ‘done it’ in a hotel room?

No, nor anywhere else, for that matter.

4. Where is your next vacation?

Minneapolis for a few days before I’m off to camp.

5. Have you ever stolen a street sign before?


6. Who do you think reads these?

Weirdos like me.

7. Do you have a calendar in your room?

Nope. Well, my phone.

8. Where are you?

On my bed.

9. What’s your plan for the day?

It’s 11:30 pm. So my plan for tomorrow is to fall asleep as soon as possible to various AmazingPhil videos, wake up to go to church with my family, eat Sunday breakfast afterwards, clean like mad, and read some.

10. Are you reading any books right now?

I’m trying to slog through Vanity Fair. It’s actually gotten kind of interesting over the last 100 pages or so. Not sure what I missed the first time around, but oh well.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?


12. Have you ever peed in the woods?


13. Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing?

Unfortunately for anyone who’s ever had to witness it – yes.

14. Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Not often. I like putting them between my teeth while I’m working sometimes, but for some reason that invariably makes me drool like a faucet.

15. What is your “song of the week”?

I haven’t listened to music much this week. I did get to hear my high school’s choir perform a Pentatonix song that I love. So that was cool. (“White Winter Hymnal,” if you’re wondering.)

16. Is it okay for guys to wear pink?

I think so.

17. Do you still watch cartoons?

Does Veggie Tales count as a cartoon? Because in that case, absolutely.

18. What’s your favorite love movie?

The Princess Bride. My second favorite is What If.

19. What do you drink with dinner?

I’m nearly twenty and I have not yet bothered to break the childhood habit of milk with meals. Sometimes lemonade or tea afterwards.

20. What do you dip chicken nuggets in?

I hardly ever eat chicken nuggets. And when I do I can go without sauce. Ever since I was a kid I have not been much for condiments, oddly.

21. What is your favorite food/cuisine?

I’m very passionate about burritos.

22. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?

The Princess Bride, What If, The Last Starfighter, Pitch Perfect, The Court Jester…and I know this because I have watched them over and over.

23. Last person you hugged/kissed?

The last person I hugged was probably my mom or one of my sisters. The last person I kissed was Sam.

24. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?


25. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

Doubtful. (Very.)

26. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

I sent a couple letters to various out of town friends last fall – Octoberish, I guess. In cleaning out my room, I discovered a letter I wrote to myself when I was a sophomore in high school. On the envelope it reads, “Do not open until January 8, 2021.” I stole the idea from Lucy Maud Montgomery.

27. Can you change the oil on a car?

No, although I should learn.

28. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Nope. *knock on wood*

29. Run out of gas?

Also nope. *knock on wood*

30. Favorite kind of sandwich?


31. Best thing to eat for breakfast?

Yogurt. Or eggs. Or muesli with brown sugar.

32. What is your usual bedtime?

During the school year I tried to make a habit of midnight. Summer is another story.

33. Are you lazy?

I try not to be.

34. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?

I have two sisters, and my mom is amazing, so our costumes were always cool. And nearly always homemade. One year we were all three crayons of various colors. Another year we were pumpkins. When Anna was a baby Kristen and I were flowers, and once when I was, I think, four, I was a ladybug. My mom made most of these out of cheap Walmart sweatshirts, felt and pipe cleaners. She’s amazing.

35. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?

No, not at the moment, although when I was in junior high and early high school I used to read Readers’ Digest obsessively. I was a weird kid.

36. Which are better, Legos or Lincoln Logs?

To that I have to ask, why not both?

37. Are you stubborn?

Sometimes. Depends on what about.

38. Who is better, Leno or Letterman?

I am not much a fan of either, to be honest.

39. Ever watch soap operas?

No, but then again I also don’t watch a whole lot of television, period.

40. Afraid of heights?

No. I have always been a little afraid that one day I would just want to jump for the fun of it, but I’m not afraid of actual heights.

41. Sing in the car?


42. Dance in the shower?

No, because of all the stupid ways to break a bone…

43. Dance in the car?

Only if the song is really, really good.

44. Ever used a gun?

No, said the Idaho native. Interestingly enough.

45. Do you think musicals are cheesy?

Yes. But in most cases, I like cheese.

46. Is Christmas stressful?

My last two Christmases have been encumbered by deaths and surgeries, respectively. I’ll let you imagine my mental state.

47. Ever eat a pierogi?

No. I do know a song about pierogis though.

48. Major annoyance right now?

Not living in the same city as half the people I love best.

49. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?

At four I announced to my mother that I wanted to be a “checker,” which is what I called the grocery store cashiers. Between then and now, I went from teacher to nurse to teacher again.

50. Do you believe in ghosts?


51. Ever have a deja-vu feeling?

Often. The older I get the more frequently they occur.

52. Do you take a vitamin daily?


53. Do you wear slippers?


54. How about a bathrobe?

Rarely to never.

55. What do you wear to bed?

Always a tee shirt, with sweats or leggings in the winter.

56. Walmart, Target or K-Mart?

I love Target, but I live in a town whose main attraction is the Walmart.

57. Nike or Adidas?


58. Cheetos or Fritos?

Ugh. Lay’s barbecue chips.

*I feel like a hipster.

59. Peanuts or sunflower seeds?


60. Ever hear of “gorp”?

Yes. But I forget what it stands for. I think the R is raisins?

61. Ever taken karate?


62. Ever kissed someone of the same sex?


63. Can you curl your tongue?


64. Ever won a spelling bee?

You guessed it – nope.

65. Ever cried because you were so happy?

Get ready for this one – nope.

66. Do you own any record albums?

Yes! (Finally.) Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man, Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty, and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

67. Own a record player?

Yes, courtesy of old friend Tanner.

68. Regularly burn incense?


69. Ever been in love?

I’ve done a lot of thinking about that and I have no idea.

70. Hot tea or cold tea?

Cold. From a can.

71. Tea or coffee?

Tea (see above). I am that rare Swede who has only drunk coffee once in her life.

72. Favorite kind of cookie?

Kristen makes some pretty delectable chocolate chip ones.

73. Can you swim well?

Yes. Not fast, but well.

74. Can you hold your breath without manually holding your nose?


75. Are you patient?

More so than I used to be, which is encouraging.

76. Ever won a contest?

Sort of? I was best in show writing for two years at the state journalism conference.

77. Ever had plastic surgery?

I’ve only ever had one surgery proper, and it was my wisdom teeth.

78. Which are better, black or green olives?

I prefer to avoid olives.

79. Can you knit or crochet?

I can knit. I haven’t in ages, though (my last knitting project literally has dust on it).

80. Washroom or bathroom?

I say bathroom. Sometimes I say water closet for fun.

81. Do you want to get married?

The technical answer is yes. The very technical answer is no, because this question is asking do I want to get married regardless of anything else including to whom. I don’t just want to get married without thinking about it, just to be able to say I am married. Like, I would forgo getting married if I never found anyone I wanted to marry. That said, I really, really hope it’s in my future.

82. Who was your high school crush?

Assuming we’re leaving out the boys I actually dated, I guess the most important one was Connor.

83. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?

No. I like to think I gave up doing that when I had a baby sister. I may be wrong though.

84. Do you have kids?


85. Do you want kids?

Yes, although, see #81.

86. What kind of mom are you?

I have no idea what kind of mother I would be.

87. Do you miss anyone right now?


88. Whom do you want to see right now?

I’d give a lot to be with Sam at the moment. Also possibly Hannah.


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