Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I remember the first time I saw David, in August 2003,
He was wearing a white church shirt, and yellow and blue suspenders.
I remember hearing him talk, and thinking "He is really smart."
People around him were happy.
They were smiling.

I wanted to know him.

Lucky for me, He wanted to know me too.

The first time he kissed me,
I went in my apartment and collapsed on the floor
and said, "I could die a thousand deaths,"
My roommates just laughed and
rolled their eyes.
They must not have known how good my life was going to be.

I did.
and I was right.
it keeps getting better.

Everyone I know that knows David
knows that he is amazing.
I remember being at his Law School Graduation,
and being part of a standing ovation that congratulated
(and a few others...but really for us, David)
on his accomplishment.
He worked his entire life for this.
It was his day to shine.
WE cheered for him
(even though we weren't supposed to)
because he was our dream come true.

I am in love with my husband.
Ask any of my family and his family
and they will tell you
that I think he's perfect.

I do not stray from this belief.
He is perfect.
perfect for me.

He uses phrases like
"I wait with bated breath..." to describe his desire to be sealed to me forever.
and "I only hope it's long enough," when we talk about forever.

He smells like
Old Spice : the one with the green label,
and I admit sometimes after a long day
I steal his shirt and put it on
because I love to smell him.

When he winks at me, it's the kind of wink
that shuts out all the rest of the dancers,
offering us our own stage:
just like in Jane Austen movies

His eyes
sparkle when I make his lunch and dinner,
cry when he thinks about our great nation,
and smile when our sweet boys laugh

and when he calls me Brandi Ann,
my heart jumps a beat
I know I am his,
and he is mine.

Today as I was driving
I heard this song
and it was the perfect
embodiment of how I feel
about my Sweetheart.

I love you, Darling.
My Only Life.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I love being a wife.
I love being a mother.
These two callings have been my dreams

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting
I led the primary children
as they sang their hearts out
for the primary program.

There was one 11 year old girl,
who is adopted,
who shared her testimony of
being sealed to her parents
in the Hong Kong Temple.

The last thing she said before she sat down was
"I Love to See the Temple."

Then the little angels
sang "I love to see the temple,"
with all their might.

They sang.
I led.
I bawled.

"I Love to see the Temple.
I'm going there someday.
To feel the Holy Spirit
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a House of God,
a place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young.
This is my sacred duty."

I used to write letters to my husband before I ever knew him,
promising him that I would be obedient, and
asking him to be obedient too.
I pledged my love to the future husband, who I knew would
allow the Lord to help mold him
into a choice man.

I remember the day
I knelt across the altar from my Sweetheart,
and we promised each other forever.
He made me a wife.

I cherish this role, and
look forward each day to spending eternity with the man
who kept himself virtuous and of good report.

I also used to write letters to my children,
before they were born,
promising them that I would live my life so that
they could come to a home filled with the gospel; with happiness.

I remember the day my Lincoln was born.
He made me a mother.
I remember his chubby little cheeks, his dimples, and all his hair.
As I held him, I felt the love the Lord had for this little boy.
I cherish my role as his mama.

"I Love To See the Temple, I'll go inside someday
I'll covenant with my Father.
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
where we are sealed together.
(that is where I lost it)
As a Child of God, I've learned this truth,
A Family is forever."

I remember 17 months ago, the day our,
tiny, beautiful little Henry was born.
As I held him and fed him his first bottle,
I knew the Lord loved him.
Sweet baby boy just loved to be snuggled.

And then, Valentine's Day
of this year,
when we took him to the
Winter Quarter's Temple
and he was promised a forever family,
I remember the Lord testifying to me of eternal families.
I cherish my role as his mama.

For each day, of both of our babies lives, we have sung
"I Am a Child of God."
We sing this to teach them of their divine importance.
It is the most requested song in our home.

While they are young, they still know the happiness that comes from basic doctrines like:
I Am a Child of God, and
I Love to see the Temple.

To end the program, the primary children sang a new song,
which is not yet in the
primary songbook.
"The Family is of God."

Honestly, the first 12 times
I listened to this song,
tears streamed down my face,
because I'm a big time cry baby,
but mostly because
this song comes right from the proclamation to the world.

Often, I bore my testimony to the primary children,
that the Lord would bless them with all the promises, in the proclamation,
as they kept the commandments.

They sang,

"The father's place is to preside, provide, to love and teach the gospel to his children.
The father leads in family prayer, to share, their love for Father in Heaven."

"The mother's purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray, to love and serve in the family."

"God gave us families, to help us become what He wants us to be
This is how he shares his love.
For the family is of God."

As tears streamed down my face,
I felt an overwhelming love.
It was the love I felt the day I was married,
the day Lincoln was born,
and the day Henry was sealed to our family.
I knew Heavenly Father had blessed me
more than I could have ever dreamed
by allowing me to live in a home where
David takes the lead in family prayer, family scriptures, and Family Home Evening,
and where I get to teach my boys to love the Lord.

I am so grateful for the blessings I have been given.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A smorgasbord of my life.

Last night every sense in which humans are capable of having
(you know:
sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing)
exploded at my house.

in a good way.

Smell and taste were very prominent.
But the hints of sight, touch, and hearing
were not far behind.

Last night we fed the farm.
That means that we created dinner for the three families that live on the farm.
We had home-made chili,
baked potatoes that had been rolled in oil, salted, and poked, then baked,
green salad with bacon,
and fresh banana bread.

Life smelled so good last night.

it tasted even better.

We listened as our sweet neighbor M blessed the food.
The dinner table was set with summer dishes,
brightly colored to encourage summer to last one day more.
We shook hands, symbolizing friendship, almost-family,

We sat and talked.

and it made me


that my life has been compiled of the many senses
yes, the days of my life have been created from
beautiful and dark colors
like the Arizona sunset
and the blackness of lonely days.
on-key and off-key tones
like Martina McBride singing Blessed
and the sting of an unkind comment
gentle and firm hands
like a righteous priesthood holder
delicious and not-so delicious gourmets
like white chicken lasagna
alligator or horse, for that matter.
and inviting and off-putting smells.
like newborn baby after a tubby or coffee.

Things such as:
the reason I still can't stomach much fish
because it automatically reminds me of
the one time I ate my Grandma's fish
and it made me throw up.
I was 10

The taste of Snickers
One of the first things I ate when
the diabetic research changed and
now instead of cutting out sugar
we counted carbohydrates.

The inner conflict
of movie popcorn.

Seeing my mom's grateful
smile, and hearing her excitement
after I swept the floor
was my favorite game when I was 7,
and then standing next to my mom making cookies
that made my make-believe house come to life.

Hearing Eponine sing
"On my own,"
being able to smell the rain surrounding her
and memorizing every word,
because having never been kissed at 17
seemed like life's cruel punishment.

The touch of David's hands
and the sound of his voice
the first time he called me
Brandi Ann Johnson
and invited healing for the sick.

Today, my life is still full of vivid senses
It's full of the senses that make up a
happily married
wife and
a happily employed, mother
(it's my job. And who says employment has to be monetary?)

I'm grateful for the times the Lord has guided me as I
forgot to smell, hear, see, touch, and taste
of His goodness.

For these times I am grateful mostly
because His ideas for the
sights and smells of my life
the minimalized polaroid
I would have created for myself.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today, I got to kiss my sweetheart as he went to work.

Today I got to kiss both my babies.

Today, I remember 8 years ago, when I was a missionary,
and people looked at us like we were crazy when we offered to share a
message of peace.
(we hadn't seen the news)

Today, I watched the
September 11th
for the 2nd time
and my eyes
could not contain the tears.

I'm grateful for the sacrifices
that the men and women of this country
especially my grandpa and my brothers-in-law have made
to make sure
that I can kiss my sweetheart
and that I can kiss my babies each day

Today, I am grateful that there is still a message of peace
available to all who are willing to listen.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I'd Like to Say My Testimony...

Before I had children, I thought of many firsts we would experience in the coming years.

first smiles
first words
the first scraped knees
the first "I love yous"
first t-ball games
first days of school
first dates
first loves

But Friends, nothing,


could have prepared me fore the overwhelming joy of the Spirit when
today, Fast Sunday,
Lincoln wanted to go up to the microphone and say his testimony for the first time.
We walked up to the front, and he got a little nervous when we got up there.
But, he wanted to tell everyone that he loved Heavenly Father and he loved Jesus.

So I stood and shared the faith of my big boy, and his simple, yet profound testimony of
love, and faith in the priesthood, and his sincere belief in a Supreme Being.

It was the shortest time I have ever spent sharing simple doctrines,
and it was one of the most powerful tender mercies I have ever felt.

The faith of this sweet boy consumed me for a moment,
and I knew that He knew his Heavenly Father.

Lincoln and Henry,
Mama wants you to know that I know
that Heavenly Father loves you.
Jesus loves you.
The priesthood is their power on the Earth.
I love them.
I love your Daddy.
I love you.
Tons Bit in the whole world.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Internet.....Sweet Internet.....

After 5 weeks of waiting, burying a line, dropping an aerial line, drilling holes, and 3 hours on the phone with COX,
we finally have the internet!

First, my brother Dan and his wife Tina are expecting a baby girl. We are so excited to meet new baby girl in January. Hooray!!! I've been dreaming in pink, and just can't wait!

Next, Grandma (David's Mom) came to stay for 2 fun-filled weeks. We had so much fun. We went to Rocky Point for 4 days, and we worked on our tans.
Rocky Point also offered us the best vanilla in the world, at the cheapest prices.
Grandma made all the dinners while she was here,
and they were seriously delicious.

Among our favorites were
Beef stroganoff
Oriental Chicken Salad

One night she made lasagna, and I said to Lincoln,
"Did you tell Grandma thanks for the delicious food?"
"Grandma, thanks for....nope Mama I can't say it."
Grandma and Mama busted up laughing.
(He is still adverse to ground beef, but at least he took his no thank you bite.)

Also, my mother-in-law sent me to a spa.
It was non-negotiable.
She made me do it.
Alas, I had to go.
She said it was for putting my husband through Law School, and helping him study for the bar.
-- It was so good I almost, kind of, thought about volunteering to do it all again.

It was a 2 hour back massage, People.
2 amazing hours.
Deep Tissue.
Seriously Divine.

Thanks Grandma!
We had so much fun!

My favorite picture from the trip. These two LOVE each other.

Hee Hee. This one is especially for my mom, who thinks poor Henry will forever be stuck in a pumpkin! HaHa!

We've decided to spank him when he's older so he doesn't know how cute he is.

Lincoln's newest crush, who took him fast on the 4-wheeler.

Beautiful Boy.
(we should have started spanking the cute out of him a long time ago. He already knows he handsome)

Grandma couldn't say no! He did inform us that he was Peter Parker, when he took it off.

We have had a delightful summer.
We look forward to some more Arizona heat.

And, once again, Thank you Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Petersen for giving my husband a job. We are forever grateful for your kindness!