I 'member girls camp. I 'member whens we'd sit 'round the fire, last day or so of the whole thing and thank alls our friends for being "such good friends." Forget the whole point of the week, the work, the effing crafts. I hated thankyoumony time. It t'wasn't about girls being nice or good or friends or such, for that matter. It was about who could cry most convincingly, get other girls to cry with them and then prove how popular they were and others weren't by inclusive/exclusive statements. I 'member girls thankyoumonying to my mom and I wanted to scream at them cuz they never knew her. They never took half a moment to try to know her because she wasn't the glamorous, raven-haired rich one, or the hilarious and gregarious one (rhyming makes me smile); she wouldn't further their hopes of being popular or well-liked, because, well, she was real and wouldn't bullshit with them. 

Well, bitches, she was better than you, me and alls yous will ever know. So today at our Thanksgiving feast, I was sooo hoping we wouldn't do the thankyoumony that usually goes along with it because I wouldn't speak. I had already planned not to speak. Right now, I'm not thankful.

Cherished Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend


Alice Nielsen Raynes, age 63, passed away peacefully November 9, 2011, surrounded by her eternal family.

She was born March 31,1948, in Provo, Utah to Vernon C and Olive Nielsen; she was the oldest of eight children. Her childhood was happy and filled with love. She graduated from Granger High School; kind and fun, she was voted by her student body as the Lady Lancer.

While attending BYU, Alice met Joe, her Prince Charming—it was love at first sight. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 27, 1969. They have ten children, all redheads like their parents. Being a mother was central to Alice’s life. She was a constant example of Christ, especially evident in the nurturing of her family.

Life is all about choices, and Alice humbly made the right choices. Alice always chose kindness. If you have met Alice, you have felt the Savior’s love. She never said an unkind word about anyone. She loved others the way the Savior asked us to love—unconditionally and without reserve.

She chose to have ten children. They were born to a mother who cherished them and their differences, a mother who was constant in her love, guidance and example. All of her children know secretly that they are their mother's favorite. Her grandchildren also felt her never-ending love. She spent every moment she could with them, cuddling and "smell-kissing" them. Her home was always open and everyone felt welcomed and known by her. She was a mother to all.

Alice chose lifelong learning and had an amazing mind. She graduated from BYU with her Bachelor's Degree and used it every day in raising her children. She participated on the BYU Ballroom Dance Team, and could rumba and cha-cha like no other. She read voraciously, played and graciously won all trivia and word games. She was a master of the English and Spanish languages. She was an accomplished tailor and clothing designer. She sewed each of her daughters’ wedding dresses, each one custom made. She drafted designs for her homes, and Joe built them—for her.

Alice chose music as her talent and love. She played the piano, organ and cello with incredible aptitude and found great joy in music. As a teenager, she took organ lessons at Temple Square in the Assembly Hall. She instilled a love of music in her children, and was happiest when they were singing. She shared her talent by happily accompanying vocalists. There was always music playing in her head. Joe would often ask her what song was in her head and she would name the song and composer and hum him a few lines. Heaven will be richer because of her music.

Alice happily chose to serve; spending her days in constant service of others. She was a proud and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She magnified her every calling, serving as Relief Society President, temple worker, organist, and in a myriad of auxiliary positions at both the ward and stake level. She spent thirty years playing the organ weekly in the temple, offering peace through music.

Alice chose to follow Joe to the distant corners of the earth. Wherever he was, running water or no, Alice was by his side. When her eternal love and companion in life was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Alice chose optimism and faith. She led her family with her example of turning to Christ and finding strength in Him.

She chose to be humble. She chose to be loving. She chose to be charitable. And her children watched and learned. They know where to turn for peace because they watched their mother find it in Christ.

We choose now to honor her legacy by being happy, ever-serving and faithful.

Alice Nielsen Raynes is preceded in death (by only 10 months) by her adoring husband Joseph Lincoln Raynes, and her parents, Vernon C and Olive Nielsen. She is survived by her ten children: Janelle (Nathan) Gerber, Michelle, Denise (Paul) Pitcher, Alison (Marshall) Smith, Melanee, Stefanie (Nate) Farnsworth, Jonathan (Daniela), Danielle (Bryan) Kennedy, Derrick (Alexa), David (Sydney), and 17 & 8/9 grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings: Ruth (Tom) Rich, Chad (Karen) Nielsen, James (Giana) Nielsen, Kathleen Nielsen, John (Gayla) Nielsen, Lillian (Sterling) Clark, and Jocelyn (Michael) Goldberg.

Mom, you gave me the world. I love you more than words can express. I love you.

Alice Raynes Funeral Viewing

Public viewings will be held on Friday, November 11, 2011, at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home (646 E 800 N, Orem) from 6-8:00 pm; and on Saturday, November 12, at the Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem) from 11:00 am-12:30 pm.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 12, at the Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem) starting at 1:00 pm Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery (1520 N 800 E) directly following the service.

Condolences may be sent to the family at:

Oh, Mom, I love and miss you so much.

Happy birthday, Dad.


I miss my dad.



What do you love? I'm curious and envious of those that find something or someone they love the most.

Beloved Husband, Father, Son, Brother.


Joseph Lincoln Raynes PhD, age 64, passed away peacefully January 10, 2011, surrounded by his eternal family, after a battle with brain cancer.

He was born June 21, 1946, in Provo, Utah to Beth Milner and Lincoln Frances Raynes; he was the second of eight children. Much of his childhood was spent on the Oregon Coast. While at BYU, Joe met his beautiful wife Alice Nielsen in a laundromat and it was love at first sight. Their first conversation began with his joke about both having red hair. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 27, 1969. They have ten children, all redheaded. It was impossible to be around Joe and not know he loved his family, the Gospel, and serving others.

Joseph completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees at BYU and earned his PhD at Texas A&M University. He served and inspired others throughout his lifelong career in Education. He was an Elementary School Teacher, Principal at Joaquin Elementary, Dean of Continuing Education, Dean of Trades and Technology, and Associate Academic Vice President at Utah Valley State College. He was instrumental in bringing the Education Program to the now Utah Valley University. He loved being a Professor of Education. His influence is carried through the countless teachers he molded.

Traveling the world extensively, Joe was always in search of opportunities to serve others. Fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish, he lived in Bolivia and traveled throughout South America with his young family while working with the Bolivian government. He lived in Colonia Juarez, Mexico working with the Juarez Stake Academy, and traveled to Mongolia to develop their higher education programs during their transition from Communism. He was a gifted storyteller who weaved his life experiences into tales that both entertained and edified.

He was a dedicated servant of the Lord, who served an honorable LDS mission in the Brazil North Mission. He labored as Branch President at the MTC, Bishop of Cascade 2nd Ward, High Council Member in Orem Cascade Stake, and Ordinance Worker in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. A gifted teacher of life and salvation, he lived to bring action to the Gospel’s precepts.

Joe was a builder of homes, ideas, and lives. A gentle giant, who was steadfast, thoughtful, humble, and strong; he spent his life in quiet service. His greatness was shown by his Christ-like love, the warmth of his smile, the power of his patience, the richness of his intelligence, his ability and desire to teach even the hardest of hearts, his comedic timing, and his gift to uplift others through his faith, stories, and unconditional love. His love of the Savior showed in everything he did.

He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Alice Nielsen Raynes, and their ten children: Janelle (Nathan) Gerber, Michelle, Denise (Paul) Pitcher, Alison (Marshall) Smith, Melanee, Stefanie (Nate) Farnsworth, Jonathan (Daniela), Danielle (Bryan) Kennedy, Derrick (Alexa), David (Sydney), and their 17 grandchildren. He is also survived by his father and five sisters.

We will post details for the viewing and the funeral soon.

I love you, Dad.



Yesterday my dad was told by doctors he has a cancerous tumor in his brain. It is quite large and it causing a lot of swelling. He has been admitted to the hospital and they're trying to "shrink his brain" (those are his words) so they can try to remove a majority of it. Whether you pray, fast or just send good vibes through the cosmos, I ask that you keep him on your mind and heart as he goes through this next adventure. Surgery is Thursday morning.


Love you, Dad.

I survived


So I survived my event in Vegas. Whew!

Why did the world keep spinning as I was so busy and ignoring it? Sorry, friends, I suck. I'm trying to catch up to everything that happened over the past, oh, I don't know, 12 weeks or so? I feel like I don't remember much of anything from about early February on. My apologies. Fill me in!

Can I sleep yet?


I just got back from Puerto Rico. I know, I know, poor me. But! Before you pooh-pooh, be aware that my life has been so crazy busy that all I could think about was doing my taxes. Doing my taxes was a GOOD thing because that would mean my PR trip would be over. And now, I'm on another show (luckily in SLC and for an easy company that doesn't use a lot of graphics support so I can mentally check out), and find my mind wandering to my next trip. Where should I go? I'm thinking Cancun...

Oh, hi again.


I guess I've been gone awhile, yeah? Sorry 'bout that. I'm a slacker, lazy, and should be scolded for my absence.

Since I last told you anything about my life (most recent, veiled post excluded), I started a new job that I really enjoy, made some super-awesome new friends, lost 10 pounds, drove about 7,000 miles and found myself madly in love with an amazing man.

Sorry for not updating all y'all on my life, I've just been a busy girl!

Yep, I feel like a superstar!

Nothing to say


I guess I just haven't had anything to say as of late. I have a lot of news but can't seem to share it. Do you ever go through phases like that? A phase where you find you are more private than usual?

So sad


I am so super sad about this. My job requires way too much travel to keep my little puppy so I have to find him a new home. Do you know anyone that is looking for a dog? He is truly a delight.

Let me know. Thanks.

Calling all renters


Hello all, I'm renting rooms yet again.

I have two rooms upstairs, both have private bathrooms. The master bedroom has two closets, attached bathroom and gets a garage parking spot. The other room has one closet, private bathroom and slightly cheaper rent than master. Kitchen has nice appliances, granite, dining area, large covered deck. Available immediately.

The basement is also for rent. 1,200 square feet, above ground windows, three bedrooms (master is big!) bathroom, kitchen w/dishwasher, living room w/gas fireplace, one garage space, laundry (which is shared with two women upstairs). Available Jan 1, 2010.

Hitch is that I only want women in this house. I would prefer only three in the entire house so if you know of a woman that wants her own place but not to live in an apartment building or in an entire house by herself, the basement is a great solution.

Please help me get the word out. Thanks!

Lake Powell Triathlon


I was hoping and praying my bike would get stolen from the top of the car for the two nights it was left on top. No dice. I was terrified. For the swim, I trained for the wrong distance (400m instead of 750m) and hadn't trained in open water. I hadn't once done the full bike distance. I had only done the full run a few times in the past 6 months (and mostly walked it). I was definitely under-trained. I had only put about 15-20 miles on my new bike (and I am not skilled at road bikes, so it was a new thing and thus a stress), had only done one run with my new shoes (old shoes had given me fasciitis) and am asthmatic.

I got into the water with a fever, I had been sick for a few days and was coughing and congested and my head pounded. There was no way I wasn't going to try. I had decided they would have to take me off the course with a stretcher for me to stop. I was petrified. I was lucky to have such amazing friends with me. They told me to just enjoy the experience. Not to worry about my time, the other people, the stress, just enjoy the scenery, the challenge and the event. I got into the water and panicked. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Breezy heard me with my asthmatic wheeze and let me rest on him for a bit while he swam. I would let go then hook back on for a bit to catch my breath and my sanity.

I then ran up a very long boat ramp, jumped on my bike and started a beautiful ride. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, the experimenting with shifting and talking to people as they passed me or as I passed them. Everyone was so encouraging. The camaraderie among the athletes completely blew me away. On a couple of the hills I got going faster than I've ever gone on a bike and it freaked me out but I loved it. As I came in and people were cheering—people I didn't know—I felt a little choked up.

I put on my shirt, number and cap and took off only to see Stef, Alice and Scarlett ready to cheer me on outside of the transition area. I tried to give Alice a hug but she was upset I wasn't her father. Stef took a photo (ugh, my legs are yucky) and I started jogging. Not running, mind you, just jogging. At this point, my legs are too tired to move faster than a jog. I had to walk and jog off and on for the rest of the race. My ankle and tendons around it started to shoot pains and I had to go slower. Some old dude ran by with some kind and encouraging words and I found that I was crying. The event was so emotional and had such a build (several months of fear) that to be almost done was such a relief. (Also, I found out the next day that part of why I was crying was because I was PMSing. Thanks Aunt Flo for adding yet another challenge to my day.)

But, I did it. I finished. 23 minutes faster than I thought I would and addicted to multi-sport. I now know how important training is. I now know how much better I could have done if I had done a few things differently. I also now know that triathlons are something that most people could do next week! If you want to do a triathlon or just want to pick a way to get good overall health and fitness, join us for the TimpTri in April. We are raising funds for Special Olympics in honor of our dear sister Shelley. It is empowering and fun and awesome and you can do it.

Who is in?

Happy Happiest 30th


(I think "Oh no you didn't" was just said)

My little sister Stefanie celebrates her 30th birthday today. Wow! She is totally more mature than me even though I'm 20 months (to the day, mind you) older than her. Even as kids, she displayed a bigger heart than mine. For my birthday once she gave me a 6-pack of my favorite soda (we never got soda and never had money so it was a treat and a feat) and then said all she wanted in return was a hug. I was a loser and resisted, but finally gave in cuz she was crying and was just too cute. She has an awesome husband, two beautiful girls, a great job and the best sense of humor. I wish I could be just like my little sister when I grow up.

Love ya, sis!

(This is Stef posing. She said, "Get me looking motherly. OK, go, now.")



Thank you all for your comments. I have such wonderful family and friends. I love you all so much and feel blessed to have you in my life.

So grossly misunderstood


How is it that I have been so grossly misunderstood? I know I have a lot of failings, but I am trying to be a decent human being. I try every day and hope I'm improving. Somehow, some people think I'm not such a decent person. Think I'm out to get them...but I'm not. I may shield myself emotionally from a lot of things but just below the surface is a sensitive, easily-hurt, caring person that wishes she could fix the world. Sure, I've made mistakes, but I'd like to think that I've never intentionally tried to hurt anyone. I don't want to hurt anyone. I am not out to get anyone. I just want to be left alone to pursue some kind of happiness for myself. Please, hear me. Please, just believe in a person that wants to do what's right and be happy.

I'm asking now for character witnesses. I hope that you will comment and be honest about what kind of person I am. If you think I'm a jerk, say it. If you think I'm a good person, say it. I will either get an idea of what I need to change or some positive reinforcement about the direction I'm pursuing in my life.

So fun!


I know I shouldn't do two videos in a row, but this is just too cool.

Maybe I'm slow...


I know, I know, I'm probably the last person to appreciate this song...y'all love it already. Watch it anyway, she's sooo good.

I'm a student again


Starting August 27th, I am a full-time student again. Last time I went to school full-time was, um...I don't remember, actually. At least 7 years, probably more like 8 or 9. Two more semesters of full-time school and I'm done. I have 154 hours but no friggin' degree! I changed my major several times and took courses that didn't help or count (construction management, orchestra, etc.).

Wish me luck!