make me your radio

I would just like to start by saying that life is glorious.


Next I’d like to say that I understand how moms must feel. This past week I feel like I’ve spent enormous amounts of time doing things, but not really anything. I’ve been cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, cooking more food, cleaning more things, doing more dishes, you get the idea. I’ve felt busy, yet with no job, no school, and—honestly—not even friends to waste my days away with, I can’t say that I’ve really done a whole lot. Yet somehow, there are always things to do. High five, mom, for keeping six kids alive and fed. And for going a step above that and teaching us to cook and what the capital of Cameroon is and how to have fun and be happy regardless of the situation.


My mom and the girls playing “bumper carts” outside Wal-Mart, much to the distress of the jealous employees watching from inside.

Our lives are pretty awesome. I’d say my family is pretty good at rebounding from hurt and sadness, but maybe I’m a little biased.



Kenyan is LOVING not having a walker anymore. She now dances, skips, and tackles Aria with dignity, poise, and grace. And Aria loves having an active friend again.


Friday was a decorating day. I hung some more pictures and mirrors—with the help of Jace’s wisdom and muscle of course.IMG-20110902-02923

when the sky was gray1


Please note that while we were posing for Aria my mom came up and stuck the Barbie beast man head in our picture like she was running a puppet show. It’s good to have my old mom back. [As in, she’s who she used to be. Not like she’s elderly. ‘Cause she ain’t.]


I started imagining ideas for the girls’ bathroom and putting some finishing touches on their bedroom.


Yeah, we still need pictures for the frames. Oh well.

Honestly, being cute and crafty is not my thing. At all. My talents lie in other departments. That being said…I took it upon myself to make the girls’ clock a little bit cuter. Well, I tried to anyway. I started with a plain white Ikea clock, pulled it apart, ripped the face off, and put in my own paper.

when the sky was gray

Bam. Crafty.

Actually the whole thing was originally Jada’s idea, so really I am even less crafty than I just made myself sound. Sorry.

Regardless, our house is now pretty and organized and put together. Even Aria agrees.


Though I think it was just a ploy to get cupcakes, she’s right. We are now officially moved in.



We even have food in our fridge. What a miracle!



These are the bar stools where we hop up and wait for our mom to pour us a cold one. Kidding.



This is a picture of our garage. Number one: IT IS PAINTED TO REPRESENT A FOOTBALL FIELD. Um…what? Welcome to Texas, where the people in the house before us were obviously just as die hard football fans as everyone else is. Number two: My mom has daily outbursts about having a two car garage that doesn’t have crap in it and that has a functioning garage door opener. Whenever she leaves the house while on the phone, you’ll usually hear her saying excitedly “Hear that sound?? That’s the door to my two car garage opening!!”. She's so freakin’ excited. It’s cute.

I had a free day this week; you know, just a few hours when I wasn’t busy being a handy man or organizing things. So I went shopping.


[Thanks Brandi and Heidi for the support. Ha-ha. Ha.]

The weather here is unreal. Usually it’s ridiculously hot, but let me just tell you about the last 24 hours. [Yeah, I’m about to talk about the weather. Feel free to stop reading.]

Yesterday evening there was a haboob. That is a real word. Look it up. The usually bright, hot sky darkened a little. Anticipating rain, Aria and I ran outside only to have millions of particles of dust and dirt jump into our eyes and attack our throats. It was SICK. We ran inside and chugged gallons of water and rubbed our eyes, trying to purge ourselves of the nasty Texas dirt that was suffocating us. Weirdest weather experience ever. Then last night, around 2:30 am (when I should have been sleeping) it started raining. For the first time since I got here. I was stoked. Holy galifianakis it was raining!!!! Not real Florida rain, mind you. Not the rain that encompasses everything and turns the sky black and keeps everybody inside and floods the swales. Just little baby rain. Rain, nonetheless. It was like the sky was apologizing for faking me out with the gross dust storm the night before. Some people look for a rainbow after rain, but now I guess I’ll be lookin’ for rainstorms after haboobs.IMG-20110903-02950

As if that wasn’t good enough, this morning it was SIXTY TWO DEGREES! God loves me. Seriously. It was overcast and cold and I went to church skipping through the hallways in my summer dress because shoot dang, I LOVE THIS WEATHER. Multiple people made comments about what a weirdo I was being, but it was GORGEOUS. Something about overcast skies makes me feel safe. Like the world is all a little more calm, a little more compact. The sky seems lower, as though it’s close and protective. And the cool, breezy weather is the greatest thing in my life right now.


It’s a little bit ironic that I’m happiest on a day with no sunshine. That this chilly, cloudy day is one of the best days I’ve had here. Sometimes peace and contentment get tired of merely resting inside of me, so they bubble up and spill over in the form of pure joy, leaving me giddy with happiness.

I’m not the only one feeling it—I can see it in the girls and the way they interact, in my mom and the way she’s reverting to her confident, carefree personality, in Jace and the way he’s  really my friend  again, the way he actually smiles now.

the real one

So what if I had to do a sucky job cropping this one. Boys are hard to take pictures of.

Actually, in this particular instance he was smiling because he and his friend were eating sushi made with Cheetos and Vienna sausages. So glad I will never have to be a teenage boy.

when the sky was gray2

Long story short, we’re alright. Just like we knew we would be.

when the sky was gray3

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Let’s try something new here. As much as I know most of you love anonymously perusing my blog, it’s getting a little lonely here in cyber world. I need a guestbook or something—someway to know who the heck reads this junk. Yep, I’m shamelessly asking for some comments. See, comments are like those ridiculous bracelets that Jada used to wear—the more you have, the cooler you are.

silly bandz


I mean if you don’t have anything to say, don’t feel pressure to comment. I’m just saying…Remember in middle school how you could buy candy and have it delivered to your friends’ homeroom on Halloween? Comments are like that. Granted, I never sent or received any of those, probably because I was morally opposed to friends, candy, and anything related to SGA [oh middle school…such fond memories]. I’ve changed, though. I love e-friends and I love comments which are like candy for my brain. Comments are just friendly. And nice and lovely and wonderful. Okay I’m done. JK I’m not really because some people don’t know how to leave comments. I would hate for this to get in the way. Soooooooo……..




K. I’m really done now. Peace out.


[Title from Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes]


  1. First off, I LOVE that song! So good title. Second, I ADORE this blog! I need to learn to write! My blog isn't HALF as good as yours. Oh, and I totally agree about SGA.... LAME! anyways, I lvoed the vctoria Secret joke. ASnd I love your background. ok, so I can go on all day about this blog <3 I miss you and we need you back in seminary - its too quiet and boring! Love ya,

  2. My favorite part was when you said "..wait for our mom to pour us a cold one."

    It made me lol.

    And now I'm commenting so it seems like you have some friends.

    Or to prove how I stalk you. Whatever.

  3. I write for a living Bridian, and I have told you personally and will tell everyone publicly here, you are a terrific writer and we thank you for sharing a little part of your life with us.

    Now can we get down to business, I told Mark to shave his beard so you would consider being our daughter-in-law. Seriously, you know I mean it!

    Love you, "come on over" anytime!

    Laura Madeira

    P.S. I am so old, I don't recognize the names of the songs, but find them a very creating use for your blog.

  4. Hey Brid! I love you! You always have a friend in me. And all of Plantation Ward stalks you too. We just love and care about you that much. ♥

  5. You all look so great! I am one of those silent readers :) but nonetheless a reader and from this point on I will ALWAYS leave a comment! You are amazing and it has been comforting to watch you and your family healing; it reinforces the importance of what we believe. Keep being the great support we all see you are through your blog and thank you for inviting us to be witness to your thoughts. So did you check you schedule? Do you want a visit? If so, give me a jingle because I have two little ladies that would love to benefit from a visit - we would just have to work out the details.

  6. AS I said before, I check everyday to see what is up in the Mortensen world. Glad to see you guys getting back to a normal life. Miss you here, I've waited a week to have a button sewed omn my pants, I know your Mom would have fixed it for me in no time. My sewing lesson at your house didn't help me much. How were the apple pies? They looked delish. Look forward to more, tell everyone I said hello.

  7. So, i think your whole comment about "being cute and crafty is not my thing..." is a lie. i've seen the pictures you've taken of your new house and yeah, you're officially a talented decorator.
    i really couldn't think of anything witty to say, but i guess you should probably know that i stalk you. i stalk your facebook for new photos and new updates. i stalk your blog page all the time [like, every single day], hoping another new post of yours will pop up. sometimes i even re-read the older ones.
    anyway, that's enough creepiness for one comment. i'll try to remember to leave a message after i read from now on :)

  8. Wow Bridian! You are seriously such a good writer. I can't wait to stalk the rest of your blog...hahaha. I'm so happy for you and that you're loving our life! Way to go. I'm now officially a follower hahaha :) I love you!!!!

  9. Bridian, I am addicted to your blog. Partly because I'm a creeper and partly because you make your life entertaining to read about. You are super cool.

  10. So I wasn't going to tell you this, but I too, stalk your life. I've read almost all of your blogs, and I've read multiple blog posts way more than once, because mom wants to read them, too, and also because I think you're an amazing writer. Every time I read one of your blogs I get tears in my eyes, even if they are happy ones, that's how much I miss you guys, how crazy is that? Anyways, thank you for posting these blogs and giving me a new obsession. I love you guys. I can't wait to see you, hopefully sometime soon.

  11. You guys are THE BEST!!! I especially love the picture arrangement in the bedroom. :)

    It takes a lot for me to actually laugh out loud when nobody else is around, but, "shoot dang," that is hilarious!

    Can't wait for the next chapter.

  12. Bridian, if you are ever in Provo you MUST come see me (I mean if you want to). I would even let you make me dinner or a pie or you could just come and see my little tiny apartment I share with 5 other people. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I want to be just like you!
    Love you!
    Courtney :)

  13. Girl, I was reading your blog way before it was cool.

    I only refrain from commenting because, up until this post, I have been ignorant as to how to do it! Thank you for the instruction.

  14. Just wanted to let you know that me and my mom love reading your blog! We both think you are a great writer!!

  15. Love ur blog Bridian! Glad u guys are doing a little better everyday!

  16. Oh dear Bridian! Glad to hear you guys are doing well. I am glad I helped "support" you! :) Everyone needs a good pick me up every now and then. :) Love ya lots!

  17. P.S. Comments keep you motivated to write don't they? I know how you feel! :)

  18. And just for the heck of it I will leave you one more comment so now you can be super cool and have 18 comments instead of 15.

  19. Brid! I've commented on multiple posts, but this one i decided really deserved a comment simply so that it will be the most commented upon post EVER! and i love your clock!..and you! ;)

  20. Brid you know I love your blog, although I now try to avoid reading it early in the morning as it has made me late to work on several ocassions! And as for those ridiculous bracelets of Jada's, Emily found one in her drawer yesterday, a horse I think, and quitely reminded me that Jada had given it to her! Glad to see that you guys are finally settled and that there is the imfamous Mortensen fun and laughter in the air again! Miss you guys!

  21. I like the word haboob.
    And I like you.


  22. Bridian, I love you. You are just too cute.

  23. Elizabeth Schwab GaertnerSeptember 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Bridian dear, you are not only an extraordinary writer but also an awesome teacher. See, I really needed all the detailed info on how to post here :) I feel so happy and thankful that you guys are putting your lives back together. Oh, what the Atonement can do for us! Please tell Nicole I love her. Love you, too, Bridian, TONS!!!

  24. So, I typed up this really long comment and then it disappeared! Even though I have commented on your blogs before, I apparently needed a refresher course! You know how I feel about your blogs - I truly believe you should write a book. Your writing is amazing and I am patiently waiting for you to take me seriously! You really should listen to your Kindergarten teacher! lol Continue the great work - I've enjoyed every blog you have written so far and always look forward to the next one! Keep smiling - you look beautiful! :)


  25. Dear Bridian,

    When you become a famous author, will you put a dedication or a thank you to those of us who have encouraged you to write a book?

    You spend all your time doing this fabulous blog for free. Imagine all the money you could be raking in if we all had to buy the book? It would have to have your fabulous pictures, too.

    You and your family are an example of what faith in God is all about. Your own story would make an excellent book, and think of all the people who may doubt God who will be inspired by you? You can bring God to those that don't know Him, and you will make Him look cool! How great would that be?

  26. No pressure, but now I HAVE to leave a comment. I was going to anyway. I totally agree about comments making your day, or if you don't get a comment thinking it was a lame post or something--which yours never are.

    I like the clock. You are definitely crafty. And clean, which is a great trait. I used to love it when you babysat for us because of it, FYI.

    Also, about the weather... two comments. 1) You are going to be hard pressed to find a place that rains as hard as it does in Florida and 2) people outside of Florida don't actually know what a swale is. That was a weird Florida thing when I moved there. Who knows, maybe they use that term in TX too.

    And last, because I made a comment, am I one of your privileged BFF's?

  27. I love reading your blog and I love seeing how great your family is doing!! We miss you back here in So. FL but are thrilled to know you're happy. I, too, am glad I never have to eat anything as disgusting as cheeto and sausage sushi. UGGGGHHHHHH!
    By the way, my Google name is mom24/7 but this is Margaret Bartholomew :-)

  28. Hey Brid.. Just checking in to let you know that the Carter Tribe reads your blog and check it almost daily. We love it!! Thanks for sharing, it gives us all a sense that we aren't missing out on your life. That we aren't so far away. You have inspired me to start keeping up with my own blog again. After many years of being a slacker! Love you lots! Hugs, Maya

  29. Hi Bridian. I figured I'd post a comment as a reader you don't personally know. I came across your blog because a friend of a friend shared it with her on facebook and basically said "You must read this blog." And I did and have been reading it for a couple months now. You are a great writer and it makes all of us keep checking back to read more! Your blog has reached and touched a lot of people!

  30. Stalking you from Boston :)
    So glad to hear things are going well with you and your family. Your home looks lovely! Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and experiences. It is refreshing to read such heartfelt entries.

  31. Bridian!! Your blog is amazing!!! im so glad that you guys moved in ok :)

  32. Also sending some Boston love. You are so resilient and inspiring, Bridian.

  33. I had to scroll down a long way to leave a comment so your plea for comments worked! You have lots of friends to show your mom. Bridian, when read your blog it makes me feel like we still live just a street away. I love you and your family!

  34. Your new home looks beautiful! I always love reading your blog. You're an amazing writer and so creative/humorous...Texas is lucky to have you and your family there. I'm sure you will all be such a light for people there and do much good. (I am glad you showed us how to comment, etc. because I didn't know you could unless you had a blog or something!) i love you.

  35. BRIDIAN!! I have been following your blog for months now, and I must say, its nice to have something to look forward to. I love reading them, because I feel like we can relate in so many ways, and they make me happy when I read them. I wish I had the chance to get to know you better when you lived in Florida, I feel like I missed out on a wonderful person, but with your blogs, I feel like you're one of my closest friends, even though we don't talk much. Thank you for taking the time to post such wonderful blogs.

    Much love from your FAVORITE fellow Floridian flutist. <3

  36. Hey Bridian: I am a diligent reader, but a not-so-diligent commenter of your blog! Annoying, I know. Once again, thanks for your writing. In my mind, we have totally become bffs, as I have read your blog. It really has been fun to be able to see you and your family. You are an inspiration!


  37. Ummm...I'm a little late. Been moving & surviving. Bleh. Good news? I have you! Thanks for the darling post. You make me happy. :-)
    Luloo (my niece is awesome and renamed me this weekend)



    p.s. I'm pretty sure I just made the same shameless request on my blog, so you should probably think of something more witty, clever, boring, or complimentary to write. ;-)

  38. P.p.s. I love the way you write about your mom. It makes me happy.


  39. BTW...if you want to know who's blog stalking you...check out my blog. I have the greatest little do-hickey (sp?) on there that at least tells me where the people are that are visiting. :-)

  40. Yeah, you're pretty cool and stuff. :)

  41. I was just about to suggest Stereo Hearts. But then you had a title with it, so its a moot point. I am glad that you are happily settled in Texas, are you guys in Lubbock, or somewhere else? Because we might be going to Texas with our dad, and I will try to convince our father to stop and see you guys. You know as well as I that it might be hard to do. Anyway, give me a shout out, talk to me, I want to know everything about your life in Texas, because I am just like that. :) Thanks for paying attention to me, I appreciate it.

  42. Ahem, best song ever. And dang this is so inspiring! You're just writing about day to day life but it all seems so awesome! You're really inspiring me to be happier and just enjoy life. Keep writing, you've got an amazing talent!

    -Brian Richards

  43. The Lady Colonels Soccer Team will always remember you as our birthday celebration baking 100% biggest fan and the best darn stopper in Broward County, blasting that ball 1,000,000 miles in the sky! Keep getting better, God Bless! xoxo

  44. Dear Bridian. Your blog makes me happy. I love it, and you. :)

  45. I feel like I've already commented on this. But for creeper points, I loove your blog. It's inspirational and honest and can make me laugh really hard or cry really hard, but I still love it. Never stop writing, you definitely have a gift. :)

  46. Hi Bridian-

    I found your Blog through another one, actually... you used to babysit her Children (Christy Denney) I started reading and was instantly hooked! I couldn't believe your experience and story. You are so strong, courageous, and inspiring. You are truly a role model. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone so we can experience someone who is so wise and knowledgeable for their age. Bless you and your family.

  47. Hi Bridian-

    I found your Blog through another one, actually... you used to babysit her Children (Christy Denney) I started reading and was instantly hooked! I couldn't believe your experience and story. You are so strong, courageous, and inspiring. You are truly a role model. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone so we can experience someone who is so wise and knowledgeable for their age. Bless you and your family.