Saturday, September 19, 2009

Run Daniel, Run.

On Friday afternoon Daniel called me to tell me about his cross country meet that was being held about a mile from my apartment...and began in 20 minutes. So I raced back from campus, jumped in my car, picked up Becca, and raced to the meet. It was so much fun to see my favorite brother (who is 15 years old) racing around Kawanis park. Becca and I were definitely his biggest fans.

Sprinting to the finish line. Daniel continues to amaze me with how great he is doing at Wasatch and for trying out for the cross country team...something I would never do. Keep up the great work. I love you!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Meet Harvy. Ashlee is taking anatomy this semester and he has become one of her best study-buddies for helping her get an A+ on her tests. To thank him for all the study help, Ashlee gave him a tootsie pop and brought him home to meet all of her amazing roommates.

Ashlee thinks that Harvy is her man...

...but what she doesn't know is that Melinda got her first kiss from him.

OUCH! Harvy that really hurt... (said with a British accent)

Sadly the most social thing we did all week was hang out with Harvy for a couple hours before Ashlee had to return him to the anatomy lab so that the next anatomy student could get help from him to ace their test.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday: Casa Dea #15 style.

After two weeks of getting settled into our new apartment in Casa Dea (#15!), learning the best way to cook and grocery shop, and trying to manage the constant flow of homework and studying for tests, our apartment decided to celebrate our birthdays, all which fall within four months of each other. Melinda, Charlie, and Ashlee made good use of our 8 phonebooks by making paper chains and pomander balls from the yellow pages. I was subconsciously cheering them on while sleeping on our super-comfortable couch under the Happy Birthday sign.

Ashlee and Melinda also made a DELICIOUS funfetti double-layered cake, complete with sprinkle frosting and a candle for each of us to blow out. There so many sweets already hiding in our cupboards and then we make more that I wouldn't be suprised if we gain the "Sophmore- sixty" by the end of the year. Oh the price you pay for roommates who are marvelous cooks. :)

Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes. One more year until I am no longer a teenager but the big 2-0! Crazy...time goes way to fast.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Temple Trip.

With two temple dedications within the past few months, Salt Lake is the luckiest county in the country (confusing I know!) . I was dying to go to the open house for the Oquirrh Mountain temple but summer term at BYU was consuming every spare minute of my time. Finally my grandma and I siezed the opportunity to go on one of the last days of the open about procrasination. It was so beautiful and I don't think that I could pick a favorite part, although the Celestial room and Bridal Dressing room were absolutely gorgeous. Someday... but definetly not in the near future.

Grandma Laurel, Nolan Pope, and me standing in front of the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tuna Salad.

Today for lunch my Grandma Laurel and I made the yummiest tuna salad and I just wanted to share with you all some of the delicious things we added in case you are getting tired of the uncreative version of tuna with mayo, mustard, and pickles. You don't have to add all of these things but any combination would be very yummy!
Boiled Eggs
Frozen Corn or Peas
Cheese (yummy melted on top)
Sunflower Seeds
Wheat Germ
Mandarin Oranges


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Patrick Family Reunion.

As a result of my over-achieving decision to take summer term at BYU I wasn't able to go to the Oregon coast for the Brutsch family reunion (my mom's side of the family), which made me very sad. But taking place the same week up Provo canyon was the Patrick Family Reunion, so after I was done with classes on Thursday afternoon I enjoyed the beautiful drive up to the cabin and then spent a couple days with my Dad's side of the family.

On Friday morning we held the traditional "17th of July" with sprint, 3-legged, and sack races along with the pie eating contest and the balloon and egg tosses. Katie Patrick and I (far right) were super speedy and won the 3-legged race.

All the teenage girls that were at the reunion. On Friday night most of the teenagers stayed up until 5 am playing Phase 10 and Catch Phrase and then pretending we were all asleep when any adults came down to check on us...I don't think they were fooled. :) A bat that got into the cabin and was dive bombing us at about 3 am added to the excitement.

My Grandma and I in front of the cabin right before we packed up and headed home.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Eagle Scout.

Today my younger (but definitely not little) brother was awarded his Eagle Scout award. For his project Daniel tied over 100 fleece blankets that were delivered to an orphanage in Mexico when we went down over Christmas break to build a house. You don't usually think of people in Mexico needing blankets but the area where we went gets fairly cold during the winter and those wonderful children were so grateful. I am so proud of my amazing brother and for his willingness to serve. He has always been so kind to me, even when we were younger and I wasn't very nice to him. My mom always threatened that one day Daniel would be bigger than me and able to "beat the tar out of me" and now that it has happened I am grateful for his forgiving and loving heart. :) There isn't another 15 year old boy that I know that I would trade for Daniel and I feel so blessed to have him as a brother. I love you "D" and am so proud of the good things you are doing with your life. Keep up the good work!

Land of the Free.

On Saturday morning, Mum Laurel and I loaded up our lawn chairs and snacks and headed over to Provo to watch the Fourth of July parade. I remember in years past getting up at 5 am with my family so that we could stake out a good spot along the parade route, but with only two of us this year we were able to get a perfect spot under the trees without having to wake up at the crack of dawn.

Waiting in the shade for the parade to start. Although I loved the BYU float and the MTC float with all the missionaries (especially the Sisters!), my favorite part of the parade was seeing all the veterans and standing with my hand over my heart as the flag went by. I am so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy and for those men and women who have fought and are continuing to fight to protect them. I love this country and feel so blessed to be an American.

After the parade we drove down to Wales for the Fourth festivities, which featured food, entertainment, and two very silly clowns. Brother Brower (left) in our ward is a long-time clown and asked Daniel (right) to help him. I was impressed what a good clown Daniel made...and how good of a shot he was with his flower squirt gun!

Besides squirting me with his flower while we were taking this picture, Daniel also became quite the balloon hat maker. I think the nose and white suspenders should become a permanent part of his wardrobe. :) The biggest disappointment of the day was that the fireworks were cancelled because of rain and lightning but other than that it was amazing!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mormon Miracle Pageant cont.

As the Mormon Miracle Pageant comes to a close I feel a wave of mixed emotions: exhaustion from doing pageant six hours a night after commuting back and forth to Provo for summer term at BYU, sadness for another year of pageant being over, and spiritually filled from the missionary experiences and spirit that I felt throughout the pageant. Our family has loved having family and friends come and see the pageant and we are so grateful for your continued love and support.

The Larsen family from Boise came to watch their amazing actress daughters Laurel and Anna Sue be in the pageant.

Although I loved performing in the pageant each night, nothing can compete with being a cast missionary. Each night before the show began some of the cast members had the opportunity to welcome the crowd and ask for missionary referrals. I loved having the chance to be a missionary, even if it was only for a couple hours each night. Although it was a ton of work participating in the pageant, I wouldn't have traded the experiences I had and the spirit I felt the past four weeks for the world.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mormon Miracle Pageant.

The month of June is here again which means Manti Pageant callbacks, rehearsals, costume fittings, and performances for hours every night for the next couple weeks. Our entire family (excluding Dad) and two of our Larsen cousins, Laurel and Anna Sue, from Boise ID have been working hard to learn their parts and are loving being part of the pageant. Here are a couple of pictures of us practicing on the temple hill...with more pictures coming soon of the aspiring Cottam actors and actresses decked out in stage makeup and costumes.

Daniel is part of the Joseph Smith vignettes and looks very happy to be holding a girl's hand.

Becca tried out and got the part of a wicked High Priestess.

Julia, mom, David, Laurel, Benjamin, Anna Sue, and Daniel all decked out in their Christ in America costumes. Don't they look amazing?!

Alisa and I were both cast as Mary Henshaw and I have loved getting to know her as we have practiced trudging across the plains, dying, and then coming back at the end for our Roberts.

David, Julia, me, and Jade waiting to rehearse our next scene. There were three Roberts and Marys cast for the pageant and Jade and I were paired together.

Although it has been tons of hard work and we are beginning to experience pageant fatigue, we wouldn't miss the opportunity to be in the pageant for anything. We hope you can all come and experience the Manti Pageant and feel the amazing spirit that is present.

Cottam Definition of Goober.

adj. a goofy, nonconforming individual that does funny things with the intent to make people laugh.

Daniel was walking around the house the other day with no shirt, no shoes, and no problems. Ignoring his older sister's plea to put a shirt on he decided to creatively make his wardrobe more modest.

Another goober moment in the Cottam family. Becca taught David to swing around his head and say "Hey There Little Pretty Lady" and he kinda went wild with it. It makes me laugh everytime I watch it so I hope it makes your day.

P.S. His bouncing eyebrows are the best part :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Doctor DVD.

This morning I accidentally cut my finger on the apple slicer, and upon seeing the cut David quickly ran and got his first aid kit. He told me not to be scared and then explained how he would use each of the items in his homemade kit to doctor me up. The dialogue went something like this with David pulling each item out of his first aid kit...
"I will use the things you use to clean out the potatoes in your ears (Q-tips) for the blood and then use the thing you put on before the band-aid (anti-bacterial ointment). Then tie the band-aid on with string and paper clips. I have cough drops and a book too that will make you feel better."

After he had gone through the lengthy process of putting a band-aid on my finger and I had thanked him he said...
"You're welcome. You can just call me Doctor DVD!"

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today was Wasatch Academy's graduation and my amazing little sister graduated from High School and is now moving on to bigger and better things (aka BYU!!!). We had Baccalaureate in the morning, where they had an inspirational speaker and a number of the Seniors perform musical numbers. Following a delicious lunch we had graduation and Becca swept the board of most of the academic, athletic, and service awards that were given and gave a spectacular speech about her experiences at Wasatch Academy. It was so great to have Mum Laurel, Grandma Loni, and our cousin Lindsey there to help us celebrate Becca's accomplishments. Congrats Becca!

I was so busy taking a million pictures of graduation with Becca's camera that I kinda forgot until the end to take any with my camera so I had pretty slim pickings on the pictures for the post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beaches and Swings.

Friday morning we bid farewell to Anaheim and headed north to spend the day with Ghazi and Tante Esthere on the beach. It was wonderful to see them both again and while there we were royally spoiled with good food (including Ghazi's famous hummus), good company, and a great view of the beach. We couldn't get enough of the beach this trip and spent most of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning playing on the beach, catching crabs, and trying unsuccessfully to get tan before we left California. But the most amazing thing about the beach was the swing set we found. I absolutely love swings and to have a swing set on the beach where I could look out at the waves while I swung was heaven. After a delicious breakfast at IHOP we said goodbye to Ghazi, Tante Esthere, and California....and headed back home. Thank you Tante Esthere and Ghazi for your kindness and generosity. We loved spending time with you!

David did a pretty good job burying himself.

Dad enjoying the soft sand and warm sunshine


David digging for crabs.

Julia the seaweed queen. She spent hours rescuing the adrift seaweed from the waves.

Walking along the Beach - David. Benjamin. Julia. Dad

I don't know what it was about this trip but I loved taking pictures of my beautiful family (yes I am a little biased) holding hands and looking over their shoulders.

I love these last two pictures of Julia and me....


Thursday morning Melinda and I rode the train from Anaheim to Encinitas and then spent the day being very lazy and seeing some of the sights in Encinitas with her family. The first (and most amazing) stop was at the flower market. I have never seen anything quite like the huge warehouse full of every flower you can imagine but I was in heaven...especially with the rows of Gerber daisies in every color. After the flower market we ran some errands, soaked up some sun by the side of the pool, made caramel brownies, and watched Pirates of the Caribbean after Melinda was horrified that I had never seen it before. Overall it was a lovely day spent with Melinda and her amazing family. Thank you Melinda for sharing your beautiful family with me and thanks to the Wilkins for the wonderful day!

Melinda and Della in the freezers at the flower market. Look at all those gerber daisies!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Wednesday was spent at the Happiest Place On Earth where we did 35 attractions (rides, shows, etc) throughout the day. Once again the weather was beautiful and there were hardly any lines. When asked what his favorite rides were David answered "Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn, and Space Mountain"...the three biggest roller coasters in the park. What a fearless kid! Due to Melinda's expert knowledge of all the "special" things there are to do at Disneyland if you are just willing to ask, Julia, Benjamin, and David got to be up in the ship cabin on the Mark Twain Riverboat. As we sailed around the island they got to pull the whistle, ring the bell, help the captain steer the riverboat, and were made honorary captains of the Mark Twain. Later in the day we also went to see the Jedi Training Academy and Julia, Benjamin, David, and about 20 other kids from the audience were chosen by the force to be trained as Jedi's. Upon the completion of their training, the stage rose up and the stormtroopers, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul appeared. Then after their unsuccessful attempts to convince the newly trained Jedi's to join the dark side, each Jedi fought Darth Vader with their light sabers. So fun to watch and to cheer on the Jedi's and a great way to end another day.

My beautiful family and Melinda walking down Main Street in Disneyland.

In front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. We got to walk through it which was a first because it had been closed for years. The coolest part was the picture of Sleeping Beauty's dress at the very end that changed! pink! blue!

Benjamin, Melinda, Julia, and David sailing the Mark Twain around the island.

I love this picture because it perfectly shows what my sister is like. Ready to face anything, stand up for what she believes, and never willing to back down even when her opponent is feet taller than her and a lot scarier.

Activate! Left shoulder, right shoulder, left leg, duck!, left leg, right leg, to the head, deactivate. See what an amazing Jedi I would have made! It's ok because Benjamin had the combination down and did it perfectly.

Darth Vader definitely didn't intimidate this Jedi. David fought amazing and even used his height to his advantage...he didn't have to duck. :)

The three Cottam Jedi's after receiving their diplomas as honorary graduates from the Jedi Training Academy.

Mum Laurel, Benjamin, David, Katherine, Melinda, Julia, Mom, and Dad riding on the trolley in Toon Town

California Adventure.

Tuesday morning we got up early, packed our lunch, and then spent the day in California Adventure. The weather was absolutely perfect, there were no lines, and our excellent tour guide Melinda knew the ins and outs of everywhere we went. The only bad thing about the entire day was I realized how old I must be getting because I actually felt sick after going on multiple "wild" rides in a row, something that doesn't happen very often. I experienced a mini mid-life crisis and was forced to go and ride the Bumper Cars and Caterpillar Train in "a bugs land" to assure myself that I am still a kid at heart. We also went to the sourdough and tortilla factories (yea free samples!) and rode Soarin' Over California and the new Toy Story ride five or six times each - definitely our favorite rides of the day.

Riding on the Caterpillar Train

Mum Laurel, Julia, and Dad on the Mickey Ferris Wheel overlooking Paradise Pier

I am not quite sure what happened here...I think David fell asleep at the wheel and hit a "Daddy long-legs" that was crossing the street. Julia was horrified, I am not sure why Benjamin was smirking, and the three lovely ladies in the back were all ready for the picture to be taken.

Meeting Goofy...lets just say that Dad was in awe, inspired, speechless, and felt like he had died and gone to heaven. Don't you just love that smile?


This past week the Cottam clan (minus Becca and Daniel who both still had school) and Grandma Laurel took a trip to California. We left on Sunday afternoon and stayed overnight in Las Vegas where our three bedroom condo was upgraded to a Suite because the resort had overbooked the rooms we had reserved. Needless to say we were all a little excited because these country bumpkins have never stayed in a Suite. The next day we drove the rest of the way to California, stopping for lunch at In-N-Out Burger (a first!), explored Downtown Disney while Mom and Grandma did the grocery shopping for the week, and spent the afternoon at the beach with my roommate Melinda and her family. It was so much fun... especially roasting hot dogs and smores in the bonfire on the beach.

I just love this picture...four of the most important people in my life holding hands, walking down a beautiful lane of palm trees (I love how green everything is in California!), and looking like they are confident and ready to face whatever comes their way.

The Pirate we befriended in Downtown Disney

Upon our arrival at the beach David excitedly exclaimed "Dad look it's real sand!" For the next few hours he built sandcastle after sandcastle and then watched as the waves washed each of them away. He was so engrossed in his work that when I broke his concentration to take a picture he wasn't very happy...hence the annoyed look.
For the next few hours he built sandcastle after sandcastle and then watched as the waves washed each of them away. He was so engrossed in his work that when I broke his concentration to take a picture he wasn't very happy...hence the annoyed look. :)