Hi, I'm Stephanie




  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.




The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.




 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 






My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.


 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 


Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

Blog Honor Roll:

CK’s Days

Cozzens Family News

Cranberry Corner

Every Day I Write the Book

Graham Family Adventures

Grandma Honey


Living Waters




"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"

« Giving Myself a Little Pat on the Back | Main | Kind of a Stupid Post. So You've Been Warned. »

Officially, This Post Does Not Exist

Everything I know about how the CIA operates comes from Alias and Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson – you know, the covert operative the Bush administration outed because her husband was foolish enough to say the evidence of WMDs in Iraq was a load of crap.

(Which if you think about it, makes sense: if someone tells the truth, let’s get revenge by destroying his spouse’s career – the career of somebody dedicated to making the world a better place. That’ll show ‘em!)

Both sources confirm that the CIA favors hiring gorgeous women with great hair.

Which is why nobody would expect Mr. Man, aka my husband, to be a spy.

But he is.

Except he doesn’t want me to tell you all the reasons why, because somebody might believe me.

So I am not going to tell you all the odd circumstances that lead me to conclude that my very ordinary, farm-raised, mom-and-apple-pie husband is a spook.

First, I am not going to tell you that my husband used to most definitely be a chemist.  Sometimes if he needed to drop by work for a few minutes, we would all go together.  We would skirt around the edges of the lab and then go to his office, where the kids would play computer games and arrange his collection of rubber ducks (so they would all be in a row).

Near the end of his employment there, he was working 100+ hours each week, and we were desperate for a different job. I probably shouldn’t tell you that he got a phone call from someone we’ve never met, suggesting he apply at another company.  It seemed so perfect – the timing, the salary, the job description. We jumped at the chance.

The odd thing was that it took them five months, after his initial interview, for Mr. Man to start work.  Odd for a chemical company maybe, but not for someone requiring Top Secret clearance.

I learned in Fair Game that the CIA places people in real companies, and gives them real, non-spy jobs, so they have a more effective cover.  Granted, the book indicates that the CIA still pays their salaries, and Mr. Man’s checks come from the ChemStuff Chemical Company, but I would expect the feds to change operating procedure after their methods were exposed so publicly.

Now, it would be crossing a line to tell you that the guy my husband calls his boss, whom I will refer to as “Frank,” because I like the name “Frank,” is really Mr. Man’s handler. He’s one of two people I’ve ever met who claim to work for the same place.  We went to the company Christmas party a few weeks after he started work, and his “boss” and his wife sat with us at a table full of people even Frank didn’t seem to know.

The next year, I expected that we would attend the same party. A night out, good food, and this year he would know more people, right? Well, yes, if he were really a chemist.  But if he just had an office there, and actually worked on espionage all day, he might not be well acquainted with his "co-workers."

So the next year, and for all of the four years after that, the invitations we receive in the mail for the company party conveniently place it on the same night, same time, as our ward Christmas party.

My husband hates ward parties.  Nevertheless, he insists we go support the church effort and skip the salmon, prime rib, or whatever the work party is serving.

So I’ve never met more than two of the men at this very large company where my husband works.  Sometimes, if we’re at a store or a restaurant, he’ll point somebody out and tell me what their position is, but never introduces me.

If I were actually telling you any of things, you would think this odd, right?

I can tell you that I’ve never been to my husband’s office. He says it’s for security/safety purposes, but then he makes up all these stories about the vendors, corporate visitors, and rabbis who come to visit.

Yes, rabbis.

My husband’s job description plants him firmly in the lab, and yet he travels.  Increasingly, he leaves on fairly short notice, and can’t always guarantee that he’ll return on a certain date. 

I really can’t tell you that for his last trip, he supposedly went to Pennsylvania, near to corporate headquarters, and not too far from a very large lab operated by the same company.  And yet, he claims, ChemStuff choose to ship out an obscure chemist from Wyoming to do the job.

And why does the CIA need a chemist?  Have you ever watched Alias? Other than that whole Rambaldi nonsense, much of it is about preventing the proliferation of new, super-scary weapons, Some of them are electronic, or even biological, but a good number of them have chemical components.

The intelligence community needs chemists to help them understand and contain such threats.  One thing I learned in my years as the spouse of a guy who really was a chemist is that it’s a male-dominated field. The CIA could try to hire beautiful women for the job, but it would be a tough go.

The next best thing is to hire someone you’d never suspect. Pick a family man, somebody heavily involved in his church.  Someone who votes, yet hasn’t had so much as a parking ticket in 15 years.

Someone who can hide in plain sight.

Besides, Mr. Man can tell anyone anything, and they’ll believe it. Oh, he uses his powers for good, and mostly to amuse himself (any time he tells the girls something they look at me like, “Is Dad telling the truth this time?” and often I don’t know). It’s a good quality for a spy.

If Mr. Man were, indeed a spy, which he assures me he is not.

And I haven’t told you anything, anyway, right?

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Reader Comments (3)

It is so clear! Watch the movie Red it could add to the CIA info, but it is pg13

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJana

I loved RED! It kinda makes me nervous for when Mr. Man retires, but I think we're good for a while.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Cozzens

I believe you are right. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone who this spy is. (Be sure to post your adventure when he retires. And tell him good luck. I hope he wins.)

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorinne

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