Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday....

Ryan was born on January 31, 1986. I thought he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. In my rush this morning, I couldn't find the hospital picture.(When I find it, I will post it.)

When I talked to him this morning, he sounded great. He said his roommates had made his breakfast. I was amazed that young guys would be so thoughtful. I will be thoughtful too. I told him I would eat cake in his honor.

This picture was taken before his first birthday, but not much before. Now he has had 22 more of them. I don't know how I....um, I mean how he got so old....




Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ally Made Me Do It!

One of the things I opened on Christmas morning, was a spa gift certificate. The gift was from Jeff, to both Ally and me.

Directly after Christmas, Ally was on the website of the spa, figuring out how we were going to spend our wonderful gift. After she decided on our mini spa day, she had to convince me.

Ally wanted me to get a massage. I had never had one. "I'm too shy for that!" was my answer. I had mostly said that she could choose our day, but I was very reluctant about this. I showed her some other possibilities. Like that was going to work!

We had our appointment on Friday. When we got there, they took her straight for her massage, and me for a steam shower. My massage was next, and that hour flew by in what felt like just a few minutes. Why was I reluctant again? I don't know. I am ready to make my next appointment!

The next item on the list, was lunch with Ally. We had placed our orders when we arrived, and Ally had chosen to eat outside. It was fun, sitting in our spa robes, comparing our adventures so far. I felt so spoiled.

Finally, we had pedicures together. I realized she had chosen the perfect spa day for us. It was fantastic!

(When I came back to reality, I called Jeff and thanked him again for our great day. I also told him what I wanted for Mother's Day......)



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Exciting Day!

I am not a person who likes to get very political. I can usually see both sides to a situation, so I am not good at actually taking sides. I am a registered Independent....in case you were wondering.

I can't miss posting on a very important day in our nation's history. Even though my views do not line right up with President Obama's, I can say that it is an exciting day! Have you seen the millions of people in Washington DC? The enthusiasm is contagious.

I heard today on the news that Barack Obama is taking office with a 78% approval rating. That is an incredible number. I guess I have heard some of the 22% talking a little loudly, and so I didn't know it was quite that high.

The President of my church, Thomas S. Monson, sent out the following statement before today's activities:

“We send our best wishes to President-elect Obama and pray for the blessings of a loving Father in Heaven to be upon him and his administration.”

What better way to welcome a new President, than with best wishes and prayers.....:)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Stories...

In my last entry, I called Riley, The Reluctant Soccer Player. It is still true. I tell people that she is contrary...especially to me. Also true. She likes to disagree, even when it makes little or no sense.

Riley can be a real sweetheart as well. I need to be sure I say that sometimes too!

I briefly mentioned the annual family Christmas party that we have with my mom's side of the family. I didn't get back to sharing the details of this event. I went to get Ally two days after it, and that trip literally snowballed into a longer trip than I had planned.

So, that December 13th party was dinner at my house, and then dessert and the present game at my mom's house. You know the game? The game where everyone brings a gift, and then they are opened, stolen, and people get upset? That's the one!

When it was Riley's turn to open a gift she went straight to the one that Jeff's mom brought. Riley had ridden to the party with her grandma, and was very aware of that certain gift. She didn't know the contents of it, but it weighed nothing, and she was fascinated by it. T0 Riley's delight, the small package contained:





It reminded me of an old Larry Miller comedy routine. He was making fun of the things they try to sell on TV, and the phrase, "makes a great gift." He said a great gift would actually be a shoebox full of twenties.

Riley thought the five, two dollar bills made a great gift.

However the game wasn't over. Riley sat very close to me, trying to conceal her treasure. She wanted it to be forgotten. There weren't too many people at the party who would have taken her gift, so she had little reason to worry. Then, it became the Little Reason's turn. Sure enough, when the cousin (some kind of cousin....second, third, removed ?....I don't know these things) who is a couple years older than Riley started scanning the room. He walked over to us slowly.

I started talking into Riley's ear, "If he takes your gift, it will be okay. That's the game. He might take it, you know. You can't get upset." Her body stiffened, and her eyes went down. Little Reason came over and quietly took her gift. You could tell he felt a little bad, but not very. He thought those bills made a great gift too.

I think the whole room was braced for the uproar. All eyes were on Riley. I think half the people there would have broken out their wallets to help her feel better, if she had started to cry. While her face was a little cloudy for a second, there were no tears. She took a deep breath, and we moved on. I told her I would help her find a gift to steal, but her eyes had already lighted upon a Santa cup with candy. I was so pleased at the easy transition.

See, she really can be sweet!

Here is the cup, which didn't get put away with the other Christmas stuff. Riley earned the right to drink from it all year long....




Another story came out of this party, for me. One of my mom's sisters and her husband gave a bit of a Christmas message. They mostly talked about families, and how important we are to each other.

My aunt told a little story about my grandma. She passed away when I was almost five years old, so my memories of her are just traces. Maybe I am mostly remembering pictures I have seen, because the pieces of my thoughts seem to be in black and white. My grandma and grandpa lived in Mexico, so we didn't see them often. This particular aunt and uncle lived near them, and so they tell many stories about them.

Anyway, my aunt said that my grandma decorated her Christmas tree with pictures of her grandchildren. My aunt said that one year, a granddaughter who didn't live nearby was born in August. When it was time for my grandma to decorate her tree, she hadn't received a picture of the baby yet. She watched for the picture to come, and finally when it was nearly Christmas, it came. She was happy, because her tree was complete.

I can't explain how this story meant so much to me. Of course, I am the August Baby. Although I hardly knew my grandma, she knew me. She cared about me, and she needed my picture on her tree. This knowledge adds something to me. I am more whole somehow. I can't find just the right words here......

At home that night, after the party, I had a sudden thought of where the picture was. I have the very picture! I went into the garage, did a little digging and came back into the house with the picture of me. It was dated in December, and had a note written to my grandma on the back. I called my mom even though it was pretty late, and asked her how I came to have this picture. She said that after my grandma died, that she (my mom) had received many of her pictures and letters back.

I love knowing that this picture once decorated my grandma's Christmas tree.





Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Post of the Year.....Finally!


I didn't imagine it would take me this long to get to my first post of the year. The celebrating is long gone, and now I have been trying to get it back together. For some reason, things just haven't fallen back into place naturally. I'm not a particularly organized person at any time, but I feel more scattered than usual.

When the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, instead of being excited about the new year, I was swallowing a lump in my throat. I knew that in the morning, my sister Natalie was moving away, and that the following day Ryan was leaving to go back to school.






This picture is from Christmas Eve, when Ally taught Nat, Kaitie and Emilee the laughing game. See how cute they all are?

Riley and I cried big tears when they drove away on New Years Day. Things just don't seem quite right now that Natalie and her family are gone. I know they have to do what is best for their family. This move just doesn't happen to be the best thing for ME.

Friday morning, Jeff and Ryan pulled out of the driveway about 7:30. My four girls and I waved goodbye in our pajamas, jackets and shoes. We even chased them down the street a little of the way. That is a silly tradition that dates back to my own childhood. I'm thankful there isn't a video of it!

I am glad for Ryan to continue school. It's just that the two weeks he was here flew by, without registering a full two weeks in my brain. Ryan and Jeff had a good trip up to Idaho. Years ago, the reason for Jeff to be with him was safety. Now it was mostly the opportunity to get a little more time together.



Ryan actually sent me this picture from Chile a couple of months ago. This is the house where he lived while he was there. I don't have a student apartment picture to put here....and that may be just as well.

The weekend that Jeff was gone with Ryan, I was at the grocery store with Emilee. A couple of different times, I started to pick up something Ryan would like. It's not like he is gone for the first time. That's how you get when they leave for the first time! I should be used to having him gone, because that has been more the case for nearly four years. I told Emilee I needed to pull it together, but that I really was feeling bad about Nat and Ryan leaving. She looked at me and said, "But you still love me!" That made me laugh, because it was cute...AND because it was such a classic kid response.

I am grateful to have Ally still home with me. She is not sure how long she will stay. It depends on so many things. I am in no hurry to have her go, but I realize that she also needs to decide what is best for her. (And I'm guessing it won't be to stay here forever with ME....)

So everything has started back up again, and for some reason I haven't been able to wrap my brain around it. The schedule is almost the same as before. Well, we did add the Reluctant Soccer Player:






Riley always says she doesn't like it, and drags her feet while getting ready. Then, at each practice and game she ends up having fun. She has made progress from last year. Last year, she ran behind the pack, and this year she runs with the pack. Her foot has actually touched the ball, and that is a big deal for her. Yesterday at her game, my dad said, "She doesn't have any competitive spirit, does she? She is just out there visiting." "That's my baby," I answered. Jeff reminds me that Kaitie was the same way at first. She wasn't into it her first couple of years either, and then one day she caught on and became a very good player. We'll see what happens with Riley.

Of course things will go better with Riley if I remember that she has soccer practice.....