Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

I woke up this morning and just laid in my bed thinking about...everything. I was having one of those..."I want to sleep-in but my brain won't let me", mornings. My life movie was playing in my head....worries, thoughts, laughs, changes.
Who is the guy that said..."the only thing you can count on is change..." (or something to that effect...) well...that guy was right! So many changes have happened this year...and so many more to come are at our doorstep.
This year, we have seen weddings, anniversaries, births, birthdays, and boot-camps...not to mention camping of all kinds, move-ins and move-outs, vacations, games in the backyard, family dinners and get-togethers, pictures, memories, and prayers....Our lives are really made up of so many wonderful things. We have had many challenges, too....but the good, far out-weigh the bad. So what is to become of us? Another year will pass...and I suspect it will be full of good things, and hard things, and some things will be simple and some will be complicated....but we will learn again, that the secret to a happy life is to enjoy the ride.

I can't wait for more.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Home

Today, we arrived at the St. Louis Airport at about 5:30 a.m. to see an ocean of green. America's finest young men were leaving from Fort Leonard Wood for their Christmas exodus. Everywhere you looked there were service men and women in their green uniforms waiting to get home to their families. The air was electric.
I have been "weepy"since we left to go to Levi's graduation. It is too hard to explain....but any one who has seen their kid accomplish something this hard will understand how I feel. I sent a kid away and he returned a man. That is all I can say.
So, today we made our way through the St Louis Airport and the Las Vegas Airport. All along the way, people everywhere stopped Levi and thanked him sincerely for serving our country.

People!! We have such a great country! It was truly awesome. To top it all off, when we got to Salt Lake...we were walking down to the baggage claim area, and as we walked out from security, there were a huge group of people gathered. They had flags and man was singing the national anthem (in a humble way, not all flashy) and as Levi walked out first...they all started cheering and clapping... can only imagine. I pretty well lost it. They were doing this for ALL our soldiers. Each time a military person walked out, the cheering would start again.
I love our country and the good people who live here...seriously. I don't think people who are in Washington, or in Hollywood really understand the depth of appreciation that normal, everyday Americans feel toward our armed service men and women.
We should make this a tradition...every time we see a soldier...we should thank them for their courage to serve...especially at this hard time in our country.

Here are a few pics: (sorry for the know how it goes...)

I could not be happier today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We are off!

Tomorrow the DPR and I are flying off to Missouri to see Levi's Graduation! I am so excited, I don't know how I will sleep tonight...I feel just like a kid waiting for Christmas morning!

Let's just consider this a practice run for the 25th.

See ya!

p.s. I'll have pics when I get back!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Welcome Christmas

This was an old pic of Kit and Claire during primary one year...gotta love it!
(has nothing to do with this post...just thought it was hilarious.)

Rob and I went out shopping today along with 3 Billion other people...and that's just here in Ogden. That's why they wrote that song... "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...." you know....because the whole time I was thinking..."let's just go home".

We already kinda decided that we wouldn't get much this year anyway, nobody really has any money to be wasting, so we all want to keep it really simple. Our family has always felt like this, and I am happy that they do. It wasn't always like that. We had a few of those over-the-top Christmas mornings, full of too many gifts, wrappings, candy, and ribbon.....and also full of:
1. mother's stress out and shopping anxiety Christmas morning psychotic breakdown...( me sitting on the couch christmas morning,staring off into space mumbling and pulling wads of hair out...)
3. kid's Christmas morning unappreciative disappointment. ("is that it?"they would say, holding 100's of dollars worth of doc martins(remember them?) and boxes of new clothes, etc.etc... just shoot me now...)
Don't get me wrong, those Christmas' were great, we were all together, and it's what people think it should be like, it was fun, but when you come right down to it....not nearly as gratifying as some of the other Christmases that we have spent without all of the "crap".

One Christmas, years ago, Rob and I decided that our gift to each other would be to get out of debt. We took a large chunk of savings and paid off all our credit cards. Then I took all the credit cards, chopped them in half and hung them all over our Christmas tree! My statement to the world, that I wasn't going to be a part of the mayhem. Our teenagers were mortifyed, and completely embarrassed (but that secretly makes me happy too...)
Anyway...September of that year...Rob got laid off from his job. the only dollars that we had that year for Christmas was from "sand dollars" that we had collected from the beach on a family vacation during the summer. We happily hung them all over the tree and proceeded to have one of the best Christmases ever, remembering the tender mercy that it was to be out of debt. We laughed and talked about great times we had together, and played games, had a nice dinner...all done with almost no presents whatsoever.
(We decided to focus on making some family traditions... like English crackers at dinner...*see the bottom pic...)

It really is parent's fear that drives the Christmas machine. Fear of that disappointment from our kids, and maybe remembering our own disappointments. Also I think it might just be that we want the gifts to represent our love...that great big love that we feel toward our families ( but then leaves us feeling that great big buyers remorse and anxiety afterwards...less than a feeling of love...I'd say...)
There have been other Christmases that were even scarcer...but were faced without any fear. I have come to learn...It really doesn't matter. It truly is about being together, playing games, laughing and talking, and loving each other.
*do I need to say again what dorks we are? The tradition lives on:

"Welcome Christmas, while we stand...
heart to heart and hand to hand."
(Dr. Suess)
Make it a good one this year.
Love you all...without any buyers remorse,

Friday, December 4, 2009

gathering family

Hello all! I've been missing blogging lately....just haven't had time to pull it together.
So I'm getting my fix today.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. George, thanks to Daniel. His company has a condo there for their we loaded us all up and away we went! Had a fantastic time, and the best part was that we finally were able to see Jeff! He has been stationed in Las Vegas for the last couple of weeks. What a sight for sore eyes. I sure love that guy! He told us all about Texas and all the "gory" details of basic training. Plus we had all the good stuff of Thanksgiving...what's not to love?

We actually celebrated Thanksgiving twice. A little before the actual holiday, we had a great big dinner with Rob's family, to honor his parent's 60th wedding anniversary....all I can say is...WOW.
60 years...proof that it can be done.
We made a cake to resemble their original wedding cake...and
made them feed each other like newlyweds(hilarious)We got good advice from the "pros"...and
they spoke of their love tenderly(sigh)
Again...what's not to love?
Thank heaven families are forever.

p.s. You can watch the whole thing here.