Monday, January 31, 2011
They say people die in groups. There are other things people do in groups, like have babies, get married, go to college, but it seems like the moon aligns and bam....you have four family funerals in a year, or babies, or weddings or whatever. There really should be some type of scientific cycle to monitor these things. Anyway, my Grandma's death sparked the keg of funerals this year. Before we knew it we were back in Utah for our dear (and well missed) cousin's funeral. When we returned home there was a wonderful gift with things just for me (sorry no photo evidence of this one). There were some cute kitchen towels, stationary, and candles. It was a thoughtful gift, and was such a surprise that it stayed in the bag for a week. I took everything out at least 4 times and then set it back in the bag. Finally I decided it really was meant for me and I could enjoy them. You are an amazing person Mystery Giver. You have my gratitude.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
When we got back from the funeral, there was a mysterious happening. Our porch had received two new toys. Jameson spotted them immediately (he has hawk eyes for anything toy related). We don't know who left them or really why they left them, but it made Jameson and Katie very happy. Thank you mystery toy giver.
I don't remember Grandma without Grandpa. Everywhere Grandpa went Grandma went too. (Even if Grandpa had to sit in the car and honk for 10 minutes). I also remember them watching tv and holding hands, and Grandpa rubbing Grandma's feet. (Grandma would bribe anyone to rub her feet, she often promised a quarter for anyone who would 'do a good job'.)
That lady could work you into the dirt. I remember helping her cook, clean, water, weed, make beds, iron, and then as a treat we sat on the back porch in her swing. But only after we got chores done. That was her. Work hard and play hard.
The kitchen was the gathering place at Grandmas. She always had something for you to eat. It ranged from melted cheese and snowballs to her horrible pinto beans with ham. But don't worry, that would be followed by ice cream or hot chocolate depending on the season.
She LOVED her family. She would attend any event her grandchildren were involved in. She loved to talk about the most recent dance, piano, singing, band, and sporting event she had attended. I loved Grandma's support in all the activities I was in and could count on a big hug and cheer from Grandma.
Devotion to the Church was top priority with Grandma. She would read scriptures every day and then tell me she still had a lot of church material to get through this month. She made sure to read the Ensign cover to cover. She always asked me if I had enjoyed my Ensign yet this month. That was also her Christmas gift, a subscription to the Ensign. I think that the time she spent working in the temple was a huge blessing for her and us. It kept her young. I loved getting a chance to fix Grandma's hair for the temple. Wednesdays I could count on Grandma reporting, "I put your name on the prayer roll..."
There are so many memories with Grandma. She was a huge influence in my life. I remember coming home from dates or an other activity and reporting to my parents, and then Grandma would hush me into her room (I think she and Grandpa liked waiting up too)to hear the details. Thanks Grandma for being a great grandparent. I love you!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
There were some good times with family. I remember when Jameson discovered 'the pester light' (a laser pointer he would chase around and could never quite catch). He also loved playing guns with his uncles! We did so much... snowmobiled, visited lots of family, my birthday, had pictures taken, had Andrew's missionary testimonial, Katie's baby blessing, and a couple of good parties.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Katie is growing fast and eating like a teenage boy... well... hmm...she likes to eat a lot at least. A very healthy 2 month old baby weighing in at 14lbs. That's my girl! Besides eating, she loves to watch her mobile. It's like the mobile is a smile factory, she will watch it and smiles, coos, and wiggles spurt forth. She also loves her activity gym. We are still waiting to see if the dark hair is a permanent thing (I think so). And the most amazing thing she does...she sleeps through the night. I hope that saying that doesn't jinks us (you know how kids are), but she has been sleeping a solid 5-8hrs a night for about 2 weeks now. And I am thrilled.
James and I are doing well. James got called as the athletic coordinator for our ward so Saturdays are full of basketball and refereeing. I just made a fun little craft for Valentine's Day. It is a garland made of felt hearts. It only took an hour to make and it looks great! I'll have to post a pic. So that's what we're up to these days.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Just thought it would be fun to start the blog off with a review of last year. So here are the best and most important events of 2009.
Move- We were so excited to move to a much bigger apartment in April. It was more than double the square footage and a washer/dryer was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It meant that when little critter number 2 came along there would be room for one more at home.
Camping-It was a family resolution to camp more. Unfortunately that doesn't happen with Virginia summers and pregnant moms. So we saw a small window of opportunity and available weekends. But this being Virginia, it decided to rain. It was dark and dreary this particular Saturday and there were flash flood warnings, but not a drop of rain had fallen (yet). By two o'clock that afternoon, with no rain, just very threatening clouds, we saw it as our sign. Off to Prince William National Forest we went. The drive was beautiful and we found a lovely camping site and got the tent set up. So next we started making a fire and dinner. And it started... we ran for the tent (after stashing some logs under the car to keep them a little dry). After about an hour the rain let up to a light mist and James decided to be a true Boy Scout and build a fire that would withstand a little rain. He made us proud with a great fire, and we got to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.That was short lived because it began raining again. It wouldn't stop raining the rest of the trip. So we listened to the drumming of rain all night. Which is pretty nice when you are dry inside the tent. We also got to experience one of the Souths rare treasures. The WHIPPOORWILL. They are little birds that are basically nocturnal, they only do their call/chirp at night. In our case ALL night. Really it sounded like a car alarm was going off. That was our chance at camping this year and boy was it an adventure. It rained for a solid week after that and it turns out, tents can dry out really well over the shower curtain rod. And now we know that we have some mad survival skills. :)
Vacation- James and I both had siblings graduating from high school and so we decided to do a two-for-one and go West for a couple of weeks. It was so much fun to be with family. My sisters were able to all be home for Darby's graduation. We hadn't all been home at the same time for several years and boy did we have fun. Playing with cousins and rides on the four wheeler made the trip memorable for Jameson. Utah and the Riches were great too. Getting together with cousins and family was so nice. We also got to visit Hogle Zoo and ride the ferris wheel at Pioneer Park. It was so great to be with family for a few weeks and show off Jameson.
Church- Teaching Primary has been an adventure. James and I got to teach the 4/5 year olds. And James is a natural with the kids. Maybe it was the bribes...stickers and treats do wonders to win kids over, or maybe it was his whip cracking (literally) at the ward party...We really loved those children. But it will be nice to interact with the adults again.
Pittsburgh- The rugby national finals were held in Pittsburgh this year. And Andrew's team was playing. So we made a quick weekend trip to watch and support. We toured Pittsburgh's Children's museum and had fun watching rugby. And what would a rugby championship be without terrible weather? Yes, they made it to the Championship game and we were die hard fans. We still yelled and rang the cow bell through the lighting storm and freezing cold rain. And of course we made all the difference, because Andrew's team are the 2009 National Champs.
Promotion- James has learned a lot working at Luntz Maslansky. This year one of those lessons was that nobody is as secure in their job as they think. There was round after round of lay-offs. We just kept holding our breath while job searching (just in case). James' office went from 20 employees to 6. But James was a shining star and kept his job, not only that, he got promoted with a raise. Not to shabby when everyone else is getting laid off. It has been a huge blessing and we are so grateful for the opportunities it has given us.
NYC- James got a couple of $300 seats for free at Yankee Stadium. He considered scalping them but in the end he and Stephen had a great time at the game. James got souvenirs for us and if he only knew the impact that would have. Jameson hasn't spent a day without his Yankee baseball bat or ball since.
Gettysburg- This was male bonding time for James and his brother Andrew. They decided to walk the battle field. It offered a different perspective and experience for James. Gettysburg is one of his favorite places and this was the first time he had hiked through the park. He has a new respect for Pickett's Charge and loved the chance to share Gettysburg with Andrew. Jameson and I wandered around the air conditioned museum and watched some reenactors. We also drove around and found a fruit stand with great peaches and pears. It was a nice finish to the summer.
Oh, Baby- Welcome Katie! Our second child and first daughter was born the end of November. There is nothing like child birth to finish the year off. She arrived healthy, I am healthy and we were happy to leave the hospital to recover at home. My mom was able to come and watch Jameson while I was in labor and it was so nice to have her there after for recovery and babysitting. It was a real comfort to have mom there. Jameson is a great older brother and loves giving Katie 'bones'/high-fives and smooches on the forehead.
Hunting- Did you know that in Virginia on one hunting license for the cost of $12 you get 6 deer, 2 turkeys, 1 bear, and some squirrels? Who knew? Well it was time to take advantage of this ridiculous amount of game. The Cleveland's invited James to come hunt in Charlottesville, and he couldn't refuse. It would be James first time deer hunting. And he had a great initiation. It rained then snowed and he only got a glimpse of a deer. But hey, hunting is more about the outdoors and the fun of the hunt. He will just have to start earlier next year. But it was a great first hunting trip. Thanks Eddy, for the opportunity!!
Visitors- With the birth of a granddaughter, grandparents were east bound to visit. My mom came and got to enjoy the kids and the sights of DC. Granddad and Grandmem Rich visited too. It was fun for them to entertain Jameson and hold the new baby. Next came some of James friends from Australia. They were a great hit with Jameson; they brought him a cricket bat and vegimite, you might guess which he likes more. So the month went by fast and sped Christmas right to us.
Snowpocalypse- Most winters blend together with a rare memory of a terrific storm mixed in. This year we had a storm that will be one of those rare memories. James left Friday morning for a company meeting and Christmas party in NYC. Forecasts had warned that a major storm was approaching the DC area. They predicted correctly. By mid morning there was five inches of snow on the ground. I was worried James wouldn't make it home if it kept snowing. It kept snowing. By evening, there was a good foot or more of snow. Just remember this isn't Utah/Idaho. Snow that stays on the ground is a big deal here. James had gotten on the train, which was delayed, and finally made it into DC. Now the trick would be finding a cab or someway to get home. James waited maybe 5 minutes and he found a few people headed to our neighborhood. They convinced a limosine service driver (with an SUV) to take the five of them home. (for a fee of course) (Some people were in the taxi line over 2 hours, and others heading up to Maryland couldn't get anyone to drive them at all) On James' ride it was as if a nuclear bomb had hit. Dozens of abandoned cars on the side of the road, accidents all over the place, everywhere you looked someone was stuck, and that was just the FREEWAY. By 8 o'clock James had made it safely home. We realized how blessed we had been when a co-worker called and asked how James had gotten home so fast (he was still at the train station several hours late with no cabs in sight). It was also a comfort to know we had willing and helpful neighbors if we had needed help getting James home. But had it stopped snowing? Hardly. Things really closed down, no church on Sunday, no work on Monday, and buses didn't even try running until Wednesday. What a mess. It took about 4-5 days to get back to normal. It was entertaining watching people try to get out of the parking lot. I decided if they couldn't navigate a car in the parking lot, there was no way they should be out on the street. We built a decent sized snowman with carrots for eyes and nose. And enjoyed having James home. It also made it a white Christmas, which was wonderful! What a year in review.