Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Early this week his academic advisor finally figured it out that he could transfer to the shorter program and as long as he graduated we wouldn't have to pay back the grants. This came as bittersweet news to both of us. Yes, it is the best possible situation as we won't own money we don't have and he won't have to continue being away from the family for years to come. Yet, I can not help being sad. Now that I've experienced what it would be like to have him home more, I hate seeing him gone again. Looks like I'll be the semi-single mom a little while longer.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Relief Society was wonderful as well. We went over the talk "Come What May and Love It" by Elder Wirthlin, a man who just recently I have discovered to be a phenomenal speaker. I was deeply moved by his talk in the October 2007 General Conference "The Great Commandment" and had looked forward to his talks each conference prior. Today's message was equally inspirational. There were many aspects to the talk that I plan to take on as new mottos for myself, but this one quote I found to be especially powerful:
"Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome." - Elder Joseph P. Wirthlin
As I have been reflecting upon the trials in my life, I know this to be true. Because of some difficult trials going on in our life at the time (Greg's self-employment, or more accurately, unemployment and not being able to start a family of our own) we found ourselves moving in with my parents. What a blessing that turned out to be because I was able to be with my mother during her last years, to help her, to spend quality time together, and even, to see her extreme suffering firsthand so that I could finally realize I needed to let her go.
I know it's not easy to see the blessings of our trials and tribulation, but I know they indeed are there. I know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is mindful of us. I know he has a plan for us, and if we put our faith in him, all will be well.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
But alas, I finally decided it was time to take the plunge. I picked up the cardstock and Zig pen once more and set to work. I decided to make it simple: documenting the dates, meaningful titles, a clean elegant style, and I used the obituary (which I wrote with the help of my siblings), and the talk I gave at the service as the journaling. I did break down once and had a good cry, but I finished the task, and I am proud of it. Each of these layouts has a pocket full of extra mementos: "In Memory" has pictures of guests at the viewing, "Valerie May Nichols, My Dear Mother" has a pocket full of dried rose petals from the bouquet atop her casket, and "'Until We Meet Again" has the talk I wrote. Some nice little treasures for generations to come.
paper: KMA, stickers: My Minds Eye, pen: Zig, stamps and ink: Close to my Heart, chalk: Stampin' Up!, brads, Making Memories, unknown: lace
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Palmer is known for his big, bright, infectious smiles. Everyone comments on what a happy baby he is. He is such a flirt and flashes his brilliant grin everywhere we go. Tuesday night we went out to dinner as a family at Red Robin (yum!), and Palmer was working his usual charm with the party sitting behind us. Halfway through our dinner, the woman from the neighboring table dropped by and surprised Palmer with a stuffed mouse to play with. In response to Palmer's playful smiles she had decided to try her hand at the claw and hook stuffed animal game, and played until she won a prize for him. I am extremely touched by the kind gesture from this complete stranger. But I have to admit, I understand her impulse. That smile of his is pretty hard to resist!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, I now have proof that I am getting old and decrepit! On Sunday, after church, as I was clad in my pantyhose and missing the traction of my earlier worn shoes, I slipped on our hardwood stairs and fell down hard. (A little side note on my impressive spill - I tumbled down three stairs while holding a cup of liquid in each hand. The glasses, as well as my water and Greg's root beer both remained intact, besides some back splashing on my clothes. I don't know if this unconscious action to sacrifice my body in order to protect what I carried in my arms comes from a maternal instinct or what, but nonetheless I saved our apparently precious drinks.) The point of my mentioning my very loud, forceful and somewhat ridiculous looking fall - it occurred Sunday; today is Tuesday, and I am still hurting! So yes, it's official, I am an old fogie, because only old people fall down and hurt for days afterward.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Last night we put the Christmas gift from London (a winter party basket) to good use. We hosted our first annual "Wii"nter Tournament and invited some of our fellow gaming buddies over to join in on the fun. We had two Wiis going, one upstairs and one downstairs. The upstairs unit didn't get much use because everyone wanted to play with Greg's new Guitar Hero World Tour band kit, which was set up downstairs. We served light snacks and London provided a gorgeous winter-esk french vanilla cake.
Congratulations to our award winners:
- Ultimate Cheer"Wii"der - Sariah
- "Wii"lly Moving It - Scott
- Best "Wii"sician - Brian & Peyton
- "Wii"lly Fabulous Vocals - Rachel
- Most Un"Wii"warded Effort - London
- Trash Talking Sp"Wii"ch - Erin
- "Wii"nner Up - Mindy
- Overall "Wii"nner - Jon
Thanks for the fun night everyone. Game on!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
About half of the pictures taken of Greg have him making a funny face or doing a silly pose. Such pictures usually do not make it to the printer. Here are a couple from our nine month pregnancy photo shoot that did not make the cut.
- During Christmas, he took up more religious talk, a.k.a. turning his dialog into a scriptural tense. When I insisted we throw out my deviled eggs after they had a spill in the car on our way to my sister's house, he replied, "That which ye do unto these eggs, ye also do unto me."
- In a work meeting his boss was asking for workers to volunteer for weekend shifts. Greg said he was willing to work Saturdays but not Sundays. His coworkers, giving him a hard time, asked if he believed God would strike him dead with lightening for working Sundays. He replied, "No, I believe God would strike you dead with lightening for making me work Sundays."
- The other night as I was feeding Palmer dinner, I remarked that he had made such a mess that a word did not exist for it. Greg interjected saying, "We will call it Palmer."
So maybe you had to be there with these, but he sure does give me a good chuckle!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
cream of mushroom soup
Chop kidney and cook by boiling all day. Precook steak also. Mix meats with cream of mushroom soup and vegetables. Line the bottom of a pie plate with pie crust. Add meat mixture. Top with mashed potatoes. Garnish potatoes with a little sprinkling of seasoning salt, paprika or parsley. Bake 375 for about an hour. Serve with gravy alongside.
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
¼ c. milk
frozen meatballs, enough to feed your family
egg noodles, cooked
Mix all ingredients, except for noodles and meatballs, together in sauce pan. Bring to a slight boil. Reduce the heat and add meatballs. Simmer about 15 minutes, or until meatballs are warmed through. Serve over cooked noodles.
Cream sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, dissolve Jello in boiling water and add frozen raspberries to cool it down. Add lemon juice to Jello mixture. In a third bowl, beat whipping cream. Add Jello mixture to sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipping cream and pour into pie shells. Chill for 2 to 3 hours or until pies set. Store in refrigerator.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
- I was married in the right place to the right person.
- Greg was so excited that he showed up at the temple more than an hour early and was given some wedding advice from the temple workers as he waited for everyone else.
- I was a little nervous beforehand but once I entered the sealing room I felt absolute peace.
- Since my mother was physically handicapped and was unable to help me get into my dress, I was allowed to have not only her but also my mother-in-law in the bride's room with me.
- We held a ring ceremony on the temple grounds afterwards. My father officiated and we recited to each other the same scripture my parents and older sister and her husband said to each other at their weddings. Ruth 1:16 "...for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
- We took lots of kissy pictures. Greg and I kissing, Greg and I and my parents and his parents kissing, Greg's sisters kissing his cheeks, me kissing my mom's cheek, etc. (This, by the way, is the only page I have scrapbooked of my wedding. I have done countless wedding albums for friends and for business, but have never gotten to my own.)
- It was absolutely beautiful! I love the cool muted colors of winter, I love the soft delicate snowflakes and anything that sparkles and glistens, and all of that was captured perfectly. Just about the whole ward left their lighted Christmas trees put together after Christmas so that we could use them at the reception.
- We had live music, a pianist and two violinists. The same trio played at my mother's viewing two and a half years later.
- So many wonderful friends and family came to support and congratulate us.
- Our sign in book was a scrapbook I had made of our engagement pictures with open spaces for journaling intended for our friends and family. I often go back and read everyone's well wishes and encouragement.
- After smashing cake in each other's faces, to all the guests astonishment, Greg licked the frosting off the side of my face.
- My cake was gorgeous! It was from Schmidt's Bakery where Greg's sister worked at the time. It was totally custom designed by my older sister and I. There were intricately rolled fondant snowflakes with silver balls covering the cake.
- Greg's father cut in on my dance with my father and instead of dancing with me, to the utter embarrassment of my father, he started dancing with him.
- Our car was decked out with Saran Wrap around the doors, condom balloons, slightly obscene writing, and Oreo's spelling out the word "love". The Oreo's froze to the car and we were initially unable to get them off, so on our honeymoon trip to Sun Valley, one by one they would fly off the hood and smack into our windshield.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
We celebrated our anniversary in grand fashion this year, as in we spent a lot of money and went out without the baby... a couple things we rarely do.
Friday night we went to see Body Worlds 3. Greg has been dying to go, and we could finally justify the money. It was truly fascinating. A few parts were a bit much for me and I got a little creeped out, but Greg was enthralled. Palmer was a perfect little boy. We were in line for an hour and the exhibit took another two hours, and the elevator from the parking lot to the museum was broken, so we had to hike the baby and stroller up the outside stairs, but he took it all like a trooper. The people in line were loving his smiles and flirtation.
Palmer even had a nice surprise for us today. Greg was letting him chew on his finger in Gospel Doctrine, and he felt a tooth. Upon our investigation we discovered that both bottom front two teeth had finally popped out!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Things he does that makes us laugh: "swims" when on his belly (his arms are always out to the side like an airplane as he bobs his head and chest and kicks his feet - shown above), shoves his fingers in our mouths and all over our faces, lots of smiles and laughs
Thursday, January 1, 2009
2008 was a great year for us. I am so thankful for all we are blessed with: our family, friends, home, jobs, ward... I could go on and on.
I am also looking forward to the new year, and am excited to have a fresh start on some goals I've left to the wayside. This year I am trying to stick to only a few so that I can really focus on them and not feel so overwhelmed. My physical goal is to lose weight (the same every year, sigh) by exercising regularly and cutting out the sweets (gasp, I know I took this one hard too). I do still love to bake though, so my friends and neighbors can look forward to some yummy treats as I give away most of the goods in attempts to not eat them all. My spiritual goal is to attend the temple once a month. When we are steady in our temple attendance, life just seems to be better. I am happier and more at peace. And lastly, a personal goal, I will finish my book. I started writing a novel a couple months ago, and have been neglecting it a bit lately. I'll have to give myself a page quota to meet each week. Greg and I have a couples goal as well - to live within our means and not use credit. We sat down and figured out a budget today; it will be difficult, but we have faith that we will be provided for.
Well there it is. I've told all of cyberworld my resolutions. I suppose that means I had better follow through, because if I don't, everyone will know of my failures. Yikes! There's some motivation.