Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photos I Love

Today's installment of "Photos I Love" comes to you from Salt Lake City, Utah.  Home of one of the most amazing women in the world, June Fuller, my grandmother.

This photo was taken at her 90th birthday party.  This was the first time in a long time that so many family members were together in one place, and the room was filled with so many people who came to show their love for this lady.  M Russell Ballard from the quorum of the 12 even came.  He used to be her bishop.  I said to her, "Look how important you are!  An apostle even came to your birthday party!"  Her reply was "Oh, you mean little Russ?  He is a sweet boy."

When we visited her house during summer vacations, she woke us each morning to exercise with her.  We would walk through her Mt. Olympus neighborhood at a brisk pace - no slacking!  Then we'd return home to do whatever aerobics show was on the tv. 

How many grandmothers do YOU know that play golf and bowl on a league on a regular basis?
Well MINE did!  She was incredible.  I think she even bragged about bowling a perfect score once.  It was fun to watch her in action.  She had more energy than anyone I know (including myself!)

When I was in 2nd grade, my sister and I had to go live with her for a semester of school.  She enrolled us in the school where she worked as a lunch lady, and some of my favorite memories ever came from that time.  Even though it was a very troubling time for us, I never felt scared or worried when I was with her.  She took very good care of me and I will always love her for that.

Grandma was very careful not to waste anything.  We have a running joke in our family that we shouldn't throw away our straws, baggies or wax paper because until they melt away we could still be using them!  She taught me how to cook and save for a rainy day.  Her grocery shopping/coupon system was so exact that even though I would like to, I will never be able to replicate it!

When I went to school at the U of U, I stayed many weekends with her.  Several of my friends became regulars at her house and she loved them all as much as she loved me.  She chastised me when I needed it, often with a few minor swear words thrown in for good measure.  Like her favorite "you're such a dumb little s*@#! Why did you spend all of your money on that?  How are you going to buy groceries?"  Then leave me to figure it out, not knowing that my grandpa was slipping me $20s under the table!!

For all these reasons, and more, I cherish this photo of me and my grandmother.  She is such an important part of my life and I know that I am who I am today because of some of the lessons I learned from her.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Once Upon A Time.....

This is where it all started.  A tall skinny boy named Kelly Watson moved to Albuquerque when I was 15.  Was it love at first sight?  Um.....NO!  He had on white skinny jeans and a pink plaid shirt the first night we met at a church dance, and he made no real effort to be friendly to me.  (In his defense, I think I was wearing a vest and a BOW TIE that night.  Gotta love the 80's!!)

We did not hit it off for quite a while.  The boys and the girls were constantly feuding about a woman's place in the world, and the only words I used to describe him at that time were names of various animals of the 4 legged variety.  This lasted nearly 2 years.  Not exactly a fairy tale beginning.  But then one day, the tide turned.

It was Sunday.  I had gone to prom the night before and according to tradition, was wearing my prom dress to church.  I had to speak that day, and when I looked out on the congregation, Kelly winked at me.  I thought he was messing with me - trying to get me to mess up or something.  But later on when he passed me in the hallway, he said "You look pretty today".  WHAT?????  I had no idea what was going on.  Up until this, we hadn't really had a civilized conversation.  I was flustered, but intrigued!

The next Friday, the phone rang.  It was for me.  It was Kelly Watson.  He asked me to dinner. I was totally shocked.  I said yes.  Here is where I should probably mention that I had a boyfriend, but when suddenly faced with the option of a date with Kelly, I had to go.  I mean, what was happening?  Did he take some magic potion that had turned him from an ogre into a prince??? I had to find out.  So I accepted and off we went.   Now I will switch to the short version of the evening's events.  It could take hours to give a full account!

*We had dinner at a 50's style diner called Yesterdave's.
*We then rented Lethal Weapon at Blockbuster and went back to my house to watch it.
*When we got there, my BOYFRIEND had called and threatened to come over and beat Kelly up if   he didn't leave.
*Kelly, unaware of said boyfriend, was not pleased and left immediately.
*I got on the phone and into a 3 hour phone conversation where boyfriend was threatening suicide if I broke up with him.  I broke up with him.  He survived.
*Next day, I went to see Kelly to apologize and see if he would forgive me.  It went a little something like this:
     K:  Why didn't you tell me you already had a boyfriend?
     J:  Because I liked you and wanted to go out with you.  But I broke up with him right after you left.
     K: So you're not going out with him anymore?
     J:  No.
     K: So you can go out with me now?
     J:  YES!

And the rest, as they say, is history!  The next day, Sunday, we were sitting by each other holding hands at church, and people who had witnessed the hostility between us for the past 2 years were in shock!  There are still friends of my family who can't believe that we are married.  I can.  I have loved him from that very day until now.  We had lots of on-again-off-again moments, and we survived being separated for 2 years during a mission and college.  There are many funny, happy, not so happy (Senior Prom!!),  sweet and memorable stories that have made up our history.  Now that we are 30 somethings, we have been together more than half of our lives.  We have spent more years together than we ever spent without each other.  I have the life I always wanted thanks to the boy in the white skinny jeans.

I love you Kelly!  Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a Difference......

This was the scene on February 20 of this year.  Just 7 short weeks ago:
The final, unwelcomed winter storm that made our spirits sink.  The unrelenting, grim, and merciless icy cold grip of winter to which it seemed there would be no end, went out with over a foot of snow and the roar of our shiny new snowblower!

When the snow finally melted and the sun came out to play, so did we!!!

Hooray for spring!  Hooray for outside play time!  Hooray for green grass and tshirts and sidewalk chalk!  Hooray for sunshine!  I'd almost forgotten how beautiful you were.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ode to the Sun

Sunshine, sunshine, where have you gone?
I've forgotten how it felt
to play outside, instead I hide
inside - wishing the snow would melt.

Oh, how I long for bright blue skies
and temps above the TEENS!
I need your rays, and warmer days,
Instead of WHITE we need some GREEN!
My mood has been sour, my house a mess
my energy at an all time low.
My boots and my sweats really need a rest.

Sunshine, sunshine, PLEASE come back!
Drive all the gloomies away.
We're bored and we're cold - This is getting so old!
We all need to get out to play!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Hannah....

There needs to be a couple of things said about Hannah.  As Kelly and I were talking about her last night, I realized that I omitted some very key personality traits.  So here is an amendment to the previous post.

Hannah is an EXTREME rule follower.  When she is told to do something, or is given a task, there is NO room for interpretation or negotiation!  It is totally black and white in her mind.  This will be a great quality as she grows up.  Although, we have tried to explain that some things are general guidelines and not iron clad laws....still working on that concept!  This also ties in to her TOTAL inability to grasp sarcasm.  She sees things so literally that even most kids jokes go over her head.  She very crisply explained to her teacher this year that she did not appreciate sarcasm, and didn't like it when she was talked to in a certain way.  Her teacher said that she has taken that into consideration every time she talks to Hannah, and is sure to get right to the point with no messing around!

Lastly, Hannah is our Time Manager.  She will shout out the time minute by minute as we are getting ready to go somewhere so that we will NOT be late.  This starts the minute we begin to get ready, and continues in the car and all the way to our destination.  (Unfortunately for her, her mother got the late gene from her dad, so despite Hannah's best efforts we are sometimes late anyway.)  When she wants to know the time and someone estimates or rounds up to the nearest even number, that is not acceptable.  You cannot say it is 4:30 if it is only 4:27.  No no.  Exactness is required at all times.

 I think that everyone needs a Hannah.  She runs a tight ship!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Hannah

 So earlier this year (I got a little behind!!), Hannah turned 10.  Double digits for my middle child.  She has been such a special little girl right from the beginning, and now I would like to share her with all of you!


 She loves her daddy!  Ever since she was small, the way we got her to try anything new was for Kelly to say that it was his favorite thing, and it them became her favorite thing.  She would choke down food that she didn't like just to please him,  all the while sticking to her guns that she loved it.  They have had a special relationship from the start.  Here is a photo of them at last year's Daddy Daughter Valentines Dinner and Dance.

Another thing about Hannah is that she is very sensitive.  Her heart breaks very easily when she has to move away from a friend, or when she has a fight with a classmate, or when she thinks someone is being mistreated.  She is very aware of those who are lonely or in need of a friend and tries her best to reach out to them.  When we moved away from NM and from Ohio, she had some very good little friends that she had to leave, she cried and cried.  The most heartbreaking thing to see was Hannah and her very best friend, my sister Emilie,  saying goodbye at the airport as we were moving for the first time.  They couldn't let go of each other and were both crying - and ever since that day they have run up hours and hours of long distance calls to each other!

She loves to dress up and use her imagination.  Here is her favorite getup from when she was 2 years old.  She wore this to the grocery store many times, her tap shoes clacking away as she followed me through the isles.  Here are a few more recent costume choices.  She comes up with some very interesting ideas!


Another thing I love about Hannah is that she is so trusting.   If you tell her that the sky is orange, she will look at it and say, "Really?  OK."  I thought that she would be devastated to find out that there was no Tooth Fairy.  When she found my drawer full of her teeth and letters, I told her that it was me.  I was the Tooth Fairy.  She looked at me with wide eyes, and with all the innocence and wonder in her heart said, "So, are you the Tooth Fairy for the whole world, or just for our neighborhood?"

 She has always been eager to please.  She will do whatever she can to make her parents, teachers, siblings or friends happy.  When she was younger, if one of her friends said they liked one of her toys, she would say "You can have it." 

She loves to clean - well, everything but her room!!  When we are deciding who gets certain chores in our house, Hannah wants them all.  She loves to to the kitchen the most, even moving all the chairs out to sweep and mop the floors.  She often surprises us by cleaning our room or bathroom while we are out.  I'm sure that this trait came from my sister and NOT from me!

She is also sensitive to spiritual things.  She feels the spirit and expresses those feelings to us.  On more than one occasion, she has written her thoughts about things she has read in the scriptures and let us read them.  She reminds us to read together  as a family a lot, and loves to do things with her family.

She loves to play in the snow.  It can be so cold that nobody else wants to go out, but she will be outside in all her snow gear just laying in the snow.  She is always the first to volunteer to go out with Sam when he wants to play.   She's happy to be outside any time of the year.  Here she is competing in her Triathalon that she has done for the last 2 years.

She really likes this competition.  She trains all summer and takes it pretty seriously.   We love to watch the determination in her face during the race.  She is amazing!

She looks up to Lucy more than anyone can know.  She writes her letters and makes her things all the time to tell her how much she loves her.  If Lucy gets mad at her she is crushed!  Although there is no shortage of sibling bickering between the two of them, I know that there is no one that she loves as much as her sister.

So that is our Hannah.  Sweet, sensitive, spiritual, loving, imaginative, eager and dedicated.  She is an example to our entire family and we all love her very much!