Friday, September 19, 2008

My Dad

Everytime I look at this picture I get a huge smile on my face, because of my dear father. He is such an incredible man and today is his birthday. So many of you that are going to read this already know what a wonderful man he is, but I really wanted to publicly write what an incredible man he really is and how much I love him.

My dad and I have always had a close relationship. When I was young my mom worked as a nurse and often worked 2nd shift thus leaving my dad to help me get home from school and get dinner and such. Since he was a professor at BYU and that was just across the street from my elementary I usually just went over to his office after school and spent time with him in his office while he tutored numerous students. (That's another thing. My father would go to the ends of the earth to make sure every one of his students understood their homework and if they didn't he would spend as much time out of class with them as they needed.) I even became a student of my fathers when I went to BYU and took one of his engineering classes. What a unique experience!!

Being the baby of the family by so many years left me without "sibling playmates" and often not a lot to do...but my dad came to my rescue and would come out and play tennis with me and would take me golfing with him and his buddies. I even got to drive the golf cart -- until I crashed it.

Every Saturday morning my dad made me homemade french toast with homemade raspberry jam and homemade grape juice...and in the late summer took my sister and I to all the home BYU football games giving me my love for the Cougar Blue!!! Even today I spent the afternoon with he and my sister watching our BYU Cougars stomp on Wyoming 44-0.

However wonderful all of these memories are to me...they are not what makes my dad so special to me. My dad had the most humble and loving spirit of anyone I know. He is so gentle, so quiet, so reserved and yet so powerful. Just 2 months after I was married my dad was called to be a sealer in the Provo Temple. As happy as I was for him, I was also very let down. I was sad that he couldn't have been called two months earlier so that he could have been able to seal my marriage. But, I will never forget sitting with my entire family in the office of James E. Faust while the sealing powers where conferred upon my father. It was amazing. I could think of no greater man. In fact my siblings and I used to joke that my dad would be the next general authority. We all knew what an incredible father we have.

Now that my dad is semi-retired he is constantly doing things for his family. He takes care of my mom with the most compassion I have ever seen. She needs a fair amount of help getting around as she has a lot of pain due to arthritis. He also comes to the aid of any children who need help and grandkids who need help with homework, need chauffeuring, or need to be disciplined. He still does engineering consulting on the side which keeps his mind in check and he never stops and slows down. He is always saying that he can't slow down because once he does then his body will slow down. He is so amazing.

Dad, I love you very much and I want to thank you publicly for everything you do for me, Nate, and Annie and Gracie. Thank you for supporting me in everything that I do, even when I make mistakes. Thank you for raising me to have faith in Jesus Christ and to know right from wrong. Thank you for YOUR knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and your testimony. Thank you for the sensitive heart I have (even though I get hurt easily), and thank you for countless blessings which I will be forever grateful. Thank you for your example, your steadfastness, the manner in which you carry yourself and how you are ALWAYS there when need you. Your voice is like music to my ears so calm and reassuring. Thank you, dad, for being the grandfather to my girls, they ask about you more than you know and love you more than you can imagine. But, most of all....Thank you dad, for being my dad and in my opinion The Best Dad EVER!! I love you so much!!
Love Always and Forever,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Week in Thought

I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was his reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too;
I wasn't even watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
while dealing with a stranger,
common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."

By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
He smiled "I found 'em, out by the tree.
I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay,
I love you anyway."
I said, "Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

Why is it that we treat the people we love the most and the people who do the most for us we treat the worse? Over the past week or so I have been reflecting a lot about how I have been living my own life and making a lot of changes regarding the decisions I make, the time I devote to things but most especially how my family fit into my life. Up until recently I think I honestly believed that family was *just another part* of life. Can you believe that? Just another part of life? That sentence makes me sick to think of. My family IS MY LIFE. I have decided that my life revolves around my family, my husband and my two little beautiful daughters that have been the Lords gift to me. The are my sunlight on rainy days. They are my nourishment when I hunger. And most important they are my joy when I am down.

I was just looking back over the last year. We have been in our new house for a year now and I have been reminiscing of sorts about how the first year has gone and what was hard and what was really fun etc. Then my thoughts ventured back through all the years of Nate's and my marriage. When Nate and I were first married we lived with my parents...literally in my old bedroom. After about 5 months we moved into my brother and sister's house and lived in what was a VERY generous situation for the next 5 years. Then last July we purchased out new home. After a very long year of trying to get settled I am just now starting to feel like this truly is our very own home in which we make the rules for "our" kids, we get to decorate for the Holidays, we can come and go as we please without fear of waking other children and so on and so forth. It is a feeling like no other. I truly feel like we are a family now. And one for which I am very grateful.

As I have been reflecting this past week or so I have been making lists (you all know how much I love making lists :) ) of Family Goals, Individual Goals and Personal Goals for myself and the rest of the family to work on as well as some ideas of things for us to get out and participate in with the girls. Overall this week of retrospect has me yearning for growth within my small (but very important) family. A family that means so much to me and yet often goes unappreciated. I love you all and thank you for all you do!