Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rise and Shout

I know it's a few days late, but I couldn't go without saying how proud we are of the Cougs for their victory over the Utes and their new #19 BCS ranking!

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the Beginning...

Thanksgiving Day, 1997, is the day I first remember hearing about him. It was transfer day, and to pass the time while waiting for my new companion, Sister Hansen invited me to the mission home to help her prepare for the Outgoing Missionaries' Dinner. As we set the table and prepared the food, we talked about Mission News and a little bit of the gossip (Sister Hansen didn't have the tightest of lips, bless her heart). Names of Elders and Sisters came in one ear and out the other as we talked and joked. But one name stuck with me: Elder F*******, whom, she said, was such an inspirational and faithful missionary. She told me about how President had put him with THE toughest, most socially backward missionary in the mission--the one no one else could handle--and how the that missionary cried when President Hansen asked him how Elder F was as a companion. He said that Elder F was the only one who treated him as a normal guy, and he loved him for that.

She also talked about a miracle that happened to Elder F when he was bit by a brown recluse spider, and watched the infection spread rapidly up his leg. Before going to the hospital, he asked for a blessing. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw the infection recede as rapidly as it had spread, until it was no longer there.

The fact that he was the top baptizing Elder in the mission at the time was also impressive, but that he was so kind and faithful was what impressed me most about this Elder I had never met.

Fast forward a few months and I was transferred to a new area with a new companion. When I learned that Elder F was our district leader, I was glad, because I had heard so many great things about him. I remember him calling that first night to welcome me to the district and to tell me that he was happy I was here and that he'd heard good things about me. I remember thinking what a nice guy he seemed to be.

You know how sometimes you just click with people? That's how it was for me and Elder F. During the 3 months we served around each other we became fast friends. We supported each other through lost investigators, tough companions, and the stress of mission life.

Quotes from my journal during this time:

  • I like our Elders. I have a lot of respect for them. They're good guys.

  • Of course the Elders had a Golden Investigator just walk in to church today. Man, they're being blessed! Elder F is just a baptizing machine!

  • The Elders came with us to Karen's house today. We did it as a last-ditch effort and came out with her committed to baptism. Crazy! Elder F is so good! He's just amazing to me. Sometimes he can be really cheezy, but he's so sincere. He's a great friend. We just kinda click.

  • Today was district meeting. Elder F gave us interviews. We just talked a lot about the area, and he asked me how I felt about how things were going. I told him how much I looked up to and admired him and what an example he was to me. He said the same things about me...the spirit was strong as he shared some experiences he's had on his mission...I have so much respect for him. He's had so many problems and trials on his mission and he's overcome them all.

  • Okay, just gotta write one really cute thing about Elder F. They went to a flower shop to check on someone who works there, and while they did, he sent a flower to his sister. Is that too cute, or what?! How many brothers do that?

  • Okay, I might as well come out with it, because I'm sure that anyone reading this already has guessed, but I really like Elder F. He is really a special, special guy. I'm at the point where I would love to marry this guy, and I keep wondering if I will. It's really strange for me, cause I think it's the spirit, but wonder if it's just infatuation. I guess it doesn't really matter, because we're on missions right now, serving together, and that's all. CRAZY STUFF, HUH?! I never imagined that I'd think about this stuff on my mission!

  • Well, just erase everything I said about Elder F (marrying him at least). I'm sure it's just infatuation. I need to cool my jets for a while. I don't want to be one of those girls that goes ga-ga over missionaries. YUCK! Life is confusing!

  • We went to the Elder's baptism tonight. During the song, a little girl came and sat on his lap and I about died. He was so cute with her. She was only four and she was singing along, reading the hymnal. It was cute. And I was looking at that and he looked up and gave the biggest smile to me. Aughhhhh. I need to get a GRIP! I need to FOCUS ON MISSIONARY WORK! Hello, Schultzy. Anybody in there?!?

  • My heart is in a lump. Elder F is getting transferred to be a zone leader in Joplin. I'm gonna miss him so much. What an impact he's made on my life. What a spiritual giant! This is what I hate about missions. I hate saying goodbye. I guess I really have to trust the Lord that He knows what He's doing, and that if our paths are to cross again, they will. Actually, it probably will be good cause I'll be able to focus easier, but he was also an inspiration at the same time. Gosh I'm speaking about him as if he were dead! Oh well.

  • Enough of this guy talk! I'm on a mission. I don't know what's gonna happen in the future--I'll just have to wait and see. Now's NOT the time to worry about it, is it?

  • Well, a new chapter in mission life has begun. I'm a trainer now! Transfers were good. I got to say goodbye to Elder F. He's such a good guy. I'll miss him. But I've got a job ahead of me. I'm nervous to train. I need to have a lot of faith and work really really hard.

Time traveled on, and I did see Elder F every once in a while at mission meetings, and as he became Assistant to the President. We always seemed to be able to pick up right where we left off. It was never awkward between us; we enjoyed a genuine friendship. I was able to focus on missionary work and not let thoughts of him be a distraction for most of the time. But as the time approached for him to go home, I worried. Again, excerpts from my journal:

  • I'm totally sad. I feel like I'm losing one of my best friends, and my heart aches. I mean, I know that what happens, happens, and that the Lord will take care of me, and the Lord will take care of him, but it still hurts to say goodbye. This is probably totally the end--I mean we'll still have great memories and fond feelings, but he'll probably get married, and hopefully I'll get married, and that will be that.

  • I've had a really neat morning. I prayed to stay focused, of course, but I caught myself thinking about him, so I knelt back down again. I asked for peace about my feelings for Elder F and I got this incredibly peaceful feeling that it's all going to work out with him. It's strange, because this affirmative answer is what I really want, so I'm always wondering if I'm just making myself feel that. But I really feel like that was my answer! Who knows. All I know is that I feel confident that the Lord is in control...I can let go for right now and feel peace. So I will.

And I did. I served the rest of my mission working harder than I ever had. I scarcely had a thought about Elder F, and when I did, I just felt peace.

We didn't write, or call, even when I got home. It wasn't until about six months after coming home from my mission, back at BYU, that I thought about Elder F again and decided to call him up. Again, we just picked up where we left off, and we seemed to click. Only he was dating someone else, and I was pretty busy with school and work. A couple months later, he was no longer dating the other girl, and I wasn't as busy, so we went on a double date to the Manti pagent. And the rest, they say, is history. One month later we were engaged; four months later I became Sister F.

It's now eight crazy, happy years later, and we're still going strong. And Elder F, or Brad as I call him now, is still a little bit cheezy at times, but still genuinely sincere. And I love him for it!

Happy 8th Anniversary, honey!

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Hundred

How fitting that my 100th post is on Thanksgiving Weekend. I have so many reasons to be thankful. Here's 100 of them (in no particular order):
  1. The Love of my Savior
  2. Forever Families
  3. My patriarchal blessing says my husband will be kind to me, and considerate of me, and we will love one another with all our hearts. It is spot on: Brad could not be any more kind or considerate. And my whole heart belongs to him.
  4. My little 3 year old ball of energy and sweetness and just a tidge of Drama King.
  5. Despite all the feminine problems, I LOVE being a woman.
  6. Finally settling down in our new beautiful home.
  7. Even though we get frustrated with the corporate side of things sometimes, Brad has a job that he LOVES, and that's important when he'll be spending 30+ years doing it!
  8. The fact that no matter where we go, the Church helps us instantly belong.
  9. The diversity in San Antonio--I've never been a minority before, and it's enlightening.
  10. Being able to afford a few little extras every once in a while.
  11. Sunsets
  12. A back porch where we can watch the sunset.
  13. A mom and dad that raised me so well.
  14. A sister who, despite a ten year age difference, has always treated me like a best friend instead of an annoyance.
  15. Great in-laws--couldn't ask for any better!
  16. A sunny disposition.
  17. The gift and power of Music.
  18. The opportunity to graduate from BYU (it only took six whole years!)
  19. Friends and family scattered all across the country.
  20. Blogging, which has brought me back in touch with some of those dear ones.
  21. A really good king-sized mattress.
  22. Pretty linens to go on that king-sized mattress!
  23. Chocolate.
  24. Blue Bell Ice Cream.
  25. Spencer and Sara living 2.5 minutes away from us.
  26. Sara's yummy pecan/pumpkin dessert served warm with Blue Bell Homemade Vannilla on it that we had for Thanksgiving yesterday.
  27. That my first turkey turned out okay.
  28. That I could call my mother-in-law early in the morning on Thanksgiving when I was panicking and grossing out over the raw (and not quite thawed) turkey.
  29. A great relationship with Ty's birth family.
  30. The fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and loves us, and wants us to be happy, and that everything that we go through is for our best good.
  31. DVR
  32. The Food Network
  33. An upstairs laundry room, so I don't have to haul laundry up and down the stairs.
  34. Not getting sick when everyone around me did this week (I'm still crossing my fingers, and taking my vitamins!)
  35. That the furniture people are finally coming tomorrow to replace the defective couch they sold us!
  36. The Beck-to Harline play in last year's BYU/Utah game.
  37. The hope that BYU will win again this year, though hopefully not in such a down-to-the-minute way--I can't take the suspense!
  38. The internet.
  39. High speed internet.
  40. Ceiling fans.
  41. Air conditioning.
  42. Two cars that run.
  43. Brad's work car, that helps to keep his personal car running.
  44. Craigslist.
  45. Cameras.
  46. Our only live plant, Norman, a Christmas cactus that was given to us by our first landlord, is still alive, even though we have greatly mistreated him at times.
  47. Smiling at people, and having them smile back.
  48. Singing in the ward choir.
  49. The fact that we will get reimbursed for our moving expenses.
  50. LSU losing to Arkansas.
  51. A&M beating Texas. Go Aggies!
  52. The craisins that Sara put in her green salad. Really yummy.
  53. The memories made with awesome grandparents that helped to shape who I am today.
  54. The support of my parents in all my activities as a kid.
  55. The holiness and sacredness of the Temple.
  56. The selfless and consecrated service my parents have given the last eight years and counting.
  57. The feeling I get when people really enjoy my food.
  58. Are we really only on 58?!?
  59. The smell of cinamon at Christmastime.
  60. The first time each spring when I smell a hyacinth.
  61. Every time I see a golden retriever and think of good old Mindy.
  62. How blessed am I to have been born in this time period, in this country, in this church, in this family!
  63. I enjoy reading magazines. My current subscriptions: Ensign, Reader's Digest, Oregon Coast, Family Fun, Parenting, Kraft Food & Family, Better Homes and Gardens, and Woman's Day. (Some are free, and some were gifts)
  64. I like the way my birthday rhymes when I say the numbers.
  65. I like that my middle name, Cay, starts with a C.
  66. I had a great adolescence. So many people hate that time in their lives, but I loved it.
  67. Singing alto is fun and I'm glad I can read notes and harmonize.
  68. The opportunity I had to teach for three years. I loved being a professional, and helping provide for our family.
  69. The leadership opportunities I've had.
  70. That Heavenly Father answers my prayers.
  71. That other people pray for me.
  72. The sisterhood of Relief Society.
  73. When Tyler gives me a spontaneous hug or kiss or I love you mom.
  74. The hope that we have at least another child in our future.
  75. The lack of stress over whether we will have another one--faith that God has a plan for our family and will lead us to where we need to be when the time is right for another child. He's always led us before, He'll continue to do so.
  76. Our family's cabin in Florence, Oregon: my favorite place on earth.
  77. That my mom made me practice my piano, and continued to pay for lessons, even when I didn't practice. She'll never know the gift that that ability has been to my life.
  78. That people can always change.
  79. Forgiveness.
  80. Times like this morning, after making a fort, just playing, the three of us, our family, together.
  81. Phone calls just to say hi.
  82. Phone calls just to say hi that are on our Verizon network, or after hours or on weekends!
  83. That bleach took away the grape juice stains on our countertops!
  84. Playing on sports teams.
  85. Feeling part of a community.
  86. Loving the community I live in.
  87. Finding great deals.
  88. Thinking about Harold doing the Black Friday shopping for Susan at 4am.
  89. Reading the short heartwarming novel, Christmas Jars.
  90. Poetry.
  91. Time to myself after bedtime.
  92. H.E. Buddy Bucks (a little reward for kids at the local supermarket. Ty loves them!)
  93. Texas pride.
  94. Never forgetting my Oregon roots.
  95. My mission to Oklahoma and Missouri
  96. Great pictures.
  97. Great college roommates.
  98. My favorite Sacrament hymn: As Now We Take the Sacrament
  99. Laughing with my husband.
  100. Finishing this list!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


No need to call Child Protective Services.

Tyler got his first shiner Nursery, of all places! I guess he collided with a girl. This was taken yesterday--it looks way worse today. Bad enough that everywhere we went today people asked him what happened to his eye. All he would say is, "I'm okay now. I'm okay." One lady asked if it was an accident and he said, "No, I just ran away from her." I know people are thinking I'm a child-beater!

His legs are constantly bruised like this. This is not an unusual amount of bruises. Oh well. His dad had broken multiple bones by this age. I guess a few bruises aren't too bad!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Loving It!

I cannot get enough of DVR! It is the most convenient and time conserving way to watch TV ever! Every night after my boys have gone to sleep, I spend a little time with my TV and get to watch some great shows commercial--and guilt--free! My big obsessions right now are two channels: HGTV and The Food Network. I love House Hunters and Designed to Sell on HGTV, and Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals and Quick Fix Meals w/ Robin Miller on the Food Network.

Sara and I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving this year! I've never made a turkey before, but I'm watching all the shows to see which way to do it. I think I'll do the herb-stuffed Turkey and Sausage-Artichoke Hearts-Sourdough stuffing, pictured above. Yumm-O!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How can it be wrong when it feels so right?

I know I'm supposed hate Walmart. People blog about how they don't go there. I really do try to support local businesses. I've seen the documentary where it shows the poor Chinese workers slaving away for basically nothing. I feel bad for the businesses they shut down. I hate the crowds.

But I still go. And I still find some great deals. And I'm finding more selection and cuter and cuter stuff. Like my new accent pillows:

On a side note, it's funny how my "Contemporary Cottage" tastes have become mainly just the Contemporary part and less of the Cottage part in this house. Just the combination of the new furniture and the current light fixtures, paint colors, and draperies that has helped it turn out that way. It's kinda fun decorating a house!

Anyway...back to Wal Mart. What are your feelings on the place?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Favorite thing about buying a house?

No mortgage payment until

January 2008!

That allowed us to treat ourselves to some new furniture:

Cute, huh? We are loving our new house and although it's still a big mess of boxes right now, it's already becoming "Home."

So come visit, y'all!

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