About the Mess


Don't we look naive?  We were.
It started out innocently enough.  The old boy-meets-girl story.  Both of us working at McDonald's (yes, get over it -- we got lots cooler later).  We worked together for a month or so before he asked me out.  I guess he did something right because 4 months after our first date we were married.

Let me just say, it's never been boring.

We've had more than our share of ups and downs -- including a brief separation.  But through hard work, and lots of therapy, we're still together.  And happy about it most of the time.

A lot has changed since then.  Together, we've probably gained enough weight to make an entire adult -- a skinny one, but still.  We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in the spring of 2010.  A lot of people lost money on the fact that we're still together.

Some incredible things have come from our union, primarily five of the most incredible kids ever.  I hate to totally invade their privacy, but I'll give you a little peek.

Jessica in the Baltic Sea
Our oldest daughter, Jessica, is brilliant.  She is full of imagination.  She is a fabulous writer and blogger, Singing Devil.  She refuses to join facebook, wear makeup, or accept patronizing or sexist behavior.  She has a beautiful singing voice and a beautiful soul.  She is a senior at BYU and hopes to teach high school English after she graduates.  She is currently in St. Petersburg, Russia for four months teaching English to 3-5-year olds.  She's having incredible experiences, which she documents on her blog.  She will celebrate her 21st birthday on the other side of the world.  I miss her terribly.  Thank heavens for Skype!

Samantha is our second child.  She is a freshman at BYU, although she's not really enjoying college all that much.  She's the only one in the family who can really cook.  She's adventurous with food.  She is one of the most talented musicians I know.  She plays the flute, piccolo, saxophone, oboe, piano, djembe (it's a tribal drum), some guitar, many percussion instruments, and a little clarinet.  When she has spare time, which is not much now that she's in college, she is either watching Top Shot or practicing the piano (or off with her boyfriend -- it's okay; we like him).  She plays the piano to relax. Now, if only we'd gotten it tuned.   

Cari is the poor little middle child.  However, she does not allow herself to get lost in the mix.  She makes herself known!  She has a smile that lights up any room she enters.  She is the most popular babysitter in the neighborhood.  She's a hard worker who regularly cleans things around the house just because they bug her, WITHOUT being asked.  She's a junior in high school.  She is in drama and on the dance company.   She is freely exercising her new found freedom since getting her license.  And she is the fashionista of the family.  She has refused to let me pick out her clothes since she was a year and a half.  As it turns out, it was probably a good choice.  She's got a wonderful sense of style and fashion that she shares freely with her family members.  Tough though it may be, no one regrets humbling themselves to ask her for help on an outfit.

Nik with hacky sack
This is our man-child, Nik.  As the only boy he's sometimes got a difficult job.  Be tough but kind.  Be manly but gentle.  And just agree to whatever the women say.  He's almost 15 and 5'10''.  He sure would like to get those last two inches to hit six feet.  Considering I am 5'4" and his dad is 5'7" I don't think he should hold his breath.  He towers over everyone in the family.  Yes, he loves this!  He loves playing big brother to his older sisters, carrying them around to prove just how manly he is.  He's so smart it's irritating and has finally started doing his homework.  He loves sports, although football is his favorite.  He took first place in district competition in discus last year.  He also does shot put and plays some basketball.  He plays trumpet.  He can tell stories like no other (a football play that took fifteen seconds to execute takes fifteen minutes to describe).  He's a bit of a clown who uses his ample charm to get out of trouble.  But he still happily gives his mom a hug and tells her he loves her, so we forgive the man ego.  Oh, and he can easily eat an entire large pizza and still be hungry.  Boys!

This is Hannah.  She's my baby (she only sometimes hates when I say that).  She is so much fun.  So independent, but still clinging to those last few I'm-the-baby-I-get-anything-I-want threads.  She throws out the funniest movie quotes that make it impossible to get mad at her.  She plays the flute.  She's smart, funny, kind, and a little moody.  I wonder where she gets that.  She loves to tease, especially her dad.  (I had to pay her five bucks to let me take her picture.)  She loves reading and long boarding.  She's quickly approaching her sister's status as favorite babysitter in the neighborhood.  She was my last preschooler.  My last kindgergartener.  My last grade schooler.  She's in junior high now and it's just going too fast.  She's thirteen, for crying out loud!  I kind of like that she freaks herself out at night sometimes and sleeps on my floor.  It's nice to still be needed.

And I'd better not forget my husband.  He's a great provider.  He's very funny (even though I almost never laugh at his jokes).  He's great with computers; and pretty cheap -- he charges family and friends a bag of m&ms for fixing their computers -- if he can find the time.  He is a good man who is constantly working to become a better one.  He's been called a walking cartoon, which is fairly accurate.  But overall, he loves me.  No matter what happens, or what I might say about him, I know that he loves me as he has never loved another human being.  He trusts me.  He forgives me.  And he even usually understands me.  What more could a woman ask for?

So that's us.  These are the people who make me crazy and keep me sane.  These are the people who make my life worth living.  Who give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Or to run screaming from the house.  Whatever.  We break into song at the drop of a hat.  We love hanging out with each other.  We know each other's secrets and love each other anyway.  We belong together and I love them more than I can express.

It's my mess, and I'm proud of it!

Our Family
(Okay, so we need to get some real - current -  family photos taken.  I'll get right on that.)

 Updated October 5, 2011