Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Dude... Isn't So Little!

Jake is 10 months old now and definitely hasn't lost that smile! Kate tells me all day long,
"Mom, when I _______, Jakie siles!" (FYI: siles = smiles)

We're waiting for teeth and possibly a desire to graduate from the army crawl to something a little more efficient :)

But oh... is he the best! Kate, Joe and I can't get enough of him. We can't stop smiling either when we look at him. What a guy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed and with long perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Shneck's lawn.

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to week someone's garden.

I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

-Marjorie Hinckley

That's my mom. She has really lived. And I can't tell you how grateful I am that she still gets to be in my life and can keep living. Moms are irreplacable angels and mine undergoes her last round of chemo to treat her breast cancer tomorrow morning at 8:30.
"I hurt when you hurt, Boo." Is what my mom would tell me when I'd failed my math test in 5th grade; when I'd be bandaged up with casts and braces from basketball; when I went through my own cancer. The last 4 months we've been aching with you.
We're looking forward to celebrating some fuzz on your head and a bit more energy.

But until then, when it hurts and you're feeling gross, know we are right beside you with cozy blankets and snacks to at least make your heart feel a little better. Sometimes that's all you need.
I love you, Mom.

At Least We Had Cake...

At least we had cake...

and presents... The real celebration is on the horizon. I can feel it :)

Happy Birthday Joe!

I love January 18th. What a wonderful day! 33 years ago, my best friend was born. I will never forget the moment I knew. We had been set up on a blind date by my roommate and wonderful friend, Jill Angell. I really had zero expectations. Let's be honest-- I'd been on way too many blind dates... but I had graduated from BYU and was up to my ears in head and neck anatomy in Dental Hygiene school, and I figured a friend couldn't hurt (And I think my parents were starting to worry!) Joe called me up about 2 weeks after I had lost my voice (the beginning of the 6 month trial-o-fun of figuring out I had thyroid cancer). I sounded like a bullfrog on the phone, so I was really curious to see if he'd even go through with asking me out :)

He picked me up that weekend and we went out for dessert. Safe-- because, if it had been lame, the date wouldn't have lasted too long :) We had gelato in Los Gatos and I was so surprised at how comfortable we were! We got in the car and continued talking about all sorts of things--it was Highway 85 by the Camden Exit when a little light when on in my head--"This one is different." It was really all I would allow myself to think. I'm not a fast mover and thankfully Joe is an extremely patient person.

A year later we were engaged and a week after Joe's 27th birthday on January 24, 2003 we were married. I love him with all of my heart. I love that we can laugh together, tease one another, work side by side and raise our children together. He has a heart of gold. He's a hard worker and incredibly determined. He is kind to those who need it the most. He loves God and stands up for what he knows is right. His nephew Ben thinks he's the strongest man in the family and always tells his Dad that they need Joe's help when moving big things. I guess it was that one arm wrestling tournament...When it's Joe's turn to be in charge of the meal I can guarantee it will be one of three things--Costco spinach and cheese raviolis, burritos or lasagna. Oh, and he's better at changing diapers than I am :)

Happy Birthday, Joe! Of course, we haven't really celebrated yet. We were all deathly ill on his birthday, so I told him that we'd have to postpone the real celebrating. Yesterday on our anniversary, he mentioned he wasn't prepared to celebrate until we celebrated his birthday :):):) "You get a birthday month! I'm just waiting for my day!!" He teased. Don't worry, it's coming! As soon as the kids are off their anitbiotics...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nans and Grampa

I love this photo. It was taken back in the summer of 2004, when Nana (my mom's mom) and Grampa (my dad's dad) were over for dinner. My last living grandparents... who could have guessed that they'd leave this earth within 2 weeks of each other? I miss them. A lot. I have this picture up on my board in the kitchen and whenever I glance their way, I'm filled with love and I can't keep having a smile spread across my face. What a legacy they have left behind.

The moment when I found out Grampa had died, I couldn't keep the memories from flooding my mind. Here are just a few in random order:

-The weight chart that he and Tutu kept posted on their fridge for all to see
-His raspberry bushes that I LOVED to pick whenever I'd go over to their home
-The Hot Tub
-The Little Trampoline
-His spotless garage
-His love of trains
-His Dickies outfits
-His amazing weekly emails
-The countless laps he swam
-Knowing every make and model of every car and passing a little of that onto me
-His ability to put away food!
-His "Record Times" when driving from Escondido to Saratoga
-His absolute POSITIVE attitude no matter what came his way
-His complete ZEST for life
-His TOTAL DEVOTION and UNQUESTIONABLE LOVE for my grandma, Tutu, who passed away 7 years ago after 12 years of alzheimers.

The day after we returned from Grampa's funeral, we found out that Nana was diagnosed with lung cancer that had already spread to her bones and had eaten away her shoulder. It was a Monday--I work on Mondays. I remember coming home and Joe's mom opened the door, took one look at me and held me in her arms as I sobbed. Not another one. My sweet Nans. The kids and I went to visit her in the hospital that next day. She was just as perky as ever-- telling the nurse exactly what she wanted-- "Don't give me any pills!" As soon as she saw us walk in, all she could do was dote on us. Nothing else mattered-- we had to be introduced and shown to all of the staff. And you know what? That is my Nana. To her, NOTHING was more important than her family. And she made sure that each one of us knew just how special we were and how much we were loved. What an incredible gift that I CHERISH!

Some memories of Nans:
-Her infamous Lasagna and "Sauce"
-Teaching me how to play the Fox & the Hound and then making me feel so grown up when it was time to learn "Double Solitaire."
-Our screaming rounds of Double, Triple, Quadruple Solitaire around her card table
-Deviled Eggs and Top Ramen
-Letting me turn her extra bedroom into my clubhouse
-Her letters and phone calls "Just Because"
-Taking my 5th grade art project and having it professionally mounted and framed and then hanging it up on her living room wall above the couch--tell me that doesn't make a girl feel special. It never moved until the day she died.
-Her straight forward advice
-Her incredibly sharp mind
-Her vocabulary! She could fly through murder mysteries like they were the comics!
-Her Galore perfume
-Knowing that she stood by her motto of living life with no regrets and being able to look in the mirror and knowing that she was true to herself.
-Knowing that my Nans loved her family more than life...

I remember when I was little, I was on an errand with Nana. She took me into the Citibank with her in the Argonaut Shopping Center. I'll never forget-- the teller looked at me and then at her and said, "This must be your granddaughter, Shirley! I definitely see the resemblence!" How proud she was at the moment. How proud I am of my Nana. If I can resemble her just a little bit, I am one lucky girl!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Big Day

Let Me Interpret:

"I graduated from Nursery and now I'm in Primary."


Kate graduated from nursery! She is now officially a member of the Primary (the 3-11 year olds) at church. We had all of the little 3 year olds come in this last Sunday and welcome them into Primary. Michelle Pierce made graduation caps for them and their nursery leader, Cynthia Miller, gave them their diplomas and talked about each one of them. It was so cute. I'm thrilled to have Kate in Primary, because I am the chorister, so I'll get to be with her! Of course, we'll see how that goes--as I was trying to teach the kids a new song, Kate kept asking me for goodies!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Decemer Highlights

Oakland Temple with the Patterson Clan

Kate and her Berryhill cousins Emily and Toria

The Rushton's Home for the Holidays!

We were so happy to see you guys!

We miss you!

Do you like my hair?!

Christmas Eve

It's OK. Santa gave it to me!

What do you see in there, Jake?

What do you have for me, Santa?!

Our Gingerbread House...It's size is about equivalent to our new home!

Cozy in Pink

Pretty Ballerinas

Kate Loves to Dance

Genentech Christmas Party at Giants Stadium

Climbing a Palm Tree

What a great night-- they really know how to throw parties!

I made a bunch of hats for my mom for Christmas to keep her head warm while going through chemo. I came around the corner one day and found Kate trying them on a little prematurely :)

Hope Yours was Merry and Bright!

Merry Christmas 2008

Our final attempt at a family photo for our Christmas card this year. Thanksgiving weekend, cutting down our Christmas tree. It pays to have siblings and cousins doing the funky chicken and singing silly songs behind the camera!

A little something to put a smile on your face

(Lovin' the Drool!)

This Is Where It All Started

One day, Kate asked for a PB&J for lunch. "Sure!" I say. So I make her half a sandwich with some grapes and carrots and then go get Jake up from his nap. When I come back in, I see this. What person, let alone, CHILD, eats the crust of a sandwich and leaves the prized center?! I was shocked! She likes the crust more than the soft middle? And then I laughed and grabbed my camera, because this typifies our daughter. She's just not typical! I showed Joe the picture and said, "You know, this is the kind of thing you'd post on a blog. I guess I would if I had one." Well, now I do, and I wanted to share the PB&J.