Monday, October 15, 2018

a boy meets a girl...

Once upon a time a boy met a girl.  

They met through a friend (with quite a lot of funny details bundled up into that "meeting" which is their own story to tell).  Then the girl sent that boy a message, which happened to come in right as the boy happened to be looking for a date for that evening.  

So he asked her if she would come along.  

The girl acted all casual and said "sure!"...not letting on that she actually had other commitments that she then proceeded to scramble to rearrange to make that date work.  

And right from the start, the boy started smiling like he never had before.

After a while, the boy, liking the girl more than he could express, brought her home to meet his family.  She fit right in and the whole family loved her right from the start.  But as much as the boy's mother loved this new girl her son had brought smack-dab into the middle of the little family kingdom she had worked so hard to create, this whole scenario put her on edge.  She could feel the seriousness of that relationship in her bones.  She knew that boy.  Her boy.  And she knew there was something different about this.  Something solid and beautiful and good but something that scared her spitless. First of all, the boy was young.  And the girl was even younger.  There was so much schooling ahead of them, so many life decisions, so much to get to know about each other.  And second, that boy was hers.  Not someone else's.  And she didn't think she could ever let him go.

At first that mother wouldn't even talk to the boy when he brought marriage up.  She would just give him her very most professional best effort to change the topic, and talk to him about study abroad or his major or how much money he would need to save before he should even think about that.  But what do you know, that mom's dad was right that last summer when he looked her right in the eyes and told her it wasn't her decision.

All the while there was some interesting work going on behind the scenes.  Or perhaps it's better to say work from "above" the scenes, because surely it was the work of angels.  Those angels blanketed peace over the parents of that boy.  

Over and over again.  

At random times and various occasions, at the grocery store and driving a carpool, in a work meeting or in an unrelated conversation.  Layer after layer of calm settled in.  And those parents gradually came to realize that the smile on their son's face when he spoke of that girl was there for a reason.  That girl was golden.  She made their son's heart shine.  He needed her.  And she needed him.  Those parents saw the synergy of that relationship and realized that sometimes it just works to find each other when you're young, and you can grow together in beautiful it ways.  Those parents began to not only accept, but to bask in the the beauty of it all.

So, fast forward to last weekend when the boy took the girl of his dreams first to a session of conference:

Then went and changed clothes and headed up into the gorgeous Utah mountains for a picnic. 

That cute girl of his was a little surprised he was so set on heading up there.  Sure, the fall colors blanketing those mountains were calling to them, but 1) it was getting late, and 2) it was also cold.  And once they got there, blanket laid out in that gorgeous spot, she also thought it was quite peculiar that he wasn't eating.  (The boy was never at a loss for eating :).  

At some point, (I'm sure not very long after they arrived with his nerves bouncing all over creation), the boy knelt on one knee and pulled a diamond ring from his sock and slipped it onto the girl's finger.

(As a side-note, the diamond from the ring was from his mother's ring that his dad had pulled out of his own sock long ago...his mother loved it but hadn't worn it for years since she preferred wearing a simple band instead.  So when the boy asked the parents about that possibility, since he was their only boy, and they loved the girl he wanted to give it to, they decided they would be honored for him to give her to have that diamond.  He got it re-set and in a simply beautiful setting and somehow it makes those parents feel even more connected and a part of it all.)

The boy's family was in California for Fall Break when this was all happening.  They had been talking through all the details of the surprise that boy was giddy to pull off, and were waiting anxiously for news.  

And then this popped up on their family group message:
And then all the jumping for joy broke out, right there on the bay with a beautiful sunset as a backdrop.  They FaceTimed that overjoyed couple and got all the over-the-moon-with-excitement details and everyone's hearts were SO FULL!
They went back to the girl's apartment where that boy had snuck in before and laid out all kinds of her favorite treats and some notes and pictures and flowers on her bed.
...I think we can safely say they were pretty thrilled.
They even went back to the mountains the next day since the boy's sisters weren't satisfied with the one picture they got :)

(sorry I have to put all those pictures in because I love every one.)

And there we have it:

The story of the joyous engagement of a boy and a girl who are madly in love.

When these guys decided that marriage was their next step Max knew it had to be December or June because of the upcoming volleyball season.  They both thought long and hard about it, fasted and prayed and went to the temple, and decided December is what they wanted.  I mean, if you know you are going to get married, you may as well just go for it, right?  

So here we are, along for the ride!  And oh boy, what a ride it's going to be all wrapped up in the holidays!  Every day I feel a little surge of crazy and joy... and peace, all mixed up together.  Love you Abby, and SO happy and grateful that you're joining our family!  I am in unchartered territory, and apologize in advance for how strong my heartstrings to that boy are, but I can't think of a better girl in all the whole wide world to share him with...and neither can his sisters or his dad :)  

xoxo forever

Friday, October 12, 2018

fall break road trip beauty stops and a pretty huge announcement

It is Fall Break in the desert, so right at this very moment my girls and I are on a road trip adventure to do some campus tours of colleges.  Because college applications are coming up.  How in heaven's name did that come up so dang quick!?  We are missing Dave, who had to get back for some work meetings after the first part of the week (more about that later), but we are having fun driving my mom's little car all over the place, and going crazy over the Fall leaves that are stunning right now.

Well, maybe I'm the one going a little crazy over all this beauty...this is how Claire looked when I pulled over after the hundredth "LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL!" exclamation:
She just wanted to GET THERE already!  
(That face is a reenactment of her "crazy face" she used to make when she was a joke...but she did feel like that a little that stop though!)

But honestly, how can you NOT stop when you see things like this??

It is so, so pretty here!

Lucy had no desire to get out, but sure had fun trying to squish Claire in the back seat:
This particular stop turned into this:

Man, I really like to be with these girls of ours!

...and to be amidst all this gorgeousness!
Also, we are glad to be in Utah/Idaho area because this happened last weekend:
And we get to hang with them a little.  

I'm not sure how else to announce something so big as that, I am in very unchartered territory here!  So I figure I'll start here in this little spot:)  I can't wait until I'm "all caught up" to announce it, because that will take forever!

So there we go!

We are so excited!

Oh boy, do I ever have a LOT to catch up on here in this little corner of the Internet!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lucy's 12th birthday

We had a grand celebration for Lucy's birthday.  I think we kind of nailed it.  Mostly because she let us know exactly how it should go:) 

...Right down to the surprise party suggestion she wrote out in detail in what we like to call her "birthday epistle"... five full pages filled with things that might help us get that day right...down to the details of the color of the piñata for her dreamy surprise party that of course we shouldn't tell her about.

Well, there was no piñata.  And I let her know right from the start that there would be no birthday party (we only do birthday parties on "odd" years and she already had one last year).

But then my friend who's daughter is Lucy's friend told me she had also heard about the surprise party idea (Lucy is sure good at getting those ideas out!), and told me she'd help if I wanted.  And then I realized I'm a push-over because really, what could be the harm in having a few friends over for a surprise breakfast?  Not the full-scale party she had outlined in her "epistle," but I texted a few friends the night before the Saturday before her birthday to see if we could pull a little surprise off and all but one could make it.

So they all showed up while Grace took Lu on a little "distraction" date and boy they sure surprised her when she got back.

They jumped out from behind the counter when she walked in.  At first Lucy jumped out of her socks in surprise, but then that huge smile spread across her face and she was pretty pleased.

We had "sky blue puppy pancakes with strawberries, bananas and pulp free orange juice" which she outlined for the actual birthday day, but luckily she was ok with that for the surprise breakfast with her friends as well.
They played her favorite card games, swam, and jumped on the trampoline to their hearts' content.

We even had a little impromptu "candy bar game" which was pretty exciting I tell you!
Meanwhile our good friends were in town staying with us for a wedding, and we loved visiting with them as the girls did their thing.
That is one of the easiest "non-parties" I've ever thrown.

On Sunday night we had the cousins over for cake and ice cream:
Lucy instructed that she only wanted them to sing the Dutch version of the birthday song we sing in Dave's family...and explained that she really didnt' like the "happy birthday song" much, so we obliged.

(Love those cousins!)

And then on Monday the big day finally arrived...already quite thoroughly celebrated.

But what do you know, we had some more celebrations in us with our early-morning-before-school birthday breakfast:
...and candy bar poster:
...and blue pancakes again...this time with chocolate chips:
...and a really sorry excuse for a "puppy" shaped one for her.  It passed with flying colors though!


...and sister love abounded.

Young Women love abounded too.  Her new church leaders did a giant heart attack (that was thwarted a tad bit by the rain...hence some of the inside hearts in the first picture on this post).

I took her to Firehouse subs for lunch (from school) and while we were gone one of her friends snuck in and decorated her room.
Seriously the sweetest thing ever.  I wish I had a recording of her going through all the little details of that decorating was masterful and she was so happy!!

Her new church leaders came over to give her some new church stuff:
We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner:
...came back for games:
...a traditional birthday visit from our best-neighbors-ever:
Ranger cookies with M&M's for the "cake" (as per instructions):

And lots of love from her mom and dad.
Moral of the story?

Always write a birthday epistle if you want your birthday to turn out just as you dream you'd like it to.

It was a fun birthday and I can't believe my baby is TWELVE!
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