Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother, I love you.

 (Nate and his mom)
(Rita, Phil and Nate at the Logan Temple.)
 The first time I met Rita I felt like she was meant to be my other mother.  And she made me feel like I was the daughter she never had.  I kept waiting... and waiting.... and am still waiting for that moment when I would understand the whole awful mother-in-law stereotype.  And I can say right now that that day will never come.  She's one of the kindest, most patient and rock solid people I know.  Being a whiner, myself, I can't help but notice and marvel at her ability to suffer through her trials without so much as a complaint.  Sometimes we don't even know what trials she's facing until they are long underway because she doesn't even mention it.  She's so tough.  I hope to one day be more like her.  She's an amazing cook and seamstress (I mean ridiculously perfectly straight lines... it's unreal) and an amazing mother to 4 stand up boys.  Nate is the "proof in the pudding" that she was an excellent mother who taught her boys love, respect, and compassion... and I will thank her forever for it.  Love you, Rita!

The first time I met my mom... well, that was probably the day I was born. Mom, I love you.  Thank you for putting up with 4 boys.  I am sure I caused plenty of tears, restless nights, and received more than my fair share of prayers, but I never saw it from you.  You always supported me.  I remember crawling under our end table one night and listening to my parents discuss my lack of talking, and my mom saying how frustrated she was because I would get so frustrated.  That always meant a lot to me because I didn't think anyone understood that frustration.  I remember lots of sporting events, trips to the doctors, and family events.  We ate well, played hard, and always knew where my Mom stood related to the gospel.  I love you Mom and appreciate all you have and continue to do for us.

(Jaycie, me, and my mom (looking a little exhausted from taking care of so many kids))
(The Willis family pre-Kammie)
 I've often heard mothers say that no one notices the little things, no one's appreciative of the dinners and the time spent helping with homework or bandaging a skinned knee.  And yet as I thought about my mom this week and tried to think of specific stories my first thought was always about the little things.

I remember coming home to freshly-baked cookies.  I remember hearing my mom cheering me on at every basketball game.  I remember snuggling in my parent's bed in the mornings and arguing with my brother over who Mom loved most.  I remember the occasional trip to McDs with just her and I and how she'd whisper to me before walking through the front door to not tell my siblings where we had just been.  I remember the "room fairy" cleaning our room, but more importantly the grin on my mother's face when she let us know that the "room fairy" had come to visit that day. Now I realize how much she loved us that she was so happy that we would be relieved not to have to be cleaning it ourselves.  I remember swimming in our pool until Mom shouted out the kitchen door, "Dinner's ready!"  I remember the wonderful smell of dinner when she opened that door.  I remember her being there at every school function.  I remember her teaching me little life lessons when we drove in the car. I remember loving to swing by the office in high school to vent about the stupid things I had dealt with that day.  I remember when Nate and I were newly married I was having a rough day and I said to him, "I just want a hug from my mom," through my sobbing (and seriously wishing I could make the 12 hour drive home just to get one.)

My mom is amazing.  I'm grateful that she's mine.  She and my dad gave me the kind of childhood that I hope Nate and I can give for Ryan.  She's been a great example to me my whole life and gives some of the best advice.  Love ya, Mom!


Ah, the mother-in-law.  The villain in fairy tales, the women you scorn... but in my life this is a falsehood.  I can honestly say I am lucky.  I have a mother-in-law that loves my family, including me.  I always feel comfortable around her, she raised wonderful kids, and supported the local Northwest boy wanting to date her daughter (we're way better than those East Coast boys at BYU (no offense Jeff)).  The best part is I am always fed well, there are times that I say... oh, I feel like eating "such-and-such" and Brittney will say "I don't like that"... and I will always say, "I bet your Mom would make it for me..." and you almost always do... I love that.  Thank you for letting me be part of your family and calling you Mom.


There is one more Mom to write about, but while the little man (Ryan) is the puzzle genius, his typing is only so-so.  So, I will try and do it for him.  Brittney, you are the best mom Ryan could have.  You play with him, make him laugh, smile, feel safe, and take care of both of our needs.  We appreciate you and love you...

To all of our Moms (and Grandmas) Happy Mother's Day.

-Nathan and Ryan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Ever since Nate and I moved to Salem over 2 years ago we've been tossing around the idea of buying a house.  We finally got to a point where we felt we were done with apartment life (thanks to the help of some awesome neighbors... heavy sarcasm) and decided to take the plunge.

We were pre-approved, of course, for an amount far FAR outside of our budget.  I was mistakenly under the impression that lenders weren't doing that anymore.  Thankfully I have a husband that is so meticulous that he has been keeping a spreadsheet of our expenditures for awhile now, unbeknownst to me.  So it was easy to sit down and determine what price range we were actually comfortable with.

I was worried that with the amount we felt comfortable spending that we would never find a home we loved.  And after every viewing I began to lose hope that we would find one that would work for us.  So many homes were close, but none a real possibility.  And just when I really started to lose hope, a house that we had occasionally checked out online (but that was just above our reach price-wise) dropped into our range.  We checked it out and the minute we stepped in the door we both knew it was the one.  With each room I kept thinking, "Okay, this will be the part that makes me change my mind." (That happened with many houses.)  But with each room I fell more and more in love with it.  I wasn't going to have to settle!

Does it need a little love?  Yep.  It isn't perfect, but it's perfect for us right now and I think over time it will grow with us and I can make it pretty darn close to perfect.

If all goes well, our closing date will be June 25th!  (I'm writing this post because the house's status has FINALLY been changed from "for sale" to "pending," just today, so it feels a little more official.)  And I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on those keys.  I'm constantly thinking paint colors and how we'll be arranging furniture.  I keep daydreaming about strolls in the neighborhood with my family and lemonade under the pergola.  This is worse than when I was 6 waiting for my best friend to come over.  I'm not sure I can handle the wait.  The best (and maybe only good) part about a June 25th closing though is that Girls Camp is the week before so I can have one last hoorah with my girls.

(One of those "you drive by and I'll snap a photo real quick" kind of things)

Things I'm most excited about:
*not having to hike a mile to my car with Ryan and all my groceries... okay so this is a slight exaggeration, but I would say it's the average distance you have to walk from your car to the grocery store, but I'm making the trip without the help of a shopping cart.
*not having to share walls (or ceilings OR floors) with any one.  That means being as loud as I want.  And that means not getting woken up in the middle of the night by the morons next door getting arrested after a drunken brawl.
*having storage space.... okay having more space.  Period.
*being able to design and decorate a space anyway I want.

And finally, after snapping the above picture of our future home, Ryan, Nate and I hit up a local school for a picnic.  Here's the little guy enjoying some apples and a pb&j sandwich.  It was a beautiful day.