Tuesday, January 26, 2010

School Days

Michael and I both started spring semester at school and haven't been up to much else. Hopefully we will do something photo worthy soon so I can post something.

We went to a Kings game a few weeks ago but the photos didn't turn out - they were fuzzy. It was so fun! We walked right by Gavin Maloof (he's not so tall). And ex-Giant's coach Dusty Baker was attending the game. We stood right by him pregame while watching the players warm up. The Kings were ahead for most of the game but lost it in the end.

Mike and I both have new(ish) callings. He is 1st counselor in the YM program and I'm 1st counselor in the YW program. We have New Beginnings tomorrow night for the girls and Campouts galore for the boys coming up.

We have signed up to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity and will be doing housing construction on March 6th. What do we get for our troubles, you ask? A warm fuzzy feeling for helping out our community and we each get a free one-day Disneyland ticket!!

We haven't been on a real vacation (by "real" I mean where you aren't traveling specifically to visit family) for more than 2 days in almost 8 years. We hope someday to be able to go to a bona fide, tropical vacation spot and lay on the beach for a week. Hopefully before we get to old to enjoy a beach vacation.

That's All Folks!

Friday, January 15, 2010

What is Allotted Me

There have been many times in my life I've felt like I'm hanging on the edge of a cliff by my fingers, struggling to hang on, to pull myself up and once I pull my head above the plateau someone (something) comes along and kicks me back over. I tell myself I can endure this but once in a while I falter and ask why? It is not that I am blind to the abundance of blessings Michael and I have experienced. I know we have experienced many and I know where our blessings have come from. In my moments of weakness I wonder why we still allow ourselves to hope for more, for better. Why we allow ourselves to think this month will be the month we will be pregnant after more than 10 years of trying? Why do we hope when then it just means we still feel the ache deep within us to have a family of our own? Why can't we just give up when it would mean a release from fresh heartbreak each month when we realize that once again this most precious and blessing has eluded us? Why do we sit and plan together, talk of names or traditions we would will start when our day finally comes? Why did my sweet husband quit a job he loved to go back to school and get his Master's degree in an attempt to try and make the money needed to adopt or to do infertility treatments only to have his confidences shaken and his good grades disregarded?

Of course I know the answer to all these questions.

"...we follow the admonition of Paul - we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things..."
------Articles of Faith

Yet in asking for this dream, this wish, this "baby" I feel I have sinned. I feel as Alma did when he said in Alma 29:3 "But behold, I am a man (woman) and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me."

I feel it every time someone announces they are expecting and I have to hold back a tear, not because I wish it were me (although I sometimes do) but because my first thought is a selfish one and I wish I could think only of them and their exciting announcement.

I feel it when someone I meet assumes we have waited to have children for one selfish reason or another.

I feel it every time I see the sorrow etched in my eternal companions usually smiling face. When we were younger I would awaken in the night and look at him and he would be smiling, peaceful in his dreaming, in his hoping but now I rarely find him grinning in the his slumber.

I feel it when a sweet and well-meaning old woman in a ward we were in took me aside and suggested that maybe we haven't been able to have a family of our own because of some unconfessed sin and it that could be remedied by seeing our Bishop.

I feel it when I see my husband striving so diligently in his school work only to have a delayed grade from a professor stop our student loan disbursement, erroneously drop him from his spring classes and wreak havoc on his academic status. After all. this is all just for a shot at, one day, being able to spend Christmas morning watching our child open gifts, to have a little one to read to at night, a sweet child to share in the abundance of love that Michael and I have to give.

If we stopped hoping the blows might not injure us like they do but that is not in us, that is not what we are made of, that is not who we are. No matter how much we may wish at times that we can stop dreaming, stop hoping I know we never will. We are Garietys and we DO HOPE ALL THINGS. I only hope that we can find a way to be content in our longing and that we never stop counting our blessings.

There are so many that have so little and we have more than most - we have love. We love each other and we love the Lord.

I hope that anyone who reads this will not think that I am making a case for you to feel sorry for us. Please don't because (most of the time) we don't. We are blessed and have had many unique opportunities because we do not have children yet.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wuv, Twu wuv

Fill your time with love and laughter and you'll be happy ever after.

Over the Hill??

On the day before my actual 30th birthday my sweet husband offered to take me out to lunch (Qdoba!) and to the movies (New Moon). We spent the afternoon in Turlock and had a great time together. On the way home he had to drop off some YM stuff at the bishop's house. I was tired and my hair was all messed up from the wind and rain and, let's face it, I was STUBBORN so when Mike asked me to go with him into the bishop's house I didn't really want to go. But after him telling me that he was the patriarch of the home (ha! just kidding - but he did ask me to go over and over) and I need to go with him into the house with him I finally, reluctantly agreed. When we got inside the bishop's sweet wife answered the door and said she thought her husband was upstairs (upstairs? I came all the way out of car and he's not even downstairs? :) So we went to wait in the family room which - SURPRISE!! had friends in family in it. (I have the worst surprise face of anyone I know - I just can't seem to "match the corresponding face with the corresponding emotion" - that was for all you French Kiss fans out there).

Apparently Michael had been planning this party since November! Am I a lucky girl or what? I am!! I really had no clue.  I had actually said during lunch that I didn't really need a party but I felt kind of sad that we hadn't planned one.  (Major brownie points on this one Mikey) Anyhoo - talked, played a game of who knows Amber best, had delicious chocolate cake with raspberry filling and I had a great time. My cousin and her family came down for the party and stayed the night - it was so nice to have her there. Thank you to all who made it such a special day...the day I turned half-way-to-sixty. :) We forgot the camera so we have no pics of the surprise party festivities but we do have pics from the family party the day after.
On my actual birthday, Sunday, we switched times at church from 9am to 11am so we got to sleep in a little.  It was bliss!  Then Michael made me a s'mores cake (don't know why the french onion dip is on the table next to the cake).
After church we had a BIG dinner of spaghetti, chicken and salad and then we lit the cake.

Braylon helped me blow out the candles.  Such a nice boy to help an old lady with her candles :)
Thank you to all the well wishers and especially to my dear Michael who planned and schemed for more than a month to help me feel special on my birthday.  You are the BEST!

A Blue Moon New Year

We welcomed in the new year over three nights this year. Why try to cram all the fun into one night?
On the day before New Year's Eve Michael and I spent time with our friends the Ricks.  Here are the men enjoying the spread - they had everything and anything to eat.   Deanna even made delicious s'mores cupcakes.
We learned a NEW GAME!  It is a card game called "BANG!"  You have a sheriff (happened to be Mikey on our first go-round), deputies, renegades and outlaws and you battle each other old-west-style with the cards in your hand.  It was excellent!
We also played rock band for a while.  Mike was amazing - he could hit all the right notes and put on a show.
The girls formed their own band with me on lead vocals (yipes!), Deanna on lead guitar, Kim on drums (she was actually pretty outstanding on them - the girl has got the beat!) and Katherine on bass guitar.  

On NEW YEARS EVE proper we went out with our good friend Kim, her hubby and Julie for Kim's 30th birthday.  She choose Cool Hand Luke's a steakhouse in Riverbank.  We had never been their before but found it very tasty.  Because of the holiday their was about a 2 hour wait but that was just fine with us...
it gave us more time to have the guys take our picture :)
Kim is such a sweet person.  She is a wonderful friend to all she knows and really takes the time to look for ways to make people's lives better.  She and her husband are excellent member missionaries and we are always impressed with their boldness.
Kim with her b-day ice cream sundae.  After dinner we watched the movie "Forget Paris" with Billy Crystal and made it home just in time for Michael to play Auld Lang Syne on his trumpet for the neighborhood.  I love when he does that and so do the neighbors!
We also spent a few minutes looking at the blue moon (second full moon within a month) that happened to land on New Year's Eve.  The last time that happened was waaaay back in 1990.

We look forward to this new year with great anticipation.  We hope it will bring joy and many wonderful opportunities for us, our family and our country. (This is the part where you place your hand over your heart and shed a tear.)

Happy New Year!