Dear Family and Friends,
This year has been a great one for our family. We have so much to be grateful for. We were able to go to the beach as a family, take a trip to Charleston, SC, Lake Gaston and visit lots of family. I was able to go to NYC with my Grandmother and Aunt. We were busy! Most of it is posted here.
As for what we are up to, Mr. Milton is still working for a great firm downtown called Hirschler Fleischer. He enjoys it there and I am happy that he likes his job. He is involved in the BYU Management Society here in Richmond. He is working with a few others to get it started and Luder's firm is hosting an event next month that I think will be great. He is still the Young Men's President at church. He loves those guys and is very concerned about their future. He is also a great husband and father. Did I mention how attractive he is? (hubba hubba)(He wrote that and it is true).
Ginny is still taking care of everyone. Life consists of finding the outstanding moments in the most mundane things. If you don't know what I mean, hang out with Cason and Abram, they make you laugh and smile constantly (and sometimes want to pull your hair out.) She teaches the 6 yr old Sunday School class at church. She also holds a Girl's Night Out once a month with friends, mostly from church. She has a passion for health and wellness so she spends time on her personal health through exercise and helps others with theirs, through Juice Plus.
Cason is five years old now. He is interested in anything pretend. He likes to ride his bike and he is a great big brother. He can write and read small words. He loves books. He had a primary program this year, in which he memorized his few lines very quickly and delivered them to the congregation at church very clearly. We are proud of him. He is sensitive and funny.
Abram is now three years old. Time flies. Someone said it best when they said, "He is a full spirit in a little body." Abram has personality to spare! He is a quick leaner, he likes to do whatever Cason does. He started preschool this year and has been LOVING it. He was potty trained before he started and has been really successful with that. He makes us laugh constantly. He is a determined little soul, we have learned a lot of patience through him.
Life is full of ups and downs. When I am tempted to complain I think of all the wonderful blessings we have been given: Family, Jesus Christ and His beautiful gospel, the best country ever-the U.S.A. and our health. I hope that we can all take a moment to think of things we are grateful for and what we can do to be better. We love and miss all of you who we will not see this Christmas time.
Luder took Abram to his office to get something one Saturday. He loved looking out Luder's office window at the train and the river. Abram is a big fan of "Blue's Clue's" and has been pretending to be Steve. He pretends Cason is Joe. When they were in the office and one of Luder's colleague's says hello to Abram and asks him his name, Abram replies, "Steve." Luder had to tell the guy that we didn't name our child Steve. So funny.
This year I went to NYC with my Grandma and Aunt Leslie (who is more of a sister to me) and we had such a great time. It was wonderful to get away. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. At night we went to dinner at all types of different places, Irish Pubs and Thai-were awesome. We saw a Broadway show, Jersey Boys which was incredible. We walked Time Square and had a blast, checked out the shops. We also took an awesome tour on the top of a bus at night across the Brooklyn Bridge and we rode along the water in Brooklyn to view the Manhattan Skyline. It was amazing. During the day, we toured. We went to Chinatown, Soho, Little Italy, Central Park. We also went to Harlem and as we drove down Malcolm X Blvd, you could see the long lines to vote. It was such a great trip. I can't wait to go back!
This is Grandma and I at Rockefeller Center. The flags are in the background because it was election day. It was beautiful. They all lined the skating rink. My Aunt Leslie and I on the bus. We got a bus pass on one of those double decker buses. It was too cold to be on top on this day! Note: the scarves and coats are the same colors, we are so much a like, we laughed about it the whole time. Time Square, we stayed a couple of blocks from here. Between here and Central Park. It was so fun. Radio City Music hall, one of the oldest theatres in NYC. This is where the Rocketts are! We got up and saw the Today show on the last day, it was pretty interesting, right across from Rockefeller. The Ground Zero site behind us, it is totally under construction. There were no memorials really to speak of, a few people that had witnessed the planes coming in, talked us through the whole morning of 9/11. There was definetly a somber spirit all over that area. Quiet and sad. One night we went to the famous "Serendipity" restuarant. This was one of my favorite things we did, the three of us got a table and you are almost touching others while they dine, we talked intimately and ate some of the best dessert I have ever had. Wow! the picture isn't great because when we came out a cab was waiting so we had to move fast to snag it. The New York City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was neat to be on the top of the bus, the tour guide pointed it out, "and to the right, the Mormon Temple." Grandma on top of the bus. Right by Central Park. We went by Lennon's apartment, where he was shot outside. We did the Central Park carriage ride. It was so beautiful with the fall folliage. We got to see where lots of celebrities live, where films were being made. The Ritz has a telescope in every room that you can see, so that guests can see Central Park. After the ride, we walked around and there was so much going on. The Plaza Hotel was there where Home Alone was filmed. There was artwork everywhere and a huge Apple store that is open 24/7. Packed with people and all glass.
So, Luder got me two tickets to see Sarah Palin. Mom and I decided to go. It was much more than I had expected. It was so exciting. We spent about five hours there in the hot sun, yelling, screaming, meeting people ..... because of heat people ended up going out with EMS workers all around me but I was determined to see Sarah... ...as I waited for Sarah I crept up to the front hoping just to be able to reach close enough to shake her hand. I was able to see her motorcade come in, following that her bus (back left of the above the pic), behind that secret service agents (on the catwalk). The agents came in and it was seriously like something out of the movies, their SUV doors opened and they jumped out and secured the premises, they were so serious. Then came her assistants off the bus that double checked her technology and put her speech on the podium. After what seemed like forever, I was in the front of the catwalk where she would walk by to get to the podium...out she came and I WAS FLIPPIN....she came in and introduced her husband and Hank Williams Jr. who sang a song that he rewrote for her and it was hilarious and awesome all at the same time.
After she spoke, Hank came around and gave me his autograph..... then the best part, she came by, she talked to me, shook my hand and signed my sign...she was wonderful, loving and beautiful. I couldn't believe how much personal attention she gave us with so many stops to make and so many people. Todd, her husband did the same, talked to me. What a nice guy he is! Let's just say that I was proud to be an american, excited about this race and inspired by this woman to say the least. I don't care who you vote for, GET OUT AND VOTE!
Cason has picked me flowers since he was a baby. Everytime he picks one I am reminded of his love and thoughtfulness. He got me these flowers and took me out (his preschool's potluck happened to be the night before my bday) to a nice potluck dinner, in which he told everyone there that this (the potluck dinner) was his special treat to me on my birthday. How cute. They also made me cupcakes. Luder bought me a cell that I wanted and roses and my fam came and took me out to dinner and babysat for us. It was a pretty good one.
As my birhday came around this year I couldn't help but retrospectively analyze what I have learned and realized through living on this earth.
I have learned that: 1.cliche's are cliche's because they are true 2.perfectionists are miserable, letting go is liberating 3.i am blessed to have Luder (these are not in order of importance people) 4.there are some things that mean more to me than I ever imagined- God, country, family 5.voting is a privilage that I take very seriously 6.the older I get the more grateful I am for loving, hardworking parents who have stayed together 7.giving people the benefit of the doubt is the best thing 8.taking care of our bodies is important, exercise makes me feel good 9.good Old Abraham Lincoln was right, "People are about as happy as they make their minds up to be." 10.friends are a brightspot in my life 11.a lot of things people stress over don't matter, a lot of things that people don't care about matter 12.Time goes too fast, if I stopped to think about it, I would get too sad 13.Everyone has a "story" it is what you do with your story that is really all that matters 14.doing things for other people makes me feel good 15.babysitters and datenights are neccessary 16.sleep deprivation makes people crazy, makes people do crazy things 17.children are always on a higher intellectual level than you think 18.i am SO PROUD TO BE A SOUTHERN WOMAN 19.when people act weird, it is about them 20.i need to go "home" ever so often....ahhh The Shenandoah Valley 21.i need GNO's (Girl's Night Out) 22.there has to be a balance in just about everything in life 23.i love to be outside, the changes in the seasons and holidays-stressfree style 24.being a mother can be very embarrassing (temper tantrums in public)-not worrying about it is the way to go 25.i really do want to be more like Jesus Christ, even though I will try the rest of my life, I will fall short and he will make up the rest 26.bad things happen to good people and it doesn't mean that they are being punished by Heavenly Father 27.my finite mind cannot begin to understand Heavenly Father's infinite wisdom 28.Nan was right 29.selfish people get on my nerves 30.Thirty scares me 31.it is important to flip the world the bird sometimes, figuratively, not literally
First game of his life, opening game of the season, my little man scores a goal. I am quite proud of him! He practices once a week and has a game once a week. He's #5 in the center. I got really excited so it's a little shakey.
Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks. Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes. There is no fast food. Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week. Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing. Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care. He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function. Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am. A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up. The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if... he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.
We went to Charleston over Labor Day. We had such a good time. We went to Folly Beach and spent a day just the four of us. We went on Uncle T.W.'s boat to Morris Island for a day. We also got to have a birthday dinner with Derek and fam and a couple of other fun things. The mosquitos are making it onto my blog. I have never had to jump in a car, peel out with the windows down to watch them finally leave us alone! It was CRAZY!!
This is my favorite view. Morris Island lighthouse. This is where Luder proposed marriage. You can walk all the way across, it is only knee deep all the way.
Oh My Gosh! So Cute. Note the boots. So, after we went to Charleston I decided I had to finally potty train Abram. It is something that I dread but it hasn't been too bad. He has been hanging out around the house in his undies for about a week now. When he dressed up like a cowboy and fixed me some "breakfast" I laughed to myself and had to get a pic. Typical Cason, enough said.
My Mom, Dad, brother Scott, Cason, Abram and I all went to Lake Gaston the weekend of August 9th. Luder had to work. Cason fell in love with fishing! We had a great time, we spent the day on a pontoon boat docking it on different beaches and swimming. After dinner that evening we left the pontoon boat and went water skiing. I was so happy to get up on those skis the first time!