Sunday, September 13, 2009

A really long (but good) story

A long, long time ago. That's when this story begins. I must have been 3 or so. I lived in Lehi in the house right next to my Uncle Brent and Aunt Julie. I have heard that I caused some major mahem, especially with my Aunt's flowers that were in bloom. There was also this girl who was my age who lived in a log home around the corner from us. One day in April I headed over to her birthday party. I was a bit early, and would you believe it! She sent me home!

Well, I moved soon after that and eventually found myself in the booming metropolis of Green River Wyoming. Soon I had grown up and graduated from High School. After deciding on a college I was set working nights cleaning for my dad's company during the summer.

Freshman orientation was a month or two before school started. It lasted 4 or 5 days and we would get a chance to get to know the campus and many of the teachers and departments before the swarms of upperclassmen arrived.

A week or so before orientation Grandma Loveridge called. One of the girls in her ward was going to SUU and to orientation the same week I was and was looking for a ride. This was a great solution. Who wants to pay for all of the gas and ride down alone when you can share the cost and have a first college adventure before school even starts!

I picked Cristy and one other of her friends up and off we went. She was this fun and spunky red head with a very strange boyfriend. I liked her right away! At orientation we were in different dorm rooms but pretty much the same schedule for the week. We learned that we both were signed up to stay in Manzanita, the "apartment style" dorms. After a few days of orientation we both had this realization that whoever your room mate was could have a huge effect on your time at school. Looking around at orientation, there were a lot of great people, but there were some really strange ones too. It didn't take us long to have the conversation of, "You seem like a pretty normal person, do you want to be roommates?" (We really did have that conversation.)

That is how it started. At the end of the first year we asked if we still wanted to be roommates, but after that, it was just assumed. I really believe that my grandma's call, asking me if I wanted to give this girl from her ward a ride was one of those life shaping moments that I can only see now that time has passed and I am looking back.

It's not this way for everyone, but for me, college was the best. It was every thing I could have hoped it to be. From road trips and dances, to home work and falling in and out of love. Cristy was with me the whole time. She was like my own little guardian angel, keeping me on the straight and narrow and making sure that I would never regret one moment of my time in school.

I was a Junior, almost senior when I was dating this guy. I really liked him, maybe even loved him. He really wanted to marry me. He asked me several times, "Please can I ask you." I kept telling him not yet, not yet. Well, I guess he was able to read what I couldn't admit. I didn't want to marry him. I wasn't ready to get married. Getting married scared me. So on Valentines day he broke up with me. Cristy was furious! She was madder at him than I was sad. If she would have been the profanity type, I'm sure she would have polluted ears for miles. She sees him sometimes on her trips to Cedar and she still can't look at him without those same thoughts.

It was then that I thought about a mission. It might have been that very night that I decided on it. So, after finals were over the last quarter of that year, I was off. Cristy wrote me every week. She even worked with my mom to make it so I was able to finish school when I got back before SUU switched to Semesters. (A move that would have added another year to my schooling.) I student taught at the school in St. George where she worked, she really did better for me than I probably would have done for myself.

After I graduated I got a job in SLC. I was living with my dad and still felt a little like a fresh RM. (Which I was.) One night I got a call from Cristy. She was engaged! I was so excited for her, but scared too. What would happen to my best friend. I knew Chad was a great guy. He had to be or he wouldn't have qualified for her. I remember telling her, (not asking her) that I was going to come down and live with her for the last few months before she got married.

I met Jonathon a few months after she got married. Almost a year later I was married. We had our first two babies withing a few months of each other. We have almost always had very similar callings. We were both in primary presidencies at the same time, and a few weeks ago I held in a laugh when I was called as the activity days leader. She had just been called to that too, 2000 miles away.

That's the background. I have a best friend that money can't buy. Someone who can only have been a gift to me because I needed her.

A few months ago she called and told me she wanted to come out and visit. Soon she had tickets and the time was set and I was counting down. I think I was a little scared too. We can (and do) spend hours on the phone, and I see her whenever I am in Utah, but would she still like me after being with me for 5 days? We are both married, moms, and not so much the slightly out of control girls we were in college. We are (shutter) responsible.

How could I have been worried? It was like we still lived together. We talked about different things, but our responsibilities complimented us. It was like before. She helped me want to be better.

Thanks to our husbands this fun little girls weekend was the best. Jonathon took our kids Saturday night so that I could show Cristy around Knoxville. (We only got a little lost.) We ate at an artsy little place called the Tomato Head. I had a tofu, pineapple, walnut sandwich. It was amazingly good. We went to Worlds Fair park and looked at the city, we shopped at the Mercantile, and wandered market square. It was great.Tuesday after getting my kids off to school, we headed to Nashville. When we were in college we got around with nothing more than an atlas. How we did that, I don't know, but thank heavens she brought her GPS! We ate at the Sub stop. OK food, not the music row place I thought it would be...We walked down Lower Broadway and visited the new Country Music walk of fame.We saw Oprey land and had a really yummy apple freeze at the Apple Barn.

We had dinner at the Blue Bird Cafe. It is this little totally inconspicuous place in a strip mall in west Nashville. I wouldn't have known we were there if the GPS hadn't told us it was there on our left. I had heard of it as the place where those who are the up and coming singers and especially songwriters play. We had reservations and this was the super highlight of the trip. There is nothing like very talented live acoustic song writers singing their own songs and telling you the story behind the songs. Amazing.We then went off to go to "open mic" at another place. This was in direct contrast to the artist we had just left. In fact, it only took a few songs before we just went ahead and left too. Ice cream would be way better than that!

After ice cream on lower Broadway we finally made it back to our hotel. It wasn't even one in the morning yet. A time that not long ago would have been early. But, I am not the girl I once was and to demonstrate what a good friend Cristy is, I totally fell asleep while she was talking and she wasn't even mad. (Sorry. I am sooo old!)The next morning we got up and I took her to the airport. My best friend was off and I was back to being boring.

I can only hope for every one else. I hope that you all have in your life the kind of friend I have in mine. Next, we are planning a family vacation, or a "double date" vacation. If that never happens, we are still going for rooms next to each other in the nursing home!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

on a side note

I have a really fun blog about my wonderful best friends visit to do, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. (I want to get the pictures downloaded first!)

So, for now, I am sending you the most amazing cooking / recipe page out there.

Seriously, it has pictures! Not just one picture, but a picture of EVERY recipe!!!!

I have to bring muffins to Cedars school tomorrow for Grandparents day. (Sorry Grandparents, we really wish you could be here!) I usually do the mix thing, but I didn't have one, so I googled "muffins." This was the 2nd option, and I really feel like I hit a gold mine! You see, I can cook. Not really well, but not horrible either, but when trying a new thing, the scale is tipped towards the horrible side if I can't see what the finished product is supposed to look like. Not to mention that a picture is worth 100 wordy descriptions. I want to see it before I bake it!

The site is called

Seriously, check it out!

Here are my muffins. They are still cooling so I can put on a dab of cream cheese frosting, but it is late and I will go to bed as soon as I am done. I tasted one, and maybe I'll have to go buy some for Grandparents day tomorrow so I can keep all of these!

Before cooking.

After cooking.

I think I'll have one more before bed...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to school

Julie's top ten Tuesday this week was back to school. She did the top 10 things she hates, I think I will do the top 10 things I love. Though, in no particular order.

** I actually love the scheduling of it. I wish school didn't last quite so long, but I really like a schedule. For me, the busiest part of the day is the morning. Don't call me between 6:30 and 7:40 in the morning. I don't have time to talk. But I love that I know when things will happen. Olive is going to school every morning this year, so every morning is pretty much the same.

** This might just be an extension of the scheduling one, but I love early bed times. The kids are so tired that it's not a fight to get them in bed by 8:00. (Well, ok, sometimes it's a fight, but not nearly so often!)

** Another extension of the scheduling is that during the school year, I get to the gym much more regularly. I drop the kids off and stop at the gym. 45-60 min of exercise and a quick shower and I am home, dressed and showered for the day by 9:30! For me, that is something!

** I love watching my kids succeed. Aspen has always been a natural learner. It is very easy for her to pick things up. So, naturally, she is a whiz at school. I love seeing her shine and get things and be so good at what she loves. Cedar isn't as natural of a learner, but this year he has surprised me. I always knew he was a whiz at math, but he was put into the top reading group and he is doing amazingly well.

** I love that my kids love to read. School has brought out extra chances for them to read and love it. Cedar is deep into "The Magic Tree House" series. It is the same series that got aspen hooked on chapter books. I looked for Mary Pope Osborne's email address, but couldn't find it. I really want to thank her for helping my kids love to read.

** I love that Olive is going to the same preschool that Aspen and Cedar went to. I think that she thinks that she owns the place. It's in a Methodist church, and not only does she have the teachers wrapped around her finger, but she is the first of my kids to have the church secretary and the pastor wrapped around her finger.

** I love after school time. Not only is it approaching my favorite season of the year, (Hooray for fall!) But it is a perfect after school play temperature. This year we have homework every night. Aspen and Cedar have spelling words, and Cedar has to read to me for at least 15 min a night and Aspen has to be able to define all of her words. It took a few weeks for us to figure out how to work homework in without it becoming to dreadful. But now it doesn't seem like too much and they are able to get it done fairly quickly and then the beautiful stuff starts to happen. They go outside, or downstairs and play nicely (more than 50% of the time) together!

** I love to carpool! We only do it 2 times a week, but it's the best. There is no way EVER I would send my kids on the bus here. (I better be careful here. Unless tragedy was upon us I would never send my kids on the bus.) It comes at 6:45am. There are kindergarten through 12th graders on and just last year in Knoxville a girl was molested. Not to mention that they wouldn't get home until almost 4:00pm So, since the bus is not an option for me, it's really nice to be able to share rides.

** The kids eat better. They aren't snacking all the time. They eat breakfast, lunch a snack and dinner. And when it's meal time, they eat.

** I saved this one for last because every one would know that I was lying if I didn't include this. I really like a few kid free hours a day. My house isn't necessarily cleaner, but it can be. Everything isn't necessarily done that needs to be, but it is getting worked on. I am finding time to read my scriptures regularly, and it feels kinda nice to have some time.

That's it! That's my top ten back to school list. Yea for school!

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