Monday, January 31, 2011

On a lighter note

Streaming Netflix through my new birthday present has become a guilty pleasure for me the nights Lance works late.  I get to watch movies like this without Lance here to tell me that:
A.  The movie was something only teenagers would enjoy; or
B. The Rotten Tomatoes rating was -20% ; or
C.  It was the worst movie ever made.

Lance walked in the midst of this newest Miley Cyrus movie to see this:

Our conversation went something like this:

Lance:  What are you watching?
Kristi:  "The Last Song"
Lance (with the most serious look on his face):  Wow.  I looked just like that in high school.
Lance and Kristi:  ***Both completely silent for about 20 seconds
Lance and Kristi:  ****Both burst out laughing simultaneously

I will let you determine why we were laughing.  (And still are, for that matter.)

2010: A Blur

 I remember calling Lance from my usual all-day-long Saturday studying location as we were frantically trying to figure out how we were going to get everything done that weekend.  We needed 100 more hours than we had.  He needed to work all weekend on an important case at work.  I needed to make substantial progress on my graduate thesis if I wanted to graduate.  And our daughter needed us. We had a million things to do for our callings at church.  We both felt so alone and exhausted.  My first trimester was kicking me in the rear.  We needed help but really didn't have any family to rely on and already felt we had exhausted the kindness of our friends.  We both cried.  For a long time. (well, at least I was crying.  Lance probably just shed a tear or two.)  And then we wiped our eyes, made a plan for how we would proceed, said a little prayer, agreed this was the hardest thing we had ever gone through, and then hung up.  No use wasting more time on the phone when we already short so many hours.

This was 2010 for our family.  A blur of good memories and stressful times.  I didn't set any resolutions that year for a reason.  But we grew as a family and realized an important lesson.  Lance and I have each other.  And, with the help of the Lord, we have the strength to all things. 

Lance and Elisabeth attended RyGuy's and Britnee's wedding in Nebraska in March.

My brother Tommy came to visit for his annual visit.  We took a trip to Palm Springs and Disneyland.

I miraculously graduated with my Master's degree.  My Daddy'O came to witness this.

We celebrated 8 years of marital bliss with a three day get-a-way to Pismo Beach.
And awaited the birth of a baby boy.

We threw a HUGE graduation bash with my friend Katie Christenson at our home in June. 
Think we had about 100 guests attend.

Planned and attended the Smemoe/Richardson family reunion in August.
Attended Chris' and Princess Wendy's wedding in UT in August.

Welcomed the happiest and sweetest little boy, Carsten, to the world in October.
Natural childbirth was AWESOME.  Can't wait to do that again.

Hosted Chris, Loren and Dad Smemoe (and their spouses/families) for Thanksgiving weekend.
This is when we blessed the little man at church.

Spent a few days in the CHOC hospital after Carsten was diagnosed with RSV.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happily Ever After

I lay in bed on New Year's Eve at the late hour of 9 p.m. reviewing my year in my head.  I remembered, for some reason, that 16 years ago I had attended a Sunday church service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the first time in my life.  Funny enough, I was in Anaheim of all places when I did attend.  (Seeing as I am from Minnesota, attending church in SoCal for the first time is a little odd, is it not?) Our High School band took a trip to San Diego/Orange County to participate in the Holiday Bowl and do fun touristy things out here.  That was the beginning pages to the book titled My Life from Here.  Due to my parents dislike of the LDS church, I did not join it until I was 18 years old.  From 16 to 18 plus were dark times in my memory.  There was great turmoil at home with my family and within my heart and soul.  I couldn't see past the next month much less envision what my life would be like as a soon-to-be 32 year old.

I never foresaw me attending BYU or going on a mission to Finland.  I never imagined meeting my dear husband or marrying him in the temple.  I never saw my blond-haired, blue-eyed angel babies or seen myself trying to raise a family based on the teaching's of Jesus Christ.   I definitely never thought in my wildest dreams I would be living in Southern California - especially after hearing my mom tell me it was going to fall off into the ocean someday.  I never could imagine the blessings God had in store for me.

But here I am.  And I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.  Not the kind of happy where everything is perfect and exactly how you want it.  Because we are far from that type of bliss. Not the kind of happiness where there is an absence of heartbreak.  Because I have seen a good amount in the past 16 years and am sure I will see more in the years to come.  But the kind of happiness that fills your body full of peace and pours warmth out of your heart.  I feel like so many of my dreams have been fulfilled.  I followed my heart and joined a church that has taught me personally how to better follow our Savior.  I am married to a wonderful man.  I have two children whom I love more than anything.  I have both a bachelor's and master's degree.  I am surrounded by family and friends who are as close as family.  I am loved, I am safe, and I am healthy.

One of my favorite pictures from my wedding day almost 8 years ago.

Sometimes Happily Ever After does happen - even for a moment. 

Now to find another dream.