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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

50 Golden Years

One of the biggest blessings in my life has been my parents and their relationship and example for me and my brothers.  On November 10, 2017 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and we were all so lucky to be able to share in the celebration.  From the time I was quite young, I have loved my parents' "love story".  My mom first noticed my dad in the fourth grade and started flirting by leaving notes in his snow boots.  Two years later they had their first date to a school banquet.  From that point on there are plenty of stories of school dances, ping pong games, ice cream to end the evening, and lots of time spent together.  By the time they had both graduated from high school they knew they wanted to be together forever and they planned their wedding at the Manti Temple.  Over the past 50 years of marriage, or about 60 years of being together, I'm sure they have had their ups and downs.  We have certainly watched moments of stress and disagreement, and sometimes a little bit of irritation with one another.  But none of that has ever made us question their love and loyalty to each other.  I consider myself lucky to have parents who modeled how to stick together - not only when life is going great, but especially when everything is not going quite so well.  

When they first started talking about how to celebrate the big occasion, us kids did our best to convince them that a family trip to Mexico would be an excellent way to pay tribute to their many years together.  But my mom was not about to be convinced.  She has wanted a 50th Anniversary party for years and had it envisioned at the church where they had their reception over fifty years ago.  The date was set for the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we were all given assignments to help.  Over the past few months, my mom has been so excited about this anniversary and the party they had planned.  My dad did what he does best and worked hard to make sure she got what really mattered to her.  We were a little worried if she could handle such a big event with all of the complications she has had with her back surgery, but she rested during the set up, had a stool handy, and didn't want to let a little back pain keep her from greeting so ,many of their family and friends. 

Thanks to Marlene, the decorations and feel of the party were exactly what my mom wanted.  We had all been initially given assignments, but before long we were relegated to "worker bees" and given jobs to carry out the vision my mom had for the party.  The party was a huge success and I couldn't believe all of the people that just kept appearing.  I know my mom and dad absolutely loved all of the friends and family that made such an effort to honor and celebrate their many years together.

The white jacket was part of her outfit that she wore to the temple.

The train to her wedding dress.

We had a cake made that was similar to what they had 50 years ago.

Before the official party began, we had a dinner and program with just our immediate family members.  This part was a big deal to my parents and if I'm being honest, the part that the rest of us initially grumbled about.  My mom had requested that we all participate with some type of performance, and memories or thoughts.  When it all came together, it was actually really nice and an incredible time with my family.  Both Tim and I shared some memories and thoughts about my parents (and Tim thanked them again for me), Taylor recited a poem, Brycen played the piano, Erika played the guitar and sang and the babies (and I as background) sang You Are My Sunshine.  The boys and their families all participated and there were parts that were funny, tender, and really sentimental.  Luke even got to tell his favorite joke (Why do you have to be quiet in church.....because everyone is sleeping).   It was incredible to see my parents so moved.  My dad's comments were my very favorite - he got up an expressed how much he loved each of us, and that he especially did because we had made his wife so happy.  What a great moment together.

After the program was over, I realized I had only snapped a few, random photos and had done very little to document the whole thing.  I am normally much too focused on recording and illustrating what has gone on and probably miss a lot around me.  For those few hours at the party, I was too wrapped up into just enjoying the experience to even think much about taking any photos.  To be honest, it felt good to be so present and connected.   Thanks mom and dad for a great party.  Here's to many more years together as a couple and with your family. 

Ended with Edelweiss 

Someone liked the treats

Lucky to have them as my parents

We always need extra pictures with the Texas cousins.

Monday, December 11, 2017

November Miscellaneous, 2017

November was warm, and busy, and had plenty of daily moments that I don't want to get lost in the sea of big events.  Obviously I love the vacations, the holidays, etc., but more than that I just love my life and the blessing it is to live with and adore my people. 

Barefoot in the sandbox in November!

Showing off mama's pretty flowers

My mom was recognized at the Utah Music Teachers Association conference as their Foundation Fellow for the year.  To be honest, I am not positive what exactly it means, but it is clear that her fellow teachers love and respect her.  It was fun to watch her be the superstar in her best environment.

Cousin time is their favorite

There is always plenty of fun with the neighborhood crew.

Cute little princess!

Poor Ruby developed the strangest case of hives....They actually started on the night we came home from California, but they were minor and we assumed a reaction to the sand and ocean.  By the next morning she was covered in large angry hives from head to toe and had developed a fever and was pretty lethargic.  I called the doctor's office first thing but couldn't get an appointment until the afternoon so I spent the morning searching online and imagining all of the awful things she could have.  When we finally made it to the doctor, she immediately diagnosed it as as hives and said that she thought it was a reaction to a virus.  The poor girl, she was so miserable for at least a week, she was so itchy and it was hard to find anything to completely relieve the symptoms.  Eventually the hives went away - well they mostly went away.  Since the major outbreak, we have noticed that her skin is super sensitive and any type of scratch or mark wells up and gets red and angry looking.  We are hoping that the skin issues will just continue to heal and leave the poor girl alone.

Luke is lucky enough to have a specialized art teacher at his school and his class gets to spend time in the art room working on special pictures and projects.  The school sponsored an Art Night to show off some of the students' best work, and allow families to try some new creations.  We were not sure if we were going to make it, but at the last minute I was able to take Luke while Tim stayed home with Ruby.  It was such a big deal to Luke that we go and I was so glad we had made the effort.  I loved seeing all of the projects, but of course, my favorite was Luke's.  It especially made me happy to see what he wrote about his owl and how he could be helpful.  After we looked at the art, we joined a bunch of his friends in the gym to make paper clip helicopters and musical instruments out of bobby pins.  Luke is completely invested in his Lakeview Elementary community and I have loved watching what pride he has in his school.

We missed celebrating my mom's birthday with her because Ruby was sick - I had even made her requested German Chocolate Cake before decided not to go.  So, the next week I made another cake and we had a repeat celebration.  Everyone was thrilled to sing and eat cake twice.

November seen from my run.

Oh how she loved this purse doggy,
Unfortunately, he had to stay at the store.

Poor girl, she and the doorknob had a run in....

After a lot of searching, and a few duds, Erika found and purchased a new car.  She is so excited!  We can't wait to see all of the amazing places that the new car will take her.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend this year was one of our bests.  We had all of our family together, lots of great food, and plenty of time laughing and reminiscing - pretty much perfect.  Obviously we should be working to be grateful and aware of all that we have without such a blatant reminder.  But, its nice to have so many people focusing on gratitude at the same time.  There have been so many people lately that have been drastically affected by natural disasters and other tragedies and I am just so grateful for our safety and comfortable circumstances.  That has been top on my mind.  Luke and Ruby have really expanded their social circles lately and spent a lot of time having play dates, and at friends' houses, so I suspect they would say they are especially grateful for good friends. 

Thanksgiving morning was spent did not require too much preparation -  I had made stuffing the night before and then got up early to make banana cream pies before heading outside.  We have been super lucky with the weather this fall and I was able to go out for a run in 50 degree weather - now that is something to be grateful for.  The time on the trail was a perfect beginning to the day.  When I got home we all quickly got ready, packed up the car, and headed out to Jarin and Jami's house.

Man I love these turkeys!

Thanks Brexley for theThanksgiving visit

There were a lot of discussions about where to have our Thanksgiving dinner and I'm so glad Jarin and Jami agreed to have the party at their house.  The set up in their basement was fantastic and it was so fun to have the entire group together on one table.  Of course the meal was delicious and the company was even better. 

Sometimes it's a real struggle to get a good photo

We loved meeting Andreas and having him with us.

It was a day for new faces - welcome to the party Bronson

After dinner the little kids played and watched movies while the big kids decided to go shooting.  Jami, my mom, and I were content to hang out on the couches.  In theory we stayed home to watch the kids, but they were so busy playing that they barely knew we were around.  Even if I wasn't needed, I was perfectly happy staying home so I could just relax and be grateful for the rest.

By the time they went shooting, Erika had left to go be with Andreas' family, but Taylor and Brycen were excited to be able to go.  Neither of them had done much shooting before and I think they both really had fun.  My dad was so impressed with Taylor's skills - apparently he is a natural shot.  

The sunset was incredible.

We finished the night playing "Remember When" with the entire group.  The game is basically and excuse to tell stories about your life and experiences - the perfect game for a Broadbent gathering.  It was a great ending to the night and I left feeling even more grateful to have all of these amazing people as part of my tribe.

The day after Thanksgiving was busy!  Ruby and I started out early at the craft fair with Jami and Ada.  Ruby loved being part of a girls outing and I love that she is getting big enough to spend that kind of time together.  The rest of the day was busy as we all tried to get everything ready for family pictures on Saturday morning.  For me that meant a lot of time at a very crowded mall and the boys got new haircuts.  The best part of the day was when Craig, Roman and Sadie arrived.  I loved how excited they were to see each other and watching them play together was the best!

Family pictures at 9:00 on a Saturday morning (of a holiday weekend) was a little tough.  But I was so appreciative of Tim and the kids and how cooperative and pleasant they were for the whole process.  It was so important to my mom to get new pictures while everyone was together and I absolutely love how they all turned out.  The real pictures are coming soon, but I love these snap shots and the stories they tell.  

Man we are funny!

At some point in the blur of the weekend, I was convinced to decorate the Christmas trees - Tim put them up earlier in the week.  I wanted to put it off another week just to give some separation between holidays.  However, when I saw how excited the kids were, I couldn't help but join in on the magic.  The entire weekend was really quite magical.  But by the time Sunday night rolled around, we were all so tired and I think a little excited to get back to our normal schedule and routine.

Slightly off balance, but decorated with so much love and enthusiasm.