Friday, May 28, 2010

5 Years Ago Today

I woke up around 7:30am to get my hair done and get ready to head to the temple. Liesl (my cousin) and Jenell (my best friend) had stayed over and where there to help me out in the morning. The night before we had stayed up watching old "In Living Color" episodes. Most people say they hardly slept the night before their wedding however, around 11pm I decided to head to bed and once my head hit the pillow I was out until my alarm woke me up the next morning. My parents came and picked me up and we were at the temple by 9:45am. Chris and his parents were parking as we pulled in and we walked into the temple together! I had the great opportunity of having my mother and mother-in-law assist me in the Bride's room getting in my dress. I was excited and couldn't believe that I was actually getting married. I must tell a side story. I was able to walk through the Las Vegas temple before it was dedicated. I was probably around 6 or so when I did this. Of all the things I could have remembered about the temple from that long ago, the one thing that stuck out the most was the Bride's Dressing Room. I remember being 6 and seeing that room and thinking, "one day I will be in this room getting ready for my wedding!" As I stood in front of the huge mirrors in my wedding dress I felt such a peaceful feeling! I was then taken to the Sealing Waiting room where Chris was with my dad and his dad. I was so excited to see him and my father. We were able to sit in there for quite a while with our parents and if anyone knows my dad you can guarantee there were quite a few giggles and smiles. While we were in there another couple was brought in. I still laugh with Chris about how nervous they seemed to be. The didn't touch and they didn't talk. Once again I often hear people say how nervous they are before they get married, how they have second thoughts, but I had NONE. I knew that this guy sitting beside me was going to be mine forever and that it was the right choice. I knew that the guy sitting next to me was going to be the father of my children and I was so excited for this new chapter to begin in my life! As we got closer to the wedding time our parents were taken into the sealing room and we were left with on another, soon enough they came and escorted us to the Sealing room. I remember walking in and seeing a whole bunch of my family there and also Chris's family. There were people standing because there was no more room to sit and at that moment I realized how much we were both loved and what a great family both of us were marrying into! Another side story. My Grandpa Stewart was a sealer at the Las Vegas Temple for many years and as a child I always wanted him to marry me. Since he died when I was in High School I had to pick someone else. We decided to go with President Worthen, who lived behind my Grandpa Stewart and knew him very well. He gave us some great words of encouragement and even told how my Grandpa and Grandma always honored their church leaders and we would be a happier couple if we chose to do that same thing. I was touched to hear of my grandparents and it just made our sealing much more memorable. After our sealing we were able to thank everyone that came one by one and I was once again overwhelmed with how much we were truly loved! After the sealing as we exited the temple we were met again by all of our family and then some. Even my family that was not able to be at the sealing was there waiting for us, I couldn't believe it!

We took pictures and then headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for a bar-b-que. We had a blast and were surrounded by so many wonderful family members and friends the entire day!
The Nelson Family at the Bar-b-que...The Blackburn Family at the Bar-b-que...(wow, this family sure has grown!)Chris and I then left the bar-b-que to check into the nice hotel room at the Hilton that my dad was able to get us for way cheap. We then headed over to the chapel for our reception. What a great time we had. We danced we laughed and we did all the fun reception stuff! Here are just a few pictures from our wedding day!

I always joke that it's a good thing I got my nails done, or Chris's would have been way nicer than mine! :)

Our beautiful cake!

5 Years of Marriage....

Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary. It seems like those 5 years just flew by, but then when you think of all that has happened in the last 5 years it's amazing how much has taken place. Just a few examples:

  • When we first got married we moved to an apartment until our house was done. Well as always our house was not done on time so we moved in with Chris's parents for a month and then finally into our house just before 2006.

  • Chris has finished his Bachelor's degree and now has completed his first year of PT School. Woo hoo, only 2 1/2 more to go!
  • Chris and I had the opportunity of working in the Temple Baptistery for a while together, which brought us many blessings and spiritual growing.

  • We have been blessed with two wonderful kids. Ethan was born in 2006 and Katelee was born in 2008. They have been a huge blessing in our lives. They truly allow us to have an eternal perspective as we can no longer envision our lives without them.

  • Ethan has had a Platelet Disorder that lasted about a year, but looking back at that time in our lives it sure seems longer than a year. Leaving from work to meet my mom at the Pediatric Oncologists office multiple times a month, sometimes multiple times weekly really took a toll on me. But now he has been cleared of this and it only crosses my mind when he isn't feeling well.

  • We have had multiple callings. Mine including Enrichment food coordinator, Relief Society Pianist (what a joke, those poor sisters must have needed a lesson in patience with me as the pianist), Ward Music Coordinator, Laural Advisor and now First Counselor in the YW. Chris's callings have included: Gospel Principles Sunday School Instructor (forever), Secretary in the Elders quorum, Counselor in the Elders quorum and now Elders Quorum president.

  • Ethan is already in Sunbeam, I know this sounds silly, but it makes me feel a little old! Katelee is already in nursery and I really enjoy Sunday School and YW again!

  • We have made many friends in our ward, the first two years or so we seemed to be social introverts and knew really no one. But now we have many friends at church which makes going so much more fun!

  • We have been in our new house long enough to do renovations, the major ones being putting in wood floors and fake grass!

  • After living in our house for over 4 years we finally bought some curtains, and they seem to add a nice touch that has been missing since we moved in!

  • Some random items. Since we have been married we have had a car stolen, had a car in a pretty big accident, purchased two cars together and sold Chris's favorite truck (which I don't miss one bit!)

Looking back it seems that we have been pretty busy! I have really enjoyed being married to Chris and am so thankful that we met each other. These five years have been full of ups and downs and I don't expect the next five to be any different. I love where we are in our lives right now. I'm enjoying the joys and pains(not so much) that come from having kids. I have truly learned to some extent how our pains and afflictions are really for our gain. I have gained a better appreciation for my kids by going through Ethan's many medical problems. I have been surrounded by wonderful people who have bigger struggles than I, and have grown from their fantastic examples. But most importantly I have been able to grow right along side my eternal companion and progress together! To some 5 years is not very long and in the eternal prospective it really isn't, but it has been 5 of my best years ever and I'm so thankful for that day in May when Chris and I were sealed together for Time and All Eternity. I love you babe!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One of Those Weeks.....

(I have been wanting to blog, but just have too much going on in my head to come up with one clear topic, so this is what I came up with)

It has just been one of those weeks. You know the ones where you go from high to low and then back to high and on and on. Well I’m exaggerating a little bit but needless to say this week is one I will be happy to see go. This weekend was the Father’s and Son’s camp out for Ethan and Chris. My Dad joined them this year and they had a blast. Hopefully after this week ends I will be able to get that post on here! Because the boys were out of town, Katelee and I decided to stay the night with my mother. It was so much fun, we went to dinner, watched two movies (Twilight and New Moon), we talked and had a great night’s sleep. I even got to sleep in until 7:45am, wow, AMAZING!!! Then the next day we went over to Anna’s house for a Mary Kay party and had some more fun. Being the crazy mother I am, I really missed my son and my husband and was so excited to see them when they got home. That afternoon Chris and I went to the Temple Sealing of a family in the ward. It was a great sealing, especially since this family included one of the YW from our ward. Sunday was great. Basically I went to bed feeling practically perfect and Monday morning I woke up feeling the same way. Then as the day went on it seemed to get worse… Work…. Well work is work and although I enjoy it most days, Monday would be one of those days that I did not enjoy. I hate to complain about my job, especially in this economy where many people are unemployed and unable to provide for their family like I have the opportunity of doing. However, please bear with me for a brief moment. Work for me lately has become an emotional rollercoaster. I work for a bank and they are not very popular right now with anyone. I tend to think like a banker and think ‘some’ banks are getting a bad reputation for things that ‘other’ banks have done. (I digress, sorry) Being at a bank that is struggling is a pretty rough thing. One day you hear nothing but positive news and then the next your hopes of a bright employment future are dashed by something that seems so small. Monday was one of those days. My weekend was great, and then Monday comes and one simple request sends me into grouch mood. I have a nice conversation with my husband via “text message” because I just needed to talk with someone to vent it out. My day was just plain after that. I was grateful to get home and spend some time with my family. Chris had a CPR class he had to attend so we did FHE early. My parents came over for dinner and helped me get the kids ready for bed. Tuesday was a bit better at work; I was in a better mood. I came home to Chris making dinner for us and the missionaries. Dinner was great, I think it always taste better when someone else makes it! Then I had to rush off to go to my monthly camp meeting. These meetings tend to drive me crazy because not much gets accomplished in them… Around 7 Chris has a meeting so my kids end up hanging out with me at the camp meeting until they become a little too disruptive or it gets too far past their bed time. Last night’s meeting was especially tough for me because they expect us to meet with our group more than just at these meetings. Don’t get me wrong I understand that they want us to bond with the girls that we are going to camp with, I get that. But where would you like us to squeeze that in? I know I need to fulfill my calling to the best of my ability but sometimes I feel like there is just no more time to go around. I work till around 5, pick up the kids, get home around 6. I make dinner try to get some housework done, which very rarely happens and then I have to get the kids down. Oh yeah, and don’t forget I have to work around Chris’ schedule too. He goes to school, studies and has the duties that come with being the Elder’s quorum president too. Where am I supposed to squeeze another meeting into? But that is not all our poor Young Woman’s President’s husband works multiple jobs, goes to school and they have three kids. She always has to get babysitters to go to meetings and she feels horrible about it. Wow, I’m really venting, I feel horrible. Anyways, I came home from that meeting feeling like more of a failure then I did when I got there. I put Katelee down around 8:15 and of course that night is the night she chooses to cry instead of fall right to sleep. Grrr. So Ethan and I go upstairs, he sits on the bed and watches TV while I try to get Katelee to calm down and go to sleep. Ethan decides he needs to go get his Woody stuff animal from downstairs and comes up with an apple and Woody. I take the apple back downstairs and then we sit on the bed and watch TV until 9 o’clock. (I must explain that I cannot put Ethan to bed if Katelee is still awake. If I do this, she will keep them both awake late into the night, most the time we have to just move Ethan into the den for about 30 minutes until she falls asleep and then Ethan can go back into the room. Thus, why Ethan gets to stay up until 9….) By then Chris gets home and we put Ethan to bed. He gets up and complains that his leg hurts. He has taken the bandage off and scratched him eczema spot raw yet again! We rewrap it and put him back into bed. He later gets out of bed and asks for a blessing because his leg hurts too bad. Chris says okay, (how do you say no to that?) and then we go to put him in bed again and find his wrap has been taken off again! Grrr… So I rewrap him once again, this time crying because this poor boy has had this spot forever, and I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that. His skin looks horrible on this one side and now it’s starting to get a heat rash around the whole leg from having the wrap on him. He goes back to bed and stays there. I’m exhausted by now and still have laundry to fold. So I go upstairs and Chris helps fold the laundry. We start to watch a show in bed and I’m out. It is amazing how tired you can get in one day… Needless to say it is Wednesday, and I have Friday off so I can’t complain too much, but I sure can’t wait to spend all day on Friday with my husband and kids! I need a good four day weekend to get my emotions back into check! Thank heavens for my family, they are always the highlight of my day!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Blackburn's Sealing

Saturday May 8th, 2010
This day will be a day to remember for a very long time, how does Eternity sound? My brother Matt, his wife Anjali and their daughter Madilynn were sealed together as a family on May 8th around 9 o'clock in the morning. I have been so excited ever since they gave me a date that I could hardly contain my excitement! The night before the sealing we went down to the church and helped set up for a little reception to be held after the sealing. While we were there my dad got out the dodge balls and we had a nice friendly game of dodge ball. Later that night my arm was sore from throwing the balls...
Anyway, on Saturday we got up and all of us got dressed to go to the temple. Aunt Anna, Uncle Enrique and Baby Emily volunteered to watch the kids up there so we could get a family picture taken right after the sealing. I made sure to take a picture of the kids before we went up to the temple because they were just so cute....
Katelee is so funny with pictures, she will look at the camera and when you say smile this is what she does.... She also likes to say cheeesssseeee....

When I told Ethan to smile, this is the look I got. I told him he looked like a pirate and he really liked that!

Just so everyone doesn't think he really is a pirate, here is a normal picture of him!

When we got up to the temple we took the kids inside to wait for Anna and Enrique to get there. Chris took Ethan over to the pictures and was explaining the stories behind them all... Ethan is a good kid but he was especially good in the temple. He was quiet and respectful and seemed to just be absorbing everything. Sometimes I look at Ethan and am amazed at how much he already knows and understands....

While we were in the temple the kids got to spend some good quality time with their Aunt and Uncle and play games and run around. Aunt Anna has some really good pictures but these are just a few from our camera. Katelee loves to be outside and loves even more to follow her brother around.

The kids were so cute together, this of course did not last long.....
After the sealing all of the remaining family waited outside the temple doors for the newly sealed family to come out. Ethan and I kept trying to peek inside to see if we could tell when they were coming....
And then they came out. It was the cutest thing I have seen in a while. They were so happy and you could see the excitement radiating off of them.

We only got a few pictures because it's a lot of work to try to keep track of Katelee and Ethan in such an open space....
How cute!
After we had our family picture done it was off to the reception/luncheon!
I love seeing my brother so happy with his little family. He absolutely adores his wife and his daughter. I love this picture because to me it represents this Blackburn family.
I have the opportunity of working in the youth center at the temple quite often and being able to see a lot of children sealed to their families, however I would have to say this has to be my favorite one. To know that you can be with your family FOREVER is such a great blessing in my life... I love this little family so much and am so grateful that they were able to take this step together!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Race for the Cure-5K Fun

Saturday May 1st, 2010

My Mother-in-Law, Karolyn, goes up to Salt Lake City each year and participates in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K and fun walk each year with Lisa. I have thought about doing this each year so we can show our support for Karolyn and all that she has been through, but just never got it done. So this year I finally decided to actually do it. I signed Karolyn, Chris, Ethan, Katelee and myself up! I started to get excited because I signed myself up for the timed 5K.... I also got excited because as the race approached I felt a sense of the importance of educating my kids on this subject and letting them know that Grandma Nelson had been a fighter and made it through this disease. I had my co-worker pick us up some "In Celebration of" signs for us to complete and put on our backs for the race. We each decorated our own in our own special way. Here is mine......

And here is Ethan coloring his....

And here is the final product... (Ethan determines his grandparents names based on their dog's name, so Grandma Nelson is Grandma Snickers!)

And here is Chris's sign......

So we got up bright and early on Saturday and headed out with Grandma Nelson to the race which was held down town. After finally getting parked and heading away from the start line and then finally towards the start line my nerves were almost out of control. I couldn't focus on the map to find the right way and started to get snappy with everyone. The last 5K I did was a church one and so I wasn't stressed about running or starting on time. As we got closer to the start I couldn't believe my eyes, there were TONS of people there.... What had I gotten myself into?
Here is just some of the people there...... Crazy!

So I got into the running crowd about a minute before it started and then after the gun was shot I realized that I was on the wrong side of the road.. So I made my way over to the right side and started the race. Wow, Everyone warned me that the first half mile would be weaving in and out of the crowd and finding my groove.... they were right and I couldn't believe how many people were already walking....

So after getting around those that were a bit slower and finding a good grove, I started looking around and thinking about why ALL these people were here. Lisa had told me before the race that I shouldn't read any ones shirts because they would make me cry. Well she was right, I started thinking about my mother-in-law and how much it must have sucked to have Breast Cancer and then I noticed a few peoples shirts that had "In Memory of" signs on them. Immediately my thoughts turned to how grateful I was that Karolyn had been able to fight and conquer so my kids are able to know their Grandma Nelson. All of a sudden I noticed tears coming down my cheeks.... How silly I might have looked to the outside world, but quite a few thoughts were drifting through my mind, such as 1. I hope we are able to find a cure soon, 2. Please don't let Katelee have to go through this, 3. Thoughts of all the women I know who have been affected by this disease, 4. Thank you Karolyn for fighting, 5. I can't believe how many people I know that have been affected by this, it's crazy and on and on....

Here are my kids waiting for me to finish the race.....Don't they look excited?

And here I am after finishing the race.... yes I was having problems breathing and I don't know why I put my arms out like that. My final time was 26:26.......Not to shabby!

Chippendale's was there to give all of the survivors flowers and I made sure to get a picture of Karolyn with them!

We walked around and picked up all the free stuff we could which included a KFC bucket hat that Katelee left on the ENTIRE time! She will still let us put it on her head and leave it there! Silly girl!

I know I may not share my feelings about my in-laws very much, I do love them with all my heart. I am so glad to be their daughter and thankful that they are so great. Karolyn once told me that while she was going though her cancer she often thought something like this, "Karolyn, you have grand kids you haven't met yet that you need to meet!" I am so grateful for the fighter in her so that she is in her grandchildren's life! They love their Ma Ma and Grama Snickers more than words can express!

Here's to Next years Race! :)