Thursday, November 18, 2010

A look back

Every so often we cross paths with people in our lives who have really made a difference.  Many times they have  no idea how they have influenced and impacted our lives.  And it is amazing how they come at the times of great difficulty and it is a comfort to know that Lord knows us so well to send us little angels to help us get through those times.  It was just 5 years ago that I was having an incredibly difficult time in my life.  I had just returned home from my mission.  I was excited to get back into school and back into a daily routine.  Little did I know that those first few months home from my mission would be some of the hardest months of my life.

I felt so lost and confused about life.  I felt like I had fallen into a deep hole with no light and no way of getting out.  There were no stairs or ropes to help pull me out.  But the Lord, as always provided a way.  By sending me 3 angels.

I don't think that Jennifer, Gracie or Katie have any idea that they were the ones who pulled me out of that hole.  I don't think that anyone else could have done what they did.  They were my greatest set of roommates that I have ever had.  These 3 girls had been roommates before at a different complex and had just decided to try out a new place.  They had room for one more girl and were a little worried about who would fill that position and if they would fit in with them.  Luckily from the first day we became immediate friends, it might have had something to do with breaking the bar in the closet, not sure though.  (inside joke)

These girls took me in and made me feel like I had been friends with them all along.  I think that they knew I was struggling but I don't know how aware they were.  But I want them to know that they changed my life and made me such a better person.  To me that is what true friends are all about.  Every morning we got up and read our scriptures together no matter how much it took to drag Gracie out of bed.  

We took turns making dinner and always ate together.  We had apartment prayer together everyday.  And the apartment was always clean, thanks to Jennifer's' anal rules, some of which I continue to this day. (I still can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, Yuck!) It was always clean because we made a game out of it and would dance while we cleaned. 

Jennifer also taught me how to really clean a bathroom, even though to this day it is my least favorite job and I would rather pay someone to do it because it disgusts me.  Colby still rants about how amazing Jennifer is at getting a bathroom spotless.

Jennifer spent a lot of time at the bottom of the stairs.  She is quite the klutz and nearly every day, multiple times may I add, she would fall down our stairs.  Which in our particular apartment was quite dangerous because as you can see there is a stove right at the bottom.  But she was never seriously injured

Katie was always listening to me rant and rave about my life.  She is such a good listener and I really hope that she found a really good place to put that rug.  (ha ha, "it's a rug!?)

Gracie was our drama queen who was always sick.  But she has a great laugh and she created some interesting moments in our apartment.  (Crazy hair!!  Where have you been??)

These girls helped me to get back where I needed to be.  They loved me as though I had been in their circle of friends all the years they had.  Most of all they cared.  They knew when I needed a pick me up, they also knew when to literally lock me in my room till I got an assignment done. P.S. thanks for the Chocolate devotion from coldstone! 

5 years later:
4 weddings
3 children
a hand full of deployments
1 mission
a parents divorce

In the past 5 years all four of us have had our good times and our struggles, but I can honestly say that because of what they have taught me I was able to make it through mine.  I don't think that a day has gone by that I haven't thought of at least one of them.  I was fortunate to be able to attend all of their weddings but with circumstances as they are now, we are all slowly moving farther and farther away.

I hope that they all know how much I love and appreciate them.  They are amazing girls who have all accomplished so much in their lives so far.  They are all so ambitious and I cannot wait to see where life takes and them and what they accomplish along the way.


I love you guys!!!

The first two family photographs you see were done by Jennifer's sister Stephanie.  Today she has become and incredibly gifted photographer.  Please check out her blog here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You ever feel this way?

Have you ever been in a room full of people and still feel all alone?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grant's Farm

One of the many free things to do in St louis is Grant's Farm.  The Farm takes its name from our 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. In the 1850s, Grant founded and farmed a portion of the 281 acres. Today, this land is home to Grant's Farm and is preserved by the Anheuser-Busch's family.

So we made a date with a couple of our friends, Laura and Brandon and their little girl Julianna.
As part of the farm this is also where they house the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Only the finest Clydesdales become part of the Budweiser teams. The physical requirements are strict. The ideal Budweiser Clydesdale has to have the following characteristics:
  • The full-grown Clydesdale should stand 18 hands (about 6 feet) at the shoulder and weigh between 2,000 and 2,300 pounds.
  • The ideal horse is bay in color, has a blaze of white on its face, a black mane and black tail.
  • Most important, the Clydesdale will have white feathering on all four legs and feet. 

After the we saw the Clydesdale's we hopped on a tram and took a little tour of Grant's farm.  They have over 900 animals and 100 different species.

We saw long horn bulls, and I mean long horn!!


And my personal favorite.  Oreo cows!!!

They also had yaks and lots of dear.

Once off the tram we went into the goat pen.  They loved to nibble on your clothing.  But they were all so cute!  Tons of them and all different colors.

You could also buy milk and feed them, but look out if they see you have a bottle you are likely to get mauled.  Kind of how Eden reacts when she sees her bottle.

We even had to start shielding her eyes because she saw the bottles and thought she was getting fed.  I think at some point Eden kicked one of the goats.  Ooops!  

It was a really fun day!  The weather was perfect and the company was sooo fun!  We even ran into our other friends, Emily and Mike, with their boys, Krew and Sway.  It was a great day and I am glad that they boys could take a few hours away from studying and have some fun.