Friday, March 29, 2013

I Love Daniel Jolley

Tonight, on my way home from errands, I got a flat tire.  As you may remember, this happens pretty regularly around here.  I made my way onto the shoulder of the road.  I called Daniel, and he cheerfully said he was on his way.

When he arrived at our location, June was screaming and I was screaming in my head.  Something about being stuck on the side of the road as cars whoosh by unnerves me.  I watched each car in the rear view mirror as it would come closer and closer to me and then, seemingly at the last minute, it would dart out of the way.

It was dinner time, and June knew it.  She was not happy.  Daniel walked from his car to ours and said, "I thought you guys might be hungry, so I brought some food."  He crawled into the back of the car with us, and he fed June while I fed myself.

I wasn't quite sure if I would be able to navigate Daniel to our location.  I am terrible with directions.  So I was completely relieved when I saw Daniel because it meant this whole ordeal didn't have to be made into a bigger one.  When I saw him, I said, "I'm SO glad you found me!"

As soon as I said it, it hit me that it had a deeper meaning than I originally intended.  Daniel and I celebrated our three year anniversary on the 12th of this month.  I am sooo not a romantic and do not let Daniel know often enough how grateful I am for him.  I am SO GLAD HE FOUND ME.  So I would like to list here a few reasons I love Daniel Jolley:

1.  Daniel is a terrific husband and father.  Cliche, right?  But seriously, Daniel Jolley was born for the job.  He loves our family and loves serving our family.  While I was a little hesitant about tying the knot, he was certain and ready.  People always say, "Marriage is hard work" and I would always think "I hate hard work."  Marriage is hard work but he makes it worthwhile.

2.  Daniel is enthusiastic about whatever he is doing.  He gets extremely excited about projects he does for work and talks to me about them (for a really long time).  I never have any idea what he is talking about, but am glad that he does.

3.  Daniel is a joiner.  He has never displayed a "too cool for school" attitude, which I really appreciate.  No activity is beneath him, and he has fun everywhere he goes.  I once had a friend who asked us to go to Disneyland with her family.  She told me that she wanted us to go, particularly Daniel, because her husband would make fun of anything seemingly childish about the trip but she knew that Daniel would make the trip fun.  He would jump at the chance to travel the world, but he's also well pleased with eating leftovers and watching a movie from Redbox.

4.  Daniel is easy to like.  Whenever any of my girlfriends visits, she inevitably gets along with Daniel as well as she gets along with me.  Sometimes they make a connection over a movie they have both seen that I haven't and I have to remind everyone that the reason they even know each other is ME ME ME.

5.  Daniel loves June.  He loves his little girl and spends time with her everyday.  I hope all of that attention goes straight to her head and that she has the highest self-esteem possible.

6.  Daniel loves me.  I have never been more myself than when I am with Daniel Jolley.  He takes everything--the zany, the dramatic (only once in a great while), the zealous, the snippity snappity.

Love you, Daniel!  I'm so glad you found me!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finally . . . My Ear

My right ear piercing has been droopy for the past 5 years or so.  This past year, though, it reached the point of ridiculousness.  My earrings would just fall out, post all, through the front of my ear whenever I would bend over to pick something up.

I thought that getting it fixed would be ridiculously expensive, but I found an extremely reasonable price and set up the appointment.

The doctor, a plastic surgeon (do I sound cool when I type that?), told me that he performs loads of earlobe repairs, but mostly for people entering the military who used to wear gauges.  Interesting!!


You could see right through it.  Creepy!

Right after the procedure:

They shot me ear up with numbness, but when it wore off . . . ouch!  But only for the first day or so.

And now that I've had the stitches removed:


Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Thoughts

Lately, my mind has been focused a lot on the difficulty of losing loved ones.  There have been a few recent events that have taken my mind there.

First of all, my dad's 60th birthday would have been on March 16th.  My dad passed away four months after Daniel and I were married.  I have written many posts about Dad in my mind, but have yet to share them with my readers.  But I will.  Suffice it to say for now that my dad was my personal example of integrity.  In the three years since he has passed, I have missed him a lot but have also felt tremendous peace about his passing.  Only recently have I started to more frequently feel the deeper feelings of grief.

Also, a good friend from high school and his wife lost their newborn baby a few weeks ago.  I cannot imagine the feelings that follow such a tragic event.

This weekend, we had Stake Conference.  Elder Neil L. Andersen, a latter-day Apostle, came and called a new stake president (a man who presides over several congregations).  Elder Andersen used to be the stake president in Tampa years ago, so it was doubly fun for him to come back here.  During his talks, he focused a lot on death.  He talked about it from the eternal perspective and talked about how we will be able to look back on mortality as a fond experience.

The most meaningful thing he said, or did rather, was that he and his wife singled out a widow they knew from our stake.  Many years ago, her husband had served as the bishop of Sister Andersen's ward when Sister Andersen was a little girl.  When Elder and Sister Andersen were leaving Tampa to serve over the France Bordeaux mission, Elder Andersen had an impression that this particular former bishop and his wife would be called to serve as a senior couple in that same mission.  And they did. 

This sister's husband passed away in December after 60+ years of marriage.

So when Elder Andersen and his wife came back to Tampa this weekend, they made sure to watch out for this sister.  She ate with them and the members of the stake presidency before the meeting.  They reserved a place for her on the front row with the families of the visiting authorities.  They mentioned her and her husband throughout their talks and mentioned various memories they had of her husband.

I can't tell you what this means to me.  As a daughter of a young widow, I was so touched to see these kind gestures.  Yes, let's focus on the eternal perspective.  That spoke to me significantly, and it's a principle I have a strong testimony of.  Families are forever, and we can be reunited with our family members after this life.

But also, let's take care of our widows and those who mourn right now and not forget them or their loss.  That touched me so much.

I have received this love from so many around me since my Dad's passing.  Thanks so much for serving me and also teaching me how to serve others when they lose someone close to them.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ode to Strong Women

Awhile back, I had the opportunity to accompany a neighboring ward's Young Women's group while they sang songs at an assisted living center.  They sang oldies but goodies like "God Bless America", "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "Shake Your Bon Bon".  Ok, maybe not the last one, but they could have!  They were that talented.

I had a good ol' time playing the piano and hamming it up.  (I have just recently come out of my shell.)  Afterward, the Young Women passed out Valentine's Day cards personally addressed to each resident of the home. 

There are a few things in life that make me cry on a regular basis.  A few hundred things.  But one of them is hearing the National Anthem or other patriotic songs, like "God Bless America".  I remember a 10k my sister and I running together in Kansas City.  It was our first time ever running that far.  We were so nervous.  The National Anthem was played, and Heidi and I began tearing up at the same time.  We're sisters--two bodies with one heart.  She gets it six months of the year, and I get it the other six.  haha.  All joking aside, I love that we both have such strong feelings of patriotism.

Talking to people from our grandparents' generation is another thing that brings me to tears.  Such brave men and women who have gone through so much!  So I was a bona fide mess at the assisted living center.

I got into a long conversation with one of the residents after I asked her the simple question, "What did you do before you lived here?"  She responded, "Well, I owned horses and was the director of a camp where we taught disabled people how to ride horses.  Also, I was a glee club instructor and an aerobics instructor.  I have also written eleven novels."  I responded, "Is that all?  What did you do the rest of the week?"

Having a degree in English, I asked her more about the books she wrote.  She assured me that there was "no profanity and no pornography" in any of them.  Sold.

The resident, whose name is Sioux Dallas, told me of a book signing she was having at the home in two weeks.  I took down the information, bought one of her books, and brought June back with me so that Sioux Dallas could sign our book, a novel called Sharon.  It's a mystery novel.

I just wanted to write this experience down because Sioux was such a striking example of the type of strong, goal-achieving woman I want to be and want to raise my daughters to be.