Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Proposal

Chris and Sarah this afternoon

Sarah was really looking forward to Valentines Day.  It would be her first time to enjoy that particular holiday with a sweetheart of her own.  WalMart, however, had other plans.  Chris had a class at the community college that morning, and Sarah was scheduled to work for the remainder of the day.  There just wouldn't be enough of the day left for them to spend any meaningful time together.

Their schedules conflicted for the next two days, as well, so they decided to celebrate their first Valentines Day together on Thursday instead.  Chris planned out the entire day and refused to divulge any of his schemes to Sarah.  He only told her their date would begin at 11:00 a.m.

Chris's planning paid off.  He successfully surprised Sarah with a romantic afternoon.  They took a long hike along the Mogollon Rim.  Then they took a path into the forest, where Chris spread a blanket among the tall pines and provided a picnic lunch from his backpack: elk steaks, mashed potatoes, and corn.  Personally, I'm impressed that he managed to keep it all warm for so long!

After they finished lunch, Chris sang a song he wrote for Sarah.  He's been working on it for many weeks.  He calls it "I Am Blessed."  Sarah says she cried as he sang about how they met, how they fell in love, and how she has changed his life. At the end of the song, Chris went down on one knee and asked Sarah to be his wife for eternity.

Then he gave her a Valentines teddy bear holding a red pouch.  In the pouch, Sarah found Hershey's Hugs and Kisses and, at the very bottom, an engagement ring.  They are both so excited and happy!

Sarah wearing her new engagement ring and Chris wearing the indigo-blue CTR ring that Sarah gave him for Valentine's Day.  For those of us who are LDS, CTR means "Choose the Right."  Chris said it also means "Christ the Redeemer" and "Current Temple Recommend" to him. 

Sarah, age 21, on Thursday, the day she and Chris became engaged.

Wow!  Our lives keep changing in wondrous ways.  First, Ed and I met and married.  Then Jacob left us to serve a two-year mission for the Lord.  And now my firstborn and only daughter is planning her temple wedding (probably in August).  Life is full of surprise and promise!

We are so thrilled for Chris and Sarah and wish them the brightest of futures together.  Welcome to the family, Chris!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our First Valentine Lesson

Today was our first Valentines Day.  Quite an occasion, considering that a year ago Ed and I hadn't even met yet.  That particular online anniversary is still slightly more than 6 weeks away.

Our sweetheart holiday didn't begin in a promising way.  We'd had a disagreement last night, one of those silly things we were unable to resolve before giving up and falling asleep.  Or trying to sleep, at least.  Things were still a bit cool when I left for work this morning.  It made me sad all day, and I wondered how it would be when I came home at the end of the day.

Ed grills up some chicken for dinner.

The card, chocolates, earrings, and socks I received from my ever-practical husband.
The small polka-dotted package was almost too cute to open, so I waited on that one.

Then I found a bag of gifts and a card waiting on my pillow.  I scooped them up, grabbed another small bag stuffed full of my gifts for Ed, and met him on the living room couch.  It was amazing how quickly our hearts softened when we looked upon the gifts we'd lovingly chosen for one another.

From the tiny polka-dotted box: small silver hoops studded with little diamonds.  I love them!

We completely melted as we read the tender messages inscribed inside the cards.  In seconds we were back in each other's arms.  How can a disagreement compare to the love we feel?  Funny how the traditions of a little commercial holiday can put everything back into an eternal perspective. 

Ed's gifts: chocolates, a watch, and a box of bullets.  He's a hopeless romantic!

A Valentines Day lesson: never let a day go by without sharing those sweet words of love and commitment.  Disagreements come and go, but love is meant to last forever.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Dog House

The picture above has nothing at all to do with the title of this post, but I just had to share this small slice of everyday life.  On Monday evening, Ed was washing dishes when he stabbed his thumb on the broken handle of a ceramic cup and got a nasty, deep gash.  While I can be calm in a true emergency, I get queasy when it comes to gaping wounds, so I called upon my friend Wyndie to super-glue the edges of the gash together.  We were in her kitchen (down the street from our house) when I just had to snap a shot of Wyndie, her husband, and one of their sons with their heads bent over Ed's thumb!

I've been neglecting my blog lately, mainly due to a head cold and cough that lingered for 3 weeks and sapped my energy. I made it to work each day, but after I got home there wasn't much left in me for anything but the most basic tasks.  Now that I'm all better, I have a lot of catching up to do!

Just a few blocks from our house, there used to be a thrift shop called the Dog House.  Owned by the local Humane Society, it was quite a busy little place located in an old green house that was probably built in the 1960s or thereabouts, judging by the architectural style.  When we shopped there, I used to like to imagine what it was like once upon a time, when it was a family home.  I wish I had a picture of it from its heyday.

I'm not really one to frequent thrift shops.  With my obsessive compulsive disorder, I can rarely bring myself to wear clothes that have been worn by others or use any goods that have belonged to strangers.  Luckily, my children have no problem with hand-me-downs, so there have been occasions in which we've searched the thrift stores, and the Dog House was always our first and favorite stop.  It was there that we obtained Sarah's gorgeous, black-beaded prom dress for only $20.

Our last visit to the Dog House was on Tuesday, November 23rd. It was just 6 days before we left to drive Jacob to the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah, and we were looking for a final few items like black socks and dark slacks appropriate for a brand new missionary.

At noon the following day, a fire started in the old green house and quickly roared out of control. Firefighters battled the flames for hours before they finally put it out. The good news is that everyone except the pet canary got out in time, including two dogs and two cats. The bad news is, the entire building was gutted by the blaze.

The Dog House as it appears today.

It was surreal to drive past the blackened shell of the Dog House on my way home from work on the afternoon of the fire, knowing we had been shopping there less than 24 hours earlier.  Smoke was still pouring out of the building and floating across the highway.  It made me very sad. 

For the Humane Society, who relied on the funds generated by the thrift shop, it was a heavy blow. For us, it felt like the end of an era for our family.