Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Dear Friends,

I am so thankful to have had such wonderful people surround me throughout all my stages of life. I am most grateful for having been sealed to the MOST AWESOMEST husband of all time. Then adding in the best (and cutest!) kids ever?!?!? I really feel so blessed and so undeserving for so many of my blessings. I know I am not easy to live with. I am stuck in my ways and hard to reason with. I'm always right, you know. ;)

So to have met and known so many great people, most of whom are of the regular kind, living their lives quietly and humbly, and happy to be the best people they know how while leaving the limelight for others just astounds me in so many ways (yes, to those who are famous and on TV and getting showered with praise and $$$, I love you too, but a little less...ha ha). How could I have ever been so lucky??? I think it was Heavenly Father's way of countering some of the more difficult parts of life I've come to live with, which I must say are really very few; however, that brings me to my point of gratitude...

I am most grateful for the one who allowed me to become who am and I wish everyday that I still had that guidance and those arms to hug me: Mama, or Abuelita, as she had come to be known.

Dear Mama,

Thirty-five years ago today, gave birth to me. A little nugget of a person that had the spitfire soul of her daddy. You survived raising me and seeing my two big boys enter this world. Lathan still remembers you, and some days we all feel like your absence is just as fresh as it was 5 1/2 years ago. We miss you dearly.

I know that I am strong, and I know that that strength will carry me through the hard years of raising a family and beyond. You taught me well. Your lessons were received to the center of my core through your example. You loved me even though I was cruel. Those time I was ashamed to admit you were my mom because of your thick accent and/or broken English, you were patient and understanding. You served Mano and I without ever any sign of unwillingness. You made sure we were happy at all costs, I found out later, and never needed a thank you or recognition for your sacrifices. You were the MOST humble human being I've ever known. You were quiet and observant, but were quick to share a quiet, but firm opinion of my unattractive, or inappropriate behavior. Now being a mom, I see that you let a lot of things slide, but never at the cost of showing love, or support for whatever whim I may have had for pursuing different hobbies or passions (how realistic is it really to become a professional snowboarder when snow is a 4-hour commute away?).

I was a silly girl, and you loved me anyway. You loved David even more. I think back and wonder if it was because you knew what he was getting into and wanted him to feel your support. Good move. Very good move. He loves you and misses you almost as much as I do. Our boys love looking at pictures of you. It is hard on me to know that the two younger boys never had the benefit of your loving touch. How there are so many things I miss about you and so many more that I regret not knowing about you. You were my whole life for so long and yet I feel like there are things I know so little about you. I miss you. But more than that, I thank you. My greatest hope is that I can be the mother you were. Now if you were to ask me again what I want to be when I grow up, this time I will proudly say, "a dumb housewife." No tears about it all, I promise.

It seems to me that my mother was the most splendid woman I ever knew....I have met a lot of people knocking around the world since, but I have never met a more thoroughly refined woman than my mother. If I have amounted to anything, it will be due to her.-Charles Chaplin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dave's Take

So, when Griselda and I were first married, anytime one of us managed to do something well we would say, "OK, I guess you are going to be the ______ person now." With that in mind, let me explain to you how I will never be the "teach the kids how to ski" person ever.

We have been going up to Tahoe each Monday to teach our kids how to ski. Griselda takes Lathan, Kaelan, and JJ in the morning and then I take them in the afternoon. During the morning time, Haefan and I go snow shoeing for a couple of miles. He likes to yell, go, go, go, go daddy. I feel like a sled dog sometimes but that is beside the point. So, on to our story. Last weekend was like any other except that JJ said he was too tired to ski in the afternoon so it was going to be me, Lathan and Kaelan. So we decided to go up to the mid mountain area just shy of the top of the mountain. Both boys have been told numerous times to stick together and this time was no different. That being said, once we were actually off the lift and on the run, Kaelan points his skis straight and Lathan cuts right towards the trees. No sweat. I just stay above them and make sure they can get up if they fall. How naive I was. Kaelan had no intention of stopping and is half way down the mountain before I know it. Lathan is stuck up in the trees now facing backwards down hill and scared stiff. I quickly ski over hoping to quickly remedy the situation and track down Kaelan. Unfortunately Lathan is freaking out about being backwards and won't listen to my instructions on how to turn around. I finally get him to try something, he spins around and we are golden. Five minutes wasted. One of two kids still alive and well. Another kid MIA. So I start to ski ahead thinking that Lathan will be right behind me. Nope. Now he is too nervous and is proceeding to cut back and forth across the run taking five minutes to go down what was a 10 second straight away just 10 minutes ago. Finally he starts to loosen up. He heads off to the side to see if he can jump on some of the little rollers. Then I see Kaelan, surrounded by adults, lying on the ground. I quickly ski over, tell them that I am his father, explain why I wasn't around, and tell them not to worry about calling ski patrol. Kaelan evidently twisted his leg. He won't stand up. Meanwhile Lathan has now disappeared and I have reverted back to one lost and one found kid. Great. Anyway, long story short Kaelan won't get up. Falls asleep face down in the snow. Becomes a snuggle bunny for one of the field mice that runs out of the ski patrol's blanket bag, until I yank him up off the snow scaring the patrol and Kaelan half to death. Crazy how quick adrenaline kicks in when there is a moused cuddling up to your kids cheek. I had him shoulder high before that mouse even new what happened. Anyway, Kaelan gets taken down the mountain on a sled. The ski patrol is skiing like a bat out of hell. I am trying not to become another ski patrol accident / problem while still searching for Lathan. Finally I find him. I quickly ski over leaving the ski patrol and sled flying down the slope like a run away train, hoping to catch up with the ski patrol later. Lathan is standing there with another member of the ski patrol. I once again quickly explain who I am, I am the negligent father who abandons his children...blah blah blah.... anyway, she releases him to me. I then discover that he doesn't have his skis. Evidently he had to go to the bathroom so he gave his skis to someone wearing a coat like mine who said that he would watch them for him. Great...... the ski patrol lady kindly tells me that she found him wandering over by the lift and sure enough we find his skis propped up against a sign. By now Kaelan could have been abducted, sold into slavery, who knows. Griselda is now calling me every 10 secs to ask for updates after a garbled telephone conversation that took place right before Kaelan was put on the sled. The conversation pretty much went like this:

Kaelan got hurt.
I don't know I wasn't with him.
Why not?
I was with Lathan. Anyway, ski patrol is taking him down. He is fine. He says his leg hurt. Can you meet him? I have to run. I have to go find Lathan now......
love you bye...

So since I don't have time to stop and answer my phone, I sound like a cheesy wedding CD due to my choice of cool lovey ring tones for my hot wife, while carrying a pair of children skis, trying not to fall over while herding my other son in the right direction and simultaneously chastising him for leaving his skis with a stranger.

Anyway, no broken bones. Kaelan still is limping. And Griselda swears that the kids can never go skiing with me again.

Good times.