Here's the big long post I was telling you about. Like I said, I no longer am even trying to get every day, but I had started this, so I figured I'd finish it.
Okay, so I was going through our wedding photos to find a picture of my parents, and I found some awesome pictures that brought back awesome memories, so most of these pictures below are from our wedding reception in California.
So first of all, I'm SOOOOOO grateful for my parents. You know how, as a kid, when you're mad at your parents you sometimes wish you had different parents. Yeah, I never did. Even when I was mad at them, I wouldn't have traded them for the world! My mom and I clashed a TON in high school (looking back I realize it's because we are so much alike, but then I felt like we were NOTHING alike), but even with all our fights, I wouldn't have ever changed her for the world. When I moved out of the house, we seriously just became best friends!!!
I remember one time I was having a hard time with something in college and I had asked a friend for advice. As I was listening to her, I realized that what I was asking her about had an indirect effect on her, and what she was telling me was a little self serving. I don't think she was consciously doing it, but she was definitely giving me advice that would be best for her, not necessarily me. Then I called my mom, and as she was giving me advice, I realized that she had absolutely nothing but my best interest at heart. It made me SOOOOOOOOOO grateful for her.
She's also been so great with my friends. My Friends always loved to be around her because she genuinely loved being around them. She's such a friendly, social person. I love her!!!
I used to joke that my mom was the reason people would come over and my dad was the reason they would stay. My dad can get deep into conversation on just about any topic! He's a great person to talk to. He's level headed and can give awesome advice. My friends used to come over all the time to ask him about whatever was on their minds. He would work insane hours, and then come home and play with us all we wanted. Even though he worked a ton, I never felt like he put us 2nd. I remember calling him when I was in KINDERGARTEN to tell him mom was being mean, and he took the time to talk to me and make me feel better. (I have no idea how I knew his number when I was in kindergarten, but I did). He was also the mediator between my mom and I all through high school. I LOVE my dad.
And now, both of them are AWESOME grandparents. Addison LOVES being with both of them! Whenever I'm talking to them on the phone, if she finds out who it is she demands to talk to them right then! My dad loves reading my kids stories and playing with them. My mom is soooo sweet with them. And every time we see her she has some new outfit or toy for them. We don't see her that often, so it's really not that much, but it's soooo cute when I get a call from my mom asking if the girls have this or that or if I think they'd like something she's found at the store. I have a feeling this may not happen quite as often as we get more grand kids in the family, but I guess that's one of the advantages of being the only grand kids. :o) They're AWESOME grandparents.
Which brings me to the next thing I'm grateful for. MY grandparents. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is my Grandpa Collyer. In addition to being quite, and dignified, and pensive, he is sooooooooo cute with his grand kids. He reminds me a lot of my dad...or I guess it's my dad that reminds me of him. I LOVE watching his face light up when he tells me of something that one of his grand kids did. He's so cute!
And this is my grandma Collyer. This is one of my favorite pictures of her too. Her personality just shines in it. She's happy, social, strong, and proud of her family. I can't think of a time that I've been with, or talked to my grandma when she hasn't told me she is proud of me. And that means so much to me! If she's proud of me, I must be doing something right!!! :o)
She's also a little sassy and headstrong. She told me this story of when she was pregnant with my dad. Her father in law, who was from England and was VERY proper, was accompanying her to a doctor's appointment. He was also very old at the time. But he insisted that she not go to the doctor's appointment alone. He also insisted on opening the door for her & escorting her. She said that she remembered him getting out of the car with his cane and kind of hobbling to the front of the car, and having to take a rest at the front of the car. Then he walked across the front of the car and had to take a rest at the other side of the front of the car, then he slowly got to her door and opened it. Then he took her arm and insisted on escorting her. I'm listening to her thinking, "Oh how cute." But she was thinking this was just so ridiculous, she was perfectly fine and could get there by herself a lot faster. Te he he. Sassy lady. She's so funny.
She also used to play softball. She was the pitcher, and she used to pitch, and would bring all her small children to the game to play. Having kids wasn't going to stop her from doing something she loved. AWESOME. I love you grandma.
These are my grandma and grandpa Timms. I just got to go down and visit them last week (The Tuesday before Thanksgiving.) It was GREAT! My grandpa is just so handsome. When I think of big band dancing, I think of him...I'm not entirely sure why. I know he loves to dance, and I know he loves big band music, so I guess I put the two together. He's always so happy to see me too. It makes me feel very loved.Teresa, his wife, is AWESOME too! My grandma Dorothy had a stroke when I was very young, so my memories of her are mostly after that when she couldn't communicate very well and do very much. I treasure the memories I had of her, but because of the stroke we just couldn't interact much. We didn't get to see much of my grandpa when he was married to Dee, so I didn't have many memories of her from before she died either. Teresa makes up for all those years of not really having a grandma on this side! She's amazing!!! She's friendly, outgoing, an amazing cook, a spiritual giant, fun, has the patience of Job, and just about anything else you could want in a grandma. I love her soooo much!
And finally, family friends. As I mentioned, I was looking through our reception photos for pictures of my parents, and I came across several pictures of some family friends that I just treasure.
This is Jim (and his wife Suzie in the background). Although I have always been close to my grandparents, they both lived relatively far away. Jim and Suzie were our surrogate grandparents that lived close. Suzie even came and watched us kids when my youngest sister was born. Jim is an amazing architect. He's designed many things including the HFAC, the revolving restaurant at LAX, and several princes homes in Iran. He's an amazing person.This is Doug. Doug was famous for giving all the women he knew these great hugs! He always decorated his home with incredible Christmas decorations (like we're talking working trains and Ferris wheels) and then would sit out several times during the season and be Santa for neighborhood kids to come and sit on his lap. I have several memories of singing "Santa Baby" to him. It was awesome. He and his wife Judy are amazing people.
When I first went off to college, a few months into my first semester, my roommate yelled back to me that I had a phone call. When I got on the phone it was Doug. He said that he had just been thinking of me and was calling to see how college was! I talked to him a little bit and told him about classes and roommates and boys. When I hung up, I remember I was soooooo happy! It seriously just made my day that not only was he thinking about me, but that he would take the time to call and see how I was doing! It was sooo sweet!!! Doug passed away last year, and going home just isn't the same with out him. I feel like there's a hole in the community now that will just never quite be filled. I sure miss him.
This is Mike. He, his wife Karalee, and their girls are good friends with our family too. Mike and Karalee grew up in Spanish Fork, so they were really excited when they found out we moved there. Mike is a doctor, so whenever there was something wrong with us kids, my mom would call him first to see what he thought. Bart also loves Mike. When we lived with my parents for a summer, Mike took Bart to a dodger game. I think they bonded there because ever since he has just always loved Mike. His wife Karalee is amazingly creative. She does amazing things with...well...just about anything. One of the things on her incredible resume is helping to decorate Disneyland at Christmas time...no small task!And this....THIS is Doyle. Ahhh Doyle. I must let the pictures speak for themselves for a minute, then I'll tell you one of the millions of stories we have about Doyle.Ah Lindsey, we've all felt that way around Doyle from time to time.Doyle with Karalee and their oldest daughter Ari.Doyle and Mike...Leonard, I'm sure, is thinking, "Who the heck is this crazy guy!?!"Okay I'll tell you the story now. (It kind of fits with the picture below.) ;o) When my parents first moved to La Crescenta, my mom was SUPER pregnant with twins. Their first day at church, Doyle came up to them to find out who they were. When he found out they had moved into their ward, he turned to my mom and said, "All right!!! Another foxy blond in the ward!" My mom thought, "Who the heck is this guy?!?!" It turns out he was the Bishop. He also went on to be in our stake presidency later. Oh Doyle. You are the spice that brightens up our sometimes otherwise bland world.And these...well, these are all kids I used to babysit...including a few of my siblings. This was seriously one of the most awesome things anyone has ever done for me. All growing up I loved Sleeping Beauty. When I was little it was the first movie I ever remember seeing in the theatre...at least I think it was the theatre, I was very young. When I was older, I loved it because I loved sleeping in...just kidding...sort of.
Anyway, at my reception, they announced they had prepared a surprise for me, and all of these kids I used to babysit got up on stage with bells, and played the theme song to Sleeping Beauty FLAWLESSLY!!! I have played those bells before and that is NO SMALL TASK!!! It was amazing. As they were up there concentrating on the music in front of them, I pictured them getting together at Evelyn's house (who is another family friend and, I KNOW, is the reason they played so flawlessly) working for hours practicing to get every note right. It seriously just meant sooooooo much to me! I don't think I could have asked for a better surprise.
This is just a tiny list of all the family friends I could put up here. The determining factor was pictures I had, which really isn't the best filter, but it was the one I had, so I used it. I am so very grateful for family friends who make me recall memories like these soooo fondly. I'm pretty sure there's an old saying that goes, "Friends are the family you choose." I'm grateful for all the "family" that just makes my heart swell when I think of them.