About Me

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2 Girls, 2 Boys and a whole lot of noise.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My birthday

I have decided to take a minute and post about my least favorite day of the year...my birthday. It seems that every time we move, people ask you when your birthday is. I feel silly saying "well, it is the 9th of February but we don't celebrate it." People just think that I am getting old and that is why because "no one 'celebrates' their birthday after 29'. However, I have no issues with getting older (other than these funny age spots developing on my young face). My issue comes in with the day itself - and some years, the entire month. So here are my reasons why we don't celebrate.
1. My very first birthday my mom was already 2 months away from delivering my 1st nemesis, Amy.
2. After that I spend many years while this nemesis threw a fit every time my birthday came around because the attention was on her.
3. One year, I fell in the pool, which was covered in ice. (February in Idaho=cold.)
4. One year I left the garage open all night (accidentally, Dad) and we were robbed.
5. One year my mom bought my nemesis a whole new wardrobe the week before my birthday and she had to put my birthday present on Lay-away until April.
5. Our first year of marriage I told Jeremy not to do anything for my birthday because "I hate that day." I lied. (That wasn't a good year for anyone.)
6. Then 4 days before my 27th birthday, my sister, aka 'nemesis' died. (That girl spent her whole life trying to ruin 'my special day'. Now she has ruined it permanently.) I spent that year picking out her casket and burial spot. That was awesome. (sidebar: I sound kind of crude here. It is my dry sense of humor and my life experiences that have made me more of a realist with this. This was actually a very difficult time for all of us but I know that although we miss her a lot, she is perfectly happy and fine.)
7. Last year, I got a call from the hospital saying that there was a lump on my thyroid and that we needed more tests. (This was from a procedure I had done 7 months prior to this - they finally got around to the test results.) I spent the next 3 months trying to prove that it wasn't cancer.

February is just an "Ugh!" month for me. So this year all my new friends on Guam were/are struggling to come to terms with this lack of celebration because that is all we do here - celebrate everything. So this year my creative friend, Sharlae, brought me this:
I loved it.
I also did my absolute favorite thing to do, too...my taxes.
(I am not exaggerating about this either. I actually got certified to be a volunteer at an IRS-run tax center on base. I work there 2 days a week and other than the hostile, about-to-divorce couple I helped, it has been awesome.)
To make sure I wasn't a complete nerd, I went on an early morning Scuba dive too.
That's me.
So that is my story of why February 10th is my favorite day of the year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

4 years ago today...

My sister left this realm and passed to the next stage in life. I feel inclined today to post the talk I gave at her funeral. I love and miss you, Aimers!

Amy and I spent most of our lives together and she may be an angel now, but growing up with her was a different story. Now that no one is left to dispute these events, I think it is time someone sets the record straight about what really happened and tell you the real story about my time with Amy.

There was the incident when Amy was two. Amy accidentally slipped and hit her head on the television. I am not saying that I let go of her while we were playing ring around the rosy. Things just happen. I was trying to please my parents by playing with her because anytime that we got along made them happy, so although it didn’t end well, I was doing them and her a favor. I can’t help it that our hands got disconnected and she ended up meeting the television.

That was probably the start of our long and protracted childhood relationship. She was constantly trying to catch up with me and I was trying to run ahead. This went on until after we were almost out of high school.

Amy had a wild imagination. When she was seven, she convinced me that there was a man behind the TV and that we needed to call the police. My parents were walking around the "block" and had been gone for a while and there was virtually no room behind the set – not-to-mention- we had been watching the TV up until the time she said someone was behind it. But I trusted her, so we huddled on the counter and called the police. Afterwards, we realized that this was a bad idea and called them back. We asked them not to come. They said that they were required to check on us, so we let them in and told them the story. Sure enough, my parents walked in and we knew from the look on my mom’s face that we might not live to see tomorrow.
Amy was always good at making up stories. Additional random claims that there were seven men sitting on a fence, and heads bobbing down the hallway at the Stiles’ [neighbor's] house were added to her list of imaginative events. So when she registered for drama club in high school, we all knew that she would perform that roll well.
Amy also liked to help others and had empathy for her friends and family. There were many times that Amy would get food and candy out of the pantry and give it to her friends. Pretty soon we wouldn’t have any food because she gave it all away. My parents weren’t pleased with that and neither were my brothers and I.
Amy and I continued our race. When Amy was twelve she and I got into a fight on the school bus. She grabbed my hair and pulled me across the aisle with it. We both got suspended from the bus for two weeks for fighting – even though she really did start it.. Mom had to drive us to school while we worked off the citation, which she was less than pleased with. However as I look back on it now it was really quite funny. Dad grounded us the whole time to make Mom feel better about her role in this steamy incident.
Later as we grew older Amy and I started to lose interest in the race we were running and started to become friends.
I chose Amy to be a maid of honor in my wedding. During my reception, Amy disappeared. We found out later from other sources that she went to Taco Bell. Amy never liked when the attention wasn’t on her.  
These stories represent the sister I know and remember. We have spent a lot of time in recent years laughing about these and other crazy times as many families do. So I want to tell you of how precious these moments are to me.
Now I want to tell you about My Amy.
My Amy and I are only 14 months apart and we were best friends until I went to kindergarten and she couldn’t go. We struggled with friendship for a lot of years but as we grew older we grew together not apart.
My Amy was a great worker. My dad tried to make Amy and I work horses rather than daughters. Because of that, Amy and I are both dedicated to anything assigned to us. She was very organized in her workplace and worked diligently to solve problems for those she served. Her bedroom, on the other hand, was a different story entirely. But she flourished as she worked for 24 hour Fitness, and then Dr. Moore and Dr. Hickey, and was amazing at doing facials and all that girlie girl stuff. She really fine tuned her talents as she was able to work in these rolls.
My Amy loved life. She loved freedom. She loved visiting with people. In fact, if you ever sat next to her somewhere, you probably talked to her. She loved to provide service to those in need. Amy loved to laugh. Almost every picture that we have of her shows her smiling and looking beautiful.
My Amy loved her friends. She had so many it took me three days and the miracle of facebook to track them all down. Over the last few days we have had a flood of stories from many of you of the fun and loving nature that was Amy.

My Amy loved children. She always asked me while I was pregnant when that baby was coming so she could hold it. Amy loved her niece Kaitlynn. She doted on her and would come and pick her up for a girl’s day. By the time she brought her home she would have makeup all over her face. Her hair would be tied up in pony tails. Kaitlynn would be exhausted but she loved being with Amy. When Cody arrived she was equally excited. She spent many hours helping with both Kaitlynn and Cody.
My Amy taught me to be happy even when I didn’t like what might be going on around me. She made me practice phrases in a happy tone. I found myself saying “awesome” last week despite the circumstances we are dealing with and it reminded me of her.

 In St Mathew 22:37-39 when Jesus was asked which is the great commandment in the law.
37: Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38: This is the first and great commandment.
39: And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Amy was always showing love for her neighbor. It is obvious as I look out and see all the people she touched with her life. She was always ready to help someone in need. Her spirit graced family, friends and acquaintances. That light that shown so brightly is now difficult to see in this realm. However her memory will keep the glow within us until we meet again.
I want to tell you that I know that Amy is alive again. I know that I have felt her presence during this tender time. I know that she loves each and every one of you even if you didn’t know her but you are here to show your love for her and my family and that means everything to her. I know that my Savior lives and that he offered the greatest sacrifice so that we can all meet on the other side. I am certain that Amy is here today and that when you need her, just pray and she will be there.
Amy kept journals galore and we haven’t found any yet, but we did find this typed entry in a box about September 2006 through September 2007. She closed the entry with this story and although it may seem irrelevant, it is her own words and expressed the fun she loved to have all hours of the day and all throughout her life: I quote:
“At the end of the month we went to Island Park (my grandparent's cabin) for my dad's birthday.  We bought him dinner theater tickets to see "Annie Get Your Gun" at the Playmill Theater. (I have fond memories from when I was younger going there).  It was so much fun.  At the beginning they had all the special occasions get up there and get sung to so three girls sang my dad happy birthday.  It was so funny to see.  My dad was definitely uncomfortable. Then the play went on and was funny and had great acting, singing, and it was just fun for all of us to do.  My grandparents went, my Aunt Janette, cousin Callie with her friend, my Uncle David and Aunt Melody with my cousin Andrew and his friend Barry, Nathan with his 3 friends, me, Justin, Melissa and my mom and dad.  That was another good memory.”
My sister loved people and loved life and she leaves us a gaping hole, but I do not fear for her or for us. We will see her again and I feel like there are many years until that time, but for her it is like one day. Enjoy your time here. Forgive and serve others and find peace in your various circumstances. There is much to love about this life. Thank you all for making my sister what she is and for the happiness that she brought to our family. When you wear red, think if her and know that she is happy and at peace.
We love you all as Amy loved you and our Savior loves you as well. This I know!
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.