Friday, December 26, 2008

Come and Gone

Well, Christmas has come and gone. It sure came fast, and it sure left fast. I know how cliche this is, but I can't believe how fast this year has gone. It was a very busy and full year. I just wanted to write a little post telling everyone about our Christmas.
I was extremely spoiled with new pots and pans, new shirts, new books, and a beautiful diamond necklace. Ammon was spoiled with tools. He got a new level and some saw blades. His big present was a nice big jigsaw.
The best part of Christmas has been the opportunity that we have had to spend time with Ammon's family. I miss my family dearly and wish I were with them, but it is always wonderful to spend time with the Dahls.
Ammon is officially graduated now and so we are super excited to have some time off school in front of us. We probably won't be off school for too long, but until Ammon goes back for his MBA we are happy to be done. Congratulations to Ammon. He made it through school and now we are going to enter a new stage in our life together. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Card

I think there are very few things more exciting than getting mail. This time of year is especially great as we are able to read all about our friends and family and the years that they had. Since our first year of marriage, Ammon and I have noted how badly we need to send out a card for Christmas. Since that year we have managed to fail every year for four years. So, I'm going to blog our card (copying my dear Hannah's idea) and hope for better success next year.

Dearest Family and Friends,

2005: Ammon and Melanee were married in January. It was probably the fastest year of our lives. We were busy going to school and working. We enjoyed our little two car garage that had been converted into an apartment. It was a cozy little home.
Ammon had to have surgery on his arm this summer. Apparently, breaking an arm 3 years prior, never treating it, and then spending the summer using hammers (Ammon framed houses this summer) is not a good combination. After a 3 hour surgery (it was supposed to be an hour), the doctor came out to tell Melanee that Ammon's wrist was much worse than he could have imagined. All of the bones that are supposed to be tight in the wrist were loose and had to be pinned back in place. The ligament had to be tightened. And there was some bone in there that was just loose that had to be removed. But, after several months in a cast and several months of rehab, he seems to be doing well. What an adventure for our first year of marriage.

2006: Our biggest news from 2006 is that we moved in September! With the help of Ammon's brother, Enoch, we were able to purchase a little home in Provo. It is adorable and we are excited to have a little space to move around in.
Ammon managed to have a new health problem this year. Poor guy had hives for a large portion of the year. We didn't have a tub in our little garage so Melanee  bought him a kiddie pool that we would fill using a hose hooked to the sink. It was the only way he could take oatmeal baths. Draining the "tub" was also an adventure. Luckily he has been hive free for a while and has no food allergies to speak of.
The year has been filled with more school and more work. Ammon found a wonderful internship with a company called CECO Concrete Construction and was then hired to be a part time employee. Melanee is reading lots of books and enjoying classes.

2007: Our years of marriage have managed to look a lot alike in some regards. This year is no different. More work and more school. We did have a few exciting events.
Ammon was a member of the BYU Track team. He jumped his all time high this year at 6'11 2/3". It was exciting to see him soaring so high through the air. He competed at the Regional meet this year up in Oregon. Ammon's parents were kind enough to take Melanee up to the meet with them so that we could all watch as Ammon placed 5th in the big meet. It was very exciting. He was one miss away from making Nationals. We are super excited that he did so well. Congratulations Ammon!
In other exciting news. CECO wanted Ammon to become a full time employee. He is now a project manager for the company working full time and finishing up school part time. We are pretty excited to see him succeed.
Melanee has finally picked a direction with school and entered the editing program at BYU. She  is extremely excited about all the things she is learning and about the possibilities.

2008:Whew! Caught up to this year. As many of you know, this has been a challenging year in many ways. At the beginning of the year, Melanee was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and has struggled with declining health. We are hopeful that this year we will be able to find an effective treatment. With that in the background of our lives, this year has taken on a different tone from many of the past years. Melanee did finish school (barely) and is happy to be an official BYU Graduate (the first grandchild on both sides of her family to have a Bachelor's degree!). In years to come she hopes to go on and get a Masters, but there is time for that later.
Melanee has started up a little business called Stories You Share. This little business gives her the opportunity to help people record their life stories, memories, and pictures. She's excited about the possibilities. She also had the chance to design posters and other things for the Association of Personal Historians. If you're interested you can look us up on the web. Melanee was also able to become a certified Yoga instructor and hopes to start teaching a few regular classes at the beginning of 2009.
Ammon is still working away at his degree. This is his last semester of his Bachelor's degree and we couldn't be more excited. He will take his finals the week before Christmas and then we will be officially done with school. At least until Ammon goes back for his MBA. Ammon was able to manage a few big projects this year. If you have noticed the beautiful new parking structure on BYU campus next to the Tanner building then you have seen Ammon's work first hand. He was able to manage the big structure being put in place. He is currently managing a little project in Pleasant Grove that is going up fast. He loves his job. As you probably know, Ammon gets animated about very few things; namely, his job and his motorcycle. Speaking of which, we got a new motorcycle this year and have had tons of fun with it (always with helmets firmly in place).
We have added 2 furry friends to our family this year. Sandy joined us back in September and Charlie joined us just last month. While we never in this life, or the next, thought we would be dog owners (especially of 2 big dogs) we are very in love with our little friends and so happy to have them in our family. They definitely add a bit of spice to our quiet life.

Now, if you are still reading at this point then you deserve to know our "big news." Ammon and Melanee are going to be foster parents! We will begin the classes that the state requires in January. We will be getting our house inspected and passed off in the first week or so of February. And if all goes well we could have a child or two in our home by the middle of February. We are extremely excited about this new turn of events in our life and can't wait to actually have a few kids to pepper things up.

At this time of year we are especially grateful for wonderful friends and family who support us and keep us going year after year. The last four years have been wonderful, challenging, and amazing. Neither Ammon nor I would trade them or the lessons that we have learned. We love you all and wish you a very merry Christmas. We hope that you will feel the love of your Savior in your life as we have felt his love and direction in ours.

Ammon, Melanee, Sandy, and Charlie

Monday, December 8, 2008


I got tagged. Now, I sort of think tagging is silly, but I was tagged by one of my favorite people, Nikki, and so I'll have to oblige. Here goes.

8 favorite TV shows:
I haven't had TV in my home for nearly 4 years now. Ammon and I do watch The Office online and listen to BYU football on the radio, but that about does it for us.

8 Books you recommend:
1. Les Miserables (unabridged)
2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
3. The Road
4. Little Women
5. The Secret Life of Bees
6. The Goose Girl
7. Keturah and Lord Death
8. Great Expectations

8 Things that Happened Yesterday
1. Church
2. I made the best muffins
3. We had dinner with Ammon's brother's family
4. Jennifer, my sister-in-law, made the best brownies
5. We watched the office
6. Charlie jumped the fence and Sandy chewed on the Christmas lights
7. I laid on a hot pack with my soft blanket and read fiction (my favorite thing to do)
8. We listened to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional (which was great)

8 Things to Look Forward to
1. Snow (it happens to be obliging me right now)
2. Christmas
3. New Years
4. January
5. Sandy to stop her chewing phase
6. The day we can sell this house and move to a new one
7. Ammon's Graduation (only one week of class left!!!!!)
8. Finishing the project I started for my first client. I can't wait to get my business rolling.

8 Things on my wish list
See the book list on the side bar.

8 Things I love about fall
1. The smell
2. The leaves
3. The season (including all 3 holidays)
4. The temperature
5. Scarves
6. Cider
7. Fireplaces
8. Snuggling up with family

8 people to tag
1. Ammon
2. Jennifer
3. Thelma
4. anyone else
I'm really not good at this tagging thing.

Stay posted for pictures of my neighbors yard. I haven't bothered yet because, they are still going, and going, and going...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kick in the Pants

This last year has been very challenging for me. I have had so many lessons to learn. At the beginning of year I was able to deal with new challenges. I was able to shoulder the challenges of school, work, health, etc. As this year has progressed my capacity to deal with all of these things has declined. I have struggled as my body has continued to be more and more fatigued. I have had to deal with constant pain, rather than just the occasional hurt; the pain seems to always get worse, just when I think it could never hurt more. I managed to make it through school, but have been struggling to support Ammon in his last few semesters. Work is always a new challenge. This past November has been one of the blackest that I can remember in a long time. I have constantly felt completely alone and overwhelmed.
I think that December 1st has marked a change in my bleakness. I had so many birthday wishes roll in from so many people. It was wonderful to hear from people I haven't heard from or seen in years. I got calls, emails, and comments on my blog from so many friends and family. I never knew I was so loved. It is amazing how a kind word at the right time can change someone's outlook on life. I feel so blessed, loved, and supported at this time. I want to send out a big thank you to all of you! I love you all and am so thankful that you love me as well. Just when I thought I could not take it anymore and was looking out for the right ditch to roll up in I find that I am  not alone and have a network to fall back on when life gets like this. Ammon and I are so blessed. Thank you all! We love you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday

I don't write often, but when I do it is for a special purpose. Today is Melanee's birthday. What could be a more special purpose? Nine years ago was the first of Melanee's birthdays after we had met. I gave her the book The Princess Bride. It was a hit. Not only was it a movie we both enjoyed, but I found out a book is a good gift for Melanee on any occasion. The next few birthdays we were either not speaking, in different states, or in different countries. I'm glad we have been able to spend the last four birthdays together. She is an incredible woman.

We got home last night from her parents house in Idaho. It was a long day in the car with the two of us and our two dogs, but it was wonderful to spend the time with Melanee. It was wonderful to be with Melanee pretty much all day for five days while we were driving and with her family. I miss her. I know I saw her a few hours ago and I will see her in a few more, but I miss her and want to spend all day with her again.

I think true love means wanting the one you love to be able to laugh at the things you do. Whether it be a funny Youtube video or something from the Daily Universe Police Beat, we love to share things that are funny with each other. I am glad I have someone to laugh at me and with me. Melanee is good to me. I love her more than anything and hope she has a wonderful birthday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

From Our Neighbor To You

Some people like to decorate for the holidays. Our neighbor's don't decorate; they do something entirely different. Thanksgiving is pretty mild compared to Halloween and especially Christmas. We often refer to our neighbor's house as "the house that Christmas threw-up on." So, here are a few Thanksgiving pictures. Our neighbor's would like to join Ammon and Me in wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving Ammon and I are thankful for many things. We are thankful for our home, our dogs, our vehicles, our jobs, and many other worldly things. We are also grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity it gives us to become more like Christ and to work toward being with our Heavenly Father forever. We are thankful for eternal families and the fact that we will be together forever. I like to tell Ammon that just MAYBE that will be long enough for us to enjoy one another. We are so thankful for both of our families and all of our great friends. Thank you for your love and support throughout the years. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Doggy Number Two

We are nearly "officially" one of "those" families. For my birthday (which happens to be 2 weeks from now) Ammon agreed to get me...another dog! I felt like Sandy was probably lonely from all of her time alone and wanted a companion for her. Plus, I really like the feeling of rescuing a dog from the shelter. I know, I know, it's time to have kids.

Meet Charlie! He is our newest addition. He is great. He's house trained (but doesn't come inside, that's why we are only "nearly" one of those families), he love, love, loves to play fetch, and he can jump our fence without any thought at all, and has taught Sandy how to do the same. The joys.

They look a lot alike. They are both a pretty good mix of things, but they both have Australian Shepherd and Border Collie in them. We are pretty sure that Charlie has some German Shorthair as well.

Sandy and Charlie. Charlie struggles with staying sat down.

Charlie (he has a lot more white on him than Sandy)

Charlie and Sandy.

Sister and brother.

Sandy, up close and personal.

A rare moment for Charlie, he's sitting!

Charlie, waiting for me to throw the ball. He loves to fetch.

Hello Charlie and welcome to the family.

I guess we are officially insane. Two dogs! But, there are very few people in our neighborhood with fewer than four dogs, so I guess we felt we had to fit in. True, one of our dogs is the size of 8 of theirs, but what can I say? We like big dogs that can actually play and have fun with us. We are excited to have two overly excited little friends to join our family. We went from no pets to two dogs, two frogs, and sixteen fish. Whew!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Better Than Yours

I realize that in this world not just one type of person is right for everyone. But I am amazed at just how perfect my husband's type is for me. I still sit in awe at the fact that we made it through our awkward high school days, his 2 year mission, and all the drama I put us through. But here we are. Happy to have one another.
Yesterday morning was the type of day that is just too much. I'm sure the ladies reading have had these days. It was a day when every little thing added up and was weighing on me. All of my personal short comings, the fact that I need a haircut, the uncleanliness of my kitchen floor, all of that was getting me down. Plus, my body hurt (not out of the ordinary, but still not fun). Then I went to pull out the rolls I had prepared for our staff meeting. Unfortunately, I had let them rise too much and had a sheet of nasty looking rolls. No big deal. I'll just pick some up on my way to work. I turned the burner on to heat up the soup and then planned to jump in the shower. The next thing I know, I can smell burnt soup. I had carefully prepared Chicken and Wild Rice soup the night before. It was perfect...the night before. I was so upset. Then, to send me over the edge, I looked out my front window where the scouts had placed a flag for Veteran's day. Sandy had shredded it! Not just a little either, the entire flag was a wreck. So, I called Ammon crying. He assured me that it would be okay to go pick up lunch and that we would worry about the flag when he got home. I skipped my shower, wrestled the flag away from Sandy, and made it to work with random food I had bought a half hour late.
Halfway through the day I got a call from Ammon, just checking in on me. I was still upset, but at least not crying. I went to my massage after work (which helped my physical stress) and then came home. I walked in to see the messy soup all cleaned up, the dishes done, and the floor swept. And then to top off the night, Ammon took me out to dinner so we wouldn't have to bother with cooking again. What a sweet heart. He knows exactly what I need when I need it. We spent the rest of the night watching funny movies on YouTube together, laughing and talking. I'm not saying that mine is better than yours. I'm just saying that mine sure knows how to treat me. When I'm having a bad day, there are only two people in this world that can fix it, Mom and Ammon. Thank you Ammon for all that you do for me. I'd be a wreck without you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Blues

In my family it is a tradition to put up the Christmas tree on December 1st (my birthday). Up until that day we really don't listen to Christmas music or break out any decorations for Christmas. We especially don't do any of that before Thanksgiving! 

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love to see the leaves fall. I love the first and second and third snowfall of the year. I love the way it smells. I love baking. I love the feelings in the air. My family always looked forward to Halloween with great anticipation. It started off the holidays for us. Halloween was my dad's holiday. He would get so into it with us kids. It was a blast to have a chance to do some celebrating and have some fun with my dad. 

Than came Thanksgiving. When we were young we would go up to my grandparents cabin in Oregon. We would celebrate Thanksgiving and then have a mini Christmas party the next day. It was wonderful to spend four days singing AC/DC and choreographing dances to go along with the songs. 

We would come home just in time to decorate for Christmas and celebrate my birthday. The entire Fall season is sacred to us. Every Holiday gets its due. Every month has a new theme.

Well, I broke one of the rules. I have been listening to Christmas music! This year I want to skip Thanksgiving altogether and get on with Christmas. I think part of my enthusiasm is due to the fact that Ammon will finally be done with school, and we will be able to really enjoy our graduation. But I simply can't wait for December this year!

Is that wrong?

Monday, November 3, 2008

APH Conference, come and gone

For weeks I have been creating posters for the Association of Personal Historians' big conference this last weekend in Salt Lake. You  may be saying, "What is the APH?" This is an association of people that have set out to preserve the life stories and family histories of people all over the world. What a cool experience to be among other people who share my passion. 
As many of you know, I have been trying to start my own business: Stories You Share. I interviewed my Grandma once before she passed away. Since then I have thought of about a million questions that I will have to wait until the next life to ask her. And it can't be recorded on Earth. I want to save other people from having that experience. 
I now have a few new ideas for products that I hope to come out with this year. So, stay posted for details on those soon. As of right now, here are some pictures of the things I have been able to create.

I actually didn't make this. These were the cool tote bags we got at conference.

Copies of the Memory books that I have created.

The book in the middle is one that I created for a project at school, but it has a lot of good examples of what I do.

Pages from my book: An Open Book. I helped design these pages with another girl. I also wrote and edited many of the pieces:

This picture is part of my grandma's book. It is out of order.

Here is the book I helped create for my father-in-law's 60th birthday. The memories were written by his wife, children, and grandchildren. They were collected by my sister-in-law, Thelma, and then I organized them in the book (after Thelma put them in chronological order):

These are pictures of my Grandmother's book. I just barely picked this up from the press three days ago. It represents 2 years of work. It is a relief to have the finished product finally:

Just so you know, not all the books have to have a red cover, I just thought it was nice, so that's what we got for these last two.
Here are a couple of the 16 posters that I designed and had printed for the conference:

Thank you APH for all the inspiration that you have given me. I finally feel like I know where to start and am excited for next year's conference when I will have new products to share with other members, and with the general public.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Sandy

Last post today, I promise.

The Fans (a few of them)

The Boy's Fan Club supports The Boy in every sport he participates in. If you would like to join, please leave a comment with all your information and we will meet to determine if you can join and be posted on everything concerning The Boy.  Thank you for your interest.

Jared, Sera, Melanee, Ammon waiting for the game to start, all decked out in our orange.

Grandma is a faithful member of The Boy's Fan Club.

The fearless leader of The Boy's Fan Club, Dad.

Join us for all the fun and excitement.