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.