Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Great Aunt

There were over 150 people at the Garrison reunion this last weekend. I knew a very small handful of them. Ammon is very certain that there were people there that no one actually knew. They just saw that there was a party going on and parked their RV right next to the others. Free food!

What was special about this reunion was that my Grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (which won't actually happen until December 26th, but we celebrated early). What was even more special was that we were able to get together the whole family. All of my dad's siblings were there, all the first cousins and spouses were there, and all of the great grandkids were there. We haven't all been together in over 7 years. My aunt Jen and boys had to drive all the way from Kansas City to be there for this event. It was so wonderful to see so many loved faces and to be with my family again. It was wonderful to meet knew faces and find out how they were connected to the rest of us. A lot of family friends. A lot of my dad's cousins and their families, and a lot of aunts and uncles of my grandparents and parents. Oh the fun memories and stories.

While there are many things I could tell you about our time this last weekend, there is one story that made more of an impression on me than the others. I think I'll share it. The last night of the party was a busy one. Lots of conversations going on all over the place. Still a lot of people I had never met and didn't know. I was about to go get seconds on my dinner when I was stopped by a women whom I had never seen before. She seemed to be my grandmother's age. There had been plenty of belly rubbing and oohings and aahing over my growing belly the whole weekend. Everyone wanted to know when the baby was due. This woman simply grabbed me around the shoulders and said, "Honey, I don't know who you are, but I certainly hope you are pregnant." That got me laughing so hard. I told her I was pregnant and so she took the liberty of rubbing my belly and then asked who I belonged to. I said that I was Tom's oldest. And pointed to my dad. She said she felt for me. Then when I told her I was having a boy she felt even more sorry. "You need to have a girl first so you can make sure you have one. If the boys come after that than whatever, but you want the girls first...but I guess there's nothing you can do about it at this point." No not a whole lot. This woman was nuts.

Turns out this woman is my grandpa's aunt. Aunt Carol. Officially making her my great great aunt. Every family has a crazy aunt in the family. I'm happy that I've finally met ours. If you are going to come at me with an intro like "I don't know you, but I certainly hope" than you can be a friend and I'll be a fan. Ah those Garrisons. They are all insane.

More crazy stories from the weekend to come, and hopefully pictures soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oxford Comma

There are some things in life that I am very passionate about. The Oxford Comma happens to be one of them. For the uninformed, the Oxford Comma is the comma that you can choose to put in when making a list right before the and. So, if I were listing my family I can choose to say Tom, Christie, Ammon, and Melanee. Or I can choose to write it ...Ammon and Melanee, leaving out that comma. At this point in history it is really a personal decision. Most magazines and newspapers leave it out to save space. A majority of other publications still choose to use it. I am a firm believer in the Oxford Comma. I have a hard time when it is not there. I have become so passionate about it, that I am nearly to the point of never reading anything that leaves out this comma. It is important to me. If you are on the fence about the Oxford Comma I would advise you to consider using it. It just makes life more beautiful.

P.S. I can live with almost any other punctuation mistake, and am actually very guilty of making most of them. Those darn comma splices.

All the Family

At the Dahl reunion at the beginning of July we were able to have family pictures done. I'm not really a big fan of the pictures of Ammon and me, but since there have been several people asking for pictures I thought I'd go ahead and post them. I'm 6 months pregnant (24 weeks) in these photos.
The entire family, see individual families below to get names.
Goofy smile on my face, but Ammon looks good. This picture reminds us of our engagement picture.
Ta-Da! The big belly as requested.
On the wall in Ammon's parent's house you can find all of the kids engagement pictures. Someone in the family suggested that we print one of these off and place it on that wall. 
Olivia, Tabor, and Katie
Enoch, Savannah, Jennifer, Luke, and Isaiah
Edgar, Marcos, Olivia, Liliana, and Ruben
Thelma, Mark, Adam, Emma, and Braeden
Back row: Morgan, Liberty, Clarissa, Deseret, and Hyrum/ Front row: Robert, Marianne, and Carolina
The proud parents: Mark and Coralee

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

26 Years in Pictures

For your viewing pleasure I have put together some pictures of Ammon's life. Words cannot describe why we all love our Ammon. He is kind, caring, sweet, humble, creative, brilliant, etc. These pictures are not in any particular order. Enjoy.

Mark and Ammon writing a letter to Santa.

Enoch, Ammon, Mark, and Tabor

Tabor and Ammon (I'm afraid I don't know the horses names)

Braeden and Ammon in a snow fort

Mark, Ammon, and Coralee

Olivia and Ammon

Mark, Coralee, Olivia, and Ammon at the Traditional Cowboy Artists Association sale at the Cowboy Hall of Fame

Ammon, Nitesh, Alejandro (Ammon's friends)

Olivia, Ammon, Enoch, and Tabor

Ammon, Coralee, and Mark all sitting on Mark's lap (well, all but Mark of course)

Sitting: Tabor, Mark, Coralee, and Ammon/ Standing: Olivia, Thelma, Marianne, and Enoch

Yesterday Ammon turned 26. We have been married for over 4 years now and have known each other for over 10 years. Ammon and I like to talk about where we have been versus where we are now. He was such a shy kid. I have always been a talker, but Ammon was so quiet. I think maybe that is why we get along so well. I cannot say much about Ammon's life before we were married. I do know about it, but it is not part of my experience. But since we have been married we have survived many trials together. We have also owned, remodeled, and sold a home. We have "raised" two dogs (which are currently in Ammon's parents care), and have raised many many fish. We are looking forward to raising a son together soon. We have accomplished a lot and that is in just the last four years.

It is hard to describe Ammon. He is so many wonderful things that it is hard to narrow down. I think I will sum it up by saying that he makes me laugh every day. He can make me smile on even the most horrible days. He can calm down any situation that might be getting too heated. He is brilliant. Everything he does, he does well. That is the Ammon that I love. I am looking forward to many more birthdays with him.

Happy Birthday, Ammon.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's your Happy Birthday

I lived in Russia for a while teaching children English. Our younger kids picked up on a lot of things fast, but they were slow in putting some thing together. For example: when it was someone's birthday we would say, "Happy Birthday" and sing the song together. It became the sort of thing that the kids would no longer separate the words "Happy" and "Birthday." So, your birthday was no longer just your birthday, it was your Happy Birthday. The two words could not be separated.

Today was Ammon's Happy Birthday. I feel like it was a rather lame birthday as far as birthdays go, but we had a good time. He worked all day and then we went shopping for his birthday gift. We found what we want, but had to shop around to make sure we got the best deal. We have found the best deal, so tomorrow I'm going to make the big purchase. At the age of 26 you enter the "old man" stage of life and therefore need a distinguished present to go along with it. So, we will be getting him the long awaited chop saw that he has been wanting. It is going to come in handy as we build the baby his crib and as we remodel whatever house we end up in. After shopping around we went and a delicious dinner where we both ate too much. We tried to watch a movie, but gave up as the phone calls kept coming in and they were far more interesting than our movie. We always feel so loved on birthdays in this family.

Thank you to all those who helped to make Ammon's day special. I am hoping that the banana cream pie was the crowning jewel on the day, but in reality it was all the phone calls and love from all of you. I plan to post a little bit more about this birthday boy soon. In the mean time I just wanted to thank everyone for making Ammon's day special and to wish him the happiest of birthdays.

For some fun stories about our favorite Ammon check out Thelma's blog to read more stories about the Birthday boy.

I hope that on this, Ammon's Happy Birthday, he was able to feel loved and appreciated.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dahl Reunion

Ammon and I got to go to Nevada this last weekend. We were able to attend the Dahl reunion; which is always a fun event with lots of good food (thank you cousin Jessica). I know very few members of the extended Dahl family very well, but they are always very entertaining to be around. It is hard to get to know so many people. 

After the reunion Ammon's family (namely Thelma, Marianne, and Olivia) had a wonderful baby shower for us. It was very fun, and very needed. We still have very little for this baby so this was extremely helpful. We enjoyed games, good food, stimulating conversation, and gifts for the new baby. Here are some pictures of the weekend.

For those of you who wanted pregnant pictures of me, here you are. I am 6 months along (24 weeks to be exact).

Mark, Tabor, Baby Olivia, Katie, Me, and Ammon.

Jennifer, Savannah, Enoch, and Adam

Clarissa, Marianne, and Robert

Adam and Thelma

I love this picture of Luke eating his dinner.

Thank you to everyone. We really had a wonderful weekend and a wonderful shower. You guys make us feel so special!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Greatest Joys

I came to the realization today that I often post my complaints on my blog, and seldom post my joys. I am a pessimistic person. This is something I am working on. I married a man who is the complete opposite of me, and that helps me to see the brighter side. But despite my pessimistic outlook on life I know that I live a blessed and wonderful life. I am thankful for that life.

This morning Ammon and I were driving home from Pocatello (we had tried to make it home from Nevada on Sunday, but had to stop in Pocatello for the night, we were too tired to go on). Before we left our hotel room I had the strongest impression that we needed to have a family prayer to ask for safety on our trip. How thankful I am for prayer and that prayers are answered. We very narrowly escaped a horrible accident that would have landed us both in the hospital or worse. As I reflect upon this experience I realize that I am watched over and not alone. There are so many examples I could give when I know that a greater power has watched over me.

This greater power has also blessed my life for no apparent reason. I have been blessed to have family who care for me. My family puts up with all of my nagging, drama, and first-born-bossiness with grace. I know that I can be annoying. But they love me despite that. My family has let me grow and develop. They have been there through the awkward stages ready to support me. They have been there as I struggled with health issues. They have been there as I have struggled with emotional issues. They love me, which is a great blessing. And I would go to any lengths or do anything for them.

Ammon's family has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Nowhere else have I ever been so accepted by a group of people. Marianne (Ammon's oldest sister) told me a few months ago how mad she had been at me when I was in high school. She was so angry for the way I treated her brother. And I did treat him bad. I dumped him, ignored him, and generally broke his heart. It is still something I regret deeply. I put myself in her shoes and am pretty convinced that I never would have forgiven the girl that had done that to my brother. Yet I seem to be forgiven by all of Ammon's family. They make me feel so welcome that if I'm not forgiven, then they are really good at putting on a show. I trust these people and love them dearly. I feel love from them. I know that they are excited to welcome our baby, and know that he will be loved, just because he is himself. 

Even Sandy and Charlie still love us after a few months of being apart. Sandy wouldn't leave me alone she was so excited to see me. She just kept running back and forth between my legs. I cried as we left them behind again for a few more months. But soon we will have them back with us. They are a source of joy in my life. I don't know how they did it, but those two have found a very soft spot in my heart.

I am blessed to see my husband every day. Most men in his occupation get sent on out of state jobs and leave without their family. They only get to go home every other weekend. I see my husband every night. I need Ammon in my life. He is my greatest blessing.

We have a roof over our heads. We have food on our table. We have a little one on the way against the odds. We have a steady paycheck right now. We were able to sell our home. We have reliable transportation. We have educations. We have the most comfortable bed ever created. We have fun together. We laugh together. We laugh with others. So while I may vent my pessimistic side more often than I should, I do know that life is good. I know that I have more joy and happiness in my life than many people more deserving than myself. I am blessed.

Life is good. And the baby started kicking as I wrote that. He must agree.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Biggest Complaints

Look at them! I miss them, but we will finally see them this weekend!

I have two complaints about Montana:

1. The mail takes FOREVER! I have several items that I ordered and have been shipped over a week ago and they still aren't here. I miss the fast mail service in Provo. The mail lady in Provo absolutely hated our dogs and would come up with every excuse she could not to deliver our mail. But it was still faster than this. I miss that.

2. The only places to eat out are fast food or super expensive places. In some ways this has been a good thing for us. But some days you just want to eat at Zupas or Noodles and Company and that simply isn't an option here. Unless you want pizza or steak I'm afraid there aren't many other options. 

I never thought I'd miss Utah, but I really do. I'm looking forward to getting back there. In the meantime, at least we will be able to enjoy some time there this Friday. And I'll finally get to see my puppies again this weekend. Don't worry Sandy and Charlie, you are not forgotten!