Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa

This past week we were able to travel back to Logan to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th Birthday.

It was great to be back where I spent most of my childhood summers (maybe part of the reason that I love Texas so much, having never really born the full brunt of a Houston summer).

There are tons of great memories that come back as we drive through town. Evening trips to Aggie Ice Cream, floating down the canal, following my dad and uncles around the golf courses of Cache County, games of capture the flag and all the summer camping trips. It always feels like I'm on vacation when I'm able to be there.

It was also great to have so many family members together. It was the first time that we'd all been together since my grandmother's funeral. I struggled to realize how old some of my younger cousins are. Most of my memories are of them as little children, but now they're getting older, graduating from high school, going to college, etc. We had so much fun being with them. It was also great to see the growing number of great-grandchildren (3).

We had dinner at a nice place in Logan with all of Grandpa's kids, grandchildren & great-grandchildren. Later that evening, there was an open house at a nearby church where all of the extended family and friends were able to attend. It was a lot of work, especially for Julie & Theresa, but it was a great day and a great time.

On top of that, being there was a great opportunity to be reminded of the great man that is my Grandpa Joe. Because we spent almost every summer there growing up, there were a lot of opportunities to learn from him.

He taught me to work hard. He had a large garden at his house in Hyde Park, and so we got to help him as he irrigated, pull weeds, pick food & prepare it for eating. We had great dinners of food straight from the garden. I also remember him always getting up early to take care of his cows.

He taught me how to fish. Some of my greatest memories are trips to Wyoming, Hyrum Dam or just up Cache Canyon to go fishing. It was always a great time, even if Grandpa had to spend most of his time helping little city kids figure it out. I also remember the time that he had to fish me out of the river.

He taught me to shoot, not that I'm any good at it. I do remember going with Grandpa and Bruce up to the mountains east of his house to shoot bb guns.

Grandpa, I hope that you had a great birthday. I know that we had a great time celebrating it with you.

Good Morning, Good Morning, It's Christmas

This is how Carli woke us up on Chirstmas morning. She said it in such a sweet, yet excited way, that it couldn't help but make you smile even though there was no way that we had had enough sleep.

We had so much fun at Christmas. Matt and I traveled to my parents house in Utah. We got their on Christmas Eve. Kammi, Kristin & Mike, and Pam were already at my parents house. Soon thereafter, Sharon and Spencer and family joined the party. Having the young ones there was the icing on the cake as Christmas is always better with kids. Early Christmas morning, Carli busted through the door and made her proclamation.

We were able to spend a week in Utah and our time there was filled with all sorts of fun. One day we went down to Provo. It was fun to walk around campus and be reminded of all the fun times we had there. It is so weird to think that I graduated from there 6 years ago. Wow, time flies.

While on campus, we went to the Museum of Art where there was an exhibit of Carl Bloch paintings. This was beautiful. He is well know for many paintings that are very familiar to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Finally, I spent lots of time shopping with Kammi. It is always fun to shop with her. One day we were even lucky enough to get Sharon to come along.

We spent an evening at my cousins house. Three of the four of the Johnson family were able to make it, and it meant so much to us that they took the time to catch up.

One night we ventured to Temple Square. It had just snowed and was freezing cold, but was still fun and beautiful.

While we were their it snowed and was fun to have Sharon's Arizona kids play in the snow and do things for the first time, like making a snow man and snow angels, snow shoveling, and throwing snow balls, to scraping windows. Cale and Carli got in the car, and it was so fun to watch their faces as Matt scraped the windows, they did not know what was going on.

I love Christmas time and we were so sad to see it end.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Better Offer...

Since we moved to Colorado, Debbie has wanted to work at The Children's Hospital in Denver. However, they only hired nurses that have Bachelor's degrees in Nursing. Debbie's Bachelor's degree is in Human Development, and her nursing degree is an Associate's degree. So even though she had applied several times, she was never able to get past the initial screening of her application. But that didn't stop me from encouraging her from applying when she told me about jobs that came open that I thought she was qualified for.

A couple of weeks ago she had a frustrating day at work, and when she came home she looked at the available jobs on their website. She found one in the operating room where she works now. So on top of the degrees that she has earned, she also was able to add a couple of years of experience to her resume as well. While one side of her was excited by the possibility of a new job at her dream hospital, she also realized that starting a new job while also starting a new RN to BSN would be very difficult. I think that she was not going to apply, but when she talked to me, I told her that she should apply anyway, and see what happened.

Well everything went great! On Thursday, they made her an offer, and she accepted. It was very hard for her to let her previous employer know, because she had really enjoyed her time there, and would probably not have left for any other hospital except The Children's Hospital. But that's how life works sometimes. When you're not really looking for it, a better opportunity finds you.