Thursday, June 26, 2014

for good

^^ "Helping" Eric frost the cupcakes ;) ^^

I'm not sure where to begin with this post... There's so much in my heart I want to convey, and yet I find myself unsure of how to begin.

Since moving to Baltimore, one of the biggest blessings we've been given as a family would undoubtably be the friendship with these two wonderful people, Eric and Kristelle. They've taught us so much about life, marriage, parenting, service and love. We've laughed together and we've cried together. We've played games, celebrated holidays, shared some of the best meals and created memories I'll never forget.  

Madeline has been spoiled (like every child should be ;) ) during the past two years. She has these two wrapped around her finger, and all three of them seem to be pretty okay with it that way. iPhones,  iPads, cupcakes, books, snacks, movies, exploring/emptying Kristelle's purse over and over and over again.... always willing to play with her, they are saints, I tell you. It's fitting that from time to time she lovingly refers to them as "mommy" and "daddy". 

It brings a lot of peace of mind knowing that there are still people in this world like the Larsens. People who will watch your daughter when you go to the hospital to have a baby. Who are willing to wrestle your toddler through Sacrament meeting week after week (I'm going to have a meltdown the week we get back from vacation and they aren't here - count on it). They make the world a better place to live, and I'm so grateful to be able to say I know them.

I never knew what friendship could be and how much it could mean until I met Kristelle. We kind of got to know each other backwards, in that we were in a situation which forced us to get to know each other on a deeper level first, and then we learned the more trivial things from each others' lives later. And while I realize not every friendship works like that, I'm grateful that ours did. It's a beautiful thing to be able to share some of the deepest feelings, dreams and heartaches of your soul and have them received with open arms and no judgement, yet know she's willing to tell it to me straight when I need to hear it. It's great to have a friend who'll tell you there's something in your teeth or let you know there's a little hole on the back of your shirt. We've each got a shoulder for the other to cry on and it feels good to know it's available when needed. In so many ways we are completely different. Different style, opposite music tastes, different interests and talents. And yet, I don't think anybody beyond a few family members understands me better. Especially if it has anything to do with hormones ;) I am in awe at the way she has turned potentially faith shattering trials into opportunities for growth, and  chances to love others. She is one of the strongest people I know and I am better for knowing her. 

It's hard to see this phase of our lives come to and end, but I am so grateful for the time we've had together. We're going to miss them, but how lucky are we to have the technology we do today?! 

I know it's cheesy and a little over the top dramatic, but in true Sarah fashion, all I can think about is the song, "For Good" from the Broadway musical Wicked.  I think everything in life can be made better by great music ;) And what better song than one sung by two friends (a blonde and a brunette ;) ) 

...I've heard it said, 
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes the sun.
Like a stream that meets a boulder, 
halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you,
I have been changed for good.

It well may be
That we may never meet again
In this lifetime.
So let me say before we part 
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you'll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.

Like a ship blown from it's mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird 
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you
Because I knew you.
I have been changed for good...

...I do believe I have been changed for the better
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good.
I really, truly have been changed for good. And I look forward to the day we get to meet again. 

Kenosha's got great things coming it's way.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

girls night

It's great to know you have friends who are willing to stay up late eating junk food, painting nails and talking the night away like teenage girls. Also, it's maybe a little validating to find out you aren't the only one who has a rather large collection of nail polish... ;) 

I'm so grateful to be here in Baltimore getting to build friendships with all of these lovely ladies, and grateful to have had an excuse (not that we need one...) to get together and say goodbye to one who's moving on to new adventures. We're going to miss you Kristelle!

Monday, June 16, 2014

perfect weekend

^^These two are the cutest little best friends you ever did see.
(They're in front of the fountain. I know they're tiny)^^

^^Couldn't figure out what they were looking at, then I saw it^^
 ^^SPIDER! They loved watching it.^^
^^And these cute baby boys! Luke is a few months younger and gets so frustrated watching 
his buddy crawl away because he can't follow. Soon enough Luke.^^
^^There's a flower on our tomato plant!^^
^^Looks like a good little grill, right?^^
^^And then Jeremy stands next to it and you
 just can't help but laugh at how little it is^^
^^It's a Madeline sandwich!^^ 

The past couple days have been some of the best we've had in a while. Saturday we drove to the D.C. Temple on the most beautiful day of the year. It really couldn't have been more perfect weather. We went with friends so we could take turns watching the kids and each attend a Temple session with our spouse. We got to go to the Temple --TOGETHER-- for the first time in a loooonnng time. It replenished our hearts and filled our souls. It was beautiful and spiritual and what we've been missing. It was a long day, especially for the kids, but they were troopers and it was worth it. 

We've been blessed beyond what we deserve to have this family move in our building! And that would have been great, but in addition to that they have kids the same ages as ours, we go to the same church, and we've all really hit it off. Jeremy and I were commenting about how it's amazing that we've known them just a few weeks and already we're borrowing flour, watching each others' kids and she and I have started exercising together a few mornings a week. Grateful and blessed.

Sunday was beautiful as well, and a great day to celebrate the father's and father figures in our lives.  On Friday I let Jeremy open his present early so he could take it into consideration when deciding what he wanted for dinner Sunday. I was surprised to find a charcoal grill in our budget, especially after Jeremy had expressed his desire to own one, but assuming it'd be a few years yet. Needless to say he was surprised and very excited. He set it up Friday evening and we were a little surprised when we realized it was a mini-grill. We came up with about ten jokes about it and were crying we were laughing so hard. I love being married to him and I love that we get each other. I can't remember all of the jokes we said, but some of them were "You'll have to put hot pads on your knees" "It's Madeline's size!" "It's fun-size" "If R2D2 was a grill...". It still cooks great though! So we're happy.

We'd talked about having our good friends the Larsens over for dinner Sunday, but after getting home late Saturday night we weren't thinking straight and didn't buy enough food for us all. It came up at church, though, and we ended up throwing together the two meals we each had planned and it was a delicious thanksgiving in June. I keep saying it, but we are going to miss them when they move in two weeks!

It kind of felt like a celebration weekend, honoring the beginning of a new friendship and the end of this stage of friendship with others. Grateful for the temple, good food, great friends both new and old, and the chance to be here in Baltimore enjoying it all.

Monday, June 9, 2014

a few photos not to be forgotten

From a heavenly evening in May, walking through our neighborhood. Just me and my family.