Monday, June 20, 2011


Yesterday my little "sister" celebrated her 29th birthday.  I love Lori for so many reasons, and the more I spend time with and get to know her, the more I respect and adore her.  I have many memories of Lori, now going back nearly a decade (crazy!!), which I'll forever hold dear to my heart.  I am grateful to have her in my life.  Happy Birthday, Lori Jean!

{This was taken last weekend in Salt Lake right after Jared, Lori and their sweet little Katie-Bug were sealed for time and eternity. }

Another thing that makes Lori special is that she shares a birthday with my Grandma Ruth Butterfield, who would have turned ninety-two yesterday.  I wish I'd had more time in this life with my Grandma Ruth, and the time I did have with her I wish I'd cherished more, but I am so grateful for the memories I have and for my mom's, aunts', uncle and cousins' memories, many of which they've shared with me.  My mom told me that whenever there was contention in their home growing up, whether it be a sibling squabble or someone simply having a bad day, my grandma would often sit at the piano and play "Love at Home."  To this day I can hardly get through the hymn without crying.  Yesterday, in fact, we sang it in Sacrament Meeting and I was holding back the tears.  What a strong message that quiet and simple act conveyed.  And what a gift one has when she can make a point without saying a word.  My mom says she never heard her mother raise her voice.  And she never spoke an unkind word about anyone.  It's no wonder my mom is the kind woman she is, not to mention her brother, Vee, and sisters, Pat, Carolyn and Valeri.  I am grateful for the legacy my grandma left behind and I can't wait to see her again someday.  Happy Birthday, Grandma Ruth!

{From left to right: my mom, age six, Grandma Ruth, Uncle Vee, Grandpa VeLoy and Aunt Pat}

Yesterday was also Father's Day!

When I think about the men who have touched my life, my dad instantly comes to mind.  He was, after all, the first man in my life!  I love him so much.  As far back as I can remember we've been close, and I think it's safe to say we always will be.  Some of my favorite things about my dad include his warm, loving nature, his love for his family, and how giving he is of his time.  He's never in a hurry and makes you feel as though he has all the time in the world.  To me that is invaluable.  I hope my dad knows how much I admire and love him.

{1981 & 2002: two of my favorite pictures ever taken of us. They go together so perfectly.}

{This was taken at Hogle Zoo last summer.  I think if Chloe had to choose her favorite person it would be Grandpa Roy.  She loves him more than I ever thought a five-year-old was capable of loving another human being.  There's no denying that these two have a lasting bond.}

My dad-in-law, David, has also touched my life.  He has one of the kindest hearts of any man I've ever met, and values his family greatly.  While we don't get to see much of each other, I think of him often and am grateful for his love and support.  I especially love his occasional phone calls and emails where he simply tells me that he loves and appreciates me.  Those small acts of kindness mean more to me than he knows.  I really hope to get to see him within the next few months.  It's been too long!

{This was taken during our Christmas trip to Atlanta in 2005. Chloe was just five weeks old. My, how time flies...}

Even having never met Neil's dad, Grant, who passed away when Neil was six, I still love this man like a father. Neil remembers him well, and has shared with me facts about him and memories he has. Neil's mom and his aunt and uncle have also shared with me bits and pieces of his life, and I am convinced he was an incredible man. I can't wait to meet Grant one day, and in the meantime I will continue to cherish the pictures I can hold in my hand and the fond memories others have shared of their time with him on this earth.

Yesterday I was glancing through pictures of the kids I took last week during their swim lessons and happened upon this one of Neil and Ryan, which reminded me of a picture that was taken roughly 30 years ago.

{It looks like Ryan and Neil are about the same age in these pictures.  Can you believe the similarities? And what a perfect discover to make on Father's Day!}

And finally, I must honor my husband, who is amazing in so many ways. It's pretty much impossible for me to express in words my love and appreciation for Neil, so I'm not going to try. He knows how I feel. :) He is the fun and silly father I always hoped my children would have, as well as the supportive and playful husband I always hoped I would have! Chloe and Ryan love their dad so much and watching them giggle and wrestle together on the floor brings joy to my soul.

{The kids were so excited to present their Father's Day gift to Neil. And as you can see, he shared their enthusiasm.}

I hope everyone else out there had a very Happy Father's Day!


Tami said...

Love this!

Mama/Gma Jill and Papa/Gpa Roy said...

Ohhhh my goodness. What an amazing and wonderful post. I'm soooo glad you did this! I savored every word, every photo - every person in every photo. You are so amazing to me. You have such a gift for putting these posts together. I know I'm your mom, but no one who ever experiences these posts can deny that you have this wonderful talent - this wonderful gift (which, I might add, you continue to develop so beautifully). It brings so much joy to me, and I can hardly wait to show it to Dad. Every single word you said about every single person is just perfect. I don't even know where to start, and it would take forever, so I won't say any more....just thank you.

I am so very grateful that we were all born on earth to the families we came to - that you and Neil found each other and have your sweet little family. We love all of you more than we could ever say.

Happy Happy continuing Father's Day to all the wonderful men you mentioned!

Love you all sooooo much,
Mama/Gma Jill (and Papa/ Gpa Roy too)

Rebekah said...

great stories and pictures!!