On Monday, Tad's Grandma passed away. I first met her when Tad and I were dating and I went down to his house for Thanksgiving. She was such a sweet, gentle person. She had alzheimer's and so it was always interesting to be around her. I remember one afternoon everyone was outside and we were just watching from the balcony. She and I were talking about different things and then the conversation turned to Tad. She kept saying what a sweetheart he was. Then she surprised me when she said, "Have you met his wife? She is a sweetie too. And his family is so sweet." It was pretty funny, for a second I had to reevaluate my relationship with Tad. Anyway, she was always working or at least trying to. That is one thing I have loved about Tad's Grandma and his mom. They are so determined and are always trying to do good. It has helped me to try to focus on being a doer. If you'd like to know more about her, I have her obituary below. (I know this is not the best picture, but doesn't she look like an angel?) We will miss you Grandma, but we are happy to know that you live on and are able to be with your loving husband and your son! We love you!
Donna Mae Harrington MacDougall, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, peacefully passed away Monday, December 6, 2010, in Utah where she has resided for the last four years and also spent her youth. For 65 of her 90 years her love of of Utah's mountains has combined with Carlsbad beaches, sun and wonderful people. Soon after being born in Blackfoot, Idaho on December 30, 1919, her parents, Reuel and Serretta Harrington, moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Graduating from high school at 16, Donna attended the University of Utah choosing a career as a teacher. Years later, as a teacher at Magnolia School, she became known for her proficiency in teaching children to read. The day she was introduced to a handsome football player from Seattle named "Bud" MacDougall is "when her life really began." Falling in love immediately, their courtship via mail culminated in a marriage rushed by WWII, on February 5, 1942. Years of war and separation ended in 1945 creating "delirious joy!" Life's center now became her husband, her four children and many dear friends. A love affair with the California coast began in Long Beach and ended with her favorite hilltop home over looking Carlsbad's ocean, built by her beloved husband, who passed away in 1985. Their Carlsbad experience began on a 40 acre chicken ranch in 1954. On her own, she expanded talents in photography, calligraphy, poetry and gardening and was a tireless supporter of family and community activities. A highlight of Donna's life has been her active involvement as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a widow, she determined to serve a mission for the LDS church in Little Rock, Ark., with much success. Returning home, she served 10 years working in the Los Angeles and San Diego LDS temples. She has provided her community, her church and her family with love and strength throughout her entire life, and has given selflessly in the service of others. We love and honor her. Now enjoying her greatest view, she is where she can truly "see forever." Donna was preceeded in death by her husband, Allan K. MacDougall; and her son, Bruce Duncan MacDougall. She is survived by a son, Dr. Allan B. MacDougall and daughter, Merrilee Dickerson, both of Carlsbad; and daughter, Lisbeth Ann Carluccio, Lehi, UT. She has 21 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
Can I just say how much I love Christmas time?! Isn't it the most wonderful time of the year? No, really, I'm not just quoting the song. If that wasn't a song already, I might have written it myself.
We went this past weekend to get a tree. After looking into a few different places we decided to go check out this small little place first. We got there and it was a small lot, but there were so many people there ready to help us the moment we stepped out of the car. We caved in and bought a shortish, chubby tree. After we settled on one, we found out the lot was run by a guy who was over all the priests in his ward. So all these 16-17 year old boys were there pulling out tree after tree for us to look at and hefting the tree on our van when we picked ours out. They were all so nice. All the proceeds were going to their quorum too. How fun for them! So we got it home after we stopped by the store for some hot cocoa and pizza and couldn't believe what had just bought. It is soooo fat! We've trimmed it up a LOT, but it's still pretty hefty. I love it! It's been hard to try and find a place for it, but we finally did and Afton and I have loved decorating it. She hung up half of the ornaments herself. What a good little helper.
Also, this year will be our first year at home with our little family. We used to switch off between families, but this year due to expenses and time we will be having it here. I'm actually really excited because we get to be completely in charge of everything. We get to start our own traditions. We get to be super tired Christmas Eve night and get woken up at the crack of dawn to see some beaming eyes and smiles from ear to ear. Love it!
I have felt very blessed these past few months and I can't contain myself. It's come out in Christmas cheer and of course I love giving presents. I have been able to come up with presents for the girls and my family that are not expensive, but still express how much I love them by the work I put into their gifts. I'm excited. I love giving gifts and I love being prepared and not having to procrastinate. It helps me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. This year we have an advent calendar that shares a little message, song, and activity to do each day. It's been wonderful to read about Christ everyday to help remind us of Him during this busy season. We also have a little felt nativity advent calendar. Afton has loved putting up a felt character everyday and finding a little treat waiting for her.
My goal is to be like this 365 days of the year. How awesome would a year be if this is what I thought about and experienced everyday?
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and don't get too swept away with shopping and stress, but that you are able to remember our sweet Savior who was born into this world to save us all!
This following post is a shout out to one of my best friends ever! Alesha was an amazing roommate! She was selfless, funny, driven, and beautiful. She was always a good example of dedication to right. She was also a great example of being child-like. Now we have all gone our own ways, and I miss these girls more than ever! Meagan was...well...I don't think I can sum up what she has meant to me in just a few words, so Meagers if you ever read this, just know that words cannot describe how grateful I am for you and your friendship. You were always there for me, always! And I hope that you can say the same about me. Amanda was only with us for a little bit, but seeing her and Alesha doing some crazy thing when Meg and I got home at the end of the day made college awesome! Amanda was like our mom, just keeping us focused on life and making us feel amazing all the time. Shila was super funny. We were all nervous about who our new roomie would be and we could not have asked for anyone better! Shila was such a good example of strength, in self and in the gospel. She always worked hard in everything. She made us all laugh, and had the patience with our individual weirdness. She was a great friend always there to comfort and just be there. We also had Elizabeth join the mix, before I went and dropped off the face of the earth (got married). Elizabeth was hilarious. She added the party to our apartment for sure. She is super sweet and just fun to be around.
We had so much fun together and they made my college experience better than I could have ever hoped for. They were all angels to me in my life and I will never forget the most amazing girls EVER!
Well, Alesha May, here you go!
1. What is your occupation? mommy and wife! (Best jobs EVER)
2. What color are your socks right now? Just some freezing bare feet
3. What are you listening to right now? Umm....honestly, Little Einsteins, but not by my choice
4. Can you drive a stick shift? Can I drive a stick, chya, you betcha!
5. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? that really awesome blue color that I don't know how to spell or say (cerulean maybe)
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my sister, Beffy
7. How old are you today? 26
8. Favorite Drink? Two: Lemon-lime powerade, and Dr. Pepper, not together
9. What was the last movie you watched? Harry Potter 7 (AmAzInG!)
10. Favorite holiday of the year? Christmas, of course
11. What do you do to vent anger? Clean, clean, and more clean (You'd think my house would be spotless)
12. What was your favorite toy as a child? I don't really remember, but I had one of those barbie cases that you open up and is a little closet and barbie holder.
13. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Fall, the smell, the colors, the holidays, what could be better!
14. Hugs or kisses? I'm a hug person
15. Cherries or blueberries? Both, lover of berries
16. When was the last time you cried? I don't like to cry, I try to hold it in, so I don't really remember, but my guess is a couple months ago.
17. What did you do last night? Went to choir practice, chit-chatted and listened to my hubby venting (I actually like this), and watched Psych (hilarious)!
18. Favorite smells? The smell of fall, fresh snow, my baby girl, baked deliciousness and my husbands cologne
19. What inspires you? Good people doing good for no reward, good books, good music, and my Savior
20. What are you afraid of? Disappointing people and not being a good mother and wife, doing all I can to the best of my knowledge
21. Favorite place you've ever been? Wherever the family is and we can all get together, but Carlsbad, California is a tight second (beautiful!!)
22. How many states have you lived in? Three
23. Favorite day of the week? All days are pretty much the same, but I'm a big fan of Saturday when we all get to be together!
24. Who is your favorite NFL team? Not a big NFL fan, but I LOVE the Texas Longhorns (except they are awful this season)
25. Who's next? Not a big fan of these things, but I mentioned you as one of my roomies considered yourself next, if you want! Love you girls!
Sorry Shila and Amanda. I don't have any pictures of you guys! :(
Thanksgiving week was amazing! We loved every minute of it. The Thursday before the girls and I drove down to get Jon and Leisha from the Salt Lake City Airport. It actually went by faster than I thought it would. Then we went to lunch and headed straight back. We got home and didn't do much. We just chilled and watched some games. We were waiting for Bethy to come over, but Jon and Leisha fell asleep. Too bad for B.
The next day we hung out, played out in the snow, went grocery shopping and made plans for the rest of the week. Of course that night we had to go see the new Harry Potter. It was awesome!! And right after we all wanted to go see it again. (Except for Tad and Jon.) On Saturday, Bethy, Leisha and I went dress shopping. (The Dress!) The boys stayed home and watched games all day, while we shopped. It was crazy, but super fun. I think we found a good one for Bethy, but she won't be up here much longer, so we'll have to see. The next few days we just spent in the snow, as it kept piling on. We went sledding and took the snowboard down the sledding hill. Craziness! The sledding was fun but some days the wind was insane leaving everyone with chapped, red faces! Hehehe! Leisha made some good runs, Bethy tried it but got frustrated, I did it once and fell of course (it's a bit different doing a small hill than a ski run), Tad did it a few times and Jon did it twice I think before he messed up the knee. Oh dear!
Along with the constant sledding we had constant football on. It was fun just sitting together and watching games. And on top of all that, Lela could not get enough of Nerts/Pounce. It's a pretty fun game if you've never played it. We played it once and I don't think there was a day that we didn't play it. We also played lots of pictionary and the Last Word. On Tuesday we finished up birthday shopping, so on Wednesday we celebrated Lela and Reesa's birthdays. We had meatball sandwiches for dinner, had cake and cupcakes, and opened presents. If anyone didn't know before, my sister is so spoiled by her husband. She is not a high maintenance girl at all, but she sure does love her presents. It was fun to see her and Reesa so excited to have gifts.
For Leisha's birthday on Wednesday night, we got a babysitter after the girls went to bed so we could go play. We went to this place in town called Fat Cats and played blacklight mini-golf. We also wanted to play this nerf game called Balladium (Oh Balladium), but it was broken, so they say. So we played bowling instead. We played a few arcade games too, and overall it was a girls dominate night! (No cheating of course!)
Thursday we got prepped for dinner and while everyone was out sledding/snowboarding, Reesa and I made food, food and more food. I'll just list off the deliciousness we had: moist, flavorful turkey, warm homemade wheat rolls, super soft mashed potatoes, amazing sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top, of course we had gravy for all those potatoes and turkey, asparagus sautéed with bacon, cranberry sauce, our pickle and olive plate, cheese ball with crackers and summer sausage, jello salad with mandarin oranges, and fluffy stuffing. Pretty much the best Thanksgiving dinner EVER!
So it was pretty much one of the best Thanksgivings ever! It would have been the BEST had all the family come, but maybe one day. We missed you guys! (Grammy, Poppy, Aaron, Tyler and Ryan.) I am so grateful for family! I love that we all get along, and that we have a means of seeing each other at least once a year. I love that our Father in Heaven has blessed us with the ability to have families and that we have a loving Savior and Father in Heaven who care for us and show us that we are loved every day! What an amazing life we are given!
I left this one big, because it is the best picture ever!! I love this one. Reesa was enjoying an oreo ball and smiled at me so I tried a couple times to get a good picture and finally got this one! So worth it!
We all turned into goobers in the car ride back down. We were so sad to see you guys go! Even you Jon. By the way, next time you give a little face tap, I'm takin' you down. (And by I, I mean me, Tad, Lela, Afton, Bethy and so forth. Just to ensure that we get you good and I don't get overpowered! Hehehe!)