Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Nemesis


Alas, is there any hope for me and my laundry cave?

I have probably read every laundry tip in the universe. My sweet friend, Tiffany, even called me with a perky blue color that she said would look great on my walls and would help me want to skip in there and get it done, instead of peering around the door and dreading what was on the other side.

This is just my weakness (among many) that I need to conquer. argh. I have rationalized millions of times...if only I had a lovely big window in here, that I could gaze out while I'm folding, or if I just put my ipod in here, etc. But, let's face it...I need to just get it done!

I would much prefer to just be outside diggin' in the dirt...and so would my boys.

Have a dy-no-mite weekend! I'm off to bed...the laundry will just have to wait til tomorrow! (hehe)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Once Upon a Time...part 4

{To follow up after my Fruitful life post, the one where I bore my heart to my children on cyber-space, mind you...I started reading it to my 6 yr. old. After getting through the first paragraph, she quickly responded, "Aw, mom, that's so nice. Thanks!" Then she promptly scooted me over and started playing on Webkinz. I had to smile. She'll understand someday. But for now, Webkinz is way more appealing than finding that fruitful life!}

Now back to our program...

When I received that late phone call from Adam, I was giddy and nervous...all at the same time. It was nice to finally put a voice to all those letters; however, he happened to be sick at the time. (In fact, he usually still gets sick over holidays-must be his body's way of finally letting down). His voice sounded especially low and I commented on it. He made some charming remark about now having an attractively low voice. I laughed. I remember I felt good when I hung up the phone and that's all I remember about that first phone conversation.

It was now almost December and I had only about three weeks before the Christmas break. Finals were now setting it and it was business as usual. Then, I received a somewhat unexpected, random phone call from my Dad. Unexpected because usually it was always my mom who called to check up on me...well, actually, I usually was the one who called...still pretty often (and probably still pretty expensive). He told me he had been thinking about me and thought I should consider transferring to BYU, and maybe even for the next semester. "BYU would probably be a better fit for you." My roommate, Missy, was so homesick that she was transferring to Texas A&M for the next semester. Her leaving left me to consider something I hadn't before. He told me to just "consider" it. And, in my heart of hearts, I kept thinking that he was there. Looking back, I can't believe how inspired my Dad really was.

So, all in a rather quick flurry of events, I agreed to go to BYU, BYU accepted me for winter semester, I registered for classes...and I called Adam to let him know. My sneaky plan was to call and ask if he could help me find housing, since he was the only upper-classman I knew there...or something like that. He wasn't home when I called, so I left a message with his other roommate, Darryl, to tell him that "Alexis is transferring to BYU for the winter and could you please look around for some housing for her?" (maybe near you?!)

That weekend, I headed to Kansas City with a friend to see Phantom of the Opera, without receiving a call back from Adam quite yet. On Sunday, I called Missy to tell her I was on my way home. As we were ending our conversation, she said, "Oh...Adam called you! He said he was excited about you coming to BYU and that he would look for some housing for you!" yipes.

December 15th, I finished up Fall semester at Stephens College, said some teary good-byes to all my dear friends there and packed up for BYU!

The person I had been dating in Houston was actually leaving with his family for Christmas break, a few days after I arrived home. It was actually a good thing. Gave me some time to clear my head and decide what I really wanted to have happen here. So, during Christmas break, I actually sent Adam our family's Christmas card (complete with picture--geez, I was so daring...or crazy is more like it). He called New Year's Day to wish me a Happy New Year's and to see if I needed a ride from the airport (he's so thoughtful). His call did not come at a very good time. My mom was actually in the middle of a lecture. When she answered, her voice was not in her normal chipper say the least. He must have asked for me and I remember her telling "the person" that I was not available at the moment. "May I ask who is calling?" "Oh, Adam. (she started smiling...her voice instantly changed. She had already heard about him) Hi Adam! I'll have her call you right back."

And I did. I nailed down a difficult-to-normally-get dorm room (major blessing) and was arriving a few days before the semester began. He told me that he had to come a few days early as well, to teach his P.E. class at the elementary school. We agreed to meet at the airport and he would help me and my mom load up my boxes to take back to my new dorm room. I was excited and nervous...understandably.

It was a bright, crisp, Utah day. He would be driving a silver car and we would meet outside by baggage claim. I was wearing navy slacks, a white turtleneck, and a reddish blazer-ish thing. I spotted his car pulling up and saw him getting out. Ooo-lala. He wore jeans and a dark greyish-blue winter coat...and a bright smile. "Hi Adam! It's great to see you again. Thanks so much for helping us!"

I wasn't nervous anymore.

to be continued...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the fruitful life

To my sweet babies,

Many years from now, when you are grown and have a family and home of your own, I just want you to remember how your home smelled, looked, and felt when you were a child. We (your Daddy and I) have spent a lot of thought and action on creating a place you'll remember with fondness. As I have told you many times, the second you walk into this home of ours (as crazy as it often is), I want you to feel happy, safe, peaceful, and loved.

As you know, my dear friend April (Sister Price to you) has created such a home for her family. It's decorated with exquisite quilts she has made with incredible talent and creativity. I have also talked with you about choosing your friends wisely...and so I have.

She made this quilt (I have named, "the fruitful life") to benefit the Cancer Center at her husband's hospital. Your Daddy secretly bought this for me for Mother's Day (and our Anniversary, my birthday, the 4th of July, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day...) because he knew how much I would love it.

I have called it "The fruitful life" because that is what I want for each of you. We are trying to create a soil rich with everything you need to grow bright, beautiful, and happy. Live each day with that in mind...and you will have a life of purpose. And most importantly, remember, your tree will flourish and bear the sweetest fruit as you keep under the bright Sun...Jesus Christ. He is the source of everything good and true and joyful.

I love you, each one.

Your mama

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Once Upon a Time...part 3

{Just fyi...I feel a little redonkulus (Savannah's latest favorite and often-used word for ridiculus...from a movie, I think) sharing all of these details of our story. I hope you don't mind them all. It's for posterity...}

Okay, back to the story...

As I read the note on the walk home from the Institute building, I couldn't stop smiling. Usually when I returned home from church, the campus was still pretty quiet; however, it was mostly because everyone was still at lunch. Being who I am, I was dying to share this note with someone...anyone. My sweet mother usually was the first recipient of any news...the good, the bad, and the ugly (bless her). So, I called her. "Hey Mom!" "HI! How was church?!" I "It was great. Hey, do you remember that guy that I met last week at church, knows Rob Wirthlin, goes to BYU, etc?" "yes." (voice slinding up) "Well, he wrote me a note." hmmmm.

Of course I was going to respond and I chose my cutest stationary to respond with(it had hearts and blue Texas' on the front). I found myself writing a rather lengthy bio to him. Again, everything just flowed onto the paper. I told him about why I chose Stephens, about my family, about what I was interested studying, etc. (I'm sorry. I have all our letters together in a binder...except for this one. it's missing).

Stephens has a somewhat small campus, so every letter I sent him was dropped off in the same mailbox in the student center (no e-mail back then). By the end of the semester, I knew when the mail was picked up from the student center and I knew how long mail took to get to him...3 days.

He responded immediately to my letter. I always picked my mail up P.O Box 2464before going to lunch. This sounds terrible, but I would usually read his letter right then and there (and he would even sometimes decorate the fronts of the envelopes. He's very creative, that Adam) and then take it to lunch and read it to my entire table of friends (he always grimaces when he hears that part...and I don't blame him). So, imagine about 8 girls sitting around this great, big round table, eating in silence, listening ever so carefully to me reading his letter aloud, Oooing and ahhing at all the right moments (those girls were the you Jodi & Paige) and asking me questions at the end. They would ask me to re-read parts and would dissect it (as only girls can do). sweet memories.

So, the semester marched on. My days were filled with my small-sized classes, feminist professors, Brueger's bagels, late late nights talking and laughing and eating Papa John's pizza (which was only $4/large. those were the days) with all my newfound friends in Searcy Hall, studying for Humanities (which is still my favorite class I ever took in college. Our professor would actually play the pieces on the grand piano in our classroom, amazing), and secretly looking forward to Adam's next letter.

Now, Josh went to see Adam in October. He would always tell me all about Adam and how he thought so much of him. I told Josh that I was actually still in a relationship with someone back in Texas, so I couldn't (or shouldn't) be entering into anything with Adam (our letters were the friendly type. encouraging. upbeat). He understood and said that Adam was in a relationship with a girl back in Utah. Oh. Okay. I thought, "We're just getting to know eachother. A new friend. I like making new friends." Our letters went back and forth. We sent pictures of ourselves and our families, our favorite quotes, gorgeous red & orange fall leaves from Columbia, etc.

After returning home from the Thanksgiving holidays, I was feeling a little gutsy that Sunday night and decided to just give him a call. What?!! The girl doesn't normally do this. I know. But I did it anyway and I was nervous. His roommate (later would know as Todd)answered the phone, "Hello?" "Hi, is Adam there?" "No, He's actually not back yet. Can I take a message?" ummm. "Yes, could you just tell him that Alexis Rumsey called?" "Sure." "Thanks, bye."

He called me later that night.

to be continued...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother

Before I became a mother, I had no idea what was in-store.

How would I have known how much I would love to smell my baby or even my sweaty kids when they would fall asleep in my arms? or how I would love playing double dutch with my girls with two mismatched jump ropes that would keep hitting me in the cheek? How would I have known how much I would love drawing colorful chalk rainbows and rocketships with my kids on the patio--and then admiring them all week from my kitchen window? Or how many loads of laundry I would do? I would have never known how many times I would read The Very Hungry Caterpillar (complete with sound effects) and love every minute of it. I would have never known the excitement and thrill I would feel when my child learned how to ride their bike, perform their part in the school play, become potty-trained, learned how to cross the monkey bars or how to write their name. How would I have known that I am narcoleptic? I would have never known the sadness and concern I would feel when they would cry and say they didn't have any friends, or when they would fall off their bikes, or when they were sick in bed. I would have never known the simple joy of seeing a little dollie in some corner of the house with a blanket tucked carefully around it, or a voice calling out "MOM!" the second they walked through the door. I would never have known how many jumping-jacks I would do (without losing my uterus).

When I was about to have my second child, I talked with my mother-in-law. I voiced my nervousness, "How can I love this second baby as much as I already love Annie?" She wisely counselled, "Alexis, you're a mother. You're heart doesn't multiplies." And, so my heart has multiplied. Six times to be exact. Many times I feel it's so big it will just burst. I love being a woman. I love being a mother. I love that no one else can do for my children what I can do for them. That is a gift from Heavenly Father.

I have always wanted to be a mother...and I knew I would love it. I was trained, taught, and loved by the best.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you brilliant, loving, and wonderful mothers!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Once Upon a Time, part 2.

Well, hellllooo Adam.

I remember my questions for him coming naturally...and I don't actually remember exactly how they came out; however, I recall him being engaging and delightful (of course). Now, this was a supposed brief conversation in the foyer of the institute, but I got some pretty good information out of this short exchange.

"Are you a student at the Univ. of Missouri?"
"No, actually I attend BYU, but was working in St. Louis this summer selling pest control." (Ah! Hence the group of tanned, well-groomed young men here today!).
"Why are ya'll (of course I had to put on a little Texan charm) here in Columbia today?"
"Well, one of the guys who sold pest control with us this summer, Josh, just joined the church. He is actually from Columbia. This is his home ward. This was his first time to speak in sacrament meeting, so we decided to come and here him speak. (St. Louis is 2 hours from Columbia) We will be driving back to Utah this week to start up school."
"What are you studying at BYU?" (You handsome thing you)
"Well, I'm studying Finance, but want to go into Hospital Administration."
"Oh that's funny. My Dad is a pilot right now, but is going back to school to get his master's in healthcare administration." (of course, I'm trying to pull out any similarities I can)
"Wow! I went to the Air Force Academy to become a pilot. They were cutting down the pilot slots while I was there, and probably wouldn't get a chance to fly. I decided to transfer to BYU after my mission and go into hospital administration instead."
"The Air Force you know Rob Wirthlin?" (Now, I don't even know Rob Wirthlin. Never talked with him in my life. But, his little sister, Melissa, was a very good friend of mine. He was her older, older brother who I knew attended the USAFA. I used to see his picture on the church bulletin board. As stated before, I was trying to drag on this conversation for as long as I possibly could without getting caught!)
"Rob Wirthlin! Yeah! He was the year ahead of me (only one year? How old are you?) He used to come home with me on holidays."
"What a small world!" (It was at this moment that one of his tanned little buddies came over and nudged him that they were leaving.)
He actually seemed like he wanted to stay and finish our conversation. But, I wasn't going to just stand there and wave goodbye (please, I have too much pride). So, I said, "Well, it looks like you guys are headed out! I guess I'll see you later! Nice to meet you!"

And off I headed back down Broadway with a little skip in my step. It was a beautiful, sunny day. How cool was that?! Fun! I thought I would never, ever see that guy again; however, it sure was tingley (is that a word?) to talk with him.

I called my mom when I got back to my dorm room (which she reminded me that I called home--when it wasn't cheap--probably a couple times an hour starting off. I think she may have even changed her phone number).
"Hey mom! Guess what?! I met this really nice guy at church who knows Rob Wirthlin, is studying hospital administration like Dad, and is going to BYU." I don't remember telling her anything more. I didn't need to expound. I wasn't going to see him again, right?!

That week, I went on my merry way, completely engrossed with new classes, new friends, new life in college, etc. The following week, I attended church just like I had the previous week. I honestly didn't think another thought about he-who-must-not-be-named. I was still trying to get acquainted with everyone. Then, after the meeting, Josh (the cute blonde guy that spoke last week and sold pest control) approached me with a big smile on his face.

"Hi Alexis!" (Wow! How in the world can he remember my name?!)
"I have a note here for you from Adam!"
"Oh! Who's Adam?" (I honestly couldn't remember his name. Maybe I was just in this dream-like fog when he told me his name).
"He's the guy you were talking to after church last week!"
"Thank you!"

At that moment, I would have never guessed in a million years what would all come from that little note jotted on a sheet of yellow, legal-pad paper. (It's now in our love-archive. It's so worn and tattered from being read over and over and over again) :

You probably don't remember me, but I was visiting Josh last week & had a chance to talk to you briefly after church (the goofy looking guy in the red tie). Anyhow, I'm driving back to school and off to the wild and fun college life (or as wild and fun as it gets at BYU).
I never got the chance to find out about you, why you made the trek from TX. to MO., what you're studying, etc...I know about your family (Dad-pilot, and checking out Healthcare Administration, know Rob Wirthlin), but want to know about you. Call me crazy. So if you want to here's my address in Provo if you're ever visiting or would like to write.
Adam Y. Thunell
485 S. State #205
Provo, UT 84604
(801) 375-8336
It was great meeting you! Good luck with your schooling and college life. It is fun, so work hard and enjoy it. Hope to hear from you.
Adam Y. Thunell
(He signed his signature, so I couldn't exactly tell what his last name was. I actually thought is was 'Thornell').

To be cont...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Sorry to interrupt this program, but I have an emergency public service announcement. Adam and I have been glued to the TV for the past two nights. There is a SERIOUS fire taking over Santa Barbara right now. I just got off the phone with a friend of mine, who lives in a home in the heart of Santa Barbara, and they were just evacuated tonight...along with over 12,000 other homes! I can't even believe it. I'm in shock. She said that the fire was slowing down, but then the strong winds stirred it up again. I can hear the news right now, and they are saying that it isn't even close to slowing down and that it is 0% contained.

Just a call for prayer. please. I'm sure you'll catch all this on your news. But, hopefully this will slow down by tomorrow. Pray people.

Love you each one.

We'll be back to our other program shortly...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Once Upon a Time...part one

This past month, my friend Cherie did something very wonderful and clever. She recorded her and her husband's "story" as a little blog mini-series, leading up to their anniversary. Eventhough I have told and re-told our story a million times, I have never really documented it. So, for posterity's sake and anyone else, here it is in written form (this may be extremely uninteresting for many of you...I'll be back in regular form after June 8th). Here goes nothing.

As any good story begins...

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (actually, in the spring of 1994 & in Spring, Texas--sometimes it seems very far away)...okay, I'll be normal now...I had received two college acceptance letters (one from BYU and one from Stephens College in Columbia, MO where my mom had also gone to school). After weighing in all the pros and cons of both schools (and after much prayer), I turned to my mom just as church sacrament meeting was about to start and said, "I know where I'm going next year." "Where?!!", my mom answered with big eyes and a big smile. "Stephens."

Keep in mind that Stephens is a women's college (which suited me fine...since marriage was nowhere to be found in my upcoming plans) and the only other person I knew that was going there at that time was my roommate, Missy, from high school. So, on Thursday August 18th I just arrived and was already homesick and thinking, "What in the world am I doing here?!" My family left two days later and I must've cried for the rest of the day. Missy kept trying to comfort me and encouraged me that everything was going to be just great. (It wasn't until her family drove away later that day that I spotted her out the window chasing them down the street, that she could join me in a heap of tears.)

Anyways, while my family was still with me, they took me down to the Institute of Religion where I would be attending church for the semester. So, on Saturday night, I did something very un-Alexis-like...I prepared. The only thing in my life at that second that was still normal, dependable, and unchanging I was now an independent adult (or at least pretending to be), and I was now on my own. I dug out my iron and pressed what I would be wearing the following morning for 10 a.m. services: a periwinkle knit top and a khaki skirt...nothing fancy. The next morning, with intrepidation but a resolve and determination that this was going to be a great day, I grabbed my scriptures and marched out my door to make the trek a little ways down Broadway toward the Univ. of Missouri to my unfamiliar safehaven.

The Stephens campus was like a ghost town(as are most college campuses on Sunday mornings) and the normally busy Broadway was empty. I was alone, but I didn't feel it. As I walked through those Institute doors I felt peace and a sense of belonging(even though the only person I had met there was the Bishop--Bishop Kitchens). I found my seat in the back of the quasi-chapel which was full of other students. The meeting had already begun and the sacrament was now being passed. As I looked out the door into the hallway I had quick eye-contact with a nice looking young man wearing a light blue dress shirt, a red tie with navy blue polka-dots, and khaki slacks. He and his other friends came into the chapel after the sacrament and sat right behind me. Lucky me! I was trying to concentrate on the speaker's talk (who I think was talking about the beautiful hot-air balloons he saw in the sky that morning--a little random) and also lecturing myself on having an eye-contact moment (you know what I mean) with someone ten minutes into the first day of church. geez.

For the next two hours, I honestly was hoping that the red-tie guy would come into at least one of the classes I was attending, but he didn't. "No," I thought, "First of all, I still have a someone back in Houston that I need to be loyal to, and second, I need to meet everyone...not just the cute ones." So, after the remaining meetings were over, I began introducing myself to anyone and everyone. Pleeaase...I need friends. I was in the foyer, trying to quickly work my way over to him (who I could see out of the corner of my eye and who I was trying to listen to as closely as I could without being rude to the person I was supposed to be engaged in conversation with--I know, I ended my sentence with a's late!)

Casually, I turned to him and smiled--I couldn't help it (without seeming too desperate and too anxious)and introduced myself and shook hands with him. "Hi! I'm Alexis Rumsey." He smiled in return. "Hi! I'm Adam." ...

to be continued...