The bulletin board you see above is no ordinary bulletin board. It's G's "Who I am and who I want to be" board. You see, there is a reason goals and Garrett both start with G. If I had to give G another middle name it would be goals. Or responsibility grand master. Or Efficiency. You get the idea. I really think he should market this idea though because instead of making goals once a year and then forgetting them, he makes new goals every season and re does his board. How in the haystacks are you going to keep goals if you can't even see them? So this board (mine is right next to it and not available for public viewing) is in the hallway by our bedroom where we pass it a gajillion times. Many of his goals have changed when the seasons change but his goal to get a 610 on his step three boards has been there for almost a full year. Now G isn't like 99.4% of goal making Americans who write it down and never do it. He made a specific plan to study at least an extra hour or so every night and bought these review DVD's and books. Well, that is a fine plan if you live alone and/or have a low maintenance dog. However. That plan was unable to be executed due to two things. One is me being nuts about him and wanting him to come home and play after his 14+ hours away each day. The other obstacle is best demonstrated in photos:
(Clarification: the drool on G's chin is not his own)
Juggling a time consuming church calling, a baby that wants to drool all over his face and play and a wife that can't leave him alone plus the intern year of residency has been demanding and as the boards day approached he wondered if it was wise to attempt taking it when he hadn't been able to study as he would have liked. The scores came back and we learned for the millionth time that not only does Heavenly Father really does hear and answer prayers, (duh we already knew that), but that he often answers the specific desires of our hearts sometimes just to let us know that He knows where we are what we want most. It's like the time in 8th grade I found my glow in the dark blue retainer in the CanyonView auditorium. In all His infinite power and glory and cosmic creating, it was comforting to know that Heavenly Father knew where my junior high was located and all about my glow in the dark blue retainer. This test was far more significant than a retainer as it was a direct witness of His awareness of G, of our family,and his righteous desires and efforts to balance His life. It would have been great to pass boards period. It would have been amazing to get a high score, but even more powerful and humbling to get the exact score he desired. Not 611, not 609, but exactly 610.
Coincidence? I think not. Tender mercy to the maximus? You better believe it.
Liv and I are proud of his score. We're proud of all the information in his brain but we're even more proud of what the computer scores don't show. There's no number for how many times he takes out the trash and cleans, lays on the floor reading "Fuzzy Bee" and feeding sweet potato puffs to Liv, plays rack-o, fruit ninja, has Kim Jong commemoration (and other such immature ridiculous events that he submits to) and is with me when he should be sleeping or studying. I'm so proud he passed, I'm more proud of who he is in the details of his life. It's so nice to know that on Heavenly Father's galactic to do list last Friday somewhere between creating new worlds, helping the Iowa voters feel pro Mitt, and watching over world hunger and Koreas mourning, that knowing what G put on his bulletin board was at the top of his list. I love this man.
Finally. The mother of all mornings. The morning where the air feels different and as cheesy as it sounds, there really is magic and all of a sudden I don't feel like I've had 28 birthday candles on my cake because I just want to scream with joy like I'm 5. Although I will admit that having a baby who has decided that sleeping through the night is not her thing definitely diminished the Christmas eagerness to wake up. Good thing every single one of G's siblings jumped on our bed to wake us up when it was still dark outside. I loved it.
Since our Christmas budget was on Residency status this year, Liv got a new diaper and clementine cuties. Let's just say it was well worth the money....
I was so shocked when I opened up the thing I had been secretly (ok not so secretly) yearning for...
(Matching WV shirts sponsored by Garrett's father) I was shrieking (not hard to imagine) and loving every second. I love this magical day so much.
Even though it was her first Christmas, I think Liv caught the vision because she was laughing and shrieking just like her mother and loved her presents from grandma and great grandma:
It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Even in West Virginia.
Is there anything on Earth more exciting that Christmas eve night? I say no. I'm 28 and I still feel that way. We went to our friends the Doggetts for dinner, dessert and games and then returned and had a small program that was so sincere as we discussed something that we felt like we had each been given that year. Boys in general aren't big at emotional eruptions and feeling oriented discussions, Seibold boys are even worse which made this little Christmas eve even more amazing. I loved seeing into each of their manly hearts. I truly am in awe by the people I am related to. We watched Luke 2 and then had a Christmas toast...
Since we ran out of glasses, Kody toasted with the Christmas vase...
After the toast we got our game back on and played until we couldn't stay awake any longer or laugh any harder.
I go crazy for Christmas. I love every single thing about it. I was feeling very very very sad about not being able to go to Utah for Christmas but on December 22nd Garrett's parents called and said that they were coming the next day and would be here in our hamster cage to share Christmas. I screamed. I was so excited. More than excited. I love family so much. I couldn't wait. I was so thrilled that I laid in bed until 3 am just waiting for them to pull into our 1100 square foot cozy Christmas cottage (ok, I've never called it that before but it sounds better than calling it our cramped Christmas crap).
We kicked off the morning by going to Tudors Biscuit house. Anyone on Weight Watchers should not go in to this deep fried restaurant of fatty goodness. We clogged our arteries WV style and loved every bite. I couldn't believe they really came. It was the ultimate Christmas gift.
Don't worry, if you want meatloaf for breakfast, WV has a restaurant for you....
We played non stop games. There was no where for anyone to go so we all just breathed each others air and soaked up the family rays. We had pizza for dinner, went to the movies and played more games. It was so dang fun. I love every single one of them so dang much.
We played a new fun card game and the competition was intense for the snuggie prize.
The two game champions with their prizes:
We laughed so hard and never went to sleep until you couldn't keep your eyes open or lift the wii controller one more time. It just felt so good to literally have family in every square foot of the house. I never wanted them to leave.
(B and I practicing our Christmas faces o' surprise; you can clearly see my uvula of anticipation...)
(Tanner won an iron man yoyo and Elliot won a palm reading book at the game competition)
Who knew Kody was a secret yoyo professional? It felt so good to laugh so hard and be so close (literally) to the people we love most. Sleeping accommodations were not the most spacious...
Elliot discovered a sweet unoccupied nap nook under the table....
I fell asleep every night so happy that there wasn't a way to walk through any room in our house without stepping on multiple Seibold bodies. It was so full and so happy in every sense of the word.
I do not pretend to act like I know or am emotionally involved at all with Koreas governement officials. I do however, love current events and making big deals out of nothing. SO, since there was nothing else to commemorate, on Kim Jong's (the leader of North Korea) unexpected death day, Gar came home to dinner with me and his picture. We commemorated with homeade yellow curry (I know, it's not Korean but just pretend) and chocolates from Em and Nick.
The curry was decent for its maiden voyage. While we ate I showed the CNN clip of the country's mourning and then read facts about his life. I was prepared to read the whole page of fascinating tidbits I had printed but G said I should just pick my top 3 facts. THEN it was time for the commemorative dessert:
We each got 3 pieces of paper to write 3 fortunes. Some were very good and some were not so good. G got the fortune that said he had to clean the bathroom and I got a half hour back rub. That is the luck of the Korean dessert.
Liv was very respectful during the Kim Jong commemoration even though she did not get to eat any authentic North Korean fortune cookies. Her fortune is that she was going to bed right after dinner and that she would crawl before she was 5.
I must give a shout out to the help meet. He is always a good sport when it comes to things like Kim Jong commemoration nights although we couldn't really say anything we loved about him because we had never met him. We had never been to Korea. We also don't like Korean food. But we did like the Indian curry and I liked my fortune and the bathrooms looked great after G fulfilled his fortune.
Rest in Peace Kim Jong. I hope you're enjoying the preach my gospel lessons on the other side.