Friday, June 28, 2013

My Friend Emily

One of my best friends from my life got married last week. Emily and I have a long history together.

I moved to Boise, Idaho the summer before 6th grade. I met Emily at my new elementary school. I remember because she was smarter than me and got more AR points than I did. The summer after 6th grade we "graduated" and went swimming and listened to Vitamin C's "Graduation Song" and thought we were so old.

A Valentine Emily made me in our 6th grade class

We traveled to junior high together. There we became best friends. We were in choir together and did everything together. We ran the choir activities together, we went to choir lock-ins and on choir trips, we set trends with our Pasco hats and our "Your Mom" Seahorse. We sang a lot of really good music together that gives you chills. We took all of our accelerated classes together. We were in National Honor Society and got to do cool service projects right along side each other. We dressed up for dances together and liked the same music and we lived in the same neighborhood.

Pasco hats and Your Mom the Seahorse

We kept a red, tattered "notebook" where we wrote notes to each other back and forth, and we promised each other we would grow up and marry cowboys and have ranches right next to each other.

Getting ready for dances

A Halloween Dance

And we met some new friends. In our math class, we made friends with Bret, Chase, and Emily. We became the "math club" as we called ourselves, and we thought we were pretty cool. We would write notes to each other and ate lunch together and they would come visit me when I worked at Maggie Moo's. Every year, at the end of the school year, we would walk down to Pizza Hut with a bunch of friends and order a veggie pizza. Over the summer we would send each other post cards from our various travels, or trinkets on our birthday. One year Emily sent me some cowboy hat earrings, to remind me of what we were going to do.

The "Math Club" Chase, Emily, Emily, Ashley, & Bret

A note on my 15th birthday

The next year we moved up to high school. I can still remember the morning Emily and I walked to our first day of high school together. It was a cool August morning, and she was telling me what a big step this was for her, as the oldest in her family, and how she had dreamed of this day and here it was. We continued to be BFFs with our "Math Club" friends, since we were all in accelerated classes together. Emily and I continued to do choir together, and ran the spotlight committee and made it fun and everyone enjoyed it.

First day of high school

Then, surprise, I moved to Horseshoe Bend, 45 minutes away. We were devastated to part, and promised to keep in touch. And we did. We would actually write each other letters, snail mail style. I wasn't as good at keeping in touch as I should have been. Several months after the fact, I found out that Emily had been extremely ill and spent a lot of time in the hospital. I never knew. I still feel bad about that. A few times I came down there for choir concerts or dances. A few times the "Math Club" came up to my games or graduation or bonfires. Everyone has fond memories of those bonfires, where we could see the stars and laugh and catch-up. Emily M. made us awesome shirts with the lyrics from our favorite band, The Format. And everyone remembers how we went out on the roof next to my bedroom window and my dad came and found us and got mad so everybody went home.

Then we were off to college. And now seven years later, I got to go to her wedding.

A lot of people change over the years, but not Emily. She has always been consistently this: interested in others, level-headed, and someone you can rely on. She taught me what a good friend looks like. She has always been someone I looked up to. She is so kind, so willing to help, a friend to the friendless. She seeks out ways to serve, even in her schooling and professional life. She exemplifies for me what a good Christian is, what I want to be. There is nothing pretentious about her, and she does not feel she deserves the praise she gets. She is dedicated in all aspects of her life, her running, her schooling, her devotion to her religion.

I remember in high school she got made the Homecoming Queen. I was a little surprised, that was not something that happened to someone from our "crowd." I like to believe it was because of the kind of person that she is, she is a friend to everybody. She leaves an impact on people. I remember I used to be jealous of the relationships she would have with teachers, advisers, coaches. They respected her, remembered her, and loved her. She shows everyone deference, and loves them for helping her. And you cannot help but love her back.

I do not know the man she married, Zach. I met him briefly at the wedding, he was tall and had a firm handshake (and Ben admired his beard). But he must be something special, if Emily loves him. And I'm sure I would get along with him if he is someone Emily respects and admires.

I felt like I should tell him what a sweet deal he was getting, how happy he would be the rest of his life, how he would never regret this choice. But something told me he already knew that. And somehow I knew that he really was worthy of her.

How grateful I am for Christ-like friends.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Meaningful Life: Charitable Giving

I don't want to leave the "money" discussion without talking about charitable giving. Although I believe in being prudent and pinching pennies, I don't believe you should be prudent or calculated in giving to others.

As Mormons, we already give a ten percent tithe, which God blesses us abundantly for. I feel like money is such a fluid blessing, it's not something you earn but is more like something you have stewardship over. So I try to find ways in our life that we can give more, spread it around a little since it's not mine in the first place.

Ben and I hope to find a place for it in the way we do business, if we ever have the opportunity to own our own business. It includes how you treat people on a day-to-day basis. To me, charitable giving is not a one time event or just something to be "done," but is a part of who you are, and therefore permeates into every aspect of your life. A cycle of using and reusing, giving and being given to.

Some people think this is the government's responsibility, to spread around wealth. I see it as an individual responsibility as a disciple of Christ.

There are so many opportunities to give. Helping out a sibling. Passing down furniture. Giving a ride. Bringing dinners. Giving a thoughtful gift. Donating time. Simply giving money to someone you know in need. Just being more free with "your" resources. God has blessed us with so much, hasn't he? Every time I help someone I am reminded of what I have. And my gratitude for God's gifts, for my daily life, increases.

How grateful I am for the opportunity to give and learn from it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4 Years

Today is our 4 year anniversary! We are driving up to Idaho today for a family reunion, but I wanted to post some things I had been thinking about, in honor of our special day.

This year one of the major ways my love for Ben has grown has been in admiration. I used to think admiration was a stepping stone to romantic love, just one step on the way to something more grand. But it has been more than that for me.

It has grown out of the daily struggle. Seeing him work and toil for us. Countless experiences that have added up to the "man" I see in front of me everyday.

It has put a unique spin on this "true love," "romantic love" I feel for Ben.

As a consequence my feelings for him are so much richer and deeper, multi-faceted.

It makes these feelings of love come automatically each time I see him.

There are so many things to admire about Ben. I admire his strengths, the things he is good at. I admire his loyalty to his family. His drive. I admire his skills and unique talents. So many things he is able to do, and to do well, that man! I feel honored to be his wife. He most certainly is my hero come to life.

And unlike the withering flames of attraction or reciprocal love that one can blindly focus on, this admiration grows stronger and stronger each passing year, it cannot be put out.

Oh how I cherish the man that is Ben Dilsaver!

Happy four years to the love of my life.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


We were surprised to find out I was pregnant a few months ago.

However, I know life is precious, and although this is not how I would have planned it, I am grateful for the opportunity to carry another child into this world.

Cheyenne 11/24/10
(20 months) planned
Delaney 7/14/12
(16 months) surprise!
Baby boy due 11/28/13
                                 ----Three kids in three years

I am quite apprehensive about the craziness that will be my life when this baby arrives. But I am confident that by putting my faith in God we will all turn out okay.

We are excited to add an addition to our family! And especially a BOY, I cannot tell you how surprised and happy we were about that.

Hooray for babies!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

She Walks

I should have recorded this more than a month ago when she took her first steps, but....

She walks! It looks a little bit like a cowboy who's sat too many hours on a horse, but she just can't resist using those little legs.

We sure love this little girl of ours
We got in some good quality time yesterday during Cheyenne's nap. She thought this "hat" was so hilarious.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I Love Having Two Kids

When I was pregnant with Delaney I knew that "someday" my kids would play together, and that "eventually" they would be great friends. I was not aware, however, how quickly I would love this new life, and how quickly the bond between them would be noticeable.

I have documented that transitioning to two kids was hard for me. But I don't want that to be the only thing on the record for having two kids. I LOVE having two kids and let me tell you why.

-I never intended to be a one-child parent, so I always felt a little bit uncomfortable in that stage. I am happy to report that this went away immediately once I had Delaney. I feel more at ease, more myself in my parenting style than I ever have in the past. I love it!

-I remember at about 6 months, the first time the girls laughed together. It was magical! Really, the feeling was something else. Ben and I just looked at each other and I thought to myself, "We are on to something here!" Parent love can never replace sibling relationships.

-They ALREADY play together and are inseparable. Neither of them are really in the stage where they actually engage and play with other kids, but both of them prefer to be with each other. Cheyenne is constantly asking me where Delaney is, and resents Delaney's naptime (sometimes to the point that she will go in and wake her up!). Delaney will look around for Cheyenne or go into the room she is in, just to be by her. Cheyenne has started to "read" to Delaney and try and put her on her lap. It is so cute! They stay up late making each other laugh. Those kids!

-I actually think life is easier with two kids. My style of stay-at-home mom life was built around having more than one child. So I feel my life is more full. I have less time to think about myself and get depressed. It's easier to make myself do things like traditions and schedules. I am less worried about little things and difficult stages. I am in general happier. Before I had Delaney, I thought the thing that would make me happy about two kids would be that they would be playmates. But God teaches us beautiful lessons and gives us great surprises, and I am happy to say I have found things to love about this stage even before my girls have become playmates.

Cupcake "jamas" and holding hands

Taking off the couch cushions and wearing diapers

Playing in Mom & Dad's bed