Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We jumped out of the sky

Yep.  We did.  There is somewhat of a backstory to this, mostly having to do with just how terrible of a wife I am . . . Two years ago Nick graduated from Willamette University with his MBA.  I was extremely proud of him, but also very nervous about the whole job situation.  When Nick graduated, I was trying to think of a graduation gift, and my favorite presents are one in which an activity is involved.  And I knew that it had to be more than something like a movie gift card (although I did think about this and then realized that I am extremely lame and cheap).  So I thought of dum dum dum, Sky diving!  I thought it would be an awesome gift.  But turns out sky diving costs a fair amount of money . . . which, we did not have.  So for my graduation present to Nick, I wrote him a card and told him that I would take him sky diving as his present, but that I wasn't going to do it until he got a job.  I am an awesome wife I know.
Now, two years later, thanks to Andrea Croskey's birthday and her adventurous ways, I finally delivered on my graduation gift to Nick (Please also note that I included myself on this gift since I am pretty selfish).   So last Saturday, we went sky diving.  Stuff has been pretty crazy, so I really didn't even think about the fact that I was jumping out of a plane until we walked into the office to sign the papers.  And then I got nervous.  But mostly I was nervous out of anticipation.  I just knew that I was going to pee my pants or else just completely freeze up, trying to push my body out of a plan 13,000 feet in the air.  I was scared, waiting for the nerves to come. 
After a few hours of signing like hundreds of waivers, mostly which warned me, "You might die;" and doing some intensive training, which included a five minute warning of, "Don't walk out to the plane by yourself" and that's all; I got on the plane with Nick, Julia, and a few other crazies.  The closer I got to it, the less scared I was.  I would think, knowing myself, that I would be fa-reaking out about the fact that we flew by a commercial airplane right as we reached the spot to jump.  But nope.  I sort of thought to myself, "Eh, what the hell."  I was the first to jump out of Nick and Julia and I.  And it was awesome.
It was nothing like I thought it would be.  Mostly what I experienced was crazy cold pressure on my face as I dropped 9,000 feet in the air.  It's not the typical roller coaster stomach dropping experience.  Just like you're getting blown through a really cold wind tunnel.  At 4,000 feet, the parachute popped up and it was easy sailing.  I got to "drive" the parachute a bit and I'm pretty sure my instructor was annoyed with me because I was trying to go in circles as fast as possible.  But honestly, I just kept thinking, wow, this is really peaceful.
Overall though, it was a rush.  I'm so glad I got Nick such a great graduation present two years ago. And truthfully, I am so proud of Nick for graduating, I love him so much and I am so glad we finally got to experience this together.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

6 months

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost-

 There will never be enough tears or words to describe how much we miss our Holland.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dance Class

Brizzy started a dance class last week. And even though we are starting to get very busy with me working more, I wouldn't trade the 40 minutes for the world. She is hilarious in it. She loves it. Actually, more than anything, she loves to dress up in anything girly, wear jewelry in public, and look at herself in the mirror . . . which are all things she gets to do when she goes to dance. She is not the most skilled dancer (sorry, that's most likely my fault), but she sure can stand on her toes like a pro! Oh and she also likes to mix things up a bit with some break dancing, marching, sliding on her stomach for no apparent reason (actually, I think she just does this when she gets tired).

Next up, a post about her sports class. We like to butch it up sometimes, to balance out her extreme girliness.

Things I want to drop kick

I feel like using my friend Mander's List of things she wants to punch is basically stealing, so I decided to alter my list slightly, yet still including the same message of things that irritate me/make me angry. I have thought of a lot of things today:

- People yelling out emphatically during a group workout (particularly when they're not even really working very hard themselves). Please shut up.
- Zumba in general. I don't get the craze.
- Brizzy when she tells me to not touch her because I am either a)sweaty or b)smell like peanut butter (she hates peanut butter). It's quite bizarre how often one or both of these things is the case.
- Myself, realizing I have created a monster in Briz, when she asks me on every single song that comes on the radio, "Mom, who is this?" or "Mom, what song is this?" And she will not let me off the hook unless I give her the name of the band and the title of the song. When in doubt, and I don't know, she just assumes its Naked and Famous because we've been listening to a lot of that lately.

- Taxes ( even though I didn't do them - thank you Nick :) )
- The GOP . . . and the Democratic Party. Both of them are driving me crazy.
- Pretty much all of the news stations (CNN, Foxnews, ABC, NBC, you name it). I watch them out of necessity to understand a bit of what is going on this world, and yet, I am angry while I am watching them because they are pretty ridiculous.
- Anyone who talks trash on Mitt :) Okay, not really (actually, yes, really) . . . that is unless you want to complain about car elevators. I consider that acceptable to complain about.
- Clocks. In general, I don't like them, because there is just not enough time in the day! They need to move slower.
- Really really demanding rich people. Yes, all of them.
- My computer for freaking out all of the time.
- Tennis shoes. I am ready for flip flops/sandals. There have been a few days where I have even just rebeled and worn them anyways, but my poor, freezing feet suffer the consequences.
- And lastly, college basketball, for already being over. I think I only watched like two BYU basketball games this year. And I tried to get myself jazzed for March Madness, but it never really happened (probably mostly because my brackets sucked).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Easter was a wonderful weekend. It was actually sunny! That, in an of itself was a miracle. We had a great time doing a lot of fun things:

- Grandpa and Grandma were in town from Utah and we had fun with them
- Grandma Julie bought Briz a frilly Easter dress
- We had a somewhat lame Easter egg hunt at the arcade down the street
- We went and saw the Easter Bunny at Albertsons where Grandpa threatened some nice grocers
- We had an Easter brunch with German pancakes
- We searched for Easter baskets, starting off with Holland's Easter Basket
- We ate a lot, a lot of sugar. A lot!
- We had a beautiful Easter church service***
- The Cottles had a big gathering/Easter dinner/Easter Egg hunt

It was a beautiful day for many reasons. We visited Holland's grave the day before and as always, I had very mixed emotions. But by the time Sunday rolled around, and I was sitting in church, I was filled with joy, happiness, gratitude, and even a bit of excitement at the thought of not only my daughter Holland being resurrected, but my whole family.
I still feel so much pain so often, and at times, it still feels unbearable. I cannot comprehend the atonement. I am confused by it even. But I do believe it happened. And I believe that Christ can empathize with me like no one else can in the grief and pain I have and continue to experience. I am grateful for him as a friend and comforter.
Never before have I understood how real the atonement is. I wish life was easier at times. I wish that death didn't come with such a sting. But I am learning that, really, that's just life. Physical and spiritual death bring sadness and despair. But the atonement and resurrection bring hope and happiness. How wonderful it is to feel happy so soon after I lost my precious daughter. And I felt that happiness on Easter. Never before have I been so grateful for Christ and this Easter holiday. We missed Holland but she is always near us. And one day we'll be with her.

As Briz said concerning the resurrection, "We all die . . . but it's okay because then our bodies get fixed." Couldn't have said it better myself Brizzle.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grandpa and Grandma Julie

Grandma Julie and Grandpa (Briz referred to him as Pops once, which I personally would like to see stick) came on up to visit their homeland. And like usual, they brought the sunshine with them. We talk about them visiting more; we're always trying to get them to come out, and yes, we love them, but we also have an ulterior motive: to bring the nice weather! We have needed it.

It was so great having them. Although we did notice another pattern of their visits: Briz gets sick. It could be either: Grandpa force feeding Briz tums, bad yogurt, or perhaps just being endulged in her love of crap food. Either way, we'll take it in return for their company (Although next time we may make them clean up the puke). It's always a good time with them. And this time we even scored double by not only going to the Oregon coast and staying at an extremely cool resort, but by actually having nice weather.

As usual, Briz got ridiculously spoiled, we played games, watched movies, and talked a little bit about life (We didn't however play tennis!)

Briz said after they left her dance class today, "I want to go on the airplane with Grandpa and Grandma Julie." Maybe someday :)

Julie getting annoyed with my picture taking.

Mike and Nick having kite wars. So competitive those Cottles.

Brizzy's beloved whale shoes.

Briz pulling a no looker with flying her kite. No really, she's actually quite good. She's got an impressive rythm. We used to discuss training Briz to be a female wrestler, but I think we've moved on to bigger and better things, like a professional kite flyer.

See what I mean? Walking like it's no big deal. Impressive.

Nick is doing some serious coaching.

And even though she was a bit whiney swimming, she came around and as always was able to be bribed with treats. She finally jumped off the side and swam by herself.