Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Sunday Weekend

CJ and I flew down to California.. so that CJ could officially ask my dad if he could marry his daughter, ME, over Easter weekend. Right before we flew down on that Thursday (2010), CJ sat me down and told me how the ring wasn't ready. That he tried to get the ring finished in time because he knew I would love it if he proposed when we were with my WHOLE family around. I was a little bummed but I didn't care because I was going to marry him no matter what. So, I said ok, and we flew to California.

The next morning CJ and my dad went golfing.  I knew that CJ was going to ask my dad the BIG question, so I was all giddy, waiting for them to come home!! CJ came back and said it was fine.. played golf... asked the question.. and we were good to go- WE WERE GETTING MARRIED!! I can still remember how excited I was and the butterflies I had. MY DAD SAID YES!!

Saturday we hung out, played tennis, hung out with my family, and watched conference. All my sisters and everyone was asking me if CJ had the ring, if I knew what it looked like, when he was going to ask. I didn't have the answer for any questions, I was just on cloud nine and knew I was going to marry my CJ.  CJ and his best friend, Andrew, designed my ring and I had no idea what it was going to look like. CJ and I spent a total of 15 minutes in a ring store and CJ said he knew what "he/I wanted". The funny thing is that I didn't even know what I wanted, but I trusted CJ's taste, and we left the store... I just had to be surprised. So, I had no clue about the when, where, how, what... I just knew how excited I was to marry him!

Sunday, the entire family came to my parents house for Easter. Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, some cousins, and all my brothers and sisters with their kids. We did the Easter egg hunt, CJ helped hide eggs for the kids, and I loved just watching him be apart of my family. The best part is we took a family picture and CJ stood right next to me... he was going to be the newest addition to the family and I was so excited! I was squeezing his hand so tight in the pictures and he would whisper funny things to me like "its not official yet".. but it was and I was so proud to show him off to my entire family.  After we ate and said bye to my grandparents and cousins, CJ really wanted to go to the beach. He had a valid point too... he flew all the way to California, he needed to at least see the beach before we flew home the next day. I vividly remember grabbing a blanket and heading out the door.. all my family was acting all giddy and right before I shut the door I popped my head back in and said "don't worry everyone, he doesn't have the ring, he isn't proposing.. we will be back in like an hour", and I shut the door behind me. We drove down to the beach and we talked about how fun it would have been if he had the ring.. so that my grandparents could see. I agreed, but I was totally fine because I knew it was going to happen... eventually!!

We parked the car at "our spot", which is right down in Carlsbad, off or Christiansen St. Went down the stairs and started to walk down the beach holding CJ's hand, not even thinking that he would ask the BIG question. We came up to these rocks and CJ said lets sit and watch the sunset, our favorite, so I agreed and headed to the rocks. We picked the rock and I started to climb when CJ started to tug at my waist and forced me to turn around. I said " I'm trying to climb here", when I turned around and saw CJ on one knee. The next thing out of my mouth was "CJ this isn't a funny joke... you told me you didn't have the ring", and I almost turned to start climbing again when he reached inside of his jacket coat pocket, and pulled out a ring!! I was totally in shock! I remember his face smiling at me and he told me how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, how much he loved me, and how excited he was to marry me. I said YES, YES, YES!!! I couldn't believe it... he totally punked me. I believed every word that came out of his mouth... so I really didn't think he had the ring. I was so happy and excited.. and CJ was so nervous and excited he started to put the ring on the wrong hand. We both started laughing and kissing, we were so happy! I shouted from the top of my lungs "I'M ENGAGED!!!!!" This random lady watched it all happen, came up to us after, and wanted to look at my ring... she said "oh, he's a keeper", I couldn't agree more. I just kept looking at my ring and CJ and laughing about how I was punked! CJ told me that he told my dad on Friday, that he had the ring, and that is was going to happen on Sunday when the family was together. That plan didn't happen as planned. CJ wanted it to just be us.. he got nervous and thought about doing it a couple times that day... but it never felt right. We  finally climbed and sat up on our rock and watched the sunset together. He sat behind me and wrapped us in a blanket and held me so tight. I was the happiest girl on earth because I am going to marry the best guy in the world, MY CJ!! It was pretty cold and windy, so as soon as the sun set we went to the car. I remember we had to stop and get gas and that is when I kept taking pictures of my ring and sending texts... how he called his mom and family! We both we smiling ear to ear.

When we came home... I was surprised with a family PARTY! Everyone knew he had the ring, BUT ME, and as soon as we left they went to the store and got sparkling cider and cute cups! I was so excited to show off my ring, and CJ was relieved to finally tell the truth and put the ring on my finger!! The funny thing as I looked back on that day.. I could totally tell that my family was always giving CJ and I space through out the day.. but ALWAYS watching me. I only was watching CJ, so I didn't even thing twice about their weird behaviors. CJ apologized to my grandparents for not asking when I was there.. but my grandma and grandpa loved CJ, so they were so excited! We cracked open the sparkling cider and diet coke, my favorite, and toasted to US! I was going to me the wife to my hunk of a man CJ. I couldn't stop looking at my ring and I couldn't leave CJ's side... we were so happy.

It was the greatest day of my life. It was the start of our lives together. We were so excited. CJ proposed to me on Easter. He said he wanted to do it on a holiday, so that he would never forget a special date, and remember to celebrate extra. It was the best Easter I could ask for. Each year the day of Easter lands on a different date, but our rule is that we just go off the day of the holiday... and called it good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sister Samantha

The first time that I met CJ (when you guys were actually admitting to liking and dating each other) was when we met up for lunch at Chef’s table.  I was happy that even though we were in town for a short time I was going to get to see you, and even more excited that you wanted to bring a boy!  You Miller girls are always so private about those types of things, so I knew that you must really like this guy to bring him around.  Kyle and I were impressed with him from the start.  I don’t remember everything we talked about that day, except that I learned that he was a local and grew up in Provo, that he liked BYU, that he was athletic and liked sports.  I remember thinking that he was a nice, normal guy; that he was confident and funny and witty and smart.  I remember leaving really excited and happy and hoping that he was it for you.  I knew that if you married him, you’d love him like I love Kyle.  That we would travel together, the boys would golf, we’d lay out in the sun, we’d all definitely eat good food. 

I remember sitting on your couch one day, talking BYU sports with Kyle and CJ.  He was talking about how BYU fans were crazy most of the time, and we agreed!  And then as if I needed to prove it, I started saying that at least when BYU does well in sports (talking about BYU versus U of Utah), it was a missionary tool because people associate BYU with Mormons, but not so much U of U with Mormons.  Haha  He totally didn’t agree, and I could feel myself getting frustrated with MY own lack of being able to communicate what I was really trying to say.  So I tried to drop it by leaving the conversation/room, which only made it more embarrassing because it seemed like I was storming off and mad.  So embarrassing.  I was slightly devastated because I thought he was so cool and I liked him so much and I didn’t want him to think I was a crazy person who was trying to argue with him!  I just wanted to be bffs!  Haha

Imagine my relief when we got together next and he was just so kind to me and treated me so nice.  I was so relieved that he didn’t hold it against me and I felt like we were instant friends.  And instant family.  I was so grateful.   
Both of us being inlaws to the Miller family, I really felt some solidarity with him when it came to traditions and holidays.  I loved that when Thanksgiving came around and I was still talking about how weird it was that the Millers don’t do rolls for Thanksgiving- he TOTALLY got it and agreed with me!   He was the one that encouraged me to bring my own traditions and start MAKING ROLLS for Thanksgiving- they were one of his favorite parts too.  And then on Christmas eve when I was being a little fanatical about us having to do the nativity before the kids went to bed, CJ was the one person who got it.  I remember he said after our makeshift nativity that he was glad that we did that because it actually made the night feel like Christmas eve.  And even though I knew I was being stubborn by insisting on the nativity, I loved him for that comment and that it meant something to him too. 
 I loved driving around that night, just us grownups, before the nativity.  When I think of that night I think of all of us stuffed in a little car, in a drive through, laughing our heads off as I told Siri “I WANT PIZZA!!!” (Or some other food...I can’t remember exactly.)  All I know is I just told siri I wanted it and she gave me directions and we all were laughing that it worked, since it was pretty beasty.
CJ made all of our family outings even more fun and festive.  I remember being on his team in volleyball, late one night during Thanksgiving break.  The game was close, and we circled up for a team meeting.  I looked him in the eyes and said, “I really want to win” and in equal intensity he looked at me and said, “I know you do.  I want to too!!”  We were all like “let’s do this!”  haha It was an intense game and I think in the end  we won that one!  I also think about playing tennis against him down in Palm springs.  We all sucked compared to him, but even so, he stopped to give me tips on how to hold my racket so that I could play better.  I remember noticing specifically how kind and patient he was with all of us Miller girls, really wanting to help us improve our own games and probably amp up our games against him to give him a little better competition.  J 

I really admired how confident and self-assured he was.  If all the Millers were just hanging out at the house and he wanted to go do something, he wasn’t waiting for permission or approval of everyone to go.  He did what he wanted, even though he was new to our family.  And I seriously loved it.  It made me feel less pressure, like if something didn’t work for me, I didn’t have to do it!  You know?  Does that even make sense?  I remember when you guys decided to stay in Palm Desert (even though we were all leaving and that meant we were going to celebrate New Year’s together without the two of you), we all laughed, and I remember saying to Kyle, “I love that even though he’s new to the family, he doesn’t feel pressure to come with all of us.  They want to stay so they are staying!  I didn’t know we could do that!  I’m going to start doing that!”

I feel a little gipped, living so far away, having so little time with CJ.  I am beyond grateful for our crazy Thanksgiving break, staying up until 1 am every night, playing volleyball, eating maple bars.  At the time I was trying to say goodbye to my 20’s with gusto, and now when I think about it I’m just so grateful for my midlife crisis because that short time together was packed to the gills with so much fun.
 And I feel the same way about our Christmas break.  I’m so grateful for every minute of that trip; all of the times we all laughed together.   I think about our sledding trip, and how CJ found those discarded sleds that really made the day fun.  The tennis, the swimming, going out to Babe’s.  It was such a fun trip.  I loved seeing you so happy.  I loved that CJ was a part of our family.  I thought he fit in so well and I was so happy to see you in such a loving and happy relationship.  It was obvious that you two were such a great match. 

I know that most of the family ate dinner with CJ at Café Rio on Feb. 13th.  Ironically, the last time I saw CJ was also at Café Rio.  I had decided last minute to stay an extra week in Vista after Christmas while Kyle flew home to work.  One of the last days I was there, we drove the 45 minutes up to Café Rio so that we could all meet up one more time before I left.  I remember specifically being grateful that CJ was able to join us, and he introduced me to a new side dish- some bean dip dish- chile con queso maybe?  I thought it was pretty hilarious, because, you know, we are all a little beasty.  J  CJ embraced that side of you and the rest of us. 

Keri, I’m so sorry that he isn’t here with us anymore.  I’ve been thinking about him so much lately.  About our time spent together and about the devastation of the accident last year.  I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve had to endure.  I just want you to know that not a day goes by where Kyle and I aren’t praying for you.  You are included in ALL of our family and personal prayers.  I know you know that already.   I wish I could take your pain away.  I know that the only thing that brings me peace is my knowledge of the plan of salvation and eternal families, and I hope for you moments and stretches of that same peace.  I think you are amazing and so special, and I know that Heavenly Father and your CJ are so proud of you and love you so much.  We all do. 

Little Kate and Owen

We would take out cushions and someone would get on the floor and they were the hot lava monster and when you step on the floor you have to be the hot lava monster. 

Owen-When he was the monster he would get us.  He would pull our legs off the cushions so that we touched the lava.   it was so fun. 

Kate- He gave us a lot of rides. 

Owen- and he plays with us.  Ring around the rosies.  Hide and seek. 

Kate- One night Bailey and me and Owen were going to get on the couch and he kept lifting it up and down and up and down.  It was a fun ride. 
Sometimes he jumped on the trampoline with us.

Owen- when he’d jump we’d always fall and it was fun. 

Kate- I love cj.