Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 in Review

A Recipe for the Eaton's 2013

1 rescued puppy
2 exhausted college students
1 growing baby
A handful of U-Haul trucks and trailers
2 dozen baby names
1 job search
1 pregnant woman
1 motion sick man
At least 15 kolaches
1 new R&D food science job*
1 cross country move

1. Place two exhausted college students in the last semester of their undergrad programs. Add a rescued puppy (Label says puppy is house trained, this is not true. Puppy must be trained.) Stir frequently for three months, add in a search for post graduate jobs.

2. After job search has been fully incorporated in the mix place growing baby, pregnant woman and motion sick man in a plane, have them skydive from airplane in Zion’s National Park. Let sit for two months while the job search continues to form.
When job search has finished, attempt to place two former college students, now trained puppy, and all of their belongings in a small UHaul truck and midsize sedan. Not everything will fit, sell or donate items to various individuals.

3. Incorporate the cross country move. Sprinkle miniature disasters like losing housing, three flat tires and one puppy who hates long car rides along the way. Once cross country move is complete, combine with R&D food science job.

4. While new job is settling, use the rest of the UHaul trucks and trailers to replace those items that were sold or donated.  At this point you will discover the deliciousness that is kolaches and also that the 1 growing baby is male. While eating many kolaches, add two dozen baby names and debate about them. The motion sick man will settle on the name Roland Isaac and the pregnant woman will agree.

5. Finally, let growing baby finish baking, motion sick man settle into his job and the pregnant woman continue to take college classes, while the rescued puppy is content.

Combine with various road trips and lessons learned to wish you a wonderful 2014 from our family to yours.

Photography by Joshua Eaton

*R&D stands for research and design, Gabe currently helps formulate new recipes and tastes for frozen food products. We will soon be able to tell you about his latest project that will be available in stores in a few months.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

For hate is strong and mocks the song...

I love the Christmas season, I love warm cookies, warm feelings, and our little fake tree decorated with too many ornaments and lights. I enjoy picking out and making presents for Gabe and those we love. I relish in the songs that celebrate the birth of Christ and family Christmas cards that are sent to us. But lately, it seems like this season has been covered by a fog of hateful words and actions.

The media has been perpetuating that a "war on Christmas" is occurring across the nation. Signs in Time Square, a rude letter from a neighbor about a lit nativity scene, and interviews with atheists who claim that "religion kills people" are a few of the articles and videos I have seen floating around the internet.

And there are two things that have baffled me throughout all of this:

1. This is being claimed as persecution. While I may not have Mormon Pioneer ancestors who were run out of their homes and/or killed, I have grown up in and feel very much a part of the heritage of pioneers who were. I am grateful for those who lived their religion despite persecution so I could experience the joy and peace that I feel on a daily basis through the gospel of Christ.

But, signs? Rude notes from anonymous neighbors? A man expressing his opinion on the news? That is not persecution, and to say that it is denotes those who are, to this day, persecuted and martyred for practicing Christianity.

2. While these things are not persecution they can hurt feelings, and that has been very obvious from many of the comments I have seen and heard posted throughout the internet (I seriously need to stop reading the comment sections of anything).

To be Christian is to follow Christ, a being who atoned for each of our sins but who was also persecuted and crucified for His beliefs. Christ was/is loving and kind. He said "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34 KJV)

When Christ was on this earth, one of his most renowned sermons is the Sermon on the Mount, and in it we learn
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God...." and later on "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:9,16 KJV)

To me, being unapologetically Christian is less about saying things and more about living a Christlike life despite what anyone else is saying or doing. It is about random acts of kindness and making an effort to reach out to others, not because we want them to believe what we believe, but because we know who they are, a child of God.

May we all remember that this Christmas season as we sing the mantra
Peace on Earth... Good will towards men....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Travel back in time with you to where this all began...

Sometimes it is really fun to remember all the little things that happened as Gabe and I went from friends to... friendlier. Don't get me wrong, I love our relationship at the moment (especially as he is crawling on his hands and knees around the house chasing after Starky). But some of those moments were just kind of adorable and I never really wrote in my journal back then.

So... once upon a time, when Gabe and I were just friends he went waaaay over his texting limit (remember those) and almost all of the texts were to the same number, mine. I had assumed that because he text me so frequently he didn't have a limit. Nope. Luckily, the hundreds of dollars on his bill were negotiated and he didn't get into too much trouble. Looking back on our friendship at that time the texts couldn't have been too substantial. Mostly song lyrics (see this post), inside jokes, college woes and overall nonsense.

One of my requests after I die (because that happens, we totally get requests... right?) is to be able to go back and reread all of those messages between two kids who had no idea that they were talking to their future spouse.

Labor Day

I completely forgot about Labor Day weekend...

Gabe has been working some crazy hours since he started at his job. We kind of thought it would be a 9 to 5 gig but some days that just isn't the case, so it was nice to have a three day weekend to just relax.

At the same time my mom and stepdad had been wanting to come see our new place and bring Starky back to us after they looked after him while we moved. It was so fun to "host" my parents and little brothers for a few days at our place.

Saturday morning we treated the boys to some good ol' Texas kolaches. My mom had a taste of IKEA when they came to visit us in Utah and was dying to go back so we took her to the one that is close to us. While we were there my little brother John picked out and bought a desk chair for his room. It was really cute to see him sit in all the chairs and compare prices etc.

Gabe and I also found some chairs that were well under our budget and decided that we could just stain them to match the table he recently built. I am usually the one who stains our furniture but since I'm pregnant Gabe ended up doing it and I was very grateful.

Sunday was church and family time. We put the boys in charge of Family Home Evening and they did a great job with the lesson and activity. Faron ended up fixing our towel rack and cleaning up the leftover carpet that the people who renovated left here. Gabe and I weren't concerned with it because we are renting but it was nice to have it gone and the towel rack in the guest bathroom fixed.

Monday we took Starky to get a trim and then spent most of the day just relaxing, playing Wii sport and the boys ran around the backyard with Starky. Benji picked out a stuffed alligator for Starky and he did a great job because Starky takes that little thing with him wherever he goes. We also did a little back-to-school shopping with my brothers on their way out of town. Since my mom home schools John and Benji there are so many supplies to get and she was excited to find a discounted art supply store in our area.

It was a low-key relaxing weekend but it still wore me out and when they left I took a very long nap.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

And I lift my hands...

Thanksgiving started out as a wonderful day. I woke up late, and there were smells of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and other side dishes and desserts wafting in from the kitchen to the dark basement room where we were staying. I snuck a few cookies for breakfast (pumpkin is a vegetable...) and gratefully sat down as everything in the kitchen was being taken care of.

I walked and then ran on the treadmill while Gabe lifted weights. He is by far my favorite workout buddy and I have missed being in a gym. I miss working out, this stress relief it brings, the pain of tearing down muscles to build them up. But there is a time and season and so until at least February, and most likely later, yoga and walks will have to do.

After that it was a shower and Thanksgiving dinner. Another family from the local ward came over and I enjoyed talking to their teenage daughter as we sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal. Pool was played and sooner than I realized it was time to leave for Black Friday. Yes, my family shops on Black Friday. No, I don't feel guilty about it. But that is another post for another day. Gabe and Josh left earlier than we did and so I drove into town with Gabe's dad and stepmom.

As we were driving into town my sister Emily called. Adam, our little brother, was in a car wreck and being flown to a hospital in the city. My mom is currently in Florida at a rehabilitation center for traumatic brain injuries, my stepdad was out of town for the holidays, and I was hours away. I called my Aunt who had her shoes on and was headed out the door before we were off the phone.

Adam is fine and is still recovering (minus a few broken bones, some stitches and a bruised spleen). But, his wreck shook our family up a bit. It is funny when you stop and realize just how much your mother does. That was ever apparent with her in Florida.

And so, while there were a few hiccups in our holiday as I went to bed that night I said prayers of gratitude for a mother who works so hard, an extended family who pulls together, a brother whose stupid decision didn't take him from us, a loving and supporting husband who will still crack jokes with me no matter what the situation and in-laws who accept and love me despite the fact that there tends to be an unusual number of car wrecks in my loved ones' lives.

Black Friday shopping aside... I'd say it was a pretty gratitude filled day.