Friday, December 31, 2010

Tribute to Grandma

I know I just posted, but I forgot something. The Kansas City Star did a tribute article to Grandma. I got a text from my cousin on Christmas morning that it was published. It was such a treat to read that on Christmas, a day where I was really missing her. Christmas was always celebrated at Grandma's house. We'd have our Christmas morning at home, and then head over to Grandmas for presents and dinner with everyone there. They were such fun Christmas's. Two Christmas' really stand out to me. One was the year that Grandma made me a beautiful purple quilt. That year I was really into purple and she made me one to match my recently painted purple room. I think I was about 12. The other year was the one when we all received her cookbook. What a beautiful gift. It is still one of my treasured possessions that I have used often, especially when I moved away to college. Here is the link to her tribute, it's short, but very well done!

Grandma's Tribute

Look out 2011! It's going to be a BIG year!

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We got to go up to Idaho and see Eli's mom, grandma, sister, brother, and niece. It was so nice to spend some time with them. We even got some family pictures. We were really spoiled this year. Thank you to everyone. We especially loved the presents for Caroline. She got some really nice books and cute clothes! Eli read her one of her new books the other night and she was kicking while he was reading it. I think she'll be a reader, like her mom and dad. We got to see the rest of Eli's siblings the day after Christmas and that was really fun too. We got to stop by and see my sisters new puppy! He's so cute! We had a great Christmas. Hopefully next year we'll get to see the Missouri folk for the holidays!

I can't believe it's the end of the year. This year has been so challenging and great at the same time. We had a miscarriage at the beginning of the year, which was really hard, but we're so happy that everything is going well with Caroline. Eli graduated from BYU in April (he's so smart!), and spent the WHOLE summer (no exaggerations here) applying to medical schools. That was so time consuming and I'm really proud at him for being so disciplined and putting all the effort into it. I know it got really monotonous and boring for him. Then, he spent a lot of time in the fall traveling to interviews. It's kept him really busy! He's now a seasoned traveler and can navigate new cities and airports easily. Here's all the cities he went to this fall: Louisville, Des Moines, Omaha, Washinton D.C., Galveston, Lubbock, Houston, Salt Lake (well, that didn't require much traveling), and in January he is going to Portland. I missed him a lot when he was on his trips. We were so grateful to be accepted right away at Louisville, so we know we at least have a school to go to. Way to go Dr. Eli!

This year we also were able to take some fun trips. We went to Disney Land with our good friends and had a great time! We also got to go up to Yellowstone in August. That was really nice. I went home to Missouri a few weeks ago, although it was short, and for a sad reason, it was still so nice to be home for a while. I hope that wherever we move to it will be closer to Missouri. We joked that Caroline decided to stick around with us because she thinks we're big travelers who have a lot of fun. I was five weeks along when we went to Disney Land. We do have a lot of fun, but we usually don't have the money or time to travel too much. We probably won't be able to take her to Disney Land again for a long time, so I hope she enjoyed it. I didn't even go on any of the fun roller coasters, so we'll both need to go on those next time.

Tonight we are going to ring in the new year at my sisters house with my other sister and her family. It will be fun. Belchers know how to throw good New Years Eve parties. I wish we could have it with Phil and Michele and the Belcher cousins. Those were always a blast. I'll try to get a spoons game going in their honor, hopefully there will be no blood or broken tables tonight.

We are so excited about 2011. It's going to be a big year for us! I turn 25, we'll have our Sweet Caroline, we'll be moving somewhere, and Eli will start medical school. There are lots of changes on the horizon but we're really looking forward to them. We've been so glad for the time we've been able to spend in Utah since we got married, we've been able to spend time with lots of family, more of Eli's than mine, but we loved it. It will be bittersweet to move away, but the closer it gets the more excited I am. We are looking forward to having our little baby in 2 ½ months (can you believe it?!!) and starting our family. We hope all of our friends and family have a great new years too!

Eli, Cherie, and Caroline

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I am so excited for Christmas this year. I was just telling Eli last night that for some reason I've felt more joyful and excited about Christmas this year than I have in the past. And not just about parties and family and presents, but I've felt so grateful and happy about celebrating Jesus' birth. It really is the most miraculous and joyful thing that has ever happened! It is because of his birth that we can live and be happy and be with our loved ones forever. I am so grateful for that. It's not that I'm never excited about it at Christmas, but this year it means so much more to me. I know it has something to do with being pregnant and having deaths in the family recently, but I can't help but feel that joy. I hope all of my friends and family will take some time to think about the truly wonderful reason why we celebrate. Go read Luke 2, think about what the Savior has done for you, and be happy, because he loves you!
In other news, I am tired! Eli had to go to work at 6 this morning, so I drove him. But, it has been snowing since yesterday, and “it doesn't show signs of stopping” so the roads were pretty bad this morning. I got up at 5:30 and took him to work. A drive that usually takes 10 minutes round trip took 30, then I came home and got ready for work myself and made it here in 35 minutes (different from my usual 15). I'm very glad that we both made it safely though. The snow is beautiful and now I want to go home and make some rolls and soup for dinner. I think we'll go to the temple this afternoon though.
Last Friday we went to see the drive-through Christmas lights at Thanksgiving Point with our friends Steve and Brooke. It was fun. Very Christmas-y. I think tomorrow night we'll go walk around the lights at temple square with Annie and Cindy and their families. Then hopefully, weather permitting, we'll leave to go to Pocatello on Thursday to spend Christmas with Eli's mom and grandma. This is going to be a great Christmas.
We went to the doctor yesterday for a checkup. Caroline is kicking and moving all over as I type this. I think she knows I'm thinking about her. Everything is going great. My blood pressure, blood sugar, weight gain, and everything is perfectly normal and good. We got to hear her heartbeat, she moves a lot, and I don't really have any complaints. I've been able to sleep well and don't have any aches or pains to speak of. I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow. We are so excited for her to get here. Last week at my work Christmas party I won one of those new flip video recorders. We were really excited because now we don't have to buy a camcorder. It's pretty cool. We haven't had much time to play around with it yet, but once we do we'll put a video up.
That's about all I know for now. I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas. I hope we all get a chance to thank our Heavenly Father for sending his son to us. Drive and travel safely!Love,
Eli, Cherie, and Caroline

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Grandma

As many of you know, my Grandma recently passed away. I was able to go home for the funeral and see all of my family. I feel like writing a bit about my Grandma.

Grandma Tena was the only grandma I had. My other grandma passed away when I was four, and I do know that she was a wonderful woman and grandma, I have very few memories of her. Grandma Tena was so great she probably equaled about 4 average grandma's. She lived only 10 minutes away and we were at her house almost every day. I remember there was a little picture framed in her hallway that said, "There's no place like home, except Grandma's." That was so true. It was our second home. We never knocked, the door was always unlocked, and we knew it was a place where we were safe and warm. Grandma was always cooking something delicious, making a beautiful quilt, or preparing to do some kind of service for someone. You would usually walk in and find her in the kitchen, in her sewing room, or outside watering her flowers. Grandpa could be found watching Westerns on TV, in his wood-working room, or mowing the lawn or tending the garden.

At Grandma's funeral, she requested there be a time for her children and grandchildren to get up and share a memory of her. I found that to be the hardest thing. How do you single out one memory? I know some of my friends had grandparents that would take them on vacations, or something big like that. Grandma and Grandpa never took me on a vacation. They never spent a lot of money on each of us. But what they did give us was a perfect example of how to live. Grandma was never happier than when she was cooking for her family, cleaning her house, or making something for someone. She always said her greatest joy came from her children and grandchildren. She woke early, was productive every day, and always made anyone who came to her house feel special. She would go to the ends of the earth to make you a quilt in your favorite color, or make you your favorite kind of pie. Grandpa worked hard; for years he ran a farm and worked full time at the Ford Factory. He retired, and you could see the satisfaction that came from a life of working hard and providing for your family. They were happy with their modest home and made it a beautiful welcoming place. I can't even remember the number of times I went to garage sales with Grandma, or went with her to get her hair done, or to take Meals on Wheels to senior citizens in Kearney, or spent the night at her house with my sisters or cousins, or sat on the back porch just talking in the summer evenings, or eating a delicious meal at her house. On my first day of Kindergarten, Grandma came to our house early in the morning to curl my hair, and helped me put on the pretty dress she made me just for that special day. There's no way to describe how big of an impact Grandma and Grandpa had on my life. They made my childhood seem magical.

I am sad that Grandma is gone, but my sadness is mostly selfish. I'm sad that I won't see her, or that my children won't get to have the same experiences with her that I did. But I know that she is so happy to be with Grandpa again, and her brothers and sisters and parents and friends, and Jesus and Heavenly Father. She lived a long, productive good life. She was married to Grandpa for 63 years. They had joys and pains, times of sunshine and times of rain. We've decided to name our little girl Caroline Virginia Rhoads. Grandma's first name is Virginia. It must be said that she never liked the name Virginia, and she went by her middle name of Christine, or even shortened to Tena, but I have always thought that Virginia is beautiful and there are already other grandkids and great-grandkids named Christine. I hope that little Caroline will have parts of her Great Grandma in her. I hope she enjoys the simple things in life, and that she loves serving others and that she can be happy and satisfied without having to have lots of material things. I hope she's hard working, faithful, loving, and giving, just like her great-grandma.

I have always wanted to be a home-maker and full-time mother. I have never wanted a career or have aspired to be a CEO or anything like that. I do value education and I am so glad I was able to go to college and get a degree, and maybe someday when my kids are in school and do not need me as much I will get a Masters in Library Sciences, and work in that field. But my goal has always been to have my kids, stay home with them, teach them, love them, make them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and make our home a welcoming loving place. I think I got that example from my mom and Grandma. Grandma got such joy from it. She was the best example to me of the satisfaction that comes by living your life for others. It was really hard for Grandma as she got older to not be able to do things for herself, let alone for others. Her independent spirit was hard to give up. She was always thinking of others and serving until the end. When I called her in October and told her we were having a girl, my mom told me she got so excited. She asked mom to get out a pattern for a baby quilt and her embroidery things. She started on one square. She didn't get very far and her stitches weren't as even as they are on some of the other baby quilts she made earlier, but I know that she wanted to do things for our little Caroline. I will make sure that Caroline knows about Grandma and Grandpa and what they've done for me, my siblings, and my cousins. We all loved Grandma and Grandpa so much. I can never thank them enough for the impact they had on my life. What a blessing they were to me. I will always miss them and I look forward to the day when I can see them again.