Tuesday, December 30, 2008

best year ever.

Dear 2008,
You have been a great year.
One of my favorites so far. I will always remember the wonderful times you gave me.
I will always remember...

-My first helicopter ride
-The funny, exhausting, frustrating & great times we have had while fixing up the Avenues house.
-My Grandpa's funeral. Especially when we closed the casket & the veterans service at his grave site. When they handed my Grandma the flag.
-Saying goodbye to him. The dinner we had a few months earlier, when we shared our favorite memories & the night at the hospital.
-The best New Years Eve of my life & watching G do the Men in Black dance for the first time.
A priceless moment!
-Afternoon naps with my love in Hawaii.
-Turning 21 in San Francisco.
-And specifically, getting pizza w/my brothers at midnight on my birthday. Not sure why, but I'll never forget that night.
-Many many days at the park with my little family of 4.
-Getting ready for Heidi & Erik's wedding with the girls. Riding to the wedding in the limo & getting to walk down the isle with G.
-Saying goodbye to our boat (and a lifetime of Lake Powell memories) on our
last trip to the lake with "Big Margy".
- When G made the decision to switch career paths. Watching him go through all the interviews to get his job with Goldman.
-Seeing wicked for the first time.
-The night in Newport when Meg, Jon, Scott, Greg & I sat on the beach & watched the sun set. Dancing on the beach & lifeguard tower with Megan.
-The day my new niece was born & when I held her for the first time.
-Hanging out at the restaurant in Newport & singing & listening to music late into the night.
-Our 2 year anniversary & walking the Temple grounds late at night with G.
-Walking through our first house for the last time before we moved out. (I miss it so much)
-Working on my 3 tiered chocolate fudge cake & surprising G with it on his Birthday.
-The night of the presidential debates, spent at home with just the 2 of us.
-My first sharing time lesson & everything I learned from that great calling.

Goodbye 2008,
thanks for the memories!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

happy day of birth to the blog.

my blog is one year old today.
(woop woop)

although i am pretty sure nobody besides the husband reads it anymore
(and not even him sometimes; its okay, it's boring, i understand :))
i am still glad i have one.
i am glad i have a record of my happy (and sometimes sad) moments.

and frankly
, i can't believe i stuck to anything for a whole year!
go me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry merry christmas.

Our Christmas this year was lovely.

Turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas' ever, which was a wonderful surprise considering I was thinking it might turn out to be the worst. Here are some of the faces we saw along the way (at least the ones we remembered to snap pictures of)...

grandma & kate.
makayla marie.the moffitt family on xmas eve.
heidi & erik.
and margaret & geir.

but, i do have to admit that the best part of christmas this year was spending time with my lover
(even though he had to work the day before & after christmas).
he is sort of my favorite person ever.

please ignore our extreme bed head hair & smooshy faces.
it was early.

now, i'm off for a few more hours of rock band in my pj's & sledding with the fam.
hope your christmas was magical & merry, too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

just so tiny.

i am not kidding when i tell you that i would fall over dead with joy
if i ever stumbled upon one of these little creations.

these little tiny's are "left to fend for themselves" in the streets of london.
i am completely obsessed with them.
please, if you ever travel to london, find one for me.
i will love you forever & worship you, too.

visit the littles here.

the olsen's official christmas update of 2008.

(this picture of me & my grandma has absolutely nothing to do with the below post.
but, i love my grandma & i love this picture of us together)

G & I had a really great weekend & we finally feel like this home remodeling project will soon be coming to a close. We have been working on remodeling the Avenues house since October, so we are both excited for normal life to return (especially G). We now realize how nice it was to both be done with work at 5 and have the rest of the evening to do whatever we wanted together. The fact that it hasn't been that way for the past several months has made both of us appreciate that time together so much more. I can really say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I love my husband & I love being with him.

On Saturday night, we went Christmas shopping & we had so much fun together. Normally, both of us hate the mall, because of all the crowds, so we were a little worried that we might not survive the mall during Christmas time, but surprisingly, we made it out alive & without any serious injuries! The lines weren't even that bad. It was amazing.

After shopping, we returned home to wrap all of the presents & watch The Grinch. I don't know why I am so in love with this movie, I think it might have something to do with Holley's influence? Anyways, I am totally in the Christmas mood now (finally)!

Yesterday, we got to make our 2nd gingerbread house of the season with G's family and I have to say that it is our best one yet! I am very proud of the little sucker. Anyways, I realize this is a boring post with no pictures, but I wanted to document our happy little weekend. I am so thankful for my husband, who is truly the hardest worker I know. He has slaved away at his job & at the new house and I am so impressed by his dedication. With that said, I hope he will slack off much more in 2009!

2008 has been an incredible year for our little family. We have changed jobs, moved out of our first home, had challenging church callings, grown up a lot, celebrated our 2nd anniversary, taken some amazing vacations (Hawaii, San Francisco, Newport, Lake Powell), welcomed a new niece into the world, said goodbye to my sweet grandpa, and enjoyed many unforgettable moments together. It's been a great year.
With that said, I can't wait for Christmas!

(Our family on Christmas Eve last year)

Gregory John Olsen, Jessica no-middle-name-how-sad-is-that Olsen, Toby Magoo Olsen (2) and Jack Bauer Olsen (2).

(PS. Obviously, I am in better spirits today than I was on Friday. For the record, that grumpy post was written after I got the news that my sweet Mom had slipped and fallen on the ice & was in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. At that moment, it felt like anything that could go wrong this month, would. And yes, between car wrecks, injuries, death, work stresses and moving stresses, it has been a rough month, which is why I am going to leave my negative post up. It will make me even more grateful for the great months!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

no sugar coating here.

Many, many, many things have gone wrong this month. The month that will forever be known as the cursed & horrible month of December 2008. For some reason, I feel the need to explain how many things have gone wrong to you, my dear bloggers. And perhaps, have you agree with me when I say that sometimes life sucks.

I started explaining, in detail, how many things have gone wrong during this horrible month. I took the time and wrote it all out (not going to lie, it felt good). And then, when I finished, I felt like a majorly ungrateful person (didn't feel so good), so I quickly erased it all and slapped myself firmly across the face.

And then, attempting to be more brief, I wrote this:

"December sucks. I'm ready for January"

And I was going to post that, but then I realized that there would be no point in oozing my negativity across the blogosphere, so to spare you of the major downer (aren't I so thoughtful??) I didn't do it.

I don't even know why I am writing all of this, except to say that I am trying really hard not to complain about life and it's sucky nature right now. I am trying very hard to be like the rest of the blogging world & only mention the good, focus on the good, blog about the good. I am really really trying.

With that said,

December SUCKS!
I'm ready for January.

On the bright side, I have my gjo. And I love him. And he thinks life sucks right now, too. At that makes me feel better.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a very grown-up christmas.

{GJO & I helped my Mom make these for her neighbors the other night & I'll I can say is I sure hope these goodies meet a better fate.}

Last year, for Christmas, I sort of made 87 billion of these caramel/chocolate dipped pretzels for all of our new neighbors. I dipped, drizzled and packaged for hours and topped them all off with a homemade card. I was so domestic.

When I finally finished, G and I bundled up tight and hopped in the car to make our deliveries. We started on our street and went to visit the first family. It was about 8:00 (too late?) when we rung the the doorbell and waited on the porch steps for about 5 minutes before anyone came to the door. Finally, as we were about to leave, our pajama clad neighbor opened the door with a confused look on her face. They were just climbing into bed & she apologized profusely for her outfit, making an awkward situation even more awkward (I'm not sure she knew who we were?). G (embarrassed for disturbing them) quickly handed her the package & mumbled a "Merry Christmas" as we escaped to the car. Our first visit hadn't been much of a success and G was convinced it was too late to keep delivering. I, however, wanted to make one more stop and so, it was off to another neighbor's house. This time, an elderly lady with a quick wit & sassy personality (love her). She, thankfully, was clothed & awake (a good sign) and welcomed us in to her retro home. G graciously made small talk, while i tried to pipe in with a lame comment every now and then (let it be known that I SUCK at small talk) and eventually our conversation morphed to the upcoming election and politics. It didn't take long before the political flame was blazing and they were both in the throws of a heated debate. Come to find our lovely neighbor disagreed with just about every stance my very opinionated husband held dear.

I tried not to make eye contact with either of them as a sat on that rickety sofa, eying her possessed cat and watching in horror as she shoved book after political book into G's lap. It was a long night in that teeny tiny living room. We never even took off our coats.

Several hours & a few political duels later, I awkwardly put and end to the "discussion" and wished our now upset neighbor a "Merry Christmas!"

As we trudged through the snow & back to our car, I couldn't help but comment on what a disastrous first attempt that had been & how I never wanted to try to be a grown-up again (delivering goodies to neighbors you don't know is a grown-up activity in my book). The pretzels (and all their lovely packaging) were thrown into the trunk of our car & we didn't see them again until February, when we re-discovered them & then proceeded to eat all 87 (or was it 87 billion?) of them ourselves.

And that, my friends, is the story of that one time Jessica tried to be a grown-up & wasted days of hard work & chocolate in the mean time. This is just a guess, but it might take several years for me to recover. Moral of the story: chocolate & politics don't mix.

Happy goody delivering!!!

to all those who doubted...

i would just like to inform all of you that gregory john olsen now applies chapstick a mere 2 times daily. once in the morning & once at night.

and he no longer carries a stick with him everywhere he goes and can still function without a stick in his pocket.

and the other day he said he could feel his lips starting to heal & get better/more moist after the withdrawls. don't get me wrong, here, the withdrawals were rough, but we made it through and now his lips stay moist on their own like they should.

chapstick addicts of the world...there is hope!!!

(ps. sorry about the incredibly boring nature of my blog currently.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

sweater weather.

ugly christmas sweater day at work.
not only is mine
it also belongs to a boy.
see the eagle?
pretty sweet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

jennie, jennie, jennie.

it's your birthday...
happy birthday to you!
thank you for being:
-a great sister in law who listens to my rants & raves
-a fabulous mother with a darling bebe
-a talented crafter
-a good example (you totally teach me how to be a good wife & mother -not that i'm a mother, but you know)
-always on top of things (she keeps our family organized!)
-fun to hang out with, whatever the occasion
-always positive & cheerful
-the ultimate party planner
-a devoted beatles/paul fan!
-my go-to-girl for many things: crafting, ideas, what store to go to, etc, etc, etc
-a fabulous cook (love that macaroni salad, sopapilla cheesecake, and the pies!)
-the olsen family event coordinator (seriously, thank you for that!)
-a mini-martha
-my email buddy
-and a great friend!
{hope you don't mind the blog shout out!}
have a fabulous day, my dear!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

i was called a "scrooge" today.

by my very own husband.

for the very first time in my life.
{our family christmas tree.
i wasn't home to decorate it, but i still think it is beautiful.
picture by k, he insisted i include that)

i admit i've been having a hard time getting into the christmas spirit this year.
i admit i've cried more often lately than i have in the past two years of my life.
i admit i haven't looked on the bright side of anything.
i admit i even once said, "let's just skip christmas this year" (can you imagine?)

for the first time in my life, i've have had a hard time getting into the christmas spirit. i don't know if it's my grandpa, or the new house, or the lack of sleep/free-time or a combination of everything, but i've been very down lately.

when thinking about this today, i realized that i've been on the receiving end of so many kind & thoughtful acts of service this past week, it's amazing i don't just have the christmas spirit oozing out of me.

for example:

-my family received dinner twice from neighbors this past weekend.
-meg & her parents showed up on a cozy, snowy night with a giant poinsettia in hand (i love poinsettias)
-we have more bouquets of flowers on our counter than we know what to do with.
-i've received many thoughtful texts from all my friends. i love you.
-i got to see long lost faces at the viewing and funeral.
-and felt loved when g's family & the bennetts showed up to show their support. thank you.
-i got to spend time with my darling grandmother and be uplifted by her strength.
-i had the opportunity to appreciate my life & the people in it.
-someone brought us poppy seed bread.
-and oranges.
-and caramels.
-and cards.
-g took a day off.
-and actually said, "lets just relax tonight". (yes! hasn't happened forever)

all of these things remind me of christmas and make me so grateful for this time of year. and i plan to spend the rest of the month thinking of ways to focus on christmas' true meaning. i'm going to start with my favorite christmas movie & go from there. who knows, i may even get a mini christmas tree & some twinkle lights for our current digs (brother's old bedroom).

see g? no scrooge here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

and a few pictures, too.

i just found a bunch of pictures that my brother took last sunday after dinner.
i am so lucky to have these people in my life.
i love them.
the brother's idea of helping with dishes was creating a chain of 5 of them (from the sink to the hutch) and tossing the plates across the room like frisbees. obviously, a good use of their time and a HUGE help to us women (i mean, how else would we have put them away, really?)
i love this squishy babe.

please notice my dad's calm, cool & collected gq poses in these next two pics. work it, dad.
he let's nothing distract him...
and please notice scotty's shirt. a favorite, obviously.
and i am especially lucky to have that one, in the blue.
he is a rockstar husband. i don't want to embarrass him, but he has done so many sweet things for me the past couple days. i really really like him.

grandpa's obituary.

{first of all, thank you so much for all of your kind words. they have been a big source of comfort to me over the past few days as i have read them & re-read them often. thank you. my grandpa's obituary was published today and i absolutely love it. i know it is pretty lengthy, but don't worry, i am not posting it for all of you to read the whole thing, only for my own safe keeping. it is a great tribute to his extraordinary life.}

Jackson W. Moffitt

Jackson W Moffitt 1923 ~ 2008 Jackson W. Moffitt, beloved husband and father, passed away quietly at his home on Dec. 3, 2008 of natural causes incident to his age. He will be deeply missed by his wife and family, but we rejoice that he is reunited with family and friends who preceded him in death. Jack was born in Orangeville, Utah on February 20, 1923 to Leona Moffitt and Edward Garr. He grew up under very modest circumstances in the farming communities of Emery County, Utah, but was surrounded by a loving extended family and many friends. He graduated from Central High School in Castle Dale, Utah. He remained close to his high school classmates throughout his life, continuing to attend frequent class reunions even in his advanced years. His friends were a life-long source of joy and comfort. In 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army and was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers. He served his country in World War II in campaigns in the Philippines and New Guinea. Following his honorable discharge from the military at the conclusion of the war, he returned to Emery County and went to college under the GI Bill, studying at Carbon College (now the College of Eastern Utah) and later at the University of Utah. He graduated with honors from the College of Engineering at the University of Utah in 1952, with a degree in Mining Engineering. He married Valaine Jones on February 28, 1947 in Huntington, Utah. Later that year, they were sealed in the Manti Temple. Together, they raised four sons. Jack began his professional career in 1952, as a mining engineer with Kaiser Steel (and later with U.S. Steel), designing coal mines, washing plants and other mining facilities in Utah and Colorado. This began a life-long love affair with both geology and building things. Jack could design and build anything-from coal mines, to LDS chapels, to garages or home additions, to beautiful cabinets, to killer Pinewood Derby racers. His designs were precise and his structures were sound. He was always concerned about the safety of the men who worked in the mines he designed and supervised, and with the well-being of their families. To his credit, no mine that he designed ever experienced a fatality from its design or in its operations. Wanting to raise his family in a larger community, with more opportunities for education and personal development, Jack left U.S. Steel in 1962 and accepted a position with the Mining Branch of the United States Geological Survey. His career with the U.S.G.S. would open the world to him and his family. He began his second career in Billings, Montana, as Deputy Director over the Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota regions. Later, he was promoted to Deputy Director of the National Office, and he and his family moved to Washington, D.C. While in the National Office, he helped author many of the Federal regulations which still stand as the primary source of regulatory law for the mining industry. In 1969, he returned to Salt Lake City to ultimately become the Regional Director of the Mining Branch of the U.S.G.S. He worked there until he retired in 1987. He received many awards and recognitions as an engineer, including certification as a Professional Engineer. He was also a respected administrator. Jack was blessed with a keen intellect and an unquenchable desire to learn. He loved to read. History, philosophy, the scriptures, Tom Clancy novels, the sports page- it didn't matter what it was, if it was well written, it was worth reading. As a young man, he loved to hunt and fish and was well known in his community for his stamina, his marksmanship, and his good luck as a fisherman. Of course, Jack would tell friends that his prowess as an angler had nothing to do with luck. His love of the outdoors ultimately evolved into a passion for gardening. His yard was always immaculate and his flower beds were beautiful -designed and executed with the kind of perfection you would expect from an engineer. He loved and grew beautiful roses and delicious raspberries. The roses were for his sweetheart and eternal companion, Valaine. The raspberries were for him and his grandchildren. He loved to dance, and at 6'5" was as imposing as he was graceful on the dance floor. Jack and Val were great dance partners, and they were even better life partners. Their love and devotion to each other, through good times and bad, have set an example of commitment and companionship to which their posterity aspire. Most of all, Jack loved his wife and his sons, and he was completely devoted to them. He provided a life-long example of hard work, perseverance, fulfilling one's duties, serving others, and, most of all, keeping one's word - no matter the cost. He was honest in everything he said and did. In his last years, he was a living example of enduring great pain and physical indignities with courage, patience, and remarkably good humor. We are blessed to be his wife and sons. He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his entire life. He served in several bishoprics, in the Mission Presidency of the North Central States Mission, in High Priest Groups, and with his wife, as an Ordinance Worker in the Jordan River Temple. He leaves a legacy of dedicated service to the Lord and to all who associated with him. He is survived by his wife, Valaine - his completely devoted and eternal companion, his lover, and, in his last years, his full-time caregiver. He is also survived by his four sons, Jackson Kirk (Fern), Billings, Montana; Ronald Glenn (Suzanne), Mark Howard (Jana) and Scott Edward (Jerelyn), all of Salt Lake City, Utah; and by 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 12:00 noon at the LDS Brighton Fourth Ward Chapel, located at 2300 East Bengal Blvd. (7600 South). Family and friends may call at the Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 South), on Sunday evening, December 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., or at the Brighton Fourth Ward Chapel from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m., prior to the funeral services. Interment, with military honors, will be at Mountain View Memorial Estates, Cottonwood Heights In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary or Perpetual Education Funds or to your favorite charity.