Sunday, April 17, 2011


"A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!"
As many of you know we've developed a lot of traditions in our family. Holidays, birthdays, adoption days, sealing days and many more. Like in the quote above from Tevye, the main character in "Fiddler on the Roof", that's one way we keep our balance.

Last month started what we fondly call "the season of Jacob". It starts on March 13th with his birthday and ends with his sealing day on June 9th. In between those days we also celebrate his homecoming day and his adoption day. And as if that's not enough Krista and I celebrated our kiss-aversary on May 17th, the day Krista and I first kissed (that will have to be another blog post).

So last month's celebrations started with Jacob's birthday. Krista had it planned out many months ago. Jake was turning 10 so we would have a bowling party. 10 pins for 10 years. And keeping with tradition this also meant one more picture to add to our cake madness album. I know this tradition meant a lot to her and I made sure all went to plan. Having the party outside our home made it a lot easier than in years past. Jacob loved the party, he has always enjoyed bowling but I think what he liked best was that all his friends that came were girls. Despite adoption the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree with this one.

In past years Krista and I would make the cake together but now I had to do it myself. We hadn't agreed on what the cake would be. We talked about several different options but never decided what we were going to make. Ideas ranged from a single pin to a whole bowling lane complete with a ball and cupcake pins. The thought crossed my mind several times to just order it from a bakery and not worry about it but I didn't want to give in to changing what has been our tradition for 10 years now. So after a lot of worrying about it I decided to make a bowling ball cake. I didn't know how to do it but that had never stopped us in the past. Luckily, while looking for things to make Emma's bat habitat at Hobby Lobby I stumbled across a ball cake pan. It came with two hemispherical pans that each made half of the ball. All you had to do is make each half of the cake and put them together with frosting. How hard could it be? I also decided to have a base the ball would sit on making it look somewhat like a trophy. It looked quite simple, at least at first. I must have spend about 5 hours working on the cake before I was happy with it. It shouldn't have surprised me since most of the cakes have taken that long with both Krista and I working on them. It's a small price to pay to keep the tradition going.

Our next celebration was Jacob's homecoming day. We brought Jake home from the hospital two days after he was born. Ever since then we would get a family portrait to celebrate his addition to our family. I didn't want Krista to not be in the pictures. She is still a part of our family and will always be. So I decided to bring a portrait of her for us to hold in the pictures. The photographer was very understanding especially when she heard our story. The pictures turned out great, despite my unphotogenic nature. I just missed Krista being there. We always enjoyed our family picture days and it was hard to not have her there in person.

The season of Jacob will continue with his adoption day and end with his sealing day. This is our favorite part of the season. It's the day we celebrate him being sealed to our family for time and all eternity. With the sealing power we will enjoy our family relationships throughout the eternities, never to be separated again. I look forward to the day when I'm called home to my maker. To wrap my arms around my sweetheart and together kneel at our Savior's feet and thank him for all he has done for us.

Traditions are important, but it's more important that they teach us eternal truths and strengthen our will to do all we can to follow our Savior's example so that we can return to Him.

Now I just need to figure out what to do for Emma's birthday...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Someone to Watch Over Me

On Valentine's Day 2008 I received a CD from my sweetheart with several songs she had recorded. One of them was the song above "Someone to Watch Over Me". I have heard Krista sing this many times over the past several years. I still remember the look in her eyes as she would sing it to me. The love she expressed through this song was more than any words could describe. I felt honored and humbled that she would trust me to be the one to watch over her.

Lately I have felt as if the roles have reversed and she is watching over me and our family. I know Krista continues to have a role my life even though she has left this mortal existence. A week ago we had a close call with a drunk driver who narrowly missed hitting us head on as we were driving home. At the last moment he swerved and just brushed our car with his bumper. I posted about this on Facebook shortly after it happened. Upon seeing this post an old high school friend commented with the following: "It is a good thing you have God and a beautiful angel watching over you and the children...". I have to agree. I have a beautiful angel watching over me and our children.

Death isn't and end, it's a new beginning and through the ordinances of the Temple and the Priesthood of God we can enjoy the same family bonds that are created in this life. I know this to be true and am thankful for the peace this knowledge brings to me at this time. I look forward to the day that I'm with my sweetheart again, to walk hand in hand and enjoy the same love we had for each other in this life. I am very thankful for a beautiful angel that watches over me.