Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Reed

Dear Reed,

You were born exactly 12 years ago. I remember you were a much-anticipated baby . . . mom had been in bed for months and months so you wouldn't be born prematurely. And I was the oldest so I was learning to do things around the house and helping take care of the crazy 5-year-old Monica and 2-year-old David. Isn't it weird that they were so little? David still had his scratchy voice and Monica was still really really hyper. We were always playing together. Then one day we got to go to the hospital--you had finally come! And I got to hold you, so tiny! You were definitely supposed to be part of our family. Being 10, I was old enough to really help take care of you and I really felt like you were my baby too. I remember making you bottles with the nasty powder formula in the little plastic baggies and shaking it up, holding the bottle so you wouldn't get lots of air bubbles. I loved having a baby!!!

Then you became a toddler! A really cute one with a really big head and a cute smile! You were pretty easy going, even with all of us older kids dragging you around the house and making you play with us. When you got a little bigger your hair was awesome, really long and parted on the side. I remember I had the job of combing your hair and getting you ready for church sometimes. You hated having your hair combed! Nothing's changed! But I really liked getting to pick out your outfits!

It was especially cute when you started playing t-ball! Who knew that you would end up playing for all these years! You are awesome! I tried to show you a thing or two, but pretty much you schooled me. Oh well. I miss getting to go to your games and cheering you on! I hope we get to again soon. And thanks for giving my boyfriends a chance to work their way into the family! They loved playing baseball with you out back--some of them have said how they still wanted to play with my brothers even when I wasn't home (basically you were more fun than me!) You play sports and you rock their socks at video games. I got into the PS2 thing and we played Tony Hawk and DDR to our heart's content!

And then one day you were taller than me! Wait a second, you're still a little boy! I can't believe you are twelve, two years older than I was when you were born! It's a really exciting year because you get to start young men's and get the priesthood! And you are going to start middle school! It feels so weird that my baby is not a baby at all any more with his size 12 shoes!!! And I thought it was so great that you started playing the sax. You're pretty good at it and one day you'll woo all the ladies with your mad skills and baseball pants! Plus you have a really cool name! I miss you in California and I hope you're having a wonderful birthday! I love you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We are the Raimos

I am sooo glad it's been a little sunny! It's really got my spirits up and we've had some beautiful days (even though we still get occasional SNOW- so weird). Yesterday Raimo and I were done with work at 6-- and we realized we were going to get to hang out in daylight!!!! It was really exciting to have some time together! So we went to Del Taco and drove up to the parking for the Y to eat and watch the sun set. It was really beautiful- really cloudy and pink-y. And we finally finished reading Goose Girl, which is a fun book. And then we got to go to bed early! At 9:30!!!! haha Hey it seemed like fun at the time!

This morning when I woke up, I just felt really happy. Not just because Raimo is a cute sleeper, I was just really glad he was there next to me. It's like the never-ending sleep-over. I LOVE sleepovers! If there's any good that's coming from our hectic life, it's that I'm really appreciating the little time we get to have together! We've been married for almost 10 months. I can hardly believe it's almost been a year. Can I have another wedding?!!? I loved mine so much!! Even though it's been such a short time, people already totally consider us a unit. While our coach usually calls everyone by name, Raimo and I are the singular unit: "Laitinens." And then the other day he called us the "Raimos"..... quite by accident I think but I thought it was pretty funny. I am now totally and completely bonded with him, I've lost both first and last names and have taken HIS!

I don't know if there is much point to this blog other than the fact that I am so happy being married and I'm loving on Raimo right now and missing him while I'm at work. Love you, my darling!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

19 is a magic number!

19 more days of school! here are 19 pictures to celebrate

Our new baby

Amanda did my hair for our Vegas competitions. Rad.

We competed standard for the first time. And rocked everybody's world.

We got a picture with Eugene and Maria! They were one of the pro couples that came--they are so fierce! And small! Smaller than us even.

dancing at nationals

Sunday, March 8, 2009

i always forget the background is purple, so don't use the purple or gray writing!

March 8th of the year 2009
For the weekend we had signed up for the Las Vegas Showdown dance competition at the Hilton hotel. We took off thursday night around 7p.m and got to my brothers and sister-in-laws Awesome home around midnight. Their guest bedroom rocked and their house is coming along sweet. I have the cutest niece (neice, I think the first way is correct). She was all smiles and very easy going. we painted the town blue, or so they say. (maybe red) and we saw the sights or at least the good ones! The weather was cooperative and warm, except when it got sort of windy. we danced friday evening in the amatuer novice latin competition which consisted of the dances cha cha cha, Samba, and the rrrrumba. we actually didn't feel good about those dances but we did well anyways. Amanda picked us up and we talked. for the competition Amanda turned Jessica's head into a living masterpiece, she created an intricate weave bun with live flowers in her hair. It was stunning and I'm sure there will be photos posted shortly... saturday the 7th of march started with an adventure looking for Amanda's grandparents and going to the swap meet. It was Jessica's first time and she seemed a little nervous. I smoothly calmed her down, and we bartered and bantered with the salesmen and women. OOO there was so much to buy, shoes, clothes, old motor bikes dirt and street. bicycles, parrots, mice, flea's, dogs, makeup, churros, washer and dryer, tools, knives, everything was there. car stereo's. we walked and walked and walked. I caught some zzz... on the way back. my other brother and his family showed up in vegas and we went to the nordstrom cafe.... it was great. Come to think of it, All of my nieces are really cute, (calling out to meredi, Hails, Lills, and soaps. but before we went out to nordy's Amanda created an even more immaculate hair style on my wife. we danced in the amatuer pre-championship Latin which consisted of the dances Cha cha cha, Samba, rumba and the Jive. we got dressed. they lined us up. and we went out on the dance floor. Marko and soapi came. the lights dimmed and the music began to play. I couldnn't get enough oxygen into my lungs which for me made it sort of hard to dance. Again it went well. we lined up for the awards ceremony and they started calling out the dance numbers the group kept getting smaller and smaller. when our number was called we decided we should bow. it was fun. and now we're back in Utah, and I"m trying to get my math finished. its not that easy. well thats it for now. from me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Consider the lilies

If you have a chance, read something from Matthew 5-7. I loved reading these chapters last week. I was reading the Sermon on the Mount for New Testament class this weekend. I've read some of those verses so many times but it was a really interesting read for me this time and I think I learned some important lessons from it. I know everyone knows the phrase "consider the lilies of the field" and I've always thought it referred to how beautiful they are and how they are beautiful because God made them. But while I was reading the surrounding verses and applying it to myself, it had even more meaning to me. Jesus told the people to consider the fowls of the air and how helpless they are. They don't sow, they don't reap . . . and yet Heavenly Father feeds them. I think it's a really good lesson for me because I feel like I need to do so much on my own. And while it is a good thing to be self-motivated and to work hard, it is important to let God take some of the burden-if we put our trust in Him and have faith, He is able to help and bless us even more than we can help ourselves. And Jesus talks about how beautiful the lilies of the field are, how they grow without toiling and without spinning (without making themselves beautiful). They are beautiful because God created them so. And then Jesus asks if God would clothe the lilies and feed the birds, then how much more will he provide for us if we have faith? I've never read this verse this way before-it's saying we must have faith that God will feed and take care of us the way he takes care of all living things. It is not just about how God cares for his creations, but more specifically about how He knows and cares for us. It is especially powerful to think that it was Jesus (who talked with God and knew Him so well) who said these words and who was so aware of God's love for us.
Then Jesus gives the real message: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." So if we are always putting God's kingdom first in our lives, He will bless us with those things we need. I know that this is a really good lesson for me--I'm never satisfied with what I'm doing and I always feel like I should be doing more (whether it's related to how I do on a test or how I'm doing in competitions or how I'm doing in my relationships or how I'm doing in other things). But it was a really good reminder for me that putting righteousness first is what really matters. And Heavenly Father promises us that he will take care of my needs as long as I am doing just that. It is more important to have faith in Heavenly Father and to ask Him for guidance than it is to work hard without Him. It's a weird concept for me because I feel like I have so much that I am capable of doing on my own, but, really, my real growth as a person happens when I leave things up to faith. This year I feel like my faith has been stretched a little . . . and has been strengthened in the process. I have felt God helping me along when I've ask Him to; and it is so amazing to see little miracles happening in my life.
I hope everyone has a great week and that you consider the lilies and how we can become beautiful as lilies in God's hands :)