Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 24

I love thatthe most important thing in Jon's life is his family. Not just Zac and I, but his mom and dad and brother and sisters, as well as my family. He id definitely and oldest child. He is always looking out for his siblings. He finds ways to do things for them, and he is always trying to be a good example. Something else that I have loved since I first met Jon is his amazing relationship with his mom. He has always been able to talk to her about anything.
Isn't this the greatest ever picture!
I love that he loves me family and really works to have a relationship with each one of them. As you have seen from what each of my siblings have said- they love having him as part of our family. I know that it hasn't always been easy to fit in, but he has always worked hardto make sure they all know that he appreciates them and all they do for us. We have amazing families. The time they have spent helping to take care of Zac is immeasurable. I am grateful to them everyday, and I am grateful to have a husband that sets his family above other things.

Day 23

I love that Jon is adventurous and out-going and gets me to try new things. There are some things I'm pretty wimpy about- if you know my mom you at least know I come by it naturally. I'm not one to go out my way to chat with people I don't know. Jon is very comfortable talking with people and he helps me get out of my comfort zone all the time. He encourages me to try new things even when I'm scared and a lot of times it turns out great- things like riding on wave runners and such. I love that he pushes me. We don't become better if we stay stagnant and I need to be marred to someone that stretches me to my limits and yet is there to support me the whole time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 22

First, let me say how much I appreciate everyone being so willing to add their thoughts to mine. We have amazing families!
I love that Jon is a spiritual leader in our home. I have been blessed to be a part of different parts of Jon's spirituality. It was incredible to get to know that side of him through his letters on his mission. Jon was an amazing missionary. Going on a mission wasn't a decision he took lightly. He made the decision to go and his whole heart went into the work and the love of the people in Mexico. I miss the relationship we were able to have through letters. It is easier to share this side of me in writing than in person and it was good to be able to share our thoughts and testimonies with each other so often. It's something we don't do in the same way and I miss getting to read about his relationship with his Heavenly Father as much as I did.
I love that Jon and I were married in the temple. I love that we make it a goal to go there often and that he is worthy to be there. So many people don't have the blessing of sitting in the temple next to the person they are madly in love with and know that they get to be with that person forever. This is a blessing I do not take lightly.
I love that Jon is a worthy priesthood holder. There have been many times when Zac or I have needed a blessing and Jon was able to give them. I love having the priesthood in our home.
I love that Jon works on his spirituality- he reads his scriptures and other books. He is good to make sure that we remember to say our prayers. He teaches Zac to pray. He is good example to me. He makes me want to be better.

Day 21

Hey Jonny,

This is your brother Michael. I thought I'd add a few words to the blog as well.

To start off, I want you to know I appreciate you more than you know. I've been drowning in a sea of estrogen for most of my life, and it's nice to have another voice in the family to take my side. I've enjoyed being your friend--playing and watching sports. It's such a relief to have another male in the family to talk about things of interest, i.e. NOT scrap-booking and crafts. I especially appreciate that you're always willing to lend a helping hand--I won't forget your help in moving me into my apartment.

I LOVE your son. I know he's got a great father. If you ever need someone to mentor him in dribbling left handed, I am your man. Seriously, let's make a pro athlete out of that boy--college athlete at a minimum (I know a school with a pretty good basketball program in North Carolina).

Anyway, that's about it. I love you man. Thanks for being a good friend.

Your Brother Mike

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 20

It brings me great pleasure to take a few minutes to write out a few of my thoughts about my older brother, Jonathan Edward Jones, who also happens to be my longest-running friend... almost 25 years! Who else gets to say that at 24 years old?

I have always looked up to the bold, righteous figure of my older brother. When I was younger, my only form of admiration was mimicry: cutting and combing my hair the same way, listening to Bush/Dave Matthews/u2 or any other cds I stole out of his cd case, and wearing the same clothes (seriously. The same clothes. I would take them out of his closet.). As I grew older and carved my own niche, I've been able to more fully realize the things it was I really admired about him, like his hard work ethic and his full devotion to providing care and support for everyone around him.

Admittedly, it wasn't always peachy. Many of the lessons that we learned together growing up came with a heavy hand. I would highly recommend that nobody here ever call him JoJo or Jonboy, take his cds without asking, or sneak into his closet after he's left for school to find cooler clothes. These are all lessons I learned MANY times, and my repentance was often called upon by the strong retaliation of an older, physically superior brother who could take me down in a flash. I simply cannot count the number of times I pressed buttons until I received a response, and boy... we got in a lot of trouble.

I learned a valuable lesson, though, because when we would fight, my mom would send us to our separate rooms until Dad got home, at which point we'd both be brought before the patriarch of the house to explain our case. I can't think of a single time I was ever thrown under the bus or left out to dry. We were in trouble, but we were in it together, and countless times my brother showed me the definition of brotherly love by sticking up for me. One time, we'd been sent to our separate rooms to 'think about what we'd done' while our parents sat downstairs and stressed about how two brothers could get along so poorly. We both huddled around our respective bedroom heat vents, and conversed through them until we'd reached a peace agreement that worked. We walked downstairs to our parents, and calmly explained that everything was fine, and we'd worked out a healthy peace agreement.

A simple tale, but it has stuck with me. Jonathan, you have shown me what it means to love your family, what it means to work hard for what you want, and that everything will work out in the end. Nobody I know can joke like we can, and nobody I know can pick up trash in the yard like we can.

Sigh. I've re-written this whole thing twice, and these static words still seem to lack the true emotion for what I feel. Thank you, brother, thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for not letting Jesse Mcguire beat me up in school. Thank you for not beating me up when I broke your first portable cd player. Thank you for helping teach me how to drive. Thank you for helping me move to Ephraim. Thank you for never judging or condemning me. Thank you for marrying an awesome girl from an awesome family. Thank you for being a real man and raising a family with honor. Thank you for having empathy to the world around you. Thank you for devoting your life and time to helping complete strangers with your work at the hospital. Thank you for always making me laugh.

Dude. I love ya. Our lives are rich with the history two brothers have created, and sooner than we think, we're going to be the image we've always had of our father's generation, all chewing the cud around the dining room table long after the meal has been put away. I look forward to growing old and always knowing I've got you and our family with me. Just like the multiple times you've thrown bullies off me at school, I'm happy to know my brother will always have my back.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 19

I love that Jon is still a flirt (hopefully just with me). Even though we've been married for a little while now, Jon is still very romantic. He does sweet things to make me feel important- like bringing flowers and treats to school to celebrate my first mother's day. We also have all kinds of inside jokes. Oh, I see, disaster Marty, you make me feel eguberating, olive juice and elephant oil, go take a nap, kiss my nose just to name a few. I'm glad that after these years I'm still worth the effort to flirt.

I have pictures to add, but I need to scan them at school tomorrow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 18

Jon is a great gift giver. Especially at Christmas he is incredibly thoughtful and gets me unexpected things that I just love. (No pressure or anything). He always writes notes to explain the gift and why it is important and I have loved saving those notes and reading through them. Our first Christmas married I had visited the class I was going to be taking over in January and I happened to go on pajama day and read a thon day with buddies. They were out of control and I was scared to death to be taking over the class. For Christmas that year Jon had put together a teaching kit to make my first days of teaching manageable, including a build a bear to look like him that I could hug if things got too crazy. One year when he was working graveyards at ARUP and wasn't home a lot at night he actually worked with my mom to make me a quilt (yes he tied it and sewed the binding on!) that I could have the nights he was gone. The year I was pregnant he made me a super hero kit with a car wash to make my super car perfect, my kryptonite- peanutbutter m&m's, and my action figure (a beautiful Willow Tree sculpture with a mom, dad, and new baby). He almost always makes me cry, not neccessaryily with the gift itself, but with the sentiment behind it. His gifts show how well he knows me and how thoughtful he is.

Family Pictures

So in October we got family pictures taken with my family. We are just now getting the CD back with them on. They turned out so cute. Just thought I would share.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17

I love that Jon is such a movie fan that it means he will watch even the sappy movies with me. I have talked to friends who their husbands refuse to go with them to see a show they want to see. I think almost every movie we have gone to see I have gotten to choose. He is a good sport when we go out. These days however it's a miracle just to make it to the movies since it is one of the dates that requires a babysitter and we over use ours anyway. I guess that makes it even more meaningful right now since the percentage of times we go to movies is now so low and I know there are tons of movies Jon is interested in and he still lets me pick what we're going to see. Seriously- how did I get so lucky?
One of my favorites that even though it is not one of Jon's favorites he has seen it with me many times.

Day 16

I love that Jon makes me laugh. As I was thinking about this one, I have realized how much this is not a small thing. I remembered back to college just after Jon was home from his mission and I was kind of dating this other kid (Jon you knew about that right? :)). I was trying to decide what I really wanted in a date and I distinctly remember thinking that the other guy didn't make me laugh and and that Jon did all the time. I immediately ended things with the other guy because I couldn't imagine a life where I wasn't laughing and happy every day. Jon loves to make people laugh. He's sarcastic, silly, and witty all at different times. And get him in the room with his brother and dad at Sunday dinner and you can hardly get your food down (thanks to their amazing ability to take Su's jokes and make them their own). On our last two dates walking back to the car, I think people must have thought we had lost it because we were laughing so hard- one at Jon's incredible speed walking championship skills and the other at his speed skating skills. Because Jon is like this was spend a lot of time happy and laughing at our house. I love also that this is another thing that Zac has in common with his daddy. Zac has the funnest sense of humor already and the most contagious giggle. If I could have a wish it would be that our house will always be filled with laughter. Thank you Jon for making me smile, snicker, roll my eyes, laugh out loud, and roll on the floor nearly wetting my pants depending on the day.
Just an example of the hilarity that ensues at family dinners.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15

Jon-The Super Brother-in Law

So today is my turn, Jonny! I was excited when Kim offered me the opportunity to write during these 25 days of Christmas. There are so many things I admire about you, but I will only mention a few...

First, you love Kim with your whole heart. As her older sister, I couldn't ask for anything more. I know that you will always take care of her and put her needs above your own. You are a good example of what a husband should be.

Second, you are the best daddy Zac could ask for. You play and have fun, you teach him tricks and crazy things to say; but you also teach him about Jesus and how to treat other people. I look forward to watching Zac grow up as he follows your example.

Third, you have a strong testimony and you honor your priesthood. I've watched you serve faithfully, no matter what your calling is: teacher, priest, missionary, counselor in the Elder's quorum, or ward librarian.

Fourth, you are a hard worker. You do it all: school, work, family, church. It's not easy to find time to do all those things, let alone to do them well and with a smile on your face, but somehow you do it.

Fifth, speaking of smiling, you are one of the funniest people I know. I love that you find the joy in simple things, it doesn't take much to get a smile out of you. And I admire the ability to quote any line from any movie at the right comedic moment. You make me laugh!

Sixth, you are aware of the feelings of people around you. You always seem to know when I need a hug or kind word. I don't know what prompted you to send those letters out a couple of weeks ago, but mine meant the world to me. You made me cry. What a thoughtful, special thing to do.

Finally (I could go on, but I'm being told its time to go), you may not be blood, but you are an important part of our family. I couldn't imagine our family without you in it. Jon, I love you. Thanks for being a super brother.

Day 14

Jon is super sensitive to what I need. He can sense when I'm about to lose it and he is so willing to serve me so I can calm down or have a minute by myself. He will distract Zac and let me go in the other room and just shut the door and read or take a nap. In fact, sometimes I am ordered to go do these things. I don't think I let him know how much I really appreciate this. I'm sure just like everyone else responsibilities are never done- I could always have a cleaner house, work on the dishes or the laundry, I always have papers to correct and things to get ready for school, and work to do for church. For Jon to let me or even push me into a room by myself for a few minutes every once in a while is absolutley luscious and I so appreciate him recognizing when I need a few minutes to myself.
This is a book I'm reading right now. Very good!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13

In a world so full of indifference, selfishness, and some women's rights in there, I love that my husband is such a gentleman. Jon always opens my door for me. It is a small gesture that I appreciate every time he does. I think it is a small way that he can show me that he wants to do what he can to take care of me. He even taught his sisters that if a date doesn't open their door for them, they have the right to punch them. Jon also does little things like sleeping on the side of the bed closest to the door (you know in case some crazy guy comes in the room then Jon can take him out before he ever gets to me). Or walks on the side of the road he thinks is the most dangerous. I love feeling like I am being taken care of. I know that he doesn't do it in a demeaning way- like I can't do things myself. In fact he knows that I am independent in many parts of my life. But it's nice to know that for Jon chivalry isn't dead. He is constantly doing things that shows his respect for women and especially his wife.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 12

I love how well Jon gets along with my family. This is huge to me since my family is such a big part of my life. Jon doesn't just go along with things, he really makes an effort to love each person in my family. So I have invited some of my family to share some things throughout the next few days. Not because I am running out of things to write, but because I know they appreciate and love Jon too.
Hi Jonny!!

I am SO excited to be a special guest on this such a very special time of year. You have to know how special you are because I haven't even touched my own blog in months!! I am so thankful Kim has given me the chance to tell you why you are important to me, too.

I could go on an on about the qualitities I love about you! Having you as a brother-in-law has been a joy from the beginning. I remember when you took Kim to Prom and other dances. I remember how wonderful it was to hear Kim read me letters you sent from Mexico. I was able to relive so many great mission experiences from your time as a faithful missionary. I know how important that time was for you...and for Kim. I could write about scavenger hunts all around the valley (twice) and how fun it was for me to be able to spend time with you. You are so fun to be around. Thank you for always joining to our creative/silly experiences. You are such a good sport!!
I also love how our families are close. I LOVE your family...your parents have been so instrumental in my life. I think often of the times I knelt with your dad, as my bishop, as I prepared to serve my mission. I also think of how wonderful your mom is. She is a friend of mine. She makes me laugh and I admire her so much for all that she has done. I have known Megan since she was five! We would read and play together. I loved that she sent me letters in college and on my mission. AND that Launa O'Malley makes me smile! The bond I have created with your family is a treasure in my life!

But, Jon, I really want to make sure you know that I am most thankful for one of your greatest qualities--the quality of unselfishness. Kim has touched on this in a few of her posts this month, and I want to personalize some feelings from my perspective.

First, I love spending time with your little family. My sister is a very important person in my life and I am happy when we can do things together. There have been many times when you have unselfishly sent her along to be with me...including overnight vacations. And now that the JOY of my life (your son) has entered the picture, I am even more grateful for the times I get to spend with them. I know there are many husbands and fathers that would be a little bitter about all of these times, but you aren't one of them. I am very thankful that you share your family so selflessly with others. That time is precious to me.

Even more personally, I have been on the recieving end of your kind, unselfish acts. One VERY cold morning, soon after you married Kim, I was at school in Layton getting ready for my day. I had been struggling with somethings and hadn't been very happy. That morning wasn't any better...until you walked through the door. There you were bright and early, in my classroom, with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand. You told me you were worried about me and that you wanted me to know that you cared about me. We had a wonderful talk (full of my tears--I'M SURE!!) and with a hug, you left before the bell rang. I felt so loved and appreciated after that converation. What a selfless drive you made to Layton! Your visit not only changed my mood, but it marked the true beginning of our brother/sister relationship. I knew you cared about me.

There have been years between then and now--years full of times when you have taken an interest in my life. I don't always let you know how much that means to me. I am sorry for that, but I want you to know that your actions never go unnoticed. You unselfishly make sure I am okay. I appreciate all that you have done to help and support me with school, getting new carpet, moving...the list continues to go on and on.

But, recently you touched my heart in a way that you may never understand. The letter I got in the mail from you came on a day when my heart was hurting and I was questioning some things about myself. I know you must have been inspired to write it, because everything you said was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I have read and reread your words and they have brought me a lot of peace. Your selfless act of following a prompting has, once again, blessed my life.

I love you, Jon! You are the BEST brother-in-law in the world! I appreciate your unselfish words and deeds. You are a great example of how to love family...and I am so blessed that you are part of mine!


Day 11

Jon is an amazing dad! I know I am biased, but I think he is better than most. He started out having to be super dad when right after I had Zac I had my spinal headaches and he had to completely care for him and take care of me for several days. Because I teach, Jon has worked his schedule out to be able to be with Zac a lot during the day. Zac adores his dad. Jon is always teaching him new things- funny phrases (most rescent: gadzooks), how to cheer appropriatly for the sports team of your choice, how important technology is- phones, mamotes, compooters, ipods. He has taught him to laugh and be silly and crazy, but he also is the one to remind him to say his prayers. Everynight, Jon gets Zac ready for bed and they read stories together. He does great voices for Grover. Jon takes care of all the medical issues we have with Zac and both hospital visits has been calm and perfect while I freak out. It's really nice to be able to trust someone else with this kind of care. He has taught Zac to not be afraid to try new things and be adventerous. And one of my favorite things that Jon teaches Zac is to be respectful to me. He doesn't let Zac get away with anything if it is disrepectful to me. I love that he is teaching his son from the beginning the same value for women and mothers that Jon has.
I couldn't have asked for a better father to my children. I am excited that I have such a great partner in the greatest responsibility and the greatest joy in our lives. There have been so many times when I am frustrated as a parent and Jon comes in and takes over and I think about how impossible it would be to be a single parent. I am grateful that I don't only just have someone working with me, I lucked out with the best!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10

Jon always makes my birthdays special. I have decided that birthdays are a curious thing. I think everyone has certain expectations of what their birthday is going to be like. Even you are a person who pretends to hate having birthdays and you tell everyone not to bother getting you anything, I think deep down everyone hopes that someone will do something special for them. Birthdays are a big deal in our family. Even without having a lot of money, Jon always makes it really special. He makes sure to invite everyone to a party. He makes good food. He also has fun coming up with new ideas for cakes every year. They are always an adventure. I really appreciate that he goes out of his way to make me feel special. He knows what is important to me and is always coming up with fun ideas to make me happy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 9

I love that Jon encourages me to go off and do my own thing sometimes. I have so many different responsibilities (like everyone else) that it's nice sometimes to go do things on my own that I think are fun. I know this wouldn't be good for some marriages, but it is essential to ours. I have never felt like I need to ask permission to go and hang out with my sisters, or go and do crafts with my friends, or take a cooking class. In fact he really tries to work out his schedule so he will be home to take care of Zac so that I can go and do these things. I think he realizes that when I get back I am more relaxed and happy and that makes our family happier. I try to do the same with him, if he really needs time out to go play basketball or go off to a movie. I must admit, I have not been as understanding all of the times as he has. I love that he wants me to be my own person, to learn new skills and have my down time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8

Jon will laugh that I have this on here as one of the things that I love about him because I've told him it drives me nuts sometimes, but I love that he a good problem solver. When you tell Jon that you have any kind of problem he immediately starts thinking of ways to fix it. As his wife, sometimes I just want him to listen and commiserate and I have gotten frustrated with him for this. However, he really is good at thinking about things in a different way than I have and coming up with good solutions. And usually after I have whined and sulked about it for as long as I needed to, it's nice to have ideas for what to do next.
I googled problem solver and this is the awesome picture that came up. So great!

Day 7

I love that Jon lets me sit on his lap. I am definitely a cuddler. If you have read the love languages my first is quality time and my second is touch. When I was little and I would get sick I would always go cuddle up to someone and lay in their lap. I love that my husband doesn't mind that even though there will be a room full of chairs I would rather go and sit on his lap. Thanks for putting up with me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Fun

I thought I would insert some holiday photos in between my love notes. We had a very fun and very busy Thanksgiving break. We ran in the Human Race again this year which is the 5K they do in Draper. We have been doing it now for 4 years. We did it the first year they had it and there were maybe a hundred or so people. This year there were thousands. It was packed. We still had lots of fun.

It was really cold to start out with, but warmed up as the sun came out. Zac got all bundled up and my parents walked with him while Jon and I ran.

We had dinner with Jon's family. Zac posed with his uncle Ryan by the fireplace. How holidayish.
My sister has taken over making cake pops. She came up with the idea to make turkey ones. They turned out so cute!
The next morning my sisters and I braved the stores early in the morning. I don't think I would ever so this alone, but we have lots of fun going together (right Kris- remember how fun it was checking out at Shopko:)) . I really did find some great deals. On Saturday we did crafts together with my mom and sisters. It's so nice to know such creative people.

Can't show everything- it is Christmas time you know.
Last Friday Jon and I finally got around to putting up the tree (not Jon's favorite activity).
But it was so worth it. Zac was in absolute joyfulness (my grammar is awesome!). We turned out all the other lights and turned on the Christmas lights and he just started clapping and cheering and saying "lights, so pretty". He had to get as close as he could to the tree- he slid his little legs under till he was nose to nose with the lights. He just kept clapping he was so excited.

I so love this time of year. It makes it even more fun that Zac is enjoying it this year as well. We hope all of you are having fun too.