Monday, May 26, 2008

Liam's Blessing

Magson received a beautiful baby blessing yesterday. His blessing day began with me trying one last time to fit him into the blessing outfit my mom made him. We think he grew even more in the night and had no luck.

So he wore a different outfit that my Dad and Grandma Kay were nice enough to shop for in UT at the last minute--thanks so much! He looked adorable. Oh, and the booties my mom made him fit!

Magnet blessed Magson to be strong and healthy, to have a strong spirit and a desire to choose the right, and that through the examples of others he would gain a testimony of the Gospel. Magson was blessed to have a desire to learn and to be a worthy priesthood holder, to serve an honorable and full-time mission, to be married in the temple. He was blessed to have love and charity and to be an example and light to others. He was blessed to have a mind that was sharp and that he might have an education, and that he would use his knowledge to attain wisdom. Finally, he was blessed with the ability to endure to the end so he can one day live with Heavenly Father again.

Thanks to all of you who shared in this special day with us!

People I Love

Thank you so much for coming Dad, Lauren and Emma! We love you!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Four Fab Years

(I picked this picture because I'm smiling so big my eyes are squished almost closed, and because it's one of the few digital pictures I have of us that day, and because I'm running out of time to scan a professional one into the computer.)

The instant I saw Magnet about eight years ago I had this urge to "call it." I was a new 18-year-old freshmen at BYU-Idaho at my very first ward social and I immediately spotted him in an old olive green sweater with a patch of the German flag sewn to his arm. (Were we meant for each other or what?) After staring for a few more seconds and deciding he was my dream guy, I raced over to Claire (my roommate) and let her know that I thought Magnet was a hottie and that I had a crush and that I was "calling it." I thought if I claimed him first nobody in my apartment could legally like him. He was mine. And so without even meeting him, I claimed him.

I couldn't keep my eyes off of him that night, and to my delight we met each other while walking home from the event. Later that week he called and asked me out. Just the fact that he called me about sent me through the roof. I was practically jumping up and down with the phone on my shoulder while I used my hands to try to sign his name to my roommates to let them know that my dream guy was on the other line. He called me. We were going on a date!

I was taking night classes at the time and he asked me to go to a FA-100 event with him, a concert on campus of some sort. I really don't remember. All I know is that it was in the evening and that I was going to have to meet him there right after my night class. Being new to the college, I'd never been to the building where this concert was or to the spot where we'd planned to meet. I thought we were going to meet inside the building and he thought we'd meet outside. Or maybe it was the other way around. I don't know. All I know is that we were standing in different meeting spots thinking we'd each been stood up. Luckily, we found each other and made it to the concert barely in time.

For some reason, when something important or memorable happens to me, I remember what everyone is wearing. It has something to do with my obsession with clothes, I guess. That night I was wearing a white skirt made of material with a blue floral print, a white shirt and a Gap denim jacket. I was also wearing big cluncky Doc Martin sandals. I believe Will was wearing the standard khakis and a white shirt and tie. We chatted throughout the concert about I don't remember what, probably about Germany since he served a mission there and I'm from there. At the end of the concert he whipped out his bubble sheet so he could take the little quiz that's required at FA-100 events. I did a double-take when I saw his last name printed on the bubble sheet. Did it say Gross? I could have sworn it said "Gross." As we filed out of the room and I watched him hand his bubble sheet to the usher I asked him what his last name was...a little bold for a first date since everybody knows that when a girl asks a guy his last name, she's really asking him what her last name would be if they were to someday marry. I was right. His last name was Gross and I knew he was something special when I didn't care what his last name was. From what I could tell, I wanted to be Marie Gross.

Like any love story, ours has its twists and turns and bumps in the road, but about two and a half years after that first date we got married--four years ago today. It was easily the happiest and most perfect day of my life. I love being Marie Gross. Life with Magnet has exceeded my dreams for married life. Here are some of the reasons why:

Will is so good-looking! His best features being his ears and his smile and his skin, and everything really.

He's really good with people. I think he sounds especially nice on the phone.

He's incredibly hard-working. He's always setting goals and reaching them.

He's really ambitious. He has big dreams for himself and our family.

I feel safe and secure with him. He's so responsible with his time and money and everything that affects me and the kids.

He challenges me and believes in me. He makes me feel like I'm capable of doing all that's expected of me in this life plus more.

He is an amazing dad. He helps me put Maggie to bed every night. He reads her books, takes her on daddy-daughter dates, takes her to the park. He loves to be with her and Magson. When we're all together I know that there's nowhere else in the world he'd rather be.

He speaks kindly and is patient. He's never raised his voice at me--I'm assuming that's because he's never had a reason to get upset with me. (haha)

He's really neat and cleans up after himself. His side of the bathroom and closet are always way tidier than mine, and I'm a pretty neat person myself.

He's really well-versed in the Gospel. He knows his stuff and teaches me all the time.

He loves to serve others. If he could spend all his time and money on service, that's what he'd do.
I could go on and on, but I just had to publicly tell him that I love him so much! Marrying him is the best decision I ever made and I constantly thank God that he's mine.

Happy Anniversary, Magnet. Ich liebe dich!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Walkin' on Sunshine

As much as I love WA, this Spring has been a little too overcast and rainy for me. So far, we've had all of two sunshiney days prior to today, one of which was on my birthday! It seriously made my day. Not only was I feeling my annual birthday buzz, but the weather boosted my already chipper spirits even more! It was awesome. Today was another one of those days where everyone was high on sunshine after such an absence. Isabella certainly had a skip in her step, and there's just something about a blue sky and warm sun rays on your cheek that fill the world with love. We spent today entirely outside, mostly at Magnet's parent's lake house. It was a blast!

Grandma and Magson out on the dock

Grandpa and Maggie fishing for her swimming shoes

Maggie thought throwing her shoes in the water was great entertainment.

Racing up and down the dock

You can't really tell, but this is her hugging a dandelion she picked.

I told her if she'd quit running from the camera and smile for one picture I'd stop taking her pictures--this is what I got.

Magnet, Maggie and Magson relaxing on the deck

Magson and I crashed after all the fun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Packin' on the Pounds at 7 Weeks Old

OK, is it just me or does Magson look like he's catching up to Maggie in size? Seriously, there's a 10 pound difference between them (Magson: 15lbs, Maggie: 25lbs). I'm blown away at my baby boy's waist line and his triple chin and his rolly poly thighs. The kid has just about doubled in size! Proof below.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I dub my dreams "dreamarie." Here's what I'm daydreaming about today:

1. A haircut. Possibly like Katie Holmes' new do. But I don't know; I think I'm too chicken to chop so much hair off and cut thickish bangs like that. A haircut is definitely in the works, though. What do you think Melissa J.?

2. I don't know any girl who doesn't dream of her sisters and cousins and best friend and everyone special living on the same street as her. Albeit a waste of time, I'm constantly conjuring ideas for how to get my parents and all my siblings living in the same neighborhood. (Getting them to America would be a good start, no?) And I can't tell you how many times a day I wish my #1 GF, Claire, lived next door. We both have two-year-old girls and newborn baby boys and it would just be sweeeeeet. Is hoping that our husbands can start a grocery coupon business together so far-fetched? Maybe not so far-fetched as it is nerdy. I know, dream on. Right.

3. Homeschool. Yes, kindergarten is a ways off for Maggie. And it's not grade school I'm concerned about; what I'm worried about is the middle schoolers that drop the f-bomb while I'm speed walking around the track or the three high school boys I saw holding hands and skipping around the track together with their hairspray hairdos and makeup on. Did kids swear when I was twelve? Was it cool for the boys to be so "girly?" There's something innate to motherhood that makes me want to plug my kids' ears and cover their eyes and NOT send them into the big bad world! But, of course, that would be extremist and over-protective and most of all, impossible. I can't protect them from everything I disagree with. But back to daydreaming about homeschooling. Since I can't wrap my brain around how moms fulfill their mom role on top of educating their kids at home, here's how I envision homeschool playing out at our house:

We have a cook and a maid and a nanny (Emma) and a personal shopper while I cozy up and read the kids books for their history and English curriculum. I don't know how I'd teach them any degree of upper level math since I don't speak math-ese, but I'd figure something out. We'd take lots of field trips for science class and do lots of experiments in the kitchen (enter, cleaning lady) and we'd travel the world. We'd learn Italian in Italy and German in Germany and French in France and we'd visit all the historical spots together. Now that's my kind of homeschool.

And to be sure my kids don't become social misfits I'll have them enrolled in dance and soccer, but wait a second...the same kids that go to the public schools would be showing up to soccer practice and dance class, wouldn't they? ...making it, once again, impossible for me to protect my kids from the big bad world. (I actually think there's more good kids than bad. I'm just being dramatic, in case anyone is wondering about all my doom and gloom talk.)

So, maybe all the swearing and male skipping just triggered the idea to homeschool. The real reason I've been dreaming about MAG-style homeschool is because I love to be with them all day long, and I love to read to them, and I miss Europe, and I like the idea of having the flexibility for year-round travel, and I want to learn along with them because--imagine this--I daydreamed through high school and didn't learn all that I should have. Plus, who doesn't like the idea of a cook and a maid and a nanny and a personal shopper on a rough day?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Idol Unplugged

When Magnet and I moved into this house back in October we decided not to buy cable; we wanted to put our time and money elsewhere. Having grown up without television, my withdrawals were minimal for those first three months. As January's new season of American Idol approached, I wondered if I was going to start missing being plugged in.

Honestly, American Idol is my fave show, but I didn't really miss it until my friend had me over to watch it for a few weeks...I subsequently became addicted, as usual, and if I'm not watching it at her house, I'm glued to Youtube, sometimes watching performances multiple times without the nuisance of commercials. It's nice! So I'm happy to report I've missed hardly an episode of American Idol, thanks to the hospitality of a friend and Youtube. But what I'm even happier to report is that we've survived without television. I'd say we haven't missed it a bit, but that would be a lie. We have missed it, but not as desperately as I thought we might.

Here are my pros and cons to having television, starting with the CONS:

  • I feel like our house is boring when it comes to having guests, especially for people staying with us. While we love reading in our spare time, I don't expect people to come over and pick up a book. I also have wished at times that I could have people over to our house to watch American Idol instead of always going to others' houses. I feel like having television is a social utility.
  • We couldn't watch conference on television--but we were able to stay home and watch it on the internet, so that hasn't been too much of a con.

  • People might think we're weird...I don't know.
  • We read a lot, which I've got to say is way more entertaining and fulfilling than watching TV.

  • Our house is quiet, which allows for some good introspection and peace.

  • Maggie isn't exposed to the scandalously clad women and violence that can invade a home, even simply from the news and commercials.

  • I'm not tempted to use the television as a sitter (I now use movies! haha) and I'm required to get creative when kids come over to play, especially little boys as all our toys of yet are dolls and strollers and everything girly.
  • I feel like we've been a lot more productive with our time, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.

  • We've saved some money without completely sacrificing our favorite shows. You'd be amazed at what's playing on the internet between, and Will watches Apprentice, The Big Give, and Eli Stone pretty regularly on the Internet.

Overall, it's been a good move for our family. And in case anyone's wondering, I'm totally rooting for the Davids on American Idol. I can't decide who I like better. I think David Archuleta's voice is angelic, but he's young and when he's not singing I don't think he's confident enough, which is uncomfortable to watch. I love David Cook's confidence and style and creativity, but I'm not really a rocker girl, so I don't always love his songs...he is charming, though. It's next to impossible, but I'm hoping for a tie.



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