28 October 2012

Our house is a very fine house

As some of you know, in June I moved from my parents' house to live with my Missy friend in Sugarhouse. Since then, whenever I visited my parents at the same time as my nephew, Jarom told me that he didn't like that I didn't live there anymore and he wanted me to move back so I would be there when he visited. Well, as you also may know, due to somewhat dramatic circumstances, I did move back about a month ago. I am grateful that my parents have the space available so I can come and go as circumstances dictate my need.

Yes, I am 30 years old and I live at home (again) because I like the stability and support I receive here. In many cultures throughout history and still in many cultures, living situations are a family affair. In some areas many generations live in the same dwelling. In these societies the woman stays with her family until she marries, at which time she moves in with the family of her husband. Now I'm not saying I necessarily want to live with my inlaws when/if I marry, what I am saying is that living in close proximity to family is a source of strength and stability that is desperately lacking in our world today. I struggle a bit with some things and it is comforting to know that no matter what else happens, I need never be homeless.

That tangent was not the purpose of this post. Two weeks ago at dinner someone mentioned that a neighbor's child's family just moved in with them so the young family could save money while building their own house. I jokingly commented that I was also living with my parents until my own house could be built. Jarom, sitting beside me grabbed on to this idea of building a house for me. He said he would come to help and that he would bring the food and snacks for when we needed a break. Then he asked when we would start. I told him we needed blueprints first so we would know what the house would look like and how to build it. He jumped off his chair and went in search of something. A moment later he came back carrying paper and a pencil.

My dear, sweet, adorable 6-year-old nephew then set to work drawing my house, front and back.  It's funny that what he drew was only the outside view of the house rather than the rooms required and desired for living.  The sweet simplicity of children! :)

 Front of the house made by Jarom

 I'm not sure what the door on the top between the windows is for, I guess a quick escape in case of emergency or something.

The squiggle in the middle of the back yard is grass, I think.  And yes, there are three swimming pools in the front yard of my house.  Can you tell what Jarom likes to do for fun?

 Back of the house made by Jarom

The back yard is even more exciting!  The house itself looks the same, windows and doors in the same places, funny kid. 

That is another, incredibly large swimming pool in the back yard.  Right beside the pool is an apple tree.  Above the apple tree is a random banana, not sure what that's about.

If you can't guess, the two fixtures on either side of the house with all the circles above them are sling shots.  I guess we're having a merry war, shooting water balloons or snowballs at each other (depending on the season). 

As we were discussing the drawings, my mom mentioned that Jarom had told her a few days before that he thought I should have 1600 children, 800 girls and 800 boys.  I guess that's why there are so many swimming pools.  I don't know what the boy was thinking.  I guess some day I could open an orphanage or something, but 1600 children seems like an awful lot to handle all at once...especially if I have to keep them all from drowning in all those swimming pools!

When he was done drawing the pictures, Jarom took the paper and used a magnet to put it on the refrigerator where it has stayed.
Today when he came to dinner, he pulled the paper from the refrigerator and said, "Hey Laura!  Remember this!?"  I told him I remembered.  He said, "In your house you have 100 hot dogs!"  To which I replied, "But I don't like hot dogs." He said, "They're for me when I come over!  I can eat them three at a time!"  Okay, whatever you say!

Ha ha ha!  What a funny kid!  Jarom will always be one of my all-time favorite people in all the world!  I hope he never loses his fantastic imagination!

21 October 2012

My Joy

Since I stopped using this blog last year, a lot has happened.  This post is a sort of overview of some of my favorite moments (in no particular order) that I missed out on blogging about.  

I took a picture of myself that I actually like! :)  

 My sister and brother-in-law had a baby girl.

Megan Nizhoni Watts
 Third child in the wonderful Watts family, but the first daughter, granddaughter, niece, this baby girl is incredibly loved, especially by her older brothers.

Two weeks later...

...my brother and sister-in-law had a baby boy.

   Charlie Scott Funk
 My sister-in-law is pretty amazing.  This little guy decided to come on the first day of fall semester 2011, and she was still a rock star, taking classes full-time while adjusting to being a new mom.

Happy Holidays


with all the kids
in costume

 Me with 
Snuggle Pumpkin


Santa Babies

All the 
Christmas Kidlets

Final semester of my undergraduate career!

  Bought an iPod Touch

I realize this doesn't seem like such a big deal, but for me it was.  I had wanted one for a long time but couldn't justify spending the money...then...at the beginning of my last semester of school I finally found the justification!  Over the course of the semester I was required to read 45 books (well, 15 or so of them were picture books, but 45 sounds more impressive, though I guess 30 novels is quite a lot), so I decided it would be a more efficient use of my time if I could just get them on audiobook and spend every free moment listening to my assignments.  While I love reading, I'm terribly slow at it, so this was a solution a wished I'd thought of sooner!  Of course, it was also fun to have the internet, games, pictures, and other fun things right there at my fingertips ;-)

Then, finally, after many years of slaving and studying (and putting it off for various reasons) 
in April I graduated from Weber State University with my 
Bachelor Degree in English Literature/Family Studies! 

My sister-in-law and I graduated on the same day.
(Sorry the picture quality isn't so good on this one)

 So did my dear friend and literary cohort Kaili

After Graduation

Instead of plunging into a career right after graduation, I decided to continue working whatever hours I could at Seagull Book and enjoy my summer by taking some vacations.

Washington D.C.

In May my great aunt who was an officer in the U.S. Navy was interred in Arlington National Cemetery, so we took the opportunity to visit our great nation's capital.

The cemetery is a breathtaking sight;  it is incredibly beautiful and solemn, peaceful and sad.

There are so many graves.  Those buried in Arlington represent only a portion of the millions of men and women who lived and died in the service of our gaining and protecting our freedom.  I am personally grateful for all those past, present, and future persons who gave and give so much so that I can enjoy the liberties and luxuries of this free nation, under God, indivisible.

Because my great aunt was in the Navy, she was given this dashing escort of Naval personnel through the cemetery.

Although she was cremated, they placed the box containing her ashes in this star-spangled draped casket which was pulled by a team of white horses through the cemetery

The place for those who were cremated is at the very back of the cemetery.  When the procession arrived at the appointed location, these men ceremoniously took the box of ashes from the casket and marched to a small pavilion where they performed a gun salute, Taps, and a ceremony in which they unfolded and refolded the flag and presented it to my mother.  My aunt did not have children so her closest living relative is my mother.

My great uncle was also an officer in the Navy so when he died a few years ago his ashes were interred here.  They removed the name plate and placed my great aunt's ashes with her husband's.  We were told that someone would eventually come and engrave her name on the name plate with my great uncle's. The entire event was so incredible and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness and participate in such a special occasion. 

My sister and her family were not able to go, but my parents, brother, sister-in-law, baby Charlie and I all had a great time exploring the city.  My only regrets are not taking better shoes, and that we didn't have more time to spend in one of the most amazing cities in the world.  I look forward to returning with my nieces and nephews when they are a bit older and able to better appreciate the history.

I took over a thousand pictures of the cemetery and the various buildings and monuments around the city.  I wish I could post them all but there is neither time nor space.  Besides, the pictures don't do justice to the immense beauty and incredible history.  I'm going to write a separate post about the rest of D.C.  This post is already too long and I still have more to write.


In June we took another vacation to California.  This time my brother and his family couldn't go, but my sister and her family could.  Because California is closer than D.C. we drove instead of flying.  Again, I took hundreds of pictures, so I'll just post a few here and write a post specifically about this vacation later.

My favorite part of 
Disneyland was having my nephews with us...

...especially Jarom because he is old enough and big enough to go on a lot of the rides.  As the favorite aunt, I was his preferred ride buddy.  I was also his preferred piggyback buddy.  I lost track of how many times he asked for a ride because he was tired of walking.  At one point I told him my feet were tired too so he offered to give me a piggyback.  He said I could either have 10 little piggybacks or I could have one long piggyback.  He's such a stud!  Of course it didn't work out so well, but it was kind of him to offer.

Jarom's favorite part of Disneyland was the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy.  He was so excited and told all the kids that were waiting that he REALLY hoped he would be chosen...and he was!

We spent three days at Disneyland/California Adventures, but believe it or not, that was not my favorite part of the trip.  It was fun, of course, but all I wanted was to be at the beach, in the ocean!

A lot of people were married over the last year and a half.  A couple of couples were particularly important to me though. 

Jennifer & Cody
One of my favorite couples of all time!
I love them both individually and together.

It was a beautiful ceremony! Taking pictures was a lot of fun, mainly because of these silly boys.

 The other wedding that was of particular significance in my life took place just couple months ago.

 Brian & Natalie
The very best guy friend I've ever had finally found his dream girl!

One of my favorite moments of all time was being allowed the opportunity to see this guy so incredibly happily in love.
The first time I met Natalie I knew she was the one for him because of all the girls I've seen him with over the years, she is the only one he was ever truly himself with. She brings out all the very best in my dear friend, The Artist.
The other thing I love about Natalie is that we have become friends and she wants Brian and I to stay friends...One of my greatest fears was that he would marry someone who would not let him be friends with me anymore since I'm a single girl.  But he's always only ever been like a brother to me, so I'm really no threat and she understands that about our friendship.  She is so easy to love!

I am so happy for all my friends who are happily married and hope to one day have the opportunity to join the ranks.  I'm grateful for those friends who have continued to be friends with me even though they are married and I am not.  Friends are more important to me than anything else in life.

 This picture is actually from my birthday last year, but it's one of my favorite pictures because it includes so many of my favorite people.  There are a couple of my best friends missing, but these are all people I hope will forever be a part of my life.   They have given me so much love and kindness over the last few years and have remained true friends, even through some of my most difficult struggles.  I am grateful that I have been blessed with so many dear people in my life.  I don't have pictures of all the people I feel this way about, but these faces represent more than just themselves.  I really need to
 take some pictures of the other dear and important friends in my life.

 One of my favorite moments from the last 15 months that involved friends was going to see The Decemberists when they came to the Twilight Concert Series last summer.  Parts of the concert were disappointing; it was free, so a lot of drunks, smokers, druggies, and people who couldn't care less about their music were there.  Zak and I had gone early to get a nice spot close to the stage, but when people started moshing (even though The Decemberists really do not play that kind of music) we moved further back so we could enjoy the music.  The music and the friends were beyond amazing, though, so in my opinion, it was completely worth it. That night was another of my absolute, all-time favorite moments.

I'm having a little trouble finding a new job...mainly because I'm having a lot of trouble leaving the job I have.  I like the product we sell, I like the generally peaceful and uplifting environment in which I get to work...and more than anything, I LOVE the people I work with!  I have always been blessed with great co-workers and that it always the aspect that makes leaving a job so difficult.
I'm so grateful that I have a job and that I have the opportunity and education to pursue other career options when it becomes necessary.  I've decided to stay at Seagull through the holidays. Things are starting to pick up so I'll be working almost full-time so I'll have the money I need for now. I'll have to find something else by January, but for the moment I'm content.

One of my favorite work moments was in April when they brought in this beautiful piano for William Joseph (a popular LDS pianist) to play at our Celebrating Sisterhood event the week before General Conference.  That was really fun!

Just a Couple More
This week we took the kids to Gardner Village to see the witches! The kids had fun dressed up in their costumes, though they didn't really appreciate how many pictures we wanted to take of them.  They wanted to run around and have fun, but we kept making them stop and pose, but they weren't particularly cooperative.

Here we have Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook (though we forgot the hook so Jarom said he was Captain Hook before he lost his hand to the crocodile), and the cutest little cowboy you've ever seen!

Ok, I'll end now. I have a great life filled with so many amazing people and exciting adventures! Thank you for being part of my joy!

06 October 2012


i should be sleeping.  my eyes are burning and the lids are drooping, but i suddenly had the urge to write.  i'm resurrecting my blog.  fantastic funk lives again!  i doubt anyone will read it.  i don't know how often i'll write, or if i really have anything to say, but i need to start writing again and this is where i feel like giving it a go.  it's for me this time, not for the acknowledgement of others, though i don't mind kind and supportive comments if people feel inclined to leave such.

life has been an interesting...what? adventure?  sure, that works.  i've had a good year and a bad year.  graduation, vacations, movings about...friendships, family; loss, loneliness; attempts and failures, successes, griefs, joys...that's life, right?  life is up and down, and sometimes upside-down.  it's spun me until i couldn't stand, it's bored me until i couldn't sit still, it's tickled me till i cried from giggles, it's turned me topsy, chewed me up and spit me out, and ignored me completely.  that's the way of things. 

since graduation...well, maybe before then...maybe since last year sometime, i've been hiding out, becoming more and more recluse and solitary.  i've been recovering, searching, avoiding; attempting to convince myself that i'm happiest alone.  of course that's a big fat lie, but i don't have many options sometimes (especially with the Artist married now and other friends dispersed to various corners of the city, away...too far away).  i'm doing the best i can, which, admittedly, isn't so very good sometimes, but it's all i can do so it's good enough. 

i love working at seagull book!  i love books, and i love my coworkers.  i don't always love the customers, or certain aspects of the job, but that's to be expected in any employment.

i love my nieces and nephews!  they are some of the greatest kids i've ever met (i know i'm a little bias, but i'm not the only person who says they are pretty great).

i love reading and music and movies. 

i love the time i do get to spend with friends.  now and then it's nearly like old times at the height of my sociality.

i love that autumn is here and the weather is turning cold.  i love that winter is coming...mainly because it means my dear uncle will be coming to spend some time with us during Christmas!

 i have some things to figure out and some decisions to make, but i'm not in any huge hurry.  i just need to take life a day at a time and not put so much weight into every decision.  and i need to start getting out there and being more social again.

...and i need to write more.  i need to have more confidence in my writing.  it's what i love so i need to just do it!