Sunday, August 26, 2012

Young Women

I have been called to be in the Young Women's presidency. I'm excited, but would love to hear ideas from any of you that have ever served in this organization. I look forward to this opportunity. We have great girls in our ward. I'm a little nervous as I haven't been in YW since I was one, but that wasn't too long ago I guess. ;) Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

20 Years... and a WHOLE lot to say.

Twenty years ago my parents bravely, and perhaps half-crazily, moved our family from the Land Down Under to America. We went from the big and beautiful Sydney, Australia to teeny tiny, but wonderful, LaPoint, Utah, and our lives were changed. While it was sad to leave all of our family behind, (we still really miss you all) it was the beginning of one crazy but unforgettable adventure.

A picture of a picture of us flying here. :)

On Sunday my family got together and celebrated our 20 years of living in America with food, festivities, and fun. We wore matching shirts, ate great food, and sat around and talked. Once my family starts talking it generally turns to reminiscing. Oh the stories you could hear if you sat around our table for even just one evening. Most of you would probably think we were exaggerating or making up stories, but trust me, these are things that no one would make up. Ask Micah. :)

Our family reminiscing while taking a quiz. 

It may seem overboard that we made shirts, threw an entire party, had really cool Australian flag soaps made (thanks Em), and had cakes carved in the shape of Oz and the U.S (great job Eliza), but we McSweeney's don't do things half way. Instead we chose to take a quiz to see what we could remember about the past 20 years, compare what we looked like then to how we look now, eat American and Australian cuisine, play Minute-to-Win-It games, and sing "I still call Australia home" as well as the American National Anthem. It was a great night and one not soon to be forgotten. (I'm thinking "pass the boomerang" here.)

The food.

The soap.

My adorable family!

The cakes.

Me, when I was four... I told you I used to be blonde!

Minute-to-win-it. Intense!

Other fun photos.

(Before and After Photos)

Honestly our lives have been crazy and at times different than we may have expected, but I  wouldn't have it any other way. Whether it would be a new car rather than one we had to push start/use a fire extinguisher on, or a house where goats couldn't unlock the doors, or even a place where Jared didn't have to live in the "dungeon" or the sunroom, they are our stories and they made us who we are. I can honestly say it's why we can laugh so easily at ourselves.

I'll never regret the choice that my parents made moving us here. I will ALWAYS and FOREVER have a place in my heart for Australia, but our lives would never have been the same had we stayed there. We wouldn't have had the opportunity to add such great in-laws to our families and who knows what that would've meant for children/grandchildren. They could've been full Aussie! Now that's a scary thought. :) We maybe never would have lived in as many houses as we have or even have a combined total of 32 years in marching band (yes we are proud band geeks). We certainly never would have had 14 Russians sleeping at our house all at once and we most likely would have never had 20 round trips from LAX  to Sydney.

The cousins.

 Just Lila and P.

While many people have relatives close by or best friends they've had since they were 5, we simply had each other. It was not always harmonious in the house of 8 girls and 2 boys, but it was NEVER dull. We had a great time, and so while I think I have awesome friends, I LOVE my family. They are my teachers, my best friends, and MY forever family!

The whole gang!

*This song won't mean much to many of you, but I LOVE this song!*
(The first part is in the Kala Lagaw Ya language.)