Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Giddy as a Schoolgirl

The happy couple.

This post is going to be cheesey, so beware!

Seven years ago this week, I met Adam. For those of you who don't know the story, my parents bought a building-in-process house in Alpine in July of 2001 and we all worked on it night and day until it was ready for occupancy in late October (I was living at home after I graduated; what can I say...I was a loser!). My mom had met some of the neighbors and told me that the Young Women's President had a cute son who recently returned from a mission. "Right," I thought to my self. Like I really wanted to date a dorky RM who was a member of my same ward! I politely declined my mom's incessant offers to set us up, as well as her informative quip that our new ward had a YSA Sunday School class that she thought I'd like to attend. Dating "wardies" (as my sisters dub them) was soooo not my style.

Long ago when we lived in Rexburg, my brother had a friend who was my age named Adam Clark. He was a super nice guy, but totally not attractive to me. Brian always told me, "You're going to marry Adam Clark; I just know it!" and I vehemently denied it every time. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when, on the first Sunday of attendance in our new ward, a devistatingly handsome guy approached me and said, "Hi. I'm Adam Clark. Do you want to go to Sunday School with me?" I couldn't even get a grip on myself because I was so stunned that a guy as hot as him would even talk to me, let alone walk right up and introduce himself (I was usually the pursuer...again, I was a loser). I think I stammered something ridiculous like, "Hi. I'm Sure, I mean, sure, I'd love to. I'm Natalie" and as we walked off, I pretty much tripped over both of my feet or my shoe fell off or something, but I was thrilled to be walking with such a dashing man who was polite to boot (he opened all the doors and helped me with my chair).

Nonetheless, we made it to the class and I was thrilled to hear the teacher volunteer Adam to drive the batch of YSAs from our ward to the stake fireside that night. Of course, I went (hello! Adam was driving) and Adam and I talked the whole time. I knew it was love at first sight, and after a month of dating, I committed the ultimate relationship no-no that any gal in her right mind would know better than to do: I said, "I am falling in love with you, so if you don't think you're going to fall in love with me, let's not date anymore." Can you believe it? I mean, what was I thinking? Obviously, the results were positive, and we got engaged in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Olympics.

Because of this momentus experience, fall always conjures up giddy, exciting, romantic feelings inside me and I love to reminisce about how awesome it was to know I had found Mr. Perfect. We had such a fun, fast, and exuberant courtship and I love that we are in love now even more than we were seven years ago. I am thrilled to be married to my very best friend and can't imagine a better life than the one we've built. So, here's to young love, Jazz games, CES firesides as excues for Sunday dates, songs by John Michael Montgomery, and making out in Burgess Park. Yeah baby!

Monday, October 27, 2008

R-Y-D-A-L-C-H Spells One-Third of the Earth's Population

My wonderful grandparents, the Rydalches, have eleven kids and a burgeoning posterity that is so massive, each of us has a number (don't worry...my grandparents still know everyone's name). We have more family gatherings than any other group or organization known to mankind. Don't get me wrong...the Rydalch events are always great fun, but as a second-generation family member who is parenting a few of the third generation, the weekly rendezvoux can be a little overwhelming. That said, I always look forward to the annual Halloween party because my aunties are fabulous cooks (I'd pit them against any Italian ladies), they bring the best treats for trick-or-treating, and my uncles are all hilarious. Add to this a multitude of adorable cousins, and it's always a magnificent party. Here are all of the cool family members who dressed up for this year's shindig:
We congregated at a park in Pleasant View (I want to move there...it's amazing!) to enjoy a glorious fall day and some delightful company. Dinner followed true Idahoan fashion (baked potato bar with spuds fresh from the ground...so yummy) and we had a great time admiring all those fantastic costumes. So until next week, this is Natalie Clark, number 17, signing off.

Adorable Boy, He Is

Rex is growing up so fast and lately he's been achieving relatively major accomplishments on a daily basis. He can sit up by himself for several minutes before toppling over, he wolfs down a jar of baby food in about five minutes, he swipes an adult's beverage quicker than you can say "I'm thirsty", and he loves to play with toys. Amy, my sister-in-law, loaned us this darling Yoda costume for Rex's Halloween adventures. I can't stop smiling when I see him in it; it's just so darn cute (it's even cuter with the Jedi robe, but you'll have to wait until Friday to see the entire ensemble)!

The force is strong with this one.

My baby is getting so big! Yay and boo hoo hoo all at the same time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Murphy's Law of the Gospel

We were asked three weeks ago to speak in church; originally, they asked us to speak on October 18th, but postponed it by a week due to a mission farewell. Adam and I worked on our talks a bit over the extended preparation period, but didn't really have anything of substance put together until last night. We have both been sick recently and I worried that I'd be sniffling and sneezing throughout my quip, but thankfully I'm on the recovery end of my illness. I went to bed last night with a minor headache, but knew I'd be okay to speak.

Adam went to bed last night with a minor headache, too, but he's on the incubation end of his illness, and woke up every hour or so with a violent cough and major congestion in his throat and lungs. I didn't know it because he slept downstairs and worked on his talk between episodes of sleeping and coughing, but during my shower, he peeked in and mouthed the words, "I feel like crap today!" because he didn't have even a shred of a voice.

Oh, the horror! He couldn't speak, which meant one of three things: I'd have to extend my talk on kindness to fill 25 minutes (it was barely pushing nine minutes in my practice run), I'd have to give my talk and his talk, or I'd have to coax my dad or a member of the bishopric to give Adam's talk. Lest you think Adam was ducking out of speaking, he really had no voice, and when he could muster a word or two, it sounded more like the gurgling of motor oil in an engine than a human vocalization. I felt so bad for him because he was miserable, and he felt so bad for me because I was on the verge of performing a one woman show for the entire second half of Sacrament Meeting.

Things actually went better than I expected; Adam kept Karli and Rex home with him, and Marianne (my saintly little sis) arrived at 8:30 to help me get Amber ready. We even made it to church with time to spare (can you believe it?!) and Adam had his talk all written out so I could give it without too many hitches. Granted, I'm sure I didn't deliver it with the fervor Adam intended, but for the most part, I think it went alright. The panic I felt when I was seated all alone on the rostrum (where was the promised youth speaker and musical performers?) left me when I realized that the youth speaker was blessing the sacrament and that the choir was going to sing, and Amber even made some adorable monster faces at me from the audience to try to get me to laugh. I managed to fill up all but seven minutes of speaking time and Bishop Tintle kindly added a few remarks at the end of the meeting. I can certainly say that I am glad to have our speaking assignment over. Now, if only we could get over our stupid, everlasting colds, we'd all be peachy!