Sunday, December 14, 2008

A great man passed away on December 1st 2008

At my Granddad's house 10 days before he passed away

A great man passed away on December 1st. He touched my life in more ways then I can even begin to write. He was a kind, strong, and gentle man. Most of you knew him as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I knew him not only as an apostle but I also as my Granddad. He lived life to the fullest enjoying every step of the journey along the way. He was witty, wise, humble and very funny. My Mom’s Dad Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, left behind a legacy of faith and example to the world of how to live your life. As far as I am concerned, he was a perfect father to my Mom, husband to my Grandma, and Grandfather to me.

My Granddad confirmed me after my baptism. He gave me the priesthood at age 12. At this time he invited me to sit up on the stage at General Priesthood session with him, I regret to admit I was a stupid 12 year old that was more worried about what his friends might think than what would be a life long cherished memory and probably the closest I’d ever get to be sitting on that stage. I declined the invitation. He set me apart for my mission to Sydney, Australia, and all the miracles the Lord promised through that blessing came to pass. He married Ashley and me in the Salt Lake Temple and gave us some very wise counsel. He also told Ashley and me that one chapter a day (of the B.O.M) will keep the adversary away, and also a couple who prays together stays together. This advise we have strived to live by.

There was two times as a missionary he helped change the course of my mission, with out even visiting my mission. The first time came in the form of a letter. When I was a missionary we received a lot of persecution. I remember when I was first out I wrote my Granddad, and told him about some of those experiences. I must have sounded like I was complaining and discouraged. He wrote me back, and said that a wise German Mission President once told me, "The toughest seas make the best captains." I found a picture of a boy captaining a ship with Jesus Christ by his side and hung it on my wall with that quote. It changed my mission and my life. I realized the Lord was molding me it to what he wanted me to be, not who I thought I should be!

At my Mission Farewel with my Mom and Grandparents

Another experience I had on my mission was when I was out six months, and I was discouraged. I wasn't having the success I wanted to have I didn't feel I was living up to my potential as a missionary. I also felt in sports all you had to do was work hard and you would see the results I found that the mission was different in so many ways. It wasn't until a gift came to me in the mail that help me fill in the missing pieces. This gift came in the form of a church magazine. Inside the magazine was a talk my grandfather had given called, “Lessons Learned in the Journey of Life.” This talk also made a huge impact on me. I followed the 5 steps he described and I became the missionary I knew the Lord wanted me to be. As I read the talk I could feel my Granddad speak to me, his voice seemed to jump off the page. In order to get the five steps I suggest you read the talk it could change your life as it changed mine:)
After my mission he helped me make the most important decision in my life, prior to moving to New York City. I thought I was confused and didn’t know what to do. I was living my dream playing college football for the same crimson football team he played for. I loved Ashley so much, but I knew if we were going to get married I was going to have to move to be with her and give up my dream of playing for the University of Utah. I knew this in my heart already but sometimes it takes wise council to point out the obvious. He told me sometimes if in life we come to a cross roads he said, “You are at this point,” he asked, “Do you love her”? I said, “yes of coarse but can’t we wait to be married?” He said, “In this life there are windows of time for us to make the right decision, don’t let that window of time pass you by.” With out telling me what to do he told me, “marriage is more important than football and besides they have college football out east.”

Joseph B. "Speedy" Wirthlin playing football for the University of Utah.

I have never looked back and know realize how important that decision was that I made. Ashley and Samuel mean more to me then anything in the whole world, even more than Utah Football:) My Granddad loved Ashley he used to tell me what I already knew he would say, “You have the most wonderful wife, she is so beautiful, strong in the gospel, and down to earth.” We will all miss my Granddad but I am so happy he is with my Grandma. He will soon have a full head of hair again and his strong athletic build back, There might have even been signs that read, “welcome home Speedy Wirthlin.” I imagine the reunion with my Grandma was one of the sweetest in the history of heaven! As I live my life I hope to live in a way that would honor him and make him proud.

On my Grandparent's Wedding day, May 26th 1941.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ZPR aka Zion Ponderosa Resort

In August Samuel and I, sadly Matt could not come along, ventured to my family ranch on the east rim of Zion National Park. This little piece of heaven is filled with so many memories for generations in my family. It is breathtaking. There is so much to do but I find myself just wanting to sit back with all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and enjoy each other.

When I was growing up our many trips to the Ponderosa were spent staying in a large family cabin that was pieced together with all kinds of random scrap building material around an old camper (where my great grandma & grandpa Lewis slept) and big trees to stabilized the shifty structure. Little time was actually spent in the cabin as we were so busy chasing lizards and building forts during the days and sleeping under the stars at night. When I was a teenager a cabin to accommodate all the distant family coming together was built. This was luxury with bathrooms and running water, I never thought the ranch would have these amenities.

The ranch resort ( was not part of the original plan when my great grandfather bought the 10,000 acres in 1961. It was a whole new wave of luxury at the ranch that started small about 15 years ago and has grown tremendously. I spent summers working in the kitchen, cleaning cabins and checking guests in at the front desk. It was a huge step with a swimming pool, electricity and a paved road all the way there.
This most recent trip I felt a little out of sorts. Instead of catching blue belly lizards I was eating at the new 4 star restaurant the Blue Belly grill - divine. I toured all the multi million dollar mountain homes that have been built in the new home division. I had a massage at the spa and sipped pina colodas by the new endless pool with waterfalls and all. This was not how I was used to the ranch, but I definitely enjoyed every minute of it.

I was taking Samuel down to see all the animals and little kids were running up with news that a new colt was just born and none of the wranglers were around. My lucky little sis was playing with a few of her cousins near the horses when the horse was born. She said, "We saw a big white thing fall out of the horse so we ran to see what happen. The horse then ripped it with it's teeth and a baby came out of the white thing." We got there a few minutes later and it was amazing to see this little colt stumble around trying to stand. Then the little colt found his way to his mom's milk, it was so interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Forever Strong - The movie & The real deal

Highland High Rugby has always been very important to Matt. He was able to play for a coach that was more out to make boys into great men than winning, but in turn won almost every game. Matt created life long memories traveling to play teams from all over the world including going to Africa for the World Cup. Matt and I first started dating during our junior year of high school just in time for Nationals. I was smitten, even by the extra short shorts.
Matt loved Rugby and he was good at it. He played many different positions on the field and was a team capitan for two years.

When we heard there was going to be a movie filmed around the different true stories of the team through out the years we were really excited. Matt's younger brother Dave, who also played for Highland, made the cut and was on the Highland rugby team in the movie. He did a great job and got some serious face time in a major motion picture. Go Dave! The coach in the movie is playing the character of Matt's amazing life changing coach Larry Gelwix. The movie opened last week in select theaters nation wide. We attended a premier in New York to see it for the first time. I definately recommend it. So if you are in the mood for a good flick go see Forever Strong and look for Matt in the pictures at the end.

Matt with his coach Larry Gelwix

This band was actually really good at the after party

Lindsey and lead Sean Faris the "future Tom Cruise" he even rubbed her pregnant belly

Matt playing Rubgy

Check out that face

Friday, October 3, 2008

Zoo Birthday

Samuel didn't get the fire thing, he kept trying to grap the flame

The Carousel was the perfect ending to a perfect day. He was obsessed and sang the entire time.

We went out for a birthday dinner afterwards and Matt was able to come. Samuel loved opening all his presents.

One last picture on your 1st Birthday

For Samuel's birthday we went to the Bronx Zoo. He was in heaven! Luckily there was no school so some of his favorite people (minus Daddy who was sick in bed) were able to come. I was happier than ever to have such a fun birthday, you would have thought it was my birthday. It made me realize how much fun I am going to have planning all the fun kiddie parties.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dear Samuel, Happy Birthday!

Little boy where has the time gone, I can't believe you are one. This has been the best year of our lives. We had no idea how happy you would make us. Every stage of the past year has been our favorite. I thought there would be nothing as great as you being a newborn, then 2 months was the best, no three....even now I still can't decide. We love your personality. You are a little tough guy sometimes, but such a softy. We giggle all day long, you love to laugh. Your favorite toys are anything with animals and books. You are so active I can bearly keep up. Your favorite thing to do is to sneak away from me and make it up the stairs before I catch you.
Happy Birthday little prince. We are so grateful for you and pray every day we can be the best mom and dad for you.

Mom & Dad

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Life of the Party

Great Grandma Roselle is 96 going on 60. She travels monthly, cooks daily, and is always the center of attention. Grandma doesn't plan trips she wants to go on but instead she is contantly booked with grandkids carting her on road trips or flying her all over the country to stay with them. By cooking I don't mean puts together a little dinner, there's full on candy making, donuts from scratch, chicken pies are always being wipped up, all served with coke of course. She even brings her delecacies frozen on her cross country trips for us.
Grandma Roselle decided last summer she wanted to go on a cruise with all her grandkids, so she took them. Thank heavens for the alloted time per person schedule to be with Grandma or I am sure I would have been gipped. She is so fun everyone wants to be around her and wants to be just like her.

Laughed all the way up the hill and cried all the way down.

Samuel got really into the "cruise" thing

Monday, September 8, 2008

Roughin' it

In July we road tripped it to the Cole family camp out in the Grand Tetons. We are clearly not pro's at this sort of thing. First we rented a Hummer to pack all our luggage which probably used as much gas getting there as an RV. That was the first little issue with our "off roading" ride, second we were a sure target. Our first speeding ticket was from a narcotics officer who was looking for druggers not families going camping. His diligent partner stood his ground guarding the passenger side of the car incase Samuel and I took off running. The second ticket wasn't given by drug buster who was used to rebels, just a hall monitor out to catch anyone breaking the law, even just a little bit. When we finally arrived after gaining about 10 pounds on junk food in 7 hours,(it was supposed to take five) we jumped out of the car to get immediately ridiculed about our attire. I didn't know it was camping etiquette to put on your grubbiest clothes 300 miles away. I soon discovered they were right when I looked down and noticed my metallic ballet flats weren't so metallic anymore.
A few hiccups on the trek but once were were there we had such a great time. The the scenery was amazing, the food was delicious and there were no distractions to take away from spending time together. you like my pack...ya the plastic grocery bag under my arm was what I used to carry our water and lunch, so prepared.

These animals were way too used to people this deer was just walking around us looking for food like we didn't even exist.

Jackson Hole for us while Matt and the babyless ones went down the Snake River

I love this pic of Matt and his Mom, too bad Samuel isn't participating

Yellow Stone

Catch Ya! every time I said, "Did you kick the dog?" he said, "NO"