Monday, January 16, 2012

A Courageous Man

Martin Luther King Jr. was a remarkable man.  I admire him for his courage, determination and resilience.  He faced an opposition that I cannot even begin to imagine and yet he continued to fight and inspire people to be better.  He had a vision for a better America.  He had a vision for a more compassionate people.  He was determined to break barriers and blend an extremely divided nation.

He persevered.  He succeeded.  The world is a better place because of his life.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Pretty powerful and empowering words from a man who had the courage to change the world.  Thank you Mr. King.  Your message was remarkable.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

L.O.V.E = T.I.M.E

It is a new year and as always I am self-reflecting and trying to determine how I can make the most of a new start.  I keep asking myself how I am going to fill my blank canvas?  What do I want to make of 2012?

As I look back over the year and see all that was accomplished, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  It was a good year.  My family was deeply blessed with good health and plenty of quality time together.

Over the past few weeks, thanks to Romney's generous gift of a new computer, we have enjoyed watching years of family photos roll through the slideshow on my screen.  It has been so fun to see dozens of images of memories we had forgotten.  We have laughed, cried and many times found ourselves sitting for too long waiting for the next image to appear.

I have loved seeing our lives and be reminded of what we have experienced, accomplished and even overcome.  I have loved seeing time frozen in those pictures.

Seeing the drastic changes in my kids faces has been astounding.  When did Thomas become a young man?  When did Lauren lose her munch-able cheeks? When did Christian's face mature?  When did Sophie stop being my toddler?  It happened right in front of me and I didn't even realize how much I would miss it.

Time is an interesting thing because it is the one gift we are all allotted equally.  I can't help but ask myself, am I doing all that I can with the time I am given?  Is my time being filled with things that matter most?

I recently read a General Conference talk written by Elder Ian Ardern called, "A Time to Prepare."  He talked about the importance of time management.  He also referenced Elder Dieter Uchtdorf when he said,  "In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e."

I can't stop thinking about that.  It is such a powerful reminder and something that I certainly want to incorporate into my focus.

I think for 2012, I want to remember that LOVE = TIME.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Only if you are interested....

Those who know me well, know that I love politics.  I have always been fascinated by the political process in our country.  I closely follow current events and I become somewhat of a political junkie during an election cycle.  I always joke that election night is like my Superbowl.  I love it.

This year I have been closely following the election and earnestly observing the candidates plead their case for the chance to compete in the general election this fall.

I am riveted by this election process and I have decided to take my sweet husband Romney's advice and do something proactive.  Several months ago, Romney encouraged me here that I should do something with my passions.  I should try to make a difference.  I was beyond flattered by his confidence in me and I keep thinking, why not?

(I love Romney for believing in me and seeing a potential that I have long overlooked).

So here it goes, I have started a blog about my political opinions (and obsessions) and why I am supporting one particular candidate.  Feel free to take a peek.... My Case for Mitt Romney

Happy New Year & A Trip to Utah

A few days after Christmas we decided to drive to Utah to spend some time with family.  As the day approached, I'll be honest that I was dreading it.  I did not want to make the long drive, I did not want to pull the kids away from their new presents and quite frankly, I did not feel like being ambitious and a trip to Utah sounded like a lot of work.

When I told everyone that I didn't want to make the drive, the kids cried and Romney laughed at me.  He basically told me that I certainly had "veto power" over our trip if I wanted.  He said that he would support me in whatever I chose, (what a nice guy!)  In the end, I decided to give in and we loaded the car. The next day we took off for Utah.  We left at 11:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM as we had originally planned.  (We are not very good at road trips).

I am glad that no one listened to me.  We had a great time.

The Williams

Lauren & Dwight playing and singing on the piano.


We went to dinner with our parents on New Year's to an amazing restaurant called Asian Star.  Delicious!!  This is the third New Year's Eve we have gone to dinner with both sets and it is a tradition we hope to continue.  (Nan wasn't feeling well, so she  didn't come).  My brother and his girlfriend Sarah joined us, but left before we took the pic.
We welcomed the New Year's with some dear friends.  We all went to bed at 3:00 AM.  Ouch!


It is a New Year's Day Southern Tradition in our family to eat Black Eyed Peas & Rice.  This tradition is supposed to bring good luck for the whole year.  My aunt Teresa made a huge pot and we had a Hop'n John party.

Playing Games with My Family

My family loves to play games.  Last year we experienced a torture-fest also known as Farkle, a game that involves disgusting drinks and food for the loser.  This year we all were too tired for something so aggressive, so we settled on the games "Signs" and "Moffia."  They were perfect games for our huge group.  It was so fun and we laughed until it hurt.

My mom making chocolate chip cookies with the cute girl cousins.
One afternoon we went to a Nickel Arcade with my brothers Christian, McCormack, and my brother-in-law Peter.  The kids loved it!!


We had a really great trip.  We loved seeing our family and getting time with people we adore.  The highlight by far, was that my brother Christian decided to get married to his girlfriend Sarah Olsen.  We met her for the first time and we gave the biggest thumbs up we could.  She is a great girl and we are thrilled that they found each other.  They are a perfect couple and there is no doubt that they will have a great marriage and a very happy life together.

Congratulations Christian and Sarah!!

They are getting married in it looks like another Utah road trip is in our future!!!  (I don't think I will be complaining about this one!!)

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas has come and gone.  I love the decorations, the music, the excess of treats, the excitement in my kids' eyes, the magic, the traditions.  I love it all, but I as I have said before, I love when it ends.  I think I set a new record this year.  The tree and all the decorations were put away by 11:00 AM December 26th. (I know that my mom is mortified reading this. She is probably thinking, "Did I teach her nothing?")

We had a great Christmas.  We stayed home and for the first time ever, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone with our little family.  It was weird being in such a quiet house, but we welcomed a chance to make some memories together.

I made our traditional Christmas Eve dinner complete with ham, homemade rolls, asparagus, salad and Gruyere potatoes.  I always laugh preparing a huge meal like that because it takes hours and hours and tons of money to create and it is eaten in less than 10 minutes and to top it off, the kids barely touched their food.  But that is not the point right?

During Christmas Eve dinner, supporting a long-held and favorite Thompson family tradition, the doorbell rang and two elves named Jingle & Jangle mysteriously delivered a bag full of new pajamas for the whole family.

This is one of my favorite traditions and I love that my kids get the same butterflies and squeals that delighted my siblings when we were kids.

The kids tracking Santa on google maps.
That night, the kids enjoyed opening their gifts to each other.  For a few weeks before Christmas, we encouraged the kids to do extra chores to earn money so that they could buy each other presents with their own money.

As a child, all of my siblings bought and exchanged gifts for each other.  That sibling gift exchange was my favorite part of opening gifts on Christmas morning.  It was so meaningful to select the perfect gift for each of them.  I truly believe that is part of the reason why we are all so close to each other.  We learned to give and it was incredibly rewarding.

My kids have no trouble feeling excited about the "getting" at Christmas, so I really want to help my kids to get a love for the "giving" as well.  It is a tradition I hope they grow to love.

Christmas Morning

That night the kids all had a sleepover in the same room.  They asked us how early they could wake up and we told them no earlier than 6:30 AM.  (A few years ago they woke up at 3:30 AM and we promptly told them NO WAY! and sent them back to bed).  This year at 6:30...on the dot...the kids woke up and each of them got to take a turn to run down the stairs to peek at the presents.  My parents always took a picture like this of us sitting on the stairs with our squinty, sleepy and excited eyes.  So fun!

It was a magical morning and we loved every second of it.

Thanks to Romney and his incredibly generous gift, he bought me a new computer to replace my 11 year old laptop that was hanging on by a thread.  He bought me a Mac desktop to replace what he referred to as my "Speak & Spell."  Thanks Romney!!! xoxo

I hope that it was a magical and meaningful Christmas for everyone.  Happy Holidays!

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