Sunday, September 22, 2013


You are smiling right now, right?! Yep, happened to me too.

As soon as I saw this photo, I knew I wanted to blog about some of the incredible families we loved while experiencing graduate school. Of course, there are more families and individuals that touched our lives and smoothed the bumpy road of our BYU journey-but hey, these peeps had photos!

This photo is of the Wonderful Watson family. They are making their home in Germany right now, while the only male in this throng of beautiful women is finishing up his PhD in computer science. Our kids, will always remember carving pumpkins at the Watson home. I will always remember the warm pleasant feeling that was ever abundant in their cozy, cottage home. (And the home-made bread and chicken soup stands out pretty well in my memory too!)

The Woodwards in the woods!!
The Woodwards out of the woods!

Not only have the Woodwards won every tournament, scholarship and contest there is in both north and southern hemispheres,  they won our hearts too! Gary, affectionately called Gaz, was awarded a scholarship from a Tasmanian Educational Trust to study for a year at any University in America and he chose BYU. Lucky us!! Lisa always "championed" me. And when you're not feeling much like a champ, which can be the case when you are living in student housing and cooking fish sticks, having someone to cheer you on is priceless. The Woodwards even came to see us in our Nor Cal home on their way home to Tasmania! P.S. Today is Lisa and Gaz's 17th wedding anniversary.

Honorary members of the state of Utah!


Amazing, right?! Yep, this radiant family are the Wrides. They are one of the first, if not the first family we meet in Wyview Student housing. Joseph, their oldest was in kindergarten and so was my Max. When we first met, they had five kids-five years old and under. I was in awe of Tiffanie then- and now, four more kids later, I idolize this woman even more. This picture is missing their latest angel addition: Natalie. Tiffanie is on my list of people who "get it". She is supportive of her adventuresome husband, loving and patient with her gaggle of cherubs and has unwavering faith in her God.

Walking back to our apartment from the children's activities sponsored by the student housing committee,  I heard a familiar dialect. I stopped and asked, "Are you from New Zealand?" Esther flashed that movie star smile and kindly responded, "No, Australia." Standing there with my foot in my mouth, I knew straight-away we would be friends. The Liddicoats lived in the Wymount building to the North of us. David was working on his MBA. Esther and I would talk for hours in the stairwell or on the "hill". There is something beautiful and disturbing about student-housing living. I would look outside to the parking lot and if I didn't see the Liddicoat's van- I would think: "where could they be?" A bit troublesome, don't you think? When the Liddicoats graduated and moved, I would see a van that looked similar to the Liddicoats and think: "Oh, they came back!" for a brief moment and then reality would return. And yet, this obsession with the Liddicoat van has a  happy ending- along with their van, the Liddicoats made their home in the Bay area!!

My friend, Keiko took this photo of our family the spring before we graduated in 2011. When Scott and I made the decision to return to school, I was under the impression that it would be a three year stint. Those three years stretched into six years. I remember nearly hyperventilating when I realized that we were in this for the long haul. Looking back, I nearly hyperventilate from the tears and strong emotion I feel from leaving our beloved student housing family. Long live fireproof steel doors and indoor/outdoor carpet! Go Cougars!!