Friday, November 21, 2008

From Oprah to Disneyland

Finally getting a chance to blog about two trips I have taken. My friend Myndee, a missionary companion from the Hartford Connecticut Mission who lives in Arizona, called and asked if I could meet her in Chicago on Sept. 11th to go to the Oprah show. Thank you grandpa, Sione and Sione's job for letting me go on this last minute trip. While in Chicago we attended the Broadway play "Wicked". Both were great and I'll tell you why. I am not a die hard Oprah fan, but my love for her has grown. Here are a few of her quotes that I picked up during my visit: 1) Live your own dream 2) Love what you've got 3) Discover your purpose 4) Transformation happens when you're willing -- it's your choice. That one is my favorite. It was the one I could relate to the most i.e. My weight and losing it, my relationship with my Family, God and anyone I come in contact with. Who and what I want to be today and 10 years from now. Shoot, I could go on and on, but back to Oprah. She is very wise and has done so much good for many people/causes. She was very down to earth and really funny. Before the show started she came out with her shoes in hand and her pants dragging on the floor and fussed about her shoes asking whose shoes they were because they couldn't be hers due to the size. She asked if anyone in the audience had a mirror because she had something stuck in her teeth. She sat down and started talking about feeling bloated that day and mumbled something under her breath about exercise. The shows subject was Breast Cancer. Christina Applegate was there of course. That evening we ate at a very fancy Italian restaurant in the theater district. I say fancy because I felt a bit out of place and to me it felt like a place that would be in a scene in a movie. Wicked was clever and funny. I loved Glinda, the good witch. She does a song about being popular and it feels the same to me as a song or two might feel to a 5th grader that has just seen High School Musical. I was supposed to leave Chicago the next morning but it was the day before Hurricane Ike hit and all flights into Houston and Dallas were cancelled. I ended up taking a detour to Salt Lake and spent a couple of days with my godson Jarad and the rest of his family. Sione was (eventually) a good sport about the whole thing and I have never been more happy to see him and LaRee.

We as a family took a quick trip to Disneyland. We wanted to use our passes one more time before they expired. LaRee was a riot to watch. We had such a good time. I would rather post a few of my favorite photos then bore you with all of the joyful details. It really is a magical place. Sione and I joke that it is almost a religious experience. I know we are our own kind of crazy!

On our second day there our friends, Becky and Julie, met us for lunch. Who needs an amusement park when you have a baby, 2 toddlers, a fountain and a side of spanish rice. I think this was our favorite part of the trip. and last but not least, Halloween!!! Our little Lady latu was a Ladybug, aahhh, cute! We missed going to see her church grandmas in San Diego. It just wasn't the same.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grandmas are the best!!

This post will probably be written more for me then anyone else, but still the same you are welcome to read. We have just returned from the funeral for my Grandma Berg, my last living grandparent. She was 96 years old. She will be greatly missed. My dad was able to get to Wisconsin before her passing and in time to enjoy her before she left us. Sione and I were in between flights when she passed. Her service was just how she would have liked it. Our dear family friends Ken and Jan Gerner spoke and conducted the services and they both did a great job. They both made me laugh, cry and then laugh again. I gave the eulogy which was kind of hard to do. My grandma did not have an easy life, which breaks my heart. You would never know it though. She might as well have been the poster child for chipper and cheerful. She didn't need much to make her happy. My dad dedicated her grave and the prayer he gave was beautiful.

It was so nice to see everyone. I really enjoy being around my family. I just feel bad that I don't see them more often, but then again, that is my own fault. They all still live in WI and MN and I just don't make it back there enough. While in Wisconsin we stayed a couple nights with my Aunt Marlene. My top 5 highlights from that part of the trip 1) going through old pictures and sharing stories 2) Rosie's tuna salad, it is totally a mid-west thing. Yummy!! 3) Watching LaRee interact with Foxie (my aunts dog) they started to have a love hate relationship 4) watching LaRee with my Aunt Marlene. They smashed beer and pop cans together which was too cute. Marlene got our little girl to work. Go figure! She also gave her a harmonica which we will keep in a very special and secret place and only bring it out on special occasions. 5) Marlene's breakfast bake, humm, 2 of my highlights were food related, typical!

We were also able to stay with my best friends parents Clyde and Eleanor Rhodes. Nicest people you will ever meet. Eleanor makes this killer strawberry jam and Clyde offered us ice cream before bed. What more could I ask for. Eleanor has the magic touch. She was able to get LaRee to wear a bib which she darn right refuses to do for us. They laughed and played and Eleanor even got down on the floor with her. At one point LaRee was laughing so hard that she got the hiccups. At my Grandma's viewing, every time I would look over LaRee was tugging at Eleanor's leg to get up on her lap.

I was able to visit with my neighbors Al and Jane Horvoth. There son now owns and lives on our old property which makes me so happy. LaRee had a hay day with their cats. She went nuts following then around and tugging on there tails. Jan blew bubbles for her and Al read to her. They were both so good with her. I feel so blessed to know them and to have lived so close to 2 real live saints!!

My dear friend from high school, Missy Prine still lives in Barron and we were able to get together for supper. She runs a business out of her home and she has been so successful at it. She is a self motivator and works so hard. She it really good at what she does. I am so proud of her.

It was a nice trip. The weather was definitely fall, soon to become winter. It was the perfect type of weather to take me right back to when she and Grandpa lived on the farm. If I could pick one thing as my favorite thing, next to being in the sun it would be sitting down to thanksgiving dinner, on the farm, with everyone in my family and exchanging stories. I lived with my Grandma my senior year of high school. What a crazy year. We had so much fun! One night my Grandma said to me, "maybe you could stay home tonight and we could watch a movie on your CPR", too funny. The phone would ring on the T.V. and she would get up to answer it. She could always laugh at herself after these crazy moments. How lucky was I. There aren't many kids that can say that their Grandma, for a special treat, popped their popcorn in bacon grease. Yummy!!! Don't knock it till ya try it. I feel so blessed to have had Iras Almeda Mizer Berg as my grandma. Through out time I have heard my share of people say that they had the greatest grandma, but I beg to differ, I believe that there is none greater then my sweet and sassy Gram Berg!!

Left to Right: Alma, JaLayne, Marlene, Grandma and me