Monday, August 25

Jonah Scott Russell

This post is going to consist mainly of picutes of my new nephew Jonah...just FYI!
Jonah Scott Russell about two hours old. (with antibiotic crap on his eyes).
7lbs even. 20". nice head of dark hair. and well...just so dang adorable!

Grandma Lorie...she is NEVER going to put that kid down! I use to think of my mom as such a giving, sharing person...NOT when it comes to her first grandson!

Scottie and Jonah.

I CAN'T believe my little a father...but I do know he will be an amazing dad...he has been an amazing husband.

He is SO handsome! I cannot get over it!

Four generations! (LtoR: Scottie, Grandpa, Jonah, Mom)

Content to sit in grandma's arms.


Who knew Sterling was such a softie! Grandpa Sterling!

So there is Jonah...I have more pictures...and I am sure there will be plenty more to come...but I will grant a reprieve. I am just really so excited about this little boy and I love him to death already. It is truly amazing how that works...the love is just instantaneous. Anyway...YAY!!!!

Sunday, August 24

Russell Family Vacation 2008...WAS GREAT...even if we didn't get to finish!

So...about a month or so ago Scottie sent an email to each member of the Russell clan announcing the "Russell Family Vacation 2008". He had laid out an itinerary that included a weekend at the cabin in Midway, shopping, food, a triathlon (for Scott, Kelli and Kerri), a birthday celebration for mom, and other fun and games...including t-shirts and a chocolate cake from Kitty's. At the conclusion of the email was this statement: "THIS VACATION IS MANDATORY, GET OFF WORK, DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO. NO IF's AND's or BUTTOCKS!" I remember thinking to myself...wouldn't it be funny if "baby Russell" decided to join us that weekend....and so begins the story of the Russell Family Vacation 2008.

Friday night-mom and I drove up to the cabin and met Scott and Mattie and Dad for dinner. The girls (Kelli and Kerri) were still at home attending football games and wedding receptions. We had dinner at Spin Cafe in Heber....great place by the Brooke's time we want to go somewhere fun, and good (and kind of pricey)...they have GREAT GELATO!!!!

Mattie and Scottie on the way to dinner...and about 21 hours before she gave birth!!!

Mom and Dad at dinner...aren't they cute!!!??!!!!

Kelli and Kerri made it up around tenish...we were all just sitting around in the living room...

....being pretty typical Russells......

We goofed around for a while longer and decided that since Saturday was a big day (more than we even knew at that point) we should head to bed. Mom, Kelli and Kerri and I opted to sleep outside on the deck. We chatted for a bit, and then mom told us to go to sleep. It was a gorgeous night with stars a visible Milky Way (I forget about it sometimes) and a beautiful bright mom. A couple of hours after drifting off to sleep I awoke to a strange, somewhat muffled noised. I thought it was an animal being attacked, or dying or something...Kerri asked me what it was, and then I could tell Kelli was awake...suddenly we realized that it was MOM!!! She was screaming in her sleep, with her mouth closed!! It was so funny...we started laughing and tried to wake her up. She woke up and knew what she had been doing and started laughing too. (I've always had good times out on that deck...that may very well be the best one). So back to sleep we went...until about another hour or so later...when Scott came out and told us that Mattie was in labor and off to the hospital they went....bit of a change in plans...and did this mean that Scott and Mattie were ditching the vacation?!....the MANDATORY RUSSELL FAMILY VACATION?!

About another hour later Kelli and Kerri headed off to the triathlon...of course forgetting their IDs...right as mom and I were about to park the we turned around...and drove back to the cabin from Jordanelle reservoir to get their IDs. They made it in time...and off they went.....

Kelli and Kerri are in there somewhere....

Off Kelli goes on her bike...she was about three minutes in front of Kerri, but I didn't see Kerri truth I started to get a little worried...

...but all worry was alleviated when she coasted past me on her bike!! She is even smiling!!

and now for the which point Kelli informed me that her legs felt like Jell-O!

BUT THEY ARE A-MAZING.....and finished with big smiles!

The rest of the pictures should be of shopping in Park City, and dinner, and game night...but...Jonah was feeling really left out of the family vacation...and wanted to join in!! Check out the next blog to see the rest of the Russell Family Vacation 2008!

Tuesday, August 19

The Truth

As I was browsing the blogs of my family and friends I checked out my mom's. She has yet to share stories about my dad, but I am patient. However, what caught my eye today was my mom's comment next to the link to my blog-"jokes, jeans, & Jesus (Brooke-who else would name a blog this)". That is a very true statement. Who indeed? My blog title ran through my head again...and I began to think more on it. Why did I choose that name? Well...the jokes part because laughter, humor, those are two important parts of my life. Jeans...well...casual is my favorite mode; relaxed...wearing jeans and and to speak is how I live my life. And then of course we come to Jesus (well...some of us anyway...I am SO funny)! But seriously...why would I, did I...choose that? For the alliteration? Possibly. For the shock value? Maybe. The real reason, however, is that like jokes and jeans, the Savior makes up in large part, who I am.

Recently we have heard much, especially from Elder Ballard in regards to "joining the conversation". (referring to the world of blogging and Internet conversations). Well...I would hope that I have been part of that conversation my whole life...whether via the Internet, the phone, text messaging, snail mail, or face to face conversation (my personal favorite). As far as my Savior and the Gospel it contribution to "the conversation":

It is not a matter of hoping it is true, wanting it to be just IS true-the doctrine of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- the fullness of the gospel, the truth about who I am, where I came from, where I am going...the WHY of...well EVERYTHING...lies within this truth I know as the gospel of Christ. I think I have mentioned this before, but when I was young, very young, four-ish...I went to Carthage Jail for the first time. ( I listened to the recording of the events on the 27th of June 1844 and in that moment I KNEW that it was true. The way I know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, what happened in that room on that day, was true. During that trip the story of Joseph's first vision was also discussed. ( Coupled with the story of his (Joseph's) beliefs, the path my life would take, the truth that I would subscribed to... was sealed, not with my own blood-with the blood of a true prophet, his brother, and so many other's who came both before and after.

This does not mean I have spent my life simply accepting this truth...far from it. There are many doctrines, teachings, commandments...that come from this gospel...I am not always anxious to fall in line behind them...and definitely not without my own confirmation of their truthfulness. My Father in Heaven, being the loving Father that He is, does not leave me on my faith in this truth is in large part due to Him...the love He has shown me. The simple fact that each night I can get down on my knees, that at ANY point in the day, I can call upon Him for guidance, reassurance, knowledge...that is where my ability to know has come from...the love of a Father. His willingness and desire of us to fight, to struggle to seek and FIND the truth, to find our way back to Him...His desire for each of us to become like Him...that love is overwhelming to me. The fact that I can feel that...that alone provides me with so much faith.

This knowledge also does not mean I have spent my life always content, always happy, or enjoying my fact...because of this knowledge I have found myself at times so frustrated, angry, even furious at my Father, at the truth, at myself, the world. But because of the truth I have also found myself pushing past those feelings...or at least knowing I can get beyond them. (Hey...I am NOT anywhere near perfect...and life is tough). I will continue to make mistakes in my life...big ones, intentional ones even...but the truth is still the truth and my knowledge of it will ALWAYS be there.

I realize this may not come to all of you in the same way, or in the same simple manner, but you can have it, and I hope that for those of you I know I will be a catalyst for that knowledge rather than an impediment.

So...there you have it-jokes, jeans & Jesus. I am not trying to draw attention...I simply want those who read this to know what is most important to me. The gratitude I have for the truth, for my parents for guiding my to the is immense...overwhelming. It is true. I know it is-it will always be true to me...even in those moments that I am not true to it or myself. Our Father in Heaven is real. Our Savior is real. His sacrifice, the Atonement, is real. I know these things to be true.