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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hesses Madhouse People of the Year

Time Magazine revealed its person of the year today, so I thought it might be fun to announce mine as well.  Here are the rules.  A person of the year cannot live in the Madhouse and he/she cannot be a person I work with directly through church.   He/she has to be someone I've met face-to-face.

There have been so many that have influenced my life in 2011.  Here are a few:

My cousin C.J.
I hadn't met C.J. until this year.  I had seen pictures of her when she was a child and heard stories about her from my mom, but we'd never met until 2011.  She came from Idaho and helped organize the Stegner family reunion.  She came and lived under our roof for a few days and bonded with #6 almost immediately.  It was a JOY to meet her and spend time with her on two different occasions.  So happy to have her in my life now!

The Asanos
The Asanos lost everything during the tsunami in March.  They are the representatives for Mormon Helping Hands in Furukawa, Japan.  After losing all that they owned, they didn't sit around feeling sorry for themselves but immediately jumped in to serve those around them.

Stegner cousins
C.J. is in the photo as well, but these people came from far away just to meet up with family.  I was impressed with the bond that forged immediately when I met them.  LOVED being with them and hope this won't be the only reunion we have.

The Holz cousins--my mom's mom's side of the family.  These people had no clue who I was, I'm sure, but they made the effort to get together for dinner.  I descend from most of the Holz' great aunt, who had only one child, my mother.  These Holz's descend from my grandmother's brothers.  Funny how family just feels like...well...family from the moment you meet them.  Special thank you to Jeff for taking the time to play tour guide as well.  So great to get to spend time with him and all of the Holz's and Stegner's.  Love you all!

Sister-in-law Janelle
Oh my goodness!  Not enough can be said about this WONDERFUL woman!  I LOVE her!!!  She jumped in when I said I was going to Spokane.  She was the driver of the rental car--thank goodness (I can get lost in my own backyard).  She had a brand new calling as Relief Society president in her ward but left and came with me.  She was more than patient while we sat and chatted about family and was just sweet and kind the entire time.

Dear friend Tonya
I look at her photo, and I just want to cry.  Tonya was my salvation more than once during 2011.  It's been an intense year.  Tonya went back to school, yet she took the time for a friend.  On more than one occasion, the phone would ring and there would be Tonya on the other end of the phone asking if I wanted to have a spontaneous girls' night out.  Thank you, Tonya, for taking the time out of your busy life to prevent me going any further insane.  I LOVE spending time with you!  You are an angel!!!

How could I leave out Taffrin?  I have loved Tuesdays.  They have been an opportunity to look a little closer at that light at the end of the tunnel that has been school.  It has given me a glimpse of what life will be like--spending time with my children and doing things we like to do--not always sacrificing for the things their mom has to do.

Cub Master Steve
This man puts his ALL into his calling.  He goes above and beyond for the kids in our ward.  You'll notice the boy in the photo has a red mark on his face.  Steve makes scout rituals memorable.  I appreciate the friendship our family has with his.  Thank you for the example of service, Steve!

Tom should probably have been on my list a couple years ago, but I didn't have a list back then.  I was happy to run across this photo of 2011.  Here, #2 is getting his Life Scout award.  His next step is Eagle.  I include Tom here because I give Tom 95% of the credit for #2 getting to this point.  Tom, who wasn't much of a scouter in his youth, fully embraced that fact and makes it possible and easier for this younger generation to achieve more.  I appreciate those who make time and the effort to help my kids out.


I was so impressed with Jayne!  She and Chuck with the museum were wonderful to meet and spend time with while we were up in Spokane.  I had been in touch with Chuck for months before we took the trip, but I hadn't had much contact with Jayne.  She was fabulous!  Her outgoing, warm personality made her a friend immediately.  She's doing a wonderful work for the Spokane Valley and preserving its history.

Julia is WONDERFUL!  Most of the photos you see on this blog--on the header and on the sidebars, were taken by Julia.  She also did #1's senior photos this year and made the special trip up here to Portland to take some photos of #7.  She's got some AMAZING talent.  I wish I had a photo of her taking pictures.  She's down laying on the ground, climbing on things....It's fun to watch.  She's always thinking and just views life in such an artistic way.

Vic - Morgan's grandmother
Oh how I love this woman!  I have also been impressed by Morgan's mom, but I've never met her face-to-face, or she would  have definitely been on my list.  I have known Vic for more than twenty years.  During 2011, as they faced the ups and downs and ultimate passing of Morgan, Vic commented about how she never thought she'd ever be strong enough to handle something such as that.  I just want to assure you, Vic, that the rest of us knew you could.  You are a wonderful example of Christ-like love and service.  Thank you for the example you've set for so many of us!

So many others should be on this list, but I have limited the list to 12--one for each month of the year.

It has been a wonderful year!  A HUGE and special thank you to those who supported #1 and me and our trip to Japan--through donations, cookbook purchases, kind thoughts and words and especially prayers on our behalf.  Thank you to those of you who've helped get kids to and from school.  Thank you to those who've taught my children at school and church.  Thank you to those who've watched my kids so I could study or take a break.  Thank you to fellow bloggers who've shared your wisdom and experience and thus made my life just a bit easier.  Thank you MOST OF ALL to my family--fellow residents of the Madhouse-- for your patience and support as I've attempted to keep a grasp on just who I am supposed to be and have attempted to see some personal goals through to fruition this past year.  Thank you for loving me through it all.  I look forward to 2012 with you!


Julia Shinkle said...

What? Me? Well I am flattered Julie! It has been great getting to know you through your blog and in person! Thanks so much for your friendship and for believing in me and valuing my work. It means the world to me! : )

Tonya said...

Oh, Julie. What can I say?! I too am flattered. Oh my. This just made my day. I love you, friend. You are amazing and awesome in every way.

vaxhacker said...

Wow, what a humbling list of awesome people just to stand next to! Of course you'd be on my list of amazing friends. This is an intriguing idea, too... I already have 2 end-of-every-year blog postings that have become traditional, but if it wouldn't look too much like a copy-cat, I'd adopt this idea too, what a nice way to end the year.

And everything Tonya and Julia said :)

Heart n Soul said...

How do you pick just one!!!

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