Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy 38th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Tomorrow is my mom & dad's 38th wedding anniversary. Below I've posted a story I wrote for them several years ago, about an experience I had with them on a trip home. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful parents who have always supported and stood by me through the many ups and downs of life. Next to my wonderful husband, they are my best friends. They have given me and my brothers & sister the best gift possible and that's the continual knowledge that they love each other first and foremost and always will. Their strong marriage and wonderful example of love and dedication to each other has set the example that marriage is truly the greatest relationship of life. Love you mom & dad!

The Projector

Dedicated to Craig & Dixie Nordfelt for their 32nd wedding Anniversary in 2002.
Written by Mindi Nordfelt

The old projector sputtered as it began to spin. "I have no idea what's on this one, or what order these are in," my father said as he fumbled to feed the old roll of film through the tired machine. I observed him in his perfect element, working with his hands to solve a problem. The left side of his face scrunched with the corner of his lip raised, a look of exertion and determination; a look I've seen my whole life, a look I think I inherited from him.

I had come home for the weekend needing an escape from the stress and anxiety of my single city life; home has always been a refuge I long for. Feeling overcome by a nostalgic grip to seek out my childhood, I rummaged through the storage room in search of the old family movies. It had taken quite a bit of enticing to tear my parents away from their afternoon, but there we sat, waiting to see the ghostly images of the past projected onto the family room wall. I waited on the edge of the couch like an impatient schoolgirl, my mother holding my hand at my side, my dad in command at the projector. With today's high-speed digital film, wide screen TVs, DVDs, and surround sound, it seemed almost comical; three adults excitedly huddled around an archaic piece of equipment waiting to catch a silent visual glimpse into the past.

The projector jerked as the film caught the reel and began to feed. The lamp burned a bright light on to the vacant wall. Red crackly lines appeared as an image slowly came into focus. A slender young man appeared. His head was slightly bent showing a thick full head of hair. His arms were relaxed with his hands placed casually in his pockets, embarrassedly proud that he was being filmed. It was my father. He must have been about 24, standing in the driveway of an unrecognizable home. The film blurred as the image crackled and went dark. Slowly another picture came into focus showing the face of a young girl, with stylish flipped hair. Her head nodded to the side as she adoringly rolled her eyes at the unseen audience behind the camera. She was my mother, no more than 20 years old. Yawning, she gave a charming sheepish grin as the film faded into the next captured moment.

I sat motionless, overcome by the silent spilling of pictures, places, and people, memories of a lifetime past. There was my mother at an air-show looking girlish yet strikingly beautiful as she stood peering into the sky; sitting on her father's lap kissing his cheek; dancing in her pink fuzzy slippers as her little sisters mimicked her movements, and pouting in the front yard from an apparent fight with my father. Then my ambitiously eager father appeared, parachuting behind a truck in ROTC; showing off the trophies of a family deer hunt; and hanging out with his brothers and sisters in his parent's kitchen. Their first apartment, their first car, their first Christmas; their first child; all images of two young naïve people, full of love, dreams and hopeful possibilities.

At 27 years old I had long viewed my parents as more than two people who's sole purpose in life was to take care of me. But at that moment I felt my visual tunnel of existence widen further and a broader understanding of the meaning of life come into view. More than a transportation of time, the gap of a generation dispelled leaving the innocence of youthful beginnings running parallel.

We continued, silent observers, time expiring with every roll of film. My mother's grip on my hand tightened as she watched her life pass in silent motion, reflecting images of a young mother bringing babies home from the hospital, afternoons at the playground, birthday parties, and Christmas mornings. My father chuckled with sights of throwing his daughters up in the air giggling in excitement, watching them race down the driveway on big-wheels and tricycles, and lifting them high above his head as they stood on his hands.

With cathartic healing I watched my life begin, from taking my first daring steps, to my first unexpected taste of salt water at the beach, playing in the fresh Montana snow, and holding my baby brother just home from the hospital. Once so small and free from care with bright blue eyes and thick blond hair, I sported a contagious smile and an overwhelming sense of wonder; a small extension of my parents love. Each passing moment filled the gaps of my childhood memories with healing images of happiness and innocence, like refreshing rain filling the cracks of a dry crusted beach.

My father fed roll after roll of film through the old projector and in a single afternoon the first telling chapters of our family legacy unfolded through the eye of an eight-millimeter camera lens. As the last frame caught the reel spinning in completion, a pleasant yet overwhelming echo of the past loomed about us.

My focus then turned to the two people in the room with me. Not the idealized super parents of my childhood, but the real parents of my present, the friends who have loved me despite my imperfections and stood by me through moments of desperate crisis. I wondered what emotional sensations must have seized their thoughts in those moments, possibly joy, gratitude, love, regret, peace, anticipation, doubt, wonder, happiness, or even sadness. For a life lived in fullness should encompass every degree of feeling.

My moms face, streaked with tears, was not the naive girlish face of her past. Her eyes were now piercing with wisdom and understanding, holding the keys to treasures of worldly and spiritual knowledge unknown to the young. Her hand, holding mine, was warn as evidence of 30 years sacrifice and unconditional love as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

My eyes searched my fathers face, etched with character and honor, a manifestation of years as the pillar of our family. He was hard working and honest, capable of making mistakes, but always striving to lead with love. His wisdom was often overwhelming in matters spanning the radius of life.

It was hard to imagine them once as I, striving to find a chosen path, struggling to forge a future of notable worth, unaware of what challenging trials and joyous moments life's journey might encounter. They had once also been naïve, uncertain, even innocent. And now, having traveled so many paths of adversity, challenge, triumph and even failure at times, an era of faithful certainty encompassed them. They had and would continue to live a life of fullness; with sustaining devotion to each other and to the life they began together so many years ago.

As a hopeful reassurance settled the youthful anxiety that had brought me home for an escape, it became very clear to me; the source of peaceful refuge that home provided was a product of a lifetime investment in love, a love that was planted in the hearts of the two young people projected on the family room wall, a love with deep roots now flourishing in faith.

"I can't believe how old this machine is," my dad said as he stood to gather the rolls of film my mother had been organizing and labeling with dates. "I remember when I bought the camera on my mission,” he proclaimed. “It seems like that was just yesterday."
"More like a lifetime ago," my mom said, giving my dad a playful smile.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My feet may be swollen...but my toes look pretty...

Thanks to my wonderful friend Cindy!

Thanks so much for treating me to a pedicure last night. It was so fun to hang out and be pampered together. It was also fun to reminisce about our good old days as the Mall Marketing Wonder Twins. You know...before we had husbands, mortgages and when we had a lot of disposable income to shop with. Those were the days. (Not to mention we were at our skinniest! see picture)

I'm counting on you to keep the radio talk show dream alive.
You're the best!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Basement is Done!!!!!!!!

We did it. We survived the completion of the basement! We received our certificate of occupancy this morning. Now I have 8 weeks to get the house back to normal before little Reese arrives.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finally a moment to blog...

I apologize it's been awhile sense I've update our blog. Life has become more and more crazy this summer. It seems like there's always something to do. I've been a little busy with work trying to get all my clients squared away before I go on maternity leave. I'm down to 8 1/2 weeks and I realize that I'm going to get progressively more tired and worn out. Then of course there's always the chance of having the baby early...not that I'm counting on that, but it's good to be prepared.

We had a good 4th of July, but I'm going to commit the unpardonable sin and go on record as officially hating "Stadium of Fire". I'm sorry, I used to like it but it seems to be getting less and less patriotic every year. I'm a firm believer that 4th of July fireworks should be put to patriotic music, not movie themes, 5o's music, or 80's music. I also think the performers at the event should include some sort of patriotic theme or music in their performances.

I like the beginning with the fly over, presentation of the flag and the military families...but they loose it in the end. I might as well be at any old celebration. And forget about the smoke and ashes that fill the stadium. It's a good thing that in all the years I've been going to the "Stadium of Fire", I've never had to pay for it. I would want my money back! Sorry all you Miley Sirus fans...but I don't get that either. What a terrible concert.

If you ever have the chance, the best 4th of July fireworks I've ever been to are in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The owner of Meleluca (sp?) put's on the show every year. He pay's for the whole thing, and it is unbelievable. It's the grandest and longest display of fireworks I've ever seen and it's completely choreographed to patriotic music via a local radio station. Everyone takes a picnic, blankets, lawn chairs, and their radios down to the river and they line the river banks. With everyone tuned into the same station you lay there and watch the fireworks over the water. It has never failed to bring me to tears.

Now that's my idea of a great 4th of July! Next year that's were we're headed for sure!