Friday, June 13, 2008

Ten Reasons

I have the best in-laws you could ask for. I don't think I appreciated this as a newlywed. We had the usual adjustments to make to each other as families with different ways tried to blend together. But as the years have gone on, I've realized how blessed I am to have Jared's parents (and his siblings and their spouses) in my life. When people complain about their in-laws, I simply can't relate.
So, with Father's Day coming, I wanted to do a tribute to them. I didn't have my act together at Mothers' Day to do the post about my MIL that I had planned, so they'll get double billing here. These ten reasons are not a top ten list because they are in no particular order, so don't get fired up because one might be more important than the other. I've got better things to do then spend an extra 20 minutes moving them around once I've written this post!:)

Ten Reasons I Love My In-laws
  1. They love to play games. We have so much fun together playing games. This is something that allowed us to bond from an early point in our relationship, since I love to play games. Currently, we play games together most Sunday nights. It is not unusual to have them come by on a Friday or Saturday night to play games after the kids are in bed. Some of our favorites include Rook, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Golf, Hand and Foot (if Jared's not playing), and Acquire.
  2. They seek out to establish traditions with their grandchildren. With my kids, these traditions include making gingerbread houses every Christmas, going to the dollar movies (and getting popcorn there), dying Easter eggs, and something as simple as going to a "play place" at a fast food restaurant together.
  3. They bought a house with a pool. Not because they love to swim, or because Dad likes to clean a pool, but because they wanted us to come over often. And we do. All summer long.
  4. They taught my husband to love the gospel, to study the scriptures, to attend the temple, to serve in the Church, and to put his family first.
  5. They come to kids' soccer games, preschool graduations, grandparent's day at school (even though they know it's just about coercing them to buy books at the book fair,) birthday parties, etc. They always come to our ward's 4th of July breakfast with us--and show up with a vehicle decorated for the parade (knowing that I never have my act together well enough to have done this for my own kids.) And they let all the kids in the ward try it out because it is the coolest one there.
  6. They know how to relax and have fun. I guess that is obvious by the previous reasons listed, but it helps to balance out my neurotic and uptight ways. I have learned a lot about how to enjoy my family from their example.
  7. Dad often drops by or calls in the middle of the day to see if I need a break. And I know I can call him if I need help with something. Yesterday when Kimball came down with the stomach flu AGAIN (we have been smitten this year), he came and took Ian and Henry to swimming lessons for me. Then he dropped some things off for me at Jared's office. Then, he took Mom out to lunch, then came back to our house to play Loot with Alli and I while the kids were napping. A few hours later he was back to go with Jared & Henry to Jared's indoor soccer game. I'm not sure when yesterday he spent doing the things that HE needed to get done. (Rumor has it he does actually work sometimes!) He spends his time on his family.
  8. Mom reads to the kids and puts them to bed for us most Sunday nights when we are clearly tired of being their parents! She sings them special "Grammy songs" that I can never get right when they request them from me. When Kimball was a baby and we lived in different states, she made an audio tape (remember those) of herself reading several board books, singing "Grammy songs," and talking to him. He listened to it 25 times a day. She works hard to have a good relationship with them.
  9. They keep our kids overnight once in a while so that Jared and I can get away. Not only is that heavenly for the parents of four young children, but our kids look forward to those sleep overs and always ask us if we can stay away longer next time. So they must be doing fun stuff!
  10. They have always treated me like I was their daughter and not an in-law at all. And as the years have gone by, I can hardly tell the difference between their family and mine--we are all family. I remember once about a year ago that Dad and I had a misunderstanding and I could tell that he was mad at me. As I was talking to Mom about it, she, assuming that I was crying because I was mad at him, too, said, "Oh, honey, it'll be okay. You're just upset with him because he's not your dad. (Meaning that if he were my dad, I'd be over it already.) You guys will be fine after a while." But I knew that I was so upset because he is my dad. Especially with my dad gone, he has filled that role for me. And I was devastated that he could be hurt and angry about something that I said and hoped that it wouldn't hurt our relationship, because I couldn't expect him to forgive me the way he would his own daughter. But he did. They both always have claimed me as theirs. And that is the best reason of all.


Anonymous said...

We do love you as a daughter and couldn't ask for a better eternal companion to our son and mother to some of our favorite grandchildren.(I know they are all our favorites)
You made me cry. (I know I'm easy) I will never forget the time you started calling me Dad and Myrna Mom. I was so happy to know how much you loved and respected us. Thanks for the kind and loving tribute.
I couldn't receive a greater gift for "Father Day" than this.

Love ,

Prudy said...

Your tributes are just amazing. Will you write my obit? :) You are lucky, my friend, for your family, your kids, for Jared and his parents. Life looks really good. And they're all so lucky to have you, too-but I suspect your readers already know that.

Nana said...

I love those two, too. The amazing thing to me has been how they not only adopted you through marriage, but have always acted like they got your brothers and sister too. What fun, plucky, loving people they are!

Prudy said...

One more thing-I'm posting an award for you on my blog tomorrow.

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...

What an absolutely beautiful POST! I miss Myrna and Richard so much. Nebraska is just so far away. Myrna and Richard have always treated me as if I were the most important person they knew. The kids absolutely can't wait to see what their "pre" grandparents send for Christmas, and it's always exactly what they have wanted.

What a treat tribute to an awesome family. I like to think about each of the Thomas kids and what they have done with their lives. Such great examples. The family is not perfect but always trying to be the best. Each Thomas married a really outstanding person as well.

Thanks for the great photo's as well. I loved the last one of Myrna and Richard and all 12 grandkids. So real!

Sonja said...

You are blessed. But I suspect, no, I am sure that they feel just as blessed to have you. Not only as their daughter, but good wife to their son, and wonderful mother to their grandchildren.

I really loved seeing the pictures. Their love just pours out of their faces. Especially in the last picture. I want that to be me someday.

McD said...

Yea for them!! They deserve you guys. I wonder if my wife and I lived next to my in laws ifwe would be this close. I think that is the number one thing I miss about living in California, everyone is there. Worse yet, you are there playing games without me. . .

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am now crying. I loved that. It made me think about my Mom and Roger's Mom. I miss you all over there in Sacramento. I have a pool too if you want to come here for a vacation.

Love, Julie

Angela said...

You are so sweet- I think my inlaws would freak out if I did a tribute. You are very wise example to all of us! I think might do this one day!

Mary said...

They are pretty cool!! I miss them!!

Erika said...

Awwwww. We love Grammy & Papa too! Like what Nana said, I feel like they've adopted us as well. So so so excited to come spend time with you, playing games, enjoying that pool, eating good food with you next week.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of turning this into a sappy love fest.....thank you so much for marrying Jared. I couldn't love you more if I had given birth to you. And as for the rest of the Johnson crew, it is simply easy to blend our families.

We have been more fortunate than anyone I know with in-law families.

I love you lots, Daughter.

Myrna Mom

Kimberly said...

Awww...I've gotten all teary here. And a wee bit jealous too.

david mcmahon said...

Wonderful, Michal,

My in-laws are as close to me as surrogate parents. I'm very fortunate ...

Yvonne said...

Drink it up.. you are a lucky girl!

Maggie May said...

You are very lucky! In laws don't often "hit it off" I love your photos. came via David!

Smith Family said...

Very sweet. I remember them and their pool when we were newlyweds in SLC. They are great people. Man, I wish that I had parents living close by! You are spoiled.