Kristi joined our family 17 years ago ON her due date of March 24th, after only 3 hours of labor. What a great beginning! To be truthful, I wasn't sure I was quite ready to have another child, as Brennan was only 20 months old and a bit of a wild and crazy guy. It had taken us over a year of trying before we were able to have Brennan, so we assumed the timing might be the same each time. But somehow, before we even knew we were trying, Kristi was already on her way! I remember clearly that the first time I held her in my arms, any feelings of uncertainty instantly melted away. As I looked at her, I was completely overcome with a feeling of peace and awe and gratitude. I felt such joy to have a daughter.
Kristi was always smiling and happy. She was an easy, delightful, sweet baby.
She was blessed to have girl cousins close by while we lived in Pennsylvania. I can't resist posting this oldie but goodie! Love you Karey and Kelly!!
Alas, time flies. Although there is much I could say about her younger years, we'll fast-forward to the present. 'Sugar and spice' describes Kristi pretty well, I think. She can be as sweet as can be, but definitely has plenty of spice to her personality too. Here are a few thoughts about Kristi at seventeen:
Funny! Kristi has a quick sense of humor, and loves to laugh laugh laugh laugh. I get regular comments about her 'bubbly-ness' or just how funny/silly/clever/crazy she is. Really, why be sad when everything is just so funny?
Smart! Underneath her general funnyness, Kristi is suh-mart. I'm not sure people appreciate just how smart she is because she does not appear very serious about it, but she is at the top of everything she does academically. She is famous for saying that she's afraid she didn't do well on this or that, but then aces it anyway. She found out last week via a letter from our school superintendant that she has made it into the National Merit Scholar program. She has wanted to attend BYU her whole life, and I think she's finally starting to relax just a little about her ability to do so.
Talented! You all know she can play the piano. But did you know she also plays the guitar, that she enjoys composing music, and that even though she can read music amazingly well, she can also play by ear? Meaning that she can hear a song on a CD or the radio, and go to the piano and play it. Just like that. To me, who can barely still play Chopsticks, it is the most amazing thing. Kristi also has a beautiful singing voice, but she prefers to keep that talent mostly hidden under a bushel. Kristi is very artistic and creative. You'd want her on your marketing team. She can figure things out and make things happen.
Competitive! I don't know how much of this is due to growing up with three brothers, but Kristi likes to win. So be warned in case you ever play a board game against her, or maybe any kind of game. She's a good sport when she loses, but while the contest is in play, look out. And wear protective gear if you play Spoons . . . or if you dare to tickle her. Tickling is not a fun or friendly or affectionate gesture. To Kristi, it's a call to war.
Normal! I don't know if Kristi would remember this or not, but one day when she was in fifth grade we were discussing some social issues at school. She was noticing and wondering about people's social status and how people got labeled this way or that way. I remember her talking about the 'popular group'. As Kristi had lots of friends, and was very well-adjusted at school, I asked her if she was in the popular group. She said something like, "Oh no, Mom! I'm not popular. I'm normal!" For some reason, I loved that. Kristi does have her head on straight. She is grounded. She knows who she is, and what her strengths and weaknesses are. She sees the big picture pretty well. And she has her priorities in order (although a little more sleep and a little less Facebook & itunes wouldn't really hurt her).
Busy! With so much Facebooking, you'd think she would have no time for anything else :), but aside from the time it takes to maintain her perfect GPA, she also teaches piano lessons, tutors 2 8th-grade boys in Algebra, attends Seminary and Mutual faithfully, serves on the Stake Youth Committee, finds ways to achieve her service hours for National Honor Society, and as the new vice-president for her senior class next year, has begun transitional leadership duties, which twice a week means she has to attend the earliER morning Seminary class. [It will be even more impressive when she makes it there on time, but at least she's trying.]
Social! She has something like 450 friends on Facebook, but more importantly to her, she has a few close friends that she loves and who love her. She is easy to get to know, and is not shy about meeting new people. She challenged herself to get some boys' phone numbers at a recent leadership conference she attended. I don't really know WHY, but she was very proud of herself for getting four, I think. She will never call them, but she got them. Speaking of boys, Kristi enjoys them. As friends. Kristi does not enjoy boys who think they should be more than friends with her. So far she has not enjoyed that at all. One day she hopes that will change. As she was talking with the missionaries who were here for dinner last night about academics and BYU, one of them asked her what she would like to get into eventually. She said in her deadpan way, "Well, eventually I would like to get into marriage . . ." which made me laugh out loud.
I will miss Kristi something fierce when she leaves next year. And even though I know there's a lot about me that she endures, I think she might miss me too. It's been lots of fun growing up together!