Monday, May 23, 2011

We are family

“Family: a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.”

I googled the term “family” and that is what dictionary.com came up with. I think there’s a lot more to it than that. That definition is lacking emotionally for me. I love emotions. Just ask Denis. Emotion is what defines “family” to me. Family is trust, family is drama, family is friendship, family is fun, family is sadness, family is compassion, family is comfort, family is forgiving, family is joy and most of all family is love.

I also find it interesting that the dictionary.com definition doesn’t refer to family as being blood related because usually that’s what comes to mind when thinking about family. However, sometimes in our lives when our blood relations live far, far away we have to find family in others. Doesn’t mean we love our blood related families any less, it just means that we altogether learn to love even more.

So I wanted you to meet some of my Florida family. They’re pretty awesome. And I’m so grateful to have all of them in my life right now. I’m tied emotionally to all of them and I’m not blood related to any of them, but we’re family.

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(Dan & Liz Garza, Denis, Shaun & Amber O’Bryant, Braden & Julie Reynolds)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fairytale Ending

Okay…I admit it, every night when we came home from the parks at Disney I would turn on a royal wedding documentary or two and watch them till it was time for bed. Nerdy? Maybe. A little extreme? Probably. Awesome? Definitely. I was at Disney World for heaven sakes! Everywhere we went “Happily Ever After” was slapping me in the face and I loved it.

Well after about the thousandth time a reporter used the phrase “fairytale ending” when talking about the royal wedding, something started to feel a little weird. As I watched Kate get out of the car time and time again (those reporters just love to hit the replay button), I realized why I was feeling so strange whenever I heard a reporter say, “Kate is getting her fairytale ending”…it’s because it’s not true. There is no such thing as a “fairytale ending”. Now before you start booing and shunning me, let me tell you why it’s not true.

Does our life end after the wedding? Do we go home change out of our wedding dress/tux lay down on the ground and die an eternal death? No, that is ridiculous. Then why in the world are weddings so often describe as “fairytale endings”? I think a lot of times we play the wedding up so much by spending tons of money to create that “perfect” day that it distracts from what we are really doing...beginning a life together. The goal has become to have the most beautiful wedding instead of  having a wonderful marriage. Listen, I’m not sayin’ that we shouldn’t spend money on a wedding because that’s just stupid. But I do think we often forget the most important part of the “fairytale” and that is living it with all the good and bad, after the wedding.

Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Mulan, Tangled, etc. What do these classic Disney movies have in common? They have the “fairytale ending” or “happily ever after”. What the heck?! Disney is missing out on the greatest part! Where is the Disney movie that has the ups and downs of being married and having a family? Those princes and princesses would be so lucky to have a “happily ever after” without the wonderful trials, challenges, problems, and hard times that come with being married.

Without those hard times in a marriage, we would never know our “happily ever after” if it kicked us in the butt. Is Disney really trying to show that nothing important happens after a wedding? That after the wedding day we can just sum up the rest of the marriage with a “happily ever after”? The journey of marriage is what makes ever after happy. I’m so grateful for the challenges and trials that Denis and I have been through together so far. Because it has made the good times, the happy times seem all that much sweeter. Those hard times are what help us learn how to be better, how to love more. My wedding day was amazing and perfect, but not because of how much my dress cost or  how expensive the invitations were or how extravagant our reception was….it was perfect because that was the day our forever fairytale began.

What I’m trying to say is that this was my “Fairytale Beginning
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As for my “Happily Ever After”, I’m still discovering it as Denis and I support each other through life’s challenges, trials, and hard times. The story of Prince and Princess Clayson began almost 3 years ago and you know what the best part is? There is no end.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Vacation

We’re back! We just had an awesome vacation full of family and theme parks. My parents met us in Orlando and stayed for a few days over my Mom’s birthday. I love spending time with my parents. We went to Sea World while they were in Orlando. Thanks for coming Dad and Mom!

We also met up with Denis’ brother and family. Going to Disney with our niece Elise was awesome, I think kids make Disney so much more fun. Watching her laugh and smile when she met the characters made the whole trip. Denis had never been to Disney World and I had never been to any of the other parks except for Magic Kingdom. We went to all four Disney parks and I think my favorite was Hollywood Studios, but that may have been because it was like 10 degrees cooler than the other days haha. We had a blast! Here are a few pictures.

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Waiting for the whale show to start at Sea World.

I think Minnie is LDS because she flipped out when she saw Denis and I’s BYU shirts.

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Waiting for mom and dad to finish riding Everest.

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Happy Easter!

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Go swimming for the first time. This was my favorite picture I got of Elise. Look at those blue eyes and cute smile.