Monday, May 25, 2009

And so it goes...

checking off the to do list and adding more things
the days fly by turning in to months and seasons and years
I knew my kids would grow up and leave home.
It's what I have wanted for them too
To grow up, become independent and have families of their own.
Only I never really thought about it
About the details of it.
About helping pack their belongings in a truck.
Driving over state lines and not having a for sure date when I will be able to wrap my arms around them again.

They have left before... I know.
To different countries even... but always for a known period of time.
I knew when they would return.
and then I could drive to their homes again
and help with whatever they needed
and share Sunday dinner with them
and snuggle with their little ones
who are also a part of me.

But this week is different.
This week it begins.
My lifelong dream for my children is coming true.
I joy with them as they spread their wings and fly....

and sorrow at the same time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This past week I have spent a lot of time working in the yard.
The weather has been glorious, birds all about and I have really enjoyed myself.
(I must admit though that I have been filled with joyful anticipation for hours spent reading in the yard rather than working on the yard)
The stream is up and running and Jenn helped me get the drip system put in for the plants growing around it.

The vegetables are planted complete with their own drip system.
We had a friend who has worked on our sprinklers in the past come and connect the drip system to the main system and get things adjusted so that we will be ready to have our patio poured this coming week.
I'm not sure if he was in a rush or what but he left a lot of things in need of gluing and adjusting. I ended up spending much of my Friday in the yard again.
That's when it happened.
Late Friday afternoon I discovered my wedding ring was missing.
I was horrified. I knew I had lost it in the last 90 minutes.
I had only been in the yard and at the sprinkler store.
I called the sprinkler store and they were closed.
I called back a second time and they answered.
I told them my dilemma and they said they would keep and eye out for it.
I drove down there anyway and looked around in the parking lot.
They saw me and let me look through the store.
No ring.
I went home and swept every sweepable surface and retraced my steps but I had literally been all over the yard in that time fussing with so many sprinklers.

I prayed. I felt a great reassuring calm
but looking outside the task seemed overwhelming.
Grass, rocks, stream, bushes, mulch... and my ring was most likely out there.
It was getting dark and I knew today's search had ended.
Mark came home from a bike ride and I burst into tears.
He put his arms around me and reassured me that it was just a ring.
It was replaceable.
I was comforted by his love.

Saturday I rented a metal detector to search the yard.
Christian used the metal detector first.
It beeped a lot going over the grass and we couldn't figure out why it was beeping, there was nothing there. Just to be safe I crawled on my hands and knees checking the blades of grass on a four foot wide path between the rocks and the garage.
No ring.
He went over the main path on the rocks while I searched (again) through some of the mulch around sprinklers we had been adjusting.
No ring.
I took over the metal detector and went over the grass that will soon be a patio.
No ring.
I searched through the rocks in a part of the stream I had been jumping over and still...
No ring.
I searched all the rock paths between the vegetable gardens.
No ring.
All this time I had been having a conversation with my Father in Heaven.
I knew that this was just an object.
My relationships were still in tact with or without it.
I did not need it to be happy.
It meant something to me.
It had the diamond Mark gave me when we got engaged.
It was a gift of love that was a representation of our relationship.
It seemed a part of me.
The more I looked the more I wondered if I would find it.
The yard was so big with so many hiding places for a small ring.
Steps here and there pushing it down in the rocks or into the soft earth in the grass
really.... what were the chances of finding it on my own?
very small

I knew that with divine help I might have a chance
Heavenly Father knew where it was He could help me find it.
but then again
maybe this was a lesson I needed to learn about the lack of importance of material things. I didn't need a diamond ring to feel secure in my relationships.
I just kept searching determined to keep looking till dark, forming plans of what to search next.

As these thoughts were going through my mind my eyes were a few inches ahead of the metal detector when I spotted it.
Jennifer was there with me. I think I gasped and dropped to the ground.
I think I blinked, I had imagined so many times what it would look like lying there in the grass or mulch or rocks... I was almost afraid to believe it.

But there it was.
I know many would say that it was luck or diligence on my part.
But I know better.
I know what I felt.
The ideas that formulated in my mind were not entirely my own.
Father in Heaven will not always give us what we want but
in this case he blessed me with my desire.
It took a lot of faith and work in my part but I felt His
guidance, direction and reassuring calm that whatever happened
it would be OK. I was in His hands.
He really does care about the little things.
He is mindful of the details for each of us.

(can you find the ring in the fourth picture?)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Rebecca Marie Sewell Parker passed away this morning in her sleep at home in Norman OK.
She was 27.

Becky was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with brain cancer.

She underwent radiation and chemo in various forms until they decided a few months ago that they could do no more for her. She called me to let me know she was at peace with whatever Father in Heaven had in store for her.

She had actually been up and around earlier this morning but had gone back to bed. When family tried to wake her to administer some medication she was gone.

I first met Becky when we moved to Oklahoma in July of 1996 so Mark could teach at OU.
In '97 I was made first counselor in the Young Women's organization and she was one of my girls.

She and I clicked. She was facing various challenges in her life and I was blessed to be her friend. School was a real struggle for her so I home schooled her beginning in the fall of '98. I'm not sure how much school progress was made that year but I think she made great progress in learning who she was and what she wanted in life. She seemed happier. That same year our family decided to accept an offer for Mark to teach at BYU. We would be moving to Provo in the summer of '99.

It was decided that Becky would make the move with our family.

The year Becky lived with us was a challenging one on many levels.
We all learned a lot. Becky saved up enough money to go to London and work as a nanny that summer. Living in London was a dream of hers and she made it come true.
Upon her return she moved back home to Norman.

In January of 2005 she married William Parker in the Oklahoma City Temple.

Becky had a challenging life and has suffered more than most but today she is at peace. She is wrapped in the loving arms of the Savior. I am grateful to have known her. I have learned things from her that I could not have learned in any other way. I love her and she will be missed.

Thanks Becky.

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Family,

I feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful family! After any sort of spiritual training here in the mission I get really excited and animated to keep working and yesterday it was a real booster to talk with you all.

This has been a good week. We have been having a lot of help from the members here and were able to meet a lot of new people at church yesterday that we will start to teach.

My companion is the man! He is a very good missionary; excited to work, follows the spirit and I think when I leave here, he will become a DL. I am having a very good time working with him because he is also very humble. I hope we spend a long time together here but, for some reason I don't think I will stay here for much longer.

We are working with a few families that have been showing some progress but, we'll see who will really progress this week. We are hoping to have a few baptisms for this week and the week to come. Here are some of our investigators to pray for: Elaine, Diessica, Maikon, Fernanda, Tyana, Pricilla, Everton, Alex, Kevin, Samuel, Paulo, Sandra, Nelson, Salete and Derli.

We will all appreciate your prayers!

It was really great to hear all of your voices and to feel your love and support! I'm eternally thankful.

Until next week,

Love you,

Elder Rob

Friday, May 8, 2009

Flash Back Friday: A little less wisdom

This is Robbie a few years ago when he got his wisdom teeth pulled.
When he came out of the anesthetic he told me how much he loved me
thanked me profusely for bringing him.
He swelled more than anyone.
Poor guy.

Christian got his taken out today.
Poor guy.
He doesn't look swollen so far.
Changing gauze and waiting for the bleeding to stop.
Bored with the computer he decided to have a Lord of the Rings marathon - extended version of course.
Good choice

Poor guy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back on Track III: Graduation Part II

THE Graduation

My mom enjoying a good book while waiting for graduation to start.

Lining up with our name cards.
Two very handsome, very smart masters on either side of me.

Mark was waiting at the end with big hugs for us.
I didn't notice any other graduating seniors getting that kind of treatment.

my dad

I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for those who supported me over the years,
kind words of encouragement, tutoring,
so many little things that made all the difference.
It meant a lot to me to graduate along side Jordan and Aaron
and I really appreciate those who traveled to be with us at this time of celebration.
I also appreciate those who wanted to be with us but could not...
we felt your support and appreciated the love your sent our way.

I've learned so much
and I know it won't end here
continue to learn and go forth to serve...
Need I say more?

Another HUGE thanks to Amy and Christian for their exceptional photography skills

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back on Track II: Graduation Part 1

Pregraduation Festivities

Graduation celebrations actually began for us on Wednesday April 22, when Grandpa Z and Grandma Arlene arrived from Austin, Texas.
We hung out, picked up graduation robes, toured Mark's new office, played at the park with Ruby and stuff like that. I stole these pictures from Amy's blog.

Thursday was the convocation for all of BYU.
Soooo characteristic of the Zimbelman family, loving all the pomp and circumstance and the opportunity to sit through long massive programs as we do, we decided it would be a great time to take pictures on campus with us all decked out in our robes.
Mark is required to attend graduation once a year
so the college ordered robes for him too.
It was pretty cool.
The Marriot school has a new addition that is connected with the old building by a four story atrium. Christian and Amy got some great pictures there.

Looking UP
Mark and I on top, then Aaron and Jordan

Ruby and me
Walking was anticlimatic for Aaron with 5 years of school still ahead of him, but he reluctantly agreed and did it for me. Thanks, Aaron. Consider yourself covered for Mother's Day this year ;).

After finishing pictures we went to dinner at Magelbeys (similar to Natalies) where my parents joined us as they arrived from Mesa Arizona.

Graduation was at 5pm on Friday so we decided to go to lunch at Olive Garden before the ceremony. Aaron, Jordan and I shared thoughts about graduating over salad and bread sticks.

Mark's dad and my dad at Olive Garden

I thought a lot about sacrifice. Not just the sacrifice of the student but those supporting the student. Being a wife and mother while being a student requires sacrifice on the part of everyone to make it work. It's interesting how we love those we sacrifice for as well as those who sacrifice for us. I was overwhelmed by the love and sacrifice my family has been willing to make for me so that I could attend school. While I'm not ready to run out and get a job I feel like I have become a better wife, mother and person because of what I have learned. I also feel like I have learned to open my mind and think about the world differently. I will always be grateful for the many who supported me not only during the last nine years but also for my parents supporting me my freshman year and encouraging me to go to BYU. Without that who knows where I'd be...

Back on Track I

For a moment I debated
whether I should post pictures of graduation first since that is over a week overdue or Olivia

obviously not out of my post graduation haze quite yet!
So without further adue, meet

Olivia Diane Zimbelman:

Olivia had a short precautionary visit to the ICU,
hence the marks on her forehead and extra wires.

Amazingly long toes that she curls and uncurls

Celisa finally got to hold her. What a beautiful mother and daughter.

She stretched out her legs and just held them there for the longest time.
Not much of a startle reflex in this little one.
She was loving the extra room, I think Celisa is too.

Nothing is quite as sweet as being a Grandma

Except being a mom.

Credit for all these pictures goes to Christian.
He does such a good job.
If you want to see more go here and leave him an awesome comment.

I'm in Heaven

Dear Family,

This week has been nothing out of the ordinary for Salgado Filho but, for any other place, it's amazing!

Maybe you guys remember about Elder Eduardo from Santo Angelo. He was my Zone Leader and really good friend. He passed through this area almost a year ago and left a great impression on the people that he knew. He was teaching a family and everyone in the family got baptized but the dad, Marcelo. Everyone said that he wasn't ever challenged by Elder Eduardo to be baptized so he passed through our area and visited him and marked his baptism! He was baptized yesterday along with an 8 year old kid in the ward.

there were 80 people at the baptism and 188 at the sacrament meeting! That is the most people in Sacrament Meeting I have ever seen. The only baptism with more people was the first baptism here where there were 106 people! Wow, the church is true! I feel so blessed to be here especially with my new comp.

His name is Elder Branco. He is from São Paulo and played soccer on two of the most famous teams in the world; São Paulo and the Corinthians! He was playing professionally but stopped to go on a mission! So as you can tell he is the man! We are a lot a like, hard workers, like to joke around but not be lazy. We going to have some amazing experiences!

This week we have been finding a lot of new investigators and are praying and fasting to have a lot of investigators at church on Sunday. We would appreciate your prayers in this behalf! Thanks for all you do, Love you all! I'm excited to talk to you all on Sunday.

Thanks for everything!


Elder Z

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Veggie Tales: Playing Catch up

(or should it be Ketchup?)
I must admit that I spent much of last week vegging.
A combination of exhaustion, disorientation and lack of motivation.
Often times lists of things I should/could be doing going through my mind but none of them roosting long enough to get me up and going long enough to finish anything (as you may have noticed)

It's been a strange week.

I am still trying to unravel the mysteries getting graduation pictures from my kids cameras to post on my blog. The sheer magnitude of pictures to go through overwhelms me at times and for some reason my computer is extremely slow downloading them.

I did manage however to finish some crib sheets for Olivia and I will finish her carseat cover today so Aaron and Celisa can use it when they bring her home this evening.

Yes, that's another blog I will have to brave the unknown for to post pictures for.

Olivia Diane Zimbelman
joined our family on Friday May 1st at about 8:45 pm.
She is 8 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches long.

Celisa endured labor well and I understand that Aaron was a great support to her.
Induction often seems to be a little more challenging.

Olivia is beautiful.

She is a calm, sweet baby. She loves to stretch and will lay unwrapped with both legs sticking straight up in a "V". She constantly moves her arms and legs all over and hardly ever startles herself. She is so strong and when you hold her on your shoulder she lifts her head to look all around although her eyes are not open a lot at this point. Celisa is doing well but both she and Aaron are suffering from sleep deprivation. Hopefully having Celisa's mom here for a week will help with that (and hopefully I can also provide some assiatance too).

Racing season is also up and going. The kids and I have driven wheel support on the last two Saturdays and have assisted with more flats in the past two races than all other times combined. Both Saturdays were rainy and wet and Mark won both races!

Disclaimer: I'm not in any way suggesting that the combination is "THE winning combination"

We began to get bids to get the concrete work finished in the back yard...
among other projects...

Hmmm even though I feel unorganized, maybe I haven't been as unproductive as I thought.

BUT I will post pictures very soon, maybe even today if I can get ready for scones, Bishop's fireside and get my letter to Elder Rob sent off quickly...

don't give up on me.