Friday, May 16, 2008

The Send Off

Michael Buble sings a song called, Home. I am sure it is not an original but his version is the one I heard first and fell in love with. The essence of the song is about returning to what is comfortable, what is familiar, what is loved. I love returning home, to Jaren's or mine. There is something distinctively wonderful and safe about walking through the doors of our youth. I especially love visiting Colorado with Jaren because of the roots he has. "So and So used to live down there. Coach So and So lives right here. Scott and I used to sled this hill in the winter. We would get so cold and then come home to hot chocolate..." My roots are spread all over the world; that's the life of an Air Force brat. Returning home still has significance because home, for me, is where my parents are.

Last week we went home.

It is customary in the LDS faith to have a farewell when an individual leaves on a mission. It is a time for family and friends to gather and bid the missionary well. In total there have been six missions served on Jaren's side, seven if you throw mine in there, and soon there will be eight when J's parents return. They are preparing to serve a mission in Russia, and will be serving the youth of the church there for two years by helping to build-up the Russian Institute program. (The Institute is a cool place for the youth to gather to study scriptures and have fun activities like dances and socials.) They are going to do so much good; I know it! I have such respect for them and their desires to serve. I also respect there discipline and positive attitude to learn a new language. Learning a language is a daunting task; comtemplating learning Russian makes my head spin.

The house was packed with cousins' squeals, in-laws' laughter, brothers and sisters' reminiscences, tears of joy and a bit of sadness at saying goodbye.

Mom and Dad, if you thought this goodbye was hard, just wait until it is time to say goodbye to your Russian family. There is no way to prepare yourself for that...

Allow me to introduce you to their major supporters here at home.

A quick glance at the whole fam damily.

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Colorado weather was against us this day. It was so cold. The wind-chill factor was intense. ;) We were lucky this picture even came to fruition.

From the top.

Bret's the eldest. (He is the rumored favorite child. ;)) He is smart and an outstanding writer. I wish I had links to some of the work he has published; it's a riot. He's married to Cris (Her name is Cristian, I love that name for a girl.) who is definately the more attractive of the two! ;) I can't lie Bret; she makes you look good, really good. Cris would school anyone in any game of suduko. She is a serious math wiz, is utlra creative and has a major competitive streak.

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They have four children: London, who we thought was going to be the only granddaughter for a while (way to go J; Nuzman's can make something besides boy babies. ;)), Jordan, Colin, and Tate.

London is a freshman in high school. Remember those days? We will revisit the subject in a second. She is a really clever girl; I got to spend a bit of time with her and really appreciated her spirit.

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Jordan is a huge gamer: video, board, card, etc. I would put my money on him winning any game he plays. He also loves Dr. Pepper. He has six DP shirts that he trades out each week. His uniform, I guess. He is a major supporter of all Coke products. Right on, Nephew, right on.

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Colin is a very popular ladies man. He too is talented in the game arena, and used to have a small obsession with weapons. He never hurt anyone, but we heard elaborate stories of how he could have. We are all glad he grew out of that. (He has an amazing imagination.) Ironically, he is super sensative; Gunnar is always magnetized to him when we are together and it is sweet how Colin isn't above holding a three-year old's hand.

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Tate. Or Tator Tot as he has affectionately been coined doesn't say much, but when he does it is loud. He has a set of lungs and sometimes the sounds that come from his mouth are so interesting. He makes great car, dinosaur, and other unidentifiable noises. It's a talent for sure. He is energetic and has a willing heart. Gunnar wanted every Lego car Tate was building. Tate built him one just like his every time Gunnar asked.

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Something I really love about this family is how they invest in together time. They value family and see its importance. Several of their activities are based on each other; I really admire that and hope to follow suit.

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Kim is the only pink sibling in this family of blue. She is stunning.

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Please forgive me for sharing this with the world Kim and Jaren, but it cracks me up even thinking about it. Jaren is the second to the youngest in the family. He remembers this story and Kim will never forget it. Karla (Jaren's mom) was trying to get him ready for a bath. Those of us with boys understand the need to give them a good wash at the end of the day. They accumulate a funk for sure. Jaren got out of his mom's grasp and ran to the family room where his sister was laying down, watching a show. He plopped his little boy bum right on her nose and then ran away. She said she was washing stinky boy bum from her nose for weeks.

This happened years and years ago. NOT while we were just home. Sorry for the ambiguity.

I am laughing right now thinking of it; the story itself and the thought of a grown man doing that. ;)

Kim is well read and has a vocabulary of a Webster. She is articulate to the point of it being a bit intimidating, especially to an English teacher. I love to get cards from her because of her great word choice and syntax. She is in grad school right now too; I am glad we have each other. It will end someday Kim. Until then...we climb. ;) She is also extremely aware of others and their feelings. I love how she tries to understand people. She listens so well that sometimes it is a bit uncomfortable when I have finished telling her something. She just sits for a few seconds processing, thinking. She keeps listening to the silence when I have finished speaking. :) She believes in herself and other individuals and that makes her beautiful.

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Travis and Stac. I should have blogged about this family a long time ago. How could I have been so inconsiderate? Right, Trav? I mean you spent a night in our house, bought us pizza, showed us your plans for building; that is great material for a blog post. So sorry to have not thrown it in sooner. Or I could have blogged about how you and Stac came once for a buisness retreat, and how you left us your stinky left-overs and a hotel soap as a thank you. Why didn't I get that on the blog?

Or how about... how a few Christmases ago Santa gifted the boys two cats. They named them Boy and Baby. Both were female cats. Their current pets? Two chickens.

Stacy believes that all children should have a pair of moccasins in their youth, and is also a huge fan of left-overs. Except when she vacations; they sit in the fridge the remainder of the trip until the host sniffs them out a week later and laughs at her choice: egg plant parmesan.

I have an affinity for their little boys. One trip when we were visiting AZ, I forgot to lock the door on the bathroom. I went in to shower and get ready for the day. The next thing I knew I had two little nephews peeping in wanting to shower up with me. They were little enough for me to not be bothered. In fact, Jaren and I used to joke about what we had to do to conceive a child like Mason, their first born.

Here are the Arizona Nuzmans...

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I love being with these two. They love each other so much and it is evident in the way they treat one another. I love too how they can tease and not take their mistakes too seriously.

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I am so magnetized to Stacy. When we get together it is like fresh air. My mom would say we were "cut from the same bolt of cloth" or "two peas in a pod". I feel so much like myself when we have our visits; I laugh so hard my stomach aches and my eyes tear.

She is so amazingly beautiful and gifted. (Her skills with her MAC palate are phenominal. We always share our latest makeup secrets and finds when were are together.) She is also a super shopper. She told me recently that she pulled her achilles heal in her most recent shopping extravaganza.

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Mason, their eldest, writes outstanding stories (that I hope to publish here one day), about cows made out of macaroni that sing and dance or something extraordinary like that. He also is a very accomplished pianist and student at school. He is super handsome and is very nurturing and kind.

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Parker is popular. He has so many girlfriends his mom has lost count. He is also a major sports star. Stacy and Travis say he is the most mellow too of all their kids; when they need a companion for an outing, they take him. He is also super healthy. He doesn't like French fries or pizza. I just don't think that is normal. French fries and pizza are one of the five food groups in our house.

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I had a small love affair last week with this next guy. Casey is the youngest of the AZ Nuzmans. He loves sports too and especially likes to encourage his teams by wearing their jerseys. Stacy told me she was tired of him wearing such apparel so she started hiding one each week. He asked where they went and she played dumb. "I don't know where they could have gone, Son. We will have to do some serious looking to find those special shirts." She actually didn't encourage any looking. She is bound to win mother of the year.

He should be named Mr. Personality.

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Can you get over those dimples? Darling.

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He is the baby, but his big brothers take good care of him and vice versa.

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They are really close. I hope they continue to grow up that way and stay close when they are teens and adults. It is such a neat feeling to be close to a sibling.

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They've all got personality! It oozes and bleeds from all of them.

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It is hard to express how much I love this little family. They are fun and love.

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Loved this moment.

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Jaren comes after Trav. He gets plenty of coverage on this blog already, and will get a few shout outs later on. ;)

Let us not forget about this guy who became enamored with all of his cousins immediately.

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In fact he wanted to spend every moment with them. One night he insisted upon sleeping with them. He made himself right at home on their bed on the floor. The next night, after inviting himself to another sleepover he woke up in need of a change (yes he still wears them) he came upstairs totally wet, then demanded he be changed and taken back down to the cousins.

He started feeling a bit left out during their shoot. Can you blame him for jumping in here?

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Scotty is next and the last. He has the softest heart next to Travis. I have always enjoyed talking to him. He genuinely cares about feelings. Like Kim he too tries to understand others, and feels sincerely sad when someone else is hurting. It looks like his heart is spoken for, and soon we will be adding to the family photo album. HOORAY! She is a lucky girl to have won him over. He too is in school, law school. I admire that as well. A tort to me is a delicious pastry. Scott you will make the most money out of us all someday. Please remember who fed you when you were a starving student in Provo.

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And the two who created all this "crapped-out" loveliness? The ones responsible for this family gathering?
R.F. Nuzman and his number one associate Karla. These two love their children, in-laws, and grandchildren so tenderly. They are generous, kind people. I know they will touch so many lives while they are away.

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Besides family pictures we did a lot of eating, relaxing, chatting, and just being together.

On Saturday we hit the Alpine Slide at Heritage Square. Anyone heard of it? It is a huge slide on the top of a mountain. To ride you take a ski lift to top and then sled down. It was awesome.

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Gunnie loved it and was sad when his tickets to ride ran out.

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We had to find other diversions to get his mind off the slide.

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His Aunt Kim indulged him in a few of these.

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He thought it was hysterical throwing them at Jaren's feet and making him "dance".

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"Dance, Dad, Dance!"

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Oh the giggles that a $ .50 box of poppers produced. Simple pleasures.

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How many of you have a picture like this? Something your parents threatened to pull out when you brought home that someone special.

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Gunnar kept using Casey as leverage to get up from the water. He swallowed at least a gallon. Sorry about that Case.

On Sunday I was able to spend some time with my niece London. She is 15.5 and is full of wishes.

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And she is wishing they will all come true.

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She is also in that time of life when it is hard to focus on anything except what is right in front of her. It is hard to be 15 and keep a perspective; I remember.

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Since we found out we are having a girl I have been thinking about a lot of things. I had several questions for her: how she felt being the only girl in her family, if she wished for a sister, if she felt she was treated differently than her brothers, which brother she was closest to, what she wished was different in her life...our conversation was enlightening and revealing.

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It is hard to be 15. That is a time in life when you aren't quite old enough, but you don't feel as naive as you used to be. You want to make all your own decisions and spread your wings but you feel slightly caged by rules and boundries. You want to be understood but feel so completely lost in the process of self-discovery. Someday London, as weird as it may seem, you will look back on this time and be so grateful for the limitations you felt were so oppressive and binding. I make you that unbelievable promise right now.

London longs for what we all crave, understanding and compassion.

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She is a smart girl with strong thoughts and opinions.

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And although she fights it sometimes, there is a spirit inside her that desperately wants to feel happy, all the time.

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London,
Thanks for the time together, and for being so open with me; I wished we lived closer. Be patient with yourself and the people around you. You are not alone. Someday you will have clarity, just keep working on what you know is most important. I can't wait for our next chat-

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On Monday Kim and I got out to take care of some serious business: shoe shopping.

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Downtown Littleton has a strip of stores that I love to visit. They are all boutiques with an old-town feel.
Jaren tagged along to carry the bags and give advice on our choices. He was very patient.

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The decisions were challanging.

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I almost went home with the greens, but opted for a pair that would make my girlfriend Kate so proud; they are flater than flat and perfect for chasing kiddos. :) Kim- thanks for the birthday present; I have worn them everyday since I got home.

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These dazzle shoes went home with Kim.

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Jaren guarded our treasures while Kim indulged me in a few pictures.

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We also visited a store that gave me the muse for my baby's nursery. It was a french pastery shop that also sold clothes and home decor. I left with the idea to do a cupcake theme. It's going to be good.

The highlight of our trip for Gunnar, next to time with cousins, was camping out with his dad.

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They did a dry run for the Fathers and Sons' that was supposed to happen this weekend. He gathered up so many supplies to have in the tent. My favorite was the plastic laser gun he found downstairs to shoot bears or foxes if they happened to intrude their sleep in a suburban backyard. ;) The sad part? Gunnar and J missed the Father Sons' this weekend; Gunnar came down with a terrible chest cold. They are both currently "camping out" in Gunnar's bed. I had made such plans for myself. I was disappointed on several levels, for them and for me. I told Jaren that even though they were still at home that I was considering them on the camp out. ;)

The hardest part was of course saying goodbye. Gunnar has always had a special relationship with his Grandma. They have been close since he was born. I know they will miss each other terribly. The time will go swiftly. To make up for lost time though Grandma we would like to plan a two week visit with just you and Gunnar when you get home. Jaren and I will drop him off. ;)

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We had a total of four flights to get to Colorado and back. The two returning flights were full of roller-coaster turbulance. Gunnar was serioulsy the best traveler, even when his parents' stomachs were both threatening upheavel.

I loved observing him talk to himself in the airport windows.

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So, Gunnar. Overall how was the trip?

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That's what I thought.

As refreshing as it was to be with family and be surrounded by the comforts of relatives, it felt so good to come back to our home.

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Mom and Dad-
We love you. Thanks for your example; we'll see you soon.

This has to have been the longest post of my blogger career. Here's to a great family. xoxo Kam

p.s. My luggage is home safe and sound. It went all the way to Fort Lauderdale and back again.

18 comments:

Tonya said...

what a special post...it was so fun to "catch up" on this awesome family!


My fav is the one of Trav & Stacy kissin'...they are so cute...all those kids have grown soooo big! Fun to see some old faces!

I love those new green shoes...stinkin' cute! Glad you guys made it home safely and had a nice visit with family.

Tonya

jessicaclaire said...

kam these are AWESOME. and you got in the family photo!!! seriously, you have made a huge photo leap with these, great job. want to go see maid of honor with me and april maybe tomorrow afternoon?

Natalie said...

Kam,
I am so glad that you posted this. It is so good see all the pictures of the "Colorado" Nuzman's I miss my cousins so much but it was so fun to get so see pictures and read what you had to write. Thanks!!!

Natalie

Paige said...

What beautiful pictures and comments. You should find a way to bind this into a little book for his parents.

Paige said...

What beautiful pictures and comments. You should find a way to bind this into a little book for his parents.

Nicole said...

What a fun update on the Colorado cousins! When Ron and Karla get back home we should have some sort of extended family reunion. It would be fun to see everyone and their kids! :) (and as always, your pictures are just beautiful. Really, these are stunning!)

Jennifer P. said...

The last 1/3 of these didn't come up on my computer, but I loved the ones I did see! What a great family it looks like Jeran came from--and I can definately see Gunnar's resemblance to the cousins!

glad you're home safe :)!

Kimberly said...

Kam,

Thanks for all you do! Love, love the pictures, but also the sweet words and sincere sentiments. Thanks you for the tribute to Mom and Dad and thanks for just being wonderful you!!

K

Rebecca said...

I thought we were the highlight of the trip. ;) What store did you get the shoes? With all my kids, I don't care! I'm going there tomorrow. Loved seeing you guys! Great picts...:)

Mom Nuzman said...

Kam,
Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and lovely words. It was fun to relive the last weekend and see all the faces I adore. I know it must have taken many hours to do and I want you to know how much I appreciate your talent and love. I look forward to posting our blog from Russia. Love, Mom Nuzman

shannon said...

Kam, these are amazing! These are probably your best ever. And I loved getting to peek inside the Nuzman family. Can't wait to see you Friday!

Sheryl said...

Absolutely enchanting! You are so gifted to take people to places they haven't been and feel so good for having the journey..I always look forward to a new Kamee posting.

Lindsay said...

LOVE the pics and the words Kamee!! So cute! Thanks for sharing!!

Karley said...

I love your pictures! It was great to see everyone in the Colorado Crew since we weren't able to fly up for the send off. Alayna misses London and was thrilled to get to see pictures of her.

You are an amazing photographer. I need to send Alayna down to you so you can take pictures of her! I love your perspective on everything.

Thanks for taking the time so I could feel a part of it through the photos.

Love you guys :)

Brittany Takai said...

Nuz :)

It's Brittany Takai! I was just thinking about you and remembered that Caitlin told me about your blog a while ago so I googled it and here I am! It's so nice to see what's going on in your life these days since I haven't seen you in years. Gunnar is as handsome as ever and your family is beautiful. It looks like you had a wonderful time at "home." What stood out to me was the "someone new to love." Congratulations Nuz! How wonderful to have one boy and one girl. I'm sure Gunnar will love the bajeezies out of her, along with her two totally awesome parents. Anyway, I just wanted to leave a comment and let you know I still think about you and that you still remain my most favorite teacher/mentor/advisor. Thank you for all that. You're amazing. Take care, Nuz.

Love,
Brittany

Katrina and Jeff said...

Kamee I love the pictures you took. They're awesome! I don't know your family, but the pictures made me feel like I knew them. Glad your back.

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Anonymous said...

Great blog but I was particularly interested in hearing more about Travis's visit. You only briefly touched on it and I have to believe you have only scratched the surface.