Friday, June 27, 2008

Six years ago...

Jake kissed the bride

we posed for several pics with LOTS of supportive family

and we cooled off from the hottest day of the year!

Since then, our lives have been a roller coaster of events. We've lived in 5 different places in 3 different states, we've welcomed 3 fat, fun kids into our family, Jake has graduated from college AND law school, and we've "made it" in New York City...so now we can make it anywhere! Our lives are pretty uncertain right now as we stand on the precipice of a really big cliff. Jake's career is about to begin and we're trying to find a place to live for the next decade or so. So much is up in the air, but we've come so far! Now is our chance to really spread our wings and I can't wait to take it all on. Jake is such an amazing husband and father. I can't imagine my life with anyone else, nor would I want to.

Thank you Jacob for making the past 7 years of my life so wonderful and for 6 amazing years of marriage. And thank you for making today so special...even while we're far apart. I'll have to do another post of my anniversary present...a new sewing machine! I'm so excited!!

Jacob I love you with all my heart!!! I only wish we could go on another honeymoon to Mexico to congratulate ourselves on 6 great years! MMMmmm...white sandy beaches would be so wonderful right now. Let's promise to do it someday... xoxoxoxoxo



Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!
We've been married six years. I've loved every minute. In fact, those are the only moments I really refer to. There isn't much BC (before-connubiality) that even compares to everything AM (after-connubiality) (
maybe I should say intra-connubiality; oh, come on - I had to make the acronyms work; besides, conjugal makes me sound like an inmate). You're my best friend, my precious companion, and, most recently, the mother of our cute kids. Man you make cute babies! I trust you with everything. You're smarter than I am (the kids need smarts from somewhere), you're more beautiful than I am (again, they need it from somewhere other than me), you're a tremendously hard worker, and you love me (which takes care of everything else I could ever want).

Now that we've begun our trip together into the eternities, I'm in no hurry for them to pass. Being with you is heavenly. I love you. Jacob

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eyes...not just for seeing anymore.



Jackson: "Mom, Heavenly Father made our eyes so we can blink."





Very insightful.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dads

These three dads hold a lot of special meaning in my life. First of all, there's my dad. My dad was a pretty "tough" dad. He was always good to us, but also very business-like. I don't think I've every called my dad when he hasn't answered the phone, "John Jorgensen," in a deep, powerful voice. His business-like demeanor comes from a life of working very hard at everything he does. He is creating a wonderful legacy for us--one of hard work, strength in the church, importance of family, and frugality. I always had friends going on vacations and showing me pictures of all the nice hotels they've stayed in and I have to laugh when I think of some of the hotels we've stayed in (actually, mostly motels). To this day, dad looks for the best deal, not the best motel. But he never spares expense when it comes to making sure the family gets together. He's always willing to help us out so we can all be together, usually for the 4th of July. Along with this business side comes a very tender side though. He turns into a ball of mush around the grandkids...making up songs and making funny noises. The kids love him. I also rarely end a phone call without an "I love you," even if he's in a business meeting. I loved calling him to tell him we were having our little Jackson and hearing him tell everyone in the room. Thanks dad!!!! I love you!

The next dad to come into my life was Paul, Jake's dad. I've only known him for 7 years, 3 of which were at a great distance. Even so, Dad S. has become so important in my life. Luckily, I like the man, because his son is slowly but surely turning in to him! I really admire so much about him. He has such a fun, welcoming attitude. Every time anyone walks into their house you're greeted with a "WELCOME HERE!" Those words ring in my ears and bring a smile to my face. I sure hope Heavenly Father is as happy to see me when I get there as dad sounds! :) There is never a dinner conversation that is not wrought with some new thought or idea or exploration...something not so common at my house. I was always so intrigued by this and Jake and I would sometimes go over to the house for dinner, even after we'd eaten our own. After a prayer and an "Eet smakelijk!" we'd sit down to discuss the latest ideas or principles everyone's been "chewing on" during the day. What a great tradition...one I hope we continue in our own house as the kids grow and start analyzing...as is the Skousen way. I love you dad...and I love your "fancy pinky" in this pic! (That was such great food!!! Back to top...thanks dad!!)

And lastly, the man I made a father...my Jacob. My heart is so full right now (at least that's what I call it when my eyes sting with tears while I'm typing) as I find myself several hundred miles away from him. He's at home in NYC studying for the bar while the kids and I make ourselves scarce (yeah right...back to the top...thanks dad!) here at my parents in Missouri. Father's Day is just a "Hallmark Holiday" but I miss spending it with Jake. He's such a great dad and even though we celebrated together before we left, I still felt like we should be together. I could go on and on about what a great husband he is...or law student, ahem, I mean, graduate. But this is about being a dad...and he's great at it! I admire the balance he has found between friend and dad with Jackson. Jackson absolutely ADORES Jacob. Tonight we got Jake up on the computer via webcam and let the kids come say hi. Jackson couldn't get enough! He talks about Jake and has big plans for all the things they're going to do together when Jackson gets "big enough like daddy." Sydney is enamoured with him too, but in a boyfriend sort of way, not a buddy. She loves to flirt with him and cuddle. Of course, she likes to play him too. She knows how to get what she wants. :) Kate will follow in those footsteps I'm sure, but for now, Jake's voice does bring a smile to her face...the most we can ask from a 2 1/2 month old. But I'll say it for her anyway...I love you Jacob!!!

I'm so grateful for these 3 men who influence my life so much. Happy Father's Day!!


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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kate's Blessing







We blessed Kate on Sunday, June 1. It was a perfect day. Jake's dad, my dad, and our brother-in-law, Peter, were there to participate. (Along with both our moms, Michelle, Wendy, Julie, MaryAnn, Josh , Liz, Christian, Laureana, and Gabriel...all there for moral support and pictures.) Jake gave a beautiful blessing and Kate wore the dress I was blessed in 31 years ago (and Jake wondered why it was a little yellowed!) She looked beautiful! Her hair is just so fantastic. I really love it.

After the blessing, we all went on a walk down to the park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed a fun picnic overlooking the East River and the Manhattan skyline. After lunch we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such a fun, memorable afternoon. I'm excited to show Kate pictures and tell her all about it when she grows up.

It's official...Jake gets his JD!

After 3 long years of extremely long hours, hard work, and relentless dedication, yesterday Jake made it official and received his diploma, making him a Juris Doctor! I can't begin to express how proud of him I am! He is amazing! There were a few other people who took their kids across the stage with them, but of course, their kids walked quietly and nicely across. Had Jackson, Sydney and Kate been there, Jackson surely would've been loudly asking questions throughout the ceremony and absolutely would not have tolerated the 3 hour length. He would've had to carry both Kate and Sydney because Sydney gets so shy, leaving Jackson to run amok on the stage. Of course, maybe then Jake's classmates would truly realize how much more Jake had to overcome to do the same job that they did! :) Luckily, Jake's sisters and brother were here to play with the kids and we didn't have to bring them to the graduation...though I'll forever regret not having a picture of them with their dad on such an important day in our family's history.

I'll brag about Jake for a minute. We got in to Brooklyn Law School by the skin of our teeth. It's ranked about 55th in the nation and very competitive. We were wait-listed and prepared to attend Suffolk law school in Boston (a lower-ranked school). Days before we moved, while my mom and family friend were on their way to Boston to find us an apartment, Brooklyn called to admit Jake to the part time evening program. We accepted because this was a better school and after visiting both schools, we liked BLS better. So basically we entered at the bottom of the bottom. In his first year, he earned all A's and B's and was admitted to the full-time day program after his first semester. He took extra courses and worked several internships for school credit to ensure he would graduate in the anticipated time. While at BLS, the school has continued to rank higher and higher, even above a few schools who rejected Jake for admission. Jake graduated with a 3.0 GPA and right in the middle of his class. While this may not seem like something to brag about, Jake showed that he could cut it at this highly competitive school among classmates who graduated from schools like NYU, Columbia, and even Yale. He has clawed his way up the ladder and I'm extremely proud of him. I know he's going to be an amazing lawyer and I can't wait to see where we end up.

Right now he's studying for the California Bar so that we can eventually land there. We will be concentrating our job hunting efforts in the Northern California/Bay Area. Hopefully something will come soon, but in the mean time, his efforts will be focused on passing the bar.

Great job Jake!! I'm so proud of you! The kids and I love you so much! You've cut the path for greatness in our little family.