I could go on and on about Jeff. He is the best. He is supportive and kind and I wish I had a father like him growing up. He is the best grandfather to our girls. I caught myself in a moment of jealousy one Christmas when Jeff was playing 'rock' with our nephews. Rock is where grandpa lays on the ground really still. And when one of the boys come up to him or really close...The Rock gets them and tackles them to the ground. Jeff used to play this with his sons. I caught myself feeling that way because he doesn't play that with the girls. But in that moment I also realized, there are a lot of things he does do with the girls that are special and just theirs. When the twins were younger he would sit in granny's chair (this little white rocker) and read to the girls. They would climb up in his lap, curl up and get cozy and eventually all three of them would be asleep. For Corynn, he would sit for hours letting her 'take his order' for food and then she would 'bake and cook' up his orders with her pretend food and kitchen. Now he's working with the twins on driving- taking on the supportive role once again while John and I are much more critical with their learning. He is patient and gentle. And he adores his wife...which is just adorable and perfect. He is laid back and I love joking around with him. I also love how he can never retell a joke quite right...it's the cutest thing ever! Every time!
I also respect Jeff and love him very much. One instance that I will forever remember: When my mom and I went over to their home. We were meeting to discuss the pregnancy and what our options were. I already had my mind made up that I would keep the baby (soon to be babies) regardless of if John was in the picture or not. And if they wanted to be part of it too - great! If not, I was ok with that too. But I went there out of respect to listen to what they thought would be best. Once the options were laid out, I spoke for myself and let them know what I had already decided. And I remember quickly looking over at Jeff after my little speech and I caught a little smile. Maybe because I had stood up for myself, my decision and was taking responsibility OR maybe it was because I looked like a scared little mouse and he was offering me some mercy OR maybe it was because now that the decision was made...he was going to be a grandpa. I don't why he smiled or even if he remembers, but it was a quick split moment in time that I will always remember.
My mother in law, Nancy is a tremendous woman. She is about 5'2" and maybe 100lbs. A tiny little thing. She is also the family matriarch. Even when grandma Tillie was still alive- Nancy was the head of the family. The one we call about family gatherings, holidays, trips, meals etc. She makes every holiday seem like it's straight off the pages of Martha Stewart. She has taught me refinement and hosting skills, how to decorate tables and entertain. One big thing she taught us was family dinners. When John and I were dating in highschool, he was required to go home every night for dinner and eat with his parents. And every night- he would. It was more of a 'fend for yourself' mentality at my house growing up. The only time we ate together at the table was if company was coming over or if it was Christmas. But we eat with our children every night. Even with some crazy hectic schedules and a couple teenagers...they know they are expected to be home for dinner with the family.
Her mother (Gma Tillie) was so proud of her and would tell me so when driving back and forth from Hastings to GI during holidays. She is well respected in the community, gives of her time to some great causes and is a wonderful role model. She has taught me by example and I've learned a lot. My house may never be as clean or as organized as hers, and my meals may never be as picturesque and wonderful, but she set the bar I strive for. She is the best mother in law a girl could ask for and I'm so grateful to call her family!
I am also thankful to these two for the wonderful example of marriage that they set for us. They are supportive of each other, kind, fun and sweet! The love each other and have been through so much.
LOVE YOU TWO!