"Such a small name for such a person." (Movie trivia....Little Women, duh.)
This is my magical (yes, magical) sister-in-law, Eliza Dawson. And today is Liza's birthday. Hooray!
Now down to business. First off, why is Liza magical, you ask? I will tell you. Liza is magical because she she can make anything fancy.
And it's not just fancy for look's-sake. It's fancy for good, fanciness-sake. As you will soon see, Mrs. Dawson is a beautiful human being and I think her affinity for all things darling/fancy/walking the precarious line "between Anthropolgie exquisiteness and dish-towel-ness" is because there is just way too much loveliness to be adequately contained within one person. The life she creates for her daughters is beautiful. I'm sure it's not perfect all the time. I'm sure that lots of days she really does want to "poke my eyes out with a blunt stick." However, I am also sure that, more often than not, creativity, imagination, and twirling is usually close at hand. The magical goodness just can't help but overflow out of Liza and subsequently touch the likes of not only the dinner table and her daughters' wardrobes but, more importantly, the lives of pretty much anyone she comes in contact with.
I am just one such lucky person with whom Liza has come in contact with. And not just since I became Samantha Kelly, mind you. Liza has been a blessing of love in my life for many, many years now. (It's ok, you're jealous- I know.) Remember how my family and Chas' family have been bosom buddies ever since we moved out to New York when I was a little pre-teen? At that time, Liza was probably twenty-something years old. How many twenty-somethings do you know go out of their way to truly befriend and love a dorky thirteen year-old? Well, now you know one who did. I remember talking to Liza and feeling totally validated, loved, and accepted during every conversation. It meant the world to me that Liza Kelly cared about me and considered me a pretty alright human being. When my family moved from New York back to Utah, Liza and her sister Brynn bought a Tiffany's bean necklace for me because I "just couldn't leave New York without some Tiffany's." I will always, always remember the feelings I had when those two giving me that necklace. They were the greatest of great feelings. I still have notecards from Liza and copies of letters that I'd send to her from Utah. And just because life moved on from my time in New York and we both went on in our seperate lives, doesn't mean that Liza ceased to be a support to me. A little while ago, I suddenly found myself in a hard, scary, and lonely place in life. Liza immediately reached out to me once again. She sent me heart-felt and much-needed emails. She sent me inspirational books. Basically, she sent me her love at a time when I needed it dearly.
If you haven't noticed, Liza has a way of showering others with love and what's great about the way she gives love is how genuine and joyful she is with her loving giving. Even now, I'm smilling from ear to ear just thinking about the emails I got when Chas and I first started dating. Something about her wanting to "dance uncontrollably in the streets" at the thought of us being together. Love that.
Then, when Chas and I were engaged and I had had a particularly rough day, Liza gave Chas some almond flavoring (because apparently Starbucks is too cool to carry almond flavoring any more...dirty hipsters) along with instructions to take his fiance right away to Starbucks and buy me an almond steamer. She had also printed off a picture of a tiramisu cupcake (yeah- she really knows me) and written me a letter of encouragement for Chas to give me en route to said almond steamer land.
And seriously, these stories of Liza's love is barely only scratching the surface of what she has done for me over the years.
Now a word from our Chas:
While I can only wish to have that same ability to convey the downright goodness of others through words as Liza does, I will nevertheless attempt, however feeble the results may be, to pay my dear sister a Birthday Tribute of her own. It's only fair that the Queen-Master-Composer of Birthday Tributes gets one for herself, never mind how inadequate it will surely be. (Thankfully, my awesome wife and fellow A #1 Fan of Liza J. Dawson is helping me out here.) Here goes.
Liza is a wonderful wife. Just ask her appreciative, loving and amazing husband, Jan. She completes him and compliments him. In addition to making him many a fine meal, she makes him laugh and makes him so so happy, just as he does to her. They are a powerful duo. I'm glad I'm related to them.
Liza is an amazing mom. She has two little girls that she adores. Not surprisingly, they adore her. She, feeds, bathes, changes, hugs, plays with, disciplines, kisses, laughs with, cries with, cares for and nurtures them 24/7 and I tell you what, they are very fortunate and special girls for getting a mom like Liza. Liza is in so many ways like my mom (and that's a high compliment, FYI), so I KNOW Mille and Clara have had and will continue to have wonderful lives ahead of them. They are in good care and I got a feeling that they know that. (But don't hold it against them if they forget from time to time. They're just little kids! Adorable, fun-lovin', bright, energetic little kids at that!)
Liza is the Primary President of her ward. And she does much better than just wrangle the little tots. She heeds the voice of the Spirit and is getting through to them. They are learning the gospel. 'Nuff said.
Liza is a great sister. She loves her family. She knows what's going on in their lives. She prays for them. A lot (as well as for a great many other people). And she does so much for them. She is so very thoughtful. I'll never forget the generous birthday gift she gave me when I turned 7--my own personalized scrapbook with pictures and drawings of the events of my life. She spent an entire day putting it together. And you know what I just realized: she was a teenager!! How many teens that thoughtful do you know? Yeah, that's what I thought. And Liza's only gotten more thoughtful since then. Chew on that one!
Liza is a dear friend. Those fortunate enough to call her 'friend' (and they are many) know that they are lucky souls. Liza is always looking out for her chums. She has fun with them. She is there for them. She writes glowing tributes about them on her blog (as well as for her family).
Liza is also very hip. She's got excellent taste and it shows in her kids' wardrobe, as well as her own. Not to mention her darling house. Only the finest decorations that help in making one feel so at home. She's always appreciated the good, fine things in life because those are the things that make one feel at home. And close to divinity.
Liza is fun. Homegirl knows how to have a good time and enjoy life. This can be explained at least in part by her affinity for riding in convertible cars. Like I said, the good things in life.
Liza is beautiful. In every sense of the word. Her wonderful looks are only enhanced by the glow of the Spirit she has with her constantly. 'Tis a sight to behold, indeed.
Liza is a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. She constantly strives to do the right thing. And then she does it. She is a prayerful daughter of God. She knows and loves her Father in Heaven and that's evident in all the ways she lives her life (see all of the above). She is such a good example of being someone who is constantly learning from the scriptures and from the words of modern day prophets and apostles. I'm sure she'll be more than happy to tell you the latest thing she's learned. Liza is always finding the right ways to improve her life and taking out the distractions.
Liza is simply DAWESOME!!
I love you so much, Liza!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!