Who is Janelle?
She is a daughter, sister, wife, mother, listener, restorer, truth-seeker, party-planner, and friend.
How do I know Janelle?
About a year or so ago, Brandon and I found out we were going to be moving to Northern California. We weren't exactly sure where we should go, so I did a post at Tales, hoping to find people who lived in the area that might give us some good advice. Julie P., who had moved from there recently, got some of her friends to comment on my post. Janelle was one of them and we emailed back and forth a bit.
When Brandon went out to CA to start working and looking for a rental, lo and behold, the area we liked the best was in Janelle's ward. Not only that, she is a real estate agent. Not only that! but she and her hubby invited Brandon over for dinner one night, which I think solidified Brandon's resolve to move into that ward.
The day after we moved into our home, Janelle brought two other friends and helped me unpack. She also invited me over to her home soon thereafter. That created over a year of friendship that I will never forget. I was included into so many aspects of her life: book club, scripture study, park days, date nights, parties, etc. And the day we moved back to Provo? Janelle was there helping me clean the rental house. She's just that wonderful, dear reader!
What is it about Janelle that inspires me?
- Friendship: It's kind of a joke that Janelle is the CVI's (the ward's) welcoming committee. I guess it's not that funny, because she is! She welcomes everybody with open arms. The first time I went to her house, I came away thinking "Janelle is seriously the greatest friend ever!" and I tired to figure out why. It didn't take me long to realize it's because Janelle listens. Intently. And sincerely. Janelle cares deeply about people and wants to learn about them, their past, their plans, their dreams, their funny anecdotes and their testimonies. Janelle listens better than anybody I've ever met. Her sincerity and honesty blow me away, and I believe this is one of her many gifts from God.
- Spirituality: Janelle's testimony is amazing. Every week at scripture study, it was obvious she knew what she was studying and reading, and her questions created amazing discussions about the Gospel. The best part? Her humility and never-ending search for the truth. Her desire to be righteous; her actual hungering and thirsting after righteousness. She has such a desire for good! Many times she would say things, or point out things that would be exactly what I was needing to hear; I honestly feel that some of my prayers were answered through Janelle. Her testimony is one that I wish to have one day.
- Hosting: This girl knows how to par-tay! Okay, so not only is she sweet, thoughtful, spiritual, and a great listener, but she is fun. So fun! Her laughter is crazy-contagious and her parties and get-togethers are always filled with laughter. She makes everyone feel welcomed and accepted, and her house was so inviting. If Janelle and hubby were in charge of a party of any kind (with kids or not), you knew it was gonna be awesome.
- Taste: This woman has amazing taste in clothing (yes, Janelle, you do!), art, and furniture. A lot of the furniture in her home was salvaged from junk yards. I'm amazed at how well they've been restored. I love the art in her home, too. Honestly, Janelle, you have fabulous taste!
- Adventure: Her family loves adventure! You can find them in Mexico, camping in Santa Cruz, or heck! They just got back from Yosemite. I love, love, love that she loves to travel (especially here. So jealous!) and have some fun adventures. This is partly because I know how hard it is for her physically sometimes. She doesn't talk about it much, but Janelle has RA, which is a difficult, difficult struggle. However, even though it causes her pain and creates some very hard days, it has never stopped her desire for fun and adventure.
- Maturity: I had to add one more thing because I think this speaks volumes about Janelle's character. Maturity isn't defined by age (as some would think), but by an overall attitude of humility, kindness, optimism, and wisdom. Janelle is all of these things personified. Oh, sure, she's not perfect (did you see her closet? Haha...), but Janelle is still pretty awesome, I would say!
I miss you, Janelle!