Monday, August 10, 2009

Incredible Woman #1 - Janie Squire. Monday's questions

Janie Squire is one of my neighbors and a good friend. She helped me through an awfully hard time in my life this last year (during my fight with breast cancer). I've always wanted to get to know Janie a bit more - I know you'll love her, too! Here are the first two questions I asked Janie...

Kara: "Janie, tell me a little bit about yourself... what are your hobbies, talents, beliefs, etc.?"
Janie: "I am 52 years old. I just had that wonderful birthday in June! I love to read, go for long walks, spend time with family, cooking, and traveling!! Beliefs... "I believe that we are here for a purpose. That we were sent here to learn, grow and help others. I believe that each of us has a guardian angel that is assigned to us - mine is my son, Brandon, who left this early world in 2003."

Kara: "What makes you an "Incredible Woman"?"
Janie: "Ooooo.... I don't even think I fall under this category! I think that the trials that I have had to face in this life have shaped and molded me into who I am today. My experiences allow me to have the empathy necessary to help others that perhaps are going through similar things."

Kara: "You have a beautiful family. Tell me about them. Describe a typical day. What are some of the fun things you've done as a family?"
Janie: "My sweet family... I've been married to Dennis for 30 years!!! Time has flown by!! We met BRIEFLY while he was serving in the Texas San Antonio Mission. His love for the little ones in the ward was quite evident and that caught my attention. But, that's all really. I was attending Pan American University in Edinburg, TX, which is about 300 miles from my home town. After I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I moved back home. My brother and mother got us writing. ANYWAY... here we are. Brandon is our oldest. He is 25 years old. He was 19 when he lost his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We know that he is happy and that his body is no longer plagued with such a debilitating illness. This disease is a degenerative muscle disease. Over time, you lose muscle mass, which culminates in losing muscle strength and complete usage of your muscles. He will always be a part of our lives. Even though we can't see him here, I know that he isn't far away. He is a handsome, brown-eyed, cheerful young man. I miss him so much, yet am comforted in knowing that someday, we will see him on the other side and that he will be standing there ready to greet us and hug us. Cydnee is our baby. She is 18, but closely approaching her 19th birthday. She graduated with honors from Lone Peak High School and will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall. She has been through so many things that a lot of kids her age have never experienced. She learned how to be her brother's arms and legs. Cydnee was able to learn so much about accepting people with disabilities because of Brandon. She is a beautiful young lady that has goals in life and will achieve them because of her determination. Love my kids!!

A typical day for us is pretty average for a little family. Dennis gets up at "o-dark thirty" to exercise EVERY DAY (except Sunday). He runs at least 7 miles, 4 times a week and does weight training on two days. He is so dedicated to staying fit and healthy. I'm super glad that he is taking care of himself, but sometimes it is a bit frustrating when I want to cook things that have lots of cheese and butter... and don't, because I know that he will just have one serving - that is an indication to me of "don't cook it again". He doesn't SAY that, but I know he is thinking it!! Cydnee is doing her externship as Medical Assistant right now at the AF Clinic, so she is up at 7:00 am. Sometimes we meet for lunch, which I love, or sometimes she comes home for lunch. She doesn't get home until 5:30 or 6:00 pm. I get up about 7:30 or 8:00. I read my scriptures or an Ensign article and say my morning prayers. I try and get the spiritual "workout" first. Then I go walking with one of my friends, whether it be Adrienne Peterson or Natalie Grant. We walk for about 4 miles, at least 3 or 4 times a week. I come home and get ready for the day. Sometimes I index, work on my church calling responsibilities, help my niece with her little ones, run errands for the family, work on photo projects, go outside and trim some rose bushes, etc. At the end of the day, our family reunites for dinner. My favorite part of the day is dinnertime because of the togetherness, and bedtime prayer for the same reason. We gather around Brandon's bed and have prayer there. We feel close to him in his room, so we have chosen to have family prayer there."

Fun things as a family: "We love to go "jeeping" in the Jeep. We drive up the mountain and explore trails as we go. Sometimes Dennis gets a bit too adventurous, but we come back in one piece! Due to Brandon's illness, we never invested in play toys such as boats or ATVs, so we did a lot of traveling instead, to places that were accessible to him. My favorite memories are of helping Brandon realize his dreams. He wanted to meet the cast of Full House, so through Make A Wish, we were able to go as a family to do that. It was so exciting meeting Mary Kate Olsen and John Stamos! We headed to Disneyland after that. He also wanted to watch Steve Young play in the NFL, so we drove to San Francisco to witness a win of the 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals! We have met and mingled with Karl Malone, Jeff Hornacek, the Jazz Bear, Frank Layden, Senator Orrin Hatch, Governor Mike Leavitt, Thurl Bailey, and on and on. All because of a persistent and charismatic young man! We still love to travel and are enjoying creating memories with Cydnee."

Return tomorrow, when questions/answers 3 and 4 will be posted!


Angela said...

What a wonderful blog you have started! Janie is definitely an INCREDIBLE WOMAN! I found your blog from Kim Walus' blog, Bitty Bits and Pieces.
Thanks so much for sharing the true celebrities in life.

adrienne5050 said...

This blog is a great way to pay tribute to those women who truly deserve it like Janie. Those who are close to her know that she is strong, dedicated, thoughtful, compassionate. She is beautiful both inside and out, and a fiercely loyal friend! Janie, you truly are an INCREDIBLE WOMAN!!! Love you!

Mrs Quilty said...

This blog is a fantastic idea, there are so many incredible women out there and sharing their lives with others is encouraging. I enjoyed Janie's story and look forward to the next two questions. Kim from BittyBitsandPieces sent me here and I thank her.

Micki said...

What a great way to honor women and a great write up on Janie. I just found your blog!

Dena said...

Janie's story is so inspirational. Thank you for making the effort to share these women's stories.

Mimi said...

What a nice idea to honor and recognize woman who make a difference in our world.

I just signed up to follow this blog and will be a frequent visitor.

Kim Walus posted on her blog, Bitty Bits & Pieces about your blog and that's how I came to be here.


FitToSeeJane said...

Nice blog. I like to see women recognized for merit and as an example. I can't wait to see more!

dotti white said...

I love your blog and the way that women are featured as incredible! We all are in our own ways! I look forward to being inspired as I follow your blog! Thanks for the opportunity!

Terresa said...

This is the first blog of this kind I've come across -- about ordinary women who do extraordinary things. Giving a tribute to amazing women who make a difference, a great idea, love it!!

Mary said...

What a wonderful way to remind us all that we can do extraordinary things. Thanks for your special blog.

Jen said...

Love this idea for a blog! I saw your comment on my blog and thing this blog is great!! Thanks for sharing it with me today!


H.K. said...

This is such a great concept for a blog & I enjoyed reading the interview with Janie! I love what you wrote about celebrity mom's and I agree with you wholeheartedly. The other day I saw a picture of Angelina Jolie visiting African refugees and I thought, "Why can't she do a good deed without publicists and camera's recording them?" Mother's do great things every day and you don't see a camera recording their every move! I enjoy reading your upcoming posts!

By the way your comment on the Mice post was hilarious! I never thought of peanut butter!

Melinda said...

There is no way Janie is 52!! How awesome and inspiring she is (even more than just looking fantastic!), thank you for starting this, I'm so excited to see more! How fun!

You're awesome!

nima said...

wow...nice blog...reached here thru Kim's

Natalie said...

Kara, this is a great thing, glad you thought about doing it and Janie was a perfect choice for your first person.

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