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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Mitz! Love Hock

Merry Christmas Mitzi. Love Hock

This year my service recipient is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world; my running buddy and primary president Mitzi.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Mitzi over the last three years of being neighbors and we’ve had a lot of fun. From training for a half marathon to having dart gun wars we’ve had a great time.  I was really excited when I was assigned her as my service recipient.  There are a few characteristics about Mitzi that I’ve observed over the years that I’ve tried to channel for my service.
Our first race while training for a half marathon!
Mitzi is a great hostess.  I always enjoy going to her home because I know that she is going to treat me like royalty.  Especially if I haven’t been there for a while.  A few years ago I injured my eye and couldn’t open it for several days.  She invited me to come over and just hang out in her theater room with the door closed because it was dark enough in there that I could open my eye without being in pain.  One of my fond memories of that experience was Mitzi making me quesadillas.  I had been sleeping for a long time and I woke up feeling hungry.  Not more than 3 minutes after waking up feeling hungry Mitzi came in with lunch.  It was like the hostess within her could sense that her guest was getting hungry.  One of the great things about Mitzi’s house is she always has a fridge stocked with my favorite soda.  Cherry 7UP.  She seems to keep track of what everyone who visits likes and always stocks her fridge accordingly.  
Tonight as we sat down to eat Mitzi
 brought these in for Lani and me.

With this in mind I decided to honor Mitzi, and the Cherry 7UP she keeps on hand for Lani and I when we come and visit, by organizing a pop top drive to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house.  While we were in Jacksonville during AJ’s cancer treatments we had the privilege of staying at the Ronald McDonald house and learned that through collecting pop tops and cashing them in, the house is able to raise enough money to pay all of the utilities for a year.

Conducting a pop top drive to help a charity that has become very near and dear to everyone in our family seemed like a great way to honor Mitzi.  There was only one problem.  Mitzi and Char were the two biggest collectors/donators of pop tops. We had reached out to families at church, but had only a handful of responses. Mitzi and Charise announced it each week in primary using the young children as their armies to collect a lot of pop tabs.

We will continue to collect and deliver pop tabs to the RMH, but it seemed a little silly to have my service be in honor of Mitzi yet have her be one of the primary contributors to her service.

So I decided to channel another Mitzi characteristic.  Volunteering to help someone in need.  When I found out that she was taking her kids to go caroling at the airport I thought this would be a good opportunity to serve Mitzi by volunteering to join them and bring the whole Hock family along.  It seemed like a good idea until we got there and I remembered how far out of my comfort zone unsolicited singing to large groups of random strangers is.  It become ever farther out of my comfort zone when I realized that we would be singing songs from the Kids are Music Greatest Hits Collection.  

Though I enjoy watching my kids sings these songs, I don’t know the words well enough to sing them myself especially when we mixed in some actions.  After the three pathetic attempts by me at our three stops I decided that I was really going to give it my all and overcome my fear.  The next stop was Air Canada.  I thought this won’t be too bad.  There are only two people here.  I managed to sing about 30% of the words correctly and moved my arms around to try and at least pretend that I knew what the actions were.
Not doing anything close to the actions that the rest of the singers
 are doing but trying to be enthusiastic.
I started feeling a little more confident and began to give myself a pep talk “Okay, that wasn’t so bad, now for this next one sing a little louder and try to be a little more noticeable with your actions.”  We will never know what would have been because as we were moving on to the next kiosk Hadley tripped and fell causing a nice little gash near her left eye.  With that Lani and I headed off to the emergency room for stitches on our beautiful little girl.

Ironically enough, just like with the pop tops, my “caroling service" actually turned out to be another example of Mitzi serving me.  While we were at the ER, Mitzi went grocery shopping and picked up the things we needed for dinner tomorrow and picked up the new dinning room table that Lani and I planned to buy after caroling.  She saw that it was the last one and decided she had better get it for us just in case we didn’t make it over there.

I think Mitzi is awesome.  I was a little leery when we first entertained the idea of moving to North Carolina and living in the same ward/stake as Mike and Mitzi.  We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to be our own people living in the McBrides shadow, but I have loved it.  We are so grateful for the blessing of living by the McBrides.  I have grown to love both Mitzi and Mike a great deal and will forever treasure the memories we have made with them and the Johnsons.  

Mitzi thanks for being a terrific sister-in-law and a great friend.  I love you a lot and I’m glad I’m in your family.  Thanks for everything you do for us and for me.  Merry Christmas! Love Hock.  


  1. Great job babe! I'm really proud of you for going out of your comfort zone! I'm so glad you could serve your cruise girl friend this year :)

  2. That picture from the cruise always cracks me up with you all standing behind the "wrong" person. Singing in public is like a natural thing for the Gates. Great job going out of your comfort zone in honor of Mitzi.

  3. Wow steping outside the comfort zone...i love it.