Sunday, December 28, 2008

Miracle on 1400 Foothill Drive

The Christmas season is full of amazing events, not the least of which is the manifestation of kindness and Christlike love of others all around us. This holiday season, I was the thankful and ever-so-grateful recipient of such an act.
Being from Delaware, I grew up with kids of all different races, religions, backgrounds, etc. I loved all of the diversity on the coast, and that's one of the reasons I was excited about moving to Salt Lake-its slightly more diverse then Rexburg :)
Recently Tyler and I found this store that's to die for! Its called SteinMart, and its a name-brand/designer store that sells things basically at whole-sale cost = 80% off of everything! The first time I saw it I told Tyler that that store was too snobby/rich/expensive, and I would never walk in there. Well, eventually we did and I ended up re-doing my living room from under $45, when the items I bought should have totaled over $145. LOVE THIS STORE. Anyway, Christmas Eve rolled around and I realized that since Tyler had been working crazy hours, I had just finished finals week, and since blizzards had been plaguing the east bench, I hadn't gotten Tyler anything specific from his list-aka the stuff that he really wanted. Now, Tyler has never been one to ask for much, expect anything, etc. I really wanted this to be special for him. So, he came home from work on Christmas Eve exhausted (around noon-he'd been at work since 4am) and I sent him to bed, stole the car, and ran away to SteinMart. He wanted a cuff-link shirt, and since I know nada about shopping for boys, I was in a panic. So, I ran in, searched until I found one, and then thought, "Hm. Maybe I should get him a nice tie." Dumb idea. I cannot fathom how certain ties match suits. I just can't do it. I kill at matching my own clothes, but a tie?! Game over. So, I picked two out, called his best friend in CA, sent pictures, and we decided on the one I liked the most. I also selected some killer socks from Kenneth Cole (what's with the term "reaction"? haha) and decided that it was good enough. I knew that this was going to be a slightly expensive venture, but if it was for Tyler-I could handle it.
Standing in line for a few minutes, I thanked Heavenly Father for helping me find some things that I knew Tyler would be excited and grateful for! Unexpectedly, a voice behind me said, "Excuse me ma'am, but I have a gift card and if you let me go in front of you, I'll give you what's left." Well, my mind went completely blank, and I told the young man that he could get in front of me anyway, as I wasn't in much of a rush (lets be honest: I hadn't been out of our 5x5 apt in like 4 days. I needed to stand in this line). Well, he got in front of me and we just started chatting. For some reason, my brain wasn't really working, and as he was being rung up, he pointed out that he had over $85 dollars on this gift card - The guy was buying 4 shirts. I knew he'd have money left over. When the total came, he exclaimed, "Man, I have way more left over then I thought," to which I replied, "Go ahead and keep it-its ok, really!" The young man had just quit his accounting job and didn't want his father to know, etc, and here he was, handing money out (from his father) to a complete stranger. His father had always shopped here for Hanukkah, he mentioned, so in the spirit of the season, he gave me the remaining amount on the card.
Astonished, I watched him leave, thanking him breathlessly, and the clerk just stood there with his mouth open. I handed the young man the gift card, and paid only $10 for what should have cost much, much more. I walked outside, and as though I was playing a role in a movie, looked around helplessly in the crowded parking lot for any sign of the young man, Andrew. Excitedly I called Eric back, told him everything and then rushed to call my mom. Astonished. I had no words to exclaim nor explain my situation. It took everything in me to finish shopping, go home and wrap presents, and NOT tell Tyler. Seriously, it took me everything - this is what happens when you're married to your best friend.
Blessings can come in small and simple ways. To some, like my friend Kristen, it comes in the form of $4000 in grants, a blessing to the family as she needed 5 surgeries after the birth of their first daughter. To me, it came unexpectedly, simply, and was received thankfully. I can't explain how much of a blessing that was to a poor, married college student on a tight budget-it was simply beautiful. So, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Christmas Eve, on our way to the Hollingshaus's home

The Christmas tree and presents....

and you know that line from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," where Brad Pitt tells 'Mrs. Smith' what he thought she looked like the first time they met? "You looked like Christmas morning," he says. Well, here's my depiction of Christmas morning-aka Tyler :)


elizabeth, eliza, liza, liz, elles, etc. said...

This post made me cry. Partially because I was already in tears, butttt I really enjoyed it nonetheless.

Stacie S-H said...

Oooohmygosh what a great true story. I loved reading it! What a blessing for you to get that. And I'm sure that young man will be blessed as well. Its nice to know there are still good, caring and generous people in the world.

Jake Trent said...

Hey Krista! This is April. I'm glad you had such a wonderful Christmas miracle! I loved looking through your blog posts... since we've failed to be in contact since you got married!

I just met my husband's cousin Josh and his wife Sam over the holidays. I told Sam she looks a lot like you... it turns out she knows you, so I found out about your blog. How ironic! Hopefully we can get together or talk more!

(You can see our blog at

Callie, Shawn and Braxton said...

That is a great story. I had one of those, too (refer to my blog for the story on the snow). We were driving in Salt Lake on Christmas, and boy was it horrid weather. What takes us usually 2 hours, ended up taking us 4 1/2 hours (4 wheel drive the whole way might I add) to get back to Preston. It was crazy stuff. We're there here and there now that my Bro-in-law is in the hospital. How far away from the city do you live? We might have to play one day. WEll, as for the baby, thanks. I invited you to the baby blog. I'm due May 23. I'm pretty excited. WEll, it's fun to catch up with you on here. I'm glad you're so happy. We'll hopefully talk to you later. Miss you. Love ya and hope you had a great Christmas, even though you weren't able to go home to Deleware for it.

Strong Family said...

You are so funny. How are things for you guys? You are so cute together. We miss you

Alan and Kiersten said...

what a great story! i loved reading it! thank you for sharing krista! it really touched me.

Rach said...

how fun, isnt it great how heavenly father knows even the most little needs of ours?

and the phone thingy, it worked and then the next day, totally fried so i have a new one now:) thanks for the didgets any way!