S: Nelson Jay Arave - A Memory Book
FC: Nelson Jay Arave A Memory Book "Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
1: Dear Nelson, Happy 28th Birthday!! What an adventure putting this book together has been! I asked the important people in your life to share their favorite memories with you. As I read through all the accounts, I have laughed and cried and realized even more what a wonderful, amazing individual you are. Many people think so highly of you and admire who you are. I am so grateful to have you as my husband and the father of our children. Without further adieu, sit back and take a ride down memory lane!
2: Tom Arave: Katie, it's a lot of fun to look through some of the pictures of the time that Nelson was growing up. There are too many memories to include here. Even now I can picture Nelson and his friends out on our deck cutting each other's hair. I can see him running to the top of the pyramid of the sun, playing basketball or football, or working on a scouting project. Nelson has always had a strong will. I remember when he was about three years old, I would always lift him up into the front seat of my truck. One day I did it and he crawled back down. He said, "I can do it by myself, Dad". It is only good to have a strong will if it is backed up by the resolve to see a goal through to the end. Nelson has always had that quality since being a small child. The days that Nelson was growing up in our home went by very quickly. | One day he was a chubby baby who I held under my arm while teaching the Teachers quorum. The boys called him Buddah. Then he was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. | Our lives have been centered around our activity in the Church and especially the Wapello First Ward where Nelson has enjoyed the love of many ward members. | He was a sports fan early on and liked to participate. He was always willing to give or take a hit. We really enjoyed having his friends in our home. There have been some very loyal ones which he has had since his first year playing Jazz Basketball. They are still good friends today even after all of that has come and gone.
3: Thanks to the support of our wonderful friends and family members, Nelson grew into a great young man. He qualified to serve a mission. Those are days that are important in our lives. | Nelson enjoyed his time in Texas. He loved the people there. | We enjoyed the opportunity to visit him in the mission field when he had completed his service. The leadership of the ward there was very complimentary of Nelson's time of service. | I am very proud of the most important quality that Nelson has developed. That is his desire to be worthy of the love of a great woman. Katie, thanks for being the sweetheart that brings so much happiness into our lives. You are our extra reward for raising Nelson. We love you with all of our hearts.
4: Pat Arave: Nelson was born on January 23, 1983. He was born the day before my birthday, two weeks before he was due. I had pre-eclampsia which is high blood pressure that can make you have seizures if it gets too high. He was taken by C-Section and when the doctor gave me the anesthetic, she didn’t give me enough and I could feel everything. The pain was so awful. I thought I was going to go crazy before the pain stopped. I thought maybe I knew just a little of what Christ went through in the Garden of Gethsemane. I was sick for several days after the delivery. Since Nelson was early he was so little and so skinny. He had no fingernails. My dad wanted to name him Buck Lyman. Lyman after Tom’s grandfather and I am not sure where he got the Buck from, probably a cowboy name. Tom and I had talked about naming him after Nelson Arave our common Great Great Grandfather and Jay after Tom. So after much deliberation, Buck or Nelson?, Nelson or Buck?, which name should we stick this poor skinny baby with? We decided on Nelson Jay but years later when Nelson was a teenager and driving us crazy I told Tom we should have named him Buck Lyman, he deserved that name! He soon became a cute little chubby guy! Nelson was a good baby and child. He was very reserved. Tara immediately took control of Nelson and became his protector, spokesman, and caregiver!!! One day someone asked Nelson if he could talk, Tara quickly spoke up and said “Nelson can talk, Nelson say HUH”. Another time she introduced herself as “Miss Piggy” and Nelson as “Kermit the Frog”! They became great friends. Nelson worked hard in school and was kind to his teachers and classmates. Nelson grew into a handsome young man. Nelson was a tease and he teased his younger brothers unmercifully!!! He loved sports!!! He played and watched them all he could! He played hard sacrificing himself many times. When Nelson was a freshman in high school he was playing basketball in PE and stuck his hand in to grab a ball and injured his finger. He taped it and later that day played on the freshman basketball team. The next day we took him to the doctor. We found out his finger was badly broken and would require surgery to fix it. He spent his fifteenth birthday January 23, 1998 in the hospital having the surgery. For the rest of the season he went to every practice but was never able to play. He said to me, “I wish I had never stuck my hand in to get that ball!” Even thought this experience was difficult for Nelson it helped him to learn to be a “Finisher” and never a “Quitter” One year Nelson was asked by a friend of ours to play on a Special Olympics Basketball Team. He would be one of the few without a disability. Nelson played well and was very kind to the others on the team. He was always a “Team Player” whenever and where ever he played. Of course Nelson was injured when he was playing so he had a bandage on his chin.
5: Nelson and Tara turned their mission papers in on the same day and got their callings back the same day. Nelson was going to San Antonio, Texas! Nelson loved his mission. He was a great missionary. It was a turning point in Nelson’s life. He had always been a very good person but he became an outstanding person. He learned there was no such thing as grey everything was black or white either it was good and you do it or it is wrong and you don’t. | After returning from his mission he attended ISU. Nelson has wanted to be an architect from the time he was a small boy. He majored in Pre-architecture. In 2006 he met Katie. They were married in August of 07. We were so happy to have him find just a wonderful young lady. On August 24, 2009 Nelson and Katie had our first grandchild, Ashton Jay Arave. Nelson is a great son, brother, husband, and father. Nelson, this book is a "Labor of Love:" for you from many people but especially from Katie.
6: Tara Christensen: When Nelson was a little boy we played dress up and would pull our red wagon around the yard which was full of our pioneer gear. We would jump on the trampoline for hours, then build a fort under it. Mom made us weed the yard in the summer, which we really hated. One summer we were riding our bikes in Wolverine Canyon and Nelson was going too fast and couldn't stop his "Back to the Future" bike and tipped it over and I hit the back tire and wrecked my bike. I broke my collar bone. Nelson is also famous for breaking Caleb's leg while carrying him down the stairs. We piled up couch cushions, climbed on top and tipped them over. Life with Nelson was always playing games and playing make believe. Oh, and Nelson had a great mullet!!!!
7: Caleb Arave: K... my favorite memories are doing things like we went to Lake Powell before his mission. I remember we all got to hang out and for some reason I just remember driving in the desert listening to Marty Robbins. I'm really fond of that. Also I remember somehow Nelson managed to break my leg when I was a baby, that wasn't very fun I'm sure even though it isn't really clear what happened. Nelson's best quality is his conviction to the gospel, I admire that and his ability to follow the commandments. But, the main reason I look up to Nelson Jay Arave, is simply because... he is taller than me. | Rhett Arave: Nelson is my favorite older brother. I remember when we were younger and would play Old Red. He always wanted my dad to be the horse so he could ride on his back. I was so excited to go pick up Nelson from his mission in Texas. Surprisingly I had missed him a lot, and I was glad to see him again. While on our trip, we ate at a restaurant called Rudy's. It had the most amazing brisket and I still crave it. Speaking of food. Nelson loves to eat at El Vaquero....and I love that about him. I can always count on having a family dinner there anytime he comes into town. But my fondest memory would have to be is when Nelson told me that he looks up to me and wants to be exactly like me. Nelson has been an awesome big brother and I look up to and respect him a lot. Thanks for all the memory's bro...I love you, man!
8: Grandma Arave: Nelson scared us when he was born. We were in California, and Helen was here taking care of my Mother at the time. Pat got toxemia so they took him early. As far as I can remember, he was a good baby. Nelson grew and became more handsome all the time. When he was small he didn't need to talk, as Tara did it all for him. He was a fun boy to be around and was good to his siblings. Nelson grew up to be tall, which is not the case with many of my grandchildren. In 1997, Tom and Pat's family went to Las Vegas for a vacation. Nelson and Tara had their picture taken together in the Excalibur wagon. When Nelson was a teenager, he was on a basketball team with Ben Arave as the coach. He spent many years playing basketball and was very good. He and Clint Arave and several good friends played together for years.
9: Nelson was always faithful in his church callings. From what I understand, he was an excellent missionary. He was good about following the mission rules. He worked hard. Of course when he got back from his mission, he met and married the beautiful Katie Illum. I was talking to Katie's old principal from American Falls last Wednesday at the temple and he thinks Katie is the greatest. I am very happy Nelson married such a wonderful girl. I am proud of them and happy they have started a darling family with little Ashton. Hang in there Nelson and keep up the good work with the determination to get a good education and working in the Church and continually trying to live the gospel. Grandpa and I are very proud of you and all you have done with your life.
10: Paul and Kim Wolfley: I have always loved Nelson. He has been one of Matt's best friends and has spent many hours in our home. Nelson has always been very even tempered and a pleasure to be around. We have had the opportunity of going on several family trips with Tom and Pat and their kids, and Nelson is always a lot of fun. However, we found early on that if we kept Matt and Nelson away from the other kids everyone was happier. I specifically remember the time we headed for Disney Land. We had two Suburbans full of kids and luggage to last the week. When we stopped for the night at Mesquite, Nevada, Matt and Nelson had put in their golf clubs and taken up half the room in the back with them. We weren't very happy about that, but they were excited to go golfing until they found out it was 125 per person for a round of golf.!! We love Nelson and are so proud of his little family and commitment with his education. We hope only the best for him throughout his life.
11: Ken and Gay Wrightson: Nelson was a very kind, sweet, good-natured little boy. As we watched him grow up, we would always say Nelson is going to grow up to be a great leader in the church someday. He had the demeanor and sweet spirit of a general authority. He always seemed to do what is right. I’m sure he never got into trouble for things regular little boys would get into trouble for. He was just a darn good kid! We always had so much fun at family parties. We loved watching all of the cousins play together. They always had such a good time and got along so well. Nelson and the other older cousins were always so cute playing with the younger kids. Tara was always a “little mother” to Nelson, probably more than he felt necessary. She was always looking out for him. It was obvious she loved her little brother very much. I think she felt it was her duty to keep him on the “strait and narrow path”. And she did a very good job. Nelson was blessed to have so many people who loved him. But who could resist because he was such a cute and fun-loving little boy. When Rhett & Caleb came along Nelson just naturally took to protecting his little brothers. And with Rhett that was a full-time responsibility. Tom always used to say that it was his & Pat’s responsibility to get Rhett to the age of accountability. Rhett was a good little boy. He just had an extra dose of curiosity. I remember Nelson wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat when he was little. But he must have grown out of the stage of wanting to be a cowboy because I haven’t seen him in a cowboy hat or boots for a long time. Too bad, he probably could have been another John Wayne – tall, dark and handsome! Just as we predicted, Nelson has grown up to be a very handsome young man, with a beautiful wife and a darling little boy, Ashton (who looks just like him). He’s a loving and caring husband and father and a great leader. We know he is going to continue having great things happen in his life. And we still think he’s a darn good kid!! We love you, Nelson!
12: Brad Illum: The best I remember is the visit when Nelson came to ask me for Katie's hand in marriage. Nelson called to see if I was home and was busy. I had plenty of time and tried to give him good directions to get here. He wasn’t sure and was on his cell getting directions. The cell coverage here is spotty and he kept losing signal. He wasn’t comfortable coming to visit me, only talked for a couple of minutes a few times before, not sure how I was going to act, not sure where he was going, altogether a pretty apprehensive young man. Then he lost signal altogether and was glad to see me out front watching for him. We talked a little outside and then came in to see where Katie had grown up for her first 15 years. He was surprised by all of her trophies and medals that are stacked in a corner of her old room. He looked in her cubbyhole at all of the stuff she had collected. We watched her dance recital DVD. It was the first time I had watched it too and found out it was defective. It only has the first part and the end of the recital. Katie was pretty tearful during the graduation ceremony. Nelson was kind of surprised at how sad his future wife was. It was a big thing for her to go from a girl to a young woman and it showed. Nelson impressed me with his concern. We talked for a few minutes about him marrying Katie and I thought that if he was what she wanted is was OK with me. I’m impressed with him and his family. I really like watching the way he interacts with his wife and son. I think that he is a keeper.
13: Kenny Wrightson: Everything is always a little bit more fun when you are around. Whenever our little family get togethers get a little slow and boring, we can always count on you to turn that around. Whether Rhett and I are about to kill each other over a can of peanuts or whatever else our family comes up with, you are able to make everything more fun again. We miss both of you while you are out in Montana, but it's always nice when we go back to Idaho to visit and you guys are back visiting too.
14: JC Bates: Nelson has always been a faithful friend to me. In my time of getting to know Nelson I have found how kind and caring he is. We have had some very fun and funny moments from making up rap songs while on“'the cruise'”in Idaho Falls to spending time on the bus during the basketball season. I remember during my junior year of high school being moved from the varsity team to the JV team half way through the season and how hard that was for me. I remember Nelson always being there in the bleachers cheering me on. He didn’t care what team I was on that year he just came to be a support. I remember during one of those JV games throwing a few bad passes and the coach pulled me during the 4th quarter. I was discouraged, but there was Nelson in the stands trying to make me laugh and forget about the coach's decision. He never cared about social standing, but was always a friend to everyone. I remember how excited he was to go to San Antonio on his mission, We searched eBay to find some Spurs shorts for him to take before he left. When he returned home you could tell how Christ had become a central figure in his life and I knew that he knew who his Savior was. I know he had a testimony prior to leaving, but his testimony was unbreakable after returning. He loved the Gospel so much that we even caught him reading his Book of Mormon at Luke Stallings' wedding reception instead of dancing. I remember the first time he met Katie and how it all started with that stupid, ugly, giant, cat painting. Nelson fell in love fast with her, he was absolutely smitten. I remember how much he cared for Katie and how happy he was when he finally locked her in at his wedding. When our daughter, Sammy, was born he came with his family to visit us. He grabbed our little baby up and held her like she was his. That is just one more example of the kind of dad he will always be to his own children. Nelson has always been a faithful friend, someone I know I will always be able to rely on. How thankful I am for a friend like Nelson Arave.
15: Luke Stallings: Unfortunately when I think back about my high school years most of what I can recall shouldn't ever be put in writing. Don't think we didn't have good times back then because believe me, we did! I definitely know the good times overshadow the bad but it seems the good times don't present as good of stories as the bad. I loved high school and all of the friends I had then and continue to keep those relationships now almost ten years later. There are a few things I can dare to share about Nelson from back in the day. One of them dealt with his fingers and my pick-up In high school we had an open campus policy which allowed us to leave during our lunch break which I recall it not being more than 30 – 45 minutes, clearly not enough time to drive to a restaurant, eat, and get back before the bell rang if you didn't execute your escape route quickly as to beat everyone else to your desired place of eating. And because no one wants to stay at school and eat if they don't have to, we never did. I can honestly say I think I ate in the cafeteria only once in all four years of attending BHS. There were only a handful of nearby fast food joints and gas stations that were close enough to efficiently get to and back from in time and the three I can remember us frequenting the most were Arctic Circle, Short Stop (gas station), and the best one of them all Mr. Pizza! Lunch was definitely the highlight of every day. You could compare it to all the recesses an elementary school age child gets. Because it was the highlight and it was limited in time, planning for lunch every day would begin in the morning, generally when we would first arrive at school. During such planning events it was discussed who would be driving, where they were parked, and where we would be eating that day. Some of us that drove pick-ups like Nelson, Craig and myself were able to carry more people than those with cars or in JC’s case, a jeep (Although I do remember us squeezing more people in that Jeep than I thought the laws of physics would allow. When you have girls squeezing in, anything is possible!) Well on one particular lunch outing I was the driver of my small Toyota pick-up. I don't even recall how many were with us that day but the cab was full and we had several people in the bed. One of these people crouching down in the back Nelson Arave himself. That day we decided on Arctic Circle. While riding in the back Nelson had his hand wrapped around the side rail of the pickup gripping it tight to give him some leverage so he could quickly jump out when we arrived. As I parked it all worked in one smooth motion for the people in back to bail out in unison it seemed. Well, on this particular day at that moment of exiting the pick-up bed, Nelsons fingers were wrapped around the sharp metal of the pick-up bed and as he jumped they slid along it far enough for the metal to work as a sharp knife and sliced into several of his fingers. At first I don't think Nelson thought much of it, but upon a further examination it was definitely apparent that Nelson was going to need medical attention. His fingers were cut deep and bleeding everywhere. Luckily I had a large old cotton winter hat in my truck. It was a hat I never wore anymore and since the Arctic Circle napkins didn't seem to be doing the trick of catching all of the blood the hat was used as a backup. Now, anyone that knows me and knew me back then knows I take extremely good care of my things and my Toyota pick-up was on exception. It was always clean inside and out. Looking back, I know Nelson had to be some friend of mine for me to allow him in the cab of my pick-up with his hand losing blood like a saturated wash cloth. Don't think the thought of putting Nelson in the back to take him to the doc didn't cross my mind. I could tell Nelson wasn't feeling well at that time though and that riding in the cab was the right thing to do and the safest. I drove him across town to his dad's office so his dad could take him and get the medical attention he needed. I always remember the day Nelson cut his fingers open and am especially cautious when I am getting in and out of a pick-up bed even today.
16: Tanner Smith: George Strait, enough said!!!! | Matt Hoge: Some favorite memories off the top of my head is singing "Desperately" in the car as loud as we can almost in tears. And when he wanted to show me how you can hold an egg in your hand and squeeze your hardest and it won't break...well it did break and got all over me but didn't get on him at all! I won't forget all the times we went to El Herradero, Math 160 in the early morning of 8 am, and all the talks about girls (mostly about you) I won't forget singing "I'm gonna love you forever" so loud that people across Bengal Creek could hear us, or the time when he showed everyone had to do his thug dance moves, or when he screamed at Dominique Wilkens so loud that Dominique told the security guy to keep us away, or when he sat on the toilet with a cowboy hat in our spook alley. Frankly there's hundreds of moments I'll forever be grateful for as Nelson was a true friend, Christlike example, and a LOUD messenger of peace in my life when times were rough. Thank goodness for Nelson.
17: Amy Marlow: When I met Nelson after Craig and I were married I remember thinking how nice and how much fun he was. One memory that sticks out in my mind though is when I went into labor with Gracee, I went to the hospital in Pocatello and was nervous and scared and was wanting a blessing. Craig was trying to find someone to help him give me a blessing and was having a hard time getting a hold of someone and he tried Nelson and he answered and came right over. I appreciated that so much and I don't know if I ever told Nelson that. I was so grateful Craig had friends that were worthy and honored their priesthood and were able to do that at a time when it was needed. I was also so grateful that he stopped whatever he was doing at the time and was so quick to come over. He has been a great friend.
18: Katie Arave: I have so many wonderful memories that we have shared together. I will definitely never forget the first night we met, with you in your basketball shorts and sexy jersey! Oh, and me in my short shorts while I burped in your face. Man, I am so lucky you looked beyond my immaturity! Our first date was an institute dance and then we watched "Pure Country" and you fit into my Doc Martin's! Haha! I remember going to the temple to do baptisms with you and Tara. I think that is when I truly fell in love with you. As I have pondered our dating days, I have realized that most memories are surrounded by the Spirit. I remember driving down 2nd street after our "break" when you called to ask me to dinner and I felt the Spirit so strongly tell me to say yes. I also remember that night at Applebee's when you ordered my favorite raspberry lemonade for me. I felt so valued and cherished that night. | And how could I forget that Saturday night we stayed up all night long and decided to get married. That is, along with accepting the gospel, the best decision I have ever made. I have never felt the Spirit stronger than the night we went "muddin" in the Caddy and prayed together. I literally felt Heavenly Father's hand over us, as if giving his blessing to our union. I will never forget the night when I was in Florida for my dance competition and you made me feel like the most special girl on the planet. It was really late at night and all my roommates were in bed after our long day. I texted you, explaining that we couldn't talk on the phone since all the girls were in bed. You called me right away and said you didn't want to talk long, but you didn't want to go a day without hearing my voice. I could hear the genuine love through your words and that elated, happy feeling is one that I cherish still today. Remember when we stayed at Mark Taylor's apartment in Utah while we picked out my wedding ring? That was such a fun trip. You tooted in front of me(although it was my fault for pushing on your tummy, haha!) I will never forget April 10, 2007, our engagement day. My dreams came true right before my eyes that day.
19: Of course, my absolute favorite memory is our wedding day. President Monson's words express my feelings so well, 'There is no scene so sweet, no time so sacred as that very special day of your marriage. Then and there you glimpse celestial joy.' Words simply cannot express the pure happiness, powerful love, and inexplicable joy I felt on our wedding day. How blessed I am to be married to you!
21: What a special day Ashton's birth was. I did not know it was possible for my already immense love for you to multiply, but it did one-hundred fold as I watched you with our child. Remember how excited you were when we got to the hospital while I was in labor? You were walking so fast and I was hobbling behind, begging you to slow down! Aww, these memories always bring a smile to my face. You were so perfect in supporting me while I was in pain, and so wonderful at cheering me on while pushing. | I love watching you two together. I hope Ashton emulates you in every way, your willingness to serve, your sense of humor, your tenderness, your strong testimony, your love for the gospel, your commitment to your family, the list goes on and on. I'm so glad that he has you to look up to and pattern his life after. I feel blessed to have you as my partner in this parenthood journey. You are truly an amazing father. I love how much you love our little boy. I'm so glad we are all sealed together as a family. Thank you for being such a wonderful husby and father. I love you more than I can express, my heart is just bursting. I can't wait to make even more memories with you by my side. All my love, Kate