To my Eternal Love, Lisa

A thing of beauty is a joy forever - John Keats



I have seen, as it were, the very eternities open up to me while gazing deeply into my wife's deep blue eyes. I don't know how that happens, or where the intensity of the love I feel while doing so comes from, but it's undeniable.

Leslie (Lisa) Ann Westbrook is the most amazing woman I know. She has gone through so much in her life that I am profoundly amazed at how her experiences have shaped and molded her into the woman she is today. She is such a strong woman, both in spirit and in mind, yet so soft and loving and happy that her strengths are missed by many. She continues to change and move forward down the path of life, and I am so deeply grateful for the love that we share and the chance to be with her. She makes me want to be a better man, a better husband, and a better father. Can any man ask for more than that? I would say not, but yet there is so much more to her.

While it would take me a lifetime to work on a synopsis of who Lisa is, and still not reach completion, I want to share some pieces of her life and who she is. I do this out of complete love and respect for the woman I love - the woman I try every day to be worthy of to share eternity with. In an attempt to do this, I at first tried to write what I could about her - but found my words lacking. Then the thought occurred to me that rather than endeavor to put this into words what I wanted to share, if I instead put into action the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" I may be able to better share my thoughts and feelings.

Finally, if you know Lisa in any capacity (family, friend, acquaintance, etc.) you will either know the truth of what is said here, or understand that "yes, yes I see how that could be". For those who may have stumbled upon our site and have no idea who we are, you may think that I speak of a perfect woman, one who truly does not exist. Well, we all have faults and shortcomings, but what I've re-learned of late is that in order to truly know a person and connect with that person, including yourself, you concentrate on the good things. What you focus on becomes what holds your attention. And amazingly, if you put that into practice, let's say by focusing on the good things your kids do and simply correcting and moving past the bad things, you're relationship with your children will become so much more fulfilling. And even more amazingly, you will find that the bad things will decrease, while the good things you are focusing on increase. Keep in mind, this holds true not just for your children, but anyone, including your spouse and even yourself. It's simply up to you to try it.



Early Lisa - early 1980's

Lisa loved the outdoors at an early age, and she still loves camping and horseback riding (although the opportunity to ride has evaded her since moving to Ohio). Lisa also loves her family, and especially her Grandma Johnson.


Mountain Men outing - 1985

Lisa loved her 4H horse, Tom Swifty - 1983

With her friend Heather and a little one - 1985

With Grandma Johnson, 1983



Enchantment - Fall 1985

The first time I laid eyes upon Lisa, my skin tingled. "Was this beautiful, tantalizing creature of beauty to choose to spend time with me?" I thought. I found myself drawn to her beauty and held by her personality. That was in our junior year in high school and the thought has never left me.

The picture below labeled "The Vamp" was considered so well taken that the photography studio used this picture in its window advertisement. Many people at the time encouraged Lisa to look into modeling - maybe someday???


Junior Prom - 1986

Senior Picture - 1986

Senior Picture - "The Vamp!" - 1986

High School Graduation - 1987



The Beach - 1987-1989

Lisa loves the beach and loves the water. She was a fish growing up and still loves to swim! Her favorite beach in Michigan to hang out at is Grand Haven Beach. (While a beach is the ideal location, while we're in Ohio she lives by going to the YMCA.)


Grand Haven Beach

Grand Haven Beach

Grand Haven Beach

Her Uncle's home

Grand Haven Beach - 1988



The Car, High School's Over, Summer, Job, Dad - 1988-1991

High school's over, now what? Lisa gets her first car on her own, after getting a job with a title insurance company. She loves the job and works her way up through the company from receptionist, to Closer, to becoming a Title Examiner after a few years. Everyone loves her (of course!) and she excels at everything she does. Her brother then graduates from high school, and together the two of them find their dad living in Florida. They decide to take a road trip and see him for the first time in 13 years.

Lisa loves music and loves to dance! Here she is with her good friend Jeannie, primping to head out to a Great White concert. Lisa also still loves camping, and we head out to the woods once in a while. Lisa is simply always a joy to be around!


Her first car

Florida with Dad and brother

Working woman


Headed out with Jeannie to see Great White in concert

At Scott's 21st birthday

Camprats at it again!



Wedding - 1992

When I proposed to Lisa I knew we were meant to be. She had known that since the day we meant, but it took me almost five years to understand exactly what she meant to me - in other words, for me to leave behind childish things and make the transition to a man and all which that entails. I'm still learning what "all that" means, but Lisa sure has down what being a woman means. I thank God above that she accepted my proposal for marriage, and on April 25, 1992 we were wed together as husband and wife for life. A major change in both our lives, from then on out.





Honeymoon - 1992

For our honeymoon, we drove crosscountry to see my parents in Oklahoma City, then the Grand Canyon, then San Diego (again), where we picked up our friends Ralph and Laura and headed to Las Vegas with them. We were actually in Las Vegas when the riots were going on in L.A. and Vegas, but we were lucky enough not to be anywhere near them. Lisa liked to play the slots, and she even came away in the black!


Here we are!

I think we took a wrong turn honey!

San Diego Temple being built


Inside Caeser's Palace

Outside the Excalibur


In Marina Del Ray

Newlyweds!

With Ralph



Sealing - 1993

In July 1993, Lisa and I returned to California to be sealed together for all time and eternity in the San Diego California Temple. We believe that couples can not only be together on earth during this lifetime, but that through the proper authority and keeping of sacred covenants, we can be together forever. Having seen the beautiful temple in San Diego being built, we decided to make another drive to California to be sealed there.

Then, in October 1993, we made the trip again for Ralph and Laura's sealing in the same temple, in the same sealing room, by the same temple president who happened to be Ralph's mission leader on his mission in California. Pretty wild!


With Laura

The four of us

My parents and sister at the temple


Ralph & Laura's Sealing



Lisa's Good Spririt - 1993

In 1993, Lisa learned of the flooding problems in Indiana and with her company we drove on a bus to Indiana to fill sandbags around a small town to keep the water out. Lisa's kindness and love for others constantly amazes me, even when others don't appreciate or care at the time you're helping.


After 36 hours or so of driving and filling sandbags



Motherhood Begins - 1994

After two years of marriage, Lisa is pregnant! I'm again amazed at how Lisa can move through this transition in her life with seeming ease. Of course it's not easy, but she is so strong and amazing that it seems to be. We have some fun with friends during the summer of 1994, then Alec is here in December. Lisa has done very well preparing for our firstborn Alec, and althoug he's a preemy and there are a few issues because of that, Mommy and son do just fine. Wow! Lisa is now a mother! Another major life change that she tackles with apparent ease and strength. Lisa is simply amazing!


At Fort Mackinac

Taking the ferry to Mackinac Island

Alec on the Way


Lisa's baby shower for Alec

Our First Family Picture!

Bundle of joy!



Motherhood Continues and Another One on the Way - 1995

Lisa gets some time to head out for some camping with her young family. She also takes another road trip, this time to the inlaws in Oklahoma City. On the way, we pass through St. Louis and see the arch. Lisa enjoys being a mother - so much so that within months of having Alec she's pregnant again! Ok, so we didn't exactly plan it that way, but it's wonderful news. Courtney will arrive just 14 months after Alec. This pregnancy puts Lisa on some bedrest, but all is well in the end.


The cutest, but most exhausted mommy ever!

St. Louis, MO

Camping with Alec while preggers with Courtney

Courtney's almost here! Alec's B-day 1995



Motherhood Continues and Another Little One (again!) on the Way - 1996

1996 starts with Lisa bringing Courtney into our family, and after a couple months she heads back to work for a bit. This doesn't last very long, as Fertile Mertile is preggers again within a few short months. This final pregnancy really wreaks havoc on her body. Within months, our wonderful Lisa is placed on bedrest until the end of the pregnancy. But headstrong Lisa, never one to just lie around doing nothing, has a hard time. In the end everything is fine again, but Lisa is pretty wasted out - physically, emotionally and even spiritually.


Courtney arrives!

Mommy and daughter

Mommy, Courtney and Alec

Exhausted Mommy and her beloved Audi



Lisa Does the Hospital again and then Moves her Family - 1997

1997 is a bit of a whirlwind for Lisa. In February, our youngest arrives, and Nicole is welcomed into her arms. In March, Lisa finds herself feeling that we need to accept the opportunity from my employer to transfer to Columbus Ohio. Lisa then finds herself in Columbus Ohio, with Nicole only a few weeks old, searching for a home - and finds one in a single day! In April, Lisa says goodbye to family and friends and moves her family to Columbus Ohio - one of the last places on earth she ever expected to be.

In July, the family goes on a trip to Washington D.C. with the Westbrook grandparents to see the temple there, and take a tour of the capital area. Another new experience.

Lisa has gone through so many changes in such a short time, that they begin to catch up with her. Three children in three years, leaving a career she loved after nine years of opportunities and advancement, moving away from all her family and friends, becoming a stay-at-home mom with three kids and no friends ... and a husband that is putting in alot of time at a new job position. Although all of this is challenging, Lisa takes it all in stride.

Lisa focuses on others around her, particularly her own family. Her mother's 50th birthday is this year, and with the help of her parent's neighbors, she arranges a surprise visit for her mother's birthday!


Courtney's birthday, and Nicole on the way!

Mommy and newest daughter

Washington D.C. Temple in July

Wandering around Washington D.C.


Surprise!!

A welcome reunion for mother and daughter

Christmas at Grandma Wells



"The Lost Years" - 1998-2000

Okay, these aren't really lost years! They are the years that Lisa completely devoted to her children, and allowed her life to be completely centered around them. She lost herself in their lives, and gave herself completely to their upbringing. While I found myself more and more caught up in my career and building a business on the side, Lisa focused her attention on raising our children the very best she could, and instilling in them a sense of right and wrong, a love for our Heavenly Father, kindness and respect for others, and all that her love for them could give them.

Her children also begin to attend school. While they all did attend pre-school, Lisa finds that sending them off to elementary school is quite emotional (and yes, even Daddy found that to be true).


Ralph and Laura visit

Mommy and her clan!



Starting to Find Herself Again - 2001

Lisa gets surprised with a trip to Hawaii! She loves the water, the island, swimming and hiking. Then she convinces me to find a place near Lake Erie to go camping, where we can all enjoy camping and swimming.

The kids are now getting a little older, and developing a little more freedom and independence. Lisa finds that she is able to concentrate a little more on herself and her own needs and wants. But she also finds that the motherhood strings are still strongly attached. So, what to do? Aha! Join the PTO at the children's school! This combines her love for people and her outgoing attitude with her longing to be around the children, all with her sense to help out where she can. She starts out being voted in as the vice-president at the elementary school, and enjoys every minute of it!


Diamond Head - Hawaii

Hawaii Temple

Welcome Home!

Playing with Courtney

Ride 'em horsey!

Lisa loves to swim

Lisa loves her pets

Mommy and Nicole goofing off!



Water, Walking, Weight-loss and Finally A Friend - 2002

In January, Lisa decides that she wants to lose weight. After having three kids so close together, moving to another state, losing close contact with family and friends, dedicating all her time and effort to her kids, etc. - it's all taken a toll on her body. Something inside her just clicks into place, and she determines that it's simply up to her to be who she wants to be. Using the very latest scientifically proven techniques to lose weight (self-control, determination, water and walking!) she transitions from her caffeine habit from Mountain Dew habit to Sunkist, and finally to water. She begins walking almost every day on the treadmill, starting with just 10 minutes or so, and working up within a few short months to 4 miles in an hour on an uphill incline! The weight just starts melting away, and by the end of 2002 she's lost an amazing 96 lbs and dropped 9 dress sizes! Whoa!!!

Michigan is also on Lisa's mind, and we take a trip back to see our favorite beach, Grand Haven. We all miss Michigan greatly, and hope to be back there someday when the timing is right.

With the new school year, she finds herself voted in as the co-President of the children's elementary PTO. She loves working with the teachers, the parents, the school, and especially the children. She also volunteers as a tutor in the elementary, and in many fund raising activities.

Sadly, the last half of the year brings an avalanche of rumors in the school, which flood out to our whole community and church. Suffice it to say that Lisa is a very strong woman, and she handles the situation with more class and confidence then is imaginable.

But, the last half of the year also brings her a real friend, someone who she can really be herself with and enjoy some of the things she really loves to do but hasn't since before moving to Ohio - like go out dancing! Lisa really begins to blossom into who she really is - a funloving, intelligent, beautiful woman!


Grand Haven, MI



What Does the Future Hold? - 2003

So what does the future hold for Lisa? As she so eloquently stated on her web page, "I never know what I am about to walk into. Change is happening everywhere, and without change how boring life would be. You just have to roll with the flow. Getting your panties in a bunch only causes unnecessary friction for everyone. I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time (commando style - wink, wink ;). When I know what I WANT, I then go after it, USUALLY getting it. Sometimes, I stumble into something that takes me by total surprise, which is even better, because those are the best things in life. Life happens while you live it, not while you plan it. Planning is great, but living it, is so much more rewarding. Why waste time with things that only fill the voids in your life. Go out and fill the voids with what really matters to you. If it is suppose to be, it will be!! If it does not happen, then it was never really meant to be. Life, LOVE, and living are so very natural and should be enjoyed, not to be obsessed about. Are you in tune with what you want?"

That being said, anything could happen! I'm just grateful every day that I can share this roller coaster life with her - and I'm immensely enjoying riding alongside her!

For current pictures, see the Camera Shots page.



How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1770-1850)



With complete love and devotion to the woman I love,
Bruce A. Westbrook - May 2003



For Lisa







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