Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Moni Day!!!

It's finally my day...I hope Billy doesn't do anything stupid.

Four of my favorite ladies in the world.

Look what she put herself through!

Hi everyone. We finally have the grand finale of our family's big month of January. Moni is the only one who can actually claim a real ownership on a day in January. On January 30, 1981 the Good Lord sent the best little girl down to the world. Monica Deann Haag was born at (I have no idea of her birth weight or birth time that is just how I started out the kids' posts). From all accounts, Moni has been a very good person throughout her life. She has always received straight A's and had almost perfect attendance and behavior marks. I am hoping our kids get Monica's gene of determination and hard work.
Getting ready to become a scholastic stud.

Moni's 8th Birthday. Twenty years ago today...

Paul, Moni, Mollie, and Brandon

Can you believe she was already that hot when she was six?

Happy Birthday to Moni.

I think I am going to basically tell the Moni and Billy story. Monica came to Bishop Carroll our sophomore year. I met her on the first day because her locker was caddy-corner below mine. She was gorgeous, outgoing, funny, and tall. As we got to know each other better I started to look forward to passing period more and more. I hoped she would go to her locker in between classes. Towards the end of our sophomore year together, I really started to put on what I thought were the charms. She completely ignored me.

Sooooo HOT! She is beautiful.

The summer in between my sophomore and junior year of high school I told A.J. (who was and still is my best friend) that I was going to go after Monica Haag hard the following school year. A.J. can vouch for me. At summer weights I talked to Moni's little sister, Emily, constantly...about Moni.

When the school year started up I was so pumped to have Moni in a couple classes with me. The one I remember best was religion class with Sr. Mary Ann. Since our names were so close (Haag-Graf) I sat right behind her. I was ALWAYS asking her to go out with me. She was ALWAYS turning me down. Now...some of you are new to the pictures of us, but I have to say that back in the day, 75 pounds ago, I was what one would call a "hottie." I was NOT used to being turned down, especially two and three and fifty-seven times. I decided to take matters into someone else's hands...Garth Brooks.

Garth Brooks was doing a concert in Wichita and had been sold out for a couple of weeks. I asked Moni, in Sr. Mary Ann's class, if she would go out with me. She said no...again. I said, "What if I can get tickets to Garth Brooks?" She said, these were her exact words, "If you can get tickets to Garth Brooks I will go out with you. There is no way you can get tickets to Garth Brooks, so I guess there is no way I will go out with you." My man Brad Goertz, a.k.a. Frank the Tank, a.k.a. Fun Bobby, a.k.a. Goertzie, a.k.a. Pedro made it happen. I took the tickets to class with me, showed them to Moni, asked her again if she would go out with me, and she finally said yes. I had to bribe her to go out with me. What is that?

We went on the date, I charmed her socks off, and the rest is history...Well, kind of. You see, Moni and I are A TON alike. We don't pull any punches. We don't care who sees us get pissed. If one of us thinks we got wronged we are going to throw down. It doesn't matter where. The hallways, the parking lots, the gym, the weightroom, our friends' houses, our houses, church, Buffalo Park, and on and on and on. For that reason people thought that we were too volatile a couple to ever make it. Our parents, our friends, our siblings, our grandparents, our cousins, and on and on and on. Moni and I always knew. The rest was history.

Everybody claims Forrest and I are look-alikes, but after seeing this picture I think Moni had a hand in Forrest's good looks, too.

Let's just go ahead and fast forward to two years ago. It was mid-May when we found out we were pregnant. We had tried and missed a couple times (I don't use the term failed because we hope to meet our first two that we missed on at some point). Moni woke me up to take the test. Let me just say that Moni NEVER wakes up early, but she was so excited. We went into our sonogram when Moni was six weeks along to find out "how pregnant." We found out. I was excited, Moni was realistic. The doctor who helped us to conceive (Dr. Tjaden) was terrific with helping get us set up in Phoenix. He wrote the necessary letters, told us who to call, and even set us up with a family who had already used the Phoenix Perinatal Associates. Everything just kept falling into place.

Dr. Tjaden meeting our "Twin Towers"

When we got down to Phoenix I fell in love with Moni all over again. Becky, Moni, and I kind of felt like the three amigos when we first got down there. None of us knew anybody else there (we met and got to know my mom's cousin Mark and he took the best care of the three of us and Moni and I, and I'm sure Becky, have made a friend for life). There were some nights when Becky would get called in and it would just be Moni and me, against the world. She was incredibly strong while we were down there. She NEVER complained too much. She didn't whine, she didn't feel sorry for herself, she always had the babies on the top of her priority list, and she was a spectacular football watching buddy for me. Monica amazed me so much while we were down there with how much she knew me. She knows that I extremely tight with my family and friends and I really think she made it a point to take their place. She always knew when my teams played and she watched every down of every game with me. What an incredible person to have in my life.

When the day came for the babies to come she was so strong and confident. I know that she knew all of the risks that we were facing that day. I never saw her scared, though. Even when she was in the middle of the birth she was so strong and it gave me confidence. As we went through the ups and downs of having children in the NICU she was always upbeat. I think Monica knows how much I respect her medical opinion and I think there may have been times when she wouldn't tell me or her family the "bad-case scenarios."

As we started bringing the kids home Monica continued to amaze me. She always has been a "night owl" but the kids brought out a new energy. She woke up in the mornings when I went to work and stayed up late because I had to wake up early. She never complained or let me know what the "score" was at. Monica just did what had to be done and taught me how to do all of the things that had to be done, too.

When we got home it was more of the same. She taught me and others how to provide the kids with care that was specific to preemies. She teaches the kids almost all of their tricks and all four of them adore her. When she wakes up in the morning the kids just light up. Their favorite times seem to be when the six of us are together playing.

Monica works almost full-time. She is a mother overtime. She is a wife overtime. She is always supportive of me. I am a 28 year old college student and she doesn't look down on me or complain to me. She tells me to get it done and she offers help whenever she can. I love my wife so much. She is my best friend.
Happy Birthday Sweet Moni. We love you so much!!!
Daddy, Pius, Forrest, Danna, Laine


Misty said...

Happy Birthday Moni!!!!! And what a beautiful tribute from your hubby!
Hope you have a fabulous day!
Hugs from TX,

Moni Graf said...

Awww....thanks, Bill-boy! People at work are looking at me now, wondering why I have a huge, goofy grin plastered on my face! That was so sweet and you give me WAY too much credit.

Did you really have to post those pictures of me going through the ugly kid stage? Thanks alot mom....I know you had a hand in this.

You know, nothing is too hard when you have your best friend at your side. I looking forward to seeing what we have in store for us (or should I say what the KIDS have in store for us). My family is the light of my life and I'm so grateful that God has entrusted me with such a great gift.

Love you, babe....


Amy said...

Hi Billy and Moni!

I am a friend of the Steece's, and have been following your blog since your journey began in Phoenix! I always enjoy reading about your precious kids and your wonderful friendship with the Tubre's. I have never posted a comment on your blog, however this post was so sweet and endearing that I felt compelled to write!

Billy, what a sweet and sincere message to your wife! I look forward to keeping up with your family through your blog!


Moni Graf said...

So, after re-reading this a few more times, I have some things to clarify....

That first picture was taken because one the the babies sneezed right after I gave them a bite of baby food. I had a lovely mixture of food and snot on my face from that. Oh, how glamorous motherhood is!

Also, in that picture of "baby me" touching the flowers, I think that looks more like Pius than Forrest. So, don't try to pawn Forrest off as mine....he's ALL Billy. Right down to the uncontrollable tantrums! Just kidding....I guess I'll claim all of them!

Thanks again, Bildo....This was uber-sweet of you and I really enjoyed reading it (all 28 times)!

Anonymous said...

Dude, "friend" is a good description; but spouse is much better.

Billy you're a good man, we already knew Moni was a good woman.

You guys got it going on!
Thank you for your examples; and don't lose sight of your top priority which is getting each other to heaven.

Love you all.

Tubre Quads said...

Oh where do I begin??? How about, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONI!!! I have to agree with Billy, I think you are HOT and I only hope I can look half as hot as you are when I am your old age (big wink)!

Billy, what an awesome post my friend! You are a great father and husband and it is easy to see why Moni married you. Well that and the Garth Brooks tickets...who could resist! I think you need to send that one to Jeff Foxworthy to add to his repertoire of "You Might Be a Redneck" one-liners..."You might be a redneck if a Garth Brooks concert changed your life!" HeeHee.

Yall are awesome and thanks for such a great post Billy. A special thanks for the "awkward (Moni's words, not mine)" kid pictures. I too have those Catholic school girl uniform pictures standing by a tree...our parents are such a good way.

Love ya and I just may have a Moni B-day post up my sleeve...Hmmm, what will I do? You will have to wait until the hellions go down tonight to find out!


Suzanne said...

woman!!! happy frickin' birthday!!! woo hoo!!! billy- LOVED this post...what a sweet dude. moni- seriously...weirdness in how much we have in common...right down to our maiden names! You: Haag, Me: Hoag....weirdness (years of tormenting, i'm sure)! i knew i liked you! it was fun to catch up..i feel like i missed out on so much of your pregnancy, etc. but i'm so glad we "met" through internet-wonder-land. hope you have a wonderful day and a fantastic weekend! xoxoX

Shelia said...


I have to say, Billy does a pretty good job posting and choosing pictures...! Moni, you've been beautiful from birth (love the baby picture... and, I agree, there is a strong resemblence to Pius!). Hope you have a great day... you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Moni!!!!!What a super post from Billy, it was soooo sweet. Hope you have a great day!!!


Anonymous said...

FWGNFL said.....


Bill's right you are an exttraordinary woman.

Super Mom, Super Wife, getting more beutiful every day. Just the total package thats all.

Can't wait to see what the next 28 brings you.


Anonymous said...

Oh Moni,
Happy happy birthday! We are so lucky that God brought you into my families life.I pray that you have many, many, many more happy birthdays and numerous, numerous, numerous, numerous (I had to one up my last post on numerous)wonderful years ahead. Now on to the post. Geez, why don't you two just get a room? Mush, mush, mush all over the blog. Seriously though it is so wonderful to see the love continue to grow with you two each and every day. GOD IS GOOD!!! Again Happy Birthday Monica!!

Grandpa Stubby

P.S. See you guys tonight

Andrea said...

What a great post Billy! Happy Birthday Monica:) Looks like January is your guys' month. Loved hearing the story about you 2 in highschool. haha. Made me feel like a kid all over again. Monica, your are such an awesome person! These have been such great posts. Love, Andrea

Andrea said...

And I can totally see Pius in that picture of Monica touching the flowers. You should put a dress on him and compare the pictures. Jk! Andrea

Charity Donovan said...

HaPpY BiRtHdAy MoNi!!!
To think it all started w/ Garth Brooks!!! CRACKS ME UP!!! Huuugss on MONI DAY!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Monica! What a sweet husband- though I know you deserve every kind word he wrote. It has been really enjoyable reading about your family's adventure. The individual posts were great and I am so glad you included Billy and yourself. We look forward to your next adventure. In a couple of years I will try to keep Blake from torturing Danna in religion class like Billy did to you. Sorry whichever Tubre quad Danna is going to marry- Goebel is pretty close to Graf in the alphabet!

Dianna Goebel

Ashley Dave and Lexi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONI!!! What an awesome husband Billy is. That was such a nice tribute to you and I just loved it! You're a great mommy, wife and much more and I bet it feels great to know your husband appreciates everything you do. Have a great birthday WEEK! Or month...however you like to celebrate!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Monica...the BEST sister-in-law ever!!! I am so grateful for Garth Brooks! And I just want you to know that every time you two fought, or broke up for two hours...I cried! A LOT!! And I would get very mad at Billy until you two were back together! I thank God for you every day and I don't know what my life would be without you! Thank you for taking such great care of me through all of these years and being the sister that I always wished for! And Billy, that was a great post! You two are such an amazing couple and I love you more than anything!!
Love, Aunt Lainie

The Gerwer Babies said...

OMG i dont even know billy yet and i want to hug the crap out of him! THat was awesome!
Happy Birthday girl! I wish i could be there with you to have a cocktail (or four, all things are better in fours)... Hope you have an amazing day!!!And maybe get a break you overworked woman!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Honey Buns! You are my idol!! I have always admired your sincerity, sweetness, intelligence, and beauty. I think I did a very good job on you! You are one of my favorite people. Billy is a very lucky you are a lucky wife....what a great example.
See you tonight!
Love you! Mama

Allan Grossman said...

Hi, my name is Allan Grossman. My wife, Amy, and I have 34 month old triplets and live here in Wichita. We also know the Hanson's. I'm not sure if my wife has e-mailed you before. Our Blog site is

KS Dallas said...


Cochran Quads said...

Holy cow! Happy Birthday Moni!! You can tell from this post, not that we didn't already know, that you are a freaking amazing woman! You can also tell from this post you have a freaking amazing husband!! Y'all make a helluva team!!

The Carlsons said...

happy 28th birthday moni!! you whippersnapper :D hope you have a blessed birthday! and what a sweet hubby you have there. a very nice post by billy...and the pictures were the best! very cute!!

happy birthday!!
-fellow quad mom of GGGG and a 4.5yo boy

The Carlsons said...

happy 28th birthday moni!! you whippersnapper :D hope you have a blessed birthday! and what a sweet hubby you have there. a very nice post by billy...and the pictures were the best! very cute!!

happy birthday!!
-fellow quad mom of GGGG and a 4.5yo boy

Jutta BRetl, Germany said...

What a great post.

Happy Birthday Moni !!!

Jutta Bretl, Solingen, Germany
former Coconut Creek, FL resident

Hilary said...

That was AWESOME!!! Happy 28th birthday Monica!!

Squiggle Wiggle & Maggers Moo said...

Billy, you must be learning how to write poetry in college since I am sitting here bawling like a baby over the amazing tribute to your adorable wife. My two year old sitting here telling me, "don't cry, Mommy, it be all right." Moni, I have to say, you are an amazing human being. You and Billy totally complement each other and you have to respect that. God Bless and have a wonderful day. To bad my baby doesn't want to be born today, I would have been honored to have a child born on the same day as someone as amazing as you. Take it easy. Lotsa love from the College Hill girls!!!

Andria said...

Happy Moni Day!! Wow Billy! That's an amazing post. I love the Catholic uniforms. I'm almost jealous. We didn't have those wide suspender like straps on ours. Perhaps thats a sign of the era?

Garth Brooks?!
Religion class?!

Love it! Have a great day and weekend Moni!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Miss Moni. I can't imagine our family without you. You are so much a part of us. We were blessed when you joined our family and made the rest of the Haag family part of our extended family. Our Grandbabies brought even more joy and blessings. You and Billy both continue to amaze me. Love Grandma Vicki
P.S. You've always said you thought Pius looked more like you, and when I first saw that picture I thought wow Pius really does look like Moni.

Mary said...

How I began to follow your blog is beyond me....but I love it! Todays reading was hysterical. I had my daughter read it...she's a junior and her and her boyfriend FIGHT all the time. It resolves itself quickly or they break up for like oh...maybe a full hour...and then they are back and I say all the two fight too much you're never gonna make which they say....we'll see you at our wedding. I guess sometimes fairytales do come true....

EMO said...

Happy Birthday Monica!
I need to show David this post so he can get some pointers from you Billy!


Anonymous said...

Dang Monica, most people were ugly kids who grew up to be beautiful adults or pretty kids who grew up to be ugly adults.... BUT you were a beautiful kid and you are a beautiful adult now... I'm officially jealous! Hope you had a great birthday... I had a really fun time hanging out with you guys and breaking it down with you... Love you!!

HansonTriplets said...

Happy Birthday Moni!!! What a great story of you and Billy. It reminds me a lot of Brent and I! I wouldn't go out with him forever too, I was to annoyed that he was a "nice guy". You just never know what your life will bring huh. What a great tribute to a wonderful mom. I love all your little pictures.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow. I got all doe-eyed reading that. Billy- well done, well done. Such a romantic. So in love with his best friend.

Monica- you're incredible. I love that you're a part of our lives. I hope you had an amazing, fantastic, joyful day.


Anonymous said...

Monica, why did you play so hard to get with Billy in highschool?

jag said...

Man! Did that make anyone else misty?! SO very sweet, Billy! What a wonderful husband! What a wonderful life! It's just... A WONDERFUL LIFE! Happy birthday Moni! You're amazing!

Cameron said...

Wow Billy, you almost made me cry! That was so darn sweet :)
Happy belated birthday Monica! You truly are one of the most beautiful people I know.

Anonymous said...

Monica, happy-happy-happy belated birthday. Yep, you and Billy are totally passionate in all that you do. I will never forget your wedding ... especially the dance. It was hugely fun! I didn't know much about you then ... just that Vicki absolutely adored you. Each time I see you with your baby-cakes, my admiration and affection leap another giant step forward. Like Billy, we celebrate your birth!! Aunt GGr and Sammy