When you realize your laptop is near it's end.
We were not able to attend a family gathering of our grandson, Jason's, that we would have loved to have been at for the whole weekend. First, a special occasion in SLC and then a weekend at a cabin, snowmobiling, eating and playing games. I am missing the laughter and the company immensely! Doug's work and a Corbridge family happening complicated both ends of the event and it just wasn't possible to make it. Sadly, sometimes life gets in the way of life!
Tomorrow, Doug's siblings are gathering for family pictures, a gift for Doug's Mom's upcoming 80th birthday. It's been since ZJ was in diapers since we've had a family portrait. We are excited for Mom to have the photos, though! Good times!
It poured the rain on the day of Gene's funeral. We drove Mom to the cemetery in our rental car (while Doug's was in the shop), so I didn't have a lot of interaction with the kids that morning until the family dinner following the funeral. Liza and the kids had come to the morning viewing an hour behind us. She drove our Expedition separately. I noticed the kids and Liza with umbrellas in the rain at the cemetery. I had just tossed all of our umbrellas in our last de-junking, so I was glad that the funeral director provided umbrellas for the family. On my way home from taking Liza to the airport, I had noticed that the umbrellas were all still in the Expedition. I was anxious to get home to the kids and didn't want to take the time to stop and drop them off at the mortuary. Every day this week, I've felt guilty for not getting them there quicker! On Wednesday morning, it was pouring rain when the girls went to the busstop. They asked if they could take the umbrellas. I got solemn commitments that they would return home from school with them. I checked the minute they got in from school. Yes, they brought them home, still in working order. Everytime I've driven into town all week, I've worried about returning them to the mortuary. SO....
Yesterday, ZJ and I were getting ready to go out on our "Ski Day" date. I had to make a return two returns. As we were leaving, I doublechecked with Zeej, "Now, we have all three umbrellas, don't we?" She assured me that they were in the truck. As we were heading to town, I said, "First and most important thing we do today is get those umbrellas to the mortuary." ZJ asked, curiously, "Why do we need to take them to the mortuary?" I explained that it was a kind service they'd offered and we shouldn't take advantage of that. We need to get them back as soon as possible. I felt guilty that we'd brought them home in the first place. ZJ just looked at me, like, "Huh?" I mentioned it again as we were driving into Logan. She asked, "Mom, I still don't get it? Why do you keep stressing ver those umbrellas?" I explained again, "Because they aren't ours to keep. That's a service they offered." She gave me this look and said, "Um. Mom. Liza bought those umbrellas on the way to the funeral." Okey dokey, then. I won't return them to the mortuary.
A few days ago, we were talking about Florida. I don't know how the conversation came to the topic of nude and topless beaches. There was a beach that I went to at least three or four times a week when I was a teenager and very old women would frequent go topless on the beach. I said that I can't imagine what it's like 40 years later. Grace freaked!!!! "You mean people go to the beach and are naked?! THAT's JUST WRONG!!!!" We had a good laugh about it. Yesterday, I can't even remember the conversation, but there as a comment made about "What's this world coming to?" and Grace popped up with, "I know! I mean, I can't believe that there is such a thing as actual nuetered beaches." We all looked at her and busted out laughing! "Nuetered", "Nude"... close.
Silly, silly us. Life is good.
Think happiness... it makes people pretty! Happy people are beautiful!
Okey dokey then! Garage Door repaired! Van repaired and returned! Doug's working lots of overtime this week! ZJ is off school today for SKI Day. She didn't want to ski, so we are playing today. I love it when that happens!
I had the best time with my lunch bunch pals yesterday. It was a true delight. I had to laugh at how many times age came up. It's NOT funny, but it's funny. Our lunches fifteen years ago were definitely filled with very different conversations. It's so interesting how things change. Age comes up a lot more in your 50s!
Lunch was great, company was great but we had the worst server ever! She came to the table and just interrupted, talked over whoever was speaking, rushed us, was actually bossy. Being the restaurant freak that I am, I watch servers closely. I observed her at other tables, she was loud and just acted put out to be there, like her guests were a nuisance to her. We all noticed it. I came home and told Doug. We decided I should call the manager and let him know that other tables, as well as ours, were really taken back by her. Oh my word. I had the funniest call ever!
I explained to the manager, who spoke with a heavy foreign accent, that we'd been going there for almost twenty years and loved it, but that we were very disappointed in our lunch server. I didn't have to explain or say another word. He cut me off with, "Please do not feel guilty for calling me about this server! I already had two calls about her today! She is bad!" I was quite surprised that she was that bad that others would call too. (I can't see any of the ladies in my lunch bunch calling, so I doubt it was them.)
You know me... I always call or speak to managers to tell them that they have excellent service, not just when things are bad. But, this man. Oh my word. I was trying so hard not to burst out laughing! He went on to tell me that the other servers were all complaining about her too, "She's bossy! Others do not like her!" Okey dokey then. He said, "The cooks do not like her! I came in at 4 today and my cooks told me that they want to put a spatula on the grill, get it very hot and slap her face with it! Then she can tell the guests why she has a spatula mark on her face - because she was rude to the guest!" Oh my heck, I was dying. Then he said, "You don't piss off the cooks!" I lost it!
Anyone that knows me knows that I hate the "P" word. Seriously, it just bugs me. You can be mad, angry, ticked, but don't say the "P" word to me. I know, it's silly, but I just hate that word. But, when he said that about the cooks, I was glad I didn't have a Diet Coke in my mouth or I would have sprayed it all over my kitchen! I wasn't sure if I was laughing that he said it to a customer or if I was laughing that he was so just vocal and graphic about his frustration to anyone! Regardless, I never did tell him a thing about the server, after my first sentence.
He asked for my name and address so he could send me two free dinners. I refused. He said, "Then, tell me so we can be friends and I can give them to you as a friend." I refused the free food. That was not why I called. I just wanted him to know that he had a very offensive server who was not good for business. Apparently, he was well aware. Too funny.
What's not funny is that a 20-something girl could be so disrespectful... server or not... common sense and courtesy say that you don't act the way she was... no matter who you interact with. I hope she gets some better training and learns some people skills. As Doug says, "Some people's kids."
That's my silly story for the day. ZJ and I are off to town. She wants to get some crafty stuff at Hobby Lobby and she's not decided where lunch will be. She wants to "experiment" with lunch today. We'll see. I have to say that I am noticing more and more every day that ZJ is more and more like a louder version of Liza. I love this girl. She's such a sweetheart. We have so much fun together and we laugh a lot! She'll be an official teenager in thirteen days! Time flies far too fast! Life is good!
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.
If you have that awareness, you have good manners,
no matter what fork you use.
Quayd and I had such a fun day together, then the girls and I had a totally hysterical afternoon. We spent over an hour making (or trying to make) Duck Faces and taking selfies with my camera and the iPad. Oh my gosh, ZJ is such a hoot. She has the attitude down! Grace and I would make the faces and we'd just bust out laughing. We couldn't take pictures for, literally, rolling on the bed laughing at how silly we were. The girls dared me to share them on Facebook. NEVER! Liza suggested not! Here's my question... why do some girls look so cute making duck faces? We've decided that it's not the most flattering thing for us! And it's definitely not something a "more mature" woman should do, let alone consider posting it in a public forum!
Here's a much cuter face... another of Jared's photos.
Yesterday, when Quayd and I pulled in from the garage, I hit the garage door opener to close it and there was a noise that sounded like a crane had just crashed into the garage! We got out and looked all over, trying to figure what had just happened. This morning, when I went to take Quayd to school, the door would only open a foot or so. Quayd got out and looked around. The spring has sprung on the top of the door and the cable is all skiddywhompas. What a mess. Honestly, a new fuel pump in the Expedition two weeks ago, a new fuel tank in Doug's van (they've still not returned the van yet) and now this. I'd say that Sophia will be waiting a bit longer before I get a new fridge. Honestly, when it rains, it pours! Thankfully, Doug's brother, Alan and his wife, Jill, dropped by and came to the rescue. I am now parked in the driveway, so I can go where I need to go today! ANNNNND Thankfully, good friend, Jim Anderson owns a garage door company and will be here to repair it tonight! While I was doing my hair, I just had this thought... sometimes bad things happen so that good things can be allowed to happen...Alan, Jill, Jim are the good things happening today! We are blessed!
I'm off to meet my lunch bunch ladies today. It's been almost four years since we've all been able to get together for lunch. Far too long. I'm looking forward to spending time with these lovely women from my past. We've been friends for over twenty years and keep in touch, we've just not been able to all be together at once. HAPPINESS!
The windows are open and I turned the furnace off this morning. It will be on by dark, I'm sure, but it is beginning to feel like spring is on it's way. Only five more snowstorms, I predict, before summer...because Cache Valley spring lasts only about five minutes and then it's more winter and finally summer! ;)
Life is good even with broken garage doors and refrigerators! I have a lunch date! I'm off!
Just as I was about to hit post... I noticed an email had popped up from Connie. Here's what she said. It made me cry... I saw this poor kid running to school this morning, looking exhausted
as he had to slow down to walk.... gave him a ride to SV. Kind of a cute kid! :)
Like I said, sometimes bad things can happen so that good things can happen.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
A don't want to forget... Several years ago, someone shared something with me, something negative that someone had said about me. Knowing what was said, but more importantly, who had said it, hurt me deeply. Over the years, I've tried to let it go, but everytime I was near that person, I could not help but recall the sting of those words. In the past few years, I've grown closer to that person, but still, the words were never far from my mind and heart causing me to always keep my gaurd up a bit around them. I'd forgiven them long ago, but that defensive mechanism in the brain and heart would not forget. Through the years, I've prayed that I could let it go, but the words lingered. Over the past few weeks, in the middle of all the other things on my mind, I've prayed sincerely to get past that hurt and to be able to "let it go" because it was so long ago and so many circumstances have changed. I've been almost certain that they would never say what they'd said today.
Yesterday, I received a tender mercy. A man in our ward walked up to me and said, "Sophia, I have something I must share with you. Someone really thinks the world of you." I had no clue who he could possibly be talking about. First, he shared so much praise and good feelings from this person, that he'd recently encountered for the first time. Apparently, they were discussing where he was from and Doug and I came into the conversation. The man shared that this person heard my name and "could not say enough good" about me. He then said, "I could just feel this person's love for you, they couldn't stop... and to hear that kind of love, especially from ______(he mentioned our specific relationship), it's rare and that made it even more significant." He just went on. With tears, I thanked him and told him, "You have no idea how much that means to me." It was a tender mercy, an answer to my prayer of many years.
When Connie began her first "Presidency Message" in Relief Society, Sunday morning, her first words were about how forgiveness and the atonement mean can make such a difference in our lives. I wish I could remember her words precisely, but I was too busy trying not to cry to take a moment and write them down. Indeed, prayers answered. I can finally let it go. Those hurtful words were long ago forgiven, but will now I will be able to let them go and not be so on gaurd for one more moment. I almost wanted to call the person and say, "GUESS WHAT!? I'm over it!" I'm sure that they have no clue that I was ever "under" it, so it would be futile.
Three lessons to be learned here...
1. Don't repeat the negative. It can do no good. IF you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Having never known what that person said all those years ago would have saved me much heartache.
2. PRAY for whatever it takes to get over things that you are under. Prayers are answered, even the most simple prayers that don't really seem like they'd matter to Heavenly Father.
3. If you can ever find a reason to say something good to say to someone, by all means, say it! Who'd have thought that this man sharing a good thing with me could be a life-chaging moment in my life? Certainly, he had no idea when he shared it with me. What a difference one simple conversation can make!
It was a whirlwind, the past two weeks. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated, we planned and carried out plans. We loved. I'm so so grateful for the feelings of love, of appreciation, for the love shared and felt by so many. It's been so amazing. I've loved the opportunity to serve Mom, to spoil Liza, to be close to Doug, to watch the babes love the time with Liza, to be Grammie to Aylabelle. Oh my word, it's been wonderful.
This morning, Quayd and I were at the dentist at 7:30. We did some errands and had lunch with Denise, then hit the case lot sale at the grocery store, replenishing some much needed food storage. We're going to watch a movie while I do some laundry and enjoy our last two hours alone before the girls get home from school. Life is good!
By becoming the answer to someone's prayer we often find the answer to our own.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Liza and I were off to the airport bright and early on Friday morning. We met Buddy's Grandmother and his Aunt for breakfast in Woods Cross so that they could meet Aylabelle. We had a great visit, said our good-byes and were off to the airport. That last few minutes was choice. We decided to check in curb-side because Liza was worried about being over the luggage weight, which she was, so it was a good choice. So, out in the cold and wind, we said goodbye, gave lots of hugs and kisses and she was off. As soon as Liza entered the airport doors, the tears came. I hate that she lives so far away, but I love that she has such a wonderful life. I, literally, had to pull over and cry for a few minutes before I could get on the road. It only took me a short bit to realize that I wasn't going to stop crying anytime soon, so I may as well drive. What a boob I am!
Liza called as soon as she had gotten through security. She was surprised that I was almost to Layton. I decided to stop and pick up some Kristy Kreme donuts for the kids as a little surprise and as I pulled off the Layton exit, I found myself the second car in line from a very bad accident. This posiition on the highway left me sitting in the same place for almost 20 minutes. Liza was about to board and I wasn't comfortable sitting on the phone in the midst of all of the nightmare before my eyes. I'd decided that I was just going to head straight home when I was rerouted through Layton and ended up right in front of Taipan. (I hate it when that happens.) A little Taipan Shopping Therapy should cure any blues, right? Not quite, but it was a nice diversion for a few moments. Oh, my word, I love those two girls. I love being Mom and Gram to them both!
I made it home safely and in good time. When Doug got home, we went over to the B's to celebrate Stott's birthday. I felt terrible because the entire past two weeks seemed to have caught up with me. I could not keep my eyes open. We called it an early night, came home and I was in bed before nine. That happens about once a year for me! And I slept! And slept! And slept some more! I slept almost twelve hours, woke up and then laid back down for a nap. I also took a four hour nap on Sunday (I asked Doug to wake me after a 30 minute nap, but he thought I needed more sleep, so he just left me to sleep.) Apparently, I was exhausted! As soon as I took Quayd to school this morning, I climbed back into bed and slept some more. Finally! I'm feeling ready to hit the floor running again!
Saturday evening, Doug and I were able to slip away for a nice date night. We finally got to the theater to see Saving Mr. Banks. Tom Hanks is one of my all-time favorite actors and this movie is another example of why! It's really and truly a fascinating story... definitely not a movie for kids, they'd be bored with the story and it is very intense in parts. I don't see it being added to our library but it's definitely worth watching. Clean and decent, but intense in parts.
After the show, we called Texas Roadhouse for a table and had a 45 minute wait before we could get in, so we stopped by to check on Mom. She was resting when we arrived, but welcomed our visit. At 45 minutes, Doug looked over at me with the "We need to run" look. I nodded back with the "We can eat later" look, so we stayed another hour. I so love Doug's mom. We showed her how to watch the DVD from Gene's funeral, visited about the week and had a quick Skype with Liza. After we left Mom's, we decided to have Black Pearl for sushi, which was perfect because it was too late for a heavy meal at Roadhouse. When we got home, we caught up on a little recorded TV... a new season of Survivor has begun!
Our Sunday was casual after church. My lesson was about Communicating with love and a positive attitude in your marriage. We had a great discussion. They had to bring in a few more chairs because the room is packed. It's so much fun discussing ways to strengthen marriage, I just wish we had a bigger room! Oh, how I love this calling!
I had to laugh at myself when I awoke on Saturday morning. My thoughts, in my deep sleep, were, "What's today? Viewing? Funeral? Liza has how many days left? and then I realized, all of the "busyness" is over. Life is real again. Time to settle back down to life.
It was strange to wake up this morning the last time and realize that I've not taken any photos all weekend, we are back to reality! Laundry calls my name. Lots of it! Kids need Mom's attention! Doug's sixtieth birthday is in just a few weeks and I'm working on that. He knows it and begs me to keep it simple. Imagine that! I miss my girls, but they are busy moving into a new home this week. I'd love to be there to help! I could hold Aylabelle while Liza moves! ;)
Life is good.
Wherever you are, be all there!
Being on this side of the funeral is a completely different experience than attending a funeral. It requires a lot of thought, planning and energy... emotional, mental and physical energy. I'm exhausted! Partially because we've run ourselves silly this past week and partially because I've not slept much since Liza got here. We haven't wanted to waste a minute!
The morning viewing was well attended. It was the first time in a long time to see so many of Mom's family. It was wonderful to see so many Corbridges and Packers all in one day. Doug's family never ceases to amaze me. They are just amazingly wonderful, caring, uplifting people and simply a delight to be around. Oh my word, I just love them all!
The funeral was perfect for Gene. The talks were perfect, the music was amazing, everything about the day was just what Mom needed. She was quite pleased. We have all felt such love and support. Many times, it was mentioned that we could feel the love from everyone through the hugs, smiles, and kind words. As a family, we all felt so blessed!
One thing that I noticed the most was the spirit of love and cooperation amongst Doug and his siblings and spouses. We are all so different. Doug's family is very quiet and reserved, they are extremely conservative, they are not at all over the top social. I fit in like a VERY sore thumb with my chattiness, my over the top nature and in so many ways. Everyone of us is very unique in our talents and gifts. I was so impressed with Doug's sister Anne and his brother Danny's talks at the funeral. WOW! They did a fantastic job! Watching Doug's brothers, each doing their own part to assist and care for Mom brought tears to my eyes. Doug's sisters were both in high gear "take care of Mom" mode. The in-laws, all six of us, gave our all in our own unique areas. It was a choice experience, working together, each using our own strengths to make the day special for Mom.
I have to mention that Mom had asked her grandsons to be pallbearers. There were exactly eight grandsons there, ranging in age from 26ish to 16 year old Quayd. A few of the boys were nervous about the experience. We had a chat with Quayd beforehand and told him how important and what an honor and privilege it was for him to be able to offer this last service to Grampa Gene. He took it quite seriously. A proud parent moment!
Following the graveside part of the service, which included the military "Taps", it a family dinner was held in Mom's old ward for all those who wished to join us. A lovely meal was served and everything was delish! We visited there for another good hour and a half before heading home... exhausted in the just starting pouring rain!
It was a perfect funeral. The only thing that I'd have changed would have been to have Wednesday's spring weather instead of Thursday's rain. Other than that, it was all good. I feel certain that Gene would have been pleased. Even moreso, Mom was comforted.
I'm off to the airport this morning to return my girls. There are no words. More later.
The viewing was perfect. Those that came were family and close friends. We were delighted to spend the evening visiting and enjoying ourselves together. Doug and I were absolutely touched by how many of our own friends attended. There was much laughter, lots of stories and enjoyment... family and friends together. I honestly don't think that there was one tear shed. Gene lived a good life and we are all happy for him, that he's much better off now than he has been the past year. It is, indeed, another opportunity to appreciate that Plan of Salvation!
The kids were very well behaved, respectful and reverent. I happened to look across the room and captured this photo of my three babes looking at Gene. They amaze me as they are growing into such awesome young people! I enjoyed watching them greet, hug, shake hands and visit throughout the night.
Liza also enjoyed the time with family. Dee, my brother-in-law, has always been a friend to Liza. I think they spent an hour chatting. I loved watching Dee holding Aylabelle. That's Mom in the background.
Liza was also tickled to see Buddy's grandparents walk in. They have known Mom for years and Gene worked with Buddy's grandpa in the Logan Temple.
I had to catch a photo of Grandma Joyce with Aylabelle Joy... the "Joy" comes from Joyce! She is such a lovely woman...absolutely beautiful inside and out.
Totally blurry and out of focus, but I loved seeing this tender moment between Grace and Doug.
Here's the display of Gene's memorobilia. I enjoyed spending the morning assembling the display. I love that Mom's reflection is in the mirror.
Each section represented a different part of his life... Scouting, the military, life in retirement living at the ranch, his 40 years of work in the film industry, his love of the gospel and geneology, and his time with Mom.
I loved watching my kids visiting with extended family.
Doug is ever the listener.
Liza took Aylabelle and the kids home earlier and following the viewing, which went much later than 8PM, Doug and I, his siblings and spouses and Mom all went for a very later dinner at Village Inn. (Where else is open!?) We had a fun time talking, sampling each other's entrees and having pie because, little did we know, it was "Free Pie Wednesday"! It was a delightful way to end the evening. I enjoyed watching Mom, who loves nothing more than being surrounded by her children.
I have a few other things I want to remember, but, they will keep. I'm exhausted and heading to bed! The morning viewing, the funeral, followed by the family meal, will make for a long day today. It's Liza's last full day with us. We are thrilled that she was able to stay the extra few days and be here for the family gathering celebrating Gene's life. I will hate seeing her and Aylabelle get on that plane heading back to Arizona. But, this is life. And I can look forward to our next visit. Until late afternoon, we'll focus on making some memories and Gene. Tonight, some down time with just our family at home. We'll make every minute count while we still have a few to enjoy.
Life is good.
These are the moments!
Gene's viewing is tonight. I'm off and running to get a few final things done. I thought I'd share the long version of his obituary here, along with a few photos of Gene.
Byron Eugene Ashbrook, 84, passed away peacefully, on February 23, 2014, at the Logan Valley Nursing Home, Logan, Utah. Gene was born on March 10, 1929 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was one of two sons, born to Reverend Milan Forest Ashbrook and Elizabeth Barbour. His brother, James and his parents preceded him in death.
As a young man and throughout his life, Gene was an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. When others had no hope, Gene was instrumental in helping scouts attend the International Scout Jamboree in France in 1946.
Gene served as a US Navy Corpsman and medic in the Easy Medical Company, First Marine Division in the Korean War, receiving four service stars on the Korean ribbon and the Marine Insignia. Gene was married to Hettie Goldrick and together they had two sons, Dennis and David and a daughter, Mary Alice. Gene later divorced. He married Delphia Leona Cash and they were also later divorced.
Following the war, Gene found himself living in Los Angeles,California, working in the film industry as a Sound Engineer. Gene took great pride in recalling stories of his years in Hollywood, working over 40 years in movies and later, television shows, Diagnosis Murder and Matlock. He proudly displayed a photo of friend, Dick Van Dyke with the words, "Gene, thanks for making me sound good!" Gene was a member of the Society of Camera Operators. He served as President of the Union and received awards and recognition throughout his career, including the SOC Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on the film "Rocky". Gene even has his own page in ImDB.
Gene was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in September,1969 and lived the remainder of his life serving faithfully in the church. Gene lived and served as a Stake Missionary in the La Crescenta, California Stake. In 1994, he met the love of his life, Anna Lee Corbridge, in La Canada, California, when Anna's missionary companion introduced them, "Now, he's just the one for you, Sister Corbridge." Several months later, on September 30, 1994, Gene and Anna were married for time in the Los AngelesTemple.
Following their marriage, Gene and Anna moved to Idaho, where Gene was called as a service missionary for the LDS AudioVisual Department. He took great pleasure in assisting with the filming of "The Testament", as well as many other church video publications. After his two year service mission, he continued to work part time for the LDS Motion Picture Studio for two more years.
Gene adapted quite quickly to country life when he and Anna moved to the cabin on the Corbridge Ranch north of Soda Springs, Idaho. After a short while, attending the LDS ward in Soda Springs, they were invited to attend the Greys Lake Ward, where they were immediately "put to work". Gene served in the bishopric for several years in the ward. During that time, Gene and Anna also served as officiators in the Logan LDS Temple, until they moved back to their home in Cache Valley, just across the street from the Temple.
Although Gene suffered from Parkinsonism for the last years of his life, he took full advantage of living in the shadows of the temple by continuing to volunteer as a witness for many, many sealings. His faithfulness was appreciated and his dedication was shown as he would arrive early and stay late to help others and could be seen walking up the steep north hill to the temple while in his early 80s. Gene loved working with those who served in the temple.
Gene was a hard working man, punctual to a fault and always wore a smile. His work was his play, he didn't need any other kind of recreation. He was always looking for something to do, from painting to chopping wood. Idleness was not his friend. He was an avid genealogist, spending countless hours researching family history. He carried a briefcase with prepared talks and could always be called on to teach and share his testimony and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Gene was a true patriot and loved his country.
(This photo was taken the night before Gene fell and broke his hip just two and a half weeks ago.)
Gene is survived by his wife, Anna Lee; his children, Dennis (Marlene) Bullard of Sandy Utah, David Bullard of New Orleans, LA. Mary Alice (John) Kaslov of Oceanside, CA, grandchildren, Shenna and Luke. Doug (Sophia Corbridge) of Smithfield, UT, Don (Barbara) Corbridge of Hyde Park, UT, Anne (Robert) Crowther of Malad, ID, Alan (Jill) Corbridge of Richmond, UT, Danny (Alene) Corbridge of North Logan, UT and Aleece (Dee) Barrett of Providence, UT.
Funeral services will be held, Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Allen-Hall Funeral Home, 34 East Center Street, Logan, Utah with Bishop Kaylon Anderson conducting. Viewings will be Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Allen-Hall Mortuary. Military rites and internment will be in the Logan Cemetery.
Condolences may be extended to the family online at www.nelsonfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Humanitarian Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family would like to thank those who assisted with Gene's care.
Liza and I had a busy day, but it wasn't spent together. Liza had a long lunch with a high school friend while I met with Doug's mom and a few others to plan the funeral. I was jokingly called the "Family Secretary" by the mortician, which gave us all a laugh. I'm so not a secretary. I just happened to be the one who's taking notes everytime we've gathered. The funeral is planned, the obituary was submitted to the paper and the funeral is coming together quite well.
Following our meeting, we decided to grab lunch together and I had a very long lunch, talking about everything under the sun, with Doug's mom, two sisters and my brother-in-law, as well lots of funeral talk. Mom is doing well, but this has to be just exhausting to her!
Doug came home and surprised me with the best news of all! When he informed them, at work, that he needed Thursday off for the funeral, he was told that he gets three days of bereavement! HAPPINESS!!
Liza and I reconnected at Kohls and did a little shopping. We found three darling outfits for Aylabelle and a new pair of jeans for Liza. On Sunday, I walked Aylabelle out of the chapel for the last few minutes of the meeting. She was so tired and Liza wanted her to stay awake for fifteen more minutes so that she could have a real nap when we got home. When I stepped out into the foyer, Brother Thayne was sitting with his son. He took one look at Aylabelle and reached out to hold her. Brother Thayne is one of our favorite people in the ward. He has a daughter in Arizona who's married just a few years and he commented, "You think I'm anxious to have a grandchild?" Jared is an amazing photographer. He took one look at Aylabelle and said, "Can I photograph her?" He was serious! I was thrilled! We scheduled for 5:30 on Monday evening.
Liza and I were anxiously watching the clock and hoping Aylabelle would last before her nap until he got here. We had a wonderful hour watching Jared take picture after picture. She was getting tired and a bit wiggly, but oh, my! He did a fabulous job. We laughed at her because she would not stay still! She rolled over and over, more in that hour than she has yet in her life! She's got rolling down pat! We figured it would be a few days before we heard back from Jared but he sent us five of the shots last night. Oh my gosh! I'm in heaven! Those eyes!
This day is full of busy work.. I have a display of Gene's memorobila to assemble, getting the funeral flowers ordered, a visit from DCFS and the rest of the day should be focusing on Liza and our sweet baby girl! Life is good! INSANELY CRAZY BUSY, but oh, so good!
There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy!
Oh my word, we are loving our time with Liza and Aylabelle! On Saturday, she spend the day with Buddy's family and it was felt so strange not to have them with us! I was so excited to pick them up, come home and just chill together as a family that night!
Gene passed away peacefully on Sunday morning at 9AM. His daughter arrived the night before and was able to say goodbye. We were getting ready for church and were able to rush directly to Mom. She has handled things so amazingly well. All of Doug's siblings, except his sister in Idaho were able to be there. I was quite fascinated watching each of us there "step up" to the tasks that are our natural strengths. Some of us are organizers and planners, some are gifted with compassion and understanding, some with a "calming" nature. Each person there had something to offer Mom in their own way and it touched my heart to see things fall into place so naturally.
My brother-in-law, Dee, Mom and I will be meeting with the funeral director this morning to finalize the plans. As of now, things are planned for Thursday, barring any scheduling complications with the mortuary.
Gene's granddaughter will be flying in on Wednesday evening. Liza was supposed to leave on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, Southwest Airlines waived the $179 difference for changing her airfare, so Liza will be going home on Friday afternoon instead. HAPPINESS!!! Two extra days with my girls!
The funeral home came for Gene, the family had all done what was needed and we were able to make it to church just as everyone was entering the chapel for Sacrament Meeting. The kids were there waiting when we arrived. Aylabelle made us laugh blowing raspberries all the way through the meeting. She's a doll! Miki could not stop loving on Aylabelle. She came running up to me and said, "I need to tell Aylabelle I love you."
I was happy that I had prepared dinner before the call so that we could eat and have family time the rest of the day. There were phone calls to be made and more planning to be done. It was a crazy day. Liza and I settled down to watch Episode 5 of this season's Downton Abbey at 10PM, once everyone was in bed. I ordered the DVDs last week so that she could catch up with the rest of us. We hope to see the finale tonight. I no likee that it's such a short season! It was nice to have a small escape.
I'm always amazed at how in the midst of life and death, things just go on. Laundry still needs washing, bathrooms still need cleaning, kids still need attention. Speaking of kids, I've loved hearing the kids prayers for Grandma and Gene. They have such tender hearts.
I spoke with Dale yesterday to tell him the news. He was sweet and kind and thoughtful of his grandmother. Where Dale has been away for so many years, he commented, "Wow, it's like Grandma and Gene just got married yesterday!" It hit me that Dale was about Quayd's age when Mom married Gene, and he's been gone for over fifteen years, so his relationship with Gene was different than the babes.
Today, we have more funeral planning, Liza has lunch with a high school best friend, I have flowers to arrange and more contacts to make. In between all that, I'm working on giving Miss Aylabelle a million kisses and I get two extra days to do it! YAAAAAAAY!
Seriously... this baby could not be loved any more. I love her so much it hurts!
We appreciate the thoughts, prayers, emails and texts. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's so wonderful to be blessed with so much love in our lives! Life is good!
Strive for progress, not perfection.
When Buddy called to Skype, she heard his voice and immediately was intent on listening to her daddy call her name. It was precious. She'd had a little NO potty problem since she's been here. Tonight, she was a bit fussy because her tummy hurt. Buddy was saying Goodnight. He said, "Aylabelle, Poop, Eat and go to sleep please." No sooner than the words came out of his mouth, there was a diaper explosion. We all just busted out laughing. Liza nursed her and she was out! She listened to her daddy! Such a good girl. Are these two beautiful little ladies or what?
Today, we took it easy in the morning then got ready and met Doug for lunch at Black Pearl. He was able to slip away for a quick bite and he didn't want to eat because he wanted to just take Aylabelle for a walk or hold her or or or... he just loves this little girl!
After lunch, we ran to Lee's and bought all of the food we'd need for our family gathering. I'd decided to host a little open house for anyone in the immediately family to come and say hello. So, we had a busy afternoon planned getting ready, but first, we stopped and took a tour of our friends' home, which is a renovated old firestation. Liza loves urban style and she fell in love with their home. Dave and Christy are amazingly talented and have done wonderous things with the old Smithfield Firehouse. FUN FUN!
The kids were super helpful in getting ready for the family open house. We prepared a double batch of spinach dip with french bread, two relish trays, a cheese platter and crackers, garlic-butter mushrooms in the crockpot, lemon poppy seed bread, brownies, chocolate covered raisins, mixed nuts and cranberry coconut cookies. SO MUCH FOOD! Not everyone made it, but we did have a wonderful time visiting and Liza was so touched by those that came. The kids were excited to know that we'll be partying "foodwise" all over again tomorrow with the leftovers!
It's late. Gene's still hanging in there. It's wearing on Mom. We worry most about her. Prayers for them both are appreciated.
Tomorrow morning, Liza and I are meeting her cousin for breakfast and gab. She will spend the afternoon with Buddy's family and then tomorrow night, we have a picnic/movie night in the family room with the babes planned. They are so excited to have their own night with Liza! While she's gone to Buddy's fam, I'll be getting a haircut, studying my lesson and doing laundry! Trying to keep up with all this play is crazy. We plan on doing nothing but relaxing and hanging for the rest of the time she's here.
Life is good!
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart
rather than a piece of our mind.
Oh my gosh, what a hectic morning! It was crazy and if it could go wrong, it did! I ended up getting on the freeway 45 minutes later than planned due to several random "incidents". At one point, I was in tears! Doug called as I was driving and talked me "down", so that I could relax and start celebrating the moment! I, literally, pulled into the airport parking lot, as Liza called to say she was at the baggage carousel. PERFECT! We were expecting snow
Aylabelle saw me and just grinned and squealed and cooed and gooed and I just teared up with joy! I think she really recognized us from skyping and she definitely knows my voice. Oh my gosh, this baby is adorable! Just sayin. ;) She was an angel the entire drive home while Liza and I gabbed and gabbed, like we hadn't talked for months. Imagine that!
We met Denise for a quick lunch at Firehouse. Liza was able to see her old boss and a few friends. Then we raced to Doug's work before his lunch was over where he could say a quick hello. In this picture, you can tell I'd been bawling! Black eyes and all!
Doug just can't stop grinning around Aylabelle. He said out of the blue, last night, "She's literally incredible!" This morning, "She's so amazing!" I'd say that Aylabelle has won Grampy's heart! It melts my heart to see him look at her!
After a quick stop at Doug's work, we headed to the rehab center where Mom continues to sit by Gene's side. We didn't want to take the baby into the building, past the entrance, so I wheeled Mom down to the lobby for a visit. I got to spend a few minutes with Gene, then Liza went down to say her goodbyes to him. Mom came back with Liza to the lobby and Doug's sister Aleece had just arrived, so we sat and visited there for a few more minutes. GramaAnna loved meeting Aylabelle! Aylabelle loved GramaAnna's "snowshirt", the shirt mom wears on snow days.
The kids all raced in to greet Liza and see Aylabelle after school. Quayd is just a "baby man" like his dad. He has no fear where holding and playing with babies goes!
As always, hearing Liza warm up and play piano is one of my favorite sounds in the world. I came into the living room and found Liza giving Aylabelle her first piano lesson. She's a natural! ;)
Doug can't get enough!
That's it for today. Liza's Paparazzi party is tonight. It's noon and we are so not ready! Tons to do, a trip to town, lunch with Denise and we may get a few things done before the party starts!
Life is good!
Home is where your story begins!
Ten things I'm hoping this morning:
Nine things I need to do before I get to the airport:
Eight people I loved visiting with yesterday:
Seven things I'm thankful for this morning:
Six random thoughts:
Five things on this weeks agenda:
Four words to describe me this morning:
Three things I'm reminding myself today:
Two things I have been reminded of this week:
One thing more:
LIFE IS GOOD! NO QUOTE! I've got 24 minutes to be on the road!
I've not done anything to prepare for Liza's visit other than talk about it! This past few days, we've had so much on our plate and they will be here tomorrow! I have a ton to do but, I can not wait! Buddy posted a picture on FB yesterday of Aylabelle's first trip to the zoo. I could not stop laughing! Not just smiling. This picture makes me laugh! She's so dang cute and look at those little chubba legs! They look like Grammie's! Why are they so cute on a baby? Oh my gosh, I love this baby! I'm counting the minutes until they get here! HAPPINESS! (And does Buddy look like a happy dad or what!?)
However, in the midst of all our excitement for Liza and Aylabelle, life is real. And we are counting moments in another direction completely. Gene will be gone soon. It will, indeed, be a blessing for him to be out of pain, out of his 85 year old body, "Graduating". But, still. We know that Mom will miss him immensely. Doug and I went to the nursing home last night and spent almost four hours with his mom. We don't know for sure if Gene knew that we were even there, but it was a delightful visit with his mom.
Mom and I began writing his obituary, which I will finish and she can decide what she wants to leave in or not. I teased her... She knows that I don't say anything in two or three words when a hundred will do. I said, "Mom, I will write my version and you can decide if you want the $8 an inch obituary or an eloquent life history when it's done. It's totally your call!" She laughed. I adore Doug's mom.
At one point, the nurse was giving Gene some attention. Mom stood up and let him know that she was still there by his side. I teared up and whispered in Doug's ear, "Please, never leave me." I can't even go there in my mind.
So, it is odd to be having such mixed emotions in the same moment!
A few other ramblings...
Doug came home with a little note that two women and signed had written a note to the "powers that be" at work and apparently, he was recognized yesterday for it... "Doug took time out of his break to shovel the sidewalk. He is always willing to help others and always does it with a big smile on his face." That's my sweetheart! Always smiling and always willing to help. I was glad to hear that others notice his strengths too!
So, it's 8:57 AM and I've already had a full morning... I didn't sleep last night, for fear of oversleeping and missing my 7:30 dentist appointment. The alarm went off at 6:05. I must have hit cancel instead of snooze. The next time I moved was when I realized I'd overslept! Eighteen minutes later, I'd sent the kids out the door, gotten dressed, did my face and hair, made my bed and drove into Logan to walk in right at 7:30 on the dot! The darling dental hygeinist kept looking at me, like "Why is she here?" Finally, I said something about the early morning appointment and she started looking at the computer. My appointment is on March 4th!!! Quayd was with me because he's supposed to have an ortho check, as well. They fit in his ortho check and we laughed about my aging brain the rest of the time! Now, THAT was funny enough, but then...
We stopped by the nursing home, grabbed a bite to go at Carl's, Jr. for Quayd and then I dropped him off at school. As I was walking into the house to do some busy work for Doug's mom, I got this text from Liza: The plane is about to take off, so I am going to turn off my phone. See you soon! Drive safe! I read the text and FREAKED OUT!!! I called Liza! I'm thinking a million thoughts a second, "PLEASE ANSWER! How could I do that? Did I purchase her tickets for Tuesday instead of Wednesday? Is she really on her way here? AWESOMENESS but she's gonna beat me to the airport! Her room's not ready! I've not bought her surprises! I'll make the cemetery call on my way! I need to stop and get gas and wash the truck! TODAY!? REALLY? Am I really LOSING IT!" Liza answered the phone. "Liza??" She's suppressing her laugh, "Yes?" "Liza?" She started laughing so hard and said, "Just kidding! The funniest part is that I told Buddy I'd sent you this text and he told me about your facebook post about the dentist." Liza didn't even know I was already half-baked it this morning. Oh, my word. You'd think I have a few things on my mind today! I'm still laughing!
Speaking of laughing... when we stopped at Carl's Jr, I asked the girl over the drive up intercom, "Do you have anything breakfast sandwiches that aren't on biscuits?" She said, "We have a sausage, egg and cheese burrito." I asked,"What's on it?" She, quite snarkily (is that a word) said, "Um. Sausage, Egg and Cheese." Quayd and I busted out laughing. I said, "I meant does it have peppers and onions or things like that?" She grunted, "It has sausage, egg and cheese." We pulled forward and were still laughing at my lame question. She just glared at me as she handed us the food, I said, "You need to smile!" She said, "I did that at 4:30 this morning." Alrighty, then. Quayd and I were still laughing when I dropped him off at the school.
We did stop in to see Gene before I took Quayd to school. We told the kids that they could go up to say goodbye if they chose to. The girls were uncomfortable with the thought. Quayd, on the other hand, insisted. He was quite nervous about it and didn't know what to say, but he held Gene's hand, made a few comments and said, "Bye, Grampa." I love Quayd's gentle heart. He's so like Doug that way. He helped Grandma with her coat and gave her loves. When Mom saw Quayd, her face just lit up. We felt like Gene recognized that Quayd was there. He actually opened his eyes. Quayd was glad that we went. It's hard, but it's such a blessing to know that he will be free of his aged body.
The rest of the week includes:
So, that's my crazy morning, day, upcoming week. Counting down minutes till Liza gets here! Counting hours until Gene leaves us. Counting the list of things I have to do today! Counting how many brain cells I have left lately! ;) Life is good.
I've just quickly reread this post and it sounds like I'm on fast forward today! Deep breath! And I'm off!
Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm!
Wow. Our weekend was not at all what we planned. Doug and I intended to get to a movie but life kept getting in the way, reminding us that, in the "big picture"/perspective, a movie simply didn't matter. We got a text on Thursday evening that we were having a family counsel meeting with all of Doug's siblings and his mom on Saturday evening. We knew that we were going to be discussing the future regarding his mom and step-father, who'd fallen and ended up having a complete hip replacement a few days before.
The meeting lasted almost three hours. I sat, saying absolutely nothing through the entire nearly three hour long meeting, in awe of Doug's family. We've been married for almost thirty-seven years and I am still amazed by them all. We discussed life and death, finances, personal matters and not once, in that three hours did I feel any defensiveness, selfishness, greed or animosity. All that mattered was Mom's happiness and well-being, that Gene is being cared for, that they are taken care of. Doug's siblings are not very vocal about things, but their love and support of each other just leaves me in awe. It amazes me when I think of the relationship I have with my own brother and how polar opposite it is. Doug truly comes from an amazing family.
Little did we know when we parted Saturday evening, that on Sunday, the doctor would tell the family that Gene is, about Doug puts it, "about to graduate". We had Zaylee here for the weekend, which demanded time and attention. AND. It was a very special Sunday for Grace, as she received her patriarchal blessing. So, our focus was definitely at home, but Gene was in our thoughts and prayers throughout the day. Time will tell, but this week, in the middle of celebrating Liza and Aylabelle's homecoming, looks to be filled with some unexpected events and happenings, as well. Can you say "rollercoaster"?
Grace's blessing experience was sweet and tender. She beamed all day long. It was personal and I won't share any details, but I will say that she is one special little lady. Her name fits her perfectly. Love her so!
Connie came for dinner bearing her delicious chocolate cupcakes! Happiness! She's already quite busy being the new Relief Society President, but she's still makes time to be part of our family. I wanted to comment on Connie's comment as Relief Society began yesterday. She touched my heart, thanking the old outgoing Relief Society Presidency and acknowleging that there will be changes because "each captain leads their ship in a different way, but we all recognize that the real captain is our Savior." Perfect way of seeing "the big picture".
Wow. I don't even know what more to say. Life is short. Hug your loved ones. Plan and be prepared. Love your family. Focus on what really matters. Don't sweat the small stuff. It all has crossed my mind this weekend.
Life is good. And even better when we understand the plan of salvation and what matters most. Enough said.
Doug and I traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day early to avoid crowds and waiting. Then, on Valentine’s night, I always cook a nice candlelight dinner for him after the babes are down for the night. Since Jon’s death, Doug has invited Carol to join us for our dinner and a movie. (Another reason I love this man!) I’m still trying to recover from this flu-turned-respiratory-thing that we’re trying not to call pneumonia and wasn’t sure that we were going to make it tonight. After a mandatory nap a la Doug's orders, I was able to enjoy a fun night with my sweetheart and my best friend.
Liza came to tend the babes with Valentines and candies galore for them to create and play before bedtime. She’d brought her wedding gown after having a friend try it on for fit. Just for fun, Liza tried her gown on for the first time since her wedding. ZJ, watching all of this, said, "I’m going to wear Liza’s wedding dress when I get married because I’m going to be skinny and fit in it!" In nothing flat, ZJ was standing on the coffee table, modeling Liza’s wedding gown. She was quite proud of herself! After our date tonight, Doug saw me uploading the photos and, with tears in his eyes, said, "That’s a day that I’ll look forward to." One of the things that I love about my sweet husband is that he truly has one of the most tender hearts of any man I’ve ever known.
The date: Doug and I went to Deseret Bookstore first and listened to the newly released Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, filled with Broadway tunes from Bring Him Home (Les Miserable) to Circle of Light (Lion King) to Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof). I’ll be adding it to my iPod tomorrow in a new playlist! Dinner was tasty and our conversation was not as light as usual. We discussed the SLC Trolley Square shootings. (I have to admit that I walked into the Bookstore and, literally, did a glance of surveillance of who was in the store, for the first time in my life, wondering "Is it safe?" How sad is that?) After dinner, we went to see the new Diane Keaton movie, "Because I Said So". Very cute characters, great cast, laughs, but, pretty low morals for every character...definitely not something I’d want to sit through with Doug’s mother or a teenage daughter! Afterwards, we all agreed that we liked it but and it was a big but.
I, often, comment that Doug is the perfect man for me! He truly is. He’s my opposite - a treehugging granola man. He's gentle and kind and very romantic! He’s helpful, takes care of all of the things that are too germy for me, constantly helps me move furniture and tolerates my painting whims. He’s very quiet and a great listener. (Thank heavens for that!) Tonight, he said, "I love listening to you and Carol talking. It means that I have to talk less." I don’t often mention that he has a very dry wit and makes me laugh. A LOT. Most people can’t picture Doug doing and saying a lot of the things that he does. It’s one of the things that comes as a gift of getting to reallyknow him. I do love this man! This afternoon, he sent me an email just to see how I was feeling. At the end of it, he’d written his own "Jack Handey-style Deep Thought" poem for me:
Roses were red
Violets were blue
Valentines Day is in the winter,
There was some other sweet stuff, too. ;) Who couldn’t love this man!? Enough said!
Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Quayd had mentioned a few nights ago that he "needed" some new John Bytheway entertainment. John Bytheway is a favorite LDS Youth Speaker. He is hysterical! Quayd has most of his "schtick" memorized. Notice Quayd's bag has no candy...just crackers. He's on year two of no candy or pop and he still hasn't spent his $100 from last year's challenge! His self-discipline amazes me!
ZJ got some new beads and a cute little french bandanna. She's so much fun to be around. Her first words, "I'll wear it to girls' camp!" I've not mentioned to them yet that this year, girls camp falls on the exact same days of the Corbridge Reunion at the ranch. A decision to be made... girls camp is one of the best experiences and memories for every young woman. BUT. The Corbridge Reunion is filled with such positive and uplifting association, we hate for them to miss it. We'll let the girls choose, and more than likely, they'll decide together. NOTICE Quayd playing dead in the background! I was going to edit that out, but, it's Quag Quayd. How can I delete that! This is our life!
Grace got a cute frame for her room and another fun "project" to display some of her photos. Doesn't Grace just radiate happiness? She is such a sweetheart! Grace is getting her patriarchal blessing this weekend. She's growing up much too fast!
It was a great Heart Day! I didn't take pix because we were all so ready to eat! But, last night, we had homemade pizza (one was heart-shaped) by candlelight with the kids and Zaylee. I'd put hearts treats all over the table and just before dinner, Wendy dropped by a plate of nummy heart shaped sugar cookies, so they were the perfect addition to the table. The kids came up and all three said, "Mom! You make everything so fun!" (SCORE!) Doug walked in, pulled me into his arms and, quite seriously whispered, "Babe. Please. Don't ever die on me. CUZ. If you did, our life would be BORING!!!" The word "boring" was yelled! It made me laugh! I hardly think a day with Doug could ever be boring!
Doug and I are still celebrating tonight with a movie after we get Zaylee to bed. Zaylee is spending the weekend with us. Lots going on here... good stuff. Fun stuff. Life continues to happen in the middle of the fun. Or is it fun happens in the middle of life? Whatever, life is good!
Create a life that feels good on the inside,
not one that just looks good on the outside.
A few weeks ago, my Sunday School lesson was about nurturing the friendship and love in your marriage. As I prepared the lesson, I thought quite a bit about the things that Doug and I do in our relationship that "speak" love.
Doug and I are both very practical people. We have different love languages, for sure. As a child, my mother never apologized. EVER. About anything. Rather than apologize, after taking out her (often justified, because of my unfaithful and absent father) frustrations on us, she would leave and then return an hour later, tossing a bag on my bed and say, "There, I bought you a shirt." As an adult, I can look back and see that this was her way of saying, "I'm sorry." Because of these memories, gifts are not my love language. I'd much rather have a lotiony foot rub each night or have Doug spend thirty minutes hearing about what I'm reading than bring me a box of candy or any gift, for that matter.
Doug would much rather see me cook him a homemade meal with whole wheat flour, lots of veggies and very little sugar than any gift I could possibly buy. Gifts are not important to him, but he does appreciate my time and positive affirmations... which are so easy to give because he's my Prince Charming and I love to let him know it! It works for us.
I digress...For my Sunday School lesson, I separated the spouses and asked them to fill out a little questionnaire, answering the following questions. Some of the answers were personal, but there were several shared with the class aloud. I loved it! I encouraged each couple to go home and discuss their answers together. I thought it would be a great opportunity to express a little love and appreciation for each other. Here were the questions.
What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done?
What’s one thing that you know your spouse appreciates that you do for them?
Name three things you do to nurture your friendship and marriage.
Name three things your spouse does to nurture your friendship and marriage.
Would your spouse prefer - Receiving a gift? Quality Time? Words of affirmation? Physical Touch? Acts of Service?
Would you prefer - Receiving a gift? Quality Time? Words of affirmation? Physical Touch? Acts of Service?
One of the main points of the lesson was that marriage isn't like in the movies... The movies always end when Prince Charming and the Princess kiss, then the pop-up "And they lived Happily Ever After" heart. FACT: When you get married, you are at the beginning of Happily Ever After and you determine just how happy ever after will be. Marriage isn't all about romantic getaways and diamonds, it's about kids and finances and broken appliances and health issues and time and and and... AND, as the quote says, "falling in love over and over again with the same person" through it all.
While preparing the lesson, I'd been listing things all week that Doug and I do to show our love for each other. I came up with over a hundred, with very little thought at all.
Those are just a few. For us... more than the fairytale story, we try to keep it real.. We try really hard to show each other our love in the little things every day. We try to acknowledge and recognize that love often... probably the most important thing that we do!
I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day. First, we shouldn't need one special day to say "I love you" if we are doing it every day. Even more though, I don't like the "pressure" that comes with it, beginning long before marriage. In Junior High School, many young girls go home from school feeling heartbroken that a rose was not delivered them in the classroom, in front of their peers, like "the popular/pretty/cool.... kids". Sadness. Those sentimental commercials on TV that show women receiving Valentine jewelry make women feel "less of a woman" or their husband "Less of a man" because he didn't go to Jared! For the past month, I've heard a commercial repeatedly that begins with "What are you giving your spouse for Valentines Day? A refrigerator? A range? A dishwasher? Why not all three?" Seriously? A fridge?! THAT's romantic?
Years ago, every Wednesday morning, my doorbell would ring and the florist would deliver roses to me. Doug sent them for almost two years!! It was thoughtful and romantic and fun! I loved it! However, every bit as much ...or more... I enjoy having Doug brush my hair while watching "While you Were Sleeping" for the eight-seventh time or going for a walk around the block! Given a choice, I'd much rather spend a few minutes each summer night, out on the back yard swing, watching our garden grow, talking about the kids and the highlights of our day than taking a big cruise. I'd rather celebrate our love in the every day moments than one day a year! I don't need the "bang", but I love lots of sparks! Just sayin'.
When Doug came home from work tonight, we had to work around two swim practices, a doctor appointment, a YW basketball game and my book group, but we slipped out for a Valentine's dinner date. (We never do the Feb. 14th crowds!) We drove, passing every place in town, toward Elements, one of the higher end, more "special occasion" restaurants in town. (ZJ had suggested it to Doug.) When we pulled into the parking lot, I said, "I'd really rather have Firehouse pizza and salad." (Same parking lot.) I was there for lunch yesterday, but, it sounded better than steak or salmon at the moment. We were together...that's all that mattered to me. We enjoyed a casual meal with loud music in the background while we discussed news, kids, the Book Group read and then I read him a BYU talk that Quayd and I had listened to a few nights ago as we drove home. Romantic? Absolutely! Those are the moments, for us, that are part of our "happily ever after".
I love this quote about life, but I love it even more about love and marraige....
Enjoy the little things in life...
for one day, you'll look back and realize that they were the big things.
Oh my heck! Talk about a heart attack! Denise and I were touching base and making plans for tomorrow morning. It's 10PM. Denise asked something about our drive to the airport to pick up Liza and Aylabelle at the airport next week. I commented that I should be getting a "Reminder" from Southwest Air soon. Then, I said, "As a matter of fact, I don't remember seeing an email from them since I bought the tickets. I went to SWA to check the flight times and when I clicked on "My Travel", it said, "You currently have NO travel plans." I said, "WHAAAAAAAAAAT???"
I went into my bank account to double check that the tickets had been drafted. Nada. I checked my emai. Nada. I called Liza and asked if she had gotten anything . Nothing. Both of us assumed that the other had. THE TICKETS WERE NEVER PURCHASED!! They were "Saved", but not purchased. I died, thinking that now the tickets are probably going to be three times as much being that it's only a week away and I can not wait another day to see my girls! Liza asked, "Am I coming for Dad's birthday in March instead?" I've made a hundred flight reservations through the years and never had this happen! Holy cow, I was dying. I immediately went to check the current fares Denise, Liza and I were all three holding our breath. I carefully purchased them "again" and surprisingly enough, they were actually a few dollars less than a month ago. Go figure! Tickets now are officially purchased, confirmation emails received and all is well. I'm counting down the hours to squeeze our baby and love on her mommy!
I've been thinking about painting the living room and entryway for a few weeks now. BUT. When it comes down to getting to work, I've had too many other things going on. Today, I almost decided to get started, but decided to wait until Doug got home since I need him to unscrew a few things off the wall and the piano needed to be moved to the center of the room. When Doug got home, I said, "Babe, you decide. I'll do it today if you say yes and I'll wait if you say wait." He didn't hesitate to say that he'd rather I wait another month A) until after Liza's visit, B) we can open the windows and air out the house while painting and C) when we don't have so many other things on our plate. Decision made! I'll wait. Happily. Now, I can relax and focus on Liza's visit next week. WHY do I put extra pressure on myself like that!? Oh, how I appreciate Doug's calm, cool way of "managing" his high-strung wife. ;)
Total random thought... In December, before the tonsillectomies, Doug and I bought a humidifier. It's run non-stop since the night we bought it. The kids, however, refuse to call it a humidifier. Instead, they insist that it's the "Humilifier". Who knows where it came from, but it's stuck. Silly kids!
A few short ramblings....
Life is good!
It's better to burn out than fade away.
Grace had no school today because it was ski day. She also has a dentist appointment this morning, so she was very excited and high expectations for a day date with Mom. We grabbed a quick croissant at Kneaders, we spent some time at Hobby Lobby, then her visit with our amazing dentist and lunch at Black Pearl.
After lunch, I asked her what she wanted to do. "I can't think of anything. We can go home. Although. I do like to go to the mall." Noooooooo? REAAALYYYYY? And so, we headed to the mall. We found one fun birthday gift for ZJ and she found a cute hair accessory. She's saved her money and still holds on to it very tightly, which Doug and I are quite proud of. She's a great saver! We talked about a movie but there were not any that I felt comfortable taking her to before seeing it myself, so after the mall, we stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour and came home to watch another episode of Downton Abbey. I love spending some time with my girls!
The bad news and biggest shock of the day was that when Grace mentioned to our dentist that she's been having a lot of pain recently, he checked her new X-rays and discovered that all four of her wisdom teeth are growing in perpendicular to her back molars. Grace will be having oral surgery as soon as we get her scheduled to have them removed. That makes four surgeries in six months for us! I can't even think about my knee replacement until she's had this done. We really did go years without seeing a doctor at one point in our life! This is crazy!
I found a couple of fun things myself for our home this morning at Hobby Lobby. I'm ready to paint the living room as soon as Liza has come and gone, so I've been keeping my eyes open for some new "whatnots". Right now, I'm just counting down the hours until she arrives next week! HAPPINESS!!!
Yesterday, we got a phone call letting us know that Doug's mom's husband fell and broke his hip. Gene is eight-five. He ended up having surgery for a complete hip replacement. He made it through the surgery and is recovering now. Doug's family are not the best at communicating and their philosophy is "No news is good news", so since we've not been able to contact anyone today (not for a lack of trying), we're assuming all is well.
Doug and the kids headed off to Young Men/Young Womens tonight and I had the house to myself for a bit. After cleaning up dinner, I'm settling in to watch the Olympics. The weather here has been so warm, the snow is slushy on the ground, but a new storm is moving our way. Grace commented today, "It's not fair that we got all that snow then it warms up for one day. That's like a mean tease if we have to have more cold. WHY do we have to have all this cold!??" "It's a little thing they call "winter", Grace." I have a feeling that Grace will want to move to live with Liza and Buddy in Arizona one day!
Life is good. Crazy. Busy and Good.
On Saturday, the kids were all with friends doing their own thing, so Doug and I slipped out to a matinee of The Monuments Men. It's an amazing story, based on a true story. The movie is clean, there's some language, very clever bits of humor in the midst of a serious issue. The cast is phenomenal. Doug loved it. I liked it. It's great history and we should all be aware of the story behind it. Who knew?! I admit that at one point in the movie, I dozed, but, then again, I'd not slept well. I was sad to miss the scene that I did. I love slipping away with Doug anytime I can, so that's what mattered! Doug wants the kids to see the movie, but I don't think it's a keeper. We'll see.
Our biggest news of the weekend was that my good friend, Connie, was called to serve as our Ward Relief Society President again. She has a big heart and is a wise woman. She was fantastic before and she'll be fantastic again! I'm very very happy!
On Saturday, the girls babysat Zaylee and her "foster brothers". They had a great time together. We are so thrilled that Amber and Keith are so open to keeping us connected with Zaylee. Sometimes, I think that we are both worried about being invasive to the other, or I think that we'd connect even more. They are just awesome people and Zaylee is so happy with them!
Yesterday's Sunday School lesson was about dealing with the challenges in marriage. Seriously, this class is amazing. The discussions that we are having are just the best. I LOVE my calling! It has been lots of fun discussing the lesson throughout the week with Doug. I've really enjoyed that and it's fun to hear his comments in class, as well, although he hates when I put him on a pedestal. Yesterday morning, before church, I said, "Oh my heck! I love teaching! I love teaching this the most!" He looked at me dead serious, "Even better than math?" He's a clown. Plain and simple.
Our weather all weekend was crazy! It rained! A LOT!. The snow compacted from two feet to about six inches. Today, the sun is shining and this morning, I heard the weather forecast for the end of the week in SLC is 60! That usually means ten degrees cooler here. FIFTY DEGREES in February... that's just crazy. Now, our concerns will turn from drought to flooding and avalanches.
I'm off to Grace's school to plan her class schedule for high school next year. Life is good... moving too fast, but it's good.
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
And this article made me laugh...
You know how sometimes when you drive each other nuts and wonder if you married the right person? Well, maybe you should have thought a little harder about their name!
Here's the study results:
10 best wife names:
10 best husband names:
Why does it make me laugh... well, I'm fifty-five years old and until about five years ago, aside from myself and Sophia Loren, I'd only met one other Sophie in my lifetime. Today, it's one of the top three most popular names. So, either all of these happily married Sophie's are three years old or they are a hiding someplace in their happy marital bliss. Go figure???
It kind of reminded me of that quote I saw on Pinterest once, "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you can not confirm their validity." - Abraham Lincoln. It makes me laugh everytime I see it!
Be happy for this moment for this moment is your life.
We woke up to eight more inches of beautiful fresh snow. It's just gorgeous outside. It's snowed ever so lightly all day long. I looked out my fogged up window in the gallery (thank you, humidifier) this morning and this was my view in the back yard. It brought tears to my eyes. Our prayers for moisture are being answered! THIS is why I love winter in Cache Valley! It makes all the sub-zero temps and inversion worth it!
Tuesday night, while everyone else was at Young Men/Young Womens, I met Carol at Black Pearl for a bite and some gab. We hadn't seen each other for weeks. When I got into the Expedition, it wouldn't start. It sounded like it was going to, but it just kept turning. After checking with Doug, I called the Tow Truck since we were going to just tow it to the shop. The tow guy was so kind, he even offered to bring me home, after trying to see if it was a simple fix himself. I had a $20 bill in cash and he refused it for his kindness. That's impressive! The two repairs that it needed totalled just under $1600. Lovely. We picked it up this afternoon. Farewell new refrigerator. But, it drives very nicely.
Denise and I had plans for the day and everything changed when her grandson became sick. No go! We were still on the phone when Doug's mom called and we had a pleasant hour long phone chat. Then my mom. Then, I visited my dear friend, Susan, in Ohio. She had me very motivated about some great ideas that I'll probably share over the next few months as I accomplish them. Before I knew it, the kids were home and life got crazy and hectic. I didn't do a thing that I'd planned on for the day, other than get the bills paid.
Speaking of bills... I got the strangest notice in the mail from Centurylink saying that if I didn't pay $133 by today, my phone/internet/DirecTV would be disconnected and a $17.50 charge to turn them back on. Odd thing was... I knew that I didn't owe them a penny! I got online and checked the bank. It showed that the bill had cleared two weeks ago. I checked my balance due on their website... "$0.00". I called them and the lady said "Your balance shows $0.00 and your next billing date isn't for two weeks, I wonder why you'd get that disconnect notice?" Gee, me too!! If I was getting a late notice, that meant I owe for two months, not just one when I didn't really owe at all! Go figure!
We have all of our bills equal-pay and auto-drafted each month, except the phone bills. Almost every month, there is some discrepancy, so I check before paying both bills each month. Last month, I had $180 over-charged on the cell bill. (Can you say "heart attack" when I opened that statement!) When I called, they deducted it all immediately and even gave me a credit for my inconvenience. So, here's my tip of the day... check your phone bills very closely each month. Call your phone company on a regular basis (both landline and cell) and ask them if you are on the most economical plan for your usage. You can save a ton of money over the years by doing so. I, literally, call every two to three months. Also, if you get a free upgraded phone, try to only have one at a time under contract. You'll get much better service because they want to keep you! When we bought Grace's phone, they bent over backward to encourage me to stay with them and not just buy a pre-pay service like a lot of teens have. Doug always says, "If you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T." He's right. Again. ;)
After picking up the truck from the shop this afternoon, ZJ and I went to the mall in search of some new boots. Doug bought me a pair of new Bearclaws that didn't last two months! (It was a factory flaw.) Grrrr! We couldn't find any anywhere. So, I ordered a new pair, exactly like the ones that just died, online, since I know that they'll fit and be comfy. Being that we got another eight inches of snow today, I hope they come very quickly! I could not make myself pay the extra $28 shipping to have them here in 24 hours.
Since we were at the mall and ZJ was... well, ZJ... I decided to buy her and Grace a little something. She found two cute pair of those popular ridiculous looking patterned stretchy pants and a cute top. I say ridiculous because you have to be ridiculously thin to look perfect in them! She was so excited! Both girls looked adorable in them! They'd already walked out into the snow and I had them come back inside to catch a pic before they left! They didn't seem to mind!
I was quite proud of Quayd, who didn't even come into the house after school. He went straight to shoveling the driveway before his dad got home. We've made such a fuss over how awesome it is that he does this service for his dad without even being asked. I thought of the quote, "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." Oh to be able to remember that one every minute of every day!
Life is good... even if you're too old and too plump to wear ridiculous flowery stretch pants anymore! It's the weekend! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
A few totally random pictures this beautiful snowy afternoon. The kids and I were just chilling, waiting for Doug to come home and for time for them to head to the pool. It was just a relaxed, fun day. Natalie and I went out for a four hour lunch. The kids were in great moods, teasing and laughing. Just a great day. I decided that since I hadn't had time to blog yet, I'd just grab the camera this afternoon and take a few pix before Kelly and Zaylee arrived for their visit.
This has been hanging on my kitchen wall since this time last year when we did the renovation on the upstairs. I was looking at it a few weeks ago. It bugs me. Then I figured out why. It looks like a giant four foot pig staring at you... snout, eyes, giant ears. It's scary and it has to go as soon as I find a perfect clock to replace it!
The kids and I were just chilling in the living room together. I was telling Zeej stories of Dale's teenage years with some of his friends who I still just love and keep in touch with. We were all laughing so hard. The babes don't know Dale at all. They've only been around him a few times in thier lives because he was living in California before ZJ was even born, which is sad. Anywaaaaay... ZJ's smile just makes me happy.
Quayd walked into the conversation late, but added to it with his dry humor quickly. He'd been outside shoveling the snow before his dad got home from work... a pleasant surprise for Doug! I love having a big strong kid at home... especially one who's willing to work and help 99.9% of the time!
Grace... those eyes. There are no words.
After shoveling the driveway, Quayd finished off my lunch from Black Pearl, two sleeves of Ritz crackers and a banana. He said, "I'm a growing boy! I'm hungry!" Have I mentioned that his record is seventeen pieces of pizza! Shoot me!
ZJ loves to just break out with her "Nana Ruby" impersonation. It cracks us up, every time... especially when she shares her glamorous "Wellllll, Well, I am soooooo beeeauuuuutiful that......" stories. She has my mother's mannerism down! Notice the hands and the crossed legs! ZJ really could be a stand up comic!
The corner cabinet in the kitchen...
...and my tablescape table. I look forward to changing them each month as much as I do the Lang calendar pages.
Go-Go really needs a haircut, but he'll freeze to death if we cut it now! That's an acrylic type bone in his mouth, looking like a cigar. Can you see his eye? We can't!
The second of three houses that are going up across the road. Family number one moved in before Christmas. This home was started just a few weeks after theirs. I don't think they'll be moving in anytime soon! Look at the snow! HAPPINESS!!!
And then Quayd nabbed the camera and took a few of me. He loves to be behind the camera, especially mine. Here's a recent Doug funny! I never wear pink... until my pink Grand Canyon sweat shirt. Anywaaaaay... a few weeks ago, I saw this sweater and thought I needed it. Bought it, hung it in the closet until getting ready for church on Sunday. Doug came into our room and noticed, "New sweater." I asked if he liked it. His response, "Can you still return it?" I was shocked! (He loved the color but didn't like that the large loops in the seams because they were "seethrough".) I love the color, love the sweater and thought he would too. So. I wore it to church. I'd barely stepped in the door when Sister Duncan, in her 80s came up to me, "Sophia, that sweater looks so beautiful on you!" Two feet later, Marilyn, "Sophia, you look wonderful in that color!" Two feet later, "I love that sweater on you!" Without exception, every single person that spoke to me mentioned the sweater... women, men, teens, even a little girl. I laughed so hard everytime. After church, I was on the phone with my neighbor friend. As we were about to hang up, Trish said, "Oh, I wanted to tell you, I love that sweater you had on today!" I started laughing, put the phone on speaker and said, "Trish, could you repeat that for Doug." She did. He said, humbly, "Keep the sweater, it's beautiful." Go figure. Friend, Todd said, "Maybe he just didn't want to pay for it!" Not that time, Todd. ;)
After dark, we enjoyed a nummy casserole, watched American Idol and called it a day... well, everyone else did. I'm still up blogging. Life is good. So dang good!
Take a deep breath and ENJOY your life!
Since I'm rambling today, I thought I'd ramble a post title too. That has nothing to do with anything.
I didn't know that this day was going to get away from me before I got back to blogging, but it has. Two lunches with two different friends later, I'm home and ready to tackle the rest of the day. (I didn't eat at both,I promise.) Speaking of eating, I wanted to share my dear friend, Amy's recipe for Pizza rolls. Doesn't this look heavenly!? We'll be having them for dinner this weekend! Here's Amy's recipe, I hope she doesn't mind my sharing.
2 cups warm water
2 T yeast
3 T sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
6 ish cups flour
marinara sauce for dipping
Dissolve the yeast in the water and sugar; let rise for about ten minutes under a warm cloth. Add the salt and olive oil, then the flour. You want the dough to be pretty stiff and not sticky at all. Knead until smooth. Let rise for two hours.
Divide the dough into two or three balls—depending on how much topping variety you want. Sprinkle finely grated mozzarella cheese on the cutting board and then on top of the dough ball. Roll into the largest rectangle you can make, flipping the dough as needed. Sprinkle half the dough with grated mozzarella and then whatever toppings you want. I do one with pepperoni and one with Canadian bacon and olives. Fold the empty half of the dough rectangle across the toppings, then seal the edges—I use the rolling pin to get them as tight as possible! Cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Twist each strip and put onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes—until browned and the cheese is bubbly.
Aside from Amy's recipe, I have only a few other short ramblings. Perhaps I should have posted it here instead, but, I posted on FB yesterday this:
I know that it will sound harsh and cold. I was literally sick yesterday when I heard the news of PSH's death yesterday. He was a gifted actor that we truly LOVED to watch. BUT. The bottom line is that he threw it - his talent, as well as his life, away as he succumbed to his heroin addiction. Today, the world grieves over the loss of this talented actor and the media makes it sound as though he were a god, just as they did Whitney Houston and many others mega-talented performers, who also threw away their lives with drugs and alcohol. It makes me cranky, especially when you think of the many amazing and wonderful people who die every day, particularly the soldiers and policemen, who fight for our freedom and security, and get very little recognition in comparison. I don't know...the whole thing reminds me that society needs a serious attitude adjustment. Just sayin'.
and then this:
I don't judge him at all. It breaks my heart. I've literally been sick at the loss, particularly for his children and parents. My judgment is toward the media. Addictions have destroyed far too many lives... and families and homes... as we well know. Bottom line... Satan won again.
and then this:
It IS an illness. Every moment of my entire life has been affected by an alcoholism and drug use. My father threw his life away as alcoholic and cocaine addict, my brother, too, who was a heroin addict and is also an alcoholic, not to mention two of my six children. Kelly's choices have changed my whoIe eternity. I live with it's effects every minute of every day of my life, up close and personal, seeing exactly what drugs and alcohol can do to a family and to an individual. I guess this is one of the reasons that the whole thing is so personal to me. I HATE the loss of so many gifted and talented people to drugs and alcohol. Hearing more details today made this death even more tragic. One of my first thoughts when I heard the initial news of his death was that they will immortalize him, then trash him with the details of his death. Why can't they just let him Rest In Peace. A tragic loss for us all, indeed. It IS the media that makes me crazy. As I said, Satan won again.
Such a tragedy. In so many ways. So sad. Just saying.
It is a fool who takes offense when none is intended. It is a greater fool who takes it when it was not. Brigham Young
the best: As of this morning, Zeej officially is "among the living". She went to church yesterday and back to school today. It was really odd... She'd had one major issue (I'll spare the details because no one needs or wants to hear about gross surgery stuff) since the surgery. That problem disappeared on Saturday afternoon and it was like someone had flipped a switch inside of ZJ and made her better! She could speak again more clearly, she could breathe again, all better! Just like that! I must say, she was an excellent patient, but, it's great to have ZJ back to her wonderful happy and helpful self! I whispered to her several times that having her down really makes me appreciate all of the help that she is in our home! She's back!!! YAAAAAYYYY! I can't believe I didn't take her picture this morning because she looked so beautiful! It's so good to see her feeling great again!
Over the weekend, Amber brought Zaylee over to show me her new hair. Zaylee had said, "I want to show Gram!", so Amber came right over with her! It was darling. Everytime we see her, she's darling and happy. They went to Park City for a few days of skiing and apparently, Zaylee was a natural! We feel so happy that Zaylee has been so blessed with this family!
Super Bowl thoughts...I don't even know the score but we loved the food and the fun together as a family. Commercials are the fun part for us. We loved the Budwieser puppy, the cheerios and Doug and I really had a good laugh at Bruce Willis. I was most surprised that Doug paid attention to the game. He's so not into football, thankfully! I'd never make a good football widow. Our menu included Natalie's Superbowl baked subs, Weanie Beanie Delight, Banana Pudding, brownies, Ham and Pineapple roll-ups, chips, dips, crackers, cheese, guacamole and more. I can't remember and promised myself I would never eat again... or until I get hungry, whichever comes first.
We heard some interesting comments yesterday, at church, about "Superbowl Sunday". Some feel that it is not a "Sabbath" appropriate activity. Doug and I discussed this last night. My food prep was done on Saturday, which is more than I can say for most Sundays. We came home from our church meetings, which were fabulous, by the way, put on our jammies, went to the family room and spent the evening with our kids. Connie came for a bit. But, we were together, laughing, talking, interacting. We didn't do any sort of inappropriate activity. In my opinion, watching the SuperBowl was a lot more uplifting than many of the Sunday night TV shows. So, no second thoughts here. It was a delightful family event.
Quayd, the Manchild, did leave just after half time to attend his first Missionary Prep fireside. He came home at 9ish and said that he was really glad he'd gone. It was a mama moment for me... my son chose to attend a church meeting over staying home and eating himself into a coma with the family during SuperBowl. So far, he has his priorities right. Yesterday, we noticed that his suit is getting too small in the shoulders and the pants are getting short. He's so tall and long! And he is quite proud of it! Gosh, I love that kid!
I was seriously distraught during the game to hear the news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Honestly, it broke my heart. He was such an amazing performer. What a waste. Drugs are so destructive and to so many more people than just the user. Heartbreaking.
Denise and I just discussed going to lunch a bit ago. We both agreed that we aren't even hungry from last night! And so. I'll stay home and do some scrapbooking. Oh my heck, I think there's leftover guacamole! ;) Life is good!
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen!
ZJ sent this to me on Facebook with a note that said, "I think all moms should see this to remember how important they are to all of us. Thx moms for all you do." It made me laugh... especially since I DO sing and dance all the time... even in the grocery store and it embarrasses her to death! BUT... it makes her laugh!
First time skiing...Park City, Utah
It was a crazy day and it felt good to have one! ZJ and I have had a bit of cabin fever after a week in the house. I was up at six with Grace, off to the dentist with Quayd at 8:40, then we raced back to his high school, ten minutes late, for a planning meeting for his Junior year. I got a text just as we were walking into the meeting, followed by a call from Grace saying she felt nauseous. She didn't even think she could stay though the rest of the hour in class. Lovely. I told her she'd have to wait until I was done with Quayd and his meeting.
We finished Quayd's meeting and I stopped by our home to pick up ZJ, who had showered and was excited to step out of the house for a bite with Denise. We raced up to Grace's school, then dropped her off at the house so that she could go straight to bed. Obviously even running more behind, Zeej and I picked Denise up at the car dealership while her car was being serviced. Once we had picked up Denise, we were able to relax! ZJ chose to lunch at Olive Garden because she knew she could eat the breadsticks and soup. She loved it! She's currently in the yucky post-tonsillectomy phase, so soup was perfect lunch! (That was me, trying to not be graphic in my description of what she's going through right now.) We made a quick stop at Sam's Club for broccoli, spinach and a large Slurpee for Zeej before dropping Denise off and heading home.
It was crazy until we got home, put our jammies on and the girls and I chilled, watching another episode of Downton Abbey, until our men got home. (Quayd is now known as "the manchild" and loves it!)
We had a tasty breakfast for dinner... sausage, eggs, grits and waffles. I found a new waffle recipe on Pinterest and WOW! Had to share. It's pretty basic. I usually make pumpkin waffles because they are so simple, but these were A.Maz. Ing!!! We tripled the recipe. They are so light and crispy! WOW!
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 up melted butter
1 3/4 cups milk
In a large mixing bowl. whisk together the dry ingredients. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the dry ingredients. Place the whites in a mixing bowl. Beat the whites until moderately stiff and set aside. Add milk and the melted butter to dry ingredients and mix well GENTLY fold in the stiff egg whites into the mixture. Do NOT overmix. Leave the egg whites fluffy in the mix. Pour the mix into the waffle iron and bake. Enjoy!
I have to say it...We have had heavy hearts this past few days. We do not understand at all why and what this judge is thinking, but the judge that is handling Zaylee's situation has decided to allow Kelly's husband to have weekly visits with Zaylee. He's incarcerated for child endangerment, for pete's sake! Whaaaaaaatt??? NO ONE understands it! I'm not really at liberty to say much more, but I will say that it literally turns my stomach. One thing is for certain, this judge will not be getting my vote next fall! I literally have to tune this out of my head or I want to bawl. Enough said about that.
On a happy note, I'm loving the digital scrapbooking. I'm working on my fourth layout already! Next question is what to do with the layouts once they are done? I found out today that Sam's Club prints 12x12 pages for $3 each. That seems high to me for printing , but it is much less than the cost of scrapping with paper and all of the embellishments that I used to use!. Any suggestion. My goal for now is to do a 30ish page album, journaling with photos, each year since I stopped scrapbooking, and then, once I'm caught up, I'll go back and do the fun and special layouts. This should keep me busy until the holidays next fall! Lovin' it!
One last thing on my mind tonight... Superbowl Sunday. Quayd wants pizza. The girls want subs. I want 7 layer dip minus the olives. I'm thinking that I'm going to go on the wagon and quit Diet Coke, again, I know, after Super Bowl. Don't even know who's playing but the kids are excited for a foodie party. It's not quite the normal Sunday activity but it's always one of our favorite days of the year to just be together.
Next week... everyone will be back to school, Zaylee will be gone and I will be back to normal...whatever that is! Life is good... even when things are as wonderful as we'd love them to be!
ZJ had a really good night last night... no meds and she slept for 10 hours! Today, she was quite lethargic and just did not have a lot of umph. We actually wash the daybed bedding so that she could move back into her own room tonight. I'm not pushing her, just letting her take it easy and get better at her own pace, but she definitely seems to have turned the big corner!
It snowed! And I didn't take one picture! I was too busy....
I took the plunge this afternoon and purchased My Memories Suite 5 for digital scrapbooking. After reading lots of reviews and talking to several people, it sounds the most user friendly and simple to use. I thought it would be a good way for me to get started on my journey to catching up on the scrapbooking. I'm still clueless and am at beginner basics, but here's my first attempt... and yes, I just noticed the typos. I'll fix them! That's the nice thing about digital! I remember finding a few typos when I saw my layouts in the magazine! I'm excited to be able to do it again. Now, I have eight years to catch up on.
One thing that I did decide was that I will be true to my heart this time around. My scrapbooking style was influenced a lot by the trends, by the products that were sent to me and by the "assignments" given to me by the magazine for some time. This time around, I'll focus more on simple layouts and more journaling! To me, that's what it was supposed to be about! I was a heavy journaler before but there were times that it was just about selling the product. No more! HAPPINESS!
Tomorrow, Quayd has a dentist appointment, then we have a conference to schedule his classes for next year. (I do not EVER remember my mother stepping foot into my high school. EVER. It feels like I'm at the school a lot!) Following that, I'm helping Denise by driving her to get a car repair. ZJ's goal is to get dressed and ride with me to get Denise and grab a bite for lunch. We'll see how that goes.
Life goes on...regardless of illnesses, surgeries, DCFS and any other possible disruption. It goes on, so we may as well smile and love it!
It's not that I've been so busy that I couldn't blog today, but I've just been hanging with Zeej and haven't gotten to it until another late night. I've decided that for this week, until she goes back to school, I will just blog at bedtime and not worry about it.
We began watching Downton Abbey, at ZJ's request yesterday and just finished Season 1. I have to explain a lot of it but she's loving it. I am actually understanding a lot more myself. Gosh, I love the show! Season 2 was not my favorite, so I hope we can plug through it quickly!
I really don't have much to say this late night. I had a rough night last night and didn't sleep well. ZJ and I did make a Sonic run at lunch today, with her in her PJ's. She was craving an Oreo milkshake. Since it's just a block from Black Pearl, we went and got some Wonton Soup for her too. It made her happy and that makes me happy! As we were driving, she asked, "Mom, is Black Pearl your new Chili's?" I thought for a sec and said, "I guess it is, ZJ." Hadn't realized that but it's Firehouse or Black Pearl these days. Less money, better food, both places. It's a change. It feels right.
My weather screen on the iPad says that Cache Valley has a 100% chance of snow tomorrow morning! I can't wait! Bring it on! We are so in need! Dad called today and said that they were expecting snow there in North Carolina too! It's rare. I'm hoping that he keeps warm!
I have nothing more to say, really, tonight. No pictures. No sentiments. ZJ is improving. I love my family. Life is good.
All the leaves are brown. And the sky is grey. And so is the snow. And the streets. And everything. I love Winter! I LOVE SNOW! But, this inversion has got to GO! We've not had any snow since the week before Christmas. Please pass a blizzard yesterday! All this beautiful snow in the midwest and east and we neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it here so that our farms and gardens can be watered all summer!
ZJ was doing much better last night. Yesterday, I had hope that she'd turned the corner earlier than Grace. However, she woke up this morning, begging for meds, saying that the "scars" are starting and they hurt at a pain level of 7 or 8. She seemed to have a better day though. The best news is that that's the worst part of the experience, so this means that in a few days, she'll be doing much better!
Our weekend was spent right here in the gallery with Zeej. Carol called and said, "I can't believe how much time that room has been a recovery room. You should call it the Hospital Wing, not the gallery." Too true! I thought about it... my two surgeries, ZJ's two surgeries and Grace's... it is more like a hospital room! Hopefully, we are at the end! I'm so thankful that Doug and Quayd are such healthy guys!
Doug shaved his beard last night. Sadness.
Kelly came for a visit yesterday. We are still shaking our heads. Enough said.
Doug and I went to the matinee of "The Book Thief" after he got off work. WOW. It was a Book Group read. I'd started reading the book shortly after our book group read a few Halocaust type stories and I couldn't get past the first few chapters. (I was still tramatized by the Boy in the Striped Pajamas.) I never finished the book and had no desire to. I still don't think I'd want to read the book. (I need happy books!) HOWEVER. The movie is beautifully done. The musical score is breathtaking. The story is powerful. I don't know that I could watch that painful story over and over again like some movies, but we definitely want the kids to watch it, so we'll probably end up buying it on DVD. Geoffrey Rush... the man is amazing. I recommend the movie. But, be prepared for a very long and sad story. Also be prepared to think a lot after the movie. Also be prepared to appreciate our freedom and life. And for that reason... it's a movie well worth watching.
It's late. Enough said.
How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you.
Doug stayed home for the weekend, which is awesome! Being that we can't leave ZJ, we are here with her, just chilling. He went and picked up Black Pearl take-out for lunch and we all took a nice nap until Quayd and Grace got home from school. ZJ had a rough night and doesn't seem to making much progress. I called the doctor this morning and they said that she needs more liquids (7 cups of water a day, minimum) and more meds. We've "upped" both. We will be chilling at home this whole weekend and taking turns at church so that one of us can be home with her. She's loving the SOBE stash she's received from friends and neighbors, but she says it's too painful to even finish a popcicle. Sad. Then, Connie popped by with a giant red Slurpee and she drank almost the entire thing in one sitting! We were thrilled!
Other than that, I'm looking into digital scrapbooking for the past few days and trying to make a decision on what to get. My friend, Natalie dropped by with a stash of treats and goodies and she told me that she'd been doing the same thing this week. I hope to learn some new tricks this weekend! I've never even thought about doing it digitally, but the kids spent a lot of time during the holidays looking through scrapbooks which stopped at the same time I began blogging. The blog has been my scrapbook for almost nine years now. So, I need to do some catching up. And I haven't a clue where to begin! Hold on, Doug! I'm going shopping!
We really have felt blessed this past few days with the many calls and visits from so many dear friends. It's amazing and humbling! Life is good. Happy Weekend!
A good friend is cheaper than therapy.
Yesterday, we were up at 5:30 getting ready to head to the hospital before 7. ZJ was more than excited to get there. We both recognized one of her nurses as the doppelganger of our friend, Tracie, so, we both just loved her instantly because of that connection. She was awesome and did a fabulous job of watching over ZJ, as they all did.
We'd never met this anesthesiologist, but, he was a big tease. The room was like comedy central and ZJ was wheeled away, smiling and laughing to the OR. Dr. Wood escoted me to a small private room with television monitors and a phone so that he could walk me through the entire surgery, which I recorded to show Doug at home. Her tonsils came out without a flaw. Dr. Wood was stunned at how bad the adenoids were, which made the surgery more than twice as long as expected. He said that ZJ's voice will be a bit different now, once she recoups. It was fascinating to watch, although, I'd told Dr. Wood that I would, queasily, listen, not watch. He asked, "Are you looking? You're not going to faint, are you?" over the speakerphone, " And I did watch. AMAZING. Half way through the surgery, he told the anesthesiologist that he was going to ask his wife if he could bring ZJ home to adopt. He met me back in ZJ's room, immediatel after surgery to tell me how she was doing in the recovery room. He's such a personable and caring doctor.
It was funny later in the room, I asked one of the nurses how they liked working with another doc who passed our room... "Eh. He has his days." We feel blessed to be associated with some very awesome doctors this past few years!
I digress... Once ZJ was back from recovery, she had a few issues. It took almost five hours of recovery instead of one. But, by mid-afternoon, thanks to some more meds and aromatherapy, she was doing much better and we headed home. She slept most of the afternoon, and only woke up for meds twice in the night, both times, just before my alarm was going off to give her more. She's coughing a lot, which is very painful. It makes my throat hurt hearing her!
She really surprised us all, when she got up for her first walk, she started telling her nurse and I all about the surgery. She remembered it! She was specific about the conversations that I had with Dr. Wood over the speakerphone during the surgery. The nurse had to go and look to make sure that they'd put her out. They did indeed, but she remembers. The nurse said that she'll probably not remember a thing later. We'll see. This morning, she still did.
Being so much longer than expected, Doug made a quick run to Costa Vida and brought me a late lunch during his own lunch break. He had an important meeting and raced back to work after a hug for each of us. He's a champion! It was nice to have his smiling face there, if only for two minutes!
Speaking of smiling faces, I was framing a photo of Doug in the gallery while ZJ was resting yesterday. I said to Zeej, "I love this man! His face is my happy place!" Zeej whispered, "In your arms is my happy place." Sappy, I realize. But, it's always good to know that you are appreciated, right? Speaking of smiling faces, the nurses and staff were amazed that ZJ continued to smile after the surgery as well and kept saying "Thank you" for everything, even her IV. She told the IV nurse that she didn't even feel him put it in, it was just a touch. He told her that since she was nice, he saved his good stuff for her.
This morning, she's not smiling so much. The anesthetic has worn off. She hurts, but she's not cranky at all. We had several friends stop by last night with her favorites... Gogurts and Pina Colada Sobes. Quayd and Grace hung out in the gallery until I had to send them away for Zeej to get some more sleep. Just before dinner, Amber, Zaylee and her boys arrived at the door with a card they'd made for Zeej, lots of treats and a gigantuous Diet Coke for me. We laughed so hard when we saw the size of it. Grace insisted that we share.
How grateful I am for technology, that we can have surgery and quickly bounce back to living life to the fullest! Even more grateful for friends that care and show it in so many ways. I'm always overwhelmed by the kindness of others in our life! We are blessed!
Today, and for the next week or so, I'm hanging out at home with Zeej. We thought of a few movies she'd never seen on our way to the hospital. When she's up to it, we'll watch them. In the meantime, last night, I took down my January winter decor and put up the Valentines. This morning at 3:47, I woke up with a BIG idea for a gathering and didn't want to go back to sleep because I was excited about it. Today, I've got a book to read, a lesson to study and a daughter to take care for. Life is good! Thanks again for the continued prayers for ZJ! We feel them!
If we lose ourselves in love, we find ourselves there too.
Doug grew his Christmas vacation beard and still hasn't shaved. Last night, as he was heading to bed after he'd been up for 19 hours, I mentioned that I wanted a picture of him with his beard but it's always too late when I think of it. He came back in with his shirt back on and said, "Go for it." That was kind because he hates having his picture taken. I love his beard! Years ago, when he grew his winter beard, it was because he had a baby face and wanted to look older. Now, he grows it and it's white. I don't care what color it is, I love it! I love him too!
Speaking of love...My calling in the LDS Church, currently, is teaching the Marriage and Family Relations Sunday School class. I love this class. Last week's lesson was about unity in a marriage. This week, we'll continue with the topic and add how to be friends in your marriage. I love talking about marriage and family, even though I'm the first to admit that we are far from perfect in both departments. Doug and I are as opposite as night and day, yet we are the perfect compliment to each other. We are a match made in heaven, as far as either of us is concerned. From the outside looking in, we look like a motley pair. But, those who know us, know that we "work". And that. is. the greatest blessing in my life! Like I say, I love him! He's my Prince Charming.
Now, a true confession... one of my guilty pleasures is watching the Bachelor. I confess. The first night, when 25 breathtakingly beautiful and immensely hopeful women get out of the limo to meet the almost always gorgeous and appears to be "near perfect" Prince Charming bachelor, is always my favorite episode of the season. I'm fascinated by the fact that these women will do almost anything to get his attention and make that first impression one that counts. We've seen them ride in on a horse, bring their dog, wear wedding gowns, even a belly bump. More often than not, it's the one who got out of the limo, said a simple "hello" and there was just "something in the air" that sparked between the two of them. It's so fun to watch the relationship develop. I TiVo the episode and love to go back and watch it at the end of the season to see that initial spark, or if it even appeared to exist at all on their first meeting.
Now, why do I make this true confession today? In a recent conversation, the topic of relationships came up. It had been front and center on my own mind because of a dream (actually, more of a nightmare) that I'd had. In the dream, a person who I'd unintentionally offended years ago, decided to "give me another chance" and came back into my life. I was thrilled that this person finally able to let it go, especially, since my intent was never to hurt the person in the first place. Forgive and forget. YAY! In the beginning of the dream, I felt so much joy that we were reconnecting, after so many attempts of trying to right my so-called wrong. But. The dream continued. I even woke up three times in the night and the dream picked up, each time, right where it had left off. By morning, when an early morning phone call woke me up for the day, I was exhausted. In the dream, "Forget" was not part of the deal, as this person made growing, continuing, unrealistic demands and insisted that I would basically be a "slave" to the friendship from then on if they were to forgive me... to the point that I awoke relieved that the real-life relationship was over, after years of hoping that this relationship could some day be resurrected. Strange how dreams work!
The dream was on my mind for days. And then came this conversation, where another person was experiencing the hurt of a broken relationship of their own. After our visit, I continued to ponder the matter and it hit me... ironically, as a result of watching the Bachelor, Juan Pablo, send nine women packing at the first rose ceremony. While watching these women, who so desperately wanted to hear, "Susie, will you accept this rose?", it hit me like a ton of bricks... not everyone connects. And it's Okay. Jaun didn't send those women home because he didn't like them or because they were not beautiful enough. He sent them home because he had other choices that he connected more with.
One of my children recently shared a concern about a friendship, just a day or two after this paradigm shift and, again, the thought was brought forth to the front of my mind. We don't always connect with everyone and it's okay. Not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime. Not every person we meet will be our best friend, nor will we even be able to call them"friend" in the future. We can be acquaintances and call it good. Even old friends who may have been in our closer circles at one time or another in our lives do not always have to be right there, front and center, today and forever. Maybe, just maybe, they were placed there at a certain time because we needed them or they needed us then. It doesn't mean that we love them any less, it just means that we are not at a place that we are as close today. It's okay.
I don't know, I don't think that the dream was a coincidence. I don't think that these other two conversations came out of the blue either. Maybe, it was what I needed to hear, to recognize at this time in my own life. Ironically, relationships of the past are not all that this paradigm shift have influenced. It was a really good reminder to practice what I preach... To put my best and the most energy into relationships that do matter and not worry so much about the ones that don't, because some relationships, even though there may have been an initial spark or even a flame, perhaps were just never meant to be. Just sayin'.
We had a busy and fun weekend...
Saturday, we celebrated Miki's fourth birthday. She was just cute as she opened her gifts and blew out her candles. I can't believe it's been four years already! She is a sweetheart and we are thankful to be a part of her life! The Fosters dropped Zaylee off for Miki's party and they ended up staying for the entire thing. So, Stott and Wendy got to meet them and get to know their family a bit. It's a whole crazy life we live, but it's all good! It works for us. Wow! Miki is four!!!
Later in the evening, Connie and I ran some errands and had a quick bite while Doug took a nap. He'd gone into work at 5 in the morning, after our late Friday night. He never knew I was gone! Saturday evening, I went over my lesson one more time and we watched a movie together after the kids went to bed.
On Sunday, after church, (which by the way, I am so absolutely loving that I get to teach the Marraige and Family Relations class right now!) we came home and I prepared dinner while Kelly and Zaylee had their bi-weekly visit. As soon as they left, I pulled dinner out of the oven and we took it downstairs to have a "picnic" and watch "the Butler" with the kids.
We bought the movie. It's definitely one to see! LOVE it. My age and having lived in the south all of my life probably influences my interests, but I absolutely want our kids to recognize what went on in history and to understand how different life was and could be today were it not for some of the "freedom fighters"... and I don't mean just the blacks. Doug and I shared our memories with the kids as we hit pause and discussed what was happening throughout the story. It's great acting, great music in the background, fabulous camera work, super movie. I highly recommend seeing it, if you haven't yet. What a touching story. After the movie, we read about the real "Butler", who served under eight presidents from Truman to Reagan. Fascinating!
This morning, Doug worked, as usual, but the kids were home from school for the holiday. We met Denise for lunch at Pizza Pie Cafe and then they had gift cards that they were dying to use at Walmart. Oh. MY. GOSH. I despise that place! As we were walking out, I said to the kids, "Grab a wet wipe and wash off your hands!" A lady with three toddlers in the cart, heard me telling my kids and she said, "I know! I just can't even believe I'm bringing my kids in here, it's so dirty." Really, when I say that it's bad, I mean that it's bad. Oh, for a lovely clean Walmart or even better and Target!
After Walmart, a trip to Hobby Lobby, which made us all bust out laughing. Grace saw this miniature basketball at the checkout stands.)She love basketball, and even scored a three pointer last week at her game.) She grabbed the ball and, completely out of character for her, she tossed the ball at the back of ZJ's head! Only.... she overshot and tossed it right into the crowded line of people in front of us. That is SOOOOOOO not Grace! She was as red as she could be! It will be something for us to have some good laughs about for a while.
We came home and the kids went straight to their activities. Quayd has decided to try sculpting again. ZJ and Grace are doing some funky art with ink. The girls saw a Calligraphy book in Hobby Lobby and were very excited and want to learn. When I told them that I could teach them, they were more than anxious! We'll see how that goes.
Doug's just walked in and taking his power nap. It's been a busy and fun day with the kids. Tonight, we have a casual Family Home Evening and dinner planned and tomorrow is ZJ's pre-op day. We'll be nursing her as she recovers from her surgery on Wednesday. Really, it never slows down, does it? And I wouldn't have it any other way! Life is good!
And on this holiday, I love this reminder....
Holy cow, it's been a fun day! I woke up this morning with a short to-do list and no real plans at all. Denise called and I ended up having lunch at El Toro with her and her new daughter-in-law, having a great visit. I ran a few errands and did some shopping at Kohls. I found a beautiful new fuchsia pink sweater. (I loved my Grand Canyon "save the day" pink sweatshirt and decided that I don't always have to wear red and black and white.) I returned a pair of pants and ended up with new jeans too. Gottaluvit! I had to pick up one last thing for Miki's birthday and Quayd called for a ride from school just as I was heading that way. Perfect timing!
When we walked into the house, the girls had already gotten home from school and were excited to tell me about their days and to make plans for the remainder of the day. Grace was texting back and forth with two of Quayd's friends (that happens a lot these days) and before we knew it, everyone had big plans for the evening.
Within a few minutes, their friend, Chase, was over and they were all in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies together, having a good time. Doug and I had plans and we ended up leaving them all here alone. They are teens, after all, I remind myself. I told Chase's mom later by text that Chase was one of the few boys on this earth that I would leave alone at home with the kids. The rule has always been, "When we are gone, Nobody in and Nobody Out!" But, later, we heard that ZJ made a pancake and scrambled egg dinner for them all. They said a prayer, blessing the food, ate and all worked together cleaning up the kitchen, which was shiny when we got home. As we were settling down for bed a few minutes ago, Grace said what an awesome day it had been. I commented on the fact that it's awesome to have such great kids that we can trust, who are making good choices.... lots more fun than being a kid that gets in trouble and is grounded half the time. She agreed that making good choices gives great benefits in life! By the way, here's a boy who ate twenty chocolate chip cookies and then two batches of pancakes and a dozen eggs! He's a growing and hungry boy!
Doug and I did some shopping (I actually found a pair of shoes that don't kill my crushed foot!) and met Stott and Wendy for dinner at Olive Garden. Grace was invited to join Quayd and his friends for some X-box games at the B's. ZJ made plans with one friend but ended up at the B's with Alyssa. After Olive Garden, we all ended up at the same place. The adults watched "The Butler", the teens played games and ZJ and Alyssa were being creative while Miki floated between activities. Her birthday party is tomorrow and she is so excited!
After dinner, Doug walked out of the Olive Garden entrance to get the truck to pick me up at the door. (It was so busy that he'd parked at Home Depot.) The hostess asked me, "Is he going to get the car for you?" I said, "Yes, he's awesome like that. I'm 100% certain that he's The best man that's been in this building tonight!" She said, "Awww, I hope I can find a good one like that!" I told Doug when he got back about the conversation and he responded, "You give me far too much credit." I told him, "Like I just told the server, "If you find a guy half as good as my guy, you'll do just fine!" I am blessed!
It really was a wonderful and fun day. After family prayer a few minutes ago, the kids were all going on about how much fun they'd had. I commented on the fact that none of this day would have been possible a week ago because we had Zaylee. It has hit me, today, just how good this move was. My teens need to be teens and that was seriously affected by having a five year old all of the time. I know it's done by families all the time, but when you have been one way for years and then out of the blue, your life changes by no fault of your own and you have no say, I think it's hard, especially if you are 12 or 15 or 16. Adults can adjust their lifestyle but teens need to be teens. And Zaylee needs to be a little girl, not a teen and definitely not an adult!
And so. At the end of our first week of transition, we are all feeling quite good about it all. We will see Zaylee tomorrow. Miki couldn't have a birthday without her. Amber and Keith, thankfully, postponed their family plans to go skiing (Zaylee will love that!) for another day, so that they could bring her by for Miki's party. Zaylee is loving life! Amber and Keith are loving Zaylee. Although we miss her immensely, we are loving our freedom again. I am loving knowing that Zaylee is in such good hands and so happy. Life is good.
There is nothing better for your family than for you to be at your best,
for you to be at your own peace,
for you to be showing them in every way who you are,
and what you stand for.
Yesterday was a calm and peaceful day at our home. Quiet. Strange! I slept in after the kids went to school, went to lunch with Denise and did a little shopping, then came home, took a nap, made dinner and sent the family out the door to YM/YW. I had a nice chat with Susan in Ohio, Connie and Denise on the phone in the evening and called it a night. During the day, Amber and I touched base a few times and Zaylee had a good day. I'm feeling so relieved. I think my hardest moment of the day was when I said, "Zaylee, let's set the table" and realized she wasn't in the other room. Time, Sophia, Time!
Today, Zaylee had therapy. I didn't. Hmmm. Denise and I had lunch, I did some grocery shopping and came home to start dinner. Tonight, Amber brought Zaylee over for a supervised visit with Kelly. They were here for their visit and dinner. I made spaghetti, one of Zaylee's favorites, and homemade french bread. Kelly brought icecream for Root Beer floats. It was a pleasant visit and fun to hear Zaylee tell us about everything in her new home. It was "odd" when she said something about having to "go home". She's there. She's happy about it. She loves her new room. We're all making the adjustments. She looked so grown-up tonight!
On a different note...I'm hosting game nights again. I'm excited to have some ladies over and "play". YAY!
I've been thinking a lot about my year in review and the fact that last year was pretty tame. It's been quite some time since I've entertained and I miss that! Book group reminded me of how much I love planning and hosting gatherings. It's time! So, I've set a goal for myself for the year to have at least one fun event each month. I'm counting Book Group for January, but am ready to start planning my February "event"...whatever it ends up being and whomever ends up being invited. We'll see how it goes. There's always a reason to party, right!? Whatever event I end up having next month will be planned around Liza and Aylabelle's visit, which is my every other happy thought!
I saw this on Facebook today and had to share it. I laughed all day... although I am an OCD freak that can't read with dishes in the sink or a toilet not clean, I do love the sentiment! It made me laugh out loud!
Another rambling... it has been brought to my attention that I never post pix of myself and the question has been posed, "Why?" The answer is simple... I'm the one with the camera! So, I have made a commitment to post more pix of myself. I am so not a fan of selfies. But, here's today's. Don't laugh!
One last rambling... tonight, just before family prayer, I asked the kids, "What have you done today to strengthen your testimony?" ZJ's answer surprised me. She said that she'd had a really good attitude about everything she did today, trying to find the positive and looking for the good. I asked her, "How did that make your testimony stronger?" She said, without a thought, "It made me happier and that makes me testimony grow." I thought about it... how simple. Change your attitude, change your life. She's getting it at almost thirteen. I love what I learn from my kiddos!
Life is good. Crazy, busy, but good!
A Great Attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month
which becomes a great year which becomes a great life!
I offered Zaylee a day off from school, but she chose school "because it's fun". Even still, I took her an hour late, thinking that she needed to be a part of the packing, giving her a chance to discuss any concerns. She had none. Courtney (Caseworker DCFS) actually brought her home from school. We had everything packed and ready to go. She grabbed her things and headed to his car. I had to bring her back inside and sit her down a few few minutes.
While she was at school, the girls and I made a"Happy Book" for her, filled with pictures of all the people who love her, including a painting of the Savior. As she looked at each photo, she grinned from ear to ear. I explained that each time she looks at her special "Happy Book", she can see how many people love her. At the end of the book was a list with our phone numbers, including Liza's and Miki's. She said thank you, gave me a hug and raced out to Courtney's car, ready to go!
Quayd helped load everything into the car, but there was more than the little state owned car would hold, so Courtney said he would come back and get the rest. Doug called right as they were backing out of the driveway and told her, "We'll see you soon, Zaylee!" She gave me one more hug and signed "I love you" until they were out of sight. I could only imagine what her little mind was thinking. I walked into the house, straight into the bathroom with Doug on the phone and sobbed. BIGTIME. The girls stood outside the door, listening, but not wanting to be intrusive. When I came out, Grace gave me a big hug and I said, "We need to do something and get out of the house!"
Courtney came back fifteen minutes later and told me that Zaylee had,happily, gone straight to show him her new room! He brought her things in and headed to his car to come back here for the rest of her things. She hopped back in and started to buckle. He asked, "Where ya going?" She said, "Back to Grammie's house." He said, "You're going to stay here now, remember." She said, "Oh, I was just looking for something" and skipped back inside. We discussed it and decided that she must have thought she was coming back with him to get the rest of her stuff. She was just fine with it.
As soon as Courtney left the second time, the kids and I went to lunch at Black Pearl. It was odd... thoughts like, "Zaylee, are you buckled?" several times. We all "automatically" included her in our thoughts all day. That will take a few days. Doug and I took the kids to a movie for Family Night. "The Saratov Approach", about the kidnapping of two LDS missionaries in Russia, based on the true story in 1995. A good escape for us all and we had quite an uplifting discussion about it following the show.
This is hard. I know it's right. It's for the best. Zaylee needs us as her grands, not parents! The kids need to be her heroes, not the ones who annoy her and her them. It will make it "more real" for Kelly, as well. We aren't just "babysitting". (She did call later in the night to ask how it went.) And Zaylee. She's so used to being "transient" that she "rolled with it". We can only pray that this little resliliant, strong girl continues to be so. She has been protected from so much through her first five years. Even though she was exposed to so much, there has to be a reason that she's been so blessed. She's an amazing little child.
I was most happy that Amber, Zaylee's new foster mom, touched base with me several times throughout the day, letting me know how Zaylee was doing. She had a fun and happy day. I felt comforted with each text or message from Amber throughout the day. She sent me a sweet text late in the evening that Zaylee had gone right to sleep, after her "special prayer" said by her new foster dad. What a gift this family is already, in Zaylee's life. (For weeks, Zaylee had repeated nightmares that she was being "taken away" by Kelly's husband. Doug began saying a "special prayer" every night, after her own prayer, asking that she would not have bad dreams and that she would be able to have happy thoughts. It made all the difference in the world for her. One of her first questions when we told her about the transition to the Fosters..."Will someone still say my special prayer?") All is well.
The Fosters have welcomed us anytime. They are truly amazing and have fallen in love with Zaylee already. Zaylee will be here tomorrow night for dinner and her visit with Kelly. I have to drop some things by this afternoon and will see her then.
Things felt different immediately. It feels right. Most of my tears are happy tears. I will adjust quickly to my "old" life quickly. Lunches with friends, leisurely mornings and uninterrupted time for reading and phone calls. Less laundry, less to clean-up. Less on my schedule. Less stress. But, we will all miss little Miss Zaylee. This will be best for her in the long run, we are certain. It will be good for her to be in a home with young children. She's spent her life living in an adult world, she's missed out on the experiences of having children in her life. It's all good. We feel blessed. Life is good.
I would be ungrateful if I did not say thank you for so many emails and texts that I've received over the past few days. Oh, my. We have known that we were not alone in this experience. Doug and I both felt the many prayers in our behalf. Thank you. So much.
In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.