Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grey Ghost 5k

Is there anyone planning or thinking about doing the Grey Ghost 5k run/walk this Saturday?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Dad

Two days ago was the anniversary of my dad's death. I can't believe it's been a year already. My sweet hubby brought me home some flowers and made me some of my Dad's favorite foods for dinner: sloppy joes and cinnamon-raisin rice pudding. So many sweet e-mails and phone calls from friends and family. Never before was I able to understand why people get so sad around the anniversary of a loved one's death. It is just a day on the calendar, after all. I think about him every day, and feel the effects of his early departure, often. It's just a day.

But now I understand. The autumn smell in the air, the leaves on the trees, picking out Halloween costumes...all bring back to my mind.. full fledged, of how I felt the day that I received the phone call from my sister.

Up until that point, my dad is one of the only people who knew me my entire life, from birth to adult-hood. And every step of the way he had such a huge impact on my life, and I am so grateful for that, even the little things. My dad would often say that holding me, and the rest of my siblings in the hospital, the day we were born, was one of the best and happiest days in his life.

He taught me to walk, to talk. Helped me to learn to read, to write. He always saw my potential and encouraged me in every aspect of my life. He was always cheering me on. He also taught me some of the most valuable lessons that have helped to shape and mold my character. At a very young age, he taught me the importance of service, and to love our fellow man. He often encouraged me to go out of my way to help others. He taught me to be a leader and example to my siblings and people around me. He taught me to avoid contention, and turn the other cheek, especially when it is the most difficult to do so. He taught me to be honest, prayerful, and dependable. So much of my Dad is in me.. in my memories, in the things I've learned.. and well.. in my genes! Now that my Dad is gone, I feel like a very very big piece of me is missing.

As a parent, I now have more of an idea of the kind of love that my Dad for me. When holding my sweet girls in the hospital for the first time, the love and joy and excitement that I felt, and the overwhelming gratitude that my Heavenly Father blessed me and trusted me with these two amazingly beautiful spirits. My parents were my ultimate cheer-leader. He and my mom saw the potential in me and the gifts that I had, better than anyone else. He nurtured and fostered those gifts and helped me to grow. He knew how to speak to me, how to encourage me, and to show his love for me.

About six months before he passed away he asked me if I had any dreams that he could help make come true. I said.. huh? He said, "You there ever anything you've ever dreamed of doing... say for instance being an owner of an organic cafe...? If there is anything like that, let me know because I would help you do that." I was so humbled that my dad believed in me that much. In this cynical world.. there are so few people that love you for exactly who you are, pray for you, and wish for your every dream to come true. My parents, my grandmother, my siblings, my husband and kids, and a few special friends... I feel so grateful for each of those people. It's made me so much more grateful for the people in my life. Having lost one of those people who know me and love me better than almost anyone has felt very difficult at times.

But I have to say how grateful for I am to know that this isn't the end. Just the beginning. I know that I'll see him again, and I also know that even though I cannot see him or hear him, that he is always aware and still cheering me on! I am so grateful for the perspective I've gained, my testimony strengthened, and the miracles and love that have poured out from Heaven, often in the form of my wonderful friends and loved ones.

I may be completely crazy, but at a few times since my Dad's passed away, I have felt my dad try to speak with me through song.

I was 8 months pregnant with Chloe, waddling through JoAnn's, buying a few things for the nursery. I was feeling so huge and tired and somewhat overwhelmed. All of the sudden I had this warm overwhelming feeling to stop and just listen. Just then Joe Cocker's "You are so Beautiful" comes on over the speakers. I was just paralyzed.. standing there frozen, and my eyes turned into a watery mess. I felt so strongly that my Dad was there and wanted to say those words to me. Then, my next stop was Krogers.. and what do you know comes on over the speakers while I'm shopping?... Once again "You are so Beautiful." And once again... watery mess, but not as bad this time, it was kind of funny that it came on twice. Next stop was Wal-Mart. Can you guess what came on the loud speaker? Yep.. I'm not even kidding. This time I laughed out loud.

A few weeks later, I had the flu. There was a lot of other stressful things going on at the time, and I was feeling tired, overwhelmed and thinking a lot about my Dad. I wish he was there to help or to talk to. I was sitting on the floor folding laundry, and listening to Shane's music that he left on. I normally would have gotten up to turn it off (I enjoy peace and quiet when I can get it!) .. but was too tired and being 8 months pregnant, pretty stuck to where I was anyway! I had the same impression.. stop and listen. This song came on that I had never before heard in my life. It was not something I would normally care to listen to.. but the lyrics really hit me. The song was Zoe Jane by Staind. Those lyrics were exactly the words I longed to hear from my Dad. I felt that strong impression once again, that those were words that my Dad wanted to say to me if he could.

A few days ago as I was running errands in my car to and fro.. I was thinking about my Dad. Wondering where he was and what he was doing. That all to familiar feeling came to me once again, to stop and listen. And the song that came on was "Already there" by Lonestar. I felt like my Dad was there, and he always will be. And it made me feel excited to know that he could be a bigger part of my life than he was ever able to before.

I feel so grateful to have parents that love and care for me the way they have. Life wasn't always peaches and roses. Circumstances & choices led my parents to divorce when I was 13. It really was heart-breaking for all of us. But one thing he always made clear to me, that even though circumstances had changed, his love and concern for me would never change. The unwavering love and patience, that only a father could have for a child, truly helped ease the pain and heal those wounds. If I were to dedicate a song to my Dad, I would dedicate, Rod Stewart's "Have I told you lately."

"You fill my life with laughter
And somehow you make it better
Ease my troubles that's what you do"

I love you Dad.

This was no easy task... all of us lining up outside the photo booth and each jumping in and out to take a turn taking a picture with Dad before the flash went off!

My Dad was SO paranoid when any of us would get close to the edge of the cliff of this marvelous grand canyon.

He even loved me as a platinum blond!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Random Update

So what have I been up to lately?
Obviously not updating my poor neglected blog.

So, if there is still anyone out there who hasn't given up on me yet... here's what we've been up to the last.... well, several months!

Shane grows a goatee.
Only lasted a weekend.

Jada does her 2nd Triathlon

Jada and I had a blast at the Pioneer Day activity.

We took a trip to Hilton Head South Carolina in September, it was awesome! We went with my totally awesome brother and sister-in-law Kate. I need to do a separate post.. it was so much fun.

Shane even got to fly his planes on the beach. He was in heaven.

Jada did swimming lessons this summer. Her skills sure came in handy because we did a lot of swimming on vacation.

I signed Jada up for gymnastics. This is her at 8 weeks, already doing hand stands, cartwheels, and back bridges! She's wanted to do gymnastics ever since she saw video and pictures of it about 2 years ago. Fortunately a gym just opened up down the street from us. She loves her class so much. It's so awesome to watch her do something that makes her so happy.

This is her 4 weeks later... getting her heals to her forehead!

Jada turns 5. And I'm ever so glad she still wants princesses on her cake!
She's growing up so fast.

Shane turns 34. Fortunately he still doesn't mind when I do crazy things like buy party hats and goofy party favors for his birthday. It made him laugh! I hope the kid in us won't ever die either!

My mom came to visit us for a week and a half. We sure had fun with her! We laughed and played the entire time. The girls loved it!

Grandma and Grandpa Powers came to visit too and spoiled Jada for her birthday.

Chelsea and James anual Medieval Times dinner and tournament. As you can see, we're just a bunch of big kids.

Jada loses her first tooth! It sure was fun for me playing tooth fairy for the very first time!

Preschool and her friends. I'm teaching her at home again this year, along with her sweet friend Jasea once per week. Boy, do we have fun! She starts Kindergarten next year. She loves learning and she loves loves loves her friends!

Jada baked a cake for her friend, Cami's, birthday... pretty much all by herself! I did the oven and helped with the green decoration on top. She did the rest! We had a blast spoiling Cami for her birthday.

Chloe is quite a little character. She's 8 months now, and rolls and army-crawls all over the house! She says: ma-ma, da-da, nigh-nigh, bu-bu (bu-bye). She likes to "steer" me around the house by leaning her body to show me where she wants to go. She still has no teeth, but wants to eat everything... except baby food. She loves bread, oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, and soup. She HATES going to bed because she knows Jada is still up playing, and she wants to play too! I left a pre-school laminated poster on the floor and later found Chloe on top of it, using her belly as an eraser for the red dry-erase marker that was on it. You can see in this pic the marker all over her shirt!
She's the sweetest little baby ever!

So I have this sneaking suspicion that Chloe is going to look a lot like me. What do you think??

Jada's also taking a ballet class with her favorite Ballerina, Mrs. Howell. She loves to practice her positions and plies and her "dolly-dance"...
Picture coming soon....