Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From Field Trips to Weddings, School Events to Funerals

The last few weeks with loads of pictures:

First, because I care, my psychiatrist started me on Wellbutrin as well as the Lexapro. Results? Well, after about two weeks, I can safely say that overall, I'm rocking it. I'm spending less time online because I'm being a mother/wife/homemaker person, my anxiety has plummeted, and my dark days are very few and very far between. I'm thinking more clearly, and I'm less angry. Sure, I still have my moments, but they are normal.

And that, dear reader, is the point!

Recent Events at Home: 

Spring has come!

Mother's Day was fun! In church, the primary kids sang, I also conducted a women's chorus, and in Relief Society, we had a program on Visiting Teaching and yummy dessert. My kids spoiled me with wonderful cards and homemade gifts, I got a nap, and #1 made me a chocolate cake! Then the missionaries came over to call their families, and we ended the day exhausted (we'll ignore the parts where my kids were screaming and fighting and I got angry before church):

(My sensational six!)

(Strawberry shortcake in RS!)

(homemade flowers)

Field trip with the preschool to the Frazer Ruins:

and #5 "graduated" from preschool (although we've decided to put him in for another year. He has a late summer birthday, and we think he'll do better to wait):

I had an opportunity to accompany several violin students of a friend of mine last week. Not only was it fun to accompany again, but the recital was held in one of the most charming, gorgeous little churches I have ever seen! I felt I was in England the whole time: 

#1 had an English project due last week. The premise was to create an award for a poet and base that award on what the poem was about. My artist of a daughter decided it was a good time to try her hand at sculpture and she rocked it! 

#2's 5th Grade Wax Museum Presentation (it was today)! She was Sybil Ludington, and she was fantastic:


Last Friday night I was at Lucille's BBQ in Tustin, CA for a family wedding dinner. My beautiful cousin (mother's sister's daughter) was getting married and Brandon and I were able to be there for the weekend. Before we started the meal, which was outdoors, casual, and full of laughter, my father received the phone call we were all anticipating.

My paternal grandfather had passed away in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

(My handsome Grandpa in 1946 (or 1947?)

I would be lying if I claimed we were devastated; after all, we had been praying for his release from this world. There wasn't anything more the doctors could do for him, and as he lay in the hospital dying from pneumonia, hear failure, and suffering from late-stage dementia, the only thing they could offer was comfort. He had been declining for years, but since his wife's passing nearly nine months ago, it seemed to accelerate.

I feel guilt for not being as sad as I was when my grandmother passed and I've been trying to figure out why. I was probably closer to my grandmother than to my grandfather, but I think it was the lack of expectation that accompanied it. We simply weren't expecting her to go first, nor as quickly as she did. With Grandpa, we were expecting it, and part of it is relief --knowing he is with Grandma again, knowing he's no longer in pain.

But although I have not shed as many tears over my grandfather's passing, I do miss him! I've missed him for a few years, ever since he forgot who I was.

He and my grandmother have been together since they were high school sweethearts in Stirling, Alberta, Canada. They had four beautiful boys (my father is the third) and they have 12 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren (with two on the way). The other day I was looking through their history, and I loved seeing the pictures of them before their marriage --young, in love, happy... just as they were when I saw them last year. Except maybe not so young, anymore! It's surreal to know that they are no longer here...

My grandpa as a little boy (on the right)
(My grandfather as a little boy (on right) with his best friend and older brother.)

(Their wedding day in the Cardston, Alberta LDS Temple!)

(Their wedding reception)

(My grandparents and their boys)

(My dad as a little boy!)

The funeral is this Saturday, and I'll be there. (Big thank you to my husband for making it happen!) When I think about the legacy my grandparents left behind, I become very emotional. I couldn't have asked for more loving grandparents who truly cared about me, about my dreams and goals, and who never had anything but a smile and hugs for me when I would visit. My memories of them are treasures and I will love them forever. My goal is to honor their memory by sharing my testimony of the gospel with my kids and grandkids --just like they did, by word and deed.


I need to report on the wedding, though! It was a great weekend, despite the news of my grandpa and the funeral planning that had begun.

Brandon had flown into L.A. for work earlier in the week and picked me up from the airport Thursday night. After In 'n Out (of course!) we had a quick visit with his aunt and uncle. Then we headed to the condo we were sharing with my sister, BIL, and parents. One of my brother's and his family were also in a condo nearby, as well as an uncle and part of his family.

Friday morning, my brother and Brandon went scuba diving, my mother and SIL took the kids to the beach, and then my dad, sister and BIL went do do a session in the Newport Beach Temple. 

Afterwards, we hung out on Balboa Island (my aunt had rented a beach house there for her kids) and took the ferry to Newport Beach. Man, I love the beach!

(My adorable niece!)

Then it was the family dinner at the BBQ.

Saturday morning the out-of-town wedding guests (mostly family and the wedding party) rented Duffy Boats and cruised around Balboa Island. We had lunch on the boat and it was a lot of fun!

(Brandon was the captain!)

(My cousin, his wife, and squishy baby boy!)

(Sister and BIL)

(My uncle and mom with my cousin photobombing)

(Seals on a boat)

The wedding itself was Saturday night and it was so beautiful. The venue was called Tivoli Too and it was truly stunning! I took loads of photos (but didn't get any of the cake cutting, toast, food, or dancing. I was having too much fun to think about it!):

(My brother)

(My brother's wife)

(The groom's adorable little boy!)

(My aunt has TALL boys!)

(My uncle and his sweet daughter)

I'm so happy for my cousin! She is truly happy and her husband is a really great guy. I'm really glad I got to be there for her big day!

Sunday morning we went to Sacrament meeting and then to a family brunch. Brandon, one of my cousins, and I had to leave early, though, to catch our flight to SLC. Coolest part? Brandon and I were both upgraded to first class on our flight from SLC to Philly. It was AWESOME.

(Holding hands in first class. Yes, I'm a dork.)

(The view of the Wasatch Front from the airplane. The only glimpse I got! I miss these mountains SO MUCH!) 

While we were gone, the kids experienced a freak hail storm and a 16 hour power outage! It was nuts! And it was happening while I was flying, so I was absolutely no help. Luckily, my friend/neighbor who was watching the kids did a fantastic and incredible job, and so I knew they were safe. I'm so grateful to her for taking such good care of my babies!

(Huge hailstone!) 

PHEW!!! That was a lot to report. If you got this far, you deserve some kind of medal! Happy Wednesday, dear reader! I hope you have a great day. 


Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I totally felt the same way when my Grandpa passed away back in November...he had been suffering for so long. I didn't really cry at all until the funeral, and then I bawled my eyes out on the stand in front of everyone right before my talk.
You and I are so blessed to be able to call these amazing men our grandfathers. My heart will be with you on Saturday. <3

Courtney N said...

I am so glad that you both were able to make it to our wedding! It really did mean a lot that you both would come from so far away to celebrate with us! I am so sorry about your Grandfather. He is a great man and is leaving behind a legacy.