Monday, August 25, 2014

Til We Meet Again | One Year Later

Dear Dad,

I sit here at 1:30am on August 25, 2014 with a heavy heart. I am overwhelmed with the thoughts and emotions of what I was doing at this time one year ago. How we all sat at your bedside and watched you drift away from the physical realm of life and pass into the arms of Heavenly Father. I sit here one year later and am in awe that I've survived. That it has been one entire year I've gone without enjoying your laughter, hearing your advice or receiving one of your awesome hugs. One. Year.

Birthdays and holidays have been celebrated. Your new granddaughter was born. Life has pushed on. I've been busy and it's been a real blessing that the chaos of having a baby, moving across the country, house hunting and the challenges of everyday life have consumed me. I honestly cannot believe it's been a year. The days are often long, especially if I'm having a particularly hard day, but this year has been short. I'm sure if you talked to my friends and those who know me, they would likely say that "She's strong"... "she's held it together." Truth be told, I've become amazing at being strong. I work so extremely hard to push the drowning-in-sorrow-heartbroken-blubbering mess-depressed-woman that I feel I am now, away. For the sake of my kids. For the sake of my husband. For the sake of mom. For the sake of everyone else...I try to only allow my breakdowns to happen when I'm alone. And then I pick myself up and I go on. I'm not the same person I was before. There have been moments though, when my tears flow uncontrollably and my emotions overwhelm me. One particular time, was on Easter Sunday, during Sacrament meeting, the opening hymn was "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". As soon as the first measure was played, I was on the verge of sobs and tears soaked my dress as I tried hard to compose myself. It was the first time I'd heard that hymn since your funeral. It is one of my favorite hymns, and I know it was one of yours too. I have fond memories of over hearing you sing it during church growing up.

For lack of a better phrase, this last year, well,  it's been hell on earth without you. I don't really have the vocabulary to even begin to describe the feelings I have in my heart. It's incredible how the days following your passing, there were endless people who did so many amazing things for us all. Who continued to remind us that if we needed anything, to just let them know. Then days went by and turned into weeks and then into months. The "how are you holding up" question all too quickly became "HEY! How are you!?". Through no fault of their own, everyone went on with life. Everyone Except us. I'm stuck in the feelings of August 25, 2013. Everyday...every moment...every project I decide to do...every little daily thing there is a void in now. Every moment is without you. It's been one big "I cannot believe this is real" moment. For 365 days now.

I had a dream back at the end of February. One of the very few I've been able to recall since you passed away. I don't remember what exactly I was doing, but my phone rang. I answered, without even paying attention to the caller ID. It was you. I just remember you saying "I'm fine. You don't need to worry about me.... I love you." I could hear the smile in your voice as you said those words to me. Then I asked you, "what is it like there" and static came onto the phone. I remember waking up in tears that morning. It had been so real. So vivid. Your voice was so near. It was comforting and heart wrenching at the same time.

This past year has been one giant test of faith for me. I remember being asked by a handful of people after you'd passed if I'd lost faith in God because our prayers on your behave hadn't been answered in the obvious manner we'd all hoped. My immediate feeling was I need my faith in God more now than I have ever needed it before. And it's still true. I've listened to the recording of you funeral a handful of times. President Lewis said something that always brings me comfort and something that I try to remember when I'm having a hard day...."Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." We will see each other again. On one hand, I can do nothing but rejoice for you. Rejoice for the fact that you are home with our Heavenly Father. That your pain and suffering and the trials of life on this earth have ended for you. On the opposite hand, the void I feel is all too often overwhelming as I try to not allow anger... frustration.... sorrow....grief.... sadness consume my life. And I fight that human instinct daily. I hear people say "it's going to get better with time." No. No it won't. It will never be "better." It may get easier, but it will never, ever be better. My heart still aches the same way it did on this day one year ago.

I am trying hard to make you proud, Dad. I am trying hard to feel the happiness and love you brought into my life....into the lives of my kids. To remember the wonderful times. I love you so much, dad and I miss you like crazy.

Til  we meet again, Dad. I love you.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Bow And WHAT?! | Father-Son Fun

So yesterday evening, Ben came home from work with a new fun toy for the boys. Ben's schedule has been ridiculous. Like, we rarely see him but only a few hours each week. I'm not even kidding you. Apparently being a CTO of a start up company is a lot of work. Anyway, he came home with a crossbow!! Of course, it's not real, but it's real enough and if one of the kids decided to shoot the other, it could poke an eye out for sure. The boys were beyond ecstatic. What's a mother to do? I just had to grab my camera and let them have their crazy father-son moment of fun, of course. They had a blast killing "zombies" and learning how to hold the crossbow. Austin was able to do pretty well with it, and Logan struggled a bit, which he didn't like so much. It's crazy how much hand eye coordination varies with just a couple years age difference. They had fun though. Boys will be boys, right? I am grateful my kids have such a fun dad :)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Days Go By | Happy 1 Month Laila!

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Laila's stats at 1 month are:

weight: 8.6 lbs. (21%)
height: 21 inches (69%)
head: 14 in. (50%)


I can't even hardly believe that Laila is already a whole month old. Seriously, where do the days disappear to? What's that saying... the days are long but the years are short. So true! Life with 3 kids isn't nearly as bad as I really thought it would be. It's a little more chaotic but not near as overwhelming as I felt like it was when I went from 1 kid to 2. It could be because Austin is so much older and because Logan is a little older than Austin was when he was born, which I think has really helped. It probably also helps that Laila is a seriously fabulous baby. She sleeps really well at night, usually doing 4-6 hours straight. She also sleeps a decent amount during the day still, and is just overall a calm sweet baby. It probably also helps that Austin goes to kindergarten for a few hours everyday. Helps to only have to take care of only 2 kids for a little bit, most of which Laila sleeps anyway.


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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Trick or Treat | Happy Halloween

I remember when we first moved into our town house telling Ben how awesome trick or treating would be because of the close proximity to everyone. Ben's parents were here visiting with us and they actually took the boys out trick or treating while I stayed home with Laila since it was a little chilly to be taking her out. They weren't gone very long, which was good, since after they got home we headed up to Park City to spend the weekend at their timeshare at the Marriott Mountain Resort. They seriously were probably only out for like 15 minutes, but that was enough for them since they got more than enough candy for themselves from the handful of houses they did hit.

When I first asked the boys what they wanted to be for Halloween a while back, they didn't really seem all that interested. Lately, however, they have been on a total Scooby-doo kick. Like they seriously want to watch it all the time. So of course I asked them what they wanted to be again like a week ago, and that's when they decided Scooby would be out theme. Logan was so super excited about being Shaggy and Austin was excited to be Scooby. They seriously looked so cute in their costumes I about died when we got them dressed up. SO cute. I took some pictures of Laila in an America girl doll dress this morning. So she was a "doll" for Halloween :). Can you believe that the dress she is wearing is a DOLL dress? She is still so tiny. It's hard to believe, especially since I feel like she is growing up so dang fast. I can't wait to see what next year brings, especially since Laila will be at such a fun age!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Captured | Laila's Newborn Pictures

I've been dreaming of all the cute pictures I'd take after Laila arrived. She's such a doll and such a good baby. I didn't take near as many, or do hardly any of the ideas I had in mind for poses, mostly because well, I'm still really tired. Recovering from the physical exhaustion of actually giving birth I feel like takes longer to recover from each time I have a baby. Even with my amazingly easy births, it's still a lot for my body to go through. And really, the best newborn pictures are done within the first 10 days of life, so there really is a tiny window of opportunity. Even though Laila is a little over the window, yesterday, I packed up the kids and we drove a little over an hour to my friend Melanie's house so we could take some more pictures of Laila. I knew I wanted some pictures of me and Laila, but with Ben working, the odds of him being able to take them were scarce. So, Melanie was happy to shoot them! We were there for a few hours. Melanie is seriously amazing with newborns. Even when Laila pooped and peed all over her when she was trying to get Laila posed in a spot, she just rolled with it and kept on posing and shooting. It was pretty funny to witness. She is the newborn whisperer. Seriously. Anyway, I am just crazy in love with all the pictures we got! Thanks so much Melanie!!

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

6 Days New | Laila

I'm so madly in love with her it's ridiculous! Today, I wrapped her up in a cheesecloth wrap I made and took some pictures of her. I'm getting together with my friend Melanie next week to take so more in her in home studio, but I couldn't wait that long without doing a few newborns of my own. It's kind of a bummer because all of my photo props are packed away and kind of hard to get to, not to mention that we have literally no space for anything extra. But I worked with what I've got and am really happy with how these turned out!

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