Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Memorial in this weekend has a whole new meaning to me….

We're off to San Diego to celebrate the life of my dad with these people and more. I'm so excited to be in a room all together, thinking and talking and laughing about everything that made him so uniquely, our dad.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday baking

There's a constant battle in my mind over baking. I LOVE to bake. And I'm sure I'll never stop or anything, so I guess it's not so much a battle…. just little debate in my head over whether to feel good… or guilty.

There's nothing more homey, or comforting to me than the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies or homemade bread. I still remember one of the most magical things to me as a kid (besides the foil pouches full of juice I got at soccer games (capri suns) ) was that moment where you stir the chocolate chips in to the dough and it just-- looks--- like--- heaven. We always got one big spoonful before the cookies were baked. As we got older, we snuck lots more.

However, while looking through old photos for good ones of my dad, I've been forced to realize that all of the spoonfuls of cookie dough seemed to have left a little bit of residue…. on my cheeks, my arms, my thighs…. a little bit everywhere really. I think I must have fluctuated 20 pounds through high school and I never had a clue. I felt perfectly lovely.

I WISH I could enjoy that sort of oblivion now, but I'm convinced that once you've had a baby and you look back at the pictures of your blown-up pregnant body, you hear the record screech--- and the curtain's been lifted. You know too much. You can never again blissfully munch your way to an extra 15 pounds with the pleasure of not noticing.

Oh no--- your body tells you--- I remember this feeling, and last time it left me looking like a Dr. Suess character. (Ok… I stole that from Mad About You I think? Is that right Sarah?) But isn't she spot on? It's like all of my proportions turned upside down after babes. Which just means that every extra pound I do accrue doesn't find it's way to those curves we can justify as womanly… oh no, mine all join forces to give me extra manly curves, like the ones we so tenderly call, muffin tops, or the belly of a drinker.

But my point is. This does not come CLOSE to stopping me. I love my treats. I love the smell and feel of homemade goodies. And I know that as long as all things are in moderation, life is good. But there are those times when I feel so much admiration for a health NUT. Like a full-on NUT. I don't like the ones that obsess outwardly about it. And talk to you like if you're starving and snacking on your kid's gold-fish you must think that refined sugars and starch are good for you. But the ones who eat so clean and pure, you know they must feel like an Olympic athlete all the time--- I have so much respect--- I think there's something to it.

And this is when I wish I didn't feel a warming of my SOUL through baking. :) The garbage on grocery store shelves, we can live without (when we're not lazy), but the clicking of the gas in the oven and the smell of butter and sugar (since that's all that REALLY matters) browning… I think it's here to stay.

And SO, so is my muffin top.

I'm so glad I've resolved this through this post. Ross, I hope you're ok with my decision.

Friday, May 21, 2010

They're silly

I love little girls.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My latest stuff:

This is from one of my recent family shoots-- this sweet daddy/daughter shot stopped my heart a little. More over here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some things that are making me happy

This is a 'zone out' past time of mine lately. Perusing pretty pretty blogs… a few that I have bookmarked … with two cats, pink wallpaper, everything LEB, a cup of joe, bottom of the ironing basket, peacock feathers, sf girl by bay, little green notebook… and a few more. Too lazy to link sorry--- but this collage shows a few of my recent save-worthies. You can never get enough light and bright. One of my biggest pet-peeves is a house where the blinds are never drawn… maybe it's because my mom always went around the house opening any that were shut (there were very few) singing "There is sunshine in my soul today!" Open blinds=happy. Except in the morning, during the summer, on my N/E facing windows of course.

We had some flowers planted in our front yard that are making me so happy every time I open my front door or pull up to the driveway. Even though I told the gardener (we live in the desert where nothing lives when we try to plant it ourselves--- don't judge) to do all purple and pink…. and came home one day to all purple and yellow. An impermeable language barrier is the price you pay for a great deal on yard-work.

Sophia got her cast off today. She's so nervous about it still hurting, but it's exciting to see her au-natural again. Especially with swim-season almost here.

My dad's memorial service is set for Friday the 28th in San Diego. I'm so anxious to be with all of my family and be completely justified in talking about him and crying if I want to, all day long. I wish it were sooner.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

… so much for all of the emails, phone calls, comments, and texts. It's so nice to receive so much love and support from friends… and even strangers! It means so much more to me than I could have known. There really is something to it--- having that many more people send their thoughts and prayers your way. I knew there was a reason I wasn't very private. Thank you so much for all of the love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Dad

(my dad at my wedding May '03)

There's so much I want to write, but I'm really struggling with where to begin.

Yesterday was my birthday, and Mother's Day of course. I got a ton of well-wishes from friends in real life, email and facebook of course… lots of "hope you have a wonderful day…""a special day" "the BEST day". I really appreciate the thoughts.

But unfortunately, I've had better.

Early yesterday morning, my dad lost his battle to pancreatitis that landed him in the hospital 8 weeks ago.

We knew he'd taken a turn for the worse this last week. I can't keep it all straight, and I could be wrong, but things like "a possible infection in the belly or the blood" , "a blood clot blocking his lungs", or "overall septic shock" were thrown around. He was feverish and having trouble breathing, gasping for air, so they'd had to sedate him again and put him on a ventilator…. there was talk of doing a tracheotomy? It would be easier on him than the tube down his throat again. I'm not sure if they got a chance to do that.

On Saturday night, the doctor told my oldest brother, Ryon, that he'd be surprised if he made it 24 more hours. He was in a catatonic state, staring at the ceiling, unresponsive--- I believe his heart was kept beating with the help of a machine. They wanted someone to make the decision regarding the life support. They projected he would pass within five minutes without the machines, a couple of days with them. They said there was no more they could do.

Ryon and his wife, Jeanette jumped on a flight that night and arrived to the hospital some time after midnight. They saw his pained condition and spent some time with him. They got every last update from the doctors.

On the days leading up to this, Ryon had been praying fervently that he would not be forced to make the decision of whether or not to disconnect life support. Then on Saturday, when the doctors left the room, he laid his hands on my dad's head and gave him a blessing in which he "released his spirit from his body"-- letting him know it was alright to go. He said that he finished the blessing and he and Jeanette could immediately see a change in his countenance. Peacefully and naturally, he had gone. Within a minute or two…. the machines agreed, everything went to zero, and the doctor declared him--- 1:51am.

I got the news in a text when Sophia woke me up at 5:30. Ross watched me read it, nervously, and then held me while I cried. I'm so grateful for his support.

I wish I could have been there-- death is so surreal to me, a little scary, even thought I certainly don't believe it's the end, because it's unknown. I'd never really thought of how spiritual it must be. But it's one of the most important things that happens to us in this life. It makes sense to me that our Heavenly Father would be very present.

I don't always believe that everything happens for a reason. I wish that so many things had been different that may have kept his body from ever having to suffer this. I wish he had 20+ good years left, like I'd always imagined he would to invest more time in his 19-and-counting grandchildren. He was in a new phase of life, and was nurturing those relationships more than I had ever seen him do.

I wish my girls could REALLY know him, and find comfort in that deep, bellowing voice and strong embrace like I did. I wish I could call him and hear him brag to his coworkers in the background about me while we're on the phone. In his description I was 5'10 (true) and probably 120 (not true), a writer (he didn't mention that it was on my own personal blog I'm sure) and a professional photographer for the stars. He was more proud of his children than I've ever seen a parent.

I wish he could marry Marybeth and turn his heart back to the Savior and find the peace and joy that comes with that. I wish he had years of THAT life left to enjoy. When I think of all of the events and moments he won't be there for, my heart feels like lead and I'm so… so...sad.

But I do have faith that there's a plan. And while I wish things were different, I know that I'll see him again after this life. I know that he's been reunited with both of his parents and that he's got work to do. I'm so relieved that he doesn't have to be weighed down by the ailments of his physical body and that his mind can be clear and that maybe, just maybe, he can remember every little thing we whispered in his ears in that hospital bed. Every little thing. I'm counting on that.

I'm so grateful that Melisa and I got to see him a few weeks ago. I feel so lucky that we seemed to have him on one of his most lucid days of the eight weeks. I got to talk to him and listen to him and serve him. I got to laugh at his jokes for the last time, knowing it could be the last time. I got to relish his personality-- smaller as it was.

He was so fragile and helpless, like a child almost. It made my love for him so pure and unconditional. I'm grateful for that.

I'm so grateful that I was able to have more time with him over the past few years. That he lived out here in the desert for a while where we got to do Sunday dinners and have long, colorful, intense conversations. Sometimes Marybeth and Ross would wander off to keep the girls happy while we continued. I think I got my secret love of debate from my dad. He could argue that the sun was blue and he'd win. I hated it when he was arguing with me, but otherwise….. oh, it made me proud.

I feel an enormous sense of loss. A little less oxygen in my lungs, and more weight in my chest. I'm not sure if that will fade. But I'm so grateful for my testimony of Jesus Christ and my faith in his plan of salvation. I'm so relieved at the knowledge that I'll see him again some day--- big and strong, roaring with new wisdom and understanding he'll certainly be picking up on the other side, probably charming the crowds.

Until then, he will be painfully missed by so many.

at my house playing with Sophia...

He and Marybeth at Ian's wedding--- I know it's horrible quality but he looks so dashing.

Meeting Mila for the first time.

This was from…. a long time ago, you can tell by Mel's dark hair and my baloony, red, curduroy pants… I took one for the team here Dad, because you look so handsome.

Last Thanksgiving at my house.

Toward the end. I always debate if it's appropriate to post these. But having not seen him in person, Ross actually thought he looked younger--- being so thin and all. So I thought maybe he wouldn't have minded. Of course he still looks handsome to me.

He fought so long and hard through this while his body went through hell. He's always just wanted to make us happy and proud--- I wonder how long he would have held on if Ryon didn't assure him it was ok to let go.

I think I'm beginning to feel more peace. Even as I've written this.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Some pink inspiration

I'm itching to redo Sophia's room (since I've never really finished it anyway… I just like to stay consistent.) And I'm LOVING this room… (can't remember where the photo came from)And this room from Caitlin Wilson's gorgeous house in Dubai. I think the wall color is dreamy. I emailed her about it--- it's called childrens laughter at 50% strength from ace hardware… just in case anyone shares my obsession.

And….. who wouldn't want a slide built in with their staircase. I dreamt of a fireman pole as a kid, or a house where the floors were made of trampolines. This is much more realistic. Why not? Can you imagine how happy they'd be? Sometimes I wonder why we do things so conventionally. Who made up the rules anyway?

We just netflixed (the free kind on the wii) Pippy Longstockings and my girls LOVED it. Ross cringed as they watched… but I've always had a love for that girl and her free spirit. :) I've never mopped my floors without thinking of her skating around on her scrub-brushes…

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Did I mention I got a new couch?!

So if you know me, you know I play musical…. stuff. Musical whatever. I like to move stuff. I'm never very sure of my choices. This rug from ikea… I thought I was going to return it, but then when I rolled it out to vacuum it that day… it made me oh so happy! I was never going for orange in this house… so perhaps it doesn't go with a thing. Especially the upholstered chair? But maybe I don't care because it's still making me happy…. and it's past 90 days.

I think I'll paint the coffee table white…. opinions? And the mirror maybe? Or gray? Or yellow? If only the walls weren't so tan…

I don't really know why this is the room I ALWAYS blog… it's the first one you see when you walk in the house, and the one you see from upstairs and down… so I guess it's always on my mind--- and never quite right. But I think I've decided that's half the fun-- and finally given up on this ridiculous notion of being "done" with one's house. Pfft. That's why the world still has teal carpet.

Mother's Day picnic at Sophia's preschool today…. she seems SO old these days. Sometimes I think I've already lost her… like they say happens in Kindergarten. Like more of the day is spent with teachers and friends than mom. She's got such great friends and plays with one of her favorites, Kate almost daily after school, and I love it because it keeps her so active and they play so well together, and Kate is darling. But then I realize that it's only going to get busier from here on out! That phase where their friends opinions become more important than the parents' seemed EONS away--- but now it seems to be hovering just around the corner, like some mangy cat. (Really hurting for an analogy there-- best I got.)

And now that we're all buckled in and moving forward (better? Can you see my imagery?) … I can already see how fast it's all going to go with Mila. And I panic. She's so cute right now I could eat her. Every day I worry I'm not recording enough of what she does and says and sounds like and smells like and how she furrows her brow in the worst stink-eye anyone's ever given. This must be why we just keep having babies. Maybe before I'm done someone will figure out how to freeze time.

Crossing fingers.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Goodbye to my cute Activity-Day Girls!

In our church we receive "callings"--- this refers to our job, or responsibility in the ward. When we first moved into this ward, I was called to work with the 8-11 year old girls for Activity Days. They didn't have the program when I was a kid, so it was all new to me--- and I knew from the beginning it was a dream calling. A party every other week at my house where we got to do crafts and other activities with this sweetest age of little girl?? Don't ever release me!--- I thought. But I just got a new calling with the Young Women, the 12-17 year olds--- and I'm THRILLED. And it's just a matter of time before each of these cute girls joins me.

Our last activity was a Mother's Day party--- hence the mommy photos above--- thought I'd give a peek to my girls. :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I woke up yesterday morning to Ross scratching his neck with that nerdy face he makes when he's trying to be funny and nobody else gets his joke...

"what is it?" I ask skeptically.
" I don't know…. but it itches… BAD"

"like seven years bad?… haha. you're still moderately funny…. after all these years."

just kidding…. he really has gotten so much funnier to me every year. for reals.

In the beginning it was purely physical.

I'm kidding…. come on. But when I look back at some of our old photos it looks that way. Kids-- pshaw.

sorry for your droopy eyes Lace. :)
we got married… and started kissing a lot. started…. hah.

In Paris, pregnant with Sophia…

Our first trip to Hawaii…. 1-year-old Sophia in Utah with grandparents…. kissing with experience?

Our second trip to Hawaii…. both Mila and Sophia in Utah with grandparents…. Apparently we've gotten a bit….. rusty. …. struggling.

I thought I'd write--- I've always wanted to finish THIS STORY of how we began. Maybe another day. But for now, I'm a happy girl. Itch smitch--- I have a feeling this will be the best year yet. Love you Ross. Even if you did bring me grocery store Lilies last night when I kindly tell you every year that they're my least favorite flower because the yellow thingy stains and they smell like urine by day 3. It's the thought.

But seriously, write it down somewhere: Trader Joes; gladiolas, peonies if they have them, stalk, or an orchid…. rip up one of their paper bags and wrap them in it (not the orchid, let's be clear). I will love you to the moon and back.

But in closure, I would love you even if you brought me real urine in a plastic bag. I would be terribly confused…. but it would take a lot… I'm just saying. Love you.

Monday, May 03, 2010

7 years today

I had big plans with lots of pictures, but ran out of time…. more on us tomorrow. Whether you like it or not.

Consider yourself warned.

But for starters--- here we are seven years ago. We had just run from Blockbuster back to our resort in Cabo…. on our honeymoon…..

oh I love me a honeymoon.

And yes, that is some long, nappy beach hair.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

And I was so proud of myself for having them ready for church EARLY

I'm feeding Sophia lunch at the kitchen island right before it's time to leave for church and I catch this view of Mila's hand. She's in the art niche… painting… the wrong thing, clearly.

And so I go closer….

This is not something my girls do. They both seem to appreciate having clean hands and faces… they get into a lot of trouble, but I don't usually find them nose-deep in watercolors. This was a first.

I was still picking out blue boogers when we put her down to bed tonight. Nice.