Sunday, July 27, 2014

When Tragedy Strikes

Our summer trip to southeastern Idaho took a difficult turn.  

My father passed away unexpectedly while we were there on Friday, July 11th.  

My body is weak, and I am emotionally exhausted from the course of events that have taken place over the past two weeks.  I am in my own home now with my children and husband - simply learning to navigate my new life ahead with a constant clamp on my heart.    

The tears continue to fall, but despite his absence, I know in whom I have trusted.  The divine promises of the atonement have strengthened me.  I have prayed more fervently than I have ever prayed in my entire life  - seeking answers, seeking peace.  I have never known grief before, but the pain is transforming my heart, and I can feel this daily burden strengthening my family and I one day - one moment - at a time.

“You do not need to see the Savior, as the apostles did, to experience the same transformation.  Your testimony of Christ, born of the Holy Ghost, can help you look past the disappointing endings in mortality and see the bright future that the Redeemer of the world has prepared.”  

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Little by little, and as appropriate, I will share more - always praying for guidance in an effort to focus on truths learned and the exemplary life my dad lived.  A simple Thank You will never express the love and appreciation we feel for the numerous individuals who have reached out to my family and I during this difficult time. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Moments in MAY & JUNE

Hey May & June, where did you go?!  I’ve anticipated July for a while now, but whoa - here it is.  I want to share a few highlights from the months leading up to today.

We’ve been loving this gorgeous view next to our home.  I took a few walks with the kiddos along this field in late May.
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Carlie & AnnMarie have been living in their swimsuits ever since Mother’s Day when we planted our flowers.
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I finished off my year of piano teaching with a wonderful spring recital.  Boy, as much as I love piano teaching, it felt nice to bring it to a close. 14 students throughout the week - mostly early morning between 6 & 7 AM - definitely gave me a run for my money. When I do something, I can’t help but give it 100%, and my students were no exception. Time and a season I say, but I’m so glad I was able to reconnect with the many amazing families that I did and work with such dedicated aspiring musicians. I’ll always remember this past year of piano teaching.
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One of the most incredible parts of my spring recital was this group of people right here that came 8 hours to support me!!  (I’m kidding, kidding - they didn’t come just for this). My Mom, Dad, Grandpa, & Grandma were able to stay with us during the weekend of my recital because my little brother’s wedding reception in Coeur d’ Alene happened to be that same weekend.  Perfect - such a blessing.  
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Both of my little girls performed, and they did excellent.  AnnMarie played “I’ll Be a Sunbeam,” - she did amazing, and Carlie concluded the recital with a vocal solo.  I couldn’t leave her out, AND she had a true desire to perform.  We practiced & practiced for weeks leading up to the recital, and honestly, she knocked it out of the park.  I was so happy for her!  She sang, “Do you want to build a snowman?”  from Frozen, of course.  You could’ve heard a pin drop during her song - so sweet.
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Jared & I celebrated 10 years of marriage in June. We were lucky to find sitters throughout the day to give us a chance to be together. We biked along the Columbia River during the day and ate at our favorite restaurant that night. We talked about the many places we’ve lived throughout the years, the things we’ve learned, and what we want to change moving forward. We both agreed that the greatest gifts the past 10 years have brought us are our 3 children. We couldn’t help but laugh at the early years and all the little things that we were totally blind-sided by. Neither of us had a clue as to what life had in store for us, and in reality, we still don’t! But one thing’s for sure, I look forward to the next 10 years and feel grateful to have such a good companion to share life with.    
I spent the majority of last week getting ready for this...
Monster Invitation
in addition to…my husband’s annual work picnic, a wedding, dinner guests on Sunday evening, sleepless nights due to my 2-yr-old boy who refused to nap or stay in his room at night, and too many little messes to count including a giant Gatorade bottle that C dropped on the garage floor splatting onto nearly everything within a 10 foot radius.  Just keeping it real.