Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Father's Day and More

Lately it seems as though life is speeding by at the speed of light.  Last week my baby turned 16!  What!?  Where did all those years go? She is growing up to be such an amazing young woman...I am continually in awe of her maturity and great attitude.  She definitely has A LOT of Trent in her.  Thank goodness!

Last week Megan and Zach attended a Pioneer Trek in Martins Cove in Wyoming.  The day they returned was Megan's birthday.  She had no idea but while she was gone I organized a party for her and her friends.  She was super excited and had a blast!

Many thanks to Greg and Erin for the outdoor movie!

Watching "Spirit"
We watched "Spirit of the Cimmarron", Megan's favorite movie from the time she was about 4 years old.  Megan loved it but I think some of the girls were not nearly as excited. We had to cut the movie short when it started raining lightly.
 We moved the party inside so Megan could blow out the candles on her trifle; she hates cake.
When Jonny saw all the girls giving her presents he decided she needed one from him too.  He ran into the den and put his own sunglasses in an envelope and covered it in stickers.  He brought it out to her and said, "Happy Birthday Megan. I want you to have my glasses.  I love you very much.  It makes my heart happy."  Oh my gosh!  Of course all the girls swooned over that one.

With all the love going around I thought I would share some too.  The next morning I took Jarom and Zach and went shooting with some friends.  I was impressed with their aim!  They both shot pretty well.  We exploded all sort of pop cans and potatoes.  It was so fun!  I have now added a 44 magnum to my list of wants. :)

I knew that Father's Day was going to be a tough one so I opted not to take the kids to church that day.  I decided to recreate the amazing day we had last year on Mother's Day.  Trent planned a whole day for me and it was wonderful...great memories.
Mother's Day 2012
We prepared the same meal that Trent made for us last year.  All the kids pitched in and helped get ready to go to Huntsville to the same park and the same picnic table.

Before we left for the park I gave everyone a brand new Husker shirt.  I figured that would be a gift that Trent would love to receive for Father's Day so I got one for all of us in his honor.
Of course we couldn't have Father's Day without Trent so we brought him along for a family photo.  I kinda like it! :)  We spent the afternoon playing on the playground and kicking around a soccer ball.  I also lined up the kids with mitts and hit balls to them.  When we got tired we laid down on our blanket and made paper cutouts of the Brigham City Temple.  After our "craft time" was over we told stories...some true and some made up.  On the way home we cranked up the 80's music and sang at the top of our lungs.  We laughed a lot and just enjoyed a leisurely day doing exactly what would have made Trent giddy.
I really thought I had conquered Father's Day.  It was such a huge success!  But of course I got the wind knocked out of me the next day.  I thought I was doing well enough to tackle some of the boxes of our belongings that were being stored in the basement.  The first thing I found was Trent's student ID card from UNL.  Shortly after that I found a letter I had written to him on Father's Day in 2009.  That was it.  I was done for.  I sat on the floor and sobbed and sobbed.  Megan and Mallory were both there in a second.  Megan gently stroked my hair and Mallory followed her lead.  A moment later Mallory slowly tucked herself into my lap and Megan knelt down and threw her arms around my shoulders and let me cry and cry and cry.  

It usually takes a while for me to recover from a breakdown like that.  The rest of my day was not fabulous. Megan tried hard to make it better for me though.  She knows that music heals me and she willingly sang as many songs as I played on the piano.  That helped a lot. The next day I had some residual grumpiness going on.  Mallory was pestering me for something and I said, "Just to warn you Mallory, I am super grumpy so you are probably not going to get what you want."  Right away Megan and Zach were chiming in trying to make me happy.  They were laughing and asking what was wrong and why I would waste my time being grumpy.  Finally Zach said, "I think this calls for some Happy Jacks!  Do a Happy Jack Mom, I am sure it will make you smile!"  He was right, it did make me smile.  As I left the house for my Relief Society meeting I heard Megan and Zach yelling, "I love you Mom! You are the best mom ever!"  

Today is the 10 month mark for us.  All in all we are doing well.  It seems like an eternity since I have seen Trent yet I am shocked over and over again when I realize he is not physically here with us.  You would think that part would have sunk in by now but it is still hard to believe.  I am so profoundly aware of all the blessings in my life.  I have the  most amazing husband and my children are blessed with the best Dad ever!  Trent has made such an impact on our lives and we miss him every day.  Happy Father's Day Trent...until we see you again...GO HUSKERS!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Life is Crazy Good

A couple of weeks ago I was having a particularly hard day.  It was right after I found out that Mark Kailing had passed away.  Of course his passing stirred up some difficult emotions for me and I found myself asking the unanswerable question, "Why?"  I had been listening to Christian music, like I always do, and the song that came on right then was Casting Crown's "Praise You in this Storm", Trent's favorite song.  It reminded me of Trent's amazing attitude and how much he was grateful for even as his body and mind were ravaged by cancer.  It was a simple reminder that I needed to follow his example and be that strength for LaDena as she starts down this new path...the path to healing.  That evening as I was stomping around the kitchen trying to act like I was fine there was a knock on the door.  Our neighbor from Providence, Dave, was standing in the entry with a big smile on his face.  He said he had picked up something for me a while ago and was really excited to give it to me.  As he unraveled the gift I burst into tears.  I couldn't contain myself.  It was a flag that says "Life is Crazy Good".  Trent always said everything was "crazy good".  Dave shared his memory of Trent at a neighborhood BBQ enjoying the food and when he saw the flag he knew he had to get it for me.  
It was a really good reminder for me.  Life is crazy good and I needed to remember that and not ask questions that won't be answered yet.  These are just a few of the reasons that life is crazy good:

Megan,  Mallory, Zach, Jonny, and Jarom.  
1-I love these kids so much!  On the last day of school I picked up lunch and took all the kids to the batting cages in Logan.  We had a great time playing, eating, and batting.  I love that school is out!

2-I have an amazingly talented and beautiful daughter who is my strength.  She impresses me everyday with the profound and mature things that come out of her mouth.  She has worked very hard this year to be a good student and be an example to her siblings.
Megan giving me the stink-eye at her choir concert.

Megan and me celebrating after she took the AP World History exam.
3-Jonny is growing like weed and his mouth moves not stop.  Unfortunately part of that movement is eating candy and he ended up with a couple cavities that he had to be sedated to fix because he is waaaay too wiggly in the dentist chair.
Jonny loved that the dentist has a TV on the ceiling.
When he woke up from the sedation I got to hold him and help him continue to wake up.  He was sooo funny!  At one point he told me that things were "outta control".  When he got home Mallory waited on him hand and foot.  She fed him popcicles and pudding and whatever else he asked for.  All the kids were especially nice to him.  It was a moment that made my heart happy to see them all care for him so tenderly.

4-This adorable little girl is the most tender, sweet little girl ever.  She can be a handful at times but I love her so much!  She told me the other day that she never wants me to be alone.  She was headed off to stay with her cousin for a week and was having some real anxiety about it.  I told her she had done it before and she was fine.  I didn't know what the problem was.  She said, "Yeah, but that was when I had two parents!  Now I only have one and I don't want you to be lonely while I am gone.  That is why I always go to the soccer games with you.  I don't want you to be alone."  What a sweetie!

Mally ripping it up at the batting cages.
5-Last Saturday Zach and I went to lunch to celebrate him getting 100% on all three Core Tests for school.  He was the only student in the whole school to achieve that.  We have heard that it has only happened a couple of times before.  He is definitely the smarty pants of the family.  During our "date" he made sure to get every door for me.  Our lunch conversation included Darwinism, the Theory of Evolution, and Robinson Crusoe.  Wow, was I in over my head!

6-Jarom is a great kid.  He is testing the water right now but is quick to apologize when I let him know he has crossed the line.  He has had a great season playing soccer.  He had made a great impression as goalie for his team.
Jarom had a great time at the batting cages.  That darn kid is good at everything he tries!

7-For Jarom's birthday a friend of ours gave him tickets to an RSL game.  He invited his friend Tyler and then Zach and I tagged along.  I wore Trent's shirt and hat and was determined to enjoy the game like he would.  We danced, we cheered, stuffed our faces, and even watched the game.  That is a first for me...I usually watch the people in the crowd instead.  I felt a little closer to Trent doing something with our boys that I know he loved.

In between all the fun we fit in another bittersweet first, Memorial Day.  I invited Trent's family to come share some time with us at the cemetery and we had a BBQ afterwards.  It was really hard for me.  I held in most of the tears but it was really hard to think that we were all there to visit my husband's grave.  Ugh.  It still shocks me when I think about it.  I sat there watching all the brothers put a comforting arm around their wives and thought..."Wow, how I would love to have Trent's arms around me right now."  I had to step away a few times to pull myself back together.  It was a tough day but we lived through it.

Even with all the tough times we still have, we are making the most of every day.  We smile more, we laugh more, and most importantly, we love more.  And that makes life "crazy good".

I am one blessed mama!