Easter

Easter.

What a beautiful holiday.  Spring is wonderful and the symbols of life after death, spring after winter, the miracle of Christ, and the hope and peace that we will see our loved ones again.  My mom.  B’s Dad.  My grandparents.  My sister.  Those loved ones we’ve lost we will see again, all because of the hope in the Resurrection of Christ.  He lives.  The miracle of his life, sacrifice and resurrection fill me with peace, amazement, hope and desire to be better.  More kind, loving, giving, generous and the best person that I can.  For Him.

I love to celebrate Easter.

I helped MizS with a little talk in the primary.  It was about easter and the resurrection of Christ.  After she finished she said “I did it.  I did it.”  I also helped one of my nephews read a scripture from Matthew.

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

We had a special easter breakfast of Gluten free pumpkin muffins (for my gluten free sis) orange juice, eggs, toast and fruit.  I used my crystal glasses.   MisS loved her yellow easter basket and was so excited for the easter eggs filled with money.  She is saving up for a trip to sea-world.  B is just the sweetest in all the land.

We then had easter dinner and traditional egg hunt with my family.

I thought of my mom.  I missed her.  But, the joy of easter helps take the sad away.

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Kent-O

B’s dad was an amazing man.  Yesterday was his birthday and we celebrated his life.  We go to his grave and let balloons fly up to him, we go to dinner and spend time as a family.

I wish that I would have had the chance to know him on this earth.  We would have been really good friends.

In some ways, I feel like I do know him.  I see him in B.  I see the family he devoted his life too.  I see how bad people miss him, especially his family, and they love him dearly and talk about how much he impacted their lives.  I have felt his presence and influence.  Especially when B and I were dating, we knew that he helped us to find one another, at the very perfect time.  He was present in the temple when we were married.  When I am quiet and peaceful, I know he would be pleased with Ben and I and the life we are creating.  I know that he is  aware of us and loves us.  I have read some of his journals.  I have listened to his music.  I have heard stores about him.  I see him in my husband, B’s goodness, kindness, strength and desires I know come in large part from his amazing dad.

Sometimes I wonder why both B&I have lost a parent in our 20’s.  I don’t really know the answers of why two beautiful lives were cut so short.

But, I do know that loosing them has helped us both to grow and to learn to trust the Lord and in HIS plan and HIS timing.

And I know we are still connected to our loved ones.  They are closer than we realize.  And when I am calm and quiet I can feel their presence and love for us.

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Little Kent @ disneyland Jungle ride

A beautiful spring

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Us & his grave

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His 3 sons & sweetheart

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His sweet little grandson that was named after him.

A very sweet letter from Kent to his family I wanted to include here.  We love you Kento and miss you!

February 28, 2007:
 
“Dear Family,
 
“Too many of you to call, so we will talk email.  I will have a hard time finding the words to adequately say all I’d like to say tonight.  The spirit whispered to me some time ago what the results would be today, so I am calm as a summer’s morn.  I really wasn’t sure, but I had a pretty good idea.  The last round of treatments have been ineffective.  The tumors in my liver are much larger, there are some 20 small tumors appearing in my lungs, and my spinal situation will be evaluated Friday…
 
“We’ve known from the beginning that this type of cancer has never been cured.  We have had so many small miracles over the past year, that I can’t count them. It has been a marvelous year.
 
“My name has been on the temple prayer rolls literally thousands of times.  Earnest petitions to Heavenly Father have been offered daily by hundreds.  It is overwhelming to hear the stories.  And I know my family has been among the most earnest.  I have had powerful priesthood blessings.  I have tried to eat, think, and be as smart in my treatment as I can.  I have had the most loving care and counsel from very intelligent sources. Some, very close friends.  I have been in the temple myself nearly every week this past year, and very frequently for many years prior. I have felt the love of the Savior more profoundly than ever in my life. I’m telling you all this so you will know that I know, that this is certainly in the Lord’s hands. As I have plead for blessings and healing, I have been overcome with a desire – stronger than my desire to live – to do the Lord’s will.  
 
“But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things”  (2 Nephi 2:24)  As Nephi said, so say I, “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever”.
 
“I don’t know how long I have. It could be a few months, or a year.  But I suspect I don’t have that long.  We have been blessed to be prepared for this in every way… financially, spiritually, emotionally.  With the rich life I have been blessed with over the past 52 years, I am certain that I wouldn’t trade my life for any man. I really mean that.  Thirty-three years ago, I fell in love with the Savior of the World.  And that love and my desire to serve Him has blossomed greater every year since.  He is my shadow by day, and my pillar by night, my king, my deliverer, my all.  I am certain that we will all be in his presence sooner than we think, and it will seem that this life went by in the twinkling of an eye.  Julie is broken hearted, but she is being a rock.  she has known trouble many times before, and is made of fine steel.
 
“I love you with all my heart.  Memories of you and my love for you is what makes the 52 years so sweet.  Please don’t see this letter as my resigning and giving up. I will live every second I can, and I am assured that I will not be taken until I have finished my work on the earth.  
 
“All my love,
 
Kent”

blue skies & freedom

You know what is awesome?

Blue skies and snow capped Utah mountains.  I mean, Jan-Feb were SOOOO gray around these parts.  No sunshine.  No blue sky.  Smog.  Inversion for over 3 weeks.  Snow.  Ice.  Slush.  Snow.  So today, when we were driving to sunday dinner at Mamma J’s (My fun M-I-L) I couldn’t help but die a little at the sight of the beautiful rocky mountains and bright blue sky.   It’s been a really long winter around here and we are ready for spring.

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It’s also pretty cool when your darling 11 year old nephew calls to personally invite you to attend his “country program” at school.  You know, that one where they sing 50 nifty united states, God bless the USA and the great elementary school songs that make you proud to be American?  I may have teared up a little bit, I mean, it’s not unusual for me to do that, but just seeing this little guy who I adore so grown up, all these other darling 11yr olds singing these great songs, thinking of the principles our country was built on and the sacrifices of freedom in general.  Amazing.  I’m sure this was partially related to the fact that I recnely watched the movie Hotel Rwanda and Lincoln, both which i’d highly recommend.  I was deeply moved by the pain and suffering of so many people during those times of civil war in both the US and Rwanda.   I’m amazed at the goodness of people, stories, sufferings, realities. and strength of the human spirit when facing overwhelming odds.

It is humbling that my life has been so good, and for a moment at this little elementary school, I didn’t take that for granted.  I felt very grateful for the goodness, freedom, and opportunity I have been given.

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oregon road trip – portland & the coast

Let’s talk about road trips.  They are so awesome.  I grew up with road trips each summer.  Red and white van.  UT -> PA, all 9 of us.  Some of the most wonderful and happy memories of my childhood spent in that 12 passenger van, on the highway, headed to Nanny & Pop-pop’s house on 53 Potts Avenue, Pennsylvania.

In September 2012, B’s sister and her darling family (all who we absolutely adore) live in Portland.  I’ve never been.  They are leaving soon, so we thought it a great idea to head to portland to visit.  We drove to Boise, and had a hilarious and fun night with one of my favorite mission companions followed by a few hours of sleep until we arrived in the columbia river gorge.

Let’s talk about the columbia river gorge for a minute.  I don’t know if I have been to many places more beautiful.  We drove it in the morning and watched the men fishing, views of mt renier, the landscape change from dry/rural/farms to a million hue’s of green.   All while that powerful river flowed down toward the ocean.   It was awesome.  We stopped to see the handiwork of B’s grandpa Maynard and his wood carved birds,  see the salmon swim upstream through the salmon ladders,  hiked to a waterfall, and a quick stop at the famous Multnomah falls.

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Oregon coast

We arrived in Portland just in time for the saturday afternoon market and lunch at the food carts.  The market was a sight with people of all different shapes and sizes; artists and vendors of all varieties, musicians (some more talented than others), and people who’s stories I would have loved to have heard.

What a city!

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Later than night we went on a double date to the bollywood theatre – which featured idian street food.  For dinner, I enjoyed one of THE most delicious meals of my life!   Perfect temperatures, delicious food,  great company, and funky portland vibe.  One of the servers was wearing a – Keep Portland Weird – shirt.  Awesome.

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Dinner followed by an attempt to go to the portland mansion, and dessert at sweet&salty where we tried the most odd and delicious flavors of ice cream.  Lavender ice cream?  Strawberry balsamic ice-cream?  Peppered mint?

Luckily the line was 45 minutes long, luckily the girls shopped and the boys waited, just enough time to find a boutique with some earrings.  Score!

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Sunday was spent at church (we had gluten free sacrament bread), the beautiful lake osweago park, and a delicious meal made by our generous hosts.  (citris shrimp, mexican corn, and lime cilantro rice!).  We love them, lots!

Monday we headed to THE COAST and spent the afternoon at cannon beach & hug point state park where we played in the sand for hours, ran along the beach as the tides came and went, and enjoyed the fresh coastal air.  The day ended with evening pizza and walks around the town.  It was a perfect day.

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Oregon is so beautiful, so lush and green, and so funky!  I loved the trees, I loved the coast with all of the haystack rocks, stunning views, and time with wonderful family.  Are those girls not adorable!  They are full of life, fun, giggles, energy, and we just LOVE them.  It was a such a great trip!  Love that whole portland bunch.  A whole lot.

Our adventures driving the coast for the next 5 days – to come!

miz S & her birthday

Today is a special day.

It is one of my hero’s birthdays.  My sister Miz S!

MizS & her dad

MizS & her dad

She is someone that you cannot help but love.
She is completely pure, innocent and sweet.
Her laughter and giggle are the best.
She calls me a silly willy nilly.
She continually teaches me what life really is about.
It’s amazing to watch her joy at the simple things of life.
She loves everyone and almost everything.
She is brave and has had to do lots of hard things.
She believes that sharks are in the bathtub.
She makes  us laugh all the time in her sweet ways she thinks, speaks, does, and loves.
We love when she comes to visit and spend time at our “great new house” as she calls it.
She has taught me how to love.

Keeping it cool at the parade

Keeping it cool at the parade

Soccer

Soccer

pumpkin muffins & bedhead

pumpkin muffins & bedhead

sisters birthday dinner

sisters birthday dinner

I am so grateful that I have her in my life.  I love her so much.

We will be celebrating her birthday tonight at my house, complete with a dance party featuring the ‘hokey pokey’, down by the banks, presents, and gluten free pumpkin muffins.

Can’t wait.

saturdays are awesome

I love saturdays.  They are the best.  Our day so far:
9:45 – wake up to that handsome B & his beautiful kind eyes.  (we were really out of it this morning.  No alarms.  Just sleep.  B was up late working in the studio & I can always sleep)
9:47 – decide we are too sore from going to the gym last night to make the 10am class
10:15 – plan the day
10:17 – B goes down to work on studio.  call my sister to check in.
10:45 – get out of bed.  make smoothies.  do laundry   tidy a bit.  realize I need to clean my house.
11:45 – work on my presentation for a monday meeting.  love my job.  for real.
12:15 – I realize how blessed I am.  How happy I am in life.  I feel content.  I love life.
12:18 – hear B downstairs in the studio making awesome music.  He is mixing and mastering two songs he’s been working on that he is trying to finish today.  It’s been fun to hear him transform the songs and hear everything come together.  He is so stinking talented, he blows me away.  love that guy.
12:19 – want to document this moment of life.  write up a little post.
12:27 – back to working on presentation
1:00 – finish presentation
1:15 – run errands, go on a run
2:30 – go to the rec center to go swimming and take inventory of the snorkel gear for our vaca.  geek alert.
5:00 – birthday dinner for B at Thai Siam with his family.  LOVE thai food.
6:00 – hang out with Momma J & try and find tent for camping in Caribbean
8:30 – hang out with awesome friends after kids are asleep.  Make music and play games.  both our hubs are musicians.
11:30 – go to sleep

Sunday Items:
11am Church
Sunday dinner with my family.  We are having a pasta bar.  YUMMMM!
Pack for our Caribbean vaca
Hang out with B
Play my Ukelele
Get ready for monday presentation @ work
Bake a birthday cake for B & little bro

lil sis = hero

This is the sweetest sister of mine and her friend. I adore her.  I spent the morning at her school today, it was wonderful.  She called me with a personal invitation this morning.

“C it’s me.  Um, you have to watch me dance and sing at 9:30 at school.  Um, Um, Call me back C.  Bye”.

I have a really awesome boss who was cool with me going to the concert last minute.  Love that.  So I arrived at the school at 9:30 for the concert, only to find out that it really started at 10:30-10:45.  Shoot.  I walked to her classroom to say hi to figure out what to do.   It made my day to see her so excited to have me there.   She stood up and hugged me and introduced me to everyone.  “This is my sister C” she had me sit by her and we played some games in class (it was a party day).   There is a special feeling when you are surrounded by those with special needs.   My sis has loved it there and especially has loved the choir   I was really grateful when my boss was again really supportive of me staying the extra hour to watch the concert, which was so sweet.  They sang a jingle bell song, let there be peace on earth, and feliz  navidad.  You’ll have to watch the video, pay attention to her reaction when the music starts.

That is really true Joy.

They are angels sent to teach us about what really matters in life and what dosen’t.