Just a few pictures from our weekend. Its been absolutely beautiful here and that is helping kick away the sadness I am feeling from my grandma's passing.



Grandma passed away yesterday morning. I'm still not sure how I feel, such a mix of emotions filling me.
I'm happy for her, because the last few years have been hard on her physically. I'm happy that she's with my grandpa and her family who has passed on before her (but really, with my grandpa, my eyes gets teary when I think of the how it must have been for them to be together after 30 years).
I'm sad for me, because I miss her. But I miss the grandma I had years ago, the one who was always moving and making memories with us. The one who joked and could hear. The happy person she was.
Really I'm sad for my kids who won't get to know her, Natalie and Abby who never got to know her.



So far April has not been a good month. It started with dry sockets, a pain that was miserable and still lingers just a wee bit. Getting wisdom teeth out at 36 isn't fun. The recovery was hard.

On April 5th we were supposed to celebrate my grandma's 93rd birthday in Coolidge. I was one week out from the extraction and I was crossing my fingers that the pain would be manageable by then. The girls all wanted to go to see cousins, and Will needed to stay home and get some things done around the house.

The Tuesday (I think) before the party, my mom texted me to tell me that she was taking Grandma to the ER because she was having trouble breathing. My heart sank but I was hopeful that she'd soon be on the mend and wouldn't miss her party. There was no good news, the drs thought it was her heart, or pnemonia, or both, or just her body was giving out. They gave her blood and hoped for the best.

Thursday my mom texted me to let me know my brother was on his way to the ER with an infection in his arm. His wife was forcing him to go and I'm so glad she did.

Friday the girls and I drove to Coolidge to stay at my parents' house. They were remodeling the kitchen and the house was torn apart. But there is always room for us there. Friday they moved my grandma to Hospice so that she could have visitors all day on her birthday. At the hospital she couldn't have her great-grandkids visit and that was miserable for her. She loves her family so much that thinking of not getting to see them was hard and since there was no way they would let her leave to go to her party, she needed to see everyone.

Saturday morning we headed to her house just around the corner from my parents'. My Aunt Lynda was there working and not sitting still for a moment, my cousin Carter was there and I hadn't seen him in years so that was a great surprise. He and I was very close during high school, because we are the same age and had very similar interests. I wouldn't have enjoyed high school as much without him by my side.

People came and went all day long, heading to Casa Grande to spend time by Grandma's side, then coming back to eat food and talk with relatives. Grandma had rented a little train for the great-grands and they loved it. I wish she could have seen the happiness on their faces as the conductor drove them around the neighborhood. Her eyes would have twinkled.

The day wore on and on. Finally people left and we ate more. Brie took her girls to see Grandma around 7, I was planning on seeing her in the morning then leaving for home from CG. Rhayn had gone back to my mom's house a few hours earlier to play with one cousin, because there was just too much going on at Great-Grandma's house. The other girls and I went back to my mom's around 8:30 and went to bed.

In the morning, I took girls to Jesse's house. He was having surgery at 7am and Brie was staying there to watch his kids so Stacey could be with him. My parents went over early to help out. I took a quick trip to spend some time with Jodi, (my brother, Garrett's wife). Then went to Jesse's house to hang out a little while before heading to CG to see Grandma. 

We got to CG around 12:30 and relieved Aunt Lynda, Uncle Danny and his kids, who were there so they could go eat, and the girls and I spent some time with Grandma. It was so hard seeing her like that. She looked so tiny in the bed, and her breathing wasn't easy. I held her hand for a while and gave her hugs. But I had all of the girls with me. Abby slept in the carrier on my back for a little while, but when she woke up she wanted to crawl around and I wouldn't let her. Natalie was scared of Great-grandma, she stayed back and I sent Rhayn, Gwen and Natalie for a walk. We stayed for an hour and a half. In the beginning Grandma joked a little about how God didn't want her and the devil won't take her. One of her oldest jokes. She talked about how much she missed Grandpa, who had died nearly 30 years ago. Someone had brought his picture and it was on the nightstand next to her. She told me how handsome he was and my eyes filled with tears that I wouldn't let fall. I could not start crying. Even though I was sure this would be the last time I would get to talk to my grandma. I told her how much I loved her. I wish I would have said more, told her how much she means to me, what an inspiration she's been in my life. How many people she's touched. I wished my girls hadn't been there so I could have just sat with her for the rest of the day.

After an hour and a half, Natalie was starting to act up. She's three and it was hard for her to be good for that long, plus she was tired and needed a nap. I went to find the girls and we filed back into Grandma's room. We gave her more hugs and kisses and she smiled at the camera when I sat the girls next to her for a final picture. I'm kicking myself because I didn't hand the camera to one of the girls and get a picture of ME with her. I'd thought of it earlier but I forgot until we left. We all told her we loved her, and with that final sentiment, we walked out of the room.

Its been a week now, and my heart breaks again every day. She's still hanging on, but she isn't Grandma anymore. Thanks to Facebook my mom and Aunt Suzy keep all of us who are far away informed about everything that happens to her. On Sunday the family had a fast and prayer for her, not that she get better, we all know that isn't the best thing for her. But to give her peace and allow her to join my Grandpa and her sister Deloris in heaven.

I've been weepy every day, trying to go about my normal business, keeping myself busy, busy, busy, because there is nothing I can do and I'm not sure what I should do or how I should feel. I find myself checking Facebook and reading stories my cousins post about her, and their favorite memories. I hear in my head her voice counting, and skipping that one number (I think it was twelve), counting with grandkids, making us giggle. "I never say twelve, 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, THIRTEEN!" she'd say. I hear her voice, telling me about all of the things my cousins were up to.

Just now, again checking Facebook, I read updates from my mom like this one:
"Tuesday morning. While Suzy told her that 4/14/14 would be a good day to die, grandma held on to life. Slowly slipping deeper and deeper into that eternal rest. This morning they were not able to get a pulse even though they tried both wrists and one ankle. She is sleeping so peacefully as if any moment she is going to sit up and start talking. She had one short episode last night around midnight where she keep calling for help. She has done that several times over the past few days. Each episode is a little shorter and a lot less intense. Suzy sat constant watch (with her eyes shut) with her last night as Danny and Kim went to a hotel to finally get a shower and rest. Craig and I left so we could finish our income taxes because the only thing certain in this world is death and taxes."

I've spent this morning, tears streaming down my face, finally allowing myself to really mourn and cry. And still I hear her voice in my head "THIRTEEN!"

Natalie is THREE!

Dear Natalie,

Last weekend you turned 3. But I am an idiot and scheduled my wisdom teeth extraction for the day before. Thank goodness for your biggest sister, as she pulled everything together and made an awesome rainbow colored cake for you.

At 3 you are an amazing person.You are so independent that it often gets you into trouble, like a few weeks ago when I was doing laundry and I "lost" you. I found you in the front yard, with Lily, walking the fence line talking to a neighbor.

I know this post is late, but our lives have been through out of whack . I'm trying not to let that taint this post, which should be all about you.

Last week you had a well child exam, you are a petite thing but tall, at 27.5 pounds (16th %) and 37 inches (60th %). The doctor asked you to name some colors and you refused at first. You only wanted to lay on the exam table and look at the book she gave you. When you finally did comply you kept repeating that red was green.

You had your first haircut, and you were so excited and nervous. They only trimmed about an inch off of the back but it made me sad to see your baby hairs cut away.

Yes, dear girl, you still love to nurse. We've cut back to really only having "nuh-nees" in the morning, usually you climb into bed with me and ask to nurse right as the sun comes up. We snuggle and you fall back to sleep. I love those morning cuddle times, with me in between you and your baby sister.

I'm sure there is so much more to add, I could write about you all day, but you should know this, you are loved and I'm so glad you came to our family.

Love always,


9 months

She's 9 months old already. And in the last week she's started crawling and pulled herself up a few times. No  consistency with it but she's slowly getting stronger and more sure of herself.
Yesterday was her 9 month well child exam. She's 19 pounds 1 ounce and 27.25 inches. The same length she was at 6 months. The Dr suggests that it's merely different nurses measuring. And we needn't worry about it..  Yet.
He said she looks good but has a few patches of eczema, on her chin and on her chest. Not in the normal places for eczema. Just like Natalie.

We've been sick. Again. Last week it was a nasty gastrointestinal virus, then I caught a cold. It's not fun.


The first teenager

Thirteen years ago I became a mom. Thirteen years ago, in the bright daylight in a dark hospital room, she came into this world, surrounded by her grandparents and her great-grandma. She, who I never knew I wanted. She with big bright blue eyes and so. much. hair.

For thirteen years I've watched her grow into a woman. I have stood by while she has made mistakes and accomplishments. I've witnessed her growing into a wonderful person. I am always amazed at the person she has become, her sense of humor, her exuberance.

For 4 years she was an only child but having sisters has been wonderful for her. She is an amazing big sister. She is responsible and  rarely needs help remembering.

She is kind and big hearted.

I can't wait to watch her blossom even more.


Abby 8 Months

Dear Abby,

You are 8 months old now. Where is the time going? I'm so sad with each passing day that I'll never have another little baby that is x days/weeks/months old. But I am also enjoying you so much at this stage.
 In the last months (its been a few since I wrote on here), you've not started to crawl. You want to, oh you want to, but you are unable to figure it out. You are mostly happy to sit or be held. You grew a tooth, it popped through on February 1st. You weren't a horrible teether, and I hope that you stay that way.
Everyone likes to help you stand up. You love that, but you can not do it on your own. 
You smile easily unless I have the camera out. I have very few pictures of you smiling. You look just like your sister, Rhaynnon, with Gwen's eyes.
You look nothing like Natalie, except for your brown eyes.

We've been sick so much. Sickness after sickness. It is not fun.I hope we're done with illness.

You love me. That makes me happy, you will smile so big when you see me, and flail around trying to fly into my arms.

I love you,


Drill weekend is hard. Well not really. I mean I'm so used to it that it's just another weekend but it always seems that something goes wrong on drill weekend.
We've had an OK weekend but for my migraine and that I tried to go out with some friends for dinner and Abby was a mess.

Friends moving constantly is getting to me. And I'm stressed about my LLL leadership thing. And I'm lonely tonight.

I guess I should go to bed but I feel like staying up and watching stupid television shows.


Goodbye 2013. You were a good year for our family. You brought us:
Lots of home projects finished.
Peaches galore.
Birthdays 12, 2, 36, 8, and 36.
We've had health but also illnesses.
Birth of a baby girl and death of a father.
Good times filled with laughter.
Sad times drowning in tears.
Sticky fingers, drawings on walls.
Long car rides with a crying baby.
Big gummy smiles and belly laughs.
The sweetest moments between 2 small girls who already love each other completely.
Watching a little girl become a young woman.

I have even bigger hopes for 2014.


Christmas 2013

We are nearing the end of another year. Our second year in our new house in Sierra Vista. We still love it here, though there are things we miss around Christmas. I don't like that we don't get to go see the Mesa Temple lights. I didn't realize how much a part of my tradition that was. I miss seeing my family more. I miss Christmas shopping with my good friend, P. I miss Indian food (and although we continued that tradition this year by making Chicken Tikka Masala for Christmas Eve dinner, it wasn't the same.)
Having Christmas in the middle of the week, after a shorter than normal season (having Thanksgiving late in Nov.) made the month fly by. I mean we didn't even had a tree up until Dec 10th-ish! Unheard of in  my Christmas-loving world.
Natalie was in love with the idea of Christmas this year. We went to see Santa so many times. It doesn't help that we are at the mall every week for a breastfeeding support group we attend. And Santa's workshop was right in front of that. Natalie loved seeing him, unlike last year when she was terrified of him. Yesterday after the presents were opened, she asked if we could so see Santa, again. Funny girl, I think she'll be sad that he's no longer waiting in his big golden chair.

This was Abby's first Christmas and she'll not remember it but it was a good one. She enjoyed just sitting with her sisters while they opened gifts.

  Gwen asked for 2 things, a plush owl and a "spa kit". Santa brought her both of those things, as well as a book about an owl and some BearPaw shoes to keep her feet warm.
Natalie asked for 1 thing, a shopping cart. She got that and happily has been pushing it around the house since we put it together. She also received a book and some pajamas which she needed since she outgrew all of hers recently. And we can't forget her stuffed Curious George (pictured above in the shopping cart!)
Rhayn asked for Dr. Who things. She didn't care what as long as it had TARDIS print and Weeping Angels. She was not disappointed at all. A blanket with an exploding TARDIS on it, a TARDIS hat, a Weeping Angel shirt and socks. And for a book- the Doctionary.

Will and I bought the girls a trampoline and Rhayn helped him put it together while I helped him anchor that sucker down. Hopefully the wind doesn't destroy it this year. If so, then we're done with trampolines. Will bought me clothes, nice warm clothes and we got, for him, a grill because his was not consistently grilling any longer.

We almost always buy each other something similar- this year, purple sweaters.

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