Saturday, June 30, 2012

Easter...yes we celebrated it

Easter weekend included two double headers on Saturday so needless to say, we were pretty busy. So this is what our Easter weekend looked our cute house...

We dyed eggs. I love dying eggs about as much as I love carving pumpkins. I'm a fan of tradition, a huge fan, but for some reason those two activities make me cranky. But because I'm also a huge fan of childhood and memories we do it.

Yes, that is C lying on the table while A died his eggs. Apparently he enjoys the egg dying tradition as much as I do.

Because of our crazy day we missed all Easter Egg hunts near us so we had our own...

Easter Sunday Outfit Obligatory Photo Shoot

We had a nice quiet Easter dinner at home. We opted for a chicken dinner instead of ham. We used some of our favorite GK recipes. We made her potato flake chicken and her parmesan potatoes. This Easter gave our family a chance to reflect on the resurrection in a more personal way than we ever have before. We were able to talk about GK and how Christ's resurrection will allow for us to be together again as a family and that we will see her again. It was nice to be together, just the five of us, and bear testimony of eternal families and share good memories of GK...and that was our Easter. 

If you are still awake after reading this post I am impressed because I almost fell asleep writing it...BORING.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spring Soccer...Sorry but it has to be documented

 Forgive me for all the back posting that is about to happen. For the love of posterity it has to be done...

We were blessed with decent weather for most of our games. What was insane was all the double headers, we had a couple Saturdays that we had FOUR games!

This was Eden's last season with her team...she played four years with Coach Chris. It was a great experience for her. Here are some of her highlights:

Team pictures and individual shots taken by yours truly. I volunteered to do them each season because I refused to pay for the cheesy, EXPENSIVE ones the association provided.

Action Shots

Fun With Her Buddies

End of Season Pizza Party

Eden really enjoyed this year and discovered that she liked playing goalie. I think this was her favorite season because she got to play with so many of her best buddies.

Maya's comeback was even more impressive Spring season...she was a force as defender and her foot work skills were awesome! She also had an awesome team and some great coaches. I don't have her team pictures because I didn't take them and they got put into So this is what I do have...

End of season dessert that almost got rained out...

Maya got the award for "Pullback Queen"

She was also lucky enough to be able to play with some of her best friends.
(Sadie, Elise and Elsa)

Coaches Mark and John

Soccer season is such a crazy time for us but we love it. I love watching the girls play. I love cheering them on. Maya especially became quite competitive this year, it was a side of her that we've never seen.  After every game she would tell us which girls on the other team made her mad and said all the things to us she wanted to say to them. It was hilarious. Hopefully we will find her a great soccer team wherever we land.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Alive...and All is Well. At least for today.

That storm I told you about here, well I truly had no idea what was brewing. When GK started going downhill and we realized that we were going to lose her it was like an 10.0 earthquake tore through our hearts and souls. We are still feeling the aftershocks.

About a year ago we felt like there was going to be a change with Aric's career we just didn't know what it was. We did our best to listen to the spirit and hear what direction God was steering us in. We got interesting messages that didn't make sense but in the end we felt like nothing real would happen until we lost GK. But when that actually happened we were so caught up in our grief and trying to move on without her, it never occurred to me that a change like this would happen so soon or exactly how insane this change would be. It's like a tsunami after the earthquake, here we are trying to emotionally clean up and rebuild but we can't because this other disaster comes out of nowhere.

Some may say (and a couple have actually have had enough guts to tell me) that we brought this disaster upon ourselves. After all, we are the ones that chose to do this, but what they don't understand is how faith works. We believe that God has a plan for us, this is His plan for us. We have been given the revelation and now we have chosen to take these giant leaps of faith. The choice to do it wasn't that hard, once we knew by the spirit that this was what we were supposed to do, there was no question whether we would do it. But just because something is spirit driven does not mean that it is easy.

It's so hard to talk about this. It's one of the reasons I have only talked to very few people about it. I hate to sound ungrateful for this opportunity that Aric has been given, but it is equal to Camden, the hardest thing we have ever done. This isn't just getting a new job and moving to a new place. This is leaving a career of 12 years, to start over in a whole new industry. It's being unemployed for six months while we pay lots of money for Aric to get trained for his new career. It's not just any training, it's a semester full of information shoved into a week. It's if you get below an 80% three times on your weekly test you get kicked out of the program.

It's leaving the only home and life your children have ever known. Maya just finished sixth grade and Eden 3rd grade. That's a lot of life to have to give up and because we are in Boston for such a short time it's not a place we put down roots...the transition is not easy.

It's leaving a home that took nine years worth of blood, sweat and tears to make it everything we wanted it to be. Which would have some consolation if we knew were moving into an equally nice home somewhere else. Instead we could only pack what I could fit in my car and put what we could in a storage unit and get rid of the rest.

It literally took me two months to go through every piece of paper, picture, piece of clothing, dish, linen, toy, book, food item, game, name it, I touched it and decided whether it went to storage, goodwill, Boston, a friend, a family member or the trash. And now we are living it up in our 970 sqft apartment that costs almost as much as my 3400 sqft house did.

Emotionally it has been tough, and at times unbearable. Especially after I left Aric in Boston and had to finish packing and move out of the house on my own. Being in Liberty Lake without him was torture. Our home was just a shell. Nothing on the walls, we slept on mattresses on the floor. We ate on a folding table on patio chairs for four weeks. Our home had absorbed every memory...every birthday, every Christmas and Easter, every First Friday, every Family Fun Time, every baby shower, every movie night and even that precious night we brought Camden home. It's like I was leaving behind a vault of love and memories. I was not prepared for the emotion that came over me when I had to say goodbye to my home.

Leaving behind the army of friends and family that came to my aid is something I wonder if I will ever get over because I know that I will never be able to repay them for everything that they did. I have a hard time asking for help under any circumstance, but this was particularly hard because I barely knew what I needed aside from Camden care and dinners, there were mostly only tasks that I could do. But I had phone calls and texts daily offering help. I had friends stop by when all they had was an hour to give to fold my laundry, clean my fridge, dust or just talk and give me some comfort. I had bedding dropped off so we could pack up ours. I had lunches brought to me so that I would remember to eat. I had friends plan and carry out going away parties for me and each of my girls.

I wish I had a picture of every sweet soul that walked through my door and offered help and support, these are only a few...just writing this is making me all teary, I can barely see my screen!

I had the young men in my congregation, who used to be my Primary kids, come and do yard work for me.

I had my brother come all the way from Portland on a rare weekend that he had off from work, to come spend time with me and my kids and help get me packed up.

I had my parents make the trek two weekends in a row to help get me on the road.

It's so humbling to be on this side of service, I felt like the service project that never ended. I hated it. When I got to North Dakota the first thing I did...after I slept, was find something to do in my aunt and uncle's house that needed to be done.

So I installed a new faucet, took down and put up a new light fixture and painted one of their bathrooms (the walls went from Hello Kitty pink to Babbar gray). It felt so good to be on the other side of service. I have been blessed so much by so many that the only way for me to pay it back is to pay it forward.

Now that we are here in Boston, I just stand amazed at what has happened to me, to us. The past six months have been the hardest I've ever lived. I don't mean to sound so dramatic, I know that many people have way harder experiences but for me and my family, this has been a time of great heartache and a time that we've had to rely on our faith like we never have before. I hesitate even sharing it in such depth except that I believe that part of this experience is about me being a witness to God's great miracles that he still performs in each of our lives. That His hand is ever present in our lives, even when we don't acknowledge Him, He is still so aware and working on our behalf. I have heard His counsel through many blessings and through the whisperings of the spirit. I have felt angels around me ministering to me and my children during our times of need, on our trip out here and especially when we lost GK. In fact, I believe she has been with us on this journey every step of the way.

I was asked to give a talk in my church before I left on "How God has a plan for me"... I may or may not post it some time, but the quote that instantly came to my mind when I got the topic was this:

"I know that God lives. I know that he loves us. I know that apart from him no one can succeed, but as a partner with him no one can fail. I know that God can make a lot more out of our lives than we can."
~Ezra Taft Benson

Sometimes His plan is hard. It feels like you are in a storm. Sometimes it requires great sacrifice and is not meant to be quick and painless. I still worry about how we are going to get through these next six months and where we are going to end up when it's all said and done. I hope and pray that we will sell our house soon. I worry about Aric and the stress that he is under. I worry about my girls making friends and finding joy in this transition. I worry about me being a nice mom and having the patience needed to be around within ten feet of them at all times kind of patience. But when I let myself get overwhelmed (like every other day) with all of these things it's dark and sad. Sometimes I like to stay there for awhile and throw myself a pitty party. Then I snap out of it and I pray. The peace comes and the strength I need to get through the day comes and all is well. These are the words that come into my mind most often...from the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints"

"Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard? Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward, if we now, shun the fight?
Gird up your loins! Fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake.
Oh how we'll make this chorus swell..."All is well, all is well!"

 I took these pictures at the Winter Quarters Nebraska Mormon Pioneer Cemetery...the picture above is the words "Gird up your loins, Fresh courage take, Our God will never us forsake" written in cement below a beautiful monument.

The one below says "After much tribulations come the blessings" Sometimes the blessing is getting to know God better because we went through the tribulation leaning on him for comfort and guidance. Another blessing is realizing how strong we have become for having gone through it.

In a way I feel like I gave my talk all over again...but with all the posts that I have to do, I knew I had to do this one first. Now that it is done, I can move on the the lighter stuff. Stay tuned for LOTS of catching up posts...