Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to a Happy New Year and a mini Year in Review

This year has been filled with many ups and downs. We've had some truly great blessings and we've had heart-wrenching tragedy. I told Cary last night that I always get really sad after Christmas, when it is all over. I don't know why, but I have been that way since I was a young girl. I love the feeling of Christmas and I love the whole month of December. As we approach the new year, I do so with some sadness, some anticipation, some joy, and with much love for my whanau.
We started off January with the purchase of a new *cough* mini-van. I never thought I would love driving one of those little family mobiles, however I DO! Call me crazy, call me a dork. I'm sure I have been called much worse. I'm grateful for our van and I'm grateful we have been blessed with it.
I don't remember much happening in February. That has to be a good thing, right?
March held Gabby's 6th birthday and my 9 year anniversary.
In April Bug turned the big 4 and their biological sister left our home to live with her former foster parents. There were so many mixed emotions about the whole situation, but we knew that it was the best thing for her, for the girls, and for us.
Gabby ended her kindergarten career in May and was so proud of herself. She went from being 2-3 levels behind the other kids, to right out in the forefront. We are so proud of our little Gabbalella. We also found out in May that our "former kids", whom we had for six months the previous year, were back into foster care and they, the state, wanted to place them with us again.
5 kids, are you crazy?!
Yes, Please.
After much prayer and much worry and some hard work on the end of our RFC and caseworker, the kids were placed with us in June.
July sped by with many trips to the pool and tons of late days at the parks. It was a busy summer, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
August ended with all five kids starting school. Bug started a new preschool and she has been excelling! She, too, has come such a long way since they were placed with us 1 year and 3 months ago.
September was a fantastic month! I turned 31 *sob cry sob* and I share my birthday *day* with one of my boys. He turned 11 and was quite proud to do so. September was the month that we were able to adopt Gabriella Moana and Keeleigh Beonna. They became, officially, our daughters. My dad shared this incredibly special day with us and helped lighten the mood for me on the way up to Salt Lake City. Cary drove with his Mum in the front beside him and I rode in the middle, next to my Dad. I look back at that drive, and that whole day, with so much more joy than I thought I was experiencing that day. I remember after the legalities were out of the way and we were walking back to the van. We had just stepped out of the elevator and were in the underground parking. I clung to my dad in a big bear hug and said, "Well it's official now Grandpa! I am so glad that you came with us today! I love you Dad!" With tears welling up in his eyes, he hugged me tight and told me how much he loved me, the girls, and Cary. He spoke of how proud he was of us.
And, if you will allow, I would like to leave the rest of that memory sacred in my heart. It was a very special day indeed.
October was the best, worst, happiest, saddest month of my life. Our whanau became forever as we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork. Days later, my dad left this mortal world to rest for a while with whanau who were waiting to welcome him. As the tears run down my face now, I think of how much I miss him and how much I wish he could have stayed longer. Not for him, mind you, but for me. I have said before that I would do many things differently. That is still the case. I love him and I know he knows that. I miss him dearly. Every.Day.
November came and we buried my Dad. Thanksgiving came and we had a relatively quiet day. My younger boy asked me if we could have a Thanksgiving like in the movies, and we did. It warmed my heart to see their jaws drop, literally, as we came together to thank Heavenly Father for all that we have and to :)
December has been a pretty good month. We have been able to do so many things as a family and have so much fun. We were blessed beyond measure at Christmas. It was a beautiful day filled with fun pressies, much love, and a wonderful whanau. All of the kids were blessed with toys and treasures that they have been itching to have. Cary and I were blessed with much, much more.
Today is the end of 2009 and I can't say that I am sad to see the year go. I'm looking forward to a fresh new year. We have many more changes that are upcoming. I'll keep you posted.
I'm not going to do a resolution list. I have many changes, however, that I am going to make and I will keep you informed on how they go and what they are. :) I am going to do one each month and will share them here.
I hope that this year brings each of you much love, much peace, and much happiness.
I'll close with my testimony. It seems only fitting.
I love my family. I love my husband with all of my heart. He has been my rock for me this year, through joy and sadness. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the sacrifice that He made for me. I know He loves me too. I'm grateful for the Gospel. I know that it is true. I am grateful for my ward family, for my bishopric, and for the Anderton Family, especially. I am grateful that I belong to the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this is the true church and I know that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I have a testimony of prayer. I know our prayers are answered. I have a testimony of tithing. I know we will be blessed if we keep the law of tithing.
I KNOW Families can be together Forever and I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who allows it to be so.
Things things I know and say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Gardner Village Experience

This will be a short post compared to the novel I just wrote. I had to write a few lines and throw a few photos up, mainly so that I don't get any phone calls or emails from worried friends and families thinking that I have either A.lost my mind or B.suffer from a horrible case of Depression and/or psychotic episodes.

I have some good friends. I have a couple of gals whom I am pretty close to that have dubbed themselves (and me too, i guess) the Wonder Women. I think each of them are amazing, wonderful, women and I love them dearly.

We decided to take a girl's trip to Gardner Village in some city in Utah. I don't know exactly where it is, really does it matter? We made a day out of it and went to Archibald's for dinner. We were almost asked to leave by some very posh older ladies who quite frankly didn't appreciate our humor or Heidi pretending to grab my boobies.
Seriously, who wouldn't like to watch a little girl on girl action in the middle of a bunch of elderly hoighty-toighty (that is *SO* a word that I use!) folks.

I needed a break from the day to day grind and I truly needed some giggles.
Mission. Accomplished.

We made a day of it and hit all the old lady craft stores and I was able to find some good deals. :)
Here are just a few of the photos from that day!

A post! Huzzah!

I haven't written in A. While.! The days seem to be zooming by faster and faster and I am barely getting into bed before I have to get out of it again. I wish time would go slower. My "baby" will be five in April and that is all she can talk about. Cary and I are trying to convince her to stay four forever, but she is having NONE of it. Stinkin' kid.
It's Sunday today and although Sundays are still quite hard for me, it is turning out to be a pretty good day. Next Sunday will be 2 months since my Dad has passed away and it has definitely been a very difficult two months. I still miss him Bug often talks about him and still asks "why poppie went to Heaven". I still don't have the answers for her.
A couple of weeks ago, right about the time we were pummeled with a huge snow fall, I decided it was time to go out and visit with my Dad at the grave site. I wanted to go alone, stay out there by myself for a while, but my darling husband wouldn't hear of it. He wanted to be there for me, physically and emotionally. In all honestly, I did need him there and was grateful he decided to go for me. :) He has known what I need, even when I don't (or won't) tell him.
We took all of our little childrens out to the cemetery, all bundled up, in the snow, to visit with my Dad. His birthday was December 14th and I had made him a couple of things with which to decorate. It was therapeutic for me to make something for him and know that he would be pleased with it. We went out and searched for him. Keep in mind it was covered with about a foot or two of snow at the time. We found him, somehow, and I gave him his gifts. I sat and talked with him for a good long while and told him some things that I felt like I needed to tell him. Things I wished with all of my heart that I would have told him while he was still here with me. I cried. Cary cried. My kids cried. It was a very emotional day. It also helped me quite a bit. I'm going to share some things that you might find completely insane, but they happened and think of it what you will. This is my *journal* and I need to write it down to remember it. Perhaps one day my kids will read it and think I'm a nut too. :) who knows!
To preface this I will say that since my Dad passed away, I haven't had an "experience" with him. I hadn't really felt his presence, which was somewhat of a relief while cleaning out his apartment, and some somewhat of a disappointment because I desperately wanted to feel a connection to him still. While at the cemetery, I pleaded with him to know and understand how much I love him and how sorry I am for not being the best daughter I could have been to him always. I still very much regret that. I also asked him to come and visit me to let me know that he is watching out for us and he is still very much aware of what is going on with us. I want him to know how much I love him and how much his grand-babies love him.
So, that was that. I left feeling a bit better. A good cry usually does that to a person, no?
A couple of days later I was getting ready for bed. I was sitting in the living room with nothing on except for the Christmas tree lights. I really like sitting in the dark silence watching the lights twinkle and a couple of special ornaments sparkle and dance in the light. I have a fatso cat named Marty. She's about 9 years old and acts as though she rules the roost around here. I threatened to give her to my Dad several times, but he didn't want to clean up after kitty cats. (understandably so)
She started acting really weird. She was pacing around the top of the stairs, staring down them, watching the door, meowing. I talked to her for a minute, but it didn't seem to help her feel better. I then thought to myself, I wonder! I wonder if my Dad is here! I kind of got the big eyes and brushed it off and went to bed, leaving Marty out here to visit with my Dad, if it was him. :)
A couple of days after that I was in the pantry fumbling around, trying to get things ready for the kids to go to school. It was early and I was tired. All of the sudden, I heard my Dad talking, saying something. To me? I'm not sure. I couldn't really understand his words and honestly I was a bit freaked out. I was trying to figure out who was talking and what exactly they were saying. I thought immediately to myself that it was my Dad and he was there. I don't know if it was my mind playing tricks on me, or if I was wanting to hear something so much that I did. Not sure. But, I did hear it.
When I told Cary about it later I got really emotional. He says that our loved ones don't visit with us to freak us out and they don't come around for no good reason. They will come and comfort us. I am comforted. Sundays are easier. I am healing. I *almost* don't cry when someone asks me how I am doing now. :) HUGE. Improvement. !

We will make it. We will never forget him. We will never stop loving him. That's the way it should be, No?

Happy Birthday Dad. Merry Christmas Daddy-o. Love you.