Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Well, we did it.  Another holiday down.  As obscure as Halloween is, I love it!  It is the only time in your life that you get to pretend to be someone that you aren't (Within reason of course).  The kids and I carved pumpkins, and roasted pumpkin seeds.  I was crazy tired and had been dealing with a sick little Averie, so I told the kids that if they wanted to carve pumpkins, that they had to actually do the work themselves.  You see in past years, I clean out a pile of pumpkins, and then within minutes they have lost interest and I am left to carve four pumpkins by myself.  I usually end up spending the midnight hours cursing like a sailor (in my mind of course, and usually made-up words, but still) and sawing away at the stupid pumpkins.

So, I cut off the tops, and let them go to it.  Even Averie did her own pumpkin!  Holy cow, I have babied them all these years.  Those little suckers played me.  They even separated the seeds from the pulp so that we could have some delicious roasted pumpkin seeds.

I wish I would have had a recorder going through all of this, because it was quite funny.  Averie kept saying, "This is hopeless!"  Where does she even get stuff like that.  Ashton, I pretty sure was saying some words that he knew his mama didn't want him saying, but somehow he got away with it.  And Ethan, just quietly went to work.  It was a great night.

We ended up at my Bro and Sister-in-laws for dinner before trick-or-treating, and guess who was the only adult dressed up???  You got it.  Seriously.  What's with you grown-ups?  You too good for acting like a kid?  Well, you really missed out!

Here are some pics from our great adventures.

Ethan hard at work.  Ashton showing us who's boss.  Averie, proud as can be.  Me, all concentration.

Just before the lighting ceremony.  You can cast your vote now.

Top l. Ethan as the Reaper, Ashton as Ironman, Bottom l. Averie as stuff she found in the dress-up box, and Ethan sans mask.

Who am I you ask?  Well, I have no idea.  I just grabbed some stuff and put it on.

Didn't they do such a great job? (top l. Me, Ave, bottom l. Ethan, Ash)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Memory Blitz

B.C. or before children, I had an amazing memory.  In fact, the memory from those days is still intact.  I just seems that the brain power has been brought down a few notches with each pregnancy.  Then with the loss of John...well let's just say that I'm no longer a threat to the debate club dweebs.  Anyway, there have been so many memories that will come up, and I really have to think hard to figure out if John was there or not.  It's a pretty strange sensation actually.

The other day, one of these memories surfaced.  It was a memory of having to put dilating eye drops into one of Averies' eyes.  In my minds eye, I can clearly see John holding her while I administer the drops.  She really hated those drops.  They were painful, and they made it hard for her to see, so she always threw a fit when it was time for the drops.  This scenario is a perfect example of how our marriage worked.  One of us would hold the squirming child, while the other would work the magic of whatever treatment needed to be performed.  The only problem with this particular memory is that it took place just a few months ago. 

I sat back and thought to myself, "Wow, you're really losing it sister!"  I realized that this wasn't a one time memory blip, but that there were several occasions that I could recall in which John was right there with us, only he couldn't have been.  In fact, one of the times was up at the Alpine slides in Park City.  I can clearly see him laughing with my brothers, while holding Averie's hand and calling to the boys.  I swear to you that the memory is very vivid and very real, however, this outing took place before we even got his body home from Guatemala.  It was a really somber occasion for all of us.  We were still in shock, and just trying our hardest to run from the pain and reality of the situation.  But in my memory, he was there with us.  Handsome as ever.

I guess the thing that became glaringly obvious was the fact that he was there.  He has always been here.  I have always been able to feel him, but maybe I thought that I was pretending a bit.  Funny how I can do that to myself.  I can know something for sure, and still think that I made it up.  I am so grateful for this little realization.  I am so thankful for my sweet memories, and I am especially grateful for the knowledge that those sweet memories can continue to grow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It's still a strangely sad feeling to me to have the kids tucked in their beds and not have a soul to talk to.  The last few nights have been especially hard, I think because I've had some down time to really think about it.  I have intentionally kept myself overly busy just so that when I finally stopped for the night, I would be exhausted enough to sleep right away.  The recent problem has been not just down time, but dreams.  I swear I can't catch a break.

I finally made myself attend a singles activity.  I h.a.t.e. those things, but I figured that I couldn't sit around feeling sorry for myself if I didn't at least put forth some effort.  So, a great friend of mine accompanied me to a costume party of all things.  My friend Leslie, who lost her husband about a year before I did, wasn't way thrilled about the "singles" scene either, but we gave it a go.  When we first got there, it was just uncomfortable.  I felt like a seventh grader at my first stomp.  We walked around for a bit, and then we were going to duck out.  It occurred to me that first of all, no one knew me, and second, I wanted to unwind and have some fun.  So, I dragged Leslie out onto the dance floor, and we had a blast.  I laughed until it hurt.  We talked to a few people, but no love connections were made.  Leslie kept saying, "I can't imagine that I would be meeting my future husband at some singles dance."  I will say this, I can't even picture John being at anything even remotely like this costume party.  Oh well, it was fun.

The singles life is so much harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really hard.  Dating is one thing when there is just you to worry about, but when you have a precious little family at home, boy it's really difficult.  I find that I don't want to deal with any cute quirks, or silliness.  I have really had to sit down and think about what we need for our family to not only survive, but to thrive.  My list has really evolved and changed.  I'm not looking for someone with tons of money, or someone who drives a really cool car.  I'm not looking for someone who is really cool, and has lots of admirers.  I'm looking for someone who knows who he is.  I'm looking for someone who has respect for hard work, and who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get down to business.  I'm looking for someone who upholds his priesthood and hold it dear.  I'm looking for someone who will love my kids like his own, and who wants the same things for them that John wants for them.  I'm looking for someone who will hold me and make me feel safe again.  Someone whom I will want to fight for every single day, who I can give my heart to.  Someone who is kind, and loving, and who will know that even though there are going to be tough times ahead, that all the sacrifice and hard work will all be worth it.

Some people say that I'm way to picky, and maybe to judgemental.  I say, you can never be too picky or too judgemental.  Fifteen years ago, I carried around a list very similar to this one.  My brothers, and my friends teased me that I would never find anyone to fit that description.  I'm here to tell you that I did.  He was perfect for me, and unfortunately we weren't meant to be together for very long here on this earth.  I know that he is working his magic, trying to find the best candidate to help take care of his little family.  I sure wish things didn't have to be this way, but that doesn't change the fact that they are this way.  All I know is that there was a very important reason why these things happened to us, and it isn't for me to understand right now.

Even though the loneliness is very profound, I know that I'm not alone.  It's not the same, and it doesn't erase the pain, but it does give me hope, and isn't that what it's all about?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Corn Maze

Last weekend, my friend Jamie and I took our kiddos to a fun little corn maze/fun center.  It was so great to get out into the fresh fall air and run and laugh and play.  Wow, it really does a body good. 

 Here's my sweet little toothless Ashton cheesing it up.

 Averie and Lucy...forever best friends
 Gotcha!  (it's always a good day when I can spring a pic on an unsuspecting Jamie)
 Sweet little gals
 Ashton, Scarlett, and Sarah
Ashton was getting a little worries that we would never find our way out.
 Ethan and Noah took off like a shot, map in hand and ready to conquer the big maze on their own.
 Awe!  So cute.
 Lo, and behold, they made it back alive.
 I need to remember this contraption next time I have extra bails of straw.
Look at the face on the little one. (Averie, not Jamie. Ha!)