Monday, November 30, 2009

From Gratitude, to Grief, to Gratitude

To say this was a different Thanksgiving experience would be an understatement.
Although we got to have fun visiting friends in NC, celebrating Chip turning 30, and feasting on delicious food on Thanksgiving day.....
The mood was a little more somber this year.

On Wed. night one of our good friends here in VA passed away.
John, Emily, and Lizzie Jones went out to Utah to visit his family and spend the holidays there.
He was at the nutty putty caves enjoying caving when he became stuck.
After 28 hours of being stuck in the cave, hundreds of rescue workers trying to help out, and even at one time thinking he was almost going to be pulled out, a setback occurred and he ended up passing away inside the cave.

Words can't describe the feelings of shock, emotion, sadness, worry, and fears that overcame me as I heard the news. I had went to bed with the thoughts that he was going to be out within two hours and back home with sweet Emily, and when I woke up in the morning and had Chip go check the news to make sure this was the case and found out it wasn't, I was stunned. It honestly did NOT seem real. I couldn't believe it, didn't want to believe it, and just wondered how something this awful could happen to someone so very VERY good?

As I spoke to many of our friends out here the feelings were mutual. There were many tears shed, questions that are unanswered, whys that were asked, what-ifs asked, and just a total sadness for his dear sweet wife and baby, and his whole family.

I found myself thinking about it in every aspect of the day, and couldn't sleep the next night because I was so racked with sadness. It wasn't until I was able to read Sweet Emily's blog and read the text she sent that I began to have a little solace.
She is SOOOOOO strong in the gospel, and the words she shared about knowing they are an eternal family and it will be but a short time before they see him again were so inspiring.

The last Gratitude from the title of the post comes from having the knowledge of the gospel. Although we don't have all the hows and whys answered, we have a hard time getting passed the what-ifs and if-onlys, we do know one thing. We know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church, and that we will see our families again when we are sealed in the temple for time and all eternity.

Although this doesn't take away the pain we feel right now, or the sorrow and grief we have to go through at this time, it does allow us to to be happy and gives us peace that it is ok and we can make it through this. John was a man of such great faith, a wonderful father, loving husband, and such a good friend to all who came to know him. He was such a good example of someone who lived a Christ-like life, and I feel honored to have been able to get to know him.

His wife Emily and daughter Lizzy are some of my bestest friends out here in VA, and to them I just want to say how much I love them, will be there for them, and want to do anything I can to help them. Emily is a rock when it comes to the gospel, and she has been an example, even through this great trial, as a friend who has so much faith and understanding of the gospel. I am grateful for her friendship, her example, and her testimony that she shares each time I am around her. I truly am grateful for the Savior Jesus Christ and for the plan of salvation, the atonement, and that we can be eternal families.

At this time of year it is a time of reflection on The Savior's birth and life, and I am grateful, even when the hard times come, to have an eternal perspective.
May Christmas this year be spent centered on Christ.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We're Back.................and got HUGE news!!!

After a wonderful 2 weeks in Utah with my family, 2 showers for my BF Linds, a stop in from Chip for the weekend, Dancesport and watching my beautiful sister Kimmy rock the floor, and good food and friends, we are back home now!!!

We have HUGE news that I have been dying to write about but had to wait til I got back here and could tell my friends in person!!!

and NO, it is not that i am pregnant!

We are moving!!!!! For 6-12 months!

Yep, any guesses where??? Don't bother, you won't guess right!

We are off to BEIJING, CHINA!!!!
Yep, it will be an adventure! More soon, and pics from the past few weeks!

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had a great Halloween week, with lots of parties, lots of treats, and LOTS of dressing up!

We hosted an party for a bunch of friends, where we all dressed up as couples, and it was a blast!
Chip and I went as Ed and Jillian from the Bachelorette (which all the couples who came know because they watched it at my house and we made fun of Ed's Mankini, (aka short swimsuit), and the fact that at the final rose ceremony Jillian looked like she was wearing a wedding dress!)

Thus the reason for the costumes Chip and I are wearing....and yes, that is my wedding dress!

We played great games and had SO much fun!!!
We have great friends out here, and they really know how to party!

The final rose

Ed and Jillian

Good thing he accepted!

Zeus, Athena, and Hercules!

Biggest Loser contestants!

Kelly and Zac (Saved By the Bell) doing the donut contest!

Kiss.....also doing the donut contest in a different fashion!

Ed and Zac fixing up the witches brew!

We had great treats!

All the girls!

On Halloween we dressed up again as robbers and Cash moneybag, and Cash had a great time trick-or-treating! I would steal this little guy anytime!
PS - i did NOT make this costume, although I wish I did......I bought it at!

It was a great Halloween - can't wait til next year.....costumes already in the works!