Thursday, March 19, 2015

AZ Trip for Jayton's State Basketball Game!

The week after I got back from Utah for my grandpa's funeral we found out Jayton was going to be playing in the State semi-finals for HS basketball tournament for Mountain View.  Chip had to work all weekend and since he was gonna be gone anyways the kids and I decided to ditch a little bit of school on Friday and head on over to cheer him on!

First a shopping trip for a few items before leaving!!!

We got there after a VERY LONG trip with a TON OF TRAFFIC......which delayed us about 2.5-3 hours and so we didn't get in til after midnight and we were all exhausted, but went to bed anxious for the next fun day!

When we woke up we found out the Phoenix Marathon runners were going right by the Brown's house so we went out to watch them and cheer them on --- Becky took the kids on a fun bike ride on her cool bike and they loved it ------ altho it really was VERY VERY COLD there this weekend!

Then we took the kids to a fun trampoline/bounce place where they had a blast doing all the different activities, with the highlight being dodge ball!  Becky and I had fun til we got kicked out cuz we didn't have wristbands like the kids! 

 It wouldn't be a trip to AZ without going to visit my Grandparents and altho they don't live here anymore we drove by and took a picture....made me really miss my Grandpa and was more emotional then I thought.  

 Then it was time to get ready for the big game.  We found Chip's letterman jacket in the closet and Ivy and Griff had fun putting it on!

 Then we got there and got settled ready for a good game!

 Jayton played good when he was in and had a couple of good looks at the basket, and the team had a massive comeback in the 3rd quarter where they took the lead for the first time and we thought they would pull it out, but in the end the Toros lost :(

 Cash was SUPER INTO the game and loved it and was watching and not wanting to miss a thing.  He loves basketball and plans to one day play for his HS team.  I hope so too!  

Since they lost our decision was made easier on us and we travelled home Sunday since we really had a busy week and needed to get back.  Always hard to say goodbye, especially after such a short trip, but it was a good one......and the drive home was much better and free of traffic for the most part!

This poor little missy got sick monday night around 11 pm and threw up over and over til about 2:30 when she finally was able to go back to sleep.  Not sure what caused it but she was fine in the morning and back to her happy self.  She was so sweet even when sick and didn't cry or complain or anything, just told me she needed her bowl to puke in and then water after.  I love her so much and hate watching when the kiddos are sick at all!

 Back to running at the beach and this one was a beautiful morning and one of reflection - I saw these swings and they made me cry over the fact little Ivy, my baby, is not so little anymore.  She got rid of her binky, got potty trained, and doesn't want to swing in the baby swings anymore, because she is a big girl!  I want to freeze time!

 We have started meeting Chip for lunch on Wednesdays and this time Emily came too.....we LOVE lunching with them!

 Picked up some outfits for Easter and these cuties looked so cute - Cash said they looked like they were going to a wedding and they instantly started dancing together - not sure why but it was so cute!

 At a friend's bday party and Ivy wanted to swing on the big girl swings of course!

 Griff had his first baseball game on a 90 degree hot day and was awesome!  So cute and fun watching him play!

We went through a car wash after on the way to Cash's Bball game and the kids loved it!

Cash was great in his baseball game earlier in the morning too and Ivy was sporting her freshly painted nails - which she came in and told me "let's paint our nails now mom!"

 Griff took my phone at Cash Bball game and took about 100 shots - it was fun to look and see the angle he had on the game!  Cash did great!  8 points!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Celebrating My Grandpa CO Romans!!!

My first Grandparent in my life passed away at the age of 92 on February 17 in the morning.  He had all of his daughters, his wife Kathryn, and my dad in the room and they said it was a very peaceful experience.  It is something I have actually thought about for a little while as he was getting close to passing since I have never experienced the death of any of my grandparents before.  I have been lucky to have grown up with both my parents' parents and have known them all 33 years of my life and have developed great relationships with each of them.  

It was interesting to me in going out to Utah for the celebration how different all of the family were when it came to the grieving process, and how sadness seemed to hit different people at different times.  Needless to say he was loved by so many and in going and listening to the stories of his life and remembering so many good times spent with him and the inspiring life he led I came away wanting to be a better person, to live my own life in a way that would make him proud of me.

I had had my own moments where grief seemed to strike me, one of the biggest times being before he actually had passed away.  We thought he was going to one Saturday and I went for a run down on the beach.  As I ran I looked up at the clouds and they looked so beautiful and welcoming and I thought about him going to heaven and being reunited with his son who passed away when he was just 2 and his parents and others who have gone on before, and then I ran by this restaurant on the beach that always makes me long for my Grandpa's pancakes on the grill like we used to have in Nebraska and it just took me back and made me cry.  I ran with tears streaming down my face as I talked to myself and said what I wanted to say to him but hadn't been able to get out.  I sat down on a bench and just stared at the ocean when a friend ran by and saw I was crying.....She stopped and asked me what was going on and then is when I had my first real hard cry.  I ended up getting to tell her all about him and my memories and why I loved him and it was actually such an awesome experience and was so helpful to have someone to cry too and also to share about how awesome of a man he is.  We ran back and shared stories and it was a great experience that made me feel happy.  I tried a few different times on the phone or FT to tell him what I wanted to say but always got choked up and usually just had to say "I love you Grandpa and hope I can make you proud!" and then end my call.  At that point I am not sure how much he would have gotten from me anyways, but he did always manage to tell me about the tractor and how he couldn't find it from the move each time I called, and thanks for calling.  And up until his very last days he ate icecream, and now I know where I get my love of icecream from!  I plan on doing the same thing.

Although it was bittersweet the reason we all went to Utah to meet to be there for the funeral, it was actually so much fun to get to see cousins and family I haven't seen in years.  I didn't take my kids and just flew in solo and so did many of my cousins and so we actually got to sit and enjoy and talk to each other and catch up and laugh about old reunions we used to have and the fun memories we shared.  It wasn't long enough, but we did manage to pack in quite a bit from the few days.  The night before the funeral we had a pizza dinner at the church and got to just visit and hang with the family and they had the cousins each say where they were living and we lined up in age and it was so great - especially when Clint and Shauna's entire family recited pi - just like he did back at the family reunion in Wyoming.  

Once again Clayton and Jordan had me laughing til my sides hurt as we reminisced old times together and got to chat with Chelsea and Suzie and Carly and Whitney and Rachel at our table.  I love LOVE LOVE my cousins and so being there with them was so fun.  The adults did a little production of the 3 bears also which was pretty funny!

We then went to SWIG and got to show the non-Utah peeps how delicious the cookies are there and the drinks.  We had a blast chatting with everyone who came there and once again found myself laughing so hard I got a side ache.

The next morning we got up and ready for the funeral and headed to the church.  After the rehearsal of the two songs the daughters and granddaughters were singing the night before I knew it was going to be tough to hold it together for me during the first song.....Shenandoah.  My grandpa LOVED this song and used to ask me to play it for him whenever I came to his house.  I didn't always love it but over time grew to really appreciate it and it was the perfect song for us to sing because I know he was smiling down listening and humming along.  As we sang that and the other song Amazing Grace I couldn't help but have happy tears as I watched my Grandma, sitting there on the front row beaming up and smiling the biggest smile.  She looked absolutely beautiful and it was wonderful to watch her and feel the spirit that was there.  

The funeral was amazing and one of the best I have ever been too - my cousin Carly did an AMAZING (as in best I have ever heard at any funeral ever) life sketch of my Grandpa.  It was the perfect combination of funny, informative, gave you the feeling of who he was and what his life was like and was spiritual and uplifting and made you happy that you knew him.  

Then each of the daughters spoke and all did a great job too.  It was fun to hear their stories and learn more about them growing up and what they see from him as a dad and made me love him even more for the family he raised and especially for my own mom and what he taught her and how she was raised and who she became.  The songs were then sung and it was interesting to see who of the cousins or family was having a hard time and was touched during the songs - like I said before it just hit people at different times and it was interesting to watch that. 

My favorite part of the whole funeral happened during the family prayer time tho.  We were all in the room and before they closed the casket they allowed each family to come up and say their last respects.  My grandma Katee went first and my mom escorted her.  As she walked up there with her cane in hand and her beautiful squash blossom necklace and perfectly put together look, she said "I love you most.....(which has special meaning from previous experiences), followed by "how dare you leave me hear alone!" and then "come back and visit me sometime soon!"  It was the sweetest, most loving and touching thing to witness.  Then she squeezed his hand (i think) and walked away.  We each had a turn then and altho I feel it is a bit awkward because it feels like you are on display and I didn't like it so much and had already spent time in front of the casket on my own talking to him and thinking about things it was good I guess as a final and gave closure a little bit.  The prayer was wonderful and then we went in for the funeral.  The funeral was also great because it was not long and drawn out and it was upbeat and a true celebration of his life.

I loved on the program reading all the things that cousins and family had written in about what reminded us of Grandpa - such as pancakes, choc milk, the merry-go-round, phase 10, checkers, riding lawnmowers, circle spinning bed, icecream, and more.   It was so fun to read and the back couldn't have stated it better ending with "We still like you!" which was so fitting after getting their Christmas card last year.  Really it was an amazing day, and altho hard was so wonderful and uplifting.  I am so grateful I got to go and experience it.

After the sisters spoke my Uncle Greg spoke and gave a great talk and then my dad did the closing remarks and he was great too.  It was a wonderful meeting.

 Right after the casket was closed.

 My dad giving his closing remarks (Sam was having his tearful moments right then)

 It was starting to flurry with snowflakes as we got to the cemetery.  I tried to capture a few shots!

 Looking at the casket as it was being put down was very emotional for me.  The flag was such a great symbol of my Granpda and his patriotism to this country and he served it well!

 Apparently someone wasn't closing their eyes during the prayer;)

 Cold but beautiful Utah!

 Loved watching my Grandma and feeling of her strength!

 Great to see everyone smiling and laughing still.

 The boys!

 All the cousins getting ready for a group pic!

 Everyone look!

 The kids!

 My amazing and beautiful Grandma....really - check out how stylish and gorgeous she is!

 Siblings and spouses

 I LOVE HER!!!! She was amazing and her strength inspired me....glad it was a good day for her!

 My family minus Alex!

 Me and my grandma Katee - one of my heroes!

 My family with Grandma!

We went to Swig again for more cousin time fun - LOVE these girls!

Then we went and visited Grandma Katee at her new place and home over at Jamestown.  She was in such good spirits and was laughing and smiling and was funny and joking around and we just laughed and had a great visit.  It was a great day.

Then we went home and played games and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Aunt Suzie and Chelsea had me once again getting a side ache and really it was a wonderful day.  I was sad to leave so soon the next morning.  

I am grateful for my family, for my Grandpa CO Romans, and for the gospel which provides me with the knowledge I can and will see him again and live with him again some day!