Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Mom's Memorial

I received a phone call on Thursday morning, October 15th that completely rocked my world. It was my sister Tami and Lara telling me that my mom had unexpectedly passed away early that morning in Colorado. She had been diagnosed with a bleeding hemorrhoid and then just a few hours later she was rushed to the ER, went into emergency surgery and died just a few hours after the operation. We still have a lot of questions that need answered by her doctors and surgeons about everything that happened that day, but it was so shocking to lose my mom so suddenly. I had just talked to her on the phone that Sunday evening and all was well. Then suddenly it wasn't.

I headed out to Colorado on Tuesday, October 20th to spend time with my Dad and help prepare things for her Funeral services. My Dad has terminal cancer and is currently under hospice care and to lose my mom so suddenly has been very, very hard on him. He was preparing for his own death, not for his wife's. We knew she wanted to be cremated but we were able to say our final goodbyes in a special viewing held right before they began the cremation process. It was heartbreaking for me to hear my Dad talk and weep with my mom. Their love was so strong and so deep and I am so very grateful to have that example of true love in my life.

He sat and held her hand for the entire time that we were with her. He felt comforted that he was able to warm up her cold hands one more time.

One last kiss...

And a final salute to his "princess."

I spent the next few days organizing things and preparing a display for her funeral. My mom was very big into visual aids so we set up a few things that she had created during the years....

A small sampling of my mom's thousands of family photos...

A tribute to my beautiful mother...

This was the urn that was picked out to hold my mom's ashes. It was beautiful and made even more beautiful by the flower arrangements send by friends and family members...

We took out my mom's owl collection and let each person who attended the luncheon take one home to remember my mom by. She loved the phrase "OWL (I'll) ALWAYS LOVE YOU!"

We had so many wonderful friends and family members come to remember my mom and her life and to support our family during this very difficult time. This is my mom's sister, Clarissa and some of her children and husband.

My good friend Brynn from my childhood years...

Wonderful ward members were there to offer love, support, and lots of great food.

Two of Tasha's friends from middle/high school came to show their love for our family (Amy and Laura.)

Our condensed cousin line-up from all those who were able to attend the funeral...

Just the five of us now...

I was so grateful that Jason was able to come out with the kids and support me during this time. He has been such a wonderful source of strength and companionship throughout all of this.

I miss my mom so very, very much. I cannot imagine my life without her in it. She was a wonderful example of love and caring. Family meant everything to my mom and she always made each one of us feel so important and special. She made each holiday and family event such a joy. She will be so greatly missed.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Time to Party!

Since Jason's parents were coming for a visit in mid-October, we decided to wait until that weekend to have Maylie's official birthday party. The Ladners as well as the Maynes (our neighbors down the street) were also able to come so it was quite the little fiesta in our house that night.

I loved this cute little decoration filled with Maylie pictures from each month of her first year of life!!

She was a little more hesitant about the cupcake this time. I think partly because she had just finished dinner so she wasn't very hungry and there was quite a gathering of people watching her every move!

Getting a little taste...

And in goes the cupcake!!

And now we officially have a one-year-old on our hands. It is both exciting and kind of sad for me, but she is still my little baby no matter how old she grows!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Family Pictures 2015

I really wanted to get some new family pictures taken before the weather got too cold. I also had the "brilliant" idea that maybe if we used a tripod, we could take our own family pictures without having to hire a photographer which can be pretty pricey. Fortunately all of the stars aligned, and we were able to head out on Monday, October 12th to Pangborn Park with our coordinating outfits and perfect weather.

We had A LOT of pictures that didn't turn out, but I was thrilled that we got some amazing pictures of our family for 2015. Not too bad for a tripod and a fairly cooperative family!!

I sure do love this little family of mine!!

I had to include this one outtake because it just makes me laugh. Maylie wanted no part of this one (can you see Jason holding her up in the back?) and Nolan looks pretty pained about the whole thing too! Still love it though!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

First Birthday!

As much as I tried to deny it, my little baby had her first birthday on Saturday, October 3rd. It was supposed to be a pretty busy day with a soccer game, a baseball game and then General Conference but with the rainy weather, almost everything got cancelled so we were able to enjoy spending time at home watching General Conference and celebrating Maylie's first year of life.

Here she is on her birthday morning...all ready to go!!

This girl brings so much light and laughter into our home. I don't think we could possibly love and enjoy her any more than we already do!

She is full of personality and she loves making us laugh...

She pulls herself up on everything and cruises around the furniture too. She especially loves anything soft and when she sees a baby doll or stuffed animal, she makes the cutest little cooing sound!

She had lots of helpers available to help her open her birthday presents...

She quite enjoyed ripping up that wrapping paper. She loves to rip apart anything she can get her hands on so to be able to do it and not get in trouble was a real treat!

I guess she enjoyed what was inside the wrapping paper too!

She got her first little purse...

And a new baby doll too!!

Then we stripped her down and presented her with her very first cupcake!!

To say she loved it would be a huge understatement!!

She dived in headfirst, probably anxious to eat as much as she could before someone took it away!

That is some good stuff!!

Happy First Birthday Miss Maylie!!