Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunny ? California

* * * * * * * * * *

Aaron Jr.
At the park on the first day.

Malia, Pearl, Aaron Jr.

Christa, Pearl, Malia, Sue, Grace, Goofy, April, Susie, Steve, Aaron Jr.
At California Adventure Park

Susie, Dave (blurry, but the best one I had) (Dave is April's husband)
At Disneyland.

Christa, Malia (Christa is Steve's wife)
At the beach.

Isaac, Nick (Nick is Sadie's husband)
At the beach.

Grace - let's go fly a kite... at the beach.

Aaron Jr., Leslie
At Disneyland

Aaron Jr., Sue (Grandma)
At Disneyland

Aaron Jr.
In the Finding Nemo ride. He loved it.

Leslie, Aaron Jr.
Also in the finding Nemo ride. I loved this shot of Aaron Jr, but what is my face doing?

Aaron Jr.
This was on a kiddy roller coaster. I was so interested in getting a good photo of him on it, I wasn't even comforting him through it. When it ended though, he didn't want to get off.

Aaron Jr., Mickey Mouse

Aaron Jr., Minnie Mouse

Top Five People: Leslie, Christa, Sue, Grace, Sadie
This was on the ride called 'Tower of Terror'. It was the only adult ride most of us went on that the kids couldn't go on. It was so worth riding on. What a fun and surprising ride. Thanks gals for the adventure. Grace, you were a trooper and so very brave.

April, Sadie, Sophia (Aaron's two sisters)
At the beach on the last day.

Malia, Susie, Sophia, Grace, Aaron Jr., Isaac, Pearl
The SEVEN grandkids in their Mickey Mouse ears.

Aaron Jr., Isaac
The TWO grandsons. We can't wait until Isaac is old enough to play with Aaron Jr. They will be great friends.

Aaron Jr., Steve (Aaron's brother)
It was really nice, Aaron loved exploring under the rocks on the beach. He could do it for hours. If he had been here, I could picture him taking Aaron Jr. to explore the whole time we were there. Luckily, Steve took Aaron over and explored just like Aaron would have. It was sweet and I am glad he thought to do it. Thanks Steve.

Aaron Jr., Steve, Isaac
Grandpa and his two grandsons.

Aaron Jr.

Leslie, Aaron Jr.

This last week, we went to California with Aaron's family. I had a lot of anxiety about going since Aaron wouldn't be there. At one point, I had decided not to go... but decided to go after talking to Aaron's sister Sadie. I am SO glad we went. Yes, I missed Aaron so much... it was very painful at times. But, I was able to bond with Aaron's family like I have never bonded with them before. It was a bitter sweet vacation... I missed Aaron, I thought about him constantly, but Aaron's family helped me so much to have fun and showed me kindness, love, and support. I didn't know what to expect when we left, I had several very tough hours, but overall... it was such a great trip. I am grateful for the closeness I feel to his family and for the love they showed to me. I was able to have one on one time with each little family and it was such a delight spending time with them and their kids. We were able to share stories and memories of Aaron and it helped to take some of the pain away.
I am grateful that we went and I am very grateful for Aaron's family all making me feel so loved and so much a part of their family. I feel closer to them than I ever have and I am so glad of that. Aaron Jr. was able to bond more with his cousins and they all got along so great. I am excited for him to spend more time with them all.
As much anxiety as I had to go on the trip, I had even more anxiety the last day knowing we were coming home. Coming home meant that we would be returning to this 'new normal' that we are not used to yet. But we are home and I have actually felt so much better. I truly believe that the trip to California with Aaron's family has brought a little bit of closure for me. I am grateful for them all.
Thank you to Steve and Sue for footing the bill and taking us on this trip.

This was the only time Aaron and I ever went to Disneyland and the California Adventure Park, and I know I have put this photo on the blog before, but I wanted to put it into this posting. We had a great time with Steve and Christa.

We all miss you Aaron... you are forever in our hearts.

* * *


Amberly said...

This looks like a fantastic trip, both for you and for little aaron to get to spend some time with his cousins. I'm so gald you enjoyed yourself and I hope the "new normal" continues to become a little less painfull each day. know that strangers are loving you today!

Karlyn said...

I LOVE the picture of you holding Aaron Jr. barefoot on the beach.

I am so happy that you had such fun. Looks like you have more than one incredible family.

Tawnie said...

what a great trip. I'm glad it was so wonderful for you. Love you Leslie. You are doing awesome!!

LL said...

it's so nice to hear that you were able to go and enjoy yourself!
the Harkness crew is an amazing group of people--i'm glad you're surrounded by so many people that love you.
thinking of you!!!

christa said...

Cute pictures. I love the first one of aaron at the park. So cute. I'm so glad it was such a good experience for you and am so happy you made the decision to go. We as well enjoyed spending time with you and little aaron. We need to be better about getting these kiddos together more often!!!

Joann said...

It looks like you had fun despite all the anxiety. I am sure it was a hard decision to make and a hard trip to take. I really am glad that you decided to spend that time with Aaron's family. They are wonderful people and I am sure you were all able to lift each other up on this trip. I love you and little Aaron, Leslie and I still think about you every day!

(ps my favorite picture is the one of Aaron Jr. standing on the log on the beach...the full body shot. He looks SO big!)

Anonymous said...


I have not stopped thinking about our trip to California. We are so blessed to have the both of you as part of our family. When I got up this morning I missed all the grandkids and rest of the family...I anxiously await our next Harkness adventure. It was hard not having Aaron there...but I beleive he is with us and happy that we took the time to enjoy each other. What an honor and privilege it is to have the two of you in our family....Leslie, if you get down......remember the Tower of Terror Ride...what a Blast!!!!
Love Sue

Karey said...

Glad you had a good time, Leslie. We hoped you'd be able to enjoy yourself and enjoy the time with cute little Aaron. Glad you were safe and we sure do love you.

Kristi said...

How fun. There is nothing like a trip to bring people closer together. It looks like it was a fun group. I am sure Aaron Jr. LOVED it. I bet Aaron is glad that you went and were able to solidify your connection to his family.
We love you and are anxious for your next trip.

Mindy said...

I'm so glad you could spend that time with Aaron's family! Aaron Jr. looks so cute! I love the scared face picture!

April said...

We love you Les and not-so-little-now Aaron. The trip seemed to fly by. How great it is to be with family. I'm glad you pushed through the anxious feelings and came with us... it sounds like it ended up being a good decision for you, but let me tell you, it was good for us too! I'm proud of you for doing so... that took strength.
It helped me to heal a little more to be with you and the family.
We missed Aaron and thought of him through the whole trip. I kept thinking things like, 'Aaron would have done this or would have done that'. But, I'm sure at times he was there with us.
We miss you already.

Ginny said...


You don't know me, although I live close. I found your blog through a friend of a friend's. I just needed to tell you that you have touched my life. I am crying with you as you redefine your life. I am impressed with your strength, sometimes demonstrated best by acknowledging your weakness. Thank you for letting perfect strangers be strengthened by sharing your true feelings. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache you feel and I pray for you and your adorable son!

Thank you again,


K&K&kids said...

I am so glad you had a good time on your trip. What a great thing for Little Aaron to be able to experience Disney with his cousins. I am sure there are many more good times to come. Love ya.
You look beautiful in the picture on the beach!!

Seesalou said...

i am thrilled that your trip went well and gave you a chance to get out of this ridiculous utah winter! it looks like a great trip with fun memories for everyone. love.

Vicki said...

I miss Disneyland! That place is so fun! I'm glad you had a good time with Aaron's family. Love ya!

linda said...

I don't know how I found your blog, but my heart went out to you when I did. Your son is beautiful. When days are hard I hope it will bring you comfort to know that there are strangers praying for you. I have more than once.

April said...

Les, for the tip. I wondered what was going on!

April said...

I forgot to type thanks (you probably figured that out though) :)

Justin said...

I can't believe how big Aaron is getting. I absolutely love his face on the roller coaster. I bet he had so much fun. I also love the picture of the two of you with Aaron in his stroller. It reminds me of his dad because he has a solemn look on his face and he isn't looking directly at the camera. I think 85% of the pictures I have with Aaron have that exact same look and pose (minus the stroller)

Dean and Katrina said...

Hi Leslie,
Thank you for leaving your comment on my blog. I think about your adorable little family often! So sometimes I sneak a peak at your blog just to see how you are doing. I am glad you went with Aaron to California. That was a great idea and probably was loads of fun for the whole family to have a cute little curly blond boy come along. You little boy is very cute, it is nice to know you have him here with you. I recently had a friend in my ward pass away. He was a father of 5 kids and it was very unexpected. It made me think of you and your family. I hope time is helping you along as well as heaven.Take care!
Katrina Devereaux