Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Rest & Relaxation" in Oregon

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Aaron Jr. and I flew up to Oregon (thanks to my brother letting us use some buddy passes) at the beginning of March. We came to visit my brother Spencer and his family. The plan was to stay as long as we didn't feel like we were getting in the way, but to for sure go home before Easter. There are loads of photos, so... sit back and hopefully enjoy.

Luke and Aaron Jr. Luke is the boy cousin closest in age to Aaron Jr. He is three. They have had a great time together. Luke had his tonsils and adenoids out two days after we got here and was miserable for several days, but is back to his old self now. He pretends constantly that he is one piece of tractor equipment or another. He uses his hands as the diggers and even makes the noises of lifting or backing up. It is so cute.

Here I am pushing Luke, a.k.a. the airplane.

All of the boys. Luke, Benjamin, Aaron Jr., Spencer

Aaron Jr., Spencer, Luke
Spencer loves to wear basketball uniforms, so he wore a uniform almost every day... not the same one every day, but a uniform nonetheless. They actually have to put his uniforms in time out sometimes to get their point across. It is so funny. Spencer loves those uniforms. It is so cute.

What a sweet face, Aaron Jr.

Kristi holding Benjamin, 'lil Spencer, Spencer holding Luke
Their boys are so adorable. We just love them.

Leslie holding Aaron Jr.

Aaron Jr., the messy faced mad scientist.

Spencer and Spencer - Yes, another day at the park.

Luke, Leslie, Aaron Jr.

Leslie & Aaron Jr. & the 'fagon' (as Aaron Jr. calls it... he really means dragon)

Kristi & Benjamin

Spencer's back flip off of the swing. Great landing!

Kristi showing her... well, I don't know what you call it, but I have seen gymnasts do it on the uneven bars in the olympics. It was cool. I tried and couldn't do it.

This is me showing off my 'cherry drop'. Spencer got this great shot of me looking like I am going to face plant. When will I begin to act my age?

Spencer, Luke, Aaron Jr., Benji working 'the excavator'. - Yep, another park.

Spencer, Aaron Jr., Benji, Luke on another 'fagon'.

Spencer holding Benji, Aaron Jr., Luke

Mark & Suzy flew in for a few days last weekend to visit. It was a lot of fun. Spencer, Mark, and I are the three youngest of the eleven children in our family. Thanks so much to them for making the trip. I am very grateful. Love you both.

Suzy holding Benji. - Uh huh... another park.

Aaron Jr., Spencer, Luke blowing their bubbles.

Spencer & Aaron Jr.

Kristi, Leslie, Suzy

Mark & Spencer

Luke, Aaron Jr., Benji, Spencer - It was so much fun watching them ride this. They had a blast on this one.

Luke & Aaron Jr.
Kristi's mom sent an Easter package and because we were here, she sent enough stuff for Aaron Jr. to be able to take part. So, Kristi hid the eggs to be hunted and we all headed over to the park. Luke and Aaron Jr. decided that their buckets were hats.

Luke, Benji, Spencer, Aaron Jr. - get ready, get set, GO!

Spencer, Luke, Benji, Aaron Jr.

Spencer helping Benji, Spencer, Kristi, Luke

Leslie & Aaron Jr.

Luke, Aaron Jr., Spencer, Benji - showing off the merchandise. We had to trick them into thinking there was an airplane to get them to stop looking down or around. (I've used that too often on Aaron Jr... he was skeptical). Thanks to Kristi's mom for sending extra Easter stuff for Aaron Jr. He loved it.

Aaron Jr. This is another one from the park where Mark and Suzy were with us.

Leslie & Aaron Jr. Lithia Park. In May this year, it will have been two years since we came as a family to visit Spencer and Kristi's family. I had fun this day, but thought about Aaron constantly while we were here because the only time I had ever been to this park... Aaron was there as well. The next photo is of our family in Lithia park in May of 2006.

Leslie, Aaron Jr., Aaron

The last two photos are of that same trip, but in different places here in Oregon.

Aaron Jr. & Aaron fishing in the Rogue River.

Aaron, Aaron Jr., Leslie - Our Family

Even in Oregon, things have been constantly reminding me of Aaron. It didn't even have to be places we had been together... in those times, I am reminded of him because of the lack of memories in what we were doing or where we were. Times when I want to be making memories WITH him. Aaron's absence is noticed every moment no matter what we are doing. We miss him.
I am so grateful to Spencer and Kristi and their boys. They have all been so great. They have gone out of their way to make sure we had what we needed. They have shared their home with us without making us feel the least bit like we were intruding. They were there when I felt like I needed to talk or unload, but were also willing to give me space when all I needed was to go and have a good cry. Although from these photos, it seems like we were always going to a park, we also got to have a lot of relaxing time. It has been so nice. We will miss them so much when it comes time to fly back to Utah. I look forward to seeing family there as well, but we will miss being here. It has felt nice being away from 'our new normal' that doesn't feel normal at all.
We have had such a great time up here and I am SO grateful for Spencer and Kristi. I don't know what to do to repay their kindness and generosity. But I guess that is a question I will be asking myself regarding everyone who has done anything for us in these last few months. There is no way I can think of to repay all of the kind acts from people. Thank you so much for everything.
Thank you again Spencer and Kristi. We loved being here. We love you guys.

We love you Aaron and we miss you every moment...

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Emma-Kate Castricum said...

Hi Leslie,

Your pictures are just fantastic, Aaron jr is getting cuter by the day and your smile lights up the computer screen.

I'm sure Kristi and Spencer would say seeing your and gorgeous 'little Aaron's' smile was all of the repayment they needed. That's the beauty of family isn't it, they know when to hold you close and when you need them to pull back and give you space.
Although you've suffered a hardship and loss that no one would ever wish to suffer, your also blessed to have such wonderful people to help you through it.

Wishing you a peaceful Easter


Joann said...

Okay, my favorite pictures...Aaron Jr. infront of the slide, the Mad Scientist, your Cherry Drop (If only I could do one of those again!), the bucket heads (that's what we call them at our house :)and Aaron Jr. in his brown vest...his smile is just contagious! I am so glad that you had the chance to "get away!" What fun pictures at the parks! You family is amazing! I don't wonder at all where you got your strength from! We dropped a couple of pictures Marianne colored for you and Aaron Jr. a few days ago. Hope you enjoy them. We all love you and little Aaron.

Mindy said...

I am so impressed by all of your acrobatics! I haven't attempted a cherry drop since that fateful day in elementary school when I DID do a face plant. It wasn't pretty.

I am so glad you have places to go, and people who love you so much! We'd love to have you here in Vernal anytime! (Although it's definitely not as exciting as Oregon. ;)

Brenda said...

Great pictures, Leslie! Thanks for posting them.

Amber said...

You always have/take the best pictures! I'm so glad you are having a good time and that Aaron Jr. is getting to see and play with his cousins :-)!

Karey said...

Glad you've had fun. Maybe we'll see you before we leave. Give Aaron Jr. a hug and kiss. Love you, Karey

LL said...

you are blessed with such a great family...I'm glad you were able to go and enjoy time with them.
NICE WORK on the cherry drop, don't worry about acting your age...just have fun. How many moms at the park can still do a cherry drop...not many! You are a fabulous mom, AJ is lucky to have you.
my favorite pic is that first one of little Aaron and Luke (little Spencer) such cute boys!
Thinking of you~

kristen said...

I'm in awe of you. I don't know how I would cope if I lost my hubby.
You look like you had a blast though.
Very skilled on those swings. Great photos.
Happy easter

K&K&kids said...

Looks like a fun visit. I am so glad it is park weather again! Great pictures. The picture of you, Suzy and Kristi is cute (the kids are all cute, too, of course!). Glad you had fun.

Lorianne said...

Looks like fun, fun, fun days at the park and other activities. Can't wait until we can go to the park lots and lots. So many nice pictures of Aaron and Spencer and Kristi's boys. They look like real pals. They probably miss each other already. Love you.