Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How We Celebrated...

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This is how Aaron and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We went out to dinner on the night of, and then...

Aaron took me down to St. George to stay for the weekend. We went mountain biking up in Snow Canyon. It was so much fun.

This is our fifth wedding anniversary, last year. This was the final anniversary that Aaron was here for. Aaron surprised me with a weekend down at Brian Head. We hiked a bit and mountain biked.

We got those matching swim suits at Old Navy a few months before that. We picked it out for Aaron Jr. and then Aaron said that he liked it so much, if they had one in his size, he would buy it. Well, we walked around the corner to the men's section and there they were. Enough said, right? This photo in the bottom right corner is one of my very favorite photos of Aaron and Aaron Jr.

Anyone who has ever been on a hike or just on a nature outing with Aaron knows how much he loves to catch pretty much anything that moves. He was always looking under rocks for lizards and he would usually catch at least one per outing. Here he is introducing Aaron Jr. to the exciting world of... whatever that is. He told me when he caught it, but now I can't remember. Anyone? Is it s horny toad or something like that?

One thing that I look back on now that Aaron is gone is that it was never a question as to whether or not Aaron Jr. would be coming with us that weekend. It was just understood that we would want him with us, so why not take him? That is how it always was. Every getaway we had in those two short years, Aaron Jr. came with us. Now that Aaron is gone, it is such a blessing that we got to have that many more memories as a FAMILY. What a blessing.

Here we are this year. Like I said in our wedding posting, I decided that this year should be busy doing things that would help me to feel like I was celebrating memories of Aaron and me. So, Aaron Jr. and I took Ode and we started out at the cemetery. We ate a picnic lunch there and enjoyed the sunshine.

After that, we drove past the Salt Lake Temple where we got married. (we would have walked around, but I couldn't leave Ode in the hot car and we didn't have a leash).

After that, we drove to American Fork Canyon. Aaron and I had some 'couple' photos taken there before the wedding. We had never been back to that spot where we had the photos taken, so this year, I thought it would be fun to try to find it and take Aaron Jr. and Ode there. I figured it would be a bit of a challenge to find the exact spot since it wasn't a place that was marked. I planned to spend as much time as I needed in order to find it. Well, once I started driving up the canyon, it only took about 15 minutes. I found it. I was so excited. So we got out of the car and we started exploring and taking photos.

In the anniversary posting, photos 4 and 5 were taken there.

Same spot as photo # 4. I had to reach around and take all of the photos myself, so I apologize for all of the extreme close ups.

We had a photos taken between these trees, but I didn't include it. Aaron Jr.'s shoes were forgotten on this trip, so he is wearing his Christmas slippers. He actually loved it.

Behind us is where photo # 5 was taken. The water was higher this year, so Aaron wouldn't have been able to stand on the one rock as easily as he was in that photo. I can't get over how cute Aaron Jr's smile is in this one.

Just a cute photo of Ode and Aaron Jr. Best friends.

Aaron Jr. wanted to take my photo, so here are the attempts. I had to move myself around trying to get in the view finder. :)

Here is my sweet boy and me. I thought these were so precious.

The most priceless thing that happened on our anniversary is a simple phrase said to me by Aaron Jr. I was putting his shoes on (slippers) to leave for the cemetery and he looked at me and said, "You're pretty."
I melted. He had never said that before. The thought crossed my mind right then and there that Aaron had prompted him to say that. At least that is my hope. Someone knew that I needed to hear something sweet like that on my anniversary.
That set the tone for the day... I know Aaron was with us that day. I went about the day just imagining Aaron there by my side. I can't imagine him being anywhere else. I would hope that he would be celebrating with us on the anniversary of the day that we started our eternal family. This is why I wanted to celebrate instead of sitting at home dwelling on the fact that he isn't here physically. I knew that Aaron would have wanted to do something special for me, so I thought of a way that I could celebrate that would bring back wonderful memories while creating new ones with Aaron Jr. at the same time. I did have those moments of heartache and loneliness and tears, but all in all, I had a good day. I think the anticipation of it was worse than the actual day itself.
What a wonderful day to celebrate... the day that Aaron and I were sealed together for eternity. I am so blessed.

I love you forever and always, Aaron... thank you.

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Emma-Kate Castricum said...


As heartbreaking as they are your posts always fill me with joy as well. Joy that in a world that often seems like it's falling to pieces there are people in it who truly love each other and love being a family. It's comforting to know there are others out there who really love being in and with their family. It's really beautiful to read that all of your special times with Aaron included Aaron jr since his arrival. I always feel my happiest when I have Craig and the kids with me. The times I have left them with Mum so Craig and I can go somewhere alone I've normally fretted for them.

Craig thought her would surprise me last year with a 3 night trip to Singapore without the kids and I ended up crying each night becaused I missed them too much!!

I'm glad you spent your day doing something Aaron whould have loved you doing. He would be so proud of you I'm sure.


amanda said...

I'm so glad you celebrated. It IS a day to celebrate. And I truly believe it was Aaron that wanted you to know that you are pretty. What a sweet experience.

OP SuZ Q said...

Leslie - this post is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love how adventurous you and Aaron were together and NOW you are continuing that!! Ya'll travelled SO much in your 5 years together - more than my husband and I have in 25 years!! Aaron Jr is absolutely adorable!! SO ADORABLE that he told you that "you are pretty" - just out of the blue!! :) You sound so upbeat in this post, it warms my heart - I have been keeping you in my prayers!! How blessed you are to have Aaron Jr in your life to live each and every day together!! :)

Vicki said...

I love reading your posts, Leslie! I love all the photos you post! I loved reading about how Aaron Jr. told you that you're pretty... what a precious moment that I'm sure you'll never ever forget!

Jennifer Bowman said...

I truly believe it was your Aaron prompting your Aaron jr to tell you that you are pretty. What a wonderful gift from Aaron. I'm glad you had a great day.

Leslie said...


Mindy said...

I'm so glad you found the spot and could take those wonderful pictures of you and Aaron Jr.! I love that he's wearing his swim shorts that match his daddy's! And what a wonderful message from Aaron for you, through his little boy... I'm glad you could have that experience! Love you!

dani said...

what a lovely day, leslie:) and, aaron jr. was right, you are pretty!!!
have a beauty filled day:D

Kristi said...

I am glad to see that you are spending specials days celebrating what you had. What a healthy outlook and what a great way for Aaron to remember and gain new memories of his family.

Karlyn said...

Yes, it is a horny toad. I use to catch them with my brothers when I was little.

What a beautiful and perfect day to have with little Aaron Jr. You are such an incredible mom.

Joann said...

Youa re so smart! I was hoping that you would find some way to do somthing exactly like this. I love Aaron Jr's attempt at taking your picture. So cute, but I love the one of his face pressed up against your with his eyes sneaking a peek at how pretty you are! He's right, ya know! You are gorgeous!

Tawnie said...

Beautiful post Leslie. And you are beautiful. I'm glad you got out and celebrated with your little family. I love you!!!

Anonymous said...

You are gorgeous - inside and out.

So is little Aaron - what a stunner!

Love to you,


Seesalou said...

wow. that was touching. it's always so fun to hear about how adventurous aaron always was...actually looking for lizards to catch. i can imagine aaron jr. doing the same thing someday. so glad you went there to take some pictures. and the aarons are right
...you are pretty. love you.

Funky Farmers said...

Leslie- I always find tears streaming down my face when I read your blog. You are such an amazing person and I find so much strength in your words. I am so glad that I have gotten to know you. Thank You.

Rhitzclan said...

Thank you for sharing your specail day with the rest of us. It's always enjoyable to feel the spirit in an unexpected way or through unexpected means such as how your share your experiences. You've always had that gift. And happy anniversary to you! As you said, what a blessing that you are an eternal family.
Love you,

Liz said...

Those are the sweetest pictures. I am so glad that you found the spot with out to much trouble.

Matchbox Mom said...

You really are soo pretty!! I'm glad that Aaron Jr said that to you...he's growing up so fast! Talking real well! I'm glad you had a good day...I am sure Aaron was with you!!


Marc and Megan said...

Leslie, I am so touched by every word you write, every thought you express, every expression of hope and joy you share. I know I'm a complete stranger to you, but I just want you to know that throughout the day I often find myself thinking of and praying for you. Thank you for enriching my life with your faith and testimony.

clinka said...

You are simply amazing...

The Heiners said...

I'd like to think that Aaron helped you find your photo spots in American Fork Canyon too, along with prompting little Aaron Jr. to flatter his mommy. I am so amazed at how you celebrated your anniversary. It just thrills me to know that you are inching your way to smiling more often. I love all of the candid shots of you and Aaron Jr. I am kind of jealous that he can take a picture of you with only half of your head showing and you are still a beauty queen! I'm happy that you had a good day. You deserve it!

Melissa, Ryan and Addy said...

I don't know you at all, but I clicked on your blog, just by chance through Google Reader. It truly breaks my heart to hear about the loss of your husband. I really cannot and would not want to imagine what you have been through and continue to go through on a daily basis. I think that's really great that you spent your anniversary with your little boy and honoring your husband in that way. I am sure you are an inspiration to many, including me.
Thank you,

cynphil6 said...

Dear Leslie,
I too am a complete stranger. I happened across your blog from a comment you left on my friend Stephanie's blog... I am glad you could find comfort in her blog, and I want you to know that I have found inspiration in yours. I have been reading your blog intently the past few days when I could steal the time. I have cried for you and marveled at how eloquent your posts are. I feel such strength from your writings, and as I hugged and kissed my husband today, I thought of you and made sure I told him that I loved him. I am glad you still talk to Aaron and I am grateful that I got a glimpse of a wonderful man. He had to be pretty special to marry such an incredible woman. Thank you for allowing others into your lives.
You are prayed for as is Aaron Jr. and the rest of your families!
Your Sister in the Gospel

Jyl said...

Leslie, What great times and memories you shared with Aaron. You are truly the perfect couple. And just for the record, you ARE pretty,... even much more than pretty. There is a intense beauty that resonates from every part of you, I have always seen it.

Scott and Andrea Peterson said...

Thanks for sharing. There have been many times when I am feeling down and I will check your blog and it always makes me feel better. I love to see your strength, even if you don't feel strong!

Scott and Andrea Peterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
k.m.b. said...

Leslie, you are so amazing. Your little boy is so sweet and those last 4 pictures are so precious!! What a great day to celebrate and you did it so well.