Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Idaho & Random Summer Photos

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Aaron Jr. and I went up to Twin Falls, Idaho to visit my sister, Karey and her family. The Twin Falls Temple has been completed, so all of my siblings and their families were taking turns going up there and going through the open house while spending a couple of days with Karey's family. While we were there for a couple of weeks, there were three of my siblings who came with their families, so we were able to go through the open house three times. The rest of my siblings and my parents went up before we were there. It was a really neat experience. This is the 6th temple I have been able to go through for the open house. Each temple is different and unique. In fact, the trip that Aaron and I got engaged on was a trip to go to the Nauvoo Temple open house in Illinois. What a wonderful experience.

Leslie and Aaron Jr. at the Twin Falls Temple. The Spirit that I felt in the temple this particular time was amazing. The temple is such a special place and the things we learn there are treasures. I am so grateful for temples. They truly are houses of the Lord. (Click here to locate a temple near you.)

Travis & Karey's Family (Bruce, Savannah, Veronica, Travis, Joseph, Karey (my sister))
Robert & Teresa's Family (Robert (my brother), Zachary, Teresa)
Scott & Lorianne's Family (Sophie, Michael, Scott, Julia, Lorianne (my sister), Lily, Anna)
John & Tawnie's Family (John (my brother), Jack, Emily, John, Thomas, Tawnie, Samuel)
All at the temple.

Bruce & Nathan & Veronica & Sarah at the temple.
Lily & Scott & Aaron Jr. swimming.
Aaron Jr. laughing hysterically and then Aaron Jr. fast asleep.

Julia and Savannah, Anna and Joseph, Michael and Sophie, Aaron Jr. and Scott and Lily

While we were up in Twin Falls visiting, they were having an air show where the Blue Angels were going to come and perform. It was amazing to watch them do their trick flying and be able to maneuver their aircrafts with such precision. It was AMAZING!

You should click on each of these air photos to see how close they are flying to each other. We all loved it.

Karey and Joseph, Teresa and Zachary, Veronica and Sarah, Aaron Jr. and Savannah

Leslie and Aaron Jr. in the hot (luke warm) tub.

I caught Aaron Jr. outside watering the flowers. I highly doubt he could have drown in their little 'water feature' out front where he was getting the water, but he insisted on wearing his life jacket anyway. :) When he turned around and saw that I was taking his photo, he laughed hysterically... as you can see.

Here we are at Barnes and Noble bookstore at about 12:45 in the morning. The new Stephenie Meyer book in the 'Twilight' series was coming out at midnight. So we decided it might be fun to go and check things out. I am still loving both Edward AND Jacob, but I want Bella to choose Jacob in the end. There were girls wearing T-shirts that either said 'Team Jacob' or 'Team Edward' on them. I am not THAT die hard about it all, but I love the books.

John, Thomas, Joseph, Jack, and Aaron Jr. watching T.V.

Shoshone Falls. If you click on this photo, you will be amazed at how many little waterfalls you can see in this photo, there are even more behind us in the photo.

These are some photos I took in Twin Falls and on the way home from Twin Falls. oh the beautiful miracles around us.

Thank you Travis and Karey and Family. We had a great time and we hope we weren't too much bother. We love you all.


These are the Harkness grandchildren at Susie and Pearl's birthday party.
Grace, Isaac, Sophia, Malia, Lillie Pearl, Susen, Aaron Jr.

Whenever our backyard gets watered, there are always these little puddles that stick around until they dry up... our dog Ode drinks from them whenever he is outside. Well, Aaron loves to copy things, so here he is down on all fours and also licking up the puddle of water. When he was done with this one, he moved on to another puddle. He loves Ode.

Two of my brothers, Richard and Robert, have started making Crepes as a side business. They have been doing a Crepe stand at festivals and farmers markets. Here they are making Crepes for family and friends at my parents' house. They are really yummy.

My best friend, Kerianne, is married to a farmer. Every summer, he is busy working the farm with his family while Kerianne and her sister in law, Darcy, are busy taking care of vegetable stands and working at farmer's markets. This year, they wanted to trade off so that they weren't away from their kids so much, so they asked me to work at the Bountiful Farmer's Market every Thursday with them. It has been a lot of fun and has been good for me. I am able to serve other people there who don't know me and don't know my situation. I am able to try to be chipper and carefree for a few hours. It has been a great experience thus far. I am glad they asked me to help out. Aaron's parents usually watch Aaron Jr during that time and they say they love it. It is good bonding time for them as well.

And here is Darcy and Me. They trade off every week, so I get to work with both of them. It is a good time. Thanks girls!!!

Today, Aaron Jr. got a hold of a candy bar from my desk. I couldn't find him anywhere, but finally heard a giggle coming from the back porch. So, I grabbed the camera and I found him hiding in this little cubbyhole with a chocolate face and chocolate hands. I love this kid.

Tonight, Aaron Jr. was going through my bag and found this headband. I called him to come in to the room where I was and this is how he ran in... laughing the whole way.

This is the 24th of July parade in Bountiful. In two of these photos, he is chewing salt water taffy so he looks like he has a mouthful.

Aaron Jr. just learned the song 'The wheels on the bus go round and round' this week. I caught him singing along to this little bus while it played the song. He made the rolling actions while he sang along. CUTE CUTE CUTE.
He also helped Grandma water the flowers tonight, then he turned the hose on her. She was cornered until Grandpa turned the water off.

Last, but not least... Aaron Jr. has been helping me water Aaron's tree this summer. The last photo is from today and we found a flower on the tree. We are not sure now that it is a tree after all. Hmmm... what could it be? We are loving taking care of this together, though. He calls it 'Daddy's Tree' and loves to carry the water over and pour it on it.

We are missing Aaron a lot this month. There are a couple of milestones coming up that are going to be bittersweet. I have been trying really hard lately to be more positive and try to understand the reasons why I might be going through this trial. I still have bad days and better days. For a long time, I have had it in my mind that I didn't want to show anyone when I was feeling joy because I wanted people to know how lonely and miserable I have been these past 8 months. But lately, I have been trying to seek the good in this really difficult situation. I wish Aaron were here, but because he can't be, I know that I need to trust in my Father in Heaven and show Him that I will not let this beat me. It doesn't mean that I am not still devastated and missing Aaron so much it hurts... but it does mean that I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and for Aaron and for Aaron Jr. He knows us and he knows what we need to go through in order to be molded and refined into what we need to become. The refiners fire. This doesn't mean that I won't have horrible days still, but right now, I am trying to see things more positively so that Aaron Jr. has a strong parent here to show him how to handle the challenges and heartaches of life.
I have been evaluating my life and my relationships and trying to be a better person. I have been trying to forgive others and asking for forgiveness. Once again, like I have written before... trying to set aside the more 'trivial' things in life and focus on the things that matter most. Trying harder to live without regret. I am trying. I will still fall short at times, but I am trying... and that is all I can do.

I love and miss you, Aaron...

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Emma-Kate Castricum said...

Oh Leslie,

you have such a great outlook trying to be strong for little Aaron. I'm sure everyone knows that no matter how much of a great time your having and how much laughter there is, you'll always long for your Aaron. Enjoy yourself when you can and Aaron will be watching and smiling too!


ps, loving the shorted hair!

amanda said...

First of all your hair is so cute. I hope you like it. I think it gives you a whole new fresh look. Maybe it's even helped you in special ways. You look great.
As you know, I just lost my mom. I can't ever begin to know how you feel because it wasn't my spouse, but it was someone very special to me and way too young to die. I have had those moments when I am bitter, angry and wonder why this had to happen. But I tell myself that is what Satan would want. I will not let Satan conquer me. I will endure this well.
You can too. I think of you always and hope you know how many people want you to be happy, including Aaron:)

Anonymous said...

I was loving seeing all the pictures of Aaron Jr. laughing and having fun and then when I read the last part of your blog, it confirmed what a positive thing that is.
It is also pretty impressive to pull 40+ comments on a hair cut!! That tells you what a great cut it is!! I think it looks awesome.
I guess I do not have to tell you to do something nice for yourself this time. Getting out on Thursdays and the haircut are good enough.
Take care of yourself and find a little joy in something every day. It will make life more bearable.
Blessing to you.

Brenda said...

What great pictures! I'm still praying for you, and I'm glad you're feeling God's presence in your life.

Lorianne said...

I really enjoyed this posting. First I loved all of the pictures of the past few weeks of summer. You got some great shots. Aaron Jr. sure is growing up. He is so cute. I also liked your comments on the bottom of the blog. You are right. Aaron Jr. needs you to live life and be a strong person for him. Aaron would not want you to be miserable for his sake. I am sure he is happy and would want the same for you and Aaron Jr. We love you!

Tabitha said...

Leslie ~ these photos are just gorgeous and your son is just such a wonderful little lad ~ he has a smile that just melts you.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment.
I cannot even start to imagine the loss and pain that you have been through ~ but please know that you are in my thoughts and I send you much love!!
You asked about where in the UK I live ~ I live in a little village in Hampshire ~ which is about 10 miles from Portsmouth ~ don't know if you are familiar with it at all from when you were in the UK!!
Take care ~ love and hugs ~ Tabitha XXX

dani said...

hi, sweet leslie:) of course i never knew your aaron. but, i have read all of what you have written about him. the man i've come to know through your words would totally want you to find joy where there is joy.
much love to you and your gorgeous babay boy,

Seesalou said...

your words brought me to tears today. leslie...when other loved ones go through hard-to-imagine trials later in life who will be ready & able to comfort them and lift up their hands which hang down? you. you will be able to. that's why it is so important for you to learn whatever you might be able to learn from this sad, sad time in your life. i love you so much. we continue to pray for you many times every day. (even stella...every prayer that she says)

Jyl said...

Aaron jr. has your smile, infectious and brightening! So cute!

Mindy said...

That picture of Aaron Jr. lapping up the puddle... too funny!! Your hair looks so cute!

You're still, and always, in my thoughts and prayers. I love you!

Joann said...

I really enjoyed this post, Leslie. I continue to be amazed by you and your unknown strength. As I was looking through the pictures, one of the ones you can see your new haircut in caught me off guard! I just LOVE it! It makes me want to chop mine off again!

I am glad you are doing the Farmer's Market with some of your friends, too. What a great way to get your mind off your struggles. I think of you often and pray for your continually.

Joann said...

p.s. Can you just see Aaron teasing like little Aaron, or finding a hiding place to enjoy a snatched treat. Too cute and just like his daddy!

Amber said...

Fun Summer!
Cute Hair!
Cute kid you have!
Love your updates!
FYI . . . the "Aaron tree" you were referring to is actually a Rose of Sharon. I have two in my backyard and love them. They are a lovely busy with a gorgeous flower (as you saw)!
Glad you are happier! I think of you often!

Anonymous said...

What a precious little soul he is. I love your photos, Leslie.

I am happy you are working that day - I work at a friend's shop one day a week and I really enjoy it. It's social and friendly without being too familiar.

Love to you,


Karey said...

We loved having you come and stay with us. You were fun and helpful and great to be around--although I didn't get enough sleep when you were here. Aaron Jr. is a sweet boy and we really enjoyed him.

It was fun to help you find picture opportunities. Lots of fun stuff. Thanks for coming and we hope you'll come again.

The temple is amazing and I'm so sad to be leaving it. I'm glad the family was able to come up and share it.

I really noticed the efforts your making to be strong through this horribly difficult trial. I could tell you were getting strength from Heavenly Father. Keep it up. I'm sure Aaron wants you to be a happy and positive person and to look to the future.

Looking forward to seeing you soon. Love you both!

Anonymous said...


The picture of Aaron Jr. asleep looks JUST LIKE Aaron! You take amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing. Again, love the new hair do.

Michelle Bretzing Jacobi

K and K and kids said...

Great pictures as always, Les. My favorites are of Aaron Jr. drinking from the puddle and the ones where he had your mom cornered with the hose. Hilarious! And again...LOVE the hair. You are in my prayers. Love ya.

Kristi said...

That Aaron is so hilarious. He makes me laugh. I remember him being here and I would laugh every time I saw him run. Benny runs just like him now. I LOVE it. He is a sweet little rascal. I can just imagine how funny he thought it was to corner Grandma with the hose.
It looks like you had a blast in Idaho. I guess we were the only ones that couldn't make it.
Like everyone has said, I love the hair, I love all the fun summer pictures, and we love you guys.
We pray for you still and admire your strength.

Anonymous said...

You might find this blog helpful in your recovery of your sadness and pain. Stephanie lost her little girl to a drowning accident a mere 8 weeks ago. She has documented her pain but ALSO her continuing rise above such a trial. She is amazing and I think you could benefit from her words. They have helped me in some of the trials that I have been going through as well. Her outlook is amazing. It is refreshing to read her blog and feel her testimony. It's understandable to feel sadness and pain but many can LEARN from your experiences if you allow us to.

Lindsay Lou said...

Hi Leslie. I know you have no idea who I am but I saw your comment on Jennifer's blog and for some reason I felt the urge to click on your blog. This is because I too lost my husband, but it was 10 years ago. It was just the anniversary of his death on Aug 12. I know the pain is so overwhelming. I hope you find peace knowing you two will be together again. I am re-married now and have two beautiful girls, something I thought I would NEVER have...I belive everything happens for a reason, always remember that!

jensenfamily said...

cute, cute pictures - I've been thinking about you a lot the last couple of days - I'm so sorry this nightmare was not a dream:( I hope every day brings something peaceful in it - hope to see you soon! Erin

Marc and Megan said...

Leslie, I came across your blog and I just wanted to express my deepest sympathies for the passing of your husband. I am so amazed at your strength and faith. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing so much... you are blessing many lives. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

And, I just have to add that I really love your new haircut!

Ms. Kristen said...

I too "found" your blog through another. I am so impressed with your honesty. I read and read.....and tears were running down my face. I am so sorry for your loss. Aaron sounds wonderful! I hope you find peace each day! I am glad you have Aaron Jr. to remind you of your eternal companion. Keep the faith! Thanks for the inspiration.

April said...

Love your hairdo. I'm glad that you were so busy with family and friends this summer. I love the picture of Aaron Jr. hiding with the candy bar... too funny! What a cutie that boy is. Thank you for letting Aaron Jr. remember his dad in so many ways (i.e. "Daddy's Tree"), it makes me happy to know that he is getting reminded so often that he has a daddy, although not physically with him now, that loves him and that loved life and things like taking care of trees (or bushes?) and things like that. I would think that it is comforting for little Aaron as well... to be reminded of those things...
Love from afar

k.m.b. said...

you truly are an amazing person. I always knew I liked you ever since we first met in the beloved office, but really I had no idea how beautiful of a person you really are. You always had a smile on your face and such a positive outlook with everything that's been thrown your way, and that still continues to this day. So inspiring. I mean it when I say "when I grow up, I want to be like you!" I hope the days continue to get better. You are such an awesome mom to your little aaron and I wish you nothing but the best in whatever is to come. I'm so glad we're able to reconnect! Please let me know if there's anything I can do!!

BeckyinQC said...


You don't know me and I have never commented on someone's blog that I haven't met, but I just had to tell you what an amazing woman you are. Aaron, Jr. is so blessed to have such a Mother! After happening on your blog, I read it start to finish with a tear streaked face. I was so grief stricken with the feelings you shared, but was so inspired by your strength as you "hang on" and perservere and in doing so teaching Aaron, Jr. valuable lessons that can only be taught by someone who has/is walking through the refiners fire.

I cannot relate to the pain of losing a Husband although I have lost a daughter and many times on a different level could relate to some of your feelings you shared. Your Husband is obviously a wonderful man who blessed you and your son's life and I believe will continue to do so. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate each day and each other as if it is the last. My Husband is less than a month the same age as Aaron, huge fisherman/outdoorsman, who loves boating, helping others and actually is from Texas. When he got home the day I read your blog, I can honestly say that there was a deeper appreciation and longing to relish the moments I have with him.

I'll pray for your continued strength as you walk the path our Heavenly Father has for you. Thank you again.


LL said...

Leslie your outlook and positive attitude are inspiring. You're such an amazing person!!!
It is so touching to see how HAPPY little Aaron Junior is...he's such a doll! It's obvious he feels loved!!!