Actually, ALL of these photos in this posting are from northern California. We took a day trip there while we were in Oregon to go to a beautiful beach and also to see some redwoods.
This is a lighthouse in Crescent City, California. I believe the beach we went to was called Bullards Beach. If I am wrong, then let me know Spencer or Kristi.
There are a lot of photos, so I will keep the commentary to a minimum. I took approximately 300 photos that day and it took me forever to narrow them down this far. I might as well have my camera surgically connected to my hand. As Kristi put it when I said that to her, 'Go Go Gadget Camera'.
Enjoy... if you have time. :)
My sweet boy and Me.
When we got to the beach, all of the boys IMMEDIATELY went to work building a sand fort. Spencer, who majored in civil engineering, is all about constructing things to see how 'sound' he can make them. There were even sticks and twigs inside the walls to try to help keep them stabilized. Those were the first things young Spencer started to look for when we got there... and took them to dad Spencer. The young boys had a hard time not taking sand from the walls he had just built up, but it eventually all worked out.
Aaron Jr. had a blast running to and from the waves. He ADORES the beach and ocean. Like father, like son. Aaron LOVED any beach and any ocean he could get to.
Cute Kristi, ready to have her baby girl any time now.
Okay, and here is what the sand fort was built for...
Here are all of the boys inside the fort waiting for a wave to come so that the fortifications can be tested. Ready, Set, GO!
It was so exciting watching the water surround them on every side... and the walls still stood.
Once the fort stood the blows of the water, the flagpole was hoisted...
...and the flag was raised. Nice, Spence.
Spencer the younger, Luke, Aaron Jr, Benjamin
These four have had so much fun together over these past weeks. It is very sad to leave. Aaron Jr will go through withdrawals not being able to have three boys to wrestle with at all hours of the day. They are his buds.
And here I am... again... I could not get a good shot of Aaron Jr with the sun shining on his face because he couldn't look toward the sun. So, I stood him there for so long trying to get him to look up at me... and there he was, wondering why he couldn't go and join in on the fun down by the water with all of the guys. I finally had to just let him go. :) Perfect shot Kristi.
Simpson-Reed Grove trail at the Jedidiah Smith State park Redwood Forest.
Aaron Jr and an enormous tree.
Same child, same tree.
Aaron Jr, Luke, Spencer the younger, Spencer and mushroom
Spencer and Kristi's family with a tree that has fallen over... these are the roots. While I am on this photo of their family, I want to thank them for letting us come and visit again. We always have such a great time when we come. Thank you guys for the great time and the energy spent to help us feel welcome and have a great time. We love you guys SO much. We are sad to leave.
Aaron Jr walked up to Spencer and reached out to hold his hand. I thought it was so sweet. Aaron Jr knows who his Daddy is, what he looks like, and he calls him Daddy when he sees his photo or when he talks about him. But, he is young, so when other kids are constantly calling someone Daddy, something happens with Aaron Jr and he will start to call that person Daddy as well, until corrected.
He pointed to my brother Spencer several times while we were visiting and said "that's my Dad". This has happened often with multiple people since Aaron passed away.
When it happens, my heart breaks again and again. I wish I could give him his Daddy back so that he can have HIS daddy here to run to. All I can do is just tell him who the person is and then ask him where his Daddy is.
He usually says, "Daddy's home". On this trip to Oregon, several times when I asked him where his Daddy is, he said, "Daddy's fishing". Once he said, "Daddy's at work". One time, while I was laying by him on the bed, I asked him that question, and he said, "Daddy's fishing shark".
I don't think Aaron Jr even knows how true that statement actually has been in the past. The adventurous person that Aaron always was, there are photos of him holding a reef shark in his hands after catching it in the ocean. Just one more photo that Aaron Jr will love to look at and brag about.
Walking through these trees that day, and going to the beach and seeing the ocean before that... I was reminded more than usual how small we are in this gigantic world. The ocean and these trees are so huge, they just make you feel so tiny. But as I look at these trees again in these photos, and see how big they are, it reminds me of the chapter in the Book of Mormon (Alma 32) that talks about faith and compares faith to a seed. Each of these trees started out as a tiny seed small enough to hold in my hand, and they have grown for so long into these trees that tower over everything around them. They are majestic and ancient.
These past months, I have tried to work on my faith. Faith in myself, faith in other people, faith in my choices, and especially faith in Jesus Christ and in my Father in Heaven. It is impossible for us to see the big picture when we are so mortal, but when we have faith in our Savior, that is when we are promised that He will light our way and guide us to where we need to be.
Just like these redwood trees have been grown from a tiny seed being planted, we can plant a seed of faith in our hearts. If we nourish that seed of faith in our hearts by trusting in the promises that have been made to us and by praying and learning the words of God, then our faith can grow and grow.
I love that chapter in the Book of Mormon. It is just so simple to understand and yet it is one of the most important things we are asked to do here on this earth... to have faith in our Savior.
As Aaron Jr and I continue to press forward through this journey of life, I hope and pray that we can both have the faith necessary to help us reach our destination.
We love you, Aaron / Daddy. You are missed and thought about every moment...
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