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For the past few years, I have been wanting to drive up American Fork Canyon when the leaves were changing to see the beautiful autumn colors in the canyon. Well, for the past few years, it seems like we were always just a little too early or a little too late when we finally got around to going so we didn't go. Well, this year, I didn't want it to pass by without taking Aaron Jr. and Ode up the canyon to hike around a bit and get some photos of the beauty up there. So, after many attempts to go, we finally went this week. It was GORGEOUS. Here are just a few of our photos from that day:
Our first hike was in a place where Aaron and I had gone before back in 2004 when we went up to see the autumn colors. It was still beautiful.
The other place we stopped to hike around ended up being a place that is very well taken care of. I hadn't ever been there before. It is called Cascade Springs.
My sweet little boy.
Isn't this so beautiful?
Aaron Jr., Ode, and I had a blast on our drive up the canyon. It took several hours and we didn't get home until dark. It was so much fun though. When we got out to hike around, Aaron Jr. and Ode were so full of energy. Ode would run up ahead until we couldn't see him, then he would run back until he could see us again, stand there for a minute to wait for us, then run up ahead and do it all over again. Aaron Jr. tripped over a few tree roots and fell flat. It didn't seem to phase him, he would just get back up, want me to brush him off, then he would be on his way again. I kept telling him to be careful. So, after we turned around to head back to the car, Aaron Jr. wanted to hold my hand the whole way and he kept telling ME to be careful the whole way back. It was so sweet. We missed having Aaron with us this time.
Now, here are a few photos from the Fall of 2004 when Aaron, Ode, and I went for a Sunday drive up American Fork Canyon.
Aaron and Ode
Leslie and Aaron
These were taken in 2004 the very next day. My sister, Lisa, and her family came down for Family Home Evening. We drove up this canyon again to have a barbeque. It was getting dark, so that is why these photos are a little blurry. It was very fun.
John, Lisa, Caroline, Hannah and Elise (not necessarily in that order :)
Aaron, Leslie, Ode
Ever since driving up the canyon, I have been thinking a lot about this season and what it means in nature. As I pondered on the autumn season in general, I realized that in nature, Heavenly Father uses a change in weather to be 'off with the old', then 'on with the new'.
I think Heavenly Father does this in our lives as well. There are things in our lives that need to be changed, whether we realize it, or else just Heavenly Father knows it... certain things have to be let go. Mistakes we make, negative feelings we have built up inside of ourselves weighing us down, getting too 'comfortable' in life, or just realizing that we might be headed in the wrong direction; there is a time to just let these things go... time to figure out where we want to be and where we need to be going; then is the time to start again... fresh. Autumn, Winter, and Spring are the seasons that represent each of those steps in a changing process. Then, once we start fresh again, Summer represents the time when we are growing and thriving in the changes we have made, the things we have let go, things that were weighing us down.
In this thought process, it doesn't mean that I am ready to let go of my life with Aaron. That will never happen. Aaron will always be a part of my life and Aaron Jr's life. But what am I supposed to be doing to get me to where I NEED to be? I know there is more for me here in this life. I know there is still happiness to be had. I know there are still experiences to share. What do I need to be learning to get me ready for what is in store for me in the future here in this life?
It is still so difficult to picture my life or my future without Aaron by my side. It is still heartbreaking even thinking about that, and so very lonely imagining my life without Aaron, but I am trying to accept that it is my life now. TRYING being the key word.
I miss you SO much, Aaron. I love you and I hope you are with us everyday...
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