Friday, January 23, 2009

Spending Quality Time

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Aaron Jr and his best friend Ode

Aaron Jr has been so much fun lately. He is developing this cute sense of humor that I am laughing at all the time. Here are a couple of photos of him wearing my snow boots and then wearing the bath robe he wore when he was about 3 months old. :)

He has been wanting to wear Aaron's hats lately. This was one of Aaron's favorite hats. Like I said, he loves Chris LeDoux... this is one of MANY baseball caps that are Chris LeDoux inspired.

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So, I hate being cold. But lately, Aaron Jr has seemed to want my attention more than usual. So, today, I decided that we would go out and we would build a snowman. I don't have proper gloves, well I do, but they are packed away somewhere... so the gloves I found in the garage that were Aaron's are not for snow use. They were soaking wet right away. As I got the first ball of the snowman rolled, it took EVERY ounce of my strenth to push it to where it needed to be. I couldn't believe how heavy it was. Little did I know when I made that HUGE base of the snowman... that the second one would be IMPOSSIBLE to hoist up on top of the first one. I tried to pick it up thinking that maybe I could find some strength inside of me... or that Aaron would somehow help me... but no go. I couldn't even get it a milimeter off the ground. So, I finally went into Aaron's shop and found some wood that I could use for a ramp. The next photo demonstrates it:

It still took ALL of my strength to get it up that ramp, but I finally got it up there. I have to admit, I was quite proud of myself. Aaron Jr was helping me by throwing snow AT me while I was trying so hard to roll the balls up. It wasn't that fun for me, but he thought it was pretty funny.

The third layer was also REALLY heavy, but with what was left of my strength, I hoisted it up on top. It was so hard. I couldn't help but think that if Aaron were here, he would have been able to lift the layers with me and it would have been a breeze. But since he isn't here, I was so glad I took this time to do this with Aaron Jr. This is our finished product. We decided to build Aaron. The cowboy hat is actually Aaron Jr's. The eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons are made of black beans. The arms were taken from a tree in our yard that died last year. And that is a glass heart. I felt it was appropriate since Aaron had a huge heart and was so very giving.

I am glad to have had this time with Aaron Jr. He was pretty much done building the snowman before we even started. He was more interested in just playing, but once I started it, I HAD to finish. He helped pack some of the snow and put the beans on.
Lately, Aaron Jr has been testing my patience by going into the kitchen while I am busy with something and trying to prepare his own food. In the past week:

* I have found him with a frypan full of cracked eggs and trying to cook it with a spatula. Luckily he doesn't know how to turn the stove on. He even throws the eggshells into the sink after he cracks them. This has happened twice this week.
* I have found him with an open box of macaroni and cheese and with the cheese packet opened and poured into a little bowl ready to put in the microwave. Luckily I found him before it went in.
* I have also found him with one of those individual cups of apple sauce, with the lid taken off, and the container in the toaster oven and he toasted it. I heard the beep go off, that is how I knew. The plastic container was hot and was soft because it was melting.
* I have also found him with one of those individual packets of oatmeal torn open and poured into a little bowl... this time he DID get that into the microwave... WITHOUT water.

Time outs don't seem to be working to keep him out of the kitchen, so I have now hidden the food. :)

Besides this kitchen stuff and the fact that he finds it necessary to destroy the clean house however he can... he is an angel. Well, he is an angel even with these things. What a blessing he is in my life.

I think I need to clear something up. After my last posting, I received some comments... and some of them were super sweet. I love comments and they are always welcomed and appreciated... but I think I said something in my last posting that must have sounded like I don't think I can be happy until I get married again. I CAN see how that mistake was made and now I would like to clarify. To those of you who comment on my blog to show love and support, just know that I am truly grateful for you. :)

I am happy.
I am happy because I have great memories of my husband and our life together.
I am happy because he loves me and I love him.
I am happy because I have a son who I love and adore.
I am happy because I have a son who loves me.
I am happy because I have family who loves me and is there for me when I need them.
I am happy because I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life to guide me through this life.
I am happy because the sun was shining today.
I am happy because I am healthy and my son is healthy.
I am happy because I have great friends who have been a support and strength for me.
I am happy because Aaron Jr wanted to hold my hand tonight as he fell asleep.
I am happy because Ode is still here and loves to catch snow in his mouth.
I am happy because it is raining right now and I love the sound of rain.
I am happy because I have a home to live in, a bed to sleep in, heat to keep us warm, and food to eat.
I am happy because of the beauty in this world that I get to look at and take photos of.
I am happy because I can hear the laughter of my son and I can see his smiles as well.
I am happy.

Yes, of course, I have hopes for the future. My hopes for the future do not minimize my sorrow for what I have lost. I will always feel sorrow that Aaron is gone. I will be grieving about that for the rest of my life. I would prefer that he were still here and we were getting to enjoy our life together. My hopes for the future do not minimize the sorrow that others are feeling either. My hopes show that I still have faith to move forward in life.

If I continue spending my time being angry for what I have lost, I will miss out on the joy that is still here for me to enjoy. Aaron wouldn't want that. He wouldn't want that for any of us. Especially, I don't want Aaron Jr to have a mom who is negative and constantly down on life. He should be able to experience a childhood full of joy and have a mom who is positive about what life has to offer even in the darkest of circumstances. I cannot change the fact that Aaron is gone, so I must learn to submit to the will of our Father in Heaven. We must all seek to know what His will is and put our hand in His hand to let Him lead us.

I am feeling stronger lately than ever before. The article in the Ensign that I talked about in my last posting has seriously helped me see life differently. It reminded me of the things I have learned throughout my life that I need to apply during these storms in my life. I still have bad days... I still have awful and heartbreaking days... I am still sad about Aaron being gone... but I am looking at life differently and it is bringing more peace and hope to my life.

I miss Aaron. I am lonely... but I know I am not alone.

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Momza said...

You are so Good. So genuinely, perfectly Good. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Your example is worth emulating.
Have a great weekend.

Matt and Shauna said...

Okay... this is one of my favorite posts! That is the best lookin snowman I have ever seen and I can totally picture you being SO determined to finish it! You are so real and I loved talking with you on the phone the other day. I thought you sounded so happy - and I got off the phone feeling so grateful. Love you!

The Kimball Herd said...

hey- I am jealous of that snowman for sure! I love that you are building muscles...I swaer having boys requires it. Always happy when your happy!

Karey said...

Nice snowman! I'm glad you guys had a good day. There are many reasons to be happy and I'm so glad that you are. We love you.

dani said...

aaron jr. is precious, and from your photos i can see that he is really coming into his own and is full of personality.
i love that in the end you figured out the whole snowman thing... leslie, i don't think i've ever seen a more perfect one, and i have a feeling that though aaron wasn't physically there to help you with the lifting he may have had more than a little to do with the thought to use his wood as a ramp:)
i am so happy that so many things bring you happiness. i wish you had it ALL!!!

Brandy said...

Les, YOU ARE AWESOME! Enough said. Ü

Tawnie said...

You are doing great Les. I love your happy thoughts. Keep up with those. It will help you get through the hard times and it is inspiring to me and probably many others. It is good to remember happy moments in your day and life.
Love you lots. Love your snowman. Glad you did that with him and I love the glass heart.

K and K and kids said...

Great snowman! I would never have thought of using a ramp...brilliant! I love the happy thoughts. I am glad you are feeling stronger and happy! It was great seeing you and Aaron Jr. I am glad we got to spend so much time together. Love ya!

Tabitha said...

Love the snowman Leslie ~ it is great!
I had to laugh at all of Aaron Jnrs antics in the kitchen ~ my kids are always trying to do things in the kitchen too ~ sometimes with disasterous results ha ha!!!
Take care ~ love and hugs Tabitha XXXX

Kristi said...

Although it must be frustrating at the time, the food preparation is hilarious. Elder Wirthlin's last talk in conference, "Come What May, and Love It," talks about the power of laughing, even when it could be upsetting, like finding the eggs in the fry pan. I am reminding myself of this more than anything else.
Whoa, I got off topic. His cooking is funny. The snowman is awesome. I don't think I have ever built an entire snowman before. I like your gratitude for the simple and seemingly obvious.
Love ya lots.

Seesalou said...

that snowman was adorable! i loved that it literally had a heart. i loved your little happy thoughts you shared. i love you tons!

Cloward Family said...

Your Aaron Jr. is such a cutie and seems like such the sweetheart. Loved your snowman pictures!

Joann said...

Leslie, you had me laughing and crying all within about two minutes time. I LOVE the snowman. I love that you didnt give up. But, I know you never will give up! You are so strong and such a great example to me! Thanks for the wonderful post!

Mindy said...

I think Aaron Jr. has a future as a chef! What a cute kid! I loved your snowman, and I loved reading the things that make you happy. What a wonderful list!

The Kimball Herd said...

I think meeting up in Colorado would be great, I will tell you my mom always has a tight agenda, so tell me if you are coming so I can make sure we aren't up at the cabin or something.

I think we are coming to utah Mayish too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, I love the snowman - what a huge one!

Sending love and hugs as always,


Until such time... said...

Teach him to cook! What an ideal life (for you - IMHO - to not have to cook seems very cool!). I can see his daily chorelist: make bed, brush teeth, have chicken cordon bleu and tossed salad ready by 5:30.


You are a true snowman arteeest! And one determined woman!

Loving you from afar,

Bobbi said...

Oh my dear girl. I just happened upon your blog. Bless your sweet heart. I cannot imagine your pain but I know, KNOW, the healing power that comes through the atonement of Christ. I will be praying for you and your dear Aaron Jr.

OP SuZ Q said...

Love your blog Leslie - as well as your photography -you are amazing!! So glad you are feeling stronger these'll be so glad you documented all these times with Aaron Jr etc!!

mcnameefam said...

Lesterlou......I miss you! I haven't had time to ready blogs lately so I've been doing catch up. I just love you and am grateful to count you as a dear friend. BTW - thanks for the beautiful birthday card!