Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Are My Sunshine

* * * * * * * * * * * *
I sing this song (You Are My Sunshine) to Aaron Jr all the time. I thought it was appropriate to have it playing during this posting... especially when you see the photos...

Back in December, I got an email from a girl named Lily. She told me that she reads my blog and that she had nominated me for a contest and that I had won. She said I would be receiving an email from someone named Sara Boulter and she wanted to make sure I knew it wasn't junk mail because the email would be telling me that I had won a gift.

Later that day, I did receive an email from Sara Boulter telling me that I had been nominated in a contest she was doing on her photography website and that she had chosen me as the winner.

Click HERE to see her posting on her site about the contest.

Click HERE to see her announcement about who she picked as the winner.

After she emailed me, she asked when I would want to get our photos done. I told her that I love outdoor shots, so maybe we could wait for good weather and do it then.

Well, after a long and wet spring, we finally made connections and got together last week with Sara so she could take our photos. We went to Wheeler Farm in Salt Lake and it was a beautiful setting. We felt so comfortable there and she put us at ease. I am not used to being the subject of a photo shoot. I am used to taking photos of people doing random fun things, but actually being the subject of a photo shoot... it was a little awkward at first. Sara made us feel so natural and comfortable and I am so grateful to her. It was such a neat experience.

I want to thank Lily (you know who you are) for nominating us. We have never met, but somehow our story touched her heart and she thought about us when she saw this contest. Lily, thank you so much. I am grateful for whatever words you used to touch the heart of Sara. It was so thoughtful of you and these photos will be treasures forever.

I want to thank Sara for her kindness and generosity. This was a special gift that will be priceless to me. Meeting you was a neat experience and I felt as though you are a very special person. You are an amazing photographer and I am grateful for this experience to actually BE the subject of a photo shoot with my precious son, Aaron Jr.

Click HERE to see just a few of the photos that Sara took that day.

These are all I have seen so far, but I am excited to see the rest. I am grateful to have this time of our lives documented... of course we would have preferred to have Aaron here with us in our family photos. We miss him so much. But right now, it is JUST THE TWO OF US...

Sara and Lily... thank you, thank you, and million times THANK YOU.

* * *

Click HERE to see Sara Boulter's Photography website.

Friday, July 17, 2009


* * * * * * *
I was going through some things today and found this quote that I scribbled out on a scrap paper several years ago... it is just such great advice for all of us when we need extra help and support.

"Commune with the Lord, He is your best friend! He knows your pain because he has felt it for you already. He is ready to carry that burden. Trust Him enough to place it at His feet and allow Him to carry it for you. Then you can have your anguish replaced with His peace, in the very depths of your soul."
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I want to thank all of you who have left messages on here and showed love and support in many ways. I am grateful for all of my friends throughout the world. Thank you.

Now, onto our June festivities...

One of these things does not belong here. Can you find it? Aaron Jr. put the Windex in the freezer. Don't ask me why. I laughed so hard.

Grandma Sue and Aaron Jr.

We went with Tawnie and Sam to the Gateway in Salt Lake. The boys had fun in the water. It is such a fun place for kids.

We were at my parents house one night and I walked out the side door and this scene is what was right in front of me. I had to grab my camera. It was SO amazing and beautiful. That is the Bountiful Temple.

In mid June, our family reunion was at a place in Idaho called Harris Pond. The Harris's are family and they let us come and use their facilities to have our Higginson Family Reunion up there. It was such a great place. There was so much to do. Canoeing was a favorite of Aaron Jr.'s. This is me with Aaron Jr.

There was a zipline that went the whole length of the pond about 30 feet in the air. This is me with my brother Mark.

There was also a canon that they shot bags of candy out of. It was so much fun. It was fun watching the kids scramble for the candy and it was funny to see the adults scramble for the candy. The mom's who scrambled were mostly scrambling to get their kids MORE candy. That is what I did.

 in the paddle boat.

Aaron Jr. rowing a canoe all over the pond by himself. I was amazed watching him for those two days. I was grateful that he was so good about wearing his life jacket. He never complained.

Aaron Jr. is the one in the canoe. He was pulling that big floating trampoline around the whole pond. SO funny.

Aaron Jr. in canoes with lots of different people. He couldn't get enough. Top: Brian, Vaugh, Aaron Jr. Middle: Caroline, Luke , Samuel, Aaron Jr. Bottom: Caroline, Aaron Jr, Luke, Benjamin, Spencer

John, Stella, Aaron Jr, and Benjamin on the barrel raft.

Aaron Jr. wanted to go down the water slide, so his cousin agreed to take him. The third photo shows how much Aaron Jr. enjoyed it. He was clinging for dear life to his cousin. Bottom right photo is Stella, Benny, Aaron Jr.

There was such good food. For dinner on Friday night, we had burgers and hot dogs. They were so good with all of the fixins. Later that night, two of my brothers put their chefs hats on and they made deluxe crepes for everyone. Then in the morning, we had pancakes, eggs, and sausage and bacon. Mmmmm... For lunch, it was yummy sandwiches with chips. PERFECT camping food all weekend. YUM YUM YUM!!!
Top left: Mark and Spencer
Top right: Richard and Robert
Bottom left: Uncle David, Dad, Richard, John,
Bottom right: Aaron Jr enjoying the good eats.

Random photos of Aaron Jr. and one of me. This is how I looked all weekend. My camera was attached to my arm. I got so many great shots, and wish they would all fit here, but they don't. :) In two of the photos, Aaron Jr is playing around the mound where the rope swing is. He never attempted that, of course. :)

We have a tradition at our family reunions to do races. Each age group has their own race and then everyone gets candy afterwards for participating. The kids love it. This is Aaron Jr's race. He started, then turned around, then started again... which put him coming in last, but that is okay.

As you can see, he thought it was a blast running to me at the finish line. :)

There were lots of races, but I just included those of Aaron Jr's and mine. Lots of the grown ups get into the races still, which is great... but I like to jog just for the participation factor. I like to get the candy for running. Thanks to Tawnie for jogging with me. We tied for last place. BUT we had a great time. :)

One of the more fun activities going on was the HUGE, TALL swing that went out over the water. These are photos of my parents each on the swing.

It was the funnest part for me. The guys were grab our legs and propel us with all of their might to get us as high as possible. We were going SO high. It was so much fun. It was definitely a rush.

This is the last photo taken with my camera. Me with Aaron Jr. I wanted a photo of how beautiful the pond was. I wish you could see the whole thing. It was double this size. The Harris family created this pond and all of the activities there. It is such a fun place and I am so grateful that we got to go there and enjoy it.

Some roses Aaron Jr brought into the house for me.

After the reunion ended, Spencer and Kristi and their family came to Utah for a week before heading back up to Oregon. It was so much fun having them here, as always. These are some shots of Aaron Jr with a few cousins. Top left: Aaron Jr and Lily watching TV. Top right: Aaron Jr and Luke watching TV. They have so much fun together. They are both wearing the chair's arm covers on their heads. They make me laugh. Bottom left: Aaron Jr and Luke playing in the gutter water after the rain was done. Bottom right: this is the first time Aaron Jr has asked to hold a baby. This is Lila, Aaron Jr, and Luke (with his signature popeye smile). Lila was not enjoying this. :)

More gutter fun.
Spencer, Aaron Jr, Luke, Benny

Sadie and Nick invited Aaron Jr to do swimming lessons with their kids.
Top left: Grace jumping into the water.
Top right: Pearl with her swimming teacher.
Bottom left: Aaron Jr on the floating board.
Bottom right: Aaron Jr. jumping to his swimming teacher.

Ava, Sophia, Isaac, Malia all waiting for swimming lessons to be done.

Aaron Jr with his teacher. These photos make it seem like he did well in the swimming lessons, but it was like pulling teeth to get him to go into the water with the teachers. Aaron Jr wanted to just go into the kiddie pool the whole time. The few days we went, he spent a total of about 20 minutes with his teachers. :) Oh well, better luck next year. Thanks Nick and Sadie!!!

One of the days they were here, some of us girls went shopping for a couple of hours. This is what we returned to. SO funny.
Spencer, Benny, Aaron Jr, and Luke

Getting ready to head back to Oregon.
Spencer, Benny, Aaron Jr, Luke, Zach (another cousin who came to say good bye)

The Oregonians. We love and miss them so much.
Spencer, Kristi, Spencer, Luke, Benjamin, Lila

This was on Father's Day.
While most of us were in the house visiting, some of the kids had overheard me talking about Aaron. This is what was found out on the grass a few minutes later. These kids were all sitting in a circle with a box of kleenex telling stories and memories about Uncle Aaron. They were all sobbing. One of the kids said to someone 'Aaron Jr thinks his Dad is at work'.
Aaron Jr does answer the question of where is his Daddy with the answer 'my Dad's at work' most of the time. It is always so sweet and heartbreaking... but it really hit these kids hard. They were all heartbroken again. Love you kids and we all miss Uncle Aaron. Thank you for missing him with us.

My friend Chandra came out from Colorado with her family. These are a few photos of us with them.
Leslie, Chandra, Aaron Jr, Gabriella, and Hunter

Aaron Jr and I came upon a horse parade going on in the town we live in. We had to stop and join in the festivities. One horse peed for a really long time right in front of us. I had to move over because it was like a river coming towards us. Then another horse bucked up right in front of us and the owner was trying to restrain it and it bucked up so high, the horse went over backwards and landed on its back. It was about 15 feet from us and it was scary. Exciting times at a small town parade. :)

Aaron Jr fell asleep in the car clutching the 'things' he was obsessed with that day. He gets obsessed with new things every day that he has to hold and sometimes sleep with.

Self explanatory photo. Mmmmm...

Aaron Jr and his best friend Ode right before his hair cut.

Ode, Aaron Jr, and me (Leslie) in our back yard. AFTER Ode's hair cut. He is so old and gray. :(

This is Mehmet. He is from Turkey and was here as a foreign exchange student that lived with my sister and her family during school. He was my nephew's best friend as well, so they had fun living together. He went back to Turkey last month and we had a surprise going away party for him. This is Mehmet pushing Aaron Jr on the swing. Aaron Jr really loves Mehmet. He was so good with kids.

More photos from the party. My mom made this quilt for him. There were star buttons on Salt Lake City and on Turkey and then a line connected them. He LOVED it.

What the boys were doing during the party.
What the girls were doing during the party.


* * *