Monday, August 30, 2010

Too Far

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This is a song written by a girl who grew up a few blocks from me. She sent this song to me tonight and I wanted to share it with the world. She is a beautiful person inside and out and has endured her own tragedies in life, but is a strong person with so much faith and hope. She inspires me and she has written this song in memory of two of her brothers who have passed away in the past few years. Listen and read the lyrics as you listen ... and enjoy. Thank you for sharing this with me Claudia. I LOVE it.
(for those of you who grew up around us as well, this is Claudia Allred before she got married)


Too Far - by Claudia Gneiting

I didn't mean to let you down
Only trying to find my own way
Through mistakes and heartbreak
I learned the hard way down

They say live with no regrets
To live in the moment reservations aside
But mistakes keep me up at night
And I won't tell myself lies

You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
It started out so innocent
But so quickly dragged me down
Hindsight is 20:20
But the first time around so obscure
I made it harder than it had to be
Turned my back on my heart
Now wear my guilt on my sleeve

Mistakes keep me up at night
And I won't tell myself lies
You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
When I was young
I never would have wanted it to turn out this way
Something inside me tells me it's not too late
Giving me a reason, giving me a hope to change
I'm seeing where I want to be
So far from where I've been
Escape this past that's haunting me
And let me begin again

They say live with no regrets
To live in the moment, reservations aside
But mistakes keep me up at night
And I won't tell myself lies
You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
You've gone too far
You've gone too far
You’re going to lose yourself
Tender mercies beckon me
Broken hearted, red as scarlet
White as snow
Tender mercies beckon me
Broken hearted, red as scarlet
White as the first fallen snow

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Quote that helped to inspire this song:

"The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change. So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger, but in wisdom, understanding and love." - Jennifer Edwards

Thank you, Claudia.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greta Suzanne

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~ Greta Suzanne ~

August 21, 2010 ~
7 lbs 1 oz

We want to welcome Greta Suzanne into the world. This is my newest niece. She was born last Saturday (mine and Aaron's wedding anniversary) to my brother, Mark and his wife, Suzanne. We are so happy to have her here. She is beautiful and we just love her so much. Congrats Mark and Suzy. We love you guys.

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Monday, August 23, 2010


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Okay fellow bloggers... I gave blood again this week... so this is my friendly reminder to all:


I hope no one is getting tired of my friendly reminders... but oh well.
I went a couple of weeks ago and I was turned away for the first time in my life... because my iron level was at a 12.4 and it has to be at a 12.5 to be able to give. So that was disappointing. So, this week my brother said he would go with me and I was almost turned away again. They tested me in my left hand and my level was down in the 11 range, but they usually will test in the other hand to make sure. Thank heavens I was up in the 14 range, so they always take the higher reading. I GOT TO GIVE that day. WOO HOO!

Anyhow, I know there are some out there who cannot give because of certain reasons, but those of you who can give, I encourage it.

Until next time...

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eight Years ~ A JOYful Day It Was

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Today, August 21, 2010, is our EIGHT year wedding anniversary. This was one of the two most JOYful days of my life. I wish so much that Aaron had lived long enough to see another wedding anniversary... but, I am grateful for this day to remember how magical this day was eight years ago.

And this is where we got married. The Salt Lake Temple. I LOVE this place. The spirit and peace that is found there is so wonderful. What a beautiful day it was that day.

~ It has been a tough week. There have been things that have happened this week that had nothing to do with the upcoming wedding anniversary that have contributed to it being a tough week, but... I have been dreading this day coming. I think I have dreaded it this year more than either of the other two anniversaries since Aaron passed away. I have no idea why.
I have been emotional and stressed and have felt broken again this week. Especially yesterday. Yesterday was one of the roughest days I have had in a while. I have a lot on my mind right now, I am trying to work through some things in my mind and in my heart and in my life in general and it is rough.

To quote one of my favorite movies of all time, 'Gone With the Wind':

'Tomorrow is another day.'

Aaron, I am missing you infinite amounts...
I love you always...

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Days of 47 Rodeo

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My sweet little cowboy, Aaron Jr. walking into the rodeo.

National Anthem

Here are some highlights from each of the events:

LOVE this shot.

It was fun watching the Bareback Bronco riders. Aaron's favorite singer / songwriter, Chris LeDoux was the 1976 Bareback Riding World Champion. (read bio) Chris LeDoux music will forever remind me of Aaron. In fact, the song that I would consider 'our song' that Aaron picked out as a song on our wedding video is a Chris LeDoux song called 'Look At You Girl'. (listen) Wow... I better move on... that song gets me so emotional.

The bull riding was the one Aaron Jr was waiting all night to see. Of course, it was the last event. And these riders did not disappoint. None of the competitors disappointed us. They were all amazing and it was so much fun to watch them all compete. The main scare of the evening was when one of the first riders out got bucked off of his horse and the horse kicked him in the head. You could hear the sound of it all through the stadium and he layed there on the ground for a while. He finally walked out with help and I believe I heard that he had skull fractures, but he would be okay. SO scary. Don't like to see them get hurt.

Suzy, Evelyn, Mark, Mom, Dad
Mark and Suzy are the ones who had tickets and invited us to go with them. It was the week of the 24th of July... and it was such a fun night. We had a blast. THANK YOU, Mark and Suzy.

Leslie, Aaron Jr, Suzy, Evelyn, Mark

Aaron making a mustache out of his empty cotton candy bag. I wonder how long he will continue making a mustache out of everything he can get his hands on. I LOVE it.
Evelyn looking cute... as always.

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An absolute highlight of the evening was when they announced over the loud speaker that we all should welcome President Thomas S. Monson (read bio) into the stadium. He and some of his family came in after it had begun. For a while, my focus was not on the rodeo as much as it was on President Monson and his family. I took a lot of photos... thank heavens for telephoto lenses.

The top left photo is of President Monson when he first comes into the stadium. While everyone clapped and cheered for him, I think he was clapping for the riders. The other photos are of him waving to people.

These photos crack me up. As I watched them across the way, several people offered to let him wear their cowboy hats. This first one he put on and fiddled with it and then the last photo here he is showing how big it is on him. What a character.

Here he is trading hats and I think he settled on this one for the rest of the time.

I LOVE this one.
I am always amazed when I am in the same room as one of the Presidents of our church. Such amazing men with so much love for everyone. I am so grateful for the guidance and direction they are able to give to us in this world that is becoming more and more troubled. I know he is a Prophet of God.
One of my favorite quotes from him:

"There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no mariner so lost, no gale so strong as to render useless the lighthouse of the Lord." ~ Thomas S. Monson

Anyhow, I will end with my little cowboy again... eating his favorite: Cotton Candy. Mmm...


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Progress

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I am pleased with myself. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about wanting to train for this triathlon that is coming up this weekend. I am here to report that I have been training. I haven't been biking yet because I do not own my own road bike and I will end up having to borrow one from someone for the race... but I have been running 4 days a week and swimming laps 1 day a week ever since I made that goal on here. I have less than one week left to go and I am hoping this training will pay off for the big day of the race.

Here's hoping...

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sneak Attacks

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So, I had nothing going on today for the most part, so when I woke up this morning, I looked at the stack of bins and boxes sitting in the corner of my living room and figured I should start going through them. They are full of miscellaneous papers and randomness and I have been putting this off for a while.

I guess having no life this weekend forced me to get into gear, so I reluctantly picked up a box and carried it in and put it next to my bed. I sat there for the next several hours going through it. There were files that had been transferred to that box from our filing cabinet... in those files were so many things. Aaron was the main one to use the filing cabinet, so going through most of those files, I found things that I had never seen before. There were school papers from Aaron's college days, mortgage statements, credit card bills, bank statements, tax returns, a lot of Home Depot receipts, medical bills and statements, etc.

There were also things that I had thrown into that box in the past couple of years as I packed things away. So, today I also found random things like an extra copy of our wedding announcement, photos of Aaron Jr., photos from our wedding, memorabilia from my mission to England and Aaron's mission to Brasil, a large envelope that was missing for a while full of copies of Aaron's death certificate, cards and letters that I received after Aaron's death, a lock of Aaron Jr's hair wrapped in tin foil, cards and letters from family members, memorabilia from our honeymoon... stuff I saved to use in a scrapbook, a copy of Aaron's obituary, a print out of the many comments left by people online on his obituary page, the envelope that Aaron received just two days before his death that contains the pattern for the wooden rocking horse he was going to build for Aaron Jr. that year for Christmas... and many, many, many more things...

I was in tears off and on a lot today... so I finally got Aaron Jr. in the car and we headed to the theater to see a movie. I needed a distraction. When we got home, I needed more of a distraction, so we headed up to Aaron's parents house to say hello... that distraction didn't work because they were not home, so Aaron Jr. and I went to my parents house (they are out of town, but I wanted to use their treadmill) and I ran on their treadmill while Aaron Jr. watched TV. I struggled through my run tonight... I got a side ache worse than I have had in a long long long time, but I just pushed through it.

With the type of day this has been, I had an interesting experience at my parents house tonight. I have always joked with friends of mine that it would be so great to shave our heads and be able to see what we look like with buzzed heads and not have to worry about our hair. I have actually been talking to my sister a lot the past few days about cutting my hair again and how much I wished I would have buzzed my head in that first year after Aaron passed away. During that year when I knew I had no interest in dating and I didn't even care what anyone thought of the way I looked... including myself. Anyhow, when I was changing my clothes at my parents house, their clippers were sitting there on the counter in the bathroom and I came SO SO SO close to grabbing them, pulling a Britney Spears and buzzing all of my hair off. I was close enough to doing it that I even pictured where I would begin the buzzing process. Awkward. :) But I didn't do it...

When we got home, I went straight to my bed and started reading the pages of comments that I had come across that people left on Aaron's obituary page and...


Another thing I came across was a stack of newsletters that I got in the mail from the funeral home that handled Aaron's funeral and burial. I was reading in them and some of the words kinda hit home today like they did back in the beginning... some of the words were:

"There are some days when nothing helps. Silent pain echoes across the heart leaving tear stains and shattered dreams. It hurts to move, to think, to breathe. It even hurts to be. On those days, when memories burn scars deep into the soul, there seems little relief. All the coping tricks we have tried in the past seem to fail us, and we are left with a pain so deep that we fear we will be consumed by it. We firmly believe that we shall never again find hope or joy in this world. Our own death often seems the only escape. That despair comes at the bottom of the valley. We have all stumbled across those treacherous rocks - many of us more than once. Just as we begin to think that we might survive, something tumbles us back into the darkness, and we are sure we have drowned. What then? It is as if we are left without our dreams or our memories. Existence has become a void, filled with nothingness - not even hurt. On those days, we cannot even feel pain.
"I'm not ready yet to be normal and take my place among the normal people of the world. I look normal, and for the most part, I act normal. Except for our story and for the tears in our family fabric, we are normal. I don't think I'm ready for no one to remember our hurt, let alone the joy our loved ones gave us.
I'm not ready yet to live only on the surface of life. There is still a lot of empty in my heart. Not as much as before..."

~ Darcie D. Sims

Not as much as before.

It is amazing reading words written by someone else that describe so perfectly how I have felt in the past and how part of me still feels sometimes. I don't break down and cry that often anymore... I mean REALLY cry... just once in a while now, so when I do break down and REALLY cry like tonight, I must admit, it sometimes feels really good. Sometimes, it is a good release. As I sit and type this, I am not feeling better yet, but I am assuming I will wake up in the morning feeling better. It seems like I usually do after one of these episodes. :) So, I'll be okay.

Anyhow, I was caught off guard today. I had a sneak attack of the sniffles. These emotions snuck up on me today and I was not prepared for them at all. I still have several boxes like this to sort through, boxes that are full of randomness and if I am going to have a day like this per box, then I guess I better invest in more Kleenex and try to stay away from hair clippers.

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