Monday, February 21, 2011

My Busy Valentine

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I have never been one to think Valentines Day was that special. Of course when I was little, it was so much fun to get Valentine cards and the best ones were the ones with candy stuffed inside of the envelopes. Then as I got older, Valentines Day just reminded me that I was alone (without a romantic interest). Then when I got married, I finally had someone in my life that I was in love with and Valentines Day meant something. But then 6 short Valentines Days later, I was alone again... only to be reminded a million times over on that day.

Well, on Valentines Day, I was on Facebook and my friend Lisa, who is also a widow, had posted this:

'Hoping that everyone has a wonderful valentines day, and realizes that love DOES deserve it's own holiday.' ~ my friend Lisa

After reading her posting, I changed my attitude that day. LOVE is wonderful. Why not celebrate it?

But I am getting ahead of myself here. I have to explain the title of my posting. Aaron Jr is my Valentine this year and he had a busier Valentine weekend than I did.

On Friday before Valentines Day, he was invited to his cousin's birthday party out in Salt Lake. So I drove him out there and didn't want to drive all the way home, then all the way back out there when the party was over... so I thought about inviting a friend to a movie or something. But, then I didn't because I didn't want to take any of my friends away from their husbands on Valentines Day weekend. Plus my friend Lisa was out of town. SO, I made the decision that I could go to a movie by myself for the first time in my life. I hated the thought, but if I went to the dollar theater, it would save me money so I wouldn't spend too much money shopping or something.

So, I went to the Pizza Factory and grabbed a pasta meal and breadsticks to go. (their angel hair alfredo pasta is my fave)... then I put it in my bag and drove to the dollar theater. I bought a single ticket to the movie 'Unstoppable', then walked into the theater. The movie had already started, so it was really dark and I couldn't see where there were seats available. I ALMOST turned around and walked out. Walking down the aisle alone was a little more than I thought I could bear. BUT, I did it. I walked to about the 5th row and sat down by myself. I got out my dinner and ate it. Then sat through the movie alone. I have to admit, it wasn't quite as bad as I always thought it would be... BUT I can say that I don't want to make a habit of it. It was lonely. Every time I wanted to say something to someone about the movie, I couldn't. There was no one there. I got emotional a few times, but I did it!

After the movie, I did check out a sale at REI that Christa had told me about. Then I went back to pick up Aaron Jr. I could tell he had a lot of fun. I am glad he got to go. When I got there, Aaron Jr handed me a bracelet that he had made at the party. He said he made it for me. (it was a girl party) :) Thank you Christa.

This is the bracelet he made for me at the party.

The next night, Saturday night, Aaron Jr was invited to a Valentine Party at his Grandpa and Grandma Harkness's house. It was just for the grandkids. I assume to give the parents a chance to go out for Valentines Day. BUT, since I don't need a night away from Aaron Jr for Valentines Day, I had to come up with something to do. So, I came home and cleaned for a bit, then went next door to my brother's house. I hung out with their family for the evening until it was time to pick up Aaron Jr. I am grateful they let me hang out with them.

On Sunday night, after Aaron Jr was asleep, I stayed up really late working on making some hearts to put on his wall so that he would wake up and see the 'heart attack' for Valentines Day. I didn't have any red paper, so I had to use his favorite colors, blue and yellow (which is really funny since when Aaron and I got married, his favorite color was blue and mine was yellow, so we used those colors in a few things at our reception... Aaron Jr doesn't even know that). Then I used cream paper and colored some hearts red. Then put a heart shaped box of York Peppermint Patties and a card at the end of his bed to find that morning. He loves those.

Here is Aaron Jr that morning... SO excited about the decorations and the candy.

That day, we went to my friend Lisa's house to hang out for Valentines Day and evening. We ate dinner together with a couple of other friends while the kids played and had a great time. Before anyone else got there, Lisa and I watched a Hallmark movie called 'The Lost Valentine'. What were we thinking? It was about a lady who lost her husband in the war. We were both sobbing by the end of it. WOW. But it was such a great movie.
Thanks Lisa.

So that was our Valentines weekend festivities. Aaron Jr was my very busy Valentine.

Here's hoping for a very different Valentines weekend for me next year. Please bless.

'Have faith. Sometimes things change. These tears will shine an even greater light on your JOY when it arrives... and it will. It is in you to be happy. I have seen your capacity to recover and to flourish. Let go of self pity and try to seek a little courage.'
~ quote from Lark Rise to Candleford

Aaron and Me. (insert whistle here)
We love and miss you Aaron.

'The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.'
~ Elder Joseph B Wirthlin

Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

He Loves Us.

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This video really affected me. I watched it three times within ten minutes. It drove me to tears because of the amazing feeling I felt as I watched it and listened to the words spoken in the video. The Spirit of the Lord touched my heart and I hope and pray that anyone who visits my blog and sees this posting will watch this video, listen to the words, let them sink in, and allow yourself to feel the Spirit of the Lord come into your heart. The Spirit testifies to us with these feelings. It testifies of truth and it helps us to feel the love of our Father in Heaven. We are His children. Let these feelings of love and hope sink into your heart as these men testify of Jesus Christ, our Savior and of His role in our lives. He loves us.
We are so blessed to know that.

"Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end—no dawn to break the night's darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea 'Is there no balm in Gilead?' (Jeremiah 8:22). We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face." ~ Thomas S. Monson

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is He In Heaven With Daddy?

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Yesterday when I told Aaron Jr that it is Uncle Bruce's birthday, the Uncle Bruce who died.
He asked, "You mean Grandma and Grandpa's son?"
I said, "Yes."
Aaron Jr asked, "Is he in heaven with Daddy?"
I said, "Yes."
He seemed glad about this fact.

And I sure am glad about that as well. It was one of the only comforting thoughts I had that night when Aaron passed away. My brother and my husband; brothers meeting each other for the first time. Knowing that he was with people we love and who love us.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Bruce ~ 2011

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Our brother Bruce.
February 16, 1969 ~ April 26, 1985

We love and miss you Bruce.
Happy Birthday to you!

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day ~ 2011

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have a listen... i love this song. you can read the lyrics down below.

Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson

We have fallen down again tonight
In this world it’s hard to get it right
Try to make your heart feel like a glove
What it needs is love, love, love

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Happy is the heart that still feels pain
Darkness drains and light will come again
Swing open up your chest and let it in
Just let the love, love, love begin

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

oh everybody knows the love
Everybody holds the love
Everybody falls for love

Everybody feels the love
Everybody steals the love,
everybody heals with love
Oh, oh, oh, oh, just let the love, love, love begin

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh, oh, oh, Just let the love, love, love begin

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Surprise Homecomings...

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My sister in law Kristi sent an email to our family yesterday. It was a video that showed a bunch of surprise homecomings of soldiers coming home to their families. Some of these clips are of soldiers surprising their kids at school. Let me just say that I was in tears as I watched it... A LOT of tears through the whole thing.

I kept wondering as I watched these clips how Aaron Jr might react if he was one of those kids in class getting to have a surprise visit from his Daddy. In these clips, there are a few wives being surprised by their husbands coming home as well. Those, too, really affected me.

Watching these clips also reminded me of when I was young after my brother passed away. I remember for years after that, I would have daydreams and imagine my brother walking into my classroom at school to surprise me. I imagined seeing him in the doorway, running up to him, and giving him a huge hug.
And now, as an adult, I have daydreamed almost daily for the last three years about Aaron showing up and this nightmare being all a mistake. Wow... even as I sit here typing this and imagining him showing up right now, I just get so emotional and wishful. The reality is that it is not a mistake and Aaron is not going to show up to surprise us... BUT
thinking about the reunion we will all have after this life when we do get to see my brother and Aaron again, it brings such JOY. What a sweet and JOYous reunion that will be.

Watching these kids get to have their precious reunions with their Dads just brought me to tears. The sweet JOY they must have been feeling.

Now, watch these three videos. They will make you feel something. I am so grateful to these brave men and women who serve our country and fight for our freedoms. I share my gratitude to them.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Creative Mind of Aaron Jr.

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So, Aaron Jr was in bed and I went in to wash my face and brush my teeth and this is what I found in the bathroom. As soon as I saw it, I had to laugh. I know I am a bit biased, but I just think my son is one of the funniest kids ever. I have seen several commercials between a few of his kids shows on TV for a toothpaste dispenser that hangs on the wall. I can only imagine that he took that idea to produce his own on our bathroom wall.

He awkwardly used these toothpaste tubes this way for weeks until he couldn't get anymore out of them by just pushing on them. He used scotch tape and band-aids to hold them to the wall. SO funny.

After Aaron was done eating something in this paper bowl, he called me over to show me that he had created a fortune cookie out of his bowl.

Aaron's drawing of Wall-E.

Aaron begged me to take a photo of his 'shirt'. He was pretending that his pajama pants were his shirt. How can I resist taking a photo of him when he specifically asks me to?

And he's out.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random January

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Aaron Jr.
We have been trying to attend some of my nephews and nieces basketball games. It has been fun for us and Aaron Jr has been enjoying watching them play and also getting out there during half time to shoot the basketball.

Joseph and Aaron watching Savannah's game.

Savannah at her game. The lighting was awful, so none of the action shots worked at all. Too bad.

David in his game.

Matthew at his game.
David and Matthew are on the same team.

Kristina at her game. She smiles and giggles through the whole game, but she is the leading scorer at every game as well.

Kristina helping Aaron shoot the basketball during halftime.

Aaron Jr.

Cute Angus.

Angus came with us to feed Shayla one Saturday. He did great.


Angus and Shayla


Aaron and Shayla

Leslie and Aaron and Bruce

This was Bruce's last Sunday before he left on his mission. Bruce left in January to go to the Missionary Training Center where he is learning Mandarin Chinese to serve for two years in Taiwan. He has now been gone a month and he is missed. He joins my nephew Nathan as a missionary. Nathan is serving in Finland. We love them and we are so proud of them.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

SO Cool

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Here is Aaron Jr with a chocolatey face standing in Costco in front of my sister's book! How exciting to see her book in a store... wow.

I finished it!!!

So, today I got done reading her book after getting the actual published copy in my hands. It was fun reading it again. There were a few changes that she made since I read it before it went to the publisher, but the story was all the same. I loved reading it again. I really do recommend this book. Not just because it is my sister who wrote it, but because it really IS a great book.

My sister's book release party is tonight (Monday February 7). She asked me to take photos of the event. It is an exciting time for her and I am so excited for her. The party is to be in Cedar Hills, Utah. If anyone is around and wants to go to her party, it is open to the public. You can go to her blog and get the address from there.

{ Karey's Blog }

If anyone shows up, I guess I'll see ya there. Come and find me. :)

We love you Karey... we are so proud of you.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Discovery Gateway

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A couple of weeks ago, we went with my sister Lisa's family to the Discovery Gateway. When we got there, we ran into my sister in law Tawnie and their kids. Here are some of the photos of Aaron Jr, and some of my nieces and nephews experiencing some of the hands-on activities they have there. Kids who are in these photos: Aaron Jr, John John, Emily, Thomas, Jack, Sam, Leah, Caroline, Hannah, Elise, Stella, Angus, Henry, and our niece Kristina came along with Lisa's family.

Aaron Jr looked SO cute in the post man uniform. I loved watching him deliver mail to the different mailboxes. It was fun... thanks for the invite Lisa.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Give Life !

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Yes, I did. I gave blood again today. I have to encourage others to give blood every time I give blood to keep it on people's minds. (click on the American Red Cross icon above to learn more.)

You may or may not know:

* One blood donation can help save up to 3 lives.
* Only 8% of the eligible U.S. population donates blood.
* Every 2 seconds someone in America needs blood.
* Less than 30% of the people who give blood once will ever give blood again.
* Donated blood only lasts for 42 days.
* You can donate blood as many as 6 times a year.

Anyone who is eligible, I encourage you to give blood. Plus, they give you awesome snacks afterward. If that doesn't get you there... then maybe knowing that you are helping to save lives will get you there. :) It gets me there.

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