Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Four Years...

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~ Aaron Sverre Harkness ~
March 29, 1977 ~ November 29, 2007
I am not sure how it is possible that four years have passed by without you here... but somehow they have. In some ways the gaping wound feels as fresh as yesterday, but time and the Lord are helping our shattered hearts to heal... a piece at a time.
We are so blessed to find comfort through the Lord...
I will need it today.
Remembering you today... and always...
We love you Aaron.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving ~ 2011

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You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you,
as you are to them. ~ Unknown

 Aaron Jr and Me
having our traditional pie making day.
We cut back on the amount of pies that we made this year.
Last year there were a few pies left over,
so this year we only made 9 pumpkin and 1 cherry / blackberry pie.

 In family life, LOVE is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds us closer together, and the music that brings harmony.
~ Unknown

Sue or Steve or both carved these pumpkins.
They were on their front porch that night when we showed up.
I love these.
We all ate together the night before Thanksgiving because April and Dave's family was flying out on Thanksgiving morning. It was so good to see them.

 In every conceivable manner,
the family is the link to our past,
and the bridge to our future.
~ Alex Haley

Sue had the kids put together a puzzle of family photos and quotes about family.
The quotes she had on the poster are typed out throughout this posting.
Family is so wonderful!

Ta Da!

 Families are like fudge...
mostly sweet with a few nuts.
~ Unknown

A treat turkey that the kids put together.

 The only rock I know that stays steady,
the only institution I know that works is the family.
~ Lee Iacocca

~ Aubrey Joy ~
and Aaron Jr.
We got to meet our newest niece the night before Thanksgiving.
This is April and Dave's newest addition.
She is precious.

 The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Me with Aubrey... Lillie Pearl with Aubrey
I have to share a sweet experience with Lillie Pearl.
After the photo puzzle was put together, I hung it up on the mantle to take a photo, then I stood there staring at it for a while. Thanksgiving is a tough one for me since Aaron passed away. I started to cry, then composed myself and stepped back.
As I stood there by the couch, Lillie Pearl walked over without saying anything and hugged me around my waist. So I sat down on the couch and gave her a real hug and said to her "I was feeling so sad and now I am feeling so happy. Thank you. That was sweet."
It really was sweet. She was so aware that I was having a sad moment. I am grateful for people who are aware of other's feelings and act on promptings to share their burden. This sweet little 6 year old girl did just that.
Thank you again, Lillie Pearl.

Family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
~ Barbara Bush

Thanksgiving Day was spent with my side of the family.
My camera battery died just after we got to the church to gather, but it charged up a bit so that I could take this photo of some of the kids eating their pie after dinner.

 Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~ Unknown

 Aaron Jr and I with a couple of our pies. Mmm...

For some reason, this Thanksgiving was one of the more difficult ones for me. It was the last holiday that we got to share with Aaron, and he passed away a week later. So, it is bitter sweet for me. I usually end up feeling very alone at some point over the few days of the Thanksgiving weekend, but all in all... family helps me to feel loved and feel like I belong somewhere. What a blessing family is in my life and in Aaron Jr's life. We are so blessed. I am truly thankful for family.

May we . . . demonstrate kindness and love within our own families. Our homes are to be more than sanctuaries; they should also be places where God’s Spirit can dwell, where the storm stops at the door, where love reigns and peace dwells.
~ President Thomas S Monson

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Heroes

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I gave blood again...
I went in and gave blood the day before Thanksgiving. They were doing a special blood drive and I have never seen it that busy before. What a great turnout they had! The lady who was taking care of my donation told me there is a blood shortage and they need more donors.
We all got this pin that says 'Holiday Heroes' for giving that day.
So, this is my newest reminder to get out there and give blood. It will save lives.

Click on the link above for information about being a blood donor.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Girls Late Night ~ 2011

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 This year, our annual girls' overnighter turned into a 'girls day out and late night'.
Once we changed it so that it was just for the day and late night, I was excited that more of our friends could make it to some or all of the outing.
We decided to spend the day / evening at the Gateway in Salt Lake to go shopping, then to a movie, then dinner... then go to my house to chat the night away until people needed to go home to bed.
Kerianne and I started out the day just the two of us and we did a little browsing / shopping.
We missed going up to Park City this year, but the Gateway was a good alternative.

After shopping, we were heading to the movie and heard from some of our friends that the movie was not going to work out. So, it was Kerianne and me at the movie.
But that was okay, because more friends were going to join us for dinner after... we saw the movie 'Footloose'. It was an enjoyable sort of movie, a lot like the original. It was very entertaining and we enjoyed it.

During the movie, I got texts from more of the gals letting me know that they were not going to be able to make it after all. Bummer.

We figured we would head to dinner and hope to hear from any of the other gals we had been planning to see...

The rest of the photos show those of us who were able to make it to dinner...

 Me and Kerianne

and... Me and Kerianne

yep, Me and Kerianne

oh yeah, Me and Kerianne

that's right, Me and Kerianne

...and last, but certainly not least, Me and Kerianne

If you couldn't guess from the photos, it was Kerianne and me at dinner.
We missed those who could not make it... literally.
We had a lot of fun.
Our late night was a success... AND...
if all of this wasn't enough, we didn't get home that night until 8:45 pm!!!
I know, I know, we took the concept of 'late night' to a whole new level.
What can we say though?... we are a little wild and crazy.
Until next year gals...  it will be a challenge to try to top this. :)
Thanks Kerianne!!!

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

a little 'off'...

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Friday, Nov 18...
My heart has been heavy and extra sensitive today. I am not sure why, but all day today, I have felt a little 'off'. I haven't been able to put into words just what felt 'off', but that is just how I felt all day.

I am not sure about how other people feel when they have days like this, but when I have a day like this, I hate it. I hate it when I am having an 'off' day, but there is nothing to blame it on, nothing to attribute it to. I go about my day like normal, but it nags at me all day... wondering 'why do I feel so 'off'?' Even trying to talk through it today with a couple of people didn't bring out into the open what I wanted to know. Sometimes talking through things does that for me. Not today.

But then, when I am having a day like this, something will happen that wasn't on my mind at all, but it will happen and all of a sudden, it sets me off. It doesn't set me off in an angry kind of way, it sets me off in a hurt and emotional way... bringing to the surface the feelings that have been trying to erupt all day. But it finally gives me something to blame it on, something to attribute it to even if it has nothing to do with feeling 'off' all day. But, I think when this happens, it does allow me to feel some strong emotions and finally have a good cry.

As far as what finally set me off tonight... so that I could have a good cry... it is something that sets me off anytime I think about it...

Saturday, Nov 19...
Hmmm... I typed out a whole explanation about it last night, but then logged on today and had to delete it because I cannot share it on here. It would open a can of worms that I do not want to open.

I will just say this much. I hope that I am the type of person who always tries to make those around me feel wanted and important. I hope I never act indifferent towards someone who I should show love to. When others act indifferent towards you, it sure does make you feel completely alone in their presence. I hope I never make anyone EVER feel like they are alone when they are around me. I hope I will always be a person who shows kindness to others. I am not saying I am a perfect person in making others feel great, but I know that I am the type of person who is very mindful of how my words and / or actions are making other people feel. And if I even have an inkling that I have made someone feel bad, I feel horrible and I try to correct it as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, I know how it feels way too often to be in these situations... where I feel completely alone even when there are certain people around... because of them seeming to be indifferent towards me. And it always brings pain and sadness to me.

It makes me that much more grateful for my family and the Lord... they all know me the best and they are the ones I can go to in order to feel loved and wanted. I sure do love them all.

We should all be more aware of how we make others feel.

Still not sure why I felt 'off' all day yesterday... but today the sun is shining and Aaron Jr and I built a snowman together. I don't feel quite so 'off' today.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random October ~ 2011

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At the store... the cases of water looked like a chair, so Aaron made himself at home. :)
Aaron with his explorer backpack full of explorer tools. A sweet lady named Rita sent this to him.
We have never met Rita, but she is one of the wonderful people who reads our blog.
Thank you Rita.

 Aaron in some BYU Cougar gear. :)
He still wants to be Jimmer Fredette someday.
I found this cute photo of my nephew Benny.
We can't wait to see them at Christmas time. :)

 The six gals on the top of the photo are six of my nieces.
Emily, Elise, Julia,
Anna, Hannah, Caroline
The two gals on the bottom are a cousin's daughter and my sister in law's niece.
It was fun to watch them all play.

 Aaron Jr.

We went with Kerianne and Rori and their kids to Gardner Village.
It was the first time we had been there. It sure was a fun place to visit.

Aaron Jr was our photographer.
There were many, many takes.
He is already a pro. :)

Me, Kerianne, Rori

 So, Aaron and I were playing with lincoln logs a lot last month and would create farmhouses and barns for all of his farm animals. At one point, he started taking all of the bigger animals and saying they were the moms and he would put the smaller animals with them as their kids. When I walked back into the room at one point, I had to laugh when I saw how he had arranged the pigs. SO funny. I know he has seen Charlotte's Web loads of times, I assume that is where he saw this?

 Aaron has been really into drawing and coloring lately.
I am loving the photos that he draws for me. They usually are photos with me, or daddy, or both of us in them... or all three of us. He is a sweetheart.

Richard and Haley
At the beginning of the month, my cute nephew married his cute bride in the Bountiful Temple.
They are a sweet couple and I am so happy for them.
Congrats to you both.
(my brother did their photography, he took this photo: Rob Higginson Photography)

 These are the last photos taken of our flower garden before it froze that night.
We were so proud of how well it did and we had so much fun taking care of it.
There were SO many buds ready to bloom still... it broke my heart when I woke up the next morning and saw that the plants had all frozen. I know that sounds so silly, but these flowers were such a hugely therapeutic project for me this year. I really miss seeing the bright colors every morning when we wake up.
That last couple of weeks that they were blooming, I had pruned back the plants that had seemingly died and they were FINALLY coming back and were getting a lot of green back on them. They were finally giving flowers again. I was sad that they didn't have more time to make a full recovery.
Ok, enough. :)

 Us ~ the proud gardeners. :)
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Halloween ~ 2011

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This little boy is my SUPER HERO!!!

A neighbor of my parents gave this costume to Aaron Jr several years ago. It was too big at the time, so I put it away and loaned it out to cousins over the past few years... I did the same thing this year thinking it would still be too big, so I loaned it to my sister... luckily my sister informed me that it would fit Aaron Jr this year so she would be happy to borrow it next year instead. It would have been too small for Aaron next year, so WHEW! :)
This was the night Aaron and I went to the school carnival. We sure had fun together on our little date night out.

Carving pumpkins at my friend Lisa's house.
The kids did great.
I cut most of the top of Aaron's pumpkin, then I drew the face on, but then he took over and cut the face all by himself. I was so impressed!

A whole bunch of kids... including Aaron.

Aaron and Ashton.
If you can believe it, Ashton is a few years older than Aaron.
My son is SO tall.
Ashton is Lisa's middle child and he and Aaron sure have fun together. They can play for hours together without a problem.

Aaron is showing off his pumpkin in the middle of this photo.
This one has all three of Lisa's kids in it.
Ethan is in the back right corner, Ashton in the red shirt, and Averie in the pink.
The other kids' names escape my memory, they belong to other friends that I have met through Lisa.

Halloween, as we begin our journey of trick or treating.
Aaron with his pumpkin.

Aaron got invited to trick or treat with some cousins.
Aaron Jr, Zach, Thomas, Jack
It was fun to be with family. Thanks for the invite!

Aaron Jr as a dog.
Me... wearing my good old stand by spider hat and black plastic glasses without lenses.

I love that Aaron Jr has fun on Halloween, but if I had my way... Halloween would be wiped off of the calendar.
We did have some good laughs at some of the festivities, but I have never been a huge fan since I grew up. It is becoming nearly as big as Christmas as a holiday. Loads of parties and people really go all out on decorating. I could go into all of the reasons I don't like Halloween, but I won't. :)
I will just say that I will continue to make it as fun as Aaron Jr wants it to be... and once he is ready to be done dressing up, I will shout HOORAY! :)

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