April 28, 2010

Two Years Ago

April 28, 2008 - Two years ago today...

My dad took my mom to an Insta-care.
She had been battling a bad cough.
Her doctor had told her it was allergies.
She wasn't getting better and couldn't sleep at night.
My dad called me at 7:15 am and asked if I would go in and work for my mom. (My mom was Aaron's office manager/receptionist.) After chest x-rays, my dad called to tell me they had found several "masses" in her lungs. It was either pneumonia, tuberculosis, or some sort of cancer. They were headed to St. Marks hospital for more tests.

When I heard this, the word "Cancer" didn't register. Instead I told Aaron, "I sure hope it isn't tuberculosis. Can you imagine all the patients we will have to call? That would be a nightmare."

I wish it would have been. I would have called every single patient myself. It wasn't Tuberculosis but it was a nightmare.

This time of year is hard for me.
I hope you will, occasionally, let me vent on this blog.

For those of you who know me, you know:
how close I was to my mom.
how much I depended on my mom.
how much I love talking about my mom.
how much I LOVED my mom.

If you know me, you will also know I remember dates.
My mom remembered phone numbers.
I remember dates.

April 28, 2008 was a terrible day.
If you ask any of my siblings, we can tell you exactly what we were doing on Monday, April 28, 2008. We were all doing different things but feeling the exact same way - ... NUMB. We stared out our windows and watched as life continued for everyone else but stopped for us.

I miss my mom. I miss everything about her.

If you read my blog, especially these next few months, please know that I am not depressed. I am not falling apart. I am not in need of "help". I just miss her and want to talk about her.

April 26, 2010

Hard To Believe It's Over

Tonight, Aaron and I attended our
LAST Preschool Program

Aaron asked if I was sad.
wasn't one of the emotions I was feeling.
I was happy Hayden participated.
I was thrilled that Hayden's next school won't cost me $160.00 a month.
But most of all I was PROUD of my little man.

Hayden spent the first half of the year in a "fog".

In January, we were told that he couldn't recognize any letters or numbers.
He had memorized the shape of his name but had no idea what letter he was writing.
He had memorized the sound of his name "H-A-Y-D-E-N that's the way we spell Hayden" but had no idea what letter he was saying.

So WE have worked very hard for the last few months learning what all of the other children have learned over the past 2 years. (Why was I paying $160.00 a month again??) Last week, when I picked Hayden up, his teacher, Ms. Shirley, asked me what I was doing with him because "he has caught up and passed many of the children?" I hesitated to tell her that "there is a great DVD that Leap Frog puts out..."(Thank you Tobey for your DVD) ... anyway.

Tonight he was a "Star", actually he was a "Grasshopper".
He sang, danced, and even smiled - occasionally.
I was so proud!

It is hard to believe that our Preschool days are over.

Ms. Shirley and her husband Sandy

Kamrin was his partner for the Bugaboo dance.
He asked me several times this year why Kamrin has brown skin but her mom has white skin.

Decked out in his Grasshopper Costume.

I wish I knew how to download videos - his grasshopper dance was awesome!

Tradition is to look at the animals at Wheeler Farm after a Preschool Show. This time we looked at the animals first. We were a bit early.
It freaked Mackay out to break tradition - he is all about doing it the same.

April 25, 2010

The "Happy Place"...

Note - this is long and lots of photos... it's okay if you quit reading... :)

St. George has always been known in my family as the "Happy Place".
It is where we went as kids to vacation. It was the place where you could - Shop, See Movies, Swim, and Sit Around. Everyone is always HAPPY in St. George!!

Day 1 -
It rained and snowed the entire drive... scary!!
Kenzie and I sang to the top of our lungs.

Hayden watched his movies and Mackay played his playstation games.

After we got settled, we enjoyed Iceberg for dinner (tradition).

Hayden and his MINI shake...

Everyone found their "toys" for the weekend.

Mackay and Hayden made THE track (it has been in the condo for years).

Kenzie strummed her guitar.

Give me a blanket and a crossword puzzle book and I am HAPPY!

Day 2 -
Kenzie stayed in her bed the ENTIRE day. It was HER vacation too so if she wanted to stay in bed all day - fine.
The boys and I went SHOPPING!!
Since it was 53 degrees outside... burrrrr... we decided to go to Sand Hollow - the indoor pool.

Aaron arrived at 6:30 pm and we hit the Pizza Factory for dinner (tradition).

Day 3 -
It was Kenzie's turn to shop. The boys were happy. The NFL draft was on TV.

Have you ever known an 8 year old to sit at the base of a TV and watch the entire draft AND understand what they are talking about?? He amazes me.

Later, we went back to the indoor pool. This time, Kenzie joined us. With a little encouragement from Aaron, Hayden was willing to wear a life jacket so he could go on the water slide and play in the deep end. Unfortunately, it gave him "boo boos" around his neck and torso. This led to a long shower later.... Quite the story....

Heading for the slide!

The deep end...

The Story:
Aaron and I had planned to go out to dinner this night - date night. We had been gone for about 30 minutes when we get a call from our children. Hayden's "boo boos" were hurting so he decided to put soap on them to make the feel better. Kenzie put him in the upstairs shower to rinse him off. Now ALL the children are upstairs in the master bed room and they begin "hearing footsteps downstairs." We try to explain that our condo is connected to condos on both sides and they are probably hearing the neighbors. The tears got worse. Mackay was pacing and crying. Kenzie was hysterically bawling. We forfeited dinner and raced home to prove no one was there trying to kill them. Hayden got out of the shower and asked why Kenz and Mackay were crying. After we explained, he said; "Guys, that was just me, bumping into the shower wall." Whatever.... Dinner was at Subway for the crying children and Albertos for Aaron and I - gross!!

Day 4 -
After a bit of shopping at Christensen's (Manda, Bis. Christensen says "Hi"), we went to the cemetery to put flowers on Grandma Helen and Grandpa Ralph's graves.

We spend a lot of time at cemeteries - note the silliness and football action... Cemeteries are not exactly a reverent place for our family - they are a place for picnics, tulips, and football games -headstones become defenders...:( , they are a place to smile and chat about the people we love, who have left us much too early - grrr...

After a quick and greasy lunch at Jack in the Box (line was too long at In & Out Burgers), we headed up to the OUTDOOR pool. The boys tried to swim. Kenz and I laid out. Aaron sat and read his book for a minute and fell asleep. It wasn't "St. George HOT" so we didn't realize how much sun we were getting.... oops ... we are feeling it now. Gotta love the first sunburn of the season!!

Amazing how fast time goes when you have a crossword puzzle and an Ipod in your swimsuit...:(

Aaron and I went to the Gun Barrel for dinner (kids ate pizza). We figured it was okay to go out without the kids, since the restaurant was literally ONE minute away...

Day 5 -
The kids slept in. Each morning, the boys would get up around 7 am... don't they know we are on vacation?? Aaron and I were up and ready BEFORE anyone else. They must have known it was the day we had to leave. We sadly said Goodbye to the "Happy Place" and drove home.

I really love St. George.
It was interesting, I dreamed of my mom each night we were there. (I love it when she is in my dreams, but it doesn't happen very often.) There are so many memories of my childhood and with my mom that I think about her constantly when I am there. It has always been my "happy place." I hope someday, my children will develop enough good memories that St. George will be their "Happy Place" too.

Three Happy Children!

April 20, 2010


My mom loved Tulips.

A month after my mom died, we moved into a new home. That fall (2008), I bought a bunch of Tulips. My kids and I planted them and talked about my mom and their grandma the entire time. It was a happy moment. The following spring, Tulips bloomed. I smiled and thought of my mom each time I saw them.

Last fall (2009), I bought more Tulips. This time, only Hayden and I planted them. Again, we talked about Grandma Kathy. He loves to talk about her. I hate that his memories of her are what I tell him. I wish he had had more time with her. As we finished planting our tulips, I kept five bulbs out.

On a Sunday, last Fall, I told Aaron I had five tulip bulbs left. I asked him if he thought it was dumb that I wanted to try to plant them at the cemetery by my mom's grave.

I have to say - I am so thankful for a husband that supports me. He never laughs at my ideas and he does whatever he can to make my ideas happen. So I don't know why I expected him to say all the things I had already thought of like:

"The lawn mower is just going to mow over them" or
"I don't think they will grow in grass" or
"Your mom really doesn't care if she has tulips at her grave."

Nope - he didn't say any of these things. He stood up, got his shovel (not a little hand shovel, but the BIG kind) and we got in the car - just the two of us. We planted five tulip bulbs.

I love going to the cemetery when it is WARM outside. It hasn't been warm for a while. But yesterday was WARM. I packed a lunch - basically picked it up at a drive-thru, and Hayden and I headed to the cemetery for a picnic.

This is what I saw...


All five are there.

I smiled and thought of my mom.

Then...amidst one of the Tulips, I saw this...


Can you just hear Mom?
"Look at that one. Doesn't that look fun?? It like popping ..." ...never mind... :)

April 17, 2010

Socked in the Gut...

Have you ever been "socked in the gut"?? That moment when everything in life is normal, fine, honky-doory, and then you see something or read something or hear something, and all of the sudden you feel like you have been "socked in the gut".

I put on a primary activity for over 80 people this morning. Came home and sat outside on a recliner with Kenzie for a while enjoying the sunshine. I don't really have a lot on my plate right now, so I am not stressed, nervous, overwhelmed, - - nothing. I am fine.

I got on the computer and started roaming... you know... when you are looking for nothing and one thing takes you to another, and then another and another... I ended up seeing this.

It looks like nothing. But first, I didn't know Ashley even tried to have a blog, so that surprised me. Then I looked at her comments. The last comment on her blog is from KatBean. I figured it was Josh. He and Adam are really the only ones that called my mom Kat Bean and Josh's blog was a tribute to "Kat Bean". But I read the comment, then reread the comment. and reread it again. It was back in December of 2007. It was my mom.

I read her comment and felt that feeling... "socked..."

I miss my mom.

April 15, 2010

"Ummm, Mrs. Hall, ... I don't THINK it's broken..."

It's always a little nerve-racking when you see your child's school on caller ID.

Forehead vs. Nose/Lip
Just a slight football accident at recess this morning. Can't wait to see how he looks in the morning. :)

(These pictures don't do it justice...Aaron just got a new camera. I wish I knew how to use it.)

protruding lip

enlarged bridge of the nose

He is smiling now!!
He says "nothing hurts". He can't breath, but "nothing hurts".

Most kids at this age have "big honkin teeth" - I am shocked none of them fell out or is loose .

Way to Be Tough - Mackay!!

April 12, 2010

Who doesn't need a laugh???

It has been a weekend of deep thoughts.
My friend from middle school and high school passed away last Thursday.
Michele Beers was a great friend. I have many memories growing up with her. She was in our stake and, starting in 8th grade, we were in Dance Co. together. She was a riot! She was Fun, FUNNY, Friendly, and Sincere!

In the middle row - Michele Beers, Tiffany Bloomquist, Me (1991)

Finding out that someone your know has passed away and is YOUR SAME AGE makes you stop and think... I have thought so much about Life and Death this weekend that I am a bit exhausted.

Like I said in my first post on this blog - I tend to "sweat the small stuff" and over-think everything. I think "over-thinking" is my silent prayer to Heavenly Father, begging him to let me stay around for a long time and to not take anyone else close to me away.

Another Butler 8th ward member, Ross Clayton, passed away this weekend too. I was friends with his daughter, Debi. I have been in touch with her this week. Talking to her has made all the thoughts and emotions of losing my mom come flooding back. I keep reliving the week my mom died and thinking about another family having to do the same things we had to do.

Then, this morning, I checked a family friends blog about her struggles to have a baby. Her family and my family have been good friends since we were little. My mom and her mom were best friends.

Their family and mine, minus Adam and T.R. (2009)

Even when Kami didn't want anyone to know of her present situation, her mom would tell my mom, and my mom would always fill us in. We would then think about her and include her in our prayers. After reading that she, once again, has miscarried another baby, I was so sad for her. I remember how awful it was when I miscarried - twice - Kami has felt that empty heart-sick feeling not twice, but 13 times now. It broke my heart to read her blog this morning.

There is a lot of heart ache in the world, a lot of sadness. I spent all weekend with a heavy heart.
Then I came across this....

Adam and Josh (a long time ago)

It made me smile at first... then STARE... then giggle... then ask:
What were they doing??
Why did they do this??
Who took this photo?
Why did my mom put it in a book?

Then I just laughed.
Who doesn't need a laugh??

It won't be funny to those who don't know these boys (my little brothers) in the photo, but to those who do... I hope you smile and laugh for a brief moment. Then go about your day. Say a little "gratitude" prayer. And do something kind for someone else.

April 9, 2010

Look Who We Got To Tend...

Colin Joshua

Benjamin Peter

Colin & Ben
Are they not the cutest???

Mackay - Colin - Hayden - Ben

Babies make me Happy!!

I will admit that I was a bit nervous to take care of TWO at one time, but it wasn't as hard as I thought. We had a great time!! I had great helpers too.
Thanks Josh and Megan for letting us play with your boys. We LOVED taking care of them.
Call us ANY TIME!!!

April 6, 2010

Assigned Seats

Last week, I was laying on my bed, watching nothing on TV, waiting for my kids to get home from school. Kenzie arrived 1st, as usual.

She never says much when she comes in. She is like her dad - she comes in the door, drops the mail on the counter. I ask, "How was your day?" She replies "Fine" and runs upstairs to her room. Five minutes later, she comes down in pajamas and makes herself a lunch/dinner (she doesn't like to eat at school, a bit of MY mother in her). I annoy her questions, but get little to no answers. She never tells me details of the day, no matter how much I beg. She likes to quietly unwind from the day, just like her dad.

Mackay, on the other hand, is just like me. He walks in, doesn't remove his coat or backpack, he makes a bee-line for his mother, and then fills me in. He tells me what he did at recess, what he ate for lunch, how he did in each class, he tries to tease me with spelling test scores, and let's me know what homework he needs to do. He is an open book, just like his mother.

Back to last week... Mackay came home 15 minutes after Kenzie. He came straight in my room, backpack, coat, and snowy shoes still on. His eyes were big. His face - intense. Our conversation went like this:

Mackay, in a stern voice: "I got an assigned seat."

Me, nonchalantly: "Good."

Mackay, again in a stern voice: "in the FRONT."

Me, with a happy sound: "Great! Now you won't have to use your glasses as much."

Mackay, loud and frank: "ON THE BUS!"

It's funny how those three words "ON THE BUS" completely changed the tone of our conversation.

Apparently, he and his buddy stood up (which they deny) while the bus was driving. Ron, the bus driver, slammed on the breaks, pulled the bus over, did some yelling, and put Mackay and his friend on the front seat of the bus. (I would have cried if the bus driver yelled at me.) Mackay tried to tell Ron that he wasn't standing but Ron told him "not to argue." (Can you just see it??)

Mackay now gets to sit on the front seat of the bus "for the rest of the school year." Unless.... someone else stands up on the bus and has to have the assigned seat.

Jason, Mackay, and Dustin coming off the bus on a happier day-
Dustin shares the assigned seat with him.