July 28, 2010

Sending Letters To Heaven

My mom has been in heaven
for two years.

This year, Adam is in DC. Josh is in Park City. Manda is in Indiana. So, Jenn, Ashley, and I got together. We ate lunch at Rock Creek Pizza (one of Mom's favorites). Then we went to the cemetery. Our tradition is to Send Letters to Heaven. We went back to the cemetery later to spend some time with my dad.

It was a nice day, But...
I don't like that she is in heaven. She didn't want to go to heaven this soon.
I don't like that I can't call her when I need her.
She welcomed our calls and loved that we all called her all the time.
I don't like that she isn't here to love my kids. She cared about them and made them feel special and important.
I don't like that my kid's memories of her are fading. She asked them to "remember her."
I don't like that we go to lunch without her.
She loved going to lunch -"she didn't choose, she just paid."
I don't like that she isn't sitting at the front desk at Aaron's office.
She loved working and loved our patients.
I don't like that her favorite red chair sits in my basement.
I love that:
she is my mom.
she was my best friend.
she loved my husband.
she loved my kids and saw only good in them.
she taught me to have Faith.
I love that I will see her again.

I miss you Mom!

July 25, 2010

But We're Camping!

I decided to let my boys sleep in the backyard in a tent.
I was a little worried that they might get scared,
but soon realized that was not going to be
our biggest problem.

We set them up with blankets, pillows, lanterns,
and of course a TV
- what is camping if you don't have a TV.
We pad locked the gates and left a few lights on
- just in case.
Everyone was settled and happy.

Until.... Mackay came running in yelling;
"Mom, Hayden is peeing in the backyard."

I explained to Hayden that peeing in the yard
wasn't okay
and to please come inside
if he needed to go to the bathroom.

A while passed and Mackay again came running in yelling;
"Mom, Hayden pooped in the backyard."

Totally grossed out,
I told him he had to get a baggy and pick it up
and throw it in the toilet
and that he was NOT A DOG.
His response...
"But I am camping
and that is what you do
when you are camping!"

Not when you are camping in the BACKYARD!!
This child may put me in an early grave...

After threatening
that he was not going to be able to sleep outside
if he doesn't start making "better choices",
all was once again well.

The next morning,
I was awaken to my sweet little Hayden
whispering in my ear...
"Good Morning Mom...."
I smiled
- happy that no one kidnapped them
or that the Fox that is running around our neighborhood
didn't eat them for breakfast.
"... I peed again in the backyard. (giggle giggle)."

Boys are GROSS!!!!

July 18, 2010

The Birthday Couple!!

Happy Birthday Adam & Stephanie!!!

These two are enjoying life in Washington DC.
Adam is an intern & Steph is a nanny.
They are perfect for each other.

Adam is my youngest brother and is 24 TODAY.
He has always been driven, independent, & works hard.
He is talented (you should hear him rock a guitar),
dresses a little weird (you knew I had to say that),
& is a bit quiet, - he reminds me a lot of my Uncle Mike.
He is kind.
As I think about my little brother, I am amazed.
My mom died 9 days after his 22 birthday.
He was/is still a kid & still needs a mom.
(We all still need Mom.)

And then... I think of all he has done in the last 2 years
- going to college, getting married, finding jobs and apartments, taking finals, applying for internships, moving to DC, living far away -
when I did some of these things, I needed my mom.

Adam did it all without Mom.
He is still a kid but he is a GREAT kid
with great things ahead of him.
I am so proud of you, Adam!!
Happy Birthday!!
I love you & am glad you're my brother!!

Adam is married to Stephanie.
She has been by his side for a long time.
First his friend, as he served as a missionary in LA.
Then, a more permanent place in his life, - his wife.
She has supported him and all of his decisions.
She, too, is a pretty amazing lady.
She loves children, vintage things, art, & traveling.
She is a talented actress.
She has many friends & cherishes her relationships.
She is beautiful - on the inside and out.
She celebrates her birthday on Tuesday.
Happy Birthday, Steph!!
I love you & am glad you are part of our family.


July 16, 2010

She's heading to Disneyland... Lucky!

Kenzie got invited to go to California with a friend.

She has been so excited.

Aaron & I have been very excited for her too.
Her brothers are REALLY excited for her to go.

She is going with a darling family that will keep her happy and safe.

I know she will have fun so... why do I have anxiety about her leaving???

I love you Kenzie!!

Have Fun! Be Polite! Say Lots of Thank Yous! And Be Safe!!

See you July 24th....

July 15, 2010

Bunny's Warm Welcome

September 2008 - We had just moved into our new home in Draper. My mom had been gone for 6 weeks. My personality had faded and my motivation to be outgoing was missing. Sunday morning, we went to our new ward. I sat in sacrament meeting scanning the chapel for familiar faces. I didn't recognize very many. Usually, when you're new, there is a swarm of people welcoming you. Not today, but I was okay with it, I was still "out-of-sorts" anyway.

I sat in Gospel Doctrine with Aaron. Midway through the meeting, a darling lady - a young, tan, skinny, HAPPY lady, got out of her seat and came and sat behind me. She was beautiful. She had long, natural white hair and beautiful teeth. She leaned forward and asked, "Are you new in the ward?"

I answered: "Yes"

The cute lady: "Welcome! I am Bunny Bradley. What is your name?"

Wondering if her real name was Bunny, I replied: "Dawn Hall."

Bunny: "I am glad your here. Where do you live?"

We carried on a quiet conversation.

She had a little girl, Claire.

She was kind. She was confident. She was sincere. She was the only person to acknowledge the "new girl." As I got to know her I learned that she was a good mom. She was a good wife. She cared about the people around her. She was busy, but she took time to care. She was serving in Young Women. she had the ability to connect with the girls. Mackenzie loved her.

In January 2009, Aaron and I went to Hawaii. We were sitting at the pool, when, to our surprise, Bunny and her husband Luke came up to us. Her little girl was turning 2 and she was torn because she was in Hawaii and not with Claire. I giggled and told her, I am sure Claire would forgive. She sat down and filled us in on the best things to do in Hawaii. Then she went back to riding the water slide with Luke. They were like teenagers - pure entertainment to watch.

Our ward split in February 2009. She remained in the 10th ward and I joined the 11th ward.
I still saw Bunny at the neighborhood pool often with her 2 girls. She would ALWAYS say hello and chat with me. She even introduced herself to my sister Amanda, who was visiting from Indiana.

Each morning, I see her running on the side of the road. I pass her and think to myself; "She is someone who enjoys and gets the most out of life."

Bunny was the 29 year-old woman who was hit by a car on Highland, while riding her bike with a group of women. She must have been in the front of the pack - of course she was, she was a leader. She took the brunt of the crash.

My heart breaks for her husband and 2 little girls. My prayers are for her family. In my experience, it is hard to feel peace when a loved one passes away. I pray they get small moments of peace in the next days, weeks, and months ahead. I am sure she is being welcomed into heaven with open arms. But, I will miss her and her warm welcome each and every time I saw her.

July 14, 2010

Choose It!

It has been a while since I last wrote.
I was about to say that I don't have much to report.
But that isn't true at all.
We celebrated the 4th of July.

Manda and Brett took their cute kids back to Indiana.
We miss them and the entertainment they brought.

Aaron enjoyed a quiet week without anyone in the house
but him.

I took Kenzie, Mackay, Hayden, Tanner, and Sam
to St. George for a week.

Mackay got his football equipment
- which is going to become our lives
for the next several months.

We attended a family friend's mission homecoming.
I am getting Kenz packed to go to CA with a friend for 9 days.
I'll do my aunt Carole's grocery shopping,
Put together a primary sharing time,
Have Hayden sedated to fill 3 cavities... grrr...
Then fly off to Las Vegas with Aaron :),
while Jessica takes care of my boys.
- All before July 24th.

Needless to say... I feel like an EXHAUSTED
chicken with my head cut off.

But I wanted to write about the Homecoming.
Shane Harris served his mission in Mexico and spoke about Choices and who they effect.
The High Counsel member who spoke after him spoke about Family History.
As he began his talk, I sank a little in my seat,
thinking it was going to be another "do your genealogy" talk.
But it wasn't.

He included Shane's message and said
"Choose Your Family History"

It wasn't about genealogy at all.
It was about taking time with your families.

He said something to the effect of;

"I don't care if it means putting a pool in your backyard
so your families come visit more often

I don't care if it means traveling across country
to see your children and grandchildren

I don't care if it means showing up at every dance recital (etc) ...

I don't want Kenzie ever to say,
"My mom didn't listen to me or like to spend time with me."

I don't want Mackay ever to say,
"My mom didn't support me or come to my football games."

I don't want Hayden ever to say,
"My mom cared more about herself than her family."

My family is everything to me.
My husband, my children,
my sisters, my brothers, my nieces & nephews,
my aunts & uncles, my grandparents,
all my in-laws,
my dad and my mom are everything to me.

They ARE my Family History.
I'm way tired, but I am choosing them.

Are You???