Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Weekend!

Well, it's Tuesday and I survived the Long Weekend! Yesterday was Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. Let me back up a little. Ron arrived on Thursday night to stay over. Then, I worked Friday and madly cleaned the house when I got home. Saturday, Jan, John, Jacquie and her son Garrett arrived for the day. We decided to give Jacquie our old Venture van because she has been without transportation for a little while, and with winter coming, she needed something. So, I had to clean out the van, etc. so that they could take it with them. We visited and hung out which was really nice, but it put me behind the eight-ball so-to-speak. I did all of the Thanksgiving Day prep on Saturday. Jason kept telling me to go to bed and do some in the morning, but I just felt that I should have everything ready the night before. We had originally decided to have dinner on Sunday at our place and invite Dad, Mary, Linda and family, and Ron. However, on Thursday night Dad called to see if it would be alright to invite Cameron (Ron's son) and his family. It was very exciting to have them come as Ron hadn't seen Cam in 18 years. I was thrilled to see them, but it was a little added pressure. Anyhow, luckily I got everything done the night before and had the house ready for dinner, because as soon as we drove in the drive-way Sunday after Stake Conference, Cam and the gang showed up. He has a beautiful wife and 5 kids...3 of which are triplets. Oh, and they are 11 months old and crawling!! Needless to say, the house was bustling and filled with little voices. The babies are absolutely adorable and we enjoyed every second they were here. It was emotional to see Ron reunited with Cam and getting to know his grandkids. I know that he has waited for this moment for a very long time. Just last month I fasted for Ron and one of the things I was praying for was that he would have a connection with his children again. I cannot imagine being estranged from my kids and not knowing them in their everyday lives. It was just a very busy, but a very special day for all of us.

Monday we did it all again with Jason's family. We ate way too much turkey and stuffing and pie, but we had a wonderful time. We marveled that we love spending time together as much as we do. I have been blessed with such wonderful families on both sides, and love how it feels to spend time with them.

PS. I have tons of pictures that I will post as soon as my &$%#@ computer lets me download them. Santa, are you listening??? I need a new computer!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Carol Jean Hansen Wood- June 19, 1942- October 3, 1992

Today is 16 years to the day that my mother passed away. I cannot believe that 16 years have gone by since I've spoken to her. 16 Christmases, 16 birthdays, 16 springtimes. I think about her every single day. I wondered if I would. I had never lost a loved one before my mom died, and so I didn't know what would happen as the years passed. It feels like my life changed that day, and the sadness never goes away. I miss her so much. I was only 23 years old, and I was just learning how to be a mother myself. There are so many questions I wish that I could have asked her. So many things I didn't know at 23. I feel like a totally different person since the last time I saw her. I feel her near me at times. I feel her love every day of my life and I pray that she knows the incredible influence that she had on my life. I try to tell my children what she was like. That she was a woman of faith. That she raised her family in the gospel and that she knew that families were forever. I marvel that she went through the experiences that she did and stayed positive and loving and absolutely devoted to her family. She was forgiving and funny and she made me feel more loved than anybody ever has. I remember thinking that there was no way that she would die because I knew that I couldn't live without her. And then when she did die, I knew that I needed to live a life that she would be proud of. And I think that is what I have tried to do. Every major decision I make, I wonder if it would be something that she would approve of.

I have often thought what it would be like to spend one afternoon with her. What would I tell her about the past 16 years? These are a few of the things that I think she would enjoy.
1. That I am not a slob anymore. That I know how to clean my house and that I take pride in keeping it that way. I think she would be a little surprised by this. I know that she threw her hands in the air many times when it came to my cleaning habits.
2. That I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I am raising my family to hopefully love it as well. That I love going to church and to the temple and that nothing makes me happier than reading scriptures with my family.
3. That my dad and I have a wonderful relationship. I didn't always know how to communicate with my dad while my mom was here. She kind of coaxed us both and helped us understand each other, and I know that since she's been gone I have grown to love him so very much and I don't know what I would do without him.
4. That I married an incredible man who loves me and our children so very much and who wants us to be together forever as much as I do.
5. That I can cook a great Thanksgiving dinner.
6. That I can sew hallow e'en costumes for my kids and that I love quilting. She tried to encourage my domestic side while she was here, but I wasn't a very willing participant. I think she would really chuckle that I have found that side of myself.

I know she knows these things. I know she is aware of my life because of how she raised me. I know that I will see her again and that she will know my husband and my children. I feel that it is the greatest compliment when I am told that I do things like she did and I pray that I can love my family half as well as she did.