It's 12:17 am and Tod is camping with the kids at Red Rock and I can't sleep.
I sat down at the computer tonight to get Christmas cards ordered but kept thinking, I never write anymore.
My senses have dulled. I'm not as sharp or as quick as I used to be. I used to spit out a blog post every other day while my babies napped. Now I'm lucky if I get a couple bills paid and my lunch
inhaled while my (last) baby naps.
Yesterday Ann Dee texted me that she hopes I'm writing memories down about Kristi. Which I want to do but when? Because at night when the kids are in bed, all I have energy for is usually an episode or two of SNL reruns.
Fall has come and gone and suddenly this week our weather has gone from perfection to a little chilly. Tod is a good dad to be in a tent right now, probably freezing with three kids, probably all on top of him.
I want to remember how this year felt. The good days and the hard days. If I ever want to transport myself back to the last eight months I will need to listen to Tom Petty or Indigo Girls Pandora. All of the hours spent in the car driving to swim lessons, football practice, soccer, scouts, Kidshine, etc.. totally lost in my own thoughts and listening to music that made it feel like she was in the car next to me.
I'll need to remember November 8th when I texted my sister in laws: "I'd bet my kids' lives on this election that Hilary Clinton will win." And how he first won Florida, then Ohio, and then the screen kept lighting up red and we stared with our mouths wide open in total shock.
I'll need to remember how Lennon and Larry became so independent this year. Waking themselves up each morning with an alarm clock, getting their own breakfast, dressing themselves and being ready for school before I'm even home from the gym. How the other night Tod and I went to see a friend's house and when we got home, Lennon was doing the dishes and the kitchen was clean.
How our baby isn't a baby anymore but a sweet little boy. Who kisses me 10 times minimum during one Costco trip. Says he's sorry pretty fast because time out isn't fun and he is all about fun. And Halloween candy. Which he can sniff out a mile away.
I'll want to remember Ruby who didn't want to go to bed the other night so when I laid her down and turned off the light she said, "Wow....and I was just starting to like you and now THIS."
And then Larry. Who came home with a list of what he was thankful for.
"I am thankful for the earth, my family, my house, my school, when kids include me, my friends and my aunt who died."
Don't forget St. George marathon where your knee hurt with each step but your best friend of 10 years was right next to you and that made it ok.
Don't forget Tod's high school reunion. And don't go next time.
Always remember when Ruby broke her arm just to have Lennon break his thumb a couple weeks later. I mean seriously. SERIOUSLY.
Remember the night your kitchen was filled with people you love while Tod cracked open three HUGE lobsters and skinned (?) a sheepshead fish with a dull knife ON YOUR KITCHEN COUNTER but your heart wanted to burst with happiness. Friends who are family laughing and eating and happy.
Don't forget that happiness and sadness can coexist and have this year. Lots of both in 2016.
Thanksgiving is next week. I am thankful we have the whole week off. I am thankful to be alive and healthy with kids and a husband who are healthy. I'm thankful to have happiness and peace in my life. Thankful to have the best BEST friends, some near and some far away. Thankful for extended family on both sides who love us. Thankful my sister is finally, finally ok.
Most of all, I'm thankful I'm not camping tonight.
Just before school started, we received the shocking news that Quentin's mom Joyce had passed away. It always amazes me what can happen on a normal day. On a regular Monday night while you're watching TV and your phone rings or beeps and your world completely changes forever.
We were lucky to find a sitter and some flights and made our way back to where it all started in Rexburg, ID. When we got off the plan in Idaho Falls, people stared at us like we were from the future. I love it there. I am so sad Joyce is gone. I am so sad for her entire family. But I was so happy to see some of our best friends from college again. Sometimes you just need to see your friends.
The original De La Vega band: Tod Wever (lyrics and percussion), Jason Littlefield (guitar and vocal), Quentin Bell (lights and program), and Brent Knudson (dance choreography).
...and their groupies.
This is Tod putting Q in the Boston Crab, roughly around 2 am.
This is my face and Q's combined.
This is what Q does every time he sees Tod and this ....
is Tod and me combined.
Came home and celebrated 13 years together at a Coldplay concert. Lots of memories with their music.
Tommy is no longer a baby but a small boy who only likes to wear pajamas. He begs for his jammers allllllll daaaaaaaay lonnnnnng. He likes to suck on his left sleeve. When he's not in jammers he's usually just in a diaper so really...standards are low around here. He's starting to say stuff like: What the heck! Oh my gosh! Read me a book! Where's Ru Ru! Where's Yellow! (Larry) I want to go to school! Where's Dad! I want yogurt! I want string cheese! Go away!
It's really fun.
Last summer swim at the Manning's.
First week of school -- Lennon (3rd), Larry (1st), Ruby (Pre-K), Tommy (Co-Op and I tell him it's school).
Kristi's six month anniversary came. That night a girl from my grief group rang my doorbell and gave me this. People are so good.
She gets her own picture because -- DENIM JACKETS ARE BACK?!!
View around 5 am during our 20 mile run Saturday.
That's Megan on the left. Three more weeks until the race. And then I swear I swear I swear I swear I'm not doing another full again. Heaven help me.
This summer was two weeks longer than most so we tried to take advantage. We took off for most of August...BYU sports camp for a week at my mom's, a week in Bear Lake with cousins and then Boise/McCall, ID. The best part of all of it was just letting my kids play outside. Cooler temperatures and not being stuck inside. Spending time with my family. Being with good friends. It was a healing month for me.
My mom sold her house so this was our last visit there. I will miss it because of all the memories of my dad and Kristi but it is a painful place to be in a lot of ways. I'm glad she's found something new that makes her happy. Breakfast at Grandma's before sports camp...
Bean Museum is a stop every summer bc Aunt Katy is the coolest.
Oh and here's the spray park where I thought Ruby had been kidnapped by a pedophile when actually she was eating behind a tree. Who taught her the peace sign, btw?
Sodalicious after camp each day for Aunt Katy's 40th birthday list. Every time I told myself I only needed a diet coke and every time I ate three cookies. WHERE ARE THE DRIVE THRUS WITH BAKED GOODS IN LAS VEGAS???
Got to see Lane for dinner and it was business and laughing and endless talk as usual. She is so beautiful and humble and happy.
Me, Ruby and I just realized: Jesus.
One night my car was so gross I asked Lennon to vacuum it out. He ended up detailing my whole car and then Grandma's. One of the cutest things I've ever seen. He was out there until the sun went down.
And then there was the 4 am hike up Squaw Peak with Ann Dee. It was pitch black the whole way up and I was waiting for a bear/cougar combo to eat us and for our faces to be on the news that night.
But we made it. I loved it.
I love that my mom plays with my kids. She talks to them, reads to them, knows them. I don't have nearly enough pictures of them all together.
I got to visit Brother Norby. I am so thankful he survived the Brussels attacks. He is and always will be a very special person to me. Ruby liked him too.
Does it get any prettier than Provo in the summertime?
This was the night I pawned three of my four kids off on Tommy and he handled them like a champ.
Bear Lake girlfriend who played with him all morning. Thanks little girl.
All day, every single day.
This was taken on the Boise River. Fun to see where Tod served his mission and fun to show the kids what a river looks like...
After a weekend in Boise, I headed to McCall with the kids. Was greeted by three of my favorite friends and 16 kids total in our cabin. There aren't many people I'd be willing to do this with for a week but I'm already excited for next time.
Lisa taught me how to snap chat (filter) on the first night so be prepared...
It was a lot of time in the car but worth it. I want my kids to know what life is like outside of Las Vegas. Lennon got up on a wake board for the first time this year and it turns out Larry is a maniac on the tube. I am thankful for my family and friends. This summer I really learned that happiness can coexist with heartache. I lost my sister but still have so much. Trying to focus on that. Fun summer...time for school and schedules and sports.