06 August 2019

Nothing's ever truly lost.....

Last I wrote on here, I was looking forward to things slowing down a bit and getting ready for school to start, well, school did start but it did not start off well for us in our personal lives.

My grandpa passed away on July 16th and his funeral was the 24th (the second day of school). I talked some on my Instagram about this whole experience but I haven't written it down anywhere yet. So please bare with me as I get a bit raw and real here.

My Papa was my first best friend. As the only granddaughter I had many privileges hahaha I was allowed to not only touch his beloved baseball cards, I was even able to suck on them as a baby.

We ate ice cream for breakfast, I would go with him to his Institute classes and help him teach the students or just participate in them. (they lived across a driveway from the institute building in Santa Monica) He was the one I always asked gospel questions, he knew so many things about the scriptures and church history that I never got bored lsitening to him talk or teach about it. He was also a general history junkie and he and I would have lots of talks about all kinds of places and times - WW2 was both a time of passionate research for us. We even got to stand by the treaty that eneded the war on the USS Missouri!

He had the best laugh. Loud and booming, he could always find a joke. I remember countless hours of playing Cray 8's or Go Fish and just laughing our heads off. When we would visit them on summer vacations he and my grandma would sit us down to make a plan for the entirety of our stay so we could make sure to get all the things done we wanted to while we were there. The Santa Monica Pier, Tito's Tacos (a couple times lezzbe honest), Olvera Street, movies, Institute, and Venice Beach were always on the list.

He was always fair. He loved everyone and everyone knew it. It was a genuine love and concern for everyone he met. His generosity of both spiritual and temporal means is something to aspire to. He was the most Christlike person I know.

He went into the hospital for the final time on the 4th of July. He'd only been back home after being in a physical rehab center for a month when he slipped out of his bed. It just started a chain reaction of things and when I got the call to come quickly so I could say goodbye I sadly wasn't surprised. It's like I knew this was coming but it didn't hurt any less. I immediately started sobbing in Target while I ushered my kids back into the car. I drove them to a friend's house because I did NOT want them to see Papa like he was at the end.

I walked into the room and my heart stopped. I felt such conflicting emotions of peace, love, sorrow and guilt. Guilt that I hadn't spent even more time with him and that I hadn't brought my children to say goodbye (even though I KNOW he wouldn't have wanted that either). Sorrow because I knew this was the end of his life here on earth and I miss him every day. Love for this giant of a man that helped shape me and who loved my family so entirely - he even loved Andrew before I did hahaha. Peace from knowing he'd want to be home with his Savior instead of here on a machine. The Spirit was so strong and I was able to hold his hand, speak to him and kiss him goodbye. I kissed him for the girls and told him to watch over us especially as the girls get older - they'll need their Papa to keep them safe.

As we then celebrated his life the following week, it was wonderful to see all of the family and friends that were able to come. Some of these cousins I had never met or it had been years since seeing each other. We all joked that Papa would have hated it hahaha he's be tucked into a quiet corner somewhere avoiding everyone and all the noise - which is completely true. The sadness comes and goes. I know hes happier and with his mom, dad, best friend Jack and all the others that have gone before him but gosh darn it I miss him so much. I know he's watching over me, I've felt his presence throughout the weeks since he's been gone.

When he passed I knew I wanted something to help us remember and grieve - so I asked my sweet friend Nichelle to make us a necklace with his favorite hymn (If You Could Hie to Kolob") and then on the back we had his handwriting ;) It was the most perfect thing we needed!

I'm going to get a bit spiritual here, you've been warned. I am so grateful to KNOW I will see my Papa again! While it doesn't diminish my temporal sadness here and now, I know it helps me to know he'll be waiting for me with open arms when it's my turn to go home. I'm grateful for a Savior that knows my pain and anguish. He knows my conflicted soul and helps to soothe it. I'm grateful for a family that comes together and strengthens each other - I could not have made it through without my husband and kids. Papa is the first of my grandparents to pass, so in that I know I've been extremely lucky to have had him for 30 years teaching and loving me.

I love you Papa, Save a seat for me <3


06 July 2019

Home Tour!

We've been plugging along here
unpacking the house,
and celebrating birthdays!
For those asking,
here is a "house tour" 
I have most of the fun stuff from the house on my
Amazon favorites page so it's easy to find!
Summer is always a crazy time for us! 
Andrew and Rory have birthdays 4 days apart
so it's always a bit nuts for that one week hahaha
This year we just had friends over,
went out to eat and enjoyed our amazing new house.
We had our friends stay with us for a few days
while they transitioned to a new house
and we LOVED having them here
and having the house filled with people.
We will miss them terribly though and I'm only
completely heartbroken that they're leaving us!
Nevertheless it's been a crazy summer,
and school starts in like 2 weeks!
I'm ready for life to calm down just a smidge hahaha

29 May 2019

A Leap of Faith

You may have noticed it's been
pretty quiet around these parts for awhile.
Occasional movie reviews but nothing consistent.
Well there's a good reason for that lack of commitment:
Completely NOT in the plans for the year when we made goals,
NOT in even our minds really but here we are hahaha
 I've said here before that the house we were in was not 
our forever house.
It was the perfect starter home and we loved it dearly.
We started to feel the nudge sometime in the end of March.
First week of April we just decided to look around at
some houses nearby to see what was even on the market.
On a whim we saw this house (I had hated the pictures of it online)
and we fell in love with it.
And that's when the madness started hahaha

Within a week we had our house up on the market.
Guys I've never worked so hard for so long on something
(other than growing babies)
and we had multiple offers come in which was great.
We also knew that we couldn't afford this new house
without selling ours first.
Basically take the equity and roll it over into our down payment.
So we took a cash offer that seemed to give us the most wiggle room
in a new budget to work.

After the inspection period,
these buyers got difficult.
They now wanted pictures of the EMPTY house 3 days before close,
lowered their price to "help them with upgrades to the property",
and a few other things that I've honestly blocked from memory.

We could have backed out and put it back up and seen what would happen.
We could have done that,
but Andrew and I both felt prompted to just keep going.
We didn't want to lose THIS house.
It had been on the market for about 50 days when we saw it,
and we were the only offer on it but it was contingent
upon the sale of our house.
And if we had put ours back up and waited,
this house would probably be out of reach because they were
waiting for a certain period of time before they 
would open this house for more financing options.

And so, we plugged on.
The week leading up to Memorial Day was moving week.
We had to pack the truck on Wednesday so we could take pictures
of the empty house for them to wire the money on Friday
so we could simultaneously close on the new one same day.
We had plans to pack the truck and leave room for the mattresses 
so we could sleep one more night there and then be out by Thursday.
Well our water had other ideas and we were kinda forced out Wednesday night.
THANK GOODNESS for amazing ward members and neighbors
who allowed us to crash at their house and helped us with this move.
We lived out of our car for most of Thursday,
stayed the night with some friends,
and most of the day on Friday while we waited for the green light to move into
the new house.

Oh and did I mention this was also Rory's last week of school????
My poor girl didn't get a proper last week of school
and quite frankly I felt really bad that her teacher didn't get the same amount of gifts
or attention that her kinder teachers did last year.
All because of this move hahahaha

But as I sit here in my new office and type this,
I am BEYOND grateful.
We know for a fact that the Lord's hand was in this.
We've felt His promptings and love and peace while in the midst of chaos.
We're both so grateful to everyone that helped us in any way with this new adventure.

My saddest part of this move however was leaving my sweet girls.
My Young Women have been in my life for the 5 1/2 years we lived in that house.
I grew up with them as their teacher and I have loved them
as though they were my own
(and still do don't you worry girls!).
They surprised me on our last week at church with signed posters,
a Sodalicious gift card (it's like they know me),
treats and lots of tears and hugs.
They're my "babies" and I am sad that I won't be there
every week to see them anymore.
Lucky for us, we only moved like 5 minutes away so they are still stuck with me
as a friend and ally!

So there ya have it!
Now you know why it's been kinda silent on here for awhile 
and it may continue to be so while I unpack
and get everything settled away.
So bare with me while I try to work some pixie magic on this house
and make it into our true forever home!

22 May 2019

"Aladdin, The Princess, and The Lamp."

I will try to control myself
to NOT burst out in
"Arabian Nights" as I write this because believe me, 
it's a very strong temptation!
Last night I went with my mom to a screening of
I'll be honest.
I walked into this with zero expectations because 
I LOVE the animated version of this movie so much I was skeptical.

Guys I was blown away by how good it was!
It was its own movie.
They weren't trying to make it completely the same way,
they made it their own!
I loved it.
Let's talk about this for a minute.
The music is INCREDIBLE!
Naomi Scott was my biggest surprise of the entire thing,
her voice is amazing,
her portrayal of Jasmine just made me so happy.
We already knew that Jasmine was "NOT a prize to be won",
and Naomi portrays her with such grace and power
that I was happily stunned by.
The dancing!
They combined Bollywood with hip hop and I DIED!
It's amazing to see different cultures meld into 
one beautiful interpretation of events.
On that note,
let's mention how AMAZING it is to see
actors that are actually FROM the culture being represented!?
This casting was done incredibly,
including Will Smith.
A few naysayers have mentioned that he doesn't fit this or that mold,
or belong in the cast because he himself is not of the same culture.
Um guys, he plays THE GENIE.
the BLUE Genie for crying out loud!
He belongs just fine.
I fell in love with this movie and 100% recommend it for kids and adults alike ;)
It's super fun and very entertaining,
and you'll be singing
"Friend Like Me" for days!