June 10, 2017

Disney with Hazel

 Day 1: On Sunday morning I woke Hazel up and told her we were going to California. She and I were headed to Disneyland and Costa Mesa to visit her best friend, Remi.

        I hope I never forget how excited she was as I got her dressed and ready to go. 
We got to California around 2pm and walked to Downtown Disney. Hazel was so excited and cute on the way. She said, "We should take a selfie and send it to Dad so he can see how happy we are."

When we got to Downtown Disney we decided to spend the rest of the day at California Adventure. I am so glad we did. The power happened to go out right when we got there so they gave us 3 fast passes for anything we wanted. It was so great because the wait for Cars was 2 hours and there were no more fast passes left. It was such a great day.

 King Triton's Carousel
 The Goofy Ride
 Jumping Jelly Fish
 Elsa Ears
 Ariel Ride

 How cute is she? Loved every minute of the day with this cutie. We took a Taxi back to the hotel and Hazel was asleep minutes after her head hit the pillow.


Her smile on the Carousel

Her face when the purple car rolled up on CARS

Hazel asking, "Is she real?" on Ariel

Day 2: We got up, ate breakfast and headed straight to Disneyland. Hazel skipped all the way there. 

Dumbo was our first ride.
 More Dumbo
 more TeaCups
 Princess Elena
 Thunder Mountain

 Meeting Minnie (totally worth the 1 hour wait!!!)

 This is how we wait in line.

 Toon Town Roller Coaster
 Donald's House

 Thunder Mountain Take 2


Hazel HATED Space Mountain. I mean she was really mad when it was over. It was too dark and she hated not being able to see where she was going. 

 I had to make her eat and go potty every little while. 

Hazel LOVED It's a Small World

She gave me so many hugs and kisses

She used her Bubble Maker to entertain other kids in line

On Thunder Mountain she yelled,"This is terrifying!!!"

Sharing Popcorn

Hazel sneaking Moana a hug without waiting in line

Day 3: We woke up, ate breakfast and then went to visit Remi, Hazel's BFF.

They are the same human and I love that they are friends.
They swam all day. Only got out for meals.

 Dinner Break

They even swam before we left for the airport. 

 Entertaining while waiting for our flight.

 She slept the whole way home.

May 18, 2017


Today, on our way to tumbling Hazel asked to listen to the song Angel Lullaby. A song I have sung to her since she was a baby. It's from My Turn on Earth, a musical that my grandma and grandpa took me to see when I was a little girl. It sings of sleeping and being guarded by angels. A whole different post, but a little insight into how our drive started.

Hazel starts singing the song and then says, "Mom, how come I never see the angels anymore? I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that got to see Grandma." I reply, "I'm not sure," and then pull over to text her question to Tim and the big kids. Thanks to Tim's promptings, I ask her where she saw the angels. Hazel replies, "You know when I had my old bed and could never sleep good? You know then." She got a new bed a couple of years ago.

Me, "What angels did you see?"
Hazel, "Well, grandma, great grandma and grandpa, and did I have an aunt who died....yeah her too."
My mom's favorite aunt passed away the day after my mom died. I'm guessing Hazel was talking about her.

Me,"What did they talk to you about?"
Hazel, "Well, when they left they said goodbye and that they love me. Of course they hugged and kissed me and said they will be back soon. Maybe they went to talk to Jesus."

I cried.

December 18, 2016

Surrounded by People I Love

When tickets to The Forgotten Carol's went on sale Tim said he would get them for the kids and I (He was scheduled to work out of town.) I really didn't think much more about it. I was so excited to go with all of the big kids and Hazel was happy to spend the evening with her favorite babysitter, Megan. Before he went out of town Thursday, Tim said he got tickets for my nieces and Haidyn was going to come too. Everyone was meeting at our house and we would drive up together.  Morgan said  she was going to follow us up with Sadie (Tim had grabbed her a ticket too.) 

At this point I am still not thinking anything weird is going on. 

Our first stop was In N Out. Joy and Bill were there!!!! Joy said Tim wanted she and Bill to come to surprise me. He wanted it to be a special night with people I love. I was so happy. We ate and headed to the show. It just kept getting better and better.

Jaxson and Jaclyn were running a little late so they were going to meet us at the show. As we were watching for them, my cousin and her husband walked in. I thought it was so fun to run into them and stood there talking for quite a few minutes. 

I still had no idea...... 

Then my other cousin came in the door. With her husband and a couple of their kids. I looked at Joy and my kids. All smiles. I started saying, "Is this part of THIS?" I couldn't believe it and was so excited at the same time. More cousins and friends....

More people kept coming. Friends and neighbors and family. Tim had bought tickets for everyone and he couldn't even be there. I sat and watched The Forgotten Carols surrounded by people I love so much. At intermission more people were there. It was the best day ever. Tim delivered tickets and made plans with all of these people. It was the best gift I could have been given. 

I love the show. But this was the best one yet!!! Thank you to a fabulous husband who wanted me to have a special night. Thank you to friends and family who came and spent the evening with me. Thank you to my kids and their friends who love me and support me. Thank you to the friends and family who happened to be there  and came and said hello. I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am. It is good to love and be loved!
Life is good!

Merry Christmas

December 01, 2016

A Letter to Mother

Recently my cousin brought me this letter. I haven't stopped thinking about it. My grandmother, Elayne, wrote it to her mother. I can't begin to describe my feelings. Just seeing my grandma's handwriting had me excited and teary eyed at the same time. But, her words. My grandma had just returned home after traveling to Utah to bury her son. The pain of that event alone would have destroyed me. Her words describe an unconditional love and journey that to most would have been debilitating.  She writes, "....that brought me face to face with the reality of my personal loss and I had some time when I had to let it wash over me. I grieved. I went back to his potential. I lived the time when we couldn't understand what was happening to him. I went through the frustration, the worry, the anger, the anguish, the times when we tried all kinds of medical and Psychiatric procedures to no avail, the agony, the embarrassment we felt as we watched him be less and less each year, the agony of knowing that he knew he could not perform and could not understand why, the long questioning hours when we berated ourselves because we could not help him and cried at the inability." Her honesty. Her son had suffered an accident when he was young which had caused brain tumors that led to deficits in his abilities when he was older.  It was a long time before they understood why he was deteriorating mentally. I can't imagine watching a grown child go through that kind of pain.  I remember visiting him in the hospital when I was young. Now that I have children of my own, her words give me strength. She was strong. She found solace in writing her feelings and she loved her son. She talks about unconditional love and says, ' I am grateful that we had time to explore with him all of that kind of love, and to accept each other with all the "expectations" removed from our relationship."  I think of raising kids and how I always just thought Grandma knew what she was doing. As a child, it seemed like very little phased her.  I see now that she would be able to relate to my feelings not only as a mom, but as a person. She reminds me that grieving is okay. Natural even. No matter the loss. We would have been friends.

Grandma had the utmost love and respect for her Mother. She always called her "Mother." The friendship they shared..... A poem, at a time when I fear I would be angry and speechless, Grandma writes of a peace brought by family. I will never say I am grateful for cancer. But, it has changed so many things in my life. Some for better, others for worse. BUT,  it has opened family doors that I didn't even realize were shut. I would be lying if I said that didn't make me happy. I hope to be a better mother and her words inspire me. She says, "I may never grow up. I go on needing you to mother me in so many times and places, and in so many ways." The letter is closed with, "Dearest Mother- if you get the rewards you deserve you'll be the brightest angel in all the heavens. All our love, Elayne" This letter has made me rethink so many things in life. Goals......

I will treasure this letter for the rest of my days!

October 27, 2016

Vegas with Emmie for Macs.

Every Spring Emmie and I pack up with Joy and Haidyn and head to Vegas for a cheer comp. In light of recent health scares, I wasn't sure I could go. I had just had two surgeries and had a drain that wasn't ready to come out.  If I wanted to go, I would have to go with the drain. I asked the Dr if it was okay to go with it in, he said that if I felt comfortable it would be okay. From the look on his face, he thought I was crazy.  I decided to put my big girl panties on and go. I was nervous, but excited.

Emmie and I always ride with Joy and Haidyn. We were packed and ready to go. Joy was driving and she turned and looked at me and said, "I am not going to treat you like your sick." I was so happy.  Ten words that made my heart happy. The last 2 months had been all about what was wrong with me. I had missed out on quite a few things. I got to be a normal person for the weekend. Well, as "normal" as one can when medicated and wearing a blood bag pinned to the inside of your shirt.

We did great. I was anxious in large groups. People would bump my back or pat my arm (both of which had stitches). Joy, Emmie and Haidyn would walk in a barrier around me. We figured it out and I was able to do everything. Emmie's little cheer team was awesome.  Watching Emmie tumble makes me so happy. She is amazing! I watched her encourage others, work hard and make sure that I was okay all weekend.

I learned so much watching Emmie this weekend. She has a tender heart. She was continually making sure that I was okay.  We had a couple minor issues with my drain and I could always tell how worried Emmie got when Joy and I talked or tried to fix it.We had a great weekend. In all aspects. I am so grateful that Joy talked me into going.

Emmie cheered like a champ. The girls won first place and they were so excited! We walked around Vegas, the girls swam, we ate and played. We got to have dinner with the Kelleher family which is always a favorite. Terrible picture, good times!
Emmie's Cheer Team

Em and her awesome coach, Dayna


My tribe

Em, Charlotte and Haidyn

Charlotte, Emmie, Haidyn and Emily

Ready to compete

Cutest girls


Dinner at Claim Jumper with our favorites

I loved getting away and spending time with Emmie. It was harder than I thought and better than I thought all at the same time!! Way to go Outlaws!! Great competition! My drain came out the day after we got home! Yay!!!