Today our hearts and prayers are with my cousins. My Aunt Kay passed away peacefully this morning. She was one of the kindest, warmest, most guileless people I have ever known. She also had an unforgettable, joyful smile. She was a wonderful mother, and as a testament to that fact, my cousins are amazing people.
One of my favorite memories of Aunt Kay was when she and I drove from East Lansing back to Evanston. Forty minutes into the drive we realized we had forgotten something and had to turn around and go back to East Lansing. Then we got quite lost on the way. It was summer, and we stopped at various small Michigan towns along the way and walked my puppy, Lulu, in the middle of the night. Aunt Kay was cheerful and unconcerned about our plight the entire trip. Her happy attitude made me feel relaxed and less terrified when I found myself out in the middle of pitch-black-nowhere driving in who-knows-what direction. I don’t remember the names of any of the towns that we made stops in, but I remember how warm the night was and how cheerful we felt even though we were lost.
I also remember packing for that trip. I realized right before the trip that we needed bungee cords for something, and guess what! My Aunt Kay had spare bungee cords in her purse! She was one of those people that had everything in her purse, and it was very funny to see her pull out her spare bungee cords when I started fretting that I had forgotten to buy some beforehand.
I will also always remember how touched I was when I referred my Aunt Kay to the missionaries while I was on my mission. She agreed to meet with the missionaries just because, (she told me after) she loved me. I have rarely in my entire life felt so touched.
She was also an amazing gardener. I am sure God has a special garden plot just waiting for her loving touch.
Even though I have not been the best at keeping in regular touch with my cousins over the years, they are some of my favorite people on the planet. I mourn their loss and have been praying for them all day. I know how hard this day must be for them.
The only picture I have from today is from our trip to the Orem library. My friend Jan is in town. She and George are babysitting Chelsea and Derek’s kids for a week. I told her they deserve to win a Grandparents of the Year award.
I was so grouchy today. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the bad air? Everyone’s talking about the air. It’s pretty gross.
I went to a new yoga studio tonight and made a friend there. She told me she works for a chiropractor and promised he could give me a free exam. I kind of think my chiropractor is not working. For almost a year now, both girls pray for my back every time they get a chance to give a prayer.
On Sunday Mary’s prayer went like this: “Thank-you for mommy’s back to feel better, thank-you for Daddy to have a good day at work, thank-you for Lydia not to be mean to me, and thank-you for me not to be cross-eyed.”
Abe and I had a hard time not bursting out into laughter at the last grateful plea to not be cross-eyed. The other items on her prayer list are standard, but I guess she does not want to go through surgery again. I can’t imagine God wouldn’t hear and answer her sweet little prayer.
I didn’t take any pictures today, but I did take one of FHE yesterday. I played the board game, “Hoot Owl Hoot” with the girls during the day, and they wanted to play it again for our FHE activity. We had fun.
Our thoughts today are with my Aunt Kay. She has one of the kindest hearts I know. If my cousins happen to read this, please know you and she are in our prayers.
Today was an almost full church participation day for us. Abe taught Sunday School, Mary gave the Primary prayer, and Lydia gave the Primary talk.
I went visiting teaching after church and then took a long nap. When I woke up, I made dinner and then we all watched Planet Earth together. Abe and I ended up being the only ones watching because Lydia and Mary are bursting with winter’s pent-up energy and were running around playing the whole time. Ammon sat on our lap and watched with us contentedly.
Here’s a picture of Lydia giving her talk (which she “wrote” almost all by herself!)–and a video too.
Today we had a belated birthday celebration for Abe with the Vandegriffs. They have celebrated Abe’s birthday with us for three out of the five years we’ve been married! Every year we have borsch because it’s Abe’s favorite food. I always use my friend Betsy’s recipe. Jessi served her mission in Russia and also has an appreciation for borsch. Actually, since we’ve been eating it every year, by now we all like borsch!
This morning I took Lydia on my grocery run. She and I always love one-on-one time.
Then Abe and the kids played dress-up and had a pretend birthday party. Pictures of the day below:
Yesterday evening Abe, Ammon and I went out to Lucas and Kim’s for dinner. We played a game called “Drawful” and had dinner. Afterward we watched one of Abe’s favorite comedy clips and all laughed ourselves to tears. We just love them. Afterward I was too tired to blog.
When Abe told me Mary needed eye drops three times a day, my heart sunk. I knew it would be an ordeal, but boy, it was even worse than I imagined. It’s hard to explain to a three year old why eye drops are necessary when her eyes are bloody, sore, and averse to physical contact. Lydia tried to be helpful during the hour long ordeal. While Mary screamed and thrashed, Lydia scurried around calming down Ammon and jettisoning various stuffed animals over the stair railing toward Mary in the hopes that they would help calm her down.
Lydia finally proposed that we try the eye drops in front of Mary’s favorite show. It was a brilliant idea, but it failed. At that point, I retreated upstairs to imagine my life away in a book. Lydia followed because she was worried about the fate of Mary’s eyes and wanted me to try again. I was so touched at her concern. What a sweet girl. (I wasn’t touched enough to try again. Abe had to do the eye drops when he came home.)
Brother Richardson drove down from RootsTech to have dinner with us tonight. I felt awful because I hadn’t cooked a thing. After the ordeal with Mary, I checked out of life and read Poldark until my chiropractic appointment. But Brother Richardson is one of our favorite people, and he didn’t seem to mind having pizza and brownies for dinner. We only wish we got to see him more often!
Mary was perfect during her surgery. All the nurses wanted to take her home. Her nurse told Abe that she had had a lot of difficult kids that week (totally understandable, considering what the poor kids are facing), but that she deserved to have Mary after all she’d been through.
After Mary woke up from anesthesia, Abe offered her chocolate pudding. He asked her if she knew what it was and Mary said, “No, but I like it!”
Her eyes bled a lot today and she was a little weepy at home, but we are so, so proud of her for being so sweet and brave during the surgery.
Lydia and I had a long mommy-daughter date in the afternoon. She needed some attention because Mary got a LOT. I took her to the chiropractor, ballet, and the grocery store. We enjoyed looking at our shadows and decided we looked kind of like a camel when we hold hands.
Lydia crawled into bed last night with us, and Abe got up at 6am to take Mary to her eye surgery. When Lydia woke up this morning, she was half dreaming and she told me all about her dream. She dreamed about balloons that looked like lollipops and volcanoes that were made out of chocolate and icing. That reminded me of one of my best dreams ever where I was on a mountain of chocolate ice cream–and I woke up full!
Abe just called and Mary’s surgery went really well. She’s going to be in pain for the rest of the day and pretty sad, so I’m trying to get my exercise and chores done before she comes home.