My friend and I had decided to take the kids somewhere fun on Thursday. It is starting to get a little cold so in order to avoid the stir craziness of being cooped up in the house we thought that we could take them to the aquarium. We were all set and then we realized that the aquarium is temporarily closed because they are moving to a bigger place. Typical. So we decided to bring them to Chuck E Cheese's instead. When we got there all I could think about was the last time that I was there. We had gone there for my friends sons birthday party in January. Her sister was there with her little girl that was just a week or so older than Tatum. By January I already knew that something was wrong with Tatum, but I had no medical confirmation so I had not said anything because I did not want people to think that I was crazy. I remember watching this other little girl and feeling just sick. There was such a marked difference in their abilities. I just can't believe that it was just 10 months ago that my life was so different. The kids had a fun time and I was glad that we brought them, but it was a little hard being there.
Later that day a friend brought me some of her beautiful pink roses. When I was dropping something off to her house a few days earlier I had said something about how pretty her roses were. Her bushes were so tall and just full of flowers! Some people are so much better at listening and then acting. I listen and then I forget. She brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten my day.
Thursday night we started going over what was going to happen the next day because it was going to be a busy one. The first thing that we had was a seminary morning side (devotional) at the high school at 6:30. Halea had to be there at 6:00 am because she is on the seminary council. I asked her if I could come and listen because it was going to be one of my favorite people ever, Sister Elaine Dalton (former YW President of the LDS church). She had been the YW President since Halea entered Young Women and so I have just loved her forever. She is such a dynamic speaker and has such a glow and loveliness about her. I was so excited that she was coming to the high school to talk to our youth. This is why it was such a blow when Hayden announced that he was not going to the morningside. I said, "yes you are". The gloves came off and the fight ensued. In the end Hayden ended up grounded for back talking and being disrespectful and using his agency he did not attend the devotional. I was so sad. Not because he didn't do what I wanted him to do. I am a big believer in putting yourself in the right spot at the right time. I know that is how the spirit can speak to you sometimes, when you are obedient and trying to place yourself where you think that Heavenly Father would have you go. That is when you can receive special, personal revelation and answers. I just want Hayden to be where he should be to show devotion and love and respect for our Heavenly Father. I also know that I cannot force him to understand or believe the way that I do. Sometimes we have to let these crazy teenagers make their own choices. Absurd, but true. Hayden, like myself, is one who is going to have to make his mistakes to learn for himself because that is exactly how I am. Bad trait to inherit. So, Halea and I left on Friday morning without Hayden. I was so sad.
As I sat and watched all of the kids file in I was overwhelmed at all of the kids that had sacrificed extra sleep to be there to listen to this amazing lady. Halea was the one in charge of contacting Sister Dalton to confirm the date with her and so she got to introduce her by reading her bio sheet. Then she got to sit by her during the meeting. It was pretty exciting because we just love her. When Sister Dalton came to the pulpit, she got a little choked up and said how overwhelmed she was by the spirit she felt looking out at all of the faces. The spirit was strong. She did not look at a paper or a note for the next 40-45 minutes. I could have listened to her all day. She speaks with such conviction and love for the youth. I was so grateful to be there. She told the youth that the world would have them think that they are just ordinary, but they are not ordinary. Halea posted this favorite quote: " Satan is using every way he can to Disqualify, Distract and Delay the blessings that are yours for the taking. Don't allow him to deceive you. Remember your noble heritage." So true. What a way to start off a Friday.
I got home and quickly got ready and ran to the school to bring Halea her lunch that we didn't have time to pack in the morning. Then Hilary and I went to one of the hospitals that I work at to help a family. The nurses were so cute and entertained Hilary so I could go and visit with the patient. I don't do that very often because that is probably distracting to the nurses. My schedule was pretty tight, so this was the easiest alternative, so I didn't have a lot of choice. Luckily Hilary cooperated, because sometimes she can be a real stinker. One time she just growled at the nurses. This is why I have not done this very often with her. I used to bring Heidi and Holden once in awhile and they were always so good and polite. Not Hilary! She beats only to her drum. After the hospital and carpool I was taking the kids up to Park City to see Halea run in her cross country meet. As I was leaving the hospital Hayden texted me to see if it was too late for him to come to Park City with us. I was pretty excited that he wanted to spend time with us at all, especially after our little tif. He had told me the day before that he did not want to come. After I got his text I told him that of course I would come and get him. When I picked him up we had a nice talk about the events of the day before. He was very remorseful and we talked about his choices. He promised that he would go to the next devotional because he knew that he had made a wrong choice. The poor kid got a lot of my stubbornness. I know that deep down he wants to make the right choices, but not if I tell him to. I have to learn to keep my big mouth shut.
We all piled in the car, went and picked up my niece and her husband and off to Park City we went. We stopped and did a little shopping and then we went to the race. It was absolutely freezing. The poor kids were having to run in their little racing shorts and tank tops and nothing else. We had to wait awhile for Halea's race, but for the most part everyone was pretty patient. Halea had a great race. It was fun to watch the other kids cheer for her. Hilary thought it was so fun. I love the group of kids that Halea runs with. As a parent you just couldn't pick a better group of friends.
The next and final event for the day was Retro Prom. My friend had been wanting to have a prom for her birthday for 7 years, and her husband and friends were finally making her dream come true. She is hilarious. I had gone to DI on Thursday and found what I am sure is an old bridesmaid dress for 12 dollars. I am sure it was a 100 dollar dress. Score. Lance was a good sport even though he did not understand or get it! Sometimes we just do things to please each other and we don't ask any questions. The kids thought we were hilarious. I could not get my hair to stay big enough, even with all of the hairspray. It was pretty close to how I wore it to my own prom. Funny.
This morning when I woke up I realized that I had a dream about my neighbor that was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago, right at the same time as Lance's sister was diagnosed. Today is the 1 year anniversary of Becky's death. What an awful day. I though that my neighbor was going to die, right around when my sister-in-law was dieing, but she ended up getting better for a little while. She has been suffering so much these past few months. We have just been waiting to hear. When I woke up from my dream this morning I though that I probably had a dream about them because I was thinking about Lance's sister. A few hours after I woke up my neighbor sent me a text telling me that our neighbor and friend had lost her battle with cancer. We just forget how very close the spirit world is. I am grateful for that knowledge. It gives me comfort to think that our sweet kids can continue to know what we are doing and that they might even get the chance to help us if it is Heavenly Father's will. I was so relieved for this sweet lady to be out of her painful body, and so happy for the reunion that she was having with her two sweet children that are on the other side. So sad for her family that now has to soldier on and learn to deal with her absence. She was just too young.
I found it very strange that my neighbor died on the same day that my sister-in-law did, just a year a part. The even stranger thing that my niece and I put together as we were visiting in Park City was that Trevin, Tatum and Becky all died on a Friday. My first knee jerk reaction was to really really hate Fridays. Then I remembered the talk given by Elder Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come". He talks about that awful Friday that the Savior was lifted up on the cross. That Friday was the worst of all Friday's, but it was also the beginning of the Resurrection and the miracle of the Atonement. Without that Friday, the Sunday would never have come to be. Trevin and Tatum and Becky dieing on Friday seems very symbolic to me. Yet another constant reminder of the Atonement and its reality. Yet another gentle reminder and manifestation made to me by a loving Heavenly Father. I know that our Sunday will come.
We spent the next few hours listening to the General Conference talks from the leaders of our church. I cannot seem to hear enough. They were all so inspiring. One that really struck me was of course Elder Hollands talk. A few things that he said were something to the effect of, "If your miracle doesn't come and it isn't the Father's will for your trial to be taken away, drink the bitter cup and move forward." The cup was not taken from the Savior either. The other thing that he said at the end of his talk was that one day we would get to see our children that were born with disabilities with their healthy perfect bodies and how glorious that will be. There were so many things that jumped out at me. Lot's of things to improve in my life.
About a week ago a friend in my neighborhood brought over a check for some money to go towards buying a Trevin and a Tatum tree. A few days ago I went to the garden center that one of our old neighbors works at. We had texted back and forth and I gave her some parameters of trees that I was looking for. When I got to the store, she had already picked out several for me to look at and choose. She said that she had been thinking about it all summer as she was working. Looking for the perfect Tatum tree. I was so grateful that she had done that. I just don't have the energy to make suck decisions or spend a lot of energy researching things. We decided on a Golden Ash (I think that's what it was called) for our Trevin tree and a flowering almond for our Tatum tree. I wanted something bigger and strong for the Trevin tree and something sweet and ornamental and flowering for Tatum's tree. I am so grateful for all who donated for this amazing gift. I can see the trees from my kitchen window. What a joy it will be to look out in the spring and see that sweet little tree bright pink with flowers on it. During the second session of conference today Lance and the kids and I all went outside and planted those trees.
While the men went to the Priesthood session my niece and her husband and me and all of the kids, except for Hayden who went to Priesthood with Lance, went to Little America in Salt Lake. To celebrate Lance's sister we wanted to go to her favorite place to eat. We got the turkey dinner and salads with bleu cheese dressing.
These past few days have been filled with a lot of activities and a lot of emotions. I am hopeful for a quiet peaceful morning listening to conference. I am grateful for this time that we get every six months to listen to our prophet and the other leaders of our church. Their inspired words and messages buoy me up and give me hope.