Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prep Week...

I feel like I have been preparing myself for this week for several months, but now it is here.  I have been trying really hard to work through some of my "crazy" thoughts and make detailed, yet flexible expectations for the birthdays and anniversary day.
One of the thoughts that I have been having for several weeks is that I don't want to have her second birthday without her.  I don't want to never know what she would have been like as a toddler.  I want to know what she likes and doesn't like.  I want to give her baths and take her to the park and blow bubbles for her or just sit on the couch and hold her all night.  I don't want to have her birthday.  I keep thinking about last year and what I was doing at this time.  I was preparing her birthday.  I knew that it would be her only birthday.  I wanted it to be perfect, and thanks to a lot of people it was just right.

I would love to have just one more little birthday kiss from her.  Oh how I miss smooching on her cheeks.

 I also don't want her to ever think that we have forgotten her.  As I have been working through these thoughts I decided to focus on what we are celebrating when we celebrate any one's birthday, and that is their birth.  What did her birth mean to me and us as a family.  It meant so much.  One day when Tatum was sick, Lance and I were talking.  He told me that even with everything that had happened and the heartache that it would be to have Tatum die, he would not have ever wished to not have her in our family.  He was so grateful to be her dad and have her come and teach us the things that we need to learn, as much as we were going to miss her, our family would not be the same without her.  I feel like that sums up her life.  Our lives would not be the same without her.  And so this week, we prepare to celebrate that fact.  She completed our family.  We needed her.  We love her, forever.
We had a beautiful stake conference this past weekend.  Some of Halea's friends got to speak in the Saturday and Sunday sessions.  There were some really amazing talks given.  Our neighbors gave a great talk, together, on marriage.  It was tender and sweet and really helpful and inspired.  Then our sweet Stake President stood and bore such sweet testimony of our Savior.  He warned us about the perils that we face in our lives everyday.  Then he encouraged us to take stock of the condition of our hearts.  He told some cute personal stories that made him want to take his own inventory and make sure that he is constantly working on making his heart softer and accepting and loving.  This man is literally a person without guile.  I leaned over to Halea and said, "If he is worried about the condition of his heart, I am doomed.  We are all doomed!"  It was a really inspiring conference.  So grateful that I could attend.  It made me want to be and do better.

This is most of the kids in our neighborhood that are graduating this year.  This is at Seminary Graduation.  What an amazing group of young people, ready to take on the world and do great things.

Tuesday I spent a lot of time figuring out the last little details and buying the supplies to assemble the little treat bags for the nurses at the hospitals that I work at, and that took care of and loved Tatum and our family for this past year.  My friend helped me with the idea and the details of how to put it all together.  We have been working hard on them, and here they are.

she is a wiz on the computer, luckily.  The girls and I did all of the grunt work of assembling, but my friend did all of the cuteness.  I think they turned out so so cute.  I hope that it will help people to remember to be kind, remember and never forget what is really important in life.

Earlier today I made some cookies.  I have made this cookie recipe, probably a million times.  After I pulled them out of the oven
I thought that they looked a little brown.  Once they had cooled a little, I started to cut them into bars.  I noticed that they were a little flat and gooey.  I all of a sudden remembered that I had added two sticks of butter, rather than one!!  Oops.  you might think that this ruined them.  Oh no, I think that it made them all the better.  This is a problem.  Yikes.

As I was making these little mistakes there was a knock on my door.  It was one of my neighbors.  She handed me a sweet note and told me that her and one of my other awesome friends had been thinking about us and what to do or say for Tatum's birthday.  As we were talking and hugging I saw a pinwheel in one of my flower beds.  I said something and then I realized that she had lined our flower beds with pink and blue pinwheels.  It was so touching.  I am not sure how people know how to do just the right things.  Literally, angels live among us.  People living by the spirit.

Tonight we were able to attend an evening at the high school with Halea.  They invite all of the kids that have received any scholarship from a school, or local, or national level to come.  They then go through and present all of these to the students, publicly.  Well, it was the Halea show.  There were several kids that were up there a number of times too, but several of her scholarship givers took some minutes to talk about the scholarship and her as the recipient.  I skipped my most favorite gospel study class to go, and I was really sad about missing the class.  I was so glad that I went because it was a really special night of recognition for all of her hard work.  So proud.  Her is a ridiculous picture of all but one of her scholarships all laid out for her.

To end this journal of the last few days I want to share a quote that one of my friends posted on Facebook today.  She is the quote master and I look forward to all of her posts.  This quote is by Dieter F Uchtdorf, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:   "We shouldn't wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available all the time.  Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect... there is something in each day to embrace and cherish.  There is something each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."

No truer statement.

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