30 August 2009

Back to Reality

Enjoying summer vacation is interesting, now that I technically no longer have a summer vacation. :) I'm a grown-up with a grown-up job. If I want to have a spring break, I have to use 'vacation time'. Instead of just making up missed assignments when I don't "feel well" I have to use 'sick time' (sick time is relative to me).

Anyway, back to reality, right? Literally hours before leaving for our last summer get-away mid-August, we found out that E's biological father was killed in a car accident the night before; thrown from the vehicle, died at the scene, killed (I'll spare the other details).

Just like that...gone, and he really hasn't been a part of her life the last few years, except for the occasional birthday/Christmas card, but I was literally shocked at the sense of loss I felt in those first few moments. For the first few years of E's life, he was a part of mine. More pain than joy, as I watched him struggle with addictions and frustrations of being torn by those addictions. That chapter of my life really opened my eyes to the devastation addiction has on a person. It doesn't let go, and if you don't let it go, it will never leave. And I couldn't make any of that better or make it go away.

At least that was his plight, because of his choices, bless his stubborn heart.

On the other hand, he was the most caring father and person you would ever meet. He would give anyone the shirt off his back to help anyone else out. He would always carry E everywhere because he loved holding her. He would play with her and her toys on the floor for hours. He almost enjoyed the toys as much as she did. He also let her do whatever she wanted. :) Sometimes Mom would have to reign them both in.

So, back to that morning, I'm thinking to myself, "What do I do?" Do I tell her now, moments before we are to leave on a fun-filled, much-anticipated week? Or do I wait until I know when the funeral is? Or do we go to the funeral at all? I guess those were my options. Of course I would take her to the funeral. She's old enough to know about death and I know she would need the closure. But, I decided to wait to tell her. Probably because I didn't know what to say or even how to act. We haven't seen him in a long time and D adopted her last summer; things were a bit awkward. Plus, he had remarried, had 5 step kids and another child. E has another half-sister. So, I waited.

We found out the funeral wouldn't be until the following Monday, so I figured we'd enjoy our week then I'd talk with her after we get home Sunday. We stopped at the Mall on our way home to pick up some simple outfits because we obviously hadn't packed any clothes fitting for a funeral. She was excited to get a new dress, but I didn't tell her why. I totally chickened out, but I didn't want to talk to her about it then, in the Mall. Sheesh. We went back to my parent's house, and I wanted to go see his Mom and talk with her before the viewing the next day. So, I took E to get some ice cream. Then, while we were eating our ice cream, I just came out and said, "Sweety, Justin was in a car accident a few days ago and he died." She got it right away and started quietly crying. Wanna know the first thing she asked me? "When did this happen?" A few days ago. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" I don't know, I told her. I didn't know what to say or how to say it. I'm sorry. I just held her for a few minutes until she asked, "Is that why I got a new dress?" Sheesh, nothing gets past her.

By the time the funeral was over, I realized I should have told her when the rest of us found out. I should have let her have those moments to grieve. We could have grieved together. She would still have had a fun, great week. She was fine. We talked about heaven and resurrecting and Heavenly Father and she was completely okay with it. By trying to protect her, I only prolonged the pain, even for me. And I'm usually a 'get-it-done-and-over-with' kind of person. But she's moved on and is healthfully playing and bickering with her siblings and life is back to our state of normal. But Southeast ID will always hold all kinds of memories...

26 August 2009

Redfish Lake 2009 Outlet Campground

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25 August 2009

First Day of Second Grade

D took E to the school yesterday to find her new classroom and meet her teacher. It's hard enough sending her on the bus, so I wanted her to at least know how to get to her class. She came home excited, but with all the talk of "going back to school," L came up to me on Sunday, solemn and with a frown. She said, "Mama, why does E have to go to school? I will miss her." They've had fun staying up late together, reading books together, watching movies, playing dolls and Lego's, not to mention coloring...everything there is to color. I didn't even imagine there would be a separation anxiety, considering how they can make each other scream with frustration :) I told L we could do our own school; that seemed to appease her for the time. Time to get out the workbooks!!

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19 August 2009

Expect the Unexpected

So, D and I discussed (if you want to call it that) using some of our souvenir money to purchase a new camera for our camping trip. I was close to tears thinking about spending a family vacation without any documentation! It was well worth forgoing over-priced T-shirts or silly toys that break within days of purchase.
We went to Redfish Lake up in central Idaho, about 70 miles east of Sun Valley, tucked away in the Sawtooth Mountain range. There really is nothing better to me than camping among the pine trees (with or without flush toilets). We took D's dad's fishing boat that has a small motor on it. Nothing too powerful, but it had enough "umph" to pull the kids on an inner tube. They had a blast! The lake is glacier-fed, but once your skin numbs up, it's quite comfortable to stay in :)

I still need to organize pictures but I'll leave you with my favorite one, a view from our beach where we'd maroon the boat for the evening, looking west toward the Lodge.

08 August 2009


Off to spend a week in the mountains of central Idaho!!

P.S. I saw this morning that my camera is broken, so there may not be any pictures...

I'll just have to write it all down :)

05 August 2009


I couldn't sleep last night. When I came home from work, everyone was already in bed... sleeping. So, I fixed myself something to eat and tried to see what was on TV. What did I watch? Absolutely nothing. TV programing is such a complete waste of time. Maybe I just don't have the right provider... :)

So, I'm laying on the couch; TV is on but I'm texting a friend so I'm not paying attention; too tired to read or concentrate but not tired enough to go to sleep. What do I do? Re-organize my kitchen cabinets. Isn't that what you'd do? That's what I thought.

What's this? An empty laundry basket in the hall? Does that mean... (look quietly into the kids' room) Yup! The laundry is PUT AWAY!

Thanks, D :) and girls

Few! Now I can sleep

01 August 2009

What Have I Been Doing These Last 3 Years??

Good question. Sometimes I ponder that question... a great deal.

I still think I remember my labor with L (she's 3 today, btw). My mom and I were discussing this today. I tried to do it "au-natural" and made it up to the point when the doctor said something like, "We have to get that baby out now!" But, as I remember the labor, I was able to manage the pain pretty well with the coping skills I acquired and prepared for during that pregnancy. My mom was there and apparently remembers it differently, but she doesn't take pain well anyway. However, I must admit, the c-section recovery (though longer) was more preferable than the stretched out vaginal recovery, for me anyway. :)

So, for 3 years I've been growing another daughter and encouraging the older one to be a "helper." The 3 year old, L, enjoys being doted on but is also extremely independent (unless she's tired). She's learning new words and skills every day. I am just amazed at how much they are able to learn in such a short time-span! She loves to run with her older sister and brother and even has mastered the scooter (and can't wait for the bike!). She loves to color and make me all kinds of pictures! She'll eat anything that has rice in, on or around it, unless it's green (but Daryl gets her, somehow, to eat almost anything anyway!). Her favorite food is yogurt and rice. Her favorite color is purple, green or pink. She loves anything with Aurora or Tinkerbell or Barbie and loves to play dress-up. I love watching her "read." She'll sit next to E and they both read their books. It usually ends up with E reading L the story. She loves every page.

It's hard to believe 3 years have gone by so fast. We moved from her first house, too. At least we have a huge playground for them to enjoy. Hopefully, before she's too old, we'll have a house we all can grow old in together! I sure do love my princess!