Saturday, October 18, 2014

Surprise- My Mom's Birthday

Over conference weekend we had the opportunity to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday.  She had reached the huge milestone the week before and received a flashlight from my dad to commemorate the occasion. I'm sure she really loved it- little did she know what was in store for her. 
Growing up my mom took notice of the small things and always tried to create special memories for us.  She threw each of us a surprise birthday party at some point in our lives- me when I turned 16.  I wanted to do the same for her and surprise her.

I rented a condo and arranged for everyone to meet in St. George.  My dad told my mom at the last minute that they should go to St. George to get away for the weekend as they usually go somewhere over conference weekend. 

My kids loved playing with cousin Daphne and surprising Grandma Connie.  We arrived a couple hours later then the prearranged destination time due to construction on the interstate and the fact that I completely spaced the one hour time difference.

My dad was trying to stall and come up with alternate activities while we were slowly making our way there.  They were sitting at the splash pad when we ran up and surprised my mom.  She was happy and surprised to see us.

We ate dinner and then my dad took my mom to see the Little Mermaid at Tuachan.

The next day we rode the carousel, ate a picnic lunch and played at the splash pad.  Afterwards everyone went back to the condo and went swimming while my mom and I went shopping.

It was so fun to watch conference, hang out with the family and celebrate my mom's birthday.  I'm truly blessed to be given such a beautiful mother, both inside and out. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Shower and a Loss

I've been trying to get all of my pictures printed out and organized.  I found these pictures and they evoked a lot of memories.
Let me share.
My family and I planned a shower for my sister-in-law Nicole who was expecting her first little babe.  The date for the shower was set for April 28, 2012. 

Me and my angelic cousin Stacey. 

Well, that little guy Sawyer decided to make an early entrance and was born April 21st, 2012.  ( The same birth date as Esme who was born just a year prior.)  We continued with our plans for the shower and Sean came in Nicole's stead.  Obviously having Sean at the shower instead of a pregnant Nicole changed things.
 We could no longer play measure the belly game or guess the babies weight game as that would have been difficult with a non-pregnant brother.  However, it was fun watching my brother open the gifts and be the only guy at the shower.

The picture below brought on a wave of thoughts and emotions.  You see this is my cousin-in-law Caryn in white and my cousin Melanie in teal.  Melanie and I are very close in age and while growing up in Ephraim we spent a great deal of time playing and getting into mischief with one another. 
If only time could be stopped I would stop it right when that picture was taken and tell Mel don't go get family pictures that night.  Little did anyone know how the next 24 hours would completely alter Melanie's life as well as her families.
Mel told me as she was leaving the shower how she was going to get family photos down by the Ogden river later that evening.  As I watched the 10 o'clock news that night there was a report of a family who had been at the river getting family photos taken when their 3 year old fell into the river and could not be found.  My heart immediately sank, could that be Mel?  No I thought, her Corbin was 4 years old, not 3 and the news said a 3 year old fell in. I'm sure other families were getting photos taken by the river, it could not be her. 
The next morning I received news it was indeed my Mel.  Her little boy had fallen in the river and despite the best efforts of herself and her husband jumping in after him and nearly drowning themselves, he could not be found.  After a couple of harrowing weeks of searching for his little body he was found on Mother's Day.  My cousin Mel experienced one of the worst things a parent can ever go through. 
I look at this picture and I see the before.  Only hours before the heartache and grief and constant pain.  Before her baby was stolen from her and it just makes my heart hurt. 

My mom with her older sisters, Shauna and Sally.

I don't know what is going on in this picture but check out those Dyreng noses.

The shower was fun to be able to chat and visit with family despite the fact that the mom-to-be was already enjoying her baby.  I enjoyed having my brother there because it's not often you get to throw a shower for your brother.
If only things could have been different for my dear cousin Mel.  I'm sure she has a lot of "if-only's" and I can't even imagine the pain she carries with her now.