Tuesday, October 9, 2012

September again

Carynn and I drove to central Washington to spend the weekend of September 14-16. Melinda and Michael spent some time together over the weekend while I was gone. Bret, Laura and Ethan were in Utah, Landan in the Middle East, Jamie and Ty in the Spokane Valley. All of us reflected, each in our own way, the year that has come and gone since we got the terrible news of Lynette's death.

It was good to visit family. Carynn and I did a spa night for my mom on September 14 and then went to the cemetery on the 15th. We each had some private moments at Lynette's grave and left flowers for her and Lindsay. We spent that afternoon with my 9 year old niece Kloey. We had a good time and it helped to lighten our hearts as Kloey got to choose our activities which included lunch at an all you can eat buffet. We also celebrated my nephew Colton's birthday (a few days early) with pizza and cookies and cream ice cream. Later we saw a movie. It was good to see Mom, Erin, Karra and their families.
Sunday morning we detoured back to the cemetery-where it was a lot quieter than it had been the day before. (A graveside service was going on not too far from Lynette's grave on Saturday.) A yellow butterfly flitted by both times we were there. We had an uneventful trip home.

I'm relieved that the year of "firsts" without Lynette is done. You don't stop grieving just because a year's gone by though, do you? I will count my many blessings and I will choose to remember Lynette as she is in the above picture. NS

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ode to August

You came so quickly and with your coming
Brought birthdays and sunshine, trips to the lake, camp;
Oh, and cleaning, always cleaning the house that's for sale.
Tears are often still close to the surface.
There were unexpected sunflowers too.
Now it is September again. Healing takes time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July

This year we finally were able to schedule a family vacation where we could all be together. A few weeks before vacation a light bulb went off in my head that we should do Christmas in July since Landan won't be able to be home for Christmas (again) and Bret, Laura and Ethan will not be able to travel as he won't be able to take time off during the holidays with his new job. Michael and the children were great with the idea so Christmas in July was born. Here are some pictures.
The stockings were hung on the window sill with care. Sunflowers on the table were courtesy of Melinda and Landan as a visible reminder of Lynette. Flower arranging and place mat placement courtesy of Carynn.

Carynn, Bret and Melinda did a bit of the "Crazy Christmas Dancing" that they (and Lynette) are known for to the old Amy Grant Christmas tape that we've used for years. Yes, I know they could have pulled it up from the internet, but since I brought it, why not use it, right? We love you Lynette and miss you so much. You were with us in spirit.
We used Lynette's ornaments to decorate the tree (complete with lights) that I had brought from home.
Carynn's turn to put the angel on the top.


"Christmas morning" it was time to open the presents (or as Lynette would say-prizes) and check out what was in the stockings. A smiling Landan and Melinda open their gifts. (Check out the plate on the coffee table-Yes, we had our traditional ham, potato rolls and orange juice too!)
I snapped the picture below and just about everyone in it is (or seems to be) in motion. That's what our time together was- motion and emotion.

More on our vacation in another post.

 Merry Christmas in July to all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Catching Up With Life

It's been a while since I've posted.

To recap what's been going on in my life/our lives since my last post:

April  We made our way home via Salt Lake City (and our Miller Trio). We really enjoyed the new City Creek Mall and ate at the very yummy Cheesecake Factory. Ethan loved it too!
     We also stopped by some bird refuges and sanctuaries. We saw some darling baby birds. One duck like bird species-grebes- let their chicks hitch rides on their backs. They are well camouflaged so they're kind of hard to spot unless you look for a grebe that isn't diving and looking for food. That would be the one with the chicks on its back.
Strolling and rolling (Ethan, that is) at City Creek Mall

Papa with Ethan at the City Creek Mall

Ethan enjoyed The Cheesecake Factory too!


My mom turned 80 in May. I surprised her by
showing up for her birthday!
While in the Yakima area I stopped by the
cemetery and left flowers for Lindsay
and Lynette. I cried.

While Carynn and Jamie were out of town we took care of Ty. We had a wonderful time and one of the things that we did was to attend his pre-school graduation. The theme was pirates. Carynn had rounded up a cute costume for their little pirate, including a hook. 

Ty, far right on the first row, with this year's pre-school class. 

                               Also in May Michael and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary.

Can you see our house on top of the hill?

We're selling our Liberty Lake home. We have had 2 showings  so far;
one in late May, one in June.


Michael celebrated his 59th birthday. Here he is at Carynn and Jamie's with Ty, his Dad (who's in town for the summer) and one of his gifts. Yes, that is a watermelon. :)

You can fill in the blanks for a lot of the rest. We are encouraged that Michael's health seems to be on the upswing. We are still grieving the loss of our Lynette. We still laugh, smile, and live.

Here's to Summer!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seven Months - Finding Happiness

Michael has been so wonderful over the years taking pictures of the children. He wanted to make sure that there would be plenty of documentation of their lives. One of the shots he often has them do is what I call the "looking toward heaven" pose. You see that in the two pictures shown here of Lynette.

So my dearest Lynette, I'm looking toward heaven and remembering you today as it's been seven months since you left us behind. At times I forget and think about calling you about some little thing and then I remember that you can't get my calls right now.

I'm working at discovering joy in my journey here. I was reminded about finding happiness by a dear friend who gave us an Easter card with this quote:
Happiness is like
A butterfly which,
When pursued, is always
Beyond our grasp,
But, if you will
Sit down quietly,
May alight upon you.
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

I think I'm getting a little bit better at sitting quietly, if not always literally, figuratively. I am sustained, I am blessed, and sometimes I am also happy.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fun with Carynn, Jamie and Ty - Easter 2012

We were so happy when we had more visitors from up North! Bret, Laura and Ethan came to see us in February. Now it was Carynn, Jamie and Ty's turn! They arrived Wednesday night and we immediately put Jamie to work! Thanks so much for installing the new faucet Jamie. It makes a huge difference!

Thursday afternoon/evening was Girls Night Out and Boys Night In. Carynn and I did a bit of shopping, ate a yummy dinner at Chili's, had a pedicure and then came home. The boys enjoyed grilling steak with some if not all of the trimmings.

Other memorable moments are highlighted below.

Saturday morning we all went to the Ivins City Easter Egg Hunt. It's not much of a hunt really, but still is was so much fun to watch the kids scramble for the eggs. The whole thing including travel time to and from took less than a half and hour. Ty "found" 34 eggs, plus the 2 "starter" eggs they gave him totals 36 eggs! Inside each egg was a Tootsie Roll mini and a little roll of Smarties candy. The master of ceremonies said that there were 12,000 eggs. In less than a minute they were all gone. Thankfully they divided the park into age groups so the little ones weren't with the older kids. Here's some pictures. Adults were able to "help" but they could only point. They couldn't touch the egg. Ty, of course needed little if any help, but Jamie went along to hold the basket.

Then it was time to go to downtown St. George and check out the Art Festival. Even though this is our 4th winter here, Michael and I had never done that. We had a lot of fun and so did Ty and his mom and Dad.
Ty had fun decorating his binoculars. He also used chow mein noodles to make a nest for a peeps chick and her jelly bean "eggs." What a fun idea!

Ty has the best view riding on Papa's shoulders!

This sequence of pictures shows me bravely running through the fountain (right before the center one started up. Whew-I barely made it in time. Then Ty and I together and finally Ty had a ton of fun and hardly got wet at all running through himself.

We had our Easter Feast Saturday evening since Carynn, Jamie and Ty were heading back up to Bret, Laura and Ethan's on Sunday after church. To change things up a bit we ate al fresco. Saturday evening it was gorgeous outside and the ambiance of the fountain, water and sunshine were hart to beat. Cornish game hens ala Carynn were the main course. Afterwards it was time to color the eggs. Ty had fun and of course we made what my kids have always called the "poop" egg. While I may not appreciate it's name, I appreciate the tradition that my 4 started long ago. The "poop" egg is dunked in all of the colors multiple times till it reaches the right shade-whatever the right shade is.

The Easter bunny hid the eggs outside this year since it was so nice. Ty had a fun time finding them. We made sure that we shared the real reason we celebrate Easter with Ty too. It's fun to enjoy the secular part of the season, but just like Christmas, Jesus is the reason for this season too!

Our Savior Lives and we will all live again too!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Butterfly Girl

Today marks the six month anniversary of our daughter Lynette's death. I had an experience at the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West, Florida yesterday that really touched me. As we walked into the conservatory there were hundreds of butterflies and moths too. They would pause on the flowers and the the trees and the chairs and even on me! They reminded me of our Butterfly Girl.

Lynette was REALLY into insects for a LONG time. One time I stenciled a butterfly on a yellow sweatshirt (she always loved the color yellow) for a gift. She wore that until it was too short and too little. She loved it.

One of her favorite Halloween costumes was a butterfly costume I made for her. I had no pattern for it but worked out the "mechanics" with lots of input from Lynette-because the wings needed to spread open when she spread her arms. That costume is still in our costume box. It was well loved. The picture below shows our 4 in their costumes. By the looks of it I made all 4 of their costumes that year: Butterfly for Lynette, Cheerleader for Carynn, Ninja for Bret and Turtle for Melinda. This is when we lived in Vancouver, Washington and would have been Halloween 1990.

I admit I cried a bit as I sat there on a blue butterfly chair in the butterfly conservatory and butterflies landed on or near me. I tried to sit as still as I could and after a while they treated me like I was part of the furniture which was fine by me. Lynette would have loved it. It reminded me of a time not too long ago when she bought butterflies in cocoons and then let them go free after they emerged from them.

The butterfly on my shoulder is actually a gorgeous blue when it opens its wings. The color just about matched my shirt. The blue ones really seemed to "like" me today.

The Butterfly Conservatory was an amazing experience. It was hard in some ways because it reminded me of Lynette, but it was healing too. Things are still hard for all of us, some times more than others.

I love you my Butterfly Girl!



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Miller Time

Our Miller Trio came to visit over the last weekend in February. Memorable moments of the trip included:

  • Ethan turning 18 month old! We had a lot of fun playing with the little guy! He is so much fun!

  • A mani and pedi for me and Laura (Yay)!
  • Lunch at Cafe Rio (Yummy Pork Barbacoa)
  • The Miller Trio Went on a Hike at Snow Canyon
  • A visit to another of our favorite parks (Tonaquint) for birdwatching, bird feeding, swinging and enjoying the play structure there. Ethan loves swinging and slides and climbing through and around everything. He let us know that he didn't want to leave too!
  • A family walk to a closer park for more swinging.
  • Chefs Bret and Laura making dinner.
  • Movies from Redbox

We might have been "lower key" but a good time was had by all. We're so thankful that they could come see us.

We love our Miller trio!


Monday, February 20, 2012

True Colors

Michael and I have been doing a TON of bird watching. He's been "into" bird photography for a few years now. He's not so much into checking the different birds we've discovered off of a list, but photographing them. That's actually a bit harder than you think. He has to get close enough to get a good picture so it's not just seeing them in the distance with binoculars for him and therefore for us. I help by being his "spotter." We have seen so many beautiful birds in our travels.

We did a jaunt to the Tijuana Estuary Wildlife Refuge south of San Diego and just barely north of the Mexican border. In fact we could see the barbed wire fence separating the United States from Mexico in the not so far distance.

While at the Estuary we saw so many AMAZING birds. I observed an interesting phenomenon with one of the hummingbirds-it's illustrated in the photos below. Keep in mind that this is the SAME hummingbird-it's just the way the light hits it that makes the difference.

As I've thought about it I believe there's a lesson in those pictures. As beautiful as the hummingbird is in the top picture, as you add more light it becomes the best it can be-absolutely, positively gorgeous!

So to take it to a human level I believe that as we add more and more of Christ's light in our lives we become our best selves.

Seek the Light (note the capital "L")!!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lindsay Renee Miller January 24, 1978-February 7, 1978

The healing came. First the physical healing of my body from labor and delivery; that was in process of course from the day of Lindsay's birth. I remember having to bind my breasts so the milk would dry up. The pills that they give you in the hospital to dry up your milk (if you choose not to breastfeed or deliver a stillborn) won't work if you've already been nursing. It was almost a "good" kind of pain though, as it was a reminder that Lindsay had lived, even if it was only for two weeks. I was young so my body got back to its pre-pregnant self relatively quickly.

As for the spiritual and emotional healing-some parts of that took years, is still happening. I remember praying more fervently than I had ever prayed before. I also voraciously read books, articles, scriptures about this life and the next. I threw myself into service for others. I got a job outside of the home (I had quit my receptionist job right before Lindsay was born). Those actions helped. My sweet husband was such a strength to me. My parents and siblings loved me and tried to ease our pain while working through their own. There were dear friends who let me "borrow" their babies as my arms ached to hold a child.

Finally though it came down to this-if I did not have my testimony of Jesus Christ, that he lived, suffered for ALL of our pain and sins, died for us on Calvary and was resurrected this life would not have real meaning beyond our daily actions. How grateful I am to him and to our eternal Heavenly Father for the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness. I will see my sweet Lindsay again, and my sweet Lynette and all those that mean so much to me. That's what this life is about-it's living, growing, serving, loving and getting ready for what's next-forever!

As I continue to do my part, to strive beyond the hurt, whether emotional, spiritual or physical, I'll be preparing myself for eternity and true healing.