Friday, May 31, 2013

Busy Mamma

I've taken busy to a whole new level for me these last couple of months.  I thrive on feeling busy and important so it has been wonderfully refreshing for me.  I'm ready to get back to focusing on my family, but it has been a fantastic experience.  For the past three months my business has been reimbursing a portion of my flight and driving expenses when I go to teach essential oil classes.  I've been to Alaska, California, Montana, Boston, Long Island, Seattle, West Virginia (twice), and Connecticut (twice).  It has been so fun to see old friends and to make new ones.  It has been awesome to help my essential oil business grow and to be a part of creating miracles for people by introducing them to these powerful healing oils.

As much as I enjoy traveling it's just not as fun without Josh.  I wish that I could have taken him with me!  I took the ferry from Long Island to Connecticut.  It was beautiful, but being alone it's almost as if it never happened so I thought I'd include a picture so I can remember.  I have seen and done some amazing things.  The best part has been reconnecting with old friends.  I thank them for trusting me enough to let me teach them and those they love about essential oils.

It has been especially crazy this month as I taught my Joy School rotation for the semester.  The kids are so cute, but all they want to do this time of year is play.  I couldn't agree more.  I want to play too.

We have also successfully completed the end of they year recitals and celebrations. Cara (front left, pink dress) is loving her suzuki music school so we took the plunge and got her a violin this week.  This morning she was trying to practice at the same time Caleb was practicing the piano.  I didn't like the fight that resulted, but it makes me so happy to have them involved and learning music.

Caleb and Cara have had great teachers this year.  Caleb's teacher, Mrs Rees, has really gone the extra mile with science projects and making learning fun.  Today for the last day of school they had "parting pancakes."  Mrs Rees sent some pictures as she often does.

Caleb's class dissected owl pellets a couple of weeks ago.

They also had a science fair (not my favorite project of the year). Caleb did his project on how sound waves change with low and high pitches.  They did a lot of great things.  I am so thankful my children have had fantastic teachers.

Cara's teacher, Mrs Miller obviously loves Cara and has gone the extra mile to help her with all of the resources she possibly could to be successful at reading.

For the last day of school our neighbors, the Millers, had a party.  They rented a bounce house, had cotton candy and lots of friends and fun.  Ready or not it is officially summer vacation!

One thing I've become more aware of as I've traveled outside of Utah is how unusual it is to have five children.  Apparently it is the new 12.  For those of you who wonder if number five gets any attention this picture should answer your question.  The whole family was there to cheer him on when he took his first crawl.  He may not get as much individual attention from his parents, but he gets a ton of attention.  He started crawling at 11.5 months.  Now I remember why I'm glad to have children that take their time to get moving.  He has already started pulling things out of drawers and destroying (or eating) anything he can get his hands on.  Good thing he is so dang cute!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nine Months Ago . . .

I can't believe it.  My dad died nine months ago.  In fact, I still can't really even wrap my mind around the fact that he is dead.  It is still almost eery to go to my parents house or to drive up worm creek canyon without him.  In a way it feels wrong to be on his stomping ground without him pointing out the blossoms and the wildlife that none of us would have seen without his good eye.  It is weird to not having him telling the kids to put on real shoes (rather than sandals) or to wear pants (rather than shorts.)  I made cabbage salad for mothers day wishing I could leave some for him because he would love it.  It feels empty at mom's without him.  We all miss him a lot.  It is mostly the little things.  Like wishing he were there to help me carry the kids out to the car and buckle them in when it's time to leave.  Or riding in the back of mom's truck without him jumping in the drives seat and yelling at us to sit down.

A lot has changed on the farm in the past nine months.  It has been really hard on all of us, but it has been especially difficult for mom.  The secondary losses have each been so painful as the realty of his death becomes a little more real with each additional loss.  All of the cattle are now sold, including the one that was late to come off the range and ran wild, in moms hay field, with her calf all winter. We were blessed to find a man that paid a great price for the cattle and calves last fall.  As generous as the buyer was, it was still painful to watch them go.

The farm equimpment is mostly liquidated now.  I helped mom list it on KSL this spring.  We had offers from the local farm machinery stores so we had an idea of how much to ask, but it was impossible for us to give any details about the miles, the year, the special way to put it together, etc.  On the adds I put something like "dad died last fall.  As far as we know it ran when he died.  We don't know any details."  Even with that kind of explanation things have still sold. The day dad's tractor was taken moms heart broke once again. The man who purchased the bailer had heard what a wonderful person my dad was.  He was also told about my moms license plate which has always read "C IVAGO."  He had a bumper sticker made for the bailer which also read "C IVAGO."

Selling the horses was so painful for my mom and sisters.  It simbolized so much more than the sale of a family "pet." It is the end of a way of life.  The end of what might have been.  My mom has always had horses.  She has cried buckets over loosing that part of her life.  Even selling the farm equipment, for which there was little personal attachement, simbolized the loss of what I thought my kids would know. Who is going to teach Caleb how to work!!  Dad left the barn full of hay which has proven to be a nice savings account.  Good hay is worth a small fortune these days. Connie has worked hard this winter and spring listing and selling it load by load.

Now that most things have been sold mom can start thinking about "the rest of her life."  She has always said that the farm was dad's thing and that she was only there because he wouldn't go anywhere else.  Now we will see what she decides to do.  Living on 115 acres in the mountains is more than a place to live - it is a way of life.  A way of life that is really difficult and lonely for a single woman.  We'd all like her to stay because of our emotional attachment to the location, but we also know that it would be in her best interest to sell.  We will see what this summer brings.

Dad's head stone was put in a few weeks ago.  It is beautiful.  I love that it is bench style.

We stopped by on mothers day.  It is nice to pay tribute, but here isn't there. We do love him and miss him!

One source of therapy for me over the past few months has been working on the book pictured below, a tribute to my dad.  Cathie's Sister-In-Law, Kristen, suggested we gather quotes and stories at dads funeral.  She was so inspired and provided an incredible service to us.  She is the saint that put the book together. (While her husband was deployed and her fourth child was a new born.) Cathie and I did spend many hours working on the book as well.  I organized and edited all of the text.  It was so rewarding for me to read the tributes and stories over and over and to think about how to organize them just right.  Cathie labeled pictures and provided additional editing on the text.  It was a labor of love for us and we hope that we can preserve some of the great and quirky personality traits of my dad.

Life is an interesting journey.  I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that God has a plan and that families are forever.  I know that my dads spirit is still living and I find great comfort in knowing that he is a guardian angel for us when we need him.  There have been times when I've thought, "its okay.  My dad is on the other side and if I need help he will be there."  Once this winter I was driving in a terrible snow storm with the entire family in the car.  I felt comfort in knowing that if the car spun out of control my dad would take the wheel and that we would be okay.  I really do believe that he is in a great place and he can see and be with us.  It is fine for him - it is just crappy for us.

Another thing that has changed a lot in the past 9 months is this big guy.  He is almost a year and still not crawling.  I guess it is genetic.  The "backwards crawl"gets him in some tight spots, but he is always adorable and practically perfect in every way!

He doesn't even mind when he is all twisted up in his toy basket.  Life is good for John Kirk.