Monday, August 20, 2012

Missing Sister

It's been one week since Nicole left for college.  We are all missing her like crazy.   She left a big hole in our home and in our hearts that we can all tangibly feel.  

Surprising to me though, is how much Ian misses her.  He's just so in his own little world that I thought for sure he wouldn't even notice she was gone.  I could not have been more wrong.

He asks about her every day- wanting to know when he gets to go to Snow to see her.  He never forgets her in any of his prayers.  But sweetest of all, is that he sleeps every night with a silly little unicorn that she gave him as she was cleaning out her room.  It was something she got for a Halloween costume last year, that I'm sure she was just going to give to D.I.
Tonight as I was tucking him in, he hugged the unicorn to his chest and said, "Nicole's memories are in here".

And how right he is.  Her memories are in that silly little unicorn and in every nook and cranny of this house.  We sure love and miss her- more than I think any of us realized we would.  Thankfully, we have texting, face time and silly little unicorns to help us feel that she's not so far away.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Summer to Remember

As I was nearing the end of last semester and gearing up for the upcoming Summer Break, I had many expectations of what "my summer" would be like.

We would take 5 vacations, at least one of them would be a cruise, a camping trip or two, visit some national parks, a trip to see our friends, and spend lots of time as a family just enjoying each other's company and making all kinds of happy memories.

I knew that at the end of summer vacation, our world would drastically change.  Nicole would be leaving us for college, probably never to live under our roof full time again, and I would be heading back to school, full time, until Summer rolled around again.

As the first week of Summer approached, we had ONE vacation planned.  This brought a slight panic to my heart because I know us well- if it's not planned in advance, it probably isn't going to happen.  

As things turned out, Erik had a few business (or hemophilia related) trips that needed to be taken (San Francisco, Las Vegas, Oklahoma), and it was decided that it was now or never to take his dad to Norway- something that Erik has wanted to do for a long time.  There was Hemophilia camp that would take 3 members of the family for a week, a scout camp for Isaac, a 6 day trip to Bear Lake for Nicole with friends from Student Government, and an Ambassador retreat for her to meet her new college friends and finally, youth conference for Isaac.  

And then to top it all off, we decided to sign up Ian for football.  Something that would completely suck what was left of our Summer right out from under us.

There is now exactly two weeks of Summer Vacation left and as I was laying in bed this morning thinking about how different this Summer ended up from what I was hoping it would, I was surprised that I didn't feel disappointed.  

True, I spent most of those weeks without one or more family members with me, and true we only went on one family vacation, but looking back, it was such a wonderful time for me to slow down, get things organized around the house, spend some one on one time with each of the kids, and even a run away with Erik.  We didn't make tons of 'family time' memories, but so many special memories were made that will carry me through until next Summer.

I feel so fortunate to have been the one who got to be with Ian during the first time that he got to play tackle football.  I was the first to see him in full gear and was the one who heard, "Mom, thank you SO MUCH for signing me up for football!" And that smile, oh that smile, when he runs to the sideline all sweaty, to get a drink.  I got to be the first to see that.

 I was so lucky to get to sit by Nicole's side as she organized and held a clothes sale to raise money for college and then got to be the one to take many shopping trips with her to help her spend that money as she bought items to furnish her dorm.  I also got to be the one to hear all the stories after her dates with good friends and guys that made her excited about the possibility of marriage some day.

I got to be the one to pack Isaac for scout camp- making sure he had everything from a fishing pole and sunscreen to underwear and a warm jacket.  And I got to be the first to hear all of the stories when he got home- oh man those scouts!- and to hear about the new friend he made.  And I got to be the one who watched him grow right before my eyes.  I swear he did!

I was the one who got to be here everyday when Erik face-timed me from Norway.  I got to "see" little bits of Oslow and Bergen through the small camera on his iPad.  I was the first to see the tired joy on his dad's face as he enthusiastically talked about "tromping" through the streets of Norway.

I was the one who got to wash all of their dirty clothes when they retuned from all of their fun trips and activities.  I could tell that the dirtier the clothes were, the more fun they had had- and that made me smile. 

I was given the time to redecorate rooms in my home, clean out some dusty corners that haven't been touched in a LONG time, and dejunk.  I even had enough glorious time to read 5 books!

It wasn't the Summer I had envisioned.  But I think it turned out exactly as it should have.  I got to be here.  I got to be in my home.  I got to be with my family.  I got to be present.  

Those memories will carry me through the next year and will bring a smile to my face when I'll need one most.

It was a Summer I'll cherish forever!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I'm a football mom now.  Was kinda forced into it, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Let's start at the very beginning, shall we?

Erik and Ian decided Ian should play tackle football this year.  I had my reservations, but finally agreed.  Erik left out of town.  Mom was left to sign him up.  No big deal right?
Um, BIG DEAL.  Very big deal. 
If it had just been the sign up, I would have been OK.  But these boys were required to have things such as: mouth guards, water thermos, a CUP!, chin strap for their helmet, cleats- all things that I have never in my life picked out or bought before!  (Well, yes, I have purchased a water thermos before- but I didn't know he needed one until AFTER the first day of practice and by then, you can't find ANYTHING football related in any of the sporting goods stores near our home so it took me forever to gather it and all of these other things.)
 Here's a pic from the first day- I think there have to be about 85 little Gremlins out there!
Then there was the uniform.  This was another event in and of itself.  After practice one day, we were to meet at "the shed" to be fitted for his uniform (is that even what you call it?).  I was surrounded, once again, buy about 70 or so dad's and sons (mom's are a minority at things like this I am learning).
I have learned a few other things too- that football has it's own lingo, and politics, and smell!

The good news in all of this is that I have dear friends who have lived this football life that I now find myself in.  And they took pity on me and taught Ian and I how to put all that gear on (where the pads go in the pants, how to put the chin strap on the helmet, and HOW to put on that blasted helmet, that thing is tight!  And let's not forget the cup!  That took it's own segment of explaining.  I don't know how guys walk around with those things!)

Needless to day, Ian and I have almost made it through the first week of football tryouts.  He has one or so more days and then he'll be put on a team with his own coach and then we will be able to sit back and enjoy!  
Just in time for Erik to get home.