December 30, 2011

Remembering Mikel

January 1st will mark exactly a year since Mikel passed away. I won't sugar coat it. Getting used to life without her is difficult. Particularly because Mikel was my closest sibling - just 3 years older than me. She is in most of my childhood memories. Sometimes in the tough moments I have asked myself, "Why does it still hurt so much? Why can't I 'let go' and just take solace in knowing I will someday see her again?" Well, one night when Nick was busy with homework I came across this little gem of knowledge that put things in perspective. It's from "True to the Faith" Gospel Resource. In talking about the pain from losing a loved one it says: "It is natural to feel fact, mourning is one of the deepest expressions of love. The Lord said, 'Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die' (D&C 42:45). The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life" (I bolded and italicized that last part).

Wow. After reading that I realized grieving Mikel's death won't just end one day, it will be a life- long process. Sure, getting used to new kind of "normal" will slowly get easier over the years. But I am never going to stop loving my sister...therefore I will never stop missing her or wishing so badly I could see her just for a moment. Those few sentences made me understand and not be afraid of all the little moments of sadness and pain I've experienced this past year. It's not that I can't let go, my tears are just one way of expressing my deep love for her.

But how grateful I am for memories. I've always loved the quote, “God gave us memories that we might have June roses in the December of our lives.” Mikel gave our family some wonderful memories of laughter and joy that we are always going to be able to draw upon through the years. While flipping through the channels last week, I stopped on the movie "The Music Man" and instantly became glued to the television. This was a favorite childhood movie for me, Mikel, and my brother Tim. On one part in particular I just burst out laughing because I could vividly remember rewinding it (yes, on the archaic VCR) over and over again with Mikel and laughing so hard that our stomachs hurt. Nick walked into the room shortly after the scene and said, "You've had a huge smile during this whole movie." Yep, that's what Mikel is great at doing - putting a smile on your face.

I wanted to end this post with the poem my mom shared at her funeral services. It still brings tears to my eyes but it's a sweet reminder during these tough days that I need to focus on Mikel's life and the legacy of love she left behind.

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul's sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul's at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed.
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.

December 29, 2011

Our Christmas

So here's a little re-cap on the Sibert Christmas. We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve because Nick worked Christmas Day - which I was a little less than ecstatic about. But we made it work.

The little bit of purple on the tree is for Mikel. :)

The very first pic I took of Toby when he came down the stairs.

Toby checkin' out his new garbage truck.

Aspen is of course just interested in all the wrapping paper.

I'm not in any of the pics because I didn't want to scare you with my puffy, morning face. :) But my favorite present by far was my new tempur-pedic pillow. For months I have suffered from horrible neck pain and headaches. I thought it was a result from fragmented sleep until Aspen started sleeping longer stretches. I asked Nick for a nice pillow (meaning one that is more than $10) and boy did he deliver. A couple nights with it and I felt SO much more rested and I had virtually no neck pain. I was a new woman (Sheesh, I should do a commercial ). :)

December 1, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...La, la, la!

FYI -The title of this post and above image is an inside joke with my family ;)

It really feels like just a week ago I was blogging about Halloween. Anyone else feel like their life is in warp speed?

So here is a re-cap on November. On the 18th we celebrated my 29th birthday. It feels strange to be so close to 30 - though people still peg me as early twenties. I don't mind though...most of the time. :)
It was a great birth-week though. A couple days before my actual birthday, my parents took me out to lunch and spoiled me with some great gifts (my mom is THE most thoughtful gift-giver). But the best part of our luncheon was just being able to sit and chat about anything and everything. My parents are the best conversationalists. The day of my birthday Nick and I went out to lunch with little Aspen. My wonderful friend, Jen, watched the Toby-man for us. Then that evening Nick's parents came down from Logan to watch Toby so we could go to a birthday party that my friend Ashley threw for me and my other friend Amber (her birthday was on the 16th).

Left to Right: Ashley, Me, Amber. (And our funny Taylor friend in the back.)

Just a little background on my friends: I have been good buddies with Ashley since my High School days. We were on the Drill Team together. Amber and I have been besties since we were 9-years-old. They are sweet girls who I'm lucky to have known for so long. We've got some good history together.

But probably the best present of all came from Nick. A couple weeks before my birthday he asked me to give him a list of what I wanted for my birthday. #1 on my list was for him to take Sunday off. Have I ever mentioned that he works on Sunday? Sadly, he does. But you do what you gotta do to make a living eh? So last he took last Sunday off and I was in heaven. One of my friends saw me walk into church just beaming and said "Aw, it's like Christmas for you isn't it?" Yes, it was. Not only because I had extra help but because I've really missed having him sit next to me. And coming home together and having him help with dinner and bedtime was pure bliss. Yep, that was the best birthday present by far. :)

Thanksgiving was celebrated with Nick's family up in Logan. It was fun. Toby always has a blast with his cousins. The day after Thanksgiving was Mikel's birthday. She would have been 32-years-old. My family all got together at a church near my mom's house in North Ogden and did a second Thanksgiving in the name of Mikel. My mom put out a poster paper that said "Things we love about Mikel" and each of us wrote a few things and then gave it to Mikel's daughter, Azia. Then my mom, being the doting Grandma that she is, got out all these cool marshmallow guns for the grandchildren and we had a marshmallow fight in the gym. All the kids LOVED it. Afterwards, we watched "The Rarick Family Video." It's a DVD of all seven of us kids growing up. Each of us even have are own theme music hand-picked by my mom. When it came to the photo montage of Mikel, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. And the song my mom picked for her was absolutely perfect: "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel. I actually heard it on the radio a few weeks ago while driving near Mikel's old apartment and I just started sobbing. Especially on the part that says, "She's got a smile that heals me" because that was exactly Mikel. She lit up a room with her smile and laugh. I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that she was still around this time last year. I miss her so much. The holiday's just aren't the same when there is an empty chair at the dinner table. Don't misread me, I am incredibly grateful to know I will see her again someday. That is priceless knowledge for sure. It's getting used to her not being here in this life that is so difficult and heart-wrenching at times. But I know there are probably moments when she is close by. Maybe even seeing first-hand how little patience I have with Toby or smiling when I turn up a song by The Cure and say, "This is for you, Mikel." :) In just over a month though my sisters and I will be going through the Salt Lake temple for her. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am! Undoubtedly, it will be one unforgettable, sweet day.

So that was our November and now we are officially in Christmas mode. Nick has put up a few strands of lights on our house and today we bought and decorated our tree (Alaskan man mandates a real tree every year but if I had my way it would be 100% artificial). OK so I just realized I need to end this blog post and write up a grocery list but I want to share a quick thought about Nick. Every once in a while he surprises me with how well he compensates for what I lack with the kids. For example, a couple days ago Nick made a little calendar out of construction paper so Toby could count down till Christmas Day. And then earlier today he talked about making paper snowflakes with Toby to hang from our ceiling as you walk in the front door. Doing those kinds of things with Toby would never even cross my mind. Is that weird? I'm pretty good with keeping the kids fed, clothed, bathed, entertained, and for the most part, happy...but when it comes to anything "craft" related, I totally drop the ball. I'm glad I married someone who can make-up for my "non-crafty" ways. :)
OK, that is all. The end.