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.


Kristina said...

That will be such a neat experience to go through the temple for your sister. I know you'll remember it your whole life.

BeeP said...

You are so cute! Love your thoughts on Nick and Mikael. Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like you had a great day!