August 24, 2013

Toby goes to kindergarten

My little Tobester is officially a kindergartener! I've been perusing through some of the early days with the T-man and I really can't believe how fast this day came.


From Toby's birth until he was around 14 months old, we lived in a rental home in Provo. We had an elementary school right across the street from us and I can vividly remember taking walks and watching the kids run and play on the playground. I also remember thinking I couldn't imagine Toby doing that, it just seemed so far away.



It really feels like just yesterday I was a sleep-deprived mama trying to figure how to get my very sensitive and alert baby boy to sleep through the night.
And now, here we are.



Toby's attending Lakeview Academy Charter school in Saratoga Springs (about 5 miles away). It wasn't something I planned on. I just put his name in the lottery, he got it in, it felt right and now he's going there. So far I'm impressed with the staff, administration and organization of the school. But most importantly, I'm happy that Toby is happy. He's eager to go and comes home smiling. In fact, he was so excited for his first day of school, he told me in the car that he wanted me to just drop him and I didn't need to walk him in. But of course I walked him in and then had a hard time walking away.

So proud of you, my handsome little man.

August 19, 2013

Rarick Family Reunion

July 26th and 27th was the Rarick family reunion. Unfortunately, only 4 out of the 7 siblings were able to make it (I like to think Mikel was able to visit for a bit though :) ). This was the first of hopefully many more reunions. We definitely had a blast those couple of days.

Day 1 - Lagoon

The older I get the more I detest the extreme temperatures. It was around 100 degrees while we meandered from ride to ride. 
Way. too. hot. 
But Toby still braved lots of rides and loved hanging out with his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. 
Where is Aspen? We felt it would just be a long, hot, and miserable day for her. So we hired, Cassie, a favorite babysitter, to watch her for the day at our home. They had a much cooler (temperature-wise) fun-filled day.


Day 2 - Hangout at the park...er...Stake Center!

We had plans to do some water games and a BBQ at a park. Good thing my mom plans ahead and reserved the Stake Center in case of inclement weather. It poured all day long.

So some of you know my family, some of you don't. Thus, I will give a run down of names and ages:




Mom and Pop: Pam and Kevin Rarick - age 65 and 67, live in North Ogden



(I don't know how I managed to not take a picture of my mom...what kind of daughter am I?)

Siblings:
Beckie - age 41, lives in Palmer, Alaska (absent)
Jake - age 38, lives in San Diego, California (absent)



Terry (goes by Terence) - age 37, lives in South Jordan, UT (he HATES having his picture taken, ^ this was the only one I could get)


Tim ^ - age 35, lives in Rexburg, ID
Mikel - should be 33 now, lives in Heaven :)
Me - age 30, lives in Eagle Mountain, UT
And last but not least...


Vanessa ^ - she turned 25 on Day 2 of the reunion, lives in Eagle Mountain, UT
So that's the fam at a glance.

We had an obstacle course and some guess-who games (my mom read off certain attributes/talents about all of the siblings and our kids had to guess who she was talking about).

Brother Tim serenaded us with a little Coldplay...

video

Most of time though, the kids just ran around and played with each other and toys, courtesy of the nursery.






Some random pics of Ness and Tim...





Aspen and Eleanor. Born about 2 weeks apart.


After the Stake Center shenanigans, we headed to my parents neighbor's home to swim in their pool. 





Always fun hanging out with my hilarious, movie-quoting, awesome family. We sure missed those who weren't able to make it though. 

And here are just some randoms from the summer. Enjoy.








Toby starts Kindergarten on Wednesday! You better believe I'll be documenting that day. :)

August 11, 2013

Holland

Yesterday I attended the funeral for Holland Young, daughter of Aleta and Bryan Young. It was a tender and difficult experience. But before I discuss the details and emotions of that day, I would like to first give a little background on mine and Aleta's relationship.

Aleta and I were buds and coworkers at Authorize.Net. Quite often you could find us exchanging quotes from "The Office" and sharing some microwave popcorn from the break room together. I loved talking and laughing with Aleta. She is sweet, down-to-earth, and one of those people I could just talk to forever. Not only that, she was easily one of the few I really missed seeing on a daily basis after I quit working and Toby became my full-time job. However, we continued to set-up lunch dates to catch up on life. A little over a year after Toby was born, baby Holland was born. Aleta and I still had our lunch hang-outs and began to share stories of breastfeeding and parenting woes. I had the privilege of meeting Holland on a few of those lunch dates.  I smile thinking about Aleta sharing a Cafe Rio salad with Holland and not being able to get the food in her mouth fast enough. Holland was a true foodie! At another lunch date I remember a few scowls from Holland. It cracked me up. She wasn't quite sure of me, which did not bother me at all. I loved that she was her own person and didn't put on a front on for anyone. What Aleta and I really connected over was the non-stop energy and both Toby and Holland had. We exchanged all kinds of stories about how they seemed to be one of the few kids that could go, go, go and never run out of steam. And never fall asleep in public - no matter how tired they were. I loved reading about all the adventures with Holland on Aleta's blog. She was a crackup and seemed to love and live life to the fullest.

Not long after Holland's 3rd birthday, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After a 14-month valiant battle, that included 5 surgeries and 7 months of chemo, she passed away. The news hit hard. I instantly grabbed Toby and Aspen and gave them a teary hug.

As said, I attended Holland's funeral services yesterday. Most of those who attended were in yellow, as it was Holland's favorite color. It was a beautiful, humbling sight. I loved hearing all the stories of Holland's life, but what was truly touching were the words from her daddy describing their sweet friendship and bond.

Aleta, I sure love you. As a mother, my heart breaks for you. I hope you feel the arms of the Savior carrying you through this. I will continue pray for you and your precious family. Holland was truly a one-of-a kind, beautiful girl who will never be forgotten...