Monday, June 8, 2009

birthday celebrations, mother's day, & reflecting upon a tender mercy...

I'm so late posting about this stuff but I was trying to figure out some technical issues with my camera. Now that I've finally got a bazillion pictures downloaded from my camera to the computer (thanks, honey!) I have a ton to post and brag about.

* First...MOTHER'S DAY *

Brett and I are excited about the new tradition he's started. This year, he wanted to spend some one-on-one time with his mom and grandma, so he took them out to dinner. I got to thinking about this new tradition and how I'm sure I will love my children's spouses and my grandkids, but that I hope I will have opportunities here and there to have some quiet conversation, alone with my grown children. Anyway, Brett loved it! He mentioned it at least once for every one of the several days following. We hope LaRee & Dixie had fun, too. (That frame Dixie's holding is what we got her for Mother's Day. Her father, Hugo, passed away earlier this year (February). Back in September when Brett's brother, Tanner, left for his mission, I overheard Hugo & LaRee saying their goodbyes to him. Hugo used to be such a talker, but as time had gone on, he became more and more quiet. Sometimes he forgot people or conversations. So maybe it was wrong of me to eavesdrop (kind of hard not to when I'm sitting right next to him at Tanner's setting apart), but I couldn't help but wonder what Hugo would say. His memory had become so poor, did he even really understand what was happening? Instead of being confused, Hugo had never seemed so clear and I experienced a tender mercy as I observed him hugging his now MISSIONARY-grandson as he said so wisely, "Make us proud. Work hard. Do your best. Have no regrets. We love you." And that was it. That was all he said. But something within me said write this down. I took out a gum wrapper from my purse and scribbled it word-for-word, thinking someday Tanner might want a reminder of Hugo's advice and final goodbye. Later, when Hugo passed, I was so relieved I'd listened to the spirit and written it down. We sent a letter to Tanner, telling him the story and the quote. I don't know if he remembers Hugo saying that, I suspect he does. But I hope hearing it again brought comfort at a time when a missionary would long to be with family. When Mother's Day rolled around, we wanted to share this story with Dixie, this experience that had been so close to our hearts. We had Hugo's words engraved on a metal plate and attached them to the green frame. Inside the frame is a picture of Hugo, looking handsome and smiling so warmly. I couldn't help but think that Hugo's words may ring similar to what we as spirit children may have heard as we left the pre-existence: "Make me proud. Work hard. Do your best. Have no regrets. I love you." Such simple advice, but I think very profound and all-encompassing.
Here we are outside after a delicious (and filling!)
Mother's Day dinner:
the kids LOVE their cousins!
trying to get a shot of grandparents & grandkids
was a bit of a joke! the kids wanted to play rather
than hold still and "smile"...
Earlier that day, I'd awakened to the smell of something yummy coming from the kitchen. Brett treated me to his killer FRENCH TOAST (seriously, you've got to try it sometime...soooo good!) and a beautiful bouquet of pink roses that lasted for a very long time. My husband is incredibly thoughtful and romantic!
You can see in the picture below the remnants of the kids' surprise: homemade Mother's Day cards with stickers and crayon drawings.
Is there anything better???

* Second: My birthday*

Then, as if the month of May hadn't already started out so sweet, I had this fanTASTic birthday! It was all the more special because my parents came into town for me and I had my piano recital. I was completely on CLOUD 9!!!
I love my dad. He's the best hugger.

We went out to dinner with Joey (nephew), Cal & Wendy (brother & sister), and Nathan (another nephew) to Outback Steakhouse. I look so smokin' hot in the above picture because during afternoon hours before this I'd been in the middle of baking cookies for my recital refreshments when a pipe upstairs began to leak. After dealing with that fiasco (I now know where to turn our water off...would have been nice to know that beforehand...) and finishing up with the cookie mess (thanks again, Mom (and Halle)! You're still finishing up my cookie-making!), I was to a point where I just did not CARE how I looked and I'd run out of time to clean up really. So yeah...this is me saying, "I'M 29 (for the first time, mind you) AND A MOTHER OF 3 AND A PIANO TEACHER GETTING READY FOR A RECITAL AND MY FLOORS ARE TORE UP GETTING NEW TILE AND OUR HOUSE IS LEAKING WATER, SO IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE WAY I LOOK WHEN I GO OUT TO DINNER, STUFF IT!"

Wyatt was hungry and ready to eat.
The best thing about my parents is how much
fun I have when I am with them.
Suffice it to say we laugh.
We laugh hard.
And a lot.
They're the best!
* Next up: my totally awesome, use-it-every-week birthday gift from my in-laws. (It deserves it's very own post. Coming soon to a blog near you.)
Hope Sig1


Mandy said...

Hope... I love your blog. I am not always super great at keeping up with it (you dang private people!) but I love it. and I love you! And I am meeting more and more of your family and I love them too!! I feel like I need to come to your family reunion! :)

Dixie said...

What a gift you have of recording your thoughts! It was wonderful reading your sweet words and feeling that 'tender mercy' again. What a blessing you are!

Tif said...

Love the photo and quote. What a great idea! Something to be cherished forever!

Kristi said...

Happy birthday Hope! I'm glad it was a good one.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson