Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Scrapbook (1-19-2008) One Year - how can it be?

I had two very bad days. Major pity party for myself. So I just couldn't bring myself to scan and edit to post the album. Even though today has been hard, I just had to put this on today.

These feelings haven't diminished. I still miss him as much today as a year ago, and probably even more.

If you click on each page, it should enlarge the view so you can read it. I didn't know another way to do it, so I hope it works.

We went out last night for TESSA'S BIRTHDAY
and had a wonderful time. Today we went to Chase's basketball game then out to lunch with Grandpa Ray. We drove down to the cemetery and then spent some time with Grandma Mary. Patrick told me that he would be in a basketball tournament today. He said he would be wearing #10 for his dad. His team and friends were all going to be there to support him today, so I hope it went okay for him. He was definitely in our thoughts today as well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sorry - not as planned (1-16-2008)

I had three goals to accomplish today. (1) Pay bills and take care of paperwork on desk, (2) Scan album and post on blog site, and (3) Get Valentine decorations up so we have time to enjoy them.

I was lucky to get #1 90% finished. It amazes me how fast a day goes when you've got tons to do and you're working like crazy. Yet when you don't have much to do and you're just taking it easy, the day seems to stretch on forever. Okay, so maybe that makes sense, but it's still frustrating. I just wanted to do that today.


That's my Internet version of a primal yell. I feel better. Tomorrow's a new day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Journaling takes a lot of time and energy (1-15-08)

today is my brother's birthday. I wish I could have have given him an in person hug. He's so great. I love him and wish he lived closer. Here's a HUG across the web big brother. Love ya.

Second, my intentions of journaling every night have gone awry. By the time I get everyone in bed and do some picking up. It's already late enough that if I sit down to journal I'm going to get to bed late. I'm going to bed much earlier than I was about 3-4 months ago, but I'm still feeling so tired during the day. I've been exercising long enough now that I wouldn't think that would make me tired still. I don't know what's going on, but it's frustrating.

Third, today was a little difficult. I went to a funeral today. I didn't know this wonderful lady, but I know both of her sons and their families. I wasn't surprised to hear how amazing she was, because you can see her in her sons. She died from another very aggressive form of cancer. As I was getting ready to go. I realized that I was putting on some of the same clothes I wore just over a year ago for Mark's funeral. I don't think I allow myself to go there in my thoughts very often. It was strange as I thought about how I was feeling that day, and my heart was so heavy. I felt so much empathy for this man who had lost his sweetheart of 45 years, but also jealous that he had twice the time that I had. Don't get me wrong. I'm so happy they had all that time together. I just wish I could have had that much time with Mark. The other day I had a dear friend over for lunch for her birthday. I related to her the events that took place the last week of Mark's life. There were so many details that I couldn't remember. I never wrote it down. I wish I had. I almost feel like I've been living in some state of denial that is just now lifting. I'm a little numb this week.

Fourth, Tessa turns 9 on Friday. She is so excited. Tonight she is beyond elated. One of our neighbors has 8 baby dwarf hamsters. I told Tess she could have one, and we went and got all the STUFF tonight and got it all set up. We'll go pick one out tomorrow. She's already named it Princess. She must have hugged me a thousand times. Since I know we can't have a dog or a cat, this is the next best thing. We've tried fish, frogs and snakes, so this was the inevitable evolution. I just remembered a strange dream I had last night about going to Hogle Zoo. Where in the world did that come from?

Fifth, I have a "to-do" in my planner for tomorrow that I've put off for nearly a year. Remember my scrapbook titled "Miss You" about Mark that I promised to share? Well I made a goal to put it on here tomorrow. I figured I'll be more accountable to really do it if I write it down tonight.

Signing off - Hugs!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ouch! (1-9-2008)

Yesterday, Kristie and I worked our legs at the gym super hard. So hard that because I hadn't eaten enough carbs and protein before hand, I nearly passed out. It was super embarrassing. So today we went to this class I love called "Nia." I can't really describe it, but I love it. However, she had a super intense cardio class today with lunges, kicks, and I am so sore I can hardly move. I thought I was getting in better shape, but clearly I have a long way to go. I did go though, and that's better than not doing anything.

I think I'll stop there for tonight. Hugs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blustery Day (1-8-2008)

It has been blowing so hard all day today. Literally as I sit here, some of the gusts are so strong I've been praying that the windows hold. It's probably not as bad as it sounds, but it sounds bad. It's nights like this when I really wish I could curl up in bed with Mark's arms around me and just feel safe. I took way to many things for granted. We all do. It's human nature. I don't say these things to make anyone else feel guilty, but if I can make someone stop and appreciate one little thing about their spouse today then that's awesome. I'm not beating myself up for the things I did take for granted. I'm not feeling bad about what I didn't appreciate enough, because I know I was doing the best I could at the time. I'm always going to work harder at being a better person. Just in case I didn't write this down before, I'm going to get it on paper now. Not long after Mark died I was filled with regret about all the things I should have or could have done more for Mark. It had become so tense during the last month or so and my patience was thin. Did he know that I loved him with my entire soul? I went to the temple with the specific prayer that I would feel peace that I had done my best to care for Mark and that I would know that Mark knew of my complete love for him. I most definitely felt my prayer was answered and I was filled with peace. I needed to put this down permanently for myself. There have been times and will probably always be times that doubt and regret will creep back in. Being able to read what happened that day will help me to wipe those thoughts away. Sometimes when I'm thinking this way or writing about stuff like this, I picture Mark just laughing at me. He would think I'm funny for still being so insecure. I love him so much. I love you Mark!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday (1-7-2008)

I couldn't think of anything clever to title today's entry. Today I had one of those days where you get a lot taken care of, but you wouldn't know it by what you see. I was on the phone a lot today. I have a refund due me from a stupid company. I had some issues with my online banking. I needed to pay bills. I set up some of my bills with equal pay. I have all this mail that I don't know if I need or I don't. I was trying to buy tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters for Chase and I. So I did all of that today, and my house is still a wreck. So as I sit here looking around at my house, the only tangible thing I can see is that I didn't get my house picked up. I know for myself that I did tons of important stuff today, so why is it so hard to feel like a success. I keep having this reoccurring theme don't I.

My niece shared this with me the other day.
"I came over to your house to babysit while you were working on a float for July 24 Parade. It was right around the time Jaustin had been born and you guys lived in the avenues I think. So as I was making lunch for Patrick and Chase I noticed a little tablet on the counter that in your hand writing was a list of all the stuff you had to do. There was everything from laundry to craft projects. Below all of that was something that you had written to yourself about how you feel bad that you can't get everything done etc. Below that in Mark's handwriting was "Don't worry honey I love you." So I was like 17 and just thought, "He is the best husband. That's how I want my husband to be."

I was so glad that she shared that with me. That was so Mark. He balanced out my craziness. He got a kick out of my insanity with perfection. I just looked up on this piece of yellow legal pad where I took notes from a session with my counselor. In large letters outline with a box I wrote, "I DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT." I think I'm going to need to make it in super large vinyl letters and stick it to the walls of every room in my house, or it will never sink in. this is what I did well and right today. I got up (hey, sometimes that's a huge feat all by itself.) I had major snuggle time with Lucas after his nap. I don't think he's feeling very good. I got the bills paid. I did take care of odds and ends on the phone. The kids and I had a fun night for Family Night. We went grocery shopping (it's been a few days with no milk.) I ordered tickets for my date with Chase. I arranged a day to scrapbook with Kelley. I started the organizing process with my scrapbook stuff. We said family prayer. I turned in a paper Tessa needed at school. I got all of the appointments on my calendar. I WROTE IN MY JOURNAL.

My Saturday Night Live "Daily Affirmation" - I don't have to be perfect! Hey that's what I could have titled this. Oh well, I'll use it some other time. I'm sure this issue won't be gone anytime soon.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sick (1-5-2008)

Thursday night I decided to skip the journaling to try and get to sleep early enough to wake up Friday morning and start exercising again. Friday I wasn't feeling good and this morning it was worse. I'm feeling pretty good right now, but I can tell that some kind of bug is back. I felt I was just getting better after the cold that hit right before I left for Montana. Go figure.

Speaking of Montana, the kids and I went to spend Christmas with Patrick. We rented an awesome condo at the ski resort at Big Mountain near Whitefish. It was so cozy and fun. The kids hadn't seen Patrick since September. They were so excited to see him and spend time with him. Since we had a kitchen, we made some of our favorite foods. We even made our traditional Christmas morning egg casserole and sticky buns. It was a great to be all together. Patrick is doing well. He is working hard and making huge progress. I'm very proud of him.

There are so many things I want to remember that I find it hard to know what to put down. It's also more time consuming to write something that is going to be read in real time. I know in some of my old private journals I've probably written some things that I don't want anyone to read. Hmmm maybe I'd better go back and check? The perfectionist side of me doesn't help either. I type and retype a sentence trying to get it just right = perfect. I know it's MY FAULT in life. I'm working on that too, but it's who I am, so I just keep trying to do a little better every day.

I'm so blessed by FRIENDS. It's overwhelming as I sit here and try to put down on paper how amazingly lucky I feel to have the friends I do. I am lucky to have friends from this blog. Some I know and some I might not. I'm lucky for all of the friends from high school and college that are such a huge part of my life. All of our friends from Stanford, Holladay, Sugar House and now Draper. All of our friends from Mark's mission and all of the people Mark worked with. I know I was a lucky woman to have Mark, when I look at all of our friends. WOW! It is truly awesome. I am so blessed to have all of these people in my life. Seriously! I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world right this minute. I wish I could see, hug and tell each one of the people I've been picturing in my head, "Thank you, I love you, I'm so grateful to call you friend."

I wanted to thank the "friend" who posted in the guestbook, "You and the kids are a part of Mark and a connection that allows us to continue to feel him in our lives every time we read your thoughts and feelings ." It's true, and I realize that you all miss him so much too. I have been so caught up in how much I miss him that I forget how much everyone else misses him. I'm sad for all of us. This month is bringing up things that I think I've been repressing. I'm seeing something every day that is triggering thoughts and memories. Mark's been in a lot of my dreams. The one thing I want to do more than anything is put my arms around him or simply to feel his hand around mine. I've been wishing I had held his hand every chance I had. I wish I could hear his voice. I wish I could look at his beautiful face. I wish I could have been happier, because I was so lucky. I wish I'd said "I love you" more. Wishing doesn't make it happen, but I wish it just the same. I was lucky. I was loved completely and I loved completely. I am one lucky girl.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A good day - considering (1-2-2008)

Considering the fact that I went to sleep so late, and then had a horribly restless night of sleep, it was a good day. The funny thing is my house is still full of Christmas. The clutter is still there, despite recycling and throwing lots of stuff. The piles of laundry are almost all gone. Even though by outward appearance it doesn't look like I did ANYTHING today, I am feeling good. I got started and I can just do more tomorrow.

It was Kelley's birthday today. She is so awesome. We resolved to scrapbook more this year.

Tonight while Chase was at Mutual, Tess and I happened onto a funny show called "My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding." It was pretty fun. I was telling Tessa about my wedding. How fun it is to have a day when you really are a PRINCESS marrying your handsome PRINCE. It was the greatest day of my life. I realized that I do still remember some amazing details when I start talking about the day. I was so happy and excited to be starting this new life with the sweetest, most gorgeous man. We had all our family and friends to celebrate with us. The hardest part is when I think about this kind of stuff, I'm so grateful that we had the life we had, but what I wouldn't give just to hear him say "I love you so much" or put his arms around me and pull me close for a dance. This May would have been 19 years. It's strange to base life on what "it would have been" or on "how long he's been gone," but that's what happens. How can it be almost a year?

The monitor in Lucas' room is picking up the sound of him sucking on his "Binka." I thought he just couldn't say "Bink' ee," but then I realized that I've been calling it "Binkus" for a long time. He's very attached to it. It's not going to be an easy break, but I'm not going to worry about it just yet. It brings him joy and it definitely helps bring peace when he's grumpy. He's not ever really grumpy. He is so much fun. I've said it before, but I so believe that Mark was divinely inspired when he said we would regret not having "one" more. I thought it was crazy. It even seemed crazier when we found out right before Lucas was born that Mark had cancer. I remember thinking it just wasn't right. In fact there were times when I thought that there just had to be a miracle for Mark. God wouldn't prompt Mark to have another baby and then take Mark away. How could God not let Mark be here to watch his new son grow up, or leave me to raise four kids. I don't remember when exactly I realized that maybe that was exactly why God sent Lucas. Lucas was exactly what I needed and what his brothers and sister needed.

The hardest part about journaling is that my mind is racing with all kinds of things I want to write about and remember, but I can't stay up for hours every night trying to get it all down. Maybe that was the problem with my sleeping last night. My mind was churning so much from thinking, that it couldn't stop for another couple of hours. I might have to write in the mornings. I'll test out my theory tonight. Until the next time.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year (1-1-2008)

My house is still decked with Christmas decor. I have piles of laundry from our trip to Montana. And I've got clutter everywhere that needs to be put away, thrown away or given away. But I don't care, because I enjoyed this last day of winter break by going with Chase and Tessa and the King's to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. Then when we got home, Chase and Tessa both went off to play with friends and I got to snuggle up with Lucas and finish watching the end of "Aladin" until he fell asleep with his little hand in mine. It was a great start to a new year.

It's almost the very end of this first day of the new year. I should be asleep. That was one of my resolutions - to get to bed earlier. Thank goodness there's tomorrow. Another resolution I made was to journal my life better. A few weeks before Christmas I came across some Franklin Planner pages from the year 1989. I had kept the pages where I had recorded specific events and journaling leading up to and a few months after Mark and I got married. Reading about my own feelings back then was such a joy. I'm so glad I have that small glimpse into my life at that time. My current memory has forgotten all the wonderful details. I'm sad when I think about all the memories I don't have written down. Thus the resolution to start writing again. I thought about whether to do it on the blog or to do it privately. For now I'm going to do it here, because it keeps it all in one place. I know there are a few who check to see if I'm still writing. Hugs and kisses to all of you. I think I started to feel that I just didn't have anything important to share anymore. I had even drafted my final goodbye blog, but I just couldn't post it. Over the last 24 hours I decided that this is cathartic for me. I'm doing this for me. I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't write every night, but I will be sad. This is my history. This is who I am and what I'm about.

All day I've been thinking about how it's kind of funny that I feel like January 1st is really a brand new start. Why is that? Why is this the only day that we can start fresh? I know it's just a traditional fresh start, but why did it feel physically different to me today? My mind actually felt like a weight from the previous year of "have to's" was gone, and here I am starting with a clean slate. The fact is I can start with a clean slate every day. I could even start fresh at any second of the day. If I want to keep progressing in this physical state, that's what I must keep doing. I must never give up. I can repent and I can resolve to change each and every day. Mark always used to get frustrated with the way I would look at things. I was pretty much "the glass is half empty" kind of person. I would get so focused on what we weren't doing right, that I couldn't see what we were doing right. That would make me feel like such a failure. I don't think I'm terribly alone in this type of destructive thinking. I'm really trying my best to turn these thoughts around. It's not easy. I've been doing it for a long time, but the fact is I'm more aware of it now. I'm going to try to be more forgiving of myself and my faults and try to focus on my good points.