Monday, December 8, 2014

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)

This was a BIG week.  I mean HUGE!  This post is also that!  Apologizing up front!

dear bryce, good job on your ad for your park in Vegas!  I'm glad it has some purple lights!  Wonder who influenced you to do that?  Hah!
I am excited to see how you do this season!  I wish I was closer so I could see it!  It looks amazing!

dear in search of the perfect christmas tree, as we headed to go get a tree, Dave noticed a car off to the side of the rode facing the other direction, so he slowed down and said he better go see if they needed help.  I'm embarrassed to say I balked about it a bit because I wanted to get done what we had planned, but he set a good example and was a good Samaritan and stopped to help.  I felt really bad that I even hesitated to help.  I guess I wasn't sure there was anything we could do, but the boys helped to get the guys tire off which was a huge help.  I'm glad we stopped.
We headed to our usual place to get our tree but they didn't have a very good selection of the kind we always find there.  They weren't picked over because it was early in the season, but we weren't happy with any of the ones they had and so we headed to their other tree lot about 15 miles away.  Happily we found the perfect tree there!  It didn't take us too long.  We are getting good at this.  In years past, it would take us forever to choose one.
We made our selection and loaded her up and as we were getting in the car, McKay asked if we had to stick to our tradition of going to Village Inn for dinner after since we were right by Texas Roadhouse and he said that would be so much better.  I must be getting soft in my old age because I said that was okay with me.  Kind of even surprised myself!  We have gone to Village Inn after getting our tree for close to 20 years!  But...I was okay with what they wanted to do.  The decision was unanimous and so we headed to Texas Roadhouse.
Daves attempt at a selfie ↑
We decided to ask the waiter to take one instead.  McKay's eyes are closed, but this is the best we got.  Even though the food was great, I was kind of sad we broke the tradition and was craving those Village Inn crepes!  Next year, it's back to Village Inn for breakfast and hot chocolate!

dear mr. cat, ahhh-dorable!  You do not like the cold and so if it's too cold for you (you decide by standing at the door we hold open for you and sniff into the air) you go sit on my window seat and look out at the world dreaming of summer days of warmth and freedom.

dear tyson's angelversary, this day is so unpredictable.  Some years the week leading up to it are hard for me and the day is just fine, other years, like this one, the day is really hard.  
I started it off by forcing myself out on a run even though I really didn't want to go.  I'm really glad I went because it was a really beautiful and sunny day. I think the run really did me some good and so I am glad I got out.

Seeing my pal Izzy always cheers me up too!

I wore my Tyson necklace today as seemed appropriate.

I also tried to remember this as I always try to do:
  I have come to learn that Facebook has really been a blessing to me on this day because I hear from so many great friends who help to lift me and to also mourn with me on this day.

This year my post said:
Cherished memories fill my heart today for my beloved son Tyson. Nine years ago today heaven was blessed with one earth's most amazing souls. How I miss his physical presence near me daily, though I do feel his spirit around me often. There will always be a deep hole in our hearts where his laughter, humor, wit, smile, mischievousness, kindness, bravery, courage, love, and mostly his giggle no longer reside except in our memories. So grateful for those 17 years worth of time being able to make those wonderful memories together. I and miss you bud. I'm sure you are hanging from some heavenly palm tree today providing entertainment for those above. _̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡ FOREVER in our hearts...

 I added these pictures (some to my timeline and some to Tyson's Memorial Page)

Then his friend Sam (the one in the middle) posted this:

 (I just copied and pasted and didn't edit it. Do you have any idea how hard that was? I have decided I am a born editor!  hah) 

It's Tuesday December 2, 2014... 9 years ago... on Friday December 2th, 2005 i was at the high school.. just got done cheering a the basketball game , standing in the parking lot, when my phone rang .. i knew at that very second what your mom was going to tell me ... i remember the feeling like it was yesterday, i couldn't breathe, stand , think straight, stop shaking, sat down by my car door an sobbed, I had to call Matt your best friend..your mom had tried and tried and couldn't reach him. . . The phone rang.. my heart sank into my stomach. . Wanted to puke! He met me in the parking lot and we cried and laughed cried some more and laughed even harder thinking of you.. the memories we have will last a lifetime! Amazing young man, a full of life 17 yr old boy, a jokester , the best pen pal more than you would want the kid you only hear and see about in movies, the strongest bravest fighter.. that would take no as a challenge  to prove you wrong. The kindest tender hearted person you would ever meet. One of my best friends ad partner i crime. His mom is the most strong amazing woman i have the pleasure to call my second mom Jodi ! His brothers are like my own, Mr Bryce asked me to marry him 9 years ago so i could always be in your family! Your sweet dad told me right before you passed to tell me that you loved me.. still breaks my heart and puts the biggest smile face to think about it, & when you told me to dumb Matt .. and date you..because you were better looking then him anyways.. It seems so unreal that it was 9 years ago that i lost one of my best friends, a friend that had changed your life in ways you couldn't even imagine yet. Miss my Best friends more than you can ever imagine.

Oh my...just reading that really hit me hard just remembering that day and night.  I shed quite a few tears while reading it.  It was a tough thing, but I truly am grateful that he no longer has to suffer and that we had him for those 17 years that we did.  I feel like the luckiest person alive that I got to be his mother and have him near me for 17 years and even though I no longer have him with me (at least physically), I will always be his mother and I will have that boy as mine forever because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I truly am a blessed person.

As always, my dear friends sent me wonderful cards and gifts.  I am not sure how they always remember, but they do.  Jen sent me flowers, Bonnie brought over a wonderful book, and Audrey dropped by our traditional Chocolate Ecstasy.  We take them one in February on their son's Angelversary.
I truly appreciate their wonderful cards and words and such generous gifts.  Those are what help get me through this hard day each year.  I truly have been blessed with the most amazing friends. 

dear sista christmas party, I had planned this party for our group on Dec. 3rd, but Carla (who was hosting) had to move it to Dec. 2nd.  As soon as I heard of the change, I wasn't sure if I would be going.  That is never a good day for me and I rarely feel like doing much, especially partying.  But I knew that Tyson would want me to be there and to be with my dear friends and having fun instead of sitting home and feeling sad and so I decided to go.  I am so grateful I did.  They were such a great support to me and I just love being near them all.  We had a good time and I felt so much better after.
We were few in number, but I was so glad for those that came.
We had quite the spread of yummy food!  Carla is a great hostess!  She has the mostess that is for sure!  I learned that she had a really bad year last year due to depression and was even in the hospital.  I had no idea.  I am glad she so openly shared it with us because I'm sure her openness will help someone that is also struggling.  I felt so bad for her and realized there is just so much heartache in the world and in everyone's lives.  It made me feel extra blessed that I have not had to deal with that deep kind of depression.  Losing Tyson was definitely a depressing time for me, but I was so blessed that I was able to be able to carry on when I needed to for my other boys.  I realize that is not really a common thing.  I have been blessed with the ability to convince myself that I have a choice of how I would react to it all and I emphasize BLESSED because I know not everyone has that choice.  Depression is a physical thing and if it is in your DNA, you will not have a choice.  You will need help to deal with it.  I truly hurt for those that have to deal with it because I know how difficult it was to deal with what I did and I know it could've been so much worse. 
I sure love these women! Talk about a blessing in my life!

We exchanged gifts and I somehow ended up with the beautiful message that Jolene brought.  She made it herself and the message brought me to tears. It was exactly what I needed today.  A tender mercy.

Everyone got some fun stuff!

I gave Bonzo the OMG sign that I bought for her eons ago but couldn't find it.  I had to embellish the photo of it because it got lost in the background. She has been struggling the past while as well and I just love this girl.   
Such great women!
We have so much fun together!
We set the timer on my camera and it took a photo every second for seven times.  So we got a lot of great pictures. I laughed so hard when I saw EACH one, that I HAD to collage them and add them because I couldn't choose which was best!  So here ya go! (Click to enlarge)
My fave ↓

YEP!!! I have everything then!

Okay, maybe this one is my favorite!

dear mean dog on my run, whenever I do hill repeats (usually on Wednesday) there is a little dog at the end of one of my hills.  I usually try and do 15 hill repeats and so I see her at least seven times. She is never happy to see me.  She yaps and runs out to show me who is boss.  One day as she was flapping her yapper at me, I just stopped and talked to her calmly and got down to her level and tried to get her to settle down.  She stopped barking and finally came close to me and kissed my hand and wagged her tail.  Now every time I run past her house, she just sits there all calm.  Not sure how she knows it's me, but she does.  On this week's hill repeats she just sat there and watched me each time and so on my last one I went over and pet her.  Now she is the sweet dog on my run.  I sure love animals!

dear taylor, oh I am so happy you were asked to be on a city basketball league with some of your old basketball buds that also played with you for Box Elder. Now your Mama can once again watch you play and reminisce about all those fun days watching you play all those years that she misses terribly.  All of these guys are older than you and so it was quite an honor for them to ask you to play with them.  You guys are a force to be reckoned with!  You won your first two games, and I am sure you will win most of them since you were all starters in high school.  I am going to have fun watching you play again.  I have missed it.  The best part is you will have to drive home from USU each week for your games and that means I will get to see you at least once a week once you head to Logan!  Yay for basketball!

dear penny from heaven, I was really sad that I didn't find a penny on Tyson's angelversary.  I did find a heart shaped rock, but I really wanted to find a penny. I never did, but the next morning while running I found one in the oddest of places that I have ran past a million times and never thought a penny would be there.  But there she was.  I knew that meant it was from you.  You were probably either too busy that day or knew that I had so much support and love on that day already and so waited because you knew I would need it the next day more. 

dear random photo I found, I found this photo of Sky and Jeremy and Crystal in Hawaii on Skyler's boat, and looking at it warmed my heart and made me wish it was summer already!  I thought it was so cute of all of them.

dear bishop dave, this is going to be quite a weekend for you.  Due to the upcoming change of our current stake presidency, you will be getting interviewed this weekend by an apostle!  Elder M. Russell Ballard to be exact.  As well as an area seventy general authority, Elder Laing.  Your interview is Saturday at 11:37 am.  Kind of crazy!  We had to take this photo to send in for the interview.  Everyone keeps telling me that you are going to be the new one, but I just brush them off telling them that is NOT going to happen!  When I ask you if you have any inklings of being chosen, you just brush it off telling me that you wouldn't say either way.  You have always been good at keeping things to yourself.  Too good!  As for me, I am hoping for this weekend to hurry and get over so I can quit worrying!

dear homemakers christmas luncheon, I was so excited to go to you but on my way home from my run, I ran into (literally) a friend that was pulled off to the side of the road.  I don't usually make a habit of even looking into cars that are pulled off, but he had his window open and yelled out at me. It was our good friend Troy.  We chatted for a LONG time mostly about his landscaping woes, but he did a little speculating about Dave being called to be the new Stake President.   I have been getting a lot of that lately.  I just tell them I have the final say because if I don't sustain him then it's a no go!  hah  Anyway, I knew that I needed to end the chat and get home so I would have time to get to you.  I ended up having to call Taylor to come and give me a ride the rest of the way home so I would have time to shower and get there.  It was being held at Shauna Thompson's house and when I arrived (only about 5 minutes late) everyone was already seated and eating!  I asked them if it started at 12:30 and they said that it started at noon, but half thought it started at 12:30.  Didn't look like half because everyone at my table was pretty much done eating.  Oh well.  I was still glad I went.  She gave us a home tour and it was gorgeous. I thought to myself I better go drive through the trailer park on my way home so I don't get too covetous.  Here are some photos of her home.  

After we finished with dinner we headed over to Stacy Jardine's for dessert.  Her home is also beautiful.  It has a more lived in feel though and so I felt better.  haha  Don't get me wrong, I love my home, but it needs so many things done right now. The list is endless!  The money is not!  So I know I have to be patient.  Beth (our President of the organization) actually asked if we could do this at my home this year.  She asked me last year as well, but this year I thought I would be in Vegas visiting Bryce.  It didn't work out that way and so she probably thinks that was just an excuse to get out of it.  I honestly don't need that kind of stress right now...trying to get it perfect for something like this. Especially for this group because we tour homes all the time.  We had dessert and played the candy bar game. I ended up getting my Dove Bar swiped from my hands, but at the end Lynda said she would trade me the Dove Bar for my Skittles that I got stuck with because he kids love Skittles. Now that is a TRUE friend! 

dear second lunch in one day, it was the birthday of one of the ladies I visit teach and so we wanted to take her to lunch, but since I had my Homemaker's party, we settled on doing it at 2:30 after it was over.  I met her and my partner at Idle Isle.  I just ordered a side salad since I had already eaten, but we had fun visiting for quite a while. I forgot to take a picture!  I need to remember to do that better! 

dear starving taylor, this kid LOVES to eat!  He asked me to make him waffles for lunch one day this week and let me tell you, he knows how to eat a waffle.  He does know how to smile, but since he did this facial expression on purpose, I won't worry too much about it.  Whenever I take his picture, he tries to make a new face.  I guess I should just be glad he even lets me take his picture.  Hah!  He lost over 20 lbs. on his mission and so far he has gained about five back.  I need to make him more "waffs" I guess.

dear shocking gas prices!  Shocking in the other way!  $2.42 a gallon?  Wow!  That hasn't happened for so long I thought it was blog worthy!  Now let's just hope it keeps going lower!

dear robin, I was excited that we got to spend so much time together on Saturday.  It ended up being a really good thing...I'll get to that later.  First off, we headed out around 8 a.m. for a run.  We got in a good seven +plus miles.  It's always so much more fun when with a friend.  There are times I love to run alone, but also times I love to have company.

After coming home and showering, we headed to the local Christmas Boutique.  We found a couple things, but the funnest part was talking to Ethan.  He is the nicest and happiest kid in town. He had a brain tumor which affected him in various ways and so he makes origami to sell.   You often see him riding a large three wheeled bike on Main Street selling his origami.  We bought snowmen from him and gave him a little extra than he was charging.  We told him we wanted a picture with him, and I think that made his day.  At least, it did ours!
 After that we went to the city Home Show put on by the Civic Club.  Our first stop was Julie Hulse's home and it was amazing!  I wish I would have taken more pictures, but suffice it to say, it was the most decorated home for Christmas I have ever seen.  She had four decked out Christmas trees as well!  Just so gorgeous.  Very tastefully done.  Then we hit a few more and then some in Willard.   

dear life changing phone call, I was in a very old home on the tour in Willard when I got a call from Dave telling me that I needed to get to the church as soon as possible.  My heart stopped.  My stomach fell.  I am pretty sure I also stopped breathing.  I knew what that meant.  Since Robin had drove, I had to have her take me to meet him half way at Shopko.  On the way there I kept saying to her, "I am going to be sick! I'm going to be sick!"  Oh, the nerves!  And the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach!  She also knew what it meant. 

The full story is HERE.

But for this post I will just sum up with the short version...

I was interviewed by Elder M. Russell Ballard along with Dave and he was called to be our new Stake President.  The entire rest of the weekend was a whirlwind and I wasn't sure if I would ever get my heart to start up again.  
Like a lamb going to the slaughter!  hahaha
 Dave took this picture of me as I am about to enter my fate for the next TEN years! 

I saw this sign on one of my runs this week, and now I know why! 

We then got ready and headed back over to the church for dinner.  All of the Bishop's and Stake Presidency were invited.  It was great when Elder Ballard walked in and went around and shook everyone's hand.  He was pretty good at not revealing too much but he did give my hand an extra squeeze.  
 I took this sitting at our table.  The man on the left is Dave's first counselor and you can see Elder Ballard in the middle.  It was amazing having dinner with an apostle.  I was still reeling and spinning but luckily I sat by Nadine who is married to his first counselor and so she knew it was Dave and so I felt like we could chat a bit.  She was also overwhelmed, but still pretty calm.  Of course, I was as well on the outside, but on the inside...there was a raging storm churning up my stomach! 
After the dinner we headed into the chapel.  The meeting wasn't to start for another 45 minutes, but the entire place was full.  It's so rare to ever get an apostle to come to Stake Conference that everyone wanted to be there.  

The meeting was wonderful!  Every talk was just for me!  Every song was just for me!  I needed it all so much and I was so moved and touched by it all.  I was on the verge of tears the entire meeting.  Elder Ballard asked to be excused before everyone left so he could get home to his wife who was ill.  We all stood up as he left.  It was a great meeting. 

 Then the doorbell rang and it was the missionaries looking for Dave.  I fed them some pizza and then took their picture to send to their moms.  They are such cute Elders.  I really enjoy these two. 

The rest of the night is a blur...but we both were wide awake at 4:00 a.m. talking about the whole thing and what Dave was going to say during the meeting.  He had been given five minutes. I'm not sure why he worried because he always does such an amazing job when he speaks.

Then off to Stake Conference (with a stomach full of butterflies) we went.  We arrived 45 minutes early but the tabernacle was already packed.  Obviously everyone wanted to come and hear Elder Ballard and who the new Stake Presidency would be.

When Elder Laing stood up, I grabbed Dave's hand and nearly squeezed it off as he got ready to announce the new President.  He read Dave's name and as he stood up, I took in a deep breath and tried to just breath.  It was crazy.  His counselors were sitting by us too.  All three within about five pews.  As he left to take the stand, I said, "See ya in 10 years!"  They all took the stand and then Dave spoke first.  He sounded like a Stake President right off the bat.  
 Elder Ballard did a great job on his talk.  All the talks leading up to it had an Elder Ballard story, starting with Dave's. One of the things Dave said was, "I also have an Elder Ballard story", because Pres. Kotter told one last night.  Everyone laughed.

After the closing song Elder Ballard stood up and announced that tomorrow night he wanted the entire stake to attend a FHE at the church to thank the outgoing stake presidency and to welcome the new ones.  He told everyone to be there at 7:00 and count it as FHE.  That was a first!  It's such an amazing experience to have an apostle visit! 

  After the meeting, we made our way up to a room in the tabernacle for the setting apart with both sets of our parents and McKay and Taylor.  The counselor's had their entire families there as well.  It was crowded.  Elder Ballard was very business like and got things going quick.  Dave was set apart first by HIM!  Oh my, I couldn't believe he was getting set apart by an apostle!  That doesn't happen to very many Stake Presidents!  He was so fortunate!  We all were because he also blessed us in it.  He blessed me by name!  And he also blessed my children and grandchildren "as they come".  That brought me to tears!  It was such an amazing blessing. SO. AMAZING!  Then Pres. Davis set apart his first counselor and then Elder Ballard asked Dave to set apart his second counselor.  That had to be nerve racking with an apostle in the circle!  But he did an great job. 

After Elder Ballard told us that we could stay around and love each other as long as we wanted, but he was going home! He did shake everyone's hands first though.  He mentioned to Taylor that he was very tall and he told my Mom that she had a wonderful daughter.  Oh my!  That totally made my day! 
 Sister Ballard is so sweet.  She has the prettiest smile.

I'm still looking like a deer caught in the headlights

With President and Sister Davis.

And THIS!  Oh my! I am so happy to have this photo!  I think I will frame it so I will always remember this day!  What a blessing to have this!    
 As he was walking out, he kind of punched my arm and said, "Now Jodi behave yourself and don't run yourself to death.  You don't have to run a marathon every day."  I just laughed and was surprised he knew I ran marathons!  It was so cute.  He is like this sweet grandpa.

We all walked out together to his car.  Just us, the Davis', Elder Laing, and the chauffeur.  That was it.  The entire place had cleared.  We walked behind them and it just felt like family.  It was so crazy because it felt like it.  I can't even explain it. I truly felt a bond with him.  Who knows why or how?  He was just so down to earth and personable, nothing like I thought he was from watching him at conference. 
President Davis later told me that as he was getting in the car, Elder Ballard told him that the stake was in great hands.  Pres. Davis said something like, "Are you sure?" and he said that yes it was in very good hands.  Then he added, "That Jodi is a spunky little thing!"  Oh my!  I am not sure what that means!  haha 

Sadly my boys had gone to the car instead of hanging around.  When we got in the car I said, "Wow, I was blessed by name by an apostle!"  Taylor said, "That's nothing!  He blessed my kids!"  That kid is always so funny.  He reminds me more and more of Tyson all the time.

We got home and immediately the doorbell rang with great friends bringing us treats and cards. 
 It was such a big day!  And Dave had to leave again to go meet with Pres. Davis to get oriented on some things.  I tried to take a nap but couldn't.  Our neighbors, the McCarley's invited us over for dinner to pay Dave and Bryce back for helping them re-do their bathroom.  Too bad Bryce isn't around because they fed us steaks!  It was really yummy!  We were on a time crunch though because Dave had to be back at the church at 7:00.  They are great neighbors.  We tried to do a little missionary work and hinted that the First Presidency Christmas devotional was on at 6:00, but they didn't seem too interested.


One that will go down in infamy! Hah!  Isn't that what was said about Dec. 7th?   

Here's what I posted on Facebook:
Well, today is definitely a day that will live in infamy. We couldn't help notice the irony of today's date as the day chosen to reorganize our stake presidency. It's been a very stressful and overwhelming two days (to say the least). My heart has finally started to beat again. Thank you to so many for your love and support in sustaining us in this huge endeavor we are about to undertake. Being able to visit with an apostle of the Lord and feel his amazing spirit has strengthened my testimony in ways I didn't think possible. The past 30 hours have left me with no doubt in my mind that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and he is at the helm. We are both feeling VERY inadequate and under qualified, but we are counting on the Lord to somehow miraculously make us equal to the task set before us as Dave now serves in this new calling. The worst part of the whole thing is realizing how old and decrepit we will be when he is finally released. Prayers most welcomed and appreciated. ~~~ Deep breath..

I got so many great comments that I want to add them all here but it would take too much room. But they made me feel so much better and strengthened me so much. I will need to go back and read them when I start to worry and doubt. 

This is what I posted with the photo:
The calm after the storm. Taken after the setting apart yesterday. A treasured memory that will remain forever in my heart. After he set Dave apart, a huge feeling of peace overcame me. What an honor to just be in Elder Ballard's presence. That alone may make this all worth it.  ☺— feeling blessed.
It really was so amazing how I felt after being in Elder Ballard's presence.  It was such an incredible feeling like I was on a spiritual high, but also like I had been purified or something.  I felt like I had just been baptized.  It was so strong. I had been given an apostolic blessing through Dave's setting apart blessing and I could tell.  The feeling was so being in heaven.  This whole thing has made me stronger and more determined to be a better person and really try and live so I can always feel that way.  

For the entire story go HERE

Here's a few quotes I needed:


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