Tuesday, August 31, 2010

School is in session!

Our kids started school last week...

Coleman is a big first grader and couldn't wait to eat lunch at school and have more than one recess. Lucky boy :).

Liv is a big fourth grader and is excited to be participating in Service Club this year.

Both of them have great teachers and we are looking forward to a great year.

(I'd be lying if I said that I didn't breathe a big sigh of relief when they were both safely dropped off on the first day. So far though, my planned daily naps with Sophia haven't happened... I haven't started exercising yet... I still can't keep up on housework, laundry, blogging, or dishes... and we've already had a few stressful mornings, but we are going to find our groove soon and I'll accomplish so much, I just know it.)

**Were you excited for school to start?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Real Life Heroes

I was checking out at my favorite store this morning (Costco :)) and caught a glimpse of this wonderful lady. She is Mary Ellen Edmunds, author, speaker, and person extraordinnaire. She taught at the MTC while I was there preparing for my mission and I grew to love her humility, humor, and down-to-earth attitude about life and trials. I debated for about a millisecond whether or not I was going to say anything... after all, I don't know her personally, but I sure feel like I do.

I approached her and she got a big huge smile on her face.

I said, "I'm sure you get this all the time... but you're Mary Ellen Edmunds, right?"

She kept smiling (that was encouraging) and nodded. I blurted out, "I love you!" and she gave me a big hug.

I told her how she was a teacher at the MTC when I was there and she indulged me by asking when I was there, where I had served and we shared a few more comments about the wonderfulness of the MTC. She was just as gracious and kind as I have gathered from hearing her speak and from reading her books.

In the following moments, I thought a bit about real people (not celebrities, superstars, or characters in books or movies) that are my heroes. There are so many. When my granddad passed away I got to meet another one... Anne Osborn Poelman... who authored a few books that I love and was a family friend. I approached her too to tell her that I loved her.

I am sure both Mary Ellen and Anne (we should be on a first name basis, right?) thought I was a little bit nuts for my enthusiasm.... but these are two women who have helped shape me. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to tell them so.

**Who are your real life heroes?
**If you saw one of them in a public place would you approach them?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Moving Forward with Faith

This last week things have been hard. We are still trying to make sense of it all and find some normalcy in life. I admit that I have spent a lot of time and shed a lot of tears wondering how I could have changed things, or asking a whole slew of "what if?" questions. I know that we can't hit the rewind button (how I wish we could!) and that we need to heal and find peace.

I have been amazed at the goodness and kindness of people near and far who have prayed for us and with us, who have sent notes or called, and who have served us. Many have asked if there is anything they can do, and your prayers and kind words have been so helpful. Tim and Laura are facing many unexpected medical and funeral expenses, and if you want to contribute in any way, there is a button to the side of my blog where you can make a contribution. Every dollar will help. Most importantly, they have felt uplifted and blessed during this difficult trial from friends and family and strangers who have reached out to them.

Ryan's sister Traci wrote a beautiful obituary:

Our sweet Mikayla Lynn Harper (Mikkie), born November 10th, 2008, left her earthly family to return to her Father in Heaven on August 14th, 2010, after a tragic accident while vacationing with her family.

Mikkie is survived by her parents, Tim and Laura Harper, and sister, Faith. In addition, she is survived by grandparents, Bruce and Terri Harper (formerly of Tooele) and Lyle and Tina Jessee (of Riverton), great-grandparents and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her great grandmother Lucille Harper and great grandfather Clayton Wilbur were among those who welcomed Mikkie to her heavenly home.

Mikkie had a special, sweet little spirit and brought joy and laughter to all those who knew her. She loved watching and playing with her older sister Faith and her cousins.

If you would like to join in support of the Harper family, a viewing will be held on Tuesday, August 17th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Broomhead Mortuary at 12590 S. 2200 W., Riverton. Another viewing will be held at the LDS Meetinghouse located at 13400 S. 2700 W., Riverton on Wednesday, August 18th at 10 a.m., followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. Interment will be in the Riverton city cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, if you would like to help, a trust fund has been set up to help cover unexpected medical and funeral expenses at Zion’s Bank under Mikayla Harper Donations.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of her presence while we remain apart from her. We love you. Until we meet again sweet Mikkie

Every morning when I wake up I am reminded that Laura and Tim are waking up and trying to get through the day without their sweet baby, and I can't imagine how that must feel. A good friend reminded me that often we look for the big miracle (that Mikayla would be healed) but that we need to look for the little miracles (that we were blessed with Mikayla in our family, even for a short time).

Laura has started a blog where she shares her thoughts and feelings, which she titled "Move Forward with Faith" referring to their older daughter Faith and her faith in God. I know that we can never move on or go back to the way things were, but I have faith that we can move forward, being better for having known and loved Mikkie.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweet Mikayla

We are devastated and heartbroken with the passing of our sweet niece and cousin Mikayla. Just a few minutes can change everything. Please, please hug your babies and loved ones and cherish every moment that you have with them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Cutest. Chair. Ever.

(Cutest. Baby. Ever.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Birthday 2010

Some of our friends have always used their wedding anniversary as a day to celebrate their family birthday... which I think is a wonderful idea! This year we celebrated 11 years!

Cute family, eh?