Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Girl's Trip 2015: Midway/Park City

I got home Sunday evening (yes, I know, for the second time this month - Trent is a saint!) from our annual girl's trip with my sisters and cousins.  This year we kept it a little more low-key and my sister found us a cabin to stay in in Midway, Utah (thank you Amy!).  It's kind of funny because 8 of the 10 girls live in Utah anyway, so it was just me and Jordan that flew in.

I flew into Salt Lake Friday afternoon (the 23rd) and Jen picked me up right when she finished teaching.  We went back to her place so she could pack up and then picked up my sister Jill from her place and we headed to the cabin in Midway.

Jen and I were a little surprised to find that we were totally matching :)

We got settled in and headed to dinner at one of the few restaurants in Midway ;)  We kept trying to get a picture with all of us, but they kept coming out blurry, and then we asked the waiter and it still came out blurry..haha.  This will have to do.

Then we headed to the Midway Ice Castles.  It was absolutely frigid, but definitely fun to see them.  I was so glad I decided to cram my puffy winter coat into my suitcase at the last second that morning.

Everyone but Meg, who was in the bathroom.

There were 2 slides.  Here are Amy and Bryn.

And Jen and Melissa.

And Tori.

We'll call this the Wishing Well ;)

On our way back, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some breakfast options before heading back to the cabin.

That evening we threw Meg and Amy a surprise baby shower. Thanks to Jordan for planning it all!  She had talked to each of us prior to the trip and we all pitched in for gifts.  We got each of them a pair of white Freshly Picked baby moccasins.

Meg, Jordan, and Amy - you can't even tell they're pregnant in this pic!

Jordan made all of the adorable decorations :)

The whole group :)

Pretend you're pregnant..haha.

I got this shot from the back deck the next morning.

I woke up Saturday feeling, what I imagine to be, hungover.  We hadn't gone to bed until like 2 and I woke up with a pounding headache :/  I'm getting too old for this..haha.  Luckily we leisurely got ready and then we thought we'd go into Park City and check out the Sundance Film Festival.  It was like 1:30 before we got out the door..haha.  I actually didn't realize the Sundance Festival would be going on, so this was news to me!  And we definitely weren't prepared for the craziness.  We kept thinking surely we'd be able to find somewhere to park in some neighborhood or something, but there was absolutely nothing!  As you can tell, we are complete amateurs.  We did see one parking garage asking $60 to park.  I guess if we had been real die-hards we would've forked out the money..haha..but we were just starting to feel really grumpy because we were so hungry..haha.

I only got one picture as we drove up Main Street.  At that point we still had hope we'd find a parking spot, so I thought we'd get to walk around and take more pictures ;)

We finally gave up and headed to the Park City shopping outlets to get some lunch.  I was so grateful when we found a Five Guys.  That burger tasted so good to me!  Then we did some shopping.  A group still wanted to try Sundance while the rest of us just wanted to go back to the cabin and get cozy.  I was among the latter group.  We stopped at the grocery store again and picked up some pizzas and cookie dough and headed back.  This was probably my favorite part of the trip. I know, I'm a total homebody!  I loved just being able to relax and chit chat with some of my very favorite people.

Dayna happened to be in town for the weekend as well, so she came by to see us all.  And the rest of the group got back from Sundance soon after that.  We had some girl talk and reminisced with the Lund girls about their dad in the bunk bed room.  I hope they felt of all of our love and support.  And then Dayna's boyfriend came over later so that we could all meet him.  He was a super nice guy and we were mostly happy to have him around to take a picture of our whole group ;)  We took it easy and turned on John Tucker Must Die and then Parent Trap after that, a classic.

Jen, Jill, Jordan, and I got the bunk bed room :)  The 3 other rooms had queen and king-size beds (Amy and Tori in the master, Bryn and Meg, and Amanda and Melissa).

The next morning, the Lund girls had to leave by 7:45 to get Jordan to the airport.  The rest of us were still asleep :/  It was such a short trip.  A whole day shorter than last year's girl's trip.  Amy called us from upstairs at 9:45 and said we were supposed to be checked out of the house by 10, so we all frantically threw all of our stuff into our suitcases and got dressed..haha.  The cleaning lady hadn't shown up yet so we actually didn't get out of there until almost 11, just chit chatting and what not.

I had to put up this picture just because it's too funny and awkward. We took this on the driveway as we were packing up the cars to head out ;)

Then we had brunch at Cheesecake Factory.  The sun was so bright!! My left eye was pretty much closed..haha.

And then Jen and Jill dropped me off at the airport.  It was a fun trip and I loved being with my sisters and cousins. How grateful I am that they are all my dearest friends :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tanis's Birthday Celebration at a Trampoline Park?

So Tanis's birthday was last Wednesday, the 14th, and this last Saturday she invited us to celebrate by taking Aiden to Krazy Air Trampoline Park.  That's right, to celebrate Tanis's birthday, she treated Aiden to some trampoline fun!  Anything for Aiden ;)

Here are some of the pictures.  I was hanging with Janie, and feeding her, so I had Trent take pictures.

The foam pit.

I love Janie's sideward glance :)

Trent took this from afar.  A bit blurry.

There were some more rambunctious kids around, so Aiden was pretty cautious the whole time. I wonder where he gets that from?? Both of us if you were actually questioning ;) He mostly just ran around on the trampolines instead of jumping.

He also loved climbing up and then sliding down.

Trent joining in on the fun.

Swinging Janie.  Joy.

And Flying Janie :)

A little girl made a little house out of the foam blocks and let Aiden come in ;)

Aiden, Grandma Knuckles, and Daddy got to jump for an hour.  Then we headed back to Grandma's for pizza and salad :)  Trent had made a Dutch Butter Cake so we had to run home before heading to Grandma's for lunch.  Trent had Aiden present his gift to Grandma and we were cracking up when he hid it behind his back while waiting for Grandma to answer the door ;)

I don't have any other pictures from the par-tay.  Sometimes I get sick of taking pictures.  I just want to live in the moment.  But it was a great day.  Thank you to Tanis for treating Aiden to such a fun time! We love you Tanis!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My uncle John

I flew back to VA this last weekend with my family to attend the funeral for my dear uncle John.  He passed on January 3rd from stage 4 Glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer.  We miss him so much already.

We all found out about John's diagnosis in October 2013.  Just to give you a look at how John and Cindy are, I thought I'd share this.  I was newly pregnant with Janie and had just gone to my 11 week appointment.  This was October 16th.  I got back to my mom's and sent the text announcing our pregnancy to any family I had #'s for in my phone - cousins, aunts, uncles.  The texts started pouring in and Cindy was one that sent her congratulations and well wishes.  Not even an hour or two later my mom called me, crying, and said John was in emergency surgery to have a tumor removed from his brain (I hope I have the details right).  And that's where it all began.  I burst into tears and was in complete and utter shock.  And then I told my mom, through tears, how kind Cindy had been to text me back earlier, when she was sitting in the hospital having one of the worst days of her life.  I love you Cindy.  You have been such an example to me through all of this.

Just thought I'd share that because it's a day I'll never forget.

Last week my mom gathered letters with memories of John from any of the family that wanted to participate, and we presented that book to Cindy and the girls after the funeral.  I thought I'd take a minute to write some of those down here, as well as some that I've thought of since then.  We lived by the Lund's for as long as I can remember.  They moved to Virginia when Jordan was just a toddler, so I was 3 or 4, and we lived by them until my parents moved to AZ right after Trent and I got married six and a half years ago, so I have A LOT of memories with John and the Lund family.  I'm sorry if this is long winded.

It's funny because, although we lived by the Lund's, my biggest memories with John are from being at my grandparents' lake house on Canandaigua Lake in New York.  He was THE boatman.  We learned at the funeral when John's sister spoke, that they all learned how to swim before they learned how to walk, so John has always loved the water.  And that definitely showed at the lake house.  He was good at everything!  He pretty much taught ALL of us cousins to water ski.  I think I was 10 or 11 when my grandparents got the lake house, and our first summer there, John took us all out on the boat and offered 10 bucks to any of us girls who would get out and try skiing and stay up for 30 seconds.  We were all nervous, but that gave me just the nudge I needed ;)  And John was right there, out in the water with me, helping me get in position, encouraging me and cheering me on.  He was one of the most patient men I know.

John was most definitely the fun uncle.  He was the one that would take us out on night boat rides and do crazy things.  One of my favorite memories is from the last time I was at the lake house, end of July 2013, when John took a whole bunch of us cousins down to this huge home that has a high diving board on top of their boat house dock thing.  Some of my cousins had spotted it during the day and decided they wanted to jump off it, but we had to do it at night so we wouldn't get caught..haha.  I did not participate in jumping off, but I was back on the boat with a handful of others, and John was just as giddy and excited as the rest of us.  I will never forget the smile on his face and his laughter.  Seriously, he was so much fun!!

I do have this great memory from high school.  My junior and senior year of high school we spent a lot of time with Jordan (and Melissa too).  Those were great times!!  One year we were all getting ready to go to a family reunion and it was a cruise departing out of Florida. The Lund's headed down earlier than the rest of us because they wanted to spend a few days at Disney World (I believe) before the cruise.  Well we thought we had this brilliant idea to go heart attack Jordan's bedroom.  We were with a friend, Josh, and I think Devin too, and Josh told us he knew the garage code.  He punched it in, the garage went up, and then he went to open the back door, but their house alarm went off!!!  We were mortified!  My oldest cousin, Dan, was living with the Lund's at the time, interning, and by some miracle, he came driving up just a minute or two later, so he called John to figure out what to do.  Needless to say, we were very nervous to see John when we met up with everyone in Florida for the reunion, but I don't even remember John saying hardly anything about it.  He was never quick to anger and I'm sure he just laughed it off..haha.

The summer after my freshman year of college, I was only home for a few months before I headed back to Utah to start summer term at BYU (I had transferred from, then, UVSC).  I didn't really have any prospect for a job because I was home for such a short time, but then John offered me a job.  To be honest, I don't really know if he needed my help or if it was just a little job he made up to help me out.  Nonetheless it was so kind of him and so perfect for that short time I was home.  I was so grateful to him and will never forget it.

John also put tons of work into his backyard for our wedding reception.  If you've seen the Lund's backyard, it is spectacular, and I would have been happy with it just the way it was, but I guess John worked really hard on it on the weeks leading up to our wedding. And after all of that hard work, it ended up raining the whole week prior to our wedding and we had to move our reception inside (which was still so beautiful)!!  He was always one to serve with a genuine smile on his face.

Here are just a handful of pictures from our reunion at the lake house in July 2013, just months before John was diagnosed.

Letting Aiden "drive" the boat :)

That summer John was teaching us all how to wake surf.  Here he is showing us how it's done ;)

This is a dorky picture of me, but there you see John, right there on the back of the boat, coaching me.  He was the best!

Here's John skiing with his 3 oldest girls - Jordan, Melissa, and Amanda.  I love that he and Melissa were holding hands :)

We got a whole bunch of pies one night and I was getting a photo of them when John jumped in.  Seriously, he was so much fun!!

The funeral was so beautiful and I was so grateful I made it back.  I would have never missed it.  A big thanks to Trent for staying behind with the kids.  Trent would have loved to come, but naturally, it was a little last minute.

We all arrived Friday evening and pretty much headed straight to the visitation with Cindy and her girls.  We were all so nervous to walk into the funeral home and see them that evening, we were just feeling so heartbroken for them, but it was so good to see them.  It seriously felt like they were comforting us more than we were comforting them.  They all inspire me.

Saturday was the funeral.  There was the most beautiful slide show going with all of these pictures of John and his family right as you walked into the church.  I don't think a single person went by that without crying.  John lived such a beautiful life.

As I mentioned earlier, John's sister was the first to speak.  She started off by saying something to the extent of, "Now all of you here know the East Coast John, but I'm here to tell you about the California boy."  It was very sweet and we loved hearing about John's life growing up.  Next up was one of John's coworkers.  He talked about how they'd be in a business meeting where John had printed the agenda and this friend always noticed notes and diagrams on the backside.  After a few meetings, and noticing this every time, he confronted John and John just mentioned that he doesn't like to waste paper so he always uses both sides..haha.  He also talked about John's service as bishop of his ward (John was called as bishop just months before his diagnosis and served for over a year).  Then each of John's five daughters spoke.  Brittany started, then Amanda, Melissa, and Jordan.  They were all so beautiful sitting up on the stand and gave very touching talks.  They had us all laughing and crying.  They talked about John as a morning person, his famous pancakes (which he made all the time at the lake house), dance parties in the kitchen, his passion for Animal Planet, his wonderful example, and so on.  He was the most amazing father and husband. And then Courtney read John's testimony to all of us.  It was very sweet.

After the funeral, we headed to the cemetery and my uncle Cary gave a beautiful prayer to dedicate the grave.

Thank you to my mom for all of the pictures.

John's most beautiful family.  Look at his adorable grandson, Adler :)

Then we all headed to their Church where the Lunds' ward put on a luncheon for us all.

My mom, Jordan, and Tori all have the same coat!

Every immediate cousin made it back to the funeral, except for Samantha who's serving a mission in Germany.  Only Richard, Trent, my kids, and Rach's 3 oldest kids didn't make it.  Love this family of mine.  Truly my best friends.

The six siblings.

Our family.  It had been so long that it was just the 7 of us!  Don't get me wrong, we missed you Trent and Richard ;)

During the luncheon we (all of John's Whitmore nieces and nephews) presented Cindy and the girls with a portrait of Christ hugging a little girl.  We each signed the back.  Thank you to Rach and the Whitmore family for organizing that for us.

Later that evening we all met back up at the Lund's home and presented them with the memory book that I mentioned earlier.

John was the most wonderful husband, father, uncle, friend, and example, and I'm not just saying it.  John, you are already so dearly missed.

To Cindy and the girls -  I can only imagine the pain of losing your spouse and father.  I know he will always be near.  Please know that we are all here for you always.  Thank goodness for the knowledge of the gospel, that you will be reunited again soon.  We love you all so much.