Friday, February 25, 2011

the word on the street

If you are squeamish about news of death and dying
you may want to forsake my blog for a while.

(Do you like how I managed to squeeze the word "forsake"
into a blog post?  One must keep up some appearances
of humor and normalcy during times like these.)

The word on the street has gone from bad to worse 
concerning my dad and those knuckles of death that
are knocking on his door.  Apparently death is now
trying to karate chop down the door instead of
opening it slowly and cleverly and sneakily.

Which in and of itself is clever and sneaky.

Visiting medical authorities have changed diagnosis
from "years end" to "end of March."  This is
how quickly he is declining each and every day.

It always takes me a day or two to digest this news
and then I can function again.  Function without a
Kleenex permanently attached to the end of my nose.
Function without wearing a hat and dark glasses.
Ok wait, I wear a hat almost every day--it's 
easier than doing my hair.  Scratch the hat thing.
Function without being lost in the fog of 
sadness that envelopes my mind.

One must function when one has 4 children to care
for.  Although we sure have been eating a lot of
waffles for dinner lately. (Thanks Kyle).

In speaking with my mother today, she said she 
has been writing things down. I too, must do
the same.  Write things down.

I know some people believe that God is 
the root cause, the instigator, the orchestrator
of all the events in our lives.  I personally 
believe differently.  I believe that God is there
to help us, to guide us, and to hold our hands
when the going gets tough.  He is NOT the cause
of "bad things" that happen, but rather the Father
that is there to help us through this 
mortal journey called life when the bad stuff
happens.  To me, for me, that is a big difference.

My "soon to be ubber famous" friend Brodi Ashton 
( blogged today about
her father and his fight against cancer.  She
blogged that she doesn't believe that "all things
happen for a reason".  

Some things just happen.  They just happen.
Not because we are bad.  Or someone is trying
to teach us a lesson. Or for any reason at all.
They just happen.

I whole heartedly agree with her.  

Life happens.  And then with God's hand in ours
we can carry on.  Or rather with OUR hand in 
God's hand, we can carry on.

HOPEFULLY we learn from the things that happen.
HOPEFULLY we grow from our experiences, both
good and bad, in this life.
HOPEFULLY we take something from them and make
ourselves better people.

BUT I do not believe that God is sitting up there 
with his magic wand looking over his children
saying "OHHHH!!!  She's being extra naughty this
year, let's see what kind of trial I can give 
HER to help her grow."  Nope.  I don't think 
it works that way.  Does it make me right? 
Or wrong?  I don't even know really.  
I'm not sure I care.  Someday I will hopefully
get the answers.

I prefer to think, rather, that God is sitting up
there watching over us.  Watching as our choices, and
the choices of others, and well, just life, swirls
all around us--sometimes creating the "perfect 

Then when He sees something bad happen, 
He reaches out for us and hopes we will grab 
Him back and hang on for dear life.

Sometimes we need to....
...hang on for dear life that is.

He just wants to help us through.

To cry with us.

To buoy us up.

Cuz sometimes, the word on the street is bad.

And we need someone to help us through.

And that someone is Him.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things I Will Miss...

It all started because Josh came
home last week with his Senior

His SENIOR schedule people.

My son, he will be a SENIOR in
high school next year.

Gulp.  Huge, gigantic gulp.

My friend who has a son that is
a senior THIS YEAR said to me
in church on Sunday, "prepare to
cry the entire year, all year!"

Great.  Just what I seem to
excel at these days.  I have
crying covered. 

As I walked through my house
today, I walked past bits and
pieces of things that are just
white noise in the back round
daily.  I don't even notice them,
they are just there, part of my
life, all day everyday.

And I love them. (mostly)

Just like I love the ones
that leave them there.

Here they are, some of the
Things I Will Miss.

 Senior Year registration, his schedule is something like my worst nightmare come true.
Filled with AP classes in science and math.  It makes me break out into a cold sweat.
It gives me heart palpitations and chest pains.  It makes him happy.  I swear sometimes
I wonder where this childs brain came from.  His mom, who is a lover of
words and English and reading.  Him, who is a lover of numbers and formulas and
the mysteries of making things work, and then making them work.
 Drawings of skeleton fingers on hands while doing homework.

 Love Notes from my baby to me.
 "Lost Shoes" under the table...
 Doll bedrooms on MY bedroom floor.

 Real Friends who contribute to the gallery...and...
 Imaginary Friends who make art projects for the Gallery.
 Hair Doodles hanging on cupboard doors ...waiting to be put away.
 Shoes by the front door.  (this is nothing folks--you should see
the "after school" shot when Josh & Co. are here...
6 + pair of size 13 and up shoes scattered everywhere daily.)
 Sewing Projects draped on living room furniture.
 "Mommy" Purses left on the tables after
Grandma (ME!) babysits their babies (dollies) while they run errands
in their cars (the living room couches).

Giant knives and belt buckles left over from "RAP GROUP"
photo session and 6 gigantic teenage boys looking for black
clothes and silver jewelry to wear in our closets.
This may be worthy of a future blog post all by itself at
some point in the future!!!

All too soon, some of this
figurative "noise" will be
reduced and removed.  So today,
while it's here, I am sharing...

Things I Will Miss...when they
are gone.

Because I promise you,
it was only yesterday,
or possibly last week, that
JOSHUA was the one leaving
half built legos on tables and
nee-nees on my bed.

Where did all that time go?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

facing the future

I have said many times that I am a "wordy" person.
It is how I live and breath.  It is how I express
joy, pain, sadness, and well, life, really.
I say in a 6 page text (who sends 6 page texts? me.)
what others say in complete acronyms and one
incomplete sentence, and well, one text!

My children have complained that oft times my
blog is FAR too wordy and not enough on the picture
side of things. 

If that's what they are looking for...well, this is
the wrong blog.  I blog real life and sometimes
real life is messy, and sad and ugly.

I have is MY blog and so I'll do
what I darn well please.

This one, well, it's been a hard one for me to write.

*grandma & grandpa ladanye June 2010*

Last week my ailing father went back to visit
his cardiologist.  He has been declining in
health dramatically over the past 6 months.
And the picture has been looking
bleak.  He has been getting weaker, instead
of stronger.  The burden he carries of
physical ailments is so very heavy.  He has
aged years, in a matter of months.

He is tired.  Very, very tired.

The news he received was not good, although not
unexpected.  His heart is beating at 20% of
capacity.  Things look bad. Really bad.  His Dr.
informed him that he would not last to years

How do you ingest news like that?  How do you
move forward every day knowing that you are
taking one step closer to a certain demise.

The end.  The finale.

Obviously the Dr. is not "God", in the sense
of being "all knowing" or "all seeing", but he
is making a call based on certain medical
evidence.  Putting facts together.  Adding
up 2 + 2.  The sum of the equation is
not a pretty one.  No matter how you look at

How do you find peace with the fact that your
time on this earth is coming to a close?  What
do you do with the end of your days?

It led ME to question what I wanted do with the
end of HIS time.  What kind of daughter would
I want to be to him as he passes from
this life to the next.  What memories of these
numbered days do I want to remain with me
when he is no longer here.

Some say "he's been sick." (who cares? he's
still my dad)

Some say "he's old, he's lived a long life."
(again, i say who cares?  he's still my dad)

None of that makes it any easier to KNOW
that he will go.  That his time has a limit now.

My relationship with my father has not always been
perfect.  Sometimes it has been painful and hard.
Sometimes I have wanted to scream and cry
and yell.  And sometimes, I have.  But he
is my father and amidst the hard times there
have been many layers of good times mixed
in with everything else.

What I have decided in the hours since swallowing
hard and  digesting this news is that NOW,
this time we have left, is about making peace. 

For him.  For me.

For him, finding peace with, and for,
the life he has lived.
For me, finding peace with, and for, the days
and minutes and hours we have left together.

In the end, that is all we get to take with us
as we move on.  

Time, and memories.

The rest of it, ALL the rest of it, stays here.


Isn't it amazing when you really
think about it?  How we spend our whole lives
trying to accumulate, things, when in the end
we get to bring NONE of those "things" with us.

Certainly the coming of death, the rapping
of its ugly knuckles upon our door,  puts all
of that into perspective, doesn't it?
And so I stand here now, facing the future,
watching him face his future.

Each day we will take a step toward the
inevitable.  I want to be there with him
as he takes those steps. 


Monday, February 14, 2011


i wore high heels for two hours
on sunday.

mock me if you must--but wearing heels
is quite an accomplishment for me.

you would think that hovering in the
5'7" (ish) range would not be so bad.
(i used to be 5'8"--they measured me
when i went on my mission--i seem
to be shrinking due to old age.)
however, when you add 3" of heels 
i seem to tower over everyone i know.

even lots of the men. 

but i found some cute heels.

some sassy ones.  i had to have them.

sunday i bravely strapped them on my
feet and walked around the house to
see if i would tip over or not.

i did not.  so i decided to brave church.

(see photo below)

snakeskin was my choice of the day.

in fact they are so cute i think
i will get the orange pair for spring.

after all, i can wear heels now.

 and p.s.  the below is NOT a picture
of my closet-but how dreamy would it
be IF it were?  there is just
SOMETHING about shoes i love.  they
can add a little spice to just about
any outfit.

Friday, February 11, 2011

X's and O's

This morning the little girls and I
were having a serious discussion over
breakfast about the uses of "X's"
and "O's".  The hotly debated question
was whether the "X" was a hug or a
kiss.  One of us was leaning
toward "X" being the kiss (me),
the others  were leaning towards
the "X" being a hug.(girls) 
Of course, since I am older and
wiser, I may have had a
slight leg up on them.

Ok, I am mostly just older--
you can just scratch the wiser part.

I also tend to be a frequent user
of "X's" and "O's" while texting.
And emailing.

I like to visually "spread my love"
to those I know, and have been
known to end many a text (or email)
to both family and friend
with a repeated line of

Cuz who doesn't LOVE a little LOVE?

Here is what we found on the good
old Internet about "X's" and "O's"
and their origin.  We thought it
was an interesting morning read
and wanted to share it with all
of you (just in case you were as
confused as we were.)

Which you probably weren't.

And with it being the season
of love (Valentines Day coming up
and all.)

Here ya go:

The use of XOXO goes back to the use of an X or cross, which was considered as good as a sworn oath in times before most people could write and therefore used the X in the same way a signature is used today — a mark of one's word.

An X at the end of a letter or document was often kissed as a seal of honesty, in much the same way one would kiss a Bible or kiss the fingers after making the sign of the Christian cross, thus the X came to represent a kiss in modern times.

The origins of the O as a hug are not generally known, although it is speculated that it may represent the arms wrapped around someone being hugged. Another thought is that it came from Jewish immigrants who would sign with an O instead of an X because they did not wish to mark their word with the Christian cross the X represented.

Have a great day!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Columbia: Chapter Two

 Metropolitan Museum Of Art
 NYC Public Library, Rose Reading Room
NYC Library Map Room

Kyle spent another weekend in
NYC last weekend.  He took
the red eye out Thursday night.
(Is this technically Friday morning?)

Arriving in NYC despite snow and
other weather worries without
incident at some insanely early
hour. (Like 5 or 6 am).

He has the subway ride from
JFK to the Wilcox apartment down
to a science.  Dropping
off his luggage he grabbed a
bagel at what is becoming a
favorite spot with free Wi-Fi.

He decided to explore the city
some more and spent a few
hours in the New York City
Public Library.  He said
it is "an amazing and beautiful"
building, and also a good place
for a catnap. 

kyle + red eye doesn't = lots
of very good sleep.

From there he ventured to a pizza
joint called ARTICHOKES.  Said
it's the best pizza he's had thus
far in the Big Apple.

(His entire trip is documented
in photo texts, making me the
teeniest bit jealous!!)

His last stop of the day was a few
hours inside the MET.  Which he
LOVES and finds fascinating.

He finally got to babysit the
Wilcox kids so Adam and Amy could
enjoy a night out.

Saturday the entire day was spent
in class.  He is still loving it.

Then back to the airport for
a 3 hour delay on the tarmac
waiting to come home to SLC.

(what's UP JFK???  2 trips in a
row with 2 and 3 hour delays on
the runway--i would go NUTS!)

He arrived home Sunday morning
at 3 am and had a great, albeit
tiring, weekend.

NEXT MONTH (March) he is taking
Grace and 2 of her best girlfriends.

More power to him--!  He's a
good daddy!

And... what an adventure for THEM!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ode to february

Seriously, you're not much better
than January.

We're off to a rocky start...'s something like -11 out
there today with the wind chill. 
I vote we fast forward to May!

Anyone with me?

Anyone? Anyone?