"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Work Is Done

I really don't know how to start this journal. I don't know how, at 1:24 in the morning, to take hold of these thoughts and feelings and give them structure. SO much has taken place within me in the last year since he died. I've ridden one of the most intense roller coasters ever invented. My thoughts and feelings on the matter have changed and morphed often times on a minute to minute basis.

But after last night, perhaps I am closer to picking an emotion and staying there for a little while.

Jospeh died on July 1st of last year. The one year anniversary came and went and I didn't pay it much heed, mainly because my tonsillectomy had taken place only three days before and I was wigged out of my mind because of the effects of percocet and dehydration. The 10th, however, the anniversary of the funeral, was a different story. In a way I wish I had still been wigged out of my mind. That day was hard. I cried a lot. The memory of his burial brought raw feelings to the surface. I could hear the sounds, smells the scents in the air, taste the tears on my face. Lots of tears were shed a year before on that very day.

But the beautiful thing about this past year is that Joseph, I believe in the deepest reaches of my heart, has had the opportunity for much learning and growth. Growth that none of us can fathom in this mortal state. What he has likely experienced and seen...it leaves me speechless. And I believe that he is on an exalted place that I hope to be one day be on.

Last night was awesome. We gathered at the Dallas Temple as Dad did his work. Work that Joseph has been waiting so long for. He, through proxy, received the higher priesthood. As I sat in the chapel before the session, I thought of the washing and anointing that had taken place on his behalf only moments before. Joseph had the priesthood. Joseph had the priesthood! I sat there and smiled through tears as I took it in. And it truly felt as though he was sitting there with us.

What made the session even more special is Cody and I were asked to be the witness couple. We had not been given that chance in more than five years. I listened closer than I had ever listened in a session. I caught subtle details that I had never caught before. And when we all gathered in the Celestial Room at the end of the session, I don't know if I can ever explain that feeling. We all agreed that we felt nothing but peace. It was the kind of peace that you feel at the end of an exhausting day when you sink your body into a warm tub of soapy water. You breathe in the aroma of the bath oil and let the water gently fall over every inch of your tired skin. Every care and every trial seems to escape you. That is what it felt like as we sat in that beautiful room. Joseph was fine and he was happy and ready for the work that had been done in his name.

Even though it was 9:30 when we got out of the Temple, and even though we had seven small children in tow (we wanted EVERYONE to be there that night, even if they could not go inside that part of the temple. We needed to be together.) we continued the celebration at Chilis. We laughed, we ate, we took a ton of pictures...we wanted to remember that night and what it meant for our family. Joseph was there with us. He laughed with us. And I know, that he is always cheering for us. I am reminded of something that was said to me in a blessing I received only days after his passing. It said that Joseph would serve as a cheerleader for our family until we were all reunited again as a whole unit. And I know that he is doing just that.

It was a night that I hope to never forget. I love you Bofie. I miss you like crazy but I know you have a lot of work to do. You are one step closer to becoming who you were meant to become. I am also cheering YOU on from this side of the veil. My heart is full.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Texas Summer Day 1

Well, we made it. Dad flew in on Monday and we finished up our packing and hit the road Tuesday morning. Cody will follow us out here next week and we can't wait to see him. The kids did amazingly well on the two day trip, all things being considered. We stopped for the night in Gallup NM and made our way to Joshua TX by about 11:00 (CST) on Wednesday night. The great news is we don't have to make that drive again for 16 whole days!

Devin had a really hard time last night. I think he had either a bottle or babyfood that had been sitting out too long. That kind of thing is hard to avoid on a long road trip, and he was up puking three times last night. I did NOT have a good night because of that. So this morning the four kiddos and I slept in extra long and hard. We then spent most of the day swimming. What else are you supposed to do when you are at Granana and Gov's pad? You swim. Our lives revolve around the water when we are here. My babies are water bugs and I love it. We swam all morning, and then when it was time for lunch the kids begged to let them eat outside (despite the fact that it was almost 100 degrees and humid). They just could not bring themselves to part from the pool.

Devin slept for a huge chunk of the day and this evening he was a MUCH happier guy. We grilled chicken and peppers and onions of the grill, had wild rice and sauteed summer squash, and again enjoyed our meal out on the back porch. And then of course we topped the night off for another soak in the pool, followed up by Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. Now THAT is Texas.

Kids are all sleeping. I am enjoying the damp air on my sun kissed skin. Life is sweet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Devin- 9 Months Old

Well once again, Mommy has dropped the ball. Sometimes this fourth child thing really stinks. I feel neglected. I get lost in the shadows. I feel like Mommy and Daddy have "been there done that" so I'm nothing special. How is that for pathetic? Do you feel sorry for me yet? But then again, I am often times the center of attention. My older sisters are crazy about me and they sometimes love me TOO much. I am spoiled rotten. My brother thinks I hung the moon and he's always telling me about cool things we're gonna do one day. And whenever we are out in public, people always stop and stare and tell Mommy how cute I am. And you know what? I think they are right. So maybe being the current youngest isn't so bad. And Mommy is super busy and she wishes she had more time to do things like journal about my every milestone. She really is the greatest person who ever lived, and I'll try to be more understanding of her crazy schedule. It is important for Mommies to sleep, so I shouldn't think she should be using that precious time at night to keep up on my development. I will try to be easier on her.

I am now nine months old. A lot has happened to me since Mom last wrote about me at seven months. I am crawling everywhere and I've got to say, I'm pretty dang fast. Mom and Dad can't keep up with me. Lightening McQueen really has nothing on me. I started off doing the army crawl, and I favored my right arm. I was pretty fast then too, but then I figured out how to get up on all fours and now there is no stopping me. Whenever Mom tries to change my diaper, I flip right over and crawl away. It makes her mad, but she always laughs. I know I look cute from behind with my bottom all naked. I am REALLY cute naked. I have what people call "thunder thighs" but I don't get that because they don't make loud noises like thunder. They are actually quiet.

I also am really good at pulling myself up on everything, even flat surfaces like doors and walls. And lately I like to take one hand off and balance with just one hand. I'm so freakin' talented. Mom always says that I am going to be walking in a month or two. Heck yeah! I know that is way earlier than my siblings walked. They were lazy bums and didn't feel like walking until thirteen months. Not me! I have way too much ambition and my legs are going to be taking me everywhere before long. Mom isn't too happy that I'm gonna walk soon, but I don't care. I've got places to go.

A few weeks ago Mommy had to have a really nasty surgery done in her throat. I didn't get to nurse for a couple of days and I was kind of mad about that. Then mom got sick because she couldn't drink water and she had to go to the hospital. When she came back, the "tap" had all but dried up. I'm not sure what that means, but I know that my milk source wasn't working very well anymore. I was NOT happy about that. So now most of the time I have to drink this nasty stuff called Formula. It must be a "formula" of dog poop and pee because it tastes horrible. About once a day Mom has enough on tap for me to have a meal, but most of the time I drink the nasty stuff. I really had a good thing going all those months and I took it for granted! Dang.

I really love baby food. Mom is kind of naughty and on the gross tasting stuff like peas and green beans she sprinkles a little pinch of sugar on it. Then she mixes it with rice cereal and it tastes really yummy! Mom thinks I need to start eating more solids because I'm still waking up hungry at night. Hey, I'm fine with that! I also really love eating small pieces of food with my fingers. They are quite chubby and they are good at picking things up to put in my mouth. I love cheese, Cheri-os, bread, bananas, pasta, and most other things.

I had something horrible happen to me the other day. I have what Mom says are "bad ears". But I don't think they are so bad. I think they are pretty cute, but they do hurt hurt alot. They used to get infected all the time. So finally, Dr. Allred said I needed to have them fixed. Mom took me to the hospital REALLY early one day. The hospital was kind of fun and they had some cool toys. They gave me some ugly pajamas to wear and Mom took pictures of me. I was really hungry because my bad Mom wouldn't give me breakfast that morning! She held me for a while and them some man came and took me away from her. I was kind of sad, but he had a fun tag hanging around his neck and it was good to suck on. His name was Dr. Miller and he was called an anesthesiologist. He laid me on a bed and put some funky thing on my face and took a REALLY long nap. When I woke up Mommy was there but I felt quite yucky. My head and tummy kind of hurt. I felt like a caged wild animal and I started trying to climb on things and I was thrashing. What the heck was going on? I felt really bad. Then Mommy took me home and I took another long nap at home. I mean a REALLY long nap. I had funny dreams. But now my ears don't hurt anymore and I can sleep at night. That makes Mommy very happy!

I went to see Dr. Allred on Tuesday and he said I'm so cute. People always say that. When he opened my diaper he said that I was still a boy and he felt my boy part and it tickled! I started laughing. I was hoping he would tickle me again there because I liked it. But he didn't and I was kind of sad. Dr. Allred said my weight is starting to drop, but he thinks it's because I'm so active and I am never still. I weigh 19.5 pounds. He says my weight is in the "38th percentile". Whatever that means. I am also 29 inches tall and I am in the 75th percentile. I'm a tall and skinny guy, but I hear the ladies dig that body type. Some of my uncles are tall and what they call "wirey". The ladies like them. I will probably be like that too. Dr. Allred gave me a clean bill of health so that made Mommy happy.

Well, that about sums up what I'm up to these days. I have a lot to do and explore, so I'm gonna stop gabbing about myself now. I'm cute. If you want to know more, come by and we can chat. I'm seriously awesome at nine months old.