Sunday, September 17, 2017

"A new normal"

Today's been rough. I used to call my parents on Sundays because it was the day after my Dad's dialysis so he'd usually be more energized.
I still try to call my Mom on Sundays. It's hard. It's hard not to just ask for my Dad, like usual. Today, we talked for about 40 minutes, just her and I.  I guess this is our new normal.
I miss saying, "Hi Dad!" My chest feels hollow today. I miss last Sunday. I had all my loved ones in one place.  
I know I still have so much to blog/journal about, but it's so difficult to think about certain things and rehash certain experiences.
All I know is that I miss my Dad more and more and just when I think I'm doing better, my chest bottoms out and my heart just sinks, like a ton of bricks have fallen all over me, repeatedly. Sometimes it's a task just to breathe. I try to act normal and BE normal, but I'm still adjusting to this new normal. 
I miss him more than I'll ever be able to describe and sometimes I don't know how life can just be normal and happy again. This is the hardest challenge of my life. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August in Rewind: Thursday, August 3. (temple)

Thursday, August 3 (temple)

I was nervous about my nephew being late to the temple since he was going to be Levi's escort.  Slim texted me to tell me that he was already there while we were about 8 minutes away.  That made me even more anxious.  I was doing my very best to be calm.  Levi just wanted to make sure we got there on time but I knew that since it was a Thursday, it wouldn't be busy at the temple.  PLUS, it's not like they could start without us.
We pulled into the parking lot and found a great parking spot. Close to the entrance and close to the front of the temple where we would be taking a lot of photos afterwards.  As we started to walk away from the truck, I wanted to take a photo of us.

I wanted to send a photo to my parents so they could feel like they were included in every step.  I was excited and was also trying to take in every single moment of the day.  It was quiet on the temple grounds, barely anybody in sight.  MAYBE there were 2 other people on the grounds.  It was quiet and peaceful, unlike the usual hustle and bustle of a Saturday.  This was another reason why I'd always wanted to be married/sealed on a Thursday.
We walked in and there was my nephew and his wife. My nephew's wife didn't have her temple recommend w/ her, so she could only hug us at the reception desk and had to wait for us during the ceremony.
The temple seemed different that day.  I felt like I was looking at it through new eyes.  I went into rooms that I had only been in once or twice before.  We first walked into the waiting room and my old roommate, Sestra, was there.  I gave her a huge hug and I got choked up hugging her.  I haven't seen Sestra in about 7 years, and we were roommates over 12 years ago.  Sestra was the best roommates I could have ever had (upon moving out for the first time).  She is kind, sincere and genuinely goodhearted!  I think I squeezed her so tight because she I was over the moon to have her here, in person, celebrating this beautiful experience.  Also because I never knew if I would ever get to this point in my life; being married & sealed.  I wish I could have spent all afternoon just catching up with her.
Reed was next to Sestra and she would be my escort for the day.  Unfortunately, my sister's recommend also expired without realizing it til that day, so I needed someone I was close to; Reed.  I love Reed just as much as I love my sister.  I've known Reed since the day I returned home from my mission  I love her children and couldn't be more grateful to consider her family.  More and more of our guests were showing up, Auntie Sue, Mike & Julie, Buzz...all our dear loved ones.  My heart could just burst at the seams.
We needed to go over paperwork stuff, so they took us to a side room.  I could see more of our guests walking in and I just wanted to greet them all!  We were sitting in a room about 20 feet away just watching them all.  They were all there for us.  I had to fight back the tears many, MANY times.
We went over paperwork stuff, and then the temple president called us into his office.  My heart just wanted explode!  I wanted to cry because this was all becoming a reality.  He explained what was going to take place and my heart was full of love for the man next to me.  He learned about this gospel and joined this religion so that we could be a forever family and it was all coming together.  I wanted to just slow down a bit, and sit there on that couch a bit longer because I wanted to take it all in. Plus it was so dang hot and I was tired of being a hot sweaty mess!
We went back to the waiting room and more guests had arrived.  Our missionaries (technically Levi's missionaries), Jordan & Travis came all the way from Idaho.  I wanted to just cry.  I love these two return missionaries.  We were then ushered to go upstairs to change.  Slim walked over w/ Levi to rent some clothes and I had my brand new temple dress in my bag.  We headed up the stairs and over to the bridal room.
I hadn't been in the bridal room since I was endowed 15 years ago.  It was nice to be back.  It was just as beautiful as I remember and today I was to be the bride.  I was sad that my sister wasn't there with me, but I was grateful for Reed.  Can I just say that I LOVE my dress?!?! It is so comfy and soft and ooooooh so pretty!  I got all dressed and I felt so beautiful.  This was it.  I was going to be sealed, to my sweetheart, for time and all eternity.  We walked up the stairs together and everything seemed to look different.  It wasn't the temple I had known all my life (since I was 12).  It just felt different that day.  Good different, but almost foreign.  I don't know why, but I was alright.
There were beautiful parts of the ceremony that are seared in my heart, forever.
We were able to sit in the Celestial Room for a tiny bit, which gave me time to teach my first name to the temple sealer.  Of all the things I wanted that day, I wanted someone who could pronounce my name.  After about 10 minutes of talking with him,  it was time.  I was friggin' hot and sweaty, so was my poor Levi.  It was just so dang hot and humid that day!!! Wearing layers upon layers of clothes doesn't help a situation.  Then it was time.
I tried to remember every single word spoken in the ceremony.  Although I can't discuss it all, I remember how I felt.  My sweetheart was going to be mine, forever.  I wanted to cry.  I was happy and over the moon about it.  I wished with all my heart that my parents could have been there with us.  I wish my sister was sitting by me.  I wished my Kuku & Tutu could have had front row seats for it all.  But that's ok, the most important thing was that we were being sealed for time, and all eternity.
It was the most exquisite and most serene ceremony I had ever been a part of.
Afterwards we were able to hug everyone that came.  I absolutely LOVED that part! I loved embracing everyone who came.  I wish I could have had at least 5 minutes with each person because they all meant so much to me, and to us.
After we hugged everyone, we were talking with our witnesses, Jordan & Travis.  I expressed to them, with all the love in my heart, how truly grateful I was for their missions.  I will forever be grateful for their missionary service because they helped give me eternity with my sweetheart.  Their eyes were wet and there was just so much love in that sealing room.  My heart was full.
And just like that, it was over.  It happened so quickly.  I wish I took a moment longer to really look at everyone in our company that day.  I know I didn't because I was already so close to crying so many, MANY times and I was trying hard NOT to be a bawling, bumbling mess that day.  As for our actual wedding day, 3 years prior, I was a mess.  I was crying from the second I walked down the aisle to the second I walked out of there. I was a nervous, anxious mess.  I promised Levi that I would do better this time around and I think I did him proud. Nonetheless, thank heavens for water-proof mascara!
Wow, it was over in about 20 minutes.  Something so lovely, and grand and just awesome was over before I knew it.  My heart wanted to just stay in the sealing room.  Eternity was given to us and I just wanted to relish in the wonder of it all.
My beautiful, selfless best friend of a husband was and is mine for eternity. My cup runneth o'er.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August in Rewind: Thursday, August 3. (pre-temple)

Thursday, August 3 (pre-temple)

Today's our 3 year wedding anniversary!!! I woke up around 9 and Levi was still asleep.  I love watching him sleep because he looks so peaceful.  It was still early enough and my Dad wouldn't be at dialysis just yet.  I called over to my parents and spoke with both of them. I wanted to call and thank them for their example of loving and serving in the temple.  It was a good phone call.  We were all emotional.  My Dad, like clockwork, asked about Levi.  He always asks about Levi and how he's doing with work.  I told him that Levi was asleep in bed.  My Dad was speaking so slowly but I'm glad to hear that he was eating quite a bit today, from Mom.  I just felt like I needed to talk to my parents this morning because this was a big event that was taking place in my life and I wanted them to to feel like a part of the day.  I wish they could be there in the temple with us that day but I know deep in my heart that they already know how all of this works.  I owe a lot to my parents in helping me get to the temple, each time I've gone for something important in my life.


I just wanted the world to know how much I love and adore this sweetheart of mine.
He finally woke up and we went to grab breakfast.  We went to McDonald's for 2 deluxe breakfasts. As soon as that was done, I went to get my toenails done.  If there was anything I was going to do, it was to get my toes done! I needed "vacation toenails"! I love me some French tip toenails!

Man, it is extremely humid today!!! Like it's just so friggin' hot and humid!! Sweat on top of sweat on top of sweat!  My phone's going off like crazy with texts and Fb & Instagram notifications. I got to talk to my best friend, MamaStephy.  Man, I love her and I can't wait to wear the special Lularoe dress she sent me! Oh how I wish she could be here!

I'm off to do my nails. Hopefully this doesn't take long!  Thankfully, I have everything set in my temple bag for us. I have my brand new temple dress (OH SO PRETTY!!!) and our temple recommends in the zipper! We're set!

*Dang nail salon took a while.  UGH, I guess that's what I get for not getting a pedicure more often! :(  Wow...time is flying so quickly!!!! I need to do my nails!!!

I took a shower and after I turned it off, it's still so hot and sticky!!! WHY!?! Why did we ever get married in August?! The HOTTEST month of Summer!!! GAH! YUCK!!!

I'm trying to do my make up and I am HOTTER THAN HOT!!! I just can't stop sweating!!! WHY IS IT SO HOT!!!!! :(  :( :(  It's closing in on 2:30p and we should have left for the temple already.  Let me double check my bag for our temple recommends.

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE OUR RECOMMENDS?!?!?!? I KNOW I PUT THEM ALL IN MY TEMPLE BAG AND I CANNOT FIND THEM!!! WHAT THE F?!??!  Are you friggin' kidding me?!?1?!?!?  I'm tearing everything apart!! My purse! NOPE.  Our dresser. NOPE!!  10 minutes later, after my blood pressure went thru the room, Levi walked in from the truck holding them.  Oh yeah.....I forgot I put them in the glove compartment after his endowment.  WHAT THE HECK?!?!?  Seriously!! I DID NOT need this today!!! WHY DID I DO THAT??!? AAARGGGGGUGH!!!!!!

My finger nails aren't painted.  Oh how I wish I would have gotten that dang manicure!!! But I didn't have time!  I just need a good 5 minutes and I can get it done!  Levi is trying to convince me that we need to get in the truck because we need to leave and get gas on the way.  I am now painting my nails as we drive! YES, AS WE DRIVE I AM PAINTING MY NAILS!!! How did I spread myself so thin to not do my finger nails!!! UGH!!!  I am attempting to paint my nails as he drives... I've NEVER done this before and it is nearly impossible to do.  I'm getting it on the skin around my nails and I am crying.  Seriously, I'm crying because I wanted my hands to look pretty today.  Plus, I just needed 5 minutes of stillness to get this done.  I'm stressing hardcore as we're connecting onto the 52 West, Levi's trying to console me and I just want him to pull off the rode for 5 whole minutes.  THANK GOODNESS for quick dry polish, but it's too late....it's on the sides of my skin and with the max AC, the nail polish is clumping on my nails because it's drying faster than I can apply it.  I'm so mad.  I'm mad at Levi because he rushed me. I'm mad that I didn't give myself more time. I'm mad that I didn't do this before falling asleep at 4am this morning. I'm mad I didn't just do my pedicure on Monday when I went to get my eyebrows waxed. I'm mad that the time we took look for our recommends, I could have been painting my nails!!! I'm just so mad!!

My nephew's now beaten us to the temple and we still had about 10 minutes before we'd reach there!! UGH....my poor nails look terrible and I'm trying to be ok with all of this and calm...most of all CALM for my Levi.  How did time fly by so quickly?! YAY! We're closing in on 5 North!  We're almost there!!!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August in Rewind: Wednesday, August 2

{I'd like to just take a moment to rewind back to the beginning of the month, when life was just a bit different and I want to record my thoughts & feelings from those days.}

Wednesday, August 2:
I took today off, as did Levi.  Things on today's to do list:
-Pick up the cake from work [Thank you Krissa!]
-Pick up Baby's Breath {Thankful I placed an order for 2 bunches!}
-Make it down to my sister's to receive tables & chairs!

Other than that, we'll have to pick up the table clothes from Lei and later tonight, I'll need to cut the butterfly confetti for the tables & bake cookies...oh yeah and dye my hair as I've been wanting to do for the last several days!  Ugh... I can't have grey hairs on my special day!  "Why butterflies?" you may ask?  Butterflies have a special meaning to Levi, which always makes him think of his Mom who loved butterflies.



It's been miserably hot and exceptionally sticky & humid.  UGH, the humidity!!! Our AC has been running 24/7!  Levi's been gaming quite a bit and I'm glad he's home today to help me buy the last minute stuff I need from Hobby Lobby & WalMart, for cookies & decorations.

I stopped by work to pick up the naked German Chocolate Cake from Krissa.  Whoa....it looks pretty naked & way different than the typical frosted cake.  Knowing her stuff, I know this is going to be good!

Levi, in his infinite patience, is driving us around town this afternoon.  We found the flower place and I just want to buy all the flowers here!  I loved walking out of the flower shop with my 2 bunches of Baby's Breath.  There's something so pretty about its simplicity.  I think they're going to look so pretty in the mason jars!  I cannot wait!

We pulled up to my sister's and there's my nephew Slim, grilling chicken on an electric grill.  My niece, Novee is bumbling around behind him talking about his Google Cardboard (or something similar to that)  I walk in and hang the white table clothes on the door frame.  Man, they were heavy and oh so white!  AHHH!!!! I just can't believe it....we're getting closer to our party!! Wow we have a lot of stuff to bring into my sister's place for tomorrow.


Can I just say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE having family dinners outside.  There is just something so wonderful and beautiful about having the sky as your ceiling to your family dinner. I love it so much.  Oh how I wish I could have my middle 2 nephews join us for this family dinner. It was such a delightful evening and for some reason I was in a very good mood.  Levi was teasing me by saying I was being "Jokey!"  Oh too funny.  It was like rapid fire with the jokes.  I was in the best mood.  Less than 24 hours to our anniversary/sealing party! I just couldn't wait!


I'm thankful for my niece who was so nice to help me out with making sure the tables would be all set and decorated by the time we return from the temple.

Twinkle lights! Does it get any better than this, on a Summer evening?!  I wanted to spend more time with my nephew & his wife since I knew that I wouldn't get to interact with them much the next day and then soon enough we'd be off on our second honeymoon.


I baked 16 dozen cookies tonight!  I finished somewhere around 3am (on Thursday 8/3) Levi stayed up as late as he could to do "quality control" as he promised.  I made 8 dozen chocolate toffee cookies & white chocolate, mac & coconut cookies for our party. I just wanted to make something by my own hand for our family and friends.  I just felt like homemade cookies would be a special touch from me.  Man.....there were a lot of cookies! Oh my weakness for fresh homemade cookies!

I was able to dye my hair and the dang gloves tore and the web between my index & thumb were dark red! AHHH!!!!  Thank goodness for a pumice stone....

Anyways, I better get to sleep!  No need for bags under my eyes!  ONE MORE SLEEP til the big day!!

August in Rewind: Tuesday, August 1.

I'd like to just take a moment to rewind back to the beginning of the month, when life was just a bit different and I want to record my thoughts & feelings from those days.

Tuesday, August 1:
I went to work today.  I called in sick yesterday because I was feeling a bit stressed and needed to slow down a bit.  Plus it was nice to get some stuff down towards Thursday's big day.  I was having a hard time focusing on work today.  I felt like I needed to make lists on top of lists and double check all lists so that everything was in place.
During my lunch today, I had to run to the temple's Distribution Center for stuff. Can I just say how beautiful our temple is here in San Diego?
Being there in the middle of the day almost exactly 48 hours before our sealing was just so lovely.  I probably saw about 3 other people on the temple grounds and I just couldn't help but smile so big because in 48 hours I would be entering the temple to be sealed to my sweetheart. I had to take a photo of my time there today because the temple was just so exquisite and my heart wanted to jump out of my chest with excitement.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

11 sleeps.


Sometimes, I wish I could go back to this night, 11 days ago. It was a wonderful, splendid evening. We were a bit crowded in my sister's backyard which made it even more cozy and intimate. I loved having so many loved ones in one space.
  
It was simple but it had good music and good food with great people, which is all I wanted. 

I love summer night dinner parties. But I loved this summer night dinner party the best.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

The ride home tonight.

On the way home tonight, from visiting with my sister and niece, I broke down crying. I didn't cry much today and thought it was successful that I only cried once until the ride home.
It's still hard for me to drive through IB without thinking of where I used to live with them about 4 years ago and where they lived up until last year. It made me miss them as we passed that neighborhood and it made me think of my Dad. Slowly the water works started to happen. A few freeway exits later, I was full on sobbing. I told Levi that I don't think my heart will ever fully heal from this. I think my heart will forever feel like a chunk is missing. Some say that time heals wounds but I just don't feel like all the time in the world will heal this. It's only been about 1.5 days and it already feels like a very long time. I'm only 36 years old and I've got a very long time before I'll see him again. I can't wrap my head around it and my heart can't handle this separation. I want to talk to him. I want to hear his voice in return. I hate this. I hate this so much. I try to think of how I dealt with this when my Kuku & Tutu passed away 15 & 14 years ago. I miss hearing their voices. I miss conversing with them.  
I'm selfish because I just want my Dad here. I look at old photos and I wish I could have my Dad stand next to me again. I just want to hear his voice say my name again. 
As we were sharing stories at my sister's tonight, I just couldn't believe I forgot about my time spent with him on Friday (August 4). When I went into his room, after our road trip out to Vegas, he reached for my hand and slowly brought it up to his mouth. He kissed the back of my hand. I honestly don't remember much of my brief moment with him because I was sleep deprived and longing for a nap. 
Part of me wants to kick myself for not spending more time with him that day.  The more I think about it, I get angry at myself for all those missed opportunities. Then it makes me sad. It's such a vicious cycle when you're grieving. 
I feel like I've rubbed my face raw from the continuous crying. I just can't imagine this world without my Dad in it. I'm grateful I have an eternity with him. I'm going to need it. 



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