Dear Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,
I MISS you.

It's only been 48 hours since your death and I miss you already. My mind is filled with thoughts of why I love you so much and how you've formed my life. I can't stop shedding tears in your memory & that is why I am up at 2 am when I am exhausted & desperately need some sleep. I figure if I wrote you a letter & straighten out my thoughts then maybe it'll help give me some closure.

You know my own Dad hurt me dearly in my youth so you were there for me. You are the father-figure that I looked up to. You made sure I knew how important it was to always get the most education I could, get straight A's and that it wasn't good enough until I strived to be the best I could be and then as a sweet reward you would slip me $20-$100 for my reward. It was always a surprise and it made me feel special because I knew you didn't always do it for my brothers & sisters as you did for me, especially when I was in college. Every girl wants to be "Daddy's little girl" and since I wasn't my Dad's, I was yours.
I knew I was because you always told me how proud you were of me. Every time I came to visit I was always welcomed with a smile & a hug. Even when you got old & it was hard for you to stand up, you still always insisted on standing up & giving me a hug, even when you got so old I had to help pull you up. Every time I visited you, you never missed the opportunity to tell me how beautiful you thought I was and that I was making the perfect decisions in life. I loved that you were so proud of my biggest decision, Vic, we both agreed that he was the best thing that ever happened to me & I couldn't have done better than finding such a "fine" man. Thank you for always letting me know that you approved of who I was & what I was doing, that probably means the most to me.
We were the only two early birds in the family and that left a lot of time for us to talk alone before the rest of the family was up. I'm going to miss those talks. You always loved to tell me the stories of your life and now I desperately wish I would have been taking notes so I'll never forget your adventures, your hopes, your memories, the things you wished you could have changed, and your love for life. You were so proud of your accomplishments in this life & I hope that at the end of my life I will be able to feel the same. Life is good, enjoy it, live it to the fullest, that is what you taught me.
You had a passion for working in the garden and I'll never forget the summer I spent working with you. You taught me to work and to love it and be proud of my accomplishments at the end of the day. Luckily, I learned a thing or two from you so that I can work on making my garden just as beautiful. Again, I wish I would have been taking notes all of these years. I never did because I loved being able to just ask you.
The more I think about your personality, the more I realize where I got mine from. I took the good... and the bad from you! The only bad being that I somehow absorbed being stubborn and telling how it is, no white lies for us! haha :) But truthfully, the good.... You had class. I truly admire that about you & I hope that one day I'll be as classy as you. You loved your clothes & I remember you telling me one time that you took the time to count all of your shirts and you had 360 someodd shirts on hangers! Ha! I can only wish that someday I'll have that many shirts, shoes, & suits that I love. One day I'll hopefully have it together enough to always come to the breakfast table dressed without a hair out of place. I always loved that about you.
I love that we had silly similarities: like that we were both dental hygienists in our youth, that we loved the same colors, we loved admiring beautiful people, furniture, yards, and houses. We both love to dress up fancy & go out. We tend to be perfectionists and liked to spend hours organizing our stuff. We both love having company over and being tickled pink that our guests had a good time, even if we didn't because we were too busy running to the store or worrying what to do to make sure everyone else had a good time. You've given me so many books to pass on your passion of reading, hey I've watched enough golf with you that I can even see how such a boring sport could be interesting to watch. I don't mind watching westerns either. You were my perfect pal no matter what we watched or talked about.
Thank you for all of the financial advice you gave me. Vic is always asking me where I learned to be thrifty & good with money and I am just now realizing it is from you and your many "father talks" that you gave me. This has helped me already more than you know. Thank you for passing on your love of hiking and the outdoors. There is nothing more refreshing and replenishing to life than the natural outdoors God gave us.
So many memories & thoughts are running through my mind as I write this letter, but most of all I can't stop thinking about how proud of me you were. It hurts to know that one of my biggest fans is gone. I always feel inadequate, but you knew how to make me feel good enough. I'm going to miss your encouragement & love, but most of all I'm going to miss your smile.... and no, I'm still not wearing fake eyelashes.
Dearest Grandpa, you told me more than once that you wished you wouldn't have left the mormon church when you were a teenager. I wish so badly that you would have come back in this life, but I pray that in the next life you have accepted the truth and that I'll be able to live with you again... and make you dinner, your favorite :)
I hope your memory never fades. With your passing, it has made me realize that I need to get on the ball & start living more like one of my biggest heroes, you. If I wasn't up at 3:30am writing this I'd even get up early & go walking in your honor. I'll start exercising like you soon, I promise. I want to be like you in a million ways so please take that as life's greatest accomplishment. You did good Grandpa & I will always be proud to call you mine.I love you.
Love, your Fancy Nancy


Island Park

We are so lucky that my parents have such a gorgeous cabin on the lake to go to; it is the perfect vacation getaway. This year was the double the fun since we didn't go on the water while I was prego last year. Here is a picture of Tommy's first jet ski ride!
I was surprised that Tommy was okay with the cold lake water, he wanted to walk pretty deep in it.
This little tube is a mommy/baby double tube & was an afterthought on the way there, but Tommy sure loved it.
Tommy & "Daddy"
Tommy & my mom hanging out in the kitchen.
My mom wanted this pictures taken as evidence that she attempted to get up on waterskis! 
She did do great ont he tube though :)
I love this cute smile, I wish it showed his little tooth popping through.
Tommy loves to stand, here he is living life on the edge (literally!)
On the way to Island Park we stopped to have lunch with Heather, my college buddy, and here is Tommy with her adorable 2 kids. They loved Tommy, I love how kids love babies.
My niece went through the temple for the first time yesterday & while we were waiting for her to come out I snapped a picture of the flowers along the side of the temple. They are so bright & beautiful, I wished my flowers looked this good!


4th of July

Here's a little snap shot of our 4th of July. Of course I had to make fun treats & decorations! I just think it makes the party that much more fun. Last year we did a bouncy house party, but I think this one topped that. We had water relay games, water gladiator games, & pool fun plus lots of good food. Then to end the night we had some HUGE fireworks. The kids went nuts & my biggest compliment was when I overheard: my niece's fiance saying that my spread should be on the front cover of Homemakers magazine & the kids saying in excitement that we have the coolest, funnest house ever :)

I thought it would be fun to make fruit arrangements, but I didn't think they would turn out this cute & fun. They were so easy, but gorgeous & festive.

This picture is up above too,but it's so cute I had to make it bigger. Tommy & his cousin sporting their 4th of July outfits. This is Tommy's second outfit as I forgot I bought a different one! We lit off a couple of sparklers the night before & Tommy loved it, but when we did it on the 4th he was absolutely terrified of them so we had to take him in. Hopefully he learns his mama's love of fireworks.

Here is the last half of the water relay. I knew it'd be fun, but the kids just had a hayday with it :)