The other day I had a brief thought of how glad I'd be when 2008 was over because of some of the hard times, but then I took a minute to think of what I've, of what WE'VE learned as a family. I realized the enormous blessings we've received this year and how I couldn't give them back to take away the hurts. We are so grateful for the blessings and growth we've experienced through sacrrfice and sorrow.
The year started with a trip to South Carolina in January for me. My father had surgery to remove a foot due to diabetes. I stayed 3 weeks to help Mama back and forth to the hospital. We had some good memories and I was able to share their 60th wedding anniversary in Daddy's room.
In February Jill and Paul returned from Hawaii, having had some amazing experiences, especially with Jill as she worked with the sister missionaries converting and activating people. They hiked and swam and fished and surfed,...you get the picture. Makes you kinda sick, huh!
We are grateful to have them back with our Maya, now 2 1/2 and acting every bit of it! Stinker.
February also brought a job change for John. He's now with Blue Health Care Bank, a bank formed by a number of Blue Cross Companies across the nation. It's a startup, several years old, and very exciting as they develop, test and change and hope and move people around to get the best fit. John is exhausted continually, but seems a little energized at the same time! It's straight down, as in straight down from our house, about 3 miles. Wonderful commute!
In April I returned to Charleston, hoping for improvement for Daddy. We realized quickly that his time was short and we lost him April 24th. It still hurts so much. I questioned my heart with the grief, wondering if I didn't have the faith I thought I had. Thanks to wonderful, compassionate letters I came to realize that when you love deeply, you may grieve deeply. He was a wonderful Daddy. I stayed over a month. Our girls were able to come for the funeral, and John, too. He had just come for the weekend the week before Daddy died, which was wonderful, but he was able to come back. It was so comforting for me to have my little crew with me and to reunite with so many loved relatives and friends. What a blessing we have when we have each other!
Even though we miss Daddy, we know where he is~ just think of who he's met- besides the important Ones! People like...Elvis! (Definitely NOT a favorite of Daddy's)...Amelia Earhart~
where DID she end up? Danny Kaye- one of my favorites. HAS to be the cast of Gunsmoke and Michael Landon from Highway to Heaven!
Mama came to Utah quickly after me and was here for Caroline's High School graduation! Caroline graduated with honors and also with 46, yes, 46!! college credits! As of December 19th she finished her first semester at BYU and is actually now a JUNIOR!! Do you realize how much money she saved us?? Hmmm..according to our deal, she is actually saving HERSELF money! She absolutely loves college and college life. She's a campus operator, so if you have ANY BYU questions, call their info line and maybe she'll answer! Even things like sports scores!
Mama came again in June/July for a month. While here, our Michelle and Brian had their 4th!! baby- another girl. Isabelle Catherine joined our family and we love her immensely. Elizabeth, Caroline and Cooper maul her with their love. They have moved to Syracuse to work in a practice there and are loving it.
Melanie and Greg have had an exciting year as Greg graduated in Electrical Engineering and is now in a Masters/PHD program at the U. Melanie loves being a mom so much to their Will that they are expecting another son in early March. Here's hoping for more blonde, curly hair!
Thanksgiving found us thankful to have all our children, John's parents and my Mama again, with us. She and I have spent 16 weeks together this year! So much for being empty nesters!
Truly a blessed year as we have loved more deeply, laughed more often at new and old memories and realized more fully the love of friends and family and of course, Heavenly Father's wonderful love for us! Merry Christmas!