Sunday, December 21, 2008

Til' We Meet Again

Our sweet father and grandfather David passed away on Thursday, Dec. 18th.I've never known someone who has had a bigger impact on our life than our Captain Fun, David. He is James' best friend and Aidan's biggest hero. His fun-natured spirit and optimism is so contagious and it is so easy to gravitate toward him. I can see why Heavenly Father needs him. But it's hard not to be selfish and want him here with us. I'm still speaking in the present tense because it doesn't seem real. Here are a few precious memories of him with his two grandsons. I hope through this pictures the boys (at least Aidan) can remember how extraordinary their grandpa was and that he LOVED them with all of his heart.

Here's a few of our precious memories:

Aidan placed his (black) cowboy hat right next to PapaDad's.

Ethan has been learning how to say "PapaDad".

Aidan's last trip to Colorado with PapaDad.

Uncle Brian came into town last April.
Feeding Ethan a bottle, when Ethan was a baby.
Dave put Aidan on a horse as soon as he could walk.
This was last year, Dave wanted to help Aidan paint a Christmas tree for us (Mom & Dad).

It was wonderful having PapaDad (and Gramms, and Jolynn) go trick-o-treating with us this Halloween.
Aidan & "PapaDad" were attached at the hip...wherever PapaDad was, Aidan was close behind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary Babe!

This is 2 days late, but our internet was down on Monday. I tried to load a wedding pic, but my scanner's not cooperating!

Happy Anniversary, J! I can't believe it's been SEVEN years!!! The years have flown by. It's seems like only yesterday when were married the day after finals! We thought that was, our anniversary falls right smack in the middle of law school finals; in fact, you had a final the morning of our anniversary. Thanks for sacrificing a few hours from your civ pro studying to take me out! I am so lucky to be married to such an amazing person. I would have such a colorless life without your random spontaneity and constant dry humor. We'll be able to fully celebrate when we are at the cabin in 9 DAYS!!! I can't wait to hit the slopes (um, literally...on my bum) with you. Maybe someday I can figure out that carving business that you have perfected. Happy A, babe!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In Memory of Elder Wirthlin

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed away Monday night. I feel like I have a relationship with the First Presidency and the 12 Apostles through their words of encouragement and counsel. Their messages all seem to be directed to me personally, which I know they are. Just as when President Hinckley died, it is so bittersweet to know that Elder Wirthlin is no longer with us here but will be greeted by the Savior and family on the other side of the veil. I was really touched by his talk given at the October session of General Conference. I had to work that Saturday, so I went back to read the talks given that day. The title of his talk drew me in and I'm so glad that I read it! I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of his talk.
Come What May, and Love It
"There may be some who think that General Authorities rarely experience pain, suffering, or distress. If only that were true. While every man and woman on this stand today has experienced an abundant measure of joy, each also has drunk deeply from the cup of disappointment, sorrow, and loss. The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.
"For me, the Lord has opened the windows of heaven and showered blessings upon my family beyond my ability to express. Yet like everyone else, I have had times in my life when it seemed that the heaviness of my heart might be greater than I could bear. During those times I think back to those tender days of my youth when great sorrows came at the losing end of a football game.
"How little I knew then of what awaited me in later years. But whenever my steps led through seasons of sadness and sorrow, my mother’s words often came back to me: “Come what may, and love it.
"How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life."
How true is that? Our reactions and attitude toward the adversity we face in life can actually affect our success and happiness in life. Life is soooo unfair. There are things that we go through personally that make us think, "Heavenly Father, what did I do wrong to deserve this???" But I love what Elder Wirthlin points out:
"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences...stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
Plus, he adds that the Savior understands our suffering and grief because of the great suffering he went through.
I love it that he points out that "the Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
I'm so glad that Elder Wirthlin was able to share this message before meeting his wife on the other side. We ALL face adversity in many different shapes and forms. It is necessary that we face sorrow, grief, and despair so that we can recognize the happiness, joy, and triumph in our lives. On the Lord's timetable, we will understand and see the blessings from our adversities. You will be missed Elder Wirthlin!