Friday, July 31, 2009

Special Delivery to Heaven

This yr to celebrate dads/papas birthday, I had the kids make special letters to him and then we went to Krogers and bought some balloons so we can send the messages to heaven. Boy did that start a lot of questions.. like will he get them, is there a roof in heaven, where does he sleep, where does he go bowling, is he happy, does he have fun, how did he get there etc....

It was nice to be able to discuss heaven with them. I never had anyone close to me die until I was older so I never really had a concept of where we go when we die.. I mean I knew heaven but until you know someone that has taken that trip, it's hard to grasp. So I'm glad to be able to share with my kids what I know about eternity.

Kiddos writing their letters

Rielly wrote about 20.. but this is the one she chose to send to him

Reese sent 2.. this one and another one that said "are you having fun?"

Happy Birthday Papa!!

Enjoy your gifts!!!

Happy Birthday Papa!!!

(I wrote this post little by little over the past few yrs.. I'm not gonna add much to that this yr except change the numbers. For those who read it last yr, sorry. My thoughts remain the same- it helps me remember and reflect)

Today is my dads 63rd birthday. 63 is not old! People live far beyond that. So 63 should just be a yay I'm getting older birthday. I guess the good thing is dad will never have a "yay I'm getting older birthday", right?

Happy Birthday dad.... I know you're celebrating in a far better way than you ever could on earth:) I hope I have made you proud and will continue to make you proud. I know you watch over me.. every now and then when I really need it (and lately it's been a lot), I feel you with me. And because of this, how could I ever deny the truths you and mom taught me? I sure miss you dad.

I wrote this 2yrs ago on his birthday and I still find it fitting today. Sorry that it's 2 years outdated but you'll get the idea:)

Written July 31st 2007

July 31st.. a day that has been a part of my life since I was born. I remember a few yrs ago on July 31st, I had gone back to Az from California and I had the fortunate opportunity at that time to celebrate my dads 59th birthday. 59 yrs of accomplishments and hardships and heartaches and miracles and happiness.. 59yrs of being Earl Lutz. I remember going shopping with Cody (or Chad) to look for his birthday present and we ended up finding him some silly gag gifts. I remember Jim getting him a big plastic tote full of BBQ stuff-- seasonings, a chefs hat, an apron, a grill cover, tools, etc. And you know--life was good. Who would have ever thought that in just a few short months, things weren't going to be good. Who knows how long he was sick for.. but thank goodness we had that day. Now I remember July 31st the next yr. How things changed. What a sad day that was. We had already found out we were moving to GA and we were preparing to make this move. I talked to mom that day.. they had gone to the cemetary. You see... by last July 31st, my dad was already in heaven. He celebrated his 60th birthday with his dad and sister and all his relatives that had gone on before him. What an amazing birthday present for him. But for me, that year was hard because it was the first birthday that I couldn't call or send a gift or tell him Happy Birthday. And now there's today.. another July 31st. This yr seems different... more difficult than the last. My dear friend Natalie was right when she said last yr it hadn't sunk in yet that he was actually dead.. this year reality has set. So I have been dreading this July 31st for awhile now. Just like I dread each Fathers Day. But sitting around crying and being depressed is everything a birthday isn't. A birthday is a day to celebrate. So I am focusing today on celebrating a man who lived on this earth for 59.5 years. A man who is no longer sick and suffering. A man who went before us.. to be there to help us when our time on earth is through. I am celebrating the fact that I am healthy--that my body isn't fighting some awful disease that could take me away from my family prematurely. I'm celebrating the fact that I can see the beautiful blue sky and hear the birds singing.. that I am able to take my kids on a picnic and watch them laugh and play at the park and know that I am able to do all these things because on July 31st, my dad was born. So Happy Birthday Dad. You are truely missed and loved so much and I will forever celebrate July 31st..and every day before and after it until I am able to celebrate with you again. I am grateful for the life you had and the choices you made and how much you loved my children..LOVE my children.. I will always remember your sense of humor and your smile... that smile that you always had no matter how much pain you were in- or how worried you were. And your very last second here on earth, you smiled. My greatest gift I could give to you today is to smile and to remember you that you lived and the life you had... and to live my life in such a way that I will be able to return to be with you again someday.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A swimming victory!!!

My kids have always loved pools but a little squeemish when it comes to actually "swimming". During the last 2 summers, we've been able to visit our friends neighborhood pool but not too often so really they've never had too many chances to swim or learn how to swim.

But we've used our complex pool several times since we've moved in and it's amazing how all the sudden Reese has improved!!! After just a couple times of really swimming (without his feet walking on the bottom of the pool), today he swam from one end to the other without stopping. He was so proud of himself and I am so proud of him. He just kept trying and after several frustrating attemps, he accomplished his goal!

Good job Reese! Next week, on to swimming in the 4 feet!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saying goodbye to good friends!

The last 2 weeks in GA were full of moving preps and saying goodbye to friends. Rebecca and Brenda gave me a going away party which was so nice to be able to see everyone at once and have one last get together (okay not last because I'll be back to visit!)
Me and Brenda






Kristina and Jean



And just for fun-- random eating shots!

Our ward also had a 4th of July breakfast so I snagged a few photos there as well!

Meredith and half of Jennifer

Elder Laelou (or however you spell it)-- one of the goofiest and funniest and oddest missionaries I ever met.

Tanya and Eli


Trudy and Starr

And Natalie is one of my dearest friends --we didn't live close to each other but stayed close and fortunately we got to meet for dinner before I left.

I love you guys!

Yes I am obsessed..

but I'm not alone....

For my best friend Brendas birthday, we went to a Twilight convention in Buckhead, GA a few weeks ago. Yes you read that right. Just like the trek conventions or comic book ones, they had one for Twilight! How on earth could we resist that?!?!?!
Honestly though it really wasn't as big as I thought it would be. They had a hallway set up with booth selling anything twilightish-- lotions that "smell" like twilight, posters, the book hand model, accessories (I bought a purse tag of course).... etc etc etc. They had some group called the Hillbilly Show that does parodys of Twilight and some collector was there showing off his collection of outfits worn by the characters in the movie.
Then we went into a big room, played a trivia game and listed to Kellan Lutz (no relation sadly) - the hotty who played Emmett Cullen- answer questions. We went to have lunch and found out that Brendas van was booted. Nice huh? So we went back in, watched an insane auction going on that people paid way too much for twilight stuff.. then we FINALLY went to eat lunch! We came back and listed to Ashley Greene -Alice Cullen- answer a bunch more questions. She was kinda awkward but it was still cool because come on.. she's ALICE!
So that was that.. enjoy the pics!
Yes... yes we are wearing matching shirts. A couple outfits worn by Edward and Bella-- we were supposed to pay $5 to get this pic. Opps
Outfits worn by Alice and Rosalie

More Twilight costumes

Prom dresses!!!

Charlies coat and Carlisle Cullens dr coat

the dress Bella wore to her birthday party and her birthday cake coming up in New Moon

her birthday cake that started the whole incident of Edward leaving :(

Brenda with Charlies jacket

The Hillywood folks... the dude looks like Jasper but the others not so much

the wanna-be Edward and Bella look alikes

We're super excited to see Emmett!!!

That would be him! Very hot stuff (but rather cocky too)

Brenda got the boot!

And Alice

I promise.. it really did happen!!! Ballet recital

So Rielly really did have a ballet recital. It just has taken me months to blog about it!!! Back in June, Rielly performed in her very first recital! You can see a little exerpt from it here...
She was in the evening performance. This is also the studio that I taught piano at so a few of my piano students are in it as well:)

Here's our little crooked smile ballerina! She did awesome! Oh to be a kid again and not have constant stage fright like her mama!

My 2 little cheeseballs!!! Reese was very excited to see his sister on stage!

A proud daddy!

Here is Rielly and her ballet teacher and studio owner, Neta. She is awesome-- if you were ever looking for a studio for your kids to take dance or music classes, I HIGHLY recommend The Dance and Music Academy of Woodstock.

Yeah you can tell where they get their cheesiness from!!!

All the teachers from the music studio!

Our little ballerina after the show! I do have to say Rielly got hit in the face while on the stage from another ballerina and she just kept on dancing! What a trooper!!