Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm Beginning To Sound Like My Mother

"Do you think money grows on trees?"

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

"Don't make me tell you again!"

"Close the door! Were you born in a barn?!"

"Beggars can't be choosers."

"Because I said so!"

"I'll tell you when you're older."

"Don't make me come in there!"

and the ever popular...

"Wait until your father gets home!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crying In The Rain

Holding in your feelings,
Is like crying, in the rain.
Everyone can see you,
But they cannot see your pain.

Not saying what you want to,
Means it beats you up inside.
And though you want to run,
From cannot hide.

Blessed are those people,
Who still can see it all.
They seem to walk beside you,
But are behind you, when you fall.

It's such a comfort knowing,
That you are not alone.
That they are there to guide you,
Until you find strength of your own.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time

I've been reflecting a lot on my life, lately. I've been through a lot in this short (ha!) life of mine. What if I could go back in time? Not to have a second chance at anything or change anything, but just to relive certain days...

-I'd like to go back to any of the numerous days that I walked next door to my Meme's house for lunch. She'd let me eat in the living room and I always felt so grown up. She'd spend hours upon hours playing Trouble or Uno with me and telling me stories about my mom, aunt and uncles, growing up.

-I'd like to go back to the first time I liked a boy and he liked me back. Such new feelings. Excitement. Nervousness. Curiosity.

-I'd like to go back to the night I found out that I made my high school's dance team. I ran out into the backyard and screamed so loud! I didn't think that I would ever in my life, be that happy again.

-I'd like to go back to the night of my first kiss. It was awkward and horrible (sorry, you know who, if you ever read this...), but it was an important milestone in a teenage girl's life.

-I'd like to go back to one of those crazy days that we skipped school and hung out at one of our friend's grandparent's house...watching cartoons and eating nachos. It was stupid and it was silly...but it was fun!

-I'd like to go back to some of the crazy conversations I had while working at McDonald's. I sure learned a lot from my adult superiors! ;)

-I'd like to go back to the night that Josh took me to Prom. I felt so beautiful and he looked so cute!

-I'd like to go back to the day that I moved out of my parent's house and into my college dorm. That first night, I sat on my bed and realized that my life was truly beginning.

-I'd like to go back to the day that I went to breakfast with my Mom and told her that I was pregnant. I was so nervous that I didn't eat a thing. I was pretty sure she was going to kill me. That's probably the day that she realized that I wasn't her little girl, anymore.

-I'd like to go back to the day that we brought Bailey home from the hospital. I placed her in her crib, sat down in the rocking chair and thought, "Now what?".

-I'd like to go back to the day that Josh and I flew back east and I got to introduce my 8 week old baby girl to my family that I hadn't seen in 8 years.

-I'd like to go back to the day that Ryleigh decided that crawling was for babies, so she stood up and ran across the room.

-I'd like to go back to the day that Avery was born, 5 weeks early, stunning the doctors at a whopping 7 lbs 3 oz. No one believed that my due date really was 5 weeks away.

-I'd like to go back to the night that we found out I was pregnant with Luke. We knew that very moment, the miracle that he was and why he was sent to us.

-I'd like to go back to the day that I realized I had lost 50 lbs. I was so darn proud of myself and all that I had accomplished.

-I'd like to go back to the day I got to give Presley her first bath. It was Thanksgiving 2008 and the NICU nurses felt bad that she wouldn't get to be home for it. So, they cleared out the room, not allowing any other mommies or babies in there, so that we could bathe our little preemie princess. I finally felt like her Mom and not a bystander, watching her getting taken care of.

-I'd like to go back to the day that I was told that I could file for graduation. I finally felt like all my hard work was beginning to pay off.

-I'd like to go back yesterday...because time is passing too quickly. I want to just hold on to a moment and really appreciate it...before it's gone.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's The Little Things

Life isn't a fairy tale. I'm not going to wake up to the perfect day, every single day of my life. I don't even know that I would want that...if given the choice. What good is a life, without a little excitement now and then? :)

Being aware of that, means that I know that I have to find my own "perfection" in the little things. I try to be aware of those tiny moments, when things go just right. Those tiny moments that are fleeting and soon forgotten, but make me smile, just the same.

*Watching Pres run to Ryleigh with a book. Ry doesn't even think twice, as she scoops her on her lap and reads her a story.

*Hearing someone yell from across the house, "Woah!!! Wanna see my booger?!" Now...I know this isn't perfection and it's always met with, "Hey! Get a tissue and knock it off!!"...but, it makes me giggle just the same. I just don't let them know that. ;)

*Sitting down at the table for dinner and realizing that it's the first time in weeks that we've all sat down, at the same time.

*Hearing the kids ask for more broccoli.

*When Presley runs to me, with her little lips puckered for a kiss. Then, she runs away, pausing after a few feet, turns, waves and says, "Buh-bye!".

*Getting a completely random text from a friend, when it is totally needed.

*When Josh does something without being asked. Especially if it's something I didn't think he'd do.

*Noticing that the kids are all missing and quiet. Some slight searching finds them all huddled in a "fort" downstairs, playing nicely.

*Getting out the door on time. It can be a challenge with seven people.

*Knowing that every single day...Every. Single. Day... I am going to laugh. My life is not slow. It is not boring. It is funny.

Nope. It's not a fairy tale...but it's MY story.
And so far? I like the plot.
And the crazy characters staring in it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now I Know

My goodness, yesterday was a rough day. I cried more yesterday, than I did the day that Mom passed away.

I've had this...guilt...all year. I never really cried for Mom. I had my moments, but I never broke down and lost it, like I thought I would. I didn't cry much the day she passed. I didn't cry, when we brought the kids in to say good-bye. I didn't even break down at her funeral.

There were moments, when I was alone, that it would hit me and I would have some moments of sadness. But...I never really grieved. I knew her death was coming...was that why? I wasn't sure and I just didn't really understand it.

Then, yesterday happened.

I cried all evening and into the night. I looked through old photos with the kids...and I cried. I talked to the kids...and I cried. I cuddled my kids...and I cried.

Now, I know. I know that I never cried for Mom, because it didn't really hit me until now. I knew that she was gone, of course, but it didn't really hit me.

Now, I know all the things that she missed out on.

Ryeligh's 6th birthday when I made Mom's dirt cake. Swimming lessons. Bailey's 8th birthday. Bailey's baptism. The annual camping trip. Bailey's first day of 3rd grade. Ryleigh's first missing tooth. Luke's first day of pre-school. Presley crawling. And walking. And running. My first horseback ride. Presley's first word. Our yearly trip to Brighton. Picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. Presley's first holidays. Presley's 1st birthday. Family parties. Christmas morning. Avery's 5th birthday. Trips to Hogle Zoo and the Museum of Ancient Life. The Susan G. Komen. Ryleigh's first grade circus. The pre-school's fireman day. Luke's 4th birthday.

Now, I know all the times that I, needed... to call her, but I couldn't.

The day I cried, as I packed away baby clothes, for the last time. The times when things went wrong. Avery scaring us, yet again, with another hospital visit. Josh's surgery. Josh getting laid off. The day I realized that I would never have another baby in this house. Making her Thanksgiving turkeys and having every store be sold out of caramels. The day Luke got stitches three times. The day Luke flooded the house. The day my depression scared me. The day Josh and I resolved to put the past behind us. The many days I wanted to kill my professor. The day Avery got stitches.

Now, I know all the things that I missed out on.

Doing all the summer 5k's together. My birthday lemon meringue pie, that she made me every year. Red Swedish fish, that she got me every Christmas, as a joke. Knowing that no matter what she was doing, or where she was, she would always coming running, if we needed her.

Now...I know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Year Without Mom

Patricia Ann Mellor Garrard
January 26, 1961 - May 19, 2009

I see you, in their smiles,
I see you, in their eyes.
I hear you, in their laughter,
I hear you, in their sighs.

I feel you, in their kisses,
I feel you, in their love.
I know how much they miss you,
When they send their prayers above.

We want to see your smile,
We want to see your eyes.
We want to hear your laughter,
We want to hear your sighs.

We want to feel your kisses,
We always feel your love.
We know that you are watching,
And waiting, up above.
-Leeann Garrard 2010-

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jared!

Jared Luke Garrard
May 18, 1982-September 4, 2005

We missed you then, we miss you still,
Always have and always will.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Luke!

Today, my little man turns four. Where does the time go?
On Saturday, we had Luke's birthday party at a local park. We did the usual cake and ice-cream (and brownies and rice krispie treats), followed by a pinata. Thank you to everyone that came (and to those of you, that couldn't) and helped to make our little man's birthday extra special!

Chaos! :) I love having so many friends and family, with young kids. It always makes birthday celebrations extra crazy and extra fun!

Up and down, up and down, up and down. This kid could go, for hours!

"Blowing" out his reality, the wind wouldn't allow them to stay lit for more than .3 seconds!

Poor Sponge Bob...he really went through a lot. He lost his legs, got beat with two kinds of bats and finally spewed candy every where, with Daddy's help. Seven pounds of candy filled him up and then sixteen kids had their pockets overflowing!

Opening presents is serious stuff! He ripped through the bags and had opened everything, before I could even blink an eye!

Happy birthday, my little man! You have taught me so much in these last four years. I feel so blessed to be your mommy. There is nothing like having a son to love. <3>

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Got Tagged

Wow...I haven't been "tagged" to do something in a long time! (Honestly, I don't even know who reads this anymore!) :)

But, my Canadian twin, Andrea, tagged me to answer some questions and I was kind of excited. I've been in kind of a "slump" lately. It's not that I don't have anything to write about...I do...I just think I get too "journalish" and I'm afraid of boring everyone to tears. (You know...those 2 people that are still out there reading along...) :)

1) What are the 10 things that make it into your grocery cart the most often?

Diapers, Milk, Apples, Cheese, Ham, Yogurt, Bananas, Cereal, Lettuce and Chicken

2) What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

Dirty Dancing. I wasn't allowed to watch it until I turned 12. It was my first "grown-up movie" and I fell in love with the movie, the dancing and Patrick Swayze immediately. I could watch it every single day!

3) What is one thing that you want to accomplish before you die?

I want to see each of my children happy and accomplished in their lives. Whatever that means for them...I want them to have it.

4) Do you prefer bungalows or two-storey houses? Why?

Well, here in the states we call them "ramblers", not bungalows. :) I have lived in both and while I don't mind my two story house now, I miss my rambler. Having to run up and down 2 flights of stairs (to go upstairs or down to the basement) is a pain when putting away laundry.

5) How often do you work out, and what sorts of work-outs do you do?

Umm...a couple times a week. Should be more, I know. Running and weights is typical. Also, all that running up and down the stairs putting away laundry. ;)

6) Are you into the whole Twilight thing? Why or why not?

I didn't jump on board till the third book came out. Then...I got hooked. I'm not crazy hooked, but I really did enjoy the books and the movies.

7) Do you play card/board games? If so, what are your 3 favorites?

I LOVE playing games! Backgammon is my all time favorite game. Closely followed by Skip-bo and Scrabble. I love that Josh plays games with me, even though I know it's not totally his thing. :)

8) If you could choose a decade to be living in right now, as your present self, which one would it be?

Oh, this decade. I know, that's not original, but I'm too in love with the technology and conveniences of today. I couldn't give it up!

9) Think of your best friend (not your hubby)...what is your favorite memory of the two of you?

Laughing. Every wonderful memory I have of times with my friends, it involves us laughing. They might be laughing with me...or at me...but, we're always laughing.

10) Celebrity crushes: We all have them! Who are your Top 5?

I honestly do not have any. I had a teenage crush on Patrick Swayze (who doesn't love a man that can dance?), but I just can't think of anyone. I'm lame.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Busy, Busy Month

We have been so busy these last few weeks. It seems like we are constantly on the move! Of course...we wouldn't have it any other way! :)

We had "Family Fun Day" and went to Thanksgiving Point. We attended the "Baby Animal Birthday Party", went on a carriage ride, went bowling and went to dinner. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast! I love spending the day with these little people!

"Firefighter Day" with the preschool is one of my all time favorite things. The kids have such a blast meeting the firemen, playing with the hose and dressing up in uniform. I will really miss this, when I no longer have kids in preschool. I might just show up for fun, anyway!
The kids watched the fireman get dressed and were still nervous to touch him, once he was suited up. Leave it to Avery to walk up to him and go, "POKE!". :)
Even though Pres isn't quite preschool aged, she still came along for the fun. She has a wee bit of growing to do, before she can even begin to fill these boots!
The kids took turns dressing up in the gear. It was hilarious, because just about every kid ended up falling over from the shear weight of it all!
Luke loved playing with the fire hose. Big shocker, since he's constantly out in the yard playing with our hose!
One Saturday this month, I got to baby-sit a friend's baby for the afternoon. Brayden is such an adorable kid! He's so easy going and Pres had a lot of fun playing with him. He's 8 months old and Presley is 15 months old, but they were pretty similar in size. :)
Ryleigh was so excited to do the First Grade Circus, this year. The circus is a big deal, in our little town and the show did not disappoint! I love seeing all the kids dance, sing and do tricks. They are always so proud to show off all their hard work.
Ryleigh was a ballerina (all the girls are ballerinas and all the boys are clowns) and she also performed in a cheerleading routine. This little girl is growing up before my very eyes...
Daddy and his girl
Mommy's sweetheart
My little cheerleader

Life never stops around here...that's for sure! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I will ALWAYS run in CELEBRATION of you.

We knew today would be hard. The first Susan G. Komen 5k, without Mom. It was strange...she's always been there with us. Whether she was walking, or in a wheelchair...she was with us.

Not too surprisingly...she was with us today, too. Call me crazy, but the last mile of the race, I could feel her there. That doesn't shock me at all...we always crossed the finish line holding hands. It was a comforting feeling and made my day so much easier.

I made signs, that each of us wore on our backs. I watched people read them and I stood taller, knowing that I was representing Mom. I had promised Mom a couple years back, that I would always run in CELEBRATION of her...never in MEMORY. I want to celebrate all that she was and all that she gave us...not dwell on her being gone.

Being in that crowd was amazing. Knowing that everyone in that crowd has some idea of the feelings were were having or have had, is comforting. I hate that anyone has to know the pain of losing a loved one to cancer, but I love knowing that we can all come together and show support for those still fighting. I know how proudly Mom wore her "survivor" shirt and seeing other women wearing one, was wonderful.

Before the race

My friend, Michele (on the left) was also walking for her Mom, who just finished her cancer treatments a few weeks ago. I wish her mom all the best and pray that she goes into remission.
The sheer volume of people that turn out for the 5k, never ceases to amaze me. The streets were flooded with people proudly wearing pink. The crowd extends up the road as far as you can see, and this was also the view behind us. Thousands and thousands of people turn out for this amazing event. After the race

The first year of participating in the walk, without Mom, has now passed. Many, many, many more years are to come. I will forever walk in Mom's name and in CELEBRATION of the beautiful legacy that she left behind.