One happy and sad day.

Last Friday Dan’s Grandpa Grossen lost his battle with cancer.  It wasn’t a surprising loss; he has been struggling for quite a few months now.  But it was still a piece of news we didn’t want to hear.  I have known Earl the Pearl for almost 5 years and I can truthfully say that he was the life of the party.  I remember telling Dan very early on that there is no way this man is a Grandpa, let alone a Dad.  He just seemed like one of the kids.  And I think I know why–he loved life.  Just like a child treasures each day, Grandpa saw the best in life and made the most of it.  That made him someone who was always fun to be around.  We really will miss him.

As I have thought about this most recent loss, I have thought about that fact that I sorta do enjoy funerals.  I know to some that might sound morbid and really weird.  But there is something so genuine about remorse and mourning that I don’t even mind the fact that I am crying.  Sadness is the product of love really.  Because we love someone, we weep when they are gone.   And there is something sweet about that kind of love.  I have had some of my most spiritual moments at funerals.  And I don’t think that is coincidence.  Death makes us focus entirely on Jesus Christ, His perfect Atonement, and the Plan that only He makes possible for all of us.  That is why funerals are spiritual for me.  As we seek comfort in loss, we turn to Him who is the source of our peace and hope.  Because of Him, I know death is not the end and we will see Grandpa Earl the Pearl and all of our loved ones again.  Sorry to wax spiritual on the blog, but it has been on my mind.

We had a beautiful time with all of the family in town. And we really did celebrate Grandpa.  We did things he loved.  We gathered at a park.  Looked at old photos.  Told stories.  We went to the BYU Creamery and bowling at the Wilk.  We went to Brick Oven for pizza and just laughed together.  It was a fun time with family.  I know Grandpa was happy to see us together.

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It is pretty amazing to think that Grandpa was an only child.   Look at all of his posterity and that is not even everyone.  We sure missed Melanie, Jake, Rachel, Tommy, Shey, Josh, Reagan, Preston and Clint.

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Jack sure was a nice boy that day considering his minimal napping.  I think it was a gift from Grandpa.

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Happy Flag Day!

Before I met Dan I must admit that I didn’t even know when Flag Day was or the fact that it even existed.  But I can tell you now that it is June 14th which also happens to be Dan’s birthday.  We had a fun celebration.  28 years old!  I can’t believe that I will be joining him here in a month at that ripe old age.  Here are a few photos from our weekend.

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On Saturday we had a little family lunch at Goodwood BBQ per Dan’s request.  It is delicious.  Jack loves straws.  This photo was snapped right before he gagged himself by sticking the straw in to far.  He kills us.  He was fascinated by the kids sitting across the way from us.  He might need a brother or sister someday…not that we are considering it anytime soon.

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That night we went to an Open House for the Swenson parents’ who are leaving in a few weeks for Brazil on a mission.  Jack was in heaven.  He was like a kid in a candy store playing on the gym floor and the other kids.  Dan was also in heaven.  He was reunited after a year long absence with his friend Justin.  I was also in heaven with the heavily frosted cupcakes from Costco that were on the dessert table.  Mmmm…I love frosting!

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On Sunday, we had a party with Dans’ siblings and parents.  Dan got a new golf driver for his birthday and the new Tiger Woods game for the Wii.  And after last night’s party with my siblings, we have declared Dan’t 28th year his golfing year.  My siblings got him a gift card to play at like all the golf courses in Salt Lake County.  So I guess I will be a single parent for the next 10 Saturdays in a row!  Just kidding.  But it really did make his dreams come true.

And what can we say about Jack.  He loves jewelry and Kitty.  Don’t get any big ideas…we do not want Kitty or any other animal for that matter.  We let him admire through the window is all.  And as for the jewelry, I am considering buying a caseful of play jewelry for him.  You should have seen how much joy it brought him.

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We love L.A. (Well maybe not we, just I)!

Well, as most of you know, the Lakers are in the NBA Finals again this year.  It is lovely news for me as a lifelong (well since 1991 for sure) Laker fan.  My husband doesn’t really love it.  And tries to teach Jack the “I love L.A.” song by replacing love with hate.  I try to tell him he can’t hate L.A.  He says “Why not?  There is nothing good about L.A.”  I quietly try to remind him that L.A. is, in fact, where we got married.  So it does have one redeemable quality.  Eternally redeemable, I might add.  But he is not convinced.  I always counter the “I hate L.A.” chant with “We love L.A.” while raising Jacks’ arms in the air.  He smiles everytime so that must me he feels the same way.  I mean after all, he smiles, right?  The battle rages on.  We had my siblings over on Sunday for a little Laker party to watch Game 2.  Thank goodness we won!

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On to Jack news.  At least we can all agree that is the cutest child on the whole wide planet.  He has been into making this one face that we all cannot get enough of.  For some reason the little orange light on the camera really makes him bring it out in full force.  So I feel like I haven’t really captured a smiling photo all week.  But I have a sneaky suspicion the following barrage of photos might just make you all chuckle a little.

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We went to the park the other day.  It was Jack’s first time in the swing.  He liked it, of course.  But I believe his favorite thing was when I took him out and put him in the woodchips.  It only took 1.1 seconds for him to grab a handful and put them in his mouth.    And it only took me 1.1 seconds to then pick him up and put him back in the swing while trying to fish the woodchips (a.k.a. choking hazards) out of his mouth.  We are excited to go back to the park if we could ever have a day without rain or thunderstorms (not my favorite!).

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8 month update

We missed Jack’s 8 month update on the blog while we were on the cruise.  So I thought I would take a minute to document what he up to these days.

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He is professional at standing up to everything stable and not so professional at the unstable things which has led to many falls and tears.  He is even starting to pull himself up to me while I’m in the kitchen.  He loves standing up.  I think I better move that crib matress down to the last notch soon.  I don’t want him to figure out how to climb out just yet.  He also, for the most part, knows how to get back down and is pretty comfortable just holding on with one hand and looking around.

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He tried many new things on our cruise including ice cream, pineapple, broccoli and toast.  He loved everything.  He still eats his baby food pretty good except for the rice cereal.  So we will continue with that for a little while longer.  But it is nice to know that he will be a good eater of normal food.  And he loves drinking from his sippy cup too.

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We have been working on sleeping through the night since we have been home from the cruise.  And he has taken to it quite nicely so far.  I know by publicly announcing our success there is a good chance we will have a hard night in the near future.  But last night he slept completely through without a peep.  7:30 pm-7am.  We have had a fun time seeing his positions in the morning.  We loved this one.  The infamous baby sleeping with their cute bum bum in the air.

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He found the toilet paper for the second time this morning (I wasn’t fast enough the first time to capture a photo before he crashed between the cupboards and toilet!).  He thinks he is so funny, and so do I really.  He is becoming quite the chatter box lately.  He can say mamama and dadada.  I am working on waving bye bye and I am pretty sure he knows what it means when I say “Give mommy kisses” because occasionally he will pause and look at me open mouthed.  He loves his books a lot.  He loves to turn the pages back and forth.

We love our Jack Jack!

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Disney Magic!

I can’t believe that we are already done with our Disney Cruise.  It has been like 2 years in the making I feel like.  And I can’t believe it has come and gone.  We had a great time, of course.  Who wouldn’t?  We’re talking Disney and tropicalness combined.  It was lovely.

Our first day we went to Magic Kingdom at Disney World.  It rained all day.  Rain like I have never seen.  It was semi-discouraging.  But somehow we managed to keep little Jack Jack dry and even ride Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean which Jack loved.

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Jack’s hair really liked the humidity and laid flat for its first time ever almost the entire time we were gone.  Don’t worry, now that we are back in dry Utah, it is sticking up again.

After our day at Disney, we set sail on the Disney Magic.  And it was lovely.  It was also  incredibly hard to believe that it is a ship and not a resort hotel.  Although for whatever reason, my body had no problem remembering we were on ship.  I spent the first 24 hours on board in bed seasick out of my  mind.  But thanks to a little dramamine, ginger ale and the all important “Seaband” (which you will see in all of my onboard shots, wristbands that supposedly apply pressure to a pressure point that alleviates nausea…I am not sure if I am a believer, but I was an avid wearer of the bands cause I didn’t want the vomiting to come back!), I was back on top of my game sooner than I thought possible.

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Our days on the ship were filled with a lot of time in the Splash pool.  Jack loved it.  He could have spent all day in there.  He had no problem with the water in his face or anywhere else.  And I am sure anyone who knows our sweet boy would not be surprised to learn that his favorite feature of the splash pool was, of course, the drain.  He kills me.  He was the only baby that even noticed there was a drain!

Another ship activity, eating!  The food was awesome.  All you can eat fruit and soft serve ice cream.  It was a dream.  And you know what else, they showed the Laker games on the top deck of the ship.  I only managed to stay awake for the last game of the series.  But it was the best one to watch since we kicked Denver’s butt!

The first island stop was Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  We hopped on a water taxi and went to The Virgin Gorda.  It was lovely there.  I snorkled for my first time.  There were some really cool fish.  I wish I could have done more.  But you see, Jack was not to fond of Tortola.  He cried almost the entire time we were there.  He liked the sand and surf for about the first 5 minutes and then he was done.  It is not surprising, however, he missed his good quality naps and had to settle for cat naps in mom and dads’ arms.  It was lovely there, nonetheless.

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The next day we docked in St. Thomas which is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  It was my favorite place.  I wish I could have spent another day there.  I thought Jack would be the same fussy guy about being at the beach again so I decided not to wear my swimsuit.  Well, he was a completely different baby and loved the water.  I was sad that I couldn’t get in with him and Dan.  And even sadder that I couldn’t go snorkling again because it was supposedly even better than Virgin Gorda.  Boo hoo!   It was so so lovely there.  The clearest water imaginable, a taxi ride with Spiderman, a fresh island smoothie on the beach, and an engagement for Ben and Brittany!  Hooray!

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The last island stop was Disney’s private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay.  It had the potential to be the greatest stop, but it poured rain the last half of the day so we had to stay inside the ship.  In the morning, however, we did manage to swim with the sting rays.  Ummm…it was my favorite thing in the whole world.  I am pretty sure my heart was at an elevated rate the entire time I was in the water.  But I did it.  Dan loved it, of course.   And Jack had a fun time with his cousins and Grandma and Grandpa.

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Our last day of the vacation, we went to Animal Kingdom and Epcot.  It was sunny and hot.  But a lot of fun!

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It was a great vacation.  Jack was, for the most part, was a good baby.  And it was super fun to be with Dan all day everyday.  We miss him when he is at work.  But anyway, great memories!

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