Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Tragedy

You never think it will happen to you.

And it didn't happen to me.

So why am I blogging about it?

Because it happened to my family. And it's all I've been thinking about. And maybe putting my thoughts into words will be therapeutic.

For me.

For them.

Just before 4pm on Thanksgiving Day I received a frantic telephone call at my in-laws home from my sister. The house was on fire. My heart was sobbing right along with her but fortunately my brain is what takes over in moments like these. I made sure that noone was still in the house. I made sure that 9-1-1 had been called. Then I made sure my little sister took a few deep breaths so she could stay focused and talk with me rather than panic. "It will all be OK" was the mantra that I kept repeating to her.

And it will be.

Then I talked to my mom and my heart just broke. She was so upset that Beau's birthday presents were in the garage where the fire started. She has a grandmother's heart. The kind that can't stand to think of not having gifts for one of her grandkids. "Those are just things", I told her, "It's OK."

And it is.

So the tears hadn't come yet. I was able to fight them. Hold them down. Keep the faucet off. Until I learned of the most heart-wrenching thing. The loss of pictures of our Timothy Beau; our beautiful blue bundle that returned home to his Heavenly Father after being ours for just 6 short weeks. But it's OK. Many in the family have pictures and now we have a job to do. Gather them. Collect them. Compile them into something beautiful for my parents. It's sad.

But it's really OK.

We have our memories. The feeling of love and closeness and bonding when we held him. The smell of his hair and softness of his cheeks when we kissed him. The warmth of his tiny hand wrapped around our finger. The smiles he gave when gazing at us that made us feel as if he knew something we didn't. And those aren't things that can be captured in pictures. They are precious gifts that we keep in our hearts. And our hearts are all still beating.

And that's why everything is OK.

And I am grateful. Grateful that a big, strong, neighbor went into the house to retrieve my dad who was valiantly trying to put out the fire with the garden hose. Grateful that my sister was not home asleep in her bedroom that shares a wall with the garage. Grateful that my mom was safe even though she was showering in the bathroom right next to destroyed laundry room. Grateful that our cousin Jimmy discovered the fire before it had a chance to get worse. Grateful for my Uncle Rick who has been such a rock to my mom and dad at this time, taking care of things that are impossible for them to think about right now in their overwhelmed state. Grateful for all of the neighbors that stopped to help before the firemen could arrive.

Grateful that my family has seen mankind at their best.

But I'm also selfish. I need to do something. I can't stand being 100 miles away because it feels like 100 million. But there's nothing for me to do there.


I can pray. And I have. I can offer words of comfort. And I have. I can cry along with them full of love and empathy. And I have. But it's not enough for me.

I feel selfish for feeling a need to post about this. My hope is that I can end these thoughts from tirelessly sprinting through my head at lightning speed. This feels selfish.

They are coming to our house tomorrow and I am glad. Our family will still gather together and have a Thanksgiving Celebration as planned. And I am glad. Which is selfish. My parents and sister will come to our house and partake of the medicine which my kids offer them. Their Balm of Gilead. I can't wait to see them. To hug them. To help lighten their burdens. If I can. This feels selfish.

But maybe some kinds of selfish is a good thing. Maybe it's this same kind of selfish that urged neighbors to come help. Because they felt the need to do something. I pray in thanks for those good neighbors. Those people who have made my mom's heart swell in gratitude when it could otherwise be breaking to pieces from loss.

It will all be OK. I know this. I want my family to know this. It won't take away their hurt. Their shock. Their feeling of loss. The inconvenience that this type of thing brings to a family. There will be highs and lows. Peaks and valleys. But it could be worse. So much worse. I am grateful that it's not. Grateful they're still here. Grateful to be selfish.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Husband Tag

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm sitting here clacking away on my keyboard while the lovely scent of candied yams wafts into the office. Love It! So I'm assuming that by reading Stef's husband tag that her invite at the end means that I can do this, too. (I don't know... I'm a new blogger. Am I supposed to wait for an "official" tag? Is it like Tag Football or am I supposed to follow some rule like in chain letters. Is there a special code word that I need to know that indicates that it's my turn to play? Does a sly wink or nod from the original tagger give the "go-ahead" similiar to that of the Italian Mafia?) If I'm doing this wrong then let me know. And if you're totally repulsed by my lack of blogging etiquette then I invite you to stop reading. I won't be offended. Then again, I wouldn't even know one way or another, would I?

But I'm going to error on the side of self-indulgence and do the husband tag. This will be my Thanksgiving Gift to him. To let this man that I've built my world around know how grateful I am for the life that I enjoy.

1. Where did you meet? We officially met at the Bountiful Ward (in Almaden area of San Jose just like the Meyers!). Although we had a previous meeting that some of you know about... but that's a different story.

2. How long did you date before you got married? We dated 5 months and were engaged for 5 months.

3. How long have you been married? 11 years, 2 months, and 1 day. And still honeymooning!!

4. What is your favorite feature of his? His hands that remind me of my grandpa's. His piercing blue eyes. And when we were dating I loved driving in the car and staring at the shape of his jaw.

5. What is your favorite quality of his? His sense of humor. He's hilarious and he's helped me learn to laugh at myself.

6. Does he have a nick-name for you? Yes several. (Some I can't mention publicly... it would embarass you too much. ) "Baby Cracker", "_ _ _, Sugar, Candy", and when he's calling me from another room he ALWAYS says "Tiff-in-y-hay-ha".

7. What is his favorite color? OK, I have a problem with this questions. Favorite color of WHAT? Lingerie? Skittles? Sports Cars? But, for the sake of generalities: Blue

8. What is his favorite food? Sandwhiches (did I luck out or what?) But he isn't picky. He likes pretty much anything.

9. What is his favorite sport? Surfing, hands down. But he also likes to wakebaord, dirtbike and as of late... golf.

10. When was your first kiss? 2 weeks after dating. We would see eachother every single day and he would take baby steps to any kind of affection. I finally got a hug goodbye, which led to holding hands while watching a movie, which led to cuddling, which led to the final first kiss... which was well worth the wait.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Laugh. It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing. We have fun doing anything as long as there's humor and laughter. (Which runs a plenty in our household.)

12. Do you have children? Yes. 3. And a dog that used to be like a child until the real children came along. And 2 bunnies that we kind of forget about sometimes.

13. Does he have a hidden talent? He's never really liked to dance but he does this sideways moonwalk type thing that is really cool and I request he do it at least once a week.

14. How old is he? 33

15. Who said "I love you" first? He did. But I responded with a very quick "I Love You, too."

16. What is his favorite type of Music? Alternative, reggae, classic rock..... anything (except Mariachi music probably)

17. What do you admire most about him? His dedication to our family. His patience with our kids.

18. Will he read this? Yes. He likes reading my posts.
So anyone who has read this and has the desire to showcase your husband.... tag on! BTW.. did anyone else notice in the title of this post that Happy Thanksgiving and Husband Tag start with the same first letters? (I know... I'm weird. I see things in patterns sometimes!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Before I forget

Just a quick post before I forget. You know, as my kids get older I get a little sadder. I fret over their loss of innocence and the upcoming abscence of cute things they say. Well, today, my BIRTHDAY BOY Beau said a couple of hilarious things that I just had to journal before I forget.

1) "I'm 6 today! I'm out of that dirty 5!"

2) "Please stop that, it's getting on my nerds."

Both of these were said before 8am. I'm hopeful that the days, months, and even years will still be packed with this type of stuff. Bring on the funny!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

History of the Haut

So now that the Beau has had his first taste of winning trophies we figured he'd yearn for more and that we needed a place to showcase them. As I'm not one for curio cabinets or trophy boxes I've been thinking of a fun & creative way to keep them out of a 3 year old little brother's reach while not taking up any space in the boys' already very pregnant room. (I use that word here since I cannot use it to describe myself at the moment.) There is a surfing theme still struggling to refine itself amongst all of the GeoTrax, Legos, and Tech Decks. So I figured "Why not jump on the GREEN bandwagon and RECYCLE an old surfboard?" So Brandon jumped to it within seconds of my suggesting it (because that's how he rolls), pulled out the table saw and cut that sucker in half. Below are top & bottom views. (I'm trying to make it very functional as you can see with the books & piggy bank.)

So now the history....
Back in 1996 Brandon took his 15 year old little sister, Brooke, to Cowell's Surf Shop in Santa Cruz to purchase a surfboard to learn on. The winner was this Doug Haut board made that same year. Once she was confident enough in her surfing skills she acquired a new more agressive board. Enter one Tiffiny Smith, a small town girl who had a severe crush on her Sunday School teacher. Brandon bought the board off of his sister for me to learn on. OH, what memories come flooding back to mind. Surfing was a HUGE part of our courtship. We would wake up early in the morning and head over the hill for dawn patrol. If we didn't have to work until that evening we would just surf all day. If we had to work afternoon shifts we would go back out again after work. My hands, neck, and face had that funny tanline that only a wetsuit can provide. (The surfers "farmer tan"?)
Well, the board got quite beat up after two beginners and I got a new board. We lent this board out for others to experience the surfing scene, some with success and others not. We ended up giving the board to a friend in our ward who really took to the sport. He broke the nose and brought it back to Brandon to fix it. This required more than just ding repair. What it really needed was a surfboard surgeon but Brandon did his best. The board was never the same and Brandon felt bad for not being able to fix it. He ended up trading the board back for another one we had laying around the garage. Tonight the nose was cut off and the board sawed in half down the stringer. I now realize our foolishness in ever giving this piece of our history away and am glad to have it back, safe and sound, forever a part of our family. No matter that it's not half the board it used to be!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our RAD Dad

Remember the 80's flick RAD? You know... the cheesy BMX movie. Well, Brandon came up with the idea for this party. I think it was a hit with all of these boys and I loved how they cheered each other on in all of the "events".

"Dad, this is the best day of my life!"

WARNING... long post

We recently became members of H.H.O.R.A. (That's Hollister Hills Off Road Association). Now that we are members we can participate in their many racing events they have each year. Yesterday our kids entered the Hare Scramble. Each child (with an escort) rode the course 3 times. Mercedes won 5th place for her age group and Beau won 2nd!! Way to go guys! Beau, my adventurous, outdoorsy, fun-loving, wanna be like dad kid had a gleam in his eyes ALL DAY LONG. The day he had been counting down for weeks had finally arrived. He kept telling us, "This is the best day of my life." How cute that of all of his 2,187 days on this earth that this has been the highlight thus far. (Yes... I actually whipped out the calculator for this one taking into account that his birthday is in 2 days!)

Mom, on the other hand, had a pretty embarassing moment. My "new" (to me) dirtbike was not behaving like a trusty iron-horse should. The throttle kept sticking and I swear it was purposely trying to buck me off. I fell down, suffering a very large bump & bruise on my thigh, and to my horror Mercedes continued on her race. I knew it would get techinical for her and did what any good mother would do in this situation... I flagged down my husband, said a word my kids would get soap for , and pouted that I was leaving the bike there and hiking to the finsish line. Being the knight in shining armor that he is he gave up his trusty steed and hopped on my lame ride. I mounted it and sped off to rescue my lonesome offspring. I caught up to her and all was well until I hit a mud patch on the racetrack near the spectators. It was all slow motion for me. The dang announcer saw it all and spews over the mic "OOOOHHHH... we've got an escort down. blah-blah-blah" (I don't know what else he said. My brain muted the rest of his commentation). So now I was left to pick up this 400cc monstrosity. (I'm used to 125cc, a much lighter bike.) I was able to pick it up, hop back on, and stick with Mercedes until her race was finished. Then I rushed back to the truck to take off my jersey & helmet so that nobody recognized me when we went back to the pit for the trophies. (BTW that ugly blue thing pictured above is the perpetrator.)

Crashes and all it felt good to get back on a bike again. And watching my children endure through the tough spots and finish the race made we swell with pride! (Or was it just my hurt ego & leg?)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Confessions of a voyeur...

I confess. I am a voyeur. Not a perverted, peeping-tom-in-a-tree, binoculars aimed at the neighbors window type but the look at your blogs and occasionally post comments type. So what brought on my blogging fate? Was it my guilt? No. The ease of creating photobooks using my posts? Maybe. But the real, true blue reason? The past few weeks I've been thinking in "BLOG". Yup. That's right. You see, I used to dream in Spanish. But now I find myself taking the occasional great photo or I overhear my kids say something hilarious and my gears start turning. I've made up titles for posts that don't even exist! Who's to blame? It's all of you. Yes, you... who are reading this right now. It's all of you wonderful bloggers who's lives I drift in and out of undetected. It's you amazing people that inspire me to be a better wife, mom, woman. (You know who you are!) So I'm taking the plunge. Who knows? It could be fun. Or, I could be longing for my Spanish dreams where all I had to do was try to translate them......