Becky again.... I know you all miss Tara greatly; but some news is better than no news! Once again, I have no excuses for Tara other than she is just being "normal" and maybe in her mind that includes not blogging, or maybe facebook is just easier, I don't really know. But, I do know that many of you still check this blog and I want to tell you the good things as well as the tough times! So, here's to good times!
Some highlights of the past 2 months:
Spending time with an amazing man, David Baker, who was in town for a few days. He is a fellow GBM friend who we have been corresponding with. Tara loved just talking with someone who has been down the same pathway she has been. No one can REALLY understand what she goes through unless they have suffered the same themselves. His spirit and attitude uplifted us all. He told Tara, "you are HERE and you can touch so many lives." He counseled her to WRITE, because her emails touched him greatly at a time when he needed encouragement, and he thinks she has a gift for that. So, hopefully she will take his counsel to heart and get back on the blog... He spoke of the good that we can do and people we can touch; but he also spoke of life on this earth as really just a moment, and that we WILL see our family and be together again and he knows that. He's not doing so well in the GBM world and our hearts are hurting for his family. If you have a few extra prayers, send them the Baker family's way right now. They need some comfort and peace. If you have questions about our beliefs on being with our family forever and living after this life; don't forget you can always check mormon.org or lds.org for more information.
Thanksgiving weekend FT (family time)
A hike up Camelback mountain (back in the dark the last 1/4 mile!)
A 40 minute each way bike ride to Gilbert for lunch and back
I love just seeing Tara get on a bike and be able to MOVE and enjoy it! Somewhere, somebody took at picture of the bike ride; but it wasn't on my camera so I will have to find it.
Actually, every day, every moment that I see Tara smile or get to spend time with her is a highlight for me. I still revel in the days that I get to spend time with Tara when she's doing well - the novelty has not worn off for me yet. We spent so very many days together with her not doing well and it's so very refreshing to spend time with her when she feels better and just watch her face be so ALIVE and happy! I will never view life the same way again. I've said this before; enjoy every single moment of every time you can spend with those you love, and make some NEW friends to love while you're at it!
Anyway, on to my Christmas present. About 3 weeks ago, Tara said to me, "Mom, when are you doing the caramel popcorn plates for your friends this year:" Well, in my mind I thought - (being the procrastinator that I am) it's NOT the week before Christmas yet!! Which is when I am usually scrambling to get some goodie plates made to let those around here know we are thinking of them at Christmastime. It is a large project because we love so many people and is a bit overwhelming at times for me. Tara actually WANTED to spend time with me, come up with ideas to enhance our goodie plate, emailed me pictures from Pinterest, and said, "how about if we do it early this year and schedule a day to start." Then, she came up with a shopping list and spent the entire Friday with me a week ago to start this event. Stephanie came over that day as well so it was a huge bonus to have her and the grandkids here as well. We also spend some time 2 more days (partial days because we had other appointments to deal with) working. Those of you who are mothers of teenagers, have HOPE! Look what happens when children grow up! To have a child actually TRY to spend some time with you doing something you really want to do; is nothing short of a tender mercy straight from heaven. So, this was balm to my soul and pretty much reduced me to tears. One of the best Christmas presents ever for me! Yesterday I stopped by to see my little grandkids, I had been sick all week so had been off limits to kissing grandchildren, (so I HAD to stop by and spend a little time after I was off the sick list) and I saw many, many plates at Stephanie's house looking just like mine did! I was only sad I didn't help her like she helped me!! But, at least I sent her home with supplies to make her own:)
I was somewhat blue the Wednesday before Thanksgiving - it was my children's "turns" to spend Thanksgiving with their other wonderful families; so I was cooking all day by myself. No Schlappi relatives came from Utah (last year we had over 30!!!) and our relatives from CA who joined us weren't coming til late Wednesday evening. So, I had a little pity party as I cooked alone wishing there were others there to enjoy the day with. But, tomorrow will come (reference a conference talk) (or is it Sunday will come) and tomorrow did come, Scott's sister and her husband and daughters arrived from CA, and although our Thanksgiving was small; we enjoyed each other immensely. So, this goodie plate time with Tara was even more meaningful to me.
The plus side of having married children gone for Thanksgiving is they are here for Christmas Eve! And I never can complain because 2 of the married kids live here and it's so easy to share with the other families because we get to see them on a regular basis; so if we miss some of the "big days" it's really no big deal to me, I don't know why I was so blue that Wednesday. So, we all will be together on Christmas Eve, except our good friend and affectionately called "foster son" Jerod is on his mission in Ogden, Utah; but I am hopeful he will get to call us on Christmas so that will be awesome if he can. Travis will come for a few days from Pasadena. He can't stay long because apparently grad school is tough the first year and he has to study; but at least he'll be here for a few days. I'll take it!
Happy Holidays all!! With love, Becky