Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's been a long time

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France


Sometimes you wonder if you'll ever be the same after experiencing part of life's changes and growing periods. I guess that's why those times are called life-changing events. So I suppose the answer would be no. Why would you want to be the same?

These past few months have been difficult and sweet. We have experienced answers to prayers, miracles we truly needed and only wished for, memories never to be forgotten, and devastating loss and sadness. How do you start when you can't begin?

So that's where we will start--the beginning. A brand new year! It seems so long ago, I can hardly remember our celebration of 2009--yet Christmas continues to be a wonderful memory. We spent the New Year with friends playing games and eating delicious treats. Of course we rang in the new year with our traditional toast and kiss.

January 2009 was quite uneventful for us. We continued to wait on our loan for our new medical office building. This was quite stressful and it seemed the economy drove everyone to hold back loaning any amount of money, particularly in real estate. This was an extremely volatile time for our business, yet we felt peace--although uncertain what the future would hold.

We had a great party the end of the month with our Pinegar family. We gathered at Kelly & Mike Ballard's home (our niece and nephew) and just enjoyed seeing each other after a long while. Bekah reacquainted herself with her Lockhart cousins and Price cousins. It was a fun night.


Spencer also received his Webelos badge in Cub Scouts. He's our third scout--and joined the ranks with his brothers. He has a lot to aspire to since both Nick and Alex are Eagle scouts. His Arrow of Light is next...and becoming an 11-year old scout.

February was exciting as we looked forward to going to California to see Wicked in San Francisco. It started out as a girl trip---but quickly turned into a big family getaway as the "boys" decided to join us--boys being husbands. We booked our tickets in advance and waited for the big day. Bekah joined us for her birthday celebration--even though her birthday wasn't until March. We were supposed to go with Steve and Mary Ann, Christine & Paul, Heather and Jared, Steph and Bekah---but Mary Ann's health took a turn for the worse, and she and Steve were not able to go with us. So instead, my nephews, Peter and Patrick flew in for the great Wicked night. The show was incredible! If you haven't seen it--It's time to put it on your must-do list. We loved it and wished we would have taken all of our kids to see it. We also enjoyed a day in San Francisco with our Peter, Patrick, Heather, Aunt Christine, Uncle Paul and our San Francisco cousins, Nathan and Kevin. We had a blast touring Chinatown--even eating a Chinese breakfast-Dim Sum that Bekah said she'll never eat again...we'll see about that.


Along with seeing Wicked, the highlight of our trip was being with the Buchan family. We can't seem to get enough of them. We enjoyed seeing Uncle Steve--seen here with Rebekah...and our Aunt Mary Ann. She continued to be in high spirits--even though she was suffering from the effects of her recent chemo. She always had a happy face on for us and words of love and good advice. Rebekah will always remember this time as it was the last time she would spend with her sweet Aunt Mary Ann.

As Jared and Bekah arrived home to Nick's 19th birthday, Stephanie decided to stay in California with Mary Ann, Steve and Heather. Mary Ann's health had declined rapidly in just a few short days, and we knew each day and week was a blessing. Jared and his mom, along with all of Mary Ann's sisters and brothers were able to visit her before she peacefully passed away on March 2, 2009. At the exact time she passed away, a very heavy rainstorm passed through and it seemed the heavens wept with us. Only a little while later, the sun beamed through and we knew Mary Ann had made it safely to paradise to be with her dad and other family members--even our sweet baby, Jacqueline-- who passed away 14 1/2 years ago. We still can't believe Mary Ann is gone. But we know through the gospel of Jesus Christ that we will see her again in the spirit and someday in the flesh. That we will enjoy the same relationship we had with her in this life.

Mary Ann's funeral was beautiful, just like she was. Faith, Courage and Love drove her to accomplish many things in life, particularly while she was sick with breast cancer. She continued her real estate career and inspired other cancer patients at her Hooters Club. She traveled to see the LDS church history sites with Steve and visited Hawaii again. In January, she and Steve went to see her oldest son in Maryland to make sure he was settled with his new career move. Last fall, she was invited to speak at the Relay for Life and give hope to those fighting cancer. She received a letter from the director of the Relay for Life, Nolan Yaws in which he told her, "Never have I seen someone so determined and so strong, Never have I seen someone so compassionate and so caring. Never have I seen someone so witty and joyous while fighting such a horrible disease. I want you to know that no matter what happens...no matter how things turn out, you have touched my life and filled me with a memory I will never forget."

We don't know if we could say it better--but our lives will never be the same because of Mary Ann. We have spent our lives loving her and her family. She has been the sunshine that sparkled into our lives over many visits, trips and phonecalls. We're not sure if there is a happy without her. But her example of strength and looking positively at every trial, never complaining--even at the loss of her own life, makes us believe happiness comes from within, and that we choose our own degree of happiness. That her faith, courage and love can become ours.

A miracle happened the day Mary Ann passed away, our 3-year long medical office building project funded. So in the midst of deep sadness and despair, we had not been forgotten. The Lord had answered us...though it seemed so small compared to losing our sister. We grew a lot that day--a reality check to what was truly important.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas 2008


We decided to do something a bit different this year for Christmas. We had been trying to find the right time to visit the Buchan family this past fall, but life got crazy and so did we. So the Sunday before Christmas, we really felt like we should go to California and make a "surprise" visit. This gave us 2 days to pull together the rest of our Christmas shopping and get ready to make our trek across Nevada. We made the necessary phone calls (to make sure it was okay to go ahead with the "surprise") and hurried our holiday activities.

We "celebrated" Christmas at home on December 23 at 10:30pm. We waited and waited for Nick to come home from work, but finally just started opening gifts....of course, we packed a few to take to the Buchan family and to open on Christmas day.

We packed the car, cleaned up and got on the road Wed. morning, December 24 at 2:30am. We thought if we left early enough we would miss the winter storm that was forecasted for the evening. We pulled up to Heather's house a little after lunch, tired but happy to have a safe trip. After a bit of a rest, the real surprise was about to happen. Steve and Mary Ann called to tell us they were on their way to Heather's house (Steve knew we were there--but Mary Ann had no idea!) When they arrived, we all hid, except Bekah and Spencer who answered Heather's door. Mary Ann just looked at them as they yelled surprise - - and wondered if we had flew them out for Christmas. We all jumped out of our hiding places and yelled surprise and told her we were joining them for Christmas--if it was okay with her. She started to cry--but I think they were happy tears.

We did a little last minute shopping -- Mary Ann was in pursuit of a good "turkey annihilator" for Steve :) We grabbed a few things for dinner and went back to the Buchans for a great dinner with all the family.



It was fun for us, because we even surprised Granny -- who I had dropped at the airport only a few days before. So Christmas Eve included the Price family, the entire Buchan family, Granny and us. It was a great night...and we stayed up till the wee hours wrapping our last minute items.











Our Cousins: Peter Buchan,Alex, Nick, Patrick Buchan Jordan Price, Jared Price & Spencer




Jared with his bro-in-laws: Paul Price & Steve Buchan
Christmas Day 2008
We were sooo tired that Christmas morning wasn't our wake up early & usual run for the presents day. We started off watching a couple of movies and eating our traditional stuffed eggnog french toast with cranberry syrup. Spencer's days were so messed up that he didn't even realize it was Christmas morning until he saw a filled stocking near the couch. We actually started our Christmas festivities more about noon. It was fun to share Christmas with the Buchans -- even though all of their children are grown....and the tree was buried with presents since we had 2 families. You would think Santa would have left a path--but Spencer was very willing to dig under the tree and find everybody their gifts. Mary Ann made out like a bandit. It was fun to give the Buchan family our gift (we had them this year). We made a photo album for them all called, "There's Something About Mary" with all of Mary Ann's pictures in it from babyhood to this past Thanksgiving. She cried again--and I promised her we didn't come to make her cry. Spencer got his sushi gift certificate, Bekah her ipod--Alex his only wish--an itouch and Nick a leather coat. The Buchan boys went home with TVs and Heather got a surround sound system...but most of all we all made fun and precious memories of being together for Christmas.










We enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner of prime rib, special mashed potatoes, etc.--and homemade guacamole--all made by our inhouse chef--Chef Peter. If he ever decides he doesn't like making bombs for a living, he can come cook for me :) We stayed up late and had a wonderful time visiting. Mary Ann said Steve told her he didn't realize how much work went into getting ready for the holidays....he was exhausted! (I think Mary Ann secretly smiled at his realization of all the holiday preparations she had done over the past decades :) It's nice to be appreciated.

After a sleep in day, we headed south to the bay area. We started off our little get away with a stop at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Alameda, CA. Steve has been going to that restaurant since he was a little boy. Mary Ann and Steve reminisced about the good old days, and we checked out the places Jared lived as a child.

We spent the next couple of days in San Francisco. It was beautiful weather, and we stayed in a really nice hotel right across from the Ferry Building. We have never really taken the kids to San Francisco--so they had a ball in the big city. Spencer didn't really like all the "beggars" around, until we pointed out they were actually street performers. Once he realized that, he had a bunch of fun with them--especially the bush man that tried to scare us and the robot guys.

We walked up and down the Embarcadero visiting the ferry building, riding a train and hitting Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. We ate at Boudin's Sour Dough Bread Bakery and visited Union Square--lots of fun window shopping and the biggest Williams Sonoma I've ever seen. Of course no visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Ghiradelli Square where we ate giant hot fudge sundaes. Bekah ordered strawberry--don't ask me why. Luckily for Mary Ann, she was able to park for free everywhere she went because of her handicap plates. So she would rest up in the car between our city visits.

We also got to spend some fun time with our Price cousins and enjoy our Uncle Paul's fabulous cooking. It was fun to reconnect and visit with everyone.
Happy 20th Anniversary

We celebrated our 20th Anniversay while we were in San Francisco. December 27, 1988 was a great day and so was December 27, 2008! It's gone really fast. Jared gave me a beautiful diamond ring. I made a photo album for him about the 100 reasons I love him. We both feel really lucky.

After a fast and furious trip, we left the Buchans with a little peace and quiet and lots of treasured memories--and I think Steve ended up with the flu (sorry Steve) . We headed home to our wintery haven in Alpine, Utah to welcome in the New Year with friends. We look forward to 2009 and the many opportunities we will have this coming year.

Christmas Letter 2008






Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Halloween 2008


"Nothing on earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night!"-Steve Almond

We had a fun Halloween. It was nice and warm (in the high50s instead of our usual freezing blizzard). Nick and Alex are too old to trick-or-treat--though I think Alex went around gathering candy. Spencer's 5th grade class had a wax museum for Halloween, and he had to pick a famous historical figure, so he picked John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin. I think he was the only kid that wasn't a hero in the wax museum. He had a mustache earlier in the day, but it was too itchy...so he said he was an old-time gangster.


Here's Spencer with his friends...a motley crew.





Bekah decided to be a nerd for Halloween. She even got to wear her costume to school. She put a "kick me" sign on her back, but said she took it off at lunch after people kept taking her up on it. Isn't she just adorable? Stephanie liked her costume so much she borrowed it for her Halloween Bunco night. Jared accused her of borrowing his stuff to look nerdy. Do you see the family resemblance?

Bekah and her friends at Halloween 2008.


Since Stephanie couldn't wear Bekah's costume on Halloween, she pulled out her authentic 1960s Laugh In dress and dressed go-go style that night. Jared said he preferred the go-go girl to the nerd :) It's amazing what a new hairstlye and different clothes can do for you.

Jared ended up answering the door and eventually taking a nap after the 8pm crowd dissapated. Next year we're planning a big Halloween party!