Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Super Gramps

". . . mourning is one of the deepest expressions of love.  The Lord said, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die" (D&C 42:45)."

This past week has been a tough one for me.  Already, we found ourselves on the 2 year mark of when my sweet dad left this earth.  I reflected a lot on what these 2 years have been like and could not believe how many hills and valleys I've wandered through to get where I am now.  It took me so long to finally turn it all over the Lord and let the pain go.  It also took a lot for me to finally realize that none of what happened with my dad was part of the Lord's plan, he would have never wished such horrible things upon anyone, but that through the power of free agency, we are where we are today.  My dad made many choices in his life. . . some good. . . some terrible.  I'm glad that I get to now focus on the good ones.  
As the week progressed, I had a dear friend who found herself in a situation much like dad's. . . so tragic, so senseless and so painful.  It brought up so many things from the week we lost dad.  As I helped make arrangements for the funeral and the meal for the family in our ward, I found myself feeling so overwhelmed with sadness.  What do we learn as family left behind by suicide?  How do we ever recover from such tragedy?  And it was reaffirmed to me several times. . . the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I was simply amazed by the service I witnessed of so many women who will never really understand how they have changed my life.  Women who are busy, have crazy work schedules, have meetings and family events happening, but when called upon on short notice to throw together a casserole or pick up a bag of rolls, they stepped right up without hesitation!  So many rainbows through such dark times.

And in the midst of this sad and raging storm. . . I got news that my sweet and loving grandpa AKA Super Gramps. . . was called home on Thursday, September 12th, just 2 years and 3 days after dad.  My grandpa was 84, he was a hard worker and a teaser.  He passed the loving teasing on to the whole Lloyd family :).  He married my grandma when she was 17 and barely graduated from High School. . . such a cradle robber ;).  Grandpa's just hold that magical place in our hearts.  His face always lit up when he saw us and he would crack some joke.  He was such a great example of a good and faithful member of the church.  I will definitely miss him, but I know that he's reunited with my dad and my uncle and his brothers, and many more.  

 Here is my grandpa 2 years ago with my uncle and cousins.  I've always loved this picture!

His funeral today was beautiful.  I love that I got to spend so much time with my family.  We have so much fun all together!  It was fun to hear so many great stories about a man that influenced my life for the better!
My sweet angel of a daughter right here. . . my cousin captured this pic while we were up at the cemetery.  As time has gone on, I've realized how thin the veil is for this little one still.  She has had several dreams of her Grandpa, where he comes to play with her or to help her in a scary dream.  She's also dreamt about others who have passed, that she hasn't met before.  I love to hear about these encounters.  I feel so blessed to have this sweet spirit in my life!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

This Year at a Glance! WARNING - Picture Overload

I have been contemplating whether or not to update my blog.  It seems overwhelming because this year has been AMAZING! I've got a ton of pics from this year showcasing only some of the fun that we Johnson's have been having.  It's been a busy year for us and if you'll notice from my last post more than a year ago, I started out with a new job and a new opportunity to be sculpted and molded by my Heavenly Father.  More on that later. . . for now, enjoy some pics! (disclaimer, they are not in any sort of order. . . that was too much for my brain to figure out :) )

 Last year's Idaho State Fair.  My little munchkin had so much fun!

We got to go camping this year with my siblings.  Tested out the ol' tent trailers!  It was fun!

The kids having fun while camping.

One of the girls trips I went on this summer was to Las Vegas!  We hung out at the pool A LOT! 

I love my calling and serving with these amazing ladies!

Another girls trip (yes, I'm spoiled!) to Georgia and Florida.  I love these girls!  We laughed the entire time.

My baby girl is growing up so fast! She's already figured out how to take selfies :)

Breathtaking! Florida beach.

We got to go up to Strawberry and catch some big fish.  My handsome fisherman!

And yes, I even followed in my dad's footsteps and crashed the car!  Fender bender. . .woops!

Another sign that she's growing up. . . lost 2 teeth this summer!

Talk about a fun trip to Vegas!  We went for the NKOTB concert.  They are hotties! 

This trip definitely reminded me that I'm still a young pup and can have fun! Love my girls!

Toes in the sand. . . best feeling ever!

This cute girl was my travel companion this summer.  I love her so much!

More of the family fishing trip.  Felt my dad up there so much.  Love these two!

Florida! We're here!

She loved being out on the water.

Big hat. .. check!  Warm sun. .  .check! Ocean sounds. . .check! Best friends. . . check! 

These two besties had fun in the makeup one night.  They were trying to make themselves look like Monster High. . . the first pic wasn't so bad, so I wasn't worried. . . . then they came back looking like Stalone on Rambo!

My high school is tearing down the building that I went to school in.  They built a fancy new school this year, so we went to tour the old building and the old memories.  Saw one of my favorite teachers while I was there.  

The girls took dance together.  Anyone that knows them, knows that they fight quite a bit. . . but I got this cute shot of them hugging one night at dance :).

And the most recent of events was the day Miss Pretty went to Kindergarten.  She LOVES it so much! I cried like a baby.  She is so beautiful and at times, I'm shocked that I get to be her mommy!  

Hope you enjoyed the update!  I will be posting a lot more later!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ask and Ye Shall Receive.. . .

D&C 66:9 - "Lay your hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. Return not till I, the Lord, shall send you. Be patient in affliction. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

I can honestly say that this last year was the hardest in my 32 years of existence.  Losing a loved one affects everyone so differently.  Enduring the loss of my dad, shook me to the very core.  I questioned everything that I hold dear to me:  my faith in God, my testimony of my religion, my marriage and my life as a whole!  It was some pretty rough and dark times for this little girl!  As the year has progressed, I knew that something had to change in my life. . . didn't know what it was yet, but I just knew I wasn't doing well in my healing.  As most of you know, I've worked at East High School for 6 years.  I've been the Principal's Secretary for 3 of those 6 years and I've loved it!  I've grown to adore and love so many of my coworkers there and built friendships that will last a lifetime!  July brought the change that I spoke of. . . not exactly planned change, but does the Lord ever really forwarn us?  He prepares us for it, but we don't always know what the "IT" is going to be :). 
I saw a job posting for a Career Center Secretary job at Hunter High School (my high school rival growing up. . .G-High Lancer forever!).  I put in my application for it, not thinking that there'd be any chance I'd get an interview.  But, Hunter is so close to my house and I thought the job just might be the change I was looking for.  We were getting ready to head out on a week long vacation around the middle of July, when I got a phone call to go and interview for the job.  I was shocked of course and also very nervous because I was afraid of how this would affect my current job.  The night before my big interview (and 2 nights before we were leaving for vacation!) my Bishop called me to see if D and I could meet with him.  D and I have been serving in the Nursery.  LOVE it in there!  The kids are so funny and cute, we get to eat a snack and we get to play with toys!  What's not to love about that gig?!  But we've been in there for a while and I had mentioned that I missed the "big kids" class.  So I knew that change was coming. . . . .(this is where I open mouth and insert foot!) My Bishop told us that we were being released, but that it had to do with a change and the change involved ME!  Picture me, sitting in between Miss Pretty and D, smiling and nodding when he says "We'd like to call you to be the Relief Society President."  Now imagine my jaw hitting the ground, my eyes filling up with tears and the ugly cry in full affect!  That's right my peeps. . . .Relief Society President!  I thought for sure that Ashton Kutcher was waiting to jump out and say "You've been PUNKED!"  Nope.  Didn't happen.  Ashton was nowhere in sight.  The first thing I thought and said was "I'm just not ready!"  I really felt like I was just gathering up all the pieces of my broken and stomped on heart.  Just starting to really trust that the Lord knew the plan and that I could trust Him, but then he goes and does something like this! By the end of the meeting, I had said "Yes", I was a hot and snotty mess and I had been given an amazing blessing by my husband.  I told my Bishop that I had this job interview the next day and now I was thrown off my game with this shocking new detail!  He told me that "Life is like a snowglobe, it wouldn't be as beautiful if it weren't all shook up!"  Ain't that the truth! 
Along came my job interview. . . it went well, but I learned that they were interviewing 26 people!! YIKES!  I just felt very blessed to have the opportunity to at least interview. 
So I left on vacation the next day (Saturday). . . with a new bombshell of a calling and perhaps, a very small, but very real chance of a new job!  Talk about a double whammy eh? 
Vacation was a blast!  I tried to play and keep my mind off all of the "change", but when I hadn't heard from Hunter by Tuesday, I thought for sure it was a no-go.  That night I was bummed and I prayed that I would be able to do my job at East, which is at times very stressfull and heavy, AND do this calling that the Lord needed me in, with hopefully some of me left over for my family.  I cried some tears of disappointment, but knew that the Lord would provide a way to make it all happen.  The next morning I woke up to a voicemail on my phone.  . . it was the principal of Hunter High School.  I hesitated calling back for fear of hearing the reality that I didn't get the job.  I decided to just "rip off the band-aid" as Pheobe said on "Friends" and get it over with.  To my utter shock and amazement, they offered me the job!!! As I knelt down to thank my Heavenly Father, the reply that I got was "Why do you still doubt me?"
Isn't it amazing what can happen in a month?
As I prepared to leave my East High family to head out on this new adventure, I realized just how blessed I am to have been able to work with and rub shoulders with some very fabulous people!  I felt so very loved by so many and when it came to my final day, was a big bawl baby.  I had the most amazing boss that became like a 2nd dad to me when I needed it so much in my life.  You know those people that you just know the Lord placed in your life for a very specific reason. . . .he's one of them! 
I've now begun my new job at Hunter.  Everyday reassures me more and more of why I'm supposed to be there.  Right from the moment I told my boss at East that I was interviewing there and he realized that the Principal at Hunter was one of his assistant principals at Cyprus.  One connection after another. . . it's been truly awesome!
Today myself and my rockstar presidency were sustained and set apart.  This journey is just beginning, but I've already seen the Lord's hand in it all.  He's led me here, to this very point in my life and I know that He is in charge now!  What a humbling experience this has been for me.
I've seen the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ work in the hearts of myself and my loved ones.  It's real!  It's wonderful and truly amazing!
As terrified as I am for this next adventure, I'm also just as excited!  I know that the Lord has prepared me for this.
This song has come up so many times these past few months.  It reminds me of this season of my life. . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

4th of July FUN

We got to go to the West Jordan parade this year.  So much fun, but muy caliente!  The girls were super cute and loved all the floats. 

 After the parade, we headed over to the rodeo.  My cute nephew was doing some muttin bustin'!  So fun!

And fireworks of course!  The perfect ending to a fun day!

One can't have too much fun!!

This summer has been a blasT!  We have tried to play as much as possible and I think we've succeeded.  In June, we headed up to Strawberry to do some camping.  The kids got dirty, we ate smores and D caught some fish, so everyone was happy!

The kiddos were hilarious and just had fun.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Summa Time!

We had quite the day this past Saturday! We got to go to a friend's birthday party and see "Brave". Such a cute movie and so fun to see so many friends. From there, we headed to Leatherby's with some of my sibs to eat cheezy fries and laugh at ourselves and our kids. After which we took a dip in the pool and played. To end the night, we headed to a fun BBQ with some more friends. My sis and I (kids in tow) braved the madness of the WestFest (Local carnival. . ."Carnie Folk. . .Small hands"). We had some free tickets for the rides, so we got to enjoy the entertainment!
Here we are all crammed in the "Berry Go Round". It's a rendition of the Tilt-a-Whirl, only like a "hot box" with excellent accoustics! The girl's high pitched squeals were intensified 100x's.

One of my favorite quotes of the night was when my nephew was riding on the merry-go-round and said "This doesn't even feel like a real horse!"

To end the evening, we got to watch fireworks!

Other favorite quote of the night was while Miss Pretty was watching fireworks. There she was with her face toward the sky and her eyes all sparkly and she says: "Wow! I'm gonna have to tell Grammy about this!"  There really is something magical about watching fireworks on a hot summer night.

It was a fun day with so many great people!

For Father's Day this year, D got tickets to the concert of his dreams:
"Heart" & "3 Dog Night"
They'll be at the Blackfoot Fair this year and he is sooooo excited to go! It was one of those "firsts" that I've talked about.  The first Father's Day since my dad passed away.  I thought about my dad a lot all day. There are days that I feel at peace about things, then there are days that I feel in a constant turmoil. I have to keep reminding myself that it wasn't that long ago and that I don't have to be "completely over it". I was really wishing that I could have a big ol' hug from my dad on Father's Day. Monday night, I got my hug. I had a dream about my dad. I've had a couple of dreams with him in them since he died, but he was more like a memory in them. In this dream, he was talking right to me and it was very real. I was planning a party at my parent's house and on my way over there, I realized that I couldn't have a party there because we had cleaned it all out and sold it. But I went there anyway and when I walked in, my dad was sitting in the front room in his recliner. That was the only thing in the house. When I saw him, I was shocked and we both started crying. I walked over to him and he looked very weak, like he'd just gotten out of the hospital. He had oxygen on. I told him that I was so happy to see him and that everyone thought he had died. Through his tears he said "It just feels really good to be clean finally!" He hugged me really tight and said he was sorry. I just remember sobbing and being so glad that he was there. Then he told me that he needed to go lay down because he was so tired. When I woke up, it felt like I had just seen him. It felt so real. I sure miss him. I wish that I had been more forgiving with him. Addiction is one of those ugly things that Satan uses to beat us down until we give up. That's what I feel like my dad's addiction did to all of us. I got to where I didn't have anything left to give. But now I know that he's okay and he's getting better. But I sure wish that he was here to go camping with us and to be there to hold my babies when and if I have any more.
We are heading to our first camping trip of the season pretty soon and I've been thinking about all the memories that I have of being out on the lake with him. The smell of the water, the worm guts on his fingers, and of course, the country music! I'm excited to be up there in the mountains and to hopefully feel him close by me for a bit.
I miss you dad!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My baby girl is growing up.

It's crazy to think that Miss Pretty already finished her first year of preschool!  I was able to go to her little program at school, where they sang lots of cute songs.  She just loved school this year!

Especially her teachers Miss Emily and Miss Pam.

Her and her BFF's from school.  So cute!

Congratulations Miss Pretty!