Friday, December 16, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Here are some pics of us decorating this year's Christmas tree! What a fun year for Miss Pretty! She had a blast.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little America Buffet = Emotional Eating

To those that still read my blog: I'm sorry you have to hear me vent so much, but this is truly therapy to me and it helps me to write things out and make sense (or try to) of it in my head!

With that out of the way. . . . D and I got a new calling at church. I saw that coming a mile away! :) Nursery! When they first called us in, I knew what it was and I was preparing myself to say "NO" even though I knew you're not supposed to say no and i've never said no before! But I just didn't feel ready. I felt like I was still reeling from everything that's happened. But once again, I was given one of the swift uppercuts by the Spirit (I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father has figured out that "nudges" don't work with me anymore!). I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I LOVE it in there! I miss the "grown ups" classes, but I truly feel that this is where we were meant to be right now. Back to the basics :). It's very refreshing!

I thought that by now things would feel a little better. Like i'd feel a bit more healed. WRONG!! I've found that grief has many layers and many stages. One day I'll think to myself "wow! I'm doing so good! Haven't cried today. I can do this!" Then the next, I'm a complete, blubbering mess of tears and snot. . . it just ain't pretty! A dear friend of mine recently lost one of her siblings and my heart ached when I heard the news. I was brought right back to that first day of finding out my dad was gone. My sister and I went to the viewing and I cried just thinking about going. What a devasating thing to deal with while we're here on earth. It's difficult approaching all the "firsts" without my dad. The first family birthday parties for the grandkids. The first Thanksgiving. The first Christmas. Etc. We've celebrated 3 birthdays for the grandkids without him already and each one, I'd look around thinking that something was missing. HIM! On Sunday, my cute little nephew celebrated his 4th birthday and it was such a great party filled with good food, laughter and fun. I guarantee my dad would have been hovering around the snack bar eating plenty of sammies and potato chips and definately olives! It's just so hard to believe that he's gone. That I'm not able to just call him up and tell him how much I love him! That we will be spending this Thanksgiving with a huge void left in our hearts. As we talked about Turkey Day this year, we decided that we'd do something we've never done before. So. . . . we're heading to the Little America. We are gettin' all gussied up and we're gonna stuff ourselves! Thanksgiving was one of my Dad's favorite holidays. He loved all the yummy food and he loved cooking it all.

I feel like there's this odd shaped hole and there's nothing quite the right size to fill it. I used to feel like he was really close right after he died, but now I don't as much. We joke around that he's probly in this eternal rehab and his sponsor is Michael Jackson. I'm sure he's really busy, but I still need him. We are going to finish cleaning out the house this week and i'm dreading it. It's so hard to be there at the house and to think of all the memories that we have there and to see it empty now.

Alright, I better stop. I can assure you that one day I'll be able to write about hope. One day my posts will be filled with happy things again, like puppies and candycanes! Those days have to come right? Until then, bear with me as I weep through my words. I pray for that hope to come. I seek it as much as I can.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Cookies anyone?

We've had a busy couple of weeks! Just trying to get our lives to fit into this "new norm". Not fun! But we're trying. Last week Miss Pretty's cousins came to play at our house. We made some spooky Halloween cookies. It was hilarious watching them!

I love this pic. Look at Els' face in the background. Miss Pretty was shoving those candy corns in her mouth 10 at a time! Let's just say, we had a toothbrushing party after the cookie making party. :)

Isy is pretending he used the frosting to frost the cookies instead of eating it right off the butter knife. And yes, that's flour in his hair.

By the end of the evening, the sugar high was gone and they were all clocking each other in the head. They were all in time-out and grumpy pants by the time mommy and daddy came to pick them up. But it was fun and that's all that matters.

Last week I got this crazy brained idea one day on my way home from work. I was thinking, like I always do as soon as I get in my car, about my dad. I was thinking about how he loved to take us up to look at the fall leaves in the mountains and about how he loved camping and about how we didn't go camping at all this year! So I thought "why not go up today and at least roast hot dogs and have a fire?" So I rallied the troops (aka: my siblings and kiddos) and we headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon and found us a spot (that may or may not have said "closed for the winter"). It was a blast! The hot dogs were delish!

It was beautiful up there and I really felt a closeness to my dad up there. He loved taking all of us kids up there to have breakfast or to camp out for a night. Those were definately some of my best memories of him!

This week has been a rough one for me. I don't really have a reason, just that I'm bitter and playing the victim! We went to a new support group on Wednesday and it was just so sad for me. I just kept thinking "How did this become my life? I'm at a support group for suicide survivors and I still can't believe that I'm here." I know that probly sounds funny, but most of the time it's still very surreal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

Still numb. . . .but life seems to be moving on with or without me. It's still hard for me at family functions and gatherings, to not see him there. And my mind keeps going back through things (even though I know it's pointless) to see what I could have done differently. I know that I couldn't have done anything else to get him sober and I know that I couldn't have taken away his pain or his agency. But I know that I could have told him that I loved him more and I know that I could have been better about having Miss Pretty spend time with her Papa. It's hard to want to move on.

Anywho. . . our kiddos have kept us entertained! :)

Miss Pretty and her cousin Els seem to be getting along a little better lately! We were over at my sister's house one night and got this cute pic moment.

All tuckered out from playing!

Miss Pretty is in preschool now. We just switched her to a new one because the other one wasn't quite working out. She loves her new class though and is learning so much! She says the funniest things all the time and keeps us on our toes. Here's some funny pics of her baby that lost a leg the other night. Luckily Gma sewed it back on.

Everything else seems to be scooting along. D is on a new, regular work schedule which is nice for our little family! The first time in 5 years that we're both home at night and are able to go to church together. We celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary this year! Can't believe it's been that long already!

At church on Sunday, I got to help in nursery. Those kids were hilarious and I totally needed the uplifting spirit that they have!! The teacher was teaching about the Prophet's counsel and one of the things that He teaches us is to eat healthy. I said "like broccoli." One of the cute little boys got this disturbed look on his face and a few minutes later, looked at me and whispered "But I hate broccoli!" One of the little girls kept her dress lifted up to her face all through the lesson, showcasing her Minnie Mouse diaper. They kept me laughing the entire time!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Corky's Lament

It's hard to believe that it's already been a month ago today that my dad passed away. This month has literally been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and experiences! I miss him so much and I think about him all day. Today was my first Sunday back to church and I was dreading it. I know that sounds bad huh. I thought a lot about why I was heavy-footed about going back today. I guess it's because I knew that i'd be so vulnerable to the Spirit and that scared me. Also, I have some anger toward my Father in Heaven. Logically, I know that this was something He had prepared me for and that He would never leave me comfortless during this difficult time. But I also question Him everyday about why? Why was our family chosen for this? Why couldn't He help my dad to overcome this more? Why couldn't my dad kick this? Just a lot of why's. . . .

So we went. . . it was an amazing Sabbath and I felt the Spirit very strong. The Sunday School lesson brought me to tears and that carried into Relief Society where I have a complete break down and couldn't make it stop. In the middle of the awesome lesson, I felt my dad near me so strongly. It was the first time that I had felt him near like that since he died. It didn't last nearly long enough though and I just kept thinking "don't go dad! Stay close!"

You know, you always hear about those people that have these really cool experiences after they lose a loved one. They have a dream about them, or they see them somewhere. So each night I go to sleep and think "tonight is the night that he's going to come and visit me and tell me that he is alright and that we're going to be alright." Still haven't had that dream. Perhaps he's visiting others still or perhaps he's not ready. I don't know.

I just miss him.

Sorry to ramble, just have a lot on my mind tonight as I think back over things. There's so much that I'm still trying to figure out! Miss Pretty randomly asks questions about Grandpa and that's still hard to think of what answers to give her.

I had a great friend take some amazing pictures for us of the viewing and the funeral. Here are some of them that touched my heart and show the true beauty of that day!

Check her out on her blog: Kristi Martin Photography

Aren't they gorgeous?! She did such a great job!

There are times that it still doesn't seem real. My sisters and I go to his grave every week before we go to our 12 step recovery meeting. That still seems foreign to me to be going to see "my dad's grave". Just doesn't seem like it's something that I should be doing or ever would be doing. I know that he fought some hard battles in his life. And I know that toward the end of his life Satan worked overtime on him. But I guess I thought we'd end up with a different outcome. I guess I thought that we had done a pretty darn good job at fighting back and helping him as hard as we possibly could. I'm sad that it's all so final now. That there is no longer any way to help him get better because he's gone.

Thanks for letting me get some of this out. So many things go through my head all day. I hope that one day, this will be a little bit easier.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Be Still My Soul

It seems there are some things that happen in this life that we will never fully comprehend. Some things that don't seem at all fair and some things that tear our hearts apart.

Friday, September 9, 2011 our family experienced a loss that will forever leave an emptiness in our hearts. My dad took his own life that day. I wanted to share this experience in hopes that perhaps someone reading this, that maybe knows someone that needs help, will be able to recognize that and hopefully get that help!

I have so many fond memories of my dad. So many that make me laugh out loud. There are also some that make me sad. As many of you read this, you may recall 2 years ago, when we almost lost him. Some of you may even know how I've struggled, personally, with the fact that I grew up with a dad that was addicted to prescription drugs and at times, alcohol.

On Friday, when I got the phone call from my sister, I never knew it was possible to feel that much pain! I had just arrived in Idaho and my sweet mother-in-law put me in the car and started driving me back home. I felt as though I was in a tunnel and I don't remember much about the ride home, except that it felt like the longest trip EVER! From that dark and sad night until now has been a blur of tears and heartache. Everything seemed to happen so fast and I couldn't seem to grasp it all. Like trying to hold water in my hands, I couldn't seem to keep it from happening.

I do know that the only way that I could have made it through it all is with my amazing family and friends!! I have the best siblings in the whole entire world! I know that the Lord hand picked us for this life and to help each other carry this burden. We have shed many tears together, been a shoulder to cry on for each other, made each other laugh and helped hold one another up when it felt like there was no way to stand on our own. There were many times that we would just sit together and tell funny stories about dad and laugh. What a strength they have been in my life! We had to make a lot of tough decisions very quickly this week and also say goodbye to a very amazing man!

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, we had a viewing for my dad. I was so overwhelmed and touched by the many, many amazing people that came to support my family and say goodbye to my dad. He touched so many lives while he was here on earth and it was truly an amazing experience to see so many lined up out the door to pay their respects.

I was dreading Thursday, September 15, 2011 because I knew it would all be over and I'd have to say goodbye to the man that taught me so much as a little girl and who helped make me the person that I am today! As I got up that morning and got ready, I felt as though I couldn't make it. I was brought to my knees to ask for the help that I desperately needed. What a beautiful day it was! There are 6 kids in my family and each of us took some time to talk about my dad. What an amazing spirit filled the chapel that day. There was laughter, there were tears and there was comfort knowing that we'd see him again one day. My siblings did such a good job. We had the most amazing home teacher, growing up. He is now the Stake Patriarch in my parent's ward. He has seen our family through so much and it was an honor to have him speak at my dad's funeral. He offered such kind words of comfort and peace. I was truly humbled standing up there and looking out at all the friends and loved ones that came out to share that day with us!

The graveside service was beautiful. A very dear family friend dedicated the grave. There was such an overwhelming spirit of peace there. The weather was gorgeous and we laughed at how dad would have wanted it that way.

My dad was a kind-hearted and loving man! He taught me how to fish. He taught me to love "Lord of the Rings". He taught me about good music like "Cat Stevens" and "Led Zepplin". He loved his family and especially his grandkids. They were his pride and joy! And they loved him! He could catch the biggest fish that I've ever seen! He had the best sense of humor and instilled that in all of us Lloyd kids!

Now that it's all over, I'm left sitting here, wondering what to do next? How do I make this ache in my heart not hurt so bad? How do I teach my little girl about papa so that she really, fully grasps how amazing he was? What do I tell her when she says "Mommy, I miss Papa a lot! Because I yub him so much!" How do I keep moving forward without forgetting about what his laugh sounded like and about what his hugs felt like?

I pray that his soul is finally at peace. I pray also that my family and I will be able to find peace in our hearts. He will be missed so much by so many!

Be at peace daddy! I will miss you so much! Watch over us and stay close by.

. . . . til we meet again.

Steven Merlyn Lloyd

If you know someone that is struggling with drug addiction or someone that is struggling with co-dependency, there are resources out there!! There are many that have helped our family. The LDS church has an "Addiction Recovery Program" that has support groups for addicts and for spouses, family and friends of addicts. You don't need to go through it alone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Funsies!!

Just when I think summer will be all nice and relaxin' it goes and does something like this. . . .gets CrAzY busy and then disappears!! Boo! I wish it lasted a little bit longer for sure.

Miss Pretty has been so much fun lately (she's always been fun, but seems to get funnier everyday!) She had her 3 year check up with Dreamy last week and she is in the 83% for her height! She only had to get one shot (can I get an Amen!) and demanded a milkshake afterward for being so brave!

Here is a funny sleepytime pic I was able to snap one night. Too funny!

We started some projects this summer. . .didn't necessarily finish them, but we're getting there! Here is our front room before I began painting it (word to the wise. . . hire someone if you can, painting is for the birds!) but we succeeded with lots of whining on my part! I don't have an after picture, because I haven't been able to really clean the front room all pretty to take one. But I promise, you'll get one soon! I do love the after much better! Here's my lil' "Rambo". She has this Tinkerbell headband that she wears like a sweatband! Cracks me right up. Reminds me of when my little brother Ben used to wear his Rambo headband ALL the TIME and that turquoise necklace that I often wondered if I could wear it too.

it's been a fun summer, not too hot (well until recently), we've played outside alot and worked on the house. Miss Pretty gets to go to preschool next week and she is so excited! She's also requesting to go to dance class. Here's a pic of her with her new bike and helmet "Gammy" Johnson got for her.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grampa Vern

Grandpa Johnson was the best fisherman I ever did know! I met this man 10 years ago and always felt loved from the minute I met him! D's has so many fun stories that he's always sharing with me about him and there are times that I even have to call D "Vernon" because he reminds me so much of him!

We went to Idaho at the end of June and got the opportunity to go up and visit Grandpa in the hospital. It was hard seeing him so ill, but fun to hear him still talking about his passion --FISHING!! A week later, he left this world and was reunited with his sweet wife and many others I'm sure. 3 years ago, on March 11, 2008, we welcomed a miracle into our lives -- Miss Pretty. That day, we also lost Grandma Johnson unexpectedly. It was hard for us to not be able to say goodbye, but at the same time, I know that she was up there to send Miss Pretty off to us. Until we meet again Grandma and Grandpa!! Miss Pretty and Grandpa on her blessing day.

Auntie Kyr and Miss Pretty being ultra glamorous!

I love this pic! My brother-in-law saying goodbye. It was very sad to see D and his brother weep for their grandpa. He taught them everything they know about fishing and then some.

All of the grandsons.

We got to see so much family while we were there and I'm sure that Grandpa was looking down on us and relishing in it all because it's not very often that we're all able to be together like that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet Land of Liberty

What a fun 4th of July we had this year with lots of friends and family! A good friend and her fam came to visit from HOTLanta and it was so good to see her and catch up!
The kiddos had a blast with the fireworks!

A pic of the girls actually getting along. Too bad that a couple of minutes later, one was whipping the other with their glow necklace! Awww cousin love!!

Guess who??

Miss Pretty helping Daddy make homemade ice cream in our circa '75 ice cream makers!

This is always my favorite time of the year! Lots of fun memories!