Saturday, September 27, 2008

Visit from the West's

We were lucky enough to have Ryan's parents, Robert and Nancy come visit us this week from a law conference in Chicago. They were good sports to occupy themselves for a few days while we were at work and school and also even better sports to put up with our dogs :)

We took them to the dog park...

Can you believe this is in the middle of Lansing?
Baby smiling
Norris choosing to ignore the camera

and the dog beach...

and the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Basically the story is that Henry Ford got ridiculed by the press so he went a little crazy but had more money than he knew what to do with. So he bought a bunch of historical artifacts and displays them at this museum. A lot of it is original automobiles and planes and we only saw 1/3 of what they keep on the property but it was pretty cool.
An original Hearse
This mini carriage was built for a famous midget couple (while not very politically correct, I'm using the word "midget" because thats what it said on the sign)
A giant snowplow used to clear train tracks in CanadaAn old billboard from Ford's early years
A 1952 Weiner mobile, need I say more?

Look Dad, model Hearses
The ultimate nurse/family car
A bicycle built for 9
Sweet car of the future, sign me up!

The seat where Rosa Park's refused to move from on the actual bus

Whew! Sorry for all the pictures but that's what I do :) We sure enjoyed having them stay and appreciate all they do for us. Love you Robert and Nancy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grandma of a kind

I got back from my trip home for my Grandma Ann's funeral on Monday and just wanted to share a few pictures and experiences. Oh and just a heads up, this is kind of a long post but like a lot of you, I use this as a journal as well as a blog.

So first off, it was good to be there for my dad and support him through this rough time. I can't even begin to think about losing my parents so I know this was tough on him. He did great though and came out even stronger I think.
My Dad and niece Mckayla

The funeral was perfect. Exactly what my Grandma would have wanted. There were so many fun stories and moments of joy and laughter that outnumbered the moments of sorrow. Again, exactly what Grandma would have wanted. She was definitely there with us and always will be. One such funny story is that she came from a family of 5 girls and turned around and had 5 boys (see the picture above). Well the day she passed, my dad and uncles were at the mortuary and the funeral director said, "Wow, 5 boys, how did she ever survive that?" My Uncle Steven said, "Well she did just fine until today." I can just see my Grandma cracking up about that!

For a funeral, this was really an enriching experience. I got to help my mom and aunt dress my Grandma for the funeral and it was a very spiritual and tender time. Although it didn't look like her (because she was missing her best part- her spirit), it was a privilege to dress her in her prettiest gown. Funny story though, we weren't able to zip up the back and I told my mom that Grandma is going to be so mad when her dress falls off in the Resurrection :)

I was able to put together a table with a bunch of photos of my Grandma and family. It was fun to go through pictures we found and find nice frames for them. The lady at the checkout register looked at me pretty funny when I bought 10+ frames at a time though.
One very significant story to our family is this. My dad owned a pet store before I was born and 35 years ago gave my grandparents an African Macaw parrot named Bozo. They live to be 80 years old sometimes. Anyway, it only liked my Grandma and sometimes my Grandpa and Dad but whenever anyone else was in the house it squawked and squawked. So the morning that my Grandma died there were obviously a lot of people in the house and they noticed the bird didn't make a sound. Well the bishop's wife went to check my cousin's baby she heard crying that she had put down for a nap but saw that the baby was still sleeping. Come to find out, they looked around and it was the bird crying. Crying just like a baby :( The next day the bird started getting sick and the next evening he passed away. I think he had a broken heart without my Grandma and knew that she was gone (for now). The bishop pointed out that we are all God's creatures and some have thinner veils than others. Cool story huh?

Just another quick story but today when I was grocery shopping, I noticed bunches of flowers on display that caught my eye. Turns out they were some of my Grandma's favorite and the same ones that my cousins and I placed on her casket Saturday. Of course I got a little teary and had to buy 1 of every color! It helps me to know that my Grandma is still with us, even at Kroger :)

I have been so blessed to have extrordinary grandparents and will miss my Grandma terribly but know that we will meet again. The hardest part to me has been that I wanted so bad for her to see my babies. I'm confident though that she is rocking, cuddling, and singing to them right now, preparing them for Ryan and me and this life. The picture below is of my niece just a few months ago but to me it has a heavenly glow and it is exactly what I see my sweet Grandma doing right now. Love you Grandma, take care of my little ones until they're ready for me!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Sad Day

Ryan woke me up with bad news today. My dear, sweet Grandma Ann passed away Tuesday morning. She wasn't ill and it was pretty unexpected. Out of the grandparents I have left, she was the last we thought would go. But as sad and heartbroken as I am, I feel somewhat comforted. I know she was prepared and that she knew we loved her and her passing was quick and peaceful I'm sure. What a woman she is though and we will all miss her so terribly. I leave on Thursday to come home for the funeral. It's the first time I've had to do that but I knew that someday it would happen, I guess we're never quite ready though. Give your loved ones a little extra squeeze next time you see them. Love you Grandma!

Notice my Grandma isn't looking at the camera in most pictures. She hated us taking her picture and I can just see her now waving her finger at me for posting all of these :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Be Grateful

So I got this in an email today and loved it. As any of my family would tell you, I am a perfectionist and a control freak...not a good combination which only adds to my bad habit of whining when things don't go 100% as planned so this was a good reality check for me. Enjoy!
There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She
hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always
there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see
the world, I would marry you.'

One day,someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages
came off, she was able to see everything, including her

He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The
girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The
sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected
that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life
led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her
saying: 'Please take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before
they were yours...
they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who
was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone
who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone
who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who
walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the
unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on
your face and think: you're alive and still around.