I was trying so hard to avoid this post but I guess I can't anymore

On Sunday/November 25th, 2012 I received the saddest news to this day 
and of course my eyes fill w/tears as I'm typing this 

My dear grandpa passed away and I was sadder than I ever though I could be.
It's amazing- Even with the eternal perspective, I was still a mess.
A total and complete mess. It was crazy! 

This post is a little lot long. It's mainly for my journaling

Here's how this all went down...

In the middle of November (2012) my g'ma and g'ma were camping near Southern California. They were always camping in their motorhome. It's what they did :)
My g'parents came back from lunch & that's when it all went down. I guess.
G'pa told g'ma he wasn't feeling well, so he went in the back of the motorhome to lay down & when g'ma went in the back to check on him, she said he was aching in pain, so automatically they thought his appendix was about to burst, with all the other symptoms he was having. 
An ambulance was called & of course (stubborn) grandpa didn't want the ambulance, but my g'ma knew this was a must with the state of pain he was in. 
Grandma said grandpa's face was just white, and his eyes rolled to the back of his head, when she tried to ask if he was okay. 
After the paramedics came, they ruled out appendicitis and began trying to rule out other options as well. Unfortunately this wasn't something we all wanted to hear. We were all hoping it'd be something as simple as an appendicitis. Except it wasn't.
Ruling out different options went up & down every day, so you can only imagine my emotions as all this was happening. I'm at work, trying to stay calm, and yet look at my phone every 2.5 seconds for an update. Any news I got, I'd get distracted and discouraged w/my work. 
They officially diagnosed a problem. Great.
He had an infection in his intestines and the doctor had automatically ruled out surgery, because of the state of his lungs/heart from his age and previous heart attack in 1999. 
But then it came to the point where the doctor had to do an emergency surgery. Oh my. * My thoughts * Do I leave now and go to California? What if he doesn't make it out of surgery? Is this all okay? SCREAM. CRY. 
At one point, my dad asked me if I was sure that I wanted all these graphic updates from my mom. I told him that, as hard as it was, I wanted to be in the loop and know everything. That's just how I am. I'm an extremely inquisitive person. Yes, it was hard with the up & down emotions, but I just had to know what was going on. All the time.
And, you know what they say- No news is good news, but not in this case. If it had been awhile since I had heard anything, I flipped and began calling every person who was down at the hospital. 
And no one would answer their phones. Of course.
They were all either sleeping/taking naps, or charging what was left of their cell phone batteries. Sigh. I could relax. All is well. Or so I thought.
One night after work, things had took a turn for the worst. I immediately sped home, to pack my bags & looked for the soonest departing flight from Salt Lake City to LA. Jake wouldn't be able to go with me of course. He had to work and stay here to hold down the fort. I came to the conclusion I'd be going to California alone, to see one of my closest family members, in the worst state of their life. 
Was I really ready to do this? Could I do this alone? Thanksgiving is next week. Are we still planning on going up to Idaho to spend Thanksgiving w/Jake's family, or are we scratching that plan and just spending Thanksgiving in California? My cousin (in Logan) already left (that morning) to drive to California and be with my grandpa & the rest of my mom's side of the family. Should I be doing the same? Financially, it was not the smartest decision, but Jake told me he'd support me in whatever I needed to do.
Man- Adult decisions are hard. I just wish sometimes all the time, that someone could make up my mind for me, and then I remember that Heavenly Father gave us free agency for a reason. Dangit :-/
After talking w/my mom that night (the night of Monday/November 19th) she had told me it was ultimately my decision if I wanted to fly out there. She had told me she didn't want to make the decision for me. She said she'd hate for me to go out there, and see him like that (if it would be the last time I'd see him), and she also told me she'd hate for me to go out there if things were going to be looking upright soon. So, I decided to just hang tight and not fly home, but my bags were packed (all week) just in case, and the car was ready to go at any point in time. Brand new tires 'n all. 
Poor Jake. All I did was randomly cry & hope/pray things would quickly get better. And they did. Things were looking upright and I was talking to my cousin (Kristin), the one who lives up in  Logan... She had told me my grandpa received a blessing that night, and that no one felt (in that blessing) that that'd be the last time anyone would see him. 
Having that been said, everyone thought that blessing meant that grandpa would be quickly healing.... Or not.
When my cousin had told me all this (on the phone), I had told her "Ya know- that could be the feeling of you just knowing we'll see him again in the life here after." She had told me she'd hoped I had been wrong & that she hoped her instincts were right.
I wasn't trying to be a pecimist or anything...
That night, Jake and I decided to go on a double date w/some of our friends and just kinda get out & escape everything. So Bryan and Ashley (one of my close childhood friends) came down from Salt Lake and went laser tagging w/us! We had the best time running around tagging each other, screaming, but deep in my heart, I wanted to be in California with my family.
Post below says the same thing, about me traveling further north for the Thanksgiving holiday) while the rest of my family was by my grandpa's bedside. All I wanted to do, was be in California with the rest of my family, but I kept thinking that I wouldn't want to see my grandpa like that. 
Selfish thought?
Thanksgiving day was great. Things were looking upright. Sigh. For once- I can relax!
Things were looking so great, that my family left the hospital and went out shopping. WOW! What an improvement! I felt great being in Idaho w/Jake's family, and really felt (for the first time that week) that I was really doing the right thing. 
I'm pretty sure grandpa did this on purpose. He wouldn't want me being with my in-laws worrying about him. He wouldn't want our family spending another Thanksgiving in the hospital (like what happened when he had his heart attack Nov. 1999). It was almost exactly 13 years TO THE DAY that he had his heart attack. And that was a close call. This was all just too close to home w/everyone.
My grandma kept telling my grandpa, that as soon as he got better, that they'd go on a really big trip & take a nice cruise somewhere together. 
My cousin (Kristin) felt so great about everything, that they packed their bags & headed back to Utah and left my grandpa behind.
Unfortunately, grandpa never got to a good point. The nurses changed their mind from him switching out of the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit). He was only out of the CCU for a short while & was put back in immediately. 
Grandpa would joke w/grandma telling her "Come on, let's get out of here and go home." And when the nurses would come in and ask for him to verify his name he would tell him he can but he doesn't want to hahahaha Oh silly grandpa. Always telling jokes. 
Grandpa was always texting us grandkids to make sure we were okay. He would always send silly message w/jokes that sometimes didn't even make sense. The final set of texts I received from my mom consisted of "Got phone call @ 4:30 AM. Dad's heart stopped, did CPR and he's been intubated. Got to hospital by 4:45. It's not good. Adrenaline shot isn't helping blood pressure either. He's been revived. Dad was only down 15 seconds. Dad's scared & his blood pressure is low but they are trying to stabilize him. Doctor said this is a MAJOR setback." And that's when I had a major freak out.
PS this whole time I'm texting my dear friend (Kellie) who is a nurse in LA and poor thing- She's texting/calling me in the wee hours of the night, explaining what all these things mean 'cuz ya know- I can't really be talking to my mom all that much. She's busy and occupied w/everything else, along w/everyone else there. 

My first thought, when all this previous nonsense was happening, was that grandpa was trying to go & we wouldn't let him;( so I guess that's when the family all gathered and started coming up w/another plan just in case. And that's when I knew I felt guilty for not going & saying goodbye before hand. 
Another side note- When the doctor decided to do an emergency surgery, he actually didn't think my grandpa would make it with his age and health being in the state it was. He did warn us, that the next 72 hours after surgery, would be critical. And they were. That's when things were spinning out of control the most. 

So, late that night (Sunday/November 25th) my family had tried calling my cell phone several times. Side note # 5,3428 I turn my phone on silent at night, and put it face down so when/if someone does try calling/texting, I can't see/hear it. So Jake wakes up, to his phone going off. My dad was trying to call both of us and that's when I got up to call him in the living room. I found out my dear sweet loving funny grandpa had temporarily left us. He was put on life support just hours before hand & the doctor gave him just a few hours before he would leave, and that's just what he did. 

I miss him. A lot. 

I talk to my grandma (every day) on my way home from work. I would call my g-parents every day and would look forward to my grandpa answering the phone asking me how I'm doing and when I would (in return) ask him how he's doing, he'd say "Well, I'm not sure. No one's told me today." Or, if you told him you were doing well, he'd say "You're lookin good from over here!" 
I miss him saying "Love you gobs, Aubs." 
I have no idea what that meant, but I miss it. A lot. 

Am I forgetting anything? If this seems scrambled, it's because it is. The whole time he was in the hospital, things were just one scrambled mess. 

Her's to you grandpa. Thanks for being a great you

Luckiest grandkids alive. Hands down

I know I'll always be your favorite "however old I am" granddaughter 

Thank you (grandpa) for being in the temple with me on numerous different special occasions. For anyone who didn't get the chance to meet this funny, sarcastic man- I am sorry. You definitely missed out. Words cannot describe how much I miss him. I love you very much, grandpa, and cannot wait for the day when I can give you a hug and have you walk w/me on your shoulders, like you did when I was little, and you'd put me to sleep. xoXo 


The Strain's

For Thanksgiving, we went up to Maryland's house in Boise, Idaho.
While we were there, we took family pictures. It was nice to have everyone there.

Here are a few (on my camera) that I like:

We had a Strain traditional chicken enchilada Thanksgiving dinner
and I made delicious pumpkin rolls for dessert

of course there were pies too

Photo taken on my iPhone

Photo taken on my iPhone

It was interesting spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws and getting to know some of their traditions. I definitely missed the usual turkey dinner w/left over turkey sandwiches for days, and I died a little bit inside, when I found out they don't participate in sweet potato casserole or Black Friday, but I managed. 
I think the hardest part about Thanksgiving 2012, was the fact that my WHOLE family was in California while my grandpa was in the hospital. 
That wasn't supposed to be the plan. We were all supposed to spend Christmas together, in California, and take a big group family photo. Hence this holiday in Idaho. If we would've stuck to the original plan, it would have been the first (big) family photo in over ten years. With everyone; However, change of plans and everyone ended up being in California, instead of with their in-laws. Everyone except me and my siblings, of course. They stayed in Idaho (where they're going to school), but still. It was hard (mentally) being with my in-laws, when my heart was in California. 
I hope to be able to get to know my in-laws better and exchange more family traditions in the future. Happy Turkey Day! 


Josh & Veronica... Nicky

We received the most beautiful, classy wedding announcement. Sigh
I fell in love when I first saw our names addressed on the outside of the envelope.

I'm very critical when it comes to wedding announcements. I'm sorry
I think a wedding announcement says a lot about the couple. It's scary
You have to be careful with color, pattern, pictures, etc.

So their photo looked like this: WOW
Not a typical hand picture and not 50 "We're so cute, look at us" pictures. 
Just a perfectly beautifully taken photo. My photo of the photo (taken below) is blurred on purpose.

So then I read the actual wedding announcement. Sigh again
Just a beautiful, classy and perfectly color coordinated w/fall, announcement.
Notice how they don't tell all where they're registered :)
I think everyone knows Target and Bed Bath & Beyond are the usual ;)
I love love love this. I didn't feel pressured to get them a gift.
Of course we got them a present & wrapped it to match this wedding announcement, but it was nice not to see it on the announcement.

Photo taken on my iPhone

And here they are, first coming out of the temple. Mr. & Mrs. 

Photo taken on my iPhone

We were privileged enough to be able to attend their sealing. Sigh
It was so beautiful and nice to be in the same place we were married.
just on the other side this time
This temple is HUGE and ANYONE could get lost in there. Anyone

Photo taken on my iPhone  

I love gift wrapping and color coordinating the presents to match the theme :)

Photo taken on my iPhone

Photo taken on my iPhone

This reception was beautiful & classy. Sigh again
What a breathtaking view of the Salt Lake Valley too!

Photo taken on my iPhone

And of course there's the most beautiful, matching "Thank You" card
More sighs. That's all I could do. Just sigh of pure perfect-wedding happiness 

Until next time,  Raney's! And yes- we should get together soon. Congratulations, from The Strain's. We wish you all the happiness you two deserve. 

One year... Too late

Well... I told you all (below) I'd update my blog about our anniversary
And here we are. Over three months later
My only excuse? Nothing

We pretty much spent our anniversary in Salt Lake City (where we were married), and Park City.

Photo taken on my iPhone

We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and walked around here...

Park City was a beautifully, warm, sunny, fall day and we loved watching the Olympic team practice/compete. 

Jake ordered our wedding cake (from the same shop) for our anniversary. 
A fresh new one tasted amazing. Not freezer burn!
And- can I get a HOLLAH for the hubster doing this?!!

Photo taken on my iPhone

We've always had this tradition (since we were dating), that we wouldn't exchange cards (for those special occasions). We would (instead) exchange love letters. And so the tradition lives on. Except, this time, my love letter from Jake, was a tad bit different. It was in a bottle. It was a message in a bottle. The best part was, my little hubster went to Hobby Lobby (my favorite craft store), and he bought craft paper and a craft bottle ALL ON HIS OWN! He wrote THE sweetest words on parchment paper & he done me proud.
PS- I've always heard you should exchange WOOD on your one year anniversary? I'm not exactly sure why, but my only assumption is, that wood is solid and I think if you've made it to your one year wedding anniversary (happily),that that's saying something pretty solid about your love. That's my philosophy anyhow. 
So we exchanged love letters, and my present for the hubster, was to gather all our love letters (back from when we were dating) and tie them together in a twine bow. It was pretty fun to go back & re-read them, even though it wasn't YEARS ago. It was just fun/interesting to go back & see the highlights from specific time periods. I still remember one of the first love letters he ever wrote me... I got a little teary-eyed. His letters and words are THE sweetest things EVER and I cherish them. 

Photo taken on my iPhone

Happy one year anniversary Papa Bear! Here's to many more!!!!