Everything was going so well, we had just sent off the last of the guest and were finishing cleaning the kitchen and loading up the kids when we got a call from our parents saying that our Grandmother had pasted away. They had notified us earlier that she wasn't doing so well, but the news was still hard to hear and the tears came. I don't know if it is because we never grew up next to our extended family, but when ever we see a cousin, or aunt or grandparent it is a very special occasion. Usually alot of traveling and sacrifice on our part just to spend a few minutes with these special people. I hold alot of fond memories of my family, especially my grandparents. With their warm cozy homes, big family dinners, and funny personalities. My Grandmother Conna Doxey was special. She always called me "Aubie." I remember as a little girl smelling her millions of sweet perfumes and lotions. Learning about foundations and hair sprays from her while in awe at her jewelry She was a classy lady. Some of my most favorite memories are the family pool parties in their backyard. I also admire her for her and my Grandpas relationship. I know they had their rough roads, but more importantly was their loyalty and respect they carried til the very last day. They served each other and loved each other. I hope that I can follow her example and be a better wife and a cherish and admire my husband as she did. My Grandpa is still having a hard time, but he said to me that he knew he was lucky. She was a good one and they had many good years together. Its just hard to see someone you love go. Desi wrote a beautiful post about it here.
After the news we knew we wanted to be there for the funeral. We packed up and headed to Utah. The funeral was beautiful. She looked beautiful and peaceful. I wish I could have been more 'present' but Crew was having such a hard day, all the traveling and new faces he just kinda had a melt down and was a wild man the entire time. Kinda of frustrating. Brandon was unable to come due to clinic, so I was left with my wild little man missin out on the family prayer and other things. I am still grateful to have gone. It was good to hug my grandpa and my mother and aunts. While the family paid their last respects, I remember thinking how many people were present that loved and cried for this one woman. She was never published a book or broke records but she was a still a profound influence on many peoples lives. I think I forget sometimes that the most important things I do in life are the small things with my close friends and family. That is where my influence really lies. She was a wonderful example of things. So so many lives she touched and loved. What a blessing to have a known a good solid woman. I am so grateful for her and will miss her dearly.
While in Utah we stay with my other grandparents, the Hardings. They were a joy to come home to after a long tearful day with homecooked soup. Just settled well. My kids always have to clarify which grandma "Harding's" house we are going to.. the old or the young! Speaking of wonderful grandparents my grandma Harding is a doll, I think I was lucky in this department. She has such a fun sense of humor and such a love of the gospel. I am learning all the time from her.
So then we packed up and drove to Arizona, we had previously planned this mini-family vacation. Hotel reservations were made so we decided to go. I actually had never been to the desert state of AZ besides driving through the corner. It was hot even in at the end of November. We went out to eat and visited the Phoenix Zoo, while crashing my little brother Andy's apt. He and his wife moved there for school stuff and we get to visit now!
Brandon and Nate were able to join and relieve a little of the craziness of all the kids! That was a happy day.
Craza beasties.. I mean, besties. And Crew is obsessed with his belly. Well so am I.
I was impressed by this zoo.. it was so large. The animals had room to be more animalish I guess, like run around and be crazy! Its weird that I distinctly remember thinking, "Ah, this is nice. My kids fit in well here." As long as I was able to keep Crew away from all the spiky things. Even the bushes had spikes. Sheesh. I guess that's what you do when you live in the desert to survive? Or just make your mom carry you everywhere. Too cool for the stroller these days. Glasses.. about.. to fall...and they did right this was taken. No I don't just where them all cool like that.
And here is my beautiful momma. I just love her. I feel so bad that she lost her momma. It must be hard at any age to lose your mother. I just ache to think that everyone's days are numbered. I just pray are days are many many years. Love you mom. I am so sorry for your heartache at this time. Thank you for these wonderful zoo memories you and Dad help create.