Monday, June 12, 2017

Liza and the girls visit... week 2

My heart hurts!  Literally!  Liza and the girls left yesterday. We were spoiled after twelve days of Aylabelle climbing in bed with me in the mornings.  I've been looking at the photos and what a wonderful visit we've had. The time flew by much too quickly! The fact that this will be their last visit home before they move back to Arizona was pretty emotional for both Doug and I.  They are not leaving for a few more weeks from St. George and we are hoping to see them one more time down there.  However, I still have one more bridal shower and am the wedding planner my niece's wedding.  We have found three three day windows, but with a six hour drive each way, that's only going to leave us wanting more!  We will see what happens over the next few weeks.

Here's a few highlights of our week...

We went to breakfast at Herm's with Denise one day and lunch at Firehouse with Carol another.  Stott and Wendy came over to visit with Liza.  Kristy dropped in to say hello.  Layne and Julie welcomed her.  As a matter of fact, I think that Layne has a new second favorite baby.  He held EdieAnn through Sunday School.  Liza said, "I barely know Layne, but he's one of my favorite people I've ever met!" He and Julie are such great neighbors.  Lots of visiting!

We spent most of Tuesday getting ready for Lexi's bridal shower.  I'll share more about the showers next week in another post.  Liza was so happy to get a chance to visit with her cousins and aunts.  Perfect timing!

Liza went to visit with her in-laws on Wednesday morning for two nights.  While she was away, I went to lunch with friend Kara, who's son, Tyler, is coming home from his mission this week!!!!  We had lots to talk about and we probably won't have much opportunity for lunch until August with all that we both have going on.  One thing I love about time with Kara is that we can get together and never run out of things to talk about!  But, even better, we laugh!  Hard!  I was driving home from lunch and remembered several years ago when we'd met for breakfast at Village Inn.  Not realizing that my mom (during the time she lived in Logan post-cancer) was out having breakfast alone, she came around the corner and said, "I recognized those laughs!"  That's a fact.  We can be heard laughing whenever we are together.  I heart her!

On Thursday, while Liza was at her in-laws, we were here getting ready for Youth Conference to begin.  Our stake had a marvelous weekend planned for the youth.  This was a service project weekend.  Groups were assigned and went to homes throughout the area, painting, cleaning yards, raking, landscaping, roofing, cemetery clean-up after Memorial Day.  There were so many projects and over 200 twelve to eighteen year old kids volunteered.  They were fed three meals a day, met at 7AM and worked until 9:30 in the evening.  The conference began with an inspiring devotional, where two return missionaries shared their experiences of service while serving on their missions.  The Elder had served in Houston TX, after the record-breaking storm that left six feet of rain in six hours and was followed by a tornado that wiped out over 2000 homes.  The sister spoke of her experiences serving the poverty-stricken areas of Peru.  Beautiful and inspirational messages that ended with "Learn to Serve Like Christ Served" and "Learn to Love like Christ Loved."  BEAUTIFUL!  The kids spent three days in total service and celebrated their efforts with a picnic pool party at the Logan Aquatic Center.  ZJ came home feeling so great about the experience! She'd made new friends and had a blast! We are blessed to live in such a wonderful ward and Stake where the Youth are absolutely the priority!

ZJ and her best friend in our ward, Lorna, keep the YW laughing all the time!  Lorna moved into our ward shortly after we did.  Another blessing... I love our kids friends!  This was as they were leaving for the aquatic center.  They both showed up with the same hoodies.  Unplanned.  She really is a great friend!  These two are most excited for girls camp... the things they are planning blows me away!

On Friday morning, I went to physical therapy and then picked Liza up for a day trip up to the cabin.  She's not been to the ranch in over six years.  It was a beautiful green drive up to Idaho.  The rains have left everything looking as green as green can be.  We stopped in Soda Springs to show Aylabelle the geyser, which she didn't even know the word.  However, as soon as we got there, she said, "I think the water is going to get very, very big!"  She was so excited to see just how very, very big it became. Edie could not stop looking at it! We couldn't get her to look at me for a photo!

We went out to the ranch and were surprised to pull up and see Norm mowing the lawn. Mom and Norm there for the afternoon while . Mom was so thrilled for this, as she called it, "tender mercy".  Liza has so little time when she comes to visit that she never gets to see everyone she wants and seeing her grandmother was a great blessing for them both.  I was excited to catch a few photos of them together!

My goal was to be home in time to have a little "P Party" for Aylabelle.  We had "Pizza, Popcorn" a Picnic watching "Princess Belle and the Beast."   Liza recommended Papa Johns pizza, which we have never tried and we loved it!  My biggest pet peeve, living in Utah, is that we don't get NY or Chicago style pizza here.  We loved it!  Aylabelle and Grace cuddled on the floor while Doug and Edie played during the movie.  Zeej missed the fun because she was working her little heart out at Youth Conference.

As soon as the movie ended, Kristy came by to say hello to Liza and the girls.  We were just getting situated when Liza said, "Mom!"  to get my attention.  She interrupted to tell me that Doug was having a problem.  All attention went to him and he explained that he had lost his vision.  He hadn't wanted to interrupt the visit and took an aspirin, now things were coming back but he had no periphial vision for a bit before it disappeared. We all immediately wondered if he was having a mini-stroke or TSI, as they call them in the ER. Immediately, I said, "Get in the car!  We're going to the ER!"  Strokes and heart problems were issues that Doug's dad and his siblings had and we do not mess around with this.  The most amazing thing happened!  Doug said, "OK" and started getting in the car.  That would be a first in forty years of marriage.  Doug does NOT go to the doctor unless he's dying!  His last trip to the ER was when he had his appendectomy in 1985!

As we drove down the hill to the hospital, I called Doug's sister, Aleece, who is a nurse.  She gave a few diagnostic questions and Doug seemed fine, by all of her questions, but she felt strongly that he should be checked, in case it had been a mini-stroke.  We walked into the ER and I said, "He may have just had a mini-stroke, but he's fine now."  They were all over Doug and had him admitted to the ER immediately!  Dee and Aleece came up to the hospital and Dee gave Doug a priesthood blessing.  The girls were texting almost non-stop until well after midnight.  It was fright for them.  We came home at 2:15AM, following a chest x-ray, blood work, and EKG and an MRI with contrast dye on his neck and brain. Every test came back telling us that Doug was as healthy as could be.  His BP is perfect, his heart rate is perfect, the scans were perfect.  Everything!  The ER doctor visited with us for over half an hour and was baffled.  He recommended that Doug see an eye doctor and have his retinas checked.  The big concern was that he had lost vision in both eyes, not just one, which is indicative of the stroke.  But, all was well!  THANKFULLY!

In the morning, I was talking with a sister-in-law, and shared what had happened.  She said that happens to Doug's brother when he gets dehydrated.  Doug slapped his head and said, "HELLO!"  I've had that happen before too!  He had not remembered it and it had never been that bad before.  BUT.  When it happened on Friday night, he'd gotten a drink of water and taken an aspirin and instantly, it was better. He felt quite certain that this was what had happened.   On the good side of things, our insurance deductible will now be met for the year.  And we have nothing else to do with our money than pay medical bills, right?

I will say this and nothing more about it... when Dee and Aleece left and Doug was gone for the MRI, I was alone in that ER room and I completely fell apart.  I felt so helpless!  Since Doug's appendectomy, I've had a hysterectomy, an oophorectomy, my throat surgery, a new shoulder and both knees operated on.  Doug is always the healthy one.  He is my rock.  The thought of anything being wrong with him was overwhelming to me.  Suffice it to say, there were some very sincere prayers said during those hours.  I love this man more than life itself and I am hoping for another thirty years or more together here on this earth and then an eternity together.  We need our health!  I'm fine to be dirt poor, to live in a tent, to eat beans for the rest of our lives together, as long as we are together!!!   It was a humbling evening.  I have much faith in the gospel and the Lord's plan of Salvation, and I know that we have to have faith in His timing, as well.  But, a girl can ask, right?

On Saturday, we woke up, tired from our late night/early morning, but excited for our favorite nephew Jake's wedding!  We were at the temple with the entire family, which is always wonderful.  Doug's mom's joy radiates when we are all together.  I love that!!  The highlight of my day was seeing Liza hug her cousin, Lindsey, who is the same age.  They've been close their whole lives and for the past few years, they seem to cross paths... one is always leaving the day that the other comes to town!  They embraced and there were tears all around from aunts and Grandma who knew how sweet of a reunion that was!  The wedding was sweet and tender, like Jake and his bride, Heather.

There was no formal reception and we decided to pass on the family dinner later that evening, since it was Liza's last night in town, since we'd been up half the night before at the ER, since we wanted those last hours with Liza and the girls.  We went to Juniper for dinner then, just chilled at home and just relaxed together.

Here are some more pix of our second week together...

Aylabelle was pretty excited about her new tee-pee!  I'd planned it for months and couldn't wait for her to get here so we could share it with her!  Doug was as involved in the building of it as I was!  ZJ added the lights, books, pillows and dolls.  Gramp was pretty excited when he saw the furskin blanket/rug.  He wants one too!

Could she be any cuter!? She was showing me her nails that Aunt Zee had just painted!

And this one... she's amazing!  She thought that the teepee was pretty cool too!

While here, she seemed to grow a ton in just that 12 days!

 Liza called this morning and said that she rolled over from her back to her tummy.  She rolled from her tummy to her back when she was two months old. She will be crawling in no time! 

She kind of likes her Grampy and was in his arms if he was anywhere near!

We were in the den visiting when Liza heard Aylabelle singing, "I'm going to win this song" and realized that Grace had introduced her to the Wii Guitar Hero.  She'd never played a video game and Aylabelle thought it was pretty awesome!

The time could not have been more special.  I hated waking up this morning and knowing that they would be leaving.  SADNESS!  When I told Aylabelle during our FaceTime chat this morning, she said, "It's okay, Grammie, you'll be okay."  Okey dokey then.

Liza and the girls left Sunday morning at 11AM and she got to St. George by 8:30 last night, having made several stops on the way.  We decided that Zeej would not go to St. George, after all.  She has so many things happening here with YW, Girls Camp prep, Youth Conference and a few other things.  We are hoping to make one quick trip down to see them before they make their move to Phoenix.

I took one last picture or two of them before they left.  Aylabelle told me, "Don't worry, Grammy.  We'll see you again soon."  It's never soon enough!

I think that this was the hardest time we have said goodbye to them.  Before it's always been just Liza.  But, knowing that we aren't going to be able to be in St. George by dinner any time we want and that Arizona is 13 hours away made it hard.  Saying goodbye to these two sweet baby girls was harder for Doug than I've ever seen.  Edie just adored him.  Aylabelle too.  They love their gramp!  What's not to love!?

It was a wonderful visit!  Wonderful!  Family really is everything!  Life is good.

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