Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 year in review

Since I've not blogged a lot this past year, I'm going to do a bit more of a detailed entry for a year in review.

January - I don't remember much about January except for sitting in my recliner and watching it snow while taking lots and lots of meds for my brand new shoulder, the eight inch incision that was healing on my arm and sleeping a whole lot.  A whole lot.  And it snowed a lot.  A whole lot!  It's strange to look back on that now and remember how totally helpless I felt and the fear of not knowing what would lie ahead.  This was, indeed, the most physical pain I'd ever experienced in my life and the most helpless I'd ever felt.  Not being able to lift my own phone, not being able to shower without Doug's assistance, not being able to care for my family, which is what I do, was the worst thing ever.  Thankfully, they cared for me, in ways I didn't know they could.  My love and appreciation for Doug grew more than I could have ever imagined.  It was a phenomenal experience.

The highlight of January for me was when my doorbell rang late on a Sunday night and in walked one of my dearest old friends, Brenda DeMateo, from the Chicago area.  She had flown in to surprise me and was here to care for me for a week.  What a wonderful time we had together. She cared for me, for my family, for my home and was just what the doctor didn't order, but I needed!  Catching up on 20 years since we'd last seen each other was fabulous!  Lots of tears and laughs!

Grace turned 18 on January 2.  I literally don't remember anything about her birthday.  Sadness.  But, she survived.  (Now, I want to ask her what we did???  It had to be pizza or take-out because I did not leave the house, except for once, to go to the doctor and into Hobby Lobby on the way home, just to say that I did something, for thirty-nine days.)

February -  I remember snow, meds, pain, and good food prepared by ZJ every morning and brought in for lunch by many friends and meals brought in by ward members.  Day after day, lunch brought to our home by close friends who would help me get through the afternoon and keep my spirits up.  Did I mention that it snowed? A lot.

I started physical therapy at the end of the month and lifting my phone was huge progress! I can't believe how far I've come since then!

Doug and his childhood and lifelong best friend, Tex, were able to get together for some snowmobiling in late February.  As they have both hit the ripe age of 60 plus, I'm a lot less nervous when they hit the mountains, as I know that they are both trying to stay healthy and safe!  I teased that I couldn't care for him if he got hurt while they were out because I needed him to care for me!  They had such a good time together!  Doug grinned for days before and after!

Oh, the food that was brought in!  AMAZING and wonderful!  We were blessed!

And Zeej became quite the cook herself.  I will say that one of the best things to come from my shoulder injury was that she can make anything I can, and oftentimes, even better than I do, myself!

March - Doug and Zee went to St. George for Edie Ann's baby blessing, leaving Grace and I at home alone. At first, I was totally devastated to not be able to be there with them, but again, a silver lining, I was able to enjoy that Doug was able to have a turn with Liza and not with Liza and her mother!  They never get time alone and it worked out so well.  Grace cared for me at home while Doug was able to bond and have a special time with Liza and her cute little family.  In the end, I was truly thankful to have stayed home.

Honestly, I'm quite confused about a lot of the beginning of the year.  Somehow, Liza ended up in Logan and stayed with us for a bit in March and was here for Zee's birthday, as well.  I truly do not remember how that came together, but it was fun, I do know that!

ZJ turned 16 and started dating right away.  She went to her first dance, had other dates and just seems to be doing great in her Logan High School setting... so much better than the County school district experiences that she had had.

I had physical therapy three times a week and was finally able to start enjoying the hottub after each session in March!  I'd missed that immensely!

April - We enjoyed General Conference ,the first weekend in April, as always, with a few of our favorite YSA friends.  Zeej made cinnamon rolls and I missed Quayd immensely all weekend, but it was wonderful and uplifting and we had lots of laughs because ZJ had been doing my hair since I fell.  She decided to do little pickininny knots and I woke up looking like a wild woman.  The jokes and teasing, I do remember!

In April, my sweet friend, Sally Jones, passed away from a brain tumor that had been a result of breast cancer.  It was a rough last month for Sally and I was unable to drive yet.  I was also quite emotional about this brain tumor, the same glioblastoma that had taken the lives of two of the best men we've ever known, Jon Searle and Robert Whitely.  I chose not to see Sally in her last few weeks of life, but, to remember her singing at her piano with Grace, singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and drinking Diet Cokes together over lunch for the past twenty years.  Our "Lunch Bunch" ladies had a special privilege of being her "sisters" at her funeral and dressing her body before her viewing, a memory that I will cherish forever.  That's Sally in the center of us all, as she always was, about 15 years before.  Rest in peace and sing forever, Sally!  Oh, I love her!

 Zeej decided at the very last moment, on the night before a girl's choice Disney themed dance to go as Pocahontas with our neighbor's son, Kendall.  Layne and Julie were out of town, but Zeej and I ran to town, bought the fabric and materials and made her a darling costume.  She looked stunning!  It was the first time that I saw Kendall look at Zeej as more than a little sister.  They actually began dating for a few months.

May - After months and months of not being able to attend all three meetings on Sunday and not attending Young Womens on Tuesday nights, I was finally able to get back in the saddle.  Ann Burger and I were spending more and more time together every day, but she was planning to leave for a summer in Alaska, which was killing me!  We were together every moment we could be and loved the YW callings together!  I was given the assignments of all of our big events and we held our Young Women in Excellence evening, an evening of recognizing the girls achievements.  It was a bit scaled down for me, but it was so wonderful to be productive again!  Although, I just gave orders and didn't lift a finger.  A lovely evening and Grace received her YW Medallion!  She'd earned it almost a year before but we'd waited until I could be there to see her receive it.

 May is also the month that Mom's get to speak to their missionaries!  It was so fun to see Quayd's smiling face!  And I even remember that!  I barely remember our Christmas phone visit!  It made my mother's day!

June - Grace survived a very rough senior year.  There was much drama.  Her experience as a senior in Bella Voce was anything but pleasant.  She struggled with some serious difficulties but she faced them like a champion and was finally able to graduate and be done with the whole high school drama scene.  Grace smiled through it, where I wanted to let a few people "have it"! but she survived and came away stronger!

 The best part of any celebration in our family is that Liza comes home!  HAPPINESS!!!!  We had so much fun together!

We decided to take a little girls road trip for Grace's graduation and made it to St. George for a few days after Liza had returned home.  The reason that we went so close after her visit to Logan was because Buddy was offered a job as Athletic Director in a High School outside of Phoenix.  Liza has missed AZ more than anything, although she did love St. George.  It was not a hard decision, as the job offer was quite a nice one!  So, they left Dixie and moved back to the hottest place on earth in July.  But, we did love one last quick trip down to play while Buddy was already working in AZ and getting things situated for them to move the next week.  Happiness for them!  Sadness for us!

The rest of my summer was spent working on two major projects!  Again, my shoulder replacement forced me to be the brains behind the effort and, with the help of my amazing daughters and my two strong guys, I was able to be wedding planner/co-ordinator for my cute niece, Lexi, host three bridal showers for three nieces and also to do all of the frills and planning for YW Girls Camp, which was held at the ranch in our family cabin.  Both were huge successes!  We also attended three weddings, multiple family gatherings and lost my Uncle Jerry.  The summer was a blur of events and activities!
Lexi's wedding
Nephew Dillon's wedding in the Ocquer Mountain Temple, west of SLC 
 Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Family Party at Danny's
 Corbridge Reunion at the Ranch
My wonderful Uncle Jerry Simmons passed away.  I was able to write and share my memories with my cousins, his children, in Ohio and they ended up being read at his memorial as a eulogy.  Loved Uncle Jerry!
Girls Camp

 Shortly after we got home from camp, we were informed of some health issues that Quayd was experiencing.  It was one of the most difficult choices we have ever made to decide that Quayd needed to come home to get the medical assistance he needed.  It was also one of the most exciting things ever to know our boy was coming home, honorably released, from his LDS mission after almost 14 months away in Redlands California.  What a thrill for us all and the reunion was wonderful!

We celebrated Quayd's Homecoming with joy and love.  He served an honorable mission.  His mission president could not say enough good about his service.  We did not spend one second being sad that he was home early.  We celebrated that he served a wonderful mission for our Savior and was now able to be home for the care that he needed!

Grace met a boy, Ben, at the YSA, in July.  They were pretty much an instant hit.  Quayd was quite surprised to come home and find that he now had to share his sister with another boy!

 Quayd coming home, meant another visit for Liza and Buddy and the girls!  HAPPINESS!  We enjoyed the homecoming with family and friends and an extra week with Liza and the girls while Buddy went back to work in AZ.  BLESSING!!!
 September - On the night after it was decided that Quayd would come home from his mission, our Bishop dropped by for a visit that we thought would be regarding Quayd.  However, when he sat down and began talking, he brought the biggest surprise of my life.  He asked me to serve as the Relief Society President in our ward.  With Doug's calling on the Stake Young Single Adults High Council, this was even more unexpected.  After many many tears, many many late nights driving slowly through the neighborhood in our ward boundaries, I was sustained as the President of the Lundstrum Park 3rd Ward Relief Society.  The biggest shock of the calling, for me, was that I couldn't name ten women in the ward!  I'd served with Doug in the YSA and then in the Young Women Presidency in our ward, so being in the ward for just two and a half years, I knew very few sisters.  In our Bishop's words, "You will now."  And he was right!  It's been a choice experience so far!  Every second of it!  I have been humbled and greatly blessed with this opportunity to serve.

Quayd returned to Arizona with Liza and Buddy and spent a few weeks, just for fun, which he loved!

And the hardest thing for me in September was saying goodbye to my dear, sweet friend, Annie, as she and her husband, Corey moved to New York.  Corey had been offered a wonderful job opportunity at Cornell University.  Annie's family live two hours away from Cornell.  Who could pass this up.  I spent a week as their house agent, watching their home, as movers packed and loaded everything they owned.  I grieved with every box that was loaded on the truck, yet celebrated this wonderful opportunity for them!

October brought another huge surprise when I received a 5AM phone call telling me that my father had choked the night before and was on life support.  Four hours later, Dad had "graduated" from this life.  It was an eventful few days of bringing Dad's body to Utah for his cremation and then a service here for close friends and family, who'd only met him once or twice and a service in North Carolina for his lifelong friends and family.   It was a sad few days, but not grieving that he was gone.  It was more grieving for what he'd missed in his life.  I love my dad.

October whizzed by.  Oddly enough, we had my step-dad's funeral on Dale's birthday in 1989.  We had Dad's service around Quayd's birthday this year.  On the day that my dad passed away, Ben also proposed marriage to Grace.

November - I began to settle in with my new calling, Quayd worked in Ogden helping with the setting up and merchandising of a new Ace Hardware Store, Grace joined Ben's family on a cruise to Mexico, while Zeej, Doug and I kept busy at home.  Thanksgiving was quite mellow as we hosted only one neighbor for dinner.

The holidays began with a wonderful dinner party for a dozen widows in our neighborhood.  We had several other events throughout the month, but the highlight for me was the opportunity to assist with "Secret Santa" type projects for several families and members in our ward.  Work party, family party, Ward Party, Relief Society Dinner, and friend gatherings... a busy month, but my parts were minimal in planning and doing.  Christmas was sweet with just the five of us, a quiet and beautiful White Christmas!

My annual "owie" happened in mid December, bringing three stitches to my forehead, as well as multiple bruises and sprains, deeming December, according to Buddy, "Lock Mom in a padded room month".  Grace also decided to postpone her wedding for a bit.

 Can you say "ouch"?
 It's ALWAYS the most wonderful time of the year here!
 After Zeej's retainer was gobbled up by the lawnmower, we waited six weeks, hoping that wasn't really the case and her gap returned.  She ended up back in Invisiline braces... starting over completely.  It's okay.  Money is to be spent, right?
 Our dear friends, Layne and Julie, learned that Julie's breast cancer has returned and is not being very kind about it.  She is undergoing treatments and we are blessed to be their friends and serve them through this trying time.

Our annual week off for Doug didn't happen, as he's been working 10-12 hour days, six days a week for the past six weeks.  He did get Christmas weekend and Tuesday off, but was back to work for the rest of Christmas Break.  We loved seeing The Greatest Showman on the morning after Christmas, our only real "activity" for the week. We enjoyed a fun New Years Eve with Jim and Kristy.  Instead of our traditional fondue, we had our first charcuterie board.  It was a fabulous way to welcome in 2018!

The year has been good to us.  With many challenges, many more surprises, but mostly with more blessings than we could begin to count!  My shoulder continues to heal.  It will never be what it was before the fall.  But, I've been blessed with the health and strength to carry on and do what I need to do each and every day, with the help of this wonderful family of mine and even more, with the help of a loving Heavenly Father.  We are tremendously blessed.  2017 was challenging, fun, exciting, happy, sad, heart-wrenching, thrilling but mostly filled with rich blessings and tender mercies from the Lord.  Life is good.


  1. I have loved reading your last two updates, I've missed your blogging. I've followed your blog for over 10 years I think. Wishing you all a wonderful 2018.
    Love Angie in England :)

  2. Life is good. Fun, sad, interesting, scary, challenging, joyful year for you...and me