This handsome boy graduated from his nursery class (for kids 18 months to 3 years) today at church and moved in to the older Sunbeam class (for ages 3-4). It as bitter sweet for me to see him move up. My baby isn’t a baby, he isn’t even a toddler, he is a pre-schooler now! Where does the time go? And while I am feeling sorry for myself because he is growing up so quickly, I am really enjoying the fun kid he is now and am excited about all he is learning and becoming.
And I guess I am feeling a bit about the new year in the same way. I’m sad 2016 is going. It was a great year! Our Epic Adventure was incredible, and we learned and grew so much as a family. It’s hard to say good-bye to a year with so many good memories. One more year means my kids are a year older, Jarom will be moving out in 2017, and another hole will be added to our family. But, in spite of everything I’m mourning, I’m also really looking forward to the new year and all the new possibilities it holds. I’m looking forward to growth, learning, and new opportunities not only for me but for my kids as well.
Life really is a magnificent adventure………… I just wish my emotions didn’t always have to be so mixed up about everything.
“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'” –The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
This was the quote that would go through my mind every time something crazy happened the days leading up to us leaving. This is what I thought about when I had to have a root canal, and a major filling. This is what I thought about when Tabetha came down with strep throat the day we were supposed to leave. I thought about this when Shawn came in the house at 1:30 a.m. the day I was supposed to leave, and said that there was something he needed to fix on the car, and we would have to delay our trip a day. I was seriously wondering if all the work and stress was worth it as this was just the tip of the iceberg.
But, the lesson that kept coming to mind as well, is that God is good and he watches over us. Having a root canal days before leaving although time consuming, expensive, and frustrating, was a blessing that my tooth acted up before we left and not on our trip. Our trip being delayed an extra day was a blessing, because I was able to get everything done without as much stress, and I was able to get some needed sleep before we started out. We were also blessed with a wonderful family friend who took Tabetha to the doctor while we finished packing and loading up. So, even though it felt like we were being tested at every corner, we were blessed beyond measure and have been continually blessed along our way.
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Sunrise: 7:07 am Sunset: 8:44 pm
Length of day: 13h 37m 49s Difference :+ 6m 45s
Temperature High: 41*F Low:12*F
I went for a walk today. The weather was glorious. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun felt heavenly on my face. It was warm enough that I didn’t even have to wear snow pants or gloves. I followed the road for a bit and then I turned off onto a snow machine trail. With the nice crust on the snow we have now, it was very easy going as long as I stayed on the trail. In the summer this area is so uneven and grown over with brush that it is nearly impossible to walk through.
We have had a lot of moose in our area this winter and I was a bit afraid that a moose would jump out and stomple (trample and stomp, yes I make up words) me, because moose can be mean. I thought that since I was mostly out in the open I would easily be able to see one coming, but if one did come there were no trees for me to hide behind. Thank heaven I didn’t see any. Our black lab Shelby, did come with me and that afforded me a bit of comfort in that she might be able to distract a moose long enough for me to find somewhere to hide. Ahhhhh, the joys of living in Alaska. By the way, I hear tell that the bears are out of hibernation already.
Anyway, as I walked along, while thinking about moose and where to hide, and the glorious sun on my face, and how good it felt, I also thought about The General Women’s broadcast I attended on Saturday. It was fabulous and so uplifting, and it was wonderful to be able to attend with two of my daughters this year. Before the broadcast began, our own stake president delivered a message to the sisters in our area. The part of his message that kept running through my mind was, “You are only as happy as you are grateful.”
I have so much to be grateful for. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and tries with all his heart to make me happy. I have 7 wonderful, fabulous, healthy children, that love me, I have a nice home that keeps out the cold weather, I have a strong, healthy body, and enough food to eat. I also have a knowledge of God and his plan for me. I know he loves me and that I am his child. I am so grateful for all he has given me, and I am happy.
Three weeks ago I made a quick trip home to my parents, for my grandfather’s funeral.
He passed peacefully on the night of October 8th, at 88 years of age. I got the news Tuesday that he wasn’t doing well, and was not expected to live much longer. I called Shawn, and he got me a ticket out of Alaska for that very night. I quickly went grocery shopping so everyone at home would have sometime to sustain them until I got back. Then, I quick packed my bags, and Camdon and I were on a plane just hours after I got the news. Sadly, he passed away while I was on my fight to Seattle. I was sorry I didn’t make it home before he passed. I had wanted to say good-bye, but I was glad I was able to be there for the funeral, and I know it meant a lot to my dad to have all of his children there with him.
The funeral was sad but beautiful. It was neat to hear stories and things about him that I hadn’t known. My grandpa was a good man. He was a faithful member of the LDS church all his life. He was a good husband, father, and grandfather. He also, loved and served his country. We will miss him, but we are glad for him too. He is with his sweetheart again. My grandma passed away 8 years ago, and my dad said that my grandpa always missed her. They are together with their son who died in a drowning accident 38 years ago, when he was just 18. He has also been reunited with his parents, sisters, and other loved ones that went before him.
As I arrived back in Alaska, I phoned Shawn, as soon my plane touch down to tell him I had landed, but his phone just went to voice mail. He called me back a minute later with terrible news. A very good friend of ours and mentor to Shawn, was killed that night in a small plane crash. His son and another man who were with him in the plane, were in the hospital. Shawn was in shock, he had just seen and spoken with him earlier in the day.
My legs shook and I trembled as I walked off the plane and down to the baggage return area. My stake President and his wife were on the same flight from Seattle with me, and I croaked out the news to them as soon as I saw them, but they had already heard . He must have gotten the report at the same time I had.
After Shawn picked me up we went to the hospital to see Jon’s wife and son. Shawn ran in without me, because it was after hours and we didn’t know if they would let me and the baby in. Shawn came out with tears in his eyes. He said that Jon’s wife was strong and doing well. She felt peace in knowing it was his time to go.
Jon left behind a wife and 3 sons. He was a good friend and a leader in his community. He was a great example of friendship and service to all who met and knew him. He died at the age of 51.
That night we knelt in prayer together and with tears in our eyes, thanked God for families, and good friends. We thanked him for the plan of salvation, and that through the atonement of Christ we can be with our loved ones again. We are thankful that families are eternal and that we can find peace in the gospel.
As my dad said at my Grandma’s funeral, our tears are not for our loved one that has passed away, because we know that they are happy and in a better place. Our tears are for ourselves because we will miss them. Grandpa and Jon, you will both be missed, but we know we will see you again. And, that day will be glorious.