Friday, November 30, 2012

Highs and Lows of November

November has overall been a bit of a difficult month for us.  I am sure just the onset of Holiday-ness doesn't necessarily help because it brings up all kinds of feelings.  But in an effort to be concise, I will share some of our highs and lows:

- Lost my wedding ring.  Briz decided one night to take my wedding rings to bed with her because she wanted to sleep with treasure (my fault for leaving my rings in her bathroom).
- Car was in the shop all month.  We finally got it back the day before we left for California only to have it break down on the freeway in San Diego on the way to Legoland.  Turns out we need a new engine because the people who repaired it messsed up.  SO . . . our car is getting a new engine in San Diego.
- Struggled to rent our house.  Paying double mortgages is not fun.  I bet that's quite a shocker to most people
- Mitt lost the election (see last post)
-Grandpa Barney passed away, so we made a last minute road trip to Utah, in the snow.

- I found my rings!  I was looking for almost a month and they randomly showed up on the ground.  I swear sometimes it's God's way of reminding me that he's in charge, just to mess with me.
- I bought a high quality wedding ring with Sam at Wal-mart in Vegas so now I have two wedding rings.
- I had an awesome weekend with friends in St. George.  I miss them.  I wished we had a  monthly girls weekend.
- Went to San Diego and then Palm Springs for Thanksgiving week.  It was a blast (More detailed post about that to follow).  We played in the sun and spent time with our family.
- Saw some of our Ainge family for a few hours.  It was so great and made me wish I saw them more often.  Briz had a blast with her big cousins.
- I am driving a sweet dodge caravan around.  No really, I do love it a lot.  I feel cool too because I now fit in with my minivan friends, even though I'm only a temporary member of the club.  Plus, I am very much reminded of my high school days, driving around in my minivan, turning up the base and listening to some rap.  Still pretty much the same, except I have a three year old to dance along with me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts About the Election

Here are some of my thoughts about the election:

- Having worked on the campaign for this last year and in the 2008 campaign for Mitt Romney, I obviously have grown pretty attached to this presidential campaign season and election.  But I was surprisingly objective going into the Election night.  I would say I probably guessed a 40/60 chance that Mitt would win.  I knew that we had less ground people in Ohio and I thought it would come down to Ohio.  But once the night came around, I was surprised at how nervous I was.  I was also extremely surprised at how much Obama won by.  I thought it would be much more of a nail-biter.  I thought I would be up all night.  It felt very anti-climactic and obviously extremely disappointing to have such an early and decisive loss.

- Grandpa Barney passed away the night before the election.  He said he wanted to stick around until the election, but I think I should have taken this as a sign that he knew Romney wasn't going to win so there was no point in sticking around :)

- I was very proud of Mitt when he gave his concession speech.  I thought he was brief, gracious, and sincere.  I felt sick to my stomach for him and his family who has devoted SO much time and money to their race for the white house.  I know that he believed it was what he was supposed to do, and I really do hope they feel at peace after the loss.

- I liked Barack Obama's speech.  I felt like he was inspiring and motivating, and it did actually make me feel a bit more hope that perhaps things would improve.  I didn't appreciate how he glossed over the economy.  The only thing he even really mentioned about it was that it was in the past tense and that pissed me off quite a bit.   He mentioned fixing a few problems, but none of those were the economy.  I also get a little bit sick of the "we rise and fall as one nation" talk.  I personally believe that it is my duty to take care of my family first and I believe it is important for me to serve my fellow men, but not in a way that is dictated by my government.

- Even though the Senate won a lot of key Democratic positions, I was really excited to see the record breaking amount of women that were nominated to the Senate.

- Nick's stance on politics: "Lexie is really into it.  I would just like Mitt Romney to win so I can have sex."

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This was our first official Holly Day, and it went really well.  A big part of that was we had Nick's sisters, Jacci and Brittany, in town.  And they pretty much took care of Briz.  They got up with her, took her to her ballet and soccer classes in the morning, and just helped out a ton.  Nick and I were able to sleep in.  We had a pretty easy going day.  After we had a late start, we met Briz and the girls at Holland's grave.  We were able to talk to her a bit and think about her now year-long absence.  

I love going to the grave because I generally feel uplifted.  I love that Briz has a chance to talk to Holly, share things with her (last visit she wanted to tell Holland all about her new boots).  We talk to Briz about death and get to have conversations about Holland and our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.  And we get to cry together as a family.  I love that we have a designated spot to do this.  But that's all it has become for me.  I don't think of Holland as being there.  I think of her as being close to me and my family most of the time.  It truly is a memorial place where her little body is.

We took our donations from the Holly Hoop and we purchased a gift basket for the Piscitelli family, in honor of Vienne.  It was a fun day of shopping for Nick and I, talking about memories of Holland and thinking of another family and what would truly help them heal at this time and in the future.  With every purchase we made, we included a note to explain why we purchased that.  Many of the things that we purchased were things that Nick and I have used that have been helpful to us.

We saw this rainbow on the way to Holland's grave.  It was kinda cool because there was a rainbow during the Holly Hoop.  Coincidence?  I think not :)  Just a sweet message.

The gift basket and frame.
Items in the basket:

- Flowers and a vase: when you are getting flowers fairly frequently, you can never have enough vases.  I always appreciate flowers if they seem cliche.  If nothing else, I like to be able to put them on Holland's grave to make it look pretty.  And it's something that brightens up my house when it might seem otherwise kind of dreary.

- Framed picture of the race start with a signed matte.  I wanted the family to know how they are supported, even from people that they don't know.

- Gift card to buy christmas presents for Vienne.  We explained our tradition of opening Holland's stocking first.  We bought Vienne a little dinosaur ornament also.

- Grief journals.  I have a journal that I record experiences with grief and just about Holland in general.  It started out as a journal for Holland when I was pregnant, but then after she died, I wanted to still use it.

- Gift cards for massages.  I have gotten fairly regular massages since Holland died, and it's been helpful for me.  I also saw a chiropractor for a while.

- Books about grieving. I just started reading my book club book.  I made a joke that recently I am ready to stop reading self help books.  For about a year, that was pretty much all I read.  And I am still reading them, just not exclusively.  It's been something that has helped me a lot.  I am able to learn a lot about what I am going through and what is helpful.

- Donation for grief counseling.  This has also been a lifesaver.  We have been to support groups (Compassionate Friends and Brief Encounters), to individual counseling, and marriage counseling.  We are still very heavily involved in the counseling.  Grief is hard in and of itself, but it tends to affect every relationship and every thing in a person's life.  I don't know how anybody gets through the mess that it is without guidance and help from professionals.

We dropped it by quickly at the Piscitelli's that night.  I remember I wasn't interested in having to socialize a lot with strangers or people I didn't know very well.  I always felt awkward and like I had to comfort or entertain them.  I am so glad I met this family and was introduced to Vienne.  In a completely selfish way, they made my Holly Day enjoyable.  Being able to think about them and in what small ways we could try to help them heal was what made my day.  That and being with my family.