We took a trip to visit J's family back in October. We had been lucky enough to get a hold of some tickets to go to the 9/11 memorial and decided we were going to take the kids. We had both been to the towers when they were standing, we had also been to ground zero not long after the attack and I was very excited to go again.
**I went to Pearl Harbor multiple times when I was living in Hawaii and I loved it. I loved how sacred that area was and how sobering it is to realize what a huge part of history it was. It is something that happened in the past. Something that changed the way life was before I was born. Something my grandparents remember and can talk about. They remember where they were and what they were doing. They remember hearing that 2402 people had died in that attack and what a blow it was to the Armed Forces and the American people in general. When you are there you cant help but wonder how a place so incredibly beautiful, a place that is still an active harbor, can also be the grave site of so many people. **
When we got off the subway we stopped to get some pizza at a place that used to look directly at the towers. This was a place that in the moments after the fall was covered in dust. I wondered if this store had messages written out of the dust on the windows. Did someone find this window and use it to send a message "Please find my dad. Help my brother. Please bring my son home." Like so many other windows that became a canvas for desperate messages.
In the middle of a rising business center, in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world, sits the memorial. With construction sounds from all sides, security at the entrance, and no sound barrier from the usual sounds of the city I found myself lost in thought at how real this was. This was not history. This was part of my life. This would not be something my I would only read about in my history books or listen to grandparents talk about. This would be something I talked about. This is something I experienced. I know where I was and what I was doing. Like many, I watched the second plane hit and continued to watch the news coverage of all the attacks. I was 19 and I remember thinking "this cant be real?! This has to be some crazy accident. This cant happen."In my young age I was ignorant and naive to the politics and evil or the world. Nearly 3000 people died in the attacks. Innocent people who had no idea they had taken the front lines. Over 3000 children lost a parent. In the weeks that followed I remember crying and being so touched by the patriotism of so many people. The help extended, the cheers that rang out for all the volunteers and rescuers who were cleaning up. I remember how united we were as a nation how supportive we were of each other and even the government. As I stood on that sacred ground reading the names of those who were lost that day I turned to see my own children running and playing on the grass. They were laughing and smiling. They hadn't a care in the world. They were innocent and naive. As I walked along, realizing that so many people had literally become as dust of the earth, I watched my beautiful children and wondered what will be real to them. They had no idea what this ground was, what the fountains represent and what it all means. It was a contrast I will never forget. These innocent children smiling and laughing in a place made to replace the result of hatred.
Just like Pearl Harbor, we have a place that gives us a moment to stop while the world continues to go around us. It is a place to think about the past when everything around us points to the future. A place to reflect on our own lives before it to becomes a part of history.
Thanksgiving was fun. We were able to have J's parents come out. The weather was awesome!! A few weeks later (the first week of December). We went up to Utah to go to my families Christmas party and to go to our Nieces baptism. It was fun to see J's family again at the baptism and then be with my family for the party. My mom always does an awesome job with games and gifts and everything but this year was different. They had an extra guessing game (like wheel of fortune) for us to guess the phrases. Well, it didn't take us more than about a half second to realize something was up and we started guessing all sorts of things...family vacation, something new, going on a mission, etc. It ended up being an announcement to tell us that my dad had been called to serve as a mission president! There were a lot of tears and a lot of questions! We were all very excited to hear the news. Unfortunately we were told that they wouldn't know the location until sometime before March 1st (waiting is torture for me)!
The kids loved Christmas and New Years. We all had a marvelous time.
It January I celebrated my 30Th birthday! It was a fun time with sleeping in, eating lots of good food and visits from friends. I couldn't have planned a better day (unless the same thing happened in Hawaii...)
In February I flew to AZ and spent a few days with one of my great friends and helped her prepare a little bit for her new baby. We enjoyed spending time together and making meals to get her ready to be a mother of three. The kid and J had a lot of fun at home without me. J made it like a vacation. They didn't seem to miss me too much.
We also got a call from my parents on a Friday night...saying they got an email from the church saying that they have sent the location information and it would be arriving Monday morning. After a long weekend of waiting we were finally able to set up a conference call with all my siblings and my parents announced that they due to circumstances that had come up, their language had been changed and they would be speaking Cantonese and serving as the President of the Hong Kong mission! We couldn't believe it...literally, we DIDN'T BELIEVE it! My dad served his mission in Hong Kong and he has been there multiple times, and he even took my mom with him once. They were excited! We all are! They will be leaving at the end of June.
March made me the mother of a 5 year old. T had a wonderful birthday and is excited to be 5. Its hard to believe its been 5 years since I became a momma to such a wonderful little boy! I'm one lucky girl!
March also brought sadness as I learned some dear friend had lost a wife and a friend. It broke my heart as I remembered a wonderful woman and how much my friends were suffering. She was an incredible. beautiful, strong, happy, sassy woman will be dearly missed.
And it brings us now to April. Me and the kids spend a few days alone with my parents before they get ready to go. Unfortunately both the kids and I ended up getting sick by the end of the week and we were unable to go to my moms family Easter party. Jason had flown in on Friday and then we woke up early on Saturday and ended up driving home with sick kids. It ended up being a good week for the kids for hanging out and cuddling with grandma.
J has transferred locations for work and is excited to be heading up a wound care practice for his company in the hospital setting. He is really looking forward to spending more time doing what he loves (gross).
We don't have too many super cool things to tell everyone but we are healthy, happy, and extraordinary! (plus I don't remember all the things that happened in the past 8 months...)
Next item of business is to add a picture of MJ and update the other ones!