Monday, September 9, 2013

Evan's First Day of School 2013

Evan was so excited and anxious to start this new adventure in his life. Like any new venue, his anticipation and nerves were high. He was no longer the one waving good bye from the doorway as his older sister made the two block walk to school. He would be joining her. And although I knew he was ready for this right of passage, I was also so nervous for him. He has such a tender loving heart. He doesn't have a mean bone or a bad intention anywhere in his body. He looked so grown up and ready to take on the world. Just like any mountain that our kids climb, I watched him go with equal pride for the maturity that he was handling it, and sadness that yet an other chapter in his life has been closed. Man, I just love this kid.
Our tradional photo shoot by the tree in our front yard.
Evan's best friends at age 5 are Mac and Davis. He was so sad when he found out that Mac was in the other class, but very relived to find out that Davis would be in his same class. Mac, Davis and Evan play Star Wars every recess. Mac is R2D2, while Evan plays Han Solo because Han Solo is a pilot and that is what Evan wants to be when he grow up. I am told that Davis just plays "whatever". And as clear as little 5 years can be, I am happy I got as much information out of Evan as I did. I am not sure what 'whatever" is, but apparently Davis plays it well.
Evan is so smart and such a good boy. He always wants to do what is right. I am so excited for all that lays ahead for him in the year to come. All the information he will learn and all the adventures he will have.
I love you kid!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lauren's First Day of School

At H Guy Child Elementary school, the "bigger" grades started school a week before Kindergarten. Lauren is now a big time third grader. I can't believe how big she has gotten. How mature she looks. How fast the time flys, and every other phrase that parents use in astonishment. Phrases that I never really understood until I started marking the passage of time with the growth of my kids.
Lauren's teacher is Mrs.Loder. Lauren's best friends in the 3rd grade: Shayleigh Marley Gracie W Gracie Lily Hayley Kalley Megan Lauren's favorite school subjects: All of them especially math Lauren's lest favorite thing about school: Nothing!! I was looking through all her pictures and thought it would be cool to get pictures of her first days of school over the years. It is amazing to see how much she has grown. I have loved being a witness to it. I love my little girl, who is not quit so little anymore.
She just keeps getting more and more beautiful to me as the years go by. I love the person she is becoming. I just adore her.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

'Till we meet again

I have been terrible at blogging. Terrible! I use to do it religiously, but over the past couple of years, with all the ups and downs we have had, blogging got put on the back burner. I have said it before, so we will see if I actually live up to what I am saying, but I really want to make it a goal to blog once a week. We'll see. There is a lot I could write about. First day of school, Archer joining the clan, all of our adventurers and our misadventures too. But recently, I lost my Grandma. I loved my Grandma so much. She didn't really understand all that was going on between my mom and myself. She loved her daughter (my mom) and she loved me. She was able to compartmentalize the two relationships. She loved me for me and the estrangement between me and my mother played no part in how my Grandma treated me. For the past couple of years or so, my strong independent Grandma was living in an assisted living home. I got the pleasure and the privilege of seeing her often. She was an hour away from us, so we could only make the trip every other week, but I am so glad we put in the effort to go as often as we did. The kids were shy and unsure of who she was when we first started our bimonthly visits, but by the end, she was Grandma Bruun to them. They knew her. And when news of her passing came to our family, my sweet little ones cried when they found out that their Grandma Bruun was now gone. She loved my kids, and my kids loved her. I will miss so much about her. But mostly, I will miss the unconditional love she gave to me. She loved me, flaws and all. Heaven is a little brighter.
These pictures were taken when Reece was just a baby. She loved babies. She loved Chad. She told me once that "Chad sure has changed since you first married him..." I tried to convince her that Chad is the same person now that he was then, maybe a little bit more mature, with a the understanding that 10 years brings. But she was insistent that no, in fact Chad had changed. I just gave it to her. I know it was her way of reconciling what my mom was saying about him with the person that came to visit twice a month with me. But, I did love that my Grandma got to see who Chad really was, and see that indeed I was in love and we were happy and we have this beautiful little family. When I got pregnant with Archer, I noticed that as my belly grew bigger, my Grandma grew weaker. I knew that she didn't have much longer on this earth. We upped our visits. I will forever be so grateful to Chad for supporting me and accompanying me to see my Grandma. It wasn't his Grandma, he didn't have to come along. But he came and even encouraged me to go when I hadn't been in a while. Archer's due date was Aug. 28th. But he was born on Aug 6th instead. I am so grateful for that too. Because it was a week later that my Grandma died. But before she did, she was able to meet Archer.
She held Archer for such a long time. She was hot and itchy because she was on morphine drip, but everytime I asked her if she wanted me to take the baby, she said no. Archer just slept in the arms of the women who made me feel so safe so many times growing up. Those arms that held me when I cried, those hands that made me breakfast and lunch, that taught me to crochet and do needle point, that always smelled of Jergens lotion and serenity. Those same arms that held me at a week old, was holding my little one week old. One life was just beginning and one was coming to a close. It was such a tender, beautiful, bittersweet snap shot in time to be a witness to. Her last words to me were "Melissa, I want you to be happy." I am Grandma, I am. "I love you." I love you too Grandma. And that was our last conversation together. I promised her that I would be back, but I didn't get the chance. Two days later, she died.
I am greatful for the peace and knowledge that the gospel brings. To know that my Grandma is still very much a part of my life is such a gift. I am grateful for that last visit with her. The hour that I spent holding her hand. I am feel so blessed and thankful for my family. For Chad, for the love he showed me. For holding my hand and for being my rock during the viewing and funeral, which was hard on so many levels for so many different reasons. But he gave me the strength to get through. And with just a look or a squeeze of my hand, his hand at the small of my back, he was silently telling me that he understood and he was there for me. I am thankful for cousins and Aunts and Uncles. Family I thought I had lost, family that showed me that they have always been there. I am so grateful for the belief I have that there is no end to these relationships that we have here on earth. That family bonds extend beyond death. I love you Grandma, and I will miss you until we met again.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day Two

Day two: Dude, have you seen my husband? If you had then you would know what I am thankful for today. He has seen my dark side, but the force is strong with us...and he loves me despite the dark side of me. (I have a good side too, I promise). He has unplugged me from the Matrix. And there is no one else on earth I would rather go treasure hunting with while some crazy family of murderers chase us. I just love him, and I am so lucky to be Mrs. Chad Triplett.
Rain or shine, there is no one I would rather navigate the peaks and valleys with then Chad. Some one once asked me who my "maybe guy" is. I was like, "dude, whats a Maybe Guy?" And they were all, "You know..the guy you think maybe if things were different you might have been with." I was a little astonished that people have maybe guys, I don't. Before I met Chad I was worried that I met "the one" on a bus or at the mall somewhere and I just let him walk out of my life. But once I met Chad, all thoughts of that nature where gone. I have a feeling that if I did screw things up with Chad and he did walk out of my life then, he would have become my maybe guy. But lucky for me I don't have a maybe guy, I have my guy.
He is such a good dad. Here he is teaching Evan how to change the oil. I once said to him that I would choose him over any one else. I never knew then that that promise would be tried and tested, but it was. And I stayed true to that promise I made him that day, and on the day that we were married. I have lost some, but I have gained so much more. I truly believe that there is nothing that Chad and I can't accomplish together.
He tries so hard to help me with all that I need. I know that I am not perfect and I am sure that at times I drive him crazy with my girly ways, but he wants me to be happy and trys to meet all my needs. What more could a girl ask for? I am so thankful for my husband. So so grateful. How many girls can say that they get to marry their one true love? This girl can.
(this last picture is just because it makes me laugh, and it reminds me of Chad)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day One of Thanksgiving

I am going to do the whole 30 days of thanksgiving thing this year. So for Day one: I am so thankful for my Dad, who has taught me to be strong and to stand up for what I know is right. And who has taught me the kind of person I want to be by the way he lives his life and loves those who have hurt him. He is basically kind to everyone. I have seen him, help old ladys carry their grocerys out to their cars, pick up hitch hikers, leave the house at three in the morning to give a blessing, fix someones car, swamp cooler, roof without any charge, and just do about anything for anyone who needs any kind of assistance. My dad lived with us when I was pregnant with Evan for about a year. I still have some one come up to me in church to tell me about a time that my dad helped them out in one way or an other. And while he was in my home, not once did he brag about how much he was doing for others. He just quietly went about his business.
I recently learned of a service he did for me about three years ago. Because it is my dad, and he told me in confidence, I won't write about what he did for me here on my blog. I will say that it made me feel looked after and loved. I am very thankful for my dad. My mom use to tell me all the time "you sound just like your father.." or "your acting just like your dad..." I always took it as a compliment even if it wasn't always meant as one. I hope one day for someone somewhere to tell me "You know what, you remind me of your Dad." That would make my day.
It is so easy for us to think about all the things that we have lost along the way, it is important for us to every now and then to remember the things that have always been. I have always had my dad. His love and his support, even though he didn't always agree with my choices in life, he always showed me he loved me.
I am proud that my son Reece Wesley caries his name as his middle name. (although you can't tell it from the picture, so is Reece.) I love my dad, so for Day one: I am thankful for my Dad.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Family Must be Amish

I am a little obsessed with the Amish, for some reason. I haven't always been. This obsession started about 5 years ago. It wasn't until I was watching a show about these Amish kids that were leaving their orders that I kind of had a light bulb moment. I am obsessed with them because I can relate to them. Not the whole trudging in the snow to go to the outhouse, or the "hey, wheres my cell phone? Oh I forgot, I don't have one because I'm Amish" kind of way. But the whole shunning by your family because you make a choice that they don't agree with kind of way, the shunning I can totally relate to. I had decided that I wasn't really going to write about my family any more, but something happened on Facebook that completely changed my mind. I feel helpless when it comes to my family. I have tried to help them understand my decision and why I made it. I wanted them, not unreasonably, to make an effort because I am their daughter/sister and they "love" me. But in the end, and after years of trying, I have given up. I don't know what my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins believe about Chad and I, and really I don't care. All I know is that they have reached out to me and tried to close the gap more then my own mother, and they really haven't done a whole lot. I have come to understand that as far as my mom is concerned, the spirit is only working when it is confirming a decision that she already thinks is right. Any other decision and the person isn't worthy to receive Revelation or confirmation of their choice. She actually told me on the way home from seeing my bishop, after he told my mom to but out and let Chad and I work on things without her interference, that she believed my bishop wasn't worthy to be a bishop. (but that is neither here or there, I just want you to understand what I have been trying to work with for the past 7 years) A couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get onto my sister Natalie's Facebook account any more. We had a little argument about something that really isn't relevant, the point is the next day, I couldn't get onto her Facebook any more. But since that is just typical of my family, I skipped it. But then here is the convo I had with my sister Brittny on Facebook yesterday, keep in mind that my family are masters at the whole passive aggressive thing: Brittny: My sweet sister Natalie is going through a rough time with her divorce. Please support my sister by praying for her or give her the love & support she needs. Our own family members r turning on her. She is a great person. I think she's a wonderful sister, daughter & mother. She doesn't deserve the mistreatment. She's the most Christ-like person I know. I love her so much! (I know that this is a wagging finger in my direction for the argument that Natalie and I had, I wasn't born yesterday) Me: that's sad that family is turning against her. I completely know how that feels. Very much so. She is Chad and my prayers. Our whole family, my husband included are praying for her and her girls. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. (I can do passive aggressive too) Heather (a friend of the familly's): Adding my prayers Me:...and can you tell her I love her? I would do it myself, but for some reason I can't get on her fb wall anymore...? Thanks, and love you too :) Brittny:Thanks Heather! You & Mark has always been there for me, mom, Natalie & Zack! I luv u!! (notice the lack of me or my dad's names, and the pointed ignoring of my comments all together) My Mom: I love my sweet Natalie and it is so hard to watch what she is going through. She is trying so hard to do what God would have her do. I also appreciate her brother Zack, who has been a constant in her life and her sister Brittny. Thanx Britt for your prayers for your little sis! (again, no mention of me at comments, or any acknowledgment that I even exists in the family) Me: I understand why Natalie would feel the way she does, especially if her family isn't supporting her. I prayed about a decision long ago and did what the spirit told me to do, and I too lost family support because of that decision. When you do what you know is right, even when the whole world, and family is telling you otherwise, then you find the strength you need and Heavenly Father compensates for your loss. And no matter how hard we pray that things would be different, we all have our agency and you can't change other's choices. Natalie has a loving family that are rallying around her during a difficult time. I wish I had had that 7 years ago and I wish I had it now. I think Natalie is lucky that she has her family there for her, I would love to have my family rallying around me. So many times in the past years that I have wished for just that very thing. Brittny: (skipping over me again like I wasn't even commenting at all)I would do anything 4 my baby sis! I know she's doing the right thing by going through this divorce. She is the most Christlike person I know. I wish I had the spiritual strength that she has. Natalie will find a husband as wonderful & worthy as mine. I look up 2 my baby sister! I love her so much!! Me:(taking the more direct rout) She is lucky to have everyone in her corner, I'm curious, who is this person in the family who isn't supporting her? Brittny: (again, Melissa who? Do you see anyone named Melissa commenting? Nope neither do I) Ur welcome mom! I'm always glad 2 b there 4 Natalie, Karabear & Katiebug!! Drew & I love u all very much!! So at this point, I am tired of the whole 7 years of shunning going on. How can yo fix things if your family pretends you don't exists, unless it is to their benefit to cry on someones shoulder about the "daughter that doesn't talk to them" or the "sister who they never see" But when I actually try to talk to them or make them see, I get literally shunned. So, what am I to do but carry on with my life and love the family I do have? I still want to tell them how I feel though. I have this crazy idea that one day they will go "ohhh...ok. So you did pray about your decision and you got your answer. I get it now! You are happy! Well that's great, come on over for a bbq and we can meet your boys that we have never seen and we can see how big and beautiful your daughter has gotten." But that is just fantasy. It'll never happen. But I did want to let them know that I am here, I do feel, and basically..I'm here(which I know I already said but it's a big deal. It hurts to be shunned) Me: Brittny, whose not supporting Natalie, and what is this mistreatment your talking about? I would like to know since, I too know how she feels, so I am in a unique position to empathize with her. Unless, all y'alls just keep pretending like I don't exist, then how can I be there for my sister who I also love very much. 10 min later... Me again: And off the subject, but still on point, while I got y'all more or less here, even though you pretend I am not commenting..I see all of you supporting Natalie and discussing how god like everyone is. What about me? I'm still here, I still have feelings and I'm still part of this family. Why hasn't any one mentioned my name or offered me support in my hard times? Here in an open forum, reading over the comments with an outpouring of support, no one would know there is another sister. My name is Melissa and I welcome your encouragement the same as you have given Natalie. I was at the same crossroads as Natalie was, but the spirit pointed me in a different direction. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it less right. I am strong because I followed what I know to be right and lost all of you. At least Natalie has her family support, and she has mine if she would let me be there. What Natalie is going through brings me back 7 years, and this is the first time that I get to say anything to you guys. Why are you there for Natalie but you turned your back on me? When I said I need you, I lost you. It hurts. It hurt then, it hurts now. I am so glad that Natalie doesn't have to go through this, follow the spirit, and have to learn to live her life without her family there. Yeah, I know. It's a rant, but can you blame me? I just don't want anyone to feel all alone like I do a lot of the time. Call your mom's and your sister's. When you laugh with them, take a moment to appreciate how lucky you are. I think I am strong though. It is easy to do what you know is right when everyone is backing you up, but when you do something you know is right that other ostracized you for, then you really have to know it is right and just do it. Imagine all the things that you depend on your sisters and mothers for, now imagine that they are gone and you have no one to depend on but yourself. I don't regret my decision, I only regret the reaction of others. But they do have their agency, all I can do is live my life. I haven't given up on reconciliation a long time ago. I get met with much of the same as that Facebook conversation. So I am up a creek on that one. Chad gave me a blessing a little while ago about this and he said that it is no longer my burden to carry. I am working on dropping the load, but it is easier said then done. I love them, but I got to let them go. They let me go a long time ago. It's time I did the same.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Sunday, we drove up the canyon to look at all the fall colors. I love this time of year. It really is my favorite. I love the smell of the drying leaves in the air, the crispness you feel when you take a breath. I love how the tips of your ears turn as red as the leaves on the trees, but a hoodie is all you need to feel warm. I love fall evening walks, and I love to sit on the deck with a good book to read while my kids run around and enjoy the cooling weather too. I wish I could streatch fall out to cover more of the calender then just a couple of weeks.
While we were on the drive, we pulled over and took some pictures with Chad's new super cool phone that he loves and has affectionaltly named Ed-209, Eddie for short. When I got in the car and looked at the pictures, I just was so struck by how wonderful our family is. I mean, how lucky can I get? I have an amazing husband, who has seen my stains and shadows, and still loves me. And these three beautiful kids are ours, not by accident or regrete, but by love. They embody love themselves. It shines from their eyes, rings in their laughter, and melts my heart.
Of course, everytime I think of where we are now, I can't help but think back at where we have been. I stood, what felt like alone, at a very important crossroads. I was being pulled one way by my family and an other way by my heart. I am so thankful for a wise Bishop who saw our need and found the right words, spoken like thunder, driping with honey, to heal and help us. Because of one decision I had made, I stand, not alone on my road. It is full of the laughter of my children and the soft wispers of encouragement from my husband. But I lost my family, my mom, my sisters and my brother. I countiue to pray that they will one day come to an understanding, but untill that day, I am building what I lost, and eternal family. Starting with an eternal marrige.
Elder Dallin H Oaks said in the April 2007 General Confrence: Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.
(Chad and I goofing around..the second picture is my laughing and Chad, trying hard not to. I love these pictures even though they are blurry because it just sums up Chad and I. We are just goofing off, laughing at and loving each other) President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage … means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all.”
(Ok, so those pictures have nothing to do with my post, but COME ON!! Look at the guy. He is hot, and he is taken..I love him) Chad and I have been through alot together and it seems like as the years pass, much faster then either of us would like, our bond that was forged in California, refined and tested in the early years of our marraige, just keeps getting stronger with age. He is my mortor. And I would hope that I am his as well.
"The kind of marriage required for exaltation—eternal in duration and godlike in quality—does not contemplate divorce. " (and, in reality, it was really my mom who was pulling for divorce for us, like a master puppeteer.. long story..very complicated) Of course, I understand that there are situations where divorce is the way to go. But for me and my house, I am so grateful that we found it in each other to say, hey..this isn't over. Even knowing about the lose of my mother and siblligs, I would go back and make the same choices. Standing in that golden light umoung the changing colors of the trees, watching my family laugh and play is all the evidence I need.
(I know I already have this picture posted, but it's worth a second look.)