Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend in California

Since my siblings and I were all in Southern California for the funeral, we tried to cram in a few fun activities to off-set all the sadness.  We went to lunch/dinner at a few of our favorites: Wood Ranch Grill, Jerry’s Dogs, In-N-Out, Gandalfo’s, Golden Spoon, and Cafe Rio of course.  We even dragged Scott with us to a darling little tea house where we had brunch!  He’s such a great sport—He must be used to having 3 sisters!

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But the highlight was definitely our 2 trips to the beach.  I was kid-free…So lounging on the beach and playing
“auntie” was positively HEAVENLY!  Although, I have to admit that I was actually really sad that Grant and the girls couldn’t join in the fun.  They would have loved it!

Jack and Erin                                                                  Jack LOVED the sand!

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The Websters {minus Kenny}                                                       Scott

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Cute little Bry…

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And blue-eyed Jacob…..

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I love my family!!!  And I love the beach—There’s nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing.

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Just ask Jakie—He’ll tell you a thing or two about naps on the beach. :)

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grandma Brisco

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In January of 2010, my Grandma Brisco was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (also known as ALS). It was so horrible to watch her slowly lose the ability to walk, move her mouth to talk, eat and swallow, and lose the ability to write. In my opinion, Lou Gehrig's Disease is one of the most vicious, horrible sicknesses that a person can endure. Watching my Grandma slowly deteriorate while her brain was still fully intact, was one of the hardest things I have ever observed. I felt so helpless because there was so little anyone could do for her. She couldn't even talk! I KNEW how quickly the disease would progress and I KNEW she would die from this, but I had no idea how horrific the process would be.

On August 5, 2011, my sweet Grandma passed away to return to our Father in heaven. I was filled with such a bittersweet wave of emotions. I was so thrilled that she could be freed from her disabled, mortal body, but at the same time, I was devastated about loosing her. My heart literally ached.  I was fortunate enough to grow up only 45 minutes away from my grandparents, and as a result, we were incredibly close. They came to every one of our ballet recitals, cooked us each a fabulous meal on our birthday, and always wanted to know every tiny detail of our lives. My Grandma was truly the most loving, selfless person I have EVER known. I miss her so much, and think about her every day.

But the one thing that gives me peace and hope on a daily basis is the knowledge I have that I will be able to see her again someday and be with my family for the rest of eternity. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and for a loving Savior that atoned for our sins so that we can one day return to live with Him. I cannot imagine how I would endure a single day of my life without this knowledge.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I often have a strong impression that my grandma is here, watching over me, and helping me be a better wife and mother. She was such a perfect example of that. I can only hope to be a small portion of the amazing woman she was.

I love you, Grandma!

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I flew to California for the funeral by myself so I could spend some quality time with my parents and siblings and not have to worry about taking care of the girls.  It was a VERY quick trip, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!  It was so nice to spend a few days reflecting on the life of a loved one. 

My mom is the only daughter in her family so she and her mom were incredibly close.  She took the loss of my grandma especially hard.  She was physically sick for a majority of the weekend, so I was grateful that I could be there to help her and not have to worry about my kids.

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The day before the actual service, I got to go with my sisters, mom, cousin, and aunts to the funeral home to get Grandma all dressed and ready.  I will NEVER forget the feeling I had when the mortician wheeled her into the room.  It was SO strange to be staring at the literal “shell” of my grandma but feel so distinctly like it wasn’t her.  It just confirmed to me how vibrant Grandma’s spirit was…..And it was clearly no longer with her body.  But we were able to put on her makeup, fix her hair, paint her nails, and put her in a beautiful white dress with a pair of my mom’s pearl earrings.  She looked so pretty, and I know she would have been pleased.  I honestly think she was probably looking down on the whole gathering and laughing as we debated which shade of nail polish would look best (I think Missy ended up painting them 4 different times!!), and whether we had styled her hair the way she would have liked it.  It was a very sobering but memorable experience.

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The funeral service at the church was wonderful.  Both my Uncle David and my mom spoke, followed by a very close family friend/  stake president, Gary Wallberger.  There was such a perfect mix of sweet, spiritual, and entertaining stories.  Grandma was such a wonderful person….How could it not be perfect?!

Grandma had such a gorgeous spread of flowers….These are just a TINY sampling of them!  I was absolutely SHOCKED when I walked in the chapel and saw the remarkable number of floral arrangements—Clearly, she was a very loved woman. She always loved fresh flowers….especially roses, and I know she would have loved how beautiful everything looked. 

DSC_0123After the service, we all drove to the cemetery for the Graveside Service which was equally lovely.  There was a luncheon for the family afterwards, but everything was running so far behind schedule, that Erin and I couldn’t attend.  We had to drive straight to the airport to catch the last flight to Texas, because Grant and I had to fly to San Francisco for a business trip early the next morning (and Erin was going to watch our kids for us).  We were heartbroken to have to cut our trip short, but I was grateful for the few short days that I got.

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By the end of the weekend, I felt like my body was incapable of crying another single tear.  It was both physically and emotionally exhausting! 

I love my sweet Grandma and have missed her every single day since she’s been gone.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tidbits from our CRAZY Summer

Our summer was BUSY.  But when we weren’t on vacation, we spent our time swimming, relaxing, and playing.  Here are some of the random photos we snapped…

DSC_0932DSC_0479DSC_0929 Now that Maddie is a “big girl,” she loves sitting in her chair in the mornings to watch Elmo or Baby Signing Time.

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She also learned to pray this summer!  She LOVES folding her arms when we do it!

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(don’t mind the messy meal-time hair…)

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These girls LOVE playtime with their daddy!

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Maddie is generally a pretty calm, busy baby—Often quietly creating destruction in a corner of the room.  But every once in a while, she decides to be a class clown and steal the show (usually while she’s eating and has the undivided attention of everyone at the dinner table).  She’s actually pretty darn  funny!  Here are a few of those moments:

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Playing peek-a-boo:

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Madeline, being a crazy person with her corn on the cob…and about a pound of food rubbed into her hair.  We practically have to hose this girl down after every meal!

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Our girls LOVE to play dress up!

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Maddie will usually point to the dress up box and squeal until we open it for her.  This is ALWAYS the outfit she chooses. :)

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She has a wand in her hand about 90% of the day!

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And when she’s not holding a wand, she’s talking on the phone and/or pushing her babies in the stroller.  Child, when did you get so BIG?!?!?!?!

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Remember how I said she was sneaky?!  Here’s the proof—Example #1:

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Example #2:

PA040231  I love the moments when these girls decide to play WELL together!  Like when Maddie shares her snacks with Olivia. :)

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Here’s another instance at dinnertime where Madeline decided to put on a show for us…She was being so silly!

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Love this one!

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These kids crack me up!  I loved playing with them all summer long.