Friday, May 29, 2015

The Lovely Month of May

MAY  is finally at an end. It has been a month full of emotions, memories and a ton of RAIN!
It will finish up with two funerals, Addison's 29th birthday and Landon's marriage.

Bre's Grandma Dee Briggs passed away at age 86.   She was a senior olympian in tennis and track and field events and traveled all over the country  as an ambassador throwing the javelin and the shotput.  Her golden years were not ones of slowing down, but amping it up.  She was a character and an individualist who was a champion of her grandkids, or any one who has a dream and potential.  The fun part of this funeral was hearing all about Dee's life, listening to Bre and cousin Andrew Briggs sing Josh Groban's "The Prayer,"  and watching ALfie.  Alfie wore white leather "Grandpa Butters" shoes and loved them.  They were about 3 inches too long but he didn't care.  He kept bending over, touching his shoes and saying,  "shoes."  He fell asleep in my arms, and  looking down at the side of his relaxed face, he looked just like Addison.  This is the first time I have ever thought this. 

My sweet friend, Kimi Farley's mom passed away and we attended her funeral up in Millville.  Her mom was an individual as well.  She had many "softball' and sports friends who attended.  Kimi is the eldest of 5 daughters, so she had to be "in charge" and gave a wonderful tribute to her momma.   Her mom's cancer experience was much like my mom's.  This was her second round of ovarian cancer, no chemo would work or was wanted and she just wasted away with hospice care.  She had a comeback revival day on Mother's Day...just like my momma...and 12 days later she died....just like my momma.  In fact she died on mom's death date. 

Addison is 29!!! I can't believe this.  I think I will be even more in awe when he's 30.  Time just keeps ticking forward.  I think I'm still 29 til I look in the mirror and see so many lines and wrinkles mapping my face.   He is a sweet husband and the cutest, most involved dad.  It's a joy to watch.   

AND....our big, fat, gay, brazillian wedding finishes up the month.    We are in preparation mode for Sunday evening.  I'm so appreciative of my friend Maurie Tarbox, volunteering her yard for this.   AND...I'm so happy that rain, rain and more rain is finally leaving the forecast.  We have chairs and tables,  tablecloths and centerpieces, food and treats, fans, bubbles and thankyous all ready to go.   I sent out an email to family and friends, knowing that everyone is at a different place with gay marriage, to see who wanted to attend and letting everyone know that we know they love us even if they don't come.......well most everyone is coming!  This might be their only chance to participate in an event like this.  But, really.....I  can't believe the love that I am feeling over this.   When I start getting stressed about this whole thing, I just pause and wrap love around it, and then I can move on. Love is the answer.   It's going to be a glorious Sunday!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Holly's 38!

Happy 38th birthday to Holly.  She is a joy and a blessing to our family.  Holly has taught me many things, here are a few…
Always return a phone call
Practice, practice, practice
Mail people thank you notes and notes of encouragement
Call people on their birthdays and tell them how special they are
If your favorite color is purple, then wear it proudly and let others know
When you are excited it's okay to clap your hands and shake your body
When it's your birthday wear a birthday hat.... 
Bear your testimony in church  every other month. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2nd Anniversary

Why are death anniversary's  so difficult???
It's been two years since my mom passed away.  Two, sometimes very loooooong years.
Even when I try not to think about this death date, I can't help myself.  Two years ago we knew it was coming, but it was still so life altering.
I've been thinking about Mom a lot lately,  more so because of Marcie's recent aggressive cancer diagnosis.

Laila has cried more than a few times this week about how it stinks to be the youngest, because she knew and was loved by Grandma Sheri the least amount of time.

Well I knew and was loved by her for 51 years, and it still stinks that she's gone.

I love these pics of my mom though....

I love when she lost her hair, it grew back and she dyed it a firey red!!  She was crazy like that....and really so at ease with who she was that she NEVER cared how others would react. I love that she's talking on the phone in this pic...most likely helping someone, or cheering  someone up or loving on someone. She was so good at this.

I love so much about her.

I love the artist in her.  I will always look at mountains, clouds and sunsets and think of her. I can hear her voice saying, "Look at those clouds, so beautiful.  Now how would I paint that?"  or "Oh my what an amazing sunset. So many colors.   If I painted that no one would believe it was real."

I love how inclusive she was.
Thanksgiving 2011...all the sibs right before mom started Chemo
I love how each of us knew she loved us the best!
I love how concerned, caring and empathetic she was.
I love how she knew just what to say and what not to say.
I love how she chose Joy on a daily basis..... with very few pity parties.  She never said "Why me?" but only "Why not me?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Laila day

We celebrated our 13th Laila day on May 15th....this is Laila's "gotcha" day.  This is the day Laila became a part of the Welch bunch and completed our family. Laila got "kidnapped" by the cheerleaders for breakfast and Friend Aisha brought Laila a dozen doughnuts too. We celebrated by "sluffing" school, going to a matinee movie of Pitch Perfect 2 and then out to sushi at the Red Mermaid Bistro.
We can tell Laila grew up in an adult household, because none of our other children at 13 would have suggested a sushi restaurant.

This is a great family holiday and tradition.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Prayers and cards for Marcie

I can't believe it.  I am in shock. We all are.  My sister Marcie has very aggressive upper GI cancer which includes the pancreas. 
I sent Marcie this card..... it's exactly what's on my mind.
We hate cancer! 
 We need faith and prayers at this point... 
Marcie has always been here for me from the very beginning...literally.   We are 15 months apart.  She named me "baby La."  We've been through thick and thin together.  Sharing a bedroom, growing up, babies, vacations, church callings, parent issues, shows. 
Liz, Maryanne Loveless, Melinda, Angela, Marcie
Marcie was the perfect, loving, know-it-all Reverend Mother in Nunsense years ago...and I was Sister Mary Amnesia.  How fitting.  I can't remember much... but I remember feelings and a few select "pictures" through my growing up years.   One of Marcie's best birthday's ever was her 11th...atleast it was for me.   We had lots of friends and cousins and each other. This is right before we moved to our new home on 800 east.  I remember this little kitchen eating area on 1200 south in Bountiful.  
(I remember Marcie sassing my dad and him throwing a pitcher of water at her in this exact spot.)
Marcie turning 11... Adam is being Adam... I'm loving on my big sissy, Angela is leaning in and Liz is being her mischievious self.
The move  to our 800 east home was difficult for us.   I remember my mom sitting on the floor in our basement when Marcie was in 6-8th grade, talking,trying to keep her "together"  and give her strength to go to school another day, even with all of the "mean" girls.  I learned so much from my mom counseling with Marcie. Marcie blazed the path which made my Jr. high years so much easier.  She has always blazed the path....Marcie was in college first, married first, had babies first, and now gets to go through cancer....

I don't get it.... I just want to punch somebody...kick something....scream..

I love my sister and can't imagine doing this life without her.   We are supposed to grow old together. So...................added prayers for Marcie............please.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My kids love me.

I know my kids really love me because.....
they tell me
they brag about me to their friends...... I think it's braggin, maybe it's more like laugh about....?!?
they enjoy our  home
they like vacationing together
they come for advice and just to talk
and they let me take individual mother's day pics with them every year....

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lessons from my mom

 This is my mom in 1959 right  after she married my dad...what a cutie. She had her whole life ahead of her. She didn't know she was in it for richer for poorer, for better for worse. She didn't know she would have 5 children and live her whole life in Bountiful. She didn't know she would be a great teacher and mentor to so many people. She didn't know she married an entrepreneur who would own and work in many businesses and always adore her.   She didn't know she would join my dad in Scotland on a mission. She didn't know that she would get cancer and leave us all at the young age of 74.   She had so much ahead of her with so many lessons to learn and to share.
1978 Lyle and Sheri Cole Family..with dog Noel.
One lesson that I learned from my mother... is to easily forgive and forget.
Mom was not one to hold grudges, keep records of peoples past failings,  or look over the fence at others and get jealous.  She knew her family was exactly as it should be.  There was no other family like us and no other mother like her.
She taught that life  is a process of learning and growing and changing and becoming for all of us.
We were all works in progress, as was she, and  that was  part of the fun.
We made mistakes, figured it out, moved on. She gave all of us a lot of slack and made sure we did that for each other too.
She was all about forgive and forget because it took too much energy not to.  She wanted that energy for more positive things in life.

Bear Lake1998 back row:  Garret Brown, Jenna Cole, Grandma Sheri, Rachel Cole, Landon Welch, Addison Welch.
Front; Becca Cole, Truman Welch, Monson Welch, Hayden Call, Austin Brown
Another lesson learned was to jump in and participate no matter what size or shape you are.  She was so great at pulling on a swimming suit and enjoying life no matter  her size.  Don't get me wrong, she was always on a diet or trying to diet or wanting to diet....but that didn't stop her from life. She wasn't going to wait around until  she felt or looked perfect.  I can see her on the beach every day at family vacay at Bear lake playing with the grand kids, or making sandwiches, or painting, or reading..but totally invovled  with all of us and with life.

Family is forever was a lesson we reiterated every night as we ended our family prayer.  We all put our hands in a circle and said in a cheer, "forever."  We did this in my growing up home for as long as I can remember and it was one of the last things we did as a family while mom was alive. We did this when the boys were growing up and we do it now nightly with Laila.  What makes it a memorable lesson, is that no matter what was going on with each of us, she knew that we were a forever family.  No question.  She trusted that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ  had it all figured out....all under she didn't have to worry about how it would all work out in the end.
May 9, 2013.  12 days before momma passed away.
What Mom wanted most was for us siblings to get along and want to be together after she was gone.
She got her wish.We celebrated her birthday on tonight at dad's house.  We had our friend Paula Carlson join us.  She happened to be in town, so of course we had to "pull a Sheri" and invite her. We had dinner, talked about our sweet mom, our own families, our successes and failures and knew it was a safe place to share.  When mom was alive anytime any of us had some issue, some problem we needed help with, she would say, "I'll get my angels on that."  So now she is our angel and we need her help.  We wrote down requests for our angel mother and tied them to helium balloons, went outside and sent them off to heaven. It was a good night.
I love this wonderful mother of mine.  She is my angel now..and watches over all of us, reminding me of so many mom lessons.

We watched our mom message balloons go up and up til we couldn't see them....
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  testified, “Angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve” [emphasis in original]. Elder Dallin H. Oaks also stated, “For most of us the mortal journey is long, and we continue our course with the protection of guardian angels.” Even the Lord himself promised, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).
Guardian angels, then, are surely very real. They are messengers of comfort and peace, bearers of warnings, and protectors of faithful Saints. They are part of an innumerable host doing the will of a loving Father in Heaven who looks after each of us. Whether they are spirits unknown to us or spirits of our loved ones, guardian angels are indeed all around us to bear us up.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

10 things that make me happy

1.  Rainfall
2.  Hearing the ball park noise at night
3.  Watching my BBC shows...Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge, The Paradise
4.  Theatre popcorn
5.  Lunches with friends
6.  My big bed
7.  Get Aways
8.  Big Al drink from Swig
9.  Going to church
10. A good book...just finished Amazed by Grace by Sheri Dew

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grown-up stuff

I've been thinking about my boys launching and relaunching into their lives as adults.  Addison left here at 19, 23 and then again at 25; Landon at 18 and then again at 24; Monson at 19 and  almost 22; Truman left at, 19, 21 and then came back.  We have had a revolving door policy that if they need to move back home, if there is room, they can.  We have Truman here now and I wonder if we are helping or hurting his grown-upness.  He is 24.  When Wayne and I were 24 we had been out of our parents houses for 3 years, in our West Bountiful home and were having our first child.  We were grown up. I know this is a different more expensive time...but I wonder when Truman will feel the need to move on with his life.

The moment I realized I was a grown up was when Wayne and I bought our first home in West Bountiful. We had been married two years and it felt like a very adult, forward thinking,  thing to do.
It came with the strings attached of needed steady incomes and chances of job advancements.
Buying a home
Getting Married
Finishing college
Getting the first "real" job with much more than a minimum wage, with benefits and insurance.
These are all "grown up" milestones.

Sometimes I'm sick of being a grown up and want to get rid of the monetary commitments I am involved with and down size and run away. Sometimes I do run away up to my bedroom and hide. But I know running away doesn't help anything. It doesn't take away my responsibilities or turn me back into a child.

Instead of running away I'm going to get better at  running toward life. To embrace and enjoy even the banal aspects of it. To be, really be in every moment of my life.  That sounds pretty grown up to me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May birthdays

Sophia turned 6 and had a fun FROZEN themed party complete with a special guest, ELSA (aka Bre) dropping by with songs, stories and fun.  Sophia had a tummy ache and wasn't feeling her best, but did her best to be happy anyway.    She got new glasses to help with her Lazy eye that  refuses to see. Sophia wanted Brigadero amazing layered chocolate Brazillian concoction...and as per Braziallian tradition, the birthday child gives the first piece of cake to someone special in their life....Sophia gave the piece of cake to Laila.  All of the Grandkids adore Laila.

Sophia and Lexi share a birthday. May 5th -- Cinco de Mayo -- is it!  We celebrated Sunday night with a fiesta!   
It was fun going around the table while Lexi wore a sombrero, of course, and share what we love about Lexi.  She is caring, compassionate, kind.  She would give you the shirt off her back.  She is easy to talk to and easy going. She is always interested in what you are doing in your life...or if she's not, she sure seems to be.  She is loving and has a good attitude, even with all of her sickness.  She loves our Monson and I'm so grateful she's a Welch girl.
While Sophia wore the sombrero, and a smile that never left her face, we celebrated her fun personality, her ability to make up songs and perfom, her hugs, kindness, loving enthusiasm  and great smile.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

BYU Women's Conference.

My Si Foster friend got asked back in January to be a presenter at women's conference on "Neglect not the gift that is in thee".....why it is important to share our testimonies through our talents. Si has amazing cooking talents and is great at making so many of us feel adept  in the kitchen and shares so many awesome recipes on her blog...along with some family stories and her faith.   She has been struggling and agonizing over this talk  for months....but today she did her "thing," was marvelous and can breathe a "Si" of relief for a job well done. I got to be a witness to all of this. Because she had this assignment, we made plans, got hotel rooms and decided to attend the two day event.  It was a blessing for me.  I needed a spiritual injection and a reminder about covenant keeping.  It was a fun and spiritual filled two days that I spent mostly with Si, her daughter Brooke, Diane Lake and Mel Evans.

Amber Crane, Erin Blake, Barbara Schwartz, Nan Bruske, Mel Evans, Diane Lake, Si Foster, Laura Blenap, Me, Angie Smith, Kim Johnston....all Si's cheerleaders and support team.
Some of my other friends were also presenting this year.... Karen Nickl on marriage relationships and Emily Hoffman on balancing life.  They were rock stars as well.

 Just when I thought I have heard everything from Karen about relationships and marriage, she comes up with new interesting stories and a different take on relationships.  She is so wise. After she compared Jewish bridegroom promises to what the Savior's parable of the bridegroom in the scriptures teaches us, she gave practical ideas on ways to improve marriage:  1.  Contemplate how difficult I am to live with.   2.  Stop looking over the fence...or stop recording your spouses failures. 3. Love and touch  4.  Be kind no matter what.
 She gave two "wants" at the end that I'm going to adopt.
*I want to suffer less in my trials.
*I want to Trust more that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have everything under control.

Me at the FRONT of the line for the Karen Nickl presentation with Gina and Karen.... I lost my name tag somewhere...which gets me into the events, luckily my friend Diane got two sent to I was Diane for the day.
Emily Hoffman is a great presenter  and a dynamo.  She shared about Managing and balancing life....or how the Just Say No policy doesn't really work because we are saying No to many good, better and best things.  
1.  Balance and agency are linked.   We need to stop saying I have to....  the "have to" plan is Satan's plan, the "choose to" plan is Christ's plan.  We have our agency.
2.  All choices have a Yes and a No component.  Make sure we know what we are saying "No" to everytime we say "Yes."   Be more cognizant of our choices.
3.  Can't vs. Don't.  Don't is more impowering, it implies choice.  Can't implies takes our control away and feels like outside forces are in charge of our agency.   So....Choose what we Don't do rather than Can't do.   Studies back this word/thinking up.

Another speaker I really enjoyed was Todd Parker on Scriptures as a spiritual life jacket.  Just as we wouldn't go white water rafting without a life jacket so we shouldn't go out into the world without a light jacket.  I didn't get a lot of notes because the power points were awesome and Si took pics of those to share with me later...but the gist is reading our scriptures buoys us up in life and allows our light to shine and help others.  He talked about sharing our spiritual "light" jackets...we are angels for others on this earth and our call is to minister.  There are also guardian angels and heavenly angels we can call upon when we are living in the light.

Matt Townsend spoke about communicating with our Young Adult children.   He shared how the word communicate comes from "to commune"...which implies spirit.  To commune with nature or someone, we need to get in tune with and be in the spirit.  This will  help us in our relationships with our children.  We need the spirit and to stay in the spirit when dealing with our children.  Having a child is not a trial to be endured, but actually children provide our greatest access to our  Heavenly Father. We are here to become more like him.  They help us to work on this.
During his panel a young adult shared a Stephen R. Covey quote that I really like, "Be a light, not a judge. Be a model not a critic."
1. Make sure your YA knows YOU have a testimony.
2. Help the YA to feel empowered about their lives.
3. Let them fly and make mistakes
4. Communicate.....validate don't invade.  Invite don't expect.

 Being with friends and recharging my spirit made for an Extraordinary two days for me.