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October 2017

October 2017

Yesterday, we took down the wheelchair ramp we built for Noel’s mom. It kind of felt like life was coming full circle since exactly one year before that, Noel hopped on a plane to bring his mom to the lower 48 to live with us. October has been a highly reminiscent month for us as we look back on a year that changed and continues to change us. This October has been far less frenetic and more emotionally stable than…

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End of Summer, Start of School

End of Summer, Start of School

I’m not one of those moms that counts down the days till school starts. I’ve mentioned it before, harped on it really, but I love summer and I’m always sad to see it end. This year I found myself dreading the start of school even more than usual. I was so vocal about it that Noel told me on multiple occasions, “You know, life isn’t over when school starts. We can still have fun.” As I contemplated my overwhelming feelings…

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Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby  Summer is a magical time at our house. Bedtimes aren’t as important, homework doesn’t exist, and there is so much possibility for adventure. Our kids also seem to be in this golden period of childhood. They have…

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A Trip to Utah in Photos

A Trip to Utah in Photos

Well, mostly photos. We all know I’m going to narrate, but I’ll keep it to a minimum. We spent almost half of June in Utah this year because it was a BIG month for my family and I didn’t want to miss any of it. My youngest brother, Mitchell, returned from a 2-year church service mission in Belgium and the Netherlands; my sister, Hope, blessed her new baby, Theo, in our church; and my other brother, Spencer, got married. I…

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Easter 2017

Easter 2017

I love Easter the same way other people love Christmas. Easter is all about hope and joy and light and so often the outside world reflects that as we turn our back on the long, dark months of winter. Both the plants and our souls are revitalized. This year, Easter was especially tender. Lately, we’ve become more aware of our own mortality and our absolute need for our Savior. As we celebrated Easter our hearts swelled with gratitude for the resurrection that…

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Healing in the Desert

Healing in the Desert

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince Noel got three days of bereavement leave when his mom passed and we knew that we needed to use some of that time to decompress before heading back to regular life. Fortunately, Glenna’s funeral services were in close proximity to one of our favorite healing balms: red rock canyons. The day after…

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Glenna’s Funeral

Glenna’s Funeral

“I’ve come to understand that there’s a good deal of value in the ritual accompanying death. It’s hard to say good- bye and almost impossible to accomplish this alone and ritual is the railing we hold to, all of us together, that keeps us upright and connected until the worst is past.” – William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace I’ll admit my attitudes on the celebrations surrounding death used to be a bit callous. When I talked about my wishes for my…

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How is Your Heart?

How is Your Heart?

“Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian MacLaren In the days leading up to Glenna’s transfer to inpatient hospice our kitchen sink backed up. The threads on the clean out in the basement were stripped making it impossible to open it and clear the pipe. This of course meant a trip to the home improvement store to acquire fun things like a reciprocating saw blade that can cut through cast iron. (For the record,…

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A Rough Landing

A Rough Landing

Noel describes the day he and his mom flew to Colorado as one of the worst days of his life. For most of it, I was generally unaware of how traumatizing it was. The evening their flight departed* they sent optimistic texts to the family – pictures of them next to a moose statue at the Anchorage airport and reassurances that they were feeling calm.  That night I wrote in my journal in anticipation of their arrival, “Buckle your seatbelt…

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The Backstory

The Backstory

Before I jump into any reflective posts I think I need to set up the backstory. In true Audrey fashion, I’ve been concise, maybe too concise about everything that has transpired. It was the Saturday of our church’s fall General Conference when we found out Glenna (Noel’s mom) had lung cancer. She called Noel in between sessions of talks intended to uplift us and told him she’d gone to the ER earlier in the week because of severe neck pain….

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