Friday, December 27, 2013


Christmas, without Travis.

The past month people kept saying,
"I'm so sorry that you have to do the Holiday's without Travis"
"This Christmas will be tough..."

I really didn't agree.
Not that I thought it would be easy,
but the month leading up to Christmas was enjoyable- and busy.
Busy-when your grieving, is good.
I had a reason
to cook,
to shop,
to decorate.

I really thought that yes, the Holidays will be hard,
but it's when 'real life' beings again, that things will be tough.

turns out,
Christmas was much, much harder then I anticipated.

Christmas Eve day I cleaned the house and got all ready for us to be able to enjoy
the next few days.
I shopped for a few last minute things and took the girls to lunch and
felt pretty excited and surprisingly happy.
And then I went to fill the car up with gas for the ride to his
parents home in Treemonton,
and it really hit me.

I was making the drive,
on Christmas Eve,
without Travis.

It was a very long ride.
My heart just hurt.
I wanted him there to hold my hand.
I wanted to scratch his neck as he drove.
I wanted to feel the excitement with my kids-and with my Travis.
And it felt very unfair that I couldn't.

But we made it,
and once we got there,
we were able to enjoy the night.
It wasn't the same without him,
and I realize that I will probably never get used to it.
I hate not having my partner.
(I kinda want to stomp my foot like a child...but I am refraining...for now.)

We went to Treemonton early this year so we wouldn't have to drive
home in the super dark, and so we could watch a movie and have some family time..
but I didn't really think ahead.
We had no food...and no where was open!
So we came home and the girls ate ice cream....
(mother of the year?)
and we watched a movie and they went to bed.

And I did Christmas.
And again,
I hated,
doing it without Travis.
And truth be told, 
the past 2 years he hasn't been much help.
I'd still have to wrap it all,
and get it all ready,
but he would have been there.
That would have been enough.
(I say that, but I do know in my heart that if he were here this year,
he would have been incredibly weak, and tired and sick, and it still wouldn't have
been the Christmas' of our past...I know that.  I do.)
 But still, it hurt.

I got all done,
and looked up at our lonely stockings and just felt sad.
 Next year I will find some way to fill his stocking with something special,
because it was really hard to see it hanging there.
(And I will just have to fill mine too! Darn!)

The girls though,
they had a wonderful Christmas.
And that is what is really important.
We made it.
And we made a lot of memories on the way.
I will know what to work on for next year to make it easier on all of us.

New Years Eve is coming.
And it's really hard to think of entering a new year without him.
He was my whole 2013...
and it's very strange to think he wont be here with me (in body) in 2014.
It's so know?

 So I'm setting a lot of goals for 2014,
and I am not going to fail.
I have every reason to work on myself, and to make our home what it should be,
and I'm gonna try really hard to fill it with goodness and joy.

I know that this post sounds like such a downer...
but it's honest at least.
And I know that we will get through this.
Thank you to all of you who helped to make our Christmas Season special.
We got lots of lovely gifts, cards, and messages sent our way and it really helped us
get through it.
I hope in years to come,
I can do it a bit more gracefully!
But this year,
I'm just proud to have survived!
Happy Holidays to all of our loved ones.
Our Travis Trees
Green ornaments:
(his favorite color)
Aggie blue ornaments.
Orange ornaments:
(our fighting color)
An Aggie flag.
Aggie golf balls.
Masters Golf ball.
A few personalized ornaments.
And Lots of memories through pics.
I love these trees!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I've received so many emails questioning how we are
doing...and I know we have so many people thinking of us 
and wanting to know if we are surviving....
but whenever I start a post,
they end up sounding very sad.

And yes,
I am very sad.
But I'm also surviving and smiling and laughing.
 It's a complete mixture of every emotion most days,
and I guess that's how it should be.
Right now,
the hardest part is that for everyone else,
life is just normal again.
Even our closest family and friends have a semi normal routine back.
(That's not to say they don't miss him terribly,
but the reminder of how much our life has changed isn't around every corner for everyone else.)
 For me,
that reality is everywhere.
It's there when I wake up to get the kids ready in the morning
and I don't have to shush them because Trav's asleep.
It's there when another friend talks about their Dad during carpool,
and I see the tinge of jealousy in my kids' faces.
It's there when my kids have recitals and concerts and Trav can't be there to cheer them on.
It's there even with the simple things,
like planning my menu for the week or watching "The Amazing Race" alone.
It's there when I realize that when I lost him,
I lost our "couple friends" and date nights.
It's there when the weekend comes.
I hate the weekends.
I'm sure over time,
I will love them again....
but right now,
they just hurt.
I miss us snuggling by the fire before bed on Friday night.
And I miss our Saturday lunch date with the girls.
And I miss sitting by him during church so much that I just ache.
Missing him is everywhere.
On the same token,
I'm also very grateful that everywhere I turn,
there are pieces of him to miss.
It's a very good reminder that while he was here,
he was our whole world.
We made it count,
and that really pleases me.
We have a lot of really good memories to thrive one.
 And when I remember what the last year of our life together
was like,
I know that we can get through this.
I love knowing that Travis is pain free.
I hated watching him suffer,
and know that this is what was best for him.
So it's Sunday night,
and tomorrow we will begin a crazy busy week again.
I will ruffle feathers and smooth them over again about 100 times.
 I will pray for patience time and time again.
I will stew over my kids when they are upset,
and laugh when they are feeling extra carefree
and we will continue to take it one day at a time.
Thank goodness for my resilient kids.
They have been true champions this past few months
and are adjusting to our new life as well as can be expected.
We plan on making new traditions this Christmas and savoring every memory we can.  
We plan on eating too much--spoiling each other--and remembering Our Savior who
made it possible for us to live again.  It seems a very good time for us to be able to focus on that.
Thank you to all who have went to extra effort to take care of us
and make sure we are smiling more then frowning.
We have been blessed because of others countless times
and hope that you all have a very
Merry Christmas as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{Feeling Heavy}

Just after Travis passed away I felt such a huge amount of relief.
The last few weeks leading up to his death were pretty horrible.
I was ready for us to begin to heal.
I was ready to do some of the hard work-it felt like my turn-he'd done his time.
So for that first month, I went full force.
I planned the funeral,
 cleaned the house.
I figured out every bill-
my health insurance,
and the many...many....many...many details that need tending to when someone passes.
I took the girls shopping.
Let them play with friends.
Made sure they weren't missing out on anything.
My friends would bombard me at night and stay till much past our bedtimes.
I felt light.
It had just been so hard for so long-and I knew this was better for him,
so I felt light.
This past week, 
that light feeling has gone and at times it feels like someone is squeezing my heart.

That husband of mine.
He is missed so deeply and profoundly.
The other day my sweet Roo told me she can only remember Travis being sick,
and she can't remember any fun memories.
I had a hard time with this,
because I feel the same way.
Those recent memories are so fresh.
And many of the things that transpired the week of his death,
I'd be so happy to forget.
I wish we could get some of the older memories to feel so close to the surface!
I was so glad to be able to tell her that I completely understand,
and now I'm really focused on making sure we have those memories somewhere tangible.

We have a beautiful DVD of pictures of us as a family.
Photos all around the house.
Ive made the girls each beautiful books with pictures of them and their Dad.
When I look at it,
I am so grateful that I married someone who was such a great father.
Some of these pictures,
taken years ago before the cancer really took his toll,
they take my breath away and just make me hurt inside.
It's a love/hate thing.
I love to see him looking so healthy and happy,
but man-I miss seeing him like that-full of life and joy.

 He loves those girls.
He couldn't possibly have loved them more.
And I really feel like as we look at the happy memories,
they will become more vivid to us.
I sure hope so anyways.

Today as I was cleaning out our filing cabinent,
I came across the journal Trav kept when we were dating.
I can't tell you what a joy that was for me to read.
I just laughed and cried the entire way through.
A beautiful reminder that he really, really loved me.
He was smitten.
That death wont change that.
Nor will our time apart.
This is a treasure-and an answer to my prayers.

We are still doing ok.
We are learning the ropes of how to manage just being the 3 of us.
And I think for the most part,
we are grieving in a healthy way.
We are still making lots of memories,
and laughing together,
and crying together when we need to.
I thought I'd post his beautiful headstone that was put in this week.
The ladies helped me deck it out for Christmas.
Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for us,
and who have been here every step of the way.
I am so incredibly grateful to be taken care of like I always am.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Capturing the moments

Today marks a month since Trav passed away.
It's so strange to think I haven't heard his voice in a month.
We've never gone a full day without talking before this.
I sure miss his voice.
That being said,
today I've taken Sienna to the Dr. (Strep).
Ran to the store to get medicine.
Made a desperate run for Diet Coke.
Did some laundry.
Snuggled my Roo.
And have watched a few too many episodes of 
Austin & Ally.
(So sad. So true).

It's been just another day,
and I'm grateful for that.
I feel blessed to be a mother.
I feel blessed to have a cozy house.
And I feel blessed that I had a love that really can carry me through all of this.
We are doing ok.
 We miss him,
but we aren't sitting around crying.

He'd surely cuss me out for that in the future when we meet again.
(I have a few things I can't wait to ask him.  The list grows longer each day.)

I thought I'd post some of the lovely images caught
by some of my dear friends during the week of the funeral.
Thank you Eileen, Jenny, and Kelly.
You ladies are so talented!

My dear friend (and really family), 
Tami set up the display for the viewing.
It was a beautiful tribute.
 My friend Courtney designed the programs.
I thought they were so beautiful.

My beautiful sister-in-law and handsome brother.
I adore these two.
 Sienna and her teacher.
Adyson's teacher came also.
They have wonderful teachers this year who are so aware
of each and every need.  I adore them.
 Trav's lovely sisters, Michelle and Tiffany
 Larry and Lorraine,
Trav's parents.
 My sisters, Amy and Heather.
I was quite nervous for the viewing and these two
promised to watch over me like a hawk.
And they took that job seriously.
They didn't leave my side and carried me through the night.
They are my best friends.
 Me and my gorgeous Roo.
 A few of my idols,
Julie Redd and my Aunt Sue
 My gorgeous niece, Breje. 
how did she get so old?
 Heather will hate me for posting this,
but it's the only pic of Adyson and I at the viewing.
I'm so proud of the grace my girls have.
They are amazing.

The night before the funeral some of my wonderful friends
hung these gorgeous orange bows all around the church.
It was a lovely gesture.

And have you ever seen a cooler hearse?
Yes, that's a TRAVSTRONG sticker.
This made the ladies day.
 This picture.
It makes me tear up just looking at it.
Me, comforting the girls,
while my dad, brother, and father in law comfort me.
I adore this photo.
The Pallbearers. 
Larry, Devin, Mike, Cody, Ron, Jody

The ladies let go of orange balloons and sent a promise up to Daddy.

 My everything.

I also really love this picture.
My sister-in-law Amy and I.
The week Trav passed away Amy pretty much took care of me.
Afterwards she knew I would need a clean house,
so she cleaned it.
She knew I'd need a big Diet Coke,
so she'd buy it.
I adore her.
 Candace and Julie, some of my dearest friends.
 Devin, Trav's Brother.

 My mom bought the girls and all of their girl cousins these beautiful orange 
necklaces to wear.
So sweet and a treasure.
 Some of my favorite friends.
 These amazing men were in the Bishopric with Travis.
They will never know the influence they had on him.
He loved each and every one of them.
 My parents.
No words for how much I adore them.
They are here before I ask and would do anything for me.
I love them, and know how loved I am by them.
And am so grateful they love Travis like they do.
 This one breaks my heart a bit.
 Adyson and her best friend Lexi.
Our girls have beautiful friends.
I am so grateful to them!
 The cousins, sans Lucy who was. not. having. it.
 My brother Cody and I.
Travis was Cody's best friend and Cody has taken his role of taking care of us very seriously.
I never would have thought when we were kids that we would be so close.
I love him.
 This one. 
It's another killer.
My brother-in-law Jody and I.
 Dale and Gloria Jensen
Dale spoke at the funeral,
and did a beautiful job.
One of Trav's dearest friends.
 The Mullens.
Our best friends.
Kevin also spoke and did a wonderful job.
Beautiful flowers from my family.

And the luncheon afterwards,
put on by my ward and an army of friends.
Please excuse the way I look in ALL of these photos.
I can assure you I felt even worse then I looked, 

Candace, Julie, Katie, Me, Kristin
 Ate and Johanna,
My lovely grandparents.
 The Wolfley Clan
 Eileen And Steph,
some of my favorite friends.
 Lorraine and I
About a week (or 2? It's a big blur!)
after Trav passed away,
the girls' school held TRAVSTRONG day.
A day where all the kids wore orange 
and they let of balloons in Trav's honor.
All this to support my kids.
Have I mentioned I live in an amazing community?
This is why we can do it...
because our support is overwhelming!
It was a beautiful day!