Sunday, October 19, 2014

{T day}

We've officially made it an entire year.
The week leading up to our year mark felt pretty heavy to me,
but the actual day was a beautiful, lovely day...
mostly because so many of you helped to make it so.

Travis would have loved fact, I'm sure he did.

I got e-mail after e-mail, text after text and pic after pic of such great acts!
The entire day just made my heart feel warmed and full of joy,
and I think it helped a lot of other people feel that way too.
Anyone who loved Travis should be happy that this day was dedicated to him.

I bet I'll miss a State or if I did, correct me!
But-last I checked, service was done in all of these places.


I know for a fact that I'm missing a lot of acts below,
and there were A LOT of texts that just said
"Did something for someone while thinking of T today."
So great.

A complete stranger and her family helped a man in need.
A friend sent darling orange filled boxes to missionaries
Families left gifts on peoples stoops.
Lots of cookies left on doorsteps.
Dinners for families moving.
Our local Hospice threw a BBQ to honor their employees in Trav's name.
A friend saw that a women in our town was trying to find a cheap stroller on
facebook because she couldn't fit her big one in the hospital to take her baby while she got chemo,
they bought her a brand new one.  This one made me cry.
Lots of them made me cry....
Pumpkins donated in Trav's name for a fundraiser for someone battling cancer.
A very thoughtful gift for someone truly deserving.
A friend and her family made an orange cake and threw a party for grandparents.
A free photo session from a fabulous photographer for someone in need.
Letters to her children who needed a smile.
Drive-through Breakfast at McDonald's was bought for some cute little old ladies.
Orange Donuts were delivered to some friends.
Some surprised overdo library fines were paid.
Lots of sweet kids brought treats for teammates.
Lots of people donated to
Lots of very happy people had their groceries paid for.
Aggie tickets were given to a few very happy people.
A friend helped his mom with some chores around the house.
Many secret services. Many.
Adorable kids cleaning the neighborhood parks.
Lots of kids used their own money to help out however they could.
A friend took Trav and My favorite sugar cookies (From the Sugar Cookie in Saint George)
to people in the hospital.  So awesome.
More dinners for deserving families.
Kids loading coolers and picking up garbage.
Lots of raked leaves.
Beautiful pies were baked and taken to others.
Brightened a family members day by surprising her with a visit.
Coins taped to the car wash (so creative!)
Horse rides were given.
Olive Garden lunch was purchased for a cute couple.
 A darling little girl gave away extra tickets at a carnival to a kid who needed them.
Visiting sick grandparents and giving cards.
Wendy's drive through, multiple times.
Grocery Carts were taken in.
Garbage's clean up.
Garages were cleaned too!
Cookies were passed out at a parade.
Temple Work was done by multiple people.
The girls classes went to the cemetery to visit Trav's grave...
they delivered flowers to lonely graves and cleaned up garbage on their way.
Roads were clean up by two very cute boys in orange in CA.
A friend offering a ride to someone who has to WALK  a very far way to school, for the rest of the year.... very kind and generous.
A friend of mine and his wife were talking about what they could do in front of their kids, and the day got away from them.  They felt really bad, until they pulled in their driveway and saw that their
kids did jobs around the house, after overhearing them discuss it the day before.  So great.
A friend brought in her neighbors (who is pregnant) garbage and helped donate to a couple in need of IVF.
A dinner was purchased for someone serving our Country.
A lunch at a drivethrough in Preston.
Helped a single mom with groceries and helped Grandparents rake leaves
A great family went to meet the Mormons and gave away movie passes and popcorn.  So fun!
Lots and lots and lots of service from our YM/YW and Activity Day girls.
Dinner was purchased at a restaurant for a young family.
A darling little boy left coins for the mechanic horse rides at the store.  So adorable!
Secret services.
Food bank donations and kind notes to kids and friends.
Someone paid the field trip donations for some kids who couldn't afford it (such a great idea!)
A few Boxes of Sunshine were sent.
Cobwebs and Windows were cleaned for an older woman, and her favorite food was purchased.
Friends delivered treats to fire fighters who helped their family during a fire last year.
Pumpkin bread was delivered (YUM!)
A friend edited pictures for family member who couldn't attend a funeral and sent them his way.
My darling friend Marielle, who is serving in Switzerland contacted EVERY single person
in orange for a whole day.  This was too darling!
Another friend on a mission did a service in Mexico.
A cute friend had her daughter write a card and gave a stranger money.
A friend paid for a young girls gas.  The girl cried and told her she was worried about paying her bills.  Pretty awesome.
A friend served a man in need on the streets, and brought cupcakes to half the city of Smithfield.
Someone delivered US our favorite cinnamon rolls... I told them it wasn't supposed to benefit us,
as I chowed one down. :)
Another friend cleaned the church, she felt like it wasn't enough, and they discussed service
with their kids for FHE afterwards.  She said she was very touched by how much it made them want to serve others. (And in my opinion, cleaning the church  is a fabulous service!)
Carmel apples were given to people at the temple.
A gas card was given to someone at the gas station.
Roo's soccer team wore orange socks, made orange cookies and let off orange balloons.
It made her feel so special and it was so kind of everyone to surprise us and support us like that!

I know I am forgetting some.
I'm sorry if I forgot yours!  We were bombarded by goodness all day long.

Thank you to those who served.  I can't help but wonder how many acts were passed on,
how many were kept quiet, and I sure hope that the spirit of giving continues!

I have no words to express my gratitude for helping us make that day so special.
I was worried it was going to be incredibly hard.
It was hard-but it was beautiful and filled with so much love.

And I really have no words to express my gratitude for getting us through the past year.
(Who am I kidding...the past 5 years!)
We have been prayed for and served and so incredibly loved.
People have met our needs before I realized exactly what it was that was needed.
My friends have rescued me so many times.  They've let me cry when I needed to,
laugh when I really needed to, and vent at all times of the day.
My kids have made such great, compassionate friends.
They've had blessings from neighbors and grandpa when needed.
They've been able to laugh and smile through a very hard time of their lives.
I am so proud of them, and know that they couldn't get through it without the army of people helping us along the way.

I miss our nightly chats, cooking his favorite food, holding his hand in the car.
I miss his laughter and support.
I miss him as a husband and best friend.
And I miss him as a Father.
Our family just looks different now.
For a while, we are just 3 ladies trying to figure it all out.
I figure if we stumble a little, that's ok.
And am gonna do my best to pick us back up when we fall...
so do your best not to judge me when I haven't picked us up quite as gracefully as Id like to.
(If you judge me...I'll say this: I wouldn't wish this widowing shiz on my worst enemy.)
(Yep, I wrote shiz.  Judge away.)

Looking forward I'm making goals for us three ladies.
We will still talk about Travis daily.
Because these girls will always know their Daddy.
We are gonna fill our lives up with goodness.
Before Trav died, we talked a lot about what I'd do without him.
He told me to make sure we were happy...
so we are gonna be happy.
(I told him to do his best and not judge me from above for the mistakes I'm sure to make....
he promised me he wouldn't:).
We are gonna travel the world and wear gorgeous shoes.
We are gonna stay up late on the weekends and sleep in as often as possible.
We are going to grow our testimonies and I'm going to do my best to make sure they know how important that was to their Dad.
We are going to make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them.
And we are going to look for others to serve,
because HEAVEN KNOWS that we've had our turn.

Wish us luck on our journey,
and thank you-from the very bottom of my heart-and from Trav's too,
for the amazing support we've had over the years.
We love you all.

Friday, October 10, 2014

{12 Months}

Its 11:48 on October 10th.
I've been trying to get my mind to shut off...
but I'm not succeeding.

I just can't fathom how a year has gone by since my best friend passed away.
I can't fathom that it's only been a year.

Somedays it feels like it was yesterday-
and others it feels like it was at least 10 years ago.

This past few weeks have been full of very hard memories and emotions...
and I like life much better when those things aren't so close to the surface.

Here's what I've learned in the past 12 months.

Not a day will go by where I wont miss him.
Not one.

Not a day will go by where the girls wont miss him.
Not one.

We miss his laugh, his confidence, his warmth..
and just his physical presence.
Even when he was incredibly weak,
his strong spirit and heart helped strengthen our family.
I would revel to be able to rub his forehead and give him a kiss before bed, one more time.
And I would probably do just about anything to hear him say my name.
Husbands don't say your name enough...
it was always 'babe' or 'honey' or something like that...
but when he said "Hayley" my heart would melt into a puddle.
I loved it.  I miss it so fiercely.

I've learned that I relied on Travis to make me whole.
And I've had to find out who I am without him.
I'm working on it every single day.
I can't rely on his testimony.
I can't rely on him telling me I'm good enough...
whether it be in my parenting skills, cooking skills, the way I look or even the type of friend I am,
I have to TRUST in myself, and KNOW myself.
And I have to remember that Travis had complete faith that I could do this.

I'm working on this every single day.
I have a long ways to go.

I've learned that we are strong,
the ladies and I.
We are made of strength.
We get out of bed every morning and try to smile.
We laugh a lot.
We tease each other, support each other, fight with each other,
drive each other crazy, and love each other in the best of ways.
We laugh-cry and repeat.

I wouldn't have survived this without my sweet girls.
I am so incredibly proud to be their mom.

We've learned who will always be here for us.
Who will step up, even when it's completely inconvenient to them.
Learned who we can turn to in our worst moments.
And we've learned an awful lot about they type of people we want to be.

I've learned to let things go that are too hard to carry.

I've learned that it's a wonderful feeling to
"sweat the small stuff" again.

And I've learned that we can do this.
We can and we are.

Sometimes it's not graceful.
In fact, it's really usually not graceful at all..
but we are doing our best.

I still sometimes can't believe that this is my life.
That I am truly a widow,
and that I have to figure this life out fresh every single day.
But I wouldn't change our time together.
I'd marry him all over again.

I will probably post one more post on this blog with some of the fun service projects done in Trav's name, and then I know it's time to say goodbye to the Cancer blog.
It's been such a great place for me to express how I feel over the past year,
and for the years before that, a wonderful forum to keep everyone up to date on Trav's battle.
Thanks to everyone who has checked in over the years.
We have felt so loved and supported.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

{A day for our T}

Next Saturday marks a year since Travis passed away.

When I think of Travis, and when I remember his life,
his last year of life especially-
I remember how much Travis wanted to make others' lives better.

About 2 months before he died a friend at work was going through a few
health problems....and honestly, comparatively, they were much smaller then T's.

But Travis would come home, after working most of the day- barely able to eat,
throwing up at work, sweating, aching and exhausted-
and all he could talk about was how bad he felt for his friend.
How worried he was about his upcoming tests and his future.

He would say, 
"He's just too young for this..."

I don't even think Trav saw the irony in his worry.

And I can't even tell you how many times he would come home broken hearted
over the loss of a friend at the Cancer Center, or just how he could tell someone was 
having a bad day or tough treatment.

And no matter if we were stretching ourselves incredibly thin trying to pay for a 
drug or a scan, Travis always wanted to give to someone else...,make sure others had 
what they needed.

He was compassionate and giving and selfless.

So as I've been wracking my brain on a way to make our year mark special.
The girls really wanted to do 'something'...but we've been struggling with the right thing.
It's easy to do something sad.
It's also easy to do something so big it ends up feeling like a party.
And clearly, it's not a day to have a party.

So after a panic text to my sister-she came up with the best idea,
and I think Travis would completely approve.

Next Saturday is a day of kindness/service in honor of Travis.
We would love for you to join us.

Buy someone lunch in the drive through line.
Rake someones leaves.
Take someone dinner.
Give someone a compliment.
Make someones day.

Please E-mail me ( a pic or story of your service,
or tag me on Facebook,
or Instagram it with the hashtag #travstrong #travservice

I am praying you all join us.
I can't picture anything more special then sitting with the ladies next 
weekend and sharing with them all the acts of service in their Dad's name.
A way to show them that he can still live on and he still inspires others.

Don't let me down and make me look stupid...ok?

Share this with others and let's make it a great day for T!