Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aches and heartaches

So I wake up in the middle of the night with a mean stomach-ache. I just want to sleep. I'm so tired I can't tell you how tired. I need my sleep. But no - I have a stomach-ache, and sleep is not easily coming.

This morning, I am finally sleeping, for a while at least. The little boys stayed home from church with me, so in between sleeping, I am also feeding Jonnie his Cheerios and milk. I finally drag myself out of bed when the bowl he brought me is emptied but I still don't feel like doing anything at all. Daisy has turned on "Cheaper By The Dozen" - the old version - which I love, so I put my contacts in and curl up on the couch to watch it with her.  I love the look on his face as he holds baby #12 and his wife looks over his shoulder down at the baby.  Such a precious picture of love.

When the movie is over I spy my computer. I feel like someone hit the back of my neck with a very big stick and my whole body feels swollen, but I can lounge on the couch with my laptop right?

Really, I feel awful, and want to do nothing but go back to bed. But as awful as I feel, I feel lucky too. My sweet friend Sheila told me yesterday that her daughter's husband is facing lymphoma. Cancer is such an ugly form of torture, and having the body aches is such a minimal thing to deal with when others face such life and death illness. I look at my husband sitting on the couch and think how blessed I am that he is healthy. And happy. This year has definitely had some major life changes for us both, but especially for him. He has struggled and it has been so heartwrenching to watch him.

And lets be honest. Sometimes I've just been super angry at him for the way he has dealt (or not dealt) with certain things.


But all of that doesn't matter when I see him crawl around the floor, laughing and chasing Jonnie.  Or when he wakes me up with a kiss to tell me goodbye before he leaves for work.  And the things I get upset about become completely insignificant and outright stupid when I think how it would be to face having him ill with cancer, and staring death in the face.

He's not. I'm grateful more than I can say. And my heart aches more than my body right now for my friend Camille and her family and the reality they face. So say a prayer for Camille and Ralph, and for their family.

I'm going to snuggle up on Ry's lap right now and enjoy the time I have with him.

BTW, the photos is from a day when he was being an impromptu model for me as I scoped out decent angles at a difficult location where I'll be shooting an upcoming wedding. He didn't realize I was taking a photo just at this moment though, and I liked it. SOOC without any editing, and horrible lighting, but it's a picture of him and I love it just for that.  He's so completely supportive no matter what hair-brained idea I come up with or new adventure I start out on. Thanks Babe!

Rachel

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stillness









Tuweap overlook of the Grand Canyon, photo by me, of course.
Fun fact for you - I'm afraid of heights. 

No, that's not true. 

I'm petrified of heights. Yes, I think that says it a little better.  

Have you ever driven on a mountain road when it's zig-zagging up the side of the mountain and one side is up against the side of the cliff and the other side is a sheer drop off and every time the wheels on the car spin they shoot a bit of gravel off the side of the road and you can watch it fall gently down the side of the mountain as though it hasn't a care in the world nor does it know that in a moment it will be pummeling into the earth below and as a result will probably no longer even be a rock but a bit of powder for the wind to blow away? (And yes I know that was a run on sentence but that's about how much goes through my brain every time the wheels on the van turn, so pretty please, bear with me.) It scares me to pieces and I really prefer that Ryan drive on these roads, when I am asleep, and never tell me we ever drove on that particular road in the first place. 

But I'm straying. Fear of heights is not what this is about today.... it's about our outing to the Grand Canyon, which thankfully did not entail a drive up a zig-zaggy cliff. 

So, lucky us - and I mean that - we had friends and family come visit us for the weekend and they took us on a drive out to Tuweap (or Toroweap as you sometimes see it spelled).  This particular view of the Grand Canyon is stunning, and totally worth the long-ish drive to get there.  The pictures I took really don't do it justice. 



Ryan and Jonnie, overlooking the Colorado River


So imagine this. Me - petrified of losing someone over the edge, and 15 kids -  7 of whom are mine, all running loose at the edge of a 3000 foot drop off. My idea of a fun time!

For the first 20 minutes, I panicked. A lot. And told myself to breathe. A lot.
Because otherwise I was a little bit out of my mind.





But after they got all their wiggles out from the car ride and got tired of looking over the cliff, they started running around inland. Then, I was finally able to enjoy it. 

The Grand Canyon is breathtaking, to say the least. I simply cannot wrap my brain around 
how this river cut so deep into the sandstone, and between the wind and rushing water, the canyon was 
formed.  It's incredible. 

It's also peaceful. And still.  That is probably what struck me most - the stillness.

After the kids all went back to the truck for lunch and I knew that Ryan had Jonnie, I had a few moments to just sit. And look. And as I sat on the ledge looking northward, I knew that somewhere down below branches were rustling in the wind and a bird was fluttering by. There were probably even chipmunks running around, or a lizard lying in the sun. But I couldn't see any of it. Everything was still, and being there helps your mind become still too. 

Enjoy the pics.  I hope that just for a moment, you can imagine being there, and enjoy the peacefulness and stillness that we need in our lives every once in a while. 

Hugs,
Rachel

PS... there are some other shots of the kids there.  Thanks for coming to visit us y'all!
Laura, sitting at the edge of the drop off.


See the boat in the water near the bottom of the picture? Yes, it's there. Look again.

Here it is "up close". Now, I have a super zoom camera, and this is as close as I could get to the boat. 
Hopefully this gives you a perspective of how deep and wide the canyon and river are at this point. 
(There are deeper sections of the canyon.)

And a few more just for fun. 

Ty, Ta, Ash - three buddies.

Boston, enjoying a nice cold root beer. 
Jonnie and Braelin in the "peek-a-boo" rock.

My cousin Kaitlyn stayed the weekend and went with us.  Fun to see you Kait!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Red Headed Angels

I thought about what to post today, what in my life is interesting enough to share right now? Which workouts we did this morning?  (Pilates for muffin tops and Kickboxing). The stress about how to pay the bills?  (I don't want to think about it much less write about it!)  Job interview yesterday? (Blah!) My cute kids and how adorable they are? (Every post could be about that!!)

But then I remembered, it's August 17th! And it just so happens that today is the birthday of not one - but TWO amazing red heads!!  So, this post is for them.

To my beautiful niece Jerusha on her 17th birthday - you are an amazingly talented artist with such a giving heart.  You look at things with such wonder and see beyond the color the eyes see to the color the heart sees. You find beauty and inspiration in the people around you as well as the world around you, and you have so much to give.  Your personality pops and your smile can't help but make others smile with you.  May the next year bring you happiness and ever closer to our Savior.  Happy Birthday!  (And I don't have ANY pics of you, so next time you come down..... lets go take some :)


Best buds!  Jaden is a miniature version of her mom. 
To my dear friend Tiffanie who I miss so much - Tiff is just one of those people that make you say "I want to be more like her when I grow up!" I prayed that Glen would marry an angel and he did.  Tiff, you have one of the most kind, thoughtful, and caring hearts I know.  Your strength of heart is exceeded only by your beauty and talent. I don't think you know still how much your phone calls and visits and hanging out with me helped me not to go crazy with PPD after Carolina was born. Your support and love have been so helpful over the years. If I had a tenth of the energy, compassion, devotion, consistency, and preparation that you have, I'd be so much better off! You are amazing and hold a special place in both mine and Ryan's hearts. Your kids are beautiful, and funny as well.  I'm glad Tali will always have his special Jaden friend.

I hope this year you will embrace your talent with photography and not only have fun with it but be confident enough to make some money with it because you certainly have the talent and ability for it!  I hope also that I'll be able to come up for a bit and visit, or that you'll be able to come down here. I truly do miss you.  Happy Birthday!

Lots of love to you all...

Rachel

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fave

It's Friday, and I decided that I would post one of my favorite pics from each week on Friday. Now, the picture I wish I had to post, is one from last night. You see, we went to the county fair, and the kids all entered the ice cream eating contest.  Anyone who knows Ryan and I should not be surprised to hear that four of the kids won either first or second place in their age group on how fast they could down a bunch of ice cream.  Even little sweet, innocent Carolina -  my dainty princess - shoved those ice cream sandwiches in her mouth as fast as possible, and with ice cream dripping all over her face and hands, she stood up and won first place.

But alas, I forgot to grab my camera as we walked out the door. So... here is my Fave Friday pic.

It's of the monument at Mountain Meadows here in Southern Utah.  Not the most pleasant event to remember... but the field trip out there was a neat experience and I love that the feeling of the place came across in the photo.

Enjoy!
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