I was at work on September 3rd and I quickly checked my phone when we were bringing the kids in from outside. My dad rarely texts me unless he is extremely bored or actually has something serious to tell me. He said: "pray for uncle Paul, he has a major heart attack this morning". I said "oh my gosh" out loud and one little girl asked me if everything was okay. I put my phone away, and like the rest of my family I had to go on with the rest of my day in hopes that things were going to be okay.
When I got home later that evening, Haig and I did make some time to sit down and talk about what was going on and we prayed for my aunt, her sons, Paul's sons. Haig prayed for the doctors that were working so hard to help Paul. I had to go to a Relief Society presidency meeting. I got the text from Kayla during the meeting telling me that he didn't make it. My mom called just a minute later to tell me. I left the meeting and I just talked to her about what was going to happen the next couple of days. Selfishly, I knew I wouldn't be able to be there to support my aunt and her family if the events were later in the week, the first week of school. Mom assured me that we would figure something out.
I was suppose to meet up with Casey and Jocelyn after the meeting but I called to tell them I wouldn't be there. I hadn't told them what was going on before and when I did they were both very empathetic about the situation. Jocelyn even brought us some cheesecake the next day, even after finding out her grandmother had passed away. I was struck by her compassion to help me in a time of need, when she needed to be helped too.
We went golfing at Peakes on Saturday. On the drive there it started to hit me. I started to cry as we listened to a slow song about life, and what a great thing it is. My life really is beautiful and I think about that often. I thought about my Aunt Karen and how she must be feeling. I thought about my good friend and Paul's son Matthew and I thought about his big smile and his warm heart. I decided that I would think about Paul as I watched Haig golf. Paul loved to golf and so I started to cry when I realized that we would be doing something he loved to do.
We went to the wake in Moncton on Sunday September 6th. We made it to Moncton in the afternoon and we spent time with our family at the funeral home and then there was a service for Paul. I was so sad for my Aunt, but I was not surprised that at this time of grief and sorrow, despite this challenge, I was still looking up to her. I always will. She is one of the brightest, most hard working, compassionate people that I know. She cares so much about her family and friends. I am so glad to have such a wonderful Aunt.
We were unable to make it to the wake in Charlottetown the following day, but we went out to Aunt Karen's house to see them later in the evening. It was nice to be there with everyone and get to know some of Paul's friends and family. I was happy to be there with my own family, my parents, my brother, my sister and my husband. Like I said before, I really do know that I have a beautiful life. Some really terrible things happen. I know Paul would still want me to think that my life is beautiful and that I can be happy. I will miss him very much, he was such a wonderful man.
Haig loves this golf course that he learned about this summer. It's called Peakes Tee. It is about 30 minutes from our apartment in Peakes, PEI. He likes it because they have a great course for a really amazing price! They also have a sweet little diner that we ate at the first time we went out. We decided we needed to go out before the weather got too cold! We also knew we wouldn't have another free weekend for awhile. We started his first round at 11:00am-ish and then we ate some crossiants and apples we brought with us, and he finished up his second round at about 1:30pm (it's only a 9 hole golf course and $20 to play it twice!).
I hope you had lots of fun golfing this summer my husband. I hope we can get you out some more next summer, maybe a golf gift for Christmas this year... ;)
+ Read Anne of Green Gables. I was feeling inspired when I saw someone post a picture of the quote "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers". Haig bought me a really nice hard cover copy for my birthday. My friend Amberle has described me as a modern day Lucy Maud Montgomery and even Mindy Kailing wished she lived in the Anne of Green Gables book, and I quote " living on Prince Edward Island would be so bad a**. AND I HAVE LIVED ON PEI my WHOLE LIFE and I haven't even bother to read this book yet, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.
+Meal Plan every week this month, so that my husband knows whats up when I don't get home from work until 6pm.
+watch less netflix
+bake more, try new muffin recipes
+do something that makes me physically active at least once a week. I know, its pathetic right. In my defense I do work with kids so I find a lot of the time I am running around with them and doing something energetic, but lately I have been loving a good walk and also discovering new places around PEI, so I need to do some more of that.
+change my cell phone provider. this one is mostly just going on here because I need to do it stat.
Working full time and sending hubby to school has put a huge change in our schedule. I am really starting to enjoy my work at my after-school program. My kids are incredible, even though sometimes it is hard for me to get them to listen to me, I am amazed by their abilities and their characteristics. I work until 5:30 and sometimes I have to stay around a couple of extra minutes to clean up, and then it takes me about 20 minutes to drive home. Yeah, it's not very exciting but I don't mind it. The challenging part is getting home close to 6:00 and I am sooo hungry!
On Sunday afternoon, I sat down with the grocery flyers and planned our meals for the week. I really need to start planning meals like I did when we first got married. Life got a little busy this summer and I didn't write down our meal plan ever, and that worked out really well, but now that Haig is home before me, he can know what needs to be done for dinner before I even walk in the door. He has been doing a great job too.
So this is what my menu looked like this week:
well, it was pizza from a box but it was grocery shopping night so we didn't have a lot of time to make anything else if we wanted to get out and get our grocery shopping done at a decent time,
Tuesday: Tuna Casserole
I actually prepared this on Monday night after we got home from grocery shopping, so all Haig had to do was put it in the oven while I was driving home, It only took me approximately 7 minutes to prepare.
I hate to say I am making Haig "fend for himself", but I have a staff meeting tonight and there's lots of good and healthy food in the fridge. He will probably end up having toast and eggs.
I am really excited to make a meatloaf for the first time. I think I will prepare it tonight so all Haig has to do tomorrow is put it in the oven. I am using a recipe that is in a Relief Society cookbook, so it should be pretty good.
Friday: Date Night?
Okay, I will be honest I left this night blank in hopes for a date with my husband after a long week of work, but if we don't get out there's always pizza, or eggs and toast.,..
Saturday: Sister Missionaries for Dinner: Tuscan Stew and Biscuits
So, this sweet woman in my ward bought me a Campbell's soup recipe box for my bridal shower. Not all of the recipes look great, but we tried this one for Tuscan Stew last year and it was so yummy. I am going to try it again this weekend for the sister missionaries, because I mean who doesn't like warm and delicious, creamy stew and home made biscuits? I hope they like it.
Anyways, I don't really know why I chose to write about this this morning, but I guess I am just trying to convince myself I am doing a good job on this whole wife thing. At least I think I am.
Sophia, Laura, Jackie & Connie, I am so glad that you could all come visit us last week! It was so nice to see you all and spend some time with you. Haig loved walking with you in the afternoon Sophia, he thinks you are super sweet. We are so glad we could buy you your first COWS t-shirt. I hope you have it for a very long time. Come visit us any time.
Life is a collection of small, but passionate moments. If you're lucky, you will share these moments with someone who shares your passions. In time, you will find you have only one true passion. That is the person with whom you have shared these small, but passionate moments of life.
Oh hi there. We may not be around as much these days. Haig just started school at UPEI. He is studying business. Hopefully four years goes by as quick as my four years did! I also just started a new position at work as a supervisor at an after-school program. I have fifteen little rugrats all to myself. Yesterday was pretty crazy, but I liked it. I woke up very nervous and anxious to see them again today. Haig also doesn't have class three days a week until 10:30 so it is super challenging to let him sleep in while I get ready for work. I miss him so much, but it is just time to face the reality of our adult/working life!
Haig really likes to golf, part 2. Haig learned about a place called Peakes Tee. It seemed like a good practice course for him to check out. He wanted to go on Saturday morning, and so luckily I tagged along because it was basically our last "summer" Saturday together and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, even if that mean't walking around a golf course. We had a hard time finding the place, but with a couple of text messages to a friend who lives nearby, we eventually found it and Haig started to play! It was sweet course, Haig really enjoyed it. Apparently they do only rent golf carts to seniors, but we enjoyed walking together and I enjoyed learning more about this sport and hobby that he likes so much. We also ate lunch at the restaurant after. Haig got a volcano burger and I had a chicken burger (the chicken breast was the size of my hand!). The weather was really great that morning too. It wasn't too hot, but just cool enough for a light sweater.
All of the walking must have made me pretty tired. I fell asleep on the car ride home and I fell on the couch as soon as we got home and took a two hour nap! Well worth it though, I love watching my husband play golf!
I was super excited when Andy Brown announced his Canadian Tour dates for his new album "Run". I know that last time he played on PEI he played at Trailside Cafe. I wasn't really sure what it would be like because I ha never been out to Trailside before, but I heard lots of good things. I was really sad when his show sold out quickly for the end of August. I was browsing on facebook a couple of days later and I found out he added a second show at the cafe for September 2nd. I knew we had to go see him.
Trailside Cafe is about a 25 minute drive from where we live, so we got cleaned up after getting home from work and we made our way up to eat some dinner there. Haig and I shared the Gouda Lady Mac'N'Cheese and The Carnivore thin crust pizza. The mac'n'cheese was seriously the best thing. Next time I am craving mac'n'cheese (like mostly all the time), I will be thinking of that one. Later in the evening, we also got some fresh blueberry cheesecake.
The opening act was a young group called the Elusive Kings. They were really great. It was really nice to see this young vibrant talent and these young men supporting each other in their goals of becoming great musicians and performers.
I really started to understand why Andy played at Trailside Cafe during his first couple of songs. When I first started to listen to his music I would go to his shows at crowded bars with rowdy listeners. The genre of his new album has matured, and Trailside Cafe was the perfect place for him to showcase it. His songs are mellow, sweet, risky and playful. Andy Brown was accompanied by Tian Wigmore. I loved the songs from his new album, but I also really enjoyed listening to his older songs that I have listened to for a long time.
Next time, I will be more careful and get tickets as soon as possible.
Thanks for a wonderful night Andy Brown & Trailside Cafe.
photo courtesy of Trailside Cafe. we are sitting right by the window with the white curtain
I left on September 4th 2012 to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Minneapolis Minnesota Mission. At that time I knew only very little of what the next two years would contain. I knew it would be hard, but how hard I knew not. I knew I would struggle, but how hard I knew not. I knew I would grow, but how much I knew not. I knew I would miss her, but how much I knew not.
You are told a lot of things growing up as a young man of our faith, specifically around serving a mission. You are told that you will grow, you will change, you will mature, you will be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are even told by some that the girl you leave at home will become someone else's wife. These notions become truth to you, as if they will just happen. As if you don't have a say in the matter.
It's not quite true.
The truth is, you can do all of those things. You can grow. You can mature. You can change, and yes, the girl you leave behind can leave you for a much more handsome, mature and put together young man.
However, I am completely convinced that the outcome of your mission, in these ways and many more is dependent upon your faith. You may be the missionary, the loving father or mother. You may be the brother. sister, aunt or uncle. You may even be the missionary's girl. But a missionary's success is dependent on the faith of everyone involved.
My experience stems from the obvious, "boy leaves girl" scenario. When I was serving, I was often asked questions like;
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
yes I do.
"Do you miss her?"
"Will she be there when you get home?"
Yes. Yes she will.
The truth is I decided early on that I would refuse to miss Alyssa. I knew that I loved her, and she loved me. I decided to place my faith in that love and move on. I am not perfect from time to time I would have an "Oh my goodness I miss her" moment, but I refused to let them stay. To dwell on it would mean that my faith is weakening. Worrying shows no faith. Doubt is opposed to faith.
During my service we both changed. Change and growth come rapidly when you are serving the Lord in such a dedicated way. Myself as a missionary and Alyssa as a loving supporter. Through all of our change and growth we were growing closer and more alike. Missionary service teaches a young man a great deal about dedication. Never before in my life had I been called upon to dedicate this amount of myself to anything. A missionary gives more than can be measured. You can measure the time, the money, the suits and the shoes purchased. You can even measure doors knocked, and lessons taught. Some may give up employment, scholarships or other opportunities. Some give up precious time with family, friends and loved ones. But you cannot measure the most important things. The love given to those whom you serve, the heartache that comes when they turn away.
I gave all of these things. As my mission came to a close, I needed something to continue to give to when I could no longer give to my mission. I gave my all to Alyssa.
I am convinced that God kept her for me because I never allowed myself to doubt that she would be there for me when I got home. I loved too much to doubt her.
I am grateful, and will be forever to her for her faith in me. My success came from her faith, just as her success came from mine.
I came home September 3rd 2014, one year ago today. We were married in the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple, for time and all Eternity on February 21st 2015. Our success continues to be dependent on each others' faith and I wouldn't have it any other way.