Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We're Half Way!!!

So today marks the half way point of Chase's externship! 3 weeks down; 3 to go. I know the 3 weeks have probably been a bit slower for Chase, but they've flown by quicker than I expected. It helped to have "distractions" like school, my mom coming into town, and friends and family nearby who have really been looking out for me. I can only hope that these next 3 weeks fly by for Chase as well as me. In the first 3 weeks Chase celebrated his 25th birthday and in the next 3 weeks I'll celebrate my 26th. Crazy to not be with one another for such occasions, but I think Chase will agree that this absence really has made us both appreciate one another more.Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. Here are things I've grown fonder of since Chase has been gone:

*Chase's serenading...yep, you heard it right. Chase sings more around the house than I do.
*Cuddling up on our love seat to watch TV or a movie.
*Making dinners for someone...I don't cook now since it's just me...there's just no point. I do miss cooking, but I guess not enough to just cook for myself :)
*Waking up to a smile. The house is pretty empty at night and in the mornings.
*Hugs. Chase gives good hugs. (Especially since my secondary love language is touch!)
*Chase attempting to sing the words of "Lullaby" by Billy Joel.
*Watching this season of Smallville...The episodes are mounting up on Chase's parents DVR for us to watch when he gets back!
*Being able to call or talk whenever we want.

I miss you babe. Keep up the amazing work! And remember, just 21 more days!

Enjoy some pictures of my Chasers...I mean come on, who wouldn't miss this?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Funeral

For those of my family not present, including my husband, here are some pictures I took at the graveside ceremony. Although yesterday was predominately rainy, the clouds subsided thankfully while we were at the cemetery.
Jason's wife, Angie, and their son Zach. Zach was such a sweetheart...though he may act like a tough guy, he was balling throughout the services yesterday.

The Pallbearers

Grandma taking it all in with cousin Sidney.

The $2 Uncle Dee found in Grandpa's safety deposit box. Dee gave one to each of his siblings.

May the Lord bless you and keep you Grandpa.

Thank you to all those who reached out to me and my family yesterday. It was a pretty draining day but I felt buoyed up by the love you extended.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honoring my Grandpa

This past week has been a whirlwind. Chase and I finally Skyped with one another on Wednesday mid morning (such a tender mercy to get to Skype before all this went down) and before I could talk to Chase again the following had happened: My parents called to inform me my grandpa had been emitted into the hospital for aspirated pneumonia; I visited him for an hour or so after work; my mom booked a flight because the doctors were giving my grandpa 1-3 days to live but instead he lived only a few more hours. Sadly, my mom did not get to talk to her father one last time before he passed. Since she came into town we have been squaring away everything for the funeral and visiting with family. Today is the funeral. I'm just tying up lose ends at work then I'm headed home to get ready.

I wanted to take the chance to honor my grandpa for a moment. He's the only grandpa I ever really knew growing up. My father's dad died when I was 5 or so. I will always remember my grandpa's love for BYU as well as the love and support he always showed me in my educational and career pursuits.

Yesterday I had the chance to go help dress him in his temple attire with my mom. I was glad I was there to support my mom as she had a chance to finally say "goodbye" to her dad. It was such a neat experience to see for myself how true the scriptures are when they state that our body is just a tabernacle of clay for our body. Without our spirit it is just an empty vessel. I was grateful to dress my grandpa in the clothes he loved wearing the most. I will never forget his desire to serve the Lord whether through church callings or through going to the temple. I know he is happy now to have strength to spread the gospel on the other side.
I will miss you Grandpa!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A fiesta!

Last Monday we had a fiesta with friends. Our fiesta wasn't on Cinco de Mayo obviously, but it was in honor of my Mexican friend Emily's 26th birthday! We enjoyed bbq, homemade salsa, and delicious fruit as well as birthday cake and cupcakes.

Afterwards we enjoyed breaking a pinata. Kim and Emily did the honors. Once Kim knocked the pinata down, Jason took a sledge hammer to it...quite effective in getting the candy out for all to enjoy.
Kim, Jack, Emily, and Flat Sofia (Emily's niece's school project)

Kim successfully knocked the pinata down, then Jason destroyed it with his sledge hammer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Welcome Owen Kyle Wright!

Luckily our friend Kendra Wright went into labor a week early so Chase was around to see the Wrights' little bundle of joy before he left. Kendra and Miles welcomed into this world little Owen Kyle Wright on Friday, April 30th at 4:39 pm. He weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. I feel I should share these stats since they never update their blog :) We were lucky enough to stop by and see them in the hospital and I got to hold little Owen (Chase was encouraged to hold him by all of us, but he was too scared to hold such a fragile little guy). It's been so exciting to watch Owen grow from being a blastocyst, to a little fetus name Voltron, to now a little boy. Congrats you guys!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Praising Mother

Happy Mothers' Day everyone! I would like to say thank you to all my friends and family out there who are mothers or are working towards becoming mothers. Thank you for your example. I have so many women around me that I look up to and one day hope to be like when I become a mother.

Today I feel I should especially thank my mom. For those who don't know Elena Johnson Smith, she is my mother. Like me, she graduated from BYU not married, and so she pursued a Masters in Advertising (She and my father both have passed onto their children a love of learning). She taught at a college in Washington before becoming a mother--a mother of 5 children, 4 of which are boys. If raising us wasn't enough she also helped provide for our family by teaching first at the middle school we all attended and currently at Kimberlin Academy (an elementary school in my hometown). When she isn't teaching she is playing Grandma to 11 grandkids or coaching Chase on how to put up with me :)!

Thanks to my mother I have a love for baking (especially breads), a desire to sew, and a love for animals (how she was ever patient enough to allow us all the animals we had in our suburban home I will never understand). I can't wait to have a child one day so that my mom can also pass on to me her wisdom when it comes to raising children. I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Series of Recaps: A Visit to the Tulip Festival

Now that the hubby is gone I have time to blog about our recent outtings and such. So here's the first of a series of recaps.
So, I love flowers. My favorite class at BYU was "Floral Design". So naturally I look forward every year to when Thanksgiving Point's big electronic sign starts advertising for their annual Tulip Festival. I've been three years now--2o07, 2009, and 2010. This year we went with Chase's family. Sadly, this was when I was experiencing an ulcer, but it was still a great outting. Kinda wish I would have had a segway though like when I first went to the Festival back with Emily Haycock Russon in 2007 rather than having to walk with the ulcer pain. Oh well :) Enjoy some pics from our outting!
Capturing Gabe's fun personality. Got to love his laugh!

Chase playing his favorite game--waiting to the very last minute to catch the stroller rolling down numerous little hills all the while with Gabe inside. Definitely not a mother's favorite game :)

Thanks to the workers at Thanksgiving Point we were able to find the horned owl that is nesting by the waterfalls. So cool!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Officially On My Own

Bear with me, this is a long one. It's more of a personal entry so that I can express all the feelings I'm having right now.

So, after a crazy week of me getting sick and Chase trying to get little errands done, Chase officially left for Ukraine yesterday morning. His flight was at about 8:45 am, so I drove him to the airport at around 5:45 am. He sadly got through security in like 5 minutes so he spent about 2 hours waiting at the airport, but what can ya do when your wife has to be to work by 7:15 am?

It hadn't hit me that we'd be parting ways for 6 weeks until the night before he left. Reality finally did set in that night though as we tried to soak up the finals hours we had. I'll be honest, every so often I tear up as I think about the fact that he's gone for 42 days (well 41 as of today), but then I think about our friends the Fishers who faced being apart for 5 months and think, "I can do this!" Luckily, we experienced a definite tender mercy this week in finding out that Chase's apartment will have internet (come next Tuesday), something we assumed he wouldn't have causing Skype to be nearly impossible.

I have to express my gratitude to those who called or texted yesterday. Thank you for thinking of me. But please, pray for Chase. I know I'll make it through these next few weeks because of my busy schedule and friends and family nearby, but I worry more for Chase who will be alone in Ukraine. He emailed me today the following that just broke my heart:

"Sveta's uncle picked me up from the airport and he drove me to my apartment so that I could drop off my bags. We then went to exchange money and then go buy groceries. He left at about 2:30 my time and that is when it hit me: I was alone. Have you ever felt that way? Surrounded by millions of people but feel like you are completely and utterly alone?"

So please pray that he meets welcoming people in the international branch in Ukraine that will invite him over at times and will make his trip more enjoyable. Pray that he will have a chance to see old friends from the mission. Pray that his Russian will return quickly to him. Pray for his safety. And pray that he will confidently be able to learn the Ukrainian laws in order to be an asset to the firm he will be working for.

I am so grateful for my sweet husband. I am grateful that he offered to give me a blessing yesterday morning. I am especially grateful for his thoughtfulness. I came to find out yesterday that he planned ahead in order to make our parting less difficult on me. Before we said goodbye he handed me a note to read that informed me that there would be surprises throughout the day to help cheer me up. During my second period I received this beautiful bouquet with a note wishing me a happy Mothers' day with sweet words to lift my spirits.
Then I was informed that I had to be home by 3:45 pm in order for Danielle, our cousin, to pick me to take us both to get pedicures. I've secretly been wanting one for awhile so I'm glad Chase read my mind.
(I know many of you don't really want to see my feet, but this picture is for Chase so he can see the color of my toes :) )

What a sweetheart! I really lucked out when I married Chase! It's gestures like these that make 6 weeks seem forever long to be apart. But let the countdown begin...41 days and counting!