Monday, September 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for Chase's family. Late last month we were told that Chase's maternal grandmother's cancer had returned and unfortunately had spread throughout her body. As a result, they gave her 2-3 weeks to live. After about 4 weeks of fighting it, this morning at 6:30AM she passed from this world and into the next.

Although we wish her time on earth could have been longer, we look at these past few weeks as a tender mercy from the Lord. Elaine was able to have her family around her constantly, which I know brought her so much comfort. And it definitely allowed Chase and I time to feel closure. It also allowed me to share my musical gift with Grandma. See, Grandma Stratford has truly blessed not only her family but countless individuals with her musical talents, and so to bring comfort one day Chase and I went over so that I could sing for Grandma. I realized that in the 3 years of us knowing one another, we had never shared this love for music together. So I'm grateful for that afternoon. And I'm grateful for the generous love that she showed me since we very first met--exactly 3 years ago during General Conference. She truly will be missed. It makes my heartache to think that our future children will not be blessed by her crocheting skills--that I won't be able to wrap up a baby in one of her blankets. But I know that we will feel her love wrapped around us throughout the precious moments in our lives that we would want to share with her. I'm grateful to the Lord for the time I've had in knowing Elaine and in calling her Grandma.
Elaine is on the left in this picture.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's News

My brother is famous!! Check it out...he was featured on this website today for his sweet surfin skills down in G-town (Galveston).In other news, Chase and I couldn't be more excited for our favorite show's season premiere tonight! You better believe we'll be campin out in front of the TV tonight at 7pm before racing off to my intramural volleyball game. Good times! Enjoy the weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Family Reunited

So, at the end of July/beginning of August we were able to travel home to Texas for a Smith family gathering. We started out our trip in Dallas where we were able to spend time with family and catch up with my old friend Audra from high school.

During our visit in Dalls we met Winston, the newest addition to Jeff's family. Chase loves bulldogs, so it was love at first sight for the two of them. His lazy, fat self sure did keep us laughing.
We also went and watched "Despicable Me" in 3D. Hands down, movies are ten times funnier when you see them with little kids. There was so many of us that we took up an entire row, and then some.
We then headed down south to Surfside, TX a city near Galveston. We rented a beach house big enough for all 22 of us. We spent our days playing with the kiddos on the beach. Here's little Ollie who had grown so so much since we saw him last Thanksgiving.
One night we went "Ghost Crab Hunting". It's where the kids walk around with flashlights until they find a crab that is transparent (hence ghost crab). Then they scream and chase it until they catch it. Regardless of age, the kids were fearless and would pick the crabs up with their bare hands.
Each night a different couple was in charge of cooking. Needless to say we ate well all week. The night Chase and I were in charge we felt we should introduce the family to one of our favorite desserts--Pazzokis. We made big pans full of cookie and poured the ice cream on top and let the kids go at it. It was utter chaos!
A night of smores!
Brad and Karrie's fish's presentation was quite remarkable.
The row of beach houses lit up at night.
We were able to put Jeff's expensive hobby (photography) to good use this trip. Here are some family photos we took one evening.
Here's our beach house.
And now presenting, the infamous sailboat my dad bought shortly before our reunion (may it rest in peace now). It was quite the adventure lugging the thing from Dallas to the coast, but we made it safely and enjoyed a week of sailing with the boat only tipping once.

Much of our indoor time was playing games, including Rock Band. It's pretty crazy when your little nephews can rock out with you!
I sure can't wait for the next Smith family gathering!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Resolution Completed

So, I must backtrack quite a bit in these next few posts. Maybe I'll catch up to the present soon, but I'm not counting on it. These past few weeks have been quite busy with work, family matters, and life in general. Plus, I don't want blogging to turn into a distraction like Sis. Beck warned against at our Regional Broadcast on Sunday. Thus my updates will probably be spaced out and used as a means of keeping track of events for our "Yearbook" I make each year and as a release from the stress of life. Hopefully I will be able to update you on the past 2 months...here goes:

One of my 2010 New Year's Resolutions was to run a 10k. When I found out that my aunt Val had rounded up most of her family to run the Deseret News Pioneer Run on Saturday I quickly jumped at the chance to run with family. It's funny how once you pay for an event like this your motivation to train increases tremendously. Once it's paid for there's no going back. I am happy to say that the training paid off. Not only did I run the whole way but I finished quicker than I expected. My time was around 1:07 (I never was able to find my offical time). I was also happy with the fact that I wasn't sore afterwards and I was able to sprint the last leg. Here are some pre-race pictures of the fam and our victory breakfast afterwards.