Saturday, May 19, 2018

One more princess in the world

It's that time again. It's been a few years since William and Catherine  got married. But the world has been all abuzz with a new royal wedding.  Whatever your opinion of the Royal Family is, you have to be rooting for this couple. If not, you're just heartless.

Like his brother, Harry has just had a tough time. Silver spoons aren't always an indicator of a charmed life. I can't imagine what this family has to endure. The "fishbowl" as I've heard it called.

It took me a long time to get on board with Megan (because Harry is totally dependent on my opinion) (Ok, maybe Harry isn't, but the Queen definitely is) but all I hope for them is happiness.

Image result for harry and meghan

Best Wishes Harry and Megan,

Love, Your Cousin (who, yes, will be up at 2:00 am watching the entire wedding procession)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

That one time I wrote about my Dad

Guess what? The blog is back! I have a new computer- donated by a very generous (and crazy) friend whom I love and adore to the ends of the earth and back.  I've really missed writing. I don't know if I'll try to go back and blog the last year's worth of stuff, or just start from here... but anyway, I'm back baby!

And it's not an entirely sweet return. Do you know who one of my biggest fans was? My dad. Do you know who isn't around to read my blog any more? My dad.  I've been meaning to post for quite a while now, but I haven't been able to find the words.

For my dad's obituary- which I wrote- click here

The most common question that we got from everyone was, "Was he sick?" No. No. It was totally out-of-the-blue unexpected. I mean, he had health issues, sure. But nothing more than any average day. Tuesday he mowed the front lawn, Wednesday he mowed the back lawn. Thursday he went to both choir rehearsals, did some church stuff and watched the ballgame. At 11 that night he came up from his man cave, told my mom goodnight and went to bed. The next morning my mom got up, puttered around doing mom stuff and in the late morning thought, "geez, he doesn't usually sleep this late." Dad would stay in his room and listen to the radio or play on his ipad, but usually he'd come out for breakfast. She went in to see if he was ok...

and he was gone.

Just like that.

When the responders came, they told her it was most likely a silent heart attack. If he felt anything it at all, it was maybe some mild discomfort- but he very likely felt nothing at all and just went peacefully. Everyone says, "well, if you have to go, that's the way to go."

But why did he have to go?

You know, you have conversations through life, which is better? watching someone linger and be sick, but having your chance to make peace with it and saying goodbye, or having them gone suddenly without suffering. Well. I've done both now. They both suck.

Yeah, yeah, he's with my sister. He's with his parents and his brothers... but no goodbye? No warning at all. No chance to make sure he knew I really loved him. He annoyed the hell out of me a lot of the time and often I was pretty short with him. But he was my daddy. I loved him. He tried so hard to give us a good life. And though we didn't take trips around the world or have all the trendiest things, we were well fed (obviously) and we never had to worry about having a place to live.

He was gone a lot when I was a kid. He worked as a traveling salesman and was on the road a week, home a week and had sales meetings in Utah every other weekend. But when he was home, he was there. He played ball with us, teased us and watched movies with us. My first movie memory was going to see Star Trek with Dad and Melanie. He loooooved James Bond and watched it all the time. I remember watching it with him as a kid thinking, I shouldn't be watching this! But I wanted to be with dad.

I don't know about my brothers and sisters, but when he was in town, he'd help coach my softball team. He never missed a game. At least none that I remember. All the way down to his grandkids- if he was around, he was at the game. For my little brother he even traveled the country for games. Same with my oldest niece. He heckled and teased, but he was good guy. He taught us to play ball, tennis, marbles... poker... that was fun. Playing poker with dad. The last time we played was the first time I ever beat him.

When my sister in law, Lisa called me that Friday... I was just pulling up to the order window for lunch. She told me to pull over and brace myself. Okay..? 
She asked, "Are you sitting? are you safe?"
Yes.
"Heather. You're dad is gone. He's passed away."
What? My dad? It took a little bit to sink in. At first I thought she was talking about her dad.
She repeated. "He's gone. You're dad is gone."
My dad? Craige Baker?
"Yes. He's gone."  I burst into tears. I'm sitting there sobbing in the McDonald's parking lot. She made sure I was ok. I was able to ask what happened. They didn't know at that point. The first responders were still at the house. I pulled myself together and called my boss to let him know I would not be back to work and I didn't know when I would return. 

You know, work is work... but I honestly love my job. They have been so good and understanding through this whole thing. They took up a collection for me, signed a card and bought me a beautiful plant. Which I will do my darndest not to kill.

I got the phone call at about 11:15 and I was home- home home- by 2:30. That is some fast moving and driving on my part.  I was able to stay home for the week and help my mom. Well, she said I was a help. I didn't feel like I was doing much. I wrote things. That's what I can do. I wrote the death notice for the newspaper. I wrote the social media announcement and I wrote the obituary. As the week progressed and plans came together I wrote the funeral program and my sister's half of the life sketch.

People kept asking me if I was going to speak. Heck no! I wrote the program! I got to call the shots who spoke! Ha! Not me! Just kidding- we all participated. Even my little nephews each had a significant hand in the funeral. The oldest, 12,  asked if he could speak. We collected sweet memories from each grandchild and he read them at the funeral. The second grandson actually picked out my dad's casket. That first day when we went to the mortuary to see dad, we wandered around the showroom floor for a bit and my nephew found one and said, "I think grandpa would like that one." This kid is eight. He shouldn't have to think of things like that... but ultimately, it was the casket we chose.  When discussing a song for the funeral, we put it to the kids to pick one they knew. The youngest grandson, 6, picked the song Gethsemane. It was honestly the most perfect, and beautiful song they could have sung. Even my almost 4 year old niece knew the words and was able to sing out. It was so special that they were able to contribute so sweetly.


I always knew people liked my dad. He was charming and silly. Kids loved him because he could talk like Donald Duck. I'd forgotten that until people starting talking about it. At the viewing so many people commented about how much he'd helped them and how much they loved him. You know, he was my dad and I was around him a lot- so he got annoying... same jokes over and over (for which I blame him that I am the exact. same. way) but so many people loved him.

His passing came as a shock to everyone. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. But we'd get messages like, "I just saw him the other day at a funeral!" "He was in rare form at choir last night!" just devastating to so many people.

Not many people knew that my dad was in the military- so when we had him all decked out in a flag and had military rites performed at the cemetery, it was very solemn. It was the most beautiful thing and I think my dad would have been tickled pink by it. Usually the honor guard consists of a few veterans who fold the flag, play Taps on a CD and present the flag to the family. Well, like I said, a lot of people loved my dad. There were probably 20 veterans and active duty representatives at the cemetery, saluting as my dad arrived. I already knew I was going to be a mess for this part. So I just kept to myself.


They seated my mom under the awning and made the speeches- thanking him for his service, and her for her sacrifice. My dad may never have seen active duty, but he spent a lot of years in the reserves and that's still a lot of time away from family and serving his country. I can't remember the exact order of things, but there was a gun salute, a live bugler playing Taps (a very good friend of the family- who when he heard it was going to be a recording, asked if he could play), and then the folded the flag and presented it to my mom. The gentleman who took it from the uniformed soldier and presented it to my mom, was another very good friend of my dad's. If I had not been standing directly behind mom, I would not have been able to hear his words. He was so choked up that he had difficulty presenting it to her. After him, a member of each military branch represented knelt before my mom and offered condolences. It was honestly the most beautiful thing. Such an honor to my dad, and a beautiful way to share that with my mom and my family.

When the time came to lay boutonnieres and roses on the casket, I ugly cried. I mean, I'd ugly cried before that several times- but I try not to do that in public. Even my little nephews felt it.


Now that a couple of weeks have gone, I still get teary eyed. I will for a long time. I'll never stop missing my daddy. But the times I think of my nieces and nephews- that's when the ugly cry comes out again. I was really ripped off in the grandpa department. Neither of my Grandfathers were very stellar guys- but my nieces and nephews had a fantastic grandpa. And now they'll go the rest of their lives without him. The littler ones will only vaguely remember him- if they remember him at all. My mom's dad died when I was seven and I hardly remember him. That's what breaks my heart the most. That they don't get to have their grandpa. That is what I find unfair. And there is one who will never even get to meet him...

Stop. I can't even...

So there it is. If you walk by and see me crying in the corner, just throw a tissue at me and walk on by. Don't stop to console- because I'll just feel stupid- just let me cry in peace. It's still just so weird to me that he's gone.

So weird.

So.

Weird.


But thank you thank you thank you- all of those who have expressed love, kind words and serious acts of service for my family. We didn't have to cook for a week! Thank heaven for the Mormons! We had people bring food in, and then more food... and then someone else would come in with food. I've grown up around hundreds of weddings and I've still never seen (or eaten) so much cake. Thank you for the prayers and kind wishes. They really are appreciated- even if we can't acknowledge every single one. Thank you. And thank you to those who will continue to keep track of my mom while I'm not there. I don't think she'll ever even have the chance to get lonely. I hope not.

Again, Thank you.

And daddy, I'll miss you.




Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 a year in Facebook Statuses

January

Today starts a new year. All fresh with no mistakes in it… Yet. Good luck!

I'm going to get caught up on my blog if it kills me!

One more hallmark movie for the road. #theninelivesofchristmas

ilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjobilovemyjob

I've had a string of rough days, but today- Friday the 13th of all days- was a great, great day. I'm sure my luck won't last- but it was a nice change of pace to have such a lovely day. ☺️ it will go down in history as the best Friday the 13th ever! And yes, I waited till after midnight to post this so the universe wouldn't see it as a challenge.

Do you remember what you were doing three years ago this very minute? I do. I know I probably talk about it too much. And I'm not looking for attention or sympathy (ok, maybe a little, or I wouldn't be posting this on social media), but I miss my sister. Three years without my best friend. I'm grateful for the time I had with her, and I constantly have to remind myself that she is out of pain, but the selfish beast in me would have her back.

It seems as though some people only exist to make your life hell. Congratulations, irritating human. You're succeeding.

Just went to the dentist and my face is numb up to my ears. #ICantTellifImDrooling

Well, Boys and girls. It's unofficially official that Greece is not happening this year. Not because I've been denied my promotion in the VL club, but because the universe has decided to deny me the simple pleasure of having something to look forward to. I WILL however be celebrating the arrival of a new washing machine. yaaaaay. 😕

Pity party is over. Who's ready for some volleyball?!?!?

February

Still feeling the effects of 2016. Any time I see a picture of a beloved celeb, or church leader on Facebook I think, "oh crap, did he/she die!?! Oh... It's just a quote. Whew!"

I have a really personal confession to make: (avert your eyes if you blush easily) Sometimes I think about skipping flossing.😁

It's #oscars night! (Please be better than last year) 🎥🎬💃🏆

March

The *only* good thing about 1:00 church is daylight savings doesn't suck as bad that first day. (Speaking for those without littles, of course).

Well, it happened. I found a musical i don't like. I watched Chicago when I was fresh off the mish and didn't care for it. I thought maybe I was just too sensitive at the time so after nearly 14 years I gave it another chance. Nope. It's got some catchy tunes, but the story does not leave you feeling uplifted or happy. Musicals should make you happy. Chicago, you suck. But I still love John C Reilly.

The power is out in Millcreek. Everyone in the hospital is going home...
Except me. I'm training in a different department so that puts me in the ONE building in a 6 block radius that is not affected. Luck...?

The power is also off at home. Can't cook. Can't watch TV. Can't practice the (electric) piano. No laundry. Limited Internet...? Dishes it is

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy...!

Dear alarm clock,
I wasn't done sleeping yet.
Sincerlzzzzzzzz.......

Sometimes you have to put the kids to bed early and make cookies. 
And by "Kids" I mean cats. And by "cookies" I mean cookie dough of which I have no intentions of sharing. 🐱🍪😈





April

"... His melodic messianic intercession..." I love Elder Holland. #ldsgeneralconference

Pocatello, Idaho!!!! #myhometown #ldstemples#generalconference

Who would you call for an injured duck? She's clearly been ruffled and he's just standing there not knowing what to do. It's sad that the most comforting place she could find was a pathetic puddle in the middle of a huge parking lot. 😞

My cat has stolen (and hidden) all my makeup brushes. Uuuuugh..... 😫 #catsarejerks

Ask me about that one time a hoho saved my life..

Nothing ruins a nice, relaxing Saturday like having to go to work. Blah.

May

And now they're stealing jewelry. I literally live with cat burglars! Uuugggghhhhhhhhh #catsarejerks

*plays in a bucket of water and gets soaking wet* "where's the best place to dry off?" Mom's bed. Uuuuuuugh. #catsarejerks

After all these years of wondering... After all the questioning... in the realms of all that could be possible... I am proud to announce...
I can still ride a bike. 🚲

I. Am. In. Love...
With Oregon.

Trying to take a nap + not mess up your hair = a kink in the neck and a dead arm.

Two of my baby nieces are graduating this year. Shayla from community college and Mercedes from high school. Both of them chose not to walk at graduation, which is totally fine by me because it saves me from making a spectacle of myself bawling through Pomp and Circumstance (which, if you know me at all- you know I can't help but weep uncontrollably when I hear it). But I'm awfully proud of my super smart, amazingly talented and gorgeous girls! (who obviously take after their aunt).

For some silly reason, I gave up chocolate for a month. Just to see if I could do it (there was one tiny oops, but it was a genuine oops- not a cave in) and tomorrow is Chocolate 1st. Bring. On. The. Cocoa! 🍩🍪🍫

June

How many sparkly items can you wear before it's considered tacky?💎💍

Everyone has hidden talents. Mine just happens to be that I can tell you to shut your mouth in six different languages.

I love it when Macy Baker comes to stay with me
It's the only time of year I get to use the carpool lane!

So one of the fun things about Facebook is the "on this day" page where you can see your posts from this date in years past, right? Well, reading through my old status updates, I used to post very vague and ambiguous things. How irritating. I'm sorry

I've been on a "me date" all day. Last thing of the day is a play at Hale center theater. To my left is a couple who have been married for decades. To my right, a couple on their first date. And me. In the middle... just... doin my thing.

Breakfast for dinner. #donttellmom

Happy 20th anniversary Harry Potter. You've changed my life. 
Love, a Ravenclaw.

When you have to hide your pen *inside* your journal so your cat won't steal it. #catsarejerks

July

Off to sit on a mountain...

I don't want to go to bed because then Monday will come that much faster. Sigh...

Oh good heavens! Someone please help me! I have the song #princesspat stuck in my head! Aaaauuuggghhhh!!! #arigabamboo #whatisthat#itsredandgold #andpurpletoo #girlscampsongs

It's past 2 am and I'm sitting here watching Life Hack videos. Has my life sunk this low?

I don't trust people who claim to be "huge Harry Potter fans" and yet don't know to which house they belong and have never even heard of #Pottermore.

Anybody going to Disneyland anytime soon? My sunglasses broke... Again. 

Last chance to have a "Christmas in July" marathon. Hello Hallmark movies. 🎅🎄🎁#AnyExcusetoWatch9LivesofChristmas


August 

I've never pretended to be a fashionista by any standard... but I just don't understand the trend of shoulder cut outs. Not that they're bad... I just don't get it.

Las Vegas is hot. Hell can't even be this hot. Holy crap. God bless the inventor of AC!

I'm not sure if I'm more annoyed that my phone doesn't work, or that I have to put on pants to go get it fixed.

Aaaaaand I have a new phone. 😩💸💸💸

Two thoughts on this Monday morning: 1. I have the song "It's the End of the World as We Know it" stuck in my head. 
2. I took extra care to look nice today because if it today really is the end of the world, I want my ghost to look decent. 👻#solareclipse

Ahhh... Anxiety my old friend. Let me make you some cookie dough and try to drown you...

It's taken me nearly 40 years to realize... 66, 68, 70, 72, 77, 84. I am the only odd one in my family. 
😳 🙈🙉🙊 😝

September

So I'm driving home from job 2... Not paying attention and turned on the wrong road. So do I drive a mile for no reason or do I stop for ice cream and pretend I did it on purpose...? 🍦

Last night I dreamed about Benedict Cumberbatch. He is a GREAT kisser. My apologies to his real wife, Sophie. And Anadine, who has already dream claimed him.

In need of a 1-2 bedroom rental *immediately.* Pet friendly preferable and as inexpensive as possible. If any of my Salt Lake area friends know of anything, your help is greatly appreciated.

When my mom got home last night she asked if I'd watched the news: "I didn't need to. Half the world is under water, the other half is on fire and Trump's an idiot. Those are the headlines."
She didn't argue.

I survived Katie Rockwood 's 700 mile "flat hike" through Snow Canyon. #bookclubadventures #theytriedtokillme #isurvived @ Snow Canyon State Park


October

My book club is better than your book club.

Aaaaaand just like that, I'm 40. #oldmaid #crazycatlady #GoddessoftheVLclub

Watching the kitties play is all well and good... Until the rough housing causes a kitty to step on your dinner. 😠#catsarejerks

Me too.

tickets for the MoTab Christmas concert are available tomorrow at 10 am sharp. Last year they were gone in less than 10 minutes. I have to work tomorrow so if anyone is feeling charitable and would like to try to score some tickets for me, I'd be in your debt! 

I don't care what anyone else thinks. I think I'm hilarious.

My cat just got stuck in the heater vent. Repeat. My. Cat. Just. Got. Stuck. In. The. Heater. Vent. We called for reinforcements, but were able to get her out before they arrived. Anybody want a very dusty little monster? Uuuuugh... #catsarejerks


November

I know I strike most people as super confident, but only because I avoid things that scare me. I hate confrontation. I avoid it at all costs- which allows a lot of people to take advantage of my weakness. Today, with the help of my cousin Sharon, I confronted the building manager of my former residence. I know I did nothing wrong in that situation, but going back and facing her was one of the most terrifying things I've done. Long story short, I got my full deposit back.

It has taken years to perfect- but I finally have the BEST Pandora Christmas station!

1. I went to see Coco with my niece and nephew.
2. It was awesome
3. I didn't cry.
One of those sentences is a lie.

December


That moment you smash a spider but you're not sure if you hit it and you never see it again. #itsgoingtocomeaftermeinmysleep

Karma got me today. And I can't even get mad because I totally deserved it.

I don't want to go. Please don't make me go. 😭#caseofthemondays
I never thought it would happen... But I think I've officially hit my limit of Hallmark movies. #timeforabreak #theyareallthesame

Getting tickets to see #mormontabernaclechoir was a #miracle. Being in the same room as @bonhughbon and @suttonlenore was a #dream. When did I become so #lucky#hughbonneville #suttonfoster #motab #sunshineonmyshouldersmakesmehappy

I just received the highest compliment a Mormon can get. "Good talk, Heather. I didn't fall asleep once." Woohoo! #speakinginchurch

Season's greetings! It's the Shortest day of the year. That means the days are gonna start getting longer! #thinkspring

If anyone out there wants to buy me a house, or donate $100,000 dollars so I can... I wouldn't get mad. Just putting it out there.

I'm watching The Sword in the Stone as I'm packing for my trip... why does Merlin have to show off his magical packing skills? #IHatePacking #showoff

I rarely resolve much because no one every actually sticks to it... but I really have a goal to keep up on my blog this next year. Last year was a bust... we'll see how it goes.