Monday, June 25, 2007

Lake Powell

The Lake Powell trips for 2007 have begun! Because of my school schedule, we can only go out for Friday and Saturday, but it's a lovely vacation regardless.
A couple of daisy floaties in action!
Riley took a picture of me and Josh,
so Ashley asked if she could also take a picture of us.
Then Josh took a picture of me and Riley, complete with Ashley's smudge marks on the lens.
Maryann and Jon brought this giant rafty-thing.
Josh played lots of volleyball all weekend and got really tan!
I played cards on the beach (I guess I needed a nap!),
and watched the kiddies make dirt roads and sand cakes (yummy!).
Lake Powell makes us so happy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am happy to report that I haven't posted anything in almost two weeks because I've been busy. And as you all know, when I'm busy, I'm happy.

Josh is still working in Utah a lot, so I drove up to SLC with my mommy last Friday to spend the weekend with him. We played lots of games with my family and surprisingly enough, I made it to the semi-final round of Don & Holly's biannual cribbage tournament! This was only my second time playing ever, and man, were those cards good to me. Josh liked it too, so we now have a new game to obsess over.

I went to the dentist this morning, and like usual, I was complimented on how well I care for my teeth. I'm telling you folks, flossing is where it's at.

So, I just got a ring of the doorbell and guess who it was? The new missionaries! For some reason, the pres swapped out both of them and sent two new ones to this area. Now we have Elders Olsen and Wilcox and they seem very nice. I felt bad because I couldn't invite them in, but they did accept some water out there on the porch. I *may* give them a dinner opportunity next time Josh is in town. Actually, I'm certain I will. It's not fair to make them pay for the transgressions of those who labored before them, right?

But enough breaking - back to studying the lymphatic system for my lab quiz tomorrow. TTFN!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Happy birthday, Brother

Today is my brother's birthday. If he were alive, he'd be 33 years old. He'd have at least one youngster running around, maybe two. He'd bring his family down often to visit us in Las Vegas, and he'd ask me about my Amanda. Dana would be pleased with Treg's growth, and he and Maryann would have a kick-ass garden. I bet he'd buy cars at the auction to work on and resell and he'd have 'projects' strewn up and down the driveway. He'd be driving Maryann nuts!

But he's not alive. He's eternally 29 years old, and I haven't talked to or pretend-karate-chopped him for nearly four years. I think about him all the time, but not usually in a sad way. I think of him at Lin’s with that maroon apron on. I think of the grin on his face when Maryann took him skydiving. I think of how diligent he was in heading out to the lake early to get the good water. He would invite me along and teach me how to pull a skier vs. a wakeboarder.

But I rarely think of him consciously. Instead, he usually just pops into my mind at random moments and I suddenly realize he's there. I don't know why, but I just start thinking about him. But I don't think of memories; rather, I get pictures of Dana in my head. It's odd to think about someone that's been gone for so long. You stop remembering actual events, and instead remember them in pictures that you've seen. I always think of this picture first:

Most of you know that Dana is/was my 'favorite' brother - meaning we were the closest in age, in silliness, in interests, and in attitude. This is what I wrote about his death in my old blog. I miss him. I miss him a lot. I missed him the most on my wedding day. I'm really going to miss him when I have children that he won't be around to play with. But it generally hurts less and less as time passes.

I've had a few dreams about Dana, and one in particular has really stuck with me. I kick myself for not writing it down the morning I woke up and remembered it, but I estimate I had this dream last October. I woke up and told it to Josh, then I called Russ and told it to him. I'm pretty sure I told it to Maryann and my mom, and I've gone over it a thousand times in my head and remember it almost perfectly.

We were riding in the back seat of my mom's old blue car. It went Maryann, Dana was in the middle, and then me on the right. We were being silly and laughing and I suddenly turned and said to Dana, "Wait, we've had this conversation before. You're dead, aren't you?" and Dana smiled at me. Then suddenly it was just me and Dana on the side of a road (I think it was down the street from my folks' old house, near the winery) and we were standing next to a car with either the hood or the trunk up. We were talking and laughing again and as he shut the hood or trunk, I asked him why he didn't come back. "Don't you miss us? Don't you miss Maryann?" I asked him. He smiled at me again and told me that I didn't understand how great things were 'up there.' Then I woke up.

His smiles were peaceful in my dream - not creepy or weird. I think Dana is happy in Heaven. It will be so nice to see him again.

Happy birthday, Brother. I love you.