Happy Birthday Dad. You would have been 63 today. I miss and love you more than words can express. I've been thinking about you all day...just like everyday. You would think my eyes would be all dried up by now, but today proved there are plenty of tears still left in them. I love you Dad, Happy Birthday.
I felt bad starting a post about my birthday, when I didn't even get around to writing one about Sean's. Sean's birthday was a few months ago...March 4th, he just turned 26. I know, I know...he's so freaking old...it's kind of embarrassing. But I suppose it is what it is :). Sean, being a Packard boy doesn't like to make a big deal about birthdays, so good thing he's married to me...so I can make a big deal about them! We had a party for him, yes here in our small apartment. I thought it actually turned out pretty well. We had some of our closest friends and family attend, and also had some great food and fun.
I liked this cake, plus it was really cheap at Costco (love Costco), but when Sean saw it he said, "What, am I ten?" So apparently I struck out, but hey-he does love basketball! Everyone else seemed to love the chocolate mousse though. :)
Aunt Marlys claims that P.J. is her favorite nephew, but it's easy to see that is a lie!
A bunch of my cute friends! Paige, Kylie, Cori, and Sarah.
The birthday boy and Connor the cutie!
Of course there had to be some good Rockband playing on Sean's birthday.
I really like this one! Freak, look at all those candles! :)
Paige and Preston, some of favorite people.
Sean opening some of his presents.
Sean told the "older people" that all he wanted for his birthday was for the "seniors" to play Rockband. I was surprised they all agreed! This is Sean's Aunt Marlys, Uncle Del, and Sister Robb in the middle. Sister Robb was in Sean's home ward in Carlsbad, she was his seminary teacher! She and her husband are now in our ward! How sweet is that?
They all did great, haha!
Will and Jess came all the way from Fort Worth for Sean's birthday party. We love them and wish we got to see them more! Thanks for coming!
My good friend Paige, her boyfriend Paul, and our cousin Kathryn.
Some of my best friends, Sarah and Kylie. We're so lucky we get to see them both so much!
Taking a break from Rockband. :)
I wouldn't be surprised if Sean even knew other people were there, haha. He loves his Rockband.
I LOVE Jessica. She was one of my five roommates at BYU-Idaho my first semester. After going to three BYU, hygiene school, and BYU-Idaho she remains one of my favorite roommates. I don't know what I would have done without her, love you Jess.
These past few months I have gotten SUPER behind on blogging. So please bear with me as I try to catch up. SOME good things actually have happened since January, and I didn't want them to get overlooked. One of them was Noel, my best friend from high school, came to Texas to visit us. Noel and I go way back. We have been best friends since we were 15, and now we're both 25...eek! Now she's stuck with me, because she got married to one of my cousins :). So she finally came to visit me (I have visited her a lot over the years). She lives in Mississippi, it's only about a 6-7 hour drive. Of course, the weekend we had planned for her to come we had one of the worst ice storms in Texas, snow, and cold weather. Texas weather is usually great, so this put a damper on some of our plans. So we did a lot of just hanging out in the apartment. We even went to the mall one day and they closed early! They usually close at 9pm. We got there around 4, and they closed at 5...lame. We went to Fort Worth to visit our friend Jessica, one of our amazing roommates from BYU-Idaho. I'm so mad at myself because I didn't take any pictures of our fun visit with her, and especially because I didn't get any pics of her adorable kids. Here's some of the few pictures I did take while she was here.
This is Noel with her sweet little girl Elizabeth.
Sean liked playing with Eliza too.
She's already so popular with the boys. This is Preston and Connor, our regular baby friends. :)
Superbowl Sunday was while Noel was here. Kylie and Mike had planned to have a Superbowl party at their cute new house, but because of the weather their T.V. wasn't able to get set up in time...so we moved the party over to our place!
Nice, Noel...yes she is the mother of two. :)
This is an AWFUL picture of me, but it was too cute of Kylie not to post. She was gettin' down!
Switching up the instruments...
Another Noel keeper!
Seriously? She is so cute!
More playing with Uncle Sean.
Another one of me and this cutie, seriously she is so adorable!
This is an OLD picture of Noel and me our first semester of college together. At the good ol' Ridge...back when we were 18. I thought this pic might make you smile Noel :)
I miss you so much. I've needed you so much these past few weeks. I've been looking for a new job for the past month or so, and I've really needed your advice. I received two different job offers, which from the outside both looked great I kept going back and forth on which one would be the best, and I kept thinking I wish you were here to give me some advice. I finally decided on the one I was leaning towards from the beginning because they sweetened their offer after knowing I had received another. I've been having a really hard time without you. You have always been an expert at giving me advice. I know you always have had my best interest in mind, and you always know what is best for me. Sean is great, but he is just to nice/passive to give me the hard truth. You have always been the one I've always come to for these big decisions of mine, and it's been so hard not to have you here. I wish I could talk to you more than anything. I need you to tell me that it's all going to be OK, and then elaborately explain to me why it will be.
So after I decided I was going to accept the offer, and needed help deciding on what to say to my current boss. You know I've never been good at these types of things. I hate letting people down, mostly you, and also my employers. I also felt really bad about telling him I was leaving because a few weeks ago he and I had a long chat. He made me come into his office after work and talked to me for over two hours about how he can tell that I'm not happy. He asked if it was because of you, and I lied and said it wasn't. I think about you everyday. There's not an hour in the day that doesn't go by without me thinking of you, either something you would do or say, or something that reminds me of you. Then my Dr. asked if it was because we just got robbed, which of course you don't know about...and I lied again saying that was partly it. I don't care about any of that stuff, I would trade everything we have or ever will have just to have you back. Then he asked me what else was bothering me, that's when I started telling him the truth. I told him that I don't appreciate the way he treats me, that I don't feel respected, and mostly I don't appreciate how stupid he makes me feel. I told him that I'm not stupid, I am an educated professional, and I don't deserve to be talked to in such a condescending manner so frequently. He said that he was sorry (and that his wife tells him he does that to her all the time) and that he would try not to do it so much. I won't ramble on with all the details, you know how I ramble Dad. Long story short, he actually has been treating me a lot better since that LONG conversation we had over a month ago, and that's why I felt so bad telling him I was leaving his office and accepting an offer somewhere else. I needed you to tell me what to say, you're so much more eloquent that I am. I needed you to coach me through it, like you always have, and how to be polite and professional.
So when I told him last Tuesday I was leaving, it was awful. I felt like it couldn't have gone any worse. I needed you Dad, I needed you so badly. He started trash talking the other Dr. I'll be working for, insisting that I wouldn't want to work for him, and then he made me a counter offer (which I totally wasn't expecting because he is SO CHEAP). He, being the nosy person he is, asked me how much they were offering me, and what was included in the offer. I knew he was going to ask me that! And I REALLY didn't want to tell him, but of course I did. Then he offered to match the raise and health insurance I was getting. This made me absolutely furious. I couldn't believe that I had to threaten him to leave, just to get what I deserved to be making/receiving all along. Unbelievable. He told me to go home and think about what he had offered, and to let him know of my decision in the morning. After I got out of the office I automatically started dialing your number....I didn't even realize what I had done until Mom picked up and I realized it wasn't you, and you weren't there. I just pretended I was calling her, and talked to her about her day. I wish that was the first time that has happened. I'm so used to just calling you, and you being there. I'm so used to just rambling on about my "so called problems" to you. I miss you Dad, I miss you so much.
So of course I told my boss the next morning that I would be leaving in two weeks, and that this is "a good opportunity for me, and that I hope he can be happy for me". I really think it is, Dad. I hope you would think so too. I'm getting better pay, a monthly production bonus, and health insurance. You have always said that we should have health insurance, and I know you know that most dentists don't offer it. Since you've passed away I've been thinking more and more about what you've said about it, and you're right...you're always right. Mom has been talking to me about your insurance, and how grateful she is that you two had such good insurance. She was telling me about all the logistics of your medical bills, and what a mess she would be in if she didn't have it.
The last week and a half have been awkward to say the least, but I'm hoping that I made the right decision. I hope that if you were here, that you would tell me I chose the right office, and that I said all the right things, and that mostly I make you proud to have me as your daughter. I talk about you all the time, I thought that it would make it easier if I did...but it doesn't. A lot of my patients ask me why I wanted to be come a hygienist, I tell them that you were a dentist, and that I grew up working in your office. You are the one who set such a good example for me, and sparked my interest of getting into the dental field. Then my patients ask me if you're still practicing, and of course I tell them no...you're not. Most of them ask how long you've been retired, and then I tell them that you just passed away, then I see that look on their face...and then the tears come, just as they are now. It's been really hard on me Dad, I hope you know how much I miss you. I know Mom does too, I'm not with her all that much, but if I'm this upset, I can only imagine how she feels.
John just got home from his mission in March. You would be so proud of the man he has become Dad. I can tell it has completely changed his life. He came to visit us before he left for BYU-Idaho. He started asking me questions about your funeral, and everything that happened at the end. I just assumed Mom and the boys told him everything, because they had been with him for the past few weeks. He told me that he asked them questions about it, but it was still too hard for them to talk about. I felt so bad for him Dad, he didn't even know why you had died. I told him that he could ask me anything, that I would tell him everything he wanted to know. So I started from the beginning, from when you had the heart attack two Decembers ago. I'm not going to pretend that it wasn't hard, it was so so hard. I was crying the whole time, and he said that I could stop, but I told him that it was fine...that I'm just a crier...and that I wanted him to know all that he wanted to know. I saved the speech that I gave at your funeral just for him, there were things that I knew he would have wanted to hear. Then I showed him the DVD that I put together for your funeral/viewing. There were a lot of good pictures of the two of you in it. He was grateful for everything that I had told and shown him. Obviously he's more mature than I am, because he wasn't bawling like an idiot, he was calm and collected. He told me he knew that we would all be together again someday, and that the promise of eternal families gave him the peace he needed. I know he's right, I know he is. But Dad, I need you here...I need you now. I need you talk to me, I need you counsel me, I need you to be a Grandpa to our future children. I think about that all the time Dad. You would have been such a great Grandpa, I know you would have. Sean's Dad is great, but they have so many kids...and they barely get to see the grandchildren they have now, and there's only four! Just wait until there's 30 of them. Children need Grandparents, and our kids need you. It breaks my heart to think that you won't be here for their lives too.
Daniel just moved in with us last week. He was supposed to come in January, as you probably remember. But after you passed away, that kind of slowed things down. He's doing a lot better, he's already found a job. You would be proud to see how motivated he is about things. It is so hard to see him without you Dad. He looks just like you. Sometimes I'll be looking at him, or he will say something that reminds me of you, and I'll have to leave because I get upset just thinking about you. He's a good kid Dad, he really is. Sean and I are going to try and help him the best we know how to. He hasn't come at the best time for us, ha ha, but when is it really a good time to have your little brother come move in with you? :)
As always, I'm just rambling to you Dad. I start at my new job this Wednesday, wish me luck...I need it! I'm trying to be happy without you, I really am trying...it's just so hard. Everyone keeps telling me it will get easier with time...but they're lying, it's not easier. It just feels like it's been that much longer that I haven't gotten to be with you, and talk with you. It's almost been four months now, and I feel like I should be getting better, but I don't feel better Dad...I feel so sad. I just am trying to have less breakdowns in front of people, so maybe they'll think I'm doing better, but I'm not, I'm not Dad. For the longest time when Sean and I would pray, we would pray for you, pray that you would get better...and now you're not, and I don't know what to say to Heavenly Father instead of that. You're not even here to pray for anymore. I guess I'm writing you to tell you that I love you, I love you so much. And I miss you...I miss you every hour, of every day. I love you Dad, talk to you soon.
Sean and I met the summer of 2006 at BYU-Idaho and were married April 19th, 2008 in the Salt Lake City LDS temple. Sean is the Director of Sales at Survey Local, and I work at Doles Family Dentistry as a Dental Hygienist. We just bought our first house in McKinney, Texas and we absolutely love it here! We love to entertain, travel together, and spend time with our friends and family. We are truly blessed and love our life together.