Monday, January 23, 2012

So...we're building a house!

 Yes, it's true...Sean and I are building a house.  We signed the initial contract to start building back in November.  I'm really starting to feel like grown-ups now.  It's a little scary, but also really exciting at the same time.  Everyone I've talked to that's built a house has said to take lots of pictures, because it goes up so fast.  It's really amazing how fast it really does go.
This picture was taken the Sunday before we left to California for Christmas.  We've tried to drive by as much as we could, and this was really the first time anything had started to happen.
 While we were in California this is the pic our construction manager sent Sean.  They poured the slab the Tuesday after Christmas.

 This was what it looked like after we came home from Christmas!  They had poured the slab, and even started the framework!
I'm just warning you now that a lot of these are really bad pictures.  Most of the time we have to go after work, and by the time we get off it's already dark. :( 
Crazy, huh?
I'll take you on a little tour through the house...this is the dining room.  When you walk in the front door, it's the first room on your right.
View of the kitchen into the living room
The kitchen sink/bar stool counter overlooking into the family room.  Can't you just picture Sean standing there doing dishes? :)
Our covered patio 
Our master bathroom
Our future fireplace
One of my favorite parts of the house, our huge master closet!
Yes, I seriously love it!  It's a good sign when your hands can't touch both sides of the closet walls!
Sean in the master, he HAD to show me what corner the TV was going in.
View from inside the garage.
View from the front door/entry.
Fireplace in!  For those of you who know Sean well, you know he's a piro, and is REALLY EXCITED about having a fireplace.
They started putting in the doors...
Master bath
Sean checking out the shower...
Updated view from the family room into the kitchen.
The little art nook...
Sean wanted to take a picture of us sitting down where the couches will be.  Our view :)
More windows!  This one is in the formal dining room.
We have a front door!

Our address!
Probably the most updated picture, sorry another crappy one.  They just put in the third window at the top of the three elevations. 

We're supposed to close on the house mid April, right before my birthday and our anniversary.  It's exciting going each week and seeing all the changes.  This Wednesday we're doing the 'frame walk through', and after that they'll start putting up the dry wall.  Very exciting!  More pics to come...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sad times

 One year ago yesterday, my Dad passed away.  I write down the date a lot at work, and each day this month I've been dreading the 17th.  Unfortunately, now that's all I think of when January 17th rolls around.  I really tried to write down some of my thoughts yesterday, but it was just too hard.  I'm not going to lie, it was a rough day.  I've had a few comments made to me that it's inappropriate to talk about such personal matters on my blog/facebook, but you know what--with all due respect, it's my blog, and honestly if you don't like what I have to say, then why are looking at it anyways?  I don't think blogs are intended to please other people, I feel like it's a journal, or a scrapbook, to record memories and events.  Though I am EXTREMELY blessed, unfortunately not all events in my life (and most people's lives) aren't one big happy story.   So, that's my response/disclaimer to the haters.

Looking back on yesterday, I'm not really sure why I didn't request the day off or call in sick.  It was awful.  This whole week has been a little rough.  It's like I knew it was coming all month/week and I was working myself up about it.  And after going to work on Monday and crying most of the day, I decided why even wear make-up on Tuesday.  Bad decision.  It drew even more attention to me, which was the last thing I wanted.  People kept asking me at work, "Are you ok?"  "Are you sick?"  All I would say was, "NO." ...and then I would walk away.  I even snapped at one of my co-workers when she was rude to me.  I usually just roll my eyes and walk away (you just have to, I work with 25 chicks).  But, I kind of yelled at this girl, it was pretty embarrassing.  A few minutes later she came back to my operatory, and asked me, "Becky, are you ok?  That was really weird, and totally unlike you."  Then the tears started coming.  I wasn't trying to make a public announcement of why I was having such a hard time, so not many girls knew.  She quickly apologized and said that she had lost her Mom a few years ago, and knew exactly what I was going through.  It's weird, but I feel an instant connection with people that tell me they've lost a parent too.  It's like it's a club, a sad sad club that no one wants to be apart of. 

It felt like a faucet all day, the tears just kept pouring out as soon as I started thinking about him.  I was trying so hard not to.  It was really embarrassing actually.  I just couldn't keep it together.  Half of the day I had to have my hygiene assistant bring my patients back because I couldn't keep my composure.  It was ridiculous.  It reminded me of this time last year when I found out I needed to come home, that my Dad wasn't going to make it.  I remember working on my patients and not being able to see through my loupes because all the tears kept clouding my vision.  Then I would have to lie to my patient and say I needed to grab something in the lab, and then go to the bathroom and bawl my eyes out.  It's pathetic.  I know it's hard because I'm young, but I don't really think it matters what age you are.  Losing a parent is emotionally devastating. 

One of the saddest parts of the day was when I was talking with one of my patients, and she asked me why I wanted to be a hygienist.  As always, I preceded to tell her that my Dad was a dentist and that I always worked in his office, and he helped me decide what I wanted to do as a career, just like he helped me with everything.  In retrospect, I should have just made something up and told some random story of why I wanted to clean nasty biofilm and bacteria off people's teeth all day (because really, what crazy person would want to do that?!).  She asked why I didn't work for him (which everyone asks) and I said because he's not practicing anymore.  Then she asked me why he had retired at such a young age.  That's when I lost it.  The tears started pouring out, and I couldn't stop them.  She looked at me like I was a crazy person.  After a few moments (which seemed like hours) I started to sputter out words.  I told her that he had passed away, and gave a quick version of the story.  She asked me how long ago it was, and I lost it all over again.  Once my words were somewhat understandable, I said that it was a year today.  Then she started crying.   She apologized over and over, explaining that she was very close to her Mom and she had recently passed away.  We might have had some bonding over our shared tears together, probably not any type of bonding that any patient wants to have with their hygienist...but I wouldn't be surprised if she requests one of the other three hygienists I work with for her next appointment, ha ha.  Maybe one that can get through an appointment without a break down.  Seriously, so embarrassing. 

Believe it or not, my day did get a little better.  I went to lunch by myself (probably for the best).  I didn't even go inside to any restaurant.  I went through the drive-thru so I could just cry in peace, and not humiliate myself any further.  Luckily, Sean was on a break and was able to talk for a few minutes.  I managed to get some words in between the sobs.  It was nice not to have to explain myself to anyone.  I could just cry, and didn't have to say anything. 

When I got back to work I saw a card, a little book, and a big box in my operatory.  The card was from our hygiene coordinator, Starlyn.  She and I have shared some tears together.  A couple of months ago she found out about my Dad, and shared with me her experiences from losing her Mom.  She was also 24, and very close with her parent, and was not dealing well with it either.  It's been 10 years since her Mom passed away and she still feel like it was yesterday.  She has always said that Sean reminds her of her husband, Dave too.  I have previously talked about the negative impact that losing my Dad has had on my marriage, and have wondered if that will get better too.  She, like I, did not think that counseling was necessary.  I'm not crazy, I'm just sad...a lot.  Then she told me about how she and Dave almost got a divorce because of her grief.  And Dave, like Sean, begged her to go to some type of grief counseling.  After she told me how long it has taken her to feel somewhat "normal" and not have a break down when talking about her Mom, it made me think about it more.  She told me that she doesn't want to see me go through the many years of pain like she did.  That there are some things that I can do to mend the gaping hole in my chest that won't stop tearing me apart.  She sees how happy Sean and I are together, just like she and Dave were at our age, and she doesn't want us to lose that just because of the pain I'm going through.  Needless to say, she has been such a kind, and helpful outlet.  I can't believe she remembered the date, I told her about it MONTHS ago.
This is what she left for me.  So, so sweet of her to think of me on my sad day.  

Then I saw this huge box, I had no idea what it was.  Once I started opening it, I realized it was flowers.  I wondered who they could have been from?  It didn't even occur to me that Sean would have sent them, we've been together for over four years, and he's never sent me flowers at work.  Well, he deserves some major praise, because yesterday was a good day to start. :)  They were beautiful.
Seriously, I am so lucky.  Sean-you are amazing.  And you guessed it, I started crying.  Shocker, I know.

The rest of the workday was kind of a blur.  I just tried not to think about it, and definitely not talk about it, to try and keep the tidal waves of tears from bursting out.  I didn't really feel like cooking, I didn't even care about getting fatter, so we went out to eat.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants, B.J.'s.  I'm sure my Dad would have liked it, he loved restaurants like that.  Sean tagged me on facebook while we were out to eat and it said, "celebrating a great life."  That made me think, why am I always so sad?  He really did have a great life.  I should be celebrating, instead of throwing a constant pity party.  I'm sure that's what he would want me to do.  But sadly, I'm just not there yet.  I'm just sad, and a little selfish.  I want him here so badly.  I miss him so much that it hurts.  It hurts all the time, not just yesterday.  Yesterday was just a little worse than normal.  I miss him all the time, there's not a day, probably not an hour that I don't think of him.  It sucks, it just plain stinks.  I guess the worst part is that I thought I would be a little better by now.   That maybe it wouldn't hurt so much still...

To end the night I got a text from one of my good friends, Sarah.  She asked me if I had found something on my car from her.  I ran out to the car to see what it was, and this is what I found...
She wrote me a very sweet note inside which gave me a little pick-me-up.  She and Gerret have been such good friends to us over the years, and they mean a lot to us. 

There was some good to this day.  I got numerous calls, texts, Facebook messages, and kind words from friends and family expressing their love and concern for me.  It really meant so much to me.  A lot of the time I feel so alone going through all of this, but I clearly am not.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family.  Until this whole charade I never have truly felt apart of the "Packard" family, I've always felt like an "in-law".  But so many of my "in-laws" (parents, cousins, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, etc.) have expressed their love and concern for me, and have truly made me feel like a part of the family.  It really does mean a lot to me.  I'm very touched. 

And of course, I know the Savior is there with me.  It's not always easy to feel him with me, but I know he is there whenever I need him.  I guess it's just hard to call on him when we need help the most.  I am truly grateful for the promise of eternal families.  I just wish it wasn't so far away..

And last but most certainly not least, I know you are with me, Dad.  I feel your presence with me all the time.  I know you are watching over me and the family.  Please help Mom and help her to feel your peace, she needs you more than I do.  She misses you so much.  Sometimes it's hard for me to talk to her, because it just reminds me so much of you.  I know like me, she's dying inside.  I'm so glad that you're not suffering anymore, that you're finally whole again.  I know that now you have a healthy heart, that you don't need to be living off a machine.  I know Heavenly Father has given you your perfect body.  I just wish I wasn't so selfish, that I didn't want you here with me.  I know you're happier there, because you're not hurting anymore.  I wish I could be more like you, and just think of others...and not of myself.  Please help me to stop hurting inside, and just be excited for the day when we'll be together again.  I think about that everyday, Dad.  I love you so much-xoxo.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas in California

This year we went to California with Sean's family for Christmas.  Sean's little sister Alisha got married on the 27th, so the WHOLE FAMILY was there!  It's been a while since all of us have been together, and even though it was crazy-it was still a lot of fun.  As I wrote in my previous blog post we drove down to Cali with Nate, T, and the kids.  We ended up getting to California late on the 23rd and stayed until the 30th in Carlsbad. 
Christmas Eve we didn't do much (thankfully), but around sunset Sean and I went down to the beach with Hailey, Nate, and Telisha.  It was beautiful, of course! 
My beautiful sister-in-laws
Sean and Nate TRYING to do a sexy/serious pose.
That's better. :)
The five of us.  P.J. stayed at home with sweet little Kiera. 
Later that night Grandma Packard read the Christmas story to the grandkids/Adam while Grandpa played some Christmas songs.  
This was a really funny sequence of events.  We each got to open a present on Christmas eve.  T had the kids open their adorable pajamas that her Mom makes the kids every year.  As soon as Tanner saw the pajamas, he immediately started stripping.  Seriously SO FUNNY!  Everyone was cracking up, it was freaking hilarious.  Tanner has turned into such a cute and funny kid!
Dressed in his new pajamas, happy as a clam. 
Sarah with her new goods, also very happy.
Making children pyramids 
I miss my Dad everyday, but I missed him a little bit more that night.  Christmas Eve my Dad always played us Christmas songs too, and I was having some trouble getting through that night.  It's my first Christmas without my Dad, and it wasn't all that easy.  I had to leave a few times during the Christmas story because I was so upset.  Some days are simply easier than others, and that was just a hard day.  I miss him so much, and even though were weren't with my family but it was good to be with Sean's.  It was a nice little evening that his parents put together. 
  P.J. and Hailey's sweet 3 week old baby, Kiera.  The newest addition to the Packard family!
In the Packard family, they have a tradition where Santa actually comes to the house in the morning.  It's a really cute idea.  Paul wakes up everyone and we run downstairs and hide behind the couches while Santa names off everyone on his list and we try and see him.  The only beef I have with Santa is that he comes freaking EARLY.  It was around 5am, both times I've been there for Santa.  Santa, we need to try and work something out...
The best part was seeing the kids so excited.  They all had a lot of fun, it was really cute.
Tanner might have had a little too much candy...
This was Sean's surprise present for me...
A NEW COACH PURSE! He really is learning :)  Great job this year Sean!
This was Sean's surprise from me, I was pretty excited about it.  I had to have one of our friends put it on their credit card so Sean wouldn't see it on ours, then have it shipped out to California, and then wrap it there before he saw it!  It's always a big deal for his presents, but it's always worth it. :)

A NEW GOLF CLUB! He's been talking about it for at least a year, so I figured I better get it for know, for my own sanity.  :)

Our present to Addie, a new princess shirt!
Our present to Sid, an Ariel night gown!

Our present to Owen, and a really big hug for me.  I know I look AWFUL in all these pics (like I said, Santa comes early), but I love this moment too much to care.
Like there wasn't enough people there already (20+), Sean's parents invited Alisha's new in-laws over, I said, craziness. 
Tanner had enough of opening presents, so he decided to play in the box, naturally. :)

After presents we all went to church, and took some pics after.  Their family is so cute!
Love me some Owen!
Tanner stripping again...
The day after Christmas we went to the beach for family pictures (everyone's favorite day).
I'm excited to get all the pics back from the photographer!
Alisha and her soon-to-be new hubby Spencer!
And the kids were adorable as always!

 After family pictures all the boys went golfing (I feel partly responsible for that because Sean just HAD to try out his new driver).  While the boys were out Hailey, Telisha, and I took the kiddos to the park.
 Cousin love!

 After we came home all of us needed some quiet time, so Telisha (with all her wisdom) put on a movie for the kids.  That was probably the quietest the house was all week. :)
  I love this picture, so cute of the kids!
 That night we went to dinner at the cute little restaurant called Ruby's on the Oceanside Pier.
Tanner running down the pier with Uncle Sean.
It's love.
Our little Sid bid.
Our fun table!

And finally it was Wedding Day!!
My favorite boys and me!  
Tanner was so cute, as soon as he saw me walking towards him he yelled, "Betti, Betti I missed you!"  He was so excited to see Sean and me.  Seriously, he's so stinking cute.
 This family pic might have been the hardest to get.  The sun was staring straight in our eyes!  I swear the photographer took at least 20 pics, trying to get a good one.
Sean and the boys
Cute, cute family pic
The traditional butt grabbing pic.  It's a weird Packard thing, you wouldn't understand.  Paul and P.J.'s faces are definitely the best!
The "sexy" one, although somewhat scary...especially since Sean and Nate are gazing into each others eyes.  
Girls picture
The gorgeous San Diego temple
 Oh, Tanner...another really funny sequence of events.  Somehow Tanner fell and hit his head.  Owen was eating some apples and decided to give Tanner one to help him stop crying.  Instead of eating it, Tanner decides to put the cold apple on his head.  Ha ha, Tanner you're so cute!  We love you so much!
Loving on Owen.
Hailey and P.J. trying to get a family pic, way to hold strong Hailey!
The newlyweds!
Sidney looking adorable!
The day after the wedding Sean and I needed a little break from the chaos...
So we went to San Clemente!
Not too shabby for December 28th!
Then we drove up to Newport Beach and did a session at the Newport Beach temple.
It was beautiful!
Our last day in Carlsbad we went to the beach with a bunch of Sean's cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. 
...and got some "Betti tisses" on the way over!
It was so cute watching all the kids run around in the water
Nate gave the kids a ride around on the board and they LOVED IT!
Jared taught Austin how to surf.
 Jared and Erin's little boy Tanner
Hailey built a sand castle with the kids.
...which later Owen destroyed.
Matt and Annie's smiley little boy, Bennet.
Then we went to Carlsbad Inn to swim in the pool and use the hot tub.
After we got all cleaned up we set off on a new adventure!
We went to the Mormon Battalion site in Old Town.
Adam joined in on the fun.
My cute sister-in-law, Sarah.
Owen made some bricks...
Tanner got some water...
Grandma helped find some gold...
P.J. chased his kids around... :)

Found some horses...

After we walked around Old Town we found a fire and roasted some marshmallows
Then we ended the night at Taco Bell.  Tanner was loving this taco, clearly!  He is so freaking cute.

We definitely came home exhausted, but we had a lot of fun in California.  2011 will definitely be a Christmas to remember.  I know this post is long, but believe it or not I actually have at least 100 more pictures.  These pics were just some highlights of the trip, I'm out of control...I know.  Thanks for getting married Alisha and forcing all of us to come out to Carlsbad!