Friday, September 27, 2013

Grandpa Packard's funeral

Sean and I didn't leave any time for jet lag after our two and a half week excursion across Europe.  We got home Wednesday early evening, and were back at work first thing Thursday morning.  This is the first thing I saw when I opened my locker Thursday morning.  Can I just say that I love working with one of my best friends Paige.  She is amazing, and she makes work so much more bearable.  She leaves me sweet notes like this all the time...and I love it.  

I was definitely exhausted that entire day, but I took a sleeping pill on the 12 hour flight, so I was completely passed out for 10 out of the 12 hours.  Sean, on the other hand, stayed up the entire time...he's crazy.  I knew it was going to suck, but it was only working one full day on Thursday, and half day Friday...I've done it before.  Sean got really sick that next day at work, and ended up having to come home.  I think his body had just had enough.  We had flown through who knows how many time zones, were beyond exhausted, and he ended up puking the entire time he was at work on Thursday.  I know it wasn't the food he had, because we ate the same thing on the flight.  And it wasn't even any weird foreign food, just chicken and rice.  So like his boss wasn't unhappy enough with him for missing two weeks of work, he missed one more day.  Haha!  Oh well...

Like I said in my Greece post (when we almost missed the ship leaving...but not really), my phone had completely stopped working.  When I got back into the US, I called Verizon from Sean's phone to see what was wrong with it.  Apparently the sim card had just worn out (it was only 5 months old) so they told me to bring it into the store that evening.  Of course, I couldn't be another minute without a functioning cell phone (I hadn't had use for 2 weeks) so I ran to the Verizon store after we dropped our things off at home.  I asked Sean to start a load of laundry while I went and tried to get my phone fixed.  Sean isn't allowed to switch the laundry, because he always shrinks and ruins my clothes, so once I came home I went to switch the loads...and this is what I found.  

Yes, that would be a brand new stiletto shoe in the washing machine.  His laundry antics had stooped to a new low.  We won't even talk about how there are numerous colors that don't belong together...but there is a SHOE that he washed with our clothes.  I told him if he really wanted to get out of doing laundry THAT BADLY he could have just said so.  Let's just blame it on his "sickness" and jet lag. That's a good thing I like him.

When I told him what he had done, his only reply was, "Well, was it clean?"
{insert eye roll}

Two days after we got back, I got braces put on.  My friend told me I must have really good self esteem to post these pictures.  I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing....I've always had pretty straight teeth, and never have had braces, but my bite had started to shift over the years, and now my mid-line doesn't line up.  Everyone thinks I'm crazy for getting them (so do I sometimes) but one of the Orthodontists we refer to offered to do them for free, and he said it might get worse over time, so I took the plunge.  Yes, I hate them... but I know it will be worth it.  He said I should only have to have them on for 6-8 months. Bleh...

That same weekend my good friend Nikki moved to Utah, and we had a little going away get together for her and her hubby Ben.  She and I got really close once we moved into the ward last year, and I've missed her terribly ever since she's left!  
 Come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  
I may or may not have cried the night she left. :(

That next week we received some sad news.  Sean's Grandpa Packard had passed away.  Sean's Grandpa holds a special place in a lot of people's hearts.  Like many of the 87 grandchildren, Grandpa Packard sealed us together in the temple for time and all eternity.  He was one of the sweetest, kindest people I've ever met.  Hearts were breaking all over the day he passed away.

Grandpa Packard had been in very bad health for quite some time.  Sean and I actually had the conversation before we left for our big trip as to what we might do if he passed away while we were gone.  It was very difficult to get a hold of us overseas, and I know Sean would have been heartbroken if we were to miss his funeral.  Thanks for holding out for us to get home Grandpa. 

Sean grew up just a few blocks away from his Grandma and Grandpa Packard.  Von was very involved in many of the grandchildren's lives and loved them dearly.  I will never forget the first time I met him.  He and Grandma Packard took us out to lunch at Golden Corral, and were very excited to meet me.  He was a dentist like my Dad, so we had plenty to talk about.  I was in dental hygiene school at the time, which I remember he was very excited about, and we had quite the enthralling conversation about dentistry.  

I hate funerals...I just hate them.
All I can think about it my Dad. 
 Just thinking about them right now as I'm writing, it brings tears to my eyes. 

Grandpa Packard was so sick, for such a long time.  He suffered from Parkinson's disease.  He was 87 years old when he passed away.  It was still very sad that he passed away, but I know many people were relieved that he wasn't suffering anymore.  No one wants to see the people they love suffer.

I will say, out of all the funerals I've been to, this was one of the most upbeat.  It felt more like a celebration of life.  Grandpa Packard had lived such a long, full, and wonderful life that I felt like we all could be happy for him that he was returning back to his Heavenly Father.  It was fun to tell funny stories about him, and laugh about the good times that we had while he was with us on earth.

 Even though I hate funerals, and how sad they make me...there are some good things about them.  They are basically a family reunion, and I love that part.  We got to see our sweet nieces and nephews and a lot of family. (P.s. how cute is Sidney?!)

 Sean and Christian getting photobombed by Kathryn. :)

Our gorgeous cousin, Stephanie.  I was sad we didn't get to spend more time with the other cousins.  Luckily, she'll be back in Texas soon! (where she belongs!) :)
It was the middle of May, and it was freezing.  Ahhhhh, I hate Utah! 
I am clearly not cut out for cold weather. 

I know everyone hated me for wanting to take a family picture...but it doesn't happen very often that most of us are together.  We missed you Alisha and Spencer.

Owen, my favorite little redhead.

 A few years ago, Grandpa had commented that Sean was the best taffy maker of all the the Aunts and Uncles knew just who to ask to make taffy at Grandma's house after the funeral.  It was so fun seeing everyone pull the taffy just like Grandpa did.  

 Tanner was the best little helper!  He's so freaking cute, it makes me miss them so much just looking through these pictures!

Haha...photobombed by Tanner.

Some of my favorite pictures from the entire weekend... :)

We were only in Utah for about 48 hours, but in that time I made it worth it!  I tried to see as many of my friends as possible, and of course...hit up Cafe Rio as much as I could!
Chelse is one of my lifer besties.  I miss her so much.  It makes me so sad that we live so far apart form each other.  I came the night before Sean did so I could spend a little time with my Choltzie.  She and Ryley were huge lifesavers (shocker) when they picked me up from the airport at 11pm when I had forgotten my license and the car rental place wouldn't allow me to pick up my car.  They wouldn't even let me pay for gas.  I freaking love those crazy kids!

Speaking of kids...Chelse even remembered my favorite cereal (don't judge me) from when we lived together in college and had it ready for me!!!  You just don't find friends like these.  Seriously though, I freaking love her. 

 While Chelse and Ryley were at work the next day, I met up with my old roomie from BYU, Jena.  We haven't seen each other in YEARS!  She has two kids now, and still looks exactly like the cute little Jena I roomed with so many years ago!  It was so good to see her and meet her little cuties.

Her sweet baby boy, Parker passed out while we were saying our goodbyes.  So cute.

Cafe Rio, one of my favorite things about Utah.  I'm pretty sure I had it at least three times in the 48 hours we were there.  Come on Texas, get with it already!

 Aunt Rebecca was in the process of selling her home, and she graciously offered it to the Paul Packard family.  It was nice to be all together and have a free place to stay!  The boys took full advantage of their ping pong table downstairs...

 We got to meet the newest member of our Packard clan, Emma Packard!  So precious.

 Sean arranged a breakfast with his Mom's side of the family (the Webbs).  We don't get to see them very often, but it was fun to get to see all of them.  Thanks for making the effort (and maybe skipping church) to hang out with us! 

Guess who was not only on our flight back to Dallas, but was sitting right next to us?!  Our cousin Shawna!  It was fun to chat with her a little more, and convenient for her that her little one could crawl across the three of us. There's strength in numbers! :)

It seems like whenever there are big events, they come at the worst time for us.  We had just spent WAY too much money in Europe, and had just put ourselves on a strict budget before we got the news about Grandpa.  I don't think it would have mattered if we were dirt poor and didn't have a dime to spare...we would have made it work so we could be at that funeral.  Both of us feel the same way about our grandparents, each of ours played such a big and important role in our lives.  Neither of us could imagine missing their funerals, it would be heartbreaking. I know there were some people who couldn't make it to the funeral, and we missed them terribly. I know everyone who attended and those who couldn't be with us wouldn't rather be anywhere, but there with our family celebrating the wonderful life of Grandpa Packard.  
We can't wait until we can see you again, Grandpa. 
 Say hi to my Dad for me up there...xoxo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Madrid, Spain!

 Our last and final stop was to Madrid.  When we were booking the trip (forever ago) we had the choice of having a 24 hour layover in Madrid or London.  For some reason, I thought Sean would have wanted to go to London.  I went there with my family when I was 8 years old, so I let Sean pick.  He instantly picked Madrid, without hesitation!  He studied a lot about Spain in a majority of his upper level Spanish classes, so he thought it might be cool to go there.  I will say, it was nice that ONE OF US could speak the country's language for once.  We could actually communicate with the people around us, it was glorious.

This picture basically sums up how we were feeling.  Our flight left from Venice and went straight to Madrid.  I remember Sean saying (before he passed out) that he was starting to get a little homesick.  We had been gone for two weeks at that time, so I think we were both starting to feel it.

Another thing I really liked about Europe was the served Nutella everywhere!

Our first stop after getting to our hotel was to the Madrid LDS Temple.  It was beautiful.

We ended up doing a Spanish speaking session, which I was pretty nervous about.  I can speak a little Spanish, but it's more like "Spanglish".  I can speak a lot more "dental terminology" because a lot of my patients in hygiene school didn't speak any English.  My boss thinks I'm fluent...which is the furthest thing from the truth.  Sean kept telling me it would be was not fine.

We ended up being the witness couple in the endowment session.  Don't get me wrong, I always pay attention, I never fall asleep (unlike some people I know), but I had to REALLY pay attention.  I couldn't understand 80% of what was being said so I had to watch and listen really was a little stressful to be honest.  It was even more tricky when the temple worker was trying to get through the last part at the veil.  She kept switching back and forth from English to Spanish to try and help me, and it was even more confusing. I think we started over at least 5 times.  

I'm so glad we got to go and see the Madrid Temple!  It was my first "international" temple session.  I know (for many reasons :)) I'll always remember it.


We had a little down time between the temple and our evening entertainment, so we went to a little cafe down the street for some "hot chocolate".  The Cola Coa I had was delicious.  It was freezing (60 degrees) so I just had to have something to warm me up.  There was some big soccer game going on that night, so while everyone else (including Sean) was preoccupied with that, I'm pretty sure I drank at least three of these and was completely content with the glorious free Wi-fi they had.  Oh, and I'm just sitting in front of some big deal.

 Walking the streets of Madrid...

When we were planning out the trip we were looking at some of the fun things to do in Madrid.  Corral de la Moreria got some of the best reviews we had seen.  It is a authentic flamenco dinner and dance show.  It was AMAZING.

When we got into the venue, we were a little nervous because it was super tiny, and it kind of looked like a random hole in the wall place.  But, we were both blown away.  The music, dancing, and food were amazing.

 I know this is a terrible picture of the food, but it was super dark and I had to try and get a picture of how delicious it was!  

 This chick was Sean's favorite.  I know, she looks kind of scary, but she had some serious swag.  She was really fun to watch.

 This was my favorite dancer of the night.  He's the type of dancer that completely captures people.  Whatever anyone was doing at the time, they would stop and watch him dance. 

Trying to get some cute pictures of us, shocker I know.  As you can see, we were pretty packed in the restaurant.  I felt like I was eating dinner with the people sitting next to me.  We randomly met some LDS people who knew Sean's grandpa, Von Packard, and some of the other Packard family.  They were serving as mission presidents in Madrid.  Apparently we look the Mormon part, because they asked us right away if we were LDS.  I like to take that as a compliment. :)

 Get it girl.

 The grand finale!

 We loved every minute of it.  I was surprised how much Sean enjoyed it too.  I would go again in a heart beat.  Thank you Corral de la Moreria!

This was one of the coolest things we had seen our entire trip, and the perfect way to end our two week vacation in Europe.

This was taken the morning of our long flight back to the US.  Do you think we have enough luggage?  We were about to embark on our 12 hour nonstop flight back to Dallas.  Doesn't Sean look excited?  :)

I know it's taken forever to blog about our trip, there was a lot to write about!  In two weeks we saw 4 countries, and over 10 major cities.  We flew, cruised, bussed, trained, taxied, walked, scooted, and drove across Europe.  It was honestly the trip of a lifetime.  I don't know the next time we'll be able to do something like this again, but we both feel so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it.  I know it's a trip that we'll always remember.  

I can't think of a better way to celebrate 5 years of marriage with my Sean, my best friend, forever boyfriend, and perfect for me husband.  Happy anniversary to us!  
Five years down, eternity to go...