April 27, 2010


I found this picture as I was looking through old pictures for my post on John and Michelle.
I love this picture.  It so clearly shows who Grandpa was to me, and it makes me miss him so much.
He was always making me laugh.

April 26, 2010

Meet My Family Monday

John and Michelle
With their son Andrew way back in 2005
(You will meet Andrew next week...he is not this cute little boy anymore...but he is still VERY cute!) 

John is my oldest cousin.  He is the son of my Aunt Sandy, who is my  mom's oldest sibling.  He has 2 younger brothers, Bob and Dave.  Michelle is his lovely wife (who makes the BEST deviled eggs you will ever eat)!

I interviewed John a while ago, but then life got crazy and I stopped with the Meet My Family posts for a little while.  But, I am back and ready to post his interview now!

Here it is:

Me: How old are you?
John: 41
Me: What do you do?
John: Gardening and hunting
Me: (surprised) Gardening?
John: I just like being outside.  I like growing stuff...stuff I can eat.
Me: What was your job before you retired?
John: I was a cop.
Me: What was your favorite part of the job?
John: The adrenaline rush.  I liked patrol because it was fun and not stressful.  You are your own boss...cool job.
Me: Tell me about your family.
John: Son (Andrew), wife, 2 dogs, very happy
Me: How did you and Michelle meet?
John: We met at a bar/restaurant.  I asked her out and a month later we finally went out.  We dated a year and a half and then got married in 1993.  Andrew was born later that year.
Me: Do you like being a dad?
John: Yeah...just not his. (nodding towards Andrew with a funny face)  It's fun.  Especially now--somebody to beat up.  Someone who can carry his own gear when we backpack.
Me: What was it like growing up with your brothers?
John: Fun.  We hung out all the time and fought and got along.  It was a fun childhood--since I was the biggest and beat them up.
Me: What was the stupidest thing you did growing up?
John: I threw Bob out the window....a second story window, and he landed on my mom's car.
Me: Did he break anything?
John: No, disappointing.
Me: What is the best part of being in this family?
John: It's big and everyone's good people--and the cookies (referring to Aunt Karen's famous cookies)

This is John and me playing the part of Grandpa and Grandma in a little skit all of us grandkids performed as a birthday surprise for Grandma and Grandpa.  He's a fun cousin!

Thanks to John's and my brilliant minds, we are going to have an amazing Carmack family camping trip this summer!  We are heading to Sequioa with pretty much the whole family....even Grandma!!

April 19, 2010

Memorial Service

After this weekend, I finally feel ready to post some pictures from Grandpa's memorial service.
It was a day that I will never forget.
As I mentioned before, the service was in the Chapel in the Sky at the Crystal Cathedral.  This is how we decorated the front table.

After the service, we had a really nice reception in the art gallery there.
We had a slideshow at the reception and set up a table of pictures.
We took a whole group family picture.  We were excited that everyone was there for the picture, but realized when we went to take it that John and his family had already left.  We always seem to have at least one person missing in these pictures....I guess that's just how it is when you have a family this big.  But, no worries, because John and his wife Michelle are next up on Meet My Family Monday.  Yep, I am finally starting that up again after the rough couple of months we have had.

This is the niche where we placed Grandpa's ashes over the weekend.  A marker will be placed on the front as soon as it is engraved.
I am so thankful for all the ways that we have been able to celebrate the life of Grandpa. We have had a lot of really special time with family, and I am so grateful that I have all of them to share this experience with.  We were so blessed to have Grandpa in our lives, and we will love him and miss him forever.

April 18, 2010

Thank You Grandpa!

Yesterday we had a ceremony to place Grandpa's ashes in his niche.
It was a ceremony for just our family, with my dad speaking.
He talked about leaving a legacy and the amazing legacy that Grandpa left.
My mom asked me if I would want to talk at the service.
I was hesitant at first, just because I was nervous and didn't really know how I wanted to express my feelings for Grandpa.
It was something that I knew I wanted to do though, so I decided to write a letter to Grandpa.
I read it at the service, and I am really glad that I did.
It felt good to put into words how I felt about Grandpa, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to share it.

This was my letter:

Dear Grandpa,
                 There is no way I could ever express the gratitude I feel towards you.  You have meant more to me than words can say.  Thank you for  being my grandpa...and for being so much more than my grandpa.  You have been one of my greatest friends through life.  Thank you for making me laugh, for listening to me, for encouraging me, and for loving me.  I have thanked God my whole life for allowing me to be born into this family, to be born as your granddaughter.
                  Thank you for showing me what it means to be a part of a family.  You always put us first, and your love for us showed through everything you did.  I will never forget the Thanksgiving when you sat at the kids table with us.  We went around the table to say what were thankful for, and when we got to you, you got choked up.  You said you were thankful for this, and that we all get together every Sunday, because it makes it a lousy week when we don't come.  You showed us how important family is, and what a blessing it is to go through life together.
                  Thank you for entertaining us.  You always knew how to make us laugh.  Whenever we had parties, you were the guest we couldn't wait to have arrive.  The party always started when you walked through the door.  We'd gather around excitedly, and you always had some kind of antics to make us crack up--bowing, hula dancing, or complaining about the ugly group of people you were going to have to spend the next couple hours with.  I always hated it when you left.  It was never as fun without you there.  That's how we're all feeling now with you gone.  It's not the same without you here. 
                  Thank you for loving me--for loving all of us.  You may have rarely said it, but your actions always showed us how much you loved us.  I never doubted you love.  I felt it in everything you said and did for me.  Thank you for so many memories.  I miss you Grandpa, and I love you so much!

April 11, 2010

April 9, 2010

New Things

New Hair

April 1, 2010

Headed North

Nick and I are headed to San Francisco until Saturday.
We are meeting up with his family there.
We are hoping for a great trip.