I love this picture of us at my 23rd Birthday Party... He was the best dad, ever.
The 14th has become a dreaded number for our family. It marks a day of intense pain and grief. As I've stated before, we've decided to make the 14th of every month a family day in order to continue to grow together as a family and to move through this together. It has been a wonderful tradition that I really look forward to upholding.
This past weekend was a difficult one for me. Friday night our long-time, family friends, the Cooks, spent their last night in Texas. We drove out to Grapevine and met up with the Cooks at Fireside Pies for some pizza. It was great sitting at this big table with so many people that we love. After dinner we headed to their hotel and got to do a little swimming with the kids. They have four beautiful children that I am completely in love with. 2 handsome boys and 2 incredible gorgeous daughters. The night flew by though and before I knew it we were saying our goodbyes. As I hugged Bekah tears welled up in my eyes, she and her husband, Josh, were the ones that gave Josh and I our premarital counseling. I've known them since I was a young teen and they have made such an impact on my life. Saying goodbye to them was incredibly difficult. Bekah looked at me and said, "Ya know, Nic, Josh and I were thinking, why did God move us to Texas for these past three years? What is it that he wanted us here for, and we realized it was so that we could have three more years with your dad." I couldn't hold back my tears because I knew she was right. Had they have stayed in Tennessee they would have been one of the many who had to receive a distant phone call on that dreadful night. As hard as it is to see them go we know that God has greater things in store for their family and I continue to love and miss them until we get to be reunited again.
Nikki flew in from California Friday night and was able to spend time with everyone before they left as well. On Saturday I spent the day at Mom's house just goofing around. Athena and I had a great time playing "Horse" outside with our basketball. I realized that I am not very graceful, shocker, and that Athena has some half way decent skills. But no one can do a granny, in between the legs, shot like I can. While we were outside the ice cream man drove up. I cannot remember the last time that I got ice cream from one of these places... It was really fun. Mom, Bug, Nikki and I sat on the curb eating our treats and smiling at the beautiful day. It really was amazing. That night Mom, Nicki and Bug came over for dinner and desert and we played Settlers of Catan. Kevin was even able to come and join us for the game.
Sunday was a relaxing day for the most part. Sunday morning I woke up at 6:20 (which was REALLY 5:20 with this whole spring forward deal) and got ready for church. I sang in both services so it was a long morning, but very fun. I was so flustered after the first service, however, as the screen with the words in the back of the sanctuary froze during one of the songs I was leading... The second verse came up and my mind went completely blank. I froze. I felt completely embarrassed. It happens, though... right? Haha. Besides, it's not about me! Everything we do sounds beautiful to the Lord, even when we forget the words. :)
I had rehearsal again Sunday night and then enjoyed the rest of the evening at home with Josh. He spend the whole day ironing his shirts (how lucky am I?) while I sat on the couch clearing the DVR of all of my episodes of Bones. :) Quite relaxing.
Last night, as it was the 14th, we all met up at Uncle Julios for dinner. The whole family, even Nikki. Dinner was incredible, I think most of us ended up with the Carne Asada and some delicious margaritas. After dinner the girls went to mom's for another game of Catan in which Melanie kicked all of our butts.
I have to say, with everything that is going on in my life, the loss of dad, dealing with other daily issues, some things going on with close friends.... I still feel incredibly blessed. I have a great job. A husband who loves me, an incredible, reliable, close-nit family and some amazing friends. It is hard to complain when you look on the bright side of things.
Tonight, because of spring break, there is no group counseling. I'm pretty bummed as I have come to look forward to the evenings at the Warm Place. But I have been taking time out of my day to focus on my grief and have even been writing more letters to Dad. Because there is no group I get to watch Josh's softball game tonight. His dad has joined the team as well, so it is a family affair. I'm looking forward to watching the guys play. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures and some video as well. :)
I really appreciate all of you that take the time to read these random ramblings of mine. It is just my way of getting the clutter out of my brain so I can think a little more clearly, but I feel so loved knowing that so many of you read and support us. You all bless me more than you could possibly know. I am so thankful. :)