I stewed for a good couple days after learning about Grandma's passing...trying to decide the best way to celebrate her life. If we took all the kids and drove we'd have to squeeze the drive in over the weekend (yikes), just fly Justin and I, just fly me, or not attend at all. I determined I'd kick myself if I didn't go, so kick that option out. We ended up opting for sending just me with Justin at home to man the helm. It was a tough decision. We are grateful the kids and I got to give Grandma last hugs and kisses and tell her how much we love her. I hope that memory lasts.
Monday-Wednesday we had Gabi here all day since Jason was out of town for training. The kids quite enjoyed playing with her before and after school. She is crawling all over the place and getting into everything. She was pleased to learn how to crawl up the stairs, not so pleased when she tumbled down them. Of course that first day Josie came down with the barfs, I thought maybe it was food poisoning since my tummy was also feeling strange. Josie barfed and barfed and barfed. She always missed the bowl and aimed for the clean carpet. I left out the spot carpet cleaning machine for 3 days as I tried to manage the mess. The kids felt sorry for her and kept giving her apple sauce or pink milk, which only made her barf. She did not get better until Friday morning. Early Friday morning (like 2 am) she crawled into my bed....covered with barf. I left Justin to manage four loads of bedding and messed up clothes from her little episode. I hear poor Gabi also caught our stomach bug, we did not have much of a choice since Jason was gone and Amanda had to work. Yuck
I quite enjoyed shopping for some new clothes. My closet was in dire need of some new threads. My mom style was taking over and leaving me with stained and ratty clothes to wear. I scored several shirts, shorts, and sandals. The best part was shopping alone! Justin was glad I came home. Ha ha.
Justin was quite happy I was home before the kids left for school. That hour before school is madness. He and Josie dropped me off for another Allegiant flight, the cheapest by half the money. Phillip had me tote along Belt a stuffed animal to help document my trip. The airport was nearly deserted in the security area. I love not waiting. I hear Josie was convinced I was staying up in the clouds. Justin managed the food shopping with only a couple hitches. Thank goodness for my new shopping and cooking system, complete with lists. Miekka picked me up in Provo just a couple hours later. We enjoyed delicious food at Bam-Bam's BBQ. Then we went for some more shopping. I still needed a new stretchy pencil skirt since the one I love at home has a broken zipper. I found two (one at a deep discount) at Nordstrom Rack. I've never been to that store before, was quite pleased with my skirts and new sandals. We headed to Ross next then DI in Provo. I enjoyed the quiet, enjoyed time alone with Miekka. The great Lance pizza production was in full gear when we got to the Eagle's nest. Each Friday the James Lance kitchen turns into a pizzeria. Seth, Jacob, and Lia were all involved to make their favorite dinner. It's like a delicious dance. We headed up to Taylorsville for Grandma's viewing. I am so, so grateful I could go. The best part of funerals is seeing all the family you never get to see. I was pleased to see Darrel Jr, who flew in from Japan for the funeral! He won the travel distance award. Mom used Grandma's floral arrangements in her apartment for her casket decor and wreath. We headed back after visiting for an hour.
We left early the next morning for Wellsville, UT. Mom organized a nice luncheon picnic at the tabernacle park starting at 11 am. After lunch a graveside service was held to honor Grandma. It was quite a sight to see all the Baerwaldts gathered together. Darrel presided over the service. Mom gave a lovely talk about what Grandma wanted her grandkids to know, that she loved the savior and served him. She relayed Grandma's beliefs on the plan of salvation. We all had to laugh over singing all the verses of the songs, we mumbled through the unknown verses as best we could. There was a mud puddle next to the casket, it was a continual draw for all the little kids. More than one mom or dad snatched a kid away before the inevitable. We gathered back at the park for birthday cake to celebrate Darrel Sr and Yulia's birthdays. I caught a ride back with Jared. He really, really wanted me to see Alita, Battle Angel. He saw a movie I suggested so it was only fair. I had to laugh (inside) when he started preaching about the merits of home school and the evil school system. I'd love to homeschool but circumstances (my health) are delaying that want. Opinions are easy to have and deliver...the reality is harder than an opinion. I quite enjoyed the drive down. We had a couple hours to burn so we stopped at a couple plant nurseries to find Mom a Mother's day gift. I found a lovely wisteria vine and Ben Franklin peonies for her! The movie was hilarious. I laughed at all the wrong spots and made Jared stare at me in confusion. My sense of humor is much changed now that we have our own 12 year old. When one of the main characters died after losing his arms and legs, I started throwing out torso jokes. What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in a pool? Bob....ha ha ha.
By this time I had a deluge of hilarious texts from Justin. "Josie won't eat anything but yogurt. Amelia is pissy. Evelyn is a buttchunk, Phillip can't focus. Everett is good but severely outnumbered" "I can't figure out why you put up with this!" "Today I googled, 'why is my 12 year old a bitch? turns out it's hormones and her brain rewiring'" The kids were constantly fighting! Fighting over corn dogs and microwaves, elbowing in the van, Evelyn so angry she dumped out the DVD case contents, Amelia trying to parent...I about died when Justin texted..."I think it's time to consider permanent birth control, I can't handle any more." Poor guy! Happy Mother's Day!
James whipped up sushi for lunch. Lia was his sous chef, her task to apply the ingredients and roll up the sushi. Delicious! Yum! I went home with a happy belly. I was quite surprised to walk out of the restricted area to find all the family waiting! Got a huge bear hug from everyone at once. Josie beat the crowd. I was expected a curbside pick up. Somehow the parking token fell out of Justin's pocket so he had to pay for an entire day of parking, $45 verses $2. I found the token a couple days later under the front seat. I loved all the cute Mother's day gifts, cards, book marks, hugs, and flowers. Justin grilled up steak for dinner with shrimp cocktail and salad.