December 7, 2013

Grandpa Don


Today much of my family is gathered in Florida celebrating the life of my Grandpa and saying goodbye to him. He was my mom’s dad and he was the very best Grandpa. He was sweet and loving and funny. I was looking forward to seeing him for Christmas this year, the first time in almost 4 years. He and my Grandma had been married over 55 years and he would have been 78 years old yesterday. He had 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and one on the way. We will all miss him very much.




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I am so thankful that my Grandpa Don knew the Lord, he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and is in heaven praising God and enjoying perfection right now. He is yet another reason that I have to look forward to heaven. Our family was so blessed through his life on this earth.

Michelle and Garth

In May of 2002, when I was 18 years old and living with my parents in San Angelo, TX, my dad got orders to Misawa, Japan. He, my mom, and my two sisters moved to the other side of the planet that spring. And I moved in with my new family: Michelle. Her parents moved to France that same spring so we were on our own together. We lived together for a year in our cute little apartment and then moved into a bigger, cute apartment with our friend, Shaunna. The three of us lived together until I married Steve. Then we split up, and Michelle and Shaunna both married their husbands the following year. Over the years, we've all kept in touch. Facebook, phone calls and a few visits here and there have gotten us through the years. It had been two years since I last saw Michelle so she came out to see me earlier this month. She came to see me. And to see Garth. We'll get to him later. With her, she brought her sweet second son, Sawyer. Her 2-year-old, Carson and hubby, Kenny stayed behind. Hopefully, they'll come next time.

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I grew up on Country music and although I haven't been a Country music listener in about 12 years, I'm pretty sure I know every 1990's country music song by heart to this day. When Michelle called to let me know she was going to come out, she let me know that Garth Brooks would be playing that weekend here in Vegas and she would get tickets. Her gift to us to celebrate the year we turned 30.

We spent the first few days she was here just relaxing. We went out to lunch, did a little shopping, lounged around my house and nursed our babies. I think my favorite game we played was called, "What were we thinking?" To play, one of us would say, "Remember when I --?" or "Remember when we --?" This is always followed with, "Yeah. What was I/were we thinking?!"

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And then the highlight of our trip. Garth Brooks. We were giddy. We drove down to The Wynn, got into our seats chatting and fidgeting in anticipation. He finally came out and sang songs that took us back to our childhood days. We cheered and sang out hearts out along with every word, we knew them all by heart. He even brought his wife out on stage, Trisha Yearwood and she sang two more 90s hits that we sang every word to. Sharing the fun with Michelle was perfect. I can't think of another person I would have had as much fun with at a Garth Brooks concert.


We spend the rest of the weekend listening to the CDs we bought at the concert that contain 30 of his hits. I was sad to take her and sweet Sawyer to the airport that Monday but so thankful that I have such a wonderful friend who doesn't hesitate to hop on a plane with her three-month-old and come out to see me and Garth.

photo 2Leah & Michelle 2001, on our senior trip with our church youth group. I was 17, she was 18. We were adorable.

IMG_0758[2] Leah & Michelle 2013, at a Garth Brooks concert. We have six kids between the two of us and are both 30. I still think we’re kind of adorable.

Love you, Michelle!