Monday, December 15, 2008

Festival of Trees

Jack always looked soooo great in blue!

Jack's tree

Coby coming to the rescue with his trusty drill!

Corbin wanted to play with other people's decorations...thank goodness my mom was pay attention!

Some of the work crew.

Here's what the final tree looked like. Coby and I couldn't have been happier! It was beautiful!

This year Coby's mom put together and organized a tree for Jackie to be displayed at the Festival of Trees. Until this year, I really had no idea what the "festival of trees" was. I actually thought it was a bunch of lit up trees at Thankgiving Point. We decided on a theme..."Through the eyes of love." And went with the colors of bronzes to silvers with accents of this gorgeous teal color to go with Jackie's eyes. We wanted to put things on the tree that represented things loved by our Jackie. He LOVED and I MEAN LOVED playing with balls of sorts. We thought about putting little plungers on it, but they were too hard to come by...and honestly...who really wants to boast about their child having a love for playing in a germ invested toilet??!! Joanne and the queen of crafts and cooking really, cute Amber Sargent found wooden basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls and all the Rich, Patterson and Burton (my side) along with my cute Camille came and helped paint the balls, reindeer, snowflakes, hearts and bronze stars. My aunt Linda sent some beautiful garland with Jack's name and 3 teal snowflakes. Our cute neighbor Aprill gave us two stunning ornaments to be placed on the tree. My sweet friend Amy all the way in WA helped out too. A few of the cute girls in our ward gave us a cash donation to help in the ornaments for the tree. Then Coby's family kindly purchased the tree for Coby and I to keep.

While we were there, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the amount of love I felt at the Festival of Trees. I watched people as they looked at our tree and read Jack's story and saw how their hearts would just break as they looked at his big blue eyes and beautiful little angelic face. I heard one lady say..."Oh, that little guy was a cutie...oh, it's just so sad...." I lost it and had to walk away because I thought...he was a little cutie...a little cutie who should still be here. I know deep down that he really shouldn't though. Then of course I go on to look at all of the other "children's" trees and read their stories. I came across one that especially broke my heart. A little girl died on her 7 month birthday....but that wasn't the saddest part...hard as that may sound. The saddest part was that they said that her big sister who died in 2005 came to bring her home. This family has had to endure losing 2 children. 2 children!!! That thought baffles my mind. I know that it happens and it's not fair, but in lieu of that it makes me really grateful for what I DO have. I have so much to be grateful for. I have such an amazing family. My sweet husband and Corbin are my whole world and without them I would be lost. They are the reason I get up everyday...that and the knowledge of the plan of salvation and that every single day is one day closer to being with my little Jackie. But I am so grateful. The Lord has truly blessed me. I see His hand in my life daily.

I am still in awe at the amount of love that we continually feel from all of you. You have helped to ease this awful burden we carry every day. You have lifted our spirits and done so much for us that you will never know just how much you all mean to us. We love you and hope that you will know that we have noticed every single, selfless thing that you all have done to help our family. My mom still comes over almost every day, people still drop in just let us know that they are still thinking of us and keeping us in their prayers. My mom, Joanne, Sommer, Whitney, Camille, Tiana, Lanae, Mandie, Jen, Caralee, (the list can go on and on....) won't leave me alone! :) They call and call and I'm sure they think I'm screening their calls! Not that I would ever want to. Bare with me...I'm trying harder. I love that you call me and drop in. It means the world to me! Thank you for being so Christlike, especially at this time of the year. Looking at the tree reminds me of Jack and it reminds me of all the love we feel so fully from every single one of you. I'd love to start name dropping (more than I already have) and could go on and on about each one of you and the things each of you have done to help in this process. You'll never know just how much it has touched our hearts and helped us feel the true light of Christ..."Through the eyes of love." I don't think there could be a more fitting name for the tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I know this is a little late....Sorry!!! But hey, better late than never!!!

Anticipation for the first parade

Cinderella's castle at night

Ben totally tried to make out with me!!! Whitney did NOT approve! :)


Coby's phenomenal co-workers helped talk Cobe into continuing with our trip to Disneyland this year. Originally we had planned it with both our boys. Jack and Corbin had already been twice this year. We even celebrated Jack's 1st birthday there. So, we were having a hard time wanted to go. Randon (coby's hilarious) friend and co-worker suggested that we incorporate Jack in this trip. He suggested that we purchase a brick to be placed in between Disneyland and California Adventure in memory of our Jackie. He took care of everything. He got the brick ordered, got Corbin an awesome Buzz Lightyear toy, got VIP passes to all the parades and even Fantasmic and then got everyone in the office to throw in a little spending money for the trip. When Coby told me...I couldn't believe what an awesome group of people he gets to work with. Thanks Randon for taking care of this! You're the best!

In front of the Monster's Inc. Ride

Joanne...aka Honey had been wanting a turkey eventually we got one. Corbin, however thought he should be the one holding it and eating it mostly. He was truly a little carnivor and didn't want to share. Sorry guys!

A little picture with Miney, Honey, Sammi, Corb and me.

There's no signifigance to this picture...I just thought it was funny!

How could we pass up a shot in front of Disneyland???!!

At least Coby's looking!!

Just us girls!

We were trying to pump the water.

A little kiss for Poppy...isn't that sweet! He sure does love his Poppy! And I think I can safely say the feeling is quite mutal for Poppy too! :)

This was a shot just before Fantasmic started. What an awesome show! If you ever get the chance to watch's amazing. There are fireworks and fire and even a lazer show on cool! I loved it!!!

Honey and Poopy treated us all to a Character's breakfast. We got to meet a bunch of characters and get an AWESOME meal. I think I gained about 50lbs there because it was sooo good. The omlets...oh my! I've never had an omlet taste so good in all my life. Seriously, they must mix in a little of the "magic" with them because I didn't want to stop eating! :) Thanks Honey and Poppy! We loved it!

Eyore thanked us for "noticin'"

A little squeeze from my girl Miney!

Corbin got to meet Chip too!

And Max was a hoot! I think he may have had a little crush!

And Captain Hook isn't as bad as people think he is! :)

Sammi and Corbin playing in the water at A bug's life in California Adventure.

I think Corbin got a little thirsty!

And had to go back for more!!

Jack was there some form anyway. He would have LOVED playing in the water!

While we were in this fun waterpark I saw a little toe head boy that looked about Jack's age. He was totally having a BALL splashing in the water and getting soaked from head to toe! I made sure that no one was looking and walked up to him and kind of pulled him into my leg to see if he was about Jack's height. He totally was. I walked away, but couldn't take my eyes off of him for a second. Then I realized that this little boy's mom was standing next to us. So I inquired about her little boy. I told her that he was so cute and asked his age. She told me that he just turned 18 months...Jack would have been 18 months too that month. I told her that my Jack was 18 months too and she said..."What did you say his name was?" I told her Jack and she kind of chuckled and said..."Oh, that's my little guy's name too." WHAT ARE THE CHANCES!!!???? I didn't tell her that Jack had passed because I didn't want to break down and make her feel weird, plus she'd probably leave and I couldn't watch her son play anymore. We talked briefly for a few more minutes and then she took of her Jack's shirt because it was really wet. It was about then that I lost it. He was so chubby, with this really blond hair and from the face down looked identical to my Jackie. I had to walk away because it was too hard now to watch him. I had a little breakdown away from everyone. And thought to myself...she's so lucky that she gets to take her Jack home. I just missed him so much. I am glad that was the 0nly time I actually lost it. I am glad that Coby was there. Maybe this was a tender mercy...maybe Jack was trying to say hi in some form. At any was hard. I know he was there but I wished I could see him. But then again that might even be harder because then I'd want to hold him and kiss him and I don't think I could let him go. Has anyone heard the forcast on the Millenium?? I hope it comes today!

A little leap frog for the Rich boys!

This was a great trip. It was fun to be with Ben and Whitney and Jim and Joanne. Sammi and Corbin had a ball as usual. They are such good buddies and I'm so glad we live close enough that they are able to become such good friends. My parents couldn't make it this year, but we'll plan another trip soon and hopefully Amber will be living here and we can make it a family tradition! :)

A big thanks to everyone who made this trip possible! We had so much fun!

Friday, November 28, 2008


The last few days have been to say the least, hard as heck. I can't stand that Jack isn't here. I thought I was doing okay and then Thanksgiving rolled around. I AM grateful for so many things, but I'm not thankful that I can't be with my Jackie right now. Why is he gone? WHY? I know the logical and spiritual answers, but none of them actually bring him back to me. It just doesn't seem fair that everyone else gets to watch their families grow up and we had to put ours to rest. I know that we all have trials and all deal with heartache at different times in our lives, but this...this seems too much to bare. I know that we probably agreed to this before we came here, but was I not paying attention to the "fine" print? Did I see the part where Jack would be taken at only 16 months?? I'm not angry. I'm not bitter. I'm just a little sad. I cling to Heavenly Father because it's through him that I get my peace. But why Jack? Why isn't he down for his nap right now? Why can't I watch him sleeping while his stomach moves up and down? Why isn't he watching Corbin so intently as to figure out how to be just like his big brother. Corbin will never know him or play football with him. Coby can't just take his boys to professional game and enjoy just spending time with them. It breaks my heart. I know that Jack is still here and that he watches over us, but it's not enough. I didn't get enough time with him. I know that this life is but a second in comparison to the grand scheme of things, but it sure seems long. I don't even know what I'm typing anymore. I can't even see the screen.

So, today I'm not okay, but I will be. I just miss him that's all.

Friday, November 07, 2008

And there shall be joy...

What a proud proud day it has been thus far this morning and it's only 8:15am!!! I feel like we've been working with Corbin to get potty trained FOREVER! He just refuses!! He doesn't like underwear, so Lanae suggested we get boxer briefs so he could be more like "daddy". When that didn't work, I took him to the store and let him pick out the biggest toy and told him that when he only used the big potty he could have it. That didn't work. Camille kindly let us borrow her "I can go potty" video. I got some great tips, but Corbin could have cared less about applying the info and was more interested in watching it over and over again! I seriously have tried everything from pouring warm water over him to serving him lunch while he watched World World and drank a Diet. Dr. Pepper. What could be better? And STILL, after hours of just sitting on his "little" potty, he'd get up and then go...NOT ON HIS LITTLE POTTY!!!

But Today was a little different. This morning he called up the stairs after Coby and said, "Daddy, I need to go potty." Now normally when he says this we get excited, get his little potty ready and stick him on it...without any luck. But today, today was different. He told Coby he needed to "go" and so Coby got him "situated" and then I heard music...shear music to my ears..."Hon...has he ever pooed on the potty before?" I said,...."Um...NO....DID HE?" and to my wonderous suprise I got a whopping YES!!! With that I ran to the pantry and found his basket of wrapped toys (courtesy of Honey), just as he ran to me and said...."Mom...where's my present...?" It was said so sweetly and I was so proud!!! I told him that he could stay in his Jams all day! :)

So is he potty trained...NO...but it's a start!

On a side note I have to believe that those parents who get the privledge of raising their children in the 2nd coming...there will be NO POTTY TRAINING NECESSARY!!!! It's wishful thinking anyway!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Poochie was a nerd..., Som was a flapper girl, Corbin was Peter Pan, Coby was Captain Hook...sort of and I was Tinkerbell...naturally!

Our cute little Peter Pan Family...and one invisible angel unable to actually be he was there I'm sure! He wouldn't miss it!

Me and my little monkey! I just love this picture!

Finally, we're all looking at the camera!

Kiss Kiss! I've often heard that the "nerd" gets the girls!! I tried to Photoshop Amber in...but couldn't figure it out! Next year right Rhonda??!!

Poochie and his hot girls...minus one!

Two little hotties....well one anyway...she's the one in purple!

My little Peter Pan. Thanks to Mandie for sewing his costume! She's a pro!

There's the cutest little witch I've ever seen! But to Corbin she was his Wendy!

He couldn't wait to greet her with a little smooch!

And neither could she!! Hot and heavy! Just kidding, they're cousins of course...(kissing cousins...and we're not even in Alabama or anything!)

And lastly two great sisters!

This our first Halloween without our little moofalotta. It was sad, but I know that he was there...somewhere. I just wish we had "visitation" rights. So we could get him every other weekend and on Holidays! Wouldn't that be nice!

Anyway, we had the awesome opportunity thanks to great family members who not only let us borrow their costumes, but actually sewed them as well! Lanae and guys are awesome! Thanks so much!

First we went trick-or-treating through the neigborhood. But the first place Corbin wanted to go was the really creepy and terrifying house with all the ghosts, clowns and blood. All month long he wants us to take him to the most creepy house on the block, over and over again! He just loved it! He was sad when everything was taken down the day after. He's like me...I love to watch things that scare me...and like to watch them over and over...I guess to desenitize me. I'm a nerd what can I say! So we all went trick-or-treating with my mom..who was "tickled pink". She wore pink and had a feather! Cute! While my dad the "nerd" opted to stay home and hand out the candy...or watch the game...I'm not sure which! :) Then after seeing our friends we closed shop and headed to Coby's parent's house for a little more candy! They serve hot cider and donuts every year. I think they said that they got over 200 kids this year! Wow! That's a lot of donuts! Joanne was little red riding hood, and Jim was a hippy, I think. Ben, Whit and Mason were a family of pirates with one adorable witch! After trick-or-treating in two great neighborhoods, you can imagine that Corbin completely made out like a bandit! We have enough candy to last us through the rest of the year. I hope we make it, because chocolate doesn't usually last long! I bet Jack is wishing he was still here because he loved chocolate too! soon! But until then...the chocolate is MINE! :)

Ward Chili Cookoff

One hot witch Camille and me

me and Som
A family of pirates....Arrrrrrrr!

My hot pirate and me

Two boys who think making fun of me and Camille is cool!!!
*Note* I didn't find this out until about a week later when Camille and Coby had to tell me! Those little stinkers!!!
Camille and her little elephant, Samantha

one little pirate

A pirate mom...aka Mandy and her little Tinkerbell...aka Summer

Batgirl...aka McKenna, Wendy...aka Roxy and a crazy pirate...aka CorbiMac a doodle!

Roxy was taking her pirate to find a sword. It was cute...she just took his hand and led him away.

two cool pumpkins carved by Coby and Brett

This was our second annual Ward Chili Cookoff / Halloween Party. It was sooo much fun. I made chili, that of course didn't win AGAIN! :) But it was so fun to hang out with the Siebenbergs, Secors and Sloans. We had way too much fun. I laughed a lot...which was good. My cute cousin let our entire family borrow everything. She's got connections! ;) It so good to finally have close! I wanted to move about 3 months ago...but now I don't think you could pay me leave! I love it!