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!