Monday, October 2, 2017

Where I have been

it has been a long time since I had posted on here. To be truthful, I have sat down at my computer many times trying to type out my next blog post. I want to keep things chronological, so the pressure has been to continue blogging about the trip to California. Now don't get me wrong, California was amazing and I want to continue telling that story, but so much has happened since then.

In my devotional journal, I put no pressure on myself to say or write certain things; to stay on any sort of timeline or path. I just try to follow my heart and share whatever it is that I needed in that moment. I want to do the same here.

Upon our return from our pioneer trek, I was greeted by my father. From the second I saw his face I knew something was wrong. Immediately after our embrace, I asked him what had happened ... what was wrong? At first I thought it was my grandma, but he comforted me and told me that she was OK. My next thought went to my nephew, who was in euturo and 35 weeks gestation. Maybe he was born and in the NICU, but he would be ok because he was far enough along to be "viable". My father interrupted those thoughts when he passed me the cell phone. I looked at it and saw that it was AJ who was on the other line. When I put the phone up to my ear and I said "hello" my sweet brother replied that he and Sarah had lost the baby. Gunnar had no heartbeat. It was as if in that moment, a trap door underneath my feet flung open. I was free falling into the darkest, blackest abiss.

I have no intentions at this time to share with you the details of what has followed, but suffice it to say that these past two months have been filled with grief. Grief has been new to me. Fortunately, I have all of my adult life without having anyone close to me passed away. My grandfather Joe and my Nana Alice passed away when I was younger, but I didn't understand. It didn't impact me. I didn't grieve. With Gunnar's passing, however, I have been ripped open. The intensity of grief is not for the faint of heart. As time progresses and as I continue to heal from my grief I hope that I can open up and share some of the things I've experienced, but at this point I cannot. I am learning to have grace for myself as a navigate these uncharted waters.

So, how do I go on writing about California when my nephew is gone? How do I share the details of trek when it is upon that trek that my family was at home suffering? I don't know. I don't really know how to talk about the summer without feeling such intense pain, so my plan at this point is to just pick up where I am now. Focus on where we, the waltons, are at now. I pray that my family, including myself, can strive to do that in all aspects of our life: to just pick up where we are now and progress.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

California Part 2!

After Brady, Jodi and Todd left, I was having an internal debate. I LOVE Disneyland. LOVE IT!!! The plan, from the beginning, was to go to Disneyland on Sunday. However, that all got thrown up into the air when I realized that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was at Universal Hollywood. I thought it was only at Universal Orlando! What was I to do?! What do I go see?!?! Disney is my first love, however, HARRY POTTER!! Haha! It was only 4pm, so we decided to just go for it and head to Universal that night! We weren't far from Hollywood and it stayed open until 10pm. Yahoo!

When we made it into Studio City, my eyes just filled with tears. I was so happy to he there! So happy to be with Doug! So happy relive moments from our early years of marriage! Gosh, I was just so happy!

We got our tickets, went through the gates and then I saw it. The entrance to Hosgmeade. Oh happy Day! Its funny hearing Doug tell the story of what I was like once we entered Hogsmeade...He said I was like a child. I went from shop to shop with eyes as big a saucers. Honeydukes, Zonkos, the Owlery, The Three Broomsticks, hogshead YES!!!

And the I saw it...Hogwarts. I saw the enterance and B-Lined it! Doug could barely keep up! I was on cloud 9 going through the castle, drinking in every detail I could, until...
Haha! I had no idea we were in line for a ride, and then when I saw a picture on the screen of what the ride was and it looked like a roller coaster, my child-like grin was exchanged for one of anxiety and nausea. I don't really do rides...BUT when in Hogwarts! The ride was a bit intense for me, but it was pretty epic. It was a simulation of a quidditch game!

Other Hogsmeade gems were


Hagrid's Hut


A small, short rollercoaster (Perfect was wussy people like me!)

Now, as if Hogsmeade wasn't enough, we went around the corner in Universal and were in SPRINGFIELD! Whoop! Doug and I have been BIG Simpson's fans for decades. We had a blast checking out all the Springfield sights! We didn't ride the Simpson's ride and there was a warning that it was 'highly aggressive' which is not so good for a wussy person like me. We did, however, enjoy a Krusty Burger!!

Since we didn't have too much time in Universal, we had to be wise on how we spent that time. So, we decided to try something Doug had never done before - the Studio Tour. When Doug mentioned it, I thought 'Meh', but it was actually really cool! We saw a bunch of neat sets, an amazing King Kong vs T-Rex 3D experience, we experienced a flash flood and what it would be like to be in a subway station during an earthquake. Serious, it was cool.

The last stop in Universal for the night was Despicable Me. SO fun! We waited a loooong time for the ride, but it was pretty fun. The kiddos would have LOVED it spray park, for sure.

Before heading home, we stopped on City Walk for Doug to grab something to eat. To my surprise, he came to the table with this monster hot dog! Doug it NOT a hot dog guy, but he loved it!!

The drive back to the hotel was awesome. We climbed into bed tired and happy. When we were to wake the next day, it was Disney time :)