The Dial family is moving forward and healing. There is never a day that goes by that we don't think about or talk about Rod. We are very blessed to have such great memories. We feel his presence as we recognize he watches out for us from a different place. And we believe wholeheartedly that we will be with him again someday.
Family time and travelling have been a great healer and distraction so we have taken some fun trips.
Last Thanksgiving we spent a fabulous week in Chicago with Rodney, Kylee and Kylee's family. I love that 'we' married into the Eyre family.
Last Christmas was spent in San Diego with Uncle Jerry (my little brother), Aunt Darla and their kids. Our trip included a few days in Baja California building a chain link fence at one of our favorite orphanages. In honor of Rod they had us plant a lima' tree. Very fitting if you've ever eaten out with Rod and he's asked for bowls and bowl of limes from the server to make his infamous limeade.
This Thanksgiving we went on a cruise out of New Orleans. Such a fun trip! The Eyres and Lowes accompanied us. We drove to New Orleans and spent a day exploring before boarding the ship
This Christmas we will be staying home and enjoying the new house which was finished in May.
Other trips in 2011 included:
January: I was able to return to Chicago to go to the Oprah show! Knocking something off the bucket list.
March: Nikka, Joseph and Luke spent Spring Break in Chicago and had so much fun.
May: I went to Utah over Mother’s Day weekend to visit Kyria. I returned to the best surprise! Nikka had orchestrated (with major assistance of friends and church members), our very own Extreme Home Makeover. I was all moved into my new house! It was a dream come true.
June: Rodney kept up his Dads tradition of taking the little boys to Father Son bball camp at BYU. Luke also was able to attend a week long basketball camp in Utah that month.
July: California for lots of beach time, wonderful weather and of course the annual Baja Orphanage trip. So great to keep that tradition going even without Rod to guide us.
The trips are slowing down as I'm learning how to budget (that is a bad word and I can't believe I said it). Though I do go to Utah often, its not my favorite destination spot but with 3 of my kids there - it holds half my heart. So Im there as often as possible.
Rodney and Kylee are still living in downtown Chicago...for a few more months anyways. Rodney was just accepted to Stanford Business school. He'll be getting his MBA, and starts in September. Yes he's a smart one. He's also a smart aleck; and he has yet to grow out of tormenting and teasing his younger siblings. Luckily they take it better and don't come crying to Mom quite as often. Rodney works as a marketing manager at Fenwal (ok I don't really know if thats what he does, but I DO know he works at Fenwal) he also serves as the president of the Young Men's organization at church in their downtown Chicago ward. Two weeks ago he texted me to tell me Donny Osmond was in their church.
Kylee aka; the BEST daughter in law ever! I won the jackpot when Rodney married her. And the good news is she seems to like me too. She tells me she hears others complain about their Mother in law and is very grateful she doesn't have those problems. You see why I love love love her! Anyways, she works as an event planner for Franklin Covey - the perfect job for her in my opinion. Again, I'm not sure what she does, something about planning really big events for Franklin Covey, hence 'event planner' I DO know I'd be happy to let her plan all my vacations for the rest of my life.
They are very good at taking advantage of the downtown Chicago life, I love to hear of their adventures and fantastic restaurants they find. In September they went on an Alaskan Cruise and were surprised to find they and their friends were the only people on the boat (besides the employees) who didn't have gray hair.
'Rod's girls' as they like to call themselves
Elyse (pictured in the center) is living back in Utah. She works in the corporate office for 'Kid to Kid'. 2011 found Elyse becoming a 'Yogi', not as in bear but as in Yoga. When she was still in Austin she would try and get anyone to join her in a downward dog or sun salutation. I think that was the influence of living in downtown Austin, she adopted the 'keep austin weird' mantra.
I love visiting her in her Salt Lake town house. Very grown up. She also just bought her first, nice, grown up car. When I pointed out to her that Dad and I needed a co signer for our first car, she said; "See! I needed someone to appreciate this accomplishment" She has grown into an amazing woman and I count her among one of my best friends and confidantes.
Kyria (right) spent spring and summer here at home with me. She was my roomie; literally we shared my bedroom. We had such a fun time! She is back at UVU majoring in Elementary Education. She is going to be an incredible 2nd grade teacher. Kyria is an Intramural star! I'm pretty sure the media are alerted whenever she has a game. Her fan club is quite large at all of her games, which include; Basketball, Football, Dodge ball, and she's just added a Triathlon intramural league (not sure how that works). She is better then any of the guys usually, which throws them off, they see her beauty and don't expect the braun behind it.
Nikka (left) was accepted to BYU!!!! And began in the fall. She is loving her college and dorm life. I think she has adjusted to moving away better then me. I miss her terribly, now that I'm the only girl in the house. Nikka also helped so much with the boys. Kyria gets her to play in the intramurals and like a good little sister she obliges.
In October I took both Kyria and Nikka to see Garth Brooks in Vegas. It was their Christmas AND Birthday present, yes its that expensive. Kyria says it was a life defining moment. It was pretty cool! And something we will never forget.
Joseph 14; aka; Josey, aka; Rods mini me. Seriously this boy looks more and more like Rod everyday. And watching him play any sport is like watching his Dad. Its uncanny and such a treat for me.
Josey started high school this year. He also made the freshmen basketball team. So fun to be going to those games again. I've missed it. I don't like it when people tell Joseph he's the 'man of the house now', I quickly remind him that NO, he gets to still be a kid. (Luckily that doesn't happen too much) However he has become quite my little right hand man. Always willing to help me with anything around the house. Together he and I have tackled many home projects I'd never thought I could do.
Josephs voice is so deep, the other day I thought a man had come in the house uninvited. I thought about looking for one of their fake airsoft guns that look real to scare away the 'intruder'. Joseph said; "You were going to shoot me?!"
Luke 11; (far right) attended the BYU / Texas game with friends. He stayed true to his siblings and parents alma mater by representing well in a sea of burnt orange. Luke began middle school. I can't believe my baby boy is in middle school! He, like Joseph is always willing to help.
Luke also hasn't grown out of and hopefully never will grow out of always being ready for a hug, kiss or snuggle. He reminds the whole family when we are together that its 'snuggle' time. He is also quite the 'baller' like his Dad and brothers. He debates often which NBA team will want him more when he graduates college.
And then there's Me! I wish I could adequately convey the depth of gratitude I feel at the love and support that has been shown to me and my kids. I told a friend today that I hope to someday be the kind of friend that he and his wife have been to our family during this past 15 months. And I feel that about many friends and family.
I have stayed busy working and have been able to provide as needed for my family. What a blessing! Thank you to all the friends and past clients for the referrals.
I'm slowly, very slowly getting back into running and exercise. The powdered sugar donuts I breathed in like air the whole year after Rod died were not kind to my health. Which is a nice way to say I gained way too much weight. Nikka and I have pinky swore to once again do the Cap Tex triathlon next year, that always gets me back into shape. I'll let you know how that commitment pans out, stay tuned...And I'll let you know if Nikka actually does it this time.
I love love love being in the new house, I designed it so its a treat to see it and live in it.
I miss having all the kids at home and get SO happy when they are all together. Its just too quiet with only the 2 boys and seems so weird. To compensate for the lack of children around; the boys and I got another little dog Jack and 6 chickens. The chickens have been keeping me and the neighbors stocked with fresh yummy eggs.
So there you go kids, the best Mom can do at a Christmas card or letter!
We hope all of our friends and family have a wonderful holiday season. We are grateful for this time of year to be reminded of our Saviors love and sacrifice for all of His children. The Dial Family has truly felt the healing balm of the Atonement in our lives.
Loves to y'all! Jennifer