Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Ricker.


Today my dad would've turned 64 years old.  We were going to have a big birthday party for him, Rangi and Rocky were even planning on coming in town for it.  It makes me sad we weren't able to throw one last bitchin' Birthday party for him.  He has been gone for about a month and a half.  It's still so weird and sad not having him around.  I miss him so much everyday.  Everyone does. 

Even though our baby is two weeks old, his due date was actually today.  No one was as excited to hear we were pregnant as the Ricker.  His excitement quadrupled when he found out the due date was on his birthday.  So excited he couldn't help but start calling people or yelling it across the street to neighbors, even when we had only known for about ten minutes.  When I said, "Dad!  You can't tell people that early!"  He replied, "What are you talking about?  People need good news.  And this is awesome news!"  It was fun to have someone as excited as us, but honestly he probably was even more.  Danny told Ricker that day that if it was a boy, his middle name would be Ricker.  My dad was stoked.  Every time someone in our family found out they were having a boy, he always asked, "What I wanna know, is why no one has claimed the name Ricker??"  AnnaBelle always rebutted saying, "Wait til' I have a boy grandpa!"

Around July Danny and I started talking about naming our baby's first name, Ricker.  Actually, Danny started with Richard and I immediately said no, it'd have to be Ricker.  My dad's name was Richard, but we all knew he was a Ricker.  We both really liked the name, and loved my dad.  We kind of wondered how my family would like it, or if it would be too weird.  Then unexpectedly, on August 26th my dad passed away.  We thought what a cool tribute it'd be to my dad and how lucky our baby boy would be to share a name with him. 

When our baby was born he actually did look like he could be named Ricker and we knew just minutes before he had been lucky enough to be in the presence of my dad. 
In the hospital we named our baby Ricker Scott Elder.


I am not a very emotional person.  I don't cry in movies, or hardly ever for that matter.  But for some reason every time I tried to say our baby's name, my eyes filled with tears.  I really wanted to name our baby after my dad, but it probably weirds people out when they ask your baby's name and you start bawling.  EVERYONE, including my immediate family, was wondering what his name was.  I couldn't tell them.  I felt like a psycho not having a name I could say out loud for our beautiful baby boy.  And when I tried to explain myself I also wanted to cry.  When Pearl was born, my dad kept saying, "Don't you just love being a mom?  Can you believe how lucky you are?  Being a parent is the greatest thing in this world."
I agree with him completely. 
 With both births of our babies, I immediately felt connected to them like we were old friends.
 It has been an emotional couple of weeks, but an amazing time for our family. We are so blessed to have this sweet baby in our home and I know the Ricker is watching out for us and baby Ricker too.  
Nothing was more important to my dad than his grandkids.   And I know even though he's not here, he's stoked to have gotten a new one 2 weeks ago an another one on the way in November (Rocky & Sarah).

 


Wishing so much I could give my dad a hug today on his Birthday.
We all need to try and be happy today, my dad would want us to be.
In honor of the Ricker the fam is headed to his favorite place tonight, Chuck-A-Rama.  
Such a funny thing, I know. We loved to go there:)
I hope he's getting some good food up in Heaven today!  
Happy Birthday dad!  Love you!

To read more reasons about why my dad is the coolest go here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Excited. Stressed. Nervous. Happy. Anxious.

These five words would pretty much sum up how I'm feeling today.  Somedays it's just one of these words, but today I am feeling them all.  I am now over 37 weeks pregnant and can't believe we will meet our baby boy in just a few weeks, maybe sooner.  This pregnancy is flying by so quick.  Somedays I wish he were here already partially so my ribs could get a break, but mainly because I wonder so much what he is like.
Then we'll have a couple of sleepless nights because Pearl is teething and has pink eye and I can't help but pat my belly and think to myself, "Keep on cookin' as looooong as you need little baby."  Honestly we were so spoiled, almost too spoiled, with Pearl.  She was an amazing sleeper, eater, early smiler, ect. and I know the odds are not in our favor with this baby.  How can they be?  Two perfect newborns in a row... praaaabably not.  But we can hope, right?
And just for the record she is totally making up for the well behaved newborn she was.  This girl is a little tornado of trouble with sass to boot.  I think Danny could tell I was a little stressed and taught her to tell me I'm pretty.  Well played Dan... well played:)
An awesome pic Roxanne took of me looking awesome.
 My body is a disturbing sight, I can't wait to get back to the gym!
 Another reason I am a little stressed is because I'm not the only one with a due date approaching.  Be careful what you wish for folks, it may come true with the worst possible timing.  In an earlier post talking about our frenchies, I hoped for some puppies from Bridget and Brutus.
 I have indeed gotten my wish, and of course now Bridget and I will be sharing a due date.
Introducing...
And...
Pregnancy definitely affects dogs too, so I'm in good company.
 She is always sleeping or eating!
And now finally someone else around me is getting fat too.  I love it.
 Many of you probably don't think this should add to my stress but part of the reason Bulldogs are so pricey is because they have many issues delivering their pups as well as complications caring for them afterwards.  This requires round the clock care as well as assisted feedings every couple of hours.  So basically now I feel the need to mentally prepare myself to take care of flippin' quintuplets.  
We have her C-section scheduled in three weeks and an ultrasound in a week to see how many puppies she's having!  I'm actually really excited to see that:)

A little icing on the stress cake is that Danny will be running in the Pony Express Trail 100 mile race when our baby is only a week old!
After one of his runs in the canyon.
 A race of 100 miles is quite the feat, but it's especially a big job when you have to provide all of your own aid stations.  I feel like that first week of your baby's life is exhausting for both of you, not to mention throwing a 100 mile race into the mix and a very demanding last semester to finish an accounting degree!  But Danny has his mind set on it, plus has paid the non-refundable fee, so at this point we'll pray for a quick recovery from birthing a "watermelon" so that I can be any help at all.  I know he'll do awesome.
I keep telling Danny a pro to all this running,
"Boi, Yo' backside is ruh-dic-a-luss!"
Cuz it is.
Usually my posts don't contain so much complaining, so I'll 180 this beast and let you know why I'm happy and excited. 
I have had so much fun getting everything ready for this baby boy to come into our home.
I guess dressing my children ridiculous won't stop with the female gender.
We finally got a car seat.
  I bought a crib at a yard sale for $10 and painted it to match Pearl's crib and added some fancy trim pieces.  It is starting to come together, especially for how cheap it was.
This is Pearl's way cuter and way more expensive crib.  
I wish we could've just bought another one of these but we got this one at a yard sale for $50 bucks.  We actually found her exact crib at Thanksgiving Point, but it ended up being a little out of our price range, $4,700.  So we opted for the $4,690 cheaper idea and bought this little doozy below.
I have been cleaning and making room for his tiny little things that I hope he will actually fit into, since at my last appointment he is measuring even bigger!  Danny was a big baby, and I think this little dude might be following suit.  I can't wait to see what he looks like and see what kind of a little personality he has.
But until then...
How I feel when I have to wake up to pee 3 times a night.

The end of September to the beginning of October might be a bit hectic around our house, but regardless of my complaining, I really am excited for all of this craziness.  Usually craziness leads to some happiness right?  At least we'll probably get some good stories out of it, right?  We really are blessed and life is good:)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Losing a Parent.

I am so far behind on my blog it's not funny but I feel like I need to talk about this before I do anything else.  I'm being selfish, but it's just for my benefit.  It's my blog.

Losing a parent is really quite the surreal experience.  It's just so weird to lose such a huge part of your life.  I can't explain how it's different than I thought it would be, but at the same time kind of how I pictured it... constant sadness.  It's weird how much I think about my dad.  Well, I guess not that weird because he was really one of my very best friends.  I think when most, not all but most, people lose a parent they are old and the person is probably really involved with their own family by then.  While I am super involved with my small but growing family, my dad was still a major part of my life.  We hung out every. single. day.  Us and the girls running errands, trying new food places, getting ready for family parties.  My dad had such a love of life and always made everything fun.  I swear all of my self confidence came from him, he made me feel like I could do anything.

My dad has been gone for two weeks today.  Sometimes it feels like this is all just a bad dream and time is passing quickly but I will soon wake up to my dad dropping by my favorite donut and a drink.  Then I think of the last time I talked to him and it just seems like so long ago.  Everyday since, I have missed talking to him so much it hurts.  I was looking through pictures of him and it physically hurts to look at them.  I know you think I'm crazy, but I swear it's true.  I have lost 3 of my 4 grandparents and it was really hard, but the sadness I feel over losing my dad isn't the same.  Death is a crappy thing to deal with.  I know I am fortunate to have had the time I had with him because many people get a shorter end of the stick than me.  In fact, we were lucky we had him around after all of the scary medical problems he had had in the past.  But I catch myself being envious of other people's parents who have awesome health and they aren't even that close with them.  I want to shake them and yell, "Do you know how lucky you are?!"  Then I have to step back and quit being so selfish.  The lord has a plan and his timing is everything.  It's a hard concept to grasp, but at the same time provides comfort.

His funeral service was another weird experience for me.  It was so sad to think my dad was in the casket right in front of my face covered in beautiful flowers and I would never see his face in this life again.  At the same time it was so fun to hear all of the fun memories my of siblings shared and to see the real love they all expressed towards our dad.  It was a celebration of the Ricker's life and he lived a good one.  There was a great turn out to his viewing and to his funeral and people were unreal when it came to the support we received.  There were constant visitors, meals, treats, phone calls, messages, money donations, ect. It has made me want to be a better person and more compassionate for sure.  You could tell how great of a man my dad was by the love and support shown by those around us.  A man my dad worked with, Ron, attended the funeral and afterwards at the luncheon brought several pounds of beef, ribs, glowsticks, treats and decorated the tables with railroad parafernalia.  No one in my family had ever met this man, though my mom said she had heard of my dad talk about him.  He said he had a dream about my dad and in that dream my dad told Ron to bring all of the things he brought.  It was really interesting because they were all totally things my dad would buy, even down to the glowsticks for the grandkids!  Ron had no idea about these things. This Ron guy was really nice to go out of his way and spend hundreds of dollars to honor what he said were, "Ricker's wishes."  I don't know if that guy was a crazy railroader or not, but regardless, it was a cool thing for our family.
If you're still reading, I know this has probably been the most depressing post you've ever read.  But I have been feeling so sad and trying to cope with his loss and heard that it helps to write down what you're feeling.  Death is a hard thing to deal with, but being surrounded by such amazing family and friends has helped a lot.  I feel blessed to have this gospel and to know I will see my dad again.
Thanks again so so much to all of you who showed your support to our family in such a hard time.  We really appreciated everything and you'll never realize how much it meant to our family!  We had so much family come from out of town and sacrifice a lot of their time and money and it meant the world to us.  We have the best family and friends around.  I know I am not a super intelligent intellectual but some how I'm smart enough to surround myself with amazing people:) 
This is one of my favorite photos of my dad.  This is how I always want to remember him.  Contagious smile, sweet eyes, prominent chin and kissable cheeks!
Love you dad!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

FOURTH.

 Our Fourth of July started at Mimi's Cafe with the Elder family.  It has been a tradition for years that I love.  Pain Perdue anyone?  It's too good.  We always have a good time visiting and laughing and as usual Pearl gets spoiled rotten. 
 Pearl snuggling right into Uncle Rick.  She doesn't even cuddle me like this!  I was a little jealous.
 After breakfast we all headed over to the mall to do a little shopping.  Baby Gap was having some awesome sales so we got a bunch of cute little dude clothes and Pam bought me a Gap maternity dress that I love!

 Later that afternoon, we headed down to Roman and Michelle's for another tradition that started a few years ago.  Nothing like BBQ-ing on the Fourth!

Our 4th of July family pic.
 This was the best group shot I got.  Awesome I know.  It was fun to have Brent and Darrell in town this year, we don't get to see them as much as we'd like!
 Rhett's Ronald Reagan mask spent the party both entertaining and horrifying the kids.
 Sister pic.  Rox looked like a flippin' rockstar with her cool outfit, whereas my shape is starting to look more and more like an ice cream cone.
 Elie made these cute chocolate covered rice crispy treat stars for everyone!  Totally impressive.  And she is totally a cutie.
 Roman and Michelle are always so nice to have the whole gang over.  Their house was looking so cute too!
 Cher made my favorite cake of the year.  Seriously divine.

 Uncle Darrell and G. Phyl, I love these two for obvious reasons:)
 Pearl loves her dad!




 This was my favorite pic from our 4th of July.  How cute are these two?

 This was the best pic I got of the fearsome foursome.  Tell me someone got a better one!?


 I love my parents so much.  They are pretty much the cutest coolest people I know.
Pearl loved following around her older cousins.  No one is cooler than them!

 Later that night we watched PG's firework show from our church parking lot.  We had a bunch of treats and blankets along with all the glow sticks Ricker and Cher bought.  They were a hit!


 What a great Fourth!

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I love being a red head. My husband is goofy. We both love Chuck a rama. I love antiques, miniature things, and Diet Mountain Dew. My Motto, "Life is RRRRReeeeeeeally Guuuud!" -Nacho.