Russ, Shalae, & Kids

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

August 2015

August 3, Russ and I celebrated SIX years of knowing each other. Even facebook knew it was an important day because this popped up in my feed the next day...

Cute Abby

Abby loves when her bff Kozie comes over :)

Kozie got to spend an entire day with us and even got to eat dinner with us. These 2 girls are so cute together.

Visiting grandma Riggs (about 3 weeks before she passed away)

Grandma was a little bit confused when we visited her. She said to Russ and I, "are you man and wife?" She was still so sweet though and even sang along with Abby when Abby got on her bed and sang "twinkle twinkle little star" and "you are my sunshine" with her.

August 9th marked 6 months since Riggs passed away. Russ and I took a little plant out to his grave site and I was so happy to see that the flag we left back in May was still there. He does not have a headstone yet but we can tell by looking at the grass, where his grave is. It makes me sad to see the outline of where the ground was dug up, but it will also be sad when it looks the same as the rest of the grass, because that will mean he's been gone for longer. It is still not real to me that he is gone :(

I wrote in last month's blog post about Abby hurting her leg. The x-rays didn't show a break line so her pediatrician sent us home with a splint. Over a week later, Abby was still crying about her leg hurting, and not using it to walk on. So we took her to an orthopedist, and they noticed a fracture line in the x ray. They put a cast on her leg and she was so happy about picking out PINK as the color!

Noah started back to school on August 12th and we got to go to "meet the teacher" a few nights before that. He is very excited to have Mrs. Vietel this year, the teacher he was hoping he would get!

Poppy (and Uncle Dan) turned 60 on the 10th of August so we got together with our whole family and Dan's whole family to celebrate. We made it a "decades" party and it was mostly a combination of disco and hippie!

We also made sure to draw unibrows on some of the boys in honor of Sam & Dan!


All the girls in both Sherwood families... it was fun to be together since we haven't done that in YEARS!

All of Sam's handsome sons (most of them sons in law actually)

Dan's kids put on a special number that had them dancing through the decades, starting in the 50's (when the twins were born) and finishing up with some songs and dancing that are popular today. It was really fun to watch them get the birthday boys to dance with them.

My sisters and I also put on a special number. We danced to "We are Family" and had Ellie and Roxy blowing bubbles behind us, since that's what they do in the Sister Sledge music video to this song. haha! My wig was a joke by the way!!!

Suz was the lead singer, therefore she got the wig of long hair while the rest of us wore afro wigs!

Everyone got up and danced with us afterward :)

Nathan and Brad did a "Blues Brothers" number ... just like Sam and Dan did at a Sherwood reunion many years ago! 

The grandkids sang "I'm so glad when Grandpa comes home"

Almost everyone from both families! We were just missing Russ's girls, and of course Barton & Riggs too. 

These 2 have stayed so identical even at 60 years old!

Davis & Abby loving the swings in the Baldwins backyard

Life father, like daughter!

Noah started 5th grade and was so excited. He likes being in school more than being out of school.

Wyatt's mom went to the school on the first day and was able to get a few pictures with Noah and his friends, as well as one with their new teacher!

We weren't able to make it to Bahama Bucks on the last day of summer (like we traditionally do), so we made a trip there with Suzanne and Ellie after school on the first day.

We made a trip to St. George in mid-August to deliver Tayler's stuff for college. We stopped the first night in Flagstaff and found the creperie, the same place Russ and I went to when we were dating. I have dreamed about those crepes for 6 years and was so excited to have them again. I hate to say that they tasted better 6 years ago, but they still looked pretty so I took pictures! We also took a family selfie to document our stop at the creperie!

We weren't satisfied with just the crepes so we had another meal (Mexican) down the road in Flagstaff! haha! We had a good time walking around in nice weather and eating a few meals.

The drive to St. George was so pretty... this picture was taken out the window as we drove, but it's so pretty that it almost looks fake!

One of our first stops in St. George (after Deseret Book to buy some garments since I forgot to pack mine... oops!) was SWIG! The drinks were delicious and the cookies were even better. I crave the "dirtball" cookie every single day now.

We hiked "Dixie Rock" with our swig drinks in hand...

This is the view from Dixie Rock... the St. George temple is so pretty!

 Next, we walked around the temple and read about it's history. So pretty - I especially liked the round windows.

Not pictured: later that night we stopped by swig for the second time that day and purchased drinks and cookies for our drive home the next day! Yum!!

Sunday, we drove home and passed through Zion National Park on the way. It was beautiful! 

We drove through a mile-long tunnel that Abby didn't love.

We also got on a shuttle bus (Abby thought it was a "city school bus" and LOVED it)... and did a short hike to the "lower emerald pool". It was so hot outside and felt really nice to get sprinkled by some of the waterfalls when we made it to the destination!

(Notice the waterfall behind us!)

We stopped at the creek on our way out of the trail. Russ was the only one brave enough to take off his shoes and enjoy the cold weather. I of course didn't want to get dirty and then have to put socks on over wet feet. I really should live a little because now I regret it!

This tree was huge!

Cute snacking babies! This is Abby with Kozie and her cutest baby brother, Boston.

This is just a fun screenshot I got of Russ one day as we were facetime-ing him on his way home from work. haha! 

Abby takes after Noah (and her mom)... she likes to line things up.

There's a fun fondue place in Gilbert called ELF (everybody loves fondue) and they put on a fun game during the month of August. They would park their truck somewhere, then post on instagram, a clue about where to find it. Every day I saw our neighbors winning the contest by taking a picture with the truck and posting their selfies. Surprisingly, one day I happened to be really close to where the clue pointed to, and already in my car... so I got there (to Costco) quickly and posted my selfie. We were the winners!

Winning got us free lunch, so as soon as Noah got home from school that day, we went and had some yummy fondue!

Sweetest cuddle bugs, both watching something on their phones.

Cute matching sisters at church!

We signed Abby's cast on a Sunday night before she got it taken off the next morning! I was so glad to get rid of that dirty thing. 

This is what her poor foot looked like when the cast came off. Moisture had been trapped in there. It broke my heart to see this sore on Abby's leg/foot. She babied her leg for another week and a half after this, because now her skin was hurting. The good news that we got at the doctor's office was that her bones were healing nicely. The skin looked horrible on the first day but actually started to heal pretty quick.

We did a lot of visiting with grandma Riggs during her last week. It was so sad to see her laying there looking so weak. She still knew who we were even though she was often confused and saying things that didn't make sense. One day when we were there, I went to give her a hug goodbye. I said "I love you grandma" and she said back to me "I love you too" and then said "goodbye Abby". I didn't have Abby in my arms and I hadn't mentioned her either. Grandma had mostly been sleeping during our whole visit. It was so sweet that she knew who I was and that Abby belonged to me. Abby really loved to visit Grandma too, which made me happy because when she was younger, she would have NEVER gotten close to grandma and hugged or kissed her. I hope Grandma knew how much Abby (and me too of course) loved her before she passed away.

This is a picture of Abby with Grandma on a different day. I had to crop the picture because I noticed afterward that it was inappropriate... but Abby was just so cute in the picture that I had to post it!

August / September = Utah peaches! Which = time to make peach jam! 

Russ went out of town for the last weekend of August and the kids slept in my bed. This was at night...

... and this was the next morning. I love how Noah has his arm around Abby :)

Russ made it back safely from his trip and Abby was dressed as a gymnast with an injured head!

Grandma Riggs passed away on August 30th, Sunday morning. We got to spend a lot of time with her during her last few weeks even though she wasn't coherent for much of that time. My sisters and I hand spent a few hours Friday night and Saturday night at her care center with my mom, Alma, Becky and her daughter Ellie. Hospice had guessed that she would pass by Saturday night, so when we were there Saturday night... we first had a good time together talking about some of our favorite memories of grandma. Then when it was time to leave, we each took a moment to be alone with her in her room. I am so glad that I had that chance to tell grandma how much I loved her and was thankful for all she had done for me. We all went home and wondered if we would get a call in the middle of the night. The next morning, I texted my mom as soon as I woke up and asked how Grandma was. She had of course woken up and made it down to her care center early. She told me grandma was not really any different from the night before. Only about one hour after that, my mom texted my siblings and I to tell us that something had just changed with grandma. I woke my kids up and rushed to get out the door so I could drop them off to Lance and pick Suzanne up to go to the care center. I hadn't even made it to Suzanne's house when my mom told us that grandma had just passed away. It was about a 10-minute transition and the only people there when it happened were her 4 living children: Rusty, Gerry, Alma, and my mom. It was perfect that way. Suzanne and I, Auburn, Alisse, and many more cousins started arriving and we spent hours in Grandma's room, crying and reminiscing and for me: trying to soak up the spirit of Grandma being with loved ones again, Riggs especially. I know he had to be close that day and I wanted to be there to feel his spirit. I am so happy imagining Grandma with Riggs, Judy, Grandpa, her siblings, and her parents. She talked a lot about wanting to see her "mama and daddy" again during her last few weeks of life. She was the best grandma and I will miss her, but I love the fact that she is with so many people that she has been missing and who have been missing her.