Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We Love You Mom!

Its hard to know what to say to pay tribute to such an incredible woman.  Feelings are still tender right now, but we wanted to share Gae's obituary until we are able to adequately express our love for her.

Gae Terena Morrow Beckstrom (56) loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, teacher, and friend, born July 22, 1955 passed away November 10, 2011 after a courageous fight with cancer. She is now reunited with her parents, David Lendrum Morrow III and Yvonne Easthope Morrow and brother Roy Morrow.

She is survived by her husband, Blake D. Beckstrom (Taylorsville, UT); her children, Erin (Jonathan) Thomas (West Valley City, UT), Emily (David) Smith (Kearns, UT), Adam (Andrea) Beckstrom (Alexandria, VA), and Jamilyn (Nathan) Morris (Taylorsville, UT); sisters Dawn (Mark) Yarbro (Ft. Worth, TX), Rachel Morrow (Kearns, UT) and brother Darren (Becky) Morrow (Riverton, UT); and 7 grandchildren. Her family is her greatest love and she lived to serve them.

Gae and Blake met at Kearns High School and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 24, 1977. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Development specialty. She loved teaching children. Gae taught kindergarten at David Gourley Elementary for 5 years before retiring to raise her growing family. After a few years, she opened a home preschool (Early Bird) which she taught for 17 years. She returned to public school in 2002, teaching kindergarten at Lone Peak Elementary and then Monte Vista Elementary schools. She touched the lives of hundreds of young children who brought immense joy to her life in return. During her last two years, while teaching full-time and fighting cancer, she was driven to complete her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from SUU. She also had an undying love for animals of all kinds. She loved music, played the guitar, and instilled a love of music in her children. She taught her children and grandchildren to read and to love books. She filled many ward and stake church callings in Primary, Young Womens’, and Relief Society as a teacher and leader, and served in the Jordan River Temple as an ordinance worker. She also performed humanitarian service by helping orphans in Romania. She was loved, and will be deeply missed, by all who knew her.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 16th at 11:00 AM at the Bennion 12th Wardhouse (6540 S. 2700 W., Taylorsville, UT). Friends may visit at a viewing beginning an hour before the funeral, or at McDougal Funeral Home (4330 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville, UT) on Tuesday, November 15th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blessed with Time

It's not often that people think that they have a lot of time.  Everything is usually packed into a super busy day with too much to do.  Places to go, errands to run, budgeting, meal planning, cleaning....it's always a lovely and long list :)

My life right now has been completely opposite of that.  I have wondered for a long time why I have been given all of this time and what I am supposed to be doing with it.  Since we are not preparing for a new baby, I  feel like it is such an easy and fun time with our little 4 and almost 2 year old.  They are so delightful and easy to go places with and I don't even take a stroller anymore, we are just free to roam and have fun!  

For Caroline a lot of her time has been filled with Preschool time, dance classes, and soccer.  She takes dance so seriously and concentrates so hard.  We knew she would like it A LOT, but this is beyond love.  She never stops dancing and Olive is following suit (although she can't quite get her arms to reach high enough over her head.)

Drawing is another passion that has recently blossomed.  She sits down and creates pictures for hours, and then explains what they all are for about a half hour.  It makes us so happy that she is passionate about reading and that she wants to read US the bedtime stories.

Olive has been using her time to play Caroline's client at the salon.  She has been receiving countless colorful makeovers that may have you wishing you could be a client of Caroline's.  She does have a way with color and accenting facial features.
This could be YOU!  (Caroline swears that very thick eyebrow shadow is very nice.)
Olive is intense with love and with sadness.  She adores singing and loves "Row, row, row your boat."  
"I do it!" is her coined phrase right now and she wears panties over her diaper to be like Caroline.
Most of her time is spent picking out shoes to wear (even if they don't fit), and then changing her shoes.
She will growl at you when she says sorry, which gets us laughing loudly!  Cutting out bears with Play-Doh keeps her endlessly occupied and she often says, "I funny mommy."
She will melt your heart.

My time has been filled with all that these two have to offer!  They were sick last week and we didn't leave the house for a couple of days...it was dreamy.  We couldn't go to school, or playgroup, or even to the store, we just played (in our jammies). It was just nice to not have an agenda at all!!  

I have also been working quarter time (5-7 hours a week) doing a couple of nursing jobs.  One is training people how to give themselves shots of a medication and it has been so great to dabble in nursing again.  
The other job was a rare find and I will be sad to leave it when we leave.  After two years of just gathering dust, I finally have been able to use my NP license  and work with a therapist/personal trainer in D.C.  She works with people who suffer with body image issues, eating disorders, anxiety, etc.  The thing I love about her practice is she combines working through issues with actually working out during the talking, right there in the office!  
Her book has been so educational for me regarding the area of exercise.  Everyone knows exercise is incredible for your body and brain, but reading exactly how has just inspired me in how I will live and also teach.

Adam has been dedicated and hard working at school,  at his internship, and at home.  He works without complaint although I know he is exhausted.
I know Heavenly Father knew we needed this precious time to not only have with our own little family, but also to be available for dear loved ones.  Skyping filled with laughs and lots of tears has occupied a lot of time.   
We now know that the tender weaving of different events happens for a reason and are known by our loving Heavenly Father.  
Adam's mom is very sick and we get to go be with her in Utah very soon.  We don't worry about how it would have worked for Adam to go alone to Utah and have me almost ready to have a baby in December.  
We don't have to fret because He has known all along and has blessed us with this time.  
I am truly humbled by all of it.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween in Wonderland

We are in a candy coma after enjoying the weekends festivities.  This year topped all Halloweens for us, with two little ones bursting with excitement over the costumes, treats and pumpkins.  

Every year in Old Town Alexandria the boutiques have tricks and treats to enjoy.  The crowd was low this year as it was snowing while we were out.  The warm and fragrant apple cider and cookies warmed us up though, when we stopped into the Sugar Cube candy store. 

Caroline picked a theme again (back in June) for our family this year.  She was dying to be Alice in Wonderland and wanted little Olive to be her White Rabbit.  I was to be a "nice" Queen of Hearts, and Adam was a "nice" Mad Hatter.  

Many people wondered why the flamingo?  If you recall, those silly birds were the key to the croquet game between Alice and the Queen.
Alice was lucky to hang out with her dear friend Dorothy the night of Halloween.  They VERY energetically shouted trick or treat all evening, and they were just as thrilled to greet trick or treaters at the door later to pass out the candy.  
Don't kids make holidays even more magical than you could ever imagine?

This little ladybug and white rabbit worked hard for their candy.  People continued to say "take a handful" and these two little ones tried to grasp their chubby little fingers around as many pieces of candy as they could.  After grabbing candy, Olive would say, "Thank You!  Your Welcome!  Trick or Treat!"  then she would say "hop, hop, hop" as she would hop along to the next door.  She never left a pumpkin feeling lonely either as she would stop and pat it on the top and say, "Hi pwumpkwin!"  

Hopefully I can lay off of the Kit Kats and other gummy goodies so the girls won't wonder where all of their candy went.  Surprisingly they haven't cared that their treat bags are empty, they are now using them to store their jewelry :)
Let the holiday season begin!