April 21, 2012

Sea World

Dear Carter,

I had been to Sea World one time before....back when your Daddy and I were dating, but it was a whole different experience going there with your brother and sister.  Somehow, I knew that you were there too!

Jovie's main goal through this whole trip was to see a dolphin, while Mikey's was to see a real shark.  We started off with the dolphins, and I was happy to see that we could get close to them, and actually touch them!  I have never actually touched a dolphin before, so for some reason I got a bit emotional about it.  They are crazy soft!!

Next we checked out all of the shows.  Your brother and sister loved every minute of it, but were REALLY loving the pet show.  It's all about the dogs in this family.  We even saw a Sea Lion who looked eerily like the Beefcake.
I simply amazed by the size of the Orca Whales.  As you can see, so were your brother and sister.
After checking out the exhibits, we decided to give The Journey To Atlantis ride a shot, and as you can see we got a bit drenched. Mikey loved the ride.....Jovie. Not so much.
Mikey loves his sharks!

Even more proof that you were there with us!

At the night time Sea Otter show where Mikey was laughing so hard, he couldn't catch his breath!  That Bif guy is hilarious!
We finished seeing everything on that first day, and didn't think that we would return to Sea World, but we all loved it so much, we went back a couple of days later. That time when we went to pet the dolphin.....well....you can see what happened.

There is certainly something magical about that place, and I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to take another trip back there. We loved it!!  And if my theory about you and the sea is correct....I suspect that you do too!

I found out today that your buddy, Mike Smith, ran the Salt Lake City Marathon today while wearing his Team Carter shirt.  See baby boy, we are all still thinking of you, and loving you! 

April 17, 2012

Viva Las Vegas Baby!

Dear Carter,

We are so blessed by such caring family and friends. I need to thank them for all of their kind messages regarding Jovie. She is doing just fine now, and as your dadddy would say, is back to 100%. I'm not sure what was going on with her, but she definitely has her spunk back.

These next couple of weeks are going to be so exciting for our family.  Mikey has been preparing for his First Holy Communion, and he finally gets to make it in a little less than two weeks.  He and Daddy are going to his First Holy Communion retreat this Saturday.  I'm praying that it turns out to be a very special day for the both of them.

As promised, here are a few more pictures from our trip.  We started off our trip with a short drive down to Cedar City. The plan was to let your brother and sister swim in the hotel pool, and get an early start the next morning.  We then drove to Las Vegas. When I was a kid, we had a couple of vacations there, and I remember really liking it. Mikey and Jovie????  Not so much.

They certainly didn't like looking at all of the different hotels, and didn't care for the crowds.  Once we checked out the pool at the Excalibur, they became fans quickly.  It was shallow through the whole pool, and even had a slide.  Too bad on the way back it was really windy, so they didn't enjoy the pool at the Luxor quite as much (although they did think it  was pretty awesome to sleep in a pyramid).

For some reason, the above pose was the one that Mikey preferred throughout our entire trip.  I'm pretty sure that at least 80% of our pictures look like that. Ha Ha!!

The next day we hit San Diego.  I can't wait to tell you all about our trip to Sea World....besides the beach it was definitely my favorite part.

I also found out that little Emily is now in Heaven with you.  I've been following Emily's story at A New Kind Of Perfect since you were born, and am heartbroken for her family, but so happy for her.  I'm sure there was one heck of a welcome party for her! Many prayers to them! 

April 16, 2012

A Rough Night

Dear Carter,

Boy, that one was a rough night.  It all started at about midnight when Jovie woke me up.  She was sobbing and told me that her tummy was hurting her.  She was sick on Friday with a little tummy bug, but was all better by the afternoon, so I assumed that it had just come back.  I got her all tucked back into her bed with a movie, and just a few minutes later she started screaming and writhing in pain.

Jovie has NEVER EVER done that before, so it worried me quite a bit.

I was scared.

I made a phone call to the after hours clinic to get her in ASAP.  Luckily, they said that I could take her in right then.  It took quite awhile to get her calmed down enough to get her into the car, but then the cramping started again as we were driving to the doctor.  As we drove by the cemetery, she told me that she was scared, and I told her to just look at the little lights on your grave....that you were with her.  It worked, and she calmed down again.

We got to the clinic, and waited for what seemed like hours in the waiting room, but in reality it was probably only a few minutes.  The doctor came out to get us, and I was shocked.....ok maybe not shocked because I knew it was a possibility that we would be seen by him, but maybe just saddened that we had the same doctor as the one that I had to take Mikey to on the day that you died.  It brought back a lot of those memories of that first night without you, and how it seemed crazy that life was moving on....that I had to still be a mommy and take your brother to the doctor.  I guess in some ways it was calming to know that my role really hadn't changed all that much.....but it still a memory from those first few days.

The doctor examined Jovie, who was looking extremely pale, and when he went out of the room to grab something, I asked Jovie if she would like for me to give her a blessing.  I prayed for her and asked God to take away her fear, and to ease her pain.  I also prayed that she might feel you in her presence, and be comforted.  I know that it might sound a little bit crazy, but almost instantly her tummy started to relax, and she started to fall asleep.  I just KNOW that you were there with her.

He examined her and watched her for quite awhile. She even had to be monitored on a pulse ox machine for a little while, which was reminiscent of the days with you. At first we feared that her appendix had ruptured, but eventually all signs pointed to too much air in her poor little tummy.  False alarm.  Today she is feeling much, much better, but she will be staying home from school for a bit more rest.

Thank you for helping us through that scary part last night. I love you.

April 15, 2012

Tell Me.....Are You A Beach Bum??

Dear Carter,

So, I have a question for you my sweet baby boy, are you a beach bum in Heaven?? Do you even have beaches in Heaven? I sure do hope so because nothing seems closer to Heaven then the beach. I'm not quite sure why, and I know that I've heard this from a LOT of people, but I feel incredibly close to you when I'm right there by the ocean. Surely it must be some sort of pathway to Heaven. During my little break (that ended up being longer than I thought it would be), our family took a trip out to San Diego.

San Diego holds a special place in our hearts for several reasons, one of them being that it is quite near where your Grandpa Mike grew up.  I'm sure that he's told you all about it by now! Our plan was to visit Sea World, Legoland, and also lots and LOTS of beach time.  We managed to do everything on our list, but today I only wanted to write about our experiences at the beach.

When we first got there, we took a trip out to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.  It was right by our hotel, and had a stunning view.  Both your brother and sister had a great time chasing the waves, and of course we had to take a moment to write your name in the sand.

It wasn't too long before your brother was freezing cold since he decided to just bolt right into the ice cold water.  We called it quits for a bit, but not before noticing the butterfly kite flying right over our heads.  Just one more sign to me that you like it at the beach.

We took a break to grab some dinner at a pretty cool restaurant on Highway 101.  I can't say it enough times.....I LOVE BEING NEAR THE BEACH!

Afterward, we headed out to the Encinita Beach to catch the sunset.  Jovie had to write your name in the sand again. We could all feel your presence there so strongly. Is there anything more perfect than watching the sunset on the beach??  I think not.

That was the end of our time on the beach for that day, but we decided that we couldn't be that close to the Oceanside Pier without taking your brother and sister to see it.  After all, this was the pier that your Daddy took me to on our very first trip to San Diego, and it's also the pier that your Grandpa Mike spent a lot of time on.  I was worried that your brother and sister may not grasp the sentiment of it, but they sure did!  They will always remember this pier as well because it is where we bought Mikey a shark tooth necklace which has quickly become his prized possession, and your sister some sand dollars.  We've been promising her we would get her some since our last Cali trip!
The next day, we spent some time at Mission Bay Harbor.  We flew kites, and even got to see some Pelicans diving for their lunch.  It was one heck of a cool sight to see!

I must say that we did a LOT of fun things on our trip, but most of them did not bring me the comfort and peace that our time at the beach did.  I told your Daddy that we may just have to retire on the beach. I already miss it!  I'm going to tell you all about the rest of our trip tomorrow.  Just know that we love you my little sweetie.  Thank you for being there with us.