Tuesday, January 31, 2012

101.64 down, 1148.56 left

One of my goals this year was to run 2012 Kilometers in 2012. It equals to 1250.2 miles. I tried this in 2008 but only made it a little past 2 months. My heart wasn't really in it then. This time I really want to do it, plus I have a friend (Mandy) that took the challenge so it's a "friendly competition reminder" not to give up. I don't want to have to tell her I quit. I started out strong at the beginning of the year. Even though there have been many bumps in the road of January, I finished with a total of 101.64 miles. I need an average of 105 miles a month to reach it. Yes, I know I'm short but ....
I have an explanation. There was a 9 day gap that I tried to run once, and between the cold, elevation, and my emotional well being, I just couldn't do it. So if I look at it this way: I ran 101.64 miles in 17 days and had 14 days where I didn't run, it looks a little better right?

I keep looking at the 3.36 number on the miles left for the month of January, and I think, "I can hurry and run that now." But I learned a hard lesson last week. I came home from Utah and on Monday I ran a little over 10 miles. I had a faster pace than usual and it felt so good! BUT then on Tuesday, I ran 9.5 miles of for the sheer reason of, "My body is sore but I'm not letting it out of this." I paid for it. By Tuesday night I couldn't walk, and I had to take a day off, go a shorter distance on Thursday, and yet have another day off on Friday. It wasn't worth it. So, after running hills this morning and pushing myself to "increase strength and speed" and exhausting my body, I know that those 3.36 miles will have to wait. (I'm saying this to keep talking myself out of running it.)

"Increasing strength and speed????" Why would I want to do that? Two reasons.
1- I'm training for a half marathon in April up near Betsy's house to do with Betsy, Hannah, and a couple my friends. I want to come in under 2 hours.
2- McKay has informed me that her goal next month is to beat me in a 5k. (I wonder where she thought of this.) I don't think I would mind as much but yes, I'm competitive just like her, and it will be with all my friends and all her friends. I'm not a speed runner. I'm a distance runner. I have to at least try. I'm actually a little worried she will beat me. If she does, I know she earned it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Precious Moments

When I got the call on Saturday morning that my dad was passing quickly, I scrambled to get a ticket, packed and off. Kirsten came down with her hat that grandpa gave her and said she wasn't taking it off all day. Katanya carried a picture of her fishing with grandpa. That night, they took turns saying a prayer for grandpa. When I called that night, they wanted to tell grandpa that they loved him so I put the kids on speaker as they told him.
Really late Sunday night, (early Monday) McKay was having a hard time. She went to Jacob and he was able to talk to her about the gospel and life's plan. He also gave her a blessing. A couple days later, he told me about it. He told me how impressed he was to tell McKay that Grandpa was now happy, that he was with his family, and that specifically he was getting to know those of his brothers that had passed away as children. He kept saying how strong the feeling was that he was with his family. My mom had this heart wreath made in honor of the grandchildren. Haley took the picture of my dad in July of 2010. Before the viewing, the kids got a brief time to see grandpa and say goodbye. Kirsten never really got the alone time that she wanted. They were still setting up and she didn't feel like it was private enough. After the services, at the luncheon, I saw her talking to the picture of grandpa. I choked up but I was very touched. She is one that lets me know what she is thinking and very independent but yet she has such a sweet spirit and breaks when you say anything negative to her. I want her to know that it's still okay to talk and let out her feelings.
Katanya wasn't sure what to think. She is always the one to tell me that she loves me, or if she can't tell me she will sign it to me. She didn't want to touch Grandpa or get super close but the whole time she kept telling him that she loved him.
Cruz was an honorary pallbearer. He was so honored to wear a boutonniere and have it pinned to his suit. When I had him put his coat on to go outside for the graveside dedication, he told me to be careful of his flower.
They had the pallbearers leave their flower on the casket. He looked devastated when he had to take it off. After, I told him that he could go get it and that we would dry / press it. Once again he was a proud little guy.

I love seeing how children think and act. It often teaches me a lesson and I am reminded just how precious they are. I know all my kids love their Grandpa. I know he left an impression with them that they will remember. I know that their Grandpa loves them too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


First of all, my brother (actually his wife Haley) did a great tribute of my dad's funeral on her blog. Please check it out here (click). There are pics of the viewing before the services, the program, and other insights. My Aunt Arlene (my dad's sister) has written down some memories on her blog, along with pictures, that I enjoyed reading and seeing too. Some of the pictures, I hadn't seen before. As McKay said, "I know which one grandpa is because of his plaid shirt," says it all. You can read her blog here (click). I decided to write about my thoughts and memories. I had several pictures I wanted to share so this will be a two day post. Today's being of the funeral and tomorrow's being of the kids.

My dad is a very simple man. He doesn't like things to be complicated and he hated to be late. I think he would have been very pleased with his funeral. My parents paid and picked out their funeral arrangements a little over seven years ago. It's really great planning if you think about it. Less stress at a stressful moment. Although when seven years go by things change. My mom had to pick out a new casket and a new panel inside the casket. Her choices were perfect.Jacob and the kids arrived (via airplane) on Tuesday. They thought it was so neat to fly over the Grand Canyon. Katanya greeted me with an "I'll love you no matter what, mom!" I had missed those guys. Jacob took the kids out after I left on Saturday to find new dresses for the girls and to get Cruz his first suit. I tease him for his "retail therapy" but he did a great job and actually found the dresses on clearance making them very affordable (so good he bought them two each.) I guess boy's suits never really go on sale.Spending my dad's last night in the hospital with him is one I will never regret. As I have run the last couple days, it has sorted out my thinking. It made me think, "Why is it that the hardest things we go through, are things we would never take back?" I'm grateful I got time to bond closer to my family the past week.I know my dad loved my mom. I know they had differences as we all do but there is such a strong bond. She had to see some really hard moments and make difficult choices but she did them out of love and respect for my dad. She was with him til the end of this life and will be with him forever.
The flowers were gorgeous! Jacob made the comment that this was the best arrangement he had ever seen. I totally agree!His display was sincere and had little reminders of him. Jacob made him over 35+ lugs for Christmas one year that said "Smith Farms." My dad would pick grapes every year and use / sell them. His chainsaw was there too. When I was little he would often go on trips to the Uintah's and bring back wood for winter and to sell. There is still a stack out behind the barn and he hadn't been in over 20 years. His hat was there too. As I mentioned in other posts, he always had hats. When I left on Saturday to fly out, Kirsten had put hers on that Grandpa had given her.Jacob's work went above and beyond. Not only did they give him extra time off for bereavement but they sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the funeral. (Maybe a degree does pay off.)Kent and his wife came down from Idaho. My kids got so excited when they heard they were coming. We rented his dad's house when we had first moved up there and he was also in our ward. Kent was a great neighbor and will always be a family friend. Anytime my dad came up to Idaho, he would say, "We have to visit Kent." My dad helped pruned his trees one time too. Kent said the opening prayer for my dad's service giving it just the "little bit of Idaho" that it needed.I saw a lot of family and friends that I hadn't seen in a long time. I heard quite often, "You were this big the last time I saw you!" with their hand at their waste. I tried to personalize with everybody so I could remember who came through. I remembered a lot and then on the rest, most of the time, I just needed a name and I remembered. It was also neat just to see some of my friends (and family members) come through to support me. I can't name them all but thanks! McKay is with her grandma and aunt, Merilyn and Jamie. -Jamie, McKay is catching up to you ;)I was afraid of how my dad would look in the casket. I remember seeing my grandpa when I was younger and thinking that it was nothing like the grandpa I knew. I don't know if it's because that was the case or if it's just because of my age. I think my dad looked as close to himself that he could. I got to know my brother and his family more while I was there. I am so glad I got to hang out with Haley throughout the week and be around her kids. My brother is definitely a lot like my dad in many ways.Monday evening, Mike called me and asked me to go for a ride with him. He just needed an out. We went and got a smoothie (which I later had several from Juice Press throughout the week) and then we headed out to the mall. He wanted to find a tie that was blue (grandpa's favorite color) and that reminded him of one of my dad's shirts. We found one at the mall so I picked up some extras so Jacob and Kevin (DeAnn's husband) could have one too. We also got the three grandson's a tie that coordinated with theirs. The Pallbearers were his son (Mike), his two sons-in-law (Jacob and Kevin), his brother (Brent), and two close friends. Duane (close friend) was the last speaker at his funeral and he spoke about simplicity. My dad was a simple man. He enjoyed growing a simple tomato. He enjoyed a simple sandwich. He enjoyed the simple things in life as should we.
I got Mikey's permission before I posted this picture. I LOVE the emotion in it. It reminds me of so many things but yet it is so simple. I see love, joy, sadness, but yet faith. Faith that he is happy and that we will all see him again.
My dad worked for the Lindon city as the supervisor over Parks and the Cemetery before he retired. He often joked around that they buried people in a tube either head first or feet first. His sister once believed him. It's a little ironic that that is where his body will rest. As I said earlier, my mom had to pick a new casket. The pine reminded me of my parent's house and all the wood that he used when he did the walls and the ceilings. It was the perfect choice.
And the last picture for the simple reminder.
Families are Forever!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dennis Ralph Smith

I forget that not everyone is on Facebook now a days. Here is the information for my dad's funeral services. Hopefully one day soon, I'll call and write back those of you that have been so supporting.

Funeral Services:
Thursday @ 2 p.m. at the Lindon West Stake Center. (250 West 600 South, just off of 1600 North in Orem. The road is half Lindon, half Orem. Exit 273 off of I15)
There will be a viewing from 12 - 1:45 p.m. prior to the services.

I hope this makes it to everybody that is interested. Once again, thanks for your love and support.

To see his obituary, click HERE.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daddy's Hands

I am so grateful to those that helped before my flight and after to get me to where I needed to be. Thank you for all the little notes and messages expressing your love and concerns. It is just a small boost that gets me a little farther. Thanks to my dear friends in Texas helping (and feeding) my family back home. I am so blessed.

I was prepared for the worst when I got to the hospital. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Yes, my dad looked tired, thinner and older but I could still see my dad. I knew he was there. I also knew he waited for me. Within hours of them saying they had done everything, it looked as though he was going. (They had even disconnected his pacemaker / defibrillator to let him go in peace.) As I boarded the plane in Austin, I got a text saying he was going fast and I probably wouldn't make it. As I landed, I got news that his blood pressure had doubled (70's over 40's) and that his pulse and oxygen were strong. That is my dad!
I didn't want a picture of him in the hospital. He wasn't a fan of pictures (like me) as it is so I know he wouldn't want me to remember him that way. This picture is the PERFECT way I want to remember this. Throughout the night, we took turns holding his hand. This was my favorite spot. I slept next to him in two small chairs (if you call 2 hours sleep) and would hold his hand several times throughout the night. I got to say my thank yous, my I love yous, laugh, cry, and my "see you later". I was able to just hold his hand. That was enough. My brother gave a wonderful blessing to comfort and assure him that it was okay to leave us and that he was loved and had more work to do on the other side. I've never had to go through anything so hard in my life, yet I wouldn't give this up for ANYTHING. I know my dad hung around to have one last family chat, laugh, cry, and get together. We told our secrets (our trips to Virginia City, MT, the one finger wave Mikey & dad exchanged behind my mom's back) our fondest memories and funny and sad moments. Jacob kept me going through texts and facebook posts and pictures of him and the kids. My dad passed on with us holding his hands, and feeling our love.

My dad would call me on Thursday afternoons / evenings. My mom would work at the temple and it would be our time to talk. We caught up on the little things and I always looked forward to it. We had a little game that when either he would call or if I called him, the first one to say "Gotcha" got a point. The score as of last Thursday, January 5th, was even. Whenever I wasn't able to answer my phone when he called, he would leave a message. It was short and sweet and always a "Gotcha". I had the feeling to save these on my voice mail from the past four months. So dad, you did get the last one for awhile and you earned it. I'll find you later on to get back ahead. XOXO (Click on the play button below to hear my favorite message.)

I'm proud to call you my dad

(I wrote this on the airplane)


I haven’t blogged since Thanksgiving. I have pictures of December's activities and Christmas that I’ve been procrastinating on putting them up. I’ve thought about the New Year and the few resolutions that I’ve made. I also had a post about these as well. I have plenty of everyday items that would be fun and interesting, also with pictures. But that will all have to wait.

This year started out great! I made a few goals, the kids were back in school, and everything seemed to be going smoothly, or up until this week. There is always a bump in the road and a trial around the corner that we need to face. My dad went into the hospital on Monday. Nothing extremely life threatening but within the past 24 hours everything turned downhill fast. Now, I’m trying to beat time to make it to Utah to see him one last time. How does a child say goodbye to their parent? How do I hold it together? How do I smile when my heart is breaking inside.

My dad has struggled with health problems the past 15+ years. It really is a miracle he made it this long. As selfish as this may sound, I know he has been here for me. To be my friend, to come spend weeks with my family, to share hobbies, to talk on the phone, to work together, and to share laughs. He has spoiled my kids ROTTEN but I know it was in the kindness of his heart.

As the plane departed Austin, I felt peace. I felt comforted. I don’t know if that is the feeling of that I will make it or if it is the feeling that my dad has passed. Three hours is painful to go through without any form of communication. I am so grateful for my knowledge in the gospel. I pray that if I don’t make it in time, he will know I love him. I hope he knows how grateful I am for everything he has done for me. He is one of my best friends. I am so lucky to have him for my father, and a grandpa to my kids. I know I’ll see him again. I’ll know he will be happy and out of his misery that he has endured through the last part of his life. He will walk and run again. He will smile and laugh very soon.

I find comfort in my family. My kids and my husband are my fort. I wish they were with me.

Dad – I love you. My kids love you. Jacob loves you. I know you will watch over us while you are away from us in this life. You’ll be my angel now.

I wanted to post this to be a reminder to me of the comfort I have felt through this experience. As for an update on my dad, he is holding on. We've expressed our love and I know he is here although he cannot respond to us. I know it's a matter of time but I'm very grateful for every opportunity I have to talk with him.