Jubilee of Trees 2012

This year I got to go to the Jubilee of Trees with my
family, including my grandma who is in town for the
holidays. As usual, I loved the whole festive experience!
I love all the trees and every year tell myself that
 I want to decorate one for next year! This year my
mom and I did decide to decorate a smaller tree,
the 3 foot tree, and just start out small.
I took a few pictures of the trees I loved
and that were unique.

How pretty is this Paris tree? I love it!

This tree was one of my favorites.. It was a history
tree of St. George. How cool are the tiny ornaments
representing little historic buildings?
I LOVE the Pine Valley chapel and wanted to snap this
close up picture of it. It looks exactly
like the church. They did a fantastic job! 

Another successfull year at the Jubilee of Trees..
This event also marks the first of many (hopefully)
Christmas festivities for December!


Grandpa Shifflet ..& our Colorado Trip

I've been wanting to write about my Grandpa's passing now
for some time. .
Oh how do I begin?
[warning: longest blog in history. I really wanted this for my 
journaling purposes] 
I got a phone call Monday morning from my Dad as I was
leaving to go to work.. which is rare.
At first he was just his normal self kind of teasing me as he
 often does..
and then he got really quiet and couldn't really talk
and then I knew something was wrong and I asked him..
He was barley able to get it out but said
Grandpa died..
I think I was definitley in shock because I just started
rambling about what happened.. My dad was able
to compose himself but it was still hard.
I knew my mom was breaking, she has always
been so close to her dad!
My Grandpa had been in and out of the hospital these
last few months and we all knew he wasn't doing
great. He had been a smoker for 60 years or so of
his life and we were all amazed, as was he, that
he was still around at 79. But it did catch up to him and he
was having troubles breathing on his own.
Unfortunately in the early hours of October 29th
he decided that he had had enough
and I'm sure was rejoicing over his reunion in heaven and
being embraced by our Heavenly Father.
That day on my lunch hour I
went over to see my mom, who was of course,
strong as ever and trying to make all kinds of arrangements over
the phone.
That night she was planning to leave with her sister and brother
to make the drive out to Pueblo Colorado. . which is a long
12 hour drive. We had decided we would be leaving
with my dad on Wednesday afternoon.
In those few days while I was at work I could barley
think about work.. it's kind of weird because
that shock feeling does stay with you for awhie. I knew that
everything would hit me as I got to my Grandma's and
he wasn't there.
I was blessed to be able to ride out with my dad, have a great
boss that supported me going, and had a husband
that was also able and willing to leave his job behind
and be with me and my family.
Unforunately my siblings couldn't come out till Friday and they'd be
flying home that day as well.
So we started making our trek to Colorado on Wednesday
around 1 p.m. Oh what a drive that is.. I remember
driving it a lot when I was young.. I kind of liked it then and
didn't hate it  entirely now, but it sure is a long drive.
I hadn't been back to see my Grandparents in Colorado for
over 5 years and it was very cool to be going back. I have
so many childhood memories even just in that drive, and
I loved showing Adam things as we drove.
We didn't even get out of Southern Utah before my
dad's lead foot and F350 got the best of him..

I do love this Colorful State..
and yes my dad stopped for me so we could snap a quick
picture as if I've never been to this state before..
We stopped for a yummy dinner at Taco John's in Montrose.
I was kind of curious to see how our drive would be with just me,
my dad and Adam.. ha, yeah I felt a little
bad for myself too but it turned out to be a hoot!
We were laughing pretty much the whole time
and having fun. My dad is a pretty awesome
road trip buddy!
Adam started to get a little crazy around hour 10
He didn't do as well as I did on our 12 hour trip :)
We made it to Pueblo around 11:30 that night. Luckily
my Grandma lives close to hotels and my dad just got us
rooms at the Wyngate so we didn't have to make room
at my Grandma's. I can't even tell you how nice it was
to have our room and space while we were there.
And it was really good to see my Mom..
That next day was Thursday. Adam and I had been asked
to put together the funeral program (we do our ward
bulletin for our church so we are familiar with the layout) so
that day we had to finish it and get it printed off. I was really
pleased with how the program turned out. it was really nice.
I was also very anxious to see my Grandma. . and just be in their house
I knew that that is when the emotion might come.. It was
weird being there, like I said before, I hadn't been there for
so long but it's interesting how comfortable and good you
feel at your Grandma's house.. it just feels right..
It was strange not having Grandpa around though.. here and there
I'd get feelings of.. "where is he?" but for the most part everyone
held it together well.. especially my beautiful Grandma.
She didn't shed a tear when she first saw us. She's amazingly strong.
When we got there to see her on Thursday everyone was looking
through olds pictures, tons and tons of pictures.
My cousin was putting together a slideshow and we were helping her
with pictures. It was so fun to sit there and look through and reminse over
good times. The slideshow did make me cry as I think it did
for everyone.. Pictures really are worth a thousand words..
 That day was kind of hectic helping get all the funeral
arrangements made. We were also going with my Grandma
to have a little 'family' viewing. My Grandma
kept saying she really wanted to see my Grandpa so
they arranged that for her.
I hate viewings..
But I knew I had to see him.. We got to the funeral home
and were escorted to a little area to wait.
My Grandma and her sister and brother in law were to go in first
when my Grandma came out and just was bawling..I started to
loose it.. that is always the hardest when you see
other people hurting. My mom rushed to her side and embraced
her for a long time.
Then it was our turn to all go back.. It was hard.
It didn't look like him at all!! It amazes me that your
spirit really is what makes you you and gives you life..
my Grandpa looked nothing like the funny, energetic, lively, quick-wiited
guy we all knew.. for obvious reasons, but also just didn't
look like his face. I remember my Aunt Amy saying that
it didn't look like him but it did look like his hands.
He was a hard worker and you could also tell that by his hands.
I'm so beyond grateful for my LDS faith.. without it's knowledge
I would be devasted, and I wasn't sure how people that
don't have that knowledge or believe in heaven even move forward..
The viewing was hard on everyone, it made it feel more real.
My 4 boy cousins who were the only ones that lived in the same town
as my grandparents were very emotional. I felt bad for them
just since my Grandpa had helped rasie them.

After the viewing my Dad, Adam and I went to go see my other
grandparents (my dad's parents). My parents grew up in the same town
so whenever we go to visit I get to see both sets of family.
My dad's parents don't travel very often so I hadn't
seen them since my wedding 4 years ago.
It was so good to see them and their house!
I had a really hard time seeing my Grandpa Meserve. He has
always been really talkative and funny... and
really involved in the conversations. When I saw him this time
it was a lot harder. He has definitley gotten older.
He has sleep apena really bad and a few other things.
He had lost so much weight and wouldn't eat hardly anything.
He was skinny and also seemed kind of out of it.. he wasn't
really involved in all the converstaions.
I've been so lucky to have all my grandparents alive
and healthy for the most part, growing up.. Until now.
It's hard to see people age and I had a really hard time
seeing my Grandpa Meserve like that .. I started bawling on our
way to dinner after seeing him..
We decided to take Adam to a place called Passkey's.
They are famous for the Italian Sausage Sandwiches and they are
delicious! I love them! I don't know if Adam did, but
I was glad I got to enjoy them.

The next day was Friday and was the day of the funeral.
We had to get there somewhat early to help with
the arrangements and make sure everything was
set up. I helped with the pictures for the viewing room..

Yes, that picture that is on the back row is of my wedding
and my grandma had it on her stand in the living room..
favorite grandchild? i think so :)

The viewing and funeral both came together well.
There was sure a lot of people that loved my Grandpa.
He had quite a crowd. I loved seeing family and even family
that I had never met. My Grandpa was in a family of 12 kids
so there was a lot of family. Even my dad's brother and family
came to the funeral and so did my other Grandparents
since they all knew each other.

This is my mom and her siblings.. My Uncle Dave, Aunt Amy and
Uncle Scott. . prettty family.
My cousin Kelsey and I were walking down a hallway together
and these two older men stopped us and said
you guys must be Shifflet's.. and we replied
and said well yeah our mom's our sisters, and they said
well we can tell you definitley look alike and
look like a Shifflet, it was pretty flattering.

One of the coolest things happened at the viewing..
My cousin Coy is in the Navy and all of us weren't
sure if he was going to be able to make it for the funeral.
We all assumed he wouldn't make it once the day of the
funeral came here..
That morning his brother Ty's wife was gone. Ty said
she was off shopping for something and would be here
later. But she was actually picking up Coy from the airport.
He suprised everyone! He walked in during the
viewing in his Navy Uniform looking very similar to my Grandpa
who was also in the Navy. .
That was the second time I saw my Grandma cry
was when he walked in and hugged her. It was quite the
sight. .

Look at that resemblance...

I love this picture..

There was beautiful orange flowers at the funeral
they were perfect for fall.
For the funeral I had to say the Euology.
I was nervous at first but I think it went really
well. I got all the last names right! And I was happy to be included
in the program. My cousin Emily spoke, Trevor and my Aunt Amy.
They all did so well and told stories of Grandpa, life after death
and more funny stories. I loved it.. And suprisingly I didn't
cry my eyes out like I thought I would.
I did keep getting kind of this feeling that my Grandpa
was in the room with us all. . There wasn't any one sitting on the front
row and I kept picturing him there.. I am pretty sure he was!
My Grandma again, held herself together through the whole funeral
Next, we went to the burial site. My Grandma decided she
wanted to put him in a Moselium. It was a really pretty
day that day and the fall leaves were bright yellow
all around. We got to the place and all sat around inside..
A few people told a few stories and then
we got to walk around to see where they'll be placing the casket.
Afterwards we were able to grab a few flowers from
the funeral, which like I already said were beautiful.
I have never experienced the Moselium type funeral before
but it was pretty.

Here's me, my cousins, Aunt Judy & her husband and sister at the site. .

Afterwards we went back to the church to have a
luncheon. My Grandma had it catered by a really
great Italian place out there. It was delicious food. But we all
were pretty exhausted from the day.
After we ate I went with my Dad to take Taylor and Trevor
back to the airport since they were only able to stay
that day. My mom and Adam stayed back but I went
out to see my Grandparents and then to the air port.
We got to see my Aunt Carolyn (my dad's sister) and my Grandparents
again, and then were off..
After we dropped them off we went back to my Grandma's house
My cousin Ty and Coy were there and were bored
they wanted Adam and I to come and go out with them that night.
They are kind of little partiers and I've never really had the chance to 
hang out with them before so we kind of wanted to.
They all instantly loved Adam and thought he was hilarious
and way fun to hang out with.. So we went back to our hotel
got ready and decided to go out.
It was quite an adventure but so fun.
Sheena, Ty, Coy, Vance, Adam and I all packed in my dad's
truck and were on our way to some bar there..we
were half way there when Adam and I realized we forgot
our IDs... haha.. typical rookies obviously..
We both didn't think we had to have it since
we weren't drinking, but to even get into the club/bar you need
your IDs.. Once we had those we got in and just had fun.
It was a blast interacting with my cousins and watching
Adam hang out with them. I sat and talked to Sheena
for awhile and we watched the boys play Pool and we
also played Shuffle Board. . It was fun people watching and
some crazy dancers on the dance floor. Once the DJ played
Gangnam Style my cousins RAN out to the dance
floor and went crazy and were having dance off's it
was the funnies thing I've ever seen.. I had such a good time.
Afterwards my cousins were pretty wasted and we
had to drive them home. My cousin Ty decided to give Adam
and a tour of Pueblo and so he sat in the back seat giving
Adam all sorts of information.. we started calling him
'Tour Guide Ty'.. they just loved Adam, and I loved
how much they loved him.. haha.. My cousin Coy kept
saying check this guy out towards Adam because
of all the remarks he would make. We didn't get back home until
2 a.m. and I was beat.. but thinking about that night
and how much fun we all had made me think of my Grandpa
and he would have wanted it that way. He would have wanted us all
to have fun and be together and grow closer
and that is what I felt we did..

Once we got back to our hotel I crashed. I think I had
like 5 hours of sleep that night..
The next day we went with my Dad to this cute little Italian
place called Gaglianos..
It was the cutest place ever! Pueblo has a lot of
Italian and Mexican heritage and this was a little
shop of all kinds of yummy meats, cheeses, sandwiches
desserts, and cute little Italian stuff for your kitchen
and lots of little knick knacks.. I loved it.
My parents come here every time they are in town.
Afterwards my Dad gave us, more so Adam, since I have been
here before, but he gave us a little tour of a few places
from his childhood. It was so nice to just be with my
Dad and learn of the places my Grandparents
lived and that my dad remembered.
This is my Great-Grandma's house that my dad
remembered going to a lot growing up.. he even
remembered the detail of playing in her big backyard.

After we drove around for a little while we went and visited
my dad's parents one last time. I was happy to see my
Grandparents. . especially since when we pulled up
my Grandpa was outside walking around while my Grandma
mowed their lawn. My Grandma is kind of a beast and is
the hardest worker.. but my Grandpa seemed better that day
and I was happy to see him that way. We stayed and chatted
with them on their back porch for awhile
and waited for my Uncle to get done so we could all go to lunch.
My Grandma gave Adam a tour of their backyard where
they have a ton of old cars parked in garages and in the yard. .

I had decided that before I left I wanted some pictures with
my Grandparents.. as sad as this sounds, I'm not sure when I'll see
them again so even though they aren't the most photogenic
I had to snap these photos..

 Their poor little old pup..

I wanted a picture of their house as well. This is the house my
dad grew up in! They've had this house for a very very
long time. I still remember coming here and
loving their bright orange carpet in their basement
and their barf green carpet in their bedrooms :)
After my visit with them we met up with my Uncle his wife and
their son for lunch. I can't remember the place we went to
but they had whats called a 'Slopper' there.. which is like
a hamburger but smothered in green chile. I liked it
Adam didn't.. it's a Pueblo thing.
I always have fun with my dad's brother's family..
My dad and  Uncle are a lot alike and tease Adam
which is always hilarious.
The rest of the day was relaxing just hanging out and having
fun with cousins. That night we got all of my mom's family
together to go to dinner at a Mexican place called
Nachos. There was I think 20 or so of us and it was a party.
Food was great, lots of laughing, and singing along
with the band!

And some dancing.. haha..
My cousins and Uncles were drinking some margaritas
and Adam was drinking Mountain Dew..and he just
kept cracking jokes and he had the whole table laughing...
He then kept saying he was drunk on Mountain Dew
and I remember my Uncle Scott thought that was the funniest
thing ever.. and was telling me that Adam needs to be a comedian.
Laughing is sure good for the soul and we all needed a fun night
like this one to end our trip.
Cute Adam and Sheena.. aka.. Fun Size and King Size.
My cousin Coy is in the Navy like I said and I probably won't see
him for at least another couple of years since he isn't released
until 2014 and Ty and his wife live by San Francisco and
we hardly ever see them..along with my cousins
living in Colorado so it was such a great experience to have
us all together even though the circumstances
weren't what we all would have hoped.
The rest of us all left on Sunday to head back home. I was dreading
coming home just to get back to reality cause I had
been having a good trip and I also didn't want to make the
12 hour drive.. We left pretty early around 8 and started
our way back. The drive itself is really pretty in most of the areas,
at least in Colorado. As we went over the Rocky Mountains
I took some pictures and a few pictures of the town Breckenridge
and Vail. They are the cutest towns.

The population at the peak of our trip over the mountain
pass was around 10,000 feet or so. . and it was
freezing outside but it sure was pretty. As we got closer to the
flat land I saw a lot of pretty fall colors..

Adam also got to stop and enjoy his favorite for our lunch..
Luckily we made good timing coming back home too and
it didn't feel too long. We had a lot of fun
going back with my parents and I'm so blessed to have
such a great family near and far..
I know my Grandpa would have wanted us all to
laugh and enjoy life like he did..
[if you seriously made it to the end of this post your awesome]