When I Think of My Grandma, I Think of Her Joy

I am currently on a plane headed home to see my family. This trip has been planned for some time but the circumstances have slightly changed. This will be the first time visiting my family for Christmas that my grandma will not be in attendance. My grandma passed away last week. We knew it was coming but I’m not sure you can ever be completely ready. I got the phone call from my dad at 3:30 my time on Wednesday and immediately knew what had happened. She died peacefully and I am really thankful for that.

Its hard to know what to do after getting that kind of news. I’m the only one in my family who wasn’t able to be there in person so you feel a little bit of helplessness. When thinking of the best way to mourn her and celebrate her that day, Nathan and I decided to go to the prettiest place on earth I have ever been: Rocky Mountain National Park. I wrapped myself up in my grandma’s purple sweater that I found in her closet the last time I was home to visit her and went walking through the mountains on a beautiful snow covered trail. We didn’t run in to a single person that day and I got to soak in God’s beauty and talk with Nathan about some sweet memories with my grandma.

When I think of my grandma I think of her Joy. I remember infectious smile, her sweet laugh, her silliness…she was one of the warmest and kindest people I have ever known. Everyone knew her as grandma…my friends, people at places she frequented often, a random kid in the grocery store…seriously everyone. You could not come in to her home without her treating you like family and handing you goodies. She had the warmest hugs that felt like they could take away your problems. If you never got the chance to meet her I promise you, you would’ve loved her. It seems to be slightly more difficult to lose someone you love around holidays but with my grandma I think it is fitting because it is a time of year I already think of her a lot. She shined even brighter during Christmas. She brought all of the family together and made it fun and special and of course had the best cookies you could imagine. 

We will all miss her so much but she is definitely not gone. I’m so thankful that I had such an amazing grandma help raise me and raise my mom to be so amazing. My grandma left a legacy here and I see it all the time, especially in my momma.

Birthday Weekend in Estes Park

This has been such a crazy year for us. So many changes have occurred. It has been good but also pretty stressful. I have to admit that it was starting to really get to me. Courtney knows how refreshing and refueling simply getting away is for me, and I think she could tell that I needed a break, even just a little one. So for my birthday this year she bought me a one night getaway with her, in a little hut/cabin, in the mountains. I could't have asked for a better gift. It was exactly what I needed. She also bought me a Topo Designs camp hat that I have wanted for awhile. I was a happy camper. 

Saturday night we checked in to our little place. It was this awesome little cottage that Courtney booked on AirBNB. It was romantic and so fun. It even had a private outdoor hot tub. After dinner at a little bar and grill in town we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying our little place. 

Sunday we decided we were up for a challenge so we hiked to a place called Chasm lake at the base of Longs Peak. It was beautiful and amazing and the hardest hike I have ever done. One of our goals is to climb Longs but we have a lot of training to do before that. The scenery was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I kept having to remind myself that it was real. It was amazing. 

I could't have asked for a better birthday. Thanks for making it special.