The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Happiness, Less Time


I guess this is how it is supposed to be - more kids, less time.  That's okay.  Bitty went to almost all of Stomper's soccer games last year and begged to play too.  So we signed her up.  Stomper didn't get to play until 1st grade, but he never showed nearly as much interest as Bitty.  She's had a couple of practices and games so far and she's really done well.  I've been afraid (with good reason, thank you very much,) that she'd play a game or two and then just decide that she actually doesn't like soccer at all, or that she'd play for a few minutes and then shut down.  You know, suddenly stop running, turn around and walk away crying because she couldn't keep up or something....this is a rational fear of mine seeing as how she's the master emotional switch-flipper. Maybe I should call it the Master Emotional Switch Switcher or MESS for short. It would be an appropriate title.  Her older brother comes a close second, by the way.  Well, knock on wood, so far so good.

There isn't too much excitement in her games yet - it's mostly just a clump of kids trying to kick each others' shins (now THAT's good fun!) but she has a good time and it at least makes me feel better about Stomper's improvement over the past year.  His team still gets their cans kicked every week. Stomper's team doesn't get a whole lot of goals but their skills are coming along and they have a great group.  So now every week we have 2 nights of practice and then 2 games on Saturdays which definitely makes the day crazy, (especially when mommy forgets that she signed up for that week's snack and remembers right in the middle of the game...ahem...sorry honey), but it's only for a few weeks in the fall and spring and it gets us outside together.  What could be better?







Monday, September 20, 2010

Wanted

I love Stomper's teacher.  I really do.  She has a lot of work for her kids, but she's putting it all in a pirate context at the moment.  Everything is ALL about pirates.  Here is a "Wanted" poster that Stomper had to create. My friend saw this at school and couldn't stop laughing, so she sent me a picture of it:


I can't tell if it's completely hysterical or a little bit frightening.  Probably both.  I'm keeping it forever, that's for sure.  ...A hippo with a hernia....!  Didn't know he knew how to spell that.  Rock on Mrs. Lloyd - way to get your kids to care about the projects they're working on!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ketchup

Thank you, everyone, for all of the lovely comments and support  you've sent our way.  I so appreciate everything you've had to say, and I will repeat what my friend Becky J. just posted:  "Thank goodness our friendships last forever."  I'm so grateful for that, and grateful for the blessings life brings.  TerriLyn's funeral was really wonderful and it brought a lot of happy tears as well as reunions with many friends, which is just what she would have wanted, I think.

Well, despite everything, life has been rolling along as usual, and there are some things I'd like to get down for posterity, so please forgive the lengthy post!

Thing I:  Bitty started Kindergarten


It was a very long two weeks after Stomper got to start, but finally on the the day after Labor Day Bitty got to go to school.  She's enrolled in full-day kindergarten, which I knew would be a tough adjustment for her but that she really needed and would love.  True, the first few days I dropped off a bright shining kindergartner in the morning and came back that afternoon to collect my drooping, wilted and practically limp little girl who had to curl up in a ball on the couch for two hours after school to recover.  She's been in a couple of weeks now and seems like she's doing better.  She sure loves bringing her cute little lunchbox to school - no school lunch for this girl!  She has excitedly reported that she already has a boyfriend - his name is Noah and I have yet to meet him.  Look out, Noah, I'll be watching you. Oh, heaven help me.   


Thing II: A Sink!


Troy does such beautiful work, don't you think?  He built that table for our sink and I think it looks fantastic.  It's lovely to be able to wash my hands in the bathroom, and brush in there too.  Since this photo was taken we also have a cool towel rack installed off to the side - perfect excuse to go buy some nice new hand-towels I'd say.  If we ever move I'm afraid to tell the home buyers that I think the sink is coming with us.


Thing 3: Cousins are awesome


 I don't even remember now when this was....three weeks ago?  Anyway, Peter and Sheri came up for a visit.  I watched their girls on a Friday while they were at a wedding.  Their little baby is so sweet and so different from Bundle.  She's so brown.  Bundle is so white.  She's got this light skiff of shiny white hair and Bundle has this puff of curly caramel-colored stuff all over the place.  They look funny next to each other, like a photo and its negative.  We had a lovely day together, and then on Sunday night I think we had movie night in the back yard which was so much fun.


Thing 4:  Bundle Loves the Hammock

The other day the kids were trying to make a hammock out of blankets and sticks or something like that.  Troy remembered that he had a hammock packed away in his camping stuff someplace so he went and found it and set it up.  Now, I'll say that it has caused its fair share of fighting between the big kids, but now that the novelty has worn off a bit the kids are enjoying it a little more nicely - Stomper loves sitting in it to do his homework and reading - and Bundle absolutely loves it.  Troy puts her in there like a little caterpillar in a cocoon and she holds so still and just smiles while he rocks her as long as he can stand to keep doing it.  The other day I pulled out a box of clothes to go through and she found a frog costume - the very costume that Bitty was wearing in my very first blog post ever in November of 1996 (!!!).  She insisted that I put it on her - I showed her her reflection and I think she understood that she was dressed up as a frog.  She just looked and looked at herself and then would sign 'frog.'  Very cute.  She wore the very warm costume all morning:


Okay.  Not very eloquent blogging, but I'm glad to finally get a chance to record all of these simple little joy-bringing happenings.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Farewell, Darling Friend

Terri Lyn Folkman Grundvig
February 16, 1969 - September 10, 2010

Seeing this picture of TL with the spark in her eyes and shine on her cheek makes it hard to believe that she's not here any more.  

You know, every time I had a baby I had nine months to prepare for the arrival.  I spent nine months feeling sick or feeling large (or both), watching my feet slowly splat out like pancakes.  I spent nine months picking out clothing and diapers and setting up a crib and a changing table.  I got everything all arranged.  And then I'd go into labor, go to the hospital and eventually someone would put a baby in my arms.  And somehow, after all that, I'd be surprised.  What is this?  Who said anything about a baby? And I have to say, this is kind of the same.  TL told me more than a year ago that her cancer had returned and that she would not recover from it.  Over the ensuing months I watched her fight and suffer and deteriorate until over the past three weeks it was almost unbearable to see her.  And yet, when she passed, I could hardly believe it.  I've been walking around for almost a week now trying to process the idea that I won't be seeing my friend again in this life.  That she won't be popping in with lunch or to borrow a necklace.  I won't be calling her to vent about something silly that I know only she'd understand.  No more sneaking out to late night movies.  I just can't believe it.  I'm just aching right now knowing that she's gone.  Truly, I loved her.  We called each other sister friends, and that is what we will always be. 




"TerriLyn "TL" Folkman Grundvig, 41, ended her inspiring and courageous four-year battle with breast cancer on Friday, September 10, 2010. TerriLyn was born in Bellevue, WA to Robert and Patricia Folkman. TerriLyn grew up in nearby Issaquah where, from an early age, she developed a fervor for life. That passion motivated TerriLyn to establish friendships and embark on adventures across the country. TerriLyn was a fiercely loyal and devoted friend. She was also a tremendously gifted athlete, excelling in both track and soccer throughout elementary and high school. In 1996, TerriLyn moved to Salt Lake City, UT to pursue a career in massage therapy. There she met Adam Grundvig, whom she married in 1997. TerriLyn and Adam brought two beautiful and amazing children, Gabrielle and Ryan, into the world. TerriLyn was a loving mother who strived to instill in Gabrielle and Ryan the same devotion to friends and love for life that she had. On their four-year anniversary, TerriLyn and Adam solemnized their marriage in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. TerriLyn is survived by her parents, Robert and Patricia; husband, Adam; children, Gabrielle and Ryan; step-daughter, Haley; siblings Kristine Christensen, Scott (Jackie), Gary (April), and Julie (Bryan) Roos; and numerous nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends who will miss TerriLyn dearly."


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Grateful for a Monday Morning

What a week. 

That's all I can think of to say.  I'm sitting here looking at this blank page and blinking cursor and wondering what on earth I could possibly write to describe what is going on.  I do not feel the flow of words that sometimes comes when I'm writing.  I feel stilted and stalled and at a loss. Fitting.

So, this is going to get a little raw here.  It's been just over a year since my friend TerriLyn found out that her breast cancer had returned to her bones.  That kind of cancer doesn't go away, but some people can fight it for a long time.  TL has done a great job fighting but has suffered blow after blow after blow this year.  At Christmastime we found out her bone-strengthening drug wasn't working and she had to start chemotherapy again.  Around her birthday in February we found out the cancer had spread to her liver.  This summer she went away to spend three weeks with her family in Seattle, and when she came home I knew there was more trouble. She looked different and I could tell that she felt awful.  A few days later we found out that it was because her liver was failing.  Incredible to realize that it was less than one month ago that this devastating news was delivered. 

In those few short weeks, TL has gone from sick but still vibrant and sparkly to just barely hanging on to life.  I visited her today in the hospital, where she was sitting with her family, barely able to keep her eyes open and appearing so different that it took my breath away.

How grateful I was for my Monday morning.

Nine days ago, the Monday she got admitted to the hospital I was sitting at home.  I suddenly felt inspired to go see TL.  She was at home and not feeling well at all, dealing with mouth sores and other side-effects of chemo.  I went inside, where she was stubbornly insisting on dressing herself after a shower and making her own tea which she could barely sip.  Finally she sat down and all I could do to help her was sit with her.  I rubbed her legs and hands with lotion.  I chatted quietly about all the latest neighborhood news.  I rubbed her back and stroked her head.  I was just with her. I think it will probably be the most interaction I ever have with her again on this earth.  It was hard to see her in pain but it was an absolute treasure for me to have that time with her. 

Since that morning I have seen her at the hospital three times, each time seeming a little harder than the last, and certainly without the same intimacy of that last morning.  But we hold hands, and the first night I went we cried together. As the week has gone on I'm not always sure she knows I'm there or who I am. The week has been filled with helping with her kids, helping with food, talking to family, briefly stopping by the hospital, talking talking talking with friends, neighbors, Troy. Crying.  Remembering. Praying.  I'm so grateful to be a part of my dear friend's journey - as with birth, a person only gets to die once, and I feel that it's as sacred as the arrival of a baby.  This experience, though so hard, is not one I'd trade for anything. 


Sweet friend, you are safe.  You are loved, so much.  I will miss you for the rest of my life.  I don't think a day will go by that I don't think of you, wish to talk to you.  I love you.