Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fond farewell to Grandpa Bench

4 months ago we celebrated Grandpa's 90th birthday, 1 month ago he suffered a stroke but was well on the road to recovery. 1 week ago we suddenly learned he wouldn't be with us much longer.
Our family gathered to spend as much time with him as we could. Many tears were shed, but also true to Gordon Bench humor, we had many laughs- right up until the end. As a nurse I have seen my share of death and dying. But holding my grandpa's hand and laying next to him powerless to do anything about it just about broke my heart.

We were so blessed to have wonderful hospice nurses and caretakers there around the clock to take care of his every need, including those of his sweet wife Jean. During the last 2 days that he was with us, his body was slowly shutting down and he was no longer responding verbally. But every once in a while he would raise his eyebrows just to let us know he was still there. I gave him morphine every hour to make him more comfortable and told him how much I love him.

It was a very powerful and poignant moment when he finally slipped away on Dec. 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm. Of course it was very sad, but with family surrounding him in love it was a fitting farewell to send him on to his joyous reunion with loved ones on the other side.

I will never forget all the wonderful times with my grandfather and for the enduring legacy he left for those that knew him. He was a staple at every family event and milestone in our lives and I have no regrets about anything at all. I feel that I took advantage of every opportunity to spend time with him and was lucky to live so close and be his "chauffeur" for the past 3 years.
As much as we miss our grandfather, father, and friend here on earth, it is comforting to know that he is no longer suffering and is with those who passed before him that were no doubt waiting with open arms.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Giving Thanks Mexican style

Our Thanksgiving week this year was a family affair in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Getting the whole Fallahi/ Fox family to the beach was just what we needed!
We really love this place...
Some of the high lights were: kayaking out to Land's End and having a picnic on Lover's Beach,
Nights out at some yummy Mexican restaurants,
Driving up to Todos Santos where we visited the Hotel California,
Of course spending every day at the beach,
Celebrating Jan's 60th b-day and Thanksgiving dinner at the Pithayas (world-class 5 star restaurant on the property of our resort)
Taking a catamaran out at sunset around the bay,
Deep sea-fishing for the guys,
good old family time,
and some of this too!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Going South

My friend Brooke from work invited some girls down to St. George a couple of weekends ago to enjoy some fun in the sun... I immediately said yes. And then I signed up to run another half marathon in Snow Canyon and recruited my other friend from work, Ashley.
Ashley is quite the little runner and she had no problem with that race. We kept up a pretty fast pace and chatted easily the first 10 miles. Then my stomach started really bothering me, so the last 3 miles were pretty miserable- but she kept me going and I came across the finish line at my best time yet 1 hr 54 min. We soaked our sore muscles in the hot tub after- so nice!
After taking a long nap while the other girls watched the U of U vs. TCU football game we took a little hike in Snow Canyon.
The days are a lot shorter now that Day Light savings time is over!
The next day we came back to Snow Canyon for some climbing. Here is Ashley, my trusty belayer!
Stemming out over Pioneer Name cave.
Not only did we have great warm sunny weather, we had an active weekend with some really great girls! I had a blast and can't wait to do it again :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trick or Treat

What says Halloween more than a Jack O' Lantern? Well, a 7 layer dip of course!
This costume lasted right around 90 seconds. Clearly Cole feels left out.
Jan showing off the graveyard brownies I made. Time-consuming little buggers.
All for the birthday boy Chris. He turned 30+11 on Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canyonlands "Other Half"

If you ever want to experience the beauty of southern Utah, you should go in the fall. Moab this fall in particular was the best it's ever been!
We went mid October for the 1/2 marathon I signed up for back in May... taking it easy at Ken's Lake the day before the race.
75 degree weather, fall leaves set against the redrock and bright blue sky, a million stars in the night sky viewed through the tent, fun with friends- it all made for a wonderful time!

My sister and I ran the whole way together. We got an amazing boost at mile 10 where our guys were waiting for us next to the road to cheer us on and give us a kiss as we passed by.
Em really is having a good time no matter how fake that smile is :-)
Running down this canyon next to the Colorado river with all the excitement of the runners with us made the 13.1 miles sail by! It was a little overcast in the beginning making for the perfect temps. The race was extremely well organized (much better than the Provo Canyon 1/2). Water/ gatorade and enthusiastic volunteers at every other mile and drummers at the last hill before we headed down to the Sorrel Ranch were a great touch. Emily and I went for the twin power when it was getting tough at the end- running arm in arm through the finish line. What an unforgettable experience!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spoiled much?

We've waited a long time for a baby to spoil in this family...
So these two "aunties" threw a baby shower.
These lovely ladies have lots of good advice for the new mom.
True Wendi style.
Jen, Hillary, Emily, Courtney, Natalie.
Each knot tied with love.
Oh this girl is going to be so spoiled...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Earthdance Zion 2010

When given the chance to go down to Zion... we will always say yes.
A couple of weeks ago we went to support our cousin's Earthdance Festival. As a bonus, we got to enjoy a small-scale family reunion. Kendra and Emma were selling their goods at the "Zen tent."
Being down there now is bittersweet without our uncle Al, but we still feel his presence there.
Stage set up at the ampi-theater in Springdale. One of the coolest venues I've ever been to.
Dave and Adrienne- they were so busy coordinating everything and pulled it off so well!

The best part of the whole weekend was getting to spend so much time with Dave and Adrienne's kids Davenne and Avery. They are an absolute dream. So smart, cute and fun. Wish they didn't live so far away!