Wednesday, August 21, 2013

xander's first plane ride

Ok, so I was insanely nervous about taking my 5 week old little boy on a 5 hour plane ride (well, actually a 4 hour plane ride followed by an hour long connecting flight,) but it turned out not to be so bad!

I read up on a bunch of tips for flying with an infant, and some of them were helpful, but it was way easier than I expected. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the age and personality of my baby. He did awesome! When we weren't on the plane, I wore him in the Moby wrap. When we were on the plane, I had brought my boppy as my "personal item" and I just held him on my lap and he slept most of the time. I nursed during take off and landing to help his ears not to hurt. We only had to do one diaper change on the plane- and that was the only thing that was kind of inconvenient; there are not changing tables on airplanes. We had to put the seat down on the toilet and change him there. 

The only thing I would change if I could go back in time is the amount of stuff I brought. I over packed. But I know if I hadn't brought all the stuff I did that I would have needed it. At the end of all 4 of our flights we got comments from people about how they didn't even know there was a baby on the flight and how good he was. I couldn't have asked for it to go any smoother.

Here are some pics that we took on the plane and at the airport during our layover.


We spent our last day in Virginia with my grandma touring Fredericksburg. We did some wandering on foot, got some ice cream, and took a trolley tour of all the historic sites in the city. 

Nathan and I enjoyed the tour, Xander on the other hand slept through pretty much the whole thing. I guess we will have to take him back some day to absorb the history.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

grandpa pete's funeral

On the morning of July 17th, I got a call from dad early in the morning to let me know that my Grandpa Pete (his dad) had passed away. Even though I wasn't very close to my grandpa, and I hadn't seen him in about 13 years- the news was still upsetting. Nathan and I had been planning on taking a trip next spring to visit my grandparents- and give the opportunity to meet their grandson. For some reason this was something that was really important to me. I really wanted to get a picture of Xander with my grandpa- since Xander is named after my dad, and my dad was named after my grandpa.

Anyway, I was extremely sad that I wouldn't get that opportunity and that I wouldn't get to see my grandfather again in this life. I knew right away that I wanted to be able to go to the funeral.

I am so grateful that I have such an amazing and supportive husband who has been so smart with our finances. Because of his fiscal responsibility, we were able to take a few days and fly to Virginia for the funeral.

The funeral service was lovely. It started with a private family prayer, given by my dad, back in the Relief Society room and continued in the chapel where my dad gave a life sketch and my Aunt Tabitha gave a fantastic talk. My Aunt Michelle read the lyrics to my grandpa's favorite song, "Forever Young"

Here is a video with the lyrics to the song. 

It was weird to hear other people refer to my grandpa as Paul. I always knew his name was Paul- but I have only ever heard him called Pete. Paul is dad! So it was freaking me out a little to hear anyone referring to Grandpa Pete as Paul. What was amazing though was hearing people talk about all the good things Grandpa had done in his life. I loved hearing about his tremendous spirit of service and all the people he helped and influenced for good. It made me kinda sad that I didn't make the effort to get to know him better while he was alive. 

I will always remember my grandpa's laugh, kind smile, and his big calloused hands. He did manual labor most of his life and  I remember that his hands showed it. I remember, as a kid, thinking he was a real manly man. I also remember him snoring reeeeeeally loud when he came to visit us. It sounded like a monster and scared the crap out of me! I also remember being so excited to have him at our house to visit though. I am grateful to have nothing but fond memories of Grandpa Pete and choose remember him as the larger than life manly man I saw in him when I was a child.

Here are some pictures of my grandpa that were on display at the church:

Me and grandpa together- when I was about 10

This is the smile I remember!

This picture wasn't on display but I wanted to share it anyway. This is a picture from the last time I saw Grandpa Pete, and the last time my dad's side of the family was all together.

After the memorial service the family headed over to Quantico National Cemetary for a pre-burial ceremony, where my grandma was presented with a flag and thanked for Grandpa's military service, and then my dad was able to dedicate the grave site.

Due to large number of funerals that they have there on the weekends, we were not able to be there for the grave dedication- just the person doing the dedicating- but we were all able to go back later in the day. Here are some pictures from the cemetary:

This is the symbol that will be on the permanent headstone, once it's ordered

The Relief Society from my grandparents ward put together a very nice luncheon where we were all able to visit as a family- and I was able to meet some extended family that I hadn't met before- or have no recollection of meeting because I was so young last time I saw them.  I was a slacker and didn't get many pictures, but here are the pics from luncheon:

And even though Grandpa Pete wasn't able to meet sweet little Xander in this life, I still got the picture I wanted with him; definitely not how I wanted or expected- but I love this pic. It will always be one that I treasure. 

Paul Sanders Jr. holding a picture of his dad, Paul Sanders, in one hand and his grandson, Xander Paul in the other.

Paul Sanders
3/9/1938 - 7/17/2013

Forever Young