A Good Day

We got out and explored our new surroundings today. We went on a little nature walk outside the city a ways. It was fun. We saw a snake and so Abrielle was saying “ssss” the rest of the time, haha.
It must be nice to be kid and be carried when you get tired… I wish someone would carry me whenever I want, haha

She had fun playing with my sunglasses

Can you tell she’s really into necklaces right now? haha

Then we visited Chic-fil-A and took advantage of their free meal offer if you dress like a cow. There were people in much better costume than us, but it was fun πŸ™‚

She was not sure what to think of the cow, haha. We thought she’d like it, but she was a bit intimidated by it.

Enjoying her toy from her first kids meal

Our Sunday

We just had a really nice Sunday as a family together. I sure love these two.
Abrielle is getting very good at putting shoes on πŸ™‚

She runs from daddy pretty much every time he’s behind her

We visited temple grounds and it was adorable to see her stop and smell all the flowers πŸ™‚

She also had a blast chasing this poor bunny

The Denver Temple holds a special place in my heart as that’s where my family and I were sealed

More fun pictures

Abrielle has just been so funny lately so of course I’m always trying to capture the moment. So here are some fun pictures and activities that we’ve done. 

We live really close to a  human society, so we go there to see and pet animals. This guy is a Flemish Giant Rabbit; the biggest rabbit I’ve ever seen. He honestly probably weighed more than Abrielle. And he was super friendly. It was fun.

She kept sticking this right up to his face trying to get him to play with it, haha

The first time she’s let me paint her toenails πŸ™‚

Such a goofball

The fact that her hair is in pigtails is big deal… she NEVER lets us do anything with her hair, so this really was an accomplishment. And that they stayed in during all of church was an even bigger accomplishment haha

 She’s really really good at rearranging the candy at stores….

 I love these two πŸ™‚

Matt and Abrielle flew down to Arizona for Matt’s brother, Trevor’s, wedding. I unfortunately couldn’t go due to work, and this was Matt’s first time flying alone with her. She did great. She sat on this older woman’s lap that Matt was sitting next to the entire time. She’ll love anyone if they have necklaces and a phone πŸ™‚ haha.

Pretty in pink

Musician in the making….

The Bride and Groom

 Mother of the Groom, and the Groom

The other day Matt looked at our basket where we normally keep our shoes and noticed they were missing. He went looking and this is what he found, hahaha. Thanks Abrielle.

My baby is no longer a baby!

Abrielle… oh this girl. She is something, haha. I just keep loving her more than I thought I could. Her and that handsome daddy she has πŸ˜‰ I’m so grateful that I can be with them, and all of my family, forever. What a truly amazing blessing that is.

She has grown so much in the last 3 months… she really has gone from baby to toddler.

She has started running. She’s very good at shaking her head yes. She’s obsessed with birds and points pretty much every single one out. She’s also obsessed with dogs. Pretty much every time we see one, she almost hyperventilates going “woof woof” and goes spastic patting her hand on her leg (the sign for dog). She knows tons of animal noises. The zoo is a very magical place for us, haha.
She loves to dance and twirl. She loves to eat constantly (still). She’s got such a personality… she truly has no fear – of anything or anyone. A bit nerve-wracking for me, haha. There’s been lots more bumps and bruises and scrapes to go along with the fearlessness. She’s such a big “helper” pushing the shopping cart or stroller or doing laundry. She’s so vocal. She knows exactly what she wants and fortunately is pretty good at communicating it. She loves the water, and for me to put sunscreen on her, haha. She loves rocks and picks one up to carry every time we’re outside. She’s good at brushing her full mouth of teeth. She tries to hold every stuffed animal and blanket that she owns all at once. She is very into riding in/on things right now. She’s also very into jewelry and trying on shoes, haha.

That is Abrielle in a nutshell. I could go on for a long time with funny stories, but at this point I just need to get caught up in my blogging, so that’s the very condensed version of who she is right now, haha. Here are lots of pics to go along with it and hopefully I’ll be better at keeping up to date with stuff. It’s just pretty busy and entertaining and amazing to be her parents.

April pictures:

Love the curls!

May pictures:

Such a little shopper

Unfortunately she’s only satisfied with this phone for about 5 minutes until she wants mine (which I don’t give her, so it all goes over really well, haha).

She loves ducks

hahaha! Love the baby plumber’s crack πŸ™‚

This was the first time she let me paint her nails, and she’s the one that wanted me to do it πŸ™‚

June pictures:

Her first car πŸ™‚

Belly laugh πŸ™‚

I know I’m biased, but she totally looks like a model toddler here, haha. So beautiful πŸ™‚

Abrielle giving mouth to mouth, hahaha. I about died laughing watching this.
That’s our beautiful beast. We love her πŸ™‚

Goodbye Seattle, Hello Denver

So sorry for the forever long posts and plethora of pictures, but I use blogging as a type of journaling, so this is more for myself than anyone else, haha. Anyway….
In the midst of everything going on with my dad, we were also in preparation for moving to Denver. One of the biggest reasons we moved was because it was very difficult for him to travel and we thought it would be good for us to be closer to family as our grows. Plus as much as we truly love Seattle, it is just very very expensive. Anyway, so we both got jobs here very easily and things seemed to fall into place.We moved to Denver on May 12; Matt and his stepdad drove the trucks, while I took the easy way out and flew with Abrielle, haha. Matt is working at a hospital in downtown Denver called Swedish; he’s over the charge nurses on an oncology unit and seems to be liking it so far. He’s still on nights, but at least it’s 12 hours shifts instead of 8 hour nights like his last job. I am at the University of Colorado in the trauma/surgery ICU.

It has been a difficult adjustment for me to be honest. Not that I dislike it, but I still very much miss the green and water of Western Washington. And I don’t like my job as much as I was anticipating I would either so that probably plays into it. I came from a very critical and busy trauma/surgical ICU and where I’m at now, it’s not nearly the same pace or acuity. So… I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. Fortunately my position is only a 13 week contract, so I’m only obligated for that period of time, but I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do after that. I have considered going for the Cardiothoracic ICU there; it would be a new specialty for me. Anyway, I think another part of it is the schedule; they’re having me switch between days and nights frequently and it’s just killing my body. And yet another reason why it’s difficult to be here is because it reminds me of my dad. He spent a good part of his life here, a very influential part, and he has always always loved Colorado. So, it’s just a hard reminder. But… it is beautiful in many ways and the people have been good and it’s nice to have hot weather again. Although my skin is certainly not used to it anymore, haha.

I have put in some pictures of our last little while in Washington
Mt. Rainierο»Ώο»Ώο»Ώο»Ώο»Ώ
My favorite places to run
Downtown/Seattle Center
Our front porch  
Snoqualmie Falls
Alki Beach
Despite loving and missing Seattle, we have found some fun things to do here in Denver and have had some nice experiences already. One of them being a visit to the Wild Animal Reserve. This place is pretty cool. They have a catwalk about 20ft high that goes through the animal’s enclosures. So you can look down or look out and see tons of these lions and bears and tigers, etc.
We have frequented the zoo quite a bit as well as enjoyed the Children’s Museum. ο»Ώ
She totally loved “driving” the fire truck, haha

We’ve had some great zoo days

There was a goose trying to be a flamingo… sleeping on one leg with its head back. Amusing.

I don’t know how siting with her leg straight up could be comfortable….
After riding it for the first time, she is now obsessed with wanting to ride the carousel

This was funny… we went to the zoo with my brother’s family and Marianne (niece) got called out of the crowd to participate in this show. I asked Matt to go get a good picture of her up on the stage and we forgot that we had been asked not to stand during the show. So while he’s up taking pictures for me, the bird that was supposed to go to Marianne ends up flying towards Matt and he didn’t really see/expect it, so his reaction made it look like the bird was attacking him, hahaha. We felt bad that he unintentionally stole her thunder, but it was funny.

My mom also came to visit us over Father’s Day weekend. My dad’s parents are buried in the Fort Logan Army Cemetery here, so we went to visit their graves while. We also got together with Carl (brother) and his family while she was here; it was really nice.

We haven’t been able to get out much since we’ve moved here just because our schedules aren’t super accommodating right now, but we did make it up to Boulder where Abrielle kept trying to jump in the river. We have also been able to find some hidden and pretty sites when we’ve been out biking.

And despite my issues with being here, I better get used to it because we just bought a house! Yea! Finally! It will be our first home that we’ve owned and actually lived in. It’s in Littleton, but on the outskirts of the city in a developing community. It actually reminds me a lot of where I grew up. I’m going to have to get used to driving more than 5 minutes to get to a mall, haha. I realize how very spoiled I was in Bellevue having pretty much everything within a 3 mile radius. We are about a 15 minute drive from society (a Costco! haha) so it will take some adjusting, but overall I am very excited about our new home. It will be a wonderful place for us to grow into.ο»Ώ

Where to even begin….

Well, a lot has happened in the last 3 months….

The most significant event has been the passing of my father, Charles H. Miller. He struggled with multiple chronic illnesses for over a decade and his body was just tired. He passed on April 27. It was a peaceful passing and I’m grateful that he was surrounded by his family.
To be honest, it still doesn’t seem real most days. But when I still think about calling him or we go to NM and he’s not there, reality hits me harder than I can handle and I just crumble for a time. For his sake, it was much more merciful for him to go and I am excited for him and what I imagine he is accomplishing on the other side. I am happy that he is at peace. He was not afraid of death and I admire his faith and understanding. But for me…. my dad has been one of my best friends and my go-to-guy for pretty much everything since I was 16 years old. He is my hero. I am very much my father’s daughter, and am honored to be so, but it’s just so hard as I feel a very literal piece of who I am is gone. He always pushed me (in an uplifting way) to live up to my potential and has been with me through the best and worst of my times. His confidence in me and love for me (as well as my mother’s) has very much shaped me into who I am. I am lucky to have had his influence and example in my life and I’m not sure that I’ll ever match up to the person he was. But I couldn’t have asked for a better father and friend and I am just so grateful that he was with us as long as he was. Even if it was for just a short 27 years of my life, his influence will continue to impact and shape me forever.

Even though he would hate me posting pictures and doing this, here is a small tribute to my dad
Dad was a very very talented man, in so many ways. He was so quick minded; very smart and amazing with numbers. Although he didn’t particularly like his profession, he succeeded very well as a CPA. He was very athletic. Anyone who ever played with him or saw him play (pretty much any sport) can attest to that. He was an excellent golfer, a talented football player, would have most likely been drafted by the Minnesota Twins for baseball (a car accident ruined his future in baseball), and could still beat all of us at racquetball, even when he had poor health. 
He was also always right it seemed. It drove us kids crazy. But he could pretty much predict the outcome of any given situation and he generally had a pretty good idea if we were up to any trouble. Speaking of trouble, dad has always been a bit of a trouble maker. That’s probably how he knew so well what we were doing, haha. But this kindergarten report card pretty much sums up how he was his whole life, haha. 
He was a big kid. He was very responsible, but he loved to play and he never lost his youthful attitude. He was a very funny man. He always tried to be positive and in most areas of his life was very practical. I don’t think he complained more than 5 times about his illnesses the entire time he was sick. And even when he did, it was basically just him admitting that he wasn’t feeling good that day and then he would move on from it. Anytime I asked how he was doing, he would say “If I got any better looking, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself” πŸ™‚ Such is my dad.
But he just had fun in life and with those around him. If he wasn’t teasing us or giving us some innocent guilt trip, then we knew something was wrong. He just loved to joke and have a good time. We took family pictures when I was pregnant, and he made it a point to rest his arm on my pregnant belly when we took pictures, just to be silly, haha. Anyway, he had such a wonderful sense of humor and it is very hard for to think of him and not smile/laugh. 
He was an extremely giving person. He has done more good for more people than I will ever admit to anyone. He taught me the importance of helping others without expecting anything back or without them even being aware that he had helped them. He provided a good life for my family, but he made sure that others were taken care of too. 
He and I had some many very special and meaningful conversations and I’m so grateful for the things he taught me about the gospel and about life. They are invaluable lessons. He always tried to teach us, always tried to help us avoid hardships in life by learning from his mistakes. And he always loved us, all of his children. He loved my mom more than I can fully appreciate. It is my goal in my own marriage to have the friendship and love and fun that my parents had in theirs. It is truly something unique and he always made it very clear how special my mother is and how much he loves her. 
He was one of the strongest and most honorable men I know. Thank you daddy. 

It’s amazing how much Craig (brother) looked just like him at this age

Not a bad looking guy πŸ™‚

Dad’s sickness started off with a virus that attacked his heart when he was 50. He had been extremely healthy and fit up to that point. The endocarditis led to heart failure and he developed several other ailments along the way, such as arthritis and diabetes. He also had a condition called systemic scleroderma; a hardening of the skin and organs that made it even more difficult for him to move around and function. In addition, he had nonalcoholic cirrhosis. This and his heart failure caused organomegaly (enlarging of all his organs) and essentially he had multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. He was truly miserable (physically) and exhausted most of the time and he would often wonder the purpose of his still being kept on this earth. He’d chalk it up to the saying “you can’t kill a cockroach”. He was anything but that, but despite being afflicted with so much, his body was very strong and held out as long as it could. Eventually liver and kidney failure became irreversible.

The funeral was held on May 1. He was buried in the Sunset Gardens Memorial Park in Albuquerque, NM. It’s interesting, dad didn’t think very many people would come to his funeral, but the chapel was full and lots of people came in from out of state. He was a loved man by many people. It was a beautiful service and a time of great healing for his family. I hope that all of us can honorably carry on his legacy.

His 7 kids
In order from left to right: Bill, Ken, Ashleigh, Craig, Elise, David, Carl
In birth order: Ken, David, Carl, Bill, Ashleigh, Elise, Craig

His siblings, Colleen, Scott, and Luanna

My mother’s mother and her sisters (my mom is in the blue)

Pallbearers: Craig, Matt, Ken, David, Carl, Bill, Craig Sheffield, Allen Sheffield

Very dear friends of my dad’s, The Wolfgram’s and Ivan Waddoups

The 4 boys

I’m with Craig Sheffield in this picture. He was a very close friend of my dads for a very long time. My brother is named after him. They had way too much fun together πŸ™‚
We each put a rose on his casket prior to the burial
Turns out the funeral director had played golf with my dad before. Said he was really good. He was.

Some of my cousins and aunt. And my mom.

All of his children (with spouses) and grandchildren

I am unable to describe the gratitude that I feel for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been sealed to my father and family forever and at times, that is the only reassurance that can bring me peace and comfort. I know I will see him again. I am very saddened that most of my mortal life will be without him on this earth, but there is so much joy in knowing that it will be but a short time in the scheme of things. There is so much more I could say and there would never enough to suffice, but I will just say that I love him and miss him so much everyday and I hope that I can live a life that would make him proud.

I just want to say thank you to anyone/everyone who came to honor my father and for all of the love and condolences that you gave to us. My family is grateful to have and know so many wonderful people. We truly felt loved and supported and I offer my deepest appreciation. Thank you.