On Monday, we received the awful news that Cari's husband Ryan passed away. It was very unexpected and shocking. Cari and her 4 young kids were on our mind and in our prayers all week. Thanks to Gigi and Poppy, Tyler, Millie, and I were able to attend the funeral services with them this weekend. We flew to Utah on Friday and arrived home this afternoon (Sunday). It's still hard to believe that Ryan is gone, but we were so glad we got to be there with the family and see everyone. I believe that times like this are a big part of why we have families!
|The most recent picture I have of Ryan, from the Dude Ranch this year. He's on the very left and Cari (holding Piper) is on the very right.|
Fun at the airport:
|Also, my first time flying with Tyler. And Tyler's first time flying with Millie!|
We went straight to the viewing after our flight. We were so glad to be reunited with everyone. Tyler and I finally got to meet Sydney and Hudson- we've been waiting a long time for that! Millie loved seeing her uncles and aunt and soaked up all the attention, of course. Major single child syndrome going on over here.
After the viewing was over we were all starving, so we went to Tucano's. That was one of Ryan's favorite places to eat and we were obviously all thinking of him! We ate a ton, but Garrett and Mitchell needed a little more as we were leaving.
It also happened to be the night they turned on all the lights at the Riverwoods, so it was packed with people- an Alex Boye concert, fireworks, etc. Millie loved the lights. She kept saying, "Another one Christmas tree! Another one! Lights!" at every. single. one. Good thing we didn't take her to Temple Square.
Saturday morning we went to the viewing and funeral services. It was very emotional, but we were all so impressed by Cari and her strength. She used every opportunity to teach her sweet children about how they will someday be reunited with their dad. Each of the kids carried a treasure box with little things to remind them of their dad- flowers from the funeral, a handkerchief with his fingerprint, etc. It was very sweet. We walked away from the funeral feeling uplifted and inspired to do and be better people! Ryan was a wonderful husband, father, and person in general. We loved our time in Utah when we got to see them often and cherish those memories with each of them.
At the graveside service, the kids let balloons go and we watched them float up into the crazy snowstorm. Cari told us they plan to do that every year from now on.
There was a luncheon after that, where we were served Cafe Rio. We were just floored by everyone's kindness and generosity! The ward was so helpful with the services and there were so many other little moments that just showed how kind and compassionate people can really be.
|Playing with Sydney and Piper|
After the luncheon we delivered some of the flowers from the funeral to Cari's house and ended up staying and talking for a little while. I was so glad we got to have some time with them! I love Cari and look up to her so much- always have.
Out of order, but here's a picture of Millie experiencing snow for the first time Saturday morning before the funeral.
That evening we got to spend some time at the Provo Beach Resort, thanks to the generosity of a friend of Ryan's family. Cari wanted everyone to get together and have a fun time and remember that life is fun-- the way Ryan lived it! So we did just that.
|Millie was very determined to get through this little playground obstacle. It was hysterical|
|Blurry on purpose to show how quickly she runs! We love her excitement|
We sat and watched our little girl run and just were feeling so blessed to be a family. I love this man.
Also, Millie had 8 adults watching her play (Mitchell isn't pictured, but he was there). Only grandchild much?
After playing our hearts out, we said goodbye and headed to Five Guys. This is everyone's "I ate soooo much" face.
|Millie loves Gar-Gar and Dodo so much|
We went to bed semi-early, since we had an early flight home. We were a bit delayed, and of course Millie slept as we sat in the plane on the runway, waking up as we took off! Oh well. She was so good the whole weekend as we threw off her schedule and took her around and around.
|Thankfully, Tyler and I were sitting next to each other so she could sprawl out|
So, that was our weekend. It was very emotional- both ways. We love our families and are so thankful to know that we can be together forever!