Max continues to be obsessed with the outdoors in CO…

I’ve clearly been slacking when it comes to updating the blog lately…but it’s been a pretty busy month! So far, it’s consisted mostly of re-exploring the beautiful state of Colorado, spending quality time with old friends and great family, blowing bubbles, eating good food and just being present. I know that might sound strange, but as things have slowed down in some ways, I truly feel like I’m living in the moment – and that’s one of the  things I wanted (and needed) out of this move.

Max has been living in the moment too and I think this state suits him…

Today is the day. The movers are here at 9AM, loading up our San Francisco life in boxes. As I listen to the loud sound of tape whipping around our furniture and take in the shallow morning sounds of the city one last time, I wonder, “how does four years of life fit into thirty boxes and a medium-sized moving truck?” The truth is, it doesn’t.

Our imprint on this beloved city will live on even after we go. It’s buried deep inside us both. It’s in our Godson, Vicente Raul Topliffe. It’s in the birth center at 16th and Capp where Max took his first breath. It’s on the first floor of Ketchum where I heard my dear sweet mom had taken her last breath. It’s in each of our friends who made our life here far more meaningful than we ever expected. It’s on the purple, blue and orange walls of 25 Baker Street, apartment number two. It’s at Alamo Square Park where the younger versions of us ran freely with Pablo that first day we set foot in the City by the Bay. It’s in the mountains that Micah has conquered and loved so dearly and on the soft, cold sand lining the even colder ocean water. We are here. A large, unforgettable piece of us will stay here even though we won’t, and I’m grateful for that.

So, today is the day. But, tomorrow is exciting.

Farewell blue house. Hello white mountains.

The changes in our life continue…

This next one is a great change but also a difficult one. As we prepare to head back to Denver, Colorado in two days, I am realizing that I won’t really believe it until we are sitting in Micah’s parents house in about two weeks and we haven’t gone back “home” yet. It typically takes me about two weeks before I truly feel a big change like this start to settle in.

The past year has been chock-full of changes. Most were wonderful and some were not. Saying goodbye to my mom as I know her on this Earth and leaving Pablo behind in Dallas were the hardest. Although, as I sit here in what I consider the best apartment we’ve ever lived in, and look around at our life stacked in boxes, I begin to think I’ll look back on this as one of the harder moments. These walls contain the memories we’ll cherish for years and years to come.

This is where I labored for six hours dreaming of the moment we’d finally meet our unborn child, this is where our parents met Max for the first time, this is Max’s birth city and the first real home he’s ever known, this is where Micah mastered rock climbing, surfing and beer and cheese pairings, this is where Micah and I both made meaningful friendships that will last forever and even became Godparents to friends we met just four years ago. But, this is anything but “goodbye,” this is an honest-to-goodness “see you later.” The Day’s will be back often, frankly because we really did leave our hearts in San Francisco.

On a similar note, here are some pictures from the wonderful farewell party that Sonia gave Max at the park this week. She really is the best and I know Max will miss her so…

Last weekend the three of us went up to this amazingly beautiful cabin right off the ocean called “Poets Loft.” Micah’s boss actually owns the place and lets employees stay there a few nights a year. It is truly one of the coziest places I’ve ever stayed and there’s something about being out there, away from everything, that inspires the soul. We all loved it and had a blast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy

he is so fun

max and his 1970’s hair

Birthday pancake!

birthday hike for beer!

It’s been a rough couple of months (to say the least) but honestly, this little guy keeps us laughing, smiling and enjoying life just by being him. Micah and I are smitten. It’s official. I mean, just look at that face! He’s such a ham in front of the camera too…

He’s on the verge of walking…stands for long periods of time and is very stable. He takes steps when holding on to things, but no official “no hands” steps just yet. We’re fine with that…crawling keeps us busy enough for now. 🙂

I’ve admittedly been slacking on this blog the past couple of months – for many reasons – but I really don’t want to because Max is so fun (and precious) right now, that I love posting pictures of him. I have some great new photos of him that I’ll commit to posting in the next few days…but for now, I wanted to share one of my most recent (and now most treasured) writing pieces – my mom’s eulogy. Many of you have already heard or read this but others haven’t, so I thought I would share. I’ve already gone back and read this multiple times since I wrote it and not once has it felt real. I’m still waiting for it…the dreadful face of sheer reality. I also just wanted to say “thank you” to those around me who have continuously lifted me up and somehow helped make this life-shattering event a little softer.

Love,
Denise

In Loving Memory of Shirley Jean Sando

We are all here today to do one thing – and that is to CELEBRATE the life, memory and legacy of our dear, sweet wife, mom, daughter, sister, caregiver and friend, Shirley Sando.

As sad, confused and completely broken as we all are, this is a truly beautiful day because we can all rest assured that Shirley is in Heaven, free of her body and all the pain she endured the last few years. It is without a doubt that she is seated next to God, holding his hand, and doing what she did best here on Earth – serving others.

It’s pretty obvious from the group of people here today that her gift of service and selflessness impacted the lives of so many others. Over the last couple of days our family has heard expected comments like, “Shirley was like a second mother and loved our family as her own,” or “We will do anything we can to help because your mother changed our lives.” Even her insurance agent said, “She was not just a client…she was a dear friend.” Only Shirley would become friends with her insurance agent.

It’s funny actually, because we are all here today because of a simple pack of Juicy Fruit gum. For those of you who don’t know the story, Bill and Shirley met when they were 16 and 18 at a High School basketball game when Bill bought a pack of Juicy Fruit gum from her. What he thought was just a “harmless” pack of gum turned out to be a lifetime of undying love, unconditional service and the start of a family that genuinely adores each other.

As all of you know, Shirley had an almost “sixth sense” about her. There are countless stories about her calling or visiting to simply say, “I was thinking about you today, just wanted to say hi and that I love you.” It is with heavy hearts but joyful spirits that we say goodbye to our biggest fan.

As we all remember her, think of something she used to say all the time, “When life gets hard, you have two choices. You can either run away or get closer to God.”

Well, Shirley, your prayers have been answered. We can whole-heartedly say that each of us has become closer to God because of your life and now through your death. Truthfully, the only reason our family is even able to make it through this incredibly difficult time is because she made us the strong, capable and confident people we are today. Every day we heard confirmations of our internal abilities, strengths and gifts.  Outward appearances, criticisms or pettiness had no place in Shirley’s heart, as she lived a life that was rich in blessings, adoration and the unseen.

As we all move forward with our lives after today, we will each take with us a piece of Shirley Sando and continue her legacy of love, happiness and faith.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

It’s been a while since I posted pictures of Max and we actually captured some pretty amazing ones over the last couple of months. Here’s a few from Max and daddy’s camping adventure, Max’s first birthday, our trip to Texas and my favorite picture of Max ever (very last one). 🙂 What a model.

I recently sat down and had these words in my heart. This is for my mom, the most selfless and caring person I’ll ever know. I will miss her every single day.

“If You Were Here”
 
If you were here with me, what would you say?
Only half the sad and hurt lives in today.
 
It’s in my unborn child, that all the pain resides,
I know I’ll truly feel it when I look into their eyes.
 
Every day and every year will feel like a dream,
A life without you is like a shirt without a seam.
 
Your every selfless gift, your undying love,
Will carry on forever, inside each one of us.
 
You showed us who to be, and now you’ve gone away,
We’ll each move along, with one more thing to say.
 
Goodbye feels all wrong because I’ll see you every day,
You live here with me and who I am today.
 
If you were here right now, I think I know the words,
You’d say, I love you, and I’m with the hummingbirds.