Another weekend packed to the brim with adventure, travel, friends, family and emotion.

My cousin Heather flew in from San Diego last week for her first time in Idaho ever! We're only two months apart and grew up just blocks away from each other north of Seattle so we went through school together our whole lives and she's one of my best friends. We have the best time together doing everything and nothing.

After I was off Friday, we went to get a work out in at my gym Kvell and decided to go thrift shopping for 90s ski suits and head up to Bogus Basin for a night snowboarding sesh. I haven't gone boarding since high school.. so I was unsure how I'd do. The first couple runs were iffy but by the third, I looked pretty decent on the bunny hill. She left her ski suit at my house so that my visitors can go boarding with me when they visit. Thanks Heath.

Early Saturday morning, Heather and I flew to Seattle. We'd originally planned to celebrate our Grandpa's 80th birthday which would have been yesterday, but he died of cancer last month so it was his celebration of life instead. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning Seattle Times reporter and private investigator who helped free over a dozen wrongfully convicted prisoners.

Our family did an amazing job putting together photos and articles about him displayed at the memorial. We got there early to help with the set up and that was my first cry of the day. My Grandpa was such an amazing person and even better friend and seeing the stages of his life like that was really special.

 

I don't know anyone who has the type of relationship that I had with my Grandpa. I think we grow up loving our Grandparents, but as adults we intentionally choose which relationships we're going to nurture. My Grandpa was one of those relationships for me. About seven years ago, we began hanging out on a consistent basis, just the two of us. I'd go to his house boat and help him clean, he'd bring back lunch and tell me stories of his past cases and family experiences. We'd talk about life and dating and careers and politics and really whatever was happening in my life. That was what was so cool about my Grandpa: he was always so interested in the life of whoever he was talking to. He genuinely cared and wanted to know what was happening in your life.

He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer just two weeks after I moved to Boise. There was no indication that something was wrong until then. It was extremely hard to get that news right after I left, and I'm positive that I wouldn't have came if he'd been diagnosed prior. My only comfort in that is that I carry no regrets in my relationship with him. We spent SO much time together in my adult life. Not just time at family functions and holiday get togethers, real intentional time. It also makes me feel like there's a bigger purpose for me moving to Boise than I know yet. I believe the timing of his diagnosis means I was really meant to come here.

I was asked to speak at the memorial along with my uncle Brady who is just a couple years older than me. I knew it was going to be hard. I had to take some time a few times to get my emotions together. I loved my Grandpa so much and miss him greatly. And to see a room filled with people from our family, friends, his colleagues and people who loved and respected him.. it was hard. I knew we were all grieving because he was such an unforgettable person who really left an impression on your heart and life.

While it was one of the harder things I've done, I think I'll be forever grateful that I got to experience that emotion. It was a beautiful day.

 

On top of everything else happening that weekend, the family dog Peabody was struggling. He's older and was diagnosed with a heart issue about 6 months ago. The heart meds he's on are starting to not be enough. His breathing is starting to get worse and it looks like he may not make it much longer.

Yesterday morning he hopped in my lap for some snuggles. This may be the last time I'll see him.

 

My youngest sister Josee was flying back to Pepperdine last night around the time I flew back to Boise. Ten of us went to the Edmonds waterfront for dinner and some beach time.

My Grandpa would have been 80 yesterday. The past five years I've always planned his birthday parties with up to twenty family members celebrating. This was going to be a big one. While it was sad to not have him with us, it was comforting to spend that evening with family and do some of his favorite things: eat good food, spend time at the beach and talk with people we love.

Life has been different since he's been gone. And it will be more different now that the memorial is over. We've said goodbye. Routines will eventually return. But we will always miss him and wish he were there with us. <3