Sunday, May 20, 2007

Graduation, Champions, and an Evening at the Ballpark

Today Kyle graduated from law school. He has worked so hard and he has loved his experience as a student at the University of Denver. It was a very nice graduation. The Attorney General of Colorado, John Suthers, gave the commencement address. He was short and sweet and too the point, which was nice for those in attendance. Afterwards, we went to lunch with Kyle's parents, my brothers, and our good friends. I was so proud of Kyle.

Later in the afternoon, Kyle and his friends from school played in the intramural softball championship game. They miraculously came back from a 13 run deficit in the last inning to win the game. All but two of them graduated from law school this morning, so this was a nice way to finish off a great era. Zac was their bat boy and good luck charm. He loves being a part of the action, and the guys all love him, too.

After Kyle's game, the guys all went down town to watch the Rockies and the Royals. The Rockies pulled off a victory, the hit four home runs, Zac made it onto the jumbo-tron yet again, and Mike almost caught a foul ball, but conceded viictory to the man who hurdled several people, including several children, to snatch up the ball. Zac has been on the jumbo-tron more in his 3 years than most people are in a lifetime!

Ann, Will, and I went to the mall and wasted a little bit of time, then we headed home. Will was a champ this morning for graduation, but I didn't have the heart to make him sit still for several more hours in the same day. He enjoyed the dogs at the pet shop in the mall and a fruit cup from Chick-fillet. It was a great day.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Flood of Memories and a Depth of Gratitude

On Wednesday Kyle and the boys and I drove over to Utah from Colorado to spend a few days with his family before we move home to NC. The boys were so good and watched several movies during the nine hour trip, so Kyle and I were able to spend several hours talking. It was so nice.

We discussed everything on this road trip from baseball to houses and from religion to politics. Of course, our conversation landed upon Grant, Emily, Kevin, and their entire family. As we spoke of our gratitude for technology, brilliant doctors, and miraculous treatments, I couldn't help but think about my Uncle Denny, and my grandparents, Charlie William and Margarette. Much like Grant, Denny was a vibrant and strong little boy; and much like Emily and Kevin, grandma and granddaddy were loving and attentive parents. Denny was a little older than Grant when he was diagnosed with leukemia, but there was one huge difference-time. I am so thankful that in this day and age, doctors have been inspired and guided to find treatments that not only fight symptoms, but heal little boys and girls of this terrible disease. I am so sad that my uncle, Denny, wasn't able to receive these treatments and that my grandparents had to suffer losing a son at 9 years old.

I admire my grandparents for their strength and long-suffering and I am in awe of my sister and her husband for the way they have chosen to react to this obstacle placed before them. It would be so easy to get mad and say why me, but it is through these trials that Heavenly Father proves who we really are, and they have definitely proven themselves to be strong and faithful parents. I am so thankful for their example.

As Kyle and I discussed my grandparents, I began to have a flood of memories from my childhood. My grandma was the epitomy of what a grandmother should be. In my mind's eye she was always cooking or baking something, usually light bread or bread pudding, but always something. She always wore a house coat and cloth shoes from Roses or Maxway. Most of the time her hair was messed up from where she's taken a nap earlier that day. She loved The Young and the Restless and The Price is Right and watched both religiously. She had the most contagious laugh (which will never die as long as Leah's around). She wore clip on ear rings and she had beaded necklaces in every color. She had a white house with a white picket fence that granddaddy built. She had the best swing ever on her front porch and a few rocking chairs that all had black paint chipping off of them. Right by the front steps there was a bright pink hydreanga bush that she absolutely loved. Around the corner of the house were those little pink flowers that had clover-like leaves. She had the best tree ever in her front yard that he nearly every grandchild's name carved in it. I've climbed to the top more times than I can count, much to granddaddy's chagrin. He was scared to death we were gonna "get killed." Luckily, none of us ever did.

There was a honeysuckle in the back yard that smelled heavenly. There was a gigantic heater in the kitchen that I still can't quite comprehend why it was so big! In the winter, she'd always block the front of the house off with an accordian door so they didn't have to heat the front two rooms, therefore in my memories, those two rooms were always cold. She al'ways had Coca Cola in the glass bottle in the fridge for granddaddy, but we'd always drink them as soon as we walked in the door. We almost got a good old fashioned switching one night after emptying grandma's fridge, but luckily our pre-switching screams were so loud, our neighbor came over to see what the fuss was all about! (We had been forewarned to stay out of the kitchen!)

I have such vivid memories of swinging on the porch and watching it rain. The smell is still so vivid in my mind. We would sit on that porch for hours and count the cars passing by. We'd all pick a color and at the end, the person whose color had passed my most won the game. We'd run circles around her house over and over again. We'd play Red-Rover in the front yard, but, as we all know, no one would ever send me right over! I'm still scarred by that! We'd play the egg game on the front steps where you'd approach the person on the front step and say, "Do you have any eggs," and they'd reply, "What color." Then you would begin saying colors and when you said their color, they'd take off running and you had to catch them. It sounds pretty stupid thinking about it now, but boy was it fun back then.

We'd go to the landing and play in the water. We'd pick up shells and bottles and torment Uncle Mike's crabs. I was nearly decapitated once on a bike ride down to the landing, but I lived to tell about it, so I guess it wasn't as bad as I remember! I also almost had my hand blown off by a firework down there one Fourth of July, but I don't have any scars from that either.

I could go on for days, but I won't. I loved that house and I love the two people who lived there. Soon after granddaddy died, so did the house, but in my mind it's still there. I am still 6 years old and grandma is still swinging on the porch while granddaddy waits at the landing for Uncle Mike to come back in. I am so thankful for memories. I am so lucky to have so many good ones.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Super Grant's Page

My nephew, Grant Nelson, was diagnosed last week will ALL T-Cell Leukemia. My family has set up a blogspot to update family and friends on his progress as he fights this disease. Check it out of you get a chance at

Zac and Frenchy- BFF's

This past weekend, the Atlanta Braves were in town to play the Colorado Rockies. We go down to Rockies games quite often, but this was a special weekend because we are a Braves family (although, I still have equal allegiance to the Red Sox)! Kyle's dad and uncle, as well as several cousins, drove over from Utah to see the Braves play, so we were able to get the private box from Kyle's work reserved for Friday and Sunday, and we purchased tickets right behind the Braves dugout for Saturday. It was a beautiful weekend and we were able to see many homeruns, great catches, and an unassisted triple play, which has only been done 13 times in the history of the MLB.

But the highlight of the weekend for our family happened on Friday an hour or more before the game even started. Kyle decided to take Zac down to the field to watch batting practice before the game. They met the crew from Utah there, and quickly headed down to the third base line to get a closer look at some of their favorite players. Zac loves Chipper Jones, and I'm sure he always will, but Jeff Franceour, the Braves very young right fielder, has moved up the list of favorites for the Dart family.

In Kyle's words, "Zac was so into it." He was enjoying watching all of the players take BP. One of the ushers noticed Zac and called him down closer to the field to give him a ball. So Kyle and Zac went on down to about 5 rows up from the field. Just as they were finishing their conversation with the usher, Jeff Franceour was finishing his BP. Franceour's nickname is Frenchy, so Zac started yelling, "Frenchy!" Franceour looked up and, as Kyle said, all they were expecting was a wave, but to their surprise, he said hello, and called them down to the dugout.
He was so nice to them. They chatted for a sec, then he signed the ball the usher had just given Zac. Zac was in heaven and kept tittering and saying, "It's Frenchy." I guess Franceour thought that was cute because he kept laughing at Zac and before he said goodbye, he took the batting gloves off of his hands and gave them to Zac!

I'm not sure if Frenchy treats all of his fans this way, but we were certainly impressed by his kindness and attention to a 3-year-old who absolutely loves the Braves. He went on to hit a homerun and to make a game winning catch to end the game. Throughout the series, he played great. I believe that good things happen to good people and he certainly proved himself to be a good person that night.