Hello, friends ... I want to give you the details about my mom Nancy’s memorial, which is this Saturday, Feb. 9th at 11:00am, at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (611 N 2450 E, St. George, UT 84790). There will be a service, an interment of ashes in the rose garden, then a luncheon. Mom’s memorial will be one day shy of a month after she passed, and there’s been something cathartic about slowing down the grieving. Ingrid and I have spent more quality time with family in recent weeks than ever before. The pace in which I’ve been allowed to think and process everything has been essential. I’ve navigated through immediate shock and all the other emotions, fluid and unhurried, sometimes landing near acceptance and sometimes landing elsewhere. Time has given us clearer heads to make plans, and space to create art (as is our family’s way) to surround the sadness. My brother Dan designed and built a beautiful wooden urn. Asia is creating a wreath-like flower bouquet to surround it at the memorial. Uintah has composed an original song and will perform it there with Sierra. Talia has drawn a portrait of her grandma from an enchanting photobooth picture taken sometime in the 50’s or early 60’s. I’ve been documenting some of our experiences this month, creating a small photo story that may or may not see the light of day but is still helpful to me. Two weeks after mom died, my dad began participating in a surprisingly-intense boxing exercise program designed for those who battle Parkinson’s disease. It’s purposefully stimulating and exhausting. I’ve been joining him, volunteering with activities and steadying “fighters” when needed. In the first ten minutes of the first class, I had to wipe my eyes as the program’s potential became unmistakably clear. Last week, a record amount of fighters attended class -- 32! -- and the camaraderie of everyone involved has been such a positive thing to experience. If you’re able, our family would be honored for you to join us this Saturday morning.
✂️✂️✂️ with my dad, before and after.
It really pains me to tell you that on Thursday morning, January 10th, our family said an unexpected goodbye to my mother, Nancy. She was admitted into the hospital on Christmas Eve with esophageal issues and aspiration pneumonia. She’d been improving steadily over the following two weeks, but she had complications the morning after a surgical procedure, and wasn't able to recover. Mom was a kind, genuine, amazing, and beautiful person inside and out. She battled and conquered cancer twice. She and Dad raised my two brothers and then me (and they were mostly successful, too). She was a rock to my Dad, and had faith in all of our dreams. I believe she would tell you that she's had a full and rewarding life. She also had plenty of practice at making that mom look. You know the one, where she sorta scowled and pursed her lips in mock disgust after you told a joke. Maybe I just saw that look a lot over the years and the last couple weeks. Though her body became more frail, her sense of humor and levity remained tack-sharp to the end. Before her last surgery, she told the anesthesiologist to “make me dream of chocolate cake.” I’m so very lucky to live physically closer to my parents these last couple years; Ingrid and I have been able to spend such valuable treasured time with them. If you know my Dad in real life (you won't find him checking social media), our family would be grateful for your support in lifting his spirits as he gets through this difficult new normal. Much love to you and your family. Give them all a hug.
Ingrid and I found some solitude to be together this afternoon in Zion. 💓 to everyone.
This wonderful family seems to like turning their cameras on me! 🤨 But it's ok 'cause I always have the best time with 'em .... this time it was @sjadeja89 + @adabas2 and their amazing Miami Beach wedding. Photo credit: @deeptisd and her parents.
I would vote early, but then I wouldn't get the sticker. There's also something energizing and affirming about being in the room on voting day with the volunteers and other voters. #ivoted #justvoted
My assigned homework this weekend. #vote #election #getoutthevote #beinformed
I didn't dress up this year, but Ingrid did! If only my legs were half as sexy. @isundberg #purplewitch
I'm headed into Zion National Park this weekend for a splashy hike up the Narrows with Ingrid's family, who came from back east for a Utah road trip thru the parks this week. So here's a picture of another wonderful group, the Swarts family, marooned together on a rock with those Zion views!
Delivering prints today. #prints #printyourphotos
There were once two sisters who were not afraid of the dark because the dark was full of the other's voice across the room, because even when the night was thick and starless they walked home together from the river seeing who could last the longest without turning on her flashlight, not afraid because sometimes in the pitch of night they'd lie on their backs in the middle of the path and look up until the stars came back and when they did, they'd reach their arms up to touch them and did. - Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere
Some people just can't resist a guy in a hat.
So much freaking love right here. We were walking back after this session when Jamie suddenly pounced on Lauren, and all was right with the world.
Happiness while snuggling on a picnic blanket with @isundberg looks like this.
Here's the print that the Martin family chose ... All the hugs and the loves are in this framed art over their couch in the living room! Also, go see the alternate take from yesterday ... which one do you like?
I wanna share a family portrait in Snow Canyon today. Meet the Martins ... This vibrant family from the Salt Lake City area was on their southern vacation and took an evening out for portraits, even though almost everyone had caught a bug. They powered thru, and the connection and love showed up as bright as can be! This image is an alternate take ... Mom and Dad chose a slightly different photo to be framed, and I installed it over their couch in the front room. Let me go and find the one they chose and show it you tomorrow!
The valley that feeds into Kolob reservoir, glowing with yellow leaves, was a bit ominous as a thunderstorm rolled in.
Today is anniversary #3 for Ingrid and me! (... plus quite a few years before that, but who's counting?) The path looks long and winding and beautiful from here. Thank you for being my 🦄 in life, @isundberg. 👫
One more of my friends, the Walker family, totally rocking it on a drizzly day in Cedar Breaks.