Archive | Dad RSS feed for this section

A very special weekend.

10 Nov

This past weekend’s trip up north was awesome. From laughing hysterically to sharing memories to finishing 13.1 in honor of Dad to shedding tears together – it was a fabulous and very special time. The healing continues.

Ryan summarizes it so well, I figured I’d just send you over to his blog to read about it here.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and for those who sent us encouraging texts, emails, and FB messages! I’ll leave you all with some pics.

Advertisements

A recent conversation…

25 Oct

Addi, “Mommy, I want Grandma to pick me up from school one day, so she can see my new school.”

Kamryn, “Yeah and I want Poppy to pick me up so he can see my new school too.”

Addi, “Poppy can’t pick you up because he’s going to be in heaven for 100 years. Right mom, 100 years?”

Me, “He’ll be in heaven forever baby, but one day we’ll see him again when we go there.”

Addi, “I don’t want to heaven, I want to stay with Daddy!”

Me, “Oh, heaven is awesome, there’s nothing to be scared of there. It’s perfect! And we can all be there together with Poppy.”

Kamryn, “Well, I do. I want to go there. Mommy, I can hold your hand and we can fly to the sky to Jesus.”

Addi, “Maybe Daddy, Mommy, Kamryn, and Addi can all get in our car and have wings on it and fly there together.”

I love that my girls still talk about Poppy and they miss him so. He was a big part of their little, innocent lives. Addi recently had a bag of jelly beans and picked out all the black ones for Poppy, like she used to. He was the only one that liked licorice. She gets very sad when she talks about him and even tears up sometimes. They obviously don’t understand the whole concept of heaven and death at this young age, but they have surprisingly understood more than what I thought they would. So sweet and tender-hearted. I love my precious babies!

Happy birthday, Jeff!

24 Oct

My little brother Jeff has always been the hugest Rangers fan. I mean, he is serious about it. He watches every single game and if he can’t for some reason (work, school, etc), he records it and watches it later. Talk about dedication, do you know how long baseball games are?! When we would go to my parent’s house, Mom, Dad and Jeff would always seem to be watching the Rangers and usually all be wearing some kind of Rangers paraphernalia. It was cute.

My Dad took Jeff to a lot of games in Arlington – memory makers, as he called them. They would go early for hitting practice and stay through to the end, even if it was very late. And even when Dad had to work the next day. He even took the family a couple of times. Such fun! My Dad loved baseball & the Rangers.  This passion for baseball was a big thing that he & Jeff shared – it was “their” time together. Jeff also played baseball throughout High School and my parents loved being involved, going to his games to cheer him on.

I can’t tell you how special it is for the Rangers to make it to the World Series FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER the same year that my Dad passed away. Also, just so happened to be the same weekend as Jeff’s 20th birthday. What a birthday present! When the 9th inning came to an end and the fireworks started at the Ballpark in Arlington, tears were flowing all around. This is more than just about baseball for my family, it is more of a huge celebration of years of cheering them on together and all the wonderful memories that were made…especially for Jeff. I love you Jeff & am so proud of the man you have become! And of course, you know Dad is too.

Another first.

30 Sep

September 30th. Today is my Dad’s birthday, his first one in heaven. He would have been 63 today. Just 63. Hard day. Two years ago on this day, I posted this blog for him on his birthday. I miss him today. And I will miss him tomorrow. Trying to focus on all of the many good memories and how blessed we were to have him. I love you Dad & knowing that everyday is a celebration where you are, does make me smile.

Night away in the big D.

27 Sep

Ryan & I left the kids and escaped away to Dallas this weekend! My friend Loretta was getting married Saturday night, so we decided to go see her & enjoy a night away. We headed out and drove straight to Chuy’s for lunch. Obviously we couldn’t focus on getting anything else done in Dallas without going there first and consuming massive amounts of creamy jalapeno dip. YUM. I couldn’t be more excited that we are getting one here in Tyler!!! That rumor better be true or else I will be highly upset.

Anyways, after lunch we went to the Apple store to check out the new shuffles, which are very cool. Didn’t get one, don’t need one…just went to admire. Then, we headed over to Luke’s Locker. Such a cool place. There is something inspiring about going to running stores! Got some shoe recommendations and Ryan got a flashy light to wear when he runs in the dark. Next on the list…Central Market. The grocery store of all grocery stores. This place amazes me. The produce aisle is unbelievable. They also have a great wine selection. And a whole aisle dedicated to granola, are you kidding me? Are we weird that we love going to grocery stores while out of town? We are foodie dweebs.

Saturday night was the wedding and it was much fun. It was at the Biblical Museum of Art, which was interesting. Great to see Loretta and meet her man! We stayed the night with my cousin Danny & his wife Kelly at their new place in Las Colinas. Always good to see them…I love my cousins!

Then, Sunday morning, Ryan and I got up and ran at White Rock Lake. My Dad always tried to go run ten miles around White Rock every year for his birthday. Since his birthday is this coming Thursday, we decided we’d run around the lake while we were there in his honor. Perfect weather for our run. It was overcast and cool, with a slight breeze. When we started the run, I looked across the beautiful lake as the sun was rising and my emotions overcame me. I burst into tears. I so longed for Dad to be running his birthday run with us. I miss him so bad. I thought of him the entire time. I prayed that my life would be meaningful, like his was. I prayed that I would make a difference and make my life count, like he did. I imagined God calling Dad over and saying, “Kip, I want you to see something” as he pushed back a cloud to show him us running. That made me smile to think of Dad watching me. It was a great run physically, but tough emotionally. We finished with a high five to the sky and a few more tears.

We headed back, stinky & sweaty, for our normal Sunday lunch in Quitman and to pick up our babies. Great night away with my love!

Tears in my pillow.

16 Sep

As my head hit the pillow last night, I thought about my Dad and how much I miss him. Every single night, as I’m going to sleep, I think of him. Sadness overcomes me – yet again – but usually I can tell myself…you will see him again, he’s so happy right now, he loves you, you were blessed to have him, make him proud with the life you have left and then, I fall fast asleep in that peace.

Last night was one of those nights where it wasn’t that easy. Not that it’s ever easy really, but telling myself those things wasn’t helping. Not at all. I thought about my parents anniversary coming up next week, then Dad’s birthday the week after. I was thinking about how Addi still struggles with missing Poppy, like the rest of us, and even cries for him on occasion. Her heart is broken about it and I hate that…but I love how much she obviously loved him and still thinks of him. I was thinking back on the last time I hugged him the Monday before that Friday happened- in the front yard, after we had sat on the porch steps just talking. I yearned to hug him again. I thought how badly I could use his advice on things right now and how I’ll miss his advice…he was so wise. I was asking why all over again. I was comparing him and his health to others and thinking, its just not fair. My heart hurt and I couldn’t breathe, and I certainly couldn’t fall asleep. I snuggled up next to Ryan, cried into my pillow for a long while and eventually drifted off.

Several months have passed and it still hurts, and I’m certain always will to some extent. But I will continue to try oh so hard to focus on the fact that I will see him again, he’s the happiest he’s ever been, no doubt he loves me and is proud of me, and I want to do whatever I can to honor him and, even more importantly, my heavenly Father with the rest of my days here.

Fall-tastic

1 Sep

As I ran at the trails this past Sunday morning, I noticed that a few leaves had already fallen off the trees. It made me smile…Fall is just around the corner people and I can not wait! I heart Fall. I do believe its my favorite time of year. The smells, the colors, the temperatures, the holidays, football, food, races…I love it all! The changing of the seasons always reminds me of how big God is – and how extremely creative He is. The ultimate artist, for sure!

We have a lot of stuff going on this upcoming season. Good stuff. The Dixon iCal is getting filled up! The next few months emotionally will be tough for my family – with Dad’s birthday coming up, my parent’s anniversary, the holidays without him, and running without him in races we’ve all done together in the past. Everything that is a “first without him” is tough. Definitely will be a hard season, as it has been a hard year. Incredibly grateful to have so many wonderful memories with him. And I am thankful we have some good stuff going on – and things to look forward to. Dad would want us to make the most of this beautiful season (he loved Fall too) and live life to the fullest – so I will try to do just that!

Some things coming up that I’m excited about are…

1. Going to Lubbock Labor Weekend to see old friends (leaving tomorrow actually – yay)

2. Joining a new downtown Women’s Bible study group

3. Attending a friends wedding in Dallas – a night away for me & Ryan!

4. Celebrating both of my brother’s, my sister’s, Ryan’s, and Kam’s birthdays

5. Running in 3 half marathons in 3 consecutive months & the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day

6. Ryan’s brother Ross coming to Texas and our camping trip to Beaver’s Bend

7. Trip to Boston & New Hampshire

8. Thanksgiving & Christmas

9. CRUISE

10. Several baby showers for dear friends

The Uphill Battle

16 Aug

Yesterday, I went out for my long run for the week. I was actually really looking forward to this run. Sometimes you dread it, sometimes you are pumped up. This particular morning, I was pumped & ready to attack the 8 miles ahead of me. I woke up before my alarm clock (rare), threw on my running clothes, pulled my hair back, grabbed a bottle of water and headed out while my husband and kids were snuggly and sleeping away in bed. I walked up the road, stretched, took a sip of water, hit play on the ipod, start on my garmin and took off.

Nice and slow, I had determined I was going to enjoy this run. And I did. There are hardly any cars on the road at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Very peaceful. I did pass an occasional person walking their dog or other runners here and there. Tyler really is a beautiful place. I love running here. There was a slight breeze and it really wasn’t unbearably hot yet. Great run.

It wasn’t hard until the very end – when I got to the big…no, make that the HUGE hill. We like to name hills on our running routes. Usually if someone we know lives near the hill, we dub it with that person’s name. In Quitman, there is Wilson Hill and Cates Mountain. Here in Tyler, we have Death Mountain- 1/4 mile uphill by a cemetery. Well, Death Mountain was in the last stretch of my 8 miler. And it inspired this blog post.

As I approached this hill (or what really feels like a mountain after 7 1/2 miles), I took a few deep breaths before I started uphill. I focused my eyes, leaned my body forward and went for it. I have found that if I keep looking up ahead, I see how far I still have to go uphill and it discourages me. However, if I focus on a just few feet ahead of me the whole time, before I know it, I’ve made it all the way. The hills tend to slow my pace down some, but that’s OK. After I get up to the top, I regulate my breathing again, take a drink and finish out the run strong…all the while thinking, I just killed that mountain! And I’m going to be stronger because of it.

Isn’t this how life is really? We have mountains to climb and they are absolutely tiring, and hard to get over. Life is hard. There are many ups and downs, no doubt.  The older I get, the more I realize this. But the good news for us is that God promises to never give us anything we can’t bear…and He gives us the strength to get uphill. We don’t have to go at it alone. If we stay focused on Him and not look at how far we have left to climb, we will be over the hill before we know it. He is using the mountains to mold us and grow us…making us better runners in this race of life.

I have experienced many hills in life. But the death of my Dad has been the hugest mountain by far for my family and I. One that we are still climbing and stumbling on. It’s hard, I’m not gonna lie. There are times we are out of breath, don’t know how to go on, and want to quit. But through prayers, encouragement, and love, we press on. And I know, because we press on and press into God, we will be stronger because of it.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

He’s part of that great cloud.

10 Aug

Several of my friends have told me recently that they think of my Dad often while they are out running & it encourages them and motivates them. I know that me, Ryan, my sister & brother don’t take one stride without thinking of him. Lauren, Jessica, Katie – Dad would tell you to run on and to keep on keepin’ on!

I continue to be so proud of him and the impact he has made & continues to make on the lives of people all over the place. As I was thinking about this tonight, this verse came to my mind…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1

How neat to think that my Dad – Kip Clark – is now part of that GREAT cloud of witnesses. Wow. He’s cheering us on as we run this race called life. I have to run with perseverance!  I miss him like crazy, but I know he’ll be waiting for me at the finish line with a huge smile on his face and the biggest high five ever.

If we ever get the chance…

3 Aug

On Thursday morning June 3rd, the day before he passed, I received an email from my Dad. He used to send early morning emails a lot to his kids. I think he liked to start our days with a note of encouragement, to tell us he loved us, or just to simply say how proud he was of us. These emails always made me smile. Little did I know when I read it that particular day, it would be the last one I would ever receive from him. The last words from my Dad to me. Ever. I have not deleted this from my inbox & I doubt I ever will.

Here are the last lines from that email…

If we ever get the chance to do the train ride to Dallas thing – it is great!  I am pretty sure your girls would be bored to death with the 6th Floor Museum though, so something else would have to be done to entertain them for the 4 hours in downtown.  You and Ryan would love the trip, the museum.  Of course, you would need me to go so you would have a tour guide.  🙂 Have a great Thursday.  I love you much.”

This email is a constant reminder to me that we have no clue what tomorrow may bring, so we have to make the most of each & every day!