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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Family Life As the title says...
Old

Confessions of a Weight Loss Junkie

Posted 03-27-2014 at 03:02 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I've been told to make a public confessional.

I'm supposed to do this as a means of motivating myself to stick to a changed lifestyle.

Yes, we no longer "lose weight". We "change lifestyles".

In my case that is a true statement.

I'm perfectly healthy. I've never broken a bone or had more than an occasional cold. I've never had surgery and except for some dental work have never really been on any kind of heavy meds.

But I've battled being "big" for most of my life.

Part of it is my build. I'm "wide". When I was a kid I was always the biggest kid -- never really fat...just bigger than others my age. I wore "husky" sizes, a moniker I always hated, and I usually endured the taunts of childhood bullying because I was the size I was.

But I didn't become overweight, actually, until adulthood.

That came as a result of pure undisciplined eating. And after I married, got busy with the...
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Old

A Gift of Mom and Tender Mercies

Posted 12-22-2013 at 09:12 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 12-22-2013 at 09:36 PM by Jeff Westover

My Christmas happened today.

We had in my home today an event not understood much outside of my faith. But it is a big deal for parents and I've been working for months to have my parents here for it.

As you are well aware we have been through a difficult time these past several months with my mother's declining health.

So to have her here today for this event, in my home and amongst my children, smiling and laughing, relishing her role as mother and grandmother, doing something a Mom in the Mormon faith does and deserves -- well, it was a thrill beyond words and Christmas to me like none other this year.

It is, frankly, a miracle.

Mom's health situation is as fluid as ever and what was true before is true now: it is literally day to day.

I knew back in August we were going to do this and I had to put off folks from my Church several times because either my parents could not make it or I could not make...
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Old

Smile, Though Your Heart is Breaking

Posted 10-26-2013 at 11:28 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 10-26-2013 at 11:34 PM by Jeff Westover

My mother is dying.

It has taken me a lot to get to the point where I admit that.

I have written about her a great deal but here and on my personal site over the course of the last several years. Her journey has been a long one.

Over the past two months Mom has been in several hospitals and through two stints in a rehab facility. At every step of the way she has done nothing but decline.

Her health issues are complex and it seems trite now to boil it all down to dementia.

But dementia is not a cause of death...it is a symptom of winding down, of saying goodbye.

Recognizing all this is what leads me to admit that Mom is leaving us, and likely soon.

As a person of faith I am not uncomfortable with the concept of death. As we've explored together a bit this year with losing Louann how we deal with death is something individual to us all.

But as Mother dims for me I cannot help but...
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Old

Farewell Our Beloved Friend

Posted 07-02-2013 at 01:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 07-02-2013 at 02:02 PM by Jeff Westover

Sam passed away peacefully today after a long illness. Born on Halloween 2001 Sam came to his family on Christmas morning as a present for our 9 year old daughter but he ended up becoming a gift to us all.


Sam was one of a litter of 8 short hair border collie puppies found from a rescue in Ogden, Utah. He was the smallest and most social of the bunch. Sam spent the bulk of his first car ride from Ogden to Draper, Utah on my chest, shaking and whining nearly the entire way. His welcome on Christmas morning was glorious and he basked in the activity, love and energy that a family with seven children would provide.


Sam was a bird chaser and a mouse catcher. He was intolerant of cats, squirt guns and carbonated beverages the kids would sometimes slip him for entertainment (he barked at them). Sam was athletic, loving to run for long periods of time. He was a tireless explorer, a fearless wanderer and a hopeless carnivore.


...
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Old

Great Women

Posted 06-01-2013 at 10:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

As spoken of in the most recent podcast these past two months have been a time of great discovery for me concerning my family history.

It has come about due to a summer activity for my teenage daughters called "trek". Trek is the reenactment of the pioneer trail.

Every July 24th there is a state holiday in Utah called Pioneer Day. It celebrates the pioneers of 1847 who first came to settle these valleys. Many of my ancestors on my father's side were amongst them.

I had no idea, honestly, of how many of them there were.

Family History is a big deal to those of the Mormon faith and though I never really thought or heard much of my father's family while growing up it wasn't because they weren't important. It was that their "work" -- or historical information -- was pretty much done generations before I was born. I spent much of my youth and my young adult years discovering my mother's side of the family (none of whom were Mormon). ...
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