Tahoe in pictures

We had a good trip. I think in part because I did so much hard grieving before we left. The 3 days leading up to the trip were pretty miserable for me … and in turn my kids and husband.

My family drives my bonkers sometimes. I get my feelings hurt.. and I am sure I hurt feelings in return.But my biggest take away from the trip…

I love my family so very much and they love me.. my husband and my babies. All 4 of them.  If we can raise my 3 living to be the kids, teens and young adults my nephews/nieces are .. well then I will consider it a job very well done. I just wish that my Jennifer could have been given the opportunity to grow with this incredible mix of people. She would have learned so much.. and I believe taught us so much.

Although I hope and I honestly think that she did.. in her 6 short years I think she taught us all about fighting for your dreams, she was so worth the wait… about the importance of family, she loved her going to coco and papas and getting to see her cousins…about being yourself… she always had a style all her own and was proud of it.. and about coming together in the worst of times, her illness brought out the best in all of us and I am confident that she knew that. That on some level she was able to observe it and feel good about it.

The hard part for those of us left behind is to keep her legacy going.. to live these lessons she has taught us.

I think we made her proud this trip.

Showing the boys Jennifers ashes before we left.
Showing the boys Jennifers ashes before we left.
Some of my nephews saw a woman wearing a Love4JLK bracelet when they stopped halfway to Tahoe. It means so much to all of us.. the love for JLK.
Some of my nephews saw a woman wearing a Love4JLK bracelet when they stopped halfway to Tahoe. It means so much to all of us.. the love for JLK.
It was fun to just be able to see all these different ages playing together at the beach. We all live near each other but being on vacation together made it somehow  just more..
It was fun to just be able to see all these different ages playing together at the beach. We all live near each other but being on vacation together made it somehow just more..
Jonathan is constantly surprising me. He has never been a big water kid.. but he just went for it this trip. Playing on the beach so much of the trip.
Jonathan is constantly surprising me. He has never been a big water kid.. but he just went for it this trip. Playing on the beach so much of the trip.
This is my sister with Charlotte. It reminded me so much of the last time we had Jennifer at the beach. And my sister took her out into the waves. .. It was a forever memory for all of us.
This is my sister with Charlotte. It reminded me so much of the last time we had Jennifer at the beach. And my sister took her out into the waves. .. It was a forever memory for all of us.

 

I kept Jennifer with me the whole trip. I don't think I could have made it without feeling like I was taking her with me.. She loved the beach and the water.
I kept Jennifer with me the whole trip. I don’t think I could have made it without feeling like I was taking her with me.. She loved the beach and the water.
Tony wasted no time jumping right into vacation mode!!
Tony wasted no time jumping right into vacation mode!!
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My boys watching us get ready to go


The first morning my sister and a sister in law went paddle boarding. We had a great time together. Falling off (them) laughing (me) and just trying something new together. There was a wedding being set up. We were initially joking about having our goofy faces in all their wedding pictures. .. Then we realized the wedding was actually really starting and so we tried to stay out of the direct line of sight and stay still. I was quickly glad we were just standing on our boards.

The bride walked down the aisle to “Thousand Years” which is the song we played at her services before I spoke.

It just took the first note for me to know what it was.. and I was crying. Standing on my board with my sister and a sister in law.. just  sobbing. For all that could have been.. for the wedding she could have had.. for walking her down the aisle the way a parent always dreams about for their daughter.. For the lucky man she could have married and the mother she could have been..

.. and for my hope that she lead me there.. in that moment.. to tell me she is here with me still…

“time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years I will love you for a thousand more”

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And while I was out there my children were always taken care of. This is just one moment. But whenever we needed some time.. for fun or for tears.. our kids were cared for.
And while I was out there my children were always taken care of. This is just one moment. But whenever we needed some time.. for fun or for tears.. our kids were cared for.

 

Two families went in together to buy this huge raft. So the afternoon was spent with kids playing in the water and in the sand. Many of the woman floating in this giant thing and the males standing in the lake in a giant circle making up a ball tossing teamwork game. They looked ridiculous.. as I am sure we did as well. But I hope my 3 youngest absorbed a little of what was going on around them.. family.

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I hope somebody else snapped some pictures. .. but I wanted to write it so I don’t forget it.
My boys took some time to play together. Just the two of them. I loved it.. I took this pic a minute before they started fighting :)
My boys took some time to play together. Just the two of them. I loved it.. I took this pic a minute before they started fighting 🙂

The whole point of the trip was to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Unreal we planned it a year ago.. before cancer had ever come tearing apart our family.

We wanted Jennifer there. My niece put a hat on her. Its already so hard for me to know if its going to be "ok" to try to find ways to incorporate her into events. We are constantly trying to figure out the best way for all of us.
We wanted Jennifer there. My niece put a hat on her.

Its already so hard for me to know if its going to be “ok” to try to find ways to incorporate her into events. We are constantly trying to figure out the best way for all of us. I am finding it harder than I would have thought.. I guess its because nothing is good enough for me.. I want her. Real. Here. Alive.

I love how they love each other.
I love how they love each other.
We saw a lot of Love4JLK/Unravel shirts on this trip. It was a simple yet powerful gesture for me.
We saw a lot of Love4JLK/Unravel shirts on this trip. It was a simple yet powerful gesture for me.
Our new family picture..
Our new family picture..
And almost all the cousins
And almost all the cousins
Charlotte is just a happy little girl. I love seeing her in Jennifers old clothes.. I know Jennifer would have loved it too.
Charlotte is just a happy little girl. I love seeing her in Jennifers old clothes.. I know Jennifer would have loved it too.

The next day was a rainy day. We ended up having “the cabin” to hang out in . Because we had indoor bowling and then made up a ball tossing challenge. The final level we named impossible. We thought my brother could do it.. a bunch of us sat around for 45+ minutes watching him trying to complete the impossible.. It was just good silly rainy day fun. Another time I hope my boys just absorbed what was happening around them.

And then some adults went gambling and we talked about what to do. When we planned the trip I saw horseback riding was a option. You were supposed to be 7, but since she was almost 7 I was going to bring her.. I was so excited. They started talking about going. Just talking about it made me cry. .. I wanted to go, but was scared of it..  one of our nieces could tell and pushed me gently.. so I went. ..

and so did Jennifer
and so did Jennifer

I came back early to do a nano course at Stanford. I am actually at a hotel now.. but before I left we rented a boat.. What Tony really wanted to do with the boys. We are not nautical people. .. I got sick and the boys cried .. we brought them back in the middle of our voyage.

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He got to drive the boat with Daddy and it helped for a bit..
He got to drive the boat with Daddy and it helped for a bit..
My nephew must have taken bad pictures because I am sure the waves I was going over were at least 10 ft tall. .. I screamed the whole time!
My nephew must have taken bad pictures because I am sure the waves I was going over were at least 10 ft tall. .. I screamed the whole time!

We had lots of night time shenanigans .. talking and teasing.. even some beer pong.  And lots of stolen moments of reflection. The end of the BBQ night we saw the most amazing sunset many of us had ever seen. It went from beautiful to more beautiful. From pink to pinker.. from brilliant to beyond.. And it just kept getting better and better. I have never been one to say that a sunset was from her. But this I truly felt was. I think she got some of her friends to help her out.. it was just that impressive. I think she wanted us to know she was there.. and she refused to stop coloring the sky until we walked away.. and thats just what eventually happened.. My pictures don’t do it justice at all.. But I will never ever forget it.

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never ending sunset.

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I love you Jennifer. Thank you for all you gave me on this trip.

DSC_0559…until there is a cure..

 

 

22 Responses to “Tahoe in pictures”

  1. Im so glad you had a wonderful trip, I love that you brought Jennifer with you, it really helps and the way you included her in everything was beautiful. Funny you mention all the people wearing Jennifer’s bands, I never take mine off, well maybe only to take a shower but right back on they go… thats my way of having her with me every where I go but most of all she’s in my heart. Libby you will always be a family of 6 to all of us. Again so happy you had a wonderful time. Much love for your beautiful family of 6..

  2. I know Jennifer was there the whole time! From the wedding, the wedding song, horseback riding, to sunsets…ALL were her saying she was right there! Thanks for sharing the many photos I loved them all! I read your blogs….each and everyone and I will continue till you stop! BIG HUGS!!!!!

  3. I love the way you include her in everything. I get a Christmas card every year from a friend who lost two babies – two angels represent them in every Christmas card so we can always celebrate this wonderful family of five. Celebrate the little steps…

  4. omg what a beautiful sunset … a pink one
    a beautiful sunset from your angel .. is stunning JUST LIKE HER
    Im pretty sure… your JLK is with you …always
    thanks 4 sharing
    WE LOVE YOU JLK

  5. What a beautiful Sunset Jennifer gave you and your family. I am so glad she gave you signs that she was with you on this trip. Always thinking of the Kranz family, So much love for the Kranz family…so much love for JLK……XOXOXOXO

  6. We love you Libby. I wear my JLK bracelet evety day. Jennifer will always be remembered. All my love to you and your family ♡

  7. We love you Libby. Amazing pictures. Jennifer was there. She is all around you. I hope you felt her presence. All my love to you and your family. I wear my JLK bracelet every day. I will never forget Jennifer. She is in my heart forever.

  8. Hi Libby,

    I commented on your posts once before – I’m the grad student who’s planning on going into pediatric cancer research. Still constantly following your blog and thinking of you and Jennifer. I’m planning on wearing my Jennifer t-shirt while I participate in this in September:
    https://www.miraclemarathon.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=register.start&eventID=502

    Thought you might want to share. It just asks that you walk/run/move one mile a day for 27 days – a little more accessible for people than a marathon or a 5k even. I’ll be raising money for children’s hospitals, so I hope other people can join in so we can improve the state of care for children going through treatments.

    You and your family are always in my thoughts, Libby. I can’t wait to flutter my whole neighborhood in the fall!

  9. It sounds like you had a good vacation. It is wonderful the closeness you and your family has. Your children will grow up knowing what it means to have a closeness with family members. You amaze me Libby and your strength is beyond amazing. There is so much going on and through all of it you always include that sweet and precious Jennifer. What a beautiful young lady she would of made. I can tell from her pictures she loves to have fun and smile. She has left such a great memory of herself to all of us. I pray for your family in hopes that one day this situation for you will be just a little easier. I think the fact that you have taken on to help getting more funding for this dreadful monster disease is wonderful and I know that once you have accomplished what you are fighting for you will feel better and all for Jennifer. I know you have my support and the support of others to get to where you want to be. You have lots of people and other parents supporting you on this mission and you will WILL WIN the BATTLE!! Love to you and your family!!!

  10. You are absolutely amazing…your family is beautiful. I believe Jennifer was there with your family throughout the trip. Your writing takes my breath away and I pray for you all daily. LOVE4JLK always

  11. I love the way you honor Jennifer! Simply amazing and beautiful. She’s one lucky girl to have such a beautiful family!

  12. That sunset…..just wow. How can we not believe that those we love remain with us even after moving on to Heaven when there are such obvious signs as that? I keep my ROCC Run Love 4 JLK number up in my classroom to remind me daily of what can be at stake if I don’t keep trying to do what I can in this fight. Thank you for continuing to write, share, and inspire.

  13. Gorgeous. Jennifer. The sunset. Your family. Thank you for sharing your Jennifer with all of us. Hugs and love to you all. All 6.

    XO

  14. I definitely think Jennifer was proud and happy for you on this trip. The love your family has for each other radiates from the pictures- the same love that Jennifer was enveloped with her entire life. So glad you were able to bring her with you in some way. I bet she got a giggle out of the party hat that her cousin put on her picture. I know I did

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