My Namma, my Duo, returned home to heaven on August 24, 2020. In the past 6 months, Namma felt great! She had more energy and less pain which meant that we were able to visit more often and even have family gatherings. Then, she quickly declined and within a few days was welcomed back to heaven.
Yesterday we were able to hold a memorial to gather many of her friends and family together. Those who were too far to attend were able to participate virtually through Zoom. We watched a slide show of pictures depicting Namma's life. I was able to share a few words and memories the grandkids have of her. Then her children all spoke: my Uncle Scott, my mom, and my Uncle Erik. At the end, her husband, my Granddaddy, shared some memories too. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful meeting. We all loved Namma so much, and you could tell from those congregated there and the memories they shared that she had a wonderful life, filled with love, friendship, adventures, a little bit of glam and a lot of laughter. She will be fondly missed here on this earth.
I will post my speech below if you care to read it.
My Speech for Namma's Memorial
I am honored to represent all of Namma’s grandchildren. I’m Maichael Macey, Patricia’s first granddaughter and the one who named her Namma for the rest of the posterity. Today I get to share a few cherished memories from some of her grandchildren.
Elizabeth Messinger remembers visiting Namma and Granddaddy in their cabin in Big Bear. She recalls Namma trying to teach her how to knit and letting her try on her big, puffy fur coat. Jonah Messinger also has memories in the mountains. He said “My favorite memory of Namma has to be in big bear before I was probably even 10 years old. My family went with Namma and Granddaddy to the kids pond, just the small body of water they stock with fish. After a little bit of time I began reeling in a fish and Namma was on net duty. When we pulled the fish out of the water, the fish went flopping everywhere. Namma couldn’t get it in the net as it continued to thrash and we heard a “OH S**T!” Me and my sister were young enough to not know the word but, the best part is that my dad was recording the whole thing. He tried to cut it out, but we have a perfect video that cuts just as you hear Namma yell out “OH S-“ We watch that video back every now and again and find it hilarious every time.”
Jacob Mayans thinks fondly on some scrabble games he played against Namma, where she would always come up with the craziest words and we’d have to check in the dictionary to make sure they were legitimate. They always were. And I remember Namma teaching me silly sayings with fancy words so that I could impress my friend’s parents at the dinner table when I’d express that my sufficiencies had been suffonsified and more would be superfluous and utterly detrimental to the interior regions of my gastronomical department. We can all admit that our Namma had a way with words.
Ben Mayans remembers secret stashes of gummy bears to be found in a special drawer at Namma’s house. Ashley Messinger remembers connecting with Namma over a shared love: dancing. She said, “ When I was in college I began learning how to swing dance. It didn't take long for it to become one of my passions. What a sweet surprise it was for me to find out that something that I loved to do was something that Namma and Granddaddy had both loved doing when they were young. Our shared appreciation of dance wove itself into our relationship over the years.”
Some of my personal favorite memories of Namma are on the porch of her house in La Habra. As a little girl, I loved having tea parties and talking in the warm California sunshine with my Duo. When I think of manners, I think of Namma, who taught me how to correctly set a table or how to hold my pinky out while I sipped lemonade in a teacup. I’ve always seen Namma as intelligent, posh, and fun-loving; and as I’ve grown older I loved our conversations over books and family.
To finish up, Sarah Mayans shared a few final bits of wisdom from Namma. She wrote, “I have always aspired to be as elegant, glamourous, and confident as Namma. She wrote me two quotes that I have up on my dorm wall that inspire me and make me laugh all at the same time. One is “If it isn’t illegal, immoral, or way too dangerous, GO FOR IT!”. Classic. The other is “Head up, shoulders back, chest out. Honey, just strut your stuff!” She knew I needed that one. And in my mind, I will always hear her sweet voice saying, “I love you, my Sarah Patricia.” I’m so honored to be able to carry on her name and always have a part of her with me. ”
I think we will all carry Namma with us in the precious memories we have of her and all the wisdom and love she passed onto us. We love you, Namma.
I can't lie, I feel a little overwhelmed blogging since my intention was to write detailed updates on our lives....and that obviously has not happened. So instead of letting the fear of not getting every detail deter me from writing, I am diving in and giving a quick synopsis (as quick as almost 10 months can be) of our lives here in California.
Part 3: Living with my Parents
First, we moved to my parents' home in Yorba Linda. The plan was to be there for no more than 3 months. But then COVID-19 happened and delays in building and we ended up living there until July (7 months total!). Luckily, my parents are amazing. Andrew and I have thanked my parents for being so easy to live with.
Even though it wasn't ideal, I am so grateful for the time we were able to stay with my parents. We created some really beautiful memories. My Namma and Granddaddy lived there with us for 2 weeks while my Granddaddy was recovering from a surgery. I loved being able to talk to my grandparents and have my children grow closer to them. This was an especially tender mercy since my Namma just passed away.
We also spent countless hours with cousins. Grace and Madelyn love being with family, so it was nice living in the hub where everyone would congregate regularly. We'd swim in the pool, watch movies, read books, and share meals together.
And of course, COVID-19 happened. What started as a 2-week shut down quickly turned into months of sheltered isolation. The COVID-19 virus affected the entire world. California's governor issued a temporary lockdown, with the exception of a few essential jobs being allowed to opperate. We were stuck at home, and I still worry for both our health and our economic well being in this country. While this pandemic brought a lot of stress, it was actually a relief to still live in my parents' house and not be alone in my own new home. One thing I especially treasure is the time I got to spend with my sister, Sarah, before she left for college. She is a magnificent young woman and it was fun to see some of her progression into adulthood.
Through all of this, Andrew studied for his real estate license and passed his test. He worked on marketing and learned new skills in photography and website design. This move has paid off and he is so much more content in his work. I was able to work helping my dad and sister-in-law design the sales brochure for the development. It was fun to have a creative outlet and learn new skills myself.
And like I mentioned before, there is just too much to detail, so here is a quick list of all the other things that happened while we were living in Yorba Linda.
Part 4: Our New Home!
So we finally were able to move into our new home in South El Monte in July. The community is called The Horizons, and they are a beautiful collection of 77 3-story townhomes, a kid's play area, BBQ, fire pits, and festival lights over the seating area.
Mind you, we were the first ones to move in, so we are currently just surrounded by construction. :) But that's ok. I am excited to see the community develop and for new neighbors to move in.
I don't know if it is because we are the first one's living here or if it's because my dad is the builder, but I feel a responsibility to set the tone for the development. I want this neighborhood to be filled with love and friendship, so I have taken it upon myself to greet each new move-in with cookies and a personal introduction.
For our own home, we are slowly getting things set up and decorated. We bought new couches....and when they arrived, we quickly discovered that they wouldn't fit up the stairs (our kitchen and living room are on the second floor). Well, good thing my dad is the builder and was willing to go above and beyond; he got a guy to take out our kitchen window and lift our couch to the second floor to fit it through the window. Crazy!!! (Well, I guess we are going to have to sell our couch with this house when we eventually move).
Andrew works on site selling these homes. His commute is a 20 second walk to the sale's office, and we see him often when the girls and I go on walks. Even though COVID-19 has brought many economic challenges, real estate seems to still be going strong. We've had no problem selling these townhomes so far.
In walking distance from our home, we have a park and the county library, but we haven't been able to us the library since it is closed due to COVID-19. Let's be honest...everything in California is closed due to COVID. We got Disneyland passes and a year pass to the LA Zoo when we moved here, but we haven't been able to use them hardly at all!
Anyway, life isn't exactly how we imagined it...but when is it ever the way you planned? We are happy and healthy in our new home. We miss our family and friends in Utah so much, but we hope to get some visitors once California opens up again.
And again, here is a list of other things that have happened while we have been living here:
Grace turns two today.
How do I sum up my little girl?
She's sweet. She's smart. She's spicy and strong willed at times. She is often shy and cautious. She is loving. She is my everything!
Grace is old enough and strong enough to fight me on changing diapers, putting on clothes, or taking a nap. There is a daily fight about something, and it gets exhausting. She is a bit belligerent and will yell "No!" if you look at her when she doesn't want you to. She is definitely a two-year old. However, Grace is also full of love and curiosity.
She loves her baby sister, Madelyn, and always wants to take care of her. If Maddy is crying, Grace is willing to give up almost anything to help her little sister be happy again. She will find a binky, blanket, or toy to give to Maddy to distract her, and she will tell me, "Maddy cry". Grace gets sad when Maddy has to take a nap. On multiple occasions, Grace has snuck up to Maddy's little room while she has been napping. Unaware, I will hear Grace through the baby monitor, "Maddy...wake up..." It's too cute for me to be mad.
Grace loves learning. Right now she is obsessed with puzzles, especially ones that help her practice her colors. She has always been a book girl and loves to sit in my lap hear me read. Recently, she has started mumbling/reading to herself
Grace is a follower. She is cautious in her play when she is on her own, but when her cousins come over, she is much more adventurous as she follows their lead.
Grace is so smart! I love seeing how much she is learning. Grace surprises us every day with new words and knowledge. She can count to 10 in both English and Spanish (almost all by herself). She loves to sing and loves to name the colors. Recently we've discovered that she loves jumping in the pool with her floaties (although her "jumping" is more of a trust fall).
Two is tough already. But it is wonderful as well.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Gracie-bear!!!
It’s been a rough few days.
I feel like my time is spent just bouncing from one crying child to the other, back and forth in an endless teeter-totter. Grace has been sick for the last 4 days. Her nose is a constant waterfall of snot (not a pretty picture, I know). And then Madelyn is and always has been (bless her heart) a needy baby.
My morning starts off with Maddy. I walk her downstairs and try to chow down some breakfast before Grace wakes up. Grace awakens and the morning is calm for a little bit until the crying starts…and it never seems to stop after that. Since she is sick, it is especially difficult to calm Gracie down. I try to distract her with anything: books, food, a movie, music, hugs, the dogs outside, a blanket fort, ANYTHING.
While I’m in the midst of that, Maddy starts fussing. She’s crying because she’s hungry. She’s crying because she’s too hot. She’s crying because I’m not sitting next to her while she naps. She’s crying because she has rolled over from her back to her stomach, and she doesn’t like to be on her stomach but she hasn’t figured out how to roll back over, so now she is stuck…and angry.
I move away from Grace’s side to help Maddy, and then Grace starts screaming again.
And the cycle continues.
That has been my life the last few day.
I have to acknowledge the help I have received from my family. My mom is always willing to talk to Grace to figure out what she needs. My sister loves holding Madelyn when I am busy with something else. Andrew is an angel at helping me at night once my patience has worn thin and I can’t stand to wipe another boogery nose. I am very grateful for their help.
But I am just hoping that these sniffles and coughs leave this house soon. And that I don’t catch them! I think we all cant wait to just leave the house and do something fun as a family.
**Note: Grace is definitely practicing her pouty-grumpy face while she is sick. This is a famous look perfected by me when I was Grace's age.
We love our home in Herriman, Utah. When we bought this house 2 years ago, our plan was to stay here for at least 5 years. We planned on having all our kids here (which is especially nice since we live only minutes from the hospital where my OB and our pediatrician all work). We worked on making this house more homey, recently finishing the basement so we'd have more space for out-of-town visitors and spending time and money to decorate each room to fit our style. I've always liked this house, but I had begun to REALLY love our home. Moving out was NOT in the plans.
So when Andrew told me this CRAZY idea for him to get his real estate license, move out to California, and work with my dad and aunt in the family business, I was in shock. I didn't want to move.
If you haven't read my post on how we came to the decision to move, you should probably go back and read that.
Now, after having made the decision, we had to start putting things in motion to sell our beautiful home. We met with multiple realtors and tried to feel out who would be the best fit for us and our situation. We finally decided on Duane, an agent who had recently hired my brother-in-law, Bobby, to do some video marketing for him. Duane had some impressive experience and was the go-getter that we needed. He told us (like all the other agents we had met with) that comps were showing our house would probably sell in the low 350s. But when we told him we were hoping for closer to 360k, he said he liked a challenge and we set the price at $359,900.
We signed with Duane on a Thursday night.
Cleaned like crazy and had the photographer snap pictures of our home on Friday.
Our house went up for sale on Friday night.
Saturday at 6:30 pm we had our first showing.
Saturday around 9 pm, Duane called me.
"I'm calling to put a smile on your face," he said. "You already have an offer on your house!"
"It's a full-price offer," he explained, "but they don't have a pre-approval letter at this time, so we aren't going to accept the offer just yet. Let's see if anyone else puts in an offer and maybe we can get a bidding war to drive up the price."
I was so giddy with the news. Full price! That was incredible since everyone else had said we wouldn't be able to sell that high.
But then I got a little greedy... "Well, if there was so much interest from just that first showing, we must be priced right (or too low?) and we will surely have tons of showings and offers. I can only imagine the possibilities!!!!"
Well, imagine I did, but surprisingly we didn't have another request for a showing. No more showings. No more offers. I had to reign back my giddy greediness and accept that we really had received an amazing offer. We were getting exactly what we had asked for and it had happened so quickly.
We accepted the offer with joy and started packing since we'd only have 30 days before closing.
Well, of course things can't run perfectly smooth, so a few days later we got a bomb dropped on us. It turns out that getting solar panels on our home a year ago was a bad idea. A very terrible, expensive, bad idea.
We had been told by multiple solar salesmen that solar would add value to our home (lie #1) and that it would be easy to transfer the payments to a new owner if we were to sell our house (lie #2). It turns out that solar is a new factor in real estate, and a lot of people don't know how to handle it. It adds zero value to the home, and buyers can refuse to take on the payment which means the seller would have to pay out the rest of the solar loan... in our case, almost $15k!
This news made me sick. No, really, I was physically ill. I had to cancel a dinner date with friends because I could not muster up the energy nor the enthusiasm to see anyone. It was a miserable night. But then the next day brought a little ray of sunshine. Duane called and informed us that he had talked to the buyer's agent and they were willing to work on a deal. They'd want the refrigerator, washer and dryer, the couches and our bedroom furniture (minus the mattress), but they were willing to pay for half of the solar cost.
Hallelujah!!!! This helped ease the sting to our wallets as we drew near the end of our time in Herriman.
The contract specified that we had 30 days until closing, so on December 17 we had family and friends come to the house to load up the moving truck. Then bright and early on December 18 we loaded up the kids and said goodbye to Utah to travel to our new home in California. My mom drove the Mini Cooper and caravaned with me and the babies. Andrew and his brother, Bobby, drove in the moving truck. After a long day of travel, we arrived to my parent's house (our new home for the next few months until our townhome is finished).
The first week here has been crazy. Between moving, unpacking, Christmas celebrations, and family visits it has been an exhausting week. But we are excited to be surrounded by family and entering a new stage in our lives.
Andrew and Maichael
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