Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Why in the world is the word fun in FUNeral? It was definitely not fun, but it was really nice. William's funeral was held on Saturday, January 19th at the LDS Church in Santa Barbara.  We made two large poster board collages filled with pictures of William as a baby, boy, teenager and adult. The front podium has a few different pictures, flowers and his remains.

Preston Mann, good family friend, conducted the service.  He started it by acknowledging the sacrifices that many had made to attend the service that day.  "But for those that know Julie, they know she made the ultimate sacrifice by getting up at 10am to be here..."  Everyone laughed at this remark.

The program included several cousins who shared childhood memories of William, a talk by George Thompson, myself and Scott. As a special musical number, we had a recording of Travis Stehmeier singing "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables, and I was able to accompany it with Sign Language.

There were over 70 family and friends from all over that made it down to Santa Barbara to attend the service for William.  It was a real moving, touching dedication to his life and a joyful reunion with many family members that we had not seen for a while. 

After the service, the ward held a luncheon for the members of the family that attended.  We were able to get some fun family photos with everyone.  Here is my mom with a cousin, Jeremiah, who had driven down from San Francisco and didn't tell us that he was coming.  So it was a big surprise!!!

We were surprised to have all of my cousins (the Gray Girls) attend.  Three of them had shared childhood memories of William and brought a sweet spirit to the tribute.

Glenn, Marsha's husband, decided to be the honorary pallbearer and carry William's remains from the luncheon to the car.

Here I am with a childhood friend, Lisa, who made the trip and it was nice to see her again.

And, of course, I was especially surprised to have my husband and boys join me all the way from Salt Lake City.  They had not told me that they were going to be driving in, and so it was fun to see them when they pulled in the day before.

Jeana wins the award for having traveled the farthest, since she flew all the way in from Alaska to be there for the service and support my mom.

We again would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the love and support that we received from everyone during this difficult time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Color Run

Last weekend we headed to Arizona to visit lots of fun friends and different places we enjoyed while we lived there. We also ran in the 5K Color Run. Will and I were suppose to run it but he woke up with a fever and decided to stay in bed. Jackson took his place but Tyler and Gavin joined us for the adventure. It was raining the entire time. Sometimes it was pouring, sometimes it was sprinkling. All the time we were having a blast! 

 Tyler and I ran together the entire time, and he was a great running partner. Gavin started far ahead of us but then fell a little behind and finished running with Jackson. 
 We were totally covered in different colors, it was awesome!!!
 After the run, there were tons of booths with free samples. There was also live music and dancing. Everyone was still full of energy and excitement. 

Before we made the drive back to the hotel, Scott had searched when the next Color Run would be. It's coming to Salt Lake City in September 2013! And we're all doing it! It's a very fun, family friendly activity.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Preston, my cousin Michele and I flew to Santa Barbara to help my mom right after my brother had unexpectantly died.
Here is my view from the plane. Beautiful. I love Santa Barbara! I always have. I always will. Every time I fly into this gorgeous city my heart beats a little faster and I get all excited. Like I'm headed to Disneyland. I love being home. My heart was beating faster as we were landing, but in a different way. I felt anxious and nervous to see my mom and to jump into this nightmare. 

It started out to be a perfect day, it was warm and beautiful. Right after we landed, we started on our list of to-do's for our short visit. We had to arrange to have William's body moved from the coroner's office to the mortuary as soon as possible. We wanted to see him. We needed to make sure it was him. We needed to say goodbye.

**There are 3 photos of our heart wrenching visit. It shows a little of William's body. 

 Hearing the news that William had passed away was hard. Planning and attending his funeral was hard. Sitting here thinking about him and writing about him is hard. But viewing his body was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Simply put... it sucked.

As we drove in the parking lot and got out of the car, I instantly didn't want to go in. I walked behind everyone as slow as I could. Wanting to avoid this event. As I walked in, timidly, I sat on the couch while my mom told them who we were and who we came to see. I slowly, very slowly, got up and started walking towards the room. My mom stopped. Bill and Michele stopped. I combined all the courage I had in me and walked in front of everyone and slowly peeked into the room. 

I saw his profile. I saw William's profile. I saw my brother and instantly knew that he was gone from our family. I turned around and ran down the hall into my cousin's arms and balled. My mom walked in and started yelling and crying. It was hard to hear. 
I went back into the room and fell apart. Tears kept streaming down my face without end. I couldn't see straight because of all the tears. I held his face in my hands and said several prayers in my heart. I held his hand and continued to cry. My big brother is gone. My stupid, big brother is gone. I pounded my fist into his chest a couple times, knowing it wouldn't do any good. But it made me feel a little better. 

We stayed for an hour and then it was time to go. I was finally keeping my emotions under control and examining William's body. I was looking at his tattoos on his feet, his face, his hair, the inside of his elbow where there was a black scar that designated where he would shoot up. When it was time to go. The tears started up again and it was hard to walk away from him. 

I kept reminding myself that it was just his body, his spirit still lives. He is in heaven with Gram and other relatives. 

 We headed downtown to the overpass where William was found. This was what we saw. It was so surprising to us to see a couch, a trash can, a huge area rug, 2 beds...It was nice. There was also a tarp overhead to shade from the sun and prevent rain from entering. Behind the bushes was a little garden with different vegetables growing. 

That was the bed William was found on. I moved the blankets around and found some blood from him, too.  I then noticed that hanging on the handmade coat rack was William's flannel jacket. The same one he'd worn a couple of months ago when he came to visit us here in SLC. I smelled it, it was his. 

I am so thankful for my knowledge that this life is temporary and we will live again with our Heavenly Father. I know William didn't live a great life, but he was a good man. He just had a terrible struggle with Satan and his addiction to drugs. I know William's burden is lighter. I also know he isn't completely out of the clear, but it's easier for him to choose the right path. Like here on earth, William has a lot of supporters and help. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Yesterday, January 14th, my only brother William passed away.

I received a call from my mom about 4pm with the horrific news. The officer was still at my mom's house explaining to her what had happened as she was calling me.

Scott sat me down on the foot of my bed and handed me the phone. My mom was crying and said something about William. I immediately started crying and yelling "No!". I put the phone down, curled up in Scott's arms and continued to ball.

Will came running up the stairs worried for his mom and quickly realized what had happened and he began to cry.

I talked to the police officer and asked several questions. So did Scott. What a terrible job that officer has.

Late Sunday night ,William was partying with his friends under the Arellaga overpass in Santa Barbara. (This is what's a little unclear and hopefully will be resolved as soon as I get to Santa Barbara.) His friends left and on Monday morning were wondering where William was, so they headed back to the overpass and found his body.

The police officer said it looked like no foul play had occurred. William was found laying face down on the ground and paraphernalia was around. Most likely it was an overdose.

There will be blood work done to verify and, if necessary, an autopsy.

I am flying to Santa Barbara tomorrow to be there for my mom, to see the body and get more answers.

Despite the fact William was in and out of prison, a drug addict, and usually homeless. He was a son, a brother, a friend and an uncle. We were always close and I love and adore him. He will sorely be missed.

William just turned 41 years old.

Hopefully a huge burden has been lifted from his shoulders and he has more peace.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I am one lucky lady to have a son like Will.

Will is my 13 year old, my oldest. He has always been a good kid, but now he's turning into a good man.

Will is taking all honor classes at Evergreen Jr. Last year, when he was a 7th grader, he was enrolled in all Honor Classes as well. Will is pulling a 4.0.

Will is into many different sports and loves trying new things. He snowboarded for the first time last season and loved it. He boarded down double black diamond runs. This year he wanted to try out skiing, which he now loves too. After a couple times of skiing he taught himself to ski backward. Now he's working on jumps.

In the fall he played on an Olympus Football team and ran track. The only kid to do both at the same time! Now, he's playing on a basketball team and wrestles for Evergreen. Again, the only kid to play 2 sports at the same time.

In the spring he wants to tryout for the golf team and play Lacrosse.

Will was recently called as the Deacon's president in our ward. He wakes up extra early on Sunday morning to make sure not to be late. He enjoys passing the sacrament. Will has been working hard to receive his Eagle. He is about two weeks away from completing his Eagle.

Will makes sure his chores are done and is helpful with his little brothers. Will watches the brothers while I am off running errands or doing other things. I can always count on Will to help clean, with homework or whatever else.

When I am frustrated with the boys he will come over and rub my shoulders. He is constantly reminding my that he loves me. Will always hugs me goodnight. He also reminds me not to swear.

Will is an honest, hardworking, smart, handsome gentleman. I am honored to have him in my family.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

6 Months?!?

Happy 6th month birthday Preston!! 

This evening we fed him rice cereal, for the first time. We always wait until they're 6 months old for solids. 

He seemed to like it...

...but was more interested in his bib.

And he's done. We got in about 5 spoonfuls.

Back to eating the bib...

I then handed him one of those baby cookie things. You know, the ones that melt away like cotton candy as  the baby puts it in their mouth! He seemed to enjoy that a little more.

Happy, happy birthday Preston! You sure are a blessing for our family. You are such a good baby. Nurses well, sleeps well, and puts up with the crazy (loud) Thompson life! 

We love you!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Always learning...

This week I have learned a few new things, which I am very thankful for.

One. I learned that inspiration will completely halt if I watch a kinda bad movie. I've been (finally) putting my book together. Ideas have been flowing and I dream of new things every night. It's been awesome, until I watched (this stupid) movie. Since then, I can't get those thoughts out of my head and and inspiration for my book has completely stopped. Ugh.

Good news though. I learned a great lesson. I won't take the help of the spirit for granted. It's helped me reply more on the Lord.

Two. Trying to teach the boys new scriptures and memorizing them gets hard at times. Okay, most of the time. I had this genius idea to incorporate memorization and dessert together. Every one received a small scoop of ice cream. If they could recite, verbatim, an Article of Faith or other scripture they could get another scoop. The younger boys had to sing a primary hymn. Needless to say, we went through an entire gallon of ice cream! Trying to prepare those missionaries is a daily chore in and of itself. But, it made it easier with ice cream.

Three. I love music and singing. I am the primary chorister in my ward and I love it. They sang "Scripture Power" and held their scriptures up in the air and sang loud and strong this afternoon. It moved me. I am having them sing in Sacrament Meeting once a month. Music is so wonderful and powerful.

Four. Another easy-peasy recipe I found on Pinterest. I've been making new dinners that the boys enjoy and are yummy. Our ward has changed to 1pm (ugh!) so it makes meals a little tougher. So, I decided every Sunday is now a "Crock Pot Dinner Sunday"! Before I left for church I put spaghetti sauce, cooked meat, noodles, more sauce and cream cheese into the crock pot. By the time we returned home it was ready and was delicious!

There were other little things I learned, but that's what stood out to me.

Side note...I am thankful for Justin Beiber (weird I know...wait there's more!) He was here in the valley last night for a concert and before his concert he headed to Primary Children's Hospital to visit a sweet cancer patient, Millie. Most everyone in my ward knows her and her family. It was a real big deal here in SLC that he showed up. I got chills seeing the pictures of them together. She is over the moon happy. Thank you Justin!

Friday, January 4, 2013


I have set New Years resolutions in the past, and have been pretty successful at it. A few years ago I started doing mini goals, and I've done well with them. Last year, I chose another avenue to follow and it went well, just not as fun nor successful as the mini goals.

Here is what I do:
I make mini goals in different aspects of my life; spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Then I make mini goals for each of those. Some goals can be done in a day others in a month. Just depends on what I am wanting to accomplish. 

I am getting a slight late start on these, but it's been vacation and I've been busy playing with boys! 

My new addition this year is this:

I found this fun idea here. 

I write down my mini goals on cute sticky paper so they are easy to take off or move around. I plan on making a mini monthly, weekly and daily goals. Depending on what they are.

Here are some ideas of what I am planning on working on and will add to my Goal List board. I'll tell you a few, others are more personal.

Spiritually: I would like to read the Relief Society lesson BEFORE Sunday. Hold family prayer more regularly. Have personal prayer more than once a day. (and I'm not talking about the several prayers I make in my head throughout the day, but actually getting on my knees!) 

Mentally: Continue on reading. My goal is to read two books a month. I am also (finally) writing my novel. I hope to have that written by the end of the year. I also want to craft and sew more. Learn new tricks and complete a project every other month.

Emotionally: To plan and make more time for ME, as in alone time. Just taking 5-10 minutes alone in silence to meditate and breath would be wonderful. I am also wanting to not yell at the boys as often, which will in turn not get me so riled up at them. 

Physically: I want to participate in a few races. I've already signed up for a 5k with some girlfriends in Arizona, but I want to run another triathlon. My new passion is skiing, I just love it. I want to ski at least once a week until the season ends. I also want to start subbing and teaching more aerobics classes. 

I am excited for a new year. A new start. We're on page 3 of 365! Good luck with your goals, however you plan on doing them! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vail Salad

This is an easy, yummy and healthy salad; The Vail Salad. My good friend, Jenn Vail, made it for me a few years ago and didn't have a name for it. Well, in our home we call it the Vail Salad and everyone loves it and eats it all up!

1 bag baby spinach
1 head of lettuce
(I usually make half this for my family, but if we have guests I make the entire recipe as is!)
3/4 lb grated Swiss cheese (I don't always have this so sometimes use graded mozzarella instead)
1 C. Cottage Cheese
1/2 lb bacon, chopped

1/2 T poppy seed
3/4 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. oil
3/4 C. sugar (I usually use only 1/2 C.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dry mustard

Put dressing ingredients into a jar and shake well. Toss onto salad and eat immediately. We usually will dress each individual salad so it doesn't wilt. Enjoy!