You Learn As You Go

Papa Great

My Papa passed away today and suddenly there I am, 8 years old, splashing in his irrigated lawn. Attempting to help as he tends to his garden and trees. Skipping around with cousins, eating grapes off the vine. Running and splashing until we are soaked and tired, waiting for him to make us a big glass of Tang.

There I am, 10 years old, following him on my bike to hike the falls or walking next to him on the way to the Beaver Pond with Dusty, his old dog, at his heels. Stopping to let us catch tadpoles and frogs, talking to us about nothing, yet everything. He in his element, we in ours.

My Papa passed away today and suddenly there I am, 12 years old, laying on his living room floor, bare feet on the couch with my sisters and a handful of cousins waiting for our turn for his famous foot rub. Waiting, probably not very patiently, because Grandma always gets the first foot rub. He sits on the floor and rubs her feet while she tells stories that make her cackle until she can’t breathe. Then it would finally be our turn. Papa on the couch with dozens of feet in his lap, rubbing for as long as we’d sit still.

There I am, 17 years old, pulling up a stool next to him in the kitchen as he sits watching Grandma’s bread in the oven, waiting to take it out at the perfect moment. Talking about nothing, yet everything.

My Papa passed away today and suddenly there I am, 25 years old, watching the strongest man I know crumble in grief and loss as he buries the love of his life. All of us wondering how long he can last with this broken heart.

There I am, 28 years old, sitting on his living room floor beside him as he plays with my babies, clapping, and praising, telling me over and over what great kids they are.

Papa Great passed away today and suddenly there I am, 30 years old, sitting on the back stoop with him, watching him toss a ball with Lydia and Liam. Talking about nothing, yet everything.

There I am, 33 years old, pulling away from our last visit together watching him sitting on the porch of the home he build with his own hands, tears streaming down each of our faces. Wondering if this was the last time I’d have the pleasure of being in his presence here on this earth.

Papa Great passed away today and here I am wishing I could have had a glimpse into heaven, just for a second, as he stood completely upright for the first time in decades and was reunited with his sweetheart. I can only imagine what a sweet reunion that was. I bet after their long embrace Grandma said “Damn it, Ed, what took you so long?”

Here I am listening to the rain fall outside, unable to sleep, reflecting on all of the memories and wonderful things that are “Papa Great”. Letting myself feel all the emotions in a moment of solitude. Grateful to my Father in Heaven for eternal families and for my Savior and His plan of Happiness. I hope I can live my life more like Papa Great and make others feel the way he made people feel when they were in his presence. I am grateful I got to experience his light. 101 years of hard work, love, and service to others. Edwin S. Lewis, our Papa Great, has left quite the legacy here on this earth and a huge impact on my heart.

San Fran and Glass Beach

Next stop was San Francisco and Glass Beach. Since we have been to San Fran before we just stopped to stretch our legs and eat some chowder from a bread bowl and headed to Glass Beach. Glass Beach use to be a dumping ground for trash. Now all of that trash has been weathered and eroded and the beach is covered with little sea glass pieces. It is really pretty.



Today is Lydia’s birthday and we had planned to going to Pfiffer Big Sur State Park for the day, but there was a landslide and the road to get there was blocked. So we had to change plans and I’m not sad that we did. We ended up spending the majority of the day at Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and Point Lobos State Natural Preserve. At Carpinteria Lydia ended up getting a piggy back up and down the trail because she was scared of the 5 million lizards darting across the trail. I was scared too, but I didn’t get a piggy back. Haha. She is the birthday girl after all. It was a pretty little lookout. Point Lobos though is where it’s at! This place was breathtaking! We got to watch mama and and baby harbor seals basking in the sun and dipping in and out of the ocean. They were precious and our little animal lover, Lydia, could not get enough of them. The beaches and views were spectacular.



Happy Birthday, Lydia!

Happy birthday to my favorite girl in the world! You make me so happy! You bring so much joy to our family and we love you so much. I admire your carelessness and your love for everyone and everything. You are kind and thoughtful. You are obedient and considerate. You make me want to be a better person. I hope you always know how great you are and how much you are loved. I hope you had the best day! We adore you!

Before we left for our summer trip, Nanny took her to American Girl. Our favorite!

Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier

Today we visited Venice Canal District, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Pier. I love walking up and down the canal streets behind the lovely homes that line the canals. It is beautiful! And Jared was a trooper and carried my purse all day because I forgot to leave it in the car. Santa Monica Pier was iconic and fun too. We love exploring new places together.



When we knew that there would be another Mueggler family reunion at the coast this year we were super excited. Maybe a little too excited because we planned quite the summer trip. We mapped out a two week trip from L.A. to Seattle. We flew into L.A. and spent the first two days in L.A. It was hot and dry and we needed all the water! I loved walking down Rodeo Drive and hiking to see the Hollywood sign. The kids loved the Griffeth Observatory.


Happy Birthday, Liam

Happiest of Birthdays, Baby Boy! I hope you had the best day ever! You are such a joy. You keep us laughing. You are sweet and funny. You are kind and sensitive. You make me so happy. I hope you always know how much we love you. Happy 7th birthday!

Swim Team

Lydia and Liam did swim team this summer. I am so impressed with the improvements they have both made. They have practice every week day and meets once a week. It has kept us really busy. Liam was super nervous at first and cried his whole first swim meet, but by the end of the season he was meditating before his first swim and kicking butt! Once he got over his fear, he was amazing! Lydia became a much stronger swimmer too. They both got most improved in their age group!  I think all-in-all they enjoyed it.