Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pinch! Pinch! You are not dreaming...

Hi! I am back after many months of not posting. I wanted to let everyone know that we are alive and kicking here on Heuring Road. We have been busy getting ready for the holidays and today, we had a snowday so the boys have been home and Paul is shoveling and snowblowing.
We have been keeping busy with little projects and hobbies. I have started another blog (heiDesigned) that I will post those on. Don't be fooled by the name, I will be posting Paul's as well. For now, I need go. I hope everyone is doing great.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sisters Are Forever

As most of you know, I have a "little" sister Kelsi. Actually she is taller than me, younger in years and smaller around the waist. As you can see, we look nothing alike, however sound exactly the same. We have had our sibling moments, even as adults. Over the past couple years we have grown a lot closer and have come to appreciate each others differences as well as similarities. We are finding we are more similar than anything.

We are both blessed with step-siblings on both sides. I am also blessed with in-law siblings.

It is Kelsi who I shared a room with, fought with, practiced all star wrestling moves with, walked to school with, played with, and got my first speeding ticket with.

Kelsi has two beautiful children. My nephew Jordan, I still call him Jordy sometimes, and he will tell you only his Aunt Heidi is allowed to call him that:) He is one of the most talented, loving, caring, biggest hearted teenagers I have met. Did I mention he is hilarious as well? He is also an awesome guitarist. It is my hopes to video him soon and post it on here. I am not bias when I say he is awesome. He really is. Joel and Will idolize him. As a teenager, if Joel and Will turn out to be half the kid Jordan is, we will be the proudest parents ever.

My niece Jenna, I call her Jenna Kay is a very independent thinker, and one who will not mince her words, when she has something to say. One of many reasons I love her so much. She is truly a "girly girl" yet if I had to place a bet on the outcome of a situation between Jenna or the school bully, I would double the amount and Jenna Kay would come out ahead of that one. Jenna is a caring, sweet little girl who loves to spend time with Natalie, Joel and Will. Natalie idolizes Jenna Kay (and Kelsi of course).

Kelsi sent me an email this morning that I found priceless and had to share. Her email read: "Jenna was in trouble yesterday at school. She went to the bathroom and locked the door and then climbed under the door and went back to class. This is the letter I received last night from Jenna:"

I laughed so hard when I read this. Of course, Jenna felt terrible about it. I am sure she did it because she could. Not to be mischievous.

I can hear Mike laughing at this, can’t you? It is times like this that I really miss him. He would love this story. This story would be printed off right now as well as forwarded to everyone in SW Wisconsin. For those who did not have email, he would have a copy on hand to share with whoever he ran into. I have to know in my heart, he is laughing with us now.

Thanks Kels for being my sis! I love you a ton!

PS-Yes! She is single, however since Mike is no longer with us to get the "low down" and I am not nearby to keep tabs on the situation, anyone interested in dating her needs to go through me. That's right! Anyone who thinks Gulli was protective, they have not had the wrath of her sis. There will be an extensive interview process before a date even takes place. Employment references, as well as personal references are required. Please send your personal resume including a letter outlining why you are interested in dating Kelsi to me at hheuring@new.rr.com.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Great Start

First off, let me say it feels good to be back. I took a break from the blog and many other things for awhile. I had a great thing happen to me this morning that reminded me that I need to get back to my writing.

Paul is teaching in Brookfield this week, and he is commuting. He was up very early this morning to get ready and out the door. I was trying very hard to sleep in, since Rudy has not been feeling well, he woke me up at 4:30 to go outside this morning. Not to mention Paul was up late helping Joel with his religion homework and I was finishing the rosaries for his class that they had started.

As usual, Natalie woke up when she heard the alarm, so she was standing near the bed and I told her to go back to sleep. The next thing I recall is Paul, asking me if I was listening to Will and Natalie talking. He said, they were having a great little conversation about marriage. Will was trying to explain to her that she cannot marry him. We tried explaining this to her the other night, she just could not understand why. She finally said, "That is OK, I will marry Aunt Kelsi then."

I dozed off again and the next thing I hear is Will's voice next to my bed. "Mom, we have a something for you! It is called.....BREAKFAST IN BED!!" Natalie was right beside him and they had brought me two pieces of toast (dry) on a birthday plate (my birthday is in July), which was placed on a huge tray that took the both of them to carry up the steps. To think that this was the same little boy who told his little sister to take a long walk off a short dock just last week. These two little cherubs who fight all the time, got along and worked together to make me breakfast in bed. All three of us were so happy. It was such a great start to our morning.

Soon I was up and Joel woke up as well. Natalie and Will went running into Joel's room saying, "We just made mom breakfast in bed!" I thought to myself, "Oh no, Joel is going to be so upset that he did not get to help." His response, "Hey! Where's mine?" I guess my little Joel is growing up too.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Grieving Process Begins

It is the close of another week. Tomorrow I am heading home for the day to celebrate Mike’s life with his friends and family at 2pm at Uncle Milt’s in Ridgeway. I am sure there will be lots of memories shared as well as funny stories. I cannot wait to hear them. Please feel free to post these memories and stories here as well.
Since being home this week, I have noticed that mornings are more difficult for me during this grieving process. Mike would call in the mornings after the boys went to school. “Did the boys get off to school? What is THE princess doing? Put her on.” Nattie would get on the phone…”HI UNCLE MIKE!”
Joel’s good friend stopped by last night to drop off his homework. Both Joel and Will have been home sick with the flu this week. In with his homework was a stack of homemade cards from his classmates. “I miss you Joel.” “I hope you feel bedr.” “I am sorry your unkul mike dide.” Bless their little hearts. Joel broke down last night when he was reading his cards from his classmates. How do you console him and answer his questions when you have the same questions? He was talking about how he wished he could go back in time so Uncle Mike did not go on his snowmobile that night. Then he said, “Uncle Mike would still be here, and my mom would not be sad anymore.”

I went to the store yesterday and as I was watching all of these people around me, I thought to myself…”How can you just go on with your life as if nothing has happened?” It feels like I am going through the motions to get through the day. Sometimes as if I am watching myself go through it.

Today both boys went back to school after being off with Mike’s death and then being sick. Sending them off to school today was another reminder to me that you do have to go on with life, as hard as it is, it must go on. Mike would want us to.

I know he is here with us in spirit. I wonder if he sees us grieving for him. I hope not. It would tear him up to see all of us so sad.

I have learned through this process so far that people mean well when trying to comfort you during a time like this. I think some people say things with out really thinking about what they are saying. Because they think it will bring comfort to you. Or they say things to hear themselves talk. I have learned to never say the following:

· “God only gives you what you can handle.” I want to say. “Are you kidding me? Here I am, does it look like I am handling this? Not so much.”
· “It will be ok.” OR “It will get better.” “Ok, my brother is dead. Gone. Never coming back. It will not EVER be ok. What will be ok or what will get better? Him not being here? The physical pain I feel in my stomach. The hole in my gut that I feel everyday?
· “Heidi, you will need to move on with you life, you cannot just stop everything.” I have no words for comments like that.

These remarks were few and far between and were from people that did not know my brother, but knew me. Yes, there are people that did not know Mike. Some people may find great comfort in those words, I did not. I felt as though those who knew him well are in as much pain as I am. I felt more comfort in the hugs with no words or the words:

“I am sorry Heidi, I have no words." or "I do not know what to say.” Honest and genuine.
“I have been thinking and praying for you.” Prayers for strength are huge. I know they have helped.
“I cannot imagine what you are going through.” Honest and genuine.

I was going through a catalog today and in it were a bunch of sentiments that reminded me of Mike or gave me comfort.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
“Everyday is a gift.”
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.”
“Family…… forever, for always, and no matter what.”
Live Well, Love Much, and Laugh Often.”

Someone sent a beautiful plant and in it was a sign that read, “Live, Laugh and Love.” I have seen this sentiment many times. But never given it much thought. It is truly fitting for Mike. He lived life well, he laughed often, and he loved much.

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

He Has Left a Legacy

What a week! One week ago today, at this moment, I was at an estate sale of my neighbors. She was a dear friend and I wanted to get a few things that would carry on her memory. I was so excited about my finds, calling friends and family to tell them about it. My brother Mike called at 2:43 pm to tell me that he was not going to go into work that afternoon. He had decided to go snowmobiling with the club. I inquired about the club; I did not know he had belonged to a snowmobile club. He went on to tell me about the Ridgeway Riders and how our grandfather was one of first members. With that he told me he needed to go and he loved me, I told him I loved him too and we hung up.
The evening came and I was late getting dinner ready. At around 7 pm the phone rang once and the caller ID did not pick up who it was, around 7:15pm, I was dishing up dinner and the phone rang again, this time Paul answered it. “Yes, OH NO! WHAT?! OH NO!” I looked at him and asked, “What? Who are talking to?” He mouthed, “Mike…snowmobile accident…he is dead.”
I was frantically trying to pack us up and get down to my family. Some friends of ours, Dave and Sally came over and helped me pack, Steve and Pat came over to take Rudy, and the rescue came over to take Jake. We left Appleton around 11 pm and arrived at mom and Bill’s at 1:30 AM. We all hugged and cried and cried some more. We went to bed around 3:30 AM.
I woke up Thursday morning hoping I had a terrible dream. Reality hits and the mourning process start all over again.
On Friday we met with the funeral home to discuss arrangements, how surreal. I tried to imagine what my parents are going through and I could not let my mind go there. My heart physically ached for them.
Then I would think of Halle, his sweet little girl, only 9 years old and without a daddy. She was his little princess and the love of his life. He loved her so much.

I know Mike is in heaven and looking out for us. I know he is in a good place. I just wonder, “Is there really a hell in our after life?” I do not think there is. I think we are living it. I feel like I am right now.
My brother called me everyday, sometimes more than once a day. I am going to miss that more than anything. Sometimes we did not even have anything to say to one another. It was talk about the weather or the news in SW WI. Many times, I knew what was going on in SW WI before it hit the news down there.
Mike had the biggest heart ever. My sister often asked, “I wonder how it ever fit in his body?” He would give you the shirt off his back and his last penny. His “Tommy Gun” or “Machine Gun” laugh was contagious and he always lifted your spirit when you were down.
I have never seen so many people at a funeral. We decided to have everything in one day. Two days was too much. We had a visitation from 10-12 and the funeral at 12. The church holds 250 and it was packed with people standing in the back and sides. He made such an impact on so many people. My brother in law said it well, “He left some huge footprints.”
I feel that he left a little of himself in each of us, everyone he met. I know I will think of him everyday and he will be watching over me for the rest of my life. When it is my turn to go, he will be there to greet me.

Michael Gullickson (July 23, 1970 - February 20, 2008)
Michael P. “Gulli” Gullickson, age 37, of Ridgeway, died on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 from injuries due to a snowmobile accident near Mt. Horeb. Mike was born on July 23, 1970 in Madison to Harold and Bonnie (Brink) Gullickson. He was a 1988 graduate of Dodgeville High School and a graduate of UTI Tech of Phoenix with a degree in HVAC. Mike worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Madison. He was a member of the Ridgeway Riders Snowmobile Club and A.B.A.T.E.. Mike lived life to the fullest and enjoyed snowmobiling and riding motorcycles. His positive, loving ways will always be remembered along with his saying that “You don’t say goodbye without saying I love you.”
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Glenn Gullickson; Wayne Brink; Loren and Ruth Gutherz and Jerome Skindrud; a brother-in-law, Mark Olson; an uncle, Dennis Brink and a cousin, Michael Brink.
Mike is survived by the love of his life, his “Little Princess” Halle Kiesling of Cross Plains; his fiancĂ©e, Dena Ellery and her children, Jaymi and Wes Ellery of Ridgeway; his mother, Bonnie and Bill Skindrud of Mt. Horeb; his father and best friend, Harold “Chick” and Julie Gullickson of Arena and step-mother, Jan Gutherz of Dodgeville; two sisters, Heidi (Paul) Heuring and their children, Joel, Will and Natalie of Appleton and Kelsi Gullickson and her children, Jordan Slack and Jenna Knoble of Mt. Horeb. step brothers and sisters, Melissa Olson and her children, Zachary, Miranda and Kiera of Mt. Horeb; Billy (Ronda) Skindrud and his children, Lucas Danz, Morgan Danz and Jordan Oyen of Mt. Horeb; Michael Elhert of Portland, OR; Colin Elhert of Madison and Lindsey Elhert of Madison; grandparents, Gladys Gullickson of Ridgeway; Alice Brink of Mt. Horeb; Alma Skindrud of Mt. Horeb; Bob Hill of Dodgeville and Betty Hill of Spring Green; a very special friend, Al Kaul of Menasha as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 Noon on Monday, February 25, 2008 at the Barneveld Lutheran Church. Pastor Jack Way will officiate with burial in Eastside Cemetery in Ridgeway. Friends may call at the church on Monday after 10:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated. The Lulloff-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home, Dodgeville is serving the family.
Mike, May you soar with the angels, with the wind beneath your wings. We will always love you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jaker, Jaker The Trouble Maker

As most of you know, we have been fostering a Yellow Lab named Jake. We are volunteering with a local rescue and got Jake to take care of until he finds his forever home. From what I understand, his owners have had him since he was a pup. They recently had a baby and it was too difficult for them to take good care of Jake along with the baby. Other than some communication difficulties with the rescue (darn email), it has been a wonderful experience for all of us and I am so happy we have done this. Since we often refer to Rudy as, Rudy Tooty Fresh and Fruity, Joel felt we should refer to Jake as, Jaker, Jaker The Trouble Maker. I thought that was pretty clever. Jake is only a year and a half and I forgot that Labs are still puppies until 3 or 4 years old. So Jake has been chewing. Thank goodness not on furniture. We have or shall I say had a ton of chew toys and bones of Rudy's that he would play with for a little bit and then be done. Jake has managed to chew them all up. Natalie is learning very quickly that she cannot leave her crayons lying around. Jake loves to chew them up. The other morning I was woke up by a sick dog at 4:30. I cleaned up after him and realized that he had torn up and eaten one of Rudy's rope toys and also it appeared that there was black plastic that he had gotten a hold of. I discovered yesterday that he literally chewed up and destroyed a tennis ball! I could not believe it. He is a great dog, he needs lots of chew toys and dog toys to chew on, if he has those, he will leave other things alone.
We knew this about Labs, but Rudy is outgrowing his puppy stage now, so Jake has gently reminded us how important it is to have toys for him to chew on.

There are a few people interested in adopting Jake but he is limping and we need to get a second opinion on why that is. We will find out on Friday. Please send thoughts and prayers that it will not affect him getting adopted. It does not seem to affect his quality of life. He runs, plays, and is able to go up and down the steps. He is going to make the best family dog for whoever gets him. He is completely house trained; he comes when he is called. He does not need a tie out in our back yard. I call for him and he comes immediately. He has no aggression, is awesome with the kids, and gets along great with other dogs. We still have to get him "cat tested," we do not know if he gets along with cats or not.

Will has become very attached to Jake. We are quite surprised with that, since it took him until about 6 months ago to like Rudy. It has been really cool to watch that relationship blossom. Will does understand that we are only caring for Jake for a short time until he finds his forever home, but that is not stopping him from asking, "Can we please keep Jake?" We go through the whole song and dance again and he is ok with it after we explain. If anything, Jake has brought a ton of joy to our kid's lives and that makes it all worth it. I also know we have made a difference in his life.
We will continue to foster after Jake, so you will get more stories.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Old Man Winter

I remember as a kid the winters seemed to be so much more exciting. I would often comment to friends that I missed the winters I remembered as a kid. No school for a couple of days and spend it outside building snowmen, snow forts and sledding. Well, my wish came true. We got slammed with 9 inches of snow yesterday with a 1-2 more inches expected today. We do not have as much as my dear friends and family in the Madison area. Madison broke its record snow fall last week already. The boys have school today and are hoping it will be warm enough to have recess outside so they can enjoy the snow.
I took the picture of them in front of the house this morning. It seems funny that the snow piles are taller than they are.