Friday, January 29, 2010

Non-classical PKU: Hyperphenylalaninemia

In talking to my family and friends I can see that there is a lot of things that people don't understand about this genetic disorder. So here it is. All you need and want to know about Hyperphenylalaninemia (except how to pronounce it!)

What is Hyperphenylalaninemia?

An inherited condition in which a person's body is unable to properly utilize one part of protein found in food. This condition causes mildly increased levels of phenylalanine in the blood.

To understand why the phenylalanine is increased in the blood of a person with Hyperphe, we need to explain how the body handles proteins found in foods. Proteins are made up of amino acids fastened in a chain.

One of these amino acids is called phenylalanine. The body takes food protein, digests it into amino acids, and then uses the amino acids to make all organs and tissues in the body. The process is as follows: when protein is eaten, it is broken into the individual amino acids. The amino acids are then absorbed from the intestinal tract into the blood stream and carried around the body to where they are needed to build body proteins. The amino acids remaining after sufficient protein has been formed are broken down into harmless waste products. With Hyperphe, the leftover phenylalanine is not broken down. This causes increased blood levels of phenylalanine.

How did they get it?

Everyone has two #12 chromosomes. Each of the #12 chromosomes has one site for the PKU gene. A carrier of PKU has a mutation on one of the #12 chromosomes. If a carrier (me) marries another carrier (John) who also has a mutation on the #12 chromosome, there is a one in four chance at each pregnancy that their child will inherit two mutant PKU genes, one from each parent. As soon as a child with PKU is born, you automatically know that both parents have a mutation that the child inherited. This also means one of both John and my parents also have to be carriers. Our siblings and nieces and nephews can be carriers also. It will only effect the offspring of two carriers who have both passed their bad gene.

How many people have it?

1 in 10,000

How did they get non-classical PKU vs PKU?

John or I have a mutated mutation. One of us passed a normal PKU mutation on our #12 chromosome. The other passed a mutated PKU mutation on our #12 chromosome.

Will they pass it to their children?

Only if they marry someone who is a carrier for PKU. Both #12 genes have to have the mutation. That is why John and I had no idea we were carriers. We only carry 1 bad gene. Caleb can be a carrier and can also pass it on if he has inherited one of our genes and marries a carrier. He inherited at least one normal gene from John or I because he does not have the condition. He could have inherited both of our good genes too.

Is there any cure?

Just a restricted diet. Compared to the other genetic disorders out there we are very blessed!

When do they treat Hyperphe:

Because the condition is so rare it varies from State to State and Dr to Dr. These are general guidelines.

Standards Used by the Texas Department of State Health Services
titative PHE by Fluorometric Analysis
Blood Level of PHE

Normal None
4 - 10
Mild Hyperphe A low PHE diet is usually not prescribed during childhood.

A low PHE diet may be needed during pregnancy.

10.1 - 19.9
Atypical PKU Requires a low PHE diet.

Women must have a low PHE diet before and during pregnancy.

20 and higher
1200 or higher
Classical PKU A low PHE diet is needed to prevent mental retardation.

Women must have a low PHE diet before and during pregnancy.

Where are your kids levels?

Davis is doing good at 209. 1 year ago he was at 271. He will be tested again in 3 months.

Beckhams numbers have risen dramatically in 6 months from 184 to 329. We are redoing a second test on Monday or Tuesday to see where his PHE number is at that time. If it is still over 300 he will start to be what is called, "on diet." This means that they will start to replace some of his milk with a protein formula that does not have phenylalanine in it.

Why does your Dr want to cut all major protein from your kids diet?

The biggest reason is to keep them off diet. The blood levels that are taken are primarily a matter of how much their body cant process and how much protein they are eating. If they are drinking a lot of milk and eating a lot of cheese their numbers will go up. If they have any kind of aspartame their numbers will jump significantly since aspartame is 50% phenylalanine.

It is imperative that we keep their numbers low for factors that are out of our control such as illness. When they are sick their numbers can jump significantly since the body burns muscle in sickness to add extra calories for your body to fight an illness off. Muscle is pure protein.

They also want them to develop a taste palate while they are young that does not include high protein foods so that later in life they will naturally control their numbers and not feel like they are sacrificing.

We also wont have to be so strict with counting protein if we eliminate the major proteins that will increase their numbers over time. We can basically let them splurge on holidays or while at Disneyland since we know we are keeping their numbers low as a baseline.

It is proven research that the lower their numbers over time the better off. Higher levels of phenylalanine in the blood cause: aggression, depression, concentration problems, ADHD, and can eventually lead to mental retardation. Our boys levels are such that they will probably never become mentally retarded because of their levels. But their levels if left unchecked can easily cause depression, aggression, and problems learning in school.

At what PHE Number do the aggression, depression, concentration problems, and ADHD start?

There is no set number. For sure you don't want their levels to get up to 600. For any permanent damage to be done it would have to be elevated levels for an extended period of time. It seems that 300 or 360 is around the standard level where they are put on diet.

Wont that effect their growth to have so little protein?

Beckham needs 12 grams of protein a day to grow "normally." That is equal to 1 1/2 cups of milk.

Davis needs 15 grams of protein a day to grown "normally." That is equal to 2 cups of milk a day.

Protein is in so much of what you eat you don't even notice. For example popcorn has 4 grams, breadcrumbs have 4 grams, pasta noddles have 8, a cup of milk has 8.

Why don't you just use soy or tofu?

Still protein...but I thought the same thing too :)

How are you going to still get them healthy calories and not just fill them up on empty sugar and carbs?

I have no idea. Any suggestions send them my way! I just dropped $200 at Costco on any snacks I could find that had 1 gram of protein or less. Its was my kids favorite day at Costco ever! Crackers, fruit snacks, dehydrated fruit, pudding cups, applesauce, fruit cups. I felt so guilty and I swear every person we passed looked at my cart and thought I was an irresponsible mom.

Why are you such a control freak?

I cant help it, its genetic. We just don't know what chromosome its passed on yet :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Help is on the way!

My Mom today might also be writing a post about Motherhood. As in:
When will her kids ever grow up!

I called her in for reinforcements. I need her. I need help before I really fall apart from so much to do, so much to absorb, so much to understand, and SO much to learn. And then just the regular things like chores.

I have to admit that part of me is embarrassed to even write all these thoughts down and then the other part of me wants to remember how hard these past few weeks have been.

Being a Mom is so hard sometimes and although we all love the cute posts about the cute perfect moments with our kids they are not all motherhood is. I think we do the role of Motherhood a disservice when we pretend otherwise. I also think we would do it a disservice if we always complain about it too.

Knowledge is empowering and I have been gathering it the last few hours.
Here is what Ive learned:

Caleb's teacher has noticed a change in him in school the last week. I called the Pediatrician to talk about the drugs he was put on.

Called the dietitian and asked her about how much protein is about the right amount. For Davis to be able to grow normal he needs 15 gm of protein a day. That is equal to 2 cups of milk a day. She said she thinks about 30 would be a good number to aim for. That is why they want the major proteins cut out. He will hit 30 everyday even on diet of no major proteins.

That is also good news. It means that because Beckham has to have a lot of milk right now because he is growing so much it might account for his higher numbers. He drinks a lot more milk. That's good because as he gets older and needs milk less he will hopefully be able to get off of the formula if he ends up on it now.

Whats really frustrating is that I tried hard to not allow my kids to get hooked on juice. Kids love juice but I think milk is so much better for them. I have been a stingy regulator of juice, ask John he will tell you! Its only for special occasions in our house. After all of that work and kids who don't ask for juice I now have to start giving Becks and Davis a lot of juice. They need it to replace milk, they need it for calories.
So much for all my work on regulating juice!

At least I'm not worrying anymore that Davis is not getting enough protein. And hey if he starts losing all of his hair then I will know to give him more.

Easy enough :)

Will this week NEVER end!

Caleb is finally off of breathing treatments.
Beckham started breathing treatments today.
Medical Plan apt with the school done.
Another one scheduled for Monday.
Had to buy a second nebulizer.
Had to pay all dental deductibles.
Family medical deductible for the year is with the USPS on the way to our mailbox.
Davis saw bacon in the freezer and got excited.
Don't want to tell him hes not allowed to have it.
Racking my brain to come up with what to feed him for lunch and dinner tonight.
Self doubt as I worry that his body is getting what it needs to grow.
Arm blood draw for Beckham in 4 days.
Waiting and praying for low numbers.
Worrying about the cost of PKU formula.
Messy house.
Finally got the house clean.
Its messy again.
Got the laundry done.
Dirty baskets are full again.

Yesterday my day with Caleb was....
there is no word for it.

I told him he could have a friend over after he cleaned his toys in the playroom:
Crying. Complaining. Whining. Snuck out of house and went to friends house. Lied to friends Mom. I came. He told me he never wanted to go to our house again. Embarrassed. Walking home holding his hand. He starts fighting me. Pick him up. Hitting and kicking. Bloody nose for Mom. Neighbor watching. Put him in time out. He slams door. His says mean things. Mom sobbing. Finally he sounds calm. Open door. Caleb's gone. In the car playing. More Caleb yelling. More of him saying he hates me. More of Mom sobbing quietly in the next room. More lying. Dad comes home early. Caleb calms down. More disobedience. Try to put him to bed early. More fighting. More out of control. Finally get him in control. He is exhausted. He is asleep in a minute. Dad and Mom just stare at each other. We are exhausted. We are speechless.

Is it a stage?
Is it the new asthma medicine?
Has something traumatic happened at school?
What happened to our child?

Cant help but feel I went wrong somewhere as a Mom.
Quietly cried myself to sleep.

Today I hold Beckham.
Squeeze him into me longing for the simplicity of Motherhood to come back to this age.

When did being a Mother get so hard?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coping in my own way

Last night we had our first meal that was meat, cheese, bean, nut, and egg free. It was good. We had Fajitas but I used a red potato in them instead of chicken.

It was all fresh and full of natural flavor.

I definitely think this will help me get the last 6 pounds of Caleb's pregnancy off :)

John had a really rough day at work. He came in 2nd on a huge bid that would have taken A LOT of pressure off of him. I think its even worse to come in second because its hard not to kick yourself for not cutting it a little closer. He was $200,000 higher on a $6 million job. Ouch. This is the 2nd job in the last week that was big and he was right in there.
So frustratingly close.

We both sat at the dinner table each dealing with our own challenges in our individual roles in our life and family. I wanted to talk all about what the Dr had said this meant for our family. I wanted to hear him tell me he was okay with it. That it would be okay. I wanted him to understand everything I was feeling and give him all the information I had buzzing around in my head.

He needed me to just be quiet and let him deal with one thing at a time.

Both of us had needs. Both of our needs conflicted.

So he took the boys and took a bath in the big tub. I sat down and started a new project. Its the only way I know how to cope with things. I felt like I had to do something. There are not a lot of good resources of recipes for people who deal with what we will deal with. We don't have to be as strict as PKU and those recipes are well, really insanely bad. A normal person cant live on them. Literally because there is not enough protein. That is why they have to drink the shakes. Hyperphe there just isn't a lot of information available.

So I now present my second cooking blog:

Ya, I know. Another blog! I didn't just want to start putting the recipes on my regular cooking blog because I wanted people who deal with this to have a place to go. An exclusive place to find recipes for their families. Some recipes will overlap.

If you want to lose weight and eat healthy and clean...this blog is for you!

I'm excited to make this new eating lifestyle a challenge. To find new ways to eat that fit our family. Most especially to give people who do deal with Hyperphe a place to go.

Today I feel better. I have a purpose. I have a challenge.

I love a good challenge.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dr Arch

Today was our apt with the Geneticist and Dietitian down here because of Beckhams high Phe numbers.

It was good. I feel like I understand a lot of what we are dealing with better. I am still trying to absorb what this means for our life. Its changes it.

I can deal with change.

This is what it means if both of their numbers stay under 300.

No meat, very limited cheese, very limited beans and eggs. She said its just best to not give them a taste for meat while they are young because the reality is that the lower their levels throughout their lives, the better they will be. So mostly they will be vegetarians. That's going to be a big change for us since I have to learn a whole new way to cook. Beans and eggs go in this category too. We just need to limit it to almost none. This will also help keep them off of the diet.

Cheese is not a great food for them because even though the protein level doesn't look that bad the majority of the protein in it is Phenylalanine. Basically limit cheese to a bare minimum. We do pizza every Friday night and they told me that what I can do is give them juice or water instead of milk with that meal to basically counteract the protein in the cheese.

Its going to be give and take. If they eat something with meat, cheese, beans, nuts, or egg they need to have less milk. High Protein foods just need to be avoided.

I was worried about what that meant for growth because I feel like their bodies do need Protein. They said that in the rest of the food the kiddos eat there is Protein and it wont affect their growth. That is why high protein foods need to be avoided, they get enough in the rest of their diet.

We also have to be much more careful about products with aspartame in them. These are DANGEROUS for them.

I w
as very impressed with the Dietitian. She has full PKU. She was a great resource to talk to. She did tell me that in the last year she has found that EVERY gum now has aspartame added to it. So Beckham and Davis will never get to chew gum.

The only other thing that was hard to hear is regarding their missions. When they turn their papers in they will probably (depending on where their levels end up when they are done growing) be limited to serving in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe. I know its not the end of the world but I had always hoped one of our boys would go to the Philippines like John or to Romania. Its just a change. It just takes time to adjust your thinking. I loved living in a poor and desolate country. It really changes your attitude. I deep down had always wanted that for my boys. Developing countries just wouldn't have the resources and testing they need. Plus I guess there is concern with PKU and bad water. But really Italy would be amazing :)

BUT, right now Beckham is over 300. He is at 329. We are redoing the test in a week. Right now he has a cold and its not a good idea to do it while he has a cold since the body burns muscle when its sick which is like eating steak. His levels right now will be elevated no matter what.

In a week we will have a full Amino Acids test done again. If that number is above 300- Beckham gets put on the diet. Thankfully they don't have people count protein grams. More or less he will go on a PKU formula for about half of the milk he drinks. The formula has protein in it but not the
Phenylalanine protein. It will give him enough room with the Phenylalanine levels to stay on mostly normal food, minus the high protein foods.

Davis does not have to go on the formula as of now, his levels seem great. He will be checked again in 3 months.

They said in theory it should work that their levels should be about the same because they are siblings and both inherited the same genes but it doesn't ever work out like that. She has treated 2 siblings with HyperPhe; one on diet, one not.

There are 2 other kids in Southern Utah with HyperPhe and both of them are on the diet.

For now we just maintain and I am going to start weaning us onto 4 or 5 vegetarian meals a week. In reality though vegetarians seem to rely a lot on cheese and beans so its almost like we are going to be going vegan.

We will see where it goes from here. We are SO SO SO blessed they don't have full PKU. I don't want to seem ungrateful. It just changes our life. The way we think. In a while it will be lifestyle and it wont seem like a big deal but at the same time it takes some time to adjust the way we think. Flank steak wont probably be the main course for Holidays since that wont be something they can eat. Sure we could still make it for us and I'm not saying we wont have meat as a family. I just don't see it being fair to Davis and Beckham to make them feel like they get the secondary food. Protein will become a side dish, not a main course for us.

We will all be a lot healthier that's for sure :)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Our family theme this year is Gratitude. Its been fun each night as we are eating dinner to say what we are most grateful for that day. The boys especially love it.

Today Davis asked me to play the "grateful game" with him.

I said okay and asked him what he was most grateful for. With a big grin on his face he said:

"I'm grateful for Jesus to go to Walmart."

I love this age. They say the funniest things.

Putting your foot in your mouth...Southern Utah style

Today I went to the grocery store kid free. I know, awesome!

I was in line and the lady behind me was in one of those motorized carts. She also was Polygamist. I offered to put her groceries onto the belt for her so she didn't have to get out of the wheelchair. She agreed and thanked me and we started to chit chat.

I told her how great it was to be kid free. She said she was sure her daughters would relate.

(Okay for the record in my mind I registered Grandma...not Polygamist Grandma.)
So I say:

"How many grandchildren do you have."

The look on her face made me realise that wasn't the best question to ask a Polygamist...

For the record after a few seconds she said, "Oh, about 15."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dressing Danger

Today while trying to get himself dressed Davis was putting his underwear up. The only problem was that they had rolled and so he couldn't get them up.

He came waddling over to me and said:

" I cant do it Mom. Help!
Its too...It too...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not really sure what to say...

In fact I'm not really sure what to feel.

This last week we took Davis and Beckham in for their hyperphe tests. There is not much information that is really reliable about Hyperphe out there. I guess its even more rare than PKU, which is already rare. But to have a genetically mutated gene is really rare. That is great news for us though since that means Davis and Beck's don't have full PKU but at the same time its makes it frustrating since there is no real standard of treatment.

Last year when I met with the States leading Metabolic Dr he told me the diet started at 300, brain damage could start at 360. I got Beckham's results today...


My heart plummeted. That meant our entire life was going to change. I was so sure we weren't going to be doing the diet since they expected that Davis and Beckham's numbers would be the same since they both inherited the same muted genes. I started calling anyone and everyone (literally) to get answers. I had to know how to do the diet- TODAY! I would never be able to forgive myself if my perfectly "normal" child ended up mentally retarded because I didn't act fast enough.

Dr Longo is on vacation and so his partner called me back. Yes, I demanded the States leading Genetic and Metabolic Dr call me before he left the office-TODAY, tomorrow was to late :) He was not concerned one bit. He told me that I had the numbers wrong and that they don't do the diet unless a child's numbers are consistently over 360, brain damage occurs at 600.

Its so frustrating because there is no set standard. It varies from one Dr to the next, one website to the next. In AZ they didn't even diagnose Davis with the condition (which makes me so grateful that Beckham was born in UT). Its just so rare. Luckily Davis' number came back today at 209.

But here is another thing that is bugging me. Last year I was told the numbers don't fluctuate much. Seriously!?!

Davis goes from 271 to 209 in a year.
Beckham goes from 184 to 329 in 6 months.

That seems like a lot of fluctuating to me!

I was feeling better after talking to the Dr and we decided that he would send me the stuff to do some heel prick tests to be run through the newborn screening. 3 of them, each of them 2 weeks apart and make sure that he hadn't eaten for 2 hours before. This would give us a good baseline for Beckham's average numbers. I can handle that. But then I got another phone call.

I do want to say here that I LOVE our Pediatrician Dr Marsden. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him! He doesn't know anything about Hyperphe mostly because NO ONE does. But there is a new geneticist who is opening a clinic in St George and they are friends so he called her and told her the situation. Her response: I need to see that child in the next week. Seems like she thinks it a big deal. Our apt is Tuesday.

Round and Round we go.

Round and Round my emotions go.

I'm so afraid that I'm going to miss something along the way since all of the momentum I have about their condition is because I ask, I call, you could even say I demand! But seriously this is my child's future. That's my job.

But what if I miss something?
It scares me.

That's the bottom line. I'm scared about the unknown. Give me the diet and I can handle it, give me the thumbs up no diet, I can handle it. Give me the ambiguity and I'm going NUTS!

This also came on a day when I have been advocating for Caleb in school to get the equipment and treatments his asthma needs in school. His asthma has been bad. Really bad. We are trying all sorts of new meds and have really stepped things up. Long story short the Principle is lazy and doesn't want to jump through the necessary hoops to get him the treatment he needs in school.

The first time I called I left her a message saying that I needed to set up a "medical plan" for him. Those were my actual words. I knew that's what it was called because of someone I know who works in the schools. She said she had no clue what I was talking about. Her exact words were, "I'm not really sure what you mean by medical plan." I tried to explain it and she acted like she had never heard of anything like that.

After consulting with the district nurse and also the lady I know in the district I thought I needed to do a 504. That is A LOT more work for the school. Today I introduced myself to the Principle and told her that's what I thought I needed and she told me that was totally unnecessary. Then she had the nerve to say to me, "I don't think a 504 is a necessary, what you need is a Medical Plan."

Did you catch that? Ummm...I thought you didn't
know what that was! I'm so proud of myself for calling her out on her lie. My words, "That's weird because when I first called I asked to set up a Medical Plan and you told me you didn't know what that was."

She gave me some lame excuse and changed the subject. I just wanted to yell at her, I'm not some 5th grader. Just because I may not look like an executive and just because I choose to be a stay at home Mom doesn't mean I'm not intelligent and it certainly doesn't mean that I'm so stupid that you can lie to me and expect me to not see it. And please don't think you can intimidate me into just dropping it because you don't think its important.

So what if all 3 of our kids have special medical needs.

They are our perfectly imperfect children and I will be their advocate in every way I can to make sure they get the help they need. That's what people who belittle stay at home Moms don't get. THAT is my job. I am educated. I am intelligent. I am passionate. I cant think of a better way to put that to use that in favor of my children!

So that's where I'm at here at the end of the day. My house is trashed since I was on the phone for over 4 hours today. I'm exhausted.

Physically, mentally, emotionally.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You guys are the BEST!

Can I just say how great you guys are!
Caleb came home today with a stack of postcards from all over the country.

I am touched that so many of you sent them to him.

He was SO proud of them!

You made my boys day...and that makes my day!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The AMAZING Beckham!

It took our other boys a while after walking to be able to just stand up in the middle of the floor and start walking.

Today Beck's did it!
He hasn't stopped since. He LOVES walking. Today at the Dr office he just walked in circles in the room laughing at himself for being able to walk!

Here are his 1 yr stats:
Weight: 20 lbs 10.5 ozs
Length: 29.25 inches
Head: 18.75

Monday, January 18, 2010

The great cupcake massacre!


We celebrated our little mans birthday this weekend and it was fun to just remember how much he has grown! He is becoming a little boy and my baby is disappearing!

Here is all about Beckham at 1:
  • You lost one of your bottles and Mom and Dad left your other one at church about 2 weeks before you turned one so you went off bottles cold turkey. At first you hated your sippy cup but you LOVE solids. You will eat anything I put in front of you. You have finally adjusted to a sippy cup but will eat until you are sick!
  • You officially started walking on Jan 18th. Before that you would take steps but yesterday you starting venturing off on your own. You walk about half of the time and the other half of the time you have created a new mode of transportation that is half walk/half crawl
  • You love the water! You love showers, baths, and we took you to the pool on your birthday and you would scoot yourself over the end of the pool in a sitting position and then fall into our arms and kick your legs wildly in the water.
  • You laugh A LOT. You are so happy and think just looking at Mommy and Daddy is funny and you crawl away giggling.
  • You are impossible at church! Daddy has to take you every week with him and it looks like hes been hit by a car by the end of church!
  • You love balls. You will throw a ball and chase it all over the house. You also like to hide in Mommy's curtains.
  • You are OBSESSED with the dishwasher
  • You love to cuddle for the first 5 minutes after you wake up. You just curl up in a ball and rest your head on my shoulder. I love it!
  • You are loud! You really like to be heard and you have the cutest giggle ever!
  • You have a really cute gap in your front teeth
  • You hate shoes. If we try to put them on you just cry and sit there mad as can be.
  • You like to look out the window now that you are turned around in your car seat but don't like to sleep in a forward facing seat.
  • You like to watch the Wiggles, Elmo, and Barney
  • You are a light sleeper and don't like to sleep in our arms and you wont transfer from the car to the house.
  • You love to wrestle with your brothers even though you are so little and they are so big. You also are a good sport about sitting outside the playroom blocked by a chair when their car tracks are all set up. You will stand and watch them for hours.

Most of all you are loved!
More than you will ever know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Took a little trip

We drove up to SLC on Wednesday night. John had a work meeting and we went to stay with him. We like this work meeting because we get to stay in the Provo Marriott which super nice. I love their down comforters and their Bath and Body Works lotions and shampoos.

Not Beckhams best way to spend his birthday but we sang Happy Birthday to him while we were all in the hotel pool and let it echo in the emptiness of the indoor pool room. He liked it. He also got to eat part of a Chocolate chip cookie at Subway on the way up and I think that might have been his first taste of chocolate. Could there be a better present!

I got to visit with Tyece which always makes me happy. She is so wise and I walked away uplifted.

Stocked up on all the things I love from Macy's that always seem to be on sale when I'm there. I really miss shopping there! Even John gets exited about the sales there. Our best find, BYU beanies for $ the grocery store. That's why I love Provo. We bought 2.

The boys were excited to see the snow. Caleb thought it was magical to step on it in his socks.

After Johns meeting we got to go see Grandma Caroline who was in SLC for a convention. She took us to dinner in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at the Roof. Now I understand why so many people use to get engaged there when I was at BYU. The temple was fuzzy through the fog as we ate our delicious and beautiful dinners.

Drove the 4 hour drive with 5 stops to pull in at 1 am.
Its good to be home.
My house is a WRECK!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Send Caleb a postcard!

Hey everyone. Caleb's class is doing a unit on travel. The teacher asked if we know of anyone traveling to send the class a postcard. I thought it would be fun since I know a lot of you live across the country if you could send him a postcard.

I know he would love it.

So if you have an extra second and want to please send a postcard to:

Caleb Henderson
Mrs Thornberg's Kindergarten Class
3435 Canyon Crest Ave
Washington, UT 84780


*They probably need to be mailed no later than Monday of next week since the unit will end on Friday.

Celebrating 1 year

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My B-I-G announcement came on a bad day

Today, I was so excited to reveal to you something that I have been giddy about and worked hard on. It just came on a bad day. You see today I felt like my photography came under some criticism from a friend.

I felt like I had been punched. I wanted to disappear.

I later expressed my feelings, they apologized and told me how they really hadn't meant it the way it had come out. All the hurt feelings are put aside and over tonight.

I think the hardest part about everything, from starting my first photo shoot to today is putting myself out there.

You see photography is a leap for me. I don't like people to see me improve at something. Its a hard process for me to be that vulnerable. Ive put my neck out on the line and jumped in with both feet. Its been hard!


Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me. You have no idea how much it has made a difference to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. To keep trying, keep learning. My first class starts a week from Thursday and I am so excited!

I have some amazing friends. One particular friend did something so nice for me that I still can hardly believe it. He builds websites and he helped me start one. He helped me buy a domain name and with his wife's help I came up with a name and logo.

Thank you so much Scott and Pam!

So here it is my friends; my B-I-G announcement

The Vintage Image
(Click on the words above to see my site)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My B-I-G Announcement.... experiencing some technical difficulties. So stop calling me!!! Just kidding and NO, I'm not pregnant!

Apparently some of you are very anxious! Ummm...maybe I made it a bigger deal that it really is.

Nope, actually its pretty stinkin' huge, for me at least.

Like I said though its having some technical difficulties and taking longer than I thought. I do kind of like the fact that you are all checking my blog so much. Makes me feel like I have a big platform right now.

Here's the deal...I will post it on Sunday, ready or not.

While you are here will you do me a favor. Pretty please!?!

Click here. Then click on page 9. See the picture of the tubas on the top right.
Vote for it.

Here is a little announcement...

Have you heard of Ann Dee Ellis. Apparently she is becoming very famous.

Well, she use to be my roommate at BYU.
Does that make me special?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A decade....

For some reason until about a minute ago I didn't really think about it being a new decade. This really is a new start. A new beginning of so much.

I was reading the blog of someone I don't really know off of someones blog who I do know (you know you do it too!) and she wrote of the things she would see in the next decade and it shocked me to think about what I will goes.

All 3 of my children will be baptized
2 of my boys will get the Priesthood
No kids left in Elementary School
Two of my boys will become teenagers
One of my boys will have a drivers license
One of my boys will be able to DATE!
One of my boys will be in High School
I will see my 40's
I will see John have a meltdown about to turn 40

In just 10 little years from now that will all have happened.

Then I take a look back at the last 10 years and think of everything that has happened:

Moved to Seattle to live a childhood dream
Attended the University of Washington for semester
Graduated from College
Supported myself financially
Got Married
Moved 11 times
Saw John through College
Had 3 children
Lost one baby
Saw John get his first career job
Bought our first home
Saw John get his second real job
Sold our first home
Built a home
Bought 4 cars, sold 3 cars

Its been a big 10 years for me! They have been wonderful and challenging all at the same time. I'm so grateful to my Parents for helping me get the best start I could! They really made my life as I know it now possible!
I am so excited for the next 10 years!

I know, I B-I-G announcement. Its coming I promise!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Theme- Gratitude

This year John and I chose a theme for a our Family (totally got the idea from Nie Nie). I wanted to do it last year but just wasn't together enough to get it done.

Here is our 2010 Theme

Last night we had our New Years Dinner to kick it off.

On the Menu: Fillet Mignon, Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo, Spinach salad with Caramelized Pecans and a Pepper Jelly Dressing.

We each told of one thing we are grateful for...
John: Our Family
Lisa: Health
Caleb: Jesus
Davis: Hot Wheels

We are going to do that every night this year when we sit down to eat. Express gratitude for 1 thing we are grateful for each day this whole year.

We toasted to our New Year and all that we have to be grateful for. We really are blessed with a full life of wonderful Family, Friends, job, home...abundance.

Its going to be a wonderful year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kahuna Caleb

The reason the boys went over to California Adventures while at Disneyland was to do Turtle Talk with Crush. Its a huge interactive screen where they can talk with the Turtle from Nemo. Caleb told John he had a question and he got a chance to ask it! Ive been trying to post this video before couldn't get it to work. I really wanted to post the whole video but it seemed like it was too long so we just cut right to the part where Caleb is.

Way to go Kahuna Caleb!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 House Goals

We had some friends who when making Goals for the year also made a list of goals to do for their home in 2010. I thought it was a great idea and I'm hoping it will help John and I feel better about living poor to save for some things that we really want. We were planning a couple of small trips this year and canceled them for now to save the money to work on the house. We are excited to get the front yard in!

Here are our 2010 House Goals:
  • Get Front Landscaping plan together
  • Sprinklers, curbing, and sod in the front yard
  • Garden boxes and a garden in the back yard
  • Finish Cabinet trim
  • Fix paint and caulking around our tub
  • Add a shelf in the laundry room and the pantry
  • Paint new shelving and master closet shelving
  • Plant a new fruit tree since poor Stella was knocked out of existence by a bucket blowing in the wind
  • Get rugs from the entry doors and get rid of the ghetto leftover carpet rugs we have
  • Build shelving in Garage

Here's to our chores for 2010!

PS. My big news is coming I promise....probably by Tuesday! It is a little more exciting that a Target :)


It hit me last week as I saw Davis leaving the Primary room that tomorrow he will leave Nursery at Church and head to Primary.

This means instead of just playing for 2 hours after our main Sacrament meeting he will have an actual class time and he will also have an hour where he will do sharing time, talks, and singing time.

I don't know what to think.

When did Davis become a Preschooler?
In my mind I can see that he is. My heart just doesn't feel it.

I feel like I missed his toddler years.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like he was neglected at all in his toddler years, rather I missed enjoying them. It was hard with all of the complications with Beckham and all that entails for me especially emotionally. I don't feel like I had the time to wrap my mind around all of the growing up that he was doing.

Then suddenly in the blink of an eye the toddler years are over and there is this amazing little boy in front of me.

Sometimes I get so sad that I wont get to experience having another baby. But at times like today when I see Davis has grown up before I had a chance to feel well enough to enjoy each of the stages of his life, I feel peace with our decision to be done with the baby bearing years.

He summed it up nicely in the store the other day when a lady in the checkout like told him he was cute...

"I'm NOT cute. I'm a BIG boy!"

Yes, you are Davis...but you are a really CUTE BIG BOY!