Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ice cream 3 times a day....

Ever heard that song Hot N Cold by Katy Perry?
I don't love the song it but it sure describes my moods right now.

Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white

Yesterday: I ate ice cream all day, read a book, sulked on the couch and let my kid watch a season of Diego while the other napped.

Today: I'm up, peppy, cleaning, organizing, super productive, and happy. Ive sang songs, played games, and laughed a hundred times with my kids.

Oh goodness.... I wonder who I will be tomorrow?


Davis' preschool teacher wanted a picture and paragraph about Davis and after I wrote it I wanted to post it here too.

Dang he is cute!

Davis turned 4 years old on June 17th. He has 2 brothers, Caleb and Beckham. Davis loves Hot wheel cars more than anything else and always has! He has over a hundred and he knows each and every car! He love to play games and is really good at Memory and Candyland! Davis loves to draw and he colors wonderful pictures of his family best! He taught himself how to write letters just by looking at them. Davis is a great swimmer and is playing soccer this year and doing gymnastics. The one thing Davis really does not like is loud noises! He has very sensitive ears. His family loves Davis so much especially because he has the best smile and laugh! He is kind and sensitive. He works so hard to listen and make his Mom happy. We are so happy that Davis is part of our family!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The busiest time of the year!

Its Soccer Season!
Caleb's coach...
Davis' coach...
Its hard for kids to understand that in soccer they don't have to share or take turns. Caleb waits patiently for the other team to get a turn to kick it :) We're working on that...

Davis on the other hand runs around smiling. He is as young as you can be to play and it shows. He gets bored and tired pretty fast! That is until mom pulls out the camera and then he poses mid game.
And Beckham sits (not so patiently) while Mom and Dad both coach at the same time. Its hard to be benched when your name is Beckham!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I usually love fall. Love the changing leaves and the cooler temperatures. The crispness in the air means the holidays are coming! I love change, thrive on change. I love the feeling of a fresh start that the fall always brought with the new school year or a new semester.

This year I am futilely trying to pretend fall has not arrived. For the first time ever I don't want it to come. It means change. It means that a season has ended and some of the precious time I have with my Mom is visibly over. Having the season change gives time a tangible feeling. I don't want a fresh start I just want things to stay the same.

I knew that the hard days would come back and I thought I was prepared but I feel crushed by the emotions swelling in my heart. I had been so strong and doing so well but two days ago that ended. I feel like my life is out of my control. I just want to curl up on the couch and refuse fall and change.

I know spring will come and that the hope, love, and faith that had been present for the last couple of weeks will return soon. No one ever explained that the stages of grief are more like the roller coaster of grief. "Stages" implies that you moved through them, that you are progressing and eventually there is an end. I'm finding that I jump all over the stages and keep returning to them.

I think I might go public here on my blog for a while. There are so many people who are probably struggling like me and I think I could use a little extra support right now. Plus there are so many people who love my Mom and I want them to be able to find her through me. I haven't decided, I just keep going back and forth.

That seems to be the theme of my life right now.

* I created a blog button for my Moms blog. Go on over and grab her button*
Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the BIG suprise!!!

John, Caleb, Davis, and I were planning to go to Disneyland on Friday with my Mom. My Mom is a big kid at Disneyland! She use to take us the day before school started each year and it turned her into a bigger kid than her own kids! It has special meaning for me with her and I wanted to go one more time with her and my kids so that they could have those memories too. It hit me on Wednesday how cool it would be to have everyone surprise her there! I started working the phones and spent a lot of time sneaking around but we got it all arranged. Both my brothers and their families, my cousin Kelly and her family, and my cousin Matt were all planning on being there.

When we walked on Main Street with her they were all lined up on a porch and they shouted "Grandma!" My Mom looked over smiling thinking it was sweet that someone was calling for their Grandma. Then she saw that one of them was my niece and she started recognizing everyone and went running to them. It was touching and special. I know it meant the world to my Mom and I'm so glad that everyone sacrificed to make it happen.

One of the most fun things about looking through the pictures is to see all of the cousins hugging. I was so focused on my Mom that I didn't notice but these cousins sure love each other.
Grandma with all her grand kids - minus Beckham who we discovered that previous Monday does not like Disneyland + her grandniece Savannah.

John was sweet enough to indulge me and sneak over to Disneyland in the morning to get her Minnie Mouse ears with:on the back. She wore them all day!

You might notice Davis rocking his own ears look...
Oh man these made all the difference for him. He does not like loud noises -especially fireworks and Disneyland can really overwhelm him. These are gardener earphones from Home Depot and he loved them. Not only that but he loved Buzz Lightyear, the fireworks, the parade, Fantasmic! All of the things that normally would send him hiding with his fingers in his ears he actually enjoyed!

My cousin Kelly worked her phones and connections
and HOOKED us up!

Not only did we get a VIP pass to the front of the lines (thank goodness because it was cRoWdEd!) we got a private meet and greet with Mickey!
It was so fun! I couldn't help but get my picture taken with him either but my flash didn't go off :(

We also got VIP parade seating which was sa-weet.
Caleb was AWESOME during the parade!
He let loose and was dancing like crazy. He got pulled out into the parade twice and he loved it- he sure can move! I wish these pictures did justice to his dancing. He was crazy and didn't stop the entire time!

My Mom loved to take us over to Tom Sawyers Island when we were younger so while we were waiting for the ferry my brothers and I reminisced on camera with my Mom.

The kids thought Uncle Matt was the COOLEST ever!
Matt lived with us off and on while I was growing up. He is one of the nicest people I know with one of the most sincere hearts. He gave the kids all sorts of attention and they ate it up. Davis keeps asking for "that new Uncle" because he didn't remember Matt from the last time he saw him.
One of the best parts of the night for me was when John, Davis, and I went over and squeezed in to save seats for Fantasmic right after the first show ended. Everyone else stayed on Main Street to watch the fireworks but we ended up with the best seats for those too! I love the firework show they have running right now. It was a medley of all of the rides and their themes songs and recognizable recordings with fireworks to match. I must be a Disney geek because I could quote them all and teared up at most.
No really, I did.

They lit fireworks off of Pirate Island right in front of us to go with those off Main street and even used fog machines on the Rivers of America when doing the Haunted Mansion medley. It was so cool! Then we had front row seats for Fantasmic which is by far one of my favorite things at Disneyland - we saw the new World of Color show and Fantasmic is way better!

It was 11:00 when Fantasmic ended and my Dad, expecting my Mom to be ready to go home, causally asked her what she wanted to do. She enthusiastically replied, "Pirates!" My Dad was probably ready to go but he pressed on to keep up with her! Davis does not like Pirates so John and I took him over to Dumbo, the carousel, and then to the teacups.

We were on Main Street when the park closed doing some shopping. I buy an ornament each time we go to Disneyland (since its usually at Christmas) but my Mom wanted to buy my 2010 ornament. I didn't want to leave. I just kept lingering not wanting the day to end. Walking out of the gates felt like I was saying goodbye to Disneyland with my Mom and I wasn't ready to do that. I stalled by taking pictures, buying Davis his piggy bank (another Disney tradition of ours), Caleb wanted cards, I bought all 3 boys the cutest Halloween trick or treat bags.

I just wanted to stay and bask in the happy Disney atmosphere and the glory of the day. I felt that if I walked through the gates to leave I was surrendering the magic of Disneyland with my Mom, knowing it would never be the same again after leaving that day. Each step towards the gates felt like saying goodbye to something special that I'm not ready want to give up.

I bought a mouse pad with the words:
"The Happiest Memories on Earth"

For me that is true. Disneyland is one of my most favorite places ever. I feel at home at Disneyland. I love the smells, sounds, gardens, food, lights...everything feels so familiar to me. It feels like happiness, hope, and home!

It was a very special day and I know I wont ever forget it. I'm glad my Mom always created special memories like those I have of her at Disneyland. She is why I love Disneyland so much and want my boys to love it there too. Its so fun to be a Mom at Disneyland and watch my kids eyes light up and do nothing but have fun! We laugh, giggle, play, and I love that while I'm in those gates I get to focus solely on my kids. I'm sure that's why my Mom loved it too because I remember how fun and silly she was there too.

If you haven't seen enough pictures of our day you can go here to see an almost play by play of the whole day. This day's pictures start on page 4 of that gallery. And can someone tell me why I didn't think to take a picture with my Mom during the day!?!?!?!
Grrrrrr! Sometimes it stinks to be the photographer!

Monday, September 20, 2010

If you would like to keep up with my on the icon and it will take you to her new blog.

What my week looked like...

A whole lot of this!

I have so much to catch up on here on my blog that its starting to get ridiculous. But I enjoyed my week which is the most important thing.
I pulled off the surprise of all surprises....Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

And then there was....

Back on the table as the "likely" diagnosis.
Updated: The last time she saw the neurologist he had the preliminary report on the EMG. He figured if she had ALS there would be much more abnormalities showing. He also didn't know why they hadn't done more needled on the right side of her body. Given everything else that is happening to her he thought it was looking more like the MG. But then the MG test came back negative and he got the full report which they saw many more abnormalities.
Basically there is nothing left for her to have -which is eventually how they get to ALS - eliminate everything else. They are doing a chest MRI to rule out the possibilities of a tumor growing there since they have looked everywhere else. He also put her on MG medication just to be sure that she didn't improve on it, which she hasn't. Lastly he did one needle in her right arm and he saw abnormalities in her right arm, which is indicative of ALS. Tues she will be see at the UCI ALS clinic and get a second opinion. She will also be meeting with a speech pathologist, physical therapist, and a spectrum of people who will help give her the best quality of life that she can have.
We are surviving. We have up and down moments. Our faith sustains us as does our love. We are working on all of the projects that are important to her and she will leave a legacy.
Thank you for all your kind words ans support.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Exhaustion & Elation

Last night we rolled into my parents driveway. Poor John had to drive the whole way while I tried to push back the waves of nausea and exhaustion. The last 4 days were intense. The last month has been intense and I felt my body give up and surrender. My Dad texted "where are you" right when we were turning on their street. I texted back "your driveway." I stumbled out of the car to see my Mom and Dad excitedly coming out of the house. I just mumbled I was sick and stumbled inside. My Mom rubbed my back as I went inside, got me a cold drink of water, and some medication to sleep. I crawled into a nice clean bed and listened to the rhythm of my boys being well taken care of.

I woke up this morning feeling so much better. Still a little weak but I know that the next 9 days will erase that. I'm so glad I have my parents who still take care of their little girl. I don't know what I would do without them.

Why the elation? Yesterday I got on the scale and I had lost 1 more pound. That means I have lost 50 pounds total! After Beckham was born I lost weight for 4 weeks and then I stopped and plateaued. That is when I really started working on losing the weight. That was in February of '09. Its taken me over a year and half to lose that 50 pounds. Its been a lot of work but I feel so good inside and out. I have heard the the longer it takes to come off the more likely it is to stay off. So even thought its been frustrating that its taken so long, its probably a good thing.

9 more pounds left and then I will be where I want to be - 135. Its hard for me to reveal that number because I know you all just calculated out where I started from, and I'm still so ashamed of that number. But then again its just a number and it doesn't define me anymore and never will again.

I know I can do it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Davis starts Preschool!

Sometimes I forget just how big Davis is getting.

Today we went to his first day of Preschool with Mrs Morris and he was ecstatic! He went right in and didn't have a second of anxiety. I worry about him more than Caleb in a lot of ways. Caleb and Davis are both sensitive but Davis is sensitive in a hidden way. He hides it and then it appears in many different subtle ways. I worry that he will be hurting and not tell me. Academically he is more than ready, emotionally I'm not so sure but I think this year will help him grow a lot in that way.

Davis holds a very special place in my heart that I cant really put into words but its harder for me to watch him grow up. I want to wrap him up and tuck him away from the world and keep him all to myself.

First thing he did was get the Hot Wheels bin out. I was laughing hysterically as he sorted through them. He would take a car out and look at it and either line it up with the "cool" cars or thrown it in the dump pile.

They got to go outside and he literally ran from toy to toy on the playground exploring and having fun. He would not smile at the camera for anything!

I'm so excited to see how much you will grow this year Davis.
I will miss you so much!


Today I calculated my BMI and it was 24.9. Under 25 is normal.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We got home from our weekend up in Provo on Monday night. It was an amazing weekend. Full of cousins, swimming, football, talking, and laughing. I cant do the trip justice today by writing about it so I will just post this picture and remember that I will have more time in a few days.

I spent all day Tuesday and today canning 36 quarts of peaches and 5 pints of salsa from our garden. Laundry has been running all day both days and I have run the dishwasher no less than 10 times.

I'm packing as I unpack and trying to survive the next two days before we are off again. We always say we need a vacation when we get home from vacation - this time we get one!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


To say that I was a bit thrown yesterday is an understatement! Obviously in a good way! But last night I started shaking and then I couldn't stand up I was so exhausted! I think all of the emotion that had been building up inside finally caught up with me and it left me drained.

I felt an intense sense of relief with an even greater sense of gratitude. Gratitude that my Mom will be okay but also gratitude for the life changing experience of the last month. I will never be the same after the past two weeks. I embraced death and just like Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie's said: I found life!

Life in a whole difference sense. I cannot adequately describe the paradigm shift that occurred but I know that it has changed me and my life forever.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We don't know what she has but the EMG revealed that it is in her muscles not her nerves! Or something along those lines. I don't really get it but it is definitely not ALS.

It's probably an Autoimmune disorder of some sort. After further conversation with my Dad it seems that the blood test they were originally running was not for Myasthenia Gravis. I don't get why they haven't tested her for that because its really right on...we all thought it had been ruled out, but apparently has not.

What ever it is - its not terminal!

Excuse me while I go PAR-TAY!

Whew... Where to start?

Life seems to be going 100 mph and even though I'm going 150 mph I'm falling behind! Caleb is in full swing of 1st grade and he is doing great. His days are long 8:20-4:15. I never even posted pictures of his first day of school. Here are a few....

The past few days have been heart warming for me. Caleb has always been so independent and cant wait to get out and be with his friends. He has started asking why school is so long and why cant he just stay home here with me. He has been asking me to drive him to school in the morning and he is so happy to come home in the afternoon. He is more affectionate and cant get enough of being close to me. It makes my heart melt that he loves to be here with us and that our home is a safe and loving place that he wants to be.

He has always tried to grow up so fast and I feel like I have been given a gift to have this time right now. I'm taking full advantage of it and doing everything I can to deepen that feeling. Yummy things like warm zucchini bread or cinnamon rolls on the baking rack when he walks in from school :) We sit and talk while he has a snack and then he does his homework and picks out a Brite Standing Tall Book to listen to. Then I copy a coloring page for him and he and Davis sit at the counter while I cook dinner. Here is one of his masterpieces.
I am so happy about how excited he is about these books. I loved them as a kid and as a parent I love them even more when I see him excited about the stories and coloring pages that teach good values.

We are heading North for the BYU vs Washington game this weekend! Football season is here!!! This trip will be especially great since we get to spend time with Johns siblings and their families. Then we have 4 days back at home before we take off for CA for 9 days. Today is my Moms apt with the neurologist and we should hear that everything else has pretty much been ruled out and they will also give her the results of her EMG that she took on Monday.

Life has been a roller coaster in so many ways the past month and I find myself stretching and growing. While things with my Mom have been hard the paradigm shift that accompanied it has clarified so many things I was vacillating on. Some personal changes I have made since then have been really uncomfortable but I also have found inner peace knowing that I am making the right choices - even if they are hard.

For now, I just look at this face and realize that all of my efforts are worth the work I am doing.

Oh and please allow me to share a quote that both John and I have been loving lately:

"You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it's your choice"
- Gordon B. Hinckley