Monday, March 28, 2011

Catching Up...Halloween

Halloween is a big event in our home. It is safe to say that it is our most favorite holiday. Growing up my dad always made a big deal over it and made sure we had the coolest "special effects". He is no different with my kids. We spent Halloween weekend in the hospital for an inpatient chemo stay and were discharged the night before Halloween. We decorated his room, dressed up and went trick or treating down the halls. Isabelle opted to stay home from her very first school Halloween parade so that she could be with her brother. It was a special Halloween. The kids both got prizes for dressing up and we enjoyed watching the other costumers and the hospital party. We also had a community party the week before and the kids had a night time candy hunt. They both scored big pumpkins! Nate had a date with his friends that evening so I took the kids to Village Inn for some pie. It was only days after Spencer's feeding tube had come out and him eating was so exciting for me. He ordered two kids meals and a big piece of pie! On Halloween night it was raining and Spence had barely been home from the hospital so Nate took the kids to a few homes in the neighborhood to trick or treat and then we spent the evening at my dads. My stepmom made an awesome mummy meatloaf, eyeballs, and witches brew. It was a fun night. This year was definitely different than most but it was so much fun. The hospital did a great job of getting the kids excited and playing up the holiday. Everyone was so impressed with Spencer's costume.

Our community Halloween party. The candy hunt.
On Halloween morning I made Jack-o-Lantern pancakes.

Belle and Raynee made this elaborate haunted house that she wanted to keep forever but I told her I would take pictures instead.
Village Inn. Pie-ing it up!
Mummy Meatloaf, eyeballs, witches brew, zombies, grim reapers, and lots of candy. The recipe for a perfect Halloween.
Trick-or-Treating at the hospital. Showing their loot. They also had fun crafts for them to do. I am so glad Isabelle had time with her brother.
Games at our community party.
Even Grim Reapers love their stuffed animals.

and so do zombies.

My gross children.
Donuts at the PCMC party.

Spence decorating his room.
Death, knocking at your door!


How beautiful is life? How lucky we are to experience so much in our short lives. The pain, the tears, the laughter, the happiness, beauty, birth, death, fun, sorrow. There is so much for us to feel. We are so lucky to have the capacity to feel it all without bursting. We all have a journey. We all have thorns. We all have skeletons. We all have laughter in our souls. We all have moments where we wonder how we got here, in this moment. We all wish we could walk away at times in our lives. We all have felt loneliness. We all know how to plead to a God. We all have a song. We have all held our heads up in confidence and also walked with our heads low in shame. We all know how is to love with every fiber of our being. How lucky are we? I was talking to another friend of mine who has experienced a child with cancer and other trials in her life. She said has realized that she cannot live without help from the Lord. It is one of the lessons she has learned. We talked about how so many people experience trials, horrible trials, all for naught. They do not understand why. It makes for a pretty sad life. I feel so grateful to know that my trials are a refiner's fire. That there are lessons to be learned, muscles to be built and Faith to increase. I have true happiness in my life. I have a super handsome husband who loves me. He is loyal, he is kind, he is helpful and he works so hard for our family. I have three incredibly beautiful children. They are miracles, each freckle, dimple, eyelash. They are proof that there is a God. Their souls bring warmth and light and inspiration in my life. To all the lives they touch. I had an epiphany recently. I have always thought that I had been putting on this show that I had the perfect life. That things are as great as they could be. I grew up in a not so perfect home and have wanted that perfect home so badly for myself. My clothes may not always be folded and my bathrooms cleaned weekly but my life is pretty dang perfect. There is no "show". I have a fabulous husband, a good marriage that is constantly worked on, great children and a happy relationship with them. I am a fun mom. I make dinner and pack lunches and I give lots of kisses. What else do I need in my life. I have God, I have my family, and I have an understanding of beauty and of pain and I have a beautiful life.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Please Hold...

I know you are all waiting for a post. For pictures. For stories. I am fighting an horrible cold right now and I am completely exhausted. Like 415 days of hell exhausted. I will get to you very shortly. Spence had his last chemo yesterday and there are pictures to come soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Price is Right!

Our beloved Price family!
Cutest cousins! (Spence was in the hospital)
Me and Belle and delicious little Rigsy Bigs!

One of the best parts of having a "split" family is more family! When my dad got remarried 6 years ago I was the lucky winner of 3 extra sisters and 2 more brothers and now two beautiful nephews, oh and two awesome brothers in law. I still fall as the oldest between both of our families. I think it took a little while to get accustomed to having a "new" family especially that I was older and had kids of my own, but now I just absolutely love it. Casy, Lindsay, Logan, Raynee, and Arza and definitely my awesome little brothers and sisters and I love each of them unconditionally. It is always the dream of a little girl to have a sister to play with. I was lucky enough to have 2 biological sister but they are 7 and 12 years younger than I am . Brittany and I are now old enough to be friends, but our lives are different. CASY is my little sis who is old enough to be my peer. She is married and has two ADORABLE little boys and she is my shopping buddy. The unfortunate part of it all is that she lives in FREAKING ALASKA! She is much too far away for my liking and we miss her terribly until we are able to see her again. This year we are so lucky to have some regular visits from their family. They were here in October and will be here at the end of this week! Gavin thought that his cousin Morgan was the coolest guy ever and talks about him almost everyday and deliciously chubby Rigs makes us hungry for kisses! We are soooo excited to have the Price family come and visit and I wish that we could kidnap them and keep them here with us! Then maybe life would be complete!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Light Keeper

So many more things to say as I cry tonight. First thing, there is a God. He knows me. He knows what I need. A Facebook friend posted this much needed quote tonight "When he says to the poor in spirit 'come unto me' He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way." {Jeffrey R. Holland} He knows that I needed this tonight. Second thing, I have amazing friends. Calls, texts, chats helped me through the night. Friends going through their own trials reminding me that I CAN DO HARD THINGS. And the third thing is uplifting music. I love "gospel" music or churchy music. I guess that can make me a total nerd but I love it, and today I received the peace and the words I needed today. Katherine Nelsons SOMETIMES HE LETS IT RAIN "When her heart surrenders to the master in control her heart learns the lessons and the tempest in her soul when it's not longer raging she can see how far she's come through the wisdom and the mercy of the son. Sometimes he lets it rain, he lets the fierce winds blow. Sometimes it takes a storm to lead a heart where it can grow. He can move mountains of grief and oceans of pain, but sometimes He lets it rain. He lets it rain. Sometimes it rains. Just let it rain. There is no joy without the pain. Sometimes He has to let it rain."
and her YOU SURROUND ME "I stand in between the rush of the day and you and me. I am trying to catch my breath and feeling for that peace that only you can bring. I close my eyes and feel a catching breeze I feel the sunlight washing over me. You surround me. Your every breath i breathe, and though you are never far from my reach, you surround me. Lost and swept away and cradled in your arms is where I want to be. A moment in your sweet sweet love, what I would give to see what you can see. I stop to feel you all around me. I see your presence in everything. You surround me. You're in the sun and in the rain and in the waves upon the sea youre in the wind and in teh sand and in the grass beneath my feet. your'e in the rocks and in the leaves and every branch on every tree you are the joy you are the pain you are the hope that carries me. Youre every breath i breathe. and though you are never far from my reach. you surround me. you surround me. "
And then today Jenny Phillips LIGHTKEEPER inspired me. These words were super powerful to me and were meant for a good friend I had time to spend with this weekend. You know who you are.
"He knows its hard to hold to his light sometimes. The world is so far from the right. So just close your eyes, He will help you shine. LIGHT KEEPER BE STRONG. LIGHT KEEPER WALK ON THROUGH THE NIGHT. WHEN ALL THE WORLD IS TELLING YOU THAT IT'S NOT WORTH THE FIGHT HOLD ON TO YOUR LIGHT, HOLD IT TIGHT, LIGHT KEEPER. You might feel left behind when others leave the light. Oh how the Father loves you. He will never leave your side, He will help you shine. Oh how you shine. You are full of the Father's love. You are worthy of his trust. Oh what beautiful light."
We have been reading in the scriptures about shining our lights on a hill and not hiding it under a bushel. And I have been thinking about all of the trials that I have gone through and how I feel obligated to be a light, even when it is hard. If you cannot be a light in your family and friends lives then who will?


I don't even know where to begin today. In my last post, I spoke too soon. The next day we headed to the hospital for a fever. Spence started the day at school and ended up coming home early, saying that he felt like he needed a blood transfusion. Low and behold, what do ya know? The kid was right. His hematocrit (red blood cell count) was really low. We spent the day there getting antibiotics and blood but were lucky enough to go home since all of the other blood counts were great. Since then he has had terrible headaches every day. The start in the late afternoon and debilitate him for the rest of the night. We had a fun filled weekend and he did not get a chance to enjoy much of it because of his headaches. On top of the headaches he is having anxiety attacks over them. He was sobbing in the car the other day and I asked him what was wrong and he said "I do not want to go through this all over again". Right before Spence was first diagnosed he was having horrendous migraines. He would scream and cry until he received comfort by falling asleep. I assume this is a repercussion of the pressure of his tumor. Now that the headaches are back he is so worried. It makes me heart sad. I on the other hand do not feel worried about it. Usually I would but I just don't. Nate started to worry as well and I told him I felt peaceful about it and he told me he trusted my intuition. Let's just hope it's right! I feel that after a LONG year of chemo and going back to school full time has worn the kid out. So now I am in this dilemma. Do I cut out some school time? Do I just let him go part time? I am a wreck. I don't know why I am such a wreck but I am. Today I am sick of it all. Today I just feel like crying myself to sleep and kicking and screaming. Today I want a normal kid. Why does he have to go through this stuff? Why can't he have a normal life? Why can't I get my house in order? Why do I feel like I am drowning again? I can't get it together. Today I just don't know how to do it all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Press Forward?

Trying to blog and the words are not flowing. I am starting to feel more normal. Spencer is back at school full time, piano lessons are started back up and life has not been so hectic. I am able to stay home during the day without frantically running from appointment to appointment. In fact I have "missed" my chiropractic appointment TWO times! I just totally forgot about it. It is kind of nice to stay in my comfy clothes all day and not have to do my makeup because I am not going out. I wear hats and sunglasses to drop off and pick up the kids from school, just in case anyone "sees" me. I decided to stay off Facebook for two weeks. I am so addicted to the computer that I just do not get things done. It is pretty pathetic. Today was my first day and I did pretty well. I just kept thinking to myself that no body needs to get a hold of me this week. I am trying to tell myself it is like when I am on vacation and I am not around. It is actually kind of fun to stay in my little bubble, at home and get things done. I still have my cell phone so there is some communication with the outside world but life will still go on without FB and emails. I got everything and then some done that I needed to get done. I feel accomplished. I feel in control. So far no withdrawals, no shakes or headaches. LOL. Spencer is doing really well in school. I tested him on his new set of spelling words for the week and he only missed three. We always start out by testing him on the words the first day and then making him write out the words he missed 10-15 times. Then on day two i retest him on his words and repeat the same exercises from the day before. On day four I have him write them out again and then we begin spelling them out loud. On the morning of the test I have him spell them out loud again on the way to school. I think he gets about 25 words but is only tested on 10 of them. It has been kind of fun for us. He is starting multiplication and I have been so impressed on how well his is doing. His hair is really starting to come in now. It is definitely more than a five o'clock shadow. His taste is starting to come back completely. Tomato sauce used to bother him. The acidity tasted like metal to him. Just a side effect from the chemos he was taking. He is now enjoy his favorite food, pizza, again. We prayed so long and hard for these normal days to come to us and now that they are here I feel a little melancholy. I WOULD NOT FOR THE WORLD GO BACK TO CANCER OR ABNORMALITY, but I miss the everyday miracles that we have been experiencing in our lives. Pretty soon his hair will grow back in and he will just be a tall, skinny kid to those who do not know him. No body will know where he came from and how long and hard he walked to get to where he is now. No special treatment, no leniency, just a normal boy. Some day people he comes in contact may never know this war he fought. Battle scars never go away on a moms heart. I hope that for him they do, however, I hope he never forgets the faith and power that healed him. I hope he never takes for granted the life he has been given. The ending is just all so surreal. Who knew that it would be this hard to leave it all behind. Press forward, always thanking God.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Auntie Holly

It is amazing to give birth. I literally get jealous when friend or family member is in labor because I crave it. I must be crazy. To me it is the most exciting, miraculous thing on this earth and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. I love being a mom. The love I have for these kids is indescribable. I never thought that I could love any other children the way I love mine, until I became an aunt. The love may not be exactly the same but it is strong and true. I have been blessed with 3 nephews and 2 nieces, and my sisters boyfriends little boy (whom I just love so much also), Easton, Kanan, Jason, Marley, Carley and Miles. My sister in law, Whitney, is currently in the hospital having their second little boy and my other sister in law, Theresa, is due in May with their first little boy together, and her second. WAIT! my brother just texted me as I am writing this announcing the birth of Evan Joseph 8lbs 12oz 22 inches. The whole point of this post is to express my deep love for these babies. For my family. I am so lucky to be an aunt and to love these children like they are my own. Even though both of my brothers live out of state and I do not get to see their kiddies often, I love them! I would do anything for them. I just want to smooch their faces and eat their cheeks! I am fortunate enough to have Easton, Marley, Carley, and Miles close enough to love, love, love. These kids make me happy. I cannot wait to meet little Evan and baby Jameson. Sometimes life is hard, and crappy but Heavenly Father puts beautiful children and babies on this earth so spread his love and innocence. What a wonderful thing.

Reason #107.....

to not let your husband dress the kids....denim pants, denim jacket. Totally cute separate but not together. Love you babe! Smooch.