Friday, February 27, 2009

Kinda Fun

Funny Questions and Answers

Here are the rules:I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must tag seven others. Here are the questions:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Where is your significant other? Couch

3. Your hair color? Blonde

4. Your mother? Social

5. Your father? Generous

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Forgot

8. Your dream/goal? On-time

9. The room you're in? Family

10. Your hobby? Exercise

11. Your fear? Lonely

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Comfortable

13. Where were you last night? Target

14. What you're not? Mean

15. One of your wish-list items? BBQ

16. Where you grew up? California

17. The last thing you did? Store

18. What are you wearing? Hoodie

19. Your TV? Old

20. Your pet? None

21. Your computer? Tablet

22. Your mood? Tired

23. Missing someone? Family

24. Your car? Pretty

25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

26. Favorite store? Woodman's

27. Your summer? Sun!!!!!

28. Love someone? Yep

29. Your favorite color? Depends

30. When is the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Before

I tag: Mikey and anyone else who wants to do it. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'll try to make this short... Lyla, Chicago, Valentines, Heather and California

Well things are going really well for us at the moment.  We made our move to Chicago and we are finally settled in.   I still haven't taken pictures of the place but when I do I will post them.  Anyway, we LOVE our ward and we have made a lot of friends already.  We have just really been enjoying ourselves here (except for the weather).  

Lyla is doing so much better with her brace... she just looks so dang cute in it!  She is smiling all the time and is starting to chat up a storm.  Also, everytime she cries it sounds so clearly like she is saying "mom!".  I just love her more and more every day.  I feel like our relationship as mother and daughter is growing more and more every day.  She will just stare at me for the longest time and just smile and coo and I just can't get enough of it!  I love this little girl!  

For Valentines Day, Nate and I went to Rainforest Cafe and we had a lot of fun!  I got him 3 shirts and he got me Madagascar 2, the Mamma Mia soundtrack and a box of chocolates!  

We love the aquariums at Rainforest Cafe.  Nate and I just stared at the fish and tried thinking of who of our friends and family looked like which fish.  (Did that make sense?) Anyway, don't worry, we couldn't match anybody to the fish.

Holy Croc!  


Nate and I taking pictures of ourselves... mostly on my request.

Nate getting tired of me taking pictures...

Nate dodging my kiss... 

...but he finally gave in :)

Lyla looking cute in her outfit!

So on Monday morning, 2/16, my brother Scott texted me and told me he didn't think his wife Heather was going to make it through the day.  So I hopped on the first flight and flew out that evening.   Heather was doing MUCH better that night than she was earlier that morning, so happily my reason for flying out to California was no longer valid.  WOOHOO!  Instead, I got a week full of visiting and fun in the SUN!  But a quick Heather update, she just kept improving all through the week and was able to move to a rehab center to get good physical therapy since she lost a lot of her movement from all that her body had gone through.  So she is now improving a ton and is starting to be able to get up and move around a little.  They are planning on taking her home in the next few days.  Here are some pics of the California trip...

Me and Lyla with one of my best friends, Lizzy.

We had a poster-making party with the family to welcome Heather home.  

Here is Aaron, Heather's son, who fell asleep while making his poster.  It was so cute!  

My niece, Ryann, and her poster.  She put an 80's picture of Tom Cruise on there... she is awesome.

Zoey, my other niece, and her poster.  

My sister-in-law Jen and her poster.

Hannah, Heather's daughter, and her poster.

Nephews, Riley, Connor, and Gehrig and their posters. 

Me and Hannah.

Mikey and his poster.  He is so funny.

Me and my poster.

Jeff and Nicky's poster.  Jeff drew this picture of them in like 5 minutes and it's pretty dang accurate!

Lyla was really patient with me and all the places I wanted to go.  I guess she didn't mind as you can see from the picture below... she was totally out!

The night before I left we went to go visit Heather in the rehab center.  She started losing her hair from the radiation and so she asked Rik to shaver her head for her. 

Me and Heather.

My mom, Rik, and Lyla.

Anyway, I had a really good time the past week.  I flew back Sunday and it is really nice to be with Nate again... I missed him.  Anyway, I guess that is all for now!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Emergency Surgery

Last night Heather went into an emergency surgery.  She was very unresponsive and so they did a scan on her brain and found out that the radiation she was receiving was causing her brain to swell.  The problem was that there was no where for her brain to swell because the tumors were in the way.  The doctor said that if they did not do surgery then she would die before her scheduled surgery tomorrow.  Many of us thought that Heather would not make it and many came to the hospital to be there for her and for Scott.  However, the surgery went very well.  I guess the doctor came out and told everyone that was waiting that the surgery went well and that her brain was "happy".  

So thank you for all of your prayers for Heather at this time.  I know they have been helping.  I think this whole thing has been emotionally exhausting for everyone, especially my brother.  Last night before her surgery, he said his goodbye's and told her it was okay to go to her Heavenly Father if it was His will.  I just feel so much for my brother at this time.  I get so emotional just thinking about what he must be going through.  I have always been close to him so it kills me to know that he is hurting.  I have learned so much from him and his example through all of this.  I just wish I could be there to support them more. 

I guess before I end this, I should let you know that since I am not there, all of this information is just what I have heard through the grapevine.  However, my information has come from very reliable sources.  Please see Cherise's blog for more detailed updates.  Her link is in previous blog posts. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on Heather

Here is a quick, short update on Heather.  For a better and more detailed update, you can go to Heather's sister's blog, Cherise.

Heather is still in the hospital and has had her good days and her bad.  It turns out that she actually has 10 tumors in her brain, 6 small ones and 4 large.  The largest is 4cm and is hitting her brain stem.  This would explain a lot of her symptoms: 24/7 vomiting, periods of loss of movement in her legs and hands, and hold her head up straight.  After speaking with the oncologist and some neurosurgeons, Scott and Heather have decided that they would like to do brain surgery to remove the tumor hitting her brain stem.  They are unable to remove all the tumors but they said this is a fairly simple procedure.  Doing this will not cure her but it will give her a better quality of life and will hopefully allow her to go home.  Also, after they spoke with the oncologist, they decided that despite the odds, they still want to fight. They feel pretty pumped and excited to do this and I am behind them 100%.  If anything it will hopefully prolong her amount of time here on this earth.  They are so strong!  So last night Scott said Heather will probably start chemo again in about 1.5 weeks.  

Anyway, tomorrow we are having a fast for Heather for anyone who would like to join.  I am so proud of Heather for her strength and optimism through this whole thing.  She is such a wonderful example to us all and we love her so much.  Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers for us through this whole thing.  I'll try to keep you updated but again, Cherise's blog is so much better than mine.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I usually don't blog about personal things going on in my family but in this case I decided to swallow my pride and ask for your prayers.  The past couple of days have been pretty rough.  I am going to copy my brother's blog and paste it here because he already wrote the story so well....

Here is Heather's story. After she had her second child, Aaron, she noticed something wrong as she was nursing her new baby. After some testing she was officially diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of 2006.

After much fighting and a double mastectomy she was finally declared as a "Cancer Survivor". Several months later, she was in for a check up and they found that her cancer was back. 

Last November we found out that her tumors were getting larger and they were spreading as well. At that time we found out that her cancer was in her lungs, liver, blood, and bones. We were totally devastated but after a change in oncologist and cancer treatment we felt a little optimistic. Her new oncologist felt that even though she could never be cured from her cancer, it could be managed with an oral chemo. 

The last two weeks Heather has been feeling sick and has lost 20 lbs. Scott felt like this was just a bad flu, but as we learned on Friday it was much worse. At 8:45 I got a phone call from Scott telling me that at 8:15 Heather had a major seizure. She was taken away by the ambulance to the hospital and he was driving there at the time he called me. He wanted me to call everyone in our family to tell them the news. Later that afternoon, my Dad and I picked up Jennifer and we went to the hospital to visit her. She was so frail and weak. It reminded me so much of my Grandmother when I visited her the day before she died. Scott told us everything that was going on at that point. Her seizure was caused by four tumors which have formed in her brain. She was having so much pressure in her brain that the neurosurgeon was surprised that she was not in a coma. At this point I felt that she wasn't going to make it more than two weeks.

Later that day Scott spoke to the oncologist who told him that with all the treatment they can offer, he would be very surprised if she makes it to Christmas. We all feel like it is going to be much sooner than that. After this weekend we see that she is on a roller coaster with her health. She will look and feel fine one day and then she will be throwing up and miserable the next. She is supposed to have some intense radiation for the next 10-15 days that will shrink her brain tumors which will relieve the pressure on her brain. This should prevent her from slipping into a coma. Regardless though, my brother will be without a wife very soon, and my niece and nephew will be without a mother.

Today she is supposed to find out that she has less than a year to live with treatment. I don't know how she will take this news, but my heart just breaks thinking about it. I love this woman so much. She has been such a great mother and wife to her family. She has been such a positive and wonderful sister to me. She has truly made this world a greater place for me.

Please pray for her and our family as this has been the most difficult thing many of us have ever had to go through. We have all been absolutely devastated. Below is a picture of Heather and her family.  This picture was stolen from Michelle so we hope she doesn't mind.  As you can see, they are such a happy and beautiful family.  I thank you in advance for your thoughts, prayers, and love for us through this difficult time.  

Heather's sister Cherise keeps her blog updated on Heather and how she is doing.  You can go to her blog for further updates on her health.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poor Lyla

Well, Lyla finally got her casts off and into her brace on Friday. Not to be negative or anything but that was the worst day of her life. Since Lyla had been in casts for so long, her legs and feet became very sensitive to the touch. She would always pull her feet away and cry when you would mess with them. So the day she got her casts off, she went directly into the brace. Lyla HATED it. She was screaming the entire time we were putting her brace on. The brace is two leather-bound shoes that connect to a bar so they aren't the most comfortable things. They are also sort of a pain to put on and take off and you need to make sure the shoes are very snug so her feet don't move around too much in them and get blisters. The doctor instructed us to take them off every 2-3 hours and rub her feet so we can desensitize them Anyway, needless to say it was a very hard day for the both of us. Lyla was screaming and crying the entire day because her feet were hurting her and she just wasn't used to the brace yet. To make matters worse, she had to go to her 2 month pediatrician appointment and get all of her immunizations, so she had to get 3 shots in her legs (and by the way, she is 10.5 pounds and 25 inches long! Her length was in 99.7 percentile!). Plus, Nate was already in Chicago moving all of our stuff in, so he wasn't there to provide much emotional support (not that I blame him, I'm just a big baby without him). However, since Lyla had been so exhausted from crying, she didn't cry too much when she got her shots. She screamed during the process but quickly quieted down because she was so tired. It was so sad. Of course, I was on the verge of tears all day because I couldn't do anything to make her feel better except for give her some Tylenol and hold her. It was just a hard day.
I am happy to say that now Lyla is doing MUCH better. When she got out of her casts, her feet looked really mashed and had these deep creases in them and now all the creases are gone! She is doing a lot better with having her brace on. She is also doing better when we touch her feet and put her shoes on and take them off. I think the whole thing just takes some getting used to. Also, she is FINALLY able to take a bath! YEA!!! She hated her first bath since it was the day she got the brace on but now she LOVES getting a bath! That is my favorite part about having the casts off. Bath time is seriously the best. Also, Lyla is starting to smile!! I LOVE getting her to smile and she does it more and more every day. It is so fun! She is also starting to coo a lot more and we really can't get enough of it. Nate and I love her more as each day passes. Here are some recent pictures of Lyla down below...

This was Lyla after her getting her braces on and getting her immunization shots. Poor girl, this picture just tells it all.

This is Stephanie Holmes, Lyla's doctor. She did a fantastic job!

Lyla getting her cast sawed off.

Sherri, Dr. Holmes' assistant, taking the casts off. Lyla was staring at me the entire time.

Lyla doing tummy time with her braces on.

Lyla, right before she got her last set of casts off.

Her headband kept falling down to her eyes. I finally took a picture because it was so funny.

Cute pajamas.

Right after Lyla's blessing.

She just looked cute.

She loved laying on the dryer, it completely calmed her down!

Laying down with daddy!

Such a cute smiley face!

Cute little grin...

Smiling at Papa Rik.
I will give you a Chicago update once we get all settled and unpacked and I can take pictures of a presentable home :) Hope everyone is doing great!