Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Forward

I LOVE Spring! Mostly because I love that winter is over and summer is coming. I also like the time change- it means that we get to enjoy more sunlight each day- YEAH! However, it means that I can't "trick" my kids into going to bed at 6:00 p.m.....

Spring time in Idaho only lasts about 5 minutes, we usually have snow on the ground until May and then Summer is here. But, Avery was so excited to come home from church last Sunday and be able to go outside on the deck without shoes on.

We jump on the trampoline every day, I love the location of it- right off the deck so we don't even have to climb up to it. I still have some mad trampoline skills and do back flips and ariels all the time. I love to challenge the kids friends to trampoline contests. Wyatt shovels it during the winter. This year the snow was higher than the trampoline from November-March. Last Sunday it was level with the trampoline but a few days later it was a foot lower! Here's some of my favorite pics of Avery celebrating a few moments of Spring!

Seriously So Blessed

How do you express thanks, when so much has been done for you? I think the only way to really show your appreciation is to "Pay it Forward"- so, I guess I owe BIG TIME! 

Surgery is over, and I am back to "normal" life.... whatever that means. I have gone back to setting my alarm clock for 4:55 a.m., but this is the first morning that I have actually been able to get out of bed and get to the gym (of course, the gym's always easier on FUN FRIDAY). My rib is actually still sore, but I am thinking that will heal soon. The results of the biopsy came back last week- it was a benign tumor, so- I'm cancer free! Which is exactly what I thought, but it was so nice to have it confirmed. 

The support, love, and friendship that I was shown over the last two weeks has been absolutely incredible. I so much appreciated every comment, phone call, card, and meal that was given to myself and my family. I actually felt guilty about how much time others were willing to give to us. It reconfirms my commitment to serving others and makes me strive to be a better person. Here's some of what I was given last week: 
My sister flew in from NYC to take care of me and my kids while I was down. This is pretty awesome considering that when she had open heart surgery, I wouldn't even visit her in the hospital and when she came home, I yelled and screamed at her for wearing my jeans! She took the kids bowling, to the movies, to the arcade, and had a sleep-over with them. She also picked up my favorite frozen yogurt! 

Cathy Birch brought me a book that I have been waiting patiently to get my hands on. Granted, it was a book from the library, but it's the thought that counts! Cathy regularly called and checked on me and continues to ask how I'm doing. Cathy seems to have an energy that draws people to her, I want to me like her when I grow up! I am lucky for her friendship. 

My dear friend Darby drove to Rigby, Idaho to get me my FAVORITE TREAT EVER! I carmel apple from Heidi's Fudge. YUMMMMMMY

April Dummar brought the most amazing meal ever! Chicken Strips, tortilla shells, corn, lettuce, salsa, chips, and dessert! She certainly sets the bar high for bringing meals to people! I've got to step up my game. April has also helped me with using essential oils and supplements that I am in need of. 

When Nancy Hopkin called to ask what she could do I told her I was fine, but that she was welcome to come over and visit. When she got here, she wanted to do something and totally cleaned out my fridge! Can you believe that? Next time I have a friend who needs something- I'm cleaning out their fridge! 

My Best Friends Angela and Darby were willing to do anything for me while I was out. In addition to helping with the kids, returning business calls for me, and listening to my fears- they also brought me a great meal! Homemade rolls & jam, rice, and meatballs. Darby and Angela are also teaching me how to cook- they are both A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

Our neighbors (and horse friends), Tom and Dottie Toone brought some delicious Sweet and Sour Pork.  It was perfect. 

Tara Derricott brought dinner over on Sunday. I was feeling much better by this point, but she insisted on  helping for one more night. She is the Relief Society President of my ward and I don't know how she does everything she does (AND she always has a smile on her face). What an example she is of being a true follower of Christ.

Kellie Esplin also brought a meal in the night before surgery. I wasn't around, and didn't get a picture of the incredible chicken enchiladas that my family ate before I could even see them! Kellie has 5 kids under 10 and is pregnant- how is it possible that she is always doing things for other people? Last week I went over to her house to pick up Mitchell (Mit and her son Spencer are BEST FRIENDS) and she had 15 kids over to play!!!!! I want to be like her too.

Not only do I have the best friends, I also have the BEST parents. I've had friends ask several times if they can be adopted in my family. The answer is NO, I already have to share them with Karyn and Kyle- and there's not too much of an inheritance to go around. They both took time off work to do whatever I asked them to! My mom came with me when I went in for surgery and was asked all the right questions. And of course, when the news that the tumor was benign came back my dad was happiest of all (because now he doesn't have to cash in his 401k to support me). 
I never thought that I would LOVE living in Burton Idaho. It really is the most incredible place on earth. To be surrounded by such great friends and families is a blessing. I do believe that it takes a Village to Raise a Family and I am honored to be able to have this village surrounding me. 

btw: Kirk was also pretty dang incredible over the past two weeks :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Camper I am NOT

Kami (Larsen) Webster, me, and Heidi (Erikson) Arave

I live in Idaho- I see no reason to have to camp. Growing up here I only went camping once a year- that was during Young Womens Girls Camp. It was always a great experience, but I never really LOVED camping. As an adult I would rather sleep in my own bed than on the ground, I would rather order take-out than cook over a campfire, and I would rather take a warm bath than be cold and dirty.

Eleven years ago while living in Utah I was asked to be the ward camp director- that was in February 2000. I was willing to serve, but was not looking forward to camping. As soon as the bishop left the house I told Kirk that we had to get pregnant (it was the only way to avoid camping). My plan worked, and Avery was born 3 weeks early in October 2000. I still organized all the camp events, made the banners, wrote the skit, did the all the pre-certifications with the Young Womens, and planned the food.... I just didn't have to camp!

So, you can imagine my surprise when this year I was called again to serve as the Young Women's Camp Director- I am not prepared for another baby, so I willingly accepted the calling. I am actually very excited about this calling and am looking forward to serving with the Young Women in our ward (Burton 2nd ward has the most AMAZING girls and INCREDIBLE leaders). Of course, before I said yes to the calling I asked two questions:
1. Where do we sleep? GOOD NEWS- this year our stake has cabins!!!!!
2. What is our budget? When they told me the budget, I told them it was a good place to start.

If anybody has some great Young Women's camp ideas (blogs, websites, etc...) please send them along. I really don't know where to start and I eagerly looking for help!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The lump has been removed

Twenty-four hours ago I had a lump in my breast. Now I do not! I wonder if I lost weight? It was bigger than the doctor anticipated that it would be..... almost the size of a golf ball.

The worse part of the entire day was when the nurse tried to locate a vein for the IV. I have terrible veins and with my already heightened nerves I was a basket case. She tried two times and both veins collapsed. Another doctor came in and tried twice and then found one that worked. After that I was asleep. My last thoughts as I was being wheeled back into the surgery room was realizing the husband of a friend of mine was the anesthesiologist and I was a bit embarrassed that I was going to be all exposed to him.

After being woken up (what seemed like 10 seconds later) all I did was ask questions. Here's the list of the questions I asked at least 10 times each:
*Am I naked? Because I feel naked.
*What time is it? I was pretty good at asking this every 5 minutes on the dot.
*Who is picking up Mitchell from pre-school?
*Did Avery get a sack lunch brought to her? She has a field trip today.
*Did somebody get a present for the B-day party Avery is going to after school?
*Who's in the room with me?
*Is the surgery really over?
*Do I need to get dressed?
*Can I take this IV out of my arm, or can somebody else do it for me?
*Did anybody call for me?
*Do I have any emails?
*Can I eat something now?
*I really can't shower for two days?
*Can I see the lump that was removed?
Kirk thought it was funny that I could get through my list of questions in about 2 minutes and then I would start over again. So he recorded it.... maybe someday I'll post it on youtube- it was pretty funny.

I was home by mid afternoon and spent the rest of the day in bed. I should have been sleeping but a friend  had brought me a great book I had been waiting to read (Room by Emma Donaghue). So I stayed awake and finished. I am still on lortab so the pain is manageable. My sister came home from NYC to take care of me- she's been amazing. She took the kids to The Craze, Sammy's, the movies, and then to my parents for a sleep-over. My mom has also been here and spent the night. I have been extremely blessed with great friends and neighbors, I'll post more about all that later.

For Valentine's Day I had bought Kirk a ticket to the Jazz Game- my friend Angela Rydalch bought one for her husband Russell so they were able to spend their Valentine's surprise together. I take full responsibility for scheduling things on the same day- BUT last time I had surgery (tonsillectomy March 24, 2005)- I got pregnant. I wasn't taking any chances this time! So, Kirk left late afternoon and went to SLC for the game.

The most fascinating thing to me was the way that the tumor looked when I was able to see it. Somehow I imagined that it was be a small, round, gray looking thing- like a marble. Instead it looked like a piece of orange chicken! I took a picture of it- maybe I'll post it later.

The results of the biopsy will be in on Monday. I'm confident that it will be fine!