Sunday, December 30, 2012


I have a LOT of updating to do. I can now blog from my phone so there will be an overload of posts over the next few weeks.

My Dad

I was really surprised at the number of hits my blog received starting around Thanksgiving. It occurred to me that many of your were looking for updates on my Dad. The weekend before Thanksgiving my Dad started having some discomfort in his chest. He has had some heart troubles that had been monitored. This made him hesitant to go to the doctor because they always gave him the same thing: "yes there is a problem but it is not bad enough to do anything yet." By Tuesday evening Dad was really having a hard time. My mom and brother Austin who is now a PA talked my dad into going into the ER. We figure that he would go and be monitored for a little bit and then they would refer him to a cardiologist after Thanksgiving. Well much to Dad's dismay they decided to keep him overnight. The next morning we went to visit him and find out what was going on. When we got there the doctor was just finishing up talking to my parents. We found out that Dad's heart was actually in real trouble and he would need to stay in the hospital until he was stable enough to have open-heart surgery. I did not understand a lot but over the next few days I was able to pick up enough from the doctor, my mom, and Austin. Dad had a valve in his heart that didn't form properly. It was now about the size of a pencil. It should be about the size of a silver dollar. It had also been leaking for probably all of his life. Because of this his aorta had taken a beating and needed to be repaired. They kept using words like "sudden death" "time bomb" and "mortality rate." It was so scary. But we had a lot if family around, Dad had a couple of amazing priesthood blessings, and he was in amazing care. They scheduled a surgery to replace the valve and repair his aorta for the Monday after Thanksgiving. They actually moved all their other surgeries back to make room for Dad. We celebrated Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's house with Aunt Susan and then all us kids, spouses, and grand kids took the party to Dad's hospital room. On Monday they had a man come in on the life flight that was in more trouble than Dad and they had to move his surgery to Tuesday. Austin and Sydnee had to go back to Washington and Paden had to return to school. Dave and I along with Jenna and Adam we able to sit with Mom during surgery. They were expected to take about 8 hours and then we would be able to see him a couple hours after that. They called us about every two hours to give us an update.. They finally finished and the surgeon came to talk with us. They did everything they set to do. Dad's heart was about twice the size that it should have been. They couldn't believe that he had not suffered a stroke before that point. The doctor said that there was a possibility that he had a stroke during surgery. We wouldn't know until he woke up. Dad was taken to the ICU after surgery and we were allowed to see him that evening. It was so hard to see him in there. But we were grateful that he was still there with us. He did not have a stroke. He stayed in the ICU until Thursday the following week and then was able return home Friday night. He will still have a while to recover. He is off work for a few more weeks/months. But our family has been truly blessed and we would liked to thank all of you who helped us during this time. We will forever be grateful! This picture was taken two days before Dad went into the hospital. Tucker and my nephew Heath were trying on Grandpa's cowboy gear.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Family Pictures

We had Oakley Jones from Oakley Jones Photography take our family pictures. She did an awesome job. She made fast friends with the kids, and actually got them to smile even though they were pretty tired and grumpy.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I took the kids for their checkups this month. It was Tucker's fifteen month and Hanna's three year. They are both healthy and growing. Tucker is a huge 18lbs 9oz and 29 inches long. He is in the 3rd percentile for weight and the 5th percentile for height. Hanna surprised me when she weighed in at 26lbs. She is 34 inches tall. This puts her in the 6th percentile for weight and the 10th percentile for height. I know most of you don't really care about the numbers, but this blog is also for journal purposes. So, to thank you for reading here are some picture of them lately (they are from my phone so they may not be great):

Playing at the zoo:

Hanna turns 3:

Playing on the swing set:


 (so tired from swimming)


Learning to walk:

Yes that is a black eye. I was not prepared to have a walking boy- but ready or not here he comes. I just wish he wasn't so brave!

We love these kids like crazy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hanna's 3rd Birthday

On July 7, 2009 at 11:53 pm our lives changed forever, when we became first time parents. Our LITTLE miracle Hanna was born at a whopping 3lbs 13oz and 17 inches long. We had no idea how to be parents. We also had no idea we could love such a tiny person so much. Last month we got to celebrate that great day. It was a Strawberry Shortcake birthday, and it turned out really fun.

On the menu was white cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries filling, and whipped cream frosting, ice-cream, mini strawberry cheesecakes, and strawberry shortcake cookies.

Hanna looked really cute in her strawberry shortcake tutu. 

Singing "Happy Birthday"

Dave, Hanna, Papa, and Riley.

She got all her candles out in one blow. She practiced for several weeks.

Everyone was very generous with their gifts- Thank You

Grandpa, Grammie, Grandma, Hanna, and Dave

Grandma, Kaylee, Amanda, Paden, and Tucker eating their cake. 

Grammie and Dave watching Hanna open her presents.

Dave helping Hanna to ride her new bike while Steve and Riley watch.

The bike was our big present for Hanna and she hates it. She is scared of it. I just hope that  it still works for her next summer, and she is more open to it.

Dave, Hanna, and Michelle

The kids all got to break open a pinata. Making it took me back to elementary school.

Hanna giving it her best shot

Riley getting ready to swing

I was told I made the strawberry to hard to break apart.

Finally with the combined efforts of Dave and Hanna swinging and Amanda shaking the candy was released.

They both love Uncle Paden

All-in-all I think the party was a success. One funny thing (now) is that Hanna knew it was her birthday and that she should be treated like a princess. She made sure we knew we were supposed to treat her like a princess as well. If anything upset her she would tell us "but, it's my birthday," in a very sad, teary voice. Luckily, it did not carry to the following days.

We are very grateful for our little girl. She gets more beautiful every day. She is very smart, and amazes us every day with the things she knows. Her favorite colors are purple and pink, depending on her mood I guess. Her favorite food is nothing, although she would drink chocolate milk until she is sick. She love to play on her swing set, most especially on the slide. She has recently learned to ride the saddle buddy on the horse, which she loves. Hanna starts preschool in just a few weeks, and she can't wait. She asks me every day if she can go to school. I miss baby Hanna, but I very much love watching her grow, and discover her world. We love you Hanna! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yellowstone Continued

When I posted about Yellowstone before part of my post got cut off. So here it is:

Ice-cream break at Mammoth Hot Springs

Buffalo at the whistling mountain. 

We went fishing a few time while we were there at Yellowstone Lake. It was my first time and it was thrilling!

Hanna loved the hot pools. This one was so hot that the steam was coming off and even it was hot.

The highlight of the trip for me was catching my first ever fish. it was so thrilling that all I could do was laugh so hard that we thought I would loose him for sure. You can't us barbed hooks there. Dave kept telling me to keep my pole up in the air, but I just couldn't. I was laughing to hard. I finally reeled it onto the shore and as luck would have it I caught a Yellowstone Cut-throat Trout. You are not allowed to keep them so I had to release it back into the lake. Even that was cool though. I owe a huge thanks to Dave and Amy for being patient and waiting for me to get my fish, and to Dave for making sure I got a picture with my first fish.

It was a great trip and we are headed back very soon.