How did I find out I have cancer?

Waaaayyyy back in February, I kept asking Jay to rub my back to get some of the knots out.  
(He totally wins the prize for most back and foot rubs given) 

One of the knots was not really a knot but a good size lump and after class the next day I stopped by the office to have the trainers and doctor check it out.  

It was a lipoma (a fatty tumor) usually benign and in many cases not even removed.  
But after some deliberation we decided to have it removed. 
It was benign and I started physical therapy to regain movement 
around the area of my shoulder blade.
We thought the lipoma had pushed up on a single rib causing pain in front where 
the rib meets the sternum.
I was told to wait 6 weeks before working out my upper body outside of physical therapy.
But being impatient went back to crossfit after 3ish weeks and while attempting to do a 
handstand push-up, I felt a pull. Later that day while doing a movement at physical therapy I complained that it hurt my chest and they noticed a large amount of inflammation.  They attributed the issue to that morning's crossfit fail.

I continued physical therapy for a few more weeks. The mobility in my back returned
and felt great, but the pain in my chest was not subsiding at all.

By April, Jay and I were frustrated and decided maybe it was time to see a doctor.  Jay quickly had an appointment for me and with and x-ray concluded there was a large amount of inflammation but no signs of anything concerning and was sent home with a 3 month prescription of mobic (a small pill equivalent to 3 doses of 800mg of ibuprofen) I disputed with the doctor the need for 3 months and he assured me inflammation of this kind can take up to 3 months to dissipate to which I responded not me, I won't use the initial first months supply. 

I continued physical therapy through May still seeing no sign of improvement in the chest.
My chest was raised noticeably and the inflammation would not subside. The therapists
gave me exercises, would do mobility to try to get the rib to move right and even
performed multiple rounds of dry needling (ouch!) 
finally determining I must have a torn pect muscle.

Frustrated I tried to limit the use of my upper body and rest to repair the torn muscle and after a few weeks was still using the mobic daily to allow me to function. Without it I would be in pain that would completely wear me out leaving me stuck on the couch hoping no one would touch me or bug me.
By mid June I was going a little crazy.  I couldn't do the things I wanted to do.
My chest was always sore even after resting it and keeping my morning workouts to
legs and cardio.  It was mid June that while working in the yard my knee pressed into
my armpit and it was incredibly sore.  I felt around with my hand and found a large
ping pong ball sized lump.  It was super tender. 

Jay was really worried now.  I made an appointment with my family doctor but had to wait 2 days, Jay wanted answers sooner and was able to have a doctor stop by the house.  He felt the lump and was mildly surprised by the size but assured my that it was a lymph node doing what they are supposed to do.  Lymph nodes are reactors and it is reacting to the trauma that has happened in my chest.  

But just for good measure, 
I kept my appointment with my family doctor 
to get a second opinion. 

My family doctor was surprised by the lump and wanted to know for sure if and to what extent the pect muscle was torn. An MRI was scheduled and it determined I indeed had an inch and a half tear in my pect muscle coming off of my sternum. The lump did seem to change in size but never went away. Typically lymph nodes that are cancerous are not tender nor do they change size. 

I asked if this could just be an infection and the doctor agreed a run of antibiotics would be smart. 
He also wanted to get a biopsy of the lymph node.

So he scheduled an appointment with a surgeon who explained all the minor things a lump in the armpit could be including that a lymph node can swell from a nick shaving.  Then he felt it and with a whoa that's big, wanted to see it on an ultra sound.... but since I was going out of town, there was no need to rush and change plans it has been around this long and there was no problem doing it when I returned. 

I had the ultrasound on the 29th of July.  
They saw 3 abnormally large lymph nodes. 
The radiologist assured me that large lymph nodes 
are common and instead of getting poked again 
suggested I wait 6 months and if they had not
 significantly decreased in size 
have surgery to biopsy then.

I scheduled the biopsy for August 2nd.

When the doctor spoke with Jay he gave him a few options of what it might be based on the look of what he took out.  The lymph node was large but also abnormal looking. So we waited for pathology
.....and waited.....
and waited.......
and waited.......

After a week with no results and the surgeon leaving town, I asked my family doctor to see what he could find.  He searched and searched then called late Tuesday evening. 

I was driving my grandma to her place in Sandy when the doctor called.  He wished it was face to face but reported the results to be Hodgkins Lymphoma.  He explained the cancer with it's high survival rates and common treatments.  He then opened up the following day to speak with both Jay and I in person whenever Jay was able to get away from football.

We met with him the next morning, Wednesday at 11:15, he answered all of our questions and started a plan of action that included choosing and getting into an oncologist asap.  He hoped before the weekend but no later than Monday.  Jay expressed his concern with his schedule, particularly this time of year and asked for that to be explained to the potential oncologist. We left still in a bit of shock but I was confident and optimistic.  Within minutes of leaving his office he called with an appointment set for 12:45 with one of the oncologists we had discussed.  

That is when it got real and got real, fast.  Dr. Johnson did a thorough medical history, a physical exam, took a bone marrow sample, blood work, scheduled a PET/CT scan for staging on Thursday, scheduled an EKG and pulmonary test, scheduled the consult on Friday, and port placement for Monday and finally, scheduled chemo to start Wednesday August 17th.

We are so grateful that after multiple times being told "you don't look sick enough for this to be something like cancer" and "it takes a long time for a torn muscle to heal" and "lets wait and see"  we have an answer and a plan.  I am a fighter and I am strong.  There are going to be some rough days ahead but both Jay and I know that we are so lucky to be where we are with a wonderful ward, neighborhood, friends, family and football family that will make the process much easier.  We have been watched over and so much over the past 2.5 years has been artfully designed by our loving Heavenly Father.  We are filled with peace and love.


SW Cuban black beans and rice

Y'all know how much I love a recipe that requires just a few ingredients, ones I can easily keep on hand. A recipe that is low in calories but high in nutrients. One you can throw together in a short time.

"They" say most families rotate through 16 recipes throughout the year.

This is one we eat regularly and would fit into one of those 16 recipes.

Above are most of the ingredients.  During the summer I try to chop up the onions and peppers from our garden so I always have some on hand but purchasing them already diced is one of my favorite conveniences and usually I buy them on sale for $1 a bag which is well worth it.  At some point I would love to bottle my own diced tomatoes but for now I just use canned.  

Jay loves to make Jambalaya if we have the ingredients including turkey keilbasa (or other similar sausage) So I keep one or two on hand.


1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped, (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 (15oz) can S&W® Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 pound smoked cooked ham, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, cook rice in water as directed on package. Set aside to keep warm. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost tender. Stir in all remaining ingredients except cooked rice. Cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring once or twice. Spoon hot rice on serving platter; top with black bean mixture.

Use leftover baked ham for this recipe. Or purchase a thick slice of deli baked ham.

Calories 230 (from Fat 50), Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 1.5g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 780mg, Total Carbohydrate 38g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugar 4g, Protein 12g, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 35%, Calcium 6%, Iron 15%

I am NOT a food photographer. This picture does NOT do the meal justice.  I absolutely love the flavors of the garlic and oregano in this recipe and I often substitute brown rice. For a more appetizing picture and printable recipe you can click here.  


Be Mine

I LOVE LOVE valentine's day.

I always have.

Not for the romance of it though

But for the love.  The day where you just love your whole class, your whole family, your whole world.

I love making valentines with my kid's faces.  And with their personalities.

But most valentines it is happening in the eleventh hour and we are all frantically taping, stapling, glueing to get them done.

And since we are in the eleventh hour, I have become good at making them simple and quick to make so they only take an hour to put together.

#1. Take a picture on my phone, upload to my computer.  I just use pages because that is where I have my favorite fonts from DaFont.com and other free font sites. But you could easily use pic monkey or picassa

#2. If you type your child's name on the valentine you just saved your kid 20 minutes of writing their name 30 times. (some may say well I want him/her to practice...Great! valentines are a wonderful way to have them practice IF YOU HAVE THE TIME. More often than not we don't have the time.)

#3. Then print.  I love printing through picassa because it gives you the option to print 4x6, 5x7, 3x5, wallet etc...  I can get the biggest bang for printer ink/paper.  In the case of Alayna's card this year, I just set up the page in 2 columns and printed.

#4. Set up an assembly line and cut them out if necessary. (Allie's was a full sheet of cardstock so her selected treat would fit her wrist just right. She only had 6 little valentines in her preschool class so printing a full sheet wasn't a bank breaker)

She was so sure that her little friends needed a candy bracelet.
So we found candy watches (gender neutral ;)
And wrote: What time is it?
What preschooler doesn't call it Valentime at some point?

Alayna didn't want her mug on her card BUT she did want a ring.
We found some squirting rings that were a big hit.  Her cute teacher let them go outside to squirt each other.  She was thrilled to have the hit valentine!

That boy...

The part of recruiting I didn't mention....

The last week of January recruiting this year, Allie and I were running around town in the truck. 

She started talking about getting married and how she is going to grow up and be married like me. 

She is such a girly girl who loves heels lipstick and wishes for a bust line

Anyway she was telling me about getting married and to whom, when she said,

"You know that boy who is big... That boy who is at dark time. MOM! that boy who sometimes sleeps and our house but is not sleeping at our house right now... In your bed..."

Me: you mean your dad? 
That boy? 
That. Is. your dad... 


Football Recruiting 101

**warning: Jay pride ahead**
read only if you too have Jay pride ;)

Signing day was yesterday.
Signing day is a big deal in the football world.
It is the "end" of recruiting for the year.
And when I say end,
I really mean the start of recruiting for the next year.
Thats the thing with recruiting,
It. Never. Ends.

BUT on the first Wednesday of February, for a moment, all the coaches hard work is on display.

I believe Jay is one of the best recruiter out.
(I mean how else could he convince a
 wildly self directed wandering 18 year old girl 
he picked up hitch hiking 
and her parents 
that she should be his eternal teammate)

Jay can tell you the height and weight of any recruit and be within 1/4 of an inch or within 5 lbs.  I have always claimed to be 5'9" and he was adamant that I am not 5'9" so he measured me to prove himself right and of course he was.  I am 5'8 and 3/4" (so basically 5'9") I told him not to guess my weight LOL.

He has a "type" for each position on the field and his accuracy has been proven to me over and over.  He looks at everything from body type(some positions it really makes a difference if they have skinny calf and ankles), size, ability to grow (he is usually right when he sees a kid that looks like he will still grow or has done all his growing and if a frame can put the needed weight on or off), talent (raw or polished), athleticism and personality.  He is a good unbiased judge of character. 

And then he walks into the recruit's home with the information the kid need.  He has done his homework and has a plan for them educationally.  Knowing the exact gpa and test scores they need. Many times getting the kid graduated a semester early and getting them to the university and working out with the team before graduation. Which blows the parents away who tell hime not one other recruiter has given them that information. 

He makes sure to have a great relationship with the coach knowing which coaches exaggerate and by how much.  If a coach says I have a kid that is 6'2" and run a 4.4 Jay knows the kid is probably 5'10 and a 1/2 and runs a 4.7 because of the relationship and the consistency in his recruiting.

He now is prepping his coaches to be just as effective having specific recruiting teaching meetings where he shows them how to watch the film of a recruit.  More than the highlights, do they get up quickly after a play, do they run off the field or walk.  Film shows more than just the big plays and big hits.  Just the other day He told a coach, measure the kid shoes off, mark the wall, in front of the coach so he knows the right way to tell us size. 

The coaches go to the recruits until weekends in December and January, that is usually when the recruits come on an "official" visit and come to the school. This is a 48 hour period when the school can pay for the kid to fly or drive to the school, pay for their hotel, meals and entertainment while visiting.  The kids get to see the facilities and the campus.  Check out their school of interest, be it business, engineering, education, medical or whatever their fancy.  They get to see the dorms and where they can eat if they are awarded a meal card.  They also meet current players who's job is to host them and answer questions they might have.

Here at Weber State some of the entertainment or activities are tubing and surfing.  This obviously is to provide fun and entertainment.

But it also gives Jay an opportunity to see the recruits toughness, ability to overcome fears (surprising how many kids are afraid of water, snow, cold, new unfamiliar things)

And it is very entertaining for the spectators :)

Here is a room full of recruits, their parents, players, coaches and a few wives.

 This was just before one of the recruits stood up, hushed the room and announced his commitment to Weber State.  There is such electricity and excitement that surrounds a kid who valiantly pledges to a school.  It's not often it is announced like this but I have heard it many times as I am near Jays phone when a recruit calls to commit.  I love it!

Jay is often stopped to meet or visit with fans.  

I imagine that at sometimes my "Jay Pride" gets annoying but he is just so good at what he does.  I absolutely love watching him.  He has always requested I come to the dinners with the recruits to talk to the parents.  Many times all I was able to get in was a "hello how are you" and was super shy to talk to them.  Felt like I was just there adding to the restaurants total bill.  Until I stepped out of my shell and had a fantastic conversation with the parents.  Their son committed the next day and I dubbed myself the closer.  And with that mindset I have closed many deals....(LOL) Not really BUT the symphony of coaches, their wives, the players who host, the athletic department and support staff who all give endless time, energy and love to be in those saturday fights to win 12 games. 



So there's this girl. She's pretty amazing. Actually not just pretty amazing, she amazes me everyday. She came home from the hospital the day after she was born and slept through the night. In kindergarten she asked for an alarm clock so she could get up earlier than me and do her "routine". Her current routine gets her up at 6am and she practices the piano, makes her breakfast, and a healthy lunch. She is so thoughtful, careful and tries so hard. She just turned 15 and is so excited to get her learners permit.  She has downloaded the drivers handbook and has been diligently studying.  And when it comes to studying I never have to get on her.  She is always doing extra credit and checking her grades to make sure she has all A's.  She is such a natural leader like her dad.  She is so beautiful inside and out.  She is very kind and thoughtful. She doesn't give me the typical teenage drama (although she does roll her eyes and gets a teeny tiny bit moody on occasion) I can always depend on her to happily help me out.  I don't know know what I would do without her.  Her spirit is such a blessing in our house.

Here are a few examples of life with Smash

Luckily I had just checked her account as well so I knew Alayna had -.30 in her account and had sent her with money that morning.
I often wonder if she should have been the mom. And sometimes I have to remind her that I AM the mom..

She regularly calls me when I am at the grocery store to remind me of things we need.

I love that she writes to do notes to herself.
I especially love the (Don't worry youll do great)

I am a lucky mom!  Blessed to have her as an example.
 Smash you ARE GREAT!


A beautiful mind

After the kids left for school one morning, I walked into Jacobs room to put something away and was greeted with this......

It threw me to some movie where the character (who is a little crazy?) had stuff taped all over the walls.  I can't think of which movie it is? Maybe transformers? Butterfly Effect? or a Beautiful Mind?

There is a part of me that freaked out a little... Tape and papers everywhere... 
but I had to deliberately let that go 
and let the 

A few days later I walked in and he was studying his work.  Rereading the math paper covered in tape.

My cute little rain man....


Reflections "The world would be a better place if...."

REFLECTIONS - A program run by the PTA created to torture parents by encouraging students to do LOTS of extra work for no grade...

At least this is the exact definition I was given when I asked other parents about reflections as Ashtyn entered elementary.

And at first that might be what some think it is.  But as with everything in life after you experience it a few times and you figure it out.....

But now without a million struggles over the years though!
Man of man have we struggled....

One of the first years we had streams of tears because "I" had missed the deadline.

Another year I sent a framed photograph (no frames allowed) with no "proper" documents and signatures and had to deal with more dejected tears.

Finally (after a few years) I figured the process out and in the eleventh hour  (seriously 11pm or later) was begging a neighbor to help us figure out a way record and download the project in the proper way.  And at this point I was in agreeance with the other parents, torture, extra work, stress, etc...

BUT my determined kids continue to find those reflection applications every. single. year....

and every year they create great projects.

This year Alayna came home with an application for ALL 7 project categories and told me she was going to enter all 7 this year (Photography, visual arts, 3D arts, film, music composition, dance, and literature) And just in case you parents want to know, yes they can turn in all 7 projects.

my response to Alayna was

I let her know I could help her with 3 and if she wanted to do any others, she had to do them on her own.  

So Alayna whose name is synonymous with determination worked tirelessly on multiple projects.  And in the end turned in 3 (Visual art, 3D art and literature) projects.  

It has been so fun to see how pleased and satisfied this has made her.  She just beams as her literature has won an award of excellence at her school, district, region and is headed to state.

\/ \/ BEAMING \/ \/

And just for mom, here is her story.

The Princess and the Colorful Scaled Dragon

Once there was a small kingdom and in that kingdom there was a King and a Queen who had an adorable little princess who became very kind and polite. When Penelope or penny for short was six she went to wander the kingdom. Penny saw much chaos because the people who lived in the kingdom were arguing about silly little things such as who had the best hairdo or the prettiest eyes or who was just the best at everything. As soon as she passed everyone bowed down to her but she believed no one was better than anyone and they were equally good and they each had good talents

Penny was fairly short with a huge amount of freckles everywhere on here body and caramel blonde hair with honey yellow highlights.She had amazing brown eyes and perfectly shaped eyebrows.Her lips were an amazing raspberry red. She wore beautifully simple dresses.

Penny had heard about an ugly dragon up on the hill to the east side of the kingdom. Penny was taught that no one was ugly or bad, and especially no one should be judged by their appearance. Penny believed this with all her heart. She knew that no one should spend their days in a cave all alone. She knew what she was going to do, she was going to go visit the lonely dragon.

      When she walked to the east side where no one wanted to live except the dragon who had no where else to go, Penny climbed the steep hill to the cave and knocked 1…2….3  times. No one answered but Penny was determined to walk back with a new friend, so she knocked 1…2…3… more times and suddenly she saw the eye of the dragon peering threw the peep hole. “Hello.” she said very sweetly and the door slowly creaked open “Why are you up here?” the ginormous and green creature asked. Penny made a plan quickly in her mind and then replied “Do you know where to find the ugly dragon?” The dragon was ashamed because he knew he was the ugly dragon she was looking for.

“I’m the the ugly dragon” he said “Well you are certainly not an ugly dragon, do you want to be ugly?” “ Well of course not!” the dragon exclaimed “Everyone says I'm ugly” he explained to Penny. “You are the most amazing dragon I've seen” and with that nice compliment Penny saw one of the dragon’s scales turn bright orange.

“May I ask what’s your name” Penny asked politely. “My name is Theodore but you can call me Teddy, everyone made fun of my long name at school.” Penny replies “I think long name’s are lovely in fact, my name is long, my name is Penelope but I go by Penny.” Penny said this as if she understood everything the dragon had felt. “Really? No way!” Teddy was so excited. “I love your name!” Penny watched as one more scale turned a bright yellow.

As they sat in the dragon’s cave that was very dark and gloomy Penny was bursting with love for the dragon and went on to say nice things to Teddy and with each nice complement  a scale went from dark green to a bright new color.Very slowly as Penny continued to visit the dragon Teddy’s whole body was covered in beautiful colors and soon Teddy started to feel happy again.The years passed and Penny and Teddy remained closer than close. 
When Penny was eight she taught Teddy to read but one day the dragon refused to read the book that Penny brought for Teddy because the cover was boring and the book had no  pictures Penny very calmly said “Why do you judge this book by the cover?” “There are no pictures and its a boring book!” exclaimed the dragon. “Have you ever read it?” Penny asked politely. “No”  “So how do you know for certain it’s not good?”
Penny explained to Teddy about judging people or books by how they appear is not right like how the people in town judged Teddy.Teddy understood and wanted to read the book and in two days the dragon finished his new favorite book.

As Teddy sat in his bright new remodeled cave that Penny helped with, he realized how Penny never judged anyone until she truly knew them. When Penny was finally ten she realized that Teddy had never been to the castle and invited him. The King and Queen were just as polite and elegant as Penny and were very excited to meet Penny’s friend.

When Penny and Teddy were walking through the village they met very judgmental people and taught them how they were all equally great no matter who they are or where they are from.

When they arrived they had dinner. The colorful dragon learned about how important the things Penny had taught him and the village and from that day on the kingdom never judged anything or anyone by there appearance and Penny and the dragon remained close friends forever.
The End.


One Lullaby And A Bunch Of New Names

I am NOT one for long night time routines.  

I never have been.

When it's time for bed I am usually out of patience and wanting to go to bed myself.

I have been known to bribe kids with quarters to get jammies on, brush teeth 
and get in (and STAY IN!)  bed.

I don't know if it is Grinch like symptoms that have made my heart grow or if I just ran out of quarters but I have a new bribe for the babies of the family 

Baby Jacob age 7 and Baby Allie age 3

Although I'm pretty sure the girls wouldn't mind if I bribed them too.

So here it is...
IF their rooms are clean (NO legos on the floor for me to step on or toys to have to climb over)
IF they have flushed, brushed and washed...
IF they have behaved reverently through family prayers
without relentless encouragement on my part


Julie Andrews and I will sing them a lullaby.

Julie joins me via youtube on my iphone for 2 reasons

1. Even after 50 times singing it I still forget words
2.  Their memories will be of a beautiful voice and I just might get the credit ;)

I know, it's a diabolical plan including bribes and fraud seeing how I don't have the voice of an angel but it achieves the goal of them happily going to bed.

And in doing so I might just trick them into thinking I am as sweet and patient as Mary Poppins or even Truly Scrumptious....

Which brings me to the other song I love to sing and have sung back to me.

All my kids know it and Jay especially loves when we sing it in the car on long road trips (insert groans and eyerolls)

But man oh man I love the thought of this song.

"Toot sweets sound like what they are
So do lollies in a lollipop jar. Gingerbread men have a ginger bread sound we found.
Sugar Plums, Cinnamon and Lemon Tart tell you what they are right from the start
and your name does the same for you."

Truly Scrumptious is exactly what her name says
and I have often wondered if I could name my children exactly what they are what their names would be.

Maybe Ashtyn would have a first name along the lines of Angelic or Radiant.  Anyone who knows her would not deny this.  She is an angel who radiates integrity.  And for her last name something she is always striving for, Perfection or Excellence. I appreciate every effort she makes in seeking for Excellence. The world would be a better place if more people tried as diligently as Ashtyn.
Radiant Perfection 

Maybe Alayna would have a first name of Wonder or Inquisitive because she is always seeking for knowledge. Which makes her very, very smart.  She would need a middle name of Perpelxity and her last name would be Compassionate or Deliberate.  She has such a tender heart, especially for those she sees in need and not just the outside needs.  She has an amazing intuition of the needs that most people don't see.  She is always very deliberate about filling those needs and is compassionate towards them.
Curious Enigma Kindhearted

Jacob I feel like he would be Christmas because generally that is the way he makes people feel.  Happy like everything in the world is just right. The way you feel on Christmas morning. And for his last name Maker. Maker of Legos, messes, destruction Maker of happiness and love. He is a special boy who can make people feel like they are royalty.  
Christmas Maker

Allie, the newest little spirit to our family is a little trickier and maybe in a few years I will change what her name would be but for starters I will go with Cheerful or Jubilant.  She is almost always happy. And if she isn't.... Wait a minute and she will be happy again.  Not much gets this girl down.  She loves to laugh and be silly.  I will wait to give her a last name she has so much more growing into her personality that will be the dictator.

None of the names roll off the tongue quite like Truly Scrumptious so I will just keep them Ashtyn, Alayna, Jacob and Allie but at least you know "what they are" 


Babysitting and cars

My dad has lost his hearing completely in one ear and his other has diminished. He has tried hearing aids that didn't help and most recently had a Baha implant. Where a stud is placed in his skull, then a device is attached that allows him to hear so much better. 

Unfortunately the stud fell out. 

Just thinking about it makes me sick. 

He loved it so much that he decided to repeat the surgery this past weekend. 

He had to be to lds hospital 45 minutes away at 5:30am. I brought Allie with me while Jay got the other kids off to school. She kept Dad entertained while waiting to go into surgery and waiting to be discharged. 

He tried to walk out on his own but the nurses caught him and told him he had to ride. 

Here he is on the other end of the wheelchair. I took the picture for mom to see how the tables had turned. 

On the way home dad was craving I HOP 

The server was so nice and put Allies whip cream on her pancake "just like Daddy's owie". We had to correct her it was grandpa. 

Fingers crossed when I'm 64 someone will think I could have a 3 year old 

We got him home and medicated and he slept. Jay and I had to go to a recruiting dinner. I made them dinner and left Ashtyn to babysit. As we were leaving the restaurant heading home we got a panicked phone call from Ashtyn. 

"Mom, we are in the lowes parking lot, grandpa wanted a doo rag. He said he wasn't feeling good and for us to stay in the truck and then he threw up 2 times just outside the truck and now he's inside and we are worried! He didn't look too good!" 

We happened to be right by lowes so we pulled in and Jay found dad in the bathroom doing fine. 

I am still giggling about the jock strap looking contraption he let the kids decorate with butterfly stickers and is wandering lowes (and apparently the auto parts store) 

Too bad they didn't have a welders doo rag bandana. But a good thing he didn't get pulled over and given a DUI from the meds he was taking. There's a reason they say don't make any decisions and stay in the care of an adult for 24 hours. 

*note to self don't let Ashtyn babysit grandpa. 

When we got home he looked at old cars for sale on the internet with the kids. He even showed them the car he bought for me and IF I got straight A's, we would restore it.
 Well... To my regret I didn't get straight A's.

I didn't take the straight A's seriously. I thought he had already bought the car and he wasn't going to really sell it?

I was taught 2 great lessons though. 1.Then as a kid that good things come from good grades whether it is a car, knowledge, satisfaction or a scholarship. 
2.And now as an adult, if you make a deal with or discipline your kid, the follow through is the most important. I try to make sure if I say it, I can follow through. Sometimes it's hard and I'm sure it was hard for dad to follow through but I am grateful he did. 

I do still kick myself to have never been able to ever drive this cute little Nash metropolitan {{sigh}}

So after all the meds wore off 😉 the next day we let Jacob go look at cars with grandpa. He loves cars just as much as grandpa and I am excited to see how their relationship blossoms in the garage. 


New Year, New Goals

Life is great! We love it here in Ogden.  We are coming up on our living here 1 year anniversary {WHAT?!?} I know, it went by so fast!!

And I am so excited for this new year.

We are all plugging along.

In the trenches of raising and being a family.

Life, really is. good.

I have so many goals and plans for this new year it makes me so excited!

One that is so exciting it SCARES me,

Going back to school.

It is one I have tried to do multiple times and have struggled to get er done.

This time I am a little more focused and have a plan.

I am starting with a 3 credit online class and then plan to get on campus in the fall.

So super exciting but so super TERRIFYING at the same time.

Looking at my book that was only $130 and my first online module, panic attacks are in full force

 BUT you know what pinterest says.....

But seriously....

This is going to be a good year.


"Just so stylish...."

There was this one time when I had just one very obedient, compliant child who I could dress up in all sorts or fun and trendy fashions. That time seems so long ago.
 Last week before church I had to pick a few battles. I wanted matching tan mary janes and she wanted yellow plastic Belle dress up heels. We ended up with white tights and white sandals....sigh

Then there was this guy. I wanted to comb his hair and he thought he could do a better job.

Yes, he went to church just like that prideful grin and all.  
When Jay sat and looked down the bench he couldn't believe I didn't fix it.

And then there's this adorable monkey.  I've surrendered to any battle with this one.  I just know she will be in a tshirt / hoodie and chuck taylors. Even on the day they had to dress up to take a field trip to the symphony she wore a beautiful lace dress with her chuck taylors.

  But the reason for this picture was to document a comment she made as we were walking into Target.  

"Mom, I just love this shirt! Not only is it so soft and comfortable but it is so stylish!!" 

And although you won't be seeing any of these styles on pinterest or in a gap catalog, their smiles will grace every page of my heart!