I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. I've contemplated on many occasions rather I should quit this blog or not. Each time I am inspired that I should not. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever! This I know. Our family continues to live and to love and this is our story...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Run Run Fast as you Can

It feels like everyone is always running! Just when you think life might slow down just a bit, it takes right off again. Getting 3 of my kids back in school has been crazy. My oldest son had some kind of sinus surgery today, So Kristen and I were able to help out with his 2 kids. Our garden is producing a bit too well and I am being taunted by cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini, and I am on the lookout for some peaches and pears that I can also put up in jars. My 3 daughters are running another 5K in the morning in the town where Kim goes to school so Kristen and I plan to leave at 4:30 in the morning so we can cheer them on. Our home office where we run our construction company is a total disaster and of course I filed an extension on our taxes and we are getting close to the final date. I signed up for a medical terminology class, I have completed all the assignments and now I have to study for a mid term and then the final and that has to be done by Oct 22nd. The list goes on and on. We are getting close to the 1 year anniversary of Kristen's diagnosis of Leukemia and I feel like I could sit and cry for a minute or something but I haven't time for that either. After the events of the past year I told myself that I would not get caught up in the craziness of life. Since I had not much control over what took place in the last year, I told myself that I was going to take control and do things that matter. I am often reminded as to the fact that chunks of our lives are lost due to lack of attention to the things that matter. So tomorrow I have decided to open all the windows wide so the warm breeze can whisk through the screens and then I think I will lay on the grass and watch the clouds pass by...Oh wait I already forgot, I am waking at 4am to take a 2 hour car ride to watch a 30 minute race then take the 2 hour ride back home in hopes of making it to my nieces bridal shower at noon, which by the way I haven't picked up a gift yet or made arrangements for someone to come stay with Kristen...that's it... I'm going to bed!
Kristen tending her neice

Kamie and Hailey on their way to school... first day this semester of college
Ryan also started school this week. Yeah he's a sophomore and loving high school

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kris and her beads...

I don't think I have ever mentioned that Kristen has this thing for beads. Seriously, don't leave your necklace lying around or soon she claims it as her own. She has even been known to take the laces out of my husbands boots. She usually doesn't wear the beads she plays with them and dangles them. Here she is wearing them because she is making her transition from family room up to her room or should I say my room. Even when Kristen was very small she loved to dangle things. She started with jump ropes and soon added shoe laces and then beads to her collection. Soon her grandpa started making her chains with large wooden beads attached, Sometimes he would let her paint the large wood beads, (if you look closely you will see a couple of these chains around her neck). It wasn't long until she had so many beads we really didn't know what to do. Her brother made her a special box and painted it yellow for her to store her beads in. It is now full and even overflowing. Kristen soon started organizing this trunk full of beads and jump ropes. It would sometimes take her a day or two to take each one out of the box one by one and lay it on the floor. She would organize them by color or style of rope. Once she had them all spread out then she would begin putting them back into the box. If anyone touched the ropes or messed them up she would start over. We have been home from the hospital for a bit over 4 months and I am surprised to say that she hasn't even opened the box. The ones you see around her neck are the only ones she currently plays with. These ones traveled with us to the hospital and she kept them neatly on her bed side table. Now each night before she goes to bed she picks each one up and dangles it for a minute then lays it on the night stand and then and only then is she ready for bed!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kim is on her way...

Kristen's little sister, Kim, left for college today. It was pretty sad to see her packing up her things. She spent this past year at the community college and we all decided that was the best thing as Kristen was diagnosed with leukemia just a week or two after school started. It was an enormous help to have Kim living at home, plus Kristen loves Kim and she was able to come visit us in the hospital almost every day. Kim got her certification as an EMT and also a CNA in High School. She always thought she wanted to be a nurse but things have changed a little and now she is thinking about a History Major and a Masters in administration. She would love to teach high school history and then work into administration as a principal. Kim is only about 100 miles away so we plan on seeing her often. She already has plans to come home this weekend to run a half marathon with her other 2 sisters. She got a job at this cute old fashion Malt Shop on main street thanks to my childhood friend who owns it. Kristen and I can't wait to go visit her.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Anybody seen my couch???

I think my couch is under there. I haven't figured out why Kristen does this...First she spreads out a blanket on the couch, then she places her favorite movies on the blanket and then comes the papers and the recipe cards neatly placed under each movie. I think she is organizing them or something. These have been on the couch since yesterday. I told her I needed her to clean them up before she goes to bed and all I got was a "ugg mom"

Today was Kristen's monthly clinic visit. She was not excited to go to the hospital and was being a little stinker. I felt sorry for her NP, Robert, she wouldn't even open her mouth and she wasn't too nice to Dr. Fluchel either. But they were both nice and didn't seem to mind her stubborness. Everytime I would take a pic of her and Kamie she would do something silly. Her blood counts are holding steady. I guess that is better than dropping. The only number that seems to be on the incline is her hematocrit. Her platelets were up slightly to 140,000, Her white count seems to be slow in coming up as she was at 1.6 and her ANC was 1200. The docs seemed ok with the numbers so I won't fret. Next month we have clinic on 9/9/09 at 9am. Our lucky number of the day must be 9.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Week at the Lake

We spent the last week at one of our favorite camping spots. Every year we go camping at Half Moon Lake which is near Pinedale, Wyoming. It is about a 250 mile drive and sometimes I wonder why we travel so far to take a cold bath in the lake, get eaten by mosquitoes and then there is the lovely outhouses. Those things aside, it really is the most beautiful place to camp. Kristen looks forward to this vacation every year. This year I was grateful to have Kristen there with us. A few months ago I thought the family would be going without Kristen and I. Luckily she was feeling great! Last year on this same trip I knew Kristen was sick, but I kept putting the thoughts of leukemia in the back of my mind, hoping that her thyroid medication needed to be adjusted. When I look back at the pics of last year I could really kick myself as I see that she was so very sick. I remember commenting on how she never wanted to leave the trailer and all of her mosquito bites turned into tiny bruises. All signs I chose to ignore. We are getting close to the one year mark of her diagnosis with Leukemia and i have many thoughts buzzing in my head. This week is another clinic visit. I always hold my breath until I have the results of the blood test in my hands. So this week...Say a little prayer for her.

We drove into Jackson Hole for lunch.