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...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm thinkin...

that Claire just might know more than we think she does.
She went right up to Kristen's picture today, pointed right at Kristen,
starting talking and laughing.
It almost sounded like she said  "Kristen"
She then turned around and went to the coffee table and found another
picture of Kristen and did the same thing.

Claire was born the day before Kristen passed away.
Kristen was excited for the baby to get here.
Katy even invited Kristen to hold her hand as the baby was born.
Kristen was just too sick to leave the house. I left Kristen with Richard
and ran to the hospital to take some pictures. I came right home and printed the pictures 
and took them up to Kristen. She was very excited. She showed the pictures
to everyone that came into her room.
We have some pretty amazing stories to share about Kristen, Katy and Claire.
I'll save those for another day.
I have no doubt that Claire knows exactly who Kristen is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the pink pig

Kristen loved this pig. Pink pig was her chemo buddy. I'm pretty sure pig was
packed in her little Hanna Montana suitcase each and every time
we headed back to the hospital.  As I went into Kristen's room tonight to turn off her lamp
and turn on her night light, I couldn't help but grab pink pig and give her an extra hug. 
(I actually squeeze pig's hand every time Iwalk into Kristen's room.) 
The hug just wasn't enough and I scooped up pink pig and she is now
cuddled up next to me. I wonder what my husband will say when he comes
to bed and sees the pig. It's  probably bad enough that I sleep with Kristen's pillow,
her princess pillowcase and her princess blanket. 

I have done quite a bit of reading over the past many months. Recently I came across an
article written by Steven Kalas entitled,
"When you lose a child, grieving is a lifelong experience."
He attempts to answer the question,
"When will I and how do I get over this?"
His reply...
"You don't get over it. Getting over it is an inappropriate goal. An unreasonable hope. The loss of a child changes you. It changes your marriage. It changes the way the birds sing. It changes the way the sun rises and sets. You are forever different. You don't want to get over it. The goal is not to get over it,
 the goal is to learn to get on with it."
I agree with him.

Something else I have learned,
If anything we create from our grief inspires hope and faith in just one heart,
even our own, it's purpose has been fulfilled.

Grieving is a lifelong process for a mother.
I am thankful that today I can hug a little pink pig.
If even for a moment I imagine I can hear a little girl say,
"hey that's my pig."
I also know I can cry if I want to.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunsets and Fathers

So glad to have this girl back home...

If feels good to have a little noise, laughter, (and do I dare say drama)
back into our home. Sometimes the noise and the chaos fills that unfillable
void... if even for a minute.
Last night I looked out the window and the sky was pink. I yelled,
"Kim get your camera."
We both ran out the front door as she drove us up the mountain road for a better
view of the sunset. It reminded me that someone else is in charge.
 It's also another reminder that every moment counts and that life is fragile.
I have tried hard over the past many months not to let the sadness, the heartbreak or
even the doubt prevent me from seeing the blessings of God.
Because of Kristen, I know that true courage and strength exist
and that there is joy even in the smallest of things...
like a sunset.

 "My little Angel"
Those are the two names Richard gave Kristen.
Whenever he says either one his eyes tear up.
He loved Kristen with his whole heart and she him.

Last year on Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad.
He was every ones tower of strength, the invincible one.

My dad holding Kristen
She was 3 months old.
I believe with my whole heart that my dad and Kristen are together.
I am so thankful for the relationship they had here.
I know my dad was here helping Kristen. I also know that on the day
her spirit left her little body, it was my dad who was there to take her hand.
Happy Father's Day to 2 of the greatest fathers I know.

Friday, June 10, 2011

remember me

This week has been a difficult one.
I keep going back a year and playing everything over
and over in my mind. At this point a year ago Kristen
was still feeling pretty good. However, we all knew she was fighting
a battle she could not win. It broke our hearts.
I was looking through a book I had received
after Kristen passed away.
This stood out today almost as though Kristen wanted me
to read it. As much as I miss her I know she too is
missing me.

Remember me

Remember me
whenever you see a sunrise.
Remember me
whenever you see a star.
Remember me
whenever you see a rainbow,
Or woods in autumn colors from afar.
Remember me
whenever you see the roses,
or seagulls sailing high in a sky of blue.
Remember me
whenever you see waves shining in the sun,
And remember, I'll be rememb'ring you.
Remember me
whenever you see a teardrop,
Or meadows still wet with the morning dew.
Remember me
whenever you feel love growing in your heart,
And remember I'll be rememb'ring you.
Remember me
whenever you feel love growing in your heart,
And remember I'll be rememb'ring you.

One of my favorite pictures
my girls


Christmas 2009, our friends, Joany and Carly
sent Kristen a very large package.
Inside the large box were several small gifts neatly wrapped.
Kristen was so excited as she carefully opened each gift.
It took her a while as there were many.
Later, I was looking for the pictures and couldn't find them on my camera.
Today, Kim was looking through the pictures on her camera,
I heard her yell, "I found your pictures."
This reminded me that Kristen had her own camera.
The battery has been dead for a very long time.
I am excited to find the charger and see what other
surprises are waiting for me.

I especially like Kristen's hair in this picture.

Thanks Joany for the awesome memory.
I needed it today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A week of Birthdays

Ellie and Jordan both turned 4 on Saturday.
Ellie had a Pony Picnic and
Jordan had a REAL Pony Party.

We celebtated Kim's Birthday yesterday.
Dave was able to join us via Skype.

Last year on Kim's birthday

One thing I know for sure...
Like it or not Life goes on
“Time goes by, life goes on,
and all I can think of is why you're gone”
~From Dirty Dancing

Sunday, June 5, 2011


When I say WOW It's in an AMAZED kind of way.
I wasn't sure what to expect as we drove to Cedar City to see Dave off.
I was truly amazed.
The Commander gave a departing speech and this is what he said,

"I have to tell you, this is a dangerous mission.
The Triple Deuce (222 unit number) has never seen the
kind of challenges they will soon be up against.
Everyday these men will need your thoughts,
your prayers and your concern."

That's a reality I am not sure I realized or was ready to hear.

Roll Call

Dave's Family

Thankful the Patriot Guard was there and even more thankful
we didn't need them.

Don't let that smile fool ya.
You can watch a news story here

It was truly an honor to be among the many soldiers and their families.
They definitely have my thoughts, my prayers and my concern.
We Love you Dave

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A few random things

I was looking through an old camera and I found this picture.
It was taken in October of 2008 after Kristen returned home from the hospital after
her first round of Chemo. She was cozy in my bed when her
sisters decided to join her.
I don't have many pictures of my 4 girls together, so I was
excited to find this one.

Claire is walking all over the place.
She immediately heads for the stairs and goes straight into Kristen's room.
She loves Kristen's room as does everyone else.

This is from a year ago today.
We went to our weekly clinic appointment believing all was well.
When the doctor came in and told us Kristen's Blood counts Kamie and I
 both looked at each other. Everything was the same as it had been
the week prior except her platelets were lower than the previous week.
For some reason Kristen's platelets were always a tale of themselves.
They were the first to fall if there was problem and the first
to rise when things were on the mend.
When we heard the platelet count we both looked at each other.
We didn't say anything, we both just knew that something might be up.
Later that afternoon I got a call from the doctor with the worst news
any cancer mom could receive.

We are off to the airport this afternoon to say goodbye
to Kim's husband.
He is leaving for Iraq.
Not so sure how this day is going to play out.
I might need a little luck here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

our new neighbor

The other day as I was standing at the kitchen window,
I saw what I thought was a cute little foul.
 I went across the field to Grandpa Kirton's backyard and
Yup, that is exactly what it was.

Kristen always liked horses.
We would be driving down the road and as soon as she saw
a horse she would get excited and exclaim,
She would then tell me that her horses name was Black Beauty.
Funny thing is whenever Rich would actually bring our
horse into the yard he would ask her if she wanted to go for a ride
and her answer was always the same,
"No, I'm OK."
I guess she just liked to look at them.
(her and I have that in common)
The puppies are getting really cute.
I'm still trying to figure out the whole puppy thing,
we have a chocolate lab and a yellow lab,
but all the puppies are black.
I guess I won't spend too much time thinking about it,
I'll just enjoy them while they are little.