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...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

fine?

I'm often asked the question,
"How are you doing?"
I'm not one to wear my heart on my sleeve so my usual quick response is
"I'm Fine."
You know what... I'm really not fine.
If I even attempt to answer the question honestly
I end up crying. So I stick with the "I'm fine" and hurry on my way.
Every so often it builds up and I find myself hurrying to my car and then
the tears begin to flow.

Actually I am fine with a few things, such as this...
I do have peace in my heart as I know that my girl is
very much alive and well. It is just her cute little body
that has lost life. Her spirit is soaring.
I know that her personality and spirit has not changed even one single particle.
I know she laughs when we laugh.
I know that she knows and understands my feelings and she is very
much aware of me and that she loves me.
I know she is in a beautiful place, a place of peace, joy and rest.
I also know that she is teaching, learning and progressing.
I know that she is not far from me.
I know that once her spirit was departed from her mortal body,
that she was indeed taken home to that God who gave her life.

Over the past several months I have thought about and read about death.
That might seem morbid to some, but it is now part of my every day life.
I do believe that I now have a greater understanding of it.
I no longer fear death.
Just by thinking about it and how unpredictable life is, I feel like I am 
more aware of life. I am more tuned in and I believe that I am more appreciative
of every moment and of every aspect life has to offer.
My sorrow is not one of bitterness. My sorrow is sweet and has deep meaning.

The part of me that isn't fine is this...
I miss here so much.
We were very close, Kristen and I.
I've said before that we were so close we knew what
the other was thinking even before words were spoken.
We were so close that we breathed the same air.
I literally have a hole in my heart and some days the pain is unbearable.
I miss her so much.
This pain of missing her will always be a part of me.
I wouldn't want it any other way.

On to her Birthday...
I know that the only way I will possibly survive the day is by staying
busy and by doing the things she loved.
I am currently working on decorating her tree with a birthday theme.
I came up with the idea of birds and flowers as she loved both of them.
As soon as I get it finished I'll share the finished product.
I hesitated to show the flowers I've been working on because you'll
all think, "This woman has too much time on her hands."
What the heck, here they are.



This past week we welcomed our nephew, Ty, home.
He has been serving a mission for our church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
for the past two years.
We all gathered at the airport and welcomed him home.
Welcome Home Ty











Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Amy

Meet Amy...


and her boys


Now aren't they the most precious family you have ever seen?
This is Caleb, Jimmy and Elijah.
Amy saved both Caleb and Elijah from an orphanage in Russia.
She is doing it again!
She has committed to bring Liam home!

Amy needs our help, and I can't think of anyone who is more deserving than her.
Today is her Birthday, so I was thinking that we should all go on over to
her blog and donate. What a wonderful birthday gift that would be.
She is even giving entries to win an IPAD 2 with every donation.
So hurry on over to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday.
Amy is one of the most kind and caring people I know.
She was continually sending Kristen cards and gifts.
I am so very proud to call Amy one of my dear friends.





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

guest blogger (sort of)

I have a niece, Amber, who lives out of state.
Amber sang at Kristen's funeral and it was simply beautiful.
 A couple of times a year she sends out updates on her family.
Yesterday I received an e-mail from her.
The following is a paragraph from that e-mail.

"AND SOMETHING MOST SPECIAL THAT I'VE REALLY BEEN WANTING TO SHARE . . .
We had a special New Beginnings Program for the young women in our Ward with a princess theme, to remind the girls that they are all PRINCESSES - "Daughters of a Heavenly King!" ;-) I highlighted 2 princesses in my remarks. One was Queen Esther, who we know through her mighty prayers and fasting saved a Jewish nation, and then I shared our next princess: Kristen Kirton, who blessed the lives of many through her special and most amazing spirit. I began to realize that she demonstrated something very significant as she wrote her name "KRISTEN" over and over again on paper (remember, it was one of her favorite things to do besides watch her movies - SMILE)! I shared how she wrote her name probably thousands of times (I need to get a keepsake piece of her "name artwork" from Polly)! I shared what Kristen writing her name symbolized to me personally . . . that Kristen knew her great worth, and understood her unique mission each time she wrote her name! She taught us that the simple things matter the most (a jump rope, coke and crackers) and that there's no place like HOME and FAMILY! For most of us it won't be necessary for us to save a nation, but what matters is that with the Savior's help, we fulfill our own choice missions here upon the earth. For Jesus taught and demonstrated that some of the most simple things are among the greatest! Both of these remarkable women (Princess Kristen and Queen Esther) had the Savior's countenances engraved in their heart and they knew they were daughters of a Heavenly King and understood their divine mission. There was a beautiful spirit in the room as I spoke about sweet, precious Kristen, about my experience seeing her for the first time as a newborn in her bassinet, and how I wondered what I would see? I shared what I saw . . . light, and I saw "Heaven In Her Eyes!" There was always a heavenly spirit when it came to Kristen! I was thinking about it, and I would not be surprised if she stood in that very room, next to Queen Ester and listened as we spotlighted them both, in this small group of noble young women on earth, in the Richmond 1st Ward, Richmond, Texas. All I know is that it would be a majestic, most beautiful sight to behold Kristen's spirit (and WE WILL - again someday)! "


A Princess indeed.
Thank you Amber for thinking of Kristen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

count down

The count down is on...1 week until Kristen's Birthday.
I have often thought that on her birthday I just might
stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and
basically feel sorry for myself.
Kristen wouldn't like that very much.
 So instead I have decided to have a birthday bash.
Kristen loved her birthday.
Every year we would either go bowling and to lunch or
to a movie and lunch.
So this year I have decided to do both.
I'll be going bowling, to a movie (one that she would like)
and also to lunch.
We are also delivering 25 Build-a-Bears to the cancer
kids at the hospital.
Thank you so much to those that have dropped off bears.
I couldn't do this without all your help.
The bears are so adorable that I have to show them off.

This one was donated by Carrie, She named her Lulu and she chose bright colors as
they reminded her of something Kristen would like.

This awesome Jonas bear was made by Becky.
Kristen loved the Jonas Brothers.

This cheerleader Bunny was made by Katy and her kids.

My mom and sister, Kelli, also made a couple.
My mom chose this sparkly dress as it reminded her of Kristen.

Ella and Denise sent this "Love Bug"
Isn't it perfect as Ella is such a little Love bug.

Pam and Janalyn brought over several including this one
sporting an Aviator outfit.


Pink bunny and others are compliments of Kamie.

This cute army bear was made by Jaylee.

Heather and Zoey sent these awesome bears.
They are actually speakers that you can plug into your Ipod.
I'm sure the kids are going to be fighting over these.

 
Thanks to all my friends and family, I will be going to bed tonight with
a warm heart.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter


1990
(the first leukemia)

1992

1997


2009
2010

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter to all my Peeps!

I'll admit it... I'm obsessed with PEEPS!
I am one of those people who believes that different colors
taste different. So of course I need a box of every color.
Good thing the stores are almost out of peeps.


I spent a few hours this afternoon filling eggs in preparation
for Grandma Kirton's annual Easter egg hunt.
 It was good to have some little helpers as we filled over 650 eggs.
 This morning Kamie and I made a run to the children's hospital.
Kamie had made Easter baskets and activity bags for the
children in the cancer unit.
We also threw in another dozen pillowcases.


I have 4 dozen eggs in the fridge just waiting for some color.
Only problem is, I can't quite bring myself to color them.
This was one of Kristen's favorite activities.
It's been an emotional week as I have been trying to put
together an Easter basket for my son.
Since both Kamie and Kim were married during the summer,
that leaves me with only one basket to fill.
Sometimes I just feel so empty on the inside.
I still find myself going through the motions of life,
wondering If I will ever truly enjoy life again.
Just when I get feeling so down a thought comes into my head.
I have learned how fragile life really is.
Life is a precious gift that might be taken at any moment.
I marvel at what a treasure every day is. I know that if I try to
move through each day looking for joy I will find it.
Tomorrow I will find joy in a pan of eggs that will finally
get bathed in color.

"The happiest, sweetest, tenderest homes are not those where there has been no sorrow, but those which have been overshadowed with grief, and where Christ's comfort was accepted. The very memory of the sorrow is a gentle benediction that broods over the household, like the silence that comes after prayer. There is a blessing sent from God in every burden of sorrow." ~ J. R. Miller

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sorrow

"...the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt . . . Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others . . . The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way.
While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful
will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a
hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin

It's been 9 months since that dial on the wheel of sorrow
pointed toward me.
I miss my girl more and more every day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

good friends and a happy birthday

I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful friends right here.
If ever I am having a hard day or find myself a bit down,
you all step right up and cheer me on.
Thank You

Today was my oldest daughters birthday.
Katy is 30.
Wow, if she's 30 then how old should I be.
We partied pretty much the entire day.
Kamie and I started early with a quick drive into Salt Lake.
Katy had mentioned that a place called Mini Cupcakes
had just put out a new cook book.
Kamie thought that would be the perfect gift for Katy.
Early in the afternoon we all met for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.
2 years ago on Katy's Birthday we met for lunch at the same place,
only Kristen was with us.
It was her first outing in months as she had just finished treatments for leukemia.
Kristen loved Katy.
She was always excited when Katy's birthday came around because
she knew her birthday was next.

Later in the evening we met again for cake and ice cream.
Katy tried a recipe from her new book for some mini cupcakes.
They were very cute and yummy.
When we're all together as a family, it is very obvious that someone is missing.
However, we all agree that we feel that Kristen is very close
celebrating right along side us.
Happy Birthday to Kate, thanks for being the perfect daughter.










This is one of the last pictures of Kristen and Katy together.
Katy is very pregnant and as you can see Kristen is
giving her belly a little poke all while trying not to laugh.


I almost forgot about Katy's present...
 She has always wanted a bow and she finally got one.
I hear she loves it.