100 Meter Freestyle

>> Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tonight was Alayna's last regular swim meet of the season! Next week is Prelims and if she qualifies there she will be able to compete in the Championships! 


Waiting for her group to be called. Some children in the family need a little nap 1st. :P


 These 100 Meter races are really tough!! These kids practice and practice and swim their hearts out everyday! It's great for the body and pushes them to their limits! :D I'm so proud of Alayna for sticking with it this year!









 This race was sooo close. She was in 2nd for a long while and then her endurance started to fade. We thought she was a shoe in for 3rd but at the last few strokes another girl pulled ahead. She placed 4th and we are pleased as punch that she swam her heart and soul out there!!! 


Way to go Alayna!!! Nice job proving you can do hard things!!! :D

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Thoughts From Dad....

Jared has been working very hard the past couple of years. He's working full-time, has a crazy busy calling at church, and is going back to school almost full-time! I don't know how he does it and still manages to make time for our family!



For one of his classes he shares thoughts about what they are learning with other students on a forum. He's attending a LDS college (BYU-I) and this was for his religion class. He sent this to me and I thought it was too good not to remember. I wanted to put it here so we can look back on it. Being a parent is a tough and scary job sometimes!


my post today....
   Tomorrow, my oldest kid is turning 16. There have been a lot of worries and feelings of excitement going on as I think about him driving and even more so, dating. He is quite excited to get out there and date. Before school ended, he got a girl's number and told her that he was going to call her near the beginning of July. The girl is not a member, but she does have plenty of LDS friends, and she understands that he won't be able to single date.

While this is what we have prepared and taught for, it is a scary time. It is impossible not to wonder if we have done everything that we could to send him another step out into the world. Have we demonstrated our love for the Lord, for the gospel, for him. As he is immersed more and more with those who do not hold to our faith, have we taught him enough and given him freedom enough to stand firm on his own testimony.

I know we are all at different stages, and we are all taking something different from this class, but that is what I am getting from it. I have to be the best father and husband that I can be so that my family as a whole can be happy. My son may have a girl get mad at him for opening the door for her. He may have another boy ask him on a date. He may have someone make compelling "arguments" for him to violate covenants he has already made or jeopardize future covenants. He may see a respected church leader being hateful or dishonest. And everyday I ask myself if we have created a home and environment for my kids that they will have the strength to know and do what is right. Do they know that I am there for them? Do they know that they are loved by their parents, their Savior, and their God?

(Sorry for this bit of off-topic post, but it has been all I have been thinking about as I go through the talks and other materials this week.)



I'm so grateful to for the man Jared is and the father he is to our children. I love that he thinks about these things and does his best to be his best for them. Gets you right in the cockles! :)

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Learning New Skills


At the end of the school year Alayna and I hatched a plan. She wanted to learn how to sew but because of all the crazy stuff in June we haven't had a chance to get started. We finally got ourselves organized and she decided she wanted to start out by making a crazy quilt! :)



As with most beginning sewers you don't really think about all the steps involved before you get to start the sewing portion of things. She was a little disheartened to find out we had to make a pattern and then cut out all the pieces first. :P 

This will take us a while to complete but I'm really excited to start this project together! :D I'll keep you posted on her progress!

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Swim Safety- Activity Days

>> Monday, June 27, 2016

Last week the Activity Day Girls met at Sis. Esperson's home for some swim safety instruction. Sis. Williams taught the girls all about being safe around water, taking care of your skin in the sun, and how to save someone! They had a great time!


I'm grateful for such wonderful leaders giving of their time to help our girls!! <3

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Father's Day

>> Sunday, June 26, 2016

 Since Jared's 40th bday wasn't all he had hoped for with celebrating early because I was going to be at Girls Camp, and then ending up in the hospital and still being there on his actual bday, I didn't want Father's Day to be a bummer too. 

I was chatting with my wonderful friend Chris Packard and told her how I needed a plan for Father's Day but I have been leery about driving still and I just didn't have the gumption yet to wrap my head around shopping. 

She came to the rescue and got me a few groceries so I could make Jared a couple of yummy meals and then she went above and beyond and make the Coconut Tres Leches Trifle Cake I had made for her son's wedding, for Jared!! He had been begging me to make it. I told him when I get to feeling better I would. It takes a while to make and standing and baking in the kitchen all morning was a little more than I could handle. She knew he was hoping for it and she made his wish come true! Actually, both of ours!! :P

We actually hatched a plan and I had Jared take the boys to a movie so he would be out of the house while she delivered all of the goodies the day before. He had no idea! It was perfect!


Jared absolutely LOVED it!!! I'm so grateful for Chris and all of her help! I couldn't have made his Father's Day as great without her!

Happy Father's Day Honey!!! <3

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Call Me Shorty!

We were standing in the kitchen last week and I looked over at Eli and said, "I think you're taller than me now!"

He just turned 13 in April. Jared helped us decide with photographic proof. Yep!!! It's happened again. Another son has passed me up!


I'm only taller than Alayna now, and by her measurements, she'll probably pass me up too!! :P I'm not short either. I'm 5'6" that's above average. LOL!!

How are my babies so grown up already? 

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Alayna's Swim Meet- Butterfly & Breaststroke

>> Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 16th, I still wasn't feel up to getting out in the AZ summer heat. Alayna competed in Butterfly and Breaststroke at her meet. Somehow she missed her age groups' race for the Butterfly and ended up competing in the older age group doing the 50 instead of the 25!!!!






She did AWESOME!!!!!! It was twice as long and against much older kids and she placed 5th!!! I couldn't believe it! She's a rock star!!! Woohoo!!!!


She got in the right race for Breaststroke though! :)







 She placed 4th! Not too shabby! She probably would have placed even higher but of all the strokes the butterfly is one of the toughest and racing double what she is used to it tuckered her out!! Look at that smile...she's so proud of herself! :D


Way to kill it Alayna! It is so much fun to watch you give it your best!! Love you sweetie!

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Daddy Daughter Time!

>> Friday, June 24, 2016

Alayna has been wanting us to dye her hair. Jared suggested we use kool-aid. So the two of them went to the store and picked out some flavors! :P

They were both very excited about this little project! :D Jared hopped on Youtube and got some tips and they were off! 









It takes about 8 hours for it to be done. This was the final outcome. 


She was happy with it. It's hard to tell in the picture but we used purple kool-aid. It didn't really turn out purple. The next day we put red in it and it looked really cool. But it wasn't as vivid as we were hoping. It is just kool-aid after all....maybe next time we'll just get some temporary hair dye so we can get the exact color. 

It was a fun little experiment! It was fun to watch them spend some quality time together too! :) 

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Alayna's Swim Meet- Breaststroke & Backstroke

>> Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 9th Alayna had her swim meet! I was still in no shape to sit out in the heat and go watch her but Jared and the boys went to support and cheer her on! :D Eli took video for me and Jared took pictures. I love technology sometimes! :P









  
She did awesome!!! She placed 3rd in Breaststroke!! Woohoo!!!


Backstroke was next....this is her least favorite stroke. :P 





What a goofball....but she placed 5th!!! :D


Not only did she do well at her meet that week her coaches gave her this snazzy award!!! She was over the moon thrilled!!!!


Nice job Alayna! We are very proud of you!!!

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Close Call

>> Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Warning: This is a little long. 

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been very sick. It came on very suddenly. Tuesday May 31st I felt fine, was going about my day as usual. Cleaning, doing laundry, had a house full of kids...mine and the rest of the neighborhood. :P I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment and by the time I walked from his office to my car I started to feel unwell. By the time I got home I was shivering and felt like I had the stomach flu. I had 102 fever and I was miserable. By midnight I had been in the bathroom a few times and felt like this was the worst stomach flu I've ever had!! 

 By 3:30am I went to use the restroom again. I wasn't sure if I could make it out of the bathroom to tell Jared I was feeling worse. I was dizzy and light headed, the back of my neck was burning hot and I felt like I couldn't move and my face was tingling. I did manage to get to him and he helped me back to bed and I had some water. 

By 6:00 am I went to the restroom again. This time I had all those symptoms and I couldn't really hold myself up anymore. I called for Jared in a pathetic weak voice and somehow he miraculously heard me! He ran in and asked me if I needed to go to urgent care? I said, I think we need to call 911. 

After a minute of trying to figure things out I passed out. Thankfully Jared was still holding on to me and he caught me on my way down. I woke up on the floor of my bedroom and he was yelling my name. Saying, "I told you to sit down!" I think I was trying to but I was too late. We then decided it would be faster to just drive to the Emergency Room than wait for an ambulance. 

We got to the hospital and another miracle occurred. There was NO wait!!!! When does that EVER happen??? They got me in right away. They admitted me, got me hooked up to some IV's and then the testing began. 

The doctors came in asking, "Is anyone else at home sick?" 

"No."

"Have you been sick recently?"

"Not until yesterday."

"Have you traveled outside of the country?"

"No."

"Well it could just be a virus, we've seen a lot of this lately. We'll get you hydrated and see how you do."

They gave me 2-3 liters of IV's before I even had the slightest urge to pee. That shows just how dehydrated I was!! 

My low back was hurting a lot. The doctor comes back in to check on me and asks, "Have you been on any antibiotics recently?"

"Yes, about a week ago I thought I had a UTI. The Physicians Asst. gave me a prescription to cover me until the lab got the results back. I had taken 6 of the 7 days before the office called to tell me it was negative."

"Ok. Well we will need some more labs, we'll do a CT to make sure you don't have anything else going on in your stomach but I'm pretty sure you have something called Clostridium Difficile or C Diff. It's a bacteria people can have and carry and never be symptomatic. Once they take antibiotics that they may not need or really strong antibiotics it kills off all the good flora and bacteria in your gut and leaves it wide open for the C Diff to grow and take over. It populates your gut with it's poison/toxins and leaves only bad bacteria. It attacks the lining of your intestines and makes you severely ill." 

I have NEVER heard of C Diff before that day!

The CT came back normal. I wasn't really improving with the IV's. They wanted to give me morphine for the pain but my pulse and blood pressure were so low they couldn't. They gave me a little Tylenol because I'm allergic to Oxycodone. It didn't help much. After several hours they decided they were going to go ahead and treat me as though it was C Diff. They were so positive. My white blood cell count was through the roof!! It was at 16,000!! However, the weird thing was they were going to let me come home and then at the last minute the Dr asked me to stay overnight to be monitored.  I wasn't sure if it was necessary but he convinced me. He said my pulse/blood pressure were lower than he liked. 

So thankful for that cautious doctor. He probably saved my life. 

My mom and dad got to the hospital and Mom was a wreck. She doesn't handle these things very well. She's a worrier. It was nice to see family though. They got me a regular room and I was there for maybe 30 minutes and they said I was septic because of the regular complications of the illness but also the added low pulse and low blood pressure. So they sped me up to ICU. I was there from Wed. June 1st- Sat. June 4th. It was miserable. 

C Diff is very contagious. Anyone who entered my room had to wear a gown, mask, gloves, and scrub their hands really well before they left. The antibacterial stuff like Germ-X does nothing to kill it. Soap and water is the best defense...and bleach!!!

Round the clock blood draws, blood sugar checks, antibiotics (Flagyl & Vancomycin), blood pressure/pulse checks, IV's after IV's, and my very favorite....shots in the stomach so I didn't develop blood clots. My potassium levels were crazy low so I had to drink several doses of concentrated potassium to bring them up. That stuff isn't pleasant! Steroids to help the heart and lots and lots of Zofran for the crazy nausea! Running to the bathroom constantly because that's the nature of this illness...Infectious Disease Doctors, the Hospitalist, the Gastrointestinal Doctor, the Cardiologist. They don't really let you get the rest you need to actually heal. I was on an all liquid diet for the 1st few days. I didn't mind. I had NO appetite. 

They aren't very nice in the hospital!
Like I said before, they took me up to ICU because I was septic. My heart just wasn't recovering. My body was shutting down. So at one point they decided to give me Dopamine. I would not wish that on anyone ever!!!!! My pulse was ranging between 34-50 and my pressure (top number is all I remember) was running 60-90. Very low. Dopamine is kind of like speed. It's supposed to bring up your heart rate. As soon as the nurse put it into my IV I felt like I was dying!!! I couldn't breathe, I couldn't focus, everything hurt, I wished someone would just come and kill me already. It was HORRIBLE!!! Taking my pulse from so low to so high so quickly was agony! I immediately began throwing up and shaking and crying. Thankfully they only tried it once. It had no lasting improvement on my heart. Just a "fun" little experiment I guess. 

Our friend's the Esperson's came to the hospital to help Jared give me a Priesthood Blessing. By the time they arrived I was beyond tired and out of it. I remember seeing them for a minute or so, Sis. Esperson smiled at me and all I could think was how I could hardly keep my eyes open. It was sweet that they came. Even though I couldn't focus Bro. Esperson and Jared gave me the blessing. I don't really remember much about it. However, I know the Spirit doesn't always speak to us through words but feeling. That blessing helped me to feel  peace and like I was finally going to be able to rest, and that things were going to start improving now.  I remember a few other personal things...but I won't share them here. It was just what I needed. I was so thankful! I have a testimony of the power of the Priesthood!

Over the course of being there I slowly started to improve. My symptoms were getting better and I could move around more on my own. My appetite very slowly started to come back and I could eat some softer things. Chicken broth and mashed potatoes tasted amazing... crazy I know. :P

By Saturday I wanted to get out of there. I was feeling much better but still very weak. I was able to do things on my own again, and I just missed my kids so much! My heart rate and blood pressure were still really low. The doctor wanted to keep me another day but I just couldn't take being there anymore. She called the Cardiologist in to give his opinion. If he felt comfortable discharging me then I was ok to go home. 

The Cardiologist was called in and he said I was ok to go home if I could show my heart could get up to 70. They sent me for a walk with a portable monitor. 1st lap didn’t work. He said I needed to go faster. I hadn't really been out of bed since Tuesday it was hard but I really wanted to come home so I slow jogged and he said ok it is up to 70 now. But as soon as I was done it dropped right back down to 50. It's the craziest thing!

I was so happy to come home!! I cried as soon as we pulled up to the house. I missed my home, my babies, and just normal life. 

Once I was home I had crazy swelling all over. I look like a huge marshmallow from head to toe. My stretchy clothes were skin tight. My socks and shoes were cutting off the blood to my feet. It was insane. They kept giving me fluids because of how severely dehydrated I had become and in hopes it would help my heart but it never did. It was really painful. It made me short of breath sort of  like I was drowning. 

The next day I was a little nervous I might have come home too soon. We debated if I needed to go back to the hospital... it was pretty scary.  I felt worse than I did the day before and some of the symptoms had come back. I got another Priesthood Blessing from Jared and Bro. Watt. It was absolutely beautiful. The Spirit was tangible. I felt such intense and complete love from my Heavenly Father and Savior. The words spoken were so specific and personal.  I've never had one quite like it before. I won't share too much here about it. (I did journal about it.)  I won't soon forget it though! Once I had the blessing I started to feel much better! 

The Infectious Disease doctor said I'm contagious until I finish 10 days of antibiotics (weird they give you antibiotics when that's what caused it). No one can use my bathroom. Bleach is the only way to kill it. Washing hands is critical for me so I don't pass it and others if they touch anything where it could be living. It's usually found in older people, nursing homes,  and people whose immune systems are compromised like a cancer patients or other sick people.

Once you have it recurrence can happen. I have to be super careful to not take any antibiotics I don't actually HAVE to take. I have to tell every doctor I've had it now. Pretty overwhelming, not giving it to my family and not getting it again myself.

Breathing was hard for almost 2 weeks. I couldn't lay down flat or it felt like I was suffocating. I had x-rays done of my chest and belly they were clear. I had to lay propped up all the time so I could breathe but that caused my back to go out and shooting pain down my legs. My pressure/heart rate had been low up until this week. The cardiologist ordered me to drink protein shakes with every meal to help get my heart and body strong again. They helped a lot. He also had me wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours to see if that's why I was having a hard time breathing and had me get an ultrasound of my heart as well. Both came back normal. (Other than showing I have PVC's which I had already been diagnosed with about 4-5 yrs. ago. They are currently at 2.5%. We will continue to follow up yearly or if they become worse. At 15% they will require medication to treat.) I was also anemic when I left the hospital so I was craving red meat like crazy but had a hard time eating anything. I started taking supplements to help get my levels back up. 

As of today I'm doing much much better. I feel pretty much back to my old self. I need to build up my endurance but it will come back in time. My primary care doctor has cleared me, the cardiologist has cleared me, and so has the Gastroenterologist. I do have one more lab to do next week to make sure I'm totally clear of the C Diff. Once we get those results back I should be all good! :) They recommend I take a good probiotic once I'm all clear to help build up the flora in my gut again. I can't take them before I'm clear because the same thing can happen again.  I'm learning a lot about stomach health! :P 

Sorry I keep jumping around....I keep remembering things and I don't want to forget any of it. 

Another tender mercy I forgot to mention was that Jared had taken the week I was able to come home off from work already. He was supposed to go on a 50 mile hike with Eli and his scout troop. After a lot of discussion with Eli he expressed he didn't want to go because he was worried about me and didn't want to be far away from home if I had to go back into the hospital. Such a sweet and loving boy I have. He's got a big heart! So that allowed Jared to be home with all of us helping to take care of me. I was so grateful he was home. I really needed his support and love and care-giving. He has been so amazing through all of this. I love him!

We also felt the Lord's hand while I was still in the hospital. We got a text from the kids saying the house felt hot. Wouldn't you know it....the A/C was dead! We frantically called a repairman to come out and help diagnose the problem. $700 to fix. The unit has given us issues every summer for the last 3-4 years. We were ready to replace it. I felt impressed to tell Jared to wait until the next morning (which was the day I was supposed to come home) so we could call a few other companies to get quotes etc. Mom & Dad picked up the kids for us and took them to their house so they didn't have to sleep in a 115 degree house. Grateful for their help!

Jared posted on Facebook why does everything always happen at once? One of my cousins whom I don't even know very well saw it. He said he'd be happy to come out and look at it. He came out and said it was definitely the motor. He had just pulled some units from some jobs and the motors were still good and he'd give us the part for a fraction of the cost and not charge us anything to do it! Angels walk among us!!!!! He had it all finished and fixed within a couple of hours and by the time I got home the house was cold!!! So grateful! <3 I was worried that they were going to discharge me and I wouldn't have anywhere to go..... 

We had so much help from our Ward family. Meals were brought in daily for 2 weeks. Friends called and picked up kids to play/hangout. Countless prayers were offered in my behalf. I had lots of visits, phone calls, texts, emails from everyone letting me know I was being thought of. It was so humbling. My heart is so full of gratitude and thanks. My heart is brimming with love and appreciation for each and every person. Those prayers carried me through. It was touch and go for a while and I know because of their love and faith I'm here today. 

Flowers from the Stake.
  
Card from Rich & Rita. 

Flowers from Mom & Dad. 



Sunday I was able to make it to church for Father's Day. I took this pic to show I'm alive and well!! A little make-up and a curling iron sure help to make you look not so sick too! :D It was so nice to be able to get out for a bit. I did have to come home after sacrament...I just need to build up my endurance. :) I will say I've been very surprised at how long it has taken to recover from this. I had thought once I was out of the hospital I'd be back to my old self in a few days. Not the case! My doctors keep reminding me how sick I really was and that it takes time. 


Most of my bruising has healed except for this darn thing. It has changed all sorts of crazy colors and just doesn't want to go away! Jared can't hardly stand to look at it....he gets queasy...LOL! 

I also want to say as much as I dislike the health insurance industry right now with Obama Care making it so expensive to cover a family, I'm grateful we have it! The bills are rolling in and it's a frightening sight! Without insurance we would be in serious trouble!!! 

I'm thankful I'm home and things are progressing in the right direction. I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that has been with me every step of the way comforting me and helping me when I've felt so overwhelmed and scared. I'm incredibly grateful to all of our family and friends who have prayed, served, thought of, and sent their love to us. I'm so grateful for Jared and the man he is. He has been my rock. He knows just what to say and how to help me and love me. No one can do what he is able to for me. I love him so much!! I know this month has been extremely difficult for him with all of his obligations but he has managed to juggle it all and I'm so impressed by him. Love you Babe!! <3 <3

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Piano Recital 2016

>> Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sorry for the long break from blogging. I was really sick and ended up in the E.R. the next morning after this picture was taken. More on that later.....


Back on May 31st, Alayna and Walker had their piano recital for the year. They both did really great!! We loved Sister Durfee and all she has done for these two! I love listening to them play! <3


Unfortunely, this will probably be Walker's last year. He's so busy with A.P. and Honors classes in High School it doesn't leave him with enough time to practice. Hopefully, he'll keep practicing when he can at home and be able to retain what he knows. 


Alayna is still going strong and loves playing so we will keep her in as longs as we can! :D

Great job guys! You were awesome!! :)

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