"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Pop Top Collection Continues

I can't believe the amazing "pop top" collection results! We are still collecting them, but I just wanted to post a picture of a few of the bags we are receiving from family and friends who are helping us support the Ronald McDonald House. I am sure that many of you know that my mom and I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City, UT while Gavin was being treated at Primary Children's Medical Center. However, I just wanted to reemphasize how amazing the Ronald McDonald House Organization is for families who have ill children. When we were trying to figure out the whole situation with transferring Gavin to PCMC we had a few obstacles in our way. Aside from the medical bills, we also had to think about finding a place to stay for an unknown amount of time. We checked into a few hotels around the hospital, but they would charge us about $1,000.00 a week to stay there. It just seemed like too much money when we didn't know how long we would be in SLC. Our amazing social worker here in Vegas at Valley Hospital called and checked into the Ronald McDonald House by PCMC. Like an answer to prayers, there was a room available for us and they only charged $10.00 a night - plus they tried to refund our money after Gavin passed away. (We didn't let them - they were so awesome to us.) To read more about our stay at the Ronald McDonald House you can link to http://lindsaybailey.blogspot.com/2007/09/our-new-home-away-from-home.html. This home provides parents with a place to go after long and difficult days at the hospital with their children and a place where they can talk to other parents going through similar trials with their children. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would have need of such an organization. Never in a million years can I ever pay them back for the support, kindness and service that they provided to our little family during a most difficult and trying time. The one thing I feel like I can do is collect pop tops. The Ronald McDonald House collects the pop tops and can use the money at their House. Please, please, please save your pop tops. We have a jar in our kitchen that we drop them in - it's simple. I can't believe how much support we have already received from this effort. I have received bags and bags from family and friends. I would be more than happy to be the "drop off" for you so you don't have to make an extra trip to the House. Thank you for all you guys do! We love you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Brent!

Today is my brother-in-law Brent's birthday - and this is my favorite picture of him. I'm so sad the picture is dark. This was taken at California Adventures a few years ago when Jason and I went with Brent's family to Disneyland. It was such a blast! Jason was a little too chicken (heh heh heh) to ride Paradise Pier with me so Brent did. Brent is such a great brother and friend. He has been such a wonderful example as a father and I know that Jason really looks up to him. We love you Brent! Have a great day today!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Baby Momma

Saturday night Jason and I went with some friends to see Baby Momma. It was cute movie with some pretty hilarious scenes. I may be a little biased 'cause I am a Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fan - but I thought Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were a perfect team. I don't want to spoil the movie too much, but the part where Amy describes what contractions feel like . . . yep, a perfect description. Let's just say there are references to knives. I couldn't stop laughing. I wanted to post the picture where Amy Poehler has the breast pumps over her eyes during a birthing class . . . but I wasn't sure it was entirely g-rated. heh heh heh

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Nine Month Birthday Gavy

Happy 9 Month Birthday Buggy!

I can't believe it. Today you would be nine months old! That means you have spent as much time out of my tummy as you spent in my tummy. If you were here and healthy right now, I think you would be crawling around and getting into mischief. That sounds good to me.

Sometimes I think about all of the things we are going to miss out on together. It makes me sad. I won't ever see you kick a soccer ball or lose a front tooth. You won't ever ask me to borrow keys to the car and I won't ever get to watch you fall in love (at least here on earth). I think about all of the things we are going to miss out on and then I remember. . . I remember all of the things we did get to do together, Gav. I have changed your diaper (and a trach!). I have cleaned up your boo-boos and calmed you when you were upset. I have held you and rocked you and I have played with you on the floor. I have kissed you and cuddled you and held your little hand. I have looked into your eyes and heard your thoughts. I have given you a bath and washed your hair. I have prayed and fasted for you. I have been there to witness blessings given to you and I was able to hold you until you took your last breath. I am a lucky momma Gav, because of you. I have felt so much peace because of you and I have felt Heavenly Father's love because of you.

I miss you so much, Bug - but I am grateful for you and Heavenly Father's eternal plan. I am grateful for the tender mercies that Heavenly Father gave us. He blessed our little family with you. I know you didn't have to stay three months, but you did. You gave your mommy and daddy something to remember and good times to reflect on. How grateful I am to have been part of this experience. I think of you everywhere I go. Your daddy says that you are the first thing he thinks of in the morning and the last thing he thinks about at night. We love you Gav. And whatever you are doing, please know that you were and continue to be loved.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Be Still

We had a really great talk this past Sunday in Sacrament Meeting - it was on revelation/listening to the spirit. One of the things he spoke about was "being still." This has kinda stuck with me all week (probably because I am not so great at "being still"). I have tried to make an effort to take time to have silence and calm myself. Well . . . NOT an easy thing for me. If you know me I am an anxious-I-need-to-know-everything-kind of person. I need to have plans. I need to make the most of my time. I need to have things in order . . . and then I can have time to "be still." Yeah, well, that's not working so well. I decided last night that I needed some time to "be still." Just before I went to bed last night, I sat alone in my room. Jason was busy studying, and I knew I had a few moments to sit alone and think - think about all of the things in my life. The good and the difficult. I found that with silence and a relaxed mind I felt so much gratitude. I felt grateful for how much I have been blessed - even when I felt like my pains had been unbearable and I realized the miracles in my life, even if they were different than the ones I have initially asked for.

And then I thought about this story . . . Jairus and his daughter. I am sure that many of you know the story. I don't want to get all preachy, but it reminded me of how much I need to be still and depend on the Savior. In this story Jairus has asked Jesus to come heal his (only) daughter who is dying. Jesus agrees and as they try to make their way through the throngs of people Jesus stops to preach and heal others. Jairus is getting frustrated and then turns to the Savior and essentially says, "Why are you stopping? My daughter is dying!" To which a ruler of a synagogue informs him, "She's already dead." I can only imagine Jairus' thoughts, his anxieties and grief. He must have imagined that if they were able to get there quicker the Savior could have healed his daughter before she died. But, the Savior says to Jairus, "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole." The Savior was telling Jairus to be still. He was telling him to not be fearful or anxious. He was telling him to have faith that all would be made right. I just love this picture. I think it tells the story in a single scene. Jairus and his wife are grief stricken - as one would be if they lost a child. Christ then lets them weep before he raises her. In this picture the Savior is standing at the door entrance of their home. To me, His presence in the doorway is symbolic of the fact that He is willing to lift our burdens if we let Him in. If we ask for him. And when we ask for Him, he will still our fears, grief, pain and worry. We just have to be still and let Him in.

This post kinda sounds preachy . . . I know. But I felt like I had to write this one down before I forgot it. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Happy Day

I feel kinda bad for being a little negative lately . . . so I wanted to say that I am having a good day today. The memories are good today. I am a happy momma. Here are some pictures of my cute little bug.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Book Review

A few weeks ago I picked up a book titled Making Sense of Suffering by Wayne Brickley. I finished reading the book this weekend and while I can't say that I really recommend it, I can say that it had some really good perspective. I didn't necessarily feel overwhelmingly inspired after I read it - in fact, I felt slightly guilty for having some of the feelings I experience on a constant basis. Intellectually I agreed with everything said in the book. Brickley quotes and references the scriptures, prophets and apostles well, but I felt like there was a lack of emotional understanding. Perhaps I want validation. Perhaps I want someone to say, "Go ahead and cry all day today. It's okay to feel like crap for a little bit and be in survival mode for awhile. It's normal." This book gave all the reason why you should be "okay" during a difficult trial, but I feel like it didn't express the fact that we are human. Grief is a process and you have to work through it. Okay-ness just doesn't happen overnight because you have faith. It takes time to learn and understand. I have come to the conclusion that it is NORMAL and OKAY to feel sadness, guilt, grief, bitterness, anger and hurt. It is how we deal with these emotions in the end that really matters. We were sent to this earth to experience all of these earthly emotions. They are what make us grow and develop our character. If we pushed them aside and ignored them we would not be making ourselves better - we wouldn't progress. It is through these trial and obstacles that we experience these emotions and then turn to our Savior for help to overcome them.

Okay, aside from that little rant . . . there was some good perspective in this book. Here are a few quotes that I liked.

"How easy is it to falsey measure our fortunes. When we have more money, health, honor, or pleasure, are we winning? Not necessarily, for our ills and fortunes are tests, not grades."

"As our Father beholds the expanse of agony and sorrow, he focuses on each broken heart personally. He also discerns the best timing for comfort and relief. He arranges to have friends, mortal and heavenly, gathered around each drama of suffering in an attendant drama support."

"Suffering makes our quiet companion more discernible. The veil, especially the part covering the heart is thinner. He consoles, 'Be of good cheer,' and he whispers, 'I will lead you along.' "

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life is Good

Today I went to the funeral of my friend I recently spoke about who had been in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit a few weeks ago from a minor head injury. Funerals are a completely different occasion for me now. I feel like I understand death and Plan of Salvation more than I ever have before. This was the first funeral I have attended since Gavin's and I felt such a range of emotions. I can relate to the intense sadness and grief that his parents and family are feeling, however, I think I have a more full and purposeful understanding of death than I did ten months ago. The service was beautiful and the congregation expanded past the chapel and to the back of the gym. He was so loved. I am sure it made his parents feel so good to know that people loved their son so much. I know how much it meant to me to know that people loved Gavin enough to attend his funeral.

His father was one of the speakers and at the end of his talk he said, "Life is good." I have reflected on that all day. Can I say life is good? This man just stood in front of 500 people and essentially said, "Today I will bury my son - I will not see him for the rest of my mortal existence and life is good." That sentence has played over and over in my mind. Life is good. Life is good. Is my life good? I have buried my son as well. I have empty arms. And most of all I have a broken heart. Is my life good? This caused some serious refection for me. And I have decided that . . . yes . . . LIFE IS GOOD. A good life doesn't mean we are free from pain or a broken heart. It means that we have hope - and I have hope. I think that is one of the only things that keeps me going day after day. I may not have a perfect knowledge of the plan for our little family, but I do have hope and faith that this life is not the end. My son lives too - he is a faithful, valiant son of our Heavenly Father and he is doing much to bring the gospel to those who haven't had an opportunity to hear about it. I am so grateful this father has enough faith to stand and say, "Life is good."

I left the funeral feeling a renewed sense of hope and gratitude for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I don't think I could have this very specific testimony without the experience that we have had with Gavin. Many times I have to remind myself that something "good" has to come from this experience. Gavin was sent here for many reasons, but I truly feel like one main reason he came here was to teach me how to return to my Heavenly Father and strengthen my testimony in His gospel. I was so grateful to feel that reassurance of my testimony during this funeral. Knowledge does not mean that the hurt disappears . . . it only means that we understand that the hurt won't last forever and that there is more to this existence than this mortal life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Bereaved Parent's Wish List

As Jason and I have gone through the experience of having and losing Gavin we have come to understand that there are so many parents who have experienced these same trials and emotions. More than I EVER imagined. I have been emailing a bereavement counselor/therapist from PCMC and she has been sending me some information on grieving and loss. As I was reading this information last night I thought it may be helpful for parents who have lost a child or who are grieving for the child they anticipated. We feel so fortunate to have been surrounded by supportive friends and family. I wish I could list the number of times we have felt the love and prayers from the kind people who have supported us and Gavin. I am so appreciative for all of the kindness we receive and I am worried at times I may come across as cranky or irritable. I am sorry if I have ever interacted with you this way. I acknowledge how much support we have received and we truly appreciate it. So . . . for any parent/grandparent/friend/brother/sister who has lost a little one . . . I hope this helps you the way it helped us. Maybe we aren't as crazy as we think we are. :)
A Bereaved Parent's Wish List
1. I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had him back.
2. I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also.
3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.
4. I wish you wouldn’t “kill” me again by removing her pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.
5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.
6. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.
7. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you too. I wish you would let me know those things.
8. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will live with the death of my child until the day I die.
9. I am working very hard on my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child and I will always grieve that he is dead.
10. I wish you wouldn’t expect me “not to think about it” or to “be happy”. Neither will happen for a very long time, so don’t frustrate yourself.
11. I don’t want to have a “pity party”, but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.
12. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be patient with me.
13. When I say, “I’m doing okay”, I wish you could understand that I don’t “feel” okay and that I struggle daily.
14. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So, please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.
15. Your advice to “take one day at a time” is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle an hour at a time.
16. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly it is not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.
17. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.
18. I wish very much that you could understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT I pray that you will never understand.
Compiled by Diane Collins, The Compassionate Friends, Bay Area

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A New Favorite Quote

True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ. Obedience to His teachings provides a secure ascent in the journey of life. That takes effort. While there is no guarantee of overnight results, there is the assurance that, in the Lord's time, solutions will come, peace will prevail, and happiness will be yours.

- Richard G. Scott

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dear Gavin

My Gavin James,

I have been thinking about you all day today. I just felt like I needed to send you another letter. This morning when I drove by to see you I felt like we had a little conversation. Just the two of us. Maybe others will think I am crazy, but I am pretty sure you told me to have a good day. I told you I love you.

It's been windy outside lately Gav . . . and that's hard for me. I know that your spirit is in a safe place but I dream about your little (almost) thirteen pound body being outside. I know you are safe but a momma loves the body of her baby whether his spirit is there or not. Maybe that's hard to understand Gav, but I loved every moment I was able to touch you. I want you to know there was NEVER a time where we didn't want to hold you. I know you spent so much of your life in the crib. That is not what I wanted for my son. You were so fragile at times and we couldn't disturb you. But we always connected Gav. I remember watching your breath numbers on the ventilator increase when your dad I and would talk to you. They say you couldn't hear - that your ears never formed right inside and that you didn't have the cranial nerves to send the messages to your brain - but we connected anyway. Didn't we? It felt good when the three of us could be together. Like life was complete and simple - even in the midst of the chaos of the NICU.

I have to tell you about an experience I had on Sunday. I was in the primary room and I was holding a little boy that was born a few weeks after you. I had him on my lap and he was looking at me and laughing. And for a brief moment Gav, I felt the most intense joy. Like Heavenly Father was telling me I would have this experience with you. For that moment I felt like the heavy weight of grief was lifted from my shoulders. I just have to remember that this life is a brief moment sandwiched between two eternities. We will have our time together Gavin. It will be the three of us again - just like it was at the beginning.

Keep working hard Gavin. I know you must have much to do. Please know that your mommy and daddy love you. You are the best thing that has ever happened to us. I will write again soon.

Your Momma

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When Time Stands Still

There are moments in life where time stands still. That is . . . time stands still for you. It stops and you are frozen in a moment. In a day. In three months. The six months after. . . and still counting . . . and will be counting forever. Meanwhile, the rest of life is spinning like a revolving door around you. You float as if invisible through the glass. Rotation after rotation. Over and over the door spins but you can't budge. People/Events/Circumstances run in loud circles around you. But your life has stopped. You are still in the panic and chaos that is life but your feet are cemented in a path that will never change. Forcing you in a direction you never knew of. Everything you know - everything you have waited for is frozen. Stolen. Or was it given? Ugh! All you know is that you must start again. Slowly you step forward hoping to not get swept up in the revolving rush of life. You know what life is about now. You know what is important. It's still hard making that transition. No longer can you walk in the innocence and naivety of a revolving life. Your life must have a purpose now. You must step out of the revolving door that offers a direction to nowhere and begin a new independent path with purpose. You know he doesn't want you to stand invisible - feet cemented in the ground. He wants you to walk that path with happiness and joy - to remember that this is a short time. And you hear him say, "Momma, I really not that far away."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Cindee!

Have you ever seen a happier grandma? I thought I would post a few of my favorite pictures of Jason's mom since it's her birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDEE! These pictures were taken the first time she was able to hold Gavin and I just love the expression of pure joy on her face. That is true grandma love, isn't it?! Cindee was one of the bright spots in the hard days that followed Gavin's birth. She has such optimism and hope. It was refreshing to have that personality around when you felt like your world was tumbling down around you. I just love how much she loves her family. Thank you Cindee for being a great mother! Have a happy birthday!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Apple Dumpling Recipie

I had a few people ask about the Apple Dumplings I made at Easter. Here is the recipie . . .

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.
Then go to confession. Quickly.

here is the site for the recipie http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/02/apple_dumplings/

Thursday, April 10, 2008


People! It's the return of The Office tonight! WOO HOO! I have been having serious network television comedy withdrawals. I need it . . . yep, I NEED The Office. Nothin' like a scene of Dwight on an exercise ball at his desk or Meredith asking Jim, "Wanna sign my cast?" (Which by the way, is a pelvic cast.) I am so looking forward to tonight's episode . . . has anyone else seen the teaser where Dwight cries because he hasn't been invited to Michael's house party?! HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beautiful Girl

This entry is dedicated to my beautiful wife, Lindsay. I want everyone to know how incredible she is. Reading through this blog and all of her entries, I’m sure you are all very aware of how special she is. In fact, this entry is long overdue. Her strength, kindness and beauty are amazing. Lindsay is the kind of person that you ALWAYS want to be around. This is something that I’ve constantly felt – I always want to be with her. She makes you better. She makes you happy. And she makes you laugh.

My wife was the perfect mother for our son, Gavin. I’m sure many of you have read his story and know just how special he is. It takes a special mother to have a special son. Her patience, love and understanding during the three, sweet months we had with Gavin will forever be remembered. Her faith, perseverance and hope since then will not be forgotten.

As her husband, I want her to know how much I love her and how much in love I am with her.

Lindsay loves, laughs and lives to the fullest. I have never met anyone with so much genuine love. Her passion for life is amazing and even though she has experienced extreme sadness and pain, she cherishes each day. She makes me a better man.

I love you, baby.



Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just Incase He Can Hear Me . . .

Sometimes I wish I could talk to Gavin. I wish I could tell him everything I feel and how much I love him. If he can hear me I think my letter to him would go something like this. . .

Dear Gavin,
My sweet Baby Gavin. I am so glad we picked this name for you. Your first name had been your daddy's favorite name for a long time - even before we knew you were a boy. And your middle name, James . . . that is a strong and faithful name in your momma's family. It fits you well, doesn't it?

Gavin, I don't know if you know how much we wanted you. How anxious we were for you. You should have seen the look on your daddy's face when I told him I was pregnant. I remember crying on my knees to our Heavenly Father asking Him to please let me keep you. I wanted you so much. That night we thanked Heavenly Father for you and our new little family. This was long before I really knew you Gavin. Oh, how you would change my life.

July 27, 2007 - that's your birthday Bug! It was a day filled with a plethora of emotions. I remember the first time I saw you. You were silent, Buggy. It scared me. The nurses told me you were okay, but I knew it wasn't true. Babies cry and move when they are born and you did neither. They took you away Gav. Your daddy tried to follow you but had to come back to momma's room. Then the hardest part came. A very kind nurse came to tell us that you weren't healthy. "We don't really know what is wrong," she said. Your daddy dropped to his knees and sobbed. And Gavy, even though I was heartbroken I felt peace. I knew that we would do whatever you needed.

The first time I saw you laying in your NICU bed it scared me. Your small 5 pound body was hooked up to wires and monitors. You had an IV in your sweet little forehead which made your eyes swell up. You still didn't cry, my baby. You laid so straight in you NICU bed, but gradually you started kicking your legs. Your daddy gave you a priesthood blessing that night. Do you remember that Gavy? He blessed you with a strong body, mind and spirit. We had hope Gavin. We were praying for our miracle.

Most of all Gavin, I want you to know that we received our miracle. It is you. We found out after you left us that you shouldn't have lived those three months. You are such a good son. I know you were tired. I still remember looking into your eyes late in August and hearing the words, "Momma, I am so tired." We had faith to heal you son, but that was not your plan. You have taught us and given us a more purposeful existence. You have taught me what pure love feels like. I miss you Gav. It's hurts to not touch you or hold you. I miss the peace you radiated from your little crib. I miss you holding on to my finger and on occasion staring into my eyes telling me, "It won't be as bad as you think it will be momma." I drive by to see you every single day to tell you I love you - I have not missed a day. Do you ever hear me? But Gavin, for as much as I hurt, I have peace because sometimes I can hear you. I can hear you whisper, "Momma, I am not that far away."

I will write again soon Bug. Please know that I love you.

Your Momma

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our Weekend Retreat

This weekend Jason and I were able to escape to my parents' cabin near Brianhead Ski Resort in Southern Utah. We wanted some much needed alone time away from work, school and other obligations we seem to find ourselves in on a constant basis. A few months ago I purchased Colbie Callait concert tickets for her performance at Tuachan Amphitheater for Friday night so we decided to make a weekend of it and stay at the cabin to watch General Conference. Friday afternoon we drove to St. George, UT and had dinner at the Pizza Factory before we went to the concert. Colbie has such an amazing voice - just like how she sounds on the CD. I am always so envious of people with that talent.

Saturday we woke up late and watched the morning session of conference and then went to get lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Cedar City . . . The Pastry Pub. If you are ever going through Cedar City we highly recommend their salads and sandwiches. After lunch we walked around Southern Utah University's campus remembering "the good ol' days" and laughing about all the fun times we had at school. We then drove back to the cabin and relaxed while we watched the afternoon conference session. After dinner we watched about 10 episodes and 30 Rock and drank soda and ate candy until we wanted to throw up.

Sunday we watched more General Conference, sat around in our pajamas and ate more candy and soda until we were both laying on the floor laughing and once again feeling sick. I always love hearing from our Prophet and General Authorities on Conference weekend. It is such a spiritual boost and renews my goals to be a better person.

The weekend was so much fun and it was so nice to be away from real life. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

This is the outside view of the cabin and the picture below is the family room where we sat around in our pjs and ate candy until we puked.My cute Jason always knows how to make me laugh.
We did cook dinner Saturday night . . . I guess that was one time we didn't eat candy for a meal. :)

An Anonymous Gift

This past Friday Jason and I received an anonymous phone call telling us that there was a package left at our front door. We were actually out of town this weekend so we had our friends pick it up for us. Today we went to get the package and found this drawing of Gavin. I was completely speechless. Jason's first words were, "That gave me the chills." It is a BEAUTIFUL drawing and I can't begin to explain how much it means that someone is still thinking about Gavin. We don't know who drew it . . . but the time and effort it must have taken means so much to us. Seeing his perfect face without a feeding tube or without the few physical deformities he had just makes us imagine what it will be like the next time we see him. There is so much feeling in his eyes, don't you think? So much thought must have gone in to this anonymous gift . . . and whoever it is . . . we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Looking Forward to This Weekend

Over the past few years I really have grown to love conference weekend and look forward to it. Sure, I still love sitting around in my pajamas all day and eating candy while we watch conference at home . . . but now it's about more than that. I am so grateful that we have prophets on this earth to lead and guide us. I feel that I now truly understand why it is so vital to have this gospel in our lives. It brings hope and reassurance that God does hear and understand us. Our Savior has a perfect knowledge of us and he speaks to us through His prophet and his apostles.

For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints please visit:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who Can Resist These Big Blue (and Crossed) Eyes?!

I Know How You Feel (Kinda)

Last night my friend and I went to visit another friend of ours at the UMC Trauma Center after he had suffered a very serious head injury a few days prior. Our 26 year old friend had very extensive brain swelling and has had a few brain bleeds as well. The prognosis was not looking optimal when my friend convinced me that we needed to go show our support for him and his family. I have to admit, I was apprehensive about walking in to another hospital to see someone I care about lying in a bed suffering. We knew he was in a coma and was on a ventilator and I just didn't know if I could see that again.

As we drove to the hospital I kept asking the question "WHY?" We all know how many times I have asked that question, and I felt frustrated that Heavenly Father would let this wonderful guy have such a trial. And more than that . . . I felt I could relate to the sadness his parents were experiencing. I know what it feels like to be the parent hanging on to every single word a doctor says and not knowing the end outcome of your child. I know what it feels like to know that there really isn't anything you can do to help your son and that his life depends on the Lord's will.

I started to feel more of my self pity and despair as we approached the hospital and the area of town that I now know like the back of my hand. Then the thought came to me, "Stop thinking about yourself and help someone else." So, I did. I spoke with his mother for awhile and I could relate somewhat to the pain and anguish she was feeling. I felt I truly could empathize with her on some level. I have been that mom before. I have been the mom sitting at the hospital waiting for doctors, tests, surgeries and praying for any positive improvements of my son.

As I left the hospital and went home I thought of nothing but my friend and his family. Later that night when I crawled into bed I realized I hadn't felt self-pity since I had arrived at the hospital. Stepping outside of my own hurt to support someone else truly helped me. Sometimes I feel like I am so involved in myself and my situation that I ignore so much around me. Last night helped me see the bigger picture. We are here to help others and carry each others burdens. I know I may not have done much for this family . . . but they really have no idea how much they helped me last night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WARNING! Today I feel . . .

Every now and then I read something that inspires me - something that speaks my truth through the words of another person . . . another mother. I read a blog of a woman who lost her son at six weeks. She doesn't know me and I don't know her - but she inspires me to be honest and truthful to myself and my feelings. Her words are raw and simple. The truth of that bare emotion strikes so close to my heart that I feel as if we have been thinking the same thing from the minute our baby boys were born.

Here is an excerpt from one of her recent posts . . .

Before all this, I’d shrink away from trauma like cooties. Oh isn’t that terrible and get me outta here was pretty much my instinctual response to anyone pinned to the concrete under an anvil. Not that I didn’t care, or wouldn’t listen, or wasn’t moved. I was simply clueless and oblivious, and preferred to stay that way.

To a point, we all saunter through life like doo de doo and lah di dah until an explosion blows the blinders off our eyes and we realize that all along, we’ve been sauntering along the edge of a precipice.

Then, we can hardly move one foot in front of the other. We whimper with backs pressed against the wall, the one misstep that will send us to our doom playing over and over again in our heads. From time to time the pathway narrows so that our toes hang off the edge, and we are paralyzed.

For some of us, that explosion is the slipping of an embryo, the loss not of a formed being but the potential of one. We can now see the precipice and we tremble and wail for intervention, for our blinders.

For others, that explosion is the NICU. Or the death of a six-week-old son or two-year-old daughter or fourteen-year-old son or thirty-five year-old wife, or any other number of unfair events that give us sudden vertigo.

Despair comes in two flavours, did you know? There’s the ever-popular Rage, the anger that makes you want to rip the heads off anyone and everyone you meet. Then there’s Self-Pity, the woe-is-me that’s even more crippling than the rage.

Standing there peering through the window of someone else’s trauma, you whine friggin’ lightweight. This person thinks they’ve got it bad, but THEY DON’T KNOW BAD. They haven’t had a baby die.

But here’s what you don’t know. Someone else is peering through your window, whining friggin’ lightweight. This person thinks they’ve got it bad, but THEY DON’T KNOW BAD. They haven’t - insert imperssively horrific event here-.

The thing I love about her honesty in this post is that she openly admits we all have difficult burdens to carry. And we can't compare them. I recognized that every single person will feel disappointment, sadness, loneliness and grief at one point or another in their life. I hope that I will be able to "mourn with those that mourn" more effectively now. . . Gavin has changed so much about me. Knowledge of eternity brings more comfort that I think I am able to comprehend - but living on earth without him is excruciating. I am grateful for my blessings. I am grateful for my eternal family. However, a mother and father still suffer when their 94 day old son dies. I know this is part of the plan, but it hurts and I know that others hurt too because of one reason or another. I read a quote the other day that said, "If life hurts, then you are growing." I don't think it means we have to be in agony all of the time - I do think that we are intended to have joy, but agony is an earthly emotion that we have to know. Every single person will feel grief for on reason or another - and then they will grow. I know I never was promised a perfect life, but I was promised that my trials would be met with blessings. I do believe there will be an end to sorrow and there will be a time where we will all feel nothing but peace and joy.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that this is my truth for the day. Brutally honest as it may be . . . it's the way I feel today.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My New Hobby

I know I have already posted a few of my Photoshop experiments, but I just thought I'd add a few more. I have found that it is best if I keep busy and this is one of the ways I am learning to keep myself sane. (Can you believe there was actually a time where I thought I would never have a free minute again? . . . yeah, I still would rather be doing that.) This has been a great way for me to "not think" and spend some time with Gavy's pictures. My cute little bug . . .