Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Laundry Will Wait....

Today has been a most interesting, kind of ah ha moment kind of day.  I started off with the regular, swim team carpool, then off to exercise.  After I finished our walk one of my neighbors and I drove to the church for the circuit training class that one of our other neighbors teaches.  It is the same class that I was at on the day that Tatum had her first big seizure.  I have been the past two weeks and it has been OK because there have only been a few people and most were my neighbors that have traveled this journey with us.  It has always felt a little weird, though, being there now without Tates.  Today there were a lot of people and several that used to come that do not live in our neighborhood.  I was a little worried that I might get some questions, but I didn't.  One little girl that was there had an outfit on that I had for Tatum.  These kind of little reminders will probably never stop.  The class was good and hard.  I am soooo out of shape.  It has felt good to do a little weight training, if you can call it that.

When I got home I started in on the house chores, and it is one of my dreaded laundry days.  Yuk.  I started thinking about what I needed to accomplish today.  There were a few things that I set as goals like the laundry, clean a bathroom, clean the kitchen, go through a closet and go through the kids old shoes.  Then I started thinking about things that I felt like I should do and that I wanted to do.  One of my Angel Watch friends is up at Primary Children's with her son, so I put that as high priority to see if I could maybe run up and visit her.  Her son is not doing the greatest so I wasn't sure if she would want a visitor, but I thought at least I would try.  I know that it was really nice when people would come and see us up there.  You feel like you are in a foreign country or outer space or something.  Then a lot of times your phone doesn't get service.  It can be very isolating.  I sent her a message and waited for her reply.  Then started the dreaded task of laundry.  Did I already say yuk?

As I was buzzing around the house my phone rang.  When I answered it was a patient from a few weeks ago that had a few questions about her hand molds and how to seal them.  I talked to her for a bit about that and then we just started talking about how she was doing and how I was doing.  We had a great talk.  For some reason I didn't have one kid interrupt me!  Unbelievable.  The angels attended again.  I think that we both felt uplifted after we hung up.  I know that I did.  She is such a sweet lady.  I wish that I had a magic wand to take all of the hurt that the families I meet get to experience, but then that defeats the purpose of our growth. It just hurts so much, you don't know how you are going to survive it, and I don't know how to tell them how to not just survive it but learn from it.  Because that is when the real healing comes.  When you embrace the lessons.  Sigh.

The next thing on my agenda was to deliver the pictures to the family that I met on Sunday.  Hilary and I ran to the camera store and they hadn't printed the pictures quite yet.  They said they would print them if I could wait.  Luckily they have a little play area that Hilary was thrilled to play at while I sat on the couch and closed my eyes for about 10 minutes.  I hope that I didn't snore or make those horrible jerky movements when you are about to fall asleep but you are trying not to.  After the pictures were printed I quickly ran them over to the family.  The dad of this sweet baby is a photographer so I was very nervous and I begged him to not be too critical because the hospital lighting is soo horrible.  He and his wife were very kind and appreciative.

In the meantime my friend had sent me a message saying that it would be fine for me to go visit her.  I was happy, and a little anxious.  This would be the first time back at Primary Children's since we left with Tatum on that last visit.  I tried not to think about it too much.

Before I left for Primary Children's one of the nurses from the NICU was bringing her son and his fiance over to do a hand mold of the two of them together.  They got there about the same time that I did.  We quickly did the mold and visited for a bit and then I was off to the hospital.

As I entered the hospital I remembered that I was going to have to check in at the security office and get a visitors badge.  It made me think of our badges that I had just barely taken off of my bathroom counter and put in a special spot so I can always remember that time we had with Tatum.  That time to help her fight her stupid disease and to try and make her comfortable.

 I went to the desk and told them that I was there to visit and she asked if I had ever checked in before.  I said yes.  She asked for my name and she pulled me up in the computer.  She said "You were a parent last time?"  I responded with Yep, I was a parent last time I was here.  I wanted to add a thanks for reminding me, but I was good.   I found my friends room and we had a nice visit.  I am really worried for her.  She has fought a hard battle keeping this little guy with her and her family.  Her strength and knowledge and love are amazing.  I miss being part of this community of moms and dads and siblings.  There is something about living their life like every day is their last.  It is so hard, but it is also humbling and tender and reminds us of where we came from and where we are going.  while I was there we were talking a little bit about the dreaded "end".  I was telling her how I am sure that people were looking at me and thinking are you really shocked that Tatum died?  You knew she was going to die right?  Well, of course I knew that she was going to die.  I knew that was her plan.  I just don't think that it will ever not shock you when your precious baby that you have spent all of your energy fighting for every day, dies.  I just kept thinking that maybe a miracle would happen, again, and we would get those bonus months that I wanted so desperately.  Well, this friend gets that crazy thought process.  She understands that it is never enough time and you spend a lot of your day, especially when you are in the hospital, bargaining with your Heavenly Father on how to get more time.  It is never never enough time.   I pray that she and her family get the time that they need and that they are blessed with the peace they need to help this little guy finish his mission here on earth (hopefully in a really long time from now).

This was Tatum on her last visit up at Primary Children's.  You can tell she felt like junk, but she actually gave a few little smiles while the kids were visiting her.  Never a more loved little girl.  Oh how I miss her.

On my way home I was thinking about my day and how I felt about it.  It was a little crazy, but it didn't feel chaotic, it felt calm and directed.  I was grateful that I let the laundry sit and wait.  Unfortunately it will wait, it is going nowhere.  But the opportunities that I had today to build and strengthen friendships and to offer support only come unplanned and when they are needed.  This is the way that I want to spend my days.  Being with my kids and friends and being available to them and being available to those around me who I might be able to help.  I know that is how my Heavenly Father wants me to spend my time.  I am trying really hard to be aware and close to the spirit and wise with the time that I have been given.  I want Trevin and Tatum to be proud of what I have done with my time here.  I already feel such a difference in how my soul feels.  I feel very different than I did a year ago, even just 8 weeks ago.  I feel much more calm and deliberate.  I feel change inside of me.  I am still so devastated and am so lost without sweet Tatum.  But I am trying really hard to recognize the good that has come and will continue to come from the changes in my heart, even though it hurts like crazy to get those changes.  My spirit feels very vulnerable.  I can hardly turn on the TV or the radio.  In the car I mostly listen to my phone play list of all of the songs that remind me of Tates.  It helps keep me focused on the good things.  Don't worry, it doesn't work all of the time!  I am still human.  I am just grateful that I let the laundry sit today.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Angels All Around Us!

Yesterday morning our young women in our ward were going up to see the Music and the Spoken Word at the Conference center in Salt Lake City.  We met at my house at 8am.  I was sad that there were only about 14 girls that were able to come out of our 40.  Summer is so busy and there are so many boys and girls leaving on missions right now, so several girls were out of town or at mission farewells.  I was happy for those that were able to come.  When we walked into the conference center the choir was singing "How Firm a Foundation".  When I looked at the program I saw that it was the last song that they would sing.  For a minute I was nervous that I had the time wrong, but then they announced that they were practicing for the broadcast that was to start in a half hour.  Phew.  That would have been really lame to drag all of those girls out at the crack of dawn on a Sunday when they could have slept in and have missed the performance.  They might have fired me on the spot!  The music for that half hour was beautiful.  The ending number "How Firm a Foundation" was amazing and stirring.  Makes you think and reflect a lot on your testimony and how firm are you?  Then after they had finished singing the announcer came on and thanked everyone for coming and then the choir stood and sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again".  It was angelic.  I lost it about then.  I looked over and Halea had lost it a little too.  Like mother like daughter.  I am not sure how much those girls absorbed from the experience, hopefully they were able to feel the spirit that was there.  What a great way to start the Sabbath.

Awful pictures! But you get the point.  The women in the choir are literally glowing like angels!  

 Beautiful girlies.

The rest of church was good.  Hayden gave a talk in sacrament meeting, that is always a good time.  Favorite quote "When your mom asks you to take out the trash, you should thank her for the opportunity!"  I am still waiting for those words to come out of his mouth, but great advice.  He actually did a really good job.  Sometimes he is funny without meaning to be:)

When we got home from church I quickly got dinner ready and ran down to the hospital to be with a family while they withdrew life support from their sweet baby.  It was a very sweet spiritual time.  I know that angels abide with these families as they are facing these hard decisions.  After this sweet baby passed to the other side I was talking to the family.  They had mentioned earlier that they lived in Lehi, so I started asking them questions about their Lehi connections because both of them had grown up there.  Since I live in a neighborhood with several Lehi born and raised families there is almost always someone from the hood that people know.  Sure enough they knew several families that live in my neighborhood.  Then it turned out that they knew Halea through their younger sister, and that they had borrowed Halea's car for a photo shoot because the dad of this baby is a photographer!  What in the world.  It is always nice to be able to make a connection with a family.  It just makes them feel more at ease and more comfortable I think if you have some common ground.  I know that angels were there helping this family be strong and to have comfort.  I was grateful to get to be a witness to it all, and to be an assistant to the greatest staff around.  My favorite doctor was their doc.  He had always made himself very available to us when we had any questions about Tatum, so I just have a soft spot for him.  I am always grateful when he is the doctor on when families have to experience such deep loss and make hard choices.  He just seems to have a great bedside manner, which makes such a world of difference for the whole experience.   Although always a very hard thing, it was a joyous experience to see an angel return home.

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night because I got home late from the hospital but I had to be up and running this morning for the LAST WEEK of swim team.  Can I get a hallelujah?   After I dropped the girls off I went and walked with a few friends then ran down and jogged with my other friend then on my way home I ran into another friend that was just heading out on her walk with her sister so I joined them.  It felt good to do that since what I had wanted to do was to go home and sleep!  Then I met my good friend for lunch and she brought me a sweet burial dress for the baby that had died on Sunday.  I called her on Sunday night to see if by chance she had any that were made up and of course she did!  Another Angel in my midst.

At 1:00 I had set up to meet a friend at my house.  I met her and her husband and their sweet little boy at the hospital several years ago.  We made a connection, I think, because our boys were about the same age when they died.  So we have kept in contact with each other since.  Her husband used to work at Costco, so needless to say I saw him all of the time.  They moved out of state a year or so ago.  I hadn't talked to her since Tatum got sick and then I just never got around to calling her.  Then several weeks ago I got a text saying that she was going to be in town so her in laws could have a baby shower for her.  They are expecting their fourth baby, their first little girl.  I didn't want to go to her shower and fake around and not tell her what had happened or worse yet, tell her at her baby shower!  Congratulations, by the way our baby died 8 weeks ago.  She would have, obviously, been a puddle.  So I called her on Sunday to tell her what had happened.  We talked and then decided that she should come over today so we could visit.  It was really nice to talk to her and show her all of the things about Tatum.  I can't get enough of talking about her, ever.  She was nice to listen and care.  She is nice to talk to because she gets some of the crazy that happens in your head after something like this happens.  It was a great visit.  Definitely another Angel in my day today.

After she left I ran Holden down to get some new shoes for school.   Yep, school shopping has commenced.  yuk!  When I got home I decided that I had time to quickly get ready and go meet Lance for his bike ride home from work.  When I went to get on my bike I noticed that my front tire was flat, again!  I quickly changed the tire.  When I got it pumped up I noticed that there was a part of the tire that was bowing out a little.   As I rode off I noticed that the tire was making a weird rhythmic bumping noise every time the tire rotated.  I rode cautiously and tried to take it easy.  Well, when I hit about the 8 mile mark I looked down to see the tire had deflated!  And me with no spare.  Uh oh.  I did have one CO2 cartridge, so I pushed that into the tire, but it was not near enough air to pump up the entire thing.   I tried calling Lance, no answer.  Shocker.   Then I tried a few friends.  One was willing to come and get me but she wasn't sure she could find me.   Hmmm.  I decided to just start walking to the next crossroad until I got to a better place for someone to come and get me.  I did not feel panicked or mad or discouraged.  I felt super calm, like things would work out.  I took off my shoes and started walking.  I was only 8 miles from home.  I figured that Lance would eventually catch up to me, ride home and come and get me.  I only got a few feet down the trail and a lady yelled to me from her backyard that she had bike tubes and a pump if I would like some help with my tire.  What?  I thanked her and walked in through her backyard gate that meets up against the back of the trail.  I thanked her profusely and she told me that she worked at a local bike shop.  Seriously?  Angels!  She quickly repaired my tire, with a new tube.  Her dad pulled up as she was finishing and then showed us how to fix the bump in the tire so hopefully this won't happen again.  It never ceases to amaze me how people allow themselves to be instruments in the Lords hands.  They make it seem so easy and effortless.  I thanked them again and I was off.  I decided to just head home because I wasn't sure where Lance was on the trail and I didn't want to have another mishap.  I wasn't sure if I would get another angel.

I got home with and about 2 minutes later Lance pulled in behind me.  I was bummed because I had missed riding with him, but glad for us to both be home.  When I walked in the house this is what I saw:

I caught Hilary finishing off the last of our jar of cinnamon sugar!  What you can't see is that she had about 5 pieces of licorice that she was dipping in the cinnamon/sugar mix to wash it all down.  Oh boy.  She told me with a very straight face that Holden had eaten it.  All of this happened under the loving care of her siblings while I was gone.  We may need to have a family meeting:)

We quickly got dinner ready and we were about to leave to go get some ice cream, when the phone rang.  It was the hospital calling for a family that I had worked with about a year and a half ago.  The nurse said that they had lost the disc with all of their pictures of their twins.   The mom was wondering if I might by chance still have them digitally.  I told the nurse there was almost no chance.  I remembering clearing a lot of pictures from my computer maybe 6 or 8 months ago.  I told her I would look.  I looked through manually the first time and then I did a search of my pictures directory and there they were!  I could not believe it.  Again, angels.  I was so happy to call that mom and tell her that I had found them.  She was elated.  I asked how her other twin was doing because one had survived.  She said that she was doing great.  She said that the doctors said that she is right on with her age developmentally.  These little twins were 23 weeks.  That is a true miracle for that little girl to be doing that well (and for those pictures to be on our computer).  ANGELS.

Last angel miracle of the night.  After we had a quick thought for Family Night we decided to go get shakes.

As we were sitting there I looked over at what Hayden was wearing.  He was wearing MY SHORTS that I had been looking for for two weeks.  They had just mysteriously disappeared.  Somehow they had slid off the dryer into Hayden's laundry.  I had just about given up on finding them, but they were my favorite so I was about to go buy another pair.  After I pointed out that he was wearing his mother's shorts he promptly tucked them up under his shirt!  Apparently it is not cool to wear your moms stuff.  I might be offended.

 Some of these "angel happenings" might seem insignificant and small.  Some might think that these are all coincidence and nothing more.   I testify that I know differently.  I know that Heavenly Father and my Savior care about my daily life.  I know that they send angels to minister to us every day.  I am so grateful for that.  Especially during these times when I need those little reassurances.  I am so grateful for my time I have on earth.  I am trying to spend it wisely.  As my friend was leaving this afternoon I told her that I had been trying really hard to focus on living a better more meaningful life.  Doing things that I think my Heavenly Father and Savior would want me to do, rather than what I would want to do.  Sometimes my house will be a pit and suffer a little, but I feel the need to spend time with people and to serve.  I want to use the time that I would be spending taking care of Tater bug wisely.  That is precious time that we have been given, not to squander, but to do good things with.  I hope that I am opening my eyes and my heart big enough to see and feel how I should spend it.  I am grateful for the spirit and angels to help guide and direct me and my family through our daily lives.

Hopefully next picture Hayden will be wearing a full pair of pants.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

8 Weeks and Trying to Live Life..

Lance took off the last part of the week because he had Wednesday the 23rd off for Pioneer day that we celebrate here in Utah.  It has been fun to have him home for a few days that we really didn't have things planned.  On Friday it was 8 weeks.  I went running for a bit and when I got home I asked Lance if he wanted to go on a bike ride.  I wanted to make sure that he is super comfortable with his "new" bike before he starts riding it to work every day.

Halea was riding her new bike that she got for Christmas down to the Legacy center where she teaches swimming lessons.  So we decided to catch up with her and make sure that everything went well.  We quickly packed up and rode down toward the Legacy center.  We only caught Halea a little before she reached her destination.  We made sure she made it and then Lance and I decided to head out to a trail that I haven't ridden for a long time and he has never ridden.  We got to the Jordan River trail and headed south to see where it ended.   We noticed immediately that it was not nearly as well maintained as the new trail that we have been riding on.  We are spoiled!  We were cruising along and all of a sudden it ended onto a dirt trail, sort of without warning.  I quickly clipped out of my pedals and went to say something to Lance.  I looked over my shoulder just in time to see him hit the ground right next to me.  Apparently he did not have luck clipping out of his pedals!  Once I saw that he was OK I told him that it was nice that it happened out in the middle of nowhere where no one saw him.  It seems like whenever I have fallen it is right in the middle of everything for everyone to see.  He was a little stunned but he got back on his bike and we started riding north on the trail in hopes of hopping back on to the Murdock trail that we normally ride.  We rode and rode and rode and never saw an opening from this trail to get to the other trail.  We got a little lost and suddenly our 20 mile bike ride was turning into a 30.  We kept going on the trail we were on in hopes that it had a way to get to the other, but we just kept getting further and further away.  We decided after several large hills to take one more section of this trail and then we would turn around.  We had just started to pick up speed and this is what we ran into:

Not what you want to see while on a trail.  The only solution is to go back the way you came!  Luckily we had climbed a lot of hills going so we had some down hill heading back, but still!

The kids started calling at about this point.  We had been gone for quite awhile and none of them were awake when we left.  We arrived home about a half hour later.

We had not used our summer passes to the local water park yet and the kids had been wanting to go so I reluctantly decided to load them up and do it.  Lance and Hayden and Halea opted out of our adventure.  Imagine missing out on such fun?  We got there and got settled.  Hilary and I stayed by the wave pool.  Last year I had both of the little girls.  Tates was just a little tiny baby.  She was always so good.  Hilary just liked to hang out in the kiddie pool while the older kids went on the slides.  It seemed so weird to not have Tatum there with us this time.  I knew that it was going to be harder with Tatum being sick but I had planned on taking her at least once to the water park so she could check that off her summer adventure list.  As I started looking around at how gross the water was and how yucky the ground and grass were, I thought that maybe I wouldn't have brought her!
Hilary was pretty happy sitting on the blanket and drinking lemonade.  She only made me take her on one little slide and then she was done.
 We hung out for a few hours and then we all headed home.

When I got home Lance and I ran down to Rumbi Grill to grab a little something to eat.  I wanted to eat a little fish before my big 5k that I was running the next day.  (good excuse to get yummy food!)  My friend and I used to eat there a lot with Tatum and Hilary.  While Lance and I were sitting there I was thinking a lot about those fun lunches.  She loves Tatum and Hilary like her own.  She is the friend that helped me get the blog up and running and why we called it Tatum Time.  She used to always say that she needed Tatum Time.  We both miss that times so much.  She was one of the few people that new that I had concerns about Tatum.  I think that I told her sitting there at Rumbi that we were bringing Tates in for testing with the neurologist.  I guess I was having some sort of Post Traumatic flash backs while we were sitting there.  It is a weird feeling trying to live a normal life when your life seems anything but.

This morning (Saturday) Lance and Heidi and Holden and Hilary and our friend Amber and her three kids went to a 5k run down in Provo.  The race has bounce houses and a hot air balloon that the kids get to go up in and face painting and french toast, etc.  So we decided to drag the kids out of bed at 6:30 am so that they could come and have fun while we ran.  Well there ended up being no hot air balloon and only one really sad bounce house!  Disappointing, especially for Lance.  He and the kids tried to make the best of it.  The french toast and chocolate milk were good and they did have ice creams.   Amber and I both got 2nd in our age division because there were a few other big races going on elsewhere in the county, so there were not a lot of people at the race.  Whoo hoo.
Every one of us earned a medal in our age division!  Hilarious

Hilary was really enjoying her creamie..
Winning! and Matching, embarrassing.
That 6:30 wake up is catching up to someone..
Face Painting..

Face painting and french toast.  Best..

It was weird to run a race this summer.  That was no where on my radar.   It just takes too much time to go to, run and stay afterwards.  That would have just been too much time away from Tatum.  I would have never been able to enjoy myself.  It was only a 5k so I wasn't stressed that I signed up so last minute and it wasn't like I had to "train" for it per say.  It was good to get out there and compete a little.  There is something to be said for that kind of activity.  It can make you feel alive in a way that other things can't.  At least it does for me.  I haven't done a race in a few years, so it was good.  And I wasn't last.  Phew.

We are 8 weeks into our new normal and it doesn't feel very good right now.  I wish that all of this didn't have to take so long.  I still can't understand how I continued living and breathing after Trevin died.  My heart hurts so bad right now I feel like it could just stop.  There is literally pain.  I feel like the physical and spiritual separation from her is killing me inside.  I just ache to have her and kiss her and hold her and care for her.  I listen to my other friends that still have there special needs kids and I so wish that we were  still fight the fight with our sweet Tatum.  That sounds horrible and people that haven't had a special needs kid will think that is weird, but I just miss her and her specialness and the feelings that she brought out in me and my kids and people around us.  There is a special spirit that surrounds these  kids that can never be duplicated or replaced in your home.  It reminds you every day to enjoy every day and to not sweat the small stuff, you are never without something to do and it so exhausting, but in the end they will always let you hold them and kiss them and drink in their amazing spirits.   My arms just literally ache.  I am so unfocused right now.  There is plenty for me to do, but I feel like I can barely accomplish the bare minimum because I can't focus on things. Just part of the recovery from this huge blow to my spirit.  It just feels really hard right now.  Luckily Lance seems more focused, so he has really pitches in with Hilary and figuring out things that I don't feel like I can right now, like stupid insurance bills.  Who wants to deal with that right now?  Not me.  I don't even care if the hospital gets all of its money.  They over charge to make up for those that don't have insurance as it is, so are they really going to miss my thousand dollars?  Probably not.  Don't worry, we are paying it.  It is just hard to think about it.  I just wish that we were still fighting for her to be here with us.  It is so hard to lose this battle, even though I knew that would be the eventual outcome.   Now, I am just trying to live life and be better during it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pin Wheels...

I have been looking for pin wheels for about 5 weeks.  Lance and I finally found some at a party store.  We  went to a few dollar stores beforehand and had no success.  Then we went to the party store and the girl said that they had a big bucket of them back by the summer items.  When we went to get them there was only one left.  Apparently a lady had come in a few days before and bought them for a funeral.  That was an interesting idea.  I was grateful that she forgot to buy the last one!  Tender mercy.  The clerk then said that they had some littler pin wheels so we went and looked at those and bought some of those too.  I don't like them as well because they don't spin super good.  When we got to the front the clerk asked why we were buying them.  Hmm.  I told her that they were for the cemetery.  She smiled and said something like "that's cool".  Well maybe it's cool, unless it's your babies that you're putting them out for.  I didn't say the last part I just smiled.  I am good at this.

When Lance and I got to the car I told him that I had an epiphany and that I was never going to say that we had 5 children ever again.  I knew that he would be uncomfortable with that.  He never wants to make other people feel weird or to get into a conversation that is uncomfortable.  I told him that he can say whatever he wants, but I am never saying 5 again.  We have 7.  He started quizzing me about different situations that would come up and I would answer him with something really blunt.  He would rather die than say some of the answers.  I don't want to say them either, but I just have to acknowledge them in our family and that is that.   The silly conversations that I get into make for great material for the group that I do at the hospital for families that have lost babies.  It seems like  every month I have a new story about just this question.  Now I am sure I will have one every week.

It's driving me crazy that we don't have their headstone, so it makes me feel a  little better when there is something out for them.  I have always loved to put pinwheels out for Trevin.  When I find some I am buying a hundred of them.  I have never had such a hard time finding a silly pin wheel.  I was grateful that there was at least one left.

Two of my friends that work up in the Salt Lake area for Angel Watch came down to visit yesterday.  There was a little mix up and they didn't find out that Tatum had died until about 2 weeks ago.  Whoops.  I realized it shortly after her funeral and I felt awful.  It was so hard to remember who to notify and as time goes on it gets harder and harder to do.  There are still a few people that I haven't talked to.  Those are going to be rough calls.  It was nice of them to come down and visit and listen to me talk about Tatum and our experience.  It is always nice to talk about her.  It makes her feel real and like her life mattered.  I know her life mattered, it is just validating I guess.

Yesterday I realized that my iPad was missing:)  I couldn't remember seeing it since I brought it to church.  We looked everywhere in the house.  Every once in awhile Hilary or Holden will bring it upstairs, totally against the rules I might add.  I was starting to get a little worried.  I went and looked a few places in the church but did not find it.  I said a little prayer and tried not to worry.   There was one more place that we could look in the church but I needed a different key so I figured I would go and do that later when I got home from going to the hospital.  I really didn't feel as panicked as I thought I should be.  I think that I am realizing that those things just don't matter as much.  I would be really sad if it was lost, but it can be replaced if it had to be.  I just was hopeful that if someone had stole it that when they opened up our pictures and saw all of our sweet kids and then sweet little Tatum and her feeding tube and her oxygen that they would maybe dig deep and do the right thing!  Or that they would get there punishment later (that was the evil side of me).
Well, when Lance was putting Hilary to bed last night she climbed into her bed and out came the iPad!  Silly girl.  Prayer answered.   I probably need to keep better track of my iPad:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How Many Kids Do You Have?

Oh how I have hated this question for 19 years.  I usually had a protocol in place - If I will know these people after I answer this question then I would include Trevin and explain.  If it was going to be a brief encounter but they would notice if I said I had six kids and there were only 5 there I would say that I only had 5 kids.  If I only had a few of the kids with me and it wouldn't be obvious that only Trevin was missing I would say I had six (or seven once Tatum came).  It has always been a really hard question for me.  I don't ever want to not include Trevin, and now Tatum.  Sometimes I just don't want to explain.  Well this is part of the reason that I have only wanted to be around people that I know.  I don't want to meet new people and have to go through these questions in my head when this question is asked.  It is just too raw.  Well, last night we walked down to the cul-de-sac in our neighborhood to watch the annual Pioneer Day fireworks.  People bring all of their fireworks and treats and just have fun together.  We have several families that have moved out of our neighborhood in the past 2 months.  One of the new families was there.  We were standing around introducing ourselves and she asked Lance and I how many kids we have.  I was taken off guard a little.  I just hadn't thought about answering that question yet because I have tried to protect myself.  I looked at Lance and I said "currently we have 5 here with us".   What kind of stupid answer is that.   The new neighbor chuckled and said that she understood because they have quite a confusing family of his, hers and ours because of divorce.  I just tried to quickly get out of the conversation and leave.  When I got home I went straight to my closet to put my pajamas on and I had a complete breakdown.  I have seven children and I will never say that I have five again.  I don't care if it makes people uncomfortable.  Not everyone is going to need to hear an explanation, and that is fine.  It just made me sick to completely not acknowledge Trevin and Tatum as part of our family.  I cannot do that ever again.  They have done too much for our family to not include them.  Now I am ready for that question.

The rest of our day was pretty good.  We didn't plan a lot for the day so we slept in a little.  Then Lance and I got his road bike ready to go for a test drive.  It is official, Lance is a road biker! We are still working on the clothing.  He refuses to wear the traditional gear.  I am going to keep working on that:)
We went out for a quick ride to get him used to his new ride.  I think that he liked it and noticed the huge difference between his mountain bike and this much lighter road bike.  We stopped at the cemetery on our way home.  I love where Trevin and Tatum are buried.  I love the location in the cemetery and I love that they are close to us.

When we got home from our ride I decided to cut Hilary's hair.  The other day she was going potty and she leaned her head back and Lance said that her hair touched the toilet water!  YUCK.  Time to trim up that beautiful hair.  She was actually really patient and still.  Once I got all of her hair combed out (which took awhile) I grabbed a section and gave it a snip.  I cut it a little shorter than I had intended, but it will grow back, right?  We cut about 5 or 6 inches off.  Her first real haircut.
Before Haircut....
 Please don't take my after picture
I had to sneak this after picture.... Cute

Later we went to a BBQ at a neighbors house.  They had all sorts of fun for the kids and adults.  It was nice to be around people that we love and that love us.  Celebrations of any sort are just hard.  We went to these same neighbors house last year and we of course had Tatum with us.  It is just hard to do all of these things without her.
Here are the teenagers fighting over who sits in this chair.  Never mind that there were 10 other chairs.  Cute.
 Holden on the slippy slide.
 Lance and Halea enjoying some swing time.
Holden and Hilary racing the little cars.

Heidi and friends in a much too small pool.

When we got home from the fireworks I turned on the TV to watch some news.  I checked the BYU channel to see what was on and the concert that we went to a few days ago was being re broadcast.  I watched the last part of it instead of the news.  Good choice.  There is just something about good music that can invite the spirit.  The last song the choir sang was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", one of my very favorites.   As they were singing I was overcome with feelings of gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  My heart feels so broken right now.  If I did not have the hope that I feel from the gospel that there would be no way I could recover.  The sadness is so overwhelming sometimes that if I did not know we would be reunited with our sweet children, it would be too much to handle.  I know that there is sadness all around, but because of our Savior, one day all will be repaired.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

46 Years, Aged to Perfection.

That's right, Lance turned 46 today.  It was fun to focus on doing some special things for Lance today.   He has been such a rock these past several months (I know you are all shocked that Lance never wavered!)  He has put up with all of my crazy and really held down the fort with a lot of things lately.  My goal the past few weeks has been to get him set up on my old road bike so he can ride it to work rather than the 21 year old mountain bike that is as heavy as a tank.  We got all of the remaining parts today, so tomorrow we will start operation "Learn the art of clip in shoes and a bike computer!"  I keep telling him that after riding that ridiculous bike for the past two months that he is going to feel like he is riding on air when he gets on the road bike.
Lance and his haul....
Hilary suddenly wanted to be in a picture.
 Heidi made this cute little firework for lance.  Adorable.
 Mmmm CAKE...

Walker's are going to have fun tomorrow..

Tonight when Lance got home from work, he took a quick look at his presents and then we went up to Salt Lake to look at the floats for the Pioneer Day Parade tomorrow.  They display them at the expo center so you can look at them up close.  We have gone for several years.   It is amazing the creativity of people and the hard work that goes into making these floats.
Recognize these little pioneers?  Holden and Heidi.  Cute.

When we got to the expo center I could not help wondering if we had possibly walked into a toddler/baby convention.  It seemed like everyone had a double stroller with a 3 year old and a 1 year old or baby.  Or was pregnant!  Usually it doesn't bother me, but they were everywhere.  That should be us.  We should have a double stroller with our sweet Tatum and Hilary.  I am so very grateful that I did not buy a double stroller.  I researched and researched and had 2 different ones that I liked.  I went to buy one about 3 or 4 different times but it just never felt right.  When Tatum was little I just left her in her car seat and put her in the stroller part and Hilary loved riding on the triangle above the front wheel of our BOB stroller.   We just turned our single stroller into a double, ghetto style.  It worked and now I know why I just never felt right about buying a new stroller.  Tonight I was wishing that someone would just drop a baby on our doorstep. (Probably because that is the only way we will get to have another baby)  Missing my life without our little Tater Bug.

 After the float expo we were going to go out to eat.  Well, we got to where we were going to eat at about 8:40 and the place closed at 9:00.   We decided to go somewhere else.  What we discovered along this journey is that all places close at 9:00.  Apparently we live in a state that closes at dark.  We finally decided on Mimis Cafe.  Delicious.  After driving through some pretty scary parts of own, we arrived at Mimi's.  May I just say that Hayden ordered a steak and mashed potatoes and FRIES!  Who does that.  I am finding out that 15 year old boys do that.   It was fun to spend time together as a family and celebrate Lance's bday.

Earlier today I was looking through some pictures and I ran across a few pictures of last Halloween.  I had totally forgotten that Tates had worn Trevin's clown costume from his first Halloween.  That is an eery foreshadowing of things to come.  I remember asking Lance if it would bother him.  I really did not remember that she had worn his costume.

Today a friend posted an article about a lady that had learned to slow down and essentially "smell the roses" because one of her kids needed that slower pace.  One day she realized that she was always telling this particular child to hurry, hurry hurry all of the time.  She started making a conscience effort to not tell her to hurry and to just go at her little girls pace.  Over the next several years this mom became very grateful for the slower pace that they now lived.  It made me think of Tatum.  I am a real goer all of the time.  I am usually not one to stay home much.  That all changed on February 12th.  Sometimes I would choose to stay home so that we didn't have to worry about Tater bug getting sick from some one's inadvertent germs.  It wasn't very fun for her to be moved around a lot towards the end of her life, so we just stayed home a lot.  A lot slower pace than I have ever lived.  I would give my right arm to have that pace back.  I have been able to maintain some of the perspective that she gave to us.  I will forever be in debted to her for that.  She has made me want to slow down and enjoy things a little more.  Live life more fully and less cluttered.  I want to fill my time with the best things not just things that are good or OK.  This article just made me think so much about these beautiful lessons that she taught me.  Missing that sweet girl.

Tomorrow we celebrate the pioneers that settled this beautiful place that we have to live in.  So grateful that they had the courage and endure to the end attitude to help restore the gospel to the earth so that we can all have and partake of its fullness.  What a blessing in my life.  Because of our Temple sealing I  know that she is ours forever.  And we are hers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tatum Lesson: Listen to the Spirit

I am probably the worst at this.  I know that I have daily promptings that I ignore and think it is my crazy brain.  In reality it is help in my daily life that the spirit is trying to lend me.  I am just a VERY slow learner.  Case and point.  Saturday night Lance and I went to Walmart late and I had a feeling that I should pick up shortening.  Then I said to myself, Nope you have shortening.  Now the reason I needed shortening was because I was making cinnamon rolls for a meeting that I was having at my house for the YM/YW leaders.  Sure enough I wake up at 6am on Sunday morning to make them and I have no shortening!  I immediately knew that I had missed that golden opportunity to show my listening skills, again.  Luckily I was able to scrape enough shortening off of the sides of the can to make half of a batch, which turned out to be enough.  If I had listened to the promptings of the spirit I could have blessed other people by surprising them with cinnamon rolls.  Missed opportunity.  I will get better.  I know that some people will think why would the spirit want to guide you in something so trivial.  It was important to me and so that is what the spirit does.  Tries to help guide us in our daily lives even with things that may seem small at the time.  I know that there are no accidents or coincidence.  There is help from the other side of the veil.

Sunday night as I was planning out my day, I decided that I wanted to make dinner for a friend who has a special needs kid and her husband was going out of town.  Her little girl has been sick, so I just thought that it would be helpful.  I put it at the top of my list of things to do.  This morning when I went out for my run one of my friends texted me and met up with us.  On our way home she started talking about a little guy who had died a week ago and that his funeral was today.  She said that I should come because there would be some awesome general authority speakers.  I thought about it because I had 3 or 4 mutual friends of the family and oddly I really enjoy funerals because the veil is so thin and the spirit so strong and who doesn't want to hear an apostle speak?   Then the thought came to me that one of the mutual friends was the lady that I wanted to bring dinner to.  I felt like I should text her and see if she wanted me to watch her girls so she could attend the funeral.  I was so grateful that I followed that prompting.  It helped me to accomplish the one goal I had set for the day to bring her dinner, done  She was so happy to have attended.  I got to hold her sweet little girl and spend some time in that special spirit zone.  Hilary got to have a play date with her other little girl.  It was a win win win.  When she came home from the funeral she did tell me that Elder Holland spoke who is one of my very favorite Apostles.  But it was OK.  I was only sad for a second.  I knew that I was blessed in other ways for doing something that I really wanted to do.  How easy.

When I got home I hopped on my bike and rode down to meet Lance.  It was sooooo hot and windy.  Yuk.  I thought I would surprise him and bring some coins to buy us a cold drink.  Along the trail that we ride on there is a drink machine.  Every time I ride past it I wish that I had brought money.  I remembered and it was a perfect day because it was so hot.  I was really excited for my surprise so I didn't tell him until we got to the machine.  I told him to pull over.  Then I pulled out the money.  He did not seem nearly as excited as I thought he should be, but I carried on. I put the money in the machine and pushed my selection: Lifewater.  Then the machine read "Selection Out" and it spit my money out.  What?  I reinserted my money and selected Gatorade.  Then it said "Vending".  I was like a kid in a candy shop!  So exciting.  I went to get my drink out of the slot and it was hard because it had dropped TWO drinks!  Dilemma, is this stealing?  Then I heard my money spit back out into the slot.  It gave me two drinks, of different colors of gatorade so we had a choice and it gave me my money back.  I felt a little guilty but it is out in the middle of no where.  There was no "manager" to tell.  So I just had to enjoy our good fortune.   It sure made the rest of the ride back more enjoyable.

One of my favorite activities with Tatum was taking pictures of her.  We made the mistake of not taking a lot of pictures of Trevin while he was sick.  It has always been a regret.  We were just sure that he was going to get better, so we waited for that day to come.  We didn't really want to remember him sick.  That turned out to be almost half of his life that I don't have recorded.  I took a very different approach when Tatum got sick.   I took several pictures of Tatum almost every day.  I am so grateful.  Even though they are a little hard to look at right now because they make me miss her so much, I know that they will sustain me until I get to see her again.  It was really hard for me to think about taking pictures again after Tates died.  I know that I can't just blank the rest of the other kids lives.  It is just so hard to think that the rest of the pictures that we take, she is not a part of those memories.  That is hard with a capital H.  It makes me not want to make any more memories, but that is silly and impossible.  Well, Hilary is in a weird stage that she freaks out when I try to take her picture.  Perfect combination.  She is really making me work at something that I don't even want to be doing.  Ugh.  Here are some examples from tonight:
She kept smelling the flowers, until she realized that I was trying to take her picture.
This sums it up nicely.
Blurry trying to get away.
 Trying to hide behind dad.
Running away.
Successfully hiding behind dad.

You get the point.  She is making this really hard.  My iphone is a little older too and so it is a little on the slow side as far as speed of taking pictures.  She usually has quite a warning before the picture is snapped.

These pictures were all taken at FHE tonight.  We went and listened to a band that one of Lance's co-workers plays in.  It was a really fun outdoor concert in the park sort of deal.  Halea had a few friends come, so we had a load of people.  It was really nice to go do something with the family.  Afterward we went and got ice cream at the Creamery on 9th.   Such a fun night.
You might think this is a lot of people and the van would be full.  You would be WRONG!  Still room for more:)
 A sneak picture of Hils enjoying her ice cream.  She was unsuspecting.

Crazy group of TEENS!
I hope that I can continue to improve my listening skills.   I know that my days and my life will be better if I but listen and pay attention to the promptings of the spirit.  I know that there are spirits that are trying to help guide us in our daily lives.  There is such a difference in your day when you are listening and doing the things that you should be.  thanks for the reminder Tater bug.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Painting Hung! Perfection...

Saturday turned out to be a very productive day.  I had a list for Lance.  Poor guy.  Top of the list was to hang the beautiful painting.  I still can't believe that we get to keep it.  I figure if we hurry and hang it, our friend would feel guilty taking it back and leaving a huge hole in our wall, right?  We needed to run to Walmart to gather some items to actually hang the painting so we started with the other items first.  For a few months there have been two sets of curtains in our upstairs bedrooms that have been falling down.  We just haven't taken the time to fix them.  We have been a little distracted.   So that was Lance's project list: curtains, hang painting.

I actually went on a run with our dog for the first time in several weeks.  She gets really excited to go so I like to take her because I am not as excited to go as I used to be.  Running used to be my therapy.   Since Tatum died it has been pure drudgery.  I have been mixing it up a little with biking and walking and other classes and hikes so that I can hopefully get to love it again.  I actually did a route that I haven't done for quite awhile and I ran pretty much the entire route.  I was pretty tired afterward.  It is amazing how quickly your body forgets and remembers how to do things.  As I was running I just kept thinking that I used to run 10 miles every day before I had Hilary! Idiot.  And I have run several marathons and other races that require lots of miles.  It just isn't in me right now and it drives me a little crazy.  It felt good to go and do somewhat of a normal run, even though it was slower than slow.  Baby steps.

After my run I was able to spend a little time in the yard.  I watered our roses and pruned them a little.   So far they are all still alive.  Yay.  When I came in from the yard I discovered that Hilary had discovered her love for eyeshadow.  Her motto is "a little goes a long way but a lot is way better":)

Later in the afternoon we went to Walmart and got all of the supplies we needed.  We got home and deliberated about the best process to hang the picture.   We knew where we were putting it.  That was a huge step.  We measured and marked and decided on a spot.  Lance had purchased a monster hook that was going to put an enormous whole in our wall, so we had one shot to get it right.  He measured several times and then just put that monster hook right in.  We hung the painting and voila.
Again, the pictures don't do it justice.  It looks like it was made for this room and this wall.  Love it!

Right after we hung the painting, there was a knock at the door. This is what my neighbor had brought us!:
At our house we call this dinner!  It was as good as it looks. Yummy.

One of our neighbors had some extra tickets to the pioneer concert up at the conference center, so we got ready quick and headed up to Salt Lake.  It is still very hard for me to want to go anywhere.  I hate that I can.  I feel a little anxious while I am out.  I don't want to run into people.  It is just emotionally a little taxing.  However, I know that we must.   We have to continue living because we can and we are not done.  So I am forcing myself.  I am so grateful for those good neighbors for thinking of us.  The concert was stirring, and fabulous and spiritual.  It was fantastic.  When we walked out of the conference center this is what we saw.
How lucky are we.  The moon was beautifully shining right above the Temple.  What an amazing night.
I had been struggling with my lesson that I was teaching the next day for YW.  The lesson was on ordinances and covenants and why they are important to us.  As I was sitting in the concert my mind was fixated on the pioneers and the sacrifices that they have made for us to be able to have the ordinances of the gospel  in our lives.  If it weren't for them we would have nothing.   And what we are going through right now would be soul crushing.  It would be unbearable if I thought that I would never see Tatum or Trevin again.

On our way home we needed to stop at Walmart (again) to pick up a treat for Lance's class and I wanted to see if they had any more of the Don't bug Me pajamas to donate to the hospital.  Lance ran to look for his things and I went to the baby section.  They didn't have any of the pajamas and it was ridiculously hard to be there in that section.  Tatum would have looked so cute in all of the little outfits.  I stepped out of the baby section and waited for Lance over by the food for a minute until he came.  It was too depressing to just stand there and admire the cute things that Tatum will never wear.

This brings us to today.  I have said it before, Sundays are hard.   Everything was pretty OK up until Sacrament meeting.  I just dread sitting on the bench with no one to hold or take care of.  I should be taking care of our sweet Tatum.  My arms just ache when I am sitting there.  Luckily when we first sat down at our bench, before church started, Holden and Heidi got into a small fist fight with each other.  I took Holden out into the hall and sat him down to explain to him why we don't hit, especially our sister, especially in the chapel during sacrament meeting!  Are you kidding me?  I guess this is not the type of distraction that i was hoping for:)

Overall it was a good day.  There were a lot of emotions running through me.  Just missing our sweet girl and being able to be her mommy.  I just don't know that this longing is ever going to go away.  I might just have to soldier on this way for the rest of my life.  That makes me feel exhausted and sad.