Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday Shopping

I love looking at all the sale ads on Thanksgiving. I know they are all online early, but I love circling what I want and strategizing for Black Friday. We were so disappointed with Target's ad this year, they had nothing. So, we started at Kohls at 3:30am, Jodi, Laura and I grabbed a few things while Suzi waited in line. We were in and out of there in less than 18 minutes. Then off to Walmart. It was CRAZY with people, but we all bought a ton of stuff. From there, we just shopped all over and had fun.

Usually, we hit are main three stores Kohls, Target and Walmart followed up by breakfast. This year we were crazy and shopped from 3:30am to 4:30pm. We did go to Olive Garden for lunch. Yummy! We went to Kohl's, Walmart, Kmart, Old Navy, Ulta, Pac Sun, Toys R Us, Dillards, Childrens Place, Disney Store, and lots more.... So much fun!

We shopped and shopped! I was so tired last night, we ordered out for dinner and sat on the couch and watched Christmas movies! Fun Fun tradition!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. First and foremost, my wonderful family. I am so lucky. I have the greatest husband and son anyone could dream of. They are my world and I am so thankful for another year with each of them.

I'm thankful for:
Thomas & Hayden
my family - all of them
my sister & her family
my wonderful brothers & their families
Suzi, Ann, Taylor & Ariyona - they each bring so much joy to my life
incredible friends
the gospel
my relationship with my Savior
mine & Thomas' job - so grateful to still be employed
all the therapists & doctors that are so much apart of our lives
my nieces & nephews
the wonderful support that I receive from so many people
quiet time with my family
Hayden's giggles
Memories of this past year
And Celebration of another wonderful Christmas Season!

I have been so blessed this year! Thanks to each of you that have made my life more fun, more bearable and made me feel more loved.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Imagine my surprise today when Hayden's neurologist is Dr. Teodori, I questioned them since Hayden's heart surgeon was Dr. Teodori. Yep, they are married. Well, we loved his heart surgeon and loved his wife, the neurologist, as well. What an amazingly brilliant couple, a heart surgeon and neurologist! I think their children must be brilliant!

Hayden was so funny today. I'm so impressed with him as he gets poked at by so many different people. Anyways, they told him he was going to have to have blood drawn. He got teary eyed and said, "Why? Do the vampires need my blood?" I laughed, poor kid has heard too much Twilight talk lately. Luckily for him, the bloodwork was postponed until next week.

The appointment went much like I imagined... more tests, blood work, MRI's and more doctors and possibly a day of tests in the hospital... poor kid. I feel so bad for him. But, hey, he does love that anything with an "ologist" at the end, buys him a trip to Toys R Us, so it's not all bad. Today, he picked Bumblebee and a bad guy from Transformers.

I think the mom deserves a massage after a day like today. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We did it! We put up the Christmas tree and decorated it! Oh did we have fun! I love this tradition!!!! We put up the tree first, and one by one we pull out the ornaments. All ornaments on my big tree are Disney... I have them all from Mickey to all the princesses and even the villians. Each year I collect ornaments from the new movies that Disney released.

I am all about traditions. So everything about Christmas to me is a tradition. We start decorating with the tree and everyone gets involved. The branches are spread apart and Suzi and I unwrap the ornaments while everyone else hangs them on the tree, while listening to Christmas music. After the tree is up, we sit in amazement and eat donuts. Then the rest of the inside is put together. I love how it brings the family together and everyone is helping. To me, Christmas is about everyone coming together, being together and enjoying each others company.

I find nothing more relaxing that sitting in the dark with the Christmas tree lights on and just watching the tree! I love it! I love Christmas and everything it stands for. It makes me want to re-commit to following the Savior more, to try to have people feel their Savior's love more at Christmas and to be a better example. Looking at the tree and all the branches pointing upward, I am reminded as to where I need to turn for answers.

What a wonderful time of year! So peaceful, so blessed. I love it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight-the movie

Last night or early this morning was the Twilight opening. We bought tickets last week and left for the theater at 7:30pm. We figured we could get some good shopping in before the movie. However, when we got there, the line was already wrapped around the building, people had been there since 1pm. Really? We had cards, games and were ready for a night of waiting in line. But, since Jodi had her wheelchair, they let the two of us in at 8:30pm. Jodi and I sat in the theater saving 17 seats for people.

There was a gang of us... me, Ann, Suzi, Jodi, Laura, Debbie, Ariyona, Taylor, Michelle, Aimee, Rosie, Luann, Steph, Marci and more... What a fun night.

Yes, I am exhausted today. But, I have never been to a midnight opening premiere. It was fun! And, I loved the movie! I love how Edward protects Bella and promises he will never leave. I am a true romantic. It was so fun!

Plus, girls night out are the best, so relaxing and rejuvenating!

Debbie, Laura, Jodi, me, Ann and Suzi

Ann and Suzi

Rosie and Luann

Michelle, Taylor, Ariyona and Aimee

Jerlyn, Jodi, Laura and Debbie

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Morning Surprise!

Boy was I surprised when I went to get in my car this morning and this is what I found, post it notes all over my windshield. I stepped closer and could tell they were from Ann. There were all kinds of encouraging notes, "you are a superhero", "you are amazing", "you can do anything", and even a "you are gorgeous". What a fun surprise. Then, I walked over to my door and saw this one..."yep, I appreciate you".

We had gone to TOFW a couple of weeks ago. While there, they had a daughter and mother come up and gave them a standing ovation. It was an incredible experience. Ann had left on the car, the top middle note, This is your "Standing Ovation". I got teary eyed. It meant a lot. I think everyone deserves a standing ovation for all that they do. Thanks, Ann for giving me mine!

Of course, this made my day! I will try to live up to all the wonderful things you said about me. I love you, Ann!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Young Women in Excellence

Last night was Young Women in Excellence. I had Ann and Taylor with me and met Ariyona there. Ann did an amazing drawing of President Hinckley and bore her testimony. I was all choked up, she did a great job. Ariyona talked about Good Works and volunteer babysitting. She does volunteer to babysit at every enrichment night, baptism, stake conference or anything else she can help with. Taylor made homemade pretzels, my favorites!!!

Out of the 10 girls there, I was proud as could be that three of them were "mine". I love these girls! Taylor went and I was so proud of her for going. I promised she wouldn't have to get up, even though she did her project. She just sat by us, but we were so happy she wanted to come and be apart of it!

My best part was sitting by Taylor and talking to her about her Heavenly Father loving her. I love her tons! I know her Heavenly Father is very proud of her and the choices she is making. These three girls are amazing!

It was neat to get to just spend time with the girls. Who would have ever known a year ago that we would be blessed to have three of the greatest young women in our home. They are all really good girls and have so much potential. We have been blessed by their spirit and energy. We love having them around. I love these girls like they were my own daughters. We are so blessed to be apart of their lives!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Urologist update

I had to take Hayden to the urologist this past week for some follow ups on a swollen kidney. Good to know, from all the lasik medication he was on as a baby, although his kidney is out of the norm, it is in normal range for him. What a relief.

This urologist had done surgery on Hayden when he was a baby. At 7 months old we took Hayden in to the hospital for surgery. He was on the hospital bed, hooked up to the monitors, iv's, etc. The anestesiologist was starting to put Hayden under. He held Hayden and was asking about his heart, the medications he was on, etc. etc. We talked for quite a while. Then, he looked it me and said, "I have a really bad feeling about this. I am afraid if I put him under, I may not be able to wake him back up." That was all I needed to hear, there was no way I was losing Hayden in surgery. I grabbed Hayden off the table, held him close to me and RAN out of the hospital. There stood the urologist, anesthesiologist, Thomas and a couple of nurses. As I left the hospital, the security guards tried to stop me on the way out. Hayden was obviously still hooked up to iv's and shouldn't be leaving the hospital. I was crying. They had just told me he may not make it through the surgery. I had survived all the heart surgeries and there was no way I was going to lose him now.

Needless, to say, they unhooked Hayden and we left. Thomas was left filling out the release paperwork. Three months later, with a cardiac anesthesiologist, and a heart doctor in the operating room, they did perform the surgery. I was a nervous wreck.

So, I haven't been back to the urologist since that day. 6 years later, they ALL still remembered me. I guess it is not common for someone to run out of the hospital with their baby.

The urologist told me that Hayden had a slight hernia but that he was going to wait until it was absolutely necessary to perform surgery. He had already been thru a surgery with me and would NOT be looking forward to another with me.

Hayden laughed so hard as we talked about me running out of the hospital with him! I've been laughing all weekend! Oh, good times!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Victoria's Birthday

My niece, Victoria turned 5 years old. She is such a doll. We had a great time playing at the park with her today. The kids all loved it! Kelli had a fantastic bbq and picnic! The weather was gorgeous! It was the perfect Saturday afternoon!

Brooklyn and Victoria, both 5 years old.

Hayden and Logan.


Ann & Taylor

Tickle Torture

I am asleep this morning when I wake up to "Dad, let's get her". I cringed knowing that as I open my eyes, both boys will be getting ready to attack. Hayden pins my legs and begins tickling my feet while Thomas holds me down. Hayden is giggling his guts out. He thinks that "torturing" mommy is the best game there is. Thomas loves every minute of it, too. They tend to wake me up every weekend this way. I keep telling Hayden he needs to be on my team but his response is "Why should I? Daddy is the one that always wins." True, true!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hayden's Story

Hi! I have been getting so many emails and phone calls regarding Hayden's Toy Drive and people wanting to know Hayden's story. I put his story and how the toy drive began on Hayden's Toy Drive blog. If you are interested, please click here to see the story.

Thanks for everyone's support.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Funny boy

Hayden woke up a little on the grumpy side this morning. I told him that boys needed more sleep during the winter, that is why it got dark earlier. He looked up at me and said, "No mom, we don't hibernate, we're not bears!" Seriously, when did the attitude develop?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Girls Night Out!

I totally neglected my motherly role yesterday. I went with Ann to Time Out for Women and then last night was girls night out! However, Hayden thought it was great that he had his dad all to himself all day, so I guess it worked out well.

Rosie, Suzi, Jodi and I decided we needed a girls night away from everything. We went to Arriba's Mexican grill for dinner and were there forever. We had such a great time just talking and laughing and catching up. While we were there, Jill came in with her kids. By the time her husband got there, she was going nuts and we decided to kidnap her to come with us. We're so glad she did.

After dinner, we hit Marshall's. We were there for hours. We looked for clothes, cracked up laughing in the dressing room, and just talked in the store. We ended up in the back corner looking at all of our to be purchases and just talking and laughing. They announced they were closing at 9:15. At 9:30 they said, we will be open tomorrow, and then the lights started going off. We were laughing so hard as we were being kicked out of the store and had to make our purchases.

We weren't done shopping and hanging out so we headed over to Kohl's where we stayed until they closed at 11:00pm. We tried to find a movie and none were starting, so we went to the old standby, Walmart. I can't believe we played until 1 am.

What a fun, fun girls night out!

TOFW and girls

Ann and I went to Time Out for Women and Girls yesterday! It was amazing! Every year, Jodi, Suzi and I go for both days and stay in a hotel and make it a girls weekend. This year, they did Time Out for "moms" and their teenage daughters. I decided it would be fun for me and Ann to go.

I'm so glad we went, like always, the talks were amazing. The music was powerful and inspiring. I love being able to go to an event and walk away wanting to be a better person, dedicating my life more to the Savior, and being encouraged that I can do better and be better. There were some great points made by all of the speakers. I love listening to Laurel Christensen talk. She is amazing. We were friends in college and worked together at the MTC MAilroom. I think she has an incredible gift to share with the youth and help them to understand their divine role as women on earth and that they are literal daughters of our Heavenly Father. It is so great to be reminded of the role we have as women here on earth.

Hillary Weekes, Jenny Jordan Frogerly, Abe Mills, Cherie Call and John Hilton were also amazing at sharing their testimonies thru song and word. I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. I too, believe in what they were saying. I am amazed by the strength of the youth and their love for the Lord.

I loved being there with Ann. Being able to really look at her thru the eyes of our Savior and see her potential and infinite worth. She has so many talents, has a strong spirit and wants to follow the Savior. I am proud of her. And, I enjoyed spending the day with just the two of us. No distractions, no interuptions, just the two of us strengthening our testimonies and enjoying the sweet spirit that we felt. It was definitely an inspiring and uplifting day.

Fondue Night

This last week we had a fondue night for the kids. Thomas and I had gone to Melting Pot for dinner last Saturday and decided to do fondue with the kids. We had a cheese fondue pot with apples, carrots, pretzels and different types of bread.

Taylor, Ann, Ariyona, Brigham, Hayden and Brooklyn. They had fun with the cheese but absolutely LOVED the chocolate and all the yummy fruit. There were cherries, strawberries, bananas, apples, pretzels and brownies. They were in heaven.

The cheese fondue was fantastic. I can't believe how much we all ate!

Brigham kept saying, "This is good. This is really good. Tell mommy." I guess he had fun! Hayden stayed true to character. That kid, love him, he ate the fruit but wouldn't really eat the chocolate. Seriously, how can this child that doesn't love sweets be mine.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hayden's Toy Drive 2008

We have the flyers and new website for Hayden's Toy Drive. It has pictures of the last two toy drives, stories and the Phoenix Children's Hospital wish list.

If anyone is interested in donating toys, please give me a call at 602-228-1861. We appreciate everyone's support!

Monday, November 3, 2008

21 Years

I can't believe that it has been 21 years since my mom passed away. Each year brings more understanding of what it must have been like for her to leave us behind. Looking back, it is interesting to see how perspective changes. I used to only think about how her death affected me and my life. Today, I have reflected more on her and the things she has missed out on than what I have missed not having her. I can't imagine being in her shoes and having to leave behind Thomas and Hayden. It would tear me apart to have to say goodbye to them and leave them in this world without me. I'm sure it must have been very painful for her.

That being said, I am also very grateful today. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families. I am grateful to know that someday, when I cross into the next life, that I will be greeted by her open arms and again feel her sweet spirit and love for me. I am grateful for the gospel and the sweet peace it brings in my life. I am thankful for the loving family that I have here on earth. Not only Thomas and Hayden but so many family members and friends that I love dearly. I'm so very grateful that families can be together forever, even after death. It is such a comforting and peaceful blessing in my life.

In order to celebrate my mom's life and give Hayden the opportunity to learn more about Grandma Sue, we had a special dinner for her. I remember going to IHOP a lot as a child. My mom loved the different syrups and having breakfast for dinner. Some years we go to IHOP to celebrate her life. This year, I decided to make a special breakfast dinner at home. Thomas made pigs in a blanket, chocolate milk and ice cream sundaes for dessert. Yummy!

During dinner I told Hayden fun stories about Grandma Sue and things she liked and did. His favorite story is after I had been in labor with him for about 17 hours, I looked up toward the heavens and said, "Mom, you've held him long enough. It is my turn!" Right after I said that, Hayden was born. He thinks it is hilarious that she didn't want to let him go. He still loves that Toby and Bear (our dogs that were hit by a car) are living with Grandma Sue. We talked about roller coasters, ice cream, how she loved every stray dog, cat and child that needed love. How she loved Disneyland and was the same size as Mickey Mouse. We talked about her being a school teacher and that she always made me chocolate chip cookies when it rained. What a special evening.

To top off the evening, I decided to read Christmas stories to Hayden before bed. I told Hayden that like me, Grandma Sue loved Christmas and everything about it. We ended up reading the book Giving Chest by Dan Farr. Excellent book! At the very end of the book I read these words, "Not gone, just gone on ahead. Forever our guardian". Hayden didn't understand why as I read these words, I had tears rolling down my face. It was once again a sweet reminder that my mom isn't gone. She is more apart of my life than I realize. I am who I am because of her love. She is still here and when I need her, her words still come to my mind and I can hear her guidance, love and encouragement. She has just gone on ahead to prepare the way for the rest of us. I am so blessed to have been her daughter.