Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Is This Thing Still On?

 Attention, tap, tap, this thing still on?  
Is anyone out there?
Since we broke up in February
I've been having a "wrestle" with my choice to stop writing
and sharing with the (often grouchy and critical)!
The past few months Christian and I 
have been working with the Arizona Burn Foundation on some very cool
projects and I've been going back to my blog archives
to retrieve photos and stories from the past.
As I've been reading the old posts,
 I've felt so much gratitude for the lessons I've learned,
the people I've met, the service I was given,
and that I was able to continue to write 
during some of the hardest days of my life.

So, I've decided to post a few things here and there.
Nothing big, and nothing too consistent, either.
But...Ollie is going on his first date soon, Jane has moved out 
of the state, Mr. Nielson has a HUGE black eye,
Claire is serving a mission and having 
THE BEST missionary experiences (and I can't NOT share),
 and Jesus is the Savior of the world!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Saying Goodbye to Jane/ Going Home

Finally, the time had come to end our almost 14-day
Spring break trip.
We said our farewells to the Jones family and thanked them for such
a wonderful trip. They took such good care of us and treated us with so 
much love and hospitality.  They truly are my favorite people in the world.
We jumped in the Navigator, (which will stay in Arizona with Jane),
and she drove us to the airport.
Christian sat up front in the driver's seat to help navigate us while 
Jane was at the wheel.
Since her decision to move to Arizona Jane has felt a little brush of anxiety.
Some of the contributing factors include the worry of driving in AZ,
 and being homesick.
You could tell she was a little uneasy as she drove 
55 on the 75 mph freeway.
And there was one incident when a turn came up a little too soon 
for comfort and Christian was telling her to get over and she was yelling,
  "NO DAD, I can't do this, I hate this, I hate this!!!",
followed by tears and silence in the car.
If she was in a sad mood before, 
now she was in an anxious and sad mood mixed with a little bit of anger.
I told her not to worry that she handled that situation
very well, and if that ever happens again, 
do exactly what she did, and not to ever swerve the car.
She answered back:
"I know, MOM!"
Deep inside I was really worried.  Not that she can't drive, but that I won't
be around to help comfort and love her when she feels lost and scared.
Then we tearfully said our goodbyes at the airport then waved her off.  
She drove our 12-year-old "familygator" off until we couldn't see her anymore.
I have an app on my phone where I can stalk follow her through her phone
and see where she is at all times.
It's saved me!  Sometimes I just turn it on to see a little red dot move around 
the Joneses house, or I can tell if she's in the car driving around.
After I let her go I wondered what in the heck am I doing?  
Both Claire AND Jane are gone.  GONE!  It's sad for me, and I feel
like crying a lot.  
We flew home without any issues, and luckily it was a non-stop flight.
Gigs' four scorpions he and the Jones boys caught the night before
in the dark with a black light made it peacefully and successfully home, too.
We called for an Uber to pick us up from the airport.
We got home and I immediately started the laundry and made beans.
We had burritos for dinner, watched a movie in bed, tucked Lottie into
Jane's bed with Gigs in Claire's bed, and then comforted
 Oliver who was really sad about Jane being gone.
"She won't be getting up at 6:30 for seminary with me anymore."
It was harder on him than I imagined.
Christian wrapped up his eye to reduce swelling.  He says it doesn't hurt,
but it sure looks like it does!  Now he looks like a civil war soldier!
Then we all went to bed.
I know Jane is in the BEST HANDS possible. 
 She's going to have so much fun, too!

Monday, April 05, 2021

AZBC visit with cameras.

The Arizona Burn Center is going to highlight 
our story for the Night of Heros event on April 29th!!
Of course, Christian and I were so honored to be a part of this!
Last month a camera crew came to North Carolina to interview
 us and when we told them we were going to be in AZ for spring break, 
they were thrilled as they filmed us reuniting with the burn center
and medical staff.
We were so surprised to be greeted by some of the first responders,
nurses, therapists, doctors, and even our pharmacists
who was there when we were admitted in August 2008.  
We also walked through the under-construction new burn center.
Wow.  What a beautiful facility!
Deb shared some stories about when we first got it there.
She walked us around to all the rooms where we stayed and
what significant things happened in each room.
It was so precious and I was so thankful!
Deb told us a story about a few years ago when she called me because
she knew I was in AZ and asked if I'd come to the burn unit to talk
with a patient of hers.  (I remember it very well).
This young girl had significant burns to her face and we had a good chat
together, and Deb told me it helped her recovery.
It made me feel sad (again) that I had stopped blogging especially since
the nurses and physical therapists told me they frequently use my blog
to help patients overcome.
Maybe I'll start back up and slowly start to share a few things.
After the burn center, Christian and I drove to LGO, our favorite
restaurant in Scottsdale.  When we lived in AZ we'd frequent LGO
for date nights.  It's always a bittersweet feeling going back there.
 MAN, that pizza is SO GOOD!

We're gearing up for Mt. Kilamanjaro!!
In 2022, K2 Adventure Travel and members of the Valleywise Health Foundation
 will lead a team of burn survivors, medical professionals
 and donors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. 
We will raise awareness of all that burn survivors can accomplish
 and the life-changing work done at the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health.
 More than fundraising for a new Burn Survivorship Center and a climb, 
this is about showing our survivors AND 
community that anything is possible when we #RiseTogether.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Happy 9th Birthday, Lottie!

Today my dear Lottie turned NINE!  
I can't believe it!!!
Her early April birthday always seems to
 conflict with general conference and Easter,
but we try and make it fun nonetheless.
The first session of general conference was on her birthday so we
decided to plan activities before the first session of conference 
(she wanted to make crepes):
In between sessions.
 (we went on the scooters to get boba):
 After the second conference:
 (we took the kids to the trampoline park).
And during the Priesthood session:
(the girls got ice cream, drinks, and
went to Zuppas; her favorite restaurant for
 cheese sandwiches and tomato soup)
I think we packed in a pretty wonderful day for her.
She deserves the very best.  She's such a joy, and
so happy and obedient.  For the past week, she's been the only girl
with all these boys; Ollie, Gigs, Baron, Riggs, & Milo.
Conference was AMAZING!  There were so many wonderful talks given.
I went into conference with a prayer in my heart for our situation,
specifically all the unanswered questions I have about why I 
was inspired to stop pubically blogging, but still 
feel so uneasy and frustrated since doing it.
I thought I'd stop blogging because I felt prompted to do so and the 
Lord would help me see why I did,
or He would replace my blog with other missionary opportunities.  
And that hasn't happened yet, and all I feel is empty, and regret.
Also, I wanted answers, peace, and revelation through conference for
BOV-IQ, financial, and family relationships.
I am so grateful we get to re-read and re-listen to these talks because,
I'm so excited to devour them again in a few days.