Friday, November 19, 2010

Earnest Expectation and Expecting Miracles

It is with a broken heart, puffy eyes, and reluctant hands that I sit down to write this morning.  My main motive is to alleviate a nearly impossible task from my mother, that of contacting those wonderful people in our life who have been praying for daddy in order to update them on daddy's condition.  Nearly impossible, because as I mentioned previously it involves that horrible "C" word... cancer, and because this time the news hit even harder.

Forgive me for writing so mechanically, but at this moment I feel a bit as if air has been sucked out of life as I know it.

My daddy has been re-diagnosed with Myeloma cancer, the most serious and aggressive strain of Lymphoma.
Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white cell found in many tissues of the body, but primarily in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are part of the body's immune system.
Normal plasma cells make antibodies, which help fight infection. Myeloma cells cannot help the body fight infection. As the myeloma cells grow in the marrow they crowd out the normal plasma cells. They also crowd out normal white cells, red cells and platelets. (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

It has come as such a shock after hearing and coming to accept the first diagnosis.  This cancer will have to be treated in a more aggressive manner and will involve more unwelcome things, such as increased nausea and my daddy losing his baby soft, salt n pepper hair.

We were told "facts" or "statistics" about this cancer, but we have decided that we are not going to focus on them, rather that we have HOPE and EXPECT MIRACLES.  Hope as my father chooses to define it is, an "earnest expectation".  I love that!  My parents will be seeking a second and possibly a third opinion soon, to consult on the diagnosis and treatment that St. Joseph's Hospital has recommended.

The doctor came into the room last night and sat while giving us the news.  I heard myself saying aloud in a desperate, weak voice, "You have to be wrong".  It still does not feel real to me.  What does feel 100% real to me, and more tangible than ever, is the love that we share as a family.  The eternal bonds that exist between my parents, between my parents and their children, between my siblings, and between my siblings who are married and their spouses and their children, can be felt so strongly, more than ever.  The phrase you begin singing as a Primary child, "Families can be Together Forever", continues to reveal itself more and more as one of the greatest gifts of a loving Father in Heaven.

I have always known that my father is one of the most exemplary men, but the way in which he handled such news last night was another testimony of it.  The first thing he said after the doctor left was his concern for the doctor in having to deliver such news.  Nurses who were unaware of what just happened cheerfully came in to handle routine things such as dad's IV.  He was polite and helpful as he held the tubes for them as they changed it.  When such news needed to be told to my siblings, He wanted to call them himself.  When it proved very difficult, we offered to make the calls for him.  He said that that this is how he is used to leading his life, he does hard things all the time.  He can do hard things.

Yes he can.  He has dealt with many things others may think impossible, but because of his perspective, because of his work ethic, because of his dedication to doing things right, his faith, his love, he has brought success and hope to the tasks.

I watched my mother and father gaze at each other, no words expressed.  To witness how much they are still in love... I speak about it with the greatest reverence.

I thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts in behalf of myself, my daddy, and our family.  I ask for your continued faith as we expect miracles and fight to beat the odds.  Miracles happen everyday, and I know we can have great faith on behalf of my father, my great father.  A man I can not imagine my life without.  As I look at this photo, Daddy reading an Italian toddler book to little Owen at one of our family beach vacations while Liz and I look on so intently, I pray for many many more of these moments.

I know my Savior has carried our burdens and has suffered the heartache, pain, anger, and hopelessness that we have felt.  For what purpose?  That we may come unto Him.  Whatever form these miracles may come in, I pray that I may rely more heavily upon my Savior and seek his comfort and a greater understanding.  I must step from believing in Him to believing Him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Who We Are Together

I have been so blessed to have the example of my parents in showing me what a loving and thriving marriage looks like.  These past months have been exhausting and weighty for them both, but they continue to strengthen one another.  Last night I went over to their home and experienced a beautiful moment of true love and companionship between the two of them as my father expressed his gratitude to my mother for taking such good care of him.  Tears filled my eyes as I listened to this exchange.  How did I get so lucky?

Today I was reading an article in the magazine Ensign that is published by our Church, entitled "Learning through Life's Trials" written by Larry Richman.  It was a wonderful reminder of the purposes and benefits that come with experiencing trials.  He states, "Trials give us opportunities to show the Lord and ourselves that we will be faithful."  I was reminded of a moment in my life when I was experiencing the most difficult trial in my life up to that point.  I knew that I had to go through with something that God wanted me to do, but I wasn't happy about it.  I was rather angry.  I remember  driving in the car and talking aloud to myself (not uncommon:-) ), running through all the 'in's and 'out's of what was going on in my mind.  I stopped myself and said, "Is this going to break my faith?" "NO" I yelled.  It gave me such an amazing feeling that I knew that I was capable of overcoming this difficulty.  With Heavenly Father's help of course, but He knew it too.  I could be faithful.  I could make it.

Br. Richman concluded with this statement that I just loved, "Each of us has the strength to bear our challenges in life because of who we are, who God is, and who we are together."  Love it!  Who we are together...Father and child.  What a blessing to have that knowledge!

November 2010: My Little Av8r

Love this photo of Tate putting on a little aviator hat and goggles (yes, those are swim goggles painted black at one time).  I threw a little shower for my new darling nephew Lincoln Charles with an airplane theme in honor of my grandfather Charles who passed away this year.  Gramps was a true av8r!  Tate was trying on some of the shower decorations and having a blast flying the paper airplanes.

I am having fun with some new actions and textures I recently purchased from Florabella. So fun!  Would love to hear if any of you use actions & textures and where you get them from.  I am so new to this.  Seems addicting already.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Come Make Christmas Gifts with Me: 3 Necklaces



I mentioned previously that I have started a Sewing & Wearable Craft Group with my friend Heather that meets once a month.  This month I am taking a break from the sewing machine and doing some hand sewing & jewelry making to create 3 fun & simple necklaces that you can make as Christmas gifts (or keep for yourself- oh, so tempting:-) ).  1 of them is the ribbon & pearls necklace that I copied from a Charlotte Russe necklace, that I have received a ton of comments from people that they wanted to learn how to make this one.  Well, you are in luck!  Join me tomorrow night, Wed. Nov 10th @ 7:30 at my house.  One condition, you have to let me know you're coming, please RSVP-email, comment, call, etc.

Visit our blog at for all the supplies you need to bring.

Would love to have you come!

Monday, November 01, 2010

October 2010: The Pillage People and the Little Lamb


I have been blessed with a creative mind, but for some reason I can't seem to get it to apply to parenthood.  Thankfully once a year it seems to really come in handy, Halloween.  I had so much fun creating the boys costumes this year.  They decided on vikings, and I ran with it.  I drew inspiration from lots of photos as well as those funny Capital One commercials.  I love this one where they had to come up with a new career so they started a band, "The Pillage People".

The boys have loved wearing their costumes during the week.  We decided not to go Trick Or Treating (or Chuck or Treating as Eyan calls it:-) ) this year because it fell on the Sabbath, so they took every other opportunity to wear their costumes.  Tate even wore his to the grocery store, where some lady mistook him for Bigfoot.  Bigfoot, really?  It was amazing to me how their boy energy could be heighten anymore than it is in normal day life, but putting on these costumes really amped it up.  Yaaaahhhh!

There was no way I would have had time to make Felicity's costume as well.  I knew I wanted something cuddly, so I knew this was the costume for her right when I saw it.  I added the bell and it was adorable.  Isn't she the sweetest little lamb you ever did see?!  The first time I put it on her she screamed, so I wasn't sure she would let me put it on again.  I just needed a picture.  Isn't that hilarious?  At the church Halloween party she screamed a little bit, but by the end of the night she had fallen asleep in it on my shoulder.  I could not believe it.  That just does NOT happen.  My friend Aileen told me that Felicity counted herself and fell asleep.  So cute, I love it!

Each one of them won an award in their age group for their costumes.  So fun for them.  I felt a little bad each time we walked up there to get another award.  The Johnson Family again?!  Sorry.  But really their costumes were the cutest.  Oh sorry boys, I mean craziest and scariest - those are the awards the boys won.  They are already making plans for next year:-)

Davis and Juliet came as well.  So fun to have cousins that live close by.


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