Monday, March 22, 2010

A sweet surprise...

About noon on Saturday, I was playing the piano at my mom's house while she was laying on the couch. My grandma was next to her, brother on the other couch, and sister hanging out too. Someone came to the door that has a permanent note on it saying "do not disturb. napping in progress. thank you!" No offense to anyone, but my mom is just up to visitors anymore most of the time. Anyway, luckily my sister saw her coming and went to open it. This total stranger was holding the biggest cup of Spoon Me I have ever seen! We all started fighting over who it could be for when the girl said her sister asked her to bring it over. We asked her who her sister was and when she said Amber Hall, I knew it was for me and that I had one of the coolest friends ever! My good friend, Amber, who lives in Idaho, asked her sister, who lives in St. George, to bring me my favorite treat. Can you believe it? Totally made my day, and my sister's too since I shared with her. : ) Thanks so much, Amber! Seriously the best surprise! (well, it could have been better if you delivered it, yourself, but I'll take what I can get!)

I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and neighbors who are taking care of me and my family. So many people are helping to watch my kids while I'm away, bringing us meals, etc. I don't feel worthy of all of the great service, especially when there are so many others in our ward who are in much greater need than I am. But, we are very grateful. Thank you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Really? February seems so long ago and so insignificant. Maybe another day.

I'm at my mom's house again. Sam, the home health nurse came this morning bright and early at 7:30. I had been up since 3am. That's when my "shift" started. Sam did mom's vitals. She weighed 103 pounds. Oxygen got up to 91, blood pressure was normal, no temperature, heart rate at 120. A normal resting heart rate is 60-80. She was having chest pains during the night. Her heart and lungs are having to work too hard. Sam ordered oxygen to help give them a break and hopefully allow mom to rest a little better.

We spent the morning trying to get mom comfortable. Grandma came over to help me. I was supposed to have given mom a bath, but she wasn't feeling up to it. Maybe tomorrow.

We met with Dr. Haslem at 10:30 in St. George. He was wonderful, but turns out mom has DIC, which is a blood condition where her blood cells are at war with each other and they just don't work anymore. It's a rare side effect to cancer, and since they can't get the cancer under control, they can't stop the bleeding. She will just have to continue spitting it out. She never complains about it. He also said there is nothing else they can do. We are supposed to spend the remaining time hoping for her comfort and time well spent with loved ones instead of hoping for a miracle. He eliminated some of her meds, which will make it easier for us to manage the daily schedule of it all.

Mom is so at peace. I think it was a relief to her, actually. She doesn't have to go through any more chemo, radiation, blood or platelet infusions, etc. She said today that she is ready. She's ready for the Lord's will to be done. She's ready to be out of pain. She is ready to go to sleep and not wake up again. She's ready to be with my dad again.

The rest of the day, mom spent laying on the couch, with her nasal canula and oxygen. Sleeping on and off. She dictated thank you cards to Kristan and I to write for her since she can't do it on her own anymore. That's my mom in a nut shell. She was told today she won't live more than a couple of weeks, and she spends her time thanking people for the flowers, meals, cards, quilt and banner from her elementary school, and friendship. Always thinking of others. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

It's 10:30 pm. I gave mom her night time meds and got her tucked as comfortably as possible in her rented hospital bed. My "shift" starts in just a few hours. I should get some rest.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Happy 2010!

My sisters and I planned a pizza and ice cream sundae party for all of Joel and Kristan's friends and family who had traveled to be with them on their wedding. We rented out my mom's clubhouse the night before the big day and went through 20 large pizzas, and I think 6 gallons of ice cream with every topping you could think of. So fun to have a casual get together where everyone felt free to visit and talk with Joel and Kristan without the pressure of the wedding day. We couldn't believe all the people who came from so far to celebrate with our family.

The morning of the wedding...
We convinced my mom she was beautiful with or without hair and she decided she would go without her wig to the wedding. She did look beautiful and did really well throughout the whole day!

Joel and Kristan were married in the St. George Temple on January 2nd. Probably one of the most amazing days of my life. The experience we had in the temple with my whole family was incredible. They had a beautiful dinner and reception up the canyon to Zion's, but really my pictures and words can't do the day any sort of justice. Here is a link to Becky Ravenberg's (the photographer) website where you can see for yourself. Really, take a look...

Wedding Video, done by their good friend, Tia. Seriously, Tia, it was amazing! I can't even get through the first 30 seconds without crying.

1 vacant house with a steep driveway, a visit from our good friends, The Halls, from ID, and some fun neighbor kids made for many fun days of sledding down unplowed territory...

Celebration for Uncle Matt's birthday...

My good friend, Katie, and I went up to Logan for a weekend to get certified to teach Turbokick. We are team teaching 3 classes a week now and I absolutely LOVE it! We are having so much fun with our class!

Celebration of Tim's birthday...

Brooklyn lost her first tooth (right before bed, hence the jammas and bed head)...

I think that's all I can handle for now, but before I sign off for however long...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MELISSA! One of my very best friends turns 30 today! And even though her husband won't let us live in the same state, in fact, even though he keeps moving further and further away from us, she is still one of my greatest friends and one of the most caring and thoughtful people I know. She is talented and fun, has great style and I can't wait to plan a wedding in the next 15-20 years for two of our kids! Happy Birthday, Melissa!!!


Decorated gingerbread houses with the kids...

Tallan met his new soon-to-be cousin, Kailer. If these two were any more alike I'd question if they weren't really brothers. Look alike, act alike, love skateboards and motorcycles and dirt bikes. Trouble makers, silly name calling, and temper tantrums. But these boys love their mamas!

We took the youth to Temple Square to see the lights. It was absolutely freezing that night. Not a single girl complained. Everyone was so overwhelmed by the Spirit that was there. I love these girls like I love my own kids. I have to admit that I never really believed it when leaders would say it, but now I know what it feels like. I already get teary thinking of my 3 girls who are graduating this year and leaving me. I don't know what I'm going to do without seeing them a few times each week. I'm going to miss their sweet spirits, their texts during school just to say hi, and when they stop by to see me, and waking up to see my house decorated among other things. They are really special people.

Christmas cookies for the neighbors...

Brooklyn's Kindergarten Holiday Sing...

Keslie looks exactly like Brooklyn at 18 months. (Keslie is holding a picture of Brooklyn wearing the same shirt at the same age) Keslie finally started walking at 18 months and will someday love nursery as much as I do.
Christmas morning was kind of a blur. we had driven down to Hurricane on Christmas Eve...lots of people, lots of presents, and we didn't even get through them all before we noticed my mom was bleeding from her gums. A side effect of chemo, which meant she spent all day in the hospital getting a platelet infusion. Something we didn't know at the time she would have many many more of. She never complained and insisted we still eat Christmas dinner without her. She didn't have an appetite anyway. The table was pretty quiet that afternoon. Again, not many pictures.

A bridal shower for our soon to be sister-in-law, Kristan. I must admit it was a pretty dang cute shower too. Red, white, and silver snowflakes was the theme. We had an awesome lunch and she was well prepared for marriage.

I'm so glad Christmas only comes once a year. And advice for anyone planning on getting married within a few weeks of Christmas...don't! It's just not fair to those who love you!


To some it may come as a surprise, but the Flinders Family is, in fact, still alive and doing well for the most part. Where have we been since November when I last posted that my little brother, Joel, was getting married? I don't even know where to begin with that answer. And as the days, weeks, and months have gone on, I become more and more overwhelmed with everything that has gone on in our lives during the past 4 months. I decided today would be the day I would start to catch up and I will do it 1 month at a time, if nothing else, for posterity.


Took my good friend, Steph, to Texas Roadhouse for her 30th birthday with our other fun neighbor girls. Loved the food, loved the company. These girls have become such a major part of me getting through each day. My battery died on my camera of course. Steph, forgive me now for the picture I have to post. Don't pretend you didn't love riding the saddle either!

I got to have my mom visit and for a whole 3 hours I had her all to myself. We went to a fabric store to get fabric so she could help me make these adorable pillowcases for my kids. It was cold and wet and even though she had already stopped liking food, I took her to Zupas where I thought she might like some amazing soup. She even ate a little bit. Way to go, mom! I think Tallan took this picture. Pictures like this I will always cherish now. My mom and her cute furry hat that she wore to try and keep her bald head warm in the winter when scarfs no longer did the job. Her clothes still fit and she still maintained a good weight. She mostly felt well and we still had hope that she would be a miracle.

Brooklyn and my mom have always been especially close. My mom wrote Brooklyn a simple little note telling her she loved her on the paper that Brooklyn has in the picture. That has become a special treasure also.

Thanksgiving was held at the Flinders' in Spanish Fork with Jon, Peggy, and little Emma, and also Matt. I think I made rolls and my mom's lemon merengue pie and my homemade cranberry sauce. I'm sure we had turkey and I'm sure it was all wonderful, but the details have since left me. I don't even have any pictures to help me remember. Taking pictures hasn't been something I've been good at over the past few months.

Grandma and Grandpa Flinders took the kids and I, Aunt Peggy and cousin Emma, and our friends Brittany, Sydney, and Ryder, on the Polar Express again this year. Such a magical experience for Brooklyn and Tallan. Really a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit, but since I'm long past that now, retelling it just wouldn't be the same. I didn't even get any pictures with Santa or Mrs Claus or even an elf this year. Could be that I was too busy wrestling with the 3 kids, bribing them with suckers and licorice, while Tim was at a BYU football game. I do remember that they served yummy chocolate chip cookies and semi-warm hot chocolate, but with no bathrooms on board the train and two kids with very small blatters, we had to refuse. As you can see, Keslie and her cousin, Emma, loved all of the treats though!

That was November...not as painful as I thought it would be. I may just continue on with another month today as long as Keslie and Tallan stay asleep...okay wait, I feel some anxiety as I'm about to click on the "publish post" button. Anxiety has become part of my daily life over these past few weeks, so it's nothing new. Might as well just do it, right?