it’s amazing how it all happened. i hope it’s not too boring of a story. i ran into a sister in our ward in target. literally. i ran my cart into hers…she didn’t see me and i surprised her. viengxay said her husbands company was donating money to any charity they wanted, and she was going to put together some kits for the women’s shelter. i asked her if the price’s and our family could help put them together, and she agreed! when she dropped all the supplies off to make 80 kits(toothpaste, soap, lotion, deoderant and a few other items), she told us the shelter said we could go down there with her to drop it all off. the price’s and our family want our kids and families to be doing more service, and we loved that our kids would get to see the circumstances some people are in, hoping to instill a love of service, and instill gratitude for their own blessed lives.
the elders came over and helped, and between the prices, us, and elders, we had done 80 kits in probably 7 minutes. it was amazing! a few nights later we were able to join viengxay and drop off the kits to the women who were waiting in line outside, until the doors opened for them to go get a place to sleep. the shelter had recently gotten enough cots, about 60, so that most of the women weren’t on the floor, but for a long time, there were only a couple cots and 60 women would argue why they needed a cot. also, they share one bathroom. no kitchen, just a small area with a sink to get a drink. it was wonderful being able to participate in viengxay’s charity donation, and i hope our children will forever remember these moments.
p.s. some of the pictures are fuzzy because it’s dark outside, but is good so that faces of the women in line aren’t recognizable for their privacy.
i love to learn. i love to teach my kids. i love to see new places and things. if i didn’t have health problems, and had the energy of a healthy person, you probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with me. but alas, i have a slow body. but when we do get out for field trips, i absolutely love them. i love hanging with my peeps. we got to the nature and science museum during the whale exhibit, and it was awesome. we also hit the silk road exhibit. great outing.
at birth, madison came out and didn’t breathe. she was tubed to help her breathe, and was rushed away. almost 7 hours later, we were told she needed heart surgery to live. at 7 days old, madison had her aortic arch built, since hers didn’t form properly. this sweet child of ours has had a lifelong test of trials. she was pricked from her tiny little veins over and over, tubes down her throat for 10 weeks, multiple surgeries, feeding tube in her stomach for two years, therapies just to be able to touch her face since all she knew was the pain of tubes going down her nose in the hospital, speech therapies from birth to now, occupational therapies for years, 10 specialists for years, and has managed to not only survive, which is what she did for the first couple of years just trying to live, especially since she was born without an immune system, but has began to thrive. while other mommies were home loving on their newborns, we were around the clock nurses for years, giving medicine and seeing specialists, hoping and praying our baby would live. but she has become a lovely, healthy, thriving young lady.
we were first told she would need heart surgery every 2-3 years. we are now told, after yearly exams, that her heart is consistently growing with her, and she may not need heart surgery to repair her arch ever again. she was born with an asd, vsd, and bi-cuspid instead of a tri-cuspid. we are watching the bi-cuspid, but are ever prayerful and hopeful that the Lord will continue to bless this sweet girls little body, that she won’t need any additional surgeries. we are very blessed to have her strong-willed sweet spirit in our family.
it’s amazing to me all that we have gone through, and without hardly any help from family. we’ve never had parents who were there emotionally for us. rarely any support of any kind. we’ve gone through all our trials with just each other, and even though that makes me sad, it has made us stronger. so if any of you out there feel like you don’t have anyone there to help you, we’ve been there. just know, you can make it through anything. the comfort and power of the Lord will always be a blessing and a strength.
i’ve never been much of a utah fan…but i’m warming up to visiting people there. jarom had a work trip there, so we decided to tag along. we drove over monday, and alex flew in wednesday night, and we stayed until sunday. it was great being together, and doing things our kids haven’t done yet.
things we did: temple square in salt lake city, lds bookstore, city creek mall, visiting anne-marie waldron(friend from boston), visited julie and daniel(jarom’s sister and bro-in-law), lunch’d with the grandparents, had dinner with bobbie tanner(friend from boston) and her family, did a private byu tour atop the kimball building, went to a byu game, shopped outlets, hung out with the whitby’s(friends from evergreen that we also spent time with in france), and made it back home having enjoyed such a wonderful trip.
we had an amazing, full apple tree this year, probably because of all the bees in the hive below it. the tree would be singing for weeks when the bees were pollinating it. the apples were crisp, sweet, and delicious. and for months, we would walk out into the yard to play, and pull off our delicious treat to snack on as we would walk around the yard. so fantastic. we employed the lds missionaries, since they kept asking if they could do any service for us, to help us get all the apples off the tree. little did we know, that meant lacrosse sticks and climbing the tree. no ladders were involved, they were just sitting off to the side. but they did it. we had so many apples to give to friends and neighbors, it was such a treat. then the reward, besides eating an apple, was jumping out on the trampoline together.
jarom had a couple of days work in california, and he bought me a ticket, and told me i was going with him. i’m pretty good at talking him out of things, but he had bought the ticket and it was done. we found an amazing grandma in our ward to watch the girls for a couple of days, and we were off!
our first day we visited beaches i hung out on when i lived there, walked boardwalk’s, ate dinner along the boardwalk, watched the sun set, stopped by the san diego temple, and loved just being together.
this was time for just us to spend together, but some therapy time for me, writing letters to my parents and releasing all the heartache i’ve bottled up for years. my mother died 9 years ago, but just made a lot of bad choices in her life, including the three husbands she had married, the last being just as bad as the others. i won’t go into a lot of details, since they are very personal, but being able to walk out of our hotel right onto the beach while jarom was at work, and have the day to myself to unload all the sad and negative feelings i’ve been carrying around all these years was a very peaceful experience. thanks to an awesome lds therapist who has helped me close the past, and teach me better skills for the future, has been such a tremendous blessing. he has helped me and changed my life for so much better, including my marriage and relationship with my kids. my thinking has changed about things, and trying to change negative thinking and relationship patterns has also been such a great help. nothing is ever perfect, but i’m always wanting to move forward, to be better, to do better. it’s definitely a journey for sure.
thank you la jolla. and of course, my sweetheart.