Friday, August 24, 2012

Last Day

Time has gone by pretty fast.  For the past few days, I've been very ready to come home...but today, I want to stay.  Sammy is doing really well and I just want to stay.

I'm happy to report how happy all the therapists are.  Sammy is walking straighter, but more importantly, she is walking more slowly.  She's always had 1 speed, and that's FAST.  But, now that she is moving slower, she has more control.  She is stopping before getting to objects.  Today, she slowly walked down the hall on her own (no, I have no video...I was in the middle of an interview), turned the corner, stopped herself to look at some pictures which she touched but didn't fling or throw, turned around, and walked back into the gym.  It sounds just like your everyday kid, right?  I'm quite happy.

We are planning on coming back in 1 year.  It makes me anxious and want to get back here in 6 months instead of waiting the entire year.

It's a good day to end on.

Thank you to Sergio, Nacole, Mitch, and Andrea for all their work with Sammy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Family Reunion 2012

We all came to Utah for different reasons, but we capitalized on the opportunity and all got together...minus Marcus.  He was missed.  It's rare that my side of the family can all be gathered, and it was really fun to spend some time together.  Ian, my oldest nephew, was very interested in Samantha this time together.  He asked a lot of questions, enjoyed feeding her and helping her was fun for me.  And Callie was attached to Lindsay!  I can't believe how big Ty is now and it was just so fun to be with everyone.  Wish we could do it more often.  I think they should ALL move to California.  That's that.

Peggy playing frisbee with Callie

Alex is getting so old...even though he's nearly the exact same age as Sammy!

Callie's new best friend...cousin Lindsay

Jackson hanging out with dad



Callie and Hunter...these 2 get along so well

Sweet moment I caught when Ian went up to Grandpa and gave him a big hug

Callie fishing...thanks Lisa for helping her out

Blurry, but cute.  Brayden, Ted, Ty, and Peggy

Brayden, Lindsay, Callie

Callie angrily devouring the watermelon!

Peggy and Lisa

Adam, Sammy, Callie, and Lindsay.  Sammy really enjoyed crawling all over Adam.

Dad, master chef

Ted and the boys.
Alex, Hunter, Jackson, Ian

Mom and Dad

Lisa and Jen -- I almost didn't post this because I kind of look like a moose, but Lees and I have very few pictures I'm suckin' it up

Plum tuckered out after a fun day

Mom so desperately tried to light candles for the birthday boys, but just as we started, a huge gust of wind and stormy skies blew the plates away and everything on top of them.  She had good intentions, but Mother Nature was not having it.  Sammy enjoyed it though.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kneeling, Standing, and Such

I haven't been able to take too many pictures or videos this time around.  Believe me, there were a ton more from our other sessions...if you can imagine that.  But, on this day (Thursday), I felt like there were some good moments I was able to capture.  I had to do it through the tinted glass, and of course right when I would stop recording is when something more impressive happened.  Such is life, right?  So.  Here we go.

Tall Kneel.  Sammy was up on her own staying in this position for quite a while.  I only got a small part of it.

Half Kneel.

Standing.  This is coming along.  She's holding a straighter position longer and better.  This may not be the best illustration of it, but this is what I got.

Laughing/Screaming in triumph!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Well, we have ourselves here a fish.

Callie loves her swim lessons.  LOVES them.  At first she wasn't too keen about going under, but now, she loves it.

Something happened to her when they put on that swim cap and those goggles.  Oh boy.  Watch out world, Callie's a' swimmin'.  What is partly so fun is seeing her confidence increase.  Her teacher, Mindy, didn't suggest she jump off the diving board.  Oh no.  Callie asked if she could.  She's not quite ready for it so Mindy held her hand.  Callie was so proud of herself.  I love it.  Honestly, I've been so proud of her that I've even teared up.  I'm a dork. But it's true.  She just beams and I love it.

This is not her sincere, beaming face.  This is her "take another picture, Mommy" face.

She has talked about swimming lessons when we get back to California.  Guess I'll have to look around.  These have been so exemplary, I need to make sure I find something that can keep up but still allows us to eat something other than canned beans for dinner.  (I love beans by the way.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Month from Today

A month from today, our son is scheduled to be born.  I'm a little stunned that it's already so soon...and our birthmother feels like he'll come even sooner still.

When Samantha was born, I remember thinking that nothing could be more amazing.  Then, Callie entered our lives.  Her story struck me so deeply because, partly, I wasn't expecting how spiritual and grand it would be.  I was humbled and so full of love and was incredible.  Surely, surely nothing could be sweeter.  Then...this little one.  A part of me is still hesitant to speak as if he's already in our arms.  I know too well that adoptions fall through.  We have been so close to having a baby in our arms...2 adoptions fallen through, and 1 we had to turn away for another baby -- that ended up not happening.  Three.  Two and half years.  I recognize that many wait longer than we do.  It's a long journey in creating the family that Heavenly Father has in store for each of us, and this is ours.

When our last adoption fell through, I was hurt and a bit broken.  We had dealt with 2 other babies, and I just couldn't quite believe that this was happening again.  We had received pictures of the newly born baby and were ready to fly out when we got the word.  All of a sudden, we had empty arms and $1200 in airline credit.  Only about a week later we received an email from a birthmother.  Marcus was out of town and so I replied to the email.  There was no part of me that believed this email was going to go anywhere.  I was still too hurt to consider it a possibility I suppose.  Instead, I believed this email was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father helping boost my spirits -- reminding me not to give up and that people were still looking at us.

That email started a flurry of correspondences going back and forth several times a day.  After a couple weeks, I thought this may have some potential and so I told my mom about it all.  The emails kept coming and going, then phone calls.  That first phone call was great.  We talked until late in the night.  It was natural and fun.  She told us that she answered questions she had for us without her even needing to ask them.  We felt comfortable and things were going well, but we made NO assumptions that this was it.

Then, we met.  A week before Samantha's birthday, our birthmom, her mom, and her best friend met us at Happy Hollow.  Callie quickly clung to Lindsey and tore through the park holding her hand, dragging her from here to there.  It was  natural, again.  Fun.  We sat down and talked for awhile while Peggy (mother-in-law) took Samantha and Callie and let them play.  We talked about what it would all look like if we were to move forward.  Marcus and I, even at this point, didn't think Lindsey would have her mind made up by then.  She had told us that she was waiting for a spiritual confirmation and felt like she couldn't tell us we were it.  We told her to take her time and that she really  needed to know for herself who her son's family would be.  But, even still, that morning on the way to the park, I had a pressing thought that this could be it...the day she lets us know.  I tried to push it out of my mind though.

After talking, we gave her a small gift and she gave both Samantha (for her birthday) and Callie (just because) a gift.  Then, she gave us a gift.  We read her letter first.  She thanked us for preparing ourselves, expressed her love for us, and ended it with, "Congratulations!  It's a boy!"  Inside the gift bag were baby boy clothes.  We all cried and hugged....and spent a little more time walking around the park.

Since that day, our love and friendship has continued to grow.  I can't imagine Lindsey not in our lives.  She's a beautiful example of faith and pure love.  She wants so much for her son to have what she can't offer at this time.  We aren't just adopting her son; we've already adopted her into our hearts forever.  She is family to us now and we love her dearly.

I have been pretty quiet about this all...waiting, I suppose, as if that will help if this too weren't to happen.  But then, I finally got to the point of thinking:

1) This is coming up really soon
2) If it were to fall through, perhaps it's better for people to know.  We can always use prayers, thoughts, and love rather than struggling alone.  Right?  Right.

We anxiously anticipate her phone call letting us know she's in labor.  Her plan is that we head up to the hospital so I can be in the delivery room with her and they can hand us the baby immediately after he is born.  We will spend time with him until she feels ready to see him.  I imagine it will be an emotional day...but it's easier knowing that Lindsey is forever apart of our family and she never has to really say "goodbye."  That's what she has told us as well.

So, until then...stay tuned.  We'll see when this little guy comes, but Lindsey tells us he's already 7 lbs with 1 month left to go!  She's warned us to start lifting weights...and I've told her how wise she is to go for the epidural!!!

Callie's New Look

This is what Callie now wears to bed at night.  I don't do it every night, but she wears it on the nights when I've just done her hair.  It is supposed to protect her hair.  A lot of moisture is pulled out of her hair at night by the cotton pillow cases.  Why not get a silk pillowcase?  Because I found this at Walmart for only, like, $3.  That's why.  And she loves it.  It comes off by the morning, but the nights she does wear it, I can tell her hair is more conditioned in the morning.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trampoline Fun with Daddy

Marcus came out this past weekend and it was so fun to see him.  Callie and Sammy were so happy to see him too.  I appreciated the naps I got with his extra help, but I also just loved seeing how excited Sammy was when she saw her daddy and to see how much Callie wanted to be around him.  It made me so grateful to have Marcus in my life.

How fun is that?!  Yes, we'll buy a trampoline one day.  For sure.

On a more serious note:  Some time ago, a man in our stake passed away.  He was young.  He left behind his amazing pregnant wife and his young children.  I really struggled with Stephanie's loss, because even though I believe God is in control and I'm not, I realized there really was nothing I could do if it was Marcus' time to leave.  I had never entertained the thought that he could seriously pass away before we were old and gray.  A friend of mine is friends with a woman who lost her son, and then shortly after, lost her husband.  I follow her blog.  I remember reading that losing their son was horrible and painful.  But losing her husband was so much worse.  He is her best friend.  He's the one that she could lean on.  They always had each other, and now, he's gone.  The family of 6 quickly became a family of 4.  These women...their honesty during this time in her life has helped me feel so much more appreciative and ever grateful for Marcus.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Development and Growth

We all need change.  Without it, well, we'd be the same.  And that's not good.  We are meant to grow, develop, become something greater than we already are.

* Sammy is standing straighter
* She is beginning to shift weight from leg to leg without falling over
* She stops herself when approaching objects more consistently
* She broke a poster-sized picture frame at therapy (ooops)
* She is talking a lot during therapy.  "I'm coming" and things of the sort
* She is doing better at keeping her feet flat...instead of rotating out and standing on the outside of her foot
Notice her feet...this was the 2nd day we were here I believe.  She is putting her weight on the outside of her feet.  This is improving quite a bit.

* She continues to protest like a champ when she doesn't want to do something
* She doesn't trip over the exercise mat at all anymore...consistently steps up over it

* Samantha's head stopped growing when she was 4 months old.  She had surgery to correct her skull and during that time, the doctor said he allowed space for her brain to grow.  If it did not grow, the skull would collapse back to where it was.  Her brain did not grow.  The skull collapsed and there was a large ridge that ran across the top of her head.  We began doing craniosacral therapy and over a period of time, the ridge was smaller.  This ridge was always covered by her honey-colored hair, so it was only obvious to me as I braided her hair or whatnot.  At every doctor appointment, her head as measured at 33 cm.  That's tiny, folks.  At the last doctor appointment we had before coming to Utah, only days before we came, she measured at 34 cm.  We were shocked, so I had him do it again.  Samantha sat so calmly while he measured her head, that he did it a few times.  34 cm.  Samantha was given a priesthood blessings many years ago and was told that her brain would grow.  I've put a lot of faith in that.  It doesn't matter if it grows or not, really...but I believe those words. There could be a lot of explanations about that 1 cm growth, but I believe it's the beginning of more growth.  She will always be small.  I'm ok with that.  This is more about my faith and seeing the fruits of it.

 * Speaking of growth...we are expecting a baby boy in September.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Best Time Ever

A few weeks ago, I recieved an email informing me that my registration is complete for the Provo River 1/2 Marathon.  I ran that race 5 years ago, but I assure you that I did not register for it this year.  So, I sent an email to inform them that they have contacted the wrong person.

The next week, I got instructions on where I should pick up my race bib, where to park, etc.  I'm nearly positive I didn't register for this race...but perhaps I did since I keep getting emails.

Well, after this last email, I've decided that yes, I did in fact not only register for the race, but I ran it, because this is my best time ever.  Way to go me!


Congratulations on completing the 2012 Provo River Half Marathon! We hope you had an enjoyable experience and are taking time to recover.  It was enjoyable, thank you, and I am currently "recovering."  

Your official chip time is 02:00:47  And I didn't even break a sweat.
To see all the results and your place, please go to 

This is a great accomplishment and we hope to see you back next year. Keep on running!


If every race is like this one, I'll be sure to register again next year.


Someone was h-a-p-p-y in therapy on Friday and very vocal.  It was a good day.  Maybe she knew that she was going to be seeing her daddy soon.  Marcus flew out for the weekend to spend time with his little family and it was so fun to see him.  Sammy, Callie, and I were all happy to have some daddy-time.  She must know that time is quickly coming to an end, because she is NOT h-a-p-p-y right now in therapy.  So sad.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Callie Swims

While we are here doing therapy, I wanted to have something special for Callie too.  She's been asking for swim lessons, but I just couldn't make them work with our schedule in California.  So, while we're here in Utah, she's taking swim lessons.  I love them.

She goes one on one, 10 minutes, 4x a week.  I know what you're thinking.  10 minutes?  Yeah.  But my little girl who hates water in her face went under and held her breath perfectly on the first lesson.  Today she was allowed to use goggles and a swim cap for the first time, and she looooooved it.  She's so proud of herself and loves that she can see under water with her goggles.  I think we may be doing these lessons every time we're here for therapy.  It's a fantastic program she has going on here.  Fantastic!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thursday's Hero Reunion

Last time we were here, Samantha had been selected as the BYU Football Team's Thursday Hero.  They spent time with her as we spent time with the team.  It was cool.

Yesterday was the annual reunion.  I'm sad Marcus couldn't be there, but it was a fun evening.

There was quite a good crowd.  I hope to be here again next year for the reunion again.  It was really great.
With Taysom Hill...before his big quarterback years and NFL years.  That's right.  This picture will be even more awesome a few years from now.
Max Hall, me, and Sammy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Friends always make traveling better.  Thanks to Chrystal for letting us stay at their place the first week while we're at therapy.  Callie loved being able to play with Caitlin while I was at therapy with Sammy, and it was just good to be around and chat with someone whenever I wanted.  Good times were had by all ~ well, aside from a bit of crying here and there...Caitlin and Callie really did get along most of the time.:)

Playing horsey with Dwayne.  Sammy really did love it a lot more than this picture shows.

Caitlin and Callie cuddling up on the chair to watch a video.

Caitlin, Samantha, Callie, and Hunter

Me, Sammy, Caitlin, Callie, Chrystal, and Hunter.
What a great week.  Thank you to your entire family for putting up with us for the entire week.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Videos of Therapy

Pink Eye v. Melaleuca

Growing up, my friends always had pink eye.  I never did.  But my memories consisted of seeing gross red eyes and being told that they couldn't play because it was highly contagious.

Jump ahead 10-15 years.  I'm in Hungary as a missionary.  I wake up one morning and my eye is sealed shut with disgusting gunk.  Doctors thought I might have cancer and wanted to run a million tests.  What?!  It's only pink eye!  But, I don't know how to say "conjunctivitis" and so I use my best Hungarian and say, quite literally, "rosza szem" -- Pink Eye.  They have no idea what I'm talking about.  After blood tests, an investigator of ours who also happened to be a pharmacist, tells me what to buy and where to get it.  Nice.  After a week, it's gone.

Since then, I seem to get pink eye all the time.  And I hate it.  I hate wearing glasses and it's all together inconvenient.  

On Saturday I woke up with a little gunk in my right eye.  I didn't think much of it.  As the day progressed, I noticed my right eye was looking gradually more and more pink and was starting to get scratchy.  I knew exactly where this was headed.  It was quickly getting worse.  By the end of the day, I was looking bad.  I had taken out my contacts and was rockin' for the 4 eyes, but still, I really did NOT want pink eye while I'm doing intensive therapy with Samantha. 
This isn't my eye, just a googled picture, but mine looked similar to this (maybe a little pinker) with gunk in the corner...constantly having to clean it out. 

doTERRA.  hm  The thought crossed my mind.  I looked up what the suggested protocol would be.  I had brought some of my oils with me and thought I'd give it a try.

For the rest of the night, I'd use lavender and melaleuca and put it around my eye socket.  Melaleuca has natural disinfectant and anti-viral properties while lavender has natural antibiotic, antiseptic qualities.  Melaleuca is stronger, so I just used that around my eye socket...under my eye, just below the eyebrow, etc.  The lavender, however, is more gentle, and so in addition to putting it around my eye socket, but put it on my eye lid and through my eye lashes.  I applied this over and over again: before and after dinner, throughout watching the Olympics, etc.

No joke.  Next morning.  So. Much. Better.  It still looked like my eye was pink, but it was a "you-had-a-long-night-huh?" kind of only the right eye.  By the end of the church, it was back to normal.  

I talked to Marcus on the phone and he doesn't believe me.  He doesn't believe that an oil can be stronger and better than eye drops you get from a doctor.  And as much as I want him to believe me, he doesn't believe it.  But let me just tell you worked.  And now, the next time I get pink eye (because I will again...), I know exactly what I'm going to do.


Related Posts with Thumbnails