Monday, July 02, 2012

Life As We Know It

 Last Thursday my life flashed before my eyes when I was in a car accident..I am so incredibly lucky to be alive and I think it's time for me to start documenting again. It has been a few months since I've posted and a lot of things have happened in our little family.
Feb was just a rough month. In the end of January I started having severe kidney issues and it got really bad. I ended up in the hospital on Valentine's Day and got a picc line in my arm so that I could give my own antibiotics at home. I had a severe kidney infection and just couldn't kick it. I took these photos with my phone to document my experience. (AKA I was really really bored in the hospital)
Picc line in..and it's purple!
Getting prepped for my picc line

David and I got the opportunity to go to the photographer's convention in Las Vegas. We had a blast and learned so much!! We also got to meet my photography idols which pretty much made my year!! Here are photos from our trip.

Jasmine Star. She's the JLO of photography:)
At the convention you get tons of free stuff! 

Like 'TUH MATER' but without the 'TUH'.

Mary Marantz being all inspiring and stuff. 

Mary Marantz and MEEE!!!
Justin and Mary Marantz are amaze. Sigh. I STILL can't believe I got to meet them. I'm all starstruck and you have no idea who they are. It's funny. 

Pepper turned one and my friend took her pictures. I love them!! (She has changed so much since these were taken!)
 On her birthday, David was sick so I took the kids to the park. Pepper got to swing for her first time and she absolutely loved it! After we came home we had a little party for her with just the 4 of us. Here are some photos from her birthday.

 On St. Patrick's Day, we discovered some leprechaun mischief in our house..that little rascal. 

We took Pepper to her first eye appointment at Primary Children's in March and the doc diagnosed her with Congenital Esotropia, basically "Cross-Eyes". 
 After her appt we went out to the great salt lake.


Going up the canyon with Grandpa & Grandma

Dave's first gun

My Mom's Sunflower Easter cake
Pepper's First Easter Basket

Easter Morning

Neighborhood Egg Hunt

Our eggs

 April was a crafty month for me. I got this armoir from a neighbor and painted it aqua..because apparently I am obsessed with AQUA!
 How can I NOT be obsessed, when I found this can of mistint AQUA at Lowe's for five bucks?
Got the coffee table on Freecycle, it was ugly and I made it pretty:)
Pallet shelves from Pinterest:) These are a PAIN to sand and stain, but they look so great!

Every couple of weeks we go to the library and I pick out an book from the 'for sale' section. I am digging my collection so far. AQUA!
These are the only pics I have printed of Pepper so far. I ♥ them.
And just to show you that Pepper isn't *always* sunshine and smiles...

Blossoms at my Mom's house

Apple blossoms right in our front yard
Pepper's hair finally got long enough for pigtails!
Also in April, we went hiking in Logan Canyon with friends. We had a blast.


Safari anyone?

Renee's wee ones.

Ashton couldn't hack it. 

Angela & Renee!

Captured a butterfly!

Pepper loves her Tiff.

We had a fun campground birthday party for our friend's twin teenagers who were turning 16.

May is when I got so sick and tired of hospital stays and er visits, not to mention pain and suffering..that I spent a load of cash and went to a homeopathic specialist. Guess who hasn't been to the doc since? THIS GIRL!
Which gave me more time and ENERGY to turn my backyard from THIS

To this!

CUTE old crates I found dumped off out in Portage!

In May we had supermoon..
AND lunar eclipse.

Ashton and Maggie are still best of friends and we enjoyed a lot of fun spring days before school got out.

 Mother's Day card from Jared

Lots and lots of baby fish

Tank in progress. WTH Dave?

Jared's "car" for Drive-In movie day at school. He has a really cool Dad:)

Pepper loves her brothers

Daddy made jet packs!

 In the end of May, Pepper had eye muscle surgery for her cross-eyed-ness Esotropia. It was very scary for Mom and Dad to hand her over to a complete stranger, but we had complete faith in the doctor's and staff at Primary Children's Medical Center.
Last cross-eyed photo of Pepper!!
All dressed up and ready to go. At this point I was having heart palpitations.
After her surgery was over, they invited ONE of us to go back to recovery with her. I sent Dave. He's the stronger of the two of us, and I was already in complete meltdown mode. I could hear my Pepper screaming all the way down the hall and I just sat in the waiting room and cried. Finally they let me go back and she was still crying and trying to tear at her eyes. I was begging them to give her more pain medicine but they said they had already given her the max dose. On the two hour drive home, I sat in the back seat with Pepper and held her arms so she couldn't rub her eyes. She did pretty good, only once or twice did she start crying. That night was the hardest. It was like bringing home a premature baby all over again. Neither of us slept, and we had to put arm restraints on her to keep her from rubbing. Since then though, she has been completely fine! Her eyes are mostly normal, with the exception of the right eye wandering off from time to time..the doc said that is normal, that since they stretched the muscle, it will take time for it to become strong again. We just had her post op check-up last week and he said she looks great and shouldn't need anything else(glasses or patching) for a couple of years. It's really cool how quickly her eyes healed. What a blessing. 

June was jam packed with fun! I have been on a mission to make this the BEST summer EVER and so far it has been great. In order to beat the summer blues and boredom, I've kept these kids busy with chores, yep, lots of chores,but also tons of fun activities. I also did a lot of projects, the biggest one being the boy's bedroom. In April, our freezer had an accident and over 10 gallons of water leaked down into Pepper's room, destroying her ceiling and causing us to have to suck up water for days with a carpet cleaner. We couldn't fix it that month, so for a month, Pepper slept in her play-pen in the boy's room. When Dave finally got her ceiling drywalled, I got to work on painting and decorating the boy's room. These are the crappiest photos ever, not a good representation because it really does look cute, but here you go. I was given some sturdy light oak bunk beds and I spent 3 weeks sanding and staining and varnishing. I love how they turned out. 
I made the curtain valance out of $1 muslin. No sewing, just folded it and used those clippy curtain things. 
 I love how their beds turned out. Since this photo I bought some really cute green sheets that match their room. 

This was inspired by pottery barn's dino room. I painted it myself:) I did this wall dark brown as an accent and I love it. 
You can't even tell this is a basement bedroom, can you? The window is even covered by the deck. 
Another project I did was the fish tank project. I got a 50 gallon tank on good old freecycle and dave made me an awesome stand for it.

I painted the stand green and brown, can't really see it in the photo, but here is the tank all set up. We friggin love it. 

And just for kicks, here is our bedroom. I need to sand and paint my nightstand but I have a lot of things going on.

This is Pepper's room. I'd really like to get my hands on the rocker and the crib and paint them but will happen, just not now. 

 Look at all those teeth. Her hair is getting really long too. 

I took the kids for an afternoon camping with Grandpa & Grandma. It was really fun, but camping with a baby is exhausting. And I didn't even do overnight!

We stayed at my sister Becky's house in Daybreak for the first weekend in June and played in the kiddie pool. HEHE isn't she so cute??

After being on the waiting list for the Primary Children's neurologist for 3 months, we finally got Pepper in on June 4th. My Mom came with me since Dave was working on finishing a basement. The doctor just looked her over and told me nonchalantly that she has a type of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia. It was a bit of a shock to be told that, but at the same time such an incredible relief to know what has caused her delay in movement among other things. She had been in Early Intervention Up to Three program for months at this point and had a good deal of physical therapy so far. I'm so glad that I listened to my maternal instincts in getting her tested and treated. This chart shows the different types of CP and what parts of the body are affected. Pepper's is the second from the left. 

The plan for treatment will be MRI at 2-3 years old to see how much of her brain is affected, and botox injections for her leg muscles to help them relax. This week she is seeing a guy that will get her fitted for leg braces..don't think 'Forest Gump', it's nothing like that. They are just plastic braces, fitted to her feet that will help turn her feet the way they need to go..right now her feet are like the poor naked child in the picture, turned in and tilted, otherwise known as "pronate". I'm grateful to have a diagnosis for her and that we live in a time of medical advancement that will help her be normal. She will walk, she will run and play. The only part of her brain that is affected is the part that controls muscle movement. She is normal. People have been apologizing to me upon hearing her diagnosis and I don't understand why I should be sorry! I'm not sorry! God gave this test to our Pepper and we will run with it! We will support her and love her no matter what.

So that same day we went to the zoo and met my sister Katie there. It was SO hot that day, but we had a lot of fun!!

The next week after visiting my sister Becky again, we went to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. The kids loved it! We didn't tell them we were going there until we were inside of the doors and they were so excited!

Here are some random photos:
I had just taken her hair out of pigtails and she was mad. 
Jared and I went frog hunting!
Bumblebee in my backyard

fresh picked from the garden 
Dave brought home this little cutie last week. He found her wandering out near the Portage exit, dehydrated and lost and he took her in. We kept her for a few days and found her a good home. We got REALLY attached. But how can you blame us?

I can't even stand it. I miss her little face.

Last Monday we had another appt at Primary Children's so we made a day of it and went to the Eccle's Dinosaur Park in Ogden. The boys really loved it. They are sweet boys who pretty much love anything we do together as a family. :) Here are photos.

We even got to dig for bones!

 Thursday 6/27, at about 8:30, I ran to Maverik in Hyde Park to return a Redbox. (don't wanna get charged that extra $1 per night!) As I was pulling out of the Maverik parking lot onto main street, I got tboned by an SUV. I don't know if the other driver was speeding through the yellow light or if the sun was blinding me and I just didn't pay attention, but they seemingly came out of nowhere and there wasn't time to react. I got slammed pretty hard in the front driver's side and spun around. When the car came to a stop and I was facing incoming traffic, I just prayed that noone else would hit me. Luckily everyone stopped. The pain was pretty intense, but I was also in shock about what had just happened. I took my seatbelt off and put the car into park and turned off the key. A really nice lady came to see if I was ok and I told her it hurt to move. The police got there really fast and told me not to move. The lady gave me her phone after dialing Dave's cell. I said "Hey honey. I kind sorta totaled the car. I'm going to the hospital, I'm hurting pretty bad but it will be ok." He thought I was joking so he just went quiet. After he realized I wasn't joking, he told me he would be there as fast as he could. EMT's came and pulled me from the car and put me on a board, which friggin hurt. So stupid, my only thought was how embarrassed I felt being on a stretcher on main street, hoping nobody I knew drove by. That's when I remember hearing Dave's voice. I kept my eyes shut because it was really bright outside and I had a *bit* of a headache from slamming my head into the window frame of the car. I could hear like 5 people doing things and then I was being wheeled into an ambulance. They kept trying to start an IV but couldn't get it 3 or 4 times. They finally got it as they pulled up to the emergency room. I just cried like a boob the whole way to the hospital. I was dizzy and nauseated and my stomach was hurting really bad. At the hospital they cut my clothes off me (RIP my favorite Victoria's Secret bra!) and dumped me off in a trauma room and left me there FOREVER it seemed like. I was in so much pain. My stomach felt like there was a dagger in it. They still hadn't given me anything for it. A doctor finally came and looked me over and ordered a CT scan which I've already had way too many of, and finally gave me a pain killer. After the CT scan, the doc came in and said that no bones were broken, just pulled muscles and bruises all over. He left but then quickly came back in and was like"Does your stomach hurt at all?" I was like "Are you kidding? This is what I have been trying to tell you people, my STOMACH HURTS!" He said that on the CT it looked like maybe some bleeding from my liver, or in the very least heavy bruising. He told me it would be a good idea for them to keep me overnight for observation. So I stayed overnight and slept through most of it, and the next day some doc came and told me I could go home, but that I would be really really sore. I came home and was blessed with so much love and FOOD from friends and neighbors and I feel really really blessed. (Which is more than I can say for my car. Liability only, people. Good thing June was so packed full of fun..cause we won't be going anywhere)

If you made it through that post, good for you. You're a good friend:)


  1. Just have to say, you're amazing.

  2. so amazing to see and read! You have such a cute family. God Bless you all and can't wait to see more and even better...get together soon!!