Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birth Control

Sean and I teach the six and seven year old CTR class in Primary.  This is by far the funnest, most challenging calling I have ever had.  We have a HUGE class, there are 16 kids!  Granted, not all of them come every week, we average 12-13 kids each Sunday.  Every Sunday Sean and I are so excited to see all of these crazy kids, but after being with them for two hours I'm always relieved to hand them back over to their parents.  They are so sweet, and freaking hilarious, but sometimes they can be huge pains and I want to beat them.  Haha!

Since it's the end of the year and we will be getting a new class next week, Sean and I decided to throw them a Pizza Party/Movie Night at our apartment.  We were 'supposed to' be watching "ELF",  eating popcorn, and having fun..but instead they were just running around our little apartment like crazy people all night.  It was actually really funny.  As mad as I wanted to be I just couldn't be, they're so freaking cute (and crazy).  We felt like we couldn't tell them to simmer down that much because that's all we really do at church.

When Elle's mom picked her up she asked, "Why are you guys doing this, are you crazy?  Is this just birth control for you two?"  Haha...maybe.

All the kiddies.  As you can see, one of the first of may spills on the carpet.

Girl picture!  We almost got all of them looking :)

Boy picture, typical.

This is Charlie, he is the funniest little boy ever.  Every Sunday Charlie comes and sits on my lap, all through sharing time and the lesson.  A few Sundays ago Charlie asked me, "Do you know why I always sit on your lap?" "No", I replied.  He said, "It's because I have a crush on you." I said, "Well you better go tell Brother Packard this."  So Charlie runs over to the other side where Sean is sitting and says, "Hey-I have a crush on the girl teacher."  Sean said, "Well that's my girlfriend, so I'm going to have to beat you up." Charlie quickly replied, "Well I'll kick you in your pee-pee!"  Sean gave him the look of disdain and Charlie gasped, "Sorry!", and then ran back over to me.  Hahaha!  This is just one of the many funny things he has done.

This is Elle and Scottie.  All of the boys are in LOVE with Elle.  They are always following her around, and will do anything she says.  It's really cute.  A lot of times when the boys are misbehaving (which is quite frequently) we sit them by Elle, and it always seems to help. :)

Sean was taking pictures of the kids crossing their eyes all night, and this is one of my personal favorites.

We ALMOST had all of them smiling, but then there's our shining star Jaxon (little boy in the back making a retarded face) making every picture special.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A new heart for Christmas

A lot of you know my Dad had his third heart attack two days after Christmas last year.  He had his first heart attack soon after he and my mom got married over 27 years ago while water skiing with my mom and her brother.  He had his second heart attack 19 years ago, right after my mom had my youngest brother Daniel.  She had five kids under the age of seven.  Some of you might be thinking he is a 500 pound obese guy, who sits on the couch eating cheese puffs..but this is not the case.  He is very careful with what he eats, and monitors everything closely.  He hasn't eaten red meat in the last 19 years, has fish occasionally, and only has turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas. My dad has horrible genetics.  He has heart disease on his mom and dad's side.  So, needless to say he and my mom have been through a lot the last thirty years.

The doctors informed us this last heart attack has done the most damage.  His heart was too weak, and there wasn't enough viable muscle to operate on.  Any surgery would surely fail, and he wouldn't make it.  He needed a new heart.  So in the meantime, they implanted a V.A.D., a Ventricular Assist Device, which essentially replaced the function of my dad's failing heart.  It's amazing the technology that is available now, he didn't even have a pulse!  Whenever he was at home he needed to be plugged in, the VAD could run on batteries for four hours at a time, which clearly made it difficult for him to practice dentistry, or be alone at all.  This changed my parents' marraige completely, my mom had to be at his side 24/7, if something did go wrong they only had a few minutes to react, or he wouldn't make it.

In order to even be considered to be put on the donor list, my Dad had to go through vigorous testing, a lot of emotional and psychological counseling, and mostly just waiting.  After a long nine months, my dad was finally put on the Heart Transplant List.  He's actually a pretty good candidate for a new heart.  He doesn't smoke, drink, and eats very healthy. The hospital informed my family that the first 30 days the patient is on the list is the only time when he would be top priority.  After that 30 days came and gone, we began to think he would never get a heart.  The VAD is only a temporary situation, used as a gateway into getting a transplant.

Then, this past Tuesday, December 7th (as my dad reminded us all "Pearl Harbor" day) around 11:30 a.m. my dad got the call. I was at work, oddly enough I had finished my patient 20 minutes early and was in the break room, eating all the Christmas goodies specialists bring us, when my little brother Dan texted me, "Dad got the call".  I instantly burst into tears.  I called him right away and he was crying too.  I'm still not sure if it was a happy/scared/excited cry, but I really was happy.  I talked to my Dad quickly not knowing if it would be the last time I would ever talk to him expressing to him how much I loved him, and how I wished I could be there to hold his hand with the rest of our family.  I wished him good luck and told him I would call him after I got out of work.  He said they were rushing to get out the house to get to Northwestern and would be in surgery by 6:00 that night.  Even though this surgery had a 97% success rate, I was still very nervous, people die all the time on the operating table.  He has been through five or six surgeries where he only had a 60-70% chance he would make it, so even though this was a wonderful thing that was happening, we all had so many mixed emotions.

As Sean as my witness, I was an emotional wreck (poor Sean). I was up all night texting, calling, and waiting for updates from my mom and brothers.  On my way to work the next morning I got the good news I had been praying so fervently for-the surgery went perfectly.  My dad has a young, healthy, new heart.  It will still be a long road to recovery, but he is doing very well I'm told.  I talked to him twice since the intubation tube has been removed.  He is very optimistic, and so are the rest of us.

I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers, fasting, kind words, calls, texts, and support they have given me and my family over this past year.  This has truly been a long, hard year for my family and I know we couldn't have made it through with out our wonderful friends and family, but mostly we couldn't have done it without the gospel and the amazing promise of eternal families.

This is truly the best Christmas present my family and I could ever ask for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Last month I took my first official vacation at work and we went on our second cruise, this time to the Bahamas!  It was amazing!  I'm convinced that going on a cruise is the best way to vacation.  It's the most relaxing thing you'll ever do.  I'm pretty sure we each gained about ten pounds though, the food is absolutely amazing.  The cruise left out of Miami, so since we fly stand-by we flew in a couple days early just to be safe.  Miami was a lot of fun too...people don't wear a lot of swim suits on the beach though...we saw a little bit more skin than we would have liked, but we still had a really great time.  The cruise went to Key West first, then Nassau, and then to Coco Cay which is actually an island owned by Royal Caribbean.  We had a lot of fun and there are a lot of pictures, I'm sorry!

South Beach in Miami

Laying out in Miami

Sean wanted me to document the home of the 'Eastern Conference Champs', the American Airlines Center where Lebron and Dwayne Wade play for the Miami Heat.
a little more South Beach

Our hotel downtown Miami

First day on the cruise
Laying out by the pool on the ship

Our first night at dinner
Key West, Florida
The water wasn't quite as pretty here as it was in the Bahamas
Haha, I'm not sure if you can see it in this picture, but the guy standing up was wearing a g-string strutting around the beach at Key West.  Haha, disgusting..but somehow mildly entertaining.
My favorite thing to do!   Any yes, the lady to the left of us has no top on...
Sailing away from the Florida Keys
Formal night!
Looking good!  Sean is still furious that I made him "match" is hard sometimes
at the dinner table
I will never get sick of all the little animals the housekeepers make out of towels!
We won 'Couples Trivia' the night before and one of our prizes was we got to take a tour of the bridge.  It was pretty neat.

Beautiful Nassau, Bahamas
  This was the path to beach...amazing!
So pretty!
The beaches were beautiful, we had never seen water like looks like a postcard!
While we were in Nassau we went snorkeling.  It took up the entire day because the boat broke down, and many other fiascoes, but it was still pretty cool.

Our underwater camera wasn't the best of quality, but this is me :)
Sean touching the reef. 
 haha..this one looks a little weird
Some fishies!
Me again..I think I was trying to wave to Sean..not really sure why!
That night we took a taxi over to Atlantis, that place is amazing!  We have to vacation there someday.  The next few pics are from their aquarium, yes..they have their own aquarium. words..

On the ferry ride over to Cococay
While we were in Cococay we went parasailing.  It was the first time for both of us, it was a lot of fun!  We were surprised at how smooth it was once you got up.
So fun!
We took our underwater camera up in the air with us.  I think this is a good one of Sean!

The water looked so sweet from up in the air. 
Back on the boat
Later that day Sean enrolled in a 'free throw tournament'  
The "fierce" competition
He ended up with two gold medals..haha..and he was VERY proud :)
This is the way life should be spent

Later that day we went jet skiing, it was definitely my favorite excursion.

We stopped in a star fish cove, there were live starfish everywhere!  I really wanted to take this one with us, but it was too big and wouldn't fit in our jet ski!

This was before Sean knocked me off the jet ski, notice how I'm still smiling... 
We had a blast! 
Our last night before dinner..about to stuff our faces for the last time.