Monday, January 24, 2011

Hygeine Habits of a 4- Year Old

Eli has a favorite red, fleece, GAP sweatshirt that he got two Christmas' ago and that he would wear everyday if we let him (and already does wear more than he should)! His most recent wearing was to the Monster Truck Jam on Saturday night. After church he pulled it out of the dirty clothes and tried to convince me to let him slip it back on... I told him, "NO WAY!". Then when Seth told him to get dressed for school this morning- sure enough he came back down the stairs wearing a mangy, dirty, nacho cheese, cotton candy covered red, GAP sweatshirt.

Seth: Eli that is filthy! Go take it off! You can not wear that to school today.

Eli: But there's not POOP on it!!

Seth: You're right. That is about the only thing NOT on it. Go take it off!

Apparently that is the standard of cleanliness around the Washburn home. Anything is fair game unless there is poop on it!?!
(Eli in his favorite sweatshirt at the Monster Truck Jam!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't be Fancy, Just get Dancey!

Today on the way home from dropping my oldest son off at school, "Raise Your Glass" came on the radio, by Pink. It is quite possibly my favorite song. So I turned it loud and proceeded to jam and encouraged Eli and Dallin to dance in their seats as well. After we were in our own driveway... the song was not over... so with proper good-song etiquette, we all jammed in our seats until it was finished.

Eli gave a half hearted performance at best. I didn't feel he was fully appreciating what a great song it was and I asked him, "Eli, do you know that is probably the best song out there?"

Eli's response? "Na-uh! Old McDonald's is!"

There was no argument from me. Sadly, Pink will probably never hold a candle next to a timeless classic like that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Baby...

... is NOT a baby anymore. (SNIFF, SNIFF!)

All of a sudden, it's really starting to hit me that Dallin is growing up and becoming a little man faster than I would like to think.

Last night I had myself convinced I wanted another baby.

I even tossed the idea around with the kids.

All of them said they wanted another sibling.

Connor and Dallin both said they wanted a sister. Eli said he wanted one of each... a brother and a sister.

Then today happened.

Dallin complained and cried and whined and screamed and threw tantrum, after tantrum, after tantrum.

So, I am right back to square one... and ready to close up shop for good!

But it really was a nice thought.

(Oh, and just to clear my name... I was enjoying a girl's night out while these blue cup cake photos were being taken. But they are WAY too cute not to share! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas 2010

The Washburn's Christmas started out something like this...

being awakened at 2am by an excited 8 year old, followed by two half asleep, half crying, obedient little brothers.

Seth: "Connor, it is 2am! Why are you down here!?!"

Connor: "Well, um. I woke up to use the bathroom... and um, I forgot that we had a bathroom upstairs..." (make that TWO!) "and so I um, went downstairs to use it, but um, I was scared so I woke Eli and Dallin up to go with me, and um, then I saw all the presents and knew that Santa had come! Santa already came! It's Christmas! Hurry! Get up!"

Seth: "Go back to bed! It is NOT time to get up. It is still the middle of the night! You may NOT come back down here until it is at least 7am!" (I'm not sure why he said 7 when he knows full well on any other regular given day our kids are up by 6... but considering I had only been asleep for one hour at this point, I was too sleepy to say otherwise.)

Connor: "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" (as he proceeded to cry and throw a fit.)

Dallin and Eli obediently went back up to their beds to sleep. No ands, ifs, or buts.

But about 5am I was awakened to loud thuds, giggles, and the pitter-patter of little feet running around upstairs. We sat there and listened for awhile half asleep. But a little before 6, we too, decided to get up out of bed.

And our Christmas ended with something like this...

Only instead of Ralphie's family, it was Connor's. And instead of being all dressed up, we were still in our jammies. And instead of a Chinese restaurant being the only thing open... it was Denny's. And instead of eating duck... we ate nachos.

Classy. We know!

Oh, and in between it all, there was a bit of this...

Immediately upon coming down the stairs Dallin saw this little bad boy, hopped on without any questions as to if it was even his, or not, and took off driving around the house! It took him all of about 5.5 seconds to learn how to burn rubber. He would stand in one place and let the wheels spin as he made big black marks on his mom's wood floor! He was lucky it was Christmas!! What was Santa thinking charging that battery ahead of time?

Eli got a fun rhino board game from mom!

Connor got a flag football kit from Dad!

Eli is my little artist. He really enjoys painting and coloring and cutting and gluing right now. All things Connor NEVER enjoyed. He got this easel from Santa and loves it. Eli and Dallin have both enjoyed it!

This Christmas will live in our memories as the Christmas when we were introduced to breakfast nachos. All is right with the world.

Merry Christmas!
Love, the Washburn's

Christmas Eve 2010

We invited the missionaries over for Christmas Eve again this year and we had a wonderful time with them. They truly brought a special spirit into our home.

We had a delicious ham dinner with sparkling cider, seasoned red potatoes, rolls, and jalapeno green beans. Personally, I am not a big ham eater, but I have to say after this dinner... I think I am! :) Everything about this dinner was AWESOME! Seth did an excellent job. (But let's give props where props are deserved... I pulled those Rhodes rolls out of the bag and let them thaw and rise before putting them in the oven for 15 minutes! ;)

After dinner was done we enjoyed listening to Christmas music (Mo Tab of course!) while Eli, Dallin and I made sugar cookies...
and the rest of the gang played board games. (Dominion and Battleship to name a few.) The missionaries LOVED Dominion.
After the games were done, the cookies were ready to decorate for Santa (and a few for our bellies too)!

**note Dallin DUMPING on the sprinkles, Connor LICKING his fingers, and Eli unsanitarily KNEELING on the table!**
We made sure Santa ONLY got cookies from our kids... and let the missionaries take home their OWN decorated cookies to Santa at their apartment! ;)

You know if you have sprinkles up the nose... you did a good job!

Then we all read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible and we watched the church's rendition of the Nativity.

Lastly, we each opened our one Christmas Eve gift. And what do you know... it was pajamas all around, AGAIN! :)

The missionaries were very appreciative and grateful the entire night.
The missionaries then left our home with a prayer around 9pm.
As a family, we watched a cartoon version of 'The Missing Wiseman'... or something of the sort? It was actaully pretty cute with an important message of the true meaning of Christmas.
From there we checked the Santa tracker and saw he was over Cuba! It was about 10pm so we set out our cookies and sprinkled our reindeer feed on the lawn, and all hurried to bed to make sure we were fast asleep for when Santa got to our house. (Cuz he skips over your house if you're awake!)

Santa was one lucky guy to score these puppies!!!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just Your Average Car Ride

Now I will be the first to admit conversations with my boys are usually a little off the wall and often don't make sense. But today's car ride convo just might take the cake!

Eli: "Some mom's and dad's are in jail, right Mom?"

Me: pause. (where is this coming from?) "Uh, yeah."

Eli: "Is Daddy in jail?"

Me: ??? "No, Daddy is at work."

Eli: "Is Daddy a bad guy?"

Me: "No, Daddy is a good guy."

Eli: "A good, bad guy?"

Me: (WHAT THE WHAT?!?) "Uh, no Buddy, Daddy is JUST a good guy."

Eli: "But me-member (remember), Daddy is A SPY!!!"

I don't know what Seth is filling his kids heads with... probably day dreaming of some alter-ego. But whatever the case... I can only imagine what Eli is telling his friends and teachers at church and school!! :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sean's Story

As most of you know, my brother Sean (see butt-rocker above), had a pulmonary embolism (or at least I think that is what it is called) a couple weeks ago and is still fighting to get well. As I read this email he sent out I could not help but be touched to the point of tears and felt the need that this needed to be shared. I asked his permission to post it on my blog and received it. I know it is a bit lengthy but it is well worth the read. My brother is an amazing person who I love and respect with all my heart. He is definitely one of my "heroes"! Please keep him in your prayers.

Friends & Family –

I wanted to take a couple of minutes and give you all the latest update. As you have all heard I am out of the hospital and back at home resting and trying to outlast the clots in my left leg and in my lungs. The bottom half of both lungs are not currently functioning, and the top halves are working overtime to keep this big bootie upright. I am on a blood-thinner medicine called Coumadin and will be on this medicine from 6 months to a few years – we need to see how my body reacts to the blood thinning. Coumadin makes it so my body cannot produce any new blood clots. Meanwhile the clots will be broken down and absorbed into my body on their own over the next several months. Please pray that the clots will be absorbed quickly and that there will be no lasting damage to my lungs. If they do not absorb in a few months they will need to be removed surgically – a pretty risky procedure. I have been thinking about what has happened a lot over the last few days that I have been home from the hospital and with my family. I have decided to write down a few of my memories and thoughts and to share them with you. I have titled it “Heroes.”

During the first week of December, I had a severe case of the flu – in fact it was only the second confirmed case of the flu in the state of Oregon in 2010. I had high fevers (up to 104.6) that came and went and lasted for upwards of 5 nights. They would be followed by the sweats and the shivers. I had no appetite and no desire to get out of bed and move around. Over that span of 8 days due to my strict diet of Gatorade and Nyquil, I lost 15 pounds and my will to do much of anything other than sleep. Over the weekend as I started to get better, I started to gain my strength. By Sunday night I felt that I had it kicked, on Monday started working from home and by Thursday I felt strong enough to go into the office. After a full day of work I felt strong enough to even go play basketball that night with my city league team.

The team consists of several friends from within and one or two from outside the church. Upon completing my second time down the court I started to feel a little weird, a little light-headed. It must have been the lasting effects of the flu I told myself and shook it off. By the next time down the court, things started getting black and I braced myself by putting my hands on my knees – the next thing I remember is looking up, waking up and looking at Charles Carter’s face and shaking my head violently, as if I were trying to shake the freckles off my face. As things came into focus I could see that I had blacked out. It was later reported to the ER doctor that I had blacked out for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and was bright purple as I was not getting any oxygen. While I was out, someone called an ambulance, and as I came to and cleared my head I remember telling someone that I did not need an ambulance – that I just needed a place to sit down without 15 people staring at me. So I sat on the bench until halftime – and drank some more Gatorade.

Halftimes quickly approached and as I stood to shoot around with the team, and listened to them tell me I was a pansy for fainting and that I still had the flu - and as I started to warm up for the second half everything started to get black around me again. Not wanting to pass out again, I hurried and sat back down on the bench. Every time I stood for more that 5 seconds I would start to fade into darkness. I just needed to rest. I had exerted myself too soon after having the flu I told myself. So I kept score the second half of the game. When the game ended and I got up to leave – I could barely cross the gym floor without having to stop to rest. I stopped 3 more times on the way out of the gym.

By this time I just wanted to go home and go to bed. The guys on the team were a little worried, so they made me call Candace and tell her that I was on my way back to the ER – a place that our family had visited so many times that others joked that we should have a permanent, front row parking spot. The guys on the team then made me go to the ER. All of a sudden they were worried now that the game was over. I will never let any of them forget that I blacked out for 2 minutes on the basketball court and they all said, “Just wait until the game is over and then we’ll take you to the ER.” :) The doctor later told me that had I gone home to bed that night that I would have died in my sleep.

I had gotten into the ER rather quickly as chest pain patients move to the front of the line. Once I was inside the ER however they were in no hurry to give me a diagnosis, as we waited and waited and waited. While we waited three of my buddies (Charles Carter, Neil Buchan and Jim Welch) gave me a priesthood blessing that the doctors would be able to diagnose the problem quickly and that I would be calmed and able to breathe until they found out what was the matter. They blessed me that I would be able to have the faith I needed to be strong and trust that the Lord would protect me. At 3 am they said I had a “Pulmonary Embolism” – something we had discussed and dismissed earlier because of its severity. I needed to be moved to the ICU or Intensive Care Unit, where the doctors and nurses could watch me around the clock. Being that one of the basketball teammates was still at our house while our kids slept, Candace left around 5:30 am once I was stable and in good hands. She went home, made an attempt at sleep for 1 hour and then got the kids ready and off to school.

A Pulmonary Embolism? After several ex-rays, CAT Scans, blood tests and other – the medical staff decided that I had/have a blood clot the size of an orange on my lungs, and that when it passed through my heart on its way to my lungs earlier that night (as I was running down the basketball court for the third time and blacked out) that I should have died. That 60% of all people would have died in that moment. As my good buddy would say, “What the Fetch?!” “I should have died? Really? Me? Tonight? I’m 41 and have way too much to do still. I have to see the Blazers win a Championship, and see Porter and Jack score winning touchdowns in high school, and then write to them in foreign lands while they are serving their missions. I have to be able to grill the boys that want to take Megan on dates when they get back from their missions, and be there when she wins the state golf tourney and wants to play her practice rounds with her dad. I have to serve a mission with Candace, have to take her to Maui for our 25th wedding anniversary and back again for our 40th, have to spend more time with my brothers and sisters. I have to go on more golfing trips with my buddies and spend more time tickling my nieces and nephews. There is a lot more that I have to do before I leave this Earth!”

What will I do with this new gift of life? Will I squander it and be back to my same old self in 6 months having forgotten about this whole ordeal or would I use it to become someone better? Will I visit those in the hospital because I know first-hand how much that lifts the spirits, will I volunteer around town and do my part to make the world a better place? Will I talk to my brothers and sisters on a regular basis and be more interested in their lives? Will I quit with the petty competitions quit trying to win so much that I push others away? Will I love my family more than a Saturday afternoon football game? I want the answer to these questions to be yes. I hope this new lease on life has given me the strength to follow through in these areas.

The first morning in the ICU I figured out that my teammates were inspired to take me to the hospital. That morning at 8:30 am as I sat to eat some breakfast I had an attack – a severe pain in my chest that would not go away for 2 ½ hours. As the medical team went through their progression of medications trying to determine which would sooth my pain, I cried out in agony and feared for the first time that the doctors might actually know what they were talking about – that I might die right then and there in the ICU. It’s a scary thing when you think you are going to die. I started to think to myself, “Have I done everything I needed to take care of my family and loved ones? Will they be financially stable with me gone? How will they cope with losing their father and husband? Who will care for them when I can no longer do so?” This line of thinking lasted for about an hour and then switched to, “Have I done all that I need to return to live with my Heavenly Father? Have I asked forgiveness from my brothers and sisters for offending them at family reunions? Have I taught enough people about the gospel?” As the doctor finally determined that a combination of Dilaudid and Torredal would do the trick and as I started coming out of my physical and spiritual agony, I immediately started asking the nurse if he had ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He said yes – that his father was a missionary in Japan and that he had fallen away since his father’s death. We spoke a little more until exhaustion overcame me and I fell asleep.

After two days in the ICU, I was transferred to the Critical Care floor – one step down from the ICU, but not the general population – where I would spend the next 6 days in room 677. Five out of my nine nurses would be male – I thought it a little strange, but it turned out to be very lucky as all of my nurses took great care of me and helped me to recovery. None judged me as I asked for more medication, or as I cried when things got too intense or too tough for me to handle alone. Candace felt relieved that I had mostly male nurses as she felt they would be able to lift me and carry me where I needed to go were I to black out again. There were several times during my stay at the hospital that I felt breaks in the pain only to learn that some of you were praying and/or fasting for me. I still do feel those moments of reprise now at home knowing that you and many others are still praying for me and my family. I want to thank you for your prayers, for your well wishes and your care packages – all of which allowed me to smile and to think of things other than the pain or the realization that I could have (and should have according to my doctors) died two weeks ago.

I want to tell you that I appreciate each of you. I appreciate the many calls and offers from family and friends to come and stay with us during this rough time. Mom, Dad, Barb (Candace’s mom), Candace and Destiny coming to the hospital and sitting with me, playing Scrabble with me, taking me for short walks, getting me fresh water, or reading to me. I want to thank those of you who sat bedside with me or snuck in “outside food” and watched the Blazer games with me. I had over 50 visitors (52) in the hospital and many of those 50 came back several times. I had friends watch the kids, and even had some friends get us a Christmas tree when they noticed that we were without, two weeks before Christmas. I had balloons and cookies and candy and books and magazines and flowers and more candy – how did I lose 8 more pounds while in the hospital this week? What I enjoyed the most was the genuine conversation and concern and tears shed and the heartfelt hugs and kisses. This time spent made me feel loved and kept me from thinking about all of the times the doctors mentioned how “lucky I was to be alive.” There were many who didn’t make it to the hospital that did make it by the house. They also brought gifts of love such as meals for the family, flowers, Ice cream, cards and well wishes. There were so many in fact that I cannot mention them all. There were voicemails, and Facebook posts and text messages from 50 + additional people asking if or how they could help in any way.

Through this process I have come to realize several heroes that stood out during my time in the hospital. If I forgot some it’s because I was on medication and not thinking clearly, or because I still am on medication and am still not thinking clearly now. These heroes helped me in one way or another to realize that I have so much to live for and provided so much love and support – it made me want to be like them – selfless and Christ-like.

The real hero trough this ordeal was my mother-in-law, Barbara, for dropping everything and flying out from New Mexico at a moment’s notice to take care of our family. To take care of Candace and spend time with the kids so Candace could spend more time with me. She did this because she loves the spending time with the kids, she loves Candace and she loves me. I would feel remiss if I did not mention Len (Candace’s dad) who also sacrificed for us – sending his wife two weeks before Christmas to stay through Christmas.

The real heroes were the guys on the team – Charles Carter who stayed with me until 3 am in the ER then gave me a priesthood blessing of healing and comfort. Myles Cluff who immediately upon me arriving at St. Vincent’s Hospital drove to my home and told Candace to go to the hospital and that he would stay with the kids as long as she needed. Myles also visited me a few times at the hospital and made sure I had enough Lord of the Rings movies to last 2 weeks in the hospital. Jeff Nemelka and TJ Carroll who helped me up the stairs at THPRD, and who said, “I don’t think Sean should drive home.” Jim Welsh who also went to my house, came back to the ER, who also participated in the blessing and stayed until 3 am. Neil Buchan was the real hero as he was the one that wouldn’t take me home after the game when I asked him to – instead he took me to the hospital, helped with the blessing and stayed with me. He stayed with me for 4 days. He brought movies, he watched Blazer games with me, smuggled in food, and did everything a good friend could do. When I was feeling good he was feeling good and when I was not doing so hot – he was not doing so hot right beside me.

Kim and Reenie Fisher were the real heroes as they visited me three times, bringing balloons, treats, smiles and love. I can just look into either of their eyes and feel the spirit of the Lord radiate through them. They are such good friends and always had something funny to tell me, something to lift my spirits. I will definitely be visiting them on a regular basis in the old-folks home when they get there – hopefully sharing some of the peace and joy they brought to my bedside.

The real hero was Robbie Severson. She came in on Sunday and gave me a haircut and a shave. Have you ever seen the movie “Phenomenon” when John Travolta is dying and Kyra Sedgewick gives him that sexy hair cut and shave – an act of love from someone that wanted to make out with him? Well this wasn’t like that. :) This was an awesome act of kindness that motivated me to have the best day ever in the hospital, and helped me to feel great at times the rest of the week whenever anyone mentioned my great hair cut.

The real hero was Andy Thompson my best friend who for some reason has stuck with me since the 5th grade. He was the best man at my wedding, he’s my dentist, and he was there for me at the hospital. He too brought contraband food into the hospital, and stayed with me many nights until late at night empathizing with me from his many hospital visits as an old man. I felt our friendship bond grow even more during the time we spent together this last couple of weeks in the hospital and at now at home. The real hero was his hot wife Mari who asked if she could go Christmas shopping for me, and got everything on the list. And then stopped by to take me last minute shopping for anything else I felt we still needed.

Other heroes were Jade and Justin Thelin who visited me a few times while Jade himself had a broken ankle and was riding around on a mini bicycle to keep his leg elevated as he went. They brought by the famous Thelin Monster Cookies. Jade also brought his hot wife and his cute daughter Payton who made me smile. He then visited me at the house; bringing more goodies and his family again. They are both filed with such positive energy that it flows through them into others in their presence.

The real hero was Sheri Flynn, a neighbor who brought three bags of groceries as we were not concentrating on food at home. She brought over meals for the kids – good meals that they devoured. She brought fruit and snacks and flowers and friendship and love.

The real heroes are the Waldrips who came to the hospital and talked to me – just talked. They asked me about me and then talked to me like I wasn’t on my death bed and told me what was going n in their world. Oh yeah – they are the ones that bought us the great Christmas tree because they could see that we needed one, that there was two weeks until Christmas and that we didn’t have one. The night they brought it to the house there was no power and they had to put it up (an already frustrating Job) in the dark – with only the flashlights of three very excited kids as they felt the Christmas spirit enter their home that night.

The real heroes are the Jones twins, Adam and Austin (Porter’s friends who I have coached in basketball and baseball) who studied up on what blood clots were and then asked their mom to take them to see me. They asked questions and wanted to know when I would be better.

The real heroes were the Larimers who stopped by the hospital and listened, and brought their sweet daughter who made me smile wither cute dimples.

The real heroes are the Bingo ladies from Sunset Hills Ward. Nadine, Maureen and Robyn have been coming to the hospital every Tuesday at 1 pm to administer Bingo on close-captioned TV for 30 years. They take calls and put the room numbers of the winners on screen and announce their names on TV. They stopped by my room 30 minutes before the game and let me know what to expect and where to go to play. Candace, Mom and I had fun trying to get a Bingo. About half way through the game I decided I wanted to call Robyn and talk to her. So I called the number on the screen. It was answered and

I said: “Hello Robyn, how are you?”
The lady on the other end (Maureen) said: “This isn’t Robyn. Can I help you?”
Me: “Can I speak to Robyn?”
Maureen: “No. She’s on the air. What do you want? What room are you in?”
Me: “Uh, I have a Bingo, can I tell her?”
Maureen: “No. What room are you in and I will tell her?”
Me: “Ok. I don’t really have a Bingo but I wanted to call Robyn and tell her that she looks hot on TV!”
Maureen: Pause. “Is this Sean?”
Me: “Yes.”

Robyn stopped by after and awarded me and Jack prizes even though we didn’t win. Jack got two spinning tops and I got a back scratcher. I had wanted a back scratcher for two months and had even asked Santa to put one in my stocking…

The real heroes were the Weilers - A loving home teacher and good friend who stopped by on Sunday to bring the Sacrament so I could feel of the Savior’s love and be reminded of his great sacrifice. With five kids of their own, they volunteered to take three more of ours so Candace could come and visit me at the hospital. His wife’s beautiful voice calmed me and sent away my pain for 10 minutes as she shared her beautiful talent and song. Her reminder of my Savior’s role in my life, of His sacrifice and His love for me – the love that I have felt at so many times in my life, and the love that I felt today as I called out to me heavenly Father and asked for His help. I was reminded of our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation and although this is but a blip on the radar in the eternal perspective, that He knows my pain and that He is there to ease my pain - if I just ask.
The real heroes were Megan, Porter and Jack. Each handled my hospitalizing a little differently. Megan (9) and her friends made me get well cards, snow globes and other trinkets I could place around my hospital room. Jack (3) asked Santa in the mall if his daddy could come home for Christmas, and ran in a jumped up on my bed with me each time he saw me. Porter (7), who I have been extra close to recently, didn’t know how to act at first when he would see me – not sure if he should touch me. My second best day at the hospital was when Megan, Porter and Candace came to the hospital and we all played a game. Porter sat next to me up on the bed while we played, gave me a hug and told me he loved me. They lifted my spirits more than I would have thought possible, and I missed them when they weren’t there with me.

The real hero was Loretta Taylor who drove my mother to and from the hospital. She came by and shared funny stories and made me laugh. She reminded me of how good I’ve got it and that things weren’t really that bad. She gave me a couple of great hugs and told me she loves me. The Dyers were also heroes as they came by a shared their feelings. They are like a second set of parents for me, and have taken care of all of us when ever needed. Their shared their testimony with me and let me know they knew everything would be ok.

The real heroes were my nurses – all 9 of them. Nick, Jewel, Justin, Yvonne, Phillip, Jim, Vlad, Mckenzie and Nonna. They were awesome and I spoke of them earlier.

My hot 15-year-old sister Destiny was the real hero as she came by and went on short walks with me in the hospital and held my hand in case I was to fall over. I’m not sure what she would have done had I fallen, but she was there with me regardless. She even took out her earphones a couple of times and talked to me as we walked. :)

The Bottgers were the real heroes as they brought great meals (steak and potatoes, ice cream, apple pie, cookies), lotion for Candace and get well cards for me, and love to our family.

Mike Betts was a hero as he came by to visit – he can always make me smile no matter my mood. We talked as friends of many years and in the end both got a little teary-eyed. To see a couple of big studs break down must have been pretty comical. When he left he hugged me told me he loved me and I knew he really did.

Stephanie, Kathy, Carla, Brooke, Erin, Weezie, Noreen, Michael, Dan, Amy, Terry and Iris were all heroes from Entercom. They came by and/or sent their love – they let me know that everyone at work is worried and wants me to return quickly. They brought me treats and bettered my spirits. Their messages of love and concern inspired me when I needed it the most.

The real hero was Julie Buchan. She brought me the best soup on the planet, and brought the power of NetFlix to my hospital room! She visited me several times, sat on the edge of my bed always with genuine concern as to my well being.

The real heroes were my parents. They were there at the hospital almost daily. They sat by me and talked, they read to me, they laughed and cried with me. They brought me Blizzards; they played games and rubbed my head when I was in pain or discomfort. They spoke to the family and let them know of any updates, and got the family prayers organized. They walked with me and prayed with me. I couldn’t ask for better parents.

The real hero through this all was the love of my life. I want to also tell each of you how much I love and appreciate Candace. She has sacrificed so much these last two weeks, living on such little sleep and spending so much time with me in the hospital, very rarely leaving me alone – and only doing so when she knew someone else would be here. She did all of this while getting the house ready for Christmas and getting the kids to and from school each day. The best part was when she walked into the room each day, sat on the edge of my bed and held my hand. As she did this ALL of the pain would leave my body for several minutes and everything would be better!

I love each of these great people and have learned so much from each of them – they are my heroes! And I hope to follow in their footsteps and become a hero like they have. They have sacrificed so much of their time, resources and talents, all to make me feel a little better while in the hospital, and to let me know of their love.

I have been home for a couple of days now and have had time to reflect on my time in room 677. It feels so good to be out of the hospital – I am nowhere near full strength, but as I get better I know I have my heroes to rely upon.

Some pics of me and my bro:

I love you Sean! Get better! XOXO

Gettin' Crafty?

I'm not really sure 'crafty' is the right word here... but for those of you who know me, know that I am not a real "go getter". I am a horrible decision maker and a very indecisive person by nature. I am the type of person who lives with 18 different paint splotches on her house walls for 2 years because she just can't bring herself to take that last step and commit to any of them!
This type of behavior drives my husband a bit nuts at times. (IE: When I left for Portland last summer he asked our neighbor for help on colors and had the whole downstairs painted while I was gone! :) Well, since then... our walls have been pretty, but bare as we have moved back almost none of our old "decorations" because they did not match, I wasn't sure where to put them, and/or just were not what I wanted, etc. I have lots of ideas (some great and others maybe not so much :). But I never seem to follow through with any of them. Seth was hounding me all winter long to finish some of these "projects".

One of these projects was the entry way wall when you walk in the door. I knew that I wanted a bunch of family photos framed and some vinyl lettering about family... but that was about it. So I finally searched around and found that perfect lettering for me! I showed my genius of a friend, and after complaining to her that frames were around $15 a pop at Target (for your average sized frame) she suggested going to Goodwill and buying a bunch of different sized frames and spray painting them black. Of course I had to drag her along with me because that was too much pressure for me to do alone! She happily went with me and helped me pick some out. I spent about $20 on frames and $5 on spray paint... and viola! I love it!! (Actually the big frame in the center IS from Target and was $30... but all the rest were Goodwill bargains!
I still don' t have a picture for the center frame. I can't decide if I want to go with a wedding photo, a family photo (which would have to be taken), or a nice recent pic of the three boys all together (which also would have to be taken). So don't expect to see a photo in there for at least another 18 months! ;)- Opinions appreciated!

Then that same awesome friend of mine... has a darling magnet board in her house that I have wanted to copy FOREVER to hang the kids art work on. But I just never did anything about it. I went as far as getting most of the necessary pieces but never put any of it together. Seth had to push me every step of the way. Together we did it and I love it! Right now it is filled with all our Christmas photos (instead of art work).

If you don't see your photo that means one of two things... 1. you have been upgraded to our fridge... or 2. you didn't send me a card, jerk! ;)-

The last project Seth made me finish was Connor's bed. But to be honest I think he ended up doing more of this one than I did. We have had a really nice children's bed someone gave us second hand years ago. It needed help, but had great potential. We both took turns painting coats of bright white paint (because that is what we already had in the garage) and it looks good.

But I still wanted to sand that edges for that shabby chic look! And then I saw another friend's bed that she stained after it was painted white and it gave it an awesome vintage look and I thought I would do that, too. :) But the stain I tried didn't make any difference on that stark white paint. Discouraged, I did not get much farther than that.

So guess who never got around to sanding it? And guess who got too tired of seeing a bed in the garage everyday? :) So Seth put it together and put it up in Connor's new bedroom of his own. It looks nice. I still might sand it... one day. :) But there are no pictures of that (for now) since I still have not decided what to do with his room. I know... it might be years people!!!

But I am so proud of these small accomplishments. Even if I was pushed, nudged, and prodded every step of the way! :)

Sick Eli

Poor Eli has been feeling pretty icky today. I took him into the doctor and sure enough he has an ear infection in each ear (once again). My doc promised me this is the LAST trial run with antibiotics hoping to clear it up for good, and if not... we will put tubes in his ears for the second time. My lil' pooped Eli fell asleep watching toons before his AM doctor appointment and then again in the car on the way home. I decided his little body was in definite need of a real nap today so I took him upstairs to lay him down. I started to help undress him as I know he prefers to sleep in nothing but his undies.

ELI: Sometimes my clothes hurt me when I sleep.

ME: I know Baby, that is why I am helping you take them off. (Normally I am trying to encourage him to sleep with pajamas on, but I felt so sorry for the guy... I wasn't going to put up any fight).

ELI: (In a very tired yet concerned voice.) But Mommy, Santa Claus can see me!

He never seems concerned if Santa can see him when he is hitting his little brother, or sneaking his older brother's toys... but the kid suddenly is concerned if Santa can see him in his Spiderman Underoos?!? :)