Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monterey Bay June 2012

 We went to Monterey Bay for our first family vacation with just our family!  We spent two days at the aquarium.  The kids LOVED it!  One of their favorite parts were the shows.  They only had two different shows and we watch them at least 4 times!  (The next day the actors switched characters and Jansen noticed everything!  He wondered where the turtle was, and why the flamingo was wearing the turtles clothes etc.) After every show he wanted to go talk to the animals and they just loved him! 

 They had a hands on section where you could touch and hold lots of sea animals, no pics though.
 Tide pools
Jansen really came to life when we saw the penguins.  He got a paper and waved it around and the penguin followed his paper everywhere. It was so cute.  He did that for almost an hour, and cried and cried when we made him leave...

The Jellyfish exhibit was AWESOME!   

Reesa took over 100 photo of it for me!  I don't know if she liked the exhibit, or liked taking pictures more.  Here are just a few she snapped...

 We went to Bubba Gump's for lunch, our kids did not like sea food.

 Sunday we went to church and tried out Mitchell's wheelchair.  We were too nervous to use it in our own ward so we were anxious to give it a whirl.  It was awesome!  After this trip we have used it EVERYWHERE, and don't feel weird about it at all!
 After church we hiked to see hundreds of sea lions, and found lots of crabs, and tried out Mitchell's new backpack.
Mitchell's back pack was so awesome, Jake was nice enough to let all the kids take a turn in it around our hotel.  
 The last day we rented this bike and road along the coast.  Jake had Mitchell in a tummy pack so I got to drive, and it was SCARY!  I couldn't see very well with the kids in front of me, lots of up and down hills, but we still had fun.  Not to mention look how beautiful!!!

 We were only gone 4 days and 5 nights, but with all of us in one hotel room sleeping was hard... Jake and I didn't sleep, we just took turns calming Mitchell down.  Jansen and Reesa were champs and slept through Mitchell every night!  That was awesome.  Also Jake got up every morning and went running, while I feed Mitchell, then he'd come back and I'd go for a run then we'd all head down to breakfast at the hotel together.  They had amazing running trails, and the humid weather was perfect for running.  It reminded me of running in London.  So over all it was the perfect length vacation for our family!  We can do anything for a few nights, but we were ecstatic to come home and let Mitchell sleep soundly in his own bed!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Jake and I did the So Cal Ragnar.  A 200 mile relay race from Huntington Beach to San Diego!  You have 2 vans with 6 runners in each van and you compete for 36 hours straight!  It was awesome!  It was much more fun than I ever thought!  
 Can you see Jake at the starting line?
Here's most of our team at the first handoff.   Jeff, Jamie, Kari, Cindy, Simone, Amy, Me, Ryan, and Jeremy.  (Travis was passing off to Archie, and Jake was cheering them on!)  

 Van one!

Me getting ready to run my last leg!
I did it!  Barely!
Simone hauling!
Travis, I think all of his runs were up hill!!
Afterwards we had our post race celebration at Filippis Grotto Pizza.  The food was unbelievable!

SO... here's how it all went down.  We had a team of 12, Jake paid the entry fee $1300.  Then 6 of our team members had BYU graduation and couldn't race.  Well that opened the door to everyone but Jake, Travis and I dropping out!  Since we had already paid the fee and Jake had his heart set on competing in this race we got desperate and asked everyone we could think of to join our team.  Since we were in the hospital TWICE with Mitchell while training for this race Jake even asked some of our nurses who we found out were runners.  Finally Simone came through and found EIGHT runners to drive up from Utah and be on our team!  Because Mitchell kept getting sick I was unable to train like I wanted, but somehow I made it!  I got the easiest legs of all and ran 4.9 miles, 6.2 miles, and 2 miles.  Jake ran the first 4.9 with me and his total was almost 30 miles!  There was such a feeling of comradeship as you cheered and offered support for your team.  Since it was a relay you wanted your team to do good, and since the legs were so long you could actually cheer for each other.  I had a blast.  It was amazing to be able to share something like that with Jake.  He is such a fast runner I NEVER would have seen him in any other race.  

Jake and I at the end in our twinner gear!

We drove our kids down to Lynsey's to watch Mitchell (for the 1st night) and Allison's to watch Reesa and Jansen.  Then Jim and Lenora watched Mitchell the 2nd night. By the time we got in it was 1 am and we had to get up at 5 am to race the next day.  Driving my kids all over was probably the most stressful part of the whole race!  After that Jake and I had so much fun being adults together with all our friends.  Everyone helped out so much so we could do this race.  THANK YOU!  Priceless memories!

Easter 2012

 Well it's only been 4 1/2 months, but lets see what I can remember about our Easter trip to Utah.  We drove and Mitchell like usual needed lots of attention.  We gave Mitchy nebulizer breathing treatments (using a machine you blow medicine that evaporates into gas for 15-30 minutes), Jake turned around and took this picture because we thought it was so amazing we are able to do these in the car.  (Just FYI Jake said he would pay me $80 to get in the back and do it while driving so we wouldn't have to stop and could make great time.  I get so car sick I HATE riding in the back!  But I can easily be bribed with my own money... ha ha)

We stopped in Elko to stay the night and the kids slept great.  Aren't they cute asleep?
As we drove the final hours into Salt Lake City, Mitchell was burning up and acting almost comatose.  By the time we arrived at my parents, we dropped Jansen and Reesa off, threw their luggage on the driveway and headed straight to Primary Children's Hospital.  Jake was driving so fast we actually got pulled over and told the officer our kid was really sick, so he let us go.  (another miracle!) When we arrived at the ER Mitchell's fever was 106.7 F. They immediately started shock protocol took off all his clothes, gave him Tylenol oxygen and got a team to do an IV.  Mitchell has had so many IV's attempts in his life (maybe 200?) that we were sickend at the thought of having to try again for hours.  BUT our prayers being answered they had an IV team of 4 come and using a red light to illuminate the skin got his IV on the FIRST TRY!!! Neither Jake nor I could hold back the tears of gratitude and relief! 

Here's a Video of Jake making Mitchell laugh while waiting in the ER for lab results. 

 Five sleepless nights and days and one surgery later, we finally got outta there!  Jake and I joked that we were just staying at our time share in Utah.   OR  We went on vacation to try out another hospital.  Actually we couldn't have asked for a better place to be.  Everyone was so understanding and caring.  Mitchell had to spend Easter in the hospital and he got an Easter basket and tons of goodies.  Our other kids were having a great time with cousins and didn't seem to miss us too much.  We felt so lucky to have so much family around.  

Easter outfits, they didn't wear together...

 Aunt Delia came to visit, with Rachel & her husband, Joseph & his wife and Wade. So there was a full house!  It was nice for Jake to finally get to meet some of my Louisiana cousins.

 Zaylee, Grandma Sue, Cianna, and Zoey

Jansen loved being a big brother again...
 Gage, Beckhem, and Mitchell.  Beckhem was so worried about Mitchell, he is always asking to hold baby Mitchy, and is always found talking and playing with him!  I love it.  It just melts my heart to see kids trying to bond with this sweet sprit we have.  Mitchell is very unresponsive most of the time, and cries a lot so I often wonder who will still like him.  I feel so touched to have nieces and nephews who care so much about Mitchy.
 My mom watched Mitchy and Jake and I took all the little kids swimming!!!  Aren't we brave?!

So after our stressful hospital stay we headed back home!  It made Jake and I realize once again we might not have Mitchell with us forever and that we really need to cherish the daily opportunities we are having... even if sometimes they are painful.