Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas this year

It is so crazy to think back to the memory of our last Christmas. We were right in the middle of Taylie's 3rd round of Chemotherapy, and there was no way we were getting home for the Holiday's. I remember walking down the ICS halls looking and counting all the empty rooms. On ICS there are rarely any empty rooms. Somehow knowing somebody got to go home for Christmas helped keep my spirits up. I didn't like the thought of spending Christmas in an Hospital room, but there was nothing I could do to change it so together as a family we decided to make the best of it.

We were living in Room #9. It is one of their isolation rooms. Meaning there is a room you walk into and then there is another door letting you into the actual room. Out of all the rooms we lived in this one was the smallest. There really wasn't any reason to be in it, that was just were we happened to land when we admitted this round.

We were always tight in our room. Especially having a baby there with all the things required for that. The greatest thing about this room though was that we had the extra room hooked on. We never payed any mind that they actually used this room for supplies and such. It was just our special play area with windows all around. The fact Taylie was stuck in her room was not fun but she could see so much more in the hallway without the assistance of her stool. Helped her feel like she was getting out even though she wasn't.

One of he favorite things to do was squiggle her bum on the glass at the nurses. Always funny!

Was tight but it was big enough to play around in with this little car.

You had to be careful entering our room. You never knew what Taylie might do to you. The fun part about it was that they let her!

Anyways there is always more I could add, but to get back to the point of my story...

Christmas Eve came and there were only 12 room filled. It was so amazingly quiet. We spent the day all together as a family. Night was approaching and I was having the hardest time having to leave my family. So I decided to ask the charge nurse if we could all just stay the night. Technically you aren't supposed to have more that 2 extra people and that is even stretching the rules. Her response was a gift. She said, "I am not going to tell you no!" With tears in my eyes I ran back to tell my little family that we would at least get to spend the night all together. I think this Christmas year was turning out to have a lot more meaning for us than it ever had before.

So we let the girls open up their Christmas Jamies and went to sleep. We played musical beds throughout the night without the music, of course! Not much sleep, but who sleeps anyways on Christmas Eve?

What we awoke to Christmas Morning was so awesome! Our little room was filled with gifts. Santa brought a few I know but where the others came from touched our hearts. It was an incredible experience to be a part of receiving so many gifts from anonymous donors. I think I cried more than a few times. My girls thought it was super cool. They kept opening and opening and finding more surprises. We felt so blessed to receive so much that was so graciously given.

So this year we decided to make it our Christmas to be apart of making Christmas happen for families that were like us last year, stuck in the hospital. We decided that we wanted to bring them something that could help them feel like they were home for the holidays. We put our thinking caps on and came up with this...

1) Everyone enjoys making a Gingerbread house

2) It needs to smell like Christmas. Scentsy tins in holiday smells did the trick

3) Wassil always makes it feel like Christmas

4) Our Cancer Tiles we made last year put into perspective "What Cancer just cannot do " & what things we really hold dear.

5) Then of course we made a huge sack full of all ages of toys, stuffed animals and blankets to be dispersed as needed

6) A couple of Radio Flyer Scooters for the entire floor to enjoy.

7) Can't forget the parents. They always can use some popcorn and assorted things to eat.

So badly we wished that we could have done more. Still we felt good about the list we put together in hopes it might help bring a little more of the Christmas feel to those hospital rooms we once new so well.

Outside the ICS Unit there is a beautiful tree that was always stood as glimmer of hope for us.

A new change in policy did not allow us to take gifts around ourselves. Kinda bummed me a little, but it was okay. We couldn't get away until we had a good visit with all the nurses who became our best friends. Taylie especially cannot leave until she has tackled Nurse Irish flat on the floor. He is the best sport.

We were all getting hungry so on we went to eat at the Rainbow Cafe downstairs or the cafeteria at the hospital. Except that it was closed for the next hour. We kinda wanted to eat there just because of the memory of all the times we had before, but thought it best to feed the hungry tummies right now. Wingers did the trick!

After dinner we headed off to temple square to look at the spectacular lights. It was a great night. It was snowing ever so lightly and the girls had a blast posing all over the grounds for pictures.

By the time we go into the truck to drive on home the girls were beat. This was the reaction when we asked then if they wanted to go somewhere else. Ha Ha Ha!!!

They smiled when we told them we were only going to stop at Grandma Jeanne's long enough to get jamies on.

It didn't take long before all were sound asleep including Dad. Good thing Mom was driving home. All alone, by myself in a crazy snow storm...ahhhh!! No worries, I made it just fine. Though I might add I was very ready to be off the snowy roads and in a nice warm bed.

The funniest thing to me was after this beautiful day came to an end, it almost felt like Christmas was over. All our efforts and preparation in putting together a little Christmas for other Cancer Fighting families was our main focus. And it was done 10 days before Christmas was even here.

Then we had the opportunity to enjoy a most different Christmas than we experienced last year.

It wasn't very big, in fact we didn't even have an actual Christmas Tree. We just used three decorative trees I had instead, and it ended up being so perfect. The mere fact that we were home, together, and everyone was in good health (especially Taylie) was all that we could have ever wanted. We enjoyed the whole fabulous Christmas week together. Free from any care or worry with all the time in the word to make waffles and work on puzzles. Our most favorite Christmas tradition. Needless to say we received everything plus more that we could have ever wanted for Christmas this year.

We truly could feel our Savior Jesus Christ this season. The spirit of Christ was in our home and that is how we want to keep it all year long. How indebted we really are to him who gave all so that we might have all.

We have so much gratitude in our hearts for our many many blessings. We have been given so much and for that we have so much to give. This March will be the one year mark of Taylie reaching remission and being Cancer Free!!! How we pray everyday that this may continue forever.

We want to say a huge thank you to the many hands that touched our life. At a time when those many hands we so needed. Sometimes when I think back to it all I wonder how it all happened. How did we make it through all that we did? Deep inside though I do know, but it amazes me still. It is a memory, never to be forgotten, but still only a memory & we are going to keep it that way.

Sorry for the lengthy post... :)


Friday, November 19, 2010

..a little chop, chop

My girls think that it is the coolest thing ever to have their very own salon right in their house. Well, it is actually my salon, but shhhh...we won't tell. The same routine happens every morning when we all spend time getting all ready for the day. Other than that Mom is always busy chopping away on someone else "making people look so pretty!" as my Mayzi would say.

Our little friend Suzie doll gets "the works" done constantly. She has got to be the favorite thing to play with at our house. She needs a rest now and then, and I have to hide her. Mayzi just can't quite grasp the concept that her hair won't grow back! And it is sad that she cannot speak, for if she could she just might object!

The funnest thing for me is the day when I say to my girls, " Who wants a haircut?" It is excitment to say the least. Call us strange but in this house we LoVe hair!

First up everytime and always is my little Mayzi. This makes her day to get a haircut. She has the cutest curls that who knows where they came from?

Trying so hard to hold still.

Isn't she so darling!

Next in line is my Taylie. Can you believe how great her hair has come back in! It is so amazing and fun to see it grow so much every month. Silly how much such a simple thing like hair can make you so gidddy!

She is a beauty beyond all measure!

Then it's Sunnie Soda's turn. This one took a few attempts and this footage is the last and final time. She is, however, getting the hang of sitting still.

So Pretty!

Maybe I was just meant to have girls. Dad never gets as excited to get a haircut.

...so a little chop, chop and we are golden for a while longer!