Thursday, December 12, 2013


We were so grateful that the cast only had to be on for 3 weeks, because those 3 weeks felt like the longest 3 weeks ever! The first week was absolute torture, trying to keep him comfortable, trying to get him to sleep a while he cried in pain. Even now, it makes my heart hurt and my eyes tear to even think about it. I was in a seriously dark place feeling guilty for what had happened. It was a very hard thing to let go of. No matter how many friends, family or doctors told me "accidents happen" it did not help.  I felt sick about it. It was hard to not feel bad every time he cried out in pain. All I have to say is that I am blessed. I am blessed to have so many friends, family, and a loving husband who helped me get through it. I am also grateful for this baby boy of mine who despite everything would give me a smile every once in awhile.
 My heart. 
 We were thrilled that his little bear costume fit over his cast, because seriously he is just so cute! We only walked him around the block to see the neighbors, but it was still worth it!

We were all so grateful to get the cast off! 
 It is amazing how quickly baby bones grow. The surgeon told us when he broke it that if he was older (4 or 5 years old) they would have had to do surgery to fix his leg, but because he was so young when it happened, that the bone could heal on its own. The human body really is amazing. The only down side of the cast removal was that he now has PTSD and if we turn the blender on high it sounds too much like the saw they used to cut the cast off and he immediately panics and cries. My poor sweet boy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An East Coast Ordeal

Fall on the east coast is my happy place. I love the way the air smells and the way the trees change. It is one of the things I miss the most, (besides the pizza of course). So, naturally when the opportunity arose to go and visit my sister and her family this September, I went for it!

I was super nervous about flying with Phoenix for the first time by myself, but that ended up being the easiest part of the whole trip! I got some awesome ideas from friends on FB & IG and he literally was a perfect angel baby the whole time!

All the flight attendants fought over who would hold him when I had to use the restroom and the people on either side of me were so amazing & helpful. The french gentle man who was sitting next to me did not skip a beat in our conversation while I nursed Phx in such tight quarters and the grandma sitting across the aisle let little Phx rip her magazine to shreds and play Candy Crush on her iPad. We seriously lucked out on both flights.

 I felt like a pack mule, but impressed that I did not have to check a bag! I fit everything in a carryon on suitcase and the airline checks the car seat and stroller for us.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year on the east coast and I would be lying if I said that I didn't tear up a little as we were descending over a sea of beautiful fall foliage. (Seriously, having babies has made me way too emotional about everything).

I had the best time spending time with my sister and her family. She lives just a few blocks from where I grew up, so it was awesome to walk around and reminisce.

 My sister and her kids are the best! It was chaos at times having 3 kids under 2, but Phoenix had a blast playing with them. They were all so sweet with him, especially Jasper who was so kind & thoughtful.

Even their dog & cat were obsessed with little Phx. Seriously so cute!!

It was such a fun trip. We went to the apple orchard where we used to go as kids and ate cider donuts and drank apple cider. It was awesome.

Just minutes after this photo was taken, I experienced the most awful event of my life to date. I was playing with Phx and swinging him around and lost my balance. I fell, he fell, and I could barely get a hold of him before he hit the ground. From the moment he hit, I knew something was wrong. It was the most awful, heart wrenching cry and he was absolutely inconsolable. I was a wreck, but thank goodness my sister is good in crisis mode. She drove us to the ER at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital and they took great care of us. Phx would not stop crying, so the exam was very difficult. I knew it was something with his legs or hips, and after finally getting him to calm down the doctor agreed and called for x-rays. The x-rays showed a break in his left femur, just above his knee. 

The pediatric orthopedic surgeon said that he would need a spica cast, which would need to put on in the operating room. The cast would need to be on for 4-6 weeks. Because of this, Phx was not allowed to eat or drink anything, which was torture! A screaming, tired, traumatized, 8 month old and I'm not supposed to nurse him. Talk about feeling helpless. Meanwhile, I had spoken to Mason (who was out at the sand dunes) and asked him to find/call someone to come and give Phoenix a priesthood blessing. He was able to get a hold of the local ward in New Haven and shortly after, they arrived and were able to give him a blessing. I am so grateful that no matter where I am in the world that I am part of a community of people who I can reach out to for help. After discussing with the surgeon that we were supposed to fly back to LA, he told us that instead they would put on a temporary cast so that we could get back to California and then we would have to see an surgeon at home to put the permanent cast on. I was slowly coming out of my meltdown state and grateful that I could finally feed my baby. He went straight to sleep.
We made changes to our flight so we could get home on a non stop flight and once again everyone was so nice. Complete strangers helped me take off my shoes in security and carry my luggage. Again, the flight attendants were amazing. They would even pull down the diaper changing tray for me, above and beyond. My faith in the state of humanity was beyond renewed.  

To make the longest story even longer... we got in to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon first thing on Monday and they did more x-rays. To our surprise, the surgeon told us that Phoenix would only need a leg cast (instead of the spica) for 3 weeks (instead of 4-6). It was a miracle. I could literally feel the outpouring of love & prayers for us. It is almost crazy to think that in just 3 days the prognosis was so different. The power of prayer is real and again I am so grateful for the priesthood blessing that Phoenix and I received.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's the Little Things

Life is full of moments, both big and small, where we make decisions. Decisions about who we are and who we want to become. I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in my life, who influence and inspire me in many different ways.

Since moving to Long Beach I have met one woman in particular who has inspired me more than she will ever know. Her life has been full of trials, and yet she chooses to be happy, to serve, and to give back to everyone around her. Last year, she organized a toy drive for the Miller's Children's Hospital in honor of her son who passed away. 

The pediatric orthopedic surgeon that Phoenix saw was at Miller's Children's Hospital. We had a very good experience at their facility and were happy with the doctor & nurses, but the thing that stood out most to me was the child life specialist. As they removed Phoenix's temporary cast and replaced it with the permanent one, she engaged him with fun toys and kept his attention so that I could hold him still. It was such a small thing, but it was such a comfort to me to have him distracted for those moments, which was not something that I could have done on my own. 

That day, I found out from another friend, that the toy drive that was organized had donated the toys to the child life specialists at Miller's. I was so touched and so moved. I was a first hand recipient of the service that this mother had performed. It was a small thing, but I was so grateful. 

We live only 2 blocks away from the cemetery where he son is buried. That week, Phoenix and I stopped to pay our respects and to say thank you for this perfect soul, who continues to touch lives. I feel so blessed. Blessed to be surrounded by people who inspire me to be better. Blessed to know that families can be together forever. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dr. Mack

It is still so hilarious to me that people know my dad as Dr. Mack. Growing up I remember visiting him at his lab and thinking he was some sort of mad scientist, because he had white hair and worked with beakers and test tubes.

Anyways, my dad has his PhD in exercise science and after starting his career teaching at Yale Medical School he now teaches at BYU. Along with teaching, he is also constantly doing research. He is publishing articles and contributing to textbooks, and traveling to present his findings all over the world. His work, while extremely hard for me to understand the specifics of, is seriously interesting stuff. It all has to do with how the body works, specifically in relationship to exercise.

One of the most recent things he has been involved with is research for an amazing new sports drink XOJO. So fun to hear him talk about his work. He really does love what he does!

This was all a SUPER long intro to say, my daddy came into town and I got to hang out with him. It was a super short trip with his students for a conference, so our time was limited, but so fun to see him!

In our family my dad is also called the Baby Whisperer because he is a genius with the little ones. Phx warmed up to him really fast and then all he wanted was his Grump Grump.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Phoenix 6 Month Photos

Since my baby boy is turning 9 months old this week, I figured I should finally post his 6 months photos.

This little boy makes my heart melt every single day. I am so grateful to be his mama and to help guide him as he grows into this amazing little person. It is amazing to be a witness as he experiences the world for the first time and to see him develop his own personality and ideas. He is thoughtful and stubborn and sweet and hilarious. He has always been a very vocal baby and loves experimenting with his sounds. His favorite so far is the growl, probably because I laugh so hard every time he does it!

Here are just a few of my favorites from our little 6 month photo shoot with our favorite Taylor Catherine Photography!